India in England 2011 August 24, 2011

High scores for England's complete side

England's 4-0 whitewash was arguably the most complete series victory in England's Test history. Every player from 1 to 11 made a contribution to the cause, as did the two who did not last the course, as India were outbatted, outbowled and outfielded in a
67

Andrew Strauss - 6
As one of the two key men behind the machine, Andrew Strauss is exempt from overt criticism at present. He and Andy Flower have just overseen their 20th Test victory since May 2009, and of those, 12 have been won by an innings. A leadership style devoid of ego has been instrumental in creating a team that more or less runs itself, although as the only member of the regular top seven who failed to score a hundred, he's bound to wish he'd made a greater personal contribution. At the age of 34, it's an awkward time for a loss of form, but with five months between Tests, he has plenty time to reassess his game.

Alastair Cook - 7
What an extraordinary series. A total of 20 runs in his first four innings, 34 in his sixth and last. And the small matter of 294 to complete the set at Edgbaston. No single player better epitomises the current mindset of this England team. Cook possesses the confidence to shrug off that early run of low scores, the discipline to make his starts count, the fitness - mental and physical - to bat without blinking for sessions and days on end, and a trusty, if unconventional, technique that fits him like an old pair of slippers. His shining example, instilled in him by his Essex mentor, Graham Gooch, has driven England's batting line-up to new heights.

Jonathan Trott - 6
His series was truncated by a shoulder injury sustained at Nottingham, but Trott did not leave without making his mark. On the first day at Lord's, under grim skies and in helpful swinging conditions, his determined resistance guarded England against collapse, and set the stage for Kevin Pietersen to flog England into the driving seat with his second-day 202 not out. Of the 13.3 overs that Zaheer Khan delivered in the series, Trott faced 25 deliveries in a useful 70 - not without alarm, but with enough assurance to carry the day for his team.

Ian Bell- 9
An exquisite coming of age from a batsman whose ever-classical strokeplay has now, after a lengthy engagement, been officially wedded to a steely, run-hungry temperament. He'd been threatening a performance of this magnitude for some time, not least during in the Ashes where he was too low down the order to get a proper say at No. 6, but Trott's misfortune gave him a chance at No. 3 that he was too well focussed to squander. His 159 at Trent Bridge was exceptional, if a touch overshadowed by his dozy tea-time antics, but his career-best 235 at The Oval was truly graceful, timely and chanceless. His time is now.

Kevin Pietersen - 9
Never has KP scored as many as 533 runs in a single series, and rarely has he looked quite so embedded in a team performance. After all the fretting about his wayward form, which included a run of two complete home seasons without a century, he's now racked up three of his top four Test scores in the space of eight months. Another man who has taken Gooch's "daddy hundreds" ethos to heart, he's cut out his tendency to squander a start with a rash piece of improvisation, and has saved his most damning stamps of class, such as his switch hit off Amit Mishra at The Oval, for moments when such strokes are truly justified. He's been seeking acceptance all throughout his career, but he's never looked quite this at home in any England team.

Eoin Morgan - 7
Morgan isn't used to being considered the dull one in England's middle order, but with Trott mostly absent and Bell and Pietersen reigning supreme, the heartbeat of England's one-day team took a peculiarly peripheral role in the five-day line-up. Much like Allan Lamb at Lord's in 1990, his century at Edgbaston was entirely overshadowed by the Essex-based feat of endurance going on at the other end, while at The Oval he missed out, Bopara-style, when he nicked off for 1 after suffering from pad-rash during a massive 350-run stand for the third wicket.

Ravi Bopara - 5
On a hiding to nothing at Edgbaston, when he came to the crease at a staggering 596 for 4, Bopara promptly missed a straight one to be adjudged lbw for 7. In a similar scenario at The Oval, he at least resolved to stick some runs on the board, and was looking pretty solid on 44 not out when the rain closed in to hasten England's declaration. The jury's still out, not least because he simply doesn't look as comfortable as any of his colleagues. But with Trott sure to return in the winter, he has no option but to bide his time.

Matt Prior - 9
Now one of England's most pivotal big-game players, Prior produced his most crucial moments at the sharp end of the series. At Lord's he turned a good start into an excellent one with a first-inning 71, then hauled England out of an Ishant Sharma-induced nose-dive with an outstanding 103 not out. At Nottingham he was powerless as England collapsed to 88 for 6 on the first morning, but swiftly atoned for that rare failure with a bruising 73 from 60 balls after tea on the decisive third day. In between whiles, he pocketed 16 catches and a stumping with scarcely a blemish of note. Comparisons with Adam Gilchrist are becoming less sacrilegious by the day.

Stuart Broad - 9
To think most pundits had been calling for his head before the series. In fairness, those pundits were right. The Broad who topped the averages with 25 wickets at 13.84, and stroked 182 runs at 60.66, was not the same purveyor of long-hops and faux-aggression who had struggled to buy a wicket against Sri Lanka in the first half of the summer. After being reminded of his priorities, he at last returned to the threatening full length that had proven so decisive against Australia in 2009, and reserved his ugly bouncer for moments when it was a true surprise. The manner in which he seized the day at Trent Bridge was incredible, first with a fantastic counter-attacking 64, and then with the English highlight of the summer, a series-turning hat-trick that shattered India's hopes of drawing level at 1-1.

Tim Bresnan - 9
Not since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has there been a super-sub quite this invaluable. Bresnan would not have made the team but for Chris Tremlett's back spasm, but instead produced critical intercessions in each of the three Tests he played. He's not a lot to look at, big and burly with no apparent subtlety, but he is genuinely brisk, unyieldingly accurate, brimful of stamina, and can swing the ball later than anyone bar James Anderson. What is more, he's closer even than Broad to being a genuine allrounder, as his critical 90 at Nottingham attests. If England play five bowlers in their winter tour of the subcontinent, he might suddenly leap from last name on the team-sheet to first.

James Anderson - 9
He's the leader of the attack, the role to which he's always aspired, and just as in the Ashes, Anderson provided guaranteed menace, come rain or shine. In particular, he exerted a hold over Sachin Tendulkar that extended way beyond his tally of two dismissals in the opening two Tests. His unwavering length, movement both ways and rampant hostility ensured India's vaunted batting line-up was never allowed to settle, as demonstrated by the fact that he struck in his first over of an innings on three out of eight occasions. Provided the example that India's own seamers lacked once Zaheer had limped out of contention.

Graeme Swann - 7
Lesser spinners would have been feeling pretty paranoid by the time the final Test came around. On a trio of seamer's decks at Lord's, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston, he was limited to four wickets at 80.25 and was at times played with contemptuous ease by Rahul Dravid. But then, when the moment came and a surface that suited him was presented, Swann revelled in regaining the centre stage, scalping three early wickets in the first innings and six decisive ones in the second, for an excellent match haul of 9 for 208. His frustration was evident at times but his patience never snapped.

Chris Tremlett - 7
If you're a seamer, it's not wise to blink in this England team, let alone get injured. Tremlett started the series as the flavour of the month after dissecting Sri Lanka on a spicy deck at the Rose Bowl. In his only outing of the series he bagged four key wickets in two innings, including MS Dhoni with the second new ball on both occasions. All of a sudden, he's back on the bench, and he might yet stay there given the subcontinent is unlikely to play to his towering strengths. But what a presence to have waiting in the wings.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • crikkfan on August 25, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    I would give 10 to Broad ! What more could he have done? His performance was Bothamesque

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 25, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    Andrew, you are being too harsh on Bell and KP. They should get a perfect 10 and may be Broad as well. Bell and KP set the stage and Broad finished it off. Isn't it? Don't you think you have to go back and change the marks for those three awesome players? I would have been glad if you ranked the Indian Team. I would have seen many zeros (well deserved zeros) and may be a 10 for Dravid (two small centuries - not his fault, team folded tamely; and one big century; all coming against a top notch bowling attack).

  • dummy4fb on August 25, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    England's team should be: 1)Andrew Strauss 2)Alistair Cook 3)Jonathan Trott 4)Kevin Pietersen 5)Ian Bell 6)Matt Prior 7)Tim Bresnan 8)Stuart Broad 9)Greame Swann 10)James Anderson 11)Chris Tremlett This is for the series against Pakistan in Dubai where England will not need 2 spinners because it doesn't favour spinners greatly but KP can bowl if required (he started his career at Natal as an off spinner, batting at 8). Morgan is not needed because England doesn't have a 'tail' because Bresnan, Broad, Swann and Anderson are capable batsmen (not too sure about Tremlett though). England's batting line up is so good that the only need 5 batsman, as they have a keeper who could bat anywhere that he was asked, they have 3 all rounders (Bresnan, Broad and Swann). England's numbers 7-10 could bat 1-4 and would do well, and 5 bowlers give England the chance to rotate the bowlers if 1 struggles, or they can bowl short sharp spells which would trouble batsman more than they already do.

  • dummy4fb on August 25, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    @Rick James and other Eng Fans.. Eng is No:1 Test team and they played outstanding cricket; the sort of cricket, We hoped Our team will present us with, sadly they did not, congrats to your team and all of you. Four years is two years too many to see India in England.. I hope ICC will allow the top six teams in tests to play each other more frequently than it is now.

  • Rajul_Tandon on August 25, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Kudos to team England...a perfect 10 to the team...In crude terms they have chewed Team India and seems that they are going to munch till the completion of this tour...being an Indian fan feel disgusting and can compare this feeling to the 1st round exit from 2007 world cup....Well full credit goes to the English Team and trust that they will be able to keep this good form in the sub continent as well... none the less Cricket needs atleast 1 good team which can perforn in every condition so that others can keep improving and this english team have everything....whatever others say but hope to see a contest during there tour to the sub continent...........

  • 5wombats on August 25, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    There is some truly Gold Standard Trolling on this conversation! ;@NKTanwar; lovely to see that you have managed to find a way to prove to yourself that india are still "number 1", trouble is you forgot two crucial numbers from your calculations; 4 & 0. @Sat Matharu; yeah - you are right, "what goes around comes round" - and as far as india are concerned; it just did. I repeat something that I put somewhere else; How are india going to beat England in india my friend? What have they got that we haven't aready seen and thrashed here in England? Englands batsmen will clean up in india - a team who currently have no spinner and an injury/paunch prone seamer. To use my preferred expression; "It'll be fun to watch".

  • dummy4fb on August 25, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    If england needs to prove themselves in subcontinent to be the no. 1, why not India prove them selves in seaming wickets to claim no 1.....or rather to claim no 3 atleast....???? Did India prove themselves overseas when they were no 1...I doubt....I think this ranking system is flawed and need bit of tinkering.....

  • kesasam on August 25, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    @@@@Sehwagologist@@@@ he is gone crazy...he is repating the same paragraph on and on. Hope he hasnt sallow anything that couldnt digest....Hope u enjoying the indian summer....Good luck and all the best team England...Sri Lankan fan

  • hhillbumper on August 24, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    I feel the class shown by some indian fans on this website is intriguing.England were lucky to win and if India had tried,or played at home then England would have been hammered.India won two years ago and so on.With that slightly jaundiced attitude we can see why India will continue to slip down the world rankings.I hope Tendulkar does not retire as it has been funny watching how incompetent he is when the team needs him.As opposed to Dravid who would be welcomed in the England team.Kumar was a worthwhile adversary but the rest were laughable and amazed how they scored any runs as seemingly they whimper when it does not go their way.Good thing Swann was not on top form or it could have been carnage.Oh wait it was

  • itsfredtitmus on August 24, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    The Rose Bowl pitch was very flat, not spicy. Do not underrate that spell by Tremlett. Otherwise a good sum up. Although I would like to know what more Broad could have done for a 10!

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