Australia v Pakistan – Third Test Ratings

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at 2017.01.08
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With Australia inexplicably 2-0 up, the two teams began 2017 by heading to the SCG for the final Test of the series.

To be fair, they had always planned to go to Sydney regardless of what the series score was – they’d sold tickets to people and everything. This wasn’t 1788 and some kind of cruel punishment for a hideous misdemeanour. Or was it? You tell me, Sydney.

Here are the ratings for the Third Test between Australia and Pakistan.

Foreign Born Players
Grade: B+

The thrilling selection of Hilton Cartwright for Australia meant the number of foreign-born players in the national side had risen to four. Cartwright (born in Harare, Zimbabwe) joined Matt Renshaw (Middlesborough, England), Usman Khawaja (Islamabad, Pakistan) and, of course, Matthew Wade (Niiiiice, France.)

Is this a long-term plan to put to an end all the tedious ‘South Engfrica’ jokes about the England side before they tour next summer? God, let’s hope so.

Ideally, by then, both teams will have nothing but foreign-born players competing in the Ashes and before each day’s play they can all do a thirty minute PowerPoint presentation on immigration, citizenship and why Ben Stokes would be a dangerous madman on the cricket field no matter where he was born.

The Pareto Principle
Grade: A-

The Pareto Principle applied during the Australia v Pakistan Third Test 2016-17

The Pareto Principle applied during the Australia v Pakistan Third Test 2016-17

I’ve mentioned before that David Warner and Matt Renshaw are just one Scooby Doo impression away from being the perfect palindromic partnership of Warner-Renraw. (Come on, Slats! Just do this impersonation for me once. I pay my taxes. You owe me, goddamnit!)

In the first innings of this Test they batted like the near inverses of one another that their names suggest. Warner blazed like a lunatic to his century before lunch, while Renshaw ambled his way to his century after tea.

The Pareto Principle, or 80-20 Rule, says that in many everyday matters, 80 per cent of the effects come from just 20 per cent of the causes. Here, for example, Renshaw and Warner’s century partnership saw Warner contribute 80 per cent of the runs from just 20 per cent of the shots played. Similarly, Renshaw’s 20 per cent of the partnership came as 80 per cent of the people watching him were complaining that he was batting too slowly.

Amazing how that works. It’s a powerful principle, although admittedly 80 per cent of its power comes from just the 20 per cent of the time when it actually applies.

Imran Khan
Grade: D

Pakistan had selected Imran Khan for this Test. No, not the one you’re thinking of. A different, younger, less World Cup winning captain-ey one.

It’s a decent strategy. Australia have had enormous success choosing a namesake of an eighties Test cricketer (Steve Smith, who played three Tests against the West Indies in 1984 for a total of 41 runs at 8.2). Why shouldn’t Pakistan reap similar benefits?

Sure, it’s not worked out so great for young Imran in this Test (2/111 and 0/43 to go with scores of 0 and 0). But I see no reason why Pakistan can’t track down a young Javed Miandad or Abdul Qadir. Or even a Wasim Raja.

Focus on the process. The results will come.

Younis Khan
Grade: A-

Of course, Pakistan don’t need to track down a young Younis Khan. Because they still have an old one out there, doing the business. In response to Australia’s huge first innings total, Pakistan made 315, with Younis the glue that held together the rock that was the anchor at the centre of the innings.

He survived all manner of catastrophe – the team falling cheaply all around him, the one player who didn’t fall cheaply around him being needlessly run out, the worrying fact that he was the one responsible for that needless run out, Sydney showers on the mornings of Days 3 and 4, the close proximity of Matthew Wade’s diarrhoea and, of course, Cartwright being hit in the nuts – to make 175 not out.

In the process, he became the first man to score a century in every nation in the world. Or some damn thing. I wasn’t paying attention.

The point is that Younis is an absolute legend of the game, and as long as he remains immortal, Pakistan will be okay.

Standing One’s Ground
Grade: B+

From here, the game followed a familiar path. Australia batted again, with just above everybody who could be bothered to do so smashing quick runs to set Pakistan an improbable 465 runs to win and the better part of four sessions to survive.

The Australians then chipped away at their opponents, taking sufficient wickets to ensure victory by 220 runs.

The major highlight – other than the startling hair of substitute fielder Mickey Edwards – of the Pakistan second innings was the bold effort by nightwatchman Yasir Shah to stand his ground when comfortably caught by substitute fielder Jackson Bird at slip.

More players should do this. Why waste one of your team’s precious reviews when you can query whether the catch carried or not and have the umpires review it for you? Cunning stuff from Yasir. He may not have bowled well in this series, but he saved his side a review, and that’s just as important, surely.

Oh, it isn’t? Ah well. Never mind then. I’ve been misinformed.

(Originally published at http://www.theroar.com.au/2017/01/07/liebke-ratings-australia-vs-pakistan-third-test/)

Australia v Pakistan - Second Test Ratings
Australia v Pakistan - First ODI Ratings

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