England in Bangladesh 2009-10 March 25, 2010

Swann leads the pack; Bresnan the surprise

It proved harder than many expected, but England secured a 2-0 series victory with their nine-wicket win in Dhaka

England leave Bangladesh with a clean sweep, as they were expected to do, but it took a lot of sweat and toil to achieve those results. Still, Alastair Cook can reflect on a "job well done" and the series also proved the chance to have a look at some of players pushing for more permanent roles

Alastair Cook - 8

For a stand-in captain to arrive for a tour where the expectation is of a clean-sweep certainly added to the pressure, but Cook leaves with his record intact. Importantly for a captain his own batting form led from the front with a career-best 173 at Chittagong and an unbeaten 109 at Dhaka. The hard work he has put into his technique continued to pay off, albeit against a weak bowling attack. Some of his captaincy raised eyebrows - and he'll want to forget the second morning in Dhaka - but he stuck to his guns and will have learnt plenty about the role. Will be a valuable deputy when Andrew Strauss returns.

Jonathan Trott - 5

A bit of a nothing tour for Trott, who never completely missed out with the bat but didn't cash in, either. Received a couple of rough umpiring decisions - caught behind off the helmet and his run out at Dhaka - and was shunted up to open in the second Test where he responded with a laborious 64. It averted a potential collapse, but he needs to find ways of scoring more freely against spin. His fielding is a concern; the drop at Dhaka was a real YouTube moment.

Kevin Pietersen - 6

Finally the runs returned - it was only ever going to be a matter of time. A judgement on his true form will have to wait for more testing attacks, but the swagger was evident again. By the run-chase at Dhaka he was playing the switch hit and he may well look back on this short series as a key time in his recovery. Showed his determination to work hard by changing his technique to left-arm spin although still fell to them the three times he was dismissed. Pleasingly, he wants to work on his bowling.

Paul Collingwood - 6

Cashed in when the going was easy at Chittagong, but his 145 was no more than he deserved after spending vast amounts of time staving off Australia and South Africa last year. Will always be underrated, but now has ten Test hundreds. Only bowled one over all series although the management denied there was any injury issue and his catching wasn't quite as infallible as normal.

Ian Bell - 8

Never has Bell been such a reassuring presence in the middle order. His runs at Chittagong were virtually freebies, but in the second Test his stylish 138 saved England from potential embarrassment and finally meant he was the lone century-maker in an innings. The No. 3 question will continue to be asked, but Bell is a perfect fit for that middle-order role. He should now kick-on and produce the career everyone has expected since he was an Under-19.

Matt Prior - 6

Was only called on for one significant innings and responded with a confident 62 at Dhaka before a hot-headed swipe meant he missed out on plenty more. Remains good enough to bat at No. 6 if England want five bowlers. Dropped a couple of tough chances against the spinners, but in hot conditions generally maintained his standards well. Has no challenger for his Test spot.

Tim Bresnan - 7

For a man who wasn't in the original squad, Bresnan took his chance with both hands. He was England's most consistent seamer, but was more impressive with the old ball than the new one finding testing reverse swing in both Tests. He'll have to wait a long time to bowl a better delivery than the one to remove Tamim Iqbal at Chittagong. Justified his promotion to No. 7 with a vital 91 in the second Test and could well have inked himself in for the first Test of the home series if Graham Onions remains unfit. The Ashes, though, is probably a different question.

Graeme Swann - 9

What would England do without Swann? Struggle to beat Bangladesh is the answer. There appears no sign of his form wavering as he claimed another Man-of-the-Series award after collecting 16 scalps in the two Tests including a 10-wicket haul at Chittagong. Maintained his amazing skill of striking in the first over of a spell and continued to show the value of giving the ball a rip. If two Tests bowling on these pitches can't quell his enthusiasm, nothing will. His send-off of Junaid Siddique was unbecoming of such a fine man and he quickly apologised.

Stuart Broad - 6

There was a lot of huff and puff from Broad and quite a few snarls and stares to go with it, but not a huge amount of success on two dead pitches. Made an early mark with the new ball in the first Test, but struggled with the heat later in the game. The most significant aspect of Broad's performance was his use of reverse swing in Dhaka, but he still needs to learn to watch that temper. Has been overtaken in the batting stakes by Swann.

James Tredwell - 7

Should have played in the first Test and didn't let anyone down when he finally earned his debut. He ended Tamim's blitz at a vital time and toiled away consistently throughout the match with six wickets a deserved return. Useful runs down the order, but he isn't the long-term answer to England's second-spinner role.

Steven Finn - 5

Impressed so much in the warm-up game that he leapfrogged Ajmal Shahzad and Liam Plunkett in the fast-bowling queue. After a nervous first spell he was impressive at Chittagong, extracting the most bounce of any of the quicks and showed he already knew about reverse swing. Not quite so effective at Dhaka as the strain of back-to-back Tests took its toll, but is certainly one for the future although may find himself back in the county ranks for a while.

Michael Carberry - 4

Two unfulfilling innings as he became bogged down against spin having looked at ease against pace. However, he was brilliant in the fielding with his stop, slide and throw to remove Naeem Islam a vital moment when England had gone flat. But will have to wait for injury for another chance.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Simon on March 26, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    I'd also like to see colly at 3. he has the temprament for when England are in trouble and the shots for when they can attack.

  • Simon on March 26, 2010, 22:50 GMT

    From what I saw Englands problem is their complete lack of pace. Bresnan and Finn were well within the 130s as was Broad for the most part (he occasionally hit the low 140s).

    That level is fine against the Tigers but won't unsettle top batsman.

    England need 2 things before the Ashes of which I doubt we'll manage 1. We need a genuine allrounder ( Luke Wright seems to be top of the pecking order although probably not ready for Tests) and an express pace bowler capable of regularly hitting 150k whilst getting enough bounce to unsettle top batsman (Plunkett doesn't have that pace but can get bounce).

    Re: All the people moaning about Bresnans 7.

    Show the ability to rip through a side. Hasn't taken more than 3 in an innings or 4 in a match. A problem showing in his first class stats too with only 3 5w hauls.

    Personally i'd give him 6. Free runs against a flagging attack don't make a test batsman although if we do play 4 seamers with no true allrounder his batting is a plus.

  • Carl on March 26, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    To me the marks seem pretty fair. My conern in the England team is Trott. He seems to be living off that one innings against Australia, and not done much since. To me, whenver he is batting, it is putting pressure on the others to score due to his lack of freescoring, and that is why pieterson etc play rash shots when hes at the crease, and i cant blame them getting him run out. To me he should go down the order or out the side. I do not feel that 5 batsman is enough come the ashes, we that that 6th batsman for the extra runs we will need. My team would be Straus, Cook, Pietersen, Collingwood, Morgan, Bell, Prior, Swann, Broad, Anderson, Onions. Morgan has class and a great temperament, i'd get him in for a few matches and prepare him ready for the ashes.

  • Anthony on March 26, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    In response to RodStark's comments, I am not so sure that Carberry has been shown to be an adequate reserve. He looks like a one-test-wonder to me, unfortunately for him. He didn't ever look settled and got terribly bogged down against the spinners. I read a comment somewhere, sorry can't remember who said this, that Carberry and James Anderson both play some nice shots, but neither of them are test batsmen. England are approaching a similar position to the one they were in during the 1980s with an over-abundance of middle-order batsmen. In emergency one of those can open (Trott). If I was a selector I'd work hard to get Eoin Morgan into the test line-up in time for the Ashes - a player with immense talent and a brilliant temperament to match.

  • Dummy4 on March 26, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Bresnan 7! I would hate to see how well he would need to play to get a 9!

  • Jackie on March 25, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    I don't think giving Cook the captaincy was about his future role but about giving him confidence at a crucial time. Strauss seems adept at support at the right moment for his charges, what a wonderful gift as a captain. Bell has spoken about the turning point of Strauss supporting him at Centurion. We had the dressing room backing of Cook (plus extra coaching by Gooch) after he was struggling in the Ashes. Followed by of course another crisis averted with the support of KP through his recent failures. And what sparked the marvellous Colly comeback? The result is a confident team. Cook was a pretty terrible captain actually - but it doesn't matter because his confidence and his batting have improved by a mile.

  • Bang on March 25, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    why? you can always borrow the mighty-atom hahahaha

  • Clive on March 25, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Tredwell "isn't the long-term answer to England's second-spinner role. "

    Why not?

  • Samuel on March 25, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    Got to agree with Innocent_Abroad - there might not be an embarrassment of riches, but Kieswetter is lurking around, and don't forget Steven Davies. It was an uninspiring series for England, but invaluable for keeping momentum going as well as finding out about the depth of the squad. Perhaps the most heartening thing was that England managed to win without ever playing all that well - a sign that a decent team is threatening to emerge from somewhere...

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    Surely Bresnan deserves more than 7? He was the most impressive of the quick bowlers and thoroughly justified the no. 7 batting spot. You're not judging him on a possible place in the Ashes but on his performance in Bangladesh. 8 would be a fair mark for Bres.

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