It is probably the biggest battle in the cricketing world, the countdown has begun and just few hours are remaining before the first bowl will be delivered. The stage is set for both the teams’ players to make their name by performing well in a high-voltage series.
England came to Australia with their full squad but lost few players before the real war begins but Australia did the same by throwing few surprises in their first Test’s squad which will make the battle intriguing as ever. The pre-series verbals have already begun but a veteran of 147 Tests, is unfazed by it.
“All their talk makes me chuckle. Nathan Lyon was the first person I saw when I got to the ground today and we had a really nice ten-minute chat. He asked me how my kids were and I asked after his. All the talking stops very quickly once this series starts. I miss most of it anyway not being on social media. All I do is check up on the Luton Town score,” Cook told reporters at the Gabba.
The excitement is palpable everywhere in the world for the Ashes and the numbers reveal that Australia have a better chance of winning it but England have a better record in recent times among the two. It will be interesting to see who will come out on top – the assiduous Steve Smith or the impassive Joe Root.
Here’s a look at the stats and facts before the first Test of the tournament begins at the Gabba on 23 November.
Australia have won more matches than England in the Ashes but in the last ten years, England have a record of 11-9 against Australia in Tests. However, Australia have lost only three Tests out of their last 25 Tests which they have played in their own territory.
Both the teams have won identical number of Ashes series so far. The record is with Australia at home but the recent form is with England as they have won four out of the last five Ashes tournaments.
|Venue||No. of Series||Australia||England||Drawn|
Both England and Australia have lost few Tests in recent times so as per the current form, no team is better than other but by looking at the squads of both the teams and given the fact that the tournament will be played in Australia, Australia will start as favourites.
Recent form (Last 10 Tests) – Most recent showed first
Australia – W, L, L, D, L, W, W, W, W, W
England – W, L, W, W, W, L, W, L, L, L
Australia have a better record in the first Test of an Ashes tournament but during the last five instances, England have a record of 2-1.
Joe Root has just began his captaincy career so it will be a Test of his character along with Steve Smith who will captain Australia for the first time in the Ashes.
Sydney is the happy hunting ground for the visitors among all the grounds at which both the teams will play a match against each other in the forthcoming series.
England will definitely rely on their experienced players given the fact that this will be the first Ashes tournament for many players from their squad but Alastair Cook’s batting average of 39.20 against Australia is his second lowest against any opposition in Tests while the ace pacer James Anderson’s bowling strike rate of 65.3 against Australia is his second worst against any opposition in the whites.
Therefore, the onus will be on both of them to play upto their potential to aid England to be competitive throughout the tournament.
Highest team totals:
Australia – 729/6d at Lord’s in 1930
England – 903/7d at The Oval in 1938
Lowest team totals:
Australia – 36 at Birmingham in 1902
England – 45 at Sydney in 1887
Australia – 5028 by Don Bradman from 63 innings
England – 3636 by Sir Jack Hobbs from 71 innings
Highest individual innings:
Australia – 334 by Don Bradman at Leeds in 1930
England – 364 by Leonard Hutton at The Oval in 1938
Most runs in a series:
Australia – 974 by Don Bradman in 1930
England – 905 by Wally Hammond in 1928/29
Australia – 195 by Shane Warne from 36 matches
England – 128 by Ian Botham from 32 matches
Best bowling figures in an innings:
Australia – 9 for 121 by Arthur Mailey at Melbourne in 1921
England – 10 for 53 by Jim Laker at Manchester in 1956
Best bowling figures in a match:
Australia – 16 for 137 by Bob Massie at Lord’s in 1972
England – 19 for 90 by Jim Laker at Manchester in 1956
Most wickets in a series:
Australia – 42 by Terry Alderman in 1981
England – 46 by Jim Laker in 1956
Australia – 51 catches from 42 matches by Allan Border
England – 54 catches from 32 matches by Ian Botham
Australia – 135 dismissals by Ian Healy from 33 matches
England – 101 dismissals by Alan Knott from 33 matches