Best XI of Ashes 2017-18 after the first three Tests
Australia have regained the Ashes in panache and it's taken them just 3 Tests to have achieved the feat.
Updated - Dec 19, 2017 5:37 pm
Australia have done it again. They’ve regained the Ashes with panache and it’s taken them just 3 Tests to have achieved the feat. Each of the three Tests saw complete domination on the part of the Australians and meek submission from the entire England team. The English were as out of sorts as a fish would be out of the pond.
Aided by some brilliant bowling spells from the likes of Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, and some mind-boggling batting from the Australian captain, Steve Smith, Australia have now taken an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the series.
While Australia won the first Test at Brisbane by 10 wickets and the second game at Adelaide by 120 runs, it’ll be the third Test at Perth that’ll haunt the minds of the England team. Having got off to a sound start on the first day, they threw it all away and from there on, the English innings spiralled down into a bottomless pit.
In spite of the match being hindered on the last part of the fourth evening and early fifth day due to rain, the men from ‘Down Under’ had no qualms in dismissing the visitors promptly to gain a victory by an innings and 41 runs. Let’s take a look at the Best XI of the Ashes 2017-18 up until now.
1. David Warner
It seems as if Aussie opener, David Warner doesn’t know how to take a wrong step as it’s all been going his way. Although this can’t be termed as his best outing in the Ashes, his track record was impressive nonetheless. The swashbuckling left-handed batsman accrued 196 runs in the 5 innings that he played for his side, including a splendid inning worth 87 runs in the Australian second innings of the first Test and a composed knock of 47 runs off 102 balls in the second Test.
2. James Vince
James Vince was the silver lining of the otherwise gloomy and dark clouds in the English sky. As his captain, Joe Root acknowledged in the post-match presentation ceremony of the third Test, “the way Vince played in the second innings was proper batting.”
He scored 182 runs in the 3 Tests for England and his gritty knock of 55 runs in the second innings of the Perth Test was ample proof of his steely temperament. Vince’s 83-run innings in the first Test before being unceremoniously run-out was his highest score in the series.
3. Steve Smith (C)
The Australian skipper topped the charts of the most runs scored in the series and how! He averaged 426 runs in just 4 innings that consisted 2 centuries. His mammoth innings of 239 runs in the Perth Test is what secured the match for Australia, along with it being etched as his second double Test ton.
He led the team from the front and marshalled his troops ably. Smith’s happiness at having regained the urn was palpable as he delivered an emotional speech at being named the ‘Man of the Match’ at the post-match presentation, lauding all his teammates for their efforts.
4. Dawid Malan
England’s top-order batsman, Dawid Malan finds a place in the Best XI ranking owing to his sheer brilliance with the bat. The 30-year old notched up 302 runs in the 6 innings that he played at an average of 50.33. Malan’s awe-inspiring innings worth 140 runs in the first innings of the third Test served to restore a semblance of England’s pride and he was lauded richly by Root for his performance after the conclusion of the match. Malan (194) also raked up a respectable record with his innings as he surpassed Derek Randall at the most number of runs in a Perth Test for England.
5. Shaun Marsh
Shaun Marsh’s unbeaten innings of 126 runs in the Adelaide Test was instrumental in Australia putting up a 442-run total on the board in the first innings. Marsh performance was dazzling as he amassed 224 runs in the three Tests at an average of 74.66. He also sported a strike rate of 44.18 all throughout, including a half-century and a century. Marsh hit 29 boundaries and a sixer in the proceedings of the three Tests.
6. Jonny Bairstow (wk)
England has found an able middle-order batsman in Jonny Bairstow on more occasions than one and this time was no different. The 28-year old right-hander held together the innings for his side, particularly in the third Test, where he stitched a strong partnership worth 237 runs with Malan. Bairstow scored 241 runs in 6 innings, including a 42-run innings in the first Test and a sensational knock worth 119 runs in the Perth Test.
7. Mitchell Marsh
Australian all-rounder, Mitchell Marsh has been another bright star for his side as he served his role to perfection. Apart from his spot-on fielding skills, Marsh contributed heavily with the willow. He was drafted into the Playing XI in the third Test and he justified his inclusion and then some!
He smashed 181 runs at a healthy strike rate of 76.69. He tried his hand with the red cherry as well, as he bowled 12 overs for 57 runs in the two innings of the Perth Test that included 2 maidens.
8. Mitchell Starc
It’s hardly a surprise anymore when you see Mitchell Starc perched on top the bowling figures chart at the end of a series and the first three Tests of Ashes 2017-18 were no exceptions. Starc scalped 19 wickets in three games he played and his stunning delivery that got James Vince clean bowled has left fans and critics dumbfounded, with several of them comparing it to Shane Warne’s “Ball of the Century.” Starc’s best bowling figures in an innings read 5/88 while his best in a match figures came out to be 8/137.
9. Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood comes second only to Starc on the list of the most number of wickets taken. He inked 15 dismissals to his name at an admirable average of 23.20. His spell of 5/48 in the third Test against England was crucial in tilting the scales in Australia’s favour in the rain-affected game. Hazlewood sported best figures of 8/140 in a match in the series.
10. Nathan Lyon
When the top three ranks of the ‘Most Number of Dismissals’ chart are occupied by bowlers of a single team, it speaks volumes of the team’s strength. Off-break bowler for Australia, Nathan Lyon aided the pacers, Starc and Hazlewood and added on to the misery of the English batsmen. He picked up 14 wickets combined in the three Test matches at an average of 26.07, including best innings figures of 4/60.
11. James Anderson
James Anderson cuts a lone figure in the bowling rankings, surrounded by the host team’s bowlers. To his credit, the 35-year old performed well for England and contributed to the English side’s fighting efforts at saving the matches. Anderson bagged 12 wickets in the 5 innings that he bowled.
The feisty pacer maintained an average of 25.83. Anderson’s best bowling figures in the series up till now were courtesy the five-wicket haul he pulled out of the hat in the Australian second innings in the second Test of the Ashes 2017-18.