Andrew Strauss – Won the toss and decided to bat, so started his campaign in fine fettle, only to be brought back to earth by cutting uppishly and straight to a grateful Mike Hussey just three balls into the match. Kept his troops positive through the long Hussey / Haddin stand and reaped the reward with five wickets in a session to close the Australian innings. Batted very positively in the second dig to clear off most of the deficit and deflate the Australian bowlers. Ceded some of the gloss from a commendable draw by declaring in time for his opposite number to find a little form.
Alastair Cook – Was on the field for all but one hour of the Test in an immense display of concentration and will. At the crease on Day One when England were 0-1 and on Day Two when 221 runs behind, so faced scoreboard pressure as well as three new balls. Battled his technique in the first innings, but over nearly 11 1/2 hours at the crease, worked out his balance and head position to look completely at ease and astonishingly fresh on the Day Five. Started the match with whispers about making way to get the mercurial Eoin Morgan into the team – finished it as unchallenged opening batsman and captain-in-waiting.
Jonathan Trott – Like his captain, seemed nervous and overly anxious to get on with it in the first innings, but paced his second innings century perfectly to drive England to a position from which his team could not lose. After making his debut aged 28, he averages nearly 60 and scores almost 100 runs per Test in a career that has echoes of Michael Hussey’s.
KP – Looked a million dollars before the adrenaline took over and he slashed at a wide one to be caught at slip. Still in a rut of low scores, but you have to think there’s a big one due very soon.
Colly – Hit one good boundary before leaving England precariously perched at 125-4. Caught two and dropped one when it didn’t matter and fiddled through some relief overs without any threat. A quiet match for a man pleased to be right in the middle of a decent side.
Ian Bell – Will be very pleased to have shown Australians that the rumours of his rebirth as a batsman are true. Made batting look as easy as Mark Waugh used to do in compiling 76 runs before perishing seeking to farm the strike with the tail. In the form of his life and desperate to get to the crease in Adelaide.
Matt Prior – Mugged first ball by Peter Siddle’s well executed plan and kept competently without ever threatening to revive the lost art of wicket-keeping.
Stuart Broad – Bowled with hostility and no little brains to seam the ball around on a less than responsive track. May need to tighten his line even further to make batsmen play more, but will be pleased to be the quickest bowler on show. Looked less than tuned-in to the pace of the game in becoming the third of Siddle’s excellent hat-trick, but, whether Siddle intended it or not, a leg-stump yorker first ball will clean up lots of tall batsmen.
Swanny – Dropped short too often and had few answers to Hussey’s wonderful use of the crease thus making good deliveries the length Hussey wanted. Bowled well to the other batsmen and was unlucky not to continue his extraordinary run of wickets in his first over of spell when Colly dropped a sitter from Watson in the second dig. Played an awful shot when he should have supported Belly to push England’s first innings to 300. Will be better for the hype being dampened, but will need to improve if England are to take 20 wickets in a match.
Jimmy Anderson – Like Belly, a different prospect than the callow, rather confused, player of four years ago. Will bowl worse with more luck and pick up five-fers – and might need to, come the crucial middle Tests of the series.
Steven Finn – Up and down in terms of performance and in length. Will be pleased to post Test best figures on Ashes debut with six somewhat fortunate wickets, but may be even more pleased with responding to his first two balls of the second innings being smacked to the boundary by hitting Punter on the helmet. Looks entirely at home in Test cricket, in no sense overawed by the occasion, and is set to continue to work towards McGrathesque bounce and accuracy.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.