Monday, February 18, 2013

Player Ratings- 2nd Test, South Africa versus Pakistan

South Africa 326 (Peterson 84, de Villiers 61, Ajmal 6-96) and 182 for 6 (Amla 58, Ajmal 4-51) 


Pakistan 338 (Shafiq 111, Younis 111, Philander 5-59) and 169 (Ali 65, Philander 4-40) by four wickets

If anything this win was far more impressive for the number 1 ranked South Africans than their power display from the 1st Test. I say this for rather than jump their opponent from ball one and blow them a way allowing them to coast to the winners line in this match they were not only challenged, but indeed threatened on many occasion with a loss. Only to show every one, why they are the best by eye balling their precursor and taking his best blows, neutralising it fires and then hitting back hard with its own fury to come out on top.

As for the vanquished Pakistanis, they can take pride in the sterling performance they put in. But be schooled in defeat with the knowledge that to beat the best you have to drive home every advantage that is offered you. The Team was offered many chances to gain a winning edge, but came up short in those crucial moments allowing South Africa a way back into the match.

When this happened, all knew that the confidence gained from the fight back would ensure the eventual South African victory

South Africa 

Player Ratings

Graeme Smith 

Smith had a pretty average game with the bat with scores of 29 and 19, but had the balls to make the game breaking move with his Captaincy in the Pakistani 2nd innings. With the partnership of Misbah ul Haq and Azhar Ali threatening to ensure only a draw or Pakistani win his decision to replace Dale Steyn after a 2 over spell on the 4th morning with Robin Petersen was a master stroke. I say this, for it changed the batsmens mindset with them changing from stoic defence against Steyn to a want to attack Petersen. 

Which led to an indiscreet shot from Misbah that changed the game in South Africa's favour


Batting- 1/5- Very substandard display from one as good as Smith

Captaincy- 4.5/5- Made the move to change the match in his Teams favour. A real gutsy change too

Alviro Petersen 

After a 2012 of him showing that he has what it takes to be a Test opener he has effectively used this series to once more compel onlookers to question his belonging. The third Test could be the making or breaking of him. But in his favour is he has a real warriors constitution so is good when he has his back to the wall

Rating- 2/10 

Very average display 

Hashim Amla

I keep saying this, but I do not think we as onlookers truly realise how good this batsman is. His battle with Ajmal in the 1st innings was compelling with him trying to counter him by a series of reverse sweeps and manipulating his position in the crease. Then in the 2nd innings, with sweat on a few brows because of jangling nerves, Amla was the one that saw the ship safely back into port with him playing a counter attacking innings of the highest calibre

Rating- 8/10

Typical match winning display from the Rainbow Warrior Amla

Jacque Kallis

King Kallis had a pretty average match by his standards and then was involved in a typical DRS gaff. In fact, he has had a pretty down series with him only averaging 20 with a top score of 50 which means he will probably come out and blast a ton in the 3rd Test

Rating- 2/10

Very 'mortal' display from the normally 'super human' Kallis


Every ones favourite 'Bokkie' was an ever present in this match. Whether it be with him making decisive contributions with the bat or being very neat and tidy behind the stumps for the most. With him being spectacular for the rest of the time

Rating- 7/10

Very good display by A.B

FaF DuPlesis

It has been interesting watching Du Plesis in this series after his astounding efforts against the Aussies. His star has been dimmed somewhat by the spinners which is a worry as his career goes forward and he has to face them on more spin friendly decks

Rating- 4/10

It is a bit like Duminy the sequel with Du Plesis setting the world on fire in his debut series in Australia, and then being found out by Spin afterwards.

I have no doubt though, that like Duminy did, this tough as teak player will find a way to be a long term Test batsman

Dean Elgar 

Not a Test players bootlace, and should be replaced by a specialist wicket keeper to give the Team perfect balance

Rating- 2/10

Pollock like against minnows like New Zealand and Elgar like against decent bowlers

Robin Petersen

In ability Petersen is no where near Test class, but he just makes up for this by a combination of his heart and the strength in his mind. He almost wills himself to be a factor. In this match, he was huge with both bat and ball in hand. Then his catch in the 2nd innings would have gained a standing applause from Jonty Rhodes

Rating- 8/10

Game changer in this match

Dale Steyn

Had a down match after his exceptional exploits in the 1st Test with him being serviceable rather than transcendent. This being said, his very presence creates opportunities for others by the fear factor attached to him.

Rating 7/10

We always expect genius from Steyn, but on occasion we see the mortal side of him.

Vernon Philander

We keep waiting....and waiting...and waiting for Philander to stop taking the piss out of Test Cricket

But he keeps ripping it up

Rating- 9/10

Awesome display of old style pace bowling

Morne Morkel

Did his hammy in the 1st innings and out of the series which is a huge loss for the bowling unit

Rating 6/10

Looked his deadly dangerous self in the 1st innings only to be cut down by injury

Looking Forward 

The injury to Morkel means a replacement is needed for the third Test with that likely to be Rory Kleinveldt, but I would love to see a like for like replacement for Morkel with the giant Marchant DE Lange preferred. I think with the third Test being a virtual dead rubber it affords South Africa a chance to maybe have a big picture approach to selection with the future in mind.

I would love them embrace this by dropping Dean Elgar and replacing him with the young keeping phenon Quinton De Kock. Allowing A.B to go back to being a batsman and give the youngster De Kock a taste of the big time. 


Mohammad Hafees

The man known as the Professor has been well and truly schooled in this series with him being a virtual Dead Man Walking with bat in hand. He will not be dropped because of his meaning to the Team as a leader, but he needs to be moved away from the new ball. With number 6 in the batting line up being more suited to his style. Strangely under bowled in this match too

Rating- 1/10

Dismal by Hafees

Nasir Jamshed 

The youngster who dominated in his ODI career has found out that the difference in standard between that style of the game and Tests is massive. He will likely be dropped for the Third Test with him not having the game suited for Test Cricket at present

Rating- 1/10

Not up to it at present

Azhar Ali 

You can respect the guts Ali showed in his second innings 65 but he needs to learn how to accumulate runs as well taking the opportunities afforded him to be a class top 3 batsmen. He left too many runs out on the field with his placement of shots being substandard and rarely piercing generous gaps. I think for the Teams benefit he needs to revert to being an opener from now on with Younus Khan going back to three in the line up

Rating- 6/10

Has all the tools to be a fine player, but needs to become a more trusted accumulator of runs 

Younus Khan 

Brilliant innings in the 1st dig and unlucky to chop on when he looked set for a big one again in the 2nd. He still is the heart of the Pakistan batting that gives the rest of the batsmen their pulse

Rating- 8/10

Very fine display by the man known as YK

Misbah Ul Haq

I am the hugest Misbah fan, but he had a dreadful match here in his primary role as Captain. His decision not pair Mohammad Hafees as a spin partner to the deadly dangerous Saeed Ajmal during the South African 2nd innings chase was curious to be kind. The fact Hafees only bowled 2 overs in the South African 2nd innings was moronic in the extreme.

Then his batting, with it gaining standing applause by his role in a rescue mission with Pakistan 7/2 in their 2nd innings, but failing to give the innings momentum with a shift in gears to a more attacking mode being needed. The pressure it exerted largely attributed to Pakistan's batting collapse


Captaincy- 0/5- His tactics were shockingly bad

Batting- 3/5- His part in the rescue mission was admirable, but his efforts after undermined the Team 

Asad Shafiq 

One of the real bright lights in this defeat. With his century in the 1st innings being of the highest calibre and then him threatening to take the game a way from South Africa in the 2nd innings. Only for a freak dismissal to stop his charge.

He is wasted at 6, and should be moved up to 4 to give the batting more momentum

Rating- 8/10

One of the games brightest batting stars

Sarfraz Ahmed 

Karachi is nice this time of year, and after his efforts in this series so far he should be dropped and sent home

Rating- 0/10

His dismissal in the 2nd innings summed up his efforts

Tanvir Ahmed

Should never have been selected for this match with the omission of left arm spinner Abdur Rehman being a huge gaff. Bowled at barely 120 kms with little or no threat and his only redemption was his efforts with the bat in the first innings

Rating- 2/10

Huge selection gaff by Pakistan in selecting Tanvir for this match

Umar Gul 

The 'Gul-Dozer' has gone off the boil of late and with the loss of Junaid in this match and the pressure on him to lift he let down the Team badly. Admittedly  he was the victim of a few dropped catches, but his bowling lacks the bite and threat of a few years back. Then as a useful lower order batsman he contributed a pair

Rating- 1/10

Very disappointing from one as respected as Gul

Saeed Ajmal

As masterful as Dale Steyn was in the first test Ajmal was every bit his equal with his display of genius spin in this game. This in the face of little support from the other bowlers and a dreadful display by Misbah in his Captaincy

Rating - 10/10

10 for 10 wickets

Mohammad Irfan

The Giant was useful without ever being threatening, but did enough in this game to deserve a start in the next Test

Rating- 6/10

Useful first Test

Looking Forward

The likely prospect of Imran Farhat replacing Nasir Jamshed has all Pakistani fans with heads in hands. Along with him coming in at the top the batting needs to be swapped around to offer more balance between defence and attack. This would be my top 6

Azhar Ali
Imran Farhat
Asad Shafiq
Misbah ul Haq
Mohammad Hafees

The bowling needs a re-jig too. With Tanvir Ahmed to be replaced by Junaid Khan if he is fit, and I know it would make the attack very inexperienced. But because it is a dead rubber, I would replace an under performing Umar Gul with the youthful talents of Eshan Adil 

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