Monday, 30 June 2008

England ODI Ratings

Here is how England's players rated in their second consecutive 3-1 ODI series defeat to New Zealand:

Alastair Cook 4
A sedate 24 during the final ODI showed why Cook should not figure in England's ODI plans until he improves his one-day batting for Essex.
Luke Wright 4
Returning to the opening position he occupied so unsuccessfully in the World Twenty20 last September, Wright proved little more successful this time, lacking the skills to work the ball around. For all the promise of a quick 52 - not coincidentally, when the game reverted to virtually a Twenty20 - the stats - an average of 18 and a strike-rate of 71 - are damning. May, however, be worth perservering with at number seven.
Ian Bell 5
Made starts in virtually every innings, and showed glimpses of why he should be a very good one-day opener. The trouble is, 'glimpses' are no longer good enough and Key, Denly et al will be hopeful of getting a one-day chance soon.
Kevin Pietersen 6
Moving to number three, Pietersen began with a brilliant century, including the phenomenal switch-hitting, but faded terribly in the last four innings. Should England's best batsman be given more responsbility or return to the number five position from which he enjoyed stupendous success? He surely needs at least another series at three before a judgement can be made.
Ravi Bopara 5
Hyped up following a wonderful start to the season, but Bopara looked rather out of his depth at number four, clearly too high. He was also invariably a run-out hazard. He seems inhibited, or maybe is simply not quite skilful enough: he can neither score singles with regularity nor clear the ropes - and has never hit an international six. A series and career strike-rate in the 60s is 20th century, while his bowling, inferior to Wright's and Collingwood's, is almost an irrelevance at international level.
Paul Collingwood 7
Timely return to form with the bat, and some canny bowling underlined his worth to the side. However, the series will be remembered for his part in the run-out incident and his ban for slow-over rates. His captaincy does not always convince - does he have sufficient tactical acumen?
Owais Shah 8
A tremendous series. Shah played some wonderful knocks, from his two-run-a-ball 49 in the first ODI to a pair of classy 60s in the last two games, which could have come to so much more had he had adequate support. In finishing as top series run-scorer, and scoring at over a run-a-ball, he reaffirmed his one-day class. While there is an argument for retaining him at six, such a shrewd ODI operator should surely be given the chance to bat at four.
Tim Ambrose 1
Did almost nothing right, dropping catches and looking hapless with the bat. The England keeper debate rumbles on. It is certain, however, that Ambrose's limited range of shots do not make him the best one-day option.
Graeme Swann 7
Bowled excellently throughout to confirm himself as the number one ODI spinner. As a fine fielder and sometimes dangerous batsman, preferably at nine, he has cemented his place in the side.
Stuart Broad 8
A fine series, with seven cheap wickets and an economy rate of just 3.58. An automatic ODI pick.
Ryan Sidebottom 3
In his three appearances Sidebottom was uncharacteristically out-of-sorts. Still, as a canny left-arm operator, there should still be room for him in, or at least vey close to, the side.
James Anderson 2
There were some good moments, and his performances against McCullum were certainly impressive. Anderson seems to be an integral member of the ODI side but recent showings raise serious questions. In his last 15 ODIs, he averages 51 with an economy rate of over 5.5. Ultimately, he is just too inconsistent.
Dimitri Mascarenhas 6
One game produced a valiant 13-ball 23 and a solitary over, which went for 10. So the Mascarenhas conundrum continues.
Chris Tremlett 7
Is a better first-class than limited-overs bowler but will be very satisfied with his solitary appearance in the series, impressing with his consistency.

The Verdict
After the thrashing meted out to New Zealand in the first game, a comfortable series victory seemed inevitable, and England's one-day future appeared, fleetingly, to be reasonably bright. But brainless batting, above all, saw them lose easily. Players such as Key, Denly, Afzaal and Hildreth should be considered, especially if they can end England's opening woes. England, clearly, have a long, long way to go.


Rob said...

I think 7 for Collingwood is a little generous, he batted okay but did manage to get himself banned.

Anonymous said...

Ambrose is on borrowed time (already!), although he deserves another series to prove himself.

It was ridiculous that the selectors chose him for the ODI team for the sake of continuity - different captains, so why not different keepers?

Anonymous said...

ps. Afzaal should never go anywhere near an England shirt again!

I agree with Denly - classy batsman who is flexible according to the situation.

Richard Lake said...

I think you've been a little harsh on Anderson. Certainly there was one poor game, going at over 6 in a low scoring match, but overall, I believe the bowlers did okay. I'd still have Bresnan in though and his form in the domestic One Day cricket cannot be overlooked.

The problem with the England performance is that each batsman only had one good game each (okay maybe two for Shah). We didn't score enough runs and what was the point of dropping Wright back down the innings is we were looking at the change of emphasis. Cook shouldn't be anywhere near the ODI team while Bell is fit.

Team for SA
Prior/ Mustard
Afzaal/ Hildredth