5 England players who disappointed in the Ashes
The biggest series of the season is done. It ceased being a contest weeks ago, but we’ve at last reached the end of this less-than-exhilarating series. Australia were easily the superior side, and the 4-0 scoreline reflected that. England were significantly off the pace when it came to playing on Australian wickets: players like James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Moeen Ali are all terrific Test cricketers, but in conditions where they received virtually no assistance from the pitch, they struggled.
That being said, Australia did play very well. They were ruthless with the bat and refused to allow England an inch in virtually every game. They dominated at the end in Brisbane, at the end in Adelaide, all through Perth, the majority of Melbourne and the majority of Sydney. They were scarcely ever out of control and the result was never really in doubt. They ground England into the dust with huge innings, as Steve Smith and the rest of the middle order delivered gargantuan performances.
Here, we look at the biggest disappointments of the series:
Moeen Ali – 2/10
179 runs @ 19.8; HS: 40 – 0x100, 0x50; 5 wickets @ 115.0; 0x5WI; BBI: 2/74
Moeen Ali would like to quickly put this tour behind him. It was an absolute shocker. He would have been dropped for the Sydney Test if it weren’t for the injury to Chris Woakes, and rightly so. He looked toothless with the ball – the pitches didn’t help – and failed to be the controlling influence that England really needed. He was regularly flogged by Australia’s batsmen and looked bereft of confidence as the series progressed.
As England’s lead spinner, much, much more was required of him. With the bat, he experienced a similar regression. He was a bunny to the short ball – of which there were plenty – and was also owned by Nathan Lyon throughout the series. The off-spinner got him out six times in eight innings, and he couldn’t find the right balance between attack and defence.
England could have used some breezy knocks from Moeen to bolster their lacklustre totals, but he was completely out of his depth in Australia. He’ll bounce back for sure when he goes to New Zealand and next summer in England, but it was a chastening tour for Moeen nonetheless.