Ashes 2015: England player ratings as England take 3-1 series lead to regain the urn

We take a look at how the individual players performed over the series

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ALASTAIR COOK - His only half-century came in the losing cause at Lord's, but Cook has an air of reliability again at the top of the order. His captaincy has evolved, pro-active in keeping with England's new attacking psyche, and even pleased arch critic Shane Warne at times. 8

ADAM LYTH - Cook's opening partner has been England's weakest link. After only 86 runs in seven innings, it will be a tight call whether he is retained for the Oval valedictory. Took one brilliant catch at Edgbaston ... and barely touched an easier chance in the gully at Lord's. 2

IAN BELL - Roused himself to play three important innings, his second attempt at Cardiff and then both times on his home ground after his re-elevation to number three. In between, there were another four failures. But Bell is a unique modern great after his fifth Ashes series win. 7

JOE ROOT - Two big hundreds for the vice-captain, to help England in front and then to clinch the deal in Nottingham. Root was unfazed by the mid-series rejig which pushed him up to number four, and was far and away England's most convincing batsman - and catcher. 9

JONNY BAIRSTOW - Little he could have done against the vicious Mitchell Johnson bouncer which welcomed him back to Test cricket in Birmingham. But he helped Root consolidate the domination when stakes were high in his next match. 7

BEN STOKES - Good runs in Cardiff, helped Cook out in the first innings at Lord's, and then provided the final thrust with his wickets in Nottingham. If anyone sums up England's 'consistent inconsistency', though, it is Stokes whose runs and wickets are interspersed with blobs and four balls. He also took a wonderful catch in the gully at Trent Bridge. 7

JOS BUTTLER - A disappointment in front of the stumps, but improved behind them. Modern wicketkeepers must be all-rounders, of course. Buttler has obvious potential to be an outstanding international batsman, but has not shown it in this series. 5

MOEEN ALI - Moeen's runs down the order were crucial. His bowling, nominally the strong suit for a player listed at number eight, was often worryingly short of England's requirements. 6

MARK WOOD - England's breath of fresh air for 2015, the effervescent and pacy Wood was the support act in a seam attack which featured outstanding performances elsewhere. His batting is useful at number 10, or as nightwatchman. 6

STUART BROAD - Even without his brilliant career-best eight for 15 on his home ground, Broad can point to a fine body of work this summer. He is irresistible when on song, and demonstrated yet again that he is a match-winner at the highest level. His handy tailend counter-attacking is paying dividends again, after last year's blip. 9

STEVEN FINN - His man-of-the-match eight-wicket haul in Birmingham was the heart-warming redemption tale of the summer after the much-chronicled troubles and soul-searching since his previous Test in 2013. 8

JAMES ANDERSON - A mixed bag from England's all-time leading wicket-taker. He took none for 137 at Lord's, where he was conspicuously ineffective on an unresponsive pitch. But he woke up with a vengeance when England needed him to in the first innings at Edgbaston. Injury then intervened. 7

GARY BALLANCE - The fall-guy after Lord's, Ballance followed an initial half-century with three much less productive innings - amid much muttering about his technical foibles. The selectors appeared backed into a corner, by the embarrassment of a 405-run defeat, and Ballance was sacrificed. 4