Tuesday, 9 February 2010

South Africa's thrashing of India gives perspective

India, the world's number one ranked side, were comprehensively battered by a South African side firing on all cylinders over the past few days.

Dale Steyn, England's tormentor-in-chief in the latter part of their series took match figures of 10-108, moving him to within five wickets of 200 in just his 37th test. His strike rate is heading south of 38 - just incredible. Morkel also roughed up India's slightly weakened batting order, and Parnell and Harris also chipped in.

The nature of the beating, the sort that England managed to avoid, does not mean England are a better side than India. India were missing Dravid and were playing two debutants in Badrinath and Saha, with a relative newcomer - M Vijay - at number three. However it does show just what a good side South Africa are, they are playing away from home in conditions that ought to be tough for them to adapt to, but they are just proving that good bowlers get wickets on almost any surface.

I criticised England's batting in South Africa, and in some cases this was justified, but its clear that dealing with Steyn and Morkel is one hell of a task - I doubt that there is a better new ball pairing in world cricket at the moment. Moreover Hashim Amla proved what a good player he is growing in to with an enormous double hundred, and Ashwell Prince aside, South Africa look to have a very settled and talented top seven.

South Africa deserve to topple India at the top of the rankings, and barring a much improved performance in the one remaining test in this 'series', they probably will.

No comments: