The Pre and Post-War Ashes XI through the Impact Index sieve. We have kept a minimum of 15 Ashes Tests for every player.
The composition: The top five positions have been reserved for batsmen with selection according to
Ashes XI (Pre-war) (1877-1945)
1) Arthur Shrewsbury snr: 1882-1893 (England) (19 Ashes Tests)
2) Jack Hobbs: 1908-1930 (England) (38)
3) Don Bradman: 1928-1948 (Australia) (27)
4) Wally Hammond: 1928-1947 (England) (30)
5) Stanley Jackson: 1893-1905 (England) (20)
6) Jack Gregory: 1920-1928 (Australia) (20)
7) Sammy Carter: 1907-1921 (Australia) (21)
8) Charlie Turner: 1887-1895 (Australia) (17)
9) Bobby Peel: 1884-1896 (England) (20)
10) Bill O’Reilly: 1932-1938 (Australia) (19)
11) Sydney Barnes: 1901-1912 (England) (17)
Herbert Sutcliffe, with a batting average of 61, does not make the XI despite being a more prolific and consistent run-scorer than Hobbs, primarily because he has just one
Notable omissions amongst bowlers included two great spinners – Clarrie Grimmett had 2 SDs in 22 Tests while Hugh Trumble one in 31. They miss out to Bobby Peel who had a higher propensity to take wickets and exceptional big-match temperament (with 3 SDs in just 20 Tests). In fact, he is the highest impact bowler in Ashes history.
Ashes XI (Post-war) (1945-2015)
1) Colin McDonald: 1952-1961 (Australia) (15 Ashes Tests)
2) Bob Simpson: 1958-1966 (Australia) (19)
3) Greg Chappell: 1970-1983 (Australia) (30)
4) Peter May: 1953-1961 (England) (21)
5) Keith Miller: 1946-1956 (Australia) (29)
6) Ian Botham: 1977-1989 (England) (32)
7) Adam Gilchrist: 2001-2007 (Australia) (20)
8) Shane Warne: 1993-2007 (Australia) (36)
9) Dennis Lillee: 1971-1982 (Australia) (24)
10) Craig McDermott: 1984-1996 (Australia) (16)
11) Terry Alderman: 1981-1991 (Australia) (17)
Len Hutton had a higher
Colin McDonald scored big-runs and gave a big
Bobby Simpson had serious big-match temperament, proof of which are his 2 SDs – this is the reason he grabs an opening spot despite being relatively inconsistent and low on
Matthew Hayden, Alastair Cook and Ricky Ponting did not have a great Ashes record. They had a high failure rate with the bat, were not consistent big run-scorers and did not have a single
Peter May is the second-highest impact Ashes batsman after Bradman.
Glenn McGrath misses out to Craig McDermott for a lack of big-match performance in Ashes contests. He displayed a high propensity to pick up wickets and was brilliantly consistent and restrictive but failed to produce an
Terry Alderman is an interesting name here but a much deserved one. He is the highest impact Ashes fast bowler in history for his outstanding performances in 1981 and 1989.
Shane Warne takes the spinner’s spot over Jim Laker as he was a bigger series-winner with the ball for Australia.
While we see England were the more dominant side till 1945 (with 6 players in the Ashes XI), Australia monopolise the post-war team (with 9 players). Peter May and Ian Botham are the only two Englishmen who make the XI here – not really surprising as Australia won 21 out of 40 Ashes series since 1945 (England won 13 and 6 were drawn).
Nikhil Narain/ Soham Sarkhel
Caricatures- Vasim Maner