All Rounder Broad Top Of MVP Table - 10/08/2009
Stuart Broad, England's standout performer in the Headingley Test match, has emphatically leapfrogged Jimmy Anderson to lead the overall England MVP. Broad returned career best figures of 6-91 from 25.1 overs in Australia's innings in Leeds before clobbering 61 off 49 balls on the third morning as he sought to restore a modicum of English pride in alliance with Graeme Swann. Broad has now scored 262 runs and taken 32 wickets across all forms of international cricket since the beginning of the summer, 234 and 20 of which have come in the Test arena where he is ranked second.
Anderson had a disappointing match in Leeds by his own high standards finishing wicket-less and expensive as Australia racked up 445. Hamstring trouble might have been a factor as Anderson looked a pale shadow of the all swinging and dancing fast bowler we saw at Edgbaston, where he took 5-80 in Australia's first innings. Anderson has taken 31 wickets in all cricket for England this summer, 23 of which have come in Tests where he is still ranked top.
Swann also went wicket-less at Headingley but he did contribute 62 off 73 balls with the bat to royally entertain the Yorkshire faithful. The Notts all-rounder has jumped above Ravi Bopara into third spot overall having scored 246 runs and taken 20 wickets across all forms. In Tests he has 231 runs with a career best 63 at Lord's against the West Indies, and 13 wickets which includes a vital 4-87 in the win over Australia in the second Ashes Test also at Lord's.
Bopara has slipped to fourth overall, his sublime hundreds against the West Indies in May looking a long time ago. The Essex batsman has found the likes of Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson a more exacting proposition, his seven Ashes innings realising just 105 runs with a best of 35 at Cardiff. Bopara has scored 593 runs across all forms this summer, 356 of which have come in the Test arena where he is ranked eighth.
Paul Collingwood will be desperate to recapture his best form on the ground which saw him make his Ashes debut four years ago. Collingwood played his part in the regaining of the urn in 2005 but this time around nothing less than an England win will do at the Oval. Collingwood made 0 and 4 at Headingley but don't underestimate his fight or his mental toughness, qualities he demonstrated admirably at Cardiff just a month ago. Collinwood is in fifth spot overall having contributed 426 runs and taken five wickets. In Tests he's scored 293 runs including four fifties in addition to having taken a wicket.
Matt Prior shrugged off a back spasm at Headingley to take up his position at number six in the England order and keep wicket, and was once again one of England's better performers. Prior scored 37 not out (more than 36 per cent of the innings total) and 22 either side of another solid keeping performance. The Sussex player has made 442 runs and taken 15 catches across Tests and ODIs, contributing double-figure scores in 10 out of 11 knocks. He lies sixth overall.
Andrew Strauss, who has scored England's solitary Ashes century to date (161 at Lord's), is in seventh spot overall. The England captain had to deal with the fitness issues surrounding his premier all-rounder, Andrew Flintoff, and wicketkeeper Matt Prior shortly before the start of the first day's play and was close to being given out to the first ball of the match. He made 3 and 32 in a game, which England will keen to forget, taking his run tally for the summer in Test matches to exactly 400.
Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook complete the top ten but the man all eyes will be upon ahead of the Oval Test is currently in 11th spot. Flintoff has scored just 171 runs and taken just 7 wickets in the Ashes but his impact on the game's oldest international battle cannot be measured with statistics alone. That said, when he's played he averages 20.25 points per game, twice as many points per game than most of his England colleagues.
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