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 Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 8:53 pm

I'm with HH on this one - conditions coupled with how well we've generally bowled means he's had a lot of routine catches. It's the slightly tougher ones which international keepers should take that he doesn't which is the issue with Bairstow. And you could argue it's had an adverse effect on the rest of the slips catching too.

It's why I'd not be against him batting 5, and bringing in a better keeper at 7. (Taylor to 3, Compton to open the other corresponding moves)
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by dummy_half on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 9:52 pm

Olly

I'd even make the case that while Moeen is being picked as our first choice spinner, there is the option to pick a keeper who is only good enough to bat at 8 (a modern day Jack Russell or Bob Taylor). Not sure that there is one in the county game at the moment though, as it seems all the counties are looking for consistent runs from keeper-batsmen.

Agree with Compton to open and Taylor up to 3, allowing Bairstow to bat at 5 as a specialist (DO NOT MOVE ROOT!!!!!). Stokes at 6, Moeen 7, a keeper at 8 and Broad at 9 is still a pretty strong and fluent lower middle order.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:30 pm

Foakes might come into the running under that approach.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 4:10 am

Olly wrote:I'm with HH on this one - conditions coupled with how well we've generally bowled means he's had a lot of routine catches. It's the slightly tougher ones which international keepers should take that he doesn't which is the issue with Bairstow. And you could argue it's had an adverse effect on the rest of the slips catching too.

It's why I'd not be against him batting 5, and bringing in a better keeper at 7. (Taylor to 3, Compton to open the other corresponding moves)

On the face of it that's not a bad way of solving several "problems" . Except that 1/ The problems may be more apparent than real and 2/ the solutions might actually make things worse.

England - despite a generally off-colour top order and a higher than desirable error count in catching (not just the keeper , one should point out ) - have beaten the former number one team in a Test series in their own country. Doesn't mean the team is perfect - far from it - but suggests fine tuning more than major surgery might be the bet way to proceed in the short term.
"A better keeper" sounds nice at 7. Does such a player (good enough to bat there and significantly better than the incumbent with the gloves) actually exist ? Questionable , I'd suggest - and that ignores the surely reasonable proposition that Bairstow's keeping might improve .
Taylor initially looked very good at five , but he's faltered lately. Might be doing him no favours bumping him up to three ? Not sure that spot would suit him either - though it may be worth a try a some point.
Compton has shown both his strengths and weaknesses on this trip. They are the same at three and as opener ; and I'm not certain they'll magically vanish if he is restored to the opening spot.

My own inclination is to leave this side essentially intact for the Sri Lanka Tests and then review. You always have to be alert to improving the team ; but there ought to be a measure of patience with the units of a winning team as a reward for collective success - players can and do improve when they are given some time and shown some confidence.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 4:15 am

PS : The above idea means I would extend Hales a couple more chances at the top of the order , though I admit I'm losing optimism about his chances of nailing a spot ; and I'm not marking the Woakes file "limited overs only" yet.
But those two are running out of time.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 4:37 am

As to the current match : it was an unpleasant surprise to wake up and discover that they got back on and duly collapsed

I have lost a lot of faith in South African thunderstorms Smile

Three wickets gone sounds like one too many so surviving the last day seems a tall order. Though I suppose if Root and Taylor could dig in to lunch and a little later the limited SA bowling options might start to tell...

Won't begrudge SA success in this "dead" match. They were never as bad as they were being painted in the aftermath of first Durban and later Johannesburg ; and the players they brought in for this match have strengthened them. Doesn't mean England don't deserve full credit for winning the series : they performed under pressure when it counted ; and even if not the finished article they have shown the future is immeasurably brighter than anyone might have foreseen this time last year.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:12 am

Brute of a lfter from Morkel takes care of Taylor !

Not the start to the day England were after. Got a feeling this might not last long today...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:16 am

...and as Root follows immediately that feeling is growing Smile

Important wicket for Piedt. He may not be a star but I think he could carry out the spinner job for SA for a while , in support of the good group of seamers they possess.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:23 am

Think you could be on for an early kip here alf
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:30 am

Olly wrote:Think you could be on for an early kip here alf

Indeed , Olly.

Unless Stokes and Bairstow decide to have a rerun of Cape Town - in which case they should hit the winning runs around 2-30 am Smile

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:32 am

Can't call me for a jinx , can you ?

Oh...actually Bairstow is reprieved as Rabada oversteps by a mile...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:36 am

Massive fan of Rabada bowling a no ball so he can get a batsman out twice in an over
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:36 am

This is awful stuff. At least it won't be a distraction for long. I think the players need have a hard look at themselves and the poor attitude they have shown this game

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:40 am

...oh rats ...

I'm giving up

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Duty281 on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:41 am

Pathetic.

But good to see Rabada complete his much-deserved ten wicket haul.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by kingraf on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:43 am

Bairstow wins the 2016 Cricketers Darwin Award. I'm calling it early
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:44 am

alfie wrote:
Olly wrote:I'm with HH on this one - conditions coupled with how well we've generally bowled means he's had a lot of routine catches. It's the slightly tougher ones which international keepers should take that he doesn't which is the issue with Bairstow. And you could argue it's had an adverse effect on the rest of the slips catching too.

It's why I'd not be against him batting 5, and bringing in a better keeper at 7. (Taylor to 3, Compton to open the other corresponding moves)

On the face of it that's not a bad way of solving several "problems" .  Except that 1/ The problems may be more apparent than real and 2/ the solutions might actually make things worse.

England - despite a generally off-colour top order and a higher than desirable error count in catching (not just the keeper , one should point out ) - have beaten the former number one team in a Test series in their own country. Doesn't mean the team is perfect - far from it - but suggests fine tuning more than major surgery might be the bet way to proceed in the short term.
"A better keeper" sounds nice at 7.  Does such a player (good enough to bat there and significantly better than the incumbent with the gloves) actually exist ? Questionable , I'd suggest - and that ignores the surely reasonable proposition that Bairstow's keeping might improve .
Taylor initially looked very good at five , but he's faltered lately. Might be doing him no favours bumping him up to three ?  Not sure that spot would suit him either - though it may be worth a try a some point.
Compton has shown both his strengths and weaknesses on this trip.  They are the same at three and as opener ; and I'm not certain they'll magically vanish if he is restored to the opening spot.

My own inclination is to leave this side essentially intact for the Sri Lanka Tests and then review.  You always have to be alert to improving the team ; but there ought to be a measure of patience with the units of a winning team as a reward for collective success - players can and do improve when they are given some time and shown some confidence.

Alfie - my inclination is the same. Feel that the players have generally earned that for the short term with this series win. Not as if there are too many obvious candidates to come in.

There is also no guarantee that Bairstow will do as well batting at 5 as he has here at 7.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:50 am

VTR wrote:This is awful stuff. At least it won't be a distraction for long. I think the players need have a hard look at themselves and the poor attitude they have shown this game  

Well it's a shocker all right...

But as I said earlier today lets not lose sight of their achievement in this series. Annoying that they've now folded up in dead rubbers against both Australia and South Africa : but on balance I'd rather have the two trophies than the consolation final wins Smile

What it probably does show is that the team really needs to be totally switched on to win against strong opponents ; which is logical enough. They are not so strong an outfit that they can brush their opponents aside easily...but I think we knew that.

And I wouldn't call it a "poor attitude". I think they've tried hard enough ; just haven't had the intensity they summoned in the earlier games - and that is a subconscious effect of human nature that is not easily fixed.

If there is an upside , it is that this failure will mean they won't be getting carried away with their results. Still work to do for the summer.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:56 am

Yes the series win is good, very happy with that, but this does take some of the shine off it. I think the attitude has been horrendous this morning, they are trying to save the game but come out playing all sorts of shots. It doesn't look very much like they are taking it very seriously, though as you say they may lack the motivation to do so

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by kingraf on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 8:59 am

every time you're middle order need to save a game they seem to lack the motivation to do so
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by kingraf on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:00 am

your
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by SimonofSurrey on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:03 am

On balance, I think 2-1 with a drawn game in the Saffers' favour probably reflects the series. England have been the better side overall and enjoyed decisive moments of being on top but have never routinely steamrollered them.

Not at all a bad thing to have this horror show today, either - a wake up call that this England team has proven strengths and promising elements but is still very much a work in progress with significant questions still to be answered.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by kingraf on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:04 am

Can't be too many better bowling performances from a 20-year old
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:05 am

Well yes ...but in fairness , Taylor and Root were out without any silly shots ; and from then on there was no real prospect of saving the game.
I can't condemn Stokes from playing his normal game ; although considering SA would have been sweating on what to do once Morkel and Rabada were spent it might have been a good idea to hang around a while and see...

Suspect the one that got Taylor was the key. They figured the ball with your name on it was coming sooner or later ; so rather lost the survival plan. I've seen this sort of finish plenty of times ; and not just from England.

Moeen gone and lunch can be forgotten about...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:08 am

All over - that truly was pathetic, but wonderful figures from Rabada nontheless. I am sticking my neck out and saying he will be MOTM here Smile

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:08 am

Don't think you can be too upset especially when you have a guy bowling like Rabada is - a truly special performance
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:09 am

VTR wrote:All over - that truly was pathetic, but wonderful figures from Rabada nontheless. I am sticking my neck out and saying he will be MOTM here Smile

More chance than poor old Woakes anyway.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:12 am

All over .

Rabada clinching the MoTM from Amla I guess...terrific performance with 13 wickets clap

Don't think anyone expected things to wrap up so quickly this morning ; but I can't claim to be astonished. Have seen enough collapses before and as soon as Root went it was fairly clear this was going to be one of those days...

Well done SA for this win. What it all means for both teams' futures we will find out...in the future. Has been a truly entertaining series , with some great individual performances OK

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by LivinginItaly on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:32 am

I agree, this defeat is probably a good thing for the progress of the England team. It highlights that there are still areas to be worked on and things that need to be improved. The team is a work in progress, albeit one with a huge amount of potential, but also one with some fairly big question marks over some key components. Namely one opener, the number 3, wicketkeeper, reserve bowler (this game woakes) which given the prevalence of back to back tests and short tours is an important consideration.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:35 am

Mike Selvey said cook should be accepting the trophy with embarrassment

Overreaction lolz in full swing
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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 9:50 am

Olly wrote:Mike Selvey said cook should be accepting the trophy with embarrassment

Overreaction lolz in full swing

Yeah that does seem a bit silly. You know what he means - no one likes to collect a trophy straight after getting slaughtered ; though it doesn't happen in most sports. I'm sure Cook would have preferred to have walked up with a 3-0 ; but that's the way it was.
AB didn't look too bothered about making a pair when he was accepting congrats for winning the match...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by liverbnz on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 10:13 am

Olly wrote:Mike Selvey said cook should be accepting the trophy with embarrassment

Overreaction lolz in full swing

Slightly misquoted there Olly. He said Cook should accept the trophy with a touch of embarrassment. Which he should and most likely will.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 10:33 am

guildfordbat wrote:
VTR wrote:All over - that truly was pathetic, but wonderful figures from Rabada nontheless. I am sticking my neck out and saying he will be MOTM here Smile

More chance than poor old Woakes anyway.

Woakes really doesn't look threatening enough for Tests, but has come on a lot in ODIs so his future could lie there. He was always filling in here anyway, Finn is now one of the first names on the teamsheet, and say if Anderson retired tomorrow, I think England would want Wood as his replacement

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 10:44 am

Woakes hasn't really done himself any favours on this trip. Think he'll stay around the squad - the Indian tour presents the sort of case where England will need back up for Stokes...but I'd agree in terms of pace bowling he is dropping down the pecking order.

Anderson/Broad
Finn
Wood. (Stokes locked in as allrounder)

Woakes - Jordan - Footitt ? - Plunkett. All fairly even.

So still a chance - only an injury or two away ; but a new generation are on the horizon ...as the Surrey Mafia will remind us Smile

Curran...

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 10:53 am

I'd expect England to move on with their options with the likes of the Currans and Overtons, who have started to crop up in various representative and limited over squads, starting to get call ups to the Test squad in the summer

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by alfie on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 10:56 am

Maybe . Hard to see them getting a Test just yet though , unless one or two of the top men get injured. And the next tour being subcontinental , there won't be too many spots for pace men.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by VTR on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 11:00 am

Yeah, I wouldn't expect them to play, more to get them used to the environment. Saying that, if Wood and Finn are fit for the First Test of the summer, then in a 12 man squad they would be the options with Wood probably missing out on the final 11

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 12:16 pm

Dead rubber defeats are common-place in test cricket and in other sports where one team has nothing really to play for whilst the other has more to gain. As somebody said earlier I think a 2-1 scoreline is fair enough as this was never a whitewash series. South Africa had their moments - just not as many as England.

As for what the future holds you'd think it is the batting line-up that is still under scrutiny as the bowling takes care of itself (Anderson, Broad, Finn and Stokes as the pace attack). Under the most scrutiny is Hales but feel he may get the next series before he is axed but the new regime were quick to axe Bell so who knows? Taylor has flattered at times but his inconsistency with the bat is a worry and many still don't like Bairstow as wicket-keeper/batsman but for me I think his place is safe for now and believe the selectors will see it that way.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by Strings Philander on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 12:53 pm

Well that was a collapse and then some. Fair play to Rabada - great match for him. Hope this is an insight into a bright future for him. Not going to grumble too much - good series victory for England. The jury's out on some players but I'm excited by this team.

I've really enjoyed chatting about the test on here. Sincere thanks for the warm welcome everyone. I'm new to cricket forums so if I break any established etiquette - please let me know. I'll be hanging around.

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Re: SA - England Fourth Test

Post by dummy_half on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 3:51 pm

It's been an interesting series between two teams who are kind of in the same boat - generally pretty solidly stocked on the seam bowling front, a couple of class batsmen apiece and a few questions to answer.

For England, I think you have the following inked on to the team sheet for the start of summer:
1 - Cook
2 -
3 -
4 - Root
5 -
6 - Stokes
7 -
8 - Moeen
9 - Broad
10 - Finn
11 - Anderson

Bairstow will play as well, but with the question of whether as a pure batsman at 5 or a batsman keeper at 7. I suspect Buttler will also come back into the reckoning.
Taylor is likely to keep his place in the side, and I can see him moving up to 3 unless Ballance shows good early season form.
Second opener still a big issue - not sure Compton's any more the answer than Hales, Lyth, Robson etc. A serious chance for someone to stake a claim early in the County season.

It's a pity, because I went into this series thinking that the balance of the top order was good: Cook solid, Hales with a bit of dash, Compton bordering on dour and then Root's busy-ness. Problem is that while the balance was OK, the overall quality wasn't

Wood is a good first reserve seamer, but I think this tour has confirmed what many of us suspected about Woakes - excellent county player and a good ODI player but not quite enough threat as a bowler at Test level. I also don't see him as a good enough batsman to be a credible back-up for Stokes at 6.

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