The long-existing cricketing rivalry between England and Australia – The Ashes, resumes from August 1, with the latter travelling to the homeland of the sport.
However, having won four World Cups in the last 20 years and being a force to be reckoned with over the years, Australia’s Ashes record on English soil hasn’t really been that monumental, with their last away victory coming way back in 2001 under Steve Waugh.
The likes of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke have tried twice since, but both the skippers have stumbled on their way, with England managing to hold their ground at home. And now with the series just around the corner, it’s high time we talk about the tournament’s all-time records.
To begin with the basics, former Australia captain, Sir Don Bradman, with 5028 runs in 37 matches (spanning between 1928-48) still remains the top-scorer of the Ashes.
England’s Sir Jack Hobbs acquires the second spot with 3636 runs in 41 games, followed by Allan Border (3222 runs in 42 games), Steve Waugh (3173 runs in 45 games) and England’s David Gower (3037 runs in 38 games).
Playing at an average of 89.78, Bradman’s 19 tons is still the highest by any batsman in the history of the Ashes. This is followed by Hobbs’ 12 centuries, Waugh’s 10, Wally Hammond and Gower’s nine and Steve Smith’s eight.
Having played as many as 36 matches in the Ashes, Australian spinner Shane Warne, with 195 wickets, is the highest wicket-taker in the history of the tournament. The list is carried forward by three more Australians in Glenn McGrath (157 wickets), Hugh Trumble (141 wickets between 1890-1904) and Dennis Lillee (128 wickets between 1971-1982), before finally an Englishman in Sir Ian Botham (128 wickets between 1977-1989) comes into the picture.
MOST TEN-WICKET HAULS
England’s Tom Richardson has picked 10 wickets in a single match (in the Ashes) on as many as four occasions. And although Shane Warne shares the same figure, the fact that Richardson achieved the feat in a mere 14 games is more appealing. The list is further carried by the likes of George Lohmann, Johnny Briggs, Bill O’Reilly and Hugh Trumble, who all have picked 10 wickets in a single game on three occasions.
MOST WICKETS IN A SERIES
With 46 wickets from just five games and bowling at a meagre economy of 1.55, England’s Jim Laker (in 1956) still holds the record of taking the most number of wickets in a single series. Australia’s Terry Alderman follows the list with 42 wickets (in six games in 1981), while the likes of Rodney Hogg (41 wickets in six games) and Shane Warne (40 wickets in five games) come next.
Sir Ian Botham’s 54 catches in 32 games between 1977-1989 remain the highest figure in the history of the competition. Allan Border, with 51 catches in 42 games, follows the suit, with Greg Chappell (48 catches in 30 matches) coming next.
MOST SUCCESSFUL CAPTAIN
England’s WG Grace is the only captain in the history to have won four Ashes series (1888, 1890, 1893 & 1896). The list is followed by other Australians in Allan Border, Don Bradman, Joe Darling and Mark Taylor who have all won three series.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / William West