The Ashes 2023 lived up to its expectations of being one of the most anticipated series in the 140-year-long rivalry between England and Australia. All five matches of the series were nothing short of a spectacle as both teams were involved in a neck-to-neck battle to stake a claim to the coveted urn.
Coming into the series after being crowned the World Test Champions, Australia were all over England in the first two Tests as they took a 2-0 lead. However, the Ben Stokes-led England also made a counterpunch by dominating the remaining three games to settle for a 2-2 draw. Despite that, Australia retained the Ashes being the winners of the last series in 2021-22. On the other hand, England successfully kept their 22-year-long unbeaten record in a home Ashes series intact and announced to the cricketing world that ‘Bazball’ is here to stay.
On that note, let’s take a look at the best performers of the Ashes 2023:
5. Ben Stokes
The England captain led from the front and batted in England’s ‘Bazball’ style to notch up a sensational 155 at Lord’s, albeit in a losing cause. He further scored a quick-fire 80 in the third Test to help England cut down on the massive deficit in the first innings. Stokes finished as the fourth-highest run-getter of the series with 405 runs to his name at an average of 45 with one hundred and two fifties. Apart from his batting, the English skipper was top-notch with his tactical moves on the field and never let Australia dominate them for a long period.
4. Stuart Broad
Only a few cricketers have signed off from international cricket in grand fashion as Stuart Broad did in the Ashes 2023. The veteran seamer was the ‘go-to man’ for his team whenever they were in need of breaking partnerships. The 37-year-old had a fairytale ending to his career as he picked the last two wickets to help his side win the fifth Test. Broad was the second-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets to his name from ten innings at an average of 28.40.
3. Chris Woakes
The right-arm seamer made a remarkable comeback in the Test side after 15 months as it took him only three games to help England stage a comeback for the ages. Woakes made his presence felt in the third Test itself picking six wickets and scoring an unbeaten 32 to help his side get over the line. His spell
of 4/50 in the second innings of the fifth Test turned the game on its head on the final day. Woakes was deservedly awarded Player of the Match in the fifth game with figures of 7/111. He was further awarded Player of the Series for picking 19 wickets in just three games and scoring valuable 79 runs.
2. Mitchell Starc
After having a not-so-memorable game in the World Test Championship final, Starc was benched in the first Test to make way for Scott Boland. However, he managed to find a place from the second game onwards and began contributing with crucial wickets. The 33-year-old bowled two absolute rippers to dismantle the timber of Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes during the second and the fifth Test, respectively. Starc finished as the highest wicket-taker of the series, with 23 wickets to his name from seven innings at an average of 27.08.
1. Usman Khawaja
The Australian opener returned to the same place which almost ended his career in 2019. However, Khawaja had revived his career on the back of some stupendous performances since 2022 and was up for the English challenge. He owned the first Test with scores of 141 and 65 and was deservedly awarded the Player of the Match. The 36-year-old finished as the leading run-scorer of the series with 496 runs to his name from ten innings at an average of 49.62 with one hundred and three fifties to his name.