Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Ben on...NZ vs Eng by the ratings

The series against Bangladesh has been good for the ratings of some of our better players. (Despite the thrashing, it didn't do much for our team test rating – we gained less than a whole point.) Fleming has his highest ever test batting rating, currently putting him at a ranking of 16, just below Rahul Dravid. Vettori is also at a personal test batting high with a ranking of 29. He also sits just outside the top 20 in the bowling rankings. The big winner amongst the bowlers however is Martin, who has jumped into the top 20 during the Bangladesh series and now sits at 15.

Sounds all very good, but a look at NZ's position overall in the ratings is not pretty. Vettori, who bats at no. 8, is in fact our second highest ranked test batsmen, ranked just higher than Oram, who bats at 6 or lower. The next two rated batsmen, Vincent and Styris, aren't considered good enough to get into the team, and the next is the wicketkeeper. Apart from Fleming, none of the currently selected top order batsmen are in the top 50.

We are also short of bowlers with decent rankings. Ignoring the rebel Bond and the injured Franklin, we have bowlers ranked 15, 21, 41, 50, 63.

So how does all this compare to England, who we'll be playing early next month?

For the one-dayers, a quick look at the recent fixtures, from 2000 on, give us a win–loss record against England that should lead to a 3-1/3 to 1-2/3 result in the ODI series. Excellent. I think that is all the analysis the ODIs need.

For the tests, the last three series between NZ and Eng have been won, drawn and lost. There is a definite trend of worsening results for the Black Caps, and I suspect that things have worsened even further. England aren't terribly convincing at the moment either, however.

I'll compare the two teams in two ways for both batting and bowling, by highest ranked player and by the average rating of the top 5 batsmen and bowlers of each team. (There's no particular method here, I'm just making it all up.)

Batting

Highest ranked NZer: Fleming 16 (rating: 702)
Highest ranked Enger: Pieterson 9 (804)

Average rating of top 5 NZers: 549 (which would give a ranking of 37)
Average rating of top 5 Engers: 688 (18)

Bowling

Highest ranked NZer: Martin 15 (626)
Highest ranked Enger: Hoggard 9 (695)

Average rating of top 5 NZers: 420 (38)
Average rating of top 5 Engers: 584 (23)

These numbers show that we are badly outclassed on current form. Bugger.

So the home series is pretty much a write-off, well before it has even begun. That's a pity, though really the big prize is the tour to England in May. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that the home series allows some of our players to play themselves into some form for the tour.

3 comments:

Venkat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Venkat said...

Well pal...i don't think there's anything to do with the ratings as such...all that matters is the performance of a player on a given day...I still back the Black Caps to stamp their authority on the English who are quite vulnerable though they might be in good form...

The Atheist said...

Mate, reading that Vettori is your second-highest rated batsman has definitely improved my day.

However, I agree with you that England are looking a little ropey at the moment, and New Zealand could do nothing more than beat Bangladesh convincingly. So, I think it'll be a lot closer than people say.