Sunday, 30 November 2008

England ODI Ratings

It seems irrelevant given the horrific events unfolding in India, but here are the series ratings for the 5-0 thrashing India inflicted upon England.

Alastair Cook 3
Simply should not be playing ODIs ahead of Denly, Key, Solanki et al.

Ravi Bopara 6
Showed some encourgaing signs as opener - even if running between the wickets remains a safety hazard. Was the only opener to muster a fifty, so is worth perservering with.

Ian Bell 4
A miserable series, containing three failures and a delightful, but all-too-brief, run-a-ball 46. His place, too, must be under serious question.

Kevin Pietersen 8
Number three is where he should bat in ODIs, as his century showed. However, compared to Yuvraj, Sehwag and co, his destructive ability does not seem quite as impressive. It was mystifying that he should take 60 balls over his last 46 runs during his 111*, but in a tough tour Pietersen cannot really be faulted.

Paul Collingwood 3
Averaged under 17 with the bat, while his bowling was also below par. It was ludicrous that a man in such poor form should be promoted to number four, and his place in the side looks under real threat after essentially doing nothing since resigning the ODI captaincy.

Owais Shah 9
Finally, Shah has arrived. Able to work the ball into gaps, and hit powerfully down the ground, especially off spin, he was undoubtedly England's man of the series, and his 48-ball 72 almost kept England in the series. Continually moving him between positions three and six, England would be foolish if they did not recognise that his best position should be number four.

Andrew Flintoff 6
Toiled away admirably with the ball, as he does, and gave hints of his batting prowess, without ever really going on. But England must use him wisely - can they really expect him to play every international in all three forms of the game?

Samit Patel 5
Chipped in with some useful cameos coming in at number seven, but Patel, as widely expected, was found out with the ball. Still has a role to play in the side - but as a batsman who can bowl, not visa versa.

Matt Prior 3
A thoroughly disappointing series, with some keeping blunders, while even his top score (38) came far too slowly. After 33 games, he averages 22 and has a strike-rate of 73. He may be the best keeper option England have - but he certainly shouldn't be opening.

Graeme Swann 5
Bewilderingly omitted from the first two games, Swann found life tough. But he did confirm that he is a better bowler than Samit Patel, and deserves a longer run in the side.

Stuart Broad 6
Suffered at the hands of Sehwag, but who hasn't? Showed his growing maturity and will learn from the experience. Along with Flintoff, he is Pietersen's 'go-to' man when the opposition are on top.

Steve Harmison 4
He was never going to find conditions to his liking, and so it proved. But at least he managed to take the new white ball without spraying it everywhere.

James Anderson 2
A miserable series: 25 wicketless overs for 158 says it all. As his Test fortunes have waxed, so his ODI ones have waned. Too inconsistent, he must be ditched.

The Verdict
England were always going to find this series supremely tough, and so it proved. Their policy of playing only four bowlers was exposed as sheer folly; with the all-round skills of Flintoff, Broad and Swann, there is room for two relative rabbits at numbers ten and eleven. They ended the series with a completely different top three from how they started, exposing their confusion. They showed a refreshing willingness to tinker with the batting order, on the plus side, but an inflexibility after they had selected their side: witness Shah being wasted at six in the fifth game. England may have discovered a sound formula to do well at home; but, whereas Bell and Prior can work as an opening partnership in England, Harmison as a middle-innings enforcer and Patel as the sole spinner, they cannot overseas. England were too slow to adapt in India; and, simply put, lacked the players to compete.


Richard Lake said...

Can't disagree with this at all. Interestingly, now they seemed to have ditched the idea of the wicket-keeper opener, this ought to open the door for Foster or Read as specialist keepers and more than useful late order batsmen. I also like Bopara at the top of the innings and he may be the player that allows Bell to develop and play the big innings he should be playing.

I like the fact that Shah gets moved around. It shows that there is flexibility within the order (which England have struggled from in the past) and he seems comfortable with the role.

Overall it's difficult to be too critical with the selectors without the benefit of hindsight. After all this was the same squad that destroyed the South Africans. However, One Day cricket on the sub continent is a different game and hopefully we've learnt from the experience.

Rob said...

Kevin Pietersen 8? He had scores of 19 (from 23), 33 (from 49), 13 (from 16), 5 (from 5) and 111 (from 128). In addition he managed to captain England to five consecutive losses ... how could he get 8/10?

Tim said...

Re: KP - given the teams selected, and the amazing form of Yuvraj and Sehwag, I don't think there was a great deal more he could have done. Also, he did manage a 63, before being 'Bopared'.

Tim said...

Re Shah - England's moving around of the order seemed confused. They didn't alter with their line-ups 'in game', only changing them prior to the matches. Opening with Bell in the 2222 was ridiculous, for instance. Flexibility is paramount, but surely it's self-evident we must maximise the batting time of our two best players. So KP and Shah MUST bat at 3 and 4. If we're 270/4 after 46 overs, hopefully they'd send in Mascharenhas (who should be playing) ahead of Colly and Patel!

Philip Oliver said...

Fair marks Tim. Shah, Pietersen, Flintoff, Bopara and Broad being the only players to score 6 or more is a good reflection of how poor England were - for all the selection issues and Indian superiority, it was disappointing how much the players underperformed.

Jack Chafer said...

I think mabye Rob is a bit harsh, well after all i have ot used to it he's my dad, should here some of the rants he goes on about, hes a bit like his dad sometimes. Anyway i would have said Kp 7 and Shah 10 flintoff i would say 8, and anderson 1 and prior 5, anyway great blog. dont forget to add me and read my blog

Tim said...

Thanks for the interesting comments.

Will be doing marks out of 10 for the year in ODIs which should be interesting.

Bring on the Test series now!

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