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View Poll Results: Which is your number 1 Test team in world cricket right now

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  • 1. India

    29 65.91%
  • 2. South Africa

    5 11.36%
  • 3. Australia

    10 22.73%
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Thread: So who is number 1 right now? (Feb 2010)

  1. #31
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Alex View Post
    SA came in with 100% resources. India managed to hold on with just 70% resouces or even less, without the spin dens. Definitely India for me. They may not have done 100% for meriting that. But SA did not either.
    There's a lot of problems with that approach. For example, the team that Australia lost to in England was significantly better than the team South Africa beat the summer before, and that team was in turn better than the team that lost to India in 2007. On the other hand, the Australian side that beat India at home was much better than that which lost to South Africa the year after. How are you going to decipher all of that?

    On top of that, the approach neglects two key factors. Firstly, fitness. Players that can play every game are better than players who get injured a lot. There's no two ways about it. Secondly, DEPTHHH. Australia can bring in Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger when Stuart Clark and Brett Lee break down. When Zaheer breaks down India have to spin the wheel of mediocrity (copyright SS) to find a replacement. That's something Australia have over India, and by factoring in notable absences, you're unfairly discounting it.

  2. #32
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    To be fair, until India's bowling costs it a series, criticisms of their attack are on paper only.

    Most definitely Australia and SA in general have better attacks (SA not by as much as people make out though). But India win with what they've got. That's a good thing.
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  3. #33
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Don't necessarily think you're wrong, but India beat England and NZ away. Funnily enough though, how far back do we go? That team that beat England is so different to the current team (that team didn't have Sehwag or Gambhir for starters!)

    I think winning away and losing at home doesn't necessarily make a team better, rather just an oddity. It's awesome beating Australia and England away, and drawing with India, but then losing to Australia at home in the return and drawing with England just suggests they're either on-or-off and fairly inconsistent.

    SA really should have just beaten England 2-1 or something and cleared it all up. Or England should just have not lost the 4th test and cleared it up as well.
    Haha yeah, you've touched on some of the points I was just making.

    It is just a bit of an oddity. But South Africa aren't a bad side at home. I mean, everyone knows they can beat Australia and England at home, but are India capable of going to Australia and winning? Erm, we're not entirely sure. They never have.

    I'm fully aware that this is all a bit airy and has no real substance. It's more of a feeling that South Africa can beat anyone anywhere, whereas India... they might be able to. On results they're remarkably close, South Africa being a bit better in results between the three and India being slightly better in results against other sides (England, notably). This vague concept is all I can find to split them.
    Last edited by Uppercut; 18-02-2010 at 09:51 AM.

  4. #34
    School Boy/Girl Captain asty80's Avatar
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    India might be the first no.1 that are there because of their batting and not their bowling.
    The bowlers have the confidence to win most matches now by sheer hard work and not outrageous talent.

    Beating an SA team , that's no.1 or 2 in the ranking, on a good pitch in India, after they were mauled by an innings in the earlier match, with only 3 bowlers fit in the last innings , and with the spearhead missing, is a mammoth effort. Can't take anything away from India right now.
    They are the best in tests today.

    Not fair to compare them to the Aussie and WI teams that ruled for a decade.
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  5. #35
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Yeah fair enough Uppercut.

    SA lose a weird amount of tests at home though. Going back 3-4 years they've lost tests to Australia (fair enough), India, England, West Indies and Pakistan.

  6. #36
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Right now, out of the three, India are the only ones undefeated at home.
    India have lost just 2 series' at home in the last 22 years (1 of which was a smash-and-grab and the other which was one where they were substantially disadvantaged by injuries and infighting). That is incredible. India have been the ultimate challenge at home for a long time now.

    On the other hand, they've never been much of a force away. Even since 2001 when they've begun to win away matches consistently for the first time ever, they've still won just 9 serious Tests outside the subcontinent (plus a couple in series' against Sri Lanka which they've lost anyway and a couple in Pakistan which won them a series) - no-one is going to be claiming that the series in Zimbabwe in 2005/06 means a thing. They have won one very notable series victory, in England in 2007, and another couple of credible ones, in West Indies in 2006 and New Zealand in 2008/09, but in both cases they were helped by the home side failing to actually use their home advantage. That was what made their victory in England in 2007 so impressive - it was a series in proper English conditions, and although they were fortunate to escape in the First Test thanks to poor Umpiring, they still out-England-ed England in their exploitation of conditions.
    Last edited by Richard; 18-02-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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  7. #37
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asty80 View Post
    Not fair to compare them to the Aussie and WI teams that ruled for a decade.
    I think that's the biggest point out of this all.

    Sure it's kind of weird seeing India with only two pure test class bowlers be ranked #1. But that's just the way it is now. Just because Australia didn't have that doesn't make India any less deserving. It just means they aren't (and likely never will be) as good as Australia were in the 2000s.

    India have shown they can pound teams into submission with their batting and then chip away with their bowling. Their series vs. SL and this South Africa test were good examples, albeit at home.

    Were not bad at all vs. NZ recently too.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Mohammad over the last 2 years how have South Africa tried 'finding their feet'?

    Definitely Australia have been in transition, and definitely India have been building up to this moment. But so have South Africa.

    Only Ntini (dropped but almost feels like a retirement) and Pollock were their genuine seniors lost. India lost Ganguly and Kumble.

    The rest are either players being dropped (e.g. Gibbs) or young players promoted (e.g. Parnell, Morkel, Duminy).

    To me, SA and India have been building for this moment for the last 5+ years. They're pretty much at the same spot... just that India are slightly ahead.
    Yeah I agree South Africa have been pretty stable, but I wouldnt say theyve been as certain about their line up as India. I mean apart from Kallis, and Amla recently, everyones been a bit inconsistent, there are a lot of questions with respects to the other batsmen in the line up. The spin department has also been subject to a lot of questions.

    The fact is that Indian team seems to have well defined roles and certainty which allows them to go out there and perform to the best of their ability. I just feel South Africa and Australia have not played upto their potential as consistently as India. Having said that, South Africa and Australia still have a lot of problems that need to be addressed.

    Also I suppose the certainty in the Indian team also stems from winning consistently but not entirely.

  9. #39
    International Debutant Slifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    India have lost just 2 series' at home in the last 22 years (1 of which was a smash-and-grab and the other which was one where they were substantially disadvantaged by injuries and infighting). That is incredible. India have been the ultimate challenge at home for a long time now.

    On the other hand, they've never been much of a force away. Even since 2001 when they've begun to win away matches consistently for the first time ever, they've still won just 9 serious Tests outside the subcontinent (plus a couple in series' against Sri Lanka which they've lost anyway and a couple in Pakistan which won them a series) - no-one is going to be claiming that the series in Zimbabwe in 2005/06 means a thing. They have won one very notable series victory, in England in 2007, and another couple of credible ones, in West Indies in 2006 and New Zealand in 2008/09, but in both cases they were helped by the home side failing to actually use their home advantage. That was what made their victory in England in 2007 so impressive - it was a series in proper English conditions, and although they were fortunate to escape in the First Test thanks to poor Umpiring, they still out-England-ed England in their exploitation of conditions.
    Ultimate challenge for other teams maybe, but IMO the toughest opponents at home over the last 20 years or so has easily been OZ
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  10. #40
    Cricket, Lovely Cricket Pratters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Haha yeah, you've touched on some of the points I was just making.

    It is just a bit of an oddity. But South Africa aren't a bad side at home. I mean, everyone knows they can beat Australia and England at home, but are India capable of going to Australia and winning? Erm, we're not entirely sure. They never have.

    I'm fully aware that this is all a bit airy and has no real substance. It's more of a feeling that South Africa can beat anyone anywhere, whereas India... they might be able to. On results they're remarkably close, South Africa being a bit better in results between the three and India being slightly better in results against other sides (England, notably). This vague concept is all I can find to split them.
    They were denied the last time and were the better team in 2004. They have been better than any other team at touring Australia.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohammad16 View Post
    Yes, that is while facing an Australian team struggling to re define its identity post the warne, mgrath era. Also facing a srilankan team with a struggling murali and mendis. A South African squad which has been incredibly inconsistent. Bangladesh hardly counts.
    The remaining teams are West Indies and Pakistan who are at best just a rung above Bangladesh (at the moment), England (whom India beat both Home and Away), New Zealand (beat them as well). A team can only beat the opponent that turns up and India have done that in the last 2 years.

    Indian bowling some serious flaws, apart from Zaheer Khan, India do not have another class bowler, Harbajhan is a good bowler and I quite like him but I wouldnt put him up there with Kumble. They need to address this bowling problem and somehow find a couple of more strike pace or spinning options.

    I cannot recall a phase where one test side was the no 1 team in the world for an extended period of time that didnt have menacing intimidating strike bowlers.

    It is quite sad actually because their batting line up seems very balanced and one which can adapt and perform in all conditions.

    I think at the end of the day, you have to consider the fact that Australia and South Africa over the past 2 years have been trying to find their feet while India has consistently building up this squad for the past 5 years or more and have been playing upto their potential.
    You are spot on there mate. Nobody except the most hardcore blind Indian fan thinks this is a world beating side like Australia of the early 00s or West Indies of the 80s. That is just being delusional. This side however, is the better among the best today, again, not by a great margin, but by a definite margin nevertheless.

    I hope Sreesanth really takes up the mantle from Zaheer in the next two years because he looks the one most close to World Class among the new crop and certainly is a better bet than Ishant, who is sometimes unfairly criticised. He is all of 20 ffs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Yes, but human initiative involves more than just mathematical models.
    Mathematical models are not 100% flawless but once formulated they are objective and based on hard numbers. Human initiative as you intended (or that I think you intended) involve a lot of subjectivity and hence consensus is not possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    There's a lot of problems with that approach. For example, the team that Australia lost to in England was significantly better than the team South Africa beat the summer before, and that team was in turn better than the team that lost to India in 2007. On the other hand, the Australian side that beat India at home was much better than that which lost to South Africa the year after. How are you going to decipher all of that?

    On top of that, the approach neglects two key factors. Firstly, fitness. Players that can play every game are better than players who get injured a lot. There's no two ways about it. Secondly, DEPTHHH. Australia can bring in Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger when Stuart Clark and Brett Lee break down. When Zaheer breaks down India have to spin the wheel of mediocrity (copyright SS) to find a replacement. That's something Australia have over India, and by factoring in notable absences, you're unfairly discounting it.
    Those are all excellent points. However I slightly disagree

    1. Fitness - I agree that no matter what the talent is, if a player constantly gets injured then he is more of a liability than an asset to the team. However in this case, Zaheer was injured "during" the test match, and replacement was impossible under the laws. We have all seen much better teams getting jolted by such "sudden" injuries, perhaps the best being McGrath getting injured ahead of Edgbastion 2005 and Australia going on to lose the test match (eventually the series as well!). No matter how great the team is, it is impossible to find adequate replacements for a pivotal resource unless there is a minimum time period available to do so.

    2. Depth - Carrying on from the point above, Dravid's injury is a classic case in this. Apparently the "successor", Vijay, clearly failed to step into his shoes and that indeed exposed a problem in that particular succession plan. However, the example that you mentioned, is again not appropriate because of the same reasons I mentioned above. No matter how 'strong' the bench strength is, great players are not immediately substitutable, as Ashes 2005 demonstrated clearly, and Australia since 2007 too. You mentioned Dougie Bollinger and Ben Hilfenhaus, but I don't think they are tested enough to say they are worthy replacements for Brett Lee and Clark. Beating substandard batting lineups at home is easier but the real challenge is when it involves unfavorable conditions/strong opponents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    To be fair, until India's bowling costs it a series, criticisms of their attack are on paper only.

    Most definitely Australia and SA in general have better attacks (SA not by as much as people make out though). But India win with what they've got. That's a good thing.
    Agree wholeheartedly with this.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratters View Post
    They were denied the last time and were the better team in 2004. They have been better than any other team at touring Australia.
    True. I think there is much better chance of India beating Australia in Australia than Australia beating India in India. It comes down to the irritating A > B, B > C so A > C which has been disproven in the last few years. Nobody is a Bolt like No. 1 today in world cricket, but India just has the slight advantage.

  13. #43
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Alex View Post
    True. I think there is much better chance of India beating Australia in Australia than Australia beating India in India. It comes down to the irritating A > B, B > C so A > C which has been disproven in the last few years. Nobody is a Bolt like No. 1 today in world cricket, but India just has the slight advantage.
    The way the Australian attack looks right now I doubt it. We'll know more about them after the Ashes but, without jest, I wouldn't be surprised if England lose the series with 0 Tests won - whether that be 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 or ...
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    The way the Australian attack looks right now I doubt it. We'll know more about them after the Ashes but, without jest, I wouldn't be surprised if England lose the series with 0 Tests won - whether that be 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 or ...


    With this batting lineup and bolstered by Dravid, I cannot see Australian pacers having enough firepower to hold them even in Australian pitches. The best bet will be to make NZ 2002 type of pitches but with the current Australian batting lineup that would be a lottery as well. Anyway all these are speculation. Who knows how it will turn out in the next 2 years when India tour Australia?

  15. #45
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