Bob Willis congratulated Ben Stokes on ‘out-Bothaming Botham’ in the wake of his stunning, match-winning century in the third Ashes Test – but how did he grade the rest of England’s players?
Find out below as he dishes out the scores after an extraordinary match at Headingley, in which England rallied from being bundled out for 67 to pull off one of the greatest Test wins of all time…
Let us know if you agree with Bob’s ratings on Twitter @SkyCricket…
Rory Burns – 5/10
He bats very bravely and showed plenty of guts in this Test but the Australians have sorted him out with the short ball. It’s a technical problem he’ll have to work on but he deserves to keep his place.
Jason Roy – 3/10
Most of us knew two Test matches ago that Jason isn’t the answer at the top of the order. He should have batted at five or six in the last two Tests. He doesn’t look equipped to play against this Australian attack with this red Dukes ball.
Joe Root – 7/10
England’s best player batted beautifully in the second innings, making only one mistake and that cost him his wicket. It was a terrific innings which set a great example for the rest of the team. He’s got one or two shortcomings as a captain and needs to think about the number of overs Chris Woakes bowls and giving Ben Stokes 14 overs on the trot. That can’t quite by right.
Joe Denly – 6/10
He fought bravely in the second innings but it does worry me when he takes his eye off the short balls whistling past his nose – I think he’s going to get clattered on the head every single time. Hopefully he can find a way to put those airy wafts outside off-stump away.
Ben Stokes – 10/10
He’d put in a remarkable innings even before day four had begun! His bowling spells on days two and three showed stamina, strength and resilience. We then saw him out-Bothaming Botham in 1981 with that extraordinary innings; he showed a terrific temperament and played some incredible shots. He has immense confidence in his own ability and was always encouraging his team-mates at the other end. You won’t see anything better than that in Test cricket.
Jos Buttler – 4/10
He was sold down the river in the second innings by England’s hero but that shouldn’t hide the fact that he seems well out of sorts with the bat. He battled well at Lord’s against Nathan Lyon when the pitch was turning. I’m sure England will stick with him but he’s having a really rough time.
Jonny Bairstow – 7/10
It was an important innings on the last day – I was impressed with his positivity; it was just a shame that lunchtime came along when it did and he then played that speculative shot after the interval. He made a couple of mistakes behind the stumps but it wasn’t an easy ground to keep wicket on with the ball coming through at varying heights.
Chris Woakes – 5/10
He has become a bit of a conundrum for Joe Root. He didn’t bowl as much as we expected at Lord’s, his favourite ground, and continues to disappear for long spells from the attack. We don’t yet know if James Anderson is going to feature in the rest of the series, but it seems as though Woakes will almost certainly be the man to give way even if that does weaken England’s batting. It was a disappointing Test for him; Australia’s bowlers have sorted him out with the short stuff. He fell hook-line-and-sinker for the short-ball, pitched-up ball ploy.
Jofra Archer – 8/10
He just keeps delivering! He was perhaps a little bit fortunate to end up with a six-for in the first innings but he didn’t have to bowl electrifyingly quick in those perfect conditions on the first day, proving he’s a very intelligent bowler. He’s still capable of smacking people on the head and body, almost at will. I’m not quite sure he got the tempo of his innings right on the final afternoon but he fancied having a dip! What a couple of great Test matches to be involved in at the start of your career!
Stuart Broad – 7/10
He bowled beautifully on day one and is pitching the ball up more and more, which is paying dividends. He has benefitted from not having to go through the rigours of the World Cup and looks very fresh; he bowled with good pace and control. It’s just a shame that his batting has gone backwards.
Jack Leach – 8/10