Ashes player ratings: Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad hit back at critics in Melbourne, Moeen Ali provokes concern
England’s improved performance in Melbourne was unable to produce a victory as Australia saved the match after being dominated for much of the Boxing Day Test.
Alastair Cook scored a magnificent double century as the tourists secured a healthy first-innings lead at the MCG, but they were unable to take another ten wickets on an incredibly flat and paceless pitch.
England have already lost the Ashes but at least travel to Sydney for the final match having eliminated the possibility of another whitewash Down Under.
Alastair Cook – 5/5
Almost tripled his entire tally for the series with a stunning and unbeaten double century. The only player in the England team capable of such a patient, controlled and energy-sapping knock.
Mark Stoneman – 1/5
Made another start but was then the subject of another fine caught and bowled effort from off-spinner Nathan Lyon. Will be disappointed to have missed out.
James Vince – 1/5
Also failed to make the most of a flat pitch and a depleted Australia attack. Got an inside feather on his lbw dismissal but failed to review the decision.
Joe Root – 3/5
Urged to be ‘harder on himself’ by former England captain Nasser Hussain, Root struck another fifty but perished shortly after in familiar circumstances. Michael Vaughan described his dismissal as ‘shocking’.
Dawid Malan – 1/5
Like Vince, the Middlesex batsman also failed to recognise he got a healthy inside edge on the ball after being given out lbw.
Jonny Bairstow – 2/5
Kept well but was surprisingly frenetic with the bat after his maiden Ashes century in the previous match in Perth. Played a number of poor shots before being caught behind attempting to cut Lyon.
Moeen Ali – 1/5
His 14-ball cameo showed he no longer trusts his technique. A brutal tour appears to be getting the best of Moeen, who bowled 25 expensive overs without taking a wicket. Likely to be dropped for the final match in Sydney.
Chris Woakes – 3/5
Has improved in Melbourne and Perth after a slow start to the tour; dismissed struggling Australia opener Cameron Bancroft twice. Also kept Cook company at the crease with a 62-ball innings worth 26.
Tom Curran – 3/5
Promising debut from the Surrey youngster, claiming Steve Smith as his maiden Test wicket after the disappointment of having David Warner’s wicket chalked off because he overstepped by a couple of inches.
Stuart Broad – 4/5
Endured the worst match of his career at the WACA but showed great strength of character to bounce back with wickets and runs. Claimed figures of 4-51 as Australia were bowled out for 327, before hitting a streaky half-century and putting on over 100 with Cook.
James Anderson – 3/5
Bowled with skill in both innings; a constant thorn in Australia’s side.