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Marks out of ten for Australia and West Indies after the three-Test series in the Caribbean
April 28, 2012
Can be said to have graduated his Caribbean education with honours. Kept wicket neatly and with little fuss, claiming several difficult snares as balls skimmed through low off pitches of subcontinental character, while also handling the spinners with increasing skill. Scrapped for his runs in Barbados and Trinidad, then lorded over the West Indies bowlers with the innings of the series in Dominica. Selectors have a debate on their hands to separate Wade and Brad Haddin.
Followed an indifferent first innings of the series with the most critical of the tour in the second, cutting through the West Indies top order to set up the possibility of a win. Took at least one new-ball wicket at the start of every innings from that point, while also striking a handful of heavy blows with the bat.
Michael Clarke (capt)
Clarke's personal contributions included handy runs, particularly in Barbados, and match-sealing wickets in Dominica. But it was his astute and aggressive captaincy that again showed the way for his team. Declarations in Barbados and Trinidad showed his eagerness to pursue results, while he also won a pivotal toss in Roseau. Greater challenges await, but Clarke's leadership appears to be up to them.
Man of the Match in Barbados, contributing his best international score and bookending it with vital wickets. Was then rested for Trinidad and appeared to struggle a little for rhythm in Dominica, though still bowling several sharp spells. Highly valued and will be carefully managed for however long his battered body can last.
Often coming into bat under pressure, Hussey did not make huge runs but all were valuable. Showed how best to bat on a vexing Trinidad surface, and played one of the best short innings of recent times to shepherd home the final-evening chase in Barbados. Added another notable wicket to his Test tally, this time Darren Bravo.
Bowled countless overs in the nets before a call-up for the third Test in which he contributed usefully with bat as well as ball. Two first-innings wickets included Chanderpaul's, and scores of 35 and 21 provided a sting in Australia's tail. A sound developmental tour.
Though he struggled with the ball in Barbados, Lyon demonstrated the attitude of a fighter by combining with Harris for critical runs to help open up the match. Regathered himself admirably in Trinidad and Dominica, taking the wickets Clarke needed from him as the lead spinner on turning pitches. Is developing nicely and already has a record the envy of many Australia offspinners past.
Moved to No. 3 but continued to perform as he had done as an opener - lots of starts, no big scores, and plenty of intelligent overs with the ball. Culpability in the horrific run-out of Ricky Ponting in Barbados has forced Watson to address a considerable weakness in his game. Next will be the matter of making more of his starts.
Bowled sturdily in Barbados until a back complaint ruled him out of the rest of the series. Not expected to be bowling for at least a couple of months. A Test match specialist.
A struggle. Made starts in Barbados and Trinidad and a first-innings duck in Dominica before recovering with a battling 55 in his final innings. Well out of his comfort zone on slow, turning pitches, and will be reassessed at home against South Africa. Had a few brain fades running between the wickets but excelled in the field.
Showed plenty of attacking intent as expected, and also worked hard to adjust his game to spin, making more progress in that area than he has previously. Was repeatedly undone outside off stump by West Indies' disciplined line, however, and can expect more of the same in future series. Legspin shows promise.
Bereft of good fortune more than good form, Ponting did not pass 50 until his final innings of the tour, but his 57 was important in setting up Australia's lead in Dominica. The duel with Kemar Roach fascinated again and there are no signs that Ponting has any intention of retiring. Set training and preparation standards as ever but will need runs against South Africa.
Replaced Harris in Trinidad but struggled for rhythm until a back injury forced him out of the remainder of the series. Made important first-innings runs with Hussey, however. May return in time for England ODI tour.
Played as the second spinner on a sharply spinning Trinidad surface and took the new ball. Had done well in Shield cricket to earn his recall. Will have one eye on 2013 India test tour.
The oldest man in the series at 37, he was also the most outstanding batsman. His 346 runs in five innings were almost all made with his team in a crisis. Just once, in the second innings in Barbados did he not get at least 50. In conditions that challenged batsmen's technique and their temperament, he showed himself to be a master of both. Passing 10,000 runs in the third Test was just par for the pitch.
Broke new ground in his career with 10 wickets in the second Test and was the leader of the attack ahead of the out-of-sorts and eventually injured Fidel Edwards. He got better as the series went on, adding consistency of line and length to his already established pace. Roach also did not shy away from bowling in hot conditions and on sluggish pitches. His 19 wickets made him the series leader. Was also a stubborn contributor with the bat.
The offspinner, back with a rehabilitated bowling action, was a good foil to Roach in Trinidad and a more-than-adequate replacement for the off-colour Devendra Bishoo with his excellent control. Used his knowledge of conditions in his native Dominica to best effect to take 10 wickets in the match and finish with 14 in the series at a decent 26.14.
Darren Sammy (capt)
As a bowler he did not have the partnership-breaking impact as in past series but as a batsman and captain he flourished. Sammy put together his best collection of scores since taking over the captaincy. Batting at No. 8 - and in the case of the second-innings run chase in Trinidad, No.3 - he played to his strength and attacked, while being generally more selective of which balls to hit. Players responded well to his positive leadership.
A series which started with a confident 61 in Barbados was curtailed by a knee injury. His presence and runs at No. 3 in the order were greatly missed.
Of the established/specialist batsmen in the series, only Chanderpaul (86.50) and Wade (39.60) averaged higher than Bravo at 36.80. On pitches not conducive to free-scoring, especially in Trinidad and Dominica, he never failed to reach double figures in completed innings, but only once carried on to 50. Needed to give more support to Chanderpaul. Much improved in the field though.
Brought in to fill the gap left by Marlon Samuels, the left-hander did not get sufficient runs despite his half-century in the Trinidad Test. His nine wickets bowling economical offspin though were useful and 4 for 53 in the first Test raised outside hopes of a West Indies victory.
Carlton Baugh In a difficult series for keeping wicket, he missed the odd catch and stumping, but was generally reliable. However, did not deliver the needed runs at No. 7 in the order, managing just 83 in five knocks, which wasn't considered good enough to keep his place for the England tour.
Injury and illness made him a non-starter until Edwards' sore back put him out of the final Test. Did not seem his fittest in Dominica and got just one wicket but still contributed with the bat.
Bowled with his usual heart, pace and aggression in the first two Tests before getting injured. Dropped catches robbed him of more than three wickets. Not in his best rhythm, tended to be erratic with line and length.
Fit for all three Tests after a finger injury, the little man struggled throughout, scoring just 65 runs in six innings. Had a highest opening partnership of just 38 with Kraigg Brathwaite. Loose strokes and misjudgement were often the causes of his downfall.
A bright start--57 in his opening knock of the series in Barbados--was followed by three scoreless innings in a row before he got on the board again in his last innings. He showed a susceptibility to balls in the corridor outside off stump. Was an asset in the field and still only 19.
Was asked to fill Edwards' slot in the last two Tests, although he was promoted to open in the second innings in Trinidad when West Indies were chasing victory. Normally an opener, he still always found himself facing the new ball but struggled to convert three decent starts into at least one half-century. An attractive strokeplayer he was undone by technical mistakes.
Last year's ICC Emerging Player of the Year, Bishoo's poor form quickly left him out of favour with the selectors. He did not play after the first Test where he got just one wicket. Needs to tighten up on his control of length.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?