Even though batters play a significant role in giving a team a lead in a Test match by scoring runs in bulk, it is the bowlers who win the game for them. You can’t win in a Test match without picking 20 wickets, and that’s why the wicket-takers are vital.

In the Ashes, a traditionally rich cricketing contest between Australia and England, the bowlers have played a significant part in victories, and their numbers prove the same.

Not surprisingly, Shane Warne, the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket of all time, leads the wicket-takers chart in the Ashes series. He has 195 English wickets to his name at an average of 23.25 in 36 Test matches that spanned over 14 years.

Following Warne is his fellow team-mate and the leading Australian pacer of his time, Glenn McGrath, with 157 wickets. Their numbers rightly show the duo’s influence in Australian cricket between 1993 to 2007.

Below is a chart that lists the top 10 bowlers with the most wickets in the Ashes series over the years. You can read Ashes’ top-batters list here.

Most Wickets in The Ashes

BOWLERSWICKETSINNINGS5-FORSBEST BOWLINGBOWLING AVERAGE
Shane Warne (AUS)19572118/7123.25
Glenn McGrath (AUS)15760108/3820.92
Stuart Broad (ENG)1537488/1528.96
Hugh Trumble (AUS)1415598/6520.88
Dennis Lillee (AUS)1284777/8922.32
Ian Botham (ENG)1285876/9528.04
Bob WIllis (ENG)1236178/4324.37
James Anderson (ENG)1177256/4735.97
Monty Noble (AUS)1156697/1724.86
Ray Lindwall (AUS)1145167/6322.44

Key Stats

Jim Laker, the first-ever bowler to pick all 10 wickets in a single Test innings, holds the best bowling figure by innings and by match 10/53 & 19/90 in Ashes, respectively. He dismissed all 11 batters in that match – the first to do so.

With his insane bowling record, Shane Warne deservedly bowled more than 10000 balls (only bowler to do so) in the elite tournament – 10757 deliveries.

Among the bowlers with more than 100 Ashes wickets, McGrath has a better strike rate of 46.3. However, on the top 50 bowlers, a 19th century English bowler, George Lohmann, tops the chart by striking 77 scalps at a rate of 42.9, followed by Mitchell Johnson (87 wickets at 43.2). Read how the strike rate is calculated here.

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When you sort the Ashes bowlers by the number of their 5-wicket-hauls, Sydney Barns (England) tops the list with 12 5-wicket-hauls. And, there are five members with 11 5-fors, including the wicket-topper Warne. The legendary leg-spinner also picked four 10-for, equalling the previous record holder, Tom Richardson (England). Check here who has the most 5-for in Test cricket.

You can also find the list of bowlers who have picked the most wickets in any Test bilateral series here.

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