When the Ashes series began this summer, few would have predicted that Crawley would end up scoring the most runs for England (480 at an average of 53.33), and there were many uncertainties as to whether the opener would still be on the team for the fifth Test.
The right-hander, however, vehemently refuted those criticisms from the moment he hammered the first ball of the series for four on his way to scoring 61 at Edgbaston, with his outstanding scores of 189 in the tied Test at Old Trafford and 73 in the second innings at The Oval serving as the series’ icing on the cake.
The left-hander’s series was quite all-or-nothing, with scores of 98 and 83 at Lord’s and two innings in the 40s at The Oval sandwiched between dismissals for singles digits and other instances where he failed to build on a start.
Nevertheless, Duckett and Crawley appear to have a solid working relationship, so head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes have little reason to stop supporting them as England’s opening pair.
With 412 runs at an average of 51.50, behind only Crawley, England’s top Test run-scorer once more demonstrated his continued value to the team. Of note among these runs were an unbroken 118 at Edgbaston and half-centuries at Old Trafford and The Oval.
In moments where Moeen Ali was unable to bowl due to injury, Root demonstrated how much he has developed into a true second spin option for England. He finished the game with six wickets at an average of 28.66.