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England's Winter

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Post by Duty281 Sun 05 Jan 2020, 2:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

As per LT's original post:
New Zealand

T20 Internationals

Friday November 1st - Christchurch
Sunday November 3rd - Wellington
Tuesday November 5th - Nelson
Friday November 8th - Napier
Sunday November 10th - Auckland

Squad
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) captain
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Tom Banton (Somerset)
Sam Billings (Kent)
Pat Brown (Worcestershire)
Sam Curran (Surrey)
Tom Curran (Surrey)
Joe Denly (Kent)
Lewis Gregory (Somerset)
Chris Jordan (Sussex)
Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire)
Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
Matt Parkinson (Lancashire)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
James Vince (Hampshire)


Tests

Wednesday November 20th - Tauranga
Thursday November 28th - Hamilton

Squad
Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain
Jofra Archer (Sussex)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Rory Burns (Surrey)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire)
Zak Crawley (Kent)
Sam Curran (Surrey)
Joe Denly (Kent)
Jack Leach (Somerset)
Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire)
Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire)
Ollie Pope (Surrey)
Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)



South Africa

Tests

Thursday 26th December - Centurion
Friday January 3rd - Cape Town
Thursday January 16th - Port Elizabeth
Friday January 24th - Johannesburg

Squad
Ill


ODI
Tuesday 4th February - Cape Town
Friday 7th February - Durban
Sunday 9th February - Johannesburg

Squad
Ill

T20 Internationals

Wednesday 12th February - East London
Friday 14th February - Durban
Sunday 16th February - Centurion


Sri Lanka

March 7th - Warm up 1, Katunayake (3 day)
March 12th - Warm up 2, Colombo (3 day)
March 19th - 1st Test, Galle
March 27th - 2nd Test, Colombo

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Post by Duty281 Sun 19 Jan 2020, 2:44 pm

True! But South Africa have one of the weakest lower orders currently in test cricket, starting at 7 really, and a top order with more players out of form than in. Add in Rabada missing from the next test and England should really count themselves strong favourites (though you’d expect Root to lose the next toss!).

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 19 Jan 2020, 2:45 pm

As Duty says, some excellent catches by Pope in this match.

Even though he started out as a wicket keeper and isn't keen to totally give up that role, Pope is Surrey's best out fielder - both close in and on the boundary. It was a dive where he ended up landing on the rope at the Oval which caused his shoulder injury last season and put him out of action for about 3 months.

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Post by alfie Sun 19 Jan 2020, 2:54 pm

guildfordbat wrote:As Duty says, some excellent catches by Pope in this match.

Even though he started out as a wicket keeper and isn't keen to totally give up that role, Pope is Surrey's best out fielder - both close in and on the boundary. It was a dive where he ended up landing on the rope at the Oval which caused his shoulder injury last season and put him out of action for about 3 months.

Better keep him well away from boundary ropes then ...don't want him getting injured when he's in this kind of form batting and catching !
Actually seems to be enjoying his role at short leg & silly point etc. shoud get plenty of practice in Sti Lanka...

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Post by alfie Sun 19 Jan 2020, 3:00 pm

Root again...fine catch Mark Wood clap

Off goes de Kock and this is going very much England's way .

Was just going to note this has to be a record long spell of bowling for Root , surely ? He will have to keep going anyway now...

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Post by alfie Sun 19 Jan 2020, 3:24 pm

The Root & Pope show continues... du Plessis gone this time. (Heaven knows why he bothered to burn SA last review - edge was absolutely blatant.

Four for Root now. Wouldn't have predicted that...

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Post by JDizzle Sun 19 Jan 2020, 3:36 pm

alfie wrote:The Root & Pope show continues... du Plessis gone this time. (Heaven knows why he bothered to burn SA last review - edge was absolutely blatant.

Four for Root now.  Wouldn't have predicted that...

Still e better review than the one Bess wasted earlier!

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 19 Jan 2020, 5:31 pm

South Africa cant play spin. Root looked like Shane Muralitharan today on a wet pudding.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 19 Jan 2020, 5:31 pm

Six down at stumps after South Africa played Root as though he were the second coming of Murali. Not too much work left for England, they’ll just need the rain to stay away for long enough!

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 19 Jan 2020, 5:52 pm

Always used to annoy me intensely that SA on their readmission to Tests in the early 90s would play well above their ability against England, while England constantly underperformed.

Now we have a weak SA - is this their poorest side since that readmission? - playing poorly.

England just have to win this series now and they will have done so without, most of the time, Burns, Archer and Anderson and with a very inexperienced batting line-up.


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Post by Gooseberry Sun 19 Jan 2020, 6:10 pm

No question they are at a low point skill and mentality wise, bit how different that looked until their first innings in the second test.
Faf is a better player than what we have seen from him, as is Rabada. Philander is definately due to retire and often playing like it. Its not a good SA side, but they are capable of being better. Much as with England for much of the last couple of years, they have too been lacking quality and that's had a knock on effect to morale and form of the better players.
Psychology does seem to play a huge part on cricket. It may be the young players coming in with zero pressure and a fair bit of vim, not having ground round the world in 3 formats for years on end and not having emotional toll playing through that world cup but there seems to be an energy around wngland they havent had in tests for a long time.
Root should never be taking 4 wickets in an innings, but could have had more. Woods bowling faster than he has in his life in spite of all the injuries. Where are these magic performances coming from? There must be an element of collective team psychology on both sides.
Absolutely no question that Faf is carrying the on and off field pressures in the same way we have seen Root weighed down by Englands struggles in recent years. His second innings showed a lot more application grit and sense than his first did but still he didn't make anywhere near what was needed and seems to be stuck like Mo got not comfortable blocking and not able to hit his way out of trouble.
It's not all gloom for SA they can find that zip that England have though. Malan and van der Dusen look like they could be decent bats given time, and the injured opener who's name escapes me can be very good if he gets his confidence back. Nortje is yet another quality seamer off their production line. Its maybe a side in transition as England have been who just need something to kick start it.
It looks like this series is going to be a rough one for them and it's hard to see them finding a way back ( unless they win the toss) I'd they do lose this. But further forward theres some green shoots.


Sri Lanka getting pummeled by Zimbabwe should be a nice reminder for England if just how appalling they are. Problem is they might have a spin attack of Bess, root, jennings and Denly.

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Post by VTR Sun 19 Jan 2020, 8:37 pm

Root with a four-for, shouldn't happen to anyone. Definitely brings back memories of Roston the Wrecker

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:03 am

Hopefully the weather won't mess with the last day...England really ought to wrap this up fairly swiftly now...and a new ball is only 14 over away if they do get held up for a bit.

Has been a fine all round performance (except for Stokes - remarkably - dropping four catches !). And SA seem strangely submissive ; which is just not like them , even if you take into account  
a few "holes" in their current lineup due to a lack of classy experienced players available. I thought they were a bit flat even on day one , apart from the middle session : surely just losing the toss and having Rabada rubbed out for next week shouldn't have taken the wind out of their sails to this extent ?  Have to wonder if there are things not right in their dressing room . Again seems odd after the euphoria of that First Test win with all the old heroes back in support roles. Wanderers match might tell us more...

As for England and where they go from here I will stick to my usual policy : one thing at a time. Win this tomorrow . Then complete the job in the Fourth Test. Then we can start planning for World Domination Smile

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:04 am

So...day five : deja Vu all over again Smile

Broad to Philander - first over - OUT. Three balls less than yesterday...

This won't take long , I think.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:05 am

Alfie theres been a number of ongoing dramas at CSA in the build up to this series, including issues with paying players and the chief exec getting suspended over corruption allegations, sponsors walking away from the team and a bunch of journalists getting banned for asking questions. The biggest off field pressure currently seems to centre around the representation issue, Bavuma was dropped but Faf is scoring less than he is. Rabada will be suspended for the next test and Philander retiring after that, and the way hes playing you can kind of see why. Its causing a lot of noise an political pressure for the leadership, Faf certainly wont be immune to feeling the pressure of that. His captaincy is under threat. 
Theres not been any signs of real division within the camp, but its clearly not a happy place. Which is very much at odds with how they were in the first test and start of the second, the roles seemed very much reversed in that test with England looking shell shocked amongst another loss coupled with the illnesses and Roots poor decision putting England rock bottom.  Looking back Andersons five for in the second innings of the second test seems to have been the turning point for the series, pushing the pressure back onto SA ...even with Sibleys century  they still had enough guts to nearly see out the draw and it took the magic from Stokes to kick the life out of them. Does seem that that couple with the off field pressures has just sucked the life from them. 
Its a flawed side playing below itself and feeling the pressure of that, exactly what England have been for much of the past few years. 
Ive not seen any evidence of dressing room splits, although you can imagine theres a few bruised egos amongst the senior players and possibly some distrust seeping in. Bowlers feeling let down by the batsmen and vice versa. The representation issue will be raw too, with some players maybe feeling their places are under threat regardless of how they perform. 
I wouldnt be amazed to discover that their own board has been trying to distract form their problems and the ongoing corruption issues by playing up the representation issue too.  Its always a good topic for distracting from whats really going on and shifting the focus away from them onto the team management. there was talk of this series being under threat from a player strike over the commercial rights issue (which also seems to be the focus of the corruption investigations). Rather than it being a dressing room split it seems like a split between the players and their board.

All of this is why the first test was such a huge disappointment for England, SA are there for the taking. Assuming they see this win out (and they got a wicket whilst I was typing this) they are well placed to do that. But Im not forgetting that England are a flawed team too, and also have looked jaded themselves more often than not in away tests over the past few years.

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Post by VTR Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:09 am

Good start then. Probably give Root a few overs to get his five for, but really against the real tail, surely Wood is now the option to run through them

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:24 am

This has to be the worst SA team I have ever seen, the top five currently have no shot making ability between them, De Kock is doing what he can but like everyone below him is batting a place too high, Philander at 7?

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:30 am

Ah yes goose...well I am aware of the issues that have bothered the SA administration - but didn't expect them to flow into the team to this effect (especially after that Centurion win). And I wasn't so much meaning a split between players necessarily (though of course you never know).
More that the confidence and belief which ought to be there clearly just isn't...and while I don't want to put all the blame on Faf you have to wonder why he doesn't seem either happy in himself or totally in control of his team (note the failure to keep Rabada from foolish excesses) The argument over selection might be having more effect than it should...

In the meantime Rabada is gone : three for Wood thumbsup

Just for a change a catch for Broad : nice of Pope to let someone else have a go Smile

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Post by VTR Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:33 am

Well I did say get Wood on, took all of one ball

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:40 am

Root really wants this five-for , doesn't he ? Fair enough I guess ...he has done a terrific job - aided by some poor batting. But mildly surprised he is still going this morning when Bess hasn't bowled...not that it will make any difference as this is going to be over very soon whoever is bowling.
Nortje still batting after Maharaj and Rabada but I'm not sure that will always be the way : I like his spirit. Might take a bit of shifting yet...

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:56 am

VTR wrote:Well I did say get Wood on, took all of one ball

Indeed...you got your man Smile

And now I've got mine as Bess comes on and does for Nortje immediately thumbsup

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:04 am

Advertisers will be glad ...SA have made it to a Drinks Break.

Betting on how many more balls to end it ? And will Root get the last...

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:15 am

Root's figures taking a battering here...4 4 4...

New ball .  Broad . Wood ....stop messing about.

Now 6.  Come on Joe. Hmm .another six...and four byes to finish.

Not the over you want on you tube Smile

At least should hose down these theories that England can settle for Root as a sole spinner next week ...

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Post by VTR Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:21 am

Yep, that five for isn't going to happen. Be professional and give the new ball to the pace bowlers

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:22 am

Fifty for Maharaj clap

Not going to help much but good for him. Especially after his poor dismissal yesterday in the first innings.

Sam Curran at last...the end is nigh I think.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:22 am

As well as Root taking a battering, so is Buttler with the number of byes conceded. Foakes looking a good bet for Sri Lanka.

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:35 am

guildfordbat wrote:As well as Root taking a battering, so is Buttler with the number of byes conceded. Foakes looking a good bet for Sri Lanka.

In fairness to Jos he has been OK to the pacemen. But standing up he always looks a fish out of water. I have never really seen him as a long term Test keeper but not sure what they are going to do with him now Pope has locked up the number six spot ?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:40 am

Tailenders having a proper slog - the way cricket should be
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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:50 am

Run out !

Only way to end it Smile

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:55 am

Good win in the end for England, not very impressed with Root at the end there.

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:56 am

So comprehensive win...though that last wicket stand showed up some dumb cricket from England which ultimately didn't matter.

Hope Root learns though : don't take your foot off until it's done : don't mess around with a new ball attack and don't ask your pace bowlers to bowl at 9 and 12 without a slip...might matter next time.

Pope has to be MoTM thanks to catching + as against Stokes catching - Smile

2-1. Well deserved. But don't take the Wanderers for granted...

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 20 Jan 2020, 9:57 am

alfie wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:As well as Root taking a battering, so is Buttler with the number of byes conceded. Foakes looking a good bet for Sri Lanka.

In fairness to Jos he has been OK to the pacemen. But standing up he always looks a fish out of water. I have never really seen him as a long term Test keeper but not sure what they are going to do with him now Pope has locked up the number six spot ?

Alfie - I go along with that for the pacemen but it's probably less challenging keeping in Tests to pace than spin. Particularly in Sri Lanka where there'll be so much more of the latter - that's where I was really coming from.

It's too early to name a Test side for Sri Lanka. However, whilst I would certainly take Buttler there, my thinking atm would be more for him to be a back up - both as a batsman and as a keeper.

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:09 am

Agreed guildford too early for Sri Lanka team - as we said last week !

For next Test though I am a little anxious reading Agnew commenting how much Root would like Archer and Wood together...visions of England totally overdoing the bumper barrage rubbish - and not picking a spinner picard

Suspect Archer won't be 100% fit anyway and they really don't need to risk him. We shall see...

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:11 am

Leaving aside a few grumbles about this morning*, Pope definitely my MotM for his century and catches but generally a very good team performance with most of the players contributing significantly.

* Not totally leaving them aside though! Wink I fully accept that Root had earned the right to bowl today through his good and effective work with the ball yesterday. However, I would not have gone with him in the first hour today. Purely a personal choice, felt he had his time in the sun yesterday and would have left it at that. Can though totally appreciate why that view wasn't shared. However, he did stay on too long.


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Post by VTR Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:11 am

Agree with the comments on Root, it didn't matter in the end, but was pretty poor to put his pursuit of a 5 for over the obvious options. Or the old "do what the opposition would least like you to do"

Who knows, next Test Maharaj has got his eye on a bit and might bat with more confidence. It could be a close match where lower order runs make a difference

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:12 am

The England management need to look back at the Ashes and see how Archer got his wickets, the vast majority were when he bowled a good to full length aiming at the top of off stump. The short stuff looked good in patches but he didn't actually take any wickets with it, the same with Wood this match.

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Post by GSC Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:20 am

good win, doesnt quite excuse the top order failing to cash in again but not much to argue with winning by an innings overseas
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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:24 am

Hard yards at the top of the order paved the way a touch. I know we should expect a little more, but it isn't long ago where someone sitting in for 100 balls and getting 0 runs would still have been an improvement. Considering Burns is out, having settled, I'm delighted with the application of the top three. That might be cos i'm a Denly Guy

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:26 am

Apart from the nonsense at the end, a very convincing win for England over an albeit weak SA side.

Yes, Root certainly overbowled himself but at least it gave the others a rest. Jo'burg comes as soon as Friday.

I think the final Test could be close. England can often turn in a horror show after a good win and I'm not sure SA can bat this badly again.

Apparently this is Eng's first innings win in an away Test since 2010-11 at Sydney. Weak SA side or not, it's been a good performance.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:52 am

guildfordbat wrote:Leaving aside a few grumbles about this morning*, Pope definitely my MotM for his century and catches but generally a very good team performance with most of the players contributing significantly.

* Not totally leaving them aside though! Wink I fully accept that Root had earned the right to bowl today through his good and effective work with the ball yesterday. However, I would not have gone with him in the first hour today. Purely a personal choice, felt he had his time in the sun yesterday and would have left it at that. Can though totally appreciate why that view wasn't shared. However, he did stay on too long.

Just to add a few details on so many contributing in not just this Test but the series so far.

Rabada is the leading wicket taker with 14 and South Africa have 3 bowlers in the top 4 (Broad is second with 12, just ahead of Nortje and Maharaj). However, England have 8 bowlers with a series average under 30. The only England bowler who misses out there is Root at over 38 per wicket!

England lead the hosts by some way when it comes to the batting. 6 England players average 40 or more. Admittedly aided by a couple of not outs, Pope's is an incredible 199!

Whilst South Africa are unquestionably in a poor place as flagged by goose and Alfie (although neither mentioned the detrimental effect on any team of Graeme Smith's wife Wink - some Surrey followers may understand), it's still good and encouraging to see several England players coming to the party. Although appreciating the relative youth and inexperience, important now to do so even more and more consistently ….

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Post by dummy_half Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:02 am

Overall a good team performance from England - only really the second session on day 1 that went clearly to SA, at least up to the point the game was over as a competition (the last wicket partnership was irrelevant in the overall match context).

The only question is whether this is a sign of England starting to develop into a decent Test side, or that SA are really poor. I'm more convinced that England's batting is going the right way, as the SA bowling attack is still pretty good, while the bowling has exploited some poor SA batting (form / overall ability / selections).

Medium term, I don't see Denly keeping his place - he seems to struggle to score against the spinners in particular, and SL could be difficult for him from that perspective. Whether his bowling ability will be enough to keep him in the side remains to be seen.
Also, we still have the wicket keeping issue - Buttler potentially a better batsman against spin than Foakes, but a far inferior keeper.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:13 am

Very good win. There should be no excuses about not winning 3-1, unless the weather intervenes. South Africa look like a side whose confidence is shot to pieces, not tremendously united, and they’ll be missing Rabada whilst carrying around their woeful batting order (no South African centurions yet in this series, I believe).

And England at last seem to be going in a forward direction. Plenty of green shoots of optimism starting to flourish, especially with England managing to bat decently and long in the first innings (something Silverwood is keen for his side to do), though I wouldn’t be too excited about Bess’ five-for given how awful South Africa managed to play the spinners.

With some pretty soft series for England coming up - Sri Lanka next, then home to the West Indies and Pakistan - there’s a very good chance for building some momentum and a feel good factor around the England test team...although the next two winters see England visit India and Australia, so best enjoy it while we can!

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:39 am

You cant attribute Englands position solely to Sputh Africas problems but equally as with the away win in Sri Lanka it doesnt suddenly make them all Ben Stokes. But Wood is bowling consistently fast, and faster than he ever has in his career. Pope and Bess both have started to look a lot less overwhelmed by test cricket. Its positive moves in the right direction.

Either way it's good for confidence and as we discussed earlier the lack of that has contributed to wngland underperforming in recent times just as it is now to SA. England are showing some good signs of improvement, but they arent suddenly a brilliant team. England seem to have made a habit of fronting ill on south african tours.

Currans mauling today is a bit of a concern. I wondered why Root had bowled him so little after giving the new ball, but get clobbered by tail enders suggests why. Still feel that Root doesnt really trust him as a bowler and more seeds him as a handy variation to target specific players with the left arm angle than a genuine front line bowler.



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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:49 am

If the ball doesn't swing Curran becomes cannon fodder, he's not accurate enough to make up for his lack of pace and compared to Broad and Wood he's the easier option to get after, he'll develop in time but with most swing bowlers he won't be much cop abroad.

Bess did well in the first innings but didn't really look all that threatening in the second and being outbowled by Root isn't a good look.

Batting wise we need to find a decent player to replace Denly who just cannot score against spin which for a good one day player is a real surprise.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 20 Jan 2020, 12:02 pm

I like Curran, he'll try change things if it isn't working. He's got some one day tricks in his pocket, he's competitive too.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 20 Jan 2020, 12:26 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:I like Curran, he'll try change things if it isn't working. He's got some one day tricks in his pocket, he's competitive too.

Very good looking as well, always a bonus.

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Post by VTR Mon 20 Jan 2020, 1:29 pm

I think we can afford to have Curran in the team, given the balance that Stokes provides. He does offer something different, and is useful number 8 when he puts his mind to it. The emergence of Root as another genuine all rounder also helps things! (Conveniently forgets that over, and the fact his previous best was a 2-for)

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 20 Jan 2020, 2:41 pm

VTR wrote:I think we can afford to have Curran in the team, given the balance that Stokes provides. He does offer something different, and is useful number 8 when he puts his mind to it. The emergence of Root as another genuine all rounder also helps things! (Conveniently forgets that over, and the fact his previous best was a 2-for)


I sort of see it the other way, we can afford to have the 4th best seamer rather than picking between Woakes or Curran because they can hold a bat. 

If Wood and Archer were fit at the same time for the next test, who goes to get them in the side? Curran or Broad?

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Post by VTR Mon 20 Jan 2020, 4:23 pm

I'd say Wood or Archer is the usual option in that case. I quite like the left arm option, but wouldn't have Curran in the team if we only had four bowlers

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Post by dummy_half Mon 20 Jan 2020, 5:21 pm

If Wood and Archer are to play together, it has to be Curran that makes way, even though it weakens the batting (as Archer hasn't yet proven himself as being anything better than a 9 or 10 at Test level). Stokes obviously stays as 4th seamer because of his top 6 batting, and Broad would be the one to potentially bring some control.

Wood and Archer together could be a recipe for 100 all out or 400-3 at the end of day 1.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 20 Jan 2020, 5:25 pm

Not sure Archer will be fit anyways - he was walking round with ice on his elbow after bowling each day in this test, and that’s only net sessions.
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