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The summer of cricket 2020

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 16 Sep 2020, 2:23 pm

First topic message reminder :

alfie wrote:Not sure why you chaps wanted Billings at five ?  I know Buttler has mislaid his run scoring the last two games ; but he's been in rare form over the previous few weeks and I don't think he needs protecting Smile

Fifty for YJB clap

Zampa has started really well...

Were Stokes in the side he'd be batting five to consolidate the innings before upping the run rate himself and setting it up for a Buttler charge in the last 15 overs, that theory should stay the same with Billings in the side for. Hoping Jos proves me wrong however.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 17 Sep 2020, 10:39 am

If i'm Mitchell Starc I want to be facing Adil Rashid rather than Mark Wood.

Interesting points KC, I did get the sense from watching the final twenty overs that in a world cup situation England would have won the game quite comfortably, instead of bowling Root 5 overs too many i'm sure Wood and Archer would have been bowling to get things done and dusted as quickly as possible. Instead we saw Root carry on which enabled Carey and Maxwell both of whom are good players of spin to get in whereby the inevitable pace bombardment is easier to deal with. I do not for one second think that Morgan thought that was the best way to go in the context of that game but rather like you suggest had one eye on the future. Perhaps i'm looking for convenient excuses when they're aren't any but it was all too strange to not have been a prior agreed plan.

On another note a big thank you to not only the England players and staff but also Australia, Ireland, Pakistan, West Indies, commentary teams and production staff for making it all possible. When there was a lack of alternatives for many having the chance to watch some top class international cricket has been a welcome distraction. Performance of the summer has to go to Michael Gough who has been near on perfect throughout, making a mockery of not allowing home umpires.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 17 Sep 2020, 11:34 am

Those stats from James are interesting.

Rashid in the final 10 overs is definitely an option. Just with 10 runs needed from 1 over it seems a strange call. If the Aussies get a four in that over it's still very much game on. 6 runs from 5 balls effectively. Still a run a ball for the draw. One dot ball can change the momentum. A six basically finishes the game though and it feels more likely for Rashid to get smacked for a maximum than Curran or Wood.

The real momentum swing felt like it came when Rashid returned with Maxwell on around 70 though. He just started going for everything. Yes, he got lucky a couple of times with miscues that landed short of fielders and some swing and misses. When he connected boy did he connect though. That short boundary combined with a left hand/right hand partnership really challenged England tactically.

England will want another spinner to emerge before the next World Cup with it being in India. Matt Parkinson would be my guess as front runner. I think he's a bowler Morgan would like captaining as he takes wickets even though he can go for runs. It's a balance that Morgan is happy to risk.

If their first choice spinners are both leggies perhaps it makes sense for Root to get overs as he turns it the other way.

Or perhaps I'm just overthinking everything...  Laugh

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 17 Sep 2020, 11:37 am

Agree 100% on Michael Gough as well. A truly excellent umpire.

Root describing his delivery to get Warner to Richard Illingworth was a funny moment as well. The part time offie gets a good scalp and immediately explains his genius to a bloke with over a thousand wickets in professional cricket as if Joe has just reinvented the craft!

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Post by alfie on Fri 18 Sep 2020, 3:14 am

With respect to the Twitter poster that James quoted : those stats are fairly meaningless. Except to suggest that Starc rarely faces a spinner in the death overs ...which is probably because they don't usually bowl there.
If he scores (just under) a run a ball against pace then he'd need to nearly double that rate to have managed ten runs off a single over. And I'd suggest it is a little unlikely he generally scores at his fastest in the first six balls he receives.
Stats aside , Rashid was indeed a fair chance to take a wicket in the last over - tail enders often overreach in trying to hit out. But the Aussies had three wickets in hand so the more important factor was the chances of one or two balls finding the boundary (they weren't going to get 'em in singles). Just on the innings in progress , it was clear Rashid was being hit much more often than the pace men - especially Wood who had the best economy rate of all England's bowlers.

It just wasn't the % call. I think that is obvious.

I tend to the suspicion that KC and Soul hinted at : that Morgan has regarded this match (and the series as a whole) mainly as a trial run for an Indian based Cup ; and to take the opportunity to use Rashid in the ultimate pressure situation was a temptation he couldn't resist.  Judging by his demeanour at the interview afterwards he wasn't too bothered about the result so think this is the most likely explanation . His earlier , arguably excessive , use of Root also supports this view.

Whether such "experimental" methods are justified when they present an Australian team with a morale boosting success in England might be questionable ! But I guess if it all helps the team succeed in India all will be well...

Trouble is , as KC has flagged , spin remains the England ODI team's big weakness. Even Rashid , who did so well in the t20 , was effectively out bowled by Zampa in the fifty over series. One might say this was due more to the England batsmen and their inability against such bowling than Rashids own failings as a bowler ; but whichever way round it shows significant improvement is needed or the chances of a repeat success are remote. Only Stokes was missing for England and the Aussies were without Smith...and India will be menacing at home.

Plenty of time yet but a lot of work to do based on these games.

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Post by alfie on Fri 18 Sep 2020, 3:26 am

And just to put a more hopeful angle forward against the above : losing 1-2 to a pretty handy Australian side (full strength attack , top order batting except for Smith all present) isn't too surprising when you consider England had virtually zero contribution in all three matches from Root , Roy and Buttler - and nothing substantial from Morgan. And of course no Stokes : so you'd have to say that there is plenty of room for improvement !
Without wishing to make excuses , it is surely possible that prolonged "bubble wrapping" and a lengthy disjointed season had helped to take the edge off the England outfit. The decline in fielding standards might suggest this also. So perhaps we can't read too much into anything that has happened lately.

I join with others in saying I am grateful to all teams ; and the oft-maligned officials ; for making a summer of International cricket possible in the current strange circumstances thumbsup

Lord knows when we will see "normal" service resumed...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 18 Sep 2020, 10:58 am

alfie wrote:And just to put a more hopeful angle forward against the above : losing 1-2 to a pretty handy Australian side (full strength attack , top order batting except for Smith all present) isn't too surprising when you consider England had virtually zero contribution in all three matches from Root , Roy and Buttler - and nothing substantial from Morgan. And of course no Stokes : so you'd have to say that there is plenty of room for improvement !
Without wishing to make excuses , it is surely possible that prolonged "bubble wrapping" and a lengthy disjointed season had helped to take the edge off the England outfit. The decline in fielding standards might suggest this also. So perhaps we can't read too much into anything that has happened lately.

I join with others in saying I am grateful to all teams ; and the oft-maligned officials ; for making a summer of International cricket possible in the current strange circumstances thumbsup

Lord knows when we will see "normal" service resumed...

Think you're fair to be positive Alfie, this must be the worst most of England's top/middle order have performed over an ODI series for what, 3-4 years? And they still put up decent scores, against a good attack...I think we saw the "floor" to their batting lineup in this series, and it's still enough to keep them in games, which is why they've been so good. We know when it fires, they're pretty unstoppable...

One man who had a very good summer, Sam Billings. Superb with the bat, exceptional boundary fielder too. Finally got a proper run of games due to a combination of the bubble/Stokes's absence, and took it. A good player of spin too, so you'd figure they'll want him to build on this with the Indian World Cup down the line...

And while behind Rashid we have...not a lot in the spin department, the seamers continue to be pretty good. Archer, Wood and Woakes is a really good three, and Surran/Turran both did well in their gametime here too. Still looking for that Plunkett replacement in the middle overs with the seam...I wonder if they'll get Stokes to try that role now they have Archer/Turran at the death?
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Post by king_carlos on Fri 18 Sep 2020, 12:36 pm

Agree with Alfie and Olly that England competing with several big guns either missing or out of form is good to see.

I'd also agree with Alfie that this is an Australia side that there is no shame in losing to. Warner, Finch and Labuschagne is a very good top 3. Then Maxwell is a potential match winner. Even with Smith there are issues for them to sort in-between those batsmen but the top order combined with an exceptional seam attack is a potent combination. Zampa is improving quickly in 50 over cricket as well. It's a very good one day outfit.

On the middle overs, Plunkett role I really like the idea of Wood and Woakes bowling in that period. Curran bowling more at the death than Plunkett raises that possibility of those two getting overs in middle, which I'd like to see more of.

Woakes was excellent with the ball (and bat) in that series. He has developed into the attack leader in ODI cricket in my opinion. Archer is the danger man, Wood is still improving very well and Rashid is a class operator but for me Woakes is the glue and attack leader who can bowl effectively in all parts of the innings. New ball, middle overs and death bowling, all of them he is very consistent.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 18 Sep 2020, 2:49 pm

Theres certainly no shame although the fact that two of englands key players are on a sustained run of poor form, and their only real option as a second spinner has become unpickable should be as much of a concern as it is an excuse.

Also coming unstuck batting first on less than perfect picthes is becoming a recurring theme for England.

Alfies point that in the space of one game we have gone from Australia being underprepared to England being tired out maybe does have a bit of merit though. The two losses followed a similar script and took record breaking heroics and a slice of luck by australias lower middle order to turn games. A touch of england getting sloppy and taking their foot off the gas with the job 90 percent done? Possibly.

Archer certainly mentioned he was feeling the strain of being in the bubble (cough brighton cough) for so long. Although the management have done a good job of rotating players and the media been more respectful than usual ( archer aside) its been a more intense and unusual time than even the longest of winter tours from recent times. Its certainly not something you could see being sustainable for a number of years.

Certainly Buttler playing all formats and having all that pressure on his test place has an excuse for being a bit worn out and maybe not concentrating so hard for the last couple of games.

And now he ans other players straight off to the IPL, apparently on the same charter flight as the aussies. Im sure Maxwell and other will be quiet and pleasant travel companions!

Good to see the ECB is staying aware of burnout from this and offering support. Its only a couple of months after they are done on that that the winter tours due to start and another couple of extremely intense months for the likes of Buttler and Archer. There had been some talk from Archer that he might bail on the IPL, but I guess the moneys too big for that. He might not have played a vast number of games this summer but the intensity what he's been through since starting international cricket only 18 months ago is pretty ridiculous. Not just getting over the injury but also a hostile press and twitter too. Again the kid can be forgiven if he had mixed results.

Still think England have a lot to figure out this winter for Asia in all formats.

Who's going to bowl in the tests?
Who is their best top 6 in T20s?
Can they figure out how to bat on asain pitches?
Who is the second spinner for white ball?

And here we are at the end of a summer where every test match was rain affected in the middle of a long warm dry spell Rolling Eyes

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 20 Sep 2020, 2:16 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54219795

Surran making a good start to the IPL. I know that England stars being absent from county games for the IPL has caused ongoing conversation/friction (see Banton recently) but in a case such as Sam I can only see it being good for his white ball development playing at that standard and getting to be skippered by someone like Dhoni.

Promising that he got pushed up to number 6 ahead of Kedar Jadhav and Dhoni as well.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 3:05 pm

king_carlos wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54219795

Surran making a good start to the IPL. I know that England stars being absent from county games for the IPL has caused ongoing conversation/friction (see Banton recently) but in a case such as Sam I can only see it being good for his white ball development playing at that standard and getting to be skippered by someone like Dhoni.

Promising that he got pushed up to number 6 ahead of Kedar Jadhav and Dhoni as well.

I've long held the opinion that as long as it doesn't impact on the test team I don't mind seeing the England players taking part in the IPL, why on earth would Stokes for instance turn down that huge contract (£1.8mil???). There are a few players like Stokes who are simply too good for county cricket anyway.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 3:36 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
king_carlos wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54219795

Surran making a good start to the IPL. I know that England stars being absent from county games for the IPL has caused ongoing conversation/friction (see Banton recently) but in a case such as Sam I can only see it being good for his white ball development playing at that standard and getting to be skippered by someone like Dhoni.

Promising that he got pushed up to number 6 ahead of Kedar Jadhav and Dhoni as well.

I've long held the opinion that as long as it doesn't impact on the test team I don't mind seeing the England players taking part in the IPL, why on earth would Stokes for instance turn down that huge contract (£1.8mil???). There are a few players like Stokes who are simply too good for county cricket anyway.

Definitely better from an England T20 international team perspective for them to be playing in a league against some of the worlds best T20 players, in a overseas environment, too. Much better than playing in a much weaker standard of T20 Blast this year for sure.
That's before you get into the money you mention Soul - who one earth would turn down over a million quid for 6 or so weeks work!
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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 3:43 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
king_carlos wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54219795

Surran making a good start to the IPL. I know that England stars being absent from county games for the IPL has caused ongoing conversation/friction (see Banton recently) but in a case such as Sam I can only see it being good for his white ball development playing at that standard and getting to be skippered by someone like Dhoni.

Promising that he got pushed up to number 6 ahead of Kedar Jadhav and Dhoni as well.

I've long held the opinion that as long as it doesn't impact on the test team I don't mind seeing the England players taking part in the IPL, why on earth would Stokes for instance turn down that huge contract (£1.8mil???). There are a few players like Stokes who are simply too good for county cricket anyway.

Definitely better from an England T20 international team perspective for them to be playing in a league against some of the worlds best T20 players, in a overseas environment, too. Much better than playing in a much weaker standard of T20 Blast this year for sure.
That's before you get into the money you mention Soul - who one earth would turn down over a million quid for 6 or so weeks work!

They need to build on what was made a necessity this year; reduce the number of games in the red ball game by keeping with the three division format and implementing a rugby league style play off where the top two in each division progress in a stagger. This would open up the possibility of separating the three formats whereby players aren't chopping and changing constantly which impacts on the quality. The blast has always been a problem, it's where the money is but the standard not just this year is very poor because of a reluctance to franchise that format.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 5:18 pm

When Morgan took over as skipper one of the first things he wanted was more of the white ball side playing IPL cricket to get that exposure to quality opposition/teammates and pressure of a high profile tournament. It seemed to work pretty well given the turnaround in the last 4-5 years.

It is interesting seeing what various England players go for in the auctions. Admittedly there is a lot more at play than just quality of player there with what different teams want and how deep their pockets are playing a big role. Morgan (£560k) and Surran (£590k) went for over half a million for the current season. Chris Jordan fetched £320k which is double what Roy and Woakes picked up at £160k. Turran went for £110k making him the 4th England player at Rajasthan Royals alongside Stokes, Buttler and Archer - presumably Stokes will remain in NZ though.

It will be fun seeing what impact Morgan has solely as a batsman rather than skipper at KKR. Given that Morgan is known to have taken a lot of lead from Brendon McCullum's positive/aggressive tactics as an ODI skipper it's a fun side note that McCullum is coaching KKR.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 5:30 pm

Course if th 100 was a thing we would be playing top quality world class cricket here


COUGH

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 7:24 pm

The England women still have the same problems with their batting as they did in March. Fran Wilson, picked as a pure batter, has come in number 8 and it going to face a maximum of 9 balls. It's bizarre and the only logic I can think of is you are picking someone in case you are 50-4. Which is crazy. Ecclestone is also far too good and powerful to be batting 9.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 8:52 pm

JDizzle wrote:The England women still have the same problems with their batting as they did in March. Fran Wilson, picked as a pure batter, has come in number 8 and it going to face a maximum of 9 balls. It's bizarre and the only logic I can think of is you are picking someone in case you are 50-4. Which is crazy. Ecclestone is also far too good and powerful to be batting 9.

Mady Villiers batting 10 and not bowling. And it was thought the men have trouble balancing the side.

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Post by alfie on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 3:52 am

JDizzle wrote:
JDizzle wrote:The England women still have the same problems with their batting as they did in March. Fran Wilson, picked as a pure batter, has come in number 8 and it going to face a maximum of 9 balls. It's bizarre and the only logic I can think of is you are picking someone in case you are 50-4. Which is crazy. Ecclestone is also far too good and powerful to be batting 9.

Mady Villiers batting 10 and not bowling. And it was thought the men have trouble balancing the side.

Does seem a bit odd. But I suppose if you win the game that easily you can say who cares ? I'd imagine they won't always keep that batting order though. Presumably some hitters were promoted to take advantage of the fast start - which didn't really work this time around.
Let us see what they do on Wednesday.

One problem the men face that they don't is spin bowling ! Ecclestone and Glenn are a very talented and effective pair thumbsup

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Post by JDizzle on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 7:45 am

That’s fair. They were always in control, but I guess it does just seem like they made no effort to improve the team from the WT20 - just trotted out basically the same line up (bar swapping Tammy and Jones in the line up) which was always going to be good enough to beat the Windies, that isn’t the challenge going forward.

Glenn and particularly Ecclestone are excellent. Hopefully Villiers ends up completing the trio successfully to give them a SLA, leggie and offie - lovely balance.

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Post by alfie on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 9:39 am

I also agree with your theory , JD , that Wilson is seen as "insurance " for an early batting collapse - as was perhaps the case even in the WT20 ?

The thing is : if your preferred first five (Wyatt Beaumont Sciver Knight Jones) contains a wk and one of your best five bowlers - plus the logical sixth bowler ; and you have at least two other bowlers (in the first choice four) who can supply late order fireworks ...then you really have two "luxury" spots in the XI, do you not ?

The question then becomes : how best to fill them ?  I'd submit it makes sense to have one as an extra top order bat ; and the other as an additional variety bowler (much as they actually did). Also good to have the bowling option ; as if Shrubsole doesn't get early wickets she can be expensive so may not always be the best choice to bowl all four overs.  And fielding skills of course come into it.
I must confess I know nothing of Villiers but presumably they rate her as a prospect - albeit one to be introduced gradually ?

Interesting comparison with the England Men's t20  :  "set" top six (Buttler Roy Bairstow Malan Morgan Stokes) contains keeper and one bowler ; four first choice bowlers (Archer Rashid Jordan + Curran/Woakes/Wood) leaves one "luxury" pick...

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Post by JDizzle on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:35 am

Yep - I agree they know who their best five bats are and I don’t think you’d find too many disagreements from anyone on that. I just don’t see the need for Wilson as the ‘luxury’ pick as an anchor - I’d rather see someone with some firepower. As with the top 5, plus Brunt and Ecclestone can bat and they obviously think Glenn can too, albeit I have not seen it, I think you can pick a riskier player. Not sure who that is though!

I think Villiers is a good bowler too. Was very impressive on debut at the end of the Ashes last year. It just seems odd she wasn’t bowled yesterday when they needed 10+ an over for a long time. We know what Sciver/Brunt etc. can do - let’s see with Villiers. The more spinners they better in WT20I, as there aren’t as many sixes so keep taking pace off.

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Post by alfie on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:41 am

Was a little odd Villiers didn't bowl , I guess. As you say , wouldn't have been a bad time to come on. Likely to get a proper bowl on Wednesday perhaps...

Re Wilson : perhaps someone more "explosive" would be a better option...but maybe they don't think such a player – of sufficient standard - is available ?

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Post by eirebilly on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:46 am

I have been enjoying the IPL so far but sweet jaysus if i am not getting annoyed at listening to the Michael Slater commentary...
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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 5:08 pm

Currans playing each other (rather than with each other) today. 3 wickets for S.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 6:12 pm

If Jof can get a couple of wickets in his final 2 overs he will be a shoe in for MOM. Smashed 27 off 8 balls including 4 sixes. His first two overs have gone for 9 runs with CSK needing 217 to win. Archer really is box office.

CSK moved Surran up to number 4 today. He whacked 2 sixes and 1 four in 17 runs from 6 balls. Seems that they are planning to use him as a pinch hitter as well as opening the bowling. It's a lot of trust in a young player who hasn't played that much white ball cricket. Hopefully it will only be good for Sam's development.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 7:11 pm

Yeah and could help england fill that middle overs hole they sometimes get into, having a left arm option is never a bad thing if they can justify a place on merit rather than as a dogmatic selection.

Less of a good day for T who got murdered for 54 runs. So much for death overs specialist!


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Post by Duty281 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 7:32 pm

Though the game was effectively gone when T Curran bowled his penultimate over, and definitely gone when he bowled his last, so it didn't really matter.

It was the type of game that represents the worst of the IPL, and franchise cricket in general. Flat wicket, tiny boundaries (33 sixes from the whole match), and loads of dew on the ball. Such a tedious contest with the bowlers having no hope.

The game yesterday between Hyderabad and Bangalore was much closer to an even contest between bat and ball, and much more enjoyable to watch as a result.

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Post by JDizzle on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 7:39 am

alfie wrote:Was a little odd Villiers didn't bowl , I guess. As you say , wouldn't have been a bad time to come on. Likely to get a proper bowl on Wednesday perhaps...

Re Wilson : perhaps someone more "explosive" would be a better option...but maybe they don't think such a player – of sufficient standard - is available ?

Tough to say. Pouring over the scorecards for the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy only gets you so far! One of the problems when you don’t have as many professionals as say Australia, is the pool will be smaller and there is inevitably a huge gap between amateurs and professionals. They did plan to go to 60 professionals... Not sure if finances will still allow that.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 8:36 am

king_carlos wrote:If Jof can get a couple of wickets in his final 2 overs he will be a shoe in for MOM. Smashed 27 off 8 balls including 4 sixes. His first two overs have gone for 9 runs with CSK needing 217 to win. Archer really is box office.

CSK moved Surran up to number 4 today. He whacked 2 sixes and 1 four in 17 runs from 6 balls. Seems that they are planning to use him as a pinch hitter as well as opening the bowling. It's a lot of trust in a young player who hasn't played that much white ball cricket. Hopefully it will only be good for Sam's development.

Good news for England that they are...he could definitely be a contender for that role at "7" as a late order hitter who can bowl, they're looking to fill.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 8:43 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:If Jof can get a couple of wickets in his final 2 overs he will be a shoe in for MOM. Smashed 27 off 8 balls including 4 sixes. His first two overs have gone for 9 runs with CSK needing 217 to win. Archer really is box office.

CSK moved Surran up to number 4 today. He whacked 2 sixes and 1 four in 17 runs from 6 balls. Seems that they are planning to use him as a pinch hitter as well as opening the bowling. It's a lot of trust in a young player who hasn't played that much white ball cricket. Hopefully it will only be good for Sam's development.

Good news for England that they are...he could definitely be a contender for that role at "7" as a late order hitter who can bowl, they're looking to fill.

I just don't see Surran as a limited overs bowler, he has to bowl at the top of the innings where Woakes and Archer have it nailed down already, his lack of pace would be exploited in the middle overs like Willey always has been.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 9:52 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:If Jof can get a couple of wickets in his final 2 overs he will be a shoe in for MOM. Smashed 27 off 8 balls including 4 sixes. His first two overs have gone for 9 runs with CSK needing 217 to win. Archer really is box office.

CSK moved Surran up to number 4 today. He whacked 2 sixes and 1 four in 17 runs from 6 balls. Seems that they are planning to use him as a pinch hitter as well as opening the bowling. It's a lot of trust in a young player who hasn't played that much white ball cricket. Hopefully it will only be good for Sam's development.

Good news for England that they are...he could definitely be a contender for that role at "7" as a late order hitter who can bowl, they're looking to fill.

I just don't see Surran as a limited overs bowler, he has to bowl at the top of the innings where Woakes and Archer have it nailed down already, his lack of pace would be exploited in the middle overs like Willey always has been.
I have often thought similar of Sam in white ball cricket but his bowling in the second ODI against Australia was impressive. No swing to speak of but came round the wicket and cramped the batsman for room, stopping them hitting to the short boundary. If he'd got his line slightly wrong he'd have been splattered over the small boundary but he didn't to be fair to him.

I rate Willey with the new white ball but he does tend to swing it from the hand whereas Sam swings it later I think. I also think Sam has a much better bouncer than Willey. He's never going to bounce players out but it's accurate enough to stop batsman just walking down the wicket and batting a yard out the crease to him. Another thing that Willey lacks to an extent. Whilst I rate Willey I also think Sam is the better bowler and batsman, whilst he's young enough to keep improving. Obviously that's all subjective though.

With the next T20i World Cup and 50 over World Cup's in India if he can develop that ability to bowl effectively on slower wickets as he did in the 2nd ODI he may be an option. IPL coaches certainly seem to think he can bowl in those conditions.

Woakes strength with the bat could mean that he and Sam at 7/8 is sufficient depth.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 10:11 am

Fair points well made there KC, perhaps my perception of Surran is somewhat different to the reality. I will say that like his brother he doesn't shirk from his responsibilities and comes across as being happy to bowl or bat wherever he is asked to without a consideration to his own personal numbers. It's something I didn't get from Willey, again maybe i'm being harsh but as soon as the going gets tough he isn't the kind of bowler to step up and demand to bowl.

Sam does however need to knuckle down a bit more with regards to his batting in all formats, he has undoubted talent but needs to think a little bit more about the shots he plays which obviously isn't a consideration in T20, the fact he's yet to score a century in any format is a crying shame.

In other news Somerset continue to select Leach ahead of Bess when available in contrast to England doing the opposite over the summer.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 12:01 pm

I think Willey has been happy to bowl when thrown the ball in the middle overs to be fair. He's a fiercely competitive character that loves to prove people wrong. I just think he lacks the armoury for it at the top level sadly as he's effective at the top of the innings and dangerous with the bat. His yorker is good but unremarkable, his bouncer isn't a strength and I haven't seen him come around the wicket effectively as many left armers now do in white ball cricket after the ball stops swinging. Even the likes of Starc and Afridi with much more pace, one of the best yorkers in the game will change their angles in their later spells.

I agree that Surran's batting talent is as of yet unrealised. In white ball cricket he seems to be used as a pinch hitter so the rash shot selection is arguably part of the tactics. In red ball cricket his success has often been as a counter attacking number 8, so again that shot selection is somewhat part of his role. He has the talent to bat long and do real damage in red ball cricket in my opinion.

Leach was favoured by the England selectors as well as Durham prior to injury and illness to be fair. Crohn's disease is a nasty illness, especially for a professional sportsman where the frequency of symptoms and potential weight loss etc will affect him both short and long term. It's easy to forget just how little cricket Leach has played since the Ashes. He has bowled very well on the big spinning Taunton wickets for years now, I hope he is fit and in-form for the winter tour to Sri Lanka. I think he could bowl very well there.

That said Bess grabbed his chance with both hands in South Africa prior to being trusted little this summer. It has been a consistent frustration during Root's captaincy that bowlers have been selected when there seems little plan to use them. I hope Bess travels to Sri Lanka alongside Leach, Rashid and Parkinson.

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Post by alfie on Sat 26 Sep 2020, 1:35 pm

Lively start to the Women's t20 today...

Both England openers gone early to the impressive big lass Shamilia Connell who opened for West Indies and has 2/13 from three overs : 33/2 after six.

Danni Wyatt had the unusual experience of being dropped twice off the same ball , while sending a fielder off injured in the process : fierce lofted drive parried by the leaping bowler ballooned to mid off for what should have been a sitter - but she somehow contrived to drop it and cop it in her mouth , resulting in her exit injured...

Knight and Sciver mustering a quick fightback...now 46/2 in the eighth.

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Post by alfie on Sat 26 Sep 2020, 2:28 pm

Excellent 82 from 60 balls by Nat Sciver propelled England to 154/6 from their 20 overs. She really played some delightful shots as she went up the gears thumbsup Should be too much for West Indies.

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Post by alfie on Sat 26 Sep 2020, 4:17 pm

West Indies got closer than I'd expected. Deandra Dottin played really well for her 69 but when she fell caught in the deep the required rate was out to 12 plus and it all proved too much for them. England won by 20 and wrapped up the five match series 3-0

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 30 Sep 2020, 1:29 pm

Central contracts time....
No shocks but some good signs.

Bairstow loses his test place
Crawley, Sibley, and Pope get a test contract

T Curran has earnt himself a white ball contract, Denly lost his

Jordan, Bess, Malan all get incremental deals.

No contract for Tom Banton, but I guess they have a limited number to hand out. The stand out for me is no test spinner contracted again, just two on incremental deals. I dont see that as a great shock, but it again highlights the issue they have there given they would ideally want at least 3 for this winters test squads.

Perhaps also a thing that Archer got an all formats contract and Wood just a white ball one. I guess the plan would be that Wood concentrates more on the white ball stuff to manage his workload.

Test and white-ball contracts: Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

Test contracts: James Anderson (Lancashire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire)

White-ball contracts: Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Tom Curran (Surrey), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Mark Wood (Durham)

Incremental contracts: Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire)

Pace bowling developmental contracts: Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Olly Stone (Warwickshire)

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 30 Sep 2020, 2:50 pm

Sam Curran getting a test contract ahead of Wood perhaps a surprise? I guess Wood has paid for bowling poorly in that 1st Test loss to the Windies. Both of them having central contracts of some sort is probably a fair outcome to be honest.

I'm glad that Olly Stone has a developmental contract. An exciting bowler.

No test spinner in there highlights the problem as you say, Goose.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 30 Sep 2020, 3:39 pm

Wood has played 8 tests in the last five years, I'm not sure it's *that* huge a surprise he's got a white ball only contract. Albeit, as we've seen many times, these contracts don't really mean too much when it comes to actual selection...
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Post by king_carlos on Wed 30 Sep 2020, 3:47 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Wood has played 8 tests in the last five years, I'm not sure it's *that* huge a surprise he's got a white ball only contract. Albeit, as we've seen many times, these contracts don't really mean too much when it comes to actual selection...
Hasn't he often been injured long term around this time when the contracts get handed out though? Being fit and heading into winter tours he'll hope to play on I would've predicted him getting a contract personally. Presumably the coaches will want him for the Ashes tour as well. He's certainly one of our only seamer/pace bowlers who I think bowls better abroad than at home.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 01 Oct 2020, 9:19 am

king_carlos wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Wood has played 8 tests in the last five years, I'm not sure it's *that* huge a surprise he's got a white ball only contract. Albeit, as we've seen many times, these contracts don't really mean too much when it comes to actual selection...
Hasn't he often been injured long term around this time when the contracts get handed out though? Being fit and heading into winter tours he'll hope to play on I would've predicted him getting a contract personally. Presumably the coaches will want him for the Ashes tour as well. He's certainly one of our only seamer/pace bowlers who I think bowls better abroad than at home.


We could apply the same stat to Crawely only a bit more disingenuously.

This year Woods been almost always picked ahead of Woakes and SCurran when (rarely) fit, and started the summer ahead of Broad. All three of those have central contracts. He also took Archers place (through injury) in the winter and completely outperformed him.

I totally appreciate that this summer made it inconceivable that Broad and Anderson wouldn't be given test contracts, even if just to avoid the tsunami of internet rage that would've been unleashed. But we have gone from seeing having two fast bowlers as a must for a first choice XI to only having one with a test contract. When you look at the tests for this winter its hard to see more than two of Broad, Anderson, Woakes, SCurran get in any given XI and really it should only be one. With no spinners getting a test contract you might well see 5 specialist bowlers of which only 2 are test contracted (plus Stokes) even if everyones fit.

Do think theres an element in this of what was said last year about having to spread out a limited resource (ie they only have so much budget for these contracts) and wanting to give both SCurran and Wood something, and also reward Woakes even if they will leave him out of the test side more often than not. And as you say there has never been a dogmatic favouring of contracted players, Bairstow being the obvious example last year who was ditched right after getting one. But it does send some signals to me, notably that Archer is still the first choice paceman, that they really aren't convinced by any of the spin options, and that for all the good that Billings did he's still the spare man.

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Post by alfie on Thu 01 Oct 2020, 10:18 am

Really nothing too surprising about these contracts. You could argue that just 12 test contracts is too few ; but that is what they have - so effectively you are always likely to be looking at the most recent Test 12 ...In fact Bess (who previously had no contract) misses out despite being a regular this summer and an extra fast bowler is included. Can't really fault that logic.

Sam Curran ahead of Wood is interesting and could be debated - but it isn't unreasonable.  Giles was at pains to make it clear they don't wish to discard Wood or Bairstow (be silly if they did since they are clearly high up the "reserves" list at worst) but only so many red ball contracts to go around.  They won't starve anyway. And Moeen is kept around also via the white ball deal - fair enough. Denly is probably the man who has been most harshly treated ; but he seems unlikely to be recalled unless a rash of injuries occur and doesn't offer anything for the white ball mob...

It also doesn't necessarily say too much about future selection_ as I see Olly has already noted. This summer was unusual to say the least ! And the bubble thing meant selection from match to match was constrained by the squad they had available - which itself was dictated partly by the desire to have separate red and white ball groups bubble wrapped. When and if the next tours are arranged the differing conditions may cause the odd change.

As goose noted , no contract for Banton - but I bet he is still in their minds for the ODIs. And Foakes doesn't feature at all despite being reserve keeper all summer. I reckon we might see quite a different contract list in a years time ; but I'm not reading too much into this one...

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