Anderson adds the edge in England's bits-and-pieces summer

George DobellSenior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo7 Minute Read

#PoliteEnquiries: Which problems have England actually solved?

Melinda Farrell, George Dobell and Nagraj Gollapudi tackle your questions on Anderson, Pant and which team will fare better in their next tour

It was an absorbing series without quite becoming a great one, but England found enough quality when it counted to seal hard-fought wins in four of the five Tests. We run the rule over the men who played their part

8

James Anderson (24 wickets at 18.12)
In conditions almost ideal for him, Anderson was a danger throughout. While he (and Stuart Broad) may have squandered the new ball in Nottingham, he was close to unplayable at Lord's and might have had several more wickets - including that of Virat Kohli on at least two occasions - had England's slip catching been better. Kohli eluded him in the end, but not before he had drawn a remarkable 44 false shots out of India's finest batsman.

Sam Curran (272 runs at 38.85 and 11 wickets at 23.54)
A couple of vital contributions with the bat were the highlight of Curran's series. England were 87 for 7 at Edgbaston before Curran made a run-a-ball 63 to take the game away from India. Bearing in mind the margin of victory - 31 - and the next highest score in the innings - 28 - and you can see why he won the Player of the Match award. It was a similar story at Southampton, where he again top-scored with a more measured 76 and followed it with 46 in the second innings. While his relatively sedate pace sometimes limited his effectiveness with the ball, such was his ability to generate swing that he still produced some memorably magnificent deliveries: the inswinger to trap Murali Vijay at Edgbaston and the one that held its line to bowl KL Rahul at The Oval standing out. Kohli rated him as a key difference between the sides and he was named Player of the Series.

Chris Woakes (149 runs at 74.50 and 8 wickets at 20.87)
A maiden Test century at Lord's was the highlight of another injury-blighted series for Woakes. The low point was probably being bounced out in both innings in Nottingham, but he claimed the wicket of Kohli in both the Tests in which he played and proved that, in English conditions, he remains a potent force.

Moeen Ali (119 runs at 29.75 and 12 at 21)
Told at the start of the summer he would only be considered as a second spinner in future, Moeen returned to the side with nine wickets - and a Player-of-the-Match performance - in the Southampton Test and, by the end of the match, was also batting at No. 3. Gaining lovely drift and dip, Moeen comprehensively out-bowled Ravi Ashwin in Southampton - Root reckoned Moeen had never bowled better - and enjoyed the footmarks created by India's seamers going round the wicket to England's left-handers. A half-century at The Oval - albeit one containing a vast amount of playing and missing - left him favourite to retain the No. 3 position in Sri Lanka.

7

Jos Buttler (349 runs at 38.77)
A maiden Test century in Nottinghamshire was complemented by half-centuries in Southampton and at The Oval as Buttler continued to improve as a Test batsman. Better shot selection and increased composure at the crease were the key developments, with Buttler showing a welcome ability to bat with the tail as the context of the match required. Did a sound enough job as keeper when Bairstow was injured, too.

Ben Stokes, Keaton Jennings and Sam CurranGetty Images

6.5

Ben Stokes (200 runs at 25; 14 wickets at 29.14)
A series in which Stokes chipped in rather than starred. Hampered by a knee injury in Southampton and absent at Lord's due to his court appearance in Bristol, he nevertheless put that off-field distraction to one side with a match-clinching spell at Edgbaston, then batted with great restraint and maturity in Nottingham and Southampton. Not helped by the requirement to fulfil the role of "enforcer"; a role which doesn't make the most of his abilities as a swing bowler.

6

Joe Root (319 runs at 35.44)
By Root's high standards, this was - as a batsman, at least - a disappointing series. While he could claim some poor fortune - he was run out twice and, at Lord's, trapped in front by one that scuttled along the pitch - he also over-balanced towards the off-side twice and played a horrid shot at Trent Bridge. He eventually admitted he felt more settled at No. 4 and made a polished century - his first of the year - in his final innings of the summer.

Stuart Broad (16 wickets at 29.68)
A decent enough series including some spells - notably at Lord's - for which Broad won less reward than he might. Bearing in mind the conditions, though, perhaps his returns were slightly underwhelming. Batted with impressive composure at The Oval but, had it not been for that spell at Lord's and Woakes' injury, he could have come under pressure for his place.

5.5

Alastair Cook (327 runs at 36.33)
It was, until The Oval, a disappointing series. Going into that final Test, Cook averaged just 15.57 and, in announcing his retirement from international cricket, admitted he had lost "the edge" required to prosper at this level. In that final game, though, with the pressure lifted from his shoulders, he produced an encore that reminded the many admiring on-lookers of the fine player he had once been. Until KL Rahul's final innings, no other opener managed a half-century in the series. He took 13 catches, too, the most by any England outfielder in a series.

5

Adil Rashid (119 runs at 19.83 and 10 wickets at 30.90)
England's preponderance of allrounders and the seam-friendly conditions in which the series was played allowed Rashid to be used as something of a luxury player. He neither batted or bowled at Lord's, he finished wicketless in Southampton (where Moeen took nine) and he wasn't required at The Oval until every other option had been explored, repeated and then explored again. He did okay when required - he helped polish off the tail at Edgbaston, twice dismissed Kohli and made a vital intervention or two at The Oval - but whether England can afford such luxury or such a bowler in an attack including just one spinner remains to be seen.

Jonny Bairstow (230 runs at 25.55)
Started well - with 70 in Birmingham and 93 at Lord's - but faded badly. Perhaps hampered by a finger broken while keeping in Nottingham, Bairstow was dismissed for three ducks - two of them golden - in four innings at one stage, with his tendency to push at the ball exploited by India's excellent seam attack. He may also have been unsettled by talk of taking the gloves from him - Buttler kept in Southampton with both the captain and coach suggesting there were no guarantees about who kept in future - but, most of all, he looked a little too high in the batting order at No. 4 or No. 5.

4

Ollie Pope (54 runs at 18.00)
Thrust into an unfamiliar role and given only three innings, Pope could justifiably feel a little ill-used by England's selectors. Having impressed in batting at No. 6 for Surrey, 20-year-old Pope had never come into bat before the 20th over of a first-class innings before his Test debut. Required to bat No. 4 for England, however, he was routinely in before the 10th over and was exposed when playing a horrid stroke in the second innings in Nottingham. He wasn't alone there, though, and could feel unfortunate to be discarded so soon. Especially as one of those dismissals was a catch down the leg-side.

1.33

Keaton Jennings (163 runs at 18.11)
To have played a five-Test series and not passed 42 underlines both the faith England showed in Jennings and how tough conditions were for opening batsmen. Twice he was bowled leaving the ball - including, crucially, in his final innings of the series - and he was removed from the slips after missing a couple of relatively straightforward chances. His end-of-series average was the fifth-lowest in history for England openers playing five or more matches in a series. His rating reflects - incredible though it sounds - his batting average against deliveries that would have hit the stumps from seamers during the series.

1

Dawid Malan (28 runs at 14)
Dropped after the first Test at Edgbaston, in which he was unable to improve a record of reaching 30 only once in his previous 10 Test innings. He also dropped three catches in the slips in that Edgbaston Test, including Kohli twice in the first innings.