Jofra Archer was an instant hit for England while Steve Smith proved he is the best since Don Bradman... Lawrence Booth's Ashes series ratings

Daily Mail

Daily Mail

Author 2019-09-16 01:25:00

England beat Australia by 135 runs in the fifth Ashes test to see the series finish level.

The tourists had already retained the urn with their victory over England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford. 

Here, Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth assesses the performances of both sets of players over the five-match series.


Australia's Tim Paine lifts the Ashes following the conclusion of the fifth Test on Sunday


Rory Burns 7.5

A real find. Only Stokes scored more runs for England than Burns’ 390, despite a constant struggle against the short ball. But he was often unflappable and will now get the winter to confirm he can be England’s long-term opener. Holds on to blinders, too.

Joe Denly 6

Dealt well with the mid-series hospital pass that had him promoted to opener after his half-century from No 4. Has to get a run now as Burns’ partner, but will he be around for the 2021-22 Ashes?

Joe Root 6

Four fifties and three ducks summed up a hit-and-miss series in which Steve Smith pulled miles clear in the contemporary batting hall of fame. Still prone to giving it away when set. Captaincy is a work in progress.

Ben Stokes 8.5

Played one of the greatest innings of all time to prevent England from going 2-0 down at Headingley. It was easy to forget his unbeaten hundred at Lord’s. But he’ll never forget the summer of 2019.


Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs to secure victory in the third Test

Jonny Bairstow 5

Moved around between No 5, 6 and 7 — and looked correspondingly disorientated. One half-century in 10 innings was a poor return for a player of his talent. Ben Foakes waits in the wings.

Jos Buttler 5.5

Finished strongly, with 192 runs from his final four innings, but managed only 55 in his first six, when he seemed unable to shake off the emotional exhaustion of the World Cup.

Sam Curran 6.5

Strangely ignored at Old Trafford, Curran made his usual telling intervention in the final Test with two wickets in two balls in Australia’s first innings.


Sam Curran of England celebrates taking the wicket of Tim Paine during the fifth Test

Chris Woakes 6

Was not always at his best but did remove Smith three times, more than any of his team-mates. His batting faded as Australia peppered him with short stuff. 

Jack Leach 6.5

He will always have his one not out at Headingley, where his glasses became a national artefact. Then again, he will always have his no-ball to Smith at Old Trafford. The Somerset left-arm spinner finished on a high with the ball, too.

Jofra Archer 9

Produced some of the fastest spells in English history — his duel with Smith at Lord’s was an instant classic. Two six-fors in his first Test series and 22 wickets. England have a gem on their hands.


Jofra Archer celebrates after taking the wicket of Australia's Mitchell Marsh on Friday

Stuart Broad 8

Shouldered the burden superbly in Jimmy Anderson’s absence, and was lethal against Australia’s left-handers, who accounted for 16 of his 23 wickets — including David Warner seven times. Bowled fuller and faster than ever.

Moeen Ali 2

Dropped after one game, his confidence shot.

Jimmy Anderson 5

Hobbled out after four overs at Edgbaston but is determined to keep going at 37.

Jason Roy 3

Has to prove he can adapt his technique if he is to have a Test future.


Jason Roy shows his frustration after losing his wicket in the first innings of the fourth Test

Craig Overton 6

Batted for nearly three hours on the last day in Manchester, but should never have been picked ahead of Curran.



Marcus Harris 2

A walking wicket after replacing Cameron Bancroft. Didn’t reach 20 in six attempts, and had no answer to Broad or Archer from round the wicket.

David Warner 1.5

A catastrophe. Proclaimed after 61 in the first innings at Headingley that he had relocated his off stump, then made 0, 0, 0, 5 and 11. Averaged 9.5 and fell seven times to Broad. His rictus grin fooled no one: this hurt.

Marnus Labuschagne 8

Got his chance because Smith had concussion, but grabbed it and didn’t let go, scoring four fifties in succession. His leaving outside off was exemplary, and he took the vital wicket of Leach with his leg-spin in the final hour in Manchester.

Steve Smith 10

The best since Don Bradman. Not until the fifth Test did England force him into errors, but by then he had already won Edgbaston and Old Trafford more or less by himself.


Steve Smith celebrates after reaching his century during the fourth Test at Old Trafford


Matthew Wade 7

Began and ended with a hundred, and on Sunday came through a lightning spell from Archer. Didn’t manage many runs in between, or win many friends.

Mitchell Marsh 7

Brought in at the death, and responded with a career-best five-for, plus a touching press conference in which he suggested: ‘Most of Australia hate me.’ Failed to impress with the bat.

Tim Paine 6

He leaves England with the urn, which is why he scores as many as six. His batting was sketchy and his use of the DRS abominable.

Pat Cummins 9

Always in the game, he took at least three wickets in an innings eight times out of 10, and underlined his status as the world’s No 1 bowler. The only miracle was he never claimed a five-for.


Pat Cummins celebrates taking the wicket of England's Joe Denly at The Oval on Thursday

Peter Siddle 6

Australia preferred Siddle to Starc at Edgbaston, where he responded by going at two an over. But two more Tests produced average results.

Nathan Lyon 6.5

Started superbly with nine wickets in the first Test, but England decided to play him off the back foot, with profitable results: his 11 wickets in the last four Tests cost 46 each.

Josh Hazlewood 8

Not far behind Cummins, despite his omission at Edgbaston, and played a big part in keeping Root quiet.

James Pattinson 7

Unfortunate to play only twice: Australia’s tightest bowler, at 2.56 an over.


Australia's James Pattinson bowls during day three of the third Ashes Test at Headlingley

Usman Khawaja 5

Counter-attacked elegantly a couple of times, but could not pass 40.

Mitchell Starc 6

Victim of Australia’s policy of bowling dry, and played only once.

Cameron Bancroft 4

Didn’t make it beyond the second Test — squared up too easily outside off stump.

Travis Head 5.5

Helped save the Lord’s Test, but struggled against England’s round-the-wicket attack.


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