Mind the Windows writer Lachlan Harper looks at the recent two-Test series between New Zealand and Australia, where the Aussies ruined a fairytale ending in Brendon McCullum’s farewell series.
Lachlan has rated each of Australia’s players out of ten – so who was the better bat, Burns, Smith or Voges? Did Pattinson move ahead of Siddle in the pecking order? Do you agree?
Joe Burns – 8/10
Was dismissed for a globe in the first Test and didn’t get the chance to rectify his performance in the second innings but bounced back brilliantly with scores of 170 and 65 in the second Test. Batted with poise and patience in both innings and has almost certainly cemented the opening spot.
Usman Khawaja – 8/10
Partnered with Steve Smith in the first Test to deliver Australia from 2-5 to 3-131 and pushed on from there to score a controlled and composed innings of 140 that Australia’s become so accustomed to over the past few months. Only managed starts in the second Test and would be disappointed with his soft dismissal in the first innings.
Peter Nevill – 6/10
Combined with Siddle to remove Williamson with an absolute screamer in the first Test and backed that up with another seven catches for the series, demonstrating his undoubtable competency behind the stumps. Combined with Voges for a solid 96 run partnership in the first Test with no rescue missions required in the second Test.
Steve Smith – 9/10
The skipper was back to his brilliant best managing to pass the half century mark in all three innings. Looked comfortable at the crease on all occasions and provided solidarity in the middle order that perpetuated throughout both Tests. With a series whitewash and an innings victory to go with it there’ll be no complaints over Smith’s captaincy apart from the Christchurch debacle where he may have overstepped the mark.
Adam Voges – 9.5/10
You would have to be a cynical, grumpy individual to criticise Adam Voges at the moment. Outscored the Black Caps in the first innings and took the game completely out of their grasp. Backed his double century in the first Test up with an impressive 60 in the first innings of the second Test before being dismissed akin to Burns and Smith by attempting to hook Wagner in the square leg region.
David Warner – 2/10
Played a horrible shot in the first Test to be out for 5 and struggled to trouble the scorers in the second Test also with scores of 12 and 22. An extremely sub-par series for the Australian vice-captain whose only highlight would be the spectacular catch to remove Brendon McCullum in his last ever Test innings.
Mitchell Marsh – 4/10
Was unfortunate to fall to a Trent Boult screamer in the first Test but bounced back with impressive figures in the New Zealand 2nd innings, removing McCullum for 10 and Anderson for a duck soon after to put the Black Caps heavily on the back foot. Failed once again with the bat in the second Test, managing only 18 and struggling with the ball in the first innings with an economy rate of 7.75 from eight overs.
Jackson Bird – 7/10
Would be disappointed with his first Test hauls, particularly in the first innings where the bowlers dominated but managed to come back with an outstanding five-wicket haul in the second Test. Bowled with excellent seam movement and has definitely put his name forward for future first XI selection.
Josh Hazlewood – 7/10
Tore apart the New Zealand top order in the first innings at the Basin and followed that up by dismissing Williamson with a well devised plan in the second innings. Wasn’t as devastating at Christchurch, picking up 3/190 for the match and would be disappointed with his conduct during the match.
Nathan Lyon – 8.5/10
Continues to impress fans and pundits alike by picking up wickets when required with impressive figures throughout the series, except the second innings at the Basin where both he and Marsh went wicketless. Bowls in excellent partnerships with the seamers and has become a key ingredient to the Australia’s bowling artillery.
James Pattinson – 8/10
Proved his worth to the Australian team by replacing Siddle in excellent fashion. Removed the record breaker McCullum in the first innings before destroying the New Zealand middle to top order with excellent aggression and solid pace.
Peter Siddle – 7/10