Ratings - 11th February 2010
Recently completed matches
|1st Test||India||v||South Africa|
|Expected Margin||India by 62 runs|
|Actual Margin||South Africa by an innings and 6 runs|
It is hard to fathom how a team with so much across the board talent could be so dependent on one player for results. But South Africa's performances on the past year bear remarkable resemblance to the form of Dale Steyn. Take nothing away from the batting of either Amla or Kallis, whose determined focus meant an under-strength India were only ever hunting for a draw. But Steyn, when on his game, is the difference between the South Africans routing the opposition by an innings, and struggling to bowl them out for 400 in either dig. Here, on a pitch offering little, Steyn was immense, destroying the Indian first innings with guile in one spell, and power in the second. An innings defeat is not as earth-shattering as being made out in some quarters - South Africa had one of their own barely a month ago - but you can't help that feel that India's ageing stars are on the way out, and that the new generation cannot possibly hope to reach the same level. While this series doesn't have the length to do itself justice, the final test retains some interest in the ordering of the top 3. An Indian victory by an innings and 172 runs is necessary for them to move to the top, for South Africa: 93 runs.
|1 Test||New Zealand||v||Bangladesh|
|Expected Margin||New Zealand by 218 runs|
A series so short it shouldn't actually be sanctioned. A pity too, given that the previous match-up between these sides was closely fought, and that Bangladesh's recent improvement should make them competitive, even if they can't force a victory. Playing New Zealand in Hamilton is a different prospect to playing in their homeland, however, as their thrashing in the limited overs games showed. Expect Bangladesh's rating to continue to improve, but New Zealand to win out.
|Expected Margin||Afghanistan by 74 runs|
The neutral venue means that, in theory Afghanistan is less favoured to win this than perhaps they should be. Canada are not as bad a team as their rating reflects, but Afghanistan are a team on the move, consistently piling on large scores, and with a balanced team of young talented players. The more they play, and the more they win, the better they become. They should be considered raging favourites for this game, and as a consequence, carry the pressure that favouritism brings.
|Expected Margin||Kenya by 110 runs|
A must-win game for the Netherlands, having failed to register a win so far, despite pushing Afghanistan close. Kenya's chance of making the final appears doomed regardless of the result, but their form in this competition has been reasonable, and they remain a formidable and experienced opponent at this level. The Kenyans should win, but associate teams are nothing if not inconsistent, and it should be an interesting contest.
|Rankings at 11th February 2010|
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.
11th February, 2010 11:01:39