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Monday, December 17, 2012
England claimed their first series victory in India since 1985. Here, London24 rate the players over the course of the series.
ALASTAIR COOK - Led from the front with centuries in his first three Tests after replacing the much-respected Andrew Strauss as captain. Hard to see how he could have filled the role any better, and his reward - the first to lead England to series success here in almost 28 years - is entirely deserved. Only umpiring errors denied him the opportunity of a fourth ton. 9 out of 10.
NICK COMPTON - Won his early ‘bat-off’ with Joe Root for the debutant opener’s position, and did enough to justify the decision. His patience and sound technique paid off in two century opening stands and an increasing general sense of permanence. 7.
JONATHAN TROTT - Recovered from two ducks in his first three Test innings on tour to finish strongly and close out the series with a typically cussed century in Nagpur. 7.
KEVIN PIETERSEN - Batted to a supernatural level for his 186 in Mumbai, the catalyst for England’s fightback. That alone was vindication for his ‘reintegration’ after a vexed year of own goals. 8.
IAN BELL - England’s most stylish and correct batsman got off to a nightmare start with an embarrassing golden duck in Ahmedabad. But after missing the second-Test win for the birth of his first child, he returned with an outstanding run-out in Kolkata and then calmed nerves with measured second-innings batting both there and in Nagpur. 6.
SAMIT PATEL - Did not do enough with either bat or ball in the first three Tests to retain his place in the last, although was unlucky with umpirin decisions. 5.
MATT PRIOR - Mistakes behind the stumps have become few and far between, and Prior is the world’s best batting wicketkeeper. His consistent runs always come at the tempo that suits the team best. 8.
TIM BRESNAN - His and Stuart Broad’s bowling form have become a worry. Bresnan remains without a wicket since Headingley in August, and he rarely looked like ending the drought in his two Tests here. Stuart Meaker or Graham Onions would have been better choices. 0.
GRAEME SWANN - Helped Monty Panesar clinch a famous victory in Mumbai, and handled the pressure throughout as England’s go-to wicket-taking option. Swann’s 50 in Nagpur was a particularly valuable contribution from number nine too. 8.
STUART BROAD - A miserable wicketless tour for England’s vice-captain, interrupted by injury and illness and then mercifully ended early by a recurrence of the former. 1.
JAMES ANDERSON - Approached perfection in Kolkata with his mastery of reverse-swing, discipline and stamina. Cook could rely on him on all occasions, even when conditions did not suit. 9.
STEVEN FINN - After and before injury intervened, Finn justified his inclusion at Eden Gardens with four wickets to Anderson’s six. The impression is that his best is yet to come, and England need him fit for the many challenges ahead. 7.
MONTY PANESAR - His 11 wickets in Mumbai confirmed Panesar as a match-winner in the sub-continent. It is hard to see how he fits into England’s team elsewhere, but he will always have the Wankhede. 8.
JOE ROOT - It may prove a blessing that Root was edged out by Compton up front, and his introduction in Nagpur went swimmingly. England will hope for much more of the same in the years ahead. 7.
JONNY BAIRSTOW - Lost his place to the returning Pietersen at the start of the tour, despite his 95 and 54 in his previous attempt at Lord’s; then did not do enough in one innings in Mumbai either to keep Bell out in Kolkata or even stay ahead of Root in Nagpur. 4.