Ashes is undoubtedly the most iconic cricket bilateral series in the whole history of the game and it has given us, cricket fans, a lot of memories to treasure. It all started way back in 1882 and since then, 71 Ashes series have taken place and, in this article, I will bring out some stats and records from the series to you. Read it whole because I also have 5 Quiz Questions in this article whose answers you can give in the comment section. Let’s start!Embed from Getty Images
Well, 71 Ashes have taken place but which team is ahead in the race when it comes to winning more series? Any guesses?
It turns out that the gap is as narrow as it can be. The Aussies just edges ahead of England. Australia has won 33 Ashes Series while England has won 32, that is how narrow the gap is- just one Ashes series win separates them! England dominated initially having won 11 of the first 12 Ashes Series but Australia then bounced back up. Australia had their own period of domination like from 1934 to 1950/51, where they won 6 of the 8 Ashes Series and the famous years of domination, 1989 to 2006/07 where Australia won 9 of the 10 Ashes series and here I ask you my first question.
Question 1:- Which was the only Ashes series Australia lost from 1989 to 2006/07?
In fact, the 1948 Ashes Series saw Don Bradman led Australia win the Ashes series without losing a single match which earned them the famous title- ‘The Invincibles’.
While the series results team wise is neck to neck, often one of the teams have been humiliated and one such match was the 5th Test of the 1938 series where multiple records were broken. England batted first and Len Hutton rewrote the record books. He scored a magnificent triple century and his knock of 364(847) surpassed Don’s innings of 334 to become the highest individual score in the Ashes, a record set in 1938 which still hasn’t been broken. This was just one of the five triple centuries which have been scored in the Ashes with Don Bradman scoring 2 and L Hutton, RB Simpson and RM Cowper scoring the others.
It is actually surprising that despite the batting friendly conditions today, the top 11 individual high scores in the Ashes have been scored not in this era but have come in the time span of 1903-1966!
Well, coming back to the match, England posted a total of 903 runs in that match which remains the highest ever total in an innings by a team in the Ashes. In reply, Australia got all out at 201 and was forced to follow on. In the second innings, they succumbed at a score of 123 which meant that England tasted victory by an enormous margin of an innings and 579 runs which remains the highest ever margin of victory by an innings in the Ashes. Phew, record-breaking match!
When it comes to the biggest margin of victory in terms of runs, it was the 1st Test of the 1928 series which saw England win by a margin of 675 runs. The interesting thing about this match was that it was the debut test of Don Bradman!Embed from Getty Images
Talking of Don Bradman, boy did he dominate the Ashes. He performed like none other and here are just some of the records he has to his name in the Ashes:-
- Most Runs- Don has scored 5028 runs in the Ashes and is a whopping 1392 runs ahead of the second placed JB Hobbs.
- Most Runs in a single series- In the 1930 series, just the second Ashes series of Don, he scored 974 runs at an phenomenal average of 139.14
- Highest average- Don has scored those 5028 runs at an average of 89.78. What is even more impressive is that his average in Englands stands at a majestic 102.85
- Most hundreds- 19
- Most triple centuries- 2
- And a lot more…
Well Don scored the most runs but who took the most wickets? It is none other than the legend, Shane Warne who has 195 Ashes wickets to his name. Here comes Question number 2.
Question 2:- Amongst currently active players, which player tops the most Ashes wickets list?
Well Don scored the most runs in a single series but who took the most wickets in a single series? You might’ve guessed it correctly that it isn’t Warne this time. It is Jim Laker who had 46 wickets to his name in the 1956 series which included the famous 10 wickets haul in a single inning and 19 wickets in total in a match.
Question 3:- Australia was all out twice with Jim Laker taking 19 of the 20 wickets. Which bowler took the 20th wicket?
Coming to more bowling records, SF Barnes has the most five wickets in an innings, boasting 12 of those and it is T Richardson and Shane Warne who boast the most ten wickets in a match, having 4 each.
Moving on, do you know that only three wicket-keepers have managed to cross 100 dismissals in Ashes history? Can you name them? Two of them are IA Healy and RW Marsh with 135 and 131 dismissals respectively.
Question 4:- Can you name the third wicket-keeper apart from Healy and Marsh to have 100+ dismissals in Ashes history?
We always say the catches win matches but who has the record to take the most catches in the Ashes? He is none other than the legend, Ian Botham, who has 54 catches to his name in the Ashes. Here is the last question,
Question 5:- Who is the only other player apart from Ian Botham to have 50+ catches to his name in Ashes history?Embed from Getty Images
Here are some more interesting cricket stats from the Ashes series:-
- In the history of Test Cricket, only thrice has it happened that a team has won a match after being forced to follow on with two of those coming in the Ashes itself and both these times the winner was England.
- Only thrice has it happened that a team has won by a margin of one wicket in the Ashes and all the three times, it was England who won the match
- England has never whitewashed Australia in Ashes history
- The smallest margin of victory in terms of runs was the win of England by 2 runs in the famous Edgbaston 2005 match
- In the Bodyline series, seven out of 11 Aussies were retired hurt in one innings
- The lowest ever total scored in the Ashes is 36 by Australia but Australia managed to draw that match
- Syd Gregory has played the most number of Ashes matches- 52! Allan Border has played the most number of Ashes matches as a captain- 28!
That’s it for this article and here are the five questions again whose answers you have to give in the comment section…without consulting Google 😀
- Which was the only Ashes series Australia lost from 1989 to 2006/07?
- Amongst currently active players, which player top the most Ashes wickets list?
- Australia was all out twice in a match which Jim Laker taking 19 of the 20 wickets. Which bowler took the 20th wicket?
- Can you name the third wicket-keeper apart from Healy and Marsh to have 100+ dismissals in Ashes history?
- Who is the only other player apart from Ian Botham to have 50+ catches to his name in Ashes history?
Featured Image:- Tim Felce / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
I have been following many sports like Cricket, Football, Formula 1, Kabaddi, Chess and more for many years. I love consuming cricket related content like books, podcasts, and documentaries. Bibliophile, aspiring blogger, and writer by heart.