Since the early 1880s, several sporting icons have taken center stage as far as Ashes cricket is concerned. Many prestigious players have come and gone, whose names have been emblazoned in the competition's hall of fame.
Since the turn of this century, however, a cut-throat aura has encircled the event as the Ashes has taken a fierce turn into a new age. The dawn of this century has seen the making of gallant cricketers who have taken the world by storm with their aggressive approach and brought greater context to this illustrious trophy and its legacy.
Here, we look at the 11 best Ashes cricketers to have represented England since the start of the century. These are players who not only played crucial roles in leading their respective sides to Ashes glory, but also took the assault to Australia - something we rarely witnessed in the 90s
Andrew Strauss (vice-captain)
Andrew Strauss is one of the finest Test openers England has produced in recent times. Apart from being highly competitive at the top of the order, Strauss was also a very tactically astute skipper.
Under his leadership England triumphed in two Ashes, the more notable being the one Down Under in 2010-11 where he outsmarted Ricky Ponting's XI and cruised home with a memorable 3-1 win.
Strauss has four Ashes tons to his name, and he scored at an impressive average of 39.5 in the 20 Ashes games that he featured in.
Knighted in honor of his immense services to English cricket, Alastair Cook is England's leading run-scorer in the format and one of the greats of the game. Graham Gooch held the record for the most Test runs for England for nearly 12 years before Cook surpassed his tally.
His dream moment came in the 2010 Ashes Down Under when he amassed a staggering 766 runs at an unreal average of over 127. Overall, Cook has scored nearly 2,500 runs versus the arch-rivals at a good average of 40.20.
Also read – Ashes Most runs