|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
May 19, 2009
West Indies marks | England marks
Fidel Edwards - 9
An outstanding, if somewhat puzzling, display from the quickest bowler on either side, and maybe even in the world game. At Lord's Edwards' figures of 6 for 92, although magnificent, failed to take into account three dropped catches that could and should have set him up for an eight-for. At Chester-le-Street, he reserved his best and most venomous spell for James Anderson, of all the unlikely targets. Quite why he couldn't rouse himself for more obvious targets, such as Kevin Pietersen, is a mystery. Perhaps he was just fed up at his lack of support.
Sulieman Benn - 7
Cruelly under-rewarded for his efforts. Bowled with attacking intent and cunning varieties, and from a height that had the potential to turn every ball into a hand-grenade. Pietersen certainly didn't enjoy the best of the battle, and he wasn't alone, as the combative cricketer who had taken eight wickets in the Jamaica triumph returned to something approaching his best form. Had fun with the bat as well at times, and wasn't shy in dishing out the verbals either. West Indies could have done with more of his spirit.
Ramnaresh Sarwan - 6
Not quite the superhuman who cracked 626 runs in the previous series, but away from the featherbeds of home, Sarwan still helped himself to his fourth century in six Tests, which was quite some achievement for a man who never got going in his other three innings. His strength through the covers was diminished by the threat of the moving ball, although with the sun on his back on the fourth day at Chester-le-Street he made hay impressively to record West Indies' only hundred of the series. Nevertheless, he was dismissed twice in the same day in both matches, which was something of an unwanted ignominy.
Denesh Ramdin - 6
Caught the eye with two free and easy half-centuries, the second of which, at Durham, had England's bowlers on the run when they thought they were going for the kill. His glovework was still prone to untimely lapses, however, not least the leg-side drop off Alastair Cook that condemned his bowlers to yet another long and fruitless day in the field.
Brendan Nash - 5
Enhanced his credentials with a pugnacious 81 at Lord's, but either side of that innings he was swept away in West Indies' tide of futility. Out-thought at Chester-le-Street, first by a bouncer barrage that made him susceptible to a loose under-edged drive, then by Bresnan's booming swing in the second dig. And then there was his dropped catch at square leg on the first afternoon at Lord's - the error that arguably transformed the momentum of the series.
Chris Gayle - 4
Led by example, which is not meant as a compliment. His late arrival ahead of the Lord's Test set the tone for a hideously forgettable series, and not even his fourth-day fireworks could atone for his divisive comments about the future of Test cricket. He is entitled to his opinion of course, but there's a time and a place for expressing sentiments, and this, sadly, was neither.
Devon Smith - 4
Two starts, two failures, and no surprises. At times in the first Test at Lord's, Smith looked the most accomplished batsman in the side, but then would come the inevitable error, and all his hard work would unravel. He attracted the odd good delivery, it has to be said, not least the Onions yorker at Lord's, but his travails against Swann became the subject of ridicule when Strauss elected to open the bowling with his spinner for West Indies' first innings of the series.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul - 4
Equalled Viv Richards' record of 121 Tests at Chester-le-Street, and overtook his runs tally in the very same game which was a spooky coincidence. But aside from a futile 47 in the follow-on, there was little for the ICC World Player of the Year to cheer. At Lord's he made 0 and 4 as Swann got his number in both innings, and though things improved in the second Test, he found simply being a barnacle wasn't sufficient to get his team back into the contest.
Lendl Simmons - 3
His temperament at times seemed unflappable, which meant that his series haul of 55 runs in four innings was a crushing disappointment. Simmons is unquestionably a name for the future - anyone who can score 282 off an international attack, as he did in St Kitts for West Indies A against England in February - has to be worth investing in. Somehow his returns failed to stack up, but watch this space, he'll get it right soon.
Jerome Taylor - 3
Innocuous and superfluous, and a dreadful shame it was too. What has become of the man who rampaged through Sabina Park back in February? A combination of injuries and ennui seems to have set in ever since, for Taylor's pace was powder-puff at times, not least in a critical first over to Kevin Pietersen in the second Test. Taylor is in need of a long lay-off and recharging of the batteries.
Lionel Baker - 3
Bowled one superb delivery to castle Ravi Bopara, and that was that, really. With a lithe, whippy action that is designed to be repeated, Baker really ought to be a line and length merchant, the steadying influence around which a team can build. Instead no two deliveries ever landed in the same place. Four-balls were only ever a matter of time.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Former Sri Lanka batsman Asanka Gurusinha talks about playing and coaching in Australia, and tactics during the 1996 World Cup
Also, scoring a hundred and opening the bowling, the youngest Australian player, and scoreless in three Tests
Never mind cricket's absence from free-to-air TV - changes in social attitudes, the demands of work, and an individualistic age are all contributing to a decline in participation
Pakistan have notched up some fine wins under Misbah-ul-Haq's leadership, but they haven't yet achieved consistent results outside the UAE