England have huffed and puffed their way to a series loss to India, that was both embarrassing and hard to watch for their supporters. To reward them for their efforts here are their marks out of 10 from Firstpost.
Keaton Jennings - 8
Keaton Jennings was flown into the squad for the last two Tests as a replacement for the injured Haseeb Hameed. A hundred on debut and a second innings fifty in his second game is about the best you can hope for from a new opener in Test cricket. Jennings did not look as impressive as Hameed did at this level, but runs are runs. Anything less than 8 out of 10 for a guy who made a century and a fifty in his first two games is very harsh.
Joe Root - 7
England’s leading run scorer in the series with 491 runs at an average a smidge under 50, Root once again showed that he is far and away the most talented batsman in this England side, and one of the best players in the world. But there is an air of frustration about his outing in this series. He had the chance to go on and make massive scores on fairly benign pitches, but he routinely failed to make his good starts count. The obsession cricket has with three figure numbers is a nonsense, but the way you set up Test match wins, is doing what Virat Kohli did with his scores of 167 and 235. Root has the talent to do just that. There is a lot expected of Root, but that is because he is so good.
Haseeb Hameed - 7
About the only player to leave India with his reputation enhanced. Given a debut in the first match of the series Hameed made a second innings 82. He looked calm, assured and at home in Test cricket. For a batsman who is still a teenager, this is remarkable. He unselfishly got out when close to a debut ton when looking to score quick runs for a declaration. He will be back in an England Test shirt again this summer, and he will be scoring hundreds while wearing it pretty soon as well.
His second innings 59 not out in Mohali, batting with a broken hand, showed a damn sight more gumption that some his more experienced teammates managed. All he has to do is live up to that level of expectation, but he seems to be a pretty headed kid.
Moeen Ali - 7
England’s second highest runs scorer in the series, and the only England player to make two hundreds, Moeen Ali had a good series with the bat and he also claimed 10 wickets with the ball. His off spin offered England some control, and he had the best economy rate of the England spinners that played more than one Test. Moeen will never run through batting lineups with the ball, but he squeezes every ounce of talent out of himself.
Ben Stokes - 7
345 runs and eight wickets from England’s all-rounder is a decent return, but again, it isn’t anything particularly special. Although he was probably England’s most influential player across the series. A hundred in the first Test at Rajkot and a five wicket haul in the third Test in Mohali were his standout performances, but Stokes bowled the most wicket taking balls by an England player across the series. He was also the only seamer to get the ball to reverse on a regular basis.
Adil Rashid - 6
England’s leading wicket taker in the series by a distance, Rashid’s 23 victims is a long way ahead of the next most successful bowler, Moeen with 10 wickets. But Rashid failed to keep things tight and seemed to go missing when he was most needed. 23 wickets is great, an average of 37.43 is less so, and an economy rate of 3.7 is very poor in Test cricket. At the start of this series, it seemed that Rashid had finally found a place in the inner circle of England bowlers, by the end he seemed to have lost the faith of Alastair Cook. Quite when Rashid will play Test cricket again is unclear.
Johnny Bairstow - 6
A decent series for England’s wicket-keeper saw him make three fifties in nine innings with 352 runs in total. He finished just 12 runs short of the record for the most Test runs by an England batsman in a calendar year, and he is now the most prolific wicket-keeper over a 12 month period in Test history. But this wasn’t a classic series for Bairstow with either the bat or with the gloves. Bairstow was far from the only Englishman to let chances slip in the field, but misses by wicket-keepers are always more glaring than for others. He did just as well when he moved up the batting order from seven to five, so he may well stay in the top six in the summer.
Jos Buttler - 6
After Ben Duckett has been done away with after 18 runs in three innings, England called about Jos Buttler as a specialist batsman. He scored 154 runs in his six trips to the crease, including a 76 that helped England to 400 in Mumbai. There was more than enough from Buttler to lead you to believe that he can be a frontline batsman for England, and the possibility of player like Buttler coming off in Test cricket gets you very excited.
Stuart Broad - 6
Broad managed to play in three of the five Tests, and while he only got eight wickets, he had the best average of England’s frontline bowlers, picking up his wickets for 31 runs a piece. He didn’t look at his vintage best, but he did far better on this trip than he did on his last visit to India. Like Stokes, Broad got the ball to reverse with some regularity, but like Stokes he rarely turned that into wickets.
Alastair Cook - 4
Oh Alastair, what a series. He arrived in India with serious questions about his ability to captain spin bowlers and left with his captaincy career all but over. No decision will be made about his future in the job in any rush, but he had an absolute shocker as chief tactician. England didn’t get their team selection right, field placings right or bowling changes right. He will enjoy his seven months off from Test cricket.
As a batsmen he did alright, but he is a man with 11,000 Test runs and a brilliant record in Asia, but this was a poor series by his standards. His one hundred came in the second innings of the first Test in Rajkot and his returns after that were patchy and unconvincing. Would have had a five, but for his captaincy.
Chris Woakes - 4
After such a stellar summer for England, this winter of bowling on Asian pitches was always going to be a rough one for Chris Woakes, and his three wickets in three matches show just how much he struggled. He was a figure on the periphery of England’s team when he was picked and he was eventually dropped for the final Test in Chennai. Woakes will be back in England’s plans for white ball cricket and next summer’s Tests, but he will have few fond memories of the Test series in India this winter.
James Anderson - 3
Few would have blamed James Anderson for sitting out these Tests, but his drive to make the trip to play, despite him being injured for the first two Tests, should be admired. But this wasn’t Anderson at his best. He took just four wickets in five innings, three of them coming in the first innings in Visakhapatnam. He looked off the pace and struggled to make a significant impact. Anderson was amazing the last time England were in India in 2012, but this time he looked jaded. He kept it tight but, didn’t look threatening.
Liam Dawson - 6
Gareth Batty - 4
Zafar Ansari - 3
Jake Ball - 3
Ben Duckett - 1
Updated Date: Dec 21, 2016 10:09:41 IST