To fans of England and Australia, The Ashes is the most important test cricket challenge of them all but what do we know about the men who have scored the most runs in the history of the series?
10 Batsmen with Most Runs in the Ashes Series
1. Don Bradman – AUS
The great Sir Donald Bradman finished his test career with an almost-perfect average, falling just short of the 100.00 mark. Many say that he was the greatest batsmen of all time and his statistics make it tough to argue.
In Ashes cricket, Bradman scored 5,028 runs with a best of 334. He made an incredible 19 hundreds and England had to invent a unique tactic, known as bodyline, in an attempt to cope with him.
2. Jack Hobbs – ENG
Jack Hobbs’ Ashes career spanned 22 years from 1908 to 1930 and he is England’s first representative on the list. In 71 innings, he made 3636 runs at an average of 54.26 and with a highest score of 187.
Known as The Master, he was past 50 by the time that he retired from the game. Hobbs scored an incredible 197 centuries in that career including an undefeated best of 316.
3. Allan Border – AUS
Known as Captain Grumpy, Allan Border took over the Australian captaincy at a time when the team were struggling in the 1980s. By the end of his tenure, he had led them to their first World Cup win in 1987 and had transformed the team into the best side in all formats.
Border liked to lead by example and that is shown in his Ashes statistics. He’s currently third on this list with 3222 runs, seven centuries and a best of 200 not out.
4. Steve Waugh – AUS
Steve Waugh inherited Border’s mantle and he went on to become the most successful captain in the history of Australian cricket.
He was undoubtedly a great leader but we often forget just what a fine cricketer Steve Waugh actually was. This fact is underlined by his performances in The Ashes where he scored 3173 runs with no fewer than ten centuries.
5. David Gower – ENG
1985 was the golden summer for David Gower who captained England to an emphatic Ashes victory. The stylish left hander compiled 732 runs in six tests, over 200 runs more than any other member of that England side.
The individual score of 215 that he made in that series remained his highest in test matches. Overall, Gower scored an impressive 3037 runs in Ashes cricket with nine centuries and an average of 46.01.
6. Steve Smith – AUS
Of all the players in the top ten, Australia’s Steve Smith is the only one still playing the game. That means that he has a chance of climbing the list and, by the end of the 2021/22 Ashes Series, he should have overtaken Wally Hammond at the least.
It’s strange to think that when he was first picked in 2010, it was for his leg spin bowling. His batting was useful at that stage but he came in at number eight in his first test against Pakistan. Since then, he’s arguably become the best batter in red ball cricket. Smith scored no fewer than 774 runs with an average of 110.57 in the 2019 Ashes Series.
At the end of the first Ashes test of 2021, that tally had risen to 2830 Ashes runs.
7. Wally Hammond – ENG
Wally Hammond isn’t always mentioned in the same sentence as the likes of Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Hutton which is strange. He was one of England’s most prolific batsmen and his overall test career produced 7249 runs from 140 innings.
2852 of those runs were compiled in Ashes Tests with a best of 251.
8. Herbert Sutcliffe – ENG
Herbert Sutcliffe was the renowned opening partner of Jack Hobbs and they are among the most prolific pairings in the history of cricket.
Sutcliffe was a prolific batsman in his own right, and, in 27 Ashes Tests, he made 2741 runs at a higher average than Hobbs of 66.85.
9. Clem Hill – AUS
Australia’s Clem Hill is the only batsman in the Top Ten to have played in the 19th century and that’s a great feat. Team and individual totals tended to be lower in the early days of test cricket.
In 41 Ashes games from 1896 to 1912, Hill made 2660 runs with a best of 188.
10. John Edrich – ENG
I witnessed John Edrich score 175 of his Ashes runs in a test match at Lord’s in 1975. He was at the end of his career but it still seems odd that this was his last Ashes series.
A pugnacious left hander, Edrich scored 2644 Ashes runs and that 175 was his highest against Australia.