Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)
Two factors spoiled Strauss's chance of making more of his call-up for the one-day tour of the subcontinent. One was Solanki, who was given every chance to establish himself at the top of the order in Bangladesh. The other was the Sri Lankan monsoon. After playing himself into the side by topscoring in a warm-up game at Moratuwa, Strauss's only innings came during the collective disaster at Dambulla. Rain in Colombo meant he would have to wait to show whether he can complement organisation with flair. If he can do that, then as captain of Middlesex, he could be a frontrunner in the Future England Captain stakes.
2003: 1 ODI: 3 runs @ 3.00.
Graham Thorpe (Surrey)
Thorpe's year did not get going until September, and he was in no mood to hang around. After some bitter personal problems and a string of newspaper confessionals in which he revealed that he had been suffering from depression, Thorpe's return was one of the highlights of England's year. Confronted with a big South African total on his home ground at The Oval, he hit 124 runs of comforting class and put on 268 with Trescothick. England won and Thorpe, in his first Test for nearly 14 months, was clasped to the bosom of the cricketing fraternity once more. But in Sri Lanka he could not repeat the heroics of 2000-01, mainly because of Muralitharan's doosra. Murali got him five times out of six in the Tests, and Thorpe admitted that he had run out of ideas. From a man who remained England's best player of spin, this was a worrying admission. But the middle order still felt safer for his return.
2003: 6 Tests: 443 runs @ 44.30.
Jim Troughton (Warwickshire)
After leapfrogging his Warwickshire team-mate Ian Bell into the England side, Troughton was unable to transfer his belligerence in four-day Championship cricket to the one-day international stage, where bowlers were quick to seize on a weakness against the short ball. His fielding in the covers was spell-binding, but in the absence of anything to write home about with the bat, journalists everywhere kept bringing up his grandfather, Patrick, who once starred as BBC TV's Doctor Who.
2003: 6 ODI: 36 runs @ 9.00.
Craig White (Yorkshire)
Not for the first time in his England career, White's stock rose considerably in his absence. He began the year by missing the final Ashes Test, and ended it by missing England's trip to the subcontinent - where his canny reverse swing and fleet-footed strokeplay would have been crucial - because of an ongoing side problem, which precluded him from bowling. That injury did relent long enough to allow White to make a solid contribution to England's World Cup campaign as a thrifty second-change. But his pace had gone and, with it apparently, his Test career.
2003: 5 ODI: 79 runs @ 26.33; 9 wickets @ 19.88.