Herbert Sutcliffe was one of the greatest ever England opening batsman in Ashes history alongside Jack Hobbs and Len Hutton. His flawless technique, compact defence and strong concentration were his virtues. He was a fine off driver and a strong player of the hook against fast bowling. His prolific opening partnership with Sir Jack Hobbs during late 1920s till 1930s was legendary. They went on to become one of the all time greatest opening pairs in Ashes history as well as overall test cricket. Sutcliffe was regarded as one of the better players on difficult wickets. The same was well documented in the Ashes test at MCG in 1929 series when Australia set a target of 332 to England in 4th innings on a sticky wicket and experts were of the view that England will be lucky to get even 150. However, the Hobbs- Sutcliffe stand of 105 started the chase well till Hobbs was dismissed. However Sutcliffe carried on regardless and showcased an Ashes classic of 135 before he was dismissed with 18 required to win with 6 wickets left. England finally won by 3 wickets after some late match tension.
Sutcliffe would have had a longer career had it not been shortened by World Wars. In only 27 ashes tests he scored a staggering 2741 runs at 67 average with 8 centuries and a top score of 194. Aggregate wise his best ashes series was in Australia in 1924-25 when he totalled a staggering 734 runs in 5 tests with top score of 176 and 4 centuries. His average never dropped below 50 in any of the Ashes series he played ,which is an unique feat during a period when batsmen used to play on uncovered pitches . There was only one instance of him getting out at nought in an ashes series.
That was Herbert Sutcliffe , one of the greatest Ashes legends from England who would have attained more accolades had World war not happened in his playing days.