@Yas_Wisden 2 minute read
Despite not quite clinching the whitewash, this was arguably Australia’s most dominant home Ashes series this century.
They overwhelmed a dysfunctional England batting unit and managed to do so with some unlikely leading stars.
Here’s how each off the 15 Australia players fared across the series:
David Warner: 6
273 runs @ 34.12, no hundreds; HS: 95
Fell in the nineties in the first two Tests, reminding everyone why he averages over 60 in home Tests. His form subsided in the second half of the series but the urn was all but retained by that point. At 35, it’s not impossible that this was his last Ashes series.
Marcus Harris: 5
179 runs @ 32.57, no hundreds; HS: 76
An odd series for Harris. Backed after a succession of low scores in the opening two Tests, the nuggety left-hander was Australia’s top-scorer at the MCG before Usman Khawaja’s twin hundreds at Sydney forced Harris out the side for the series finale.
Usman Khawaja: 8
255 runs @ 85, two hundreds; HS: 137
Sensational on his return to the side at the SCG, registering a pair of hundreds in the only Test Australia didn’t end up winning. Nudged up top for the Hobart Test, Khawaja fared less well.
Marnus Labuschagne: 7
335 runs @ 41.87, one hundred; HS: 103
The world’s No.1 ranked batter was the primary beneficiary of England’s slopping fielding in the first half of the series, cashing in on the tourists’ errors to score a century at Adelaide. By the end of the series, he encountered his first real dip in form since returning to the Australia side in the 2019 summer, often succumbing to a rapid Mark Wood.
Steve Smith: 5
244 runs @ 30.50, no hundreds; HS: 93
Smith was worlds away from who brutally dismantled the England attack four years ago. His average had dipped below 60 by the end of the series.
Travis Head: 9
357 runs @ 59.50, two hundreds; HS: 152
A sensational series for Head whose place in the side was not guaranteed going into the Brisbane Test. He bookended the series with a pair of brilliant, counterattacking hundreds. While in Brisbane he made the most of a tiring attack, in Hobart Head rescued Australia from 12-3 to post what was ultimately a match-winning total.
Cameron Green: 9
228 runs @ 32.59, no hundreds; HS: 74
13 wickets @ 15.76, no-five-fors; BBI: 3-21
Green, in only his second series as a Test cricketer, was a revelation with the ball. He’s a frightening all-round prospect who gives his side balance in a way that no current Australian cricketer can. By the end of series he gave glimpses of why he averages north of 50 with the bat in first-class cricket, too.
Alex Carey: 4
183 runs @ 20.33, no hundreds; HS: 51
An up-and-down first foray into the Test arena for Carey, who had a mixed series in both disciplines.
Mitchell Starc: 8
155 runs @ 38.75, no hundreds; HS: 39*
19 wickets @ 25.36, no five-fors; BBI: 4-37
The provider of the moment of the series was also a strong contender for Player of the Series. A constant menace with the new ball, Starc was also a nuisance with the bat, ending the series with an average of just under 40.
Pat Cummins: 9
21 wickets @ 18.04, one five-for; BBI: 5-38
Not so hard this captaincy lark, eh? A dream first series at the helm for Cummins who was a natural in his new role and whose bowling was unaffected by his new responsibilities.
Josh Hazlewood: 7
Three wickets @ 24.66, no five-for; BBI: 2-42
Just the one outing for Hazlewood whose series was ended prematurely due to injury.
Nathan Lyon: 7
16 wickets @ 23.56, no five-fors; BBI: 4-91
Lyon ends the series with an excellent set of numbers. He couldn’t quite bowl Australia to victory on the final day at Sydney, but all in all a pretty good series for the off-spinner who now sits 15th on the all-time list of Test cricket’s leading wicket-takers.
Michael Neser: 6
Two wickets @ 30.50, no five-fors; BBI: 1-28
Neser finally made his Test debut at Adelaide after spending a couple of years in and around the main squad. He bowled well without really getting the wickets to show for his efforts.
Jhye Richardson: 7
Five wickets @ 24, one five-for; BBI: 5-42
A five-for in the second innings at Adelaide in his sole appearance of the series. Expect Richardson to be a key figure in many Ashes series to come.
Scott Boland: 10
18 wickets @ 9.55, one five-for; BBI: 6-7
Some way down the pecking order before the start of the series, Boland ended it as one its protagonists. His 6-7 on debut at the MCG to ensure that the urn remained in Australia’s hands will live long in the memory and his follow up performances at Sydney and Hobart proved that it was no fluke.