Friday, 7 January 2011
How the Ashes heroes rate
After out-batting, out-bowling, out-fielding and outplaying the Australians to win the Ashes 3-1, here are my ratings for the England team:
Andrew Strauss - 8 - Compared to the likes of Cook and Trott, his average of 43.8 doesn't seem that special but his runs at the top of the order led England on their way. His captaincy is more accomplished than ever and he never let his side get carried away at any stage of the tour.
Alistair Cook - 10 - Ashes man of the series with over 700 runs at an average of 127, which sums it up. Batted with ease and never looked out of his depth. He's taken giant strides over the past six months after a poor summer.
Jonathan Trott - 8 - Since Michael Vaughan's retirement, England have been searching for a suitable number three to replace him and Trott has proven his worth. Scored 445 runs in the series at an average of 89. His runs at the top of the order along with Strauss and Cook made sure England got off to a strong start on almost every occasion.
Kevin Pieterson - 8 - Only got the chance to bat six times due to the top three but in them innings he has scored 360 runs with an average of 60 and his double century in Adelaide suggests he is coming back to his best form.
Paul Collingwood - 7 - Will be disappointed with less than 100 runs but his contribution to the team cannot be underestimated. Plays a crucial role within the squad with his experience and love of the game. Bowled important overs to allow the seamers to take a rest and his last ever delivery in test cricket was the dismissal of the obdurate Mike Hussey. Best fielder on the side and took the most catches (9) in the series including the one of Ponting in Perth below:
Ian Bell - 8 - Like KP only had six chances to bat but contributed a great deal in those innings. Over 600 runs, averaging 65 and scored his first Ashes century makes it a very satisfying tour the Warwickshire batsman.
Matt Prior - 8 - Improved immensely with both bat and gloves over the past 12 months. Again averaged over 50 to bolster the lower order and took a whopping 23 catches. He has become a valuable member of this England side as shown during this series.
Tim Bresnan - 8 - Very impressive during the last two matches. Came in for the expensive Finn to control the runs and did just that with an economy rate of only 2.6 with an average of 19. Also took 11 wickets in only his two matches and will be a important part of the England set up in future years.
Graeme Swann - 8 - Bowled well on flat pitches but didn't have the effect everyone expected prior to the series. Australia seemed to take to much time working out how to play Swann and forgot the seamers. Still managed to take an impressive 15 wickets as well as keeping things very tight. Also added runs with the bat.
James Anderson - 10 - Was magnificent throughout. To take 24 wickets in a five match series is impressive but to do it in Australia is a superb effort. Put the ball in the right place every time, caused mayhem amongst all Australians and will be the spearhead of this fine bowling attack for a while.
Chris Tremlett - 9 - Only got his chance due to injury but he took it emphatically. Bowled wonderfully and caused problems to every Australian batsmen. Took 17 wickets in three matches but with a bit more luck it would have been a lot more.
Stuart Broad - 6 - Struggled in the first two matches, taking just two wickets. Unfortunately had to go home due to injury but Tremlett more than stood up to the mark.
Steven Finn - 7 - Expensive but took 14 wickets in his three matches. Showed his inexperience at times with some wayward bowling and needs to learn to pitch it up. Only 21, though, so will be a big part of the English team in the future.