England’s record at the Gabba
If there’s been one constant to England lifting the Ashes in Australia in recent decades, it’s been managing to avoid defeat at the Gabba.
Australia have not lost at Queensland’s noisy, cauldron-like bowl for 28 matches — a run that crosses 28 matches — and England have found the venue particularly inhospitable.
Withstanding the Baggy Green’s attack at the venue has often been the key unlocking the door to a possible series win.
England have avoided defeat at the Gabba in their last four successful tours Down Under. Victories in Brisbane in 1986 and 1978 — England’s only wins at the stadium since World War Two — set up series triumphs, while victory in the 2010/11 and 1970 series both started with draws at the Gabba.
Only once, in 1954, have England lost at the Gabba and still managed to win the Ashes.
Record in the first Test
History is already unkind to England’s chances in Australia; they have won just 14 of 34 series away from home — 41 per cent — and just five of 19 in the post-war period — 26 per cent.
Yet a historical precedent for victory will be even slimmer if England lose this week. In total England have won just 12 — and only two since World War Two — of the opening Tests and lost 16.
Having lost the opening Test in Australia, England have gone on to win just three times; in 1882, 1911 and 1954.