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The Ashes: Michael Vaughan’s England player ratings

England’s former captain and Telegraph Sport columnist runs the rule over the current team’s performances in the last five Tests.


Alastair Cook

He’s always had good concentration but worried about his technique. On this trip he’s sorted the technique by getting his balance and movement spot on allowing him to play straighter. He’s had three shots all tour: a cut, a hook shot and clip off the hips but I’m amazed Australia have not bowled around the wicket to him.

Andrew Strauss

Set the tone with his positivity as a batsman. He was brilliant in first innings in Sydney, attacking when it looked like Australia would gain momentum after getting 280. As a captain he used his attack well and stayed positive. He did not panic after the defeat in Perth – the sign of a good leader.

Jonathan Trott

He has surprised me. I did not realise how good he is. A very calming presence at number three and you know he is going to value his wicket. The areas in which he scores are difficult for captains to set fields for. He grinds out runs and likes to bat for long periods.

Kevin Pietersen

A great double century at Adelaide but after that he had a few occasions when he got in but got out, which will have frustrated him. He is slowly getting back to his best and now needs to get his mentality right so he can grind out scores. The others have done it which might drive him on.

Paul Collingwood

He was clearly out of sorts with the bat but he has been leader of the fielding unit. The standard of his fielding drove the team to follow with great stops and good catches. He is leaving Test cricket at the right time and can be proud of his career.

Ian Bell

I was really pleased he got his hundred because I have been saying for a while he can be a top player. He has done it now on the big stage in Australia and I see the next three or four years being a fantastic time for him. He could be our Jacques Kallis. He is that good.

Matt Prior

He is as much the man of the series as Anderson and Cook. The energy he has provided behind the sticks has been exceptional. His batting has been good. He is maturing into one of the top three wicketkeeper-batsmen in the world. The list is now MS Dhoni, Kumar Sangakkara and Prior.

Tim Bresnan

He has had some good pitches to bowl on but he has made the most of them and I see him being in the England set up for a while. His pace is good and he moves the ball. Being around the England team has helped him acquire more skills and he will only get better.

Graeme Swann

He has done his job for the team. People might say he hasn’t taken the wickets expected of him but he has bowled tightly and allowed Strauss to rotate his quicks. That is how he has earned his money. In Adelaide, when he was expected to bowl Australia out, he delivered.

James Anderson

He has come on leaps and bounds and revels in being top dog. He is the leader of the unit, the captain of the bowlers. He sets fields for the others and makes it easy for Strauss because he provides a lot of thinking and energy and that is what you want in a good team.

Chris Tremlett

Outstanding. He added that X-factor to the England team: bounce, pace and you could tell the Australian batsmen feared facing him. I hope he stays fit because he could go on to have a wonderful year and beyond if he carries on like this. Has grabbed his chance with both hands.

Steven Finn

It is great he has played three Tests in Australia at only 21. He got a six-for in the first game and will go away knowing there are areas he can work on to be more consistent. He will get better and have learned from appearing in a pressurised series.

Stuart Broad

It is a case of what he did leading into this series rather than what he produced in two Tests. His attitude, drive and determination coursed through the team. He wants to learn and develop his game. That has made other bowlers think they have to do the same which is why we have a skilful attack.

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