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Australia second Ashes Test player ratings: Smith and Cummins the standouts as top order flops

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19th August, 2019
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For a match which was only afforded three-and-a-bit days of play, that was an outstanding Test.

The usual suspects stood up for Australia once again in the draw – Steve Smith and Pat Cummins were both superb at Lord’s – but there are some serious issues around the top order.

Here’s how each of the Aussies rated in the second Test of the Ashes.

David Warner: 1/10
Warner had a proper shocker at Lord’s. A grand total of eight runs was bad enough, but he also was shaky in the corden, dropping a couple of chances and not getting his positioning right when Nathan Lyon was bowling. Will likely keep his spot for Headingley, but desperately needs a score.

David Warner

(Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Cameron Bancroft: 2
Another superb short-leg catch, another pair of failures with the bat. Bancroft might have got one which shot low in the second innings, but there’s little we’ve seen which suggested he would have made a significant contribution anyway. Without the weight of past Test runs to back him up, the opener should make way for Marcus Harris.

Usman Khawaja: 4
Khawaja’s 36 was the second-highest score in Australia’s first innings, although that probably says more about the team effort as a whole than Khawaja’s contribution. While he doesn’t look in bad form, and he copped a Jofra Archer jaffa in the second dig, the left-hander needs to make more of his stays at the crease, particularly if Steve Smith misses the next Test.

Steve Smith: 9
Another superb knock from Smith with little support from his teammates, he looked immovable until Archer shortened him up with some excellent fast bowling. All the focus now will, of course, be on whether Smith will be able to play the next Test. If he can’t, Australia’s chances of retaining the Ashes drop significantly.

Steve Smith

(Photo by Visionhaus)

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Travis Head: 5
After failing in the first innings, Head showed why he’s valued so much in the Australian camp with a fine match-saving effort on Day 5. That said, he owes Jason Roy a few beers for dropping him early on.

Matthew Wade: 1
What a come-down from the last Test. After his comeback century at Edgbaston, Wade was out cheaply twice at Lord’s, flashing at a Stuart Broad ball which moved away in the first and prodding tamely at a Jack Leach delivery in the second.

Tim Paine: 2
Paine made a few handy runs in the first innings, but it was a poor match for the skipper. Dropped a catch he should have snaffled early on Day 2, his use (and non-use) of DRS made Joel Wilson look the best umpire who’s ever walked the planet, then played a horrid pull with just seven overs left last night to give England a proper chance of victory.

Tim Paine

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Pat Cummins: 8
Thankfully for Paine, Cummins was the next man in, capping off his excellent Test with a solid knock to earn a draw. With six wickets for the match, plus a handy 20 with the bat in the first innings, he was clearly one of Australia’s best.

Peter Siddle: 5
It’s a good thing Peter Siddle knows how to take a caught and bowled. The Victorian now has four catches dropped off his bowling this series, hardly a fair return for someone bowling so well. Still, was a little expensive on Day 5 as Ben Stokes targetted him, and is in danger of being dropped for Headingley.

Nathan Lyon: 4
England clearly had a plan to go after him and play him off the back foot where possible, and Lyon left Lord’s with just the one wicket as a result. Didn’t bowl badly, though, and he would have had a far better return had Australia got their use of DRS right.

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Josh Hazlewood: 6
Superb in his first Test innings since January, Hazlewood used the (everyone take a drink) Lord’s slope perfectly on the opening morning to claim the first three wickets of the match. Couldn’t manage any more for the remainder, but still a good return from the New South Welshman.

Marnus Labuschagne: 7
The first man to be put into a Test under the new concussion sub rule, it’s going to take a long time before we see a better contribution from a mid-match replacement. Labuschagne’s gutsy 59 was critical as Australia earned a draw, and was only ended by what has inevitably been termed a ‘controversial catch’, but what could also be called ‘not actually out’.