BROAD AND STOKES ARE ENGLAND'S BRIGHT LIGHTS – 6/1/14
In the aftermath of England's humiliating Ashes whitewash, Alastair Cook fronted up to the media, vowing to carry on as England captain and singled out Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes as the only two players who "came close to realising their potential".
The FTI MVP Rankings make painful reading, but they bear out Cook's observation. Broad leads the Winter Rankings with 124 points at an average of 24.85 points per game. He scored 155 runs at 90 runs per 100 balls and was easily England's leading wicket-taker, with 21 scalps and an economy rate of 3.57 runs per over. Stokes is second, with 119 points at a higher average than Broad (29.65 points per game) having played a game less. He has scored 279 runs including a fantastic maiden century in Perth and with 15 wickets, including a Test-best of 6-99 in Melbourne and he was England's second-highest wicket-taker.
Jimmy Anderson is third, with 73 points and 14 wickets, ahead of Michael Carberry (56 points) and Cook himself (54).
Most striking is the comparison between this series and the previous Ashes tour. Cook scored 766 runs in 2010-11 including three hundreds and two fifties from his six knocks - only once did he fail to reach 30. Cook contributed 26.75% of England's runs on that tour and averaged 24.28 points per game.
This campaign, Cook mustered 246 runs from 10 innings with three fifties. He contributed 11.40% of the team's runs and averaged only 10.78 points per game.
Indeed, with the exception of Broad, all the senior players were way below par. Kevin Pietersen was England's leading run-scorer, but his total of 294 runs for the series was only 67 more than he scored in a single innings in Adelaide in 2010. Ian Bell scored 329 runs in 2010-11 with a hundred and three fifties and 562 runs last summer with three hundreds - 19.7% of England's series runs. This series, he managed two fifties from ten knocks, scoring just 235 runs, which was 10.89% of England's runs.
As a team, England managed 2158 runs from their ten innings. Last Summer, England scored 2856 runs from nine completed innings and 20.3 overs of their second innings at Old Trafford. In 2010-11, their 3-1 series victory was achieved off the back of their batsmen scoring 2864 runs in seven innings. Their first innings' scores on that trip were 260, 620, 187, 513 and 644, totalling 2224 runs, compared to 136, 172, 251, 255 and 155, totalling 969 runs.
England's next Test might not be until May, but the ODI series starts on January 12th, with England's players no doubt keen to get something from this toughest of tours.
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