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

First topic message reminder :

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 Gooseberry on Mon 09 Oct 2017, 1:49 pm

alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:If stokes doesn’t play I’d imagine Overton will play and bat at 9, with Bairstow/Ali/Woakes all moving up one in the order.

Logical.

Interesting that Finn - as well as Ball - is considered a better bet than Plunkett with the red ball in Australia. Not certain I'd agree ; though he did have a couple of decent games in 2010.

Not convinced they've given up on Stokes yet : think we still have to wait on the police action.  My main fear is that all the uncertainty is going to weigh on the team ; and they really don't need any additional pressure.  A quick resolution - either way - would be nice ; but we can't really expect the law to arrange itself around the cricket team's priorities...


Does seem about right. Id kinda assumed Plunkett because hes been doing decent work in the ODIs and has the experience and batting to step in as a closer fit. But his lack of red ball time, and being one of the players reprimanded and fined have no doubt contributed to a borderline call on the 7th choice seamer go Finns way. The irony being this was announced the same day he lost his central contract.

Id agree that looking at England 4th seamer options Overton has a strong chance and is the option if England want to retain some of their batting depth. Trading Stokes for a tail ender would be huge trade down. Its not like any of the 3 are especially great bowlers or far enough ahead of the others in either raw pace or height to demand a place on impact. Nor are any of the left armers. Maybe one will display something in the nets and warm ups to force a spot, but in the absence of Stokes and any great differentiating factors I don't think "pick the best bowler and ignore the batting" is entirely applicable....and some would argue that Overton wins that anyway. At some point is pretty much inevitable that one or more of the 3 established bowler wil need a rest or actually be injured.

Regardless none of the England bowlers stands out as a especially strong. Andersons record in Aus is woeful, Broads not great. Woakes is getting there as a test bowler and is fastish but  looks more like a home test specialist. The others were behind Stokes and TRJ in the pecking order, and dont offer anything special.

If Woakes or Moeen get injured then England really will be in trouble.

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

Post by The Loaded Dog on Mon 09 Oct 2017, 1:52 pm

Where's trebs? Wink

No, I read what you're writing, Duty, however I am still a little reserved (or not so confident) given the way our blokes 'gave' away wickets so easily on the sub-continent. Sure, different conditions here but it's still a very inexperienced squad too.

Apart from Smith (56), Warner (66), Lyon (69), Starc (36) and Hazelwood (31)... only a few around 20-25 caps and the rest hardly any tests at all under their belts. They will need to come out firing in Brisbane (as has already been said on here) - win that and then pile on the pressure from there onward. Possible? Maybe.. but will obviously need things to go their way and England to stutter a fair bit.

We had much better players in fairly decent form leading into the last home series here in 2013.
Maybe Handscomb & Renshaw will perform well and establish themselves in the side but there are still big question marks over Wade. Although he should do better at home, he doesn't inspire me with great confidence - or should I say - it quite annoys me the way he carries himself around and has the propensity to drop regulation chances.  steam

We can't keep chopping & changing wicket-keepers or throwing untested and inexperienced ones into the fray with only a month or so to go.
I feel it might be too much to ask Handscomb to keep as well (and move him down the order; bring in a Marsh) but we'll know soon enough what Lehmann has in mind.
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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 10 Oct 2017, 1:26 pm

The Loaded Dog wrote:

We can't keep chopping & changing wicket-keepers or throwing untested and inexperienced ones into the fray with only a month or so to go.
I feel it might be too much to ask Handscomb to keep as well (and move him down the order; bring in a Marsh) but we'll know soon enough what Lehmann has in mind.


Aus do it with wicket keepers...England do it with openers, number 3's, number 5's and 3rd/4th seamers. Not to mention taking a second spinner on tour whos not good enough to start or of any use to balance the side.

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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 Sun 15 Oct 2017, 5:21 pm


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

Post by The Loaded Dog on Mon 16 Oct 2017, 10:00 am


Yeah, such an idiot and very disrespectful too.

I thought he had sort of calmed down (since having a couple of kids) but it's no surprise to hear that he has resorted to bad mouthing a whole country (on behalf of us!)... already... and declaring a one person assault on the old evil enemy.

What a man. I wish him luck.............. unfortunately. Headscratch
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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 17 Oct 2017, 5:20 am

Warner is fun to watch bat. And I really don't mind if he has a bit to say on the field. But I do wish he'd refrain from this childish pre-series attempt to turn a sporting event into something more akin to the gladiator contests of the ancient world.
Unlike a lot of us he's never had to take any part in a real war . Perhaps if he had he'd be a bit more restrained in his language.

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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 17 Oct 2017, 12:25 pm

Horribly predictable. Its a bit laughably staged now.
Panto villain stuff.

In light of the Stokes situation though youd think people would want to try and present a more civil image for the game

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

Post by The Loaded Dog on Wed 18 Oct 2017, 12:27 am

Yeah, it just gets harder to like some of these modern sports 'stars'. So unappealing and they go against the grain of proper sportsmanship.

For similar reasons I have no respect for several of our current tennis players. Simply awful individuals who I don't want to see win their matches.
It's not too difficult to urge their opponents on and I feel no sympathy for their failures on the sporting stage.

However, I don't put Warner in that same category because he is still fun to watch on the field. I remember him running right towards me fielding a ball at the SCG. As he got closer to the boundary he reminded me of a bull terrier chasing a ball... giving his all without fear of crashing into the fence. I was surprised at the speed he could move for such a little man. Wink

As Alfie says Warner is great to watch when he is full of confidence playing cricket on his terms.
Just wish he'd do that only and not try and play the smart arse joker.
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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 Tue 24 Oct 2017, 12:05 pm

BT are taking their own team down under after all.

Anchor - Matt Smith
Alison Mitchell will be a commentator alongside ex pros: Vaughan, Ponting, Slater, Swann, Boycott, Gilchrist and Fleming. Sunset & Vine will be producing which is good as they’re Channel 4’s old team and experienced. The team will be out there, rather than doing it from London.

Doesn’t match sky but should be alright. Not a Matt Smith fan, think he’s atrocious, but least he’s not Greg James

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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 24 Oct 2017, 12:08 pm

The commentator line up sounds atrocious - utterly awful. Ponting is good cos he'll actually offer insight, literally all the rest will just attempt #banter all the time and it'll be crap.
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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 Tue 24 Oct 2017, 12:15 pm

I hate Vaughan.

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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 24 Oct 2017, 2:09 pm

Although not as appalling as Olly's twitter pal Elizabeth Amon, Alison Mitchell is another dreadful female commentator undoubtedly placed there on the grounds of political correctness and at the viewers' expense.

As Olly suggests, Ponting should be worth listening to provided he isn't drowned out by the loud 'jokes' of others in the commentary team.

It is always much better for the commentary team to be at the ground and picking up the atmosphere rather than in an underground tv bunker. That does though assume they know what they're doing.

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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 Tue 24 Oct 2017, 3:18 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:The commentator line up sounds atrocious - utterly awful. Ponting is good cos he'll actually offer insight, literally all the rest will just attempt #banter all the time and it'll be crap.

Indeed. Wish the cricket had stayed on Sky.

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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 Sun 29 Oct 2017, 12:08 am


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

Post by The Loaded Dog on Sun 29 Oct 2017, 7:36 pm

The enemy has arrived.  Smile

Quick... hand me that spear and shield lying over by the chair please. And don't forget to bolt the doors!

The fun starts here. I wonder what the first controversy will be?

A broken hotel table perhaps?
A couple of plastic chairs thrown into a hotel swimming pool?
A late night scuffle with a taxi driver?

And that's just our guys.
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by The Loaded Dog on Sun 29 Oct 2017, 8:23 pm

After Round 1 of the Shield games, a quick summary:

Qld 166 and 311 - win by 110 runs
Renshaw (17,16) Khawaja (40,122)  
Vic 148 and 219
Handscomb (9,34) Maxwell (7,20)

WA 323 and 272/9 - win by 301 runs
S Marsh (63,11) Cartwright (61,38) Coulter-Nile (42,52) (1/23, 3/18)
Tas 231 and 63
Wade (1,6)

SA 92 and 206
NSW 242 and 57/4 - win by 6 wickets
Starc (2/46) Cummins (2/22) Copeland (6/24)
Warner (83,32) Smith (3,9) Nevill (20,-) Starc (8/73) Lyon (2/26)

Some low scores there!

Maxwell and Wade under pressure, Khawaja and Cartwright batting well.
The bowling of Starc, Coulter-Nile, Cummins and Copeland looks promising.
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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 Sun 29 Oct 2017, 11:42 pm

Khawaja cements his expected number three spot.

Renshaw looking a bit of a concern but presumable is still safe (for now) to open.

Maxwell and Wade miss chances to advance their respective causes...though Nevill and Carey did nothing either. Nor did Head or Stoinis. So essentially no change here yet...

S Marsh maybe making a case as an outside bet ? While the pace bowling seems to be fine - unless (until ?) any injuries.


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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 30 Oct 2017, 8:36 am

From and England perspective youd be happy to see Sean Marsh selected. A player whos never been good enough at test level getting reselected yet again at 34 would be a sign of just how desperately short Aus are on real quality beyond a couple of big name stars (Same story for England of course)

Still no all rounders or keepers putting their hands up to demand inclussion?
Thats really where Aus need someone to ballance their side. Even without Stojkes England have an advantage their.

Id still fancy Australias seam attack vs Englands to win them the series, but its far from a flawless team.

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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 30 Oct 2017, 11:56 am

Says a lot about the state of Australian wicket keeping when there’s serious talk of them putting in a guy who in 20 first class games has a high score of 79, and averages 24 just because he’s a tidy keeper...
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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 30 Oct 2017, 12:21 pm



Yeah I missed this yesterday. Civil Rights hero may be pushing it a bit but it does put him in a better light than previous reports, and does further the case that the "victims" werent exactly the innocent parties in this.

But still doesnt change that the video pretty clealrty shows broke the law (albeit not yet charged), theres is still an oipen investigation against him, and regardless of the circumstances he couldve gotten involved in a less violent way. And really none of them should have been in the club drunk at that time.

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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 30 Oct 2017, 5:16 pm

David Warner’s wife, most widely known for giving a rugby player a blowj0b in the toilets of a club and being caught, has called Ben Stokes disgusting
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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 30 Oct 2017, 8:31 pm

Was that the same David Warner that punched a fellow player over a hat?

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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 02 Nov 2017, 8:10 am

Steve Finn and Moeen Ali to have scans on a knee and side injury respectively

If Moeen is injured we might as well come home and save everyone the hassle
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Re: Squad wrangles, top order worries and who takes the wickets: Pre-Ashes Selections and Thoughts Thread

Post by The Loaded Dog on Thu 02 Nov 2017, 8:27 am

Bad day on the practice field for Moeen and Finn but maybe wait until the scan results come back.

Ali will still have 3 weeks to recover (if it's not serious) but probably best to have Mason Crane or whoever is next in line on standby.
As for Finn's knee... again we don't know how bad but hopefully just a bruising which might settle down with proper treatment.
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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 Fri 03 Nov 2017, 4:21 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Steve Finn and Moeen Ali to have scans on a knee and side injury respectively

If Moeen is injured we might as well come home and save everyone the hassle

Both out of the first two warm-up games.

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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 Sat 04 Nov 2017, 8:44 am

Runs for Stoneman, Vince, Malan, Ballance as Cook and Root are out cheaply in the first warm up game

Just as everyone predicted
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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 Sat 04 Nov 2017, 9:08 am

Not that you want your two main bats to fail first up...but that the lesser lights all got a good innings under their belts on the first day is surely a good thing. Sterner tests await ; but nothing like time in the middle to set you up for the challenge...

Don't think they'll play six bats (though I suppose they could , at a pinch ; with Root and Malan to bowl a few overs ) unless Moeen's injury keeps him out at Brisbane. But still nice to see a few batsmen get going.

More interested to see how the bowlers settle in to the different lengths - and different ball - in Australian conditions. That's for tomorrow of course. But I think Bayliss and Root will be generally happy with day one.

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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 Sat 04 Nov 2017, 11:18 am

The media are desperate to spin today into some negative - the Daily Mail saying England “toiled” on day one - if we toil to 349-6 on day one of the first test I’ll be pretty 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 Sat 04 Nov 2017, 12:45 pm

Yeah, harder challenges obviously ahead and so we shouldn't get carried away but a more than decent professional start to the tour.

I guess that sort of comment doesn't easily fit into a headline to sell newspapers or attract online viewers!

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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 Sun 05 Nov 2017, 8:38 am

Wickets for Anderson, Crane and the expensive Overton. Broad has not had a good day
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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 Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:55 am

Minor panic as I see a BBC headline which says 'Alli ruled out of England squad'.

Turns out it's Dele, not Moeen.

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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 Sun 05 Nov 2017, 12:37 pm

I struggled to make sense of the BBC and cricinfo scorecards until I saw Dobell's report which explained that some Western Australians had batted twice as the game turned more and more into a practice session.

I'm never too keen on that sort of thing but it'll hopefully be useful that all the mainline bowlers sent down 12+ overs. Anderson with the standout figures and, according to Dobell, a decent showing from Ball. No wickets for Woakes - I remain twitchy about him but won't make too much out of today and hope my concerns are proved unfounded.

As Duty turns increasingly into Trebs, I understand his panic if Moeen were to be unavailable. I like Crane (a lot, ok Jimbo?!) but - as far as this tour goes - see him as an extra spinner to come in alongside Moeen on a spinning track (if we get one!) rather than being his replacement.

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

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Mon 06 Nov 2017, 10:07 am

Mitchell Starc looking like he's ready for the Ashes, career best figures last week for NSW followed up with a hat trick today. Doesn't carry the same fear factor of Mitchell Johnson but probably fair to say Starc has more skill.

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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 Tue 07 Nov 2017, 7:55 am

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:Mitchell Starc looking like he's ready for the Ashes, career best figures last week for NSW followed up with a hat trick today. Doesn't carry the same fear factor of Mitchell Johnson but probably fair to say Starc has more skill.

*two hat tricks! Erm

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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 07 Nov 2017, 9:06 am

Steve Finn confirmed out of the tour

Replacement to be named soon
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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 07 Nov 2017, 11:51 am

It's obviously a shame for Finn but I'm not upset about it from an England perspective. I thought he was fortunate to get a call up ahead of Plunkett who I would expect to be favourite to come in now.

I don't see many alternatives. Porter is crocked. Helm and Tom Curran both have promise but neither would be no more than a drinks carrier at this stage and, in any case, the latter is lined up to play t20 this winter. Wood would be a strong contender but always seems to be either injured or about to be injured and I can't see the selectors taking a fitness risk on a replacement for a replacement!

Meanwhile, the BBC website is full of calls for the police to get their act together in the hope of allowing Stokes to get out there and play. However, I have heard that he broke a finger in the incident at Bristol and so don't know if he would be ready to play anyway from the start.

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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 07 Nov 2017, 2:05 pm

Not sure who comes in - people call for Plunkett and he’d make the most sense, but he only played two first class games all summer...

Anyways the team for the next warm up game has been announced - Broad given a rest

Alastair Cook
Mark Stoneman
James Vince
Joe Root (C)
Dawid Malan
Jonny Bairstow (WK)
Chris Woakes
Craig Overton
Jake Ball
Mason Crane
James Anderson

Looking at that it appears Malan has the edge over Ballance for the #5 slot, Crane is keeping Moeen’s seat warm (whilst gaining valuable experience), and its a straight shootout between Overton and Ball for that 4th seamer slot at the Gabba
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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 07 Nov 2017, 2:08 pm

Actually confirmed by the Independent - Tom Curran will replace Finn. Flying out tomorrow
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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 07 Nov 2017, 3:05 pm

I mentioned last month it's odd that Plunkett only played two CC games during 2017. I don't know why but it can't have helped his case. Possibly there is more than meets the eye.

Anyway, Cricinfo and the Surrey Supporters website (although not the Surrey CCC site which typically lags behind) now also confirm that Tom Curran takes Finn's place. Good luck to him - I've said before that he's not afraid of hard work and never ducks responsibility. He also did ok in a few white ball games for England in the summer. However, I find it difficult to picture him as anything other than a reserve this winter whilst I feel Plunkett's greater pace would have got him closer to actual selection in one or two Tests.

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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 08 Nov 2017, 7:20 am

Another fifty for Stoneman in the warm up game - but Cook falls cheaply again
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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 08 Nov 2017, 10:39 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Another fifty for Stoneman in the warm up game - but Cook falls cheaply again

Fifties also for Root and Malan - Root couldn’t go on and neither could Stoneman, but good to see they’re in some decent form. Couple of 30’s for Vince and Woakes too (with Stokes out, Woakes’s batting needs to be good this tour)
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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 08 Nov 2017, 11:04 am

England end the day on 278/8.

I haven't seen any reports so far but that score seems pretty underwhelming with 7 of the wickets being shared by two bowlers making their fc debuts. Admittedly, it'll look a lot more impressive if we can skittle 'em for 150. Can't properly judge until both sides have batted etc etc.

A couple of 30s (including one from Woakes - Olly is spot on about the importance of his batting on this tour) and three half-centuries. Nothing terrible about that but it doesn't inspire masses of confidence. The batting will be stronger once Moeen returns but come the Tests, we are still going to need someone to impose himself and properly go on.

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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 08 Nov 2017, 11:29 pm

Four wickets for the leggie...ah well , no Warne to play in the Tests so not a huge concern I suppose.

Would hope Cook gets a bit more time in the middle in his next couple of hits before facing The NSW Pace Attack. Other than that most of the batsmen seem to be getting some handy match practice - and to be honest that is all these games are as they aren't State teams and there isn't a lot riding on the outcome : though the tourists won't want to be embarrassed.

I take guildford's point about the lack of imposing performances ; but at this stage I think I'd rather all the batsmen got a chance to bat than see one or two make big hundreds while the rest sit and watch : would like a couple of standout innings in the last warm up game , perhaps.

Today the bowlers get their chance and it will be interesting to see both who handles the pink ball well (with an eye to the Second Test) and of course who will make a case to support Broad and Anderson in Brisbane. Guess it needs to be Woakes for one just for his batting ; so I do hope he clicks here after a somewhat disappointing start in the two day frolic... Overton and Ball are presumably dueling for the other spot.

One good point re Moeen's injury (as long as he is recovered for the next game !) is that Crane has had a chance he may not normally have received to show what he can do - not that I expect him to play the early Tests ; but if he is needed later it will be a benefit to all that he has had a decent run out.

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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 Thu 09 Nov 2017, 12:36 am

Pleased to read I'm not the only one singing from Alec Stewart's Surrey hymn sheet. Smile

From Mark Stoneman on the BBC website:
''It was a little bit frustrating more than anything that we didn't kick on and probably have a couple of hundreds scored out there today.
Everyone got a bit of time in the middle, so that was encouraging - but we also need to be scoring hundreds, and big hundreds.''

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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 09 Nov 2017, 6:35 am

Ball goes down in delivery stride with a sprained ankle - potentially needs scans and might not be fit for the 1st test

England really are not having any sort of injury luck!
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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 Thu 09 Nov 2017, 11:21 am

At this rate Curran may end up in the side for Brisbane by default Smile

Bad luck for Ball who had apparently started nicely with an early wicket. Not sure how serious it is but they'll be sweating on the scan tomorrow. Apart from anything else losing the fourth seamer has probably forced Root to use a bit more Crane than he wanted as he clearly intends to "manage" Anderson in particular.
Good to see Woakes taking wickets. And Overton seems to have had a mixed day : incredibly economical early ; then a bit expensive late in the day. He's almost guaranteed a Test place , you'd think ; unless Ball bounces back quickly.

Hopefully they're getting the injuries out of the way early and the important players are all going to enjoy a smoothly healthy series once the big games commence...

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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 Thu 09 Nov 2017, 12:32 pm

Preparation couldn't be going much worse it seems.


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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 09 Nov 2017, 12:51 pm

Hopefully they're getting the worst out the way early...although not a good sign that the backup to Broad/Anderson are breaking down...

From what I saw on the stream this morning before work, Overton looked sharp. A bit erratic, but he was getting steep bounce and I think that's the role he will be asked to play. Woakes and Anderson looked good too...Crane a bit of a mixed bag, but he done fine. A shame for Ball, but I'd have played Overton ahead of him anyways personally
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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 Thu 09 Nov 2017, 6:45 pm

If Tom Curran should be required and at risk of completing jinxing things, the one thing we should be able to rely on is his fitness. He's hardly missed a game in the last two years!

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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 Thu 09 Nov 2017, 6:49 pm

Hmm not sure id feel confident in having curran make his debut in an ashes series...Curran is a perfectly good bowler, but would prefer to have Wood or Plunkett in australia...on these pitches, the extra pace would make a difference

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