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England series rankings

Blog Editor | 10:07 UK time, Saturday, 22 December 2007

Simon Hughes
Truth be told, England have been pretty much outplayed by a superb Sri Lanka side on their home soil, conceding the series 1-0 despite battling for a draw in the final Test.

TMS analyst Simon Hughes has given his marks out of 10 for the England players. Do you agree with them?

Michael Vaughan - 6/10
Failed to convert despite making several promising starts. In patches he batted so fluently he looked like he was trying to regain his one-day international place!
I was a little disappointed with his captaincy which was a little formulaic at times.

Alastair Cook - 7/10
Continued his batting education and finally managed to convert a good start with a match-saving century at Galle. But he needs to work on his fielding especially close to the wicket.

Ian Bell - 7/10
The stylist of the team looking at ease against all types of bowling. His two innings at Kandy were particularly impressive. However, if I were to be critcal I'd say his main fault is that he continues to give his wicket away when he is well set.

Kevin Pietersen - 4/10
His dismissal in Colombo, flashing at a wide one from Chaminda Vaas, underlines the pressure of expectation he feels to dominate. But he has been unable to do so here as he would have liked. Was out-thought by Murali and Jayawardene in the second innings at Galle to complete his first Test series without scoring a single half-century.

Paul Collingwood - 7/10
Workmanlike as ever and marshalled the lower order very well on a couple of occasions, but nothing spectacular. Bowling was useful at times.

Ravi Bopara - 3/10
Got himself into the side by showing real promise and energy at the start of the tour with batting, bowling and fielding. But unfortunately at the moment he looks well out of his depth at Test level symbolised by his chaotic first-ball dismissal in the second innings at Galle.

Matt Prior - 5/10
Held his own with the bat and kept pretty well in the first two Tests. But he had a shocker with the gloves at Galle and may soon be jettisoned.

Ryan Sidebottom - 6/10
He kept running in willingly in alien conditions and was unlucky with dropped catches off his bowling. But apart from in Colombo he rarely struck gold and looked very tired by the end. On the plus side he batted with guts.

Steve Harmison - 8/10
Shades of his best in his later bowling in Colombo where he dragged life out of a dead pitch and never stinted from effort. Could not have done much more.

Matthew Hoggard - 7/10
Bowled superbly in Kandy to reduce Sri Lanka to 44-5 , but then he suffered a recurrence of his back injury and was not as effective when he returned.

Monty Panesar - 4/10
Found the going hard against expert players of spin and struggled with rhythm and the burden of expectation.

James Anderson - 4/10
Difficult to judge on just one appearance. But he didn't seem to have any weapons that could make an impact and couldn’t contain the Sri Lankan batsman.

Stuart Broad - 4/10
Enthusiastic but needs more strength and penetration to perform at this level.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:26 AM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • mr cricket wrote:

spot on with the grades. colly was under bowled and took crucial wickets when needed

  • 2.
  • At 11:31 AM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • baz wrote:

just about right, didn't adapt to conditions but played ok in patches

  • 3.
  • At 11:37 AM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Arthur Mitchell wrote:

Giving more than 50% of the team more than 50% each suggests England competed in the series.

As we know, England did not compete, so I believe the rankings are too high.

Good views though.

  • 4.
  • At 11:38 AM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

I can't really argue with any of these apart from giving Anderson 4/10.

Both the ex-Middlesex men on the commentary had made comment in the first test how he'd bowled really well putting the ball in the right areas and had had no luck whatsoever.

CMJ and Aggers said simlar things as well.

  • 5.
  • At 11:38 AM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Robert Cornell wrote:

And what rating does Jayawardene get? At least 14 on this scale. No one in the England side deserves more than five.

Some of your ratings are just plain wrong in my opinion...

How can you give Collingwood 7/10 - he managed one decent score all series and never looked comfortable.

I might go further - how dare you give Sidebottom 6/10 - he bowled his heart out and had Prior been able to catch, he'd have done a lot better.

Furthermore 3/10 for Ravi Bopara. This poor bloke was selected despite a finger injury, forced to come in in the middle of collapses and in terrible light and suffered from a couple of umpiring blunders. 3/10 for a promising 22 year old is super harsh.

I pretty much agree with the ratings. KP is looking a shadow of his dominant self of earlier in his career. How long can we keep playing him when he is just not scoring runs. He does seem a little out of his depth at the moment. KP is a class player, but needs to work on staying at the crease. Although, much can be said about most of the other England batsman.

  • 8.
  • At 11:56 AM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Srini Voruganti wrote:

England was below par and this shows in the sub optimal rankings of key playeres. Monty Panesar is the biggest disappointment on friendly tracks where Murali wrecked havoc.

  • 9.
  • At 11:56 AM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • CTB wrote:

Bit harsh on Bopara. Failed with the bat but when he was eventually trusted to bowl at Galle, the reason for his selection, he managed to bowl some very quality overs. No way for me that he can be accused of being the worst man on the series

  • 10.
  • At 12:07 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • MCB46 wrote:

As a group the batsmen failed all series long, so to come out with 6s and 7s is generous. If Jayawardene was a 10, and he was BRILLIANT, then England were surely only half as effective at best. When Ian Bell hits 60 or 70 that should only be considered a cameo performance at test level. Especially in a slow scoring attritional series.

  • 11.
  • At 12:22 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • jon wrote:

I mostly agree with the ratings but the only one i disagree with is Michael Vaughan because I thought he was by far the best batsman out there in Sri lanka and also he never give up and he captained England very well out there.

  • 12.
  • At 12:25 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • stuart bird wrote:

A bunch of Prima Donnas pretty similar to the football team. No pride, no passion and over rated. This seems to be a general description of the state of English sport at present.

  • 13.
  • At 12:26 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • pat wrote:

MMMMM when we have all the technology we go on and on about decisions...
Vaughan (5)seemed out of practice as capt but LBW in Galle was too high...
then Cooke (8)didn't get near the ball let alone edge it...
If we had got through that we may have done better...
Bopara (1)looks poor all round and if he and Hoggy overall (6) were injured why play them?
My player of the series is Sidebottom (10)...tiredness or frustration? 8 dropped catches off his bowling by Prior...yet he bat extreemly well...getting another poor decision at Galle. He very showed guts, fight, smiled, concentrated, and bowled every ball with effort.
Monty(6) no real belief shown by Capt or coach in him as a wicket taker. He looks a bit lost...Tried hard but needs the sort of support which Flintoff showed Jones when he was criticised for not scoring runs.
We hardly bowled Panasar at home against Sri Lanka...WHY?
Pieterson(1)should have been dropped or rested but we pick him anyway...he said he was tired before 1 day series. He is more out of form than any other player .. didn't score any runs in series..can't give him more than Bopara...
Bell(6)a few glimpses of what he can do. Not a slip fielder...so no wonder he drops catches.

  • 14.
  • At 12:28 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Leo Walton wrote:

These ratings seem way too generous. Any rating over 5 needs to be dropped by a couple of points. Some shocking fielding, keeping, batting and bowling. Any team who can follow another teams' 499-8 with an 81 all out in pretty much the same conditions doesn't deserve much praise at all.

  • 15.
  • At 12:48 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • thomasson wrote:

Cook average: 46.33 rating: 7/10
Collingwood average: 33.0 rating: 7/10 ?????????????? Collingwood had a really poor series, i would give him 5/10. otherwise your ratings are spot on...

  • 16.
  • At 12:50 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • chris wrote:

England was a disgrace and lucky 2 of the games were washed out. How can you possibly give anyone above a 5. That's the problem with English sport and why we'll never be a powerhouse at anything. A team plays this poorly throughout a series, shows no courage and we take a near enough is good enough attitude. The reasons the Aussies dominate is because they are relentless, a characteristic sadly lacking in every English side. We accept English teams to deliver mediocre results so when they deliver them we think that’s OK. Australia would be calling for the heads of a number of players after a series like that. Has everyone failed to remember that this was the same Sri Lankan team that just got smashed by Australia less than month ago… and now we get smashed by the Sri Lankans. Oh but it was so hot, the food was bad, there were snakes in the outfield and killer bees in the sky.

  • 17.
  • At 12:57 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • thomasson wrote:

Cook average: 46.33 rating: 7/10
Collingwood average: 33.0 rating: 7/10 ?????????????? Collingwood had a really poor series, i would give him 5/10. otherwise your ratings are spot on...

  • 18.
  • At 01:01 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • James wrote:

Sidebottom given a 6. A bit harsh. I reckon he deserves a 7. It's not his fault he produces lots of edges that people can't catch.

  • 19.
  • At 01:14 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • chris wrote:

A very dissapointing series for England. Vaughn seems to have become a rather timid captain and has lacked guts. Last summer I was at Lords when he left the field for supposedly bad light when England had dominated India for most of the day their bowlers looked tired. At the time I thought such such defensive thinking would loose the series. Unfortunately they did. The stupidity of the selectors continuse to hamper any progess. Any fool can see that we nead a wicketkeaper! By all means play Prior as a batsman if a big if he warrants a place. We cannot bowl sides out at the moment partly because chances go down. Harmison was a better bowler when Reid was playing. Nixon actually did a rasonable job as a one day keaper. Why take Shah and then ignore him? Pannasar was poor out there and is still not much help in the field or with the bat.

  • 20.
  • At 01:14 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • CRS wrote:

COLLINGWOOD 7/10 IS THAT SOME SORT OF JOKE 5/10 AT BEST.

  • 21.
  • At 01:15 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Mike Smith wrote:

Does anyone else agree that Kevin Peterson is grossly over-rated?
Yes, he can score quickly when things are going well for the team. But he seems totally incapable of building an innings and playing for the team when things are tough. He is more like a No 7 batsman, wham, bang, thank you ma'am. But his bowling is not good enough to take that spot.
Compare that with the consistency of Alistair Cook and Ian Bell. Ally is surely destined to be one of the most prolific England openers of all time.

  • 22.
  • At 01:17 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • CRS wrote:

COLLINGWOOD 7/10 IS THAT SOME SORT OF JOKE 5/10 AT BEST.

  • 23.
  • At 01:20 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Jack Richardson wrote:

Ratings are OK, however as metioned above there clearly are some errors. I personally would drop Matt Prior like a hot piece of coal - if you want proof watch the games.
I would also not have started with Bopara, I think 3 is slightly generous.
Pieterson is class, but he is having a bad patch, if the selctors had half the guts that Sidebottom has then they would drop him, just until he finds form.
England were outclassed, even if they were unlucky at times, and they need to be wise about New Zealand, who we really should outclass, just as Sri Lanka did to us!

  • 24.
  • At 01:36 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • stan wardle wrote:

Vaughan - 6/10 is generous to say the least. Looks tired and uninspired, and the team appears to have lost the steel first imposed by Hussain and Fletcher. Fortunate there is no obvious Captain waiting in the wings - a bit more experience required for Colly.

Surely the scores for Harmison and Sidebottom are the wrong way round?! Harmi still flatters to deceive, and offers little consistency - his body language is that of a tired and broken man, who would rather be in the North East. Contrast that with the workrate, determination and aggresion shown by Sidebottom - his attitude alone earns him a spot on the next tour.

  • 25.
  • At 02:01 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • muadh wrote:

Grame Swann should have played insted of monty

  • 26.
  • At 02:05 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • stan wardle wrote:

Vaughan - 6/10 is generous to say the least. Looks tired and uninspired, and the team appears to have lost the steel first imposed by Hussain and Fletcher. Fortunate there is no obvious Captain waiting in the wings - a bit more experience required for Colly.

Surely the scores for Harmison and Sidebottom are the wrong way round?! Harmi still flatters to deceive, and offers little consistency - his body language is that of a tired and broken man, who would rather be in the North East. Contrast that with the workrate, determination and aggresion shown by Sidebottom - his attitude alone earns him a spot on the next tour.

  • 27.
  • At 02:28 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Matt Priors score is harsh. He batted fantatasticly when you compare him to the other batsmen. Pressure was always on him and he always came in trying to save the test. His keeping wasnt good in one test, no, but still 5/10 is very harsh.

  • 28.
  • At 02:49 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Rishi V wrote:

I think that the ratings you (Simon) have given are very generous apart from Bopara and Sidebottom.
My ratings would be as follows:
Cook - 6
Vaughan - 5
Bell - 5
KP - 4
Collingwood - 5
Bopara - 5
Prior - 4
Sidebottom - 7
Harmison - 6
Hoggard - 6
Panesar - 4
Anderson - 5
Broad - 5

  • 29.
  • At 02:51 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Graem Peters wrote:

6 for Vaughan is 1 too high (he has advantage of getting in before Murali comes on and still does not capitalise). 7 for Cook 1 too low (usually took a good ball to get him out). 7 for Collingwood 2 too high (failed to make his experience and guts count). 5 for Prior 1 too low (2 excellent games with the gloves and one of England's best batters make him the key allrounder). 8 for Harmison 1 too high. 6 for Sidebottom 1 too low. (10 for effort and 0 for providing Murali with extra rough outside RHB off stump)
Bopara should be allowed to develop more in county cricket. Otherwise, these players plus Strauss are the ones for New Zealand.

  • 30.
  • At 03:02 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Rishi Vadgama wrote:

I think that the ratings you (Simon) have given are very generous apart from Bopara and Sidebottom.
My ratings would be as follows:
Cook - 6
Vaughan - 5
Bell - 5
KP - 4
Collingwood - 5
Bopara - 5
Prior - 4
Sidebottom - 7
Harmison - 6
Hoggard - 6
Panesar - 4
Anderson - 5
Broad - 5

Bopara was under-used as a bowler which was the main reason for him being picked over Shah. This was a huge mistake by Vaughan which is the reason I gave him a low rating. KP was a disaster, Bell rarely looked comfortable, Colly was hardly better than KP and Prior was the joke of the team! Sidebottom bowled his heart out but didnt get any help from the fielders, Harmison got into a bit of rhythm but not consistent enough. Hoggard bowled well until his injury and then couldnt get back to full steam, Monty was pretty apalling in these spinner friendly conditions but it was his first tour to SL so he may be forgiven. Anderson and Broad never really got a chance to shine.

  • 31.
  • At 03:09 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Graem Peters wrote:

6 for Vaughan is 1 too high (he has advantage of getting in before Murali comes on and still does not capitalise). 7 for Cook 1 too low (usually took a good ball to get him out). 7 for Collingwood 2 too high (failed to make his experience and guts count). 5 for Prior 1 too low (2 excellent games with the gloves and one of England's best batters make him the key allrounder). 8 for Harmison 1 too high. 6 for Sidebottom 1 too low. (10 for effort and 0 for providing Murali with extra rough outside RHB off stump)
Bopara should be allowed to develop more in county cricket. Otherwise, these players plus Strauss are the ones for New Zealand.

  • 32.
  • At 03:09 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

Vaughan was a close to his best in the2nd test, seem to lose it however, pressure? tired? many reasons why.. but a class player.

Collingwood was useless, cant play him and Bopara in the same team.

Monty was a massive dissapointment, on them type of wickets, im sure when warne, murali etc started playing, they would have atleast taken 5wkts a game!!

Cook and Bell played well, but if Cook cant field in close (which is obvious at short leg) why put him there?! Bell was class there against aussies, so they move him??? (strange)

Englands bowlers .. effort = HIGH quality = LOW in places. Prior dropped important catches, so dont think the seamers are all to blame.

Prior - one more test series to prove he's good enough, then that should be it.

  • 33.
  • At 03:19 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • ollie james wrote:

Surely matt prior has to be dropped? Granted he is making decent runs but his keeping is awful. He hardly instills confidence within his bowlers does he? I thought Sidebttom was excellent and in particular he looks like he can more than hold a bat which is so useful in tailenders (vaas)

Panesar just didn't seem like he could adapt to those pitches but theres hardly another alternative out there is there?

Id personally like to see chris read given a shot for the keepers spot and maybe give bopara a season or two more in county cricket since he clearly has the makings of a class player

  • 34.
  • At 03:20 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Rishi Vadgama wrote:

I think that the ratings you (Simon) have given are very generous apart from Bopara and Sidebottom.
My ratings would be as follows:
Cook - 6
Vaughan - 5
Bell - 5
KP - 4
Collingwood - 5
Bopara - 5
Prior - 4
Sidebottom - 7
Harmison - 6
Hoggard - 6
Panesar - 4
Anderson - 5
Broad - 5

Bopara was under-used as a bowler which was the main reason for him being picked over Shah. This was a huge mistake by Vaughan which is the reason I gave him a low rating. KP was a disaster, Bell rarely looked comfortable, Colly was hardly better than KP and Prior was the joke of the team! Sidebottom bowled his heart out but didnt get any help from the fielders, Harmison got into a bit of rhythm but not consistent enough. Hoggard bowled well until his injury and then couldnt get back to full steam, Monty was pretty apalling in these spinner friendly conditions but it was his first tour to SL so he may be forgiven. Anderson and Broad never really got a chance to shine.

  • 35.
  • At 03:23 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • ollie james wrote:

Surely matt prior has to be dropped? Granted he is making decent runs but his keeping is awful. He hardly instills confidence within his bowlers does he? I thought Sidebttom was excellent and in particular he looks like he can more than hold a bat which is so useful in tailenders (vaas)

Panesar just didn't seem like he could adapt to those pitches but theres hardly another alternative out there is there?

Id personally like to see chris read given a shot for the keepers spot and maybe give bopara a season or two more in county cricket since he clearly has the makings of a class player

  • 36.
  • At 03:23 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Comments overall were fair, but the ratings were slightly too high, as they always tend to be from ex-members of the cricketers' union.

  • 37.
  • At 03:26 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Comments overall were fair, but the ratings were slightly too high, as they always tend to be from ex-members of the cricketers' union.

  • 38.
  • At 03:34 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Rishi Vadgama wrote:

Cook - 6
Vaughan - 5
Bell - 5
KP - 4
Collingwood - 5
Bopara - 5
Prior - 4
Sidebottom -7
Hoggard - 6
Harmison - 6
Panesar - 4
Anderson - 5
Broad - 5

  • 39.
  • At 03:46 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • owen wrote:

why isn't tescoboy coming back in the side; he's still our best opener!

  • 40.
  • At 04:01 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Adey wrote:

Steve Harmison - 8/10, you're having a laugh. By your assessment, he was player of the tour, what utter rubbish.

Cook and Sidebottom were the only two too show any fight when it mattered.

  • 41.
  • At 04:38 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Lou wrote:

Considering that Prior has been picked for his batting, he did very well.

It is just a shame that the selectors don't care enough about the bowlers and selecting him is proof of it. He had one good game, one average game and one stinker of a game and I expect that to remain his level as a wickie.

I don't know that any of the team deserve much over 6 as regards batting and bowling though I think players certainly tried. Harmison looked like he cared which was great as did Sidey.

  • 42.
  • At 04:42 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Considering that Prior has been picked for his batting, he did very well.

It is just a shame that the selectors don't care enough about the bowlers and selecting him is proof of it. He had one good game, one average game and one stinker of a game and I expect that to remain his level as a wickie.

I don't know that any of the team deserve much over 6.

  • 43.
  • At 05:01 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Stuart Hawkesworth wrote:

I think the ratings were a little generous/lenient depending on your point of view. Vaughan lost his art of captaincy, there seemed to be no real plan as to how to play the conditions or Murali, KP was a disaster that happened and not stuck around waiting, Sidebottom should be given 10 for effort alone and proved the case for an expert keeper except to be fair to Prior he batted better than the middle order. Bet Shah and Swann wondered why the missed the pre-Christmas shopping. As for Monty he was seriously poor, and he's not learning. Why wasn't Swann given a chance for the last test, he could be any less of a threat and he bats a lot better.

  • 44.
  • At 05:17 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Suresh Lalvani wrote:

England were below par, but battled gamely and bravely.

What really spoilt the series was poor Umpiring.

  • 45.
  • At 05:23 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Steve Cohen wrote:

KP 4/10

How about his dismissals

One kept very low Kandy
Chased the wide one in Colombo but was it out?
And received the ball of the series in Galle

and to say he finished without a half century in the series doesn't reflect the fact he was on 45no in Colombo.

It is his first poor series, but I reckon he'll be 9/10 come the end of the NZ series.

  • 46.
  • At 05:31 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Andy87 wrote:

"Cook average: 46.33 rating: 7/10
Collingwood average: 33.0 rating: 7/10 ?????????????? Collingwood had a really poor series, i would give him 5/10. otherwise your ratings are spot on..."

Idiot....

Collingwood also took 3 wickets at an average of 21.0 and as usual was one of our best fielders (e.g. taking probably the best catch of the series).
Last time I checked Cook wasn't an all-rounder, therefore you can't compare only their batting averages in the series and say instantly that Cook was better.

  • 47.
  • At 05:36 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Anon wrote:

Way too generous considering we lost one test, drew 2 others and were really never in a position after day 3 that we could've pushed for a victory in any of the tests. Cook showed great patience whilst batting, something some of our other batterss need to pickup on ( kp n vaughan maybe??).

  • 48.
  • At 05:38 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • SurreySimon wrote:

'Tis the season to be ironic: plenty of comments here suggesting Matt Prior should be dropped. Couldn't have put it better myself...

  • 49.
  • At 05:40 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Andrew Alicoon wrote:

A very sorry series for England. Luckily they are off to NZ who are has bad. Just watch our batsmen score 100's against a very limited bowling attack. I think Foster should be given his chance behind the stumps.

  • 50.
  • At 05:45 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • medina wrote:

Prior had a good series with the bat and with the obvious exception of the last test, a half decent time with the gloves. Chris Read seems the best with the gloves so put him in as keeper (to help the seamers), play Prior as an out and out batsman and drop Bopara. Ravi did ok with his medium pacers but batted so badly.
KP was useless, for one of the "best batsmen in the world" and he's complaining about being "tired" so DROP him and give him a rest!!. I like Bell but keeps failing to convert 60/70 into 100/120. Same with Cook although he needs to convert 100's to 150+'s. Centuries are what England need and the lack of such is a worry. Most sides have somebody that can hit 100+ regulary, Ausssies - Ponting
India - Ganguly / Tendulkar
Sri Lanka - Jayawardene / Sangakarra
WHO HAS THE CONFIDENCE OF THE TEAM IN ENGLAND TO HIT THE BIG HUNDREDS CONSISTENTLY?

NZ tour changes:
Bopara out Chris Read in. Prior as a Batsman.
KP out, Ramprakash in.
Give Swann a chance. Why bring him if you're not going to play him? No sense. Same goes for Shah.
Cook
Ramps
Vaughan
Bell
Colly
Prior
Read
Sidebottom
Hoggard
Panesar/Swann/Harmison/Anderson

(use colly and vaughan more for other bowling options and to take the load of Sidebottom and Hoggard. extreme but even leave out a specialist spinner and play the extra seamers and try to get the 20 wickets to bowl NZ out.)

  • 51.
  • At 05:47 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • SurreySimon wrote:

'Tis the season to be ironic: plenty of comments here suggesting Matt Prior should be ... dropped.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

  • 52.
  • At 05:52 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Anon wrote:

Way too generous considering we lost one test, drew 2 others and were really never in a position after day 3 that we could've pushed for a victory in any of the tests. Cook showed great patience whilst batting, something some of our other batterss need to pickup on ( kp n vaughan maybe??).

  • 53.
  • At 05:54 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • medina wrote:

Prior had a good series with the bat and with the obvious exception of the last test, a half decent time with the gloves. Chris Read seems the best with the gloves so put him in as keeper (to help the seamers), play Prior as an out and out batsman and drop Bopara. Ravi did ok with his medium pacers but batted so badly.
KP was useless, for one of the "best batsmen in the world" and he's complaining about being "tired" so DROP him and give him a rest!!. I like Bell but keeps failing to convert 60/70 into 100/120. Same with Cook although he needs to convert 100's to 150+'s. Centuries are what England need and the lack of such is a worry. Most sides have somebody that can hit 100+ regulary, Ausssies - Ponting
India - Ganguly / Tendulkar
Sri Lanka - Jayawardene / Sangakarra
WHO HAS THE CONFIDENCE OF THE TEAM IN ENGLAND TO HIT THE BIG HUNDREDS CONSISTENTLY?

NZ tour changes:
Bopara out Chris Read in. Prior as a Batsman.
KP out, Ramprakash in.
Give Swann a chance. Why bring him if you're not going to play him? No sense. Same goes for Shah.
Cook
Ramps
Vaughan
Bell
Colly
Prior
Read
Sidebottom
Hoggard
Panesar/Swann/Harmison/Anderson

(use colly and vaughan more for other bowling options and to take the load of Sidebottom and Hoggard. extreme but even leave out a specialist spinner and play the extra seamers and try to get the 20 wickets to bowl NZ out.)

  • 54.
  • At 05:55 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • george wrote:

why isn't bob willis and geoffrey boycott england coaches? i think they would be good apart from as soon as someone had a bad game they would be dropped permanently.

  • 55.
  • At 05:57 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Graem Peters wrote:

6 for Vaughan is 1 too high (he has advantage of getting in before Murali comes on and still does not capitalise). 7 for Cook 1 too low (usually took a good ball to get him out). 7 for Collingwood 2 too high (failed to make his experience and guts count). 5 for Prior 1 too low (2 excellent games with the gloves and one of England's best batters make him the key allrounder). 8 for Harmison 1 too high. 6 for Sidebottom 1 too low. (10 for effort and 0 for providing Murali with extra rough outside RHB off stump)
Bopara should be allowed to develop more in county cricket. Otherwise, these players plus Strauss are the ones for New Zealand.

  • 56.
  • At 06:07 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • shutty wrote:

ravi will be one of the best players in the world soon you watch 3/10 is very harsh. he should be the first on the team sheet.

  • 57.
  • At 06:25 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • ianp1970 wrote:

So what have we learnt from this series with regard to the team to play in New Zealand? Probavly not a lot, as I think the team will be...

Cook
Strauss
Vaughan
Pietersen
Bell
Collingwood
Prior
Sidebottom
Harmison
Hoggard
Panesar

A new keeper needs to be sought but what we really need is a bowler who can contribute with the bat at 8 - Ashley Giles is sorely missed.

All I can see is another defeat I afraid.

Any thoughts on what the team should be...

  • 58.
  • At 06:44 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • basil wrote:

I don't know about ratings but I feel sorry for sidebottom. His figures look rubbish for this series and have slumped badly overall due to the last two series (although his economy is good). But he has bowled well and induced numerous catchable edges. Very unusual for one particular bowler to have so many dropped off him and it was mentioned on commentary that he had spoken about how he thought prior's stance when he was bowling made it hard for him to take the edges because he was a bit unsighted. I just hope that in future people don't think back to this tour and say sidebottom is/was predictably ineffective outside english conditions because that would not be fair( or including the summer that he was only good vs windies). He did well in the ODI's with a different keeper who did not depress him by spilling catches (admittedly b sidebotton c mustard only happened once.)

  • 59.
  • At 06:48 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • robert wrote:

Good article SImon! Thanks for the insightful commentary on Sports Xtra> Must disagree with the ratings though... I felt that Sidebootom bowled his heart out with little luck, and showed commendable appplication whenever he batted. Would give him 7. Same with Harmison. Alas, nobody else performed to the standard which we know they can... so would award 6's at best. As for Bopara... as an Essex supporter I want to say give him a chance... but he looked at little out of his depth. Shah has scored centuries in ODI's... surely he deserved to play here instead of Bopara. And as for Prior... he may bat occasionally, but that ain't no good when you drop Dilshan (or Tendulkar!!!) is it?

My test team for NZ:

Vaughan
Cook
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Shah
Read
Sidebottom
Hoggard
Harmison
Panesar

My team for ODI's:

Trescothick (Bribe him, press gang him... whatever...)
Cook
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Shah
Read
Sidebottom
Broad
Anderson
Swann

  • 60.
  • At 06:59 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Elliott M. Brace wrote:

Was a really tough series. I think your rankings are pretty fair relative to each other.

I would really like to see the ODI side form the basis of the test side which it seems to be moreorless doing.

Except interesting that Phil 'Colonel' Mustard who was magnificent in Sri Lanka in the ODIs was not used (same for Owais 'Ace' Shah).

Huge mistake.

Prior and Bopara out.
Colonel and Ace in.

  • 61.
  • At 06:59 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • robert wrote:

Good article SImon! Thanks for the insightful commentary on Sports Xtra> Must disagree with the ratings though... I felt that Sidebootom bowled his heart out with little luck, and showed commendable appplication whenever he batted. Would give him 7. Same with Harmison. Alas, nobody else performed to the standard which we know they can... so would award 6's at best. As for Bopara... as an Essex supporter I want to say give him a chance... but he looked at little out of his depth. Shah has scored centuries in ODI's... surely he deserved to play here instead of Bopara. And as for Prior... he may bat occasionally, but that ain't no good when you drop Dilshan (or Tendulkar!!!) is it?

My test team for NZ:

Vaughan
Cook
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Shah
Read
Sidebottom
Hoggard
Harmison
Panesar

My team for ODI's:

Trescothick (Bribe him, press gang him... whatever...)
Cook
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Shah
Read
Sidebottom
Broad
Anderson
Swann

  • 62.
  • At 07:00 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • James wrote:

The fact of the matter is that all series England where not consistent in pressure, domination and lacked a killer edge.

In the first test, Sri Lanka were practically defeated, yet we let them escape from that predicament. This happened again and again in both fielding and batting. The England players worked a good position for dominance and let it slip away with a dropped catch or 2 quick wickets conceeded.

That is the differnce between England and Australia at the moment, the Aussies have teeth razor sharp that will grab any chance and expolit it.

Personally, we lost this on the first test with Sangakarra just in, Jimmy bowls him a gem, he edges it and the 3rd slip, surely at that stage a necessity, isnt there to take the catch.

England weren't particularly rubbish, they just were woefully inconsistent.

I wouldnt go chopping and changing the team, I'd give Jimmy and Shah a chance, i'd probably even stick with Prior, albeit on a last chance, and i'd work on getting the team playing again

  • 63.
  • At 07:24 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • rubbish wrote:

utter nonsense. none of them deserve more than a 4 and most don't even deserve a 1

  • 64.
  • At 07:33 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

How can some people think Bopara deserves a 5!!!!!!!

He made 3 ducks, dropped 2 catches, and hardly bowled!!

If he gets 5, their captain must get 20.

Bopara may have talent but he was an embarrasement on this tour. He was in this side to score runs as a top 6 batsman- he failed

  • 65.
  • At 07:57 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

I think all he ratings are wrong. Everyone but sidebottom should have lower ratings. Side bottom was teh best bowler by far and was let down by his fielders when easy catches were dropped. On teh other hand every other player were rubbish especially the batsman. Bowlers werent to bad just the batting was diabolical.

  • 66.
  • At 08:14 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • merv zappa wrote:

How can you possibly give Harmless 8. You out of your head??

  • 67.
  • At 08:15 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • craig wrote:

why on earth did cook get the same rating as collingwood..... cook battled and got 100 wand collingwood tried running down the pitch to murali and got a duck


  • 68.
  • At 08:16 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • joey wrote:

i think the ratings should be:

Vaughan - 5
Cook - 7
Bell - 7
Pietersen - 4
Collingwood - 6 batting-5 bowling-7
Bopara - 4 batting - 2 bowling - 6
Prior - 6 batting - 8 keeping - 4
Sidebottom - 7
Hoggard - 7
Harmison - 7
Broad - 4
Panesar - 4
Anderson - 4

  • 69.
  • At 08:22 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Josh wrote:

i fink giving prior 5 is not on. if he had hung on to that catch from the s.l captin on 66. england might have not been so tired out when it came to batting after chasing ball all over the park. and from vass was taking the p**s. so england might not have been all out for 88.
come on selectors bring back Read and give him a real go at keeping for england. poor bloke can bat. like his 50's vs pack and that 150 odd in a tour game.

please

  • 70.
  • At 08:25 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Iain palot wrote:

Drop Pietersen until he can score some runs he is in it for one thing only it seems.

Will a Sussex coach drop the Sussex keeper??????????????

What's wrong with Reed or even better Foster

Ravi Bopara. Why???
He avaeraged 8 with the bat and took 1-100ish with the ball. Surely the new Mark Eahlam (Can bowl a bit, can bat a bit but not Test Standard in either).

Why the heck wasnt owais Shah picked ahead of him?

  • 72.
  • At 08:26 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • oligold11 wrote:

Vaughan-5 ... Looked fluent at times but his captaincy was weak and he failed to convert plenty of starts.
Cook-7 ... Great learning experience for him, and he showed with that century exactly what we've needed all series.
Bell-5/8 ... 8 for some wonderful fifties, 5 for not converting them into wonderful centuries. Amazing talent though.
Pietersen-4 ... What did he do? He bowled better than he batted, however its his first bad series and is still our best batsman.
Colly-5 ... Gutsy but very average. Even his fielding was a bit shabby at times.
Bopara-2 ... I feel really sorry for him because he's a wonderful talent but a terrible time to bring him in ... where was ramps!
Prior-8/4 ... 8 for some excellent batting, 4 for some pathetic keeping. Must be kept on as a batsman though.
Sidey-7 ... Would have been an 8 had he had a keeper that could catch off of him. Excellent discipline again, and is first bowler on the sheet now.
Hoggy-7 ... Great start but injury ruined his tour.
Monty-3 ... Dreadful. Too short, too wide, with no variety whatsoever. Really really dissapointed, but he'll come back.
Harmi-7 ... Best he's bowled for a while, but wasn't much of a wicket taking option when we really had to work hard.

  • 73.
  • At 08:47 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Drew wrote:

I don't understand what Chris Read has to do to get a game, go and look at his county average with the bat for the last 3 seasons....statistically he stacks up against all other keepers in the English game. Add to that the fact that he is clearly the best gloveman around.

He must have REALLY upset somebody.

  • 74.
  • At 09:12 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Chris Jaw wrote:

Agree with the commentsa about Chris Read. Especially considering his skill with the bat. We could have played him in the Gaffer role at 6, allowing us 5 bowlers - maybe drafting in Swann, a another proven match winner. With those two in we would have walked this series.

  • 75.
  • At 09:41 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Chris Jaw wrote:

Agree with the comments about Chris Read. Especially considering his skill with the bat. We could have played him in the Gaffer role at 6, allowing us 5 bowlers - maybe drafting in Swann, another proven match winner. With those two in we would have walked this series.

  • 76.
  • At 09:42 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Kane wrote:

It's strange that KP didn't perform. He's a dominating batsman but he got some good deliveries at the wrong time. Credit to Sri Lanka though, but im sure KP will come out with a fire in his belly against the Newzealanders.

Good ratings though.

  • 77.
  • At 09:58 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Gamini Ranjith wrote:

The players of a team performed so badly in a series does not deserve a rating of more than 5 for any player.The Sri lankann team players according to your rating deserve more than 10.

  • 78.
  • At 10:03 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • tom wrote:

steeve in post number 8 made possib ly the most ridiculous suggestion in sporting history!!!! hinting that kp should be dropped. prior to this series he had only scored 100 more runs than anyone else this calendar year in world cricket, suppose this is'nt good enough. one bad tour and you want him out!!!!!!

  • 79.
  • At 10:04 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Summit wrote:

I used to play cricket with Ravi Bopara and he is a class act. Give the boy some time, this was his first test series and yes he didn't perform brilliantly but when he turns around in a couple of years and shows his real potential then you'll all be laughing. Vaughan didn't bowl him enough and yes his batting could have been better, but against Murali, come on give the guy a break?

  • 80.
  • At 10:15 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • GirlsLikeCricketToo wrote:

pretty good, but i think bopara deserves more than 3. i think a 4 would be more appropriate as his bowling was quite usful. if not then pietersen should only get a 3 too

  • 81.
  • At 10:20 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Jack Byrne wrote:

As usual. Put a positive spin on it!

Harmison was nowhere near an 8!

Sidebottom and Hoggard were awful.

Collingwood was shocking!! Bopara was 1 thats ONE at best!

  • 82.
  • At 10:23 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

England were totally outclassed in this series, Sri-Lanka kept to their strenghts and in truth England would have been surprise winners.

I thought Shah should have played as he has shown more ability at international level, his good slip fielding would have meant that Bell could have gone back to his favorite short leg. Bopara was unlucky, but i still think it would have been better to choose a batsman capable of test 100's than a talanted but rather "bits and pieces cricketer".
KP is going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment and it will be a good test of his ability as a batsman if he conquers a bad run of scores.
Vaughn looked troubled at times in the field but is still a class player and was unlucky to get out in the 2nd test when a fluent hundred bekoned. Cook is a another class player and a sucessful carear is a certainty due to his ability to score "ugly runs" when he is not in form and when batting is not easy. his hundred was a masterclass in how to play in Sri-lankan conditions,treating balls on their merit and capitalising when the bowlers dropped it short. All the bowlers gave it their all but the strong Sri-Lankan middle order meant that chances were few and far between, a young in-experience bowling unit (other than hoggard), they lacked the nous of someone like Vaas on how to bowl in the conditions. I think prior had a good series in all, two very decent tests with both bat and gloves was followed by a tough test where he only recieved half chances, diving low to his right. These are normally only 50/50 takes so in truth he only dropped one catch he shoud have taken in the match.

I was most dissapointed by Monty Panesar, for a class act he failed to even trouble the Sri-Lankan batsman.

I believe england deserve their new ranking as they have lost their ruthless streak since their glory years of 03' 04' and 05'. Our dominance as home masks a inability of our team to win aborad thus we do not deserve to be the 2nd best team in the world.

  • 83.
  • At 11:17 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Grabyrdy wrote:

What was Bopara supposed to contribute that Shah could not have done better with the bat and Colly already provided with the ball ?

One of the great mysteries ...

  • 84.
  • At 11:38 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Jim Tomlinson, Solihull. wrote:

Who are we kidding with these ratings. Apart from Ian Bell - unfortubate in the 1st innings run-out - no one deserves more than a 5. As long as we have 7's and an 8, the players will think they have done alright.

  • 85.
  • At 11:53 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Mr. Twattwanka wrote:

Totally wrong very hard on Bopara he is new to the standard and he aint doing too badly in my view its the selectors, if you want the team to get better get those fools out and bring in some people who know what they are doing, try something different because this is not working!

  • 86.
  • At 11:53 PM on 22 Dec 2007,
  • Phil Morey wrote:

All out for 80 after 500 declared. This says three things.Rubbish bowling,rubbish fielding, rubbish batting. England are technically poor, unfit and poorly led. Start the sackings at the top. Get rid of the senior management, then the coaches, then the trainers, then the players. No-one in that side deserves a rating over 4/10

  • 87.
  • At 12:29 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

i thought collingwood was poor throughout the whole series he always looked out of depth when at the crease, bopara shoudve been swapped for swann in the last test.
I think the bowlers hughesy has got spot on they had to realy work hard but they werent backed up ny the bowlers and fielding.

  • 88.
  • At 01:08 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • jay wrote:

jus wana say i was really disappointed with the england performance and the fact that there saying the team is moving forward, when i cant remember wen we won a test match away from england, also i beleive that people need to lay off KP fair enough he has had a poor test series but wen u consider the year for KP he has made over 1000 runs which puts him in the top 3 of run scorers this year so obviously he is making runs he jus had a bad test series i mean is human after all

  • 89.
  • At 01:45 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

S.Harmison 8/10 would suggest he has taken a lots of wickets at a good average. I would suggest you check his stats again and maybe 6/10 for his willing effort would be more appropiate.

  • 90.
  • At 01:59 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • paulo wrote:

6 wickets at 36. Harmison overrated as usual. No one should get more than 6 due to awful fielding. What would the ratings have been if the scores were reversed!?

  • 91.
  • At 02:37 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

Here's what I would give...

Cook - 7, Got a hundred against Warne in Perth and now one against Murali at Galle - not bad for a weak player of spin aged 22!
Vaughan - 5, Showed flashes of 2002 in Colombo but underbowled Bopara
Bell - 6, Looked good but when did Ponting last get 3 fifties and 0 hundreds?
KP - 3, Unlucky I think, Malinga's ball would have even got Jayawardene out and dodgy decisions earlier too. Needs a break, should come back strong though. People who say drop him don't know what they're talking about
Colly - 5, Kept being at the other end during collapses so not much he could do
Bopara - 2, Out of his depth yes, but a good experience and in a couple years will be first name down
Prior - 5, 2 excellent tests then a few clangers at Galle. Will probably remain due to lack of other candidates
Sidebottom - 7, Bowled his heart out with no luck and gutsy batting
Hoggard - 5, Excellent at Kandy but injury restricted him
Harmison - 6, A lot more control than the past 12 months but no real fireworks
Panesar - 2, Poor. Failed to live up to expectations and a novice compared to Murali
Anderson - 4, Unlucky to be dropped straight away
Broad - 4, Didn't do much wrong but should slowly grow into test side (permanent ODI player though)

  • 92.
  • At 02:43 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • tony wrote:

Ratings a good relection when compared player to player but as mentioned some serious over-rating by a good point or two for some players.

Everybody mentions using Jack Russell to help Prior and his keeping (very good idea so probably will not be used by England..!!) but don't we also have Andy Flower in the current management and he was one of the better keeper / batsmen in the world at the time he played? If Prior cannot learn anything from Flower then he does not deserve to play for England.

Nothing personal against Prior and I feel sorry for any England wicketkeeper as they will forever be compared to Allan Knott who was a one-off. I would go for Read or Foster for England as they are keeper-batsmen rather than Prior who is a batsman-keeper.

  • 93.
  • At 03:18 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • rienzie wrote:

I watched the 3 tests and the negatvity of the batting of England, especially in the 2nd Test took the series away from them. While Cook had an above average sewries with the bat, his batting was not positive enough to force a result. Vaughan, like his predecessors , always looks very sad and does not exude enough confidence in his team. Bell, played well but was guilty of dropping too many crucial catches. Prior, had a better series with the bat as the series wen on , unfortunatly this fell in reverse with his keeping. The bowlers, apart from Hoggy and Harmison (good to see him back), the rest were nothing more than average, at best. Monty was out thought and out played. The Sri Lankan batsmen has a good measure of him, and his taming was crucial as it meant that he couldnt force the results either, unlike Murali and Co. Anderson, Bopara, Broad all looked not up to test standards.

  • 94.
  • At 03:23 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Divya wrote:

Vaughan should quit captaincy...this sounds hasty but his captaincy was weak, lacked the energy and enthusiasm it had 2-3 years ago. A captain is only as good as his team, and this team is pathetic. If it hadn't been for the rain at Galle and the pitch at SSC, we would've lost 3-0, which does not make for good reading...and let's face it, he's facing the same situation that Nasser Hussain faced when he and Vaughan were in charge of the test and ODI teams respectively. Looking at England in the field, I think the guys prefer having Colly as captain than Vaughan. It's my opinion...what do the others think??

  • 95.
  • At 05:01 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • bobbarclay wrote:


i would drop Vaughan and make Colly captain.Bring in a proper opener to help Cook.They all looked tired as well by the end

  • 96.
  • At 07:02 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • GovernotAlf wrote:

The only player to enhance his reputation on this tour was Cook and he is still finding his feet at test level. The batting must be strengthened to take pressure off KP so he can play more circumspectly and stop getting out to rash shots. I would bring back Robert Key to open with Cook and then line up Vaughan, KP, Bell Collingwood, Foster of Essex as WK followed by three seamers plus Panesar. Foster keeps as well as anyone and is a better batting option than the recent trio of options. Collingwood should be bowled more and Vaughan, a very adaquate slow bowler, should as well.

  • 97.
  • At 07:45 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • JohnA wrote:

Hero of the series Sidebottom.

Zero of the series Pietersen.

If there had been no rain or bad light it would have been 3-0.

I reckon they were all thinking about Christmas not Cricket during the final test.

  • 98.
  • At 09:17 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • bakes8 wrote:

I dont understand why people are defending Bopara's performance in these 3 Tests.

Batting:
42 runs at 8.4

Bowling:
26overs 1-81

I could produce these figure's for England, they are terrible. Yes granted he's young and should improve, but no way should he have played ahead of Shah who is capable of scoring Test Hundreds.

Madness from Moores/Vaughan.

  • 99.
  • At 09:19 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • jamie wrote:

I think every mark was too high.
I still don't understand why our bowlers no longer aim at the stumps? Playing for edges and catches all the time doesn't add up to me as the fielders don't seem to be "top drawer".
Still, they all had a great holiday (lap-dancers and booze) that WE paid for (Government's Sport Dept.)and will have a great tan for their efforts!

  • 100.
  • At 09:30 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • jamie wrote:

I think every mark was too high.
I still don't understand why our bowlers no longer aim at the stumps? Playing for edges and catches all the time doesn't add up to me as the fielders don't seem to be "top drawer".
Still, they all had a great holiday (lap-dancers and booze) that WE paid for (Government's Sport Dept.)and will have a great tan for their efforts!

  • 101.
  • At 09:43 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Chris Jaw wrote:

Agree with all the comments about Read, a proven match winner. Why didn't we bat him in the Gaffer role at 6? We could have then played an extra bowler - Swann maybe. That line up would really have worried Sri Lanka and we would have strolled to a 3-0 series win.

  • 102.
  • At 10:18 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Chris Jaw wrote:

I agree with the comments about Read, a proven match winner. Why didn't we play him in the Gaffer role at number 6? That would have allowed us to play an extra bowler - Swann maybe. Sri Lanka would have trembled at that line up and I'm certain we'd have strolled to a 3-0 series victory. A wasted chance.

  • 103.
  • At 10:27 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Joe Pyne wrote:

Ratings are reasonably accurate with a few that were far too generous. Harmison for example got an 8/10 and that says he bowled fantasticly, almost perfectly, which anyone who watched can prove that wrong. Prior was as usual a qualified disaster. Where is Read? He would have taken all the catches off Sidebottom and co. and putting in a good contribution with the bat. Monty was appaling at best and i agree that Swann should have been given a chance. Sidebottom was as usual consistantly good. The only England bowler who actually aimed for the stumps again and put in a few gutsy performances with the bat.

  • 104.
  • At 10:29 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Fahad Arshad wrote:

Mr. Hughes,
Although i can read the basis for you have given the ratings which you have, but that is all i can do; Read! There is no underling truth to what you delivered on this article.
Your average turns out to be 5.5 on 13 players. And on the players which played most frequently throughout the series, the average is 6.4.
Are you kidding me?
I believe according to what happened in the series the average of any unbiased cricket fan for the Sri Lankan team to be about 7.5!
You are telling me that Srilankan team beat England team by 1.1 rating points ?
Are you technically a cricket journalist even ?
Review your ratings and come back with more substance in your article. The average of 13 players cannot be more than 4.3!
According to you you have rated a team which got out for 80 something score at an international level as 5.5. Which channel/ground were you watching?

  • 105.
  • At 10:57 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • David Wilson wrote:

Far too generous, I'm afraid...

Your scores suggest England played well. Apart from one part of the first test they did not and were totally outshone by Sri Lanka.

Over the whole series, maybe only 2 players deserved 6 or 7 (Harmison and Collingwood) and quite a few would have been marked generously at 3.

A very disappointing set of performances which gave the lie to the previous test ranking of 2 for the team. Fifth is closer to the mark, but unless they do better in New Zealand will still flatter to deceive.

  • 106.
  • At 11:27 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Luke wrote:

I'll say this, Vaughan is an incredible batsman and was incredible in the 2nd test, his shots were better than anyone's.

And those who moan about his captaincy, if his bowlers bowled well and got edges and missed his fielders, then it would be a valid criticism, but it didn't happen, did it, the edges didn't come and when they did they may of been dropped by our inexperienced slips, he can't do anything about that.

Bopara shouldn't of played, i'll give you that.
And the answer to why you'd bring a player and not play him....you can't play everyone can you?

KP failed, he'll do well in NZ, quote me.

  • 107.
  • At 11:35 AM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • gallah wrote:

The Sri Lanka result just re-emphasizes what a massive upset the last Ashes series in England really was. How can anyone with a winning metality still support Vaughan and his no-hopers. How many series do England need to lose before people realise just how all round incompetent this cricket side is. None of the players deserve more than 3/10. England are so far behind India, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka, its ridiculous!

  • 108.
  • At 12:29 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Christopher wrote:

If the points had been out of 100 and not 10 i would still not have given Prior more than a minus 50 - he was absolute rubbish and to get out in the first innings of the final test (bowled through the gate- don't they teach these people anything anymore) and to actually smile when you know your side is in deep trouble says it all!!!

As to KP he is one nut who is definitely passed his sell by date. Drop him it might do his over inflated ego some good, and now that he has served his time in the wilderness bring back strauss.

As to a wicket-keeper I would give Jones the edge over Read as he is a more consistent batsman.

On the plus side well done Ryan and Hoggy you played as though you were playing for your country and NOT you bank manager!!! (Apologies to Jack Russell on that one.

In fact the best thing to do with this lot is to demand their match fees back as they were not worth a light.

No fire and no pride!!!

Don't give me all that rubbish about their being tired! soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan know what it is to be tired - not an over rated bunch of prima donnas

  • 109.
  • At 02:31 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Mahesh S. Panicker wrote:

well, 50s don't win you test matchs, and so Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell should have gone on and converted their scors into 100s. for me, Both deserve 6 at the most. Mat Prior? 5? fine, but out of 25, and he gets all the marks for the 2 innings with the bat. he get a -100 for his keepping. absolutely attrotious. Alastair Cook would have done a far better job with the gloves. Harmison 8. a touch too high. Harmy did bowl well, but not at his distructive best on unresponsive tracks. I would give him 7. Paul Collingwood has not been making big scors, and don't deserve a 7. I would give him 6. KP, who had an unusual poor series, and Monty Panesar, for whom this tour has been a reality check has got what deserved. however said that, I expect both to star in NZ. Ravi Bopara. 3 seems harsh, but unfortunatly thats what he deserve for this series. but Michael Vaughan should have used him more with the ball. I am sure his time will come. Sidebottom, unforntunate, and may be a 7 won't be too much? Hoggard. the man who was expected to do most of the damage with the ball, barring one performance, it had not been quite there for Hoggy, and I would give him 6. Anderson, as expected inconsistent, and Broad, within the range of potential.

  • 110.
  • At 03:01 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • David J birch wrote:

I think your ratings are spot on apart from Collingwood, why 7 should be 5, batting very poor shows his limited technique, but fielding as good as ever, bowling around village green standard.

  • 111.
  • At 05:13 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • haydn wrote:

i do thinkmost of the ratings are sufficent but ravi bopara. the worst england player i have ever seen can't bowl and deffinetly can't bat

  • 112.
  • At 05:50 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • haydn wrote:

i do thinkmost of the ratings are sufficent but ravi bopara. the worst england player i have ever seen can't bowl and deffinetly can't bat to save his life and chriss read for england

  • 113.
  • At 06:04 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Richard Wraith wrote:

I am totally convinced that Vaughan's performance as a Captain, rather than simply a batsman, should be considered. It is here that his role in the success, or otherwise, of the England team is most significant. He does not seem to cut the mustard. The results under his helm and the body language of the whole team are extremely unimpressive.
I have no idea how popular, or otherwise, he is in the dressing room but the outward signs are most unimpressive.
On a point score I would give him 2/10.

  • 114.
  • At 06:15 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Roy Clewes wrote:

Personally I think the marks are too high but also I think that the manager & all the coaching staff should take a hard look at theirselves for allowing these sort of non performances to happen Batsmen continually playing shots that even schoolboys would not attempt, Bowlers that cannot bowl either line or length and as said shambolic fielding If this is a sign of things too come we are in for several years in the wilderness

  • 115.
  • At 06:44 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • James Davey wrote:

Against India KP scored two hundreds in three Tests. That was his last Test series.

So he had a bad series against Sri Lanka. Every player has the occasional bad series. Even Tendulkar. Even Lara. Even Ponting.

Anyone who thinks we should drop a player who averages 50 with the bat, is consistantly our top batsman, and is the one batsman capable of taking the attack to the opposition rather than batting for survival, is just crazy.

KP is England's best batsman. By a mile. His record stands for itself.

Drop KP? Sure, if you want to make England WORSE than they already are...

  • 116.
  • At 06:46 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • David C USA wrote:

I think the ratings were far too high. We were outplayed and outclassed, much of the blame should go to Peter Moores and Michael Vaughan. They did not have strong discipline or focus.Until we learn the first job of a wicket keeper is to keep wicket and set the example for the fielders we will never compete. My ratings and reasons would be as follows.
Cook-5. He still cannot get on top of the opposition.
Vaughan-3. Poor captaincy and di not use Collingwood enough.
Bell-5. Always falls short of a big score.
Pieterson-4.Not consistant enough for #4.
Collingwood-5.Always tries but still lacks good batting skills.
Bolparo-0. Outclassed and should have been dropped for test # 3.
Prior-4. Not a world class wicket keeper. Sadly lacking.
Hoggard-6. Back problems ruined follow up to the first test.
Harmison-5.
Sidebottam-5. His performance was affected by poor fielding.
Broad-4. Still has a lot to learn.
Panestar-4. Overrated. Has not lived up to his press.
Until we start expecting more of our players we will never come up to Australian standards.

  • 117.
  • At 07:41 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Jackie Litherland wrote:

The comparison of Bell to Ponting is quite ridiculous, except when they were similar ages, when Ponting was 25 for example and according to Nick Knight they compare very similarly. When Bell is 33 then we will have some idea whether he will have fulfilled his potential. I thought he looked very comfortable against all of the batting. He had some unlucky twists of fate like the very low ball of the Galle second innings and being run out by your team mate sending you back in the first. I personally would have reduced Cook's rating for that: poor calling and selfish attitude to sacrifice Bell's wicket . It was just as bad as a crucial dropped catch and initiated the collapse of the first innings. Cook knew it to his credit and looked very troubled throughout his second innings and hardly celebrated his 100.
I enjoyed the Series until the hysteria of hatred at the end when the media rose as one to berate the team. How players can perform under such a barrage of constant abuse I don't know. No matter how good or talented, or professional they are, the constant criticism will lead to underperformance. England play the opposition on the field and the media off the field.
The world regards our media with amused horror. The trouble is, it seems to be infecting the so-called England fans who drape a flag at the ground like "Hang your heads in Shame".
And those who blog personal abuse at every opportunity. Not on this blog but on 606. I won't call them supporters.
I felt sickened by some of the invective. I don't know about the British disease but if there is one it is very close to this.

  • 118.
  • At 07:54 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • kenny wrote:


I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that Chris Read must be on every Most Wanted list - FBI, Interpol, Scotland Yard in the country with the exception of the England Cricket selectors!

He must be under suspicion for most of the henious crimes still to be solved in the last ten years as that is the only possible reason left for his exclusion

Facts

He is recognised by all and sundry as the best gloveman in the Country

His average in County Cricket over the last three years is higher than any of the so called batsman wicketkeepers including Prior, Jones, Foster and Mustard

Even if he was to average 10 runs less than Prior in test cricket, given that dropping players like Jayawardena on 10 can cost you 200 runs, this will quicly level itself out, not to mention the psycological impact dropped catches have on the bowlers.

Yes the aussies have Gilchrist but the bottom line is batsman should score runs, bowlers take wickets, keepers should catch everything and everyone needs to work hard to stop runs in the field.

If batsman can bowl a bit of vice versa so be it but that should be a bonus -
catches often win matches but dropping them definately loses them

1 in a series would be poor for a keeper but 8 is ridiculous

  • 119.
  • At 08:18 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

I think giving Prior 5 is a bit harsh, so he dropped a few clangers, he averaged over 40 with the bat. Chris Read would struggle to do better. And the less said about Geraint Jones the better! Lets hope Freddie is back to fitness so we can ditch the seemingly useless Bopara

  • 120.
  • At 11:11 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • Rick wrote:

Somebody wrote this "While Cook had an above average series with the bat, his batting was not positive enough to force a result".
I dont normally write, i am not normally rude, impolite, inflamatory or have any desire to upset anybody, but by christ this has to be the most stupid sentance i have ever read. What do you want, a bloody pinch-hitter in a test match? I dont care if the man scores 50 runs in a day, he is first line of defence, a sheild for the rest of the team, his job is to take the shine off the ball, to protect the middle order from early swing and bounce, to carry his bat and allow the strokemakers to attack, he is there to grind, to destroy the bowlers soul, he is the anchor, the straightman, a rock, it is a tough, thankless and unglamorous job and if he has done it properly he is still there when number 11 comes out to bat.

  • 121.
  • At 12:36 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • John wrote:

Cook should get at least 8, and not because he got a century. The reason I give him an 8 is that he actually seemed to be the only player who LEARNT something. He started off dreadfullly, scratched around in the 2nd test to get a 50, and got a century in the 3rd. If only a few more players could learn as much.

I don't mind that he doesn't dominate - if he can bat all day and get to around 100 we have enough other stroke players to score the runs we need.

  • 122.
  • At 12:37 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • dai the expat wrote:

I think the early morning starts have muddled a few brains. Most of team looked totally disinterested in the games and deserve no better than a rating of 2. Exceptions are Sidebottom and Hoggard (when he was fit). The management must take their share of the blame as well. Not bringing in a bowling replacement was crazy. How are we expected to win games when half the team are injured.
Harmison must retire, he is simply dreadful. The batsmen only had to play about 15% of the balls faced from him (any official stats on that). Panesar, like most of the team, way out of his/their depth. No excuses please (still learning etc). Can you imagine Ricky Ponting smiling when his team are being thrashed?
We're simply not good enough. These are professional players, it's about time they started playing like it.

  • 123.
  • At 12:37 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • dai the expat wrote:

I think the early morning starts have muddled a few brains. Most of team looked totally disinterested in the games and deserve no better than a rating of 2. Exceptions are Sidebottom and Hoggard (when he was fit). The management must take their share of the blame as well. Not bringing in a bowling replacement was crazy. How are we expected to win games when half the team are injured.
Harmison must retire, he is simply dreadful. The batsmen only had to play about 15% of the balls faced from him (any official stats on that). Panesar, like most of the team, way out of his/their depth. No excuses please (still learning etc). Can you imagine Ricky Ponting smiling when his team are being thrashed?
We're simply not good enough. These are professional players, it's about time they started playing like it.

  • 124.
  • At 12:48 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • dai the expat wrote:

I think the early morning starts have muddled a few brains. Most of team looked totally disinterested in the games and deserve no better than a rating of 2. Exceptions are Sidebottom and Hoggard (when he was fit). The management must take their share of the blame as well. Not bringing in a bowling replacement was crazy. How are we expected to win games when half the team are injured.
Harmison must retire, he is simply dreadful. The batsmen only had to play about 15% of the balls faced from him (any official stats on that). Panesar, like most of the team, way out of his/their depth. No excuses please (still learning etc). Can you imagine Ricky Ponting smiling when his team are being thrashed?
We're simply not good enough. These are professional players, it's about time they started playing like it.

  • 125.
  • At 01:15 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • dai the expat wrote:

I would like to know precisely what England have learned from this (or any other)series. I keep hearing the words 'we can learn from this' but have yet to hear what it is that has been learned. They are just repeating what the psychologists are telling them without understanding what it means.
If they mean that they learn to accept defeat with a smile on their faces then they are learning fast.

  • 126.
  • At 03:07 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

I think you've been far too generous with the ratings. I generally agree with who deserved higher than the other, but no one deserved more than a 6.

  • 127.
  • At 05:04 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • prashanth wrote:

i would say that sidebottom is definitely a 7/10. collingwood did not do that much in the series....except a couple of innings.. also if harmy was an 8, why didnt he play in the 1st test? otherwise the ratings are correct.....

i would also like to disagree with comment no. 21 which goes on to say that pietersen does not perform when the going is tough....people these days have a very short memory span....he has had 1 bad series....who saved england against australia in the 5th test at the oval in 2005? at times pietersen has been the only player to shine for england....the world cup for example....so people should take the past into consideration as well

  • 128.
  • At 06:12 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • john wrote:

I think 7 for Colly is high for a start but I'd dock him points for the most ridiculous soundbite of the tour.

After being bowled out for 81, he said 'we're heading in the right direction'. Pleasingly, the reporter picked him up on it. There were no positives to draw upon in that innings but in the macho, say-the-right-pc-correct world the players live in, perhaps he actually believes this.

I'd say our technical ability and mental attitude is not up to it. Drop KP for a while, he's sitting in the comfort zone - not worth his place at the moment

  • 129.
  • At 08:03 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

England rarely need to think long and hard about this performance, its time like these when cricketing fans are highly disapointed!

  • 130.
  • At 08:06 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Febin wrote:

I dont agree with you man how can u give 7/10 for Collingwood I think he must be removed from England team Strauss is a better player than Collingwood, how ECB can replace Flintoff with Bopara that is the biggest mistake they did, I think England can only dream about outing that they did in 2005 against the mighty Australians. ECB must take some harsh decisions to make the team good again

  • 131.
  • At 09:00 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Pete Dhadda wrote:

Thoroughly disappointing tour as mentioned my many already.

However we do need to just take a step backwards with regards to criticism of Panesar - he is still young and learning and the experience he takes form this tour will see him in good stead.

I think we are forgetting that the pitches were not that spin friendly and even Murali (one of the greatest bowlers in history) was struggling to find turn at times. And we must not get into the trap of comparing a youngster like Panesar with a cricketing great -as Jonathon Agnew mentioned: when you compare Murali's stats with Panesars at similar stages of their careers they stand up quite well.

  • 132.
  • At 09:27 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • John wrote:

In the rating you missed out the real culprits. The idiots who decided to send our players off on so many tours. The players are burnt out, they've been on the road for too long, they have lost the stability which comes from having their families around them without having the stability of camradarie which you used to get on a really long tours. Don't say, "It is part of the job," because everyone knows of jobs which are so badly organised they can't be done properly.

I don't think that they are a brilliant set of players, but they haven't been given a chance. Also we should get out of the habit of regarding anyone who scores a century or takes a few wickets as the new Massiah. He doesn't come that often.

hi....how ru very bad that srilanka win the series may be england shoud work hard and srilanka is bad team i heat srilanka

hi
iam naqeeb from afghanistan now i live to pakistan i like pieterson my heart pieterson my favret hero of cricket pieterson

  • 135.
  • At 10:09 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Bob wrote:

Ratings apart from Harmison pretty good. Comment about NZ is spot on, they are very poor and without Shane Bond bowling is no better than county.
Time to drop Colly, just not good enough in the tests and bring in the best batsman in UK, Ramps (4,000 runs in 2 years) and he is a top fielder. So what if he is nearing the end of his career, his runs speak for themselves also new keeper required, Read, Foster or Ambrose.

  • 136.
  • At 10:26 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Rik Hughes wrote:

Generally spot on, although all the batsmen may be too high after failing to fill their boots. Surely Broad was worth a bit higher after the promise he showed on an unhelpful track.
Prior - even 5 is too many, a wicketkeeper MUST hold catches.
Bopara- why play him, we have plenty of bits and pieces bowlers, why not play a "proper" batsman at 6 until Flintoff returns or a replacement is found.

  • 137.
  • At 10:46 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • David wrote:

Cook and Sidebottom, maybe Bell and Hoggard are the only ones to have emerged in credit after this series. Pietersen frustrates me geatly as he is so talented.

Prior's rating is fair - he did bat well at times but his drops were crucial. It's interesting to read the munber of people calling for Read or Foster behind the stumps, now that the old maxim of "catches win matches" has been brought to the fore.

Adam Gilchrist is unique and we should hope rather than expect to replicate him. A keeper-batsman who takes catches and stumpings while averaging between 25 and 30 and contributing to partnerships down the order is of far greater value than one who scores the odd 50 and drops important catches; in an ideal world Read would have been gloveman, but in present circumstances Foster deserves the nod, with Mustard as reserve.

I think your rating for Anderson is a touch harsh - if Bell had not dropped Jiasuryia off his bowling in the first test, he would not have had the chance to take the game away from us, as he did. It was also often said that while he put the ball in the right areas luck was not on his side.

I would also say that Shah should have been given more of a chance, particularly with his known strengths of playing spin and slip fielding, both of which were lacking this series.

With regard to the many comments of a lack of passion displayed, I think the saying "familiarity breeds contempt" is at work here - internationals are played so often that the pride derived from representing one's country is eroded. Ian Botham once said that he could not understand why anyone had to be motivated to wear the 3 lions. I think most would agree with that sentiment.

  • 138.
  • At 11:10 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Sorry but i just dot agree with what you have put. this was a poor performance from a team at the time ranked world number 2!! the only players who can look back and say i gave a 100% were sidebottom and cook

for me its time to say goodbye to matt prior....he simply is not good enough as a wicketkeeper at test standard and i would give foster another go

my ratings

Cook - 6
Vaughan - 5
Bell - 5
KP - 3
Collingwood - 4
Bopara - 3
Prior - 4
Sidebottom - 7
Harmison - 6
Hoggard - 5
Panesar - 3
Anderson - 4
Broad - 4

  • 139.
  • At 11:17 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • mujeeb wrote:

Having played in the local Hampshire league for the first time last summer I realise how deep the politics in cricket runs......teams are selected on relationships and not performance!

On a seperate note, KP (as is Isaid a year ago) is the Great Pretender! If he was really that good he would have qualified to play for SA.

English cricket needs to be re-structured: condisering the amount of money the cricket board spends per player compard to other contries it is amazing that thy have such LOW expectations.

In the real world they would be out of work...........

  • 140.
  • At 11:25 AM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Buchmicter wrote:

The entire tour was pretty shambolic, not enough expierience, very few players with more than fifty caps. It should have been the same team that played against India at the oval at the end of last summer. Bopara was pretty terrible(2), Cook was brilliant (9), Collingwood was pretty shambolic too(4) unless he hits some form his place must come under consideration, Vaughen was pretty terrible too(3) and he was basically the only guy who had any true expierience of thos pitches and overall, Pietersen what can we say? (2) he was set a trap for his ego and he took it every time he must learn to control his ego, Prior a hundred times better than in the summer(8) his keeping could have been better but that will come, Bell was not brilliant (5). All the bowlers were pretty terrible, none of them have the capacity to take wickets and make inroads into a good innings they must work on this. Panesar was the only outright failiure I thought batsmen know what to expect from him he must develop a "wrong un" if he is to survive in international. Whay was Strauss not selected? In the last four tests before the tour to Sri Lanka he had hit 3 half centuries and one (Vs India at Lords) almost a century? Why did the Engand management mess about with inexpierienced players when they had the likes of Strauss and Shah?

  • 141.
  • At 02:39 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • harry wrote:

It's clear from the teams performane and several player reactions earlier on in the year that they didn't want to be there.

I think the ECB needs to reconsider the scheldule for the year, they need to reduce the number of series' to allow the players to focus more on the key ones!

  • 142.
  • At 02:46 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • samyboxer wrote:

6/10 is too generous for Vaughan ...For me it was 3/10....

  • 143.
  • At 03:39 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • LankanFan wrote:

The scores seem very generous! Surprising to see Vaugh, Colly and Bell score so high. Same for the bowlers since Sl consistently scored 500+ against them

  • 144.
  • At 03:58 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • deepscrew68 wrote:

Too generous with both Colly and Harmison, too harsh with Prior - so he had one bad game, so what? Did enough to merit another series or two - I hardly think he is about to be "jettisoned"! For whom??
Big diappointment was Bopara - what have they got against Shah exactly?
Otherwise OK

  • 145.
  • At 05:49 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • tim wrote:

spot on with ratings harmison bowled his heart out as if test match career depended on it and for those who said he didnt even the world best bowlers dont always put the ball on the spot every time
plus i would pick read for keeper bring back strauss, drop kp and prior cos kp looking tired and poss give swann a go in nz as monty cannot bat and bowl on unfriendly conditions and if he was fit bring back caddick the only one who can bowl 15overs in a row with gusto as proved for somerset

  • 146.
  • At 07:09 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • jack wrote:

vaughan - 6
cook - 7
bell - 7
kp - 3
collingwood - 5
bopara - 3
prior - 4
harmison - 8
hoggard - 6
sidebottom - 7
panesar - 3
anderson - 2
broad - 3

collingwood not great
kp disappointing
harmison + sidebottom + cook gave the most effort
prior batted well but hes there to keep and he didnt do well
panesar can do better especially on a spinning pitch
and i dont like james anderson

  • 147.
  • At 08:53 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • James Cooper wrote:

Why On Earth Are Ravi Bopara And Matt Prior In The Team.
Prior Couldn't Catch A Cold And Bopara Is Useless In All Areas.
Get Chris Read And Graeme Swann In.
Swanny Can Bat And Bowl
And Chris Read Can Catch.
The Choice Isn't Hard Really =]

  • 148.
  • At 09:08 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Richard Wraith wrote:

I am totally convinced that Vaughan's performance as a Captain, rather than simply a batsman, needs to be considered. It is here that his role in the success, or otherwise, of the England team is most significant. He simply does not seem to cut the mustard. The results under his helm and the body language of the whole team are extremely unimpressive.

I have no idea how popular, or otherwise, he is in the dressing room but the outward signs are most unimpressive.

On a point score I would give him 2/10


  • 149.
  • At 10:36 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Gerald wrote:

I watched all 3 games in the series and seriously think that Michael Vaughan should resign the captaincy. He could stay-on as a batsman as no doubt he has the ability, but as a captain the latest series saw him fail in all departments, with a lack of ability to think on his feet, he cannot, or forgets to, use his bowling and field settings to exploit opposition player weaknesses.

There is no point just throwing the ball to any old bowler and asking him to come up with the goods. In today's cricket, we study the opposition players to find exploitable weaknesses, then we find our best weapon [bowler + method] to pray on those weaknesses. Obviously this part of the preparation was overlooked.

More than anything Michael, you lack belief…! Self belief, the belief you can win as a team, belief in your fellow teammates; like when you under-bowl Colly and Bopara because you don’t believe, and without belief, you’re nothing. Belief and determination is all you need, as you already know the skill and talent is there.

Belief and determination to win was visible throughout this tour in the likes of Colly and Ryan only. Vaughan doesn’t have what’s required to lead England anymore. He should quit!

As for the ratings; I give Ryan the highest for simply trying like hell. He would get 6.5 and no more. Michael Vaughan would get no more than 3.

Seriously, if you give Harmison 8/10, you might just have to give Jayawardena 14/10…Silly!

Merry Christmas

  • 150.
  • At 02:02 AM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • cookiey wrote:

Harmisson can not be compared to Sidebottom from this tour, Sidebottom seemed to carry our bowling attack and showed a great desire to keep plugging away while Harmisson looking very unprofessional unshaved and seemingly unclean (which is a disgrace in and England shirt) while bowled well for once he lacked the commitment to really show he wanted to keep running in rather than just wait for the plane home.

  • 151.
  • At 02:43 AM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • rienzie wrote:

I watched the 3 tests and the negativity of the batting of England, especially in the 2nd Test took the series away from them. While Cook had an above average series with the bat, his batting was not positive enough to force a result. Vaughan, like his predecessors , always looks very sad and does not exude enough confidence in his team. Bell, played well but was guilty of dropping too many crucial catches. Prior, had a better series with the bat as the series wen on , unfortunatly this fell in reverse with his keeping. The bowlers, apart from Hoggy and Harmison (good to see him back), the rest were nothing more than average, at best. Monty was out thought and out played. The Sri Lankan batsmen had a good measure of him, and his taming was crucial as it meant that he couldnt force the results either, unlike Murali and Co. Anderson, Bopara, Broad all looked not up to test standards.

  • 152.
  • At 09:05 AM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • A J Hale wrote:

Dear Simon
I too am an Old Latymerian.I did happen to meet you in 2004 at PE airport after the test in PE.I agree with your ratings and comments.The
reason I am writing is in relation to an alternative to Prior.Nobody seems to mention Pothas who is a better keeper and has also proved that his batting is good by his performances with the bat for Hampshire sometimes in difficult circumstances.
Yours sincerely
Tony Hale

  • 153.
  • At 10:55 AM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • gsholm wrote:

prior 8/10 for batting and 5/10 for keeping , at the end of the day we would not have won the final test due to poor batting and the weather and if it wasnt for his batting in first ,second and third test we could have lost 3 -0

  • 154.
  • At 12:25 PM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • Andrew Lineham wrote:

Bopara a 3!!! i think thats being generous. he's a nice lad a good county cricketer but he is not and never will be test quality. especially considering he didn't bowl the selectors should have picked a proper batsmen. other than that the scores were reasonably fair. just a poor tour. anderson and bopara to be dropped from the squad i think. robert key in to bat a 6, and either pick two spinners or give yuong broad a proper run

  • 155.
  • At 01:14 PM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • david carter wrote:

Too generous to everyone except Cook and Hoggard. I agree with Richard Wraith, that although Vaughan batted pretty well, as a captain he looks uninspired, compared with Jayawardene. Broad may have bright future, his one test was a debut in difficult conditions.

Cook 7
Vaughan 5 (6 for batting, 4 for captaincy)
Bell 6
Pietersen 3
Collingwood 5
Bopara 3
Prior 4 (6 for batting, 2 for keeping)
Sidebottom 5
Harmison 5
Hoggard 7
Panesar 2
Broad 4 (1 added for potential)
Anderson 2

  • 156.
  • At 03:48 PM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • Higham wrote:

There are clearly problems in all departments, but we must have a batting lineup that can score runs. 81 all out was more than feeble. So why did the selectors not take Ramps, who with over 2000 runs last season was about 700 ahead of the next highest scorer, who was David Sales? In fact why did they not take both of them? At least they showed they know how to put bat to ball. The present incumbents have had enough chances and those two could not do any worse in NZ. And let's not have any 'building for the future' excuses. We need to start winning matches NOW.

  • 157.
  • At 10:45 AM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • Cricket fan wrote:

I have been watching England for more years than I care to remember and to say that the reviews and comments of everyone could have applied to so many matches and players over the years. We all seem to percieve English cricket to be better than it really is and I can underline that by reminding everyone how over the top we go when we do win, because it does not happen regulary. In any world cup we often perform badly or so we think, but in truth we are just at the level we are.On occasions we play well and often that is down to an individual performance supported by the team. On occasions an individual can carry a team as they hit a run of good form, if you look back the history of English national cricket, we play well when we have a star that performs and when we win we forget all the bad or indifferent performances of individuals the dropped catches and the woeful shots or bad bowlng, we only remember the win. Today we are looking at all those points because not one player has put in a match winning performance in any innings or in any match. Thats unusual but sadly becoming more common. Look at the Sri Lankas performance and then tell me did their star name perform, yes he did and that performance lifted the team. That is the difference between winning and loosing, we need our Bothams, Freds, KPs to perform.

These ratings bear no relation to the team I watched humiliated repeatedly by Sri Lanka. How Harmison can get an 8 is a complete mystery to me. Sidebottom was the only player deserving of a score over 5. Test cricket is about performance over 5 days, not just a good session of play here and there. The person who is missing on this list is Moores. What could he possibly have meant saying "The boys did their absolute best and so they feel buouyant"...or some such rubbish. Let's start with feeling the shame, and then follow the lead of the great Ricky Ponting after they were defeated in 2005 - get off to boot camp and make sure no such thing ever happens again! The coach needs to go - all player injuries aside, his reign has marked a bottom of the barrel period for English cricket. GET RID OF HIM.

  • 159.
  • At 04:44 PM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • marginalcomment wrote:

Vaughan 6 ( captaincy average; batting decent )
Cook 8 ( showed guts and ability after a poor start )
Bell 6 ( scores of 70 won't scare anyone - must do better )
Pietersen 3 ( failed, but still England's best bat )
Collingwood 5 ( couple of disappointing dismissals )
Bopara 3 ( probably underestimated the demands of Test cricket and consequently should be dropped )
Prior 4 ( gave away many more runs than he scored through morale sapping drops )
Sidebottom 6 ( emerged with credit )
Harmison 6 ( decent return, but pace down; jury still out )
Hoggard 6 ( sterling effort but rarely quite at his best )
Broad 5 ( promising but ineffective )
Anderson 4 ( bowled too short at Kandy; disappointing )

Selectors 4 ( brave to select Bopara, but didn't work; failed to appreciate that there is little for seamers in Sri Lanka; two spinners would have been better )

Tactics 3 ( Very disappointing; failure to set appropriate fields for Monty; reluctance to bat out of the crease to swing; paralysis in the face of Murali, who ought to have been lofted straight, slog swept and nurdled through an often vacant slip much more; captaincy uninspiring )

Recommendations - Bopara and Prior to be dropped. Monty to insist on a stronger infield. Batsmen to be warned that they must score hundreds. Squad rotation and rest policy to commence immediately with Pietersen and Hoggard rested for New Zealand. Strauss left on the sidelines until he proves technical faults have been ironed out. Resist temptation to pick Ramprakash, instead Shah to be given a run. Look at Trescothick next summer.

  • 160.
  • At 06:51 PM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • David wrote:

all very generous and over rated... i think Bob Willis' scores were much more realisistic, with cook getting 7 and the likes of bopara getting 1...

  • 161.
  • At 07:05 PM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Some of the ratings being handed out show a typically English willingness to give praise for trying hard. The only one that did anything of note with the bat was Cook. For that ton and his two 50's he deserves a 7. Vaughan was unlucky but that happens in cricket. Even so, 5 is generous. Bell just does silly things. Why try and loft Murali over mid-on? I don't get it. For me, 3. Pietersen, Collingwood and Bopara all get 2 each - Pietersen for his not out, Colly for his fielding and Bopara for his wicket. Prior gets 4. Can't keep but batted well enough for his position. Sidebottom should have at least 4 more wickets - 6. Hoggy also 6 for his first test performance. Harmison 4 - no aggression. Panesar 5 as he's still learning. So:

Cook - 7
Vaughan 5
Bell 3
Pietersen 2
Collingwood 2
Bopara 2
Prior 4
Sidebottom 6
Hoggard 6
Harmison 4
Panesar 5

Compared to Jayawardene 9 (loses one for cautious declaring) and Sangakkara 8, just no way we can give Bell a 7 as some people hae done.

We have a long way to go...

  • 162.
  • At 07:35 PM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • Derek Britton wrote:

Good views,perceptive as ever but then again he is analyst and an ex Middlesex player so no bias when judging the Middlesex-less team .

Ratings drop of on average a point a player would be a fairer assesment , your being too nice Simon , we were rubbish start to finish and lacked the commitment the Sri Lankans showed .

  • 163.
  • At 08:24 PM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • peter_salar wrote:

A Little late in response, but I thought most of the scores were incredulous and 8 for Harmison was truly a joke. Sidebottom and Cooke should have been the highest rating. With the exception of Bell the rest should have been no higher than 3 or 4.We were totally out played in every quarter and only once or twice die we see any fight or guts.

  • 164.
  • At 10:36 PM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • Jim Connolly wrote:

The best England has to offer???
perhaps so, but without the collective fight and will to win what difference does this team hope to make.Stop paying attention to the press and supporter wishfull thinking,previously 'earned' OBE's etc, look inwards and stop this diagrace
Celebrity status at the before world class performance detracts...ie Peterson...

  • 165.
  • At 02:20 AM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • Hubert Taylor wrote:

I commend the England team (all of them) for trying their best in Sri Lanka. I found little of value in Simon Hughes poorly informed speculation during the recent England trip to Sri Lanka and find little of value in his rating of the England players who no doubt tried hard but on this occasion failed to win the series. The BBC might be better use its scarce resources to engage experts with first hand experience of Test cricket. If Simon has to be engaged then he would better analyse why Sri Lanka succeeded and feed that into English cricket - that way 'cricket' might benefit and England cricket advance.

  • 166.
  • At 07:02 AM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • brahma rao wrote:

I dont think matt prior is wicketkeeper who can bat but instead he is a bats man who can keep

  • 167.
  • At 08:08 AM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • spooner wrote:

I love the typical English sporting patience, coupled as ever with undue expectation.
1. Everyone marvels at Pietersen when he is playing well, his style is aggressive and like all similar types of players, when on a bad run, it looks even worse.
What do we want, a team of Boycotts?
2. Give or take the odd change, it probably is the best we have to offer at the moment, thanks in no small part to recent injuries and retirements.

Why do the media and some supporters expect England to win all the time, even when rebuilding?
All the analysis, not just Simon Hughes', concentrates on the England negatives, rather than on Sri Lankan positives.
Why, when England do win, do the same people upset all other nations by proclaiming the team's ommipotence?

I hope I am in the (usually) silent majority, who believe that a little more positive support wouldn't go amiss, and not just the "fair weather" variety, even experienced players' confidence gets knocked.
Give the new management a little more time, allow the odd backward step and for God's sake, do something about the antiquated county system!

- step off soap box and exit stage left.

  • 168.
  • At 10:59 AM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

KP should stop his incessant whining about being tired. Most of us only get 20 days holiday a year... He gets paid well doing something he loves (how many people get to do that??), and plays very little domestic cricket. You never heard the likes of Beefy complainig they were overplayed... Suck it up KP and be thankful to play for England.

The player comparisons were good, but ratings too high, especially Harmison who deserved a 6 at best. Cook and Sidebottom definitely players of the tour. Cook has shown how much potential he has, while Sidey was tireless. If we didn't have suh an inept wicketkeeper, his figures would have read much better. Bopara will be good, but was out of his depth - Shah should definitely have played. If not, bring back Ramps for NZ!!!

  • 169.
  • At 01:29 PM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Okay so we were thoroughly outplayed, but we have to look at all this and try to figure out what we can do to improve.

1) Our batsmen need to learn how to build an innings and not give their wicket away. Perhaps we need to bite the bullet and employ Mr Boycott as coach.

2) Our batsmen need to learn how to play spin, especially on spin-friendly wickets. The only real way of doing that is to play in sub-continent countries or to find a way to prepare similar practice wickets over here. We also need a batting coach who can teach the players the right technique, i.e. picking the variations from the hand/in the air/from the line being bowled, rather than off the wicket. Unfortunately, Andy Flower being from Zimbabwe is not an expert on spin.

3) Our spinners need to learn how and when to bowl variations. If our finger spinners can't bowl a doosra, then fine, bowl a cutter that goes the other way. Experiment with different grips/line/angle at the bowling crease/flight/angle of arm/etc.

4) Our seamers need to learn quickly how to bowl on non-seaming wickets. Hoggard has only recently taught himself & should be passing on some advice. Why can't we reverse swing it anymore?

5) Our selectors need to learn how to pick the right team for the conditions. They also need to learn not to pick players who are coming back from injury - it always blows up in our face.

  • 170.
  • At 02:27 PM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • Vaughan Smith wrote:

A poor series all round for England. To lose a test after reducing the opposition to 44-5 on the first morning of a series is almost as unforgivable as losing after enforcing the follow on. Nobody comes away with their reputation enhanced, except perhaps for Alistair Cook, who showed maturity and application beyond his years. Of the others, most will (and probably just about deserve to) maintain their places in the side, but England have a real issue to address in their wicketkeeper. Prior has shown consistently that he is not a world class, or even top-notch domestic wicketkeeper. Yes, he can bat - a ton on debut and several well made fifties testify to that. But the catalogue of crucial missed chances behind the stumps completely overwhelm anything he brings to the batting order. It's surely time that the England management gave up on the hunt for the holy grail (another Adam Gilchrist), and put a specialist 'keeper into the side. If it means the team loses, say, 30-40 runs per batting innings, it'll be more than made up for by not conceding the additional 200-300 runs that Prior's comedic efforts regularly seem to produce.

  • 171.
  • At 03:51 PM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • Mr. I know cricket wrote:

all the batsmen in this series were very disapointing especially kp and colly. bell and vaughan kept giving away their well made starts and cook produced one decent batting display all series. Bopara also very disapointing. Prior had a shocker with the gloves and apart from one innings a shocker with the bat.
the bowling was dismal to, none of the bowlers looked like taking wickets. Didn't create enough chances and gave away to many runs.
none of the players in the side deserve a rating higher than 6 and the selectors need to think long and hard about the next squad.

  • 172.
  • At 07:59 PM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

disgraceful! i believe Bell was way above all other English batsmen i dont see how everyone can compliment Cook so much! Vaughn and Bell were above the rest

  • 173.
  • At 08:34 PM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • sleezygordon wrote:

Vaughan - 5
(Rare display of poor captaincy)
Cook - 7
(Runs)
Bell - 7
(Runs)
Pietersen - 3
(No runs!)
Collingwood - 6/7
(Useful bowling and fielding)
Bopara - 3
(Failed to contribute much)
Prior - 6
(Shame he's a wicket keeper not just a batter)
Sidebottom - 6/7
(Figures don't show all the drops)
Hoggard - 6/7
(Good until injured)
Harmison - 5
(Still feeling his way back)
Broad - 2
(Failed to contribute much)
Anderson - 3
(Failed to contribute much)
Panesar - 3
(Failed to contribute much)

I wouldn't disagree with too much here except the ridiculously low rating given to Ryan Sidebottom. How many catches were dropped off his bowling? Eight, was it? Add 8 extra wickets to his haul -- and bear in mind the useful runs he consistently scored at the bottom of the order, generally outscoring two or three of the "specialist batsmen" -- and you might see why he was my England man of the series.

  • 175.
  • At 01:46 PM on 28 Dec 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

Look this is annoying me, every other comment is 'Sidebottom was great but it was prior's falut', yeh maybe he dropped a few catches but so doees everyone, i'd much rather have him at sussex being sucessful rather than at england becoming the excuse for a poor england team in sri lanka, LEAVE HIM ALONE!

  • 176.
  • At 06:41 PM on 28 Dec 2007,
  • john wrote:

bopara shouldn't have been chosen in the first place it should have been shah

  • 177.
  • At 08:26 PM on 28 Dec 2007,
  • TP wrote:

The way Chris Read has been treated is a disgrace. Whatever you say about Prior he will always drop chances and this shall always be a problem at the highest level of the game. He also does not score enough runs to compensate for this weakness with the gloves. I know he had a couple of good knocks this tour but I honestly cannot ever see him scoring at an average of 40 plus consistently. Read on the other hand is a superb keeper who, if given a decent backing, I think will score runs, maybe not as many as Prior, but he doesn't drop chances.
The way Flecther treated Read last winter was hysterically poor and it was no surprise that he didn't "fill his boots with the bat" when he came in when we were 3 - 0 down.
Maybe in the spirit of Xms we could play Prior for his batting and build a snowman to keep when we're fielding... it would certainly move it's feet more!

  • 178.
  • At 08:44 PM on 28 Dec 2007,
  • matt wrote:

the team for NZ should be

cook
strauss
rampakash
shah
wright
bell
mustard ( new a.gilchrist )
swann
sidebottom
harmison
hoggard

why isnt luke wright in the team for freddie, he can hit a ball hard

  • 179.
  • At 01:23 PM on 29 Dec 2007,
  • Andy Mills wrote:

i agree with simon Hughes's ratings because England were outclassed in all areas. However I dont agree with Steve Harmisons rating of 8/10 even with a bowling average of 35 and a batting average of 9

  • 180.
  • At 03:54 PM on 29 Dec 2007,
  • Dave Winstanley wrote:

Yes, Simon, a pretty fair assessment. Just a few points I'd like to add: Bell and Cook both also tend to give their wickets away when their Sri Lankan counterparts wiil stay put. Pietersen has the arrogance of an Australian, and possibly the talent, but obviouly not the ruthless reluctance to give his wicket away. Sidebottom needs a rest (I'd not pick him for the one-dayers in NZ), but he will be a better cricketer for his experience: he at least has power to add, and is for me, the best left-armer we've had since JK. Broad and Bopara have now had a taste of test cricket, and know now how good they have to be. It should be back to county cricket for a few years for them to work on their game now...it worked with Anderson and Sidebottom, didn't it? In the spin department, Monty, too is still learning, but England should not put all their eggs in one basket; so Swann and others should also be given games from time to time, while Monty works on his game in county cricket.

  • 181.
  • At 04:40 PM on 29 Dec 2007,
  • Neil C wrote:

I think we watched two completely different series. how can you even dream of giving decent marks when we were completely outplayed in the series and the rain saved us from 2-0.

Pieterson and Collingwood were hopeless in the middle order when the pressure was on and our bowlers are just not fit and hard enough for test cricket, I would only pick Sidebottom for the next series and send the others on a boot camp to get probably fit with hardened bodies and minds!

I'd build for the future around Cook, Bell, Bopara and Panesar, the rest is up for grabs.

Oh - we also need a wicket keeper as a selector that will stop this messing about with batsmen who think they can keep but can't catch.

  • 182.
  • At 04:52 PM on 29 Dec 2007,
  • Neil C wrote:

I think we watched two completely different series. how can you even dream of giving decent marks when we were completely outplayed in the series and the rain saved us from 2-0.

Pieterson and Collingwood were hopeless in the middle order when the pressure was on and our bowlers are just not fit and hard enough for test cricket, I would only pick Sidebottom for the next series and send the others on a boot camp to get probably fit with hardened bodies and minds!

I'd build for the future around Cook, Bell, Bopara and Panesar, the rest is up for grabs.

Oh - we also need a wicket keeper as a selector that will stop this messing about with batsmen who think they can keep but can't catch.

  • 183.
  • At 03:39 AM on 30 Dec 2007,
  • Pete Harmsa wrote:

rating the English team is like telling kids to learn the game .. sack them all for a start and beginn a team structure from scratch.

  • 184.
  • At 06:50 AM on 30 Dec 2007,
  • Dr Ron Sinclair wrote:

Simon Hughes' ratings are about as self-delusory as the comments emanating from the English players ever since their fortuitous Ashes victory of 2005. This win went to their heads and, ever since, the performances have been abysmal. This has not stopped the constant stream of remarks about how they have to 'put behind' them the latest appalling result and 'move on.' I have heard this sort of thing again and again. Has it ever occurred to them they are simply not good enough? Has it ever occurred to them they have to work harder?

Rating Vaughan at 6/10 verges on being a joke. His side was thrashed - there is no other word for it - and he continues to disappoint with sub-standard batting performances. What has always flattered Vaughan is the fact that once in a long, long while he produces a big innings and this gives a false impression of his average. In statistician's terms, the standard deviation of Vaughan's set of scores would be large indicating substantial variation and, as a consequence, unreliability. On batting form alone how does he get into the English team? Unlike Australia, the English pick a captain - irrespective of his form it seems - and then hope he produces the goods on the field. In Australia the opposite is the case: the captain has to be assured of his place in the team BECAUSE of his performances FIRST.

The English team's current ranking of 5th is actually flattering. None deserved a rating above about 5/10 for the Sri Lankan tour in which they were outgunned on nearly every day of every test by a Sri Lankan team that had just returned from a drubbing in Australia.

The sooner English cricket stops deluding itself, the quicker is likely to be its return to true competitiveness.

  • 185.
  • At 07:21 AM on 30 Dec 2007,
  • Will wrote:

lol Harmison 8/10 . An average of 35.00 surely this is an encouragement rating .
Three England batsmen average in the 40s . Sounds ok until you check out the Sri Lankans averages . Ahh it might be useful to compare the perfomances with the opponents before giving out 7s . Another case of head in the sand England.

  • 186.
  • At 02:11 PM on 30 Dec 2007,
  • Dave Winstanley wrote:

Mostly good points, Simon. Here are a few I'd like to add: the conversion rate (double figures to triple figures) of ALL of our top batsmen are pretty poor, which is a concern, because they have the talent. Pietersen is a case in point: he seems to have the arrogance, and possibly the talent, of an Aussie, but he does not have the ruthlessness - it's all or nothing, and he only seems to have two gears. All of the Aussies can attack, but all can also reign themselves in if circumstances call for it - and all sell their wickets much more dearly than their England counterparts. Sidebottom is just a bit jaded, and I'd guess a bit dejected about all the dropped catches. For me, he's our number one test bowler now; and I believe that he, Angus Fraser and possibly Hoggard are the only true test-class seamers (as opposed to fast bowlers) that England have had since the days of Hendrick, Old and Lever. It really is make or break time for Harmison this year: one good match in about five is not what makes a great test record. Broad and Bopara have had a taste of test cricket and now know how good they have to be: it should be back to county cricket to work on their game for a couple more years. The same could be said of Monty - in spinner's terms, he's still at the 'young and developing' stage. We should not place all our spin eggs in one basket, and should give Swann and others games at times - it would sure be handy to have an established off-spinner by the time of the next Ashes series.

  • 187.
  • At 08:21 PM on 30 Dec 2007,
  • Geoffrey Harris wrote:

Simon

I totally agree with your ratings, but waht is really needed is some steel in the English side. Not sure about the new management team, need to tighten up on giving easy wickets away and please get someone to take KP in hand, he is not as good as he thinks he is!!! The Old Badger in Norfolk

  • 188.
  • At 08:34 AM on 31 Dec 2007,
  • Dave Winstanley wrote:

Good points, Simon. Here are a few that I would like to add: the conversion rates (double to triple figures) needs working on. Talent is not the question: Kevin Pietersen, for example, has the talent and the arrogance of an Aussie - but not the ruthlessness, the dogged reluctance to surrender his wicket. Even the most attacking Aussie batsmen have more than one gear, and can adapt their game to suit circumstances: Pietersen is always all or nothing. Sidebottom is just a bit jaded, and, I dare say, a bit dejected due to all the dropped catches: it should be remembered that this is his first tour for England, and that he is up there with Angus Fraser, and possibly Hoggard, as England's only true test-class seamer (as opposed to fast bowler) since the days of Hendrick and Old. It really is make or break time for Harmison now: one good game in five is no hallmark of a great test bowler. Broad and Bopara have now had a taste of test cricket, and now know how good they have to be: it should be back to county cricket for a couple of years to work on their game before being picked again: the same could be said of Monty: it would be an idea for England not to put all of their spin eggs in one basket, no matter what his promise: give Swann and others a game every now and again: it would also be really handy to have an established off-spinner by the time of the next Ashes series.

  • 189.
  • At 03:58 PM on 03 Jan 2008,
  • Irishtel wrote:

The ratings are about as impressive as the England performance.

Collingwood and Harmison showed the occasional nice touch but nothing out of the ordinary. 5 at the most.

Vaughan's leadership was woeful, no more than a 4.

Once again the lower order are held to blame for rubbish batting performances further up the order. Prior had a bad time but did turn in some results despite that.

Panesar was disappointing but come on. He took the most wickets, and was out once. He might have been better with the odd rocket from his captain.

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