By Michael Stafford-Jones
- England start match brightly but collapse to 302 all out in the first innings
- Steve Smith’s brilliant 141 guides Australia to 26-run first innings lead
- After England only make 195 in their second innings, Australia easily chase 170 to win
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Batting collapses in both innings and weak change bowling from Chris Woakes and Jake Ball cost England during 10-wicket defeat in the first Ashes Test.
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England’s Ratings for the First Ashes Test
Alastair Cook – 0/10 – Woeful display from England’s most experienced batsman. His team will need much more from him in the rest of the series to have any chance of retaining The Ashes.
Mark Stoneman – 7/10 – Showed he has the concentration and temperament required to succeed at Test level with patient knocks of 53 and 27. Needs to work on his technique against off-spin though.
James Vince – 8/10 – Superb innings of 83 on his Ashes debut, and just 17 runs short of being the perfect start to the series for the Hampshire batsman. Failed in the second innings.
Joe Root – 7/10 – Made up for his first-innings failure by making 51 in the second innings, but must start making big hundreds to power his team to victories. Skippered the side intelligently and imaginatively in the field.
Dawid Malan – 6/10 – Looked assured and confident during encouraging first-innings fifty. Mode of dismissal was disappointing, however, and he did not contribute in the second innings when England needed him to.
Moeen Ali – 6/10 – Played some of the best shots of the match during his two innings of 38 and 40 respectively, but pretty thirties and forties are not going to be good enough for England when Stokes is absent. Was not threatening enough with the ball.
Jonny Bairstow – 5/10 – Very mixed display. Took two excellent catches behind the stumps and made a spirited 42 in the second innings before playing a very poor shot to get out. Did not look comfortable in his short time at the crease in the first innings.
Chris Woakes – 1/10 – Totally ineffective with the ball, very poor with the bat.
Jake Ball – 1/10 – His intelligent use of the slower ball to dismiss Warner proved to be a false dawn, as it was the only positive impact the Nottinhamshire’s seamer’s bowling made in the match.
Stuart Broad – 7/10 – The pick of the England attack. Bowled accurately and intelligently to take 3-49 in the first innings, and stayed economical in the second innings while Australia cruised to victory.
James Anderson – 6/10 – Bowled well in the first innings to take 2-50 and produced an absolute peach to get Tim Paine caught behind. Unable to get the early wicket England needed in the second innings.
Australia’s Ratings for the First Ashes Test
David Warner – 7/10 – The opener’s quick-scoring and fluent strokeplay make him an ideal participant in relatively small run chases. He never looked troubled during his unbeaten 87. However, the way he got out in the first innings mirrored past Ashes dismissals.
Cameron Bancroft – 7/10 – Put his first-innings failure behind him with a composed knock of 82 not out during Australia’s triumphant chase
Usman Khawaja – 1/10 – His familiar dismissal against an off-spin bowler for just 11 means he is the only Australian whose selection for the Second Test is in any doubt.
Steve Smith – 10/10 – Peerless innings of 141 not out rescued his team from trouble and set them up for their eventual victory. Could have captained better in England’s first innings but had the right plans for England’s lower order.
Peter Handscomb – 3/10 – His back-foot-reliant technique was exposed by Anderson, who had him lbw for 14. Took four good catches in various fielding positions.
Shaun Marsh – 7/10 – His gritty fifty in support of Smith was the perfect response to those who criticised his selection.
Tim Paine – 6/10 – One drop aside, his glovework was superb, and his sharp stumping to dismiss Moeen in the second innings was crucial. Supported Smith well for thirteen overs with the bat.
Mitchell Starc – 7/10 – Not at his best but he still took three wickets in each innings, including Cook, Moeen and Bairstow. Imagine how many he might take if he hits top gear at some stage in this series.
Pat Cummins – 8/10 – Took two fewer wickets than Starc but was the most consistently threatening of Australia’s seamers. Removed Root and Bairstow cheaply in the first innings and ended Stoneman’s vigil. Provided top-quality lower-order support for Smith by scoring 42 with the bat.
Josh Hazlewood – 6/10 – Made up for ineffective first-innings display by dismissing Cook and Vince early in the second to reduce England to 17/2. Getting Root lbw was the icing on the cake.
Nathan Lyon – 8/10 – Impressive display of off-spin bowling saw him take 2-78 in the first innings and 3-67 in the second. Wickets of Stoneman and Malan in quick succession in the second innings were vital.
The Second Test in Ashes 2017/18 begins in Adelaide at 3.30am on Thursday 2nd December.
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