Alastair Cook – Must have been delighted to be asked to bat by his even younger, even rawer opposite number and then went out and laid the foundations of the first innings lead that pretty much guaranteed the win. His secondary role as captain was less successful, showing him to be too defensively minded when key moments come along. Did nothing in the field to dispel the notion that he is captain because he looks like one, not because he has the authority and ideas required.
Michael Carberry – 30 and 34 are ugly scores for an opener, especially in the second innings when England needed quick runs and Carbs’ strike rate was a pedestrian 38. His chase, turn and throw to run out the stubborn Naeem Islam showed what he can bring to the fielding. Might only get one Test, but that’s a fine reward for a man who has rebuilt his career more than once.
Jonathan Trott – As you do in the middle of a bad, er.., trot, he got a poor decision in the first dig and perished when looking to press the accelerator second time around. Still in credit after his extraordinary debut at The Oval, but needs a few in the Second Test, probably as opener.
KP – 131 runs off 159 balls in the Test answered anyone questioning his technique or motivation. This series might just be what he needs to rediscover the arrogance so crucial to his dominance of the bowling. Looked happy in his work.
Colly – Continues to deliver big scores without looking in form at any time – a handy knack, but you feel a run of low scores can’t be far way. Will be worried by dropping a sitter in the slips – approaching 34, his eyes cannot be as good as they once were and the slip cordon may not be his best home on the field.
Ian Bell – Came in with 400 up and looked like Michael Clarke, timing the ball better than anyone in the match and moving his feet wonderfully well to the spinners. Threw away a hundred in the acceleration, but that’ll stop people claiming that it was a cheap one.
Matt Prior – Wore a few for the team with the ball keeping low and effected the crucial first innings run out of Islam well from a poor throw. Did the job in a quiet Test for him – quiet in the sense of not being needed, not in terms of chatter behind the stumps, which was as dispritingly bland as ever.
Stuart Broad – Roughed up Bangladesh’s top order in the first innings, but carried little threat once the ball went soft. Did little to suggest that he has either the nous or ability to set a batsman up for a dismissal. To be fair, few bowlers do, but after 27 Tests and some fine performances, he should be hinting at bowling the kinds of spells that became commonplace from Glenn McGrath and Curtly Ambrose.
Graeme Swann – Man of the Match and the key man yet again! Having selected the wrong side, England needed their sole spinner to deliver and, over 79 overs, Swanny irrefutably did. His curve and dip in the flight is a testament to his technical excellence, as his strong pivot and long fingers allows him to impart a real rip to his deliveries. He varied his pace well and never let the batsmen get away, despite the inevitable periods when it wasn’t really happening for him. A ten-fer for an English off-spinner – who would have thought it?
Tim Bresnan – Brought back happy memories of Flintoff’s round the wicket mauling of Gilchrist in 2005 with his jaffa to dismiss the talented Tamim Iqbal in the first innings. His 17 maidens in the match shows that he can build pressure and the speedgun showed that he is, like lots of bulkier bowlers, quicker than he looks. Might never be a front rank seamer, but Test bowling is a squad game these days and he has shown that he can come in and do a job.
Steve Finn – Nervous in his first spell, he settled in to build a promising debut. Wastes the tremendous advantage of his height by collapsing a bit in his delivery stride and probably has too much going on in his action to be metronomic. Whatever it costs, the ECB should pay Glenn McGrath to sit down with the lad and talk to him about the technical, physical and mental demands of Test cricket. Finn has three more years of learning to do before he is the same age as Pidge when he started his torture of batsmen.