"We Knew It Was Up For Grabs" - Ashes-Winner Geraint Jones On The 2017-2018 Series And The Triumph Of 2005

Few things in sport are as exciting as an Ashes series. And the 2017-18 contest promises to be particularly compelling seeing as how the sides are so closely matched.
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If there's someone who knows what it takes to win the biggest smallest trophy in sport, it's Geraint Jones, the man who wore the gloves throughout the 2005 match-up, widely regarded as the greatest Ashes series in the history of the fixture.

So why does the proud son of Papua New Guinea think Michael Vaughan's men had the edge back then? Speaking to Betway, Jones said: "We had an undefeated summer in 2004 where we won all seven Test matches and then we went to South Africa over the winter and won that series. A good 12 months beforehand meant that we were going in the right direction and we knew as a team that, with the Ashes coming up, we were doing some good things that were giving us huge confidence."

Since Alistair Cook's side defeated both South Africa and the West Indies this year, hopes are high that England will retain the urn. With many of the squad yet to play test cricket in Australia, Jones believes that the series will hinge of how well the newcomers cope with pressure.

"You compartmentalise pressure. With me being wicket-keeper, every ball I just made sure that was my focus, just the ball coming down and not the fact that, if one went past me or I missed it, how important that was. I just kept telling myself: 'There will be one more opportunity and more than likely it's going to come my way. Let's be ready for it.'"

Of course, in 2005, Geraint Jones' moment of truth arrived with the final ball of the thrilling Edgbaston test where he took the catch the sealed an England victory.

“Looking back at that game, we were in such a strong position to win before the fight back that Brett Lee and Shane Warne started on the final morning. We were very aware that something small could turn it. Me taking that catch to win, it was a sense of relief as much as anything. But that got us back into it. That belief we had kept us in it and we knew then that the series was up for grabs.”

Fingers crossed the 2017-18 Ashes provides memorable moments to rival the ones savoured by Geraint Jones and the 2005 boys of summer.