What a summer series that was.
After three Tests against Sri Lanka which were blighted by rain, England exploded into life with a four-Test demolition job of the world's best team, India.
England kept quiet an India batting line-up which will go down in history as one of the all-time greats, and made runs on a scale rarely seen before on these shores.
And in doing so, they became the world's best Test side, winning Cow Corner's new favourite award, the ICC Test Championship Mace.
There were so many towering performances during the course of the series that the marks out of ten are higher than they have ever been.
But what do you think? Was Cowers too harsh or too generous with his ratings for England's victorious team? Leave your comments below.Andrew Strauss (4 Tests, 229 runs at 38.16)
solitary half-century in the series, and the captain has now averaged less than
30 for his last 14 Tests. But skippering the side to unchartered heights not
only renders the drop-off in form inconsequential, it also boosts his series
rating up a point or two.
scoring 294 at Edgbaston, Cook notched the largest score by an Englishman in a
Test since Graham Gooch's 333 in 1990. But he didn't do much else.
His five other innings produced a total of 54 runs, a rare lean trot in the
12 months. But unlike this time a year ago, there aren't likely to be too many murmurings about his place going into the winter tours.
off series, cut short by a freak injury fielding in the second Test which would
rule him out for the remainder. It says much about his recent performances,
though, that despite Ian Bell's star turn standing in at number three, Trott is fully
expected to reprise the role for the winter.
Kevin Pietersen (4 Tests, 533 runs at 106.6)
you plenty about the nature of this series that Pietersen could end up the
leading scorer, with 533 runs at 106.6, with two tons and two fifties, and
still barely register in discussions about England's man of the
series. KP was unusually
patient at times, breathtakingly belligerent at others, and a top-class
performer throughout. Loses half a mark for his off-spin, which bordered on
criminal at times.
the Ashes in 2009 Bell has been ticking off the question marks over his record
one by one. He added scores of 159 and 235 to the two centuries he scored
against Sri Lanka for a summer average of 119.28 in seven Tests and made his
first big runs batting at three. The debate is over - Bell has
arrived. Loses half a mark for not staying in his crease and precipitating the
run-out furore at Trent Bridge.
series for Morgan, who nonetheless managed a century and a 70 during it. His
other four innings brought a combined 20 runs. Morgan's trigger movements have grown more
exaggerated, and he looks less sure in the Test arena than he did a year ago.
But the selectors appear to have faith he will come good in time.
chance to salvage his Test career after two years came in hideously awkward
circumstances. Coming at 596-4 at Edgbaston he looked unsure what he could add,
and in the end he didn't add
much. Starting at 487/5 at The Oval, his promising 44 was cut short by rain and a declaration. James
Taylor is churning out the runs in first-class cricket and may not be held back
at Lord's swung the Test England's way, and with it the series. Whether adding
gloss to a scoreline or salvaging an ailing top order, Prior has repeatedly done the business for
his country. His keeping was largely tidy, though the mistakes he did make,
such as not appealing for a Sachin Tendulkar stumping at The Oval, nor holding
a later edge, ultimately went unpunished.
wickets at 13.84)
stop and think very, very hard, back to the long, long ago, you can just about
remember a time at the start of the series when most thought Stuart Broad
shouldn't play. It turns out he was only about a foot away from being a great all-rounder. Once he
pitched it up, he was often unplayable - he dug England
out of a hole at the second innings at Lord's with the bat, and he wrested
India's control of the Trent Bridge Test away with a hat-trick. Suddenly, his
future looks as bright
as it once promised to be.
wickets at 16.31)
fitting score for Bresnan given that in 10 Tests for England he has now won all
10. But how can you fault his performances? Replacing the injured Tremlett from
the second Test, he took his first five-fer and scored 90 batting at number
eight. In the third he sliced through the top order on the first day and scored
another unbeaten half-century. And in the fourth, on a dead pitch, he still
prised out four wickets at 21 apiece, including Tendulkar's.
Surely he won't now
go back to 12th man duties.
wickets at 40.69)
a seamer's series, reflected in Swann's rather ordinary final
averages. But when the opportunity to lead the attack came, the offie was
there, ready. Nine wickets for 208 at The Oval was a match-turning performance, and a timely
reminder of how crucial a fit and firing Swann will be in the winter Tests in
decent showing in his debut series - against India in 2007 - it was nearly
three and a half years
before Tremlett was handed an England recall. Returning figures of 3-80 and
1-44 at Lord's was
far from poor, but after recovering from a bad back Tremlett may find that the
performances of others have condemned him to another spell on the sidelines.
great fanfare, the quiet Anderson has become the chirpy leader of England's
bowling attack. His mastery of swing was a joy to behold, with the balls that
uprooted Laxman's off stump at Trent Bridge and The Oval particular highlights.
Though not the pick of
the England pace trio this series, whether the attack can function fully
without him is one of the few questions hanging over this England team.
PLAYER OF THE SERIES: You could toss a coin between Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan. Broad came into the series with his place under threat, Bresnan came in fighting for a place on the team. But if you had to pick one of the two, it would be Stuart Broad because his runs and wickets came when the series was more of a contest than a procession.