From the brilliance of Cook to Broad's Tour nightmare… how England's heroes rated in India
14:11 GMT, 18 December 2012
What better way to celebrate England's first series win in India since 1984-85 than by lavishing on Alastair Cook's heroes some marks out of 10 Here's the Top Spin's man-by-man guide to a famous few weeks…
Alastair Cook 9
Thank goodness there was no DRS: had Cook been given out lbw for 41 during his second-innings 176 at Ahmedabad, the knock which allowed the players to go to bed – Cook's own phrase – believing they could play India's spinners would not have materialised. Instead, England's new captain kept ramming home the point, with 122 at Mumbai and 190 at Kolkata.
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Welcome back: England heroes Cook and Panesar arrive in London on Tuesday
And he is now one of only four England captains – Douglas Jardine, Tony Greig and David Gower are the others – to have won a Test series in India.
Runs: 562, High Score: 190, Average: 80.28
Nick Compton 6
Amid the immediate post-match celebrations at Nagpur, Compton cut a slightly dejected figure, quietly reasoning that he had not contributed in the manner of some of his team-mates.
And yet four successive opening stands with Cook of 50-plus were a vital part of the team's ecosystem, and the partnership of 166 at Kolkata laid the base for series-clinching lead.
There was merit as well in the way Compton overcame a poor start to the warm-up matches, when the dual pressures of having a famous grandfather – feted in these parts – and keeping out Joe Root might have taken their toll. Only in his failure to pass 57 after making several starts counted against him.
Runs: 208, High Score: 57, Average: 34.66
Steady: Compton didn't contribute in the manner of some of his team-mates
Jonathan Trott 7
It was all OK in the end, because Trott was able to revel in his natural game both in Kolkata and Nagpur, and he was no longer playing down the wrong line to the spinners. But two ducks in his first three innings suggested he might embody England's 2012 struggles against Asian spin.
The things changed. His hands became softer, and the work of the opening batsmen and the bowlers – who didn't allow India past 327 after Ahmedabad – meant he didn't walk out under quite the same pressure again.
And while Trott was drawing what little sting remained from India's bowlers in the last day and a half at Nagpur, it's quite possible England felt they could not have chosen a better man for the job.
Runs: 294, High Score: 143, Average: 42.00
On form: KP was one of England's star performers in India
Kevin Pietersen 8
Pietersen's ascent from the ridiculous of Ahmedabad to the sublime of Mumbai was one of many beguiling tales offered by this tour.
In a series characterised by careful batting, that 186 at the Wankhede was challenged only by Virender Sehwag's curtain-raising ton.
Of course, we may be back into the realms of Steve Archibald and his now-hackneyed take on team spirit, but Pietersen's reintegration seemed genuine enough – not least when Jimmy Anderson ran all the way to point to leap into his arms after bowling Sehwag for a first-over duck in the fourth Test.
Just as revealing were two selfless fifties: in Kolkata, he immediately changed the mood of a turgid third day by hitting the first three balls after tea to the fence; in Nagpur, he ground out 73 when every fibre of his being must have urged him to be reckless.
Can people say England managed him badly now
Runs: 338, High Score: 186, Average: 48.28
Ian Bell 6
If he redeemed himself – and his mediocre career record in India – with a series-confirming hundred on the last day of the series, then it was not entirely clear whether Bell quite appreciated the trouble he could have been in.
His first-baller at Ahmedabad could have haunted him to the end of his career had Jonny Bairstow made runs in Mumbai, when Bell was back home with his new baby. But Bell returned immediately for Eden Gardens, where he made sure 8 for 3 on the final morning did not become a calamity, and then brushed aside a lame first-innings chip off Piyush Chawla at Nagpur to steer England stylishly to safety.
Runs: 172, High Score: 116*, Average: 43.00
Centurion: Bell saved his Tour with a series-confirming ton
And the good news for him is that England's 15 Tests in 2013 are all against either New Zealand or Australia, with their emphasis on seam bowling.
Samit Patel 6
He didn't do a lot wrong – the recipient of two poor decisions at Ahmedabad, he put together important cameos in the first innings at Mumbai and Kolkata, where Sehwag might easily have dropped the slip catch which cost Patel his wicket.
But the decisive contribution was lacking, and when it became clear that Monty Panesar's left-arm spin needed no back-up, Patel's early-tour status as one of England's most assured players of spin no longer counted for much. It seems harsh, but there is a good chance he will never play a Test match for England again.
Runs: 69, High Score: 33, Average: 17.25
End of the road: Will Samit Patel play for England again
Matt Prior 8
Prior's role in the life-affirming follow-on at Ahmedabad was easy to overlook while Cook was rewriting the record books, but the contrast throughout the series of his punchy counterattacks and the generally insipid offerings of MS Dhoni gave England heart and belief.
And his 57 at Nagpur, after England had slipped to 139 for 5, was a series-rescuer. If there remain some doubts about his glovework up to the stumps, his keeping standing back and his all-round selflessness were a reminder that there is no more valuable No 7 in Test cricket.
Runs: 258, High Score: 91, Average: 51.60
Catches: 6 Stumps: 1
Matt finish: Prior proved invaluable again for England
Graeme Swann 8
So much for a steady decline. From the first day of the series, when Swann alone took the fight to India's rampaging top order, via Mumbai (where he was a canny foil to Panesar) and Kolkata (where he altered the mood of the fourth day by bowling Sehwag with the first ball after lunch) – from there all the way to Nagpur, where he took his series tally to 20, surpassed by no one, England's off-spinner was one their four most valuable players.
The extent to which he outbowled Ravi Ashwin – more tweak, more oomph, more accuracy – gradually eroded India's credibility. And he finally decided he fancied a bat as well: at Nagpur he made his first Test fifty for three years, and took England to 330, which was a basis for negotiation. One plea, though: please bin the reverse-swipe.
Runs: 98, High Score: 58, Average: 32.66
Wickets: 20, Average: 24.75
Spin kings: Swann and Panesar helped guide England to an impressive series win
James Anderson 8
His improvement as the series went on was a joy to behold, and Dhoni would single Anderson out as the difference between the sides.
At Ahmedabad, his and England's failure
to find reverse-swing compared badly with India's success. At Mumbai,
the ball barely swung conventionally either, but Anderson exploited the
one that did, trapping Gautam Gambhir with the second delivery of the
match. And when he did find reverse, at Kolkata, he was sublime.
Beer we go: Anderson celebrates
But no session exemplified his fitness, skill and stamina better than the third evening at Nagpur. Virat Kohli and Dhoni had batted all day, and India were thinking in terms of a handy lead. But Anderson roared in for the final hour to energise England. Four wickets fell, and India could never push on. It was world-class.
Runs: 17, High Score: 9, Average: 4.25
Wickets: 12, Average: 30.25
Monty Panesar 8
If English groundsmen could produce tracks like the Wankhede at the click of Panesar's weirdly long spinning fingers, he would end up with one of the great all-time Test records.
Instead, the shame is that we may need to enjoy him while conditions last. Because at Mumbai he was magnificent, driving the Indians onto the back foot with his pace, and thus opening up lbw against the right-handers.
When Pragyan Ojha protested that not every spinner could match the mphs achieved by Monty, he did so with a telling air of resignation. But he could defend as well, and Cook rightly called him a 'captain's dream' after he got through 52 uncomplaining overs for 81 in the final Test. He seems to be setting his own fields with conviction too. But when will we see him again
Runs: 5, High Score: 4, Average: 2.50
Wickets: 17, Average: 26.82
Stuart Broad 3
It was a tour to forget for England's vice-captain, who bruised a heel, scuffled with Ian Botham on Twitter, and failed to claim a wicket in 36 expensive overs. He was scolded publicly during a press conference with the normally phlegmatic bowling coach David Saker. He'll be back. But he won't be able to put this tour behind him quickly enough.
Runs: 34, High Score: 25, Average: 11.33
Wickets: 0, Ave: –
Road to recovery: Broad won't remember this Tour with much fondness
Tim Bresnan 4
Once England's talisman, Bresnan played only in the defeat at Ahmedabad and the draw at Nagpur, where he bowled his heart out but lacked Anderson's class. If Steven Finn can stay fit in the years ahead, Bresnan may revert to the place on the bench which some – perhaps rather too readily at times – always regarded as his destiny.
Runs: 39, High Score: 20, Average: 13.00
Steven Finn 8
Who knows whether Finn might have flogged some life out of the Nagpur pitch, but his spell on the fourth afternoon at Eden Gardens fulfilled all the hopes and dreams the management had invested in him before he tweaked a thigh muscle on the opening day of the tour.
Runs: 4, High Score 4*
Joe Root 9
His remarkable debut blockathon spelled bad news for India's bowlers and possibly for Compton. And he had the nerve to unveil the reverse-sweep on the last day at Nagpur as well.
Runs: 93, High Score: 73, Average: 93.00