Old Trafford report cards: England

England

James Anderson will be the first to admit he could have done better at his homeground and Jonathan Trott couldn't walk the talk, while Matt Prior reminded all and sundry of his value.

<b>1. Alastair Cook</b><i> (62 and 0)</i><br>While Cook bettered an otherwise dry stretch of form with a tidy effort in the first innings, more telling was his cutthroat approach late on day four. The umpires insisted play could continue if spinners were bowling. Cook, though, declined, when another captain might have allowed as much for the greater good of the game. <b>C365 Rating: 4/10</b>

<b>2. Joe Root</b><i> (8 and 13*, 0/18)</i><br>Root has enjoyed plenty of fortune this series, and again was the recipient of a dropped catch on day five. Michael Clarke's spill in the slips ultimately didn't prove costly, but Australia will rue what could have been had they taken their chances against the newbie previously. <b>C365 Rating: 5/10</b>

<b>3. Jonathan Trott</b><i> (5 and 11)</i><br>Trott, in the build-up to the match, insisted the runs would come. They haven't, and a match average of eight hardly complements two ducks in the series so far. A change is as good as a holiday, and with the Ashes retained, England might want to trial a new number three at Chester-le-Street. <b>C365 Rating: 3/10</b>

<b>4. Kevin Pietersen</b><i> (113 and 8)</i><br>Back from injury and straight into the spotlight, Pietersen delivered on cue with his 23rd Test ton – more than the great Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott. Spitting mad at his second-innings dismissal, though, perhaps his reaction will be the final straw for the much-maligned DRS. <b>C365 Rating: 9/10</b>

<b>5. Ian Bell</b><i> (60 and 4*)</i><br>A man in the form of his life will be upset he couldn't convert a first-innings half-century into three figures, but in the bigger picture, England will be very pleased their temperamental talisman has found a great deal of consistency. <b>C365 Rating: 7/10</b>

<b>6. Jonny Bairstow</b><i> (22)</i><br>Bairstow's opportunities have been limited, but those given are not being taken, and James Taylor, Gary Ballance and perhaps even Ravi Bopara will gladly impress where he is only proving average. <b>C365 Rating: 5/10</b>

<b>7. Matt Prior</b><i> (30)</i><br>Prior value to the team was typified by his first innings. While 30 runs is not a lot for a Test match innings, it proved ample to push England past the precariousness of potentially following on. And therein lies his unrivaled worth. <b>C365 Rating: 7/10</b>

<b>8. Stuart Broad</b><i> (1/108 and 1/30, 32)</i><br>The long wait for that 200th wicket has finally ended, and now it's Broad's job to set himself apart from solid fast bowlers of England's past. His latest milestone provides an ideal platform to align himself with Anderson, etc – perhaps not numbers-wise, but certainly akin calibre. <b>C365 Rating: 6/10</b>

<b>9. Graeme Swann</b><i> (5/159 and 1/74, 11)</i><br>The gift that just keeps on giving, Swann showed their was no reason whatsoever for England to draft Monty Panesar into the squad. He had all the bases covered, regardless, throughout – and another Ashes five-for was due reward. <b>C365 Rating: 8/10</b>

<b>10. Tim Bresnan</b><i> (1/114 and 2/25, 1)</i><br>First Steven Finn and now Chris Tremlett, Bresnan continues to trump the competition for a berth in the XI. Characteristically humble, his unassuming nature was epitomised by not opting for a review as nightwatchman – which he would have won. <b>C365 Rating: 7/10</b>

<b>11. James Anderson</b><i> (0/116 and 2/37)</i><br>Relatively quiet in front of his home crowd, the Lancastrian would have wanted better than a couple of token wickets amid Australia's reckless chase for quick runs on day four. <b>C365 Rating: 6/10</b>

<b>Jonhenry Wilson</b>

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