The Ashes has been the zone that produced some scintillating innings, valiant knocks and mind-boggling resistance. It has a reputation for scripting numerous records and creating heroes. The iconic battle between Australia and England have been a powerhouse and have attracted enormous attention across the globe for the kind of intensity and competitiveness it generates.
A Test century is always special and to achieve the landmark in the Ashes is always a cricketers dream. The feeling of scoring a Test ton in the Ashes is incredible and no words can describe it. The moment when a batsman raises his bat to acknowledge the crowd and teammates is mesmerising. It demands a lot for any batsman to breach the 100-run mark and there are a few, who have achieved it on a regular basis. Let’s take a look at the top five century-scorers in the Ashes.
The greatest cricketer to have embraced the game of cricket, Sir Don Bradman was a force to be reckoned in this format. He holds the record for scoring the most number of centuries in Test cricket and there wouldn’t have been a better name to be at the apex of this list.
Bradman scored runs in heaps, not only in Ashes, but throughout his international career. The only man with a Test average of 99.94, Bradman replicated similar magic in the Ashes as well. He played as many as 37 games against England and amassed 5028 runs with 19 scintillating tons to his name. The fact that the second-highest century scorer on this list is seven behind Bradman speaks about the kind of impact he had against England. He also holds the record to have smashed two triple centuries in the Ashes.
One wouldn’t be wrong in saying that it would demand a lot to overhaul the benchmark set by Bradman and the record looks safe for a while now. He wreaked havoc during the 1930 Ashes, scoring 974 runs at a staggering average of 139.14 along with four centuries. This was also the series where he recorded his highest Test score of 334 at Leeds. Australia lost the coveted series in 1932-33, where England came up with the infamous Bodyline tactic in order to counter-attack Bradman, but the right-handed genius still managed to average 56 in that series. Interestingly, Bradman was dismissed on a second ball duck in his final Test outing at The Oval in 1948, which denied him a Test average of 100.
Ashes record: Matches: 37, Runs: 5028, Highest Score: 334, Average: 89.78, 100s: 19
The first professional cricketer to be knighted, Sir Jack Hobbs is regarded as the most prolific batsman of his era. He was a First-Class giant and holds the record for scoring most number of runs and centuries in the said format.
Hobbs featured in 834 First-Class games, where he scored 61760 runs at an astounding average 50.70 and a mind-boggling 199 centuries to his name. Hobbs translated his form in the Ashes as well, where he garnered 3636 runs in 41 games. With 12 centuries under his belt, Hobbs is second on the list of most centuries scored by a batsman in the Ashes.
Hobbs is also England’s leading Test scorer against Australia. He was also known as ‘The Master’ for the art and skills he possessed with the bat. Hobbs scored a Test ton at the age of 46 in Melbourne, which makes him the oldest cricketer to have done so.
Ashes record: Matches: 41, Runs: 3636, Average: 54.26, Highest Score: 187, 100s:12
By the time Steve Waugh was done playing cricket, he had already made a name for himself as one of the greatest cricketers to have played for Australia. Waugh got the toughest runs with some class. His performance against England was better than his overall Test average of 51.06.
Waugh had played some fantastic innings in his Test career under pressure. He had an incredible run in the year 1989, where he scored an unbeaten 177 and 152 at Headingley and Lords. In 2001, Waugh scored a tenacious century at The Oval with a calf injury. He was wounded but fought the barriers to plunder an unbeaten 157, which was a testament to his gritty character. He had 10 Ashes century, which also makes him the third highest on this list.
Ashes record: Matches: 45, Runs: 3173, Average: 58.75, Highest Score: 177*, 100: 10.