The international cricketing season in the Southern Hemisphere will be in full swing from this week. Even as this is being written, the Australians take on the number one ranked team South Africa in a three-Test contest and the middle of this week will see India play England in a four-Test series.
That sadly is the norm in international cricket where apart from the England-Australia series most other series are either two or three or four-Test series. While in a three-Test series there is at least a chance that a winner could be seen, in a two or four-Test series both teams could finish drawing the series which can be so frustrating to the fans, who wants to see which team is the better one.
The Australians have a chance of regaining the number one ranking if they win the Test series, while the Proteas have only to draw the series to retain their ranking. The India-England series has been overhyped as is the case with any series involving England and may well turn out to be disappointing, but the series down under promises to be a real thriller.
New Zealand have started a tour of Sri Lanka and have found like most teams that the Lankans are hard to beat in their territory. The one-day series was marred by rain, but when the skies cleared the Lankans showed they were clearly the superior team.
However much time a visiting team spends before the main games it is extremely tough to get used to the heat and humidity in the Emerald Isle and it is in that department that many overseas team fall short.
Tillakaratne Dilshan has not quite been in cracking form and the Lankans thus have not got off to the electric start that he usually provides them. He however came good in the final one- dayer where his hundred ensured that the Lankans won the third and final one dayer and with it win the series too.
With the tourists having been plagued by illness they were not always at full strength and so struggled a bit, but that is not taking anything away from the hosts, who played well.
The Kiwis have a good team for the one-day format as can be seen by the manner in which they entered the semis of the World Cup last year and they have players who can turn the game around with their aggressive batting. Unfortunately, they don’t always click together and that is perhaps why the Kiwi record in the one-dayers in the subcontinent is not as good as it should be.
Despite having three Kiwi players in the running for the accolade this week it is the Lankan Dilshan, with his batsmanship, who is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.