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The summer of cricket 2020

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 04 Aug 2020, 3:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

Great ton from Morgan. Came in at 44/3 - now victory looks assured for England after this partnership.

(Spoiler: It wasn't.)


Last edited by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:34 pm

GSC wrote:I think Pakistan will be happy enough with the morning. Get the sense England have to get some breakthroughs after lunch or it could be a long evening.

I think England should be happy enough. Two wickets as a result of good bowling pretty continuously throughout the session (bar a weather break). Add to that, Pakistan haven't got away.

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:44 pm

England know that Pakistan don't bat deep. Another two or more in this session and they might fancy bowling Pakistan out tonight.

But there's a few obstacles in the way before that happens!

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:47 pm

GSC wrote:Id almost wonder if we don't have a spinner that demands selection, whether the all seam attack is a viable tactic

Holding was talking about this on Sky. He said that when he first toured England everyone here went on about ''balance''. In response to that, he referred to being part of a pack of four quicks and came out with this great line - ''If I wanted balance, I would have been a trapeze artist!''.

Cracking comment but - much as I like Mikey - he was cheating a bit or, at least, overlooking a couple of key aspects. Firstly, that pack was usually comprised of four world greats and secondly, they could get away with bowling at 12 overs an hour with no minimum number of overs in the day.

I just don't see such an approach being viable for England in this age.


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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:57 pm

With a fit Stokes an all seam attack feels overkill, unless its a raging green top then they'd be asking for it not to pick a spinner.

Its only a couple of years ago that Mo made all the difference against India despite swinging conditions.

Do feel that Bess is a bit of a passenger though. I get the impression that he's a selectors choice rather than the captains, Root does not turn to him unless he really has to.

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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:59 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
GSC wrote:Id almost wonder if we don't have a spinner that demands selection, whether the all seam attack is a viable tactic

Holding was talking about this on Sky. He said that when he first toured England everyone here went on about ''balance''. In response to that, he referred to being part of a pack of four quicks and came out with this great line - ''If I wanted balance, I would have been a trapeze artist!''.

Cracking comment but - much as I like Mikey - he was cheating a bit or, at least, overlooking a couple of key aspects. Firstly, that pack was usually comprised of four world greats and secondly, they could get away with bowling at 12 overs an hour with no minimum number of overs in the day.

I just don't see such an approach being viable for England in this age.


Agreed. That over rate issue is a big factor. Also the rules regarding short pitched bowling have been tightened up and helmets are universal...it is a different world.

Not to say an all pace attack can't work : managed the job last week , albeit against a West Indian team that had basically had enough. But it doesn't work all the time by any means. I'd say not very often , in fact. Even if the spinner plays only a modest role , he is often important in getting a break when the pace men aren't getting anywhere. Long as he can bat a bit and field I'd always prefer to have that option in my side.

Of course when Stokes is fit it isn't a problem anyway.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:59 pm

Anderson has not been good post lunch
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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:03 pm

Anderson uncharacteristically astray in direction since lunch...Babar tucking in .
Shan has done well . Looked the most likely to get out early on ; but he's settled in nicely.

Important session , after the first two hours went one to each side. Ball will be a bit unhelpful as the afternoon wears on...

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:03 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
GSC wrote:I think Pakistan will be happy enough with the morning. Get the sense England have to get some breakthroughs after lunch or it could be a long evening.

I think England should be happy enough. Two wickets as a result of good bowling pretty continuously throughout the session (bar a weather break). Add to that, Pakistan haven't got away.

Don't think either side with be overly worried but England are in the stronger position. The big danger for Pakistan would be getting blown away against the new ball in unfamiliar conditions, as it is they are two down for not a lot but seen it off and battimg should get a bit easier through this afternoon.

England were beating the bat or finding the edge quite a lot so in some respects be disappointed that consitent bowling didn't bring more, but they are marginaly ahead at this point.

I theory day two will be the best time to bat, so if they can get pakistan out in 80-90 overs should fancy getting a decent first innings lead. How much the pitch detoriates and if England fold against spin in a first test again is a big risk mind. Worryingly england haven't really had significant time to focus on training for this series and working out how to bat against Shah.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:04 pm

Dare I say it but Anderson looks the most likely to miss out once Stokes returns to bowling; Broad and Woakes are the form pair whilst Archer can offer a bit of variety.

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Post by GSC on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:12 pm

Azam starting to turn the screw now
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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:28 pm

Both batsmen set. Nothing happening with the ball. Troubling times.

Normally the sort of situation where Curran's golden arm breaks the partnership (shame he's not there). Or Root!

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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:31 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Dare I say it but Anderson looks the most likely to miss out once Stokes returns to bowling; Broad and Woakes are the form pair whilst Archer can offer a bit of variety.

Not sure I'd be pensioning him off yet on the strength of three poor overs , Soul Smile

If they are indeed rotating the bowlers , as they say , then it might be at least two of these four are rested next week.

Babar is playing rather well , isn't he ?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:36 pm

alfie wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Dare I say it but Anderson looks the most likely to miss out once Stokes returns to bowling; Broad and Woakes are the form pair whilst Archer can offer a bit of variety.

Not sure I'd be pensioning him off yet on the strength of three poor overs , Soul Smile

If they are indeed rotating the bowlers , as they say , then it might be at least two of these four are rested next week.

Babar is playing rather well , isn't he ?

Sure I read that since the start of 2019 that Babar averages more than Kohli, Smith and Williamson...and that basically if he does well on this tour, he "officially" puts himself into that pantheon of current players.
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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:42 pm

Bess bowling well here...Buttler can't hold on to the edged chance from Shan...

Not going England's way since the lunch break.

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Post by VTR on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:45 pm

Got to he worth a few quid on Pakistan at 2/1 in play vs England at evens to win this. Don't get that at all, if England concede around 300, I wouldn't back them to win having not batted first

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:47 pm

alfie wrote:Bess bowling well here...Buttler can't hold on to the edged chance from Shan...

Not going England's way since the lunch break.

Something about Ben Foakes... again and then again

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:52 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Dare I say it but Anderson looks the most likely to miss out once Stokes returns to bowling; Broad and Woakes are the form pair whilst Archer can offer a bit of variety.

Not sure I'd be pensioning him off yet on the strength of three poor overs , Soul Smile

If they are indeed rotating the bowlers , as they say , then it might be at least two of these four are rested next week.

Babar is playing rather well , isn't he ?

Sure I read that since the start of 2019 that Babar averages more than Kohli, Smith and Williamson...and that basically if he does well on this tour, he "officially" puts himself into that pantheon of current players.

Would agree with that. If he can average 50+ in three tests over here, he has to be in that class because English conditions are probably the hardest for sub-continent players.

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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 2:52 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
alfie wrote:Bess bowling well here...Buttler can't hold on to the edged chance from Shan...

Not going England's way since the lunch break.

Something about Ben Foakes... again and then again

I thought someone would be in with that comment Smile

In truth I think Buttler has improved his keeping , and is generally pretty sound standing back to the seamers. But I don't think he ever looks very comfortable keeping up to the stumps...which does suggest he'd be a bit of a risk in a tour to Asia.

Rain now : might be it for a while ? Pakistan back into a good position at 121/2 , Babar with a very good fifty clap

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 3:03 pm

alfie wrote:Bess bowling well here...Buttler can't hold on to the edged chance from Shan...

Not going England's way since the lunch break.

Poor Dom can't buy a bit of luck at the minute with the ball, can he?
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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 3:08 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:Bess bowling well here...Buttler can't hold on to the edged chance from Shan...

Not going England's way since the lunch break.

Poor Dom can't buy a bit of luck at the minute with the ball, can he?

No he can't. Apart from that chance , there was the one that was very nearly chopped on...

He's probably been taken for a few more runs than he would have liked ; but I'm not unhappy with what he's sent down on a day one pitch so far. Maybe get that bit of luck later on ...

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Post by GSC on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 3:08 pm

They need a flash of inspiration from somewhere
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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 3:08 pm

When exactly did Babar become a competant cricketer in English condutions. Its very unsporting!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 3:40 pm

Not looking good for too much more play today, meant to rain a fair bit between 4-5pm...

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Post by KP_fan on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 3:54 pm

Pakistan has done many things right today so far:

-Won the toss..
-Didn't waste the toss by bowling first like Windies did..
-Picked 2 spinners for Old Trafford... who suddenly are potently activated given they will have 4th inning to bowl in...and if you fast forward to even a target of 150 they can set on the this pitch....they would be in the game with an even chance
The higher they set above 150 .....the better their chances get
-They did not lose a wicket to the brand new ball or new ball bowlers...and even their first wicket was to a loss of concentration than any new ball tricks
_They did not lose wickets in a heap...like touring subcontinent teams do often...or even two is a row
--Babar took an upper hand once the ball wasn't new anymore and treated the spinner with quite contempt
-Pak have pretty decent seam attack to go with 2 spinners....the pitch though hasn't had as much for seamers

All my money is on Pak....and I have 3 or 4 small bets with 3.75 to 4.5 times return....although now Pak win odd is down to 2.8 times

-Eng would be missing Stokes bowling who could dig it in and try juts a bit extra to manufacture a wicket like he did against WI and has done often
Archer would have to do that role.....there is something in it for the spinner......but not muhc hope from the spinner on whom my view is well and oft recorded
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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 4:09 pm

KP_fan wrote:All my money is on Pak

Blimey, that's a show of confidence! Bankroll management be damned.

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 4:10 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Not looking good for too much more play today, meant to rain a fair bit between 4-5pm...


Chucking it down now. Probably best to leave it till tomorrow.

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Post by compelling and rich on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 4:15 pm

yeah absolutely rubbish here, forecast isnt saying its clearing up till gone 6pm

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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 4:32 pm

Dobell says the rain has stopped...

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 4:33 pm

Sigh. Been very uucky with the weather in Manchester but it really does deserve its reputation.

Pakistan in a strong position , england needed one more early wicket. Could be a lot more comfortable tomorrow on the sun with an old ball. If they are batting after tea then england are up against it

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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 4:56 pm

Inspection at five. Will stay up for ten more minutes and see what happens.

Pakistan indeed looking good. But the old story...if they get back on and lose two wickets...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 5:08 pm

Inspection at 5:30

I'd get some kip in Alfie
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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 5:10 pm

must admit i thought that was it for the day but we may get a few late overs by the sound of it, suns blazing now apparently...just need the outfield to dry a bit more

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 5:48 pm

We're back on. But we'll be back off soon enough, looking at the light.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 5:55 pm

England shouldve just refused to bowl spin and gone off. What a farce.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 6:05 pm

Buttlerfingers strikes again

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 6:06 pm

This Buttler situation is getting ******* ridiculous now.

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 6:07 pm

No where near sharp enough from Buttler behind the stumps. Basically froze as the ball reared up.

Odd little mini-session, this. Good chance for Pakistan to add plenty of runs against Bess and a part-timer.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 6:09 pm

Why didn’t Root just go off when the pacemen couldn’t bowl? Giving free runs away here
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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 6:13 pm

...and they are off again for light. Honestly its probably better for England.

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 6:15 pm

And we're going off. Should be that for the day.

Only 49 overs bowled today, but the weather looks dry for the remaining four days, with plenty of sunshine on Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

Pakistan will be happy. Babar Azam is a joy to watch. They'll be looking for 350+ from here which I think would be a match-winning total. England are a long 31 overs from the new ball, so it could be a difficult morning session tomorrow.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 7:20 pm

If England find themselves scraping for a draw, which is pretty likely, they are really going to wonder why they added those 6 overs when they could've taken the light.

Pakistan should be massively satisfied. Having two spinners made batting first a given, but they could easily have been in deep trouble had England had more luck with the new ball. As it is theyve done something the west indies simply arent capable of and got some solid runs from the top order and a platform to bat England out of the game in easier conditions tomorrow.

England cant hang around and wait for the new ball, they need wickets. Bess really will have his work cut out to get them bowling against players who are used to much sharper turn and chucking.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 8:01 pm

While Pakistan have undoubtedly had a good day, I wouldn't put them in an insurmountable position yet. A few wickets in the first hour tomorrow, and suddenly you have that fragile looking lower order exposed to the new ball just after lunch, and it could be 250 all out.

Of course, Azam/Masood see off the first hour, then England are in a spot of bother!

Big morning ahead - going to need Anderson to bowl much better than he did today.
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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 8:26 pm

104, 97, 8, 102, 60, 100*, 143, 69* - those are Azam's last eight test scores including today. Approaching Steve Smith levels of consistency...a damn sight more entertaining than Smith too!

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Post by alfie on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 4:14 am

Well I thank Olly for his advice to abandon my vigil and get some sleep...apparently didn't miss a great deal.

A little bemused by the concern shown by some posters above about England's trying a few overs of spin rather than going off early. Surely six overs , which yielded just 18 runs - similar run rate to that for the whole day - isn't going to make a material difference to the end result ? Apart from which it seems Bess should have had the breakthrough they were after in that period...I'd say Root made the right choice and will feel a little unlucky not to have profited from it.

Yes Pakistan have won the day. But I wouldn't say they are so massively on top that a couple of wickets in the morning can't change things . They still have a long tail ; and if England can prise out two - or even three - in the 31 overs to that second new ball , then the final score might not be particularly intimidating. Is that possible ? Don't see why not : they have to start again ; and you'd expect England to bowl a bit better than they did in that post lunch session ...which perhaps isn't asking much as it was unaccountably rancid Smile

Weather for Thursday ?

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 7:13 am

Alfie, it couldve been a lot more than 6 overs had the light not gotten worse. There was still over an hour left for play when they called stumps. The point is that trundling county slow bowling on a first day pitch against well set batsmen who are excellent players of spin was unlikely to cause them many problems (although tbf there was  the edge that hit Buttlers shoulder, hes been somewhat over critisized for as it came through relatively quickly at an angle he just wouldnt have been sighted on or anticipating with his movement). It was gifting easy runs and softening the ball further. Only Anderson has been more expensive than the two spinners so its somewhat disingenuous to say that the RR was similar to the rest of the day, overall the seamers were going for a run an over less than the spinners and that spell was one of higher scoring periods of the game despite the batsmen playing within themselves content to play themselves in against the spinners. The last two overs of it went for 12 and couldve been more had the batsmen not picked out fielders. Babar was starting to cream the spinners with ease and confidence and I suspect Root would've turned to Archer had the umpires not made the decision for him.
Overall of course it wont be the sole reason for the game going one way or the other, but when you're slipping behind in the match it feels odd to me to hand an advantage to the opposition. It was noble and "in the spirit" for them to stay out, but if they do lose narrowly on a 10th wicket stand hes going to look like a real goose. Obviously the draw shouldn't be in their minds yet, but I think the Pakistan pair wouldv'e been very happy to be facing spinners last night.
Really it just felt a bit pointless. It was the period of the game where the Pakistan batsmen looked the most comfortable.

As Olly says its far too early to call this game and doesn't take much for us to see a dramatic shift in the balance of power, but England are behind. They need wickets this morning, but they will be harder to come by with an old ball on a good batting surface with little cloud. They didnt capiltalise on the early movement yesterday, and will need Archer to crank it up a bit and Anderson to find his mojo to force wickets. This pair dont look like they will gift theirs. England will have to make decent score to press the game whatever, even a very optimistic Pakistan collapse will put them 250 and England would want a lead greater than 50 batting second. Realistically Pakistan would be very disappointed not to make 350 + even if its not a given, and will be eyeing 400+. If they get the upper end of that Englands chance of victory are almost zero.

Quick not on Babars scores...whilst its hard to really argue with a list like that 2 of the tests were against a touring Sri Lanka and one Bangladesh, the other two in Aus on tracks where Australia made over 500 batting second. One of his scores came in the innings where Yasir Shahs got a century having never previously passed 50 in tests (he also got his send and fourth best test scores on those pitches which really suggests that players with the right attitude could make easy scores there). He was also hidden down at 5 so dodged the worst of Australia's new ball pace. So since Steve Smith, Tendulkar and Chuck Norris have all been called flat track bullies he can be too ( if we conveniently ignore this innings for the sake of a point).
Hes not as on fire as Labuschagne either who's on a run of 185, 162,143,50, 63, 19, 215, 59 which would make Bradman blush. Well really it should make the Australian groundsmen blush.
Caveats aside though the bloke clearly can bat and has been miscatorgorised as a white ball slogger in the past. Checking his record the only other innings he played he he got injured on 68*  so it does seem he has what it takes to make scores in England despite not having done much in the warm ups. A more generous way to look at his scores is to say hes done it against express pace, on Asian wickets, and now against the best seam/swing attack in world cricket (and Root)

*Quick note on that test was Bess' debut where he got hammered second innings. Hes now 151/3 against Pakistan and Root 75/1 which shows how comfortable they are playing orthodox spinners, and why it was questionable to keep bowling last night.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 8:01 am

I can't really agree with any of that Goose, Bess would have got the wicket of Masood if England had a competent wicketkeeper where the decision to stick with the spinners is justified.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 8:38 am

Yeah I thought Bess bowled really well to the left hander - he's essentially got him out twice already, and almost had him chopped on too. Struggled a bit to Babar, but then Babar is one of the best players of spin in the world, so not too surprising on a day one pitch he isn't ragging it into him...

Interesting to see who England go with first up today. Woakes and Archer were the two best bowlers yesterday, Anderson in particular poor. Does Root give Anderson the ball first up, or go with one of the two who bowled better yesterday?
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Post by Duty281 on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 8:59 am

Weather today - overcast, plenty of cloud, but should remain dry throughout. Hopefully we'll get somewhere near the full quota of 98 overs.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 9:21 am

If England dont have a competent keeper then surely that makes the decision to play on with two spinners even more questionable Wink

Its certainly not anything worth over focusing on but I'm determined to have a last word on this. Bess was bowling anyway, so that chance wouldve come anyway. They could have continued that combination of Archer (and then rotating the seamers) and Bess this morning and had exactly the same chance of chances. Instead they let the umpires dictate their tactics and chose to go with Root for a spell that could've lasted a lot longer than it did in the end and handed and even stronger position to Pakistan and relieved the pressure on both batsmen. Its also took some of the pressure off Masood who had really struggled to score at all against Archer and the other seamers. Over the day the spinners managed 1 maiden between their 12 overs, even Anderson got 2 in 8.
Its really felt like they were staying out for the sake of it to me. Its good for test cricket they did but I dont get the tactic.

Masood may have ridden his luck a bit and scored at a rate Sibley would be uncomfortable with but its a hell of an achievement for him to still be there. Cant remember the exact specific but over the last few years Broads averaged around 5 against left handers in England at the start of an innings. Hes then had Bess bowled at him specifically because hes a left hander, and whilst chancey has again ridden that out. Babar has looked much more at ease, scored freely and had less false strokes but the bowling suits him much better. Two right arm spinners (cough last word cough) is really soft for him and hes cashed in.

If Mo was into his 4th test of the summer averaging over 47 people (including me) would be all over him. Bess gets a lot of slack from posters for "looking good" and "bowling well" but he is struggling to turn that into wickets, and you cant blame that all on Buttler. Tuffnel has a lot of time for him (and a massive admirer of his variations) but constantly talks about him needing to flight it more and bring batsmen forward more to draw mistakes. The missed stumping was done in that way, he needs to do it more. Mo ran through teams who are usually good at playing spin by chucking it up there.
End of the day though its always going to be hard going for a right arm orthodox spinner against someone like Babar. The seamers are going to have to step up in the first innings to get England back into the game and turn good bowling into wickets.


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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 9:21 am

Duty281 wrote:Weather today - overcast, plenty of cloud, but should remain dry throughout. Hopefully we'll get somewhere near the full quota of 98 overs.

Well if England bowl root and Bess all day we should be fine Whistle censored

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