AUSTRALIAN PLAYER RANKINGS FOLLOWING THE TWO-TEST TOUR OF THE CARIBBEAN
9 – Josh Hazlewood (12 wickets at 8.83, Best: 5-38. 63 runs at 31.50, Best: 39)
The NSW right-armer deservedly won the player of the series prize on his first Test tour for Australia. Handy lower-order batting in both Tests too.
8.5 – Steve Smith (283 runs at 141.50, Best: 199. 1 wicket at 18, Best: 1-18)
Moved to No.3 in the order but had no affect on his form. Deserved a maiden double century in Kingston and was unlucky to fall one run short. Now ranked the ICC’s No.1 Test batsman in the world, Smith is a crucial part of Australia’s Ashes hopes.
8 – Adam Voges (167 runs at 167, Best: 130no.)
The 35-year-old grasped his chance at Test level with a brilliant 130no on debut in the series opener in Dominica. Didn’t have much to do in the second Test but has almost certainly secured himself a spot for the first Ashes Test in Cardiff.
8 – Mitchell Starc (10 wickets at 16, Best: 4-28.)
Starc’s ability to take wickets in bursts is a devastating weapon for captain Michael Clarke. Shot out the Windies’ tail in Dominica to seal the first Test inside three days and took a crucial double strike late on day three in Jamaica following Australia’s second innings declaration to break any hopes of a Windies’ resistance.
8 – Nathan Lyon (8 wickets at 19.25, Best: 3-55)
Jokingly known as GOAT (Greatest of all time) among his teammates after surpassing Hugh Trumble’s 111-year-old record as Australia’s most prolific off-spinner. Lyon showed he’ll be a crucial weapon against England’s left-handers by tormenting West Indies leftie Darren Bravo across both Tests. Was surprisingly dropped for Ashton Agar for the first two Tests of the 2013 Ashes series, that won’t be happening this time.
7.5 – Mitchell Johnson (8 wickets at 18.62, Best: 3-34)
Australia’s veteran left-arm quick took a while to get going as Hazlewood and Starc stole the headlines but looked to be finding his red ball stride late in the second Test in Jamaica. His destruction of England in the last Ashes series is fresh in the memory for both teams.
7 – Michael Clarke (79 runs at 39.50, Best: 47)
Would have hoped for some more runs but has at least proven his dodgy hamstrings and back are capable of coping with Test cricket’s physical demands. Easily out-captained West Indies rival Denesh Ramdin and also chipped in with some sharp slips catches to back up his bowler’s good work.
6 – David Warner (98 runs at 24.50, Best: 62)
Criticised by coach Darren Lehmann in the wake of the second Test, it’s clear Australia expects more from Warner. A scratchy half-century in the second innings of the second Test will at least give him a platform to build on going into the Ashes campaign. Usual busy self in the field including a stunning diving catch in the first Test in Dominica.
6 – Shaun Marsh (112 runs at 37.33, Best: 69)
Given the chance to prove himself as an opener following Chris Rogers’ concussion, Marsh did a capable job without really grasping the opportunity. Had a chance to make a century in the second innings in Jamaica but threw away his wicket when well set. Remains on the fringe of the team rather than an obvious choice.
5.5 – Brad Haddin (30 runs at 15, Best: 22. Dismissals: 7 (6 catches, 1 stumping)
Not the most sensational series from the veteran gloveman. Did an okay job behind the stumps on the slow and low Caribbean pitches. No glaring errors although he was lucky on a couple of occasions, recovering to complete a stumping in the first Test after fumbling the ball and then snaring one catch between his thighs in the second Test. Batting must improve for Ashes.
5 – Shane Watson (36 runs at 18, Best: 25. 1 wicket at 30, Best: 1-3)
A worrying series for the 33-year-old all-rounder. Had little to no impact with bat or ball and will come under pressure to retain his spot if Chris Rogers has to be fitted back into the line-up. Will also be concerned about selector’s temptation to offer a chance to the younger Mitch Marsh in the Ashes. Must do better.
(Did not play: Chris Rogers, Fawad Ahmed, Peter Siddle, Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill).