A result reflective of the rankings, but not a performance from Australia that ought to have produced the result. Australia's bowling on the opening day was poor, New Zealand's stroke selection worse. Only Williamson was worked out, with Lyon producing another fine performance. McCullum, Ryder and Taylor merely gave their wicket away. Vettori and Brownlie's excellent partnership, cut short by another daft dismissal, still left them 150 runs short of what they ought to have achieved. Missing runouts and dropping catches in the Australian innings cost them another 150 or more runs, although Australia were themselves culpable of some poor stroke-play.
Pattinson's burst on the fourth morning was dramatic, but he was helped by wafting outside off stump from batsmen who are undoubtedly talented, but are wasting it if they don't work harder to protect their wicket. Ryder's lazy chip to Lyon was typical of a batsman who frustrates by being merely a fine cricketer, when he could be Jacques Kallis. New Zealand's collapse left little time to properly assess Australia, except Hughes, who could be replaced by a video of him being squared up and edging to slip, such is its frequency. Their catching was poor, the bowling of Siddle and Starc uninspired and their batting sloppy. If New Zealand get it together they could beat Australia; if Australia do too the margin will remain the same.
Almost an identical expected margin to the above. Bangladesh are a little stronger at home and might trouble Pakistan if they can score runs. Unfortunately of late that hasn't seemed the case. Pakistan have looked a better side under Misbah ul Haq, combining, in the tradition of great Pakistan sides, sensible batting and exhilarating bowling. Saeed Ajmal has been dominant recently and on turning Bangladeshi pitches he might be unplayable. Two years ago Bangladesh served up some roads to post respectable results against India and England. If they do the same they might be able to draw, or provide a base for their bowlers. Most likely though, Pakistan will be too strong.
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.
Idle Summers 5th December, 2011 23:30:15 [#]