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Smith the standout, Cook a concern - Gabba player ratings

Omnisport
NEWS
142   //    27 Nov 2017, 16:52 IST
Steve Smith - cropped
Australia skipper Steve Smith celebrates his hundred at the Gabba

Australia were emphatic winners of the first Ashes Test, but the eventual margin of victory did not tell the full story of a match that was tough to call for long periods.

Following the hosts' 10-wicket triumph, we take a look at how the individuals on both sides fared at the Gabba.

 

AUSTRALIA

Cameron Bancroft - 8

Failed in Australia's first innings, but the debutant will take huge confidence from the unbeaten 82 he made as the home side strolled to victory.

David Warner - 8

Warner was guilty of a soft - and familiar - dismissal when he pulled Jake Ball to short midwicket on day two. However, like Bancroft, he was able to make a significant score second time around, finishing unbeaten on 87 from 119 balls.

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Usman Khawaja - 4

Khawaja's fallibility against spin has been well documented and he looked all at sea when falling cheaply to Moeen Ali in his only innings.

Steve Smith - 9.5

The game's standout performer, Australia's captain held his side together in the first innings with a stunning, unbeaten 141 spanning eight hours and 32 minutes. If there is a better knock all series, we are in for a treat.

Peter Handscomb - 4

Handscomb has an unusual technique that sees him bat very deep in his crease. The method has worked for him in previous Tests, but on this occasion he was plumb lbw to James Anderson for 14.

Shaun Marsh - 7.5

The selection of Marsh drew cries of derision from certain quarters, but the experienced batsman answered his critics with a crucial fifty in Australia's first innings.

Tim Paine - 6

Another surprise pick, Paine made a shaky start when dropping James Vince on day one. However, his keeping was otherwise impressive - most notably when he stumped Moeen in England's second dig. Could only make 13 with the bat before falling to Anderson.

Mitchell Starc - 7

Worryingly for England, Starc picked up six wickets despite appearing to struggle for rhythm. Australia's spearhead was certainly not at his best, but nevertheless made key breakthroughs.

Pat Cummins - 8

Cummins was the pick of Australia's seam attack, posing a near-constant threat with his pace and control. He also made a hugely valuable contribution with the bat, compiling an assured 42 from number nine as the home team eked out a first-innings lead.

Josh Hazlewood - 7.5

Below his best in England's first innings, Hazlewood improved at the second time of asking, accounting for three of England's top four to put Australia firmly on top.

Nathan Lyon - 8.5

Much of the pre-match talk focused on Australia's pacemen, but Lyon was his side's best bowler. A return of five wickets was the least he deserved, while his run-out of Vince in the first innings was a key moment.

 

ENGLAND

Alastair Cook - 3

England's most experienced batsman fell cheaply in both innings, with his second dismissal - courtesy of a top-edged hook to fine-leg as England battled to erase a slender deficit - prompting particular concern.

Mark Stoneman - 7

Stoneman dug deep to lay a platform for his side in a commendable first-innings performance. The opener impressed again when surviving a tricky evening session on day three, but was unable to kick on the next morning.

James Vince - 8

Showed plenty of class when making 83 and dominating a second-wicket stand of 125 with Stoneman on day one, only to run himself out when a century looked likely. Vince then fell cheaply, to a beauty from Hazlewood, in the second innings.

Joe Root - 6.5

Root earned plenty of praise for his captaincy in Australia's first innings, but will rue his failure to make a telling contribution with the bat. After reaching 51 as England battled to stay in the game on day four, he was lbw playing across the line for the second time in the match.

Dawid Malan - 6.5

Like Stoneman and Vince, Malan demonstrated why he had been selected in the first innings, passing 50 with no shortage of classy strokes. However, his sloppy dismissal to Starc triggered an England collapse and Malan then fell cheaply in the second dig.

Moeen Ali - 6

Moeen was comfortably out-bowled by opposition off-spinner Lyon, a cut on the former's spinning finger not helping matters. Scores of 38 and 40 represented a solid effort with the bat, though he will be frustrated not to have kicked on in either innings.

Jonny Bairstow - 6

Bairstow ended the match with his name in the spotlight as news of a seemingly bizarre incident with Bancroft, some four weeks ago, hit the headlines. On the field, Bairstow kept impressively but twice fell to poor strokes, for nine and 42, perhaps feeling he needed to play his shots due to the weakness of England's tail.

Chris Woakes - 4

Largely ineffective with the ball, Woakes struggled to back up the admirable efforts of England's excellent new-ball pairing. He also flopped with the bat in both innings, having been promoted to eight in Ben Stokes' absence.

Stuart Broad - 8

Along with Anderson, Broad asked questions of Australia's batsmen throughout and was not flattered by first-innings figures of 3-49 from 25 overs. While he is part of a vulnerable looking England tail, Broad also chipped in with a useful 20 on day two.

Jake Ball - 4

Ball made a promising start by removing Warner in only his second over, but that was as good as it got for England's fourth seamer, who leaked runs alarmingly in both innings.

James Anderson - 7.5

Anderson only picked up two wickets in the match, but could so easily have claimed several more. Kept the pressure on Australia in their first innings, conceding just 50 from 29 overs, but he and Broad could not find a way to oust Smith and undoubtedly suffered from a lack of support.

Omnisport
NEWS
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