Monday, November 19, 2012

Player Ratings: India versus England, 1st Test , Ahmedabad

India has prevailed victorious from the 1st Test in a game full of twists and turns with some compelling individual efforts emanating from the top drawer of skill and application. Leaving us all on the edge of ours seat and begging for more as well as knowing that there is still a greater War to be won in this series

Duly lets pick apart the performances of the individuals and the Teams as a whole

India 

People will point to the huge benefit that India gained through winning the toss and batting first. Which indeed has merit, but it takes away from how well they batted in that innings to set up the match. Away from the batting side of things, their bowling was very strong as a unit and deserves the highest praise for getting 20 wickets on a brutal pitch that took away many modes of dismissals.

Virender Sehwag 


Viru during the glory times of the Indian Test Team in the last 5 years has always been the most crucial part of the Teams masterful batting line up. Here with many question marks against his name after two years of struggle he took us all for a walk down memory lane in an innings that was probably the most decisive contribution in the match.

His run a ball 117 in a Test where Teams struggled to score at over 2.5 runs an over paved the way for an Indian victory

Rating: 11/10
- Viru reminded us of the days when he was the most feared and destructive match winner in the game giving the English cold sweats

Gautam Gambhir
Firstly condolences to Gautam for the loss of his Grand Mother during this match. May she be Resting in peace in Paradise

He played the foil in the 1st innings for Sehwag to maul around sharing in a 134 run opening partnership which was crucial with India struggling at the top of the order recently.

Sadly within his innings he still looked scratchy and lacking in confidence at the crease which is a far cry from the dominating and complete batsman we were in awe of a few years back.

He will need to lift with the axe still resting over his head and with Ajiinkya Rahane looming in his shadow 

Rating: 5/10- Still looked like he is struggling mightily

Cheteshwar Pujara 


India certainly has a gem in this young batsman who has shown every indication in his pristine technique and Zen like temperament that he could be a 10 year high quality number 3.

His unbeaten 206 was just pure class and maturity that belied his tender age of 24 with him shifting brilliantly through the gears between defence and attack. He played Graeme Swann as though he was toying with a rank amateur with his use of the feet to the accomplished English tweeker very impressive indeed

Rating: 10/10- Pure Class

Sachin Tendulkar 

I have seen all of the 'Little Masters' legendary career and I must admit it is sad watching him bat in such a diminished state.

His fans will say it is just a phase that he will break out of soon which you can respect for you should never doubt true Legends like Tendulkar

But with him scoring only 820 runs in his last 25 Test innings at an average of 32.8 figures might back that he is on a dramatic wane.

Even in this Test, he not only looked scratchy, but then played an irresponsible shot that gave England a sniff of a comeback.

Rating- 3/10- Let us hope that he does turn it around and re finds his sublime Mastery, but if he does not he should put the Team first and retire after the series.

Or face the prospect of him having the taint 'Selfish' added to his immense Legacy

Virat Kohli

The Indian batting Phenom struggled in this match with him getting dropped early and then being bowled comprehensively through a huge gate to the off spin of Graeme Swann

Got to hit the winning runs in the Match off Swann walking off smiling like a Cheshire Cat.

And you know that he will have a decisive say in this series at some point

Rating- 4/10- Found out by Swann's spin in this match which has us all awaiting the re match

Yuvraj Singh

Timing is everything in Life and Sport and Yuvi had a perfect sense in this match

Walking in with England on its knees on a pitch that was low and slow was like him winning Lotto

Duly he picked the bones out of the English carrion showing that in these types of conditions he is a near perfect number 6 with his destructive prowess.
His only blemish was hitting a full toss from Samit Patel down Graeme Swann's throat when he seemed assured of a century rather than sending it high into the adoring crowd

Away from his batting, India are fooling themselves if they think his bowling can be a factor in Test Cricket

Rating- 7/10- A fine contributor here, but his true Test will come on the Mumbai pitch that has a bit of bounce in the 2nd Test

M.S.Dhoni
A very average keeper and an equally abject Captain

Whose defensive tactics in this match allowed England to find a way back into the match with the amount of runs he gifted them in the 2nd innings with needlessly deep set fields

Rating- 1/10- In a surreal sense he is India's greatest weakness due to his incompetent Captaincy as well as being one of England's greatest strengths in this series for the same reason.

Ravichandran Ashwin 
This young offie has real talent but was exposed for his inexperience in this Test with him only taking 191/4 in conditions that were tailor made for him
He was his own worse enemy with him trying to bowl a different ball every delivery rather that concentrating on maintaining a relentless line and length and letting the pitch support him with its demons.

Experience will teach him of the need for patience which he so lacked in this match

Rating- 5/10- Big hearted, but struggled

Zaheer Khan
Proved again in this match why he should be regarded as one of the most under rated players in the Modern era
He has such skill and real bowling smarts that is inspiring to watch

Rating- 8/10- Great performance from a fabulous bowler

Pragyan Ojha

165/9 was true testimony to his threat with his left arm orthodox spin

But it did not tell the full tale of his maturity as a bowler and his skill in old style spin bowling that most have turned their back on

When India was facing the prospect of England setting up an unlikely draw he was the one who rescued them on the last day by getting rid of Matt Prior and Alastair Cook

Rating- 11/10- Along with Sehwag, and even more so, he was the Indian match winner

Umesh Yadav

This precocious young fast bowling talent that was one of the few Indians who did not shame themselves in Australia looks to have improved further

He has slimmed down and looks much fitter which helped him consistently get the ball through at over 140 kmh.

Add his lethal reverse swing and he had all the English batsmen being wide eyed facing him

Rating- 8/10
- Excellent performance from a rising quick bowling star

Looking Ahead
A great display by India with both bat and ball- well done!

England 

The English only have themselves to blame for losing this match with them messing up their Team by not including Monty Panesar as a much needed second spinner. Accentuating this huge gaff was their deplorable fielding that saw 5 catches dropped in the Indian 1st innings that would have changed the game completely if they were held. Made worse by a batting display in the 1st innings that was just pure toiletry.
They gained some redemption with a renewed batting display in the 2nd innings, but the horse had bolted by then 

Alastair Cook 

Exceptional with him playing one of the finest innings you will ever see in the 2nd innings with his 176 in trying conditions with everything against him

Reminding us all that when people talk of Hashim Amla and Michael Clarke as being the finest batsmen in the Test game he is their equal

Rating- 10/10- Incredible

Nick Compton 

It was only his 1st Test in trying conditions, and though he showed great application and guts in the 2nd innings he is not the man for the job

I say this for he is too like for like with Cook, and with Compton stone walling everything it puts more pressure on Cook to provide the scoring which is not his game

The last thing England needs is Compton becoming a burden to their greatest batting strength Cook

Rating- 3/10- If he plays he needs to move away from opening with Cook for he messes up the Teams balance at the top.

Jonathan Trott

The run machine has had all his gears seized up in Asia 

Scoring on 17 runs in his two innings in this match to go with him averaging only 31.68 in 16 innings in Asia

He is on a par with Cook as England's most important player and simply needs to lift if the Team has a chance to come back in this series

Rating- 2/10- Very average display

Kevin Pietersen

What can you say about KP?

He was dreadful in this Test, but you know he might come out and blaze a run a ball game defining 150 in the next Test

Needs to find form in a hurry for England's sake

Rating- 3/10- KP is a flawed Genius and everything that goes with that moniker.......need I say more?

Ian Bell

Embarrassed himself with his bizarre shot against the first ball he faced in the 1st innings and then got an absolute peach of a delivery from Yadav in the 2nd 

He will be absent from the 2nd Test for the birth of his child, and maybe he should stay in the Old Dart rather than come back and risk further embarrassment

Rating-1/10- One of the dumbest shots you will ever see

Samit Patel

He was picked as a batting all rounder to act as the 2nd spinner which was bizarre to begin with. For the only way the Indians would have got out against him was by having to retire hurt from hyperventilating due to laughing too hard at him.

Then as a batsmen got two dreadful decisions in the match but did not help his cause by falling across his stumps during both

Rating-1/10- Should not be in the Team

Matt Prior

Brilliant behind the Stumps and one of the few who stood up for England with the bat

A keeper/batsman that is upholding the proud heritage of English greatness in this discipline of the game

Rating- 10/10- Awesome display

Tim Bresnan

Bowled at barely 120 kmh with absolutely no threat at all

Rating- 0/10- Rubbish

Stuart Broad

Was as ineffectual as Bresnan and drove us all nuts with his constant appealing that had all the appeal that grunting has in Womens Tennis 

Rating- 0/10- Rubbish#2

Graeme Swann

Was big hearted and carried the attack in the Indian 1st innings with no support from the seamers. Which complimented his performance even further

Showed you do not need a Doosra to be an effective Off Spin bowler

Rating- 9/10- England's only effective bowler 

James Anderson 

Lead the attack 'brilliantly' with match figures of 85/1- note the sarcasm

And showed us again that he is Tarzan in English bowling friendly conditions, but Jane away from home 

Rating- 0/10- Rubbish #3

Looking Ahead

England needs to show some balls with their Team for the 2nd Test by moving Matt Prior up to 6 and playing 5 bowlers on a Mumbai pitch that is touted to have bounce for the pace men as well as spin. The only way that would scupper this is if Steve Finn is not fit

But proving he is, this would be my 2nd Test Team

Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Morgan, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar

2 comments:

  1. Exactly the team I would pick.
    Bairstow needs to be overlooked, people saying he is a shoe-in because of his last test but Morgan is a fine player of spin.

    As for the ratings, wouldn't disagree with many. Think you've rated Prior too high, he did drop a dolly, and gave away his wicket in the first innings, Swann is no mug so there was no need for that shot.

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  2. Samit got 2 bad decisions I feel. I think you are a bit harsh on Trott and would agree with you on Bresnan and Broad I would have given them 1 out of 10 would mostly agree with you only thing is the team for next match not quite agree with!

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