AS the current Australian Test cricket team struggle with their batting non-techniques, let’s take refuge in bygone eras when some real Aussie heroes actually occupied the crease, piled on the runs and notched up the tons.
Here’s the top 20 list of the best run scoring performances by an Australian batsman in an Ashes Series (no prizes for guessing who features most often). Is there anyone in today’s Aussie cricketing crop anywhere near as capable of these feats, though? Michael Clarke we here you cry. Well, Pup is in his fifth Ashes now and still not in the top twenty (sigh).
- DG Bradman (Australia in England) 1930
The great man scored 974 runs with an average of 139.14 with a highest score of 334 and notching up 4 centuries.
- MA Taylor (Australia in England) 1989
He managed to make 839 runs with an average 92.66 and went on to a high score of 219 as one of 2 centuries.
- DG Bradman (England in Australia) 1936/37
Back on home turf and with Bodyline neutered, the Don was free to score 810 runs at an average 90, with a high score of 270 amongst 4 centuries.
- DG Bradman (Australia in England) 1934
With the Bodyline wounds still bleeding, Don Bradman smashed 758 runs at an average of 94.75. Two centuried innings with a highest score of 304.
- AR Morris (Australia in England) 1948
This cricketer did a fine performance with 696 runs at an average of 87 dead. There were three centuries, the highest being 196.
- DG Bradman (England in Australia) 1946/47
680 runs with an average 97.14. Two centuries including a highest score of 234. No triple century; how pedestrian.
- KR Stackpole (England in Australia) 1970/71
627 runs with an average 52.25 and a highest score of 207 plus one other ton.
- MJ Slater (England in Australia) 1994/95
Slats in his dashing prime: 623 runs, average 62.30, highest score 176 as one of 3 centuries in the series.
- GS Chappell (England in Australia) 1974/75
Well before his famous ‘Duck Farm’, brother Greg – who is widely regarded as our finest non-Don willow wielder along with Ricky Ponting – made 608 runs at an average of 55.27 runs. His highest score was a modest 144 with one other ton.
- AR Border (Australia in England) 1985
Now, this one deserves a few more words. Keep in mind this was when Australian cricket was at its lowest ebb – yes, even lower than now. A.B. had earlier that year assumed the captaincy after Kim Hughes cried his way out of the skippership and off to South Africa with a brace of players who were supposed to play in the Ashes. Not surprisingly, the desperately woeful Aussies lost the series 3-1 but not without Captain Grumpy making his most heroic stand. Border amassed 597 runs in the series at an average of 66.33 – he made 1,355 first-class runs on the tour at 71.31. His top score was 196 at Lord’s where Australia actually won but it was his innings of 146 in the fourth Test to save his team from defeat that is best remembered.
11. WM Lawry (1965/66): runs 592, avg 84.57, hs 166
12. RT Ponting (2006/07): runs 576, avg 82.28, hs 196
13. VT Trumper (1903/04): runs 574, avg 63.77, hs 185*
14. MEK Hussey (2010/11): runs 570, avg 63.33, hs 195
15. WH Ponsford (1934): runs 569, avg 94.83, hs 266
16. DM Jones (1989): runs 566, avg 70.75, hs 157
17. HL Collins (1920/21): runs 557, avg 61.88, hs 162
18. MTG Elliott (1997): runs 556, avg 55.60, hs 199
19. DC Boon (1993): runs 555, avg 69.37, hs 164*
20. ME Waugh (1993): runs 550, avg 61.11, hs 137
IMAGE: Don Bradman