Ratings - January 2006
Russell Degnan

India v Sri Lanka
Opening Ratings: Ind: 1151.25 Sri: 1089.47
1st Test: Drawn
2nd Test: India by 188 runs
3rd Test: India by 259 runs
Closing Ratings: Ind: 1175.00 Sri: 1067.61

Vaas's remarkable figures (21 overs, 4/20) brightened the first test when rained ruined the first three days, but after that India showed the advantages of depth. With the unexpected exception of Pathan, who followed two ducks with a match winning knocks 93 and 82, no batsman was more than adequate on either side. India were adequate all the way to number 11 though, scoring important runs when it mattered to set up big victories on the solid bowling of Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. Rather than being brilliant, Muralitharan's 7-for in the second test underlined a lack of support as India secured big victories without playing particularly well.

Australia v South Africa
Opening Ratings: Aus: 1345.82 SAf: 1127.19
1st Test: Drawn
2nd Test: Australia by 184 runs
3rd Test: Australia by 8 wickets
Closing Ratings: Aus: 1349.53 SAf: 1122.41

All hail Ricky Ponting. Three tons showed his mastery of the bowling, but were necessary for Australia to overcome a dogged South African side. While the most significant statistic is probably that the top four Australian batsmen (Ponting, Hodge, Hussey and Hayden) outscored the top eight South Africans, most of the wounds suffered were self-inflicted. Dropped catches were symptomatic of a larger problem for South Africa; namely an inability to follow through good positions. For their part, the Australians did what they had to, but seem to be lacking bite in an ageing bowling attack. While the batting is no more or less than it has been for the past several years, the inability of the bowlers to keep control of the game makes the attacking batsmanship seem a dangerous conceit when it fails. A series which asked more questions than it answered.

Forthcoming Series:

Pakistan (1127.04) v India (1175.00) - 3 Tests.

Anything less than an interesting series would be a great disappointment given the history between these sides. It is hard to determine why they couldn't play five tests instead of just three. Pakistan should start favourites, based on recent form but both could push into second place on the rankings with a sufficiently strong win. A lot depends on how the Pakistani batsmen perform, as the most unreliable unit of the two sides. If they score runs then Pakistan to win, otherwise India to slowly strangle them.

England (2nd) 1204.38
New Zealand (7th) 1051.26
West Indies (8th) 812.23
Zimbabwe (9th) 672.64
Bangladesh (10th) 610.86

Cricket - Ratings - Test 8th January, 2006 01:16:48   [#] 


Ratings - January 2006
The reason India and Pakistan are playing three tests rather then five is about money and also because England are touring India in February and there isn't time. This is a shame, but there you go.

This was a pretty weak South African side, and Australia had trouble despatching them in the First and Third Test, so yeah, asked a lot of questions, that series did. I am worried about how we will go in the return bout in Africa to be honest.
Scott Wickstein  8th January, 2006 14:32:54  

We would have been in a lot of bother had we been faced with England's bowling attack, and not South Africa's. Then again, would the make-up of the side have been the same had we been facing England? The selectors obviously saw the weaker opposition this summer as a chance to blood new players. Might they have hung onto Martyn, for instance? He would have doubtless gone better in Aussie conditions than those on offer in England.
aftergrogblog@bigpond.com  8th January, 2006 15:36:48  

Ratings - January 2006
Tony, I reckon Martyn is going to get the Deano treatment, in that, no matter what happens, he'll be percieved as a backwards step when there are other potential candidates who could play instead.

And the selectors still haven't blooded any new bowlers so the make-up of the attack could be anything. I mean, is Symonds good enough to play as a third seamer? Watson? Will Tait be back? Or Gillespie? What chance will Dorey, Lewis, Bracken or Clark play? Has Brett Lee actually turned the corner? Has McGrath turned a corner for the worse? And if we need a genuine third seamer what happens to MacGill?

The top-5 looks more settled, but I think Clarke will be back in the side by Boxing Day.
Russ  8th January, 2006 22:13:54