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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 12:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

Seeing as this starts next week, I'll kick it off - the Aussies have selected their 17 man squad


Australia's Ashes squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

Main takeaway there is no specialist spinner selected behind Lyon, with Neser included suggests they don't anticipate many, if any, spinning wickets...
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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 2:54 pm

dummy_half wrote:And now Smith having a bowl. Likely to go for less than his last over against England (22 in the WC semi final)

He bowled two overs in the first innings for nine runs.

On a more serious note, it's very hard to see how to solve the problems in this England team, not once but twice they've been in the driving seat and this is the situation we somehow find ourselves in. If it was down to some brilliance from the Aussies it would be more forgivable but it was gift wrapped to them yesterday, Root seems to have fully bought into the Smith hype and just lets him bat as he wants, there's never any real plan to get him out but more just to slow him down. This wasn't helped by becoming so fixated with Smith that they've almost forgotten that they can get the guys out at the other end, quite what they were doing against Head and Wade yesterday is anyones guess.

The reliance on Anderson to make something happen is quite worrying and whilst I want Archer to come in at Lords I just feel he'll be misused as a battering ram instead of making use of his accuracy. A lot was made of pace during the world cup and rightly so but it was the line and length throughout that stood out most of all.

The batting is just a mess to be honest and too much reliance put on players who aren't performing and our best player is burdened with the captaincy and it just doesn't seem to suit him. A lot of tough decisions need to be made sooner rather than later.

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Post by Duty281 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 2:55 pm

Lyon has six! Australia were 122/8 and -16/3, but they're going to win by about 250 runs. Remarkable.

Anderson batting - could be the last time we ever see this great of the game play for England. A sad way to depart.

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 2:55 pm

Ridiculous that an injured Anderson is coming out to bat now. Just another plainly wrong decision.

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Post by No name Bertie on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 2:57 pm

Anderson to block one end, while Woakes goes for a triple century at the other end.

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Post by VTR on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 2:57 pm

Shocking today but not a surprise. This series is as good as gone, Australia look a lot stronger. I have been backing them to win this series for a long time, just thought they would have too much for England who have won some pretty close ones at home over the years

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Post by Duty281 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:02 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Ridiculous that an injured Anderson is coming out to bat now. Just another plainly wrong decision.

Very foolish stuff, the man can't even run. I wonder if Australia would have considered it in poor taste if he didn't come out, seeing as how Lyon was on a hat-trick?

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Post by compelling and rich on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:04 pm

VTR wrote:Shocking today but not a surprise. This series is as good as gone, Australia look a lot stronger. I have been backing them to win this series for a long time, just thought they would have too much for England who have won some pretty close ones at home over the years

ive backed them too, don't think bowling units in home conditions there is much difference other than they have a better spinner

batting wise they have smith we don't. that's literally the difference in this test match. (Anderson injury being the other key point)

only other major difference I would say is the aus batters are stronger mentally. we have so many flaky batsman who will just gift their wicket away


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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:04 pm

VTR wrote:Shocking today but not a surprise. This series is as good as gone, Australia look a lot stronger. I have been backing them to win this series for a long time, just thought they would have too much for England who have won some pretty close ones at home over the years

For all of Englands problem if Smith goes cheaply that's effectively Australia done and dusted, honestly don't think we lose this game with a fit Anderson so overall the teams are just as bad as each other.

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Post by Duty281 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:13 pm

Duty281 wrote:11/8 on Australia to win this test - quite generous
Duty281 wrote:There's an astonishingly generous 6/1 available on Australia, which is pretty fair game considering England have to bat last on a lively track. I wouldn't fancy chasing 175 on this track on Sunday afternoon!

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Enjoyable test match. thumbsup

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Post by VTR on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:18 pm

Yes, the Anderson injury was key, reckon he would have bowled well on this. Its another sign to me though that things are going Aussies way, you need that at times (e.g. Mcgrath injury on 2005). That and stuff like the weak umpires giving them a new ball when England were getting on top in the first innings.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:20 pm

Australia win by 251 runs. Australia's number 4 scored 286. England's 29. Possibly unfair to single out Denly (as others also didn't contribute) but that's a 257 run swing and the entire game right there.

England have to find a way of getting Smith. Quickly.

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:28 pm

Perhaps only England can lose a match by 250 runs after being in very strong positions more than once.

England's batting has been very weak for some time and being a bowler short and with a poorly-performing spinner they were going to be up against it.

The only hope is that England do what they have so often done in home series recently - namely, follow up a shocker with a win in the next match.

However, it's Lord's next, where Australia invariably win. 2-0 could, quite conceivably, lead to 5-0. Hardly bears thinking about.

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:31 pm

Duty281 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Ridiculous that an injured Anderson is coming out to bat now. Just another plainly wrong decision.

Very foolish stuff, the man can't even run. I wonder if Australia would have considered it in poor taste if he didn't come out, seeing as how Lyon was on a hat-trick?

I rather doubt it. The win was what they were after and no Anderson would have given them that. In any case, we shouldn't be sending out an injured player so as to pander to our opponents' possible feelings.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:35 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
VTR wrote:Shocking today but not a surprise. This series is as good as gone, Australia look a lot stronger. I have been backing them to win this series for a long time, just thought they would have too much for England who have won some pretty close ones at home over the years

For all of Englands problem if Smith goes cheaply that's effectively Australia done and dusted, honestly don't think we lose this game with a fit Anderson so overall the teams are just as bad as each other.

I agree with this. Saw it summed up very neatly on Twitter - Australia’s best player had a game for the ages and England’s best player bowled 4 overs. It’s a team game etc etc but that is tough to deal with.

Of course Anderson may now be out of the series and England’s favourite ground gone, but it’s not totally over yet.

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Post by KP_fan on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:49 pm

--So Eng did not cross 150 runs and did not last even 60 overs.....did not one bit give the impression of willingness to fight it out and stretch the game.

-Don't blame the batsmen.....on a D5 pitch at best they can be expected to chase 150-200ish
Blame the bowlers who let Aus get so far ahead
Blame the team selection that had barely 3 proper bowlers in the end,
Blame the captain for not being able to put foot down and say I do not want a star bowler with dodgy ankle

for the next game

1-Get Root to bat at where he has scored most of his runs....and that's number 4
2- How to fill the No. 3 spot....is a problem I won't take on me.,.....let the selectors decide.
3-get 4 seamers and 2 spinners in the side.....which means reducing one specialist batsman...which one should be selectors problem
It won't cost them anything negatively....as most of England's bowlers can bat and will do not worse than a non performing specialist batter.

4- For Aus I think all boxes checked except openers....Wade's form and style of scoring the biggest bonus...given that Smith's heroics while amazing are not totally unexpected.

5- Aus should per their own declaration rotate the specialist seamers.....so we should see either Hazelwood or Starc in for someone

6- Aus's biggest risk to their prospects in the series is if they lose Lyon to an injury.....absolutely irreplaceable

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:54 pm

The Australian batting line up is going to get severely over rated now, aside from Smith and Warner they're garbage, it just so happens that their star player performed while Englands did his usual 50 and out, Wade scoring runs in the context of the game was pretty irrelevant, lets see what happens when it actually matters.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 3:55 pm

England have options for the next test if Anderson is out. Curran could come in and offer variety and strengthen the batting. Archer could come in and offer a quicker option. Leach could come in and turn the ball away from Smith - would that be more likely to get him? We operated this test with 3 seamers anyway, we could do that next test as well?

The batting needs sorting. Either the current players need to step up or we need new players. For the first time in ages we had good partnerships for the first and second wickets, but Buttler and Bairstow failed and Stokes threw it away at 50. These guys are better than that, but aren't showing it.

I'd potentially pick the same top 7, but I wouldn't shed a tear if we lost Denly. If we do though, we need to replace him with a top order player, not another lower-middle player. If they want a lower-middle player in, they need to drop one of Buttler or Bairstow.

In the bowling line-up, a lot depends on Anderson but with 9 days until the next test he possibly won't make it. I'm leaning more towards Curran, but a lot of the buzz is around Archer. Will he be fit enough? Stokes shouldn't be bowling 40 overs in a test and it hampers his batting.

Leach over Ali? Ali should bat at 9 behind Woakes and the decision of Leach or Ali should be made purely on bowling grounds, but I don't think it's clear cut either way.

Time for the selectors to earn their money. 3 or 4 big decisions to be made. They'll need to be careful not to be too reactionary, and only make the right changes for the team.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 4:05 pm

We're 1-0 down, it's Archer or bust, he might not be fully fit but he'll cause the Aussies more problems than Curran trundling in at 78-79mph.

Burns
Roy (I'd drop him for that shot alone)
Sibley
Root
Stokes
Buttler
Foakes
Woakes
Archer
Broad
Leach

Might be a bit drastic but persisting with failing players isn't going to get us very far, to get the best out of Leach or any spinner you need your best gloveman, it must be a good thing mentally knowing any chance you create regardless of difficulty will be taken, also might help knowing that Smith averages about 34 against left arm spin.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 4:38 pm

It’s quite depressing that Smith’s average of 34 against left arm spin is his weakness, when most of England’s batsmen don’t average that full stop.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 5:12 pm

JDizzle wrote:It’s quite depressing that Smith’s average of 34 against left arm spin is his weakness, when most of England’s batsmen don’t average that full stop.

Ultimately it’s that low because he had a series against Herath on absolutely dog wickets in Sri Lanka and a few fluke dismissals going after Dean Elgar. Not sure I’d define it as a true weakness based off that really!
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Post by king_carlos on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 5:19 pm

Extra pace seems the best route England have to giving Root more options. Given the fragility of his decision making at times options are something he direly needs.

I'm a Moeen fan and think he has done well for England in the absence of better options. With his bowling at the state it was on day 4 Leach would be a better option to tie up an end and challenge the left handers.

1.Burns
2.Denly
3.Roy
4.Root (c)
5.Stokes
6.Buttler
7.Bairstow (wk)
8.Woakes
9.Archer
10.Broad
11.Leach

That would be my selection if Anderson isn't available.

Roy simply isn't a test opener. At 4 where he can show his shots a bit more fair enough he has enormous talent. He isn't an opener though.

Stokes should be batting ahead of Buttler as well in my opinion.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 5:22 pm

Those two centuries also mean Smith has currently scored more test 100s than 50s. He joins Virat Kohli in that feat.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 5:57 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
JDizzle wrote:It’s quite depressing that Smith’s average of 34 against left arm spin is his weakness, when most of England’s batsmen don’t average that full stop.

Ultimately it’s that low because he had a series against Herath on absolutely dog wickets in Sri Lanka and a few fluke dismissals going after Dean Elgar. Not sure I’d define it as a true weakness based off that really!

It’s all relative! But just is worrying that if we cling to that benchmark as some hope, then the England top orders weakness is bowling.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 6:10 pm

Bairstow and Ali should be in trouble but I suspect Denly will be the one closest to the chop.

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Post by No name Bertie on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 7:22 pm

Why isn't Buttler in trouble? He scored 5 and 1 in two innings in this test.

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Post by Duty281 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 7:34 pm

No name Bertie wrote:Why isn't Buttler in trouble?  He scored 5 and 1 in two innings in this test.

Well apparently Buttler is being considered for a rest in the next test as he's mentally frazzled from his World Cup exploits. Aside from that, in pure cricketing terms he scored well enough last summer and in the Sri Lanka series, and that will ensure his place in the side (presuming full fitness) for a good while yet.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 8:07 pm

Duty281 wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:Why isn't Buttler in trouble?  He scored 5 and 1 in two innings in this test.

Well apparently Buttler is being considered for a rest in the next test as he's mentally frazzled from his World Cup exploits. Aside from that, in pure cricketing terms he scored well enough last summer and in the Sri Lanka series, and that will ensure his place in the side (presuming full fitness) for a good while yet.

Yeah it’d be mad to drop the one (?) batsman who’s actually done pretty well for the past year based on one off game, where to be fair he got two damn good deliveries
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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 8:42 pm

If a player needs a rest it's not dropping...It's resting.

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Post by VTR on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 9:35 pm

More fallout from the World Cup then. That's two crocked fast bowlers and three or four mentally frazzled batsmen. Still a price worth paying, Ashes series come and go, the urn will change hands again at some point.

What is pretty ridiculous is we were told The Ashes were moved to not clash with World Cups, nothing to do with the cash grab everyone could see was the actual reason (think we ended up with 5 series in 6 years at one point). Pretty transparent as we ended up with a crowded summer of World Cup plus The Ashes despite that tinkering to supposedly stop it happening . Maybe play it again next year to get out of that cycle?

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Post by No name Bertie on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 9:51 pm

This is the type of defeat that could lead to a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash (weather permitting).  If many in the English team are already mentally (and physically) frazzled because of the World Cup - I can only imagine that the manner in which this first test was lost would have frazzled them further.   I suppose the warm-up test against Ireland was a good reflection of the current English sides performance level.

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Post by Duty281 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 10:12 pm

Could well be a 5-0 series. Australia have a ruthless winning mentality, engrained in their national character, and if they win at Lord's the series will be effectively over and England could well fall apart. Scary thing is England batted above expectations in their first innings - it was the longest innings batted by an English test side in terms of overs since the Boxing Day test of 2017 - and still the overall result was a 250 run smashing.

You'd like to find some optimism from an English perspective, but there's precious little to be had.

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Post by KP_fan on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 10:19 pm

No name Bertie wrote:This is the type of defeat that could lead to a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash (weather permitting).  If many in the English team are already mentally (and physically) frazzled because of the World Cup - I can only imagine that the manner in which this first test was lost would have frazzled them further.   I suppose the warm-up test against Ireland was a good reflection of the current English sides performance level.

I think there is a "relatable" ( and dangerous) feeling of transcendental "Nirvana" felt by many cricketers when winning a coveted world cup, life dream and that too at home.
And for sometime they lose interest in other material pursuits such as bilateral tours.

Something similar happened to Dhoni led Indians after winning the world cup in summer of 2011...they went on to be white washed in 2011 by Eng and Aus in tests....without pain, suffering or too much fight....and even the fans / selectors were not to harsh on them for having juts won a world cup.

A series close on the heels of a "Nirvana" win is dangerous.


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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 11:48 pm

VTR wrote:Maybe play it again next year to get out of that cycle?

Yes this one doesnt count lets replay it.

Unlike the world cup final of course which was FINE

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Post by alfie on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 1:59 am

Well I see the wrist slashing is in full swing already...5 nil , players all useless or frazzled...etc etc... Smile

Hey it was a very disappointing loss after a good start , no question. But I think it is a bit early to declare series over...

Consider : Australia's absolute best batsman had a near perfect game. England's best bowler broke down half an hour into the game. Change one or other of those and the whole thing shifts.  Just because Australia won this by a mile doesn't mean the teams are not pretty closely matched overall.

People saying "Australia always win at Lord's"  Not true : they did last time ,  in a losing series : but England won there in both 2009 and 2013. So means no more than "Fortress Edgbaston" - which just proved to be a myth.

Obviously Australian confidence will be high after this win (and I say again they deserve huge credit for their resilience in coming back twice - from 122/8 and again from England being nearly on terms with six wickets left. And even from a poor start to their second innings) But recent England series (at least ones not held in Australia  Smile ) have generally seen pretty good bounce backs from heavy defeats. No guarantee of course but the "momentum" theory tends to be overrated.

Both teams will look at selection. Clearly Australia got theirs right : Siddle played a vital role over the first three days - necessary as Cummins didn't really hit his best until the last day. And the fringe batsmen did well second time around , though it remains to be seen how well they will do in a more pressurized situation. So they didn't really miss Starc - but you'd think he will come into consideration for Lord's ; as will Hazlewood. Decisions to be made , albeit from a position of strength.

England won't , I think , panic unduly ...hasn't been their recent style.  Anderson presumably won't be fit so his absence opens the door for Archer (as long as he comes through his warm up game this week without ill effects). And I do think it would be advisable to give Moeen a rest - for his own good as well as the team. His confidence is obviously at rock bottom ; and he is a player for whom confidence is very significant , especially for his bowling. Smith has his number to the point that his presence at the bowling crease just guarantees total loss of control...and Root struggles to impose that anyway once teams get on top. I am not certain that Leach will be a massive success (unless they play a Test at Taunton) but he might give an element of control - and he does seem the obvious replacement. Though if the pitch is anything like the Ireland Test they might as well dispense with the spinner altogether and pick Curran for a bit of variety and more batting !
As to the batting I'm not sure they will change much if anything yet. (I did watch to the end , out of some macabre fascination ; and while I'm not handing out any bouquets - except perhaps to Woakes - I'd reckon most of them got out to good balls and the tricks of a last day pitch rather than culpable error. OK Roy won't want to see his dismissal again ; but generally)  Sure they could try Sibley at the top ; and I think they will sooner or later. But I think the experiment of Roy as a would-be English Warner at the top (rather too wild card hopeful for me , but I didn't pick the team) might as well be given at least a couple of tries before being abandoned like the Plans For Getting Smith Out ...so I'd expect the Surrey pair to continue at the top - for now. Still rather Denly-Root than the other way around but apparently Joe wanted this  , so... The rest of them can bat. They didn't this time - except Stokes in the first innings - but that doesn't mean there are suddenly better options around not previously apparent.  English batting has been iffy for a while. But let us see what they can do at Lord's before we go nuts with the axe.

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Post by VTR on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 7:45 am

Pessimism stems from a few things, whatever the cause of them is:

We had Australia 120-8 but then came up against an immovable object. Everything was tried but nothing seemed to work. Is he the greatest since Bradman we wondered? I mean Peter Siddle is a nice bloke, but he isn't that good!

The top order layed the platform we have been crying out for, but the middle order were shocking and duly collapsed. Couldn't even make 400 with a start that isn't going to be repeated too often

Australia didn't even bowl that well and will get better. Cummins is starting to fire after a quiet first innings

We served up some buffet bowling so the Aussie middle order could get into form. Very good of us


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Post by guildfordbat on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 8:04 am

Not for the first time, I'm largely with Alfie and his assessment of what and when it went wrong together with what should and is likely to happen.

I suspect the only two changes we'll see for the next test are replacements for Anderson and Moeen. It's not that we particularly picked the wrong team for Brum. Far more that too many of the players didn't play well enough for long enough.

Archer for Anderson will happen provided (and it's a significant proviso) there's proper confidence about his fitness. One England opening bowler breaking down after 4 overs is unfortunate; a second would leave massive egg on the selectors' faces and in all likelihood a similar result as just experienced.

If Archer doesn't make it, I would seriously consider Stone over Curran. I like the look of Stone and his pace - whether it would trouble Smith (such little does!) I can't say but I reckon it would discourage the likes of Siddle and Lyon from wanting to hang around with him too long. 

Moeen seems in desperate need of a break or the axe, however you want to put it. Leach appears the very likely replacement. He was after all in the last squad. However, I would look to bring in [Goose, please turn away Wink] Dawson. Although he won't win us the test, I doubt he would let us down. He could actually bring some control and balance to the side which was looked for - but went badly missing last time - from Moeen. [Curran would also bring balance - on paper, at least - although I feel he's too dependent upon the conditions for his bowling.]

My view for not turning to Leach is that he needs a spinner's track to perform and Lord's is unlikely to give him that. I've recently read that at Taunton he averages something like 22 but away from his home ground over 32. Also, despite Leach's heroics as nightwatchman against Ireland, he's normally no batsman and definitely inferior to Dawson.

This shouldn't be regarded as my permanent seal of approval for all others in the side but I suspect wholesale changes would make things worse and not better for next week.

I would add that Root's captaincy was poor. However, that is something we just hope has to improve as I see no Brearleyesque solution in or outside the team.

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Post by No name Bertie on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 8:05 am

I think most people would be happy to see an English side that showed grit, determination and intelligence when batting, and accuracy, variation, sharpness, focus, patience and attack when bowling / fielding.  Sometimes England is beaten by the better side, sometimes it seems that England is beaten by their own weakness / ineptitude.

ps: In the first test it seems to me that although England may have been beaten by the better side, there wasn't that much in it to have it end so one-sidedly and thoroughly that the BBC describe it as a humiliation.


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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 8:10 am

Sorry but averaging over 32 away from Taunton is hardly bad, in fact that's pretty good, it's lower than any other English spinners overall record and he's more economical than them all so can't understand that as an argument.


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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 8:12 am

I'm catching up really but is Woakes likely to be fit for Lords? If They do drop Moeen, which the press seem to be gunning for ( understanbly I mean he's only the world's leading wicket taker in past year, mostly at home) that means they could be without most of the first choice attack ( and Wood).
But Leach, Curran and Archer isn't a bad set of back ups to have. All 3 offer something different to what Smith made mincemeat of at Edgbaston too, worst case he will have to think a bit.

Batting wise I don't see them changing anything unless individual players ( like Buttler) make a call to say they just need the break to mentally recharge. That would give scope for Sibley to come in and Roy shift to 5 or 6 relieving some pressure on him and potentially Bairstow.

The bowler injuries must have played a big part in what happened, second only to Smiths genius. There were questionable selections too, im less inclined to critisize Anderson's inclusion than some but the batting order still feels odd and hindsight backs up concerns about Moeen.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 8:14 am

Buttler and others are mentally fatigued but Ben Stokes is fine? Sums up the attitude of some them if that's true.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 8:19 am

Yeah as a wicket taking spinner Leach has been the dominant force in domestic cricket for some time now, he's also done ok in tests ( Ireland aside). I agree he's no all rounder but Dawson is a very average bowler and would bat below Woakes and Curran for me.
I do get the point that he's not a huge spinner of the ball himself, but it you want someone who's going to conjure wickets from a pancake you want a leg spinner or someone like Mo who chucks it up to be swung at and missed, leaking runs in the process. That kind of bowling costs England badly in the last test, he wasn't taking wickets or being vaguely cheap.

Moeens batting has been so bad for so long now we can't keep pretending it's even a thing anymore. Blindly hoping he finds his confidence again and telling him not to worry isn't working. Last year they had the guts to leave him put for Dom Bess, the 4th choice at the time. Their second choice spinner isn't it now, the decision to replace Moeen shouldn't be that hard to make.

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