Hardman's Thoughts

Pretty much everything…

Australia in England review – England’s Players (The Tests)

Leave a comment

I’ve split my second preview into two parts – to encompass first the test players and then the players who were solely used in the one day format. This was mainly due to the sheer amount of players England used. 

Remarkably, the hosts used 27 players over the course of the 3 series. Now that the dust has settled on the summer, I will review and mark out of 10 every single player that featured for England, including if they just played one match – Chris Jordan being an example! Of the 27 players, surprisingly there were a few established names that couldn’t get themselves a gig all summer. These include Tremlett, Onions, Panesar and Taylor – are their England careers finished because of the snub or was it simply bad luck? I would argue that both are true for various players.

Alastair Cook (5 Tests (captain))

  • 277 runs at 27.70 with a HS of 62
  • 3 fifties, 0 centuries
  • Highlight: Becoming an Ashes winning captain

A remarkably poor season for the Essex left hander. Looked scratchy at the crease and seemed to be affected by the captaincy and the off-field issues all summer. However, he made 3 important fifties and is now an Ashes winning captain. It wasn’t quite 2010/11 but one bad series doesn’t make you a bad player, I’m thoroughly expecting him to bounce back in Australia. Rating: 4/10



Joe Root (5 tests, 2 T20s, 4 ODIs)


  • 339 runs at 37.66 with a HS of 180, 3 wickets at 11.33
  • 1 fifty, 1 century
  • Highlight: Lords test match (180, 2 wickets)


  • 91 runs with no average as all not-out – HS of 90*, 1 wicket at economy 13.00
  • 1 fifty, 0 centuries


  • 36 runs at 9.00 with a HS of 21, 1 wicket at economy 8.88

It’s tough to know whether Root had a successful summer or not. Looking both settled and confident at 6, England pushed him up to open and, the 180 aside, it didn’t reap immediate rewards. Sure, he has fantastic technique and talent yet he kept getting starts and getting out. His one day series was much the same, although the 90* in the T20 was a reminder of what he can do. Not spectacular, but not a disaster either. Worth persisting with at the top of the order and his bowling is useful.  Rating: 5/10

Jonathan Trott (5 tests, 3 ODIs)


  • 293 runs at 29.30 with a HS of 59, 1 wicket at 28.00
  • 2 fifties, 0 centuries


  • 28 runs at 14.00 with a HS of 28
  • Highlight: No real alternative to him in county cricket

Despite scoring more runs than Cook this summer, it felt like Trott’s form was more worrying than the captains. He never looked in, even during the 2 fifties, and you always felt a mistake was waiting to happen. If the test series was bad then the ODIs don’t bear talking about. In three innings, he got 2 ducks. It’s time to start finding a long term replacement for him as this doesn’t just feel like a bad run of form, it feels almost terminal. A sad decline as for years he’s been one of my favourite cricketers. Rating: 2/10

Kevin Pietersen (5 tests, 4 ODIs)


  • 388 runs at 38.80 with a HS of 113
  • 3 fifties, 1 century
  • Highlight: Back to his swashbuckling best at Old Trafford


  • 71 runs at 17.75 with a HS of 60
  • 1 fifty, 0 centuries

Pietersen was another batter who would have felt he could have done better this summer. He always looked in fine form, especially at Old Trafford where he took the attack to the Australian bowlers. When he’s in that form, usually there are 2 or 3 centuries however he only hit one which was both a surprise and a mystery. His running in the one day series left a lot to be desired. Rating 7/10

Ian Bell (5 tests) – Test player of the summer

  • 562 runs at 62.44 with a HS of 113
  • 2 fifties, 3 centuries
  • Highlight: 109 at Lords

Australia is now scared of Ian Bell. Whenever they had England on the ropes, he would seemingly launch a recovery almost on his own. The three centuries he scored were the three matches England won. No longer does he just score centuries when other batters do, he became a match-winner this series! This was not highlighted more when, at Lords, he came in with England 28-3. He left at 271-5, which went a long way towards winning the match. Rating: 9/10



Jonny Bairstow (4 tests)

  • 203 runs at 29.00 with a HS of 67
  • 1 fifty, 0 centuries
  • Highlight: Showing more resilience than previously

Jonny Bairstow is a bit of a conundrum really, as is the place where he batted this series (number 6). He always looks talented, looks composed and looks assured yet never seems to make big runs. He should have scored a century this summer, it was there for the taking at Lords and he got out to a full toss from a part-timer. That sort of sums up his test career to date! He should come good but it needs to be sooner rather than later. Rating: 3/10

Chris Woakes (1 test)

  • 42 runs at, unsurprisingly, 42.00 with a HS of 25, 1 wicket at 96.00 (with a best of 1/96)
  • Highlight: His first test wicket must have been a wonderful experience

On the face of it, Chris Woakes had a bad match however I believe it was the right decision by England to play him. Bowling faster than he had on his last England appearance, and applying his talent with the bat, he made an impression even if it wasn’t a long-lasting one. I don’t think this’ll be his last test appearance, especially if Bairstow’s form continues, as the all-rounder quality he offers is an interesting element. That bowling average was horrendous so will face pressure from Ben Stokes. Rating: 3/10



Matt Prior (5 tests)

  • 133 runs at 19.00 with a HS of 47, 18 catches and 0 stumpings
  • Highlight: Consistently decent behind the stumps

Not a series that Prior will remember for a long time. He couldn’t play fluently when batting and made a few more mistakes than usual when keeping. Is this a bad series or a sign of things to come? Given that he was finding some form at The Oval, I’d say it’s simply a bad series. His keeping was far from being dreadful either, it just wasn’t as good as we expect. Rating: 4/10

Tim Bresnan (3 tests)

  • 10 wickets at 29.60 with a best of 2/25, 103 runs at 25.75 with a HS of 45
  • Highlight: Dismissing Warner at Chester-Le-Street to start a collapse

Much like most of this English side, Bresnan didn’t have a bad series while not having an outstanding one. His bowling was reliable, his batting was back to close to its best. He starred at Chester-Le-Street during the second innings, bowling in the right line and length, constantly causing issues and getting Warner with a snorter of a ball. Deserved more than 10 wickets in the series, injury ruled him out of the rest of the summer. Rating: 5/10

Stuart Broad (5 tests, 2 T20s (captain))


  • 22 wickets at 27.45 with a best of 6/50, 179 runs at 25.57 with a HS of 65
  • 2 five wicket hauls, 1 ten wicket haul, 1 fifty, 0 centuries
  • Highlight: Blatantly edging the ball to slip yet getting away with it


  • 2 wickets with an economy of 10.57, 4 runs in one innings

Undoubtedly the best test pace bowler of the summer, Broad didn’t get many wickets in the first 3 test matches but deserved some. When it finally clicked, at Chester-Le-Street, he was in unbelievable form and blew Australia away, not for the first time in his career. There was also one fifty at Trent Bridge; achieved via staying when the umpire refused to give him out. Not such a great T20 campaign for the captain, however the test series was remarkable. Rating: 8/10

Graeme Swann (5 tests)

  • 26 wickets at 29.03 with a best of 5/44, 126 runs at 25.20 with a HS of 34
  • 2 five wicket hauls, 0 ten wicket hauls
  • Highlight: Getting a wicket with the worst ball he’s ever bowled

For those who thought that Swann’s career was in decline – watch the highlights of this series. Constantly had Australian batters in trouble, who have never been able to work him out. Worked his magic on multiple occasions and was deservedly the highest wicket taker. His one day career seems to be over but that is no bad thing for England’s test team. Rating: 9/10



James Anderson (5 tests)

  • 22 wickets at 29.59 with a best of 5/73, 36 runs at 7.20 with a HS of 16
  • 2 five wicket hauls, 1 ten wicket haul
  • Highlight: Producing Haddin’s edge to win the first test

At his brilliant, unplayable best at Trent Bridge and got 10 of those 22 wickets there. Strangely under par for the rest of the series but still picked up wickets in every test. He’s now 2nd on England’s all time Test wicket taking list, he should achieve that number 1 spot before he retires. A good but not great series for the Lancashire man, he’ll be unhappy about the decline of his batting. Rating: 7/10

Steven Finn (1 test, 2 T20s, 3 ODIs)


  • 2 wicket at 58.50 with a best of 2/80, 2 runs at 2.00 with a HS of 2*


  • 2 wickets at an economy of 9.37 with a best of 1/30


  • 4 wickets at an economy of 5.55 with a best of 2/43, 16 runs at 16.00 with a HS of 16
  • Highlight: Having a better average with the bat than Trott

This was a strange, underwhelming – no, actually – poor summer for Finn’s high standards. Looking wayward in the test series, he got pummelled in the T20s and got out bowled by Rankin in the ODIs. Looked threatening at Cardiff, but didn’t tear through the Aussie line-ups like we know he can. It started so promisingly when he was on a hat-trick at Trent Bridge as well. A real shame, one can only hope he isn’t affected too badly by this. In incredibly sad news, to round off a forgettable summer, he lost his dog. Rating: 1/10

Simon Kerrigan (1 test)

  • 0 wickets, 1 run
  • Highlight: Getting his England cap!

I’ve watched Kerrigan for years and I can tell you that he is not as bad as his debut made him look. Many a time has he rescued Lancashire and I believe it was simply a case of him freezing on the big stage. The bare facts are that this was about a bad a debut as you could have. He didn’t bowl a threatening ball at all, mainly because he got thrashed to all parts in his first spell. At 24 years of age, time is definitely on his side – most spinners don’t peak until they are 30 (look at Swann). Hopefully this won’t be his last England appearance. Rating: sadly, 0/10

Sadly, 0/10

Sadly, 0/10


Author: GHardman42

Mancunian. Main passions are Sport and Mus(e)ic. Huge Everton, AM, Lancashire, JB and England fan! I play tennis like Dolgopolov (except nowhere near as good). Josh has said "You just don't know what will come next"

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s