Nasser Hussain marks England’s players out of 10 after their 1-0 series win over Pakistan – but do you agree with his scores?
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RORY BURNS – 3/10
20 runs at an average of 5.00, best of 10
It was obviously a very difficult series for Burns. He found himself getting out lbw early on because his front foot went a long way across and when he looked to rectify that he kept nicking off outside off stump. It is difficult at the top of the order in England but he will be disappointed with his series. It is just one bad series, though, as he has been okay for a while for England.
DOM SIBLEY – 5/10
98 runs at 24.50, best of 36
Sibley will be disappointed he hasn’t converted into a big score more than with the low scores – he was playing pretty well at Emirates Old Trafford before he nicked off to Yasir Shah. He still has some work to do against spin and got out coming down the pitch to Yasir on one occasion. With tours to Asia possibly coming up, he has to improve his rotation of strike against spin. He will also know he has to work on not getting out caught down the leg-side, which has happened a few times. He gets his hands a bit too far away from his body. Let’s not go into his bowling…
ZAK CRAWLEY – 9/10
320 runs at 160.00, best of 267
One hundred, one fifty
Outstanding. I think the fifty on the final day of the second Test helped him get a bit of confidence after not playing for a while and being in different positions. He had a bit of luck with a missed stumping off Yasir but played him really well and then his double hundred was superb. We all knew he was a good player but I don’t think even his mentor Rob Key realised just how good. It was a great innings. He has an orthodox style, different to Sibley and Burns, and he hits the ball deceptively hard, very hard. A massive tick to the selectors for picking a player whose first-class stats weren’t great but someone they had a gut feeling on. He has been a joy to watch.
JOE ROOT – 7/10
94 runs at 31.33, best of 42
As a world-class player, Joe will be disappointed with those stats, through he has been out to a couple of beauties – he could do absolutely nothing about the ball from Naseem Shah in the final Test, which was an absolute jaffa. That said, like Sibley, he would have wanted to covert one of those starts. He has captained pretty well – he is developing all the time and this is now three series wins in a row for him as he and Chris Silverwood get the old-fashioned side they want. Big first-innings runs and then a bowling attack, especially in these conditions, that is a handful for anyone. Joe caught well at slip, which a couple of other players haven’t.
OLLIE POPE – 6/10
81 runs at 20.25, best of 62
He has faded away a little bit since his half-century in the first Test. He is a real talent so what will disappoint him is his two dismissals against Yasir off the back foot. We have always viewed him as a very good player of spin – very quick on his feet, fully forward or fully back, never letting the spinner settle – so he will be frustrated by the repetitive nature of his dismissals against Yasir, going back to full length deliveries and being done by drift.
He will have to look at that ahead of cricket away from home, with someone like India’s Ravi Jadeja looking at that and trying to trap him on the crease, but he strikes me as a lad who wants to keep improving. I would be a little bit concerned about his shoulder, which he also injured last year, because England want him right. He is a very, very fine player. He has every box ticked. Great tempo, pleasing on the eye and with an open bat face which opens up both sides of the wicket.
BEN STOKES – 6/10
2 wickets at 5.50, best of 2-11
9 runs at 4.50, best of nine
The one game he played he wasn’t supposed to bowl but then England needed something special and he came up with two wickets. England have missed him at times. On day four of the third Test it went a bit flat and he has the ability to turn games with late wickets. He has a golden arm and can get you a wicket from nowhere. He got some very good balls from Mohammad Abbas and Yasir in Manchester so that was the reason he only got nine runs. England will want him back soon.
JOS BUTTLER – 9/10
265 runs at 88.33, best of 152
One hundred, one fifty
Jos would have been very disappointed with his drops in Manchester, not just for himself but for the team and Dom Bess, the bowler he missed them off, because he is a massive team man. Those drops would have dented Bess’ confidence a little bit. Jos is hugely important to this cricket team, make no mistake about that. He is in that inner circle and someone people look to – he doesn’t say a lot but when he does speak, I can imagine people hanging on every word.
He is in that management group that makes decisions and so England would have been desperate for him to turn things around. His series-defining partnership with Chris Woakes started that and he showed in his 152 in the last Test that he doesn’t have to bat like he does in one-day cricket. He played like a Test batsman, relying on his defence and trusting it was good enough. His keeping in Southampton, apart from one drop as the ball wobbled, was brilliant as well.
CHRIS WOAKES – 9/10
6 wickets at 27.50, best of 2-11
143 runs at 71.50, best of 84no
Woakes is one of the nicest cricketers I’ve ever met – he is a good guy, works hard, is always trying to improve. He is very under-rated and his stats with the ball in England quite phenomenal. He has bowled well in the series but the reason England won is that partnership with Buttler. Woakes came in with no nick at all, dealing in single-figure scores, but you wouldn’t have known that watching him bat in that innings.
It was a magnificent knock and it was nice he was there at the end. He is a huge part of this side. He will know, and has already said, he has things to work on away from home. His problem has always been that with James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Stokes around that when you need a bit of pace from Mark Wood or Jofra Archer he often misses out. But he will probably have to carry the mantle after Anderson and Broad.
STUART BROAD – 9/10
13 wickets at 16.46, best of 4-56
51 runs at 25.50, best of 29no
He has put to bed everything about him being left out. He has bowled brilliantly to right handers and left handers, getting his lengths spot on and learnt new tricks over the last couple of years. He is using the crease a lot more, going wider on it. He is getting better, actually – there are no signs of him falling away. If you talk like he did in our Player Zone after being left out, then you need to perform and, boy, has he done that and more. His batting has come on as well with him having gone back to his old technique of staying leg-side and giving it a belt. Fantastic summer for Broad.
JAMES ANDERSON – 8/10
11 wickets at 23.45 from 90 overs, best of 5-56
One five-wicket haul
The stuff about Jimmy’s retirement was just rumours really after he didn’t have the best first Test against Pakistan and England called up Sussex’s Ollie Robinson. I don’t think anyone was saying he needed to retire but he then had to do a press conference to answer questions about his future. Jimmy is allowed one average game in 156 Tests and either side of that he has bowled pretty well. He was brilliant in both Tests in Southampton and that’s without saliva on the ball and being able to make it swing. His speeds are up, he has shown all his skills, his average is getting better every year. Don’t write off Jimmy Anderson. 600 Test wickets is an amazing achievement. For a fast bowler to play that number of games is phenomenal and if you look at the number of balls he has bowled, he has got to that milestone quickly. I would keep him going for as long as possible.
JOFRA ARCHER – 6/10
4 wickets at 39.5, best of 3-59
Archer bowled under 60 overs, which is a small sample size, so I wouldn’t judge him too much. Root was asked before this game what Archer’s role was but Archer’s role is to get wickets! Whether he bowls 95mph like he did in the Ashes or at 88mph, your role is to get wickets. Everyone seems fascinated about what speed he is bowling, probably because we have not had someone for a while who can bowl at the pace he can. I am not overly interested in what pace he bowls, I am interested in him getting wickets.
People may say there is a correlation between the two and the faster he bowls the more wickets he gets. He bowled quicker in the final Test, looked like he was running in a lot quicker, but he has gone wicketless. He is a young lad and his stats are good, with three five-wicket hauls in his Test career so far. He just needs to keep developing and look at the way outstanding guys around him, like Anderson, Broad and Stokes, are looking to improve. He needs to pick their brains.
DOM BESS – 5/10
3 wickets at 78.66, best of 1-40
He is a young spinner in terms of the number of games he has played, not only for England but also in first-class cricket. He is still learning his trade. England is not the easiest place to bowl spin as because it does so much for the seamers you are often an afterthought. It is the right thing to say that he is 23 and inexperienced but he can’t live off that forever. He strikes me, though, as a lad who desperately wants to improve. He is picking Shane Warne’s brain and working hard.
When he bowls straight he has great control of length but when he bowls the line Root asked him to in the final session on day four, a more attacking Nathan Lyon-style line outside off stump, he loses that control of his length and either bowls too short or too full. He needs to drill it into a length. The other thing is drift. At the moment with Bess everything is angling in. Graeme Swann used to create angles by getting the ball to drift away and then try to bowl the batsman through the gate. That is something Bess needs to work on.
SAM CURRAN – 6/10
1 wicket at 44.00, best of 1-44
Sam’s problem is the amount of talent in the bowling department. He has to be the fourth seamer as he is not a third seamer with Broad, Anderson and Woakes around and Archer and Wood are in the mix when it’s flat. Whenever Curran does well you think ‘how can he be left out?’ but when everyone is fit you almost have to leave him out.
Watch England’s white-ball side take on Pakistan in three T20 internationals at Emirates Old Trafford live on Sky Sports, starting with the opener from 5.30pm on Friday.