England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

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England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by msp83 on Wed 20 May 2015, 8:13 pm

First topic message reminder :

So after all the drama and acrimony of the last couple of weeks, its time for the action to begin on the field. The first test of the English summer gets underway at the HQ from tomorrow. An upcoming New Zealand against an embattled England. But England are on home turf, New Zealand don't have a good record in England, most of their recent success has come at home, the core of their test side are just coming on the back of T-20 cricket at the IPL rather than much getting used to English conditions.
England on the other hand are without a coach and questions on Kevin Pietersen are going away nowhere. There are unsettled issues about the combination of the side, with the position of one of the openers, the 3rd seamer and the spinner being open questions.
Adam Lyth is likely to make his debut for England tomorrow, and there is a chance that Mark Wood might come in for Chris Jordan.
For New Zealand, it is being suggested that Matt Henry might get to debut and offer backup to Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Martin Guptill, on the back of a spectacular world cup and 150 in the warmup game is set to come back as test opener, and Corey Anderson, coming back from injury, is set to take the all-rounder position.
Set for some very interesting cricket.......

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by wisden on Mon 25 May 2015, 7:13 pm

fantastic, amazing truly superb win, what a test match, and can't wait for Friday!!

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 25 May 2015, 7:23 pm

Just cant work out why kpfan has deserted the internet again. Wouldve loved to have heard his opinions on this.

(Think Stokes may be off my "under threat" list now!)

Its far from perfect from England but to win by that margin is a pretty exceptional turn around and very much needed for morale.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 25 May 2015, 7:26 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Just cant work out why kpfan has deserted the internet again. Wouldve loved to have heard his opinions on this.

(Think Stokes may be off my "under threat" list now!)

Its far from perfect from England but to win by that margin is a pretty exceptional turn around and very much needed for morale.

I quite agree. It goes some way to silencing the hysterical screams to bring KP back. Stokes is young and improving and an all-rounder whilst KP is older and batting average going downhill.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 25 May 2015, 7:48 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Fantastic test match.

Not often a side loses after making 500. England deserve a lot of credit for the way they fought back and then finished the job off. Excellent team bowling effort in the 4th innings.

As I commented last night I think this England team is beginning to take shape. Wood looks like he could be a really good prospect as well.

Slight concerns over Ali still. England I think have to invest in him, but they'll want him to rediscover his form from last year sooner rather than later.
Other concerns about Bell who needs runs.
Obviously the 2nd opener still needs sorting. Lyth probably has to be given the whole summer or at least the better part of it, but his dismissals in this game weren't that encouraging.
And slight concerns over the slip cauldron. A few too many drops (albeit that Lords is a tough place to catch at), and I thought slip was often too fine to the spinner against the left-handers as well.

For New-Zealand I think the lack of 5th bowler was an issue in both innings. They could do with Taylor finding some form, without him their batting does look a little reliant on Williamson. I also stand by comments I made about McCullum being a bit over-aggressive at times.

Yes, I think that will go down as one of the best Tests of all time. A lot of credit must go to Cook for his captaincy in the final determining session.

Incredible for England to score so heavily but with the same 3 in the top 4 pretty much missing out both times. We shouldn't judge Lyth yet although I maintain that our persistence with Trott unnecessarily delayed his (Lyth's) debut and such judgement, an unsatisfactory situation with an Ashes series coming up. Of the other England batsmen to fail here, both Ballance and Bell have enough credit in the bank although maybe not too much for the latter.

Although I feel rather guilty about it, I share concerns about Ali. The guilt stems from him scoring just over 100 match runs and taking 4 wickets - that should be more than fine. However, I'm still not sure he's the natural fit we need. To me, he remains a very useful second spinner who can bat rather than the main spinner we can regularly rely upon to get through 20 plus overs in the day. That becomes more important if you accept - sacrilege to some tonight, I guess - that Stokes' bowling won't always come off. There again, sometimes not all the jigsaw pieces are available and you have to make the picture as best you can.

Wood looked good and very good at times. However, I reckon we'll need at least one other front line seamer to step in on occasion this summer. I hope England keep Jordan in the loop and in the mix.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 25 May 2015, 8:31 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Mike Selig wrote:Fantastic test match.

Not often a side loses after making 500. England deserve a lot of credit for the way they fought back and then finished the job off. Excellent team bowling effort in the 4th innings.

As I commented last night I think this England team is beginning to take shape. Wood looks like he could be a really good prospect as well.

Slight concerns over Ali still. England I think have to invest in him, but they'll want him to rediscover his form from last year sooner rather than later.
Other concerns about Bell who needs runs.
Obviously the 2nd opener still needs sorting. Lyth probably has to be given the whole summer or at least the better part of it, but his dismissals in this game weren't that encouraging.
And slight concerns over the slip cauldron. A few too many drops (albeit that Lords is a tough place to catch at), and I thought slip was often too fine to the spinner against the left-handers as well.

For New-Zealand I think the lack of 5th bowler was an issue in both innings. They could do with Taylor finding some form, without him their batting does look a little reliant on Williamson. I also stand by comments I made about McCullum being a bit over-aggressive at times.

Yes, I think that will go down as one of the best Tests of all time. A lot of credit must go to Cook for his captaincy in the final determining session.

Incredible for England to score so heavily but with the same 3 in the top 4 pretty much missing out both times. We shouldn't judge Lyth yet although I maintain that our persistence with Trott unnecessarily delayed his (Lyth's) debut and such judgement, an unsatisfactory situation with an Ashes series coming up. Of the other England batsmen to fail here, both Ballance and Bell have enough credit in the bank although maybe not too much for the latter.

Although I feel rather guilty about it, I share concerns about Ali. The guilt stems from him scoring just over 100 match runs and taking 4 wickets - that should be more than fine. However, I'm still not sure he's the natural fit we need. To me, he remains a very useful second spinner who can bat rather than the main spinner we can regularly rely upon to get through 20 plus overs in the day. That becomes more important if you accept - sacrilege to some tonight, I guess - that Stokes' bowling won't always come off. There again, sometimes not all the jigsaw pieces are available and you have to make the picture as best you can.

Wood looked good and very good at times. However, I reckon we'll need at least one other front line seamer to step in on occasion this summer. I hope England keep Jordan in the loop and in the mix.

I agree with regards Trott. Lyth should have had at least one and probably two tests in the West Indies. Now they have to trust that Lyth does the business or else they will be changing openers during the Ashes which would be a tad unfair on Lyth just because selectors gave Trott a test or two too many. As for Ali I am just puzzled as to how to define him? Is he a batsmen who cal bowl a bit? I can't see the selectors see him that way if they have him coming in at No.8. So if he is a bowler who can bat a bit more has to expected from him with the ball than is being shown in the last few Tests. I'd go as far as to see that Root has looked more dangerous with the ball but Ali does weigh in with decent and quick runs. It is a tough one. Stokes will have his off days but he is an X Factor-type player - capable of the unexpected and that is a good element to have in the side plus he is a fans favourite and really fires the crowd up.

Aside from Lyth needing a good amount of runs to settle him in the other worry in the batting line-up must be Bell. Runs are now at a trickle for him but something tells me he won't get dropped no matter what until after the Ashes and even then it may not happen. That aside things looking better now for England.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Mon 25 May 2015, 8:35 pm

guildfordbat wrote:


Wood looked good and very good at times. However, I reckon we'll need at least one other front line seamer to step in on occasion this summer. I hope England keep Jordan in the loop and in the mix.

Chris Woakes should be fit soon thumbsup

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Mon 25 May 2015, 8:40 pm

Wonder whether Cook enjoying the little irony that the last man out was caught at third man.  Commentators on TMS had been banging on about why on earth was he using a third man when what he needed was wickets! Very Happy Between them the commentators had deputed one of their number to ask him why he was using a third man...

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 25 May 2015, 8:43 pm

Mike Selig wrote:

.. .

I've been watching a fair amount of footage from the 60s (a lot has surfaced on youtube following Richie passing on) and of the many things that struck me (I may post more in length about it when I have some time) I was taken by the observation that the one thing which hasn't really moved on at all has been slip catching. It seems to me that slip catching hasn't really improved since those days or indeed changed all that much. I suspect this is primarily because at its basis slip catching is an instinctive thing. interested to hear anybody else's thoughts on this.

Hi Mike - interesting aspect there. Agree about slip catching itself being an ''instinctive thing''.

I think something though that has changed over, say, the last 15 to 20 years is greater awareness of others in the slip cordon; looking to snaffle a rebound or, less instinctive, having the presence of mind and good judgement to realise that a chance isn't going to be held and so looking to push the ball up for a team mate to grab. I saw Andy Moles do the latter for Warks in a televised match circa late 1990s. I wouldn't claim it was ''a first'' but it was uncommon and received admiring comments. I suspect some of the slip training for your guys is not just on an individual basis but as a unit reflecting these aspects; I doubt that happened in the '60s.

Also back in the '60s, there wasn't much emphasis given to fielding and fitness (stories of Colin Milburn cadging a lift from a milk cart when on a pre-season run refer). However, where the most attention was paid was probably to slip catching on the basis that's where the most chances went and, if taken, they would win matches. That probably ensured good slip fielders ended up in their rightful place in the slips and some now can be seen once more doing their stuff on youtube.

As the importance of good fielding in all positions became more important in the last half-century with consequent improvements, there was probably less extra concentration on slip catching. As a result, it didn't noticeably improve and maybe it would have been difficult for it do so anyway.

Possibly the pendulum has swung once more with a greater importance being attached to the slip catcher than in recent years. One example known to me. Jason Roy is undoubtedly Surrey's finest fielder of today and in many years. Some of his boundary stops and catches have been truly outstanding. However, in the last year he has largely left that role and is now nearly always at slip. I've never heard this explained but I'm sure it's on the basis that his ability and instinct demand he be where he will help the bowlers take the most wickets.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 25 May 2015, 8:51 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:


Wood looked good and very good at times. However, I reckon we'll need at least one other front line seamer to step in on occasion this summer. I hope England keep Jordan in the loop and in the mix.

Chris Woakes should be fit soon thumbsup

Isn't he now behind 'Ronnie' Barker for a Warks and England place? Very Happy

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Hibbz on Mon 25 May 2015, 8:53 pm

Great match.

I'll openly admit I thought England were in for a torrid time at the hands of Southee and Boult and at 30-4 figured I was right. Great counter attack but a word of caution in that Stokes is not going to come off like that on a regular basis, maybe never again in both innings, and I really hope the doom merchants won't slaughter him for it.

Root yet again was an absolute star but I dread to think the stick Kevin would have taken for getting out in a similar fashion in the second innings when the match was still massively in the balance.

I'm all in favour of Ali myself wherever he plays. Surely he's just a significantly better version of the King of Spain who made fewer runs and took fewer wickets as a No8. The only thing Giles had over Ali was control and that was just through the hideous tactic of pitching outside leg 5.9 balls an over.

Wood looks like he adds something the others don't but for me the real unsung hero was Broad. All the talk I see is on the fact he doesn't make runs but bar a couple of innings did he ever really?

Thought he bowled with real skill and commitment all match and the wicket taking balls early in the second innings set up the win in my opinion. Was delighted to see him take the final wicket as I think he rarely gets the credit he deserves and he'll definitely be someone who's appreciated more once he's gone. A victim of his "unenglish personality" maybe.

Oh and I'd still pick Big Bad Kev over Bell................

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Mon 25 May 2015, 8:54 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Mike Selig wrote:

.. .

I've been watching a fair amount of footage from the 60s (a lot has surfaced on youtube following Richie passing on) and of the many things that struck me (I may post more in length about it when I have some time) I was taken by the observation that the one thing which hasn't really moved on at all has been slip catching. It seems to me that slip catching hasn't really improved since those days or indeed changed all that much. I suspect this is primarily because at its basis slip catching is an instinctive thing. interested to hear anybody else's thoughts on this.

Hi Mike - interesting aspect there. Agree about slip catching itself being an ''instinctive thing''.

I think something though that has changed over, say, the last 15 to 20 years is greater awareness of others in the slip cordon; looking to snaffle a rebound or, less instinctive, having the presence of mind and good judgement to realise that a chance isn't going to be held and so looking to push the ball up for a team mate to grab. I saw Andy Moles do the latter for Warks in a televised match circa late 1990s. I wouldn't claim it was ''a first'' but it was uncommon and received admiring comments. I suspect some of the slip training for your guys is not just on an individual basis but as a unit reflecting these aspects; I doubt that happened in the '60s.

Also back in the '60s, there wasn't much emphasis given to fielding and fitness (stories of Colin Milburn cadging a lift from a milk cart when on a pre-season run refer). However, where the most attention was paid was probably to slip catching on the basis that's where the most chances went and, if taken, they would win matches. That probably ensured good slip fielders ended up in their rightful place in the slips and some now can be seen once more doing their stuff on youtube.

As the importance of good fielding in all positions became more important in the last half-century with consequent improvements, there was probably less extra concentration on slip catching. As a result, it didn't noticeably improve and maybe it would have been difficult for it do so anyway.

Possibly the pendulum has swung once more with a greater importance being attached to the slip catcher than in recent years. One example known to me. Jason Roy is undoubtedly Surrey's finest fielder of today and in many years. Some of his boundary stops and catches have been truly outstanding. However, in the last year he has largely left that role and is now nearly always at slip. I've never heard this explained but I'm sure it's on the basis that his ability and instinct demand he be where he will help the bowlers take the most wickets.

Just as a little addition to this. I was reading something by Brian Johnston about Les Ames the other day, and he suggested that 'keepers, in Ames' day and before, didn't dive around as they do today, preferring to leave more chances to the slips. Now this probably means that the slips cordon couldn't cover as much ground as today, but it might also mean that an even greater premium was placed on the ability to take slip chances than there is today.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Mon 25 May 2015, 9:06 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Hoggy_Bear wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:


Wood looked good and very good at times. However, I reckon we'll need at least one other front line seamer to step in on occasion this summer. I hope England keep Jordan in the loop and in the mix.

Chris Woakes should be fit soon thumbsup

Isn't he now behind 'Ronnie' Barker for a Warks and England place? Very Happy

Good idea. Woakes for Broad and Barker for Anderson. If only Jeetan Patel was English Wink

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Duty281 on Mon 25 May 2015, 9:22 pm

Hibbz wrote:Oh and I'd still pick Big Bad Kev over Bell................

You fiend!

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by SimonofSurrey on Mon 25 May 2015, 10:30 pm

Shockingly biased (and parochial) possible longer term solution to England's opener/spinner problems: Zafer Ansari to - 1/ open the batting and 2/ be the front line spinner (with support from Ali and Root).

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by PaulHv2 on Mon 25 May 2015, 10:33 pm

Sorry Simon but a guy who averages 29 with the bat and 36 with the ball in first class cricket shouldn't be anywhere near the team as an opening batsman or front line bowler.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Mon 25 May 2015, 10:45 pm

I think Ansari is an excellent prospect, but realistically he'll need to improve several levels to be a genuine contender for a test place.

Encouraging that Surrey are using Ansari both as an opener and, increasingly, as their front line spinner. So he'll have no shortage of chances to develop his game.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Mat on Mon 25 May 2015, 11:06 pm

I'll add another biased view in here, I'm not worried about Mo in the slightest. 100 runs over the two innings batting at number 8(where he is absolutely wasted for what it's worth, so much better than that). 4 wickets over the match, including Williamson, and a much improved display with the ball from his last one in the windies, which even I'll admit was poor. Also for my money out-bowled his opposite number in Craig. And that's before you factor in a superb catch to win the match.

Onto the others, great to see Cook making big runs in the second innings, looks far more like his old self and I think you have to give him some credit for his captaincy after tea today. Lyth is too early to judge. A rare off test for Ballance. Bell's form is slightly worrying, but he's come through barren spells like this before, normally against the Ausies as well.

Root is just in tremendous nick, hope he keeps it up for the ashes. Will undoubtedly be disappointed with his two dismissals though. Stokes had one of those games and lived up to the promise he's shown. Already saw Sky showing comparisons to Botham and Flintoff, which is something that everyone should keep away from. Just let him be himself. It won't come off every game, just enjoy it when he does.

Good runs for Buttler first innings, and his keeping improved throughout. Broad's batting remains a worry but I think he is bowling superbly at the moment, keeps stepping up to the plate. I do like the look of Wood, genuine pace and seems quite a clever bowler with his changing of angles. Rare quiet test for Jimmy.


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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 May 2015, 11:17 pm

Haven't seen any of the days play, but what a performance from the boys! A lot of promise in the side, lets hope they become a bit more consistent now
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 26 May 2015, 5:44 am

I really dont see how Ali gets to be a problem when he is maintaining a bowling average below 30 and batting average above 30.
He can also catch under pressure apparently.
His form has come back a bit in this test so whilst there may have been a case for Rashid a higher risk attacking option based on his strong county form its hardly a problematic position. avig a batting spinner means that 3 front line seamers can be picked prely on ability with the ball; so that Broads batting is no loner a problem (just a disappointment) and that Jordans alleged "all rounder " status doesnt keep Wood out. For me it would take a genuinely good spinner to displace him right now.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 26 May 2015, 8:23 am

Gooseberry wrote:I really dont see how Ali gets to be a problem when he is maintaining a bowling average below 30 and batting average above 30.
He can also catch under pressure apparently.
His form has come back a bit in this test so whilst there may have been a case for Rashid a higher risk attacking option based on his strong county form its hardly a problematic position. avig a batting spinner means that 3 front line seamers can be picked prely on ability with the ball; so that Broads batting is no loner a problem (just a disappointment) and that Jordans alleged "all rounder " status doesnt keep Wood out. For me it would take a genuinely good spinner to displace him right now.  

Just a quick question for you Gooseberry. How would you define Ali? A bowler who can bat a bit or a batter who can bowl a bit?
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by VTR on Tue 26 May 2015, 8:28 am

Wow - what an amazing turnaround to win that. Nothing to say about Stokes that I am sure hasn't already been said - a performance worthy of, possibly even better than a peak Flintoff.

Wood looks like a good addition, a breath of fresh air compared to Jordan who just seemed to put the ball there. Shades of Simon Jones and looked like he belonged in international cricket.

Areas of concern are Lyth and Bell in particular. Lyth didn't do any better than the much maligned Trott. Bell has been MIA for 3 Tests now - the selectors will not persist for much longer if the second most senior player in the side does not step up soon. I am pretty sure he will start the Ashes, but if he carries on like this, he won't be there for the 5th Test.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 26 May 2015, 8:56 am

VTR wrote:

Wood looks like a good addition, a breath of fresh air compared to Jordan who just seemed to put the ball there. Shades of Simon Jones and looked like he belonged in international cricket.

Areas of concern are Lyth and Bell in particular. Lyth didn't do any better than the much maligned Trott. Bell has been MIA for 3 Tests now - the selectors will not persist for much longer if the second most senior player in the side does not step up soon. I am pretty sure he will start the Ashes, but if he carries on like this, he won't be there for the 5th Test.

I agree with you regards Wood. He loos like an exciting addition to he team and a bit of a character as well. Lyth scored 19 runs on his debut so was marginally better than Trott in the West Indies which were friendlier batting conditions and bowling attack. And regardless of Bell's form he will still be in the side by the 5th Test - that is a guarantee. One thing clear from recent times is these selectors are loathe to change a winning side, heck they even baulk at the prospect of changing a losing side so Bell is safe until at least the end of the year and maybe beyond. Now I am not saying I agree with that at all but that is the selectors methodology.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:03 am

Maybe selectors look at *Rootali* as a single entity. For two places in the side they get equivalent of at least one and three quarters batsmen plus around one front line spinner.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:53 am

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Maybe selectors look at *Rootali* as a single entity. For two places in the side they get equivalent of at least one and three quarters batsmen plus around one front line spinner.

Yes there is that. For me Root has looked the better bowler in the last series and a half. I am not sure if that says more about Root improving or Ali deteriorating.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:55 am

CaledonianCraig wrote: And regardless of Bell's form he will still be in the side by the 5th Test - that is a guarantee. One thing clear from recent times is these selectors are loathe to change a winning side, heck they even baulk at the prospect of changing a losing side so Bell is safe until at least the end of the year and maybe beyond. Now I am not saying I agree with that at all but that is the selectors methodology.

if you take the team that started the summer of 2014 , which was very different to the one that played in Aus, they've made 12 changes to the side in 11 tests since then. Whilst a couple have been influenced by injuries and returns (certainly Ali/Stokes) its hardly the sign of a stubborn resistance to change. Theyve lost two old hands in Prior and KP on top of Trott, following on from Swann which as left them with only 4 experienced players in the squad let alone the side...so you can perhaps understand some reluctance to immediately start questioning Bell when his form dips.
It is fair to say though that England have always been happier to tinker with the bowlers (although Broad/Anderson are untouchable now) keeper and all rounders than the senior batsmen. There were people starting to question Cooks place though, hes now scored two centuries and two 50's in his last 3 tests.
If you were going to change one player from this side it would be Bell on current returns if there were someone demanding his place who Strauss didnt think was a count. Hales and Bairstow are both bashing out runs but are either able to fill the role as a 4/5 for tests? Taylor of course is too short for test cricket Whistle His form for Notts has been pretty limp this year, hes not exactly knocking the door down.
Lyth has to be given the summer, or at least allowed to start the Ashes. Theres only so many players England can try as an opener before they go back shame faced to Compton with an apology. The inability to replace Strauss makes the notion that Cooks place should have been under threat even more odd.

If England dont change the side for the next test it neither should be a surprise nor a sign of blind optimism and being scared to make changes. id see it as common sense.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Mike Selig on Tue 26 May 2015, 10:04 am

Interesting thoughts re the slip catching question guildford/hoggy.

I think the point about slip catching being practised more as a "unit" these days is a good one. Possibly the most important aspect of this is learning who goes for which catch; I would hazard a guess that when you see a ball split the slips with neither fielder going for it it usually betrays a newish slip cauldron.

The other thing I would say is that there are a lot of theories around at the moment about slip catching regarding hands, body position etc. So I think it is an area where people are trying to gain an edge (possibly an acknowledgement that not all that much has changed/improved in terms of technique). There was a time about 5 or 6 years ago when all the talk was of knees pointing inwards (I think that started at Hampshire) but that seems thankfully to have passed (it always struck me as a bit of a nonsense) - the emphasis at the moment seems to be on solid body position (which is why Root's attempt to take a catch with a knee on the floor struck me as odd) and the concept of "firm" hands (which is complimentary rather than contradictory of the traditional notion of "soft" hands) which I think a lot are still getting their heads around.

Speaking personally (with apologies to Hibbz) we spend a lot of time practising slip catching (for which you need someone with a good arm, and a batsman - in this case me - who is decent at "nicking" - Fletcher for example is an outstanding "nicker"), but it's not something I coach all that actively. I will give ideas on distance, placing etc. if asked but these are still generally things the players will figure out for themselves. We coach catching technique of course, but there is nothing specific technically about slip catching that I am aware of. The main contribution I will make will be in identifying who our natural slip fielders are, and who should be in which slip position.

Anyway...

I see Moeen Ali is generating some debate again. Much as I like Ansari he is not England material yet - this is really his first season as Surrey's primary spinner, so let's see how he does first. I think England will stick with Moeen. I disagree with whoever it was who said Root looked more dangerous - Moeen's issue is not the lack of wicket-taking balls he bowls, it is his lack of consistency and his tendency to throw in 1 or more bad balls per over.

I reckon there is a lot of potential there, and clearly his batting at number 8 is a bonus. He will have to continue learning on the job which is not ideal (and batting-wise he will have to learn how to bat with the tail), but I think it is the least bad option at the moment. Primarily because I don't think Rashid is an upgrade, and there aren't really that many options around. I suspect that if England go for 2 spinners in the UAE we may see someone like Tredwell partnering Moeen, because England will want one of the spinners to be able to contain.

Oh and for what it's worth that final catch wasn't especially difficult. The pressure made it so, and Moeen made it a bit tougher due to a small misjudgement right at the start, but you would expect that catch to be taken at that level; even with the early misjudgement Moeen still had 2 hands to it comfortably, at a good height, and with the boundary not really in the picture. Good yes, especially under pressure, but nowhere near as tough as it has been made out.

I also agree with Hibbz that maybe Broad hasn't had enough credit. In all the (understandable) excitement over Stokes and Wood, it is worth remembering that he was undoubtedly England's best bowler in this test. His 2 wicket burst before lunch set things in motion, and he got the final wicket just as things were beginning to look a little edgy. I really don't comprehend some of the criticism he gets.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by VTR on Tue 26 May 2015, 10:11 am

That's a good point about Compton. Early days for Lyth, but he could be the latest in the growing pile of discarded openers, as he didn't really look the part to be honest.

So far Compton has been by far the most convincing replacement for Strauss, and I think was rather harshly replaced, which also set Root back at the time

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by KP_fan on Tue 26 May 2015, 10:32 am

It was a very good test match.....joyous it is to see teams come from behind and win a test match.
Often times when this happens there is a game changing spell or inning…and Stokes it was…two brilliant innings…..the first ensured Eng wasn’t too far behind….and the second brought them enough in front to press home the advantage.

It’s exciting to see a game changer…who can bat like Stokes did…and also bowl as 90mph….cricket needs stars like these…Aus and SA have had many, India a few and Eng’s last ones were Flintoff and KP.

It could have been so close and yet so far for Eng…because their captain doesn’t trust the odds or his team but rather tries to cover the freak worst case scenarios and turns potential match winning situations into draws like he did vs Lanka and then vs. WI…
It almost went in that direction yesterday also.

It was good to see Root and downwards play with flair and passion and self-belief…..the captain must trust his side more.

Moeen Ali is a much better bowler surprisingly in English conditions and offers depth at No.8 with the bat…and Wood looked so good with his use of crease….angled in from wide of the crease , leg-cutters leaving the bat. Eng only need their captain to be more positive to sustain the momentum.

NZ gave the impression of having taken the game a bit for granted…after they were ahead for so long. The almost assumed a draw and let their focus down fatally for an hour and a bit at the start of their second inning.

Looking forward to the 2nd test
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 26 May 2015, 10:42 am

Gooseberry wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote: And regardless of Bell's form he will still be in the side by the 5th Test - that is a guarantee. One thing clear from recent times is these selectors are loathe to change a winning side, heck they even baulk at the prospect of changing a losing side so Bell is safe until at least the end of the year and maybe beyond. Now I am not saying I agree with that at all but that is the selectors methodology.

if you take the team that started the summer of 2014 , which was very different to the one that played in Aus, they've made 12 changes to the side in 11 tests since then. Whilst a couple have been influenced by injuries and returns (certainly Ali/Stokes) its hardly the sign of a stubborn resistance to change. Theyve lost two old hands in Prior and KP on top of Trott, following on from Swann which as left them with only 4 experienced players in the squad let alone the side...so you can perhaps understand some reluctance to immediately start questioning Bell when his form dips.
It is fair to say though that England have always been happier to tinker with the bowlers (although Broad/Anderson are untouchable now) keeper and all rounders than the senior batsmen. There were people starting to question Cooks place though, hes now scored two centuries and two 50's in his last 3 tests.
If you were going to change one player from this side it would be Bell on current returns if there were someone demanding his place who Strauss didnt think was a count. Hales and Bairstow are both bashing out runs but are either able to fill the role as a 4/5 for tests? Taylor of course is too short for test cricket Whistle His form for Notts has been pretty limp this year, hes not exactly knocking the door down.
Lyth has to be given the summer, or at least allowed to start the Ashes. Theres only so many players England can try as an opener before they go back shame faced to Compton with an apology. The inability to replace Strauss makes the notion that Cooks place should have been under threat even more odd.

If England dont change the side for the next test it neither should be a surprise nor a sign of blind optimism and being scared to make changes. id see it as common sense.

That is more changes than I thought but as you have pointed out many have been forced on them and the most of the changes have been players already in the fold a lot of the time. But I do stand by the premise that Bell will not get the axe until the end of the year at the quickest even with a poor Ashes Series. I agree Lyth needs more than this series to settle in and try to prove himself but the tricky situation the selectors have now with regards to him is of their own making as he should have played at least one or two test in the Windies - personally I would have played him in all three.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by alfie on Tue 26 May 2015, 1:08 pm

Quite a lot to digest above : lots of interesting comments since the end of that remarkable Test Match.

Not sure why KPf feels the need to criticize Cook for lack of positivity after that particular match ? Certainly an over conservative attitude is an accusation that could often be levelled at him in the past ; but I didn't see much evidence of playing safe in anything England did over the last few days...unless it is the assumption that the declaration would have been delayed too long - something we will never really know now !
One swallow , etc ...but with Stokes finding some dynamic form , Root promoted to vice captain - without any ill effects on his batting so far - and Farbrace (who I am pleased to note seems assured of remaining in the coaching group) maybe influencing a more relaxed attitude ; plus of course his own form with the bat returning ; it just may be that Cook will feel the confidence to approach the game in a more "positive" manner as a matter of course ? Not expecting him to suddenly turn into McCullum or Clarke ; but a less formulaic approach in future would be welcome ...and hopefully is on the cards.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by kingraf on Tue 26 May 2015, 1:16 pm

Worth noting of course, that New Zealand probably wouldn't have lost from having England -60/2 on day four. Rock and Roll cricket doesn't always end well.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 26 May 2015, 1:18 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Hoggy_Bear wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:


Wood looked good and very good at times. However, I reckon we'll need at least one other front line seamer to step in on occasion this summer. I hope England keep Jordan in the loop and in the mix.

Chris Woakes should be fit soon thumbsup

Isn't he now behind 'Ronnie' Barker for a Warks and England place? Very Happy

Good idea. Woakes for Broad and Barker for Anderson. If only Jeetan Patel was English Wink

Chris Wright now joining Barker in edging ahead of Woakes, eh Hoggy? Wink

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by alfie on Tue 26 May 2015, 1:22 pm

One of the best things to come out of this game was the evidence that Wood really does have both genuine pace and the ability to surprise opponents with bounce even on a surface that didn't resemble a trampoline in any way. For a first international it was excellent ; the way he got over the disappointment of losing his prized first wicket to a retrospective no ball call and bounced back to earn respectable figures in the first innings spoke well of his resilience ; and his important breakthrough wicket in the second shows he can really add something to this attack.
Not to mention the "horse" Smile

Lyth a less happy debut. The curse of 666 perhaps...
Didn't see his second innings exit ; but he got a very good ball in the first. I wouldn't be making any snap judgements yet.
It is a pity , I suppose , that he didn't get time in the Caribbean to make a slightly "softer" entry into the Test arena. But what's done is done so not much point in fussing about it now ; if he's good enough we will find out over the next few matches (he will surely play the first couple of Ashes Tests regardless of next week : alternatives aren't exactly queuing up )
If he isn't ...well then England are just back to where they've been since Strauss left : will worry about that situation if and when it happens.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:29 pm

Mike Selig wrote:
...

Anyway...

I see Moeen Ali is generating some debate again. Much as I like Ansari he is not England material yet - this is really his first season as Surrey's primary spinner, so let's see how he does first. I think England will stick with Moeen. I disagree with whoever it was who said Root looked more dangerous - Moeen's issue is not the lack of wicket-taking balls he bowls, it is his lack of consistency and his tendency to throw in 1 or more bad balls per over.

I reckon there is a lot of potential there, and clearly his batting at number 8 is a bonus. He will have to continue learning on the job which is not ideal (and batting-wise he will have to learn how to bat with the tail), but I think it is the least bad option at the moment. Primarily because I don't think Rashid is an upgrade, and there aren't really that many options around. I suspect that if England go for 2 spinners in the UAE we may see someone like Tredwell partnering Moeen, because England will want one of the spinners to be able to contain.

Oh and for what it's worth that final catch wasn't especially difficult. The pressure made it so, and Moeen made it a bit tougher due to a small misjudgement right at the start, but you would expect that catch to be taken at that level; even with the early misjudgement Moeen still had 2 hands to it comfortably, at a good height, and with the boundary not really in the picture. Good yes, especially under pressure, but nowhere near as tough as it has been made out.

I also agree with Hibbz that maybe Broad hasn't had enough credit. In all the (understandable) excitement over Stokes and Wood, it is worth remembering that he was undoubtedly England's best bowler in this test. His 2 wicket burst before lunch set things in motion, and he got the final wicket just as things were beginning to look a little edgy. I really don't comprehend some of the criticism he gets.

Hi Mike - yes, it's the containment option England are lacking that causes me some concern. I think that most of Ali's biggest fans would accept that isn't his particular strength. That though shouldn't be necessarily interpreted as a call by me for him to be dropped. He brings a lot to the side and a perfect balance isn't always possible.

As a bit of an aside concerning Ali, I also like his character and approach. I saw him crack a century at the Oval in a CC match last season before getting out shortly before lunch. No resting on his laurels after that - during the interval, he was on the outfield practising his bowling.

One possibility as regards supplying containment would be to bring in Woakes for one of the current four seamers. However, and particularly after yesterday, that would present a bigger and thornier problem as to who to leave out. It of course might not even work. All in all, I would for now stick with the bowling attack we have and which worked so well yesterday - the emphasis there being ''for now'', we should always be thinking about repairs to the roof before the rains come!

Btw 1, the catch I did like was the caught and bowled by Ali. He did well to get across and down to that and then hold on.

Btw 2, thanks for the response on slip catching, glad it was of interest.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by alfie on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:29 pm

As for the rest of the squad : I don't expect any changes for Headingley , needless to say.
A few people here and elsewhere have expressed concerns over the Stokes/Ali pairing ; a lot seems to be about the "problem" of who to bat at eight . Not a bad problem to have , I'd have thought. Stokes at six was a huge success here ; and if eight mightn't be Moeen's position of choice , he still batted rather effectively in it. Yes it does mean he has to justify his place as a bowler ; but in truth that has always been the case : would he ever have been selected if he wasn't a spin option ? His bowling bloomed last year as his batting faded a bit ...and if it faltered a bit in West Indies , and still needs tightening up , he still looks as good a prospect as any at the moment . I'd be giving him time.
I do take the point that having two allrounders , while it allows five bowlers and lengthens the batting , does rather constrict the options to vary the attack (and even if Wood looked much more dangerous than Jordan - wouldn't his slip catching have been handy ?) but you can't have it all ways. Only eleven can play at a time ; and the current combination looks pretty promising.
Bell has had a few outs since the hundred in Antigua - though he did make a handy contribution stopping the rot late on day four. He will have a bit of credit yet. And I reckon he will be back in runs pretty soon.
And I agree Broad's part in this has been a little underplayed with all the excitement re Stokes , Root etc. He bowled beautifully , showed that the signs some perceptive posters detected in the Caribbean were indeed correct...back to his best for the Ashes ? What a good idea...

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by alfie on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:37 pm

Guildford ...you are right about remembering roof repairs in good time. But as you say , not a lot of room for a Woakes right now.

It probably won't rain in the UAE anyway Smile

But the team will doubtless have a slightly different shape there. Very possibly including "your man" Tredwell. Think I am in no rush to firm that up just yet...a little appointment with the Aussies to come first , not to mention the rematch with the Kiwis (which will be a heck of a fight , going by this game)

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by KP_fan on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:38 pm

They won inspite of Cook...let's put it like this
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Duty281 on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:39 pm

Let's put it like this? You mean, in an untruthful manner.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by alfie on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:41 pm

KP_fan wrote:They won inspite of Cook...let's put it like this

In spite of his 162 , you mean ?

picard

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by KP_fan on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:48 pm

alfie wrote:
KP_fan wrote:They won inspite of Cook...let's put it like this

In spite of his 162 , you mean ?

picard

it's i continuation of my original long post and in the same context as Cook discussed on that post.

did I even raise a question on Cook the batsman in that post ? laughing
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by alfie on Tue 26 May 2015, 3:05 pm

KP_fan wrote:
alfie wrote:
KP_fan wrote:They won inspite of Cook...let's put it like this

In spite of his 162 , you mean ?

picard

it's i continuation of my original long post and in the same context as Cook discussed on that post.

did I even raise a question on Cook the batsman in that post ? laughing

Rather hard to tell as your original post was a little vague as to what exactly Cook had done that nearly prevented England from winning....

It is a given that you will never give Cook any credit whatever he does so I probably should have resisted the temptation to make a little joke. Won't bother again.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 26 May 2015, 4:07 pm

Meanwhile, a reminder to the selectors and a few posters from Chris Jordan that he can hold a bat. In a low scoring CC match at Hove, he's just guided Sussex to a 1 wicket win against Warks with an unbeaten 56 including a six to finish things off!

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Stella on Tue 26 May 2015, 4:08 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Meanwhile, a reminder to the selectors and a few posters from Chris Jordan that he can hold a bat. In a low scoring CC match at Hove, he's just guided Sussex to a 1 wicket win against Warks with an unbeaten 56 including a six to finish things off!

Are you his agent, Guildford? Very Happy
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 26 May 2015, 4:16 pm

Stella wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Meanwhile, a reminder to the selectors and a few posters from Chris Jordan that he can hold a bat. In a low scoring CC match at Hove, he's just guided Sussex to a 1 wicket win against Warks with an unbeaten 56 including a six to finish things off!

Are you his agent, Guildford? Very Happy

A very poor one if I am, Stella! I thought him being released by Surrey was regrettably the right call. Always did believe though that he had a lot of potential. Just didn't start to be properly realised until he went to Sussex. I still feel there might be more if given the opportunity to flourish ....

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by VTR on Tue 26 May 2015, 4:32 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Meanwhile, a reminder to the selectors and a few posters from Chris Jordan that he can hold a bat. In a low scoring CC match at Hove, he's just guided Sussex to a 1 wicket win against Warks with an unbeaten 56 including a six to finish things off!

Only 3 wickets in a low-scoring match though. There is some potential there, but I don't really want to see him in an England shirt again until he has learned to move the ball off the straight.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 26 May 2015, 5:20 pm

Theres not really a lot in Jordans record to suggest he really can bat, certainly not in a Woakes/Ali/Rashid level. A Plunkett at best. Thats only his 7th senior 50 in all formats in his entire career. Never hit one in 37 internationals.
Can we please drop the idea hes in anyway an all rounder. With him or Broad at 8 the tail is look long.
If hes in the side it has to be on bowling.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 26 May 2015, 7:47 pm

Each to their own but when someone from the last England squad makes a very significant contribution - even if not in his major discipline - for his county side, then I consider it appropriate and fair to flag.

In the case of Jordan today, that shouldn't be interpreted as a call for him to go straight back into the Test side but at least something to be noted. To act as if it should be entirely ignored strikes me as disappointing and churlish.

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by msp83 on Tue 26 May 2015, 7:54 pm

A remarkable turnaround from England to win the test deep into the last hour. Missed most of day 3 and all of the last 2 though, such a shame. When I was able to catch up on the score at times, it looked the NZ lead might just won't be enough to see them to safety. But it needed a special innings, a special performance to turn things around for England and Ben Stokes, one of the new England players whom I always thought to be someone special, one who can make it to the Fredye KP league, delivered that performance. His first innings effort with the bat was remarkable and refreshing. He didn't have much luck with the ball or much support from his fielders for that matter, but he came out and scored an amazing ton, to build on the latform forged by Cook and Root, converted a position of safety into a position of possible winning. And then he delivered with the ball too.
Fine performance from young Joe, another player I like in the England ranks,, and Cook played his best innings after the India tour of 2012. Stuart Broad and Mark Wood played their parts, for ones an England win was completed without a telling contribution from James Anderson.
England's attitude in the game was refreshingly unEnglish, there was positivity mostly throughout the game. It won't justify all the ECB politicking and the damage they did to the game, but if they can play like this, they can bring the followers of the game to follow their game with interest, and if they can keep delivering like this, even the KP question can be kept in the backburner though he would remain a sad loss to the game.......

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by kingraf on Tue 26 May 2015, 7:59 pm

The real problem here is that Guildfordbat isn't a particularly good agent.

Here's how you spin it:

Chris Jordan took three crucial wickets in a one wicket win over (insert county). It was a tight game, and in tight games, the really good players stand out... sometimes in ways that you can't foresee. No one is suggesting Chris Jordan is an all rounder, but anyone who can bring a team back from the brink which was 45/5 has the can do self belief required to succeed at international level.
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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

Post by msp83 on Tue 26 May 2015, 8:04 pm

As for New Zealand, they managed to lose out on far too many opportunities wherein there were clearly ahead in the game. They just couldn't press the advantage home. From 30-4 they let England score 389. Now that in itself, can happen, particularly when the opposition has a longish batting lineup. But the rate at which they scored, that is what eventually helped England. Won't blame McCullum for going for the kill in that first day first session, but he lost the plot a bit after that. He went too much in search of that 5th wicket even after Stokes and Root were set, didn't use enough of Corey Anderson though there could be some fitness issues in the background. But that is not out in the open, and as such, a line and length, defensive option like him should have been used more with an in-out field. Although Trent Boult bowled well overall, Tim Southee, the senior most bowler in the side, was a big let down, not only did Southee not pick enough wickets for a strike bowler, but he went for too many runs as well. But still, their first innings efforts with bat and ball should have given New Zealand a draw here, but their 2nd innings batting was a big let down. The only thing they got right then was promoting Watling up the order. New Zealand should understand that test cricket is a game that you have to play in different gears, you have to keep changing according to the situation, can't always go in 5th gear.......

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Re: England v New Zealand, First Test Lord's

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