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Post by alfie on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:44 am

First topic message reminder :

LivinginItaly wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:Does anyone really see Stokes as a genuine top 5 batsman?

(That comment will no doubt lead to a splendidly crafted century)

Top 5 no. Number 6 yes.

He will be back at six when they leave India and revert to a normal team balance ...ie just five bowlers. But it is probably a necessary evil on this tour.
In this case , five and six turned out to be virtually identical anyway Smile

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 12:14 am

Goose - it wasn't meant to be the cricketing equivalent of rocket science.

If a batsman can go big, you're more likely to win a match. Even with your usual desire to provoke a squabble in an empty room, I'm surprised you can dispute that.

In this series we've actually ended up with more fifties to date than India. 12 to their 9. However,  that hasn't prevented us going 3-0 down. What has been more significant from a batting perspective is their 7 centuries to our 5 and in particular Kohli's daddy ones which have played a major part in two of their wins.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:09 am

JDizzle wrote:
king_carlos wrote:The only way I can see Moeen keeping a regular place as a batsmen is if Bairstow remains keeper and batting at 7.

I can't see Bayliss asking Bairstow to both bat in the top 5 and keep, it will burn him out. If he's in the top 5 it will be as a specialist batsman. Buttler might get the test gloves back in that situation at least short term, Bayliss rates him in all formats. I'd prefer a better keeper - Foakes is favourite there.

I also can't see Stokes regularly batting above 6 when his bowling is so important to the side. Plus his batting is better suited to lower down the order.

1.Cook
2.Hameed
3.Jennings
4.Root
5.Moeen
6.Stokes
7.Bairstow (wk)
8.Rashid
9.Woakes/Wood/Ball
10.Broad
11.Anderson

Or

1.Cook
2.Hameed
3.Jennings
4.Root
5.Bairstow
6.Stokes
7.Buttler/Foakes (wk)
8.Moeen/Rashid
9.Woakes/Wood/Ball
10.Broad
11.Anderson


I reckon one of those two XIs will be the make-up of the side for start of the summer.

As for the skipper, Cook finally has a decent break from Test duty after the 5th test to ponder that. I could see him handing it over. Following the break, a summer in home conditions to finish on a high might appeal to him though.

Alternative 3 (which I don't think will be taken) could be keeping Bairstow at 7 and finding another middle order batsman. Joe Clarke is a hell of a young player.

That is more the side I would prefer to see this summer, for several reasons. Keaton doesn't convince me yet, despite his 100 in the first innings. Compared to Hameed, he just didn't 'look the part' despite scoring a ton. But he deserves a go.

Bairstow is wasted at 7, so needs to bat top 5 for me. And I think it will be a struggle to do that for a period of time whilst keeping. That means Foakes or Buttler in to keep wicket and Buttler deserves first shot.

Moeen is not a long term solution in the top 6. Too many airy dismissals and he has an obvious weakness against the short ball, which makes me think he will never be a bloke to average 40+ in Tests. But I do feel he is a better option with the ball in English conditions than Rashid - not really a comment on Moeen's ability, more condemnation of what I think Rashid can do in England in Tests.

Sorry to risk Olly's wrath too, but still not convinced by Woakes in Tests! I know he had a brilliant summer last year, but I like what I have seen from Jake Ball. Think he is more likely to trouble good players in the long run. But again, accept Woakes will be starting this summer - barring injury.

And there is no point debating Cook stepping down now, South Africa are over this summer so he should rightly follow in the long tradition of retiring during or after a South Africa series.

Blasphemous Dizzle, blasphemous. Sir Chris was the reason we didn't lose the Pakistan series this summer
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Post by LivinginItaly on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:21 am

My team would be

Cook
Hameed
Jennings
root (captain)
Bairstow
stokes
foakes / Buttler (wk)
Woakes
leach (we know what Ali and Rashid offer...see if leach offers more)
Broad
Anderson

the alternative option would be to have Bairstow as the wicketkeeper batting at 6 or 7 with a specialist batsman at 5 (not buttler).

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:33 am

Guilford...I know...I just saw the opportunity to make a silly point.
That said I'd still rather have a player who made 50 every innings than one who got a double century early in his career against Bangladesh and traded off it for years (no Mr Bell I didn't mean you *cough*).
Overall India scored a heck of a lot more runs per wicket ....England may have had more 50s but that's very misleading, they played a whole extra innings in the last test!
For me it doesn't matter so much how the runs are distributed...it's how many per wicket you can get.

For openers in particular I'd see a reliable 50 plus most times player as being really important. Their job is to set up the middle order flash gits with a level of comfort and see off the new ball and best bowlers. Obviously going on to make 150 plus is a nice bonus but a player who gets out for single figures most times and just does that once in a while isn't much use except as a luxury down the order ( stokes and Ali I see in this category, they are capable of big hundreds but most of the time get out for low scores...hence their mediocre averages).

I do agree though that in general you can tell the difference between a good batsman and a great one by their defining innings, and it on fair wickets it does usually take one or more players to make a big score in winning a game.
It also requires the bowlers to take some wickets though, and that's been every bit if not more of a problem for England to do consistently. They had a reasonable position on the latest game then absolutely shat a day with the ball which had a far bigger outcome on the game than Jennings "only" scoring 112 IMO.

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:56 am

Gooseberry wrote:Guilford...I know...I just saw the opportunity to make a silly point.
That said I'd still rather have a player who made 50 every innings than one who got a double century early in his career against Bangladesh and traded off it for years (no Mr Bell I didn't mean you *cough*).
Overall India scored a heck of a lot more runs per wicket ....England may have had more 50s but that's very misleading, they played a whole extra innings in the last test!
For me it doesn't matter so much how the runs are distributed...it's how many per wicket you can get.  

For openers in particular I'd see a reliable 50 plus most times player as being really important. Their job is to set up the middle order flash gits with a level of comfort and see off the new ball and best bowlers. Obviously going on to make 150 plus is a nice bonus but a player who gets out for single figures most times and just does that once in a while isn't much use except as a luxury down the order ( stokes and Ali  I see in this category, they are capable of big hundreds but most of the time get out for low scores...hence their mediocre averages).

I do agree though that in general you can tell the difference between a good batsman and a great one by their defining innings, and it on fair wickets it does usually take one or more players to make a big score in winning a game.
It also requires the bowlers to take some wickets though, and that's been every bit if not more of a problem for England to do consistently. They had a reasonable position  on the latest game then absolutely shat a day with the ball which had a far bigger outcome on the game than Jennings "only" scoring 112 IMO.

Goose - you'll probably be horrified to know that you're in agreement with Stewart there. He's regularly banging on about the importance of partnerships too. Smile


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Post by VTR on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 9:15 am

I think the key point is about reliability. Moeen and Stokes are good examples - very much shot a ball rather than play themselves in, though Stokes seems to be improving, Moeen arguably regressing in that respect

I think players have a fair chance of getting out at any time - an 80 might seem like a hundred went begging but the longer a batsman is in, the more likely a mistake becomes or the bowler finds the ball with their name on. Let's be honest, 150s are pretty rare, 200s even more so for a reason

Main issue with England at the moment is a lot of them get out so many times to less than good balls trying the next big shot. More patience required as the ability is actually there for most of them - players like Stokes and Buttler actually have a good defence when they need to use it

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 9:23 am

JDizzle wrote:
...
That is more the side I would prefer to see this summer, for several reasons. Keaton doesn't convince me yet, despite his 100 in the first innings. Compared to Hameed, he just didn't 'look the part' despite scoring a ton. But he deserves a go.

Bairstow is wasted at 7, so needs to bat top 5 for me. And I think it will be a struggle to do that for a period of time whilst keeping. That means Foakes or Buttler in to keep wicket and Buttler deserves first shot.

Moeen is not a long term solution in the top 6. Too many airy dismissals and he has an obvious weakness against the short ball, which makes me think he will never be a bloke to average 40+ in Tests. But I do feel he is a better option with the ball in English conditions than Rashid - not really a comment on Moeen's ability, more condemnation of what I think Rashid can do in England in Tests.

Sorry to risk Olly's wrath too, but still not convinced by Woakes in Tests! I know he had a brilliant summer last year, but I like what I have seen from Jake Ball. Think he is more likely to trouble good players in the long run. But again, accept Woakes will be starting this summer - barring injury.

And there is no point debating Cook stepping down now, South Africa are over this summer so he should rightly follow in the long tradition of retiring during or after a South Africa series.

JD - some good individual comments there.

A century first time out for Jennings. He unquestionably deserves a go. However, like you imply, I wouldn't be inking his name in for the next couple of years quite yet. Before his ton, he should have been caught on 0 and was then fortunate to survive an lbw review on umpire's call on 10. Had he not got away with both those chances, I suspect his selection for the last Test would now be being widely condemned following his golden duck second innings. Fine lines. Not saying he won't go on to have a successful Test career (and watching on highlights only, I thought he looked pretty assured as his first knock went on) but a touch of caution is probably appropriate.

Genuine question - do we know how good Buttler's keeping is these days? Bairstow has improved immensely in the last year but was awful before that. We don't want to have a ''Bairstow Mark 1'' behind the sticks.

Even though I gather Rashid has outbowled Ashwin in this series, I still share your doubts and more.

Woakes should be a very valuable component of this team but even Olly will be hard pressed to defend his performances in this current series. 3 wickets at 81 each and averaging 14 with the bat.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 10:50 am

Of course all this will go out the window the minute a Surrey player takes a couple of wickets or scores an early season hundred ( sorry 150)

Joking aside there probably will be scope for another quick to get a chance even if Woakes (fairly) retains his place after a poor tour. It's increasingly rare for Anderson and Broad to bit fit on any given day, and two / three spinners won't be a thing.
So the mighty Curran brothers could build on their glories in the UAE this winter and get a sniff.

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 11:39 am

For the two (four day and one day matches) Lions series in Sri Lanka early 2017, nearly all the bowlers coming from Surrey, Middlesex and Somerset.

The Currans from Goose's favourite mafiosa in both squads.

Other bowlers in both squads are Roland-Jones and Rayner (as mentioned rather dismissively by me in a thread here a couple of days ago) and Craig Overton of Somerset.

Somerset's Leach is in the 4 day squad along with Middlesex's Tom Helm but neither are named in the one day squad.

Bowlers only in the one day squad are Middlesex's James Fuller and breaking the grip of the above 3 counties, Josh Poysden, a leggie from Warwickshire.

I don't see any of the above immediately crying out for Test selection.

The guy we would all like to see back in serious contention for a Test place is surely Durham's Wood although his fitness is a major concern. I do have doubts about him because of that although very much hope that I am wrong.






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Post by alfie on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 12:02 pm

I see we are into full on future selection mode now that the last Test of the tour is a Very Dead Rubber...

And it really will be a time to start anew - some of what has gone on in India can be ignored ; some not.

Personally prefer Cook to remain in charge for now but that really will be up to his state of mind.
Cannot quite agree with the statement made by several posters that "Bairstow is wasted at seven" : if he gets a century at seven surely that is just as good as getting one at five ? And - so far - he seems to have found it easier to do so.(While improving with the gloves , as guildford - one of his former critics - has acknowledged). To move him up to five only gains if we accept that we aren't about to unearth a serviceable number five specialist - and/or Buttler , Foakes or someone steps in at number seven and starts making comparable scores. Not saying it isn't possible ; just that YJB at seven helps to make Stokes at six (with the advantages that gives to the attack) viable.
Moeen getting a lot of stick : yes his bowling has slipped and his batting is variable : but I agree with JD he is probably a better option at home than Rashid...and he both fields and bats better.  And might bat more reliably if he weren't hopping up and down the order every week.
Jennings showed promise and I reckon has earned a start. But as guildford pointed out he might easily have had a pair on debut...jury still out.
My team for the summer is
Cook Hameed Jennings Root (the form man at five) Stokes Bairstow Moeen Woakes Broad Anderson ...with Wood and Ball handy as alternative quicks.
The only mystery is the identity of that pesky number five...Which is why I say "the form man" . picking Hameed and Jennings on weight of runs hasn't exactly been a disaster : might not early season runs dictate that spot too ? Edit : Unless that means Bopara Smile
Of course someone will get injured anyway but that is what I'd be looking towards.

For Friday maybe Dawson will get a run. And Broad of course plays if he's fit...but unfortunately there aren't the right pieces to complete that jigsaw...

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 12:55 pm

Another leg spinner? They are flipping obsessed with finding the new ian salisbury arent they.

Currans making both squads suggests that their stock is quite high and one may well get a debut in some form of cricket if they make the most of the sri lanka trip.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:13 pm

Just having a quick look at last years div1 runs for your elsuvie 5th man Alfie....
Jennings (opener)
Gubbins (next in line to be opener)
Trescothick (retired opener)
Stoneman (opener)
Hameed (opener)
Alex Lees (opener)
Adam Lyth ( opener, sacked once already)
Rory Burns (wicket keeper and opener)
Alviro Petersen ( a little bit too south african even for england, opener)
Scott Borthwick ( opener and still the england spinner with the best test average)
Sean Ervine (capped for zimbabwe)
Peter Trego ( 35 year old all rounder)
Kumar sangakarra ( no comment)
James Hildreth ( DING)


Remind me again how many of the Lions squads he made?








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Post by VTR on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:43 pm

England's legspin stocks are looking really healthy*. You've got Rashid, Borthwick, Crane and now Poysden. India won't be winning 4-0 next time**



*if judged purely on number of players
**it will be 5-0

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:46 pm

I'm dreaming of a team containing Stokes/Woakes/Rashid and the Currans

If that ever happens I may just stop watching sport - it will have peaked
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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 2:06 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I'm dreaming of a team containing Stokes/Woakes/Rashid and the Currans

If that ever happens I may just stop watching sport - it will have peaked

Meanwhile, Zafar Ansari reflects sadly on the fickleness of internet posters. Sad Wink

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 2:14 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Just having a quick look at last years div1 runs for your elsuvie 5th man Alfie....
Jennings (opener)
Gubbins (next in line to be opener)
Trescothick (retired opener)
Stoneman (opener)
Hameed (opener)
Alex Lees (opener)
Adam Lyth ( opener, sacked once already)
Rory Burns (wicket keeper and opener)
Alviro Petersen ( a little bit too south african even for england, opener)
Scott Borthwick ( opener and still the england spinner with the best test average)
Sean Ervine (capped for zimbabwe)
Peter Trego ( 35 year old all rounder)
Kumar sangakarra ( no comment)
James Hildreth  ( DING)


Remind me again how many of the Lions squads he made?


If Burns keeps again, it would only be as cover.

Borthwick isn't an opener, he's a 3 or below.

King Carlos (highly respected in mafia circles Wink ) has long been an admirer of Hildreth. It is strange he's never appeared in contention.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 2:49 pm

For the purposes of the point I was making (and the one game from last season I checked Whistle) , Borthwick is an opener.

To be fair Hildreth is the name who got dragged up in earlier conversations on here on this subject and has been "mentioned in dispatches" on odd occassions on TMS over the years as a potential consoideration. But overall theres nothing in that record that screams pick me and he was a hell of a long way out from Jennings' figures which really did grab attention.
Id see him as a pretty average prospect as a test batsman, mnaybe he could end up with anavergae around 40. I fancy thats what Bayliss reckons Buttler could do if given the freedon to play his game at 7, or at least high 30s. In relieving Bairstow of the gloves theres the argument you can get the best of his batting, and plug the gap up the order. As well as reducing in game demands on him he can focus his training on just one aspect.
The runs high up are more valuable in helping to stop the sort of collective panic and meltdown weve consistently seen for either the top or middle 3 getting out for peanuts. It also means you dont end up with one of your best batsmen stranded marshalling the tail and n/o

The desire to put Bairstow back as a specialist bat is a recognition of both his talents as a batsman and the paucity of options (and failures of those who were tried) to establish themselves as viable 5th bats.
Looking at the 4 day Lions squad its pretty clear that Ducketts test future is jack for the time being. Batsmen wise theres yet another 2 keeper batsmen who are barely out of nappies alongside Foakes, Tom Westley who has a long but pretty poor first class record (but is loved by Gooch all the same), Liam Livingstone who just broken into the Lancashire first team (but does bowl a bit of legspin!), Gubbins whos another opener and ....Jennings and Hameed who are already likely to be in the test team.

Really theres noone from that squad you see as being picked to make a case as a middle order test batsman this summer, more a series of long term prospects and the probable test 2/3 being given some more experience.  

The indication is that they are going to stick to the Bayliss plan of intergrating Buttler into the side and moving Bairstow up.


For all the pundits who were calling for someone to be parachuted into the side (a la Jennings) as a 7th batsman instead of Ball you have to ask who they think that would be. The County scene just hasnt shown any stand out candidates for the middle order based on weight of runs and a form year in the way that Jennings and Hameed did for the top order spots.

The other possiblity of course is Jason Roy. I poopooed him when we were talking openers prior to the winter test tour squad being mentioned but begrudingly accept that he could fulfill a role at 5/6. That doenst appear to be on the agenda though.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 2:59 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I'm dreaming of a team containing Stokes/Woakes/Rashid and the Currans

If that ever happens I may just stop watching sport - it will have peaked

Meanwhile, Zafar Ansari reflects sadly on the fickleness of internet posters. Sad Wink

I merely led a successful campaign to get him into the side. From there on he was on his own... Whistle
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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 3:32 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I'm dreaming of a team containing Stokes/Woakes/Rashid and the Currans

If that ever happens I may just stop watching sport - it will have peaked

Meanwhile, Zafar Ansari reflects sadly on the fickleness of internet posters. Sad Wink

I merely led a successful campaign to get him into the side. From there on he was on his own... Whistle

Olly - I suggest you never try to sell a car on this forum. Very Happy

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 4:58 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Genuine question - do we know how good Buttler's keeping is these days? Bairstow has improved immensely in the last year but was awful before that. We don't want to have a ''Bairstow Mark 1'' behind the sticks.

Hi guildford - Cheers for the mafia call out below! Hug

As for the keeping situation. I don't pretend to be an expert but I did keep for many years and have coached as a specialist up to the now defunct Yorkshire County Premier League - just below minor counties.

It's one of the areas of the game I love most and hence get frustrated by how ignored good gloveman are. An exceptional keeper not only takes all his chances but he also rallies his fielders and inspires confidence that every effort they make in the field (whether good or bad) will be cleaned up or taken advantage of behind the stumps - I mean this by their glovework not their 'talk' which is what most modern keepers have replaced skill behind the stumps with. Catches win matches, fielding wins matches, wicketkeepers dictate the quality of your sides fielding.

Buttler improved when he came into the test side but hasn't since. Keeping in the one day format is easier for a lot of reasons, not least time needed to concentrate.

- A big factor in one day keeping being easier is that the ball simply doesn't come through to the keeper nearly as often.

- You also have less regular movement through the air (due to the white ball) and off the pitch (due to the roads preferred for high scoring one day games which crowds love).

- Boundary ropes being brought further in mean that throws from the outfield are more accurate and more often on the full. A throw in from an outfielder landing 'on the half volley' a couple of feet from your pads is the bane of a keepers existence!

- Most importantly standing up to the stumps is much easier. Due to the leg side wide in One Day games, spinners bowl at the stumps more (or outside off). This removes the footwork required to move, stay low, whilst keeping head and gloves in-line which allow you to take a ball spinner around a batsmans legs from the footwells - a key skill for a test keeper, especially if a leg spinner remains in the side.

- In one day games catches to the keeper standing up are more limited due to batsmen going hard at the ball.

- Finally stumpings tend to be easier in one day games. We've all seen them when a batsmen comes 3 paces down looking to hit a spinner into the river then misses the ball by a foot and doesn't even try to make it back.

If Buttler wants to improve as a keeper against the red ball then he needs to play first class cricket for Lancashire. The same thing he needs to do to improve his consistency as a first class batsman. He's a very athletic guy with good hands so he has the attributes to be a good keeper. It doesn't come without practice though and I hate seeing that practice done in test matches with substandard keepers learning on the job.

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 7:06 pm

Carlos -good post. Full in knowledge and belief. thumbsup

Particularly hope it's seen by Mad for Chelsea who keeps and has a keen interest in the art.

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Post by msp83 on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 7:21 pm

It was Graeme Smith who took out the 3 England captains, Hussain, Vaughan and Strauss! Don't think if he's intending to move on, Cook should give that opportunity to Faf du Plessis, because then Root will be thrust into the job in an away Ashes which really might be asking too much, not to forget rather selfish on Cook's part. Give Root an easy landing with the West Indies, give him some time before the Ashes. Else, Cook should carry on for a year and bit, up to the end of the next Ashes. ......

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Post by JDizzle on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:38 pm

alfie wrote:I see we are into full on future selection mode now that the last Test of the tour is a Very Dead Rubber...

And it really will be a time to start anew - some of what has gone on in India can be ignored ; some not.

Personally prefer Cook to remain in charge for now but that really will be up to his state of mind.
Cannot quite agree with the statement made by several posters that "Bairstow is wasted at seven" : if he gets a century at seven surely that is just as good as getting one at five ? And - so far - he seems to have found it easier to do so.(While improving with the gloves , as guildford - one of his former critics - has acknowledged). To move him up to five only gains if we accept that we aren't about to unearth a serviceable number five specialist - and/or Buttler , Foakes or someone steps in at number seven and starts making comparable scores. Not saying it isn't possible ; just that YJB at seven helps to make Stokes at six (with the advantages that gives to the attack) viable.
Moeen getting a lot of stick : yes his bowling has slipped and his batting is variable : but I agree with JD he is probably a better option at home than Rashid...and he both fields and bats better.  And might bat more reliably if he weren't hopping up and down the order every week.
Jennings showed promise and I reckon has earned a start. But as guildford pointed out he might easily have had a pair on debut...jury still out.
My team for the summer is
Cook Hameed Jennings Root (the form man at five) Stokes Bairstow Moeen Woakes Broad Anderson ...with Wood and Ball handy as alternative quicks.
The only mystery is the identity of that pesky number five...Which is why I say "the form man" . picking Hameed and Jennings on weight of runs hasn't exactly been a disaster : might not early season runs dictate that spot too ?  Edit : Unless that means Bopara  Smile
Of course someone will get injured anyway but that is what I'd be looking towards.

For Friday maybe Dawson will get a run. And Broad of course plays if he's fit...but unfortunately there aren't the right pieces to complete that jigsaw...

Yes, a century is a century - but surely it does follow it is much tougher to get one at 7 than 5? Purely as you less likely to have the time to get one, given you will be batting with tail more often?

Either way, Bairstow is one of the massive success stories of this winter. Despite his form his year, I was sceptical about how he would go in the sub continent but he has looked very good. I was massively pro Buttler over Bairstow last year, but he has well and truly put that to bed!

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Post by JDizzle on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:45 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
JDizzle wrote:
...
That is more the side I would prefer to see this summer, for several reasons. Keaton doesn't convince me yet, despite his 100 in the first innings. Compared to Hameed, he just didn't 'look the part' despite scoring a ton. But he deserves a go.

Bairstow is wasted at 7, so needs to bat top 5 for me. And I think it will be a struggle to do that for a period of time whilst keeping. That means Foakes or Buttler in to keep wicket and Buttler deserves first shot.

Moeen is not a long term solution in the top 6. Too many airy dismissals and he has an obvious weakness against the short ball, which makes me think he will never be a bloke to average 40+ in Tests. But I do feel he is a better option with the ball in English conditions than Rashid - not really a comment on Moeen's ability, more condemnation of what I think Rashid can do in England in Tests.

Sorry to risk Olly's wrath too, but still not convinced by Woakes in Tests! I know he had a brilliant summer last year, but I like what I have seen from Jake Ball. Think he is more likely to trouble good players in the long run. But again, accept Woakes will be starting this summer - barring injury.

And there is no point debating Cook stepping down now, South Africa are over this summer so he should rightly follow in the long tradition of retiring during or after a South Africa series.

JD - some good individual comments there.

A century first time out for Jennings. He unquestionably deserves a go. However, like you imply, I wouldn't be inking his name in for the next couple of years quite yet. Before his ton, he should have been caught on 0 and was then fortunate to survive an lbw review on umpire's call on 10. Had he not got away with both those chances, I suspect his selection for the last Test would now be being widely condemned following his golden duck second innings. Fine lines. Not saying he won't go on to have a successful Test career (and watching on highlights only, I thought he looked pretty assured as his first knock went on) but a touch of caution is probably appropriate.

Genuine question - do we know how good Buttler's keeping is these days? Bairstow has improved immensely in the last year but was awful before that. We don't want to have a ''Bairstow Mark 1'' behind the sticks.

Even though I gather Rashid has outbowled Ashwin in this series, I still share your doubts and more.

Woakes should be a very valuable component of this team but even Olly will be hard pressed to defend his performances in this current series. 3 wickets at 81 each and averaging 14 with the bat.

Cheers Guildford. I mentioned Hameed in my original comment about Jennings, but the other example that has always stuck in my mind was Trott. He only made 30 odd in his fist innings at the Oval but he looked totally at home before being run out (I think), and that has always stuck out to me as the innings of a man who looked like he would go far from ball one. I didn't get that impression for Jennings.

Buttler was always a better keeper than Bairstow Mark 1 for me. So I think you are starting from a higher base, but I it is true we have no way of knowing about how little the lack of keeping in 4 day cricket has affected him. As outlined by others.

Even in English conditions, I am concerned by Woakes still! He swings the ball pretty much from the hand (not the late movement a la Anderson, or Broad's seam movement) so I do still worry about him vs top quality batsmen. Obviously I would liked him to perform better in this series, but India is a tough task for a young seamer - however, his lack of real, top end pace or the ability to really reverse the old ball big will definitely be a concern when they are next in the sub continent.

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Post by KP_fan on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 8:32 am

Anderson is Out due to fitness...means most like y Broad will come in
and then Eng will probably play Dawson for Ball.

India will have to make the choice between Bhuvi / Ishant / Shardul
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 8:38 am

guildfordbat wrote:Carlos -good post. Full in knowledge and belief. thumbsup

Particularly hope it's seen by Mad for Chelsea who keeps and has a keen interest in the art.

Agreed.

I think we all, even with our lesser technical knoweldge, had the same concern as to whether Buttler coming in to keep was about improving the glovework or just a fixation with getting him in the team. Bayliss has said since he started that he wanted him in the team and sees his raw ability with the bat as something that should be developed into an effetive mid order force. The question of his glove work, as it did with Bairstwo getting the test spot, doenst really seem to come into the equation that much. Its the sort of question that makes Alec Stewart go quiet (and mutter something about a time he won a game scoring a 150).

The arguments for Bairstow retaining the gloves or if he is going to be replaced it being Foakes that does it are pretty strong. And the Foakes argument could get stronger if he performs well for the Lions in Sri Lanka.

Does anyone know if hes being released for the IPL again? That would answer the question rgearding early season red ball cricket.....



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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 8:44 am

KP_fan wrote:Anderson is Out due to fitness...means most like y Broad will come in
and then Eng will probably play Dawson for Ball.

India will have to make the choice between Bhuvi / Ishant / Shardul

Ha I called the well timed "injury" to Anderson ahead of this. Sounds like the "injury" is just that hes a knackered, and could have played if theyd really wanted. Broad isnt 100% to return either.

The thought of Dawson though ....sigh. Looking at their respective returns from the bowlers Id rather see Ball retained for Woakes if they insist on bringing the third non spinner in. Dawson can bat a bit and England wont miss Woakes' poor contributions so far this series. That isnt to say I in any way rate Dawson as a better player than Woakes.

It would be typical reactive England style they jump back to three spinners ....then get an overcast day and lightening fast bouncy green pitch Rolling Eyes

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Post by KP_fan on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 9:06 am

Gooseberry wrote:
KP_fan wrote:Anderson is Out due to fitness...means most like y Broad will come in
and then Eng will probably play Dawson for Ball.

India will have to make the choice between Bhuvi / Ishant / Shardul

Ha I called the well timed "injury" to Anderson ahead of this. Sounds like the "injury" is just that hes a knackered, and could have played if theyd really wanted. Broad isnt 100% to return either.

The thought of Dawson though ....sigh. Looking at their respective returns from the bowlers Id rather see Ball retained for Woakes if they insist on bringing the third non spinner in. Dawson can bat a bit and England wont miss Woakes' poor contributions so far this series. That isnt to say I in any way rate Dawson as a better player than Woakes.

It would be typical reactive England style they jump back to three spinners ....then get an overcast day and lightening fast bouncy green pitch Rolling Eyes

Injury of convenience we I call it Cool

well Eng would still have 3 seamers and that's as many as anyone needs on a seaming pitch......if they were to find a seaming pitch....and given the rain and storm and lack of sunshine.,..the pitch certainly won't be dry and cracked....if at all some traces of dampness which btw will help both seamers and spinners
Eng  should play Ballance in my view instead of the 3rd spinner ( who averages 40+ with the ball at FC level)...and use Root as the 3rd spinner if necessary for 7 overs a day
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Post by guildfordbat on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 9:10 am

Gooseberry wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Carlos -good post. Full in knowledge and belief. thumbsup

Particularly hope it's seen by Mad for Chelsea who keeps and has a keen interest in the art.

Agreed.

I think we all, even with our lesser technical knoweldge, had the same concern as to whether Buttler coming in to keep was about improving the glovework or just a fixation with getting him in the team. Bayliss has said since he started that he wanted him in the team and sees his raw ability with the bat as something that should be developed into an effetive mid order force. The question of his glove work, as it did with Bairstwo getting the test spot, doenst really seem to come into the equation that much. Its the sort of question that makes Alec Stewart go quiet (and mutter something about a time he won a game scoring a 150).

The arguments for Bairstow retaining the gloves or if he is going to be replaced it being Foakes that does it are pretty strong. And the Foakes argument could get stronger if he performs well for the Lions in Sri Lanka.

Does anyone know if hes being released for the IPL again? That would answer the question rgearding early season red ball cricket.....



Goose - that was almost a fine post.

Stewart and Carlos are actually of the same wicket keeping school. I've heard Stewart speak very critically of the England selectors who dropped Jack Russell and gave Stewart the gloves so as to bring in an extra batsman. Of this attempt to put more runs on the board, Stewart has said, ''We tried to solve a problem and created another.''


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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 10:44 am

Interesting Guilford. I did know he had complained at the time as well as in hindsight that the keeping affected his batting, and became even more of a problem when they were looking at him as an opener and a captain. There are only so many jobs one player can do.
Which is where the logic regarding taking the gloves off Bairstow comes in now hes shown himself to be amongst the top 3 batsmen England have available.
Ists also about the quality of other batsmen to be bought in. Back in Stewarts day they struggled to find any who were really worth a spot in the team, the same has been true of England of late. Who is this mysterious 5th specialist batsman? They sure are hell arent in the Lions.

Extending this to KPFs point regarding Ballance back in, I can see the strength in that argument unless it looks like a very flat pitch and they want to avoid over flogging their bowlers. That they couldnt take 10 wickets on a fairly helpful one though is why they would look for a third spinner just to reduce the risk of destroyinG Moeen and Rashid altogether. Ideally though youd have to back your guys to be able to do it or you may as well stay home in the first place.
I also echo the point regarding Root vs Dawson as a bowler...now we do get back in to the territory of expecting too much form one guy if Root starts getting treated as an all rounder ( and he did get smacked for a few after taking the wickets) but the option of Dawson is so utterly poor its ridiculous. Bearing in mind Englands best spinners are pretty medicore, this guy was their 4th choice spin all rounder ..and thats having overlooked Borthwick. The tin of custard should be back in the reckoning.

I do see why the pundits were enraged over the decision to bring him out. Leach or a batsman wouldve at least given an option England were willing to use.
The problem is the only batsman anyone could come up with as a relaistic mid order prospect, giving the paucity of options in the lions, was Billings ....Englands fourth choice test keeper (unless you see the other two of the three in the Lions ahead of him) and T20 specialist.

Imagine after the SA tour someone had suggested England could end up with Jennings, Buttler and Billings in their side in less than a year. Things change quickly I guess.

Whoever they select for the next test theres going to be at least one spot that looks like a place filler because they need to name 11. No right answers, just different shades of wrong.

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Post by alfie on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:24 am

Hardly a shock that Anderson won't be risked in the final match. It was fairly obvious that he wasn't 100% last week...fast bowlers frequently play with minor niggling injuries but it just doesn't make sense to let a 33 year old "get through it" in a dead rubber. (By the same logic I wouldn't play Broad unless he is absolutely fine)
I know they have a long break before the next Test : but it isn't about "resting" so much as the fact that bowlers (especially older ones ) are at considerable extra risk of breaking down seriously when playing through fatigue and built up stresses...look at what just happened to Dale Steyn on Australia when he came back - arguably just a little too early - from a previous injury. May have crocked himself completely ...England want another year or two from Jimmy and a bit of caution makes perfect sense.

I sense a lack of belief on here in the skills of the unfortunate Dawson Smile Maybe he doesn't belong ; but as they just went for over 600 he can hardly do any worse ! If it looks like spinning I think he plays - will probably make as many runs as Ballance anyway Smile

Going to be hard to come out and play after the way that last match went downhill from a very promising start. Indeed they may have wished the catastrophic weather events had waited until the match dates...but on the other hand the pressure is gone now and no one expects anything from them so it might actually be easier to relax and just play...

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Post by guildfordbat on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:25 am

Gooseberry wrote:

... No right answers, just different shades of wrong.

Goose - I like that and wish I had said it. There again, I probably will. Wink

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:52 am

An excellent post by carlos about the rigours of keeping in Tests vs ODIs. He's quite right that keeping in Tests is on the whole a more arduous task IMO, and I agree with most of his reasons. A couple of minor quibbles:
- he makes the point about boundaries being further brought in, which increases accuracy of throws. I'm not sure this is a big factor at international level, where throws tend to be pretty accurate anyway.
- for me the increased difficulty in keeping to spin in Tests comes more from the wear and tear in the pitch which makes the ball behave in more unpredictable manner than any great difference in line. Spinners do bowl stump to stump in general in ODIs, but they rarely bowl down leg deliberately in Tests either (which is by far the hardest to keep to).

One further point that wasn't mentioned is standing up to medium pacers. Something that happens frequently in ODIs, but not very often in Tests. As a rule, standing up is harder than standing back (though I always prefer standing up, for some reason*), so this particular aspect is trickier in ODIs. Although England don't have many medium pacers in ODIs to stand up to, I do recall Buttler doing it to Willey on the odd occasion.

Re the Buttler vs Bairstow comparison:
- Buttler is for me still the better man stood back to the seamers, albeit I'd have to see him in a longer form to be sure. For me, he has a more dynamic "spring" off his first step, which allows him to cover more ground. Bairstow, while improving, still has a slight tendency to be a bit too much on his heels.
- Bairstow is the better man stood up to the spinners. Mostly seems to just have slightly better instinct and better hands. In fact I've been quite impressed with Bairstow's keeping to the spinners on this tour: he's been very tidy in general, and hasn't missed much that I can recall. Far superior to his opposite numbers Saha and Patel, who are both rather average.

If you could combine Buttler to pace and Bairstow to spin, you'd have a good keeper IMO. For what it's worth, I think it's easier to coach keeping standing back, whereas standing up has more of an instinctive feel to it, so I'd stick with Bairstow, and work on his footwork to the seamers. Prior, Gerraint Jones, and indeed Buttler, are good examples of keepers becoming very decent to the seamers with enough work, so no reason Bairstow can't follow suit.

*for what it's worth, Mike always said he thought the reason I was better standing up to the stumps was that it was a more instinctive thing, whereas standing back needed proper coaching, which I never really got.

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Post by msp83 on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 2:43 pm

India have collapsed to the likes of Moeen Ali and even Paul Harris and Shane Shillingford. So can't rule out Dawson taking 5-60 on debut. But he is not going to be England's answer to their spin problems. His domestic record is absolutely mediocre, and there really is no reason to pick him for a test squad, forget a test 11. Its not just his record, his limited exposure to limited overs internationals doesn't suggest anything worthwhile, and by accounts from posters here, he comes across as a county parttimer who is more of a slow bowler rather than a spinner. As such, giving Duckett or even Ballance a chance would be a better call.
James Anderson is declared unfit and won't play. Will Broad return?

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 2:45 pm

Broads being assesed today to see if hes fit to play.

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Post by KP_fan on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 2:49 pm

msp83 wrote:India have collapsed to the likes of Moeen Ali and even Paul Harris and Shane Shillingford. So can't rule out Dawson taking 5-60 on debut. 
India has handed 5-fers to Viv Richards, Aravinda D'Silva and a 6-fer to Michael Clarke also...those were in different eras
I can bet ya....he won't get a 5-fer
a 3-for 120 of 35 overs is  somewhat possible  though
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Post by msp83 on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 3:18 pm

This is brilliant from Virat Kohli. Really excellent attitude from the Indian skipper, it is this attitude that sets him apart. When he says he considers test cricket as the ultimate format, he actually means it....... And there is respect for his fellow cricketers, he just doesn't back down from a confrontation on field but has evolved into a very grounded person.......
http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-england-2016-17/content/story/1072679.html

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Post by msp83 on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 3:22 pm

Dawson's only chance is in case the Indian batsmen start taking him for granted and try smashing him every time....... Otherwise, he'll be there to be milked all day and to provide the release ball from time to time.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 3:22 pm

Only because he knows Roots the better limited overs player Wink

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 3:23 pm

Well thats how Moeen got considered as a first choice spinner so its not a bad plan.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 6:31 pm

msp83 wrote:This is brilliant from Virat Kohli. Really excellent attitude from the Indian skipper, it is this attitude that sets him apart. When he says he considers test cricket as the ultimate format, he actually means it....... And there is respect for his fellow cricketers, he just doesn't back down from a confrontation on field but has evolved into a very grounded person.......
http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-england-2016-17/content/story/1072679.html

Let's see if it'll actually happen first - I've got my doubts
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Post by msp83 on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 6:45 pm

Whether it actually happen, even I have my doubts. There are far too many meaningless limited overs, and then there could be some tests also cramped into the schedule. And the BCCI would never let him go even if he wants, to go and play early season county cricket when the IPL would be going.
For me, the fact that Virat wants to do it in his search for improvement is the significant thing.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 7:04 pm

msp83 wrote:Whether it actually happen, even I have my doubts. There are far too many meaningless limited overs, and then there could be some tests also cramped into the schedule. And the BCCI would never let him go even if he wants, to go and play early season county cricket when the IPL would be going.
For me, the fact that Virat wants to do it in his search for improvement is the significant thing.

Well I mean, I could say I wanna go play IPL to improve - doesn't actually mean anything unless it happens
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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 7:56 am

I looks like Im not the only one who couldn't be bothered to get up early and watch Englands now traditional failing of the openers. Questions re: Jennings and how indicative that century really was of his potential will inevitably get asked again.
Root apparently is a good player.

Woakes rested/rotated which seems right...just Dawson, was Samit Patel not fit (not that he ever was)? Good to see Ball given another game so theres at least some raw pace.

The onus though really is on Rashid and Moeen to make up for that day in the last test and actually bowl India out for a reasonable total. regardless of what England make in this first innings and how much the pitch breaks up (decent rebuilding job going on) the Indians must fancy they can beat that if the England spinners aren't on their A game.


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Post by JDizzle on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 8:04 am

Joe Root now has a 50 in every Test Match he has ever played against India. 11 in a row now!

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 8:11 am

Good to see my stinging criticism of Moeen had the desired effect and made him buck his ideas up. I think we all knew there was a class batsman in there somewhere. Whistle

This is looking like a really strong fightback now form England after a terrible start. They don't have much proper batting left though so a lot rests with the all rounders if they are going to actually put pressure on India. Time for Root to make a score that Gooch recognises as valid.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 8:26 am

Kiss of death there...do we get to call him an idiot again and question his failure to turn those 11 games with 50's into 11 games with centuries 150's?

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Post by VTR on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 8:44 am

I suspect England will end up with an okay-ish score 350-400, then India will fancy piling on 500 and we'll have a repeat of the last Test. That's if they can handle Dawson of course!

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Post by alfie on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 8:50 am

Interesting dismissal of Root...

Didn't look as if he hit it but the spike on the sound thingy seemed to coincide nicely with ball passing bat rather than bat hitting ground so I suppose he was bound to be given out on referral. But unusual that the wicketkeeper didn't seem to think there was an edge ; and Root was clearly astonished . I am always just a little bit dubious with these decisions made on sound effects only...but we don't have any hot spots to cross-check so there it is...

Good recovery though. Hope the all rounders can carry on after tea.

And good to see Moeen facing down the doubters Smile

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 8:59 am

If England can replicate the afternoon session in the evening they will be in very good nick at around 300 for 4. If India can take a couple of wickets in this last session reducing England to around 260 for 5 they will be pretty happy.
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