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Eng v Lanka...first test

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Post by KP_fan Thu 12 Jun 2014, 11:22 am

First topic message reminder :

Eng lose debutant Robson......on seemingly a seaming pitch inserted in after lanka won toss
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Post by ShankyCricket Sun 15 Jun 2014, 8:32 pm

msp83 wrote:
Mad for Chelsea wrote:First things first, if England had declared tonight it would have had to have been at least half an hour before the close of play, so 6pm. With the 10 minutes between innings they would have had 5 overs at SL. IMO there would have been no point in declaring after that.

With that in mind I am surprised Ballance and Jordan didn't try to force the pace a bit more right after drinks, which would have given them the chance to declare. Maybe England felt that they weren't quite safe yet at that point, I think they were 300 ahead, and you could make a case that losing their last 4 wickets for say 20 runs having a mad dash would have gifted SL a great opportunity, on what is still a very good pitch for batting on. While that has some merit, I would still say that on balance England could have pushed on earlier.

As it is, England began their push when it was pretty much too late to declare already anyway, which makes the number of runs they have seem slightly bloated. Had they batted at normal pace for the last half hour or so they would have been "only" 360 ahead. If England had declared at the end of the day with a lead of 360, would they have recieved less criticism? Maybe...

Another point re the declaration is that England bowled a lot of overs in the SL innings (more in fact than SL bowled in England's first dig), so their bowlers will have ben understandably a little tired. With that in mind it's possible that England always intended to bat until the close of play to ensure their bowlers all had a decent rest (all four seamers bowled a few overs this morning). You could say a 5-10 over burst wouldn't make much difference to that, but if SL had got off to a flyer against the harder ball and some tired bowling, it could have made a difference.

Final point: this is a two test series. If you go 1-0 down, it's difficult to come back. Of course this works both ways, but could also explain why England weren't as adventurous.

In summary, I would personally have liked to see England push on a bit earlier and have a quick blast at SL this evening, but understand why they didn't. If England win tomorrow, Cook and Moores will have been justified. If SL finish the day 2 or 3 down, it's largely irrelevant. If SL finish the day 8-9 down, then Cook will deserve the criticism. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Now onto Ballance. I don't actually think letting Ballance reach his century was really on England's mind when thinking about declaring (though it would have been had he been 98 overnight). He played very nicely indeed, and I'm delighted for him. I commented after day 1 that he looks a good player but was getting starts without kicking on. Today he laid down a marker, so good on him for that.

Finally, a comment about SL. I thought they did brilliantly to surge back into the game, great spell from Eranga, but I was a little disappointed by them after tea, particularly their tactics to Ballance. They seemed to be basically throwing it wide of off stump in the hope he'd do something silly, and not really trying to get him out. I think having done really well to force a position from which they could potentially get an unlikely win, they let themselves down a bit, by not trying to really force the issue. On these sorts of pitches you don't get many chances, and I feel SL missed an opportunity there.
MFC, you make 4 key points in defense of Cook's approach re the declaration. Don't think any of them really make a compelling case.
When Jordan got out, England were leading by no less than 322. It is a last day of a test match that we are talking about. Sri Lanka does not have a Sanath Jayasuriya/Virender Sehwag/Chris Gayle like player to really take on such a chase on the final day, I am by no way discrediting a legend like Sangakkara or a class act like Mahela here, but to put together a chase like that , you need a Sehwag like player really. So 322 was a very healthy score to have declared the innings. If they had done so, they could have bowled at least 7 overs at the Lankans today. An early wicket would have put them under a lot of pressure, and a flyer from the Lankans if that had happened through say Karunaratne (Silva is not that kind of a player), wouldn't have created major damage as there could have been only 7 overs, and England could have slowed the pace down a bit and get away with 5 or 6 overs.......
I had written above, when the Jordan Ballance partnership was 40 odd, that they should push on from there on. They were in fact maintaining a good tempo up to that point, some how slowed down just a touch after that. But at least after the lead pushed passed 300, they should have pushed on as you rightly said, with Broad and Plunkett at 9 and 10, and a stubborn James Anderson at 11, England could have easily gone into damage control mode for a few overs to push the total pass a safe 325. Remember the pitch is still a good one despite England's poor top/middle  order. Even if England had scored only 360, I think the questions would have been there. Sri Lanka are the touring side, they are the underdogs here. A chase of 330 is a high risk one on a 5th day even on a pitch like this. England bowling has experience and quality in Anderson and Broad, and Plunkett and Jordan are challenging propositions, particularly with their speed for Lankan batsmen who are not used to it. And by setting fields that are more defensive, Cook could always have controlled the pace of the game if the unlikely threat of a successful chase was anywhere close to getting materialized.
And as you said, it is the first test of this series. For a touring side like Sri Lanka, a draw is not a bad outcome. There is another game to go, and sensible batting can give them a draw here. There is no need for them to risk it all at this stage of the series. Had the target been something like 330, perhaps they would have gone for it in the final session if they managed the first 2 without too many losses. But now they don't have a chance to win it, so no need to take any risk whatsoever.
Of course such a mindset can be the undoing of batting sides and Sri Lanka can very well lose the game by tea tomorrow. That 82 all out will be somewhere in their minds for sure. But none of that really can defend Cook's approach here.
This has been a poor pitch for test cricket, and this is not the right aggressive approach needed for a winning side.
Think you're forgetting a player, who I think could be the best of the lot in Test cricket. I'd argue he is already better than Jayasuriya and Gayle in Tests - David Warner.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Sun 15 Jun 2014, 8:34 pm

Cook must be the most overrated batsmen around. 

Great innings by Ballance. Future is looking bright.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 15 Jun 2014, 8:45 pm

msp.

I'm not really defending Cook, but trying to explain the rationale for batting on.

For what it's worth, I do disagree with you when you say 7 overs doesn't change much. Suppose England had as you suggest set SL 320 in 97 overs and SL get off to a flyer as Cook sets attacking fields but his tired bowlers spray it around a bit. Let's say SL end the day on 40/0, that leaves them 280 to get in a full day's play, on a good pitch, with all their wickets in hand. Doesn't look such a tough propositikon to me...

However, I shall repeat that I would have liked England to push on after drinks, bat 8 overs or so, score 50 runs, and set SL 350-odd while having 6-7 overs at SL this evening. Instead England decided to make sure they couldn't lose.

As you rightly point out though, it's possible that by not being able to win SL go too negative and end up losing. Certainly Cook will be able to set attacking fields with little fear of repercussions tomorrow.

Basically I'm sitting on the fence on this one. I would have prefered England to have had a crack this evening, but can see why they didn't.

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Post by kingraf Sun 15 Jun 2014, 8:46 pm

You absolutely do not need a smasher to chase 322 in over 100 overs.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 15 Jun 2014, 9:01 pm

So Gary Ballance becomes the first Gary to score a century for England

I'm well and truly a fully fledged member of the Ballance Bus
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Post by msp83 Sun 15 Jun 2014, 9:02 pm

kingraf wrote:You absolutely do not need a smasher to chase 322 in over 100 overs.
How many times has it happened? In the history of test cricket? How many times has Sri Lanka done it? And we are not talking about a filthy bowling unit that AB and Faf bossed around the other day!.
And that brings me to Shanky's comments on the McCullum innings and Dhoni. 'Of course' Dhoni has been conservative and even negative as a captain in overseas conditions. His stubbornness in team selection for a start. But I am always sympathetic to his plight as a captain with the kind of bowlers he has at his disposal. The chase I mentioned above? Dhoni had attacking fields for a very long time in that game. The pitch was scuffed up as well. Yet the seamers or R Ashwin made no impact whatsoever on AB and Faf and we almost lost a game after setting a target of over 450....... Dhoni often sits back too long and gives away situations of advantage. He has not demanded more from the bowlers through attacking field settings. Those are issues with him and he does deserve a lot of the criticism that he gets, but the reality is that we have a sub-standard bowling unit to play test matches overseas........ Perhaps Stuart Binny and Ishant Sharma will solve all our problems in this English summer, perhaps with some help from Gautam Gambhir!!. The Indian selectors are such muppets!.

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Post by KP_fan Sun 15 Jun 2014, 9:29 pm

In that test in SA where dhoni conceded nearly a 450 chasse....there was no one but dhoni to blame:

--he picks bowlers who are not test match fit...i mean bolwing at 2/3rd pace in ranji to prove their fitness
or playing a few ODIS is a diffrent ball game from running in bending back and bowling 25 overs on D5 at full intensity

--he could subsidize the not a 100% fit bowlers...by picking one extra seamer......he doesn't do that

---he KNOWS his spinner is not a Warne or Murali or Kumble and yet he picks him as one of the 4 bowlers

--he does not pick the best availbale bowlers in the country but rather those that he is comfortable with because of personal realtions or CSK agenda

--and then he kills this half impotent attack frutther by not putting attacking enough fields

--and he kills them further through his strategy of bowl line and length and control

Dhoni's worst nightmares will be repeated 5 times more when he comes to England
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Post by kingraf Sun 15 Jun 2014, 9:31 pm

We aren't discussing the likelihood of a successful chase. We are discussing the best way to chase 320... You don't need a destroyer to score 320 in over 100 overs.
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Post by ShankyCricket Sun 15 Jun 2014, 9:38 pm

KP_fan wrote:In that test in SA where dhoni conceded nearly a 450 chasse....there was no one but dhoni to blame:

--he picks bowlers who are not test match fit...i mean bolwing at 2/3rd pace in ranji to prove their fitness
or playing a few ODIS is a diffrent ball game from running in bending back and bowling 25 overs on D5  at full intensity

--he could subsidize the not a 100% fit bowlers...by picking one extra seamer......he doesn't do that

---he KNOWS his spinner is not a Warne or Murali or Kumble and yet he picks him as one of the 4 bowlers

--he does not pick the best availbale bowlers in the country but rather those that he is comfortable with because of personal realtions or CSK agenda

--and then he kills this half impotent attack frutther by not putting attacking enough fields

--and he kills them further through his strategy of bowl line and length and control

Dhoni's worst nightmares will be repeated 5 times more when he comes to England
Well said, KPF!

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Post by msp83 Mon 16 Jun 2014, 7:18 am

kingraf wrote:We aren't discussing the likelihood of a successful chase. We are discussing the best way to chase 320... You don't need a destroyer to score 320 in over 100 overs.
Scoring 3.2 an over on a final day of a test match is easier said than done. Most sides, with real quality batting, even do not go for such a chase and instead will opt for a draw. Plans usually change when there is an explosive start at the top, like say Virender Sehwag's 83 against England at Chennai in 2008 in a game where India successfully chased over 380 with almost 150 coming in less than a session on the penultimate day....... In theory, you can easily accumulate the runs, but in practice it doesn't happen that most of the times........

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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 8:42 am

yeah 320 odd on D5 by this lankan batting vs. this 5 pronged English bowling.....the scales are tilted in favour of the latter....the ease of pitch notwithstanding.

we saw how Eranga and pradeep were getting reverse and some uneven stuff and hertah turning a few from the rough.

Eng would rue and "arm chair analysts" will drive knives into Cook if Lanka end up with 6 or 7 down for 250 odd and time runs out Very Happy 
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Post by Dorothy_Mantooth Mon 16 Jun 2014, 9:05 am

Cook could have declared a few overs earlier, but by and large I don't get the (predictable) reaction from the usual suspects.

It seems that by for some people no matter what Cook or England do they will find fault. Had they declared earlier and Sri Lanka chase down the total, Cook would be criticised for being arrogant. Or if the game ends in a boring draw, say 260-4. People will say he should have batted on and allowed Ballance to get his 100.

Let's see how today goes, last time Cook was getting it in the neck for delaying a Declaration was against the Kiwis last Summer and England managed to pick up the win then.

As for Cooks batting it is now a major concern. Yes he has had periods of poor form before, few batsmen don't. But it must be around dozen tests since this dip in form started.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 9:10 am

Dorothy_Mantooth wrote:  

It seems that by for some people no matter what Cook or England do they will find fault.  
¨

that wasn't the case when he won very credibly in India...he was on a high and every move of his hailed.
Failure does open up criticism.
The only way he can shut up the critics is by scoring runs.......which he isn't.
AND
by winning...which we all know he didn't look like coming close to in Aus.....
but alarmingly he has let the low ranked foreign to his conditions Lankans run close to him...after losing the ODIs...inspite of stealing their coach at the last minute  furious 
criticism is not blind but for valid reasons now
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Post by GSC Mon 16 Jun 2014, 10:42 am

England declare, Sri Lanka need 390 to win, or more realistically, 90 overs to bat out a draw
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Post by msp83 Mon 16 Jun 2014, 11:05 am

Anderson locating Karunaratne's edge 2nd ball itself, luckily for the Lankan opener, it went away for 4.
Cook might be looking at it as the Lankan opener already scoring at a strike rate of 200!.

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Post by msp83 Mon 16 Jun 2014, 11:19 am

The new ball is doing just a little bit here. Nothing alarming, but there is a bit about it, Anderson and Broad have produced a few good ones with it so far.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 11:25 am

I think Jordan should be taking the new ball...given the level of intensity ( or lack of it ) that Braod has shown in this game
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Post by Scrumpy Mon 16 Jun 2014, 11:28 am

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
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Post by liverbnz Mon 16 Jun 2014, 11:29 am

Big test for this England bowling unit. Sri Lanka managed 8 wickets yesterday with good bowling so we should expect at least the same from England.

As for the 'no matter what Cook does he'll be criticised' debate - that's due to the internet. There are vastly more people able to publicly air their opinion on things these days which means a wider variety. It's not just down to knee-jerkism.

IMO, 390 is too much and will put Sri Lanka into defensive mode. Even 350 with 95 overs is pushing it but we'll see come COP.

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Post by msp83 Mon 16 Jun 2014, 12:00 pm

Sri Lanka batting normally, they are 46-1 at this stage, an hour of play done.

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Post by Liam Mon 16 Jun 2014, 12:14 pm

draw written all over this (stating the obvious to some). Then again, who saw England winning at the swalec against them on the final day? Still, I reckon Sri Lanka will lose maybe 3/4 wickets, with Sangakarra/jayawardena there at the end on 80 odd not out.

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Post by liverbnz Mon 16 Jun 2014, 12:21 pm

Liam wrote:draw written all over this (stating the obvious to some). Then again, who saw England winning at the swalec against them on the final day? Still, I reckon Sri Lanka will lose maybe 3/4 wickets, with Sangakarra/jayawardena there at the end on 80 odd not out.
 
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Post by msp83 Mon 16 Jun 2014, 12:31 pm

Sri Lanka 77-1, going at close to 4 an over. Other than Anderson, England bowlers haven't been able to make much of an impression on Silva and Sanga. Cook needs a wicket to feel a bit more comfortable.......

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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 12:57 pm

if I was Lanka......and if this wicket takes me to a 150 + score....then I would send someone to go and T20 style blast a quick 30 off 18 balls......to bring the required run-rate to a very reasonable proportion....and then make a match out of it

Kulasekra is the guy to do it In my view
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Post by kingraf Mon 16 Jun 2014, 1:04 pm

So, uh, Sri Lanka are batting at a reasonable rate without a smasher? Stupid Cook should have set them 320 in 100 overs like everyone wanted
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Post by Scrumpy Mon 16 Jun 2014, 1:21 pm

Cooks Captaincy has been disappointing.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 1:35 pm

kingraf wrote:So, uh, Sri Lanka are batting at a reasonable rate without a smasher? Stupid Cook should have set them 320 in 100 overs like everyone wanted

with the timidity he has shown....even 420 in 110 overs would have given him panic.

Just like they say.......you cannot set a field for bad bowling....
similarly.....there is never a safe score for a timid captain seeking safety.

But Cook is not alone in that club......Dhoni is right besides him

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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 1:56 pm

if we play the famous dialogue..........." Only one team can lose from here".....
which would be that team ?
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Post by Liam Mon 16 Jun 2014, 2:05 pm

liverbnz wrote:
Liam wrote:draw written all over this (stating the obvious to some). Then again, who saw England winning at the swalec against them on the final day? Still, I reckon Sri Lanka will lose maybe 3/4 wickets, with Sangakarra/jayawardena there at the end on 80 odd not out.
 
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haha! well, cautiously optimistic is one way of describing that prediction Wink

Also how dire is this Lord's pitch. Is my memory serving me right in thinking it's always been like this at Lord's or am I thinking of somewhere else? such a batting friendly wicket, like watching paint dry.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 16 Jun 2014, 2:27 pm

a very poor pitch certainly Liam, and Lords has been pretty flat for a while (probably the last 15 years or so): the main thing is it just doesn't deteriorate, so days 4 and 5 are as good for batting as days 1-2 (in fact day 1 is probably the best day to bowl). It did a bit with the new ball this morning, but since about 10-12 overs it's been easy for batting. Maybe a hint or reverse swing there? or am I clutching at straws?

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 16 Jun 2014, 2:32 pm

and gone! the old leg-side strangle works, Silva gloves one down the leg side and Prior takes a good tumbling catch. England are confident, and immediately review, and indeed that's clearly hit the glove. now then...

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Post by kingraf Mon 16 Jun 2014, 2:51 pm

This match will be about lost opportunities for Lanka, better bowling against the tail, and there would have been a real game.
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Post by kingraf Mon 16 Jun 2014, 2:54 pm

Funny how averages plummet once it's at the throat region
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Post by kingraf Mon 16 Jun 2014, 2:59 pm

No one wants to speak about it... but could Sangakarra be the best since Bradman?
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:03 pm

kingraf wrote:No one wants to speak about it... but could Sangakarra be the best since Bradman?

He's certainly up there in the discussion, I'd have him over Sachin...
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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:12 pm

kingraf wrote:No one wants to speak about it... but could Sangakarra be the best since Bradman?

one measure for judgement of the greatness is the difference between home and away averages...the lower it is the better a batsman.

conversely the greater the diffrence the bigger that batsman a HTB ( H= home here)

samarweera, Sangkarra, Jayawerdene, Younis khan and Clarke  are the greatest HTBs of this generation....is what i recall from an excercise done using this measure

secondly that Bradman was the greatest is also debatable.......he was a super HTB and single team + a few minnows basher
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Post by alfie Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:18 pm

Well unless something dramatic happens soon , the always likely draw will be nailed on.
But this passage of play has been interesting , with Plunkett working Jayawardene over somewhat and Jordan bowling much better than he did this morning. Think the chance of getting Jayawardene early has about gone now though...

Reckon Plunkett has done enough to keep his spot , and suggest his second attempt at Test Cricket might perhaps succeed. Will be interesting to see him on a pitch a little less moribund . Good news for England : less so perhaps for Woakes Stokes and Bresnan  Smile 

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:19 pm

not really going anywhere this one is it? unless England can somehow snatch a couple before tea you suspect it will meander to a draw.

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Post by msp83 Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:25 pm

kingraf wrote:So, uh, Sri Lanka are batting at a reasonable rate without a smasher? Stupid Cook should have set them 320 in 100 overs like everyone wanted
After Silva's fall, they've really slowed it down. A win wasn't a serious option at the start of the day, even then with just 2 down, the 2 senior guys do not want to take any chances. Besides, Cook could always have kept defensive fields to keep the runs down if the situation developed into anything major for England.
As of now, its a pain watching this game with only 1 result possible. I am still hoping for the glorious uncertainties of cricket to make an appearance.......

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Post by KP_fan Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:27 pm

msp83 wrote:
kingraf wrote:So, uh, Sri Lanka are batting at a reasonable rate without a smasher? Stupid Cook should have set them 320 in 100 overs like everyone wanted
After Silva's fall, they've really slowed it down. A win wasn't a serious option at the start of the day, even then with just 2 down, the 2 senior guys do not want to take any chances. Besides, Cook could always have kept defensive fields to keep the runs down if the situation developed into anything major for England.
As of now, its a pain watching this game with only 1 result possible. I am still hoping for the glorious uncertainties of cricket to make an appearance.......

yeah he didn't leave an incentive for a result
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Post by alfie Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:27 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:not really going anywhere this one is it? unless England can somehow snatch a couple before tea you suspect it will meander to a draw.

Was always likely , really , wasn't it , MFC ? This pitch is frankly a bit too bland , and I don't think even with a spinner of Swann's class England would have been likely to run through Sri Lanka on it. Lord's just doesn't deteriorate at all.
Were needing two or three early wickets , not one...and a bit of luck or batsmen's carelessness . These two are real professionals , and they aren't likely to give them anything...

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Post by msp83 Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:33 pm

So what happens to Ben Stokes now??

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:35 pm

looking at the way the pitch is now, 320 in 100 overs would have been suicide on England's part. I know we're all much more aggressive captains when we're not playing, but that doesn't mean you should gift wrap a win to your opponents just for the sake of being positive.

Really the pitch should come in for a lot of criticism for me. Yes Cook was a little cautious, but on such a great pitch for batting I don't think you want to give your opponents much of a chance to snatch a victory which when all said and done they would have done little to deserve.

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Post by kingraf Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:35 pm

Well then.
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:35 pm

and as I post that Jimmy strikes. It's just a ball in the right areas, doesn't really do anything, but Jayawardene doesn't line it up properly and nicks through to Prior.

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Post by Scrumpy Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:36 pm

I was just about to type maybe it's time for the two Captains to shake hands.

Or maybe not????
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:37 pm

msp83 wrote:So what happens to Ben Stokes now??

an interesting question. Moeen has probably done enough to keep his place, and if England go in without a spinner you feel he's a necessity (Root isn't good enough to be the only spin option IMO). On the other hand Stokes need to get in the team for me, but it could be tricky...

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Post by Scrumpy Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:38 pm

Drop Cook!
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:38 pm

msp83 wrote:So what happens to Ben Stokes now??

I'd imagine he'll come into the squad for the India tests. Plunkett has been alright, but not enough for him to have a guaranteed spot yet
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 16 Jun 2014, 3:45 pm

I've been quite impressed by Plunkett. He's bowled a lot of overs on a flat pitch and kept his pace up really well throughout. OK he's sprayed a couple of balls around, but as part of a four-man seam attack I think there's a place for the enforcer type if that's where England want to go.

Jordan's an interesting one too, for me he's been a little inconsistent with the ball at times, but he does seem to have a happy knack of picking up wickets which is obviously great. His batting is a nice bonus too, looks like he could score a few runs in Tests.

Broad looked really stiff in that over he just bowled, I suspect we won't see much of him this evening unless England get a couple of quick wickets after tea.

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