Here are the series ratings for England's 2-1 defeat to South Africa - a potentially seminal one, as it saw King Kev take the reigns.
Alastair Cook 7
Did better than many had expected, with a half-century in each game and an average of 47.00. After starting so well he has, however, developed conversion problems but overall this was an impressive enough series.
Andrew Strauss 4
The 'new Strauss' who scored two hundreds against New Zealand seems, alas, to have been a false dawn. Going back to the end of the 2005 Ashes, he averages under 36 - 32 if the Kiwis are discounted. It would have been even less had Morkel not overstepped when he had four in the final innings of the series. Good sides have worked out where to stem his flow of runs, and now may be the time for Rob Key.
Michael Vaughan 3
A grim final series as captain. His best chance of returning may be as opener alongside Cook - providing his reactions have not deteriorated, as Geoff Boycott fears. But he is supremely self-confident and, at 33, has a fair chance of playing for England again.
Kevin Pietersen 9
Two centuries, a 94 and an impressive winning start as captain: there is little to complain about. Yes, his impetuosity got the better of him and there is scope for him to improve; but if he continues to average 60 against sides of South Africa's calibre, greatness is assured.
Ian Bell 7
A brilliant 199 - under pressure - at Lord's was followed by a reversal to the Bell we are so accustomed to, invariably stylish but equally flaky. Now granted a chance to bat at number three, he has a chance to prove how good he is.
Paul Collingwood 8
His recall for the third Test seemed to epitomise all that was wrong with the England set-up: averaging under 10 in first-class cricket this season, his selection - on the back of little more than being a "great bloke" - embodied loyalty gone too far. But his second-innings 135 constituted a phenomenal effort of willpower and commendable positivity, and his place is relatively secure once more.
Andrew Flintoff 7
Super Freddie? Not quite. But he bowled far, far better than a series average of 36 suggests, cementing his reputation as one of the most luckless bowlers around; his amazing spell to Jacques Kallis at Edgbaston will live long in the memory. The batting was bereft of a fifty, but better than his Lancashire form this season suggested.
Tim Ambrose 3
A miserable series, in which he kept pretty well and batted with admirable determination. But he is far too reliant upon the cut to thrive as a Test-match batsman. When England line-up in India, he will surely not feature.
Stuart Broad 6
Looked jaded and should not have played in the second Test. But he batted superbly, displaying a wide range of shots and solid technique, showing he could soon be a Test number seven. On his return, the batting hype got to him as he eeked out a timid 36-ball one, but he claimed five cheap wickets to reaffirm his all-round promise.
Ryan Sidebottom 5
A series too far? Not necesserily, for Sidebottom has shown tremendous spirit and no little skill since his return. But his recall for Edgbaston was sheer folly; as the speed-gun showed, he was not fully fit. Had Harmison played, Vaughan may still be England captain - but that is the way of cricket.
Monty Panesar 5
Improved his career average so it is hard to be too critical. But his bowling lack variety and the joie de vivre that characterised his start in international cricket. The sheer hopelessness of his batting, running and fielding may be undermining his confidence. Graeme Swann may just be a tempting option - but Panesar will rightly start the Test series in India.
James Anderson 7
Went missing when it mattered most, going for nearly five-an-over on the fourth day at Edgbaston. But the improvement is palpable. The economy was less than three for the series as a whole; ever-threatening with the swinging ball, his control with the non-swinging one has improved admirably. So indeed, has his batting, while has there ever been a better fast-bowling fielder? Doubts linger, but Anderson has to be applauded and clearly possesses an exemplary attitude.
Darren Pattinson 4
Making his debut in the trickiest of circumstances, Pattinson produced a wholehearted effort and did not disgrace himself. But lacking either pace, reverse-swing or any great subtleties, he may not add to his solitary cap.
Steve Harmison 7
One should not read too much into his comeback in a dead rubber, but he showed the benefits garnered from being in-rhythm and high on confidence, claiming four top-order wickets. England are patently a much stronger side with Harmison at his best; it is just a question of trying to coax it out of him. More of his Oval performance, though, and he will be an automatic pick once more.
While England ostensibly only lost because of Graeme Smith's lucky escapes at Edgbaston, South Africa were the better side and deserved their victory. England will be worried that no bowler averaged under 30 - but no one on either side managed to average under 29.50. In reality, the batting, over-dependent upon Pietersen and with the top three failing to hit even an 80 all series, cost England the series. But Flintoff's return, the impressive showings of Harmison and Anderson, and Pietersen's bright start to captaincy suggest, finally, England may be progressing.