Numbers can be manipulated to display different interpretations but they cannot lie. The gurus of cricket predicted that England would dominate the Windies. The numbers could not be further from the truth. Windies have lost only one match at home since I started my index. Even in that match, Jason Holder was declared as the man of the match. Chase did not play well in that game and did not bowl at all. My index showed that England went into the game with a stronger side than the one they last played with. The reason for this was the replacement of Broad with Anderson.
Sri Lanka and Australia both went in with lower ranked teams but Australia’s changes were positive. The result was that a side that just lost against India ended up beating Sri Lanka quite significantly. The ranking of the teams as of the end of the 1st Test between Windies and England are as follows:
The top players are below.
I expect that there will be a change in the top three. Lyon has a good chance of overtaking Perera to become the main spinner in Test XI. Then there is the case of Jason Holder. There is a very high probability of him overtaking both of them.
Jason Holder has overtaken Virat Kohli as the number one player. I expect more Australians and Kiwis to break into this list
There have been changes to the 2018 Test XI.
Duanne Olivier replaced Shanon Gabriel. Rishabh Pant replaces Buttler. I still think Buttler is good enough to keep at Test XI but I will consider him if he keeps again in 2019. The only debatable position is No. 5. I have continued to keep Stokes there. There are better batsmen to play at 5. I would like to see how Stokes plays in the current series before deciding whether to keep him at 5 or find another replacement.