The last week has seen contrasting fortunes for batsmen in different parts of the world. In India on an Eden Gardens pitch that challenged technique as well as temperament, the batsmen of both teams found it a struggle to get going.
The fact that in the two Test matches that have been played so far no batsmen has reached a hundred is testimony to the fact that batting has not been easy in the India - New Zealand series. With the ball doing something, the contest with the bat has been fascinating to say the least.
India with a more balanced attack than New Zealand have won both the Test matches and in doing so have reclaimed the number one ranking in Test cricket. They will be looking to have a clean sweep by winning the third Test match at Indore and creating a distance between them and the other teams who are looking to usurp their ranking.
In the United Arab Emirates and in South Africa the bat has done the talking as Pakistan demolished a hapless West Indian team in all the matches. In South Africa the hosts have shown a remarkable turn with the bat chasing down a huge score of 371 that the Australians had put up.
Not often do we see that a team which has two centurions in its innings loses the game but that's exactly what happened as the Proteas chased down the Aussie score to win with enough to spare. In the first game the Aussies were blown away by an incredible knock from Quinton de Kock as he blasted his way to 178 with some of the crispest driving that one could hope to see.
Then when in the next match the Australian batsmen put their hands up with David Warner and skipper Steve Smith getting brilliant hundreds it was David Miller who took the Proteas home with a whirlwind innings.
The South Africans seem to love chasing big totals when it comes to playing against the Australians at home. Remember the 434 that they got to win a thriller at the Wanderers some years back against Ricky Ponting’s team.
This time it’s Steve Smith’s team that has suffered and they will have to play extraordinarily well to get back in the series.
In United Arab Emirates Babar Azam became only the second batsman to score hundreds in all three games of a three match series. His batting has been the highlight and it looks like Pakistan have found another batting star.
The West Indies continue to struggle as most of their experienced players have been given the go by and the younger players have not quite shown the temperament and skills that made the West Indies such a feared team in the past.
Babar Azam for his three successive centuries in the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.