10 – Joe Root: A superb second innings 180 from the Yorkshireman showed the sheer class that he has in abundance. He scored quickly, easily and never looked troubled. He also played for the team by trying to up the rate on the fourth morning rather than just looking for his own milestones.
Being able to bowl some off-spin has also helped England and his two key wickets of Clarke and Khawaja showed that he is a superb all-round cricketer.
10 – Ian Bell: He helped England out of a hole for the second time in as many matches with another sublime 109. Bell bats with such ease and grace that he never looks daunted or tied down. He got a life on three in his second innings and made the Aussies pay with 71 more runs, but it is not just batting where he is key to England.
He has just been returned to the short-leg fielding position for which he is the best in the world, and he proved this with a superb catch off Graeme Swann.
10 – Graeme Swann: 9-122 in a match are superb figures by anyone’s standards, but Graeme Swann makes it look easy and the amount of matches he’s won for England show how pivotal he is to their success.
He also chipped in with an invaluable 28 runs in the first innings.
8 – Tim Bresnan: I think England made exactly the right call in brining Bresnan into the side for this Test. He plays with his heart on his sleeve and will never give up, these traits allowing him to walk away from this game with 4 wickets and a crucial innings with the bat to his name.
7 – Jonny Bairstow: The batsman with the least amount of time in the middle this summer looked classy in the first innings before giving his wicket away. Second time around he was doing what the team needed so no blame can be burdened on him.
6 – Jimmy Anderson: Certainly not at his best on a pitch that Ryan Harris proved could be fruitful for seamers.
6 – Jonathan Trott: Made an excellent fifty in a crucial 99-run partnership with Ian Bell first time around, but continues to give his wicket away in un-Trott like fashion.
5 – Stuart Broad: His batting comes out of this game with more credit than his bowling after taking just a solitary wicket.
4 – Matt Prior: Continues his excellent work behind the stumps but he cannot buy a run this year. The curse of being awarded the England Test player of the year has struck.
4 – Alastair Cook: A superb captain, not making runs is still a superb captain.
4 – Kevin Pietersen: Now an injury doubt for the Third Test, his form has dwindled since his return.
9 – Ryan Harris: This guy would’ve been the next great Australian bowler had it not been for a catalogue of injuries during his career. He took his 50th Test match wicket in just his 13th match and finished with match figures of 7-103, and his name on the honours board.
7 – Steve Smith: He only had four Test wickets before this match started, now he has eight. He dragged Australia back into the game on the first evening with three quick wickets, and then removed the in-form Bell in the second.
His batting leaves a lot to be desired at the moment but his bowling and fielding are certainly helping the Aussies.
6 – Peter Siddle: The work-horse gave Australia hope with three quick wickets on the third evening. He cost himself big time with the overstepping wicket of Bairstow.
6 – Michael Clarke: He is a very clever captain who makes some great decisions on who to bowl and when. He looked to find a little form with a half-century in the second innings.
6 – Usman Khawaja: Despite this being his first Test in a while he looked like one of the more confident batsmen. His second innings 54 showed real flair and I suspect it may be the start of a long run in the side.
4 – Shane Watson: He bowled with real precision and accuracy, and took the key wicket of Cook early on the first day. His batting is not where it should be for a Test opener as he continues to find himself LBW, a trait which needs to be sorted out.
4 – Brad Haddin: Quality keeper, couldn’t do anything to stop the tide against his side this time.
4 –James Pattinson: Bowled poorly, batted quite well.
3 – Phil Hughes: Can’t seem to buy a run, his shot making is sometimes woeful.
2 – Ashton Agar: He was brought into the side as a spinner, but all he has done so far is prove that he can bat a bit. I hope for Australia’s sake that they forget about the 98 and pick a proper spinner.
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