BBC BLOGS - Sam Sheringham's blog
« Previous | Main | Next »

How England rated against India

Post categories:

Sam Sheringham | 21:38 UK time, Monday, 22 August 2011

England's 4-0 thrashing of India was a true team triumph, with just about everyone chipping in along the way.

 

The batsmen scored their “daddy” hundreds, the bowlers took 20 wickets over and over again, and Graeme Swann even got to unveil his new celebration after a match-winning performance on the final day at The Oval.

 

But inevitably, there were those whose stars shone brighter than others, and one or two who have a little work to put in before the winter tours.

 

Here are my player ratings. Have a read, then jump in with some of your own.

 

 

eng

England"s team, including captain Andrew Strauss, celebrate winning the test series against India 4-0 at the Oval cricket ground. PHOTO: GETTY

Andrew Strauss (captain) - 6

On the face of it, 229 runs at 38 is not bad going but Strauss only went past 50 once, and even then his 87 at Edgbaston was totally eclipsed by Alastair Cook's 294. Plenty of starts, not enough substance, but Strauss gets an extra point for skippering England to the Test summit.

 

Alastair Cook - 7

 

"Chef's" offerings had been distinctly ordinary before the sumptuous feast he served up at Edgbaston. He batted for longer than any other England batsmen except Len Hutton during his 364, and set up England for a landslide victory. Despite producing very little in his other innings, the majesty of that knock lifts Cook above his skipper.

 

Jonathan Trott - 5

 

Opened up with 70 at Lord's but failed in his next three innings, the last of which can be discounted owing to the fact that he was effectively batting with one arm. Past record makes him a certainty for the Pakistan Tests in January.

 

Ian Bell - 9

 

What a series, what a year, what a player Bell has become. Two huge chance-less hundreds, the second a double, were both scored at his favoured number three position, but he will probably have to revert to five when Trott is fit again. A pleasure to watch – his cover drive and late cut are things of beauty - he misses out on a 10 due to self-confessed naivety in the Trent Bridge run-out saga.

 

Kevin Pietersen - 9

 

Will this go down as the series when KP finally rediscovered his mojo? After a pretty ordinary couple of years, he got to 100 the ugly way at Lord's before going through the gears to make 202 not out. Two 60s and a swashbuckling 175 at The Oval put him right up there with Bell. 

 

Eoin Morgan - 6

 

A class act against spin, the Dubliner scored a useful 70 to help England take control at Trent Bridge and a century at Edgbaston. But he was dropped twice on the way to three figures in Birmingham and question marks still remain against quality seam bowling.

 

Ravi Bopara - 6

 

Came in on a hiding to nothing at Edgbaston and was promptly out for seven, but looked comfortable in scoring 44 untroubled runs at The Oval. Given precious little chance to prove he can perform the Paul Collingwood role with the ball.

 

Matt Prior - 8

 

A total of 271 runs at 68 only tells half the story of a fantastic series for England's stumper. He got England out of jail with a counter-attacking hundred at Lord's and helped Tim Bresnan see off a wilting India attack at Trent Bridge. His glovework was infinitely superior to his opposite number MS Dhoni, but he blotted his copybook slightly by failing to appeal for a stumping of Sachin Tendulkar and dropping the Little Master on 85.

 

Tim Bresnan - 9

 

The Yorkshireman has a Test record that now reads played 10, won 10. He produced a supreme all-round performance on day four at Trent Bridge, smashing 90 runs and taking 5-48 to help England romp home. He followed that up with another fifty and nine more wickets in the last two Tests.

 

Stuart Broad - 10

 

If he was the bowling equivalent of Clark Kent against Sri Lanka, Broad was flying through the south London skies in a red cape by the end of the series. After opening up with a golden duck and a wide at Lord's, he snaffled 25 wickets at 13 and scored 182 runs at 60. Trent Bridge, when he came to England's rescue with bat and ball in the first innings, will go down as one of the great all-round displays.

 

Graeme Swann - 7

 

Did very little on unhelpful pitches in the first three Tests, but was hardly needed as England's three seamers were tearing through India. Finally showed his match-winning qualities on the final day at The Oval to finish the series on a high.

 

James Anderson - 8

 

After a five-fer at Lord's, England's Mr Consistency was slightly overshadowed by Broad and Bresnan but still managed to rack up 21 wickets at just under 26. Always capable of pulling an unplayable delivery out of the hat, the ball that uprooted VVS Laxman's off stump at The Oval will give the India veteran nightmares.

 

Chris Tremlett - 6

 

Just the one Test for big Chris before he was sidelined by hamstring trouble. His height gives him the steepling bounce off a length that can trouble any batsman, but faces a battle to win his place back from Bresnan for the Pakistan Tests.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    A fair assessment. Although I would knock two points off Trott and one off Morgan and Bopara.

    Trott is a fine asset but he failed this series.

    It is time for James Taylor. Bopara didn't have the chance to prove himself, but then, we've already seen what he can do before. A rare poor selection. Taylor would have benefited more from that experience.

    From the Indian side, only Praveen Kumar and Rahul Dravid would want to see their ratings, the rest were embarrassing.

  • Comment number 2.

    Swann's wickets came at around 40 a-piece so 7 is a tad generous. I'm slightly worried because he hasn't been in the same form over the past 12 months (a teeny bit disappointing in Australia too) yet is still lauded by our OTT pundits, Vaughan guiltiest of this one in particular, as easily the best spinner in the world. Hopefully he can refind his form and bowl a bit more consistently because it could become a potential weak link.

  • Comment number 3.

    Harsh on Strauss I think. His overall captaincy at least warrants 7 - I would have given Trott a 6 and Cook an 8

  • Comment number 4.

    i like that England's batting looks so strong, that the blogger was compelled to give the top 3 scores of under 8. for my money, i'd say Cook has been a little hard done by with a rating of 7. perhaps 200s are going to be common fayre with this batting line up, but such a score, and scored with such batting nous, would elevate that rating a touch for me. at least an 8. just for his arm-pit catch in the third test i'd give him a 9.
    Prior has been extraordinary. more performances like in this series and he'll be giving his coach(Flower) a lot of happiness and nostalgia.

    good blog. interesting reading.

  • Comment number 5.

    Sam, not bad effort but based on your own scoring methodology I'd give you no more than a 6. Strauss must be worth more than Bopara just for contributions with the bat alone and add to that the way he captained which I thought was probably the best he's done. I'd give Strauss a 7, Morgan probably a 5 and a half, Bopara for failing to make hay when he could have filled his boots a 4. Prior a 9...docking points for not appealing and dropping a fairly difficult chance off Tendulkar is somewhat harsh, as is the score of 6 for Tremlett who contributed to more than just the four wickets he took by softening up the Indian batsmen.

  • Comment number 6.

    The numbers look harsh considering how they destroyed India, the top rated test side at the beginning of the summer, over the four tests but I agree with your justifications.
    I would give them all an extra point just for the whitewash and the team spirit they have shown, even Broad who probably deserves an 11.

  • Comment number 7.

    Bopara = Strauss? Managed to get a scratchy 44 under no team pressure. Versus captained a team to a world class series win. Hmm.

  • Comment number 8.

    #2 - Swann a weak link? Swann's control when he isn't taking wickets is the reason England have been so successful. When you only have four bowlers you need someone who can control an end. Sometimes he'll run through a side and sometimes he'll support the rotation of the seamers. Stats don't tell the whole story my friend...

  • Comment number 9.

    A lot of hoo-hah about failing to appeal for the Tendulkar stumping. It would have taken an umpire with incredible eyesight to even think of referring it upstairs, or a brave captain to review the decision. It took several minutes and slow motion replays for anyone to spot Tendulkar moved his foot off the ground by a few mm.

  • Comment number 10.

    England have a settled batting lineup so continuing to pick Bopara during brief absenses makes perfect sense to me. I'm not sure its beneficial for a young player to come in for a test or two and then be dropped once the senior player is fit again. In those circumstances I'd rather have a regular experienced stand in who accepts his role and won't get flustered by the occasion and that we bide our time with the youngsters.

  • Comment number 11.

    An interesting assessment, but I'd challenge your marks for Strauss and Prior. Both should rate higher. You cannot underplay Strauss's contribution as a captain and driving-force - would get 9 from me. Ditto Prior, whose contribution to the team's energy in the field rates at least a 9.

  • Comment number 12.

    Seems a fair assessment overall, to those who think Cook deserved higher, take out the 'Daddy-Hundred' and he really doesn't have a lot to show from the series, while all of the batsmen who rated higher than him have been a bit more consistent in the big scores.

    Bopara is a bit generous in my opinion though, but it could just be a case of how the scores are dished out, in general it seems that 6 is the base line, and if you don't play enough of the series to change that due to circumstances then it can't really change, but who knows, I could be wrong. I still think he shouldn't have been picked in the first place, no disrespect to him but I think England missed a golden opportunity to see how they play with 5 bowlers. Every player bar Anderson has a first class hundred to their name, so why bother with the extra batsman when Broad/Bres/Swann can get runs, and I know Ravi can bowl a bit, but his batting didn't really make any impact at all, and his bowling was nothing compared to what Tremlett or Monty could have produced if picked instead of him, and in the winter we may need another bowler on the tough sub-continent tracks.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hmmm #10... Is that not the best situation to bring a youngster in? What other scenario would you prefer?

    "Here you go son, you're our new number 6 - you need to perform, coz there's no-one else!"

  • Comment number 14.

    Morgan should feel lucky to be rated 6, as he tended to fail when needed, and chip in only when the job was done. Immense from Broad, in the first 2 tests you can't put enough value on those contributions.

  • Comment number 15.

    Bopara scored higher than Trott? Trott in those first two tests was batting during the most helpful bowling conditions, and his 70 in the first test was crucial in helping to prevent a collapse. Bopara scored 40 odd when India were already beaten.

  • Comment number 16.

    @ #12: Isn't that a tad like saying Geoff Hurst had a poor World Cup final, apart from the 3 goals he scored??? KP has been living off one score a series for some time now, and no one seems to mind, so I think Cook's record this series is more than enough to justify his rating.

    Personally i'm not a fan of Bopara at this level, but I can see the point the selectors are trying to make with their consistency. However, it surely can't be too long before James Taylor forces a decision, as the scores he makes and the manner in which they are made are hard to ignore.

    The XI that won the final Test, with Trott in for Bopara are no-brainers for this winter. It's the supporting cast that interests me. Personally that should be Tremlett, Onions, Davies (back-up 'keeper and, if a batsman gets injured, can play as 'keeper with Prior meritting his places as a batsman only if needs be), James Taylor and then a second spinner. That one still tests my judgement though. Thoughts???

  • Comment number 17.

    We were so utterly dominant and no-one really played badly at all. But I don't think we really compare to the great Aussie team just yet. I've had a look at the two teams...

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 18.

    Good assessment on some. However I think following require adjusting:

    I agree with others; Strauss's rating is harsh. Some of his tactics were exceptional. Often recognising when a plan was not working and then adjusting it. I would suggest 8.5 for Strauss.

    I would question putting Bopara and Morgan both on 6. I would have separated then by half a mark (maybe Morgan 6.5).

    Swann - while good on the last few days of this test was good. He was swatted somewhat and not as effective at "holding an end up" as he has been in other series - so 6.5 seems fair.

    And an obvious omission - Andy Flower - 10!

  • Comment number 19.

    This is more or less right, although I agree with the others above about Strauss. Yes he hasn't scored a huge amount of runs, but he's a complete team player, and his job is to occupy the crease, and take the overs out of the ball to allow 3,4,5 to get in on the runs. He's done this consistently well. With the extra marks for captaining (which history shows almost always drops a players average scores), I'd give him at least an 8.

  • Comment number 20.

    Fair assessment - I'd have given Bell 10 though, outstanding series, amazing haul of runs and even better because of how he plays. I think everyone has contributed in some way - Trott should come back in at 3 for Pakistan, Bell at 5. I agree with the previous post that supported the inclusion of Bopara - he is a good player, and I think its the way to go when you KNOW that the senior player will come back in. When it is a case of somebody being dropped or retiring, then is the time to bring in a youngster like Taylor, when he can be backed with at least 2 series to get into test cricket (preferably a series both abroad and at home). That said - I'm still not quite convinced by Morgan as a test match batsman - I think there is even a case to elevate Prior up the order.

  • Comment number 21.

    Bopara a 6 (same as Strauss) and 1 more than Trott on 5 is ridiculous. Come on Sam you can do better than this - you're one of the link men for the whole of the matches, you're not just looking at the pure stats. Strauss should be at least a 7 for taking us to the top of the tree! Bopara didn't add a great deal (failed once when admittedly in a no-win situation and didn't stamp his authority in game 4). As previously mentioned giving younsters a bit of experience in a relatively low risk environment of a winning team where the other batsman are scoring runs for fun must be the way to go.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think you were generous giving Morgan a 6. He was lucky to get his century and is clearly not a top class test batsman. I would of been looking at blooding Taylor in the 4th test in Morgan's place and playing Adil Raschid as the 2nd Spinner/Batsman instead of Bopara.

    I think we have a strong enough line up to allow us to play 6 Batsmen and 5 Bowlers. Especially given how good Broad, Bresnan, Prior and Swann are with the Bat, it means that effectively we bat to 9 or 10 and take Jimmy as our specialist Night-watchman. If we can find another good spin bowling all rounder we would be able to really go for it on the sub-continent.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'd give Bopara N/A as I dont think we saw enough to draw a conclusion. Strauss a 7 or 8. I dont think we give enough credit to the first day of the first test where not many runs were scored but Strauss and Trott held onto their wickets in extremely challenging circumstances.

    On a side note if you look at the graph of test rankings on Agnews site gives a great idea of how far England need to go to be considered with the Australian team of the 1990s. They were 20 points clear at number 1 for years with everyone else battling for 2nd. Now everyone is battling for 1st since the Ozzie star has dimmed but England need to put some serious clearance between them and #2 to be considered great.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm not at all convinced by Morgan. England are able to hide him at the moment, but I don't think he's a long term fixture. I'd like to have seen Taylor given a chance once the series was won.
    There will be times when we really need two spinners, which realistically means playing 5 bowlers and batting Prior at 6. With Bresnan and Broad at 7 & 8, it shouldn't really be a problem. But who is the second spinner? Borthwick?

  • Comment number 25.

    Whilst Strauss obviously merits high marks for his captaincy and england's overall performance, he did drop a few catches which you would have thought India's batting line up would have punished more harshly. If Prior gets penalised for dropping Tendulkar and not appealing then surely Strauss should as well.

  • Comment number 26.

    If you analyse each players performance in the series Test by Test I think some of the top end scores are a little high.

    The achievement in this series is not about individual players but the team as a whole.

    There was always someone who gave a standout performance in every innings, fielding or batting, which meant that no player felt the burden that they must perform or the team will fail, which is a different pressure to needing to play well to stay in the side.

    Everyone played their part - big or small, which is the key to success.

    Bopara was a little unlucky as he was in a no win situation especially coming in when he did.

    The big question England face is Bell or Trott at No.3 and whether Bresnans batting is good enough for a genuine all rounder, thus allowing us five frontline bowlers.

  • Comment number 27.

    The best and most complimentary comment I can make about this England side is that they have room for improvement. The catching let them down and I'm sure Andy Flower will work on this.

    They are a great team and when one fails the others produce performances to cover. I love the fact that no one player was head and shoulders above the rest and that is what great teams are about. Also, look at the number of double hundreds scored. All the England side have an insatiable appetite and long may this continue.

  • Comment number 28.

    Tell you what, compared to the slatings most post series ratings blogs get Sam looks to have pretty much found the holy grail!! a few slight amendments but it looks like he has summed it up. To me Bresa is the example of how England have changed. He has worked really hard and become a class act. He still seems to absolutely love every game he plays and he must be brilliant for team motivation. Well done England, enjoy the glory.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm going to have to add my voice to the chorus of disaprovals at Stauss only being given a 6 - sorry Sam but that is far off the mark.

    Firsly an average of 38 against one of the top teams is a pretty decent average. Look at the long term averages of the top batsman in the world and only a few are much above 50 with a disproportionate amount of the their higher scores against the lower teams i'm wondering what you would 'expect'? As an opening batsman he also faces the new ball far more than other batsman and should therefore have a sligthly lower average.

    I'd give him a 7 as a batsman and then we have to consider his fielding, captaincy, leadership and tactics. Given England's demolishing of India in every test and how good a team they are in the field - somehitn which Strauss can take some credit then that clealy adds another point. So 8, this still feels less than generous but lets leave it there.

  • Comment number 30.

    Here's a meaningful statistic:

    Over the four tests, England scored 2,809 runs and lost 47 wickets. Average per wicket 59.6. Notional average innings therefore 596.

    India scored 2,044 runs and lost 80 wickets. Average per wicket 25.5. Notional average innings therefore 255.

    Says it all.

  • Comment number 31.

    I believe the team deserve a score of 9 / 10 the odd catch went down during the series and India dominated a couple of sessions at Trent Bridge & Lord's but notably two key things happened with this team.

    1. They learnt from mistakes against Sri Lanka particularly Broad

    2. They played as a team and someone was always willing to step-up when needed

    Rather than questioning places for Morgans, Bopara, Finn etc I would suggest that England can now safely rotate and develop players while keeping a balanced team in different conditions. There is genuine strength in depth with only the second spinner to be identified and groomed (post Swann) but the Australians never managed to cover properly for Warne due to the limited opportunities and the vast chasm between him and meer mortal spinners.

  • Comment number 32.

    #26 "The big question England face is Bell or Trott at No.3"

    I don't think this is a question at all. Bell's done very well at number 3 in the last couple of Tests, but against a very weak bowling attack, especially in the last Test. That's not to say that in his new found form he wouldn't be a success at no 3 against all opposition, but Trott has already proven himself there and has the skillset needed to see off the new ball in difficult conditions, which he's often had to do playing virtually as an opener at times. Think of Pakistan last Summer.

  • Comment number 33.

    Take each individual's score and add 2 - teamwork such as this team exhibited comes from individual commitment and discipline, so the individual scores should reflect each person's injection to the esprit de corps of this fantastic team. Many former England teams were fragile and prone to mammoth collapses following a minor wobble, and any youngsters who weren't around in those days and don't believe this can simply look at the Indian team to see how we used to behave. Apologies if my "+2" method takes some of the players' scores over 10 ...

  • Comment number 34.

    38 against India's bowling attack isn't that great. It's easier when your bowlers have restricted the opposition to a low total too. And it's easier when your mates are providing stable partnerships. (although I guess Strauss didn't stay in long enough to bat with Bell or Pietersen.

    I think Strauss was below par with the bat. If your number 7, 8 and 9 are scoring significant runs then he should be too.

    BUT, it's obvious that people think Strauss' captaincy should be given more credit. Not just for his on field decisions but for the remarkable turnaround under Flower. Those two seem to be a excellent partnership.

    Strauss is the perfect captain right now, when England are on top. He will first eliminate the prospect of the loss, then go for the win.

    Strauss hasn't scored a ton for a long time, that his average of 38 looks poor is a testament to England's dominance.

  • Comment number 35.

    #38 "I think Strauss was below par with the bat. If your number 7, 8 and 9 are scoring significant runs then he should be too."

    Not necessarily true. He (and Cook, Trott) had by far the hardest conditions to bat in, particularly those first 2 tests.....and especially that one brief moment when Zaheer was fit! I think the main disappointment was that he wasn't able to cash in like Cook did when he got into the 80s.

  • Comment number 36.

    Harsh mark for Strauss, should be at least 7 considering he does fine job as opening batsman and skipper! How does Trott rate lower than Bopara, can't see that myself. Also think Tremlett deserved a higher mark for his contribution at least 7. Also believe Prior maybe sneaked a 9, lower order runs, keeping the fielders going, quality stumpings, all worthy of praise.

  • Comment number 37.

    An average score of 7.4 for a team who have just WHITEWASHED the (former) World's Number One Test side? Do me a favour! Only Bopara deserves less than a seven.

  • Comment number 38.

    Agree with most posters especially Strauss's ludicrously low score. He's up there with Mike Brearley as a captain and is improving all the time. I particularly sensed that declarations he made were more in keeping with dominant Aussie sides than the rather poor ones he made back in the west Indies a couple of years back though perhaps the bowlers are so much more reliable now than they were then.
    Bopara should not be in the mix and can't deserve a 6 even if we were being generous. And I would like to ask all those who continue to postulate that we need 5 bowlers should check up on all of England's recent test series wins an see how this was achieved. And whilst you are doing that check the great WIndies and Aussie sides and see how many they had.

  • Comment number 39.

    5 bowlers will be a must in the heat and humidity of the subcontinent, especially on the flat pitches of the UAE. Not necessary in England though.

  • Comment number 40.

    Bell should stay at three - he has now earned the right to bat there. Trott is a hardy character and could easily bat at five if required. Strauss is entering the latter period of his test career, where his captaincy is becoming more valuable than his batting - it happened to Vaughan and (arguably) Hussain, Atherton and Gooch too. But he is the leader and his place in the team should be absolutely guaranteed for at least another year. It remains to be seen whether Cook is true captaincy material. An average of 38 would have made him one of the leading batsmen in almost any England side of the 1990s - that Bell, Trott, Pietersen and Cook all gave averages of 50+ (or near as dammit) is testament to the huge advances our batting has made in the last few years.

    Tremlett may struggle to make it back into the team, injuries notwithstanding. This is hard on him as he has done nothing wrong and almost everything right, but I can't see a case for breaking up England's current bowling unit. Finn likewise may have a lengthy wait on the sidelines now.

    Anderson now has an outside chance of finishing his career as England's all-time leading wicket taker, which is amazing considering the long years he spent in the doldrums in the mid-2000s - when many fast bowlers are at their peak. He is an outstanding performer, and although not as quick he is at least the equal of Steyn.

    Swann had a relatively quiet series but showed his quality at The Oval, and is clearly still an indispensable part of the team. However, the time will come in two years or so when we have to start looking for England's next frontline spinner. Are there any real contenders out there? Borthwick looks promising but is still very young.

    Morgan should make way either for a new batsman who will specialise in test cricket, or for a fifth bowler. With three genuine bowling all-rounders and Prior in mighty form, the team can easily accommodate this change and would probably be the stronger for it. Under other circumstances Bopara would get another chance, as he clearly has abundant talent, but he has already had too many, and it is unfair to make the next generation wait forever while he is indulged.

    An aside, but I have to say that Morgan playing in a one-day international for England against Ireland is a nonsense, and his being made England captain is a national embarrassment. It seems that England's selectors have little or no sense of national identity. I can understand Morgan being selected for the test side, as he is unable to play test cricket for Ireland, but they have a fully functioning and quite successful one-day side and it would be much better for Ireland, the integrity of international cricket and the self-respect of the English cricket establishment if he played for his home country in this format. I await the angry responses from the "move on, nothing to see here, England is just an oversized cricket club and the nationality of its players is irrelevant" brigade.

  • Comment number 41.

    "Bell should stay at three - he has now earned the right to bat there. Trott is a hardy character and could easily bat at five if required"

    Two Tests at 3 against a weak bowling attack doesn't mean he's earned the right, in my opinion. Trott has already earned that position in excellent fashion, and Bell has already proved that he's an excellent number 5. I know who I'd prefer coming in first wicket down, no runs on the board, when the ball's swinging around and the bowlers are fresh.

  • Comment number 42.

    #40 - interesting comments. I actually thought Tremlett and Finn would have a greater part to play on the sub-continent. I think in less-swinging conditions they may be vital. 'course I said that when Bresnan was sent down-under and was proven happily very wrong.

    Interesting last comment. I think representing 2 countries would increase the level of debate more than most of us could be bothered to listen to.

  • Comment number 43.

    It was superb being at the oval yesterday; the England team seemed to be going through the motions for two hours but when the new ball came into sight the whole pack reacted and could sniff the blood of their prey which resulted in an amazing demolition of what used to be the best batting line up in world cricket.

    Anyway back to the ratings - I think that Morgan is a weak link at test level and was extremely lucky to get his 100 after being dropped a couple of times and should come down a point or two. Strauss should get higher as leadership often comes at a personal price but on the field when England are bowling he is definitely in command. The revelation of the last year for me has been Matt Prior - his energy and passion has shone through this team and he is finally getting some rewards for his hard work.

  • Comment number 44.

    Kind to Bopara, harsh on Trott, Prior and Tremlett. The six for Trott, I think, fails to take into consideration the number of deliveries he often faces in making his runs, usually at a time when the openers had not put a lot on the board. Tremlett may only have played one test, but he did perform very much above the level of a 6 in it. He appears to have been marked down based on the tests he didn't play, which seems harsh. I have heard it said a few times that Bopara came in at a bad time in his return test, however I would like to ask, given the choice beforehand, what situation would he have asked to come in at in an ideal world? 500 on the board or 200? Or 300? Bresnan came in soon afterwards and did all right. And knocking a point off Prior for two missed chances across a total of 8 innings? Come on. Had they not been in the final innings you'd not have given them a second thought

  • Comment number 45.

    #8 I would generally agree about Swann, but this series he took a bit of stick from the Indian batsmen on the whole, he was the only one they fancied going after.

    I'm sure we'll see him to better effect on more turning pitches, but he wasn't as tight as we'd like him to be when the wicket wasn't doing him any favours this series.

    Again, I don't think Bopara did anything to further press his claims for a place, and we've seen plenty of him in the past, and under pressure he's failed to deliver. Mind you, we were guilty of saying that about Bell a few times.

    I agree though, I would liked to have seen some new blood in the team when the chance was there. Even if it was someone a little older like Hildreth , whose justified a chance for some time now.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think that if you look at a 4man bowling attacks as a unit then England have 2 of the top 4 or 5 in the world With Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Swan as 1st choice unit and Tremlett, Finn, Onions and Panesar as our 2nd choice unit. In an ideal world I would have a better batter as the 2nd spinner than Monty, but his bowling talent is beyond question.

    With the exception of South Africa and Sri Lanka, who has a better 4 man bowling unit than our 2nd Choice??

    Also think whoever said Andy Flower deserved a 10 is spot on

  • Comment number 47.

    You can't rate this team out of 10 imo... The 10 scale is too unwieldy for this kind of performance.

    This will be out of a 100.

    Strauss: 79
    Cook: 91
    Bell: 93
    Pietersen: 90
    Trott: 53
    Bopara: 50
    Morgan: 62
    Prior: 91
    Broad: 93
    Anderson: 90
    Tremlett: N/A (Not sure on this one - can't remember!)
    Bresnan: 84
    Swann: 78

  • Comment number 48.

    #40 I would suggest the ECB have seen this as a chance to honour Morgan and to acknowledge his roots, rather than a slight.

    In any case don't think the ICC would let him switch back for one game, Ed Joyce went back for good. This is an official ODI not a testimonial after all.

  • Comment number 49.

    What are you basing the score on, number of wickets taken and runs scored? If so you need to think again. Strauss has to have a score of 8 or 9. As captain he has done brilliantly. His fielding positions, bowling changes and his sheer ability to out think the opposition is one of the best I've seen in all the years I've watched England and that goes back to the mid 50's. He's a clever strategist.

    In the cold light of day you need a person who can lead and have the respect of others, in Strauss you have that by the bucket loads. Long may it be so.

  • Comment number 50.

    andy1005, out of interest, why do you rate Bell above Pietersen? (only slightly I know.) KP scored more runs, his double hundred was scored in much tougher conditions, and on Saturday he scored at a much quicker rate than Bell. Which was vital when you consider the time lost to rain.

  • Comment number 51.

    fallenfaith (#41) - fair comment. I tend to favour going with the momentum that individuals establish, so if (say) Bell comes in at three and excels, or Bresnan replaces Tremlett and excels, then you leave them there - which is hard on the displaced players, but in the interests of the team. However, there is a reasonable case to be made for bringing them back in once fit and reverting to the previous status quo. No right or wrong way of doing it really - just what works.

    Given Trott's opener-like qualities, could there be a case for moving him up to 1 or 2 and Strauss down the order? I sense that Strauss enjoys opening, but combining that with the captaincy is a tall order, especially as he gets older, and a move to 3 or 4 has served several opener-captains well in the past as they enter their mid-30s. Strauss played much of his early England career in this position and often performed superbly.

    And #49 summed up Strauss's qualities well - aside from material considerations of tactics, a captain has to *lead* his men, and it is clear that Strauss does so. I fear that Cook may not a be a hard-nosed enough character to do likewise (see also M. Clarke), and I'd rather not see his average take the hit that a batsman's typically does upon becoming skipper.

  • Comment number 52.

    I still don't understand the figures quoted in the original piece and those posted here too, we totally and utterly hammered the so called number one Test team and whether every player performed at 100% for the whole series or not, individual scores do not reflect Englands dominance, so I'll give ratings to the two teams:

    England - 9.5 Over the series we absolutely battered India in ALL departments and even if a Test looked close for an hour or so, we still won by margins rarely seen against any decent opposition, I only drop half a point because we weren't quite perfect.

    India - 3.5 The much vaunted 'worlds number one Test nation' weren't just beaten, they were humiliated and Dravid and Kumar apart, there was barely a sessions decent play from anyone else, I could easily have given them just 2/10, but the above named players did enough to rate India this high.

  • Comment number 53.

    @49 - fenderac30:

    "Strauss has to have a score of 8 or 9. As captain he has done brilliantly. His fielding positions, bowling changes and his sheer ability to out think the opposition is one of the best I've seen in all the years I've watched England and that goes back to the mid 50's. He's a clever strategist."

    Seriously? I don't think his field placings have had to be special and he hasn't had to out think India because, Dravid aside, the Indian batting has been utterly woeful. Sticking in men close against the like of Raina and Yuvraj is a non-brainer. Even the West Indies realised in their last series that half the Indians couldn't play the short ball (witness Harbhajhan starting the series scoring runs and ending up being intimidated by the like of Fidel Edwards). At no point did we see a field placing on the strategic level of, say, the close extra cover fielder when Hoggard was bowling to Hayden in 2005. Strauss is a good captain, no doubt about it, but elevating him to the top echelons of captaincy when we're defeating poor Test opponents as India, Australia, and Sri Lanka have been in the last year is premature.

    Jonathan Agnew's colum (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/14622345.stm%29 details the Test rankings over the last eight years or so. Look at England's ranking now and compare it to Australia's ranking from 2003 to 2009. That shows how far England have to go to be classed as a really great side.

    Interesting points made on the Bell at three argument. Personally I'd have Trott back in at 3, Bell at 4 and move Pietersen down. The England idea has been to wear down the opponents and make them bowl long spells whilst we retain wickets. Tired bowlers facing an England side with a middle to lower order of Bell, Pietersen, Morgan, Prior, Broad, Swann, Bresnan... goodness, there's some runs there. England have finally done something I've been calling for them to do for years. Under Vaughan, we relied on fantastic bowling to get us victories for the most part when our batsmen hadn't totally sealed the game by scoring heavily. Post-2005, we had people doing that role. Someone like Sidebottom against New Zealand, Panesar had his moments, and inevitably Flintoff with some cameos. What we didn't do was to follow the Indian approach. India batted sides out of the game and then wore them down with the ball, knowing they had runs in the bank. We reversed that situation. It happened in Australia led by Cook and Trott and it's happened again. By playing Trott at 3, you essentially have a 'three opener situation' in that Strauss, Cook, and Trott get through the new ball, take some of the zip out of the seam attack, and either score runs themselves or allow the middle to lower order to cash in. This was seen perfectly in the last two Test matches.

  • Comment number 54.

    Does anyone have the guts to rate the India team? I imagine it'll be Dravid - 9/10, and the rest

  • Comment number 55.

    Harsh on Swann.

    1) India are pretty good at playing spin.
    2) The seamers didn't really leave hm with much opportunity.
    3) When he got his chance he did well, taking 9 wickets in the game, including a spell where he took 4/7 to bowl India out.

  • Comment number 56.

    Ok so if we take away the poor teams that are Australia, India and Sri Lanka there is precious little else! And South Africa wouldn't necessarily have fared so much better in the conditions the last 4 tests have been played in. But England can only play what's in front of them and does this mean that the overall standard in test cricket is woeful? If you check the Hindustan Times and see the blogs and commentaries there is an overwhelming assault against the BCCI, the IPL and all the money that now exists in the game in India as being the reason for a spineless and abject performance from the former no1 side in the world. Is England peaking when the rest of the world are purely feeding their t20 insatiable appetites and not caring about test match cricket?

  • Comment number 57.

    I too am still slightly unconvinced about Morgan. He has only made two scores of note in this series and the hundred at Edgbaston was on the back of everybody else cashing in too. I think he struggles to score against seam bowlers in English conditions. Because of his lack of footwork it is a dangerous shot to play through the off side and because of the lack of feet movement he can't drop and run for singles because he would have to play away from his body with his hands.

    However i think he will be an important player for us this winter because he looks comfortable and confident against spin and can manouvere the field and play big shots to get rid of the men around the bat.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm gunna go for it and rate the Indians:
    g Gambhir: 3/10
    A Mukund: 2/10
    V Sehwag: 1/10
    R Dravid: 9/10
    VVS: 3/10
    S Tendulkar: 6/10
    S Raina: 2/10
    MS Dhoni: 4/10
    Y Singh: 2/10
    Harbhajan Singh: 1/10
    A Mishra: 5/10
    RP Singh: 1/10
    P Kumar: 7.5/10
    I Sharma: 5/10
    S Sreesanth: 1/10
    Z Khan: N/A

    I think Ive got everyone...

  • Comment number 59.

    I reckon india would have scored a total of 10 with Dravid being awarded about 9 of them.....

  • Comment number 60.

    Although he wasn't quite a shining light, I dont think Morgan should be given the same rating as Bopara. Morgan did have two handy scores, and by comparison, Bopara's contribution doesn't quite match that. Im not saying Give morgan 7, but give Bopara 5.

  • Comment number 61.

    Agree with post 38. I've been thinking for a while that Strauss is the best captain we've had since Brearley, who (let's be honest) wasn't there for his batting a lot of the time whereas Strauss has to open. I'd give him an 8 for leadership.

  • Comment number 62.

    This series just goes to prove that it's bowling power that overrides anything that makes a successful Test side. The Windies and Aussies had it in spades during their pomp and now it seems England have a very effective unit.
    India came with, on paper, a supreme batting lineup but were undone by their poor bowling attack.

  • Comment number 63.

    Don't fancy India's chances at the MCG much.

  • Comment number 64.

    I think some of the indian ratings are harsh

    @ # 58 Lyrical_Miraical

    I agree with the majority of your ratings, but here are a few I'd change and reasons why.

    Sehwag for example was just coming back from a major injury and had no warm up games so I think 4/10 is a fair score when taking this into account.

    Raina deserves fore than 2/10 just for his bowling in the last test - He took our best 2 batsmen so I think 4/10 is fair.

    Dhoni was worthy of a 5/10 for his defiant innings and his decision to reinstate Ian Bell after the run out debacle

    As for Mishra I think he deserved at least 6/10 maybe a 6.5/10?? As he is a bowler who did better with the willow than most of India's recognised batsmen. (Personally I wanted him to get 100 more than Tendulkar)
    Sachin is only worth 4/10 given his high standards and ability.

  • Comment number 65.

    Sam, I'll join the band wagon for rating strauss poorly, his captaincy is developing all the time and we saw him being more direct to put India under constant pressure. Remember he started off as captain cautious....

    Most of the other batsman's rating do not consider the catches. England's catching and ground fielding was superb, yes, the odd hard chance went astray but Bell especially under the lid, Cook, Swan, Strauss & Anderson needs an extra point because they just kept taking catches, and making run outs....

  • Comment number 66.

    Not sure that Strauss' rating shold be improved by reference to his slip catching - he has put down a number of real dollies at first slip this summer.

  • Comment number 67.

    england:

    strauss: 7
    cook: 6 would have been 3 if not the 294
    trott: 6
    bell: 9
    pietersen: 8
    morgan: 5
    bopara: 5
    prior: 9
    bresnan: 9
    broad: 10
    swann: 6
    tremlet: 6
    anderesen: 9


    india:

    gambhir: 3
    sehwag: 2
    mukhund: 4
    dravid: 8
    laxman: 5
    tendulkar: 6
    raina: 4
    yuvraj: 3
    dhoni: 5
    harbhajan: 3
    mishra: 5
    kumar: 8
    sharma: 4
    rp singh: 2
    sreeshanth: 4

    overall:
    england 8.5
    india 4.5

  • Comment number 68.

    Really #66? The ones I've seen the side drop have been pretty hard. I'll concede he maybe a weaker catcher than the rest, but that still doesn't make his standard poor. You can't be at first slip without being a decent catcher....

    Remember Gilchirst 05' of Freddie, he caught a tracer between three fingers...it not like he's Michael Vaughan.....

    The one point I would have issue is his referrals, my instinct (not proven feels he wrongly refers decisions too often in the field, mostly encouraged by Prior....in tight games these cannot be wasted. we accept they are part of the game now so i hope he is a bit more judicious about it?

  • Comment number 69.

    They have to play 5 bowlers this winter, so let's end the Morgan worries by leaving him out and playing Prior at 6. Of course Bresnan's good enough to bat at 7. Playing 4 bowlers in the middle east and the subcontinent is asking for them to break down.

  • Comment number 70.

    dravid deserves a 10. scoring three centuries against a quality bowling attack, in extremely testing circumstances, when everyone else was failing, was a superb performance. he couldn't have done much more.

    not sure about strauss. he's obviously an excellent leader, but remains an instinctively defensive strategist. I don't think strauss's tactics contributed much to the scale of the victory.

  • Comment number 71.

    England we lucky with the weather. I still do not think Swann is anywhere near a 4th bowler even when the wicket turns. England have been lucky so far. If we had lost a seamer like India then we would have lost at Lords because Swann was ineffective. 5 bowlers 4 seamers 1 spin unless we know the wicket will turn. In that case 3 seamer 2 spin. Please please England get rid of this 4 bowler idea before someone gets hurt and we lose the match. Its not like we only bat down to six is it.
    I fail to understand why Prior does not bat at 6. For me a wicket keeper has to be able to bat, and must bat 6 or above. We were given the excuse that Prior was picked above the best wicket keeper James Foster of Essex because he could bat. Yet Prior cannot bat above 7. He has to be told bat 6 or above and score runs. Lets face it Prior is not the best wicket keeper we have. Foster for one could do a better job for England Prior for me over-rated

  • Comment number 72.

    #71 Tad over the top with the lucky statements dear boy and the Swann bashing. This England team has been excellent and nothing to do with prolonged luck. Yes if a bowler got injured in a game we may be in trouble that is true. However you forget three points-

    1. I wouldn't bet against the bowlers left still pulling of an amazing win.
    2. If they could't then the batsmen would probably get a draw
    3. For the next game we would have four equally good bowlers waiting for a chance.

    I do take the point we need to mix it up sometimes and not become predictable.

    Are you Papa Shango is disguise.

  • Comment number 73.

    Always a bit of fun, but India were dire.
    I think our bowling was good, but our batting is over-rated.
    Cricket is about confidence and this series has certainly given them a boost, but I wonder how our much vaunted batters would do against our bowlers and fielders. They are the best team in the world and you can only play against what is in front of you, but as individual players .....
    The most important thing is that they are a solid team and good teams play well together. Rating systems like this is divisive and that was what was wrong with previous teams .....sorry, collection of players.

  • Comment number 74.

    Bell gets a 10 from me. That run-out business at Trent Bridge? He'd already scored 130-odd by that stage, and put England firmly in command.

    Prior worthy of a 9, basically scored runs every time England really needed him to, and he was very good behind the stumps.

    India weren't great, obviously, but they got steadily worse through the series as England pounded them into the ground. The great thing to look forward to next year? The SA of England, where surely the World #1 ranking will be on the line.. sadly though, only three tests are planned... surely worth trying to junk one of the three West Indies tests and making the SA tour another 4 test series?

  • Comment number 75.

    I would give Prior a 9. Bit harsh with the stumping. It was hard to spot but I am surprised there was no appeal at all.

  • Comment number 76.

    Carroll With a Perm is a Big Kegan
    Prior has to bat 6 or above he is not good enough to just wicket keep and bat 7 or below. Then we could have our 5th bowler. Look at the injury to Broad Tremlett Anderson. Look hove Englanded suffered when Anderson went home from Austrailia to have a baby. No we need 5 bowlers Swann as the 5th bowler.

  • Comment number 77.

    Sometimes it's all just a matter of Gestalt. A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts. No one player stood out for me through the whole four tests. Some were good in one test and not so in another. The whole team ethic was win. This was shown in the last test when in years gone by we would have played for a draw. Now they have to continue their efforts in the ODIs and the winter tour.

  • Comment number 78.

    @56. meiklelogie:

    "And South Africa wouldn't necessarily have fared so much better in the conditions the last 4 tests have been played in. But England can only play what's in front of them and does this mean that the overall standard in test cricket is woeful?"

    South Africa might not have batted better than India in the conditions we've had this summer but would you doubt that Steyn, Morkey, Kallis, Tahir etc would have bowled as poorly as India did? They certainly wouldn't have fielded as shabbily either.

    "Is England peaking when the rest of the world are purely feeding their t20 insatiable appetites and not caring about test match cricket?"

    I'd say India peaked at a time when other sides were in the doldrums. Australia were on the slide, South Africa pretty much peaked when they beat Australia in Australia in 2008, England were going through the rebuilding process after the Moores-KP debacle, and the other nations were never close to being a truly top side (Sri Lanka have the batting but not the bowling).

    Right now we do have a lot of exciting Test cricket but not Test cricket of the highest quality and I put that down to the drop in bowling standards. If batsmen don't face good bowling and learn to play on pitches other than shirtfronts, they will suffer in tougher conditions. Dravid was magnificent, the player of the series for me, a lone figure standing against some good English bowling.

  • Comment number 79.

    A little while ago many were calling for KP's head, I always thought that was a bad idea the guy's got class. Averaged 101+ vs India, welcome back KP!!

  • Comment number 80.

    Strauss's captaincy was excellent in this series.

    Saying that he didn't need to captain well against this India side, or that his strategies made little difference ignores the fact that it was his captaincy and strategies that led to a 4-0 whitewash of the former No. 1 team.

    Just like a good referee can be judged by how little you notice him, a great captain can be assessed by how quietly and calmly he goes about his business.

    Ruthlessly efficient England team: well done Strauss!

  • Comment number 81.

    6 is very harsh on Tremlett, you can only mark him on the test he played when he bowled well. And he should be in the first choice team when fit. If Trott is fit as well, then the choice is between Bresnan and Morgan for the final spot in the UAE. In Sri Lanka Tremlett may be less effective, and there is another choice between him and Panesar.

  • Comment number 82.

    As a general view I question how highly the England batsmen deserve to be rated, simply based on the fact India may as well have been bowling tennis balls for all the wicket-taking threat they had.

    That being said, 6 out of 10 for captaining your country to becoming the best in the world and pretty much guaranteeing a knighthood down the line? Some mistake, surely?

  • Comment number 83.

    strauss the winning captain deserves a higher score...he could have scored a few more runs but he did spent a bit of time at the crease seeing off the new ball most of the time and chipped in with a few decent scores.. I cant believe how many people do not rate Morgan on here.. He has a great temprament and i believe the sky is the limit for this guy.. He had a few good scores too, he scores runs quickly and is a good player of spin and is surely will be a big asset on the turning pitches in India..He is also been great in the field too. English batsmen who got out a few times had less chances than Indians to score runs because England were in the luxurious position of batting to declare and then only batting once in an innings....all things considered...Its extrememly harsh to criticise any of the batsmen..even Bopara!

  • Comment number 84.

    Pietersen averaged 107 against the best rated team in the world.
    What the **** does a batsman have to do to get a score of 10...?

  • Comment number 85.

    well fatpete. 10 is a perfect score... i suppose u can only achieve perfection as a batsmen if you carry the bat through every innings you play...Obviously never gonna happen, but that would represent perfection :)

  • Comment number 86.

    Sounds like our performance review process at work. You get a cracking bonus if you're rated 'Outstanding', only trouble is it's not possible...

  • Comment number 87.

    Bopara doesn't deserve a 6 for a failure and then a 44 not out on a flat track. Cook deserves at least an 8. He made 294 and without that England may not have won anywhere near as easily at Edgbaston. Surely that's enough to earn more than 7. As for Strauss, he did superbly as captain, and his role as an opener should not be under-estimated. He took the shine off the ball and saw off the tricky opening overs. He also scored a few runs and supported stroke makers like Pietersen and Bell by giving them a solid platform. He deserves a 7 or 8 for that.

  • Comment number 88.

    yeah, there is only so much one can be realistically be expected to be able to achieve...as a team, England have matched and surpassed all those expectations in this series...Every individual has played their part in this..If you want to see some angry fans, go on to the Times of India website where u can comment and blog in regard to every sports stories...there are so many angry and bitter fans on there...they want to sack all the players etc etc..and here we are quibbling whether Pietersen should get 9 or 10 out of 10..Life is great as an England cricket fan right now!

  • Comment number 89.

    PS. I agree with 'pezzerman'. Morgan made 70 and then a hundred in the 2nd and 3rd tests. He's a natural stroke maker, always improving, and is the best player of spin in the England side. Not just one for the future...one for now!

  • Comment number 90.

  • Comment number 91.

    A superb performance by the England team, everyone contributed when needed.

    You could argue though that the best player (on either team) was Dravid, to score the runs he did against the best bowling attack in the world, when all around you is carnage takes unique skill. There is much less pressure batting for England at the moment, as the batsmen know that if they get out, someone else will score the runs, with our extraordinarily long batting order (and against such a feeble Indian attack).

    Thinking forward to the winter, it's a tricky decision. I'd like a 2nd spinner, but who do we drop? Morgan is the obvious choice, except that he is brilliant at playing spinners.

  • Comment number 92.

    You are being deliberately provicative, Sam. Strauss has two jobs - opening and captain. He gets a 6 for his batting but how can you give him less than 9 as skipper? Hard to say where he put a foot wrong. Ao I think he should get at least an 8. Certainly he contributed more than Tremlett, Bopara and Morgan!!

    If Broad gets a 10 then why not Bell? And as for Cook, he won a match with one innings, enough to get him more than a 7.

    Prior is another one with two key roles - batsman and keeper, at both of which he was outstanding - again including at least one match-winning performance. How does he rate lower than Bresnan?

    Swann's 7 is generous by comparison - how can he rate higher than Cook with only one good performance - an that against am already beaten side? He knows he had a quiet series. My ratings (with India for comparison):

    Strauss. 9. Ghambia. 4
    Cook. 8. Drahvid. 9
    Bell. 10. Laxman. 5
    Pietersen. 9. Tendulkar. 6
    Morgan. 6. Raina. 2
    Bopara. 5. MS Dhoni. 5
    Prior. 9. Mishra. 6
    Bresnan. 9. Kumar. 7
    Broad. 10. Sharma. 7
    Swann. 6. Singh. 4
    Anderson. 8. Sreesanth. 4
    Trott. 5. Sehwag. 2
    Tremlett. 6. Munkud. 3
    Zaheer. 5
    Youvraj. 5

  • Comment number 93.

    @80. olddog_newtricks:

    "Strauss's captaincy was excellent in this series. Saying that he didn't need to captain well against this India side, or that his strategies made little difference ignores the fact that it was his captaincy and strategies that led to a 4-0 whitewash of the former No. 1 team."

    HIS strategies? Right, so the like of Flower, Gooch, and Saker did nothing? Captaincy now isn't how it was in, say, Brearley's day. There's much more input from other sources, primarily the backroom staff. Strauss carries out a lot of strategies organised behind the scenes. When it came to the bowling, what specific strategies were there? Pretty much discipline in the line and length and then bang in the short stuff to the like of Raina, Yuvraj, and Bhaji. I didn't see much radical improvisation when India broke the shackles on occasion, as they did when Dhoni cut loose and Kumar and Mishra had their moments with the bat. Compare that to 2005 where there was a clear plan for Hayden, Ponting was given a real working over with both short ball and trying to get him to play across the line as he does, and the whole Flintoff around the wicket to Gilchrist aspect which worked a treat. Quite simply, England didn't need to come up with a load of varying strategies as the poor Indian batting, Dravid apart, meant those strategies weren't needed. Take Laxman for example. England quickly got wise from the 1st Test as to how he bats from the crease and doesn't get forward too much. End result: Anderson splatting his stumps at the Oval. We certainly didn't need a specific plan for Dhoni other than 'Get it outside off stump, let him drive, and watch him nick it behind'.

  • Comment number 94.

    I think everyone is getting a little too carried away and needs to be reminded that although England played consistently well throughout the series, they did so against a very poor Indian bowling attack.

    While our bowlers deserve praise for taking 20 wickets and providing the best chance to win, I would think that the batting performances need to be reviewed based on the pies that were being sent down from the other end.

    Still, you can only veat what's in front of you. Now if England go and duff up South Africa we can really start gloating.

  • Comment number 95.

    I would just like to comment on Matt Prior, not to be too picky but just to advise him that the only flaw in his otherwise great performances are his glove positions when he is standing up to the wicket. Because he squats so low with his hands on the ground, it takes too long for him to bring his gloves up to meet the line of the ball and therefore misses the snicks that can often be crutial. I counted four missed chances in the final innings. What he needs to do is rest his gloves around the level of his knees and therefore he will get his gloves that split second sooner to the snick off.

  • Comment number 96.

    England are deservedly #1 in the world.

    In tests, here are some stats for the team over the last 2 years (24 tests)

    BATTING

    We have scored runs at an average of 42.87 per wicket, so we are averaging 429 per completed innings.

    Individual averages in this period as follows for all those scoring >300 runs:

    81.86 Bell (1,883 runs - 8x 100s 7x 50s)
    65.52 Cook (2,359 runs - 10x 100s 6x 50s)
    56.40 Trott (1,805 runs - 5x 100s 7x 50s)
    51.93 Pietersen (1,714 runs - 3x 100s 10x 50s)
    51.50 Bresnan (309 runs - 0x 100s 3x 50s)
    45.29 Prior (1,223 runs - 4x 100s 8x 50s)
    36.35 Morgan (618 runs - 2x 100s 3x 50s)
    33.04 Collingwood (694 runs - 1x 100s 3x50s)
    32.54 Strauss (1,074 runs 1x 100s 8x 50s)
    27.04 Broad (568 runs 1x 100s 3x 50s)
    18.58 Swann (446 runs - 0x 100s 1x50s)


    BOWLING

    The combined attack has taken wickets at an average of 27.75, so we are bowling sides out for 278.

    Averages for notable individuals who have taken 30+ wickets in that period:

    22.92 Bresnan (38 wickets)
    24.22 Tremlett (36 wickets)
    24.55 Anderson (100 wickets)
    26.92 Finn (50 wickets)
    28.10 Swann (105 wickets)
    28.46 Broad (68 wickets)


    When a team has 4 major batsmen all averaging over 50, a batsman wicket keeper averaging 45, and all 4 main bowlers averaging in the 20s with the ball then they will almost certainly be the #1 team in any era.

    Those individual performances are even better than the dominant Aussie teams of the last 20 years.

    BRAVO ENGLAND !

  • Comment number 97.

    I find it incredible that in nearly 100 posts, no-one has questioned Stuart Broad's 10. That's testament to how well he played, especially in light of how many people here were calling for him to be dropped 4 matches ago. Well done, Stuart!

    I just wanted to mention re the suggestion that England are #1 when other teams are poor - it wasn't a criticism of the Australians, was it? During the Australian dominance, England were dreadful, India had yet to find the maturity to turn their talent into wins, the West Indies were even worse than England & South Africa were well known chokers. Did that devalue the Aussies? No. And neither should it devalue England's #1 ranking. Of course, its staying there that would make this a great England team but that shouldn't overshadow the achievement of getting there in the first place.

  • Comment number 98.

    Reading what Rulechangecrazy said at 71 and 76 makes me think I've stumbled into a 606 debate from about 3 years ago. It completely ignores the evidence of those last 3 years.

    Whereever the keeper bats it will be Matt Prior because he is an international standard cricketer and James Foster is not.

  • Comment number 99.

    I think Trott deserves an extra point or 2 for scoring 70 in difficult conditions, and one of the only times England were under any sort of pressure in the series. Certainly shouldn't be less than Morgan, who only scored runs when England were under no sort of pressure. Bit reminiscent of Ian Bell in the first few years of his career. I agree with everyone who said Strauss deserves a bit more for his captaincy and catching. Have to feel for Bopara as he was in a bit of a no win situation, although he could have done more than scratch around for 7 and 40 odd. Got the bowlers pretty much spot on imo. Excellent blog and excellent coverage right through the series, as always of course.

  • Comment number 100.

    Mr crazy also said we were lucky with the weather and that the number one rated spinner in the world is not good enough to be a 4th bowler.

    It would be funny if he wasn't serious.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.