Bazball remains half-effective for England as the series ends 1-1: Player Ratings for the visitors
The roller-coaster ride known as ‘Bazball’ was on full display in New Zealand, where both the brilliant pros and the horrendous cons of the system were exposed as England drew the two-match Test series 1-1.
The first match saw England beat the Kiwis by 267 runs, as Kane Williamson’s men failed to turn up with the bat. The second match, however, was the stuff of dreams for New Zealand.
They became only the fourth team to win a Test match after being enforced a follow-on, with England losing the match by just 1 run.
Let us check out the report card of the English players:
Zak Crawley (3/10): Zak Crawley is one of the English players who will not be satisfied with his performance in this series, as he could not capitalize on the chances. In the two Tests, he scored only 58 runs at an average of 14.50.
The opening batter scored 4 runs in the first innings of the 1st Test, before adding 28 runs more in the second innings. The second Test was even worse for the 25-year-old, as he scored only 26 runs across both innings.
Ben Duckett (8/10): Unlike Crawley, Ben Duckett had a fairly satisfactory time Down Under. The left-handed batter was one of the three Englishmen to score 150+ runs, as he amassed 151 runs at an average of 37.75.
Duckett was seen at his best in the first innings of the 1st Test, where he scored 84 runs before getting dismissed for 25 in the second innings. But the second match was up to the mark in terms of the Kent-born player’s performance, as he could only score 42 runs.
Ollie Pope (7/10): Ollie Pope blew hot and cold in this series. He was not among the best players for the Three Lions, but at the same time, he was also not poor with his display. The batter scored 115 runs at an average of 28.75.
Like most players from his team, Pope had a good first Test before not living up to the expectations in the second Test. The Middlesex lad scored 42 and 49 in the two innings of the first Test, but could only score a combined 24 in the second Test.
Joe Root (10/10): While many might have thought Joe Root’s numbers will plummet under the coaching of Brendon McCullum, as his batting is not tailor-made for Bazball, he has proved his critics wrong. With 319 runs, which came at an average of 106.33, he was the second-highest run-scorer for his team.
The former skipper scored 14 in the first innings of the first game, before getting a half-century in the second innings. The second Test was much better from his perspective, as he returned scores of 153 and 95.
Harry Brook (10/10): Harry Brook justified why he is regarded so highly in both the English and international circuits, as he was his team’s best batter in this series. The youngster was the leading run-getter for his team with 329 runs at an average of 80+.
Brook scored half-centuries in both innings of the first Test. In the second Test, he played an excellent knock of 186 runs in the first innings, but was dismissed for a duck in the second innings. Having said that, he also picked up a wicket in that match.
Ben Stokes (6/10): The captain of the team, Ben Stokes might be disappointed with the outcome of the series, but his individual numbers were not up to the mark either. The all-rounder scored 110 runs at an average of 27.50, while he could only take one wicket.
The first Test saw stokes scoring combined 50 runs across both innings, while also taking a wicket. In the second match, he scored 60 runs but could not add to his wickets tally.
Ben Foakes (7/10): It is already established that Ben Foakes is a superb wicket-keeper, but in this series, he also proved that he can do a good job with the bat whenever his team needs him to. He scored 124 runs at an average of 31.
The lad from Colchester scored 38 runs in the first innings of the 1st Test, and then returned with a half-century in the second innings. But the second Test did not work out according to plans, as he scored 35 runs in total.
James Anderson (8/10): If Broad picking up wickets for fun at 36 years of age deserves praise, James Anderson might apply for coronation for what he is doing with the ball. The 40-year-old picked up 10 wickets at an average of just 16.80.
Anderson picked up 7 wickets in the first Test – three in the first innings and four in the second. However, he could only add three more wickets to his career tally in the second Test.
Stuart Broad (9/10): Stuart Broad will be celebrating his 37th birthday soon, but one would not assume it by watching him bowl. The veteran was the joint-highest wicket-taker for his team with 10 wickets at an average of 26.10.
The Nottingham-born player picked up five wickets in the first Test, including a four-wicket haul in the second innings. He then backed it up with five more wickets in the second Test, while also scoring 25 runs with the bat.
Ollie Robinson (6/10): While the veteran duo of Broad and Anderson worked wonders for the Three Lions, Ollie Robinson might be disappointed with his numbers. He could only pick up 6 wickets at an average of nearly 35.
The first Test went well for the 29-year-old, as he picked up 5 wickets and also scored 54 runs. But in the second match, he was sent to all parts of the park as he conceded 115 runs and took only one wicket.
Jack Leach (8/10): Playing as the lone spinner in the team, Jack Leach should be happy with his performance as he picked up 10 wickets. Moreover, he is the only Englishman to have picked up a five-wicket haul in this series.
The first match did not work out well as he could only pick up 2 wickets while conceding 109 runs. In the second match, though, the player made a sublime comeback by taking 8 wickets.