29th May 1902 was the first day of test match cricket in the city of Birmingham. The Edgbaston became the 6th test cricket ground in England when a very strong England team welcomed the touring Australians for the first test of a 5-test series.
England team was full of legendary players and as per some of the notable observers’ one the greatest eleven men to appear for England on a cricket field. All the 11 players in the squad had first-class hundreds. With more than 40,000 runs in first-class cricket, Wilfred Rhodes was their number eleven in the batting order. Alongside Rhodes, the other members in the eleven were the captain Archie MacLaren, CB Fry, Ranji, FS Jackson, Johnny Tyldesley, Dick Lilley, George Hirst, Gilbert Jessop, Len Braund and Bill Lockwood. There was the Sussex duo of Ranji and Fry and two great all-rounders in Hirst and Rhodes. Even the mighty Gilbert Jessop was slotted at number eight in the batting order.
The Australians were also no pushovers. Led by Joe Darling, the eleven for the match included Victor Trumper, Monty Noble, Warwick Armstrong and Ernie Jones among others.
England won the toss and scored 376, thanks to 138 from Tyldesley and an unbeaten 10th wicket partnership of 81 runs between Lockwood and Rhodes. For Australia, Ernie Jones took three wickets. It was a great score on a relatively poor pitch which looked even precious when the Australians started to bat. They were bowled out in 23 overs for a mere 36 runs. Half of it was scored by the great Trumper. For England, Hirst and Rhodes did the bulk of the bowling as Rhodes finished with 7/17 and Hirst with 3/15.
Australia had to follow on and England hoped for a win. Thanks to the clouds that most parts of the third day was washed out as Australia survived after scoring 46/2 in their second innings. Eventually, all the five tests of the series were ended in draws and the final series result was 0-0.