There has been plenty of international cricket action over the past week from which to choose our Cricket World Player Of The Week.
Most of the notable performances have come from the batsmen, which you might perhaps expect considering much of the action has been in India, the UAE and Zimbabwe, but there have been a couple of good bowling performances.
Junaid Khan took five for 38 in Sri Lanka’s first innings in Abu Dhabi; Shakib Al Hasan took four for 16 to decimate West Indies’ batting line-up in the final ODI; and Morne Morkel took four for 22 to help South Africa level their ongoing ODI series against Australia.
However, it is from the batsmen that this week’s Player Of The Week must come, with eight men and three women hitting centuries over the past seven days and two going on to convert those to double hundreds. Kumar Sangakkara hit 211, which in conjunction with Prasanna Jayawardene’s 120, was instrumental in Sri Lanka escaping with a draw on the featherbed of a pitch that is the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, after Taufeeq Umar had hit a double of his own to set up Pakistan’s victory push.
In the limited overs matches, Virat Kohli has played a key role in India taking a four-nil lead over England in their ODI series, with unbeaten innings of 112 and 86 to see them home in the second and fourth matches, while other centurions include the Kiwi pair of Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill.
For the women, Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle hit unbeaten centuries in their first ODI against South Africa Women, while skipper Charlotte Edwards followed that up with a century in the second match.
In spite of all this excellence, the award goes to Brendan Taylor, who has hit two centuries in the past week, albeit in losing causes, in doing so becoming the first Zimbabwean to hit back-to-back tons. The award is as much a recognition of his excellence as leader of Zimbabwe since their resumption of Test-playing duties as it is about this week’s performances alone.
The 25-year-old from Harare has been the rock upon which Zimbabwe’s successful return has been built and the captaincy of the side appears to have only increased his already not insignificant hunger for runs. He can only hope that his current rich vein of form continues and that the rest of his teammates can follow his example.
© Cricket World 2011