Australia v England - 3rd Test: Day 3
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 28: Scott Boland of Australia appeals successfully for LBW to dismiss Jonny Bairstow of England during day three of the Third Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 28, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Australia v England - 3rd Test: Day 3

A one-sided Ashes series has seen Australia claim a 4-0 victory which, frankly, never seemed in doubt.

They have managed to dominate England in every aspect of the game, with the tourists barely showing an ounce of fight outside of hanging on for a rain-impacted draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the New Year’s Test.

But do any of the touring players make it to a combined XI from the series that was?

Here is the team.

1. David Warner (Australia)
Warner is the obvious choice at the top of the order. He finished the Ashes with 273 runs at an average of 34, with that average reducing greatly over the back half of the series as he failed to get going.

But the first half of the series saw him make a couple of half-centuries and get Australia away to some strong starts which set the tone for the remainder of the innings and matches.

He struggled with Stuart Broad from around the wicket, but out-performed every other opener who played in the series by a significant distance.

2. Zak Crawley (England)
The second opening spot was probably the trickiest in the entire team to work out, because there simply was no standout.

Through a process of elimination, it’s easy to go without Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns who averaged just 10 and 12.83 respectively, meaning it came down to Marcus Harris and Zak Crawley.

Harris had one solid innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but failed when the pressure was on, while Crawley averaged almost 30 after coming in for Melbourne, retaining his spot for the rest of the series.

It’s a flip of the coin, but Crawley is the man.

3. Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
The Australian number three scored 335 runs at 41.87 during the Ashes, and while he only went past a century once, he outplayed Dawid Malan - his opposite number - comprehensively.

Malan scored some runs and kept England in matches early in the series, but to go with a century, Labuschagne also went past 50 twice in just nine innings and was, at times, dominant with the bat, although his dismissal in Hobart will be on comedy reels for years.

4. Joe Root (England)
The only other Englishman to make the XI is the captain, Root. He might have only averaged 32.3, but he scored the third-highest amount of runs in the series, in what was a low-scoring grind at times.

He led from the front even when those around him faltered, and while he still hasn’t gone big in Australia as he has in most other areas of the world, it was a solid enough series from Root to be named to this side.

5. Travis Head (Australia)
Head was named player of the series and is a walk up start in this team.

Alongside Usman Khawaja, he is the only player to hit two centuries, all the more impressive given how under pressure his spot was at the start of the series. He also finishes as the leading run-scorer with 357 at 59.5.

6. Cameron Green (Australia)
Green struggled with the bat early in the series, but came good towards the end, finishing just eight runs behind the tally Ben Stokes put up in the opposite role for England. Given Green had two less innings, it’s hard to argue he wasn’t the better player with the bat.

It’s with the ball where he shone though, taking 13 wickets at 15.76. An excellent summer for Green all things considered.

7. Alex Carey (Australia)
Neither wicket-keeper had an excellent Ashes campaign, that much is for certain, but Carey’s 49 in Hobart has put him well ahead when it comes to run.

Carey dropped a couple of catches in Sydney but was otherwise solid behind the stumps and has the edge over Buttler.

8. Pat Cummins (Australia)
Cummins finishes the Ashes as the series leading wicket-taker, with 21 wickets at 18.04 from just four matches.

He bowled economically and struck often, regularly breaking the back of the English batting order.

9. Mitchell Starc (Australia)
Starc was the attack leader more often than he wasn’t for Australia. Cummins and Josh Hazlewood missed Adelaide, before Hazlewood missed the remainder of the series as well.

The only quick across either team to play all five Tests, Starc took 19 wickets at 25 and thoroughly deserves his spot.

10. Scott Boland (Australia)
The final spot in this side comes down to Scott Boland or Mark Wood. But with Boland taking 18 wickets at 9.55, and Wood only bumping his figures for the series up with nine wickets in the Hobart Test, it has to go the way of Boland.

His debut was phenomenal, and he didn’t let up afterwards in Sydney or Hobart.

11. Nathan Lyon (Australia)
The role of the spinner in this combined team is the easiest spot to pick. Lyon, despite not bowling in Hobart, took 16 wickets at 23.56 and was regularly involved in putting pressure on the English batsmen.

Jack Leach, on the other hand, regularly released pressure in his three games, taking six wickets at 53.5, and was often lumped behind Joe Root in the bowling stocks.