Tests in 2006: Top 10 Batsmen and Bowlers

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    Mercenary The Lone Wolf

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    Tests in 2006: Top 10 Batsmen and Bowlers

    by Abdul Habib
    2nd January 2007

    mohammad_yousuf_cricket_pakistan.png


    46 Test matches were played in 2006 out of which 34 had a result and only 12 were drawn.

    Pakistan and Australia were the leading test teams of 2006, both winning 3 series each. Australia are placed in first position since they were undefeated and Pakistan had to settle for second after suffering a heavy loss to England in England.

    Sri Lanka came third with 2 series wins and New Zealand, England and India came next enjoying a solitary series win each. South Africa also won one series but they lost 2 out of the 4 series they played in 2006 leaving them in 7th place.

    Bangladesh lost both series they played but the West Indies came last in 2006 with three series lost out of 3 series played!!


    Test Batting Stats - these stats are based on a minimum of 10 Test inns played in 2006, players are ranked by their batting average

    9 batmen made over 1000 runs in 2006 and 9 players averaged over 50 too, overall there’s not much difference between 2005 and 2006 when it comes to batting stats. The numbers are pretty much the same, only some of the faces have changed.

    2006 will be remembered as the year of Mohammad Yousuf, this was the first time he stepped out of the imposing shadow of Inzamam ul Haq and created a name for himself. Before 2006 he was somewhat unfairly known as that ‘classy’ Pakistani batsman, you know ‘the guy with the beautiful shots’ who only performs when the pressure is off. But in 2006 Yousuf performed and performed and performed and then performed some more. He left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he has become a force to be reckoned with. And in the process he may just have become the biggest target for opposition bowlers in 2007, it’s time for him to show that he’s up to the task and that 2006 wasn’t just a blip.

    Ponting spent the year playing catch up with Yousuf and looked in good enough touch to wrench away the most centuries in a calendar year record but ultimately he fell short. Not that it mattered to him, he led his team to 3 test series wins, finished up as the second best batsman of 2006 and regained the Ashes with a 4-0 score line which he’ll be looking to turn into a 5-0 whitewash in 2007. Hussey is the only player to be ranked in the top 3 during both 2005 and 2006, he’s looking set to ensure that Australia remain one of the hardest teams to beat for a long time yet.

    Pakistan have two batsmen in the top 5 which reflects their high team ranking and their 3 series wins in 2006. This is Younis’s second year in the top 10 and like Yousuf he looks a different batsman to the also-ran that he was a couple of years ago.

    Sangakkara continues to impress and Dravid is dependable as always. Pietersen makes the top 10 in both forms of the game whilst the supposed ‘ODI specialist’ Paul Collingwood has surely cemented his place in the starting XI for a fully fit England Test team.

    19 inns - 1788 runs @ 99.33 avg -- 62.6% SR -- 202 HS -- 9x 100 -- 3x 50 ---> Yousuf
    18 inns - 1333 runs @ 88.86 avg -- 60.8% SR -- 196 HS -- 7x 100 -- 4x 50 ---> Ponting
    15 inns -- 965 runs @ 80.41 avg -- 53.3% SR -- 182 HS -- 2x 100 -- 7x 50 ---> M Hussey
    20 inns - 1242 runs @ 69.00 avg -- 59.0% SR -- 287 HS -- 4x 100 -- 4x 50 ---> Sangakkara
    20 inns - 1179 runs @ 65.50 avg -- 58.7% SR -- 199 HS -- 3x 100 -- 6x 50 ---> Younis
    22 inns - 1095 runs @ 60.83 avg -- 42.3% SR -- 146 HS -- 3x 100 -- 7x 50 ---> Dravid
    26 inns - 1343 runs @ 53.72 avg -- 65.3% SR -- 158 HS -- 4x 100 -- 6x 50 ---> Pietersen
    20 inns -- 983 runs @ 51.73 avg -- 53.8% SR -- 374 HS -- 3x 100 -- 2x 50 ---> Jayawardene
    26 inns - 1121 runs @ 50.95 avg -- 43.6% SR -- 206 HS -- 3x 100 -- 2x 50 ---> Collingwood
    21 inns -- 905 runs @ 47.63 avg -- 43.3% SR -- 121 HS -- 3x 100 -- 4x 50 ---> Prince


    Test Bowling Stats - these stats are based on a minimum of 5 matches played in 2006, to ensure I got the very best bowlers I set the average at 30 or under, the strike rate at under 60 and to weed out the occasional bowlers with great stats but only a handful of wickets I set the WPM at a minimum of 3

    It’s great to see a Pakistani at the top of both rankings and both placings have been richly deserved. Asif has been the find of the year and if he continues bowling the way he’s begun, then he could very well be the find of this decade! It’s rare to see a bowler getting the exaggerated movement that Asif gets and it’s even rarer when the bowler is doing it on purpose!

    Ntini has also had another great year rising up from seventh in 2005 to second in 2006. Without a doubt he’s been the best fast bowler in the world since the 2003 World Cup and a huge part of the South African team’s successes.

    But without a doubt, Murali has been the Mohammad Yousuf of bowling. He’s taken a mind boggling 90 wickets in just 11 matches at an average of 16.90 and a miserly eco rate of just 2.6 with 9 five wicket hauls and 5 ten wicket hauls. What an incredible performance from him! No doubt the greatest spinner of our time.

    Australia will be pleased with the continuing progress of Clark, who’s proving himself to be a very useful bowler and they’ll definitely need him to continue his form with both McGrath and Warne having bowed out of the test arena. It’s been another good year for Warne and it’ll be sad to see the back of the living legend.

    It’s surprising to see two Indian fast bowlers in a list such as this but no your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Both Sreesanth and Munaf look to be very promising prospects and as long as they don’t follow the established Indian seam bowling tradition, of one good season followed by years of mediocrity, then India could become a real force to be reckoned with.

    Shahid Nazir came into the Pakistan side under pressure to perform in the absence of all of Pakistan’s big guns and he didn’t disappoint. Despite around a decade in the wilderness, he came back into the side exhibiting control, patience and penetration to end up being ranked number 8. Gul was unlucky to miss out on a top 10 ranking but despite making the list on everything else, he was let down by his average being 4 runs too high.

    Jerome Taylor shone for the West Indies to take 6th place and in the process to give them a glimpse into the past. It’s been a long, long, long time since Windies fans have seen a fast bowler hurtling in and smashing stumps. Hopefully Jerome is a portent of things to come because cricket feels incomplete without a strong Windies team!

    5 Ms -- 30 wkts @ 18.23 avg -- 35.0 SR -- 3.2 Eco -- 2x FWH -- 1x TWH -- 6.0 WPM ---> Asif
    10 Ms - 58 wkts @ 21.60 avg -- 37.1 SR -- 3.5 Eco -- 5x FWH -- 2x TWH -- 5.8 WPM ---> Ntini
    11 Ms - 90 wkts @ 16.90 avg -- 39.2 SR -- 2.6 Eco -- 9x FWH -- 5x TWH -- 8.2 WPM ---> Muralitharan
    7 Ms -- 35 wkts @ 24.40 avg -- 42.4 SR -- 3.4 Eco -- 1x FWH -- 0x TWH -- 5.0 WPM ---> Sreesanth
    8 Ms -- 42 wkts @ 17.76 avg -- 43.6 SR -- 2.4 Eco -- 1x FWH -- 0x TWH -- 5.3 WPM ---> Clark
    7 Ms -- 28 wkts @ 28.67 avg -- 50.1 SR -- 3.4 Eco -- 2x FWH -- 0x TWH -- 4.0 WPM ---> J Taylor
    8 Ms -- 29 wkts @ 29.96 avg -- 50.5 SR -- 3.6 Eco -- 1x FWH -- 0x TWH -- 3.6 WPM ---> Franklin
    5 Ms -- 17 wkts @ 30.47 avg -- 56.1 SR -- 3.3 Eco -- 0x FWH -- 0x TWH -- 3.4 WPM ---> S Nazir
    6 Ms -- 24 wkts @ 28.33 avg -- 57.2 SR -- 3.0 Eco -- 0x FWH -- 0x TWH -- 4.0 WPM ---> Munaf
    10 Ms - 49 wkts @ 30.20 avg -- 58.1 SR -- 3.1 Eco -- 3x FWH -- 0x TWH -- 4.9 WPM ---> Warne

    Here are the… Test Stats for 2005
     

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