Marsh shines bright but Cook is now a worry

Player rat­ings from the sec­ond Test do not give the tourists much to smile about, writes Scyld Berry

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Second Ashes Test -

Eng­land Alas­tair Cook Runs: 53

In Bris­bane he was not at ease against pace. In Ade­laide he looked good against pace but was ill at ease against Lyon’s off-spin. If he can get both sides of his game to­gether, he could re­peat his cen­tury at Perth in 2006. But it is be­com­ing more of an “if”.

Mark Stone­man Runs: 54

Keeps mak­ing starts, then get­ting out. Still, his flu­ency in the sec­ond in­nings lent im­pe­tus to Eng­land’s run chase. A big score will surely come pro­vided his field­ing holds up – he is the only Eng­land out­fielder to have missed a catch so far.

James Vince Runs: 17

In the ab­sence of other can­di­dates, he was brought in at No 3 to play his shots. He has done that, but with­out much dis­crim­i­na­tion since his first in­nings in Bris­bane. Per­haps he and Malan should swap places, as Vince is un­likely to change his spots.

Joe Root Runs: 76 Wick­ets: 0

His 67 was a valiant ri­poste, but his de­ci­sion to in­sert will go down as a mis­take – though a for­giv­able one be­cause his three most se­nior pace bowlers failed to back him up. Af­ter a good all-round game, he can look Smith in the eye.

Dawid Malan Runs: 58

Dis­missed both times in Ade­laide by Cum­mins find­ing an an­gle through his de­fence from round the wicket. Other­wise he has stood fast with­out ever get­ting on top of the bowl­ing. Has held his catches nicely, so his ca­reer should still be on the up.

Moeen Ali Runs: 27 Wick­ets: 0

Not mak­ing suf­fi­cient im­pact at No 6 for one of the more es­tab­lished bats­men (105 runs), or as the sole spin­ner (two wick­ets at 98 each) – while mak­ing al­lowances for his sore spin­ning fin­ger. Some bril­liant stroke­play would be nice at the Waca.

Jonny Bairstow Runs: 57

Be­ing sad­dled with a frag­ile tail has re­stricted his scope for counter-at­tack, and Eng­land have to max­imise his bat­ting if they are to get back in the series. The ver­bals abated in Ade­laide, even­tu­ally, and he kept his wick­et­keep­ing game to­gether well.

Chris Woakes Runs: 41 Wick­ets: 5

A big step up from Bris­bane all round. Now he has to do the same again in Perth, where con­di­tions will not suit his bowl­ing as much as dusk in Ade­laide. His bat­ting is com­ing to terms with the best at­tack he has faced but Eng­land need 50s from him.

Craig Over­ton Runs: 48 Wick­ets: 4

Pitched a fuller length than Eng­land’s three se­nior seam­ers on day one and was re­warded by bowl­ing Smith. Hardly bowled sec­ond time. A brave un­beaten 41 gave Eng­land some self-re­spect, and he rounded off his de­but with a fine div­ing catch.

Stu­art Broad Runs: 11 Wick­ets: 2

Two wick­ets in the best con­di­tions for swing-and­seam he will find in Aus­tralia – though he could ar­gue that he was the only one of Eng­land’s four seam­ers who did not play in the prac­tice game at Ade­laide. He owes Eng­land one of his magic spells.

James An­der­son Runs: 0 Wick­ets: 6

It was ter­rific bowl­ing when he took his first five-wicket haul in Aus­tralia, but it was an in­nings too late. If only he had pitched the new ball up on the first day, Root’s de­ci­sion to bowl first might have been jus­ti­fied.

Aus­tralia David Warner Runs: 61

A big score looks on the way – a cen­tury be­fore lunch in Perth? He is look­ing very well-or­gan­ised, con­tent per­haps for the first time in his ca­reer to squir­rel away sin­gles rather than blast fours past Eng­land’s sweeper on the cover bound­ary.

Cameron Bancroft Runs: 14

Looks as though he will be­come a for­mi­da­ble op­po­nent, es­pe­cially on his home ground in Perth, even though he has made only one score of note. His strong driv­ing game will put pres­sure on Eng­land if they do not get him early.

Us­man Khawaja Runs: 73

A pe­riph­eral player so far, but his de­fence was sound in both in­nings at Ade­laide and he looks to be over­com­ing his hes­i­ta­tion against Moeen. Off-spin in any event is sel­dom a fac­tor at the Waca.

Steve Smith Runs: 46

His de­ci­sion to bat again was more of a mis­take than Root’s to bowl first. He got sev­eral DRS re­views wrong, he dropped a slip catch, got too tense in the on-field al­ter­ca­tions, and was dis­missed for six – and Aus­tralia are still 2-0 up.

Peter Hand­scomb Runs: 48

Un­likely to re­tain his No 5 place much longer. It is not so much that he has made only 62 runs, but the en­cour­age­ment his quirky tech­nique gives to Eng­land’s seam­ers. Mitchell Marsh awaits as an all-rounder, with brother Shaun mov­ing up to five.

Shaun Marsh Runs: 145

Aus­tralia’s lead­ing run-scorer in this series, he looks ready to step up a place in the or­der.

His left-handed cover-driv­ing has been one of the high­lights in a bat­ting line-up some­what short on aes­thetic de­lights.

Tim Paine Runs: 68

It looks as though Aus­tralia made the right call be­cause his first in­nings of 57 in Ade­laide was more com­mand­ing from any­thing Peter Nevill has so far pro­duced. He has had trou­ble cop­ing with Lyon’s bounce, but so have Eng­land’s bats­men.

Mitchell Starc Runs: 26 Wick­ets: 8

If Eng­land could have one Aus­tralian, would it be Starc or Cum­mins? Be­fore crit­i­cis­ing Root for bowl­ing first, con­sider what would have hap­pened if Starc had swung the new ball on cloudy day one as he did on day five – a few un­playable boomerangs.

Pat Cum­mins Runs: 55 Wick­ets: 3

Does not have the best fig­ures, but takes key wick­ets at key mo­ments as the fastest bowler, and plays key in­nings. In the ab­sence of Ben Stokes he has been the best all-rounder on ei­ther side. And good for him af­ter six years of in­jury.

Nathan Lyon Runs: 24 Wick­ets: 6

He has had Eng­land’s left-han­ders on toast, with ex­tra fries, tak­ing 11 wick­ets at 22. Hap­pily for Eng­land the third Test is at the Waca, where Lyon has taken 12 wick­ets at 50 and an off-spin­ner has to be a flight bowler, us­ing the breeze, to be ef­fec­tive.

Josh Ha­zle­wood Runs: 3 Wick­ets: 3

He had only one Sh­effield Shield match af­ter re­turn­ing from in­jury, so was rusty at the Gabba, but is now back to his best. His old-ball spell on the fifth morn­ing, snuff­ing out Woakes and Root, was out­stand­ing ev­i­dence.

In dif­fer­ent worlds: Shaun Marsh (above); Alas­tair Cook (be­low) and James An­der­son (left)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.