In the eyes of cricket fans, it is the most significant test series, the Ashes. The history of this series has witnessed how the bowlers can quickly shift the tide of a game. Hence, in today’s article, we will go down memory lane to talk about the top 10 bowlers who have been the most prolific across the course of an Ashes series. Let us begin the journey.
Jim Laker – 46 wickets
It comes as no surprise when you top the pack in terms of bowling victims at the end of the series when you take 19 wickets in a single Ashes test match. Off-spinner Jim Laker set a record over two innings in the fourth test at Old Trafford in 1956, returning the amazing match figures of 19/90. This mark is unlikely to be surpassed.
In that five-game series, Laker went on to take 46 wickets at an impressive average of 9.60. Even if they haven’t quite arrived yet, others can still reach this milestone.
Terry Alderman – 42 wickets
In the 1980s, Terry Alderman of Australia was occasionally England’s nemesis. Graham Gooch was just one of many batters who had no response to his infamous stump-to-stump delivery.
In his 1981 debut series, he set an Ashes record by taking 42 wickets in a series. While Australia would eventually lose that series, Alderman kept the visitors in the game by taking nine wickets in his very first game.
Rodney Hogg – 41 wickets
Rodney Hogg had to lead the team through a difficult period, in contrast to the majority of the Australian bowlers on this list. The Australians had to rebuild after World Series cricket arrived, and in all honesty, they weren’t a good team in the late 1970s.
Hogg’s haul of 41 wickets during the Ashes series in 1978–1979 is all the more impressive in light of this. It should be noted that even though this was his first series, he wasn’t able to keep up the same standards for the rest of his career.
Form declined, and in 1985, Rodney Hogg would play his final game for Australia when the World Series rebels returned after an amnesty.
Terry Alderman – 41 wickets
The only male who has appeared on this list twice is Terry Alderman. The seamer made the most of the favourable English weather and the fact that the home team was having trouble putting together a stable team.
Alderman took 41 wickets in the 1989 series as the home team fell to his swing and seam. Although this was a weak England team, we shouldn’t think less of the calibre of the opposition throughout the entire series. The best numbers in a match among Terry Alderman’s 41 victims were 10/151.
Shane Warne – 40 wickets
Given how successful Shane Warne’s excellent leg spin was in several Ashes series, it’s perhaps a little surprising that he only appears on this list once. The fact that his 40 wickets came in a losing effort as England won the 2005 Ashes series is also remarkable.
Warne would lose an Ashes series only once in this instance. He kept Australia in the game in 2005, taking wickets at an average of under 20 and posting the best match figures of 12/246.
Alec Bedser – 39 wickets
Alec Bedser was a top-tier seam bowler who took 236 wickets in just 51 tests, including 39 during the 1953 Ashes series. England was successful during this time because they were strong at home and went on to win the series 1-0.
Bedser contributed significantly to that victory, taking 39 wickets at an average of 17.48 with a best-match total of 14/99.
Dennis Lillee – 39 wickets
Throughout the 1970s, Dennis Lillee was a terrifying sight for English batsmen, and he reserved his best and most aggressive performances for the Ashes series. Therefore, it might come as a surprise to learn that his best performance, 39 wickets, occurred in England’s 1981 defeat.
What would the Australians have done had those two bowlers not been there, considering that Terry Alderman claimed 42 victims at the other end? Lillee’s 39 wickets were part of his stunning 7/89 match figures.
Maurice Tate – 38 wickets
During his 11-year test career, Maurice Tate was a productive bowler for England, taking a wicket with his very first test cricket delivery.
In 1924–1925, he had a career-high 38 wickets in an Ashes series, which was especially impressive considering the conditions were Australian. Tate’s haul is still the most by an Englishman in Australia, nearly 100 years after it was recorded. English bowlers had been having trouble Down Under.
Mitchell Johnson – 37 wickets
He bowled to the left and to the right, but when Mitchell Johnson’s radar was activated, he was a serious threat, according to the song. The left-arm pacer’s inswinging yorkers were particularly challenging to dig out because of the high speed and slingy action with which he delivered the ball.
The Ashes series in 2013–14, which went well for the home team, saw Johnson post his best stat line of 37 wickets. The left-armer produced best-match figures of 9/103 in the five tests that were played, and his average came in at a seriously impressive 13.97.
Glenn McGrath – 36 wickets
In order to fit in at number ten, the person known as Pigeon may well vanish by the time the following Ashes series rolls around.
McGrath wasn’t particularly fast, but his nearly vertical wrist position at the point of delivery allowed for more seam movement. In the 1997 England series, he amassed 36 wickets, which was his best Ashes return.
In this particular series of six tests, McGrath scored his best innings total of 8/38 in the second match at Lord’s. His cumulative average over the six test matches was a very creditable 19.47.
This list contains a number of noteworthy points. Australians outnumber Englishmen, and the majority of those Australians play modern cricket. Results between the two teams have generally been close throughout the history of the Ashes, but Australia has had the advantage recently, and this is reflected here.
The absence of England’s top two bowlers from the list is also noteworthy. The top two wicket-takers in the nation’s history of tests are Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, but their totals for the Ashes series haven’t quite reached this point.