Ashes XIs: No room for Gilchrist in star-studded Australian lineup

Australia look to end their 14-year wait for Ashes victory on English soil this summer. Ladbrokes reckons it’ll be a pretty easy task doing so, making them the 4/11 favourites for victory.

That price would shrivel considerably if some of this side, Ladbrokes’ greatest modern-day Australian XI to play in the Ashes, were still playing:

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. Michael Slater
A swashbuckling batsman that played the game of the future, taking the attack to the opposition and scoring over 400 runs in each of his first three series against England.

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. Ricky Ponting
Only six Australians made more runs against England than Ponting, who collected eight hundreds against the old enemy in 58 knocks. Incredibly, Ponting only hit nine half centuries during that time, illustrating just how ruthless he was once he got in.

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

9. Mitchell Johnson
The fiery left armer decimated England in the recent 5-0 whitewash Down Under and has played the least number of Tests of any Australian to take 70 or more Ashes wickets.

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.