England vs South Africa: England Series Player Ratings

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Alastair Cook – 7/10 (268 runs at 33.5)

In a series where the conditions suited bowlers more often than not, Cook performed admirably, especially against two excellent opening bowlers in Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. He will have been disappointed not to reach three figures but played some key knocks, none more so than his 88 at The Oval which set England on the road to recovery.

Keaton Jennings – 3/10 (127 runs at 15.9)

Got the nod ahead of several others to open with Cook at the start of this series but failed to take his chance, leaving his place in the side in jeopardy. Looked increasingly vulnerable outside off stump, especially to Philander, and could not settle into a rhythm when at the crease. His 48 at The Oval gave some positive signs but did involve its fair share of luck.

Tom Westley – 6/10 (122 runs at 30.5)

Was brought in to replace the injured Gary Ballance for the third Test and did not look fazed by the occasion. Made a decent start with 25 in the first innings but his second knock of 59 showed real courage and skill for a man on Test debut. Perhaps showed some technical faults at Old Trafford which could be exploited by opposition teams down the line.

Joe Root – 8/10 (461 runs at 57.6)

Once again, another prolific series for Root, who began his tenure as England captain with wonderful 190 at Lord’s. He never looked out of form, batting with considerable fluency but will have been disappointed not to make another hundred in the series. His 49 in England’s second innings was not one of his higher scores but was immensely skilful given the difficult pitch.

Dawid Malan – 2/10 (35 runs at 8.8)

Along with Westley, Malan made his debut at The Oval in order to give England more batting. He endured a difficult start to Test cricket though, failing to make a score over 20 in four innings. He also seems to have a technical problem in being too sideways on, therefore resulting in him losing his balance and playing around his front pad when looking to work the ball to leg.

Ben Stokes – 8/10 (299 runs at 37.4, 7 wickets at 43)

Another superb series for the now vice-captain. There seems to be an extra maturity and responsibility to Stokes’s batting as he refused to be drawn into too many rash strokes, especially after the hammering at Trent Bridge. His 112 at The Oval was one of his best knocks yet given the tricky situation England were in on the first day. A fiery option with the ball and superb in the field also.

Jonny Bairstow – 8/10 (330 runs at 41.3, 17 dismissals)

Promoted up to number five for the first two Tests, Bairstow found things difficult and made only one half-century in four innings. Things changed after the second Test, however, and the runs came more freely. His 99 at Old Trafford was an outstanding effort as he shepherded the tail brilliantly to lift his side to 362 all out. Was also excellent behind the stumps and passed 100 dismissals for England in the process.

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Moeen Ali – 9/10 (25 wickets at 15.6, 252 runs at 36)

The man of the series. Given the quality in pace bowlers between the two sides, Moeen picking up 25 wickets over the four Tests was as surprising as it was impressive. The all-rounder bowled England to victory at Lord’s, taking his maiden ten-wicket haul. He was consistent with the ball and finished off the match at The Oval with a hat-trick and took another five-wicket haul in the final Test. Also played some crucial knocks with the bat, such as his 87 at Lord’s in partnership with Joe Root and his 75 not out in the second innings at Old Trafford.

Toby Roland-Jones – 7/10 (10 wickets at 22.2)

Enjoyed a dream debut at The Oval, taking eight wickets in the match, including a five-for in the first innings. Roland-Jones looked an excellent option at first change, bowling with good pace and impressive accuracy. The seamer is sure to give the returning Chris Woakes plenty of competition for the upcoming the Ashes tour.

Stuart Broad –  7/10 (11 wickets at 32)

He may not have taken as many wickets as he would have wanted but Broad was still threatening and full of his usual class. The Notts man kept things very tight along with his opening partner, James Anderson, and would have taken more scalps if more luck was on his side. Also made 57 not out at Lord’s but his batting began to wane thereafter.

James Anderson – 9/10 (19 wickets at 14.1)

Outstanding throughout. Given that he is now 35, doubts may remain over Anderson’s fitness but not only did he look in good condition, he looked like the Anderson of old. The Lancashire seamer bowled with relentless accuracy and never let the South African batsmen get away from him. Was exceptional at his home ground, Old Trafford, finishing with match figures of 7-54.

Gary Ballance – 3/10 (85 runs at 21.3)

Perhaps a puzzling selection at number three, Ballance never quite convinced, with positive feet movement still lacking which resulted in him being caught on the crease at times by Morkel and Philander. A fractured finger ended his series at Trent Bridge and he will face a battle to get back in the side in time for the Ashes.

Liam Dawson – 2/10 (5 wickets at 33.9, 18 runs at 6)

Brought in in order to give the bowling attack more balance, Dawson failed to provide much of a threat with the ball and made barely any runs with the bat. A useful cricketer, for sure, but England looked a much better side after Dawson’s omission, which resulted in them playing four seamers and one spinner.

Mark Wood – 3/10 (1 wicket at 197)

Wood started as the third seamer but never made a real impact in his two matches at Lord’s and Trent Bridge, taking only one wicket. With hindsight, Wood perhaps should not have played the second Test as it was revealed the paceman was struggling with a heel injury. Now faces stiff competition for the third seamer’s slot.

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