Rust removed ahead of sterner Tests

England encountered more problems than they'd anticipated against Bangladesh, but the scoreline was emphatic in the end. Cricinfo assesses the team's individual performances

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Steven Finn dismissed Imrul Kayes for the fourth consecutive innings, courtesy of a catch at deep square leg, England v Bangladesh, 2nd npower Test, Old Trafford, June 6, 2010

Steven Finn's height and bounce caused problems throughout the series, but he's not the finished product yet  •  Getty Images

Andrew Strauss - 7
It was important for the England captain to reassert his authority on and off the field having watched the side claim the World Twenty20, especially having missed the Bangladesh tour. A brace of 80s at Lord's showed his batting was in reasonable working order despite a slow start for Middlesex and the team appeared to have no problems reacquainting themselves with his leadership. He initially gave Steven Finn the wrong end at Lord's, but that was more due to James Anderson's preferences, and some of his field placings were too negative. As he admitted at Lord's, he was a touch rusty after his break, but all the faculties still work.
Alastair Cook - 6
Having filled in successfully as captain in Bangladesh, Cook endured a strange start to the international season, as he received a couple of dodgy (but not shocking) lbw decisions in the first Test before edging softly to slip having look in decent touch at Old Trafford. Didn't have much to do in the field, but was often seen consulting with Strauss as he dipped into the experience he'd gained during the winter.
Jonathan Trott - 8
Rarely can a player have hit a double century and gained such split reviews. A major criticism of England batsmen is a lack of big hundreds so Trott's 226 at Lord's was an ideal start to the summer, but his mannerisms and mindset dominated the debate. His process at the crease is extraordinary and annoyed the Bangladesh coach as it had the South Africans in the winter, but it was hard to argue with the end product even though he went into his shell after making 175 of his runs on the first day of the series. Received a good ball at Old Trafford, but the bowlers cottoned onto rushing him a little more. Will remain a talking point all season.
Kevin Pietersen - 6
This was always unlikely to be a series that would stir great deeds from Pietersen after his Man-of-the-Tournament performance in the Caribbean and the birth of his son. He twice fell to Shakib Al Hasan to make it 17 dismissals against left-arm spinners, but both times his departure owed more to his desire to dominate than any major technical failings. An important direct-hit to remove Tamim Iqbal at Lord's showed the value of all England's fielding work, but there is a sense that KP was saving himself for greater challenges.
Ian Bell - 8
Despite being England's Test batsman of the winter there were still whispers about his place in the side, especially with Trott in form and Eoin Morgan's emergence. He was scratchy at Lord's, but the 128 at Old Trafford was Bell at his best as he timed and placed the ball to perfection on a pitch assisting the spinners. He finally looks the part in England's middle order, and while No. 3 is still an ambition, he'd be better off staying where he is. Remains excellent at short leg.
Eoin Morgan - 5
Benefited from England's rotation policy as Paul Collingwood was rested, but didn't grab his chance with both hands. The selectors like him and he looked untroubled during innings of 44 and 37, which made it even more frustrating when he twice fell in loose fashion. Most left-handers have a weakness outside off when the ball is pushed across them and this is where high-quality pacemen will target him. However, when England take on Pakistan he is likely to be back in the ranks with Middlesex.
Matt Prior - 8
Another who has come under surprising pressure following England's Twenty20 success. Despite turning himself into a high-quality keeper, Craig Kieswetter's performances in West Indies have sparked another debate over who is best for the position. However, Prior should be assured of his spot in the Test line-up and the real question needs to be where he bats. His 93 at Old Trafford has pushed the average over 40 again - which is passable for a No. 6. Was hampered by a finger injury late in the second Test.
Graeme Swann - 7
Few would have bet on Swann going wicketless at Lord's but a dead track meant it was hard toil for the offspinner as he adjusted from Twenty20 mode. Offered a helpful surface at Old Trafford he was back on song with his seventh five-wicket haul, and his first at home, as he ran through a line-up that should play spin well. His ball to remove Jahurul Islam, spinning through the gate, wasn't far off the one to Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston or Hashim Amla at Durban.
Ajmal Shahzad - 7
A very encouraging debut for the Yorkshire allrounder who overcame a nervous start to produce a lively spell of reverse-swing. He pushed the speed gun to 90mph which won't have gone unnoticed. Would be nice to see some more of him, but may struggle to get a game against Pakistan with Stuart Broad back.
James Anderson - 7
Was a bit off-colour for the first three innings of the series after missing out in the World Twenty20. However, he rediscovered some serious zip on the third day at Old Trafford and also located his outswinger which a few observers have suggested had gone AWOL. His second-innings burst in Manchester would have done for better batting line-ups, but he still isn't totally convincing as an attack-leader in all conditions. Proved himself to be an impressive slip to the spinner as he stood in for Collingwood.
Steven Finn - 9
England have unearthed a potential star, but now it's vital that some perspective is maintained alongside Finn's success. Height, pace and bounce make for an intoxicating combination and Finn also appears to have maturity beyond his 21 years. The way he executed bouncer plans to Imrul Kayes was impressive to watch and he has the ability to extract life when conditions are flat as they were at Lord's. Strauss and Andy Flower will have to monitor his workload, but with Angus Fraser as a mentor he won't want for level-headed advice. Must stop falling over in his followthrough because the last thing England need is for him to be needlessly injured.
Tim Bresnan - 4
The major disappointment of the series because he'd advanced his game considerably in Bangladesh and at the World Twenty20. In hindsight he was probably hampered more than he let on by the foot injury that ruled him out of the second Test, but regardless of that he didn't look a Test-quality new-ball bowler in a three-man seam attack. However, Flower is a fan because of the all-round package he offers, and he remains in Ashes contention.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo