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So where to for England now?

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ShankyCricket
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Post by GSC Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:13 pm

First of all congrats to SA, fully deserve to go to #1 and to win the series.

I'm not going to advocate knee jerk reactions, we lost, but to a very, very good team. But there are some decisions to be made however.

The KP thing has been played to death so we'll leave that.

Strauss seems to be the man most under pressure. A distinct lack of runs, not just vs SA, and not inspired captaincy gives him a problem. Moreover getting the England captain out early gives the other side a boost. The only problem being no real opener among the counties you'd have a ton a of confidence in.

Trott and Bell have had a mixed bag but do remain good players, Taylor showed potential, and Bairstow put his WI demons to bed with 95 and 54 in this match, interesting to see how he goes. Prior is a quality player.

Bowling attack underperformed in this series, Swann and Anderson in particular I feel. Swann's apparently nursing an injury, so it might be an idea to let him rest up. Broad continues to be capable of bowling a match winning spell or go for runs on a spell by spell basis. Finn takes wickets but goes for runs. Onions is waiting in the wings, and took 9 wickets and a run out while this test went on.
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Post by Duty281 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:15 pm

I'll repost here what I posted on the match thread:

1st Test Team v India on 15th November:

Cook (C), Trott, Bell, KP, Bairstow, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson and Onions.

Strauss has had a wonderful career and is a Treble Ashes Winner and will be remembered for leading his country to victory in Australia to end 24 years of hurt. Now is the time to gracefully retire and let Cook take the team forward in a new direction and I boldly predict we'll be back in the No.1 Test spot by January 2014.

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Post by GSC Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:16 pm

I do think the time has come for Strauss to go. That team looks a little light on batsmen though.
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Post by eirebilly Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:20 pm

I am not sure about Strauss stepping down just yet. I think that he has another year in him and he will find form again.

Strauss
Cook
Trott
Bell
Bairstow
Taylor
Prior
Broad
Swann
Finn/Onions/Bresnan
Anderson
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Post by GSC Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:23 pm

Even if he doesn't go, I think its probably best if he hands the captaincy to Cook and solely concentrates on batting.
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Post by Gerry SA Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:24 pm

I think England will need 5 bowlers in India. Maybe Patel at 7. Then Anderson, Finn, Swann and Onions.

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Post by liverbnz Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:25 pm

Questions over Broad, Swann, Strauss and KP at the moment. We'll have to wait and see with the last 2.

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Post by liverbnz Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:25 pm

Gerry SA wrote:I think England will need 5 bowlers in India. Maybe Patel at 7. Then Anderson, Finn, Swann and Onions.

I counted 4 there?

Wink

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:27 pm

Ah excellent, this is where the discussion has moved to! I'll do a copy and paste:


From the bowling perspective Finn was very impressive in the 2nd dig, after being a bit all over the place before that during the series.

Anderson had a rare off day. He bowled very well in the first innings but too short in the 2nd innings and was clearly unhappy.

Swann I thought bowled well, at times very well, without any luck, and on another day could have had 4 or 5 wickets. In any case, 2 wickets and an eco rate of 2 will do the job just fine in India.

Broad is a worry, not so much his stats as the way he's bowling. I'm not sure Onions is the 2nd coming some people proclaim (as they did with Finn when he wasn't in the team - it's well known you're always a better player with the fans when you're not playing), and would be very hesitant to go in with a tail with Anderson, Finn and Onions. Bresnan could be very handy as 3rd seamer in India, keeping things tight and finding reverse swing, if Broad doesn't get his nip back.

What goes of Tremlett BTW?

The thing with 5 bowlers is England's problems on the subcontinent have usually been because the batting has failed not the bowling. If you want 5 bowlers you really need an all-rounder, and I don't think England have that. Patel is a hopeless bowler.

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Post by Gerry SA Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:28 pm

liverbnz wrote:
Gerry SA wrote:I think England will need 5 bowlers in India. Maybe Patel at 7. Then Anderson, Finn, Swann and Onions.

I counted 4 there?

Wink
Patel and Pietersen combo makes 5!

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Post by Duty281 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:36 pm

The decline of Strauss' batting:

2009 - Averaged 53.27 in Tests
2010 - Averaged 34.57 in Tests
2011 - Averaged 28.72 in Tests
2012 - Averaged 33.19 in Tests


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Post by Gerry SA Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:42 pm

Out of interest, does anyone think the Indians will have dust bowls prepared?

They don't have too much seam bowlers. Also last time England went to India, although it was odi's they struggled with India's spinners.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:46 pm

Like Mike, I'm split on the Strauss issue. On the one hand, he hasn't scored enough runs recently really to demand a spot, but on the other, blooding a new opener and captain in India? Risky business surely. Maybe go halfway and make Cook captain but keep Strauss in the team (as Aus did with Ponting). He does have a good record in India after all.

Bairstow I think cemented his place in the team at least for the next series in this game. Was playing the straight ball well in the second innings too (a weakness of his IMO). On KP, if he can resolve his issues with the ECB (and I think a lot has to come from Pietersen in this case), then I'd like him back. He still provides the X factor which could worry India, I think we'll need that.

Wouldn't change the bowlers, but if Broad continues to struggle with his pace Bresnan is an option (gets reverse swing so should do well on the subcontinent). Swann bowled well here wihout much luck, Anderson was average by his standards but well, he's Anderson, and Finn's spell brought us back in the match, and he bowled extremely well in India last time in the ODIs, I think he needs persevering with.

So there you go:
Strauss Cook (c) Trott KP (or Taylor if the issues aren't solved) Bell Bairstow Prior (wk) Broad (Bresnan) Swann Anderson Finn

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Post by Duty281 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 5:56 pm

Let's look at England's upcoming Test Series:

Away to India, 4 Tests
Away to New Zealand, 3 Tests
Home to New Zealand, 2 Tests
Home to Australia, 5 Tests
Away to Australia, 5 Tests

A drawn series against India would be good, then we should be looking to win all 4 of the remaining series. New Zealand shouldn't be too much of a threat and I think we can beat the Aussies at home. Away to Australia is tough but manageable. After that, and this is only provisional I believe:

Home to Sri Lanka, 2 Tests
Home to India, 5 Tests
Away to West Indies, 3 Tests
Home to New Zealand, 2 Tests
Home to Australia, 5 Tests

And those series are too far away to really predict anything.

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 6:26 pm

Gerry SA wrote:Out of interest, does anyone think the Indians will have dust bowls prepared?

They don't have too much seam bowlers. Also last time England went to India, although it was odi's they struggled with India's spinners.

If I were them I would, but having watched Test cricket in India over the last few years I somehow doubt it. The pitches tend to be flat - much more so than Sri Lanka (SSC aside) and UAE.

I'll write a more detailed article at some point in the next few days but where to go from here in Test cricket:

- I really am a big Strauss fan, and would be terribly sad to see him go. I maintain my stance from yesterday that he is the man that will know when it is time - that will be when he no longer feels he has the motivation to lead the team back to number one. His record in the last three years is unflattering, but at least in the last 12 months, he has rarely looked dreadfully out of form. Scrambled brain seems to have been a factor in his dismissals on at least three occasions - I see that as a worry rather than a problem. Hopefully come October his brain will be clear and he'll go well. He's also only 35, younger than a number of others who are still going very strongly, and in cricket terms has also only played for England for 8 years. I think he can come back well, but as I say, its up to him really to decide what he wants to do and when.

- Andy Flower has been brilliant for us and he needs carefully managing. I'd like to see him 'rested' for the SA ODIs and T20s so that he's fresh for the World T20 and India tour.

- Now that the Test is over I'll bring forward my current thoughts on KP, a topic I've been trying my hardest to get away from:

1. I maintain that England were right to exclude him from this match. He has messed them around big time this summer, contributing to Strauss and Flower's mental fatigue, placing team unity at risk and taking up time that could have been spent on how to win the Test.

2. I wouldn't consider him for the upcoming one-dayers v SA or the World T20 (I'm sure England won't). On retiring from ODI cricket he forced England's selectors to replace him in the teams, and those that came in did brilliantly in successful sides. Re-jigging things again to accommodate his so-called 'change of heart' would be ridiculously unfair on the team, and would be an unnecessary show of generosity towards the man himself. In time it can happen, but certainly not now.

3. His 'apologies' so far weren't really apologies. His YouTube video, whilst genuine, was all about him and a desperate plea to play at Lord's. His formal apology by e-mail also isn't good enough. But he can save his England career. He needs to apologise to the players face-to-face, telling them how he now cares about the team again, and to Strauss, Flower, Hugh Morris and the selectors for all he has put them through this summer. A public apology to the fans also wouldn't go a miss. If he doesn't care that much, then he can get stuffed. If he does this, preferably after the World T20 when everyone has had a chance to calm down, he can go to India.

- Bairstow's form in this Test suggests he should be given a run at six, and should be the man to play should KP not be in the team. Bopara should also come back in, probably as spare batsman if KP doesn't play. Additionally, on some surfaces the option of playing 5 bowlers should be considered. I'd do this on occasions when we want to play both spinners.

- I'd rest Swann and Broad from the SA ODIs. We need them right for the World T20 and India.

- Finn, Bresnan and Onions should also all travel. I'd suggest that Finn has done enough to get the edge for now, though Bresnan will come back into it based on his strong showings in the sub-continent in the past and particularly to strengthen the batting if we choose to play both spinners.

So, my squad for India:

Andrew Strauss (c), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen/ James Taylor, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior (wk), Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar, James Tredwell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Graham Onions

I haven't included a second 'keeper because I feel that Bairstow could do the job, and because Davies has had a poor season. Also, I can't see England taking more than 17 players.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 20 Aug 2012, 6:47 pm

Well played England today...they showed pluck, determiantion and never say die attitude ....put the fear of defeat in the SA-cans..

I ran into Jimmy Amarnath in the Emirates Lounge at Zurich airport a week and a half back......widely tipped to be the next chairman of selctors replacing Srikkanth, who has finished his tenure.

It's clear to "restore national pride"....India is aiming a 2-0 sweep against NZ and a 4-0 cleans sweep v Eng.......and he showed with his full arm stretched instructions for the curators are to make picthes that will turn an arm length.

But the display against SA by Eng is credible.....it won't be a cake walk for India regardless of pitches IF ENG PICKS the right team........

--that means picking all batsmen on merit......Strauss doesn't hold a place
--that means playing 2 spinners....and the 2nd spinner's gotta be a specilaist not a compromise notional spinner like Patel picked for his batting.

I think Monty's gotta play...unless there is another specialist spinner better

--and the 2 seamers better be Finn and Anderson........then the decision for England is tro play Broad as a 5th bowler

--Eng would need the skills and experience of KP in India

shôuld England lose 4-0 there is a risk of Eng dropping to No. 5

my playing XI

1) Cook
2) Trott
3) Bell
4) KP
5) JB
6) Prior
7) Broad or Taylor or Bopara
8) Swann
9) Anderson
10) Finn
11) Monty



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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:03 pm

Assuming that the KP issues aren't sorted out, which would be terribly sad, I'd go with :
Captain

Andrew Strauss

Batsmen

Alastair Cook
Jonathan Trott
Ian Bell
James Taylor
Jonny Bairstow
Eoin Morgan

Allrounders

Chris Woakes
Tim Bresnan

Fast Bowlers

Jimmy Anderson
Stuart Broad
Steven Finn
Graham Onions

Spinners :

Graeme Swann
James Tredwell
Simon Kerrigan


Thoughts?

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:22 pm

No Panesar? I would have thought he's still 2nd spinner at the moment, given how he went last winter?

I'm usually keen on taking 2 keepers particularly to India but with Bairstow in the squad (and probably in the side) you don't need one.

I know you don't rate Bopara, but I think he'll be on the tour. And I think that's fair enough, his 2nd chance at test cricket was unfairly cut short, and although I think Bairstow is now certainly ahead of him in the pecking order, I don't think Morgan is (big Morgan fan though I am).

I'm not sure Woakes is ready yet, am I right in saying there's a Lions tour of India at the same time? If so, I'd put him there.

Realistically Patel will be on the trip.

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:44 pm

Monty's record against India and his fielding makes him a on debate IMO. Did well against Pak but looked utterly hopeless against more skillful players like Mahela at Galle.
Regarding Bopara, I'd pick him too but only if all his issues are sorted out and that they don't affect him on the field.
Otherwise Morgan.

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:46 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Realistically Patel will be on the trip.

I'm not so sure. Nothing he did in Sri Lanka suggested that he was the right choice, and his bowling will, frankly, be cannon fodder against India's batsmen. His batting has also done little to push his Test claims this summer.

Better to have Panesar if we're going to have two spinners in the side. He did drop a couple of catches but I think you know what you get with Monty, and I'm willing to risk that.

Woakes can do little more to push his claims, but I think that the queue ahead of him is a little too long for him to break in just yet. Bresnan shouldn't be dumped on a poor season, and can be pretty good in India I reckon - both reverse swing and his bouncer could come in handy.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:50 pm

I personally wouldn't pick Patel - I don't think he's a good enough batsman to play in the top 6, and his bowling is fine for T20 where he can push 4 overs through quickly in the middle, but pretty useless elsewhere (for all the grief he got, I thought Yardy was a better ODI bowler, although Patel is the more accomplished batsman). I think England will pick him in the squad at least though.

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:52 pm

Bresnan can be effective once he gets his pace back up.

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Post by msp83 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 8:58 pm

I hope KPFan's info regarding pitches in India for the upcoming NZ and England and every other series in the future are credible. But you know what? I don't believe the idiots at the BCCI would do anything like that. They can't sleep if they don't bore people to death with a so called test match played on the flattest of all flat roads. I hope at least one good thing would come out of the 8-0, the pitches in India would be real Indian pitches, big turn and uneven bounce. And I hope the opposing sides would see the challenge in dealing with such conditions rather than crying about the quality of the pitch.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:03 pm

has to be a balance to be fair msp, no one wants pitches to be too much of a lottery (and India, like other countries - inc. England - have produced such pitches in the past) where it's all over in two days. However, equally no one (well no proper cricket fan) wants to see a featherbed where 600 plays 750 (the worst culprits for me in this were the WI when England toured there a few years back after losing the first test). The Lords pitch was pretty good in this regard (though with less good bowling sides it might well have been a draw as after the new ball it was pretty flat).

Not sure Indian pitches have ever been about "big turn" though, I've always thought the turn in India tends to be quite slow (though increases as the game progresses).

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Post by msp83 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:06 pm

Strauss(C)
Cook
Trott
Pietersen
Bell
Bairstow
Prior(WK)
Broad
Swann
Anderson
Finn.
That would be the starting 11 I would like to see for England's next test.
James Taylor, Graeme Onions, Monty Panesar, and Eoin Morgan would be the backups If they go for a 16 member squad, I would have Tim Bresnan as the 16th member.
If Pietersen is cast aside for good, then I would have Taylor in the playing 11, and Ravi Bopara as the backup batter.
I thought Patel shouldn't be given up on easily after the Lanka series, but he hasn't produce enough of a compeling case in the county championship to force his way into the squad.

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Post by msp83 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:12 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:has to be a balance to be fair msp, no one wants pitches to be too much of a lottery (and India, like other countries - inc. England - have produced such pitches in the past) where it's all over in two days. However, equally no one (well no proper cricket fan) wants to see a featherbed where 600 plays 750 (the worst culprits for me in this were the WI when England toured there a few years back after losing the first test). The Lords pitch was pretty good in this regard (though with less good bowling sides it might well have been a draw as after the new ball it was pretty flat).

Not sure Indian pitches have ever been about "big turn" though, I've always thought the turn in India tends to be quite slow (though increases as the game progresses).
Fair point MFC, but one has got used to roads rather than pitches these days, so bit of an overreaction. But for me the pitch should have something for the good spinner right from the word go with enough for the batters to flourish and as the match goes on, there should be more turn, and when its coupled with uneven bounce with good batsmen it would all setup a fine contest. India had good pitches up to the end of the 90s, then other considerations became priority, and a game lasting 5 sessions of all 5 days regardless of the result become more importantt. You would really hate cricket of any format on such roads, T-20s, ODIs or test matches. Give me a 2 day finisher over a 5 day bore on a road. Would take it 24/7, 365 days.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:15 pm

5 sessions of all 5 days? Crikey they have been producing some roads eh? Wink

I agree with the sentiment though, I get very annoyed when England don't produce pitches which suit them (who could forget them producing a pitch tailor-made for Murali vs SL in 98?). And yes, agree 100 per cent with your last sentence.

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:19 pm

msp83 wrote:I hope KPFan's info regarding pitches in India for the upcoming NZ and England and every other series in the future are credible. But you know what? I don't believe the idiots at the BCCI would do anything like that. They can't sleep if they don't bore people to death with a so called test match played on the flattest of all flat roads. I hope at least one good thing would come out of the 8-0, the pitches in India would be real Indian pitches, big turn and uneven bounce. And I hope the opposing sides would see the challenge in dealing with such conditions rather than crying about the quality of the pitch.
thumbsup

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Post by KP_fan Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:25 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote: Not sure Indian pitches have ever been about "big turn" though, I've always thought the turn in India tends to be quite slow (though increases as the game progresses).

how quickly people forget the ODI series in India last winter.........where not the biggest spinner ...the relatively flat Jadeja was truning across the stumps pitching outsdie leg...and turning acroiss off...and the result was 5-0 even when KP was in the as was Bairstow I rememebr.
that was as strong a batting lineup that Eng can put again this winter
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Post by msp83 Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:41 pm

MFC, many of the pitches could so easily have sessions after sessions of cricket, at least for a couple of weeks and even after all that someone will have to tell you that a game has been played on it. It will be as fresh as anything.
But seriously, the interesting and challenging thing about cricket is that you have different conditions to deal with, there is the cloud cover, swing and seam movement available in England. There is the turn and uneven bounce in the sub-continent, and there is the hard bouncy pitches in Australia and the challenging, bouncy, seaming and at times swinging pitches of South Africa. There is the massively moving pitches of New Zeland. Every countries have their strengths and issues facing up to different conditions, and each country will have to have tracks favoring their strength. Most importantly a pitch shouldn't be something mend only for the batsman. In fact for me the game becomes more interesting when the ball has a 55-45 advantage over the bat.
Anyways back to the topic, visiting spinners haven't quite enjoyed India, and a strong seam bowling unit has in fact challenged the Indian batsmen more. You have to hae real quality Fast bowlers, and that's why I think Finn should be in there in the 11 over anyone else. Donald, Aqtar, Steyn, they all troubled the Indian batters a lot.
Graeme Onions has a pacy wicket to wicket approach, have a feeling that might just be very effective in India.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:45 pm

totally agree about Finn. He must be in the side, his pace troubled India in the ODI series last winter, and I think he'll do the same this time around. Onions I think has become a much better player since being out of the side Wink Anderson has a decent record in India too, and I think he'll do OK. Swann will be a factor, but England shouldn't expect him to win matches on his own.

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Post by gboycottnut Tue 21 Aug 2012, 12:22 am

Where to now for England?

1.. Get rid of Andrew Strauss. Move Trott up to open or bring in a young opener like Root or Northeast.

2.. Change from a 4 batsmen-4 bowler strategy to one of a 5-batsmen-5 bowler strategy, as I feel that the Aussies for next summer will look at having a similar batting depth to their own lineup in order to gain dominance over England right from the first test match of the Ashes.

3.. Resolve any outstanding issues/concerns with the Big Show so that he can play for England again but crucially without any of the problems/fuss that has been stirred up this summer.

4.. Perhaps replace Graham Gooch as the batting coach as he just isn't working as well for England batsmen as it was hoped he would. Gooch was also the England batting coach when England's batting collapsed spectacularly V Australia at Perth in the last Ashes test series in 2010/2011.

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Post by Guest Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:06 am

I don't think now is the time to panic. It has been a sticky period for England and they still have a decent squad to retain the number 1 spot. South Africa were the much better team and England just failed to capitalise on their opportunities when presented. The quality in batting, bowling and fielding was plain to see and England came up short. England only managed to post 1 innings over 400+ demonstrates how good the SA bowling attack was.

The KP saga has been done to death and I don't think it helped matters during the last test. The fact that every match had something about him did not help the team. Yes he batted well, but I think he could've done more to deflect the attention he was getting.

Bairstow looks like an exciting prospect for the future. It would be harsh to judge Taylor on one match alone. I thought the first innings he played a mature innings. How they fit into the team is a mystery and open for discussion as the India tour looms ever closer. Finn is doing enough for me to warrant a permanent place in the team.

Strauss as captain and player. Again I think the tour of India should be used in a measuring stick as to whether he is right person to lead the side into the Ashes next year. If they are to do away with Strauss, then it should be done after the tour in India. I think he deserves that much at least. England under the stewardship of Stauss and Flower have worked wonders and let's not forget where we got to in the rankings under them.

Let's look to the ODI's and hope England can restore some pride to team and the country.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:38 am

One question I have is whether Strauss's leadership has become less effective over the last couple of years, or whether it's a coaching thing. Last Ashes series and the series against India we played with great intensity as a fielding side and really stamped on the opposition. This summer we've been some way short of that, in particular with regard to catching - it was good enough to beat the West Indies but has been a bit short of what was required against a very good South African side (and let's be honest, on the basis of this series only Prior*, Swann and perhaps Finn would get ahead of their SA counterpart)

*Prior as a batting keeper, ABDV would be in a combined XI as just a batsman with one of Duminy or Rudolph missing out.

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Post by VTR Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:08 am

I feel better about the series today. The First Test was as bad as I have seen at home, but we were competitive after that. Considering the amount of players who were off form, and the below par fielding, to run a strong side close over the last 2 Tests was quite an achievement.

Given that, we shouldn't be short of challenging lesser sides (i.e. everyone!). I think we'll struggle in India, but have a great chance to beat the likes of NZ and Aus afterwards.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 21 Aug 2012, 11:39 am

VTR

The first test was just one of those games - we played poorly, but also had the bad end of the conditions on a pitch that offered little for the bowlers unless there was cloud cover. Turned out to be a good toss for SA to lose. Not convinced though that had the conditions been reversed we'd have been as ruthless as SA from day 2 onwards.

Other two matches have come down to those small moments - the third test probably swung on either of the two easy chances England put down in the second innings. A 250 run chase was viable, 345 wasn't (although at times it looked like we'd get close, but just kept losing wickets at bad moments).

An away series in India is always tough, and I'd be happy for us to come back with one win, but after that the home and away series with NZ should give us the opportunity to re-build both the team and some confidence before the two Aus series. Those will probably be close, as I thinkk Australia are improving although there are still weaknesses that can be exploited (particularly in English conditions).

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue 21 Aug 2012, 11:41 am

Prior's chance wasn't what I'd call "easy" (the keeper's union has returned), but having made good ground and with his standard of keeping (first drop off a seamer for two years apparently) he should have clung on.

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