England vs Australia: The Ultimate Ashes Rivalry 2023

The Ashes series between England vs Australia is one of the greatest rivalries in cricket history. This intense competition dates back to 1882 and has produced some of the most memorable moments in the sport. With the 2023 Ashes series underway, here is an ultimate guide to the storied rivalry between the old enemies.

England vs Australia: A History of The Ashes

The origins of the Ashes can be traced back to 1882 when Australia defeated England for the first time on English soil during a Test match at The Oval. This humiliating loss for the inventors of cricket sparked the mock obituary published in the Sporting Times, which declared the death of English cricket and stated that “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.”

The following Test series in Australia was thus dubbed the quest to regain The Ashes. England managed to win the 3-match series 2–1 and bring home the tiny terracotta urn containing the ashes of a burnt cricket bail. This urn has become the physical embodiment of the Ashes rivalry between both nations.

England vs Australia

Most Successful Teams in Ashes History

  • Australia leads the head-to-head record with 137 wins compared to 111 for England.
  • England holds the record for the highest Ashes score of 903/7 declared at The Oval in 1938.
  • Australia’s largest victory was by an innings and 579 runs in Brisbane during the 1946-47 Ashes.
  • The closest Ashes encounter was in Edgbaston in 2005, when England won by just 2 runs in one of the greatest Test matches ever.

Memorable Ashes Moments

  • In 1981, Ian Botham led England to a remarkable comeback after following on, taking five wickets in each innings and scoring a century to seal an 18-run victory at Headingley.
  • Shane Warne’s ‘Ball of the Century’ which dismissed Mike Gatting in 1993 highlighted the Australian leg-spinner’s genius and revived the art of spin bowling.
  • In 2005, England won its first Ashes series since 1987 thanks to Andrew Flintoff’s heroic all-round efforts and Kevin Pietersen’s fearless batting.
  • Ben Stokes played one of the greatest Test innings of all time to win a thriller at Headingley in 2019 by one wicket.

Key Ashes Stats and Facts

  • Sir Donald Bradman has the highest Ashes batting average of 89.78 among players who batted in a minimum of 10 innings.
  • Shane Warne took 195 wickets in Ashes Tests – the most by any bowler in the rivalry’s history.
  • Steve Waugh captained Australia to eight consecutive Ashes series victories between 1989 and 2002/03.
  • England’s Joe Root has scored the most Ashes runs as captain, compiling 1548 runs since taking over the role in 2017/18.
  • Glenn McGrath and James Anderson are the leading Ashes wicket-takers among pacers with 157 and 117 scalps respectively.

England vs Australia

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Top Ashes Performers


  • Don Bradman (Australia)
  • Jack Hobbs (England)
  • Steve Smith (Australia)


  • Shane Warne (Australia)
  • Glenn McGrath (Australia)
  • Ian Botham (England)


  • Keith Miller (Australia)
  • Ian Botham (England)
  • Andrew Flintoff (England)

2023 Ashes Series

The ongoing 2023 Ashes series has been a closely fought affair, with Australia currently leading 2-0 in the final Test at The Oval. Some stellar performances have already lit up this edition of the historic rivalry.

  • Usman Khawaja has been the leading run-getter so far, smashing two centuries.
  • Ollie Pope and Alex Lees hit fluent tons for England in the second Test.
  • Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood have consistently taken wickets for Australia.
  • Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow played defiant innings to almost pull off an incredible fourth-innings chase for England at Edgbaston.

With the fate of the little urn still hanging in the balance, expect more twists and turns as the arch-rivals aim to finish the series on a high.

England vs Australia: Key Ashes Takeaways

  • It is the most storied rivalry in cricket history, filled with unbelievable performances.
  • Series results swinging from one team’s dominance to the other’s highlight the constant ebb-and-flow.
  • Famous Ashes moments prove how resilience, teamwork, and skill can spark turnarounds.
  • Masterful batting and bowling have illuminated this iconic cricketing contest.
  • The 2023 edition is perfectly poised for a classic Ashes finale at The Oval.

England vs Australia: FAQs

Q: How did the Ashes rivalry start?

A: It began after Australia’s first-ever Test win on English soil in 1882 prompted a mock obituary of English cricket, stating the ashes will be taken to Australia.

Q: Where is the Ashes urn kept?

A: The tiny urn containing the Ashes is permanently housed at the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Q: Which player has scored the most Ashes centuries?

A: Former Australia captain Steve Waugh hit 20 centuries in Ashes Tests – the highest by any player.

Q: Who has the best Ashes bowling figures in an innings?

A: England fast bowler Jim Laker’s 10/53 against Australia in 1956 remains the best Ashes bowling analysis.

Q: When did Australia last lose an Ashes series at home?

A: Australia had not lost a home Ashes series since 1986/87 before England’s 3-1 victory in the 2010/11 series Down Under.

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