BBC BLOGS - Test Match Special
« Previous | Main | Next »

Graham Gooch's England ratings

Graham Gooch | 14:51 UK time, Monday, 11 August 2008

These are my ratings for the England players who were involved in the Test series against South Africa.

Andrew Strauss: 6 Has kept all his shots in his kit-bag this series, finished with a good half century at The Oval to keep his doubters at bay.

Alastair Cook: 7 Consistent, and still a big part of England's future but will be frustrated that he can't get rid of the "60 man" tag. He knows that hundreds win matches.

Michael Vaughan: 6 Led England in his normal calm and assured manner and in my opinion should have carried on to the end of the series. His batting sadly has lacked authority and purpose, but if he can find the style he showed as an opener when he started with England, he could regain top spot in India.

Ian Bell: 7 Out of the blocks early with a superb 199 at HQ, needs to add presence to his game if he's to be a dominant player at first wicket down.

Kevin Pietersen: 9 Big on numbers and style, hopefully the captaincy will help and not hinder him.

Paul Collingwood: 6 Possibly saved his Test career with a fighting hundred at Edgbaston, good guy to have in the side and if you were judging on character he'd be a 10 out of 10.

Andrew Flintoff: 7 England are a more formidable unit with him in the side, adds menace and presence to the bowling attack. Still needs to improve his footwork with the bat and learn to mix defence with attack.

Tim Ambrose: 5 Tidy with his glove work throughout the series but I'm unconvinced by his batting technique off the front foot at Test level.

Stuart Broad: 6 Improved in final Test, but his bowling still needs work. A chip off the old block with the willow, should progress to be a genuine all-rounder for his country.

Steve Harmison: 8 Impressive on his return, would like to carry the pitch used at The Oval around in his bag.

James Anderson: 7 Continues to improve his consistency having been given the responsibility of taking the new ball. Increasingly will become a match-winner for England.

Monty Panesar: 6 Still to learn the value of variation at the highest level. As for his appealing, less please.

Ryan Sidebottom: 6 Played two Tests. A willing performer but looks weary after heavy recent workload.

Darren Pattinson: 5 Like the famous Three Degrees song of 1974, it's a case of "When Will I See You Again?" - but not his fault that England's batting failed at Headingley.


  • Comment number 1.

    Pretty solid, I recon You've given Vaughan and Strauss one to many.

  • Comment number 2.

    fair markings.... but Vaughan 6?

    why not give him a 9 - his batting average this series.

  • Comment number 3.

    Vaughan getting a 6???
    For scoring 40 runs in 5 innings??
    That would mean Kallis's batting would have to get 8 or 9.

  • Comment number 4.

    Gooch's comments on Strauss sum up Englands selection problems pertectly. Why should Strauss be saved from the chop? He was totally ineffective this series and deserves a 4. Vaughan deserves a 4 and Ambrose a 4 as well. England just got beaten in a series by RSA in England for the first time in over 40 years. Collingwood is also lucky. A 10/10 for character is a nonsense. RSA bolwed far too short at him in Edgbaston in the second innings - he has got away with being dropped this time.
    I'd love to know how he rates Moores - personally I'd score him a 3.

  • Comment number 5.

    *Vaughan averaged 8, my mistake.

    I exaggerated his achievements.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'd chop most of these in half. One would never guess from these scores or comments that we'd just lost a test series at home, and that the starting eleven now looks less certain than it has done for over five years.

    Pietersen's batting and Flintoff's bowling (aside from Harmison's cameo appearance) were the only two things that were up to an Australian level, which is what matters for the next 12 months.

  • Comment number 7.

    Agree with Dion. Good ratings, probably too much for Vaughan and Strauss. In patches Anderson looked 9/10. Harmy looked good but Ambrose and Broad need to improve.

  • Comment number 8.

    Cook's too high. Dropped catches negate a lot of the good work with the bat

  • Comment number 9.

    similar to #8, I'd say take one off of each of those and two from vaughn

  • Comment number 10.

    For once I agree with the BBC cricket correspondents ratings. Would say you've over-rated Vaughan and Ambrose but aprt from that pretty much bang on.

  • Comment number 11.

    A 6 rating for Vaughan is a bit generous.

    Monty probably deserves his 6 for taking wickets when he's had a go. A little variation would be great - is he sufficiently better than other potential England spinners with the ball to keep his place when he fields like a 10 year old?

  • Comment number 12.

    So Strauss finally gets a 50 and that’s good enough to get a 6? He got few runs again against a decent attack yet gets away with it because in the last innings of a series, which we had already lost, and the pressure was probably at its lowest he finally got some runs. Sorry the guy is still out of form and has proven nothing since he was justifiably dropped this time last year. Getting runs against New Zealand will not scare the Australians ahead of the Ashes next year and its time to cut the deadwood before its too late.

  • Comment number 13.

    Does anyone think Bell is flattered by a seven, this series was another one that would be the making of him. Fair play on the 199 at Lords (flat track?) but 133 runs over the other six innings, I make that an average of just over twenty. Not good enough, especially for number three.

  • Comment number 14.

    Don't know what on earth you've been watching Goochy. Perfect case of winning the dead rubber giving false impressions of all bring right in the world. We were SHOCKING in this test series, every single score is one too generous, with the exception of Pietersen, who deserved his 9, and Vaughan, who, in my opinion, should have had a 4 at best.

    Come on guys, wake up and smell the coffee, we are going to get absolutely slaughtered by the Aussies if we play like that and the sooner the England selection committee realises that, the better.

  • Comment number 15.

    reading gooch's comments and marks, we must have won 2-1.

    another ex-pro scared to rock the boat.

  • Comment number 16.

    We have just lost a series at home to the Saffers for the first time since 1965 and we've got the Aussies coming next summer! On a positive, KP was brilliant and we've got some choice when it comes to the bowlers.

    But SURELY there have to massive questions over the two batters who have only recently been drinking at the last chance saloon - Strauss and Collingwood. What are the selectors waiting for? And their long delay of the inevitable has stopped eveyone asking - Is Bell really good enough against good sides? What do Owais Shah, Rob Key, Ravi Bopara have to do to get in? Once you are in this side it is impossible to get out. Its called central contracts...

  • Comment number 17.

    I agree with CTX. We were dismal except for KP and to some extent Freddie. Vaughan 4 at the most, Ambrose 3 and Strauss also 4. I can't stand Bell, who in this dead rubber proved that he can also be pretty rubbish when it doesn't matter. And why is there no spin bowling coach for Monty? He is a great talent (ok, not when he's fielding or batting) but he needs a mentor. What's Tufnell up to these days?

  • Comment number 18.

    who should partner Panesar in India?


  • Comment number 19.

    Not Swann, surely Swann is one of those cult of personality players. 'He's a good guy to have on tour' is not a good enough reason to play him, why not be bold and blood Rashid.

  • Comment number 20.

    Goochie, your biases towards opening batsmen are showing.

    Strauss averaged 25 in the series and gets a 6? One decent(ish) knock today. 4 or maybe 5 if you're feeling very generous.

    Vaughan a six? Couldn't buy a run, and for all your comments about his leadership, he led England to two draws and a loss. Abysmal performance deserving a 3 at most.

    I think most of the other ratings are about right; perhaps a shade on the generous side for Bell, Flintoff, Broad and Harmison.

  • Comment number 21.

    I'll tell you what Rob Key needs to do to get in the squad - stop smoking and lose 2 stone...

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't understand why the selectors did not take the chance to try out some of Key, Bopara, Shah, Prior, Foster in the Final test. The win in a dead rubber proves nothing. All of the batsmen with the exception of Pietersen and Cook haven't done enough to ensure selection but we have no basis to judge any of the others.

    Panesar looks to have gone backwards in all departments. We have to remedy this quickly.

    Anderson did well but he is not as effective abroad where the ball doesn't swing. At least, Siders provides a little variety.

  • Comment number 23.

    #19 makes a good point...

    currently in county cricket, there isnt to many english youngster with as much variation as Rashid

  • Comment number 24.

    Strauss and MV score 6! They both played well below their best, 5 at most.

    As we lost the series all the scores were probably too high.

    My mark for the team as a whole would be 6! The odd player did well, but never played as a team.

  • Comment number 25.

    Vaughan too high but lay off the bloke for a while please, he's still a class act as a person and player. If MV rates about 4 then lets be honest with the others, Strauss 5 (done norhing), Collingwoood 6 (saved himself with sheer guts), Bell 6 (once again promising start but flattered to deceive , Cook 6 (Not sure how to are him but he's young, KP 8 (class act and the only player that would walk into Aussie side), Freddie 5 (poor batting and cannot, cannot bat at 6 at test level but warrants a place for bowling but he will never be 5for bowler), Ambrose 3 (got to go), Anderson 8 (getting better), Sidebottom 5 (looks tired, needs a rest but need him back as left armer is crucial if we wnat to beat the best), Monty 5 (not enough match winning performances for my liking) Harminson 7 (what will be be like in India?). And finally, Moores and Miller as coach and selectors 2, please get rid quick otherwise no hope for the ashes,

  • Comment number 26.

    "And finally, Moores and Miller as coach and selectors 2, please get rid quick otherwise no hope for the ashes"


  • Comment number 27.

    If we look at the stats, we see a slightly different story, I believe.

    Highest wicket takers - Anderson (15) and then Monty (13).

    Most runs - KP (421-avg of 60), then Bell (332), then Cook (329) both with avg of ~47.

    I'd suggest Monty was marked harshly whilst Strauss was marked generously.

    Colly, Strauss and Vaughan must all be on borrowed time now, as far as their future in the squad is concerned.

    Let's look to the long term and prepare for the Ashes *now* - I don't want to see another 5-0 thrashing!

  • Comment number 28.

    "But SURELY there have to massive questions over the two batters who have only recently been drinking at the last chance saloon - Strauss and Collingwood."

    Now this may be coloured partly by the fact that I'm a Colly fan BUT it cannot be ignored that Collingwood's 135 came when England were SEVERELY under the cosh in the third game, and that he was scoring at about the same rate as KP and he made a composed 61 and a chanceless 25 not out in the final game to see England home...he's looking much more like his old self, and if that's the case he deserves to keep his batting place. No-one can seriously complain that SA are a poor bowling attack, even without Steyn. An in form Collingwood is a refreshing breath of consistency. I'd perhaps put him down to a 5 because of very poor perfomances early on in the series, but at I think that it's the worst kind of bandwagoning to keep calling for his dismissal when he's shown a consistent improvement against a very good bowling side. He's certainly done enough to get a chance against India in my opinion, and we'll see how it carries on.

    As for Rashid? Certainly a talent for the future like Broad, but he also averages 37 per wicket in County Cricket this season. Hardly setting the world alight is it? Again all the calls for Rashid to replace Monty immediately sound a little "grass is greener on the other side".

  • Comment number 29.

    How does Cook get a 7? oh because he's from essex!

  • Comment number 30.

    Well its ok saying lets plan for ashes now, where are the batsmen to push Vaughan Colly and Strauss, nowhere. I don't see Bopara as the answer, I would like to see Key have another go but I think MV will return and make runs and Colly has grit and perhaps should bowl a bit more, so Strauss for me is the weak link. I think MV needs to be judged on whether he is good enough to bat for England and not captain, the answer for me is Yes he deserves the chance.

  • Comment number 31.

    Rashid has not done enough yet. Monty has lost the plot and thats down to bad man management (moores once again) and he needs to become more focused on cricket and less focused on antics.

  • Comment number 32.

    What tripe, Gooch. How you can give such high ratings to a team who has lost a series at home, and the first home loss to this particular opponent for over 40 years? Vaughan 6?! You've got to be joking, I'd give him half that. Strauss 6?! For scoring one 50? How is that 'answering his doubters'? Why are you always so positive about Kevin Egosen - sorry, I mean - Pietersen, and so negative about Monty, who was England's second top wicket-taker in the series? Come to think of it why are you always so positive about batters rather than the bowlers? Anything to do with the fact you were a batter yourself?

  • Comment number 33.

    i think the only cases where u got the ratings right were in the case of Kp, Harmison, Anderson and cook.

    #22....sidebottom...veriety? come on. anderson has veriety in this locker, he can bowl both inswing and outswing as well at leg cutter and off cutter. sidebottom just bowls a bit consistently and eventually takes a wicket. lets not forget that anderson took wickets better than anyone against the 2nd best opposition in the world. oh and lets not forget his ability to bowl faster than sidebottom and throw in an occasional bouncer.

    as for monty..does his wickets make up for failure to score runs at all and his many misfields that have sometime cost boundries....runs win matches dont they? well he cost us a load....not to mention how his inability to pressure thier batsment and give our bowlers the chance to capitalise on such pressure. harris showed that u dont have to be the best spinner in the world to get wickets....just get good line and lenght and put pressure on the batsmen and set smart feilds. therfore swann could come in, score runs and take vital wickets no?

  • Comment number 34.

    Graham is too generous. After all this was a series England lost. The batsmen are all given too high a rating except Pietersen. I still am not convinced by Bell. He is too often a big player against less formidable opposition. His very modest average against the Aussies speaks volumes and I doubt they will fear him coming in at 3 next year.

  • Comment number 35.

    Definitely exaggerating Strauss's contribution this series - bar today's 50, he didn't make a score of note in seven innings.
    Sidebottom did look tired and devoid of inspiration, I wouldn't mind seeing him dropped from the test set up for India. Keep Broad, and if Harmison can muster the passion to prove his worth again, him too. Anderson's bowled very well this series.
    If anything, Cook deserved an 8 - still only 23, and our most consistent batsmen behind KP. (consistently "good" that is - Vaughan was consistently short of form. Strauss consistently indifferent).

  • Comment number 36.

    Vaughan´s leadership on the field responsible for our losses in the 2nd and 3rd test, his poor batting form which we all knew about before the series began meant that effectively England was playing one man short. He deserves perhaps 4 for turning up and trying, but Englands achievements in the first 3 tests were in spite of MPV, certainly not because of him, very sad to have to say.
    Ambrose did ok with the gloves, but certainly not no 6 or 7 batting standard, so 5 or 6 is about right.
    For a test match debut, Pattinson did rather well bagging a couple of wickets and hanging around long enough with the bat to save the innings defeat, certainly not a shabby beginning in test cricket although as everyone outside the selction process can see, he should never have played and if Harmison or Hoggard had played we would have got more wickets for less runs, although the loss of that test is clearly the responsibility of the specialist batsmen
    I agree with the other ratings, stop knocking Strauss, he did much better than last summer, although he didnt do as well as Shah would have done in his place...

  • Comment number 37.

    Some very generous ratings here. I really do not think a lot of them are good enough to compete with the Aussies and win next year. Too many have been in the last chance saloons for too long - time to bring in some new blood.

    But a huge well done to KP, well done Harmie and Fred (bowling), and respect to MV.

  • Comment number 38.

    It seems as though we're laying in to a few of our boys which is hardly great for confidence.

    We should give them a chance so I reckon support needs to be shown for Ambrose, Strauss, Broad and Colly. You can't fault them for effort, especially the last 3. I feel that if Prior does show form over the ODI's and India then he's earnt the right to play back from Ambrose.

  • Comment number 39.

    Your player ratings are surprisingly wide of the mark - I can only guess who have been on the sauce at lunchtime!

    Vaughan was a complete flop and can't warrant a rating > 3. Ratings for Strauss and Cook also look generous.

    I only hope the selectors don't share this blinkered view, or English cricket will never be able to move forward.

    Completely agree with comment #22. This was a lost opportunity to build for the future.

  • Comment number 40.

    Can a Key fan please tell me why he should be included when he only averages 40 in CC!

    I have been asking for ages and haven't had one response!

  • Comment number 41.

    Graham - you were a great batsman - and by that I mean "great "in the truest sense of the word - but I eckon you are way out with these markings.

    Strauss has had a shocker - so has Ian Bell (looks fantastic but apart from one innings all we got were caemos. Fo crying out loud Graham, you "murdered" the equally great Gower for far lass and chucked him out of your Team for it !! Strauss and Bell are 3 and 4 as far as I'm concerned. Monty a seious disapointment so a 5 for him. Jimmy did very well and actually improved so a definite 7.

    As for Rob Key, the guy is a class player and should replace Strauss immediately in my view. Averages don't always tell all the story. His CC average is up with Bopara's who is being touted as the next great batting hope.

  • Comment number 42.

    the reason we didnt at least draw the series was because the batsmen dont score enough runs - as simple as.

    in the last 16 tests kp has scored 6 centuries with none of the others getting above 2. that is simply not enough and they may well be great in the dressing room and in the nets but we want 'dogs' who can follow kp's example and do it on the pitch.

    we've only 8 tests before cardiff and i would use india and the windies trips to blood newcomers/players who deserve a go and then field the number one 11 against sri lanka which will be a real test.

    against india:

    simon jones.

    KP was great in this series in terms of taking on the saffers and showing up their attack as ordinary but he MUST aim for 200 when he gets in not 100.

  • Comment number 43.

    KP was brilliant - but I must knock him down to 8 cos of his 'moment of madness'.

    Strauss 5 - I was and still am a big fan of his, but unless he delves deeper into his bag of shots, he's gonna find himself with an average just not acceptable for an opener at Test level. He was also very fortunate today, frequently playing and missing as well as being 'out' to a no-ball.

    Please lets see the REAL Andrew Strauss.

    Vaughan 3 - publically slated a decision by the selectors in picking Pattensen. This undermind them, and more damagingly, undermined a player in his first test. I believe he was searching for excuses to cover up his own inadiquacies.

    His captaincy had a ring of ' resignation' about it!!

    Harmison - I was really pleased for the lad. It is imperative that he is fit and raring to go when the Ashes come round. Otherwise absolutely NO chance!!

    But will he get a fast, reponsive pitch like the one at the Oval. Keep up the good work Steve ( he says more in hope than expectation )

    Lastly as for batsmen being out of form - its a fickle part of the game is batting - absolutely LOADS of skill involved, but also much luck. That is why I believe batsmen are given more opportunities these days than in those gone by. And every credit this is so!! Colly needed that innings, and now looks something like the player that we know he can be. However, sadly I can only give him 6 because of his earlier poor innings.

  • Comment number 44.

    cook dropped 2 slip catches on thursday which were as simple as slip catches can ever be - straight to him at a catchable height. he was also wearing dark sunglasses in not very good light against a difficult background. now slip catches are a matter of instant reflex to the stimulus of the flight of the ball off the edge. how can you expect to catch them when you dull that stimulus with sunglasses? cook is going to have to score a lot of runs to make up for what is a silly affectation.

  • Comment number 45.

    Just glancing through the coments, i noticed a couple of anderson needs to improve, for crist sake what does jimmy need to do to be accepted, joint highest wicket taker against on of the best line ups in the world, these rating are all to high, we lost the series because we were only good in 5 to 10 sessions, with the exeption of a couple of out standing bits of cricket, steve and jimmy's bowling on thursday, bells 199, collys comeback and kp generally, we wern't good enough if you consider where we are going now, to probably the second hardest place to win on the planet and then have the heavywheights of cricket in our back yard,.

  • Comment number 46.

    Panesar gets 13 wickets at the second lowest average bar Kallis and the second lowest economy bar sidebottom and he gets 6!!

    Vaughan gets 40 runs at an average of 8, only above Ntini, Panesar and Nel and he gets 6!!!

    Madness, madness all round.

    Jimmy deserves higher - joint highest wicket taker in the series, good work.

  • Comment number 47.

    Given how unconvincing Strauss and Collingwood have been, the pressure that must land on Pietersen is unbelievable. I'm glad the responsibility seems to be making him rise to the challenge. The criticism he has received is ridiculous. Some people would criticize him for even getting out ever! I think the guy's confidence and lack of Englishness rubs some people up the wrong way, so they will always jump on him given the opportunity.

    I think South Africa won't be that excited by beating England though. Their batting looked almost as frail as ours despite it looking far better on paper. Their bowlers were not what they were hyped to be- they were at least no better than our bowlers.

    I still thought England could've won the series- at 2 crucial points we failed to bowl South Africa out when we were in the box seat.

    It feels like we've spent all but one test with our noses in front and somehow end up losing.

    A really entertaining series I thought- my moment of the series was Freddie's spell against Kallis. Conjuring up great memories of the Ashes 2005 with him vs. Ponting.

  • Comment number 48.

    Gooch is being incredibly generous to the batsmen with their ratings, apart from at Lords you can't really say they put up a defendible score. One score for Strauss is suddenly 'keeping the doubters at bay'? Utter nonsense and further proof that playing for England is like being a member of a cosy little club where if you get one semi-decent score then you'll be in the team for the next series. I also fail to see how Vaughan justifies a 6 when his batting was woefully inadequate and he captained us to a series defeat.

    As for the bowlers Anderson is worth his 7, and i think Monty is worth more than a 6, anyone would think we'd found the next Murali given how everyone is calling for more variation and thinking he should be bowling sides out on his own, he still managed to get the lowest bowling average of anyone on display in England colours. Sidebottom looks like he needs a good rest and booking into anger management and Broad looks like a good prospect. Lets wait and see how Harmison does on tour before we say how great he's looking.

  • Comment number 49.

    Graham Gooch (ex member of the old boys' club) has given everybody way too much credit for this series LOSS!!
    Yes we won the last, unimportant test mainly because SA had a rare bad first innings. We wont be so lucky against Australia.
    KP doesn't deserve a 9 mainly because he scored a ton when we really needed it, but then got out straight after. If he had scored 150 or 175 maybe we could have won in a more convincing manner that says "we have bounced back" but this one win against a side who had already beaten us easily with their best bowler injured was not that impressive.
    Now don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that we won again, at last, but I still think we need to get rid of a lot of 'dead weight' before we face the Aussies or else it will be a whitewash again.
    I agree with the guy who said Monty needs a mentor, who better than Derek Underwood?
    Also who partners Monty to India? Nobody really jumps into the spotlight and that is sad.
    Thank God we don't have to face Sri Lanka now. They just beat India, easily, also as well as the brilliant Murali, they now have another spin master in the youngster Ajantha Mendis who broke Alec Bedser's 62-year old record of 25 wickets in a debut series.
    Who knows what those two would do to our master batsmen?
    We could do with finding another spinner real fast. Those two destroyed the usually tough India batsmen on difficult wickets.
    Looking forward to the India series we need a second spinner now, any ideas?
    Lastly, congrats to England, now we know we can win lets not be afraid to change things around to give us a chance to win a series!

  • Comment number 50.

    Vaughan the same as Colly?

    Colly JUST 6?!

    Seven AT LEAST, in mine, and most others' humble opinion!

  • Comment number 51.

    A win at last! The bowling is progressing well, especially with Freddie and Harmie int' tut mix, and with the prospect of Jonah in the near future we really would have an attack to be reckoned with. The batting is less assured, 'my boy' Bell disppointed after early promises and the others lack self discipline by chasing 50/50 balls and giving away easy catches. Despite my reservations about Kev as skipper, he does have something special, let's hope he can spread it around to les autres.

    Team ratings: SA 6.5/10
    ENG 6.0/10

  • Comment number 52.

    what more does rob key have to do
    he's been in the top 10 averages in ALL competitions for 2 years how can you not get picked??

  • Comment number 53.

    2 weeks is a long time in the English cricket team, especially when I did the dutiful thing and went to a godforsaken place in the name of my family's summer holiday (Florida). My only contact with happenings has been via the internet on hubby's mobile at £4.50 a minute (I'm hiding the next bill). In my absence we have lost 2 captains, and a test series. I was really hoping that Rob Key would get a look in (such a cool guy), and dreading a full scale KP takeover, but he doesn't seem to have done too bad a job so I am prepared to give him a break. I liked the balance of the team at the Oval, but think a new keeper looks likely in the near future.

  • Comment number 54.

    Blimey Goochy - I think you've been a bit generous here.

    Strauss: I have been a huge fan of his but he's one of several (if you read on) who's very guilty of playing at balls test openers should be leaving alone. I'd give him 4.
    Cook: Consistency at 60 odd is fine - but agree hundreds are what we need. Agreed on 7/10
    Vaughan: Again I'm a big fan of his leadership but an awful series with the bat so sadly 5/10 and that 5 is for his excellent leadership, 0 for his batting.
    KP: 9/10 and it would have been 10/10 if he hadn't given it away at Edgbaston which may have cost us the match.
    Collingwood: I remain unconvinced by his footwork - but he got a hundred when out of nick against a decent attack - so 5/10.
    Flintoff: I know people love this bloke but he's not taken many wickets or made many runs 4/10
    Ambrose: Not exactly flawless with the gloves and no semblence of decent batting - 3/10.
    Broad: 4th seamer or not - where are his wickets? I'm almost inclined to disregard his batting as he's picked to bowl - but 5/10
    Anderson: 7/10 - getting better but still besotted with the outswinger - why not try several inswingers (with the right field preventing him from being picked off) then the occasional outswinger - the SAF batsmen left him an awful lot.
    Sidebottom: I think his 15 minutes of fame is over. I don't rate the guy at all and while there's no doubting his heart - you need talent too and wickets against a poor Kiwi or WI side don't convince me. 2/10
    Panesar: His lack of wickets probably due to poor variation cost us dearly at Lord's and Edgbaston. He might be the best spinner in the country but he can't bat or field so I'm sorry 1/10

  • Comment number 55.

    you are soooo wrong goochie! india is gonna tear apart england, just watch, pieterson is no match for dhoni/kumble. vaughan = 4, tim =1

  • Comment number 56.


    1/10 for Panesar??
    5/10 for Vaughan??

    Do you possess a brain?

  • Comment number 57.

    #54 Panesar 1/10??? Really?? got a fair amount of wickets i think. Mr Gooch is right when he says that Panesar could learn some variation.

    I dont think that England needs supporters like you, your far to negative. Just try and see some positives.

  • Comment number 58.

    hmmmmmm. They are ok i guess. Broad needs more time. and a couple of mph to his bowling and haha there we go its a new flintoff who can bat better!

  • Comment number 59.


    you appear to reward underachievement?

    Strauss is not keeping shots in his locker...he has been worked out and cannot change that. The shots stay in the changing should he!

    Bell and Broad? What was their job at the start of the series? Bell overachieved in one match and underachieved in all of the others. Broad on the other hand took as many wickets as can be expected for a young 'bowler' developing in the game and scored many more runs than expected. No one saw that coming, whatever sage chip off the old block comments appear. Looking at this, he effectively overachieved in relation to expectation at the start of the series....Yet the scores do not in any way reflect this??

    For years people have castigated Anderson for his lack of for the first time, after showing good signs against poorer opposition in New Zealand, he steps up and shows consistency, variation and acceptance of responsibility (as well as some valuable effort with the bat)....great...lets give him a 7!! For improving and in all areas, overachieving.


    The rest I would say are closer to the mark...but how can we ever demand accountability within the Englan team, when we misconstrue achievement and failure so spectacularly?

  • Comment number 60.

    How can you rate Anderson as a 7?

    He was by far the most consistent England bowler throughout this series and considerably improved to almost become England's main strike bowler being again the highest wicket taker for England in successive series.

    His fielding has been superb taking some fantastic catches and even his batting has earnt him the promotion from 11 again breaking his personal best twice in the series.

    Along with Kevin Pietersen he has got to be England's man of the series and even a contender for player of the summer after his brilliant series previous against New Zealand.

  • Comment number 61.

    RE: Hammer63
    MV back in India? On what basis? This is 2008, not 2003-2005. Maybe England should still have Hick in the side. Disappointed with Gooch as I was with Stewart regarding the ratings. One poor series should not have a player being dropped, so fair ratings please instead of generous ones. Afraid to upset a few egos maybe? An average of 6,5 in a lost home series seems a bit much. Vaughan's batting was abysmal so to get a 6 Gooch must be of the impression that his captaincy was sensational. He wouldn't go amiss in a gymnastics jury where politics rule and reputation counts instead of actual performances.

  • Comment number 62.

    Anderson deserving of an 8 I feel. Top wicket taker, good in the field and improving with the bat. Sidebottom may struggle to regain his place if Anderson, Harmison and Flintoff continue to perform with the ball.

    English seam bowling has some good strength in depth if proven performers like Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones can't get near the side. Not to mention the unfortunate Chris Tremlett.

    I think Tim Ambrose has probably played his last Test Match. Prior gets a second chance in the ODIs and, if he doesn't mess up, I expect that he and Foster will be the keepers for the winter tour.

    We also need some serious competion for Panesar. His bowling was OK, but his batting and fielding seem to have gone backwards (if that is possible). And the number of no-balls he bowled in the last Test (most of which were not spotted by the umpire) is cause for concern.

  • Comment number 63.

    Why is everyone banging on about Robert Key? Geez the guy averages 36 in county cricket this year. And had his chance in 15 tests were he has an amazing average of 31. Yes 31 largely due to a double century against a very poor windies side.

    Lets get over Key for England and look at younger, fresher talent that deserve to have a chance at test level. Key had his and hardly set the world alight, did he?

  • Comment number 64.

    Number 63 you are so right.

    Dawid Malan?

    What a legend!

    Get him in the side now

  • Comment number 65.

    There seems to be a common thread here - the 606/blog populace at odds with the old pro's as someone put it so well. WE WERE POOR. When I heard Athers and Gower on Sky saying they would go for Strauss for skipper for the last test - well that summed it up - WHY ?? Why not get on with it and get the new boy going - thankfully they did with KP who is brill. What does old pro Gooch mean - if Vaughn can get back to his early India form - eh - when was that ?? Blogs and 606 boys need to keep pressurising the cosy club establishment - keep it up boys. Freddie , Harmy in form, Jimmy, KP of course and I think Cooky should be ashes shoo-ins - the rest is up for grabs.

  • Comment number 66.

    Reckon Goochie must have had a generous lunch to come up with some of those ratings.
    We did lose the series Graham. Strauss gets one 50 in a dead rubber and he has "kept the doubters at bay", sorry another under- performing series, but he seems bombproof regards selection.

    Vaughan gets a 6 depsite barely scoring a run - laughable.
    To be honest I would have thought a lot more 4's and 5's would be appropriate.

  • Comment number 67.

    Most of the team isn't good enough. Strauss is still worth his place but we do need a replacement for the near future. Cook is a great talent and along with kp our best batsman and regardless of a bad day his catching has improved amazingly. Bell is a decent number 5 but not at 3. KP is a class of his own enough said. Colly is a fighter and well worth his place. Fred isn't really a number 6 but if anyone can find someone better I'd like to hear it. Ambrose is rubbish bring in Foster! Keep Broad for the future and Harmison if he keeps bowling. Monty is the best we have got so lay off him. Finally I wasn't a fan of anderson but he is turning into a really good bowler and has been our player of the summer by far.

    Finally Key isn't good enough and is too old to improve enough end of story. Denly is a far better player and has time on his side.

  • Comment number 68.

    The ratings for Vaughan, Strauss and Bell are far too high.

    Vaughan barely scored a run all series.

    Strauss scores one fifty and that get's him a 6? Strauss seems to have gone backwards as a player since his recall. Maybe Denly should be given a try.

    Bell scored 199, but how many times did he fail after that? His gutless, dismal surrender with the bat in the third test was the final straw for me. He's a Hick or Ramprakash for the 21st Century. Talented, but mentally weak.

  • Comment number 69.

    Why do so many people underestimate Paul Collingwood? He finished second to KP in the averages for this series with over 58.

    I think Key has ruled himself out of future selection by his irresponsible remarks about the pitch inspectors. Sounds like sour grapes from a losing captain

  • Comment number 70.

    There is always a lot of talk about people's averages. There is only so much relevance in a 4 match series. Take Collingwood for example. Average 58.0

    Take away his highest score of 135 and his average becomes 32.33. Hmmmm, not so impressive now eh!

  • Comment number 71.

    The real ratings for the series;

    Strauss 3
    Cook 6
    Vaughan 2
    Bell 4
    Pietersen 8
    Collingwood 5
    Flintoff 8
    Ambrose 2
    Broad 6
    Anderson 6
    Panesar 4
    Sidebottom 4
    Harmison 6
    Pattinson 4

  • Comment number 72.

    So, England need a new opener, possibly a new middle-order batsmen, a new keeper, a new spinner and possibly a new pace bowler.

    I'd say bring in a young batsmen, either as opener or down the order, bring prior back, give swann a go if rashid is not ready, and bring simon jones back. job done.

  • Comment number 73.

    There seem to be double standards at work in a few comments re Bell and Cook. Time was when Bell was scoring loads of 50s but not going on to make a century, so was consequently marked down. Now he has made a big hundred, a fifty and not much else so again he is in the wrong. KP has often done exactly the same but would always be remembered for the big scores, the failures forgotten.

    Cook is currently doing what Bell used to do, getting a lot of 50s and not converting them, but still he gets credit for the runs he has made.

    This is not to say that I am not critical of Bell; having made 199 at Lord's the rest of his series has been very disappointing. We were hoping he would go on to be the leading run scorer but it's back to the drawing board again. And Cook needs to do something about the 60s, his favourite decade. :)

  • Comment number 74.

    Anderson gets 7 but Harmison, who only played one test, gets 8. Anderson was the leading wicket taker and deserves better I think. I would have given him at least 8.

    I think also you could have possibly been a bit more ruthless Goochie. We've lost a series but, Darren Pattinson apart, only 1 player has scored less than 6. Although that does highlight that, over the series, England simply weren't quite good enough.

  • Comment number 75.

    What series did you watch? England won the dead rubber, not the series. Total waste of time, if you think Vaughan is worth a 6. Comment #71 above closer to the mark.

  • Comment number 76.

    Cook - 6.5 - Did well in parts. But needs to get more big scores.

    Strauss - 4 - Looked poor , always seemed like he was about to get out. Had no idea where his off stump was. Needs to find real form back on the county circuit.

    Vaughan - Enough said

    Pietersen - 9 - What we've come to expect. Hundreds at relative ease. Quality.

    Collingwood - 7 - I wrote him off , but fare enough , he wored his backside off. Saying that , decent South African bowling and we'd be righting off his career right now.

    Bell - 7.5 - Needs to impose himself more , saying that 199 was superb at Lords. Needs more hundreds.

    Flintoff - 8 - Bowling was superb , shows us what we've been missing. Batting will come , given time , but at 6 , the responsibilty will help him prosper.

    Ambrose - 6 - Batting average , keeping average , Prior is coming up fast. Would like to see Foster though.

    Broad - 7 - Batting was good , don't get carried away though. Needs time , international cricket is a hard apprenticeship , but it'll be worth it long term.

    Sidebottom - 7 - Bowled well despite injurues , with Harmison and Flintoff in , and Jones coming back , regaining his place will be difficult.

    Anderson 8.5 - Impressed me. I just worry about him when the ball isn't swinging.

    Panesar - 6 - Batting and fielding really are becoming a problem , needs some wickets to patch over this.

    Harmison - 9 - Fantastic to see him back. Firing , he's dangerous.

    Pattinson - Enough Said

  • Comment number 77.

    Anyone else think that broad was pick of the bowlers in the 2nd innings because i do-harmison doesnt look fit to me because second innings his pace was down nice to see him bowling better tho-but how long will it last! Only 3 english batsmen scored hundreds this series only they deserve there spots in the side anyone else should be looking over there shoulder englands top order is stale to me they look scratchy and lack confidence time for a right hand left hand combi me thinks i would like to see a fresh face at the top of the order! People should bear in mind that vaughan and trescothick both averaged in there 30s in cc when selected for england we all love tresco and we know how good vaughan was so dont let that be a reason for not picking someone from county cricket! Plus on the other hand hick and ramps scored buckets of county runs but couldnt do it for england

  • Comment number 78.

    Strauss 5
    Cook 6
    Vaughan 3
    Bell 6
    Pietersen 8
    Collingwood 5
    Flintoff 6
    Ambrose 4
    Broad 6
    Harmison 6
    Anderson 7
    Panesar 5
    Sidebottom 5
    Pattinson 5

    Overall England 5 SA 7 - nothing really special from either side but SA know how to play test cricket over 5 days

  • Comment number 79.

    Pretty fair on the whole Goochie but I beleive Strauss is struggling and may have been marked too high. He seems to have lost authority at the crease. I'm a big fan of Ian Bell but it seems to be a big score followed by mediocre ones. He has such talent but if KP and Moores want to stick with Freddie at No6 (WHY???) then he needs to nail down the number 3 spot.

  • Comment number 80.

    Strauss 5. only 1 big score

    Cook 7. consistently got in, needs a century though

    Vaughan 4. underperformed as a batsman and, for once, as a captain.

    Pietersen 9. england would be lost without him.

    Bell 7. needs to keep his concentration to be a great batsman.

    Collingwood 6. being dropped seemed to help him, hope his form has returned for good altough possibly a fringe player now.

    Flintoff 8. superb return with the ball, fairly useful with the bat too, another one in need of a big score.

    Ambrose 5. cant fault his glove work or his commitment playing through pain. needs to bat at 8 if to stay in team.

    Broad 6. bowled well last test but otherwise lacking. looks a great lower order batsman though.

    Anderson 8. top wicket taker, and bowled superbly in spells. along with flintoff englands best bowler.

    Panesar 5. wickets taken negated by the abysmal displays in the field and the lack of variation. not his best series, could do with a rest but who would replace him?

    Harmison 8. like both collingwood and broad, being left out has done him the world of good. hass come back looking really fresh.

    Pattinson 5. Not his fault he was picked, did the best he could

  • Comment number 81.

    The rankings are poor. However I read this on another site and i think their analysis is spot on.

    'His 199 at Lord's hinted that maturity had finally been reached, but the ease with which South Africa secured their momentum-shifting draw in that match revealed Bell's innings for what it really was: another flat-track cash-in from a player who has few equals when it comes to turning on the style, but whose substance remains sadly lacking'

    Points for guessing who.

  • Comment number 82.

    lets lay off the team yeah? the only way to get better and improve as a team is consistency in the selection. I agree there are a couple of weak links in the side but bringing 9 debutants for the 1st test in India won't help. My team would be:

    1. Strauss
    2. Cook
    3. Bell
    4. KP
    5. Shah
    6. Collingwood
    7. Flintoff
    8. Foster/G Jones
    9. Harmison
    10. Anderson
    11. Monty

    Also on the plane 2 india i would take:
    Mustard (open in ODI's)
    (Rashid is not ready and if we were 2 take a young leg spinner it should be young Borthwick at Durham)
    Kabir Ali/Plunkett

  • Comment number 83.

    Also, many people here are saying 'oh Ambrose, tidy with the gloves but can't bat'


    Dropped catches - including a couple of Dollies in the ODI's with NZ.

    Can't take anything down legside.

    His poor technique cost him a couple of teeth in the 1st over of the last test. With the ball coming at his face - his fingers should be pointing up yet he tried to take it with them pointing down.

    Other keepers:
    Foster - very good keeper and ok batsman
    Mustard - impressive opening batting in ODI's in NZ including a very good 80. Also a tidy keeper
    Prior - Good form with bat this year in CC but glovework remains a concern
    Geraint Jones - Still the best all round keeper England have had since Stewart. Nowadays very good keeper, little short of runs but batting at 8 behind Flintoff should be fine.

  • Comment number 84.

    The point is that they all CAN do it, with the possible exception of Ambrose, but the problem is that with the exception of KP nobody does it regularly. You don't see Strauss, Cook, Bell or Collingwood walking to the crease and think theres a big score just hope that there will be. The Aussies were shocked if the likes of Langer, Ponting, Warne and McGrath didn't perform whereas we're faintly relieved if our 'stars' come off.
    The worry to me though is that theres nobody in the county game who really looks the part to push these guys and then take over. Key, Shah, Foster etc have all been tried and deemed, rightly or wrongly, not up to it.
    I'm sure loads of you will come up with names that you feel prove me wrong, but look at the Lions team picked this week and do any of them inspire you?

  • Comment number 85.

    Agree totally with goldenmegacrazybum about Ambrose.

    Always a surprise to me that no one mentions Ben Scott of Middlesex as an option, he's always been a very classy gloveman and has added alot of runs to that this year, about 10th in the averages i think.

  • Comment number 86.

    Struggle to understand the ratings given by Gooch, can't help but agree with the majority that all except Pieterson and Anderson were too too high. England have been shown up by what is a decent SA team, without their best batman of the last decade (Kallis) performing. Also, the SA attack has been without Steyn for 2 tests and no world class spinner (Harris is mediocre at best) to call on.

    England's batting is incredibly fragile, with the exception of Cook and Pieterson. Bell and Strauss are not dominant enough and often give their wickets away to extravagant shots when they should be mindful of the overall game situation. Freddie (not a no 6, must bat no higher than 7), Collingwood (trier, living of past performances in India and Australia), Ambrose (pathetic - looks like a schoolboy), bring back the unfortunate Prior (one poor test with the gloves in Sri Lanka).

    The positive was the return of Harmison, who was brought back 2 tests late adding some much needed fear factor to the bowling attack. However, England management need to get him playing ODI's again and plenty of match practice before India and W.I's otherwise he has to be discarded for good before the Aussies arive. Broad is worth persisting with as his batting is invaluable at the moment. Not sure what has happened to Monty, is that we are not preparing pitches to suit his bowling which is most effective when the pitch has bounce and moderate turn.

  • Comment number 87.

    The potential to be a real force is there....but

    We need to solve the wicket-keeping position, and the opening partnership in the one day game.

    There is also a real question mark over selection in general.

    Why are Mascheranas and Mustard ignored...lunacy!

  • Comment number 88.

    I used to be such a fan of Goochie's scoring but he's well wide of the mark in most places, particularly the batters. We need a new opening batsman: watching Strauss scratch around against a pretty average medium pace attack (Steyn excepted) is pretty grim viewing. There are a number of good alternatives in the County game. The middle order plus Owais and Ravi is about as good as we can do for now in the Test arena. Ambrose must go - again there are at least half a dozen alternatives, all better glovemen (even Prior). Hopefully Jones's injury scare is nothing major and he and a revitalised Sidey can add to the Oval team. We do need something on the spin front: whatever Monty had he currently doesn't. I'd actually be tempted to try Tuffers to get a bit of devilment back into him - won't improve the batting or fielding, mind you!

  • Comment number 89.

    Reading some of the ratings, one coyuld be forgiven for thinking that England won. I am surprised at some of the atings, especially Vaughan's -the only person with a worse batting average than Monty! As for his famed captaincy skills, well, I'm not sure now, but I think SA won the series. At Lords, when a win was there for the taking, things were allowed to drigt and the Saffers escaped.

    As far as Monty is concerned, not a fantastic series but with the the second biggest tally of wickets (13) and topping the bowling averages and the second best economy rate, I thought he rated a bit better. That is not to say that he doesn't need to improve. Captains need to shepherd their spinning resources better; MV faled miserable on that front.

    Finally, it is easy to get swept along with the euphoria of the win but it is important to remember that it was a dead rubber and this is not the first tyime we have won the last match of a dead rubber. There are still too manhy inconsistencies to be resolved. Collingwood still does not convince, nor indeed does Ambrose. As far a Freddie is cconcerned, hios batting continues to have a question mark. Good comeback by Harmisson but let us not get carried away. Sidebottom is tired and frankly if he cannot control his temper, perhaps an incident like Harbhajan's may be around the corner. No one is bigger than the game and Sidebotom is yet unproven at the highest level. Personally, I'd recall Hoggard, who was unfairly axed for one mediocre (not poor) performance. If that was the criteria, only Pietersen would be in the team!

    For too long, we have dined out on the 2005 Ashes series. Winning against bangladesh, West Indies (as they are currently placed) and NZ should not be the yardstick. We have lost to Austraila, SA, India and SL. Top teams cannoty afford such series losses.

  • Comment number 90.

    The ratings should really be

    Strauss 4
    Cook 6/7
    Vaughan 4
    Bell 6
    Pietersen 8
    Collingwood 6
    Flintoff 7 (ball) 4 (bat)
    Broad 6
    Anderson 7
    Panesar 5
    Sidebottom 5
    Harmison 8

    Team for next test match
    Vaughan, Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood, Foster, Flintoff, Harmison, Anderson, S.Jones, Panesar

    The top 7 there should get enough runs to prevent us having to lose a bowler to accomodate another batsman.

    Just a side note. That tail from Harmison average 11, 13.66, 15.76 and 6.37 in Tests. Thats a good tail to have.

  • Comment number 91.

    Strauss 4/10 - scores of 44, 27, 0, 20, 25, 6 and 58 aren't really good enough. He needs to make most of those starts, the dogged determination is good for getting England off to a decent start but openers need to continue their starts a bit more often.

    Cook 7/10 - mr consistency, made a fifty in EVERY Test and not one score over 80. He could have and should have gone on to a bigger score somewhere, it would have taken only one defeat to have been turned into a win and England would have won the series.

    Vaughan 2/10 - 40 runs, including a couple of ducks, at an average of 8.00 puts only Panesar below him in the series batting averages. Captaincy was ok but nothing special as usual, shame as his batting against India is hard to ignore - 1,018 runs @ 72.57

    Bell 6/10 - 199 first knock, averaged 22.17 for the rest of the series. Needs to make runs when the stituation demands more often, he made three starts in four innings in the Tests England lost with a highest score of 50

    Pietersen 8/10 - this is purely on his batting, a Test where his batting was pretty much the difference in a dead rubber isn't the best to judge him as captain. When he made a hundred in a Test England didn't lose, some might argue him getting out for 94 cost England the series. But the least runs he scored in any of the Tests was 58 at Headingley, he racked up 98+ everywhere else.

    Collingwood 6/10 - His run of scores tells the story - 7, 4, dropped, 135, 61, 25no. You can't blame him for the series defeat, he scored runs in the only Test that he played in which England lost

    Flintoff 6/10 - much was made of his return, and 4/89, 2/72 and 55 runs was a good start. But despite some good bowling his figures let him down as usual. He needs to get three and four wickets more often, ones and twos don't win many matches from a player considered a strike bowler, but delivering figures of a support bowler

    Ambrose 3/10 - less than 100 runs in the series so the spotlight was always going to be on his keeping and his position in the team. He may well be dropped for the winter, he's halfway there with Prior coming back into the ODI set up - England may kill two birds with one stone by taking Prior on tour

    Broad 4/10 - eight wickets at 49.00, half of those were tailenders - although he did get them out where others were struggling. He scored plenty of runs, unfortunately not when they mattered most. 76 at Lords in a big total and drawn Test, 67no when the match was already lost although he did make the South Africans bat again.

    Sidebottom 6/10 - maybe not at his best, but I'm not sure what he did to get dropped. Second in the series bowling averages for England and just as effective as Flintoff. But Flintoff's hard hitting approach was always likely to impress more than the stats, looking good seems to count for more to some.

    Anderson 8/10 - England's bowler of the series, 15 wickets at just over 33 with a good SR and excellent ER. He picked up wickets every innings and only one of his wickets was a bowler/tailender. Also showed determination with the bat, and was excellent in the field. His career average (34.52) is finally becoming respectable, hopefully he can kick on and become good enough that with Sidebottom and Flintoff in the side England can go back to four bowlers and start winning against the better sides.

    Pattinson 4/10 - shouldn't have been picked, didn't do much wrong and may well never be seen again. Not the best debut ever, not the worst. Can't see him queue jumping again on this performance though

    Harmison 7/10 - bowled better than some (including myself) expected, but still not the rip through the order performance some were expecting either. Only TWO South Africans bettered his 49no in the entire Test, he maybe deserved better reward for his bowling but plenty of bowlers have to endure luckless spells just the same. It's funny that his good bowling with no reward is deemed luckless, when a long hop or wide half volley is hit to a fielder noone sees that as lucky in the final analysis

    Panesar 6/10 - steady through the series, ripping through the South Africans at Lords 1st innings, but will be criticised for his lack of wickets in the 2nd. Like Broad, half his wickets were tailenders. But he did get De Villiers out FOUR times. If Flintoff had done that we'd never hear the end of how great he is

  • Comment number 92.

    This is England's fourth series defeat in a row against the top sides

    AUS 5-0 ENG
    ENG 0-1 IND
    SRI 1-0 ENG
    ENG 1-2 SAF

    With a defeat quite probable in the winter that would be five straight series defeats with only cheap wins over New Zealand and West Indies to offer any respite. While I'm not a big fan of chopping and changing, it is the same players losing the series that matter and yet a number seem immune to the axe. Even Vaughan had to resign despite averaging under 24 with the bat in his last 10 Tests. Pietersen apart the batsmen all seem to struggle to make most of starts, yet it's the bowling line-up that changes most often, with the keeper a close second. In those four series defeats listed, England have had Geraint Jones, Chris Read, Matt Prior and Tim Ambrose behind the stumps. But the bowling changes are something else

    The bowlers have included Giles, Panesar, Anderson, Hoggard, Mahmood, Broad, Tremlett, Harmison, Flintoff, Sidebottom and Pattinson, yet Shah and Bopara are the only other batsmen outside the usual top six to have come in. I counted eleven different bowlers in those four series, nearly enough for three different bowling attacks. England have won only one Test in those four series despite a lot of theory and talk of twenty wickets winning matches and needing five bowlers (to do it) Well with five bowlers England lost six and won one of those, with four bowlers England drew five and lost three.

    But the key figures for five bowler theory are these :

    Average 1st Inns

    Five Bowlers - For 270, Against 412
    Four Bowlers - For 297, Against 393

    Bear in mind those are only the tougher opponents. For all the chopping and changing of the bowlers there was little effect in terms of bowling, other than once in seven Tests they bowled the opposition out twice. But the batting has averaged less than 300 in 1st innings throughout with the same batsmen being retained. One further important stat is that England scored faster with four bowlers as you'd expect, but also the four bowlers had a better ER (partly due to the tour of Australia where England's ER was 3.91

  • Comment number 93.

    EDIT : I cited Shah as one of eight batsmen, I realised after typing and submitting that he didn't play in any of those four series so only seven batsmen have been used. He has been one of only eight batsmen used by England in the last two years despite failings with the bat by England.

    Vaughan has been in a run of 10 Tests averaging under 24. Cook, Bell, Collingwood and Strauss have all been guilty of either getting in and getting out, or getting to fifty and not getting a hundred. Shah and Bopara hardly get a look in, Pietersen is the only batsman who you couldn't really complain about. Even then he gets criticised for a shot played when he's scored 94 and given England a shot at winning when the game looked lost.

    So despite five of the batsmen struggling at times, they put on one decent score and everything is forgotten. This team isn't so much the invincibles as the undroppables. Broad had to average near 50 with the ball before being dropped and even then it was only for one game. Vaughan had to fall on his sword, so in fact he wasn't dropped despite terrible form

  • Comment number 94.

    Why is Ian Bell always the one that is called to be dropped after England are below-par once again? Okay he had a few failures with the bat but so did everyone else. A magnificent 199 and a 50 aren't too bad and considering the other batsmen, alot better than them. Along with Pieterson he is your best batsman and just needs people to lay off his back.

    This is the problem with most English sports fans...they don't have a clue. They expect success when really all they have is mediocrity.

  • Comment number 95.

    Ali Cook didn't deserve a 7, he made to many 50-70 scores. Needs to go onto get a big hundred. Tim ambrose should be dropped awful glovework in some of the tests and can't hit the ball out of the sqaure! Monty Panesar just bowls the same deliveries every ball no arm ball, nothing. Ian bell makes hundreds when it dosen't really matter a lot he would normally dome in the first innings the score at 300+ and makes a hundred. If England are 70-5 and he comes in he never makes any runs. Drop him!

  • Comment number 96.

    Just want to add that as an 'opposition' supporter I was very impressed with Jimmy A. Swings the ball both ways at decent pace and always looks dangerous. He's developed a lot over the last few years and I'd certainly pick him ahead of Sidebottom.

    Having said that, he will always find it more difficult in the SH where the Kookaburra swings less than the Duke, but I reckon he'll cause problems for Australia here in England next year.

  • Comment number 97.

    Tim Ambrose: 5 Tidy with his glove work throughout the series but I'm unconvinced by his batting technique off the front foot at Test level.


    A five!!!!

    Minus five more like.

    For some reason commentators and ex-playrs seem to want to give Ambrose an easy ride even when he has been awful.

    OK his batting speaks for itself, he is massively out of his depth here, yet still people say we should pick him and disregard his batting becasue he is a specialist, these are the same people in gerneral who said Vaughan had to go because of his batting form. Now for me not ony has Vaughan looked better with the bat than Ambrose, but his specialit role of captain was far more important than than of wicket keeper.

    Anyway regardless of batting his keeping has been pretty bad all series. An example would be the last test, he dropped at least one takeable catch and on at least a dozen occasions he failed to gather the ball when thrown to him from the outfield and most of those occasions were under no pressure whatsoever, it was just pure good fortune that none of them cost a missed wicket. Not once did a commentator say anything about that despite seeing it time and again on screen.

    I'm sure he s a good guy but he is not an international keeper let alone a keeper/batsman.

    Bring in Prior for the test matches where we will need 6 proper batsmen and Foster for the ODIs where we already have a bunch of all-rounders so he can bat fairly at #8.

  • Comment number 98.

    There's really no point in dropping a load of players and bringing a load more in just for the sake of it.

    Yes we've lost a few series against top opposition, but we've at least competed in every series since the Ashes whitewash. Our players just need raise their game (and not by a massive amount) which I believe they are all capable of doing. Why people automatically assume that Shah, Bopara, Mascheranas, Key, Denly, Mustard are going to do a better job is beyond me.

    They'll all take a few tests to bed in, a few more to persevere with and a few more before everyone's calling for THEM to be got rid of.

    Their county championship batting averages for this season are currently 37.00, 63.00, 25.88, 36.00, 26.65, 21.35 of which only Bopara stands out, and lets not forget those runs are against 2nd division county bowling. His test average is 8.40 after all.

    Surely better to stick largely with what we've got, these guys are picking up experience and learning all the time.

  • Comment number 99.

    Re: Collingwood:

    "... and if you were judging on character he'd be a 10 out of 10."

    Really? So you think his appeal for the run-out demonstrated moral character? I think he shamed the nation.

  • Comment number 100.

    I think Tim Ambrose should get more points as he is a better keeper than Prior and also a better batsman.I will give him 8 out of 10.But pieterson should get 7.5 out of 10 as he threw away his responsibility on Indian tour.


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

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