Mitchell Starc – 7.5/10
Matches: 3 | Wickets: 14 | Average: 34.07 | SR: 62.2 | BB: 4-36
It took Starc a little while to get into the season. The first few Tests against South Africa he looked a little underdone and I don’t think he really hit his straps. Occasionally when the ball was reversing he looked better. With the new ball, when he can bring the ball back into the right-hander that’s when he’s at his most dangerous. We’ve seen him bowl better with the new ball so he’s been a little bit off there. At times he bowled well with reasonable pace but wasn’t quite been at his best but hopefully he can keep improving because Australia will need him to fire in the subcontinent. If he can swing the new ball as well as reverse the old one he becomes such a dangerous bowler. He’s not quite there but he’s not too far away.
Best wicket: Asad Shafiq, Brisbane, second innings.
When the game was nearly getting away from the Aussies, Starc made something out of nothing to conjure up a brutish bouncer and remove Shafiq. Starc’s a natural wicket-taker. Even on flat tracks he can make things happen.
Josh Hazlewood – 9/10
Matches: 3 | Wickets: 15 | Average: 19.60 | SR: 58.9 | BB: 4-55
He just keeps getting better and better. He’s had an incredible summer. Like Starc, I thought he was a little underdone heading into the South Africa series and that first Test, but as the summer’s gone on he’s bowled incredibly well. He claimed vital wickets and a lot of those were top-order wickets. That’s what you want your opening bowler to do; bowl good areas, keep it tight, build pressure and get it through at reasonable pace with good bounce. The wickets this summer haven’t been quick and bouncy but he’s been impressive without much help from the conditions. You can see Hazlewood is learning each game and puts that into practice.
Best wicket: Younis Khan, first innings, Brisbane
Younis Khan, first ball, he was going to be one of Pakistan’s key batsmen and to get him early was vital. Hazlewood got a lot of wickets in similar fashion this series, getting just enough movement and bounce to take the edge.
Jackson Bird – 7.5/10
Matches: 2 | Wickets: 10 | Average: 29.20 | SR: 54.0 | BB: 3-23
Bird did his job. As the third seamer coming in, he bowled good areas and in Melbourne he got a bit of nip. In Adelaide against the Proteas he looked a little nervous but then come the Pakistan series he looked good and did his job.
Best wicket: Younis Khan, first innings, Melbourne
A terrific ball that moved in off the seam and clipped the top of off stump. Bird has the ability to move the ball both ways and at the MCG he found a bit of nip which contributed to this dismissal.
Nathan Lyon – 7/10
Matches: 3 | Wickets: 11 | Average: 45.63 | SR: 74.7 | BB: 3-33
A lot of people were saying Lyon needs to take big wickets and that his place in the team was in doubt, but in the last two Tests, especially in the second innings in Melbourne, he bowled a lot better. When you’re not taking wickets your confidence can drop a bit but if he keeps thinking he’s bowling well and continues to put the ball in the right area the wickets will come. He took vital wickets in the Boxing Day Test and at the SCG and he’ll be a lot more confident heading over to the subcontinent. There was talk that he may not make the tour but now I think he’s locked his name in.
Best wicket: Sami Aslam, first innings, Melbourne
The crowd were all set to yell out ‘Nice Garry’ on Lyon’s third ball in Melbourne but instead they cheered when he got a ball to grip, bounce and take the shoulder of Aslam’s bat to be caught by Steve Smith at first slip.
Stephen O’Keefe – 7/10
Matches: 1 | Wickets: 4 | Average: 25.75 | SR: 55.5 | BB: 3-53
SOK played just the one Test but it was a good chance for the selectors to see him ahead of the India tour. I think he did his job in Sydney, showed he can get the ball in the right areas and is a different bowler to Lyon. Lyon puts a more top spin on the ball where the selectors are looking for O’Keefe to keep it tight in India, make it hard to score and vary his pace. He did well in Sri Lanka last year before he got injured.
Best wicket: Yasir Shah, second innings, Sydney
Classic left-arm orthodox wicket – angled in, spun away, took the edge of the right-hander and was caught at second slip.
Mohammad Amir – 6.5/10
Matches: 3 | Wickets: 5 | Average: 61.6 | SR: 115.2 | BB: 4-97
It was a tough tour and I was expecting big things from Amir when he first came here. He’s a quality bowler; left-armer, swings it away and at good pace, and he has to bowl quick because he’s not the tallest bowler going around either. He bowled OK up in Brisbane taking four wickets in the first innings and was good in Melbourne but was unlucky before injuries knocked him around a bit in Sydney. All in all he’d be a disappointed because he needed to fire for Pakistan to have a chance.
Best wicket: David Warner, first innings, Brisbane
It’s always a big wicket to get Dave Warner out. He was 30 off 70 balls so he never got into his innings. We saw later on in the series just what Warner can do when he’s in so that was a big wicket.
Wahab Riaz – 7.5/10
Matches: 3 | Wickets: 11 | Average: 36.36 | SR: 54.5 | BB: 4-89
Wahab did well. He’s the enforcer in the team and he plays that role quite well. He bowls with reasonable pace, he hits the deck hard and gets the batsmen jumping around. I would have given Wahab a higher rating if not for all his no balls. Just too many and it cost him the wicket of David Warner in Melbourne.
Best wicket: Matthew Renshaw, first innings, Brisbane
It was the lead up that impressed me with the wicket of Renshaw. Wahab bowled good line and length, beat the bat and kept Renshaw rooted to the crease. The wicket ball was fuller, Renshaw didn’t move his feet and edged behind.
Yasir Shah 5.5/10
Matches: 3 | Wickets: 8 | Average: 84 | SR: 111.1 | BB: 3-207
He’s another guy I thought would bowl really well but disappointed. Touring spinners have always struggled in Australia and having taken more than five wickets a Test he found it hard going. The Australian batsmen played him quite well but Yasir is used to bowling on wickets that spin a lot more. He was the victim of a ruthless Warner in the second innings in Sydney, going for more than eight runs per over.
Best delivery: Nic Maddinson, first innings, Melbourne
Maddinson came down the wicket to a ball with a scrambled seam which actually slides on rather than grips and turns. It was a good ball that deceived Maddinson, skidded on and bowled the batsman.
Sohail Khan – 5.5/10
Matches: 1 | Wickets: 3 | Average: 43.66 | SR: 62 | BB: 3-131
Sohail captured a few wickets and bowled with medium pace. While he didn’t excite with the ball his run-a-ball 65 in Melbourne lifted Pakistan to a big first innings score, but unfortunately that knock doesn’t come into consideration.
Imran Khan – 6/10
Matches: 1 | Wickets: 2 | Average: 77 | SR: 99 | BB: 2-111
Imran was steady and performed better than Sohail. He gets the ball in the right areas, angling the ball into the right-handed batsmen. He got a couple of wickets but didn’t really worry the Australians.
Rahat Ali – 6/10
Matches: 1 | Wickets: 2 | Average: 57 | SR: 96 | BB: 2-40
Rahat pushes the ball through at reasonable pace and I thought he would have done better. He bowled on a tough wicket in Brisbane but we didn’t get to see a lot of him in only one Test.