England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

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England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 May 2015, 9:24 am

First topic message reminder :

Less than two weeks to go before the Selectors announce England's squad for the first test, starting on 21st May. At the culmination of the West Indies first innings in Barbados you would have said that the test team had perhaps taken two steps forward and one backwards. The rest of that test were however several huge backward steps as we look to progress.

So what can we expect when the squad is announced in 12 days time? The guys on the current tour who have not played (Lyth, Bairstow, Rashid, Plunkett & Wood) will have just one first class game to try and make their cases for selection - and now you have to say that there are definitely places up for grabs.

Certain to be in Squad:

Cook, Ballance, Bell, Root, Buttler, Broad, Anderson

Cook will continue as captain in the near future, while his runs in the Caribbean have secured his spot at the top of the order for a while yet.
Broad will be included, but I feel his place is increasingly at risk.


Probably in Squad:

Stokes, Ali

Likely to both be in squad. Real question is should both be in the team at the same time? Stokes is surely a 4th seamer, while this tour has reminded us that Ali had a fantastic introduction to International cricket as a bowler, but as someone who has always been a batsman who bowls a bit he is still learning his trade. Should he really be the main spinner?


Likely to miss out

Trott, Jordan, Tredwell

The experiment with Trot at opener is surely over. Jordan has not looked good enough to fill the 3rd seamer role, and does not bat well enough to be 4th seamer. Tredwell can return to Canterbury to be Kent's second choice spinner.



So who will be asked to step up?

At opener Lyth is the next cab on the rank, but will have played bugger all cricket. Robson made a big hundred at the weekend, but bugger all in Middlesex first two CC matches. Hales is scoring runs for Notts, but at number 3.
Plunkett and Wood may be looked at but have the same problem as Lyth with no cricket under their belts. Who is there in county cricket who bowls with real pace, can offer something different and can get good batsmen out?  not sure there is anyone. If fit Woakes may well be looked at.
Finally we need a genuine spinner in the squad. Coach (should he survive) and skipper do not rate Rashid - so who do we look at next?




The good news, for England team, is that NZs preparations will be disrupted with several players not arriving from IPL until the eve of the first test.


NZ Squads:

Test squad:
Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson.

ODI and T20 squad:
Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Wellington on Mon 04 May 2015, 9:39 pm


I feel England have a major problem with the fact they will need 6 batsmen in the line up against Australia however Anderson and Broad would not be able to cope with the workload.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 04 May 2015, 9:40 pm

Gerry SA wrote:Deleted.

I'm not sure who the cricket mods are but I'll be putting this into the mods section.

Who did ban him? Olly, are you actually a mod?

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 04 May 2015, 9:41 pm

Well done, guys. Gerry is normally looking for a bite. The best way to deal with him is normally to ignore or when as bad as this have him put in dry dock, hopefully for a long time.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Mon 04 May 2015, 9:43 pm

I had a bigger problem with the Bell out comment Very Happy

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 04 May 2015, 10:01 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Gerry SA wrote:Deleted.

I'm not sure who the cricket mods are but I'll be putting this into the mods section.

Who did ban him? Olly, are you actually a mod?

No but I can ban people for no apparent reason Laugh
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 04 May 2015, 10:05 pm

Wellington wrote:
I feel England have a major problem with the fact they will need 6 batsmen in the line up against Australia however Anderson and Broad would not be able to cope with the workload.

Back to cricket.

Welly - yes, you're spot on there. It's only now that we're starting to properly appreciate all the associated benefits that Swann brought to the England team. If we're only going to play 4 front line bowlers, they all need to be dependable and at least one capable of getting through a shedload of overs in a day. Don't think there's sufficient confidence that any of Moeen, Stokes, Jordan, Woakes etc belong in anything other than a 5 man attack.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 04 May 2015, 10:08 pm

Olly wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Gerry SA wrote:Deleted.

I'm not sure who the cricket mods are but I'll be putting this into the mods section.

Who did ban him? Olly, are you actually a mod?

No but I can ban people for no apparent reason Laugh

Dolph - I think Loaded Dog is our mod. Very rarely required. A shame Gerry changes that.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 04 May 2015, 10:20 pm

Stella wrote:Trott has been a great servant, and at best, a great number three. The right decision has been made though.
Good luck to Lyth.

Stella -agree about Trott's past service. However, it's unfortunate he didn't reach this decision earlier. For the second Ashes series in a row, he's hindered preparations. As you also say, good luck to Lyth although things would be more certain for him and England now if he had just completed his third Test in the West Indies.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by JDizzle on Mon 04 May 2015, 11:03 pm

LondonTiger wrote:JD,

I wonder if Mushy was involved they would have asked Dilly to bowl quicker? Take away flight from any spinner and you remove more than half their weapons. I reckon many mistakes were made on tour - but what is done is done.

We are unlikely to need spinners for much of the summer, so thw Winter in emirates is when the time will come.

They obviously feel that spinners at test level need to bowl a bit quicker whilst maintaining their flight. And it is possible, we saw Moeen do it last summer and the immediate impact it made to his bowling. Adil would be a great weapon to have if he can make those tweaks.

Re. Lyth, starting against NZ/Aus in early season conditions in England is about as tough as it comes. I guess we can hope he sort of gets off to a flying start whilst opposition work out his game, but it definitely isn't going to be easy for him. Good luck Adam!

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by The Loaded Dog on Mon 04 May 2015, 11:18 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Olly wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Gerry SA wrote:Deleted.

I'm not sure who the cricket mods are but I'll be putting this into the mods section.

Who did ban him? Olly, are you actually a mod?

No but I can ban people for no apparent reason Laugh

Dolph - I think Loaded Dog is our mod. Very rarely required. A shame Gerry changes that.

Guildford - I'm just reading through this thread now. Not sure who pulled the plug.
It certainly wasn't me. 05:15 is around 45 minutes before I get up. I was in deep sleep at the time.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 04 May 2015, 11:19 pm

What did I miss? Racism from Gerry?
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 04 May 2015, 11:34 pm

LD - no problem, someone dealt with it anyway and wasn't worth your kip being disturbed.

Craig - rest assured it wasn't against the Scots but a cheap shot at Moeen.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by The Loaded Dog on Mon 04 May 2015, 11:40 pm

Sounds nasty.

Just had a look at the Mod section. Our man Jeff (Rowley) did the honours.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 04 May 2015, 11:55 pm

guildfordbat wrote:LD - no problem, someone dealt with it anyway and wasn't worth your kip being disturbed.

Craig - rest assured it wasn't against the Scots but a cheap shot at Moeen.

Cheers gb. Not good.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 05 May 2015, 7:58 am

Lyth in for Trott is pretty much a given
Beyind that as it stands at the moment I cant help feeling Stokes needs to do something significant to retain a place in the side. It appears that Coo has lost faith in his bowling, and he hasnt delivered with the bat. Although he is in theory the fastest of the guys England have hes had pretty rank returns and isnt so sharp as to offer and great step up from the front 4.
That Rashid has been named in the ODI squad suggests theres still some faith in him despite not getting a chance in the tests. Preparing home spin friendly pitches which blunt the Anzac quicks might be negative but right now looks the only way for England to come out of the summer with results on the board.
Ali is taking a lot of heat for a bad test with the ball, but overall hes been very good for England in his short career so far and came into this tour cold from injury. I dont see him getting ditched yet. I find it odd hes taking so much heat when Stokes had a worse tour and has a poorer previous record. Jordan improved with the ball and has shown his value in the field.

As for wild cards...Hales has scored a stupid number of runs so far this summer in Division 1. Its probably a bit much to expect England to jump him into the test team yet but if a middle order spot opens up for someone with attacking ability he should be ahead of hewhoshallnotbenamed.
If one of the reserve seamers can pick up a hatfull of wickets in the ODIs and/or county games ahead of NZ then maybe they could force their way in but as it stands I dont see this side radically changing in the short term, theres just not obvious plaes to go.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 8:06 am

guildfordbat wrote:
Stella wrote:Trott has been a great servant, and at best, a great number three. The right decision has been made though.
Good luck to Lyth.

Stella -agree about Trott's past service. However, it's unfortunate he didn't reach this decision earlier. For the second Ashes series in a row, he's hindered preparations. As you also say, good luck to Lyth although things would be more certain for him and England now if he had just completed his third Test in the West Indies.

Trott would have thought he could still score runs at this level, and being the pro sportsman that he is, wouldn't have wanted to go down without knowing, so I've no issues with him going to the west indies.
Lyth will have to face Boult, Southee etc pretty soon, which won't be a stroll, but why not get thrown in at the deep end?
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 05 May 2015, 8:28 am

Trott earned his chance at a second chance fair and square with his performances for the Lions. His selection wasnt just down to what he did years ago

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by VTR on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:11 am

Gooseberry wrote:Trott earned his chance at a second chance fair and square with his performances for the Lions. His selection wasnt just down to what he did  years ago

Yes, I think it was fair enough he came back, especially as there are a lack of outstanding candidates to take over. Lyth seems to have become a hell of a player by being out of the side, I wish him well but am not convinced he is the answer to all our problems.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by msp83 on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:26 am

Think England should go in with
Cook,
Lyth
Balance
Another batsman
Root
Bell
Buttler
Rashid
Woakes/Finn/Wood/Stokes (with Stokes batting up if picked)
Anderson
Broad.
For me that number 4 batsman can be Pietersen/Taylor.
The all-rounder at 6 isn't scoring enough runs or taking enough wickets, Bell has to be given a message and he played some good cricket at 6 in the past.
How are Finn and Taylor going in the CC?

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:38 am

Pietersen has done nothing in the last 18 months to suggest he can still play long form cricket. He has struggled for any sort of fluency in the CC so far.

Finn is still some way from his best, whilst Taylor has been overshadowed by Alex Hales so far this season. Healthy average of 50, but a highest score of just 61.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:45 am

VTR wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:Trott earned his chance at a second chance fair and square with his performances for the Lions. His selection wasnt just down to what he did  years ago

Yes, I think it was fair enough he came back, especially as there are a lack of outstanding candidates to take over. Lyth seems to have become a hell of a player by being out of the side, I wish him well but am not convinced he is the answer to all our problems.

Agree with both of you. As a Yorkshire Member I do not believe Lyth is a long term solution - and may well have struggled just as badly as Trott did.

What I am worried about though is that the leading run scorer in D1, and a genuine opener, was overlooked in the rush to squeeze Trott back into the team. With the known issues Trott has had it feels like dreadful management.

For me it adds to the spinner situation and suggests that whilst the National selector (Whittaker) and his fellow selectors (Newell and Fraser) have a belief in CC, Moores and Cook do not.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:50 am

For me, it's not really whether Trott earned the chance but did he earn my belief that he would succeed. I voiced doubts before the first Test. Maybe I just got lucky with that call. I accept no selection is guaranteed to be successful. However, I always felt there was too much of a risk and that was compounded by playing an established number 3 out of position as an opener.

The main point of my post last night was not so much to allocate blame but to emphasise that it is unfortunate that Trott did not make his decision to retire earlier. Possibly that involves the selectors and the player himself having too much hindsight for it to be particularly relevant. Nonetheless, it is still the case imo.

As for Lyth, he has to be the next opener cab off the rank. Like him and other contenders, we are unsure how good he will be at Test level. If he had had the opportunity in the West Indies, we would at least know now whether he is worth persevering with or whether we should already be looking elsewhere. More importantly Lyth would have some experience of Test cricket and wouldn't be about to start this season cold almost a month late.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:52 am

Finn is pretty tame so far in the CC. Taylor has a few fifties but not exactly banging the door down. Hales is the one scoring the runs, but his pedigree is limited overs.
Pietersen has scored a few bit but is playing in Div 2, and is being outperformed by others there. Assuming Cook stays captain, Moores stays as coach, and Strauss is signed off as director plus Broad and Anderson remain in the side...what do yo think the chances of him getting selected are?
Theres no way you can have Stokes in a 4 man attack, especially off the back of a series where he averaged over 80 at over 4 an over. For all the slating Ali and Jordan are taking his returns with the ball make theirs look excellent. Im not convinced by Rashid is a 4 man attack either, until he can prove he can bowl consistently and with control anyway. Hes no Shane Warne, hes in contention because (as with Stokes) he offers enough with the bat to enable England to have a 5 man attack. Tredwell arguably is still Englands best spinner purely on bowling. Ali still averages below 30 in tests with the ball, despite suddenly becoming the worst player ever.
Bell wont get dropped for NZ. He just wont.

I suspect it will be Lyth opening, with one of Ali Stokes or Rashid missing out depending on conditions and performances in whatever limited games they get between now and the nest test. Jordan might also get swapped for one of the second string seamers (Wood or Plunkett at the minute...Woakes wont be fit for NZ) if they can make a case to replace him...again that may depend on how many and what games they get between now and that test.


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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:56 am

Rashid didn't even get a game in the west Indies. Will he get one in England?
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 05 May 2015, 9:58 am

guildfordbat wrote:For me, it's not really whether Trott earned the chance but did he earn my belief that he would succeed. I voiced doubts before the first Test. Maybe I just got lucky with that call. I accept no selection is guaranteed to be successful. However, I always felt there was too much of a risk and that was compounded by playing an established number 3 out of position as an opener.

The main point of my post last night was not so much to allocate blame but to emphasise that it is unfortunate that Trott did not make his decision to retire earlier. Possibly that involves the selectors and the player himself having too much hindsight for it to be particularly relevant. Nonetheless, it is still the case imo.

As for Lyth, he has to be the next opener cab off the rank. Like him and other contenders, we are unsure how good he will be at Test level. If he had had the opportunity in the West Indies, we would at least know now whether he is worth persevering with or whether we should already be looking elsewhere. More importantly Lyth would have some experience of Test cricket and wouldn't be about to start this season cold almost a month late.

I guess the point there is that perhaps Trott never should have been sent on the Lions tour in the first place. But since he did and performed it make it impossible to not pick him.
Lyth and Lees had decent Lions tours as well. So had Trott not gone then the two of them wouldve been in the Windies and we could be blaming Lyth instead. Or hailing him as the new Boycott.

I do feel it was a retrograde step to go back to Trott at all, even if he had done better it woulve only been a temporary stop gap and not solved englands long term opener problem. With Lyth England at least have the chance to get a player who may produced 5 year + test cricket for them.
Id agree that theyve perhaps ended up with the worst case, as for Rashid, where he has been serving drinks and getting a than rather than playing county cricket.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 May 2015, 10:01 am

Gooseberry wrote:Pietersen has scored a few bit but is playing in Div 2, and is being outperformed by others there.

In the CC he has scored 112 runs in 4 innings with one 50. If we exclude the match with the University XI, his last ton was almost two years ago.

ATM Stokes is a 4th seamer, and agree that Rashid if used should (at first) only be part of a 5 man attack. With early season conditions in england I do not see the point in selecting him however.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 05 May 2015, 10:01 am

Stella wrote:Rashid didn't even get a game in the west Indies. Will he get one in England?

If they want two spinners (conditions) or want to drop Ali he might, especially if they pick seamers on bowling rather than batting. hes been added to the ODI squd and Moores indicated he regretted not picking him for the third test in hindsight which suggests reports he wasnt wanted were incorrect.
Id be very surprised if he got picked in a 4 man attack though.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 05 May 2015, 10:12 am

Gooseberry wrote:Finn is pretty tame so far in the CC. Taylor has a few fifties but not exactly banging the door down. Hales is the one scoring the runs, but his pedigree is limited overs.
Pietersen has scored a few bit but is playing in Div 2, and is being outperformed by others there. Assuming Cook stays captain, Moores stays as coach, and  Strauss is signed off as director plus Broad and Anderson remain in the side...what do yo think the chances of him getting selected are?
Theres no way you can have Stokes in a 4 man attack, especially off the back of a series where he averaged over 80 at over 4 an over. For all the slating Ali and Jordan are taking his returns with the ball make theirs look excellent. Im not convinced by Rashid is a 4 man attack either, until he can prove he can bowl consistently and with control anyway. Hes no Shane Warne, hes in contention because (as with Stokes) he offers enough with the bat to enable England to have a 5 man attack. Tredwell arguably is still Englands best spinner purely on bowling. Ali still averages below 30 in tests with the ball, despite suddenly becoming the worst player ever.
Bell wont get dropped for NZ. He just wont.

I suspect it will be Lyth opening, with one of Ali Stokes or Rashid missing out depending on conditions and performances in whatever limited games they get between now and the nest test. Jordan might also get swapped for one of the second string seamers (Wood or Plunkett at the minute...Woakes wont be fit for NZ) if they can make a case to replace him...again that may depend on how many and what games they get between now and that test.


Pretty much agree with all of that from Goose.

I do though wonder if you're overegging Rashid's immediate chances. Just looking outside now - dark clouds, breezy, cool, two jumper weather. Hardly ideal conditions for a leg spinner to make his England debut. Ok, the weather can change as much as a politician's principles, but I think Rashid will need to once more get amongst the wickets for Yorks before he's even in an England Test squad let alone the XI.

As for Pietersen, haven't seen him bat this season although from first hand reports he's been somewhat tentative. From 4 innings, he's averaging around 50 but that's boosted by a couple of not outs. He's a long, long way off a Test recall. Unless and until things materially change, comments about him best belong on the county threads.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 10:18 am

Strauss will be in charge soon. With him, Cook, and Moores at the helm, I'll have more chance of batting at four for England than Pietersen does.
With the first test so close, I can't see too many changes. Jordan or Stokes may miss out, but not both.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by VTR on Tue 05 May 2015, 11:21 am

Stella wrote:Strauss will be in charge soon. With him, Cook, and Moores at the helm, I'll have more chance of batting at four for England than Pietersen does.
With the first test so close, I can't see too many changes. Jordan or Stokes may miss out, but not both.

I'm a bit torn on the Strauss thing, I wonder how ruthless he will be. But then he was the captain when we had a great period and got to number one - but how much was that down to the players at his disposal, peak Swann,Trott v1, Prior in particular, with those that remain in the kind of form they haven't even threatened to reach since (e.g. Bell, Broad, Cook)

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 05 May 2015, 12:59 pm

Right so people feel conditions won't suit Rashid or another specialist spinner - fair enough. Well why the hell bother choosing Ali? If conditions are so not spinner-friendly how come Swann and Panesar were both in the side in recent English test matches? Sorry that won't wash. If the pre-requisite for getting kept in the England side is bowling rank long-hoppers on a pitch susceptible to spin then that is a job even a poor specialist spinner in county cricket could achieve so why is Ali getting the preferential treatment here? In Barbados even Root bowled with more control than Ali.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:04 pm

Swann, and Monty would have played in the Caribbean though. Rashid didn't, so will find it difficult to get in now.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:09 pm

Stella wrote:Swann, and Monty would have played in the Caribbean though. Rashid didn't, so will find it difficult to get in now.

Arguably he may find it easier to get in the team as the selectors will not give coach and skipper a 17 man squad.

However he should not now be selected. His last meaningful bowling was in March in Dubai and he shoudl now spend the next couple of months bowling for Yorkshire. In the same way that Ali should not have been flown out for T2 with bugger all bowling behind him.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:15 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Stella wrote:Swann, and Monty would have played in the Caribbean though. Rashid didn't, so will find it difficult to get in now.

Arguably he may find it easier to get in the team as the selectors will not give coach and skipper a 17 man squad.

However he should not now be selected. His last meaningful bowling was in March in Dubai and he shoudl now spend the next couple of months bowling for Yorkshire. In the same way that Ali should not have been flown out for T2 with bugger all bowling behind him.

And that being the case if Rashid is not deemed up to the job then I am buggered if I can work out how Ali is? If England don't see the need for spin in their side then ditch Ali and don't choose a spinner at all and stick with part-time Root. If they do want a spinner in then look at options other than Ali who in his current state is certainly not up to Test cricket.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:38 pm

Ali batting in the top six obviously helps his cause. England do like players who can chip in, like Ali, Stokes, and Jordan.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:47 pm

Stella wrote:Ali batting in the top six obviously helps his cause. England do like players who can chip in, like Ali, Stokes, and Jordan.

Yes jack of all trades and master of none-types. Too many of them in the side.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:53 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Stella wrote:Ali batting in the top six obviously helps his cause. England do like players who can chip in, like Ali, Stokes, and Jordan.

Yes jack of all trades and master of none-types. Too many of them in the side.

Call me old fashioned but O prefer keepers who are the best keepers, and not ones who are the best batsmen, plus bowlers who are picked for their bowling, and not because they might chip in with the bat, ala, Bresnan, and now Jordan.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by alfie on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:54 pm

Reading over all this , from London Tiger's original post , it seems there isn't really a lot of difference of opinion on here as to the England squad ; nor do most people favour major changes. The same 13-14 names keep coming up...logically enough. And they are pretty much the players who just toured West Indies.
So perhaps criticism of the selectors (a favourite pastime of all good judges like ourselves Smile ) is in this case basically down to the wisdom or otherwise of recalling Trott and adding Ali to the squad/ team.
On the first : I personally thought Trott should have been left alone in the first place. But since he was scoring runs for his county and keen to return , sending him on the Lions trip wasn't unreasonable. And from performing there to getting a trial at the top level wasn't a outrageous step either.  Of course we all know now how it worked out - but I'm not sure it is quite fair to condemn the management for giving him a chance to settle the matter one way or the other. Granted opening ( the only available spot) was not ideal or familiar for him - but not that different from three ; if he'd still had it , we'd have found out.
Which brings me to the one good thing about the Trott experiment : it has cleared away a distraction. Consider : had Lyth played , and performed only moderately , might not a couple of failures against NZ have had selectors nervously considering the merits of bringing back an old experienced player for the Ashes ? That might have been a frightening sight...
At least now Lyth will get a decent run : and if he should fail then England will have to move on with another new (or newish) player rather than waste further time trying to turn back the clock.
As to Ali : I am not as critical as some. He didn't bowl well - though he did mop up the tail quite well in Grenada. And his batting (bad luck with runouts aside) was limited to one innings of note.  But a few months ago he was everyone's darling - surely two poor matches don't make him unselectable ?  Is Rashid really a significantly better bowler than him ? I don't claim to know ; but I am not in a mad rush to dump a player who has played just nine Tests , and has already made one very stubborn century under pressure and performed extremely well with the ball in home conditions. Not saying he's there for the foreseeable future ; just that I think he probably has sufficient credit for a couple more games at least. And as guildford pointed out , the Tests against NZ in May might not call for a lot of spin bowling ; so a batsman who bowls may just be what is wanted for now.
We all pay lip service to the principle of giving young players a decent run in the side ; but when defeats surprise us there is a tendency to look to shake things up. It may be that right now there is no ideal XI that England can put in the field which will be able to confidently take on the top teams . If so , there might be more merit in sticking with a group of players who have shown promise ; accepting it won't
all turn around overnight , and seeing if they can develop into the next strong team sooner rather than later - rather than going back to the drawing board every time two steps forward are followed by one step back.

As to the actual XI , I am disposed to be flexible ; look at the pitch , see what they're doing in the nets , see how they go in the county games ( not sure how many will be turning out ?). But I don't expect major changes...and I don't want them either.

Feel free to disagree Smile

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 05 May 2015, 2:22 pm

Alfie - that's a very good post (and not just 'cos I get an honourable mention! Wink )

It is frustrating but I feel the selectors have largely got the right players. They now need to step up and consistently deliver - some more than others (looking at you, CJ, unless you want my belief in you thrown back in my face!). We certainly shouldn't give them loads more time but some more is reasonable in my book.

Craig - you may honestly believe that Moeen bowled worse in the last two Tests than a tin of custard (believe that's the current phrase, eh Goose?) and you may even be right (although you're not!). However, he's now played 9 Tests in all and statistically has a pretty good record. It's right to give a greater weighting to the last two but I don't think you can totally discount at this stage what he did last summer. [That's from a ''Tredwell man'' trying to lend a bit of balance to the discussions.]

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by VTR on Tue 05 May 2015, 2:24 pm

Stella wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Stella wrote:Ali batting in the top six obviously helps his cause. England do like players who can chip in, like Ali, Stokes, and Jordan.

Yes jack of all trades and master of none-types. Too many of them in the side.

Call me old fashioned but O prefer keepers who are the best keepers, and not ones who are the best batsmen, plus bowlers who are picked for their bowling, and not because they might chip in with the bat, ala, Bresnan, and now Jordan.

I think its about getting the balance right. You can't have the tail starting at 7, but its probably fair to say England are too far in the other direction of both trying to pack the batting and the bowling, and coming up with a load of players who do not really influence the game in either discipline.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 2:27 pm

VTR wrote:
Stella wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Stella wrote:Ali batting in the top six obviously helps his cause. England do like players who can chip in, like Ali, Stokes, and Jordan.

Yes jack of all trades and master of none-types. Too many of them in the side.

Call me old fashioned but O prefer keepers who are the best keepers, and not ones who are the best batsmen, plus bowlers who are picked for their bowling, and not because they might chip in with the bat, ala, Bresnan, and now Jordan.

I think its about getting the balance right. You can't have the tail starting at 7, but its probably fair to say England are too far in the other direction of both trying to pack the batting and the bowling, and coming up with a load of players who do not really influence the game in either discipline.

Yes, one of stokes or Ali at six, with Buttler at seven, should suffice. If the next four are bunnies, then so be it, but they probably won't be. Of course if we're choosing between two bowlers who look to have the same ability with the ball, but one is a handy bat, then fine, pick him.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 05 May 2015, 2:44 pm

guildfordbat wrote:

Craig - you may honestly believe that Moeen bowled worse in the last two Tests than a tin of custard (believe that's the current phrase, eh Goose?) and you may even be right (although you're not!). However, he's now played 9 Tests in all and statistically has a pretty good record. It's right to give a greater weighting to the last two but I don't think you can totally discount at this stage what he did last summer. [That's from a ''Tredwell man'' trying to lend a bit of balance to the discussions.]

I hold no claims on being an expert or anything but just that players should be in the side who are performing NOW in a winning side and not what they did a year ago - look at Trott he got into the side on past glories and it proved a flop. In Barbados there were a number of flimsy performances such as Trott, Bell, Root and Ali most notably. However, at the business end of the Test and a big performance was required of Ali and if he had risen to the challenge the result may have been different but he was mighty disappointing to such a degree I don't think it merits retaining him in the side when others who are specialists as spinners miss out. Now as I say I may be no expert but others far more qualified than me share the view that England should be looking to specialist spinners not part-timers. Like I said Treadwell has proven in this series better than Ali so even he should be above Ali now in the pecking order.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Mat on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:05 pm

I'll put a disclaimer here, I'm a huge Moeen fan, but I think that the calls to drop him are very harsh.

He didn't bowl very well but I don't think you can suddenly say he isn't a test match calibre bowler because of two poor tests. 19 wickets at 27 against India in the summer, including one/two match-winning spells would suggest otherwise.

I don't think he should have played in these two tests. 1) Tredwell bowled perfectly well in the first test, although I think Mo is a better bowler when on his best form. 2) They rushed him back, one county match in which he didn't do all that much bowling(Unsurpising as it was April, not exactly spinner's paradise) and Moeen was expected come back and show the same form as he did against India.

It should also be remembered that other than Cook, Moeen was the only player to make a significant contribution with the bat, until Cook ran him out needlessly.

I think there's a danger in dropping people because of two bad tests. If we're doing that based on the Windies tour, then Bell shouldn't play against New Zealand, and Stokes who was flavour of the month after the first test but then hardly contributed should also be out of the side.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:10 pm

On the last day in Antigua, with conditions in his favour, Tredwell had the oppotunity to spin England to a win. Instead he was bowling quick, flat darts.

For much of the 3rd test Ali and Root did indeed bowl appallingly - exposing their inexperience perhaps. However I have seen nothing from Tredders to suggest he would have been able to spin us to victory.

Ali should never have been flown out - but he was and that is history. He should have been left in England to get some cricket in before the international summer - but he wasn't and that is history.

We can um and ah as much as we like about what should and should not have happened - but right now we need to concentrate on the NZ series. We need the players to play for their counties next week so they can at least start to acclimatise and we, as fans, need to accept that the options for change are small.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by VTR on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:17 pm

I will also offer my support to those saying its harsh on Moeen. I will also add a lot of his recent bowling was in ODIs, which involves a different approach to line, length, flight and pace. The poor guy is expected to make the adjustment back to FC cricket in a period where he was mainly injured and played one match in early season English conditions.

Its not his fault he was called up when he probably shouldn't have been. The bowler that gave India so many problems is still in there I am sure.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:20 pm

The team I'd start with V New Zealand:-

Cook
Lyth
Ballance
Bell
Root
Buttler
Stokes
Jordan
Treadwell
Anderson
Broad

Also in the squad: Taylor, Rashid, and Plunkett.


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:30 pm

The squad will be either 12 or 13 as it is a home test (14 at most).

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by Stella on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:45 pm

I would love Stokes to find consistency. He has the right head. If he can, then he would make a good test all-rounder. I agree that Ali deserves to keep his place, thanks to last summer, and lack of options.
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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:47 pm

Craig - that doesn't look a bad team and if you held a gun to my head demanding selection now it's pretty similar to the one I would pick.

However, the important thing is we don't have to pick now and shouldn't. Admittedly, it is fun but lets see how these guys and anyone else from the outside looking in (Hales maybe, Rushworth perhaps) gets on in the next bits of Championship cricket before rushing to judgement.

In similar fashion, I note there are six spare men in your squad. Fair enough if you just mean they're in your mind as possible replacements. However, we don't want nearly as many as that as bench warmers and drinks carriers - get them back playing for their counties instead, too many have lost too much playing time already.

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Re: England vs New Zealand Test Series - May/June 2015

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 05 May 2015, 3:53 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Craig - that doesn't look a bad team and if you held a gun to my head demanding selection now it's pretty similar to the one I would pick.

However, the important thing is we don't have to pick now and shouldn't. Admittedly, it is fun but lets see how these guys and anyone else from the outside looking in (Hales maybe, Rushworth perhaps) gets on in the next bits of Championship cricket before rushing to judgement.

In similar fashion, I note there are six spare men in your squad. Fair enough if you just mean they're in your mind as possible replacements. However, we don't want nearly as many as that as bench warmers and drinks carriers - get them back playing for their counties instead, too many have lost too much playing time already.

Edited down to three now. I was still in tour mode. laughing

Just to add that it makes perfect sense to send Ali back to CC and hope he can find a semblance of form. IF he does and IF Treadwell disappoints then he can always be reconsidered.
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