Having lost the one day series to arch rivals Pakistan, India were hoping to make amends with a clean sweep over England as they had done in 2011 when England had come visiting. This was after the 4-0 thrashing that England had given India and so there was lots of talk of avenging that.
The Indians did manage to do that and playing at home in the shorter format of the game they beat England in all the five one-dayers but missed out on winning the T20 game which would have given them some satisfaction at the losses in England. Now they have just lost a Test series to England and that too after winning the first Test and so were looking to make up for it by winning the one-dayers just as they had done about 15 months back.
Unfortunately for them the form of some of their batsmen continues to be patchy and once England put up over 300 runs on the board it was always going to be a tough ask for the Indians to get there. That they almost did is an encouraging sign for the remainder of the games but with that loss they have also lost the opportunity to climb to the number one ranking which they would have got if they had won all five one dayers.
In South Africa, the New Zealanders are finding the going tough. With Ross Taylor opting to sit at home after being dumped as skipper they are short of batting class and experience. Once again the pace attack of the South Africans is proving too much this time for the Kiwi batting line-up and being dismissed for 45 in less than 20 overs shows the depth to which New Zealand cricket has plunged.
They will need a super human effort to come out of it and the off-field shenanigans with the captaincy are certainly not helping. Vernon Philander continues his phenomenal strike rate taking yet another five wicket haul and at the rate at which he is going he could well get close to the record set by Muthiah Muralitharan for taking most five wicket hauls in Test cricket.
South Africa also did not have it easy against the new ball attack of the Kiwis and Alviro Petersen's century will give him lots of satisfaction. The
prolific Amla missed out on a ton despite getting a start which is rare though of course he didn’t miss out the next time around. Another person
who missed out is Jacques Kallis who got a fifty and the way he is going it looks like he will be a top performer for South Africa with both bat and ball and his catching in the slips is legendary.
After Adam Gilchrist retired, the Aussies have not been able to find a wicket keeper who could destroy an attack and take the game away from the opposition as the left hander used to. Brad Haddin was a gutsy batsman but without the flair of Gilchrist and now that he has made way for Matthew Wade, the Australians feel that the left hander may get somewhere close to Gilchrist in terms of batting exploits.
The Aussies went in to the Test match with just five batsmen and Wade batting at number six and he justified the faith reposed in him by cracking a century. Though it was not as explosive as Gilchrist’s tons usually were, it gave the Aussie total a boost and helped pile a score that the Lankans reeled under.
The two centurions Alviro Petersen, Matthew Wade and the five wicket specialist Vernon Philander share the accolade of being the CEAT
International Cricketer of the Week.
Professional Management Group