Saturday, 7 February 2009

Australian Summer Ratings (Test)

With the home summer nearly over, it's time to rank this season's Australians in both test and ODI cricket. While some players have starred, such as Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson, others have faltered in the heat and let Australia down at a time of need, such as Brett Lee and Matthew Hayden. As Australia lost its mantle of undisputed champions, some stood up and others sat back and failed. So just like the ever common England ratings, here is the Aussie ratings by your resident Aussie:

Test Season:
Matthew Hayden: 4/10 - Most people are well aware that Hayden had a woeful season, with only a few decent innings. Retirement was well advised, and in the end Hayden decided he would not recover and did so. The opener, once the best in the world, struggled both physically and mentally, and seemed to have forgotten how to build an innings.

Simon Katich: 8/10 - Katich was one of the summer's stars, amassing runs consistently and looking in control throughout. Against South Africa in times of need he was one of the Aussies' best. The one thing that was disappointing was a lack of big scores, with a lot of scores ending in the 60-80 range, but overall it was a great revival of the talented batsman's once tattered career, filling the openers' position expertly.

Ricky Ponting: 7/10 - Ponting started and finished the season on a good note, with his maiden century in India and a stunning display of leadership, scoring a century and a 99 in the same match in Melbourne, but in both matches he was not enough to win the game for Australia and as a whole it was not Ponting's best. Having said that, despite a form slump in the middle, Ponting stood up when required and his numbers were not as poor as they might have seemed.

Michael Hussey: 5.5/10 - Hussey endured first real form slump of his short but decorated career, backing up a good tour of India with a poor home summer, scoring less runs than Hayden against South Africa. His tour of India saved his rating to an extent, but overall it was a poor showing from the man many call Mr. Cricket.

Michael Clarke: 9/10 - Clarke was stunning all year, picking up a century in India, and then some more big scores against New Zealand and South Africa. Clarke's maturity soared since being named vice captain, and his performances were calm and controlled, something the once very aggressive youngster would never have dreamed of. He saved many an Australian innings and announced himself truly in the game's elite batsmen.

Andrew Symonds: 4.5/10 - Following a breakthrough season against India just a year ago in which Symonds belted run after run, the all-rounder's performances were weak all summer. It started badly for Symonds after he was suspended from the tour of India after going fishing instead of attending a team session, and he picked up just one 50 all summer when he returned to the side. Symonds' career now appears in tatters with another controversy, and this will be remembered as a season to forget for the burly all-rounder.

Brad Haddin: 6.5/10 - Haddin started the season with a mediocre tour of India which included sloppy glovework and poor batting, but when he returned home he found form picking up a pair of centuries and his keeping improved along with it. It was a good sign of things to come for Haddin, and Australia will be hoping he can continue his late form into the new year.

Brett Lee: 5/10 - Like Symonds, Lee started 2008/09 in the form of his life, and also like Symonds, his form dropped immediately. A weak showing in India was followed by a good test against New Zealand, but his work against South Africa was below mediocre, as Lee's ability to penetrate and trouble batsmen seems to be disappearing with his speed. With an injury ending a forgettable year for Lee, it seems that his test career could be in serious danger, as selectors will be taking a huge gamble to play him for the Ashes with no cricket in several months beforehand.

Mitchell Johnson: 9/10 - Johnson and Clarke were Australia's two standout "comers of age", as Johnson was one of Australia's few half decent bowlers in India, but he stepped up further against New Zealand, with a scintillating 7 wicket spell being the highlight, and he turned into Ponting's go-to man against South Africa, further enhancing his development with 3 more great tests. Johnson looks to be Australia's new spearhead, and will need to stay fit as a large workload will be on his plate now with Lee and Clark gone for a while.

Stuart Clark: 6.5/10 - It is hard to criticise Clark's season as most of it was injury interrupted. He only played a couple of tests in India and they were not his best, although the injury no doubt played a part in this. With Clark missing the tour of South Africa, Australia will be hoping he is fit for the Ashes, or they will be in serious trouble in the bowling stocks.

Peter Siddle: 7.5/10 - Siddle's debut season was spectacular. He played his first test in tough conditions, against India in India, but he announced himself onto the scene with a team-high of 4 wickets for the match. While Clark's return from injury saw Siddle back out of the team, his being forced out was Siddle's chance once again, and while he bowled poorly in the first test against South Africa at the WACA, he redeemed himself ripping through the South African lineup in a great spell in front of his home crowd which put Australia in a winning position (which they squandered), and went one better at the SCG. Overall it was a great showing for the 24 year old, who will figure as a major option for the future.

Nathan Hauritz: 7/10 - Hauritz was considered an unglamorous and defensive option from the selectors, but he proved effective at stemming the run flow, and picked up wickets at the same time. While he does not seem a great long term option as a test spinner, he performed his role well and has been picked in the squad for the tour of South Africa.

Jason Krejza: 7/10 - Krejza's first test has been well documented as one of the most successful debuts of all time, as he picked up 12 wickets against India, the self proclaimed kings of playing spin, but the Tasmanian off spinner found himself out of the team for the first test at home due to no need for a spinner, and when he was ready to play his second test he found himself injured. When he finally did get a second chance, the Aussies dropped him after a match which wielded too many runs and not enough wickets. He now finds himself in the outer once again, with Hauritz and Bryce McGain the two choices for the tour of South Africa.

Shane Watson: 7/10 - Watson had a successful tour of India with the ball, generally his weaker discipline, but he was Australia's second best seamer on the tour, and while his batting was not great, it was seen as Watson's breakthrough tour, but when Symonds returned from suspension he was once again relegated to playing for Queensland, and some good form put his name back into the ring until, as is often the case for Watson, injury struck at the worst of times. It was an encouraging although unspectacular year for him, but the selectors made a big mistake not cashing in on his better form.

Cameron White: 5.5/10 - White was picked as a specialist spinner in India, a surprise for all seeing as the man himself does not consider himself much of a bowler, but while his performances were not eye catching, he did not bowl too badly, and his (traditionally stronger) batting was serviceable too.

Andrew McDonald: 5.5/10 - McDonald made his debut when Symonds was forced out through injury and Watson was also unavailable, and the Victorian all rounder had a tough start to his career, his bowling was tight and disciplined but undamaging and his batting was fairly weak. Some great domestic performances ensured he survived the cut for the tour of SA, but McDonald will need to improve to be called test standard.

Doug Bollinger: 5.5/10 - Like McDonald, Bollinger played one test at the SCG, and bowled reasonably well, but (perhaps unluckily) failed to pick up enough victims to be called a success. He is in the squad for SA, so he will be hoping another opportunity will be given, and that he will be able to capitalise.

ODI ratings to come at the conclusion of the New Zealand series.


Rob said...

That is a lot of good ratings for a side that lost two test series with some room to spare...

White 6/10. Lol.

Haddin 7/10 batted well but dropped a couple of howlers.

Dean Sherr said...

When I give someone 6/10 I am not rating their peformance as good.

However I agree some of those may have been generous, I've adjusted a few.

Tim said...

Good stuff Dean.
I really admire Katich for how he has responded to being dropped, and retained faith in a slightly idiosyncratic technique. He also seems to have developed the ability (on occasions) to get off to a flying start.

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