8 Australia’s Greatest Ashes Heroes

January 14, 2014

1. Sir Donald Bradman

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Affectionately called ‘The Don’, Sir Donald Bradman is indisputably the greatest batsman of all time. He was a batting legend who raised the game’s standards to unprecedented heights during his highly prolific career.

His gargantuan batting average in test cricket (99.94) is still unsurpassed and it is highly improbable that it will ever be matched. Bradman played 52 test matches and scored 6996 runs, with 29 centuries and 13 50’s. He passed away at the age of 92 years on February 21, 2001.

2. Ian Healy

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Ian Andrew Healy (nicknamed “Heals”) was a very useful batsman and improved dramatically during the second half of his career. All of his four first-class centuries were scored in Test matches. He could be handy as a hitter late in the innings during ODIs: he averaged 21 while scoring at a rate of 83.8 runs per hundred balls.

Although touted as a potential leader of the team early in his career, a series of on-field misdemeanours counted against him when the position was vacant. He captained Australia in eight ODIs when the regular skipper Mark Taylor was injured.

3. Shane Warne

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Touted as the greatest leg-spinner to have ever played the game, the colorful and often controversial Shane Warne has had a profound impact on Australian cricket, and especially on The Ashes.

His Ashes exploits have been well documented, as he contributed massively in Australia’s Ashes reign in the 90’s and the early 2000’s by taking 195 wickets at a miserly average of 23.25.

4. Steve Waugh

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A man of unparalleled calmness and equipoise, Steve Waugh was instrumental in making Australia the world’s best cricketing team in the late 90s and early 2000s.

He was Australia’s batting stalwart in the Ashes as he scored 3,200 runs in 46 tests. As a captain, he spearheaded Australia’s Ashes campaign for nine test matches, out of which he won eight and lost just one.

5. Ricky Ponting

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Ricky Ponting is Australia’s most successful captain ever, with 48 test victories in his kitty. Eight of those wins came against England in 35 Ashes tests. He was also instrumental in leading his team to a record 5-0 Ashes win in 2006.

6. Glenn McGrath

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Glenn McGrath is the highest wicket taker among fast bowlers in the world. His Ashes record is equally impressive. He scalped 157 wickets, with a best of 8/38 at a strike rate of 46.

7. Mitchell Johnson

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Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was instrumental in handing a crushing 5-0 whitewash to England in the recently concluded Ashes series. He took a record 37 wickets in the series, which is the most by any bowler in the last 130 years of Ashes cricket.

8. Adam Gilchrist

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Regarded as the best Australian wicket keeper-batsman, Gilchrist amassed 1083 runs in 20 Ashes contests. He also took 89 catches and inflicted seven stumpings in his Ashes career. The charismatic player was renowned for his honesty and aggressive stroke play.