After a mid-series scare England bounced back to win the fourth test before sealing the series at the Oval for a 4-1 series win. We take a look at the English team for their end of series report card:
England led from start to finish at Lord’s to take a 2-0 lead into the third Test against India.
No team has ever come back from this score to win a five-Test series since 1936-37, when a certain batsman named Don Bradman made three big centuries to help Australia do just that against England in that particular series 82 years ago.
Here is England’s report card for the series so far.
Cook has been outdone by some good bowling by Ravi Ashwin in the first Test, but at his best you can’t imagine him being dismissed bowled by an off spinner twice in one Test. He started to look good in the second Test before going for 21. He missed a sitter at slip in the Edgbaston Test that was costly before taking a nice catch to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane in the Lord’s Test.
Jennings is yet to find his feet at Test level. He doesn’t necessarily look out of place, but doesn’t look at home either. He looked solid in making 42 in the first Test but will want to turn starts into scores sooner rather than later. He’s worth sticking with for the series.
He looked rock solid in making 80 before being run out in the first Test. He captained the team well on the last day of the first Test to help England get home. Root has won both tosses this series, but the Lord’s toss proved decisive as it allowed his bowlers first crack on a wicket with plenty of assistance. He missed out with the bat.
His catching and batting still not up to Test standard, but he hasn’t played his last Test. He will look to improve.
He looked good and there have been worse debuts in Test cricket than this one. I wouldn’t bet against him passing 50 once or twice this series.
He made runs in both Tests and has been very good with the gloves. He’s a bit of a rock in the middle order that England would love to rely on.
England will find a place for him as soon as he is ready to come back. His bowling in the first Test was as impressive as it’s ever been. His fast leg cutters in the Edgbaston Test almost went through India’s middle order – he was let down by his slip cordon – and the huge wicket of Virat Kohli in the second innings virtually ended India’s resistance.
He failed in the first Test with zero and one. He made 24 at Lord’s, but Butler hasn’t shown that he is a Test cricketer yet. Once Stokes comes back, he will make way for the all-rounder.
He had a superb Lord’s Test where everything he touched turned to gold. He deserved man of the match with an unbeaten century and four wickets.
A crucial knock in the second innings of the Edgbaston Test with the bat followed some big wickets in India’s first innings of that same Test. He had less effect with the ball at Lord’s but contributed more handy runs. He’s enjoying his introduction to Test cricket.
I enjoyed his four-day tour of the Lord’s tea room. He chimed in with a few lower-order wickets at Birmingham.
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Broad entered the top-ten bowlers of all time in terms of most Test wickets taken. He was excellent in taking 4/44 in the second innings at Lord’s after a slow start to the series.
Anderson was unplayable at Lord’s on the second day after the first day was washed out. He had the ball coming out perfectly and every ball looked like it could take a wicket. He needs only ten wickets to equal Glenn McGrath as the leading wicket-taker for pacemen in cricket history. That should happen by the Oval Test, though many will predict it will happen earlier. He’s the player of the series to date.
England are in what looks to be an unassailable position. Their bowlers have India’s top order on the ropes and the Indian batsmen don’t appear to have any answers at this point in time. England have lacked big runs from their top order, but if that clicks, it will make it very hard for the tourists to get back into this series.
The Trent Bridge Test starts on Saturday.