Moeen & Khawaja under pressure as pitch fails to deliver - Melbourne player ratings

England had to settle for a draw, while Australia escaped a potential defeat in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The overall form of Moeen Ali must be of great concern to the England team management.   -  Getty Images

England ensured there will be no Ashes whitewash but its frustration will only have increased after rain and a lifeless pitch left it having to settle for a draw.

The tourist was much improved and Alastair Cook carried his bat in scoring a double century, but Australia captain Steve Smith's third ton of the series helped deny England victory.

Omnisport's Dejan Kalinic and Nicholas McGee take a look at how the players from both sides fared at the MCG.


Cameron Bancroft - 3

Question marks remain over Bancroft, who made scores of 26 and 27 on a flat wicket. His struggles in the first innings were a particular worry, especially with his opening partner scoring freely against the new ball.

David Warner - 8

This was Warner's best Test of the series so far. The left-hander scored a first-innings century – albeit with some luck thanks to Tom Curran – before making an important 227-ball 86 in the second.

Usman Khawaja - 2

The pressure is only growing on Khawaja. Scores of 17 and 11 will do little to ease the talk around the left-hander's spot at number three, desperately needing improvement to retain his place.

Steve Smith - 7

Smith delivered again when Australia needed, scoring an unbeaten century in the second innings to help his team to a draw. He also scored 76 in the first innings, but the captain dropped England opener Alastair Cook, who made 244 not out, twice.

Read: Smith century forces England to settle for a draw

Shaun Marsh - 5

Marsh continued to enjoy a fine series, making an important 61 in the first innings and taking a great catch to dismiss Moeen Ali.

Mitchell Marsh - 5

The 26-year-old did what was needed on the final day, making an unbeaten 29 off 166 balls. But he is yet to deliver with the ball, taking 0-42 in the first innings.

Tim Paine - 6

Another Test, another solid display by the wicketkeeper. He made 24 with the bat and took an excellent catch to dismiss Jonny Bairstow.

Jackson Bird - 2

This was not the Test return Bird was after. The paceman finished with figures of 0-108 as Mitchell Starc's replacement.

Pat Cummins - 6

Cummins took the big wicket of Joe Root on his way to 4-117 in the first innings, having battled illness during the Test. He continued a fine series.

Josh Hazlewood - 7

The star performer of Australia's pace attack, Hazlewood finished with figures of 3-95.

Nathan Lyon - 6

Lyon continued to trouble England, grabbing 3-109 and causing constant problems while taking a screamer off his own bowling to remove Mark Stoneman.


Alastair Cook - 9

Would not have reached his double century had Smith shown better hands, but it was a sparkling return to form for a player some had mooted as a candidate for the axe.

Mark Stoneman - 3

He has two half-centuries in the series and has shown impressive determination at times, but Stoneman paid the price for his aggression against Lyon, going for 15.

James Vince - 3

Answered some of his critics in Perth, but reverted back to his low-scoring form with 17 as he failed to review an lbw dismissal when replays showed he had got an inside edge. That and a Test average of 22.83 should put his long-term position in the team in jeopardy.

Joe Root - 6

A mixed bag for the captain. A shocker of a pull shot again prevented him from turning a fifty into a century, but he tried everything to get wickets in the second innings and took the scalp of David Warner.

Read: Root slams MCG pitch as England avoids whitewash

Dawid Malan - 4

Replicated Vince in failing to review an lbw when he edged the ball onto his pads, but bowled admirably without reward in England's desperate search for wickets.

Jonny Bairstow - 4

Another member of the middle order who failed to provide Cook with much support. Bairstow, to his credit, did snaffle four dismissals in the match.

Moeen Ali - 2

Another extremely underwhelming display has put Moeen's place in the side for the Sydney Test in jeopardy. He went cheaply again at the MCG and, disappointing pitch notwithstanding, looks short of confidence as a bowler. Moeen is averaging just 19.42 with the bat and 135 with the ball.

Tom Curran - 5

Rewarded for his strong performances in warm-up games, Curran took the prized wicket of Smith in the first innings. He lacks the pace for Australian pitches but demonstrated application and variation in his approach.

Chris Woakes - 5

Expensive but successful with the ball, taking three wickets including a pair of drag-ons. Offered a decent contribution with the bat with 26 off 62.

Stuart Broad - 8

The Broad of old returned with the bat as he scored 56 in a 100-run stand with Cook. He was equally impressive with the ball, taking 4-51 in the first innings. He was economical in the second with 1-44 but the pitch rendered his and James Anderson's efforts fruitless.

James Anderson - 7

Four wickets in the match but similarly stymied by the pitch in the second innings, which was his most economical ever at 1.53.

The Pitch - 0

Some swing, but no pace, no bounce, no spin and no deterioration. This was a pitch that sucked all the intrigue from the game and was far from worthy of the occasion of the Boxing Day Test.

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