Ashes records from 139 years of history as Test cricket's oldest rivals prepare to lock horns again

Brush up on your Ashes history as the oldest rivalry in Test cricket prepares to resume this winter - exclusively live on BT Sport.

By Callum Davis Published: 17 November 2021 - 9.27pm

The Ashes will be contested this winter when England take on Australia, as the fiercest rivalry in Test cricket resumes for the 72nd series between the two old enemies.

Before the famous old adversaries resume hostilities, brush up on your history of the greatest series in Test cricket with a look through the Ashes record books.

Don't miss a minute of The Ashes

Watch exclusive coverage of England's tour of Australia on BT Sport this winter.

Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required, for just £25 a month.

Head-to-head record

Australia - 136 Test matches won

England and Australia have contested 335 Ashes Test matches since the inaugral series in 1887.

Australia have the best of the head-to-head record in terms of Test wins, with 136 victories to England's 108.

91 of the 335 matches have ended as draws.

Australia also hold the edge in Ashes series won, having lifted the urn on 33 occasions compared to England's 32. There have been six drawn series.

Australia have the best of the head-to-head record in Ashes Tests

Highest innings score

England 903/7 declared (1938)

In 1938 England became the first team in the history of Test cricket to reach the milestone of 900 runs in an innings.

Playing against Australia at the Oval, England captain Wally Hammond declared after his team plundered a formidable total.

Lowest innings score

Australia 36 all out (1902)

Replying to England's first innings score of 376/9 declared in the first Test of the 1902 Ashes series at Edgbaston, Australia managed just 36 runs before being skittled inside 23 overs.

Fortunately for the visitors rain saw the match abandoned and the Aussies would go on to take the series 2-1.

Biggest margin of victory

England win by an innings and 579 runs (1938)

The biggest victory in Ashes history came one year before the start of the Second World War.

Trailing 1-0 in the series going into the fifth and final Test at the Oval, England amassed a then-world record 903/7 declared, with Len Hutton scoring 364.

Australia managed 201 all out in reply as the hosts opted to enforce the follow on.

Fighting to save the match and win the series, the tourists managed just 123 as England won by an innings and 579 runs.

Despite the humiliation of such a heavy defeat, Australia returned home with the Ashes after the series ended 1-1.

Len Hutton's record-breaking knock helped England to 903/7 declared in 1938

Smallest margin of victory

England beat Australia by 2 runs (2005)

Widely regarded as the greatest Test match of all time in the greatest series of all time, England kept their Ashes hopes alive in 2005 with victory by the barest of margins.

Chasing 282 in the fourth and final innings of the match, Australia were on the brink of an unlikely victory after Shane Warne's 42 off 53 balls.

With Brett Lee and number 11 batsman Michael Kasprowicz at the crease, the tourists were just two runs from victory when Steve Harmison had Kasprowicz caught behind, sparking delirious celebrations at Edgbaston as England levelled the series 1-1.

The victory is also the second narrowest margin of victory in Test cricket history behind the West Indies' one-run win over the Aussies in 1994.

Nathan Lyon has mixed memories of facing England

Most Ashes runs

Don Bradman 5,028 runs (1928-1948)

Generally considered to be one of the greatest batsman of all time, 'The Don' is synonymous with Ashes cricket in Australia.

Bradman notched 19 centuries during a 62-Test Ashes career, including a score of 334 in the third Test at Headingly back in 1930.

Don Bradman comes out to bat during the fourth Test of the 1938 Ashes series

Highest individual score

Sir Leonard Hutton - 364 (1938)

Bradman's triple century in 1930 is only the second highest score by a batsman in Ashes history however.

That honour goes to England's Len Hutton who, as a 22-year-old, smashed 364 at the Oval back in 1938.

Bradman was in the field to witness his 334 get eclipsed as Hutton played a match-winning innings to draw the series 1-1.

Most hundreds

Don Bradman - 19 (1928-1948)

The Don is out on his own for most Ashes centuries, with 19 tons in his 5,028 runs in Tests against England.

His nearest challenger is former England top order batsman Jack Hobbs, who managed 12 hundreds in a 28-year career against the old enemy.

More recently, England's tormentor-in-chief Steve Smith has hit 11 centuries since making his debut in the 2010 series.

Steve Waugh (below), who captained Australia during their Test dominance in the 1990s, managed 10 tons.

Steve Waugh adding more runs to his tally

Most runs in a series

Don Bradman - 974 (1930)

Another Ashes record held by The Don. 

Bradman plundered 974 runs during the 1930 series at an average of 139.14, with four centuries, two double hundreds and a then world-record score of 334.

Further down the list is current Australia batsman Steve Smith (below), who in the most recent Ashes series in 2019 scored 774 runs at an average of 110.57, including three centuries.

Steve Smith celebrates more Ashes runs

Most wickets

Shane Warne - 195 (1992-2007)

The greatest leg spinner of all time was a constant throrn in England's side throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

Warne only lost one Ashes series as a player and his skill and guile with the ball helped Australia hold onto the urn for 12 uninterupted years between 1993 and 2005.

Warne's long-time team-mate and partner in crime Glenn McGrath is second on the list with 157 wickets.

Best figures in an innings

Jim Laker, England - 10-53 (1956)

A rare English entry in the Ashes record books came about back in 1956 as Laker put Australia to the sword on a dry and dusty pitch at Old Trafford.

Following on after failing to threaten England's first innings score, Laker took all 10 wickets to secure victory by an innings and 170 runs.

Fourth in the all-time list is current bowler Stuart Broad, who bowled England to an Ashes-sealing victory at Trent Bridge back in 2015.

On a dramatic first day of the fourth Test, Broad passed 300 wickets and equalled the fastest Test five-wicket haul ever (19 balls) as the tourists were dismissed for 60 runs from 111 balls.

Taking just 18.3 overs on the first morning at Trent Bridge, Australia's first innings was also the shortest in Test history.

Stuart Broad celebrates his fifer

Best figures in a match

Jim Laker, England - 19-90 (1956)

A record that is unlikely to ever be beaten, Laker took 19 Australian wickets in the fourth Test of the 1956 Ashes series.

Arriving in Manchester with the series locked at 1-1, England posted a formidable first innings score of 459 to put the hosts in command.

What followed was a remarkable rout as Laker tore through Australia's batting line-up across two innings.

The off-spinner took nine wickets as the visitors were skittled out for 84.

After being forced to follow on, Laker picked up where he left off, this time taking all 10 wickets to hand England victory by an innings and 170 runs.

Most five-wicket hauls

Sydney Barnes, England - 12 (1901-1912)

Barnes took the first of 12 five-wicket hauls against Australia in his Test debut in 1901 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Overall Barnes took 189 wickets at 16.43 in 27 Tests, although not all of those were against Australia.

Most wickets in a series

Jim Laker, England - 46 (1956)

Laker once again takes this accolade on account of his 19-90 in the fourth Test of the 1956 series.

An honourable mention goes to Shane Warne. The leg-spinner single-handedly kept Australia in the 2005 series and almost snatched the urn from England's clutches in a dramatic final day of the fifth Test at the Oval.

His 40-wicket haul is three more than fellow Australian Mitchell Johnson managed in the 2013-14 Ashes Down Under, when the fast bowler wreaked havoc in England's batting line up in a 5-0 series whitewash.