Sunday, 9 September 2007

England ODI Ratings

A seven-game ODI series was expected to be snooze-inducing; instead it was truly captivating. Moreover, England's success was built chiefly around hitherto unestablished one-day players, boding very well for the future. Here is how they rated in the series:

Alastair Cook 5
Cook made an excellent century in the first game, accelerating after a fairly slow start to suggest he was learning to adapt to the nature of the one-day game. Thereafter, he declined alarmingly, scoring just four runs in his last three innings. In the final analysis, both his average (30) and strike-rate (75) were not good enough, and he clearly needs to learn to score singles with more regularity.

Matt Prior 4
Prior generally kept better than expected, but, as an opener, he resembled Geraint Jones in South Africa in 2005. He made plenty of starts, but does not fully convince against the new ball and continually got out to rash shots. Time for Phil Mustard or Tim Ambrose?

Ian Bell 9
At last, Bell made a one-day hundred for England, and developed his ability to hit over the top during the series. Both his average - 70 - and strike-rate - 91 - were outstanding, as was his fielding, and he was rightly named Man of the Series. Though he was restricted to cameos in the last four games, Bell has now established himself in the top three.

Kevin Pietersen 6
After a bizarre, prolonged slump - 16 home ODIs without a half-century - Pietersen made important contributions in the last two games, though he could still pick up more singles early on in his innings, and was culpable for two run-outs. But the great news is that, if he fails, an England victory no longer seems an impossibility.

Paul Collingwood 8
Collingwood grew as a one-day leader, captaining astutely, aggressively and - when dismissing Tendulkar and Dravid with Pietersen and Shah - opportunistically. With the bat, he scored at virtually a run a ball, making two fifties; with the ball, he was canny but unlucky.

Owais Shah 7
After a trio of nothing scores, there were fears that, like Vikram Solanki, a player who should have been a tremendous asset to England's ODI team was fading sadly from view. However, Shah showed his dexterity against spin and unorthodoxy in making a terrific maiden ODI hundred, and should soon be a regular in the side.

Luke Wright 7
Wright's debut 50 hinted at a rare one-day talent; his clean-hitting and uncluttered thinking were reminiscent of Andrew Flintoff in 2004. Promoted to open in the final game, his impetuosity got the better of him but it seems certain Wright, also a good fielder and promising bowler, will have a big part to play in England's one-day future.

Andrew Flintoff 7
In between the constant injury scares, there was some superbly hostile bowling for a side always in need of middle-over wickets. But his batting was predictably brainless, making a total mockery of the number six position. On current form, he should be used as a bowling all-rounder at number eight.

Ravi Bopara 6
A superbly mature innings at Old Trafford, but three failures elsewhere, as well as disappointing bowling.

Dimitri Mascarenhas 7
Mascarenhas is probably neither good enough to bat at seven nor good enough to be a third-seamer; but he carved a niche out for himself as a wicket-to-wicket bowler in the middle overs (taking 3-23 at Lord's) and as a belligerent hitter at number eight, hitting 10 6s from just 54 balls.

James Anderson 8
Bar the sixth game at the Oval, Anderson was outstanding, displaying new-found control, late swing and impressive speed to claim 14 wickets, while he is also an exceptional fielder in the deep.

Stuart Broad 6
Broad played exceptionally to score 45* in the 4th ODI to take England home, showing he has the technique and temperament to be, at least, a very good number eight in the future. However, his bowling was a little less impressive; though his promise is palpable, he is perhaps a little too predictable with the ball (save for a brilliant leg-stump yorker to dismiss Yuvraj) and both his average - 38 - and economy rate - 5.2 - were ultimately disappointing.

Monty Panesar 6
There were some signs that Panesar was maturing as a one-day player and daring to flight the ball, but Graeme Swann and Chris Schofield, both three-dimensional cricketers, also have cases for the spinner's slot.

Chris Tremlett 5
Tremlett was simply too easy to hit in the two games he played, lacking any real one-day nous, but he came back impressively to take two key wickets in the victory in the third game.

Jon Lewis 4
A token, unsatisfactory appearance for a bowler whose age means he is unlikely to make the next World Cup. Still, hugely unlucky that Duncan Fletcher preferred Messrs Plunkett and Mahmood in the ODI side.


Richard Lake said...

Agree with most of this, but possibly harsh on Prior. For the first 3-4 games he was out forcing the pace andkeeping the pressure off the ponderous Cook.

I like the idea of him and Wright opening the innings and think it's worth persevering with.

The team in the final match was probably England's best team, although a fit Bopara would make it interesting.

Chrispy said...

Agree Prior was there to force the rate, hence getting out to the shots he did. WOrth persevering with for his improved keeping. I don't see Mustard being a Test wicket keeper, nor Ambrose being an ODI keeper. Steven Davies is coming along nicely though, so Prior maybe holding the fort til his debut.

Tremlett is not a One Day bowler I am afraid as many Hants fan will testify. He is inconsistant with a white ball ala Harmi. Monty is learning but a little slowly, Schofiled and Swann are in with a shout. However, Schofield will need to play more four day cricket I feel and Swann is probably more of a second spinner.

The choice of Jon Lewis over Dimi bemused me, as did the disruption of the successful Broad-Anderson new ball axis! Dimi is a number 8/fourth seamer, but his bowling duties may in future be filled by the likes of Colli and Bopara. Ravi should come along nicely in time. I am unconvinced by Luke Wright as of yet and he is nowhere near being an international class bowler.

My main problem with England is where Shah bats, six or seven is stupidly low.

Prior (wk)
Collingwood (c)