Inconsistency, or the ebbs and flows of modern crickets; Ratings 27th April
Russell Degnan

2nd TestWest IndiesvEngland
Expected MarginEngland by 54 runs
Actual MarginEngland by 9 wickets

It is tempting to say England won this match in two days. They didn't, in reality it lasted until well into the fifth, but they did put in about two days of decent cricket, and that was sufficient to roll over a West Indies side that, in patches, plays okay.

Marlon Samuels, who if he always tried might be a good cricketer but seems to reserve those moments for personal vainglory and vendettas, anchored the West Indies first innings, making 103, but while there were runs in the tail, neither the batsmen nor the bowlers played well. Cook, Trott and Ballance made a good start, for once, but the innings of note was Root's 182 not out, left short of a double century by some typically lackadaisical batting from Broad and Anderson, who followed it up with poor bowling.

At stumps on day four, the West Indies needed to bat to tea to save a game they'd never really been in. At which point Anderson took control, removing Braithwaite for 116, along with Samuels, Chanderpaul and any remaining resistance. Cook and Ballance knocked off the runs, and the tourists took the win. You suspect any win is a good win for England these days, but given the weaknesses of the opposition, that merely underlines the lack of confidence still plaguing the side.

2 TestsBangladeshvPakistan
Expected MarginPakistan by 206 runs

One-day series rarely provide much of a guide to a test series, but Bangladesh's demolition of Pakistan raises more than a few questions. The performances of Bangladesh at home have been improving for some time, as has the consistency of their cricket, as the talented youth have finally began to make their mark. Conversely, is this the same Pakistan that Australia had no answers to less than 12 months ago? The squad for the tests sees the eturn of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, and with them ought to come that stability and nous to see off Bangladesh. But the world cup showed a side of the Bangles that was new, and this is the sort of opportunity they need to take. If they play nearer their potential, this should be a much more interesting series than the rating gap suggets.

Rankings at 27th April 2015
1.South Africa1288.3
6.Sri Lanka1033.1
7.New Zealand986.2
8.West Indies865.8


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 27th April, 2015 22:28:08   [#]