By Peter Moore
- Australia recover from 122 for 8 on Day 1 to draw first blood in 2019 Ashes Series
- Steve Smith thwarts England yet again with two century stands
- Hosts wilt on final day as Nathan Lyon blows hosts away
EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM – Following England’s heavy defeat to the old enemy by 251 runs in the Ashes series opener, how did the players rate in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston?
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Jason Roy – 6/10 – Didn’t win many plaudits by dancing down the wicket to Nathan Lyon in the second innings when England were looking to save the match. Question marks will now be raised after two disappointing scores of 10 and 29. Chances are he will be given further opportunities but is already under pressure to produce consistently high scores, and to try and get away from playing in white ball mode.
Rory Burns – 8/10 – Showed tremendous character to knuckle down and become just the third Englishman since the 2015 Ashes to bat out over 300 plus deliveries. His knock of 133 and maiden test century proved to everybody that he certainly has the ability to open for England for a long time. Couldn’t do anything about the ball that got him out in the second innings.
Joe Root – 7/10 – Grounded out a first innings half century but failed to repeat the dose in the second after getting caught at bat pad. Overall captaincy in the opening test was good apart from his decision not to use Chris Woakes on the fourth morning, and running out of ideas of how to remove Steve Smith.
Joe Denly – 5/10 – The experiment of batting him at four isn’t working. Looks out of his depth at international level. Scores of 18 and 11 along with two failures in the recent test against Ireland would appear to make him a strong candidate to being dropped for the next test. When thrown the ball at times looked dangerous.
Jos Buttler – 3/10 – Really looked totally uncomfortable at the crease in his 25-ball stand for just a single run in the second innings. Another poor innings in the first from the Lancashire batsman. Overall, a test match to forget.
Ben Stokes – 8 /10 – Continued were he left of in the world cup with a superb half century in the first innings, before playing a loose shot to be caught behind. One of many to fail second time around. Confident as ever with the ball and also made some key breakthrough’s in the match. Having a super summer so far, with plenty more to come from the quality all-rounder.
Jonny Bairstow – 3/10 – A miserable test for the wicketkeeper. Scores of eight and six respectively haven’t helped his cause for the second Test coming up. Missed a couple of stumpings as well. Looked very unsettled at the crease, and not his normal self. Under pressure for his place, with Ben Foakes waiting in the wings.
Moeen Ali – 2/10 – Totally lacking confidence with both bat and ball. Has been since the World Cup. Looks a walking wicket every time he makes his way to the middle. Bowling once again lacked conviction due to no confidence. Really needs to go back to Worcestershire and play some form of county cricket. Surely can’t be considered for the next test match.
Chris Woakes – 8/10 – Strangely underused with the ball in the second innings after taking 3 for 58 in the first. Useful knocks of 37 and a lovely cameo of 31 in a lost cause proved once again that he is turning into a very useful all-rounder.
Stuart Broad – 7/10 – Outstanding bowling from the Nottinghamshire seamer of 5 for 86 in the first innings. Struggled a bit with his line and length in the second, but overall a very solid performance from the veteran. Looked back to his best with the bat as well.
James Anderson – 2/10 – Could only bowl four overs on the opening morning before breaking down with a calf injury. Could take no further part with the ball, but did bat, but looked in trouble when running. A huge doubt for not only the Lords test, but subsequent tests to follow. A massive blow to England’s chances of wrestling the Ashes back from the Aussies.
David Warner – 2/10 – A knock of only two followed by eight in the second wasn’t how he wanted his Ashes series to start. The type of player who at some stage will surely get back to his best.
Cameron Bancroft – 2/10 – Failed to reach double figures in both innings. The opener’s place must surely be in doubt for the forthcoming Lords test.
Usman Khawaja – 5/10 – Looked very uncomfortable in the first innings but pulled Australia out of a hole in the second with a fine knock of 40 before getting caught behind.
Steve Smith – 10/10 – A pure cricketing genius. Two consecutive centuries in the test of 144 and 142. Incredibly, he is now averaging over 140 in his last 11 tests against England. Despite the expected boos, it never put his concentration of once. One of the finest cricketers around. Question for not just England, but every cricket nation is very simple, how do you get this man out.
Travis Head – 8/10 – Consistent in both innings. Shared in partnerships of 130 and 64 with Smith. Looks a quality player who will be in Australia’s line up for many years to come.
Matthew Wade – 8/10 – Only lasted just five deliveries in the first innings, but more than made up for it in the second after hitting a sublime 110. Very well paced century and gave Smith superb support in a century partnership.
Tim Paine – 6/10 – Captained this Australian side in the opening test in fine fashion. Had a disappointing time with the bat with scores of five and 34. Glovework wasn’t up to his normal high standards.
James Pattinson – 7/10 – Bowled quick without much luck. Could only bag two wickets in England’s first innings. Lovely second innings cameo of 47 at a run a ball including four sixes.
Pat Cummins – 7/10 – Appeared uncomfortable as an opening bowler in the first innings after filling in for the absent Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Took seven wickets overall in the match at a cost of 116 runs. Has also now claimed 100 test wickets to boot.
Peter Siddle – 7/10 – Most important knock of 44 helped Australia out of a big hole in the first innings. Plugged away with the ball, but only managed to pick up a couple of wickets in the second innings.
Nathan Lyon – 8/10 – Took a while in the first innings before claiming his first victim. Better time with the ball in the second, with an inspired spell before lunch on the final day of 3 for 31. Eventually bowled Australia to victory with 6 for 49 and in so doing picking up 350 test wickets.
The second Ashes Test begins on Wednesday 14 August at Lords
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