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Second Ashes Test - player ratings

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Oliver Brett | 13:11 UK time, Monday, 20 July 2009

These are my ratings for the 22 men who played in the second Ashes Test at Lord's, as England completed a rare win over Australia in a memorable Test at the home of cricket.


Andrew Strauss - 9

A wonderful century on the first day set the tone beautifully, and it looked even better when Australia folded so rapidly on the second day. His captaincy is fast improving, though he perhaps let the game drift a little on the fourth afternoon with some defensive field placings.

Alastair Cook - 8

Scored quickly in both innings on a ground that has served him well in the past. Looking much better outside off-stump and dealt with the short stuff really well. It's the straight one that's the only problem.

Ravi Bopara - 4

Got a pretty good ball before he had really established himself in the first innings, but made very heavy weather in the second innings with little pressure on England - and frankly looked a little out of nick.

Kevin Pietersen - 6

There is no doubt that the various injections Pietersen has had to ease the pain in his Achilles is affecting the way he moves at the crease. Still, scores of 32 and 44 meant this was no total disaster for KP.

Paul Collingwood - 6

Perhaps the most culpable batsman in the first innings, when he clearly gave his wicket away, he then helped step on the gas when England were stalling on Saturday. Remains a key figure this series.

Matt Prior - 8

Batted quite beautifully late on the third day, with consummate timing and placement. Had one of his best matches with the gloves and is beginning to justify the selectors' faith in his all-round ability.

Andrew Flintoff - 9

Produced some outstanding spells of uninhibited pace-bowling, despite being far from 100% fit. His 10-over burst on the final day, in which he took three wickets, will live long in the memory.

Stuart Broad - 7

Took the massive wicket of Ricky Ponting straight after lunch on day four and also struck twice in quick succession with the short ball in a fine spell on Friday.

Graeme Swann - 8

Came into the match under plenty of pressure, but silenced those doubts with four wickets in two very fine spells late in the match. His life was made easier by the discipline of the seamers.

James Anderson - 8

Memorably removed four of Australia's top six on Friday as he swung the ball both ways and created so many doubts. Unlucky not to pick up a wicket or two in the second innings.

Graham Onions - 7

Lightly bowled in the second innings, when he seemed to have an injury, he played his part earlier in the match - removing Simon Katich in Australia's first innings, and taking the last two wickets.

Andrew Flintoff takes the congratulations after England's win


Phillip Hughes - 4

The only Australian player with an active Twitter account, Hughes is also their one batsman yet to make a score of any note. A bit unlucky in the first innings; looked out of his depth on Sunday.

Simon Katich - 6

Began to dig the Aussies out of a hole in the first innings before falling to a poorly judged pull, and could have probably left the one he nicked to gully early doors on Sunday.

Ricky Ponting - 4

From the moment he was controversially given out cheaply on the second day, Ponting's self-control disintegrated. Cut a moody figure, dropped an easy catch and batted too freely on day four.

Michael Hussey - 6

Batted well on Friday before falling to a brilliant delivery from Flintoff, but looked badly out of nick in the second innings - even though it was a bad decision that ended his involvement.

Michael Clarke - 9

A tremendous century on Sunday gave thousands of English cricket fans a sleepless night and he batted on for another hour on the last day before falling to Swann as he tried to step on the gas.

Marcus North - 3

Played a dangerous shot born of desperation attempting to get off the mark in his first innings - and paid the price - and was an easy victim for Graeme Swann second time around. Poor show.

Brad Haddin - 8

Tremendous innings when all before him bar Clarke had crumbled on Sunday, and also batted better than most on Australia's freaky Friday. A shame about the 31 byes he conceded.

Mitchell Johnson - 5

Hit for 200 runs, Johnson's radar was wonky. Somwhere along the line he took three wickets but that's not what people will remember from this display. Nice knock in a losing cause on day five.

Nathan Hauritz - 7

A dislocated finger curtailed his bowling in England's first innings, but he bowled brilliantly after lunch on day three to remove Cook and Strauss. Produced a brave innings on Saturday morning.

Peter Siddle - 7

Has adopted the Merv Hughes mantle as Australia's enforcer, but is yet to pick up a significant haul of wickets. Batted really well at number 10 on the third morning, but could yet find himself dropped.

Ben Hilfenhaus - 7

Easily Australia's best bowler at the moment, and was rewarded with four wickets in the first innings. Signs, however, that he lost just a little enthusiasm and direction late on the third day.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I agree with most of the marks here but seriously...if you're not going to give Flintoff 10/10 on this occasion, when are you? That was probably the most hostile, quick spell of pace bowling i have ever seen in my life. Flintoff was the reason we won this test match - brilliant play from Strauss, but Flintoff was always a mark above him.

  • Comment number 2.

    For once I think the rankings are about right. It might be argued that everyone has 1 point too many, barring perhaps Strauss and Flintoff.

    As the rankings stand, I'd have given Haddin 7.5 as his impact in the test was slightly less than that of Prior. Both their second innings knock were of about the same value to their teams at the time but Prior's keeping was much better.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think you may get a bit of stick from some of the 606 posters for Broad's score of 7!

    Re: Flintoff not getting a 10/10. A five for.. is seen as the same as a ton, so should = Srauss, not just because its Freddie!

  • Comment number 4.

    Stuart Broad 7?, one of the most overated players in the England set up for years, his bowling average is dire yet he seems undroppable, the cynic in me thinks he is so favoured because he is a nice public School pretty Boy with a famous Father

  • Comment number 5.

    The one thing I would say about Broad. Two lower middle order wickets, a stunning catch and the wicket of Ponting second time up is probably at least as good a return as what we could have expected from Harmison, so well done to the selectors for sticking to their guns.

  • Comment number 6.

    petdark, forget his average as that's spanning his entire career. He bowled some excellent spells, one of which is highlighted in the markings, and it is only the internet selectors that seem to have a problem with him

    Now that Collingwood is back in form, you need someone else to have a go at, and Broad has inexplicably been criticised this match every time he went for 4

  • Comment number 7.

    oh and Collingwood deserved a 7 as well. He and Prior were excellent in shifting the momentum back towards England in that partnership

  • Comment number 8.

    Surely every win over the Aussies = 10s all round for the English boys? And why not give the Aussies 10s as well for being so wonderfully lame.

  • Comment number 9.

    Broad clearly /is/ the weakest link in the England bowling attack.

    Whether that means he should be dropped, or not, depends on whether there is someone better to replace him.

    With Flintoff at 7, the batting looks weakish, which explains why the selectors want Broad at 8.

    If Flintoff were not fit (or when he retires) I can see how Broad gets a spot in the team. If we revert to a 4 man attack, he isn't one of the best 3 seamers in England. And as an all-rounder, he isn't good enough with either bat or ball. Yet.

    I hope that he will, in time, be better than Flintoff. His start to his career suggests a glorious future, if he can develop his game...

  • Comment number 10.

    J'n'S: I very much diagree with the Strauss vs. Flintoff. It was a great spell from Flintoff, and to finally end up on the Lords honours board for his bowling with only his third 5-wicket haul ever is a nice fairy-tale ending to his Test career, but let's keep things in perspective: his 2 top-order wickets were contentious at best because of the umpires and 2 others were tailenders (good deliveries, but still: tailend wickets). The scorecard doesn't make those distinctions, granted, but for MotM one can and should take that into account.

    So I'm not drinking the St. Freddie Kool Aid, Strauss was the real reason England won and should've been Man-of-the-Match. His 161 was by far the most impactful for the match outcome put Australia on the back foot straight from day one and ensured that England could bat with confidence instead of pressure in the 2nd innings.

  • Comment number 11.

    Broad clearly /is/ the weakest link in the England bowling attack.


    outbowled Onions in the second innings, and two crucial wickets (with other half chances created through his short ball) in the first

    I think I remember you saying he was out of his depth on Friday, if this is a performance of someone out of their depth, it is easy to see why he is being selected

  • Comment number 12.

    Broad isn't picked because he is a public schoolboy, nor because he has a famous father. He is picked because he is a young bowler with lots of potential, a superb fielder and a very good lower order batsman who, along with Swann, provides vital lower order runs.

    The selectors know that when he reaches his peak he will be a vital bowler for England.

  • Comment number 13.

    J'n'S is right. it's utterly impossible to conceive of anyone having a match better than Flintoff's, what with his match figures of 4, 30 n.o., 1-27 and 5-92. Indeed, I doubt these have ever been surpassed by any all-rounder in the history of the game ever. Therefore he should have had 10.

  • Comment number 14.

    oh and Collingwood deserved a 7 as well. He and Prior were excellent in shifting the momentum back towards England in that partnership


    Yes. I must have missed that. He was an excellent foil for both Prior and Flintoff's innings and still scored at well over a run every two balls himself.

    If either he or Prior had gone cheaply, we may have been in a bit of bother, so an innings of equal importance.

  • Comment number 15.

    gmp999 et al.

    I know cricket and football don't mix well on these forums, but quoting Freddie's figures as a negative is like stating that Ronaldo not scoring every game renders him useless. It's not all about numbers, it's about influence. And Freddie scared the Aussies to death. That spell will be remember for some time to come.

    He's worth a 10 all the way. And rather than saying him and Strauss should both = 9, why not give Straussy a 10 too :)

    C'mon chaps, we just hammered the Aussies, let's not get too downbeat!

  • Comment number 16.

    A little Anglocentric for my taste: I don't think England were that good across the board. There were some exceptional performances from individuals on both sides, but plenty of mediocre ones too. Is the '5' key broken on your keyboard? I think KP, Broad, Anderson, Onions could all be one point lower and Hilfenhaus deserved an 8.

    PS: Freddie cannot be given a '10' for that all-round display. What would you award an all rounder who takes loads of wickets AND scores big runs in the same game? He failed in England's 1st innings and got out to a poor shot. At the time, it looked like it could be important to the outcome of the game. But certainly a '9'.

  • Comment number 17.

    "outbowled Onions in the second innings, and two crucial wickets (with other half chances created through his short ball) in the first"

    Only if you look at the stats.

    His ball to dismiss Ponting was nothing special, and he did little with the ball this morning (I was there). Onions, on the other hand, got only 9 wickets, and took the ball later. He wasn't great, but if he'd had the newer ball, and the number of overs Broad had, who knows.

    As for his wickets in the first innings... Well, if bang-the-ball-in-short-and-hope-they-make-a-mistake is the tactic...

    Don't get me wrong, he's good. But there's nothing I've seen of him to suggest he's anywhere near the bowler (yet) that SiBo or (whisper it quietly) Harmison is.

    "I think I remember you saying he was out of his depth on Friday, if this is a performance of someone out of their depth, it is easy to see why he is being selected"

    He was out of his depth at Cardiff, and he bowled a lot of legside dross last night.

    If he plays, I hope he does well, but I don't believe he's the 3rd best seamer in England.

  • Comment number 18.

    Doh! 9 overs, not 9 wickets!

  • Comment number 19.

    Again where is freddie's 10 out of 10?!?!?

    Would of made a better than a run a ball 50 in the second innings if they had not declared as early as they did (not critising the timing of the declaration, which was spot on). And words cannot describe how good that bowling performance was with the expectation of a nation on his back.

    Is it too much to suggest that this could become Freddie's Ashes ala Beefy in 1981??

  • Comment number 20.

    Strauss 9
    Cook 7.5
    Bopara 4
    Pietersen 5
    Collingwood 7
    Prior 7.5
    Flintoff 10
    Broad 6
    Swann 8
    Anderson 8
    Onions 5

    Hughes 3
    Katich 6
    Ponting 5
    Hussey 5
    Clarke 9
    North 4
    Haddin 7
    Johnson 6
    Hauritz 8
    Siddle 6
    Hilfenhaus 8

  • Comment number 21.

    "Bang the ball in short see what happens" - well, if I remember rightly, the aussies put quite a few in the air down - you'll see as well if you watch those sessions again, so perhaps this "tactic" wasn't so bad? Over-bowled them in the end, but you cannot argue with the results

    Who didn't look out of their depth at Cardiff?

  • Comment number 22.

    Sorry you can't just gice a 10 because it is Freddy - Good spells of 10 proportion, but not although the game. A Fine Nine!

  • Comment number 23.

    It was Strauss and Cook on day one that set up this victory for England and Strauss was robbed of the MOM award.

    Flintoff bowled brilliantly today, but it could be argued that it was Anderson's bowling in the first innings that ultimately did more to decide the outcome of this match.

  • Comment number 24.

    Kapnag - But ultimately, the question is "Would Harmison or SiBo bowl better if given the chance?"

    I'm happy to be proven wrong, but I think the answer to that question is yes.

  • Comment number 25.

    Would harmison have covered all that ground to take that catch? The catch that broke that partnership and started the Australian rot?

    Is Harmison capable of sticking around at the crease for over an hour?

    Has Harmison had the last 4 years to prove he should be England's front line bowler? Yep. And yet he's out the team...

  • Comment number 26.

    collingwood 6 ? a nice fifty and a few smart catches more than that if you ask me

  • Comment number 27.

    "Would harmison have covered all that ground to take that catch? The catch that broke that partnership and started the Australian rot?"

    Don't know. Neither do you.

    "Is Harmison capable of sticking around at the crease for over an hour?"


    Ultimately, you select your bowlers on their bowling ability. Harmison is neither a rabbit with the bat (though he's not in Broad's league) nor a disaster in the field.

    But he's (IMHO) a better bowler, TODAY, than Broad.

  • Comment number 28.

    He is a better bowler on his day, it's just a shame that those days rarely tend to be when he's playing for England

  • Comment number 29.

    Harsh on Collingwood (although you are right about him being a key figure), was he really less effective than Broad or Onions? And did Prior really do enough to get a full 2 more marks than Colly?

  • Comment number 30.

    "He is a better bowler on his day, it's just a shame that those days rarely tend to be when he's playing for England"


    But he's had more good days with the ball than Broad has.

    I mean, seriously, how many good days with the ball has Broad had?

    Anyway, forget Harmison. What about SiBo? Hoggard? JAR Harris?

  • Comment number 31.

    If Freddy is fit they won't change the side, so Bopara and Broad are safe!

  • Comment number 32.

    Must say that I agree with Silk on this one. Broad is a decent bowler and a good prospect. I was there yesterday and thought his afternoon spell was the best of all the bowlers except Freddie.

    Problem is that he seems to be someone who is learning the art of bowling whilst playing Test cricket, and that doesn't seem right to me. He is still very young and might benefit from a year or two playing regular county cricket and learning how to take wickets consistently.

    Right now, Harmison for all his faults is a much more threatening wicket-taker than Broad. Whilst on his bad days, he can be infuriatingly poor, on his good days he is capable of bowling teams out. Broad, at the moment, is not.

  • Comment number 33.

    The only one I disagree with is Strauss. Yes, his ton and a half set England up for the win, but failing to enforce the follow-on for a second time, shows that he lacks the killer instinct a captain needs. It was clear from the Aussie second innings performance that the wicket wasn't deteriorating. He should have put the Aussies straight back in, the follow-on is a huge psychological advantage, as well as helping to guarantee a result.

  • Comment number 34.

    "The only one I disagree with is Strauss"

    Did he not win the game by 100 runs?

    Was he not, in fact right?!

  • Comment number 35.

    dave_h - you know that Strauss's decision meant that we won, right? We will never know what might have happened had the follow-on been enforced but his decision was clearly not the wrong one!

  • Comment number 36.

    Daveh we won, so he was right!

    If they had followed on they might have won, who knows!

  • Comment number 37.

    I wrote on another blog that Flintoff hardly ever gets 5 wickets in an innings! Good for him for doing so in what sounded like a superb spell of bowling. Marks about right though Strauss had a shout of a 10 for carrying England in the first innings. Australia's bowlers a 5 and three 6s not 7s.
    Personally though I would take a mark off Flintoff for his bloody egotistical celebration after every wicket!! 'Look at me I'm just the most brilliant cricketer who ever lived' screaming out of every pore!! Mind you I just want to see a quick handshake/pat on the back then back to your mark. Far more fitting IMHO.

  • Comment number 38.

    I agree with everyone compaining about Collingwood only getting a 6. He's taken so much flak for so many years because he's not a particularly aesthetically appealing batsman but he has the mental strength at the crease and I think if you look at the partnerships England build he is very often the foil at the other end allowing the more flamboyant batsmen to score runs with confidence.

    Gave his wicket away rather cheaply in the first innings but was instrumental in picking the 2nd innings back up after Pietersen and Bopara made life in the middle look very hard indeed...

    And throw his undeniable quality as a slip (or indeed anywhere else) fielder into the mix and you'll find he played an essential role in this test!

    7 at the very least!

  • Comment number 39.

    A bit of heavy bias on the england but we won, so who cares.

    Would give Broad a 6 max. Plenty of short stuff that caused few probs for the top order. Didn't really look like taking a wicket til ponting dragged one on. Selectors' faith has lasted long enough with him and time for someone else. Potential, yes. Current form, no.

    I really worry for the post freddie era.

  • Comment number 40.

    Can't see how Johnson deserves any points at all. Worst bowling I've ever seen in a Test Match, or even on my local village green come to that. Strauss & Cook must have thought they were in heaven.

    As for Flintoff's bowling. Yes he was hostile but as was pointed out above he got some cheap wickets. If he desrves 9/10 what would Bob Massie have got in the 1972 Test (16 wickets in the match) against a rather useful England batting line up. 20/10 ?

    As for gmp999, how old are you ? About 6 ? Go away and read your cricket history !

  • Comment number 41.

    Firstly, Collingwood can not be marked equally to pietersen. An valuable 50 and a number of fine catches surely mean he should be at least a 7.

    Also, i'm not sure of this but i heard johnson has had a family issue which is affecting his game?

    Also you can't compare broad and onions as onions played much of the game with a elbow injury meaning limited bowling. Although i feel harmy sould be in the team, i think you can't drop any of the bowlers after bowling the aussies out for such a meagre total in the first innings.

    But the batting is a problem. I fell bopara should be dropped, but there is no who can fill the void. Bell got a golden duck for the england lions vs australia, and was hopeful in his last test run , and in 2005. So the only option i can think of is key, wo isn't test class. So we have to hope bopara comes good.

  • Comment number 42.

    Fletchcrik - I don't think gmp was being serious...if he was god help him!

  • Comment number 43.

    sorry meant hopeless rather than hopeful when referring to bell

  • Comment number 44.

    How can you give ravi and kp such high scores that afternoon session when they batted togther was the most boring cricket I have ever seen I was almost ill through the boredom my mind counldnt take it I would give both a 1.

  • Comment number 45.

    Mostly agree with the ratings although Hilfenhaus should have got an extra mark. Feel sorry for Siddle if he gets dropped as he hasnt done much wrong, it should be Johnson , but just like Broad, Johnson is useful with the bat and can pick up a few wickets. I dont know why people are getting fixated over Broad - he'll play in every match. The real bowling change needs to be Harmison in for Onions. As i suspected, Onions looks good trundling along on the county circuit but no where near Test level. Harmy is in form and,as the great freddie has shown,the Aussies dont like aggressive,in your face bowling. As for the batting, Bopara looks shakey at 3 but I am struggling for a replacement - any ideas ?

  • Comment number 46.

    The only one I disagree with is Strauss. Yes, his ton and a half set England up for the win, but failing to enforce the follow-on for a second time, shows that he lacks the killer instinct a captain needs.


    What a totally stupid thing to say. Batting again is the thing to do if you have the killer instinct. Just ask Ponting.

    He doesn't lack the killer instinct yet has had 9 chances to enforce the follow on as captain, and only chosen to do so twice, and both times in matches that were severely effected by the weather. Every time he has chosen to not enforce, Australia have won.

    Even when he had a 400+ lead against England in the first test of the last Ashes he batted again. Ground us into the dust and destroyed us for the rest of the series.

  • Comment number 47.

    Bopara getting 4 is very generous considering he batted like a constipated shrew second innings, was given a very generous life by Ponting, and then fielded poorly during the Aussie run chase, lots of misfields. Collingwood did give his wicket away first up but came back with real impetus in partnership with Prior, making up for the inexplicably slow Bopara-KP partnership, and then his fielding was as superb as ever.

    How anyone can still criticise Strauss's decision not to enforce the follow-on is beyond me. Clearly all the temporary cricket watchers (aka the football fans) don't know very much about Lords!

  • Comment number 48.

    The only one I disagree with is Strauss. Yes, his ton and a half set England up for the win, but failing to enforce the follow-on for a second time, shows that he lacks the killer instinct a captain needs.


    Why does enforcing the follow on show killer instinct? That's right, it doesn't.

    Strauss did what was right, i.e. get the runs on the board when the weather was at its best according to the forecast.

    My only criticism of his captaincy was not putting short legs/silly points in more and really getting in their faces, especially when Clarke was out his crease so mouch to Swann. That aside, he did well.

  • Comment number 49.

    Ratings - EASY

    Strauss 10
    Cook 10
    Bopara 10
    Pietersen 10
    Collingwood 10
    Prior 10
    Flintoff 10
    Broad 10
    Swann 10
    Anderson 10
    Onions 10

    Hughes 10
    Katich 10
    Ponting 10
    Hussey 10
    Clarke 10
    North 10
    Haddin 10
    Johnson 10
    Hauritz 10
    Siddle 10
    Hilfenhaus 10

    Can we have a repeat for the rest of the series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    The only one I disagree with is Strauss. Yes, his ton and a half set England up for the win, but failing to enforce the follow-on for a second time, shows that he lacks the killer instinct a captain needs.
    A captain should be judged on the outcome of the game - I wasn't convinced at the time, but Strauss obviously wanted to give the bowlers plenty of time to take ten wickets (perhaps bearing in mind Lord's last year when SA comfortably batted out 2 days), there was a question mark over the weather (bad forecasts didn;t really materialise), and he clearly felt conditions to score quickly and give more time to take the wickets were more promising on day 3 than they might have been on day 5. I was glad of not having to watch us struggle to reach a small total on Day 5!

    In the end we won reasonably comfortably, so he made the correct decision.

    Marks a generally fair. People calling for Freddie to get 10 out of 10 are a bit over-excited - Strauss and Anderson did as much if not more to put us in a winning position, though Freddie put in a Herculean effort to finish the job, as well as contributing a useful knock at the end of day 3. Ton and a five-for needed to bag 10 out of 10 methinks.

    My only gripe is 8 for Haddin - batted well but a wicket-keeper should be judged on his wicket-keeping as much as his batting and he was poor. Take away 31 byes and your looking at a winning margin of 84, England probably having to bat longer, less time to survive or fewer runs to chase with all the psycological implications. These things matter and he should have been given 6 or 7 for a poor display behind the stumps.

    Bopara was poor but deserves more of a chance - how many did Bell have, including all 5 tests in 2005 when he only contributed to fifties in the 3rd Test? Not so long ago Bopara scored 3 Test hundreds consecutively, and don't forget that was coming back into the side following 3 consecutive ducks. Don't underestimate his mental strength and give him the chance to score some runs in a confident, winning side.

  • Comment number 51.

    Strauss should have got less? It's an absolute travesty he didn't win man of the match...

    He scored over 1/3rd of Englands runs in the first innings, he switched the bowlers around well, he stopped Haddin scoring as quickly as he would have liked on day 4 as the longer the match went on and the pitch deteriorated it would be harder for the Aussies and he didn't enforce the follow on which was absolutely the right decision with the amount of time left in the game and the weather conditions on Saturday (sunny and good for batting).

    Whoever posted that he shouldn't have got 9 is clueless! There was potentail for him getting 10.

    He nicely teased the Aussies in thinking they could get 520 as well which meant they didn't go in to their shells...

    He will be a quality captain as he is more intelligent than most before him, that is what a captain needs, intelligence and leading by example - he does both very well...Don't always think it is best to attack with short legs etc. By taking the game in to the 5th day really helped England - we got the weather conditions today and Aus still needed over 200, if he had been attacking on day 4 they may have only needed 150 on Day 5 and I think we'd have lost...

  • Comment number 52.

    A few typo's there - meant to say:

    'marks ARE generally fair'

    and 'Take away 31 byes and YOU'RE looking at a winning margin of 84'!

    and 'TWO fifites in the 3rd Test'

    Apologies to people who get annoyed by that sort of thing, typed in a rushed break from work!

  • Comment number 53.

    A great win for England and only one change should be considered replace Broad with Harmison if onions is fit

  • Comment number 54.

    after reading this, I'm convinced I'm one of very few who think Flintoff's performance was good.. but far from equal to the accolades he's getting given

    He's meant to contribute with the bat - which he hasnt done (granted he was not out in the second innings)

    If Swann was given more than 1 over in the first innings, he would have undoubtedly had more wickets in the match than freddie

    Strauss scored nearly 200 runs in the match - and England won by around 115.. he was a far more influencing factor
    Not to mention that the 1st innings opening partnership with Cook more or less crippled the Australian morale from the get-go..

    I think a lot of people are quite blinded today by the "farewell" factor

  • Comment number 55.

    Gotta put Harmers in - leave Onions to stew for a while on the circuit - he is a bit of a county trundler after all (tho a good one). And bring back Rampers just for fun - he'll get more runs than Bopara for sure! A tweak or too is needed or the Ozzies will know just what to expect.

  • Comment number 56.

    As ever England support seems to swing between wild optimism and deep depression

    England played an excellent test overall, the Aussies were only in it twice, when they took wickets at the end of the first day, and then when Clarke and Haddin were playing well together.

    To moan about slow scoring by KP and Bopara or to pull the performance of Broad apart is pedantic to say the least. KP is obviously struggling with injury/form, and he still gets runs. Bopara and KP didn't play fluently but so what, there was plenty of time left and what would people have said if they'd got out slogging early on?

    Broad was obviously bowling to a team plan, variety is a key in any bowling attack, he was the bang it in short bowler, that was his role. Anyone saying it didn't work how do you explain the five wickets to short balls that the Aussies succumbed to in their first innings?

    All the bowlers made significant contributions at key times which is refelcted in there stats at the end of the match, to turn it around so much after Cardiff was a superb effort. This is one of the few times that you can say that England bowled as a unit in recent history.

    Flintoff's contribution was excellent but the other bowlers did pretty well, Jimmy Anderson's five fer seems to go un-noticed, Swanns bowling in the last innings was very good. Onions did a good job of getting those last two annoying wickets in the Aussies first innings.

    My only worry apart from injuries to KP and Freddy is that Bopara looks a bit overawed by the whole thing, however I don't think Ian Bell is the answer, he and Harmison should be forgotten about imo. Both are mentally weak, as proven by their peformances in the past, perhaps some of those calling for their return should look at their stats over the last 10-15 test matches that they have played in, perhaps then you'd be less keen to point out Broads figures.

  • Comment number 57.

    I think Harmison should come into this side because without Flintoff, I believe when the crunch period of the game comes England have fairly weak penetrative bowlers.

  • Comment number 58.

    Enforcing the follow on would have ground our bowlers into the dirt on a batting wicket..remeber SA last year...perfectly correct decision from Strauss
    #37.go away and watch croquet!

  • Comment number 59.

    J'n'S : Have a look at Donald v Atherton, Trent Bridge 1998. Fantastic theatre and the most hostile fast bowling since the demise of the West Indies' quicks.

  • Comment number 60.


    Jimmy didn't get a 5fer. He got four, although I would argue that the first innings wickets were more crucial to the end result than those taken in the last hour this morning.

  • Comment number 61.

    A small point that people haven't mentioned, Hughes was dropped by flintoff (Anderson was bowling) early on. I think this was forgotten because Flintoff got the wicket soon after (and freddy's mistakes are often overlooked), but i think the drop affected Anderson's bowling yesterday.

    Overall great win for England. Hopefully we can carry it forward to the next tests.

  • Comment number 62.

    Jimmsgal you are quite right, my error!

    My general point was that this was a team performance, pretty much everyone chipped in, with wickets, runs or some good catching. Its tempting to focus in on Flintoffs bowling, or Boparas batting too much either way.

    The suggestions that we should start dropping players after pretty much dominating a test match dumbfounds me. The comments about Broad and Onions being dropped are just plain silly, both played there part and should be retained. Or perhaps we should start dropping players when they don't perform brilliantly every match, that'll work, just like in the eighties and nineties for England.... oh no wait...

  • Comment number 63.


    Not sure I agree with that - a really good team should consider making changes even when they win, especially if there is someone else banging down the door, as Harmison is.

    I would not suggest dropping Bopara for two reasons: first, he made three centuries (albeit vs the Windies) very recently, so deserves at least one more chance; and secondly, there is no outstanding candidate to replace him. Had bell made a century for the England Lions, things would be different.

    Broad, on the other hand, has not made a significant contribution in terms of wickets for quite a while now so is definitely living on borrowed time. I don't think selecting him again would be a disaster, but when you're got an in-form Harmison waiting in the wings, using him has to be a real option. Onions, if fit, deserves another go - he has had more success than Broad in the games they have played together.

  • Comment number 64.

    Freddie should be 10, not particularly because of his wickets, or his potentially vital knock at the end of Day 3, but because the impact he had on his teammates was almost physical. Pietersen should be 5 - I know he's injured but his second innings was pitiful.

    To the people queueing up to get on Broad's back, he has just become the second quickest man to 50 wickets. The first? Sir Beef himself. He is still bowling important overs and taking important wickets. If Jimmy and Fred are bowling better - fantastic, long may it continue - but why should someone be whinged at? Our attack is looking great with GBH, Monty and Sideshow in the wings - let's be glad! Even in 2005 our back up seamer was Colly, now we have more depth and more variety than ever before. Let's stop trying to kick our most promising youngsters before they can stand - and that goes for Ravi too. He is definitely struggling, and perhaps he needs a rest, but he's shown enough already to justify a little respect and patience from part time fans.

  • Comment number 65.

    I bet a lot of the people who are on here calling for Broads head are the same types of people who were calling for Flintoff's head when he first started his test career. Flintoff did not burst on to the scene with any great deal of gusto. Certainly not compared to the heights he has achieved today. Yet the selectors did show faith in him (mostly) and that faith has been paid off. Broad is young and everyone has a few wobbles in their first ashes series. i think he was poor in Cardiff, but certainly much better at Lords. I say give the guy a break, pat him on the back for a well played match, and see how he gets on at Edgbaston. The best thing about Broad is how he learns and develops. he has an old head on his shoulders and is the natural replacement for Flintoff when he leaves the team. The only person who has a serious question mark over them in my opinion is Bopara, but i still wouldnt drop him for the next test. Bell is waiting in the wings though and I always fancied him regaining his test place at some point. Id hate to have Australia's head ache though. Id drop at least a point off of Johnsons score. His bowling was cringeworthy at times.

  • Comment number 66.

    1934 was the last time that England beat the Auzzies at Lords. This Test was as fabulous match & a wonderful advert for cricket.. thank you to both sides! Yes there were good and not so good performances but in essence their was everything. Runs, wickets, drama, tension passion, determination, grace, guile and guts. The game ebbed and flowed and could have gone either way. Every time I seem to log-on to hear what was happening it was difficult to not listen for hours! Let us all hope that this Series continues in the same vain as the first two Tests. I'm off for a lie down in a dark room to recover...until the next test..

  • Comment number 67.

    " I bet a lot of the people who are on here calling for Broads head are the same types of people who were calling for Flintoff's head when he first started his test career"

    Flintoff was dropped, went away and came back better.

    Just an observation.

  • Comment number 68.


    I don't think Broad is the second quickest to 50 wickets, rather the second youngest, which is a completely different stat and one defined by how often he has been picked in his youth.

    KP's 'pitiful' 2nd innings knock still contributed 44 runs and saw us through a difficult patch to give Prior and Collingwood a platform from which to kick on.

    Oh, and Colly only played one game in the 2005 Ashes, when he was brought in as a batsman, not a bowler. The next seamers in line for that series were Tremlett and Anderson.

  • Comment number 69.

    Yes great spell by Flintoff and 9/10 but not MOM - Strauss, even Anderson or Swann worth a thought.
    Broad must stay - he is the future and even if he is not Flintoff yet he ticks most boxes already. As Holding said he needs to focus more on doing the basics, bowling faster and making the batsmen work not experiment too much. Onions is a steady Eddie who I think can step up if asked but can move aside if the pitch promises to suit Harmy. Bopara however is the doubt.

  • Comment number 70.

    Isn't great that people have different views over which England player should be man of the match? English cricket is in a healthy state!
    I thought it was great that we batted very well in both innings and did not rely on KP at all.
    Strauss and Cook were great. I wonder what Vic Marks thinks of Cook now since he said he would not cross the road to see him bat in May?
    Flintoff was great too. Prior is becoming a vital member of the team- good batting, sharp keeping and spoke very well at the interviews during the test.
    Anderson's batting and fielding have greatly improved-he is still young and his bowling will only get better.
    Broad-still very young and he handled the criticism of the 1st Test very well I thought. Bowled well on Sunday and his enthusiasm and athlecism is an important ingrediant.
    Onions in his first Ashes test did well too I thought. He can only get better.I think he is good enough for test cricket.

    How poor are the Australians though? Johnson's bowling was terrible, Haddin's wicketkeeping is atrocious. They will not be #1 in the world for long. You wonder how they beat S Africa?

  • Comment number 71.

    Isn't it time Pattinson had another go ?

  • Comment number 72.

    6 for Collingwood is a bit low, he looks in top form with 3 x 50s in the series, + his fielding was good.

    Kev deserves a 7, as her took a great catch and chipped in twice.

  • Comment number 73.

    How poor are the Australians though? Johnson's bowling was terrible, Haddin's wicketkeeping is atrocious. They will not be #1 in the world for long. You wonder how they beat S Africa?


    Strangely enough, Mitchell Johnson was the main reason, along with some destructive batting by Hughes

    Never write them off. England had the best of the conditions and played better for 3 1/2 days, but Australia were still in with a chance before play this morning. Any other team would have surrendered last night

  • Comment number 74.

    With KP, Fred and Onions all on the injury list, I would not advocate changing anything as those potential absentees will be enough to think about. And actually, we won with the same team bar one who made a complete horlicks of it at Cardiff. You simply can't say what will happen from one game to the next, but if you preserve and reinforce your team ethic by being loyal, you have a much greater chance of success. Ask Michael Vaughan about 2005.
    As for Broad, the role of the all rounder is undervalued unless you do a Botham. Not many guys can do that, and in the same way that Gilchrist has changed the view of wicket keepers, the role of the all rounder looks puny at times compared to Sir Ian. He was the youngest player to get 50 test wickets. The second youngest was.......erm, actually, it was Stuart Broad. Get behind the lad.

  • Comment number 75.

    And as for Mitchell Johnson - he could barely hit the cut square at times, but I bet the Aussies aren't going to ditch him because they tend to stick by their guys.

  • Comment number 76.

    "The only one I disagree with is Strauss. Yes, his ton and a half set England up for the win, but failing to enforce the follow-on for a second time, shows that he lacks the killer instinct a captain needs."

    As has been said numerous times here, Strauss did exactly the right thing in not enforcing the follow on, but obviously ordering the England batsmen to go for their shots and put up a big lead quickly on a day when the wicket was ideal for batting. Strauss knows a thing or two about Lords y'know. You could see by his face when Bopara and Pietersen were batting that a slow scoring rate wasn't part of the plan! I wonder if Bopara would have scored a few more in the second innings if not for the fact that Pietersen seemed to be really struggling with his achilles problem and couldn't make the quick singles or turn ones into twos.

    Also it seemed that he was definitely looking out for a chance to declare in the evening of day 3 though decided that if he did then Australia would simply take the light so decided to go for as many runs as possible and declare overnight...that shows that he's learning from what's happened in previous matches. It's that ability to learn more than anything else that makes a good captain. It seems to be coming with bowling changes and most importantly bowling partnerships (Anderson and Flintoff with the new ball in particular) as well now, which is a positive sign.

  • Comment number 77.

    I wonder if Bopara would have scored a few more in the second innings if not for the fact that Pietersen seemed to be really struggling with his achilles problem and couldn't make the quick singles or turn ones into twos.


    Agree with this. Bopara had to turn a lot of runs down because of KP's troubles, leaving him to face the music, and not make much progress run wise

    Difficult situation, although he wasn't timing the ball that well, it has to be said

  • Comment number 78.

    A 50, some great catches and Colly even bowled a maiden over in the second innings to rub salt into the wounds of the aussies!

    I would give him a 7.5 in this match.

    Stop marking Colly down!

  • Comment number 79.

    i dont think a sports person has ever been as over rated as freddie. sure he is a great character and occasionally bowls well, but he is nowhere near a great. To be considered a great you need to play well for youer entire career, not just in front of your home crowd once or twice.

    also, I wonder how the rest of the english bowlers feel after freddie hogging the glory today. sure they will say its a team effort, but if any of them have an ego then today it will have taken a hit.

    anyway, as an aussie I must say well done england, thats one test more than I thought you would win this series. congrats and bring on the 3rd test!

  • Comment number 80.

    Freddie has been injured throughout most of his career. It would have been very interesting to see what his stats and figures would have been had he remained injury free (and i mean literally injury free. Crawling along with the aid of cortosone injections does not count). Stats dont really do the big man justice. He can turn a game on its head just like that with the ball or bat in his hand.

    Just one more thing on Broad: True, the selectors dropped Flintoff at the start of his career. But I think that the best experience Broad is going to get at the moment is in the test arena. Bumping people back to county cricket works when they are out of form, not learning the game, which is what broad is doing. He will progress far quicker in tests than he will in county. Once he has matured then we should have another look at him and see if he needs to go back to county to perfect his craft (like anderson). But at the moment id say he has to stay.

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm all for keeping faith with a winning team and not dropping players for the sake of it....however, there is also the truism that you play your BEST side, and if you can strengthen a team in any way, you do it.
    Harmison must come in, firstly because it makes sense to have two 90mph plus bowlers who can rattle the Aussies rather than one; secondly, if Freddie's knee happens to give out halfway through a test match, our back-up bowlers don't look as though they can pose enough of a consistent threat to worry the visitors' batting line-up.
    Onions may be the unlucky one, as he is obviously injured AND has barely had time to get used to the up's and down's of test cricket; but personally, if Graham's fit, I'd leave out Broad. Unlike Onions, who already has a match-winning performance under his belt, he has had enough time in the test arena to have made at least one major bowling contribution, which he hasn't. He's got great potential, but like Anderson early on, he needs to go back to the ranks and work a few things out. I'm sure he's talented enough to mature into a really good bowler, but he's not quite there yet, and for every good spell he bowls, two or three others are real help-yourself stuff.

  • Comment number 82.

    Roll on the footy season so I don't have to read daft comments from part time cricket fans such as:
    Collingwood was our back up seamer in 2005. What?!?!
    Strauss showed a lack of killer instinct not enforcing the follow on.
    Bring Ramprakash back for Bopara. Give me strength!

    Can't believe what's happened to Mitchell Johnson - he was amazing in SA over the winter. Massive difference so far but it's bit early to write him off just yet. I heard Alec Stewart ponder before the first test whether Johnson would be able to bowl with the Duke or adapat to English conditions. Hats off to Alec, he's been right so far.

  • Comment number 83.

    1. If your "entire" career is frequently interrupted by injuries, your form is bound to dip.
    2. Don't think he was "hogging the glory", fans and teammates were handing it to him.
    3. If you get the chance, ask some of his test opponents if he's overrated (and a decent bloke).
    Must agree with one thing though, your use of the word "character".
    Cricket, or any sport, is all the better for characters - it may be big business now but first and foremost, it's entertainment.
    He will be missed by the world of cricket, not just England.

  • Comment number 84.

    The main Aussie bowling threat before the start of the Ashes "Michelle Johnson" went for more than 200 runs & thats the story of the match along with Freddie's brilliant spell on day 5.
    He truely deserves a 9/10, along with Straussy whose 161 in the 1st innings drifted the game England's way.

  • Comment number 85.

    4. At 2:17pm on 20 Jul 2009, petdark1 wrote:
    Stuart Broad 7?, one of the most overated players in the England set up for years, his bowling average is dire yet he seems undroppable, the cynic in me thinks he is so favoured because he is a nice public School pretty Boy with a famous Father
    The cynic in me thinks this might be precisely why some fans seem to have taken such a fierce dislike to him. Inverted snobbery is still snobbery.

    I do think an 8 is maybe a bit generous to Matt Prior though. Fair enough it was a decent knock in the second innings following an uninspired start to the series with the bat, but personally I thought he looked rather untidy with the gloves for much of the match.

    All minor gripes though. Overall it was a great team performance and result. Well done England.

  • Comment number 86.

    Good team performance to win the match. Player ratings pretty much on the ball.

    Areas that could be improved -

    1. the number 3 position, Bopara not looking comfortable. He's a talented player and deserves the opportunity but is this the right time to have him at number 3?????

    Replacements in the wings - none!!!! Certainly not Bell or Key or Shah. Ramprakash!!!!! Please NO, NO, NO!!!! Bring in a talented youngster - not the answer, no guarantee he'll succeed.

    One solution, drop Bopara down to no 5 - may make things easier for him to settle down, then again if England are 260 for 3 after 80 overs he'd have to come in and face the new ball!!!!! Colly at 3 would add stability, he gets his head down, fights it out and seldom gives his wicket away (ok there was that first innings but that was the exception to the rule!!!)

    2. A bit more penetration in the bowling. Anderson for swing, Flintoff for pace 7 agression OK, Swann for spin OK, Broad and Onions - replace one of them with Harmison. Harsh maybe??? Yes, but the series has to be won - Broad is talented and improves all the time but is not at his best yet. Onions has done all that has been asked of him in three tests. But an in-form Harmison bowling well with pace and awkward bounce could break the back of the Australian batting and win a test.

    Other than that carry on the good work.

  • Comment number 87.

    After the dust has settled on his retirement, I wonder if Fred will look back at the video of this test match, especially the 2nd innings, and think "If I pitched it up a little bit further and a little more often and I would've had a lot more test wickets to my name"

  • Comment number 88.

    "I do think an 8 is maybe a bit generous to Matt Prior though. Fair enough it was a decent knock in the second innings following an uninspired start to the series with the bat, but personally I thought he looked rather untidy with the gloves for much of the match."

    Couldn't disagree more! First, Prior's start to the series with the bat was good - he played a pretty important knock in the first innings at Cardiff (although he admittedly let himself down in the second innings, along with all the top order bar Paul Collingwood MBE). Secondly, he was very good with the gloves in this Test match - just compare his performance to Haddin, who dropped a catch and conceded 31 byes. Lords is a tough place to keep and Prior did well.

  • Comment number 89.

    I think when Flintoff looks back he' ll probably wish that he didn't have a dodgy knee/ankle/foot etc. I don't think he is over rated, its just like virtually every other modern fast bowling all rounder (Oram, Bravo, Watson et al) he has suffered more than his fair share of injuries which can have only negatively effected his performance and mindset, is it a coincidence that he bowls his best when he knows he has only got the one last series to get through with all the niggles and aches, I think not.

    It really does make me want to cry when people seriously mention Harmison as an England bowler again. Just brake down his stats and assess them for what they are, mediocre. Yes he bowled out a couple of sides on very bowler friendly wickets, but that was in the past. Exactly what did he do in the Lions game that made you want to forget his poor attitude and poor performances for England over the past three years? Bounced out a batsmen who the current bowlers have managed to bounce out aswell?

    Onions gets dropped from the side after taking plenty of wickets against the West Indies for a tactical selection of an extra spinner which fails miserably. He gets picked for this match where he takes a respectable 3 wickets at 30.33 in not many overs in a winning side, yes lets drop him and bring in a bloke who couldn't be bothered to get fit to play for England. It doesn't make sense in the long term, it doesn't even make sense in the short term.

    Broad is the weakest bowler, but whilst you shouldn't pick bowlers on the runs they can score neither can you ignore them. The Aussies are desperate not to drop Johnson as he is also a useful batsmen. Lower order runs were crucial in 2005 for both sides. With five bowlers and Flintoff's poor batting having Broad and Swann coming in strengthening the tail cannot be underestimated. If Monty wasn't so clueless in the field and with the bat he may well not have been dropped so quickly.

    The five bowlers who won this match should all be retained, between them I believe they can take 20 wickets. In English conditions the two sides are very evenly matched and as with this match the series will in effect be lost by the side that has a couple of bad batting performances.

  • Comment number 90.

    While I agree with most of the ratings I think that Strauss is too high, his poor captincy yesterday afternoon almost let the game slip away, taking that into account I'd have given him 8.

    My main issue though is with the Aussie bowlers, they were as bad as the England ones last week but the lowest got a 5! The highest any of them should get is a 6 im my opinion, they are all average players (at best), the only internation team any of them would walk into would be Bangladesh!

  • Comment number 91.

    "Exactly what did he do in the Lions game that made you want to forget his poor attitude and poor performances for England over the past three years?"

    Well, to start with he took 6 wickets, including Hughes twice, Katich, Hussey and Ponting on a pretty good pitch.

    As for his poor performances for England over the last 2-3 years, he STILL averages much better than Broad over that period and Broad doesn't have a history of top class performances or great recent form.

    Unfortunately (because I think Broad is a real tryer), the off-form version of Harmison we have seen over the last few years is better than anything we have yet seen from Broad. I agree that you cannot ignore batting form, but you can't pick a bowler purely because of it either.

  • Comment number 92.

    Stuart Broad has had so many more chances than other seamers in the past 5 years. Kabir Ali only got one test for goodness sake. Why does Broad deserve special treatment?

    2007/08: 3 tests, 9 wickets @ 38 with a strike rate of 80
    2008: 6 tests, 15 wickets @ 46 with a strike rate of 81
    2008/09: 6 tests, 14 wickets @ 36 with a strike rate of 73
    2009: 4 tests, 12 wickets @ 38 with a strike rate of 59

    Not exactly playing exhalted opposition either. Seems to be he should be putting in the hard yards in county cricket just like every other bowler is expected to. At the moment he's getting a free ride in the England team, apparently undroppable.

    I'm not saying he doesn't have potential, but why aren't we picking players on merit?

  • Comment number 93.

    Chris Broads son's bowling is a joke.
    An average of 40 and a strike rate of 80 says it all.

    Dont give me all this pony that he is young and inexperienced, he has played 18 tests which makes him fairly experienced but he's still rubbish.

  • Comment number 94.

    I agree with almost all your scoring on this occasion, except Collingwood - I think he is often underrated and deserves at least a 7 for his contribution overall, including his batting and brilliant fielding performance.

  • Comment number 95.

    To the Stuart Broad critics / Steve Harmison supporters, I can surmise only 2 theories ...

    i) you didn't watch the match as Broad bowled better than Graham Onions
    ii) you've been in a cricketing coma since 2005 and have had the good fortune to miss Harmison's bowling performances for England

  • Comment number 96.

    I would like to add another rating, England's fielding 9, Aussie fielding 4. That catch Broad took was awesome, a sideways/forewards diving catch at full speed (he's def quick)is really difficult, at least thats my experience, but this young bloke looked like a cheetah hungry for his prey and he wasnt gonna let it slip away;) That completely changed the momentum since the Aussies got two batsmen in who were approaching half centuries and also a century partnership and at that moment they were by no means out of this match, I would almost say it started to look like evenly balanced.

    I understand the critics Broad gets but you should also take his quality as a fielder into account. Usually bowlers arent the best of fielders but England also got a fine catcher in the slips and Anderson who must be one of the best fielders of all the bowlers in the world. When I usually watch England field it looks woeful but I reckon nowerdays they really got a good fielding side.

  • Comment number 97.

    Biased ratings in my opinion. Broad and Onions the same rating Hilfenhaus! No! He was miles better then those two seeming he was the only seamer for us who consistently bowled a good line/length.

  • Comment number 98.

    Stuart Broad is a fairly expensive "work-in-progress" (re. Jimmy Anderson two years ago). Obviously highly thought of by the management, took the vital wicket of Punter and was dead unlucky not to ball Clark for 0. Something about Broad's long-term potential that I like and should be persisted with. Unless of course the Edgbaston wicket is lightning fast with steep bounce (wouldn't that be exciting) ... Steve Harmison would come into the new-ball equation.

  • Comment number 99.

    Test Cricket is bowler's game and ODIs are for batsmen.
    In that respect, Freddie deserves a 10, Anderson should get a 9 and Strauss getting a 9 is fair enough.

  • Comment number 100.

    Obviously Strauss and Cook benifited from worse Australian spell of bowling I have ever seen.

    People complaining about Colly's rating I think it's fair because of the shot he played in the first innings.

    KP I would give a five as he was average. He has 9days before the next test.

    If he is not fit he shouldn't play

    And no play should get a ten in this test match.


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