Wednesday 20 November 2013 

England's Ten 100-Test Men

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen will become the 10th Englishman to play 100 Tests when he walks out at the Gabba
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Kevin Pietersen will become the 10th man to play 100 Tests for England when he lines up against Australia for the Ashes in Brisbane.

Here we compare his Ashes record to the nine most-capped Englishmen of all time.

Kevin Pietersen (99 caps, 1,864 Ashes runs at 49.05 in 22 matches)

Made his debut against Australia in 2005, took them on and then scored a match-saving, Ashes-winning 158 at The Oval. Again scored 158 as England were trounced 5-0 in 2006/7 and missed most of the 2009 series with injury. Pietersen then played a key role in the 2010/11 win with a masterful double-century at Adelaide and in 2013, hit a fine century at Old Trafford which went a long way towards preventing Australia from taking a win.

Andrew Strauss (100 caps, 1,421 Ashes runs at 39.47 in 20 matches)

Captained England to glory in the 2009 and 2010/11 Ashes series, the latter of which was England's first win in Australia for a generation. Also scored a century and took a blinding catch at Trent Bridge during the key 2005 series win, one year after bursting on to the international scene with a debut century against New Zealand at Lord's. As captain, he scored 161 at Lord's in 2009 to help England wrest back momentum and then another century at Brisbane in 2010 which was again pivotal in putting England back in a strong position.

Graham Thorpe (100 caps,1,235 Ashes runs at 45.74 in 16 matches)

The man who was left out for Pietersen to make his debut enjoyed personal success against Australia at a time when England could barely win a match, let alone a series. He scored three centuries against McGrath, Warne and co., and made an assured 94 on debut. Of the four Englishmen that made their debut with him in that match, he was the only one to establish himself in the team.

Sir Ian Botham (102 caps,1,649 runs at 29.35 and 148 wickets at 27,65 in 36 matches)

Botham enjoyed playing against the Australians, and excelling against them so much the 1981 series has been named after him. His blistering 149 not out at Headingley and spell of five wickets for no runs at Edgbaston afforded him that honour but he also starred away from home, hitting centuries in Melbourne (1980) and Brisbane (1986). 148 wickets in 36 games tells you he liked getting Australians out as much as he enjoyed hitting them out of the park.

Geoffrey Boycott (108 caps, 2,945 Ashes runs at 47.50 in 38 matches)

After scoring his 100th first-class hundred during the 1977 Ashes series at Headingley, Boycott is also linked with Test cricket's oldest surviving contest. Seven of his 22 Test centuries came against Australia, with a high score of 191. Has the distinction of scoring Ashes tons in three different decades, his first coming in 1964, his last in 1981 with four in the 1970s and one in 1980.

Colin Cowdrey (114 caps, 2,433 Ashes runs at 34.26 in 43 matches)

The man with perhaps the most suitable initials for cricket (MCC) scored five centuries and 11 half-centuries against Australia on his way to becoming the leading English run-scorer, until he was passed by Boycott. He was the first cricketer to play 100 Tests and duly celebrated with a century against Australia in 1968. He also scored 307 against South Australia on the 1962/3 tour.

Mike Atherton (115 caps, 1,900 Ashes runs at 29.68 in 33 matches)

Atherton's career - both as a player and captain - coincided with Australia's rise to dominance and he never won an Ashes series. Glenn McGrath in particular enjoyed taking his wicket and did so often, but he managed to reach a half-century 15 times and score one Ashes century, which came in 1991. He won just six of his 33 matches against Australia.

David Gower (117 caps, 3,269 AShes runs at 44.78 in 42 matches)

Gower was a wonderful player, and scored nine Test centuries against Australia, including a superb 215 at Edgbaston in 1985. Like Boycott, he scored Ashes tons in three different decades, his first coming in 1978 and his final one in 1991. But for the famous Tiger Moth excursion, he might have scored more, but it wasn't to be. The 1985 series was a golden one for the left-hander as he also hit 166 at Trent Bridge and 157 at The Oval - while captaining the side as well.

Graham Gooch (118 caps, 2,632 Ashes runs at 33.31 in 42 matches)

Gooch played as many Ashes Test as Gower but despite ending is career as England's leading all-time run-scorer, he didn't enjoy as much success against the Australians. Much of that is down to his first Tests in 1975, when his run of scores was 0, 0, 6, 31. England stuck with him and he would go on to score four Ashes centuries, including 196 in 1985 when he and Gower both found form.

Alec Stewart (133 caps, 1,810 Ashes runs at 30.67 in 33 matches)

During his career, Stewart played as a wicket-keeper, both at the top of the order and lower down, as well as playing as a specialist batsman. Despite having to cover these varying roles, he still managed to maintain a decent record against Australia although like Atherton, his career coincided with Australia being the best team in the world. His sole Ashes century came in 1998 in Melbourne, his efforts helping set up a memorable 12-run win.

© Cricket World 2013

 
 
Fixtures & Results

21st-25th November: 1st Test, Gabba, Brisbane
AUS 295 & 401-7d. beat ENG 136 & 179 by 381 runs
5th-9th December: 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
AUS 570-9d & 132-3d beat ENG 172 & 312 by 218 runs
13th-17th December: 3rd Test, WACA, Perth
AUS 385 & 369-8 d. beat ENG 251 & 353 by 150 runs
26th-30th December: 4th Test, MCG, Melbourne
AUS 204 & 231-2 beat ENG 255 & 179 by 8 wickets
3rd-7th January: 5th Test, SCG, Sydney
AUS 326 & 274 beat ENG 155 & 166 by 281 runs