By David Green
England drew the third and final Test at The Rose Bowl, Southampton, to clinch the three-Test series 1-0.
Here’s the England report card for the third Test (marks out of ten):
Andrew Strauss – 2: Another failure and his tenth dismissal to a left-arm seamer in the last 12 months - Zaheer Khan must be licking his lips in anticipation. Strauss is having difficulty locating his off-stump and an average of 31 in his last 18 Tests is very worrying for the now Test specialist captain. As a captain, he made a refreshingly positive declaration on the fourth day.
Alastair Cook – 7: No hundred this time for the run-machine, but a sixth consecutive score of over 50 is hardly a failure and is indeed only the fourth time it has been achieved by an Englishman – Patsy Hendren, Ken Barrington and Ted Dexter are the others.
Jonathan Trott - 3: Drove loosely at a Suranga Lakmal ball delivered from around the wicket. Has a chink in Jonathan Trott’s impressive armoury finally been found? Bowled three expensive overs to demonstrate that much work is needed before the tag of ‘fifth bowler’ can be applied.
Kevin Pietersen – 8: A happy return to the Rose Bowl. Looked back to his imperious best in what was a delightful innings. He would have been disappointed to have missed out on a hundred, but on this form India should beware.
Ian Bell – 9: Took his series average to 335 with his 14th Test hundred to continue a golden run that stretches all the way back to Durban 2009. He averages 91.46 in his last 15 Tests and must now be considered the best Test No five in the world today.
Eoin Morgan – 7: Another attractive fifty from the adopted Irishman and his running between the wickets and sharp fielding have brought added zest to this England side.
Matt Prior – 5: For the second match in succession Prior sacrificed his wicket as England looked to declare. Thankfully, this time there were no broken windows. Tidy enough behind the stumps despite the 16 byes in the second innings caused by some wayward bowling.
Stuart Broad – 5: Poor with the new ball first time around, but much better as first change in the second innings where he was rewarded with the prize wicket of Mahela Jayawardene. Troubled by a bruised heel on the final day.
Graeme Swann – 6: A quiet match on a pitch that offered little assistance for spinners. Swann will hope for better weather and more spin-friendly surfaces when India come calling in July and August.
Chris Tremlett – 8: England’s weapon of mass destruction caused chaos in the first innings and fully deserved his six wicket haul. However, he was disappointing on the final day where he only bowled nine overs. Presumably he had a niggle.
James Anderson – 7: Bowled well enough on his return without ever reaching the heights he scaled in the winter. Attractive cameo with the bat as nightwatchman. Should now be wrapped up in cotton wool ahead of the India series.
(David Green is the brain behind the irreverent The Reverse Sweep blog and also writes for a number of cricket publications and sites such as World Cricket Watch. You can follow him on Twitter also@TheReverseSweep. David was a decent schoolboy and club cricketer (and scored his maiden 100 the same week that Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test ton) but not good enough to fulfil his childhood dream of emulating Douglas Jardine by winning the Ashes in Australia and annoying the locals into the bargain. He now lives with his wife and two young children in the South of France and will one day write the definitive biography of Hedley Verity)