Posted by: tootingtrumpet | August 2, 2011

England vs India Second Test – England Report Card

From left to right, 6, 10 and 2. Marks out of ten. What did you think I meant?

Andrew Strauss (32, 16) – Eisenhower preferred lucky generals to smart generals, but, in Andrew Strauss, England have found a lucky, smart general. In a desperate run of nothing scores, he basks in the glory of a victory earned by a fine set of cricketers who all know their jobs and carry them out with a belief instilled into them by their captain and coach. How long England can afford the luxury of a Ryder Cup-style non-playing captain remains to be seen, and Strauss may fall on his own sword if he fails to reach fifty this summer, but look at his results!

Alastair Cook (2, 5) – Another bad match, but now has some time to work away from the glare of international cricket on getting his feet moving positively and his balance right.

Jonathan Trott (4, 2) – Had to have a bad Test sooner or later and this was pretty bad. Impatiently pushed at Sreesanth just when the mercurial one was bowling well, then went over on his shoulder in the field and was too restricted to bat properly in the second innings. Will have a lot of physio, but might need a break from cricket, so missing out at Edgbaston may be no bad thing.

KP (29, 63) – Was just about to get going in the first innings when bowled out by a good ball from Sreesanth. Had just got going in the second dig when Sreesanth got him again. The 52 balls he faced before hitting a boundary on Day Three showed his willingness to restrain his instincts for the cause. Loved again by the fans and relaxed as a result.

Ian Bell (31, 159) – Just when he needed to play a Waugh-like innings, the old Bell showed up and a horrible shot left the responsibility for getting England up to a decent score on the tail.  The new Bell turned up second time round in a superb display of grace under pressure – until a bit of disgrace under pressure was rescued by a magnanimous, if somewhat unnecessary gesture from MS Dhoni. And it was played from Number Three too.

Eoin Morgan (0, 70) – Failed to deal with Kumar’s swing early on in his first innings, but showed some of the old fluency in the second dig, happy to bat in the shadow of Bell until launching a trademark six straight down the ground. Silenced the doubters… for a match or two.

Matt Prior (1, 73) – Can be as destructive as Gilchrist when walking to the crease with the score over 300 (as it was in the second innings) if not yet as effective as the Australian whirlwind when the scoreboard shows under 100 (as it did in the first innings). Fearless in his shot selection, he moved England’s position on from one of strength to one of impregnability in 23 overs of Sunday evening mayhem.

Tim Bresnan (11, 21-6-48-2, 90, 12-2-48-5) – And he still wasn’t Man of the Match. In for the injured Tremlett, the big Tyke did what England fans have come to expect. He was instantly at home in the team and jarring the splice of the bat and peppering toes with the heavy ball he favours. Batted beautifully in the second innings, defending the good ones and smashing the bad ones, before getting his bouncer going to blow away those Indian batsmen who lack a bit of experience in English conditions. Played like a Northern League pro, but in a Test match not a Saturday match in Rawthenstall.

Stuart Broad (64, 24.1-8-46-6, 44, 14.4-5-30-2) – Having hit his straps at Lord’s, was Bothamesque at Trent Bridge, smashing a vital 64 to get England back into the match, then taking a hat-trick as the Indian tail wilted yet again, before more batting biffage and the vital wicket of Dravid to get England’s charge to the line underway. 39 Tests into his career, all that investment in his potential by the England selectors is paying off.

Graeme Swann (28, 12-0-76-0, 3, 3-0-21-0) – Ironically given that it’s his home ground, Trent Bridge is never going to suit Swanny’s attacking spin, especially if India continue to look to hit one boundary in every over he bowls. But Swanny, being Swanny, got himself into the match with a vital 28 in the collapsing first innings. It needed a brute of a ball from Praveen Kumar to dislodge him and injure his left hand – but that’s only used for the sprinkler, so he should be okay.

Jimmy Anderson (6*, 26-8-80-2, 1*, 17-3-51-3) – Looked out of sorts at times in the first innings, not really attacking the crease and down on pace, but came back well to support Broad and Bresnan. Much happier in the second innings, snaring Laxman and Tendulkar. That he can pick up five wickets and get a slightly negative report card is a testament to how far he has come and how well his fellow seamers bowled.

Gary Naylor, whom you can tweet at @garynaylor999 and find at Cricket On Fivespincricket.com and Testmatchsofa.com

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Responses

  1. “Can be as destructive as Gilchrist when walking to the crease with the score over 300 (as it was in the second innings) if not yet as effective as the Australian whirlwind when the scoreboard shows under 100 (as it did in the first innings). ”

    You are aware of the score at Lord’s when Prior walked in for his second-innings 100 off 120? Or during the 2nd innings at Trent Bridge last year?

  2. I haven’t been able to watch this match, but the English attack sounds like it is working at least as well as in Australia, albeit in slightly more helpful condidtions. Must make you very proud toots.

  3. It’s a fine attack which is seizing its chances.


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