The Investec Ashes 2013 August 26, 2013

Signs of development but much to do

Australia's Ashes performance wasn't far off what was expected: a wholehearted, often impressive, bowling attack but an inconsistent batting order, although there are signs of promise
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9

Ryan Harris

Harris arrived in England as an ageing, injury-prone selectors' gamble, but he leaves as Australia's undisputed best fast bowler, and among the top handful in the world. Concern about whether Harris would last the distance during this series were underlined by his omission from the team for the Trent Bridge Test, but from the moment he nipped out Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen on the first morning at Lord's he has been consistently the most vexing opponent for Alastair Cook's men. Other memorable spells at Old Trafford and Durham should have been rewarded with victories. Harris also threw himself around the field and fought hard with the bat. Nearing 34, he looms as a pivotal player Down Under over the forthcoming Ashes bout; Australia will preserve him for as long as they possibly can.

7.5

Peter Siddle

There is nothing so reliable in Australian cricket as the sight of Siddle steaming in, giving his all for the national team and searching batsmen's reserves of technique, application and courage. Unlike previous Ashes series, he has also done so with exceptional skill as well as persistence, his use of the crease a particular highlight. On the first day of the series it was Siddle who set the tone for Australia's bowlers by plucking five wickets and showing England's batsmen could be restricted. He has kept fighting every innings since, even if his returns have tailed off slightly due to the accumulated fatigue of five Tests. Among the pacemen, only the exceptionally durable James Anderson has bowled more overs. He can expect to more of the same this southern summer.

7

Chris Rogers

Handpicked for English conditions after waiting what seemed to him an eternity for a proper chance at Test cricket, Rogers has not let Australia down, placing the highest price on his wicket and consistently forcing the hosts into second and third spells to dislodge him. Save for a poor Test at Lord's, his quality has been demonstrated by a range of innings from a startlingly fluent 84 in Manchester to a wonderfully dogged first century in Durham. Rogers has also been largely adept at his use of the DRS to escape close calls. Problems against Graeme Swann have been noticeable, and will be the major hurdle for him to overcome between now and the return series, where he will continue a remarkably late blooming Test career.

Steven Smith

Not chosen in the initial squad because it was felt his technique would not stand up to English pitches and seam bowling, Smith found his way into the team via a combination of Michael Clarke's dodgy back and his own strong scoring for Australia A. His contributions have been spotty at times, but have consistently improved, from a handy half century in Nottingham to a stirring first century at the Oval. Smith's legspin provided three surprise wickets at Lord's and he has fielded with typical enthusiasm. Most importantly, he has shown as a young player that he is learning how to cope with top quality bowling. A prospective leader now guaranteed to bat in the top six at the Gabba, Smith is the major long-term positive to arrive for Australia this year.

6

Nathan Lyon

Took his omission from the first Test team with rare grace, a reaction that would look all the more admirable when he did finally get the chance to bowl in the third match of the series. With the help of Clarke's empathy and tactical sharpness, Lyon has steadily developed into an offspin bowler of high quality, and to watch him duel with Kevin Pietersen at the Oval was to see that he is far from outmatched in such rare company. For his sake it is to be hoped that Australia's selectors recognise this and cease second-guessing him, as they did in India and again at the start of the Ashes.

Brad Haddin

Called into the team as Clarke's best lieutenant and also an accomplished performer in each of the past two Ashes series, Haddin very nearly stole the Trent Bridge Test from under English noses with a fearless innings on the final morning. That he did not weighed heavily on the vice-captain, and his batting contributions were not so strident thereafter. However, he caught well with one or two exceptions, surpassing the selector Rod Marsh's record for dismissals in a series, and provided a valuable leadership presence both on the field and off it. Towards the end of the series he stated his desire to keep playing until the 2015 World Cup; if he can keep scoring runs it is a realistic goal.

5.5

Michael Clarke

Whether cracking a century at Old Trafford, leading with typical alertness or catching most chances at slip, Clarke performed creditably at the head of a poorly performing team. But he has also shown signs that the batting mastery of 2011-12 has faded, as much because of an increasingly dodgy back as England's considered plans for him. Stuart Broad was a consistent source of trouble, while James Anderson also saved his best ball of the series for him at Trent Bridge. A desire to bat at No. 5 forced numerous shuffles around him, and he ended the series at No. 4 anyway. Clarke has looked crestfallen at times on the tour, as he did in India, for he knows that however he performs individually, the team's results will define his legacy. The home summer affords an opportunity to ensure it does not slip away.

5

Shane Watson

Even for a figure as polarising as Watson this was a more enigmatic series than most. Starting as an opening batsman, ridiculed for his lbw frailty, demoted to No. 6 while bowling steadily, injured and recovered then clattering his finest Test century at the Oval, he was never far from a headline. Despite that final innings, Watson's series was largely disappointing because when the destination of the Ashes was still to be decided, he was nowhere, repeatedly betrayed by his ever-so-prominent front pad, more often than not by the undersung Tim Bresnan. But he has learned valuable lessons that he may be able to use during the return matches in Australia. Watson will start at No. 3 in Brisbane on the strength of his Oval knock, and Australia will hope he can repeat it with the urn on the line.

Mitchell Starc

He may not appreciate it now, but Mitchell Starc is being steadily groomed for a long and fruitful international career. His bowling can be extraordinary at times and decidedly ordinary at others, and he retains the ability to remove the best batsmen. Australia have maintained a policy of playing him in alternate Test matches, something that has so far kept him from too much injury harm while also allowing him to grow gradually more consistent. The improvement has been more incremental than dramatic thus far, and he will hope to push on during the home summer, where he flirted with a match-winning display on the first morning against South Africa in Perth last season before losing his form dramatically in the second innings. Whether Starc does graduate from alternate to permanent next series or not, there is plenty to work with.

Ashton Agar

An innings of a lifetime in Nottingham made Agar an instant celebrity, before his embryonic left-arm spin was shown to be a long way from the finished article. Given the loose-limbed elegance and poise he showed in the aforementioned 98, it was possible to wonder whether Agar is more likely to develop as a batsman rather than a bowler. Either way, he has plenty of talent, but it was fair to conclude that his call-up had arrived a little too soon. Agar is unlikely to figure in the return series, as he fashions his game in domestic competition and decides where exactly in the team his future may lie.

Phillip Hughes

The curious selection decisions that have surrounded Hughes' still young career continued when he was dropped a Test match after a most composed unbeaten 81 at Trent Bridge, in the Michael Hussey middle order role he had prepared for in the lead-up matches. While Hughes' technical pops and ticks are well known, he thrives most of all on confidence, and having gained plenty in Nottingham, it ebbed away again as he sat on the boundary's edge for three Tests. It remains to be seen whether he is still part of the selectors' plans for the home summer, but Hughes has reason to feel a little hard done by on the flight back to Australia.

James Pattinson

Before the series Pattinson was billed as the leader of Australia's attack, his older brother Darren's unhappy and brief England career a potent backstory. He seemed somewhat overawed by the task with the ball in his hands at Trent Bridge and Lord's, bowling one or two excellent spells amid many rather more indifferent ones. But his desire to succeed could never be questioned, and his doughty batting at No. 11 in both matches won plenty of admirers. A back injury then curtailed his tour, but he remained a part of the squad on tour, and if fit will be a central part of the team to line-up in Brisbane.

4

Usman Khawaja

Finally granted the sorts of opportunities he had been waiting for, under the wing of a coach he admires in Darren Lehmann, Khawaja failed to take them. There was one horrible shot followed by a substantial knock at Lord's and one ghastly decision to end his innings at Old Trafford, but the overall impression was of a batsman looking at home but then finding ways to get out. His departure at Durham, missing a straight ball from Graeme Swann, may be the last glimpse of Khawaja at Test level for some time, until he can regain the habit of making hundreds.

David Warner

A pair of firm innings at the top of the order have probably shored up Warner's position as Rogers' opening partner when the Ashes contest resumes in Australia, but they served also to remind observers of what the tourists had lost with his hare-brained swipe at Joe Root in a Birmingham bar. He can never be so wasteful again or risk an international career that should be punctuated by the sorts of shots he reeled off in the second innings at Chester-le-Street, when he momentarily filled England's bowlers with rare doubt.

Jackson Bird

A worthy back-up to Harris, Siddle and Pattinson, Bird delivered some decent bowling stints in Durham but will be remembered most for being coshed for crucial runs by Bresnan on the fourth morning. His seam and swing is decent enough but he may need to find another gear in future - this may be provided in the short-term at least by the pacier pitches he will have to work with in Australia. He ended the tour complaining of back pain, but will remain part of the team's impressive and important pace bowling depth.

James Faulkner

Straining for a chance all series, Faulkner finally had one at the Oval where he did much as would have been expected. He batted unselfishly, bowled serviceably and spoke punchily, but overall looked fractionally short of the top rank. A little like Bird, Faulkner's bowling record has been inflated by Australian domestic pitches malleable to his art, meaning he may be more dangerous to England at home than he was on the other side of the world.

3

Ed Cowan

One Test match, a bad stomach bug, a pair of heedless cover drives and a swift removal from the side was not how Cowan would have envisaged his Ashes. His hard graft in India seemingly forgotten, Cowan seems unlikely to be called upon again unless he can sway the selectors in the manner of Simon Katich by compiling record tallies of domestic runs.

This feature is in association with Tourism Australia.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • khlfn14 on August 27, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    My Ratings: 7.5 for Rogers and Smith as they were the best batsmen for Aus, i would have given 8 to Rogers but because of his struggles with Swann i didnt. 7 for Siddle as his effectiveness vanished as the series progressed. 6 for Clarke, half mark for his aggressive captaincy in the last test, Watson as he tied the one end with his bowling and to Faukner, rated way too low for my liking. 5 for Warner as he played two good innings. 4 for Hughes and James Pattinson as i think they are way too overrated. 3 for Agar as he didnt do anything other than the 98 he scored and for bird. Rest i agree with Harris, Haddin, Lyon, Usman, Starc, Cowan ratings

  • landl47 on August 26, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    Harris was brilliant. I never expected him to get through four tests and he (almost) did. His bowling in the fourth test was some of the best fast bowling I've ever seen. If only his body had been durable enough to sustain his ability, what a bowler he would have been. He'll be 34 by the next series and time is running out, but we were privileged to see him bowl in this series. Wonderful stuff.

    As for the rest, the surprise was not that the Aus batting was unreliable, it was that the bowling wasn't up to much. Siddle worked hard, Lyon was handy, but Starc was wild, Pattinson, Bird, Watson and Faulkner ordinary and Agar not ready. Cook and Trott were never remotely in touch, Pietersen inconsistent, Root and Bairstow still learning and Prior had his worst series in 5 years, but Eng still scored over 300 in 6 of 8 completed innings. The Aus bowling renaissance never materialized.

    It's hard to imagine Eng won't bat better in the return series. Aus must bowl better or...

  • Sunil_Batra on September 2, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @Shaggy076 you are kidding yourself mate, i like Cowan but he got 19 tests in a row, Khawaja got 3 in a row in which he top scored in one and got an absolute shocker in the next. I just find it amazing that some folks like yourself are discounting Khawaja after only 3 games, Bottom line is that like Hughes, Cowan and others his job is to get shield runs and doing that will get Khawaja in the side most likely at 5 or 4 and i can also see a big home ashes for the talented left hander.

  • Buckers97 on August 30, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    The Australian Side for the Return Ashes may well look like this; 1. Chris Rogers 2. Phill Hughes 3. Shane Watson 4. Michael Clarke (c) 5. Steve Smith 6. Shaun Marsh 7. Tim Paine (wk,vc) 8. Steve O'keefe 9. James Pattinson 10. Ryan Harris 11. Josh Hazlewood 12. Nathan Lyon. I agree with most of these ratings, except Siddle, Haddin, Hughes. Siddle's should be lower. Haddin should be lower as he is old and can't bat, and Hughes should be higher. That 81* at Trent Bridge was a very good knock and had it not been for the likes of Haddin, Starc & Pattinson getting out, Hughes would have made a test century. Now the team I have named as the XI I think should take on England come November is a little risky but I think can get the job done. Marsh gets in on pure talent and, unlike last time batting at 3, can be better at 6. O'keefe gets in for his shield summer last season on seamer friendly tracks. Hazlewood is one of the future bowlers for Aus along with Nathan Coulter-Nile.

  • Shaggy076 on August 29, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Edwards Anderson; At least Cowan averaged 30 which looks like a quantum leap for Khawaja. Are you telling me that the shot in Manchester was a class shot? It was aweful yes he missed it by a foot. As for Lords there was turn but it was slow and he got out to a part timer of Root when set. To me he has been given opportunities and failed at every turn. Cowan put a ton in there to get more games, but Khawaja has done nothing. How do you explain his extremely moderate performances in the practise games in England and India and the games for Australia A. His record since going to India has been appalling. Im happy if he goes back to shield and makes genuine runs that he gets another shot but he has to take control now and not expect to be gifted games because his technique is ok.

  • Flemo_Gilly on August 29, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    @EdwardsAnderson i echo your words champ

  • Edwards_Anderson on August 29, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Shaggy076 have to concur with Sunil, mate did you watch the lords second innings, the ball was spinnign worse then the Indian pitches, and yet Khawaja along with Clarke were the only batsman that fought it out, and in Manchester you are blaming his shot when he missed the ball by an inch. Like Cowan who had 19 tests in a row and Hughes who had 2 series in a row Khawaja deserves at least a full series and i also predict a big showing from him in the coming Aus ashes series, can't wait.

  • H_Z_O on August 28, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    @Sam Matthews on (August 28, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

    Context of the match. Didn't look remotely like taking a wicket until England played some shots and his one-day skill-set came in handy.

    The worst thing Australia could do right now would be to read too much into those stats. He batted in a situation that suited, and bowled likewise. I think he could be a good player eventually, because he's got a good temperament, but as an England fan I hope you guys pick him for the Gabba Test. He's not one of the best 5 bowlers Australia could pick, nor one of the best 6 batsmen. Maybe one day, but not yet.

  • Beertjie on August 28, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    @Amith_S on (August 28, 2013, 5:35 GMT) As a bit of a Khawaja fan I am not so sure that "with a strong Shield start he will come back stonger in the home ashes." He needs to have a really good season and then he should go to South Africa again. I see him as an opener with Warner/Hughes at 3. Watto will breakdown sooner or later and Hughes may take that position. But neither Warner and Hughes have done enough and so the revolving door will continue. Ussie needs to get back to 2010-11 scores, if he can and he'll get another shot. But all who get shots must seize them or face possible oblivion.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 28, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    The problem with the Australian batting was that apart from Rogers they didn't get runs when the going was tough. Watson, Clarke, even Smith mostly got their runs in the first innings of the drawn matches. Warner had one good knock but otherwise failed early, proving his detractors largely correct. At least by the end of the series the top 5 looked like the right selections. There may be no way back for Khawaja from here.

    The Australian bowling arrived to a big fanfare which was sounding hollow by the end of the series. Harris was exceptional, Siddle and Lyon were reliable. The young quicks didn't seem to manage both penetration and control in the same spell, leaving me to wonder if their reputations have been inflated by helpful Shield pitches in the last few years.

  • khlfn14 on August 27, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    My Ratings: 7.5 for Rogers and Smith as they were the best batsmen for Aus, i would have given 8 to Rogers but because of his struggles with Swann i didnt. 7 for Siddle as his effectiveness vanished as the series progressed. 6 for Clarke, half mark for his aggressive captaincy in the last test, Watson as he tied the one end with his bowling and to Faukner, rated way too low for my liking. 5 for Warner as he played two good innings. 4 for Hughes and James Pattinson as i think they are way too overrated. 3 for Agar as he didnt do anything other than the 98 he scored and for bird. Rest i agree with Harris, Haddin, Lyon, Usman, Starc, Cowan ratings

  • landl47 on August 26, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    Harris was brilliant. I never expected him to get through four tests and he (almost) did. His bowling in the fourth test was some of the best fast bowling I've ever seen. If only his body had been durable enough to sustain his ability, what a bowler he would have been. He'll be 34 by the next series and time is running out, but we were privileged to see him bowl in this series. Wonderful stuff.

    As for the rest, the surprise was not that the Aus batting was unreliable, it was that the bowling wasn't up to much. Siddle worked hard, Lyon was handy, but Starc was wild, Pattinson, Bird, Watson and Faulkner ordinary and Agar not ready. Cook and Trott were never remotely in touch, Pietersen inconsistent, Root and Bairstow still learning and Prior had his worst series in 5 years, but Eng still scored over 300 in 6 of 8 completed innings. The Aus bowling renaissance never materialized.

    It's hard to imagine Eng won't bat better in the return series. Aus must bowl better or...

  • Sunil_Batra on September 2, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @Shaggy076 you are kidding yourself mate, i like Cowan but he got 19 tests in a row, Khawaja got 3 in a row in which he top scored in one and got an absolute shocker in the next. I just find it amazing that some folks like yourself are discounting Khawaja after only 3 games, Bottom line is that like Hughes, Cowan and others his job is to get shield runs and doing that will get Khawaja in the side most likely at 5 or 4 and i can also see a big home ashes for the talented left hander.

  • Buckers97 on August 30, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    The Australian Side for the Return Ashes may well look like this; 1. Chris Rogers 2. Phill Hughes 3. Shane Watson 4. Michael Clarke (c) 5. Steve Smith 6. Shaun Marsh 7. Tim Paine (wk,vc) 8. Steve O'keefe 9. James Pattinson 10. Ryan Harris 11. Josh Hazlewood 12. Nathan Lyon. I agree with most of these ratings, except Siddle, Haddin, Hughes. Siddle's should be lower. Haddin should be lower as he is old and can't bat, and Hughes should be higher. That 81* at Trent Bridge was a very good knock and had it not been for the likes of Haddin, Starc & Pattinson getting out, Hughes would have made a test century. Now the team I have named as the XI I think should take on England come November is a little risky but I think can get the job done. Marsh gets in on pure talent and, unlike last time batting at 3, can be better at 6. O'keefe gets in for his shield summer last season on seamer friendly tracks. Hazlewood is one of the future bowlers for Aus along with Nathan Coulter-Nile.

  • Shaggy076 on August 29, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Edwards Anderson; At least Cowan averaged 30 which looks like a quantum leap for Khawaja. Are you telling me that the shot in Manchester was a class shot? It was aweful yes he missed it by a foot. As for Lords there was turn but it was slow and he got out to a part timer of Root when set. To me he has been given opportunities and failed at every turn. Cowan put a ton in there to get more games, but Khawaja has done nothing. How do you explain his extremely moderate performances in the practise games in England and India and the games for Australia A. His record since going to India has been appalling. Im happy if he goes back to shield and makes genuine runs that he gets another shot but he has to take control now and not expect to be gifted games because his technique is ok.

  • Flemo_Gilly on August 29, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    @EdwardsAnderson i echo your words champ

  • Edwards_Anderson on August 29, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Shaggy076 have to concur with Sunil, mate did you watch the lords second innings, the ball was spinnign worse then the Indian pitches, and yet Khawaja along with Clarke were the only batsman that fought it out, and in Manchester you are blaming his shot when he missed the ball by an inch. Like Cowan who had 19 tests in a row and Hughes who had 2 series in a row Khawaja deserves at least a full series and i also predict a big showing from him in the coming Aus ashes series, can't wait.

  • H_Z_O on August 28, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    @Sam Matthews on (August 28, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

    Context of the match. Didn't look remotely like taking a wicket until England played some shots and his one-day skill-set came in handy.

    The worst thing Australia could do right now would be to read too much into those stats. He batted in a situation that suited, and bowled likewise. I think he could be a good player eventually, because he's got a good temperament, but as an England fan I hope you guys pick him for the Gabba Test. He's not one of the best 5 bowlers Australia could pick, nor one of the best 6 batsmen. Maybe one day, but not yet.

  • Beertjie on August 28, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    @Amith_S on (August 28, 2013, 5:35 GMT) As a bit of a Khawaja fan I am not so sure that "with a strong Shield start he will come back stonger in the home ashes." He needs to have a really good season and then he should go to South Africa again. I see him as an opener with Warner/Hughes at 3. Watto will breakdown sooner or later and Hughes may take that position. But neither Warner and Hughes have done enough and so the revolving door will continue. Ussie needs to get back to 2010-11 scores, if he can and he'll get another shot. But all who get shots must seize them or face possible oblivion.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 28, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    The problem with the Australian batting was that apart from Rogers they didn't get runs when the going was tough. Watson, Clarke, even Smith mostly got their runs in the first innings of the drawn matches. Warner had one good knock but otherwise failed early, proving his detractors largely correct. At least by the end of the series the top 5 looked like the right selections. There may be no way back for Khawaja from here.

    The Australian bowling arrived to a big fanfare which was sounding hollow by the end of the series. Harris was exceptional, Siddle and Lyon were reliable. The young quicks didn't seem to manage both penetration and control in the same spell, leaving me to wonder if their reputations have been inflated by helpful Shield pitches in the last few years.

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Sunilbatra; Lords was the best pitch tos bat on all series all our batsman were poor there Khawaja included. He rarely makes starts so really needed to go on when he does. As for the unlucky dismissal it was a woeful shot and he was also lucky he wasn't good enough to hit it. Must be noted in lead up games he also averaged low 20's but I guess he shouldn't be held accountable for those figures either because it is someone else's fault.

  • on August 28, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    What a rubbish appraisal of James Faulkner. The man took 6 out of the 16 English wickets at an average of 12; yet you say "not really top class, maybe better at home".

    As for his batting, he did exactly the job his captain asked of him.

    But nah, totally the second worst ranked player in the side.

  • Sunil_Batra on August 28, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Shaggy076 fair points mate but i have to go with Paulrampley and Amith on Khawaja, the guy was unlucky, he was the best in Lords on a tough second innings pitch where all other aussie batsman failed, i won't even waste time on his caught behind in manchester as enough has been said on that, and yes he had a bad game in Durham but he is entitled to one bad game. Bottom line is the guy deserved another chance, he was put at 3 in the toughest series in the world and i also predict that we will see him come back strongly in the home ashes where pitches won't be made to suit Swann.

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Amith & Paul Rampley; I suppose that Khawaja averaged under 20 for the three tests had nothing to do with him getting dropped, it has to be something more sinister. For mine If a batsman averages under 20 - They should be given 1 out of 10 as they have made no contribution at all.

  • on August 28, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Chris Rogers embodied Australia more than anyone in this series. It was the unity in the group that was pleasing, and although performances weren't extraordinary, it was a good show.

    The bowling unit was largely effective all the way through. Batting faltered at times, fatally so at Lord's and in the chase in Durham. The good sign is that Watson, Rogers, Warner, Smith and Clarke - the mainstay of the batting order - have all had at least one productive innings in the series.In the opposite camp, it was a one-man show (Bell).

  • Paul_Rampley on August 28, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Amith agree completely on Khawaja, he got a real raw deal in Manchester thanks to the third umpire and i expect him to come back strong in the home ashes here in Australia. Also keep an eye on Bird, Starc and Watson to have big series here as well.

  • Amith_S on August 28, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Bit tough on Khawaja given he top scored in Lords, got a howler in Manchester and had one more test match after that compared to other batsman who had 19 tests in a row(i.e Cowan), i am sure with a strong shield start he will come back stonger in the home ashes. Also tough on Bird who deserves an extended run which wasn't given to him in this series.

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Little too generous all-round I reckon. Two blokes averaged over 40, one exceptional bowler and another bowler that performed very well in the first three tests. Warner, Khawaja, Patterson, Starc, Agar are very high - none of them contributed anything to any match. Hughes, Smith, Lyon, Haddin are slightly high. Even Siddle could come down slightly after the last couple of tests.

  • mondotv on August 28, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    Can't agree about Mitchell Starc. He keeps getting dropped after good performances. That has knocked his confidence about and he is learning at a much slower pace than he should. Contrast that to Stuart Broad who was ordinary in the first two tests but for mine was the standout seam bowler for the rest of the series, easily shading Anderson and perhaps level or just ahead of Ryan Harris. That came from consistent work - if England had dropped him at Lords, would he have been as strong at Durham? No. We saw glimpses of what Starc is capable of at the Oval with 90mph + reverse swing. Clarke probably didn't persevere with him quite long enough to let him find his groove. One thing - both he and Lyon should probably give up bowling around the wicket to right handers. Both were way more dangerous over the wicket. Starc should look more at Allan Davidson than Wasim Akram. Plus Starc will score test centuries for Australia - that's invaluable in the lower order.

  • on August 28, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    That's a bit of a rough appraisal for James Faulkner.

  • GrindAR on August 27, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    how come Lyon and Haddin are ahead of Clarke that too with Clarke getting 5. The reasoning resemble stock rating (which is rated based on future prospects). I believe this rating is for recently concluded ashes test series. Your scope should be limited to that time line only (no previous/future items in play here). Anyways, this rating has no relevance to the series.

  • Wefinishthis on August 27, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter, I like your ratings much more, good to see Siddle down there (who was far too expensive), but you've been far too generous to Haddin who dropped Bell and Root at critical times and was useless with the bat as usual. His performance was unacceptable. He should have been a 4. Clarke should probably drop a point as he wasn't really much better than Smith or Rogers, but other than that, I think that's about right. I do feel Bird wasn't that bad though. He beat the bat more in one innings than Starc did in 3 matches which is basically just bad luck. His ball to Cook was the perfect seamer's wicket and would have got almost any batsman out. Starc was better than in India, but still not test standard, despite being in condition that were supposed to suit him. I wish they'd stop persisting with him and give Bird more of a fair go.

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 27, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    Best ever number of dismissals for a keeper are what grounds for Haddin to get 8.5. His best ever series. Think a little. Just think.

  • Tlotoxl on August 27, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Aus have not sorted out any of their long term problems, Rogers looks good but is 36 in a few days, likewise Haddin at almost 36, Harris was great but 4 tests does not suddenly make him less injury prone and again he is almost 34, almost 3 years older than Anderson. Their batting looks very frail as well 210/7 or worse 6 times out of 10 is very very poor batting.

    The fact remains that Aus still lost 3-0 with Cook, Trott, Root, Baistow & Prior all having poor series - they will play a lot better in the away series, I'm not sure that Aus will.

    One more nugget for you, Tremlett who did not play in the 5th test went and got 8/96 as soon as he was released from England duty and Morgan got 90 from 63 balls in a 40 over match, there is plenty of depth in the England team...

  • SamRoy on August 27, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Khawaja's off-side stroke-play against fast bowling is so limited that it deserves special mention.Stroke-less wonder on the off-side against pace bowlers. Elegant blocking has never ever yielded runs!! On another important note, if Nic Maddinson and Jordan Silk are ready then get them into the squad. This squad lacks talented young batsmen. I would rather play those two ahead of Hughes and Warner. Though Hughes and Warner are better long term prospects they need to figure out their game for test cricket.

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    @ Ozcricketwriter on (August 27, 2013, 11:44 GMT) Just a couple of points

    1- Re Faulkner - he played one test and only took wickets when Eng were in a more adventurous mode and not when Aus needed wickets to make Eng follow on so how does he get 8 , some 3.5 ahead of Siddle - who bowled brilliantly for the 1st 3 tests?

    2- Re Haddin - 8.5 - just .5 behind Harris. On what grounds?

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    @ PrasPunter on (August 27, 2013, 8:23 GMT) re "A couple of batting partnerships and we would have been 2-1" I seem to remember that it was only 2 exceptional last wicket stands which got Australia even close to England in the 1st test

  • Robert1612 on August 27, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    It would seem there is no correlation between England marks and Australia's as they were done by different markers .. perhaps the two of them should have sat down and worked it out together and then write their respective pieces. If we were to assemble a composite team based on performance i.e. runs made and wickets taken, as well as performance keeping the side would be this: Rogers Root Watson KP Bell Clarke Haddin Broad Swann Harris Anderson, with Siddle as twelfth man. All the batsmen picked scored centuries and so no room for Trott, Cook etc. as their performances were poor .. averaging below 30. The bowlers pick themselves and Haddin clearly outperformed Prior. That leaves 5 Australians and 6 Englishmen, with Siddle just in front of Bresnan for twelfth man. This shows that England were not that much better than Australia, they just were better at the key moments of the series and certainly aided by weather in the 2 tests Australia were ahead.

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 27, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    My marks: 9: Ryan Harris, 8.5: Brad Haddin, 8: James Faulkner, 8: Michael Clarke, 7.5: Shane Watson, 7: Chris Rogers, 6.5: Steve Smith, 4.5: Mitchell Starc, 4.5: Peter Siddle, 4: Nathan Lyon, 3: James Pattinson, 2.5: Ashton Agar, 2: Jackson Bird, 1.5: Phil Hughes, 1: Usman Khawaja, 0.5: Ed Cowan. Your ratings didn't seem to have any bearing on reality.

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 27, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Faulkner took 6 wickets at an average of 16, and scored 45 runs at an average of 22.50 and he gets a 4? Get real. These ratings are absurd. Haddin gets just 6 for getting the most dismissals in test cricket history, Shane Watson gets just 5 for topping the most runs list, while Peter Siddle gets a heavily inflated score in spite of doing nothing in the last 3 tests. 3 is very generous for Cowan, 5 is far too high for Hughes, and Khawaja didn't deserve anything close to 4. And, pray tell, why was Clarke ranked so low? The only ones you got right were 9 for Harris, 7 for Smith and 7 for Rogers.

  • Guernica on August 27, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Smith is the one who has really surprised me. Having seen him in the 2010 Ashes he looked completely out of his depth in test cricket. Harris didn't surprise me at all - Australia's best bowler by a mile despite all the talk before the series of young bowling talent. If he stays fit for the return series, Aussies have a decent chance. Can't work out how Faulkner only gets 4? He's only played one test and did well in that test.

  • on August 27, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    @warnerbasher, mate even in test 4, most wickets were gifted to broad by aussies. And plus he was lucky to get usman, just that ball knocking the edge of bat and going to keeper is very rare. Plus England has 5 players averaging 45+, with 3 of them being SA, but Australia only has one averaging more than 35. So if u compare that than Aussie bowlers were better.

  • Charlie101 on August 27, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    I feel Warner has been under marked by a point and Watson overmarked by 0.50 of a point as he scored his runs in a dead rubber and his lack of performance as an opener led to the shuffling of the batting order in every test.

  • mamboman on August 27, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    4 for Khawaja and Warner are generous indeed - overstated by as much as 100%. Khawaja contributed nothing, but then that is the most he could reasonably been expected to have and Warner contributed only frustration and indiscipline. Khawaja can go and never come again - only to be remebered when "worst ever" teams are picked over drinks - and, while Warner may be given one more chance it must certainly be his last one

  • BatsmanWhoBowls on August 27, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    If Australia's batting lineup had consisted of maybe one or two more players who performed consistently, this series could well have been a non-result. Australia's poor batting disguised the fact that the English pitches were incredibly difficult pitches to take twenty wickets on, especially with England in good form against spin on the back of a successful India tour. Hypothetically, let's take all the 2005 players and imagine them in this series, on the same pitches. I don't think either team would have won a test match. Only Warne, with his spin, and Lee and Flintoff with their sheer pace, would've been dangerous.

  • PrasPunter on August 27, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    @MinusZero, hope you followed the series - eng were bowled out in 2 of the 3 matches not affected by rain. And lost 3 for not many at OT as well. A couple of batting partnerships and we would have been 2-1, considering the washouts. Get your facts right !!

  • on August 27, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Even with all his Haters out there and struggles with his form (lbw) Watson still Managed to score more Runs than anyone bar Bell.

  • ravi_hari on August 27, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Some of the scores a little unfair. I think Harris 9/10 is the most apt rating though his efforts did not win any match. However, I think Lyon is rated high at 6 and Watson low at 5. I thought Lyon for most part of the 3 tests he played was ineffective. Smith had a better strike rate than Lyon. A spinner should pruchase wickets. Lyon does not do that. Also he does not posses variations and does not use the crease well. Siddle started off well, but faded in the last two tests. When Aus needed the most in the 3rd and 5th tests he did not deliver. Also he did not bat as well as he does in Aus. Haddin threw away the closest possibility to win and generally disappointed as a batsman. Clarke should be 5 as he failed as a batsman at crucial moments. If he had stood ground the first and fourth tests could have been won. I thought Starc bowled much better than the ranking. He needs to be nurtured and can be a match winner. His batting is a big bonus at the tail. Over all team Aus should get 5.

  • heathrf1974 on August 27, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Compared to England these markings are a bit harsh. Faulkner gets 3 and Woakes gets 5?

  • heathrf1974 on August 27, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Compared to England these markings are a bit harsh. Faulkner gets 3 and Woakes gets 5?

  • warnerbasher on August 27, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    As stated above the English bowlers were gifted wickets by the Australian pursuit of quick runs which helped them. The average concious English batsmen put up a sterner if more selfish test. I thought Harris, Swann and Siddle were the 3 best bowlers with Anderson a respectable 4th. Given the improved showing by the bowlers it should consign Mitchell Johnson to the scrapbooks forever.

  • Jagger on August 27, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    Usman Khawaja, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Starc and Ed Cowan are too high. Drop those four down one or two points.

    Just like a broken record Peter Siddle was relentlessly attacked, yet again, early in the series and once again was rendered ineffective for the rest of the series. It is an all too common occurrence. If you want to reward him 7.5 out of 10 that's your opinion, but in picking a back of a length, plumb-bob workhorse for the first test was like waving the white flag before a shot was fired. The opposition teams do not fear him. They want us to pick him. We should not.

  • johnathonjosephs on August 27, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    How does Faulkner get a 4? In his only Test Match, he took 6 wickets at an average of 16 and scored 45 runs.... Rogers should have gotten an 8 and Michael Clarke should have gotten a 4. Good to see Haddin doing well. The Australian Selectors have a knack for discarding a good player due to 2 or 3 bad performances and not selecting them in hopes of finding someone better. They have done this to Haddin and Lyon, but hopefully now they realize they are the best Aus has to offer. Would love to see Johnson back in the side. He is definitely a world class bowler and would have been a WAY better pick than the overrated Starc

  • Wefinishthis on August 27, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    Faulkner was huge success. He should be at least a 7, probably an 8. He selfishly smashed the ball with the bat 20/20 style at a strike rate over 100. Cleaned up the tail and averaged a brilliant 16.33 with the ball. No way was Pattinson a 5 - he was awful in both games. Starc was more of a 4 - nothing particularly useful as usual. Starc is obvoiusly not test standard yet. Bird was disappointing, but didn't get a fair go, beat the bat regularly, was economical and showed with the ball he got Cook with that he has incredible potential. Siddle was worse than Bird in the only game Bird played in so there' no way that Siddle should be judged that high. Watson's bowling was expensive too. Lyon and Siddle should have been 5. Australia weren't that bad though. England won this series due to the incredible luck of the weather, luck of the coin toss, luck of the DRS and a great series from Bell. With that kind of luck, Andersen and Swann didn't need to pull out anything special.

  • on August 27, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    @Steve Back Siddle's average is skewed by the last 2 tests where he was clearly burned out which for me drop him from 9 to 7.5... In the first three tests (when Australia still had a chance) he took 16 wickets @21... 6.5 is a gross underestimated for his contribution

  • on August 27, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Faulkner rated a 4? excuse me? He took 6 wickets in 1 day and got under Englands skin! Never had the chance to bat properly and did well considering... Watson was inconsistent but still was our top scorer bias aside as well as bowling a maiden nearly every second over w I would of given Faulkner a 7 and Watson 7/6.5 ... Siddle maybe 7.5 because he was out of puff in the last two tests in the first 3 youd give him 9... Clarke at 5.5 is stiff, averaged 47; his capatincy was good.

  • MinusZero on August 26, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    There is so much focus on Australia's flailing batting but have they forgotten that they still havent taken 20 wickets to win a match in a long time.If you cant take the wickets required, the runs scored is almost irrelevant.

  • OneEyedAussie on August 26, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    You've been generous to Siddle, Hughes and Pattinson and slightly harsh on Clarke and Faulkner - but otherwise fair enough. I would think that Hughes, Cowan and Khawaja will need some FC runs to force their way back into the mix. It will be an interesting start to the FC season - there will be some batting spots up for the taking.

    In other words, not much to write home about except for Harris, Rogers and Smith.

  • RJHB on August 26, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Steve Back, your ratings revisions are worthwhile and mostly accurate, though perhaps harsh on Siddle. Yes his final average of 32 wasn't as good as others but looking at averages alone does not tell his story at all. That average blew out a bit in the final test where he didn't manage a wicket, not altogether his fault either I might add! And as good as the England bowlers were at different times, match winning in fact, they also got a lot of cheap wickets when Australia were looking for quick runs in at least the third and fifth tests. Broad took four in that rubbish batting on the last day at The Oval. Siddle never got those freebies because England don't have the guts to try for a win if they're not already in a winning position. It also makes the performance of Harris even more special.

  • brittop on August 26, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    @Aseem Sharma (on August 26, 2013, 16:43 GMT): Faulkner's wickets were taken when England were batting in a care-free manner. He couldn't get any when England were avoiding he follow-on i.e. when it mattered.

  • Moppa on August 26, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    The point about Watson is that he made a large chunk of his runs after the Ashes were gone. I think he was lucky to get 5.

  • MSDR on August 26, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    These marks are too harsh. I think Aust matched Eng in individual performances so they must also be marked as liberal as Eng players. Woakes, Trott get 5 and Watson gets 5 Faulkner gets 4!!! partiality.. VERY BAD GRADING!!!

  • becham100 on August 26, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    @ Aseem Sharma Wastson is marked perfectly. He scored a big hundred in a dead game in which the pitch was perfect for batting. Before that, he practically did nothing to deserve a solid place in the team.

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Continued:

    James Faulkner: 6/10 - good debut but no extended work to give a higher mark than Siddle or Haddin for. Ryan Harris - 9/10. Behind only Ian Bell he was the man of the series. Needed more support from the likes of Bird or Starc. Mitchell Starc: 5/10 - pretty average with the ball and his similar figures to Siddle flatter him - half a point for useful batting. Ashton Agar - 4/10. All four marks for his 98 at Nottingham. Otherwise, nothing of note to mark. Is he a spinner or a medium pacer? James Pattinson - 4.5/10. Disappointing with the ball - I expected more from him, although he batted well, so half a mark there. Nathan Lyon: 6/10. Fair mark - his average for a spinner was fairly medium-standard, serviceable, but not of Swann's impact. Still, he's the best Australia have. Ed Cowan: 1/10. Was too ill to be selected. Dismissal to Joe Root was a big lapse. Jackson Bird: 3/10 - can't reasonably be given a similar mark to Agar or Warner.

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    My ratings: Dave Warner: 5/10 - extra mark for his knock at Durham. Otherwise disappointing. Chris Rogers: 8/10 - impressive, I'm happy for him. Usman Khawaja - 3/10. Giving him the same mark as Warner or Faulkner is ludicrous. Shane Watson - 6/10. Poor except for his hundred - a bit like Joe Root really. Will be vulnerable in the return series. Phil Hughes - 4/10. Same old from Hughesy I'm afraid. One good, deceptive innings and then the same technical flaws keep reappearing. Michael Clarke - 7/10. 5.5? Oh come on. Yes, he only had one key innings, but his captaincy was good, if unrewarded. Steve Smith - 7/10. Good batting, although I wish he bowled more often. Brad Haddin - 6/10. Useful, but inconsistent with both bat and gloves - the Lord's misses were very disappointing. Peter Siddle - 6.5/10. Extra half a mark for his useful batting, but average of 32 with the ball was inferior to the England bowlers.

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    "After Swann, Harris and Siddle were definitely the choice bowlers of the series"

    Siddle averaged 32. All of England's bowlers bar Finn and Woakes did better.

    The only frontline bowler for Australia (who played most of the series) who had a sub-30 average was Ryan Harris. Otherwise, even Root and Trott had a better bowling average!

    And considering that this is much the same team that beat you 3-1 last time in Australia - I'm anticipating at least 2-1 to England. If Cook and Trott get runs, it's all over.

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Have to say - even as an England fan - these marks are a little low in comparison to English players. Watson scores 418 runs at 41.80 (most at a pace) and does a job with the ball and only scores 5. Cook for England scores 141 runs less at an average of 11 less and gets 7. Cook also gets better marks than Rogers , Smith and Clarke despite being significantly behind the trio in both the averages and runs scored. I think the only thing we are universally agreed on is that Bell was man of the series for England and Harris for Australia

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    After Swann, Harris and Siddle were definitely the choice bowlers of the series. Anderson and Broad had the major advantages of bowling at an ever-shifting batting lineup and Mr Generosity Clarke gifted them a bunch of wickets in the 3rd and 5th Tests trying to force any kind of result. Cook, Trott and co. showed that plundering the worst Aussie bowling lineup of all time in 2010-2011 doesn't make one a great player (who would have thought)! This series was an all-round miserable showing by a supposedly much superior Pom team. Home ground advantage did it for England this time around, the next round will definitely go to Oz on their turf.

  • on August 26, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Faulkner deserves a much high score than 4. He performed admirably and didn't look in any way fazed by the occasion.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 26, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Rogers deserves higher than Smith because he got more runs under pressure. Starc showed he can take wickets. Watson's bowling was creditable. Clarke's performance is difficult to score. I suspect he captained better on the field than off it, and he didn't get runs in the games Australia lost.

  • viththy on August 26, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Are these 10 out of marks or 20 out of marks? hope its 20 out of marks.

  • on August 26, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    A man who takes 6 wickets and scores 45 brisk runs in his first Ashes match is given a 4. Shane Watson, who scored around 400 runs, and was miserly with the ball if not penetrative, is given a 5. Siddle, who did not get given the new ball all series I think, and still bowled exceptionally well on dry surfaces, gets a 7.5 . The author must set very high standards indeed for this Australian team. Personally I would have given Faulkner a 7, Watson a 6.5, and Siddle an 8. The rest seem about right.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 26, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    These are fair scores I think. Haddin perhaps marked a bit too low, and given that Agar was brought into the team for his bowling a 5 for him is rather flattering. Huge credit to Harris who had a fantastic series, and proved doubters like me wrong and bowled long, sustained spells throughout. Siddle once again showing his value to the team. As his detractors will moan about, he doesn't pick up bags of wickets, but he ties down an end and bowls his heart out; in the absence of a top-class spinner, that's what this Aus. team needs. That's not to say I don't rate Lyon, because I do and I think he'll come good provided he's persisted with and not treated like Hauritz etc. before him.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 26, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    These are fair scores I think. Haddin perhaps marked a bit too low, and given that Agar was brought into the team for his bowling a 5 for him is rather flattering. Huge credit to Harris who had a fantastic series, and proved doubters like me wrong and bowled long, sustained spells throughout. Siddle once again showing his value to the team. As his detractors will moan about, he doesn't pick up bags of wickets, but he ties down an end and bowls his heart out; in the absence of a top-class spinner, that's what this Aus. team needs. That's not to say I don't rate Lyon, because I do and I think he'll come good provided he's persisted with and not treated like Hauritz etc. before him.

  • on August 26, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    A man who takes 6 wickets and scores 45 brisk runs in his first Ashes match is given a 4. Shane Watson, who scored around 400 runs, and was miserly with the ball if not penetrative, is given a 5. Siddle, who did not get given the new ball all series I think, and still bowled exceptionally well on dry surfaces, gets a 7.5 . The author must set very high standards indeed for this Australian team. Personally I would have given Faulkner a 7, Watson a 6.5, and Siddle an 8. The rest seem about right.

  • viththy on August 26, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Are these 10 out of marks or 20 out of marks? hope its 20 out of marks.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 26, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Rogers deserves higher than Smith because he got more runs under pressure. Starc showed he can take wickets. Watson's bowling was creditable. Clarke's performance is difficult to score. I suspect he captained better on the field than off it, and he didn't get runs in the games Australia lost.

  • on August 26, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Faulkner deserves a much high score than 4. He performed admirably and didn't look in any way fazed by the occasion.

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    After Swann, Harris and Siddle were definitely the choice bowlers of the series. Anderson and Broad had the major advantages of bowling at an ever-shifting batting lineup and Mr Generosity Clarke gifted them a bunch of wickets in the 3rd and 5th Tests trying to force any kind of result. Cook, Trott and co. showed that plundering the worst Aussie bowling lineup of all time in 2010-2011 doesn't make one a great player (who would have thought)! This series was an all-round miserable showing by a supposedly much superior Pom team. Home ground advantage did it for England this time around, the next round will definitely go to Oz on their turf.

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Have to say - even as an England fan - these marks are a little low in comparison to English players. Watson scores 418 runs at 41.80 (most at a pace) and does a job with the ball and only scores 5. Cook for England scores 141 runs less at an average of 11 less and gets 7. Cook also gets better marks than Rogers , Smith and Clarke despite being significantly behind the trio in both the averages and runs scored. I think the only thing we are universally agreed on is that Bell was man of the series for England and Harris for Australia

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    "After Swann, Harris and Siddle were definitely the choice bowlers of the series"

    Siddle averaged 32. All of England's bowlers bar Finn and Woakes did better.

    The only frontline bowler for Australia (who played most of the series) who had a sub-30 average was Ryan Harris. Otherwise, even Root and Trott had a better bowling average!

    And considering that this is much the same team that beat you 3-1 last time in Australia - I'm anticipating at least 2-1 to England. If Cook and Trott get runs, it's all over.

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    My ratings: Dave Warner: 5/10 - extra mark for his knock at Durham. Otherwise disappointing. Chris Rogers: 8/10 - impressive, I'm happy for him. Usman Khawaja - 3/10. Giving him the same mark as Warner or Faulkner is ludicrous. Shane Watson - 6/10. Poor except for his hundred - a bit like Joe Root really. Will be vulnerable in the return series. Phil Hughes - 4/10. Same old from Hughesy I'm afraid. One good, deceptive innings and then the same technical flaws keep reappearing. Michael Clarke - 7/10. 5.5? Oh come on. Yes, he only had one key innings, but his captaincy was good, if unrewarded. Steve Smith - 7/10. Good batting, although I wish he bowled more often. Brad Haddin - 6/10. Useful, but inconsistent with both bat and gloves - the Lord's misses were very disappointing. Peter Siddle - 6.5/10. Extra half a mark for his useful batting, but average of 32 with the ball was inferior to the England bowlers.

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Continued:

    James Faulkner: 6/10 - good debut but no extended work to give a higher mark than Siddle or Haddin for. Ryan Harris - 9/10. Behind only Ian Bell he was the man of the series. Needed more support from the likes of Bird or Starc. Mitchell Starc: 5/10 - pretty average with the ball and his similar figures to Siddle flatter him - half a point for useful batting. Ashton Agar - 4/10. All four marks for his 98 at Nottingham. Otherwise, nothing of note to mark. Is he a spinner or a medium pacer? James Pattinson - 4.5/10. Disappointing with the ball - I expected more from him, although he batted well, so half a mark there. Nathan Lyon: 6/10. Fair mark - his average for a spinner was fairly medium-standard, serviceable, but not of Swann's impact. Still, he's the best Australia have. Ed Cowan: 1/10. Was too ill to be selected. Dismissal to Joe Root was a big lapse. Jackson Bird: 3/10 - can't reasonably be given a similar mark to Agar or Warner.