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Ashes player ratings: How did the England squad do?

| 17.01.2022

Ashes player ratings for the touring England squad

England’s Ashes dreams crashed and burned in embarrassing fashion Down Under, with a tame surrender in the fifth Test at Hobart meaning Joe Root‘s side depart Australia with a humiliating 4-0 loss to their name.

The writing was on the wall from almost the time they landed in Oz and following a wet build-up in Brisbane, inexplicably left Stuart Broad and James Anderson on the bench for the series opener.

England’s Ashes campaign has been hallmarked by selection gaffes, batting collapses and the typical catalogue of tour-ending injuries. With the post mortem about to begin we take a look back at the performances of those on the pitch and hand out some Ashes player ratings.


His dismissal off the very first ball of the series will go down in Ashes folklore for the worst possible reasons. The left-hander arrived as a senior player and possible captaincy candidate and leaves uncertain of his place and his technique.


The Nottinghamshire opener suffered a torrid time Down Under and it is hard to score him any higher than one in our Ashes player ratings.

Hit his ceiling with a couple of battling 20s in the first Test and was ruthlessly picked apart thereafter. Averaged 10 over eight innings and could wait a long time for his third shot at international cricket.


His fluent 77 on day five in Sydney showed why England are keen on the 6ft 5in strokemaker and is one of the better slip catchers in the squad, but needs more consistency. Admirably positive but still too loose.


Shared a couple of century stands with Joe Root, making 82 and 80 in back-to-back innings at the start of the series.

His output dropped off but he appears to have the mentality for Test cricket and his results towards the back end of the series can be mitigated against the angst of missing the birth of his daughter during the final Test.

Dawid Malan, Ashes player ratings

JOE ROOT – 6/10

Another chastening trip Down Under as captain and still no century on Australian soil despite another hat-trick of fifties.

Root is easily England’s biggest asset in Test cricket but his attempts to rally his team through both deed and word came to nothing.


His decision to sign up for the tour after a hiatus from the game created a wave of optimism but Stokes has been a shadow of himself. Averaged 23.60 with the bat, 71.50 with the ball and picked up a side strain for his troubles.


The most prolific batter in county cricket, Pope has long been tipped as the best English product since Root. But he looks miles away from delivering on those predictions and after eking out 67 runs in six innings, he needs to be sent away to work on his shortcomings.


Was drinking in the last-chance saloon when he turned up at Sydney and scored England’s only century of the series. Played his part in the second-innings salvage job despite a badly hurt thumb which kept him out of the finale.


A star performer in the T20 World Cup but a shadow of himself in England whites. Dropped a handful of catches behind the stumps and even his best innings of the trip – an ultra-defensive rear-guard in Adelaide – ended when he stepped on his own stumps.


An unexpected debutant in Hobart after Buttler broke a finger and acquitted himself well enough for an Ashes player ratings figure of five.

Offered energy and competence with the gloves but may still find himself shuffled back below Ben Foakes in the pecking order if England make a change.


Would have been desperate to shake off his tag as a bowler who thrives at home and flounders overseas, but merely added fuel to the fire.

Struggled to make a dent on the Australian batting order but offered a reminder of his all-round skills by outperforming several of his top-order team-mates with the bat.

MARK WOOD – 8/10

England’s player of the series. Bowled at extreme pace from start to finish, troubled Australia’s best batters as a matter of course and fully deserved a career-best haul in the final Test. The only shame is that, at 32, he may not come this way again.

Mark Wood, Ashes player ratings


Has proved himself a Test-class performer and leaves his first Ashes with some decent numbers, which is a contributing factor to his Ashes player ratings score of six.

But the management’s decision to go public with concerns over his fitness and lifestyle choices is a major red flag.


A surprising omission in the first Test and missed out again on a seaming deck in Melbourne. Registered the tourists’ first five-for at the SCG and always found a way into the contest despite lacking his old zip.


An amazing achievement simply to get back for another Ashes tour at 39, but continues to prove he is there on merit not sentiment.

The England legend bowled beautifully at the MCG, showing great control and signed off by blocking out the final over of the draw in Sydney to help boost his Ashes player ratings score.


Ignored by England all summer, then tossed to the wolves at The Gabba. Smashed out of the attack and never fully got back into the contest. Dropped for the only real turning pitch in Adelaide.

Did not play: Dan Lawrence, Craig Overton, Dom Bess.

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Adam Morgan