The Ashes Series between Australia & England is the most celebrated & entertaining Test series in cricket history. Ashes trophy has been the identity of Test cricket in general for so many years. It is watched also by the cricketing fans of other nations. Undoubtedly, The Ashes is Cricket's oldest rivalry. It has been in existence for the last 137 years since its birth in 1882-83. Normally, it is conducted as a 5-match Test series, hosted alternatively in both the competing nations, Australia and England. This is where the heroes are born. Several heroes and legends emerge from the Ashes courtesy of their performances with bat and ball. In this article, we'll have a look at the players who have scored the most centuries in the history of the Ashes.
It's not a huge surprise to see Sir Donald Bradman's name at the very top of the list. He is regarded by far the greatest batter of all time and 19 of his 29 test centuries came in Ashes series. His highest score of 334 also came against England but it's worth noting that Bradman's average was slightly lower in these games. An average of 89.78 is still impressive although it's a drop on his overall return of 99.94.
Second on the list is English batter, Jack Hobbs. There is a gap between the Englishman and his Australian counterpart but 12 Ashes centuries still remains an impressive achievement. Those tons came in 41 tests between 1908 and 1930 and they include a highest score of 187. Hobbs made 3636 Ashes runs in total at an average of 54.26.
Steve Smith is the only batter is the only active batter to appear in this list. He, therefore, has a chance of climbing up the list, but he has to give his best in the upcoming Ashes matches if he intends to overtake Sir Don Bradman. Steve Smith has scored 12 centuries in Ashes till now but he can get past Hobbs if he scores 1 more century in the ongoing Ashes at England. Those tons include the highest score of 239 and his average stood at an impressive 59.73.
Steve Waugh also made a significant contribution with the bat. He scored ten centuries in the Ashes in 72 innings and those include the highest score of 177. Waugh scored his runs at an average of 58.75 and can also include 14 half-centuries in his overall list. The senior Waugh is amongst the handful of Australian cricketers to score twin hundreds in an Ashes Test when he recorded the feat against England at Manchester in 1997.
One of the greatest English batters of all time, Wally Hammond scored nine tons in just 58 Ashes innings. He was a prolific run-getter for his country between 1927 and 1947 and those nine centuries include a best of 251. Against Australia, Hammond scored 2852 runs in total and they came at an impressive average of 51.85.
England's David Gower will probably have mixed feelings about his performances in the Ashes. As captain of the side, he led them to an emphatic win in 1985 but conceded an embarrassing defeat four years later. As a batsman, it was certainly an enjoyable battle for the elegant left-hander. Nine of Gower's 18 test centuries came in the Ashes series. He had an average of 46.01 and his highest score of 215 came in that 1985 series.
A name that isn't so familiar to casual cricket fans. Australia's Arthur Morris saved his best performances for the Ashes. Eight of his 12 test centuries came against England. In an international career that lasted between 1946 and 1955, Morris appeared in 24 Ashes test matches. Those eight tons contributed to a total of 2080 runs and included the highest score of 206.
He was the opening partner of Jack Hobbs for many years. Herbert Sutcliffe's own contributions with the bat shouldn't be forgotten. He saved some of his best performances for the Ashes series and made eight centuries in 27 tests against Australia. His highest score in the Ashes was 194 and his average of 66.85 is second only to Don Bradman for players on this list.
Australia's Greg Chappell was a stylish batter for much of the 1970s and early 1980s. He also skippered the national side later on in his career. Chappell appeared in 30 Ashes tests and, in 55 innings, he scored eight centuries. Included in that list of tons was the highest score of 144 which came in the fourth test of the 1974/75 series. His total of 2154 runs came at an average of 43.95.
Ricky Ponting may have captained Australia to two rare Ashes defeats, but he remains one of the best batters in these contests. In 35 test matches against England, Ponting scored eight centuries at an average of 44.21. His highest score of 196 came in the first test of the 2006/07 series which laid a platform for Australia to go on and claim a 5-0 whitewash. Ponting scored 2476 Ashes runs at an average of 44.21.