England in Sri Lanka 2011-12 April 8, 2012

Top marks for Anderson and Jayawardene

Marks out of ten for England and Sri Lanka after the two-Test series
24

England

9
James Anderson
Was already established as one of the best fast bowlers before this tour and his reputation has now soared even higher. Superb in every innings and could easily have had greater reward. Incredible stamina.

Graeme Swann
Went wicketless in the first innings in Galle but was prolific after that. His performance in Colombo was one of his finest for England and he was back beating the outside edge to the right-handers, which added to his threat. Maybe the presence of Monty Panesar has given him a little kick?

8
Jonathan Trott
Showed England's batsmen it was possible to score during the failed run-chase in Galle and helped lay the solid foundation for victory in the second Test.

Kevin Pietersen
Few batsmen could have played the way Pietersen managed in Colombo and it made a mockery of his previous struggles in Test matches this year. When the mood takes him he remains irresistible.

6
Alastair Cook
Still can't quite get that 20th Test century after his second 94 of the year but that was a crucial innings to give England a base and also set the tone in the run chase. Missed a few sharp chances at short leg.

Matt Prior
Looked comfortable during the Galle run chase until unluckily being caught at short leg off a full-blooded sweep. Kept well in very tough conditions with the missed stumping (which didn't prove costly) as his only real blot.

Andrew Strauss
For the first time in his career he faced a lot of awkward questions and he never lost his composure. Ugly shots in the first Test; showed all his grit in the second. Captaincy does not always please those who want more aggression but used his resources well. Caught well too.

Steven Finn
Still a work in progress but showed impressive consistency and kept his pace up in the heat. Not a bad option as first reserve and it highlights England's depth in pace bowling.

5
Samit Patel
Did not look out of his depth. Managed what was asked with him with the ball - his economy rate was very impressive - and batted confidently in Colombo after a difficult start in Galle. Unlikely to see much Test action in England.

Tim Bresnan
Eleven Tests, 11 wins. England's lucky charm worked again. Took useful wickets in the first innings in Colombo and gave Strauss control. Would be perfect if he could be a Test No.7.

3
Ian Bell
Showed signs of regaining form in the first innings in Galle but again fell sweeping in the second. Wasted a good platform in the second Test. Needs some time in county cricket before the West Indies series.

Monty Panesar
Didn't bowl badly in Galle but could not conjure the threat he had shown in the UAE. Catching reverted to the bad old days and may have played a part in his omission. Still England's second best spinner by a clear margin.

Stuart Broad
Series cut short by injury and did not look his best in Galle after an earlier ankle problem. Bowled eight no-balls. But a minor blip. He's a world-class cricketer.

Sri Lanka

9
Mahela Jayawardene
The captain led by example with a Man-of-the-Series display. Ended a lean run in Test cricket with two hundreds and almost defied England single-handedly. Remains a reluctant captain but is giving the job his all. Tough gig with limited bowling resources.

Rangana Herath
Confirmed as the leader of Sri Lanka's attack and surpassed all expectations. Was helped by some reckless batting in Galle but also teased with flight and guile. He'll have a heavy workload in the years to come.

7
Angelo Mathews
Delayed start to the series due to injury and he may struggle to be a regular bowler in Test cricket, if fitness issues continue to plague him. But he twice showed he more than warrants a place as a batsman and appears wasted at No. 6 where he can be stranded with the tail.

6
Thilan Samaraweera
Rarely pleasing on the eye but a gutsy performer in the middle order. Two important innings in Colombo to keep Sri Lanka alive. If he'd survived the fourth evening the result could have been different. Surprisingly does not bowl these days.

Prasanna Jayawardene
A crucial second innings in Galle which extended Sri Lanka's lead beyond 300 highlighted his value to the middle order. His team could have done with more of the same in the second Test but he should fend off Dinesh Chandimal for a while longer. Tidy behind the stumps.

4
Chanaka Welegedara
Claimed the important wicket of Pietersen in Galle and offered some useful resistance with the bat before a groin injury ended his series early. One of Sri Lanka's better pace-bowling options.

Dinesh Chandimal
Made two starts in the first Test before giving it away on both occasions but Sri Lanka supporters (and management) need to be patient. He is a key part of the team's future.

Suraj Randiv
Very good in Galle, very ordinary in Colombo. Was taken apart by Pietersen, which has happened to many a bowler, but is worth persevering with. Tall offspinners can be an asset.

3
Tillakaratne Dilshan
Was more of a threat to England with his offspin rather than the bat. Fined once during the second Test and fortunate not to be done again after the reaction to his dismissal. Debate is starting about how much longer he will be around the Test side.

Suranga Lakmal
Found some swing in Galle but was ineffective in Colombo. Maybe worth persevering with. Showed unexpected stickability with the bat.

Dhammika Prasad
Frustrated England as nightwatchman more than he hindered them with the ball.

2
Kumar Sangakkara
A rare lean series for Sangakkara, including two first-ball ducks. It left a big hole in the Sri Lanka line-up and he never threatened to get on top of the England attack.

Lahiru Thirimanne
Out of his depth with the bat although he was facing the exceptional Anderson. But excellent at short leg.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JB77 on April 10, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    Andrew Strauss a six?! He was woeful in this series. 26, 27, 61 and 0 may not look too dire, but his periods of cluelessness while batting and his dismissals tell the true tale. Strauss, like Michael Vaughan before him, is fortunate that he has the myth of the English captain mastermind to distract from his long periods of mediocrity as a batsman.

  • voma on April 10, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    Just watched Kevin Pieterson blow away the chennai super kings . 43 in 26 balls , awsome stuff .

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 10, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Fair enough, JamesTHEwalldravid, most informed judges agree with you in rating Lillee (and others that you mentioned) in general far above Anderson.

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on April 10, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    @stormy16 wooow! getting all high and mighty I see. Come on dude, you won one test and are speaking like you are the king of the world. Calling SL Club level? Calm down. Pakistan certainly made your batsmen look bad, maybe even shall we say "club level"? In fact, no, I have seen better players of spin on the streets of the sub-continent. Also the Pakistan Batsmen were laughing at Swanny. Monty was more effective than him. Swann had decent stats in series, but every time he came on to bowl the Pakistan batsmen looked unconcerned to say the least. They said:" Look our part timer Hafeez is better than this kid". So just relax, smile and practise batting against spin. India vs Eng coming up and can't wait. Don't know who to support. Maybe Eng or Maybe Ind. Huh.

  • on April 10, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    James Anderson rarely takes tail-ender wickets but if you look up Statsguru, you'll see just how effective he has been against the very best of batsmen. At the moment, Tendulkar is his "bunny", dismissed seven times in ten matches for a player vs player average of 27.71. He has dismissed Tendulkar, Boucher, Clarke, Kallis, Sangakkara, Smith, Dravid and Prince five times or more. Of these, only Graeme Smith with an average of 80.80 for his five times dismissed can be said to have gotten the better of him. If you extend the list to those 18 batsmen Anderson has dismissed four times or more, only Siddle isn't a batsman and only Smith and McKenzie (63.00) have come out on top in their confrontations. Not one of the Indian greats; Tendulkar (7/27.71), Dravid (5/32.60), Laxman (4/21.50) and Sehwag4/4.25 yes, four point twenty-five), can be said to have mastered Andersson.

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on April 10, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael you are correct. DK Lillee was a poor choice of example. Indeed Lillee was fare from impressive in the sub-continent and even still I'd take him in my side in heartbeat before even remotely thinking about James Andersen, however I admit you certainly have a very valid point.

  • stormy16 on April 10, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Only Straus's 6 is an issue - I think he failed and deserves a 4 at best. On Jimmy, he looked lethal each time he had the ball - new or old and knocked over the top order in each innings - can't get better than that in these conditions. The gap between the two attacks is a county mile and more. SL looks club leve at best and it will be pointed that they won in Galle. Sure they did but the blunt reality is Herath is a good spinner at best - the rest are barely club level and Herath wont win SL games unless the conditions are perfect for him. Swan on the other hand troubled quality players of spin consistently in the series. SL's lack of runs continues to be a major concern - their supposed strength. The opening combination puts serious pressue on the batting order and has done for a while now. SL will be the happier team with the series result and Eng will ponder how they lost a test to surely one of the weakest bowling attacks currently in test cricket and a top order that made no runs

  • subbass on April 10, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Anderson and Swann are the leading Test bowlers in the 2010's, that is to say they are the most prolific wicket takers in the stated time. Pretty sure it was a case of them both averaging in the 20's with Anderson in the low 20's. He now deserves to be talked of as a world class Test bowler in all conditions. That is not hyperbole it is a simple truth, open your eyes Anderson is different class. He will be looking forwards to getting some more wickets this Summer before the easy task of the Aussie top order the following Summer. Of course sandwiched in between this will be the India tour, where I fully expect him to be comfortably the best fast bowler on either side.

  • on April 10, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    As repeatdely pointed out we have been 3 down for almost nothing in 4 out of 10 occasions in last two series against World No. 1 and No. 2. Only one occasion we crossed 100 before 3rd wicket fell. There is a huge problem with the openers. Sanga has recently failed most of the time when he comes to bat early. Whenever we had put up a decent total on the board bowlers although as a unit not world class have done the job. Dilshan needs to justify his place in the team. I cannot see why Thilan cannot bowl or that the captain does not want him to bow?. He is a genuine bowler not a ranked part-timer like Dilshan. Thilan was dropped during Aus series after scoring 86 runs in 4 innings although he averaged 50+ in previous Eng Series. Now what about Dilshan? A failure against two quality oppositions. No technique to open batting in a test match? Where is the justice?

  • jmcilhinney on April 10, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    @yorkshire-86, isn't it a bit tough calling someone who took 6 wickets in the second innings a passenger? Also, Swann was unlucky not to have 13 in the second Test. I don't necessarily agree with all of Gnasher's evaluations and maybe a few wickets from Swann in that first innings at Galle could have turned the game in England's favour but he did perform very well in 3 of 4 innings and not many people would consider 6 wickets in a match being a passenger.

  • JB77 on April 10, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    Andrew Strauss a six?! He was woeful in this series. 26, 27, 61 and 0 may not look too dire, but his periods of cluelessness while batting and his dismissals tell the true tale. Strauss, like Michael Vaughan before him, is fortunate that he has the myth of the English captain mastermind to distract from his long periods of mediocrity as a batsman.

  • voma on April 10, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    Just watched Kevin Pieterson blow away the chennai super kings . 43 in 26 balls , awsome stuff .

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 10, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Fair enough, JamesTHEwalldravid, most informed judges agree with you in rating Lillee (and others that you mentioned) in general far above Anderson.

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on April 10, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    @stormy16 wooow! getting all high and mighty I see. Come on dude, you won one test and are speaking like you are the king of the world. Calling SL Club level? Calm down. Pakistan certainly made your batsmen look bad, maybe even shall we say "club level"? In fact, no, I have seen better players of spin on the streets of the sub-continent. Also the Pakistan Batsmen were laughing at Swanny. Monty was more effective than him. Swann had decent stats in series, but every time he came on to bowl the Pakistan batsmen looked unconcerned to say the least. They said:" Look our part timer Hafeez is better than this kid". So just relax, smile and practise batting against spin. India vs Eng coming up and can't wait. Don't know who to support. Maybe Eng or Maybe Ind. Huh.

  • on April 10, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    James Anderson rarely takes tail-ender wickets but if you look up Statsguru, you'll see just how effective he has been against the very best of batsmen. At the moment, Tendulkar is his "bunny", dismissed seven times in ten matches for a player vs player average of 27.71. He has dismissed Tendulkar, Boucher, Clarke, Kallis, Sangakkara, Smith, Dravid and Prince five times or more. Of these, only Graeme Smith with an average of 80.80 for his five times dismissed can be said to have gotten the better of him. If you extend the list to those 18 batsmen Anderson has dismissed four times or more, only Siddle isn't a batsman and only Smith and McKenzie (63.00) have come out on top in their confrontations. Not one of the Indian greats; Tendulkar (7/27.71), Dravid (5/32.60), Laxman (4/21.50) and Sehwag4/4.25 yes, four point twenty-five), can be said to have mastered Andersson.

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on April 10, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael you are correct. DK Lillee was a poor choice of example. Indeed Lillee was fare from impressive in the sub-continent and even still I'd take him in my side in heartbeat before even remotely thinking about James Andersen, however I admit you certainly have a very valid point.

  • stormy16 on April 10, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Only Straus's 6 is an issue - I think he failed and deserves a 4 at best. On Jimmy, he looked lethal each time he had the ball - new or old and knocked over the top order in each innings - can't get better than that in these conditions. The gap between the two attacks is a county mile and more. SL looks club leve at best and it will be pointed that they won in Galle. Sure they did but the blunt reality is Herath is a good spinner at best - the rest are barely club level and Herath wont win SL games unless the conditions are perfect for him. Swan on the other hand troubled quality players of spin consistently in the series. SL's lack of runs continues to be a major concern - their supposed strength. The opening combination puts serious pressue on the batting order and has done for a while now. SL will be the happier team with the series result and Eng will ponder how they lost a test to surely one of the weakest bowling attacks currently in test cricket and a top order that made no runs

  • subbass on April 10, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Anderson and Swann are the leading Test bowlers in the 2010's, that is to say they are the most prolific wicket takers in the stated time. Pretty sure it was a case of them both averaging in the 20's with Anderson in the low 20's. He now deserves to be talked of as a world class Test bowler in all conditions. That is not hyperbole it is a simple truth, open your eyes Anderson is different class. He will be looking forwards to getting some more wickets this Summer before the easy task of the Aussie top order the following Summer. Of course sandwiched in between this will be the India tour, where I fully expect him to be comfortably the best fast bowler on either side.

  • on April 10, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    As repeatdely pointed out we have been 3 down for almost nothing in 4 out of 10 occasions in last two series against World No. 1 and No. 2. Only one occasion we crossed 100 before 3rd wicket fell. There is a huge problem with the openers. Sanga has recently failed most of the time when he comes to bat early. Whenever we had put up a decent total on the board bowlers although as a unit not world class have done the job. Dilshan needs to justify his place in the team. I cannot see why Thilan cannot bowl or that the captain does not want him to bow?. He is a genuine bowler not a ranked part-timer like Dilshan. Thilan was dropped during Aus series after scoring 86 runs in 4 innings although he averaged 50+ in previous Eng Series. Now what about Dilshan? A failure against two quality oppositions. No technique to open batting in a test match? Where is the justice?

  • jmcilhinney on April 10, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    @yorkshire-86, isn't it a bit tough calling someone who took 6 wickets in the second innings a passenger? Also, Swann was unlucky not to have 13 in the second Test. I don't necessarily agree with all of Gnasher's evaluations and maybe a few wickets from Swann in that first innings at Galle could have turned the game in England's favour but he did perform very well in 3 of 4 innings and not many people would consider 6 wickets in a match being a passenger.

  • RohanMarkJay on April 9, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Congrats to both teams for a brief but good test series. Shame about it being 2 tests, 3 tests would have shown a clear winner. England was finally getting a handle on the conditions and playing well. Must admit really impressed by England winning in Colombo in the heat and humidity. SL is not as like they were still. Well played England for levelling the series. I am a fan of both teams and their cricket. So either Eng or SL winning was great for me. Should be a good cricket series in England this summer, I am sure England will do very well.

  • Nerk on April 9, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    Anderson took 9 wickets at 21 in the SL series, 9 at 27 in the U.A.E. series. Green track bully? Credit where credit is due, people. Anderson is one of the best going around the world at the moment. That is a fact. Maybe he is not one of the greatest of all times. He has, after all, taken only 258 test wickets. Still, that is 258 test wickets more than I, and I suspect the vast majority of people on this site, have taken.

  • yorkshire-86 on April 9, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    Samaraweera rated lower than Mathews, Pietersen, Herath and Trott.. and worst of all only one point above the abysmal Samit Patel? And Swann a 9? Did the person doing these marks only watch the 2nd Test? Swann was a passenger in the first test, as was KP, so how on earth did they get 8/9s? Bell, Kumar, Patel, both Sri Lankan openers and seamers and Monty all deserve 2's.

  • S.Jagernath on April 9, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge...James Anderson is a good bowler,he swings the ball beautifully in all conditions & is now successful in Asia too.Anderson is not the best though,Dale Steyn is the best.Steyn is the best by a huge margin,he is competing with bowlers like Malcolm Marshall,Allan Donald & Glen McGrath.Anderson cannot compete in that company.Steyn will hurt the English in England,as he has hurt everybody else in their conditions.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 9, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    @JamesTHEwalldravid: while I agree Anderson is overrated in certain quarters, the example you select to try to put him in his place somewhat ironically misses the mark. Oone of the remarkable things about Dennis Lillee's career is that Lillee took almost no test wickets at all outside of Australia, New Zealand and England. Lillee only ever took six test wickets at an average of about 90 in West Indies, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka combined, and only 6 test wickets in Asia at an average of well over 60, whereas Anderson has 30 test wickets in 10 tests in Asia (none of them, incidentally, in or against Bangladesh) at about half the average (an average of 33). In this respect Anderson's performances on "flat tracks" in Asia such as in this series ironically demonstrates about the only sense in which, while he is certainly not the next Dennis Lillee, it is actually because he has already achieved far more than Dennis Lillee ever did.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 9, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    Yet again Anderson, an expert both on flat pitches and green tops and the most complete bowler in the world today, is top of the tree. As well as fast bowler, he's also an expert slip fielder and can field at extra cover like Jonty Rhodes. There's not an opening bowling in the world today like him. Hats off to Jimmy.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 9, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    A bit surprise that Anderson "headlines" rather than either of the series' two top wicket-takers, Hearth and Swann, but they got the same marks as him anyway. Perhaps the absence rather than 'the presence of Monty Panesar' spurred Swann in the last test; he has a better record when he doesn't bowl alongside Panesar (as indeed do England and Panesar). In general the marks for England are a little more generous than those for Sri Lanka. Some of the 5/4/3 Sri Lanka marks could be increased a little, and I think Strauss's mark may prove to be a bit generous; he's given 6 basically for his captaincy, but we won't really know what this adds to the team (as opposed to England's recent success being down to individuals' performance and backroom support) unless England appoint another permanent captain with a similar side and similar support team (which could happen before too long). I suspect the writer means to describe Samaraweera as 'gutsy', not 'gusty' (unless I've misunderstood badly ...)

  • sparth on April 9, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    You've been too genourous with your top marks. Swann does not deserve 9, maybe 7 at best. Same with Anderson. And Herath too

  • RandyOZ on April 9, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Haha, laughable scores handed out here by the ever biased McGlashan. Oh well we want Swann Bresnan and Finn in the team anyway. Wouldn't have thought Warner needs anymore cannon fodder but so be it! Pattinson will also be very pleased to see the walking wickets Bell and Strauss at the top of the house of cards!

  • jmcilhinney on April 9, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    I wonder whether 8 might be a slightly generous for Trott. His century in Galle was a fine innings and he was part of laying the foundation that won them the game in Columbo, but he failed in the second innings at Columbo and was out to a woeful shot in the first innings at Galle. Pietersen also was fantastic in Columbo but, while he didn't look bad in Galle, he was one of those who could have won the game for England with a reasonable contribution. Bell and especially Sangakkara were the obvious disappointments. If Bell can't pick Ajmal's doosra then that's hard to overcome but I believe that he can still play spin effectively. Sangakkara is class all the way and will be back to form soon enough. I don't think dropping Dilshan is a good idea but dropping him down the order is. I'm no expert on SL cricket but maybe Tharanga is an option for opening is Tests but if not Thirimanne then who partners him?

  • demon_bowler on April 9, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Not a rare lean series for Sanga but a typical one for him v England. His average against England is far and away his worst against all test sides. Overrated player with mediocre record against the good sides, except for Pakistan. Cashes in against the minnows.

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on April 9, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Andrew McGlashan has been very kind to England as he so often is and he has been especially kind to James Andersen. If he is that good than Steyn, Mcgrath, Warne, Anil Kumble, Waqar, Wasim, Bond, Ambrose etc. should get 10/10 almost very single time. He is just a Green track bully. He has improved a lot on flat tracks, but is still nothing more than a new ball threat and an old ball container. Did he bowl well? yes, but he is not the next DK Lillee. so stop it Andrew.

  • pigeotto99 on April 9, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    harsh on broad, no balls apart he bowled well at galle, much better then a three out of 10! Anderson again proves he is worthy of sharing the title of best seamer in the world with dale steyn, without injuries he looks set to surpass beefy in wicket taking stakes and go down as one of englands greats!

  • voma on April 9, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    James Anderson and Dale Steyn , are the best fast bowlers in cricket now . Cant wait till the summer when England will be truely tested at home , India were a complete joke . South Africa are our true rivals now .

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  • voma on April 9, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    James Anderson and Dale Steyn , are the best fast bowlers in cricket now . Cant wait till the summer when England will be truely tested at home , India were a complete joke . South Africa are our true rivals now .

  • pigeotto99 on April 9, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    harsh on broad, no balls apart he bowled well at galle, much better then a three out of 10! Anderson again proves he is worthy of sharing the title of best seamer in the world with dale steyn, without injuries he looks set to surpass beefy in wicket taking stakes and go down as one of englands greats!

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on April 9, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Andrew McGlashan has been very kind to England as he so often is and he has been especially kind to James Andersen. If he is that good than Steyn, Mcgrath, Warne, Anil Kumble, Waqar, Wasim, Bond, Ambrose etc. should get 10/10 almost very single time. He is just a Green track bully. He has improved a lot on flat tracks, but is still nothing more than a new ball threat and an old ball container. Did he bowl well? yes, but he is not the next DK Lillee. so stop it Andrew.

  • demon_bowler on April 9, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Not a rare lean series for Sanga but a typical one for him v England. His average against England is far and away his worst against all test sides. Overrated player with mediocre record against the good sides, except for Pakistan. Cashes in against the minnows.

  • jmcilhinney on April 9, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    I wonder whether 8 might be a slightly generous for Trott. His century in Galle was a fine innings and he was part of laying the foundation that won them the game in Columbo, but he failed in the second innings at Columbo and was out to a woeful shot in the first innings at Galle. Pietersen also was fantastic in Columbo but, while he didn't look bad in Galle, he was one of those who could have won the game for England with a reasonable contribution. Bell and especially Sangakkara were the obvious disappointments. If Bell can't pick Ajmal's doosra then that's hard to overcome but I believe that he can still play spin effectively. Sangakkara is class all the way and will be back to form soon enough. I don't think dropping Dilshan is a good idea but dropping him down the order is. I'm no expert on SL cricket but maybe Tharanga is an option for opening is Tests but if not Thirimanne then who partners him?

  • RandyOZ on April 9, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Haha, laughable scores handed out here by the ever biased McGlashan. Oh well we want Swann Bresnan and Finn in the team anyway. Wouldn't have thought Warner needs anymore cannon fodder but so be it! Pattinson will also be very pleased to see the walking wickets Bell and Strauss at the top of the house of cards!

  • sparth on April 9, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    You've been too genourous with your top marks. Swann does not deserve 9, maybe 7 at best. Same with Anderson. And Herath too

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 9, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    A bit surprise that Anderson "headlines" rather than either of the series' two top wicket-takers, Hearth and Swann, but they got the same marks as him anyway. Perhaps the absence rather than 'the presence of Monty Panesar' spurred Swann in the last test; he has a better record when he doesn't bowl alongside Panesar (as indeed do England and Panesar). In general the marks for England are a little more generous than those for Sri Lanka. Some of the 5/4/3 Sri Lanka marks could be increased a little, and I think Strauss's mark may prove to be a bit generous; he's given 6 basically for his captaincy, but we won't really know what this adds to the team (as opposed to England's recent success being down to individuals' performance and backroom support) unless England appoint another permanent captain with a similar side and similar support team (which could happen before too long). I suspect the writer means to describe Samaraweera as 'gutsy', not 'gusty' (unless I've misunderstood badly ...)

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 9, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    Yet again Anderson, an expert both on flat pitches and green tops and the most complete bowler in the world today, is top of the tree. As well as fast bowler, he's also an expert slip fielder and can field at extra cover like Jonty Rhodes. There's not an opening bowling in the world today like him. Hats off to Jimmy.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 9, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    @JamesTHEwalldravid: while I agree Anderson is overrated in certain quarters, the example you select to try to put him in his place somewhat ironically misses the mark. Oone of the remarkable things about Dennis Lillee's career is that Lillee took almost no test wickets at all outside of Australia, New Zealand and England. Lillee only ever took six test wickets at an average of about 90 in West Indies, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka combined, and only 6 test wickets in Asia at an average of well over 60, whereas Anderson has 30 test wickets in 10 tests in Asia (none of them, incidentally, in or against Bangladesh) at about half the average (an average of 33). In this respect Anderson's performances on "flat tracks" in Asia such as in this series ironically demonstrates about the only sense in which, while he is certainly not the next Dennis Lillee, it is actually because he has already achieved far more than Dennis Lillee ever did.