Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Player Ratings, 1st Test, India versus Australia, Chennai

India 572 (Dhoni 224, Pattinson 5-96) and 50 for 2 

beat 

Australia 380 (Clarke 130, Ashwin 7-103) and 241 (Henriques 81*, Ashwin 5-95, Jadeja 3-72) by eight wickets

The 1st Test saw a game full of compelling individual efforts of brilliance from both Teams that astounded and left us in appreciative awe. A match where spin was introduced as the major plot line and will likely be the major talking point of the series. In the face of this realisation, and the comprehensive Indian victory, it exposed Australia's massive frailties in regards to spin with them looking bunnies batting against it and with no real options when bowling it.

Going forward, the new talking point is whether the Aussies are already dead and ready for burial or if they can make a remarkable come back. In the face of an Indian line up that will be full of confidence with them fuelled in the knowledge that the conditions are so in their favour and their opposition so adverse to these confines.

India

India can really take a lot from this match that saw them maul the Aussies. When you take into account that the Aussies had the benefit of the toss and batting first on a real dust bowl. And despite this massive advantage, India still prevailed easily.The efforts of M.S.Dhoni was superhuman with his innings of 224 being one of the best seen and one cannot praise Ravichandran Ashwin enough for his refined and more mature display with the ball after being rubbish against England.

It is only one game, but after seeing how inadequate Australia was in the conditions if all the pitches are like this an Indian whitewash is on the cards........

Players Ratings

Virender Sehwag


After watching Viru in the England series and his efforts in this game it must be said that he is finished and should be dropped. His choice to use glasses gave the indication that his Eagle Eye that has been the basis of his remarkable career has deserted him and he now has no fall back plan due to him being devoid of both technique and footwork.

His batting aside, he also stood out in the field with his nonchalant attitude in a game where it was obvious that M.S.Dhoni was doing everything in his power to up the notoriously slack Indian attitude in the field

Rating - 0/10

Needs to go for the good of the Team


Murali Vijay 


Was a speculative pick on the basis of him being a home town boy and his past performances in home Tests. But his very average form in recent first class games in India where he averaged 15 stood true, and he was exposed as being a walking wicket.

Rating- 0/10

Vijay was a selection based around 'hope' which never ends up well....
.

Cheteshwar Pujara


Blind Freddy can see that this boy is Class with a capital C....

And though he did not rip it up in this game he made you know that he will at some point in the series make the Aussies be sick of the sight of him. With him making you judge him as being like a lending of Rahul Dravid's  indestructible composure and VVS Laxman's divine grace.

Rating- 6/10

A So So game for a potentially brilliant player


Sachin Tendulkar 


How rich would you be if you got a dollar for all the Headlines in India exalting that the 'Little Master is back' after his first innings of 81. Where he was unbeaten on 71 at stumps of the 1st day leaving every one and anyone to dream of a possible Tendulkar ton. Sadly for his masses of worshippers it did not eventuate.

But from a big picture point of view it imbibed restored faith in the batting line up with them supported by the awakening of their batting sleeping giant

Rating- 7/10

A fine come back performance for the little champ


Virat Kohli

The young tyro played a magnificent knock at a time when the game was in the balance with him showing new found maturity in his composure. Sadly the only mental lapse he had was after he reached 100 with a huge score at his mercy he needlessly sacrificed his wicket. 

Rating- 8/10

A great innings that ended all too soon by his own hand 

M.S.Dhoni 

WOW!

Is really all you can say after witnessing how Dhoni turned this game on its ear with his peerless double ton. An innings that underlined how astute Dhoni is as a reader of the game with him coming in with the game in the balance and him deciding to counter attack in a manner that not only shook the Aussie up but eventual knocked them out.

In stages of his innings he was so in control with his confronting menace that it was like a cat toying with its helpless prey

Rating- 224/10

In truth no mark is high enough to convey how decisive Dhoni was.


Ravendra Jadeja


Jadeja had a nice match with him getting 5 wickets with his spin that was greatly aided by the raging turner. But going forward on less supportive pitches it is questionable whether his bowling is adequate enough for Test level. Plus as a batsmen he looks to lack the quality for Tests  

Rating- 6/10

Ok, but one gets the feeling that he will be found out sooner rather than later

Ravichandran Ashwin 
Very mature display from a young bowler that looked out of his depth against England. In this game he stuck to the basics with his relentless lines and lengths and sticking to bowling his stock delivery at an exemplary level. His change of pace and flight were masterful, and when he did on occasion throw in a variety he gave the batsmen cold chills because of its unexpected nature.

Rating- 15/10

Masterful display

Harbhajan Singh

Bhahji got better as the game went on, but you cannot tell me that there is not a better spinning option in Indian than this veteran?

Rating- 5/10

Ok, but nothing that makes you want to write home to mother about

Bhuvneshwar Kumar 

This boy was hardly supported by the conditions that saw him only bowl 13 overs for the march but he showed that he has some real 'ticker.' An entity that was seen in his stoic support of Dhoni with the bat and cannot be under played in a Team like India that has shamed itself by many heartless displays of late

Rating- 6/10

In truth hard to rate him in a game where his bowling was rarely used


Ishant Sharma
In a word typical Ishant.................

Defined by him frustrating once more in a rubbish display that should see dropped and never called on again

Rating- -Infinity/10

Touted as the leader of the Indian attack, but could not lead two pigs to get muddied


Looking Forward 


Going into the next game the Indians hold all the Aces. But they can added a few up their sleeves by giving Sehwag, Murali Vijay and Ishant the boot and bringing in more able players. Preferably Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane to open and Pragyan Ohja as the 4th spinner

Australia

It is not a good time to be an Aussie fan with the typically spin friendly Indian conditions exposing all aspects of the team as being not up to it. Their pace bowling that has been a strength was rendered impotent by the pitch outside of the super human efforts of James Pattinson as well as their batting once more looking like an accident waiting to happen.

Then, do we really want to talk about their Spin bowling resources...............

The thought of that is enough to make me want to pour a stiff double shot of Irish!

Ratings 

Ed Cowan 

Always promises and looks at times accomplished only to frustrate and make you look like a fool for believing in him. His first innings dismissal was appalling where after hitting a 6 that allowed him a tactical edge over the bowlers. He threw it a way by running down the pitch again and getting stumped when sense would have seen him build on the initial blow he exerted.

Rating- 2/10

Time is running out on Cowan

Dave Warner 

He scored 59 in the 1st innings, but in truth looked all at sea against the spin and made you think that he had the good fairy kissing his nether regions by how many lucky escapes he had. The 2nd innings saw him lessened by illness, but once again looked like he enjoyed the spin assault as much as a child is at being served up Brussels Sprouts

Rating- 3/10

Looked out of his depth


Phil Hughes 


He got a brute of a delivery in the 2nd innings to go with him looking like a blind man trying to find a needle in a hay stack in the first. Technically deficient in the extreme against spin and if he is persisted with in this series he might have the term 'walking wicket' attached to his name

Rating- 0/10
Sorry Phil, you are not up to Test Cricket

Shane Watson 


Watson again proved in this game that talk is cheap with him jabber jawing about his preferred position in the line up in the lead up to the match only to show once more that solely as a batsman he is not up to the demands of Tests

Rating- 0/10

Hands up if you are sick to the back teeth of Watson never backing up his talk with performance?

Michael Clarke 

You can understand fully why Clarke has a crook back with him having to constantly carry this line up. He was lucky in the 1st innings by him being out in the thirties to an obvious bat pad only to be saved by the absence of DRS. But the fact that he accepted this luck gleefully and then scored a peerless century shows the guys calibre. Looked a class above the rest in the 2nd innings before playing back to a sharp turner from Ashwin

Rating- 7/10

I wonder if Clarke misses Michael Hussey?


Matthew Wade 


Very average as a gloveman, and then as a batsmen who is touted as being good enough to play anywhere in the top 6 looks suspect too. His dismissal in the 2nd innings where he essentially gift wrapped his wicket to Harbhajan with an atrocious shot was not only shameful, but also showed his lack of responsibility.

Rating- 1/10

Very average game

Moises Henriques
I must admit that on seeing this debutante being one of the few that showed any fight that goes with real pride in the Baggy Green that all his Team mates would struggle to eye ball him without feeling ashamed. 

His batting was exemplary, and though he struggled to get penetration with his bowling he gains forgiveness for this because of the cruel nature of the pitch for seamers

Rating- 8/10

A great display by the youngster

James Pattinson 

Super human effort by the quick in a display that will send out the message to all that greatness is in this bowlers future

Rating- 10/10

To bowl as well as he did on that thankless pitch was astoundingly good


Peter Siddle 


The leader of the attack was very disappointing in this game with him failing to fire any shots. You know Siddle has a huge heart so expect him to be embarrassed by his display and to hit back hard in Hyderabad.

Rating- 1/10

Not good enough from one as respected as Siddle

Mitchell Starc

Starc was rendered impotent by his inability to get any swing meaning he reprented money for old rope for all the batsmen.

Rating- 0/10

A non factor


Nathan Lyon

It is hard to feel justified to bag Lyon as all in sundry have because the honest truth of him as a Test spinner is that he is C Grade at best. Meaning that even on a pitch as spin friendly as this it is unlikely that he will ever be anything outside of an occasional threat. His reality against any batsmen that has a clue against spin is that he will either be milked or mauled as seen in his match figures of 244/4

Rating- 2/10

Big hearted bowler that gives his all, but he is just is not up to Test Cricket


Looking Forward 
Australia's Plan A of backing its strength in pace bowling in this series was its best chance to win. But after its plan being rendered impotent by the pace killing pitches that seem obvious to be the main trend through the series they need to revert to Plan B.

Which in truth is a bitter pill to swallow revolving around bringing in another spinner or even two to try to be factors in the spin friendly conditions. The distress over this forced choice is that of the reserves in Steve Smith, Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell they all struggle when compared in calibre with Nathan Lyon...........

Away from the dogs dinner that is the Teams spins resources, the batting is a similar mess. With 5 of the top 7 being worthy of the drop, but only Usman khawaja being a likely replacement. A player that inspires even less faith than the current haphazard bunch.

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