Mark Taylor’s player ratings for second Ashes Test from Adelaide Oval

Cricket

Australia are on the verge of retaining the Ashes after taking a 2-0 series lead. Here’s how former Australian captain Mark Taylor saw the performances from the Aussie XI.

David Warner: Put aside the pain from his rib injury to notch a second consecutive 90, an innings where he had to weather some tricky periods through the middle of the opening day. A terrible mix-up cost him his wicket in the second innings, but by that stage most of the hard work had already been done. 8/10

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Marcus Harris: when your luck is out in this game, it’s really out. Harris fell to two fine catches by Jos Buttler, who then missed a number of easier chances throughout the match, which must have left Marcus cursing to himself in the dressing room. Regardless, runs are the only currency that matters, and Harris must be on very thin ice. 3

Marnus Labuschagne: Benefitted from some luck in the first innings as Jos Buttler dropped an absolute sitter, but his first Ashes century continues his remarkable form over the last couple of years. Added another half century in the second innings. 9

Steve Smith: Inherited the captaincy just hours before the match started, and barely put a foot wrong during the game. His first-innings 93 contributed to Australia’s big first innings total, a position from which they were never likely to be troubled. Missed out in the second innings but captained the side deftly in the field, as you’d expect from a player of his experience. 8

Travis Head: Will rue his dismissal in the first innings when he played all over a ball from Joe Root, but scored a breezy 51 in the second innings as Australia batted England out of the match. 7

Buttler treads on his own stumps

Cameron Green: Took 2-24 off 10 overs in the first innings, claiming the key wickets of Joe Root and Ben Stokes. Steve Smith could not have asked for more from Green, who is showing signs of developing into a world-class all-rounder, one of the toughest roles in Test cricket. An unbeaten 33 in the second innings just relieves the pressure on his batting a touch. 8

Alex Carey: another fine first four days with the gloves from Carey, who looks like he’s been playing Test cricket for years, not weeks. Made the first real blunder of his career on day five, leaving an edge from Buttler that was clearly the keeper’s catch. Regardless, still a solid match from Carey, with his first-innings 51 helping to take Australia’s score from ‘decent’ to ‘imposing’. 8

Opportunity goes begging for the Aussies

Mitchell Starc: Had England on the back foot almost immediately, dismissing Rory Burns in his second over, and rarely took his foot off the visitors’ throats, claiming four wickets in the first innings. With hindsight his dismissal of Joe Root on the fourth evening probably cost England any chance of surviving for a draw, while his spell to start day five was top class. Led the attack superbly in the absence of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. 9

Michael Neser: A Test debut he can be proud of, with a wicket from his second ball. Looked comfortable enough on the big stage, contributing runs and wickets. 6

Jhye Richardson: Perhaps guilty of trying a little too hard in the first innings as he made his return to Test cricket, going wicketless and conceding more than four runs per over. Looked much better in the second innings, producing an absolute cracker early on to dismiss Haseeb Hameed and finishing with the first five-wicket haul of his Test career. 8

Nathan Lyon: Now that the 400th wicket is out of the way Lyon appears to have regained his mojo, troubling all the English batters during this match. His dismissal of Chris Woakes in the first innings was off-spin bowling at its best. 8

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