|Ruling Body: Board of Control for Cricket in India|
|Captain : Virat Kohli|
|Coach: Anil Kumble|
|Granted Test status: 25 June 1932|
|Current international ranking: Official ICC rankings|
|- P 512, W 139, L 158, D 214, T 1||- P 896, W 451, L 399, T 7, NR 39||- P 81, W 48, L 30, T 1, NR 1|
|Recent highest test totals:
- 759/7d v England (2016)
- 687/6d v Bangladesh (2017)
- 631 v England (2016)
|Recent highest ODI totals:
- 404/5 v Sri Lanka (2014)
- 383/6 v Australia (2013)
- 381/6 v England (2017)
|Recent highest T20 totals:
- 244/4 v West Indies (2016)
- 202/4 v Australia (2013)
- 202/6 v England (2017)
|Capped players: 286||Capped players: 216
||Capped players: 68|
|Highest individual score: 319 (V Sehwag)||Highest individual score: 264 (SG Sharma)||Highest individual score: 110* (KL Rahul)|
|Most career runs: 15,921 (SR Tendulkar)||Most career runs: 18,426 (SR Tendulkar)||Most career runs: 1,709* (V Kohli)|
|Best bowling (innings): 10/74 (A Kumble)||Best bowling: 6/4 (S Binny)||Best bowling: 6/25 (YS Chahal)|
|Best bowling (match): 16/136 (ND Hirwani)|
|Most career wickets: 619 (A Kumble)||Most career wickets: 337 (A Kumble)||Most career wickets: 52* (R Ashwin)|
|Highest team inns: 726/9 v Sri Lanka - 2009||Highest team inns: 418/5 v West Indies - 2011||Highest team inns: 244/4 v West Indies - 2016|
|Highest run chase achieved: 406/4 v West Indies - 1976||Highest run chase achieved: 362/1 v Australia - 2013||Highest run chase achieved: 211/4 v Sri Lanka - 2009|
|Average RpO: 2.94||Average RpO: 5.01||Average RpO: 8.03
|15921 - SR Tendulkar
13265 - R Dravid
10122 - SM Gavaskar
8781 - VVS Laxman
8503 - V Sehwag
|18426 - SR Tendulkar
11221 - SC Ganguly
10768 - R Dravid
9378 - M Azharuddin
9101 - MS Dhoni
1364 - RG Sharma
1307 - SK Raina
1209 - MS Dhoni
1177 - Yuvraj Singh
|619 - A Kumble
434 - N Kapil Dev
417 - Harbhajan Singh
311 - Z Khan
266 - BS Bedi
|334 - A Kumble
315 - J Srinath
288 - AB Agarkar
269 - Z Khan
265 - Harbhajan Singh
34 - A Nehra
33 - JJ Bumrah
37 - RA Jadeja
28 - Yuvraj Singh
- 413 - MH
2nd - 370 - M Vijay/CA Pujara
3rd - 336 - V Sehwag/SR Tendulkar
4th - 353 - VVS Laxman/SR Tendulkar
5th - 376 - VVS Laxman/R Dravid
6th - 298* - DB Vengsarkar/RJ Shastri
7th - 280 - RG Sharma/R Ashwin
8th - 161 - M Azharuddin/A Kumble
9th - 149 - PG Joshi/RB Desai
10th - 133 - SR Tendulkar/Zaheer Khan
- 258 - SC
2nd - 331 - SR Tendulkar/R Dravid
3rd - 237* - R Dravid/SR Tendulkar
4th - 275* - M Azharuddin/AD Jadeja
5th - 223 - M Azharuddin/AD Jadeja
6th - 160 - AT Rayudu/STR Binny
7th - 125* - MS Dhoni/R Ashwin
8th - 84 - Harbhajan Singh/P Kumar
9th - 126* - Kapil Dev/SMH Kirmani
10th - 64 - Harbhajan Singh/L Balaji
- 136 - G
2nd - 138 - RG Sharma/V Kohli
3rd - 134 - V Kohli/SK Raina
4th - 107 - KL Rahul/MS Dhoni
5th - 102* - Yuvraj Singh/MS Dhoni
6th - 63* - MS Dhoni/YK Pathan
7th - 59* - MS Dhoni/R Ashwin
8th - 61 - SK Raina/Harbhajan Singh
9th - 36 - RG Sharma/Z Khan
10th - 17* - S Sreesanth/RP Singh
As at May 26, 2017
The British brought cricket to India in the early 1700s, with the first cricket match played in 1721. In 1848, the Parsi community in Bombay formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by Indians. After slow beginnings, the Europeans eventually invited the Parsis to play a match in 1877. By 1912, the Parsis,Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims of Bombay played a quadrangular tournament with the Europeans every year. In the early 1900s, some Indians went on to play for the English cricket team. Some of these, such as Ranjitsinhji and KS Duleepsinhji were greatly appreciated by the British and their names went on to be used for the Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy- two major first class tournaments in India. In 1911, an Indian team went on their first official tour of England, but only played English county teams and not the English cricket team. India was invited into The Imperial Cricket Council in 1926 and made its debut as a Test-cricket-playing-nation in 1932 led by CK Nayudu. The match was given Test status despite being only 3 days in length. The team was not strong in its batting at this point and went on to lose by 158 runs. The Indian team continued to improve throughout the 1930s and '40s but did not achieve an international victory during this period. The team's first series as an independent country was in 1948 against Sir Donald Bradman's Invincibles (a name given to the Australian cricket team of that time). Australia won the five-match series, 4-0.
India recorded their first Test victory against England at Madras (now Chennai) in 1952. Later in the year, they won their first Test series, which was against Pakistan. They continued their improvement throughout the early 1950s with a series win against New Zealand in 1956. However, they did not win again in the remainder of the decade and lost badly to strong Australian and English sides. The next decade saw India's reputation develop as a team with a strong record at home. Although they only won two series (both against New Zealand), they managed to draw home series against Pakistan, England and Australia.
The key to India's bowling in the 1970s were the Indian spin quartet - Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. This period also saw the emergence of two of India's best ever batsmen, Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath. Indian pitches have had tendency to support spin and the spin quartet exploited this to create collapses in opposing batting lineups. These players were responsible for the back-to-back series wins in 1971 in the West Indies and in England, under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar. Gavaskar scored 774 runs in the West Indian series while Dilip Sardesai's 112 played a big part in their one Test win.
The advent of One-Day International cricket in 1971 created a new dimension in the cricket world. However, India was not considerably strong in ODIs at this point and batsmen such as the captain Gavaskar were known for their defence-based approaches to batting. India began as a weak team in ODIs and did not manage to qualify for the second round in the first two editions of the Cricket World Cup. Gavaskar famously blocked his way to 36 not out off 174 balls against England in the first World Cup in 1975, India scored just 132 for 3 and lost by 202 runs.
In contrast, India fielded a strong team in Test matches and were particularly strong at home where their combination of stylish batsman and beguiling spinners where seen at their best. India set a then test record in the third Test against the West Indies at Port-of-Spain in 1976 when they chased 403 to win thanks to 112 from Vishwanath. This West Indian defeat is considered to be a watershed in the history of their cricket because it led to captain Clive Lloyd dispensing with spin altogether and relying entirely on a four man pace attack. In November 1976 the team established another record by scoring 524 for 9 declared against New Zealand at Kanpur without an individual scoring a century. There were six fifties, the highest being 70 by Mohinder Amarnath. The innings was the eighth instance in Test cricket where all eleven batsmen reached double figures.
During the 1980s, India developed a more attack minded batting line-up with stroke makers such as the wristy Mohammed Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar and all-rounder Ravi Shastri prominent during this time. India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, defeating the then favourites West Indies in the final, owing to a strong bowling performance. In spite of this the team performed poorly in the Test arena, including 28 consecutive Test matches without a victory. In 1984, India won the Asia Cup and in 1985, won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia. Apart from this, India remained a very weak team outside the Indian subcontinent. India's Test series victory in 1986 against England remained the last Test series win by India outside the subcontinent for the next 19 years. The 1987 Cricket World Cup was held in India. The 1980s saw Gavaskar and Kapil Dev (India's best all rounder to this date) at the pinnacle of their careers. Gavaskar made a Test record 34 centuries as he became the first man to reach the 10,000 run mark. Kapil Dev later became the highest wicket taker in Test cricket with 434 wickets. The period was also marked by an unstable leadership, with Gavaskar and Kapil exchanging the captaincy several times.
The addition of Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble to the national side in 1989 and 1990 further improved the team. The following year, Javagal Srinath, India's fastest bowler since Amar Singh made his debut. Despite this, during the 1990s, India did not win any of its 33 Tests outside the subcontinent while it won 17 out of its 30 Tests at home. After being eliminated by neighbours Sri Lanka on home soil at the 1996 Cricket World Cup, the team underwent a year of change as Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, later to be become captains of the team, made their debut in the same Test at Lord's. Tendulkar replaced Azharuddin as captain in late 1996, but after a personal and team form slump, Tendulkar relinquished the captaincy and Azharuddin was reinstalled at the beginning of 1998. With the captaincy burden removed, Tendulkar was the world's leading run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs, as India enjoyed a home Test series win over Australia, the best ranked team in the world. After failing to reach the semifinals at the 1999 Cricket World Cup, Tendulkar was again made captain, and had another poor run, losing 3-0 on a tour of Australia and then 2-0 at home to South Africa. Tendulkar resigned, vowing never to captain the team again, with Sourav Ganguly appointed the new captain. The team was further damaged in 2000 when former captain Azharuddin and fellow batsman Ajay Jadeja were implicated in a match-fixing scandal and given life bans.
Since 2000, the Indian team underwent major improvements with the appointment of John Wright as India's first ever foreign coach. India maintained their unbeaten home record against Australia in Test series after defeating them in 2001. The series was famous for the Kolkata Test match, in which India became only the third team in the history of Test cricket to win a Test match after following on. Australian captain Steve Waugh labelled India as the "Final Frontier" as a result of his side's inability to win a Test series in India. Victory in 2001 against the Australians marked the beginning of a dream run for India under their captain Sourav Ganguly, winning Test matches in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies and England. The England series is also known for India's highest ODI run-chase of 325 runs at Lord's which came in the Natwest ODI Series final against England. In the same year, India were joint winners of the ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka, and then went to the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa where they reached the final only to be beaten by Australia. The 2003-2004 season also saw India play out a Test series in Australia where they drew 1-1 with world champions, and then win a Test and ODI series in Pakistan.
At the end of the 2004 season, India suffered from lack of form and fitness from its older players. A defeat in a following home Test series against Australia was followed by an ODI home series defeat against Pakistan followed by a Test series levelled 1-1. Greg Chappell took over from John Wright as the new coach of the Indian cricket team following the series, and his methods proved to be controversial during the beginning of his tenure. The tension resulted in a fallout between Chappell and Ganguly, resulting in Rahul Dravid being made captain. This triggered a revival in the team's fortunes, following the emergence of players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and the coming of age of players like Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh. A thumping home series victory over Sri Lanka in 2005 and a level series with South Africa put India at 2nd place in the ICC ODI rankings. This was followed by a convincing ODI series win in Pakistan in early 2006 following a loss in the Test series, which gave India the world record of 17 successive ODI victories while batting second. Towards the middle of 2006 however, a 4-1 series loss in the West Indies gave rise to a slump in India's ODI form, while they achieved a 1-0 victory in the Test series that followed, giving them their first Test series victory in the Caribbean since 1971. India's ODI form, however, slumped further with a disappointing performance in the 2006 Champions Trophy and a drubbing in the ODI series in South Africa. This was followed yet again by an initial good performance in the Tests, giving India its first Test match win in South Africa, although they went on to lose the series 2-1. This Test series was marked by Ganguly's comeback to the Indian team.
The beginning of 2007 had seen a revival in the Indian team's ODI fortunes before the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Series victories against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, marked by the comeback of Ganguly, and strong form by Tendulkar, and the emergence of young attacking players like Robin Uthappa saw many pundits to tip India as a real chance to do well at the 2007 Cricket World Cup. However, defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka saw India fail to reach the final eight. India's traditional strengths have always been its line-up of spin bowlers and batsmen. Recently, it has a very strong batting lineup with Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag all being selected to play for the ICC World XI in the 2005 "SuperTest" against Australia. In previous times, India was unique in that it was the only country to regularly field three spinners in one team, whereas one is the norm, and of the fifteen players to have taken more than 100 wickets, only four were pace bowlers from the last 20 years. However in recent years, Indian pace bowling has improved, with the emerging talents of Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma many more playing in the national team.
In December 2006, it played and won its first ever Twenty20 international in South Africa, becoming the most recent Test team to play Twenty20 cricket. After winning the Test series against England in August 2007, Rahul Dravid stepped down as the captain of the team following which Mahendra Singh Dhoni was made the captain of the Twenty20 and ODI team. In September 2007, it won the first ever Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa, beating Pakistan by 5 runs in a thrilling final. Then they toured Australia with a controversial series that they lost 2-1 in test but come back for a whitewash final against them.
After beating Sri Lanka 2–0 in December 2009, India become the No. 1 team in the world. then retained by drawing a series to South Africa and Sri Lanka confirmed their rankings. In October 2010 India won the test series 2–0 against Australia giving them back to back series win vs them. Then they got the first drawn series in South Africa. When India slipped to a 4–0 defeat to England in August 2011, England replaced India as the No. 1 Test team.
On 2 April 2011, the team won the 2011 Cricket World Cup, its
second after 1983. It thus became only the third team after West Indies
and Australia to have won the World Cup twice, the previous win being
in 1983. Gautam Gambhir and the skipper Dhoni led the way with 97 and
91* respectively. India also became the first team to the World Cup on
India were whitewashed 4-0 in away Test series by England in August 2011 due to which England replaced India as the No. 1 Test team in the rankings. This series was followed by another 4-0 whitewash of India in January 2012 in Australia. The disastrous whitewashes saw the retirement of Dravid and VVS Laxman from Test cricket in 2012. Tendulkar retired in November 2013 after his 200th Test match. With Ganguly having retired in 2008, this period signaled the end of the fabled middle-order batting line-up Indian had for a decade.
Ruling Body: Cricket Australia
|Captain: Steven Smith|
|Coach: Darren Lehmann
|Granted Test status: 15 March 1877|
|Current international ranking: Official ICC rankings|
|- P 801, W 377 L 215, D 207, T 2||- P
899, W 554, L
9, NR 32
||- P 93, W 47, L 45, T 0, NR 1|
highest test totals:
- 659/4d v India (2012)
- 624/8d v Pakistan (2016)
- 604/7d v India (2012)
highest ODI totals:
- 417/6 v Afghanistan (2015)
- 378/5 v New Zealand (2016)
- 376/9 v Sri Lanka (2015)
highest T20 totals:
- 263/3 v Sri Lanka (2016)
- 248/6 v England (2013)
- 213/4 v England (2014)
|Capped players: 445||Capped players: 220||Capped players: 87|
|Highest individual score: 380 (ML Hayden)||Highest individual score: 185* (SK Watson)||Highest individual score: 156 (AJ Finch)|
|Most career runs: 13,378 (RT Ponting)||Most career runs: 13,704 (RT Ponting)||Most career runs: 1,686* (DA Warner)|
|Best bowling (innings): 9/121 (AA Mailey)||Best bowling: 7/15 (GD McGrath)||Best bowling: 5/27 (JP Faulkner)|
|Best bowling (match): 16/137 (RAL Massie)||Most career wickets: 381 (GD McGrath)||Most career wickets: 48 (SR Watson)|
|Most career wickets: 708 (SK Warne)|
|Highest team inns: 758/8 v West Indies - 1955||Highest team inns: 434/4 v South Africa - 2006||Highest team inns: 263/3 v Sri Lanka - 2016|
|Highest run chase achieved: 404/3 v England - 1948||Highest run chase achieved: 334/8 v England - 2011||Highest run chase achieved: 205/5 v South Africa - 2016|
|Average RpO: 3.03||Average RpO: 4.99||Average RpO: 8.38|
|13378 - RT Ponting
11174 - AR Border
10927 - SR Waugh
8643 - MJ Clarke
8625 - ML Hayden
|13704 - RT Ponting
9595 - AC Gilchrist
8500 - ME Waugh
7981 - MJ Clarke
7569 - SR Waugh
|1686 - DA Warner
1462 - SR Watson
1082 - AJ Finch
984 - CL White
822 - GJ Maxwell
|708 - SK Warne
563 - GD McGrath
355 - DK Lillee
313 - MG Johnson
310 - B Lee
|380 - GD McGrath
380 - B Lee
291 - SK Warne
239 - MG Johnson
203 - CJ McDermott
38 - MG Johnson
36 - JP Faulkner
30 - MA Starc
28 - SW Tait
- 382 - RB
2nd - 451 - WH Ponsford/DG Bradman
3rd - 315 - RT Ponting/DS Lehmann
4th - 449 - AC Voges/SE Marsh
5th - 405 - SG Barnes/DG Bradman
6th - 346 - JH Fingleton/DG Bradman
7th - 217 - KD Walters/GJ Gilmour
8th - 243 - RM Hartigan/C Hill
9th - 154 - SE Gregory/JM Blackham
10th - 163 - PJ Hughes/AC Agar
- 284 - DA
2nd - 260 - DA Warner/SPD Smith
3rd - 242 - SPD Smith/GJ Bailey
4th - 237 - RT Ponting/A Symonds
5th - 220 - A Symonds/MJ Clarke
6th - 165 - MEK Hussey/BJ Haddin
7th - 123 - MEK Hussey/B Lee
8th - 119 - PR Reiffel/SK Warne
9th - 115 - JP Faulkner/CJ McKay
10th - 63 - SR Watson/AJ Bichel
- SR Watson/DA
2nd - 114 - AJ Finch/SE Marsh
3rd - 118 - AJ Finch/GJ Maxwell
4th - 161 - DA Warner/GJ Maxwell
5th - 83 - RT Ponting/SM Katich
6th - 101* - CL White/MEK Hussey
7th - 74 - MEK Hussey/SPD Smith
8th - 53* - MEK Hussey/MG Johnson
9th - 23* - NM Coulter-Nile/CJ McKay
10th - 12 - DP Nannes/SW Tait
As at May 26, 2017
The history of the Australian cricket team is rich and diverse. Together with the English cricket team, it participated in the first Test match in 1877. A highlight of Australia's early history was the 1882 Test match against England at The Oval. In this match Fred Spofforth took 7/44 in the game's fourth innings to save the match by preventing England from making their 85-run target. After this match The Sporting Times, a major newspaper in London at the time, printed a mock obituary in which the death of English cricket was proclaimed and the announcement made that "the body was cremated and the ashes taken to Australia." This was the start of the famous Ashes series in which every two years Australia and England play a number of Test matches to decide the holder of the Ashes. To this day, the contest is one of the fiercest rivalries in sport.
In the first half-century or so, these contests were on the whole friendly but competitive with both sides enjoying the visit to another country, and getting to play against quality cricketers. The famous Bodyline series temporarily changed things. The series was marred by the tactics used by the English captain Douglas Jardine to control the batting of Don Bradman who completely destroyed the English bowling attack in the 1930 series. Jardine used his fast bowlers to bowl a high proportion of bouncers at head height over leg stump with 6 or 7 fielders in the inner leg side in a close catching position. Given the fact that there were no helmets around at the time the tactics were widely condemned by nearly all of Australia including many former Test cricketers and important politicians.
Australia continued its success up until the 1980s, built mainly around the likes of Richie Benaud, Bob Simpson, the Chappell brothers, Dennis Lillee, and Rod Marsh. The 1980s was a period of relative mediocrity after the turmoil caused by World Series Cricket and the subsequent retirement of several key players, and it was not until the captaincy of Allan Border that the team was restructured. The 1990s and early 21st century were arguably Australia's most successful period, unbeaten in all Ashes series played bar the famous 2005 series and achieving a hat-trick of World Cups. This success has been attributed to the restructuring of the team and system by Border, successive shrewd captains, and the effectiveness of several key players, most notably Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting. In recent years however, following the retirement of most of this group of players, Australia has lost series to both India and England and has dropped to third place in the ICC Test Championship rankings.
It is the joint oldest team in Test cricket, having played in the first Test match in 1877 (defeating England by 45 runs).
It has a winning record against every other Test nation. The Australian national cricket team has also led the ICC Test Championship table for the majority of the time since the creation of the ICC Test table system in January 2001. The South Africans did lead this table for a brief period from January to May 2003, before Australia resumed the first position on the table. Australia has since dropped down to third in the Test rankings behind India and South Africa.
In 2002, they were
named World Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards in
recognition of their world record sequence of test match victories.
Australia have made 6 world cup final appearances and have won the Cricket World Cup 4 times in total; 1987, 1999, 2003 & 2007. Australia have also won the ICC Champions Trophy twice in 2006 and in 2009 making them the first and the only team to become back-to-back champions in the Champions Trophy tournaments. Australia also have been the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup champions (Under 19 Cricket World Cup) in 1988, 2002 and 2010. Australia were runners-up in the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010 (which was won by England).
As of 28 April 2007 they are undefeated in 29 consecutive World Cup matches. They have led the ICC One-Day International Championship table from its inception through to 18 February 2007, and then again from 7 April 2007 until 30 January 2009.
Australia would win their first away series 1–0 in 1882 with The Sporting Times famously printing an obituary on English cricket:
“ In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST, 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R.I.P. N.B. - The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.”
As a result of this loss the tour of 1882–83 was dubbed by England captain Ivo Bligh as "the quest to regain the ashes". England with a mixture of amateurs and professionals won the series 2–1. Bligh was presented with an urn that contained some ashes, which have variously been said to be of a bail, ball or even a woman's veil and so The Ashes was born. A fourth match was then played which Australia won by 4 wickets but the match was not considered part of the Ashes series. England would dominate many of these early contests with England winning the Ashes series 10 times between 1884–98. During this period England also played their first Test match against South Africa in 1889 at Port Elizabeth.
The 1899 Ashes series was the first tour where the MCC and the counties appointed a selection committee. There were three active players: Lord Hawke, W.G. Grace and HW Bainbridge who was the captain of Warwickshire. Prior to this, England teams for home Tests had been chosen by the club on whose ground the match was to be played.
The turn of the century saw mixed results for England as they lost four of the eight Ashes series between 1900 and 1914. During this period England would lose their first series against South Africa in the 1905/06 season 4–1 as their batting faltered. The 1912 season saw England take part in a unique experiment. A nine Test triangular tournament involving England, South Africa and Australia was set-up. The series was hampered by a very wet summer and player disputes however and the tournament was considered a failure with the Daily Telegraph stating:
“ Nine Tests provide a surfeit of cricket, and contests between Australia and South Africa are not a great attraction to the British public. ”
With Australia sending a weakened team and the South African bowlers being ineffective England dominated the tournament winning four of their six matches. The Australia v South Africa match, at Lord's, was notable for a visit by King George V, the first time a reigning monarch had watched Test cricket. England would go on one more tour against South Africa before the outbreak of World War I.
The 2005 Ashes tour to England became a watershed event in Australian cricket when, for the first time since 1986–87 a Test series was lost to the old enemy England, and The Ashes were thus surrendered. The summer started with four defeats in one week in one day matches (to England in a Twenty20 match, Somerset in a warm up match, and then Bangladesh and England in successive One Day Internationals). Australia and England tied the final match of the first one day international series, before Australia won the second series 2–1.
The first Test match at Lord's was a convincing victory for Australia, with Glenn McGrath impressing in particular. Captain Ricky Ponting afterwards famously said: We’ve a very good chance of winning 5–0. However at the second Test at Edgbaston star bowler Glenn McGrath was ruled out by an ankle injury after stepping on a ball in the practice nets; Ponting put England in to bat on a fair batting wicket (England scored 407 runs on the first day) and England eventually won a pulsating match by two runs and so leveled the series. England dominated the rain-affected third Test at Old Trafford, but a fine rearguard innings by Ponting just saved Australia on the final day and the match was drawn. In the fourth Test at Trent Bridge Australia was again outplayed and forced to follow-on for the first time in 191 Test matches and eighteen years. England struggled in their second innings but eventually got the 129 runs they needed to win, losing seven wickets in the process. Australia needed to win the fifth and final Test at The Oval to level the series and retain the Ashes but were hampered by bad weather, a strong England bowling performance on the fourth day and England's excellent batting (led by Kevin Pietersen and tailender Ashley Giles) on the final day before the match ended in a draw, handing England a 2–1 series win.
Ageing stars such as Hayden, Gilchrist, Martyn, Gillespie and Kasprowicz underperformed in the tour with Gillespie being subsequently dropped for new and younger talent. On the other hand Shane Warne, who took 40 wickets and scored 249 runs, gave an all-round good performance. Members of the old guard (Ponting, Langer, Lee and McGrath) also played well.
After winning the ICC Champions Trophy convincingly, Australia went home for their summer to play England in a five-test series.
The first test took place in Brisbane at the Gabba. The second test took place in Adelaide from 1 December. The third match of the series was held at the WACA Ground in the West Australian city of Perth. Following the third test victory, Australia reclaimed the Ashes, already having achieved a winning margin of 3–0 in the best of five series. England lamented the shortest period of Ashes retention in the history of the tournament, dating back to 1882.
In the days following the historic win in Perth, spin bowler Shane Warne announced that he would retire from international cricket at the conclusion of the fifth and final Sydney test in January 2007. This also prompted Justin Langer, Australian opening batsmen at the time, to announce his retirement from Test cricket after the 5th test as well. Fast bowler Glenn McGrath later announced he too would retire from international cricket after the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
The fourth match of the series was played at the MCG. Australia took victory in just three days, only needing one innings of batting to outscore England. The fifth match in Sydney ended with Australia capturing a 10 wicket victory. The Australians completed a 5–0 whitewash of the Ashes series, the first time either side had achieved such a feat since the 1920–21 series.
In the 2006 cricket tour to South Africa, Australia lost the one-day series 3–2 after a record-breaking final ODI. Setting South Africa a world record target of 434 off 50 overs (the previous record being 398/5 scored by Sri Lanka vs Kenya 10 years previously), South Africa managed to beat Australia by 1 wicket with a new record score of 438. Earlier, Ricky Ponting top-scored with 164 off 105 balls. South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, likewise batting at number 3, went on to score 175 off 111 balls thereby playing an instrumental role in the run chase. Many other records were broken in the same match. A total of 872 runs were scored (The previous record was 693 when India beat Pakistan by five runs in Karachi in March 2004). Mick Lewis had the ignominy of becoming the most expensive bowler in ODI history with figures of 0/113 in his 10 overs.