The Ashes: 5th Test Australia Player Ratings

Given the lack of play in this test match it is a little difficult to hand out ratings for the Australians. There is limited evidence to go off, and a lot of it is more ODI type cricket in nature, but based on that limited evidence this is how I rate Australia’s players:

Chris Rogers: 5 out of 10

Was obdurate in defence in partnership with a rampant Shane Watson and then was dismissed to an innocuous delivery from Swann. Must work on his method against spin bowling. Bizarrely did not get a bat in the second innings.

David Warner: 2 out of 10

Got out in the first innings just way you expect Warner to: fending at a ball outside off stump that he could have left alone. Sick of hearing: “that is just the way he bats”. In a second innings that ought to have been made for him could not get the job done.

Shane Watson: 9 out of 10

Under more pressure than any other player in the Australian team and responded with an attacking innings early that then morphed into a quality hundred. Took a knock to the head and showed immense courage to stay on the field. Elevated to open in the second innings and picked off some quick runs before hitting Swann to long on. Australia is a lesser bowling attack with him not in it.

Michael Clarke: 3.5 out of 10

Has never played a worse 7 than that he did in the first innings. Completely out of sorts albeit scored at a run a ball when chasing a declaration. Tactically courageous with his declaration. Questionable tactics in the field, particularly in the first innings, in not bowling Lyon early enough and not attacking despite his position of strength in the game.

Steve Smith: 9 out of 10

The fidgeter started with the streakiest of shots but after that put on a masterclass of middle order batting. Benefited from a strange decision to bowl Trott whilst in the 90s. Did not really get going in the declaration chase. Has come of age in 2013 and made the number 5 spot his own.

Brad Haddin: 7 out of 10

Dug in with Smith to get him to his hundred and then attacked when fast runs were needed. Golden duck in the second innings can be excused given the situation. Immaculate with the gloves as always. Did his job again and now holds the dismissals world record.

James Faulkner: 7 out of 10

Came in in a ODI type situation in both innings and got on board with the need for fast runs. Took wickets at key junctures for Australia albeit again in ODI type situations. Bowling on the 5th morning was overshadowed by his big mouth.

Peter Siddle: 5 out of 10

Did his job with the bat as nightwatchman. His limitations with the ball on unhelpful wickets again shown in full colour in England’s innings. Will charge in all day but has a sameness about him when not assisted by the wicket. Only given 3 overs in second innings which is an indictment on his form at the moment.

Ryan Harris: 7.5 out of 10

Looked the pick of Australia’s bowlers whenever he had the ball in his hand and again showed why he is the bowler most feared by this English opposition. Australia’s best by a fair way this series.

Mitchell Starc: 6.5 out of 10

Took two wickets during a good spell of bowling but is still too inconsistent and seemingly unable to bowl line and length on day 3. Sick of hearing “he is a wicket taker” as though that makes releasing all pressure on the batters all ok. Showed as much in the second innings when he could not contain any batter for England in the run chase.

Nathan Lyon: 6 out of 10

Bowled some of his best bowling as a test cricketer for, again, limited rewards. Despite easily being Australia’s best spin prospect does not get the support of his captain by way of attacking fields. In and ODI type situation in the second innings did not take wickets which were needed. Must be wondering what he has to do to get the support of the captain.

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