ODI champions England are set to renew their Test rivalry against Australia when the Ashes kickstarts from August 1. Australia have had won the last Ashes series 4-0 and would be up against a confident England. However, the return of Steve Smith and David Warner would boost Australia’s confidence ahead of the Test series. Cricwizz takes a look at 10 statistics that prove Ashes is one of the best cricketing rivalries ever.
The first edition of Ashes dates back to 1882-83, which was hosted by Australia. England won that series 2-1 in three-match series. The two nations have played in 70 Ashes series so far in over 13 decades. Australia have won 33, England have won 32, while five have been drawn.
England won the first 8 Ashes series before Australia registered their maiden triumph. In fact, in the first 12 Ashes series, Australia won only 1 and lost 11 series. But Australia continued their dominance thereafter, winning the next four Ashes. Australia dominated again from 1989 to 2002, winning 8 consecutive Ashes.
Australia have won three Ashes by a 5-0 margin. They first won by this margin in 1920-21 and again in 2006-07. They last won by 5-0 margin in 2013-14. All the wins came in Australia.
There have been five triple centuries in Ashes so far, four by Australia and once by England. Don Bradman has scored triple century twice in Ashes. Sir Leonard Hutton is the lone Englishman to score a triple ton in Ashes, cracking 364 at The Oval in 1938.
Don Bradman has scored 19 tons in 37 Ashes Test against England, the most by any cricketer. Sir Jack Hobbs of England is second with 12 tons in 41 matches.
903/7 decl is the highest innings total in Ashes. England made this score at The Oval in 1938. The record total stood for 59 years before it was broken by Sri Lanka (952/6 decl) against India at Colombo in 1997.
Stuart Broad needs five wickets to join the list of bowlers who have taken 100 wickets in Ashes. He will become the 19th player to do so in Ashes. James Anderson, his bowling partner, has taken 104 wickets in 31 matches in Ashes. Broad is the same player who was hit for six sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh in 2007 World T20. He has come a long way since.
Off-spinner Jim Laker of England took 19 wickets in the Manchester Test against Australia in 1956, a record that still stands in Test cricket. The other wicket to fall was taken by Tony Lock. Laker’s bowling figures in the match read 19/90 as England won the match by an innings and 170 runs.
Bodyline was introduced by England skipper Douglas Jardine in the 1932-33 Ashes series. England fast bowlers bowled at Australian batsmen’s bodies. The strategy paid off with England winning the series 4-1. But the Bodyline tactics was criticised heavily. The then Australian skipper Bill Woodfull refused to adopt the bodyline tactics, stating that only one team is playing cricket, while the other team is not making an attempt to do so.
WH Ponsford and Don Bradman hold the highest partnership by runs (451 runs) in Ashes till date. The two achieved the feat at The Oval in 1934 for the second wicket. The record stood for 49 years before it was equalled by Pakistan duo of Mudassar Nazar and Javed Miandad in 1983 against India. It was finally broken in 1991 by Andrew Jones and Martin Crowe of New Zealand in 1991 who posted 467 for the third wicket against Sri Lanka. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene currently hold the record of highest partnership in Test – 624 – for the third wicket against South Africa in 2006.