Both sides were much-improved from those that took to the field three years before. England still won the series 2-0, but without great fanfare, while the West Indies won plaudits for their resilience and fight, if not the end result on the scoreboard.
With a showpiece summer series against South Africa drawing ever closer, who shone and who floundered for England?
Andrew Strauss (8/10)
He needed a big series — and he delivered it. His last two Test centuries had come in July 2009 and November 2010. Here, in back-to-back Tests he scored impressive centuries while his usual partners in the batting order, Cook and Trott, were subdued. He loses points for his captaincy, with his overly-defensive inclinations in evidence again, and on one or two occasions he veered from cautious into poor, as partnerships between Samuels and Sammy at Trent Bridge and a 10th-wicket stand between Best and Ramdin at Edgbaston were allowed to rattle along.
326 runs at 65.20
Just the one half-century from Cook, an important one which took England safely through to victory in the first Test when the West Indies had fought their way back into contention. But that aside, Cook's technical issues looked like they were rearing their head again. He edged behind three times in one innings in an ugly effort at Trent Bridge, only to be reprieved by Roach's no-balls, but looked vulnerable outside off stump and on his pads as well.
176 runs at 44
Jonathan Trott (5/10)
A series which never really got going for Trott. There was a half-century in the first innings at Lord's as England threatened a monster score, before he was hustled out by Roach in the second innings. There were starts, but not finishes, though in a three-Test series when he only played four significant innings, Trott will still feel in decent touch going in to the South Africa series.
140 runs at 35
Kevin Pietersen (7/10)
The decision to retire from limited-overs cricket will be the incident that lingers largest when discussing Pietersen this series, but with the bat he looked in superb form. Twice he threatened to rack up monstrous scores, but each time he was dismissed with his century in sight. He broke into the top 10 run-scorers in England's Test history in this series — the question now is how much longer he will continue and how much further up the rankings he will go.
203 runs at 50.75
Ian Bell (8/10)
Fluent and composed — this was a far cry from the forlorn Ian Bell of the winter, and a step closer to the irresistible Ian Bell of last summer. There was no big score on this occasion, though he was denied the opportunity to become the first Warwickshire batsman in history to write his name on the honours board at Edgbaston when rain interfered with him 24 runs short of the landmark.
222 runs at 111
Have the selectors seen enough of Bairstow to decide against him for the summer series against South Africa? Three times he had an opportunity to start an innings, and three times he fell without passing 18. The manner of his dismissal to Roach in the Trent Bridge Test, where he looked deeply uncomfortable against the short ball, will have been noticed by Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn. Fit-again Ravi Bopara may come back into the reckoning.
38 runs at 12.66
Matt Prior (5/10)
A quiet series from Prior, who did not manage a trademark assault on tired bowling from the middle order. With the gloves he was for the most part tidy. Prior is unlikely to figure for England in the upcoming limited-overs matches, and will hope to find some form ahead of a series against the South Africans where his runs will be considerably more important.
35 runs at 17.5
Tim Bresnan (7/10)
Won a tight-run competition with Steve Finn for the final bowling spot and did enough to justify the selectors' faith. Bowled economically without great reward at Lord's, before finding some reverse swing at Trent Bridge which helped him to eight wickets in a man of the match performance. In the absence of Anderson and Broad at Edgbaston, Bresnan was briefly England's senior seamer. The only blip was the rain, which meant that his remarkable record of winning every Test he has played in ended in his 14th match.
39 runs at 39, 12 wickets at 33
Stuart Broad (8/10)
It is extraordinary to think that this time a year ago Broad was still trying to be England's 'enforcer' and failing to pick up wickets. Another 14 wickets in this series, however, including career-best figures of seven for 72 at Lord's, took his haul in the last year to 56 wickets from 11 Tests at an average of 20.03. With the ability to contribute with the bat as well, the record books beckon for the 25-year-old.
35 runs at 17.5, 14 wickets at 22.71
Graeme Swann (5/10)
Swann wasn't afforded much help from the pitches, but even taking that into account the series was something of a toil for the spinner. Twice, however, he managed to take the prize wicket of Chanderpaul, and his ability to prise out the left-handers was still in evidence — which will be essential when South Africa's batsmen come later in the summer.
31 runs at 15.5, 6 wickets at 47
James Anderson (8/10)
Customarily brilliant, and in complete control of inswing and outswing. The only surprise was that he did not end up with more wickets to his name, but Broad at Lord's and Bresnan at Trent Bridge ended up doing most of the damage. Still, if when the chances aren't going to hand you are taking wickets at an average of under 27, it bodes well for when your luck begins to turn. He was disappointed to be rested for the third Test, but remains England's lead bowler.
9 wickets at 26.88
Graham Onions (7/10)
One chance with the ball, one decent effort. Onions made his return to the Test team after an injury-ravaged two-and-a-half-year absence, and did just as he had done in his previous incarnation as a Test cricketer — bowl from close to the stumps, and straight. He will have more opportunities at Test level in the era of rotation.
4 wickets at 22
Steven Finn (6/10)
When Finn gets it right he looks like the most dangerous bowler in England. For now, though, there are still moments where his youth and inexperience betray him. In his one outing of the series he had a minor issue with getting so close to the stumps that he knocked over the wickets at the non-striker's end, and when he tried to correct that on the following day, he lost his line and bowled too many leg-side deliveries. His time will come.
3 wickets at 36.33
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