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England v Australia

Marks out of 10: How Australia’s players fared in their ODI series win against England

by Wisden Staff 4-minute read

A scintillating series zigged and zagged, with Australia eventually beating the ODI world champions 2-1 – it was England’s first ODI series loss at home since 2015. Here’s how the visiting players fared.

Glenn Maxwell 9/10

186 runs @ 62, HS: 108

In many ways, this was a fine series for Maxwell. At the World Cup, Maxwell had a disappointing campaign, attributed to a lack of clarity on his role in the batting line-up. That seems to now have been sorted, thanks to lockdowns spent discussing cricket with captain Aaron Finch. Maxwell scored 77 and 108 in the first and third ODIs, both of which Australia won. In the second ODI, when he scored 1, Australia suffered a dramatic collapse and a dispiriting loss – if the visitors had gone on to lose the series, the blame would have been pinned on Maxwell for not doing enough in the second ODI. His comeback knock in the final match, when it mattered most, showed his mettle.

Marnus Labuschagne 4/10

89 runs @ 29.66, HS: 48

Labuschagne came into the series with plenty of expectations – let’s just say he made quite an impression the last time he was in England, for the Ashes – but failed to live up to it, for the most part. His one good performance, when he scored 48, came in an otherwise shoddy display from the team, during their collapse in the second ODI. In the other two matches, he aggregated 41. With Steve Smith ruled out of the series after taking a knock on the head in the nets, Labuschagne was expected to fill in for the star, like he did with considerable success in the Ashes last year. Suffice to say he didn’t quite manage that.

Aaron Finch 5/10

101 runs @ 33.66, HS: 73

Finch finished as Australia’s third-highest run-scorer in the series, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Australia captain scored a 73 in the second ODI, but he’ll rue the knock, for failing to hang around and guide the team through to a chase of 232. In the first and third ODIs, Finch managed 16 and 12 respectively. As a captain, he’ll be delighted though, having marshalled the team to a series victory at the home of the world champions. He’ll expect more from himself as a batsman.

Alex Carey 8/10

152 runs @ 50.66, HS: 106

With pressure bobbing up on him, Carey scored when it mattered most. His 106 in the final ODI – luck played a part, having been reprieved by an Archer no-ball – and his excellent partnership with Maxwell, took Australia to that thrilling victory in the final ODI. Importantly, it showed that Carey could be counted on in tough situations – pressure on the wicketkeeper-batsman was growing after a string of low scores on the international circuit, but the critics will be quietened after that all-important knock.

David Warner 2/10

36 runs @ 12, HS: 24

By his own standards, this was a disappointing series for Warner. The usually dashing opener managed just 36 runs across three matches, a majority of those runs coming in the final ODI, when he scored 24. He managed just 6 in each of the first two matches. It was far from Warner’s usual habits of high-scoring – in these shores last year, despite not looking too fluent, Warner still scored 647 runs to be the second-highest scorer in the 2019 World Cup. Perhaps the IPL, his next assignment, will spark some form back into him.

Mitchell Marsh 6/10

76 runs @ 25.33, HS: 73; 2 wickets @ 51.5, BBI: 1-29

Mitchell Marsh shone more with the bat than the ball. His 73 in the first ODI played a part in arresting the slide, and helping Australia to a win. Later in the match, he took the crucial wicket of Billings, who had scored 118 to put England on course for the victory. Thereafter in the series, Marsh’s role was limited. During the collapse in the second ODI, he couldn’t arrest the slide, while in the final match, he scored just two and went wicket-less. However, it was still a standard return for the all-rounder.

Marcus Stoinis 4/10

56 runs @ 18.66; HS: 43

Stoinis was another player whose performances dipped as the series went on. Turning out at the crucial No.3 role, he scored an important 43 in the first ODI, as Australia posted a sizeable total and coasted to victory. However, with scores of 9 and 4 in the subsequent matches, with higher stakes, his performances weren’t the best, when the team needed it the most.

Adam Zampa 9/10

10 wickets @ 14.2, BBI: 4-55

With each wicket Zampa took in this series, the cheers could be heard all the way in Dubai, where the IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore are based. RCB brought in Zampa in place of Kane Richardson ahead of the rescheduled tournament, and his 10 wickets in the series have heightened expectations on him to star in the UAE. Zampa was the one consistent performer for Australia through the series – he followed up his 4-55 in the series opener, with 3-36 and 3-51 in the subsequent matches. England’s middle-order was routinely stifled by him, and while Maxwell took all the plaudits, Zampa deserves some too.

Mitchell Starc 6/10

5 wickets @ 31.8, BBI: 3-74

Starc took 3-74 in the final ODI, dismissing Jason Roy, Joe Root and Tom Curran before finishing the match off later in the day with a 3-ball 11* with three balls remaining. Starc was also impressive in the second ODI, despite Australia’s loss, his 2-38 helping contain England to 231-9. With Pat Cummins struggling, it was important for Australia that Starc delivered, and he did.

Pat Cummins 3/10

3 wickets @ 61, BBI: 1-53

Australia’s usually reliable paceman was far from his best. He claimed a wicket in each match, but struggled to contain the runs, which was reflected in his economy rate of 6.1.

Josh Hazlewood 9/10

4 wickets @ 30.2, BBI: 3-26

Hazlewood was adjudged Player of the Series, and it’s striking that he wasn’t high up the wicket list. Instead, what set Hazlewood apart in this series was his economy rate – at 4.03, it was the best by anyone who played all three matches in the series. In limited-overs cricket, however, economy is premium, and the fact that Hazlewood began the series with a bunch of wickets – he took 3-26 in the first ODI – means he was a quiet, but integral part of the victorious Australian side.

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