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Ashes 2017: Australia player ratings as Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon blow England away

Ashes 2017: Australia player ratings as Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon blow England away
Steve Smith’s Australia dominated England in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane (Picture: Getty)

Australia captain Steve Smith fired his side to an impressive victory in the Ashes opener in Brisbane as England’s hopes of defending the urn were dealt a blow.

The tourists appeared in a promising position after the first two day’s play at the Gabba but Australia soon began to dominate with Smith scoring a magnificent 141 not out.

Australia’s much talked about pace attack then dismissed England for just 195 before David Warner and Cameron Bancroft steered the hosts to victory with a dominant opening stand.

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Player ratings

Cameron Bancroft – 3/5

The Ashes debutant failed in the first innings, edging Stuart Broad behind after only making five, but showed his immense potential second time around to score an impressive half-century and set up the emphatic win.

Ashes 2017: Australia player ratings as Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon blow England away
Cameron Bancroft and David Warner both scored fifties (Picture: Getty)

David Warner – 3/5

The Aussie vice-captain would have felt sick at giving his wicket away so cheaply on day two, whipping an innocuous delivery from Jake Ball straight into the hands of mid-wicket, but made up for it with a destructive fifty in the evening session of day four as the hosts closed in on an Ashes lead.

Usman Khawaja – 1/5

Averaging over 60 at home, Australia had high hopes that Khawaja could steady Australia’s fragile batting order over the next few months but his deficiencies against spin were once again highlighted as was dismissed by just the second ball he faced off Moeen Ali.

Ashes schedule – the key dates

First Test: November 23-27 (Brisbane)

Second Test: December 2-6 (Adelaide)

Third Test: December 14-18 (Perth)

Fourth Test: December 25-29 (Melbourne)

Fifth Test: January 3-7 (Sydney)

Steve Smith – 5/5

Digging Australia out of an almighty hole and proving why he is the top-ranked Test player in the world, Smith was the only player to pass 85 on a tricky pitch, occupying the crease for over seven hours to drag his side from a vulnerable position to one of overwhelming strength.

Peter Handscomb – 2/5

Only lasted 17 deliveries on his Ashes debut before being trapped leg before wicket by impressive England veteran James Anderson. The 26-year-old is clearly talented, averaging over 50 in ten Test matches, but appears susceptible to full, in-swinging deliveries.

Shaun Marsh – 3/5

Crucially kept his captain company in the first innings with a composed and assured 51. Must make the most of his opportunities as this is surely his last crack at international cricket.

Tim Paine – 3/5

A surprise call-up to Australia’s squad, Paine kept beautifully and instigated England’s collapse on day four with a sharp, albeit controversial, stumping to send Moeen Ali back to the dressing room. Has only scored one first-class century in 91 matches so unlikely to contribute many runs this series.

“Yesterday lunchtime I’m thinking England have got a chance of winning this.” ?

“A day and a half later and they’ve been blown away again.” ?@MichaelVaughan sums up the roller coaster first test of the #Ashespic.twitter.com/luaNx7nv7w

— The Ashes on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) November 26, 2017

Mitchell Starc – 4/5

Despite struggling to find rhythm and appearing in discomfort when bowling, the left-arm slinger took six wickets in the match and has shown he is more than willing and capable of running through England’s fragile lower-order.

Pat Cummins – 4/5

The injury-prone bowler lived up to the hype with several impressive bursts with the ball, dismissing Mark Stoneman, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the match. His most important contribution was arguably the patient 42 he made to frustrate England as they failed to secure a lead.

Ashes 2017: Australia player ratings as Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon blow England away
Australia’s pace attack impressed at the Gabba (Picture: Getty)

Nathan Lyon – 5/5

Taking over 50 wickets in the calendar year, Lyon is undoubtedly one of the best spinners in the world. He talked the talk before the series and did not disappoint with the ball. England’s left-handers will be up against it.

Josh Hazlewood – 4/5

Likened to Australia legend Glenn McGrath, Hazlewood rarely puts in a bad performance for his side and bowled economically in the first innings before getting his rewards later on in the match. Accounted for three of England’s top order – Alastair Cook, James Vince and Root – and is expected to enjoy the day-night conditions in Adelaide.

MORE: Kevin Pietersen questions England batsman Alastair Cook’s motivation after Ashes struggles

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