From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.32 :: NO.01 :: Jan. 03, 2009

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CRICKET / REPORT CARD

Pat Pietersen

England’s tour report in order of merit. By David Hopps.

S. SUBRAMANIUM

Kevin Pietersen handled the demands of India superbly.

Kevin Pietersen 8

Pietersen is England’s most powerful captain for a generation though he would benefit from leaning more on Peter Moores and Andrew Strauss. But he handled the demands of India superbly.

Andrew Strauss 8

Strauss’s hundreds in each innings of the Chennai Test deserved to be rewarded with victory. He was also strong-minded in his belief that England should return to India for the Tests.

Andrew Flintoff 6

Flintoff has survived a tour of India with his fitness intact and for that England can be grateful. His endeavour and pace close to 90mph made him England’s most reliable bowler but he hit only one half-century.

Stuart Broad 6

Selection for the Mohali Test said much about his eagerness to learn the variety needed on the sub-continent. His rewards were limited, but he can serve with distinction if he maintains this rate of progress.

Graeme Swann 6

An extrovert and an optimist, and such qualities were needed on a tour where England failed to win any major fixtures. Two wickets in his first over in Chennai assured him a remarkable Test debut.

Paul Collingwood 5

Test hundred in Chennai kept the wolves from the door and his Test batting record is solid since resigning the one-day captaincy last summer. Bereft of form in one-dayers and bowling was virtually ignored.

Matt Prior 5

Spell as a one-day opener surely ended in Bangalore when his failure to give impetus caused his demotion from No. 1 to No. 8. But his return to the Test side gave the batting stability. Keeping was steady.

Alastair Cook 4

Inclusion for one-dayers was mystifying and selection for the fifth ODI in Cuttack emphasised how much England have missed Marcus Trescothick. In Tests his habit of not turning 50s into 100s is infuriating.

James Anderson 4

Outswing was savaged in one-dayers and made little impact in the Tests, being fortunate to play in Mohali. Extended his Test dismissals of Sachin Tendulkar to five, the most by any English bowler.

Monty Panesar 3

Remains England’s best finger spinner for a generation but his bowling lacked guile and he looked downcast. Desperately needs to build a rapport with the new spin bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmed.

Steve Harmison 3

Reportedly reluctant to return to India after Mumbai bombings and was not enamoured by being dropped during both Test and one-day series. Pitches were never his forte but he remains an enigma.

Ian Bell 3

A nightmarish tour. Retained for the Mohali Test because of a yearning for stability ahead of the Ashes next summer. How much has he grown since the last Ashes in England four years ago? Not a lot.

The three who failed to trouble Test selectors:

Owais Shah 7

No England batsman played better in the one-day series. But England stayed loyal to Ian Bell for the Tests and it seems they do not fancy Shah in the five-day game.

Ravi Bopara 5

When he moved from the lower middle-order to replace Matt Prior as opener for the last two matches, Bopara acquitted himself well. England must decide whether this move is worth persevering with.

Samit Patel 5

This was a tough England debut tour for Patel. His left-arm slows were milked by India’s batsmen, but he responded with pluck and skill to his limited batting opportunities.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2008



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