In 1989 the Aussies defied the critics and beat the Three Lions.
As Australia head into the 2013 Ashes series in England with morale and expectations low, it’s worth remembering that the Aussies were in a similar position back in 1989.
Under captain Allan Border the Australians had succumbed to successive defeats in 1985 and then 1986/87, with Three Lions’ David Gower and Chris Broad doing the damage.
Following the 3-1 loss in ’85 Border was pictured with Gower in a chummy embrace – an image that did nothing to endear the losing skipper to the fans back home.
By the end of the decade the captain had changed his attitude, the nice guy persona was swapped for a hard-nosed leader that famously responded to English bowler Robin Smith when he asked for a glass of water;
“No you f***ing can’t, what do you think this is – a f***ing tea party?”
It was this new approach from Border that shaped Australian cricket for the whole of the 1990s, when the side could seemingly do no wrong and the Poms got nowhere near the Ashes until 2005.
Border and co had taken a long hard look at themselves and decided the trip to England in 1989 was not going to be like it had been for years before.
The Aussies flew business class – the first time ever – and were greeted by the usual ‘worst touring side’ headlines from the English press.
Yet this was not going to be a roll-over and admit defeat performance from the Australian side; they didn’t just want to beat England, they wanted to humiliate them.
So it proved when a young side overflowing with raw talent such as Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh (players the Three Lions would come to know very well) embarrassed the English with a 4-0 victory – the first time it had been achieved since 1948.
England fans beware of the Australian side not expected to win, Allan Border will tell you why.
Swing bowler Terry Alderman shows England what they can get used to during the first Test.