Cricket: Man-for-man: England's world cup

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The Independent Online
ALEC STEWART

Inns: 5 NO: 0 Runs: 125 HS: 88 Avg: 25.00

His 88 against Sri Lanka in the opening match suggested an overdue return to batting form after pre-tournament doubts. However, he scored only 37 in four subsequent innings, including a first-ball duck against South Africa. Won all five tosses but his captaincy lacked imagination, although a lack of variety in his bowling resources, undermined by the absence of a world-class spinner, limited his options.

NASSER HUSSAIN

Inns: 5 NO: 2 Runs: 194 HS: 88* Avg: 64.67

Given the nod at the last minute ahead of Nick Knight as Stewart's opening partner, he emerged as England's chief run-maker with unbeaten half-centuries against Kenya and Zimbabwe but proved no more effective than anyone else against better quality opposition. However, some outstanding performances in the field gave him the right to call his own World Cup a successful one.

GRAEME HICK

Inns: 5 NO: 2 Runs: 159 HS: 73* Avg: 53.00 Overs: 3 Maidens: 0 Runs: 19 Wickets: 0 Econ: 6.33

His form in the build-up matches raised hopes that he could be England's match-winner at last, but after unbeaten half-centuries in the first two matches he again failed to deliver when it mattered most, losing his wicket tamely against both South Africa and India. After countless opportunities to prove he can perform under pressure, his international career may finally be at an end.

GRAHAM THORPE

Inns: 4 NO: 1 Runs: 125 HS: 62 Avg: 41.67

Very unlucky to be given out against India, when he was cruelly denied the chance, perhaps, to have kept England in the World Cup, the Surrey left-hander did not enjoy the best of times. Brings class to the middle order but even he was powerless to prevent the South African rout and cannot be excused from the general criticism of England's batting, which did not come up to scratch in terms of ability or character.

NEIL FAIRBROTHER

Inns: 3 NO: 1 Runs: 57 HS: 29 Avg: 28.50

Although his figures look modest, the Lancashire one-day specialist twice found himself cast in the role of England's last hope, both against South Africa and India, on each occasion failing through lack of support as much as any other factor. Still has a future as an England player in limited-overs cricket even at the age of 35, which tends to highlight how very few quality players have emerged in the last decade.

ANDREW FLINTOFF

Inns: 2 NO: 0 Runs: 15 HS: 15 Avg: 7.5 Overs: 18 Maidens: 0 Runs: 96 Wickets: 2 Avg: 48.00 Econ: 5.33

England's great hope proved to be an enormous disappointment, failing to produce the necessary quality when he batted and performing well short of the required standard when he bowled. Still a fine prospect, he is clearly not yet ready for the biggest stage and it is to be hoped his confidence is affected neither by his own lack of success nor by the dejection of those around him.

ADAM HOLLIOAKE

Inns: 1 NO: 0 Runs: 6 HS: 6 Avg: 6.00 Overs: 18 Maidens: 0 Runs: 90 Wickets: 1 Avg: 90.00 Econ: 5.00

Over-hyped and now looking suspiciously like he was over-estimated, the older Hollioake was dropped for two matches and failed to deliver when restored, producing little spark with the ball and joining the ranks of the ignominiously dismissed against India when poor shot selection and worse execution cost him his wicket in England's hour of need.

MARK EALHAM

Inns: 2 NO: 0 Runs: 5 HS: 5 Avg: 2.5 Overs: 50 Maidens: 5 Runs: 191 Wickets: 10 Avg: 19.10 Econ: 3.82

Confirmed his reputation as one of the best medium-pace bowlers in one- day cricket by performing superbly with the ball, combining wicket-taking with economy, even against top-class batsmen. His fielding has improved but must do better with the bat before he can be considered a genuine all-rounder in international cricket.

DARREN GOUGH

Inns: 2 NO: 0 Runs: 29 HS: 19 Avg:14.5 Overs: 48.4 Maidens: 4 Runs: 192 Wickets: 11 Avg: 17.45 Econ: 3.95

As ever, Yorkshire's favourite son gave his all, bowling fast and consistently well to finish as the top wicket-taker with 11 strikes. The World Cup did him no damage and he remains as a new-ball bowler worthy of universal respect. As a batsman, however, England need him to be more than the uncomplicated slogger, which is how he seems to regard himself.

ANGUS FRASER

Inns: 2 NO: 1 Runs: 18 HS: 15* Avg: 18 Overs: 30 Maidens: 2 Runs: 111 Wickets: 1 Avg: 111.00 Econ: 3.7

If he was worth his place in the squad, the veteran should have been used from the start. Omitted from the first two matches, he took a rare hammering against South Africa but subsequently regained his reliability. However, a return of only one wicket was a big disappointment.

ALAN MULLALLY

Inns: 2 NO: 1 Runs: 1 HS:1* Avg: 1 Overs: 50 Maidens: 6 Runs: 176 Wickets: 10 Avg: 17.60 Econ: 3.52

Leicestershire's left-armer was an outstanding plus, bowling with skill in all five games and returning outstanding figures, beginning with 4 for 37 against Sri Lanka and following that with 2 for 28 against South Africa and 2 for 16 against Zimbabwe. Can hold his head high after proving the most dangerous bowler and the most economical.

IAN AUSTIN

Did not bat. Overs: 18.4 Maidens: 1 Runs: 66 Wickets: 3 Avg: 22.00 Econ: 3.54

Having bowled steadily enough in England's first two matches and taken wickets, can regard his subsequent omission as no fault on his own part, more an illustration of the lack of balance in a squad lacking depth in both firepower and quality.

ROBERT CROFT

Inns: 1 NO: 0 Runs: 12 HS: 12 Avg: 12.00 Overs: 12 Maidens: 1 Runs: 45 Wickets: 1 Avg: 45.00 Econ: 3.75

Given only 12 overs in two matches, the Glamorgan spinner did not have adequate chance, which seems to reflect both a lack of confidence in his ability and a lack of imagination when bowling called out for variety.

Not used: Nick Knight, Vince Wells.

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