It doesn`t rain but it pours; Ratings 29th July
Russell Degnan

2nd TestEnglandvAustralia
Expected MarginAustralia by 14 runs
Actual MarginAustralia by 405 runs

Being at the World T20 Qualifiers, I saw only a few highlights, but heard many a description of Australia`s dominance. As we`ve seen repeatedly over the past two years, they are a very very good side if they get runs on the board, and if their bowlers take early wickets. The weaknesses if they don`t, particularly if Smith fails (and he can`t score runs every innings), remain. Nevill looked good, but it was an easy moment to bat. Rogers has scored heavily, but may be suffering the after-effects of illness. It seems churlish to downplay such a dominant victory, but the series remains tied, and Australia remain a side that has lost as well as won by big margins in recent series.

England, following Australia`s lead in the first test, have dropped Ballance in favour of the in-form Bairstow. Form though, is at best, a limited effect. Bell will definitely be one hoping so, as he hasn`t scored runs in some time. The shift up the order could be disastrous for England if they continue to expose Root and those below him to the new ball. Cook has played well, given his own problems, but batting all the way down is only a partial substitute for runs at the top.

1st TestBangladeshvSouth Africa
Expected MarginSouth Africa by 295 runs
Actual MarginMatch Drawn

What was shaping up as an interesting contest, with Mustafizur Rahman taking 4/37 on debut, to keep South Africa to 248, and the home side responding with 326. But with both day 4 and 5 rained off, there was no chance of a result, and Bangladesh`s best opportunity of a win against one of the top half dozen in some time went begging. It seems unlikely the home side is pleased with either washed out draws or the income losses associated with them. Yet, matches for Bangladesh are the last scheduled, and the most likely to suffer from this kind of waste. Hopefully the second test will be luckier, but it seems unlikely Bangladesh will make as good a start.

Rankings at 29th July 2015
1.South Africa1279.2
6.Sri Lanka1011.2
7.New Zealand1000.5
8.West Indies867.0

17.Papua New Guinea219.4
19.Hong Kong150.1

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don`t play each other.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 29th July, 2015 09:33:16   [#]