Attacking cricket is good cricket; Ratings 16th December
Russell Degnan

1st TestAustraliavIndia
Pre-rating1250.41082.6
Form-6.9+74.7
Expected MarginAustralia by 134 runs
Actual MarginAustralia by 48 runs
Post-rating1244.51087.0

A thoroughly entertaining test that was closer than the margin might have suggested. There is something poignant about Warner and Smith scoring the bulk of the runs; two occasionally maligned players reaching their batting peak much as Hughes would have. Warner began with the ease of someone who cared for little more than bludgeoning anything he could to all parts. India's obliging first five overs were, in the end, rather crucial to the result. Fortunately for them, and the match, the re-introduction of the bouncer brought Warner, the match, and the contest back onto an even keel.

Notwithstanding the margin - and without Kohli's mistimed shot, or Saha's nonsensical heave India might have, even ought to have won - India also took just 12 wickets in the match. Australia look a batsman short - two with Clarke now injured - but they still coasted along for long periods, and Adelaide was India's most likely venue to score heavily.

Kohli was immense, Vijay very good, and the others either unlucky or poor. The tail is long, and it is hard to see how Karn Sharma brings more with the ball than is lost from Ashwin's batting. The Australian pace attack will be stronger in Brisbane, though this was Lyon's match, who was rewarded for his persistence and variety. Off-spin bowlers in Australia have a hard life. Lyon will shortly become Australia's highest ever wicket-taker of that variety; ponder that a while. He is still new to the game, still struggling on slow, low pitches, but a very good bowler. This was due reward.

3 TestsSouth AfricavWest Indies
Pre-rating1289.1870.2
Form-17.7-6.7
Expected MarginSouth Africa by 257 runs

257 runs. That's not the margin of a game that swings one way or another, that's a flogging, by an innings and some, especially when you remember it accounts for the odd unavoidable draw. The West Indies are still producing committee reports at home, while the touring side goes into a contest with the world's best absent a decent consistent pace bowler, a batsman of class, not just talent, on the right side of 40, or a spinner not banned by the ICC.

South Africa probably won't win by 257 runs, because they are rebuilding part of their batting order, and adjusting the bowling to the loss of Kallis. But a few good sessions from any of Steyn, Philander and Morkel will settle this. The gulf in talent is decent, the gulf in quality is much bigger.


Rankings at 16th December 2014
1.South Africa1289.1
2.Australia1244.5
3.Pakistan1106.1
4.India1087.0
5.England1084.7
6.Sri Lanka1050.1
7.New Zealand951.0
8.West Indies870.2
10.Bangladesh594.6
12.Zimbabwe559.8

9.Ireland594.8
11.Afghanistan587.6
13.Scotland430.3
14.Namibia383.4
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.257.3
17.Netherlands182.4
18.Canada147.9

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 17th December, 2014 00:11:07   [#] 

Comments

Attacking cricket is good cricket; Ratings 16th December
Bangers should be 10th, Afghans 11th
FMI  18th December, 2014 20:45:28  

Attacking cricket is good cricket; Ratings 16th December
Thanks, Fixed, Slowly.
Russ  24th December, 2014 22:42:11