Ahead of the much anticipated 2017 Ashes, the BBC has released all-time Ashes XI picked on the basis of the users' votes who submitted almost 150,000 teams over the course of the last week. Only four England cricketers were able to make the cut with seven Australian players dominating the team.
The viewers picked Sir Jack Hobbs, who played 41 Ashes Tests scoring 3,636 runs including 12 centuries, as an opener. 39% of users’ team included the legendary Englishman, who played a knock of 142 against Australia in 1929 at the age of 46 and holds the record of the oldest Test centurion. To open the innings along with Sir Jack, 35% users chose his countryman Geoffrey Boycott who had experience of 38 Ashes Tests in which he aggregated 2,945 runs at an average of 47.50.
"I'm thrilled to bits that people have voted for me. It's down to perception - are you the guy who is mentally strong enough to get the team out of trouble when they need it?," says Boycott as quoted by BBC.
With 85% vote, Sir Donald Bradman was chosen by the fans to give strength the middle order. His high concentration level helped him inflict 19 centuries against England with Australia winning five of the eight Ashes he played. Allan Border, who played 47 Tests for Australia was picked for the coveted number four spot. The former Aussie captain averaged an incredible 56.31 in 47 Ashes. The middle order was completed by yet another Australian captain in the form of Steve Waugh. The younger Waugh played 46 Ashes scoring 3,200 runs including ten centuries. Based on his numbers, an astonishing 58% of the fans selected the former Aussie skipper in their respective teams.
Sir Ian Botham was picked as the first choice all-rounder receiving 79% of the votes. The Englishman played 36 Ashes in his career in which he scored 1,673 runs while claiming 148 wickets.
The wicket-keeper slot was handed to Adam Gilchrist, who earned the popular vote with 74% of the people picking him over any Englishman in history. It wasn't a bad choice either with the Australian averaging 45.12 in 20 Tests. However, it was Shane Warne, who found a place for himself in the team with 88%.of the fans picking him. Warne played 36 Ashes Tests in which he claimed 195 wickets winning all but one of his eight series.
Denis Lillee, who claimed 167 wickets in his nine Ashes, was picked as the first all-out pacer in the side. While Lille had to compete with the likes of Jeff Thompson and Harold Larwood, an incredible 73% of the fans sided with him.
James Anderson was the fourth and last Englishman whose was name included in the squad after getting 39% of the votes. England's all-time leading wicket-taker might be a surprise inclusion to many but he has taken more than 20 wickets in successful Ashes series win twice in his career.
Glenn McGrath completed the list with 83% votes. Like Warne, McGrath won six of the seven Ashes series he played in and a case could be made that had he not been in the side claiming his 157 wickets at an average of 20.92, Australia might not have been as successful.
The squad is as follows:
Jack Hobbs (England), Geoffrey Boycott (England), Don Bradman (Australia), Allan Border (Australia), Steve Waugh (Australia), Ian Botham (England), Adam Gilchrist (Australia), Shane Warne (Australia), Dennis Lillee (Australia), James Anderson (England), Glenn McGrath (Australia)
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