The Ashes in numbers
January 7, 2011 6 Comments
Despite a brief rain delay, England duly completed a dominant win in Sydney in the early hours of this morning – the exclamation point on a 3-1 series victory – having already ensured they would retain the Ashes in Melbourne.
Each of England’s three wins have been by an innings margin, but that only begins to tell the tale of a series which the tourists – despite a major wobble in Perth which allowed Australia to level the scores – have largely dominated ever since recovering from a hesitant start in Brisbane.
All the hand-wringing over the decline of an Australian side which has dominated world cricket for nearly two decades should take nothing away from a talented and resilient England team which is now very much in the ascendancy. Here is the story of how England broke their 24-year wait for a series victory in Australia – in numbers.
The series in numbers
First Test, Brisbane (November 25th-29th): England 260 (Siddle 6/54) & 517/1 dec (Cook 235*, Trott 135*, Strauss 110) drew with Australia 481 (Hussey 195, Haddin 136, Finn 6/125) & 107/1. Series level 0-0.
Second Test, Adelaide (December 3rd-7th): England 620/5 dec (Pietersen 227, Cook 148) beat Australia 245 & 304 (Swann 5/91) by an innings and 71 runs. England lead 1-0.
Third Test, Perth (December 16th-19th): Australia 268 & 309 (Hussey 116, Tremlett 5/87) beat England 187 (Johnson 6/38) & 123 (Harris 6/47) by 267 runs. Series level 1-1.
Fourth Test, Melbourne (December 26-30): England 513 (Trott 168*, Siddle 6/75) beat Australia 98 & 258 by an innings and 157 runs. England lead 2-1 and retain the Ashes.
Fifth Test, Sydney (January 3-7): England 644 (Cook 189, Prior 118, Bell 115) beat Australia 280 & 281 by an innings and 83 runs. England win the series 3-1.
The teams in numbers
4 – England posted the four highest innings totals in the series.
4 – England passed 500 in four of their seven innings.
1 – Conversely, Australia scored over 400 only once – 481 in the opening innings of the first Test – and failed to pass 300 in six of their nine completed innings.
644 – Highest innings total, by England in the 5th Test in Sydney.
98 – Lowest innings total, by Australia in the 4th Test in Melbourne.
90 – England claimed 90 wickets during the series, versus just 56 for Australia.
17 - Number of players used by Australia during the series. England employed just 13.
Batting in numbers
6 – Despite batting three times fewer (seven innings versus ten), England had six of the top ten run-scorers in the series.
766 – Alastair Cook was the leading run-scorer in the series, with 766 runs at an average of 127.66.
235 – Cook also had the highest individual score of the series, 235 not out in the second innings in Adelaide.
570 – Michael Hussey was Australia’s top batsman with 570 runs, but his otherwise impressive average of 63.33 was less than half that of Cook.
5 – Number of England batsmen who scored at least 300 runs in the series (Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Andrew Strauss) – versus just three for Australia (Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin).
4 – Number of batsmen who averaged 60 or more in the series. Three were English (Cook, Trott, Bell).
329 – The unbeaten stand of 329 between Cook and Trott in the first Test was the highest partnership of the series.
15 – There were 15 century partnerships during the series, 11 of them by English batsmen.
16.14 – Batting average of Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who scored just 113 runs in four Tests. Bowlers Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson both scored more runs and had a higher batting average than Ponting.
51.14 – England’s average runs per wicket during the series, getting on for double Australia’s average of 29.23.
3 – Number of centuries scored by Australian batsmen during the series (two for Hussey, one for Haddin).
3 – Number of centuries scored by Alastair Cook during the series. (As a team, England had nine courtesy of six different batsmen.)
6 – In total, there were six innings of 150 or more, but only one by an Australian (Hussey’s 195 in Brisbane).
21 – Number of sixes in the entire series. Haddin contributed five on his own, Hussey three.
81 - Unsurprisingly, no batsmen hit more fours in the series than Cook’s 81.
3 – Of the 30 men who batted in the series, only three (Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and Michael Beer) failed to score a boundary.
Bowling in numbers
24 – Number of wickets taken by Jimmy Anderson, the most on either side, and nine more than the leading Australian Mitchell Johnson.
8 – Number of bowlers who took 10 or more wickets in the series. Five were English, including the top two wicket-takers, Anderson and Chris Tremlett.
7 – Number of times a bowler took at least five wickets in an innings. Only three of these five-fors were by an English bowler (Swann, Tremlett, Finn), indicating a much more even distribution of wickets by the tourists.
5 – Bowlers captured six wickets in a single innings on five occasions, four by Australians: Peter Siddle (twice), Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris.
9 – Johnson had the best individual match performance, taking 9/82 in Australia’s sole victory in Perth. In the same match, Harris claimed 9/106.
43.2 – Chris Tremlett took a wicket every 43.2 balls, the best strike rate among regular bowlers in the series.
6 – Six regular bowlers had a strike rate of better than a wicket every ten overs (60 balls) over the course of the series. Four were English (Anderson, Tremlett, Finn, Tim Bresnan).
3 – Three of England’s bowlers (Bresnan, Tremlett, Anderson) averaged fewer than 30 runs per wicket. Only one Australian (Harris) did.
Fielding in numbers
23 – England wicketkeeper Matt Prior claimed 23 dismissals in the series, all catches. Six of these came in Australia’s first innings in Melbourne, the most by any fielder in the series.
10 – All ten Australian first innings wickets in Melbourne fell to catches behind square.
9 – Despite a poor series with the bat, Paul Collingwood had nine catches – one more than Australian wicketkeeper Haddin.
3 – Collingwood (in Perth) and Kevin Pietersen (in Melbourne) were the only non-wicketkeepers to take three catches in a single match.
And finally, a few random numbers
0 – Stuart Broad’s first-ball duck in his only innings in Brisbane meant he was the only player not to score a run in the entire series.
26 – Peter Siddle celebrated his 26th birthday by recording a hat-trick on the opening day of the first Test. He was the fifth Australian to register a hat-trick against England.
1 – England’s first innings in Sydney was the first time ever in a Test Match innings that the sixth, seventh and eighth wickets all produced century partnerships (154, 107 and 102 runs, respectively).
9 – England batsmen have scored nine centuries in the series, the most ever by any visiting team in Australia. Other than England, no touring side in Australia has ever scored more than six hundreds in a series.
6 – During the third Test, Michael Hussey recorded his sixth straight score of over fifty in Ashes matches, the only man ever to achieve this feat.
3 – Australia lost by an innings three times during the series – the first time they have done so against any opponent.
- The Ashes: the 20 best moments of the series (telegraph.co.uk)
- England seal Ashes victory to underline their supremacy (independent.co.uk)
- The Ashes: Australia v England, fifth Test, day five report (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Ashes: England administer last rites to era of Australian dominance (telegraph.co.uk)