This week witnessed a couple of one-sided test series deciders – Australia v/s New Zealand and South Africa v/s Bangladesh – and an one-sided ODI series between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Australia got a chance to come out of their blemishes in India and won the test series against New Zealand 2-0. Even in the batsman friendly Adelaide Oval, the Kiwis could not do much due to the ‘Lee’thal bowling by the Aussies! The paceman seems to be back on track, for the time being. Australia’s bowling performance was very good overall, with Johnson doing a good job again. I particularly liked the balance that Nathan Hauritz brings to the team.
South Africa trashed a clueless Bangladesh by an innings in both test matches. South Africa’s flat pitch bullies and permanent-centurions-against-Bangladesh, Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and Neil McKenzie did extremely well as usual (I count Ashwell Prince in a different league). To make things worse for Bangladeshis, their key spinner, Abdur Razzak (though he didn’t play the test series) has been banned from international cricket due to a wrong action! As I mentioned sometime ago, I still wonder whether Bangladesh deserves to play test cricket!
As for the one-dayers, Sri Lanka white washed Zimbabwe 5-0 while all matches were low scoring – some due to cut-short matches. Not a single match, even when Sri Lanka batted first, did not last for 50 overs and there was not a single score above 200!. This ODI series overall was pathetic, even for the Lankans.
Despite the huge loss in the ODI series, Zimbabwe cricket board seems to be putting a lot of weight around them as they declined Kenya’s plea for an alerady announced bilateral series citing ‘busy schedule’. That was the biggest joke ever as Zimbabwe’s cricket calendar is almost empty for the next two-three months!
ICC Test Rankings
India’s temporary rise to the second spot was short-lived as South Africa, retained that position again. New Zealand fell to a pathetic 8th spot and looks like their newly appointed coach has got a lot to do in the forth coming West Indies tour.
The most exciting thing that is awaiting test cricket lovers is not exactly the India-England Series. South Africa is touring Australia this Christmas and I am sure that we will receive a great Christmas and New Year feast this time! Though, Australia is not going through the best of their forms, I expect the Kangaroos to win the series 2-0 or 2-1.
Hail Test Cricket!