The break between the second and third test was utilised well by the administrators of India and Australia to bring the focus back on the game rather than on an incident that was apologised for by the Australian skipper and dealt with by the ICC. Whether one agreed with that decision or not, it was good to see good sense prevail and the attention back on the game. All those who have played the game in India are aware that the gap between matches are the ones which are to watch out for. With not much cricketing action to report on, the demands of circulation figures and ratings on TV mean that many an imaginary story does the rounds and sometimes can overtake itself and go beyond what it was originally intended for.
The focus back on the game meant that the test matches in New Zealand and in Sri Lanka got the attention it deserved. The one day series between New Zealand and South Africa was a close thing and though the Proteas won it with an easy win in the fifth and final game it had set the test series up nicely. New Zealand being familiar with home conditions have the sags a bit of a scare but the match had a tame ending with rains washing out the last day’s play. There was still enough cricket played with Dean Elgar almost getting a century in each innings. He was dismissed for 89 in the second innings after getting a hundred in the first innings where the ball was doing all kinds of things. For the home team skipper Kane Williamson batted beautifully against a demanding South African attack to get a classy hundred.
In Sri Lanka the Bangladesh team found like earlier teams touring Sri Lanka that Rangana Hearth is a destructive bowler. His easy action allows him to bowl long spells and his unflappable temperament means that nothing fazes him. Kusal Mendis who must have been disappointed at his batting in South Africa, came back to form scoring a scintillating century that gave Sri Lanka enough rubs to keep catching fielders around the bat all the time. Sri Lanka won the test with ease and so Bangladesh will have to lift themselves up for the next test which is their 100th test match.
Dean Elgar for his batting on a difficult pitch against New Zealand is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.