Broad Remains Top Of MVP Table - 11/01/2010
Two exhilarating, nail-biting draws and one emphatic victory means England head to the Wanderers in Johannesburg needing just a draw for a series win over hosts South Africa. Thursday's Test promises to be another thriller not least because the sub plot of the race to become the 2009-10 MVP is also bubbling up nicely.
Broad has scored 427 runs and taken 68 wickets across all forms in a MVP campaign which began back in May when England hosted an out-of-sorts West Indies. The Nottinghamshire bowling all-rounder has scored 362 runs and taken 36 wickets in Tests, his most significant performance coming at the Oval in the final and deciding Ashes Test as his 5-37 routed the old enemy. He has been a key figure in South Africa, too, claiming 4-43 for victory in Durban.
Swann has taken 19 wickets in the current series including two five-wicket hauls and nine wickets in the match in Durban. The effervescent ‘offie' has scored 532 runs and taken 59 wickets across all forms, 436 and 40 of which have come in Tests where he is ranked first. He's scored four Test fifties, the highest coming in the first Test at Centurion where he smashed 85 from just 81 balls.
Jimmy Anderson is another form player with the MVP title firmly in his sights. The Lancashire swing merchant is just eight points behind Broad on 361 after another consistent series, which has seen him take 16 South African wickets including 5-63 in the first innings at Newlands in Cape Town. Anderson has scored 176 runs and taken 70 wickets across all forms making him England's highest wicket-taker of the campaign. He is ranked third in the Test MVP with 163 runs and 39 wickets and second in the ODI MVP with 13 runs and 25 wickets.
Paul Collingwood, in fourth spot, has been resurgent ever since he stepped on South African soil in September for the ICC Champions Trophy. He has racked up 395 runs from his last seven innings in the ODI format and has translated that form into the Test arena with solid contributions in each Test of the current series. Collingwood has scored 1258 runs across all cricket making him England's leading run-scorer, 594 coming in ODIs where he is ranked first. In Tests he is yet to record a hundred for the campaign but he has six fifties many coming at important times. His defiant resistance in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff where he scored 64 off 145 balls has rubbed off on others making this England side particularly hard to beat.
Andrew Strauss must also take a lot of credit for England's resilience. England's captain was the team's leading run-scorer in the Ashes and has looked in good touch ever since without quite producing the same amount of runs. He has 1121 runs across all forms, which sees him fifth overall, the same ranking position he occupies for Tests and ODIs. He has scored 678 Test runs including four fifties and a magnificent 161 at Lord's in the Ashes, while in the ODI format his contribution has been 443 runs with three fifties.
Matt Prior is sixth with 803 runs, 39 catches and three stumpings. The Sussex wicketkeeper has had a fine Test series with a superb 76 in Cape Town in the first innings following on from a fluent 60 in the win at Durban. Prior is ranked seventh in the Test MVP where his contribution reads 510 runs including five fifties, 14 catches and one stumping.
Ravi Bopara's run spree at the beginning of the campaign where he scored back-to-back hundreds against the West Indies keeps him in seventh spot while England's unlikely batting hero Graham Onions is eighth overall and seventh in the Test MVP.
Onions has more wickets than runs: 32 to 31 to be precise but bat in hand he has shown the heart of a lion at Centurion and Newlands to rebuff Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel to earn England two hugely important draws. Onions has taken 28 Test wickets his biggest haul coming on debut at Lord's where he took 5-38 against the West Indies, while few can forget his dramatic intervention on the second morning of the Edgbaston Ashes' Test when he removed Shane Watson and Mike Hussey with the first two balls of the day.
Alastair Cook is eleventh overall but he's ranked fourth in the Test MVP and is England leading run-scorer in the Test campaign. He has amassed 696 of his 733 overall runs in the longest form including scores in this series of 118 in Durban and 65 and 45 in Cape Town.
Ian Bell is another form player who could have a huge role to play come Thursday. England's forgotten man of the early part of the summer looks to have benefitted from his time on the sidelines if his 140 in Durban and his match-saving 75 off 213 balls in Cape Town is anything to go by.
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