Australia Player Ratings: Old Guard Ricky Ponting, Hussey, Lee Save the Day

Ankit MunjalCorrespondent IApril 14, 2011

Australia Player Ratings: Old Guard Ricky Ponting, Hussey, Lee Save the Day

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    Ricky Ponting still has a future in this teamHamish Blair/Getty Images

    Michael Clarke has started his stint as the permanent captain of Australian ODI team with a 3-0 clean sweep of Bangladesh. When world no. 1 in cricket meets world no. 9 this was the expected result.

    Results:

    Match 1 - Australia won by 60 runs

    Match 2 - Australia won by 9 wickets

    Match 3 - Australia won by 66 runs

    Credit where credit is due, Bangladesh did put up a good show. Their batting often criticized for showing a lack of fight performed better than was expected of them while their usual strength in home conditions 'spin bowling' struggled to contain the Australian batsman.

    That said this series was a chance for some of the Australian players in the team to prove themselves and answer their critics and it is safe to say most in question failed miserably.

    But barring the likes of Hussey, Watson, Ponting, Clarke and Lee the rest of the squad did little to justify their spots.

Michael Clarke

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    Leader of the next generation of Australian cricketMark Nolan/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 7.5 of 10

    Scores: 101, did not bat(DNB), 47

    His first series after taking over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting.It was always going to be interesting how he handled the situation of having Ponting still in the side and yet manage to stamp his authority on the team. Looking from the outside he seems to have managed this transition really well and the team dynamics seem to be working well.

    He was consistent and he played a typical captains knock in the first match when the team needed it the most. This series marks a good start to his stint. 

Ricky Ponting

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    Second Coming?Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 6.5 of 10

    Scores: 34, 37*, 47

    Relieved of his captaincy duties, he seems to have hit a second wind in his career.

    Though he never looked out of form in the ODI format as captain he somehow just wasn't getting any decent scores. He always seemed like he had too many things on his mind and it was having a big effect on him and his batting. 

    In this series he looked more like the Ponting of old. He come in and never looked sluggish, attacked and stamped his class straight away.

    He still somehow managed to get himself out once well set in two of the three innings, but even then it seems like Ponting has a lot to offer by being part of this Australian side.

Michael Hussey

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    Mr CricketHamish Blair/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 7 of 10

    Scores: 33, DNB, 108

    Hussey was his usual dependable self, and proved his value to the team with a classy 108 in the last game of the series. He was good and athletic in the field and provided a look of solidarity in the middle order of the team.

    In this new era of Australian cricket, Hussey will have a big part to play in guiding the youngsters and helping in their development.

Shane Watson

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    Big hitting WatsonGraham Crouch/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 8.5 of 10

    Scores: 37, 185*, 72

    Bowling: 0 for 35,1 for 35, 2 for 49

    Watson in the last two seasons has turned into a genuine match winner for Australia and this series just added to his growing reputation in world cricket as one of the best genuine all rounders in the game.

    His innings in the second match was simply outstanding and he handled the Bangladesh bowling attack with ease. If the the target had been 20-30 runs more we would have in all probability seen Sachin's world record broken.

    His bowling often under rated was reliable without being outstanding and now being the Vice-Captain of the team he is proving to be a more than able deputy to Clarke.

Brad Haddin

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    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 5.5 of 10

    Scores: 10, 8, Did not play (DNP)

    His wicket keeping was solid in the two games he played.

    He has performed well as an opener without ever being consistent in his career but he had a forgettable series as a batsman and will most probably be looking forward to an off season after his stint in the IPL.

    I am sure he will get a few more chances in the next couple of series' that Australia take part in, but he must be careful of the ever present threat in Tim Paine.

Cameron White

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    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 2 of 10

    Scores: 20, DNP, DNP

    He is one of the players that has been persevered with by the selectors for a long while now. Hasn't performed well as a batsman in ages.

    He had a very disappointing series which saw him being dropped after he failed to play a good innings in the first game as well as the tour game against the BCB XI.

    It wasn't just the low number of runs, but just the manner in which he was getting bogged down at the crease that was worrying.

    Whether he gets another chance or not is up to the selectors, and I feel they might just have lost their patience with him.

Steve Smith

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 3 of 10

    Scores: 1, DNB, 5

    Bowling: 1 for 41, 2 for 34, 0 for 43

    With 3 wickets and 6 runs in 3 games, Smith did little to silence his critics. For some time now people have been told about his immense potential, and with continued failures the pressure to perform must be piling on.

    While batting he always looks confused as to method in which he should bat. Only seems to have two gears one where he is ultra defensive, and one in which he cant help but hit every ball for a boundary. He needs to find a balance between those two and needs to do it quick.

Callum Ferguson

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 2 of 10

    Scores: DNP, DNB, 3

    Marked as a player for the future he didn't get an opportunity to play in the first game and didn't get to bat in the second. In his only innings in the series he managed 3 runs.

    It would be harsh to judge him on the basis of the one outing in the middle but he will have the pressure mount quick if he doesn't manage to turn in some good performances.

Tim Paine

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 5.5 of 10

    Scores: DNP, DNP, 7

    In many Australian cricketing circles he is seen as the next Australian captain after Clarke. Though his keeping skills aren't in doubt he is still the no. 2 in the country and to usurp Haddin needs to improve on both his batting and wicket keeping.

    By all accounts his time will come and he shall be judged properly then. This series saw him play just the one game in which he was good behind the wickets and didn't prove himself in front of them.

Brett Lee

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 7 of 10

    Bowling: 1 for 36, 0 for 37, DNP

    Brett Lee has proven himself after coming back from injury, and has well and truly laid claims to being the leader of the attack. He played two games and while he only picked up one wicket he proved to be ever so economical.

    His contribution can be judged by looking at the 3rd game in which he didn't play and Bangladesh went on to make over 290.

    He brings a certain degree of calm and assurance to the attack and with him Clarke knows what he is going to get every game.

Mitchell Johnson

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 7 of 10

    Bowling: 1 for 23, 3 for 54, 3 for 67

    Mitchell Johnson has always been erratic and he proved that in this series. He picked up 7 wickets but barring the first game gave away plenty of runs.

    He needs to work on his control if he wants to establish himself as the leader of the attack after Lee.

    He hit some lusty blows in the two innings that he go to play, but can probably do without the pressure that the allrounder tag brings with it.

Xavier Doherty

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    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Player Rating:4 of 10

    Bowling: 1 for 36, 0 for 44, 0 for 33

    If he is Australia's number one spinner then they will probably do well to ask Shane Warne to come back for a couple of more seasons.

    Doherty didn't do anything to silence his critics and Jason Kreja must be wondering why he lost his spot to Doherty. He will probably not get better conditions for his bowling than he did in Bangladesh for a long time.

    Yes he still has time to improve, but looking at him doesn't fill me with confidence.

John Hastings

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    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Player Rating: 6.5 of 10

    Bowling: 1 for 31, 1 for 20, 0 for 42

    A talented allrounder, he was consistent with the ball, kept the runs down and chipped in with 2 wickets in the series.

    In his only outing as a batsman he scored 21 runs in quick time.

    He is one of the only youngsters in the team to have done his talent justice and we can look forward to better performances from him in the years to come.