Season Review 2006-07 and 2007
Russell Degnan

As per last year, but pre-dated to the start of the South Africa v Pakistan series, and woe-fully late, but worth doing.

Australia 1st 1441.45 +62.41
P:5 W:5 D:0 L:0

Just five tests for the year, but what an important five tests. The Ashes restored with the most comprehensive victory in 80 years. A glut of retirements marked the transition from the end of an era, however, it seems (as promised) the replacements will, if not match, at least keep Australia at the top of the heap for some time to come.

India 2nd 1158.23 +37.17
P:8 W:3 D:3 L:2

A disappointing year until the unexpected (an unusual) victory over England away from home propelled them into second place. The batting continues to grow long in the tooth, but some of the pace bowling looks promising, as does the middle order of Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh.

New Zealand 7th 1065.59 +36.06
P:2 W:2 D:0 L:0

Just two tests in the year, both home victories over Sri Lanka. A perfect record is not exactly representative of where New Zealand cricket is at though. As this summer started they plunged into crisis, players fleeing for better contracts on foreign shores, and a brittle, inadequate top order ripped to pieces.

South Africa 5th 1101.32 +29.10
P:6 W:4 D:0 L:2

Nothing improves a rating like not having to play Australia. South Africa were nonetheless disappointing registering 2-1 victories over India and Pakistan at home. Better than the year before, but still a side with much to prove.

Zimbabwe 9th 672.64 -
P:0 W:0 D:0 L:0

Hard to believe, but not playing has its advantages.

West Indies 8th 833.77 -1.05
P:7 W:0 D:2 L:5

Away tests don't help the West Indies, and they were woeful again. The series in Pakistan was respectable, though only through the last bright fluttering of Lara's star. The series in England was woeful, even with Chanderpaul in rare form. The talent is still there though, so I continue to live in hope.

Bangladesh 10th 597.99 -1.28
P:5 W:0 D:1 L:4

Still searching for that first win, but at least Bangladesh had the consolation of three days of rain and a draw against India. Sri Lanka completely decimated them though, as they continue to struggle.

Pakistan 4th 1102.43 -7.84
P:6 W:3 D:1 L:2

An up and down year, losing 2-1 to South Africa, but registering the (expected) win against the West Indies. Still completely reliant on a few players, and now missing the mercurial Inzaman ul Haq. Expect Pakistan to struggle for a while.

Sri Lanka 6th 1100.60 -18.18
P:5 W:3 D:0 L:2

Like Pakistan, hopelessly dependent on a few superstars, albeit with more hope for the future. Sri Lanka failed miserably against New Zealand, but dominated Bangladesh at home. Will continue to be neither here nor there until they start winning on foreign shores.

England 3rd 1136.24 -86.18
P:12 W:3 D:3 L:6

Still third, but just barely. Just when England looked like they could build a dynasty they collapsed in a slew of injuries, reversals of form, and dismal results. The Australian tour - and in particular the Adelaide test - has scarred this generation for the rest of their careers. The winning mentality has gone, and while they caned a woeful West Indies, they succumbed to India in a surprise home loss. Even English summers last longer than this side's run of good form.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 6th January, 2008 22:37:35   [#]