Five great Ashes batsmen

npower Ashes Series 2009

Sir Don Bradman

(37 Tests; 5,028 runs @ 89.78; highest score 334)

Donald Bradman

The Don was the greatest cricketer of all time, and his phenomenal Ashes record dwarfs all others. Bradman was quick on his feet, and his hand-eye co-ordination was remarkable. He seldom hit the ball to fielders.

He made an immediate impact on his debut in the 1928-29 Ashes series and dominated cricket until his retirement 20 years later. He scored a record 974 runs in the 1930 series (including scores of 131, 254, 334 and 232) - prompting England captain Douglas Jardine to devise his infamous Bodyline tactics to combat him in 1932-33.

Bodyline worked to the extent that England won the series, but Bradman still averaged 56.57. He went on to become captain and remained the scourge of bowlers around the world. A first-ball duck in his final Test innings at The Oval in 1948 left him with a Test average of 99.94. Four runs would have seen him finish with 100.

Sir Jack Hobbs

(41 Tests; 3,636 runs @ 54.26; highest score 187)

From his Surrey debut in 1905 to his retirement in 1934, John Berry Hobbs was England's premier batsman and remains one of the all-time greats. Hobbs played in 10 series against the Australians, five at home and five abroad.

He was a graceful performer, who allied ability with a winning temperament. His mastery of all kinds of bowling on any surface was legendary. He scored a total of 61,237 first-class runs and a record 197 centuries in his career.

Walter Hammond

(33 Tests; 2,852 runs @ 51.85; highest score 251)

Many regard Wally Hammond as second only to Bradman in terms of talent - and had he not played in the same era as the great man, history may have held him in even higher esteem. He was an athlete and a powerful, technically correct batsman.

He largely played in the `V' - but did not eschew the back-foot attacking shots altogether. His 905 runs at 113.12 in Australia in 1928-29 was a record for an Englishman, and he was also an important player in the Bodyline series - although his return of 440 runs at 55 is often overlooked.

He was also an effective seamer and excellent fielder. He topped the first-class batting averages at the age of 43 in 1946, but his career ended on a low note after a miserable Ashes tour as captain in 1946-47.

Sir Len Hutton

(27 Tests; 2,428 runs @ 56.46; highest score 364)

Yorkshireman Hutton made his Test debut in 1937, three years after making his first-class debut at the age of 17 - and a year later rattled up a then Test record 364 against Australia at The Oval.

Even when not scoring heavily, Hutton always delighted the crowds with the quality of his strokeplay. He rarely failed to deliver when the pressure was on, and Australia bore the brunt of his power as he cracked runs at 88.83 in 1950-51.

He became England's first professional captain of the modern era and again led from the front as he topped the averages in the 1953 Ashes series. He returned to Australia to lead England to another Ashes series win in 1954-55, when he brought the best out of young talents such as Peter May, Colin Cowdrey and Frank Tyson. He retired soon after with a Test average of 56.67.

Allan Border

(47 Tests; 3,548 runs @ 56.31; highest score 200)

Allan Border

The mid-1980s were a bleak time for Australian cricket, but that all began to change with the appointment of durable and tenacious left-hander Border as captain. It initially took time for the wheel to turn, but Border's hard-edged approach paid dividends as Australia regained the Ashes in 1989 and held them until last year.

The foundations for the great modern Australian team were laid by Border. As well as a fine captain, Border was a great batsman. He was not the most fluent or eye-catching but had immense powers of concentration and an ability to bat for hours on end. He retired with a record 11,174 Test runs to his name.

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