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Rediff.com  » Cricket » The Ashes: Milestones to watch out for...

The Ashes: Milestones to watch out for...

Source: ANI
June 15, 2023 15:02 IST
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IMAGE: The prestigious series will get underway on Friday in Birmingham. Photographs: Paul Childs/Reuters

The cricketing world will light up with excitement, thrill and nostalgia as two of the sport's oldest rivals, England and Australia, battle it out for the prestigious Ashes urn in the series starting from June 16 onwards.

The hosts will be aiming to avenge their 4-0 loss in the 2021-22 season. Meanwhile, Australia will be looking to win their first Ashes series in England in over 20 years.

The hosts are also charged up by the 'Bazball' revolution brought by skipper Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, which has seen England win 11 of their last 13 Tests and dominate their opponents with an attacking, aggressive and positive cricket that aims for victory.

 

A lot of milestones will be established during the course of this five-match Test cricket extravaganza.

MILESTONES: 

A look at milestones that Australian players could achieve:

- Steve Smith

'Smudge' as he is known to his fans, is considered as one of the greatest in Tests. He is just 53 runs away from 9,000 Test runs. He currently sits at 8,947 runs in 97 Tests at an average of 60.04, with 31 centuries and 37 fifties.

He can also accomplish the 15,000-run landmark in international cricket. In 302 appearances across all formats, Smith has scored 14,894 runs at an average of 49.64, with 43 centuries and 70 fifties. His best score is 239. He is just 106 runs away from this landmark.
Smith will also join the elite company of players to have played 100 Test matches. He will become the 16th Australian to do so.

- Usman Khawaja

The 36-year-old opener will be aiming to go big in what could be his last Ashes series. He has two milestones to watch out for. Khawaja could complete his 5,000 Test runs. Currently in 61 Tests, he has scored 4,508 runs at an average of 46.95 with 14 centuries and 21 fifties. He is just 492 runs away from this milestone.

Khawaja can also reach 7,000 international runs if he goes on a scoring spree. Currently, he has 6,303 international runs at an average of 44.38 in 110 international matches, with 16 centuries and 34 fifties. He needs 697 more runs to reach there.

- Marnus Labuschagne

Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

One of Australia's brightest stars, Labuschagne could get to 4,000 Test runs during this series. The number one batter has 3,461 runs in 38 Tests at an average of 56.73, with 10 centuries and 15 fifties in 66 innings. He needs just 539 runs to reach the milestone.

In case Labuschagne has a blockbuster Ashes season, he could also touch 5,000 international runs. In 69 international matches, he has scored 4,310 runs at an average of 48.42, with 11 tons and 21 fifties. 690 runs to reach there is not a very big deal during an Ashes series.

- Travis Head

Often touted as David Warner's successor in top order, Travis' counter-attacking style combined with his consistency is lethal. He needs 458 runs to reach 3,000 Test runs. Currently, he has scored 2,542 runs at an average of 47.07, with six centuries and 13 fifties.

He could also reach 5,000 international runs. In 108 appearances, he has scored 4,799 runs at an average of 42.09, with nine centuries and 27 fifties across all formats.

- Alex Carey

Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Aussies first-choice keeper has 803 runs in 20 Tests at an average of almost 35 with a century and four fifties. He needs 197 runs to get to 1,000 Test runs.

Sitting at 2,703 runs in 122 international matches at an average of 29.70, with two tons and 11 fifties, he also has a chance to cross 3,000 international runs.

- Cameron Green

This 24-year-old all-rounder needs just 28 runs to get to 1,000 Test runs. In 21 Tests, he has scored 972 runs at an average of 36.00, with a century and six fifties.

- Pat Cummins

The Australian skipper has a total of 221 Test wickets in 50 Tests. A blockbuster Ashes series is all he needs to get to 250 Test scalps.

- Nathan Lyon

Nicknamed as 'The GOAT', Lyon has taken 487 Test wickets at an average of 31.03 and an economy rate of 2.92 in 120 Tests. He is one of the most successful spinners in the sport's history.

He needs 13 more scalps to join the 500-wicket club in Tests.

- Josh Hazlewood

Doubts are over the number of Tests he will play. But if Hazlewood gets to play all or at least four matches, he would be aiming to get 28 more scalps to get to his 250 Test scalps. Currently, he has 222 wickets in 59 Tests.

Now, a look at milestones England players could touch:

- Ben Stokes

Besides leading England to Ashes win, skipper Stokes has some personal milestones to achieve as well. With 5,712 runs in 92 Tests with 12 centuries and 28 fifties, he needs 288 more to get to 6,000 Test runs.

He also needs six more wickets to get to 200 wickets in Test cricket. Stokes also needs six more wickets to get to 300 international wickets. Currently, he has 294 international wickets in 240 matches. Accomplishing all these will add a lot to his legacy as an all-rounder.

- James Anderson

England's 40-year-old ageless wonder is also chasing some personal milestones. Sitting at 685 wickets in 179 Tests, he needs to get 15 more in the Ashes to reach the 700-wicket mark.

In 392 matches, he has 972 wickets. 28 more wickets will take Anderson to the 1,000 international wicket mark. With this, he will become one of the most successful bowlers ever, which he already is.

- Stuart Broad

Anderson's long-time pace partner, Broad has 582 in 162 Tests. He just needs 18 more wickets to touch the 600-wicket mark.

- Jonny Bairstow

Bairstow will be aiming to continue the purple patch from last summer. He sits at 5,482 runs in 90 Tests with 12 centuries and 23 fifties. He needs 518 more runs to get to 6,000 Test runs.

With 10,453 runs in 251 matches, he is just 547 runs away from getting to 11,000 international runs, which will raise his status among some of the best in English cricket.

- Harry Brook

Currently, Brook has 818 runs in seven Tests at an average of 81.80, with four tons and three fifties. He needs 182 runs more to get to 1,000 Test runs.

- Ben Duckett

Duckett has been a different player altogether since his return to the side in 2022, leaving only eight out of over 600 deliveries. In 10 Tests, he has 800 runs with two centuries and five fifties. Some big scores will help him reach 1,000 runs in Tests.

- Zak Crawley

With 1,724 runs in 34 Tests along with three tons and eight fifties, Crawley has been slammed for his inconsistency. However, he needs just 276 runs to get to 2,000 Test runs. A solid Ashes run could help him a lot in long run.

- Moeen Ali

Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

This all-rounder is returning from his Test retirement to fill in for an injured Jack Leach. He needs 86 more runs to reach 3,000 Test runs. He currently sits at 2,914 runs in 64 matches with five centuries and 14 fifties. He is also just five wickets away from completing 200 Test wickets.

- Mark Wood

With 90 wickets in 28 Tests, this express pacer needs some decent game time to reach 100 wicket landmark in Tests.

Australia squad:

Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner

England squad:

Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Moeen Ali, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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Source: ANI

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