England v India: Player ratings after hosts win series 3-1

England v India: Player ratings as Joe Root is man-of-the-series after racking up an impressive 518 runs

By Sam Rogers


Alastair Cook The Essex opener has endured an up-and-down series but will be the most relieved after his side’s resurgent comeback in the five-match series. Despite a terrible start to with the bat and with many calling for his head, Cook managed to plunder 298 runs, averaging a shade under 50 in the process. Held his nerve under pressure and contributed at key points in the back end of the series. 7/10

Sam Robson Test cricket can be cruel at times and Robson may have watched his chance go for the time being. He struggled to cope with the moving ball against a seam attack lacking real pace and quality, and managed just 165 runs at an average of 23.5, passing 50 just once. With Alex Hales knocking on the door of the one-day squad and performing well in Championship cricket, Robson could find himself under more pressure when the West Indies series rolls around in April. 4

Gary Ballance Forgetting a minor indiscretion off the field earlier in the series, Ballance has had a brilliant series. 503 runs at just under 72, including two centuries, has seen the Yorkshire batsmen cement his place in England’s top order. His stunning one-handed catch at the Kia Oval capped off a brilliant summer and Ballance will no doubt be keen to kick on. 8

Ian Bell Like his captain, Bell has had an up-and-down series. Just under 300 runs, averaging 42, isn’t the worst series, and his knock of 167 was of the highest quality. 12 months on from his incredible summer against the Australians, Bell looked to be short of form at the start of the series but scored some key runs in second half of the series and England were better for it. 7

Joe Root Without question, the batsman of the series for the hosts. Looked far more comfortable in the middle-order after the failed experiment in the winter. The leading run-scorer for both teams with 518, averaging over 100 and scoring two centuries, Root looked every bit the class act that he has been billed as, and along with Ballance, led from the front for England. The poster boy for the new England era. 9

Moeen Ali Was under a lot of pressure to perform when named as England’s main spin option, but has performed unbelievably well in the circumstances, taking 19 wickets at 23 including a match-winning spell of 6/67 at Old Trafford. While he overachieved with the ball, Moeen struggled with the bat, averaging just 20 in his six innings. 124 runs and a high score of 39 didn’t take the gloss off a memorable series for the Worcestershire man. 6

Jos Buttler Came into the side following an injury to Matt Prior and on the back of an abysmal defeat at Lord’s. Batted well on debut and showed his quality throughout the series, not only with the bat but also with the gloves where he performed exceptionally well, especially at Southampton. Looks like he will don the gloves for his country for a while to come and has the dynamism down the order to change the tempo like his predecessor Prior did so well. 7

Chris Woakes Had limited opportunities with the bat in his three matches as England were so dominant and bowled better as the series went on. Questions still remain over the Warwickshire all-rounder’s place in the side and Durham’s Ben Stokes will be keen to get his place back after a disappointing first two games. Has the potential to be good but is far from the finished article. 5

Chris Jordan Struggled with the ball in Southampton but came back admirably in Manchester and at the Oval to finish the series on a high. Ten wickets in three matches, including a match-winning 4/18 to seal the series victory. Seems to be very much a bowler of rhythm and looks much better the more overs he gets under his belt. Still has a lot to prove to be a mainstay in this team. 6

Stuart Broad Bowled brilliantly throughout the series, taking 19 wickets at 23 and contributed some important runs down the order. Had a nasty facial injury in the fourth Test but came back brilliantly to return for the fifth Test and showed no signs of fear in his brief but important cameo in England’s only innings. 8

James Anderson (Man of the series) After a slow start endured by the whole bowling unit, Anderson really came to fore and showed his experience to cause many a sleepless night amongst the Indian batsmen. Leading wicket-taker across both teams and was able to keep his focus despite a dispute with Ravi Jadeja that rumbled on throughout the series. Now just a handful of wickets from surpassing Sir Ian Botham as his country’s most prolific, and rightly so. His maiden half century in all cricket was a particular highlight. 9.5

Also featured – Ben Stokes 6, Matt Prior 4


Murali Vijay The tourists’s star performer with the bat overall, despite struggling towards the back end of the series, but then again so did all his team-mates. Only player to manage over 400 runs in the series, averaging 40 in the process, with a high score of 146. One of the few players to end the series with his reputation in tact. 7/10

Gautam Gambhir Brought into the top of the order with two matches remaining but showed no sign of ending his struggles against the moving ball in England. Managing a paltry 25 runs in four innings, 18 of which came in one go, Gambhir was a step back for the struggling tourists and will likely find himself cast aside once again. 3

Cheteshwar Pujara Arrived in England with a big reputation and was hotly tipped as one of the players to watch, but has been taught a lesson in batting in English conditions. 222 runs in the series, passing 50 once, Pujara will need to get back in the nets and work on his technique if he is to continue his development in Test cricket. 4

Virat Kohli Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the series, not only for the tourists but fans of cricket as Kohli is real box office. He never really got going in this series and ended it with just 139 runs, managing a high score of just 39. Having thrived in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the IPL, Kohli seems to be lacking the concentration for the longest format and looked clueless at times against the moving ball. Was worked over by Anderson and Broad to such an extent he never knew whether to play or leave at almost everything. 3

Ajinkya Rahane Was almost forgotten about in this team behind the superstar names it possesses but ended the series with his reputation enhanced. 299 runs at and average of 33 won’t be the best numbers you’ll ever see but a fine century under pressure and more often than not got a start. 7

MS Dhoni Worked remarkably hard for his 349 runs, ending second behind Vijay in the scoring stakes. Looked at times like the only Indian batsman up for the fight, having been let down by his team-mates so often in this series. Struggled with captaincy at times and looked a bit ropey behind the stumps, Dhoni has cast doubt over his future and has ended the series with a fine for slow over-rates at the Kia Oval. Would be a shame if this is the last we see of Dhoni as he has been a fine servant to the sport over the years. 7

Stuart Binny Starting and ending the series, Binny never looked comfortable in his three matches but batted quite well for his 118 runs, passing 50 on one occasion. Bowled 32 wicketless over and never really looked a threat with the ball. Will be interesting if there is a place for him in this side when they line up for their next series. 5

Ravi Ashwin Deserved to get a chance in the series and arguably should have been in the side from the start. Looked composed and confident with the bat, and looked the better spin option between him and Ravi Jadeja. Should be a regular in this side from now on. 6

Bhuvneshwar Kumar India’s player of the series, taking a team-high 19 wickets and scoring three half-centuries on his way to 247 runs. Despite not possessing express pace, bowled cleverly to exploit English conditions well. May struggle in less favourable conditions but did all that was asked of him in this series and has been a rare shining light for the tourists. 8

Ishant Sharma Bowled his side to victory at Lord’s before missing two games to injury and looked sharp on his return. Who’s to say the series wouldn’t have been different if he had been available for the whole series? But given the gulf in class between the two sides, it would be harsh to pin that on Sharma. Looked every bit the class act people knew he was before he arrived. 8

Varun Aaron Could also argue he should have started the series and bowled well when he got his chance. Possessed real pace and caused problems with the short ball in particular. India’s selectors will be kicking themselves having not been able to find the right combination in time. 5

Also featured – Ravi Jadeja 4, Shikar Dhawan 3, Mohammed Shami 3, Pankaj Singh 5.

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