Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Player Ratings, 2nd Test, India versus Australia, Hyderabad

There was an inevitability about this game before a ball was even bowled with you knowing that the pitch would again favour spin. Thus with Australia being unable to bat against it and very weak in bowling it in comparison to it being like a bed for India to lie in. An easy victory for the hosts was the only outcome. The only thing that startled onlookers was how meekly the Australians capitulated to a humbling innings loss that now sets up the very real prospect of a humiliating 'whitewash' series loss.

As for the Indians, context needs to be applied to the decisive win due to how reprehensibly bad the Aussies were in all regards. But the upside for the hosts was that the Team success was driven by the youngsters in the Team meaning there is a fair bit of light at the end of the tunnel for the Team.

Player Ratings


Virender Sehwag

The fact that the Team is winning so easily might mean that Sehwag's position in the line up is saved. In truth he is showing every sign that he is finished with him always being reliant on his eye for his destructive reputation in the Game, but now that has forsaken him he has nothing left to fall back on.

Meaning he is like a fish out of water and needs to go

Rating- 0/10

Time to retire to the IPL Viru

Murali Vijay

Looked all at sea in the first Test and was lucky to make it into the Team for this game

But, credit to the selectors with him playing a very fine openers knock. Where he played patiently and traditionally in the early parts of his innings and then branched out with a dazzling array of elegant shots. His disdain for the spinners and the expertise he showed in hitting them over the top was of the highest calibre 

Rating- 10/10

Cannot fault him for what was a high class innings

Cheteshwar Pujara

Class player, that will only get better.

His double ton here was masterful with him showing such dexterity in both defence or attack and against pace or spin. The innings made even more noteworthy by the fact that he played most of it with an injury.

One of the best young players seen for a long while with not only talent, but such old style temperament

Rating- 10000/10

I gave him a rating of 10000 for that is how many Test runs I think he will score 

Sachin Tendulkar

Failed in his only innings with 7, but would have enjoyed watching the younger Indian's dominate the old foe

Rating- 2/10

Failed, when he had every support to succeed

Virat Kohli

Played a rather curious innings of 34 off 92 balls when he was at the crease with India on 4/400 and the Aussie bowlers brought to their knees. You would have expected him to see this and dig the heels in with more attacking intent rather than stonewall. Ultimately his innings stalled the momentum of the innings after Dhoni left leading to a collapse and less of a lead than the Team expected 

Rating- 2/10 

Strange play by a naturally attacking player at a time in the Indian innings when the only choice was to attack


The Indian Master Blaster threatened to emulate his Chennai rampage with a stroke filled 43 that gave all the Aussie bowlers cold sweats only to inexplicably to hole out to Glenn Maxwell's humble offerings.

Away from his batting, you can see a very discernible change in his Captaincy from his laconic past to being on the players more in the field. Which has had the effect of upping the attitude and intensity in the Team that was so lacking against England

Rating- 6/10

Having a very good series

Ravendra Jadeja

A interesting player with it obvious that he is not Test standard with the bat, but his bowling has been very threatening in this series. As well as his fielding being exceptional and a much needed add on to an Indian Team that is so substandard in the field. His ball to bowl Michael Clarke was an absolute humdinger

Rating- 8/10

I was outraged to see Jadeja preferred to Ohja, but now I can see why

Ravichandran Ashwin

Brilliant follow up effort to him destroying the Aussies in Chennai with him picking up another  6 wickets here. How he has matured in a bowling sense and the improvements seen in the thinking in his bowling since the England series has been startling. He will definitely be one of the rocks that the next great Indian Test Team is built around

Rating- 8/10

Is the Boogey Man in all of the Aussie batsmen nightmares

Harbhajan Singh

Can any one tell me why Harbhajan is still in the Test Team?

Obviously because of all the left handers in the Aussie batting

In this match, he was once again useful without ever being a real threat

Rating- 5/10

Gets a pass, but India would be better served with a more able spinner

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Singh

The young swing bowler set up the match for the Indians with a high class opening spell of bowling on the 1st morning seeing him take out 3 of the Aussie top order. He not only shows real skill in the swing he gets, but is deceptively quick and his big heart completes him perfectly

Rating- 8/10

Kumar was the one that delivered the first telling blow that Australia could not recover from

Ishant Sharma

He played a role, but rarely threatened the Aussies with him getting only one wicket in Shane Watson in the 2nd innings to a tickle down leg. You can see him holding his place until Umesh Yadav comes back, but after that his position will come under question

Rating- 5/10

Always promises, but rarely delivers 

Looking Forward 
The Team is choc full of confidence now and can aim for a series whitewash with them knowing Australia has no answers in the spinning conditions.
A 2 nil series lead will probably mean there is no change for the third Test, but it would make sense to drop Virender Sehwag at the top of the order who looks finished. By replacing him with a vibrant youngster like Ajiinkya Rahane, it would not only strengthen the batting, but also improve the intensity in the field that Sehwag so drags down with his lapse attitude.


Ed Cowan 

Of the frail top 4, Cowan is the one who inspires the most hope due to the fact that he has a Test temperament to go with his adequate technique. But he is a constant frustration with him always coming up short. I thought he would kick on after his brilliant century against South Africa recently, but he simply has not cut the mustard in this series

Needs to improve in the rest of the series or expect to feel the axe

Rating- 4/10

In no way good enough from a player that should do better

Dave Warner 

A hit or miss player that is more miss than hit. He struggles with being able to read the game and how he should play and plays too many get out shots. He has shown in the past that he can cut it in Test Cricket, but he has been exposed as an impostor so far in this series

Rating- 3/10 

Another soft touch in the top order 

Phil Hughes 

Embarrassingly bad by Hughes.....

Who cannot even score a run in the conditions with him showing himself as being clueless about how to accumulate. He is like a Deer in headlights against the spin with him being a walking wicket. Which inspires hope for the Ashes, where he can add this new found technical flaw to his gaping one against swing. 

Rating- 0/10 

Time to go Mr Hughes

Shane Watson 

I think Watson raises ones ire more than any other because he just has this arrogant assumption that he has a God given right to be in the Team. You saw this with him constantly banging on about where he wants to bat in the top 6 when an average of 25.2 in his last 13 Tests would indicate that he is not even worthy of a place.

Unless he improves, he should not be in the Team unless he can bowl

Rating- 1/10 

Played an appalling T20 shot to gift his wicket at a crucial time in the 1st innings which sums his suitability for Tests pretty well

Michael Clarke 

You can understand why Clarke has a bad back with him having to carry this batting line up Test after Test. But in truth, a bit of the blame needs to rest with Clarke with him hiding a way at 5 in the order when the performance of the top 4 dictates that he has to bat at three. Where he can control the order and at least not always get caught batting with the tail

Rating- 7/10

Masterful innings of 91 in the first innings and then got an absolute unplayable delivery in the 2nd

Matthew Wade

Played a very respectable knock in the 1st innings, but then had a brain fade in the 2nd by throwing Moises Henriques to the wolves with a suicidal run. Which showed his propensity for mental lapses. Behind the Stumps, he still looks like an accident waiting to happen meaning if he retains a place in the line up it will be as solely a batsman.

Rating- 6/10

Gained respect with a fighting knock with the bat, but still shoddy behind the Stumps

Glenn Maxwell 

He got 4 wickets in his debut, which most will focus on without digging deeper to see that all were virtual sacrifices by the Indian batsmen. Which is a bit harsh, but any thoughts of Maxwell being within a Bulls roar of being Test class as a spinner are just farcical. Then as a batsman, he has no clue for what is needed in Test cricket.

Promisingly for the Team he is a good fielder though

Rating- 4/10 

The lad has heart, but little talent or know how

Moises Henriques

A pretty disappointing Test after he was stellar in his debut game.

In this game, he struggled with the bat and looked money for old rope with the ball in hand

The rest of the series will judge whether his fine first game was just a freak showing or a real indication that he could belong at the level

Rating- 2/10

Very average in this game

James Pattinson 

Brilliant bowler, but with him having little or no support in the line up the Indians just saw him off and milked the rest. Which very much took a way his cutting edge. This being said, he is still far and away the best bowler Australia has

Rating- 6/10 

Quiet Test, but still Australia's greatest bowling strength

Peter Siddle 

Big hearted as always, but largely ineffectual in the conditions.

His performances a way from home is very much painting him as a 'fast track bully' a reputation that he will be determined to address in the last two Tests

Rating- 4/10
A non entity

Xavier Doherty 
Very much a T20 bowler with little skill or know how to be a factor in First Class Cricket let alone Tests. But I will give him his dues, he was rarely threatening, but bowled with enough presence to represent a holding bowler in this game. Going forward though, he is no where near up to this level of the game and is likely to be flayed

Rating- 5/10 

Gets a pass mark but is an accident waiting to happen

Looking Forward 

It is obvious that there is a need for change with all the departments in the Team being flawed. The only problem with this is with the incompetence of the Selectors in picking a Squad for this series full of bits and pieces players there are few viable option

A good analogy is it is a bit like shuffling the deck chairs on the SS Titanic

The first thing that needs to happen before change to the line up is Michael Clarke to move up the order and bat preferably at 3.

As for changes, Phil Hughes needs to be dropped and Shane Watson told to shut the F Up and let your bat do the talking or failure in Mohali will be you last time to wear the Baggy Green.

Lyon, ridiculously left out here needs to come back in and Mitchell Johnson deserves a chance.

Leaving the 11 for Mohali as follows

Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Wade, Henriques, Pattinson, Johnson, Doherty, Lyon


  1. "A good analogy is it is a bit like shuffling the deck chairs on the SS Titanic" Thats a very apt description indeed!

    One change I wd make to your recommended 11. Starc instead of Doherty.

    Indians have successfully implemented a strategy of seeing off the pacers and latching on to spinners and weaklings. Doherty is both - in India, against Indian batsmen. Mohali is like Perth - much slower than its past reputation suggests but it will be still the most responsive strip that the ozs will get in this series. Plus among the many weaknesses Indians have one is against the angle that a tall left arm paceman produces. I felt Starc was dropped like Lyon too soon and deserves a come back.

  2. They will get whitewashed, I have no doubt

    Mainly because they are in denial about their current state. They seem to think it is a form issue rather than a personnel one. Then they struggle with applying context to performance. Like they will see how Maxwell got 4 wickets and Doherty got three and they will view that as 'potential' rather than realise that the Indians gave most of those wickets

    Then the changes they make will not be ones that will strenghen the Team, but further undermine it. Smith will probably come in and Khawaja. Both not up to it, and in Smiths case another bits and pieces player that is club standard in both disciplines.

    Plus, India seems to have gained a clarity with the dropping of Sehwag which will not only improve the batting, but the attitude in the field which it seems Dhoni has been really on this series

    Thanks for the comment my friend

  3. The Aus batsmen were always going to struggle against spin on spinning tracks. They really look clueless. It's all very well for Clarke to say that it was a good batting strip. For him it iwas, spin is his forte but for the other members of the squad, it's like they are playing on Mars.

    The only thing that will make any difference is if the wicket in Mohali simply doesn't give the Indian spin bowlers as much assistance and you'd think the groundsman would take care of that.