Highest wicket takers in The Ashes all time
Which superstar bowlers have taken more wickets in The Ashes than anyone else?
To become one of the all-time leading Ashes wicket-takers, bowlers require immense longevity and prolonged success in one of the fiercest rivalries in sport. Climbing this list means avoiding injuries, while delivering under the incomparable pressure of Ashes battle.
These bowlers have been integral to retaining and/or reclaiming the urn. All have delivered match-winning performances, but getting into triple-figures for Ashes wickets is also about consistently contributing even when others are taking the headlines.
RadioTimes.com brings you the five bowlers with the most Ashes wickets taken.
Most wickets taken in The Ashes
5. Dennis Lillee – 128 wickets
Half of cricket’s most fearsome bowling duo, Dennis Lillee is one of the all-time greats. The open shirt, trademark moustache and gigantic delivery stride were a terrifying combination for batters around the world, and English batters in the Ashes were no exception.
Lillee was a tearaway pre-injury. Hostile, quick and always aggressive, he made a habit of torturing England’s batters to the tune of a 22.32 average in The Ashes. By the time of his retirement in 1984, he was the leading Test wicket taker in history.
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4. Stuart Broad – 131 wickets
Stuart Broad has been through it all in the Ashes from pantomime villain to drubbings down under and series-defining performances. Broad burst onto the scene in 2009, delivering a magic spell for England to regain the urn. He has had low moments since then, including some major struggles in Australia, but there have been plenty of highs along the way.
The 8-15 at Trent Bridge in 2015 broke a catalogue of records and won England the series. In 2019, he tormented David Warner on his way to 23 wickets at an average of 26.65.
3. Hugh Trumble – 141 wickets
Playing between 1890 and 1904, all of Hugh Trumble’s Test wickets came in Ashes battles. Standing at 6’4, Trumble bowled quick off-spin, which was particularly difficult to face on the soft, uncovered pitches in England. His bounce challenged batters in Australia, too, where he was able to mix it up to remain effective.
W.G. Grace named Trumble as the best bowler Australia had sent to England, such was his gift for varying his pace and his immense accuracy to land the ball in the right spot. He has the best Ashes bowling average of anyone to take over 101 wickets.
2. Glenn McGrath – 157 wickets
Glenn McGrath has the lowest Ashes strike rate of any bowler with over 87 wickets. Monotonous in his control of line and length, McGrath’s bowling was perfectly suited to English conditions. He averaged under 20 with the ball in England, taking advantage of seam movement and constantly challenging the outside edge of English batters.
He was not exactly a liability for the Aussies in home conditions either. Invariably making breakthroughs with the new ball, McGrath played an integral role in Australia’s Ashes supremacy through the 1990s and early 2000s. The spectacular 2005 series might have turned out very differently if he didn’t stand on a ball during the Edgbaston warm-ups.
1. Shane Warne – 195 wickets
In six more Ashes Tests than his long-time teammate, Shane Warne collected 38 more wickets.
Warne thrived on the intensity of Ashes cricket, often leaving English batting line-ups bewildered. He produced many highlight dismissals from the Ball of the Century through to ripping past Andrew Strauss’s cut shot in 2005.
It was in 2005 that Warne delivered his best Ashes performance, with 40 wickets at an average under 20. Where some of his teammates were villains to English fans, Warne was generally adored by cricket fans around the world.
A ferocious competitor, a master of kidology and an incredibly skilled bowler, Warne is the greatest spin bowler in cricket history. Many of his standout moments came in Ashes action.
How to watch The Ashes on TV and live stream
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