The perfect finish for Stuart Broad as England level Ashes series: Player ratings for the Hosts
England put on a show in the recently concluded Ashes series as the Ben Stokes-led side came from 2-0 down to almost win the series only for rain to hamper their chances and make it 2-2 at the end.
On the last day of the fifth test. chasing a target of 384 runs in the fourth innings was a tough ask but the batters were going pretty well in the beginning. It looked like they would finish it with ease, however, some excellent bowling second session of Day 5 outclassed the Australian line-up.
Let us take a glance at the performances of England players in this Test series:
Zak Crawley (8.5/10): A sensational series for the right-hander Zak Crawley as he scored 480 runs in five matches to give his side a perfect start on almost every occasion. His splendid innings of 189 runs in the fourth Test will go down as one of the finest innings in the Ashes’ history. The 25-year-old scored with a strike rate of more than 100 which is exceptional in Test cricket.
Crawley also smashed two half-centuries in the series including an important one in the final Test that helped England put up a good total on the board. Scoring at an average of 53 in the Ashes is a remarkable achievement for him.
Ben Duckett (6/10): With 321 runs in the series, southpaw Ben Duckett had an average series this time. He played a couple of important knocks in the final Test, however, his best performance in the series came in the second Test at Lord’s where he played knocks of 98 runs and 83 runs respectively. Though England lost the Test match by 43 runs, it was Ben Duckett who fought hard till the end.
Ollie Pope (3.5/10): This was a forgettable series for Ollie Pope as he was ruled out of the Ashes series after the second match due to a dislocation of his right shoulder. Pope scored 90 runs in his two matches before his injury and was replaced by Chris Woakes in the last three Tests.
Joe Root (8/10): One of the finest players of the modern era, Joe Root had a remarkable series with the bat. The right-hander scored 412 runs in his 9 innings at an impressive average of around 52. He played a phenomenal innings of 118 runs in the first Test, however, England lost the crucial battle in the end by just 2 wickets.
Root came back with a bang in the last Test, playing a match-winning innings of 91 runs in England’s second innings. His innings helped his side give a huge total to Australia to chase. What made this series even more memorable for his fans was his ability to play unorthodox shots throughout.
Harry Brook (7/10): Harry Brook is another Englishman who did well with the bat in this series. He scored 363 runs in five matches at an average of 40. Brook proved to be one of the star performers for England because of his consistency throughout the series.
The right-hander smashed four half-centuries showcasing his consistency. With his impressive performance, he might be an automatic choice for England in their upcoming series.
Ben Stokes (8.5/10): Ben Stokes is a great learner of the game and showed why is one of the toughest captains in the current era. The left-hander was criticised by many for his early declaration in the first Test, however, he led his side in a remarkable thereafter to make it 2-2 in the end. Stokes took some tough calls that went in England’s favor and helped his fans make it a memorable series.
The southpaw scored 405 runs in the series and became the fourth-highest run-scorer in the series. Stokes scored at an average of 45 which is quite remarkable for an all-rounder. He was ordinary with the ball this time as he got just three wickets in the series. Now, he would want to continue this winning momentum going forward as a skipper.
Jonny Bairstow (7/10): It is never easy to keep wickets in a Test series for a longer duration but Jonny Bairstow showed why he is really committed to the game. He is coming out of an injury and gave his best as a wicket-keeper. The right-hander took some phenomenal catches in the series.
Not only his keeping, the English batter impressed everyone with the bat, too. He scored 322 runs in five matches at a healthy average of 40 with some sensational innings including the unbeaten innings of 99 runs in Manchester.
Moeen Ali (5.5/10): It was not a bad way to end a Test career as Moeen Ali played a crucial role in making it a memorable series for himself and England. He picked up 9 wickets in four matches and also scored 180 runs in the series with the bat.
Moeen had a terrific Test career with 204 wickets in 68 matches at an economy of 3.62. He also scored over 3000 runs with 5 centuries and 15 half-centuries.
Chris Woakes (9.5/10): It was a series to remember for Chris Woakes as he picked up 19 wickets in just three games for his side. His seam presentation and accuracy dismantled the Australian batters in the final two matches.
Woakes bowled at an average of 18 with one 4-fer and a 5-fer and became one of the highlights of the series. Bagging the Player of the Match in the fifth test and Player of the Series award despite featuring in only three tests, Woakes was a shining light for the hosts.
Stuart Broad (9/10): Ending a remarkable Test career on a high is what every player dreams of and Stuart Broad did that in style at the Kennington Oval. He picked up 22 wickets in the series and ended up being the second-highest wicket-taker in the series after Mitchell Starc.
Broad had a fairytale ending to his career as he finished things by picking up the last two wickets of the opposition, which automatically made the iconic Oval go crazy. It was a sensational moment for him and the team as the series ended 2-2 after being two down early.
James Anderson (4/10): It was not a series that James Anderson would have wanted for himself as he could only pick up five wickets this time. Clearly, Anderson was not happy with the pitches and also stated that the Edgbaston pitch was like kryptonite for him.
The veteran, however, has refused to take any call on his retirement and said that he would want to play further till the time he is doing well.
Ollie Robinson (7/10): With 10 wickets in three matches, Robinson was one of the successful bowlers of this series. He gave good support to Stuart Broad wherever James Anderson failed to play his part.
Though he didn’t get any fifers in the series, wickets at regular intervals made him a tougher one to face in this iconic series.
Mark Wood (8/10): With 14 wickets in three matches, Mark Wood became one of the highlights of the series just like Chris Woakes. His fifer in the third Test proved to be one of the reasons for England’s scintillating victory at Headingley, Leeds.
Wood troubled the Australian batters in the last three matches with a combination of sheer pace and swing bowling as the likes of Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne had no answers to the questions asked by the fast bowler.Josh Tongue (7/10): Josh Tongue picked up five wickets in the only match where he featured in the series. The inexperienced bowler dismissed Steve Smith and David Warner in both innings along with taking the wicket of Usman Khawaja and the 25-year old would cherish the match at Lord’s for the rest of his career.