Pakistan v England 2011-12 February 7, 2012

Batting slump costs England

ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over England following their first series whitewash to Pakistan, a series where England had a rude awakening following a trailblazing two years
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Andrew Strauss 5/10
England's captain was never fluent but no-one battled harder with the bat. Hampered by his preference to play spin off the back foot, Strauss countered by attempting to use his feet against the spinners with partial success. But with only one century in his last 28 Tests and just two half-centuries in ten Tests since the end of the Ashes, doubts are beginning to grow. He deserves some credit for the excellent spirit in which the series - which had potential to become controversial - was played and for his honest assessment of Pakistan's strengths and his own side's weaknesses.

Alastair Cook 5
No England player faced more balls in the series than Cook. There were times, using his long reach and infamous patience, when Cook seemed able to negate the spin threat, though run scoring remained problematic. He produced England's highest score of the series - 94 in Abu Dhabi - but generally sold his wicket more cheaply than has been case in recent times, against spin and seam.

Jonathan Trott 5.5
That he was England's leading run scorer says little: this was a disappointing series by Trott's high standards. He squandered two good starts in his first and last innings of the series and once gave his wicket away when not calling for a review that would have reprieved him. He played the spin as surely as anyone and still appears to have the technique to prosper. He was also the unlikely producer of a very good delivery that dismissed Younis Khan in the first Test.

Kevin Pietersen 2
There were glimpses - the most fleeting of glimpses - of what might have been in Pietersen's final innings of the series when he skipped down the pitch to hit the spinners back over their heads. No-one doubts Pietersen's talent but in this series he was hamstrung by serious technical errors: a lack of balance causing him to lunge rather than press forward and a failure to play straight. He also missed a relatively simple run out that might have changed the course of the second Test. He is good enough to bounce back so long as he retains the appetite for the hard work required.

Ian Bell 1
2011 suddenly seems a long time ago. A tally of just 51 runs at an average of 8.5 tells its own story of a gruesome series. Bell's inability to pick Saeed Ajmal's variations - he fell to the doosra four times in six innings - rendered the man who came into the series with a reputation as England's best player of spin all but hapless. His dismissal in the second innings of the third Test - guiding a long hop to point - summed up a horrid tour.

Eoin Morgan 2
Fragile against spin and seam alike, this was a series that dealt a serious blow to Morgan's hopes of establishing himself as a Test cricketer. He was somewhat fortunate to retain his place for the last Test but responded with an improved performance. But a temptation to play across the line against spin and away from his body against seam is a dangerous combination.

Matt Prior 7.5
A cricketer at the peak of his powers. The only man in the England side to average more than 30 with the bat, Prior played the spin as well as anyone and was twice left stranded without partners. He also kept well. While he has long been very good standing back to the seamers, he now appears almost as competent standing up to the spinners.

Stuart Broad 8
Immaculate with the ball, Broad displayed stamina, skill and consistency in this series. His bowling, maintaining a probing line and length and generating just a little seam and swing movement, would have made the likes of Glenn McGrath proud. There is not much higher praise than that. He also produced a fine innings in Abu Dhabi that, but for an appalling batting collapse from his colleagues, might have shaped the second Test in Abu Dhabi. But he loses a mark for selling his wicket too cheaply on two occasions. He is already one of the world's top bowlers. With just a little more application, he could be one of the world's top all-rounders.

Graeme Swann 7.5
Somewhat hampered by the lack of left-handers in the Pakistan line-up, Swann was obliged to play the supporting role to Panesar for much of the series. Swann still finished with the best strike-rate of any of the England bowlers - he claimed a wicket every 53 deliveries - and produced some useful contributions with the bat. Indeed, he averaged more than Bell, Pietersen or Morgan.

James Anderson 8
Dangerous with the new ball - he may have caused permanent damage to Taufeeq Umar's Test career - and now boasting supreme levels of control, Anderson's labours deserved more reward from unresponsive pitches. Perhaps he has lost just a little pace but such is his ability to swing and seam the ball that he remains a reliable bowler in any conditions and a lethal one when conditions help. Anderson also battled hard with the bat, contributing more runs than Bell.

Monty Panesar 8
Two Tests and two five-wicket hauls: the Panesar comeback can only be said to have been a resounding success. After a nervous start in Abu Dhabi, Panesar grew in confidence and revelled in his heavy workload. He will never be a bowler replete with variation and he does tend to offer a few more short balls than he would like but, generally, Panesar provides consistency, control and, in helpful conditions, can be very dangerous. He has improved with the bat and in the field, too.

Chris Tremlett 4
Wicketless in his only Test, Tremlett was subsequently forced to return to England with a back injury that will require surgery. It was wretched luck for a fine cricketer whose body seems unable to withstand the rigours of fast bowling. He bowled respectably in the first Test, too, albeit without much of the pace or devil he had shown at Perth, Cardiff or The Rose Bowl. Fears are growing that it may prove to be his last international appearance.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on February 10, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    @satish619chandar on (February 10 2012, 05:17 AM GMT) To be honest I'm still not convinced. Re Pakistan , I suppose it is unproven as to how good they are away from UAE. To me - and I'm not just saying it because I'm an England fan - I think England gave Australia and possibly every other nation the blueprint of how to bowl at India on pacy wickets. And TBH I would not swap one Aus bowler for one of ours. The only Oz bowler I feel would challenge for a place in the England side is Cummings. Having said that Pakistan may have given other teams the way to bowl to England on slow dry pitches.Obviously bowlers can improve but I'm basing my opinion on what I saw of Australian bowlers like Siddle in the last Ashes series and what I saw of Pattinson (who I feel is eratic) in India

  • satish619chandar on February 10, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    @JG2704 : In all respect, the quality of bowling India faced was also very much attacking and very consistent.. They were as good as any attack at present..

  • landl47 on February 10, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    The bowlers all did well and it was especially pleasing first to see England make the decision to use a 2 + 2 attack and second to see Panesar bowl so well on his return to the side. The batsmen were horrible and these marks are generous with the exception of Pieterson, Bell and Morgan, who are about right. If a test batsman doesn't average 30 in a 3-match test series, even a low-scoring one, there's no way they deserve a 5. Cook, Trott and Strauss had a couple of good innings each, so 4 for them. Prior maybe warrants 6; his batting was uneven- two good not out innings and nothing else- but he kept pretty well. This was a series England really should have won, after needing only 145 in the second test and bowling Pakistan out for 99 in the third and the batsmen's failure to capitalize on the advantage their bowlers gave them was unforgiveable. This isn't an inexperienced side, so they need to take a close look at technique. It just wasn't good enough.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    @ tarbox69 on (February 08 2012, 13:24 PM GMT) As I posted before. SA would have been number 1 had they beaten Australia in the 2nd test rather than lost it and beaten SL 3-0 rather than 2-1. England beat the same Australia side AWAY which SA drew with at home and in 2009/10 they drew a home series 1-1 with India whereas England beat the same India 4-0 at home a year or so later. If you look at SA test record from the last 10 series they have won 4 , drawn 5 and lost 1.Only 2 series have they won by more than 1 test (both 2-0) and one of them was vs Bang record , Eng series record W8 D1 L1 P34 W20 L7 D7. Unfortunately for the England haters the ICC don't take into consideration all the injuries and bad decisions India had or the fact that the Ashes win in Australia was a fluke because they were going through a transitional phase.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    @ Posted by on (February 08 2012, 10:14 AM GMT) Ok - so (as there has to be a number one side) who is it? Let me know and I will give you reasons why they should not be ranked above England.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    @ Posted by on (February 08 2012, 11:52 AM GMT) Did you not see De Lange's performance when he came in for Philander? SA will always be a tough side to beat but stats show they can be beaten in tests they should win. I believe that had they beaten Australia in the 2nd test - a match they should have won - and/or SL 3-0 rather than 2-1 , they'd be number one right now. So all those who say SA deserve to be number 1 right now - well they should be but they didn't win the matches which would have got them there. I responded to a no mark the other day who queried about when Eng last beat SA and if you look up the last 6 series between the 2 sides they're 8-8 - SA winning 2 by 2-1 , Eng winning 2 by 2-1 and 2 being drawn 1-1. This summer series could be an amazing contest for the number 1 spot.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    @ Posted by on (February 08 2012, 10:36 AM GMT) agreed . You also have to add to the equation that Broad scored a 50 in the second test - something which half the batsmen failed to do and which should have helped them win that test - and Monty achieved his wicket tally in 2 tests

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    @ Lmaotsetung on (February 08 2012, 10:30 AM GMT) SA still have to beat NZ 3-0 to officially be number one. The Pakistan series was not the form of a number one side , but England got there on merit and if SA beat NZ 3-0 then they will have earned the position. Being that the ICC ranks a side over rolling form over a few years , you could pick any side as number one and any one person can give a series result (some series results) within the last few years which argues against that. It's like saying Man City lost to Everton the other week so they don't deserve to be top of the premier league for the points/goals they'd accumulated before and since that game.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    jackiethepen on (February 07 2012, 23:39 PM GMT) I see you'll defend Bell until the cows come home. You are right re the partnership with Broad but that was more Broad than Bell. Even in that score of 29 or whatever he looked extremely scratchy and never once looked like he had it in him to score runs. I'd probably have to say that not one of our batsmen deserved above 5 and that Broad was our best player on the tour followed by Monty and Prior. To be fair Bell had a great year/18 months prior to this series and to be fair he has had all the plaudits that go with that. Same with all our players , but when they start to look so horribly out of form they have to accept criticism too

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (February 07 2012, 19:37 PM GMT) didn't see the marks out of 10 for Sehwag. Maybe ESPN were taking into consideration the quality of bowling Eng faced compared to what India faced.

  • JG2704 on February 10, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    @satish619chandar on (February 10 2012, 05:17 AM GMT) To be honest I'm still not convinced. Re Pakistan , I suppose it is unproven as to how good they are away from UAE. To me - and I'm not just saying it because I'm an England fan - I think England gave Australia and possibly every other nation the blueprint of how to bowl at India on pacy wickets. And TBH I would not swap one Aus bowler for one of ours. The only Oz bowler I feel would challenge for a place in the England side is Cummings. Having said that Pakistan may have given other teams the way to bowl to England on slow dry pitches.Obviously bowlers can improve but I'm basing my opinion on what I saw of Australian bowlers like Siddle in the last Ashes series and what I saw of Pattinson (who I feel is eratic) in India

  • satish619chandar on February 10, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    @JG2704 : In all respect, the quality of bowling India faced was also very much attacking and very consistent.. They were as good as any attack at present..

  • landl47 on February 10, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    The bowlers all did well and it was especially pleasing first to see England make the decision to use a 2 + 2 attack and second to see Panesar bowl so well on his return to the side. The batsmen were horrible and these marks are generous with the exception of Pieterson, Bell and Morgan, who are about right. If a test batsman doesn't average 30 in a 3-match test series, even a low-scoring one, there's no way they deserve a 5. Cook, Trott and Strauss had a couple of good innings each, so 4 for them. Prior maybe warrants 6; his batting was uneven- two good not out innings and nothing else- but he kept pretty well. This was a series England really should have won, after needing only 145 in the second test and bowling Pakistan out for 99 in the third and the batsmen's failure to capitalize on the advantage their bowlers gave them was unforgiveable. This isn't an inexperienced side, so they need to take a close look at technique. It just wasn't good enough.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    @ tarbox69 on (February 08 2012, 13:24 PM GMT) As I posted before. SA would have been number 1 had they beaten Australia in the 2nd test rather than lost it and beaten SL 3-0 rather than 2-1. England beat the same Australia side AWAY which SA drew with at home and in 2009/10 they drew a home series 1-1 with India whereas England beat the same India 4-0 at home a year or so later. If you look at SA test record from the last 10 series they have won 4 , drawn 5 and lost 1.Only 2 series have they won by more than 1 test (both 2-0) and one of them was vs Bang record , Eng series record W8 D1 L1 P34 W20 L7 D7. Unfortunately for the England haters the ICC don't take into consideration all the injuries and bad decisions India had or the fact that the Ashes win in Australia was a fluke because they were going through a transitional phase.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    @ Posted by on (February 08 2012, 10:14 AM GMT) Ok - so (as there has to be a number one side) who is it? Let me know and I will give you reasons why they should not be ranked above England.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    @ Posted by on (February 08 2012, 11:52 AM GMT) Did you not see De Lange's performance when he came in for Philander? SA will always be a tough side to beat but stats show they can be beaten in tests they should win. I believe that had they beaten Australia in the 2nd test - a match they should have won - and/or SL 3-0 rather than 2-1 , they'd be number one right now. So all those who say SA deserve to be number 1 right now - well they should be but they didn't win the matches which would have got them there. I responded to a no mark the other day who queried about when Eng last beat SA and if you look up the last 6 series between the 2 sides they're 8-8 - SA winning 2 by 2-1 , Eng winning 2 by 2-1 and 2 being drawn 1-1. This summer series could be an amazing contest for the number 1 spot.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    @ Posted by on (February 08 2012, 10:36 AM GMT) agreed . You also have to add to the equation that Broad scored a 50 in the second test - something which half the batsmen failed to do and which should have helped them win that test - and Monty achieved his wicket tally in 2 tests

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    @ Lmaotsetung on (February 08 2012, 10:30 AM GMT) SA still have to beat NZ 3-0 to officially be number one. The Pakistan series was not the form of a number one side , but England got there on merit and if SA beat NZ 3-0 then they will have earned the position. Being that the ICC ranks a side over rolling form over a few years , you could pick any side as number one and any one person can give a series result (some series results) within the last few years which argues against that. It's like saying Man City lost to Everton the other week so they don't deserve to be top of the premier league for the points/goals they'd accumulated before and since that game.

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    jackiethepen on (February 07 2012, 23:39 PM GMT) I see you'll defend Bell until the cows come home. You are right re the partnership with Broad but that was more Broad than Bell. Even in that score of 29 or whatever he looked extremely scratchy and never once looked like he had it in him to score runs. I'd probably have to say that not one of our batsmen deserved above 5 and that Broad was our best player on the tour followed by Monty and Prior. To be fair Bell had a great year/18 months prior to this series and to be fair he has had all the plaudits that go with that. Same with all our players , but when they start to look so horribly out of form they have to accept criticism too

  • JG2704 on February 9, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (February 07 2012, 19:37 PM GMT) didn't see the marks out of 10 for Sehwag. Maybe ESPN were taking into consideration the quality of bowling Eng faced compared to what India faced.

  • SajithKrishna on February 9, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    I remember Cricinfo giving almost all the Indian batsmen '2' in the England whitewash. And now when it happens to England, Strauss, Cook and Trott get above 5? Not fair at all! Too high! (The Pakistan marks were very fair and it was also a very well written article)

  • on February 9, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    England Weakness against Class Spin bowling Under Turning Deck has made the differences even though Pakistan batting has been the weakness

  • satish619chandar on February 9, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Among bowlers, Swann doesnt deserve 7.5 as he was good only against lefties and was used sparingly against righties by Strauss due to this.. Hence he had a better strike rate.. Panesar, Broad and Anderson are the guys who can be very satisfied with their performance on this tour.. Tremlett was not that effective though he didn't leak runs.. 4 for not being bad is a point extra.. As of bowlers, Broad 8.5(Extra points for batting too), Monty 8, Anderson 7 Swann 6 and Tremlett 3.. Batting, Prior 6, Cook and Trott 5, Strauss 2(One extra point for handling media) and all others 1..

  • satish619chandar on February 9, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    Prior and Broad were better batters.. But 7.5 to prior is a bit of too much i guess.. I am not sure of his keeping but batting was not that great.. He was good only because, others were bad.. Bell got ONE? For? KP gets 2? For coming down the track and playing in the last innings? Apart from the 4 bowlers, none deserves points.. Cook played most balls but easily allowed the spinners to find their rhythm and just they continued to bowl maidens and maidens easily.. Cook and Trott scored runs but surely, they built the pressure by scoring at 2 or less an over.. Could have done something better.. Strauss was almost equal to others but had the previlage of facing the fast bowlers more and scored around half his runs against fast bowling which others didn't get much..

  • doctornikki on February 8, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    Its a good lesson for the so-called proud batsmen..they should learn from Prior and younus khan and azhar instead of weeping about lame excuses...Kindly think about awais shah...

  • JG2704 on February 8, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    To be honest I wouldn't give any of our batsmen 5/10. Bell was by far the worst. I'd put Broad a point above Anderson and Monty at least a point above Swann.

  • MN-USA on February 8, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Hey George: its not just Strauss rather the whole English team deserves the credit for their excellent spirit (both on and off the field) in the series and for their HONEST assesmentof opposition's strengths and their own weaknesses. There has been no agression from ( like of BROAD and ANDERSON) no sledging or any verbal altercation in the field. ENGLISH team has been graceful in accepting their defeat.. However, English media (as usual) on the otherhand has not been able to DIGEST the humiliation their team suffered and cooking controversies which I think are lame Excuses nothing else. I would give FULL MARKS to both team for their professionalism and the spirit shown during the series.

  • tarbox69 on February 8, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Bell is a clown. Like Warnie before him Ajmal made him look as he really is. A flat track bully. Has no answers. The Sherminator returns. SRI and IND spinners must be licking their lips. And Belly is just doing his hair!!!!

  • tarbox69 on February 8, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Hahahaha england No.1? What a joke, like their rugby side after World Cup win in 2003. Hopeless jokes. Only real world champs are Saffas. India proved hopeless jokes in ENG and now AUS. ENG are flat track bullies only without the bully. PAK deserved this truly after all they been through. As an Aussie so predictable that Poms assuage their poor performances with sly doubts about Ajmal. What is their excuse not picking Rehman? Pretenders. Aussies on the way back after a major cull more than needed BEFORE last Ashes series major loss. Poms too good. But No.1? Ha. They have soft batting belly, great bowlers. India forget it. Poms just make excuses for feeble batting. Grow some balls and admit - like Aussies - you were beaten by amuch more committed team. Big congrats PAK, after all, your team needs amedal. And thx to the GREAT WASIM...he will replace useless Johnston with awesome talent that one day, yes one day, will be Starc. PAK and AUS are united to defeat pretenders ENG!!!

  • FunkyAussieDunky on February 8, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    As an Australian watching the Aussie/India series I really enjoyed the result; as a cricket fan watching the England/Pakistan series I loved the contest. It ebbed and flowed the entire way and England (especally the bowlers) played their part. Having said that, I think that the marks for the english bowlers are a little high; with the excpetion of the first innings of the last test they never really took the game by the throat that the 7.5s+ would suggest. On the qdebate of No 1 in the world; that is a statistical question and England thoroughly deserve that statistical position, they have won more games and accumulated more points than others. They deserve the accolades that come with it, just as SA will if they beat NZ 3-0. In terms of the best team in the world, that is more subjective, more of an aura. The expectation that every time you walk onto the pitch you will win. I haven't seen a best team in the world for a good 3 years.

  • LordOfCric on February 8, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Who cares how many marks he gave each individual, as we can see Mr. Dobell had hard time admitted Pak best performence. Now he giving Anderson 8 along with Broad and Monty.... Best joke of the century......................... Prior, Broad & Monty were the only stars of Eng in Test series..................

  • on February 8, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Fair assesment. Until England can beat teams in Asia they don't deserve to be number one. But likewise - until Asian teams can win in English (or New Zealand, or South African/ Australian) conditions - they don't deserve to be number one either. The best 11 at the moment seems to be South Africa. My reservations are on SA's bowling stocks. Morkel, Steyn, Philander and Tahir are excellent, but what SA have behind those 4 looks pretty weak. But the best 11 in my mind are SA with India, Pakistan, England and Australia fighting to catch them. This makes the various match ups in the next 15 months a mouth watering prospect for fans of all those nations.

  • on February 8, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Come on Jimmy and Broad getting the same points. Broad bowled his heart out. Swann is 1/2 point higher and Panesar is 1/2 point lesser then my liking

  • Lmaotsetung on February 8, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    Yes England don't deserve to be No.1 In fact most Eng fans will tell you that. In fact they are no longer #1...that spot belongs to South Africa now. Go to SA board and preach how they too don't deserve to be #1. Unlike Indian fans, we Eng fans accept the results and move on...we do not throw in a millions excuses and tell the opposition to wait til they come to English seaming and swinging conditions. Get over it...series is done and dusted and confirmed England's weakness which some of us were not ready to conceed but now that we've seen it with our own eyes, we accept that and just hope they learn from it. No need to make wholesale changes. We believe in Flower and ECB to do the right thing unlike the BCCI's blame game.

  • on February 8, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    Ian Bell's average swelled in 2011 only because he played against a poor Aussie attack and a sub standard Indian attack. In fact most Englist batsmen are overrated - look at Cook who scored heavily against Aussies & India but struggled against Pakistan, KP scored lot of runs but struggled and so did their Andrew Strauss & Eion Morgan. Goes to prove England even though are No 1 in rankings but are not the best team in the world just like India when they held the rankings for few months. In fact there is no team in the world which can claim as the best team in the world, which I think is good for the game. If the administators can get their heads around and solve some silly issues dogging the game we are in for some exciting time.

  • on February 8, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    i think cricinfo will be respected more if they part ways with george dobell...

  • JB77 on February 8, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    Bell deserved less than 1 in this series. He would have to be the most overrated English player of the past decade (and seeing as that decade included Flintoff that's a pretty big call). Yes he had a good 2011, but it was against a very poor Australian attack (I'm Australian and I have no problem with saying that - our bowling was useless/terrible/woeful in the last Ashes) and a very poor Indian attack at home or in home-like conditions. When teammates are scoring runs, Bell joins in and scores runs. When the team is failing, Bell fails. Great batsman stand up and win games off their own back, not join in the party when one of the top 4 already has a century in the bank. I even saw an article describing his 2011 as 'Bradmanesque' the other day....I nearly kicked my computer screen in.

  • Balumekka on February 8, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    George Dobell seems too generous with the marks here! I wonder how on earth Pakistani batsman made runs to beat England 3-0 if English bowling was that good!

  • on February 8, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, you are very generous with ratings. Apart from Broad and Prior all of them are overrated especially Swan, Wicketless Chris et al. Monty should have 7, he was not as good as A Rahman.

  • on February 8, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    the number 1 team should be able to play and win to adjust and win in all conditions as Australia did in the last decade, you cant make excuses that pakistan had home advantage. remember it was the team who defeated australia and england in england couple of years ago, you must give the credit to pakistan.

  • hoodbu on February 8, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    Seriously wrong numbers. By the looks of these numbers, the England attack in the last Test was better than the Pakistan one.

    Broad 8 + Anderson 8 + Swann 7.5 + Panesar 8 = 31.5 Ajmal 9 + Rehman 8 + Gul 8 + Cheema 4 = 29

    That's why such articles are arbitrary and meaningless.

  • on February 8, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    Generous on Swann and Anderson. A bit harsh on Monty. Otherwise, the mark sheet is fine. Moreover, there should be some marks for Andy Flower as well to remain patient and not crying & weeping, seeing his side in such a dismal :P

  • Belltower on February 8, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    Swann seemed to be under bowled in the series, with England preferring Panesar to bowl the majority of the overs, do they use him as a strike bowler or are they not confident he can keep the runs down. In my opinion outside England he is a disappointment and in both Ashes series he has played he has only really had one great game in both series. He was out bowled by Hauritz in the 1st 2-3 tests in England and then got a 5 wicket haul later in the series on a real turner, the Ashes last year he only had one substantial game in Adelaide and was absolutely smashed by Hussey a left hander, who he supposedly bowls better against.Is clearly overrated but as he is a handy lower order batsman and slip fielder will be preferred to Panesar when they only play one spinner.

  • themagpie on February 8, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    @Lallubhai - that's what has happened for the 135 years of test cricket. It's called 'home ground advantage'.

  • rohanbala on February 8, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    England's pronounced weakness against spin was well established in this series and the Pakistan spinners exploited it to their advantage. I am sure there would be a number of changes in the england team composition in the near future and their selectors would have a tough task in finding replacements for a minimum of four or five players (Morgan, Pietersen, Bell to name a few).

  • Lmaotsetung on February 8, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    It's funny how before the series started everyone was saying the Eng bowlers would have a hard time getting 20 wickets or that they would labor through the tour and how the Eng batting is so deep with a long tail and players who can stick around for hours on end. At the end of this series, it has been the exact opposite.......THAT IS WHY THEY PLAY THE GAME! Anyway gutted by England's performance overall. Worst than 0-5 trashing in India in Oct. Worst that Jamaica 51 all out. Probably on par with Ashes 0-5 to McGrath & Co. SL series will see where this team is cause the pitches in SL will be 100x worse with square turners from Day 2.

  • Drew12 on February 8, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 you are incorrect actually. Sehwag was given twice as many marks (2) as Bell for averaging twice as much! It was Dhoni who was given .5 marks predominantly on the basis of his terrible captaincy.

  • Meety on February 8, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    Bell was a bit lcky to get a score of 1, I thought Tremlett was a bit lucky to get 4, & I suppose Panesar only gets 8 because he played 2 tests, otherwise the scores are about right!

  • jackiethepen on February 7, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Two of those Ajmal 'wickets' against Bell were freak dismissals. They were publicly recorded as unfortunate by everyone but now swept under the generalisation required by the media. Can't we for once have accurate reporting kept going for more than one day? Bell had a really useful partnership with Broad in the first innings at Abu Dhabi (which put England in front) and he survived a horrendous half an hour on a spitting pitch. KP and Morgan didn't. Both the latter just gambled and lost in all their innings. 'Home track' bully Bell was the only batsman to survive both at Brisbane and Perth in the first innings. But on a dry pitch at the Oval - famously - Australia could only manage 160 all out while Bell got 72. But what's the point? Abuse has no logic just prejudice. When did cricket fans start abusing players? 80s?

  • wrenx on February 7, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Absurdly generous. Be honest, Prior & Broad are the only English players to have acquitted themselves well in this series - the rest have played like this boys facing men. Panesar has an absurd rating - any bowler worth his salt would fancy getting a handful of tail-end wickets on a crumbling pitch when they're given 60 odd overs in an innings. Not impressive at all, just a pale imitation of Rehman who bowled twice as well in half the time, and actually got his wickets against recognised batsman. Cook & Strauss - legitimately dismissed at least 9 times each this series - inflated stats. Same goes for Trott.

  • rajwanii on February 7, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    well,with due respect,i dont think anderson has ended taufiq's career...in that case,ajmal has ended ian bell's career,rehman ended morganz career....this is certainly not how it goes,mistakes are made by even the greats,but they learn and comeback...taufiq umer has been the highest run getter for pakistan in tests last 1 year,he is a class act...

  • Lallubhai on February 7, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    From now on , whoever plays at home will prepare the pitches for home advantage .

  • Grayark on February 7, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 not everything is about india mate.

  • Ozzbozz on February 7, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Pretty much agree with everything there George, except for Bell, 1 out of 10 was a bit high methinks ;-) Also Morgan shouldn't be anywhere nere a test team and lucky if he retains his slot for 1 dayers.

  • Bunk_JC on February 7, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    Bell was lucky to even get a score of 1 - very poor.

  • rahulcricket007 on February 7, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    IF I M NOT WRONG THEN CRICINFO GIVE 0.5 MARKS TO SEHWAG DURING RECENT TEST SERIES AGAINST AUS . SEHWAG WAS FLOP BUT STILL MADE COUPLE OF 60S IN MELBOURNE & ADELAIDE , HIS AVERAGE WAS DOUBLE OF BELL 'S & KP IN THIS SERIE THEN HOW DID BELL GOT 1 MARK , HE SHOULD HAVE GOT 0 .

  • SamAsh07 on February 7, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    The article was nice until I read this "James Anderson 8 Dangerous with the new ball - he may have caused permanent damage to Taufeeq Umar's Test career ".....OK so Englands failed batting may have not received the same thing?? Let me elaborate "Saeed Ajmal 9 Dangerous with the doosra and his mystery variations - he may have caused permanent damage to Ian Bell's Test career". There now we're even.

  • mk49_van on February 7, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    Love what the tour did to that home-track bully Ian Bell. And the hapless Peterson. England as No 1. Naahhh - No team is actually no.1 anymore.

  • gramedgar on February 7, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    generous on swann, otherwise i like it :)

  • Wexfordwonder on February 7, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    looking at those bowler ratings I would expect that Pakistan was bowled out for 200 every innings, did that happen?

  • No1cricketfan on February 7, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    I got to rate English bowling, its their batting which let them down, none of the batsman deserve any points

  • No1cricketfan on February 7, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Why bell got 1, his one should be given to Broad, who i think was by far the the best English Player.

  • Bramblefly on February 7, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    Probably about right all of these marks. It also has me wondering whether there is a case for replacing Morgan with a third spinner in the Sri Lankan tests. As Monty and Swann are likely shoe ins for that series, maybe Briggs needs to play all the limiited overs games to provie himself and get some time in these sort of conditions.

  • King_Viv on February 7, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    last week Dhoni was given 0.5/10. please explain why Bell and KP rate higher than Dhoni? Swann is also over rated, he should be no more than 5/10 if Monty is 8. Strauss should be 3/10. Whilst Prior played two decent knocks, 7.5 also seems too high. let's not forget, England only posted more than 200 twice in six innings thus all of the top six deserve less than 5/10

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  • King_Viv on February 7, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    last week Dhoni was given 0.5/10. please explain why Bell and KP rate higher than Dhoni? Swann is also over rated, he should be no more than 5/10 if Monty is 8. Strauss should be 3/10. Whilst Prior played two decent knocks, 7.5 also seems too high. let's not forget, England only posted more than 200 twice in six innings thus all of the top six deserve less than 5/10

  • Bramblefly on February 7, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    Probably about right all of these marks. It also has me wondering whether there is a case for replacing Morgan with a third spinner in the Sri Lankan tests. As Monty and Swann are likely shoe ins for that series, maybe Briggs needs to play all the limiited overs games to provie himself and get some time in these sort of conditions.

  • No1cricketfan on February 7, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Why bell got 1, his one should be given to Broad, who i think was by far the the best English Player.

  • No1cricketfan on February 7, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    I got to rate English bowling, its their batting which let them down, none of the batsman deserve any points

  • Wexfordwonder on February 7, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    looking at those bowler ratings I would expect that Pakistan was bowled out for 200 every innings, did that happen?

  • gramedgar on February 7, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    generous on swann, otherwise i like it :)

  • mk49_van on February 7, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    Love what the tour did to that home-track bully Ian Bell. And the hapless Peterson. England as No 1. Naahhh - No team is actually no.1 anymore.

  • SamAsh07 on February 7, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    The article was nice until I read this "James Anderson 8 Dangerous with the new ball - he may have caused permanent damage to Taufeeq Umar's Test career ".....OK so Englands failed batting may have not received the same thing?? Let me elaborate "Saeed Ajmal 9 Dangerous with the doosra and his mystery variations - he may have caused permanent damage to Ian Bell's Test career". There now we're even.

  • rahulcricket007 on February 7, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    IF I M NOT WRONG THEN CRICINFO GIVE 0.5 MARKS TO SEHWAG DURING RECENT TEST SERIES AGAINST AUS . SEHWAG WAS FLOP BUT STILL MADE COUPLE OF 60S IN MELBOURNE & ADELAIDE , HIS AVERAGE WAS DOUBLE OF BELL 'S & KP IN THIS SERIE THEN HOW DID BELL GOT 1 MARK , HE SHOULD HAVE GOT 0 .

  • Bunk_JC on February 7, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    Bell was lucky to even get a score of 1 - very poor.