Ashes Test is a legacy of England and Australia. Starting with the single offbeat test between the two back in 1882, the history of the tournament is more than a century old. Australia has been on top of England, with 130 wins so far in 325 Ashes matches. England’s tally is 106. The last series in 2015 was won by England making it the current holder of Ashes trophy. Still, since Australia has a better record we are presenting a list of Australia’s more favorite XI, based on performance of Aussie players in the tournament since its inception.
The openers of the team would be Victor Trumper and Bob Simpson, Mathew Hayden and Don Bradman follows as the third and fourth down the line. The middle order would have Stan McCabe, Ricky Ponting, Allan Border, and Steve Waugh. Shane Warne, Denis Lillee, and Glenn McGrath forms the best bowling ensemble. There are many players who serve honorary mention and it is not possible to handpick just eleven players out of the massive block Australia possess. Justin Langer, Greg Chappell, Mark Waugh, Ian Healy, Keith Miller, Adam Gilchrist, Brad Haddin, Mitchel Johnson and many more could be on the list.
Trumper is the opener because he was always the selection in the most difficult wicket. His centuries in Ashes still creates an echo in the halls of fame. His score of 185 in 1903-04, 113 in 1903-04 and others are the masterpieces that took Australia to a dominant position in the tournament. Bob Simpson is known for his hook shot that always came as one of the most decisive attacks on any delivery. His knocks of 225 is an iconic figure in the tournament’s history. Hayden had powerful techniques to tackle any type of deliveries. He could out pace the pace and beat up spins out of the ground. In the tournament, his total tally is 909, from only two seasons. His best knock comprises of the score 197 off 268. In 2006-07 season, his Ashes tally was 413 runs.
Don Bradman and Ricky Ponting will form the best captain-vice captain pair in Ashes XI.
Don Bradman is one of the most reliable batsmen in Ashes tournament. His tally is 2354 runs in Ashes at an average of 78.46. His eye-brow raising averages in several seasons of the tournament makes him the most preferred player in the top batting order. He is also the most preferred captain of the all-time Ashes XI. Stan McCabe knocked some of the memorable scores in Ashes tournament.
McCabe’s stance as the match winner in several matches made him an option in the primary XI. In Australia, his Ashes tally is 876. Ricky Ponting is the most preferred vice-captain of the XI. His Australia average in the tournament is 44.34. He has brought the series to favor Australia several times, when England became dominant. Allan Border, is an unavoidable player in the XI. His position is as a rescuer of the team when the top order fails. His leadership as a finisher is also impressive. Steve Waugh has an average of 48.12 in Australia Ashes. This is not better than his brother Mark, but it is his composure and ability to play in pressure clad situation make him a selection if the XI.
Shane Warne picked for spin option and Glenn McGrath as a pacer, the bests of bests in Australia.
Shane Warne is the greatest of all spinners, not only in Australia but in the world. He had 66 wickets at an average of 25.81 in Ashes tournament in Australia. Glenn McGrath is the highest wicket taker as a pace bowler in Test with a total of 563 scalps. His Ashes record in Australia is 52 at an average of 20.59. Denis Lillee is not only a pacer, he is a seam allrounder. Without him, the bowling ensemble will be always incomplete. His has 355 Test wickets, even if in Ashes, there are better bowlers than him.
The Ashes XI of Australia will be always incomplete without Allen Border and Don Bradman.
The All-time XI: Victor Trumper, Bob Simpson, Mathew Hayden, Don Bradman, Stan McCabe, Ricky Ponting, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Denis Lillee, and Glenn McGrath.
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