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Ashes 2021/22

Who will be the Ashes Player of the Series?

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

With the 2021/22 men’s Ashes close to wrapping up, we’ve taken a look at those in with a shout of being named Player of the Series.

With Australia currently 3-0 up and appearing to be in control of the fifth and final Test, it seems certain that one of the home side will be awarded the Compton-Miller Medal.

Here’s a look at the leading candidates:

Travis Head

Despite missing the fourth Test after testing positive for Covid-19, Head currently stands as the leading run-scorer in the series. Returning to the XI after being dropped during Australia’s 2-1 series defeat to India last year, the left-hander reeled off a 148-ball 152 at the Gabba and showcased his aggression once more at Hobart with a 113-ball 101 in Australia’s first innings.

Mitchell Starc

Has fired from ball one, when he bowled Rory Burns to set the tone for the series. Starc excelled as the leading man of the attack at Adelaide when he took match figures of 6-80 and his batting has stood out too: he’s currently averaging more than 50 with the bat in the series and has moved past Ben Stokes in the ICC’s Test all-rounder rankings.

Pat Cummins

The new Australia skipper is enjoying the honeymoon. He began with a maiden Ashes five-for at Brisbane and has kept up his relentless lines and lengths in subsequent appearances – he’s currently level with Starc as the leading wicket-taker in the series despite having missed the second Test. His captaincy encountered its first real test during the draw at the SCG as England survived the fifth day, but little else has gone wrong for him and his side.

Scott Boland

The Victoria seamer has enjoyed an outstanding start to life in Test cricket, with his 6-7 performance at the MCG entering Ashes folklore. After day two of the fifth Test, he sits with 15 wickets at a scarcely believable average of 10.26, with his accuracy the standout element of his displays so far.

Cameron Green

Ahead of the series, Green seemed more likely to define the series with the bat at No.6 but his bowling has taken the headlines. Mixing the ability to challenge the top of off stump with a sharp bouncer, Green has given England another challenge beyond the specialist bowlers and his 10 wickets thus far have come at an average below 20. He struggled with the bat early on but has come into his own in his last couple of innings, hitting a pair of 74s.

Honourable mentions

Nathan Lyon has quietly moved to 16 wickets in the series at an average of 23.56, though he proved unable to bowl his side to a win at the SCG. Marnus Labuschagne began the series with a century and two half-centuries in the first two Tests but hasn’t reached fifty since climbing to the top of the ICC’s Test batting rankings. Usman Khawaja emerged out of the wilderness to rack up twin tons in the fourth Test but just 17 runs followed in the fifth. Steve Smith captained Australia to victory in the second Test and could still have a say with the bat in the finale. David Warner finishes the series with a pair but has been the best opener across the two sides.

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