Player of the Match
Player of the Match

5.07pm Anyhow, that just about wraps it up from here. Thanks for your company and your feedback. Brydon Coverdale's match report will appear here shortly, and we'll have a full house of punditry in the end-of-match breakdown, with George Dobell, Jarrod Kimber, Melinda Farrell and Dan Brettig all sharpening their quills (and polishing their lenses). From myself and Gnasher, have a very happy New Year, and join us again in Sydney for the fifth and final Test next week.

5.05pm GregM: "Talk of the greatest batsman after Bradman should always include Border. The quality of bowlers he faced - Roberts, Garner, Holding, Marshall et al...not to mention Imran Khan, Wasim Akram etc...Smith's achievements are stacking up by the day, but he isn't facing this kind of bowling." A fair point well made. As has been previously pointed out, comparisons are on the one hand pointless, but personally I find them fascinating!

4.58pm Smith is the talk of the town today, but the man of the match is Alastair Cook, whose astonishing 244 not out dominated the second and third days.

Joe Root is talking to BT Sport. "It's as flat a wicket as you'll ever see. If you played on that for another four days the result would be the same. Credit to our guys for the wickets that they did take."

"I got my birthday present," Root says of Warner's wicket. That's something at least.

Bipin : "I really don't understand this need for comparison. Bradman to smith , Sachin to Kohli , etc etc..they are good and played exceptionally well during their period and that's it. Why bring someones glory down by comparing them to a player who never played in their era vice versa. Yes we can talk about all these players when we are talking about great players." Who does it diminish to invite the comparison? Just shooting the breeze at the end of a, err, less than gripping final day.

Chris: "To get an idea of a batsman's greatness, compare them to their peers with similar nmber of Tests. Bradman's average was 39 runs highest than his nearest peers (Sutcliffe). That is, 64% higher than them. Smith's is 10 runs higher than his nearest peer (Kohli ). Less than 19% higher."

Dave: "Kohli is imperious but it's worth noting that he would need to score more than one thousand not out in his next inning to equal Smith's average "

4.54pm Matt: "Nothing Steve Smith can't do - a racehorse he part owns called Hogmanay just won at Randwick - at $14! Yep, I was on...."

Sahil: "Also England's first draw Down Under since the Gabba 2010" Yes, that too... more to the point, it ends a grim run of eight defeats in a row, and banishes the spectre of yet another 5-0 whitewash, which is a very pyrrhic victory, but they'll take it!

4.50pm Out come the rest of the Australia squad to shake hands with England's players, who are heading over to the Barmy Army to, quite rightly, acknowledge their unstinting support. A crowd of 14128 on this final day, and a massive 262,616 for the game, and they've made almost all the noise, all the time.

Syed Hasan Asif: "Why did not go for his 6000 runs? It doesnt make sense!!! Did he not know ?" I have no doubt he'll get another shot at that milestone. He's got a few miles in the tank yet...

Match drawn Move on, nothing left to see here. Out come the handshakes, and England have stopped the rot, but they couldn't stop Steve Smith. Another brilliant hundred, his third of the series, and each subtlely different from the last, has denied them a shot at their first victory in Australia since January 2011.

Mick from Maryb: "Bradman may not have played as diverse an opposition but he played on uncovered pitches with a tiny and light bat and slow outfields where you had to clear a fence on a full size oval, not a rope 10 metres in (unless you are in New Zealand where the boundaries are not much more than 10 metres away!). Eras are incomparable. Bradman deserves the awe that is reserved for him."

124.2
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, worked to the leg side

Varun: "Don't understand the comparison with Sir Don Bradman. Yes he averaged 100 but he played most of his cricket against a single team i.e. England and played mostly in England and Australia. Players like Sachin have played against every cricket playing nation and in all the countries against all types of bowlers. So, there is literally no comparison." Well quite. On we go

124.1
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, defended. Of course

END OF OVER:
124 | 4 Runs | AUS: 263/4

  • SPD Smith102 (275b)
  • MR Marsh29 (164b)
  • JE Root3-2-1-1
  • MM Ali13-2-32-0
123.6
0
Root to Smith, no run, forward again
123.5
0
Root to Smith, no run,
123.4
0
Root to Smith, no run, an appeal! A genuine appeal... struck on the front pad, but not quite adjacent enough
123.3
0
Root to Smith, no run, pushed into the off side
123.2
4b
Root to Smith, 4 byes, slipping down the leg side, an attempted sweep makes no contact but succeeds in putting off Bairstow
123.1
0
Root to Smith, no run,

END OF OVER:
123 | (maiden) | AUS: 259/4

  • MR Marsh29 (164b)
  • SPD Smith102 (269b)
  • MM Ali13-2-32-0
  • TK Curran20-6-53-0

Geoff: "You think that Smith is Bradman compared to the rest of the batsmen going? That's ludicrous, Kohli is well and truly neck and neck with him and Kane Williamson is certainly not far back. Very shortsighted opinion you've developed there" I'm talking Tests only, for clarity. Kohli is right up there, of course

122.6
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, fenced off the back foot to point
122.5
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, half a squeak of an appeal, but struck way outside off stump
122.4
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, forward yet again, giving nothing away at this late stage
122.3
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, big stride, head over the ball
122.2
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, stretching forward once again
122.1
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, on the back foot, and blocked

The Barmy Army are giving it some late heft in the stands. They've enjoyed themselves more than their team today

END OF OVER:
122 | (maiden) | AUS: 259/4

  • SPD Smith102 (269b)
  • MR Marsh29 (158b)
  • TK Curran20-6-53-0
  • MM Ali12-1-32-0
121.6
0
Curran to Smith, no run, turned off the hip to the leg side
121.5
0
Curran to Smith, no run,

Sproj : "It isn't absurd to compare Bradman and Smith, Bradman didn't play as diversified an opposition as today's batsmen. If he did, his average would likely be slightly lower. Still better than all but probably not as significantly so. Yes, I'm Australian." Probably true. Never played in South Africa, Asia, West Indies etc. Pure speculation what difference that would have made, of course

121.4
0
Curran to Smith, no run, tapped to the leg side
121.3
0
Curran to Smith, no run, slower ball, outside off, deflected to point
121.2
0
Curran to Smith, no run, standing tall on the back foot
121.1
0
Curran to Smith, no run, leaning forward to defend

END OF OVER:
121 | 2 Runs | AUS: 259/4

  • MR Marsh29 (158b)
  • SPD Smith102 (263b)
  • MM Ali12-1-32-0
  • TK Curran19-5-53-0

AJ: "Will smith wait till until he reach 6,000 runs in test cricket before shaking hands for draw?? " The handshake will come at the start of the final 15 overs, so in roughly 30 mins

120.6
0
Ali to MR Marsh, no run, forward and defended
  • MCG pitch rated poor by ICC

    Australian cricket has been embarrassed by the ICC rating the MCG drop-in pitch for the Boxing Day Ashes Test as "poor" following a dull draw in which only 24 wickets were taken over five days

  • 'It's a shame it's taken until now' - Root

    There was no victory for England, but Joe Root could at least take consolation from a side that had finally competed with Australia

  • Warner tames the beast within (almost)

    There was little in David Warner's career history to suggest he could bat Australia to a draw on a slow pitch - but he has long proved he is more than a six-hitting circus act

  • Relentless Smith finds a fresh ally

    Steven Smith gave praise for his partner on the fifth day at the MCG, as Mitchell Marsh slipped into a supporting role with a mature, unbeaten innings

  • MCG drop-ins under review after bore draw

    Outgoing Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide suggested the ground's drop-in wicket square was overdue to be dug out and remade from scratch

23rd in quick time

110

Numer of innings Steven Smith has taken to hit 23 Test hundreds. Only Bradman (59 inns) and Gavaskar (109) were quicker.

Record breaking Cook

1997

Last instance of a player from England carrying his bat before Cook - Atherton scored 94 against New Zealand. Cook's 244 is the highest score ever made by a batsman carrying his bat through a Test innings

Cook Marches on

11

150 plus scores for Cook in Tests - Most for a batsmen from England. He now has three such scores in Australia as well. Only Wally Hammond has more.

Centurion

32

Hundreds for Cook in Tests - joint seventh along with Steve Waugh. During the innings, Cook also went past Jayawardene's tally of 11814 Test runs.

Cook Down Under

5

Centuries for Cook in Australia. He now has centuries in each of the five big venues in Aus. Cook is the fifth player from England to score 5 or more centuries vs Aus in Australia

Cook comes good

10

Innings since Cook's last half-century. His previous score of fifty plus resulted in a score of 243 against West Indies

100 for Anderson

8

Bowlers from England to take 100 or more wickets against Australia. Anderson joined 4 other fast bowlers to this feat.

Centurion Warner

21

Test hundreds for David Warner- 15 of them have come at home. This is his third century against England and second at MCG.

Wonderful Warner

6000

Test Runs for David Warner in 129 innings- Joint fourth fastest for Australia after Bradman, Ponting, Hayden and Greg Chappel.