England’s quest for their first-ever whitewash of Australia in any format looked to be over when they slumped to 114-8 in the final match of the series at Old Trafford.
However, talisman Jos Buttler was still at the crease and batting brilliantly and he trusted his ability to take the team to victory. Adil Rashid joined him in the middle and batted very sensibly as he and Buttler compiled a partnership of 81 to put England within touching distance of the target of 206.
After Rashid was caught on the boundary with the score on 195, Jake Ball survived a nerve-wracking maiden from Ashton Agar. Then Buttler hit the winning runs to take England home. His knock of 110 was his slowest ODI hundred for his country, but arguably his best.
The ratings are for the best XI over the series, for both teams.
Jason Roy – 10/10 – His best ODI series in England shirt. Scored a perfectly-judged hundred in Cardiff, a more explosive century in Durham and a blistering 82 in Nottingham.
Jonny Bairstow – 9/10 – Continued his destructive hitting at the top of the innings with breathtaking 100 in Nottingham and quickfire cameos of 79 and 42 in Durham and Cardiff.
Alex Hales – 7/10 – Made it hard for the selectors to drop him when Ben Stokes returns with a stunning 147 off 92 balls at Trent Bridge. Unfortunately it was his only score of note.
Joe Root – 4/10 – Chose a good time to have a bad series as it did not affect a rampant team. Hit fifty at The Oval but only scored 104 runs in total.
Jos Buttler – 10/10 – Quickly becoming a master of reading match situations and batting accordingly. Hit brilliant 91 off 70 balls in Cardiff, an explosive 54 off 29 balls in Durham and then the best of the lot: a supremely composed 110 to guide his team to victory when they were in all kinds of trouble.
Eoin Morgan – 7/10 – Good captaincy throughout and a good series with the bat. Made a crucial 69 after the top order faltered at The Oval, and then blazed 69 off 30 balls as England tried to reach 500 at Trent Bridge.
Moeen Ali – 8/10 – Had a superb series with the ball as he took 12 wickets including 4-46 at Old Trafford and 3-43 at The Oval. Did not contribute anything significant with the bat.
David Willey – 6/10 – Had a pretty good series overall. Took 7 wickets including 4-43 in Durham and made an important 35 not out to see England over the winning line at The Oval.
Liam Plunkett – 7/10 – England’s best seamer in the series with 8 wickets. Stopped Australia’s momentum in its tracks with 3-43 at The Oval and then did the same at Cardiff with 4-53.
Adil Rashid – 8/10 – Bowled brilliantly most of the time and took wickets in every match to finish with 12 for the series. His highlights were 3-42 at The Oval and 4-47 at Trent Bridge.
Mark Wood – 5/10 – Bowled okay and often built pressure by keeping the scoring rate under control. However, he only took 4 wickets in the 4 matches he played.
Sam Billings – 2/10 – Scored just 11 in his only innings. Needs to be allowed to play for Kent in future if he is not going to feature much during a series.
Craig Overton – 2/10 – Did not capitalise on his chance to impress in Durham as he went for 55 runs in just 7 overs and did not take a wicket.
Sam Curran – 5/10 – Came back encouragingly to take two wickets after being smashed to all parts in his opening spell at Old Trafford. Nice little cameo of 15 with the bat.
Jake Ball – 3/10 – Did not threaten during his wicketless spell of 0-29 in 5 overs at Old Trafford.
Travis Head – 7/10 – Batted well enough to suggest he might have a successful career in ODI cricket, but frustratingly failed to convert any of his three 50s into 100s.
D’Arcy Short – 4/10 – Came back well to score unbeaten 47 at Old Trafford after struggling in his other two innings. England pummelled his part-time leg-spin.
Shaun Marsh – 9/10 – The biggest compliment you can give him right now is that he might get selected for the England ODI team based on this series. Hit superb hundreds in Cardiff and Durham and had the fourth highest average on either side.
Marcus Stoinis – 2/10 – Had a big chance to make an impression batting at four, but ended up being one of the biggest disappointments of the series as he scored just 76 runs and only took 3 wickets.
Aaron Finch – 6/10 – Scored an excellent hundred in Durham but only made 61 runs in his other four innings.
Glenn Maxwell – 5/10 – His well-judged 62 at The Oval almost earned Australia a victory. However, the big-hitter struggled in his other two innings.
Tim Paine – 1/10 – Had about as bad as series as it is possible for a captain to have. Could not find a way to contain England’s batsmen in the field and scored just 36 runs in five innings with the bat. The one point he earns is for his tidy wicket-keeping.
Ashton Agar – 7/10 – One of Australia’s best performers and the only bowler who consistently managed to contain England’s scoring rate. While he only took four wickets, he bowled well throughout the series. He also made some useful contributions with the bat.
Andrew Tye – 3/10 – Performed well at The Oval to take 2-42, then watched in horror as his bowling disappeared into the stands over and over again in his other two matches. In Nottingham, he ended with figures of 0-100 in 9 overs!
Billy Stanlake – 6/10 – Australia’s best-performing seamer in the series. Bowled well at The Oval to finish with 2-44 and even better at Old Trafford to take 3-35 as England’s top order collapsed.
Kane Richardson – 6/10 – Had an encouraging series as he was involved in all three of Australia’s best bowling performances in the series and took wickets every time.
Jhye Richardson – 3/10 – Deserves some credit for taking the wickets that stopped England reaching 500 at Trent Bridge. However, he conceded far too many runs in his three appearances for his team to have much chance of winning games.
Michael Neser – 2/10 – Took his first ODI wickets at The Oval but failed to press his case for future selection as England flayed his bowling to all parts of the ground at Chester-le-Street.
Alex Carey – 5/10 – Promising innings of 44 off 40 balls at Old Trafford.
Nathan Lyon – 6/10 – Gave Australia some of the control they had lacked when he came into the side for the last two matches. Should be selected for ODIs more often.
England next play Australia in a one-off T20 International at Edgbaston which starts at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27th June 2018.
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