The England Half-Time Report

We do love our stats at 51allout but this weekend we’re coming down with a cold so it’s a bit of a brief one. We wanted to have a look at England’s batting and bowling so far against India, and see how it compares to the individual players’ careers to give us some view on the real winners and losers.

To do this we’ll look at three different measures of form: short term (the current series), medium term (last ten innings) and long term (career to date). We can then compare between them and put some nice traffic light arrows on them.

Let’s look at the batting first:

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There’s a few ways to interpret this but the general idea is that two greens are best – over-performing in both the short and medium term – and two reds are worst. Three players fall into the latter category – Strauss, Morgan and (less importantly) Swann.

While Andrew Strauss’s lack of form is well documented, as the captain he’ll obviously be the first name on the teamsheet. Eoin Morgan, however, is the source of much more discussion at the 51allout care home. Despite a sprightly 70 in the second innings at Trent Bridge, we remain unconvinced that he’ll become a genuine test batsman. Of course, we may be wrong in the long term (we weren’t massive admirers of Ian Bell v1.0 for instance) but the numbers certainly back us up at this stage. His Test career average of just over 34 is a long way behind that of his contemporaries but he’s still struggling to reach even that level consistently.

Both Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott have had lean series so far but their medium term form is still good enough for us to see it as just a blip in both cases. We’ve certainly got bigger things to worry about, such as the imminent arrival of Ravi Bopara. Him and Morgan at five and six would be keeping us up at night, were it not for Matt Prior’s sublime form.

Anyway, on to the bowling:

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The performances of Broad, Anderson and Bresnan have been widely acclaimed over the past few days, and rightfully so, but it’s the other two bowlers that are more interesting from a numbers point of view. Chris Tremlett’s short term figures are slightly anomalous, having only played one test in the series, but that career average really is superb (as is Tim Bresnan’s).

Graeme Swann’s numbers are a little concerning. 14 wickets in the last ten innings at more than 35 isn’t disastrous (Ian Salisbury would have killed for those figures) but it’s definitely a step down from Swann’s previous record. There are a fair few plausible reasons that can be offered: a lack of spinner-friendly pitches and the seamers doing such a good job and leaving Swann to do a holding role being just two of them. Either way it’ll be interesting to see if the downward trend continues (as was seen with Monty Panesar’s Test career) or if it just a blip.

In summary, it’s a very healthy half time report for England but there are still a couple of areas to be improved on. Lemsip permitting, we’ll have a look at the Indian equivalent in the next day or two.

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