Australia's marks out of 10

Katich and Co deliver for Australia

Peter English

April 1, 2010

Comments: 51 | Text size: A | A

Australia swept past New Zealand in two games to maintain their unbeaten Test summer. Marcus North confirmed his spot while Ryan Harris and Phillip Hughes delivered promising performances for the future. However, the result was set up by a core group of Simon Katich, Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson and Doug Bollinger.


Simon Katich shows his power during his century, New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 3rd day, March 29, 2010
Simon Katich was on top of New Zealand - and Australia's run-list - during the two Tests © Getty Images
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9
Simon Katich
Consistent and committed, he led the run list with 291 and was a key reason for Australia's strong finish in Hamilton. His 88 carried them in the first innings and his 106 ensured they regained all the power in the second. Still can't crack that massive score, but is an essential in any conditions.

Mitchell Johnson
Started slowly but finished on a high with 10 wickets for the match in Hamilton. The pitch was flat and lifeless, especially when New Zealand bowled, but Johnson made the batsmen jump and hop and wince while operating around 150kph. He started with 4 for 59 and wrapped up the game before lunch on the final day with 6 for 73. Deserves his rest before the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean later in the month.

Doug Bollinger
Captured his second five-wicket haul of the summer in the first innings at Wellington and gained breakthroughs in every subsequent innings. His movement, angle and bounce were always a threat and he narrowly out-performed Johnson with 12 victims at 23. Has become a popular and important member of the side and proved two left-armers can succeed in the same Australian team.

8.5
Michael Clarke
Proved he could cope with anything after the public break-up of his engagement. Returned for the first Test to post a personal best of 168, winning widespread admiration for his mental and physical deeds. Added 28, 63 and the wicket of Mathew Sinclair to provide more value in the second Test. The captaincy succession plan remains in place.

Marcus North
Saved his career with his century in Wellington and backed up with a much more fluent 90 in Hamilton in a pressure-relieving return. The selectors want the No.6 involved in the Ashes and he has the winter to work on some technical flaws that led to his extended slump before the series. Remains a boom or bust player, but is currently paying off.

7
Ryan Harris
The surprise performer of the summer who found his feet at Test level after jumping the queue through a series of stand-out one-day performances. A skiddy bowler who can be very fast, he gained six wickets on debut in Wellington and followed up with another three in the second game. Did not look out of place despite a limited season that began with knee surgery, and will look to cement an Ashes spot.

5
Michael Hussey
Was workmanlike without being fully comfortable. A 67 in the second innings in Hamilton was the high mark of his collection of 93 runs, but there was a potentially worrying pattern in his dismissals. All three exits were the results of edges behind.

Brad Haddin
Finished the series with a 40-ball 48 but had limited opportunities with the bat due to Australia's firing top order. Collected six catches in the second Test, but was untidy at times behind the stumps after a long campaign.

4.5
Phillip Hughes
Showed his explosiveness in the second innings at Wellington after exposing his vulnerability in the first. With 86 not out from 75 balls he produced an awesome performance to finish the 10-wicket victory, but won't be a true star until he can deliver consistent displays on the opening day. Must now wait for Katich or Watson to be injured, or Watson to be moved down the order.

Shane Watson
Got too excited in the second Test after missing the first game with a hip strain suffered in the one-day series. After such a stunning summer he thinks he can do anything - often he can - and departed both times to pull shots to Tim Southee. With time will find the balance between domination and recklessness.

4
Ricky Ponting
Still capable of brilliance, but is unquestionably a wonderful batsman on the wane. His judgement - and leg speed - has diminished and opposition attacks can now target him with the short ball and airy hits to the legside from straighter deliveries. Two run-outs gave him 13 dismissals of that type, which is the most in Test history, and restricted his scores to 41, 22 and 6.

Nathan Hauritz
Won respect for his three wickets in Wellington in 49 second-innings overs, about half of which were delivered into a gale-force wind. Didn't seem as comfortable as he had been at home, which was highlighted by 16 no-balls, and had only four victims. Contributed with 41 not out in the declaration at Hamilton.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by batmannrobin on (April 7, 2010, 13:55 GMT)

@longrun - well, interesting , if u didnt understand a single word, cant take ur views on my comments seriously. well, u can have ur own views on the 3. To me, Ponting is always second to Sachin n Lara. n oh yeah, even a month back , i heard of Shane Bond wanting to be a part of the under arm game and during last year chappel - Hadlee , a placard was placed saying under arm has not been forgotten yet !!

Posted by longrun on (April 7, 2010, 7:10 GMT)

batmannrobin, please consult a thesaurus because i didn't understand a word you typed. rofl ;-). and wasn't this an article about australia's performance on the recent tour of new zealand? i don't hear any kiwi's still banging on about the under arm ball - leave the past in the past and move on. punter is an all time great as a batsman and fielder - sachin and lara couldn't handle the captaincy and their ego's so let go of the captaincy to hold onto their ego (wish they could hold catches like they do their ego). punter has overseen the biggest exodus of all time greats, probably ever, and still we're around the number 1 mark - the man is a modern day marvel i'd rather pay to see lara than sachin any day of the week - but that's in the past, bring on the footy

Posted by batmannrobin on (April 6, 2010, 18:43 GMT)

As i said he had the 90s team entirely on his shoulders.Do u even want to mention names of Punter's teamates. It wud be the who s who of the all conquering Aussie juggernaut .90s India was a one man show. Punter never had to go thru all this pressure.Despite all this , the hype , the hoopla n the ever present criticism , he is such a wonderful role model. Y do u think he receives such standing ovation wherever he goes - Sydney, hamilton, Johannesburg, colombo , London - even in Karachi - In the words of Mark Nicholas - " Not just a pretty special cricketer, but a pretty special person as well". Cricket surely wud not be as popular in India as it is if not for him. To me , First there is Sachin, then there is Lara n there is the rest then.

Posted by batmannrobin on (April 6, 2010, 18:33 GMT)

@join- Interesting u said u r sick of dis nonsense n then joined the debate.n to me Sachin s d best in both forms of the game.Punter lost 2 ashes series in a row n he was a captain n got roasted n he was d captain in both. n Ashes s the iconic series for Aus. They lost last year to India n SA n noby raised more than a whim. Ashes is iconic - like india losing to Pak. Just imagine Sachin's plight- Till 2000, he single handedly kept a entire kargely one sport cricket crazy nation glued to the game in a team which had likes of WV raman, devang gandhi,Vikram rathore,hrishikish kanitkar -to name a few-even VVS,Rahul,Sauvav all exploded only after the famous 01Aus series, when he scores runs, when he fails, when he scores a century,when he gets injured- ppl just cant keep sachin away.In the 07 world cup, when the team failed n he was not even captain n when everyone else - Saurav, Rahul, Sehwag, Dhoni all failed - even OZ players like IC asked only 'SACHIN' to retire entirely blaming him

Posted by join on (April 5, 2010, 12:30 GMT)

@batman Robin: U do really love a battle between sachin and ponting , dont u? Well, I for one , am sick of this nonsense ....so here goes In tests Ponting > Tendulkar (he started 5 yrs later than tendulkar so dont go on stats) ...in ODis Tendulkar >>Ponting. As a captain Ponting >>> Tendulkar (even though he had a better team). Peace. And mate , if tendulkar plays under pressure ,so does ponting ...after all , if u r captaining the aussie side, u never play easily....remember how much of a roasting he got for losing the ashes in 05? And if a guy takes so much roasting after losing 1 series , surely the pressure on him can be no less than tat on Tendulkar. See, in Aus , its not about if Ponting scores a 200* , its about if aus win . while in India , if someone scores a 100 , we give him heaps of credit and criticize others. whats the point of scoring a 100 if u lose the game?

Posted by batmannrobin on (April 4, 2010, 12:14 GMT)

well.all of us here r supporting our heroes n the talk sud have stopped with pros and cons of either Sachin r Ponting in this case. n ppl here have been posting stats to show sachin's record in SA.Does it mean it is a personal attack on Sachin.The moment u start talking abt batmannrobin as was did on the post @ April 03 2010, 09:16 AM GMT- tats when it s a personal attack.

Posted by Aus_TJ on (April 4, 2010, 9:09 GMT)

Ur criticising the Australian captain for his indiscretions and batting ability in a forum regarding the Australian cricket teams summer, boasting about Sachin, like we should all hate Ponting, and idolise Sachin. So who is giving the personal attack? I'm just trying to defend Ponting, because he is not here to do so.... Ponting is a better fielder, captain and player... He does what it takes to lead his team and country to victory... His first bat contract when he was 13 from kookaburra was for $10,000, and he gave it to his junior club to build new nets... He's in charge of the Ponting Foundation, fighting Childhood Cancer, and he has never 'chased' records, and is always subject to more scrutiny from the Australian media, particularly ex-captains than anyone else, because of Australias dominance...

Posted by batmannrobin on (April 4, 2010, 6:54 GMT)

Ragav999.ah-wat a match 2 talk 4 umperrors - syd08 !! 13.1 Ganguly to Ponting, no run, down leg and huge appeals for a strangle, long way away from the pad, Ponting appears to have got the edge but the umpire is unmoved.The whole world knows Punter sud not ve been der in d first place to face Bhajji.n bangdecision-" "Successful over for India. I've seen replays now and they show the ball hit the pad just inside the line". so even if the review system had been on-Punter wud ve gone.n so can we talk abt the no of decisions that Sachin has received. I can talk of 3 in the 99 series in oz alonehead b4 wicket,ball missing bat in a'de,ballturing away in MCG).My response 2 users filtering stats to show sachin's record in SA was using punter stats in SL to show how stats can be used 2 show anything.n as in my earlier post even legends admit the pressure that sachin faces.so no arguments. PS- once someone makes personal remarks u dont feel like replyin 2 such ppl.Got 2 b taught @ schools !!

Posted by Ragav999 on (April 4, 2010, 2:56 GMT)

batman : I remember atleast 2 decisions in tests that bhajji was fortunate to get in his favour against Ponting. Check the lbw against Ponting in Sydney in 2008 and Bangalore in Oct 2008. Ponting inside edged one and the other ball was missing the stumps clearly. If you think just because Chandana got Ponting once or twice makes Ponting a poor player of spin, think of how many times Tendulkar got out to debutants and made him their first wicket. Tendulkar got out twice to Cameron White in test series in India then,I guess you love to forget these sort of stats. Even Hansie Cronje held the record of dismissing Tendulkar most no.of times in tests for some time. What do you have to say about that? About the expectations of Ind fans I believe once Tendulkar or any other Indian gets on to the pitch, they concentrate only on the game situation & the bowler and not think about all the fans out there.

Posted by Aus_TJ on (April 4, 2010, 1:52 GMT)

You concede to lose than batmanandrobin... I quote the Sydney test in 2008: "29.5 Harbhajan Singh gets Ponting again, he bowls the straighter one on off and middle stump, Ponting goes back and tries to work it on the leg side, he gets a massive inside edge on to the pad in front of middle stump but umpire Benson raises the finger this time. Terrible decision. 119/3"

PS: Pontings bowling avg and economy rates in Tests and ODI's is also lower!

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