England Ashes squad rated after dismal showing against Australia

England 's 4-0 defeat to Australia in the Ashes was an utter humiliation. Or, if you are ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, a "brilliant opportunity" for a reset.

Plenty of ideas have been floated about how England can improve their fortunes in Test cricket after a terrible year which goes beyond the Ashes, with Joe Root's side losing a record nine of the 15 Tests they played in 2021.

There are just seven weeks in between the final Ashes Test and the start of England's next Test series against the West Indies in March and wholesale changes could be made.

As a result, Mirror Sport has taken a look at every member of the Ashes squad to decide whether England should stick or twist.

Joe Root – Stick

Coming off the back of the third most prolific year of run scoring in Test history, Root remains a key part of England's future.

The big debate is over whether he should continue as captain, but he appears determined to turn things around and probably deserves the opportunity to do so.

Jos Buttler – Twist

A terrible Ashes series which saw him average just 15.28 with the bat and drop several catches with the gloves should probably signal the end of Buttler's Test career.

In Ben Foakes, England have a superior gloveman waiting in the wings who also has a Test century to his name. Buttler, meanwhile, should be allowed to focus on white-ball cricket.

Ben Stokes – Stick

Having been drafted into the squad after a near five-month absence, it was always going to be difficult for Stokes to make a major impact.

He did give his utmost for the cause and, with some more game-time under his belt, England will be hopeful he can return to the player who averaged almost 60 with the bat and less than 20 with the ball in 2020.

James Anderson – Stick

Although he will turn 40 this summer, Anderson remains an outstanding Test match performer, having picked up eight wickets at 23.37 in the Ashes and 39 at 21.74 in 2021.

Anderson is keen to continue playing and, given his continued brilliance, there is no reason why England should look to move on from him yet.

Jonny Bairstow – Stick

As England's only centurion during the Ashes, Bairstow has earned the right to try and make the number six spot his own.

An average of under 35 and just seven tons after 80 Test matches is certainly not a record befitting a player of Bairstow's talent but, at the age of 32, he has plenty of time to rectify that.

Dom Bess – Twist

The 24-year-old did not feature at all during the Ashes, but could yet have a big future at Test level.

However, with 36 wickets at an average of 33.97 it is clear he is not the finished article yet and one of the Parkinson brothers, either leg-spinner Matt or left-arm spinner Callum, deserves a chance.

Sam Billings – Twist

Had he not already been in Australia because of the Big Bash, it is unlikely that Billings would have been parachuted in as an injury replacement for Buttler.

Although he did acquit himself well on debut, Foakes is a better gloveman and has a Test century to his name and is deserving of the chance to become England's first choice wicketkeeper.

Making Billings carry the drinks in Test cricket would be very harsh on a player who has probably carried more drinks for England during his career than anyone else in recent memory.

Stuart Broad – Stick

Having only been picked for one Test while the Ashes was still alive, Broad made his displeasure clear and roared back with a five-fer in Sydney.

At 35, Broad has made it clear that he wants to continue playing Test cricket and, having taken 13 wickets at an average of 26.30 in Australia, he remains an excellent performer.

Rory Burns – Twist

Despite making a hundred against New Zealand at Lord's back in June, Burns' record of six ducks in 19 innings in 2021 is hard to look past.

With 32 Test matches under his belt, Burns should be one of England's more dependable batters but a record of 77 runs at an average of 12.83 in the Ashes means it is time for them to move on.

Zak Crawley – Stick

An obvious talent, Crawley bounced back from a shocking 2021 which saw him average just 10.81 to score an impressive 77 in the second innings at Sydney.

The 23-year-old has been pinpointed as the future for England and looks set to get a consistent run at the top of the order.

Haseeb Hameed – Stick

This may be a controversial call but it was not long ago that Hameed made a promising return to Test cricket with two half-centuries against India.

With his low hands, Hameed was always likely to struggle in the Ashes given how the extra bounce Australian pitches tend to offer.

Jettisoning him after one poor series against the best bowling attack in the world in conditions that do not suit him would be harsh.

Dan Lawrence – Stick

Another player who did not feature at all in the Ashes, Lawrence can count himself unlucky given England's batting struggles and the fact that he made twin tons for the England Lions when they toured Australia in 2020.

The 24-year-old has had a difficult start to his Test career, making 71 on debut in Sri Lanka and then struggling when he was pushed up the order to number three in India.

A move back down the order to number six saw him make 46 and 50 in Ahmedabad and an impressive 81 not out against New Zealand was not enough to secure him a run of games in the side. Deserves perseverance.

Jack Leach – Stick

After tours of Sri Lanka and India where he was England's leading wicket-taker, Leach was then left out of the side for the entire summer.

England's first-choice spinner during the Ashes, Leach took six wickets at an average of 53.50 but was not helped by Root's overly-attacking fields in Brisbane and was promptly dropped in Adelaide, despite the groundsman warning England that the pitch would spin.

Leach certainly does have things he needs to work on, but the 30-year-old has been woefully mismanaged by England.

Dawid Malan – Stick

After making a good start to the series with back-to-back scores of 82 and 80 in the first two Tests, Malan's returns dropped off a cliff for the remaining games.

However, that deserves some mitigation given his heavily-pregnant wife was at home in the UK and gave birth to their daughter, Summer Skye, while Malan was playing in the final Test.

As England's second-leading run scorer in Australia, he deserves at least one more series.

Craig Overton – Stick

A consistent wicket-taker at county level, Overton has put on a yard of pace since his first tour of Australia in 2017-18 but he did not play a single game this time around.

Having only played two Test matches since 2019, picking up eight wickets at 21.00 in the process, Overton should remain a regular in England squads.

Ollie Pope – Twist

After experiencing his Test debut as a 20-year-old back in 2018, Pope has failed to deliver on his prodigious talent so far, making just one century and averaging 28.66 in 40 innings.

He managed just 67 runs at an average of 11.16 in the Ashes and a spell away from the side for the foreseeable future would surely do him some good, even though he remains England's most promising batting prospect.

Ollie Robinson – Stick

Despite ongoing concerns about his fitness, Robinson continued his outstanding start to Test cricket by picking up 11 wickets at an average of 25.54 in the Ashes.

The 28-year-old has all the tools necessary to become the long-term successor to Anderson and Broad, provided he can deal with the demands of international cricket.

Chris Woakes – Stick

The difference between Woakes' performances home and away is stark, with the 32-year-old taking 94 wickets at 22.64 in England and 31 at 52.39 everywhere else.

Despite his best efforts to improve his effectiveness ahead of the Ashes, six wickets at 55.33 is a lacklustre return and suggests it could be time for England to solely pick him at home.

Mark Wood – Stick

Undoubtedly England's best performer in Australia, the fact that Wood bowled more than half his overs after the series was already decided is the sort of blunder which summed up the tour.

As the only bowler with genuine pace that England selected, with Jofra Archer and Olly Stone injured and Saqib Mahmood omitted, Wood is a potent weapon and needs looking after.

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