The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

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The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Pal Joey on Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

5th Test Sydney, January 4-8, 2017 (23:30 GMT Jan 3)

Australia:
Bancroft, Warner, Khawaja, Smith *, S Marsh, M Marsh, Paine †, Starc, Cummins, Lyon, Hazelwood

England:
Cook, Stoneman, Vince, Root *, Malan, Bairstow †, Ali, Curran, Broad, Crane, Anderson



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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:31 am

alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
JDizzle wrote:Whether or not County cricket is set up to help produce and develop young spinners is a different argument again... Or just a straight no!

They could just treat him like Broad. Pick at a young age because they see something and are happy to ride the lows because they are comfortable in what they see in him.

Maybe if he starts the summer off well, but he shouldn’t be in the team for the New Zealand tour. If you don’t want to play Moeen if his form hasn’t improved, in a Stokes-less world, it has to be Rashid or Dawson.

Blimey , Olly ...weren't you driving the Crane Train a few weeks ago ? Smile

I still am! But he’s in the same boat as Curran for me, not really ready yet and with everyone around shouldn’t be in the starting XI. Ultimately he went at over 4 an over and had figured of 190/1...which isn’t good.

If Moeen remains out of form, short term, bring in Rashid or Dawson imo and then reassess all options come summer
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:14 am

Fair enough , Olly

I reckon you can make a reasonable argument either way. I'd just like to take this chance to give him another game or two in NZ as I rather doubt he will get a look in in the home summer. And I do think Moeen needs a rest - he looks shot at the moment.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:22 am

Blank


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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:23 am

Of course it all ended rather tamely once Root deferred to medical advice at lunch...  Curran played a few shots and he and Jimmy at least made it to the drinks break but there were never going to be any miracles today. Somewhat ironic that I understand the last wicket may have been an umpiring error but England had no reviews left : after they seemed disinclined to use reviews at all in Melbourne Smile

Well done to Australia on finishing the job with an emphatic victory to add some cream to their Ashes cake clap cake

For England it's back to the drawing board : at least the next round will be held in conditions more to their liking !

I'm sure we will have a selection thread up anytime soon...

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:46 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
JDizzle wrote:Whether or not County cricket is set up to help produce and develop young spinners is a different argument again... Or just a straight no!

They could just treat him like Broad. Pick at a young age because they see something and are happy to ride the lows because they are comfortable in what they see in him.

Maybe if he starts the summer off well, but he shouldn’t be in the team for the New Zealand tour. If you don’t want to play Moeen if his form hasn’t improved, in a Stokes-less world, it has to be Rashid or Dawson.

Blimey , Olly ...weren't you driving the Crane Train a few weeks ago ? Smile

I still am! But he’s in the same boat as Curran for me, not really ready yet and with everyone around shouldn’t be in the starting XI. Ultimately he went at over 4 an over and had figured of 190/1...which isn’t good.

If Moeen remains out of form, short term, bring in Rashid or Dawson imo and then reassess all options come summer

I agree with this...although with Curran I dont see how hes ever going to be good enough as a bowler. He has nothing special in his game, short of developing Anderson like abilities he will remain a very medium fast right arm stock county bowler.

Crane at least has the chance to get better ...but test class leg spinners are extremely rare and even more so for England. The only successful one in test cricket currently is Shah, he gets to play most of his cricket on spinners wickets and sits well behind 4 off spinners in the bowling rankings.

I really feel his future should be in the limited overs sides where leg spinners have much more success. If he can become a force there (hes done nothing in his first two games) and refine his bowling then maybe he could / should be given another go in tests. Theres 3 series before they play on spinners wickets again in Sri Lanka, IMO that should be the next time hes considered for tests.

Moeen has a chance to get some confidence back in the limited overs games too. He is far too flakey and not skilled enough to be the long term answer for England abroad, but could have a role in a 2/3 man spin attack in the sub continent or on very seam friendly pitches where he will only be expected to bowl a handful of overs.

Id chuck Leach into the options too, but I think its pretty unlikely that England will change from these two in the New Zealand squad.

Swann sounded like a ranting drunk after the game today. He seems to believe that England will destroy Australia in 18 months....despite them likely not having Anderson by then. Theres a fair chance Cook and Broad may have gone too. Theres a hell of a lot of gaps to fill in the side, the future looks pretty bleak given how long some of these positions have remained problematic.
The search for an opener has gone on since Strauss. The search for a 3 has gone on since Trotts melt down. The search for a spinner since Swann withdrew. The search for a fast bowler since Finn shat the bed. The search for a decent left armer since err Sidebottom??? If England were short a mid 80s right armer seamer and a couple of batsmen keepers I wouldnt be worried. Loughborough, the coaches and all the other things the ECB sinks its wealth into just aren't creating good enough cricketers of the types and quality we need to be a success anywhere other than England. We cant keep hiding behind the home record, or that other teams also struggle abroad...we are falling further behind the top 3 test teams and continue to rot.
Swann also noted that Englands last two successful spinners ( him and Panessar) didnt come through the England system. That should say something about the standard and approach of the development programmes.

Something more than just selections for the test team needs a shake up. You can only select players who exist, so where are the good ones going to come from? We cant just rely on Smith being rubbish against the moving ball to regain the Ashes. We barely won the last home series with a more complete side.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:30 am

...and before we get too complacent about the NZ tour its worth noting that England have now dropped to 5th in the ICC rankings behind New Zealand who should be favourites at home.
By the end of that series England could have slipped below Sri Lanka to 6th.

Lets stop hiding behind the home results, this is not a good side and likely to get worse before it gets better.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by GSC on Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:19 am

Don't think England were bad, but well beaten by the better team at home.
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Marky on Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:36 am

GSC wrote:Don't think England were bad, but well beaten by the better team at home.

Basically it.

We had chances in a few of the tests but Australia were just better.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:12 pm

Gooseberry wrote:...and before we get too complacent about the NZ tour its worth noting that England have now dropped to 5th in the ICC rankings behind New Zealand who should be favourites at home.
By the end of that series England could have slipped below Sri Lanka to 6th.

Lets stop hiding behind the home results, this is not a good side and likely to get worse before it gets better.

Don't think anyone will be complacent about the NZ tour ! Never mind the rankings ; NZ have some damn good pace bowlers and one or two fellows who can bat ...they were always going to be a handful at home. England will need to get a lot closer to their best than they've managed the last few weeks if they're to succeed.
I think they'll be pretty motivated though. Players with things to prove , places to keep...I think it might be a very interesting series. Will be fascinated to see what changes are made from the current squad.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by GSC on Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:04 pm

Don't think it's a series that will live that long in the memory for either side I suspect. Didn't really need any of the pre series garbage in the media
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:09 pm

Marky wrote:
GSC wrote:Don't think England were bad, but well beaten by the better team at home.

Basically it.

We had chances in a few of the tests but Australia were just better.


They had 3 batsmen who were utter junk, their keeper was poor and Warner underperfiormed by his standards.
If England did well and got marmal;ised by those margins ( and they were really heavy defeats ) then I dread to think what a poorly performing Enghland side would have done against a complete side.
Yes Australias bowling was top draw, and Smith is easily the best batsman in the world at the moment. But that aside Aus are nota great side and have a number of flaws and medicore players making up the numbers.
Has Mitchell Marsh suddenly becoming the simplest thing to make a neat sandwich with since sliced bread or was England bowling infact not good?
These werent even particulalry fast or bouncy pitches, conditions didnt favour Aus as much as they mightve. The last two tests were played on a totaly dead pancake (facing Jackson Bird) and a spin friendly wicket ...England still couldnt hold on to 20 wickets or take 20 wickets. They only took 58 all series despite Australias 1 and 3 gifting them at 2 a game (or 4 on the odd occassion they batted again).
The scale of defeat in this test was enourmous...Roots illness aside they lost 20 wickets to Austrlias 7 and still were 123 runs behind...thats a hell of a kicking.
Even the 4th test were they had a big lead by the end it look like Aus couldve batted for another week if it was timeless test.

Lets be honest Cooks been turning up once a series recently. Stoneman and Vince are pretty hopeless. Moeen is a fairly average cricketer who had a truely awful series even by his standards. Woakes is strugggling to step up to Broad levels overseas, and Broad himself was below par for most of the series. Ball was so bad they turned to Curran who in turn is so incoucuous he made Jackson Bird look good. Crane was a desperation pick and for all the plaudits only has a test avergae just under 200 for his trouble from a wicket giving him some assistance.
Whilst Root and Malan did welland Bairstow OK only Anderson came out of this with genuine credit, and had to be leaned on far more heavily than England wouldve wanted. Its the most overs hes ever bowled in a series...at 35 in a team with 5 front line bowlers and 2 part timers. Something has not gone well if thats happening. But hey its a real positive he could do that and still keep it tight in the heat, the guy is a legend. Broad had long wilted by the end.


I dont call that performance good. Way too many passengers.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:38 pm

One exaggeration I spotted in there Gooseberry was about Curran making Bird look good. Bird took no wickets in his test whereas Curran took a wicket in each of his tests so would say that was a better return.


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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:00 pm

They had the best batsman in the world in imperious form, more suited conditions and perfect fitness bar being able to rest Starc at 3-0.

We had lost maybe the best all rounder in the game, the spinner got injured and lost his game, 200 bowling alternatives lost fitness.

I don’t think it was either close nor actually hugely far.

And I don’t think they’ll beat us in England, even though we’ll produce a couple more neutral pitches. Does depend on whether they start to balance the side, as I can’t see how both Woakes and Broad play together and England become successful

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by GSC on Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:37 pm

Don't think Broads likely to play that much longer to be honest.

Has a lot of mileage and his body hasn't held up that well over his career.
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by wisden on Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:50 pm

Anderson and Broad will be around for another year at least, i think Broad can do 2 more years easily

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:40 pm

Do we pick enough players for the places we’re playing or just go on “these ones are best” and always play em

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:41 pm

England's top priotities have to be to find:-

1. A consistent opener who does not give his wicket away.

2. A number three who can hang around and score meaningful runs.

3. Find an all-rounder who can bowl at decent pace and average 30+ with the bat.

4. Find one or preferably two fast pace bowlers a notch up from Anderson and Broad pace-wise who can take wickets.

5. Find a true quality spinner and integrate him into the side ASAP.

If they cannot manage a big proportion of those then results will only deteriorate further when Cook, Anderson and Broad retire with no quality replacements waiting in the wings.
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:58 am

GSC wrote:Don't think Broads likely to play that much longer to be honest.

Has a lot of mileage and his body hasn't held up that well over his career.

He certainly didn't seem quite himself on this trip. Obviously the niggles that were mentioned were not enough to keep him out of the side (partly because of the very limited replacements available!) but it did seem he was less than fully fit much of the time.

Question I suppose is whether a significant rest now (he could even miss the NZ tour if thought best ?) would enable him to get back to his best or whether the sustained effort over a number of years has put him past the point of no return...

I note that Anderson , who had to miss quite a few matches through 2015-16 , regained full fitness and remarkable powers of endurance - at a few years older than Broad - to enjoy a wonderful 2017. So sometimes a bit of rest can work wonders : hope for Broad yet ? Will wait and see.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:02 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:England's top priotities have to be to find:-

1. A consistent opener who does not give his wicket away.

2. A number three who can hang around and score meaningful runs.

3. Find an all-rounder who can bowl at decent pace and average 30+ with the bat.

4. Find one or preferably two fast pace bowlers a notch up from Anderson and Broad pace-wise who can take wickets.

5. Find a true quality spinner and integrate him into the side ASAP.

If they cannot manage a big proportion of those then results will only deteriorate further when Cook, Anderson and Broad retire with no quality replacements waiting in the wings.

Like your shopping list , Craig OK

That allrounder you are after ? I hear there's a big ginger haired chap not doing too much at the moment who might like a game if you can strike a deal with the local law enforcement agencies down in the south west...

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:24 am

Yes I know Stokes is chomping at the bit but England need options especially for when Stokes is out, Ali way off form and Broad not quite the run scorer he once was.
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:20 am

They do have options for when they’re out - problem is like every country in the world, those options aren’t as good. In shocking developments, losing your best players means you won’t be as good!

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:24 am

That list of what is needed hasnt changed for some time (although Stokes absence compunded by Woakes injury has added the allrounder as a temporary issue) this tour has shone the spotlight more closely in the need to get some genuine pace.
They can get away with the current bunch at home where swing and seam is the key so Id still say sorting the top 3 is the short term issue ....mediun term for next winter the bowlers need to be found if they are tonhave any chance of success.
If cook, broad and anderson have all gone by summer 2019 the shopping list is going to include excuses for losing at home. The chances of filling that many spots by then when we havent found a too 3 player who can hold down a spot for the last 5 years is pretty slim.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by dummy_half on Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:50 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:England's top priotities have to be to find:-

1. A consistent opener who does not give his wicket away.

2. A number three who can hang around and score meaningful runs.

3. Find an all-rounder who can bowl at decent pace and average 30+ with the bat.

4. Find one or preferably two fast pace bowlers a notch up from Anderson and Broad pace-wise who can take wickets.

5. Find a true quality spinner and integrate him into the side ASAP.

If they cannot manage a big proportion of those then results will only deteriorate further when Cook, Anderson and Broad retire with no quality replacements waiting in the wings.

1 - Hopefully when fit, Hameed can come back into that role.

2 - I'd push Malan up to 3, as he does seem to have the right mindset and some ability. Obviously leaves a hole at 5. Livingstone?

3 - Obviously when Stokes becomes available, this is moot

4 - Not sure it's necessarily pure pace, but we do currently lack a bowler with the X factor to get good batsmen out on flat wickets (something Glenn McGrath was capable of despite not being express pace). I think Broad has been hugely disappointing this tour, with the suggestion he wasn't really match fit, as in the past he's been a bowler who could 'find a way'. Anderson has been the one bowler who has really stood up well. The problem is that good fast bowlers are not exactly ten a penny in England (unlike in the Caribbean between about 1960 and 2000).

5 - Ali has done pretty well in the last few years considering he's (at least in his head) a batsman who bowls, but his limitations as a bowler have definitely been shown up in India and this tour (the latter with questions over his fitness). The problem is that we don't have a finger spinner anywhere near Lyon's class, with the ability to do a good containing job when required and to pressurise batsmen in more favourable conditions. Crane may or may not be the future, but he's very young and still has some developing to do before he's a genuine international class bowler and could probably do with 3 or 4 seasons to really learn his craft (Swann, for all he can be an eejit on commentary, does have some interesting comments about how he developed much more as a bowler by playing at Notts on a relatively unhelpful wicket rather than at Northants where conditions generally helped).

I think we've a better chance of sorting out #1 to #3 in the short term. Harder to know about the seam bowling, as we seem to have several options who are similar (if inferior) to Anderson or Broad but no-one who really stands out as different in terms of outright pace or being a lefty. As for spin bowlers, I think we just need to hope that one of the young guys emerges from the pack, but I honestly don't see an obvious candidate for the next few years (a bit like Aus between Warne retiring and Lyon emerging).

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by guildfordbat on Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:33 am

Meanwhile, cricinfo and others suggest that of England batsmen it'll be Ballance who is axed from the squad for the New Zealand Tests.

Unless Ballance has been skipping net practice, I feel that's pretty harsh. He went Australia as first reserve, sat it out whilst others performed moderately but just well enough (it seems) to get another go and somehow he falls further down the pecking order.

To be fair, Ballance wouldn't be in my New Zealand tour party. However, I wouldn't have chosen him for Australia either. The selectors don't have that excuse!

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by James100 on Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:43 am

I have no problem with dropping Ballance - like you Guildford, I think taking him to Australia was the mistake. But making him the only batting casualty from this tour puts no responsibility on they guys who went out and failed to score runs.

Vince has to be dropped for me, looking pretty is no reason to pick someone who has shown himself to be fragile both mentally (a block at the 20-30 run point) and technically (hanging too far to the legside causing him to nick off when driving). Stoneman should also probably go, though I can at least see a case for sticking with him given the amount of openers we've gone through since Strauss.

I think an issue over the last couple of Winters has been not picking enough batters in the squad so that there are not enough options for changing things up. In Australia and India the only reserve has been Ballance which has lead to no changes being made. For NZ, I'd look at a 17 or 18 man squad with at least a reserve opener and a reserve middle order batsman.

Does anyone know whether Hameed has played at all over Winter? He certainly seems like the long term answer, but there's no point in picking him unless he's in form.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:43 am

Its a weird one with Ballance isnt it ...most of us baulked at seeing him included in the tour squad in the first place ( ditto Vince ) , yet now hes getting jettisoned for either a failure or a Lion who was behind him only a couple of months ago during which time he hasnt played a proper match.
Its just smacks of the same muddled thinking theyve demonstarted in regard to spinners and openers.

I do wonder sometimes if theres a lot of disagreement behind the scenes between the various people influencing sqaud and team selection. Theres a lot of flip flopping going on, and gradually Cook should be asserting more authority on how he wants to shape his team into the future. Maybe he never wouldve had ballance in the first place and owuld prefer one of the young guns looking at the long term picture.

Meanwhile Bayliss has said hes not going to renew after the 2019 Ashes. No great surprise there really, and the world cups likely to be his major focus.
Thats also likely to be the absolute limit for Cook, Anderson and Broad too if that make it that far.  Unless some real star players start emerging quickly then its not going to be a very easy job to take over.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:52 pm

Well according to Bayliss both Stoneman and Vince will be touring NZ. He has said they merit further chances. That said then I can't see the squad being all that different for that tour. Ballance will probably drop out to be replaced by a batsman on the Young Lions tour and they may take a look at him in the warm-up games.
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by GSC on Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:54 pm

Don't really see where the alternatives are coming from.
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by dummy_half on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:08 pm

GSC wrote:Don't really see where the alternatives are coming from.

And that's the big question - easy enough to say that someone should be dropped but it's a problem at the moment as we have no-one demonstrably better to bring in (particularly in the case of Stoneman - lots of openers have been tried but none have shown long-term quality)

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:12 pm

Did Gary Ballance get caught looking out some windows?
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:43 pm

I hope they take a bigger squad and some proper alternatives. And I’d take Rashid so England can get over themselves a bit.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by guildfordbat on Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:00 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:I hope they take a bigger squad and some proper alternatives. And I’d take Rashid so England can get over themselves a bit.

I agree with James' earlier post that our Ashes squad was a batsman light. However, we need to keep in mind that we are only playing two Tests in New Zealand. We are playing five ODIs there before the Tests get underway but I would guess there will be a squad for each format and not one large combined squad for both.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:12 am

Im not sure how we were a batsman light when we didnt use one at all and they had the option of using Bairstow as a specialist. I guess trhey could/should have taken another option for opener...but theyyve clearly determined to give Stoneman and extended run regardless of form, and all other alternatives had already been tried and rejected. Other than having injury standby not getting agme time with the Lions and creating a greater feeling of pressure on Stoneman Im not sure what value there really wouldve been in having Jennings or Hameed feeling bored and moping round the dressing room. With the Lion running a parallel tour there wasnt the need to have a mass party, and if they didnt back the likes of Stoneman then they shouldnt have picked them in the first place.

Sending 3 spinners to New Zealand for a two test series is an odd suggestion, unless we want Rashid to brush up on his drinks carrying skills again. I'm not sure what " getting over themselves" means....but if we ended up using 3 in the tour then theres something seriously wrong. Instead of Moeen and/or Crane has merit though....but taking them all just gets bloated.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by guildfordbat on Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:53 am

Goose - re ''a batsman light'' thing. There's no suggestion from me that we really suffered as a result but I do think we took a bit of a chance.

It was particularly an opener (ideally an opener who could also bat at 3 if necessary that I had in mind). If Stoneman had started the tour like he ended it, calls would have soon gone out for him to be binned (even if not from someone like yourself who always tries so hard to see the best in all players and their abilities Wink ).

Ok, you can take the view that you shouldn't plan to fail but I still feel feel you need to cover key bases. What would have happened if Stoneman or Cook had suffered a finger injury in the nets just before a Test started? There's no obvious or ideal answer.

I actually wondered before the series started if Foakes was wasting his time as reserve keeper and speculated that he could be flown in from wherever the Lions were in Australia at the time if he were needed. However, Alfie pointed out that ''Australia is a big place'' and convinced me that wouldn't be feasible given sudden injuries don't give notice of their arrival. Foakes did at least get given a game with the Lions to keep his hand in. We could have done the same with an opener like Jennings.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:20 am

All a bit academic now ...but I also felt England were essentially a batsman light , both here and in India last year.
Of course the format of modern tours means you are almost stuck with your initial selection ,  injuries aside : those who don't make the first cut get no opportunity to prepare to fill in... But if you only have one reserve , who doesn't specialize in the positions in which you are most exposed , you really are taking a chance.
You are also making any deliberate changes less attractive ; so making it more likely you'll hang on to a player who arguably needs a break...and that when you do make a change it will like as not mean someone filling a hole he doesn't quite fit...

Examples : in India Ballance was presumed unselectable but kept around - only to be overlooked while Buttler was picked as a non-keeping batsman at seven.  And in Australia the out of sorts Vince and Stoneman stayed in place because the only spare player was (a) not an opener (b) another left hander which they didn't really want at three...in fact he was only a suitable cover for Malan who turned out not to need it...

I guess the list of likely players wasn't that exciting anyway.  But someone like Hameed ; or Westley (probably not him!) who was preferably right handed and could cover the top three would perhaps have been a better option.  Hence Livingstone for NZ ?

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:56 am

guildfordbat wrote:Goose - re ''a batsman light'' thing. There's no suggestion from me that we really suffered as a result but I do think we took a bit of a chance.

It was particularly an opener (ideally an opener who could also bat at 3 if necessary that I had in mind). If Stoneman had started the tour like he ended it, calls would have soon gone out for him to be binned (even if not from someone like yourself who always tries so hard to see the best in all players and their abilities Wink ).

Ok, you can take the view that you shouldn't plan to fail but I still feel feel you need to cover key bases. What would have happened if Stoneman or Cook had suffered a finger injury in the nets just before a Test started? There's no obvious or ideal answer.

I actually wondered before the series started if Foakes was wasting his time as reserve keeper and speculated that he could be flown in from wherever the Lions were in Australia at the time if he were needed. However, Alfie pointed out that ''Australia is a big place'' and convinced me that wouldn't be feasible given sudden injuries don't give notice of their arrival. Foakes did at least get given a game with the Lions to keep his hand in. We could have done the same with an opener like Jennings.


The Lions?
I had expected them to take one of Jennings or Hameed as part of the squad (although apparently Hameed had surgery anyway which rulked him out of both tours) but I dont see it as a big deal that they didnt. Sure if Cook had exploded on his way to the first test they might had to pad up Collingwood to step in ....but this is true of home tests, they dont turn up to those with a reserve opener "just in case" (From memory without fact checking there was one time Trecothick ended up keeping wicket because of a last minute injury to someone)
I get the point with inconstitency there with Foakes....but Bairstow was arguably a reserve batsman and Foakes was in the squad on merit rather than just because " we ought to have someone along for the ride evenm if we dont think they are good enough to play for England". It may be that they would rather have asked Root, Moeen or Malan to open than turn to a guy they had already rejected.
I do feel Jennings has been a bit hard done by in all this, but so be it. People on this board were all over Stoneman and blindly backing him till the fifth test despite his clear limitations ...and theres still plenty of talk about his "attitude" which is really just cover for him not being very good and having no choice but to scratch around and desperatly try to hang in there. Hes not capable of hitting his way out of trouble/glory like a Hales might be able to. But England have backed their horse ...at least untill Hameed is fit and fixed.


TL/DR I get the argument I just dont think it was masisvely controversial or afected their decision to keep going with Stoneman. Persoanly I dont think he ever should have been capped in the first place and peoples expectation were way out of proportion to his abilities but we are where we are.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:01 am

BY getting over themselves, I mean I think England think they are better than him, but when Moeen went to s**t, they were too scared cos Crane left them light. I think Mo never should have started the series anyway, and Rashid would have been the option.

I think England suffer from arrogance

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by alfie on Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:31 am

Not sure that was arrogance , Dolphin...

Moeen had just come off an excellent home summer ; and they probably didn't expect him to get injured at practice. He has (had!) a good record for not getting injured. I do think they'd have been smarter to have Rashid - or actually Dawson as a better like-for-like replacement - on deck . Indeed I think I was advocating that in advance...
But I can just about see the attractions of taking Crane "for
experience" . A risk ; and perhaps one they shouldn't have taken. Still : doubt it made a huge difference to the series result and maybe one day we'll be glad Crane got a taste (even a less than pleasant one ! ) Of the pressures of Test Cricket.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:26 pm

Was an alternative out of reach when Mo first got injured?

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Gooseberry on Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:02 pm

No just didnt exist in their eyes....or it wss just crane, bayliss consistently talked up his selectability
Dawson and rashid seem to have been firmly binned. They were happier risking a hampered moeen over starting with sub standard players. Who knows how much that was down to wishful thinking and pressure on moeen to play and how much he was desperate to play himself.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:35 pm

One thing seems clear going by past tours of Australia. England only succeed when equipped with spinners who take a good haul of wickets. Their last win Down Under and they had Graeme Swann chipping in with a healthy amount of wickets to support the pace bowlers. Their last Ashes win before that Down Uuder came in 1986-87 when they were equipped with Phil Edmonds and John Emburey both of whom contributed healthily with wickets. I think that shows that a quality spinner needs to be found and integrated into the side if England are serious about winning Down Under again.
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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by guildfordbat on Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:51 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:One thing seems clear going by past tours of Australia. England only succeed when equipped with spinners who take a good haul of wickets. Their last win Down Under and they had Graeme Swann chipping in with a healthy amount of wickets to support the pace bowlers. Their last Ashes win before that Down Uuder came in 1986-87 when they were equipped with Phil Edmonds and John Emburey both of whom contributed healthily with wickets. I think that shows that a quality spinner needs to be found and integrated into the side if England are serious about winning Down Under again.

Craig - on the same theme but going further back in time, when on commentary in this series Boycott banged on more than once about how important left arm spinner Derek Underwood was to England's Ashes win Down Under in 1970/71.

I just looked up Deadly's stats for that series. Not for the first time and for all his goings on, Boycs had a point. Back then, an over in Australia comprised 8 balls. Underwood sent down 194.6 of such overs, with 50 of them maidens, at a cost of 520 runs throughout the 6 Tests played. That equates to just 2 runs for a usual 6 ball over. As well as so effectively keeping it tight, he also took 16 series wickets. The wicket haul doesn't seem that much but it was the second highest bag by anyone from either side.

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Pal Joey on Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:24 pm

Interesting that, guidlford.
Lyon's 260 6 ball overs = 1560 balls
Underwood's 195 8 ball overs = 1560 balls

My favourite stat however is that all of our 87 wickets were taken by NSW bowlers. Smile
(another reason why I shouldn't have picked MM for Melbourne in the tipping comp)

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:38 pm

My girlfriend and her family will enjoy that stat!

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Re: The Ashes: 5th Test, Sydney

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