Graeme Swann Leads FTI MVP After England Win in India - 07/01/13
England finished 2012 on a high winning their first Test series in India for 27 years and levelling an exciting two-match T20 series with victory in Mumbai. Several key men were rested for the T20 matches, so plenty of credit must be given to a young side up against one of the world’s strongest teams in their own backyard. In an FTI MVP context, the resting of the big guns enabled some of the fringe players to close the gap on the likes of Graeme Swann, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen.
Alex Hales was the biggest points-scorer across the two T20 internationals. He made scores of 56 and 42 in Pune and Mumbai, taking his tally for the winter T20s (World T20 included) to 222 runs at a strike rate of 132 runs per 100 balls. Hales has made five scores of 22 or better from his seven knocks including two fifties, and has contributed over 20% of England’s winter T20 runs. He is second in the T20 FTI MVP and seventh in the overall FTI MVP rankings.
Luke Wright leads the T20 rankings and is up to fourth overall. He enjoyed a good World T20 with scores of 99 off 55 against Bangladesh and 76 off 43 versus New Zealand. He also consolidated his position with 39 runs and 3 wickets across the two India matches. Wright’s strike rate with the bat is a mighty impressive 160 runs per 100 balls, but he concedes with the ball at 8.22 runs per over. He has made 21.54% of England’s winter T20 runs.
Graeme Swann leads the overall and Test rankings, after another fine series, where conditions were largely in his favour. He scored 98 runs and took 20 wickets, including 3-76 in the last Test in Nagpur, where he also chipped in with a key fifty in England’s first innings to settle any nerves. Swann sent down 185.5 overs during the series – the most by an England bowler – 44 of which were maidens. He conceded his runs at 2.66 runs per over.
Swann’s figures are strikingly similar to Monty Panesar’s, who is third in the Test FTI MVP, and bowled nearly the same amount of overs (183) and exactly the same number of maidens (44). Panesar, who played one Test fewer than Swann, took 17 wickets with a slightly better economy rate of 2.49 runs per over. Panesar might have only taken 1-81 in Nagpur, but he bowled 52 overs at an economy rate of 1.56 to keep a lid on the Indian innings.
England’s other standout bowler was, of course, Jimmy Anderson. At first glance, sixth spot in the Test FTI MVP and 12 wickets at an average of 30.25 with an economy rate of 2.87, does not appear sensational. Although when you consider the conditions and compare the performance of England’s other seamers, you realise just what a great bowler Anderson is. Anderson’s workload of 126.4 overs was more than Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn put together. Between them they bowled 120 overs and took 4-417 (Finn took all 4) at an average of 104.25 with a combined economy rate of 3.47. They bowled 17 maidens to Anderson’s 27. Anderson’s 4-81 at Napgpur on the flattest of pitches earned him the Man-of-the-Match Award.
On the batting front, there were important hundreds for Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell to see England safely home, while Joe Root and Nick Compton made important steps in establishing themselves within the Test arena. It was the batting of Kevin Pietersen in Mumbai and Alastair Cook in just about every match, which aided and abetted by the excellence of Matt Prior, which ground India down.
Cook 562 runs for the series. His three hundreds taken from the first three Tests, taking his century tally to 23, the most runs scored by an England player in the history of Test cricket. He found his best form in a losing game in Ahmedabad, and broke Indian hearts with 122 and 190 in Mumbai and Kolkata. His series strike rate of 44 runs per 100 balls is slower than his 53 runs per 100 balls rate, where he scored 766 runs during the 2010-11 Ashes, where more bounce in the pitch made run-scoring easier. It should also be pointed out that Cook had a terrific series as captain. He made the tough call to drop Stuart Broad, he was tactically excellent and was even alert enough to run out MS Dhoni for 99 at an important time in India’s first innings at Nagpur. Cook is three points behind Swann in the Test FTI MVP.
Kevin Pietersen scored 338 runs for the series, which elevates him to fourth in the rankings. His belligerent 186 off 233 in Mumbai changed the momentum of the series, but there were also times he recognised the game situation needed application and got his head down. Pietersen usually scores his runs around 73 runs per 100 balls. In this series he scored them at 58 runs per hundred balls.
Perhaps England’s test in India is still to come, with the one-day series in the New Year. Their last ODI series in India ended in 5-0 defeat – this however, is a very different looking England side.
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