The Statistical Preview of The Ashes 2017-18

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.

Summary of Match Results in The Ashes

Venue Matches Australia England Drawn
Australia 162 82 56 24
England 163 42 50 65
Total 325 130 106 89

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.

Summary of Series Results: (The Ashes) 

Venue No. of Series Australia England Drawn
Australia 34 18 14 2
England 35 14 18 3
Total 69 32 32 5

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.

England in the first Test of The Ashes - Summary:

Tests Won Lost Drawn
69 23 27 19

England in the first Test of The Ashes - Last five instances:

Season Venue Results
2009
2010/11
2013
2013/14
2015

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.

Both teams' captains' performance in Tests:

Captain Matches Won Lost Drawn
Steve Smith 26 13 8 5
Joe Root 7 5 2 0

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.

Head to head at grounds in which both teams will play a match against each other in the series:

Ground Matches Australia England Drawn
The Gabba 20 11 4 5
Adelaide Oval 31 17 9 5
W.A.C.A 13 9 1 3
MCG 55 28 20 7
SCG 55 26 22 7

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. 

Here are some individual records held in the Ashes:

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

Leading run-scorers:

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

Leading wicket-takers:

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

Leading fielders:

Australia – 51 catches from 42 matches by Allan Border

England – 54 catches from 32 matches by Ian Botham

Leading wicket-keepers:

Australia – 135 dismissals by Ian Healy from 33 matches

England – 101 dismissals by Alan Knott from 33 matches