Ratings - November 2005
Russell Degnan

Zimbabwe v India
Opening Ratings: Zim: 682.83 Ind: 1142.64
1st Test: India by an innings and 90 runs
2nd Test: India by 10 wickets
Closing Ratings: Zim: 672.64 Ind: 1151.25

Zimbabwe would be pleased by two things in this series. They survived the opening day's play in the first test, and they showed admirable discipline and skill in bowling India out for 366 (from 1/195) on the second day of the second test. Once again Taibu batted well and there were good contributions from Blignaut, Streak and Mahwire. For India, Pathan showed he loves a minnow, and there were plenty of runs even if Ganguly's run in with Greg Chappell is ill-advised.

Sri Lanka v Bangladesh
Opening Ratings: Sri: 1086.46 Ban: 614.29
1st Test: Sri Lanka by an innings and 96 runs
2nd Test: Sri Lanka by an innings and 69 runs
Closing Ratings: Sri: 1089.47 Ban: 610.86

About the only interesting aspect of this series was whether the second test would finish before the similarly dull contest between Zimbabwe and India. It did, but only because of the timezone. It is impossible to tell if Bangladesh are improving. They continue to get thrashed by the same margins and their rating continues to fall. As much as I hate two-test series, at least these are only two-test series.

Forthcoming Series:

Pakistan (1046.49) v England (1252.93) - 3 Tests.

Coming off their Ashes victory, England are clear favourites for this series. Nevertheless, Pakistan are playing good cricket in patches, as is their way, and can be expected to challenge. Expect a few English players to be found wanting on sub-continental pitches, but for their disciplined attack to hold them in good stead.

Australia (1342.10) v West Indies (816.39) - 3 Tests.

On paper this is a no-contest. In reality Australia are looking to reshape their side to avoid the sort of catastrophic decline the West Indies have suffered as players retire. The Windies can be a bogey side for Australia, expecially Lara, but anything other than an easy series victory will precipitate a clean-out of the Australian side.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 1st November, 2005 00:53:31   [#]