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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 Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 24 Jan 2021, 12:25 pm

Superb knock by Root - ably supported by Buttler and Bess today, who did fine jobs too. England just about given themselves a sniff of either winning, or saving the game.

A few connected reverse sweeps from the Burnley Lara wouldn’t go amiss tomorrow morning to chip that lead down a little bit more Smile

Big day for Leach and Bess tomorrow - pitch is clearly offering plenty for spin, and after the efforts of the first innings, don’t think you can expect as much from Anderson/Wood second time round.

Also be handy if Sibley/Crawley have saved their series contribution to the final dig...
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Post by Gooseberry Sun 24 Jan 2021, 12:34 pm

Sibley and Crawely making their biggest scores of the series surely wont be too much of an ask

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 24 Jan 2021, 12:53 pm

alfie wrote:What a horrible flakey way for Root to get out ! And in the last over of the day...great fielding ; but dead unlucky for Joe.  Terrific innings , 186 clap clap clap

My road map called for batting all day . Had hoped to be only eight down , and hopefully twenty runs closer. But I will take this.  Only 42 behind so close enough Sri Lanka won't be able to bat without pressure tomorrow.

Still advantage Sri Lanka ; but we have a contest.

Yep, that was pretty much my road map too. Well, still to be batting at the end of today - I wasn't so greedy as to want 2 wickets left Wink - and we achieved that. I also thought that would bring us nearer to parity than we are but hey ho! Not enough overs bowled for us to get closer. I appreciate it's hot and hard work work for the bowling side but over rates have been very poor by both sides.

As said on comms, it could be tricky for Sri Lanka in judging how to go about the third innings of this match. Presumably having a smallish lead but less than 2 full days remaining when they begin their second dig will make it interesting. When to stick, when to twist, etc, etc.

Also perhaps worth noting that the umpires were threatening to end play early if spinners weren't on at both ends. If the weather and light is similar tomorrow and we're still bowling, I assume we'll be given the same option. Root might be happy at that time to give the ball to Wood.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 24 Jan 2021, 1:32 pm

What a shame for Root to get out that way to the last ball but it was another fantastic knock. He plays spin so well.

A decent hand from Buttler and an important few runs from Bess too.

England will need the rest of the batting order to contribute in the fourth innings.

Embuldeniya looks like a good find for Sri Lanka. Accurate, turns it enough and works his angles on the crease very well. The best spinner in the match by a distance.

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Post by alfie Sun 24 Jan 2021, 1:36 pm

Ah well ...one wicket left so the Sri Lankan openers will in any case have to hurry off to pad up ...I am sure you will approve of that , guildford Smile

But would be handy if Jimmy and Leach can annoy them for a few overs.

As said , big day looming for Bess and Leach . Even though he's had his feet up all day , not sure Jimmy will be fresh as a daisy and able to repeat the first innings effort ; so the spin twins will need to imagine it is day four at Taunton.

Even with a lead , Sri Lanka will be under some nervous pressure , especially if they lose a couple of early wickets. Sure they might fancy bowling England out last , but they'll still want as big a lead as they can get...after all the same fatigue factor would presumably affect Embuldeniya if they are forced to bowl again too quickly.

Could be a good day of cricket tomorrow.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 24 Jan 2021, 1:56 pm

alfie wrote:Ah well ...one wicket left so the Sri Lankan openers will in any case have to hurry off to pad up ...I am sure you will approve of that , guildford  Smile

But would be handy if Jimmy and Leach can annoy them for a few overs.

As said , big day looming for Bess and Leach . Even though he's had his feet up all day , not sure Jimmy will be fresh as a daisy and able to repeat the first innings effort ; so the spin twins will need to imagine it is day four at Taunton.

Even with a lead , Sri Lanka will be under some nervous pressure , especially if they lose a couple of early wickets. Sure they might fancy bowling England out last , but they'll still want as big a lead as they can get...after all the same fatigue factor would presumably affect Embuldeniya if they are forced to bowl again too quickly.

Could be a good day of cricket tomorrow.

100%, Alfie. Guess I remain the model of consistency ... and predictability! Very Happy

In some ways, I think the pressure will be on Sri Lanka tomorrow. Regardless of how well they do, they won't win the match in the day. However, if they muck up badly with the bat, they could go a long way towards losing it. Moving day?

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Post by KP_fan Sun 24 Jan 2021, 7:40 pm

England has batted better than Lanka for two reasons viz. a more deteriorated & spinning pitch.....and facing  a spinner and  half better than Lankans had to face.
Root continues to play brilliantly.....and Lankans clueless on how to check his 4 different types of sweeps and occasional dance down the wicket.

The way to check Root would be to bowl on his leg stump with 7 or 8 fielders one the leg....and if he still sweeps he will top edge or hold out sooner than later & stands risk of being bowled or LBW if he reverse sweeps.

Embuldeniya is a bit like Jadeja....but Lankans play loose and happy go lucky cricket.
They scored 50 runs short of par for the first inning & Eng's batting has been superior for reasons stated above..and yet Lankans are favorites to win...for Eng have to bat last.

While seamers should be playing a supporting role......for Eng they had to pull the entire load...in the second inning...Leach should find more from the pitch...hopefully,
Lowers orders have wagged on both sides.....lankans are favorites...but these days Thoug anything is possible in a chase....and Lankan cricket is loose.
Any runs last pair puts on will be less the number of runs Eng would have to score last......20 runs would be very handy from last wkt

I read Vaughan was mad on twitter for Bairstow being left out for India test...rightly so ( Vaughan's anger)....these Sibleys , Crawleys & Lawrence will find it hard against Indian spin trio
Eng need to play all those who have any kinda Indian experience be it IPL or limited overs.
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Post by alfie Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:33 pm

I intended largely to leave India team selection issues to after this series ; but KP_fan has flagged an issue above...

Hopefully the young guns will be learning to adapt quickly ; but he is right that it would seem sensible to maximise the "experience against spin " for the India tour. England do not really seem to be doing so.

I get the need for rest and bubble breaks. While the physical strain is greater on the bowlers , the bats also need time out for mental reasons...fair enough. But when two of the best players of spin are to be rested for a large part of the Indian Test Series I have to wonder if management are not showing a wish to prioritise the white ball game at the expense of a Test Series that they do not really expect to win ?

Surely not a coincidence that Bairstow and Buttler are two of the most important parts of the white ball team ? Again , I do get that they want to win these world events ; but I'd have thought they could afford to let these chaps take their breaks from the limited over games for once and let the fringe players have a go ?

But perhaps that's just my old fashioned position that Tests are the most important thing...

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Post by king_carlos Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:29 am

When it comes to players getting a break from bubbles I think the length of time resting from Tests allows comparative to white ball games is the issue. By resting Buttler after the 1st Test for instance he could realistically get a rest from 10th February to 11th March. So a full month. Resting him for the 5 match T20 series that follows would give him 8 days off.

It's a situation where the bubbles required to get cricket played at all mean they have to plan differently in my opinion. Archer and Stokes being available for the whole India series shows it's not being disregarded.

Buttler is a good player of spin but he has an excellent replacement in Foakes who also plays spin well.

Bairstow being rested for the first two Tests feels odd to me largely because Pope isn't full fit yet. The squad announcements mentioned that Pope will be added when fit. To me it would make sense for Bairstow to play the earlier Tests so that Pope can be a direct middle order replacement once he recovers. If Pope is on course for that 1st Test then I'd hope to see Lawrence and Pope both play.

Am I right in saying that Root, Stokes and Buttler have both been rested for white ball games in recent years to keep them available and fresh for Tests? By and large it feels that England do still prioritise Tests when it comes to multi format players. Anderson and Broad are good examples there, both were unhappy to have their one day careers cut short to prioritise Tests.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 25 Jan 2021, 2:26 am

It’s definitely more important that England have as close to a full strength side for the T20s in India than the Test side, for me.

They’re not going to win the test series whatever side they put out, the T20 side getting five games of practice against the likely other main favourite, in the place where the World Cup will be taking place, is more important for this tour.

Also, gives a chance for the test backups. Everyone’s been crying for Foakes to get a proper go, and it’s hardly like Bairstow is some key undroppable player in tests, he doesn’t make the XI if Pope is fit anyways.

The selectors are having to make tough calls and be proactive this year, rather than reactive. I think they’re doing a pretty good job tbh

Hopefully the bubble fatigue will be something that isn’t a thing by the summer anyways...(he says more in hope than expectation)
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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:15 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:It’s definitely more important that England have as close to a full strength side for the T20s in India than the Test side, for me.

They’re not going to win the test series whatever side they put out,the T20 side getting five games of practice against the likely other main favourite, in the place where the World Cup will be taking place, is more important for this tour.

Also, gives a chance for the test backups. Everyone’s been crying for Foakes to get a proper go, and it’s hardly like Bairstow is some key undroppable player in tests, he doesn’t make the XI if Pope is fit anyways.

The selectors are having to make tough calls and be proactive this year, rather than reactive. I think they’re doing a pretty good job tbh

Hopefully the bubble fatigue will be something that isn’t a thing by the summer anyways...(he says more in hope than expectation)

I do hope they aren't going to India with that attitude ! Agree it's a huge task but we have just seen India pull off the "impossible" in Australia.

But I can see my view is hopelessly old fashioned and the white ball stuff matters more now... Smile

To be honest the argument re length of rest cuts more ice with me than the suggestion that it is vital to have a full strength t20 side together for a bunch of what amounts to practice matches . These fellows have ample experience in the IPL anyway. But it is what it is. I reckon the bubbles will\be around a while yet , by the way...

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:25 am

Well I do prefer the test matches to the T20s, even if it is the latter's World Cup this year (and next year). Also think that winning the test series in India or Australia is a near-impossible task, but Headingley 2019 was near-impossible too!

Anyway, by the end of today we should know the destiny of this second test against Sri Lanka. Not expecting Leach or Anderson to blast many, but maybe they can stick around for twenty minutes or so and frustrate the home side. 

Then it comes down to the bowlers who will have a huge ask. I don't fancy England to chase anything over 200 on this, particularly as they've no clue how to play Embuldeniya, so they'll need to limit Sri Lanka to around the 150 mark in the second innings.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:31 am

With the white ball vs red ball debate it's worth noting that we don't know what England's squad for the T20 and ODI series against India. There are 5 T20s and 3 ODIs.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Root is rested for the ODI games to give him a breather. I think that Archer, Stokes, Buttler and Wood will be rotated in those series with priority likely given to the T20s with the World Cup in India soon. If Moeen plays a big part in the India Test series he will likely get rotated too.

Woakes and Curran I think will play a limited role in the Tests so will probably be involved in both white ball series.

England have definitely given priority to Tests when it comes to three format players in the past.

I honestly think that Buttler and Bairstow being rested makes limited difference with Lawrence also a good player of spin and Foakes a very good wicket-keeper. Were Archer and Stokes being rested for the India series then I'd be pretty miffed. As things stand I think the coaches have made reasonable decisions in difficult circumstances.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:37 am

Duty281 wrote:Well I do prefer the test matches to the T20s, even if it is the latter's World Cup this year (and next year). Also think that winning the test series in India or Australia is a near-impossible task, but Headingley 2019 was near-impossible too!
India is a huge challenge but Australia are fallible in my opinion.

Wonderful bowling lineup but across a 5 Test series they need all 4 of Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Pattinson fit to keep them fresh. They were running on fumes in the 4th Test against India.

Smith is brilliant and Labuschagne a very good 3 (some think he's a flash in the pan but I rate him personally). Outside that the batting is rocky. Wade averages below 30 from a lot of chances. Green is green (hehe). Paine is an average Test match number 7. Even if Warner refinds form (big if at the moment) they still need a partner for him. Definite cracks there.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:41 am

Didn't take too long to wrap up the England innings. 37 behind. Better than a lot of people expected ; but a bit disappointing to lose the last four wickets for eleven runs.

Now we will see what bowlers not called Embuldeniya can do on this...

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:47 am

king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Well I do prefer the test matches to the T20s, even if it is the latter's World Cup this year (and next year). Also think that winning the test series in India or Australia is a near-impossible task, but Headingley 2019 was near-impossible too!
India is a huge challenge but Australia are fallible in my opinion.

Wonderful bowling lineup but across a 5 Test series they need all 4 of Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Pattinson fit to keep them fresh. They were running on fumes in the 4th Test against India.

Smith is brilliant and Labuschagne a very good 3 (some think he's a flash in the pan but I rate him personally). Outside that the batting is rocky. Wade averages below 30 from a lot of chances. Green is green (hehe). Paine is an average Test match number 7. Even if Warner refinds form (big if at the moment) they still need a partner for him. Definite cracks there.

I just think England have a huge mental block in Australia which carries on down the generations, and it overrides any realistic chance they have. Do agree that there are definite holes in the Australian team, however, especially with Warner in a horrible plummet of form and a number of question marks around their batting order.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:15 am

Leach with the first breakthrough. Thought it was high in real time, but umpire's call favours England on this occasion.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:15 am

Tight call on height but Perera is gone.

Hopefully Leach will have a big day here...

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:36 am

Good stuff from Bess now...bit of pressure on Sri Lanka thumbsup

Mathews and Chandimal really are the ones they want...

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:54 am

Oh wonderful catch from Crawley !

The new Taylor ?

Three gone...

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:54 am

England gradually picking their way through as Leach takes the third wicket. More down to a sharp bit of fielding from Crawley. Sri Lanka have been aggressively trying to push the score on, somewhat to their detriment. 

Mathews/Chandimal now. The key partnership. Either of these are capable of pushing the game out of England's reach.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:00 am

Ripper ! Bess with the big wicket of Mathews...

37/4 ... the boys think they are at Taunton Smile

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:08 am

England well on top now. Sri Lanka imploding. Just like their first innings in the first test, an overly-aggressive approach is costing them wickets.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:09 am

And now Chandimal takes Leach on... and perishes to a terrific outfield catch by Jimmy Anderson clap

Five gone and this is really Moving Day ...

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:24 am

Bit of a wasted review then.

Would love one more before lunch...

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:29 am

66/6, it has been a devil of a morning for Sri Lanka. They somehow need to scramble another 50-odd from here.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:29 am

Chance missed off Mendis... but Bess has the dangerous Dickwella thumbsup

Perera in ... not much after him .

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:34 am

Some good bowling, some awful batting. Sri Lanka in the mire. England need to get it done swiftly after lunch - in the first innings Sri Lanka's last four wickets added 138 runs. Even half of that in this innings would make the chase a tough assignment.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:36 am

Oh dear...Root spills another chance on the last ball before lunch...

He must be very tired after yesterday. Possibly should have someone else in slip today ?

But 6 for 67 is a good morning's work Smile

The worry is that England will have to chase on a pitch that is starting to do a lot...hope Root has another virtuoso performance up his sleeve because there are a few others who have looked shaky to say the least.

Get one of these and you'd fancy the chase won't be 200.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:38 am

Reckon Sri Lanka will be glad to see the lunch break. Certainly have looked rattled ; but that is what often happens in this situation. Chance for them to regroup now ; albeit not a lot of batting left.

Thought today would be worth watching...

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:15 am

When exactly did Leach and Bess become threatening!

Englands morning for sure, they need to win this session too

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:18 am

Well thats a good start, 7 down pity england only have one batsman who can play spin


Last edited by Gooseberry on Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:19 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:18 am

Crawley and Bess ... another great combination !

Seven down three to go...

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:26 am

Wasted review . steady , England. Touch of the Dickwella enthusiasm taking over there...

One review left.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:30 am

That's a much better review, they nearly didn't go for it because of the loss of the previous review.

No, third umpire, you don't need ultraedge for that!

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:32 am

Got that review right though...that was either going to be lbw or caught. Surprised it wasn't given live , to be honest.

Eight down...

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:46 am

Rabbits adding useful runs...

Root standing too wide at slip then I'm afraid ! Chance goes begging. Will want to wrap this up soon.

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Post by JDizzle Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:49 am

Embuldeniya showed SL how it was done with the ball and is now doing the same with the bat. England need to wrap this up ASAP - starts turning back SLs way after 150?

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:54 am

Embuldeniya harming England already, these are hugely valuable runs as Sri Lanka take the lead past 150. Don't think it's any better than 50/50 for England now.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:54 am

These two inching Sri Lanka closer to a defendable total...

Not content with monstering England with the ball , Embuldeniya is doing them over with the bat !

Time for a pace burst ?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:56 am

Fancy they already have enough
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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:01 am

Joe Root's MOTM award now hinges on him making a match-winning half-century. Spectacular batting from Embuldeniya*, good from Lakmal to support him too.

*Highest ever FC score. Always against England.

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:08 am

it's getting away now...

I guess it shows that as the ball gets softer batting gets easier ; but a lead of 160 plus is looking threatening. Got to cut off these easy singles.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:10 am

When was the last time we took all 10 with spin? Did it happen on the last tour?

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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:11 am

Root strikes ! About time... terrific stuff from Embuldeniya clap

Really does seem a personal duel between these two , no ?

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:12 am

Duty281 wrote:Joe Root's MOTM award now hinges on him making a match-winning half-century. Spectacular batting from Embuldeniya*, good from Lakmal to support him too.

*Highest ever FC score. Always against England.

Battle of the all rounders it seems! Is odd how england get these innings of a lifetime from these tailenders isnt it.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:12 am

Root on a hat trick going to India then ....

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:14 am

Really do hope Crawley and Sibley have saved their best till last...
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Post by alfie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:14 am

Root the wrecker ! All gone and 163 to get...

When those two came together I thought it was England's to lose. Now I reckon 50/50.

Root might need a bit of help. Would be a good time for the openers to come to the party...

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Post by Duty281 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:16 am

164 to get. Favour Sri Lanka about 60-40, personally, but the bookmakers have England as strong 1/4 favourites! Whichever way it goes it's been a good test.

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