From WG Grace to Steve Smith, Ashes has been home to some of the greatest batsmen of all time. Scintillating batting performances by brilliant batsmen are one of the reasons that make the Ashes a must-watch. In this article, we will look at five players with the most runs in an Ashes series.
#5 Steve Smith – 774 runs (2019)
The 2019 Ashes will forever be known for Stokes’ Headingley epic, but the contributions of Steve Smith cannot be forgotten. He almost single-handedly carried the Aussie batting lineup at times despite not having played cricket for a year. In the first Test at Birmingham, he scored twin centuries and followed it with a majestic 92 at Lord’s.
Tragedy struck when he was hit on the head by a brutal bouncer from Archer and sat out the next test. Returning to Manchester, he scored a double century in his first innings and 82 valuable runs in his second outing. Smith’s lowest score in the entire series come into his last knock as he was dismissed for 23.
#4 Don Bradman – 810 runs (1936/37)
Bradman scored more than 600 runs in a single Ashes series four times in his career. If that sounds ridiculous, consider the fact that he scored over 800 runs in the 1936/37 Ashes after two back-to-back golden ducks. In his first five innings in that series, Bradman had only a single half-century to his name.
But things changed dramatically in Melbourne when the England captain decided infamously to declare in the second innings when his team was 76/9. In a move of sheer genius, Bradman sent the tail-enders up the order and came in at number 7. Despite suffering from Influenza, he proceeded to score 270 runs and was back to his best. He scored another double century in Adelaide, and his 169 in the final test sealed a 3-2 victory for Australia.
#3 Mark Taylor – 839 runs (1989)
It is remarkable that Taylor had played just 2 Test matches before going to England and scoring over 800 runs in the Ashes. He is deservingly placed at third in the list of players with the most runs in an Ashes series.
Taylor scored a century in his first-ever Test innings against Australia but failed to convert good starts in the next three Tests. His double century in the fifth Test at Nottingham resulted in an innings victory for Australia. Taylor averaged 83.9 in that series and Australia won 4-0.
#2 Wally Hammond – 905 runs (1928/29)
Like Taylor, Hammond was playing at another level in his first Ashes series, despite not having a single century to his name before.
The first century of his career at Sydney was a huge one, as he scored 251 runs and faced more than 600 balls. After another double century in the fourth Test, he scored twin centuries at Adelaide. Hammond averaged 113.12 in nine innings in that series, and England won the series by a 4-1 scoreline.
#1 Don Bradman – 974 runs (1930)
Hammond’s record for most Test runs in an Ashes series was broken a year later by none other than Bradman. He was just 21 when the series began, but there were no signs of inexperience as he played with such maturity and composure. He scored 254 at Lord’s at a strike rate of 67, but his best came at Headingley.
In a single day, Bradman scored 334 runs at a strike rate of 74, numbers unheard of in 1930. His last knock was a double century at the Oval and finished with an average of 139.14.