Anatomy of a winning team

Angus Fraser's guide to those who played in the record run
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The Independent Online

Marcus Trescothick

Played: 8 Tests

Batting average: 49

Bowling: 0 for 10

Catches: 10

At times the Somerset opener can be frustrating, but he is capable of taking games away from opponents in a very short space of time. Like Strauss he brings class to the team and his approach to training sets a wonderful example.

Andrew Strauss

Played: 8 Tests

Batting average: 57.86

Catches: 13

The England opener has had an enormous impact on the side. Watching him walk out to bat is already a reassuring sight after just eight Test matches. The 27-year-old is diligent, reliable and very good. What more do you want?

Andrew Flintoff

Played: 8 Tests

Batting average: 58

Bowling: 29 wkts at 24.4 runs

Catches: 8

He is the heartbeat of this England side. The players worship him because of his selfless nature and his ability to win games. The upturn in his form has coincided with him settling down and his life becoming more organised. He says there is more to come.

Geraint Jones

Played: 8 Tests

Batting average: 31.3

Catches: 29

Many questioned the selectors when they picked the Kent stumper ahead of Chris Read. But it has proved to be an inspired decision. His glovework needs to improve but the runs more than make up for the odd aberration behind the stumps.

Ashley Giles

Played: 8 Tests

Batting average: 30.63

Bowling: 35 at 26.3

Catches: 2

His method may not be pretty, but it is proving mighty effective. Criticism made the left-arm spinner consider retiring during the summer, but he persevered and had the best season of his career. Vaughan's confidant and closest mate.

Matthew Hoggard

Played: 8 Tests

Batting average: 15.29

Bowling: 29 at 33.5

Catches: 2

The Yorkshire paceman is now offering England the consistency and control they want. Though he failed to take a five-wicket haul in 2004 Hoggard was an integral part of the attack, bowling the tough overs, often uphill or into the wind.

Stephen Harmison

Played: 8 Tests

Batting average: 23.75

Bowling: 39 at 28.4

Catches: 2

Harmison had an outstanding 2004 and fully deserved to be ranked the best bowler in the world. His pace and bounce troubled the best batsmen and helped win more than half of England's games. Repeating this in 2005 will be a tough task.

Michael Vaughan

Played: 7 Tests

Batting average: 39.91

Bowling: 0 for 25

Catches: 7

When Vaughan took over as England captain he told his players to work hard and to have fun. They have. His calm, consistent and personal approach have allowed this team to express themselves. The results have been staggering.

Graham Thorpe

Played: 7 Tests

Batting average: 62

Catches: 6

The 35-year-old offers England experience and class. He may not be very mobile in the field, but he is the player you want to see in the middle in a close match.

Mark Butcher

Played: 4 Tests

Batting average: 23

Catches: 2

The form of the Surrey captain has been spasmodic, but his experience and ability to scrap were crucial in the West Indies. Butcher's healthy attitude to social occasions helps to relieve tense situations.

Robert Key

Played: 4 Tests

Batting average: 42

Catches: 3

The Kent opener took his chance when Butcher was injured during the summer and was unfortunate to miss out in South Africa. Key's self-deprecating and humourous approach to life make him an excellent tourist.

James Anderson

Played: 3 Tests

Batting average: 11.5

Bowling: 7 at 31.3

Catches: 2

England's 12th man. At the moment life is frustrating for the Lancashire seamer, but he must bide his time and ensure he is bowling well when his chance comes. It will.

Simon Jones

Played: 3 Tests

Batting average: 10.67

Bowling: 10 at 32.3

Catches: 1

The Glamorgan fast bowler still has some way to go, but he is full of potential. He needs to stay fit, become more consistent and bowl fast if he is to keep Anderson at bay.

Martin Saggers

Played: 2 Tests

Batting average: 0

Bowling average: 4 at 46.3

Catches: 0

The Kent swing bowler filled the gap when Jones and Anderson were injured, but failed to prove he was Test class.

Ian Bell

Played: 1 Test

Batting average: 70

Catches: 2

Class act though he will have to wait until Butcher or Thorpe have gone to gain his chance.

Nasser Hussain

Played: 1 Test

Batting average: 137

Catches: 3

Nasser who? It seems a long time since he tearfully retired after scoring a hundred in the first Test against New Zealand. The success of Strauss has more than made up for his departure.

Statistics apply to record run only

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