Archive for the ‘Test rankings’ Category


Bangladesh can beat Sri Lanka –Take Care

March 5, 2017

Rex Clementine in the Island, 4 March 2017,where the title is 

Should Sri Lanka fear Bangladesh really? On paper the hosts are a far better side. In their top seven, Bangladesh have just two players who average over 40 in Test cricket – Shakib Al Hasan (40) and Mominul Haque (49) and in bowling, they lack the variety or the experience of Sri Lankans. Yet, many fear that this two match series – that gets underway on Tuesday in Galle – as the one where the tourists could turn the tables. There are valid reasons for such concerns. herath

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Channel Nine Cricket down the Slide

November 11, 2016

Chris Barrett, in  Sydney Morning Herald, 11 November 2016, where the title runs Cricket’s television ratings plunge as Australia struggle against South Africa”

The Australian team is underperforming and fans are switching off at an alarming level, with the prime-time television audience for the first Test against South Africa evaporating by one-quarter from the corresponding clash in Perth last year against New Zealand. In a concerning development for Cricket Australia as it prepares to begin formal negotiations with networks over the rights to broadcast cricket from 2018 to 2023, OzTAM ratings show viewer numbers have dropped off a cliff since last summer.According to the figures, Channel Nine’s five-city metro audience fell an average of 23 per cent in the third session of the first Test across the five days in Perth – which is played in all-important prime time on the east coast – from 975,000 in the corresponding Test at the WACA Ground last year to 749,000.

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Life after Mahela and Sanga: Tough Times Ahead in England for Sri Lankan Squad

May 8, 2016

Rex Clementine,  in the Sunday Island, 8 May 2016, where the title reads When Sri Lanka had a bone to pick with England”

Sri Lanka’s two-month long tour of United Kingdom gets underway today as the national cricket team will take the 30 minute bus drive from London to North West in Chelmsford where they will play a three day warm-up game against Essex. Following the disappointments of Asia Cup and the World T-20, where the defending champions of both events crashed out early, there have been several initiatives made to put the performance of the national team back on track.


After the disastrous recent campaigns in Bangladesh and India, a high demand has been placed on players’ fitness. Sri Lanka’s cricketers have been made to work so hard that the day before their departure to London, skipper Angelo Mathews and deputy Dinesh Chandimal had to visit the gym for fitness work. Read the rest of this entry ?


Firdose Moonda on South Africa’s Four Cardinal Sins at Delhi

December 5, 2015

Firdose Moonda, in ESPNcricinfo, 4 December 2015, …

Ravindra Jadeja of India celebrates the wicket of Temba Bavuma of South Africa during day two of the 4th Paytm Freedom Trophy Series Test Match between India and South Africa held at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, India on the 4th December 2015 Photo by Ron Gaunt / BCCI / SPORTZPICS

Ravindra Jadeja of India celebrates the wicket of Temba Bavuma of South Africa during day two of the 4th Paytm Freedom Trophy Series Test Match between India and South Africa held at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, India on the 4th December 2015
Photo by Ron Gaunt / BCCI / SPORTZPICS

Dropping catches at slip:  The bucket hands of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis left more than a year ago, but Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis have been adequate replacements. Hashim Amla, though, who may see it as his duty as captain to station himself at slips, has not. Amla put down three catches in the India innings and South Africa were made to pay for two of them. When Kyle Abbott induced a thick edge off Rohit Sharma with a reverse-swinging ball, Amla should have taken it with both hands, but he spilled it. Dane Piedt later drew the edge from Ajinkya Rahane with a slider when was on 78, and Amla had to get low down to his left but again, with both hands to grasp the ball, he let it go. Rahane added 49 more runs to his score. Then, Abbott was left down again when Ashwin hung his bat outside offstump and the edged ball died on Amla. Ashwin was on 14 at the time, and went on to make 56. Read the rest of this entry ?


A little too early for the Poms to sneer at Aussies

April 25, 2013

Wayne Smith, in The Australian, 25 April 2013

Ashes_Urn_1921 DECORUM dictated that the Poms should at least wait until Australia’s Ashes squad had been named before ridiculing it but given how many starters there will be in that fiercely contested race, it was inevitable someone would jump the gun.  Not leaving anything to chance, respected English cricket writer Mike Selvey rushed into print in The Guardian on Monday with the breathless prediction that “Australia’s fragile Ashes hopes (would) rest on the frail, flabby and fallible” — as his headline writer neatly summarised his thesis. The only leavening in this weighty condemnation was that his assessment of the Australians as “flabby” referred not to their waistlines but their batting technique, although there would be many in this country dubiously eyeing this 16-man squad who would happily exchange its (generally) lean athleticism for the courage and skill of such portly fighters as David Boon and Colin Cowdrey. Read the rest of this entry ?


Test cricket’s world order in flux as the South Asian countries fade

December 29, 2012

Gideon Haigh, in The Weekend Australian, 28 Decmber 2012

IN a 10-team competition unfolding over years, you can neither fall nor rise all that far or all that fast. But you can also look around one day and find that a lot has changed almost by stealth.  Such is the case with the World Test Championship, which, for tracking fortunes in a game that is the epitome of subtle shifts and gradual advantages, has undergone a remarkable shift in the past two years.

A calamitous Boxing Day Test, concluded less than halfway through its allotted time, suggests that shift is ongoing. Thirty months ago, Test cricket looked very much an Asian game. India and Sri Lanka ranked numbers one and three respectively after a phase of prolonged success at home and defensible results abroad. While unable to host visiting teams, Pakistan was rebuilding, and had probably the world’s hottest pace attack; Bangladesh, a perennial underachiever, had nonetheless not long beaten the West Indies in the Caribbean. Read the rest of this entry ?


Outstanding Test Cricket in the Gulf States: Pakistan-England Series

February 25, 2012

Christopher Martin-Jenkins, courtesy of the author and the Times where this essay appeared in the regular column Thunderer,** under a different title

Have you tuned in these last two weeks to the strangest sporting spectacle of the winter? Were we watching proper Test cricket in the entrepot and melting pot of Dubai, that fantastical oil-fired architects’ playground in the desert? Do three matches, decided in eleven days, more often than not before sparse crowds on neutral territory and producing a record 42 leg before wicket decisions constitute a genuine Test series?

Pakistan Test squad in triumph – Pic by Lakruwan Wanniaratchchi for AFP

Yes, emphatically yes; and fascinating, riveting, Test cricket at that, odd as it was and inconvenient though it may be that England batted badly and were trounced. It was a far more interesting series than is normally the case when England play away in Pakistan, where most games have been bore-draws played out at a slow pace on dry, dull surfaces. Only six of Pakistan’s 25 home Tests against England at home have been won by either side. Read the rest of this entry ?