England suffered the indignity of an innings defeat that took just seven sessions in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. The Ashes are gone at the earliest opportunity.
Haseeb Hameed - 1
0 & 7
England dropped the wrong opener. A good ball on day one, but a fourth duck in six matches. On the second evening, it was something of a surprise that he lasted 50 minutes against the fire of Starc and Cummins.
Zak Crawley - 3
12 & 5
It was a huge ask to come in, against this attack, with no cricket behind him, and he did not have the answers. A safe pair of hands in the slips, which made a nice change.
Dawid Malan - 3
14 & 0
His fine run of form ended with a tough Test match. Battled hard in the first innings before being prised out by Cummins, and hard to blame him too much in the second; Umpire Wilson had a guess over the most marginal lbw call.
Joe Root - 6
50 & 28
A lovely little – too little – innings on Boxing Day was cut off by a familiar error when in its prime. On the final day, he was the last and only hope. Showed England how to catch.
Ben Stokes - 3
25 & 11; 1-47
An awful shot on day one that summed up England’s malaise, then a key wicket on the final day. Bowling a bit loose, and too short. Has not been the saviour England hoped he would be.
Jonny Bairstow - 4
35 & 5
Faintly predictable return to the side. Not much chance of success after time out, and looked ok for a period in the first innings. All at sea in the second.
Jos Buttler - 2
3 & 5
Not out at the end, but the very worst dismissal on day one. No grievous keeping errors. Increasingly looks like his future should be against a white ball only.
Mark Wood - 7
Figures were not kind, but bowled superbly throughout. Added Labuschagne to Smith among his list of scalps. Given the number of days before the next Test, he should be in a position to play the last two. Dreadful decision to leave him out in Adelaide.
Ollie Robinson - 5
Looks very tired after three games in a row, but kept running in – even after a sore handy – and picked up a couple of handy wickets. Might be his turn to sit out Sydney, but has a few days yet. Demotion below Wood in the batting order is not flattering.
Jack Leach - 5
Root started with fields too attacking in Brisbane, and too defensive in Melbourne. But he settled into his spell, and threatened Australia’s right-handers. His reputation as a nightwatchman took a hit with that injudicious leave.
James Anderson - 8
The best the old boy has bowled in Australia? Quite possibly. A relentless line and length, and some decent pace. Had the indignity of being last man out, again.