The Ashes 2013/14: an alternative guide to the SCG ahead of the fifth Test
Darren Gough's hat-trick and avoiding a whitewash: the Ashes Panel shares its SCG anecdotes.
Last Updated: 02/01/14 1:54pm
Not only was the manner of the tourists' collapse dispiriting but as someone who experienced England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash of 2006/07, he knows the humiliation the team could suffer in Sydney.
So in the final part of our 'Memories' series, we caught up with Andrew and fellow Sky Sports commentators Michael Atherton, Bob Willis, Nasser Hussain and David Gower and asked them for their SCG highs and lows...
ANDREW: My favourite memory has to be lifting the Ashes urn in front of the magnificent old pavilion at the SCG in front of 20,000 England fans in 2010/11. Without doubt, it was the highlight of my career and a memory that will stay with me forever.
NASSER: Our consolation win back in 2002/2003 was special for a number of reasons - not least because we were 4-0 down at the time! Steve Waugh scored a century off the final ball of day two in what was his last Ashes match at his home ground and we then went on to win the Test and avoid a whitewash thanks to a brilliant bowling effort from Andy Caddick in the second innings.
BOB: I made my Test match debut at Sydney in 1971 on Ray Illingworth's tour so it holds special memories for me. My first Test wicket was Ashley Mallet, caught Knott bowled Willis. The game stopped when John Snow hit Terry Jenner on the head and the crowd threw cans onto the pitch. Sadly, one of the supporters grabbed hold of Snowy on the boundary and things were quite unpleasant for a while. We won both Tests at Sydney in 1970/71 to win the series 2-0 - all of the other matches were drawn.
I was captain in 1982/83. We won at Melbourne to come back from 2-0 down to 2-1. In the first over at Sydney I ran out John Dyson by about four yards and the umpire gave it 'not out'. The next day there was a photo in the paper of the incident - and John Dyson wasn't even in the picture as the wicket is broken. There was definitely a need for neutral umpires back then. We didn't get a single lbw on that tour in six completed Test matches. Dyson went on to get 79, which was almost the difference between the teams after the first innings. I'm not sure we would have been able to force a win if he had been given out but it would have been the perfect start to the match after I lost the toss yet again!
DAVID: My favourite memory is (selfishly) my hundred on the 90/91 tour where I did my best to catch Athers up in the race to three figures, having given him several days head start! We had fielded for far too long and been given a less than inspiring speech from captain Gooch, which perversely spurred me to great things. We almost got in a position to win the match but had a bit of trouble with Australia's number 11, Carl Rackemann, who overstayed his welcome, and although Gooch and I went out in the fourth innings blazing away in T20 style to try and chase down 255 we were never quite going to pull off a remarkable victory. It was worth a go, though!
ATHERS: One of the things that makes Australia such a good place to play cricket - and watch it too - is the nature of the wickets. Each of the pitches at the major venues have their own characteristics. Traditionally Sydney has been good to bat on but is also a turning pitch - although I don't think that's necessarily the case now. One of the moments that sticks in my mind, though, was by a seamer: Darren Gough's hat-trick in 1997/98. It wasn't a top-order hat-trick but it was still a great moment for an Englishman in Australia and one that got us back into the game after Mark and Steve Waugh had shared a big partnership. If I remember rightly, Ian Healey nicked behind before Goughie cleaned up Stuart MacGill and then knocked over Colin Miller, bowling him off-stump. Australia still went on to win the game - and the series 3-1 - but Goughie deserved his moment of history.
BENEDICT BERMANGE'S KEY FACTS
- England's record at the SCG - Played 54, Won 22, Lost 25, Drawn 7
- Only one of the last 20 Tests to be played at the ground dating back to 1995 has ended in a draw
- In 1999 Darren Gough, took the first 'Ashes' hat-trick for England for 100 years
- In 2012 Michael Clarke scored the first Test triple-century on the ground with an innings of 329 not out against India
- Thirty-eight percent of wickets at the SCG are taken by spinners - the highest percentage of the Australian Ashes grounds, ahead of Adelaide (34 per cent), Melbourne (31 per cent), Brisbane (27 per cent) and Perth (17 per cent).
- The all-time Test run-scorer at the SCG is Ricky Ponting (1,480), while no-one has taken more wickets at the ground than Shane Warne (64)
Watch day one of the fifth and final Test match between Australia and England from 10.30pm on Thursday on Sky Sports 2.