Monday, 12 February 2007

Plunkett proves his worth

England somehow managed to revive a seemingly doomed tour by winning four consecutive ODIs and, in the process, winning their first major foreign tournament for almost a decade. Here are ratings for all bowlers (and Jamie Dalrymple!) who took part in the CB Series.

James Anderson 8/10
Anderson only played in four games and one victory, but he bowled with sufficient vigour to guarantee a starting place in the World Cup. His fielding was also a bright spot throughout.

Jamie Dalrymple 4
Dalrymple left the series in a highly precarious position: as the sixth bowler and seventh batsman. He chipped in with a couple of useful contributions down the order, especially an 18-ball 30 against Australia in the group stages, but his bowling, previously so consistent, regressed alarmingly and he bowled an average of only 3.4 overs an innings – if he’s not a reliable fifth bowler, what is he? While his brilliant catch in the second final will long be remembered and he remains a combative cricketer, England look a much stronger side with another batsman in his place.

Jon Lewis 7
Lewis played four games and did a reasonable job throughout, scaring Australia in taking 4/35 on one occasion. His accuracy and skilled new-ball bowling will win him a place in the World Cup squad, but he will have to hope England opt for four seamers if he is to play.

Liam Plunkett 8
Went for five and a half an over; but he bowled a fantastic number of near-unplayable deliveries, twice ripping the heart out of the Australian top order with a three-wicket burst. He also batted with great effect at number nine, fielded well and is clearly resilient character and has overtaken Lewis is in the bowling pecking order.

Sajid Mahmood 5
Well, it could have been worse. Mahmood improved as the series progressed and developed a fine slower ball, but fundamentally lacks the necessary control and will be very lucky to go to the World Cup.

Monty Panesar 7
His stats didn’t quite do him justice, but Panesar bowled – and fielded - well throughout to make him an automatic one-day selection.

Chris Tremlett 2
Many were pleased at his call-up – but Tremlett showed too little aggression and spirit with the ball, while he fielded cumbersomely. Now goes right to the back of the fast-bowling queue.

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