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England v Australia Fourth Test player ratings

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BBC Sport blog editor | 13:39 UK time, Sunday, 9 August 2009

So then. Woe for England, delight for Australia. Here's my ratings for the two sets of players after the fourth Test - dive in with your own when the fury/joy has subsided a touch.

A word of explanation, too: we've all got our own systems, and under mine, you'd only get a 0 if you bagged a pair/went 0-150 and then dropped at least two catches, and only get a 10 if you scored a chanceless double-ton or took at least 10 wickets in an unplayable spell.

ENGLAND

Andrew Strauss - 4
A horrible few days for the England skipper. When he won the toss on Friday, he can have had little inkling of what would unfold in the next few hours. Failed to replicate his form of earlier in the series with the bat and struggled to gain any control in the field, although his bowlers let him down badly.

Alastair Cook - 5
Hung around for a while in both innings without ever looking settled - but then which England batsman did? Fell twice to pokes outside off stump, and has an aggregate of just 203 from seven innings in the series.

Ravi Bopara - 1
Poor shot in the first innings, the victim of a poor umpiring decision in the second - Bopara's Ashes lurches from bad to worse. Took a couple of decent catches and tried to look positive, but his average of 15 in the series tells its own story.

Ian Bell - 3
Since coming back into the team, the Bell of 2009 has yet to demonstrate that he's significantly better than the model of previous years. Out-thought by Mitchell Johnson in the first innings, his capitulation in the collapse on Saturday evening was depressingly predictable.

Paul Collingwood - 3
A duck on Friday morning, just four on Saturday - Collingwood was unable to halt the slide on either day. His nemesis Stuart Clark is likely to keep his place for The Oval, which doesn't bode well.

Matt Prior - 7
Continues to impress behind the timbers, even after being incapacitated on the first morning by that back spasm. Some fine takes with the gloves and top-scored in England's first innings, although that's not saying all that much.

Stuart Broad - 8
Came back well from his thumpings at Edgbaston to take six wickets. Old pros complained that he bowled too wide of off in an attempt to stem the flow of runs, but compared to what was served up by his fellow pace bowlers at least it was accurate, and he once again claimed the prize scalp of Ricky Ponting. Another attacking flourish with the bat on Sunday to finally give the home supporters something to cheer about.

Graeme Swann - 5
Not given a bowl until 60 overs of Australia's reply, and then went 16 overs without taking a wicket. Although he found a little turn, he was smashed out of the ground by Stuart Clark and failed to trouble left-hander Marcus North. Attacked entertainingly with Broad on the final morning to lift the Headingley mood and bag his first Ashes half-century.

Steve Harmison - 3
Plus ca change. While Australia's comeback kid Stuart Clark took a fine 3-18, Harmison failed to rise to the occasion. Took the early wicket of Simon Katich but then bowled too short again and again and again. Only in the team because of Andrew Flintoff's injury, his days at international level are surely numbered.

James Anderson - 3
Injured himself while once again avoiding a duck when batting, and struggled with the ball from then on. Wicketless in the Aussie innings and went for almost five an over, failing to find any swing and struggling badly with his control.

Graham Onions - 5
Struggled less than his Durham team-mate Harmison and saw off Watson and Clarke with good in-swing, but dropped short and wide too often as Australia ran away with the match on Friday afternoon.


AUSTRALIA

Shane Watson - 7
An experiment that has worked. Three innings, three fifties. Took the fight to England from the word play, smashing Anderson for consecutive fours from the first two balls of the Aussie innings. His side never looked back.

Simon Katich - 4
Snagged by Harmison's short one - the tactic was still a surprise, rather than a stock ball, at that stage - but took two sharp catches under the lid at short leg. Still averaging over 40 in the series.

Ricky Ponting - 8
Lost the toss and then spent the next two days celebrating the fact. Made the right calls on team selection before the match and carried an upbeat, positive air about him from the moment he arrived in Leeds. Tore into the England bowling on Friday afternoon to take the game even further away from the opposition.

Mike Hussey - 5
Failed to build on the improved showing at Edgbaston and had a quiet time of it in the field. Averaging only 25 in the series and will want a big finish at The Oval.

Michael Clarke - 8
The batsman of the series so far, he continued to play with elegance and style. The only surprise was that he fell seven runs short of his century. Now has 445 runs from six innings at an average of almost 90. What England would give for a middle-order batsman of his class.

Marcus North - 9
Perceived as a weak link before the series began, but has now outscored every batsman in the England team and all but one in his own. Batted with immense concentration as he compiled his second century of the summer and took an outrageous catch in the first hour to see off Strauss and start the England slide.

Brad Haddin - 8
Defied accepted medical wisdom by coming back into the side just eight days after breaking his finger and kept wicket faultlessly. His one-handed catch at full length to see off Matt Prior on Sunday was a beauty.

Mitchell Johnson - 9
Without question, Johnson is back. There was pace, late swing and slingy bounce. His spell on Saturday evening, seeing off Bell, Collingwood and Cook in quick succession, destroyed any hopes England had of a repeat of 1981's Headingley heroics, and his five wickets in the second sealed the win.

Peter Siddle - 8
Tore the heart out of England with five wickets on the first day, including a devastating spell of four wickets in 14 hostile deliveries after lunch. Lost his line and length a little in the second innings as Broad and Swann tucked in, but by then the damage had been done.

Stuart Clark - 7
His control on the first day led many to wonder why it had taken Australia so long to get him back into the team. Bowled beautifully to see off Cook, Collingwood and Broad, fully deserving his haul of 3-18 off 10 testing overs. Enjoyed himself with the bat too, although then took some stick from the England tail at the death.

Ben Hilfenhaus - 9
It seems strange now that his place in the Aussie attack was in serious doubt before the summer began. Has Bopara whenever he wants him, and is the leading wicket-taker in the series. Commendable accuracy, allied with enough bite off the pitch to trouble the best England have to offer.

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