England in West Indies 2015 May 4, 2015

Anderson leads yet again but woe for Mo

The series against West Indies showed England what they already knew: trouble with a second opener, a paucity of spin options and the importance of James Anderson

Play 05:27
Butcher: England should have won the series

8.5

James Anderson
A memorable tour. After surpassing Ian Botham's Test-wicket tally in Antigua, Anderson produced a match-winning spell in Grenada and his best overseas figures in Barbados. While there were days, especially early in the tour, when he struggled to generate pace or bowl sufficiently full, he did prove that, at his best, he remains England's best.

8

Joe Root
England's top run-scorer in the series, Root looked a top-class player throughout. Two half centuries in Antigua were followed by a sublime century in Grenada that shaped the game in England's favour. And, if he missed out in Barbados - nicking off twice as he tried to force the pace on a slow-paced pitch - it was just a reminder not to expect too much of a 24-year-old who continues to learn his trade. He also out-bowled James Tredwell in the second innings in Antigua and Moeen Ali throughout in Barbados.

7.5

Alastair Cook
With three scores of 50 or more in six innings - including that long-awaited century - Cook rediscovered his form on this trip. While the generally slow, flat wickets rendered batting relatively comfortable, Cook's movement and confidence outside off stump bodes well for the sterner challenges that lie ahead. He will never be an inspirational orator or earn a reputation as a great leader, but he captained with some imagination in tough conditions in Antigua and Grenada.

Gary Ballance
A century and two half-centuries was a decent return for a young man continuing to learn his way in international cricket. He showed solidity when required and a second gear when appropriate in Grenada; the match in which he entered the top 10 fastest men to reach 1,000 Test runs. Ballance has already made the No. 3 position his own and seems open minded about the possibility of opening in years to come. Absurd that there was even talk of dropping him after one poor innings in Antigua.

James Anderson had an outstanding series, including this moment to pass Ian Botham's wicket tally © Getty Images

6

Jos Buttler
Another player in a developmental phase of his career. Having made a positive - and selfless - half-century in Antigua, Buttler was pushed down to No. 8 in the order by the return of Moeen and thereafter struggled for opportunities with the bat. He was dismissed only twice in the series and, having been left with the tail, was unbeaten three times. A good keeper standing back to the seamers, he remains far less accomplished standing up to the spinners.

Chris Jordan
Jordan bowled some tough overs with an old ball on unresponsive pitches and, as a consequence, struggled to make an impact. As a result, questions will linger over whether he has the weapons to make it as a Test bowler. For all his class with the bat, he failed to produce any significant scores. An outstanding catcher - maybe as good as England have ever had - he held a couple of stunning chances. But it is as a bowler that his future will be defined and he has yet to seize his chance. Another player in development, conditions in England should assist him more.

Stuart Broad
Produced one excellent - and sharp - spell with the second new ball in Antigua and showed some skill with his cutters on unresponsive pitches. While the ability to generate significant pace is now the exception rather than the norm, Broad was rarely anything less than tidy and suffered more than his share of dropped chances. Endured three ducks in four innings with the bat; only habit keeps him from coming in at No. 11 now.

5.5

Ben Stokes
Few players divide opinion more than Stokes. And perhaps no player exemplifies the current predicament of the England team. Clearly blessed with great talent, Stokes is being selected more for promise than delivery at present. After starting the series with a pleasing innings of 79, he fell to some gormless strokes - pulling to deep midwicket in Grenada, for example - and, while he bowled with pace and heart, the wickets tally - three - and average - 85.33 - are not pretty. Figures rarely tell the full story, however, and Stokes endured a luckless series with the ball and is surely worth perseverance.

4

Ian Bell
After a high-class - and important - century in his first innings of the series, Bell suffered a run of low scores (11, 1, 0 and 0) that culminated in the second pair of his Test career. Given his age, his record and the fact that he still looks superb in training, it would probably be wise to see the failures as little more than an aberration.

Ian Bell started the series strongly but finished with a pair © AFP

3.5

Moeen Ali
Drafted into the side for the second Test having proved his fitness in England, Moeen bowled well below the level shown in the series victory against India. While he enjoyed one good spell in the second innings in Grenada, he generally dragged the ball too short and his inability to capitalise on a dry, turning surface in Barbados was a key ingredient in the defeat. Batted nicely in Barbados, but was involved in two dozy run-outs. In retrospect, he was probably short of red ball cricket coming into the series.

2.5

Jonathan Trott
Trott never convinced as an opening batsman. While he received two fine balls in Grenada, his excessive movement left him in no position to play them and his dismissal to a short ball in Barbados sentenced him to the exit as an international batsman. A half-century in Grenada provided a brief reminder of the fine international batsman he once was.

Played one Test

7

James Tredwell
A series that showed Tredwell's qualities and limitations clearly: after performing an excellent holding role in the first innings in Antigua to help set-up the match-winning opportunity, he was unable to capitalise in the fourth innings. A fine defensive spinner, doubts remain whether he has the teeth to also be an aggressive one. Still, he was probably England's best spinner of the series and also fielded with skill and commitment.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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