The Ashes 2013-14 January 6, 2014

Mitchell Johnson's reign of terror

ESPNcricinfo evaluates the performances of Australia's players after their 5-0 Ashes whitewash
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10

Mitchell Johnson

In a word, terrifying. So fast did Johnson bowl and so finely calibrated were his previously untrustworthy sights that England's batsmen and bowlers were often made to look like club cricketers who had stumbled their way into batting in Tests. Starting with a nightmarish burst on day two in Brisbane and concluding with arguably his finest new ball spells of the series at the SCG, Johnson did not slacken off at any point, a tribute as much to his long-standing physical durability as his new-found mental strength.

Brad Haddin

In any other era, Stuart MacGill would have taken 400 Test wickets. In any other Ashes, Haddin would have walked away with the man of the series award. Bailing out Australia's batting every first innings of the contest, Haddin's batting bore the fearless look of a man with life and cricket in perspective. He was also wonderfully nimble behind the stumps, claiming fewer catches than he had done in England only because edges flew more frequently to the slip fielders beside him. Michael Clarke's best lieutenant, Haddin also added much wit and wisdom to the dressing room.

9

Ryan Harris

Unrelenting in his effort and unwavering in his skill, Harris repeatedly punched through England's top order batting to allow Johnson to surge through the breach. Lacking only the extreme speed of Johnson, Harris is otherwise the complete fast bowler, across the series earning comparisons with anyone from Malcolm Marshall to Sir Richard Hadlee. Although aged 34 and nursing a battered body, Harris now wants to push on to the 2015 Ashes tour. Provided his fitness holds up he will be the first man chosen.

8

Nathan Lyon

Flight, turn and bounce reaped 19 wickets for Lyon as he outshone Graeme Swann to be the most accomplished spinner on either side. Lyon's confidence grew throughout, as he benefited from the decision to have his mentor John Davison at hand for most of the series. Gave his all with the bat and in the field also, while also settling happily into his role as the team song master. Still only 26, Lyon is on his way to becoming Australia's most prolific offspinner of all.

Chris Rogers

Unobtrusive but endearingly consistent, Rogers wore down England's bowlers in the manner of the best opening batsmen. He struggled initially for batting form and rhythm, but fought out the series admirably to compile centuries in Melbourne and Sydney. Having waited so long to add to his one Test, the garland of leading run-maker over the two Ashes series was just reward for his persistence.

Peter Siddle

Unsung but indispensable, Siddle bowled spell after spell of wholehearted and questioning fast medium. His role in building up pressure by bowling "boring" was rewarded most of all by the wicket of Kevin Pietersen, England's most dangerous batsman developing a major problem with an adversary he was prone to underestimate.

Steven Smith

Consistency is still to flow completely through Smith's batting but his best in the series was worth waiting for. First-innings centuries in Perth and Sydney, on pitches favourable to fast bowling, spoke volumes for his progress from the fidgety stripling who was directed to "come into the team and be fun" in 2010-11. Has a long Test career ahead, not only as a lively batsman but also the most likely next long-term captain of Australia.

7

Michael Clarke

Though his returns tapered off somewhat around the time the series was won, Clarke made critical runs when it mattered most while also leading his team with typical aggression and nifty tactics. A calculated attack on Swann in Brisbane neutered England's most critical bowling option, before his barked threat to the arm of James Anderson revealed Clarke's ruthless side to the Australian public. His catching at slip was never less than exemplary. At series end there was no prouder man in Australia.

David Warner

Fitter, happier and more productive, Warner confirmed his threat to England by scoring swiftly and decisively to build Australia's leads. Reaping the rewards of pre-season work with his personal batting coach Trent Woodhill, Warner batted with a clear mind and intent to attack, no longer muddled by defensive thoughts. If this meant the occasional low score, the rewards outweighed the risks. A few more first-innings runs will further enhance his improving reputation.

6

Shane Watson

A useful rather than overwhelming contributor, Watson cracked the most brutal century of the series in Perth and also played busily to help Rogers guide Australia home in Melbourne. His change bowling was invariably handy, claiming useful wickets at important times, while his problematic body held up decently to the challenge of five Test matches.

4

George Bailey

Limited in his stroke range and vulnerable outside off stump, Bailey found the going harder than many teammates. Only one half century from five Tests was a poor return, even if he contributed usefully to the team's cause at times while also catching well at short leg. The only member of the Ashes XI whose place is in doubt for the South Africa Tests.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • neil99 on January 10, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    Meety - it got the rise it was looking for. Check out some of your compatriots postings on any England article for a proper insight. Talk about a colonial chip on the shoulder.

  • Meety on January 9, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    @neil99 on (January 9, 2014, 0:38 GMT) - lol, you poor bitter man!

  • neil99 on January 9, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    Some of these marks are a joke.

    Warner did nothing in the final few tests, proving his mantle as a one day bludgeoner who can only play on home pitches. He'll be blown away overseas for scores well below 10 as his none existent plan b shows he's nothing more than a jumped up T20 player

    Johnson was considerably aided by pitches doctored on Lehmann's instructions. this guy will do little away from home and probably return to his spray-a-way days.

    Lyon couldn't even take wickets in India, he's a way below average spinner who benefited from England's self destruction.

    Steve Smith the next captain of Australia. Let's hope so, because he's clueless and has a terrible technique that falls apart overseas.

  • ScottStevo on January 8, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    kasifdotinfo, not sure where you're looking, but on this site Johnson was clocked in the 2nd test at 96.8mph and regularly hitting 94mph - regularly! Let's see Morkel and Finn (who at present will be lucky to get the new ball over 90mph) do that...Nice of you to come here and throw stats that are complete garbage around here like a big shot, know it all, only to make yourself look, well, like you do now. Completely sad. Bell has come out in his article (also on this site if you'd bother to research before running your mouth) stating it was some of the fastest bowling he's ever faced!

  • Meety on January 8, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    No arguements from me about the scores. Maybe Bailey was a shade lucky for 4. I would maybe of considered Lyons up at 9, as he & Siddle held the pressure on England so there was no let ups & allowed MJ to bowl in short bursts. Lyons fielding (particularly that catch at leg slip) was a revelation! Lyons is almost odd on to be Oz's first ever 200-wicket taking offie & could well take 400 by the time his career is over.

  • on January 8, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Clarke and Warner should be a 7.5 atleast, Warner was the top run scorer for the series. Watson and Baileu should both be lucky to get a 3. Bailey isn't up to it and Watson as a batsman, 4 centuries in 8 years, not real good. For the SA tour, these two should stay home and players like Cosgrove, Lynn, Maddinson or Hughes looked at. Of course it won't happen.

  • Barnesy4444 on January 8, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    Our top 6 is still fragile. If Doolan is next in line as a batting replacement then we are very thin indeed. He would be a dead weight like Quiney. Hughes is the best batsman in Shield but he is strictly an opener. Courses for horses he should open with Rogers, Warner at 3 and Watson 6 if there is any change to the line up.

    Bailey was an abject failure. He never even looked like scoring runs, 2/10. Apart from that these grades are accurate.

  • GrindAR on January 7, 2014, 23:58 GMT

    SW and DW should be at 5 and Bailey 2.5. NL, PS, SS should be on 7... they all rescued and complimented when things got tough. But SS at top could have been better than he did, but he was crucial for 2 wins, as did NL & PS one each and rest were average contributions. MC should be at 6. His decision making was good, probably gotten easier as most of the tough goings were at batting times, and he did not stay for longer as he should have done. Eng being clueless does not warrant liberal grading for players. Remember it is only Eng batting that failed as if there was no one with a back bone in that team. Their bowling was on-par. Eng looked like India or SL, as their batsmen were Jumbo washed and dried in sanitize settings and then dumped in the contaminated mud.

  • handyandy on January 7, 2014, 21:57 GMT

    Both Warner and Clarke deserve better than 7. They performed in the first three tests ... when it mattered. Clarke's captaincy was also outstanding and Warner was the highest run scorer in the series.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    Warner not getting the prop for his first 3 tests and also being the leading run scorer for the series a higher score. Clarke should be a bit higher as well batted well at the start of the series and his captaincy was first class and Smith should be lower as well.

  • neil99 on January 10, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    Meety - it got the rise it was looking for. Check out some of your compatriots postings on any England article for a proper insight. Talk about a colonial chip on the shoulder.

  • Meety on January 9, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    @neil99 on (January 9, 2014, 0:38 GMT) - lol, you poor bitter man!

  • neil99 on January 9, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    Some of these marks are a joke.

    Warner did nothing in the final few tests, proving his mantle as a one day bludgeoner who can only play on home pitches. He'll be blown away overseas for scores well below 10 as his none existent plan b shows he's nothing more than a jumped up T20 player

    Johnson was considerably aided by pitches doctored on Lehmann's instructions. this guy will do little away from home and probably return to his spray-a-way days.

    Lyon couldn't even take wickets in India, he's a way below average spinner who benefited from England's self destruction.

    Steve Smith the next captain of Australia. Let's hope so, because he's clueless and has a terrible technique that falls apart overseas.

  • ScottStevo on January 8, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    kasifdotinfo, not sure where you're looking, but on this site Johnson was clocked in the 2nd test at 96.8mph and regularly hitting 94mph - regularly! Let's see Morkel and Finn (who at present will be lucky to get the new ball over 90mph) do that...Nice of you to come here and throw stats that are complete garbage around here like a big shot, know it all, only to make yourself look, well, like you do now. Completely sad. Bell has come out in his article (also on this site if you'd bother to research before running your mouth) stating it was some of the fastest bowling he's ever faced!

  • Meety on January 8, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    No arguements from me about the scores. Maybe Bailey was a shade lucky for 4. I would maybe of considered Lyons up at 9, as he & Siddle held the pressure on England so there was no let ups & allowed MJ to bowl in short bursts. Lyons fielding (particularly that catch at leg slip) was a revelation! Lyons is almost odd on to be Oz's first ever 200-wicket taking offie & could well take 400 by the time his career is over.

  • on January 8, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Clarke and Warner should be a 7.5 atleast, Warner was the top run scorer for the series. Watson and Baileu should both be lucky to get a 3. Bailey isn't up to it and Watson as a batsman, 4 centuries in 8 years, not real good. For the SA tour, these two should stay home and players like Cosgrove, Lynn, Maddinson or Hughes looked at. Of course it won't happen.

  • Barnesy4444 on January 8, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    Our top 6 is still fragile. If Doolan is next in line as a batting replacement then we are very thin indeed. He would be a dead weight like Quiney. Hughes is the best batsman in Shield but he is strictly an opener. Courses for horses he should open with Rogers, Warner at 3 and Watson 6 if there is any change to the line up.

    Bailey was an abject failure. He never even looked like scoring runs, 2/10. Apart from that these grades are accurate.

  • GrindAR on January 7, 2014, 23:58 GMT

    SW and DW should be at 5 and Bailey 2.5. NL, PS, SS should be on 7... they all rescued and complimented when things got tough. But SS at top could have been better than he did, but he was crucial for 2 wins, as did NL & PS one each and rest were average contributions. MC should be at 6. His decision making was good, probably gotten easier as most of the tough goings were at batting times, and he did not stay for longer as he should have done. Eng being clueless does not warrant liberal grading for players. Remember it is only Eng batting that failed as if there was no one with a back bone in that team. Their bowling was on-par. Eng looked like India or SL, as their batsmen were Jumbo washed and dried in sanitize settings and then dumped in the contaminated mud.

  • handyandy on January 7, 2014, 21:57 GMT

    Both Warner and Clarke deserve better than 7. They performed in the first three tests ... when it mattered. Clarke's captaincy was also outstanding and Warner was the highest run scorer in the series.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    Warner not getting the prop for his first 3 tests and also being the leading run scorer for the series a higher score. Clarke should be a bit higher as well batted well at the start of the series and his captaincy was first class and Smith should be lower as well.

  • TheBigBoodha on January 7, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    Clearly Warner's huge impact on the series in the first three tests has already been forgotten. He was the Aussie batsman who regularly took the game away from England in those games, along with Haddin. Warner put England on the back foot time and time again. He didn't have great games in the last two tests, but he got runs when they counted. His fielding was also incredible. He certainly should rate above Smith.

  • TheBigBoodha on January 7, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Kasifdotinfo, Morkel and Finn? I have seen Finn bowl the odd ball up to 152, but not in tests. Morkel bowls low to mid 140s when in top gear. Sorry, but Johnson hit 150 regularly this series, up to 155. He's faster, and far more consistently fast. Tino best is possibly quicker, but not as lethal as Johnson at his best. Even Lee and Akhtar only bowled the odd ball close to 160, and almost all the records are in hort format games, BTW.

    Johnson also skids the ball off the pitch, and that is why his short balls are so terrifying. I didn't see even Steyn and Morkel causing anywhere near this amount of physical fear in the opposition during any test series I've seen.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:07 GMT

    re Kas, it wasn't about how quick an individual ball was bowled, indeed Anderson's quickest delivery of the series was only 1mph or so slower, it was the fact that virtually every ball he bowled was on or over 90 mph, that sustained pace was what destroyed the feeble English batting line up

  • C.Gull on January 7, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    @kasifdotinfo: Johnson had periods around 152-153 kph. And, in reality, I don't think 147 right at the grill from an awkward angle is a whole lot less terrifying than 152 ditto.

  • on January 7, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    i have never seen 10/10 marks before but Johnson and haddin sure deserve it There would be no 5-0 without them as the lifted Australia from an average to good team to a very good possibly great team .

    I agree that 6 is a bit high for Watson at 8 for Siddle . he is a great team man and contributor al la Lyon .

    I think Alex Doolan should be brought in for Bailey although Faulkner may compete with him for his spot as he gives an extra bowling option .The bowling may well be strengthened with the return of Pattinson.

  • kasifdotinfo on January 7, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    "In a word, terrifying. So fast did Johnson bowl..."

    I wasn't paying the closest attention, but I don't recall any of Johnson's deliveries being clocked above 148 kph (92 mph). In fact, one website claims that the single fastest ball of the Ashes was 149 kph. Everyone from the commentators, to the crowd, to the players on the field seemed to be in awe of Johnson's pace, yet not so long ago there were several bowlers passing 150 kph with some regularity, and a couple hitting 160 on a few occasions. Of course, Johnson's 149 kph here is far superior to the current average, which is much diminished from what it was 10 years ago. However, of active international bowlers, Morne Morkel and Steve Finn hit and maintain higher speeds than Johnson, yet one doesn't see so much made of their pace.

    This was a fine team performance for Australia. Darren Lehmann might deserve an 11, because without his common sense approach, it all might gone very differently.

  • milepost on January 7, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    Posted by DJAbacus on (December 9, 2013, 13:20 GMT) What to do when your team is 2-0 down? Stride confidently down the the nearest bookmakers and slap £10 on England to win 3-2 at 25-1.

  • landl47 on January 7, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    Two very odd rankings here- Michael Clarke and David Warner. Clarke's captaincy was brilliant and he made two centuries. Warner made over 500 runs in the series. They both have to be at least 8 in my book.

    I'd have Siddle and Watson at 7- Siddle wasn't as penetrative as the other bowlers and Watson was boom or bust with the bat and only bowled 47 overs. I'd put George Bailey at 6 points; didn't score a lot of runs, but fielded brilliantly and took 28 off an over by Jimmy Anderson.

    However, all of them deserve every credit for the way they supported each other and played as a team. The whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

  • runout49 on January 7, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Fair go Dr Vindaloo. The Perth test was number 2107. If ts so easy for " any good 20/20 player on his day could have done the same thing with a declaration imminent" how come only one other player has done so in all those tests? Bailey took apart one of the best fast bowlers in the world. Not bad to be in the record book along side Brian Lara. Give credit where its due.

  • BradmanBestEver on January 7, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    Bailey should be 2 out of 10

  • MinusZero on January 7, 2014, 2:18 GMT

    Not sure how Smith scores higher than Warner and how Clarke gets the same as Warner. Also Watson's score is a bit high as well. He regards himself as a batsman first and averaging 38 for a number 3 is not great.

  • Er-.S.R.shankar on January 7, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    The same bunch would have struggled to clear even a bench mark of 4 out of 10 during India's 4-0 thrashing. Thus goes the home advantage aided by spineless opposition- But you have to give it to the Coach Lehman for moulding and motivating the same set of losers to matchwinners

  • Thegimp on January 7, 2014, 1:32 GMT

    Can I ask a question?

    Do any Australian and English fans comment on the SA v Ind series?

    Can I make a suggestion?

    Just for your own credibility's sake, can all SA supporters please tone down their premature postulating about the upcoming series. There are now many English supporters who now frequent other forums because they are too ashamed to come back to this one because of what was said prior to these Ashes.

    Can I make an observation?

    India have never beaten Aust in Aust and SA haven't beaten Aust in Sth Africa in 40 years. Until this happens on a regular basis I guess the upcoming series is in the air.

  • Blakey on January 7, 2014, 0:21 GMT

    @nadeem, Warner scored 7 and didn't get anymore because the bulk of his runs came in the second innings. Still a great return and sensational catching but not an 8.

  • on January 6, 2014, 23:35 GMT

    @ Cricketmaan. Easy. Hughes, doolan and wade. All in form. And yes. don't forget starc and bird. I believe australia has the best up and coming fast bowlers in the world.

  • Shaggy076 on January 6, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    Why do we continually here about England lacking spine, and the reason for the victory is because how poor England were. England are a professionally cricket team and a pretty good one, they have wiped the floor at home and away to the "ICC ranked" #2 team in India. They came to Australia prepared for the challenge but Australia played a series out of the box. Who knows if it will continue but as a group Australia were outstanding. You can only play as good as the opposition let you and we are judging this series alone, we can judge South Africa once it has occurred but right now it is pure speculation and from what I saw if Australia play that well against South Africa they will have a chance to come home victorious. "CurrentPresident " - Id like to see the counter attack against how Johnson bowled in this series on the odd occasion England tried they lost there wickets he was just to accurate for that.

  • ShutTheGate on January 6, 2014, 23:09 GMT

    @CricketMaan

    Hughes is waiting in the wings to replace Rogers - he's the top domestic first class run scorer so far this season.

    If Bailey is dropped I think they will introduce Doolan but they might bat Doolan @ 3 and Watto @ 6.

    For Haddin it would be Paine or Wade.

    We've got several seamers waiting in the wings incase Ryno breaks down, Pattinson, Bird, Cummins, Starc, Hazelwood.

    Many are suggesting Smith to be the next captain - he already captained NSW when Haddin was in India.

  • ShutTheGate on January 6, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    @currentpresident - the reason why the English were jaded and performed poorly was because of the Aussie bowling attack and the mental disintegration which they applied.

    When the English arrived in Australia they had four world class batsmen in their side - Cook, Trott, Pieterson and Bell. Bell was in the form of his career. They also had a seam attack that was supposedly going to enjoy the Australian pitches and the best spinner in the world.

    The Aussies played an aggressive brand of cricket and destroyed England mentally. We didn't find England in the state they are now in. It's because of us that they're in that state, so there is nothing over inflated in these points.

    As to your points re SA. Yes, SA will be a tough test but the Indian matches showed they are beatable even against an average attack and Amla isn't in red hot form.

    Let's see how the Proteas handle the revamped brand of Australian cricket - we've been successful with this style against SA in SA before.

  • Ross_Co on January 6, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    @Dr.Vindaloo - 'Any good 20/20 player'? The only other player to do it was one of the greatest batsmen of all time facing a competent bits and pieces spinner! Bailey's highest scores came when their effect was more important than bare numbers - e.g. Adelaide & 2nd innings Sydney. For evidence of selflessness look no further than him hitting out in that last innings rather than accumulating to secure his place. His assault on Anderson & his catching were major contributions to England's disintegration and it's hard to think of more than one or two England players whose effect on the opposition in this series was higher than Bailey's. Doesn't mean he'll be one of the greats but easily worth 1-2 more points than 4.

  • cheesemethod on January 6, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    Nadeem, If you read it correctly, they gave Warner a 7 although I wouldn't hesitate to pop him up to an 8. He probably just needed a couple of big opener scores to push his claim. Mitch getting a 10 is fair enough if you're ranking his bowling only but he is classed as an allrounder. The fact that his bowling was so brutal and fairly accurate makes 10/10 justified. "Australia weren't great, England were just really bad" ? I'm not buying into that at all - You take away Mitch and Harris from the Aussie bowling attack and replace them with runofthemill medium fast seamers and there would have been much more competitive games. Don't take credit away from them as their brilliance made England look ordinary.

  • __PK on January 6, 2014, 21:20 GMT

    CurrentPresident "jaded" LOL. Gotta love that excuse word. Amla won't counter-attack under pressure, he'll block ugly and get stuck. And let's see how cute DeVilliers is prepared to be when he's the only one getting runs and he's spending whole days behind the stumps - we saw what happened in Australia last time. He only got runs when his team were able to knock Australia off cheaply. Steyn is bowling like an old woman at the moment and Morkel is nothing on a flat deck - which SA seem to have a lot of at the moment.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on January 6, 2014, 21:13 GMT

    Well done, Winsome, good observation ...

  • EdwinD on January 6, 2014, 20:43 GMT

    @Nadeem Sharifuddin Actually Warner gets a 7....

  • TenDonebyaShooter on January 6, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    I'd suggest slightly lower marks for Johnson and Haddin (9.5?), and higher for Warner and Clarke (7.5?), but I won't split hairs. I don't think this is a great Australian team, they are only no.3 in the world after all, but in the way they dominated a surprisingly flacid England effort, they deserve full credit

  • CurrentPresident on January 6, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    The scores are inflated because of how bad the jaded English were. Other than Johnson, Haddin and Harris, others were not as great as they were made out to be. Even Johnson will not be allowed to dominate so much by batsmen with more solid spine. There have been bowlers who have bowled faster and with more skill. No doubt, Australia were good, but they look world beaters only because England were so bad.

    There will soon be a reality check in the form of SA. It's tough to sustain your intensity on when Amla and DeVilliers are counter-attacking you. The suspect batting (almost always rescued by one heroic effort) will also be found out with Steyn and Morkel throwing the ball with more venom and consistency than Johnson.

  • Winsome on January 6, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    Daniel, you'll have to reaarrange your scoring. On the English ratings, Swann is (apparently) 5.5 out of 10 so I'd say that Johnson and Haddin are probably about 12 out of 10? Or maybe 13 out of 10?

  • Dr.Vindaloo on January 6, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    @Ross_Co: how did Bailey bat selflessly? By getting out cheaply so that others could have a bat? And I disagree about the Anderson over - any good 20/20 player on his day could have done the same thing with a declaration imminent.

  • Lilieswalker on January 6, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    I don't think Bailey was under-rated. I've seen no evidence of his ability to hold his own at test match level. His catching at short-leg was fine but as a batsman I was surprised he wasn't replaced by the 4th or certainly 5th match. Australia was winning each game but it would have still potentially strengthened their team to try out a different batsman. I think in Steve Waugh's time as captain he would have been dropped. I see no way he could be tolerated in South Africa.

  • Ross_Co on January 6, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Bailey underrated. He batted selflessly and made his highest score at a crucial moment in the series. His fielding was excellent & his assault on Anderson's bowling was one of the nails in the coffin of England's psyche. Watson also and probably Warner & Clarke as well, especially in comparison to Stokes's rating - don't think you'd find Australia willing to swap any of these three for the latter.

  • on January 6, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    were you sleeping when you write this article. David warner has scored 523 runs in this series and scored 2 100s and you are giving only 6. so what is the criteria for a batsman to get 9 points in your eyes. you need a batsman to score like Bradman. Are you kidding here.

    This was one of the greatest batting performances of all time in ashes by warner and you gave him 6 . he deserve at least 9 for this effort. sad

  • CricketMaan on January 6, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    @Aus fans - Who will replace Rogers, Bailey, Haddin in the next Ashes? Would be very intresting to see the next group of aussie batsmen. I've read it could be Doolan, Paine or even Nic Maddy! I suppose Ryan won't be around next ashes and might be Patto, Cummins? Who is your next test captian? Could be Smith?

  • dabbadubba on January 6, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    lehmann is the main reason for this victory.. he should be given 11 and clarke 4ish.. clarke is just taking credit for all lehmanns work.

  • Nag3 on January 6, 2014, 15:05 GMT

    Clarke should get 10 for his captaincy. The brand of cricket Aus played is all because of him.

  • cricketsimpleton on January 6, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    if '81 belonged to botham... this is well and truly Mitch's Ashes. One of the best ashes series of the decade. A true Underdog victory. I wish this aussie team for more success in the rainbow nation and in UAE.

  • siddhartha87 on January 6, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Clarke should get 11 out 10 for his exceptional captaincy

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    I was wondering if anyone else had spotted the Radiohead reference in Warner's review also.

    Bailey is a very good team player, but his test record has not differed greatly from his first class record, which again shows the danger of picking for tests based on ODIs.

  • bjg62 on January 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Agree with DaisonGarvasis. Clarke should be given an 8. The writer forgets some of his great field placings (when was the last time leg slip took a catch) and his astute use of the bowling attack. With regards to smudgeon's comments about Bailey, don't forget he was picked at the peak of his form following the ODI series in India. I was one who was happy to see him get a shot at Test cricket, but I think in hindsight first class form (runs) counts for more than ODI form. Consequently, I think Phil Hughes (who in the past I've not necessarily thought was at Test level), deserves another shot at Test cricket in South Africa based solely on his Shield performances to date this season.

  • on January 6, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    I totally agree with these ratings , though Watson could be spared a bit and be given a 7 and Bailey a 5 , after all Australia did win 5-0 after being totally written off by all and sundry.

  • Grimsby on January 6, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Wonderfully written article. First class. I noticed in a couple of other ratings that Johnson and Haddin received 9 and 8. Fair dinkum, if you're ever going to give out 10s then this has to be the occasion. Loved the write-ups.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on January 6, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    It would be better to judge Australia's batsmen on their first innings runs alone, as they were usually so far ahead by the second innings that they faced no pressure at all. In this regard Haddin and Smith are streets ahead of the rest. Warner, Rogers and Watson made a lot of 'soft' second innings runs when the games were effectively already won. And Bailey's only contributions to the series came in similar circumstances. I hope he was frequently reminded of that as he chirped away at short leg, because he looked way short of test class.

  • DaisonGarvasis on January 6, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    I would have given Michael Clarke an 8. Other than that, everything is in the right pecking order!

  • smudgeon on January 6, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Can't really argue with these ratings. All the highlights will be talked about endlessly, so I just want to mention that I was pretty disappointed in George's entry to test cricket. He really is a much better, more determined player than he showed this series. His taking apart of Anderson in THAT OVER was a pretty crucial contribution to the overall crushing of England's fight, but I wouldn't like to think it's enough to hang a long test career on. I'm just hoping George continues to be a shining light in the shorter formats. PS. digging the author's Radiohead reference for Warner!

  • C.Gull on January 6, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    This is what I've been waiting for! Pretty hard to argue with these ratings.

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  • C.Gull on January 6, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    This is what I've been waiting for! Pretty hard to argue with these ratings.

  • smudgeon on January 6, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Can't really argue with these ratings. All the highlights will be talked about endlessly, so I just want to mention that I was pretty disappointed in George's entry to test cricket. He really is a much better, more determined player than he showed this series. His taking apart of Anderson in THAT OVER was a pretty crucial contribution to the overall crushing of England's fight, but I wouldn't like to think it's enough to hang a long test career on. I'm just hoping George continues to be a shining light in the shorter formats. PS. digging the author's Radiohead reference for Warner!

  • DaisonGarvasis on January 6, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    I would have given Michael Clarke an 8. Other than that, everything is in the right pecking order!

  • Dr.Vindaloo on January 6, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    It would be better to judge Australia's batsmen on their first innings runs alone, as they were usually so far ahead by the second innings that they faced no pressure at all. In this regard Haddin and Smith are streets ahead of the rest. Warner, Rogers and Watson made a lot of 'soft' second innings runs when the games were effectively already won. And Bailey's only contributions to the series came in similar circumstances. I hope he was frequently reminded of that as he chirped away at short leg, because he looked way short of test class.

  • Grimsby on January 6, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Wonderfully written article. First class. I noticed in a couple of other ratings that Johnson and Haddin received 9 and 8. Fair dinkum, if you're ever going to give out 10s then this has to be the occasion. Loved the write-ups.

  • on January 6, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    I totally agree with these ratings , though Watson could be spared a bit and be given a 7 and Bailey a 5 , after all Australia did win 5-0 after being totally written off by all and sundry.

  • bjg62 on January 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Agree with DaisonGarvasis. Clarke should be given an 8. The writer forgets some of his great field placings (when was the last time leg slip took a catch) and his astute use of the bowling attack. With regards to smudgeon's comments about Bailey, don't forget he was picked at the peak of his form following the ODI series in India. I was one who was happy to see him get a shot at Test cricket, but I think in hindsight first class form (runs) counts for more than ODI form. Consequently, I think Phil Hughes (who in the past I've not necessarily thought was at Test level), deserves another shot at Test cricket in South Africa based solely on his Shield performances to date this season.

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    I was wondering if anyone else had spotted the Radiohead reference in Warner's review also.

    Bailey is a very good team player, but his test record has not differed greatly from his first class record, which again shows the danger of picking for tests based on ODIs.

  • siddhartha87 on January 6, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Clarke should get 11 out 10 for his exceptional captaincy

  • cricketsimpleton on January 6, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    if '81 belonged to botham... this is well and truly Mitch's Ashes. One of the best ashes series of the decade. A true Underdog victory. I wish this aussie team for more success in the rainbow nation and in UAE.