Five Players with the Most Wickets in an Ashes Series

Over the years, fans of cricket have witnessed several bowlers producing scintillating performances in the Ashes. Even lesser-known bowlers sometimes come alive when it comes to a monumental occasion such as the Ashes. In this article, we will look at five players with the most wickets in an Ashes series.

#5 Shane Warne – 40 wickets (2005)

Warne was 35 by the time Ashes 2005 rolled around, but the magic of the yesteryears was still intact. Throughout the series, Warne carried the Aussie bowling on his shoulders as McGrath struggled with injuries. In the first Test, his four wickets dented England’s chase and gave Australia a comfortable victory. In the second Test at Birmingham, figures that read 6/46 did not quite get the deserving result.

Warne was less effective in Manchester, but his four-wicket haul at Nottingham almost cost England the victory. He bowled his heart out in the final Test at the Oval and picked up 12 wickets. But England famously regained the Ashes after 18 years.


#4 Terry Alderman – 41 wickets (1989)

Before Australia visited England in 1989, Alderman had endured a rough time against the West Indies and his reputation was at stake. Alderman’s relentless accuracy at a medium pace perfectly suited English conditions. His 5 for 44 in the fourth innings of the first Test resulted in an easy victory for Australia.

In the second Test, he picked up his another five-wicket haul and Australia took a 2-0 lead. Alderman formed a deadly duo with Geoff Lawson and ended the series with a bowling average of 17.36 and strike rate of 39.4. Alderman’s contributions are barely spoken about, partly due to his below-par performances outside England.

#3 Rodney Hogg – 41 wickets (1978/79)

Hogg is ahead of Alderman in the list of players with the most wickets in an Ashes series due to his outstanding bowling average. Hogg was the lone bright spot in an Aussie bowling unit due to the world series cricket debacle. He regularly troubled the likes of Boycott and Gooch with his pace, but that did not stop England from winning the series.


At Perth, he picked up ten wickets in the match and followed with another ten-wicket haul in Melbourne. Injuries cut his career short, but his bowling in the 1978/79 Ashes deserves more recognition.

#2 Terry Alderman – 42 wickets (1981)

Alderman finds another spot on this list, thanks to his unforgettable debut series. Other than the Lord’s Test, where he picked up just two wickets, Alderman was outstanding in every innings he bowled. In the first Test, Lillee and Alderman picked five wickets each in the third innings, reducing England to just 125. He bowled a marathon spell at Leeds and took 6 for 135, but England won despite following on.

Alderman picked up another five-wicket haul in the fourth Test, but this performance went under the radar due to Botham’s heroics. In fact, the summer of 1981 became the summer of Botham, thus overshadowing Alderman’s exploits.


#1 Jim Laker – 46 wickets (1956)

The English off-spinner Laker tops the list of players with the most wickets in an Ashes series. The 1956 Ashes in England comprised of 6 Tests, and Laker’s performances were noteworthy in the first 3 Tests. But he went one level up in the second half of the series, starting with 11 wickets at Leeds.

At Old Trafford, he picked up 9 for 37 in the second innings of the game, unbelievable figures on any pitch. Then he outdid himself by picking all 10 wickets in the second innings. Laker’s bowling average of 9.6 and strike rate of 37 in the 1956 Ashes will surely remain unbroken until the end of time.






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