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Who to open the batting with Cook in the first ashes test?

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Post by gboycottnut Tue May 28, 2013 10:28 pm

First topic message reminder :

With Nick Compton failing with the bat in both test matches V NZ and with him only averaging around the 30 mark overall in test match cricket since his test debut V India last winter, what should England's selectors now do for the first ashes test match?

1) Stick with Compton but on a match by match basis (similar to what the selectors did with Botham's captaincy in 1981)
2) Move Trott up to open the batting
3) Move Bell up to open the batting
4) Move Root up to open the batting
5) Bring in someone like a Michael Carberry
6) Bring back Michael Vaughan out of retirement!

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Post by liverbnz Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:30 pm

Root's not an opener? Since when?

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Post by Fists of Fury Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:06 pm

Gregers with his usual guff, then...

Because our batting has been outstanding in his absence, hasn't it. Best player, he has to play if he's fit. Scares the Aussies like no other. Simple.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:21 pm

Yeah KP has to come into the side, especially when at 6 you have Taylor/Bairstow who are in no way near KP

It's a no brainer
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Post by Gregers Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:56 pm

He shouldnt walk back in though, no player should. Except Anderson but thats because he genuinely is world class

If KP doesn't score runs in county cricket then surely his place should be in question? Was hardly great against NZ in the winter series now was he

Anderson is by far our best player not KP, I'd argue that Prior, Swann and Cook are ahead of him as well

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:11 pm

Gregers wrote:He shouldnt walk back in though, no player should. Except Anderson but thats because he genuinely is world class

If KP doesn't score runs in county cricket then surely his place should be in question? Was hardly great against NZ in the winter series now was he

Anderson is by far our best player not KP, I'd argue that Prior, Swann and Cook are ahead of him as well
 Meh. You do know KP scored 73 in his last innings in NZ? despite batting with a clearly b*ggered knee. OK he failed in the first Test, let's drop him on that basis shall we? Seem to remember him doing Ok in the series before that one too... Of course KP's place won't be in question, but it is important for him that he gets a few runs in County cricket, just to get some form back, as it's been a long while since he last picked up a bat: not necessarily big hundreds, a few thirties and fourties is really all you need to get yourself into nick...

Back on topic, I'm not sure England see Root as an opener, and I think he's perfect for the middle-order spot anyway, so would be tempted to keep him there for the Ashes. That means we're looking at Compton or finding another opener for me. I've gone off Compton a little recently, it's not that he's done a terrible job, he's scored some important runs (the century in the first Test in NZ played a big part in saving it, some very important contributions in India), but he looked badly out of nick against NZ. Given this Aussie side is well down on the sides of the 90s and early 00s I wouldn't mind seeing someone new tried out TBH, look long term at Chopra, Taylor or even Vince.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:08 pm

Well KP has gone past 50 on his return today, still going...
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Post by GSC Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:18 pm

KP with a 100 from 106 balls

boom boom
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:24 pm

Yep he's back in
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Post by Fists of Fury Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:51 am

Well...so much for getting back in to nick. Like he'd never been away. Imperious.

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Post by Gregers Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:54 pm

Fists of Fury wrote:Well...so much for getting back in to nick. Like he'd never been away. Imperious.

Agreed, no issues with him playing when he's in form like any of our players

Compton
Cook
Trott
KP
Bell
Root
Prior

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Post by alfie Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:56 pm

That middle order looks better already Smile

Just leaves the issue of where Root bats now ...and who makes way...ie back to the start of this thread Very Happy

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Post by Stella Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:57 pm

alfie wrote:That middle order looks better already Smile

Just leaves the issue of where Root bats now ...and who makes way...ie back to the start of this thread Very Happy

I'd put Root at five, only because Bell looks more confident with the tail.
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Post by Duty281 Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:59 pm

I'd still have the top 6 as:

Cook
Root
Trott
KP
Bell
Bairstow

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:59 pm

Well I'll state it this way;

Compton opening, Root in the middle order means the only problem is Compton at the top.

Take Compton out, Root up to open, and Bairstow comes in means you have Root/Bairstow to worry about, both unproven where they bat.

It's a no brainer for me. Compton to open, Root middle order
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Post by alfie Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:14 pm

I'm inclined to concur , Olly.  Slight reservations about Compton and confidence , I will be happier if he bats well against the tourists first.

I like Bairstow , but agree I would sooner see Root stay where he is , all else being equal.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:33 pm

BBC Sport ‏@BBCSport
.@joeroot05 will open batting for England in Ashes warm-up game against Essex starting on Saturday. @thecompdog not in squad

Well well well
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:35 pm

Sky Sports Cricket ‏@SkyCricket
Geoff Miller: “We believe Joe Root is currently the best opening partner for Alastair Cook and he will open the batting against Essex."
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Post by Duty281 Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:38 pm

Well done England, I think that's a good decision. I am surprised though. Here's the full squad:

Cook Anderson Bairstow Bell Bresnan Broad Finn Onions Pietersen Prior Rankin Root Swann & Trott

Rankin?  Who to open the batting with Cook in the first ashes test? - Page 2 3187153522


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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:42 pm

Certainly a gutsy call, one I personally don't agree with (still unconvinced about Bairstow), but I like that they've made their minds up early, and had the guts to do it.

What is the obsession with Rankin?
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Post by hodge Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:12 pm

Olly wrote:Certainly a gutsy call, one I personally don't agree with (still unconvinced about Bairstow), but I like that they've made their minds up early, and had the guts to do it.

What is the obsession with Rankin?

Trescothick apparently recently gave an interview where he said Rankin is the best bowler he has faced on the county circuit.

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Post by hodge Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:14 pm

The actual game though, would have cool to have a county XI vs England rather than just one county.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:47 pm

As a Warks. fan I feel a bit sorry for Chris Woakes. 
Picked in a format that doesn't suit him, he struggles, and is then overlooked for his more suited format in favour of a bowler he has regularly outshone while bowling together at county level. Add in that Woakes is also a far better batsman and would, therefore, give England much greater options, and I think it's a shame that Rankin is in this squad and he isn't.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:05 pm

That's not to say that I'm not glad for Rankin.
It's just that I feel it's a bit unfair on Woakes to have him hoverring about on the edges of the squad in formats that don't suit him, and then not give him at least a chance in the format that does

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Post by msp83 Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:41 pm

Rankin?
Has Andy Flower given way to Ashley Giles with the test side as well? What next? Dernbach for Anderson?

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Post by GSC Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:44 pm

Not sure Woakes is really good enough either way really

Bairstow seems to get picked while doing nothing
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Post by NickisBHAFC Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:55 pm

Happy that Compton has been dropped, always rated him and still do, but he is not ready for international test cricket yet.

Root
Cook
Trott
KP
Bell
Bairstow
Prior W/K
Broad
Swann
Anderson
Onions

My team for the ashes.

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Post by msp83 Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Essex are going through a horrer run in county championship aren't they? Bowled out for 20 last week? Not really consistent throughout the season? A county XI would certainly have been better.
Chopra
Compton
Bopara
Taylor
Bollins
Rashid
Buttler
Woakes
Jordan
Brooks
Panesar
Would have been a much better sidethat could challenge the national side and thus provide them with better preparation.

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Post by GSC Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:04 pm

Not really going to get time in the schedule for everyone to stop playing I think.

Maybe Cook can play for both teams. Or they play the Lions
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:05 pm

GSC wrote:Not sure Woakes is really good enough either way really
Yet his FC record is much better than Rankin's, solely as a bowler.
I can appreciate the idea that bowlers at Test level need a little 'extra', but I also think that FC record should play a major part in selection. What is the point of someone like Woakes consistently taking loads of wickets and scoring loads of runs at good averages if the selectors simply turn around and say, 'We're picking someone with a worse FC record than you, because he's taller/a bit quicker'? Would be pretty discouraging IMO

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Post by GSC Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:06 pm

Yeah, I see your point, the selectors have a habit of going a bit left field on occasion though.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:21 pm

Yeah on TMS they were discussing this sort of thing, that sometimes the selectors will select just on a gut feeling, or because they like what they see.

Not sure why you've dropped Finn for Onions Nick?
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Post by Fists of Fury Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:14 am

Hoggy_Bear wrote:As a Warks. fan I feel a bit sorry for Chris Woakes. 
Picked in a format that doesn't suit him, he struggles, and is then overlooked for his more suited format in favour of a bowler he has regularly outshone while bowling together at county level. Add in that Woakes is also a far better batsman and would, therefore, give England much greater options, and I think it's a shame that Rankin is in this squad and he isn't.
Totally agree with this. The opinion of many (that know little of him) has suddenly changed to write off Woakes based on some limited overs performances...a format in which he has never really excelled.

In red ball cricket he has been one of the best bowlers in the country consistently across the last three years now, and has averaged more than many other middle order batsmen. He's an excellent all-rounder and I concur with Hoggy that the Rankin selection ahead of him is grossly unfair. Clearly England have gone for a like for like cover for Finn.

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Post by Stella Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:22 am

Rankin has been picked for the forthcoming tour to Aus in mind. Woakes's bowling in Australia wouldn't have been exactly threatening.
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Post by Fists of Fury Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:31 am

Didn't he take a 6-fer out there in an ODI? Wasn't too bad then..

I do know what you're saying, but someone with such an exemplary first class record should always be given chance to prove otherwise, in my view. The selectors are quick to say 'prove yourself in county cricket' to batsmen, so why isn't it the same for bowlers?

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Post by Stella Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:34 am

They've gone for size matters, imo fists.

Not sure if that's a fair way of doing things.
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Post by Fists of Fury Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:42 am

I think you're right. Rankin is the only viable like for like cover for Finn as it stands, given that Tremlett doesn't quite look the same since his return.

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Post by Stella Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:52 am

Based on FC averages, Joe Root may be deemed a little lucky to have been given a chance, but the selectors, rightly, imo, look beyond that.
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Post by Mike Selig Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:05 am

England seem to have made their minds up that Root should open - a turn-around from India where Compton got the edge over him originally. TBH I'm not sure they've got this one right - Root just seems perfectly suited to the middle-order (it is not unheard of for someone to play his whole first class career as an opener, then turn out to be a terrific middle-order player - Mike Hussey?) - but they've made the call and will stick to it for a bit at least you feel.

On Woakes - I think it's fair to say that some of us (including guildford and myself) have always had our doubts over his lack of pace but more importantly his lack of bite off the wicket and his floaty full length, even back when he was taking 6-45 and everyone thought he was the next best thing. I realise that some have turned on him after the latest ODI outings, but that is not my case at least (nor guildford's).

England have historically used the one-day format to test people out at international level (probably part of the reason why they still haven't won a global ODI tournament), and they look less at the actual figures but more at how people go generally and make a judgement whether they have the ability (technical, mental, fitness, social) to play at the highest level. That is what they are paid to do, and they are much much better at making those kind of calls than any of us on here. They will have set in their minds what they are looking for, and go on that. It may seem unfair, but at that level it's not about being fair.

Regarding first class performances, they will count, but you won't pick someone for a test team based purely on them; you will want to see something else. Also, England has a great tradition of medium pace bowlers who perform consistently at county level, but are surely NOT good enough to play international cricket (Bicknell, Mark Davies, Murtagh, Masters and Richardson at the moment) - partly because of the pitches, and the variable quality of batting, and the fact that county matches last 4 days and tests 5.


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Post by liverbnz Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:36 am

Root to open then it seems. Which means Bairstow will yet again be coming in from the cold having played very little cricket the last month or 2. I can hear the knives sharpening already.

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Post by LivinginItaly Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:33 pm

Is it just me or is anyone else a little worried that our middle order whilst being very attacking and quick scoring looks a little flakey? There is no collingwood type of player for the emergency situations. Whereas I thought that maybe root would have added a bit more dependability to the middle order. However, I would still play root as an opener. One thing is for sure, if our top three can build a solid platform we have the middle order to take the game away from the opposition very quickly.

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Post by msp83 Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:35 pm

With Onions in there, perhaps they are thinking his ability to swing the ball might offer some cover if James Anderson needs a rest in between. Rankin may have been picked as cover for Finn, and Tim Bresnan the cover for Broad?
I just hope Rankin doesn't get lost to international cricket. He certainly does look good at times as a fast bowler, can bowl a heavy ball, has good physical attributes for a quick bowler. But I am not too sure he has the consistency to be a good test bowler. So if England pick him and drop him after a few matches, he won't be able to play for Ireland either for a 4 year period. By that time he would be 33+, and his good years might be behind him.
Unfortunate that Ireland are not getting test status, and their better players go elsewhere.

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Post by alfie Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:23 pm

Haven't seen enough of Rankin to comment.  But as to Woakes I tend to agree with Mike that what gets him wickets at County level may not quite work in Tests. Certainly you wouldn't think Australian conditions generally would be ideal for him...I fancy his best chance of a Test spot would be as an allrounder , should England ever decide to go down the five bowler route...but is his batting good enough ?

I would also have preferred to keep Root at five or six , but the selectors are paid to make these decisions and I'll respect their judgement (they have largely got things right lately !) One thing it should mean is that Bairstow gets a decent chance to prove he is a true Test batsman (or not). He has been sitting around a bit lately , but he should at least relish the opportunity to play aagainst a largely pace based Australian attack.  Jury is still very much out on him , but I did admire the way he came back last year after being worked over by the short ball initially. Can field a bit too...

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Post by Fists of Fury Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:25 pm

His batting is excellent, I can assure you Alfie. The likes of Bairstow are not too much better, and Woakes has the added advantage of providing some overs even if it isn't the most penetrative. It'd certainly allow the strike bowlers to operate in perhaps more effective bursts.

England won't go down the all-rounder route, though. We know them too well.

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Post by JDizzle Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:33 pm

James Taylor 156*. Whistle

Scores since the Lions game (in all forms): 47, 13, 39*, 75, 11, 97, 38, 40, 46, 90*, 48, 156*. Consistent.

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Post by GSC Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:35 pm

James Taylor's an odd one. They clearly like him, but they gave him his chance when he was largely out of touch, and now hes in touch hes ignored.

Bairstow walks into the team somehow.
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Post by msp83 Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:13 pm

Perhaps Taylor should work on converting those 30s and 40s into more substantive efforts to get noted again. A good player should just not let those many starts slip away.

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Post by JDizzle Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:23 pm

True that, that's the one criticism I have; that he should kick on more but it is hard to be critical when he is the leading batsman in the country in the YB40 this year and has 2 CC hundreds at an average of over 50. It also irritates me that every other man and his dog gets  ago in the ODI side before the Test squad normally when the longer format is their stronger format yet Taylor plays two Tests against SA when I think that the shorter stuff is his better format atm (I refuse to count 1 ODI against Ireland on a horrible pitch as a chance).

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Post by Mat Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 pm

Moeen Ali the first man to 900 first class runs this season and can bowl a tidy bit of spin. Maybe he should bat number 6!

In all seriousness, the selectors must be very confident in the abilities of Root AND Bairstow to go for what is quite a bold move. Hopefully Root proves himself a capable international opener, because he was certainly proving to be an excellent middle order option.

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Post by msp83 Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 pm

JDizzle wrote:True that, that's the one criticism I have; that he should kick on more but it is hard to be critical when he is the leading batsman in the country in the YB40 this year and has 2 CC hundreds at an average of over 50. It also irritates me that every other man and his dog gets  ago in the ODI side before the Test squad normally when the longer format is their stronger format yet Taylor plays two Tests against SA when I think that the shorter stuff is his better format atm (I refuse to count 1 ODI against Ireland on a horrible pitch as a chance).
But JD, they haven't tried too many new batsmen have they? Whatever they've tried, it has to do with the wicketkeeping position. And the other one is Ian Bell and Alastair Cook making comebacks. Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Trott, Morgan, Bopara, have all been around for the last few years. The only new name there is Joe Root, and he has certainly earned his chance.
Bairstwow, Buttler and Kieswetter, all found their way into the side on the back of their added wicketkeeping abilities.
Dificult for Taylor, and harsh that he was dropped from the test side being given a proper chance, but I don't think there is enough ground to complaint at the ODI level, though some of the ODI selections of late have been rather stupid, but most of those have come at the bowling front.

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Post by JDizzle Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:40 pm

That's true, it has been a lot better recently. I personally think Taylor would be a better option than Bell at the top of the order but with KP coming back we will not find out. He struggles as he is really competing with Trott for a place and with the runs he is scoring atm, Taylor has no chance! Woakes being mentioned earlier on in the thread as being picked in the ODI side when a better 4 day player when Taylor is the other way round was the one that set me off!

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