1981: Botham wins back the Ashes

Ian Botham started the 1981 series as England captain but after Australia took a 1-0 lead in the first two Tests he was forced to resign.

Mike Brearley took over for the Third Test at Headingley. Australia looked certain to take a 2-0 series lead after they had forced England to followon 227 runs behind. England despite being 135 for 7 produced a second innings total of 356 with ex-skipper Botham scoring 149.

Chasing just 130 Australia were sensationally dismissed for 111 Bob Willis taking 8-43. It was the first time since 1894/95 that a team following on had won a Test match.

England went on to win the next two matches before a drawn final match at The Oval. This series is known as "Botham's Ashes".

Aug 1981


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