Ranking the Careers of England's Bowling Stars in the 2005 Ashes

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Ranking the Careers of England's Bowling Stars in the 2005 Ashes
Ben Radford/Getty Images

The driving force behind England's triumph in the 2005 Ashes was its five-pronged bowling attack comprised of Andrew Flintoff, Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison, Simon Jones and the often-overlooked Ashley Giles.

Vic Marks in the Guardian:

For 18 months in 2004 and 2005, these four distinctive characters came together to be the most potent bowling attack across the universe, offering captain Michael Vaughan an option for all conditions: conventional swing with the new ball from Hoggard; exceptional bounce from Harmison; reverse swing from Jones; and controlled aggression from Flintoff. How they startled Australia in the most memorable of all Ashes series. 

The quintet gradually came together over the couple of years preceding the Ashes, eventually finding its groove in consecutive series wins against New Zealand, the West Indies and in South Africa.

Switch to 2005 with the Aussies arriving and all five bowlers healthy and in form. Between them, they took all 85 Australian wickets to fall and helped reclaim the coveted urn for the first time in 18 years.

Each player continued to play for a while after the triumphant summer, but arguably none of them ever reached the form they showed in that series again.

Giles retired in 2006 and Flintoff in 2010, but the remaining trio played on before all three decided to hang up their boots recently—although Jones is hoping to continue in white-ball cricket.

Read on as Bleacher Report looks back fondly and ranks the careers of five Ashes heroes in terms of their achievements and legacies.

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