Australia have again succeeded in their attempt to retain the Ashes while on tour. The Ashes will now remain down under, extending the streak of bragging rights since England's last series win in 2015.
The weather favoured the tourists with England leading by nearly 300 runs with two days left to play. The rain answered the Australian prayers with the match ending in a draw after only 30 overs across two days, leaving the home side in despair.
Now after the Fourth Test, we continue to shape our Rolling XI of the 2023 Ashes series, combining the performances of both teams across the series thus far.
1. Usman Khawaja
377 Runs (First Test: 141, 65, Second Test: 17, 77, Third Test: 13, 43 Fourth Test: 3, 18)
Despite Khawaja falling short at Manchester, his ability to challenge the English quicks in the first two tests has comfortably cemented his spot in the rolling Ashes XI. Heading into the final test in London, the Queenslander can hope to extend his recent form with his position as the Australian opener unlikely to be challenged ahead of the summer against Pakistan and New Zealand.
2. Zak Crawley (replaces Ben Duckett)
385 runs (First Test: 61, 7, Second Test: 48, 3, Third Test: 33, 44, Fourth Test: 189)
Zak Crawley finally delivered in the most brilliant fashion in a vital test for England. An immense batting display from the England opener in the single innings helped the home side threaten the fate of the series. Crawley's 189 was the largest score of the series, and came off just 182 balls.
3. Marnus Labuschagne (replaces Harry Brook)
306 runs (First Test: 0, 13, Second Test: 47, 30, Third Test: 21, 33, Fourth Test: 51, 111)
Marnus Labuschange looked like a different batsman at Manchester in comparison to his prior series performances. Posting a score of 50 in the first innings appeared to lift the weight off his shoulders, having not done so in the first three tests. With the weather favouring the Australians, Labuschagne's 111 of 173 balls proved to be the most important innings by an Australian thus far. The No.2 ranked batsman has finally broken into the rolling XI, as well as breaking his touring century hoodoo.
4. Joe Root
316 runs (First Test: 118, 46, Second Test: 10, 18, Third Test: 19, 21, Fourth Test: 84)
A strong display from England's premier batsman, as he struck 84 from 95 balls. The former captain looked in good touch, assisting Zak Crawley in a 226-run partnership. Despite not achieving the series result, Root and Stokes seem to have won the battle against the Australian attack with only one test to play.
5. Travis Head
315 runs (First Test: 50, 16, Second Test: 77, 7, Third Test: 39, 77, Fourth Test: 48, 1)
Travis Head was unable to build on his impressive series, only scoring 49 from two appearances at the crease. The South Australian fell victim to bumpers in both innings, top-edging a hook shot towards deep fine leg on day one and meekly throwing his wicket away on Friday evening. Head will look to leave England on a high during the final test.
6. Ben Stokes (captain)
360 runs (First Test: 1, 43, Second Test: 17, 155 Third Test: 80, 13 Fourth Test: 51)
3 Wickets (First Test: 1/33, 1/9, Second Test:1/26, 0/21)
Ben Stokes was another strong contributor to an England innings that only just fell shy of 600. The 32-year-old notched 51 off 74 balls faced, hitting five boundaries along the way, while forming another important partnership with Harry Brook. Stokes again elected not to bowl, suggesting a transition into a part-time bowler.
7. Alex Carey
162 runs (First Test: 66, 20, Second Test: 22, 21, Third Test: 8, 5 Fourth Test: 20)
22 dismissals (First Test: 9, Second Test: 6 Third Test: 5, Fourth Test: 2)
For the first time this series, Alex Carey had his position in the side challenged by Johnny Bairstow. Carey produced a uncharacteristic display with the gloves, missing a half-chance and some loose chances that provided another opportunity for Ben Stokes to bury the Australians. Bairstow also outclassed Carey with the bat, posting an unbeaten 99 to Carey's 20. The South Australian holds his spot on the back of some world-class keeping in the opening tests.
8. Pat Cummins
117 runs (First Test: 38, 44, Second Test: 22*, 11 Third Test: 0, 1, Fourth Test: 1)
16 wickets (First Test: 0/59, 4/63 Second Test: 1/46, 3/69, Third Test:6/91, 1/77, Fourth Test: 1/129)
Old Trafford was a test to forget for Pat Cummins as he failed to succeed in all three categories. Some heavily scrutinised captaincy was enough to hand over the role to his counterpart Ben Stokes. Cummins also conceded the most runs ever off his bowling with 129 and only one wicket to reward his efforts. Since the First Test, his batting has been following a decline with only two runs from the last three innings. His captaincy efforts and some brave bowling efforts are more than enough to hold his spot.
9. Mitchell Starc
75 Runs (Second Test: 6, 15*, Third Test: 2, 16 Fourth Test: 36*)
15 wickets (Second Test: 3/88, 3/79, Third Test: 2/59, 5/78 Fourth Test: 2/137)
Mitchell Starc created two early breakthroughs for Australia in the first innings, but the left-armer was ineffective once the Dukes ball lost its shine. Starc has continued to threaten with bat and ball since joining the XI at Lord's. The Sydney product has now joined the top three wicket-takers for the series with one less test to his name.
10. Stuart Broad
63 runs (First Test: 16,10, Second Test: 12, 11, Third Test: 7, Fourth Test: 7)
18 wickets (First Test: 3/68, 3/64 Second Test: 1/99, 4/65, Third Test: 2/58, 3/45, Fourth Test: 2/68, 0/47)
Broad continued his impressive run of form at Manchester, dismissing Australia's most threatening batsman on the tour in Usman Khawaja and Travis Head. While unable to seal the test in a race against the weather, he was able to achieve a remarkable accomplishment of 600 test wickets.
11. Josh Hazlewood (replaces Ollie Robinson)
10 runs (First Test: 1, Second Test: 4,1. Fourth Test: 4)
13 wickets (First Test: 2/61 & 1/48 Second Test: 2/71 & 3/80, Fourth Test:5/126)
Josh Hazlewood has been able to break into the rolling XI for the first time this series with 5 wickets to his name from only one innings at Manchester. Hazlewood has continued to threaten the English batsman, taking the scalps of Joe Root and Harry Brook. A wicket tally that has now reached 13 is more than enough to earn his spot in the side. Hazlewood will hope to challenge the English top order again in London as Australia hopes to end the tour with a convincing series win.