Australia vs England, fourth Ashes Test player ratings: Who starred and who struggled in Sydney draw?

·6-min read
Australia vs England, fourth Ashes Test player ratings: Who starred and who struggled in Sydney draw? - Getty Images
Australia vs England, fourth Ashes Test player ratings: Who starred and who struggled in Sydney draw? - Getty Images

England clung on for a draw in the fourth Ashes Test, defying expectation to survive the final day with the bat.

After losing three consecutive Tests, it was England's best performance so far with impressive individual displays with bat and ball.

Here, our cricket experts Nick Hoult (England) and Isabelle Westbury (Australia) deliver their verdict on each team.

England

Haseeb Hameed

Tried to get further forward in this Test but continued to get out the same way, edging balls outside off stump. Was dropped twice, so in effect was out four times for 14 runs. The end looms. 2/10

Zak Crawley

Played the most entertaining innings by an England player in this series, pulling and driving majestically to prove he has the game for Test cricket. We knew that. Does he have the mental application too? 7/10

Dawid Malan

Those two unconverted 80s at the start of the series were opportunities he had to take and now has 41 runs in five innings. He has been on tour since September and looks weary. He needs a break but has done enough to carry on at no 3. 2/10

Joe Root

His strength in England - playing off the back foot with a straight bat - is a weakness on quicker, bouncier Australia pitches and all eight of his dismissals have been to balls outside off that would not have hit the stumps. That first Ashes hundred in Australia feels a long way off now. 4/10

Ben Stokes

Put his body on the line bowling bodyline and paid the price. Battled the pain of a side injury to make two fifties, and put some pride back in the England side. 7/10

Jonny Bairstow

A Test career saved by a brilliant, feisty hundred when the pitch was at its most spiteful, and he carries the scars to prove it. Bouncier pitches in Australia make his weakness to balls nipping in on the stumps less of an issue. Lower, slower Caribbean pitches next will be different. 8/10

An injured Jos Buttler falls in England's final-day resistance - and that's the end of his tour - Shutterstock
An injured Jos Buttler falls in England's final-day resistance - and that's the end of his tour - Shutterstock

Jos Buttler

Tour ended by a finger injury and it could not come soon enough for Buttler looked broken after the Melbourne Test. His keeping has been erratic and cannot seem to decide whether to attack or defend with the bat. Batting here impaired by his injury but that is probably it for him in Test cricket. 4/10

Mark Wood

England’s best bowler, and most potent threat in the three Tests he has played. Hooked Cummins for three sixes to prove he can definitely be a stong Test no 9 but also potentially a no 8. A cricketer to be treasured, and his bowling numbers - 8 wickets at 37.62 - do not do him justice. 8/10

Jack Leach

A tough, resolute character who was there again for England when they needed him with the bat. Root owes him now after the way he has treated his bowling. His four for 84 was reward for battling his way back from Brisbane. There was more rhythm in his bowling and flight on the ball. 7/10

Stuart Broad

Defiant with bat, ball and words. Blocked to save the Test, and took five wickets to save his career (probably). Defiantly declared he wants to play the 2023 Ashes but savvy enough to know someone will pay the price for this series. 6/10

James Anderson

Did the job as no 11 under intense pressure but a quiet Test. He ran out of gas in the second innings as Wood shouldered the work. Still leading wicket-taker in the series for England, and a pink ball and a Test under lights on Hobart, where it swings and seams, may well inspire him to one more performance in Australia. 6/10

Sigh of relief: Broad puffs his cheeks after England survive - Getty Images AsiaPac
Sigh of relief: Broad puffs his cheeks after England survive - Getty Images AsiaPac

Australia

David Warner

A punchy 30 set the tone for Australia first up before he continued the ‘Warner wicket, bowled Broad’ theme. Three in the second innings meant his impact on the match wasn’t all that much. The intent was there, though, and a sharp slip catch late on day five almost won it for Australia. 4/10

Marcus Harris

Left more questions than answers about his opening spot with a 30-odd and a 20-odd. Yet to get a century at this level and with Khawaja managing two in one match, Harris might be the one to make way once Travis Head returns. 6/10

Marnus Labuschagne

Two twenties to follow-up a solitary single in the last Test, which constitute the sum total of his contributions since becoming the number one-ranked ICC Test batter, and the accolade is starting to look like a cursed Crown. His chirping has got louder, too. 4/10

Steve Smith

Looked in fluent form partnering Usman Khawaja and seemed well on his way to three figures before Stuart Broad intervened in the first innings. Too good not to get there at some point in this series. Added to the late drama with his leg spin (remember that?) poaching England’s ninth wicket. 7/10

Usman Khawaja

The perfect 10? Difficult not to. Twin tons on his return to Test cricket after two years out of the side, a more mature, humble Khawaja is now a firm favourite at the SCG and his batting backed it up. Pleasing on the eye, neither century looked in doubt. Creates quite the headache for Australia’s selectors with a Covid-recovered Travis Head returning in Hobart. Undroppable, surely? 10/10

Cameron Green

Now that’s why they call him Australia’s next great all-rounder. Has been a handful with the ball all series and continued to be so at Sydney, but it was partnering Khawaja with the bat in the second innings where he really shone. Australia needed him and an imposing 74 delivered. 8/10

Alex Carey

All glovemen are fallible. A couple of drops that should have been his and with Australia falling just one wicket shy of a win, will be kicking himself. Two unflattering batting innings but was truly shafted by his captain in the second, sent in moments before the declaration and duly falling for a first-ball duck. 3/10

Pat Cummins

Two more imposing bowling performances, which we’ve come to expect, but this is the first time his captaincy will come under scrutiny. Too perfect, Pat? Too sentimental to declare before Australian batters reached milestones and will be wondering for some time how Australia didn’t come away with the win. 6/10

Mitchell Starc

An unbeaten 30 with the bat and Mitchell Starc is in true all-rounder territory. He’s tiring, however, and no wonder considering he’s the only fast bowler to have played every single Test in this series. Give him a break. 4/10

Nathan Lyon

Will be accused of not bowling his side to victory in the fourth innigns but the pitch, and conditions, never really gave him the chance. Quality bowler, and some bolshy batting all add to the mix. 6/10

Scott Boland

Was not the man whose name you’d have imagined being the one nicking off England’s batters left, right and centre. A skilful seamer with another seven-for to his name; deserves all the plaudits he gets. 9/10

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