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Ashes Series 2013-14: General Discussions

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Post by Pal Joey Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:25 am

First topic message reminder :

The Ashes Urn has returned to Australia after a long period away.... 4 years 3 months and 25 days to be exact.

Between now and Boxing Day - feel free to discuss the build-up to the 4th Test at Melbourne here.

What changes will England make do you think? Should they keep the core players who have done so well in recent years or is it time to consider a couple of changes for the MCG Test? What team line up would best deliver a balance of experience, form and potential capability?

England played a lot better in Perth with young Ben Stokes scoring his maiden century under very difficult circumstances. Watching the press conferences; Alistair Cook is doing his best to remain calm and although the Ashes are gone; we all know that England will always fight back. Australia will want to keep going forward on their pathway back towards the No.1 spot, no doubt.

To all England fans:
I know how you feel right now but you probably should be proud of the improvement shown in Perth. One small positive can lead to a series of better performances from other players. Perhaps, as some people have suggested - they have been slow starters in this series but I can sense some momentum and confidence is kicking in after Perth despite the loss of Trott early on and the injury to Broad at the WACA.

We all know England are a very good side and you have some potential rising stars waiting in the wings... eager to have a crack at Australia. It's a tough sport and it's played under very testing conditions in Australia especially. I have a strong feeling the last 2 matches will give players opportunities to shine and fingers crossed the weather will behave and they can do what they do best.

Thank you everyone for your contributions on the other Ashes Test threads. Let's continue to keep things civil.
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Post by alfie Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:02 pm

Woakes was hardly treated badly. His bowling probably isn't ideal for Australian conditions , and he hardly put up a great case for inclusion anyway in his Test debut.
I think he probably shouldn't have been picked at all : England might have been better off keeping Bairstow and just replacing Bresnan with Tremlett. Kerrigan clearly wasn't ready...

At least he got a taste of Test Cricket. If he continues to show out in lesser levels , he may get another. He might then be better for his previous experience.

Doesn't matter to KP fan ...whatever he does , Flower is Evil  devil 

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:03 pm

KP_fan wrote:
Let's not forget Woakes has been given plenty of chances in one day and t20 for England, and hasn't exactly set the world alight there.


nothing wrong with that Rationale using T20 and ODI performances to judge test potential.....but even this rationale has to be applied with fairness and consistency.
In which case Bopara & Morgan should be in the test squads  Cool 

They had their chance in the test arena, and its fair to say neither really cemented themselves.

Anyways Morgan has been really quite poor in ODI's recently
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:58 pm

KP_fan wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:KP_fan - feel you're overdoing the 'fairness' aspect. Professional sport is tough and Test cricket especially so.

A case can be made either way as to how good or not Woakes' Test debut was. However, he certainly did not make an unanswerable case for inclusion in this tour party. Surely, that is what he needed to do for your gripe about his current exclusion to stand up. It is all about taking opportunity. Woakes didn't, at least not sufficiently in the short term for the selectors. Whilst he has no automatic right to a specified number of chances, it's not as if the selectors have told him that he'll never play for his country again - his captaincy of the forthcoming Lions tour shows he's still in their thoughts.

As we all know, the selectors went instead for Stokes on this Ashes tour. That was their call and seems so far to be at least one proved right.

One test is impossible to make a case.......once a player is selected...he's gotta be given about 3 tests



So why aren't you saying it was unfair to leave out Kerrigan?

That test was not the only chance he had to make a case for this tour nor was it ever intended to be a do or did career examination for either player.
Their selection for the test can about because of very specific circumstances and as part of long term development.
Picking them for the first two tests of this series or not picking them fo that game just becuse they probably wouldn't tour just becuse you have invented an arbitrary minimum 3 tests rule is bonkers.
Nor are short term squad selections, one hit wonders, or whatever you want to call them solely and andy flower thing. We perhaps see more with England because we play more tests than other nations and have more squad rotation than others.
What england do seen to have developed is an obsession with looking for a type of player to do specific jobs in specific conditions as part if a balanced side ) sobling as nibe if them are left arm seamers) rather than looking for the 11 players with the best county records and picking them regardless.
It's had mixed results.

But this while thing about who the fifth choice seamer shoul have been is a total canard anyway. The issue has been that England have relied in kp, trott, cook , prior, Anderson. , swan and broad to deliver the backbone of a side the rest fit into fir years now. Only one has come close to delivering at their usual level.
If your core group is not doing it you team is always going to be in trouble whether you gave woakes a chance to make his test bowling average below 90 or not.

All if which isn't to say I disagree that long term development of players over the revolving  door of years gone by isnt important.
It is, and England do it. They are doing it with woakes, they've sent him on the tour they feel he will be fit the most from and selected ahead if him stokes and bresnan in the same role ( potential 5th bowling option) because they deemed one more ready an the other one a proven test player ( notably in Australia).
Kerrigan is being given specialist coaching to work on both his action and his mental game. It would not have been good for either to come on this tour, but their absence does not mean they have been discarded by England.

The notion that flower picks players for one test and judges their entire career solely on that ( except do when he doesn't ) is bunk. The specific examples you cited don't bear up to scrutiny.

I'm sure as usual you'll keep arguing anyway.

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Post by KP_fan Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:11 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:KP_fan - feel you're overdoing the 'fairness' aspect. Professional sport is tough and Test cricket especially so.

A case can be made either way as to how good or not Woakes' Test debut was. However, he certainly did not make an unanswerable case for inclusion in this tour party. Surely, that is what he needed to do for your gripe about his current exclusion to stand up. It is all about taking opportunity. Woakes didn't, at least not sufficiently in the short term for the selectors. Whilst he has no automatic right to a specified number of chances, it's not as if the selectors have told him that he'll never play for his country again - his captaincy of the forthcoming Lions tour shows he's still in their thoughts.

As we all know, the selectors went instead for Stokes on this Ashes tour. That was their call and seems so far to be at least one proved right.

One test is impossible to make a case.......once a player is selected...he's gotta be given about 3 tests



So why aren't you saying it was unfair to leave out Kerrigan?


there is only one case when a management can deviate from the principal  of fair and consistent run ....is when the acknowledge they made a mistake in picking a youngster...after seeing him in just one test.

Kerrigan was a mistake acknowledged by the management....as much as this mumbo-jumbo churning, word-smithing management would acknowledge  tough situations
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Post by msp83 Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:21 pm

In my view the 2 players treated rather unfairly/badly by the Flower regime are Nick Compton and James Taylor. Taylor has showed considerable potential in his First Class career, and played a pretty decent hand in the very limited test opportunity he got, yet was dumped prettly badly. As for Compton, despite him doing a pretty decent job in his debut series in India and a fine one in New Zealand, he was dumped after a couple of failures. He was asked to score runs to press his case, he did just that, but then they went and picked Carberry who didn't even had a great First Class season. In the process, they utterly messed around with one of English cricket's brightest prospects who had found a solution to a long lasting problem area in their side.
Along with letting the KP situation develop to the point it did, the messing around of Root and Compton are the biggest mistakes I hold against Andy Flower.

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Post by Guest Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:26 pm

Taylor should be in that england side, the guy is class and has been for some time now!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:30 pm

Telegraph Sport ‏@TelegraphSport
England bowler Graeme Swann has announced his retirement from international cricket...more to follow...

No Swanny noooooooooooooooooooo Sad
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Post by JDizzle Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:40 pm

Wow. Talk about out of the blue. Never thought he'd call it a day in the middle of the series. Wonder if there is any more to this story.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:44 pm

Slightly surprised it's with immediate effect, would've thought he'd see out the series.

Hope to see him as part of the Sky coverage in the future.

Love Swanny
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Post by JDizzle Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:45 pm

Not sure about this from Swann. Interview with the Sun tomorrow about why, in his own words, he has chosen to call it a day now. If he has to retire in the middle of the series, I think show some respect to your teammates and leave it till after the Test series has finished to talk about it.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:48 pm

Wonder what conspiracy theories KP_Fan will make of this... Ashes Series 2013-14: General Discussions - Page 3 1347041234 
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Post by JDizzle Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:51 pm

Andy Flower mowed down a Swann's dogs puppies whilst tweeting off a KP parody account and laughing manically about how Woakes will never get another Test chance. Probably.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:08 am

It's actually ALL cricket, not just international.

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Post by JDizzle Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:21 am

May 'consider' IPL though apparently. By consider, he means do. Can't really begrudge him that I suppose. Interested to see the reasons he gives though.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:24 am

"After a great deal of consideration I have decided to call it a day on my international and first class career."

"This decision has been very difficult seeing as the England team has been my family for seven years now..."

"...but I feel that now is the right time to step down."

"With 2 games to go in Australia & then a summer against SL & India I feel that it is a great time for someone else to strap themselves in."
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:38 am

Trott and Swann gone, pretty much the two cornerstones of the batting and bowling units.

There's blows, then there's that
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:46 am

I quite like Swann but it's pretty poor to retire in the middle of a series unless he's injured and unlikely to play. Left the team in the lurch a bit there, hasn't he?

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Post by guildfordbat Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:01 am

Hoggy_Bear wrote:I quite like Swann but it's pretty poor to retire in the middle of a series unless he's injured and unlikely to play. Left the team in the lurch a bit there, hasn't he?

Hoggy - you've just taken the words right out of my laptop.

I totally disagree with Swann's assertion that now ''is a great time for someone else to strap themselves in''.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:06 am

Bit shocked by this. He has battled back from injuries , apparently successfully , and recently enjoyed a fine series at home. And now after three poor games , he quits ? In the middle of a series ?

I take the point about letting someone else settle in , but surely the time for that is at the start of a new season : here it can only be Panesar who is hardly new...

And losing another key player like this can only contribute to the feeling of ongoing disaster surrounding this tour.

Suppose it may be that he had already been told he wasn't going to play in Melbourne , and decided it best for him and the team to make a clean break ?

At least it spares us from the inevitable calls for two spinners in Sydney , as if Adelaide hadn't already proved that theory a poor one  Smile 

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:13 am

Some people will do anything to get home for Christmas - was the response to his silly words early this week the blue touch-paper?

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:14 am

msp83 wrote:In my view the 2 players treated rather unfairly/badly by the Flower regime are Nick Compton and James Taylor. Taylor has showed considerable potential in his First Class career, and played a pretty decent hand in the very limited test opportunity he got, yet was dumped prettly badly. As for Compton, despite him doing a pretty decent job in his debut series in India and a fine one in New Zealand, he was dumped after a couple of failures. He was asked to score runs to press his case, he did just that, but then they went and picked Carberry who didn't even had a great First Class season. In the process, they utterly messed around with one of English cricket's brightest prospects who had found a solution to a long lasting problem area in their side.
Along with letting the KP situation develop to the point it did, the messing around of Root and Compton are the biggest mistakes I hold against Andy Flower.

I would generally agree with that. Might not have been just Flower ; but the decision to move Root to open and consequent discarding of Compton doesn't seem to have done a lot of good , at least in the short term.
Unlike some , though , I am not going to condemn Flower for getting one or two things wrong : it is clear the moves were made in order to try and do what many are stridently demanding should have been done to arrest the decline in England's performance : ie , produce a more dynamic batting lineup. Not all plans work out.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:17 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Some people will do anything to get home for Christmas - was the response to his silly words early this week the blue touch-paper?

Probably not : but perhaps his silly words were an indication of a rather muddled state of mind , as he wrestled with that old cricketer's dilemma of whether to quit a game which had turned a bit sour on him ?

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Post by JDizzle Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:34 am

Alec Swann, Graeme's brother whose Facebook page the comments were posted on, tweeted this:

@RonSwann76: And to think if that announcement had been made seven days earlier, he could have come along to that Shed Seven concert

Clearly the Swann humour runs in the family!

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Post by Pal Joey Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:27 am

alfie wrote:Bit shocked by this.  He has battled back from injuries , apparently successfully , and recently enjoyed a fine series at home.  And now after three poor games , he quits ? In the middle of a series ?

I take the point about letting someone else settle in , but surely the time for that is at the start of a new season : here it can only be Panesar who is hardly new...

And losing another key player like this can only contribute to the feeling of ongoing disaster surrounding this tour.

Suppose it may be that he had already been told he wasn't going to play in Melbourne , and decided it best for him and the team to make a clean break ?

At least it spares us from the inevitable calls for two spinners in Sydney , as if Adelaide hadn't already proved that theory a poor one  Smile 

Yes, it seems as though he was already told he wouldn't be selected for the Melbourne Test.

I don't agree with his decision to quit for "unselfish reasons" in the middle of a losing series. Maybe he did it to protect his tenuous sub-30 average? It's not the sort of thing a team player would do but I suppose the signs were there in these last 3 Tests. He's had his run of injury problems but it's now very obvious that there was considerable psychological damage also - his last over to Watson went for 22 runs. That was probably the last straw for him.

Even as an Aussie, it's sort of sad to see England capitulating like this. Surely they can't drop Prior now? That would be too much of a burden for the rest of the team.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:32 am

Probably a few reasons for the timing of this announcement. One is his poor performances thus far, another his faux pas on Facebook and his apology probably has left a bad taste in his mouth and I would presume he has been told he won't play in Melbourne. Now for all we know this decision may have been coming at the end of this tour so he now feels now is the time to go. Mentally he is not in the best place for hard test cricket anyway and his former suggests he will be no loss.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:28 pm

Consensus from reporters in Australia is that Bairstow will replace Prior for the 4th test
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Post by Pal Joey Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:09 am

It's way out of control here, Olly. Unrelenting media coverage.

If you see the whole KP discussion in full it makes a lot of sense. However, when you read the transcript... it doesn't come across as well as he spoke. The media were a little unfair, not to mention incredibly presumptuous, in their line of questioning I thought. Maybe it was meant to fire KP up?

I don't like McDermott's gloating comment either. Surely, that's like waving the red rag in front of the bull (to SA) by claiming that the Aussies now have the best bowling attack in the world. It was a silly, unnecessary and untrue thing to say, imo, and will only serve to motivate the opposition. "We'll" never learn....

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas (and a few quiet hours away from sport if possible) !   Ashes Series 2013-14: General Discussions - Page 3 3845856932
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