David Warner, Pat Cummins and Travis Head all contributed to the MCG Test victory.
David Warner, Pat Cummins and Travis Head all contributed to the MCG Test victory.

Has he ever had a better game? - Player ratings

AUSTRALIA wrapped up another emphatic victory over New Zealand to claim the series with a match left to play.

Tim Paine praised his entire team for their collective effort over four days, but some were more vital to the success than others.

Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon were immense, as was Travis Head, but who else shone and who struggled? The answers below:

AUSTRALIA

 

David Warner 5

Warner twice got starts without kicking on.

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Strange shot to fall in the second innings when he backed away to Neil Wagner and carved an attempted cut straight to Tom Blundell.

David Warner contributed to the victory without going big in either innings.
David Warner contributed to the victory without going big in either innings.

It took a miracle slips catch from Tim Southee in slip to end his first-innings stay.

 

Joe Burns 3

Few batsmen would have got bat on the Trent Boult inswinger Burns copped first ball. He showed his value in the slips with two important catches in New Zealand's first innings.

Burns was unlucky to face a fired up Trent Boult sending down a peach for a first innings duck.
Burns was unlucky to face a fired up Trent Boult sending down a peach for a first innings duck.

Marnus Labuschagne 5

How's that elbow feeling? Labuschagne looked at ease in the first innings before a Colin de Grandhomme delivery crashed off his elbow onto the stumps. Australia already led by more than 350 when he batted again.

 

Steve Smith 6.5

Showed great application in the first innings to reach 85 before being undone by a brute of a ball from his nemesis Neil Wagner.

Steve Smith found a tricky foe in the shape of Neil Wagner, but still put on a decent amount of runs.
Steve Smith found a tricky foe in the shape of Neil Wagner, but still put on a decent amount of runs.

He can be forgiven for falling into the short-ball trap in his second dig as Australia looked to stretch its mammoth lead.

 

Matthew Wade 6

Would have liked to kick on after grinding his way to 38 in the first innings, especially considering Australia's No. 3-4 and No. 6-7 posted half-centuries. He was not out on 30 when Tim Paine called the Aussies in during their second innings.

 

Travis Head 8

Showed the grit and determination to suggest he can be a long-term middle-order Test batsman with his first-innings 114.

Head will finish the calendar year with 742 runs - 17 more than David Warner. Those questioning his spot in the side have been silenced.

 

Tim Paine 9

Has the Australian captain had a better game? Sharp behind the stumps and resolute with the bat, Paine finished with eight dismissals at the MCG. Would've been a perfect 10 if he had converted his first Test hundred.

 

Mitchell Starc 5

Played the support act as Cummins ran riot in the first innings and Pattinson did the damage early in the second.

Mitchell Starc played a support act to his fellow pace bowlers in the side at the MCG.
Mitchell Starc played a support act to his fellow pace bowlers in the side at the MCG.

His bouncer which caught Trent Boult will keep the New Zealand paceman out of the third Test.

 

James Pattinson 8

Welcome back Patto. Peter Siddle remarked in his retirement press conference how much he enjoyed seeing another Victorian quick enjoying success on the MCG. Pattinson didn't hold back - as promised - and twice removed Kane Williamson to help power Australia to an emphatic victory.

 

Pat Cummins 8

What a way to cap a year in which Cummins has underlined his credentials as the best bowler in the world.

His 5-28 in the first innings took him to 59 wickets for the year. Teammate Nathan Lyon is the next best with 45.

 

Nathan Lyon 7

 

Only required for nine overs in New Zealand's first innings and had to wait until day four to claim his first wicket when Tim Paine stumped Henry Nicholls. But he lifted from then on and spun through the lower order ruthlessly.

 

NEW ZEALAND

 

Tom Latham 5

The only New Zealand batsman to pass 20 in the first innings with a gritty half-century. He played a loose shot in the second dig after a promising start alongside Tom Blundell.

 

Tom Blundell 8

Lock him in for a few Tests as an opener yet. Blundell replaced Jeet Raval for this Test and showed with his second innings, in particular, he was more than up for the fight. Excellent return for a back-up wicketkeeper who hadn't played a Test for two years, showing poise, patience and power when required.

 

Kane Williamson 2

The New Zealanders could ill afford consecutive single-figure scores from their skipper and his shot to hole out off Pattinson in the first innings was uncharacteristic. You could mount an argument he was an unlucky DRS victim when given out lbw without scoring in the second innings.

 

Ross Taylor 2

Taylor could only manage four and two after surviving via a controversial DRS call in his first knock. New Zealand clearly needs more from its experienced batsmen if it is going to mount a rearguard in Sydney.

Ross Taylor failed in both innings despite being a senior batsmen in the Kiwi Line-up.
Ross Taylor failed in both innings despite being a senior batsmen in the Kiwi Line-up.

Henry Nicholls 3

Fought hard in the second innings after burning a review in the first. He looked largely untroubled before sliding his foot out of the crease, allowing Tim Paine to pounce.

 

BJ Watling 3

Contributions of 22 and 7 with the bat and two dismissals. His partnership with Blundell was a rare bright spot for the Kiwis, although the opener did most of the attacking.

 

Colin de Grandhomme 4

Showed discipline with the ball in the first innings but New Zealand needs more from him with the bat. Although he's listed at seven, De Grandhomme has a Test average of 39. In this series he's got 76 runs at 19.

 

Mitchell Santner 3

Hard to think it was only four Tests ago he spun New Zealand to victory and made a century against England. The Australians mercilessly bludgeoned him from the attack, although his second-innings 27 saved some face.

 

Tim Southee 5

Southee snared three of the last four scalps in Australia's first innings after De Grandhomme and Wagner picked up the middle-order wickets. It went some way to limiting the damage.

 

Neil Wagner 8

The lion-hearted paceman is one of the Kiwis who can hold his head high after two Tests. Wagner has 14 wickets at 20.2 for the series and continued his stranglehold over Steve Smith for large periods in Melbourne. He's dismissed the world's No. 2 batsman four times in a row.

 

Trent Boult 4

His inswinger to knock over Joe Burns was a brute but Boult didn't take another wicket in his next 39 overs. A fractured hand sustained while batting will keep him out of the third Test.

 

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News Corp Australia


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