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England's Winter of Cricket 2020/21

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Post by alfie Sun 14 Feb 2021, 9:09 am

First topic message reminder :

Knight thinks they won't enforce the follow on. I'm not so sure.

Still two wickets needed anyway. 22 runs.

As I say I don't mind spinning pitches. I do think this one was a bit extreme : had England batted first I doubt they'd have made 329 ; but they might have made 220 and that would probably have made them favourites.
But essentially I agree :India are in this position because they've bowled a lot better and three or four batsmen played innings that England have not come near to matching. Credit where it is due...

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:46 pm

There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics. On the whole stats are pretty helpful in evaluating players but sometimes you do end up with little oddities and this for me is one.

If you compare the stats of Moeen and Panesar you'd say that the former was expensive with wicket taking ability and the latter held a tight line. On the eyeball test though it would be hard to argue that Mo was near the class of Monty but maybe that's just me remembering him more fondly than he perhaps deserves?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 16 Feb 2021, 7:05 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Olly - if you have time, I would like to see your (usual type) individual player ratings and comments for this second Test. Could be very interesting, me thinks.

I also always enjoy Alfie's detailed analysis after he's been pretty dismissive of the concept. Laugh

Firstly, going to recommend people to listen to the "Two Hacks, One Pro" podcast...which is one that Vithushan Ehantharajah and Will MacPherson do alongside Sam Northeast (when he's not playing cricket). They're two of my favourite journos, and Will is very well informed...their podcast today (the two journos are doing daily ones) covers a lot of ground very well.

Particularly the Moeen "going home" saga (George Dobell, as ever has written superbly on this too). My thoughts are that England's higher ups have them playing a ridiculous schedule in normal times, let alone with bubble life too...and Smith/Giles have concocted the rotation plan, to help deal with this, and generally as an overall thing I think it is admirable, and very proactive of England, especially considering past instances which former players have often talked about (well trodden ground).
The problem with the Moeen situation is it's been communicated absolutely horrifically. We knew Stokes/Archer were missing Sri Lanka, we knew Buttler's rest period was after the first test in India...I might be wrong, but until earlier this week, I can't remember seeing anything about Moeen's rest period being after the 2nd test? (please correct me if wrong!). Now this might have altered once Moeen got Covid in Sri Lanka, but even then, they should have been clear about what the plan was...(even if people disagree with it, at least everyone knows).
Then Root has been almost thrown a bit under the bus, and in the process taken Moeen with him, by (I am sure not callously) intimating that Moeen "has chosen" to go home...which is in direct contrast to how the Buttler situation in particular was presented, he could also "have chosen" to stay, but that was presented as enforced rest/designated rest period for him.
Giles/Smith, or at worst Silverwood, should be communicating, this is the planned period for Moeen to go home, he has accepted it like all those who have before him, we see him in a few weeks. Instead we now have this fuss kicked up for Moeen going home, when it all could have been handled so much easier. (if I had caught Covid-19 and had to spend 3 weeks in a hotel room by myself in Sri Lanka, I would be taking my time to go see my family without a shadow of a doubt too btw, and don't begrudge Moeen or any player who chooses to do so).
Hopefully they learn from it, and correct the communication around it and don't let it spiral...

MacPherson also on the podcast goes into the ridiculousness of the England red/white ball contract situation, and how that is effecting players like Bairstow, Ali and Wood in particular - I didn't realise the pay disparity between those on the red ball deals and those on the white ball ones...but that's a discussion for another day I think!

In terms of some ratings for this 2nd test, which Guildford has asked for...(hopefully he's still reading after this rambling nonsense!)

Sibley - 3/10 - not a good test for him, still struggling against the real turning ball which is to be expected, this is his first subcontinental tour. Hopefully a better game next time round
Burns - 2/10 - maybe harsh to give him a lower score than Sibley, but I found his second innings incredibly frustrating because it was Rory Burns's test career, reflecting his early first class career. Clearly talented enough to play the level, but not converting that into his runs/average.
Lawrence - 3/10 - again struggled, there is clearly talent there and I liked how he tried to work out a different method 2nd dig, but ultimately a bit like Sibley, he's a touch out of his depth on his first subcontinent tour against the really turning ball. Will come back to him and Burns in a sec
Root - 5/10 - maybe a tad generous, thought he captained fine again tbh and is dealing with some duff hands in terms of the rotation as a captain...and was due a game where he didn't score a double ton  Smile
Stokes - 3/10 - uncharacteristically quiet game, and some soft dismissals with the bat so far this series imo. Lack of match practice/form playing into that, but Ashwin has the wood on him. Hopefully uses the poor performance to bounce back as he has done in the past
Pope - 4.5/10 - given a bit of a bump due to his work at short leg, which is superb...and I am not for one saying he should be dropped/under pressure, he is supremely talented...but he could do with some runs before the tour is over to just remind everyone how talented he is (coming off a summer where he averaged 27 across his 9 innings)
Foakes - 7/10 - England's best performer in the game for my money, batted very well for his 42* first dig and we all know he's a superb keeper despite a few mishaps in the 2nd innings. He also has magnificent hair
Moeen - 5.5/10 - it was a very Moeen performance, one that shows his undoubted talent, but ultimately frustrating. Don't think he bowled *quite* as badly as some said in the first innings, but not saying he bowled well either.
Leach - 6.5/10 - again bowled well I thought, maybe without proper reward in the first innings. Slightly concerned he looked weary and tired as the second India innings wore on, especially as he's got a lot of bowling ahead of him...
Stone - 7/10 - very promising game from him, thought he bowled nicely with the new ball in the first innings. Clearly one to be in the fast bowling ranks with Archer and Wood, if we can just wrap them all in cotton wool...not sure why he was batting 9 though!
Broad - N/A - in hindsight, England misevaluated conditions because he was essentially redundant, and then when he did bowl they kept dropping catches off him! Wouldn't make him pay his match fee Very Happy

Overall - thoroughly outplayed by the better side here and no huge shame in that, India are bloody good and this is more how I expected the tour to go (and maybe expect the rest of the tour to pan out).
However, if you'd told me England would be 1-1 going into the day/night third test in India, coming off a 2-0 win in Sri Lanka, before they flew out this winter, I'd have thought you were barmy and I don't think there is an England fan out there who wouldn't have taken that...that wider context needs to be remembered whatever happens in the final two test matches here, for me.

Next test
Now on the aforementioned podcast, earlier in the week (day 3 iirc) they talked about how taking Burns/Lawrence out of the firing line might be both in the best short and long term interests for England this year...and I think I agree. I would agree, that it is more likely the combination of Crawley/Bairstow score more runs than Burns/Lawrence in the 3rd test...and for that reason, I think those two changes should happen. A by-product/benefit of that, is that actually, getting them both (Burns/Lawrence) of the firing line doesn't mean come the end of the 4th test we've broken them, as Burns in particular is going to be needed for the home summer/Ashes, where ideally he will find form and the Sibley/Burns/Crawley top three flourishes. Lawrence clearly has talent too and should be around the squad for the rest of the year, but we could do without "Ben Duckett"-ing him, and ruining his career before it starts in unfamiliar surroundings.

I may also be a dog with a bone on this point, but I think the lack of Stokes's ability to bowl has been an issue, which maybe reared it's head in the first innings here. He is a good reverse swing bowler, and a partnership breaker...who I fancy was actually needed in that middle session on day one. Probably wouldn't have changed the outcome, but I do still think if England are to pull off the seemingly improbable and win this series, he's going to need to help with the ball, in a first innings in particular (especially if they're going to go in with one spinner for this day night test).

My final thought on the next test, is that I do have some reservations about it "benefitting" England being a day/nighter...England's last day/night test was in Adelaide in December 2017, and while in theory it should help the seamers, India also have some bloody good seamers too (this Bumrah lad who was rested this game is meant to be quite good). I also doubt it's going to be a wicket like the one India played their one and only home test day/nighter on in 2019 against Bangladesh, where it benefitted them to prepare a more seaming wicket (and was at a different time of the year and location). It may be a green seamer, in which case great, Anderson/Broad/Wood/Archer and maybe Woakes can all be in contention...but I fancy England might be faced with another turning track in which case two spinners will be needed. Hoping they haven't pre-determined they will definitely play three seamers and one spinner, and go with this despite the surface...we will see!

You'll be more than glad to read that's where I will stop rabbiting on, congrats to our Indian contingent on the win and lets hope for two great final test matches and a great end to the series all round Hug
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Post by guildfordbat Tue 16 Feb 2021, 7:44 pm

Olly - many thanks. You dun a great homework there, for sure. I'll review more and chuck a few comments in later tonight. I'm actually miffed about one small point you've picked up on - thought I would be the only one to mention that. Wink

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 16 Feb 2021, 8:06 pm

https://twitter.com/guardian_sport/status/1361756816544301056?s=21

On one of my points, good to see Root has clarified his earlier comments. Mistakes happen and he clearly didn't mean for it to be interpreted in the way it was
Hopefully the upper echelons of England management will be a bit more vocal if such cases arise in the future
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Post by Gooseberry Tue 16 Feb 2021, 8:34 pm

Bit harsh marking on Mo, exactly the sort of thing that makes him want to quit.

End of the day he outscored everyone else with the bat and took almost half the wickets. Whilst I do agree leach bowled more quality im not sure its 1.5 marks better, albeit that Mo's batting was a bit pointless it did still happen.

He certainly outweighed my expectations of what he was likely to produce, although had england nit needed him to bowl bulk overs he mightve got benched given the filth he served up early on. Have to credit him though, if we are making excuses for Bess being wayward in the first sl test on him coming in short of warm up and Pope/ Burns struggles with the bat the same what of mo who's not seen a proper red ball game in 18 months and barely played any white ball in that time.

In spite of being a mo sceptic and a bit upset about him being given the chance I do see it was a blow hes gone home. He deserved the next test for the imporvement to rythm he found and credit to him for battling back rather than bottling it again.



Roots clarification suggests it was preplanned which makes some sense ...except this wasn't mentioned before when they listed all the rotations, and leaves him with a short turnaround to get back in time to isolate for the while ball squad.

If it was preplanned then it maybe makes more sense of the initial selection too with an element of wanting to give him a test.

Might have to wait for Mo's book to find his version of the truth in all this.

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Post by KP_fan Tue 16 Feb 2021, 8:40 pm

As dust settles over first two tests..... we can look closely at how things transpired in these tests:

-India took a test match to "figure out & implement"  the game plan for Eng
Further in T1...some were on a high from Aus, and some rusty coming of Paternity leave....took Monday as an extended weekend day...and paid the price.
Took the eye off the pitch also and the over zealous curator / Chennai babu prepared a feather bed.
They were also unlucky to lose Axar to pre-match injury &  appalled to find the greatest spinner on Ranji circuits for the better part of the decade of 2010s, and Kohli's star compatriot from U-19 days, Shabaz Nadeem  was woefully past expiry date.

-T2 they fixed the pitch, got Axar back, although much is made of the toss....Ind would have won even after the losing the toss...for there was as much in the pitch on D1 as was on D2.....and both teams would have scored as much even if their innings order was swapped.

Axar filled the hole due to absence of  jadeja......and both Axar and Jadeja obviously aided by coachin staff finally got the lengths, line /field  placement to curb the menace of sweep, slog sweep and reverse sweeps.
But mind you Axar  is only a poor man's Jadeja needing a lot from the pitch, while Jadeja can hold on his own even on far less supportive  pitches.
and Axar is no where close to Jadeja with the bat.

--Once bitten in T1 twice shy...India had too much bowling resources in T2.....and too shallow in batting. Team can't count on Rohit like innings in each test nor a hundred from No.8...so they need to add a bot more depth.
India's change will be simple.....replace Kuldeep with a batting allrounder
and the pitch will dictate whether that will be Sundar or Pandya.

-Eng leaving/ losing  out their two most potent bowlers Anderson and Archer...and Stokes not bowling made India's task easier.
I still believe but for that back-breaking 3-fer in second inning of T1 from Anderson , India would have pulled off a draw
There is a BIG prize..that of a Historic series win or draw and a WTC final at stake for Eng.

The charade of Rest/Rotate aught to be put in some back-drawer for sometime....and Eng must throw their most potent-11 in the next 2 games which is
Leach +Anderson+Stone+Wood surely....and Woakes if Stokes ain't gonna bowl.
Or Archer for  Stone or Wood if the former is fit.

--The Pitch in T3 will be a turner for sure...However pink ball swings under light..and second new ball after 80 overs in cool late evening will seam around......so there will be something in it for the seamers, in addition to a lot for the spinners...dunno how, the pink ball+ day-night game impacts the reverse swing possibilities
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Post by Duty281 Tue 16 Feb 2021, 9:34 pm

Moeen's rotation wasn't pre-planned, it was undecided. He himself said in January:

" I've been speaking to the selectors and the coaches," Moeen said. "They've picked the squad for the first two games and it all depends where I'm at really. I think I'm due to go home at some stage during the 3rd and 4th (Tests) but we're not 100 percent sure yet. If I'm playing and doing well, then things could change."

Clearly off-the-field he isn't doing well, and on-the-field I'd struggle to give him a 3/10.  Hopefully he can get himself together and return for the T20s - he can still make a telling contribution in the '7' spot for England at the next two T20 World Cups, that should be his focus.

Sadly because of Root's (possible) clumsy comments there's some silly manufactured controversy going on, which is a nonsense.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 16 Feb 2021, 10:43 pm

I think it was just a clumsy comment from Root to be honest. In the first three Tests this winter he was on the pitch almost the entire match due to his long innings then this match will have been a battering as the skipper. Just a tired skipper with a microphone shoved under his nose in my opinion.

I'm in agreement with Goose that I'd have probably persevered with Mo for the 3rd Test unless it's a seam friendly wicket which seems highly unlikely.

The pink ball usually wears very quickly and wears pretty evenly on both sides. It's much more difficult to keep one side shiny and the other rough. So swing will come early and reverse will be a lottery. It will hopefully mean that England can get a decent number of overs at the openers/top order from their seamers early on though.

I hadn't realised that Hardik Pandya hasn't played a Test since the 4th Test at The Rose Bowl in 2018. Cook and Jennings opening for England, Dhawan opening for India, Pujara's magnificent century, Sam Curran's two very important lower order knocks and Moeen taking 9 wickets for a MOM award. It seems a long time ago.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 16 Feb 2021, 10:58 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics. On the whole stats are pretty helpful in evaluating players but sometimes you do end up with little oddities and this for me is one.

If you compare the stats of Moeen and Panesar you'd say that the former was expensive with wicket taking ability and the latter held a tight line. On the eyeball test though it would be hard to argue that Mo was near the class of Monty but maybe that's just me remembering him more fondly than he perhaps deserves?

I think Panesar is perhaps more fondly remembered because the last memory of him is really that India tour in 2012/13 (we’ve all collectively agreed the 2013/14 Ashes down under didn’t happen right? Smile ) - and his general sort of character/personality helps him when being remembered too.
Not sure he was a particularly special bowler mind but had a decent England career with a few really high spots?
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Post by Duty281 Tue 16 Feb 2021, 11:28 pm

Monty had a really solid career as an England spinner. Was a consistent wicket-taking option between 2006-2008, then lost his place to the fantastic Swann (no shame in that), and only really came back in isolated appearances after that. Loved his enthusiasm and devotion to the game. Was a much better player than Tufnell or Giles, who were England's previous leading spinners. Will always remember Monty's effort in Perth 2006, how he was cruelly mugged of match-winning dismissals v India in 2007 and South Africa in 2008, an entertaining six-for against New Zealand in 2008 (which I mainly remember for his exuberant appealing), and his valiant rearguard with the bat in Cardiff 2009, plus the game in Mumbai 2012 where he played a pivotal role. Lots of love to Monty.

Interesting to note Monty has a marginally better bowling average in England than Swann (81 wickets @ 28.76 v 120 wickets @ 28.94).

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Post by king_carlos Wed 17 Feb 2021, 12:18 am

I'd agree with Monty being very solid for England. Between 2006 and 2008 he was a vital part of an inconsistent England side in a slow transition. Arguably Monty might have had a better record had Swann not emerged as deserved first choice spinner. He seemed to be bowling more consistently over those few years so had he remained first choice could have kept improving. We'll never know for sure of course.

I'm really happy that Monty is looking to go into sports journalism. I think he could be an excellent writer and pundit given how passionate he is about the game as well as knowing all about the ups and downs. He spoke very well during The Edge.

Re the Mo comparisons and stats discussion when you include their five-fer and ten-fer stats I think they do tell the story quite well. 12 five wicket hauls and 2 ten wicket hauls for Monty along with a good economy shows a bowler with strong control who didn't offer much variation to threaten the best batsman when the conditions didn't suit hence his average and strike rate that seem higher than memory would suggest. Whilst 5 five-fers and 1 ten-fer from Mo with a good strike rate but poor economy shows a bowler who could bowl fantastic wicket taking deliveries but lacked consistency.

Both were important components of flawed England sides for a time and their better bowling performances certainly won England games.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 17 Feb 2021, 12:28 am

Hi again Olly - excellent post to start these latest discussions covering not just the last England XI but other significant aspects as well. Apologies for my scattergun approach encompassing certain responses and a few other things that caught my eye.

* Re Moeen - I agree with goose that we'll probably need to wait for the book by Moeen and/or others to properly get to the bottom of it. Whilst Root was clumsy in what he said, it shouldn't have been down to him in what was said. That should have been the job of the tour management.

* One other person I have sympathy for in all of the above is Bess. Dropped for this last game because of inconsistency, how's he going to feel if and when he's recalled on this tour with some likely to be suggesting he's only back because Mo wanted out? Some of the communication now about Moeen seemed unnecessary as did details for Bess' exclusion from the last Test.

* The track for me was pushing boundaries and making it close to favouring the home side too much. I don't expect (or want) the ICC to take any formal action but a quiet word and further monitoring would seem appropriate.

* The last point made, that wasn't the cause of the result. Two reasons for the result. India played consistently well. England didn't.

* India's headline acts were understandably and rightly Rohit and Ashwin. However, I always like to look at the support acts as well. In between their centuries across India's two digs, there were three scores of 50+ from Rahane, Pant and Kohli providing valuable support and oomph. England's top score in the match was Moeen's 43 today when the winners' cheques were being signed.

* We of course also have to consider Ashwin's bowling even more than his ton. Not only a fivefer in England's first innings but he only went at 1.8 an over in his 23+ overs. Great support then as well from Axar going at 2.0 and picking up a couple of wickets from his 20. In contrast Moeen's first innings fourfer cost 4.4 for each of his 29 overs. Leach picked up a couple and went at 2.9 from his 27.

* In contrast to goose, I therefore feel your 5.5 for Moeen is on the money. It may seem harsh on England's top wicket taker and run scorer but first day and and first innings performances are so often key to the result of any Test match. Lose the first innings and you'll usually be looking to escape with a draw than realistically thinking about winning. Much as Rohit batted magnificently on day one, Moeen bowled badly and both contributed to the outcome. Whilst we had no right to expect wickets from Moeen at the start, we needed control. As above, Moeen's runs today were with the pressure off and count little in my book to upping his rating.

* Foakes - controversial bit coming up, look away Soul. He kept wonderfully in the first innings and showed why so many - including me - regard him as the best current gloveman in the world. However, he didn't reproduce that form in the second innings; missing, I think, three chances. Difficult chances and energy sapping conditions, I accept. However, many - probably again including me - would have been saying ''Foakes would have had that'' if missed by Buttler or Bairstow. Lacking consistency across the match, I wouldn't give him more than a 6. Genuinely sorry. Also - and this must be difficult for any keeper stepping up from the county or first class game - he's obviously inexperienced with DRS and will need to be more assertive concerning when to review or not; there was an absolute shocker and complete waste when we went for one off Lawrence's bowling. Not sure if that was for a caught behind or lbw. Miles from the bat and off the pad well down leg.

* The highish rating I do agree with you on is for Stone. 7 is definitely fair. Seen little of the guy but he impressed me when I saw him in an ODI in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago and he did so again here. The small point I was going to raise - but which you beat me to - what's he doing batting at 9? That shouldn't be the case, should it?

* I noticed King Carlos mentioned earlier about the soil surface for this and the next Test. On Channel 4 this morning, Alec Stewart mentioned that a 'black soil'  or a 'red soil' pitch were being considered for the third Test. Stewie didn't claim to know the different impacts and it wasn't discussed further but it looks like being an increasing topic.

* Leaving any concerns about social distancing aside, it was great to see a crowd at this Test. That helped the hosts and fair play to both them and Kohli for ensuring they did.

Anyway, that's enough of my rambling. I'll give a few thoughts in the morning on England selection for next time. We obviously need to get that as right as possible but more than anything we need to play well from the start. Perhaps interestingly, Kohli said in his post match interview that India played badly on days 1 and 2 in the first Test which led to their defeat but had played good cricket ever since.

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Post by alfie Wed 17 Feb 2021, 6:46 am

Have to say I've enjoyed reading all these posts and largely agree with Olly and guildford in their summaries (with my usual  reservation re numerical scoring as an absolute - I can certainly still accept it as a means of comparison)

My (slightly irreverent) take on Olly's scores :  I'd give Burns the same "3" as the other non-performing bats - not least for the hair and facial fungus.
Agree extra for Pope for his fielding. Would actually have him ahead of Root slightly , although Joe gets a nod for his bowling (underused !)
Foakes is tricky as his first innings work was great ; second less so. (more on that later)

The bowlers : I agree actually that Stone should rate highest (though god knows why he was batting much higher than the 12th man !)
And Broad N/A is a nice touch Smile

Spinners I rate above all the bats but below Stone : for all I have bagged Moeen he did improve second innings , though still couldn't do enough with the conditions , in my view (Second innings six hitting spree a bit irrelevant , though impressive.) And I am not over struck on the Leach performance , to be honest : bowled much better than Mo on the first day and had his moments in the second ; but I doubt he'd be happy with his control overall in conditions that were right up his alley. (I detected increasing tiredness in him much as Olly noted) Would have the pair of them about equal.

Certainly think Olly has nailed it better than the scores The Cricketer put up this morning.

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Post by alfie Wed 17 Feb 2021, 7:29 am

So to the other issues raised :

Moeen and rotation. I have sympathy for Moeen. Not been playing , but stuck in bubble ; Covid keeping him in his cell for weeks...not too surprised he'd had enough. Just a question (and of course we do not know how the conversations between Mo and management before the game had gone) : If he was even a bit "wobbly" coming in - was it wise to pick him ? Could it be they picked him partly in a bid to boost his morale ? Just speculating , I hasten to add. But given his known fragile confidence , and indeed recent choice to rule himself out for Test selection for a while , it seems to me he was always a bit of a wild card - and possibly too wild for the good of all ? (And his supporters will doubtless say well he didn't do too badly , really. To which I would say (A) He certainly didn't help the team to a result by the dreadfully loose first day spells ; and (B) as guildford noted , messing Bess about may impact his confidence : so the overall effect can hardly be seen as a success...
That said , I wish him all the best : would not rule him out for future Test selection . I did suggest earlier he might be a chance for the home summer : perhaps he'd have been better going home and preparing for it earlier ? Will see what the future brings. And hopefully there will not be any unnecessary ongoing fuss about some messy communications - wouldn't help Root - or Moeen.

Rotation generally is a tricky business. It surely isn't ideal (can mess teams , and players , about ; with the timing obviously having to be planned in advance and sometimes not fitting in to best effect with form and team balance) ; but in the current climate it is basically vital if we don't want to have players end up in the psych ward.

Fatigue , as Olly and I mentioned seemed to impact Leach. The other player I'd suggest who might have suffered from long bubble time and no actual cricket , is Foakes. Is it not likely that one reason his game tailed off is that he hadn't had an extended time in the middle for ages ; and that he rather lost his focus very much earlier than he might have done in normal circumstances ? Hopefully with a game under his belt and a few days to recharge we will see more of the best of him next week.

And the next Test. I imagine it will still take spin. Quite a lot of spin - though hopefully no dust spurts on day one. It should also give the pace men a bit to work with though. England must decide whether to risk going with just one spinner and a full hand of fast bowlers - a decision they will presumably take very late after their best assessment of the pitch. I do have some concerns about asking Leach to do all the spin bowling , in light of earlier stated need to keep his energy levels up.(Had Moeen not gone home I wonder if they'd have even considered resting Jack and just using Mo and three quicks ? Could do the same with Bess I suppose but I think that might be unlikely)
Big factor ,as Olly flagged , is the case of Stokes. Is he fit to bowl or not ? Looked OK match one , though sparingly used. Hardly bowled in this one , when - conditions notwithstanding - he is the man Root often turns to when the situation is dire : and there were certainly times on the first day in particular when that applied. I thought after the first Test they were just intent on conserving as much of his energy as they could without letting it hurt the team , with an eye to the later matches : but I'm starting to get an uneasy feeling all is not quite right with Ben physically. Big blow to England if he cannot fulfil the true allrounder role : and possibly another reason they were anxious to try Moeen ? Watch this space.

Imagine there will be batting changes. Whether Crawley and Bairstow can do any better we won't know until they try. But they could hardly do any worse than the present top three setup. And as long as Anderson is back I do not really mind which pace man (or men) accompany him next week. Happy to wait the selectors' wisdom...but I for one am still hopeful England can do a lot better than this last match , whatever they come up with. 1-1 with two to play is better than most hoped for , no ? They will need to improve. But , good as India are , I do not think they are invincible and look forward to another interesting match thumbsup

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 17 Feb 2021, 8:56 am

Duty281 wrote:Moeen's rotation wasn't pre-planned, it was undecided. He himself said in January:

" I've been speaking to the selectors and the coaches," Moeen said. "They've picked the squad for the first two games and it all depends where I'm at really. I think I'm due to go home at some stage during the 3rd and 4th (Tests) but we're not 100 percent sure yet. If I'm playing and doing well, then things could change."

Clearly off-the-field he isn't doing well, and on-the-field I'd struggle to give him a 3/10.  Hopefully he can get himself together and return for the T20s - he can still make a telling contribution in the '7' spot for England at the next two T20 World Cups, that should be his focus.

Sadly because of Root's (possible) clumsy comments there's some silly manufactured controversy going on, which is a nonsense.

Cheers for the quote Duty. It made no sense that on one hand they were saying it was pre planned but on the other he wasnt on the list of planned changes. It was an optional pre planned change so somewhere between the two! In some ways its surprising he took the option given he had a solid chance of getting picked for the next test, but its not that easy a decision to go back on at the last minute especially when the leadership wouldn't be able to give him that guarantee and it could mean sitting in the bubble for another month not playing.


Struggle to give him 3/10? Really? 8 wickets and a decent score with the bat ....anyone else get above 1? Do agree white balls his best bet all the same, Bess has a better batting and bowling average in tests. I personally feel Mo's best chance in tests would be in the place of a leg spinner on wickets where England need to make things happen, England got trapped a few times looking for a spinner "to keep on end tight" on flat wickets and had no threat at all. Bess in the summer with the old ball the obvious example, he really struggled to make chances against dire batting attacks. Mo, like a leggie, tends to leak runs and take wickets.

Anyway its back to Bess and Leach next. Leach shouldve had a bit of a rest with a longer turn around between these tests. Cant imagine he will be moaning too much, he's only played 4 tests and a handfull of warm ups and 2 or 3 BW games in the past year and a half so must be relieved to be getting to play the game again and not be a side show. Do think he will be a touch disappointed with his overall figures this winter in spite of being the lead wicket taker for England (courtesy of everyone else sitting at least one tests out) , rarely bowled badly but still always seems to struggle first innings. Hopefully Jeetan Patels statistics will find an answer for him to step up from decent to a winner, the spinners are still key for England to get something from the series in spite of the talk about the pink ball test.

Much bigger issue though of course is the top 6. Agree on the Crawley and Bairstow swaps, cant be any worse and those losing their spots cant feel hard done by

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:10 am

Gooseberry wrote:

Struggle to give him 3/10? Really? 8 wickets and a decent score with the bat ....anyone else get above 1? Do agree white balls his best bet all the same, Bess has a better batting and bowling average in tests. I personally feel Mo's best chance in tests would be in the place of a leg spinner on wickets where England need to make things happen, England got trapped a few times looking for a spinner "to keep on end tight" on flat wickets and had no threat at all. Bess in the summer with the old ball the obvious example, he really struggled to make chances against dire batting attacks. Mo, like a leggie, tends to leak runs and take wickets.


His runs in the second innings meant literally nothing, the game had long been lost. His poor bowling in the first innings was instrumental in letting Sharma get away and was the turning point in the match, when England needed to keep it tight he offered up an assortment of rubbish. Leaking runs is seen as acceptable but on a pitch like that it really isn't.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:29 am

Gooseberry wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Moeen's rotation wasn't pre-planned, it was undecided. He himself said in January:

" I've been speaking to the selectors and the coaches," Moeen said. "They've picked the squad for the first two games and it all depends where I'm at really. I think I'm due to go home at some stage during the 3rd and 4th (Tests) but we're not 100 percent sure yet. If I'm playing and doing well, then things could change."

Clearly off-the-field he isn't doing well, and on-the-field I'd struggle to give him a 3/10.  Hopefully he can get himself together and return for the T20s - he can still make a telling contribution in the '7' spot for England at the next two T20 World Cups, that should be his focus.

Sadly because of Root's (possible) clumsy comments there's some silly manufactured controversy going on, which is a nonsense.

Cheers for the quote Duty. It made no sense that on one hand they were saying it was pre planned but on the other he wasnt on the list of planned changes. It was an optional pre planned change so somewhere between the two! In some ways its surprising he took the option given he had a solid chance of getting picked for the next test, but its not that easy a decision to go back on at the last minute especially when the leadership wouldn't be able to give him that guarantee and it could mean sitting in the bubble for another month not playing.


Struggle to give him 3/10? Really? 8 wickets and a decent score with the bat ....anyone else get above 1? Do agree white balls his best bet all the same, Bess has a better batting and bowling average in tests. I personally feel Mo's best chance in tests would be in the place of a leg spinner on wickets where England need to make things happen, England got trapped a few times looking for a spinner "to keep on end tight" on flat wickets and had no threat at all. Bess in the summer with the old ball the obvious example, he really struggled to make chances against dire batting attacks. Mo, like a leggie, tends to leak runs and take wickets.

Anyway its back to Bess and Leach next. Leach shouldve had a bit of a rest with a longer turn around between these tests. Cant imagine he will be moaning too much, he's only played 4 tests and a handfull of warm ups and 2 or 3 BW games in the past year and a half so must be relieved to be getting to play the game again and not be a side show. Do think he will be a touch disappointed with his overall figures this winter in spite of being the lead wicket taker for England (courtesy of everyone else sitting at least one tests out) , rarely bowled badly but still always seems to struggle first innings. Hopefully Jeetan Patels statistics will find an answer for him to step up from decent to a winner, the spinners are still key for England to get something from the series in spite of the talk about the pink ball test.

Much bigger issue though of course is the top 6. Agree on the Crawley and  Bairstow swaps, cant be any worse and those losing their spots cant feel hard done by

Yes, would struggle to give Moeen 3/10. Like Bess in the first Sri Lankan test, Moeen picked up a handful of cheap wickets, but he bowled absolutely atrociously in the first innings, on an immensely helpful surface. The four wickets he got in the first innings - two were tailenders looking to hit out aggressively, one was a freak ball off the pitch, and one was Rahane who had already been dismissed fairly by Leach. His economy rate was nearly 4.5 in that innings which is just shambolic. He also didn't contribute with the bat in the first innings. Anything he did in the third and fourth innings was irrelevant as the game had gone by that stage - though Moeen making some pressure-free runs in the last innings is classic Moeen.

I think the only England players to come out of this test with reputations enhanced would be Foakes, Stone and Leach. Everyone else was poor and/or failed to contribute much. I also thought Root's captaincy was v. poor in the first innings because: 1) he bowled Moeen for far too many overs, and was too late bringing himself on. 2) as soon as Rohit hit a few boundaries, Root put the field in retreat and allowed Rohit as many easy singles as he wanted. No pressure at all.

I hope England only pick one spinner (Leach) for the next test, unless it's supposed to be a sharp-turner like this one. Back the seamers under lights, with dew and with a pink ball.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:56 am



India’s squad for last two Tests against England announced

February 17th, 2021

India’s squad for last two Tests against England announced

The All-India Senior Selection Committee met on Wednesday to pick the squad for the last two Test matches to be played at Ahmedabad against England.

The team is as follows: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj.

Umesh Yadav will join the team in Ahmedabad and after his fitness assessment will replace Shardul Thakur, who will be released for Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The Committee also picked five net bowlers and two players as standbys.

Net Bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, Krishnappa Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar

Standby players: KS Bharat, Rahul Chahar.


Umesh Yadav replaces Shardul subject to passing fitness test...Nadeem dumped.
So the ONLY change likely in the playing 11 the one I wrote yesterday
Pandya or Sundar for Kuldeep

unless there is a forced change on Gill who after being hit was taken for a scan......in which case they have Agarwal and Rahul both available to open in the squad
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Post by alfie Wed 17 Feb 2021, 10:19 am

Duty281 wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Moeen's rotation wasn't pre-planned, it was undecided. He himself said in January:

" I've been speaking to the selectors and the coaches," Moeen said. "They've picked the squad for the first two games and it all depends where I'm at really. I think I'm due to go home at some stage during the 3rd and 4th (Tests) but we're not 100 percent sure yet. If I'm playing and doing well, then things could change."

Clearly off-the-field he isn't doing well, and on-the-field I'd struggle to give him a 3/10.  Hopefully he can get himself together and return for the T20s - he can still make a telling contribution in the '7' spot for England at the next two T20 World Cups, that should be his focus.

Sadly because of Root's (possible) clumsy comments there's some silly manufactured controversy going on, which is a nonsense.

Cheers for the quote Duty. It made no sense that on one hand they were saying it was pre planned but on the other he wasnt on the list of planned changes. It was an optional pre planned change so somewhere between the two! In some ways its surprising he took the option given he had a solid chance of getting picked for the next test, but its not that easy a decision to go back on at the last minute especially when the leadership wouldn't be able to give him that guarantee and it could mean sitting in the bubble for another month not playing.


Struggle to give him 3/10? Really? 8 wickets and a decent score with the bat ....anyone else get above 1? Do agree white balls his best bet all the same, Bess has a better batting and bowling average in tests. I personally feel Mo's best chance in tests would be in the place of a leg spinner on wickets where England need to make things happen, England got trapped a few times looking for a spinner "to keep on end tight" on flat wickets and had no threat at all. Bess in the summer with the old ball the obvious example, he really struggled to make chances against dire batting attacks. Mo, like a leggie, tends to leak runs and take wickets.

Anyway its back to Bess and Leach next. Leach shouldve had a bit of a rest with a longer turn around between these tests. Cant imagine he will be moaning too much, he's only played 4 tests and a handfull of warm ups and 2 or 3 BW games in the past year and a half so must be relieved to be getting to play the game again and not be a side show. Do think he will be a touch disappointed with his overall figures this winter in spite of being the lead wicket taker for England (courtesy of everyone else sitting at least one tests out) , rarely bowled badly but still always seems to struggle first innings. Hopefully Jeetan Patels statistics will find an answer for him to step up from decent to a winner, the spinners are still key for England to get something from the series in spite of the talk about the pink ball test.

Much bigger issue though of course is the top 6. Agree on the Crawley and  Bairstow swaps, cant be any worse and those losing their spots cant feel hard done by

Yes, would struggle to give Moeen 3/10. Like Bess in the first Sri Lankan test, Moeen picked up a handful of cheap wickets, but he bowled absolutely atrociously in the first innings, on an immensely helpful surface. The four wickets he got in the first innings - two were tailenders looking to hit out aggressively, one was a freak ball off the pitch, and one was Rahane who had already been dismissed fairly by Leach. His economy rate was nearly 4.5 in that innings which is just shambolic. He also didn't contribute with the bat in the first innings. Anything he did in the third and fourth innings was irrelevant as the game had gone by that stage - though Moeen making some pressure-free runs in the last innings is classic Moeen.

I think the only England players to come out of this test with reputations enhanced would be Foakes, Stone and Leach. Everyone else was poor and/or failed to contribute much. I also thought Root's captaincy was v. poor in the first innings because: 1) he bowled Moeen for far too many overs, and was too late bringing himself on. 2) as soon as Rohit hit a few boundaries, Root put the field in retreat and allowed Rohit as many easy singles as he wanted. No pressure at all.

I hope England only pick one spinner (Leach) for the next test, unless it's supposed to be a sharp-turner like this one. Back the seamers under lights, with dew and with a pink ball.

Generally don't disagree with this , though I wouldn't be quite so uncharitable as to give Moeen the same score as the failing batsmen. After the game was gone it is true ; but he did bowl a bit better second time around.

Next Test as previously said they will need to judge the pitch accurately in advance of bowler selection...

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Post by msp83 Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:10 am

guildfordbat wrote:
* The track for me was pushing boundaries and making it close to favouring the home side too much. I don't expect (or want) the ICC to take any formal action but a quiet word and further monitoring would seem appropriate.

* The last point made, that wasn't the cause of the result. Two reasons for the result. India played consistently well. England didn't.


* I noticed King Carlos mentioned earlier about the soil surface for this and the next Test. On Channel 4 this .
Hi Guildford
Interested to know more about your take on the pitch issue. Don't have you placed among the list of those who moan about the pitch, neither is alfie in there for that matter though we've had an incomplete exchange of view on the issue earlier.
So what exactly is wrong with a pitch that spins from ball one? Particularly if the track stayed more or less consistent throughout the game? How would a flat road turning into life on day 4 preferable to this track? How would it be different to a track that swings and more imporatantly seams around a lot on day one and flatten out for some time and then become up and down making it more dangerous for batsman considered better in terms of a pitch? In the above 2 scenarios, it has to be noted that the toss is of great, possibly decisive significance.
As for the soil, it was an interesting experimentation with mixed soil types for the 2nd test. Interestingly, the track didn't completely weather away after 2 days but consistently offered life for bowlers to work with, consistently asking demanding questions of the batsmen, testing their techniques and game awareness. There is a school of thought that says that they shouldn't mix up soil types, but from what we've had in the 2nd test, I think this option has to be kept opened.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:12 am

Not sure how leach comes out with e handed credit, he went in with the reputation as the number on wicket taking spinner and has been outdone in that regard by both Bess and Mo. Roots SR over the winter even better than all of them.

Its absolutely absurd to rate a player that low when he scored more runs with the bat than anyone else in the team even if you don't rate his 8 wickets.

Its straight up bias, I'm no Mo fan and was hugely concerned by his selection but to suggest he was one of englands biggest problems in that test is absurd and exactly the sort of unfair judgement that Mo feels adds to the pressure on him.

Broad might as well not have turned up. Leach was toothless early on. The entire top 6 failed utterly including the golden boy stokes. The worlds greatest keeper made bmistakes.

But Mo gets the blame as one of only two players to deliver the wickets and runs expected of their roles in the team?

Bess bowled filth against SL and some of the same people slating him now talked up "it doesn't matter how you get the wickets "

It all smacks of straight up bias and favouritism. People excuse the players they like and and look for reasons to rubbish those they don't ( see wicketkeeper debate). Im no Mo fan (see earlier posts) but have to say he was far from being to blame for England taking a spanking.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:21 am

Context does matter Goose and Mo was a big reason why England lost, his bowling in the first innings was dreadful regardless of getting four wickets. The batting wasn't up to much, Broad was anonymous and Leach wasn't amazing but Sharma taking a liking to Moeens buffet bowling was where the match was lost.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:32 am

msp83 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
* The track for me was pushing boundaries and making it close to favouring the home side too much. I don't expect (or want) the ICC to take any formal action but a quiet word and further monitoring would seem appropriate.

* The last point made, that wasn't the cause of the result. Two reasons for the result. India played consistently well. England didn't.


* I noticed King Carlos mentioned earlier about the soil surface for this and the next Test. On Channel 4 this .
Hi Guildford
Interested to know more about your take on the pitch issue. Don't have you placed among the list of those who moan about the pitch, neither is alfie in there for that matter though we've had an incomplete exchange of view on the issue earlier.
So what exactly is wrong with a pitch that spins from ball one? Particularly if the track stayed more or less consistent throughout the game? How would a flat road turning into life on day 4 preferable to this track? How would it be different to  a track that swings and more imporatantly seams around a lot on day one and flatten out for some time and then become up and down making it more dangerous for batsman considered better in terms of a pitch? In the above 2 scenarios, it has to be noted that the toss is of great, possibly decisive significance.
As for the soil, it was an interesting experimentation with mixed soil types for the 2nd test. Interestingly, the track didn't  completely weather away after 2 days but consistently offered life for bowlers to work with, consistently asking demanding questions of the batsmen, testing their techniques and game awareness. There is a school of thought that says that they shouldn't mix up soil types, but from what we've had in the 2nd test, I think this option has to be kept opened.

Hi msp - That's good because I'm not.

I do though have reservations about that track which I believe justified. As so often, a game of mixed opinions rather than certain knowledge (as it is for all of us here with perhaps one exception). Have to go out now but will comment more later.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:40 am

Gooseberry wrote:Not sure how leach comes out with e handed credit, he went in with the reputation as the number on wicket taking spinner and has been outdone in that regard by both Bess and Mo. Roots SR over the winter even better than all of them.

Its absolutely absurd to rate a player that low when he scored more runs with the bat than anyone else in the team even if you don't rate his 8 wickets.

Its straight up bias, I'm no Mo fan and was hugely concerned by his selection but to suggest he was one of englands biggest problems in that test is absurd and exactly the sort of unfair judgement that Mo feels adds to the pressure on him.

Broad might as well not have turned up. Leach was toothless early on. The entire top 6 failed utterly including the golden boy stokes. The worlds greatest keeper made bmistakes.

But Mo gets the blame as one of only two players to  deliver the wickets and runs expected of their roles in the team?

Bess bowled filth against SL and some of the same people slating him now talked up "it doesn't matter how you get the wickets "

It all smacks of straight up bias and favouritism. People excuse the players they like and and look for reasons to rubbish those they don't ( see wicketkeeper debate). Im no Mo fan (see earlier posts) but have to say he was far from being to blame for England taking a spanking.

As I said, the only players (in my view) to come out with enhanced reputations are Foakes (outstanding keeping in the first innings, best effort with the bat), Stone (bowled tremendously in difficult conditions in the first innings) and Leach (consistently bowled well, not rewarded as well as he should have been). Everyone else was poor/didn't contribute enough, including Moeen, I'm not singling him out.

Leach has been England's best spinner this winter, though hasn't necessarily got the rewards for it that he deserved. Root's SR would probably be better given it's such a small sample size.

Moeen top-scored in the second innings - so what? The game was over by that stage, they were meaningless runs. The time to make a contribution was in the first innings and Moeen (like many others) didn't. Moeen also came into the game as England's second spinner on a very spin-friendly wicket and bowled terribly. Would be different if it was a flat wicket offering nothing, but this was a spin-friendly surface and Moeen went at nearly 4.5 an over. Nowhere near good enough.

In many ways I feel a great deal of sympathy for Moeen. He should never have been picked in the first place because he hasn't been test-standard for a while now, and if he was struggling off-the-field that's even more reason not to put him in the firing line.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 17 Feb 2021, 1:35 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
msp83 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
* The track for me was pushing boundaries and making it close to favouring the home side too much. I don't expect (or want) the ICC to take any formal action but a quiet word and further monitoring would seem appropriate.

* The last point made, that wasn't the cause of the result. Two reasons for the result. India played consistently well. England didn't.


* I noticed King Carlos mentioned earlier about the soil surface for this and the next Test. On Channel 4 this .
Hi Guildford
Interested to know more about your take on the pitch issue. Don't have you placed among the list of those who moan about the pitch, neither is alfie in there for that matter though we've had an incomplete exchange of view on the issue earlier.
So what exactly is wrong with a pitch that spins from ball one? Particularly if the track stayed more or less consistent throughout the game? How would a flat road turning into life on day 4 preferable to this track? How would it be different to  a track that swings and more imporatantly seams around a lot on day one and flatten out for some time and then become up and down making it more dangerous for batsman considered better in terms of a pitch? In the above 2 scenarios, it has to be noted that the toss is of great, possibly decisive significance.
As for the soil, it was an interesting experimentation with mixed soil types for the 2nd test. Interestingly, the track didn't  completely weather away after 2 days but consistently offered life for bowlers to work with, consistently asking demanding questions of the batsmen, testing their techniques and game awareness. There is a school of thought that says that they shouldn't mix up soil types, but from what we've had in the 2nd test, I think this option has to be kept opened.

Hi msp - That's good because I'm not.

I do though have reservations about that track which I believe justified. As so often, a game of mixed opinions rather than certain knowledge (as it is for all of us here with perhaps one exception). Have to go out now but will comment more later.

To chip in on this, I thought the wicket was quite poor (game would have finished easily in three days but for India deciding to bat long in their second innings), but wasn't unfair in the sense of being good for one team and not the other . Indeed, I think in some respects it was more fair than the first test, in that it played much the same throughout the 4 days. OK, it proved that India are a much better team both batting and bowling on a wicket that turns square and bounces unevenly throughout. England's difficulties here were only on the same scale as India's difficulties in facing Jimmy Anderson on a cloudy Headingley morning - OK for one test of the series, but other wickets shouldn't be made as extreme.

Am I right to understand Ashwin was man of the match? If so, another decision as bad as some of the third umpiring - Rohit's runs on day 1 won that match, everyone else was just backing that up.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:18 pm

dummy_half wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
msp83 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
* The track for me was pushing boundaries and making it close to favouring the home side too much. I don't expect (or want) the ICC to take any formal action but a quiet word and further monitoring would seem appropriate.

* The last point made, that wasn't the cause of the result. Two reasons for the result. India played consistently well. England didn't.


* I noticed King Carlos mentioned earlier about the soil surface for this and the next Test. On Channel 4 this .
Hi Guildford
Interested to know more about your take on the pitch issue. Don't have you placed among the list of those who moan about the pitch, neither is alfie in there for that matter though we've had an incomplete exchange of view on the issue earlier.
So what exactly is wrong with a pitch that spins from ball one? Particularly if the track stayed more or less consistent throughout the game? How would a flat road turning into life on day 4 preferable to this track? How would it be different to  a track that swings and more imporatantly seams around a lot on day one and flatten out for some time and then become up and down making it more dangerous for batsman considered better in terms of a pitch? In the above 2 scenarios, it has to be noted that the toss is of great, possibly decisive significance.
As for the soil, it was an interesting experimentation with mixed soil types for the 2nd test. Interestingly, the track didn't  completely weather away after 2 days but consistently offered life for bowlers to work with, consistently asking demanding questions of the batsmen, testing their techniques and game awareness. There is a school of thought that says that they shouldn't mix up soil types, but from what we've had in the 2nd test, I think this option has to be kept opened.

Hi msp - That's good because I'm not.

I do though have reservations about that track which I believe justified. As so often, a game of mixed opinions rather than certain knowledge (as it is for all of us here with perhaps one exception). Have to go out now but will comment more later.

To chip in on this, I thought the wicket was quite poor (game would have finished easily in three days but for India deciding to bat long in their second innings), but wasn't unfair in the sense of being good for one team and not the other . Indeed, I think in some respects it was more fair than the first test, in that it played much the same throughout the 4 days. OK, it proved that India are a much better team both batting and bowling on a wicket that turns square and bounces unevenly throughout. England's difficulties here were only on the same scale as India's difficulties in facing Jimmy Anderson on a cloudy Headingley morning - OK for one test of the series, but other wickets shouldn't be made as extreme.

Am I right to understand Ashwin was man of the match? If so, another decision as bad as some of the third umpiring - Rohit's runs on day 1 won that match, everyone else was just backing that up.

Hi again msp - Dummy has very much hit the nail on the head for me. A test pitch should allow (or, more pertinently, not prevent) the match going through to the fifth day; it was highly unlikely that this track was going to permit that which was the case from the start. In support of that view, have another look at Kohli's day one dismissal. As posted earlier, I don't advocate any formal action by the ICC but, as Dummy says, it was extreme and shouldn't become the norm.

I actually felt you were too quick to condemn the track for the first Test. I picked up you calling it a ''road'' on day one. Road or not, I don't think such a call can be properly made so early on. I've also no issue if a track - initial road or otherwise - changes over the course of the five days; it makes it more of a test in every sense if batters and bowlers have to adapt during a match although I fully accept that such track changes shouldn't be overly excessive.

One final point. Even if a road doesn't change, I feel too many are too ready to give up on it. Probably the greatest display of fast bowling I've ever seen was by Michael Holding against England at the Oval in 1976. That was just about the ultimate road as England suffered a drought in the hottest of summers. However, Holding significantly took the pitch out of the equation with a sublime display in which sheer pace and targeted yorkers defeated not only England's batsmen but also the track. He took an incredible 14 wickets but even more astonishingly 11 of them were bowled or lbw.

Hi Dummy - bizarrely, there were several awards at the end of the match. Ashwin did indeed get Man of the Match. Rohit picked up some consolation award, something like the Game Changing award.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:45 pm

JDizzle wrote:England have announced a 17 man squad for the Third Test.

Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Isn’t this just everyone that is out there at the moment?! Bar the already states reserves. Love the absolute pointlessness of it.

Still too many unknowns to try and narrow this squad down for the next Test.

The pitch. There'll surely be something in it to encourage the spinners but how much?

Fitness. Archer's elbow? Still don't know what's going on with Stokes? Leach and possible fatigue? Anyone else?

Form in the nets. Relevant to those who didn't play last time. How's Bess doing now? What about forgotten man Woakes? And Crawley - see below.

Crawley seems a shoe in for many people's teams. However, if that turns out to be the case, I hope he's shown some form in the nets since damaging his wrist and being unavailable for the last two Tests. There's a possible danger here of him looking better out of the team than in. In his 4 completed Test innings in Sri Lanka (a much weaker opposition than India), he averaged less than 9 with a top score of 13. Burns can't complain if he's dropped and Crawley comes in but I would be inclined to give him (Burns) a final chance for this tour; so far, he's registered two ducks and two starts with a 33 and a 25. Those last two scores are frustrating and too common for him but just maybe he could go on in the third Test.

Lawrence out and Bairstow in is another common call. I can't disagree with that. Lawrence has really struggled since the first Test in Sri Lanka where Bairstow did about ok in both matches.


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Post by king_carlos Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:48 pm

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/india-vs-england-t20i-odi-series-danny-briggs-on-standby-for-england-squad-1252137

Danny Briggs added to the reserves for the limited overs tour against India. I'm really happy about that. I've suggested Briggs as a good candidate for the T20 side before going into the World Cup in India. England have a few bowlers who are potent wicket takers so I think he could be a really good foil by reliably bowling 4 tight overs in the middle to build pressure. His last T20i was 2014 and he's improved a lot as a bowler since then in my opinion.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:01 am

guildfordbat wrote:
JDizzle wrote:England have announced a 17 man squad for the Third Test.

Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Isn’t this just everyone that is out there at the moment?! Bar the already states reserves. Love the absolute pointlessness of it.

Still too many unknowns to try and narrow this squad down for the next Test.

The pitch. There'll surely be something in it to encourage the spinners but how much?

Fitness. Archer's elbow? Still don't know what's going on with Stokes? Leach and possible fatigue? Anyone else?

Form in the nets. Relevant to those who didn't play last time. How's Bess doing now? What about forgotten man Woakes? And Crawley - see below.

Crawley seems a shoe in for many people's teams. However, if that turns out to be the case, I hope he's shown some form in the nets since damaging his wrist and being unavailable for the last two Tests. There's a possible danger here of him looking better out of the team than in. In his 4 completed Test innings in Sri Lanka (a much weaker opposition than India), he averaged less than 9 with a top score of 13. Burns can't complain if he's dropped and Crawley comes in but I would be inclined to give him (Burns) a final chance for this tour; so far, he's registered two ducks and two starts with a 33 and a 25. Those last two scores are frustrating and too common for him but just maybe he could go on in the third Test.

Lawrence out and Bairstow in is another common call. I can't disagree with that. Lawrence has really struggled since the first Test in Sri Lanka where Bairstow did about ok in both matches.
Archer and Crawley have reportedly been bowling and batting respectively in training so will hopefully be available for T3. The bowlers have been getting swing with the same pink balls they will use in the next Test as well which is vital for England's hopes.

I'd agree it's very tough to call what the make up of the side will be, guildford. When under pressure England tend to like experience so I'd bet on Bairstow coming back. Anderson will naturally come back in as well. Other than that there's a lot of variables.

If they are banking on the pink ball swinging and seaming could we see a gamble on 3 seamers? If that were the case would they want Anderson and Broad bowling in tandem? Or would they want Jimmy and two quicks?

If the pitch looks flat and Stokes can't bowl might they even replace Lawrence with Woakes and shunt the batsman up the order? That would allow 2 spinners and 3 seamers still. It wouldn't be my call but Woakes at 7 would be similar depth to Ashwin batting 7 and India just pummeled us in T2 with that make up to their side.

Re Burns I would agree he was starting to show some of his ability against spin. I would also note he has got out once to Ishant and three times to Ashwin. Those are two bowlers renowned for being outstanding bowling to left-handers. Ashwin in particular will fancy bowling at a left-hander opener with the new ball biting into the surface. I can see the arguments for sticking and twisting between Burns and Crawley.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:04 am

king_carlos wrote:https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/india-vs-england-t20i-odi-series-danny-briggs-on-standby-for-england-squad-1252137

Danny Briggs added to the reserves for the limited overs tour against India. I'm really happy about that. I've suggested Briggs as a good candidate for the T20 side before going into the World Cup in India. England have a few bowlers who are potent wicket takers so I think he could be a really good foil by reliably bowling 4 tight overs in the middle to build pressure. His last T20i was 2014 and he's improved a lot as a bowler since then in my opinion.

Hi Carlos - I too think that's a good call. I've liked him in the limited overs game for a long time and have been puzzled as to why he's been so overlooked at international level. I don't know any figures off the top of my head - and it's too late to start looking them up - but as well as being able to keep it tight, he's a leading wicket taker in the county one day formats.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:16 am

guildfordbat wrote:
king_carlos wrote:https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/india-vs-england-t20i-odi-series-danny-briggs-on-standby-for-england-squad-1252137

Danny Briggs added to the reserves for the limited overs tour against India. I'm really happy about that. I've suggested Briggs as a good candidate for the T20 side before going into the World Cup in India. England have a few bowlers who are potent wicket takers so I think he could be a really good foil by reliably bowling 4 tight overs in the middle to build pressure. His last T20i was 2014 and he's improved a lot as a bowler since then in my opinion.

Hi Carlos - I too think that's a good call. I've liked him in the limited overs game for a long time and have been puzzled as to why he's been so overlooked at international level. I don't know any figures off the top of my head - and it's too late to start looking them up - but as well as being able to keep it tight, he's a leading wicket taker in the county one day formats.
I'd guess it's largely due to Rashid and Moeen locking down the spinner spots for a while under Morgan. Mo bowled some really important middle order spells whilst England first improved as a white ball side I thought. Then Plunkett came into his own in that role and displaced Mo just before the CWC win.

England need 3 spinners in their squad for the T20i CWC in India though so hopefully Briggs can break his way in there. Parkinson and Briggs are two really good T20 spinners in the reserves.

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Post by alfie Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:39 am

king_carlos wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
JDizzle wrote:England have announced a 17 man squad for the Third Test.

Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Isn’t this just everyone that is out there at the moment?! Bar the already states reserves. Love the absolute pointlessness of it.

Still too many unknowns to try and narrow this squad down for the next Test.

The pitch. There'll surely be something in it to encourage the spinners but how much?

Fitness. Archer's elbow? Still don't know what's going on with Stokes? Leach and possible fatigue? Anyone else?

Form in the nets. Relevant to those who didn't play last time. How's Bess doing now? What about forgotten man Woakes? And Crawley - see below.

Crawley seems a shoe in for many people's teams. However, if that turns out to be the case, I hope he's shown some form in the nets since damaging his wrist and being unavailable for the last two Tests. There's a possible danger here of him looking better out of the team than in. In his 4 completed Test innings in Sri Lanka (a much weaker opposition than India), he averaged less than 9 with a top score of 13. Burns can't complain if he's dropped and Crawley comes in but I would be inclined to give him (Burns) a final chance for this tour; so far, he's registered two ducks and two starts with a 33 and a 25. Those last two scores are frustrating and too common for him but just maybe he could go on in the third Test.

Lawrence out and Bairstow in is another common call. I can't disagree with that. Lawrence has really struggled since the first Test in Sri Lanka where Bairstow did about ok in both matches.
Archer and Crawley have reportedly been bowling and batting respectively in training so will hopefully be available for T3. The bowlers have been getting swing with the same pink balls they will use in the next Test as well which is vital for England's hopes.

I'd agree it's very tough to call what the make up of the side will be, guildford. When under pressure England tend to like experience so I'd bet on Bairstow coming back. Anderson will naturally come back in as well. Other than that there's a lot of variables.

If they are banking on the pink ball swinging and seaming could we see a gamble on 3 seamers? If that were the case would they want Anderson and Broad bowling in tandem? Or would they want Jimmy and two quicks?

If the pitch looks flat and Stokes can't bowl might they even replace Lawrence with Woakes and shunt the batsman up the order? That would allow 2 spinners and 3 seamers still. It wouldn't be my call but Woakes at 7 would be similar depth to Ashwin batting 7 and India just pummeled us in T2 with that make up to their side.

Re Burns I would agree he was starting to show some of his ability against spin. I would also note he has got out once to Ishant and three times to Ashwin. Those are two bowlers renowned for being outstanding bowling to left-handers. Ashwin in particular will fancy bowling at a left-hander opener with the new ball biting into the surface. I can see the arguments for sticking and twisting between Burns and Crawley.

Oh please don't do that ! Apart from that one innings England have battled to get near 150 as it is..."Shunt the batsmen up" sees Root at three where he really prefers not to go , Stokes at 4 when he's struggling already at 5 , and later Foakes given an even greater task as he seeks to get back into the swing of things - and a likely 8-11 of four number 10s at best... India can afford a long tail if England bowl as poorly again ; but I reckon it could just as easily come back to bite them should the visitors attack get on a roll next week. And I suspect India might also look to lengthen the their batting ahead of the next game.

Agree otherwise with yours and gulidford's sentiments re the many possibilities .

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Post by alfie Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:43 am

msp83 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
* The track for me was pushing boundaries and making it close to favouring the home side too much. I don't expect (or want) the ICC to take any formal action but a quiet word and further monitoring would seem appropriate.

* The last point made, that wasn't the cause of the result. Two reasons for the result. India played consistently well. England didn't.


* I noticed King Carlos mentioned earlier about the soil surface for this and the next Test. On Channel 4 this .
Hi Guildford
Interested to know more about your take on the pitch issue. Don't have you placed among the list of those who moan about the pitch, neither is alfie in there for that matter though we've had an incomplete exchange of view on the issue earlier.
So what exactly is wrong with a pitch that spins from ball one? Particularly if the track stayed more or less consistent throughout the game? How would a flat road turning into life on day 4 preferable to this track? How would it be different to  a track that swings and more imporatantly seams around a lot on day one and flatten out for some time and then become up and down making it more dangerous for batsman considered better in terms of a pitch? In the above 2 scenarios, it has to be noted that the toss is of great, possibly decisive significance.
As for the soil, it was an interesting experimentation with mixed soil types for the 2nd test. Interestingly, the track didn't  completely weather away after 2 days but consistently offered life for bowlers to work with, consistently asking demanding questions of the batsmen, testing their techniques and game awareness. There is a school of thought that says that they shouldn't mix up soil types, but from what we've had in the 2nd test, I think this option has to be kept opened.

Hi again , msp.

I am glad you don't have me down as a professional moaner Smile But as you indicate you feel our earlier exchange was incomplete I think I should elaborate on my views now.

As it happens I reckon guildford has covered much of this already ; but at the risk of repetition I will outline the pertinent details as I see them.

OK : first I did indeed say - very early on in the match - that I thought the pitch appeared most unsuitable for a five day Test. I came to this view primarily for two reasons . (A) Large puffs of dust erupting even in very early overs ; and (B) No less a player than Virat Kohli being totally bamboozled (to the extent that he literally could not believe the ball had really bowled him) and bowled by a ball that spun half a mile - before lunch on day one ! These were not promising signs for anyone with day five tickets Smile

I would also draw your attention to comments by our esteemed colleague KP_fan around the same time : he predicted match scores of "India 200, England 160, India 200, England 120"...which indeed looked feasible to me - and at a total of 680 for the match implied a finish around lunch on day three. I think most of us would agree that is less than ideal ?
In fact it did seem to me that as the game progressed ,the pitch , perhaps surprisingly , did not further deteriorate as much as appeared likely on that first morning - possibly its slowness contributed to the success of some of the better players of spin (pretty well all Indian !) in either surviving the dangerous early overs or making hay as the ball aged. Consequently the game went a bit longer than I had expected . But I don't think that invalidates the notion that it wasn't a "good" pitch for a Test Match.

Should also note that I have said I actually don't mind the occasional "wicked" surface (be that spin crazy or mad greentop) because it presents us with something different , and provides often exciting viewing . Bit tough on the poor old batsmen - but I reckon they have it too soft most of the time anyway these days with all the long lasting pitches , no rest days for weary bowlers , bouncer restrictions...OK , yes , I am a bowler Smile Anyway I stand by that and have no problem with the way this match went down : just would not wish to see every match in a series played on a similar strip. And I suspect that you - even as an Indian fan wanting your side to prevail - would prefer to have your boys do so more in the manner of 2016/17 where they triumphed on an assortment of pitches despite having little luck with the toss , or indeed as they did in the recent tour of Australia - rather than win all games at a canter in conditions that do rather accentuate the home ground advantage to a pronounced degree ?

Incidentally I accept the comparison with over friendly seam and swing days in England (or exceptionally bouncy Aussie tracks , green tops at altitude in SA , etc , for that matter ) And while it was great fun watching Stuart Broad skittle Australia for 60 I really wouldn't want to see that happen every week either - much better to have conditions allow both sides a fair chance ; albeit , naturally enough , one limited by the greater familiarity of the home team with the conditions . And the toss of course , which is always a factor to a greater or lesser degree - though obviously that can go either way. The one caveat I'd place on that is that seamer pitches do tend to ease as the match goes on - which gives the team suffering early in the match some possibility of fighting back. As a general rule the spinner's delight is never going to get any better so there is really only one direction the scores are going...

The other thing with the above is that comparisons don't really have much to do with an honest assessment of this pitch. Two wrongs don't make a right , etc. And of course in this match , as I've been at pains to point out , the excellence of Rohit's batting and the general superiority of the Indian bowling over their England counterparts renders all complaints about "advantage" ridiculous.

What else ? Ah well I suppose I should also comment re the first match . I certainly wouldn't call that an ideal pitch either : was rather too flat initially , and so conferred a huge advantage to whoever batted first , as such pitches do - here or anywhere else. However I think it is a stretch to say that it was as simple as "game decided by the toss" as some have said (not aimed at you - I haven't looked back to see what you had to say after that game ; but I've certainly seen the comment from a number of other sources). My take on that was that England batted very well to make the most of the toss ; but that they would almost assuredly not have reached 578 to bat India out of the game had the Indian bowlers performed as well as they have done this past few days. Ashwin apart , the bowling ranged from ineffective to rather poor - otherwise England might reasonably have been held to perhaps 100 runs and a couple of hours less. India made over 300 in any case : how close might they have come if they'd started batting at tea on the second day , I wonder ? We will never know of course ; and the tourists would still have held an advantage bowling last...but I don't think the result would then have been a foregone conclusion.

I've rambled on long enough , I think (crowd yells "yes , quite enough thank you " Smile

But I hope this all serves to clarify my pitch comments ? Let me know if there is any area I haven't addressed , OK ? Looking forward to the Pink Ball Match...

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Post by KP_fan Thu 18 Feb 2021, 6:20 am

msp83 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
* The track for me was pushing boundaries and making it close to favouring the home side too much. I don't expect (or want) the ICC to take any formal action but a quiet word and further monitoring would seem appropriate.

* The last point made, that wasn't the cause of the result. Two reasons for the result. India played consistently well. England didn't.


* I noticed King Carlos mentioned earlier about the soil surface for this and the next Test. On Channel 4 this .
Hi Guildford
Interested to know more about your take on the pitch issue. Don't have you placed among the list of those who moan about the pitch, neither is alfie in there for that matter though we've had an incomplete exchange of view on the issue earlier.
So what exactly is wrong with a pitch that spins from ball one? Particularly if the track stayed more or less consistent throughout the game? How would a flat road turning into life on day 4 preferable to this track? How would it be different to  a track that swings and more imporatantly seams around a lot on day one and flatten out for some time and then become up and down making it more dangerous for batsman considered better in terms of a pitch? In the above 2 scenarios, it has to be noted that the toss is of great, possibly decisive significance.
As for the soil, it was an interesting experimentation with mixed soil types for the 2nd test. Interestingly, the track didn't  completely weather away after 2 days but consistently offered life for bowlers to work with, consistently asking demanding questions of the batsmen, testing their techniques and game awareness. There is a school of thought that says that they shouldn't mix up soil types, but from what we've had in the 2nd test, I think this option has to be kept opened.

Ohh my gawd msp I just realized reading definitions of "bad pitch" that we can retrospectively claim Adelaide pitch in our recent series in Aus was bad Smile
why?
because we were bowled out for 36 and game over in less than 3 days.

I also realize....Eng is going down 3-1
why?
because their extended Eco-system i.e commentators ,Twitterati, and from there percolating to fans are all drowning in Self-Pity
The Eco-system generally reflects the voice and emotions that English player themselves are too afraid too afraid to voice.

And Self-Pity is a slippery and irreversibly downward slope
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 18 Feb 2021, 7:59 am

The laws of the game aren't really that complicated, using the definition as defined in law 2.7 it was a substandard test pitch.

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Post by Pal Joey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 9:21 am

Soul Requiem wrote:The laws of the game aren't really that complicated, using the definition as defined in law 2.7 it was a substandard test pitch.

Unlike Adelaide.  
I could have slept on that pitch it looked so comfortable to the eye. I think the Indians need a crash course in proper turf management.

Australia generally produces sporting wickets whilst India has a long history of producing doctored ones. I realise there are two types of soil found in the Tamil Nadu area and it was too obvious that both were used on the centre wicket area. Pictures don't lie. The close ups of the cracking patterns was the giveaway. Here, we don't do that sort of thing and I suspect neither does England.

It also has to be mentioned that a couple of posters on here made a big scene during the latest Australian tour - mostly guided by the twitterati media hype - about the 6 people ejected from the SCG on day 2 I think it was? Nothing has subsequently been proven and no charges have been laid.

Personally (with respect to Siraj who had just lost his father) I think that was a beat up of massive proportions. I can tell you from personal experience having been to the ground many times; yes... there have been bunches of idiots calling out offensive things in days gone by (not me.. it's not my style) but I can similarly assure everyone that in early January, this place was on a knife-edge with Covid restrictions (with no energy or will to create a stir!) and for 6 people to get ejected (unlawfully in my view; without any proof ) out of 10,075 attendees - well that's a fine showing of exceptionally good behaviour in my opinion.

I did notice, however, that during this last match in Chennai, there were long periods of the crowd behaving in what can only be described as hysterical fervour. Some might call that simply "emotion" or "excitement" but you'll never convince me that a lot of that intimidating noise wasn't directed at the England players. Of course it was. Or that nothing untoward was said or shouted at poor Broad fielding on the boundary. I don't believe it. It was a pure example of verbal mockery which I found quite hypocritical (as well as disturbing) given the amount one or two posters on here have admonished the Australian crowds.

I know we are opening up a can of worms here. I've already forgotten all of the booing and hissing that accompanied Steve Smith as he walked on and got 'carried' off at the Oval in 2019. It will be interesting to see how we handle the Barmy Army later on in the year. I can't imagine anybody being told by the local authorities (cricketing or otherwise) - "have fun guys... but remember: no naughty words or gestures... otherwise we'll have to pack up the whole show and send everybody home!"  Wink

It's quite a quandary, really, if you think about it for any length of time. Maybe the players need to sign some sort of declaration along the lines of agreeing to be "thick-skinned" and "tone deaf" and "I will not be grossly offended by anything that I may (or may not) hear from the outer..."

My final comment; and I'll let everyone read between the lines here.

I found it extraordinary that the BCCI, with all that dough in their coffers, couldn't (or didn't want to more like!) shell out of few lahk Rupee for the extra camera (to pay whoever), which may have covered the controversial run out. As much as I'm no fan of Rupert Murdoch or his Star India media conglomerate, it's no use blaming him for that one; I thought that was pretty cheap. Did they think they would get away with that? It was funny how an extra camera was suddenly 'found' overnight, wasn't it?

With all the gloating about how much money they make, it would be nice to see the BCCI spend a bit of that money on the necessary technology and it also wouldn't hurt if some of those grandstands got a lick of paint to bring them up to scratch with modern requirements for POPE... Places Of Popular Entertainment. I also saw some rusty old re-bar lying on the concourse during the 1st Test. In Australia, that would result in the immediate closure of the venue (for non-compliance) under the Health & Safety Act - under the dangerous hazards clause.


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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 18 Feb 2021, 9:39 am

Pal Joey wrote:

Unlike Adelaide.  
I could have slept on that pitch it looked so comfortable to the eye. I think the Indians need a crash course in proper turf management.

Australia generally produces sporting wickets whilst India has a long history of producing doctored ones. I realise there are two types of soil found in the Tamil Nadu area and it was too obvious that both were used on the centre wicket area. Pictures don't lie. The close ups of the cracking patterns was the giveaway. Here, we don't do that sort of thing and I suspect neither does England.


There seems to be a reluctance to call things as they are on here for some reason. The pitch was not up to test standards and that much was obvious before lunch on day 1, scores are actually largely irrelevant when qualifying that to be honest. The Trent Bridge pitch in 2015 was by no means a minefield, Australia just batted abysmally, how many dismissals were caught in the cauldron off of poorly executed drives? The Michael Clarke one always sticks in my mind as does Adam Voges.

The Adelaide pitch was tricky yes but again India batted very poorly in their second innings, it wasn't a doctored pitch and with better application both teams should have scored 300. On the flipside England bowled poorly in Chennai and allowed India to rack up what was a far higher score than should have been possible on that pitch. The Ireland test match was difficult not because of the pitch but the overhead conditions that resulted in extravagant movement through the air something unlike a pitch you cannot stipulate for that.

The dukes ball will be mentioned as an unfair factor but the gains from its use are overexaggerated, Anderson was getting the SG ball to talk in ways that no other bowler can. The pitch in the first game didn't deteriorate that much, it just so happens that Bumrah for all his undoubted talent cannot do what Anderson can, the last ashes series highlighted how he can take a tiny bit of help and magnify it five fold.

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Post by msp83 Thu 18 Feb 2021, 10:33 am

KPF, some of the stupid comments from the likes of Michael Vaughn (What a fall he has had from the Ashes winning captain of 2005) does indicate the pitch is playing serious mind games with the extended England Ecosystem. However, unlike South Africa 2015, no England player has come out moaning about the pitch. What Root said was that it was a bit of education for them, and they need more of it to be able to deal with such challenging pitches. So I am not sure this England side is going down 3-1 that easily, India will have to earn it if they are to do it.

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Post by msp83 Thu 18 Feb 2021, 10:41 am

Pal Joey wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The laws of the game aren't really that complicated, using the definition as defined in law 2.7 it was a substandard test pitch.

Unlike Adelaide.  
I could have slept on that pitch it looked so comfortable to the eye. I think the Indians need a crash course in proper turf management.

Australia generally produces sporting wickets whilst India has a long history of producing doctored ones. I realise there are two types of soil found in the Tamil Nadu area and it was too obvious that both were used on the centre wicket area. Pictures don't lie. The close ups of the cracking patterns was the giveaway. Here, we don't do that sort of thing and I suspect neither does England.

It also has to be mentioned that a couple of posters on here made a big scene during the latest Australian tour - mostly guided by the twitterati media hype - about the 6 people ejected from the SCG on day 2 I think it was? Nothing has subsequently been proven and no charges have been laid.

Personally (with respect to Siraj who had just lost his father) I think that was a beat up of massive proportions. I can tell you from personal experience having been to the ground many times; yes... there have been bunches of idiots calling out offensive things in days gone by (not me.. it's not my style) but I can similarly assure everyone that in early January, this place was on a knife-edge with Covid restrictions (with no energy or will to create a stir!) and for 6 people to get ejected (unlawfully in my view; without any proof ) out of 10,075 attendees - well that's a fine showing of exceptionally good behaviour in my opinion.

I did notice, however, that during this last match in Chennai, there were long periods of the crowd behaving in what can only be described as hysterical fervour. Some might call that simply "emotion" or "excitement" but you'll never convince me that a lot of that intimidating noise wasn't directed at the England players. Of course it was. Or that nothing untoward was said or shouted at poor Broad fielding on the boundary. I don't believe it. It was a pure example of verbal mockery which I found quite hypocritical (as well as disturbing) given the amount one or two posters on here have admonished the Australian crowds.

I know we are opening up a can of worms here. I've already forgotten all of the booing and hissing that accompanied Steve Smith as he walked on and got 'carried' off at the Oval in 2019. It will be interesting to see how we handle the Barmy Army later on in the year. I can't imagine anybody being told by the local authorities (cricketing or otherwise) - "have fun guys... but remember: no naughty words or gestures... otherwise we'll have to pack up the whole show and send everybody home!"  Wink

It's quite a quandary, really, if you think about it for any length of time. Maybe the players need to sign some sort of declaration along the lines of agreeing to be "thick-skinned" and "tone deaf" and "I will not be grossly offended by anything that I may (or may not) hear from the outer..."

My final comment; and I'll let everyone read between the lines here.

I found it extraordinary that the BCCI, with all that dough in their coffers, couldn't (or didn't want to more like!) shell out of few lahk Rupee for the extra camera (to pay whoever), which may have covered the controversial run out. As much as I'm no fan of Rupert Murdoch or his Star India media conglomerate, it's no use blaming him for that one; I thought that was pretty cheap. Did they think they would get away with that? It was funny how an extra camera was suddenly 'found' overnight, wasn't it?

With all the gloating about how much money they make, it would be nice to see the BCCI spend a bit of that money on the necessary technology and it also wouldn't hurt if some of those grandstands got a lick of paint to bring them up to scratch with modern requirements for POPE... Places Of Popular Entertainment. I also saw some rusty old re-bar lying on the concourse during the 1st Test. In Australia, that would result in the immediate closure of the venue (for non-compliance) under the Health & Safety Act - under the dangerous hazards clause.
Nice try!

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Post by Pal Joey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 10:59 am

msp83 wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The laws of the game aren't really that complicated, using the definition as defined in law 2.7 it was a substandard test pitch.

Unlike Adelaide.  
I could have slept on that pitch it looked so comfortable to the eye. I think the Indians need a crash course in proper turf management.

Australia generally produces sporting wickets whilst India has a long history of producing doctored ones. I realise there are two types of soil found in the Tamil Nadu area and it was too obvious that both were used on the centre wicket area. Pictures don't lie. The close ups of the cracking patterns was the giveaway. Here, we don't do that sort of thing and I suspect neither does England.

It also has to be mentioned that a couple of posters on here made a big scene during the latest Australian tour - mostly guided by the twitterati media hype - about the 6 people ejected from the SCG on day 2 I think it was? Nothing has subsequently been proven and no charges have been laid.

Personally (with respect to Siraj who had just lost his father) I think that was a beat up of massive proportions. I can tell you from personal experience having been to the ground many times; yes... there have been bunches of idiots calling out offensive things in days gone by (not me.. it's not my style) but I can similarly assure everyone that in early January, this place was on a knife-edge with Covid restrictions (with no energy or will to create a stir!) and for 6 people to get ejected (unlawfully in my view; without any proof ) out of 10,075 attendees - well that's a fine showing of exceptionally good behaviour in my opinion.

I did notice, however, that during this last match in Chennai, there were long periods of the crowd behaving in what can only be described as hysterical fervour. Some might call that simply "emotion" or "excitement" but you'll never convince me that a lot of that intimidating noise wasn't directed at the England players. Of course it was. Or that nothing untoward was said or shouted at poor Broad fielding on the boundary. I don't believe it. It was a pure example of verbal mockery which I found quite hypocritical (as well as disturbing) given the amount one or two posters on here have admonished the Australian crowds.

I know we are opening up a can of worms here. I've already forgotten all of the booing and hissing that accompanied Steve Smith as he walked on and got 'carried' off at the Oval in 2019. It will be interesting to see how we handle the Barmy Army later on in the year. I can't imagine anybody being told by the local authorities (cricketing or otherwise) - "have fun guys... but remember: no naughty words or gestures... otherwise we'll have to pack up the whole show and send everybody home!"  Wink

It's quite a quandary, really, if you think about it for any length of time. Maybe the players need to sign some sort of declaration along the lines of agreeing to be "thick-skinned" and "tone deaf" and "I will not be grossly offended by anything that I may (or may not) hear from the outer..."

My final comment; and I'll let everyone read between the lines here.

I found it extraordinary that the BCCI, with all that dough in their coffers, couldn't (or didn't want to more like!) shell out of few lahk Rupee for the extra camera (to pay whoever), which may have covered the controversial run out. As much as I'm no fan of Rupert Murdoch or his Star India media conglomerate, it's no use blaming him for that one; I thought that was pretty cheap. Did they think they would get away with that? It was funny how an extra camera was suddenly 'found' overnight, wasn't it?

With all the gloating about how much money they make, it would be nice to see the BCCI spend a bit of that money on the necessary technology and it also wouldn't hurt if some of those grandstands got a lick of paint to bring them up to scratch with modern requirements for POPE... Places Of Popular Entertainment. I also saw some rusty old re-bar lying on the concourse during the 1st Test. In Australia, that would result in the immediate closure of the venue (for non-compliance) under the Health & Safety Act - under the dangerous hazards clause.
Nice try!

So you disagree with what I've written?

I only saying what most England fans on here can't say.

Try harder!
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 18 Feb 2021, 11:10 am

alfie wrote:So to the other issues raised :

Moeen and rotation. I have sympathy for Moeen. Not been playing , but stuck in bubble ; Covid keeping him in his cell for weeks...not too surprised he'd had enough. Just a question (and of course we do not know how the conversations between Mo and management before the game had gone) : If he was even a bit "wobbly" coming in - was it wise to pick him ? Could it be they picked him partly in a bid to boost his morale ? Just speculating , I hasten to add.  But given his known fragile confidence , and indeed recent choice to rule himself out for Test selection for a while , it seems to me he was always a bit of a wild card - and possibly too wild for the good of all ? (And his supporters will doubtless say well he didn't do too badly , really. To which I would say (A) He certainly didn't help the team to a result by the dreadfully loose first day spells ; and (B) as guildford noted , messing Bess about may impact his confidence : so the overall effect can hardly be seen as a success...
That said , I wish him all the best : would not rule him out for future Test selection . I did suggest earlier he might be a chance for the home summer : perhaps he'd have been better going home and preparing for it earlier ? Will see what the future brings. And hopefully there will not be any unnecessary ongoing fuss about some messy communications - wouldn't help Root - or Moeen.

Rotation generally is a tricky business. It surely isn't ideal (can mess teams , and players , about ; with the timing obviously having to be planned in advance and sometimes not fitting in to best effect with form and team balance) ; but in the current climate it is basically vital if we don't want to have players end up in the psych ward.

Alfie - to bring discussion round from the tedious pitch discussion and weird England slumber/self pity talk...

You mention Bess's confidence from being dropped, and I hope it won't be hit too badly by it, he seems a strong chap. But, again an example in the Moeen situation, of how they might have been a *touch* too honest for their own good...
They made a bit of a song and dance about Bess being "dropped", it reminded me of how under Flower in Australia, they dropped Finn in the 2010/11 series...I appreciate there are reasons behind both, but I personally think those should be kept behind closed doors when it's detrimental to the view/confidence of the player like the reasons were for this test.
Would anybody have had any issues if England said, Bess needs a rest, we have an experienced backup coming in who may/may not be leaving after this test...Bess will then be ready for T3 and T4? Bess was noticeably weary on day 4 and 5 of the first test, and it did probably impact his bowling (see his figures in the 2nd dig!)...even if it wasn't the true reason, maybe a bit of PR nous should have come into effect there I think...

(it's a hard line to balance, because we will often moan if they aren't honest, and now I am moaning they might have been *too* honest Laugh )
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Post by KP_fan Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:16 pm

msp83 wrote:KPF, some of the stupid comments from the likes of Michael Vaughn (What a fall he has had from the Ashes winning captain of 2005) does indicate the pitch is playing serious mind games with the extended England Ecosystem. However, unlike South Africa 2015, no England player has come out moaning about the pitch. What Root said was that it was a bit of education for them, and they need more of it to be able to deal with such challenging pitches. So I am not sure this England side is going down 3-1 that easily, India will have to earn it if they are to do it.

Naah in this case the Eco System voices what the players want to but are afraid to speak out for fear of some ICC clause they might violate

Its the worst thing EcoSystem can do...to excuse a sub-.standard performance from the players they love hiding behind a charade of Self-Pity.

Self-Pity is not just in professional sport but in any cutting edge professional field a slippery, irreversible downward slope.
The English  Eco-System has already handed the players the love a "justification" for a 3.-1 defeat.....my goodie goodie boys , bloody thugs in the Raj robbed you in broad daylight....not your fault my boy(s) Cool

On the contrary there were no excuses & defense by the Indian Eco-System after Adelaide.....only criticism of the players they loved...ranging between honest and brutal....and look how the India team fought back from there.
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:32 pm

KP_fan wrote:
msp83 wrote:KPF, some of the stupid comments from the likes of Michael Vaughn (What a fall he has had from the Ashes winning captain of 2005) does indicate the pitch is playing serious mind games with the extended England Ecosystem. However, unlike South Africa 2015, no England player has come out moaning about the pitch. What Root said was that it was a bit of education for them, and they need more of it to be able to deal with such challenging pitches. So I am not sure this England side is going down 3-1 that easily, India will have to earn it if they are to do it.

Naah in this case the Eco System voices what the players want to but are afraid to speak out for fear of some ICC clause they might violate

Its the worst thing EcoSystem can do...to excuse a sub-.standard performance from the players they love hiding behind a charade of Self-Pity.

Self-Pity is not just in professional sport but in any cutting edge professional field a slippery, irreversible downward slope.
The English  Eco-System has already handed the players the love a "justification" for a 3.-1 defeat.....my goodie goodie boys , bloody thugs in the Raj robbed you in broad daylight....not your fault my boy(s) Cool

On the contrary there were no excuses & defense by the Indian Eco-System after Adelaide.....only criticism of the players they loved...ranging between honest and brutal....and look how the India team fought back from there.

What a load of self important nonsense. You seem so wrapped up in your new found love for the EcoSystem that you're no longer making any sense. I actually think the England team will take it as a compliment that India know they can only beat them on a substandard pitch.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:40 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:

You mention Bess's confidence from being dropped, and I hope it won't be hit too badly by it, he seems a strong chap. But, again an example in the Moeen situation, of how they might have been a *touch* too honest for their own good...
They made a bit of a song and dance about Bess being "dropped", it reminded me of how under Flower in Australia, they dropped Finn in the 2010/11 series...I appreciate there are reasons behind both, but I personally think those should be kept behind closed doors when it's detrimental to the view/confidence of the player like the reasons were for this test.
Would anybody have had any issues if England said, Bess needs a rest, we have an experienced backup coming in who may/may not be leaving after this test...Bess will then be ready for T3 and T4? Bess was noticeably weary on day 4 and 5 of the first test, and it did probably impact his bowling (see his figures in the 2nd dig!)...even if it wasn't the true reason, maybe a bit of PR nous should have come into effect there I think...

(it's a hard line to balance, because we will often moan if they aren't honest, and now I am moaning they might have been *too* honest Laugh )

I think you've got to act on a case by case basis. Moeen for instance seems like the kind of character who needs a softer approach whereas Bess being a more confrontational character should react well to a tougher response, don't think an arm round the shoulder would do him much good.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:41 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
alfie wrote:So to the other issues raised :

Moeen and rotation. I have sympathy for Moeen. Not been playing , but stuck in bubble ; Covid keeping him in his cell for weeks...not too surprised he'd had enough. Just a question (and of course we do not know how the conversations between Mo and management before the game had gone) : If he was even a bit "wobbly" coming in - was it wise to pick him ? Could it be they picked him partly in a bid to boost his morale ? Just speculating , I hasten to add.  But given his known fragile confidence , and indeed recent choice to rule himself out for Test selection for a while , it seems to me he was always a bit of a wild card - and possibly too wild for the good of all ? (And his supporters will doubtless say well he didn't do too badly , really. To which I would say (A) He certainly didn't help the team to a result by the dreadfully loose first day spells ; and (B) as guildford noted , messing Bess about may impact his confidence : so the overall effect can hardly be seen as a success...
That said , I wish him all the best : would not rule him out for future Test selection . I did suggest earlier he might be a chance for the home summer : perhaps he'd have been better going home and preparing for it earlier ? Will see what the future brings. And hopefully there will not be any unnecessary ongoing fuss about some messy communications - wouldn't help Root - or Moeen.

Rotation generally is a tricky business. It surely isn't ideal (can mess teams , and players , about ; with the timing obviously having to be planned in advance and sometimes not fitting in to best effect with form and team balance) ; but in the current climate it is basically vital if we don't want to have players end up in the psych ward.  

Alfie - to bring discussion round from the tedious pitch discussion and weird England slumber/self pity talk...

You mention Bess's confidence from being dropped, and I hope it won't be hit too badly by it, he seems a strong chap. But, again an example in the Moeen situation, of how they might have been a *touch* too honest for their own good...
They made a bit of a song and dance about Bess being "dropped", it reminded me of how under Flower in Australia, they dropped Finn in the 2010/11 series...I appreciate there are reasons behind both, but I personally think those should be kept behind closed doors when it's detrimental to the view/confidence of the player like the reasons were for this test.
Would anybody have had any issues if England said, Bess needs a rest, we have an experienced backup coming in who may/may not be leaving after this test...Bess will then be ready for T3 and T4? Bess was noticeably weary on day 4 and 5 of the first test, and it did probably impact his bowling (see his figures in the 2nd dig!)...even if it wasn't the true reason, maybe a bit of PR nous should have come into effect there I think...

(it's a hard line to balance, because we will often moan if they aren't honest, and now I am moaning they might have been *too* honest Laugh )
Those were my thoughts as well Olly. Archer injured, Anderson rested, Bess dropped. Given it seemed likely that Bess would play another part in the series and he looked fatigued playing 3 Tests in succession (he really hasn't bowled a huge number of overs in his short career so that fatigue will happen) resting him would have been a reasonable call anyway.

I hop Bess comes back well when he next plays in this series. It wouldn't massively surprise me if England try to get 3 seamers into the side for T3 with Leach the front line spinner and Root offering a change option. Even if Bess doesn't play the day-night Test he will almost certainly come in for T4.

His bowling is a work in progress no doubt but I do like Bess as a cricketer. He clearly has character, bats well, is excellent in the field and vitally for a young English finger spinner he can put revs on the ball. He doesn't predominantly bowl arm balls as we've seen from plenty of English spinners in the past.

I rate Leach higher and think he should be England's no 1 spinner, which he appears to be cementing himself as now fit and healthy. Bess moving to a new county is a good move though IMO and I hope he keeps developing with Yorkshire.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:45 pm

I would like to see Leach or Bess try and develop a wrong un for the subcontinent, Ashwin doesn't bowl his Carrom Ball very often but by him having it in his repertoire puts added pressure on the batsman.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:53 pm

Mo goes for £700k in the IPL auction (CSK). Tom Curran nets £525k with the Delhi Capitals. Dawid Malan goes to Punjab for £150k.

Roy, Billings and Rashid went unsold. As did Alex Hales.

It always surprises me that Dilly hasn't played more franchise cricket. There are a lot of good spinners in India of course so many franchises might prefer to target all rounders and keepers for their overseas players. Dilly is such a class act in white ball cricket these days though.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Thu 18 Feb 2021, 1:56 pm

king_carlos wrote:Dawid Malan goes to Punjab for £150k.


No 1 ranked T20 international batsman goes for £150k!

That's a snip.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by king_carlos Thu 18 Feb 2021, 2:07 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Dawid Malan goes to Punjab for £150k.


No 1 ranked T20 international batsman goes for £150k!

That's a snip.
An absolute steal for Punjab. Malan's consistency should see him do well over the course of a longer tournament.

It's remarkable how well Malan has adapted his game to keep up with modern T20 cricket. His T20 debut for Middlesex against Surrey in 2006 feels like a throwback to a different era. Scott Styris as his skipper and Chris Silverwood leading the Middlesex bowling attack. Tim Murtagh was still a Surrey player. Ali Brown and James Benning was one of the earlier T20 opening partnerships to adopt very aggressive pinch hitting in the power play. Nayan Dhoshi one of the earlier spinners along with Jeremy Snape to show that spin could be a great weapon in the shortest form.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 18 Feb 2021, 2:11 pm

king_carlos wrote:Mo goes for £700k in the IPL auction (CSK). Tom Curran nets £525k with the Delhi Capitals. Dawid Malan goes to Punjab for £150k.

Roy, Billings and Rashid went unsold. As did Alex Hales.

It always surprises me that Dilly hasn't played more franchise cricket. There are a lot of good spinners in India of course so many franchises might prefer to target all rounders and keepers for their overseas players. Dilly is such a class act in white ball cricket these days though.

Trying to understand IPL teams approach to team building is a mentally draining and fruitless exercise - Chris Morris the most expensive player! Moises Henriques is going to be making the same amount as Jos Buttler in the next edition!

Think Rashid's problem in terms of the IPL, as you say, is there are plenty of young Indian spinners floating about the franchises...it makes more sense for them to spend on overseas batsmen and all rounder/seamers, unfortunately.

Might still get sold later on of course...lets hope
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