Monday, September 26, 2005

Ashes 2005: The Aussie Aftermath

How the Aussies fared

Killed in action

Jason Gillespie (0/10)
His confidence was shattered in the one-dayers. The cowardly Aussie selectors continued to carry him for the first three Tests before replacing him with Shaun Tait. From a deadly weapon to a liability virtually overnight.

Damien Martyn (0/10)
Entered the series in prime form and with an average over fifty. Never once threatened the England bowlers, finished with a series average of 19 and has since been dropped from the Australian squad. Looked lazy and arrogant.

Michael Kasprowicz (2/10)
Hard to believe now that prior to the Ashes he was keeping Brett Lee out of the team. Toothless.

Grievously wounded

Matthew Hayden (3/10)
Saved himself with a scrapping century in the last Test, but only by the skin of his teeth. England had the measure of him all series.

Ricky Ponting (4/10)
Batting was fine, but his credibility as captain took a battering. For a decade or more Australia have only needed a Plan A: batsmen score shed load of runs, Warne and McGrath bowl out opposition. When Plan A failed, Ponting was unable to invent a Plan B. Made to look foolish in the Gary Pratt affair.

Adam Gilchrist (4/10)
The most feared batsman in the world was tamed by Flintoff in probably the most important individual duel in the series. Top score of just 49.

Simon Katich (4/10)
Kept starting well and then blowing opportunities to make a name for himself. Averaged just 27.

John Buchanan (3/10)
The coach’s reputation as an eccentric genius took a hammering. Selectors were dreadful too.

A few cuts and bruises

Michael Clarke (6/10)
Managed a 91 and looked a good player, but was unable to swing the game despite consistent starts.

Justin Langer (7/10)
Finished top of the Aussie averages at 43.77, but only one really long innings.

Glenn McGrath (7/10)
Man of the Match at Lords but after his injury England had the measure of him. Before the series he predicted a 5-0 Aussie whitewash. Ha ha!

Shaun Tait (5/10)
Bowled ok as a novice quickie, but got jeered for clumsy fielding and was under-used by the hapless Ponting.

Glorious in defeat

Brett Lee (8/10)
Bowling was inconsistent but his appetite for the fight was inspiring. Involved in all three of the tight finishes and won the hearts of the English crowd with his gutsy bowling and batting.

Shane Warne (10/10)
The pantomime villain and the man we love to hate, but we’ll miss him. It soon became clear that it was England versus Warne as he took virtually every wicket and smashed sixes with the bat. Singlehandedly made the middle three games, which England dominated, unrealistically close. Should have been captain.

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