The Ashes 2013-14 January 6, 2014

A catalogue of underperformance

ESPNcricinfo examines how England's players acquitted themselves during the disastrous 5-0 defeat in Australia
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8

Ben Stokes

A ray of light amid the darkness. In his debut series, Stokes registered England's sole century of the Ashes and claimed one of only two five-wicket hauls to suggest he could be the man to balance the side for many years to come. While his Perth century was the only time he made 50 and his economy-rate with the ball was above four an over, Stokes' performance was still impressive for a 22-year-old in a struggling side. Only Stuart Broad took more than his 15 wickets and no one else averaged above 30. He may not be the finished article, but Stokes should have a golden future.

Stuart Broad

A series that demonstrated Broad's skill, character and determination as a bowler. Despite an avalanche of abuse from the crowd every time he appeared, Broad retained his focus to such an extent that he claimed 21 wickets in the series, including a six-wicket haul in Brisbane. It was Broad's pace and control that earned England a foothold in several games before Brad Haddin's increasingly inevitable fightbacks won Australia the initiative. Broad showed particular character in Melbourne where, despite bruising from a painful blow sustained to the foot off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson in Perth, he bowled admirably. The days when he could lay claim to allrounder status may have gone, but he has developed into a fine bowler.

6.5

James Anderson

The figures are not pretty - 14 wickets at 43.92 apiece- but Anderson bowled a little better than that. He enjoyed no fortune and was forced into extra spells by his colleagues' inability to catch and his own reliability when others went missing in action. All too often he was forced to bowl in second-innings situations where Australia could bat without pressure and having enjoyed very little break between innings. He also suffered the embarrassment of conceding a record-equalling 28 in an over in Perth. But while Anderson's pace remained fine - he touched 90mph at times - he struggled to gain the lateral movement he enjoyed in 2010-11 and, as a consequence, was less dangerous. He gains credit for acting as nightwatchman at Sydney, though. Having just finished another draining session in the field, it took some character to go out and face Johnson and co when his more able colleagues didn't fancy it. It was, as so often in this series, an unequal struggle, but Anderson did not suffer for a lack of bravery.

5.5

Graeme Swann

A sad end to a great career. With many miles on the clock, Swann was unable to summon the dip, drift and spin that once made him such a fine bowler and had little answer to the aggression of the Australia batsmen on pitches offering him little. He didn't bowl badly but he was out-bowled by Nathan Lyon and he finished with a grisly series record of seven wickets at 80.00 apiece and a batting average of just 7.20. He attracted some criticism for his decision to retire mid-series but, knowing he could no longer do what he once could, it was a well-intentioned move from a man who simply felt he had no more to give. The struggle England had to replace him - struggles that are only just starting - underlined his immense value for so long.

5

Kevin Pietersen

Pietersen finished as England's highest run-scorer in the series but will still be hugely disappointed not to have passed 300 runs or registered a century in the series. He battled hard in several innings, not least in Melbourne where he made 71 and 49, and was conspicuous with his encouragement to his colleagues on and off the pitch throughout the tour. But England required more from their senior players and some of Pietersen's dismissals - caught at long-on, midwicket and long leg - were unacceptably soft. For a great player - and Pietersen's record really invites no debate on that subject - it was bitterly disappointing.

Chris Tremlett

There was a bizarre level of surprise when Tremlett, selected for the first Test, bowled for England exactly how he had done for Surrey the previous season: accurately, with control and skill but, following a series of injuries and operations, without any of the pace that made him such a dangerous bowler on the previous Ashes tour of 2010-11. He was dropped for the reminder of the series and looks unlikely to play at this level again.

Tim Bresnan

Perhaps England's faith in Bresnan highlights one of the issues with the current team and management. Rooted in the past, the selectors remain adamant that Bresnan is the same bowler who played such a role in England's ascent to No. 1 in the Test rankings, despite growing evidence to suggest he has lost a bit of his nip with the ball and a bit of his confidence with the bat. He remains an admirable cricketer and almost never bowls badly but, in this series at least, he lacked the bite to trouble batsmen on good pitches. He was, however, not helped by some poor fielding off his bowling.

4.5

Alastair Cook

Cook's failure to score a century in any of his 20 Test innings against Australia stretching back to July has been a major reason for England's inability to post competitive scores. But he did pass 50 three times in this series - no one else in the side did it more than twice - and, despite the many slings and arrows fate threw at him - Trott's departure, Swann's retirement, a hopeless side - he did retain a certain world-weary dignity and composure. But he also attracted criticism, not all of it fair, for some negative and reactive captaincy, and leading a side to a whitewash defeat in the Ashes is the sort of thing that stains a record. Certainly, he was unable to lift or inspire his flagging team. It may also be worth noting that, in five series against Australia, he has only once averaged more than 27: in 2010-11 when he averaged 127.66.

Gary Ballance

While Ballance's fitness at the start of the tour was not it all it might be, it improved over the trip and, while the run tally hardly shows it, he acquitted himself well enough on debut in Sydney. In the first innings a bouncer crashed into his helmet and in the second he was undone by a ball that kept a bit low, but he displayed a good temperament and technique in general and offered some hope for the future. It says something about the tour though, that a man who scored 25 in a single match, is among the few reasons for guarded optimism.

4

Michael Carberry

While Carberry saw off the new ball on several occasions - he actually faced more deliveries in the series than Haddin and scored more runs than any England player other than Pietersen - he only made one half-century and never went on to register the big score required of a top-order batsman. He also missed a costly and straightforward chance in the field in Adelaide. Like several of this squad, he may struggle to play another Test.

Ian Bell

A bitterly disappointing series for a man who came into it with such high expectations. Bell looked in good form throughout the first three Tests but never went on to make a match-defining contribution and, whether it was hitting a full toss to mid-on or turning an offbreak to short leg, had a hand in his own downfall on several occasions. Some of the shots to which he was dismissed in the final two Tests were as poor as any played by England batsmen in the series. England needed more from such a senior player.

Scott Borthwick

Called into the side for the final Test - one of 18 players used by England in a series for which they originally picked a 17-man squad - Borthwick was slightly flattered by his match figures of 4 for 82: two of the wickets came from full tosses, another to a catch at long on. In between times, though, Borthwick bowled some nice deliveries and showed a temperament that might yet flourish at this level. Whether he quite has the quality with bat or ball remains debatable but, aged 23, he has time on his side.

Joe Root

It says much about England's plight that the man who has been used as an example of hope for the future should end the series out of the side. Root battled hard and, at times, looked a player of some class but was worn down by Australia's high-quality attack. Too often he was tied down - his strike rate of 33.27 was lower than any of the regular top-order batsmen - and then drawn into injudicious strokes - a slog-sweep at Adelaide was especially careless; more often it was simply indeterminate pokes outside off stump. He was omitted for Sydney but few doubt that he will be back soon.

Matt Prior

Nothing sums up England's decline more than Prior's experience. Hailed as an example of everything good about the team before the start of the English summer, Prior lost confidence after a run of poor scores and, eventually, saw even his wicketkeeping standards drop. He was omitted from the side for the final two Tests as much for his own good as anything - he appeared worn down by the struggle - but few would bet against him being the man with the gloves in June.

3.5

Jonny Bairstow

While Bairstow kept neatly enough for long periods and, in Sydney, claimed an outstanding catch, there were a couple of errors in Melbourne that did little to suggest he was the man to replace Prior. Similarly, with the bat, he swung merrily for a while at the MCG but looked too loose to prosper at this level. That he hit three sixes and three fours in his 49 runs across four innings highlights the frenetic nature of his batting.

3

Monty Panesar

A contentious selection after enduring a poor season on the pitch and a controversial one off it in 2013, Panesar did little to justify his inclusion. Struggling with his fitness, Panesar was unable to sustain the requisite length and was punished for pitching short in Adelaide, while in Melbourne he was reduced to slinging deliveries down at something approaching medium pace. There were some nice moments - the wickets of Steven Smith and Michael Clarke in Adelaide were a reminder of the fine bowler Panesar once was and, perhaps, could become again - but three wickets at 85.88 and a batting average of 1.00 tell their own story. He remains a liability in the field, too, but may find a way back. In the absence of Swann, he remains one of the best spinners available to England and, aged 31, could recover.

2

Boyd Rankin

An underwhelming debut saw Rankin fail to do his considerable talent anything like justice. Having failed to force his way into the side for the first Test, there were few subsequent opportunities to do so. After a modest showing in the tour game in Alice Springs, he was not trusted with a debut in Perth - the ground that would have suited him best - and, by the time he was given a chance in Sydney, he looked a long way out of rhythm. He suffered an attack of cramp in the first innings - perhaps a sign of nerves as much as a reflection on his fitness - and struggled to maintain his line in the second. There seems a genuine danger that he will join the ranks of one-cap wonders.

N/A

Jonathan Trott

Trott left the series after one game when his performance was clearly impaired by a stress-related condition. His loss sent shockwaves through the side and his calming contributions at No. 3 - even in the series in England when he struggled, Trott reached 40 in five out of 10 innings - were never adequately replaced. Recent reports suggest he is recovering well.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on | January 13, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    Really?? Swann gets a 5.5 and is rated above Pietersen?? Cook is rated above Carberry and Bell?? These ''Ratings'' have absolutely zero credibility.

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 13, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    I'm happy with the English performance.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 2:04 GMT

    Swann being given 5.5 is one of the funniest things I have seen written by a cricket journalist.

    In what universe could he possibly be given a pass mark for his performance in this series?

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Sorry but these ratings reflect all that is wrong with English cricket. Giving them a reasonable score so as not to really offend anyone despite them deserving far worse is not the way forward. Swann deserves no more than 3 and Anderson no more than 4. Pietersen less than 5 and Cook's score should be swapped with Carberry. Stokes did well but not more than 7.5 and Broad should be 7.

  • POSTED BY anton1234 on | January 8, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    How can Cook get 4.5 and Carberry only 4? Makes no sense. Stokes 7.5, Broad 6.5 and Carberry 5.5. The rest 4 or less.

  • POSTED BY Chaffers on | January 8, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    @C.Gull @ Biggus How is 4 for 82 from 13 overs reflected in a 4 being too generous? He went for a lot of runs, but did so when the seamers were also going for 7 an over. Rogers, Johnson, Haddin and Harris had all caused our seamers problems and he mopped them up. He certainly looked a bit nervous at first and bowled to ridiculous fields at very odd times ( who wouldn't be nervous bowling your first over when both seasmers are being crashed all over the park) but he did about as well as anyone could expect him to.

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | January 8, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    Cook deserves no more than a score of 1. His captaincy was the worst of all time I guess. He is actually worse than Dhoni as a test captain and that says a lot. His batting was all over the shop. His slip catching was way below par as well. 4.5 is just too benevolent !!

  • POSTED BY Vinit_Sharma_Singh on | January 8, 2014, 11:10 GMT

    Bairstow would have to be the worst test cricketer in history. He is absolute rubbish- as a keeper he leaves too many for 1st slip when they should be his catches, and as a batsmen he is just an absolute joke... Looks scared against pace bowlers and just leaves the stumps completely open... anyone would love to bowl to him.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | January 8, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    Rather generous. I wouldn't have given anyone except Stokes over 6

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    It is amazing that Cook and Balance are rated above Carberry. Cook would agree that his captaincy and batting left a lot to be desired. A batting average of 12.5 for Balance is certainly not a sign of a promising future.Swan with a bowling average of 80 and a batting average of 7.5 would be embarrassed by a rating of 5.5. Only Stokes and Broad showed the mettle that is required in tough situations. Hats off to the two of them.

  • POSTED BY Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on | January 13, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    Really?? Swann gets a 5.5 and is rated above Pietersen?? Cook is rated above Carberry and Bell?? These ''Ratings'' have absolutely zero credibility.

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 13, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    I'm happy with the English performance.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 2:04 GMT

    Swann being given 5.5 is one of the funniest things I have seen written by a cricket journalist.

    In what universe could he possibly be given a pass mark for his performance in this series?

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Sorry but these ratings reflect all that is wrong with English cricket. Giving them a reasonable score so as not to really offend anyone despite them deserving far worse is not the way forward. Swann deserves no more than 3 and Anderson no more than 4. Pietersen less than 5 and Cook's score should be swapped with Carberry. Stokes did well but not more than 7.5 and Broad should be 7.

  • POSTED BY anton1234 on | January 8, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    How can Cook get 4.5 and Carberry only 4? Makes no sense. Stokes 7.5, Broad 6.5 and Carberry 5.5. The rest 4 or less.

  • POSTED BY Chaffers on | January 8, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    @C.Gull @ Biggus How is 4 for 82 from 13 overs reflected in a 4 being too generous? He went for a lot of runs, but did so when the seamers were also going for 7 an over. Rogers, Johnson, Haddin and Harris had all caused our seamers problems and he mopped them up. He certainly looked a bit nervous at first and bowled to ridiculous fields at very odd times ( who wouldn't be nervous bowling your first over when both seasmers are being crashed all over the park) but he did about as well as anyone could expect him to.

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | January 8, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    Cook deserves no more than a score of 1. His captaincy was the worst of all time I guess. He is actually worse than Dhoni as a test captain and that says a lot. His batting was all over the shop. His slip catching was way below par as well. 4.5 is just too benevolent !!

  • POSTED BY Vinit_Sharma_Singh on | January 8, 2014, 11:10 GMT

    Bairstow would have to be the worst test cricketer in history. He is absolute rubbish- as a keeper he leaves too many for 1st slip when they should be his catches, and as a batsmen he is just an absolute joke... Looks scared against pace bowlers and just leaves the stumps completely open... anyone would love to bowl to him.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | January 8, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    Rather generous. I wouldn't have given anyone except Stokes over 6

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    It is amazing that Cook and Balance are rated above Carberry. Cook would agree that his captaincy and batting left a lot to be desired. A batting average of 12.5 for Balance is certainly not a sign of a promising future.Swan with a bowling average of 80 and a batting average of 7.5 would be embarrassed by a rating of 5.5. Only Stokes and Broad showed the mettle that is required in tough situations. Hats off to the two of them.

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | January 8, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    Some re-building to do. A joke going around now is: Where do the English team stay when visiting South Africa? Answer: with relatives. England need to look to their youth and school/college system and develop attacking players like Thorpe and Gower in the past.

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    sure, a good one in strokes with the raw potential to be great. but George, how can you give 6.5 (out of 10) for a bowling average of 43 - Anderson & Swann 5.5 for a bowling average of 80. that means that on your judgement George, Swann did his job 55% of the time. giving 80 runs for each of his 7 wickets. does that mean he should have taken 14 wickets for a sum of 11 out of yeh you guessed it, yeh, 10 again. the apologists keep lining up. we know the how. what all fans want to know is why.

  • POSTED BY MarinManiac on | January 8, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Clearly it's time for Sarah Taylor to take the wicketkeeping gloves for England.... Maybe Heather Knight can bat at #3 too.

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    I agree that Carberry has too low a mark, he should definitely have more than Cook so maybe give him 5. Root is about right at 4 with moving around the order not helping him. Broad and Stokes a 7 each, KP is probably worth a 5 but Anderson, Swann and Prior are over valued and I would suggest 3, 3 and 2 respectively. Anderson rarely looked threatening, Swann clearly had problems of some sort and Prior was just plain awful and missed Haddin early a couple of times and Haddin then went on to change the course of the matches. The selectors deserve a real panning for taking the 3 tall quicks and all of them being so poor they couldn't be used! Onions did well not being on the tour!

  • POSTED BY dual.citizen on | January 8, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    @vj3478: It is in black and white.

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    Overall, the scores are a bit too high with only Broad and Stokes the only two to have been worth the others should all have been lower especially Swann and Prior, both had terrible tours and Swann walking out was disgraceful, his should have been a 0.

    @ Shillingsworth, it appears Bell wanted to move up the ordr after Trott left but it was Flower who put the knocker on it.

  • POSTED BY vj3478 on | January 8, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    Carberry (4) scored more runs and saw off the new ball on most occasions, has lesser points than Cook(4.5). Is it for being the captain and leading from the front - towards pavilion? 5.5 for Swann for 7 Wickets at 80 piece compared to Borthwich (4) 4 wickets for 82 runs .. This qualifies to be joke on page 2 ;). It doesnt matter how the wickets come same as runs coming of edges/misfields/drops are not accounted for) .. n few more ratings too....The author seems to be at lost...completely!

  • POSTED BY dutchy on | January 8, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    "Balance the side".... why do English cricket writers insist on pushing this lie? Bits and pieces all rounders like Stokes unbalance sides because their batting is not good enough for number six, and unless you have a really good keeper batsman the team will constantly collapse. England became number one without an all rounder - they would have been better off picking Ballance for the second test. England lost four test in a row with Stokes in the team - he played well compared to the rest of his teammates but they flattered him. Australia picked two bits and pieces all rounders in India - Henriques and Maxwell - and it was a disaster. Picking Stokes will bring England back to the unbalanced teams of the 90s and 00s - he's another Craig White and Chris Lewis.

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | January 8, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    Too mark Anderson, Cook, Pietersen and Swann so highly is a joke. Rankin gets 2 (on debut) but Prior who failed in every innings and whose glovework went to pieces is rewarded with 4 ?

    This is England's heaviest series defeat in over 30 years, bug the marks do not reflect this, and neither the manner nor mode of Englands destruction. It looks like Flower & Cook were consulted before the marks were handed out as if to say, it wasn't all that bad chaps lets soldier on.

    These marks are totally inconsistent with George Dobells series of articles lambasting the players and set up. A poor article.

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    Not bothering with Steven Finn's ratings? Surely a 2 with Monty Panesar. Both are so low on form and rhythm neither should have gone on tour.

    Selectors picked a poor squad based on reputation and past glories rather than current form.

  • POSTED BY Avagoumug on | January 7, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    Scores should be Stokes (8), Broad (7), Anderson (4.5), Swan (4.5), Pietersen (4),Tremlett (4), Bresnan (4), Cook (4), Carberry (4), Bell (4), Root(4), Panesar(4) and the rest don't worry about. Cook's lack of leadership (poor bowling changes,bad field placings) should see him sacked as Captain. Lucky to get the kudos when they were winning based on his performance in this series. Broad would be a better captain with his mental toughness and he would show better leadership.When the ball is not swinging Anderson is very average and looks like he is not interested in bowling as his bowling poses no real threat. Really found wanting in Aust. He has an attitude problem and is in the same class as Pietersen when it comes to arrogance on the field...throwing his arms out like Godzilla when he manages to get a wicket. Certainly got sorted out by the Aussies on this trip...!! Loved Mitch's send off without saying a word in Adel, more than made of for all his carry on's in UK in the last series

  • POSTED BY JAH123 on | January 7, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    These ratings are odd. Carberry deserves more credit - ok, he didn't convert his starts but too often he was left to be an inexperienced rock as wickets fell around him. He also got out to catch of the series when he looked good for 100. Swann was terrible. I feel sorry for Anderson being let down by his bowlers but he got his lengths badly wrong for Aussie pitches, even when swinging the ball. Panesar bowled fairly well in Adelaide without luck and was absolutely thrown to the wolves in Melbourne. Carberry 5, Swann 3, Anderson 5, Panesar 4. Also, Trott should still get a ranking if the other single match players get one. 3.

  • POSTED BY cheesemethod on | January 7, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    if you want to compare them to the Aus ratings.... Stokes and Broad deserved a 7 - Well done stokes on the one and only english century but 1 great innings out of 10 doesn't get you an 8. If Monty gets a 3 then Swann surely gets a 1. No impact and abandons a sinking ship. I find it very strange to see Carberry to be on par with bell, root and prior (and below swann??!). He deserved a 6 and another test chance (although, whatever happened to compton?). I'm not sure how you can play any worse than Matt Prior did, his keeping in general was ok but he missed vital chances that other international keeps would have taken, and just an absolute shambles with the bat - giving him a 2

  • POSTED BY Team_Cook on | January 7, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    how about the selectors? there should be a rating available for them I would give them -10, some DREADFUL selections for this tour.

    PS: Jimmy Anderson 343 test wickets 600+ across all formats. instrumental in winning series in India and Australia ( two of the most difficult places to tour). He didn't have any support from the third bowler or the spinner. he did OK.

    England lost 5-0 because of their dismal batting not their bowling. It was disappointing not to see enough support for Jimmy and Broady from the third bowler or spinner. Fair ratings for Jimmy and Broady as far as I am concerned

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2014, 17:23 GMT

    These scores are way to high and none deserved more than 7. Anderson a world-class bowler unfortunately bowled not to his usual standards and something has happened to England which has become evident as the series went on. I think Broad and Anderson will stay as the bowlers and Panesar. Newcomers: Ballance, Moeen Ali Young players to stay on: Root, Stokes and Bairstow (backup for Prior). Whilst i dont know the other players that will carry on in their respective roles.

  • POSTED BY aarif on | January 7, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    I have always a believer that ANDERSON is no match to STEYN in international cricket and specially test cricket, and this series seems to have just cemented that opinion once and for all. So, to all the English cricket supporters I would like to ask you to stop at once this comparison. If you wish, you can still compare your Andersons and Broads and whoevers to the likes of Morkels and even Philanders, but please stop comparing your English media starts to cricketing legends.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | January 7, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    @jackiethepen - Bell is a senior player. If the morale of the team was indeed poor, he is in part responsible. As an experienced batsman, he should be able to bat anywhere - blaming the coach is ludicrous. It was hardly Flower's fault when he somehow got out to a full toss from Smith, nor was Flower surely responsible for any of the other soft dismissals to spinners. Bell averaged 20 odd, as did Cook and Pietersen - they all deserve 4 or less, beyond that I don't see it matters that much.

    The coach doesn't bat, bowl of field - can't really see what he has to do with an article ranking player performances. If coaches were rated in the media, you could be sure of the usual over reaction - for Flower they would probably have given him 10 in 2010-11 and zero now, in short a complete waste of time.

  • POSTED BY Ali_Chaudhary on | January 7, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    I dunno why anderson doenst face the criticism. I have seen ashes. I know Englad lost only bcoz of Anderson. Broad brought Eng back in the game ma y times but it was Anderson who never was lookign threatning. I know after series victory in India anderson was praised so much and got more points than Swann, KP, Cook and Monty on cricinfo for just taking 8-9 wickets. He is very lucky that some ppl in media love him and doesnt criticise him.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | January 7, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    I think the criticism of Cook's captaincy was totally deserved and his failure to lift the spirits and morale of his side was noticeable and should have resulted in even less points. As captain he contributed to the downfall of morale. At most 2.

    Bell laboured under Flower's blunder not to promote him to 3 while he was still in form and Root suffered from the promotion while out of form. Getting it wrong affected the top order adversely. Bell was the only player not to be out to Johnson over the 5 Tests.

    Isn't it time we had a ranking for the coach?

  • POSTED BY Clan_McLachlan on | January 7, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    There are a whole lotta .5's in there. I think you might as well round them all down.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Also Anderson having a 6.5 is too high, he was terrible.

  • POSTED BY Ropsh on | January 7, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Giving Swann 5.5 is a complete and utter joke. He should have got 0.5 at most, and even that's being generous.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    jmcilhinney: face it your team took one hell of a thrashing mate! your only solution is to pick yet more South Africans, Zimbabweans, Aussies, Irish and Kiwis. and I bet you your selectors will!

  • POSTED BY milepost on | January 7, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    These are highly inflated figures with the exception of Carberry who has been very hard done by. England were a lot poorer than this.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    Like everyone else, i think these numbers are too generous (other than Stokes and Broad). Anderson looks shot, and has done since Trent Bridge. 4-5. Bresnan post op is not a test player: 3, Tremlett ditto. Borthwick is clearly not ready for test cricket yet. Swann did nothing: 2 (indeed, retiring may be the best thing he did all series, though the timing was awful). Can I also give the selectors a low mark? It is utterly bonkers to take 3 tall fast bowlers on tour, then use a medium pacer (Bresnan) at Perth instead. And why is it all the "promising young English fast bowlers" (including Finn) seem to be going backwards? Doesn't say much for the bowling coaches.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | January 7, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    @landl47, you might be right.

  • POSTED BY James_Murphy on | January 7, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    I don't normally comment but i literally spewed in my mouth when i read these ratings. SWANN bowling ave of 80 and scared of Mitch Johnson and made no runs deserves a 2 at best. I don't understand this. Forgetting his decision to quit mid tour the numbers alone are ridiculous. Shane Watson got rated a 6, i know whose performances i'd prefer. Also ANDERSON chose to consistently bowl back of length to protect his economy rate rather than entice the drive and allow the ball to swing. Yes he may get driven at times however he is there to take wickets, not take the easy option. Thought he was better than that. He was a shadow of his former self. He was a 4 at absolute best. England deserved better from him.

  • POSTED BY Barquerme on | January 7, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    As a Kiwi I won't take sides here but the simple truth seems to be that England were pretty poor and Aus are good, even made to look pretty good perhaps. Forget the rankings. The current Green baggies (with a couple of possible exceptions) are useful but a far cry from the greats of a few years ago, but they were certainly good enough to hammer a team well off it's game. As I used to say when I coached: "a cock rooster one day can be a feather duster the next", probably describes Englands fall. I thought our "Blackcaps" were the champs at losing a test in one session but England might be challenging, nice! I'll hold my judgement on this Aus team till they've been to Africa. I can't see them getting away with being 5 for 100 odd over there too many times? I hope it's live here on Sky!

  • POSTED BY Warne23 on | January 7, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    Surely 5.5 for Swann is a misprint - negative 5.5 is more accurate. Averaged 80 with the ball and a batting average of 7 then left the tour after 3 tests!!!! He was nothing short of an absolute disgrace and should be chased out of the country, not because of his stats, but because he jumped off the sinking ship and left his mates to drown

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | January 7, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    Let's be honest- based on this series rather than reputation, an XI from the combined sides would have 9 Aussies in it, with Stokes replacing Bailey and Broad replacing Siddle (but not by much).

    Not a lot to cheer about there.

  • POSTED BY tpjpower on | January 7, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Tredwell, Anderson, Onions <- England's team to play SL/India. Nick Compton, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and James Taylor should also be in the mix.

  • POSTED BY shanks1967 on | January 7, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    All the players get except for Ben Stokes and Broad. But this is just a game. You win some and you lose some. Move On England. Take a good rest and am sure the same set of players will be able to do far better.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    Can you please tell me what Swann did in this series to earn .5 less than Warner, who compiled the most runs with 2 centuries?

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | January 7, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    Anderson, Bell, Broad, Cook, Pietersen and Stokes are the only players who should be selected for England's next test. The rest are either too young, not good enough or past their best. And Cook should not be skipper ever again. Cheerio to Flower as well.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | January 7, 2014, 4:34 GMT

    @Joll, agreed 100%, and @maximum6 and others, I agree Carberry is judged harshly here. Most of all I can't beleive Swann's rating. 5.5 for 7 wickets @80 and an early retirement! He was completely unthreatening and, importantly, his batting showed a lack of fight. Swann should have gotten 4. Carberry could easily have gotten 5 and Anderson probably should have gotten 5 too. Broad also lucky to get 8, maybe 7 or 7.5 is closer to the mark.

  • POSTED BY stuartk319 on | January 7, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    Very generous ratings indeed! Except for Stokes and Broad, they do deserve 8s. Swann gets 1.5 from me, spanked everywhere before retiring mid series when he would certainly still have been picked. Tremlett gets 3, even the writer admits he's unlikely to play another Test. Anderson gets 4, he couldn't effectively support the consistently very good Broad, and Australia got out of some tricky 1st innings situations as a result.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 7, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    I agree with many about Carberry. His dropped catch in Adelaide may have been very costly but I'm not sure that England's batting would have been up to the task regardless. Having the opposition score 500-odd certainly wouldn't help but they struggled in the warmups and they struggled in Melbourne with a first innings lead too. Carberry is no saviour and is not the answer to England's problems but, unless there's an obvious alternative, which I don't think there is, he showed enough to warrant further chances. I'm not sure what instructions he received from the management but he looked confused about his role. He got bogged down far too often but was also dismissed playing aggressively a few times. I think that he should just play as he feels and let the chips fall where they may. I'd keep him on.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 7, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    As always, there are lots of people complaining about the comparison between the scores for the England players and the scores for the opposition. Get over it people! The two teams are scored by two different people so the scores are not directly comparable.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 7, 2014, 3:52 GMT

    Stokes has shown that he can take wickets but, even as a fourth seamer, he needs to be more economical. It's also debatable whether he is good enough to bat at #6 regularly. He certainly showed enough to be persevered with for a while at least though.

    I think Broad will have gained a lot of respect from a lot of Australians during this series. Similarly Mitchell Johnson will have gained respect from a lot of Englishmen for his play. Unlike Broad though, whose behaviour was pretty much impeccable despite what many Australians have said about him in the past, Johnson took the whole aggressive approach a bit too far and basically turned into a thug. His hissyfit when when KP legitimately pulled away was just a culmination of that.

  • POSTED BY anton1234 on | January 7, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    The ratings are not great. Stokes 7.5, Broad 6.5, Carberry 6 (could have played a bit more positively like he did in the second innings at Sydney, but still made a few decent scores). The rest are all 5 or lower.

  • POSTED BY Sleekism on | January 7, 2014, 2:44 GMT

    I could write a novel on how bad these rankings are, I can't even begin to start. I will say this - how does a bowler who averaged 80, and gave up mid way because he is a front runner and can't bear losing, get a better ranking then the teams leading run scorer. I would love to be sat down and convinced how that is a fair ranking!

    Anderson a better ranking then Watson!! Watson averaged 38 with the bat and 30 with the ball, you average those numbers over a career and your an all time great of the game!!! Anderson averaged 43 with the ball, that Ishant Sharma type figures! At least Sharma has a flowing mane!

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | January 7, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    As an uninvested neutral, I can only but chuckle reading these ratings. Aus bowling won the series - their batting was iffy, & bailed out by their keeper. Eng batsmen had a tougher ask than the bowlers, who let Aus off the hook too often. Still, except perhaps Stokes as an all-rounder, no Eng batsmen had figs warranting a top 4 international team. Of the bowlers, Broad held his own, his series ave better than his career ave! Stokes was about passable, & the rest unremarkable to plainly awful.

    Swann was abysmal - so bad he retired & went home, yet gets 5.5 points for turning up, dragging down the attack, handing out runs and what - drinking beer? Carberry clearly did a bit: he scored 281 runs while Swann conceded 560 runs. Why Swann's career death-spiral is valued so much more than Eng's 3rd best batsman, I cannot fathom. Nostalgia is not a viable criterion for objective journalism.

    The ratings given here tell us a lot more about the writer than the players. They performed better.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    Carberry below Cook? Swann gets 5.5 for averaging 80? Why is Trott excused yet Rankin not? Sorry George, but these rankings more closely reflect political and whimsical reminiscing than reality. Even Stokes doesn't deserve his 8. Only score above 50 was in the second innings in Perth when the game was over and got several wickets when the Aussies were donating them. He should get a 6, Broad 6 (for showing fight when the series was alive) then start the rest at 4.

  • POSTED BY shanosV8 on | January 7, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    How the hell does Swann get 5.5 (i.e. a 'pass' mark)?!?! 7 wickets @ 80.00 average. And a batting ave of 7.2. And the bloke deserted his team mid-way through the series. It is irrelevant why, or what he used to be etc. etc. These rankings surely must reflect the performance/value of each player to the overall effort/results. Swann should have scored a big fat NOTHING. How Pieterson scores a 'pass' of 5 is also a mystery - he averaged 29.4 - that's a pass/acceptable??

  • POSTED BY trigga315 on | January 7, 2014, 1:12 GMT

    The ratings are absolutely terrible how did Swann and Anderson get 5.5 and 6.5 respectively. This is even worse considering Watson's rating of 6. and Warner's of 7. one couple managed 870 runs and 4 wickets at 30 whiles the other two managed about 70 runs and 21 wickets @ 55.

    Cook and Ballance should be around the same rating as Panesar and so should Swann. How do you get a rating of 4.5 by average 12.5 with the bat.

    Clear to anyone who watched the series 10 of the best 12 players for the series were Aussies and then there was a chasm to the remaining players. Any suggestion otherwise is absurd.

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | January 7, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    @liz1558, you suggest giving Anderson 7.5 "for effort". Sorry but I can't agree. Anderson is a moody character on the field. He fires up when things go his way, but when they don't, his shoulders slump and he simply goes through the motions. For much of this series, he trundled in looking uninspired and disinterested, with an apparent lack of penetration and persistence. This is in contrast to all three of the Aussie pacers and also, as most people here have agreed, in contrast to Broad. Those guys fought the whole way, whether they were winning the passage of play or not.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | January 7, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    These marks are enormously high! Swann 5.5? That's a pass mark yet even he decided he was no longer able to play at this level. Tremlett looked completely toothless and was immediately dropped yet gets a 5? Ballance gets 4.5 for a 20? At least 5 or 6 players should have got 1s cos they were totally inept and showed little heart.

  • POSTED BY JB77 on | January 7, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    6.5 for Anderson is ridiculous. Even disregarding his poor bowling, his terrible body language throughout the series should knock him down to a 4 at least. He was sulky at best, petulant at worse. Within a couple of overs, if there was no swing you could see his shoulders slump and you could see the discontent move throughout the entire English team. Poor show from the 'leader' of the attack. Also 8 for Stokes is too high. Having a swing when your team is 6-down chasing 300+ proves nothing. As the article says, one 50+ score and leaking runs isn't that great. If he's the future of England, good luck to them.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    As an Australian fan I'm a bit surprised to see so much criticism levelled at Carberry. He stuck around and while he didn't make substantial scores I didn't think he was technically unsound. Has to be worth sticking with for a little while yet.

  • POSTED BY TeamSelector on | January 6, 2014, 23:37 GMT

    Surely KP & Carbs deserved a much higher rating. They actually showed some guts & stood up to Johnson & Co. & weren't they the top two run getters? With the exception of Stokes & Broad, I think everybody else were wayyyyyy overrated, especially Swann & Anderson.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    132-6, 174-5, 143-5, 204 all out and 97-5 tells a story of decent bowling backed up with poor fielding, poor keeping and even poorer batting. Test after test.

    Every test the English bowlers got into the Aussies first innings - only to fail to get rid of Haddin then watch the batters fail.

    England's long term problem (once confidence is re-built) is a class spinner to come on when sides are 5 or 6 down - including 1st innings. To stem the flow and take wickets. We missed Swann here.

    England let the Aussies get away from starts ranging from barely adequate to very poor - to end up posting competitive totals in every single test match.

    We waited decades for Swann and may need to wait decades for the next good spinner. There are great young batters and bowlers waiting to come through, but I don't see any spinner even close to Swann's quality.

  • POSTED BY SoyQuearns on | January 6, 2014, 22:54 GMT

    6.5 for Anderson - give me a break, bowled around 129km/h the second Aus got on top, moped around miserably and didn't charge his troops up as their spearhead. Took wickets in dead rubbers and built no pressure.

    This is Anderson at his most apt as he's far from anything more than a reasonable bowler in helpful conditions, so if it is a 6.5 for HIM then fine. If it is a 6.5 on an OBJECTIVE level then it isn't fair, he deserved about a 3, England depend on him and he failed them at every chance he got. Horrible series from a bowler who has rightly been restored to the 'average bowler' shelf where he belongs.

    5.5 for Swann - pull the other one mate - he got 7 wickets in 3 Tests at 80, going for 4 runs an over. After that he left mid-tour like a coward, very aware of the fact his bowling average was about to go above 30 (never to return). Deserved a 2.5 out of 10 as he batted horribly also.

    5 for Bresnan - he averaged under 9 with bat, over 44 with ball and had nil impact, deserved 3.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 22:07 GMT

    The 2013 series in England was an exagerated result and was much closer than 3-0 would suggest , and am writing as an England fan . I thought that Cook's captaincy in both series was unimaginative , and he should have been a bit more tough with one or two in the team . Also it didn't seem to occur to him that it might have been wise at times ( notably in Australia's first innings at Brisbane ) to shut down the scoring , and put some pressure back on Australia . However it's all now water under the bridge and congratulations to Oz who really deserved the result they got . Ok Warner was booed for a time in the UK but it did more or less die out , but the consistent booing of Broad was really boring .

  • POSTED BY Stiffy_Rogers on | January 6, 2014, 21:22 GMT

    These are the most hilarious rating I've ever seen. Just like the England Sky Commentary team they are woefully blinkered. Apart from Ben Stokes, Broad and possibly Carberry, no England player should be scored more than 4. In all my life of watching cricket in Australia, I've NEVER seen ANY team give up like England did. It was pathetic and England should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. Oh and I score the Barmy Army a ZERO for their poor sportsmanship. They need to stop singing about themselves and concentrate on the cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 21:12 GMT

    Here is the irony. Compton, after 2 centuries and a lackluster couple of games was dropped as the establishment wanted someone who would score rapidly and take the pressure off Cook. Alas, Carberry's scoring was turgid at best and I can but help to think that Compton would have added stability at the top that was surely lacking. I hope that the ECB can look inward and realize what a mistake that have made in Compton and reassess his inclusion.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 21:09 GMT

    So Carberry, who showed guts and determination all tour and scored the second most runs in the England side, gets 4/10, whilst Swann who took 7 wickets at 80, went for 3.94 an over (compared to Panesar's 3.62) averaged 7.20 with the bat and then left a sinking ship midtour, gets 5.5/10?!!

    Panesar faced more balls in 4 innings than Swann did in 6, despite having no where near the same level of talent with the bat, he showed far more guts. Showing blatant favouritism towards Graeme Swann here George.

    Should read Carberry: 6, Panesar: 4, Swann: 3.

  • POSTED BY couchpundit on | January 6, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    well well well....putting down carberry wreaks of a particular aquatic creature.

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | January 6, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    I also agree with milhous' comments on carberry. He showed some substance as he stuck around in lots of innings. As an opener its your job to see of the new ball then to build partnerships and hopfully get a good score for yourself. At least he did something right.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    @Swervin as a Eng fan I thank you for your considerate, thoughtful and well-informed comments, you are spot-on IMO except I'd add Haddin to your Clarke+Warner batting nucleus.

    Looking ahead, Eng have to start a lengthy rebuilding process (first step: be honest) and you in Aus have to tell your media that facing Broad, Anderson and Take-Yer-Pick is one thing; facing Steyn, Philander and Morkel on their home turf is quite another. Good luck - you deserve it after your positive fighting attitude in this Ashes ! Oh and congrats, 5-0 was not flattering (3-0 was !).

  • POSTED BY bobonbb on | January 6, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    These marks are way to high for Anderson and Cook to name the most obvious. I suppose Cook gets 4 points for turning up and 0,5 points for his performances.

  • POSTED BY TenDonebyaShooter on | January 6, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    I agree with you, Milhouse. In general these ratings are too high, especially those for the senior players. Anderson, Swann, Pietersen, Cook, Bell, and Prior, along with the Trott, are the failures behind the 5-0 disaster and their marks accordingly should be lower. Cook should score less than Carberry, because whereas both struggled with the bat (although Carberry got more runs and a better average), Cook also catastrophically failed as a skipper. Prior's series was at least as big a personal disaster as Panesar's and he should be graded accordingly. The marks for Anderson, Swann and Pietersen are far too high; how can you give a man who performs so badly that even he decides he cannot go on as much as 5.5 out of ten?!

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | January 6, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    @Joll - a great average does not a great batsman make. KP has produced so many great innings, and that's more important: performance not stats. Maybe he's a batsman who merely regularly plays great innings rather than a great batsman? Absurd. Describe one of his hundreds that wasn't memorable or significant or didn't bail England out.

  • POSTED BY swervin on | January 6, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    (though i am australian) I think england fans are a bit harsh on their team - always going to be hard to have the desire to win the ashes twice in a year- the batting line-up is still very good and i think Carberry actually looks quite promising - think england panicked after they lost the first few tests and luck didn't really run their way early on. chopping and changing the team doesn't really work as aust found in the past - incremental change is best - actually think they should persist certainly with prior and root and carberry and obviously cook, bell, broad and anderson form a high quality nucleus of the team - i think they have reallly missed trott too - he has really been the bedrock of the batting order over the past three or four years so will be interesting to know where his head is... anyway great that australia is back on top but let's face it the batting line-up is still a bit weak and dependent on warner and clarke to fire...

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | January 6, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    The downgrading of Carberry to 4 pts is a total and heinous miscarriage of justice. The lack of 50's is pointed out as causative. What is the difference between and 49 and a 51? 2 measy runs. we make far too much of these milestones and so we condemn the lack of a cherry on top rather than congratulate the cook for a great cake. Carbs at least had a clue.Who else even knew they had to have a clue. 6.5/7 would be my marking.Andf those two catches on day5? He can catch and he is FAST.

  • POSTED BY Lucas_Allen on | January 6, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    In comparison with the Australian ratings; Anderson pretty much as good as Clarke and Warner???

    Also Broad as good as the match changing knocks by Smith??

    Surely Broad shouldn't feel ashamed of himself but he didn't do anything more than what is expected of him.

    These could easily be the ratings of players which escaped from a series with a draw.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | January 6, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    Carbs didn't pull up any trees but he fronted up and faced the Aussie new ball with some heart. He scored less than Swann? Less than Cook? KP? My word. Did you watch the series Dobell?

  • POSTED BY Joll on | January 6, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    What? Jimmy Anderson is given 6.5 for the series and David Warner 7. To which series is the writer referring? I would have given Anderson 4, not because he bowled badly, but because he bowled without penetration and because 14 wickets at almost 44 amounts to too few wickets at too high a price. I would have given Warner 8 because his batting was effective and really pressursed the English bowling.

    And yes, Pietersen's record does invite debate about whether he is a great player. My opinion is he is not, but is a very good one. With an average of just over 47, in an era where many batsmen are averaging over 50 (because of smaller boundaries, covered pitches, heavier bats, better protective clothing and few bowling greats to face), this average does not a great player make. Pietersen will be remebered as a batsman who played some great innings, but not who was not a great player.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 6, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    Some of these ratings look a little generous (8 for Stokes is perhaps one point too high and given more because the others made him look exceptional), Swann, Prior and Cook, arguably have also been treated a little generously; in particular, Cook should lose at least half a point for some uninspired captaincy - the fact that he managed 3x50, yet only totaled 246 runs in the series is pretty telling about how much he contributed his other seven innings.

    Other ratings look a little unfair. It is particularly harsh on Carberry, who comfortably outscored Cook, to give him a lower rating!

    Borthwick is an interesting one. The Australians vowed to end his Test career there and then but, when they attacked him (a la Swann or Kerrigan) instead he came back with wickets to top the averages. While he bowled some dross, he also bowled some very good balls and, at 23, if faith is shown in him, he could become a very useful bowler.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | January 6, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    Broad and Stokes (the only genuine all rounder on either side) were the only two that the Audries would have in their side. Easily worth 8. Anderson deserved 7.5 for effort but 5 for achievement. No one else was worth more than 3. Utterly awful tour. At least when the Windies stuffed England 5-0 in 86, they were the best side in the history of the game. This was the un L'Oréal tour: not worth it.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    No Way Carbs was that bad - he saw off the new ball, in his first proper test series. Carbs was atleast 2 points above Swanny and Cook.

    yes he's wrong side of 30's but so is Rogers..

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | January 6, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Stokes and Broad correct, everyone else should be 4 or less. I know its fashionable as a UK cricket writer these days to blame Flower, Gooch and Saker for everything but the fact remains that the only ones who batted, bowled and fielded their way to total humiliation were the players.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    Carberry deserves better marks, if only because in his first series he was second highest run scorer for England . He had a baptism by fire and didn't do too bad compared to senior colleagues. Playing first series and in a foreign land. Rest seems reasonable though I would have Anderson lower as being the best bowler he didn't show results.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    I have to think that quite a few of these marks and the conclusions drawn from them are rather generous. Another marking scheme that I have read gave Panesar zero and concluded that it is unlikely he will play test cricket again.

  • POSTED BY DMS0505 on | January 6, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    Hope you(ENG) will do great at One Day International.

    Lack of confidence, at least one should have to played well while chasing the runs(pinch hitting). in your squad every one had tried to face the bounce pitch unfortunately talent ware slept.

    however come out from bad dream and you have time to prepare for ONE DAY fight.

  • POSTED BY Chaffers on | January 6, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    Borthwick was picked as a number 8 and took 4 wickets in not very many overs. When the seamers at both ends were going for 7 an over he was brought on and picked up a wicket. Horrible time to make your debut and a horrible time to bowl.

    If the rest of the team had played even decent cricket 4 would be harsh, though in comparison even to the other spinners he was a revelation. It is pretty clear that his captain needs to improve when handling spinners.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | January 6, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    I agree with most posters here that the marks seem a bit high for most players (bar Carbs). They certainly don't reflect a 5-0 whitewash, neither the lack of spine that England (batsmen in particular) displayed throughout the series.

    Also I feel one can't really rate players who've played just one match.

    My changes to the scores would be : Carbs- 5.5/10 ,Bell 4.5/10, Jimmy 5.5/10 (maybe 6, most of those dropped catches were of his bowling so..), Swanny 4/10.

    Broady and Stokes deserve their 8s perfectly. They were surely the only 2 bright spots in a glum series. Stokes has seemed a more than decent 5th bowler/ no.6 in these 4 tests.

    And there were some particularly heartening efforts from Broady. He really bowled his heart out on most occasions, desperately trying to make something happen. And he showed more fight with the bat than any of our batsmen on certain occasions. All this despite the truck loads of criticism. It wouldn't have been easy, so take a little bow Broady boy !

  • POSTED BY Ross_Co on | January 6, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    As the only plus in an otherwise dismal effort Stokes is being chronically overrated & it is thus here as well. One score of 50+ in a situation where the Australian bowling was the loosest of the series and a 5-for when the Aussies were hitting at everything does not rate an 8. 7 is fair. Broad was England's best bowler but his batting was awful & often irresponsible, he doesn't really rate an 8 either but I suppose .. Anderson's average when the series was nudging 60 and that was a more accurate reflection of his efforts - 6.5 is a point too high at least. 5.5 for Swann?! - for what exactly? In contrast Pietersen & Carberry are both underrated, they were the two highest run-scorers, are you really saying they didn't contribute as much as Swann?

  • POSTED BY Lucas_Allen on | January 6, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    Very Generous... Doesn't look like the ratings of a team that not only lost 5-0 but didn't even make it difficult for the opposition!

  • POSTED BY dabbadubba on | January 6, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    cook deserves 1.5 for leading from the front [ of running away from johnson ]

  • POSTED BY bcw773 on | January 6, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    George, apart from the top three, some of these marks seem to have been picked out of a hat. Carberry batted better than Cook, Bell and Root (in terms of runs scored and average) and should therefore be given a higher ranking. The fact that he didn't go on to achieve higher scores can be put down to his relative inexperience at test level. The same logic that leads to your optimistic appraisal of Ballance should apply more so to Carberry. What did Swann and particularly Tremlett and Bresnan contribute to be rewarded with such lofty rankings (I don't blame Swann for retiring mid-series, by the way). Rankin, Panesar, Ballance and Borthwick deserve more opportunities, it would be unwise to discard any of them based on their restricted performances in a series where their more experienced and esteemed colleagues all played like frightened sheep. Good to hear Trott is recovering - sometimes you just have to go and do something else for a while to clear your head.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    Prior should've got a 2. Bairstow was nowhere near as bad

  • POSTED BY tinkertinker on | January 6, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    6.5 for anderson?

    He is meant to be englands best quick and one of their best ever and he took just 7 wickets at nearly 60 in the liver rubbers and he gets a 6.5?

    based on these marks i get the feeling i watched the wrong series, this has been statistically one of the most one sided test series in history.

    Outside of broad and stokes everybody else failed and failed badly.

  • POSTED BY colinham on | January 6, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    Having defended Swann's right to retire, and his overall record in a previous post, his score of 5.5 here is nonsense I'm afraid. By common consent he failed in both of his roles (wicket taker & stock bowler), and Jimmy didn't merit 6.5 either. Broad & Stokes were stand out performers, no-one else justified a score of above 5 - so the rest of the scores were reasonable - poor to dreadful.

    Why is a more interesting question than the ratings......

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    I really hope Rankin gets another chance. A performance as poor as his test debut is clearly not in any way representative of his talent. He was between 5 and 10 mph slower than he has been in country cricket and couldn't find anything like a consistent line and length, all of which indicate that something was wrong. If the selectors were sufficiently impressed by his performances in country cricket to give him a test cap then they should at least persevere with him long enough to see him reach something like that standard at an international level. We haven't seen a fraction of his potential at test level yet.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | January 6, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    How was Swann worthy of even 3? Monty showed more ticker with the bat and bowled about the same, possibly slightly better. KP and Carberry should have been 7 if Swann was 5.5 which says it all really.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    i think the ratings are pretty decent in comparison with the oz ratings. bailey at a rating of 4 is similar to the ratings of the english players, as is anderson at 6.5 (just above watson's rating but below all other oz players cept bailey) . thought anderson and broad did a pretty good job for the series, they played as a 2-man bowling attack for most of the series. they also did a very good job on the oz top order at times

  • POSTED BY Nickoshot on | January 6, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    I feel sorry for the bowlers they bowled almost every day of the tour the batmen simply gave them no rest. Its hard to know what changes to make as none of the top 5 used really made a case for future inclusion.

    Cook will remain as captain because who else is there? Im not calling for KP head but I wouldn't make him captain again. Prior would be a good candidate if he could get in the side. Board would be if his fitness could be guaranteed but injuries he will have to manage for the rest of his playing days

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    Time for Nick Compton, Graham Onions & Geraint Jones to come into the Test Side.

  • POSTED BY foozball on | January 6, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    I foresee a return to the "revolving door" selection policy of the 90s for England. Compton, Prior, Root, hell maybe even Kerrigan back before 2015. I won't say goodbye Borthwick, Carberry, Bairstow and Rankin... just "until next time".

  • POSTED BY stormer1980 on | January 6, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    So what happened to the best bowling attack in the world ? Anderson better than Steyn ? wat a joke , Trott goes home , your Captain gets put into a world IX as captain and get totally outshon by a team of has beens , All of a sudden Bresnan is not good enough ? The best wicket Keeper couldnt buy a run or catch a cold ! This is what happens when you don't keep your feet on the ground and speaking to soon .. Humility is a key aspect of this game ... So is respect ... And England lost all of that due to some good games and a stint as number one ! Word of advise though , no one would be more motivated to get the English team out of there rut that the guys that are currently there ... I say let them be and play themselves back into form

  • POSTED BY Jstreeter on | January 6, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    @Yes that does seem far too generous. I don't see how Swann deserves any credit for retiring when he did. And talk of a 'great' career also strikes me as hyperbolic. He was a good all round player for England, but great he most definitely wasn't.

  • POSTED BY Basingrad on | January 6, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    I agree with almost all of your columns in recent days but a few generous marks in here, George. I also think it is rather harsh on Carberry for him to be below Ballance. Stokes 7.5, Broad 7, Carberry 5, Cook and Anderson 4 and the rest should be 3 or less for me.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    I think Broad should take over captaincy, with Joe Root as vc. Time for Root to be captain at a young age, Broad would be a sutiable captain for the next 2 years. Compton should be inducted into the side ASAP. Carberry should be third opener. Root at 3, KP at 4, Bell at 5, Bairstow at 6, Stokes at 7 with Ballance as the reserve batsman. Not sure about Borthwick as lead spinner right now, would include Panesar or Kerrigan for the home series against SL and IND. Actually it would be better if England go without a spinner for a couple of series and have 5 seamers. Broad and Anderson select themselves. Would love to see Tymal Mills, fastest bowler in England right now in the side and Graham Onions as the fifth seamer.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | January 6, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    They were all marked too highly except Stokes if you ask me.

  • POSTED BY Sorcerer on | January 6, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Swann, a 5.5 for averaging 80 with the ball, and copping out instead of taking responsibility?

  • POSTED BY timmyw on | January 6, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    Sorry but nearly all these markings are too high.

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | January 6, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Mmm yes, Cook and Anderson are a bit high too. Methinks reputations are playing a part here.

  • POSTED BY nalint on | January 6, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Carberry too low compared to others, how can you give him, facing the new ball and averaging 28, the same marks given to prior averaging 17. How does cook get 4.5 for his average of 24 and his lack of captaincy when the chips are down? How does ballance get an 4.5? How does Swann get 5.5 for averaging nearly the same as Monty who got 3. Marks seems a bit messed up

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Carberry's innings in Melbourne, plus the injudicious strokeplay to get out, his inability to hold his wicket before a break, this is the job of an opener. True, KP should have received a worse ranking, and swann. The thing that annoyed me during the series- Chris Woakes. Where was he?

  • POSTED BY Brownly on | January 6, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    How on earth is Anderson justified a 6.5? If Root and Bell only earned themselves 4s after actually providing some hint of runs and backbone in Adelaide and Perth, then giving Anderson such a high score is ridiculous. As one of the top ranked bowlers in the world you would want him contributing more than some momentary courage in a pointless nightwatchman position.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 6, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    I think some of these marks are a little high. George is an easy marker. Broad and Stokes deserve theirs though. I opined at the start of the series that the hysterical anti-Broad stuff might end up being the making of him as a player and I'm seeing a more mature player who deals with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a good deal more equanimity and far less teapot stance. Most of we Aussies would be loath to admit it but he's gone up in our estimation over the course of the series. Stokes is a fighter as well, but most of the rest have been very, very poor. Anderson in particular seems to have been in a foul mood all series, irresponsible for a senior player and the sort of thing likely to infect the whole team, when he should have been one of those providing the team with much of it's heart. I'd mark him down to 4 on that basis. Borthwick gets a 4 for playing one test and mostly bowling rubbish, only picking up wickets because we were in an insane rush for runs.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    Rating Swann as England's 4th best player of the series with a score of 5.5 out of 10 is extremely generous to someone who took 7 wickets at 80...

  • POSTED BY UsmanMuhammad on | January 6, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    Why did Carberry got less than Peterson, Cook, Swann and Anderson????? I'm definitely not pushing a case for him but in given circumstances he fared better than above four! Yes, he did not capitalize on starts but didn't fail miserable either like Swann, Cook and Anderson did.

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | January 6, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    Too generous for Swann, Ballance, Prior, Root, Borthwick. Not generous enough for Carberry. Trott can be assigned a mark.

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  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | January 6, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    Too generous for Swann, Ballance, Prior, Root, Borthwick. Not generous enough for Carberry. Trott can be assigned a mark.

  • POSTED BY UsmanMuhammad on | January 6, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    Why did Carberry got less than Peterson, Cook, Swann and Anderson????? I'm definitely not pushing a case for him but in given circumstances he fared better than above four! Yes, he did not capitalize on starts but didn't fail miserable either like Swann, Cook and Anderson did.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    Rating Swann as England's 4th best player of the series with a score of 5.5 out of 10 is extremely generous to someone who took 7 wickets at 80...

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 6, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    I think some of these marks are a little high. George is an easy marker. Broad and Stokes deserve theirs though. I opined at the start of the series that the hysterical anti-Broad stuff might end up being the making of him as a player and I'm seeing a more mature player who deals with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a good deal more equanimity and far less teapot stance. Most of we Aussies would be loath to admit it but he's gone up in our estimation over the course of the series. Stokes is a fighter as well, but most of the rest have been very, very poor. Anderson in particular seems to have been in a foul mood all series, irresponsible for a senior player and the sort of thing likely to infect the whole team, when he should have been one of those providing the team with much of it's heart. I'd mark him down to 4 on that basis. Borthwick gets a 4 for playing one test and mostly bowling rubbish, only picking up wickets because we were in an insane rush for runs.

  • POSTED BY Brownly on | January 6, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    How on earth is Anderson justified a 6.5? If Root and Bell only earned themselves 4s after actually providing some hint of runs and backbone in Adelaide and Perth, then giving Anderson such a high score is ridiculous. As one of the top ranked bowlers in the world you would want him contributing more than some momentary courage in a pointless nightwatchman position.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Carberry's innings in Melbourne, plus the injudicious strokeplay to get out, his inability to hold his wicket before a break, this is the job of an opener. True, KP should have received a worse ranking, and swann. The thing that annoyed me during the series- Chris Woakes. Where was he?

  • POSTED BY nalint on | January 6, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Carberry too low compared to others, how can you give him, facing the new ball and averaging 28, the same marks given to prior averaging 17. How does cook get 4.5 for his average of 24 and his lack of captaincy when the chips are down? How does ballance get an 4.5? How does Swann get 5.5 for averaging nearly the same as Monty who got 3. Marks seems a bit messed up

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | January 6, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Mmm yes, Cook and Anderson are a bit high too. Methinks reputations are playing a part here.

  • POSTED BY timmyw on | January 6, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    Sorry but nearly all these markings are too high.

  • POSTED BY Sorcerer on | January 6, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Swann, a 5.5 for averaging 80 with the ball, and copping out instead of taking responsibility?