Ashes 2019, first Test: Player Ratings
Just three weeks on from a thrilling World Cup, Test cricket returned with the fiercest rivalry of them all, the Ashes 2019 and at the end of the first Test, the visitors recorded a massive 251-run win.
England had the better of Australia on the first morning, and they reduced the tourists to 122-8, but Steve Smith made the difference on his return to Test cricket as he stroked his way to a brilliant 144.
It was Rory Burns who impressed with the bat in response, as he grinded out his first Test century, but a bit of a middle order collapse meant England only manage a lead of 90, when it could, and perhaps should have been a lot more.
That came back to haunt England, as once again Smith delivered with his second hundred of the match, this time supported by Matthew Wade, who made his first Ashes century, as Australia set the hosts a nearly unassailable 398 to win.
And it proved more than enough, as England were bundled out for just 146, as Nathan Lyon ran through the England batting order with apparent ease, picking up 6-49.
Here’s how the players are rated on both sides.
Rory Burns- 8
After all the doubts about his form and technique, Rory Burns was England’s star performer in Birmingham, scoring his maiden Test century. It wasn’t always pretty, but this was the sort of performance that England needed from their opener, and they may finally have found someone they can put their trust in.
Jason Roy- 4
Just Jason Roy’s second Test match, and it is clear that he is still trying to adapt to the toughest form of the game. The Surrey opener got a good delivery from James Pattinson in the first inning, then got out playing an ugly hack across the line to Nathan Lyon in the second inning. It may be that he is better suited batting further down the order in red ball cricket.
Joe Root- 6
Not the start the captain would have wanted to an Ashes series. Lost James Anderson to injury on the first morning, and then there were some debatable field settings in the first innings. With the bat, he got a couple of starts, but failed to convert them into a big score, with has been a real problem for Root in the last couple of years.
Joe Denly- 4
You get the feeling that Denly’s place in the side is going to come under real pressure in the next few days. He played a few nice shots in both innings he played, but with a combined 29 runs across both innings, that will act as little consolation to the Kent man.
Jos Buttler- 3
A bit of a horror show for England’s ODI wicketkeeper. Moved up to number five in the batting order, but looked all at sea against Australia’s pace attack. Scores of 5 and 1 will do little to improve his confidence ahead of the second Test at Lord’s.
Ben Stokes- 6
Without a doubt, England’s most in-orm player, and at this stage, probably their most important too. With Anderson injured, Stokes had a much bigger workload with the ball, and delivered with three wickets in the second innings. Also scored a fluent half century in the first innings, but failed to hang around long enough in the second.
Jonny Bairstow- 3
Bairstow still looks to be in one-day mode after the World Cup. After fishing out a pair against Ireland the previous week, things didn’t get any better for the Yorkshire man this week, as he registered scores of 8 and 6. He looked pretty tidy behind the stumps, but that will act as little consolation.
Moeen Ali- 3
Ali is very much a confidence player, and he looked incredibly short of confidence at Edgbaston. Left one on off stump in the first innings, and was out to Nathan Lyon twice in the game, not for the first time. On a pitch that should have suited his bowling, he struggled to land it in the right areas, and never really looked threatening enough.
Chris Woakes- 7
Another solid display by a man who is becoming one of England’s most consistent performers. Picked up three wickets in the first innings, and then appeared to be horribly underused in the second. Also looked strong with the bat, making two scores of 37 batting at number nine.
Stuart Broad- 7
Stuart Broad to lead the attack in the absence of Anderson, and did an excellent job in the first innings, taking five wickets, and reaching 450 Test wickets. Looked weary in the second innings with the increased workload, but will have a massive role to play in the rest of the series.
James Anderson- N/A
There’s very little to say about Anderson. Left the field having bowled four overs on the first morning after suffering a recurrence of the calf injury that forced him to miss the Test against Ireland. It is more than likely that he is replaced by Jofra Archer for the second Test.
Also read – Ashes Lowest Total