Ratings - 24th March 2010
Recently completed matches
|1st Test||New Zealand||v||Australia|
|Expected Margin||Australia by 87 runs|
|Actual Margin||Australia by 10 wickets|
It is almost impossible to find something interesting to write about this game. Australia found themselves in a potentially difficult situation when North joined Clarke at 4/176, but it was all one-way from there, as you'd expect. New Zealand's strength in the middle order kept them from being completely embarrassed, and they'll be pleased to have got to 400 in the second dig, but there was little else to write about of interest. Eventually, Ponting's insistence on declaring early - without taking advantage of the situation by attacking first to gain time - will backfire spectacularly. But so far it has worked well enough, and New Zealand, even more-so than Pakistan and the West Indies, clearly lack the fire-power to take advantage.
|Expected Margin||England by 200 runs|
|Actual Margin||England by 9 wickets|
Bangladesh failed to meet expectations in this game, albeit by only one wicket, but that single wicket is perhaps a better pointer to the limits of their development and ambitions, than their successes in this series. They were never going to win, not on pitches conducive to batting, where their lack of discipline with the willow, and poor bowling attack work against them. But they still lack ambition at key times, exemplified by their defensive spread fields both in the first test, and more crucially, in the fourth innings of the second. This deficiency is most likely because playing only superior teams has meant Bangladesh are yet to learn how to win, and one that may take years to perfect.
They did have notable successes though. Tamim Iqbal is emerging as a brilliant batsmen, capable of destroying any attack, with the temperament to make consistent runs. He is well supported by Mahmudullah, Rahim and Siddique, who have shown themselves capable of building good partnerships, and by Shakib al Hasan, who may yet be a truly great player. Only 23, he is almost certainly the youngest player to 1000 runs and 50 wickets, and seems to be the third fastest in terms of matches (thanks DB). That is an astonishing record. Bangladesh have some way to go before they can compete with England, but they might have already found some of the players who will do so, when they reach their prime.
|Rankings at 24th March 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.
24th March, 2010 23:34:20