Ashes 2013/14: Player Ratings for Australia After 5th Test in Sydney
Australia's demolition of England is now complete, with Michael Clarke's side ending the 2013/14 Ashes contest in style by humiliating their guests for a fifth consecutive time in Sydney.
After scrapping their way to 326 in the first innings, the home side's flawless bowling attack blew away England's feeble resistance twice in the space of less than 48 hours to hand a thumping 281-run defeat to their miserable counterparts.
While Australia can now celebrate an emphatic triumph, Alastair Cook and his men must now face the reality that this tour has witnessed perhaps the worst single-series performance in the history of the sport.
That, however, is not a concern for Australia, who march up to third in the ICC Test rankings after claiming possession of cricket's greatest prize.
Here are the ratings for each Australian player after the final Test in Sydney.
Criteria and Explanation of Ratings
- First-innings runs carry more weight than those scored in the second innings.
- Runs scored in difficult situations are valued more highly than runs compiled when a team is well in front.
- The captain will be judged on his performance in the field in addition to his other contributions with bat or ball.
- Moments of brilliance or game-defining acts are looked upon favourably.
- Performing to a high standard in conditions that don't suit a player's skill set boost a player's rating.
- Acts of poor judgement, rather than poor execution, significantly hurt a player's rating.
Before employing a rating system, it's important to outline the key criteria used to award those ratings.
Of course, sheer weight of runs and wickets will largely determine a player's match rating. However, the following factors also have a significant bearing on the rating of each player:
With the bat: 11, 119
You would have been laughed at had you suggested that Chris Rogers would be the leading run-scorer after 10 Tests across two consecutive Ashes series.
Yet, that's exactly what Rogers has achieved.
By compiling hundreds in each of the final two Tests of this series, the sturdy left-hander finished with 493 runs for this series alone, topping the charts for both teams across consecutive series with 830 at 43.68.
In Sydney, he was again superb, rebounding from an unlucky dismissal in the first innings to cruise to a memorable hundred in his team's final innings of the series.
With the bat: 16, 16
David Warner's contributions have tailed off as the series has worn on.
Yet, it is often said that the most significant performances arrive at the beginning of an encounter.
That is certainly true for Warner, who brutalised England at the start of the summer to become the leading run-scorer of the series with 523 at 58.11.
However, in Sydney, the aggressive left-hander was far from his best, playing all around a Stuart Broad straight delivery in the first innings before falling LBW to James Anderson in the second.
With the bat: 43, 9
With the ball: 0/5, DNB
It's hard to believe that Shane Watson's wicket on the opening day of this Test was the first LBW dismissal England achieved for the entire series.
After nailing Watson's immovable front pad countless times in the English summer, the visitors' bowlers simply forgot where the stumps were this time around, only remembering their whereabouts when the right-hander had reached such a typically Watson score of 43 at the SCG.
While he had cruised to that point, Watson can expect a more stern examination of his foot-planting ways by Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander in February.
With the bat: 10, 6
Like Warner, Michael Clarke's performances with the bat have subsided as the series has progressed.
After hammering England in the opening two Tests, the Australian captain failed to pass 24 in his last six innings of the series, a couple of uncertain prods outside off-stump resulting in his demise in Sydney.
Yet, once again, Clarke's tactical performance in the field was masterful, again being a significant catalyst for Australia's demolition of England's batting lineup on two more occasions.
It's unquestionable that Clarke has battered his opposite number with regard to on-field captaincy.
With the bat: 115, 7
While his hundred in Perth came at a more pivotal moment of the series, Steven Smith's glittering century in Sydney provided more evidence of his immense potential.
Arriving at the crease with his side in early trouble again, Smith defiantly stroked his way to a second hundred of the series, cementing his place as the key man in Australia's middle-order for the next decade.
Whereas others have prospered in more gentle circumstances, Smith's sizable efforts have arrived when his teammates have struggled.
After being ridiculed in this very series three years ago, Smith now looks to be the most promising batting prospect Australia have.
With the bat: 1, 46
George Bailey was the only Australian playing for his place in Sydney, after an underwhelming series had left most unconvinced of his Test credentials.
Unfortunately for the limited-overs specialist, his effort at the SCG will unlikely lengthen his stay in this team, his first-innings dismissal reflecting his glaring weakness when facing the red ball.
Although Bailey did compile 46 in the second innings, selectors will know that the impending challenge that will be posed by South Africa will only be greater, meaning Bailey's brief spell in the Test side has likely reached its end.
With the bat: 75, 28
With the gloves: 4 dismissals
Highlight, copy, paste. You could write exactly the same piece about Brad Haddin for every Test of this remarkable Ashes series.
At Sydney, he did it again.
Yet, perhaps it's time that we stopped reacting with surprise, such has been the consistency of his efforts in hauling Australia out of tight situations.
In fact, without Haddin's lower-order efforts, Australia's lethal bowling attack would have enjoyed far less success, given the paucity of first-innings runs that may have been otherwise available.
A savage Mitchell Johnson aside, Haddin was the best player in the series.
With the ball: 3/33, 3/40
With the bat: 12, 4
From start to finish, Mitchell Johnson's destruction of England has been one of the most graphic annihilations ever witnessed in the game's history.
Confident, lethal and mean, Johnson has embodied the built-up aggression of an entire nation and hurled it at England with his destructive left arm.
What the SCG crowd saw was no different to what was witnessed anywhere else in the country: Johnson's thunderbolts reducing England to a quivering mess in another thumping victory.
The Man of the Series award was never in doubt.
With the ball: 3/36, 5/25
With the bat: 22, 13
There are only two dodgy things about Ryan Harris: His knee and his tweeting.
Those aside, the unrelenting fast bowler is the quintessential Australian cricketer.
Fierce, aggressive, skilful and hard-edged, Harris has become Johnson's perfect opening partner, forming what is perhaps the most lethal bowling combination in world cricket.
At the SCG, he was once again superb, claiming eight wickets to grab Man of the Match honours and seal a fine summer with the ball.
With the ball: 3/23, 0/24
With the bat: 0, 4
Unspectacular and unheralded, yet mightily important, Peter Siddle continues to do the gritty work for Michael Clarke and Australia.
While his pace can't rival that of Harris and Johnson, Siddle's unerring accuracy strangled England again in Sydney, the right-armer claiming 3/23 from 13 overs in the first innings to ensure the visitors didn't get anywhere near the hosts' total of 326.
Siddle went wicketless in the second innings, but by the time that had occurred, that match had already been decided.
With the ball: 1/57, 2/70
With the bat: 1*, 6*
It was a reflection of the tour as a whole that England couldn't muster the courage to attack Nathan Lyon until the final hour of the series.
And even then, they could only manage to sustain it for a few minutes.
Lyon's nine second-innings overs went for 70 in total, resembling the sort of treatment handed out to Graeme Swann earlier in the summer.
Yet, before that, Lyon was steady, regularly beating the bat with turn and bounce, unlucky not to claim an edge or two more than he did.
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