Ashes player ratings
Andrew Strauss - 9
When Strauss took over in the wake of the Kevin Pietersen-Peter Moores affair, he was labelled by many as a "safe pair of hands", and that's exactly what he's been.
His batting has blossomed with the responsibility of the captaincy - he scored more runs than anyone else in the series - and he has forged a close and fruitful relationship with coach Andy Flower.
Out-skippered opposite number Ricky Ponting and, aged 32, he could be in charge for some time. Some call his captaincy "conservative", but he's just won back the Ashes - what more could any Englishman want?
Alastair Cook - 4
Not a great series for the Essex opener, and not even a good one. His 95 at Lord's suggested he had found some form, but those old technical deficiencies came back to haunt him.
Top-class seamers know that if they plough a line outside his off-stump, he's likely to nibble sooner or later. And South Africa, where England will tour this winter, has its fair share of top-class seamers.
Ravi Bopara - 3
Cook's county team-mate had a torrid series, stumbling through the first four Tests before being replaced by Jonathan Trott for the decider at The Oval. When you're averaging below Jimmy Anderson, you know you've had a stinker.
Three tons in a row against West Indies earlier in the summer suggested he might be special, but the Windies aren't Australia and the Wisden Trophy's not the Ashes. Showed his mettle by scoring a double-ton for Essex after being discarded, and the England selectors should keep faith in him this winter.
Ian Bell - 5
Looks classy, just hasn't got it when it matters: it's what people were saying about Bell before the series started, and most won't have changed their minds.
Eked out a fifty on his return to the side at Edgbaston and made a fighting 72 in England's first innings at The Oval. But he's now failed to make a hundred batting at number three in 32 innings, and England's selectors might decide Jonathan Trott is a better bet first wicket down in South Africa.
Kevin Pietersen - 5
The 2009 Ashes was a humbling experience for Pietersen: clearly struggling with injury in the two Tests he played and unable to impose himself, he then had to watch as his team-mates regained the urn without him.
Managed a fifty in Cardiff, but the Aussies had clearly penetrated his head by the time the series had rumbled on to Lord's. Still, he's still England's best batsman and when he's fully fit he'll slot straight back in at number four.
Paul Collingwood - 5
It was the tale of the two Collingwoods in this series. Obdurate in Cardiff, his twin fifties saved England from going 1-0 down. But it rather went downhill from there.
Did manage another fifty at Lord's, but thereafter was a walking wicket, his technique seemingly shot to pieces. With Kevin Pietersen returning in South Africa and Jonathan Trott now a shoo-in, The Oval might be Collingwood's last Test for some time.
Jonathan Trott - 9
It frustrated some, and irritated the Aussies immensely, that England had to turn to a man forged in South Africa in their hour of need. Few will be complaining now.
Came in at awkward times in both innings at The Oval, and glowed in the heat of battle, scoring one of the great debut tons in England's second innings. Looked so assured, he may well be pushed up to number three when he returns to the place of his birth.
Matt Prior - 7
Like football referees, they say you barely notice the best wicketkeepers. That you didn't notice Prior much behind the stumps during the series is the best indicator of how far his glovework has come.
The Sussex man is also a glorious-looking batsman on his day, and contributed some useful knocks here and there, with important fifties at Cardiff and Lord's. No reason to think he won't be on the England scene for a long time to come.
Andrew Flintoff - 6
The statistics will tell you that Flintoff, his body flaking and crumbling like a weathered statue, didn't do a great deal in his final series.
He squeezed out one last match-winning burst at Lord's, but took just eight wickets in four matches at an average of 52.12. He hit just one fifty, at Edgbaston, but when he wasn't there, at Headingley, England got clobbered.
Produced one final conjuring act in the crucial final Test at The Oval, running out a well-set Ricky Ponting to swing the game back in England's direction and just to remind everyone how much we'll miss him when he's gone.
Stuart Broad - 7
Hands up who wanted to drop Broad after Edgbaston? Come on, I know there were more of you than that. Just six wickets in the first three Tests, the school of thought was that you can't keep picking him because he scores a few runs.
However, his exploits with bat and ball in a losing cause in Leeds seemed to galvanise him and he made mugs of his critics with a match-winning blitz at The Oval. Ended up as England's highest wicket-taker, with two half-centuries. "The new Flintoff"? Still only 23, let's wait and see.
Graeme Swann - 7
Perhaps not the impact many were expecting from the Nottinghamshire off-spinner in the first four Tests, but did what he had to do on a turning pitch at The Oval, snaffling eight wickets in the match.
A chirpy, upbeat character, he was an irritant with the bat, scoring a crucial not out in Cardiff, plus fifties at Headingley and Lord's. The only mystery is, why wasn't he in the England set-up earlier?
Jimmy Anderson - 6
Anderson went into the series off the back of a nine-wicket match against West Indies in Durham. The enigma had come of age... or so we thought.
His devastating five-for in Birmingham aside, the Lancashire paceman struggled for swing elsewhere, and therefore struggled to make much of an impression. Wicketless in the final two Tests, although there were suggestions he wasn't fully fit. But let's not forget that match-saving knock in Cardiff.
Graham Onions - 6
The Durham seamer took a very handy four-for at Edgbaston, but was thereafter less effective, managing only a couple of wickets at Headingley, where many thought he might prosper.
Made way for Andrew Flintoff for the crucial final Test, but a useful man to have in and around the squad and should make it on the plane to South Africa.
Steve Harmison - 5
Overlooked for the first four Tests, despite taking a stack of wickets in county cricket, the selectors finally relented only when Andrew Flintoff went lame in Leeds.
However, county scalps are clearly easier to take than Australian ones, and his form at Headingley was depressingly familiar in its mediocrity. Did improve at The Oval, and may have done enough to earn a place on the plane for South Africa - if he wants to go.
Monty Panesar - 4
Courtesy of his match-saving knock in Cardiff, left-arm spinner Panesar can claim he effectively won England the Ashes. Unfortunately, he was in the side for his bowling, and he only managed one wicket.
Eleven first-class wickets this season for the one-time cult hero of English cricket suggests something is seriously amiss. With Yorkshire's Adil Rashid pushing for a place on the winter tour, it is not stretching things to say Panesar's England days might be numbered.