England vs South Africa - test series thread

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England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 26 Jun 2017, 11:44 am

First topic message reminder :

In the fast paced nature of international cricket, we are just over a week away from the first of four test matches between SA and England - should be a good one.

South Africa have named their squad...missing some big names in Steyn, ABDV - also no Dane Piedt, Stephen Cook either.

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Duanne Olivier, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.

Still a very strong team - especially in the seam bowling ranks. Although with Faf missing the first test, the batting is reliant on Amla and De Kock I feel

England have a few injury concerns - particularly Stuart Broad - any thoughts on the SA squad, and potential England one?
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by VTR on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 11:32 am

No worries LivinginItaly. I think any less rational comments here are due to emotion at the time, plus the occasional troll who pays a visit!

There's no right or wrong on the scoring rate. I can see the argument either way. Ideally you'd want to clone a peak Andrew Strauss or Michael Vaughan, who could both score and survive. I am though with the views given above that anyone who can at least stay in would be an asset at the moment!

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by VTR on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 11:36 am

Guildford - The Oval Test was broken open when SA had to bat at the end of the second day in very gloomy conditions under floodlights. The ball was doing quite a bit to say the least! England had done well to get to their total with Stokes really hanging in at times on the first day and a Cook defensive masterclass seeing off some threatening bowling.

I'd also add Philander was about 10% fit but still bizarrely picked in the side, which put SA down to a three man pace attack for most of the match including Morris spraying the ball around

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 12:13 pm

Thanks for your replies, GSC and VTR.

Some might say it was a calculated risk for South Africa to pick an unwell Philander. I side with VTR and say it was plain wrong.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 12:32 pm

Its been a low scoring and "classic english" conditions series throughout.
I do wonder if some of Moeens success was down to batsmen playing high risk against him for fear that they were on borrowed time regsrdlles.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 1:45 pm

alfie wrote:
Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:South Africa look all gone against spin since they played India on raging turners in 2016. Ali is a fairly average spinner yet they can't help donating him wickets

Think you're underselling Moeen there.

A Swann he ain't .   But he is a better bowler than many assume.  Don't forget he had a lot of success against India in England a couple of years back also.  And he has over a hundred wickets now so hard to call it a fluke.

He's been a bit up and down over the last couple of years , it is true - confidence may have been an issue. But I think he is steadily getting better at his craft ...perhaps coming to a realization that his role is as a bowler first in this side ?

So far he's not done well in Asia.  I wonder if the fact that when England tour there he tends to be pushed up the batting order and seems to see himself as secondary to the "other" spinners (mainly Rashid) is the key factor ?
Reckon he will have spin to himself in Australia so hopefully he continues to get better...
I'm not underselling Moeen in the slightest. He does well with the ball in England as Anderson and Broad suffocate the opponents, when Moeen comes on the opponents try and smash him out of the earth's atmosphere and he fortunately gets a few wickets.

When we play on flat pitches where Anderson and Broad can't dictate to the opponents batsmen, Moeen gets exposed. Hence why he averages 45 outside England.

He's a poor bowler. South Africa are gun shy against spin since Ashwin took their souls in 2016.

A bowler needs to have guile to get good players out. Moeen doesn't have that. Decent player but nothing to sing and dance about

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 2:07 pm

It'll be interesting to see how history judges Moeen. A lot kinder than many today would be my guess.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Duty281 on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 2:11 pm

Good series for England; Moeen Ali is an absolute darling.

And Anderson is still churning it out despite an achingly-long career. Hope he sticks around for 500 wickets. thumbsup

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by alfie on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 3:03 pm

I have to completely disagree with you there , Nathaniel Jacobs.

I presume you didn't watch a lot if this series if you believe Moeen's wickets were all the product of batsmen trying to smash him. Some were , of course - as some are forall spin bowlers ; it's part of their craft.  But he removed Amla ( a master against spin) on more than one occasion by intelligent variation .
Yes some of the pitches helped him ; and the contribution of the pace men was a factor. But to dismiss him as just a "poor" bowler ?  Sorry ; but I reckon that's nonsense.

You are , of course , entitled to your opinion. As am I to think it is definitely wrong.


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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by alfie on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 3:07 pm

Duty281 wrote:Good series for England; Moeen Ali is an absolute darling.

And Anderson is still churning it out despite an achingly-long career. Hope he sticks around for 500 wickets. thumbsup

Not many needed for 500 now ! Rumors of his demise were a little premature Smile

Nice to see you back on the board , Duty ...has been a while . Been away ?

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by LionsV2 on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 3:08 pm

I don't think you take 25 wickets in a series without being a fairly competent bowler and didn't he get Hashim Amla out one of the finest players of spin in the world?

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by VTR on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 3:49 pm

LionsV2 wrote:I don't think you take 25 wickets in a series without being a fairly competent bowler and didn't he get Hashim Amla out one of the finest players of spin in the world?

Well exactly. I hope England can find one or two other "poor" bowlers to play alongside Ali. The type that take 25 wickets in a series. South Africa really must have been in awe of Broad and Anderson to lose over a quarter of their wickets in the series throwing the bat at him!

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 3:53 pm

alfie wrote:I have to completely disagree with you there , Nathaniel Jacobs.

I presume you didn't watch a lot if this series if you believe Moeen's wickets were all the product of batsmen trying to smash him. Some were , of course - as some are forall spin bowlers ; it's part of their craft.  But he removed Amla ( a master against spin) on more than one occasion by intelligent variation .
Yes some of the pitches helped him ; and the contribution of the pace men was a factor. But to dismiss him as just a "poor" bowler ?  Sorry ; but I reckon that's nonsense.

You are , of course , entitled to your opinion. As am I to think it is definitely wrong.

Whilst Hashim Amla is one of the all time greats and probably top 5 South African all time batsmen, he's been in decline for a sustained period. Heck even Dawson got him out twice...

Top quality spinners know in their head how they will dismiss the batsmen. You saw it with Swann and these days you see it with the Indian lad Ashwin.

Whereas with Moeen it's just lob it down there and hope for the best. He's not a top quality spinner and never will be.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 3:54 pm

VTR wrote:
LionsV2 wrote:I don't think you take 25 wickets in a series without being a fairly competent bowler and didn't he get Hashim Amla out one of the finest players of spin in the world?

Well exactly. I hope England can find one or two other "poor" bowlers to play alongside Ali. The type that take 25 wickets in a series. South Africa really must have been in awe of Broad and Anderson to lose over a quarter of their wickets in the series throwing the bat at him!
Anderson and Broad in home conditions are top quality. Hence why we seldom lose at home. Moeen feasted of their hard work. Moeen averages 45 in away Tests proves my case

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by VTR on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:11 pm

It was quite a feast - 25 wickets. Not bad for someone just lobbing the ball down the wicket

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:16 pm

VTR wrote:It was quite a feast - 25 wickets. Not bad for someone just lobbing the ball down the wicket  

Don't be silly VTR - we can lob the ball down the wicket and get 25 wickets at home... Rolling Eyes
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by VTR on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:26 pm

Very true. What was I thinking. Nathaniel wins this one. Moeen - overrated ball lobber captained by flat-track bully Joe Root

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:33 pm

VTR wrote:Very true. What was I thinking. Nathaniel wins this one. Moeen - overrated ball lobber captained by flat-track bully Joe Root
Where did I call Joe Root a flat track bully? I said he needs to convert more 50s to 100s.
Moeen will get exposed in Australia and you'll all go into hiding. But I won't forget.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by LionsV2 on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:36 pm

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:
VTR wrote:Very true. What was I thinking. Nathaniel wins this one. Moeen - overrated ball lobber captained by flat-track bully Joe Root
Where did I call Joe Root a flat track bully? I said he needs to convert more 50s to 100s.
Moeen will get exposed in Australia and you'll all go into hiding. But I won't forget.


So you made up your mind a long time ago and are unwilling to change it, hmmm someone doesn't quite understand spin bowling. It's odd how Giles had Harmison, Hoggard and Flintoff worrying the opposition at home yet never really excelled the way Moeen is.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:41 pm

Giles was an economical holding spinner. He went at 2 rpo and allowed the pacers to tear into the opposition.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:42 pm

Moeen literally has the best series an England all rounder has ever had and it's all just cos SA were scared of Anderson and Broad

Ok
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:45 pm

Hmm Ali is the first English spinner since 1969 to take 25 wickets in a seties in England. The case is rested. You don't achieve stats like that by being a 'lobber'.
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by LionsV2 on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:47 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Moeen literally has the best series an England all rounder has ever had and it's all just cos SA were scared of Anderson and Broad

Ok


It's completely illogical and ignores that Graeme Swann bowled alongside the two of them as well for the most part.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by VTR on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 4:48 pm

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:
VTR wrote:Very true. What was I thinking. Nathaniel wins this one. Moeen - overrated ball lobber captained by flat-track bully Joe Root
Where did I call Joe Root a flat track bully? I said he needs to convert more 50s to 100s.
Moeen will get exposed in Australia and you'll all go into hiding. But I won't forget.

I'm not expecting Moeen to do that well with the ball in Australia actually. There's more to life than The Ashes though, he just played a big part in winning a series at home against a team we couldn't beat here for almost 20 years - including a couple of series that Broad and Anderson played in. Swann clearly wasn't lobbing them down very well in the last series, I expect he is ashamed of himself

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 5:09 pm

As for the search for an opener I would prefer it to be the more attacking sort. Not ultra-attacking like Hales though as he throws the bat at the ball too early when the new ball is still doing a lot. I'd like that opener to be one that can sensibly see off the new ball and be able to quick on thereafter. Jennings is not that sort but I feel he may yet get another series as Root supposedly rates him.
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 5:22 pm

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:
VTR wrote:Very true. What was I thinking. Nathaniel wins this one. Moeen - overrated ball lobber captained by flat-track bully Joe Root
Where did I call Joe Root a flat track bully? I said he needs to convert more 50s to 100s.
Moeen will get exposed in Australia and you'll all go into hiding. But I won't forget.

Nathaniel - a couple of points.

1. I saw Moeen complete a blistering century for Worcs against Surrey in a CC match at the Oval a couple of years ago. He was out shortly before lunch but, rather than put his feet up and rest on his laurels, he was on the outfield during the interval practising his bowling even though his side were still batting. That impressed me a lot then and still does now. To suggest he just lobs the ball up and hopes for the best is very wrong and grossly unfair on someone who clearly cares about his bowling and is prepared to continually work at it.

2. The majority of this forum's posters are here not to get one over on others but because they enjoy the game and are happy to learn. Any wait for people to ''go into hiding'' will be a long one. Btw, I'm surprised that someone of your generation - ie who claims to have watched cricket since the war - would use such an expression.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 5:24 pm

Look the reality clearly fits somewhere between Nathaniels troll job ( how many fake identities has this guy had on here now?) and the defensive fawning from others.

He isnt a great bowler ...not overnight. His record the last two summers hasnt been great and his away record is poor. Hes only come close to this once before and under similar circumstances.
Its also quite true that SA are pretty clueless against spin and havent performed well this series.
The pressure from seam movement undoutably helps his cause too.
But for any spinner to get figures like his in england is pretty unusual. Even more so when you add in that hes contributed with the bat.
Hes also looked like hes doing more than just bowling pies.

Kpf touched on some theories as to why hes so ineffective in India that I agree with. Hes really a slow bowler rather than a spinner, he doesnt rip the ball and get the kind of prodigous turn you need to be effective on slow and low pitches.

Its encouraging to seem him at least take advantage when conditions are on his side. When was the last time an england spinner was man of the series?

Hes more than just a pie chucker.




As for openers Craig you are talking about a world class opener there. Yes idealy they coukd do that but again even Root couldnt hold down a top 3 spot.

Lets settle for someone who can do something first.

The cricism of Root not converting 50s is as ludicrous now as it ever has been. Youre only the second or third best batsman in the world...not good enough *eyeroll*

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 5:27 pm

Interestingly, if you look at Swann and Ali's record at test level Ali has best bowling performance in an innings and in a match of the pair and actually has a fractionally better strike rate as well.


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 6:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 5:32 pm

Gooseberry wrote:

As for openers Craig you are talking about a world class opener there. Yes idealy they coukd do that but again even Root couldnt hold down a top 3 spot.

Oh yes Gooseberry, of course, if England can get someone in who can average around 30 it would be a step up even if they bat at a slow tempo. Ideally though a quick scoring opener would add an extra dynamic to the side.

Totally agree with you on the rest of your points. Root averages over 50 in test cricket which is virtually unknown for an England player in recent times certainly and looks set fair to set a new record for consecutive test matches where has scored a 50 or more. Ali as well is establishing himself as a vital player in the England sid and developing nicely as a bowler.
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by dummy_half on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 10:39 pm

Goose

I think you have one thing wrong in your assessment of Ali as a bowler, and that is that he does give the ball a pretty good tweak. He does get decent turn and bounce on helpful wickets, but it comes at the cost of some accuracy and consistency at times.

His lack of success in India is more to do with how well the Indian batsmen play middling to good (and even some outstanding) spin bowlers than with particular inability. Take a look at Warne's career average against India compared with everyone else...

I think perhaps the best comparison for Ali (as a spin bowler) would be Phil Tufnell - capable of some extremely good performances but also some pretty flat ones - indeed, their career bowling stats are quite similar at the moment: Moeen has played 40 matches and picked up 116 wickets at 37.95, Tuffers played 42 matches and took 121 at 37.68. Tuffers has one more Michelle and one more 10 wicket match. Obviously, their batting is a bit different - Moeen's highest single innings being 2 runs more that Tuffers entire career runs...

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by LivinginItaly on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 6:52 am

very interesting to see the comparison, and the similarity, between the career stats of Tuffers and the career stats to date of Moeen. However, I think in this case the stats do not tell the full story. Tuffers was arguably a very good attacking spinner who was mishandled by the England set-up  who saw his role as keeping one end tight and giving the seamsrs a rest. I think I am right in saying that even on tms Tuffers has moaned about the way he was used, the role he was asked to play, and the fields that the captain would set for him. Another interesting point to remember when comparing spinners is the introduction  of DRS. Arguably using today's DRS technology Tuffers would have got more lbw's, thus preventing the old strategy of playing with the front pad.

Moeen though is probably the best option we have, and has just played a big part in winning the series against South Africa....until a better option becomes available he should and will remain an integral part of the team. if he keeps working on and improving both his bowling and  batting he should have a very bright future. is he perfect? no. But then show me one person who is.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 9:45 am

dummy_half wrote:Goose



His lack of success in India is more to do with how well the Indian batsmen play middling to good (and even some outstanding) spin bowlers than with particular inability. Take a look at Warne's career average against India compared with everyone else...

I think perhaps the best comparison for Ali (as a spin bowler) would be Phil Tufnell - capable of some extremely good performances but also some pretty flat ones - indeed, their career bowling stats are quite similar at the moment: Moeen has played 40 matches and picked up 116 wickets at 37.95, Tuffers played 42 matches and took 121 at 37.68. Tuffers has one more Michelle and one more 10 wicket match. Obviously, their batting is a bit different - Moeen's highest single innings being 2 runs more that Tuffers entire career runs...


Doesnt really explain why the same or better Indian batsmen got out to him so easily on English pitches a couple of years previously.
None of the England "spinners" really spin the ball much.

The Tuffer comparisson is not a good one, youre talking about a good technical spinner (who did spin the ball) who also liked to smoke a lot of weed in an era when test cricket, especially the England team, was still pretty ametuerish in the modern sense. The stat comparissons are pretty meaningless.
Judge him against his contempories ... the likes of Ashwin, Jadeja, Herath, Shah, Lyon, Hasan, Maharaj etc.
Even as an all rounder hes only the 4th best spinner in the ICC rankings, and up there more on his batting than the others are. Hes far from a great of his generation...although by the last 30 years of England spinners he one of the best.
Hes had a fabulous series but overall hes no more than an average test spinner. The poverty of other options is why hes continued to have so many chances along with his batting.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by alfie on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 10:21 am

I am not expecting to change Nathaniel's view of Moeen with any further facts : his final line mentions both "lob it down there and hope for the best" and "not a top quality spinner". . . I think there is a fairly wide range between those two points Smile
Jokes aside it is somewhere in that range that I believe Moeen resides - and I'd argue that he is close to the top end and perhaps on the way to breaking through it. A long way from a "poor bowler"

Comparisons are amusing but perhaps not particularly helpful as there are so many different factors at work : Giles was indeed primarily a holding spinner - which suited the England team structure at the time. I do not think Moeen quite fits that template ; though it is a role he is sometimes asked to play...and perhaps he is asked to play it more when a more attacking spinner (like Rashid) is in the team ? This might impact on his effectiveness and account to a degree for his poor record in Asia.
Tufnell was another kind of animal. He had a deal of talent but...well quite frankly he was nuts Smile I do think he ended up as an underachiever ; but how much of that was due to the faults of his management (Illingworth was a fine captain - but a far too controlling figure as a manager , who in my humble opinion totally stifled Atherton as a captain) and how much was down to his own flakiness is hard to assess.
Pardon the digression ...I'm rambling a bit. Good point Living in Italy re the advent of DRS . It does affect comparison of bowling figures , especially for spin bowlers.
Question : in view of Moeen's fine series , are we now less likely to see England experiment with a second spin bowler in any of the West Indies Tests ?

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by alfie on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 10:31 am

I hadn't seen the latest from Goose when I wrote my last (yes I am a very slow typist ! Plus was distracted mid-post).
The summation of "average Test spinner" seems reasonable. Where I probably differ from Goose is I think he is on an upward trajectory - I note guildford's comments earlier re his keen work ethic ; I think he is a far better bowler than he was a year or two back and may yet get a lot better.
If nothing else , this season's success may aid what appears to have been a somewhat fragile level of confidence in his bowling in the past ...

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 10:32 am

Point in fact is the summising of the recent series. Maharaj came out of the series with high plaudits for his performance as a spinner and Ali topped his wicket haul so I'd say that merits plaudits for his performance as a spinner as well.

How good is Ali? Well in terms of English spinners he is the best around (that's known about) at test level. In recent times others have been given a try and failed such as Dawson, Borthwick and others. How good is he compared to those that preceded him as long-term spinners for England? Well he doesn't match up to Swann yet but I don't think the gap is as big as some portray it plus Ali is far more competent with the bat as well. As for Giles well Giles was much more miserly and bowled tighter lines but was not as prolific and not as much a match turner as Ali has proven to be. Tuffnell had a similar record to Ali - true. However, I only see Ali's figures improving from here on in as I'd confidently say if you look at Ali's first 20 tests and bowling figures and compare them to the second 20 tests there would be a big improvement.
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 10:36 am

Gooseberry wrote:

...
Judge him against his contempories ... the likes of Ashwin, Jadeja, Herath, Shah, Lyon, Hasan, Maharaj etc.
Even as an all rounder hes only the 4th best spinner in the ICC rankings, and up there more on his batting than the others are. Hes far from a great of his generation...although by the last 30 years of England spinners he one of the best.
Hes had a fabulous series but overall hes no more than an average test spinner. The poverty of other options is why hes continued to have so many chances along with his batting.

I don't think many of us are getting carried away - Moeen is not as good a bowler as most of those you list (and despite their recent series figures, I rate Muharaj as a better bowler, as he is able to both block up an end and attack, depending on match context). Moeen's had an outstanding series, and has shown that he is a good enough Test bowler to do a job at the moment for England; I think what this series should have put to bed is the questions of whether Rashid (for example) should be playing ahead of him.

It does though say quite a lot for the paucity of spin bowlers in English first class cricket that the best one the Test team can find is really a batsman...

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 10:42 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Point in fact is the summising of the recent series. Maharaj came out of the series with high plaudits for his performance as a spinner and Ali topped his wicket haul so I'd say that merits plaudits for his performance as a spinner as well.

How good is Ali? Well in terms of English spinners he is the best around (that's known about) at test level. In recent times others have been given a try and failed such as Dawson, Borthwick and others. How good is he compared to those that preceded him as long-term spinners for England? Well he doesn't match up to Swann yet but I don't think the gap is as big as some portray it plus Ali is far more competent with the bat as well. As for Giles well Giles was much more miserly and bowled tighter lines but was not as prolific and not as much a match turner as Ali has proven to be. Tuffnell had a similar record to Ali - true. However, I only see Ali's figures improving from here on in as I'd confidently say if you look at Ali's first 20 tests and bowling figures and compare them to the second 20 tests there would be a big improvement.


Moeens played 41 tests

First 20
61 wickets at 35.67 3.75 an over 56.9 SR
Second 20 tests
55 wickets at 40.49 3.63 an over  SR 66.7


His figures have declined (although the way Ive spolit that doesnt include the last test where he did well and it does fall with a very good test in SA just in the first 20 ). Anyway the assertion that hes improved noticeably over time isnt born out by his stats. The series just gone by was an absolute aberation after a couple of bleak years since the last time they played SA. The only other really good series he had was India 3 years ago.

I do think though that the stats dont tell the full picture and that the quality of his bowling has improved, but its used inconsitently and he does struggle on "spinners" wickets...particulalry if there isnt a bit of bounce.

Ultimately hes still a guy whos averaging in the high 30s as a bowler, and not cheaply either. Its certainly not bad by the last 30 years of England spinners (indeed good)...but doesnt stack up against the best in the global game. You cant even say its because he doenst get to play as much on spinners wickets...his best reulsts have come on seamers tracks in England and SA against players trying to hit him.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 10:46 am

Gooseberry wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Point in fact is the summising of the recent series. Maharaj came out of the series with high plaudits for his performance as a spinner and Ali topped his wicket haul so I'd say that merits plaudits for his performance as a spinner as well.

How good is Ali? Well in terms of English spinners he is the best around (that's known about) at test level. In recent times others have been given a try and failed such as Dawson, Borthwick and others. How good is he compared to those that preceded him as long-term spinners for England? Well he doesn't match up to Swann yet but I don't think the gap is as big as some portray it plus Ali is far more competent with the bat as well. As for Giles well Giles was much more miserly and bowled tighter lines but was not as prolific and not as much a match turner as Ali has proven to be. Tuffnell had a similar record to Ali - true. However, I only see Ali's figures improving from here on in as I'd confidently say if you look at Ali's first 20 tests and bowling figures and compare them to the second 20 tests there would be a big improvement.


Moeens played 41 tests

First 20
61 wickets at 35.67 3.75 an over 56.9 SR
Second 20 tests
55 wickets at 40.49 3.63 an over  SR 66.7


His figures have declined (although the way Ive spolit that doesnt include the last test where he did well and it does fall with a very good test in SA just in the first 20 ). Anyway the assertion that hes improved noticeably over time isnt born out by his stats. The series just gone by was an absolute aberation after a couple of bleak years since the last time they played SA. The only other really good series he had was India 3 years ago.

I do think though that the stats dont tell the full picture and that the quality of his bowling has improved, but its used inconsitently and he does struggle on "spinners" wickets...particulalry if there isnt a bit of bounce.

Ultimately hes still a guy whos averaging in the high 30s as a bowler. Its certainly not bad by the last 30 years of England spinners...but doesnt stack up against the best in the global game. You cant even say its because he doenst get to play as much on spinners wickets...his best reulsts have come on seamers tracks in England and SA against players trying to hit him.

I stand corrected Gooseberry. Thanks for the full stats. thumbsup
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by VTR on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 1:43 pm

Moeen isn't suddenly a great bowler, he did have a great series though - the best player on either side. Even if it's an aberration in his career we live in the here and now, and beating South Africa at home was a good thing to achieve after so many years of not even getting near

I'm not expecting much from The Ashes in general, but it was still nice to win after some disappointing series results over the last few years in series that England were expected to win

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Duty281 on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 1:43 pm

alfie wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Good series for England; Moeen Ali is an absolute darling.

And Anderson is still churning it out despite an achingly-long career. Hope he sticks around for 500 wickets. thumbsup

Not many needed for 500 now !  Rumors of his demise were a little premature Smile

Nice to see you back on the board , Duty ...has been a while .  Been away ?

You could say that! Good to see the board is as active as ever!

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 1:53 pm

VTR wrote:Moeen isn't suddenly a great bowler, he did have a great series though - the best player on either side. Even if it's an aberration in his career we live in the here and now, and beating South Africa at home was a good thing to achieve after so many years of not even getting near

I'm not expecting much from The Ashes in general, but it was still nice to win after some disappointing series results over the last few years in series that England were expected to win  

I'm quietly optimistic for the Ashes - this Aussie team isn't a world beating side, I think it'll be a closely contested series with us coming out on top
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 2:02 pm

I think the England v Aus series is similar to England v SA, in that both sides can put out extremely competent bowling attacks and have a couple of outstanding batsmen but a few holes. England have better batting depth (i.e. the 6-7-8 + 9 if Woakes plays), but are away and in less familiar conditions.

Should be a reasonably competitive series.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 2:49 pm

Yeah I do feel teh Ashes is pretty unpredicatble, like Aus themselves. The big issue I feel is England lacking express pace and destructive seamers, and collectively not having the mental capacity to stand up to good bowling of any kind. 
If its fast and bouncy wickets they are going to get slaughtered.

But Aus only have a handful of good players and a bunch of makeweights. They struggle to balance their side, as someone else said in a similar was to SA. You end up with Dawsonesque players who can neither bat nor bowl in a desperate attempt to fudge things.
If the senior quicks arent fit then it will look a lot better for England.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Jetty on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 4:15 pm

You could say that Ali's bowling has improved since Mustaq Ahmed did some coaching with him. Since July 2017, 57 wickets at 31.64 econ 3.65 s/r 52.0. I don't know why we don't have a full-time spin bowling coach. Ali has said Mushie helps him with his fields whereas before he just accepted the captain's settings.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 10:41 am

Jetty ... its Saqlain Ahmed not Mustaq; he was sacked years ago.

He started just before the second test against Pakistan in July 2016. If you take that period the stats are actually even better:

55 wickets at 31.07 3.07 and over SR 51.7 

I had actually forgotten what a good series he'd had (on favourable low scoring pitches) in Bangladesh, so whilst this summer does skew those figures a fair bit there certainly has been a pick up in the last year vs the two preceeding years. The mauling he took in the last two India tests is an outlier in the other direction evening things out a bit.

So possibly if we look at his first 25 tests and his next 25 we will have seen a definate improvement, hes certainly well on course for that.

Theres an article on cricinfo where he discusses the impact of the coach, not so much on the technicalties of how bowling but on his metal game and decision making. Hes pretty much being told where and how to bowl through the game form the sidelines, as well as having  his confidence managed. It does seem to be working and perhaps is the missing part of how to turn an occassional not technicaly gifted bowler into a test force.
He himself continues to state  hes a batsman first and bowler second, so you can see where Bayliss is coming from when they talk about wanting him to be a second spinner. Maybe its ajust a mental game they need to play with him ...and perhaps there was a period he felt over exposed on being in the team as a bowler but not delivering in that format.

Reading into this I dont think theres any question that the coaching/consultancy has had an impact, he himself seems to think so. And it is bonkers that hes not got a full time contract and isnt working more with the development players (Leach, Crane)


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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by dummy_half on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 11:15 am

One question that comes out of the discussion of Moeen is the hyppthetical -
If we had a genuine front-line spinner (Swann / early Panesar standard), would Moeen be picked to bat at 5?

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 11:36 am

It has always baffled me why England don't employ a full time spin coach. You have full time seam, batting and fielding coach, why not spin as well? It's not like they don't have the money!
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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 12:18 pm

dummy_half wrote:One question that comes out of the discussion of Moeen is the hyppthetical -
If we had a genuine front-line spinner (Swann / early Panesar standard), would Moeen be picked to bat at 5?


Theres no question thats what Bayliss wants, even to the point they picked flipping Dawson. Whether hes really a good enough batsmen ( especially with Stokes at 6) is another question...but then you go back to "cant be any worse".  A fit Woakes stops their being a long tail.

If Leach continues to do well or Crane developes into a viable selection Im sure they'll try it again.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 12:20 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:It has always baffled me why England don't employ a full time spin coach. You have full time seam, batting and fielding coach, why not spin as well? It's not like they don't have the money!


They did and then sacked him when Moores went.

Saqlain apparently was bought in as much to advise the batsmen on how to play Shah as to advise Moeen

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by king_carlos on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 4:04 pm

If a second spinner were brought in and Moeen promoted then you'd presume it would be after Anderson retired. He doesn't only lead the attack with the new ball but is also very consistent at keeping things tight with the old ball to build pressure and manufacture wickets. Without Anderson a second spinner may be viewed as a long term replacement in those overs when the ball has stopped swinging but isn't showing hints of reversing.

1.Cook
2.Hameed
3.Westley
4.Root (c)
5.Moeen
6.Stokes
7.Bairstow (wk)
8.Woakes
9.Wood/TRJ
10.Broad
11.Leach/Crane

I can see what balance that could be looking for but I don't like it personally. I don't think Moeen has the consistency to bat top 5 in test cricket. His batting is best when he can attack, nature of his game is that he will score some fantastic innings but also rashly slash cover drives straight to catchers when set. That's OK batting from 8 but not in the top 5.

If the batting line-up gets shorter then pressure to find a more dominant 3 to follow Cook and Hameed could mount as well. I fear it won't be long before lazy adages such as 'play your best batsman at 3' start being repeated and Root may well get shifted back to first drop.

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Re: England vs South Africa - test series thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 4:38 pm

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