Ashes XIs: Pietersen and Ponting miss out on combined team

Adam Gilchrist’s absence made waves. Ian Bell’s inclusion offended. Matthew Hayden and Bob Willis should have been included.

After Ladbrokes released their best Ashes XIs for England and Australia this past week there has been plenty of comment on Twitter over who should and shouldn’t have made the grade.

Not ones to let a debate go stale, the latest offering from the bookmaker combines those two sides in one harmonious juggernaut. Do you agree?

1. Mark Taylor
The leading Ashes run scorer of any Australian opener to play the game, Taylor recorded 2946 runs in his 61 innings at the top of the order, at an average of 42.30

2. Graham Gooch
The most modern opening batsman of a group of five Englishman to score over 2000 Ashes runs in the position, Gooch scored 13 fifties and three 100s against the old enemy, including a top score of 196 at the Oval.

3. Don Bradman
Quite simply the greatest batsman of all time, Bradman scored over 5000 runs against England in 37 matches, averaging 89.78 and registering a flabbergasting 19 hundreds, the highest of which was 334.

4. David Gower
The face of Sky’s Ashes coverage is the host for good reason. Gower is the second-leading English runscorer against Australia of all time, with 3269 runs and nine tons.

5. Allan Border*
In an XI containing five former Test captains, Border is the only option to skipper the side based on his longevity in the role. He would get in on his batting alone anyway, which produced 3548 runs – the third most in Ashes history – at an average of 56.31.

6. Steve Waugh
Only three men ever managed to reach double figures for hundreds scored in the Ashes and Steve Waugh is one of them. Had 18 not outs during his time playing against England, a tally only bettered by Border for Australia.


7. Brad Haddin+
Haddin is a controversial selection when a certain Adam Gilchrist is available, but a sound one nevertheless. He has made over 250 more runs than Gilchrist against England in one fewer match, has the same number of hundreds but five more fifties.

8. Ian Botham
One of only two men to ever score over 1000 runs and 100 wickets against the Australians. The leading English wicket taker in the Ashes and singlehandedly won matches for his side during the 80s.

9. Shane Warne
195 wickets, 11 five-wicket hauls and four ten-wicket matches, Shane Warne is the best bowler in Ashes history.

10. Dennis Lillee
Has the same number of five and ten-wicket hauls as Warne, but only claimed 167 wickets. That’s still good enough to put Lillee second in the all-time Ashes list.

11. Glenn McGrath
In partnership with Warne was a modern-day tormentor of English batting orders through his 30 matches. He picked up an Ashes wicket every 46.3 balls, easily beating the strike rates posted by Warne and Lillee.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.