Ratings - 24th May 2012
Russell Degnan

Motivation has been lacking, catching up...

2nd/3rd TestWest IndiesvAustralia
Pre-rating924.211177.29
Form-1.82+46.80
Expected MarginAustralia by 77 runs
2nd Test MarginMatch Drawn
3rd Test MarginAustralia by 75 runs
Post-rating926.391181.09
Series rating1003.081098.53

An interesting narrative emerged from the second test of this series, where Clarke's reckless declaration was widely praised, even though the probability of bowling out the West Indies for a sub-215 score was low, and the chance of losing high. When even Darren Sammy stars to chase the win, you've made it to easy. Nevertheless, the declaration did manage to deflect criticism away from another ordinary batting effort. Roachs 10-wicket haul was worthy of praise, as was Lyon's 5-wicket first innings, but only Chanderpaul and Hussey produced scores of note, and although Australia gathered both a first innings lead and the draw, a less rain-strewn match might have been more problematic.

The third test provided a template for that eventuality, with the exception that Wade's maiden ton and a superior second innings effort left just enough room for Clarke and Lyon to spin the visitors to victory. That Clarke took wickets indicates that the pitch was not easy to bat on, so scores in the 200-300 range weren't as horrific as they would be elsewhere. Ultimately the series was decided by the Australian's ability to grind out 30s whereas, except for Bravo, the West Indies batsmen completely failed to support the dominant Chanderpaul.

The bowling indicates a much more even series, with Roach and Shillingford the highest wicket-takers, although Australia's numbers are distorted by injuries and rotation. And yet, despite the relatively close contests and the numerous chances afforded to the West Indies to take a test, or even the series. They never looked like doing so. Recent comments from their camp reflect a lack of knowledge when it comes to the end-game, and they generally drifted from session to session, awaiting that one really bad period that allowed Australia to ut them away.

The Australians, by contrast, do know how to win, and waited out their fallow periods knowing their chance would come. They'll be pleased with the result, the performance of both teams almost perfectly matched expectations.


1st TestEnglandvWest Indies
Pre-rating1299.01926.39
Form-7.98+2.95
Expected MarginEngland by 236 runs
Actual MarginEngland by 5 wickets
Post-rating1292.15932.88

See above.

England in May has been a very tough experience for recent West Indies teams, so they ought to, and do, look at this as a comparative success.

Which is of course bullshit, because they lost, when they could have pushed England right to the wire, with some better (smarter) play, and some well timed aggression. The players who performed against Australia continued to do so, with both Roach and Chanderpaul playing well, Bravo indicating he might, Sammy contributing in his own way. Shillingford was missing, and missed. Samuels actually played well. The rest are very talented passengers.

Barath in particular is an enormous source of frustration, with the talent to score easily and the tendency to get out even more easily. Add in some sloppy and lazy running, some uninspired fielding and defeatist captaincy and the West Indies are playing time until England put them away. Which they will, because their bowling is exemplary, and their batting solid and deep.

What the West Indies really need to do is go play Ireland, a side that will push them, not give up, and force them to play to win. Then come back. Anything other than a marginal ratings improvement and a three-nil loss will be a big surprise.


Rankings at 24th May 2012
1.England1292.15
2.South Africa1181.34
3.Australia1181.09
4.Pakistan1128.35
5.Sri Lanka1033.23
6.India1023.29
7.West Indies932.88
8.New Zealand887.90
9.Bangladesh601.34
10.Zimbabwe543.69

11.Ireland555.48
12.Afghanistan510.09
13.Scotland444.87
14.Namibia396.94
15.Kenya317.93
16.U.S.A.296.99
17.Uganda268.44
18.U.A.E.212.22
19.Netherlands208.86
20.Nepal196.51
21.Canada165.88
22.Hong Kong148.65
23.Cayman Is134.24
24.Malaysia123.90
25.Bermuda105.40

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 24th May, 2012 22:54:15   [#] 

Comments

West Indies
I think, weight for age, that Brian Lara is right and that the West Indies do not lack talent. Marlon Samuels really looks like a proper batsman. I haven't seen a single new Aus batsman look as good as him. I think they are looking better and more like a team in England than I've seen them look in the last few tours, but I can't see them beating England. The difference in confidence levels in the teams is remarkable.

Shame they lose their marbles at times. Roach's no-ball habit has to be dealt with, it's a pile of nonsense.

Lolly  27th May, 2012 17:01:09  

Ratings - 24th May 2012
Lolly, all good points worth addressing at length, which I'll do so in my next update.

Talent is a funny word. It gets used for balance, time and timing, but rarely for technique or temperament. But the latter are probably more important, and it is isn't clear to me whether they can be taught any more easily?
Russ  30th May, 2012 11:11:30  

West Indies
I don't think temperament can be taught, but I suspect it can be learnt - see Mike Hussey's late blossoming - by the most dedicated of players. For example, I can't see Shaun Marsh ever having a good temperament for long match cricket. He's had it too easy at WA and is somehow a bit too, I don't know, insular? He's quite low-key if you know what I mean and that includes his ability to concentrate as you would want from a test class batsman..
Lollly  29th June, 2012 00:54:09