A 2-0 series victory and winning margins of 181 runs and nine wickets suggest that England comfortably won the series, and to some respect they did. Nevertheless, at times Bangladesh had England on the ropes but either because of umpiring error or mainly because Bangladesh were unable to land a telling punch at crucial moments, England’s counter-attack was enough for them to prevail.
But how did each of the men that played in the two tests perform? For what it’s worth, here are my ratings:
Alastair Cook – 9 for batting, 5 for captaincy: Centuries in both matches suggested that the captaincy didn’t affect Cook’s batting, but he certainly didn’t have the air of a Jardine, an Illingworth or a Vaughan in the field. There was too much of captaincy by committee and at times Cook looked a bit confused. If the opposition had been stronger, Cook may have been more exposed. That said, England won both matches and Cook’s batting looks back to its best.
Michael Carberry – 6: Only played in the first test and given the opposition bowling attach, we didn’t really learn too much about whether Carberry can make the step up to test cricket. Looked good in both innings and will be annoyed that he couldn’t convert decent starts into big runs. His fielding was magnificent and he is nearly as quick as Usain Bolt.
Jonathan Trott – 5: After his stunning debut at the Oval most thought that England had found a real star. But nerveless has turned into nervous and Trott’s batting has become ugly to watch and his batting in the first innings in Mirpur was either just what England needed replying to 419 or ridiculously negative depending on your opinion. The pressure seemed to affect Trott’s fielding where he dropped an absolute dolly to reprieve Tamim.
Kevin Pietersen – 8: Came into the series under immense pressure but showed real grit and application as he recovered his mojo and swaggering confidence at Chittagong, where he fell one run short of a richly deserved century. On the minus side, he threw his wicket away in the first innings at Mirpur but people must learn to take the rough with the smooth where it concerns KP. Looked secure in the 2nd innings run chase and England will hope that Pietersen is back to his best for the big year ahead.
Paul Collingwood – 7: A typical Collingwood century at Chittagong put England out of sight. This was followed by two failures, although the second was aided and abetted by a poor umpiring decision. Although he was his usual reliable self, this was not a series for Collingwood to thrive in. Those await Down Under next winter.
Ian Bell – 9: Looked in wonderful touch throughout the series as his renaissance continued. His century in Mirpur got England out of a hole and answered those critics that argue Bell only shines as a supporting act to others. Now looks at ease with himself and his game, but can he deliver against Australia?
Matt Prior – 6: Just as his wicketkeeping has got more proficient so his batting has become more inconsistent. He ruined all the good work of his counterattacking fifty in the 1st innings at Mirpur by getting out to an atrocious swipe. Could come under pressure from England’s coming man Craig Kieswetter.
Tim Bresnan – 7: The Yorkshireman earns full marks for trying and certainly seems to make the best of his ability, but I don’t see him as a test opening bowler. But, he was the pick of the England seamers in the series and the balls to remove Tamim on Chittagong and Musfiqur in Mirpur were arguably the balls of the series. Just failed to get a deserved maiden ton, but his partnership with Bell put his side firmly in control.
Graeme Swann – 9: Swann’s remarkable success story continued with ten wickets at Chittagong and six in Mirpur, despite the obvious effects of Dhaka belly. Still has the uncanny knack of getting a wicket in the first or second over of each spell and long may it continue. Now at a heady number two in the ICC rankings and it is richly deserved.
Stuart Broad – 5: Broad was frustratingly inconsistent with dross combined the occasional good ball. His habit of getting on the wrong side of the umpires and the spirit of the game is becoming annoying and needs to be rectified. Is he starting to get a bit big for his boots?
James Tredwell – 7: Should have played at Chittagong, but made up for it with six wickets on debut in Mirpur and added useful runs into the bargain. Tredwell could well have nailed down the reserve spinner role to Swann ahead of Monty and Rashid. Also took a stunning catch at Chittagong during a brief stint as substitute fielder.
Steve Finn – 6: Came in ahead of Liam Plunkett and Ajmal Shahzad and didn’t let anyone down on what were extremely unhelpful wickets for the paceman. Seems to have a good attitude and is apparently still growing, so he could become a long term fixture in the side and a potential replacement for Harmison. It will be good to see how he fares on more helpful wickets and against stronger opposition.
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