The sequel of the 'greatest series ever' kicks off in nine days at Brisbane and the stars of the show will face intense scrutiny. While some succumb under the pressure of the Ashes, others thrive on it. This week the List focuses on players who have the largest differences between their Ashes averages and career averages.
Mark Ramprakash had enormous potential but it remained just that on the international stage while he continued to plunder runs on the county circuit. However, against Australia, Ramprakash averaged 42.40 with six fifties and one century. He played just one test in each of his first three Ashes series and scored two fifties and a 42. But his performances against other opposition were dire - an average of 22.14, six half-centuries and a hundred in 68 innings. None of his 12 ducks came against Australia against whom he had only two single digit scores in 24 innings.
|E Paynter (Eng)||1933-1938||20||1540||59.23||4||7||591||84.42||1||25.198|
|MTG Elliott (Aust)||1997-1997||21||1172||33.48||3||6||556||55.60||2||22.109|
|MR Ramprakash (Eng)||1993-2001||52||2350||27.32||2||12||933||42.40||1||15.079|
|GS Blewett (Aust)||1995-1997||46||2552||34.02||4||8||630||48.46||3||14.431|
|RT Robinson (Eng)||1985-1989||29||1601||36.38||4||7||502||50.20||2||13.810|
|KR Stackpole (Aust)||1966-1972||43||2807||37.42||7||13||1164||50.60||3||13.178|
|GRJ Matthews (Aust)||1985-1991||33||1849||41.08||4||10||589||53.54||1||12.455|
|BC Broad (Eng)||1986-1989||25||1661||39.54||6||7||569||51.72||3||12.177|
|GR Dilley (Eng)||1981-1989||41||521||13.35||0||9||198||24.75||0||11.390|
|M Leyland (Eng)||1929-1938||41||2764||46.06||9||20||1705||56.83||7||10.763|
Andrew Flintoff played 47 Tests - an English record - before playing his first Ashes Test in 2005. He would have played on the 2002-03 tour of Australia had he not pulled out because of a hernia. The 2005 series brought out the best in Flintoff, 402 runs at 40.20 and 24 wickets at 27.29 apiece.
Ian Bell had a torrid time in the 2005 edition. He managed only 171 runs in ten innings and was dismissed for a pair in the fifth Test at The Oval. Australia apart, Bell has been prolific - five centuries and five fifties at 65.64 in 22 innings - against other opposition. A challenging tour of Australia is the ideal platform for Bell to right his record but he made a poor start with a duck against New South Wales.
|DL Amiss (Eng)||1968-1977||50||3612||46.30||11||10||237||13.16||0||-33.143|
|IR Bell (Eng)||2005-2005||18||1287||47.66||5||5||171||17.10||0||-30.570|
|PH Parfitt (Eng)||1962-1972||37||1882||40.91||7||9||302||21.57||0||-19.338|
|MG Bevan (Aust)||1994-1997||18||785||29.07||0||6||124||11.27||0||-17.797|
|RT Ponting (Aust)||1997-2005||105||8792||58.22||31||21||1402||41.23||5||-16.994|
|G Pullar (Eng)||1961-1963||28||1974||43.86||4||9||457||26.88||0||-16.987|
|DR Jardine (Eng)||1928-1933||22||1296||48.00||1||10||540||31.76||0||-16.235|
|PM Toohey (Aust)||1978-1979||15||893||31.89||1||5||149||16.55||0||-15.334|
|LEG Ames (Eng)||1932-1938||47||2434||40.56||8||17||675||27.00||1||-13.570|
|KD Walters (Aust)||1965-1977||74||5357||48.26||15||35||1911||35.38||4||-12.871|
It may be rather tongue-in-cheek to say that Ricky Ponting hasn't performed in the Ashes for he averages 41.23 against England. But he certainly hasn't done as well against them compared to his record against other countries. Ponting has an overall average of 58.22 and if you exclude matches against England, that rises to a whopping 63.16. His average drops further to 38.66 with one century and two fifties in Tests against England in Australia.
Terry Alderman had a field day when playing England and he took 11 of his 14 five-fors coming in the Ashes. The split between his performances in England and Australia was starker - Alderman had ten five-wicket hauls and an average of 19.33 in just 12 Tests in England while in Australia he took wickets at 30.11 apiece.
|RM Hogg (Aust)||1978-1983||38||123||28.47||6||11||56||17.00||5||-11.480|
|G Miller (Eng)||1977-1983||34||60||30.98||1||13||39||20.25||1||-10.723|
|RJ Bright (Aust)||1977-1981||25||53||41.13||4||8||17||31.58||1||-9.541|
|JE Emburey (Eng)||1978-1993||64||147||38.40||6||23||76||31.63||3||-6.778|
|JD Higgs (Aust)||1978-1979||22||66||31.16||2||5||19||24.63||1||-6.538|
|TM Alderman (Aust)||1981-1991||41||170||27.15||14||17||100||21.17||11||-5.979|
|RG Archer (Aust)||1953-1956||19||48||27.45||1||12||35||21.74||1||-5.717|
|AG Hurst (Aust)||1978-1979||12||43||27.90||2||6||25||23.07||1||-4.830|
|JN Crawford (Eng)||1907-1908||12||39||29.48||3||5||30||24.73||3||-4.756|
|BA Reid (Aust)||1986-1991||27||113||24.63||5||9||47||20.40||2||-4.235|
Brett Lee had a poor beginning to the Ashes taking nine wickets in five Tests at an average of 55.11 and a strike-rate of 80.5. His stats in the 2005 series, his third, weren't that impressive either - 20 wickets in five Tests, an economy of 4.29 and an average of 41.10 but his impact on the series was more than the stats reveal.
|GRJ Matthews (Aust)||1985-1991||33||61||48.22||2||10||9||82.00||0||33.770|
|KJ O'Keeffe (Aust)||1971-1977||24||53||38.07||1||5||9||62.77||0||24.697|
|H Ironmonger (Aust)||1928-1933||14||74||17.97||4||6||21||33.85||0||15.887|
|JW Hearne (Eng)||1911-1926||24||30||48.73||1||13||16||62.18||0||13.457|
|NA Foster (Eng)||1985-1993||29||88||32.85||5||5||13||46.00||0||13.149|
|B Lee (Aust)||2001-2005||54||211||31.45||7||13||42||44.14||0||12.692|
|AF Giles (Eng)||2001-2005||52||140||39.60||5||7||17||51.58||0||11.988|
|FE Woolley (Eng)||1909-1934||64||83||33.91||4||29||33||45.45||0||11.534|
|PAJ DeFreitas (Eng)||1986-1995||44||140||33.57||4||13||37||44.97||0||11.402|
|GAR Lock (Eng)||1953-1961||49||174||25.58||9||13||31||36.38||1||10.807|
Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo