Australia vs. England: Ranking All 29 Players Who Played in the 2013/14 Ashes

Chris TealeFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2014

Australia vs. England: Ranking All 29 Players Who Played in the 2013/14 Ashes

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    The 2013/14 Ashes series is over, with England’s humiliation complete as they were whitewashed 5-0 by Australia.

    It was a series that saw England use 18 different players as they sought to find a winning combination, while Australia used the same 11 individuals throughout.

    Some players covered themselves in glory, while for some this series perhaps represents the end of their international careers.

    In order from worst to best performance, let’s power rank all 29 players used Down Under by both sides.

    All stats courtesy of ESPNCricinfo.

29. Boyd Rankin

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    Matt King/Getty Images

    1 Test

    1 wicket

    13 runs

    One of England’s three debutants in Sydney, Boyd Rankin bowled too short too often before limping off with a hamstring problem in the first innings.

    After bowling eight overs first up, Rankin could manage just two more balls in what was a humiliating spectacle for the former Ireland seam bowler.

    He took 1-47 in the second innings in 12.3 overs—removing Peter Siddle to close Australia’s batting effort—but Rankin will be enormously disappointed with how his Test bow turned out.

28. Monty Panesar

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    Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

    2 Tests

    3 wickets

    4 runs

    The omens looked good for Monty Panesar as he came into the side in Adelaide alongside Graeme Swann, but in general he looked subpar.

    Regularly conceding around 4.00 runs per over and leaking boundaries, the left-armer looked a shadow of the bowler he once was, with his nadir coming in Melbourne as captain Alastair Cook preferred the part-time off spin of Joe Root to Panesar.

27. Chris Tremlett

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    1 Test

    4 wickets

    15 runs

    Just the one Test for one of the tallest drinks waiters of all time, and it was a disappointing return to Australia for Chris Tremlett.

    One of England’s key men last time they were Down Under, Tremlett’s pace was way down on where it once was, and he must surely wonder if his international career is over.

26. Jonathan Trott

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    1 Test

    19 runs

    Two tortured knocks in Brisbane showed that Jonathan Trott was struggling enormously, but no one knew the full extent until he was forced to return home with a stress-related illness.

    On both occasions, he was worked over by Mitchell Johnson and could do nothing to stem the tide as his technique disintegrated.

25. Graeme Swann

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    3 Tests

    7 wickets

    36 runs

    The most surprising announcement of the tour came from Graeme Swann, who announced after the Perth Test that he was retiring from international cricket, per BBC Sport.

    In those three games, Swann had been carted to all parts by a rampant Australian batting line-up, another who could not prevent the Baggy Green domination and no longer the world-class bowler he once was.

24. Jonny Bairstow

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    Michael Dodge/Getty Images

    2 Tests

    49 runs

    Drafted in for Melbourne to keep wicket and bat at No. 7, the Yorkshire man’s glovework was below par and his batting—like his teammates—lacked heart.

    Having spent some time on the fringes of the England Test team, Bairstow would have seen this as an opportunity to make the place his own.

    He failed to take it.

23. Matt Prior

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    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    3 Tests

    107 runs

    England’s struggles were encapsulated in the poor form of Matt Prior, whose batting and keeping remained well below the high standards he has set for himself.

    Left out after Perth, he will now go back to county cricket with Sussex and look to regain his place, although these may have been his final outings in an England shirt.

22. James Anderson

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    14 wickets

    41 runs

    England’s premier seam bowler failed to live up to his billing, as his ability to swing the ball in virtually any conditions disappeared without trace.

    Fourteen wickets seem like a decent return, but an average of 43.92 for those wickets tells the story of a man milked all around the grounds of Australia.

21. Tim Bresnan

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    Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

    2 Tests

    5 wickets

    34 runs

    As ever, Bresnan worked hard for his country, even taking the new ball in the second innings at Perth with Stuart Broad off the field.

    Unfortunately, his pace was lacking and his batting was found wanting under close examination by the rampant Australians.

    He is another who will be questioning whether his international career is now over.

20. Gary Ballance

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    1 Test

    25 runs

    Another debutant in Sydney, Ballance showed some fight in the first innings to help England avoid the follow-on with a battling 18.

    However, like everyone else he capitulated in the second knock, although he will surely have another chance in the near future.

19. Alastair Cook

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    Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    246 runs

    A thoroughly disappointing series for England’s captain, especially considering the heights he scaled in the 2010/11 Ashes tour.

    Made a number of very strange captaincy decisions, especially in the field and in bowling changes, and looked all at sea with his batting.

    At times he looked exhausted—is international captaincy getting too much for Cook?

18. Michael Carberry

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    Matt King/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    281 runs

    This was the chance for Michael Carberry to prove himself as the solution to England’s opener problem, a spot that has not been filled since the retirement of Andrew Strauss.

    However, the Hampshire man could not replicate his county form on the international stage and was guilty of a number of false shots.

    At the age of 33, his time has perhaps now passed.

17. Joe Root

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    4 Tests

    192 runs

    In the face of Australian aggression and the England management shunting him up and down the batting order, this was a tough series for England’s newest star.

    Showed some heart with 87 in a lost cause in Adelaide, but otherwise failed to capitalise on a number of good starts.

    His time will come again, although England must now find his best batting position and stick with it.

16. Ian Bell

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    235 runs

    The man of the 2013 series in England, Ian Bell offered some resistance but also looked horribly out of form.

    Showed flashes of what he can do with 72 not out in Adelaide and 60 in Perth, but could not save England from defeat.

15. Kevin Pietersen

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    294 runs

    England’s leading run-scorer in the series, although that only tells half the story of an enormously frustrated Ashes campaign for the tourists’ key man.

    Several times he was dismissed playing rash and unnecessary shots, leading some to question whether he should still be in the side at all.

14. Scott Borthwick

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    1 Test

    4 wickets

    5 runs

    An encouraging sign for England came in the form of Sydney debutant Scott Borthwick, who recovered from being carted all over the SCG in the first innings in his second go with the ball.

    His figures of 3-33, including the key wickets of Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin, shows a young man with plenty of character who will surely be around international cricket for a long time to come.

13. George Bailey

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    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    183 runs

    Australia’s lowest-ranked player, although he still showed more than most of England’s squad with the bat.

    A return of one 50 and an average of 26.14 shows an ordinary series for Australia’s Twenty20 captain, although there was one bright moment.

    He hit Anderson for 28 in an over in Perth to equal the world record in Tests for runs in an over, showing great character and the ability to bat for the team rather than personal gain.

    Questions remain about his place in the side, however.

12. Peter Siddle

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    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    16 wickets

    38 runs

    A very encouraging series for Australia’s workhorse seamer, and although he was overshadowed by his colleagues, still looked impressive and dangerous.

    May not have taken a five-wicket haul, but still asked plenty of questions of England’s batsmen and found they were without many answers.

11. Stuart Broad

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    21 wickets

    155 runs

    England’s leading bowler, Stuart Broad shook off a foot injury and the taunts of the Brisbane press to once again showcase his ability to flourish in a hostile environment.

    His best return came on the first day of the series in Brisbane—6-81 including the first four wickets to fall—and he was England’s biggest threat with the ball.

10. Ben Stokes

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    4 Tests

    15 wickets

    279 runs

    One of England’s newest players and their newest centurion, Stokes’ 120 in Perth was the only time an English batsman reached three figures (bowlers managed it on five occasions).

    Still very raw and has much to learn, but showed some fight and is surely the batting all-rounder that England have been looking for since the retirement of Andrew Flintoff.

9. Nathan Lyon

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    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    19 wickets

    60 runs

    Regarded as the least potent spin option, Lyon defied his critics and has surely shored up his place in the Australian side for the long-term.

    Bowled economically throughout, with his 5-50 in the second innings at Melbourne the high point.

8. Steven Smith

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    1 wicket

    327 runs

    Not the finished article by any means, but this will be seen as a crucial series for Steven Smith’s coming of age as an international cricketer.

    While he is not the prettiest player, two centuries in Perth and Sydney respectively showed his abilities as a batsman who bowls some leg-spin rather than as an all-rounder.

7. Shane Watson

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    4 wickets

    345 runs

    Again suffered from his usual habit of making starts and getting out, but did well to score 103 in Perth to help Australia add to their imposing total.

    If No. 3 is to be his best position, he will need to find a way to convert more of his starts into big scores, but this was a decent return for the 32-year-old.

6. Michael Clarke

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    Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    363 runs

    Captained his side expertly in tandem with coach Darren Lehmann and batted with his usual class to complete a very successful series.

    Another to score two centuries, Clarke is still Australia’s best player and remains their lynchpin in the middle-order.

5. Chris Rogers

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    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    463 runs

    Chris Rogers came into this series with some doubts over his ability to stand up to international cricket, but he proved himself with several gritty displays.

    He is another who likes making ugly runs, but two centuries and three 50s speaks of a man determined to make up for lost time and is doing just that.

4. Ryan Harris

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    22 wickets

    117 runs

    Finally able to get through an entire series without his body breaking down, Harris is a world-class seam bower and ensured England could never gain any momentum with the bat.

    A superb foil to the left-arm pace of Mitchell Johnson, Harris is one of the canniest bowlers in world cricket, and if he stays healthy, will want to use this series as a springboard to greater success.

3. David Warner

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    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    523 runs

    Coming in at the top of the order, David Warner played his natural game and was rewarded by being Australia’s leading run-scorer in the series.

    He made runs when his team were wobbling slightly and remained a constant threat in what will be a very satisfying period for the left-hander.

2. Brad Haddin

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    493 runs

    Australia’s best batsman of the series despite scoring less runs than Warner, Haddin regularly came in when his side were under the cosh and delivered the goods they needed.

    Haddin always made at least 50 in every first innings knock he had, showing that any talk of retirement is somewhat premature.

    He perhaps deserved a share of the Man of the Series award, if only for his determination when the chips were down and his role in Australia regularly forging enormous totals.

1. Mitchell Johnson

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    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    5 Tests

    37 wickets

    165 runs

    Australia’s Man of the Series, England simply had no answer to Mitchell Johnson’s swing, seam movement and pace as he ripped through them seemingly every time he had the ball.

    Johnson had a psychological stranglehold on the tourists, mopping up their order on more than one occasion to enjoy a superb return of 37 wickets at an average of 13.97.

    He was a figure of fun last time England came Down Under.

    How things change.