Updated: 31 July 2023

Cricket is a game that attracts billions of fans from across the globe. We have ICC events in the form of the World Cup, Champions Trophy, and the latest addition, the test championship. These are marquee events that include all the test-playing nations. However, it’s not just the ICC events that have the attraction of the cricket fraternity.

Some cricket matches between two sides also attract a lot of fans. One such event that has a special place among cricket lovers is the Ashes. It is regarded as the most extensive rivalry cricket series featuring Australia and England. As both these sides lock horns for the 72nd series, let us reflect on the journey of the Ashes, including the history of head-to-head stats & records.

Brief History Of Ashes

The Ashes are one of the most renowned cricket tournaments played between Australia vs England. It consists of 5 test match series and is played once every two years. The roots of this test series began way back in the year 1882 when England was defeated at the Oval for the first time in test cricket by Australia.

This incident was published by the local newspaper “The Sporting Times” and was headlined “Death of English Cricket.” They even said that cricket would be burned and the ashes would be sent to Australia.

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This prediction became a reality when England toured Australia. A pair of bails were burned, and the ashes were put into the urn. These ashes are still kept in the MCC museum at the Lord’s cricket ground situated in London. The first test series of the Ashes was played in the year 1882-1883.

Since then, both teams have played a total of 335 matches so far. The maximum duration of the Ashes series used to be 7 tests, and the minimum was 1 test series. However, they have now started to play 5 test match series.

The Rivalry

The importance of the Ashes series can be judged from the fact that even an India-Pakistan match takes a backseat compared to the Ashes. England and Australia have taken test cricket forward, and the role of the Ashes Series has been vital. These 5 test matches attract a huge fan following even in India.

People wake up early to watch both sides fight neck-to-neck. Overall, if test cricket is still alive, most credit goes to the tournament like the Ashes.

Ashes Head-To Head Stats

England and Australia have played a total of 344 test matches under the Ashes tag. Australia leads the race with 142 wins while England has won 109 games. A total of 94 matches have ended in a draw. If we talk about the total series, both the cricket heavyweights have played 71 series.

The fight here is almost the same, with Australia winning 33 test series, while England winning in 32. 6 series have ended in a draw.

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Ashes, Team’ Stats & Records

Highest Team Totals:

For England: 903/7d (The Oval) 1938

For Australia: 729/6d (Lord’s) 1930

Lowest Team Totals:

England: 45/10 (Sydney) 1886-87 (in Eng: 52/10 at The Oval 1948)

Australia: 36/10 (Birmingham) 1902

Individual Stats & Records

Highest individual score:

For England: 364 by Len Hutton (The Oval) 1938

For Australia: 334 by Don Bradman (Leeds) 1930

Leading run-scorer:

For England: 3636 runs by Jack Hobbs

For Australia: 5028 runs by Don Bradman (in Eng: 2674 runs by Don Bradman)

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Leading run-scorer in a series:

For England: 905 runs by Walter Hammond in 5 Tests, in 1928-29

For Australia: 974 runs by Don Bradman in 5 Tests, 1930

Best bowling (in an innings):

For England: 10/53 by Jim Laker (Manchester) 1956

For Australia: 9/121 by Arthur Mailey (Melbourne) 1920-21

Best bowling (in a match):

For England: 19/90 by Jim Laker (Manchester) 1956

For Australia: 16/137 by Bob Massie (Lord’s) 1972

Leading wicket-taker:

For England: 128 wickets by Ian Botham

For Australia: 195 wickets by Shane Warne

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Leading wicket-taker in a series:

For Eng: 46 wickets by Jim Laker in 5 Tests, in 1956

For Aus: 42 wickets by Terry Alderman in 6 Tests, in 1981

Most Test victories as captain:

For England: 11 Tests by Michael Brearley (1977-1981): in 15 Tests (%win 73.33)

For Australia: 13 Tests by Allan Border (1985-1993): in 28 Tests (%win 46.43).