Third Ashes Test player ratings
Perth, Western Australia
Three Tests down, two to go, 1-1 in the series.
But before we start thinking about the tensions and tribulations to come, let's finish off the post mortem from the Waca.
Usual rules apply - use my thoughts as a springboard for your own and then dive in to the debate.
Andrew Strauss - 5
His most difficult three and a bit days of the tour so far. Scored a half-century in England's first innings as his side cruised to 78-0 before the dreaded collapse set in, and failed - as did so many others - when disciplined batting was required in the second. Has scored just 178 runs in the series to date, almost two-thirds of them coming in a single innings at the Gabba, and now faces a stern test of his leadership skills in restoring the morale and self-belief of a team that has just been soundly thrashed.
Alastair Cook - 3
After the superlative deeds in Brisbane and Adelaide, England's leading run-scorer came back down to Perth with a bump. When Mitchell Johnson took his wicket early on the second morning it presaged both an England collapse and the rebirth of Johnson as a Test bowler, although neither could be blamed on Cook. Overtaken by Mike Hussey as the best batsman in the series so far, but that particular head-to-head is not over yet.
Jonathan Trott - 3
Looked uncomfortable against the short ball throughout on the bouncy Waca track. Trapped bang in front by the brutal late inswing of Johnson on the second day and then, having done the hard work on Saturday evening, poked at one he could have left. Will be hoping the pitches at the MCG and SCG have less spice and grass.
Kevin Pietersen - 1
In Adelaide, Pietersen looked like the best batsman in the world - rock-solid in defence, faultless in shot selection, brutal in attack. Here in Perth, he barely got started, playing across the line as Johnson worked his magic in the first innings and then playing a horrible needless waft off the back foot in the second just when his side - and the match situation - required patience. The prospect of 95,000 Australians screaming for his blood at the MCG is exactly the sort of motivation he will enjoy.
Paul Collingwood - 2
Began the match with one of the great slip catches to get rid of Ricky Ponting, but receives his marks almost entirely for that. Looked a walking wicket against Johnson's late in-dippers, and with an average in the series of just 15 is the man most under pressure in the England batting-order. Still unlikely to be dropped - he is too valued within the team, and Eoin Morgan has neither the form nor Test pedigree to be a guaranteed better option - but desperately needs runs to silence the critics.
Ian Bell - 6
Continues to look accomplished every time he comes to the crease, and has been undone as much by the prospect of running out of partners as anything else. England must now decide whether to risk more of the same by leaving him at six, or shuffling the batting order to give him more of a chance. Most likely is a straight switch with Collingwood at 5, although he could also move up to four to protect Pietersen from the danger of a swinging new ball.
Matt Prior - 6
Impeccable behind the timbers, Prior has looked a far superior wicketkeeper to his opposite number Brad Haddin; some of his takes down leg-side were exceptional. With the bat, however, he failed to make any significant contribution when his side needed him to step up. Averaging 16 in the series, aided in large part by his not out 27 in Adelaide.
Graeme Swann - 3
Took the prize scalp of Mike Hussey on the first afternoon, but from then on failed to make any real impact. Curiously denied the chance of a decent spell in the second innings as Australia took the game away from England, and will be glad to leave the Waca wicket behind.
Chris Tremlett - 8
His eight wickets across the match represented a splendid second coming for the giant Surrey fast bowler, and he bowled with control and menace throughout. Found the perfect testing length on the first morning to help blow away the Aussie top order and kept his side in the game with his first Test five-for on the third day. Guaranteed to keep his place for the denouement.
James Anderson - 4
Snagged the big wickets of Ponting and Haddin on Thursday but then struggled to maintain both menace and parsimony. Took only the late tail-end wicket of Peter Siddle in the second innings and looked weary in the Western Australia heat. As nightwatchman turned down a late single on Saturday night that might have saved his senior partner Collingwood and copped an earful of abuse from the fielders when the wicket fell to the last ball of the day.
Steven Finn - 5
To be England's leading wicket-taker in the series in your first Ashes and aged just 21 is a great achievement. Despite that Finn might now be rested for the fourth Test, his scalps here expensive and his line increasingly awry. England's bowling plans require their attack to squeeze the life out of opposition batsmen once the shine has gone from the ball, and Finn's tired profligacy may cost him his place - however harsh that might seem.
Shane Watson - 7
Plumb in front as Australia's top order was skittled early on, he led the charge in the second innings with his usual muscular thump. Although still vulnerable at gully on the drive, his shots down the ground were authoritative and his bearing serene until the dreaded 90s ticked round again. Let himself down with backchat to Umpire Erasmus when his dismissal for 95 was confirmed by TV umpire Aleem Dar.
Phillip Hughes - 1
At no stage in either innings did he look comfortable or out of the bad trot that has dogged him all season. The selectors may have had few other options at the top of the order, but his continued presence there is giving England no sleepless nights.
Ricky Ponting - 2
Two more failures with the bat mean he now has just 83 runs from six innings in the series, a woeful return for such a great player. Most watchers believe he is more out of luck than out of form, but with his 36th birthday now in the past, another failure in Melbourne, if he is fit to play after fracturing a finger, would set the tongues wagging. Deserves credit for getting his team fired up after the shambles of Adelaide, even if the performances of his bowlers rather disguised some strange field placings and tactics.
Michael Clarke - 2
Having managed just 24 runs in the match, Clarke continues to look a shadow of the classy player he can be at his best. Still looks uncomfortable against the short ball despite lots of work in the nets, he may yet end up skippering his country in Melbourne if Ponting's fractured finger fails to heal in time. Had he not been vice-captain, would now be facing more searching questions about his place in the side.
Mike Hussey - 9
Another superlative display in front of his home crowd. Australia batting coach Justin Langer says he has never seen his old pal playing so well, and has compared his form to that of Brian Lara. Six consecutive scores of over 50 in Ashes matches, a cumulative total of 517 runs in the series and an average of over 100 without a single not out in there to boost his figures. Without his runs, Australia may already have lost the Ashes.
Steve Smith - 3
Having failed to hang about in the first innings, he never looked settled even when he remained at the crease in the second. Given no chance to show his leg spin, he still looks two places too high at six. Good work in the slip cordon boosts his marks.
Brad Haddin - 6
Had his worst moment of the series so far when he stood motionless on the second morning as an edge from Strauss passed straight between him and Watson at first slip, but contributed enough with the bat to mask his limitations with the gloves. A spiky, combative character, he enjoyed sending each English batsman on his way.
Mitchell Johnson - 10
Just as the 0 he received in the ratings after Brisbane seemed fair, so does the maximum here. Top-scored in his side's first innings to rescue them from the abyss and then produced one of the great spells of fast bowling in an Ashes Test to blow the England middle order apart with a spell of four wickets for nine runs. Will he be able to produce the same in Melbourne? No-one really knows, but for now he has dragged his nation right back into the contest.
Ryan Harris - 9
The best Australian bowler in the mess at Adelaide, he continued his progression with a splendid display of fast bowling - accurate, with an ideal length and consistent hostility. His 6-47 off 11 overs in the second innings were the best figures of his career; only a flare-up in his chronic knee injury can keep him out of the attack for the remainder of the series.
Peter Siddle - 4
Just one wicket in the match, and that a fortunate one as Prior played on, but swung his bat with effect in his side's first innings to help put on a precious 67 runs for the last two wickets. Relatively inexpensive, he is likely to keep his place at the MCG for his role as a cog in the four-man Aussie pace machine.
Ben Hilfenhaus - 7
May have taken only one scalp in the match, but the control he offered his skipper was priceless. Five wickets fell when he was bowling at the other end as his tight line and length squeezed the runs from England's batsmen. Unlucky to be dropped for Adelaide, he is unlikely to suffer the same fate in either of the remaining two matches.