England have gone to India and lost an ODI series once again - but 3-2 sounds an awful lot better than the 5-0 drubbing they suffered in 2011.
There were positives; England will point to the fact that the result came without the likes of Jonathan Trott, James Anderson and Graeme Swann, all of whom would surely command a place in the side had they not been rested.
But there were familiar failings, as two predictable batting collapses took the wind out of their sails, and the wicketkeeper and strike bowler got changed midway through the series.
So with the series done and dusted, all that's left to decide is what number to award each player out of 10:
Alastair Cook (7/10)
He captained England well for the most part, backed his hunches, and could hardly be held accountable for the batting collapses which largely did for England. And with the bat he made starts every time, and twice saw half-centuries cut off by dreadful umpiring decisions before he could go on and really show what he was capable of. He will wonder on both fronts what might have been.
207 runs at 41.4
Ian Bell (7/10)
Came into the series in a run of scintillating form, which deserted him for three games, but finished as the only man on either side to score a century. His 113 not out in Dharamsala was only his third in ODIs, but one of only a few times that he has seen a chase home. Bell said afterwards it was a step forward – critics (and he still has those) will point to it coming in a dead rubber. Either way, he will remain at the top of the order for series to come – and may find conditions in New Zealand to his liking.
234 runs at 58.5
Kevin Pietersen (7/10)
Was it a good comeback series? It had its moments. He was fluent in Rajkot and Kochi but got out in the 40s each time. In Ranchi he scored just 17 but was sawn off having not edged the ball that saw him given out. There was also a fighting 76 in Mohali. Perhaps it simply lacked fireworks, but there is little doubt that the ODI team is stronger with Pietersen available for it.
185 runs at 37
Joe Root (7/10)
He made waves on Test debut, and now looks like a valuable part of the ODI team as well. Not only did he make contributions when he played, but his innings looked tailored to the conditions – and his unbeaten 57 in Mohali pointed to an ability to mix up his strokeplay and surprise opposition. He also proved a valuable extra option with the ball, often trusted more than Samit Patel in the same role. Some players seem to look the part at international level straight away – despite having just turned 22, Root is one of those.
163 runs at 54.33
Eoin Morgan (5/10)
Punchy 40s in the first and last ODIs, but went missing in the middle. Morgan has disappeared from the Test reckoning, but despite an iffy series in India, he remains a key part of England’s plans, with the ability to rediscover his form without warning and with devastating effect. He’s also an accomplished fielder in the point region, and will be a crucial part of England’s Champions Trophy campaign come the summer.
94 runs at 23.5
Craig Kieswetter (4/10)
England’s ODI wicketkeepers are not like buses – they come and go with astonishing regularity. Kieswetter’s form and confidence deteriorated before our eyes, and it was little surprise to see Jos Buttler jump ahead of him after three games. The gloves are also not like a merry-go-round – once you lose your spot, it’s rare that you win it back. With Buttler and Jonny Bairstow in the NZ squad at Kieswetter’s expense, it’s going to take a mountain of runs to get his place back.
42 runs at 21
Samit Patel (5/10)
Part of it isn’t Samit’s fault. What do England want him to be? In game one he was dropped down the order to number seven, only to be bumped up to finish the innings with a 20-ball 44. He scarcely bowled. He was used for bits and pieces with the ball – he jumped up and down the order. If he’s confused, that’s understandable. But despite all that, he’s had opportunities, and four-and-a-half years into his international career, is no closer to deciding what sort of player he is, and what role he will play in this side.
75 runs at 37.5, 1 wicket at 131
Tim Bresnan (6/10)
In the context that it had just been announced that Bresnan would be receiving specialist treatment on a long-standing elbow problem, it was something of a surprise that he produced his best figures for some time with 4-45 in the final ODI. That tidied up some otherwise very ordinary figures. But Bresnan needs to fix himself. He has been too short of pace for too long, and is a shadow of the bowler he was in 2011. A break is the right course of action if he is to have any hope of playing a meaningful part in back-to-back Ashes series.
7 wickets at 28.85
James Tredwell (9/10)
Not bad for a number two. Tredwell’s Test ambitions may be forever limited by Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar’s pre-eminence, but when called upon by England he did not let his side down. Bowled England to victory in Rajkot, and was economical and effective everywhere else. Not only did he not look out of his depth – he was by some distance England’s stand-out bowler of the series.
11 wickets at 18.18
Steven Finn (7.5/10)
In late 2011 Finn emerged as one of the few bright spots in a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of India. Opening the bowling once more, he returned equally impressive figures over five matches where again he was routinely on the losing side. Finn is hostile, accurate and has a habit of unsettling good batsmen. If he could just stop knocking over the stumps in his delivery stride because it’s costing him wickets [and in the case of the fourth ODI, possibly England’s last hope of winning the match and series]…
7 wickets at 32.85
Jade Dernbach (4/10)
Oh dear. Dernbach looks as if he has all the tools needed to be a force in limited-overs cricket, but lacked a stock ball in this series. His control deserted him, and he was costly at the start of innings, then expensive at the death. The emergence of a statistic that he now has the worst economy rate of any bowler in ODI history did little to support his inclusion, and by the fifth game, he was out of the reckoning. When and if he next features for England remains to be seen.
5 wickets at 49.2
Chris Woakes (5/10)
The selectors have backed Woakes with his inclusion in all three formats for the upcoming New Zealand tour, and conditions may favour his nibbly bowling there. But for now, despite decent returns in the matches he did play, he still looks short of the pace that is required to consistently trouble batsmen on lifeless pitches. At 23, there is still time for his bowling to develop.
2 wickets at 52.5
Jos Buttler (6.5/10)
He didn’t do much wrong behind the stumps, and he didn’t have much time to impress with the bat. Buttler is a player brimming with potential, but with England playing fast and loose with their wicketkeeping selections, don’t be surprised to see him relegated to Bairstow’s back-up come the ODIs against New Zealand in a couple of weeks from now.
14 runs at 14