Ratings - April 2005
Russell Degnan

I finally got around to resurrecting the cricket ratings; lost last year when my hard drive mysteriously deleted itself. There were three series recently:

South Africa v Zimbabwe
Opening Ratings: SAf: 1095.78 Zim: 713.82
1st Test: South Africa by an innings and 21 runs.
2nd Test: South Africa by an innings and 62 runs.
Closing Ratings: Saf: 1099.31 Zim: 707.44

South Africa dealt Zimbabwe the thrashing you'd expect from such a mismatch. Zimbabwe were even worse than expected, capitulating in less than two days in the first test, and taking only 3 South African wickets in their rapid first innings. They fought out the 2nd test with the bat, but only took 7 wickets again. The South African averages got a boost, but their rating didn't, they lie fourth.

India v Pakistan
Opening Ratings: Ind: 1176.05 Pak: 1024.85
1st Test: Drawn.
2nd Test: India by 195 runs.
3rd Test: Pakistan by 168 runs.
Closing Ratings: Ind: 1142.64 Pak: 1065.38

An interesting series that Pakistan did well to draw, picking up a handy ratings jump in the process, but still leaving them sixth, while India stays third. The efforts of Afridi and Kaneria against atypically slow-scoring Indian batting - Sehwag excepted - were outstanding. Youhana and Inzaman led the batting, but the support from the rest was patchy. It will be interesting to see how whether Pakistan shows the same spirit against the West Indies in late May.

New Zealand v Australia
Opening Ratings: NZ: 1028.49 Aus: 1379.53
1st Test: Australia by 9 wickets.
2nd Test: Drawn.
3rd Test: Australia by 9 wickets.
Closing Ratings: NZ: 1014.51 Aus: 1389.17

The ratings indicated a mismatch and it went to script. New Zealand's batting on the first day of the first test, but McGrath and then Warne rolled through the batting to leave an easy chase for the tourists. A lot of rain put paid to the second - is late March the best time for cricket in New Zealand? And the third was an exhibition by Ponting with a typically good supporting cast. Gilchrist destroyed the New Zealand attack with two centuries and a strike-rate over a run-a-ball, while McGrath and Warne did the job with the ball. For New Zealand, Hamish Marshall looked promising, but it was Vettori - of all people - with the best average. His bowling needed support as New Zealand was left wanting. The ratings barely changed though: Australia is still well on top, while New Zealand stay seventh.

Forthcoming Series:

West Indies (843.49) v South Africa (1099.31) - 4 Tests.
As I write this, the West Indies are belying their weak rating and dominating the first test. It is a longer than typical series however. South Africa's rating has declined markedly in the last year, and West Indies might finally be coming around. Worth watching.

New Zealand (1014.51) v Sri Lanka (1097.95) - 2 Tests.
The ratings say New Zealand are slight favourites at home, but like South Africa their rating has taken a plunge, while Sri Lanka continue to slowly improve. It would be interesting if it wasn't so short.

England (2nd) 1209.78
Bangladesh (10th) 616.46

Cricket - Ratings - Test 3rd April, 2005 23:39:35   [#] [0 comments]