Handcomb's rapid rise, Smith's new peak

5 things we learnt at the SCG (4:09)

Melinda Farrell is joined by Osman Samiuddin and Brydon Coverdale to reflect on their learnings from the Australia vs Pakistan Test series. (4:09)


Steven Smith
The leading run scorer in the series, Smith finished with 441 at 110.25, and as a consequence ended his 50th Test match with the remarkable career average of 60.15. His hundred on the first day of the series in Brisbane set the tone for Australia's campaign, and an unbeaten 165 at the MCG earned him Man-of-the-Match honours in Australia's second win. Only once in the series was Smith dismissed for less than 50, and he was a one of several keys to Australia's clean sweep.

David Warner
Though 2016 was his least productive full year in Test cricket, Warner finished it off with a bang by pummeling 144 at better than a run a ball at the MCG. It was his innings - specifically the speed of it - that turned that rain-affected Test into one Australia could win. And he carried that form to the SCG, where in the first innings he blasted the fourth-fastest Test hundred by an Australian, and in the second he smashed Australia's fastest Test fifty. It meant that he finished the series with 356 runs at 71.20. If his average was excellent, his strike-rate of 103.79 was astonishing.

Peter Handscomb
By the end of this series, Handscomb had gone through the first seven innings of his Test career without being dismissed for less than 50 - a feat unmatched in the history of the game. His maiden century in Brisbane, and then another hundred at the SCG, confirmed Handscomb as a man who is very comfortable at Test level. He used his feet well against the spinners, hung back and played late against the fast men, and now faces the challenge of extending his run of fine form to Australia's tour of India in February. He finished this series with 344 runs at 114.66, and looks set to become part of the middle order for a long time to come.

Josh Hazlewood
The leading wicket-taker in the series, with 15 at 19.60, Hazlewood was also exceedingly tight and gave up less than two runs an over across the three Tests. His work wasn't always easy - in the second innings at the Gabba, Hazlewood sent down 42 overs, the heaviest workload in a Test innings for an Australian fast bowler for more than a decade - but he persisted with his accurate lines and earned his rewards over the course of the series.

Mitchell Starc
Second only to Hazlewood on the series wicket tally, Starc picked up 14 at 34.07. He was more expensive than his new-ball partner but in both Brisbane and Melbourne made critical final-day breakthroughs that cracked the resistance of the Pakistan batsmen. He also contributed a highly entertaining 84 at the MCG, including seven sixes, and his brisk runs helped ensure Australia had a big enough lead from which they could push for victory.


Matt Renshaw
At the Gabba, Renshaw impressed with 71 in just his second Test appearance, but his breakthrough innings came at the SCG, where he batted throughout the first day and ended up making 184. It was a remarkably mature innings for a man of 20 - in fact, no other Australian had made so many runs in an innings at such a young age. Renshaw finished the series with 271 runs at 67.75, and looks a long-term opening prospect for Australia.


Usman Khawaja
Although he finished the series with a highly creditable tally of 267 runs at 66.75 and scored a half-century in each of the three Tests, two of those fifties came in second-innings efforts in Brisbane and Sydney, by which time the pressure was largely off and the focus was on extending an already hefty lead. His 97 at the MCG was a fine innings and contributed to Australia's turning the Test around.


Jackson Bird
Although he played only the first two Tests, Bird's axing in Sydney was less to do with his performances than the fact that Australia wanted to play two spinners. In Brisbane and Melbourne, he played his role well, and collected 10 wickets at 29.20, including the key wicket of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq in three of those four innings. Despite being dropped, he also made a significant contribution to the win in Sydney, where he finished with four catches - two at gully, one at second slip off a spinner, and one in the deep. In doing so, he equalled the Test record for most catches in a match by a substitute fielder.


Nathan Lyon
This was a series of two distinct halves for Lyon. Across Pakistan's first three innings of the campaign picked up 3 for 254. On the fourth evening at the MCG, captain Steven Smith declined to say that Lyon was a certain starter for the next Test in Sydney and observed that he "hasn't bowled at his best in this game". The next day, Lyon picked up three key wickets in Australia's unexpected victory, and across the final three innings of the series he collected 8 for 248. By the end of the series, coach Darren Lehmann was so impressed that he said Lyon had bowled as well as he had "for a long period of time".

Steve O'Keefe
It is hard to judge a player on one appearance, but O'Keefe's match figures of 4 for 103 in Sydney should be enough to earn him a place on the upcoming tour of India. Though not generally a huge turner of the ball, O'Keefe did gain enough spin at times to cause problems, and he picked up three wickets in the second innings to help bowl Australia to victory.


Matthew Wade
He finished the series with eight catches, though also missed a couple of opportunities, and perhaps more importantly he struggled for impact with the bat. Wade was brought in to replace Peter Nevill mostly because the Australians wanted more fight with the bat, so unless he brings some lower-order runs soon his place may not be secure.

Hilton Cartwright
He started his Test career in fine fashion, driving his first delivery through cover for a boundary, and looked comfortable in making 37 at the SCG. However, the main reason for his call-up was because Australia wanted an allrounder at No.6 to ease the workload of the fast men. And when Cartwright bowled four overs he struggled to get the ball above 125kph. That, as much as his batting, could determine the length of his tenure in the side.


Nic Maddinson
After a duck on debut against South Africa, Maddinson was given another chance at the Gabba, where he looked nervous and managed 1 and 4 in his two innings. One more opportunity came at the MCG, where he contributed 22, but did not capitalise on his start, and was dropped for the next Test at the SCG.