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Considered the pinnacle of Test cricket by many, the Ashes series between England and Australia is a true test of the character, skill, and resolve of players.

Both batters and bowlers are under immense pressure to perform in this series for their respective countries with the entire world looking on at proceedings with an eagle eye.

While some players rise to the challenge and excel by taking the bull by the horns, others crumble under the burden of expectation that is associated with the Ashes.

It’s the series where heroes are born through their exceptional performances that immortalises them in the annals of cricket.

While batters tend to hog the headlines more often courtesy of their batting displays, it’s the bowlers who actually win you matches.

Some bowlers have stood out with their bowling excellence in the Ashes series by claiming and here we have a look at those individuals who shone brightest for their teams with the ball by claiming the most wickets in an Ashes series.

Most wickets in an Ashes series

Player Series Matches Wickets Average Economy
Jim Laker (England) 1956 5 46 9.60 1.55
Terry Alderman (Australia) 1981 6 42 21.26 2.74
Rodney Hogg (Australia) 1978-79 6 42 12.85 1.81
Terry Alderman (Australia) 1989 6 41 17.36 2.64
Shane Warne (Australia) 2005 5 40 19.92 3.15
Alec Bedser (England) 1953 5 39 17.48 2.57
Dennis Lillee (Australia) 1981 6 39 22.30 2.79
Maurice Tate (England) 1924-25 5 38 23.18 2.09
Mitchell Johnson (Australia) 2013-14 5 37 13.97 2.74
Glenn McGrath (Australia) 1997 6 36 19.47 2.80

Jim Laker - 46 wickets in Ashes 1956

Jim Laker is the bowler who has taken the most wickets in an Ashes series. In the 1956 Ashes series, the England off-break bowler claimed a stunning 46 wickets in just five matches at an astonishing average of 9.60. It was during this series that he became the first bowler to claim 10 wickets in an innings during the fourth Test of the series in Manchester. The same match saw him finish with the best figures in an Ashes Test after registering figures of 19/90 in the game. His heroics helped England win the series 2-1.

Terry Alderman - 42 wickets in Ashes 1981

Australia’s Terry Alderman loved bowling against England and has the second most wickets in an ashes series by any bowler. He took 42 wickets in six games at an average of 21.26 in the 1981 series, which England won. Alderman took two four-fers and four five-fers in this series and was Australia’s go-to bowler over the course of the series. His best figures in this series came in the third Test as he claimed 6/135 in the second innings. However, his efforts weren’t enough to prevent an English win. Later, Alderman would also go on to claim 41 wickets in the 1989 Ashes series.

Rodney Hogg - 41 wickets in Ashes 1978-79

Rodney Hogg’s 41 wickets for Australia in the 1978-79 Ashes series is the joint-third most wickets taken by a bowler. He got his 41 scalps in six matches at an average of 12.85. Over the course of the series, Hogg went on to register 10 wickets in a match twice besides also accounting for two four-fers and five five-fers. Hogg’s best figures of 6/74 came in the opening Test of the series, which England won to kickstart proceeding en route to an emphatic 5-1 series triumph.

Photo credit: Alamy

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