With the Ashes now coming home, we look at how the players fared over the 5 test series.
David Warner: 1
95 runs @ 9.5 – Rated a 1 for the series, mainly as he took 5 catches in one innings, and scored 61 once. Was terrible with the bat, scoring 3 consecutive ducks and was completely destroyed by Broad, who made him his bunny. Only Josh Hazelwood finished with a lower average for the series!
Marcus Harris: 1
58 runs @ 9.66 – averaged more than Warner, which is one positive I guess…. it’s actually his only positive. Had the chance to cement the openers spot, but failed time and again, having a top score of 19. Like Warner, was a walking wicket for Broad in his 3 tests. Will need a big start to his Shield summer to add to his 9 tests to date.
Cameron Bancroft: 1.5
44 runs @ 11 – Not often you average 11 and are the most competent opener in the series. Played the first 2 tests and surprisingly got dropped……despite being the most successful opener of the series!
Usman Khawaja: 2
122 Runs at 20.33, and dropped after the 3rd test. Top score of 40, meaning no scores over 50 for the series. He’s a funny player Usman, similar to Warner seems to struggle overseas, yet looks great at home. As a leader, we needed him to fire, which he failed to do.
Marnus Labuschagne: 9
353 Runs at 50.42. Incredible to think now that he wasn’t selected for the first test. Only got a chance when Smith was concussed in the second test and was subbed out of the 2nd innings. Top scored when brought in with 59, then proceeded to top score in each of the 3rd test in place of Smith with 74 & 80. Made it four 50s on the trot in the 4th test’s 1st innings. A further 48 in the 1st innings of the last test capped off a really strong series. Just needs to convert these starts to 100s and he’ll be a fixture of this side for many years to come.
Steve Smith: 11
774 runs at 110.57. Scored an 11 out of 10 for the series, and I’m not sure anyone could argue. Comfortably the player of the series and after 12mths out of the test arena was just incredible. Got continually booed all series until the final day when he received a standing ovation, such was his performance. There simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe his efforts.
Travis Head: 5
191 runs at 27.28. Managed to get one fifty for the series, and made a series of starts but failed to go on with the big score. He’s an interesting one Head, he’s clearly talented enough, but isn’t really cementing his spot, hence him losing his place in the side for the last test. Should be re-instated for the Australian summer, but would need a good start to the Shield season to confirm it.
Matthew Wade: 7
337 at 33.70. Interesting series for Wade. Two centuries, the only other Aussie to score one outside of Smith, yet he also made six scores under 20 as well. His hundred in the 2nd innings of the first test supporting Smith was crucial to Australia getting off to a winning start. His feisty side showed towards the end of the series, which is liable to get him in to trouble if he keeps it up. Still, he’s at least able to get to 3 figures, which is something the Aussie top order lacks.
Mitch Marsh: 6
41 runs at 20.50, 7 wickets at 12.28. Crucial 5 wicket haul in the first innings of the last test, his only for the series. Backed that up with another 2 in the second innings so his filled his all-rounder duties there. Sadly though, he still can’t make test runs and that’s the problem. He’s not a top 6 batsman, and without a strong keeper at 7 I just can’t see how he fits in the side.
Tim Paine: 6
179 runs at 22.37, 20 catches. He’s had a solid series Paine, but his lack of good runs and woeful efforts with the DRS drag him down. Made one half century which helped the Aussies win the 4th test as he partnered well with Smith during his double century. Great decision to bring on Labuschagne late in the 4th test which broke an annoying partnership and lead to us winning. Will retain his spot in the side for the Aussie summer, mainly as there are no other captaincy options around.
Pat Cummins: 9.5
29 wickets at 19.62. Australia’s most consistent bowler, and justified the rating of No.1 bowler in the world. Took key break through regularly, and his dismissal of Root late on day 4 of the fourth test with an absolute Jaffa was huge in the context of us winning that test, and retaining the Ashes. Most wickets in the series.
Josh Hazelwood: 8
20 wickets at 21.85. Missed the first test, then made up for it over the rest of the series. Started the series out of the team, finished it as the guaranteed no.2 quick for the summer to come. Bowls great lines, swings it a bit, seams it a bit and gets enough movement to trouble all batsman.
Peter Siddle: 5
7 wickets at 42.14. Was brought in at the start of the series to hold up an end and he did that job well in tests 1 and 2. Came in for the 5th test and struggled to really make a dent in the English batsman. Works his ass off, but his inability to strike enough hurts his chances going forward. Will have to battle Starc, Pattinson and Jhye Richardson for that 3rd seamer spot, and just can’t see him winning that battle
Mitch Starc: 5
4 wickets at 31.50. Surprisingly, only played 1 test over the series, which I doubt anyone would have predicted at the start of the series. Seemed to suffer from the perception he can’t keep the runs down, and it’s a fair call as he does spray the ball around when he’s slightly off. Will come back in over the Australian summer, but it’s clear he’s no longer first choice.
James Pattinson: 5
5 wickets at 33.40. Only played the two tests and probably didn’t get the wickets he’d have wanted. Bowled well in the first test without luck, then ‘rested’ for the 2nd test. Came back for test three, but didn’t do much and missed the remainder of the series. I’m a huge fan of Patto and when fit and firing, I think he’s easily in our best 3 quicks in the country but will face tough competition to get his spot back.
Nathan Lyon: 6
20 wickets at 33.40. Took 6-49 in the second innings of the 1st test, giving him 9 for the match, and he looked like he had the Poms right where he wanted them. From there, only took 11 wickets and never really looked as threatening thereafter.