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England's rise to number one Published: 14 August 2011

As England are officially crowned the number one Test team in the world, Lords.org looks back at some of the defining moments of their journey.

2006/07: 5th Test v Australia, Sydney

England's defence of the Ashes, so magnificently won on home soil in 2005, ends in a crushing 5-0 defeat against a rampant Australia.

Australia legends, including Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, retire, leaving their postition as the world's number one side open to new challengers.

What happened next?

The Schofield Report is ordered into the state of English cricket. Duncan Fletcher leaves as Coach after the ICC World Cup and is replaced by Peter Moores.

2007: 1st Test v India, Lord's

After starting the season by thrashing the West Indies, a new look England - featuring debutant Chris Tremlett - narrowly fail to collect the last India wicket to secure victory.

What happened next?

Despite England's initial promose, India win the next Test and take the series 1-0. England lose in Sri Lanka before Christmas and slip from number two to fifth in the rankings.

2007-08: 2nd Test v New Zealand, Wellington

After defeat in the opening Test, Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard - stars in '05 - are unceremoniously axed from the side for the second match, which England win by 126 runs. James Anderson returns to the side and impresses with the ball.

What happened next?

Go on to win the series 2-1 with Andrew Strauss, dropped against Sri Lanka, making a career-saving innings of 177.

2008: 3rd Test v South Africa, Edgbaston

Michael Vaughan resigns the captaincy after England lose to South Africa from a strong position and lose the series as a result.

Graeme Smith makes a magnificent 158 to defy England and force Vaughan over the edge.

What happened next?

Kevin Pietersen is made captain in all formats of the game and gets off to a strong start with a victory (and a personal century) in an emotional first Test as skipper against the country of his birth.

2008-09: 1st Test v India, Chennai

England produce a dominant performance for almost four days, thanks to twin centuries from a resurgent Strauss.

However, Virender Sehwag blasts India towards an unlikely win, as they chase 387 on day five, with Sachin Tendulkar making an unbeaten ton.

What happened next?

England lose the series 1-0 and are thrown into turmoil on their return home as a spat between Pietersen and Moores results in both captain and coach leaving their positions. Strauss and Andy Flower replace them.

2009: 1st Test v West Indies, Jamiaca

Strauss' full-time leadership starts with a catastrophic defeat to the West Indies as England are bowled out for just 51. Jerome Taylor is the West Indies' hero and Strauss gets off to a disastrous start as captain.

What happened next?

Lose the series 1-0 despite having the better of two Tests and slump to sixth in the world rankings as a result. Burgeoning relationship between Strauss and Flower and the rise of Graeme Swann offer signs of hope though.

2009: 2nd Test v Australia, Lord's

Australia are no longer the force they once were but still come within one wicket of beating England in the opening Test.

Heroics from Andrew Flintoff, playing in his final Test series, inspire England to a famous win - their first in an Ashes Test at Lord's in 74 years.

What happened next?

Win back the urn 2-1, with victory at the Oval after an evenly matched series. England follow this up with a battling 1-1 series draw in South Africa to confirm their advances.

2010-11: 4th Test v Australia, Melbourne

After dominating the second half of the first Test (Brisbane) and winning the second (Adelaide), England come unstuck in Perth as Mitchell Johnson finds his rhythm.

Reserve seamers Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett illustrate England's depth though as Australia are thrashed by an innings and 157 runs in Melbourne.

What happened next?

Another innings win in Sydney secures a 3-1 series victory and back-to-back Ashes wins for England for the first time since 1986-87. England are now challenging for the position of world number one with the current leading team India to play the following summer.

2011: 1st Test v India, Lord's

The long awaited 2,000th Test saw England take on an Indian side who had held the ICC mace as the world's best side since December 2009.

Much of the attention was on Sachin Tendulkar as he chased his 100th international century but England, inspired by a double century from Kevin Pietersen, turned in a near perfect performance - wrapping up victory in front of a full house on 'People's Monday.'

What happened next?

A wonderful comeback win in the next Test at Edgbaston takes England to within one win of the number one spot.

2011: 3rd Test v India, Edgbaston

England complete their magnificent march to the top of the ICC World rankings with another crushing victory over the side they toppled from top of the table.

Injury-hit India look a beaten side from early in the Test in Birmingham as England's seamers are, once again, in rampant form. Alastair Cook, such a key part of the Ashes win, makes his first significant contribution of the series with a mammoth 294 as England declare on 710-7.

The home side's attack then dismiss India for just 244 to win by an innings and 242 runs to take a 3-0 lead in the four match series sealing their place as the world's number one side.

What happened next?

England celebrate their elevation but, typical of the professionalism and focus which Strauss and Flower insist upon, follow it up with another innings victory at the Oval.

 


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