The stats behind a thrilling Ashes series

The Ashes ended in a 2-2 draw after England won the deciding match at The Oval.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the key statistics from the series.

Urn heads back Down Under

Australia have now held the urn for over five years, since winning the 2017-18 series 4-0.

They emulated that result back on home soil in 2020-21, after a 2-2 draw in England in 2019.

A repeat performance on this summer’s trip north sees the prized trophy still in the possession of Pat Cummins and his side despite England’s celebrations at The Oval.

Weight of runs

Zak Crawley, right, celebrates with Joe Root after reaching 150 at Old Trafford

Zak Crawley, right, and Joe Root led a strong England batting effort (Martin Rickett/PA)

Australia opener Usman Khawaja finished as the series’ leading run-scorer with 496 but England had the other three to pass 400 – Zak Crawley with 480, Joe Root 412 and captain Ben Stokes 405.

Crawley’s average of 53.33 was the best of the series, with Root just behind at 51.50. Mitchell Marsh averaged an even 50 for Australia, just ahead of Khawaja’s 49.60.

Ben Stokes averaged 45 for England and and Harry Brook and Jonny Bairstow both over 40, with Ben Duckett at 35.66 as only the number three position caused problems.

Ollie Pope averaged 22.50 and Moeen Ali 31.00 in that spot. In nine innings, completed by one each for Brook and Stokes, England’s number threes contributed 228 runs at 25.33, with a solitary half-century from Moeen.

Despite hitting 15 sixes, including nine in his 155 as he attempted to wrestle the Lord’s Test England’s way, the skipper’s strike rate of 64.69 runs per 100 balls was actually England’s slowest aside from tail-enders James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson.

Crawley powered along at a strike rate of 88.72, with Brook, Bairstow, Duckett and Root all in the 70s. In a smaller sample, the free-spirited Mark Wood blasted his 83 runs from just 64 deliveries for a rate of 129.68.

England scored 3,079 runs in the series to Australia’s 3,059 and another measure of success with the bat was their lack of ducks. Having collectively made 17 in their 4-0 defeat in the last Ashes Down Under, the only one this time around came from Chris Woakes in a score of 592 at Old Trafford. Mitchell Starc’s dismissal without scoring on the final evening at the Oval was Australia’s fifth of the series.

Change for the better

England's Chris Woakes, right, celebrates the wicket of Australia’s Steve Smith, left, at The Oval

Chris Woakes, right, celebrates the wicket of Australia’s Steve Smith at The Oval (Mike Egerton/PA)

Both sides made team changes during the series, either due to injury, form or tactics, and the men who came in made a significant impact.

Woakes and Wood were called up for the third Test and kept their places the rest of the way, finishing as the top two in the series bowling averages.

Woakes was named England’s player of the series for his 19 wickets at 18.14, with Wood’s pace picking up 14 at 20.21.

Stokes told Sky Sports: “The way Woakesy’s come in and operated not just with the ball but with crucial runs batting at eight (has) been really good for us. Woody’s put some unbelievable performances in over those first two games – yesterday and today he could hardly walk and he did an unbelievable job to still run in and bowl the way he did.”

Australia’s batting and bowling averages were also led by mid-series call-ups in Marsh and Todd Murphy.

The latter, summoned after fellow spinner Nathan Lyon’s injury at Lord’s, claimed seven wickets across his two appearances at Headingley and The Oval to lead the Australian averages at 25.85 – even if Starc was their stand-out bowler with 23 at 27.08, edging Stuart Broad by one as the series’ leading wicket-taker.

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