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England's Winter of Cricket 2020/21

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Post by Duty281 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 Gooseberry Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:12 am

At last ! Must be his first in tests surely yeah

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Post by JDizzle Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:15 am

After everything is has been though in the last year and a bit - with the sepsis, the illness in SA, being in the bubble all summer without playing - it is very, very nice to see Jack Leach with a fifer. Definitely improved (both him and Bess) as the game went on which is no surprise really given how little preparation they got.

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Post by JDizzle Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:16 am

Fairly sure Leach got one in SL last tour though - think this is number two.

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Post by eirebilly Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:21 am

Oh dear, not a great start...
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Post by Gooseberry Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:24 am

Beginning to remember why I quit watching England away after the west indies debacle

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:25 am

You're correct Dizzle he did


He really deserved the wickets and has been the unluckiest cricketer out there. Dont forget he was injured before all the illness problems and has hardly played at all for 2 years. Figures aren't that bad in the end ...wickets less than 30 at 3 an over. Hes bowled well from the off and didnt benefit from the generosity of Sri Lanka in the first innings and been rewarded finally getting to bowl at the soft targets.

That said its worrying that even with him and Broad bowling consistently well that they struggled to take wickets for such a long period against mediocre batsmen. England still have a problem with no obvious solutions.

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Post by alfie Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:34 am

Well I did ask a stupid question ...Of course England are going to make us sweat and hide behind the couch...


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Post by eirebilly Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:37 am

All good lads. Two of England's best batsmen our out there now, they will see it home comfortably. thumbsup
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Post by eirebilly Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:37 am

Oh sweet Jaysus...

Is he run out?
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Post by eirebilly Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:38 am

A 3rd wicket, what the hell is going on...

Root has to go.
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Post by alfie Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:41 am

Oh no ! Root run out and at 14/3 England are well on the way to losing this...

They are badly rattled. Nearly another run out picard

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:42 am

After throwing things away in the first innings, England deserve to lose this.

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Post by eirebilly Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:43 am

This is very clever by Sri Lanka, they are proper pressuring the English batters. England from a demanding position to actually wanting light to be called so that they can re-group tomorrow...
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Post by alfie Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:43 am

Oh no ! Root run out and at 14/3 England are well on the way to losing this...

They are badly rattled. Nearly another run out picard

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Post by alfie Sun 17 Jan 2021, 11:46 am

Oh no !  Root run out and at 14/3 England are well on the way to losing this...

They are badly rattled. Nearly another run out  picard

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 17 Jan 2021, 12:04 pm

Leach to bat out day 5 with broad to steal a draw for England?

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 17 Jan 2021, 12:26 pm

Rory Burns finishing the day strongly. Wink

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Post by alfie Sun 17 Jan 2021, 12:26 pm

Never a dull moment following England cricket...

Panic stations at 14/3. These two have steadied the ship and got past halfway to the target so they really should be confident of finishing the job tomorrow.

But in a world where India can be bowled out for 36 (not to mention Donald Trump serving four years as US President) I guess anything can happen...how well will the remaining bats sleep tonight I wonder ?

Interesting intro to Test Cricket for Dan Lawrence. Handling it OK so far . Hope he goes on tomorrow...

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Post by king_carlos Sun 17 Jan 2021, 1:35 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Rory Burns finishing the day strongly. Wink 

Laugh Laugh

The top order has certainly struggled when an unbeaten 24 run fourth wicket partnership is a godsend that's for sure!

Good news would be Leach taking wickets as I think he's our best spinner in these conditions.

Lawrence showed composure again in a difficult situation this time. Hopefully he can be there at the end tomorrow.

Given that Root bowled as many overs as Surran in the second innings despite Sam getting two wickets there must be a question about his involvement in the second test.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 17 Jan 2021, 1:38 pm

alfie wrote:
Duty281 wrote:No resistance provided by the night-watchman. Into the proper battle now.

No doubt Guildford would say it serves them right for employing the nonsense of a night watchman Smile

Even if it's a rabbit , the wicket does serve to give the bowling team a little early boost when he gets out that quickly.

Thank you, Alfie. Certainly said it to myself when I saw the scorecard. Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 17 Jan 2021, 2:02 pm

alfie wrote:34 run stand now... becoming annoying for England , who might have thought it was all but done at 8 down.

Won't be panicking over a 62 run lead , but...

Think I'd rather Broad than Wood.

Contrary to suggestions today from Atherton and earlier from Olly about Broad being swapped for Anderton in the next Test, I just wonder if Broad might have been held back due to thoughts about him also playing in Friday's Test.

That said, I still think the chances are that Broad will be resting on the bench next time but I do note his good match return and the positive comments here, not least from Billy.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 17 Jan 2021, 2:47 pm

Caught up on the days action - looks a good one for England, Sri Lanka fought hard but England stuck to their guns, and barring a ridiculous miracle collapse, should finish it off early tomorrow. Better day from Leach and Bess from what I saw, all three seamers have done a good job in this game too.

Think we’ll file this game under a “learning experience” for Sibley and Crawley. Not one Sibley will want to remember with that expensive drop of Thirimanne on day 3 too.

Also, probably Buttler’s best game with the gloves standing up, very good from what I’ve seen. Looks to have done a lot of work to improve, and so far, paying off. Hasn’t put a foot wrong
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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 17 Jan 2021, 3:02 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Caught up on the days action - looks a good one for England, Sri Lanka fought hard but England stuck to their guns, and barring a ridiculous miracle collapse, should finish it off early tomorrow. Better day from Leach and Bess from what I saw, all three seamers have done a good job in this game too.

Think we’ll file this game under a “learning experience” for Sibley and Crawley. Not one Sibley will want to remember with that expensive drop of Thirimanne on day 3 too.

Also, probably Buttler’s best game with the gloves standing up, very good from what I’ve seen. Looks to have done a lot of work to improve, and so far, paying off. Hasn’t put a foot wrong

Aside from the missed stumping which in India could prove costly.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 17 Jan 2021, 3:32 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:34 run stand now... becoming annoying for England , who might have thought it was all but done at 8 down.

Won't be panicking over a 62 run lead , but...

Think I'd rather Broad than Wood.

Contrary to suggestions today from Atherton and earlier from Olly about Broad being swapped for Anderton in the next Test, I just wonder if Broad might have been held back due to thoughts about him also playing in Friday's Test.

That said, I still think the chances are that Broad will be resting on the bench next time but I do note his good match return and the positive comments here, not least from Billy.

Will be interesting to see how they handle the seamers, note Bumble was making the point that Wood rarely plays back to back test matches with his injury woes...
I’d still expect some rotation, the positive of having good depth is there really shouldn’t be any drop off if they do go say Anderson, Stone, Woakes to replace Broad, Wood, Curran. I can’t see Moeen playing, he’s only a few days recovered from Covid (by all accounts he had symptoms, and was fairly ill), and has yet to even train on this trip, I doubt he’d be anywhere near fit enough to play. Best to get him working in the nets to build towards India
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Post by Duty281 Sun 17 Jan 2021, 4:02 pm

Went for a few hours sleep and thought I could entrust England to chase down 74 with no drama, but England never do things easy! A chase of 120-odd would, indeed, have been highly problematic.

England should, almost certainly, get over the line, though it's certainly not set in stone. A couple of wickets in the first few overs, 45/5, something like that and things could fall apart rather unceremoniously.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 17 Jan 2021, 4:07 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:34 run stand now... becoming annoying for England , who might have thought it was all but done at 8 down.

Won't be panicking over a 62 run lead , but...

Think I'd rather Broad than Wood.

Contrary to suggestions today from Atherton and earlier from Olly about Broad being swapped for Anderton in the next Test, I just wonder if Broad might have been held back due to thoughts about him also playing in Friday's Test.

That said, I still think the chances are that Broad will be resting on the bench next time but I do note his good match return and the positive comments here, not least from Billy.

Will be interesting to see how they handle the seamers, note Bumble was making the point that Wood rarely plays back to back test matches with his injury woes...
I’d still expect some rotation, the positive of having good depth is there really shouldn’t be any drop off if they do go say Anderson, Stone, Woakes to replace Broad, Wood, Curran. I can’t see Moeen playing, he’s only a few days recovered from Covid (by all accounts he had symptoms, and was fairly ill), and has yet to even train on this trip, I doubt he’d be anywhere near fit enough to play. Best to get him working in the nets to build towards India
I think Atherton mentioned in coverage today that Moeen is very unlikely to play according to the England management due to worries with recovering from covid quickly enough for a Test match.

A good friend is a high level rower and has been struggling with long covid. 6 months on from the worse symptoms disappearing and he still has some difficulty exercising. He described it as "feeling like I can't breath all the way in" when training on the rowing machine. Long term lung damage that covid can cause could be brutal to many sportsmen.

I think we will see rotation of the seamers but I'm not sure how. Anderson for Broad, Woakes for Curran and Stone for Wood are all like for like changes but it would seem bold to change the whole seam attack.

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 17 Jan 2021, 6:34 pm

Funny how in a couple of days we've gone from Burns can't get into the side to him starting without having picked up a bat for the best part of a year!

Sibley does need to pull his socks up next test though. That's looking like a problem spot now, just when its looking like the rest of the batting was sorting itself out!

Biggest concern from this series will be if England are still struggling to be a threat with a ball more than 10 overs old against batsmen who are paying attention and that they don't have a functional top 3.

Have to just hope that leach and bess find another 10% in consistency and threat, and dont get too tired themselves from bowling 40 over innings. Certainly won't be able to blame it on being short of cricket by the last test in India!

Does feel like the same old problems with england overseas though. Can't see an obvious fix in the bowling, a third spinner would be nice but even were mo fit I think he's unselectable at the moment.

Get through tomorrow first then straight to the analysts and nets.

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Post by alfie Mon 18 Jan 2021, 2:21 am

guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:34 run stand now... becoming annoying for England , who might have thought it was all but done at 8 down.

Won't be panicking over a 62 run lead , but...

Think I'd rather Broad than Wood.

Contrary to suggestions today from Atherton and earlier from Olly about Broad being swapped for Anderton in the next Test, I just wonder if Broad might have been held back due to thoughts about him also playing in Friday's Test.

That said, I still think the chances are that Broad will be resting on the bench next time but I do note his good match return and the positive comments here, not least from Billy.

Well although he was very decent out wide for England when he wasn't injured , I can't recall Darren having much of a record as a fast bowler Smile

But yes I imagine Anderson might be up for a swap next week...although your suggestion that Broad was being conserved does make a lot of sense. Also possible that they'd prefer both of them over the extra pace of Wood (unlikely to play two in a row) or the inexperienced Stone ? Spinners to do most of the work anyway , no doubt.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 18 Jan 2021, 4:29 am

Bizarre from Sri Lanka. They've got fielders back so England are nabbing easy singles, and they decided to not review a shout when England only need 20-odd to win...it would have been out. You'd surely take a punt on the review with two left?!

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Post by Duty281 Mon 18 Jan 2021, 4:52 am

England coast to victory, their fourth consecutive away test win. A gallant second innings effort from Sri Lanka, but the ineptitude they displayed in the first innings, and Joe Root's double ton, had left them with too great a gap to bridge.

England will be very pleased with Lawrence's encouraging debut and the bowling performance of Leach. 

Second test starts on Friday - enough time for Mickey Arthur to learn the laws of cricket?

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Post by alfie Mon 18 Jan 2021, 5:07 am

Duty281 wrote:Bizarre from Sri Lanka. They've got fielders back so England are nabbing easy singles, and they decided to not review a shout when England only need 20-odd to win...it would have been out. You'd surely take a punt on the review with two left?!

Was strange , no ? They wasted a review on the one that Lawrence got a touch on right at the start and then decided not to try on that one : it looked pretty good live to me anyway and would surely have been umpires call at worst. Though even if they'd got Lawrence then I think they had probably accepted it was too late and were basically going through the motions. They needed a couple of wickets in the first two or three overs to create panic.

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Post by alfie Mon 18 Jan 2021, 5:15 am

Anyway it was pleasing to see the England pair do the job so calmly and professionally this afternoon. Last night was a bit wild - as can happen in small chases - but everything was pretty smooth today (apart from the lbw discussed above)

The double fails of the two openers are cause for some concern. The 3-6 all made good runs fortunately but there wasn't much support from the lengthy tail so work to do before game two. Batting coach might be busy at nets this week.

Sri Lanka unlikely to get skittled for 135 again so the second Test might prove more of a challenge (Karunaratne presumably back too) but for now we can bask in a 1-0 lead and consider rotations...

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 18 Jan 2021, 8:36 am

I personally do think that they may well play Anderson in the next test, as a pre planned changed. It makes sense not just to share the load but also to give both a fair chance to play and show what they can do (plus warm up) ahead of India. Its the only change Id expect to see, Wood doesn't need resting as there's an assumption Archer will play in India. SCurran hasn't exactly been overworked but shown he deserves the spot ahead of Woakes and gives Root more variety to play with in those uncomfortably long innings.

Big problems with the openers, big probelms taking wickets. Leach is bowling well but it was only the tail that seemed to really struggle with him. Bess at least starting to find his range toward the end of the game, but he'll surely not get away with such good figures again unless he bowls like that from the off.

Really England just need to play better in the next test and win the toss. Although they won this one with plenty to spare Sri Lanka were the better side for a long period when they switched on, the warning signs are there. 4 consecutive away wins though, quite something for England. If that does become 5 in spite of all the obvious flaws it will be an extremely rare event (anyone idea if /when they last managed that?) Dont fancy their chances of extending that into India though, they look a very tidy outfit. Certainly need the bowlers to show they can be threatening through a whole match.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 18 Jan 2021, 8:47 am

I'd be dropping Curran, not sure who i'd bring in as I don't see the need for three seamers none of whom can bat in the top 7, Woakes a possibility but wouldn't be a threat with the ball. I don't think bringing in an extra batsman is a bad idea.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 18 Jan 2021, 9:02 am

Soul Requiem wrote:I'd be dropping Curran, not sure who i'd bring in as I don't see the need for three seamers none of whom can bat in the top 7, Woakes a possibility but wouldn't be a threat with the ball. I don't think bringing in an extra batsman is a bad idea.

Well they don't have any others!

2/45 is hardly a shabby bowling performance, and runs on the board has not been Englands problem in this test. Wood surprisingly looks like the most expendable bowling option, but do fancy it would be a mistake to go without genuine pace in spite of how well Broad and Curran did.

The argument could be made (endlessly) for Foakes, but I dont think that's on the cards.


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Post by Duty281 Mon 18 Jan 2021, 9:41 am

Gooseberry wrote:4 consecutive away wins though, quite something for England. If that does become 5 in spite of all the obvious flaws it will be an extremely rare event (anyone idea if /when they last managed that?) 

Fascinating question, decided to look it up.

I can confirm England have done it before.  They went on a glorious streak of seven straight test wins away from home in a period between 1884-1891, against Australia and South Africa. They repeated this seven-straight away run against the same two opponents between December 1911-January 1914.

The second longest was five straight away wins in March 1895-December 1897, when England ended the 1894/95 Ashes with a win, before beating South Africa 3-0 in South Africa, and then winning the first test of the 1897/98 Ashes. Rather symmetrical.

Four straight away test wins has been achieved a few times (including now). Three straight a handful more. 

So if England manage to beat Sri Lanka again then they'll have five consecutive away test wins for the first time since World War One. Extremely rare indeed.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 18 Jan 2021, 9:53 am

Crikey even longer than I would've thought! Not bad for a team that nearly lost at home to Ireland.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 18 Jan 2021, 10:18 am

An excellent win overall for England that, Duty's research might be tested again...but we can't have won many tests on the subcontinent after losing the toss and bowling first (ie. a 4th innings chase)? Must've been the 2012 tour to India (when they did it twice in two games!)

Player thoughts;

Sibley - very poor test, but hopefully a learning experience...and he's going to need to learn sharpish, because there isn't any less spin coming in the next 5 tests!
Crawley - same as above minus the dropped catch. Did see Tim Wigmore note this is the first time in first class cricket he's ever opened against spin, a note about the learning experience!
Bairstow - very solid game with the bat, as we noted pre-series, a very good player of spin. Might be a touch disappointed to not have converted that 1st innings start into a more substantial score
Root - 10/10 superb game. I thought he actually captained really well too, especially early second innings when his spinners were all over the shop...just decided to dry up the runs and pressure definitely got a few wickets.
Lawrence - don't think you could ask for a better debut performance, came in and looked a test batsman. Very promising
Buttler - another with a solid game, keeping has obviously been worked on in the time off and improved vastly.
Sam Curran - obviously not what you wanted with the bat and probably batting a spot too high in an ideal world, but I thought he bowled well. Two wickets second innings, at crucial times (and was unlucky to have Thirimanne dropped before he got him), and generally kept it tight too.
Dom Bess - weird game, obviously bungled a few first innings, and started off poorly second dig, but thought he bowled better as the game went on...hopefully found some rhythm ahead of the next test
Jack Leach - another weird game, thought he actually bowled better first innings when he didn't get reward, than he did in the second innings when he did (the inverse Bess!). Again, will be better for the gametime and rhythm you'd think/hope
Mark Wood - did his job fine, without any reward. Going to be one of those winters for him/Stone/Archer where that'll be the case more often than not!
Stuart Broad - thought he bowled superbly all test, some valuable early wickets in the 1st innings and then did the holding role of drying up runs brilliantly second innings. Aging like a fine wine

Guess they'll see how the bowlers all pull up before making any decisions on the 2nd test...I would expect rotation, and personally I would just actually rotate all three just to give the others some gametime, but it does seem unlikely England do that. Do think you need one of Wood/Stone to offer that battering ram option with Stokes out...so there is probably where I think the most likely change comes (taking into account that Wood rarely plays back to back tests with his fitness record too).

Now wouldn't it be handy if Joe calls heads/tails correctly on Friday morning...
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Post by Duty281 Mon 18 Jan 2021, 10:48 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:An excellent win overall for England that, Duty's research might be tested again...but we can't have won many tests on the subcontinent after losing the toss and bowling first (ie. a 4th innings chase)? Must've been the 2012 tour to India (when they did it twice in two games!)

Sixty-one times England have lost the toss in the subcontinent and had to bowl first. They've won eighteen of those (29.5%).

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_fielding_first=2;class=1;filter=advanced;host=25;host=27;host=6;host=7;host=8;orderby=result;size=100;team=1;template=results;toss=2;type=team;view=results

The reverse - England winning the toss and batting first in the sub-continent - has happened forty-four times...England only winning 7 (16%)! And three of those came from the recent series in Sri Lanka in 2018. While that's a somewhat surprising reversal, I think the main conclusion is England don't win often in the subcontinent!

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_fielding_first=1;class=1;filter=advanced;host=25;host=27;host=6;host=7;host=8;orderby=result;size=100;team=1;template=results;toss=1;type=team;view=results

England winning the toss and bowling first in the subcontinent has only occurred twice...both draws. One was the Galle test in 2007 where, for some reason, Vaughan thought it was a bright idea to bowl first in Sri Lanka and they subsequently made 499/8 declared. England were bowled out for 81 and scrambled for a draw that happened mainly due to rain.

England losing the toss and batting first in the subcontinent has occurred six times, England winning three, Though two were against Bangladesh. The other the famous win in Mumbai in 2006.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 18 Jan 2021, 11:00 am

Id had a look myself at those batting second and winning in Asia stats for England yesterday. I was surprised to see they done it reasonably often in recent years. But there was a run of about 15 years through the late 80s and 90s when they didn't manage it once!

Their overall record in Asia hasn't been terrible by any means in the recent past, although that has been helped by playing some poor opposition (the rubbish version of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh making up around half the tests), but that last series win in India was huge. The UAE vs Pakistan seems to have been their real bugbear.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 18 Jan 2021, 11:13 am

Yes, a tremendous test series win against India in 2012. A come-from-behind win as well. Was the last proper hurrah for a few great England test players - Pietersen, Swann, Prior - and the start of the opener crisis as Strauss had retired by this point. Can't see the win being repeated this time! 

Five defeats in six tests in the UAE for England (including the horrific 72 all out also in 2012), but every team struggles there. Only Sri Lanka and NZ have won test series in the UAE against Pakistan.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 18 Jan 2021, 2:12 pm

Eng off to a great start...Lankans woke up too late with the bat. I suspect it will be a more even encounter in T2.

However one should not discount the Super inning from Root.....Indians should take note...Root has devised new way to counter and smother any spin without leaving the crease through this front footed slog sweep.,..which I first saw Tendulkar use to counter Warne in a series and then he rarely used again. Steve Waugh started playing this sweep for some time thereafter.

Eng's spin bowling...Leach will be effective in 4th and to some extent 3rd innings.....Dom Bess, no problems at any time.
Eng will have to contend with an Indian batting that will bat down to No. 8 and in their own conditions very hard nut to crack..

Rohit & Gill will be in murderous moods & one of them, especially Rohit might play an inning like Karun Nair did last time. Twenty Indian wickets would be Eng's challenge...and that's what they should focus on

Instead of bothering with two spinners...Eng should look playing fast bowlers capable of reverse i.e Keep Mark Wood fit and I hope Archer would be available...to raise the challenge bar. Stokes can reverse it too..and in these Covid/ bubble times...bring a very large squad including any other rookie express pacers they have.

Wood, Archer, Stokes and Leach the wkt taking bolwers
and Woakes, Curran fill-in bowlers who can bat too should be Eng's recipe
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Post by KP_fan Mon 18 Jan 2021, 2:34 pm

Duty281 wrote:Yes, a tremendous test series win against India in 2012. A come-from-behind win as well. Was the last proper hurrah for a few great England test players - Pietersen, Swann, Prior - and the start of the opener crisis as Strauss had retired by this point. Can't see the win being repeated this time! 

Five defeats in six tests in the UAE for England (including the horrific 72 all out also in 2012), but every team struggles there. Only Sri Lanka and NZ have won test series in the UAE against Pakistan.

Yeah that series was one for the ages....defensive Dhoni ordered square turning pitches....and thought Eng would crumble at the sight of turners and by devoiding them practice on spin pitches...offering them flat pitches and log grade spinner in warm up games.

And they did crumble in T1....BUT.....Cook stood up in resolute defense and KP attacked Indian spinner using his feet like few touring sides have and Dhoni had the ignominy of losing a rare home series.
Eng found the right speed to bowl on criumblers and had better spinners to exploit the turn in Swan & Monty........pragyan Ojha looked ordinary in comparison ( he was like Leach) and Ashwin declined from T2 onward ...perhaps to a niggle and one dimensional Dhoni had no plan
Such was his worry that he ordered a flat non spinning pitch going into the last test...and draw was the outcome after India lost T2 and T3 .
Neither Eng have those quality spinners now.....nor India is defensive like then...nor 1 dimensional in plans and resources^now

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 18 Jan 2021, 2:46 pm

It was one of those series where Cook was playing at an incredible level, his overall record on the subcontinent is brilliant. An oddity of a player really in the sense he was better overseas than he was at home, played pace and spin very well but swing less so.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 18 Jan 2021, 3:15 pm

Not a perfect performance but a rare win a Galle shows this team are progressing in my opinion.

Positives:

- Root finding form
- Bairstow reinforcing that he is a good player of spin and showing good touch
- Lawrence settling into Test cricket very nicely
- Leach and Bess taking wickets, albeit not bowling at their best
- This team winning away without Stokes or Archer

Negatives:

- The openers both played poorly against spin with a new ball
- Playing CC cricket early and late in the summer continues to leave our spin cupboard fairly bare

Including spin in both categories might seem an oxymoron but that's my overwhelming takeaway from Leach and Bess in that game. Due to the lack of standout spinners we are going into the subcontinent with one inexperienced spinner learning his trade on the Test stage and a more accomplished spinner who has played very little cricket for a long time. In those circumstances I think both Leach and Bess did well, taking 14 wickets in the match, but spin is clearly still an issue for English cricket as a whole.

Listening to the commentators they seem fairly certain that Mo would have played if not for covid so I'd guess he might come into the side against India.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 18 Jan 2021, 4:48 pm

Hi Carlos - on the Positives and even though I'm a ''Foakes man'', it's only fair for me to flag the form of Buttler behind the stumps. He did well and seemed a lot improved. Important to recognise as well that keeping is probably most difficult when two inconsistent spinners are sending down the bulk of the overs.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 18 Jan 2021, 4:55 pm

Buttler did ok behind the stumps but he did miss another fairly simple stumping and his keeping in general is still ragged to the spinners.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 18 Jan 2021, 6:09 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Buttler did ok behind the stumps but he did miss another fairly simple stumping and his keeping in general is still ragged to the spinners.

Hi Soul - tricky for me to argue with you as Foakes is by common consent the best keeper and would be in my England team. However and even though England's management are not on the same page, I still feel it's right to recognise Buttler's improvement and regard that as a Positive.

As so often, a game of opinions but I thought the missed stumping was above the ''fairly simple'' level.

Finally, at risk of repeating an earlier point - the better the spinner, the easier it is to keep to him. If Bess and Leach improve with the ball, Buttler should do the same with the gloves.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 18 Jan 2021, 7:08 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Buttler did ok behind the stumps but he did miss another fairly simple stumping and his keeping in general is still ragged to the spinners.

Hi Soul - tricky for me to argue with you as Foakes is by common consent the best keeper and would be in my England team. However and even though England's management are not on the same page, I still feel it's right to recognise Buttler's improvement and regard that as a Positive.

As so often, a game of opinions but I thought the missed stumping was above the ''fairly simple'' level.

Finally, at risk of repeating an earlier point - the better the spinner, the easier it is to keep to him. If Bess and Leach improve with the ball, Buttler should do the same with the gloves.
I'm on your page there guildford. As you know I'm the whinging mug still lamenting Michael Bates loss to county cricket as I enjoyed watching his skill behind the stumps as much as any batsman or bowler.

Foakes is one of the best three English keepers I've seen*. Add in his first-class average over 40 and he'd be my keeper of choice.

Buttler has improved a lot with bat and gloves in red ball cricket though. He is also by most accounts an excellent tactician behind the stumps. Which is valuable to this England side I believe.

With Buttler due to be rested midway through the India tour we should get basically a direct comparison of two Tests from Buttler and two from Foakes against a good Test outfit. Which will be fun to see.

*Foster and Bates being the others. Honourable mention there to Chris Read and Jack Russell who whilst very fine gloveman capable of incredible wicket taking grabs were also a touch 'messier', for want of a better word, at times in my opinion. Alan Knott and Bob Taylor are of course viewed as all time great keepers but I've only seen limited footage of both. Sarah Taylor is also up there with the best keepers I've ever seen but as alluded to by your point about bowling effecting wicket-keeping it's difficult to fully compare between the mens and womens game.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 18 Jan 2021, 7:24 pm

Russell is the best I've seen but do understand the perception of him being slightly messy, he was brilliant but not an aesthetic keeper like Foakes is. Healy who is up there overall also gave off the impression of being messy but made very few mistakes.

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