Ratings - 7th June 2012
|2nd Test||England||v||West Indies|
|Expected Margin||England by 230 runs|
|Actual Margin||England by 9 wickets|
The West Indies are extraordinarily predictable and consistent; they are also an enigma. They hint constantly at being better than they are, in their stylish stroke-play, quick bowling and potentially excellent spinners - has any nation got three spinners as good as Bishoo, Shillingford and Narine? Yet they never come close to winning, and predictably fall apart in patches, which costs them the game. There are, I think two elements to this. The first is that they haven't learnt, or are unable to acquire the necessary temperament to play big innings. Marlon Samuels was immense in the second test, scoring 117 and 76*, Sammy offered telling support, finally batting like he bowls, instead of how he ought to captain. But most of their top-order has impressed at one time or another. The second is that they just aren't that good; that their spells of competitive and disciplined play (and increasingly they have them, even sustain them), only keep them in the game, not win it; that the inevitable fluctuations in performance are different primarily in their centre.
The talk coming in to the third test centred largely around two issues. The introduction of Narine, and the possibility that he might carry that sharp edge that they need to win games; and the resting of Anderson, and perhaps Broad. I've written about rotation before. I have no particular qualms with it, but I don't believe the epidemiological studies support it as a solution, given the main problems lies in the repeated stresses of multiple innings. If it stops raining long enough for play to start, the West Indies might hope to take advantage of English hubris. It remains unlikely though, given the strength of their back-ups and the injury to Roach.
|Rankings at 7th June 2012|
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.
7th June, 2012 23:33:23