Steve Smith and Alastair Cook are among the batters who have posted the most Ashes runs in a series. Who has the most in one campaign?
Usman Khawaja enjoyed a fine 2023 Ashes series with the bat. The Australia opener led all players for runs in the series with 496 to his name at an average of 49.60. But even that solid total does not rank him in the top 50 all-time.
With more than 140 years of cricket played in The Ashes, there have been some high-profile batting and bowling performances from Australian and England players.
Five triple-hundreds have been scored, topped by Len Hutton smashing 364 runs for England at The Oval in 1938.
Australia great Sir Donald Bradman has hit two of those 300+ scores, as well as also recording the most hundreds in Ashes cricket (19).
We have previously looked at the batters who have the most runs in Ashes history, a list emphatically topped by Bradman.
And here, we have profiled the cricketers who have scored the most Ashes runs in a series between England and Australia.
Don Bradman, Australia: 974 runs in 1930
One of the many Ashes records held by Don Bradman is the mark for most runs in a single series.
Bradman scored 974 runs at an extraordinary average of 139.14 in the 1930 series, which Australia won 2-1.
England had come into the 1930 edition of The Ashes having won the previous two, including a huge 4-1 away win in 1928-29 as Bradman debuted.
Playing at home, England went into the series as favourites to make it three in a row, a status cemented when they won the opening match despite a century (131) from Bradman.
But Bradman had other ideas, smashing 254 at Lord’s in the second Test as Australia bounced back.
It was one of eight double-hundreds he delivered across his storied Ashes career.
With a century and a double ton in the bag, Bradman then went one better.
The batsman recorded a triple-hundred, scoring 334 from 448 balls in a weather-impacted drawn third Test at Headingley. It was a world-record innings at the time and his highest score in The Ashes.
Only Hutton’s 364 eight years later has topped it in all the years of Ashes cricket played since.
A drawn fourth Test set things up for a decider at The Oval and Bradman stepped up to make his fourth century and third 200+ score of the 1930 series, with his 232 helping to seal victory for Australia.
Bradman’s remarkable individual exploits in the series remain unmatched, as are many of the other host of Ashes records he went on to set.
Wally Hammond, England: 905 runs in 1928-29
Hammond is the only other player to score more than 900 runs in a single Ashes series.
That he did so in his first-ever Ashes series, with Bradman making his own debut on the opposite side, makes the feat even more impressive.
While Bradman achieved his record total in only seven innings when he broke Hammond’s Ashes record two years later, the England batter required nine knocks to reach his mark of 905.
Still, Hammond scored an incredible average of 113.12 with four centuries and a high score of 251 as he powered England to a 4-1 win on Australian soil in 1928-29.
His epic 251 from 605 balls in the second Test helped England to a key win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Eight years later, Hammond would go on to record another Ashes double hundred (231 not out) at the same venue.
Mark Taylor, Australia: 839 runs in 1989
Taylor has scored the most runs in an Ashes series since the retirement of Bradman.
Australia won The Ashes on eight consecutive occasions from 1989 to 2003, with the incredible streak starting courtesy of Taylor’s exploits.
Taylor scored 839 runs at an average of 83.90 for Allan Border’s team in 1989. He had seven 50+ scores, more than anyone else in the top 10 managed in a single series.
Having lost The Ashes in five of the previous six editions and not won in England since 1975, the Aussies were rampant 4-0 away winners in a campaign that completely turned their country’s fortunes around in the rivalry.
Taylor started with a bang, scoring 136 and 60 in the first Test, helping Australia to win by 210 runs in Leeds.
And Taylor’s series total was boosted by his huge 219 at Trent Bridge in the fifth Test, as his innings helped Australia to 602-6 declared, setting up a big win by an innings and 180 runs.
Don Bradman, Australia: 810 runs in 1936-37
In the 1936-37 series, Bradman scored the most runs (810) by a home player in an Ashes series.
Surprisingly, the other five highest highest-scoring series in Ashes history, including his own in 1930, were recorded by a batter playing away from home.
But in this instance, prolific run-scorer Bradman delighted the home Australian crowd as his team edged a thrilling battle 3-2 to retain The Ashes.
One of the best individual batting Test series displays in Ashes history did not look likely when Bradman fell for two ducks in the first two tests, with England winning both.
However, he scored a huge 270 in difficult conditions in the third Test in Melbourne to keep Australia’s hopes alive.
Bradman then made another double-hundred (212) at the Adelaide Oval in a fourth Test victory.
And he scored a rapid 169 from 191 balls in the fifth Test as Australia scored 604 in the first innings to set up a third straight victory which sealed a remarkable Ashes comeback.
Steve Smith, Australia: 774 runs in 2019
With 774 runs in the 2019 edition, Smith has the most runs in an Ashes series played since the turn of the century.
Australia held on to The Ashes in a dramatic 2-2 draw in England. Without the exploits of Smith, they would not have done so.
Smith scored 144 and 142 in the first Test at Edgbaston as Australia made a fine start to the series.
He then top-scored with 92 in a drawn second contest at Lord’s, before England levelled The Ashes with a nail-biting win at Headingley.
Smith had to miss that third Test after it was found that a blow from a Jofra Archer delivery had given him a concussion at Lord’s. He had also been unable to bat in the second innings before missing the match in Leeds entirely.
But he was back for a fourth Test that would prove decisive, as Australia won at Old Trafford to ensure they would retain the urn.
Australia won by 185 runs as Smith smashed 211 in the first innings before adding a quickfire 82 from 92 balls in the second before his team declared.
His double hundred was his second in England and third in the Ashes overall.
Archer, Stuart Broad, and Jack Leach were among the England bowlers to have success taking wickets against Australia batters in the series but none of them had an answer for Smith.
Smith even added 80 in a fifth Ashes Test that England won. That made him the first batter in Test cricket to record 10 consecutive 50+ scores against a single opponent, beating the previous record held by Pakistan great Inzamam Ul Haq.
He averaged 110.57 and was just 200 runs behind Bradman’s series record for Ashes Test matches. Had Smith played all of the 10 Australia innings, he may have got close to the record, such was his form that summer.
Alastair Cook, England: 766 runs in 2010-11
England’s best Ashes streak of the modern era saw them win three consecutive series between 2009 and 2013, including an impressive 3-1 win in Australia.
In that 2010-11 away win, England opener Cook was at his peak and produced an unstoppable series.
Cook racked up 766 runs with three centuries, two fifties and a best of 235 not out. He averaged an eye-watering 127.66 as England put Ricky Ponting’s men to the sword.
After scoring 67 in a drawn first Test at The Gabba, his unbeaten 235 came in the second innings from 428 balls, with captain Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott also hitting three figures for the tourists.
Cook hit 148 in Adelaide as England claimed victory in the second Test, although Australia levelled the series in Perth.
After Trott fired England to a win in Melbourne, the team led 2-1 though they still needed to avoid defeat in Sydney in order to win the series.
Player of the series Cook ensured the result was put beyond doubt with his third century, a huge 189 helping England to a mammoth total of 644 that gave Australia no chance.
Other High Ashes Series Totals
Australian cricket great Bradman had another big series in 1934, scoring 758 runs on English soil at an average of 94.75. He had two hundreds including an incredible innings of 304 in Leeds, his second 300+ effort in The Ashes.
Herbert Sutcliffe (734 runs in 1924-25) and David Gower (732 runs in 1985) come next. Gower had three hundreds that summer as he captained England to a 3-1 series win, which included a career-high 215 in the fifth Test.
Arthur Morris (696 runs in 1948) rounds out the top 10, just beating out Smith’s impressive 687 runs at home against England in the 2017-18 series and Bradman, who appears again courtesy of 680 runs in 1946-47.
Much of the list is dominated by players in previous eras, as there have only been four occasions since the turn of the century where 600 or more runs have been scored by a player in a single Ashes series.
The relentless Smith accounts for two of those, with the others being Cook and another former England skipper, Michael Vaughan, who had 633 runs in Australia in 2002-03.
Those runs were not enough to stop Vaughan’s side from being thrashed 4-1, but they would gain revenge in the famous 2005 Ashes series.