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All Out Cricket's Discussion Of The Week - What do England need to change ahead of Headingley?

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Post by All Out Cricket Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:00 pm

Today in 'The Grubber' Henry Cowen says England’s selectors must be prepared to make brave calls ahead of the second Test at Headingley:

http://www.alloutcricket.com/blogs/comment/where-now-for-chastened-england

What changes do England need to make to give themselves a better chance at Leeds?

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Post by liverbnz Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:09 pm

'One swallow doesn't make a summer but England are near at crisis point given they've lost 5 of their last 9 matches'. I'm not sure I agree with 'crisis' but ignoring that for a second, England's poor run of form is predominantly down to their top 6 not performing yet the only change that 'The Grubber' really abdicates is in the bowling. I find that a little strange.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:18 pm

Points I made in the other thread ciovering this topic ...essentialy I think we are the press are gettiong far too hung up on the potential efects of minor tinkering in makeup or personel. The side needs a lot more than that to make up the sort of gap we saw in the first test.

Honestly if we are chucking out names like Patel and Clarke it kind of sums up where England are, its pretty clear that selection would only be minor tinkering and really isnt going to suddenly turn them around overnight. The side that went out was more balanced than others England have fielded in the last couple of years, and lost in all departments. Theres some good reserve bowlers, but they arent really any different to the guys currently in the side who have dominated most sides for the last couple of years. Sticking Steve Finn in isnt going to make up that gap.

Sorted out the mental application of the players, sorting out their batting/bowling plans and execution might. the England team that was fielded last week is capable of much better than what it produced, we know that for sure

ts completly mooseheaded to believe that Finn , or any one player bar perhaps Chuck Norris, wouldve made the darndest difference to that game, it was lost by loose batting on the second morning and then became a disaster due to a complete failure as a team.
Its also ridiculous to suggest that the margin of victory is a true reflection of the levels of the two teams.

The cry for 5 bowlers is always built on "well the 6th batsman doesnt score many runs". At least we know he will get a go, whats the 5th bowler going to do other than take overs away from the fourth bowler who wouldve been picked ahead of them due to being better. especially when the 5th bowler will be another right arm seamer. OK in this case it was such a stupidly long innings that the reserve bowling was use dto rest the frontline guys, but their variety is also a reason why they are used...as yest another right arm seamer Finn (and Onions) dont really offer anything massively different to the others.
Finn on a slow low pitch, was that really likely to have worked? OK it couldnt have been any worse but ....]
I would see a bigger argument for 5 bowlers if the guy missing out were a leg spinner or a left arm seamer.
For the next tests where there may be more help from the pitch I see a strong argument for Finn ahead of Bresnan

But that tinkering alone will not close a gap as big as the one in that test. there has to be a huge mental change, England have to perform....including folk like Swann. Bopara has to get over his nerves. KP has to get over his ego. Whatever seamers get selected have to be switched on and find some better sweets.

Get back to doing whjat they do best, put the pressure on the opposition and crack them.

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Post by liverbnz Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:21 pm

In answer to the OP, I would make no changes in personnel. Changes in attitude and application would suffice.

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Post by Galted Thu 26 Jul 2012, 5:04 pm

agree with liverbnz - given the freak nature of the score at the oval they should be given the chance to fight their corner. should be remembered that SA have a habit of starting strongly in series & not being able to maintain their dominance, since readmission they've taken the lead in every series in England but have only held on to win once (admittedly it was the most recent one)
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Post by Biltong Thu 26 Jul 2012, 5:11 pm

I don't think they must change anything, SA played a superb match and England got caught off guard.

Just prepare better mentally.

No need for over reacting.
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Post by amanuensis Thu 26 Jul 2012, 5:21 pm

England's output at six, excluding Bell but including nightwatchmen:

2012 - 14 innings, 219 runs @ 15.64
2011 - 10 innings, 2 fifties & 223 runs @ 22.3
2010 - 11 innings, 1 hundred, 1 fifty & 359 runs @ 32.64

Things are actually getting worse, but the team's structure seemingly isn't up for debate!

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu 26 Jul 2012, 5:31 pm

Its not that it isnt up for debate its just that it clearly isnt the major issue affecting England. Theres lots of pet theories that are getting trotted out but none alone would be sufficient to close the level of gap we saw in that game.
We know from prior performances of almost exactly the same personell over several years that the gap isnt really that big. If these sides played 10 games as they were youd expect england to at least break even, the trick is to get them playing up to their level and break SA in the way SA broke them.
Picking Finn or a tin of custard may help, but their absence clearly wasnt the reason why england lost so heavily. The make up of the side is always the first thing that comes under scrutiny and is great for circular arguments but really are the guys missing out that much better? Would a fourth right arm seamer offer that much of an extra challenge? Is there another spinner worth a place in the side? Is there a noticeably better batsman/bowler than Bopara available?

As much as asking why we cant debate the make up of the side I could ask why we are so obsessed with it when the main problem was one of psychology, and why we cant debate englands approach to the game, individual players attitude and shot selection, their bowling technique and field settings, and generally why they sucked so much when they are usually (and were for most of one day) brilliant.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 26 Jul 2012, 6:39 pm

How about instead of saying England were rubbish, say that South Africa were brilliant. Cause they were, they bowled with venom and fire and they batted beautifully. Finn in for Bopara, I think England will level the series in the next test.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu 26 Jul 2012, 7:41 pm

Duty281 wrote:How about instead of saying England were rubbish, say that South Africa were brilliant. Cause they were, they bowled with venom and fire and they batted beautifully. Finn in for Bopara, I think England will level the series in the next test.

So you think that bringing finn in for bopara would stop KP being stupid and precipitating a collapse from a strong position?

You dont think it might take a bit more than picking 4 right arm seamers, given the other 3 were utterly ineffective?

Will it put pressure on the SA in such a way that it will stop them performing as well as they did in the previous test?

Is Finn alone a magic bullet? really?

I seem to remember dropping Morgan for Bairstow was going to sort out England too.

Not to say that I don think he should come in (probably for Bresnan) but he really isnt that special a bowler, nor does he offer any genuine variety or a real threat that others wouldnt on a pitch that encouraged them to bowl aggressively.

I just think its somewhat naive to imagine one player is so superhuman that they could singlehandedly overturn that level of deficit without some other changes occurring in the players who are retained.

Whoever gets picked England need to play at the level SA did, with fire and venom but also with intelligence and offer the right plan and execution to get out the right batsmen and not chuck their wickets away like KP did in the first innings and many others through the game. They do seem to be a mentally fragile side, which is strange because their success has been built on breaking the opposition. The problem seems to be that when things go wrong it catches and the whole team falls apart and fails. One of the SA camp identified this as what would win the series for them before the first test, so far they have been proven dead right.

That wont change just by picking Finn. SA are carrying a couple of players whos records are no better than Boparas, yet strolled the game.



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Post by DouglasJardinesbox Thu 26 Jul 2012, 9:10 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
Duty281 wrote:How about instead of saying England were rubbish, say that South Africa were brilliant. Cause they were, they bowled with venom and fire and they batted beautifully. Finn in for Bopara, I think England will level the series in the next test.

So you think that bringing finn in for bopara would stop KP being stupid and precipitating a collapse from a strong position?

You dont think it might take a bit more than picking 4 right arm seamers, given the other 3 were utterly ineffective?

Will it put pressure on the SA in such a way that it will stop them performing as well as they did in the previous test?

Is Finn alone a magic bullet? really?

I seem to remember dropping Morgan for Bairstow was going to sort out England too.

Not to say that I don think he should come in (probably for Bresnan) but he really isnt that special a bowler, nor does he offer any genuine variety or a real threat that others wouldnt on a pitch that encouraged them to bowl aggressively.

I just think its somewhat naive to imagine one player is so superhuman that they could singlehandedly overturn that level of deficit without some other changes occurring in the players who are retained.

Whoever gets picked England need to play at the level SA did, with fire and venom but also with intelligence and offer the right plan and execution to get out the right batsmen and not chuck their wickets away like KP did in the first innings and many others through the game. They do seem to be a mentally fragile side, which is strange because their success has been built on breaking the opposition. The problem seems to be that when things go wrong it catches and the whole team falls apart and fails. One of the SA camp identified this as what would win the series for them before the first test, so far they have been proven dead right.

That wont change just by picking Finn. SA are carrying a couple of players whos records are no better than Boparas, yet strolled the game.



All you have done here is focus on the one change. The team doesn't rely on one player. We have a shed load of talent, and they can all play huge innings, as they have for years. Finn for Bopara is just one small piece which I also think will improve our chances. The rest of team need to step up like they have in the past. And even that might not be enough, as SA are one mighty talented team.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 26 Jul 2012, 9:25 pm

All Out Cricket wrote:Today in 'The Grubber' Henry Cowen says England’s selectors must be prepared to make brave calls ahead of the second Test at Headingley:

The bravest call England's selectors can make is to ignore the braying masses - many of whom, let us remember, were at this time exactly one week ago prematurely celebrating a comfortable England win - and pick the same eleven with the instructions to make up for the comple Horlicks they made of things last time out.

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 26 Jul 2012, 11:03 pm

liverbnz wrote:'One swallow doesn't make a summer but England are near at crisis point given they've lost 5 of their last 9 matches'. I'm not sure I agree with 'crisis' but ignoring that for a second, England's poor run of form is predominantly down to their top 6 not performing yet the only change that 'The Grubber' really abdicates is in the bowling. I find that a little strange.

England have a settled batting unit and I see no reason to change that - all of the top five have been hugely successful at one point or another in the last 12 months, Prior is the best 'keeper-batsman in the world (if you don't count AB) and Bopara was just recently a key component in a one-day series win and has had one ordinary Test since coming back into the side.

Bowling is always more debatable - whilst you would never advocate rotating batsmen, it is important that you pick fresh bowlers - particularly when you have the reserves that we do. Having said that England got their selection for the 1st Test spot on (I can't believe that Finn for Bresnan would have made any major difference), and a change should only be made if there is a better reason for doing it than that suddenly you think Finn is better than Bresnan, when he wasn't a week ago since which he hasn't played any cricket.

In terms of the number six debate it is true that it has been a relative weakness recently, although prior to the UAE debacle Morgan was doing a satisfactory job (his figures would have been better had he not so often come in at 500-4 needing to hit towards a declaration).

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Post by amanuensis Fri 27 Jul 2012, 12:10 am

Shelsey93 wrote:
liverbnz wrote:'One swallow doesn't make a summer but England are near at crisis point given they've lost 5 of their last 9 matches'. I'm not sure I agree with 'crisis' but ignoring that for a second, England's poor run of form is predominantly down to their top 6 not performing yet the only change that 'The Grubber' really abdicates is in the bowling. I find that a little strange.

England have a settled batting unit and I see no reason to change that - all of the top five have been hugely successful at one point or another in the last 12 months, Prior is the best 'keeper-batsman in the world (if you don't count AB) and Bopara was just recently a key component in a one-day series win and has had one ordinary Test since coming back into the side.

Bowling is always more debatable - whilst you would never advocate rotating batsmen, it is important that you pick fresh bowlers - particularly when you have the reserves that we do. Having said that England got their selection for the 1st Test spot on (I can't believe that Finn for Bresnan would have made any major difference), and a change should only be made if there is a better reason for doing it than that suddenly you think Finn is better than Bresnan, when he wasn't a week ago since which he hasn't played any cricket.

In terms of the number six debate it is true that it has been a relative weakness recently, although prior to the UAE debacle Morgan was doing a satisfactory job (his figures would have been better had he not so often come in at 500-4 needing to hit towards a declaration).

Sorry, but 0 & 22 (with lousy dismissals) constitute a poor test, not an "ordinary" one, and he's already had to be withdrawn from the line of fire twice in his short career, so there's bad history there.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 27 Jul 2012, 12:31 am

amanuensis wrote:

Sorry, but 0 & 22 (with lousy dismissals) constitute a poor test, not an "ordinary" one, and he's already had to be withdrawn from the line of fire twice in his short career, so there's bad history there.

Amanuensis - I understand that comment and am no fan of Bopara at Test level. However, I think the biggest mistake we could now make would be to return to the selection practices of twenty years ago when a player would be jettisoned staightaway for failure. Having recalled him for this series, I believe the selectors (who generally have been far more right than wrong) need to give Bopara a meaningful opportunity. In my book, that's at least the next Test as well.

Assuming we continue with six batsmen (and I believe we should), I would also make the point that there is no clear cut replacement for him.

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Post by eirebilly Fri 27 Jul 2012, 6:57 am

PSW,

My suggestion is not radical i think. I just dont believe that Bopara is of test quality (much the same as Mogs). Englands bowling looked very toothless and the inclusion of and Onions or Finn may add that extra balance. I think you are being very extreme if you think that i imagine that one of these will radically change the match. I do not.

I just feel that the Sth Africa batting unit is very strong and England may just need to counter that by having the extra bowler to share the load and allow shorter faster spells. Finn or Onions may not get the same runs as Bopara but they may just even theings out a bit more with their bowling abilities.
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Post by FerN Fri 27 Jul 2012, 7:07 am

Englands batting is fine, they just had to bat on the last day of the test. Never the best position to be in.

Your bowling however, I felt was maybe a little over-hyped, I was expecting a tough time at the office, but they looked mostly flat (will probably change in the next game). When I heard that we are facing the best bowling line-up in world cricket, I asked myself - wait, we can't be bowling against ourselves. But then again, maybe our bowling stats are skewed as we probably prepare the most bowling friendly conditions in world cricket (have no facts to back myself up here).


Last edited by FerN on Fri 27 Jul 2012, 7:21 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Got rugby on the brain... S15 semi coming up today)

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 8:11 am

Shelsey93 wrote:
liverbnz wrote:'One swallow doesn't make a summer but England are near at crisis point given they've lost 5 of their last 9 matches'. I'm not sure I agree with 'crisis' but ignoring that for a second, England's poor run of form is predominantly down to their top 6 not performing yet the only change that 'The Grubber' really abdicates is in the bowling. I find that a little strange.

England have a settled batting unit and I see no reason to change that - all of the top five have been hugely successful at one point or another in the last 12 months, Prior is the best 'keeper-batsman in the world (if you don't count AB) and Bopara was just recently a key component in a one-day series win and has had one ordinary Test since coming back into the side.

Bowling is always more debatable - whilst you would never advocate rotating batsmen, it is important that you pick fresh bowlers - particularly when you have the reserves that we do. Having said that England got their selection for the 1st Test spot on (I can't believe that Finn for Bresnan would have made any major difference), and a change should only be made if there is a better reason for doing it than that suddenly you think Finn is better than Bresnan, when he wasn't a week ago since which he hasn't played any cricket.

In terms of the number six debate it is true that it has been a relative weakness recently, although prior to the UAE debacle Morgan was doing a satisfactory job (his figures would have been better had he not so often come in at 500-4 needing to hit towards a declaration).
Strauss is definitely a problem against good attacks. Not saying he should be dropped but if he doesnt score runs by the end of the India series, then it'd be time for Root.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 8:17 am

shankythebiggestengfan wrote:
Shelsey93 wrote:
liverbnz wrote:'One swallow doesn't make a summer but England are near at crisis point given they've lost 5 of their last 9 matches'. I'm not sure I agree with 'crisis' but ignoring that for a second, England's poor run of form is predominantly down to their top 6 not performing yet the only change that 'The Grubber' really abdicates is in the bowling. I find that a little strange.

England have a settled batting unit and I see no reason to change that - all of the top five have been hugely successful at one point or another in the last 12 months, Prior is the best 'keeper-batsman in the world (if you don't count AB) and Bopara was just recently a key component in a one-day series win and has had one ordinary Test since coming back into the side.

Bowling is always more debatable - whilst you would never advocate rotating batsmen, it is important that you pick fresh bowlers - particularly when you have the reserves that we do. Having said that England got their selection for the 1st Test spot on (I can't believe that Finn for Bresnan would have made any major difference), and a change should only be made if there is a better reason for doing it than that suddenly you think Finn is better than Bresnan, when he wasn't a week ago since which he hasn't played any cricket.

In terms of the number six debate it is true that it has been a relative weakness recently, although prior to the UAE debacle Morgan was doing a satisfactory job (his figures would have been better had he not so often come in at 500-4 needing to hit towards a declaration).
Strauss is definitely a problem against good attacks. Not saying he should be dropped but if he doesnt score runs by the end of the India series, then it'd be time for Root.

We shouldn't rush into Root. Its only really in the last couple of weeks that he's scored the runs to back up his talent, so a couple more years learning his game wouldn't go amiss. Should Strauss rush into retirement (a possibility if both this series and India end disastrously) then Carberry should be given a go - many players have been successful coming in at his type of age (Trott, M. Hussey, Langer to name a few) and I think he has the skill and mental readiness to do so too.

As I have said before I disagree that Strauss is a problem against good attacks, though I think (not only recently but throughout his career) one of his greatest strengths is the way that he dismisses bad bowling. He is in good enough form to come good some time in this series. If you're looking at recent frailties then the same could easily have been said for Smith, until he battled through last week.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 8:28 am

Smith is 4 years younger, has a much better overall record and actually scored some runs in the winter.
As for Carberry, sorry I dont rate him highly. I have watched a bit of Root bat and he looks the real deal to me. But lets hope Strauss scores some runs in at least one of the 2 series.

If he scores in at least one of the series or if the team can at least draw one of the series, he will stay. If the team loses both the series and he has a shocker in both the series, then he'd have to go. But I expect him to score some runs in this series.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 8:33 am

Shelsey93 wrote:
shankythebiggestengfan wrote:
Shelsey93 wrote:
liverbnz wrote:'One swallow doesn't make a summer but England are near at crisis point given they've lost 5 of their last 9 matches'. I'm not sure I agree with 'crisis' but ignoring that for a second, England's poor run of form is predominantly down to their top 6 not performing yet the only change that 'The Grubber' really abdicates is in the bowling. I find that a little strange.

England have a settled batting unit and I see no reason to change that - all of the top five have been hugely successful at one point or another in the last 12 months, Prior is the best 'keeper-batsman in the world (if you don't count AB) and Bopara was just recently a key component in a one-day series win and has had one ordinary Test since coming back into the side.

Bowling is always more debatable - whilst you would never advocate rotating batsmen, it is important that you pick fresh bowlers - particularly when you have the reserves that we do. Having said that England got their selection for the 1st Test spot on (I can't believe that Finn for Bresnan would have made any major difference), and a change should only be made if there is a better reason for doing it than that suddenly you think Finn is better than Bresnan, when he wasn't a week ago since which he hasn't played any cricket.

In terms of the number six debate it is true that it has been a relative weakness recently, although prior to the UAE debacle Morgan was doing a satisfactory job (his figures would have been better had he not so often come in at 500-4 needing to hit towards a declaration).
Strauss is definitely a problem against good attacks. Not saying he should be dropped but if he doesnt score runs by the end of the India series, then it'd be time for Root.

We shouldn't rush into Root. Its only really in the last couple of weeks that he's scored the runs to back up his talent, so a couple more years learning his game wouldn't go amiss. Should Strauss rush into retirement (a possibility if both this series and India end disastrously) then Carberry should be given a go - many players have been successful coming in at his type of age (Trott, M. Hussey, Langer to name a few) and I think he has the skill and mental readiness to do so too.

As I have said before I disagree that Strauss is a problem against good attacks, though I think (not only recently but throughout his career) one of his greatest strengths is the way that he dismisses bad bowling. He is in good enough form to come good some time in this series. If you're looking at recent frailties then the same could easily have been said for Smith, until he battled through last week.
I guess I have been watching different cricket for the last 2 and a half years then. Failed in SA in 09/10, failed against Amir and Asif at home in 2010, failed against Pakistan in the winter. The only half decent attack against whom he has scored runs is Aus in 10/11. Heck, he has even failed against India and SL.

But as I said, I'd be very surprised if he doesnt get a score in this series. He should like the extra pace.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 8:35 am

shankythebiggestengfan wrote:Smith is 4 years younger, has a much better overall record and actually scored some runs in the winter.

Four years younger in real terms, but in cricket terms is a similar age, having been captain of South Africa a year before Strauss even made his England debut. Much of Smith's stats were built on his first five years in the team - the last few have been much more difficult, as they have been for Strauss. As Smith has shown though, top players will find a way to make runs - I reckon Strauss will at some point in this series too.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 8:38 am

i agree that Strauss will score some runs. But top players? Sorry there is no way that he can be mentioned in the same sentence as Smith, who is an all time great, for my money. Strauss is an adequate opening batsman. Not someone I'd call a "top player". But I expect him to score some runs.

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Post by liverbnz Fri 27 Jul 2012, 8:50 am

Shelsey, just because the batting is settled shouldn't mean we should ignore that it has rarely performed against top class bowling attacks - of which there are very few left in the world. There have been some individual success but collectively the batting has let England down whenever they have really needed it and to their credit have really hammered home when they sense weakness in the bowling attack. But the fact remains, against SA in 2010 and Pakistan in 2010 and 2012 the batting was either rescued by the bowlers or we've been defeated. In the last Test, the batsmen had the chance to return the favour, but failed.

As I said though, I was just questioning why the bowling is being ridiculed so much in the AOC blog, yet it's the batting that has caused this 'crisis'.

Having said that, I would hope England will stick with the same 11 and reassess after the series.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 9:04 am

liverbnz wrote:Shelsey, just because the batting is settled shouldn't mean we should ignore that it has rarely performed against top class bowling attacks - of which there are very few left in the world. There have been some individual success but collectively the batting has let England down whenever they have really needed it and to their credit have really hammered home when they sense weakness in the bowling attack. But the fact remains, against SA in 2010 and Pakistan in 2010 and 2012 the batting was either rescued by the bowlers or we've been defeated. In the last Test, the batsmen had the chance to return the favour, but failed.

As I said though, I would hope England will stick with the same 11 and reassess after the series.

As I have said before I think that their biggest issue is that they are so often ahead of the game, that they don't know what do when they're on the back foot. But changing the personnel when the top five average 41.41, 48.68, 50.80, 49.04 and 47.40 is not the way to go. They worked it out in the last Test in Sri Lanka, and I have every confidence that they will in this series too - they are good enough players.

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Post by liverbnz Fri 27 Jul 2012, 9:12 am

Quoting their overall averages won't change the fact that once they are up against top quality bowling attacks, they generally fail. I'll quote my post from another thread:

against Pakistan in 2010 the top 6 provided 2 centuries (1 was Morgan) and only Trott averaged over 30.

Pakistan in 2012, none of the top 6 averaged over 30 (26 was the highest) and there were no centuries.

South Africa in 2010 where surfaces were quite batsman friendly given the right approach, 3 of the top 6 averaged over 30 but one of those is retired from International cricket. There were 2 centuries. I suppose that's not bad on the face of it, but when you realise the opposition had 4 of their top 6 average well over 30 (lowest being 39.42) with 5 centuries between them then that puts a bit of perspective on the figures.

That's probably the 3 best attacks England have faced in the last 3 years. In fact, I'd say they most certainly are and by some distance.


If there is another collective failure from this series that doesn't really back up the theory that they are 'good enough players'. More that they are flat-track bullies and that the overall standard of Test bowling is no better than average with it only being rated that high by a few quality attacks.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 9:17 am

I think that people tend to be too quick to dismiss Test attacks. Yes, India's is quite poor, particularly away from home, and Sri Lanka's very poor. But back in the so-called glory days of the '70s and '80s how many demon attacks were there outside of West Indies and Australia? I know that others had world class bowlers - Imran, Hadlee, the Indian spinners, Qadir - or sporadically a world class attack - Snow, Willis, Botham, Underwood, - but I can't imagine things were that much better than they are now.

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Post by FerN Fri 27 Jul 2012, 9:18 am

Strauss' average is 46.7 this year, hardly bad.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Fri 27 Jul 2012, 9:19 am

To claim Strauss as a problem when SA are carrying Petersen, Rudolph and Duminy (not to mention Tahir who despite taking a few wickets when the pitch was turning is only in the side because they need a spinner) is a touch unfair. England only have one player who hasnt proven they are a good (not great) test player.
Englands side doesnt really have weak links (aside form number 6). What it also doesnt have is hall of fame candidates like Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn.

Do we really think Joe Root and Finn are in their class?
Would they fudamentaly change the side overnight (for the better)?
Do England have a Chris Gayle waiting in the wings?

I support the inclusion of Finn for the next game but it clearly will take a lot more than tinkering with the make up of a side which is stacked with proven performers to turn this around.
Im sure the coaches will be devoting a lot less of their time wringing their hands of the relative records of each player in the side, scapegoating, and trying to pretend various county players have been unfairly overlooked than we are. Instead they will be focussing on what went wrong and looking at why the players didnt have the impact they usually do...be that psychology, technique or bad plans.
England lost that game heavily because they cracked in a game where SA clicked, not because they didnt have steve finn , not because Strauss is rubbish and not because Ravi Bopara averages 4 less than his opposite number.

Long term yes England need to find a Strauss' replacement, he clearly isnt going to last that much longer and yes isnt the strongest player in the england side, but thats not really relevant to this series.


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Post by FerN Fri 27 Jul 2012, 9:34 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To claim Strauss as a problem when SA are carrying Petersen, Rudolph and Duminy (not to mention Tahir who despite taking a few wickets when the pitch was turning is only in the side because they need a spinner) is a touch unfair. England only have one player who hasnt proven they are a good (not great) test player.
Englands side doesnt really have weak links (aside form number 6). What it also doesnt have is hall of fame candidates like Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn.

SA isn't carrying anyone. Peterson, Rudolph and Duminy are the best in those positions in the country. It is not like we have better candidates waiting. Peterson averages 38, Rudolph 36 and JP 34. While that is not great, that is hardly dead weight and two of them can bowl a bit.

It is rare that there are batsmen that are consistent the whole time and score many runs. It is destined for a selected few. If one team can manage to get the whole team 50+, then cricket isn't a fair sport towards bowlers anymore in my opinion.

If England can afford to get rid of Strauss then your depth must be really scary. You don't just get rid of a quality batsmen like Strauss, England isn't near to be able to claim that they carry him. An average of 47 this year, even if he score against so called "weaker" teams. SA just came last against the two "weakest" teams in a competition, you still have to go on with the business to be able to win.

In SA people were crying out loud for Smith to be dropped at the beginning of the year and the next best opener in SA's domestic competition is Peterson and he hardly set the world on fire. Domestic games and tests are not the same thing. Strauss has proven himself and he had the burden of captaincy. Who will captain the team if he gets replaced? Remember doing something like that also changes the team dynamic and I don't think England needs that right now.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 10:02 am

Errr... who said that Strauss should be dropped now?

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Post by FerN Fri 27 Jul 2012, 10:08 am

shankythebiggestengfan wrote:Errr... who said that Strauss should be dropped now?

Hmm, okay no-one in here said that Strauss must be dropped, sorry my mistake. Had to many threads open. But there has been calls in the other two England threads.

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Post by Biltong Fri 27 Jul 2012, 10:46 am

Shelsey93 wrote:
shankythebiggestengfan wrote:Smith is 4 years younger, has a much better overall record and actually scored some runs in the winter.

Four years younger in real terms, but in cricket terms is a similar age, having been captain of South Africa a year before Strauss even made his England debut. Much of Smith's stats were built on his first five years in the team - the last few have been much more difficult, as they have been for Strauss. As Smith has shown though, top players will find a way to make runs - I reckon Strauss will at some point in this series too.

I would beg to differ with you mate.

Smith in his first 50 test matches:
Runs 3969
Centuries 11
Average 47.8

Next 50 test matches:
Runs 4204
Centuries 14
Average 52.5
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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 10:47 am

biltongbek wrote:
Shelsey93 wrote:
shankythebiggestengfan wrote:Smith is 4 years younger, has a much better overall record and actually scored some runs in the winter.

Four years younger in real terms, but in cricket terms is a similar age, having been captain of South Africa a year before Strauss even made his England debut. Much of Smith's stats were built on his first five years in the team - the last few have been much more difficult, as they have been for Strauss. As Smith has shown though, top players will find a way to make runs - I reckon Strauss will at some point in this series too.

I would beg to differ with you mate.

Smith in his first 50 test matches:
Runs 3969
Centuries 11
Average 47.8

Next 50 test matches:
Runs 4204
Centuries 14
Average 52.5

Fair enough. It was just an impression I got - must have just forgotten about all his runs, because of the way he bats Whistle

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Post by Biltong Fri 27 Jul 2012, 10:51 am

Laugh
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Post by Biltong Fri 27 Jul 2012, 10:53 am

Smith has actually been a very consistent performer for SA over the years.

If you look at his ranking points GRAPH, it has always had an slow upward curve.
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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:02 am

A similar analysis on Strauss:

First 50 Tests - Runs 3807, Centuries 12, Average 41.41
Next 48 - Runs 3150, Centuries 9, Average 40.38

So a drop off, but not as major as some would have it. Considering he's been captain for much of the second set of matches, he's clearly still valuable to the team.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:03 am

FerN wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To claim Strauss as a problem when SA are carrying Petersen, Rudolph and Duminy (not to mention Tahir who despite taking a few wickets when the pitch was turning is only in the side because they need a spinner) is a touch unfair. England only have one player who hasnt proven they are a good (not great) test player.
Englands side doesnt really have weak links (aside form number 6). What it also doesnt have is hall of fame candidates like Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn.

SA isn't carrying anyone. Peterson, Rudolph and Duminy are the best in those positions in the country. It is not like we have better candidates waiting. Peterson averages 38, Rudolph 36 and JP 34. While that is not great, that is hardly dead weight and two of them can bowl a bit.

It is rare that there are batsmen that are consistent the whole time and score many runs. It is destined for a selected few. If one team can manage to get the whole team 50+, then cricket isn't a fair sport towards bowlers anymore in my opinion.

If England can afford to get rid of Strauss then your depth must be really scary. You don't just get rid of a quality batsmen like Strauss, England isn't near to be able to claim that they carry him. An average of 47 this year, even if he score against so called "weaker" teams. SA just came last against the two "weakest" teams in a competition, you still have to go on with the business to be able to win.

In SA people were crying out loud for Smith to be dropped at the beginning of the year and the next best opener in SA's domestic competition is Peterson and he hardly set the world on fire. Domestic games and tests are not the same thing. Strauss has proven himself and he had the burden of captaincy. Who will captain the team if he gets replaced? Remember doing something like that also changes the team dynamic and I don't think England needs that right now.

Right if SA arent "carrying" those guys then why are we questioning Strauss who averages far higher and captains? Bopara averages 32 which is barely behind the and bowls as well. Thats the point Im making. If England are so desperate to discard him, given they have been through 3 alternatives in the last year, where doesnt that suggest that they too are lacking in magic options that will suddenly transform, the side.
Thats the point I was making. SA have some weak(er) players in their side but still managed to wipe the floor with England, this constant need to seek out only superhumans who win all the sports can mean casting aside the best you have. Replacing Bopara with AN Other isnt in itself suddenly going to turn this series around, we are far too obsessed with the make up of a side where the vast majority of places are settled.

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Post by amanuensis Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:13 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
FerN wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To claim Strauss as a problem when SA are carrying Petersen, Rudolph and Duminy (not to mention Tahir who despite taking a few wickets when the pitch was turning is only in the side because they need a spinner) is a touch unfair. England only have one player who hasnt proven they are a good (not great) test player.
Englands side doesnt really have weak links (aside form number 6). What it also doesnt have is hall of fame candidates like Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn.

SA isn't carrying anyone. Peterson, Rudolph and Duminy are the best in those positions in the country. It is not like we have better candidates waiting. Peterson averages 38, Rudolph 36 and JP 34. While that is not great, that is hardly dead weight and two of them can bowl a bit.

It is rare that there are batsmen that are consistent the whole time and score many runs. It is destined for a selected few. If one team can manage to get the whole team 50+, then cricket isn't a fair sport towards bowlers anymore in my opinion.

If England can afford to get rid of Strauss then your depth must be really scary. You don't just get rid of a quality batsmen like Strauss, England isn't near to be able to claim that they carry him. An average of 47 this year, even if he score against so called "weaker" teams. SA just came last against the two "weakest" teams in a competition, you still have to go on with the business to be able to win.

In SA people were crying out loud for Smith to be dropped at the beginning of the year and the next best opener in SA's domestic competition is Peterson and he hardly set the world on fire. Domestic games and tests are not the same thing. Strauss has proven himself and he had the burden of captaincy. Who will captain the team if he gets replaced? Remember doing something like that also changes the team dynamic and I don't think England needs that right now.

Right if SA arent "carrying" those guys then why are we questioning Strauss who averages far higher and captains? Bopara averages 32 which is barely behind the and bowls as well. Thats the point Im making. If England are so desperate to discard him, given they have been through 3 alternatives in the last year, where doesnt that suggest that they too are lacking in magic options that will suddenly transform, the side.
Thats the point I was making. SA have some weak(er) players in their side but still managed to wipe the floor with England, this constant need to seek out only superhumans who win all the sports can mean casting aside the best you have. Replacing Bopara with AN Other isnt in itself suddenly going to turn this series around, we are far too obsessed with the make up of a side where the vast majority of places are settled.

No, but Bopara is deadweight, an experienced international with over 100 caps but precious little to show for it - any team with aspirations shouldn't be tolerating the rubbish he served up in the 1st test. Other players were poor, but they at least have some history of performance.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:17 am

amanuensis wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
FerN wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To claim Strauss as a problem when SA are carrying Petersen, Rudolph and Duminy (not to mention Tahir who despite taking a few wickets when the pitch was turning is only in the side because they need a spinner) is a touch unfair. England only have one player who hasnt proven they are a good (not great) test player.
Englands side doesnt really have weak links (aside form number 6). What it also doesnt have is hall of fame candidates like Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn.

SA isn't carrying anyone. Peterson, Rudolph and Duminy are the best in those positions in the country. It is not like we have better candidates waiting. Peterson averages 38, Rudolph 36 and JP 34. While that is not great, that is hardly dead weight and two of them can bowl a bit.

It is rare that there are batsmen that are consistent the whole time and score many runs. It is destined for a selected few. If one team can manage to get the whole team 50+, then cricket isn't a fair sport towards bowlers anymore in my opinion.

If England can afford to get rid of Strauss then your depth must be really scary. You don't just get rid of a quality batsmen like Strauss, England isn't near to be able to claim that they carry him. An average of 47 this year, even if he score against so called "weaker" teams. SA just came last against the two "weakest" teams in a competition, you still have to go on with the business to be able to win.

In SA people were crying out loud for Smith to be dropped at the beginning of the year and the next best opener in SA's domestic competition is Peterson and he hardly set the world on fire. Domestic games and tests are not the same thing. Strauss has proven himself and he had the burden of captaincy. Who will captain the team if he gets replaced? Remember doing something like that also changes the team dynamic and I don't think England needs that right now.

Right if SA arent "carrying" those guys then why are we questioning Strauss who averages far higher and captains? Bopara averages 32 which is barely behind the and bowls as well. Thats the point Im making. If England are so desperate to discard him, given they have been through 3 alternatives in the last year, where doesnt that suggest that they too are lacking in magic options that will suddenly transform, the side.
Thats the point I was making. SA have some weak(er) players in their side but still managed to wipe the floor with England, this constant need to seek out only superhumans who win all the sports can mean casting aside the best you have. Replacing Bopara with AN Other isnt in itself suddenly going to turn this series around, we are far too obsessed with the make up of a side where the vast majority of places are settled.

No, but Bopara is deadweight, an experienced international with over 100 caps but precious little to show for it - any team with aspirations shouldn't be tolerating the rubbish he served up in the 1st test. Other players were poor, but they at least have some history of performance.

Over 100 caps?? Not in Test Matches. And in one-dayers he's been a top performer in three of the last five series.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:28 am

amanuensis wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
FerN wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To claim Strauss as a problem when SA are carrying Petersen, Rudolph and Duminy (not to mention Tahir who despite taking a few wickets when the pitch was turning is only in the side because they need a spinner) is a touch unfair. England only have one player who hasnt proven they are a good (not great) test player.
Englands side doesnt really have weak links (aside form number 6). What it also doesnt have is hall of fame candidates like Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn.

SA isn't carrying anyone. Peterson, Rudolph and Duminy are the best in those positions in the country. It is not like we have better candidates waiting. Peterson averages 38, Rudolph 36 and JP 34. While that is not great, that is hardly dead weight and two of them can bowl a bit.

It is rare that there are batsmen that are consistent the whole time and score many runs. It is destined for a selected few. If one team can manage to get the whole team 50+, then cricket isn't a fair sport towards bowlers anymore in my opinion.

If England can afford to get rid of Strauss then your depth must be really scary. You don't just get rid of a quality batsmen like Strauss, England isn't near to be able to claim that they carry him. An average of 47 this year, even if he score against so called "weaker" teams. SA just came last against the two "weakest" teams in a competition, you still have to go on with the business to be able to win.

In SA people were crying out loud for Smith to be dropped at the beginning of the year and the next best opener in SA's domestic competition is Peterson and he hardly set the world on fire. Domestic games and tests are not the same thing. Strauss has proven himself and he had the burden of captaincy. Who will captain the team if he gets replaced? Remember doing something like that also changes the team dynamic and I don't think England needs that right now.

Right if SA arent "carrying" those guys then why are we questioning Strauss who averages far higher and captains? Bopara averages 32 which is barely behind the and bowls as well. Thats the point Im making. If England are so desperate to discard him, given they have been through 3 alternatives in the last year, where doesnt that suggest that they too are lacking in magic options that will suddenly transform, the side.
Thats the point I was making. SA have some weak(er) players in their side but still managed to wipe the floor with England, this constant need to seek out only superhumans who win all the sports can mean casting aside the best you have. Replacing Bopara with AN Other isnt in itself suddenly going to turn this series around, we are far too obsessed with the make up of a side where the vast majority of places are settled.

No, but Bopara is deadweight, an experienced international with over 100 caps but precious little to show for it - any team with aspirations shouldn't be tolerating the rubbish he served up in the 1st test. Other players were poor, but they at least have some history of performance.

His history shows he has an average thats only 2 less than JPDs which is the point I was making. I know you are really angry about Bopara but try and have some perspective (btw the vast majority of his caps have come in ODIs where he has a fairly good record as an all rounder).
Finns bowling would not have added variety of threat to Englands attack on a slow low pitch when they already had 3 right arm seamers. Bopara isnt keeping out an obvious world class batting talent (Morgan? Bairstow? Patel? all as big or bigger failures ) Hes not exactly my favourite player and I have certainly been guilty of "jesus bopara again?" moments but I try and be rational about it.
Sure if we are going to replace someone hes the obvious guy to be looking at along with Bresnan but that wont help stop KP from being an idiot or help swann get his length right.
Changing one player is highly unlikely to have influenced the result of such a ridiculously one sided game, so why get so darn obsessed about it when theres bigger questions that need to be answered?

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Post by DouglasJardinesbox Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:36 am

Indeed. Like will Paula Radcliffe wee herself again in the Marathon....

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Post by DouglasJardinesbox Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:38 am

PSW, one could say you are getting equally as obsessed about defending Bopara, who is clearly not going to be anything more than a bit player for this team. Just saying....

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Post by FerN Fri 27 Jul 2012, 11:54 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
FerN wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To claim Strauss as a problem when SA are carrying Petersen, Rudolph and Duminy (not to mention Tahir who despite taking a few wickets when the pitch was turning is only in the side because they need a spinner) is a touch unfair. England only have one player who hasnt proven they are a good (not great) test player.
Englands side doesnt really have weak links (aside form number 6). What it also doesnt have is hall of fame candidates like Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn.

SA isn't carrying anyone. Peterson, Rudolph and Duminy are the best in those positions in the country. It is not like we have better candidates waiting. Peterson averages 38, Rudolph 36 and JP 34. While that is not great, that is hardly dead weight and two of them can bowl a bit.

It is rare that there are batsmen that are consistent the whole time and score many runs. It is destined for a selected few. If one team can manage to get the whole team 50+, then cricket isn't a fair sport towards bowlers anymore in my opinion.

If England can afford to get rid of Strauss then your depth must be really scary. You don't just get rid of a quality batsmen like Strauss, England isn't near to be able to claim that they carry him. An average of 47 this year, even if he score against so called "weaker" teams. SA just came last against the two "weakest" teams in a competition, you still have to go on with the business to be able to win.

In SA people were crying out loud for Smith to be dropped at the beginning of the year and the next best opener in SA's domestic competition is Peterson and he hardly set the world on fire. Domestic games and tests are not the same thing. Strauss has proven himself and he had the burden of captaincy. Who will captain the team if he gets replaced? Remember doing something like that also changes the team dynamic and I don't think England needs that right now.

Right if SA arent "carrying" those guys then why are we questioning Strauss who averages far higher and captains? Bopara averages 32 which is barely behind the and bowls as well. Thats the point Im making. If England are so desperate to discard him, given they have been through 3 alternatives in the last year, where doesnt that suggest that they too are lacking in magic options that will suddenly transform, the side.
Thats the point I was making. SA have some weak(er) players in their side but still managed to wipe the floor with England, this constant need to seek out only superhumans who win all the sports can mean casting aside the best you have. Replacing Bopara with AN Other isnt in itself suddenly going to turn this series around, we are far too obsessed with the make up of a side where the vast majority of places are settled.

I wasn't questioning Strauss, I was agreeing with you. Strauss is a world class batsmen.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 12:30 pm

England Lions Squad v Australia A: Bairstow Coles Compton Harris Kerrigan Kieswetter Meaker Morgan Patel Root Taylor Tredwell Woakes.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 12:35 pm

shankythebiggestengfan wrote:England Lions Squad v Australia A: Bairstow Coles Compton Harris Kerrigan Kieswetter Meaker Morgan Patel Root Taylor Tredwell Woakes.

From the last Lions game Harris replaces Brooks (is Brooks injured?), Morgan replaces Carberry (Carberry is injured), Woakes replaces Dernbach and Tredwell and Kerrigan who didn't play (Kerrigan was in the squad) are also added.

Old Trafford is probably going to demand two spinners based on recent matches, so I'd imagine Root, Compton, Taylor, Morgan (c), Bairstow, Patel, Kieswetter (wk), Woakes, Coles, Tredwell, Meaker is the likely line-up.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 12:55 pm

Kerrigan HAS to play IMO. Was there in the last Lions squad but didnt play because of the pitch. What new are we going to learn about Tredwell? And even on merit, Kerrigan is more worthy of a place. Tredders hasnt done much in CC this season.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 27 Jul 2012, 1:02 pm

Tredwell hasnt done anything for Kent this year in the LVCC. Kerrigan has to play.

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Post by KP_fan Fri 27 Jul 2012, 1:36 pm

It would be naive to dismiss this hammering as a one off......it's more like a 6 off 9, including the defeats and draw against WI.

I had written ( elsewhere such as on cricinfo) a number of times.....it was coming.....because England picks their bowlers for their batting skills......and not necessarily the best bowlers available.

Against weak, uninterested teams and on seaming pitches the shortcomings of these good-at-batting-bowlers were curtained.

It was bound to catch up with Eng when confronted with a competitve team on a (A)normal pitch ( such as SA at Oval a pitch not offering excessive seam n bounce but not dead like subcontinent pitches)....or (B)against normal teams on flat/ spinning pitches( such as subcontinental teams in subcontinent)

if batting skills of bowlers wasn't the criteria.......Finn whom I have seen hit 95mph should alwas play....and hit the pitch to get something extra out of it type Tremlett should also play if fit.
If Tremlett ain't fit they should find another who could hit the deck hard and generate pace on the type bowler if availbale in England.

And statements like "one Finn won't make much difference".......do not hold water.
If you have extra pace and hit the deck hard type one or two bolwers....they create much more chances...... that the 124 kph Bresnan, Broad, Boapra we cannot....

More chances means a wicket or two quicker...means pressure...close in fielders......means more chance created s...means a collapse of 7 to 8 wickets within 100 runs like England did in first inning.

Cricket is not a linearly extrapoltable game where adding 1 Finn would reduce the margin by 10% and another Tremlett by 20%....

adding two strikers.....could mean SA may have been dismissed for 450 odd in first inning...and it would be a diffrent ball game.

England's gotta pick bowlers for their bowling abilities...else they will fast seek equilibrium in the mid of the table.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 27 Jul 2012, 1:40 pm

KP_fan wrote:It would be naive to dismiss this hammering as a one off......it's more like a 6 off 9, including the defeats and draw against WI.

I had written ( elsewhere such as on cricinfo) a number of times.....it was coming.....because England picks their bowlers for their batting skills......and not necessarily the best bowlers available.

Against weak, uninterested teams and on seaming pitches the shortcomings of these good-at-batting-bowlers were curtained.

It was bound to catch up with Eng when confronted with a competitve team on a (A)normal pitch ( such as SA at Oval a pitch not offering excessive seam n bounce but not dead like subcontinent pitches)....or (B)against normal teams on flat/ spinning pitches( such as subcontinental teams in subcontinent)

if batting skills of bowlers wasn't the criteria.......Finn whom I have seen hit 95mph should alwas play....and hit the pitch to get something extra out of it type Tremlett should also play if fit.
If Tremlett ain't fit they should find another who could hit the deck hard and generate pace on the type bowler if availbale in England.

And statements like "one Finn won't make much difference".......do not hold water.
If you have extra pace and hit the deck hard type one or two bolwers....they create much more chances...... that the 124 kph Bresnan, Broad, Boapra we cannot....

More chances means a wicket or two quicker...means pressure...close in fielders......means more chance created s...means a collapse of 7 to 8 wickets within 100 runs like England did in first inning.

Cricket is not a linearly extrapoltable game where adding 1 Finn would reduce the margin by 10% and another Tremlett by 20%....

adding two strikers.....could mean SA may have been dismissed for 450 odd in first inning...and it would be a diffrent ball game.

England's gotta pick bowlers for their bowling abilities...else they will fast seek equilibrium in the mid of the table.


Welcome KP fan. I would argue that England don't pick their bowlers on batting merit - all three got in at The Oval as the best bowlers. Of course we want somebody who can bat at number eight, but the fact that Bresnan was selected had nothing to do with that - Broad and Swann bat well enough to fill that criteria.

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