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England's Winter of Cricket 2020/21

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 21 Oct 2020, 8:12 pm

First topic message reminder :

First winter tour for England confirmed today: three T20s and three ODIs in South Africa from the 27th November-9th December.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54537709

A possible limited-overs tour of Pakistan, which would be England's first trip to that country since 2005, as well as visits to Sri Lanka and India may also go ahead in early 2021.

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Post by James100 on Sun 10 Jan 2021, 5:11 pm

England to decide tomorrow whether to add a third spinner to the squad

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sri-lanka-vs-england-england-mull-third-spin-option-with-moeen-ali-ruled-out-of-first-test-1247387

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Post by alfie on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 3:11 am

James100 wrote:England to decide tomorrow whether to add a third spinner to the squad

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sri-lanka-vs-england-england-mull-third-spin-option-with-moeen-ali-ruled-out-of-first-test-1247387

Doesn't seem a big deal : they're all there , aren't they , whether you call them "squad members" or "reserves". If they want to pick one of 'em I guess they can.

Hard to fit another non-batter into a team already a bit light on for batting though. Unless you want to leave out a pace man and let a spinner share the new ball...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 12:26 pm

alfie wrote:
James100 wrote:England to decide tomorrow whether to add a third spinner to the squad

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sri-lanka-vs-england-england-mull-third-spin-option-with-moeen-ali-ruled-out-of-first-test-1247387

Doesn't seem a big deal : they're all there , aren't they , whether you call them "squad members" or "reserves".  If they want to pick one of 'em I guess they can.

Hard to fit another non-batter into a team already a bit light on for batting though. Unless you want to leave out a pace man and let a spinner share the new ball...

The only solution to getting three spinners in would be to leave out Broad and Anderson completely, and just play Sam Curran and Mark Wood as your seamers (Curran to use swing with the new ball, and bat 7 then Wood to offer the 90mph+ option that is probably needed). I'd guess they would bring in Parkinson, who is probably slightly ahead of Crane in the legspinner taxi rank at the moment. Can't see them bringing in Virdi for another finger spin option tbh

As much as I am not a huge fan of using Root as a 3rd spinner, I think in this series it probably makes most sense. Lawrence can also throw down some half decent part time spin too, presuming he plays of course. Really is a shame Moeen is out, while he might not have been in the best of form the last year, he does offer that balance and option to play three spinners in the subcontinent, and of course had a very good series with the ball here last time. Of course, amplified by the absence of Stokes too!

Have to admit I am pretty pessimistic about our chances this series, and actually on these two winter tours in general. Asking an awful lot of Leach who hasn't played international cricket for nearly 18 months, and a promising spinner in Bess, to go and be the only two established spin options to go play six tests in pretty short time against some of the worlds best players of spin. Do struggle to see where 20 wickets are coming from consistently for these games. And for the Sri Lanka series specifically, missing three of our first choice batsmen isn't inspiring me with confidence to score huge runs either...!
Guess the hope for India series is the Aussies might break enough of them that we have a chance! Smile
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Post by king_carlos on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 12:46 pm

I think I'd agree with all of that Olly. I'm a touch more optimistic about the India tour given Stokes, Archer, Pope, Burns and Moeen could all variously be involved there.

If Buttler is being rested for the India tour I think that Foakes keeping makes us a stronger bowling side. Though Buttler plays spin very well so would be a loss to the batting.

1.Burns
2.Sibley
3.Crawley
4.Root
5.Stokes
6.Pope
7.Foakes (wk)
8.Moeen/Bess
9.Leach
10.Archer
11.Anderso/Broad

That potential side against India looks incomparably more balanced and stronger in the batting to the below probable against Sri Lanka.

1.Sibley
2.Crawley
3.Bairstow
4.Root
5.Lawrence
6.Buttler (wk)
7.Curran/Woakes
8.Bess
9.Leach
10.Wood
11.Broad/Anderson

All that said India are by far the better opposition as seen by being square going into the 4th Test down under. That with several injuries and an absent Kohli since the 1st Test as well.

One of the interesting things in Sri Lanka will be how the performance of replacements for rested players affects selection for India. Bairstow and/or Lawrence have a great opportunity to lay down a marker.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 12:55 pm

Foakes is a decent player of spin himself so don't think we lose a lot in that regard with Buttler being rested but gain a lot in the keeping stakes. *repeat ad nauseam until the selectors see sense.

It highlights the value of Ben Stokes, a genuine number five now with the ability to bowl a match changing spell now on occasion, it is a huge net loss when he's not in the side now. The difference between having Foakes or Buttler at seven instead of one of the all rounders does on paper give the team a far stronger feel, Woakes produced a blinding innings against Pakistan at seven I believe but long term you wouldn't want to see him there too often.

It's pretty well know that I wouldn't have Bairstow anywhere near the side and even with the absentees now i'd rather see Lawrence at three with Buttler at five and Foakes at six.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 1:20 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:
James100 wrote:England to decide tomorrow whether to add a third spinner to the squad

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sri-lanka-vs-england-england-mull-third-spin-option-with-moeen-ali-ruled-out-of-first-test-1247387

Doesn't seem a big deal : they're all there , aren't they , whether you call them "squad members" or "reserves".  If they want to pick one of 'em I guess they can.

Hard to fit another non-batter into a team already a bit light on for batting though. Unless you want to leave out a pace man and let a spinner share the new ball...

The only solution to getting three spinners in would be to leave out Broad and Anderson completely, and just play Sam Curran and Mark Wood as your seamers (Curran to use swing with the new ball, and bat 7 then Wood to offer the 90mph+ option that is probably needed). I'd guess they would bring in Parkinson, who is probably slightly ahead of Crane in the legspinner taxi rank at the moment. Can't see them bringing in Virdi for another finger spin option tbh

As much as I am not a huge fan of using Root as a 3rd spinner, I think in this series it probably makes most sense. Lawrence can also throw down some half decent part time spin too, presuming he plays of course. Really is a shame Moeen is out, while he might not have been in the best of form the last year, he does offer that balance and option to play three spinners in the subcontinent, and of course had a very good series with the ball here last time. Of course, amplified by the absence of Stokes too!

Have to admit I am pretty pessimistic about our chances this series, and actually on these two winter tours in general. Asking an awful lot of Leach who hasn't played international cricket for nearly 18 months, and a promising spinner in Bess, to go and be the only two established spin options to go play six tests in pretty short time against some of the worlds best players of spin. Do struggle to see where 20 wickets are coming from consistently for these games. And for the Sri Lanka series specifically, missing three of our first choice batsmen isn't inspiring me with confidence to score huge runs either...!
Guess the hope for India series is the Aussies might break enough of them that we have a chance! Smile

Very much my thinking Olly. The only reason I have some confidence that England can do OK in this series is knowing how bad Sri Lanka are. The cards are stacked against them. Im really surprised they ddint take 3 days for the warm up in the schedule, or fit another 2 day in. Hope they are making good use of the spare time they have.

Currans pretty much guaranteed to play simply for balance in the absence of both Mo and Stokes and Woakes having sat in his hotel room for a week. Last time out they hardly bothered to bowl him at all.

The choice of a 3rd spinner would be easier if Mo were available or if one of the reserves was good enough to deserve a spot. Last time out here they had three spinners who were all genuine wicket taking threats and had recent form. This time they be picking a third who's almost as short of cricket as Leach.

Felt England's win out here last time flattered them a bit, and the same would be the case if they pull this off. Its not impossible and it does seem the Sri Lankans are out of shape even by their standards. Going to need India to be short of players too when they head their, difference is they will have a bit more recent cricket under their belts and and greater depth to call on. Pls they are a much better side to start with.

Tough winter for England, but then that was supposed to be the case last winter when they struggled to name a fit XI....

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 1:20 pm

king_carlos wrote:I think I'd agree with all of that Olly. I'm a touch more optimistic about the India tour given Stokes, Archer, Pope, Burns and Moeen could all variously be involved there.

If Buttler is being rested for the India tour I think that Foakes keeping makes us a stronger bowling side. Though Buttler plays spin very well so would be a loss to the batting.

1.Burns
2.Sibley
3.Crawley
4.Root
5.Stokes
6.Pope
7.Foakes (wk)
8.Moeen/Bess
9.Leach
10.Archer
11.Anderso/Broad

That potential side against India looks incomparably more balanced and stronger in the batting to the below probable against Sri Lanka.

1.Sibley
2.Crawley
3.Bairstow
4.Root
5.Lawrence
6.Buttler (wk)
7.Curran/Woakes
8.Bess
9.Leach
10.Wood
11.Broad/Anderson

All that said India are by far the better opposition as seen by being square going into the 4th Test down under. That with several injuries and an absent Kohli since the 1st Test as well.

One of the interesting things in Sri Lanka will be how the performance of replacements for rested players affects selection for India. Bairstow and/or Lawrence have a great opportunity to lay down a marker.

I would say, I think Burns is in a fairly vulnerable spot for the India series if Crawley does well shifting up to open, and say Lawrence or Bairstow comes in and lights it up in the middle order.
While I am obviously not advocating him be dropped from existence completely (overall he's done a solid job opening), he really hasn't looked good against spin in his international career so far imo (flashbacks to gifting Roston Chase wickets every other over) - could see them opting to leave him as a backup for that series...

Do agree with your final line Carlos, and maybe Guildford/Alfie will say it is my naivety (I would say it is them being cynical Wink ) but if England truly are going to employ a lot rotation in the test side throughout the year before the Ashes/T20 World Cup, then it is quite exciting to see who from the pool of talent below makes an impression, and potentially breaks into the side not just for the next series, but going forward in the next few years.
Saw an article where Broad was saying how well and quick Olly Stone was bowling in the nets (can't remember where, was a few days ago). Very much a forgotten man, and of course seems an injury is always round the corner...but if he could stay fit, think he would be a cracking option for Australia in 12 months time. He's definitely someone who could benefit from some rotation of the senior guys
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 12 Jan 2021, 12:27 pm

Moeen likely to miss the 2nd test now, still showing symptoms from Covid and isn't coming out of quarantine as expected tomorrow
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Post by Duty281 on Wed 13 Jan 2021, 3:36 am

Lots of rain forecast to be around Galle for the first test, but it shouldn't matter too much as I can't envisage this being a high-scoring series.

I think the series will be a Sri Lankan win. 2-0 if the rain doesn't get in their way.

Batting-wise England inspire little confidence with Buttler at 6 and Curran at 7, if the rumoured selection is to be believed, followed by a long tail. The top order doesn't look great either. Sibley will likely struggle against spin, while the inexperience of Lawrence and possibly Crawley might show. Bairstow at 3 sends the wrong kind of shivers. Lot of pressure on Root to deliver. The home side, while not brilliant either, have the potential sturdiness of Mathews, Thrimanne and Chandimal to bolster them, with Dickwella improving all the time and able to hit quick runs.

Bowling-wise, Perera and Embuldeniya will probably out-perform Leach and Bess. Plus the Sri Lankans have a promising third spinner in leg-spinner Hasaranga (he can bat, too), meaning the Sri Lankans have the entire repertoire (slow left arm, off-break, leg-break) of spin at their disposal to bamboozle and fluster the English. With the seamers England definitely have the advantage, but there's such a tiny window of opportunity for those bowlers to make an impact on the game.

Will be a tough winter of discontent for England, I feel, on alien wickets with little preparation time. They will get stronger as the days go by, especially with some players coming back for the India tour, but it will be tough to avoid defeats in both series.

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Post by alfie on Wed 13 Jan 2021, 7:32 am

While I have previously cautioned against taking too much for granted against a "weak" Sri Lankan team , I reckon you might be slightly overdoing the pessimism there , Duty ...

Root apparently thinks the seamers might have a little more to work with than last time...we will see. I agree the spin attack looks a lot less potent without Rashid ; but even though Leach is short of recent match play he has a good record of performing on pitches that really turn ; so if Galle does produce a bunsen I fancy he might do a pretty good job. Opportunity for Bess too , eve though he might be seen as more the "holding" type.

Key for England though is surely getting enough runs ; and here I'm not sure the prospects are all that dim , despite "missing friends" :

Sibley hasn't been fluent against spin but he seems a player who works hard to adapt - and certainly won't sell his wicket easily. Buttler averaged over 40 there last time (although he wasn't keeping} ; Curran made useful runs at eight , and Bairstow in his only game - at three - made a hundred. No guarantees but it doesn't look that grim to me...


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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 13 Jan 2021, 8:52 am

Duty281 wrote:

Batting-wise England inspire little confidence with Buttler at 6 and Curran at 7, if the rumoured selection is to be believed, followed by a long tail.

Bess is good enough at 8, Wood an OK 9 and Leach and Anderson can both hang around, Broad whilst no longer being a 7/8 is as good as most 10s in the world. Its certainly a heck of lot stronger than Indias tail or the ones West Indies and Pakistan bought to England.

Of all the problems England will have the tail isnt one of them, just maybe not the same lower order batting trump card they've had the luxury of in most recent years. On paper the tail last time was a lot stronger, but the reality is Moeen wasnt batting well and hardly made any runs on the tour, so England were effectively fielding a nightwatchman in the top 6 every game. Theres only one innings where the 7 down made the telling contribution for England, and that was Foakes at 7 Rashid at 8 which isnt that much stronger than Curran 7 Bess 8.

Obviously Im trying to be positive here, and if they do go with 3 spinners the batting may be even weaker (certainly if its Sam Curran who misses out!) , but the onus should always be on that top 6 to make runs. Last time even with Mo in their they managed to do OK. Even Keaton Jennings could look good!

I think we all do seem to be in agreement that Englands best chance does from how bad Sri Lanka are though. That was shown last time they toured here and theres nothing to suggest that they have improved since, even more so with the injuries. They looked short of cricket and out of shape in SA, unless theyve been training hard that will probably still be the case when the test starts which mitigates some of the same issues England have.

Rain is a shame

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 13 Jan 2021, 10:37 am

Yeah I am not quite as pessimistic as Duty on the batting front - my pessimism definitely comes from the "how do we take 20 wickets" camp.
Sibley and Crawley have both shown adaptability in their young careers so far, and both will have been part of the Loughborough training camp in the winter whilst others were in South Africa/T20 leagues, so hopefully in Sibley's case in particular, have used that time to come up with a plan against spin.
Bairstow, whilst obviously not ideally who we would have at 3, did make a hundred here last time, and is at his best against spin as we've seen in both red and white ball cricket over the years imo. I'm hoping England give him a bit of license to attack, England's positivity in batting here two years ago was a key factor in wrestling back initiative in some games I thought.
Root, is an excellent player of spin generally, and hopefully can refind his top top form.
Lawrence, a total wildcard of course! Hopefully he's faced Simon Harmer a lot in the nets at Chelmsford... Very Happy
Buttler, whilst everyone knows I am a huge fan so a bit biased, is undoubtedly at his best against spin as shown both on overseas tours and at home, his best series have come against India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka, whereas he's struggled with the South Africa/New Zealand's of the world. Also coming off a great summer with the bat.

I can certainly see the top six doing fine (cue waking up to being 75/5 on Thursday morning), obviously the depth isn't as strong as when we were here last time. Sam Curran is very hit and miss with the bat, albeit again would argue in his short test career and IPL stints, he's shown to probably be better against spin than seam.
Bess can certainly hold a bat, hopefully good for a couple of 20/30s in this series.
Who on earth knows what Wood/Broad will do, but it will be fun to watch whatever happens!
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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 13 Jan 2021, 11:09 am

With Burns, Stokes and Pope missing it's not surprising that the batting looks flimsy. The absence of Stokes is a big loss in the bowling stakes as well, last time out he was the only seamer capable of getting anything out the pitches, were he available don't think there would be any need for Broad or Anderson to play.

Pope and Burns have both shown vulnerabilities against spin but both do have a range of out shots which again could be a big miss; the issues both have shown are in theory easier to coach out than others.

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 13 Jan 2021, 5:02 pm

Another reason for my pessimism is that England generally start test series away from home dismally. I think this is directly linked to a lack of preparation time. Here's how England have started the last six overseas test series:

v South Africa, Boxing Day 2019. 1st innings score 181. Lost by 107 runs.
v New Zealand, November 2019. 1st innings score 353. Lost by an innings and 65 runs.
v West Indies, January 2019. 1st innings score 77. Lost by 381 runs.
v Sri Lanka, November 2018. 1st innings score 342. Won by 211 runs.
v New Zealand, March 2018. 1st innings score 58. Lost by an innings and 49 runs.
v Australia, November 2017. 1st innings score 302. Lost by ten wickets.

The forecast appears to have cleared up somewhat. Saturday looks like being the worst-hit day. Should be enough play to get a result, but Sri Lanka is one of those places where a thunderstorm and monsoon-like rain can strike at any time.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 13 Jan 2021, 5:15 pm

Thanks for those stats duty. Interesting reading. Also depressing reading in the first innings scores at times!

At the minute I think my happiness to have some England test cricket to watch is overriding my pessimism about the absent players and lack of preparation. Hopefully my optimism doesn't evaporate quickly in the first innings.

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 4:08 am

Sri Lanka win the toss and bat first. That's a big toss to win with Galle, as usual for a sub-continent wicket, usually descending into a sharp-turning dustbowl by day four or five; not easy to bat last on!

England's team is as expected, with Broad in over Anderson. Sri Lanka missing opener and captain Karunaratne and seamer Lakmal in their XI.

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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 4:56 am

Yes the "rotten start" aspect is the part I am most nervous about. But I guess they are just about overdue to fluke a good first match on the law of averages...we can hope.

Team indeed unsurprising. Probably tossed a coin over Broad and Anderson and will switch next week. It is , after all , largely down to the spinners to do the heavy lifting here.

Sri Lanka got key players back this time - but also lost a big one in Karunaratne. They'll be pleased to have won the toss.

Aus TV not covering this it seems. Will search out a stream...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:15 am

Superb from Root to have the leg slip in for the left handers, then superb from Broad with the leg cutter to get Mendis for his Audi - four ducks in a row!
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:15 am

Hope you’ve managed to find a stream Alfie?
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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:18 am

Ha ...success all round.

No sooner do I get a stream working than I see two wickets fall in three balls ...timing thumbsup

Broad on fire !

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:22 am

Two pretty poor dismissals there on a dead pitch. Thirimanne fell into an obvious trap, while Mendis should have left well alone. England will be ecstatic with this start.

Perera batting like it's a T20, so not sure how long he'll last either!

Interesting graphic flashed up by Sky earlier - England to play 18 tests over the next twelve months, 16 of them against the big three in test cricket. Exhausting stuff.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:27 am

Interesting stat/quiz Q - when was the last time England fielded an all right handed top six?
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Post by KP_fan on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:38 am

Interesting test match to follow this will be
Why are Woakes, Stokes & Foakes not in playing XI
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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:40 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Interesting stat/quiz Q - when was the last time England fielded an all right handed top six?

Would be a very long time indeed. Surely never recently and Cook was omnipresent for decades . Actually have to dig back pre-Trescothick , no ? So not this century at least.

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:40 am

Perera doesn't last much longer. One of the dumbest innings I've seen from a test opener - out reverse sweeping in the 11th over.

Key partnership now for Sri Lanka.

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:44 am

KP_fan wrote:Interesting test match to follow this will be
Why are Woakes, Stokes & Foakes not in playing XI

Woakes missed a lot of training due to covid-isolation. Stokes rested for the series. Foakes simply not selected in the XI.

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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:47 am

Handy start from Dom Bess clap Perera was lively enough but not astonished he didn't last.

Sri Lanka in a bit of an early hole...

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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 5:57 am

Didn't waste any time in getting Leach on - presumably because of the the two right handers. OK , I guess ; but I'd have been inclined to let Bess keep going for a couple after just taking a wicket- tail up and all...

Wood bowling at a lively pace thumbsup

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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 6:31 am

Not really the start to his Test career that Lawrence would have wanted Sad

Should have caught that. Hope it doesn't prove too costly for England.

He owes Jack Leach a beer at least. Or a cider...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 6:35 am

alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Interesting stat/quiz Q - when was the last time England fielded an all right handed top six?

Would be a very long time indeed.  Surely never recently and Cook was omnipresent for decades . Actually have to dig back pre-Trescothick , no ? So not this century at least.

1994! At least according to this from twitter - https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_hand=1;batting_positionmax1=6;batting_positionmin1=1;batting_positionval1=batting_position;class=1;filter=advanced;groupby=match;orderby=start;orderbyad=reverse;qualmax2=12;qualmin2=12;qualval2=innings;team=1;template=results;type=batting

Dreadful drop by Lawrence. Would’ve been a perfect morning for England if he takes that. Still a good one mind, but need to break this partnership sooner rather than later.

Don’t think we’ll be needing to set our alarms for 4:30am on day five anyways...
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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 6:35 am

Could be a costly drop from Lawrence, certainly should have been taken.

After the Sri Lankan gifts of the opening hour, Mathews and Chandimal have mostly shown the right way to bat. No point digging in like India because you'll eventually get an unplayable delivery, even this early on as Leach has demonstrated twice so far. So they've milked the inconsistent bowling from Bess and Leach, like the middle overs of an ODI, to keep the score ticking, but largely avoided undue risk.

300 is the magic number, I reckon. Sri Lanka get that and it's very tough to see England winning. Even 250 would be decent. But there's not a lot of quality batting after this partnership.

Liked Wood's spell earlier. Serious heat which worried the Sri Lankans, and he bowled to a clearly-defined plan.

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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:14 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Interesting stat/quiz Q - when was the last time England fielded an all right handed top six?

Would be a very long time indeed.  Surely never recently and Cook was omnipresent for decades . Actually have to dig back pre-Trescothick , no ? So not this century at least.

1994! At least according to this from twitter - https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_hand=1;batting_positionmax1=6;batting_positionmin1=1;batting_positionval1=batting_position;class=1;filter=advanced;groupby=match;orderby=start;orderbyad=reverse;qualmax2=12;qualmin2=12;qualval2=innings;team=1;template=results;type=batting

Dreadful drop by Lawrence. Would’ve been a perfect morning for England if he takes that. Still a good one mind, but need to break this partnership sooner rather than later.

Don’t think we’ll be needing to set our alarms for 4:30am on day five anyways...

Great research , Olly ! And after looking at that scorecard you can see why they've included at least one left hander ever since Smile

Good first session for England - bar that missed chance. Need to break this pair after lunch though as batting last might not be much fun on this ...

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:26 am

Fair play to Broad, cant ever be written off..even by himself! Assume the pitch is offering more to seamers than the last tour did?

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Post by eirebilly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:32 am

Decent start by England but they were really gifted those wickets. Perera, especially, was a complete gift.
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:37 am

As we were just saying yesterday England should win this easily Whistle

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Post by eirebilly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:38 am

Three for Stuart Broad now. Another awful waft from Matthews...
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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:39 am

Two good catches, especially the one from Root, to turn it right back round in England's favour. Sri Lanka in deep trouble and it'll be a struggle to make 200 from here. Five wickets and England have been handed every one.

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Post by eirebilly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:40 am

This is poor from Sri Lanka, gifting wickets...
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:44 am

Yeah we did always say Englands chances in this series were down to Sri Lanaka being abysmal and out of shape rather than England being great, but they've made their own luck to some extent.

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Post by eirebilly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:49 am

I think that Broad has actually bowled quite well.
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Post by alfie on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:50 am

Just what the doctor ordered... both of them in a few balls. Some careless batting there , but England won't mind .

Lawrence will be relieved.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:55 am

Should be entertaining now - Dickwella, Shanaka, Hasaranga don’t hang about!
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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:57 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Should be entertaining now - Dickwella, Shanaka, Hasaranga don’t hang about!

And it's already been like watching a highlights package of a test.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:04 am

If we can collectively keep dismissing Broad's ability that would be great, how is he better at 34 than he's ever been before. He always had the ability to bowl those destructive spells but his consistency is on another level right now.

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:13 am

Broad's been phenomenal in recent years. Leading wicket taker in the World Test Championship with 69 wickets @ 18.75, a better return than Cummins.

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=13202;type=tournament

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:15 am

He's made some decent contributions with the bat too in that time.

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:17 am

That's the worst dismissal of the lot. Filth.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:19 am

Don’t think there’s anything better in cricket than a filthy long hop getting a wicket. Sensational
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:35 am

Bess is the main beneficiary of the Sri Lankan generosity here, hes not really bowled well

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:39 am

Bit of a freak dismissal. Hope Bairstow's alright to bat, which may not be too far away!

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