This will always be Ricky Ponting's series. He captained Australia to a 2-0 victory, marked his 100th Test with twin centuries and took two individual awards.



Something like a phenomenon: twin hundreds in his 100th Test was a tremendous achievement by Ricky Ponting © Getty Images

Australia

9.5
Ricky Ponting
Finished the series with two centuries in his 100th Test, the first player to achieve the record, and was named Man of the Match and Player of the Series. Another hundred at Melbourne set up Australia's victory there and confirmed him as the game's leading No. 3. His haul of 515 runs at 103.00 was boosted by a pair of half-centuries during the Perth draw, where his biggest decision was delaying the declaration until Brad Hodge got his double-century.

8
Shane Warne
Deserves a break after delivering 76 overs in Perth, 49 in Melbourne and 47 in Sydney. Still Australia's greatest threat - he picked up 14 wickets at 33, although only two came at the SCG - but is getting older and is desperate for long-lasting support.

7.5 Brett Lee
Started with a bang with 5 for 93 in the first innings at Perth, giving him the right to claim the role as attack leader. Throughout the series he was Ponting's go-to fast man, running in quickly, thinking about his bowling and delivering some frightening spells, mainly to Jacques Kallis. Thirteen wickets in three Tests was a good result.

Matthew Hayden
Fell three times to rash strokes - pulling ended his Perth innings for 0 and 20 and he was bowled for 4 at Sydney - but tightened up at the MCG with his best performances of a prolific summer. His 65 and 137 on a pitch suiting the bowlers were crucial factors in Australia's comfortable win, and he helped seal a record-breaking chase at Sydney with a second-innings 90, ending the series with 316 runs at 52.67.

7
Michael Hussey
A rare quiet game for Hussey on his Perth home ground - by his standards, anyway, as his 23 and 58 dropped his Test average below 100 - and he recovered with his third Test century at Melbourne. A 45 at the SCG pushed his tally to 279 runs at 55.80 and his reputation continues to grow.


An 'quiet' return of 23 and 58 at Perth dropped Michael Hussey's Test average below 100, but his reputation surely won't falter © Getty Images

6
Brad Hodge
The undoubted highlight was his 203 at the WACA, his maiden Test century. With a first-innings 41 he showed his full range in two calm displays that proved his international capabilities. However, he struggled to impose himself for the rest of the series with scores of 7, 24, 6 and 27 not out.

5
Glenn McGrath
Battled at the WACA for one wicket on his return from a Chappell-Hadlee Series rest, and was fourth-choice on the final morning at Melbourne, where he showed his worth by picking up four wickets for the match. Eight victims at 40.62 is not a usual McGrath return and it's rare to see him so low on a list of team performers.

Andrew Symonds
Facing the end of his career, he blasted out of his horror streak at the MCG. With only 101 Test runs following a first-innings, first-ball duck, he pounded six sixes in 72 from 54 balls and added five wickets for the match. Showed he could cope with Test demands. Phew.

Adam Gilchrist
Quiet and worrying series with the bat until he exploded with 86 in the final Test. While his batting was disappointing in the first two matches - he scored 6, 44, 2 and 0 - his glovework was immaculate, Ian Healy saying it was the best he'd seen from his successor.

4.5 Justin Langer Like Graeme Smith, he made regular starts with scores of 37, 47, 25 and 20, but would be disappointed to miss a three-figure score. Was ruled out of the Boxing Day Test with a strained hamstring and injuries prevented him from his usual summer harvest.

4
Stuart MacGill
Played the final two Tests without his usual impact, his best result coming with the 3 for 33 at Sydney as South Africa chased the declaration. Took only one wicket in each innings at the MCG - Nel and Ntini - and wasn't helped by the surface at his home ground. Neither Warne nor MacGill collected a big haul when bowling together.

1.5
Phil Jaques
Replaced Langer for Boxing Day and showed his promise, if not his full range, with 2 and 28. Can look forward to further opportunities.

Nathan Bracken Picked up Graeme Smith in both innings of his only Test at the WACA. Was replaced by MacGill and made 12th man for final two matches.

Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo