An extensive English summer drew to a close on Sunday with the hosts clinching victory in the final Test at the Oval to level matters in the Ashes series against Australia.
The visitors had already retained the historic urn after their win in the fourth Test although they missed out on the chance to become the first Aussie side to win the Ashes on English soil since 2001.
The hosts, on the other hand, will take a drawn series after a summer that also saw them end their excruciating wait for a World Cup title.
At the end of a hard-fought Ashes series, we take a look at which players make our combined XI from both sides.
The Englishman was the outlier in what was a horror series for openers in the Ashes with the left-hander accumulating 390 runs with the help of a ton and two half-centuries.
The 33-year-old got progressively better as the Ashes wore on and performed an admirable job as a makeshift opener for England in the final Test.
The Queenslander came into the Australia XI as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith and did not look back with four fifties on the bounce. Showed an accomplished technique to boot.
A sensational return to Test cricket after a gap of nearly 16 months for Smith who racked up 774 runs at a staggering average of 110.57. A double ton at Headingley, twin tons at Edgbaston and other scores of 92, 82, 80 and 23 were Smith’s returns in a display for the ages.
The England skipper bagged three ducks in the series in a sub-par display but was still one of the better batsmen on display with four half-centuries to his name. He makes it as skipper over Tim Paine after what was a shocking series with regards to DRS calls from the Australian.
England’s man-of-the-series followed up his incredible World Cup act with an even better one at Headingley to keep the hosts alive in the Ashes. The second-highest run-scorer in the series with two tons and as many half-centuries along with eight wickets with the ball as well.
Matthew Wade (wk)
The left-hander played as a specialist batsman in the series but he takes the gloves in our XI with Paine and Bairstow not exactly standing out with the bat. Two centuries including a superb one at the Oval for Wade in a fine Test comeback.
The No1 ranked bowler in the world went some way to justifying that tag with 29 wickets at an average below 20 in the series. Cummins has played his part in Australia retaining the Ashes by finishing as the top wicket-taker in both the 2017 and the 2019 series.
The England pacer’s Test debut was a hotly anticipated one and he more than delivered by picking up 22 wickets in his four appearances. He was instrumental in both England victories by picking up six-wicket hauls in the first innings of the Headingley and Oval Tests.
The orthodox left-armed spinner outshone his Australia counterpart Nathan Lyon despite picking up fewer wickets. While Lyon claimed 20 wickets in five Tests, they came after bowling a total of 242 overs.
Leach’s 12 wickets, on the other hand, came off just 101 overs in comparison.
The Australia seamer did not play the first Test but his impact was instant once he was drafted into the playing XI. 20 wickets at an average of only 21.85 for Hazlewood who showed exceptional control with his lines and lengths.
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