The reason Test cricket is considered the best form of the sport by purists is that it allows for comebacks. If ever the first innings didn't go as per plan, there is a chance to make amends in the second. This is precisely why after a Test match there is never a doubt who the better team was over the course of the match. While there can be upsets in limited-overs cricket, make no mistake Test cricket does not allow for a mere upset to spoil a strong team's hard work over years.
It could be a fluke in a session or two but if a team wins a Test played over 5 days, it has to be the better team in that match. Ashes, regarded by many as one of the greatest sporting rivalries, in 2019 was another amazing chapter in Test cricket history. Especially the third Test match of the series has to go down as one of the best ever played at least in recent history.
While Australia batted first and made 179- a total which many believed would not be enough, they later bowled out England for just 69 in the first innings to indicate that they perhaps scored enough runs on the board. The Aussies better their first innings score and made 246 runs in the second innings and only one result looked possible especially when England lost 9 wickets for 286 runs, chasing 359 for victory on final day.
An innings to remember for Ben Stokes
But Ben Stokes had other ideas. The southpaw played an innings to remember for the ages at Headingley, ending with an unbeaten 135 runs from 219 balls and adding 76 runs for the last wicket to help England level the series 1-1 with two Tests to go. Leach also made the most important 1 run of his life and more importantly survived the 17 balls to ensure that Stokes doesn't run out of partners.
His century coupled with his bowling performance deservingly got him the Player of the Match and his boundary off Pat Cummins to finish the match and the celebration that followed has to be one of the most inspiring visuals in Test match cricket. August 25, 2021 marks two years of that iconic England win.
Here is the video shared by England's Barmy Army: