Cricinfo Readers' Ashes XI September 20, 2005

Flintoff and Warne lead the charge

Cricinfo staff
Cricinfo's readers pick their Ashes XI

Andrew Flintoff: celebrating his inclusion in the team you picked? © Getty Images
It reflects, perhaps, the closeness of the 2005 Ashes that the Ashes XI that Cricinfo's readers have picked contains six Englishmen and five Australians. The difference comes bang in the middle of the side, perhaps, where Andrew Flintoff bats at No. 6. Of the 4590 readers who voted to pick the Cricinfo Readers Ashes XI, 4524 voted for Flintoff. And yet, he wasn't the most popular choice. Fittingly, Shane Warne, one of the greatest players of any era, walked away with 4526 votes.

Ten of the 11 players in the side faced no competition. The only contest was for the last bowling place, for which Steve Harmison, with 2710 votes, beat Brett Lee, with 2509. Andrew Strauss, with his century at the Oval, made a late surge, but his 2043 votes weren't enough to keep out Marcus Trescothick (3826) or Justin Langer (2885). Ricky Ponting, with 3809 votes, got the most votes among the other batsmen, but was barely in the running for the captaincy: Michael Vaughan got 2705 votes to Ponting's 937, with Shane Warne gathering 540.

Cricinfo's staffers carried out a similar internal poll among themselves, and came up with exactly the same team. Our readers, it would seem, get the writers they deserve. Vaughan was our captain as well, and, interestingly, more of us voted for Warne as captain than for Ponting. But in the imaginary match in which our notional Ashes XI will play, both men will have to listen to Vaughan.

Your team is below. And if you have strong views about the shape of Test cricket and its future, do take part in our survey, "Shaking up Test cricket".

Cricinfo Readers' Ashes XI

Position Player Votes
1 Justin Langer 2885
2 Marcus Trescothick 3846
3 Ricky Ponting
4 Michael Vaughan (c) 3584
5 Kevin Pietersen 3335
6 Andrew Flintoff 4524
7 Adam Gilchrist (wk) 3317
8 Shane Warne 4526
9 Simon Jones 3772
10 Steve Harmison 2710
11 Glenn McGrath 3283