England vs New Zealand Player Ratings:
So the series is over and I have an almost moral obligation to give you my thoughts on how each of the England players fared. I must warn you this won’t be joyful nor was it overly fun to write but in all honesty, this is how I think it went. Naturally, a longer more in-depth post reviewing the series will be coming soon but for now, it’s fairly basic we all know the format so let's just dive in.
Rory Burns: 6/10
Burns had a good series with a 100 at Lords and an almost surprisingly fluent 81 at Edgbaston. However, his failure in the second innings at the fortress was the start of a dreadful England collapse and was in truth a genuinely poor shot. Burns was England in form batter in the second innings and getting out the way he did was enough to drop him down a peg or two. However Burns’ runs throughout, but more importantly, is the manner in which he made those runs, and he has confirmed his spot in the test side for the foreseeable future.
Dom Sibley 4/10:
Sibley made a battling 60* at Lords to secure a draw but apart from that was largely disappointing. Sibley’s conversion rate at county cricket is outstanding and he was picked largely for his ability to make the big runs over a long period. But a start on a truly flat Edgbaston wicket thrown to waste is another in an ever-increasing list of scores he’s made between 20-50 (10 in 35 inns). The lack of conversion along with 2 more low scores knocks him down a peg. Sibley doesn’t need a great series vs India to retain his spot but a hundred should be a minimum.
Zak Crawley 1/10:
I have never had a genuine emotional attachment to a player before but with Zak Crawley I do. Crawley was in all sorts in this series and after a poor tour to the subcontinent before this, it is now the perfect time to let him go and work on his game ahead of a big winter. The man in possession of the number 3 spot has lost it through no one else’s doing but his own.
Joe Root 2/10:
Root didn’t bat poorly in these games but he didn’t bat well either. Instead, he was fairly innocuous and the spells of dominating bowlers, that were ever-present in the winter, never once made an appearance. Root was on a different level this winter to the point where him making 2000 test runs in a year wasn’t off the cards yet this series he looked all over the shop and has seemingly lost the edge that he had. This series has been a huge letdown for England’s skipper with him once again struggling in England. No runs of meaning meant he had no effect on either game and ultimately a 2 is fair
Ollie Pope 2/10:
Pope has a technical problem, we all know it but he doesn’t. It’s getting dull to talk about so I quite simply won’t. Pope is slowly becoming a real issue. For someone so dominant for so long for Surrey, his lack of ability to translate this into test match runs is just perplexing to most and absolutely frustrating to all. Pope has a big series coming up against India and he needs to perform to the best of his ability to stop any talk of him not making the Ashes.
Dan Lawrence 5/10:
Two ducks, a gorgeous eighty, and a maiden test wicket meant Lawrences had a mixed series. He looked amazing at Edgbaston for his 80 and if he performs for Essex he could well pip Pope for that number 6 spot. Lawrence showcased moments of his talent why England values him so much. As with the rest of the batting unit, there is a big summer ahead.
James Bracey 2/10:
Bracey looked distraught by the end and I send him every ounce of love I have. Bracey is a class lad who will bounce back stronger.
Ollie Robinson 7/10:
(I won’t be mentioning the off-field incident with Robinson as a cis white male it’s not for me to comment on and this article explains it better than I ever could https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/olllie-robinson-tweet-ban-racism-b1862058.html) Robinson had the best debut by an Englishman I’ve seen in a long time. He bowled beautifully, batted with real test match quality, and in the process booked his spot in the side for the foreseeable future. Robinson played superbly.
Olly Stone 6/10:
Stone bowled ok on his return but was only his best self in brief spurts. In the second test, he was the pick of the bowlers after Stuart Broad with him drawing the highest false shot percentage of any bowler on day 2. The Warwickshire man was a touch expensive but a lot of these were runs off the edge or as a result of poor fielding. Stone showed once again that he grows into spells but he is worth sticking by and at the age of 27 he is entering his prime as a cricketer; Stone has to play vs India with his skills being of tremendous value to England.
Mark Wood 5/10:
Wood was a mixed bag in this series. At Lords, he and Robinson outbowled Anderson and Broad with Wood himself using his pace and surprising accuracy to good effect. The short ball was used sparingly and as a surprise. The biggest surprise was Wood playing two games back to back and it showed at Edgbaston with him refraining from going full pelt (with good reason) and as a result, losing his pace which is, after all, his most dangerous weapon. Wood is a good test match bowler but only when the conditions suit and this series confirmed this.
Stuart Broad 7/10:
Broad once again showed why he is England's best and most valuable bowler, especially at home. Broad didn’t get the wickets he deserved at Lords however he produced some of the best spells of the series with him repeatedly beating both edges of the New Zealand batsmen with consistent seam movement and bounce. Broad was brilliant this series and if England are going to rotate him and Anderson against India you do feel he has played himself into the first choice Xi at Trent Bridge.
James Anderson 3/10:
After a terrific winter in which he was arguably England's best bowler, this was a poor series from Jimmy. Economical as ever but this time there were hints of him reverting back to his type of old as he held back his line a bit and didn’t bowl his usual probing lengths. There’s a fine line between bowling economical and passive and bowling tight and aggressive (something which Robinson did expertly) and Jimmy was more drawn towards the former. Anderson is of course still one of the best bowlers in the world and he has ample opportunity to show this against India later this summer but for now this series he was a letdown.
Overall no one shone too bright and if we’re honest the only players to score 10/10 were Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes purely for showing what they offer to the side in all facets of the game and especially in home conditions. England still have 5 tests this summer and we could see some big changes to the side with the likes of Tom Abell, Alex Lees, and Joe Denly waiting in the wings for their chance on the biggest stage. England need to adapt and they need to let their egos go.
Do you agree with my ratings? Was I too harsh? Maybe you think I let them off too easily? Let me know on Twitter @therunoutblog1.