Australia retain the Ashes despite England’s heroics in the fifth Test: Player ratings for the Visitors
It was a tremendous Ashes series in England with Australia retaining the urn in the end after some fantastic scenes at Kennington Oval. Ben Stokes & Co. won the final Test to draw the series 2-2, however, it was Australia who took the trophy with them.
The Kangaroos were asked to chase down 384 to win the series but some sensational bowling from English bowlers outclassed them in the end to give England a phenomenal victory. Australian opener Usman Khawaja was at his best in the series with 496 runs in five matches, however, he couldn’t help his side win the series. Speedster Mitchell Starc was another top performer who impressed cricket fans with his fiery fast bowling.
Let us take a look at the performances of Australian players in this Test series:
Usman Khawaja (8.5/10): It was a top series for Usman Khawaja as he played an important part in making Australia win the first two matches. Khawaja scored a remarkable century in the first Test to help Kangaroos fight back into the game which eventually they won in the end.
The southpaw became the highest scorer in this series by scoring a massive 496 runs including one century and three half-centuries. Though he played with a strike rate of just 39, his average of around 50 became the highlight of the series.
David Warner (5/10): David Warner’s consistency in terms of getting out by Stuart Broad is something that he doesn’t want to remember for long. The left-hander got a few starts in the series but hardly converted into a good score.
Warner scored 285 runs in the series at an average of 28.50 which is not a good one for any Test opener. Though he played a good knock in the final Test, he was unable to prolong it into a match-winning innings.
Marnus Labuschagne (6/10): With 328 runs in five matches, Marnus Labuschagne was not at his very best in the series but impressed on a couple of occasions. His innings of 111 runs in a drawn Test in Manchester was a treat for his fans as they got to see some glorious shots through his willow. The right-hander played with an average of 33 this time which is less than what the Australian fans and the neutral fans expect from the top-order batter.
Steven Smith (7/10): Steve Smith is one of the finest Test players of all time and he proved yet again why he is a top player in this format. The champion player scored 373 runs including a sensational century and two brilliant half-centuries.
The century came in the winning cause at the iconic Lord’s in the 2nd Test. For his excellent knock, Smith was awarded with the Player of the Match trophy as he helped Australia take a lead of 2-0.
Travis Head (7/10): Travis Head had a fine series with the bat as he scored 362 runs in five matches with a decent average of 36. Though he couldn’t score a ton this time, his two half-centuries were enough to take Australia home in the first two matches. Another good knock of 77 runs in the third Test came in the losing cause.
Cameron Green (4/10): Cameron Green picked up 5 wickets in three matches he played in the series at an average of 47. His performance was not as per the standard and was ordinary with the bat with no half-century to his name.
Green is an incredible asset to the team and would definitely be in line for the selection further keeping in mind his all-round performances in the past.
Mitchell Marsh (7/10): Mitchell Marsh played only three matches in the series but scored 250 runs with the bat which is a splendid effort. He scored at an average of 50 and also picked up a few wickets throughout, however, Australia did not win a single game in which he was a part of the line-up.
Alex Carey (6/10): With 200 runs in five matches, Alex Carey played his part on a couple of occasions, however, a lot is expected from the keeper-batsman due to his experience in international cricket. Carey was remarkable with the gloves behind the stumps in this series.
Mitchell Starc (9/10): With 23 wickets in four matches, Mitchell Starc was exceptional in the series with his perfect line & length. He bowled at an average of 27 and picked up two 4-fers and one fifer. The left-arm fast bowler missed the first match but came back with a bang and became the highest wicket-taker in the series.
Pat Cummins (7/10): It was a remarkable effort from the skipper Pat Cummins in this series as he took 18 wickets with the help of one four-wicket haul and a five-wicket haul respectively. Cummins also played an important role with the bat on a couple of occasions, especially in the first Test which Australia won by two wickets in the end.
Nathan Lyon (7/10): One of the legends of the game, Nathan Lyon played two matches in the series before getting out with an injury. Many predicted that his exit could impact the result of the series and it actually happened with England making a remarkable comeback to make it 2-2 in the end. Lyon picked up 9 wickets in two matches at an average of 29 and luckily Australia won on both occasions.
Scott Boland (2.5/10): It was a forgettable series for Scott Boland as he could play only one Test in the series after getting dropped. Boland picked up two wickets in the match but went for too many runs which became the reason for his exit from the remaining Ashes. Right from the next Test, Mitchell Starc replaced him in the squad and the rest is history.
Josh Hazlewood (7.5/10): Josh Hazlewood is one of the genuine fast bowlers when it comes to Test cricket. He impressed his fans by picking up 16 wickets in four matches with the help of one fifer which he picked up at Old Trafford.
Hazlewood was consistent throughout the series and would want to maintain his rhythm in the upcoming matches as well.
Todd Murphy (6/10): Todd Murphy made the best use of his chances by picking up 7 wickets in two matches, however, on both occasions England managed to win the match. His 4-fer in the final Test was one of the highlights of the Test but Root and Bairstow were already done with the damage.