England Spinner for First Ashes Test

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Who Should be England's Spinner in the First Ashes Test

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Total Votes : 28

England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by VTR on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 2:56 pm

There's been a lot of discussion on this across the various threads, so let's see what the consensus is with a poll. I have only included what I feel are realistic options - but feel free to point out any oversights into the comments so I can ignore consider them Smile

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Stella on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:17 pm

Ali, for two reasons really.

He's done ok in his short career so far, and can obviously bat.

The alternatives. Tredwell is no better, and Rashid, going by comments on here and elsewhere isn't going to trouble Clarke and co.
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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by VTR on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:37 pm

Stella wrote:Ali, for two reasons really.

He's done ok in his short career so far, and can obviously bat.

The alternatives. Tredwell is no better, and Rashid, going by comments on here and elsewhere isn't going to trouble Clarke and co.

Fair enough reasons! I have gone for Tredders personally, in the hope he won't get smashed around. Yes, my criteria for our lead spinner is "please don't get smashed around". Setting the bar high and all that!

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Stella on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:40 pm

Tredwell may well keep an end tight. Ali's batting, despite batting at eight has to be considered also.
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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:43 pm

Hard to see Ali in this form troubling Boycott's granny!, leave apart Clarke and co!

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:45 pm

Has to be Rashid for me, no spinner has put up an outstanding case for himself. Ali's form is awful, Rashid is the consistent domestic performer. And he too, can bat.......

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:46 pm

I don't think Ali's batting overall is good enough to keep him in the side above better spinners, it's questionable if he's a better batsmen than Rashid anyway.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:49 pm

VTR wrote:
Stella wrote:Ali, for two reasons really.

He's done ok in his short career so far, and can obviously bat.

The alternatives. Tredwell is no better, and Rashid, going by comments on here and elsewhere isn't going to trouble Clarke and co.

Fair enough reasons! I have gone for Tredders personally, in the hope he won't get smashed around. Yes, my criteria for our lead spinner is "please don't get smashed around". Setting the bar high and all that!

If that's the best we can hope for from our spinner, why bother picking one?

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Stella on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:51 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't think Ali's batting overall is good enough to keep him in the side above better spinners, it's questionable if he's a better batsmen than Rashid anyway.

But who's the better spinner?
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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by VTR on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:09 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
VTR wrote:
Stella wrote:Ali, for two reasons really.

He's done ok in his short career so far, and can obviously bat.

The alternatives. Tredwell is no better, and Rashid, going by comments on here and elsewhere isn't going to trouble Clarke and co.

Fair enough reasons! I have gone for Tredders personally, in the hope he won't get smashed around. Yes, my criteria for our lead spinner is "please don't get smashed around". Setting the bar high and all that!

If that's the best we can hope for from our spinner, why bother picking one?

I think the containing role is a valuable one. Ashley Giles was never a great wicket-taking threat but could contain pretty well and I think contributed to the bowling unit as a whole

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:21 pm

VTR wrote:
Hoggy_Bear wrote:
VTR wrote:
Stella wrote:Ali, for two reasons really.

He's done ok in his short career so far, and can obviously bat.

The alternatives. Tredwell is no better, and Rashid, going by comments on here and elsewhere isn't going to trouble Clarke and co.

Fair enough reasons! I have gone for Tredders personally, in the hope he won't get smashed around. Yes, my criteria for our lead spinner is "please don't get smashed around". Setting the bar high and all that!

If that's the best we can hope for from our spinner, why bother picking one?

I think the containing role is a valuable one. Ashley Giles was never a great wicket-taking threat but could contain pretty well and I think contributed to the bowling unit as a whole

Fair enough. I suppose Tredwell could be the next King of Spain.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:29 pm

Stella wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't think Ali's batting overall is good enough to keep him in the side above better spinners, it's questionable if he's a better batsmen than Rashid anyway.

But who's the better spinner?

Rashid will take more wickets, that is the primary concern for your front line spinner, economy and batting which are equal anyway are secondary.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Stella on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:32 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Stella wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't think Ali's batting overall is good enough to keep him in the side above better spinners, it's questionable if he's a better batsmen than Rashid anyway.

But who's the better spinner?

Rashid will take more wickets, that is the primary concern for your front line spinner, economy and batting which are equal anyway are secondary.

Will he? I'm not so certain. I do also feel this England bowling line up needs a bowler to tighten things up, as Wood, Broad, and Stokes do go for a few. Not convinced Ali is our man for this job if I'm being honest.
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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:35 pm

It's either Rashid or Tredwell for me Stella, you go for the former to take wickets or the latter to contain, Ali is neither and for a so called genuine batsmen has a horrific average.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Stella on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:45 pm

Well Ali is certainly under pressure. The thing with him is, he keeps chipping away with either bat or ball, which keeps him in the team. Not saying that's the right way to go.
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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:48 pm

Devendra Bishoo please.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by NickisBHAFC on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:06 pm

Whoever voted Tredwell deserves a slap

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by guildfordbat on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:21 pm

NickisBHAFC wrote:Whoever voted Tredwell deserves a slap

You mean both of us now, eh Nick?!

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by guildfordbat on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 6:00 pm

Leaving aside for a moment Nick's analysis of the situation, I don't feel any of the three named by VTR (or any other spinner) has an overwhelming case for inclusion. I therefore believe you need to consider not just the spinner but the balance he brings (or doesn't) to the bowling as a whole. It's very much with that in mind that I've gone for Tredwell being the defensive, block an end option. In my view he's a better option alongside the current four seamers, all of whom are attacking if not overly attacking bowlers.

If you retain Ali or bring in Rashid, I feel you'll need to leave out Wood or Stokes and bring in a containing seamer (a fit Woakes?) to achieve the sort of balance I'm after.

If I run scared of Nick and withdraw Tredders from the mix, I would stick with Ali. He's surprised us before and might do so again by re-finding form. His stats - particularly wickets per Test - remain pretty good including the first Test against the Kiwis. I also don't rubbish his batting as readily as some posters; I accept that's a weakness of Tredwell's inclusion.

My main concern about Rashid is the type of bowler he is - a leg spinner. History has shown that's an incredibly difficult art for an Englishman to accomplish at the highest level and hardly any of them have succeeded at all. I mentioned on another thread about Salisbury's 20 Test wickets at 77 each. There were particular circumstances which convinced me that Solly would fail before he'd even started but even so, no other England leggie has really come close to doing the business in the last half-century.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 6:44 pm

Problem is for a while we were selecting leggies simply because they were leggies and not because they were ready.

Ian Salisbury had some ability and was a decent county player. He was unfortunate that 10 of his tests were against sub continental teams.

Chris Schofield had achieved bugger all when selected and if he wasn't such a knob I would feel sorry for him.

Dilly was selected far too early by England back in 2009.

And poor Scott Borthwick.


I agree with KP, and I will not do that often Very Happy , that Dilly should have played in some of this year's 5 tests. However he hasn't and I would not throw him into a debut in the ashes - especially with a skipper who has many positive attributes but no empathy for bowlers and especially spin bowlers. I do hope he plays well this summer, because he bowled so well for Yorkshire in the UAE in March - and could do really well if the series with Pakistan actually happens.

So if not Dilly, who? Tredwell here and Batty in some papers have been mentioned as "containing specialists". Based on what I have seen recently i truly believe both those would be treated with contempt by the Aussies. Also Trdewell is currently injured, I understand.

I could be tempted to have a look at Adam Riley, but woul dprobably opt to go without a speialist spinner and rely on the part time options offered by Lyth, Root and Ali.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 7:19 pm

Guildford, you following the WI Aus game out there in the West Indies?

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by guildfordbat on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 7:31 pm

msp83 wrote:Guildford, you following the WI Aus game out there in the West Indies?

Nah, it lost out today to Surrey's second eleven 50 over game against Sussex stiffs at Guildford. Wink

I'll have a look on cricinfo shortly at the one you mention.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by guildfordbat on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 8:32 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
msp83 wrote:Guildford, you following the WI Aus game out there in the West Indies?

Nah, it lost out today to Surrey's second eleven 50 over game against Sussex stiffs at Guildford. Wink

I'll have a look on cricinfo shortly at the one you mention.

Msp - having now looked at cricinfo, I applaud your cunningly planted post. Wink clap Rather than just drawing my attention to yet another overseas Test, you are clearly flagging that a legspinner has turned Australia's batsmen to jelly!

I'll admit to some surprise that Bishoo has picked up a sixfer. However, in line with Tiger's post, I would suggest he hasn't done that simply because he's a legspinner; rather because he's a good and effective legspinner ready for Test cricket. Ok, who am I to say Rashid isn't? I genuinely don't know enough about Rashid but I am prepared to play the England history card (as in my earlier post) to express doubts. With a few notable exceptions, a lot of the support for Rashid does seem to be because he isn't Ali (rather than having seen Rashid and/or analysed his performances) and I would also question the validity of selection on those grounds.

Mainly as a bit of trivia I came across the other day - I found it very surprising - Mike Atherton with his leg-spinners topped Lancashire's County Championship bowling averages in 1990 with 44 wickets at an average of just above 27. Even though his bad back prevented Athers bowling much after this, I don't think many held out hopes of him being a successful leggie at Test level. If there's any point here, it's perhaps that a reasonable county leggie can dismiss reasonable county batsmen with some regularity but he needs to considerably up his game to do the same against Test batsmen.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 9:26 pm

Unlike you gb, i have no doubts about Rashid's ability. However as a YCCC member i guess I see more of him, if not as much as I would like living down in the godforsaken south.

Rashid's low self-confidence does worry me. He needs a skipper who can nurture and encourage him. He needs to feel that people believe in him and then he can take confidence from them. Thus I do worry about how cook and then Rashid would cope should his first few overs not be right on the mark.

I also repeat what i said earlier - Rashid's bowling in the UAE just before the WI tour was excellent in both the T20 games and the 4 day match against the MCC.

Yes I have doubts about whether Rashid can step up and be a good test bowler. However i firmly believe he is far more likely to be a threat than Tredwell.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by guildfordbat on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 9:47 pm

Fair enough, Tiger.

I understand your concerns over Cook if things go wrong for Rashid at outset and think back to Kerrigan's first and final Test.

Regardless of Rashid, do you feel I have a point that the bowling needs to have more of a containing option? If not Tredders, then maybe a fit Woakes? Even if Rashid replaces Ali and proves to be better than him, I'm still concerned that the bowling balance isn't right.

Re: a couple of 'Surrey' points from your earler post:

* Salisbury was at his best when he was bowling in tandem with Saqlain and feeding off him. Solly was always Robin, never Batman and so it wasn't surprising to Oval regulars that he couldn't make the step up to sole Test spinner.

* Batty is a wise, old county pro but he's not bowling that much at Surrey now (he's normally second spinner to Ansari) or that well. Similar qualities to Tredders but not as good imo which surely rules him out for all here!!

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 8:07 am

Woakes would certainly be the best option as a 'containing' seamer, IMO, Guildford, but I can't see England dropping any of the current seam bowlers for him. At least not yet. So you either try and pick a containing spinner (Tredwell), go all out attack and pick Rashid, or do away with a spinner altogether (other than Root), and play 5 seamers.
Problem for Ali is that, at the moment at least, he doesn't seem to offer either potential containment or potential wicket taking. His batting isn't particularly productive and, especially if you chose either Rashid or Woakes in his stead, you wouldn't be losing much.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by VTR on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 9:04 am

NickisBHAFC wrote:Whoever voted Tredwell deserves a slap

Care to expand on that comment as to reasons why. Your history of making any sense with regards to who you would have in the team isn't too good. Still dropping Cook are you?

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 9:16 am

Once fit I would like Woakes to be looked at.

I am not sure that we need a containing spinner specifically. Stokes will always be expensive and really should be used in short bursts unless the gods are with him. As a bowler he tends to have hot days.

Other than that I think we are panicking because all the England bowlers failed to cope with NZs aggressive batting and suddenly we were banging the ball in short rather than sticking to good plans. This was all exacerbated by Wood appearing to be struggling for fitness. His pace was well down, and in striving for that he lost all control. Including the two tests he has just 26 first class matches under his belt - I wonder how often in his career he has actually played back to back four day games.

Of course if England's seamers had actually bowled better on Day 1 when conditions were so much in our favour it could all have been academic.


So do I think we need a containing spinner - not really. However among the four main bowlers (with Stokes viewed as backup) we cannot afford to have quite so many flakey bowlers.

As I think that we do not have a solid, reliable spinner in CC - then I am starting to lean towards (again if fit) playing Woakes at 8 if fit and if Ali shows no improvement with Worcester. We would then select a strike bowler (god I wish finn coudl refind his form) and Broad and Anderson.

For the second test in Cardiff I would seriously consider including Rashid instead of the pace bowler (again assuming dilly has not played himself out of contention).


The only thing that will persuade me that Tredwell is the right selection is hindsight.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 9:18 am

guildfordbat wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
msp83 wrote:Guildford, you following the WI Aus game out there in the West Indies?

Nah, it lost out today to Surrey's second eleven 50 over game against Sussex stiffs at Guildford. Wink

I'll have a look on cricinfo shortly at the one you mention.

Msp - having now looked at cricinfo, I applaud your cunningly planted post. Wink clap Rather than just drawing my attention to yet another overseas Test,  you are clearly flagging that a legspinner has turned Australia's batsmen to jelly!

I'll admit to some surprise that Bishoo has picked up a sixfer. However, in line with Tiger's post, I would suggest he hasn't done that simply because he's a legspinner; rather because he's a good and effective legspinner ready for Test cricket. Ok, who am I to say Rashid isn't? I genuinely don't know enough about Rashid but I am prepared to play the England history card (as in my earlier post) to express doubts. With a few notable exceptions, a lot of the support for Rashid does seem to be because he isn't Ali (rather than having seen Rashid and/or analysed his performances) and I would also question the validity of selection on those grounds.

Mainly as a bit of trivia I came across the other day - I found it very surprising - Mike Atherton with his leg-spinners topped Lancashire's County Championship bowling averages in 1990 with 44 wickets at an average of just above 27. Even though his bad back prevented Athers bowling much after this, I don't think many held out hopes of him being a successful leggie at Test level. If there's any point here, it's perhaps that a reasonable county leggie can dismiss reasonable county batsmen with some regularity but he needs to considerably up his game to do the same against Test batsmen.
Guildford, Devendra Bishoo is only the 2nd West Indies legspinner to have taken 50 test wickets, the topper is on 51....... So history card won't always guide us in the right direction, sometimes history has to be created!. Bishoo had a taste of test cricket earlier, showed some promise before losing form and confidence. But he kept performing at the domestic level, kept taking wickets at the domestic level consistently over the last couple of season, and after West Indies were done with the containing experiment with Benn, he got another chance....... Now they have one more wickettaking option besides Jerome Taylor.
Now whoever is the England spinner, Australia are going to go after him. That's why I have my doubts about Tredwell. He isn't a serious wickettaking option, and he did get flustered when the Australians took him on in ODI cricket. Ali, with his 2 or 3 rubbish hit me stuff in an over needn't be taken on particularly. The Australians won't let go one such ball, and he doesn't present a serious wickettaking threat anyways. That's where Rashid's case gets strengthened. He, at least at the county level, is a wickettaker. He might go for a few, but he takes wickets as well. And taking wickets is the only way to contain the likes of Warner, Smith, Clarke, Watson.......

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 9:32 am

So Moeen Ali plans to bring back the Doosra!. He seems to take for granted his Ashes place, and he seems confused about his role in the side. He might be a batsman who can bowl at county level, but he's selected as England's led spinner in the test side. He wouldn't come close to selection as a batsman in the test side!
http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/story/884255.html

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by jimbohammers on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 3:34 pm

'No specialist spinner'

If we don't have someone good enough, why play one? Root can do a job

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Mike Selig on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 11:42 am

It's a tough one.

Where I disagree with people is when they say that Ali doesn't pose a wicket-taking threat. I don't think that's true. I think he bowls a lot of wicket-taking balls but the problem is the amount of loose balls he bowls - he is very much almost like your "traditional" leg-spinner in that way. The problem is the loose balls mean that the wicket-taking deliveries are less likely to take wickets, due to batsmen who are comfortable and less close catchers.

It is no secret that I don't especially rate Rashid. I think the step-up between the county game and the international scene is bigger than some have it, and biggest for a leg-spinner. Leg-spinners have a history of doing disproportionately well in the county game (vis Salisbury, Imran Tahir was another) and then turning out to not be so great in internationals, and I believe with the evolution of the game over the last decade or so that has just made the transition (for spinners, and leg-spinners especially) that much more difficult. I don't see Rashid as an improvement on Ali in any department TBH, and I don't buy the argument of change for change's sake - you make a change if you have genuine reasons to believe it will improved things, not just out of the hope that it can't possibly be worse (trust me, things can always be worse).

Bishoo did bowl well against the Aussies but there are a couple of points to be made:
- the pitch was turning square pretty much from the first session (Lyon didn't bowl especially well)
- Bishoo is a different type of leg-spinner from Rashid; Rashid is a bit more classical and classical leg-spin is what seems to have become harder and harder (since Warne, ironically enough)

The Aussies will undoubtedly try to get after Tredwell. That may in turn play into his hands, or he could go backwards as he did in ODIs a couple of years back. I think if England do go down the Tredwell route then Cook shouldn't be scared of setting deep-set fields and conceding if need be 2 or 3 singles per over, although no doubt he will get panned for it. Warne bowled with long-on out for much of the 2006-07 ashes series to Collingwood, Fintoff and Pietersen...

I wouldn't usually consider going into a test without a specialist spinner. This may be one of the rare times, but Root isn't going to bowl more than 10 overs a day (and even that is probably too much) so that still leaves your seamers with 15+, up to 20 overs per day, also accepting that Stokes isn't going to bowl as much as the other (generally). The problem with Root is that if he bowls more than 5 or 6 overs on the trot really all he is doing is allowing the batsmen to settle.

I also agree with guildford's point about the balance of the attack. I think ultimately this may be a time where there is no perfect solution given the personnel England have available. It may be a case of picking the least bad option and sticking with it. England do seem to have decided on Ali, and in that case I think it is fair enough giving him some more time. Spinners are late developers and learn a lot "on the job" so to speak. I think if you are serious about investing in Ali then he probably has to have the whole summer to evolve and progress, and evaluate him further at the end of it. Patience is still the name of the game I feel with this England side.

(If England do go for Rashid then likewise he has to be given a longish run)

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 11:53 am

The question though is, who is the least bad option? I agree bowling legspin in tests is a very, very tough ask. There is no doubt it will be a massive step up for Rashid to do, and there are absolutely no guarantees he can make it. But he has a lot more first class bowling experience, has current form going for him, if he gets it right, a leggie is a much more tougher customer to deal with than an offspinner. Rashid too can bat, and Ali doesn't come across as anyspecial in the fielding department.
Ali doesn't have current form or significant FC bowling experience, in FC cricket he's a batsman who can bowl. However his batting isn't test top 6 quality at the highest level. He can make runs at the top, but not consistently enough for a test batsman.
So the reason in my book for picking Rashid is that he's the least bad option rather than just change for the sake of it or because he couldn't bowl any worse.......

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by alfie on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 2:01 pm

I went for Ali (as I think the selectors will) ; with the proviso that he needs to bowl some serious overs in the CC over the nect couple of weeks. A sensible step to leave him out of the ODIs for that very reason.
Agree with Mike's first paragraph. Even not bowling very well , Ali has created chances since he came back into the team : he has suffered a bit from fielding lapses. But the loose deliveries have killed him...
Hopefully some bowling at a lower level now will improve his control - which I'm fairly sure was a deal better last year.
(Of course others may fairly suggest he needs a whole CC season to work on his accuracy ; and I can respect that opinion , without agreeing with it.)
Really may be a "least bad" option ; and if they do turn around and bring in Rashid or Tredwell I am not about to declare it folly : but I think they have invested a bit already in Ali , and he has shown enough to be worth persevering with for the time being.
Perhaps I would feel differently had I actually seen Rashid recently ; can only go on other's opinions , and I'm not really hearing solid confidence in him from those who have. Clearly he's around the squad , but I wonder if the UAE might be a better chance to introduce him ?
Plus do wish my spellchecker would stop trying to correct his name to " arachnid" Smile

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Gooseberry on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 5:24 pm

I think its pretty well covered by let Ali rebuild his game in the CC and all 3 have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to team composition.

A point to bear in mind is that Stokes' figures this year have been worse than Alis (average and economy) despite his brief spell of devastation in one test. Really England need a 4th bowler they can rely on for a large number of overs to avoid using Stokes except to shake things up with short bursts at his full pace. He has been bowled far too much when leaking runs, at least Broad has sometimes backed his expensive spells with wickets. The bowling issues go beyond just who the spinner is but put pressure to gets someone reliable in that position.

Having seen Aus jizz up 6 wickets to Bishoo though we might be best placed to get Geoff Boycots gran serving up pies and lollipops instead.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Mat on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 5:47 pm

msp83 wrote:So Moeen Ali plans to bring back the Doosra!. He seems to take for granted his Ashes place, and he seems confused about his role in the side. He might be a batsman who can bowl at county level, but he's selected as England's led spinner in the test side. He wouldn't come close to selection as a batsman in the test side!
http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/story/884255.html

I'm not sure he's taking it for granted MSP but the fact England have sent him away to do a month's worth of red-ball bowling rather than playing in ODI's, where he was one of few players to emerge from the world cup with any positive credit.

He's a genuine all-rounder at county level, and a damn good one at that. And as for his batting form, he batted well in the first test and the final test against the Windies, had a poor one in the second(like a few in the side). And as the piece points out, it's a totally new role for him. He's spent his whole county career at the top of the batting order, playing with the tail is a totally different skillset.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by robbo277 on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 5:58 pm

I think even looking back ten years to Ashley Giles' containing role, the game has changed so much. Someone who just tries to not concede runs will invariably concede runs because batsman will not be scared of hitting the guy out of the attack. Or if he's not threatening they can just see him off.

I think Tredwell would be cannon fodder for the Aussies. He won't take wickets and I doubt he'd even be able to stem the runs. He couldn't do it in the ODIs and test cricket is becoming more and more like the shorter formats with teams looking to attack more.

The way the game is going the only way to stem the runs will be to take wickets, just like in one day games. If you look at our wicket takers in one day games, they're few and far between. Anderson and Broad can take wickets with the new ball, but it's looking at who can take wickets with an older ball when teams look to accelerate. I really think if we could hold Stokes back for a while he could come on in the second and third session and look to make life uncomfortable. But that requires three front line steamers and a spinner who can keep either take wickets or constantly threaten to keep the scoring rate down.

In terms of spinners, Moeen had shown he's a wicket taker but he's not quite hit his straps this season. I think a lot will depend on his month or so before the Ashes and how many overs he can get under his belt. If he can get into a bit of rhythm he could be the guy to regularly pitch in with wickets and chip in with some quick late order runs, especially coming in against an older ball.

Rashid is just as likely to succeed or fail in my opinion, so it is worth persevering with Ali and then perhaps dropping him mid series. Whereas if you start with Rashid and then he goes wicket less and at 7 an over in the first test it's basically lose/lose who you select in the second test.

The ideal situation would be for Moeen to spin the Aussies out and Rashid to come in at number 9 for the Pakistan series as the second spinner and get his introduction that way. But that's quite idealist.

So for me it's Moeen. Keep an eye on his form over the next few weeks though and don't be afraid to make a mid series switch.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 7:57 pm

Ali averages 28.5 after 11 tests. For most of that time he batted in the top 6, that is just terrible and unacceptable for a top 6 batter. He doesn't have the technique to be a consistent test batsman. His batting has to be considered a bonus by England and if he's the one they are going in with, then he should clearly be told that while his batting contributions are most welcomed, it is the ball that he has to deliver with.
By the way for those who were projecting his higher batting average v his bowling average, now there is a 4.1 point difference between the 2, 32.6 with the ball, 28.5 with the bat. The bowling average is going up, the batting average coming down.......

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 8:06 pm

Though I am rather critical of Ali the test player, I thought England's move of sending him up the order in ODI cricket was a bold move, and despite the doubts about his technique, he's better than all the conventional options tried in the position in recent times. And he thumped a 90 odd in a recent domestic T-20 game, though he went for 23 in his 2 overs without taking a wicket.
Ali's ODi figures, unlike his test ones, are quite acceptable. I want to have a good look at young Jason Roy, but Ali being one of the better ODI players they have, England would miss him....... The flipside though is, that it would give Rashid a chance, unless they decide to go in with Root as their led spinner.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Gooseberry on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 9:19 pm

Regarding Alis bating average ...Stokes bats in the top 6 and his was marginally lower than Alis is now. Both NZ and the West Indies fielded players with sub 30 averages in their top 6, so its not exactly unheard of in test cricket. But yeah hes hardly lived up to his potential as a batsman so far, and with England asking him to concentrate on the bowling thats not likely to improve through anything other than confidence/luck.
The real issue with Ali as alluded to is that both his batting and his bowling have declined this year from last ...his form post injury is pretty rank. He needs to fix that to justify a place in the side.

The squad they have selected shows they are taking the ashes tests far more seriously than a bunch of ODIs they likely would get humped in even if they did pick the best side. Yes the team might be stronger with Ali in it, but thats not really relevant to the current england priorities.
Rashid most likely will play, get flayed, and get left out of the test side on that basis. Hes getting very good at carrying drinks mind.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 7:19 am

Ali averages 28.5 from 11 tests, Stokes averages 34.15.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Mike Selig on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 10:16 am

How much did they both average before the Lords test? What are their respective CC averages and batting positions? Come to mention it how do their respective test bowling averages and economy rates compare? Whistle

Point is you can make what you want of statistics.

I can't see Rashid as an improvement on Moeen. He will bowl IMO fewer wicket-taking balls and his economy rate won't be any better. But then that's based on having watched them both bowl rather than statistics I admit...

Having said that Rashid will probably be given a chance in the ODIs and we shall see how he bowls then (I am less fussed about what his returns are). Ditto Moeen getting longish bowls (hopefully) in the CC.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 3:44 pm

I mentioned the batting averages of Stokes and Moeen just because it was asserted that Stokes averages less than Moeen that is very much untrue. Now, the point again was not quite a comparative analysis of stats, what are Moeen's chances of being picked for the test side on his batting alone? I don't think many would....... So he' in the side as England's led spinner who can bat too. Unless he delivers on that role and responsibility, his batting can't save his place, and his batting as such, is anyways far too inconsistent.......

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 3:52 pm

The difference between Stokes and Ali is that the former could and probably is picked based on his batting whilst being a decent option for 4th seamer. The latter however is in the team based on a combination of being a decent all rounder whom wouldn't be picked for either his batting or bowling.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Mike Selig on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 5:35 pm

msp83 wrote: it was asserted that Stokes averages less than Moeen

No it wasn't.

I agree with the rest. Moeen has to justify his place primarily as a bowler. His batting atm is a "useful extra". Having said that picking Tredwell would leave a bit of a long tail...

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 7:40 pm

Lets see how Rashid goes in the ODIs and Moeen in the CC.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 7:51 pm

Not great I imagine, Ali is now a one day specialist in my opinion while Rashid is more suited to the four day game.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by msp83 on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 8:06 pm

There is this lingering suspicion about Rashid's abilities in the ECB circles, they don't quite trust him. His only chance is to make it count in the ODIs against top quality international opposition, his county wickets just won't be counted....... So regardless of the fairness or unfairness of it, Rashid simply will have to perform and then hope they won't set it aside as performance in another format. Think he's the one player who has most stakes in this ODI series.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 10:49 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
...

* Batty is a wise, old county pro but he's not bowling that much at Surrey now (he's normally second spinner to Ansari) or that well. Similar qualities to Tredders but not as good imo which surely rules him out for all here!!

Batty was left out of Surrey's CC team for today's match at Leics. Similarly, Kerrigan who never looked convincing at the Oval last week and was torn apart by Roy, was dropped for Lancs' CC match at Gloucs.

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Re: England Spinner for First Ashes Test

Post by liverbnz on Mon 08 Jun 2015, 6:32 pm

Picked the most likely to help take 20 wickets as I don't think England's bowling line-up can do it as consistently as before. He'll go for a few but I think the risk is worth it. Advil Rashid for me.

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