SA - England Fourth Test

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SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 19 Jan 2016, 12:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

Time to set this one up ?

Lots of SA selection discussions tacked on to the 3rd Test thread...


For England this one presents a chance to take the next step up , I think. In the Ashes series they seemed happy to rest on their laurels and weren't very competitive at The Oval : I am fairly sure Bayliss won't miss the chance to remind them that good teams want to keep winning even when the principal aim has been achieved.

Selection seems to be essentially just a case of who replaces Finn. Woakes or Footitt , I'd imagine (unless Jordan has been doing amazing things in the nets). I know who Olly will pick ...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:30 am

Lovely delivery from Morkel nibbled at by Cook and caught behind. Cook out for 76. England 177 for 3.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by eirebilly on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:31 am

What a shame for Cook, really wanted to see him go on, make 100 and get past the 10,000 runs this innings.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:32 am

By the way I agree very much with Strings Philander (welcome new poster too OK ) that England should continue with this group of players rather than make changes for the sake of media interest...
Players need time to settle down in the game and as a combination - and they're not doing too badly...

Cook gone ! Rather out of the blue - fine ball from Morkel clap

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:37 am

alfie wrote:By the way I agree very much with Strings Philander (welcome new poster too OK ) that England should continue with this group of players rather than make changes for the sake of media interest...
Players need time to settle down in the game and as a combination - and they're not doing too badly...

Cook gone ! Rather out of the blue - fine ball from Morkel clap  

Yes I'd agree - changes are not really a necessity but people will question the inclusion of Hales after a number of sub-par scores and Bairstow because (for some reason) they envisage Buttler as a better option when, if you look at his recent run of scores he has been woeful and that is being kind.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:44 am

The way I see it on the wicket-keeping front is looking at it from a modern day cricket perspective. Nowadays if you wicketkeep you have to be able to consistently chip in with good scores with the bat as well - it is the way of modern day cricket and takes precedence over out and out wicketkeeping skills. Therefore on current form Bairstow merits his place whilst Buttler doesn't.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:57 am

Root successfully challenges a caught behind decision...certainly didn't look to be anywhere near that ; although the keeper was excited. Umpire took a long time to give it out too , and probably regrets putting the finger up now !
One for drs.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:00 am

England 203 for 3 and Taylor, you feel, could do with a big score here.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:11 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:The way I see it on the wicket-keeping front is looking at it from a modern day cricket perspective. Nowadays if you wicketkeep you have to be able to consistently chip in with good scores with the bat as well - it is the way of modern day cricket and takes precedence over out and out wicketkeeping skills. Therefore on current form Bairstow merits his place whilst Buttler doesn't.

Haha ...the Buttler fans won't agree with you there , Craig.

Guildford made the point that Bairstow's errors may not have cost much so far in this series but could hurt England in this match ; and he may be right. But I'd counter that but for Bairstow's runs in this series it might be SA leading rather than England with one to play...
I do concede that Bairstow needs to work on his keeping skills to do the job long term ; but given the results I am happy to give him time to do so. Suspect those extra runs at seven are still vital to England.


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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:15 am

Rabada gets Root with a standard outside edge !

Just as England were looking fairly comfortable SA have hit back with two wickets and the game is in a rather delicate balance right now.

What will Stokes do today ?

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:15 am

Root is out this time as Rabada strikes. South Africa may not be able to enforce the follow-on (looks unlikely) but if they can bowl England out for less than 350 they'll feel they are in pole position to push for a win.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:17 am

alfie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:The way I see it on the wicket-keeping front is looking at it from a modern day cricket perspective. Nowadays if you wicketkeep you have to be able to consistently chip in with good scores with the bat as well - it is the way of modern day cricket and takes precedence over out and out wicketkeeping skills. Therefore on current form Bairstow merits his place whilst Buttler doesn't.

Haha ...the Buttler fans won't agree with you there , Craig.

Guildford made the point that Bairstow's errors may not have cost much so far in this series but could hurt England in this match ; and he may be right.   But I'd counter that but for Bairstow's runs in this series it might be SA leading rather than England with one to play...
I do concede that Bairstow needs to work on his keeping skills to do the job long term ; but given the results I am happy to give him time to do so.  Suspect those extra runs at seven are still vital to England.


By no means was Buttler adverse to errors with the gloves as well. Difference is that Bairstow is contributing crucial runs with his bat whereas Buttler was not in about his last half a dozen to a dozen tests.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:25 am

Just what England, but even more so, what Taylor didn't want. A tame dismissal and England 211 for 5 as Rabada strikes again.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:28 am

Morning or evening folks - only recently joined today's action. Thought the spell from Morkel (which I only caught the end of) seemed really good. Excellent delivery from Rabada as well just now to get Root. Feel that South Africa will be happy to have got him and Cook this morning.

Agree with Living in Italy and Alfie that we really need to be still batting at stumps tonight. BLAST! Taylor gone now! Clearly SA's morning now.

Further to some posts from Craig - even if the opportunity arises, I very much doubt that AB will enforce the follow on. Only got 4 front line bowlers so they'll need to be carefully managed plus the team batting last will be likely to have the most problems with the wicket as it surely worsens more.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:29 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:England 203 for 3 and Taylor, you feel, could do with a big score here.

Not happening. Bit disappointed with Taylor in his last few innings ; and this was a poor dismissal at a crucial time just before lunch. What was he thinking ?

Think England are in some trouble here : barring more Stokes/Bairstow magic they are looking like conceding a significant lead - and having to bat last.

And it won't be Bairstow today as he edges behind !

SA have this game by the throat ...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by eirebilly on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:31 am

This is very bad for England. I feel they need at least another 150runs to try and force a draw in this match. Right now, SA are cruising to victory.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:31 am

Rabada instigating a collapse here. He has five for as he gets Bairstow caught behind and England go to lunch on 211 for 6. South Africa now in control.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:34 am

alfie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:England 203 for 3 and Taylor, you feel, could do with a big score here.

Not happening.  Bit disappointed with Taylor in his last few innings ; and this was a poor dismissal at a crucial time just before lunch. What was he thinking ?


The runs have dried up for him but you feel he'll be cut more slack due to his catching heroics at short leg.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:38 am

guildfordbat wrote:Morning or evening folks - only recently joined today's action. Thought the spell from Morkel (which I only caught the end of) seemed really good. Excellent delivery from Rabada as well just now to get Root. Feel that South Africa will be happy to have got him and Cook this morning.

Agree with Living in Italy and Alfie that we really need to be still batting at stumps tonight. BLAST! Taylor gone now! Clearly SA's morning now.

Further to some posts from Craig - even if the opportunity arises, I very much doubt that AB will enforce the follow on. Only got 4 front line bowlers so they'll need to be carefully managed plus the team batting last will be likely to have the most problems with the wicket as it surely worsens more.

Hi guildford ...actually Morkel wasn't that good over the spell - but he produced a beauty to account for Cook.

But this burst from Rabada has put SA well on course to win this. Doubt they'll enforce the follow on - and I suspect England will push past the required figure anyway - but it shouldn't matter. Batting last on here will be no picnic ; so unless SA get skittled for 70 or do again they will have plenty of time to set England an unreachable target and too long to defend...

Poor from Taylor , I thought . Cook and Root got good balls ; but a loose shot gifting them another wicket was exactly what wasn't needed in that session. With SA short a bowler , keeping them working longterm is - or should be - a priority.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:40 am

England will lose this match at some point tomorrow I expect. It's been a very poor performance, they haven't looked up for it, whilst SA have been hungry with a point to prove.

Still 2-1 is a great result, would have taken that before the series! And all achieved with a batting line up that still looks to have a few pieces missing, so a lot of room for improvement still

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:54 am

alfie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:The way I see it on the wicket-keeping front is looking at it from a modern day cricket perspective. Nowadays if you wicketkeep you have to be able to consistently chip in with good scores with the bat as well - it is the way of modern day cricket and takes precedence over out and out wicketkeeping skills. Therefore on current form Bairstow merits his place whilst Buttler doesn't.

Haha ...the Buttler fans won't agree with you there , Craig.

Guildford made the point that Bairstow's errors may not have cost much so far in this series but could hurt England in this match ; and he may be right.   But I'd counter that but for Bairstow's runs in this series it might be SA leading rather than England with one to play...
I do concede that Bairstow needs to work on his keeping skills to do the job long term ; but given the results I am happy to give him time to do so.  Suspect those extra runs at seven are still vital to England.


For the last two evenings on Sky's The Verdict, Alec Stewart has given a realistic and fairly sympathetic assessment of Bairstow's keeping.

Not an exact quote but Stewart's approach was that you have to look at the individual worth of the player and stressed you cannot ignore his runs. Furthermore, now Bairstow's in the Test team, he merits a run and we need to look not just at his mistakes but whether he is improving (as both Stewart and Prior did). Stewart did not give long-term support for Bairstow but said he should start the Sri Lanka Test series this summer and again emphasised the need to then review his performance, particularly as to improvement (Stewart said the same about Hales).

On a technical side, Stewart showed with clips that Bairstow's balance behind the stumps is often too much on his left side which hampered the chances he fluffed on day one. Stewart further emphasised that the keeper should be in charge of where first slip stands, regardless of first slip being captain. Stewart was also sure that the ball which went between Bairstow and Cook yesterday was the keeper's and speculated that it was Bairstow's lack of confidence which stopped him going for it.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:59 am

guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:The way I see it on the wicket-keeping front is looking at it from a modern day cricket perspective. Nowadays if you wicketkeep you have to be able to consistently chip in with good scores with the bat as well - it is the way of modern day cricket and takes precedence over out and out wicketkeeping skills. Therefore on current form Bairstow merits his place whilst Buttler doesn't.

Haha ...the Buttler fans won't agree with you there , Craig.

Guildford made the point that Bairstow's errors may not have cost much so far in this series but could hurt England in this match ; and he may be right.   But I'd counter that but for Bairstow's runs in this series it might be SA leading rather than England with one to play...
I do concede that Bairstow needs to work on his keeping skills to do the job long term ; but given the results I am happy to give him time to do so.  Suspect those extra runs at seven are still vital to England.


For the last two evenings on Sky's The Verdict, Alec Stewart has given a realistic and fairly sympathetic assessment of Bairstow's keeping.

Not an exact quote but Stewart's approach was that you have to look at the individual worth of the player and stressed you cannot ignore his runs. Furthermore, now Bairstow's in the Test team, he merits a run and we need to look not just at his mistakes but whether he is improving (as both Stewart and Prior did). Stewart did not give long-term support for Bairstow but said he should start the Sri Lanka Test series this summer and again emphasised the need to then review his performance, particularly as to improvement (Stewart said the same about Hales).

On a technical side, Stewart showed with clips that Bairstow's balance behind the stumps is often too much on his left side which hampered the chances he fluffed on day one. Stewart further emphasised that the keeper should be in charge of where first slip stands, regardless of first slip being captain. Stewart was also sure that the ball which went between Bairstow and Cook yesterday was the keeper's and speculated that it was Bairstow's lack of confidence which stopped him going for it.

That would have been interesting. I never saw that.

However, I'd say Stewart could quite easily scrutinize Buttler's technique and pick holes in it as you will not convince me he is any better a wicket-keeper and at present going on run scoring Bairstow is form-wise streets ahead of Buttler in test cricket.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Strings Philander on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 11:20 am

Interesting that Guildford. If Stewart is able to pick out technical issues such as that then surely these are things that can be worked on to remedy. It's not a natural ability problem. Further reason to give Bairstow a chance over a longer run with the gloves?

Hopefully lunch has come at a good time to take the wind out of Rabada's sails there. Though unless Ali can stay in for a bit longer than he has been able to do so far this series, then I fear the damage is done and that was a match winning spell.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 11:42 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:The way I see it on the wicket-keeping front is looking at it from a modern day cricket perspective. Nowadays if you wicketkeep you have to be able to consistently chip in with good scores with the bat as well - it is the way of modern day cricket and takes precedence over out and out wicketkeeping skills. Therefore on current form Bairstow merits his place whilst Buttler doesn't.

Haha ...the Buttler fans won't agree with you there , Craig.

Guildford made the point that Bairstow's errors may not have cost much so far in this series but could hurt England in this match ; and he may be right.   But I'd counter that but for Bairstow's runs in this series it might be SA leading rather than England with one to play...
I do concede that Bairstow needs to work on his keeping skills to do the job long term ; but given the results I am happy to give him time to do so.  Suspect those extra runs at seven are still vital to England.


For the last two evenings on Sky's The Verdict, Alec Stewart has given a realistic and fairly sympathetic assessment of Bairstow's keeping.

Not an exact quote but Stewart's approach was that you have to look at the individual worth of the player and stressed you cannot ignore his runs. Furthermore, now Bairstow's in the Test team, he merits a run and we need to look not just at his mistakes but whether he is improving (as both Stewart and Prior did). Stewart did not give long-term support for Bairstow but said he should start the Sri Lanka Test series this summer and again emphasised the need to then review his performance, particularly as to improvement (Stewart said the same about Hales).

On a technical side, Stewart showed with clips that Bairstow's balance behind the stumps is often too much on his left side which hampered the chances he fluffed on day one. Stewart further emphasised that the keeper should be in charge of where first slip stands, regardless of first slip being captain. Stewart was also sure that the ball which went between Bairstow and Cook yesterday was the keeper's and speculated that it was Bairstow's lack of confidence which stopped him going for it.

That would have been interesting. I never saw that.

However, I'd say Stewart could quite easily scrutinize Buttler's technique and pick holes in it as you will not convince me he is any better a wicket-keeper and at present going on run scoring Bairstow is form-wise streets ahead of Buttler in test cricket.

Yes but that wasn't the point of my post or, more importantly, Stewart's comments. Strings - and not for the first time in his brief 606 career Wink - has the nail on the head. It's all to do with whether Bairstow can remedy matters and, if so, how much and how quickly.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 11:51 am

guildfordbat wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:The way I see it on the wicket-keeping front is looking at it from a modern day cricket perspective. Nowadays if you wicketkeep you have to be able to consistently chip in with good scores with the bat as well - it is the way of modern day cricket and takes precedence over out and out wicketkeeping skills. Therefore on current form Bairstow merits his place whilst Buttler doesn't.

Haha ...the Buttler fans won't agree with you there , Craig.

Guildford made the point that Bairstow's errors may not have cost much so far in this series but could hurt England in this match ; and he may be right.   But I'd counter that but for Bairstow's runs in this series it might be SA leading rather than England with one to play...
I do concede that Bairstow needs to work on his keeping skills to do the job long term ; but given the results I am happy to give him time to do so.  Suspect those extra runs at seven are still vital to England.


For the last two evenings on Sky's The Verdict, Alec Stewart has given a realistic and fairly sympathetic assessment of Bairstow's keeping.

Not an exact quote but Stewart's approach was that you have to look at the individual worth of the player and stressed you cannot ignore his runs. Furthermore, now Bairstow's in the Test team, he merits a run and we need to look not just at his mistakes but whether he is improving (as both Stewart and Prior did). Stewart did not give long-term support for Bairstow but said he should start the Sri Lanka Test series this summer and again emphasised the need to then review his performance, particularly as to improvement (Stewart said the same about Hales).

On a technical side, Stewart showed with clips that Bairstow's balance behind the stumps is often too much on his left side which hampered the chances he fluffed on day one. Stewart further emphasised that the keeper should be in charge of where first slip stands, regardless of first slip being captain. Stewart was also sure that the ball which went between Bairstow and Cook yesterday was the keeper's and speculated that it was Bairstow's lack of confidence which stopped him going for it.

That would have been interesting. I never saw that.

However, I'd say Stewart could quite easily scrutinize Buttler's technique and pick holes in it as you will not convince me he is any better a wicket-keeper and at present going on run scoring Bairstow is form-wise streets ahead of Buttler in test cricket.

Yes but that wasn't the point of my post or, more importantly, Stewart's comments. Strings - and not for the first time in his brief 606 career Wink - has the nail on the head. It's all to do with whether Bairstow can remedy matters and, if so, how much and how quickly.

Being honest I don't see any real remedy. I think Bairstow is what he is - a batsman who can wicketkeep a bit and I don't see that changing.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 11:59 am

To me Bairstow and Buttler are batsmen who can wicketkeep a bit. Both prone to errors with the gloves but on recent batting form Bairstow is way ahead of Buttler. My guess is that people have a wet dream about Buttler because of his once in a blue moon innings where he scores quickly but of late he hasn't scored any runs of not with the bat in test cricket hence Bairstow is in and Buttler our. Bairstow has proven his worth in the side with valuable runs that have proven key in this series.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:08 pm

This rain break could have come at a good time for South Africa. Allows them to recharge their batteries and broke up the rhythm that Ali and Stokes were beginning to get into. Play to restart at 12.15 (UK Time).
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Strings Philander on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:25 pm

Thanks for the kind words Guildford. And for everyone who has welcomed me. Very nice vibe here. Cheers.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:26 pm

Craig : I am with Stewart on this as to the need for Bairstow to work on improving with the gloves. Stewart himself and Prior both improved considerably after first taking the keeper's role for England ; and there seems no reason why Bairstow should not do so in his turn . He may never be a Knott or a Taylor ; but if he could lift his performance to what most would agree is an acceptable level for a Test keeper , along with maintaining his batting form , he would be pretty much unchallenged - except by the hard core purists who always wanted Chris Read even though it left the England tail starting at 7...with them it is a sort of religious dogma.

I don't really think it is so much Bairstow or Buttler : more a case of can England be happy to persist with a man who is averaging one serious miss per match at present ? Right now I'd say yes , they can , in the light of his batting contributions. But it isn't desirable ; and probably not a situation they'd want to continue indefinitely.
Probably a point at which keeping issues might begin to impact Bairstow's batting confidence too : so for his own sake I hope he uses his free time after these Tests to work on that aspect of his game and silences the critics in the home Tests this coming summer.

If he can get the keeping sorted he will be a major asset to the team going forward.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Strings Philander on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:30 pm

I love this quandary - what do you do against Stokes? Old ball or new ball?

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:32 pm

Strings Philander wrote:Thanks for the kind words Guildford. And for everyone who has welcomed me. Very nice vibe here. Cheers.

Bit like of a century on debut, Strings. Don't get lulled into a false sense of security though - get out lbw for a duck to a shooter and we'll all be on your back! Very Happy Wink

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:34 pm

alfie wrote:Craig : I am with Stewart on this as to the need for Bairstow to work on improving with the gloves. Stewart himself and Prior both improved considerably after first taking the keeper's role for England ; and there seems no reason why Bairstow should not do so in his turn . He may never be a Knott or a Taylor ; but if he could lift his performance to what most would agree is an acceptable level for a Test keeper , along with maintaining his batting form , he would be pretty much unchallenged  - except by the hard core purists who always wanted Chris Read even though it left the England tail starting at 7...with them it is a sort of religious dogma.

I don't really think it is so much Bairstow or Buttler : more a case of can England be happy to persist with a man who is averaging one serious miss per match at present ? Right now I'd say yes , they can , in the light of his batting contributions.  But it isn't desirable ; and probably not a situation they'd want to continue indefinitely.
Probably a point at which keeping issues might begin to impact Bairstow's batting confidence too : so for his own sake I hope he uses his free time after these Tests to work on that aspect of his game and silences the critics in the home Tests this coming summer.

If he can get the keeping sorted he will be a major asset to the team going forward.

Stokes caught in the slips off Rabada for a dashing 33. Enggland 252 for 7.

Of course there is room for improvement but my thinking is you cannot make a silk purse of a sow's ear. Incremental improvements you may get but little more than that and of course experience will help as well. If you think about it then who was the last real quality wicketkeeper that England had? After all Prior had his error-strewn matches as well and he wracked up stacks of tests.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:38 pm

Rabada does for Stokes with the new ball...

Woakes has a real opportunity here to show us if he has what it takes with the bat. If he can bat through this new ball he will go some way towards justifying his continued presence in the Test squad ; as it has to be said his bowling alone simply hasn't done so to date.
(I'm aware that's a little unfair as he's played only a handful of games : but even so , a score here would be a big plus for him)
Be rather handy for England right now too Smile

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:42 pm

alfie wrote:Rabada does for Stokes with the new ball...

Woakes has a real opportunity here to show us if he has what it takes with the bat.  If he can bat through this new ball he will go some way towards justifying his continued presence in the Test squad ; as it has to be said his bowling alone simply hasn't done so to date.
(I'm aware that's a little unfair as he's played only a handful of games : but even so , a score here would be a big plus for him)
Be rather handy for England right now too Smile

Woakes has disappointed with the ball and offered little with the bat if I am being honest. He desperately needs a big score here to remain a relevant option especially when you consider that more potent bowlers such as Finn and Wood waiting in the wings plus other options awaiting a chance such as Footitt.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:00 pm

alfie wrote:Craig : I am with Stewart on this as to the need for Bairstow to work on improving with the gloves. Stewart himself and Prior both improved considerably after first taking the keeper's role for England ; and there seems no reason why Bairstow should not do so in his turn . He may never be a Knott or a Taylor ; but if he could lift his performance to what most would agree is an acceptable level for a Test keeper , along with maintaining his batting form , he would be pretty much unchallenged  - except by the hard core purists who always wanted Chris Read even though it left the England tail starting at 7...with them it is a sort of religious dogma.

I don't really think it is so much Bairstow or Buttler : more a case of can England be happy to persist with a man who is averaging one serious miss per match at present ? Right now I'd say yes , they can , in the light of his batting contributions.  But it isn't desirable ; and probably not a situation they'd want to continue indefinitely.
Probably a point at which keeping issues might begin to impact Bairstow's batting confidence too : so for his own sake I hope he uses his free time after these Tests to work on that aspect of his game and silences the critics in the home Tests this coming summer.

If he can get the keeping sorted he will be a major asset to the team going forward.

Very good post, Alfie. Very much reflected Stewart's comments and general tone.

Colville asked last night how much longer England should persist with Bairstow to see if he improves behind the stumps. Mark Butcher replied that he wouldn't have picked Bairstow in the first place. As Stewart astutely made clear, that is Butch's view and the view of others (yes, including me) but it isn't relevant to the actual question (and, yes again, I accept that). Bairstow is the man in possession and that is where we are. Accordingly, he now merits a run but he also needs to improve as a keeper. All aspects - Bairstow's improvement or not as a keeper, possible keeping alternatives, the possibility of Bairstow placing solely as a batsman - should be considered during but not before the Sri Lanka series.

Alfie - one other point which Bob Willis made last night. You mention Bairstow's batting confidence but you - particularly you as a bowler - should also perhaps consider the detrimental impact on a bowler when he loses confidence in his keeper. Admittedly, Willis will always see a half empty glass rather than a half full one and has a real downer on Bairstow but I still thought it a valid comment.


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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:03 pm

England have taken the follow-on out of the equation as they move onto 278 for 7. Both Ali and Woakes need a big score here for their own state of mind and to dig England out of a hole.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:04 pm

Well that's the follow on nonsense knocked on the head...honestly , what was Bumble on about ? Sure the bowling conditions were ideal ; but Rabada has bowled 26 overs already - he may be on fire , but there was no way SA were going to risk burning him out ...

In any case they have plenty of time left in the match - weather permitting - and will surely back themselves to bowl England out in the fourth innings on an increasingly up and down pitch.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:06 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:Craig : I am with Stewart on this as to the need for Bairstow to work on improving with the gloves. Stewart himself and Prior both improved considerably after first taking the keeper's role for England ; and there seems no reason why Bairstow should not do so in his turn . He may never be a Knott or a Taylor ; but if he could lift his performance to what most would agree is an acceptable level for a Test keeper , along with maintaining his batting form , he would be pretty much unchallenged  - except by the hard core purists who always wanted Chris Read even though it left the England tail starting at 7...with them it is a sort of religious dogma.

I don't really think it is so much Bairstow or Buttler : more a case of can England be happy to persist with a man who is averaging one serious miss per match at present ? Right now I'd say yes , they can , in the light of his batting contributions.  But it isn't desirable ; and probably not a situation they'd want to continue indefinitely.
Probably a point at which keeping issues might begin to impact Bairstow's batting confidence too : so for his own sake I hope he uses his free time after these Tests to work on that aspect of his game and silences the critics in the home Tests this coming summer.

If he can get the keeping sorted he will be a major asset to the team going forward.

Very good post, Alfie. Very much reflected Stewart's comments and general tone.

Colville asked last night how much longer England should persist with Bairstow to see if he improves behind the stumps. Mark Butcher replied that he wouldn't have picked Bairstow in the first place. As Stewart astutely made clear, that is Butch's view and the view of others (yes, including me) but it isn't relevant to the actual question (and, yes again, I accept that). Bairstow is the man in possession and that is where we are. Accordingly, he now merits a run but he also needs to improve as a keeper. All aspects - Bairstow's improvement or not as a keeper, possible keeping alternatives, the possibility of Bairstow placing solely as a batsman - should be considered during but not before the Sri Lanka series.

Alfie - one other point which Bob Willis made last night. You mention Bairstow's batting confidence but you - particularly you as a bowler - should also perhaps consider the detrimental impact on a bowler when he loses confidence in his keeper. Admittedly, Willis will always see a half empty glass rather than a half full one and has a real downer on Bairstow but I still thought it a valid comment.


However, if you were a selector and dropped Bairstow then who are the options you'd draft in? Buttler you can rule out as he is not perfect with the gloves either. Would you return to the old days of picking a wicketkeeper who is best at that art even if he can't bat for toffee?
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:13 pm

Craig - I'm with Stewart and consider it too rash to ask that question before the second Test of the Sri Lanka series let alone attempt to answer it.

Alfie - yes, utter nonsense about the follow on being enforced.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:14 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Craig - I'm with Stewart and consider it too rash to ask that question before the second Test of the Sri Lanka series let alone attempt to answer it.

Alfie - yes, utter nonsense about the follow on being enforced.

Not having a go just more interested to know what the options are on that front, Hug
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:23 pm

A little unlucky dismissal for Woakes who edges one off of the wicket-keeper's thigh and balloons up to be caught at slip for 26. England 295 for 8. Still need another 100+ runs to feel more comfortable about the match situation.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:24 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:Craig : I am with Stewart on this as to the need for Bairstow to work on improving with the gloves. Stewart himself and Prior both improved considerably after first taking the keeper's role for England ; and there seems no reason why Bairstow should not do so in his turn . He may never be a Knott or a Taylor ; but if he could lift his performance to what most would agree is an acceptable level for a Test keeper , along with maintaining his batting form , he would be pretty much unchallenged  - except by the hard core purists who always wanted Chris Read even though it left the England tail starting at 7...with them it is a sort of religious dogma.

I don't really think it is so much Bairstow or Buttler : more a case of can England be happy to persist with a man who is averaging one serious miss per match at present ? Right now I'd say yes , they can , in the light of his batting contributions.  But it isn't desirable ; and probably not a situation they'd want to continue indefinitely.
Probably a point at which keeping issues might begin to impact Bairstow's batting confidence too : so for his own sake I hope he uses his free time after these Tests to work on that aspect of his game and silences the critics in the home Tests this coming summer.

If he can get the keeping sorted he will be a major asset to the team going forward.

Very good post, Alfie. Very much reflected Stewart's comments and general tone.

Colville asked last night how much longer England should persist with Bairstow to see if he improves behind the stumps. Mark Butcher replied that he wouldn't have picked Bairstow in the first place. As Stewart astutely made clear, that is Butch's view and the view of others (yes, including me) but it isn't relevant to the actual question (and, yes again, I accept that). Bairstow is the man in possession and that is where we are. Accordingly, he now merits a run but he also needs to improve as a keeper. All aspects - Bairstow's improvement or not as a keeper, possible keeping alternatives, the possibility of Bairstow placing solely as a batsman - should be considered during but not before the Sri Lanka series.

Alfie - one other point which Bob Willis made last night. You mention Bairstow's batting confidence but you - particularly you as a bowler - should also perhaps consider the detrimental impact on a bowler when he loses confidence in his keeper. Admittedly, Willis will always see a half empty glass rather than a half full one and has a real downer on Bairstow but I still thought it a valid comment.

Well yes I guess the bowlers won't be happy if chances keep going down...but that is really just part of the issue with dropped catches so I'm not sure it adds much to the debate. You don't want your keeper missing chances , full stop.
I think the keeper's confidence is the more important issue , as it feeds into his future performance. And in this match we might already have seen one such incident :
When Bairstow dived for a low edge from Amla , didn't quite get there , and Cook at slip dropped the catch , the Bairstow critics were quick to blame him ; a little unfairly , I thought. Yes a better keeper might have caught it - might. But I reckon plenty wouldn't ; and the fact that Cook spilled the catch , probably due to being put off by his keeper's dive , is just unfortunate - and something that frequently happens when that type of chance has both players going for it. Bairstow was right to dive for it - you can't stop and think about these things - never mind the fact that Cook would likely have caught it unimpeded. So he shouldn't have let it worry him too much
BUT , when the high edge came from the left hander yesterday , did Bairstow's failure to go for it have it's roots in his second guessing the earlier case ? And indeed , was Cook's indecision on the same catch influenced in the same way ?
That is the sort of thing that can become an ongoing problem.

Incidentally I see de Kock has missed a couple today : though he was just fortunate that Woakes edge bounced off his thigh and sat up for the slip fieldsman Smile

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:39 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Craig - I'm with Stewart and consider it too rash to ask that question before the second Test of the Sri Lanka series let alone attempt to answer it.

Alfie - yes, utter nonsense about the follow on being enforced.

Not having a go just more interested to know what the options are on that front, Hug

All part of the general problem. There is no candidate with an overwhelming case. Most of the names and their issues are well rehearsed - Buttler, Billings, Read, Foster. One cab I'm confident will be approaching the rank is Surrey's Ben Foakes although probably not as soon as next summer.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:40 pm

England get through to tea on 318 for 8 still trailing by 157. A much-needed contribution from Moeen Ali who is 45 not out. England need to break the 400 mark I feel to remain in with a good chance of getting the draw.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:42 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Craig - I'm with Stewart and consider it too rash to ask that question before the second Test of the Sri Lanka series let alone attempt to answer it.

Alfie - yes, utter nonsense about the follow on being enforced.

Not having a go just more interested to know what the options are on that front, Hug

All part of the general problem. There is no candidate with an overwhelming case. Most of the names and their issues are well rehearsed - Buttler, Billings, Read, Foster. One cab I'm confident will be approaching the rank is Surrey's Ben Foakes although probably not as soon as next summer.

Billings is one often brought up by pundits but I have my doubts there.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:43 pm

That actually wasn't too bad a session for England scoring 108 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. The damage was done in the first session.
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:44 pm

So tea finds England still trailing by over 150...

Main difference between the two sides is that SA had three centurions - and three substantial partnerships : England none of the former , and only one of the latter so far.

Wonder how close Moeen and Broad can get England ? SA now missing Abbott from the attack and the other two quicks have done a lot of work ; so they might get a fair bit of spin after tea. Hard to see a map that gets them back in contention ; but the closer they can get to the SA score the better , as it at least gives SA more to think about...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:49 pm

alfie wrote:So tea finds England still trailing by over 150...

Main difference between the two sides is that SA had three centurions - and three substantial partnerships : England none of the former , and only one of the latter so far.

Wonder how close Moeen and Broad can get England ?  SA now missing Abbott from the attack and the other two quicks have done a lot of work ; so they might get a fair bit of spin after tea.  Hard to see a map that gets them back in contention ; but the closer they can get to the SA score the better , as it at least gives SA more to think about...

Is that a hint alfie?


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by msp83 on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:50 pm

If Broad gets going for an hour or so, England should get close to 400 even from this situation. They need to limit the first innings under 60-70 to stay alive in the game. If they can bring it around that level or do better, you can always expect a collapse from this South Africa batting lineup though now they do have 5 proper batsmen, a good wicketkeeper batsman in de Kock and then Duminy.......

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:50 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:That actually wasn't too bad a session for England scoring 108 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. The damage was done in the first session.

Yes, IF (still a big ''if'') we do get way with this Test, that last session could be looked back with some disappointment by South Africa.

As you said in your other post, useful innings from Moeen. Hopefully he can add to that.

Last night, Stewart said England needed as a minimum to get within 50 of South Africa's score. Still tend to agree with that although like you would happily settle now for a total of 400 and a deficit of 75. That's still a long way off.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 1:50 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:That actually wasn't too bad a session for England scoring 108 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. The damage was done in the first session.

True. Moeen has played a patient hand , though he has been stroking the ball nicely later in the session. Stokes did what he does ; unfortunately not long enough this time ...pity Woakes got out then to part time spin after seemingly getting set.
SA do have the problem of too much reliance on Rabada and Morkel - but England lost two too many wickets just before lunch ; so have not been able to take full advantage.

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