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England's five greatest Test victories

It's fair to say that England fans have been treated to some extremely entertaining Test cricket since the appointment of coach Brendon McCullum in 2022.

A front-foot style of play, dubbed by the media as ‘Bazball’, has changed the way the England players - and many fans - look at the red-ball game.

This has culminated in thrilling matches and some epic wins for the Test side, including an incredible comeback against India in the first match of the 2024 five-match series, which England are now 11/5 to win.

Here is a selection of the top five England Test victories.

England v Australia - Headingley, 2019

This was the match that Ben Stokes wrote himself into England folklore, with his stunning batting display getting the home team over the line against Ashes rivals Australia.

After Australia made 179 in the first innings, the hosts were staring at defeat when they were skittled out for just 67 - with just one batter reaching double figures!

The tourists then totalled 246 in the second innings to leave England needing 358 to win and keep the series alive.

In front of a packed house at Headingley, England looked in real trouble at 159-4 and then 261-7 but all-rounder Stokes went for broke and smashed the ball all round the park.

With number 11 Jack Leach at the other end facing 17 balls for just one run, Stokes survived a number of scares but secured the win with an unbeaten 135, hammering a drive through the covers to seal arguably England’s greatest win.

India v England - Hyderabad, 2024

India have almost been unbeatable at home in the last decade, winning their last 17 series in their own country.

England turned up for the first Test in Hyderabad having not played a Test match in six months and were up against it straight away, trailing by 190 runs after the first innings.

An outstanding 196 from Ollie Pope in the second innings gave England some hope with the tourists setting India a target of 230 runs to win.

With just one seamer selected and a couple of inexperienced spinners in the ranks, Stokes’ men worked their magic and left-armer Tom Hartley capped a fantastic Test debut.

The 24-year-old took nine wickets across the Test, including seven in the second innings, as England claimed a 28-run victory in what many feel to be their finest away success.

England v Australia - Headingley, 1981

Leeds has been a successful venue for England over the years and in 1981, a seamer-friendly pitch helping the pace bowlers claim an historic victory over the Aussies.

The tourists declared on 401 in their first innings and after England were bowled out for just 174, the hosts were forced to follow-on.

Thanks to an unbeaten 149 from Ian Botham and a half-century from young fast bowler Graham Dilley, England were at least able to post Australia a target, even if it was just 129 runs to win.

Enter Bob Willis, who ran down the hill at Headingley with sublime pace and took eight wickets for just 43 runs, as England skittled out an Australian team that included Allan Border, Rod Marsh and Kim Hughes for just 111.

England v Australia - Edgbaston, 2005

In what has been called the greatest Test series of all-time, this match stood out as the best of the five, with a nail-biting ending seeing England win by two runs.

Michael Vaughan’s men held a 99-run lead after the first innings but looked in trouble when dismissed for just 182 second time around.

It would have been worse but for a quickfire 73 from Andrew Flintoff, before 'Freddie' went on to also play his part with the ball.

He took four wickets, including the scalps of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, before an unbeaten 43 from Brett Lee threatened to scupper England.

However, Steve Harmison had Michael Kasprowicz caught behind to sneak England over the line in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Pakistan v England - Karachi, 2000

In what was the deciding Test of the series, the home team held a slender 17-run advantage after the first innings thanks to centuries from Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.

Then Darren Gough and Ashley Giles both took three wickets to help England dismiss Pakistan for 158 in the second innings, leaving the tourists needing 176 runs to win.

Falling to 65-3, England looked to be heading for defeat but, inspired by Graham Thorpe, they edged towards the target on the final day.

In fading light, England reached their target and thanks to that win they claimed a rare series success in Pakistan.

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