The Ashes is one of a most celebrated rivalries in cricket. Australia and England have been competing in the Test cricket since 1882, with a Ashes trophy awarded to a winner of a biennial series. However, the next ashes 2023 series promises to be another thrilling chapter in this iconic rivalry. As you head into the series, let’s take a look at the key batting and bowling stats for both teams.
Australia’s Batting Stats
Australia’s batting lineup remains formidable, despite the retirement of several legends in recent years. Here are some key stats:
- David Warner – Veteran opener, 7,817 Test runs at 46.52 with 24 hundreds
- Usman Khawaja – Elegant left-hander, 2,953 runs at 46.70 from 54 Tests
- Marnus Labuschagne – Prolific run-scorer, 3,306 runs at 54.31, with 11 centuries already
- Steven Smith – Modern great, 8,010 runs at 61.62 with 28 hundreds
- Travis Head – Impressive middle-order bat, 1,605 runs at 39.63 from 30 Tests
With the likes of Warner, Labuschagne, Smith and Head in their top six, Australia has a strong batting unit filled with runs and experience. Other names like Marcus Harris, Matthew Renshaw and Peter Handscomb will provide depth.
England’s Batting Stats
While not as experienced as Australia’s top six, England has some exciting young talent in its batting department:
- Rory Burns – Gritty opener, 2,720 runs at 33.25 from 55 Tests
- Zak Crawley – Talented but inconsistent, 745 runs at 28.65 in 21 Tests
- Ollie Pope – Highly-rated middle order bat, 1,095 runs at 32.72
- Joe Root – Star batter and former captain, 10,472 runs at 49.27 with 28 centuries
- Ben Stokes – All-round superstar, 5,920 runs at 36.54 with 11 hundreds
- Ben Foakes – Wicketkeeper-batsman, 717 runs at 38.72 from 14 Tests
With Root and Stokes in the middle order, England has world-class quality to build around. The opening combination and Pope’s spot at #3 remain unsettled positions.
Australia’s Bowling Stats
Australia’s potent pace attack will be their main weapon, led by the following key bowlers:
- Pat Cummins – #1 ranked Test bowler, 211 wickets at 21.59
- Josh Hazlewood – Accuracy and consistency, 215 wickets at 26.74
- Mitchell Starc – Left-arm speedster, 255 wickets at 27.51
- Scott Boland – Debut sensation, 29 wickets at 8.64 in 5 Tests
- Nathan Lyon – Veteran spinner, 459 wickets at 31.58
Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc form a fearsome pace trio, with Boland making a massive impact when given his chance. Lyon will be relied on to hold down the spinner’s role and keep things tight. Australia’s attack covers all bases impressively.
England’s Bowling Stats
While not possessing the same firepower as Australia, England has some skilled bowlers:
- James Anderson – England’s leading wicket-taker, 667 wickets at 26.98
- Stuart Broad – Reliable seamer, 566 wickets at 27.21
- Ollie Robinson – Promising talent, 67 wickets at 20.40 in 15 Tests
- Ben Stokes – All-rounder, 180 wickets at 32.12
- Jack Leach – Lead spinner, 106 wickets at 30.38
Veterans Anderson and Broad continue to defy time and lead England’s attack. Robinson’s emergence has added quality, while Stokes and Leach provide good support. However, England lacks the out-and-out speed that Australia possesses.
Key Batting Matchups
With a look at the overall stats, let’s highlight some of the key batting matchups that could decide the series:
Warner vs Anderson & Broad
Veteran openers Warner and Anderson have had some legendary duels over the years. Anderson has dismissed Warner 14 times in Tests – the most by any bowler. Warner will be eager to get the upper hand this time.
Smith vs Robinson
Ollie Robinson has impressed with his line, length and movement since his debut. He could pose an interesting challenge for Steve Smith, one of the hardest batsmen to dismiss currently. This battle may go a long way in deciding the series.
Labuschagne vs Stokes
The ultra-consistent Labuschagne against England’s leading all-rounder Stokes will be a compelling matchup. Both play the short ball exceptionally well. Expect fireworks when these two are at the crease together.
Key Bowling Matchups
Similarly, here are some tantalizing bowling matchups to watch out for:
Cummins vs Root
The battle between Pat Cummins and Joe Root is likely to have a major impact on the Ashes. Cummins, as Australia’s captain and strike bowler, will be looking to dismiss England’s star batsman Root early and often. He has an excellent record against Root, taking his wicket 7 times in Tests. Root is England’s most reliable run scorer and the foundation of their batting lineup. If Cummins can continue his dominance over Root through his pace, bounce and movement, it will blunt England’s batting and give Australia the upper hand. With Root determined to prove himself after resigning the captaincy, his ability to withstand Cummins’ threat could decide if England can post competitive totals. This fascinating matchup may ultimately determine who wins the urn.
Starc vs Stokes
The matchup between Mitchell Starc and Ben Stokes will be an engrossing one in the Ashes. Starc is a left-arm fast bowler capable of bowling over 150 kmph and swinging the ball late. He will test Stokes with his extreme pace and reverse swing. Stokes is one of the most destructive batters in the world when set, with the ability to clear the ropes effortlessly. He will look to dominate Starc’s bowling and pounce on any full or overpitched deliveries. With both players possessing game-changing talent, this contest of Starc’s speed versus Stokes’ power could be decisive. Fans will be glued to watch how these two aggressive left-handers fare against each other.
Lyon vs Crawley
Nathan Lyon’s off-spin against Zak Crawley’s batting is an intriguing matchup in the Ashes. Crawley is a talented but inconsistent opener who has a known weakness against quality spin bowling. Lyon is a crafty veteran spinner and Australia’s leading Test wicket-taker. He will look to exploit Crawley’s technical flaws, attacking the stumps and varying his flight, drift and turn. If Lyon can frequently dismiss Crawley cheaply, it will expose England’s vulnerable top order and give Australia a huge advantage. Crawley will have to find ways to counter Lyon’s threat if England are to prosper.
While both teams have strong batting and bowling personnel, Australia appears to have greater depth in both departments. Their long batting lineup and menacing pace battery give them an edge on paper. However, England possesses top quality in players like Root, Stokes and Anderson. If they fire, England could pose a stiff challenge. Given the storied history between these ancient foes, expect a hard-fought contest filled with epic performances. May the best team win the ashes