All-time Ashes XI: Botham, Warne & McGrath among those to make the cut

Here is the all-time Ashes XI as voted for by BBC Sport website users who, over the course of the last week, have submitted almost 150,000 teams.

There’s four Englishmen and seven Australians in the side and, perhaps, one or two surprises.

Read on for a full statistical breakdown and analysis, and find out who members of the Test Match Special team selected.

Listen again to the countdown on BBC Radio 5 live’s “Greatest Ashes XI”

Opening batsmen

Sir Jack Hobbs (England) – selected in 39% of users’ teams

Ashes record: 41 Tests, 3,636 runs at 54.26, 12 x 100, 15 x 50, series wins: 5/11

With more runs than any other opener in Ashes cricket – in addition, he scored more than 61,000 first-class runs in a career interrupted by World War One – it’s no surprise Hobbs makes the list. His 142 against Australia in 1929 came at the age of 46 and remains the record for the oldest Test centurion.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: “Hobbs was clearly an extraordinary player and was known as ‘The Master’. Our all-time team has a modern feel to it, naturally, but Hobbs is the elder statesman thanks to his incredible run-scoring feats.”

Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott: “I’ve heard so many people say he was the master of playing on uncovered pitches. He was a wonderful player.”

Geoffrey Boycott (England) – 35%

Ashes record: 38 Tests, 2,945 runs at 47.50, 7 x 100, 14 x 50, series wins: 4/10

Legendary Yorkshire opener Boycott might now be better known for his role as a Test Match Special pundit but in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s he stood up to the best Australia could throw at him. His crowning moment came at Headingley in 1977 when he scored his 100th first-class hundred against Australia – his 191 laying the foundations for an innings win.

Boycott, speaking on 5 live after being told the news: “I’m thrilled to bits that people have voted for me. It’s down to perception – are you the guy who is mentally strong enough to get the team out of trouble when they need it?”

Asked if he would have picked himself: “If I had to bat for my life, I’d pick myself, yes.”

Voting breakdown: J Hobbs 39%, G Boycott 35%, L Hutton 32%, H Sutcliffe 31%, M Hayden 24%, M Taylor 22%, M Slater 8%, J Edrich 3%, B Simpson 3%, A Morris 2%.

Middle-order batsmen

Donald Bradman (Australia) – 85%

Ashes record: 37 Tests, 5,028 runs at 89.78, 19 x 100, 12 x 50, series wins: 5/8

“Unquestionably the greatest batsman in the game, arguably the greatest cricketer ever.” – Cricinfo

What more can be said about a man who ended his Test career with an average of 99.94? The Don was short in stature but quick on his feet and his much-feted powers of concentration saw him plunder 19 centuries against England – including scores of 334 and 304 at Headingley on the Ashes tours of 1930 and 1934 respectively.

ABC and Test Match Special commentator Jim Maxwell: “He was a phenomenon – the like of which we’ll never see again. He’s the number one Australian down under and most of those people who rank him so highly never saw him bat.”

Agnew: “The Don played the pull shot incredibly well – he must have been infuriating to bowl at. He had the most fantastic cover drive too. Anything short and he’d pull it for four and when the bowler compensated by over-pitching he’d drive them through the covers for another boundary.”

Allan Border (Australia) – 33%

Ashes record: 47 Tests, 3,548 runs at 56.31, 8 x 100, 21 x 50, series wins: 5/11

Few men epitomise the tough, uncompromising nature of Australian cricket better than Allan Border, who plundered thousands of runs while leading his country from being the laughing stock of world cricket to the very top. On Australia’s 1993 tour of England, he scored an unbeaten 200 at Headingley as the tourists wrapped up a series win and in the process ended Graham Gooch’s England captaincy.

Agnew: “Border wasn’t an attractive batsman but he was a fighter. When Australia lost in England in 1985 he returned in 1989 determined there would be no rapport between the two teams despite his own great friendships with the likes of Ian Botham and David Gower. He was nicknamed Captain Grumpy because of this and although he deployed such tactics, he is such an affable chap and remains one person I always enjoy meeting up with.”

Steve Waugh (Australia) – 58%

Ashes record: 46 Tests, 3,200 runs at 58.18, 10 x 100, 14 x 50, series wins: 8/10

If Border took Australia to the top of world cricket, it was Steve Waugh who moulded what became one of cricket’s greatest ever Test sides. The man who coined the term ‘mental disintegration’ led a team of modern-day greats with unflinching ruthlessness – once batting on one leg to score a match-winning Ashes hundred.