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Benedict's back to bring you the very best Ashes stats and facts

Benedict Bermange Posted 2nd January 2011 view comments

The next instalment in cricket's most prestigious series - the Ashes - is here.

As well as keeping the lads bang up-to-speed in the commentary box, Sky Sports statistician Benedict Bermange will have every angle of the series covered here on skysports.com...

So if you think you know your stats, think again, because Benedict is bound to have something to amaze you. If you want to ask him a question then simply fill out the feedback form below.

Cloud and proud: Strauss has an impressive win percentage as England skipper

Cloud and proud: Strauss has an impressive win percentage as England skipper

So, without further ado, here are some statistics for the fifth and final Test in Sydney...

History

Australia have won their last seven Tests at Sydney and in those seven matches, an average of 338 overs have been enough to produce a result.

Their only defeat in their last 16 Tests at the ground dating back to 1996 was to England by 225 runs in a dead rubber match in January 2003.

England's two innings victories in this match equal their achievements in the 1886, 1888, 1956 and 1985 series, when they also won two Ashes Tests by an innings.

Only one Ashes series in history has ended 2-2 and that was in England in 1972.

In South Africa last year, England went into the New Year Test 1-0 up having won the Boxing Day Test at Durban. They then scraped a draw at Cape Town ending nine wickets down and then lost heavily at Johannesburg.

Captains

Andrew Strauss will be hoping to emulate Len Hutton (1953 & 1954-55) and Mike Brearley (1977 & 1978-79) as the only England captains to have won Ashes series both home and away.

Strauss has now won 15 of his 31 Tests in charge, losing only five. Only one other man of the 16 who have captained England at least 20 times won three times as many Tests as they lost - Mike Brearley - who won 18 and lost four of his 31 Tests in charge.

Ricky Ponting's run of 73 consecutive Tests has come to an end which was the longest of any current player. Mahela Jayawardena now takes over that honour with an unbroken stretch of 71. Michael Clarke will become Australia's 43rd Test captain.

Playing stats

Michael Beer - who had never stepped inside the SCG until 31 December - will become the 14th spinner to be used by Australia since the retirement of Shane Warne four years ago. The others (in order of wickets taken) are: Hauritz, North, Krejza, Symonds, Clarke, MacGill, Katich, Hogg, White, Casson, Doherty, Smith & McGain.

The last Australian to debut batting at number three was Justin Langer against the West Indies at Adelaide in January 1993. He made 20 & 54. Only one Australian has made a century on debut batting at number three - that was Bill Ponsford with 110 against England at Sydney in 1924.

Graeme Swann ended 2010 as Test cricket's leading wicket-taker with 64 wickets in his 14 Tests, four ahead of Dale Steyn, who played 11 Tests. In all international cricket in 2010 Swann took 111 wickets, a record for England and the 6th best of all time. Murali holds that record with 136 wickets in 2001.

Jonathan Trott is up to number three in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Player Rankings for Test batsmen with 839 points. The last England batsmen to reach number one was Michael Vaughan in May 2003. He now averages 64.00 from his 17 Tests in which he has scored 1600 runs. Only one batsman in Test history has scored more runs at a higher average than Trott - Don Bradman with 6996 at 99.94.

In this series there have already been five hauls of six wickets. The Ashes series record is seven - in both the 1896 and 1903-04 series. Only one other series has had as many as five six-wicket hauls without a seven-for. That was the New Zealand v India series in 1968.

Ricky Ponting averaged 16.14 in the series and Michael Clarke so far boasts an average of just 21.14. Only three Australian captains have had worse batting averages in Ashes history in the 56 series of at least 4 Tests, but only one of them was a front-line batsman (Darling).

They are:

Ian Johnson (1956): 7.62 across five Tests

Richie Benaud (1961): 10.85 across five Tests

Joe Darling (1902): 15.57 across five Tests

Monty Noble - after whom one of the stands was named - was part of a rare example of Simpson's Paradox with Charles Macartney playing for New South Wales against Victoria at the SCG in January 1907.

In both innings Macartney's bowling average (21.50 & 1.50) was better, but in the match as a whole, Noble (32.00 & 3.50) had the edge, averaging 7.57 to Macartney's 8.17.

Comments (2)

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Neil Sutton says...

Benedict It now seems very unlikely that any of these Ashes matches will see a player hitting a winning run. Has this happened before?

Posted 16:23 6th January 2011

Sam Mitchelmore says...

What benefit is it to Aus to take the new pill 2 overs b4 lunch??? Surely they would be better waiting till England have eaten all the prawn sandwiches possible, (esp Ian Bell, Boom Boom) at Lunch and then hit them with it whilst they bat their way back in?? Whilst the pitch is still relatively slow and not doing amazing stuff, (tomorrow, bring on SWANN!!!), Aus would make more of a game by bringing it in, and Clarke yelling at Johnson to bowl better with the new conker!!

Posted 01:38 5th January 2011

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