Windies test tour - interesting news

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Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 05 Mar 2015, 7:59 am

First topic message reminder :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/england/11448739/England-begin-planning-for-Test-tour-of-West-Indies-and-life-after-Kevin-Pietersen.html

Just when you think you're losing interest in England, they're going to select Adil Rashid and bring back Trott heart
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by guildfordbat on Fri 10 Apr 2015, 5:10 pm

''With the ECB suffering in recent times for its inability to communicate reasonable ideas to the general public - James Whittaker has sometimes tied himself into knots as he explained team selections - the new individual will be expected to have a more public-facing role than Downton and an ability to communicate far better with the media. The cynical might suggest it is even a 'style over substance' position.'' - George Dobell on cricinfo.

The above immediately made me think of Stewart. Whilst it would be unfair to completely tar him with the brush in Dobell's final sentence, Stewart's communication skills are highly impressive and probably his greatest strength.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 10 Apr 2015, 6:31 pm

I think they need someone to come in and get the public back on board - you've got ridiculous ticket prices, a team without success recently and "higher powers" in the ECB *cough* Giles Clarke *cough* who everytime they open there mouth make you want to bang there head through a table.
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by VTR on Fri 10 Apr 2015, 6:36 pm

Just to be clear, the yes man I was alluding to is Peter Moores. I didn't want him back, and my opinion of him hasn't improved at all.

He was such a safe, toe the line option its embarrassing

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by alfie on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 8:13 am

Afraid this will sound like an echo of Mike's comprehensive post a little above ; but I have to say I am broadly in agreement with most of the points he raises.
I don't really know what Downton did either ; and I doubt most of his numerous critics on various Internet sites had much better knowledge. He was largely condemned , I think , because of his inept efforts at PR ; and he really did have a record of putting a (verbal) foot in it. Whether or not he was doing anything good behind the scenes is something we may learn later...or not.  Never mind : after the WC fiasco I guess someone had to be sacrificed to appease the baying mob ; and he was probably the best choice.
A lot of people are still after Moores' blood. I am not one of them. Again I wasn't in favour of his appointment ; but since he was given the job - at a difficult time - it would seem rather unreasonable to now dump him on the basis of continued underperformance of the ODI squad , while his initial work with the Test team appeared to be bearing some fruit : without getting carried away , a narrow defeat to Sri Lanka followed by a convincing come from behind win over India ; combined with the promising development of Ballance , Ali , Buttler , Woakes (and perhaps the revival of Plunkett ? Jury still out) suggests he was doing something right.
The ODI situation is a counter to this , of course. But I am led to wonder if anyone else could have done a lot better , given the sad fact that England just do not possess at present the right sort of player group to do well in this format (In my opinion , anyway. Seems to me most of the current squad are either better suited to the long game (Bell , Anderson etc) , hopelessly out of touch (Morgan , Broad) or perhaps not - at least yet - quite good enough (Hales? Ali - despite some good efforts - and even the promising Taylor). There certainly is no McCullum or Warner , let alone a de Villiers...
Sometimes the coach just can't go without the horses. Which is not to absolve Moores of all blame : he needs to improve England's limited overs cricket , and I don't doubt he knows it.  Doesn't seem (to me , anyway) a good reason to cut him off so early : let us see how he does , particularly with the Test team , over the crowded programme fast approaching.
Suppose I have to address the Issue That Won't Go Away ... I think Vaughan (who may soon have the power ?) said something along the lines of "If KP is in the best seven batsmen in England , he must be considered for selection" ? Still a bit of an "if" at the moment given his lack of first class cricket for so long ; but I would still qualify this further.  KP doesn't bowl seriously , and isn't an opener or a keeper , four of those seven spots are not relevant. So he is really - as Mike pointed out - looking to displace Bell , Ballance or Root , with Trott arguably waiting in the wings...he would need to show a very strong case to push out one of them , given England are looking to the future - even without the obvious consideration that he is not an easy person to fit into a team.  Say what you will about people having to learn to get on with each other , room for mavericks etc...it is still a fact that KP has a bit of a track record of upsetting things : first as captain attempting to knife his coach (guess who?) at the cost of both their positions ; then undermining his captain via text ...and presumably there must have been some issues in Australia that couldn't all be blamed on the Big Cheese and the fast bowlers. So that baggage would also weigh against him. Might not disqualify him totally , but...

Vaughan for supremo ? As I indicated earlier in this thread , I have reservations. Yes he might shake things up , perhaps to good effect. But he might also break a few things in his haste : the team has been in a lot of upheaval lately already , and I'd like to see a few of the new guard establish themselves a bit more securely without unnecessary distractions. Graves is already around to make bold statements - I reckon he will do for now as a shaker. Strauss would probably be my pick , but that's mainly personal bias . Those who make the choice will have more information on which to base their decision.

Leaving the team make up to another day...

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by msp83 on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 11:19 am

Of the 3, think Vaughan would be the most predisposed towards an attacking brand of cricket as a leader. But he isn't captain, he isn't going to play, he's not going to be the coach. So how much of an impact can he make?
Strauss was more of a conservative captain. May not be the one to help change approaches as such. Had his share of failure in handling the situation involving some members of the team and Pietersen and was too closely involved with the present regime, so.......
Stuart is a good communicator, comes through as flexible enough on his approach to the game, has been open and reasonable on the Pietersen situation. Think he would be the best pick.
Stuart my first pick, Vaughan the 2nd. Strauss would not make my shortlist.......
I won't be surprised if the ECB makes yet another right royal mess with the appointment and mandate of this proposed new role.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by msp83 on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 11:22 am

As for Peter Moorse, I am not convinced by the argument that now that he's been picked, he has to be carried for long....... He was the wrong choice to start with, Downturn was instrumental in picking him, and the KP factor was decisive I feel. He couldn't work well with players in his first stint, (seems people want to point fingers only towards Pietersen here), So if it was a wrong call for the wrong reasons to start with, thing there is no point in wasting too much time.......

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Mike Selig on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 1:18 pm

I think you (and others) are attaching a bit too much importance to KP msp; the world, even the ECB does not (I hope) operate through a KP tunnel vision. I don't think "openness to a KP return" specifically will be or should be a key part of choosing the next DoC; "ability to work with people", "open on all selection matters" and "open to new ideas" certainly.

Similarly I think the suggestion that Downton was picked primarily because he would block KP's return is a bit... far fetched would be kind, ludicrously tin-hat brigadeish probably more accurate.

As or past fall-outs? Frankly all these people should be professional enough to let by-gones be by-gones and from the moment you accept to take on a new role (or in Moores' case reprise an old role) you should be able and willing to "wipe the slate clean" and start afresh. As a coach myself I have had run-ins with players, sometimes serious ones, on one occasion leading to disciplinary action. I have coached these players again in the future in a different role. It's called being professional and acting like a grown-up.

In that respect I don't think "past run-ins with KP" (or indeed with any other player) should play any part in any appointment (not least because you are unlikely to find a candidate who hasn't at some point had a run-in with someone he will have to work with again) unless either:
- it is clear that the candidate unable/unwilling to work with the other again (i.e. act like a grown-up)
- you think the previous dispute is reflective of flaws in the candidate which make him unsuitable for the role (e.g. if you think Moores's previous fall-out with KP and others show that he is not flexible/competent/open enough then fair enough).

As regards Strauss I would be far more concerned with his proximity to this current group of England players than the KP stuff which went on (which I am not at all sure Strauss mismanaged). I think he is too recently retired as a player - probably by a couple of years or so - to come back in a managerial position (coaching would be different).

My opinion on Moores remains. He was viewed at the time as the best man to turn England's fortunes around. Whatever you make of that viewpoint at the time, I don't think anything which has happened between then and now has done more to disprove the point. In tests there was promise last summer, and in ODIs frankly the situation was hopeless to begin with. I think he has earned a bit more time.

Having said that, the new DoC/Supremo may feel that he wants to take things in a different direction and that Moores isn't compatible with his vision. In that case, then as with a new coach arriving and wanting a different captain I would say fair enough (hard luck to Moores but fair enough).

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by msp83 on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 9:02 pm

Mike Selig wrote:I think you (and others) are attaching a bit too much importance to KP msp; the world, even the ECB does not (I hope) operate through a KP tunnel vision. I don't think "openness to a KP return" specifically will be or should be a key part of choosing the next DoC; "ability to work with people", "open on all selection matters" and "open to new ideas" certainly.

Similarly I think the suggestion that Downton was picked primarily because he would block KP's return is a bit... far fetched would be kind, ludicrously tin-hat brigadeish probably more accurate.

As or past fall-outs? Frankly all these people should be professional enough to let by-gones be by-gones and from the moment you accept to take on a new role (or in Moores' case reprise an old role) you should be able and willing to "wipe the slate clean" and start afresh. As a coach myself I have had run-ins with players, sometimes serious ones, on one occasion leading to disciplinary action. I have coached these players again in the future in a different role. It's called being professional and acting like a grown-up.

In that respect I don't think "past run-ins with KP" (or indeed with any other player) should play any part in any appointment (not least because you are unlikely to find a candidate who hasn't at some point had a run-in with someone he will have to work with again) unless either:
- it is clear that the candidate unable/unwilling to work with the other again (i.e. act like a grown-up)
- you think the previous dispute is reflective of flaws in the candidate which make him unsuitable for the role (e.g. if you think Moores's previous fall-out with KP and others show that he is not flexible/competent/open enough then fair enough).

As regards Strauss I would be far more concerned with his proximity to this current group of England players than the KP stuff which went on (which I am not at all sure Strauss mismanaged). I think he is too recently retired as a player - probably by a couple of years or so - to come back in a managerial position (coaching would be different).

My opinion on Moores remains. He was viewed at the time as the best man to turn England's fortunes around. Whatever you make of that viewpoint at the time, I don't think anything which has happened between then and now has done more to disprove the point. In tests there was promise last summer, and in ODIs frankly the situation was hopeless to begin with. I think he has earned a bit more time.

Having said that, the new DoC/Supremo may feel that he wants to take things in a different direction and that Moores isn't compatible with his vision. In that case, then as with a new coach arriving and wanting a different captain I would say fair enough (hard luck to Moores but fair enough).
To start with, I haven't seen anyone suggesting that Paul D was picked to block Pietersen. In fact it was after his appointment that the call was taken, and he was the who went to town on it....... But the point was made about Moores, and his appointment was in parts influenced by the Pietersen situation, and I think there is a point in there.
As for professionalism, how much professionalism that the English establishment has shown in dealing with the Pietersen situation?
We all have gone over it many times, but just to quickly recapture, Strauss was the captain when the Twitter nonsense was going on, he was captain when Swann's book came out...... There was no public attempt to deal with it, and from what has come out since, no satisfactory attempt from Pietersen's point of view, to address the matter....... This is not to suggest Strauss or the then coach has to take all the blame for letting the situation develop to what it eventually became, but no way can they be absolved.
No openness to a KP return. I think it indeed is important. Because it is an issue that is not going away anywhere. English cricket has to address it. Because Pietersen is Pietersen. As a batsman, one of England's best in the last few decades. A batsman who has the game that can reach out to the public....... Now that the ECB incoming chief got involved in the issue and Pietersen committed himself to playing county cricket, personal likes or dislikes of a few individuals should not be aloud to create more drama. If KP scores the runs, then he has to be in, whether Cook has fallen out of love with KP shouldn't come into it....... I have my doubts as to whether Strauss can meet the standards in this regard as he was one of the key figures at a time when the first round of the drama was reaching its peak.
And as I have already noted and you observed in the subsequent post, Strauss has retired too recently to allow him the necessary distance from the Cook regime.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by kingraf on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 9:40 pm

It's not that simple. An incumbent has to be deemed worthy of dropping before KP comes in. That's the rule, always has been. Poor Stephen Cook scored four tons on the bounce, and he might still not get a look in, because we're the #1 team in the world (he should... But he really might not).

Secondly, ECB have to take a balanced look at how long they think KP can go for. This year, England have a home Ashes, and the Tour of South Africa is something of a homecoming tour for him. This could realistically be his swansong.

I also think KP lost any moral high ground he might have had after his book. KP absolutely slaughtered Matt Prior in his book, and while it seems far fetched as of now, there's a chance they may again become teammates.
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 10:04 pm

kingraf wrote:It's not that simple. An incumbent has to be deemed worthy of dropping before KP comes in. That's the rule, always has been. Poor Stephen Cook scored four tons on the bounce, and he might still not get a look in, because we're the #1 team in the world (he should... But he really might not).

Secondly, ECB have to take a balanced look at how long they think KP can go for. This year, England have a home Ashes, and the Tour of South Africa is something of a homecoming tour for him. This could realistically be his swansong.

I also think KP lost any moral high ground he might have had after his book. KP absolutely slaughtered Matt Prior in his book, and while it seems far fetched as of now, there's a chance they may again become teammates.

Weird thing is this year off he's had (bar the odd T20) should prolong his shelf life in theory - same with Trott.

It'll be interesting to see what happens if KP does start the county season on fire - but until that happens I'm quite happy with our batting as it is (if I had to guess who KP would come in for I'd say Bell or Ballance)
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Mike Selig on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 10:07 pm

I think I should have left it at my first paragraph. The world does not revolve around KP. It is only really his supporters who bring up the topic with respect to everything, believing he is central to all decisions ever. I cannot seriously countenance claims that Moores was selected because he was anti-KP. I cannot seriously believe that KP's possible return will play anything like an important role in selecting the new DoC and possibly the next coach if the new DoC believes a change is necessary. Frankly I think that is being delusional. To say this and point out like raf that or KP to get back into the side will also require somebody else to drop out was the only reason I brought the topic up.

None of this means I believe the ECB hierarchy behaved with any professionalism whatsoever throughout the saga BTW. The professionalism comment was merely that I think somebody like Strauss (and indeed Moores) is a reasonable person, and were he given the job I don't think he would allow old scores to cloud his judgement. I would hope not anyway.

As for the actual cricket which is going to happen...

Who do people think England will/should pick in the first test? It's tough because the opening tour matches have really not given much information at all...

Cook, Ballance, Bell, Root, Buttler, Anderson and Broad are all without question.

All the noises suggest Trott will return as Cook's opening partner. Stokes seems to have nailed down the all-rounder slot with 2 good bowling performances and a cameo.

That leaves the question of the remaining 2 bowlers. A priori a spinner and another seamer, but quite possibly if the pitches are the now usual slow flat fare England may well be tempted by the two spinners option (with Stokes as a 3rd seamer that is actually quite an attractive option). All the more so as none of the seamers have really put their hand up.

I'd be tempted by Wood because of his reputed ability to reverse the ball, but I think that reflects as much as anything that I'm not really convinced by Plunkett or Jordan. I guess in a 5 man attack they're less of a risk.

Tredwell seems to have outbowled Rashid so far. There are also some reports of Rashid not really impressing in the nets. Shame if true because leggies are rare and unfortunately I think becoming rarer by the minute, but... I think Tredwell sometimes gets a bit of unfair stick, I can't see him letting anyone down, but he's obviously not the long-term option. I've seen Riley bowl, he was... OK. I didn't see anything that special there. I didn't see Ravi Patel at all last year, but I thought he bowled too slowly the last time I saw him. Kerrigan will be worth another look at at some point, but TBH the cupboard does look a bit bare.

Ali will be welcomed back with open arms and really England are banking on his bowling developing further. Woakes will return also. Put those two in the unknown slots and England have a decent looking side IMO. If Cook could sort out his form, and Trott works out as an opener even more so.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 10:13 pm

Mike I would go with this side;

Cook, Trott, Ballance, Bell, Root, Stokes, Buttler, Rashid, Wood, Broad, Anderson.

I will explain my reasonings 

Trott for me just gets the nod over Lyth because I love him

Stokes - gotta give the talent a chance to shine again and he seems to be in good form

Wood - from what I can tell he has a real X factor with the ball and is handy with the bat, again I'd throw him in and see what he can do in a bit of a throwaway series

Rashid - I'd plump for him over Tredwell I really really would. Not only is he exceptionally better with the bat, but what does it say for the  county game when he's been brilliant for the Div 1 champions and he gets pipped by someone who couldn't make  Div 2 side. Tredwell is the safe pick for sure, but if you've got a 4 man seam attack do you really need your spinner to be a safe pick? Not for me - take a punt on Rashid.
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 10:16 pm

Ultimately I'd like to see this team come the summer

Cook, Trott, Ballance, Bell, Root, Ali, Stokes, Buttler, Woakes, Broad, Anderson
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by kingraf on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 10:26 pm

Not the greatest team ever put out, it must be said Olly. But one with a potential upside, and enough experience. Reckon you'd start out at 50/50 against NZ, and maybe 40-60 against Aus.
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 10:28 pm

kingraf wrote:Not the greatest team ever put out, it must be said Olly. But one with a potential upside, and enough experience. Reckon you'd start out at 50/50 against NZ, and maybe 40-60 against Aus.

Oh god yeah it's a team that's got few if any in "there prime" but it's one that bats deep for sure, which means you're always in the game and one that has decent enough potential to take 20 wickets
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Mike Selig on Sat 11 Apr 2015, 10:35 pm

Don't mind that side Olly, except (with the caveat I don't know much about Wood) there is no real "holding bowler". I know you somewhat counter that by playing 5 bowlers, but especially against the West Indies (who like to get a move on) and on those flat pitches I do think you're going to want control from somewhere. And we have seen time and time again that Broad and Anderson whilst perfectly capable of playing that "holding role" are significantly less good bowlers when asked to fill it.

That would be my one reservation about the side. I think if WI got after Rashid and Wood was nervous then Anderson and Broad are going to be (over)bowled a lot. It's a tough one and more so because I would also like to see Rashid being given a go.

As for what it would say about the county game, well I've never been shy to offer the opinion that the county game is not necessarily the best judge of someone, and I've said a few times that the jump up is probably the biggest for a leg-spin bowler. I know we've moved on since Ian Salisbury was ripping through county sides (and accept that a large part of that was bowling in tandem with Saqlain), but IMO there is a huge difference between bowling spin and especially leg-spin at domestic and international levels.

I'm 100% with you on your side for the summer having said that.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by alfie on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 7:04 am

Mostly happy with Olly's team. But I too have reservations about Stokes/Rashid/Wood as 60% of the attack...think you can have two , but not all at once - for the reasons Mike mentioned above.
Cook.Trott.Ballance.Root.Bell.Stokes (earned his spot back with recent good form I think).Buttler + four other bowlers , depending on pitch : Anderson . Broad. Tredwell (reliability) and either Rashid or another seamer - probably Wood.
For the summer : well it partly depends on what happens here , of course. But I'd expect Ali back , and probably Woakes as well ; so if Trott can nail down the opening spot I'd imagine the team Olly has suggested is a fair call.
But a couple of months can be a long time in cricket so let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.
What I really hope for is for Cook to get back to making big runs because that tends to set things up for the side - and also would take a bit of pressure off his captaincy. I do feel that his insecurities in that area come out when he is failing with the bat ; leading to some ill advised public statements which don't help him or the team. Would help if Trott is able to supply some solidity at the top also.
The bowling looks adequate rather than exciting ; but if Stokes can realize his potential (and Rashid flourishes ? ) then who knows...

Looking forward to the Tests . Pity about the time zone Smile

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by msp83 on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 7:53 am

Alastair Cook
Adam Lyth
Garry Ballance
Ian Bell
Joe Root
Jos Buttler
Ben Stokes
Adil Rashid
James Tredwell
Stuart Broad
James Anderson
Going by the recent pitches in the West Indies, spin is going to be important. As Stokes is in, there is a good 3rd seamer option in there, no need for a 4th seamer on those tracks usually. Besides, none of the additional seam bowling options have made a strong case for themselves. And with this side, if Broad somehow stops his best efforts at emerging into England Chris Martin with the bat, it can bat down to 10.......

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by kingraf on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 8:32 am

I do wonder if too much gets made of batting deep at Test level. Of course, it's a wonderful bonus, but generally speaking I'm not sure if it's something to really focus on for a myriad of reasons.

- The amount of runs scored over the course of five days, as well as the time factor makes the quickfire 30-odd less valuable than if it came in a fifty over match.

- there's the fact that if you're top seven can't score, then maybe the situation has gotten beyond repair.

Don't get me wrong, if you've got a guy who is a merited bowler, and he can swing the willow, a la Johnson, or Ashwin/Philander... then by all means. But you're going to win more tests with the squad you deem capable of taking 20 wickets... than one which can hurt the opposition deep into your innings
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by msp83 on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 8:43 am

For England, the opening combination itself is a problem to start with. Cook has been inconsistent for some time now, and there is no stable partner for him since Strauss retired. Bell has had his more than fair share of rough patches in the last 3 years. Ali and Stokes both have struggled with the bat. Buttler is a different kind of a test batsman who's methods might mean he won't be the greatest in terms of consistency though it can be a different matter with impact. Considering all that, England would be well served when the lower order can bat. In their days at the top, the runs from Swann and Broad used to be a significant factor in turning many games.......
So while you just can't pick a bowler just for his batting abilities, if 2 bowlers are roughly at the same level with the ball, I would certainly pick the better bat.......

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 9:35 am

Most important thing is 100% Cook scoring proper runs again - we don't want to be going into the NZ/Ashes with him really needing to score runs
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 11:05 am

A few thoughts on recent discussions. If some seem contradictory, they probably are. In defence, I'm sometimes trying to cover more than one possibility.

* Apologies for reviving the subject of Pietersen & England but it is in an attempt to put it to rest for the time being (whilst I will clearly fail with that objective, I can at least console myself that I tried). First point - Pietersen has not played first-class cricket for over fifteen months. As Olly speculates, this extended break may prolong his shelf life. However, as of now and putting aside all other possible concerns, Pietersen has to demonstrate that he is physically fit for Test cricket. That may not be an issue but I don't think we should assume it as a given.

* I don't think England's current batting line up is as certain as some others suggest. Nothing can be guaranteed. It takes just one ball - in a match or in the nets - to damage a finger. That would create an opening. So also might a run of poor form for one unfortunate batsman over, say, three Tests - and with the quality of opposing bowlers this summer, who is today prepared to rule out that possibility?

* If an opening should arise and even if Pietersen is fit, behaving and run scoring, it of course does not automatically mean that he will be or should be the one to fill it. Several batsmen starting this county season will be hoping it will be their turn instead - Vince, Roy and the eternal Taylor to name but three.

* In conclusion as regards Pietersen & England, we have to see what continues to happen to the national team without him and what he does in the meantime with Surrey plus what other batsmen do for their own counties. Imo further postings about Pietersen belong better on the Surrey threads here for now.

Rats - have to pop out now. Further thoughts to follow on the England team line up, Moores and the Director of Cricket role but definitely not Pietersen.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 1:39 pm

Right - as regards other matters:

* Moores. He's in a difficult position and must now be looking over his shoulder. That can't help him or anyone. However, the best option for now is to leave him where he is and see if he can turn things (and much of the public) round. To ditch him immediately after so short a time would make the England coach's role seem even more of a poisoned chalice and put off any potential decent candidates. Talking of which, who are they? I can't think of many. The best of those currently based in the UK would almost certainly be Gillespie although I believe he ruled himself out a little while ago. If we get hammered this summer (or heavens forbid, now in the West Indies), getting rid of Moores then would appear fair and right.

* The thing that Moores needs more than anything else is good results. Get those and people will forget or not care about the Downton brush with which he's currently tarred. Mike refers to Moores' appointment being presented as ''the right appointment'' a year ago; well, yes it was but it's now generally perceived as ''Downton's appointment'' and with him now gone along with his credibility, Moores has to clearly and fairly quickly demonstrate his worth.

* As well as there being some pragmatism in giving Moores enough rope to prove or hang himself, I think that's also a fair compromise. Moores had a decentish Test summer in 2014 and then an awful World Cup (although perhaps the latter was always on the cards whoever had taken the reins). Incidentally, a local cricket journalist with whom I'm friendly and rate highly (any of the Surrey boys looking in will have heard of him) knows Moores from his Sussex days and speaks well of him urging patience. That'll do for me for now.

* Director of Cricket role. If there is to be such a role, its main purpose needs to be explained to us. It is after all our game with the appointment being made for and (directly or indirectly) paid by us.

* It would seem that communication is to be an important aspect of this role. If that is the case, the ECB could do an awful lot worse than give the job to Alec Stewart. A natural communicator who listens to questions and answers them clearly with an appreciation of the questioner's viewpoint even if he doesn't agree plus a bit of good humour thrown in along the way.

* However, I'm still not sure this role is really needed. Doesn't it all come back again to results? If the side is doing well, the media and the public will happily lap up whatever the coach and captain say. If results are going badly, it's obviously vital not to send some pompous half-wit to a press conference. However, even with an accomplished speaker like Stewart, the media will look to make a meal out of anything they can if England are being thumped.

* As regards the England team now, I regret that I find it easier to find fault than ideal solutions. I have been watching Test cricket for almost half a century and have never seen a successful England leg spinner in all that time. Oh yes, we've tried before and not just Salisbury (thanks for saving me the Saqlain comment, Mike). I believe the even more hapless Schofield was one of England's first centrally contracted players. Perhaps Rashid will prove the wait worthwhile but I very much doubt it. He will need to have considerably improved since I saw him at the Oval in September 2013 when Surrey schoolboy Sibley scored a fair chunk of his double ton off the Yorks leggie.

* I would go with Tredwell. I agree he doesn't have the excitement factor but you don't actually want all eleven in a Test side with that. His nous and dependability should do just fine. Yes, he is a bit of a stop-gap but that is infinitely preferable to playing someone who isn't ready or simply not good enough.

* I'm far too far removed to have any certainty about Trott but doubts persist about his readiness to return to Test cricket and then immediately move up to open. I accept the medics will have done all their work but ... . As for opening, it's not the same as Trott's usual number 3 spot and don't feel that's ideal for him or England. Lyth has gone to the West Indies as an opener - I would play him as one.

* As for the Tests here this summer, I would echo Alfie's comments about not getting ahead of ourselves. A lot might change between now and then ....

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by VTR on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 8:30 am

I heard on 5 Live this morning the KP has given the England selectors a nudge with his 170-odd in a University match.

What an absolute load of nonsense that is!

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by kingraf on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 8:49 am

Sounds fair enough. University is the finishing school of life. If he can score 170 in a Uni match, what chance the uneducated masses he will face in international cricket?
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by VTR on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 8:52 am

kingraf wrote:Sounds fair enough. University is the finishing school of life. If he can score 170 in a Uni match, what chance the uneducated masses he will face in international cricket?

Laugh Its a fair point. You could say its the most intelligent bowling he will ever face!

Just to highlight the absurdity, I don't remember the media drooling over Moeen's innings vs. Scotland in the World Cup. Surely if the same logic is applied, that has cemented his ODI place for the next 10 years at least.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by VTR on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 8:55 am

Also just noticed Chris Tremlett 4-3-3-3 so far. I didn't hear about that on the radio this morning but I am sure the selectors are kicking themselves!

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Duty281 on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 9:04 am

Ah Chris Tremlett...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0uhS1YLaWg

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by NickisBHAFC on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 2:43 pm

Can't say I'm happy Tredwell is playing. Good ODI player but test cricket he isn't up to the standard, hope im proven wrong though.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Mike Selig on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 2:52 pm

That is a very definitive statement to make based on all of one test which Tredwell has played so far. I'm kind of on the fence - I would have liked to see what Rashid could do, but don't think Tredwell will let anyone down; indeed, I suggested last summer that he was possibly the least bad option as a stop gap for Swann until one of the youngsters puts his hand up. It seems that he has outbowled Rashid consistently on this trip so far in both practice matches and according to a few in the nets as well. In that case fair enough. As I said earlier he will also offer control in an attack which doesn't exactly have that much.

Jordan in as 3rd seamer. Again much of a muchness IMO, wouldn't have minded Wood (but part of that is curiosity, which is not really a valid reason to pick someone in the test side) but Jordan was the closest thing to the "man in possession" so...

Much more surprising IMO is the West Indies choice to bowl first. Perhaps we will be surprised but that strikes me as going quite a bit against the grain.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 3:05 pm

Hope we actually get to see guys like Lyth, Wood and Rashid this tour - be a bit pointless if they don't get a go against one of the poorer sides out there
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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by NickisBHAFC on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 3:08 pm

Trott gone for a 2nd ball duck.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 3:52 pm

Olly wrote:Hope we actually get to see guys like Lyth, Wood and Rashid this tour - be a bit pointless if they don't get a go against one of the poorer sides out there

Hi Olly - this is where England's overseas tours (admittedly it doesn't just apply to England) are so poorly scheduled these days that they no longer allow sufficient time in between Tests for games against decent calibre island or state teams. Thus, if you're not selected for the first Test there's little you can do to make a case for your inclusion other than being a total ''non team man'' and wishing injury or poor form on the guy whose place you are after. Someone being chosen for the final Test of an overseas tour with no match practice behind him almost certainly starts at a disadvantage as does his team.

Whilst I have a lot of sympathy for the likes of Wood and Rashid (I hope you noticed that Lyth was in my XI to begin with! Wink ), I fully agree with Mike that they shouldn't be chosen on curiosity grounds.

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Re: Windies test tour - interesting news

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 16 Apr 2015, 8:22 am

Rashid obviously isnt rated that highly by England, hes being replaced in the squad by Moeen who is now passed fit. I think he was always in there as a player to enable two spinners, rather than as a likely first pick only spinner.
Moeen coming back leaves selection for the next test very open. Both he and Tredwell could claim dibs on first choice spinner spot. Stokes has batted well but not done much with the ball. Jordan looks like a place filler but has bowled well so far in this test. If Ali play he likely replaces one of those guys, which may be dictated by the pitch.


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