England series report cards

England's players are judged and mostly found wanting, after losing the series 2-0. Bairstow and Prior were the exceptions.

<b>Andrew Strauss:</b><br><i>Batsman 3 matches, 6 inns, 107 runs @ 17.83, 0x50, 0x100</i><br>We feel bad giving such a decent man such a low rating, especially as he had to deal with rather ridiculous off-field dramas, but his batting was not up to snuff. His best score of the series was 37, and his final innings saw him shoulder arms to a straight ball and get trapped plumb in front, the ultimate sign of a lack of time in the middle. <b>C365 Rating: 4/10</b>

<b>Alastair Cook:</b><br><i>Batsman 3 matches, 6 inns, 195 runs @ 32.50, 0x50, 1×100</i><br>Cook's been largely anonymous in this series, aside from the 115 he scored in the first Test, which turned out to be one of the more futile efforts ever recorded. The third Test, which England needed to win, saw him make 11 runs combined as both he and Strauss failed to lead from the front. He will be eager to make up for it in the ODIs, where he will skipper the side. <b>C365 Rating: 5.5/10</b>

<b>Jonathan Trott:</b><br><i>Batsman 3 matches, 6 inns, 217 runs @ 43.40, 2×50, 0x100</i><br>Despite scoring two fifties and a couple of 30's, we're giving Trott a low-ish score because he failed to carry on in any innings once set, and he had the time to do so. He gave his wicket away more than once, and selfishly ran James Taylor out in the third Test. If you're going to sacrifice the new man, at least make it worthwhile in the end. As for his bowling, he failed to take a wicket in the 19 overs he bowled, while Kevin Pietersen (not a proper bowler) took four in the same amount of deliveries. <b>C365 Rating: 6/10</b>

<b>Ian Bell:</b><br><i>Batsman 3 matches, 6 inns, 144 runs @ 28.80, 2×50, 0x100</i><br>Bell's another one of those players who has remained largely invisible in this series, aside from when he drew attention for plying horrific shots. In more than one innings, while well set, he was sent packing after playing and edging wider deliveries that should have been left alone. He did make two fifties though, but they came in the two games England lost and both took over 200 balls to make. <b>C365 Rating: 5/10</b>

<b>Kevin Pietersen:</b><br><i>Batsman 2 matches, 4 inns, 219 runs @ 54.50, 0x50, 1×100</i><br>Oh KP. He was England's second-highest run scorer in this series, despite playing only two Tests, and his innings of 149 at Headingley was the most exciting knock by either side in all three matches. His brilliance, overshadowed by the off-field shenanigans mentioned earlier, shouldn't be overlooked as we score the players on merit. Added to his batting, he also took four wickets in Leeds in the absence of Graeme Swann. <b>C365 Rating: 7/10</b>

<b>Jonny Bairstow:</b><br><i>Batsman 1 match, 2 inns, 149 runs @ 74.50, 2×50, 0x100</i><br>We cannot rave about Jonny-B-Good enough. He lost a point for being unable to convert his fifties into tons, especially when he spent 43 minutes on 95, but he can hardly be faulted otherwise. He came into the side under huge pressure, both from the KP-sized shadow over him and his poor debut against the West Indies, and he got two fifties in two innings. None of the elder statesmen in the side showed his character, and the second knock on day five was fun to watch. One for the future, this Yorkshireman. <b>C365 Rating: 9/10</b>

<b>James Taylor:</b><br><i>Batsman 2 matches, 3 inns, 48 runs @ 16.00, 0x50, 0x100</i><br>If we gave points for trying hard, Taylor would get a couple added to his rating. The Nottinghamshire man made his debut in the second Test at Headingley and batted alongside KP during his masterclass. Taylor made 34 off 104 balls, didn't bat in the second innings, and then added just 14 at Lord's. While he seems a calm, methodical player, he doesn't have Bairstow's flair, though he was unlucky to be run out by Trott at Lord's. <b>C365 Rating: 4.5/10</b>

<b>Matt Prior:</b><br><i>Wicketkeeper 3 matches, 6 inns, 275 runs @ 45.83, 8 catches, 3 stumpings</i><br>Prior was the Man of the Series for England, having scored four fifties and one 40, all without any reward in the end. He battled, refused to give his wicket away cheaply, took advantage of the luck that came his way, and nearly won the third Test for his side with his thrilling 73. He showed the top order how to bat on their own pitches, and he scored the most runs for England, though still nearly 200 behind Hashim Amla. As for his keeping, he lost a point for the drop catch at Lord's, when Amla was on two, which allowed the Proteas man to score a century. Otherwise, he was solid as always behind the stumps. <b>C365 Rating: 9/10</b>

<b>Tim Bresnan:</b><br><i>Bowling all-rounder 2 matches, 2 wkts @ 139.00, BB: 1-138; 3 inns, 37 runs @ 18.50, 0x100, 0x50</i><br>Bresnan was rightly dropped for the third Test in favour of Steve Finn. He hardly featured with the ball after a good start to his career, taking only two wickets in 73 overs. His batting was also disappointing, given his status as an all-rounder, his best score 20 not out. He will need to do some work if he's to unseat Finn again. <b>C365 Rating: 4/10</b>

<b>Graeme Swann:</b><br><i>Bowler 2 matches, 4 wkts @ 77, BB: 2-63</i><br>We were going to give Swann five initially, as his bowling has been below par all series, but then he batted on day five at Lord's and made all South African hearts race. In fact, Swann has the fourth-best batting average for the series for England, and only seven runs less than Strauss in total. Anyway, whether his elbow has bothered him or he's just lost form, he will need to brush up before the tour to India. To be fair, his figures may have been better had he played at Headingley, the one ground that helped the spinners and KP took a baffling four wickets. <b>C365 Rating: 6/10</b>

<b>Stuart Broad:</b><br><i>Bowling all-rounder 3 matches, 11 wkts @ 39.72, BB: 5-69; 5 inns, 70 runs @ 14.00, 0x100, 0x50</i><br>Broad may have the most wickets out of the England bowlers, but he was third best for most of the series. Anderson was more accurate, Finn was much faster, while Broad was way down on pace and sulky to boot. His one shining spell was at Headingley, where he bagged a five-fer in the second innings and looked his old, passionate self. As for the bat, his 37 at Lord's saved his average as he'd made 16, 0, 1 and 16 before that. <b>C365 Rating: 6.5/10</b>

<b>Steve Finn:</b><br><i>Bowler 2 matches, 10 wkts @ 32.20, BB: 4-74</i><br>Finn made the most of his chance to shine, replacing Swann in the second Test and Bresnan in the third. He took four wickets in both innings at Lord's, including Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla twice each. He was largely the reason England came so close to winning the third Test, and his success would have been privately disappointing to Bresnan and Graham Onions. <b>C365 Rating: 7.5/10</b>

<b>James Anderson:</b><br><i>Bowler 3 matches, 9 wkts @ 40.66, BB: 3-76</i><br>We feel a bit sorry for Jimmy. He bowled really well for most of the series, but didn't have much luck in the wickets