The Ashes Thread

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The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 9:11 am

First topic message reminder :

Some news from the Aussie camp

Chris Rogers will miss the first test with a head injury
Steve Smith has been promoted to bat 3 (hate it hate it hate it leave him alone)
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 9:09 am

I disagree. England still bat very deep with Rashid in for Stokes, and it certainly wouldnt diminish the quality foront line bowling available (if hes worth a place as a bowler, which stokes isnt).
Most sides get by on 3 front line seamers, and most dont have 5 regular bowlers capable of 20+ decent overs. If England have two spinners who they assume are going to both bowl large numbers of overs then 3 seamers front line seamers is plenty. If anything theyd be able to lessen the load on the front 3 and get the best from them when they do bowl, Rashid should be capable of bowling more quality overs than Stokes can.

In terms of balance having 4 right arm medium fast seamers does not acheive that. Having a leg spinner to compliment to off spinner alongside the seamers gives plenty of variety and challenges to differnet batsmen. England have had an issue with samey attacks across all formats for some time, which is partly why theyve been so desperately searching for a left arm quick for so long.

Theres also a general theory that the aussies arent massively comfortable against spin since they face so little. How tru ethat is is another question.

If the talk were just in the press regarding two spinners and Rashid Id be more incliuned to assume its just hot air. But this is coming form the team itself, so I think its genuinely been an option on the table for sometime. Its something Bayliss has talked about since day 1.

The deciding factor though is likely to be condistions and pitches. Given how much its been raining I cant imagine we will have a dustbowl at Edgbaston. And although Rashid is a capable bat Stokes has been in good enough form to act as some protection for the highly questionable top 5 that has Bell at 3 with the bat.

So like everyone else I dont expect this change to come for the next test, but iots wrong to think is not a relaistic option at some point or that it hasnt been considered throughout the series and wont continue to be.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 9:50 am

king_carlos wrote:

We can't realistically bump Moeen up the order as he isn't batting well enough to bat in the top 6. Plus his weakness against the short ball makes him bait for the Aussie attack.

Why not? Ian bell does.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by VTR on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 10:49 am

I think England bat deep on paper, but 37 overs all out on a supposed featherbed suggests otherwise. Main issues are poor form of Lyth and Bell, with Cook and Stokes only really doing ok so far. Buttler hasn't got any runs, Broad just tries to hit everything for four rather than build and innings.

Only really Root and Moeen given their positions in the batting order that have really delivered so far.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 11:42 am

Interesting article covering the 11 players in current squad who played at the bunbury U15 tournaments (no Wood or Broad)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/11763722/Godfather-David-English-looks-back-on-Joe-Root-Jos-Buttler-Adil-Rashid-Ben-Stokes-and-Jonny-Bairstow.html


Joe root still looks the same Very Happy

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 11:50 am

Stokes has been batting better than Bell, Balance, Lyth, Buttler, Ali. In fact he has been England's 2nd best batsman in the last 5 games or so, after Joe Root. Yet people would have no issues if he's dropped and Bell retained! All these talk of 2 spinners in English conditions is just a terrible attempt at bluffing and is never going to happen. Perhaps they'll play 2 spinners in the UAE. But 2 spinners that too in Ali and Rashid playing together in English conditions? Well, not going to happen. The Australians may not be great players of spin in spinning conditions, but England too haven't been great in that department. When Swann and Panesar were there, they at least had the bowling for those conditions, and when Pietersen was still trusted, along with Cook they had 2 good batting options, otherwise England's record hasn't been great at all in spinning conditions. So all these talk of them spinning Australia to destruction is just nonsense. Nathan Lyon is a pretty decent spinner. Australia will have Steven Smith and the parttime spin of Adam Voges if needed. They aren't going to be intimidated by an England twin spin attack. If England management wants to bluff on, they've to find a better subject!!!
Get a pitch that will have som seam, let Anderson work with some life from the track, if Broad continues to bowl the way he has done so far in the series and Wood, Stokes and Ali support them well, they'll have a chance....... Would make for some good vewing as well. Steven Smith at 3 is not yet properly challenged as a batsman. How he would shape up against James Anderson in swinging, seaming conditions would make for some brilliant cricket......

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by kingraf on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 12:20 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
king_carlos wrote:

We can't realistically bump Moeen up the order as he isn't batting well enough to bat in the top 6. Plus his weakness against the short ball makes him bait for the Aussie attack.

Why not? Ian bell does.

laughing laughing laughing laughing
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 1:42 pm

msp83 wrote:Stokes has been batting better than Bell, Balance, Lyth, Buttler, Ali. In fact he has been England's 2nd best batsman in the last 5 games or so, after Joe Root. Yet people would have no issues if he's dropped and Bell retained! All these talk of 2 spinners in English conditions is just a terrible attempt at bluffing and is never going to happen. Perhaps they'll play 2 spinners in the UAE. But 2 spinners that too in Ali and Rashid playing together in English conditions? Well, not going to happen. The Australians may not be great players of spin in spinning conditions, but England too haven't been great in that department. When Swann and Panesar were there, they at least had the bowling for those conditions, and when Pietersen was still trusted, along with Cook they had 2 good batting options, otherwise England's record hasn't been great at all in spinning conditions. So all these talk of them spinning Australia to destruction is just nonsense. Nathan Lyon is a pretty decent spinner. Australia will have Steven Smith and the parttime spin of Adam Voges if needed. They aren't going to be intimidated by an England twin spin attack. If England management wants to bluff on, they've to find a better subject!!!
Get a pitch that will have som seam, let Anderson work with some life from the track, if Broad continues to bowl the way he has done so far in the series and Wood, Stokes and Ali support them well, they'll have a chance....... Would make for some good vewing as well. Steven Smith at 3 is not yet properly challenged as a batsman. How he would shape up against James Anderson in swinging, seaming conditions would make for some brilliant cricket......

Look I know theres no point debating with you when youve made your mind up on something ( like England not needing 5 bowlers for example) but to cover the massive misrepresentation of whats been said previously ...


Firstly the top order issues are irrelevant to who should bowl. Im certainly not backing Bell in the side, but its clear England are( for now). If hes being picked as a specialist batsman (and a top 4 at that) it has to be assumed England believe he can/will deliver there. That most peopel think they must be smoking something rather dubious is another argument.
The batting / has been addressed with the inclussion of Bairstow and dropping of Ballance ..although yes at least one more change might well be required, but again thats another story. England do bat very deep, there are a number off form currently however. Bell seemingly permanently and Lyth might just not be good enough. But thats not massively releavnt to a second spinner argument.

Stokes has scored runs recently, but also has been a liability as a bowler this summer in all but a few overs against New Zealand.
England did not get into trouble in the last game with the bat, they were already right in it by the end of day 1. Whilst the side capitualted and the manner of defeat was also down to batting bowling was every bit as much a problem and a reason for lsoing. It wasnt a feather bed pitch , although Aus did get the better of conditions, they were also able to score runs freely in the second innings. Only Broad of the England bowlers was effective.

Theres 3 obvious issues with Englands bowling currently.
1 They lack raw pace. Cant be fixed, there simply arent the players to come in.
2 They lack variety. 4 right arm medium quicks and 1.5 right arm off spinners. Could be fixed by a left armer, but they obviously dont think see Footit as an option right now or he might have made the squad.
3 They are relying on a lot of overs from bowlers who just arent delivering. Anderson and Wood havent set the world on fire, but have enough credit and in theory are two of the best 3 options. Ali has been weak this year and yeah we could all make the argument that Rashid should start ahead of him ..but he wont for now so lets park that. Stokes has leaked runs and failed to take wickets pretty consistently this year. Englands bowling set up relies on him taking a significant number of overs to protect Broad and Wood in particular from fatigue. Its seriously probelmatic and a big part of the reason England failed to take 10 wickets aginst Aus batting first. Hes simply not pulling his weight.

So 2 and 3 could be adressed by the 2 spinners option.

Unless its a green top pitch in which case it would be daft. But unfortunately the grounds are under commercial pressure to produce 5 day wickets, not 3 day banana ball festivals so its more likley we will continue to see some failry limp pitches that need bowlers who can make things happen, bowl a lot of overs, and offer differnet challenges to the batsmen.
Edgbaston has been good for spinners this year in the first innings..its generally been a results wicket but you can bet it will be flattened out a bit for the gate receipts.

Picking Rashid alongside Ali is the only way England currently have of offering that change to a bowling unit which failed every bit as miserably as the batting unit did in the last test.
The two spinners option was mooted prior to Bayliss and he has consitently said its something hes considering.

Theres a logic to it based on the players England have available and the current limitations of the attack.

Another thing to chuck into the mix for this or the next tets mind is that Wood is expected to be rested for a game during the series. Youd expect him to swap out for another specialist seamer as Stokes as the number 3 fast bowler would be as eyebrow raising as promoting Bell to 3. But yknow it might be a wildcard option for getting Rashid in the side as well. Then England could bat to 9 with Broad at 10. It would be slightly absurd but seeing promoted to 3 makes me think anything is possible.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 2:51 pm

If England so desperately want the 2 spinner option, the only sensible way is to drop Bell, promote Root up the order to 3 and play Rashid lower down the order with Ali coming in at 7. Dropping your 2nd best batsman of the series is certainly not the way to go....... And it shouldn't be set aside that Stokes bowled very economically in the first test and as usual, had a catch dropped of his bowling in the 2nd game. He hasn't been setting the world on fire with the ball, but he has pace that most reserve options don't have even for that matter he's the 2nd quickest bowler in the side...... And he's doing his job as a top 6 batsman. It will be madness to drop him at this stage particularly when the batting has been far too inconsistent of late.......

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Jetty on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 2:52 am

msp83 wrote:Stokes has been batting better than Bell, Balance, Lyth, Buttler, Ali. In fact he has been England's 2nd best batsman in the last 5 games or so, after Joe Root. Yet people would have no issues if he's dropped and Bell retained! All these talk of 2 spinners in English conditions is just a terrible attempt at bluffing and is never going to happen. Perhaps they'll play 2 spinners in the UAE. But 2 spinners that too in Ali and Rashid playing together in English conditions? Well, not going to happen. The Australians may not be great players of spin in spinning conditions, but England too haven't been great in that department. When Swann and Panesar were there, they at least had the bowling for those conditions, and when Pietersen was still trusted, along with Cook they had 2 good batting options, otherwise England's record hasn't been great at all in spinning conditions. So all these talk of them spinning Australia to destruction is just nonsense. Nathan Lyon is a pretty decent spinner. Australia will have Steven Smith and the parttime spin of Adam Voges if needed. They aren't going to be intimidated by an England twin spin attack. If England management wants to bluff on, they've to find a better subject!!!
Get a pitch that will have som seam, let Anderson work with some life from the track, if Broad continues to bowl the way he has done so far in the series and Wood, Stokes and Ali support them well, they'll have a chance....... Would make for some good vewing as well. Steven Smith at 3 is not yet properly challenged as a batsman. How he would shape up against James Anderson in swinging, seaming conditions would make for some brilliant cricket......

I hope you are right and we don't play two spinners in England. We played two spinners twice in the last 10 years and it didn't work. Bayliss might think differently. When Rashid plays it's with 4 seamers for Yorkshire.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 8:59 am

Far more relaxed about this 3rd Test than the second one at Lord's. Three times this year England have followed up a good Test win with a shocker in the next match.
Australia, though, remain firm favourites at Birmingham. But England invariably do well at Edgbaston, backed by a highly-partisan, vociferous crowd. Vital that England bat first and get a good score on the board.
Very much doubt that England will play two spinners. Agree that Stokes' bowling looks below par, but he's worth his place for his batting alone.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by KP_fan on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 10:47 am

Aus have declared it will be Neville.....in the palying 11.
I remarked earlier that this Australian team means business....they do not carry people for emotional reasons......or "dilly-dally" when a tough call has to be made.....
so inspite of being the team man, great fighter, great ahes player, lovable-typical-aussie.......Haddin doesn't make it....

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 2:44 pm

Despite being a Trusted player, there is no place for Brad Haddin on emotional grounds in the Australian side. Nevill didn't do anything great in his debut test though he did his job well enough. But he looked the man for the job unlike Haddin who did seem to be struggling in the first test. Right, sensible call from Australia. If Nevill stays fit throughout the series, Haddin might already have played his last test.......

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Jetty on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 3:15 pm

msp83 wrote:If England so desperately want the 2 spinner option, the only sensible way is to drop Bell, promote Root up the order to 3 and play Rashid lower down the order with Ali coming in at 7. Dropping your 2nd best batsman of the series is certainly not the way to go....... And it shouldn't be set aside that Stokes bowled very economically in the first test and as usual, had a catch dropped of his bowling in the 2nd game. He hasn't been setting the world on fire with the ball, but he has pace that most reserve options don't have even for that matter he's the 2nd quickest bowler in the side...... And he's doing his job as a top 6 batsman. It will be madness to drop him at this stage particularly when the batting has been far too inconsistent of late.......

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50.22 The bowling average for spinners in first-class games at Edgbaston this season - they've taken only 31 wickets in six matches. Seamers average 27.97, and have taken 151 wickets in these matches. In the last five Tests here, fast bowlers have averaged 27.11 (67 wickets) while spinners have averaged 44.08 (12 wickets).

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 5:37 pm

The 2 spinner theory needn't be taken seriously even up to the extent of looking up any stats...... It is so much of a non-starter....... At least up to the 4th test. If England end up losing the series by then, perhaps they'll try it out in the 5th test.......

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by king_carlos on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 8:14 pm

Moeen has fully recovered from his side strain so Rashid is even more unlikely to play.

Mark Wood on the other hand is still struggling. Apparently a last minute decision will be made tomorrow morning. With Finn the man to replace him rather than Rashid.

1.Cook (c)
2.Lyth
3.Bell
4.Root
5.Bairstow
6.Stokes
7.Buttler (wk)
8.Ali
9.Broad
10.Wood or Finn
11.Anderson

As expected we will see something like that for England. With Rogers fit and Neville being backed Aus will also remain the same.

1.Rogers
2.Warner
3.Smith
4.Clarke (c)
5.Voges
6.Marsh
7.Neville (wk)
8.Johnson
9.Starc
10.Hazlewood
11.Lyon

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Duty281 on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 8:33 pm

Very difficult to call, this test match. The pitch looks rather difficult to call, and there will be some rain about. England's top order is a touch unstable - Lyth and Bell must conjure runs.

I think if Finn plays then England are buggered. Their attack will be thrown out of shape, and only Broad is in form.

If Wood plays, better balance, better everything. Ah, so tough to call.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 10:40 pm

No way I'd risk Wood if he is not 100% fit - the guys injury record is horrific enough as it is, manage him and his workload, rather than risk ruining him for the upcoming tests for the rest of the summer and winter. 

Finn should do a good enough job
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 10:44 pm

Yes if Wood isn't 100% he can't be risked as England can't afford to carry a 50% fit seamer.

As for the toss if England win it they should bat. Not sure if it is just me but they seem to cope better batting first and getting runs on the board.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by alfie on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 6:43 am

Think it is a given whoever wins the toss will bat ; both teams seem to bat better going in first - going on recent records , not just this series.
Suppose if it seemed like a seaming green monster ........but I am not expecting that.

Finn for Wood looks likely. Not sure what I think of that. Reckon Wood was a bit down at Lord's and if he now has a niggle best not risk him. Part of me would have liked to see what Footit could do ; but anyway Finn has the experience and who knows ? He might have a day out...has had some mixed results in the county game this season I think : just not the most consistent performer , alas.
Agree with msp no chance of two spinners. If you had Laker and Lock or even Emburey and Edmonds ; fair enough maybe. But Ali and Rashid ? That would come under the heading of "reckless gamble" - and I see no reason for that.
Unlike some I think this match could easily go either way. Reckon both teams have weaknesses : Australia did something about theirs after Cardiff (contrary to some post above I reckon they did indeed "dilly dally" over Watson before being pushed into the obvious call!) ; but their middle order still looks iffy to me. And we all know about England's top order !
Rogers must surely be OK or you wouldn't take a chance , would you ? Think England must assume so and just bowl as they would to him - which doesn't normally mean a bouncer barrage anyway. Though I hope they have some better plans this week ; he has been a real stumbling block.
Bell at three is not much different from Bell at four : too early to be ideal perhaps , but he has the tools to handle it - just got to get them working. And his feet and his confidence...
This ground has been good to England this century - although it has been a while since a Test was played there due to renovations , I believe.
Hoping the weather is reasonably kind and we see a good game - I suspect the pitch might be a bit more lively than the previous two.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LivinginItaly on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 7:28 am

To be honest if wood misses out it could well end up a blessing in disguise for England, if of course Finn performs like he can. I agree that Wood seemed a little off colour at lords and wasn't anywhere near as impressive as in early games. A fully firing Finn at the top lf his game would be a very useful addition to our pace attack, and would probably be a certain starter. The problem is that for various reasons he hasn't matured into the strike bowler that he has the potential to be. Maybe this game.....

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 8:57 am

There was talk of having to rest Wood for one game anyway, even before the last test. Bearing in mindhes still new to the 5 day game and being asked to bowl a lot of overs at full pace, let alone across a 5 match series.
Its good hes getting a break rather than slowing down and or getting injured.

Finn Im not entirely convinced by but hey ho its not like Wood bought much to the table in terms of wickets, but he did at least have a bit more zip to offer a different challenge and could bowl bouncers fat enough to initimadte the tail.
Finn just looks like Broad without the skills.

Apparently the pitch has been prpared with lamps to get some pace and bounce, this is very much a doctored pitch. Again its worrying the that England have lost their fastest bowler, whilst Finn is tall and can exploit that bounce.
The pitch is usually pretty green but Id expect that to be cut back a bit to give some chance of a 5 day match. Bit of light cloud and damp in the air, a little bit of rain predicted for the afternoon.
That could mean a fair bit of help for the bowlers, especially if they have kept some grass on. So losing the toss may not be a complete disaster. Either way Englands top 3 have a heckins of a lot of pressure on them.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by seanmichaels on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 9:22 am

The lamps are only being used to dry the outfield. The lamps wouldn't create pace and bounce. Pace and bounce is achieved by a thorough preseason consolidation of the block through rolling gradually built up in weight. The ability of a groundsman to alter pace and bounce at short notice (10-14 day preparation period) is being overstated by the uneducated.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 9:25 am

Fair enough Sean, Im just parroting what the "experts" at cricinfo said!

Any word on how grassy it is yet? Thats what going ot make the real difference then.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by seanmichaels on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 9:57 am

Length of grass at this stage would be the only thing you could alter to influence how it would play. I really don't think you'd gamble as a groundsman at a test venue though.

My personal opinion is that the slow pitches at Lord's and Cardiff were down to the very dry June / July we had. There were county matches going on prior to the tests so impossible to keep moisture levels at depth unless you watered everyday

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 10:40 am

Australia have won the toss and have elected to bat first. England make two changes with Bairstow in for Ballance and Finn coming in for Wood who is not quite over his ankle injury.

My road map for the day for Australia on what looks a good batting strip is for them to reach lunch on 120 for 1, tea on 250 for 2 and close around 375 for 5. England's road map for day one will be to have Australia at around 110 for 3 at lunch, 230 for 5 at tea and reducing Australia to around 350 for 8 at close.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by The Loaded Dog on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 10:42 am

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by alfie on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 12:21 pm

seanmichaels wrote:The lamps are only being used to dry the outfield. The lamps wouldn't create pace and bounce. Pace and bounce is achieved by a thorough preseason consolidation of the block through rolling gradually built up in weight. The ability of a groundsman to alter pace and bounce at short notice (10-14 day preparation period) is being overstated by the uneducated.

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Nice to see some common sense regarding the pitch complaints. Too many people who have clearly never had much to do with preparing pitches go on about "doctoring" pitches ...and some pundits who ought to know better fuel these theories !
Thought this one would have a bit more life than the last couple . But I don't think that has anything to do with phantom emails from Strauss ...just natural results of different groundsmen trying to produce the best pitch they can with what they've got...

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Duty281 on Fri 31 Jul 2015, 4:30 pm

England 4/5 to win the series now. Still pretty good value considering the frailty of the Australian batting order.

Not quite 9/2, though! Wink

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 01 Aug 2015, 12:52 pm

Plunkett and Footitt into the squad, Anderson out, Lyth retained.

Looks like we have a three way shoot out for the 3rd seamer slot
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Sat 01 Aug 2015, 5:23 pm

So England sticking with the New England approach and going for a couple of quickish options rather than a regular county swing option. So Footitt and Plunkett in, no chance for Woakes or anyone else from the county swing circle. Lyth retained, unless they were to go back to Compton, think that is the right choice. He would really need a score in the 4th test.......

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Jetty on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 2:41 am

Bayliss wants Wood to open with Broad. Ottis says he well has done opening. I can't remember Wood opening. It's usually Rushworth and Onions. In the few games he has played he has opened twice. Four times with the Lions. Think Finn should open as he does for Middx.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by robbo277 on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 8:20 am

I think this will be very tough for England without Anderson, especially considering our amazing sequence of 7 games now alternating between winning and losing.

I would have liked to see Woakes come in for Anderson, but he doesn't really seem to be in favour at the moment. If Wood is fit, I'd go for him.

The other potential move is to bring in Rashid for a batsman and promote Ali up the order. This potentially could have happened for Edgbaston with Ballance dropping out the side, but Bairstow got the nod. However, with Buttler averaging not very many, could he be dropped with Bairstow taking the gloves?

I think we'll be unchanged other than the enforced one, but I can see Ali coming into the top 7 as another batting all rounder for the UAE series and Rashid coming at 8. If either of the pitches look like they might turn in this series, we could see the move happen earlier.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 9:25 am

Think they should just leave Buttler alone. Bairstow hasn't really turned into the next time in the time he was out of the side after his earlier time at the top level exposed technical issues with the bat and problems with his keeping. Even he's trying to reestablish himself, no need to thrust the additional responsibility on him at this stage.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 10:16 am

I'm not really sure what Bairstow has done to now be a better keeper than Buttler who is actually keeping extremely well this series.

Bairstow was awful in the old Trafford T20 he kept in lest we forget, and he's also you know got to score runs too....
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by alfie on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 1:12 pm

I don't think Buttler is in any immediate danger ; though his batting so far in this series has been disappointing. Agree with msp the last thing Bairstow needs in his attempt to justify his recall is any extra responsibility.
Permutations for the UAE tour can wait a while , I would have thought ? Certainly there will be two spinners ; and having Moeen bat in the top six will probably make that easier. But with two important Asthes Tests to come , I doubt Bayliss & co are worrying about such options yet.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by alfie on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 1:34 pm

Jetty wrote:Bayliss wants Wood to open with Broad. Ottis says he well has done opening. I can't remember Wood opening. It's usually Rushworth and Onions. In the few games he has played he has opened twice. Four times with the Lions. Think Finn should open as he does for Middx.

I'd open with Wood. Assuming he is fit to play. He looks to me like a bowler who might relish the opportunity to attack first with the new ball , and could be rather effective pitching it up and getting early swing - which hopefully will be available at TB.
Finn did pretty well at first change and I see no reason to alter the plan that worked so well in Birmingham. I hope Cook is again willing to make quick changes as he was in that match , by the way . Introducing Finn early on day one , for example , paid off spectacularly...as did the change of ends in the second innings. In the past , England did seem a bit rigid in their planned changes ; here the added flexibility seemed to benefit the attack - and with Anderson missing they need to get every advantage they can.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by king_carlos on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 10:14 pm

Buttler is actually keeping very well. There is still the odd mistake in his footwork, with him sometimes too eager to try to pre-empt the swing and move down the leg side too early - this was particularly on show with the ball seaming at Edgbaston.

It is yet to be his undoing at a crucial moment during this series however. At Lords he also did a good job of staying down as late as possible to counteract the low bounce. This sounds like something very basic but when standing closer than usual due to the lack of pace it is easier said that done over the course of a test match.

As for his batting, he looks like a player who averages 33.7 in FC cricket. He can undoubtedly strike the ball as cleanly as any in the game at his best. However he was a long way from a consistent, and therefore good, batsmen in the longer form of the game when first selected and he looks much the same a year into his test career.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 10:40 am

Olly wrote:I'm not really sure what Bairstow has done to now be a better keeper than Buttler who is actually keeping extremely well this series.

Bairstow was awful in the old Trafford T20 he kept in lest we forget, and he's also you know got to score runs too....

Not only that he didnt exactly set the world on fire with his batting in the last test did he!
His international career to date has been one car crash after another, so before we start talking about him replacing Buttler (on the grounds that his batting has slipped) lets see him do better at that at this level first.



Its pretty clear from the squad and whats been said that England are sticking with a winning formula and bringing in Wood for Anderson. No shock.

There are problems with the side but the solutions offerde potentially create bigger ones.
Lyth desperately needs to get some runs and as importnatly not get out to balls he dshouldnt even be playing. Replacing him with Hales is a ludicrous suggestion.
Bell at 3 ...hmm. Still hmm.
Stokes and Ali ..both are getting their places on their batting, but neither are good enough with the bat to be picked solely as batsmen who give an occasional bowling option. They are both relied upon to deliver a significant number of overs. It would be OK if just one were struggling, but neither is taking many wickets or able to bowl economicaly ( Stokes is averaging in the high 90s this year which is truely woeful). With Anderson out that does leave a lot of pressure on Finn and Wood to back Broad up.


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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by seanmichaels on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 10:57 am

Gooseberry wrote:

Not only that he didnt exactly set the world on fire with his batting in the last test did he!


Bit harsh!

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 1:17 pm

seanmichaels wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:

Not only that he didnt exactly set the world on fire with his batting in the last test did he!


Bit harsh!

Why? If ist being suggested that England drop the better keeper on the grounds his batting has dipped then its fair to counter the argument that it shouldnt be for a player who scored less and has a worse test batting record.

Theres a lot of these kind of "fix a problem by making it worse" suggestions banging around. Like picking a guy who hasnt even established himself as an ODI player and who the ECB encouraged to go to the IPL rather than play 4 day games be selected as an opener to solve the problem of Lyth getting out to balls he should leave.


Its not harsh to say Bairstow should score some runs at test level before his place is considered secure and certainly before hes seen as a replacement for a Buttler.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 1:18 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/33752009

Interewsting read given the amount of people who have slated the coaches and analysts for ruining Finn in the first place.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by dummy_half on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 2:19 pm

I don't think you can read too much into Bairstow's form based on how he got out at Edgbaston - sometimes excellent bowlers will produce a ball that is just too good. Would be good though if he could get a start this match.

Lyth needs an innings to prove, partly to himself, that he is good enough to be a Test opener. I wonder though if he's suffering a bot from a lack of playing time - perhaps someone who needs to bat often to get and keep form.

Buttler has kept pretty well - missed a tough leg side chance off Nevill the other day, but not much else. Unfortunately, his batting at the moment is scratchy. I'd rather he made a quick 25 and out rather than scratch around to 10 in 40 balls, as I think he could get his confidence back quicker by playing more naturally.

I think Stokes as a 4th seamer has been better than his figures suggest - has had spells where he has controlled an end well and has probably not had the rub of the green slightly with chances and decisions off his bowling.

I'm more concerned about Ali as the primary spinner - currently his batting is keeping him in the side, while his bowling is seriously hit and miss. The question though is who is likely to do better? I'm not convinced Rashid would be anything but the same, although perhaps as a leggie with some variations he could be useful for getting rid of Phil and Grant in the Aussie tail.

As for this week, obviously missing Jimmy at TB is huge. Broad can bowl well there, but I'm worried that Wood won't be fit and we'll end up with an attack of Broad, Finn and Plunkett: all much the same in terms of pace and height, and not a genuine swing bowler amongst them. TB often swings a bit even if conditions look OK - I think it's because of the proximity of the river, meaning that there is always some humidity.

Anyway, after last week I think the Aussies have more problems to resolve - top 3 is OK, but 4,5,6 looks very flaky. Nevill looks a competent keeper batsman (rather than the other way round), Mitch J and Lyon are bowling pretty well, but Starc and Hazelwood have been inconsistent. Suspect Siddle for Starc is a likely change and that Clarke will drop to 5 in the batting order. Be interesting though to see if Shaun Marsh is seriously considered in the middle order.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 3:32 pm

Gooseberry wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/33752009

Interewsting read given the amount of people who have slated the coaches and analysts for ruining Finn in the first place.
Credit all the backroom support for ensuring this brilliant talent was not lost to international cricket.
But there is an instructive extract from the same article.......
"At Edgbaston, Finn paid tribute to England coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace for creating an atmosphere in which players were encouraged to "showcase their talent" and play with "smiles on their faces".
The implication was that a fear of failure may have contributed to his struggles under previous England regimes."

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by GSC on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 3:41 pm

One of this things I guess. I dont doubt Flowers regime was a great place for those with mental fragilities. But it also brought out the best in others and at their peak, probably played a decent part in England's consistency and resiliency. Englands newfound positive mentality supports the likes of Finn, but so far every peak has been followed with a trough.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by liverbnz on Tue 04 Aug 2015, 10:12 am

^ I think the above would definitely serve Rashid well if he got his chance. He's the arm around the shoulder type so it's good to hear these sorts of reports from the new England camp.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 04 Aug 2015, 10:51 am

In Rashids case though it seems to be "stand around at squad photoshoots with a smile on your face" rather than play.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Tue 04 Aug 2015, 12:12 pm

Rashid reportedly was ahead of Ali for the 2nd test as he had some fitness concerns. But then Rashid got himself injured and declared himself unavailable and Moeen was fit enough to play. Think now he'll have to wait till the UAE series to get a look in........ Or Ali has to be total rubbish in the next game and become unselectable!

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 04 Aug 2015, 1:31 pm

It is a bit much to expect a leg spinner to make his debut on a seamer friendly pitch and be economical. Ali has taken important wickets this series and hasn't a ridiculous economy rate so some of that confidence should be invested in him to improve and develop.

Anderson swung AND seamed the ball at Edgbaston whereas Johnson and Starc are primarily swing bowlers. It would be good to see if the pitch is another seamer at TB before putting an attack of Wood, Finn and Broad down too much.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by VTR on Tue 04 Aug 2015, 2:32 pm

I suppose another way Rashid could debut is if the final Test turns out to be a dead rubber, especially with it being The Oval, which is rightly or wrongly always considered a spinner's track

TB is pretty much a spinners graveyard, so Rashid wouldn't want to debut there - I'd suggest if the spinner is bowling a lot of overs for one side or the other, they are well on their way to losing the game

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by king_carlos on Tue 04 Aug 2015, 3:09 pm

It will be interesting to see how the squad as a whole takes shape for the UAE and SA tours. They are two tough places to go and play.

In the UAE we will need the option of 2 spinners which Rashid and Ali will likely fulfil. Could the selectors want a third in the squad to cover injury and offer competition? Or will they want the option of a spinner who can offer their captain some more control? Moeen and Dilly both take wickets but can also go for a few.

With 7 tests in trying conditions we will also need depth to our seamers. Finn returning well is a boost there but the touring party will need another couple of seamers at least. Jimmy is now injured and not getting younger, Wood is injury prone and Broad has often looked fatigued for a couple of seasons. Plunkett and Footit getting called up must have a foot in the door here. Could Woakes or Craig Overton come into the reckoning? Rushworth, Jack Brooks and James Harris are also having strong seasons.

If Bairstow is starting as a batsmen will there be room for another wicket keeper in the squad?

Will we need another opening batsmen to replace Lyth? If Lyth remains the squad will need a 3rd opener anyway.

Will Ballance come back in as middle order cover? If not James Taylor could get a chance. Not a huge number of batsmen are throwing their hands up in CC cricket but Sam Hain is a very impressive young player. Surray bias admitted but Steve Davies is averaging 80 in div 2 and Jason Roy is averaging 55.

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