An eventful Ashes has come to an end with Australia successfully retaining the urn despite not being able to complete their Ashes mission with a series win over England. It has been a spectacular summer for cricketing fans as the Ashes series brought back the love for the longer format of the game. Australia's run-machine Steve Smith has been on a roll ever since he returned to the game after his one year ban and has gone on from being portrayed as the villain to a legend. Inching closer to Test legend Don Bradman, Steve Smith's Test average of 65 has left cricketers and analysts stunned, with the opposition themselves unable to figure out how to get Smith dismissed. Pat Cummins had a bright summer with the ball as he emerged as the top wicket-taker for Australia in this year's Ashes. Youngster Jofra Archer looks like he has cemented his name in the side for the longer format after an impressive series in which he also floored the number one batsman in the world.
As the prestigious Ashes series came to an end, cricketers and fans heaped praises on both the teams for putting up a fantastic display of Test cricket. While Australia's show centred around Steve Smith and Pat Cummins, England also had a similar tale with Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer emerging as the heroes for the home side. Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh took to Twitter to laud Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Jofra Archer for their terrific efforts in the Ashes. The former Indian spinner was all praises for Steve Smith and said that the fans would remember him forever for his knocks in the series. Harbhajan Singh also lauded youngster Jofra Archer for displaying pure class throughout the series. Read Harbhajan Singh's tweet here:
Ashes what a test series it’s been.congratulations to both the team for playing terrific cricket thru out @ECB_cricket @CricketAus 👍 @stevesmith49 will remember this forever so will th cricket fans.what a series he had 💪 class @patcummins30 superb show thru out @JofraArcher 👌— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 16, 2019
The test rankings were released at the back of the recently concluded Ashes series, which ended in a draw. Steve Smith scored 774 runs in the four matches with an average of 110.57 and the highest score of 211. Smith is leading the list with 937 points and has a gap of 34 points over second-placed Virat Kohli. Smith's magnificent performance during the series was reflected in the rankings since he was fourth on the list with 857 points at the start of the Ashes series. The test rankings are updated after every match, and Virat will have a chance to reclaim his place during the Test matches against South Africa. Smith did not play cricket for a year since March 2018 as he was banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for his involvement in the 'sand-paper gate' incident wherein the Australian players were conspired of using sandpaper to modify the ball during the series against South Africa. However, he has made a strong return to international cricket, scoring 379 runs at the ICC World Cup and was also recognized as Australia's Man of the series and also awarded the Compton-Miller medal for his performances. In his absence, the highest run-getter in Tests for Australia was Travis Head with 663 runs, and he was overtaken by Smith in just four tests.
The bowler's Test ranking list saw Pat Cummins consolidate his place at the top of the list with 908 points. He has a 57 points lead over second-placed Kagiso Rabada. For Australia, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh were the other players who made significant gains with their performances, whereas David Warner dropped by 19 positions to 24 on the list over the five test matches, where he scored a grand total of 95 runs in 10 innings. For England, fast bowler Jofra Archer made into the top-40 for the first time after finishing the series as the third-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets. He made his test debut in the second match at Lords.