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England one-day player ratings

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Ben Dirs | 18:31 UK time, Sunday, 20 September 2009

Here are my ratings for the England team in the one-day international series against Australia. Why don't you tell us yours?

Andrew Strauss 7 - The England skipper was a rock at the top of the order during the Ashes series and he took that form into the one-dayers. A couple of fifties at the Rose Bowl and Lord's, although he will be disappointed he didn't convert those into hundreds.

Ravi Bopara 4 - Seven opportunities to shine, and he managed a high score of only 49. Technically he's all over the place at the moment, his running between the wickets is skittish, and it is difficult to see how the selectors can continue to pick him.

Joe Denly 6 - Missed the start of the series because of a freak warm-up injury, but showed plenty of potential when he did finally get a run. His 53 at the Riverside included some very assured strokes.

Owais Shah 4 - Got starts in most of the matches, but was unable to go on to bigger things. His running between the wickets continues to be a concern, especially for those batting with him, and his days in the England set-up may be numbered.

Paul Collingwood 5 - Looked horribly out of nick in the Ashes series and there wasn't much to suggest he'd solved his problems in the four one-dayers he played. Did manage a fifty at Lord's, but took just three wickets in the series. Remains the team's best fielder.

Eoin Morgan 4 - One fifty in six games for the Middlesex man, although he did show some nice touches at other times. Has a touch of Neil Fairbrother about him, although yet to prove he is in the former Lancashire man's class.

Matt Prior 4 - Scored just 112 runs in seven games, with a highest score of 37. For a man who can look very classy at times, that's not much of a tally. Continues to impress behind the stumps, which is just as well.

Luke Wright 4 - The Sussex all-rounder hardly set the world alight with the bat and took just three wickets in four games. A spiky presence in the England line-up, but England need more than just spiky characters, they need top-class batsmen and bowlers.

Stuart Broad 3 - Only three matches for the Nottinghamshire all-rounder, and he was hampered by injury. England need him firing on all cylinders at the Champions Trophy.

Tim Bresnan 5 - Ploughed through 50.5 overs in his six matches for six wickets. Very game, as demonstrated by his fighting 31 not out in a losing cause at Trent Bridge, but it is difficult to imagine the world's best batsmen having nightmares about his bowling.

Graeme Swann 6 - Only four wickets in four matches before his five-for in Durham, and he managed just 33 runs in four innings. However, was England's highest wicket-taker and also topped the averages. Still his country's premier spinner.

Adil Rashid 5 - The young Yorkshire leg-spinner showed much promise with bat and ball at The Oval, before being mysteriously left out of the side. When he was recalled, Australia's batsmen went after him and he no longer looked so assured.

Dimitri Mascarenhas 3 - Only two matches for the Hampshire all-rounder and he failed to stake a claim for a permanent place in the side. Like Luke Wright, falls into category of a "bits and pieces" cricketer, leaving you wondering if he offers enough with either bat or ball.

Ryan Sidebottom 3 - Managed just three wickets in six games before being dropped for the final match in Durham, which England won. His form is a worry for the England selectors ahead of the Champions Trophy.

James Anderson 6 - Took 4-55 in the sixth game at Trent Bridge after being rested for two engagements and looked sprightly enough in the final game in Durham, suggesting his dip in form was largely down to fatigue. England will need him in form in South Africa.

Graham Onions 7 - Only one game for the Durham seamer and he bowled well when given his chance in the final encounter. May have done enough to cement a place in the side at the Champions Trophy.


  • Comment number 1.

    Think bopara and shah's marks are a bit generous seeing as they contributed close to nothing. Think their biggest contribution was the comedy of their run outs.

  • Comment number 2.

    I think that's really rough on Wright. He looks like Freddy before he really cracked how to get people out. He's aggressive and far more than a bits and pieces player. I think he deserves serious consideration for tests.

  • Comment number 3.

    SaintWho - Not sure how you can say I've been rough on Wright. He's played 21 ODIs now and averages 22 with the bat and 43 with the ball, which suggests he's neither a top-class bowler or batsman. It's nothing personal, it's just what his stats tell you. Plus, in the four games he played against Australia, he scored 79 runs and took three wickets.

  • Comment number 4.

    I would give Strauss points more if only he wouldn't play silly sweep shots when he should be trying to play through the innings.Joe Denley will be pushing for the Test opening spot shortly.Bopara, Shah and Collingworth should go. Prior, Wright and Bresnan should be given a little longer but Prior should bat at 6 or 7.Broad will prove to be a great player and sadly Sidebottom has had his day thus we must rely on Anderson and Onions with Broad plus perhaps Bresnan as the quicks with Swan and on occasions Rashid in the spin department.

  • Comment number 5.

    Bopara looked out of sorts in the entire Ashes (Test & ODI)series.
    I still cant believe he is in the Champion's Trophy Squad

    Bopara - 3 points

  • Comment number 6.

    Still Ben, rather have Wright and Mascarenhas than Bopara, at least those two can smash it around. With either of them we can entertain the dream that an English player other than Pietersen can smash it all round the ground.

    Bopara is in woeful form, gutted we can't bring in Trott for Champions trophy.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree with CopperEnrique. Bopara is badly out of form and Shah has surely failed too many times at international level to be given any more chances. With the England top order playing so badly, I was dissapointed that our new Ashes hero Jonathan Trott was not given a bat - even after the series had been lost.

    Surely we can't go to South Africa with a top order of Bopara, Prior, Collingwood, Shah and Morgan? But that seems to be the case since the selectors didn't even give anyone else a chance.....

  • Comment number 8.

    bit nice for a team that lost 6 - 1....

  • Comment number 9.

    BD - comments about Wright are based on his performance at the Rose Bowl. I'm a Kent supporter, so have little interest in Sussex players. If you looked at Freddy's stats at the same point in his career, you'd forget him. 2wright looked really dangerous at the Rose Bowl and listening to the commentary at the previous game, sounded the same. What was you assessment of seeing him, not his average ?

  • Comment number 10.

    Ben, I agree you are being harsh on Luke Wright. Do Freddy's stats make him world class? Definately like Luke Wright for the future and for tests

  • Comment number 11.

    Strauss should be nine. We need six more of him.

  • Comment number 12.

    You can't inflate a player's rating for maybe possibly having the potential to perhaps be an okay performer one day. Wright's rating is based on a series in which he contributed very little. We have far too many mediocre all-rounders who are nowhere international class either with the bat or ball still lingering around the England setup. Wright is one of these. He thoroughly deserves his four, although it's probably a better four than Ravi or Shah's.

  • Comment number 13.

    Flintoff was not a world class all rounder at the start of his international career.

    Luke Wright is definitely someone they will persist with in the future. He's exactly the kind of player England need in their ODI team. Morgan as well, he has the shots to succeed

  • Comment number 14.

    Strauss and denly showed some character, rest of the top order is spineless. Maybe Ben could rate the selectors !!cant see this team pose any threat to anybody at the champions trophy!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Harsh on Wright and Mascarenhas in terms of points, 4 and 3 respectively when you gave Bopara and Shah 4s! Bear in mind that the 49 from Bopara in the first game came very slowly and put pressure on the likes of Wright, who scored his 32 at much better than a run a ball, later on to keep up with the required rate. Thought Mascarenhas' bowling was reasonable for the two games, but you are right in terms of the fact that he won't blow opposition batting line-ups away, like the majority of the other bowlers, perhaps with Anderson (if it swings) and Swann being the exceptions.

    England are short of quality all round to be honest, failing to take full advantages of the power-plays, batsmen failing to score hundreds, failing to score in the 'in-between' overs of 15-40, as well as lacking a real strike bowler in the mould of Brett Lee. Cannot see us progressing from our group in the Champions Trophy, where we face Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand...

  • Comment number 16.

    I actually think the 7 for Strauss is generous- it took him until the penultimate match tolearn how to use a batting powerplay, and while he had plenty of starts, no century conversions. Bopara and Shah scored too highly, Morgan too low. While morgan didn't score massively, he was one of the stand-outs at aggressive batting, scoring at a very high rate.

  • Comment number 17.

    Ben, stats say that Andrew Flintoff was a pretty mediocre performer at Test level. Stats also say that Ian Botham was a dead loss in ODIs.

    Statistics should guide you, not be treated as the eternal truth, particularly in one-day cricket where averages are, 80-90% of the time, totally WORTHLESS.

  • Comment number 18.

    Think Bopara's mark a bit high, he was really off form. Also think that the low mark for Broad was not justified - he seems to be the latest prospect to be shot down by the English media, and in my opinion was at least as good as Wright despite only playing 3 ODI.
    All the rest though I do not differ that much.
    What is the problem though? Are our bowlers lacking technique allowing Australia to develop partnerships? Are the Aussies simply much better? Now reverse this when we look at the batting, i.e we either cannot bat well enough or the Aussie bowlers are so much better.
    What are our batting and bowling coaches doing to raise these ratings - not much from what I've seen in these ODIs.

  • Comment number 19.

    With this series strongly in mind I'd be saying goodbye to Shah and Bopara from the top order.

    Wasn't Flintoff named in the CT squad? I'd put Trott in his place.

    Strauss (C)

    Onions, Anderson, Swann and Broad should all be taking 10, Colly and Wright can share the rest.

    Collingwood's all round ability (batting, bowling and fielding) should see him in, while Wright's 6 hitting ability sees him in (as soon as he is set we should take the batting powerplay!) Top three are good, and Morgan is inventive.

    Unfortunate on Bresnan, who had a decent series, but he would be my fourth choice seamer (competing with Anderson, Broad and Onions) and can contribute with the bat. Broad is looking most precarious for me of the seamers in the team.

    When we get KP back, I would put him in for Collingwood or Morgan. I think Morgan will be more useful in the bat, but Colly is useful in the field - and to take Colly out would put a lot of pressure on Luke Wright, especially if KP bowled a couple of overs and got tonked.

    I'll talk about what happens when Flintoff is back when he's played a few county games!

  • Comment number 20.


    I think we should look to give Luke Wright 15 overs or so. 2/3 to settle, 5 for powerplay and then 7/8 non-powerplay at the death to smash it around anyway. We can't think "What if Wright gets out first ball of the powerplay?" we have to be more positive with the batting powerplay, and use it when our best striker is at the crease and has seen a couple come through.

  • Comment number 21.

    Poor ratings!! How can you give sidebottom, Broad and Mascherenhas lower than bopara and shah! Sidebottom althought he didn't blow the Australians away was fairly economical and Mascheranhas bowling was consistant and the Aussies really struggled with him at first his two innings were not great but the second was in a losing cause and was unlucky to get bowled off the thight pad and his first innings he was out getting 19 off 13 trying to hit quick runs. How can you give him a 3. Luke Wright was promising as well I rememeber him bowling well and his batting gives us something extra as does Mascheranhas! Theres no point getting a team full of Denly's and Coliingwoods as we'll end up with scores like 230-4 off our 50 overs, without Pietersen we need big hitters to have any chance of making a high score. I'd rather go out in style than just have a team of players scoring at a dtrike rate of 70!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Broad 3, yet Bopara gets 4? Shocker.

    Bopara, Collingwood and Shah should go now. They have proved that they haven't got what it takes in any form of the game. Broad is a quality player getting burnt out in a terrible ODI squad, as goes for all of our bowlers. Give them something to bowl at and they'll be OK. My team is:


    I put Bell in, until KP is fit. We should treat this ODI side as "developing" and put a few youngsters in and let them get used to international cricket. There is no point whatsoever that 30 year old has beens get chance after chance.

  • Comment number 23.

    i agree with these views on wright. Very harsh. He was given one chance with the ball, he was impressive, 51-2 from 10 i believe?
    He always looked dangerous with the bat, hit some lusty blows, on another day he would have got himself a couple of 50s. Definetley one to persist with, he certainly has talent. Also think your harsh on morgan, to give him the same as bopara is appauling!!!! a fifty and 40+ is better than most can say for that series, and again, he looked imaginative and dangerous at the crease, he is exactly the type of player we need in the middle overs, ive been a big supporter of shah, but i think morgan should take his spot in the line up. Both morgan and wright are decent fielders as well, which is more than can be said for shah and bopara.

  • Comment number 24.

    Ben, did you actually watch the matches?!

    Your ratings are incredibly harsh on Wright and Mascarenas (who was our best bowler in one of the two matches that he played in) and to a lesser extent Broad. Especially compared to the relatively-generous ratings for Bopara, Shah, Collingwood!

  • Comment number 25.

    Cricketing_stargazer - This is one of the most bizarre conversations I've ever had on this blog. "Stats say that Andrew Flintoff was a pretty mediocre performer at Test level." No they don't, they show he was a very handy player, if not a great one. He's not supposed to average 50-odd with the bat and 20 with the ball, he was an all-rounder. "80-90% stats are totally worthless". That's just not true. The stats tell you that Ricky Ponting has scored 27 ODI tons at 42, therefore he's a great player. The stats also tell you that Luke Wright hardly scored any runs or took any wickets in the one-day series. They also tell you he averages 22 in domestic one-dayers, and 37 with the ball, so he's probably not going to set the world alight in international cricket.

  • Comment number 26.

    For once, I disagree with most of your ratings. Shah and Bopara 0, their batting, bowling and fielding were hopeless, and their effect on runouts negative. Onions and Broad didn't play enough to rate, but both should be there. Strauss 6, his sweep and reverse sweep are ridiculous and diminish his authority as captain. Also, he needs to address his body language when things aren't going well. Anderson and Collingwood are brilliant fielders and deserve 7 and 6. Supported by Anderson's bowling and Collingwood's bowling and ability to bat to the situation, even when out of form. Morgan 6, he's good in the field and has attitude and skill as a batsman. Swann 7, he can be a match winner!

  • Comment number 27.

    Rating players is a pretty pointless exercise. The person carrying out the ratings invariably carries his bias for or, against a player in his head.

  • Comment number 28.

    Morgan a 4-come on Ben!

    He had one very good innings with clever shots aswell as hittng sixes-I think he was England's top scorer on two occasions and would have scored more if he had better support and came in at a decent position for once-all this and he's only 23 as well. Did just as much as Denly if not more.
    Him and Denly were finds for me and should have good futures ahead of him.

  • Comment number 29.

    I think that selection for the one day series was seriously flawed. Bopara and Shah do not have either the technique or the mental toughness to survive at the highest level. Why on earth was Trott not picked. He could be the best number 3 we have ever had test & one day if given a chance. My champions Trophy side:

  • Comment number 30.

    Relating rankings to performance is tricky. At the same time it cannot be tinged too muh by emotion, Yours are fairly close, but dare I add mine with a bit of feeling to go with cold facts. I give my lame reasons for the variation in in each case.

    1, Strauss-8. Was under obligation to prove suitability for ODI, else could have tried to go on despite possible lowering of his SR.
    2. Bopara-3. Fell short by far, of expectations
    3. Broad-4. Limited exposure, holds more in promise.
    4. Bresnan-5.
    5. Denly-6.
    6. Colly, Eoin, Prior, Swan, Rashid; 5,4,4,6, 5. respectively are ok.
    7. Anderson-7. Deserves on effort and promise.
    8. Swann, Onions, Mascrahnas, Side Bottom. 6, 7, 3, 3 respectively are ok.
    9. Luke Wright. 5 is fairer on effort and promise.
    10. Shah-3. Never knew his role and probably will never.

    What I feel about Strauss is that agreed he needed to justify his odi credentials, still there is need for him to stay at the crease much longer, may be sacrificing his strike rate a bit. Not many understood their role. Bresnan was a refreshing change.

    Bopara and Shah may not be able to stop being a handicap to England.

  • Comment number 31.

    Think you have been very harsh on Morgan. At 23 years of age has an average in the 30s and gave a much needed fillup to the middle order with his 58 in the 1st trentbridge game and also had a strike rate in the 80s. One of the few players to come out with any credit in my opinion

  • Comment number 32.

    Bopara & Shah
    Limited ability - no mental toughness - ditch them permanently
    Bring in Trott - he has both of the above qualities

  • Comment number 33.

    There used to be an idea that it took 50 games to determine whether a player had what it takes to succeed in ODIs. Well, Ravi Bopara has now played 48 and with an average of 27, no hundreds and a top score of 60, he has hardly set the world alight. To continue to pick him would be to reward failure.

  • Comment number 34.

    How do you expect Luke Wright to get an ODI average of 40 if he's coming in at 7? Especially when his job is to come in and clear the rope...

    His strike rate is good, that is what every other international team have at 6/7. Players like Wright, who come in to his boundaries. They will get out cheaply. But that's the nature of their game

    Comparing Ricky Ponting's record to Wright????

  • Comment number 35.

    I'd have Bresnan a point higher - I think he's come out of the series broadly in credit with some tight bowling and adds some solidity to the lower middle order.

    Shah and Bopara have got to the stage where they have been given a fair run at this and have been found wanting. Bopara in particular has been really disappointing inthe field, where he used to be one of the better fielders in the game.

    As for Luke Wright - he seems to be playing to the team orders, which may need to be looked at. He's no Flintoff, but unlike Bopara, he does seem to have the stomach for the fight and is thus worth persevering with.

  • Comment number 36.

    Why so little debate about Bell. Since his ODI debut he has a better average than anyone except Pietersen (at 35) and a strike rate of 72 (which is better than Bopara!). Fact is he has been better in ODIs than any form of the game yet has been discarded without serious comment.

  • Comment number 37.

    If we can't change the squad before the Champions' Trophy, why are people dreaming that we can put Trott in the side. From the available talent (ho, ho), my XI would be

    Bopara (has to be him or Shah - would you rather be hanged or shot?)
    Rashid (or Wright, depending on conditions, in which case he'd go at 7 and Broad at 8)

    The batting looks light for an ODI side. However, they only have to bat for 50 overs. Perhaps if the top six weren't subconsciously relying on the lower order to bail them out, they'd bat properly themselves. I'd far rather be 120-2 at 30 overs than 150-6.

    Of the above, Morgan and Rashid are still undercooked internationally, but each looked as if he belonged on that platform from time to time during the series.

    Of the players I've rejected, Shah looks, and bats, and fields, and runs, like a nervous wreck. Bresnan has the right character but not the ability. Sidebottom can't rely on taking wickets to make up for the matches when he's not economical, and can't rely on being economical to make up for the matches when he's not taking wickets.

    Not a great side, I agree, but I can't see much better from the squad we're stuck with.

  • Comment number 38.

    The ODI series shows without a doubt that we shouldn't pick 'specialist' ODI players, just the best 11 who are available. Mascarenas, Bopara, Shah are simply not good enough. With Morgan and Wright, the jury's still out,

    Pietersen & Collingwood have held England's ODI side together for too long, without one and with the other hopelessly off form, we offered nothing.

    Still not sure about Bresnan either. He's not good enough for the Test team, but he does bowl some tight spells. However, he's not aggressive enough for the pace he bowls at and doesn't take enough wickets. The rest are mainly test players....

    Pietersen (when fit)

    Rashid/Sidebottom offer options.

  • Comment number 39.

    Some very strange comments on this blog. Why on earth would the author give a rating based on a player's potential to be good some time in the future? The ratings are based on performance in this series alone. Wright didn't perform (along with the rest of the side).

    My view is that probably all marks given are about 1 mark over what I would give. I think the players that offered something (literally, just something) over the series have probably been given higher marks than they deserve simply because of how they looked next to the dross that others were pedalling. Strauss and Swann would fall into this category.

    Beyond that, any player in a side that loses 6-1 to a team that in recent years they have had parity with in ODIs could consider themselves lucky to get a 4.

    Very glad that selection for the Champions Trophy has been delayed. That said, I'd have thought everybody is so sick to death of one-day cricket the majority of fans won't even tune in.

    This should have been a great series. Played earlier in the summer and over fewer matches it would have been a great curtain-raiser for the Ashes. As it is, I'm bored of Australia - that should never be the case. The ECB, ICC et al need to take some drastic action.

  • Comment number 40.

    Should have added, congratulations to Australia for rising above the boredom and putting in an excellent, professional and high quality performance. They could only beat what was in front of them and they did so convincingly.

  • Comment number 41.

    Last year whilst on holiday in France, with nothing but a crackly long-wave reception to listen to the cricket, I heard a tale of England one-day cricketing success as they steam-rollered the now number 1 side, South Africa 4-0.
    Sadly, with England at its cricketing zenith, last year’s Champion’s Trophy was postponed thereby giving us time to plummet to the hitherto unseen one-day depths that we see today.
    A comparison of the teams then and now, however, makes for interesting reading
    The players from then who are no longer there are Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pieterson, Steve Harmison, Ian Bell and Samit Patel.
    If you swap Andrew Strauss for Ian Bell, Graeme Swann for Samit Patel and Graham Onions for Steve Harmison then the change in the team is hardly significant. However, swapping Tim Bresnan for Andrew Flintoff and Eoin Morgan for Kevin Pieterson is the difference that does, indeed, make the difference.
    In that South Africa series Freddie took 10 wickets at 13 each with the ball and averaged 187 with the bat – basically taking over a quarter of the wickets and scoring almost a quarter of the runs. KP averaged 67 with the bat – scoring 17% of our runs - and even managed 2 wickets for 22 runs.
    So, no pressure on Tim and Eoin but they have some big boots to fill if England are going to make any impression on this competition.
    In England’s defence, however, I would suggest that a significant factor in the team last year was the strong attack of Anderson, Harmison, Broad and Flintoff. An attack of Anderson, Onions, Broad and Bresnan, although not quite as potent, is not a million miles away.
    If the batting can click and find something resembling form then who knows what might actually happen.
    So, in my opinion, it is fair to say that, despite the nonsense we have seen from England over the last eternity, they are, potentially/optimistically, only a cartload of confidence from being a pretty good team.
    I’d be tempted by a team of:-
    1. Andrew Strauss
    2. Joe Denly
    3. Eoin Morgan
    4. Paul Collingwood
    5. Luke Wright
    6. Matt Prior
    7. Tim Bresnan
    8. Stuart Broad
    9. Graeme Swann
    10. James Anderson
    11. Graham Onions

  • Comment number 42.

    The only score I'd agree with here is that given to Onions - otherwise they're all far too high. In the Independent today they ran a similar exercise, rating both Shah and Bopoara as 0 out of 10. I thought that was a bit generous - playing so abjectly throughout is worth 0, but the fact that someone else who may have been better was left out of the team (any of Boycott's female relatives, for example) then I think we should be looking at minus figures...

  • Comment number 43.

    Denly looks like he can step up, but not a good series for Sidebottom or Bopara. Lumb and Kietswetter must be worth a look at in 2010.

  • Comment number 44.

    We're still stuck in the same position when it comes to ODI cricket that we were under Peter Moores. Quite simply, we have a bunch of players who don't know what their role is.

    Strauss - I'm not sure he'd get into a good England ODI side but his inclusion means we don't get rolled out for even cheaper totals.

    Bopara - opener? Number 3? Lower down? Either way, we have no idea where his slot is in any cricketing format.

    Shah - I think he's suffered due to the moving about. Lower down the order he has been useful for England. His mental quirks seem to hinder him up the top. Dropping him is a possibility but there's hardly a huge flood of people rolling up to take his place.

    Mascarenhas - frankly I think his international career is over. I don't see why England can't try playing both Swann and Rashid in the side with Rashid taking Dimi's spot. Rashid won't be any worse with the ball and shows a bit with the bat.

    Denly and Morgan will get further chances, although I think England caps have come too early for Morgan, Trott will come in, the clamour for Kieswetter will be huge next year (despite me, a Somerset fan, rating Davies higher with gloves and bat), and Onions will get his chance.

    All in though, even coming up with any sort of discussion on this series is hard work. A simply ludicrous series scheduled at the wrong time and, when it comes to venues like the Rose Bowl, scheduled at ludicrous start times meaning rail users have to leave early for even short trips. Until the transport situation improves at the Rose Bowl, it's a long way off from true international status to my mind.

  • Comment number 45.

    Not sure how Onions can get 7 for 1 game and be rated our best bowler. He bowled OK, but a bit too short in general.

    It's a shame that the Champions Trophy squad had to be chosen so long ago, but it was so can't be changed now. Can't really see how we'll win a game, let's see what changes are made for the SA trip.

    Personally for the tests I'd like to see Carberry and Denly both on board, with one of them to play at 3. For the 1 dayers how about Suppiah as a wild card?

    Anyway, averages don't tell the whole story especially when comparing county to international form. Vaughan and Trescothick had better final test averages than first class before they were picked (if I remember rightly). Talent and temperament are very important, just a shame that we can't seem to find them in the same player at the moment!

  • Comment number 46.

    I was quite astounded yesterday to realise that in his 48th ODI, Bopara passed 1000 runs. I'm all for giving people a chance, but after 48 games, it surely should be obvious that he's not quite good enough if he's not managed to score that many runs - Denly is already a fifth of the way to that milestone in five games, and he's only just getting started.

    The obsession with Bopara being England's number three is puzzling - apart from against a lacklustre West Indies, he has never looked up to it at any spot in the batting order, let alone in the key one of number three.

    Shah's time is up as well and I'd like to see Collingwood gone too. Yes, he can field. Yes, his bowling is of moderate use, but he's a batsman, and his run-scoring hasn't been good enough. That's what he's in the team for, after all.

  • Comment number 47.

    Totally concur with soupbear's assessment of Shah and Bopara. Their effect on the team's performance was entirely negative and both should be rated minus something. As for Rashid,he looks like he has skill and appetite but it seems to me that as a leg-spinner, he either needs to be played consistently or not at all.

  • Comment number 48.

    Two of Englands best one dayers (current form - look at Warwickshires last few games)Bell and Trott are not even mentioned for the upcoming Champions Trophy - are the England selectors mad?

  • Comment number 49.

    Also, it is worth bearing in mind that this was a blanket squad for the Twenty20 and ODI matches. This year's Twenty20 finals day had Kent, Sussex, Somerset and Northants. This year's FP Final had Hampshire and Sussex. Between them, those five teams had just four players in the squad - Denly, Wright, Prior and late call-up Mascharenas.

    The problem here is two-fold - the players who are shining on the county circuit (Darren Stevens stands out from the teams above - one of the best limited-overs batsmen in the land) don't get a look in from the selectors, while the centrally-contracted England players seldom play for their counties in these competitions, so are hardly getting the chance to improve at that level and prove that they are worth their places in this squad.

  • Comment number 50.


    I agree with all of your assessments. I don't understand why Wright is so popular here - to me he looks like a slogger who may occasionaly do well against weak attacks, but won't score consistently at international level. Also, his bowling is not threatening at this level.

    I don't know why the selectors don't just try picking our best batsmen and bowlers, rather than persisting with one bits-and-pieces player after another.

  • Comment number 51.

    The selectors left Alastair Cook out and that cost England dear.
    England ODI rubbish total rubish. Also Collingwood retire please you do not have the skill or speed of scoring to be in the England side.
    That whole series was just rubbish and until we get som decent selectors nothing will change.

  • Comment number 52.

    Hopefully when KP is fit again the team will look something like this:

    1. Strauss
    2. Denly
    3. Trott
    4. KP
    5. Morgan
    6. Prior
    7. Wright (or Freddie if fit)
    8. Broad
    9. Swann
    10. Anderson
    11. Onions

    I'm not sure how helpful bowling averages are in one day cricket. Who is better? Someone who gets 1 for 40 in 5 overs, or 0 for 40 in 10? Runs per over and how well that person bowls at the death or in power plays needs taking into account. Also, middle to late order batsmen can come in for the slog and end up getting out cheap.

  • Comment number 53.

    Usually the TMS Blog rating's are fairly good, but not this time.

    What did Bopara, Shah and Prior do to be marked the same as Morgan and Wright and better than Broad, Mascarenhas and Sidebottom.

    Wright and Mascarenhas bowled accurately (see their economy rates). Wright averaged 34 with the ball andalmost helped us achieve victory in the first game with the bat. Not worth a 4.

    Sidebottom's economy was mainly good but got hit around at Trent Bridge. Broad didn't have his best series but he didn't look hopelessly bad like our middle-order.

    Our batting crumbled in every game. Yet for most of the games, we restricted Australia to a gettable total. Our batting lost us the series, but looking at your ratings it doesn't look that way.


    Strauss - 7 - led from the front but should have scored more
    Bopara - 2 - awful batting, slow run rate and poor in the field
    Denly - 6 - decent start
    Shah - 2 - got himself out too many times
    Collingwood - 4 - better than some make out but still not great
    Morgan - 4 - nothing special but pick of the middle order
    Prior - 2 - awful, confused batting. Decent keeping.
    Wright - 6 - useful runs and economical bowling.
    Broad - 4 - has done better
    Bresnan - 5.5 - spirited batting, average bowling
    Swann - 6 - got a 5fer, disappointing with the bat though
    Rashid - 5 - excellent at Lords, not in the other games though
    Mascarenhas - 5 - economical and hit a few runs
    Sidebottom - 4 - mostly economical but didn't get wickets
    Anderson - 6 - got wickets but not his best series either.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think Bopara needs to go back to Essex for a season and really figure his game out. Clearly he is a very talented player, but he's not geting the best out of himself. Shah I think might need casting out now. I think Trott would come in at number 3 or 4 and give a real sense of solidity. When was the last time the ODI team had any sense of solidity? In a perfect world my England XI for ODIs at the moment would be (given 0 injuries) Strauss, Denly, Trott, KP, Morgan/Joyce, Prior, Flintoff, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Sidebottom/Onions.

  • Comment number 55.

    If you look at Luke wrights performance over the whole series then your score is probably fair (granted I know thats what you are rating them on) but if you look at some of his individual performances (certainly the first game) then he was one of englands best performers.
    Bit of a broken record post this but why hasnt alistair cook been picked? I had heard argument recently that he is too similar to strauss, can someone explain to me why that would be a bad thing!!
    The runs he scored for essex recently have come with strike rates in the 90s so lets get him in the side!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    Mercifully, I haven't seen much of this series, so can't really be in a position to comment on the individual ratings. However, the series result came as no surprise whatsoever. Swirvy is quite right: specialist one-day players should only be picked if, as in the case with the Australians, they are of international standard. One-day county specialists are not international players, and England's long-standing mediocrity at this form of the game can be traced roughly back as far as they have been persisting with this policy.
    However, I also think that England are a pretty poor batting side at test level at the moment (only Strauss and the lower middle-order enabled them to paper over the cracks and end up with the Ashes), so maybe even the best international players would not have made too much difference. England will only improve at this game when they can unearth batsmen who have both talent and temprament.

  • Comment number 57.

    Wasn't Wrights Innings in the first game the one innings that gave us a fighting chance in any of the games? As the recognised 'whacker' in the team he will never have a massive average. Also he was out in an unfortunate fashion! I feel for the lad. Thought he was quite influential!

  • Comment number 58.

    4 for Bopara? Square that, and that's the number of runs he normally scores.

  • Comment number 59.

    If you must score people at all, score them against reasonable expectations. The reasonable expectation for younger players coming into the side SHOULD be that they score a few runs, take a couple of wickets, back up those who should be the senior players and look like they'll be able to build on it (Anything more is a bonus). Did Denly, Morgan, Wright, Rashid and Bresnan deliver against that expectation? Mostly, yes.

    The expectation from the senior, more experienced players is that they score the bulk of the runs, bowl most of the overs and hopefully take control of the game. Did they? Strauss and the bowlers for the most part, yes. Prior and, especially Collingwood, no.

    Unfortunately, in addition to Prior and Collingwood being out of form with the bat (and given the fact that the schedules have had them playing almost non-stop international cricket since February that was going to happen to somebody) there were two players, Shah and Bopara, who not only failed to perform themselves, but managed to undermine (and sometimes run out) everybody else as well and then compounded the felony by fielding to a standard even fast bowlers of the 1920s would have considered unacceptable.

    So no, it is not fair to bring Wright into the side to bash a quick 35 at the end and then complain that he didn't bash the slow 70 that he'd been left needing and isn't fair to complain that Morgan wasn't able to improvise finishes when the start had already been blown away. And it definitely isn't fair to give the same low ratings to junior players for not having the experience to rescue the side as to the senior players who let the side down in the first place.

  • Comment number 60.

    Giving 'D'opara 2 squared is being lavishly generous. He's a minus 2 in my book.

    But if there's any consolation, West Indies are in the Champions Trophy.

  • Comment number 61.

    Not in our group though, splendidsparrow!

  • Comment number 62.

    I seen too many poor ODI performances from England over the last 20 years, now I'm starting to think that it isn't just bad selection from the top, but maybe we're just no good at the game.

    From the recent series though, there are a few who've had more than their fair share of chances, maybe we should include Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards instead of Bopara and Shah, I have no doubt they'd show more guts and almost certainly more ability too.

  • Comment number 63.

    It is too generous to give 4 to Shah and Bopara. In the games I've seen they have been a liability in three key areas of the game: batting, fielding, running between wickets. Bopara made the same mistake THREE TIMES - taking a single from a ball going to Ponting and so stuffed Prior, himself and then Denly (last game). Where's his cricket brain? Both Shah and Bopara are capable of running partners out because of suicidal calling. It is not surprising their partners now hesitate. They don't trust them! Bring KP back into the equation and the result could be a full blown pantomime. In his absence it has been forgotten how many times KP is guilty of running his partners out, especially at the start of his innings.

    Shah, Bopara 2 each.

    I would give Colly an extra point for his fielding. Wouldn't you do that for Ponting?

  • Comment number 64.

    Don't see how you can give Onions a 7 based on only one game, and that in relatively favourable conditions. I have a lot of time for him, but he can't deserve more than 4 or 5 in this series unless his drinks carrying was beyond superb.

    I don't think Rashid should be playing in ODIs at all at this stage of his career. He is a brilliant prospect, but a leggie needs a lot of time to mature, and being clobbered by the best attacking batsmen in the world won't do him any good. However, considering the 'batsmen' in the side, he could probably be selected to play at #5, and not be asked to bowl unless the conditions were very favourable! Both he and Bresnan are too low in the order - they are both probably better with the bat than Broad.

  • Comment number 65.

    I think just about everybody is becoming big fans of both Strauss and Flower, however, the team didn’t look like it knew what to do next in this series. So do you blame the management, or ask the players – which are all capable – to stand up and deliver? I go for the latter, running between the wickets isn’t that hard and our boys made it look like the krypton factor. Collingwood should of played his last game already and Bopara looks like he needs more time in county cricket, hopefully he’ll be back. They didn’t have a choice but to stick to this team for the Champions trophy, hopefully they’ll win at least one game and it’ll be all change for the winter tours. Strauss and Flower will have had the chance to find there feet a little more. My team for the SA tour:

    Deny (needs a really good run in the team)
    KP (assuming he’s fit)
    Trott (why is he not in the team already!!)

  • Comment number 66.

    I think we have to remember what Wright's role in the team is.

    Coming in at 7, it's his strike rate that is more important than his `average` which means little in modern ODI cricket.
    Wright provides impetus at around the time either 1)the batting powerplay is taken or 2) the final push is on.
    It doesn't matter if he only gets 25, as long as his 25 came at 100+rpb.

    Also he is Englands 5th/6th bowler along with Colly. Don't measure him by the amount of wickets he takes - as he isn't one of the strike bowlers. Wright bowled with some useful economy at times, and didn't embarass himself with the ball.
    He is also a lively fielder with a good arm and safe hands.

  • Comment number 67.

    With this band of selectors you can Guarantee that Bopara & Shah will be in. Re Barmy -Nev How many chances do they want. You say the players who are responsible; well just look at their records.
    Re summing up I was surprised you gave 4 points to them. I would given them 2 & thats generous. 1 point for turning up. Prior 3 & his wicket keeping in the one day games is poor

    Strauss should be 8
    Denly 7

  • Comment number 68.

    Strauss we have no choice
    Denly deserves a good run
    Morgan should be given a chance same as Denly
    Mascarenas whike we wait for KP
    Wright the big hitter all rounder
    Foster or Prior, I have a feleing for Foster
    Broad has to be in the side, still believe he can bowl
    Rashid Sri lanka have 2 spinners and he has scored 100,s this season needs a run
    Swan good enough and can bat
    Anderson best bowler and fielder
    Onions or Bresnan Onions if there is swing around
    No Bopara has scored aainst the weakest bowling attack in the West Indies history No Shah, as bad as Bopara in run outs and batting looks laboured. No Collingwood never had the takent at this level.

    But we are missing at least 2 quality batsmen okay KP will be back one day, maybe Trott in place of either Morgan or Wright, but w ehave to face up to it, we are miles behind S.A Sri Lanka and Australia, we may need to wait a few years for people to come through. like Rashid, Wright and Morgan.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi All

    New user!

    Sorry this may have been covered before but are the bbc covering nay of the champions trophy matches on the radio either Radio 4 LW or sports extra?


  • Comment number 70.

    Overall a pretty fair assessment, Ben. I'm tempted to say even a little on the kind side.

    England are looking a pretty woeful one day outfit right now. Sad thing is that despite this one cant argue much with the squad; there aren't too many other players in English county cricket sticking a hand up right now.

    Ideally, Trott & Cook deserve a go in place of Bopara and Shah. Problem with those two is that they are likely to cause the fall of other wickets, not just their own by poor running; the rule about the Champions trophy Squad is completely daft, having to announce it ages ago. It seems a pity that the ECB didnt figure out that it would have been a good idea to play the ODIs earlier in the season to test out selections in real games ... clarity of hindsight, eh.

    Given that Shah and Bopara look like walking wickets right now, Denly has yet to seriously prove himself and Colly is in poor form, England are looking pretty weak in batting. (Over to you, Straussy ...)

    Sticks in my craw to say it, but England are sorely missing KP (no pun intended.)

  • Comment number 71.

    Bopara has had the worst summer by an England cricketer I can remember. Forget those centuries against West Indies, they are gone. His form in both the Test and ODI series was truly abysmal, and yet he still has a place in the side for some reason. I'd be very tempted to never pick him again for England.

  • Comment number 72.

    Totally agree Gavelaa.............. How he keeps getting picked who knows maybe they will finally drop him tomorrow, he sure needs it like you say make it permanent. Shah can go too once this tournaments over for us in about 5 days, Collingwood should be kept in he can always do his bit as a bowler & more than enough as a fielder, still out on Morgan, too many silly shots suddenly took over, & he chipped himself out stupid ! Onions a must, Bresnan better than some worse than others he can play toss a coin if you must.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think you are completely wrong on Mascarenhas - if he were ever given the chance i think he would shine for us. His bowling was fine and he came in under orders to slog out because earlier batters had fallen behind. Acually his treatment by Enbgland has been fairly shabby.

    The IPL bidders aren't mugs - unlike the England selectors and several of the players they choose.

    I hope i'm wrong but i can only see defeat for this lot in South Africa.

  • Comment number 74.

    ... and I can only say, I STLL think Malinga's a "slinger" .... his action is VERY suspect!

  • Comment number 75.

    Why no radio coverage? It's a disgrace.

  • Comment number 76.

    yup, no radio coverage = disgrace.

  • Comment number 77.

    I need to go back to BenDirs' comments 3 and 25 about Stats and Luke Wright.
    I've just checked Flintoff's stats and, after 21 ODIs he had a batting average of 20.53 and a bowling average of 35.42. Not far off Luke Wright's current stats.
    I'm not suggesting that Luke Wright will ever be as good as Flintoff became, but to dismiss SaintWho's comments on the basis of stats seems a little lazy.

  • Comment number 78.

    Afraid I'm going to upset your Mum. Shah (dear Monty P. is a better fielder - at least he tries) and Bopara never justified even their second selection and to suggest they were over half as good as the Captain and two thirds as good as Anderson is an insult to S & A. But (your rating for) Onions made me cry. Sorry about that! He certainly showed promise and should be picked again, but one match and you rate him better than Anderson and as good as Strauss - get real.

  • Comment number 79.

    Just like to say; following yesterdays performance by Owais Shah, I have printed out a copy of my previous posting on this blog and am now munching away on it for lunch.

    Now Owais - just play like that a lot more often ...

  • Comment number 80.

    One more comment on the Luke Wright debate as you seem guided by statistics. Our top order of Denley, Strauss, Shah, Collingwood, Morgan all have averages between 30 and 34 and all have strike rates of between 62 and 77 i.e. around 4 to 4.5 per over. Wright's average may be only 23 but his strike rate is almost 104, over 6 an over. He's there to score quickly and the stats show he does it pretty well - of course his average will be lower than those who score more slowly.
    On the bowling side you point out Wright's lack of wickets but conveniently omit to state that his economy rate of 4.82 is better than Anderson, Broad, Sidebottom, Bresnan, Rashid or Collingwood - only Swann has a better economy rate. In a game where economy rate is as important as taking wickets I think this makes him a valuable part of the bowling attack too. This just goes to show you can make statistics say anything you want them to if you omit half the data.

  • Comment number 81.

    ziggythehamster: The idea that economy rate is *as important* as taking wickets seems to me to be wrong. Economy rate is important -- more important than in Tests -- but taking wickets averts future fast run-scoring as players play themselves in more. England's recent victory over Sri Lanka shows how wickets are important.

    Not that I care much about ODIs, personally. I'd trade any chance of victory in any ODI we will ever play to win the Ashes every time.

    As for Luke Wright, he's OK. I can see him being used for a while to come, but if a genuinely decent all-rounder appears, I think he's gone (if Stuart Broad's ODI batting were to improve, he'd potentially be it, but he clearly isn't at the moment, although his bowling is generally OK).

  • Comment number 82.

    England had a poor series, to put lightly. But the Champions Trophy proved we have potential in a still developing side. Team if everyone was available for ODI:
    Andrew Strauss
    Joe Denly
    Kevin Pietersen
    Jonathan Trott
    Paul Collingwood
    Matt Prior
    Andrew Flintoff
    Stuart Broad
    Tim Bresnan
    Graeme Swann
    James Anderson

    KP injured for a while so Eoin Morgan for me.
    Freddie injured for possible career, so Owais Shah.
    2 spinners needed? Adil Rashid no contest.
    Ryan Sidebottom is not firing anymore, so not in my squad.
    Graham Onions carrying drinks unless injury or lack of form.
    Let Ravi Bopara chill for a bit, and then he comes back.


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