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Ashes player rankings: the best and the worst from England and Australia

Graeme Swann has popped up on our radios, giving an insight into what life in the England set-up was like during his tenure. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Roar Guru
5th January, 2014
36
1928 Reads

Australia finished off a comprehensive 5-0 win over England with a big 281 run win at the SCG.

It was another weak performance from England who seemed more desperate than Gilligan to get off this island and home again.

This is the report card from the Ashes, with ratings for players from both teams.

Alastair Cook
A guy with 8000 Test runs, Cook didn’t make any impact with the bat over the 10 Ashes Tests.

Seemed if Australia was disciplined in not giving him freedom through the offside, didn’t really have a plan B.

This was highly surprising as you can’t get to 8000 runs at an excellent average without having more than a Plan A.

However Cook struggled both home and away, and by the end of it would have been happy to walk off the SCG and get away from cricket.

Cook also got hammered by Shane Warne over his captaincy. Warne did a lot of damage to England with the ball over his career but he went equally hard at Cook this time with microphone in hand.

By the time others got hold of it would have been hard for Cook to deal with given so much criticism was coming his way.

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It would be hard to mount a case to defend Cook for his boring captaincy, but Warne was a bit over the top and a bit out of line given his captaincy record at Test cricket stands at a big fat duck egg cause he was too ill disciplined to captain Australia in the first place.

Score: 2/10

Michael Carberry
Showed promise, potential and technique in his debut Ashes series. But even for an inexperienced player, making a lot of starts and not kicking on wasn’t good enough.

England may want to stick with him though because his technique looks good enough for Test cricket. He just needs to learn to turn a start into a big score.
Score: 4/10

Joe Root
Got dropped for the final Ashes Test, reportedly due to a bad attitude.

He only produced one innings of note throughout both series, at Lords in England. He had a decent knock in Adelaide, but the rest was a whole heap of average stuff.

He needs to toughen up at Test level.
Score: 3/10

Kevin Pietersen
Once the most threatening player in the English side, Pietersen should retire.

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He looked disinterested for 98% of the series. Some of the shots including the swipe across the line in Adelaide to mid wicket and the catching practice in Perth were disgraceful.

He looked like he was doing what he had to in Sydney to collect his pay packet and get out of there.

England should dump this bloke for the good of their team. His disgraceful treatment of Andrew Strauss is hard to forget.
Score: -5/10

Ian Bell
Although I’ve never rated this pretender, he was the difference when the same two teams met in England five months ago. This time around it was back to earth for Bell whose average of 26 wasn’t good enough for an experienced middle order bat.
Score: 4/10

Ben Stokes
Provided the only highlight for England’s batsmen over the entire five Tests with his excellent 120 in Perth.

It was the only time an English batsman applied himself with skill and quality.

It was an excellent innings and only in his second Test.

Stokes had other decent moments as well with the ball in particularly in Australia’s first innings in Sydney. Him and Broad were the only two Englishmen who can walk away from the series with some pride intact.
Score: 7/10

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Matt Prior
Was poor in England and only lasted three Tests in Australia. Just couldn’t score a run and after his keeping in Perth, which was extremely poor, he got dumped for some bloke that didn’t do any better.
Score: 1/10

Stuart Broad
Set England up in Brisbane with an excellent spell of bowling but from then on it was all Australia.

Bowled well at times taking around 20 wickets with some heart and aggression, something his teammates wouldn’t know about.
Score: 7/10

Graeme Swann
Just a shadow of the bowler he has been over the last 4-5 years. Persisted going around the wicket far too much. Australia’s plan to attack him from the get go in Brisbane paid off and sent him into retirement.

If he comes out of retirement in more suitable English conditions it will be the greatest farce of all time and will show him up as the greatest peaheart to ever play the sport.

It surely won’t happen.
Score: 1/10

Tim Bresnan
Tried hard and didn’t have much luck on the way, especially in Melbourne. Nothing to write home about.
Score: 3/10

Jim Anderson
Down on form and his inability to get the ball to swing reduced his effectiveness. Disappointing series for a man spoken about as one of England’s best.
Score: 3/10

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Australia
Chris ‘the Rock’ Rogers

It’s a real black eye for Australia’s cricket selectors from the last 6-7 years that its taken so long to select the rock to play.

They picked pretty boy Shane Watson at opener and they tried pretend with Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes (whose technique is all over the place). However the Rock, whose batting isn’t spectacular but he puts real value on his wicket, was booted after one Test in 2008.

The Australian selectors at the time should be embarrassed and be held accountable. Outstanding in Melbourne and Sydney.
Score: 8/10

Dave Warner
Big mouth, big shots, big runs. Never going to be the smartest bloke in the team but can win matches like he did early in the series when it mattered. Fell away a bit towards the end. Very good fieldsman.
Score: 8/10

Shane Watson
Pretty boy cashed in with some good hitting in Perth and good batting in Melbourne but majority of the time batted like someone more interested in not messing up his pretty blonde hair than knocking out some tough first innings runs.

Luckiest ever cricketer to play 50 Tests for Australia since Geoff Marsh, who was AB’s best mate.
Score: 5/10

Michael Clarke
Made runs when it mattered early in the series. Led the team very well and with his mate Warne doing his best to rock the England ship, he had help off the field. Fell away with the bat late in the series but overall very good.
Score: 8/10

Steve Smith
Still remains unconvincing as a consistent Test cricketer but two centuries in the series and also looking safe in the slips made his contributions very valuable.
Score: 7.5/10

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George Bailey
There is only so long a bloke can pretend to be a Test cricketer for. If he gets selected for South Africa it will be more to keep a winning team together than anything he contributed with the bat.
Score: 3/10

Brad Haddin
Outstanding. Got the team out of trouble on a number of times with some excellent batting. Also, his glovework was first class.
Score: 10/10

Mitchell Johnson
Rare for a cricketer, especially a fast bowler, to have his best series at the age of 32. The improvement in Johnson is quite amazing.

Was superb especially in the first two Tests. His spell on day two in Brisbane set up the series and the over in Adelaide where he took three wickets in an over was the greatest over in the history of Test cricket.

Marvellous.
Score: 10/10

Peter Siddle
For a guy not blessed with a whole heap of talent, he puts in and has been a good back up bowler without producing anything too amazing.
Score: 6/10

Ryan Harris
Very good series. Got plenty of big wickets.
Score: 8/10

Nathan Lyon
Made important breakthroughs and bowled tightly throughout the series. Wasn’t dismissed with bat in hand over five Tests.
Score: 8/10

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