Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Ashes composite team

Much has been made of the superior individual statistics that the Australians possess. Whilst the lack of centuries and wickets by England’s players does not flatter the home side, it does not reflect well on the tourists either. They managed to lose to a team with only one batsman in consistently good form and whose bowlers only occasionally hit the necessary heights.

This composite Ashes team reflects the reliance England had on certain players, but the individual marks given to this combined team shows why England hold the urn; their best players outperformed Australia’s best players.

Strauss 9

His 161 at Lord’s was the highest score of the series, which typified his ability to score runs at crucial times. Captaincy gradually improved.

Katich 5

Faded after starting well at Cardiff – he passed fifty only once more in seven knocks.

Ponting 6

Authoritative batting at Cardiff and Headingley was mixed with some loose strokeplay elsewhere.

Clarke 7

Australia’s best batsman. If his two tons came in first innings rather than rearguard actions, his team might have won the series.

North 6

Wore England down in the first, third and fourth Tests, but paid the price for over-ambition in other innings.

Prior 6

The best keeper on show. His perky batting helped set up the Lord’s win, but England need more than eye-catching cameos from their number six.

Flintoff 7

Produced one of England’s four five wicket hauls (Australia had just two) in a memorable spell at Lord’s.

Broad 8

His stunning burst on the second day was the epitome of a big-match performance and made his disappointing previous efforts irrelevant.

Swann 8

The best spinner, if partly by default, benefitting from faith being shown in him, unlike Nathan Hauritz. Batting efforts a handy bonus.

Siddle 6

Cashed-in on brainless England batting at Leeds, but otherwise lacked consistency. Needs brain to go with the brawn.

Hilfenhaus 7

His elevation to leader of the attack said much about his colleagues’ early trouble. Consistent and accurate, he didn’t quite manage to deliver a killer spell.

England total: 38
Australia: 37


Anonymous said...

Whilst I agree that Prior was a bit disappointing with the bat, it should also be noted that his average for the series was under 2.5 runs less than Stewart's England average as a keeper.

Most of the pretenders to his throne would have had to have had a good series with the bat to emulate his figures.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you can claim QED. Clarke gets a lower score than Swann? Swann didn't even outbowl Marcus North despite having the best of the conditions and was outbowled by Hauritz overall in the tests they played.

Lots of batsmen are criticised for being first innings specialists when the batting is easier, it is strange to criticise a batsman for scoring when the pressure is on in the second innings.

Australia failed in unison, England usually had someone stand up.

The big difference between the sides was that Flintoff and Broad between them were able to seize matches more effectively than Johnson. Australia have recently been reliant on Johnson to take important wickets and score runs, this series he didn't and no-one was able to fill the gap.

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