ASHES RATINGS: England should have dropped Haseeb Hameed but Scott Boland was the find of the series


England’s disastrous Ashes tour ended with another calamitous collapse in Hobart, as the visitors were bowled out for a paltry 124 runs in their second innings and lost the series 4-0.

Set 271 to win after Mark Wood took six wickets as England bowled out Australia for 155, the tourists went from 68 without loss to 124 all out in the space of 22 overs.

England have now lost a combined 13 Tests in the last three Ashes series in Australia without winning one, with their last Test win Down Under coming in the fifth Test of the 2010-11 series.

Sportsmail’s Lawrence Booth runs the rule over both sides. 

Australia retained the Ashes with a dominant 4-0 thrashing of a dismal England team

ENGLAND  

Haseeb Hameed – 1.5

Started promisingly at Brisbane, with a pair of gritty twenties. But he became a walking wicket, moving deep into his crease and poking at full-length balls with low hands. His last six innings produced 28 runs and a sense of gloom.

Rory Burns – 3

His first-baller at the Gabba was instant Ashes folklore, and he never really recovered – even though England should have dropped Hameed, not Burns, after Adelaide. Played 32 Tests now, but still unsure of his future. 

Haseeb Hameed's last six innings in this Ashes series produced just 28 runs

Haseeb Hameed’s last six innings in this Ashes series produced just 28 runs 

Zak Crawley – 5.5

His 77 in the second innings at Sydney was perhaps England’s most exciting innings of the series, though the bar was low. He has all the shots. His problem is he can’t resist playing them.

Dawid Malan – 5.5

Looked set for a strong series after making 82 at Brisbane and 80 at Adelaide, but Australia exploited his lack of foot movement and cramped him for room: the next seven innings brought just 76.

Joe Root – 6

Arrived with high hopes, before reality dawned. A first hundred in Australia remained elusive, and he fell four times to Scott Boland in his last five innings. Now has two 4-0 Ashes defeats on his CV, but may stay on as captain because there is no one else.

Joe Root suffered a second 4-0 defeat in an Ashes series in Australia as England captain

Joe Root suffered a second 4-0 defeat in an Ashes series in Australia as England captain

Ben Stokes – 4

A pair of sixties at Sydney, where he batted through a side injury, was the lone highlight of an anonymous tour. Averages of 23 with the bat and 71 with the ball were a major letdown.

Ollie Pope – 2.5

Started with a promisingly mature 35 amid the first-day mayhem at the Gabba, then fell apart. Looked jumpy against Nathan Lyon and, on his recall at Hobart, was batting so far outside off stump he was bowled round his legs.

Jonny Bairstow – 7

Recalled at Melbourne, he made England’s only century of the series, at Sydney, before a chipped thumb ruled him out of Hobart. Firmly back in the running for the middle order. 

Jos Buttler – 3

Dropped anchor on the last day at Adelaide, ultimately in vain, but otherwise continued his mediocre contributions to Ashes campaigns, and dropped a couple of sitters. His Test future has to be in doubt now.

Jos Buttler endured a difficult series with the bat and wasn't at his best behind the stumps

Jos Buttler endured a difficult series with the bat and wasn’t at his best behind the stumps

Sam Billings – 6

Made an emergency Test debut at Hobart because of England’s injury concerns, and brought some energy during a first-innings 29. Held five catches in the second innings too, but will he play another Test?

Chris Woakes – 5

Even he might have been surprised to bowl England’s first ball of the series, having not done the job for five years. Should never have played at Adelaide ahead of Wood, and must now be treated as a home-Test specialist.

Ollie Robinson – 6.5

A haul of 11 wickets at 25 on his first Ashes trip looked good on paper, but England grew infuriated with his lax approach to fitness. Has most of the attributes, but needs to make sure he uses them.

Mark Wood – 7.5

Scandalously omitted at Adelaide, his figures did not reflect his efforts until he deservedly collected a career-best six-for at Hobart, and finished as England’s leading wicket-taker with 17.

Mark Wood finished the Ashes series as England’s leading wicket-taker with 17 scalps

Mark Wood finished the Ashes series as England’s leading wicket-taker with 17 scalps

Stuart Broad – 7

Straining at the leash after he was inexplicably left out at Brisbane and Melbourne, but proved there’s life in the old dog yet. Responded with a five-for at Sydney and six in the match at Hobart.

Jack Leach – 4

One of England’s most conspicuous fallguys at Brisbane, where his 13 overs cost 102. Didn’t bowl in a second innings until Sydney, where he picked up four, but lacked confidence and operated to defensive fields.

James Anderson – 6.5

Figures of four for 33 off 23 overs at Melbourne were England’s bowling performance of the series, and Australia managed just 1.79 an over off him. But they would have settled in advance for limiting him to eight wickets.

AUSTRALIA 

Marcus Harris – 5

Played and missed repeatedly, but still ground out 76 at Melbourne – and comfortably outperformed all England’s openers before he was dropped for Hobart.

David Warner – 6

Eased into the series by the absence of Broad at the Gabba, he started with a couple of nineties. But didn’t pass 38 in six further innings, and finished with a pair at Hobart – completed, appropriately, by Broad.

David Warner scored 94 and 95 in the first two Tests but finished with a pair in the fifth Test

David Warner scored 94 and 95 in the first two Tests but finished with a pair in the fifth Test

Marnus Labuschagne – 7

Helped destroy Leach at Brisbane, then rode his luck to make a hundred at Adelaide. But no sooner had he replaced Root at the top of the Test rankings than the runs fell away, especially against Wood. 

Steve Smith – 6

After averaging 137 in the 2017-18 Ashes and 110 in 2019, with a total of six hundreds, he had to settle for 30 and a pair of half-centuries.

Travis Head – 9

The top-scorer in the series, despite missing Sydney because of Covid. Centuries at Brisbane and Hobart were both match-defining, and he scored at 86 per 100 balls, unheard of for a Test series.

Usman Khawaja – 8.5

Enjoyed the mother of all comebacks at Sydney, where he made a pair of hundreds, but found life harder as an opener against the pink ball.

Cameron Green – 8.5

His battle of the all-rounders with Stokes was a non-event. He began by unsettling Root, and ended by knocking over England’s top three on the last evening at Hobart. Grew in stature with the bat too, and stopped everything that came his way in the gully.

Cameron Green made the difference with both bat and ball and caught brilliantly

Cameron Green made the difference with both bat and ball and caught brilliantly

Alex Carey – 5

Was expected to be an improvement on Tim Paine, but averaged just 20 with the bat and got into a confusion with first slip about which catches to go for and which to leave.

Pat Cummins – 9

Missed a Test because of Covid rules, but otherwise this was a dreamy start to his captaincy career. Finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series, with 21, and seemed incapable of a bad spell.

Mitchell Starc – 8

Set the tone with his opening delivery at Brisbane, and rarely let up, despite a quiet game at Sydney. Took 10 wickets in the two pink-ball Tests, and his late-order runs were a regular thorn in England’s side.

Mitchell Starc (right) was a constant thorn in England's side throughout the series

Mitchell Starc (right) was a constant thorn in England’s side throughout the series

Jhye Richardson – 7

Ineffective in the first innings at Adelaide, but picked up five in the second. Missed Melbourne with a leg injury, then squeezed out by Boland.

Michael Neser – 6

Removed Hameed with his second ball in Tests, at Adelaide, and added Malan in the second innings. Bustling, but limited.

Scott Boland – 9.5

The find of the series. Plucked from semi-obscurity for a Test debut aged 32 at the MCG, his home ground, he returned second-innings figures of six for seven, and used his relentless accuracy to take 18 wickets at under 10.

Scott Boland was the find of the series and finished with 18 wickets at under 10 apiece

Scott Boland was the find of the series and finished with 18 wickets at under 10 apiece

Josh Hazlewood – 7

Helped set England’s train wreck in motion by removing Malan and Root (for a duck) on the first morning at Brisbane, before injuring his side and missing the rest of the series.

Nathan Lyon – 8

Always a threat, especially to England’s left-handers. At Adelaide, he subdued Stokes altogether. Only once did he look vulnerable, when Bairstow got after him at Sydney.



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