When England and Australia walked out for the Ashes contest in Edgbaston in 2019, a new era was ushered in the world of cricket. The Ashes Test was the first in the new World Test Championship, a tournament which will span two years and will culminate in a clash between the two top sides in Lord's on July 2021. The introduction of the new World Test Championship will see teams play six series, three away and three at home and it will give relevance to every bilateral series as sides aim to make the trip to Lord's on June 2021. With the points-based system in place, teams will be gunning for more wins thus making Test cricket exciting and more competitive.
For Australia, their first match in the new World Test Championship already adds to their gigantic contributions in the world of cricket. Australia is the only team to have played the first Test, first ODI, first Twenty20 International and the first Pink Ball Test, all new innovations in the World of cricket. Here is what happened in Australia's first games in the world of cricket.
1) First Test - Australia vs England, Melbourne 1877
The first-ever official Test in cricket took place between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground 142 years ago. Australia batted first and Charles Bannerman became the first individual to hit a Test century as Australia ended on 245 all out. Billy Midwinter became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul as his haul of 5/78 gave Australia a lead of 49 runs. However, Australia fared poorly in the second innings with Alfred Shaw's 5/38 bowling them out for 104. Chasing 153, Tom Kendall/s 7/55 bowled England out for 108, giving Australia victory by 45 runs.
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2) First ODI - Australia vs England, Melbourne 1971
The Test between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was in danger of being washed out due to rain. Fearing heavy financial losses and the threat of another draw which would further dull Test cricket, the authorities decided to unveil a new format in order to make up for the losses. A crowd of 46000 had assembled as the world witnessed the first ODI. John Edrich smashed 82 but England was all out for 190, with Ashley Mallett and Keith Stackpole taking three wickets apiece. In response, Australia was boosted by a knock of 60 from Ian Chappell and a solid 41 from Doug Walters as they won the match by five wickets.
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3) First T20I - Australia vs New Zealand, Auckland 2005
The 21st century witnessed the birth of a format which was even more pacy, dynamic and thrilling. The year 2005 saw the birth of the Twenty20 International, a match which would see only 20 overs per innings. The match between Australia and New Zealand was played in a carnival atmosphere with both teams sporting the retro look. Australia notched up 214/5 with Ricky Ponting blasting 98 off 55 balls with eight fours and five sixes. In response, Scott Styris hit 66 but Michael Kasprowicz took 4/29 and New Zealand lost by 44 runs.
4) First Pink Ball Test - Australia vs New Zealand, Adelaide 2015
Test cricket witnessed a revolutionary evolution with the birth of Day-Night Test cricket. The matches would be played with the Pink Ball, with tea being taken first and dinner later. Adelaide was the venue for the historic Pink Ball Test between Australia and New Zealand. The Kiwis chose to bat but were undone by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood's three wickets as they were bowled out for 202. In response, Peter Nevill's 66 and a controversial DRS reversal for Nathan Lyon enabled Australia to take a 22-run lead. Hazlewood took 6/70 as New Zealand were bowled out for 208. Trent Boult gave New Zealand some hope with 5/60 but Shaun Marsh's 49 gave Australia a thrilling three-wicket win.