England one-day series ratings
England's one-day series triumph will be devalued in some quarters as proving little when it should have been lost with two matches to go.
Fine, except England have also been honest about their success and aren't kidding themselves. Their appraisal seems to be they have good players who lack consistent performances but have showed some fight and spirit. There remains plenty to work with.
Here follows a lesson on my part in self-flagellation - my marks out of 10 for each player for the series working with a set of averages and performances gained in weather-affected matches.
ANDREW STRAUSS - 9/10 (STAR MAN)
What a good job he's done since taking over the national team in tatters. He shows intelligence, dignity and purpose in the role. Man of the series for an average of 51 built on two innings. A fighting century when the chips were down and a 79 when England were facing a disastrous end to a shocking winter.
PAUL COLLINGWOOD - 8/10
All-round contributions from a reliable performer who uses every ounce of talent. If backs are up against the wall it's Collingwood you turn to, as you do when runs are being picked off too easily by the opposition.
KEVIN PIETERSEN - 6/10
Until the final match a series to forget. Personally and professionally a harrowing time by his own admission but he'll sort himself out. I have defended his right to think and feel whatever he wants but be more understanding over what he says and when he says it. Vital cog for the team and his skipper.
ANDREW FLINTOFF - 8/10
The key man for England this summer and the mark takes into account the fact he missed the first two matches. He's convinced and determined he can sort out the batting but his bowling is at its best. Taking 5-19 in the final match and most importantly removing Sarwan and Simmons was a good sight for England and he brings a buzz and confidence in the field. He may want to play in every game but the management must be smart about the way they use him.
STEVE HARMISON - 6/10
Strauss gave Steve a mention after the series win for the effort he gave on a difficult tour. The one-day figures tell a frustrating story of conceding 139 runs from 25 overs but without a wicket. He faces a familar situation at the start of another English summer. Back to Durham to regain his rhythm and wickets. England had a need of him in the one- day squad but I wonder if a longer pre-season with Durham would be better suited with a view towards the Ashes. I continue to believe there is more to come from him.
JAMES ANDERSON - 8/10
The days of one step forward, two steps back are over for Jimmy. In a perfect world you'd want even more consistency. His recent Wisden accolade is reward for someone who proves he can listen, learn and keep getting better.
STUART BROAD - 7/10
Another crucial component in England's future. Great pace and a menace. As well as talent, his maturity and responsibility have always stood out. My worry is he's crossing the temper line too often. Anger is good but it's not being channelled as it should. A bout of hands on hips and words with the umpires is more likely to end in fines rather than wickets at present and he must reverse that.
MATT PRIOR - 6/10
Happier to see him bat lower down the order as his adaptable skills can be utilised well here. A valuable contribution in the final match but despite a lot of hard work, the keeping remains under the spotlight. A dropped catch allowed Chanderpaul to go on to score a century in the second match. He's the man in possession but other candidates are in the wing waiting.
GARETH BATTY - 5/10
Given limited opportunity he wasn't able to make an impact as a late call-up. Showed some character in scoring runs in trying circumstances during the third match.
DIMITRI MASCARENHAS - 7/10
Proving more reliable as a control bowler to put a squeeze on outside the powerplays. A lot was made of the captain's contribution during the fourth one-day international almost overlooking Dimi with his 3-26. He can hit the ball along way and I'm looking forward to seeing it a bit more often for England.
RAVI BOPARA - 6/10
As an opener he needs a big score. Vital runs in the crucial final match but he's capabale of better.
OWAIS SHAH - 6/10
Looks more at ease in the one-day game at this level than Tests but shows vulnerability. Unable to repeat his Indian performances, his 62 in the opening match was a decent start but like Bopara he needs to step up his game.