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2nd test Adelaide

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Post by KP_fan Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:54 am

First topic message reminder :

all the reprots coming out indicate that this will be a "typical English pitch "
batting friendly, dry, offering reverse and a lot of turn in 2nd inning Alan Border thinks.
 
that wouldn't be what Aus would have liked..and would like to alter whatever bit they can in the end......althouhg I understand it is harder to alter a drop in pitch.
 
Teams:
 
I would like to make a fairly early call on what the team changes might be....not based on what I would like to see but rather..reading into the mind  of the two coaches.
 
--Eng might  bring in Stokes and Bresnan for Trott and Tremlett.
Bresnan is a favorite of Flower mentality.......a batsman and a bowler packed into one.....how much he can hold against the Aussie pace as a batter will be tested....bowling....well he picked 4-fer in some junior game yesterday...in the best of times he struggles to be consistently above 132kph and now coming back from injury...dunno how how fast he can be but certainly can't do worse than Tremlett's 122kph.
 
Stokes I know not much about other than career stats on CI....but he might be picked on the rationale that he is not much less of a batsman than Ballance and Bairstow and can bowl also...spreading the workload over 5 bowlers and cushioning the undercooked Bresnan.
 
--Aus might bring in Faulkner for Bailey.....as he can reverse the ball, was in no less a blistering form with the bat in India then Bailey.....and is a proper brisk fast medium bowler who will cushion the work-load on their genuine pacers preserving them for rocket fast WACA the next test.
This is where Watson's inability to bowl 15 overs a day is putting more pressure on him.....and should Faulkner have a good game and Watson not......he is at risk of being edged out....not immediately but sooner than later.


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Post by guildfordbat Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:15 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:... An old cliche I know but England must take this one ball at a time.
I was reading you, Craig. A pity Broad wasn't.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:15 am

Broad out playing an aggressive shot - once more an England batsman contributes to his own downfall. England 255 for 7.
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Post by liverbnz Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:18 am

Broad was never gonna block it out. It's not his nature and he isn't very good at it anyway.

Some form for Prior would be a nice quick win for England here.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:26 am

Thoughts begin to turn to Perth and the side I would go for would be:-

Cook (Cap.)
Carberry
Root
Pietersen
Bell
Stokes
Prior
Broad
Swann
Anderson
Finn
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Post by kingraf Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:27 am

Time now to move the goalposts and look for victory in that most vague of places... yes, the moral victory.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:50 am

Although the test is lost at least England can take something from this second innings. It has been their best  knock with the bat of the series (as Swann exits (left). At least badly out  of form Pietersen and Prior have rediscovered a bit of form and players have hung around. It gives hope for Perth that things are heading in the right direction and that they can score runs against this Aussie attack.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:56 am

Prior out for 69 another wicket goes holing out to the deep. England 301 for 9. So Australia go 2-0 up in the series. If only England had batted like this in the first innings this match more than likely would have been a draw.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:59 am

I wonder how our HOF thread will treat this England generation when the time comes?

A little bit like England's footie generation I should think, bags of talent but too often mia when the chips are down.

Pathetic exhibition.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:08 am

England all out for 312 and Australia seal a 2-0 lead going to Perth. What now for England?
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Post by guildfordbat Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:10 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Thoughts begin to turn to Perth and the side I would go for would be:-

Cook (Cap.)
Carberry
Root
Pietersen
Bell
Stokes
Prior
Broad
Swann
Anderson
Finn
Yes, I think I would agree with that subject to the obvious and important caveat that the selectors are comfortable with Finn's bowling in the nets (a shame there are no more practice games) and general frame of mind. If Finn is picked, it needs to be for what he is now and not for what he was and what we would wish him to be; that really sums up why I wouldn't have chosen Tremlett for the first Test.

Having Stokes as a proper fifth bowler would provide some insurance if Finn goes off the rails although I acknowledge that's not the best way to look at things before a ball has even been bowled.

Although Stokes stuck around and showed determination in England's second innings, I'm not really convinced he belongs in our top six. He came across to me more as a number 8 trying to bravely and sensibly battle it out than a number 6 who was going to settle and dictate play to the opposition. That said, I don't think there's currently a clear better alternative.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:13 am

Yes agree Stokes may be better suited batting down the order for now. Perhaps put prior at six (after his showing today), Broad at seven and Stokes at eight.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:14 am

Trouble is, from #6 on down, there's no-one you'd want to be stuck in the trench with you. Either they're not good batsmen or they give their wickets away cheaply, almost as if they don't care.
A very long tail; the last two, as at Adelaide, pure rabbits.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:42 am

Well, that didn't take long did it?

I do think England should be wary of making too many knee-jerk changes. Already Prior has made those calling for his head after Brisbane look a bit silly. Calls for Panesar to play ahead of Swann should be treated with similar disdain: not because Swann has bowled anything like well (he hasn't) but because he has had 2 bad tests (he was good-to-brilliant in the home ashes) - has it really come to the stage where a proven world-class performer faces calls to be dropped after 2 poor tests? Besides which it's not as if Panesar set the world alight either here, or the last time he was picked as sole spinner - whilst he outbowled Swann here, 2-200 at well over 3 an over is hardly making a compelling case is it? Indeed when Clarke and Hadding got after him, he was unable to provide any kind of control either. This is without mentioning his fielding, which is poor (Swann took a brilliant catch to get rid of Warner, Panesar didn't get close to what should have been a chance to get rid of Haddin on the 2nd morning).

If England wish to go in with 4 seamers at Perth, that is one thing: normally I am dead set against going into a match without a specialist spinner, but Perth is the exception where it can work.

Beyond that, Root played I thought a very good innings. I am still not convinced he is a top order player technically, but the England management clearly disagree, and if he is to be the long term replacement to either Strauss or Trott, then he should stay at the top of the order, rather than shuffle around all the time. He needs to remember to stay positive (he has a tendency to go into his shell completely) and keep the scoreboard ticking over (something he is usually very good at).

Carberry I am afraid I remain unconvinced about. That was a poor shot to get out second time around, and a poor passage of play which led to his wicket in the first innings. He is limited, simple as that. On the other hand he seems to know his limitations very well. He could be a good stop-gap whilst England partially rebuild.

Stokes impressed me with the ball, but not with the bat. His front pad rivals Watson's as a target for bowlers. He is a very good young player (brilliant fielder as well) but no way a test number 6 yet. England have to decide whether to persevere with him there and let him develop in the test match arena (IMO unideal), persevere with him but move him down a place or 2, or give him a year or two to work on his batting and then return (a bit like the Aussies did with Steve Smith). He certainly has a future at this level in some role.

I was pleased to see Anderson rediscover some nip in the 2nd innings. Again, this guy is copping far too much stick for just a couple of poor innings. Even in the 1st dig he was the one England bowler to keep some control and go at under 3 per over; however it looked to me like he might have been carrying a niggle, because the ball wasn't getting through as much as usual. He was back in the 2nd innings, which will be a relief.

I do think England need to find a way to fit Finn in the team but I fear people may be placing too much hope on him, and that he is fast going the route of becoming a better player when he's out of the side. There's no doubt in my mind that the England management have messed him around a fair bit, and coming into a losing team basically as an act of desperation may not be the best way to build up his confidence.

Beyond that I don't think England have the personnel to vastly improve their side. The guys playing are the best players they have, despite KPF's rather laughable list of apparently quality alternatives.

One thing they will have to improve is their intent and their gameplans. I expanded quite a bit over the difference of intent between the sides in their first innings. England's batting today had a hint of desperation about it: show intent yes, but also play the correct percentages. In that regard I am willing to forgive Cook a little bit (it is a good shot of his, with just 1 man back he'd have fancied him), and even Root's first dismissal to an extent; I am less forgiving of KP, and especially Broad this morning - play your shots fine, but you don't hook from head high with 2 men back. I do think however some people are far too quick to criticise batsmen for getting out playing aggressive shots: I fail to see in general how this is worse than getting out playing a defensive shot, indeed at least in the former case you are trying to score runs - which is, after all, the point of batting. For example I much prefer Cook's 2nd dismissal to his first, where he played all around a decent but not outstanding delivery and his feet got stuck because his mindset was poor.

Gameplans: as I said, play with intent whilst playing the percentages. If Australia have a clear plan for your dismissal don't walk into it (cough KP). England have been hampered with their plans by having first Tremlett then Panesar in the field, but Cook needs to be aware of this: when you're looking at getting a batsman out on the hook, Panesar can't be fine-leg; it's even more ridiculous to have him at long-on to your off-spinner.

Overall I thought Cook had one of his worst games as captain. Too reactive and often too slow to react, wrong fields set, wrong fielders in the relevant positions, too reluctant to bowl Stokes (who looked England's best seamer in the 1st innings at times), etc. I wonder just how much his poor batting form is effecting his captaincy.

By contrast Clarke was very good, and backed up by exceptional fielding and catching, even by his supposedly weaker fielders (Harris grabbed a couple of excellent catches).

It will be a hard turn-around from here obviously. However I maintain that Perth being a result pitch does offer them a way back in. Bell, KP, Root, Prior all got good runs in this innings, and if they can take it on to Perth, and post a total (Cook is due a win at the toss), then Australia under pressure could crumble. I'm not too fussed about England's record at Perth; that is the past, and now is now. On the other hand, I do think that even if England do win at Perth it will be more a case of papering over the cracks and delaying the inevitable than the start of a turn-around; rather like last time with the roles reversed.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:50 am

Agree with that. I think I'd add that this remains an average to poor Australian team. With England playing half-decently in the second innings, Mitch suddenly looked non-threatening on this track. He will be a bigger threat in Perth but coping with him shouldn't be the impossibility it looked in the first innings.

Bat sensibly, don't drop any sitters (Carberry) and getting back to 2-2 remains doable.

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Post by alfie Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:51 am

Thank you , Mike. Rarely do I read a long post with which I am 100% in agreement , but the above is one.

Honestly cannot add anything to it , so you have saved me ten minutes of clumsy two-fingered typing...

Will just say I am happy to see Stokes stay in provided it is as one of four fast bowlers in Perth. They should not need more than that and they surely need all the batting they can get. I suppose if Finn plays (quite likely) then it may come down to a choice between Stokes and Bresnan ?

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Post by Born Slippy Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:55 am

So would you drop Monty and Swann and bring in a number 6 Alfie - Ballance presumably?

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Post by Born Slippy Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:58 am

A team of:

Cook
Carberry
Root
KP
Bell
Ballance
Prior
Stokes
Broad
Anderson
Finn

Actually wouldn't disappoint me. I think it's more likely we will just see Finn in for Monty though.

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Post by alfie Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:01 am

Born Slippy wrote:So would you drop Monty and Swann and bring in a number 6 Alfie - Ballance presumably?
Yes. My personal preference would be for Bairstow , a player I rate more than many on here , and who hasn't done much wrong in his rather limited opportunities on this tour. But I suspect mine is a minority view and one apparently not shared at the moment by the England management ; so it would probably be Ballance.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:08 am

Mike,
Great post but, being an old fart, I have to take issue with one essential issue, which is regarding "batsmen getting out playing a defensive shot".
Clearly agree scoring runs is the point of batting but there's nothing wrong with concentrating on accumulating runs, even if at 2 an over, if the alternative is to lose one's wicket cheaply. Seems to me that loose shots before a batsman has played himself in is contagious, everyone's doing it. Possession of the crease is crucially important, surely, if we are to build a total. Otherwise it's just like carrying on with the digging when you're in a deep hole. Which we are.
A 50-minute 50 will only be worth anything if a solid foundation has already been laid.
And our batting weaknesses are exacerbated if we have to play Anderson AND Panesar or Finn, essentially a 9-man order.

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Post by alfie Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:09 am

Actually , warming to my case : I prefer Bairstow because he is (a) A better fielder ; and (b) Has a bit of Test experience . And (c) because I think he has guts, which might be as important as skill in this situation. I refer people to his effort against SA when he was clearly targeted by the best pace attack in the world after having been in difficulties against the West Indian quicks...he stood up remarkably well. Unfortunately he hasn't followed it up with the scores we'd like to see , and he has technical weaknesses; but being in and out of the team hasn't helped him settle. I would like to see him get another chance.

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Post by Pal Joey Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:12 am

Born Slippy wrote:Agree with that. I think I'd add that this remains an average to poor Australian team. With England playing half-decently in the second innings, Mitch suddenly looked non-threatening on this track. He will be a bigger threat in Perth but coping with him shouldn't be the impossibility it looked in the first innings.

Bat sensibly, don't drop any sitters (Carberry) and getting back to 2-2 remains doable.
So Australia wins these last 2 Tests by 381 and 218 runs and you think they remain "an average to very poor side"? Really? A bit harsh.

I don't think you have a clue about the effort Mitch put in on Day 3 during that marvellous spell when the England batsmen simply had no answer. Give him a break.... Day 4 was the toughest conditions in which to bowl and clearly favoured the batsmen. The fact that Australia had to declare twice doesn't say much about this England bowling attack. Mitch is just warming up. He'll be slightly faster in Perth too.
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Post by alfie Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:23 am

Kwini I hear you too , but there is a fine line between too aggressive and too passive sometimes : I agree some of the wickets were daft throwaways , but would defend Cook . Ian Chappell said yesterday he believes Cook was correct to play the hook , a shot he generally plays well...yes he slightly misjudged the speed and bounce , hence skying it to allow the fieldsman a fine catch. Happens sometimes ...but if he starts thinking "mustn't hook , mustn't hook" every time he comes to the crease Johmnson and co will be all over him.
Clarke was bounced out by Broad in Brisbane first day : but he came out hooking in the second innings , and ...
(had he been caught at square leg he'd have copped it in the press , but he wasn't).

Wouldn't worry that much about the last two : Anderson can often hang around quite well - surely not a shock to see a number ten get bowled first ball sometimes by a 95mph bowler on song ! The greater batting worry is Swann at nine , who can't buy a run... Perhaps the confidence lost from not bowling well is spilling over ?

It will mostly be up to the top seven in Perth anyway.

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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:33 am

Broad really is a brainless idiot playing that shot - suckered by a clever bowler and captain.
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Post by msp83 Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:37 am

So the weather didn't save England. But at last, they have some positives to take away from another crushing defeat. Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior, 2 of their linchpins have found some runs under their belt, young Joe has a substantive score in a top order role and Ian Bell looked the most comfortable against Mitchell Johnson and co. Young Ben Stokes showed promise with the ball and determination with the bat, though he does need some serious work with that pad of his while batting. Perhaps as Prior found some runs at last, he can bat 6 and Stokes at 7? If Stokes offers his front pad for target practice, Bairstow does it with his stumps, and he has shown to be relatively less comfortable with the short ball stuff than many other batsmen, they all have a problem with it, but Bairstow is one who seems to have more of an issue....... Neither he, nor Ballance have made a clear case to be in the side ahead of Stokes. If anything, the all-round package that Stokes brings in, should make him a stronger contender.
With Stokes as a proper 5th bowler, England should play Finn as the 3rd seamer and use him in sharp, short bursts as an out and out attacking option. If they are not confident about Finn, then bring Rankin in. Can generate bounce and is nippy. If Bresnan is 100 %, able to bowl at his optimum pace rather than 125 KPH filth that Tremlett was bowling, then consider him. Tremlett should be the last option they look at.
Perth has this reputation, but even there, I am not too sure they should go in with Joe Root as their led spinner. Many a times, it was shown that Perth flattened out after the first couple of days and the batsmen had everything going for them. A spinner is an absolute must in such a situation. Graeme Swann is certainly my led spinner for England despite Monty Panesar being a vry good bowler. But for Perth, I won't rule out preferring Panesar over Swann. Monty comes across as a better bowler between the 2 on pitches that are a bit more bouncy, so preferring him over Swann who has been so far away from his best in this series won't seem a nonsensical idea, but only for this Perth game.

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Post by KP_fan Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:41 am

--Drop Monty Bring Finn

--Drop Swann and bring Ballance.......it's not a blasphemy to consider this.

Swann is having limited impact and the pitch next game will give him even less chance to do anything....the otehrwise fighting / dashing 20 to 30 odd he used to contributre with the bat....is also finished with the fear of pace bowling deep in him....making his retreat away from the line of ball and tamely edge every one of his outing to slips.

--so this will give Eng 4 seamers and batting down to No. 8 stokes and Broad at 9...on a WACA pitch...whihc can be a low scoring affair...where every extra 20 to 30 odd with the bat shall be decisive

if ever there was "horses for courses" decision....this has to be it


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Post by Nachos Jones Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:35 am

The signs were there last series if I may be honest. The 3-0 score line flattered England somewhat and the Aussies were certainly showing that they were a better team than they have been credited.

I would also go down the road of having a batting heavy side for Perth. I think that England's batsmen need to get some decent scores in order to give them some confidence. Even if they draw in Perth but put in a big batting effort they may get some more confidence for the last two tests.

The series is not over but England cant realistically win from here but they may still be able to draw the series and retain the ashes (that is also a big ask).

Fair play to the Aussies as they have played some excellent cricket.

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Post by Pal Joey Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:58 am

Cheers Nachos.

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised myself. I went for a 2-2 result in this series but I thought there would be a draw in Brisbane and an England win in Adelaide.

Clarke has already named the same side for Perth - subject to fitness tests.
The short turnaround must be punishing for both teams. It's very hot there in Perth - 38, 39, 37, 40, 38 deg C for the 5 days starting on Friday.
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Post by Nachos Jones Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:03 am

They are some temperatures to play in Linbreaker. Not sure that the English boys will like that so much.

Still waiting for Mitchel Johnson to have a bad game, I was hoping Adelaide would be it. We all know just how good he is at the WACA which is why I feel England should really go for a heavy batting lineup and try to get some form and confidence back. I would be very happy with a draw in Perth as long as the boys got some decent scores together.

Happy days for the Aussies after a pretty rough run.

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Post by KP_fan Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:10 am

And Australia should consider Faulkner instead of Lyon......horses for courses.......addtional seamer...but more important a markedly superior batsman and in what is likely to be a low scoring bowling friendly game...addtional 30 odd with the bat will be handy.

In the unlikely case of wanting a few spin overs......Smith is there to roll the arm over..

And I do not believe this game at WACA will be walk-over...I see this as the closest game of the series.

because on pacy.bouncy pitches....the diffrential between the fast medium and ultra fast is neutralized.

England need to look at crossing 250 with the bat in each inning...pushing towards 300 and have 4 seamers to keep the intense attack....and they will be in th game even if they don't win necessarily.


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Post by Nachos Jones Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:14 am

Fair point KP_fan, the Aussies do seem to have the better balanced team right now.

It was very good to see KP and Prior get some long awaited runs, hopefully that will spur them on.

I often wonder if KP is being told to hold back, dig in and try to build an innings. This is not the way he plays and I feel the he is being frustrated by this approach...

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Post by msp83 Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:27 am

Playing 4 seamers just for the sake of doing it isn't worth it. India had rested R Ashwin and played demon fast bowler R Vinay Kumar who's 125 KPH thunderbolts had the Australian batsmen jumping up and down all over the place!, or am I a bit confused?

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Post by kingraf Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:32 am

Mr. Brian Lara is of the opinion that one of Bell or KP has to bat at #3... agree?
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Post by Nachos Jones Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:37 am

kingraf wrote:Mr. Brian Lara is of the opinion that one of Bell or KP has to bat at #3... agree?
Maybe KP but certainly not Bell, its been tried and failed.

Personally I would leave Root where he is, he hasn't done too badly.

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Post by Stella Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:45 am

Bell top scored in the first innings at five, and Root top scored in the 2nd innings at three.

Let's not make things even more complicated.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:06 am

Born Slippy wrote:Agree with that. I think I'd add that this remains an average to poor Australian team. With England playing half-decently in the second innings, Mitch suddenly looked non-threatening on this track. He will be a bigger threat in Perth but coping with him shouldn't be the impossibility it looked in the first innings.

Bat sensibly, don't drop any sitters (Carberry) and getting back to 2-2 remains doable.
A little unfair on Australia I think Born Slippy.

I would agree it would be very unwise to place this side in the same category of recent great Australian sides but facts are facts. In this series so far:-

They have batted long and hard right down their order with mental application whereas England have went AWOL.

They have bowled as a unit with the right levels of line, length and aggression and been miserly. Whereas England's attack has been much less potent than of recent times for some reason.

They have fielded far better holding some great and key catches whereas England have suffered from that fatal disease of dropsy.

Australia also possess that ravenous look of a team starved of Ashes success whereas England look more like one that has gorged itself on a feast of Ashes success and cannot eat another mouthful.

Formwise Australia have perhaps been up near their best whereas England have been way below par hence Australia deservedly lead 2-0.
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Post by Mike Selig Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:12 am

kingraf wrote:Mr. Brian Lara is of the opinion that one of Bell or KP has to bat at #3... agree?
After the first innings, yes. After the 2nd innings (where all 3 of Root, Bell and KP looked comfortable enough) chopping and changing again... nah. England have clearly marked Root as a top-order player of the future; I don't agree, but having done so they need to have the courage of their convictions and give him a good run there.

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Post by kingraf Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:12 am

This isn't a vintage Australian side - but Clarke has over the last three years been as good as any Aussie batsman not named Bradman ever was. Harris is a genuine class bowler, and I imagine he'd be in most Australian teams ever assembled. and Johnson... what can you say about his current form - all time form really. So while this isn't a great Aussie team, I think it has two or three players in ATG form, (along with Haddin) and they are tearing England to pieces.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:16 am

kingraf wrote:This isn't a vintage Australian side - but Clarke has over the last three years been as good as any Aussie batsman not named Bradman ever was. Harris is a genuine class bowler, and I imagine he'd be in most Australian teams ever assembled. and Johnson... what can you say about his current form - all time form really. So while this isn't a great Aussie team, I think it has two or three players in ATG form, (along with Haddin) and they are tearing England to pieces.
Conversely, you have an England team with players hitting a low in their test careers form-wise hence you get the one-sided look.
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Post by kingraf Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:21 am

But they've been hitting a low in their careers for a year now, CC. They've been poor for so long, I'm not sure it's a low or their actual level at the moment (the batters)
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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 am

It is certainly a low for Cook, Trott has gone now and Prior was at his lowest ebb until this innings, Pietersen has been ineffectual as well. All mightily key players for England in the past and all mightily off-form. That is an undeniable fact.

Application has been terrible. Sorry but 172 on that Adelaide strip first up was England plunging way below any depths they have had in years. The only batsmen to apply himself in the first innings was Carberry and Bell (accounting for around 75% of all runs scored). The second innings was a lot better application-wise and suddenly Johnson looked like he had had his teeth extracted getting only 1 wicket compared to 7 in the first innings. Coincidence - I think not. Even if you look at the second innings (although mental strength and application was much better) so many players surrendered their wickets to hardly peaches of deliveries more like rash or ill-played shots such as Cook, Carberry, Pietersen, Bell, Broad and Swann. That is the crux of the problem.
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Post by Mike Selig Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:46 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Mike,
Great post but, being an old fart, I have to take issue with one essential issue, which is regarding "batsmen getting out playing a defensive shot".
Clearly agree scoring runs is the point of batting but there's nothing wrong with concentrating on accumulating runs, even if at 2 an over, if the alternative is to lose one's wicket cheaply. Seems to me that loose shots before a batsman has played himself in is contagious, everyone's doing it. Possession of the crease is crucially important, surely, if we are to build a total. Otherwise it's just like carrying on with the digging when you're in a deep hole. Which we are.
A 50-minute 50 will only be worth anything if a solid foundation has already been laid.
And our batting weaknesses are exacerbated if we have to play Anderson AND Panesar or Finn, essentially a 9-man order.

Kwini, thanks for the response. I am not so sure that in this case it is a generational thing - most of my "colleagues" my age tend to agree with the view that getting out playing an aggressive shot is somehow a greater sin - but more a "me against the world" Very Happy 

I will just expand on my thoughts a bit, so as to avoid any confusion. I am really making two points:
- the first is one of principle. It seems to me that a batsman getting out playing an aggressive shot automatically gets more stick (from press, fans, sometimes coaches) than one getting out playing a defensive stroke. I don't see why that should necessarily be: in both cases the batsman has almost always made an error (apart from Anderson in the 1st innings, I can't think of a single dismissal this test where the batsman hasn't contributed to his own downfall), but in the first case he is trying to be positive and score runs, which for me is an extenuating circumstance rather than an aggravating one.
- the 2nd point is practical: we all agree (I hope) that unless you're in the last few overs trying to save a game, you cannot restrict yourself purely to playing defensive shots (or leaving the ball alone). It is interesting that you talk about building at 2 per over, but England for long stretches in this series have gone at a rate even below that, and IMO that has contributed to their downfall. Is it purely coincidence that the innings in which they've scored at their highest rate (I think) has also been the innings which has yielded the most runs? So if we accept that attacking shots are necessary, we need to look at whether they were correct in the wider context of things.

In other words, when you criticise an attacking shot, you should be looking essentially at two things:
- the first is shot selection. Was the shot right under the circumstances? I would be looking at things like: is the shot one of the batsman's ways of scoring runs? Was the ball there for the shot, or was he forcing the issue somewhat? Was he playing the percentages with the field setting? In the game situation was it the right moment to play the shot? etc. etc.
- the 2nd is execution: obviously if the batsman has gotten out then he didn't execute the shot correctly.

What people fail to appreciate is that those same 2 questions can also apply to a batsman getting out defensively. More often than not, he hasn't executed his shot properly (there are exceptions, but very few and far between); and sometimes, he hasn't played the right shot, he would have been better not playing a shot at all, or dare I say it, playing an aggressive shot (good examples from this series would be Swann's poke in this latest innings - had he gone hard at it he would have got away with it - Prior in the first innings (although that was a lovely piece of bowling) or any number of fend offs in the first test - either get your hands out of the way and wear it if necessary, or play a good attacking shot, but consistently fending is no more a recipe for success than consistently swatting).

To look at specific examples from this game:
- KP first innings: undoubtedly the wrong shot - ball wasn't there for it, field was set for exactly that dismissal, and in the situation he should have been a bit more careful.
- Bell 2nd innings: right shot, just terribly played. I'm sure everyone will agree he was right to try to hit the full toss, and mid-on being up, over mid-on/the bowler was a reasonable choice; to be fair to Bell, the ball did dip on him which contributed.
- Cook 2nd innings: poor execution yes, beaten by good bowling (pace, and also a bit cramped) but wrong shot? Well he usually plays the hook and pull shot very well, there was only one man out, and the ball was certainly in the zone for the hook (it wasn't above his head like Broad's was), so I would argue he was on the whole right to play it - what he could have done is bailed out once it got big on him, but in all honesty that is such a split second decision, instinct tends to take over.
- Broad 2nd innings: poor shot, given the ball was too high and the field set for it. Not playing the percentages.
- Root 1st innings: arguable. He does play the sweep well, and was trying to hit it square or just in front, and the man was placed well behind square, so the field wasn't really set for the shot. On the other hand the ball looked a little wide to me (seems like he was reaching) and I maintain I think he was forced into the shot by the situation, rather than controlling the situation and taking on a calculated risk.

On the other hand, some defensive shots have been really poor, but not received the same level of scrutiny - I am thinking Cook 1st innings and KP 2nd innings: both really poor executions of defensive strokes which contributed greatly to the dismissal off decent but not extraordinary balls.

To sum up, I make it a point as a coach never to criticise a player for playing an attacking shot if it is well thought out, even if it ends up badly. As a team we want to play attacking cricket, so risk-taking is encouraged - we talk a lot about "positive but responsible risks"; if the execution is poor we will talk a bit about that (but not much, because the player usually knows what he's done wrong) and if the shot selection was wrong, we will discuss it at length, but I refuse to castigate someone for getting out taking a risk just for the sake of it - there are some risks which IMO you have to take if you want to win games.

The reason this is relevant is because under Lehmann this Aussie side has played much riskier but more aggressive cricket - evident since the ODI series where they made a point of smashing Tredwell out of the park; at the moment it is paying off. But whilst we are quick to praise the Aussies's intent, we seem quick to criticise the England players when they show similar intent. Just a thought, but if Clarke had gotten out hooking in Brisbane, or trying to hit Panesar over the top, would be have criticised him in equal measure?

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Post by guildfordbat Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:04 am

Well, if England could play like Mike posts [edit: referring to the post at 1:42 am, haven't read the more recent one yet], we would be 2-0 up now and heading to Perth with a big Very Happy on our face! A wonderful effort (err Mike, not England).

Strongly agree about Cook's captaincy in this Test being very disappointing and in marked contrast to Clarke's. I too wonder if Cook's current batting and captaincy traumas are linked.

Carberry certainly seems more of a stand-in than a lead act but I've definitely warmed to him as an individual. He generally plays with concentration and within his limitations. I like his temperament; can't have been great for him here seeing his fellow opener and skipper twice heading back to the hutch with hardly a run on the board.

Good that 5 of England's top 7 scored a half-century in this match. Shows that it can be done. Now need greater consistency (easily typed!) with those decent individual scores and a couple of players to go on to make three figures. I don't expect the tail to score that many runs but do expect them to bat responsibly; Panesar set a fine example with his support (staying there) to Bell in the first innings whilst Broad was utterly irresponsible this morning.

I'm surprised to see several posters suggesting we leave out with Swann for Perth. I accept he hasn't been on form so far but he's a proven world class act and I would be very reluctant to go into any Test without his craft and guile. If we had four seamers to rival Holding, Roberts, Marshall and Garner I might sing a different tune - but we don't. If we did play four seamers only, that would probably rule out Tremlett as I doubt he could cope with the workload. That would leave either Rankin (to make his debut alongside Stokes in his second Test) or Finn (who, as Mike suggests, appears to have got a lot better in many posters' eyes since being left out).

As I posted earlier, I would bring in Finn (for Panesar) provided the selectors are happy with his form in the nets and mindset. If selected, he needs to be chosen for what he is now and not what he was and what we wish him to be.

I would retain Stokes. He bowled pretty well and batted sensibly, albeit not convincing me he's a Test number 6. In the current rather unsatisfactory state of affairs, I would keep him there although acknowledge it's not ideal. Keeping Stokes in the team, gives us a very useful and proper fifth bowling option (that's the positive slant) or some insurance if Finn goes off the rails (which shouldn't be the way to look at things but we shouldn't be in this mess either!).

Sorry, Alfie, no Bairstow (or Ballance - and probably inadequate balance!) in my team for Perth. Wink

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Post by Nachos Jones Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:19 am

Mike Selig,

You make some seriously long winded posts but my god if they don't make a lot of sence OK

Get yourself into the England management ASAP. Very Happy

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:42 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Yes, I think I would agree with that subject to the obvious and important caveat that the selectors are comfortable with Finn's bowling in the nets (a shame there are no more practice games) and general frame of mind. If Finn is picked, it needs to be for what he is now and not for what he was and what we would wish him to be; that really sums up why I wouldn't have chosen Tremlett for the first Test.

I think Guildford makes the point I have put in bold rather neatly. It would be reasonable I think to widen that point and also relate it to Tremlett's selection for the tour in the first place. This may well be seen as indicative of something faulty in England's mind set. On how many occasions during last season did Tremlett actually look like a player well on the way returning to international class after a long layoff?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:57 pm

My team for Perth would be this;

Cook
Carberry
Root
KP
Bell
Prior
Stokes
Bresnan
Broad
Anderson
Finn

That's right an all seam attack. Prior up to 6, would take a risk and hope the extra pressure brings the best out of him. Bresnan comes in along with Finn for the two spinners who I feel Australia have the measuring of
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Post by mystiroakey Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:02 pm

Yep not a bad idea.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:13 pm

Yes I can see your readoning Olly but Perth does have a habit of taking spin late on. No spinners at all is too big a risk for me. Besides spinners have the other purpose - they can take the workload off seamers for extended spells.
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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:27 pm

Let Root bowl in those circumstances?
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Post by mystiroakey Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:28 pm

lets thing about getting of to an ok start- rather than worrying about late on for a 3rd successive test- yet failed to get 'late on'


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Post by Nachos Jones Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:44 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:Let Root bowl in those circumstances?

Not a bad idea and there is also KP for a few overs as well...

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