The wheels came off in startling fashion for Australia at their supposed Melbourne stronghold. All out for 98, Ricky Ponting remonstrating with the umpires and defeat by an innings and 157 runs - their third worst Ashes defeat ever on home soil. It will be interesting to see where the beleaguered selectors go for Sydney.
Here's how the well-beaten Aussies rated:
Shane Watson - 5: Dropped twice before finally departing for a sorry 5 in the 1st innings. Scored yet another unconverted fifty second time around. Openers are supposed to score tons and Watson needs to work on this, his dreadful running between the wickets, poor body language and serious misjudgements such as his inexplicable decision to leave that straight one from Bresnan.
Phil Hughes - 4: Did the hard work of playing himself in both times, but failed to go on. He only had himself to blame first time around, but was sold down the river by the self-obsessed Watson for a crazy run out on day 3. There is talk of Katich returning for Sydney, if so will Hughes get another chance?
Ricky Ponting - 3: Will be wishing that his finger injury had ruled him out. Lost the toss, lost his wicket cheaply twice and then lost his marbles with the umpires. His position as captain and number three batsman is now under threat. Has probably been Australia's best batsman since Bradman, but now looks a shadow of his former self. The end of days are nigh for Punter.
Michael Clarke - 3: Two more failures for the supposed heir to Ponting and he fell meekly both times. As Samson when he lost his hair, Clarke's loss of Lara Bingle seems to have deprived him of all vestiges of his strengths. Disappointing against Pakistan in the summer, disappointing in India and now woeful against England. The next-in-line to the throne could yet be usurped.
Mike Hussey - 2: His Atlas-like heroics had to finish somewhere and they certainly ended here with scores of 8 and 0. But Hussey is one of the few that should be spared from the mountain of criticism that will be levied at Australia after their meek surrender here.
Steve Smith - 4: On this showing he is not good enough to bat at six or bowl leg-spin in test cricket. The selectors asked the impossible of a promising 21 year old and unsurprisingly he has failed to deliver even if he obviously has a bit of ticker.
Brad Haddin - 7: Gave it away like everyone else in the 1st innings, but at least made England wait for the inevitable on the final morning. How Haddin can be placed below Smith in the order is one of the mysteries of the series. As an archetypal tough and gritty Aussie, could be a decent choice as an interim captain.
Mitchell Johnson - 3: He didn't quite sink to the depths of Brisbane, but his first spell on Boxing Day was woeful. If every test match Australia played was at the WACA, then Johnson would be the best bowler in the world, but in the real world the ultimate mummy's boy is more of a flop than the top gun.
Ryan Harris - 4: No wickets and a dreadful break for the wholehearted Harris with a stress fracture ruling him out of the World Cup. Has the talent and heart, but perhaps not the fitness to make a test comeback.
Peter Siddle - 8: It was no fault of Siddle that Australia flopped so badly on his home ground. Took his second six for of the series to prove that he could walk the walk after talking the talk in the run-up to the match. Breezy test best of 40 made England wait a while on the final morning.
Ben Hilfenhaus - 3: Our tip as the leading wicket-taker in the series has bombed badly. He may be tidy and economical, but there is a serious lack of variety and the England batsmen have been able to play him with relative ease. At least doubled his tally for the series with the wickets of Swann and Tremlett on day 3.
Day 4 @ Melbourne: Ashes retained as England end 24 years of hurt
Day 3 @ Melbourne: England on the brink as revolution looms down under
Day 2 @ Melbourne: Trott so hot as Ponting boils over
Day 1 @ Melbourne: Ponting's Turkeys are stuffed on Boxing Day
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