Trescothick: D+ Too prone to getting out to a lazy shot once in, but
reached 80 once.
Vaughan: D Too prone to getting out to a lazy shot once in.
Butcher: D Too prone to getting out to a lazy shot once in.
It's not the second-ball ducks which worry me about the performances
of these three. Those are an occupational hazard for openers, although
for Butcher to get out twice in the first over was something of a
non-achievement. But the approach they have adopted all winter has
been most positive in the Australian style and I don't want to see
them abandoning that any time soon. I'd like them to carry on with
what they are doing but do it better: if they could regularly make it
to 120 before losing the second wicket, I'd be pretty satisfied.
Hussain: A+ Easily his best series personally since RSA 99-00. Played
the crucial innings at Christchurch, and followed up with plenty of
runs in the other two Tests, mostly scored under pressure. Captained
Thorpe: B A double hundred and not much else.
Ramprakash: D Too prone to getting out to a lazy shot once in.
Flintoff: B+ At last! He showed that he can get runs in a Test match
after failing dismally for so long. He still has only the barest
rudiments of a defence, but that may not be all that necessary if he
is regularly able to contribute fast 50s. However, his bowling was
less than truly menacing. Vic Marks suggested that this may have
something to do with him having little experience of bowling in fairly
helpful conditions because he's one of Lancs's backup bowlers and
doesn't get much of a chance to exploit such things. Even so, this
performance and his efforts in India show him to be easily the most
improved England cricketer.
Foster: C+ He's not (yet) a very good keeper. He is also very young
and may well get better. But his keeping has not come on as far this
winter as has his batting, which is looking more than handy.
Giles: C Did what he was asked to do adequately, though his batting
was pretty feeble. I'm not a fan of his bowling over the wicket to
right handers; Murali and Saqlain may well do the mirror image bowling
to left-handers, but they aren't notably successful when they do it,
and neither is Giles.
Caddick: A+ Irritatingly, I can't find anything to really criticise
England's (and the series's) best bowler for. He even bowled fewer bad
spells than usual.
Hoggard: B+ The first innings at Christchurch revealed that England
now possess a swing bowler of near world-class. The rest of the series
revealed that he almost don't mean a thing if he ain't got that swing.
He isn't likely to get hit about when he's not taking wickets, but he
needs to work on his line and length and make batsmen work harder.
He's certainly taken the opportunity to establish himself as a very
credible Test bowler this winter.
Only the 19th time that a side has gone through a 3-match series