The 'Boycott's Mum Is Better' Ashes XI
Former England batsman Geoff Boycott recently said that fast bowler Chris Woakes' pace wouldn't trouble his mother. This got us wondering about which other Ashes players would be on a par with Boycs' mum.
Former England batsman Geoff Boycott recently said that fast bowler Chris Woakes wouldn't trouble his mother, given his average bowling. This got us wondering about which other Ashes players would be on a par with Boycs' mum.
Here's our list of below-average player of the series, based not only on stats but also on personal expectations. For example, Alastair Cook led his side to an Ashes win, but he's brilliant and should have made more runs than he did.
<b>1. David Warner (Australia)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 3<br><b>Runs:</b> 138<br><b>Average:</b> 23<br><b>HS:</b> 71
Warner missed the first two Tests due to lack of match practice, and was sent to South Africa with Australia A to make up for the game time he missed due to his Joe Root-punching ban. He made 193 against SA A, which prompted his recall.
His return to the side was not successful, as he was slotted in at six in Manchester, and then shifted up back to opener in the next two games. He top scored with 71 in Durham, where Australia lost, but the final Test saw him make just six and 12.
<b>2. Alastair Cook (England)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 5<br><b>Runs:</b> 277<br><b>Average:</b> 27.70<br><b>HS:</b> 62
It was not a vintage series with the bat for England's captain, by any stretch of the imagination. He did score three half centuries in his 10 innings, but couldn't go past 62. In fact, in 2009, he also failed to score a ton in the home Ashes…
For someone so used to scoring centuries, it was disappointing, and it was the first Test series since May 2012, against the West Indies, that he failed to bag a ton. If it weren't for his excellent captaincy, he'd be getting a bit more stick from the pundits.
His opening partnership with Joe Root was not the greatest either, and either one or the other tended to go out early. In fact, it was only in the first innings of the fifth Test that they managed to record a stand of more than fifty.
<b>3. Usman Khawaja (Australia)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 3<br><b>Runs:</b> 114<br><b>Average:</b> 19<br><b>HS:</b> 54
Khawaja's inclusion was a failed experiment, not because he's of Asian descent like Scyld Berry so infamously wrote, but because he was a rubbish batsman. He was called in to replace Ed Cowan after the first Test, when Cowan made 14 runs while suffering from an illness than made him puke every five minutes.
The selectors stuck with Khawaja though, and his only meaningful score was a half century in the second Test at Lord's, which England won with ease. In the following games he made 25 and 21 before being dropped for the fifth Test.
<b>4. Phil Hughes (Australia)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 2<br><b>Runs:</b> 83<br><b>Average:</b> 27.66<br><b>HS:</b> 81
When Hughes scored 81 not out, helping Ashton Agar to his exciting 98 on debut, in the first innings in Nottingham, sighs of relief were heard around Australia as the much-criticised batsman seemed to be regaining some form. It did not last.
In the next three innings he made just two more runs, bagging a duck in the Trent Bridge second innings before recording two ones at Lord's. He was dropped for the rest of the series as David Warner returned, and Hughes spent the rest of the tour playing Uno with Cowan on the sidelines.
<b>5. Jonny Bairstow (England)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 4<br><b>Runs:</b> 203<br><b>Average:</b> 29.00<br><b>HS:</b> 67
The fact that Bairstow was forgotten about even after scanning the batting stats a few times, has to tell you something. The Yorkshire batsman was forgettably middle-of-the-road, and only recorded a single half century in seven innings.
He was dropped for the fifth Test and sent back to play for his county. We must admit though that Jonathan Trott was going to be on this list until his knock at The Oval, so Jonny-B-Good got drafted in at the last minute.
<b>6. Matt Prior (England)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 5<br><b>Runs:</b> 133<br><b>Average:</b> 19.00<br><b>HS:</b> 47<br><b>Catches:</b> 18
Since Prior's return from New Zealand in March, where he batted superbly, his form has gone down the drain on home soil. Against the Black Caps in England he top-scored with 39 in four knocks, and this trend carried into the Ashes.
His best effort came in the first innings of the final Test, where he made 47, and it was the first time in decades that a wicketkeeper failed to score a half century in the Ashes. Prior to The Oval, his best knock was 31, in the first Test.
With the gloves, Prior was his usual competent self, if not as prolific with the dismissals as Brad Haddin. He took 18 catches to Haddin's 29 (a new Test series record) and neither recorded a stumping.
<b>7. Ashton Agar (Australia)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 2<br><b>Wickets:</b> 2<br><b>Average:</b> 124<br><b>Econ:</b> 2.95
Look, we all loved Agar's scintillating knock on debut in Nottingham, where he was picked ahead of Nathan Lyon for some odd reason. His cute face and humble smile blinded all and sundry to his average bowling, even though he took two wickets in the second innings.
He was given another go at Lord's, but the crash from the high was jarring. Suddenly, the teen wonder was not so shiny, as he failed to take a wicket in the match and again recorded 98 runs, this time with the ball in the second innings.
Despite being pushed up the order after his near-century, his next three innings didn't go higher than 16. He was dropped for the rest of the series, and ended up going home early due to illness.
<b>8. Chris Woakes (England)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 1<br><b>Wickets:</b> 1<br><b>Average:</b> 96<br><b>Econ:</b> 4.00
Like Simon Kerrigan, Woakes made his debut for England at The Oval, once the series was already won. This didn't mean nerves stayed away though, and his opening spell was almost as bad as the spinner's, going for 18 runs in his first three overs.
He was handed the ball later on in the innings, and pulled his economy rate down with some maidens, but eventually only sent down 24 overs in the match. He was not handed the ball in the second innings. He was decent with the bat though, making 25, and then a brisk 17 not out on day five.
<b>9. Steve Finn (England)</b>
<b>Matches:</b> 1<br><b>Wickets:</b> 2<br><b>Average:</b> 58.50<br><b>Econ:</b> 4.68
Finn played in the first Test in Nottingham, nearly got his side off to a losing start, and was promptly dropped. He was expensive in the first innings, and aside from the wickets of Watson and Cowan, he gave Alastair Cook a headache as the skipper was essentially a bowler down.
The second innings, which went down to the wire as England won by 14 runs, was nearly lost for the hosts when Finn bowled to Brad Haddin on day five. The Australia keeper was brutal against Finn's short, wayward bowling, and Cook took him off in the nick of time. James Anderson saved the day for England, but Finn's Ashes were swiftly brought to a close.
<b>10. Nathan Lyon (Australia)</b>
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