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Team of the Week [Nov. 20]

November 20th 2012 17:07
1. Alistair Cook
Englandís captain was one of only 2 touring batsmen to show any form of prolonged defence against the Indian bowlers. He made an astute 41 in the first innings, and then racked up his 21st Test match century in the second by making 176. It was a typical Cook innings, playing inside his capabilities and ticking over the score with chanceless ease.

2. Virender Sehwag
The Indian opener showed his supreme hitting abilities, with a wonderful 117 in the first innings against England. Granted he did face a distinct lack of spin, and was fed wide deliveries all morning long, but he showed his excellent eye by hitting over half of his runs in boundaries. He is one of the great attacking batsmen of his generation and this century was the 8th of his Test career that came at better than a run a ball.

3. Cheteshwar Pujara
In 6 test matches Pujara has scored 570 runs at an average of 71.25, including 1 half century, 1 century and 1 double-hundred. Against England he hit 247 runs without being dismissed, his opening knock of the series proved the theory that he will be the next Rahul Dravid. He was never put under pressure by any of the England bowlers and his finishing in the fourth innings of the match was brilliantly composed.

4. Kieran Powell
He does open for the West Indies, but Cook and Sehwag contrast each other in a way that would work at the top of the order. Powell made his second and third test centuries in the first match of the series against Bangladesh, with 117 and 110. He is a strong left handed batsman who really punished the poor Bangladeshi bowlers, and now looks set for a long international career.

5. Shivnarine Chanderpaul
The man with one of the oddest batting techniques in history, Shiv is one of just 2 West Indians to pass 10,000 Test runs. From his 145 matches he has 26 centuries at an average of just over 50. Against Bangladesh this week, he compiled a typical Chanderpaul innings, and he batted on to only his second ever double hundred in Test cricket.

6. Matt Prior
The England wicket keeper managed to get in and stay in during both of the touristsí innings in Ahmedabad. He got to 48 in the first, and then fell just 9 runs short of a century in the second, though his partnership with captain Alistair Cook allowed England to have some say in the result of the game. He doesnít have the gloves however because he missed a couple of opportunities in Indiaís first innings. The stumping miss off Gambhir can be forgotten as Swann got him next ball. However, some missed chances will be punished, and his drop of Sehwag on 80 was important.

7. Dinesh Ramdin (WK)
Ramdin made his third Test century this week and it was joined by 5 catches in the game.

8. Graeme Swann
Swanny took 6 out of Englandís 9 match wickets on a turning track in Ahmedabad. He was the only good thing to come from the bowling side of the touristís team. He caused the home batsmen more problems than anyone else, especially the part timer Samit Patel. His counter attacking batting is also going to be helpful for England over the length of the tour.

9. Sohag Gazi
Despite being hit for 6 off his first ball in Test cricket, the young off spinner showed a great mindset to come back and take 3 wickets in the first innings and 6 in the second. This meant he finished his debut with match figures of 9-219. He certainly looks like he is going to be a star for the future of Bangladeshi cricket.

10. Pragyan Ojha
The young Indian left arm spinner took 5 wickets in Englandís first innings and then 4 in the second. So he also finished this week with match figures of 9 for something. That something was just 165, and it came from 77.2 overís of bowling. He was always going to trouble Kevin Pietersen as he bowls using his left hand, and he was much better than the well talked about Ravi Ashwin. It looks as though he is going to be a thorn in Englandís side this winter.

11. Rangana Herath
The Sri-Lankan took 5 in New Zealandís first innings, and then 6 in the Kiwiís second attempt. Neither of these efforts were his best career figures, and even his match total of 11-108 wonít be the best of his international career. He has taken 165 wickets at an average of just over 30 in his 41 matches so far. He will have spent much of his early career in the shadow of Muttiah Muralitharan, but now looks like he is shining in all forms by himself.

By the way, we are playing on a pitch that is going to spin a lot.

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