West Indies – Sri Lanka Series RatingsGaneshbabu Venkat |
Although rain played a big part in the series ending 0-0, There were a few performances on both sides worth a mention. Here is Cricket web’s rating of the players from the series.
West Indies Ratings
Chris Gayle – 366 runs @ 91.50 – 8/10
Played a monumental Knock at Galle which spanned over 10 hours, however faded out after that and did not get going. The Galle knock confirmed his maturity as a top-class Test batsman, He improved his record in the sub-continent and did his part with the rain to help West Indies not lose this series.
Adrian Barath – 61 Runs @ 20.33 – 5/10
After his fifty at Galle, looked a bit lost in Colombo and missed the final Test at Pallekele. Needs to show more consistency in his approach, but his technique and confidence looked really good at times and if he can develop the consistency he should go places.
Darren Bravo – 206 Runs @ 68.66 – 9/10
Given his inexperience and his unfamiliarity with the conditions, “little Bravo” as he is fondly called had a superb series. He had three fifties in as many Tests and his uncanny resemblance to the great Brian Lara makes one want more from this young Trinidadian. In the absence of Ramnaresh Sarwan he made the number three position his own and appears to be the new Lara in the making.
Shiv Chanderpaul – 94 Runs @ 31.33 – 5/10
Shiv was not his own , He had some starts and could not convert them to big scores. However there were signs of him scratching back to form in the final Test which was abruptly cut short by rain. One can only hope that he can regain his purple patch from the previous years in the following months.
Brendan Nash – 160 runs @ 53.33.50 – 7/10
Solid, If not spectacular Nash played his part well, another batsman who did not go on to convert good starts. Played well for his 64 at Galle and 67 in Pallekele. However he does appear perturbed by the spinners. Needs to be more confident when batting against the spinners and if he can do that, could prove to be a thorn in the flesh of the opposition.
Devon Smith – 55 Runs @ 55.00 – 6/10
Played just one Innings after a gap of Two years in Test cricket after Barath was indisposed in the final Test. played a composed and measured knock to bail the West Indies out of early trouble and one could only wish he produces knocks like this more often, He does have the technique to survive at the highest level but needs to work on his temperament.
Dwayne Bravo – 25 Runs @ 8.33 and 3 wickets @ 52.00 – 3/10
Probably his worst showing in international cricket to-date. He was Short of form, short of confidence and short of runs. There was no doubt that he was under bowled on certain occasions, The presence of Darren Sammy also curbed his role as a bowler. Bravo needs to take a long hard look at his batting and bowling and make some drastic improvements to regain the form that made him one of the best all rounders in the world not so long ago. A stint at the top five might not be a bad idea to improve his batting.
Darren Sammy – 10 Runs @ 3.33 and 2 wickets @ 75.50 – 2/10
Sammy was totally out of depth with the bat, completely ineffective with the ball and to add dropped some crucial catches. Never looked convincing with the bat nor with the ball, although he bowled some marathon spells in between. It’s hard to think if he would be in this team if he was not the captain. There are big question marks over his place in the team and he needs to let the bat or the ball do the talking. It would be interesting to see how long can West Indies continue the experiment of playing both Sammy and Bravo in the Test team and the pressure will be on him to deliver. A decent limited overs player who is not Test material and I would be glad if he proves me wrong.
Carlton Baugh – 60 Runs @ 30.00 with 3 Catches – 5/10
After a long hiatus from Test cricket, Baugh looked Solid behind the stumps.Hit a crucial 50 to help WI avoid the follow-on in the second Test and was hardly noticed behind the stumps which is a very good sign that the keeper is doing well. It is very clear that he still has a long way to go in Test cricket, but this tour was a good start to re-ignite his international career and needs to work on his batting a little bit more.
Kemar Roach – 10 wickets @ 24.50 7/10
Adjudged the Man of the Series, Roach is continuing his development and has undoubtedly been the star bowler for the West Indies this series. He was always energetic and even on unresponsive surfaces bowled his heart out. If he can bowl with the same venom and pace he will certainly benefit the West Indian cause when Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards come back in to the fold.
Andre Russell – 1 Wicket @ 104.00 – 4/10
Played just one Test and took a wicket with his second ball, looks nippy and has the pace to trouble the batsman, But needs to play more cricket to improve his trade. Really hard to judge him on the basis of one Test match. But there is no doubt that this young pacer has the potential to become a decent fast bowler.
Shane Shillingford – 7 wickets @ 55.00 5/10
Just when West Indies thought they had unearthed a classy offie, came the shocking news that he was reported for a suspicious action. Nevertheless, he toiled hard at Galle and produced some really good variations to trouble the batsman. If only he can sort out his action with the ICC panel, It is certain he will come back stronger, confident and hungry for more wickets.
Suliemann Benn – 29 Runs @ 29.00 and 1 wicket @ 66.00 – 3/10
Unimpressive and totally ineffective in the only Test he got to bowl, on spinner responsive surfaces he should have done more, instead he was rusty and failed to impress. Need to get back his rhythm if he wants to be a genuine threat. Has the potential to become a decent lower order batsman if he can put in some effort in the nets.
Nelon Pascal – No Rating
Sri Lanka Ratings
Tilakaratne Dilshan – 84 Runs @ 21.00 and 3 Wickets @ 14.33 – 4/10
Dilshan was not in his usual free-flowing style and appeared stifled and a man unsure of what to do.Although he made a delightful 54 in the second innings at Galle, Struggled against Roach who got him two times out of three. Proved to be more than useful with the ball and turned out to be the man with the golden Arm.
Dilahara Fernando – 1 Wicket at 72.00 – 3/10
Played just one Test and blew hot and cold. Not much to rate him, He did produce some good balls in between the utter tripe he bowled.
Rangana Herath – 9 Wickets @ 18.57 – 7/10
Pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers and Sri Lanka might rue for not playing him in the first Test. He produced some masterful variations in the second Test and had the WI batsmen hopping. Even in the Third Test he was more than a handful, But this series will be remembered more for the spectacular catch he took to dismiss Darren Bravo in the second Test. At 32 he might not be a spring chicken but if he can partner Mendis for the short-term the absence of Murali will not be felt.
Mahela Jayawardena – 119 @ 39.66 – 6/10
The ever dependable Mahela got Sri Lanka out of the woods in both the innings of the Galle Test when the West Indies were threatening to cause an upset. Made batting look so easy with his silken touch although failed to convert those 50’s to 100’s, had a rare failure at Colombo and his slip catching was exemplary.
Prasanna Jayawardena – 92 @ 46.00 – 6/10
Prasanna was Srilanka’s go to man in the lower order, Played a good knock at Galle although that did not help SL avoid the follow on. His glove work was brilliant to say the least. Especially the way he kept to the spinners was outstanding and it was no surprise that he had three stumpings and just one catch. He seems to have taken the burden off of Sanga and it would not be long before he finds his way in the ODI squad.
Suranga Lakmal – 3 wickets @44.00 – 5/10
The wiry paceman troubled the West Indian batsman and looks to be a good find. He toiled away on flat surfaces and seems to have the wood on Chris Gayle taking him out on two occasions and troubled him a lot. He can be a good prospect if he can work on his fitness and does not break down.
Angelo Matthews – 57 Runs @ 28.50 – 4/10
Angelo played with an Injured knee and it was very clear that he was not fully fit when he did not bowl as much as he should have. Made some useful contributions with the bat in both Galle and Colombo, However It’s not sure that SL can afford the luxury of carrying him just as a batsman in a Test match. Needs to get match fit ASAP if he wants to hold on to his Test place.
Ajantha Mendis – 11 Wickets @ 27.63 – 6/10
The top wicket taker from both sides, Was totally inept at Galle till he bowled Gayle through the gate after which he bamboozled the West Indian lower order to take 5/15. Started off slowly at Colombo only to run through them again. Needs to curb his instinct to try too many variations, he is a very good off-spinner in his own right. If he can remain consistent, develop a good stock ball and apply the variations at the right time, There is no doubt he can fill the giant shoes of Murali.
Tharanga Paranavitana – 141 @ 47.00 – 6/10
Played a useful hand in the second innings at Galle to help SL save the Test and was unlucky to miss out on a century. One of the top performers for Sri Lanka. With SriLanka trying out many openers, it seems at least in the short term that he has cemented his place in the Test team.
Thilan Samarweera – 151 @ 75.50 8/10
Samarweera proved that he is a hard man to dislodge in SL conditions. He did not seem panicked at the prospect of facing the WI quickies and in fact looked solid in all the innings he played. He had no discomfort handling Roach when his teammates found it a little bit hard. He needs to concentrate on playing long innings and should replicate the form that he showed at home, when he plays abroad too.
Kumar Sangakkara – 228 @ 76.00 9/10
What can you say? Clearly SriLanka’s best batsman in the series with one hundred and one fifty and promptly become the #1 batsman in the world. His 150 at Colombo in difficult conditions was an absolute delight. He played with utmost confidence and panache, however his captaincy was not really inspiring and he seemed more reactive than pro-active. Although rain marred the series to 0-0 draw, Sanga would not have expected that when the Test series started. Needs to inspire his troops more if he wants some wins under his belt.
Thilan Thushara – 2/10
Bowled too many boundary balls and does not look like he will trouble high quality batsman. No wonder he was dropped after the first Test. Probably it’s time he just concentrates on T20 and ODI’s.
Suruj Randiv – 3 wickets @ 61.00 – 4/10
It was a surprise that he was dropped after the first Test. He does have the ability to produce some good balls, yet another bowler who tries too much, when all he needs to do is concentrate on bowling his regular stuff. With a decent batting record, he is one of the core players who will be taking Sri Lanka forward in the years to come.
Damika Prasad – 3/10
A very limited bowler and a honest trier who really does not pose any confidence to the captain. Probably best suited for the shorter form of the game which was evident when he wielded the long handle to great effect in the first Test to score a entertaining 47.
Nuwan Kulasekara – 1 wicket at 17.00 3/10
One of the best limited overs bowlers Sri Lanka have produced, but falls short at the Test level. Seems to run out of steam after a spell. Probably Test match is not his cup of Tea, with the emergence of Lakmal and the imminent return of Lasith Malinga I doubt if he will be playing in Test matches for Sri Lanka in the future.
West Indies would be delighted that they are within three points of usurping Pakistan for the sixth place whom they play next. Historically Pakistan have not done well in the Caribbean and it promises to be an exciting series after the world cup, although it remains to be seen whether West Indies will have a full team since the dates clash directly with IPL. If that was not enough, the number one Test team India will be paying a visit to the Caribbean for a three match series after the Pakistan tour. However I do not see West Indies troubling India much.
On the other hand Sri Lanka travel to England having been pushed to fifth place. With England looking the favorites to retain the ashes and their number three slot. That promises to be another battle worth following. Again Sri Lanka have not done really well in England in the past and It would be interesting to see how they cope up with life without Murali.
All in all the middle teams in the ICC rankings have a lot to play for in the next eight months.