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Ashes 2019 | In Numbers: How Cricket's Oldest Rivalry Has Unfolded

As the oldest rivalry in cricket resumes in Edgbaston from Thursday (August 1), we look at some of the numbers which have defined the Ashes.

Nikhil Narain |July 31, 2019, 9:34 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | In Numbers: How Cricket's Oldest Rivalry Has Unfolded

England and Australia have locked horns in 330 Ashes Tests with the latter holding the upper hand with 134 wins (England have won just 106). In terms of series though, there is not much difference between the two sides - England have won 32 and Australia been victorious in 33.

As the oldest rivalry in cricket resumes in Edgbaston from Thursday (August 1), we look at some of the numbers which have defined the Ashes.

HISTORY

40.61%: Australia’s win percentage in the Ashes

65: Number of Ashes series contested. Australia have won 33, England 32

8: England won the first 8 Ashes series (from 1882-83 till 1890)

56.25%: England’s series-winning percentage till the end of World War II

1.75: Australia’s series-winning ratio post World War till II to the end of 1974 (before the first World Cup)

Australia won 7 of the 15 series in this period. England won 4.

8, 5: Series-Record between 1975 and end of the 20th century (31st Dec 1999)

27, 15: Australia have won 27 Tests since 2000. England have won just 15.

5, 5: Series-Record since 2000. Both teams have won 4 series each at home and one away.

Despite winning the same number of series since 2000, the disparity in win-loss ratio of Tests is due to the manner in which Australia has dominated when they have won. They swept the series 5-0 on two occasions – in 2006/07 and 2013/14 whereas there other winning series scorelines read as 4-0, 4-1, 4-1.

Ashes at a glance

Summary: England had the upper hand till the end of the Second World War winning 18 of the 32 series. However, Australia dominated the post-war period till the year of the inaugural World Cup winning 7 of the 15 series played. England had a stranglehold from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s winning 5 of the 6 Ashes series contested in this period. However, Australia swept the 1990s winning all the five series in the decade. Since 2000 it has been a tie with both teams winning 5 series each.

TEAM RECORDS

903 for 7 declared: Highest Team Total: England at The Oval in 1938

Innings and 579 runs: Highest Margin of Victory in Test History - England at The Oval in 1938 (bowled out Australia for 201 and 123 after scoring 903)

36: Lowest Team Total: Australia in Birmingham at 1902

1753: Highest Aggregate in a Match - Adelaide in 1921

2: Lowest Margin of Victory – England in Birmingham in 2005

Ashes at a glance2

60%: England’s best winning percentage in the Ashes at home in a decade – in 2010s (they have won 6 of the 10 home matches they have played in this decade)

54.90%: England’s win percentage at Edgbaston – the highest for any ground in England (min. 10 Tests) and the only ground where it is above 50%

51.50%: Australia’s Winning Percentage at Home

The corresponding number for England is just 30.67%

Ashes at a glance3

6: Series Sweeps (two or more Tests) in Ashes History

While England’s sweeps all came in the 19th century, Australia has whitewashed England 5-0 on three occasions. Interestingly, two of them as recent as 2006 and 2013-14

BATTING RECORDS

5028: Maximum Number of Runs – Don Bradman

89.78: Highest Batting Average – Don Bradman

Ashes at a glance4

19: Maximum Number of Hundreds – Don Bradman

364: Highest Individual Score – Len Hutton (at The Oval in 1938)

Overall, there have been five 300-plus scores in the Ashes including two by Bradman

974: Maximum Aggregate in a Series – Don Bradman (1930)

Bradman scored 974 runs in 5 Tests (just 7 innings) at an average of 139.14 including 4 hundreds

He is followed by Wally Hammond (905; 1928-29), Mark Taylor (839; 1989), Bradman himself (810; 1936-37) and Alastair Cook (766; 2010-11)

147.33: Highest Batting Average in a series (three or more matches) – Geoff Boycott (1977)

He is followed by Don Bradman (139.14; 1930), Steven Smith (137.4; 2017-18), Alastair Cook (127.66; 2010-11) and Steve Waugh (126.5; 1989)

4: Maximum Number of Hundreds in a series – Herbert Sutcliffe (1924-25), Wally Hammond (1928-29) and Don Bradman (1930)

2521: Maximum Number of Deliveries Faced in a series – Wally Hammond (1928-29)

451: Highest Partnership – Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford for 2nd wicket (in 1934)

The top 3 partnerships, all feature Don Bradman

2452: Highest Partnership Career Runs – Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe (they put together the maximum hundred partnerships too – 11)

168.66: Highest Average Career Partnership – Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford

7: Hundreds in Both Innings – Warren Bardsley, Herbert Sutcliffe, Wally Hammond, Denis Compton, Arthur Morris, Steve Waugh and Matthew Hayden

POST 1975 (from January 1, 1975)

3222: Maximum Number of Runs – Allan Border

59.27: Highest Batting Average – Michael Hussey

He is followed by Steve Waugh (58.75), Steven Smith (56.27), Allan Border (55.55) and Dean Jones (51.66) – all Australians

The highest batting average (min. 15 Tests) for an English batsman is David Gower (46.01)

10: Maximum Number of Hundreds – Steve Waugh

71.43% - Best 50s to 100s Conversion Rate – Matthew Hayden

Hayden scored 5 hundreds and overall had seven fifty-plus scores

839: Maximum Aggregate in a series – Mark Taylor (1989)

He is followed by Alastair Cook (766 in 2010) and David Gower (732 in 1985)

147.33: Highest Batting Average in a series – Geoff Boycott (1977)

137.40: Highest Batting Average in a series (Australia) – Steven Smith (2017-18)

351: Highest Partnership – Graham Gooch and David Gower at The Oval in 1985

BOWLING RECORDS

195: Highest Number of Wickets – Shane Warne

157: Highest Number of Wickets by a Pacer – Glenn McGrath

Interestingly, James Anderson – the leading wicket taker amongst pacers in Test history, has picked 104 wickets in 31 Tests at a middling average of 34.55)

Ashes at a glance5

13.01: Best Bowling Average (min. 15 Tests) – George Lohmann (England)

16.53: Best Bowling Average (Australia) – Charlie Turner

42.8: Best Bowling Strike Rate – Billy Barnes

10-53: Best Bowling Figures in an Innings – Jim Laker (in Manchester in 1956)

19: Highest Number of Wickets in a Match – Jim Laker (in Manchester in 1956)

46: Maximum Number of Wickets in a series – Jim Laker (in 1956)

42: Maximum Number of Wickets in a series (Australia) – Terry Alderman (1981)

Interestingly, Alderman also picked the joint second-highest number of wickets for Australia in an Ashes series – 41 in 1989

48: Number of Times 5-plus taken in Both Innings

POST 1975 (January 1, 1975)

195: Highest Number of Wickets – Shane Warne

20.92: Best Bowling Average (min. 15 Tests) – Glenn McGrath

43.2: Best Bowling Strike Rate – Mitchell Johnson

8-15: Best Bowling Performance in an Innings – Stuart Broad (in Nottingham in 2015)

13: Maximum Wickets in a Match – Bruce Reid (in Melbourne in 1990)

40: Maximum Wickets in a series by a Spinner – Shane Warne (in 2005)

OTHER RECORDS

11.17: The Best All-rounder (highest batting – bowling differential) – Keith Miller

He is followed by Wilfred Rhodes, Monty Noble, Warwick Armstrong and Ian Botham

9: All-Rounders who have scored a minimum of 300 runs and picked at least 15 wickets in an Ashes series

They are Keith Miller (1946 and 1950), Jack Gregory (1920), Monty Noble (1903), Billy Barnes (1884), George Giffen (1894), Charles Kelleway (1920), Ian Botham (1981), Andrew Flintoff (2005) and Tony Greig (1974)

28: Most Matches as Captain – Allan Border

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2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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