Our writers pick their combined 2005 and 2023 England Ashes team

Andrew Flintoff celebrates the wicket of Ricky Ponting during the second 2005 Ashes Test at Edgbaston

Andrew Flintoff celebrates the wicket of Ricky Ponting during the second 2005 Ashes Test at Edgbaston – Getty Images/Tom Shaw

The remarkable 2023 Ashes series has drawn comparisons with the 2005 classic from beginning to end.

Both series delivered incredible entertainment with plenty of twists and turns.

With that in mind, Telegraph Sport’s cricket writers select their joint England team from two iconic Ashes on the basis of the series alone, rather than players’ overall careers.

Nick Hoult

Zak Crawley

Marcus Trescothick

Joe Root

Kevin Pietersen

Ben Stokes (c)

Jonny Bairstow (wk)

Andrew Flintoff

Moeen Ali

Chris Woakes

Mark Wood

Simon Jones

Sorry Joe Root but you have to bat three in this team (unless Ben Stokes is willing to take a hit for the team). The head says pick Andrew Strauss because he scored two hundreds in 2005 but it is too tempting to pair Zak Crawley with his current batting coach, Marcus Trescothick, who was a Bazballer before Brendon McCullum even played Test cricket. Stokes and Kevin Pietersen only batted together on the Ashes tour of 2013 when one was on the rise, the other on his way out. Imagine them in this side, at the peak of their powers, riffing off each other.

Stokes, like Michael Vaughan, would coax the best out of people’s champion Andrew Flintoff, making him feel a million dollars every day and earning his instant respect, while Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali offer that touch of humble, self-effacement this team of superstars would need. Simon Jones plays ahead of Stuart Broad for his reverse swing, and Mark Wood gets in ahead of fellow Ashington quick Steve Harmison because nobody has bowled as quick in an Ashes Test for England than him.

Tim Wigmore

Marcus Trescothick

Zak Crawley

Ben Stokes (c)

Joe Root

Kevin Pietersen

Andrew Flintoff

Jonny Bairstow (wk)

Moeen Ali

Chris Woakes

Mark Wood

Simon Jones

A seriously tough selection. I have ended up with seven members of the 2023 Ashes side – Strauss and Vaughan from 2005 are particularly unlucky, while Harry Brook and Broad from the 2023 side also have strong claims. But the combination of Stokes – even with his limited bowling – and Flintoff in tandem is too great to resist. Woakes will take the new ball with either Flintoff or Jones, who can swing the ball conventionally, as well as reverse. The combination of Flintoff, Jones, Wood and Stokes means that this attack will take wickets with the old ball as well as the new. Moeen shades Ashley Giles as the spinner, and is a better fit with the spirit of the side.

Stokes can bat at three, where he ended the 2023 Ashes: he has the technique and temperament for the role, and averaged 45 this summer. Keeping Pietersen as low as five will maximise his effectiveness. With Moeen at eight and Woakes at nine, the side bat deep.

Will Macpherson

Zak Crawley

Andrew Strauss

Michael Vaughan (c)

Joe Root

Kevin Pietersen

Andrew Flintoff

Jonny Bairstow (wk)

Moeen Ali

Chris Woakes

Stuart Broad

Simon Jones

I cannot believe I am not picking Trescothick, the only man to influence both series as batsman and batting coach. But Strauss was the only man to score two hundreds in either series, and Crawley was brilliant (partly thanks to Trescothick).

Moeen and Jonny Bairstow simply contributed more than their ’05 counterparts. Jones pips Wood as the out-and-out paceman and, with deep regret, Stokes misses out to Flintoff, who actually played as an all-rounder in 2005. The presence of Vaughan means Stokes’s tactical genius is not missed. The rest was straightforward enough.

Scyld Berry

Marcus Trescothick

Andrew Strauss

Zak Crawley

Joe Root

Kevin Pietersen

Ben Stokes (c)

Andrew Flintoff

Geraint Jones (wk)

Chris Woakes

Mark Wood

Simon Jones

If conditions demand a taller bowler, then I would not mind if Jones is replaced by Broad or Harmison, or conceivably a spinner, but Root otherwise can handle that. For the new ball, to partner Woakes, Wood would justify it now that he can bowl out-swinging rockets. Two allrounders of the highest class, assuming Stokes can bowl, make this an outstanding attack. Have to go for the keeper who kept best in the two relevant series, and that has to be Geraint Jones, although Bairstow came good at the end.

What do you think about our selections? Join the debate below…

You might also like...

P