England in Bangladesh and India - The Winter Tours thread

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 29 Aug 2016, 10:29 pm

First topic message reminder :

A bit early, but with squads due to be announced next week thought I'd start a thread to collate all winter tours news...

Firstly it appears the Bangladesh tour will go ahead despite security concerns. I for one am glad of this, gives England a chance to acclimatise to Asian conditions against an improving Bangladesh outfit (especially as England have no planned tour matches in India)

Secondly - it appears Haseeb Hameed will be getting the nod for Bangladesh according to Nick Hoult - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2016/08/29/england-plan-to-call-up-teenage-opener-haseeb-hameed-for-banglad/

Peoples initial thoughts on that?
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:19 am

The only change that should be contemplated is Ballance for Buttler. People seem to have some sort of issue with rashid, but he bowled just as elk as Batty/Moeen in this game. We know they're not great, but they're just about good enough in this side England put out. The three seamers/three spinners tactic works when they can mostly all bat, so why change it?

We just won a test overseas in spinning conditions where Cook/Root didn't score any runs!
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Post by alfie on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:26 am

Reasonable points , Goose...

But although wickets were , as you say , fairly evenly split , it should be noted that nearly all the top order batsmen , in both innings , fell to spin : and yes , it is also true that the spinners hogged the bowling so it isn't that surprising. Just that despite the disappointing economy figures , the England spinners weren't a complete disaster. The awkward aspect being that the two off spinners comfortably outdid Rashid...and I can't see England going to India without a bit of variety in their spin attack. Especially with Root as the spare being another of the tribe...
Now had they included Borthwick in the party they would have had some sort of alternative Whistle
Suppose if the next pitch isn't such a rank turner (!?) they could go for just two spinners. Bit of a risk though and with the batting spares available I'd question what would be the point ?

As to Hameed I share your reservations : but having brought him on tour I'd imagine they are at least open to the notion of trialling him here with a view to India ; else a Duckett failure next week really leaves them with a leap in the dark or the return of Hales with no acclimatization...
Possible solution Hameed at three this week ? Could at least see what he can do while still giving Duckett another shot at the opener's role (and achieves my plan to get Root back to four ...safety first , ok)
England are often reluctant to change a winning team. But sometimes I think that leaves them guessing when a change becomes essential.

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Post by alfie on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:30 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:The only change that should be contemplated is Ballance for Buttler. People seem to have some sort of issue with rashid, but he bowled just as elk as Batty/Moeen in this game. We know they're not great, but they're just about good enough in this side England put out. The three seamers/three spinners tactic works when they can mostly all bat, so why change it?

We just won a test overseas in spinning conditions where Cook/Root didn't score any runs!

Buttler at four ? Tell me you're joking , Olly ? Or do you want to upset the part of the team that is working by messing around with the Ali/Stokes/Bairstow/Woakes positions ?

I agree with you about the bowlers but we don't need an extra wicketkeeper.

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Post by Stella on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 12:30 pm

England won, so will stay true to the norm, and stick with the same team, and why not? Buttler for Ballance isn't the worst idea, even if Buttler does have a mediocre first class average.
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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 12:44 pm

Praps a call should go out for a Surrey player to join the Test party. Could then have Woakes, Stokes and Foakes in the same side.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 1:49 pm

alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:The only change that should be contemplated is Ballance for Buttler. People seem to have some sort of issue with rashid, but he bowled just as elk as Batty/Moeen in this game. We know they're not great, but they're just about good enough in this side England put out. The three seamers/three spinners tactic works when they can mostly all bat, so why change it?

We just won a test overseas in spinning conditions where Cook/Root didn't score any runs!

Buttler at four ?  Tell me you're joking , Olly ?  Or do you want to upset the part of the team that is working by messing around with the Ali/Stokes/Bairstow/Woakes positions ?

I agree with you about the bowlers but we don't need an extra wicketkeeper.

Nope not joking - could play him as a specialist bat at 4 (let's face it he's more talented and can't do worse than Ballance currently is). Buttler also has a lot more experience in sub continental conditions than the other candidates (albeit in limited overs cricket)

I'm surprised they didn't go with Duckett at 4 and Hameed opening anyways (so that's the only other change I can see happening.)
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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 2:35 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Praps a call should go out for a Surrey player to join the Test party. Could then have Woakes, Stokes and Foakes in the same side.

I'm sure it will happen but not this winter.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 2:47 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:The only change that should be contemplated is Ballance for Buttler. People seem to have some sort of issue with rashid, but he bowled just as elk as Batty/Moeen in this game. We know they're not great, but they're just about good enough in this side England put out. The three seamers/three spinners tactic works when they can mostly all bat, so why change it?

We just won a test overseas in spinning conditions where Cook/Root didn't score any runs!

Buttler at four ?  Tell me you're joking , Olly ?  Or do you want to upset the part of the team that is working by messing around with the Ali/Stokes/Bairstow/Woakes positions ?

I agree with you about the bowlers but we don't need an extra wicketkeeper.

Nope not joking - could play him as a specialist bat at 4 (let's face it he's more talented and can't do worse than Ballance currently is). Buttler also has a lot more experience in sub continental conditions than the other candidates (albeit in limited overs cricket)

I'm surprised they didn't go with Duckett at 4 and Hameed opening anyways (so that's the only other change I can see happening.)

Bayliss has said there won't be any batting changes in Dhaka

All a bit moot now Laugh
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 2:58 pm

Buttler in the test team, no thank you, his technique isn't up to it, he's better off staying as a flat track bully in the limited overs game. Talented players can cut it in the long form not just slog it around in the short game.

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 3:24 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:The only change that should be contemplated is Ballance for Buttler. People seem to have some sort of issue with rashid, but he bowled just as elk as Batty/Moeen in this game. We know they're not great, but they're just about good enough in this side England put out. The three seamers/three spinners tactic works when they can mostly all bat, so why change it?

We just won a test overseas in spinning conditions where Cook/Root didn't score any runs!

Buttler at four ?  Tell me you're joking , Olly ?  Or do you want to upset the part of the team that is working by messing around with the Ali/Stokes/Bairstow/Woakes positions ?

I agree with you about the bowlers but we don't need an extra wicketkeeper.

Nope not joking - could play him as a specialist bat at 4 (let's face it he's more talented and can't do worse than Ballance currently is). Buttler also has a lot more experience in sub continental conditions than the other candidates (albeit in limited overs cricket)

I'm surprised they didn't go with Duckett at 4 and Hameed opening anyways (so that's the only other change I can see happening.)

For the Test just finished, like Olly I would have gone with a top four (in order) of Cook, Hameed, Root and Duckett. Anyway, as we know, that's not how things went and, fair to say, Ballance failed to justify his selection at number 4.

Now there's no suggestion from me that Ballance is or should be undroppable. However, I don't feel it's straightforward as to who would replace him. Certainly there are potential issues with several of the contenders.

Hameed - as far as I'm aware - is very much an opener. Whilst I guess he could be fitted in at 3 (once more moving Root around), I don't see him at 4. If Hameed opened, that would presumably send Duckett down to 4. Whilst that's what I and Olly originally expected, doesn't Duckett now deserve at least a little run as an opener having been chosen in that role for the first Test? Also, is it right that Cook should have to put up with being paired immediately with a new partner due to Ballance's failures?

I wouldn't rule Buttler out as a batsman but 4 does seem high. Maybe Moeen could go up to 4 and Buttler come in at 5. That gives us Moeen, Buttler, Stokes and Bairstow from 4 to 7 - could be entertaining and destructive or just self-destructive.

A counterweight to the above would be to consider Ansari very much as a batsman and play him somewhere between 4 and 6. As the Corporal has remarked before, his run rate is glacial but he has experience (at least in 4 day cricket) of batting time which - if he were able to do here - could wear out the opposition bowlers and allow the biffers to come to the party later on. I guess the question is - is he actually good enough to do that? If he is, you've then got at least one spinner too many - so drop one of them and bring back Ballance!!  Very Happy

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Post by SimonofSurrey on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 3:56 pm

Whoa guildford - this is becoming a Surrey thread by default. So, in that spirit:

Ansari, if he comes in, should not bat above 7 in his first Test.
If we go down to one r/h offbreak bowler to accommodate Ansari, then out goes Batty
The best longer form of the game w/k bat in the country is Foakes

2nd Test team should have Hameed in for Ballance, with Duckett ideally at three then Root, with three places to be shared among Woakes/Batty/Rashid/Ansari (but might not Rolling Eyes )

In sum, conservative choice is an unchanged, winning team. Horses for courses "make the opposition think" choice sees Hameed and Ansari in for Ballance and one of Woakes/Batty/Rashid.

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 4:20 pm

Simon - you're not really the man to agree with me here although you probably will  Wink, but I thought Batty did just a bit better than ok in his first Test for eleven years. Some of his deliveries were a bit short and slow (and rightly got punished) but he generally seemed to be improving as the game went on.

His four match wickets were important ones and resulted from good balls. Thought he should have been kept on longer and bowled more yesterday following his two wickets in quick succession. The England seamers do deserve credit but I feel the hard yards put in by Batty and his three wicket haul yesterday, the best of any England bowler in Bangladesh's second innings, aren't quite getting sufficient recognition. 

For the second Test, he would be in my team along with Moeen before Rashid. Even though a leggie would provide a better mix on paper, it's what happens out in the middle that matters and I would trust Batty more.

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Post by wisden on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 5:08 pm

desperately hoping Ballance gets dropped..the guy's hopeless, no idea how his f/c record is so good...always looks horribly out of nick...would like to see Duckett moved to 4, with Hammed in to open.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 6:13 pm

A bloke who averages 40+ in Tests (yes, still) with 4 hundreds and a FC average of 47 clearly isn't 'hopeless'. Whether he is good enough for Test cricket is a different question and whether he is good enough for Test cricket in challenging, turning, sub continental conditions is another question again! I'd say not, but he certainly isn't hopeless.

I am surprised there will be no changes for T2. Leaves them in a tough spot if Ballance fails again for India. I'd go Buttler tbh, ridiculously talented guy - throw him in and hope he works it out.

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Post by wisden on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:01 pm

Na not Buttler as a frontline batsmen...for me if Buttler plays, then he keeps, and bats 7, with Bairstow at 5....Duckett for me, comes in for Ballance, with Hameed opening

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:36 pm

Not doubting you guys for a moment about no changes for the second Test but where are you getting that from? Saw Bayliss on Sky this morning shortly after the match was over. He was asked about Ballance and seemed rather non-committal then. He also failed to give any assurance about the number of spinners for the next Test, suggesting quite reasonably that they would need to have a good look at the track first.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 8:15 pm

The talk before the Tests was that Dhaka would not spin as much as Chittagong, so I wouldn't be a shock to see them go with four seamers. It would be a no brainer if Wood was fit, with his reverse swing/extra pace - slightly more debate about it now though.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 8:51 pm

Anssari and Buttler at 4?
Silly season

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 9:44 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Not doubting you guys for a moment about no changes for the second Test but where are you getting that from? Saw Bayliss on Sky this morning shortly after the match was over. He was asked about Ballance and seemed rather non-committal then. He also failed to give any assurance about the number of spinners for the next Test, suggesting quite reasonably that they would need to have a good look at the track first.

There's a few clips of Bayliss speaking tweeted out by BBC TMS in which he basically says no to 4 spinners (literally says I dunno when the 4th would get a bowl) and there is unlikely to be any changes after one test (which they won)

Not categoric - but certainly suggesting an unchanged XI
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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:38 pm

Ok, thanks, Olly.

PS Thought mention of Ansari at 4 - or at least somewhere between 4 and 6 - would elicit a response from Gooseberry Towers - not disappointed!  Wink

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Post by alfie on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 12:29 am

Can't really see them picking four spinners so if Ansari is to play it will surely be a straight swap with Rashid. And not likely to bat at four Smile

I am puzzled however at the support hinted at on here by normally rational posters for Buttler as a batsman (at 4 , even!) I , too , admire what the man can do in limited over cricket ; and he may yet adjust to the longer game , as keeper/batsman or conceivably without the gloves ...eventually.
But what on earth has he ever done , up to now , in red ball cricket to suggest he belongs anywhere near England's top six in a Test Match ? Ballance may be struggling ; but he does , as JD points out , have some past form at least.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 8:46 am

Positives

1 We won
2 Moeen - hopefully this will continue. He is a batter who can bowl and should be used as such. He may have an issue with good quality short pitched stuff (but then so do most) but for now his place in the middle order is surely set.
3 Stokes - the man was immense.
4 Bairstow - his batting we know about, but along with fellow ginge Stokes his application to the spinners was a new development. However it is his keeping that gets him here. Kept outstandingly well to the spinners and was much neater than his opposite number.



Negatives

1) We almost lost to a Bangladesh team playing it's first test in ages.
2) Top order batting
3) The spinners. All of them were pretty poor. For much of the game the commentators were praising Rashid for being the best of a bad bunch but being unlucky, but when it really mattered in the latter part of the second innings he was woeful. Batty and Moeen were no better.
4) Dharmasena Review System.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 9:28 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Not doubting you guys for a moment about no changes for the second Test but where are you getting that from? Saw Bayliss on Sky this morning shortly after the match was over. He was asked about Ballance and seemed rather non-committal then. He also failed to give any assurance about the number of spinners for the next Test, suggesting quite reasonably that they would need to have a good look at the track first.

There's a few clips of Bayliss speaking tweeted out by BBC TMS in which he basically says no to 4 spinners (literally says I dunno when the 4th would get a bowl) and there is unlikely to be any changes after one test (which they won)

Not categoric - but certainly suggesting an unchanged XI

They bowled 4 spinners in the last game #justsaying


But yeah the only way it would happen is if two of them were Moeen and deemed better than any of the specialist batting options available, which is only going to happen if you have the word "Guilford" or " Surrey" in your name Whistle

They certainly arent going to get in on their bowling, if you werent in the top 3 picks from a country thats struggling to find one who genuinely demands a place on bowling alone then its pretty much a given that the capatin adn selectors dont have that much faith in your bowling abilities.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 5:53 pm

BBC TMS now reporting that Broad is expected to be rested for the Dhaka test, and Agnew has suggested in his column that Ansari is coming in for Ballance

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 6:27 pm

Daily Mail reporting it'll be Finn, Ball and Ansari in for Broad, Woakes and Batty
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Post by alfie on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 5:14 am

Sounds as if they're all guessing , then... apparently based on comments (mainly from Cook) that a bit of rotation was likely.

It does make sense from an overall viewpoint to rotate the seam bowlers - but leaving out two first choice bowlers looks risky given the obvious improvement in Bangladesh.
To be honest , I wouldn't be surprised if Woakes were rested , as he is playing in all formats (so is Stokes ! Can't see him being rested) but surely not Broad and Batty as well ?
A debut for Ansari is maybe on the cards at last. Hope he can avoid breaking a finger/falling down the hotel steps/ catching a nasty virus this week Smile

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 8:05 am

Well looks like its names put of a hat time in the press like it is on here.

If the only change were ansari for balance that really wouldnt seem to make any sense to me. 4 spinners plus Root and 3 seamers is a touch bowler heavy. Its not like Ansari is a great batsman, in the all rounder category but not quite an Ali. ...and hed be replacing a guy whos test average is still above 40 despite his recent troubles. 1 game and your dropped seems a bit revolving door too. Its the sort of change that makes you wonder if the selectors and captain are all on the same page.
Ansari in and one or more of stokes and woakes rested with batty also dropping out and the reserve seamers being used makes more sense in terms if balancing a side. But not strengthening it.

Theres certainly is a strong argument for giving stokes a break. Broad rotating out though seems a bit odder unless he has a niggle.

Going straight into a long series with India does mean they have to use the squad, but winning games is also a thing.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 8:10 am

Bayliss quoted in the Times as saying that the batters will stay the same but there will be rotation amongst the bowlers. Their guess is taht Finn and Ball will replace Woakes and Broad - but looks like a guess only. Bayliss was quite clear that he was not resting Stokes (for fear of being hit Very Happy)

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 8:11 am

Seems like Ansari is definitely playing
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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 8:35 am

I read in Viz that Cook is out for Hameed.

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Post by VTR on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 8:58 am

Seems a bit complacent changing the team when the first Test was only won by a few runs

Is Woakes tired? - didn't he bowl about 15 overs in the whole of the last match? We couldn't really trust Finn to keep an end tight in the same way that Broad would do

Any suggestions of Ansari coming in must be a replacement for Rashid if it happened - he isn't anywhere near good enough to bat in the top 6 in a Test

Oh well, a bit of speculation is always fun

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 9:13 am

VTR...I think theres a general plan to rotate the seamers over the winter. Its a pretty heavy load going straight form one test series into another for those that are also members of the limited overs squads. Given the number of injuries that have already dogged the squad you can see the value in it....espeiclaly with Anderson screwed and apparently out even longer now.
Broad seems odd on the surface as hes barely played so far and has mostly been bowling his leg cutters barely above 80mph. But then he is held together by sticky tape. Woakes too as you point out has played a lot of games but hasnt actually bowled that much ... less that 50 overs in total over 6 games isnt that much, but they are asking him to bowl hard and full pace. Its a bit baffling on the surface to be so insitent that Stokes must play regardless when others who have spent less time in the middle are rested, but theres usually some data attached to all this.

I think the real thing here is to make sure everyones had a bowl before the India series and that everyone (except Stokes) is given the best chance of being in reasonable fitness. Its highly unlikley that they will get through that series without the need for rotation or injury change.

I guess overall theyd rather take a risk on screwing up a Bangladesh test  than the India series, and are showing some trust in their reserves to deliver against a relatively weak opposition as they did in the limited over games (well to a point). Bangladesh arent a walk over side at home currently but they are still one of the poorer test teams overall. Its typically Englandish to focus on the marquee series and screw up the "minor" tours.  Too many tests? Maybe.

It could leave them open to accusations of arrogance and follishness though. But that happens whatever England do.


*Edit .. I caveat this entire post with " if that particular set of specultaion regarding selection is correct

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Post by VTR on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 10:51 am

Well we will have to see what happens and what rotations means. If its genuine rotation then there'll be changes during the India series, or it will look more like resting players against Bangladesh so they are ready for India - though I would question how anyone could be more ready by not playing

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 10:58 am

Stokes hasn't been back from a couple of injuries that long to be fair, so will probably be fresher than Woakes, who's been playing non stop since the beginning of the summer. Similarly Broad may be a Test specialist, but again hasn't missed a game for a bit, so may be nearing the "red zone". I know it's trendy to disregard experts, but if the data suggests Broad needs a rest than it might be better to be safe than sorry: with Anderson wobbling we can't afford to lose Broad for the India series. Having said that I'd be loathe to rest both of them at once, which also weakens the batting significantly (though somewhat mitigated if say Ansari comes in for Batty).

I think sticking with the batting line-up makes sense. Like others on here I would have picked Hameed to open with Duckett at four, but having made the call they did, the selectors should back their choices for more than one Test.

Regarding the spinners I think they did about as expected. Rashid bowled quite nicely at times but still bowls too many loose ones. Moeen's bowling has stagnated, though thankfully his batting has prospered, so maybe he needs to be stuck to that role of a batsman who bowls rather than the other way round. Batty provided a solid, dependable option: he won't often roll through sides but he won't let you down either, and offers more control. I don't think England will drop Rashid, so if they want to bring in Ansari then Batty is most at risk you feel, particularly, as I pointed out above, if rotating the seamers weakens the batting. Unfair? Possibly, given Batty was probably the best of the spinners in the first game, but international cricket isn't really about fairness. Nor is it about picking your best XI players, it's about picking the best team...

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 11:21 am

Hi MfC - no issues with your comments about unfairness and the need to pick your best XI. We've discussed and agreed about that before.

However, on the basis that Ansari comes in, you don't appear to give any real consideration to dropping* Rashid rather than Batty  - any reason for that? Thanks.

* Edit: leaving out is probably the more correct term to use. Smile


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Post by alfie on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 11:43 am

Guildford ...I think MFC alluded to the reason : if you are resting Number 8 (Woakes) for an 11 (Finn or Ball) then Ansari can compensate by doing the opposite with Batty...
If he replaces Rashid you don't get that.

Think he also feels that England would be reluctant to dispense with their wrist spinner at this stage in his development - with half an eye on the Indian trip.
Not so sure about that , myself.  But I am just a little twitchy about a tail of Finn Batty Ball.

Think I'd go Ansari and Ball/Finn for Rashid and Woakes ...but nothing they do will totally shock me.

Is anyone else mildly disappointed they didn't add a batting reinforcement for the India tour ? I am uneasy over the paucity of reserves...though they have plenty of spare bowlers.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 12:06 pm

Hi guildford.

A few reasons, though I'll agree none are all that convincing on their own.

1) As Alfie says, if Woakes is being rested then you might want to consider strengthening the batting. A tail of Ansari/Rashid, Broad, Batty and Finn/Ball isn't particularly weak, but neither is it all that strong, whereas if you have Ansari, Rashid, Broad and Finn/Ball that's very handy. I appreciate a bowler's job is primarily to bowl, but with England's dodgy top order their strong lower order is an important part of their balance. See point about picking the best team: you decide if Rashid's extra runs and time at the crease (and he scored some useful ones in the first innings in the first Test) are worth giving away a bit of control with the ball. This becomes even more of a concern if you rest both Woakes and Broad, leaving a potential tail of Finn, Batty and Ball, which feels long.

EDIT: per guildford's next post, I'll admit I've seen little of Ansari's batting (oddly I've seen more of his bowling, and he's also a sharp fielder IIRC). If as guildford reckons he's better than Woakes with the bat (and like guildford I rate Woakes highly as a batsman) then I'd be less concerned with having more of a tail after him.

2) Balance of the bowling attack. With Batty, Ansari and Ali you have three finger spinners (two offies and a left-armer). It's not a huge difference from the last game admittedly, but you lose Rashid's variations also: Ali seems to have given up on his doosra, while as far as I know Ansari and Batty are both very orthodox finger spinners. I get that Ali and Batty are very different styles of off-spinner, but for me I would prefer the added variety of the wrist spin option in there.

3) Development. OK this one is slightly at odds with my previous view of picking the best team, which implies you pick the best combination available for every match. However, I also think building towards the future cannot be completely disregarded. Rashid has clearly - from his ODI performances - improved a fair bit as a bowler over the last year or so. I'd argue that part of that improvement is bowling at the higher level of international cricket, so that he's had to improve. I feel leaving him out after he's bowled OK in a Test could be a bit of a blow to him at this stage of his development. If, as it seems, England are looking at Ali as a batsman who bowls, they may well want to look at Rashid as their main spinner going forward. I feel he would benefit from a run of games, and the chance to get to feel he really belongs at this level.


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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 12:13 pm

Hi Alfie - I don't claim Batty is a better bat than Rashid but he (Batty) is arguably the best number eleven England have had in recent decades. Normally at number 9 for Surrey and one Championship ton this season just gone.

Before bringing their batting into the mix, I would far more concentrate on contrasting what Batty and Rashid bring to the table with the ball.

I take your point about the tail but I wouldn't get too wound up about that. Other than Stokes, I would say that Ansari is the best batsman of all the regular bowlers (including Woakes whom I've vouched for with the bat for several years) and so his inclusion should help to offset any weaknesses further down the order.

Agree with you about the lack of reserves. We seem a middle order batsman light. I touched on this a few days ago when querying on this thread who could replace Ballance.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 12:27 pm

The only middle order players who I can think of coming in would be Roy, Vince, Borthwick...? None of them exactly screaming they should be picked
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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 12:31 pm

Going to throw a wild punt out there: Billings?

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 12:41 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Hi guildford.

A few reasons, though I'll agree none are all that convincing on their own.

1) As Alfie says, if Woakes is being rested then you might want to consider strengthening the batting. A tail of Ansari/Rashid, Broad, Batty and Finn/Ball isn't particularly weak, but neither is it all that strong, whereas if you have Ansari, Rashid, Broad and Finn/Ball that's very handy. I appreciate a bowler's job is primarily to bowl, but with England's dodgy top order their strong lower order is an important part of their balance. See point about picking the best team: you decide if Rashid's extra runs and time at the crease (and he scored some useful ones in the first innings in the first Test) are worth giving away a bit of control with the ball. This becomes even more of a concern if you rest both Woakes and Broad, leaving a potential tail of Finn, Batty and Ball, which feels long.

EDIT: per guildford's next post, I'll admit I've seen little of Ansari's batting (oddly I've seen more of his bowling, and he's also a sharp fielder IIRC). If as guildford reckons he's better than Woakes with the bat (and like guildford I rate Woakes highly as a batsman) then I'd be less concerned with having more of a tail after him.

2) Balance of the bowling attack. With Batty, Ansari and Ali you have three finger spinners (two offies and a left-armer). It's not a huge difference from the last game admittedly, but you lose Rashid's variations also: Ali seems to have given up on his doosra, while as far as I know Ansari and Batty are both very orthodox finger spinners. I get that Ali and Batty are very different styles of off-spinner, but for me I would prefer the added variety of the wrist spin option in there.

3) Development. OK this one is slightly at odds with my previous view of picking the best team, which implies you pick the best combination available for every match. However, I also think building towards the future cannot be completely disregarded. Rashid has clearly - from his ODI performances - improved a fair bit as a bowler over the last year or so. I'd argue that part of that improvement is bowling at the higher level of international cricket, so that he's had to improve. I feel leaving him out after he's bowled OK in a Test could be a bit of a blow to him at this stage of his development. If, as it seems, England are looking at Ali as a batsman who bowls, they may well want to look at Rashid as their main spinner going forward. I feel he would benefit from a run of games, and the chance to get to feel he really belongs at this level.

Thanks, MfC. This came in whilst I was still finishing my post to Alfie.

Your points certainly have some validity even if, as you say with characteristic honesty, they are not totally convincing on their own. Just the odd comment in the same order.

1. I wouldn't look to leave out / rest both Woakes and Broad for this second Test. Particularly given we came within a whisker of losing on Monday, I feel that would be too much to potentially cope with so soon. One of them should play.
Ansari's a good and patient batsman. Generally unruffled, often described as ''a thinking cricketer'' which sums up well his approach to all aspects of the game. If he needs to biff for the team in the white ball game, he'll do so. However, his natural tendency is to be slow and protect his wicket; I make that comment for info rather than as any particular plus or minus point; however it may be worth bearing in mind - it's also why I wouldn't rule him out of going a bit higher up the order than is generally being suggested.

2. Appreciate your point about the added variety of the wrist spin option. All I would say here is that the extra variety will not be much of a strength if it is not good enough. That reflects my reservations / bias about Rashid which may or may not be valid. You are right about Batty and Ansari being very orthodox.

3. Development. Hmmm. Yes. But hasn't Batty been chosen for this tour on a horses for courses basis?


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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 12:59 pm

Guildford, genuine question: how much of Rashid's bowling in limited overs cricket have you watched over the last year or so? I ask this, because I wonder if your perception of him is somewhat down to his performance in the UAE last year, where he admittedly wasn't very good. To my eyes, he's much improved since, he's a bit less loopy, and generally more consistent. He also has more confidence in his variations (I felt he badly underused the googly in the UAE for instance). Of course, it may be that he's more suited to the white ball stuff (see also, Imran Tahir), but I do feel his form and the way he's been bowling have earned him another crack at Test cricket.

Re Ansari's batting, thanks for the insight. I'd be perfectly happy for England to have another more "solid" player, we have enough free scoring batsmen, though Ali, Stokes and Bairstow all showed they could adapt to difficult conditions in the previous Test. As to where he'd bat, if he bats higher than 8 that means one of Ali, Bairstow or Stokes has to bat 8, which feels low for them (albeit Ali has batted there a fair bit of course). Then again, it might be low for Ansari too, I simply don't know.

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 3:26 pm

Hi again MfC - the question is fair enough and, although I haven't seen that much of Rashid's bowling in the last year, I certainly acknowledge he's improved. There do though still seem too many bad balls in his spells. That's probably at the heart of my concern. The good Test batsmen can concentrate on blocking out most of his bowling, secure in the knowledge there'll be a gimme along before too long. That contrasts with the white ball stuff where the batsmen have to try and keep the score regularly ticking and are more likely to fall doing so; your example of Imran Tahir and his success in that format but not in Tests is a very good one.

The above also gives me some sympathy for Cook as captain. He was criticised for being too defensive in his field settings for Rashid's bowling. However, unless he's got a lot of runs to play with, Cook's in a difficult position if he can't (sufficiently) rely upon Rashid. And if Cook can't, Rashid's place has to be questioned.

I think it was Olly who mentioned Rashid's ability to go through the tail. That's probably valid and seems to work at Yorks a lot of the time. However, it seems a bit of a luxury at Test level to pick a bowler for that main purpose.

Also, you mentioned development earlier. I'm all for development as regards any player. However, what future role are we expecting Rashid to fulfil once fully developed? England's cricket history to date suggests strongly that pitches and conditions in England are unhelpful for leg spin bowling. That doesn't mean we should look a gift horse in the mouth if there is one there or even abandon Raashid if we are simply unsure about him. However, I feel it needs to be recognised that the odds are against him being the success some are expecting / hoping for.

As always, happy to be proved wrong. We can only hope to learn about this game, never master it.

Assuming Ansari plays, I agree that number 8 seems most likely for him given who else is expected to be in the team. Yes, that may be a bit low but, as I've said, he's smart and that won't be an issue for him. In the unlikely event of an opening batsmen being injured (that seemed to happen more in olden days when I was first watching!), Ansari would be a fine guy to fill in and not disrupt the rest of the order.

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Post by wisden on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 5:54 pm

Bonkers that Ansari is batting above Woakes and Rashid...he averages less than them in f/c cricket..

Also Woakes averages more in test cricket, than Ansari does in f/c cricket

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Post by SimonofSurrey on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 7:47 pm

alfie:"But I am just a little twitchy about a tail of Finn Batty Ball."

True, we can't afford a tail at both ends of the batting order picard

Gooseberry - how dare you suggest that sign in names including 'guildford' or 'Surrey' imply an irrational preference for playing Batty, Ansari, Roy, Foakes and both Currans in the Second Test? The cheek of the man.

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 7:57 pm

Simon - you've never liked Meaker, have you? Wink

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 9:41 pm

Nothing irrational about that Simon, im just confused as to why you wouldnt play Davies and Tremlett.
Meaker we all agree is sub standard.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 9:46 pm

Imagine a tail of willey, wood, ball
*straight face*

Beed is now reporting ansari for batty and possibly broad for ball or wood.

Which seems more reasonable.

More variation in the spin department. Slight strengthening of the batting.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 10:59 pm

Guildford. I don't think I disagree with much of that, and it's not something I'm particularly fussed about either way, but I would like to see Rashid given a bit of a run to see if he can transfer his ODI form to the Test arena. It may be as you say that in Tests batsmen's abilities to wait for the bad ball make him less effective, but I'd like to see that put to the test (haha Sorry ) in a run of games.

BBC reporting that England players were congratulating Ansari after practice, which does suggest he's being brought in. I quite like Ansari as a cricketer from what I've seen of him (oddly more batting and fielding - see above). I would agree that he seems a good thinking cricketer, which is always useful. I think he'll do well. Other than that seems mostly guesswork (with batting unchanged), though it's expected one of Broad and Woakes will be rested. Cricinfo suggest Finn and Ansari for Batty and Broad, but doesn't seem definite by any stretch.

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Post by Jetty on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 1:47 am

Overs bowled in all forms in 2016 so far

Ball 568.3
Woakes 549.1 (last year 314.0)
Finn 525.1
Broad 504.4
Stokes 423.0

Woakes must be near the red zone but they won't want to drop him because of his batting.

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