Friday, 28 August 2009

England's Ashes winners

In a shock move I decided to look at the positives for the England cricket team after the Ashes series. After all the won, so there should be lots! The side Australia sent to England was the worst for a long time but that should not detract from England’s performances; after all England can only play against the side sent. Who came out of the series with their reputation enhanced?

Andrew Strauss is a big winner. A year and a half ago his place in the England side was by no means certain and to some degree should not even have been picked. The captaincy seems to have been the making of him. His batting has improved out of sight and he is now back to his best. His captaincy whilst perhaps not of the very highest calibre is improving and shows considerable promise.

Matt Prior is a wicket keeper batsman whose wicket keeping has always been poor. In the West Indies last winter it was a laughing stock. There was a very real fear that he would give away hard fought opportunities in the Ashes with fumbled catches. Not so. Prior’s wicket keeping has improved considerably. He looks much less flustered behind the stumps and although the odd bye still gets past him the all important catches have stayed in his gloves. Prior’s batting too has been impressive finishing with a series average above Cook, Collingwood, Bell and Bopara.

Stuart Broad has come out of the Ashes as a national hero which is odd because two Test matches ago he was being widely tipped to be dropped. His bowling lacked penetration and control. By the end Broad topped the England bowling averages. A real boon with Broad is his batting, he ended up above Cook, Collingwood, Bell and Bopara in the averages. A fact that reflects well on Broad and terribly on the four batsmen.

That is about it, the others struggled one way or another. Trott of course made a century on debut and was a big winner, but he only played one match. He will have booked his place on tour though.

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