England’s Player Ratings
Alastair Cook (c), 6:
Leading England in the Ashes for the first time, the skipper had a disappointing series with the bat, failing to register a century across 10 innings. The impressive Australian attack targeted Cook’s tendency to waft at wider balls of a full length, Ryan Harris in particular proving to be a nemesis for the Essex man.
High Score: 62
Joe Root, 7:
Making the step up to opening the batting, Root had a mixed series at the top of the order. The youngster scored a massive maiden Ashes hundred in the second test match at Lords and was also influential with the ball in Australia’s second innings. The Aussies targeted Root by pitching the ball up and attempting to catch him coming forward off his favoured back foot.
High Score: 180
Jonathan Trott, 6:
One of England’s top order who did not have the best series with the bat. Early in the series, Trott looked in fine touch, but found himself getting out after making solid starts. Often so reliable at number 3, the 32 year old only passed 50 on two occasions.
High Score: 59
Kevin Pietersen, 8:
Showed just why he is rated so highly in the cricket world. A fantastic hundred at Old Trafford was followed by back to back fifties at The Oval, the second of which was a pulsating knock and came off just 36 deliveries. England will need him fit and firing if they are to win a fourth consecutive Ashes series this winter.
High Score: 113
Ian Bell, 9:
Undoubtedly the player of the series, the Warwickshire man was the leading scorer on either side, including 3 brilliant hundreds. Bell showed that he can score “tough runs”, something that he has often been criticised for not doing.
High Score: 113
Jonny Bairstow, 6:
Another player making his Ashes debut, the Australians exploited his weakness of losing balance when playing straight down the ground. Bairstow played in the first four test matches before being dropped for the finale at The Oval.
High Score: 67
Matt Prior (wk), 6:
A disappointing series by Prior’s usual very high standards. There were no issues with the gloves, but it was with the bat that Prior struggled. He failed to pass 50 once, and Peter Siddle continued to trouble the England keeper, and has now dismissed Prior on 9 occasions in test matches.
Tim Bresnan, 7:
Featuring in 3 test matches, Bresnan proved to be a handy selection with both bat and ball. At Durham, he chipped in with a crucial 45 whilst batting and then dismissed David Warner bowling to kick start the Australian collapse on Day 4.
Stuart Broad, 8:
After finding wickets hard to come by in the first few test matches, Broad tore through the Aussies at Durham, taking 11 wickets in the match. He continued that good form into the final test match and ended up England’s second highest wicket taker.
Graeme Swann, 8:
The leading wicket taker in the series, Swann proved yet again why he is considered to be the best England spinner of the last 30 years. On pitches that suited his style of bowling, Swann took two 5-wicket hauls and finished with figures of 9-122 at Lords.
James Anderson, 8:
The hero of Trent Bridge, Anderson led the England pace attack superbly in the first two test matches. He suffered a dip in form at Old Trafford and Durham but returned to his best at The Oval, on a pitch that offered very little to the swing bowlers. Winner of the ball of the series when he dismissed Michael Clarke at Trent Bridge.
Steven Finn, 6: Dropped after the first test, Finn was too erratic and nearly gifted the game to the Aussies.
Chris Woakes, 6: A decent debut at The Oval, batted well in the second innings.
Simon Kerrigan, 5: Froze on debut and unfortunately suffered when bowling, never settled into his rhythm.
Australia Player Ratings
Chris Rogers, 7:
The veteran opening batsmen will be pleased with his performances at the top of the Australian order. A debut test hundred came at Durham after Rogers missed out when he fell in the 80s at Old Trafford. Struggled against the spin of Graeme Swann, who dismissed the 35 year old on 6 separate occasions.
High Score: 110
Shane Watson, 7:
Despite coming under criticism as England targeted Watson’s problems on the front foot, the 32 year old ended the series as Australia’s top run scorer. Watson batted in a variety of positions, starting the series as an opener before moving down to number 6 at Old Trafford, he then moved back up to number 3 at The Oval where he scored a big hundred in the first innings. It wasn’t just with the bat that Watson proved useful, as Michael Clarke deployed him as a fourth seamer where he bowled over 85 overs in the series.
High Score: 176
Usman Khawaja, 5:
Made his way into the side at Lords but did not have the impact that he would have wanted in his 3 tests in the series. Batting at number 3, Khawaja struggled against the spin of Swann and only passed 50 once in 6 innings.
High Score: 54
Michael Clarke (c), 8:
Without a doubt Australia’s best batsmen, although the Aussie skipper struggled against the short ball as Stuart Broad targeted that weakness in his otherwise excellent all-round game. Clarke played magnificently at Old Trafford as he chalked up yet another huge test match century. Despite losing the series 3-0, Clarke gained a lot of admirers for his attacking, risk taking captaincy, culminating in his bid to force a result on a dramatic last day at The Oval.
High Score: 187
Steven Smith, 7:
Back in the Australian test setup, Smith impressed with the bat and made his maiden test match hundred in the series finale at The Oval. A lightning quick fielder, Smith also proved he is a handy leg-spin bowler, as he took 3 wickets in the first innings at Lords.
High Score: 138*
David Warner, 7:
He was very much the villain of the series after the events preceding the tour. However, when brought into the team at Old Trafford, Warner proved what a useful batsmen he can be with a number of good displays.
High Score: 71
Brad Haddin (wk), 8:
An excellent series for the veteran wicket-keeper, as Haddin broke the world record for dismissals in a test match series. He came within 15 runs of pulling off a remarkable run chase at Trent Bridge and was in decent form with the bat all series.
High Score: 71
Mitchell Starc, 6:
In and out of the team throughout the 5 match series, Starc took 11 wickets in the 3 games he took part in.
His left arm pace often touched the 90 mph mark but also tended to drift erratically short and wide, which may explain his absence at Lords and Durham.
Peter Siddle, 7:
As committed as ever, Siddle bowled very well throughout the series, and perhaps didn’t get the wickets he deserved. Always a threat, he caused endless problems for Trott and Prior as Siddle finished the series with 17 wickets.
Ryan Harris, 8:
Probably Australia’s player of the series, Harris bowled superbly after he came into the side for the second test at Lords. Question marks have surrounded Harris’ fitness and his ability to play more than 3 test matches in a row, but fatigue was no issue in this series as the 33 year old took 7-117 in England’s second innings at Durham.
Nathan Lyon, 7:
Entered the series at Old Trafford and has surely sealed his place as Australia’s front line spinner for the winter Ashes series down under. Impressed with his handling of the destructive Pietersen and tore through England on the first day at Durham.
Phil Hughes, 5: Struggled to cement a place in the side and was dropped after the first two tests.
Ashton Agar, 6: Came so close to a hundred on debut, but his bowling failed to keep him in the side.
James Pattinson, 7: Bowled well at Trent Bridge and Lords before a stress fracture ended his series.
Ed Cowan, 5: Failed in both innings at Trent Bridge and as a result was not selected again.
James Faulkner, 6: Played in the series finale and took 6 wickets on the final day in the two England innings.
Jackson Bird, 6: Only selected for the Durham test but showed promising signs when he bowled.
Will Lumb is an upper-sixth student at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and regular contributor to Lucid Sports.