Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

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Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 7:45 pm

I was erring on the side of "too soon" when wondering whether to start this thread, but then I saw Olly had 12-fingered a "World Cup 2019" thread already and thought I was probably ok.

So, we move away from the West Indies and look at a trip Down Under to my second favourite country in the world; aye, we're heading to Australia for The Ashes.

And for us, there are many things to worry about. The top order hasn't really answered any questions firmly this summer: 3 of the top 5 could arguably count themselves lucky to be selected come November 23rd and a trip to Brisbane. It wouldn't be a surprise, given how things have gone, to see one of those dropped by the time we head to Adelaide for a day-nighter that will give those of us with jobs more of a chance to see some cricket!

There are questions in the bowling attack too, although you could be kind and say there's only one. Who is the other seamer? If Wood stays fit, surely he is the man to bring that real fizz that we'll need? But will he be fit? I know Oliver is sure of Woakes, and I do feel his strength with the bat could be useful with the shaky feeling about so many of the batsmen. One could also argue that it is how hard it is to really nail your colours to any of the options below the starting Xi that really keeps a less than inspiring (but still relatively well-performing) Stuart Broad away from much pressure.

Bayliss has said it's unlikely that any new faces will be picked. but with the amount of players England have got through lately, that still keeps us guessing somewhat.

Second spinner? Back-up wicket keeper? Where does Root bat and how does that change the side?

And what of Australia? I think it is safe to say that neither side is coming in with a classic XI on show. 

As I have confessed, I know by no means as much as pretty much anyone who comes to this part of the site, so enjoy reading and learning as we go. 

Go forth and predict your squad(s), XI(s) and discuss all and sundry whilst the words are meaningless and the rivalry brews.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 8:39 am

Title of this topic says it all - top-order worries and who takes wickets. Of those not playing at Lord's in the last Test, Hameed is most likely to be chosen, IMHO. 
   We need a fit, fastish bowler for Australia. Finn won't go. What's Wood's fitness level? Trouble is I can't see any of the current bowlers doing much in Australia, unless Broad has one or two of his purple patches.
   Not convinced Australia are in great shakes, either. Warner and Smith are the mainstays of the batting, clearly. But is their batting line-up overall that formidable? I've never rated Lyon but he's certainly done the business of late. Doubt, though, he'll be the main wicket taker in an Ashes series.
   I would make Australia favourites. England's main hope is that Cook and Root make a lot of runs and that Stokes has match-winning moments.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LionsV2 on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 9:14 am

Bowling wise and whilst it will never happen think the pace of Plunkett could be useful down under but don't think we'll see any variation from the unit over the Summer, we simply don't have a Chris Tremlett available to pick.

Batting wise; Malan and Stoneman will be going whilst Westley will also probably tour, Hameed to come in originally as cover with Buttler as back up keeper.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LivinginItaly on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 9:31 am

interesting that you mentono tremlet. I think TRJ could well perform with similar results to tremlet of the 2011 series. He will certainly like the bounce of the pitches.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 9:51 am

Hi Dolph - neat thread.

Although it should never stop us posting, it probably is a bit ''too soon''. I say that as the selectors will be looking for the hopefuls - particularly, someone like Hameed - to show some goodish form as the county season ends. Even though we're nearly in mid September and it's miserable and cold, there are still 3 rounds of CC matches left (thanks from all spectators for that planning, ECB!). Whilst the conditions will have no resemblance to those Down Under, it'll be important for some to play with confidence and demonstrate they're in good nick.

Two other points for now.

I don't know how literally to take Bayliss's ''no new faces'' comment. Does that exclude Foakes who has been with the Lions but not the Test squad?

What are the England Lions up to this winter? I'm sure I heard they were also going to be in Australia although I can't find any details online. I feel that's important to know. If they are, a youngster like Crane will probably be better off bowling for them and perhaps being called up for a solitary Test rather than mainly being a drinks waiter.


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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Duty281 on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 9:51 am

Australia strong favourites. England have too many holes.

Still no opening partner for Cook, and it has only been five years since Strauss retired! Hameed will hopefully come in, though the selectors are likely to stick with Stoneman. Ballance should slot in to steady the middle-order but, again, even if that does happen England look too weak there as well. Buttler will likely be the reserve keeper, so heaven forfend that Bairstow get injured.

On the bowling front, Ali will be expected to perform like a frontline spinner, even though he isn't one. Anderson and Broad will be relied upon too heavily as well - the former can only defy time for a little while longer.

And if all that weren't bad enough, England's fielding is abysmal, Root is an inexperienced captain with some minor question marks hanging over him already, and Australia have won 18 out of the last 25 tests played between the two nations in Australia!

Barring some inspiration from Cook and Root, this will be a proper shelling from the Aussies.

I reckon 4-1 to the hosts, but if Australia win the first two, expect the third clean sweep in four Ashes' series down under.

8/13 on Australia to win the series is a gift.

(For those of you in the UK, this series will be broadcast by BT Sport, not Sky. The first live England test series not to be broadcast by Sky since, I think, the 2005 Ashes!

And one test this series, in Adelaide, is a day-nighter starting at 04:00 GMT, which is much kinder to us Brits).

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by wisden on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 10:59 am

The selectors tend to pick 16 people for their Ashes squad, My 16 is

Batters

Cook
Hameed
Stoneman
Root
Hales


All-rounders

Stokes
Woakes
Moeen
Rashid

Wicket-keepers

Jonny Bairstow
Ben Foakes

Seamers

Anderson
Broad
Wood
Roland-Jones
Ball

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 11:44 am

Bayliss interview is on cricinfo and quite honest as per his style. They still havent got a clue and very few opportunities for new faces to stand up.

I think Hameed is a given to travel, but still a concern about his ability to turn time at the crease into runs on teh board and how he would cope with fast  bouncy pitches and genuine quicks. Although Aussie pitches arent what they used to be its still a lot more than he will have faced at any point in his career before. Hes short too (hark back to KPs view on James Taylor....). He has the temprement and he can leave with the best of them but is that going to be enough when every ball is in danger of taking his front teeth out?

Stoneman has done enough to cement  himself a place on the plane, but is far from established and still little more than a solid county pro. 

Westley gives the more agressive option, but he would only be travelling due to a serious lack of other options. Hes had a decent run of chances this summer and produced next to nothing. So to travel at all would be based on thinking hes likely to be better suited to dealing with the Australians than he was the swinging ball....and the absence of other viable options.

Theres a lot of clamour for Hales .... Id most want to see him down the order but Malan has done enough to retain a spot, so 3 would be the place for him. Im really not a fan of this and it set him back breifly in his limited overs game when they tried him in tests before, but hes a more mature player now and yeah agression, yeah not scared of the quicks and yeah scored county runs ( for all thats worth .....all the others tried and failed did too).
He is the most talented cricketer out of all the options though, so has a strong chance. If its a straight choice between him and Westley then I guess he wins out for me.

The only remaining option is to go back to Root at 3 again, something he was reluctant to do. It would still leave a gap down the order...but maybe Westley would be better suited there. His opinion will probably remain unchanged, and his runs are so vital to England is it worth taking the risk of breaking the one functional part of the batting line up to shift a problem spot?

Expect something crazy like Buttler to open ...this is Bayliss.


Seamers wise ...TRJ seemed very much a horses for courses pick at home. The muddled thinking on selections came back with him being dropped and recalled, but I really dont see him keeping Woakes out of the side for the Ashes....but he will surely travel.
In the absence of a genuine quick I dont see that core unit changing despite reservations about how effective they will be in Australia. Broad has lost pace, Andersons core skill is conventional swing, Stokes blows hot and cold and Woakes isnt quite quick enough to be a real threat without some swing. They are all capabale but theres no wild card like early career Finn who you imagine running through a team.

Its unlikely we will see the 2 spinners experiment again, despoite the continued muddled messages about that. Moeen had a great sumemr for the most part ...but I still have my reservations about him. A second spinner will surely travel but who? Crane? Rashid seems well out of favour. They seem to be completely overlooking Leach for whatever reason. Dawson...god please no (but possible).

Another isue here is the bowling coach ...they dont have one. Theres talk of a temporary appointment with a specific focus on the Ashes. It may have a bearing on selection if that individual has a particular theory or favourite, but I dont see theres many individuals who offer anything noticebaly different to fast medium county bowling. 


tl/dr the only radical changes I forsee are in the problem top 3 batting spots and possibly squad bowlers.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LivinginItaly on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 3:55 pm

I would choose the following

Hameed
Cook
Stoneman
Root
Malan
Stokes
Bairstow wkt
Ali
Wales
Broad
Anderson


Hayles
Foakes
TRJ
spinner
Westley
Young FAST bowler

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 5:54 pm

I note England have a few holes, but for me as I mentioned to Chris a few days ago, Australia have similar issues themselves.

Their likely XI is...

Warner
Renshaw
Smith
Handscomb
Maxwell/Khawaja
Cartwright
Wade
Starc
Cummins
Hazlewood
Lyon

Now - for me there you have two proven batsmen in Warner/Smith. Two youngsters in Renshaw/Handscomb, who are promising, but still in the early embers of their careers. You have a real issue at 5/6/7 for me - I don't rate Khawaja (and judging by how the Aussie selectors have handled him, they don't either), but then if he doesn't play you have Glenn Maxwell batting at 5 in a test match. Not ideal. Cartwright is distinctly average, and Matthew Wade is just an atrocious wicket keeper, and is averaging 20 with the bat since he came back into the side.

Their bowlers have the potential to be special - but Starc/Hazlewood are currently crocked, and in Starc's case, is constantly getting injured. Cummins is a similar case, do I see him lasting a 5 test series? No chance. Lyon is very good however.

As noted above England's issues are at #2, #3, and #5. I think otherwise they are set, with maybe the 3rd seamer spot up for grabs (for me, once back fit it should be Woakes). Don't go moving Root/Stokes/Bairstow etc, they're settled, try and fix the problems we have without creating more (yes this is a change of tune from me). I like Stoneman and think he's earnt a shot opening. Against Gabriel he showed he can handle 90mph bowling. Malan has battled his way to some decent knocks so deserves a go at #5. Westley is up in the air at #3. To come in? Well from Bayliss's comments it sounds like Hameed/Hales and maybe Jennings will tour as backups, so it will be one of them.

Ultimately for me the series comes down to who fires best out of Root/Cook against Warner/Smith - the Aussies have a slightly better bowling department, England clearly hold the edge on batting depth - so they even themselves out imo - it's whoevers big guns and top order fire who wins the series.
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by JDizzle on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 10:04 pm

Shane Bond tops England's list for a short term option as bowling coach this winter. Can't confess to have followed his coaching career all to closely, but he worked with NZ between 2012 and 2015 and given the success Boult and Southee had during that time I would guess he is decent.

On a side note, his playing record is absolutely ridiculous and I never realised how ridiculous! Only three bowlers have a lower ODI average (min 100 wickets) - Garner, Lillee and Starc. And his Test strike rate is 38, which is simply mental - Steyn 41, Marshall 46, Barnes 41.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 8:30 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I note England have a few holes, but for me as I mentioned to Chris a few days ago, Australia have similar issues themselves.

Their likely XI is...

Warner
Renshaw
Smith
Handscomb
Maxwell/Khawaja
Cartwright
Wade
Starc
Cummins
Hazlewood
Lyon

Now - for me there you have two proven batsmen in Warner/Smith. Two youngsters in Renshaw/Handscomb, who are promising, but still in the early embers of their careers. You have a real issue at 5/6/7 for me - I don't rate Khawaja (and judging by how the Aussie selectors have handled him, they don't either), but then if he doesn't play you have Glenn Maxwell batting at 5 in a test match. Not ideal. Cartwright is distinctly average, and Matthew Wade is just an atrocious wicket keeper, and is averaging 20 with the bat since he came back into the side.

Their bowlers have the potential to be special - but Starc/Hazlewood are currently crocked, and in Starc's case, is constantly getting injured. Cummins is a similar case, do I see him lasting a 5 test series? No chance. Lyon is very good however.

As noted above England's issues are at #2, #3, and #5. I think otherwise they are set, with maybe the 3rd seamer spot up for grabs (for me, once back fit it should be Woakes). Don't go moving Root/Stokes/Bairstow etc, they're settled, try and fix the problems we have without creating more (yes this is a change of tune from me). I like Stoneman and think he's earnt a shot opening. Against Gabriel he showed he can handle 90mph bowling. Malan has battled his way to some decent knocks so deserves a go at #5. Westley is up in the air at #3. To come in? Well from Bayliss's comments it sounds like Hameed/Hales and maybe Jennings will tour as backups, so it will be one of them.

Ultimately for me the series comes down to who fires best out of Root/Cook against Warner/Smith - the Aussies have a slightly better bowling department, England clearly hold the edge on batting depth - so they even themselves out imo - it's whoevers big guns and top order fire who wins the series.


I see Australias issues as almost the opposite of Englands ...its the all rounder that are really a problem for them. How to get batting depth and have a fifth bowling option.
At home Smith and Warner are pretty deadly, and Renshaw looks better than any of the 2/3 candiadtes England have tried recently. But the middle order is pretty weak and they wont bat past 7. Englands keeper is getting better and could bat top 5, Wades place is questionable.
Australias front line spinner is a genuine quality bowler, Moeen is a quality all rounder. England have lots of fast mediums but lack stock 90mph+ quicks. So as a front 4 Aus look stronger at home, but the 5th bowling option is a real problem and in longer games..and through the series... it could hurt them to over rely on the 3 seamers.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 8:40 am

Gooseberry wrote:
...
I see Australias issues as almost the opposite of Englands ...its the all rounder that are really a problem for them. How to get batting depth and have a fifth bowling option.
...

Doh I really should have made some form of investment in Shane Watson when he could hardly buy a good word on here! His stock rises by the day.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 8:49 am

Gooseberry wrote:
...

I think Hameed is a given to travel, but still a concern about his ability to turn time at the crease into runs on teh board and how he would cope with fast  bouncy pitches and genuine quicks. Although Aussie pitches arent what theay used to be its still a lot more than he will have faced at any point in his career before. Hes short too (hark back to KPs view on James Taylor....). He has the temprement and he can leave with the best of them but is that going to be enough when every ball is in danger of taking his front teeth out?

...

Hi Goose - perhaps Hameed is a given to travel anyway but he and the selectors will want to see him put some runs on the board in the closing weeks of the season. Although for understandable reasons, he's had a poor season and it'll be awkward for all if he flops in the remaining games. Opportunity for him in the match starting today at Somerset.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 9:42 am

guildfordbat wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
...
I see Australias issues as almost the opposite of Englands ...its the all rounder that are really a problem for them. How to get batting depth and have a fifth bowling option.
...

Doh I really should have made some form of investment in Shane Watson when he could hardly buy a good word on here! His stock rises by the day.

And you could say the same for Hales as an opener....

But Watson is past his best, had falls outs with the squad and has never been more than a fill in bowler at home like the current "all rounders" ...never took more than 3 wickets in a test in Aus. In his prime he was a resonable batsman, but he wouldnt square Australias balance in the same way Stokes does for England.


Its worth mentioning Stokes as well ... Aus saw him asa the bogey man when they were over, and he could be a key figure. His debut series made a big name for himself with one big performancew with the bat and one with the ball ...despite being pretty rubbish for the rest of the time. hes started to get more consistent now and is the sort of player who will stand up to the initimidation and can flourish under pressure. He has got better since he was last out here and you';d expect to see at least one game changing performance from him even if he is inconsistent. The wickets could suit his bowling and he can take on agressive bowling. Aside from he obvious candidates of Cook and Root he has the potential to be the star for England.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 10:40 am

An outsider for the seam bowling department - Jamie Porter, who leads the wicket taking table in division one, has a wicket already today. An average of 24 across his career so far, he is a good prospect. Having watched him against Somerset on bank holiday weekend a few weeks back, he is a bustling Bresnan type bowler, but he was sharp - getting it through as well as Amir was to my eye

One to watch
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by alfie on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 12:41 pm

Interesting you mention Porter , Olly. I have noticed his good performances this season but haven't seen any talk of him as a Test selection : to be honest (knowing nothing about him ) I had initially assumed he must be a Kolpak !

You say "sharp" . Quick enough for the international game then ? Because certainly if wickets count for anything he ought to be on the radar.
I'd have thought the Lions might be his tour this time though ?

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 2:17 pm

alfie wrote:Interesting you mention Porter , Olly.  I have noticed his good performances this season but haven't seen any talk of him as a Test selection : to be honest (knowing nothing about him ) I had initially assumed he must be a Kolpak !

You say "sharp" . Quick enough for the international game then ? Because certainly if wickets count for anything he ought to be on the radar.
I'd have thought the Lions might be his tour this time though ?

I mean it was only too my eye - but he gave a player like Hildreth the hurry up plenty, and looked to bowl quick to me. I would say 85-88 mph to my untrained eye...

I'd imagine a Lions tour beckons for him this winter - much like Rory Burns, who with 75 today goes past 900 runs this season at an average of 50. Hear he will be on the Lions tour too, fitness permitting.

And speaking of Surrey players, Mark Stoneman moves to a 125 ball century against Yorkshire today - he better start sorting out his passport and suitcase, barring an injury he will be on the plane to Brisbane!
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 9:35 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
...

What are the England Lions up to this winter? I'm sure I heard they were also going to be in Australia although I can't find any details online. I feel that's important to know. If they are, a youngster like Crane will probably be better off bowling for them and perhaps being called up for a solitary Test rather than mainly being a drinks waiter.


I heard it definitely confirmed today at the Oval that the England Lions are in Australia this winter. That has an impact, at least on my own Test squad for Down Under.

Much as I like Foakes, he is understandably and rightly behind Bairstow in the pecking order. Wouldn't Foakes be better off regularly playing for the Lions rather than mainly acting as a drinks waiter for the Test team? Do we even need a reserve keeper in the Test squad? In the unlikely event of Bairstow getting crocked or losing all form, it's no longer as if it would take three weeks for any replacement to reach Australia by boat. Someone like Foakes being in Australia already could surely get a flight from one state to another without too much difficulty or delay. It wouldn't be that much different if Bairstow were injured on the morning just before a home Test in, say, Manchester and Foakes was playing for Surrey away to Somerset.

As posted earlier, I would also be inclined to adopt the same approach with a youngster like Crane. In order to improve, more than anything he needs to bowl. He's not likely to have much opportunity for that in Tests down under. Therefore, let him bowl for the Lions and call him up for a Test if and when required.

In other Surrey and England news, Stoneman was in brilliant form today scoring 130 odd against a Yorkshire attack including Sidebottom, Brooks, Bresnan and Patterson. Ok, Australia will be tougher but nonetheless they're above the typical tins of custard that Goose assures us usually turn out in the Championship. Really impressed by his cutting, driving and general placement. He's got a ticket for my Test plane! Very Happy

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 10:11 pm

I see Alfie and Olly have been discussing Porter. I mentioned him back in June on Olly's 2019 World Cup thread (!). He's well regarded and rightly so imo. See he ended up with a fourfer today. Essex are now on the brink of winning the Championship and he's played a significant part.

I'll be extremely surprised if he makes the Test squad this winter but I'll stake Goose's life on him being chosen for the Lions. Wink

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:15 am

Quick look at Porter's bio and stats show he is definitely a number 11 bat. We do have to start looking at these young(ish - he's 24) bowlers though, as we surely can't expect much more than a year more out of Anderson and perhaps 2 more out of Broad.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 9:13 am

Theres quite a hoard of these young fastish bowlers queueing up to be the next big thing ....its not like England are short of development players, the problem seems to be that none of them turn into left armers (Garton may do) or genuine quicks (Mills doesnt count). The Overtons and Currans have graduated from performance squad/Lions school but have had little impact on England squads between them. All have had plenty of promise, hype and county wickets. Theres the likes of Helm and Mahmood a step behind them too. 
Overall theres been a prettyy big churn of seamersthrough the Lions in the under 24 category ...assuming Porter does get a sport he will be one of the older ones to be stepping into the proccess.

But when it comes to the test teat team ... these guys just arent getting through. The last young player to debut and get a significant number of tests is Woakes. Recently England have turned to the likes of Wood, Finn, Plunkett and TRJ ahead of the young players. It does seem they have a reluctance to pick seamers younger than 25 (Finns debut is a long time ago now). Even with Woakes (and Stokes) it took some time even after debut for them to really start looking like established test bowlers despite having a fair amount of county and ODI cricket behind them.

My rambling point here is that England seem to take their time bringing seamers through as test players. Is that because they are being protected form excess workloads when young? Because they insist on using the limited overs teams as devleopment squads / proving grounds? Because their devleopment programmes just arent that good? Or because Div1 is crowded with retired ex england players and journeymen and these young seamer sstruyggle to get enough first class cricket? Possibly a mixture of all of those.

Anyway yep lets continue to get excited at another prospect ...although hes not express pace, freakishly tall, or left arm so diesnt tick any of the magic boxes...but I wouldnt expect to see him near the test team anytime soon unless theres a fundamental change in the way England go about bringing players through.
There will be openings as Broad and Anderson edge to retirement ...but theres a lot of candidates ahead of Porter currently and no doubt more wonderkids will pop out of the woodwork next summer.



In terms of Crane and Foakes I pretty much agree with Guilford. Unless England are seriously considering 2 spinners is likely to be a viable option in one or more tests its a waste of time taking him to carry drinks and get destroyed. There should be a second spinner in the squad just because ... but one who could step into moeens all rounder role as cover makes more sense ...so either Rashid or (urggh) Dawson would seem more sensible. 

And Stoneman yeah I cant see him not going regardless of the county runs. Theres the option of knocking him to three if they want Hameed in or even going as a reserve. But with Westley pretty much dead and Jennings bunked Id be amazed if hes not in the squad bearing in mind their struggles to find anyone who can average 30 in the top 3.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 9:59 am

Gooseberry wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
...
I see Australias issues as almost the opposite of Englands ...its the all rounder that are really a problem for them. How to get batting depth and have a fifth bowling option.
...

Doh I really should have made some form of investment in Shane Watson when he could hardly buy a good word on here! His stock rises by the day.

And you could say the same for Hales as an opener....

But Watson is past his best, had falls outs with the squad and has never been more than a fill in bowler at home like the current "all rounders" ...never took more than 3 wickets in a test in Aus. In his prime he was a resonable batsman, but he wouldnt square Australias balance in the same way Stokes does for England.


Its worth mentioning Stokes as well ... Aus saw him asa the bogey man when they were over, and he could be a key figure. His debut series made a big name for himself with one big performancew with the bat and one with the ball ...despite being pretty rubbish for the rest of the time. hes started to get more consistent now and is the sort of player who will stand up to the initimidation and can flourish under pressure. He has got better since he was last out here and you';d expect to see at least one game changing performance from him even if he is inconsistent. The wickets could suit his bowling and he can take on agressive bowling. Aside from he obvious candidates of Cook and Root he has the potential to be the star for England.

I wouldn't compare Watson to Stokes in any sense. Watson had little or no X-factor which Stokes thrives on. Indeed, there was almost an ordinariness about Watson. That's backed up by his Test stats. Each over conceding 2.75 and a wicket every 73 balls. That just about equates to a return of 1/33 from 12 overs. That's some way off greatness, no question. However, there's a reliability about that sort of return which, I believe, served Australia well in a secondary or supporting type role.

A few basic sums. 90 overs to be bowled in the day. 21 from your spinner, 19 each from your 3 top seamers and a dozen from Watson who also averaged a handy 35 with the bat. Job done. That brought balance to the Australian side and more effectively imo than the likes of Maxwell or Cartwright do today.

Sometimes the knack isn't about being a great player but supporting those who are. That's why I think he's missed.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LionsV2 on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:06 am

I'm starting to think it's time to get Foakes in the team and move Bairstow up; simply for the fact he's got a better scoring record than almost all those tried recently but being a keeper seems to be going against him. Can anyone honestly say that Westley and Malan are better batsmen than him?

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:26 am

Hi Lions - I do understand your reasoning and I would also flag I'm a big fan of Foakes. However, the other side of the coin is that you're taking the gloves off someone who is keeping (very) well and dropping a front line batsman for a new keeper. I just don't see England doing that, particularly given the investment made in Bairstow's keeping and England having stuck with him in that role when he was underperforming.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LionsV2 on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:30 am

I think you could have Foakes in the team purely as a batsmen, he can't do any worse than Malan or Westley, seems as though too much emphasis is placed on keeping individuals happy rather than doing what's best for the team. There's only so long we can persist with hiding Bairstow and Ali down the order.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:33 am

LionsV2 wrote:I'm starting to think it's time to get Foakes in the team and move Bairstow up; simply for the fact he's got a better scoring record than almost all those tried recently but being a keeper seems to be going against him. Can anyone honestly say that Westley and Malan are better batsmen than him?


No but are we saying that Foakes definately is better than Malan?
Westley is kind of irrelevant here as hes likley going to be dropped and Bairtstow is never going to bat top 3.

I was an advocate of moving Bairstow up beofre, and agree that hes Englands 3rd best batsman at this time. But really I dont see them currently shifting him unless they decide to go back to a 6 man attack ( sigh) or Stokes gets injured. It wont be to take the gloves of him.

And theres an assumption about Foakes here ... Buttler has always been number two, and was picked as a specialist bat in the test side not that long ago. Bayliss loves him ...we know that.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:38 am

Meanwhile , Lancs in their CC match at Somerset, are 12/1 off 14 overs. Get ready, Olly Wink ... Hameed is 3 not out from 40 deliveries.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LionsV2 on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:01 pm

I don't see Hameed getting a recall for Australia, he seems to have a complete inability to score runs at the moment.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:11 pm

Talking of Foakes, he's just scored his first Championship century of the season. Good timing anyway. 103 not out for Surrey against Yorks at the Oval.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by alfie on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:11 pm

Think we can agree the Stoneman selection is ...set in stone. Rather a well timed century although I reckon he was OK before it anyway.

Westley not doing anything to help his cause today I'm afraid. The only thing he has going for him is the almost total absence of realistic number three candidates : all the other likely bats being touted are better suited to five...
I fancy Malan will travel either as five or reserve middle order so the other missing spots are third opener and versatile reserve : Hameed currently auditioning for one ; Hales has more to offer than Ballance , for mine in the latter spot. (Worth remembering he has a bit of experience of Australian conditions - and some successes - from the Big Bash. I know it is a different game ; but still should be a help)
If those two are chosen , it could be argued that between them they might just about cover the number three problem ? So the seventh batsman could be either Westley or another player who could fill in at five as happily as three...take your pick from Duckett , Jennings (not on my watch !) Ballance (Root influence might swing it for him?) or an outsider like Livingstone.
Test XI maybe something like : Cook Hameed Stoneman Root Malan Stokes Bairstow Moeen Woakes/TRJ Broad Anderson.

So Hales + one spare bat , Foakes , Dawson , Wood as the rest - assuming they take 17.

As noted above the Lions are nearby so Crane among others can be available at short notice. I can't agree with having Foakes apart though : if YJB were (heaven forfend !) to suffer an injury at nets on the morning of a match I'd want my reserve keeper closer than a fast plane trip away - Australia is quite a large place Smile

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:44 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Meanwhile , Lancs in their CC match at Somerset, are 12/1 off 14 overs. Get ready, Olly Wink ... Hameed is 3 not out from 40 deliveries.

#hameedwatch Out for 4 from 56 balls. Not going to slate the guy for one knock (anyone* can fail at any one time) but I do want him to have scored some more Championship runs if he is joining up with the Test squad.

* Sangakkara excluded, obviously. Wink

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:49 pm

alfie wrote:
...

As noted above the Lions are nearby so Crane among others can be available at short notice.  I can't agree with having Foakes apart though : if YJB were (heaven forfend !) to suffer an injury at nets on the morning of a match I'd want my reserve keeper closer than a fast plane trip away - Australia is quite a large place Smile

Hi Alfie - given Bayliss' love of Buttler (as confirmed by Goose) Wink ), I rather fear he could be with the squad anyway as some sort of utility player.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:52 pm

Worrying thing about Hameed's dismissal today was apparently he was bounced out...by Peter Trego. And as much as I enjoy his dogged style, you do need to look to score at some point
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by alfie on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:52 pm

Hmm. Not great news about Hameed. I do like him ; but like guildford I want to see a couple of scores before committing him to a trip to Australia.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by sirfredperry on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:53 pm

I couldn't agree more with the inclusion of Foakes so that Bairstow can concentrate on his batting. England have constantly played batsmen this season who have been short of Test class, while pushing Bairstow too far down the order.
   Bairstow has actually kept well this season. He's such a bundle of energy but virtually every ball is thrown back to the keeper these days and it must be amazingly tiring. You really don't want to see him dropping a catch at 6pm after a hot day in the field in Australia cos he's knackered.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LionsV2 on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 1:00 pm

I keep repeating it but having Stokes, Bairstow and Ali at 6, 7 and 8 is a waste especially when you end up with Woakes/TRJ and Broad at 9/10.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 1:16 pm

Mainly for Alfie - of those who only a year ago were in possible contention for an Ashes trip, Scott Borthwick is playing today for Surrey seconds in a friendly against Yorks at Wimbledon. He didn't even make the squad for Surrey's current CC match. His decline is partly covered on the recent Surrey v Hampshire match thread.

You never can tell. Shocked

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 1:22 pm

LionsV2 wrote:I keep repeating it but having Stokes, Bairstow and Ali at 6, 7 and 8 is a waste especially when you end up with Woakes/TRJ and Broad at 9/10.


You can keep repeating it but every time they've tried 6 bowlers its been a disaster, and the tail repeatedly bails England out. Picking the likes of Dawson just because Moeen "should" bat top 7 is a waste of sanity.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by LionsV2 on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 1:27 pm

That's why you bring in Foakes and play him at 8 instead.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by alfie on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 1:27 pm

Lots of people keep saying that , Lions : but the truth is when they went away from that plan in India (for various reasons) , and had Bairstow etc batting higher , the results were pretty disastrous.
Sure , different conditions : but I fail to see how keeping players in positions where they consistently score runs  - either rescuing the team from collapse or adding to an already good score : as against promoting them into spots where they may not do as well - could be construed as a bad idea ?
Runs anywhere in the order are not wasted. The only advantage accruing from , say , bringing Bairstow to five , would be if (a) he significantly outperforms Malan or whoever and (b) the player brought in to seven at least matches what Jonny was doing at seven.  Might work ; might not.
With Stokes batting at six , they don't need any more bowlers.

So what you are really saying is : these fellows are too good to bat so low ; let us bring in someone who can't bat as well to occupy a late order position ...even if they add nothing useful to the team.  Not logical , in my view.

But I doubt I'll ever convince those advocating this plan so will just agree to differ...

Edit : Ha . I see goose got in first and said the same thing rather more succinctly. OK

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by alfie on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 1:33 pm

LionsV2 wrote:That's why you bring in Foakes and play him at 8 instead.

Guildford already answered that , did he not ?

You surely aren't playing him at eight as a batsman ? Though after the Buttler selection in India I suppose no foolishness is out of the question...

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by VTR on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 1:40 pm

This bump everyone up the order idea does keep coming up and glad to see it being debunked again! Bairstow has a pretty poor record at 5, I can't remember if Moeen ever batted there but he's played best at 7 and pretty average any higher than that.

So the issue actually is: both Bairstow and Moeen would ideally bat at 7 which of course isn't possible. That doesn't though make the correct answer to put one of them at 5, or move Stokes up to 5 or anything else. They are doing well where they are

Let's keep a strength as an actual strength (i.e. ridiculous 7/8/9 if Woakes plays) rather than create an opening for another Dawson type in the team just for the sake of it

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 2:11 pm

LionsV2 wrote:I don't see Hameed getting a recall for Australia, he seems to have a complete inability to score runs at the moment.


You realise hes always had that? He was given his debut a year earlier off the back of the same type of performances and potential. The rate he scored at in the tests was higher than he typicaly did and does in the CC.

He has very good technique and can stay in far better than any other player England have tried in recent times and very much in the old school Boycott mould. Attempts to open him up and make him a viable limited over player are part of whats been blamed for him reverting to basics...perhaps in an even more extreme fashion, but still the same fundamental player he was when called up last winter.

The concern is legitimate though, espeically as others have pointed out going to Aus. Hes short and defensive and the bowlers wont be afraid to chuck loose balls his way if hes not going to try and hit them. Whilst it does mean hes less likley to get out wildly flashing at a wide one he is vulnerable to the more accuarte balls and easy to target his head without dropping too short. There was perhaps an element of being selected in the winter as a specialist pick for Asian conditions, and whilst the Aus pitches might not be what they wonce were this tour will be a very different prospect in conditions hes not been tested in.

I do share concerns, but I dont see it stopping him from being recalled if that means taking one of Westley or Jennings who are both failures and who have less potential.

Im not one of the massive Hameed fanboys, but I still think he has a place and the potential to get better. If we assume 4 top 3 players then theres room for him in a squad.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by JDizzle on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 7:19 pm

The strike rate's for Hameed's four CC Hundreds last summer (in order): 34.91, 42.95, 54.54, 80.64.

That was what impressed me about him last summer, and how he developed and looked more at home in making runs as the summer progressed. But his loss of form has coincided with him going completely into his shell as a bat this summer (or has him going into his shell caused some of his loss of form?). Either way, you simply aren't going to be able to bat for 250+ balls against this Australian attack many times and if you having to do that every time you want to make a ton... Good luck.

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 7:53 pm

I like Hales, but worry about where he fits without disrupting the whole team. 

Unsure on real pace as well, which makes me understand the call for Plunkett. I like Wood though, so hope the body holds up

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 8:07 pm

The idea of taking Wood and only using him for two tests is fine - usually the MCG and SCG are more swing/seam conditions, Adelaide spinners and the Gabba/Perth are where you need the real pacer
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by jimbohammers on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 10:35 am

Cook
Stoneman
Root
Hales

Bairstow
Foakes

Stokes
Woakes
Ali

Wood
Roland Jones
Broad
Anderson

Plunkett
Crane

Would be my squad. With the lions: players like Burns, Westley, Lawrence, Bell Drummond, Northeast, Vince, Dawson, Currans, Porter, Helm, Finn,

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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 1:09 pm

#hameedwatch

31 not out off 117 balls at lunch
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 2:11 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:#hameedwatch

31 not out off 117 balls at lunch

#hameedwatch update

53 not out off 157 balls
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