England and Australia aces rated and slated as visitors retain Ashes with Old Trafford win

Joe Root became the first England captain to lose a home Ashes series since 2001 on Sunday as Australia won the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

The hosts were in for a difficult final day in Manchester having lost their captain and Rory Burns for 0 on Saturday night.

And, though they put up a fight, they eventually succumbed to the power of the Australian attack, just as they did in their first innings.

Steve Smith, meanwhile, led the way for Australia’s batsmen and Express Sport is on hand to rate every player’s performance in the fourth Ashes Test.

England

Rory Burns – 6. Made clear improvements against the short ball to hit half century but soft exit second time around.

Joe Denly – 7. Defiant effort yesterday promoted to opener showing temperament and tenacity.

Joe Root – 6. Undone by killer ball for golden duck after high-quality half century in the first innings.

Jason Roy – 4. Dropped down the order but defensive technique exposed again by Australia raising questions over Test future.

Ben Stokes – 4. Tank empty after Headingley. Struggled with his bowling because of a shoulder injury.

Jonny Bairstow – 5. Kept better and stood tall for a time yesterday but could not push on.

Jos Buttler – 6. Strongest contribution of the series. Carried England beyond follow-on mark and resisted his attacking instincts yesterday.

Craig Overton – 6. Brave resistance with the bat but only managed two wickets on his recall to the side.

Jofra Archer – 6. Fiery second innings spell but his struggles in first-day wind tunnel left England with a blunted spearhead.

Stuart Broad – 7. Pick of England’s attack and a persistent pain to Australia’s left handers in particular.

Jack Leach – 6. Gutsy rearguard but costly no ball from the slow-left armer allowed Steve Smith to bat England out of the game.

Australia

David Warner – 3. Fallen under Broad’s spell this series losing their battle six times. First pair here and third duck in a row.

Marcus Harris – 4. Just 19 runs here to add to his 27 in Leeds. Struggled with pace and movemet from Broad, lbw twice.

Markus Labuschagne – 7. First innings 67 part of pivotal 116 run partnership with Smith and wicket of Jack Leach crucial in final hour.

Steve Smith – 9. Returned to his brilliant best (293 runs) including series defining double in first innings. The difference.

Travis Head – 6. Short on runs and undone by pace from Broad and Archer in both innings. Decent performance in the field.

Matthew Wade – 6. Light on runs but waspish verbals at short leg throughout stunning catch at short leg to get Denly first innings.

Tim Paine – 7. Rode his luck to half century first innings, poor use of DRS but kept well and captained well on final day.

Pat Cummins – 9. Tireless and showed why he is No 1 Test bowler in the world with three devastating spells to cut through England.

Mitchell Starc – 5. Wayward and expensive at times, got second new ball hooping and took three crucial second innings wickets.

Nathan Lyon – 5. Surprisingly little threat but provided Paine with a controlled end around which he rotated his quicks.

Josh Hazlewood – 8. Brilliant tailgating the Cummins blizzard in first innings with four wickets, pearler to dismiss Roy, relentlessly accurate.

Where the Ashes was lost

Daily Express chief sports writer Neil Squires gives his verdict on where everything went wrong for England.

Steve Smith rejoining the Australian Test side – the pressure was on the former Australia captain in his first series since his ‘Sandpapergate’ ban, the crowds were on his back but the best since Bradman responded with an incredible 671 runs in five innings.

Edgbaston – Jimmy Anderson pulls his calf after four overs. In one crushing moment England lose one half of their long-established new ball double act for the First Test – which they lose – and the rest of the series.

Lord’s – The skies open. England have Australia on the rack and Smith out of the match with concussion after a Jofra Archer bouncer but the rain takes too much time out of the game for them to press home their advantage. They fall four wickets short of victory and have to settle for a frustrating draw.

Old Trafford – Jack Leach oversteps. England’s slow left armer dismisses the Smith, who is back after missing The Miracle of Headingley, but Australia’s run machine is reprieved after replays reveal a no ball. He goes on to make another 93 and bat the tourists out of sight.

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