Saturday, 13 October 2007

England ODI Ratings

Here is how England's players rated in their 3-2 win over Sri Lanka:

Alastair Cook 6
Cook played the decisive innings in the fourth game, scoring a fine 80. However, as shown by his series strike-rate of 57, doubts remain over his ability to score at a run-a-ball on flatter pitches.

Phil Mustard 5
Though he only averaged 18, at least Mustard scored his runs at an excellent rate - 10 runs per 100 balls more than any other top seven players on display - in testing conditions to give England good starts. His glovework was excellent, too, but overall he probably did not do enough to displace Prior.

Ian Bell 2
A top score of 25 was a huge comedown after Bell's superb series against India. He has now gone nine games without a ODI 50, but, aided by his fine fielding, his place is not under immediate threat.

Kevin Pietersen 6
Pietersen struggled on the slow and tracks, often getting out when trying to force the pace, but scored a crucial 63* to seal the series. Will undoubtedly benefit from a rest now.

Paul Collingwood 7
Collingwood was excellent as captain, imbuing his work ethic and combativeness upon the side and utilising his bowlers cannily, although at times he underused the front-line seamers during the middle-overs. With the ball, he used his variations to great effect, reaffirming that he is good enough to regularly bowl his 10 overs. He played two important gritty innings, but failed three times, and only averaged 17.

Owais Shah 6
His 82 at Dambulla was the highest score by any batsman in the series, testament to his unorthodoxy, wristiness and dexterity against spin. Elsewhere there was a series of failures, including a mad swipe in the third game - but also the wicket of Sangakkara.

Ravi Bopara 4
At times Bopara appeared almost a playing 12th man, contributing no innings of note at seven - either failing in a crisis or surviving in hopeless causes - and not bowling at all in the first three games. Under pressure for his place.

Graeme Swann 8
An outstanding return to the side. Swann was ebullient throughout, turning the ball appreciably, displaying excellent one-day nous, fielding excellently and playing two vital cameos at number eight. A terrific all-round package at number eight, he has emerged, for now, as England's No 1 one-day spinner and, surely, the No 2 in Tests.

Stuart Broad 8
Broad responded magnificently after suffering the ignominy of being hit for six sixes in the Twenty20 World Cup. He displayed increased guile with the ball, with his slower-ball being much improved, and claimed at least two wickets in every game, although he had his share of good fortune. To top it all, his 20* in the third ODI was the second time he has taken England home in two months, testament to his batting aptitude and all-round temperament. How long until he plays his first Test?

Ryan Sidebottom 9
A quite phenomenal series. Sidebottom bowled with tremendous control and subtlety, proving very difficult to get away even when there was no swing. He deserves to play the first Test against Sri Lanka. His average - 14 - and economy rate - 3.4 - show why he was named Man of the Series, while he also helped England to victory in the third game.

James Anderson 5
After such an impressive few months, Anderson regressed somewhat here. Though still reasonable, he was too inconsistent and lacked the guile of his opening partner.

Monty Panesar 6
Panesar did well in his solitary game, but the overall ODI package offered by Swann is much greater.

The Verdict
It was a low-key series, certainly, and not played on typical one-day wickets, but that should not detract from a superb result for England; most fans would have probably accepted a 3-2 defeat at the start of the series. On admittedly helpful wickets, their bowling was superb, with Sidebottom and Swann outstanding. Conversely, England's one-day batting remains a worry; once again, the top three are a cause for major concern, while Pietersen's best one-day form has deserted him since the World Cup. Even allowing for a pair of thrashings, there are real signs that England are improving as a one-day side.

2 comments:

Stuart said...

I am surprised at how well some of the lesser known players like Broad, Swann and Sidebottom have done. I would not have picked that prior to the series, and it is a good sign for England over the next year or so.

Uncle J rod said...

Sidebottom should have got 10 for keeping that hair do.