The Ashes 2013: Player Ratings From 1st Test

cricket 2013 First Investec Ashes Test Match, Trent Bridge England won by 14 runs One of the best test matches in recent memory, images of Edgbaston in the 2005 Ashes came rushing back. Ebbing and flowing between each session, the spectators at Trent Bridge, Nottingham never really knew who had the upper hand. From Siddle€™s opening bowling spell on Day 1 to Ashton Agar€™s record breaking 98 on Day 2, it was at first Australia€™s game to lose. Then Pietersen (64) and Ian Bell (109) counter attacked brilliantly, soaking up a lot of pressure to leave Australia 311 to win. When Anderson took the ninth wicket before lunch on the last day, it seemed an English victory was inevitable. But as Haddin batted superbly, relying on great support from Agar and Pattinson, the required runs kept getting lower and lower. Australia looked like they were going to pull off the impossible. With 20 to win at lunch, English heads were faced downwards. Step in Jimmy Anderson, world€™s top bowler. Haddin nicks a thin one to Matt Prior - decision ratified by DRS €“ England win by 14 runs - queue in the celebrations. What a test match! Here€™s how I rated the players from both sides over the 4 and a half days.


Michael Clarke (Captain) €“ 5/10 Made some pretty poor decisions, especially taking the new ball in England€™s second innings which allowed Ian Bell and Matt Prior to escape a significant amount of pressure. This was a turning point in the match it would seem, for Bell€™s 109 and Prior€™s quick-fire 31 shifted the momentum back in England€™s favour. Clarke also needs to look at his team€™s use of the Decision Review System (DRS) as he often found himself in dire need of a review (cough Stuart Broad€™s edge) when he had no more to play with. He is a class batsman and will almost certainly improve on his below average scores of 0 and 23 respectively. Shane Watson €“ 6/10 Talented, but never goes on to hit the big runs. It may seem like a tired description of the brash opener from Queensland, but his reputation is beginning to become an annoying hindrance. He has the power-hitting ability to take the game away from England, and if he had added to his 46 in Australia€™s second innings, we may have had a different winner. Despite this, he is one of Australia€™s best and most experienced batsman, so expect to see him hit back hard. Chris Rogers €“ 7/10 Looked quite assured in a strong opening partnership with Watson in Australia€™s second innings, and his 51 will cement his selection for the Lord€™s Test. Coming into his second test match following a hiatus of 5 years, there was a lot of pressure for him to perform, and he didn€™t do too badly. It will be interesting to see how he bats in the rest of the series. Also, nice glasses! Ed Cowan €“ 3/10 The phrase €˜walking wicket€™ may be a little harsh, but test cricket is a tough game, and Cowan doesn€™t really look technically sound enough to do battle with England€™s attack. With a first ball duck in the first innings and a nervy 14 in the second, ending with the part timer Joe Root taking his scalp, Cowan will probably be dropped for Lord€™s. Perhaps Warner or Kawaja to come in? Steve Smith €“ 7/10 Actually surprised me with how much his batting has improved since I saw him last. While the frenetic disposition is still there, Smith has seemingly done a lot to build a more mature batting style, and his 53 in the first innings showcases that. It was disappointing that he didn€™t bowl, as his leg-spin offers something a bit different. Phillip Hughes €“ 8/10 The understated half of the record breaking partnership for the tenth wicket (163), and his 81 deserves recognition along with Agar. Like Smith, Hughes has improved some technical issues, no longer going after everything near off-stump, and is more prepared to use the crease to force a run or two. His incorporation of the leg-side looks to have made him a more complete batman. Can England adapt? Brad Haddin €“ 7.5/10 Even as an Englishman, you had to feel for Brad Haddin at the end. With the margins so fine, it was perhaps fitting that it was an edge of the same description that he succumbed to. His 71 off 213 balls demonstrates why he was selected; experience is crucial. Great with the gloves as usual and he was close to causing a major upset, but couldn€™t pull off the revenge for Edgbaston 2005. Peter Siddle €“ 8/10 With the drama of four scintillating days of play, it might be easy to forget day one. Siddle took apart England€™s top order on Wednesday morning, and proves why his dogged determination gets him results. While Pattinson and Starc had to deal with the nerves of an opening Ashes test, Siddle got stuck in. With first innings figues of 5-54, he will surely keep his place as leader of Australia€™s attack. Mitchell Starc €“ 6.5/10 Seemed a bit anonymous in this test match at times, but contributed well enough to prevent any proper criticism. This was most likely down to nerves, so we may see the young man come into his own in the second test. Another decent batsman in Australia€™s never-ending tail. James Pattinson €“ 7/10 For the brother of once-capped England player Darren Pattinson, James shows much more Australian grit and bravado. This serves him well, and he aided Haddin brilliantly in their chase against the odds on Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, he will be remembered in this series for his bowling, and like Starc, chipped in nicely with 5 wickets. Ashton Agar €“ 8/10 What a debut! This 19 year old will surely be around international cricket for a while. His bowling seemed decent albeit unspectacular, but at his tender age we are likely set to see much more from him. His technique as a batsman was particularly solid, and looks more like a number 5 rather than number 11, eyeing up Graham Swann like he was bowling long hops on the village green. His was the most natural debut I€™ve seen since Kevin Pietersen, so hopefully he will go on to become a mainstay of the Aussie side. Click "next" below for England's breakdown of ratings;

English and History graduate from the University of York. I love all things culture, whether it's film, music, TV, sport or anything else I enjoy writing about. My main interests range from metacinema and Oscar nominations to comic book movies, sci-fi, supernatural television and the musical world of rock n' roll.