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England's Summer of Cricket 2021

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Post by Duty281 Fri 14 May 2021, 9:39 pm

2nd June-14th June: Two tests v New Zealand

23rd June-26th June: Three T20s v Sri Lanka
29th June-4th July: Three ODIs v Sri Lanka

8th July-13th July: Three ODIs v Pakistan
16th July-20th July: Three T20s V Pakistan

4th August-14th September: Five Tests v India

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Post by Duty281 Fri 14 May 2021, 9:41 pm

Starting off with the news that England's IPL contingent are unlikely to feature in the first test v New Zealand, meaning that the likes of Craig Overton, James Bracey and Ollie Robinson are almost certainly going to be called up.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/57122801

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 14 May 2021, 10:43 pm

Duty281 wrote:Starting off with the news that England's IPL contingent are unlikely to feature in the first test v New Zealand, meaning that the likes of Craig Overton, James Bracey and Ollie Robinson are almost certainly going to be called up.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/57122801

Thanks for that, Duty.

On that basis, I would also expect another Test for Foakes.

Having posted his concern about potential burnout for Silverwood following Smith's departure, Olly will welcome Silverwood standing back from the limited overs games this summer for something of a breather.

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Post by alfie Mon 17 May 2021, 4:22 am

Archer also ruled out (of both NZ matches)due to ongoing injury problems. Certainly some opportunities for pace bowling options this month ; although I'd imagine Broad and Anderson will be the first choices - and Wood and Stone are there too so may only see one of the fringe bowlers getting a run out ?
Injury and workload likely to mean chances throughout the summer anyway , I suspect.

I do wonder if we are actually ever going to see a lot of Archer at Test level , given the repetitive nature of his injuries.  Might be that he will end up as something of a limited over specialist if his body just doesn't handle the grind of the long form game over a prolonged period.  I know a lot of hope has been generated about his possible influence on Ashes tours in Australia - but I'm not at all sure we can assume he will even make that trip later this year.

I may be totally wrong and he may recover completely and prove his fitness in August against India. But I hope Wood and Stone (who have had their own injury issues !) are fit and firing because putting too much faith in one fast bowler being ready for action at the right time might well end in tears...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 17 May 2021, 12:01 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Starting off with the news that England's IPL contingent are unlikely to feature in the first test v New Zealand, meaning that the likes of Craig Overton, James Bracey and Ollie Robinson are almost certainly going to be called up.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/57122801

Thanks for that, Duty.

On that basis, I would also expect another Test for Foakes.

Having posted his concern about potential burnout for Silverwood following Smith's departure, Olly will welcome Silverwood standing back from the limited overs games this summer for something of a breather.

Did note that too Guildford! Very Happy

Shame re: Archer and his ongoing elbow issue...but not really uncommon with quicks to be managing issues with their body early in their test careers. This is the first time I can remember Mark Wood going a prolonged period without some major injury, and he made his international debut in 2015...Pat Cummins took ages to get his back right after his initial debut in 2011 before being able to play test matches - might just take some time for Archer to get his elbow sorted to a point he can play consistently.
Touch wood, Olly Stone seems to be unscathed through the early season so far, so hopefully he can contribute over the summer. Hoping they give Robinson a go in the NZ tests if Woakes/Curran etc are out...imagine we will see Broad/Anderson/Robinson and then maybe a Wood/Stone as the seam attack?
I do wonder if they might go without a "frontline" spinner in the absence of the seaming all rounder, and just have Root/Lawrence bowl any spin overs needed.
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Post by JDizzle Mon 17 May 2021, 6:38 pm

I don’t think Stuart Broad signed Ed Smith’s leaving card...

https://twitter.com/wisdencricket/status/1394343785304403969?s=21

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 18 May 2021, 9:48 am

I see Cameron Bancroft has whipped off the scab of Newlands 2018 and is causing the Aussie existential crisis again
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Post by KP_fan Tue 18 May 2021, 2:30 pm

It is more like summer & autumn of cricket, with the indian leg being on the autumn side.
Less Heat and less chances of dry baked pitches I guess.

India has a 20 man squad....with two Notable exclusions.
Pandya who was  not being bowled during ODIs to preserve him for "6 tests in Eng" as a Bowling all rounders.....hasn't made it , surely due to an injury.....injury that did not heal...or picked up in IPL

Leaving Bhuvi out is a glaring and atrocious exclusion....given he is a decent lower order batsman also.

The Eng series in Ind just seemed to have finished and they are starting all over again so quickly......its too much cricket too soon between the same two sides...I think.

India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).

Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla


I have a feeling though Bhuvi and Vijay Shankar might make the cut after the NZ test and before the start of Eng games


Last edited by KP_fan on Tue 18 May 2021, 2:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by KP_fan Tue 18 May 2021, 2:37 pm

alfie wrote:Archer also ruled out (of both NZ matches)due to ongoing injury problems. Certainly some opportunities for pace bowling options this month ; although I'd imagine Broad and Anderson will be the first choices - and Wood and Stone are there too so may only see one of the fringe bowlers getting a run out ?
Injury and workload likely to mean chances throughout the summer anyway , I suspect.

I do wonder if we are actually ever going to see a lot of Archer at Test level , given the repetitive nature of his injuries.  Might be that he will end up as something of a limited over specialist if his body just doesn't handle the grind of the long form game over a prolonged period.  I know a lot of hope has been generated about his possible influence on Ashes tours in Australia - but I'm not at all sure we can assume he will even make that trip later this year.

I may be totally wrong and he may recover completely and prove his fitness in August against India. But I hope Wood and Stone (who have had their own injury issues !) are fit and firing because putting too much faith in one fast bowler being ready for action at the right time might well end in tears...

Archer's  second injury  to the same elbow on the same hand and via a glass shard carrying a fish bowl ( or aquarium) seemed fishy in the first place.
Because it conveniently absolved ECB for over-using Archer with a chronic Elbow injury.
In Eng, though Eng will get away without Archer...for Anderson, Board and Woakes would be a handful..
And I believe the 7 footer Reece Topley with his high arm action releasing the ball from almost 10 feet height could be very hard to handle if he finds even some seam movement. They should play him against Indians who are perennially weak against left arm seam.

Aus & subcontinent is where Archer's skiddy pace and reverse will make a difference. Elbow injuries for sure are treatable for good with surgery and a lot of rest. The key is to not hurry back in the lure of not losing some bucks in some Franchise cricket.
I wish we get to see Archer in tests for a long time
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Post by king_carlos Tue 18 May 2021, 3:06 pm

I'm really not sure what there is suspicious about the fish tank stuff. The only reason that Archer ended up having a procedure for that was after heading home from India early due to the elbow injury so hardly like it was used to pretend the elbow was fine. When it was announced he was missing the ODI and T20i series it was stated it was due to the elbow, then news of the glass shard came with him back in England about a week or two later. Seems a bit of tinfoil hat logic going on to make that seem like a conspiracy!

England have definitely been guilty of over bowling Archer in individual Tests particularly when the conditions haven't suited his strengths and the lengths he's been instructed to bowl didn't suit him either.

England have a tendency to lose their minds a bit when genuine quicks come along and misuse them though. Hopefully having a few at once in Archer, Wood and Stone can help encourage rotation.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 18 May 2021, 3:14 pm

Squad for the NZ series is as expected and widely reported - IPL guys missing out, Stokes/Archer injured and Bracey/Robinson/Craig Overton as part of the 15.

Squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

Certainly with no Woakes, Stokes or even Sam Curran/Bess it's going to be interesting to see how they balance the side. I struggle to see them going with Pope/Foakes at 5/6 and then have five bowlers...but maybe they will.

And then obviously pitch comes into play, in terms of selecting a spinner or an all seam attack.

Lots of variables in play - one thing I do struggle to see is Bracey playing barring an injury, or Sibley not recovering from his finger injury as expected. I'd imagine they'll want to give the Sibley/Burns/Crawley top 3 another good go
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Post by Duty281 Tue 18 May 2021, 8:59 pm

Assuming it'll be: Burns, Sibley, Crawley, Root, Lawrence, Pope, Foakes for the top seven. Bracey steps in if Sibley's injured.

Presume Leach gets picked, as does one of Stone or Wood (one test each for them?), then one of Broad/Anderson (one test each?), and one of Overton/Robinson (one test each?).

Think NZ are a lovely price at 7/2 to win the series. I make England narrow favourites at best, maybe it's just 50-50. NZ have the potential to devastate England with both bat and ball, even if they are missing Boult.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 19 May 2021, 1:47 am

Not the summer, but the winter's Ashes series looking a little different, with a later start and finishing in Perth:

1st Test: 8-12 December – Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test: 16-20 December – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (Day/night)
3rd Test: 26-30 December – MCG, Melbourne
4th Test: 5-9 January – SCG, Sydney
5th Test: 14-18 January – Optus Stadium, Perth

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Post by alfie Wed 19 May 2021, 8:14 am

Squad as expected. Can't see them going with five bowlers : if conditions allow , they may very well be happy to let Root handle what spin is felt necessary and go in with something like Robinson/Wood/Broad/Anderson for the first Test. Then depending on what happens , rotation may follow.
Might see Bracey in a game too : no reason batsmen can't be "rotated" , is there ?

NZ will likely be a handful so I think they will want the "best available" lineup for the first game at least.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 19 May 2021, 4:10 pm

Although I'm not a great fan of his bowling, Lawrence is another spin option from the batters.

He's bowled circa 50 overs for Essex this season taking 5 wickets and going at 3 per over. That's nothing more than ok but it might go some way to plugging a small gap.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 19 May 2021, 4:15 pm

alfie wrote:Squad as expected. Can't see them going with five bowlers : if conditions allow , they may very well be happy to let Root handle what spin is felt necessary and go in with something like Robinson/Wood/Broad/Anderson for the first Test. Then depending on what happens , rotation may follow.
Might see Bracey in a game too : no reason batsmen can't be "rotated" , is there ?

NZ will likely be a handful so I think they will want the "best available" lineup for the first game at least.

I do wonder if either side will actually play a "specialist" spinner Alfie - albeit with Boult out for NZ, it probably makes it more likely that Santner plays and bats 7/8 alongside Mitchell, and they form a sort of 4th bowler between them...but if I had to guess their XI I'd go

Latham
Blundell
Williamson
Taylor
Nicholls
Watling (wk)
Mitchell
Jamieson
Henry
Southee
Wagner

But you could see Santner in for Henry to strengthen the batting and offer a spin option.
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Post by king_carlos Wed 19 May 2021, 4:37 pm

I'd guess that England will bank on Anderson and Broad together at least for T1. With Stokes and Buttler out Root is already shorn of two key members from the 'leadership group' that England have gravitated towards in recent years.

I'd guess England will go with four front line bowlers with Jimmy and Broad supported by two from Leach, Robinson and Wood. There's been a lot of noise about Robinson in the media, the prevailing wisdom seems to be he's rated highly by Silverwood. Robinson also bats which will help with with Woakes and Surran unavailable to bat at 8.

There's an argument that England would be shrewd to prepare a wicket with some spin given it's a rare case where our spinner is significantly superior to opposition options. I rate Santner for the balance he has brought to NZ but I'd describe him more as a "useful cricketer" than a Test spinner. He has 84 FC wickets at 46.6 after all. Leach does have red flags in his record with his average to left-handers compared to right-handers, his first innings record compared to second innings record and even his record away from Taunton compared to at home in the CC. If there is turn on offer he can bowl England to victory though which a spinner in Santner that's never taken a first-class five-fer really shouldn't be doing even with how England play spin at times.

A green top will always suit England's bowling options but NZ can bowl very well on them too even without Boult. A batting track would suit NZ given they have experience bowling on flat tracks at home in recent years.

I really rate Latham so I'm looking forward to his battle with Jimmy and/or Broad bowling with a new Dukes ball. Jamieson is such an exciting talent in Test cricket as well. I reckon Southee could have a good series as well, his record in England is already very respectable but I think he's a better bowler now than ever.

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Post by JDizzle Wed 19 May 2021, 9:09 pm

alfie wrote:Squad as expected. Can't see them going with five bowlers : if conditions allow , they may very well be happy to let Root handle what spin is felt necessary and go in with something like Robinson/Wood/Broad/Anderson for the first Test. Then depending on what happens , rotation may follow.
Might see Bracey in a game too : no reason batsmen can't be "rotated" , is there ?

NZ will likely be a handful so I think they will want the "best available" lineup for the first game at least.

Whilst any England team I type out doesn't look in any way balanced with no Stokes/Woakes/Curran, I think this is the way I am leaning too - with Root and Lawrence handling the spin duties. Certainly Lords hasn't tended to take much spin in recent years and they can reassess for Test 2 at Edgbaston.

I can't see them batting Foakes at 6 with Overton/Robinson at 7/8, so 7 batters is a must. Then with four bowlers, if you pick Leach, then I think you have to pick Jimmy and Broad together as otherwise you are left with a very inexperienced seam attack and not much depth if one of the three goes around bit.

I'd still pick Jimmy and Broad in a four man seam attack to be fair, but it does allow you a bit of flexibility.

It will be interesting to see who takes the new ball. As they did mix it up a bit last summer and Robinson and Overton are very much new ball bowlers and whether they can succession plan a bit. Plus it is never bad to give Stuart Broad some ammunition to pin up on his hotel room door.

Burns, Sibley, Crawley, Root, Pope, Lawrence, Foakes, Robinson, Broad, Stone/Wood, Anderson - with Overton in for one of Broad/Anderson/Robinson depending on first Test performance.

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Post by JDizzle Thu 20 May 2021, 3:07 pm

Jofra to be operated on tomorrow. Fingers crossed this is a long term solution.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 20 May 2021, 10:41 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/20/england-under-pressure-to-reschedule-or-cancel-fifth-test-against-india

Potential argument in the offing between the ECB and BCCI.

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Post by KP_fan Fri 21 May 2021, 8:10 am

Duty281 wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/20/england-under-pressure-to-reschedule-or-cancel-fifth-test-against-india

Potential argument in the offing between the ECB and BCCI.

BCCI does such drama of making demands throwing their weight with implicit threats in almost every series.
Sadly their hosts comply, though I would like to see likes of ACB and ECB stand up more firmly
Albeit I don't think the realistic Corona situation on ground may necessarily be good enuf to resume IPL by that time
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Post by king_carlos Fri 21 May 2021, 1:21 pm

By jumping into bed together as 'the big three' the ECB and CA arguably surrendered their ability to stand up to the BCCI. Between them they control the governance of international cricket these days but the BCCI are by far the biggest hitter, meaning that the ECB and CA won't step out of line for fear of being given the boot. Better being the less powerful duo in the most powerful trio than seeing the big three split up and being the most powerful duo amongst the boards with little to no power at all would seem the status quo the ECB and CA are satisfied with.

Australian crickets finances are an odd one. Before coronavirus the noise coming out of Australian cricket seemed to be that the Big Bash had underpinned their finances but when covid hit they seemed to be in dire straits almost immediately and without any real explanation of where the money had gone.

Cricket in the Olympics is an interesting example of the BCCI, ECB and CA working together like that. Whilst cricket at the Olympics wouldn't be perfect (worries about pitches, which format and another Olympic sport where the Olympics isn't the pinnacle) it would benefit the women's game, disability cricket and associate nations enormously in growing the game. The BCCI have been against it due to not wanting to surrender any control of cricket in India to the Indian Olympic Association, the ECB have been against it as the Olympics would clash with our summer every 4 years and CA have seemingly been against it because of worries about lost revenue if bilateral series against India and England have to be played less frequently. Between the 3 of them they've quashed cricket returning to the Olympics for shortsighted personal gain, though there does finally seem to be movement in that regard as pressure to grow the game builds.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri 21 May 2021, 2:08 pm

I'm a tad surprised the IPL are looking at England for the rest of the tournament, especially in late summer...you'd figure they would be looking for somewhere with more certain weather?

I'd quite like to see it personally - and if the ECB are smart, they might use a nice cash injection to filter out to counties to help with Covid losses...(a man can dream of this right!)
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Post by JDizzle Sun 23 May 2021, 8:16 pm

Reading a piece on Broad from Andy Zaltzman - TMS stats man, and he has this absolute gem on Broad:

‘Broad’s average of ten in his 41 four-wicket innings is the best of the lot, pipping Curtly Ambrose and S. F. Barnes. When he takes six or more, he averages seven – the best of the 26 bowlers with at least
eight six- fors. He has been exceptional among the exceptional.’

He doesn’t do it as much these days and is a more rounded and consistent bowler than he ever has been, but my word, those Broad spells are truly historical.

https://wisden.com/almanack/stuart-broad-one-of-the-most-destructive-highest-impact-bowlers-in-test-history

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Post by Duty281 Wed 26 May 2021, 12:23 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/25/ipl-conclusion-to-be-crunched-after-ecb-holds-firm-on-dates-for-india-tests

The ECB remains resolute and the fifth test will stay where it is in the calendar.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/26/england-second-test-against-new-zealand-to-have-18000-fans-edgbaston-cricket

And 18,000 fans expected for the second test v NZ at Edgbaston. Nearly back to normal.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 26 May 2021, 12:29 pm

JDizzle wrote:Reading a piece on Broad from Andy Zaltzman - TMS stats man, and he has this absolute gem on Broad:

‘Broad’s average of ten in his 41 four-wicket innings is the best of the lot, pipping Curtly Ambrose and S. F. Barnes. When he takes six or more, he averages seven – the best of the 26 bowlers with at least
eight six- fors. He has been exceptional among the exceptional.’

He doesn’t do it as much these days and is a more rounded and consistent bowler than he ever has been, but my word, those Broad spells are truly historical.

https://wisden.com/almanack/stuart-broad-one-of-the-most-destructive-highest-impact-bowlers-in-test-history

Enjoyed this JDizzle thanks for sharing - certainly when I think of memorable bowling spells by England players in the last decade or so, Broad probably fills up a lot of the top 10!
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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed 26 May 2021, 1:24 pm

So Foakes is injured having a little fall down, I see

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Post by JDizzle Wed 26 May 2021, 1:36 pm

Foakes out of the Test squad after slipping in the dressing room vs Middlesex, and he is expected to be out for three months so must be nasty.

Billings and Hameed called up. Bracey expected to keep - and the first time in a long time a top order County batsman will be shoe horned in down the order (presumably) rather than vice versa!

Billings seems an odd call up at first but his FC record is okay (average of 35) and he is unlikely to play. Hameed’s recall is too early, especially if he misses any FC cricket. Not too bothered if he joins up after Notts are done in red ball for this section of the season.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 26 May 2021, 1:41 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/57256555

Blimey, yes, Foakes out for three months after slipping in the dressing room. Slipping? What is it with England players and slipping? Crawley did it in India and missed a couple of tests. Now Foakes is likely to miss the whole summer.

Bracey now almost guaranteed to make his debut. The best defensive batsman in County Cricket.

Hameed also inserted into the squad. Nice that Hameed is still on England's radar, I just hope it isn't too soon for him. He's had a decent start to the season, averaging nearly 53 with the bat, but nothing earth-shattering.

Billings also added as a backup keeper...never had him down as anywhere close to a test player, in truth, but with Buttler and Foakes out needs must. Plus Billings has only played once for Kent this season - there must be a better fourth-choice keeper?

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Post by JDizzle Wed 26 May 2021, 1:50 pm

Fifth choice really I guess - behind Buttler, Foakes, Bairstow and Bracey? I’m not sure there is really!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 26 May 2021, 2:07 pm

The meh showing in India, an average of 37 with the bat to start the season and now this injury...one wonders if Mr Foakes has conspired through some poor luck and meh performances to rather bungle his big opportunity at establishing himself as a test player.

Great chance for Bracey to put himself in the conversation now, and a slice of luck for Burns who from what I’d read, was likely to be left out for Bracey as a bat
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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 26 May 2021, 2:19 pm

I wouldn't have selected Hameed either but averaging over 50 opening the batting at this time of the year is seriously good going.

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Post by Jetty Wed 26 May 2021, 2:26 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:The meh showing in India, an average of 37 with the bat to start the season and now this injury...one wonders if Mr Foakes has conspired through some poor luck and meh performances to rather bungle his big opportunity at establishing himself as a test player.

Great chance for Bracey to put himself in the conversation now, and a slice of luck for Burns who from what I’d read, was likely to be left out for Bracey as a bat

Why would Burns be left out....61.55 in the cc

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Post by Duty281 Wed 26 May 2021, 3:02 pm

Jetty wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:The meh showing in India, an average of 37 with the bat to start the season and now this injury...one wonders if Mr Foakes has conspired through some poor luck and meh performances to rather bungle his big opportunity at establishing himself as a test player.

Great chance for Bracey to put himself in the conversation now, and a slice of luck for Burns who from what I’d read, was likely to be left out for Bracey as a bat

Why would Burns be left out....61.55 in the cc

Because he isn't a test standard player and is only averaging 30 after 42 test innings.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 26 May 2021, 4:56 pm

1.Burns
2.Sibley
3.Crawley
4.Root
5.Pope
6.Lawrence
7.Bracey (wk)
8.Robinson/Overton
9.Wood/Leach
10.Broad
11.Anderson

Far from perfect but far from terrible as well.

Bracey has a great chance to claim a batting spot longer term. I've seen him bat live a couple of times and really rate him. He seemed to have a very compact game batting early on but does have the strokes to build from there. Being a top order batsman by trade means that Crawley and Burns would be under pressure if Bracey gets runs as well as Pope and Lawrence.

Burns and Sibley have been an improvement on some openers in recent times but the two of them still average only a smidgen over 30 in Test cricket after a combined 41 Tests.

England will be desperate for Pope to have a good summer so that 4.Root 5.Stokes 6.Pope at least looks like a solid spine to the batting in the middle order again.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 26 May 2021, 5:48 pm

I think Sibley, unlike Burns, has potential to markedly improve on his current test average. He struggled immensely in the sub-continent against spin, but then we all thought he would. In South Africa he averaged 54, in the home series against the West Indies he averaged 45, although he was admittedly poor against Pakistan at home with an average of 24.5. I think, and hope, he can perform decently this summer in familiar conditions. He may not be a long-term opener, but in the medium-term I like what he offers to England in non-subcontinent conditions.

Will be interesting to see how Bracey fares outside of the top four and inside an international environment. Good analysis of him here:

https://www.cricviz.com/james-bracey-the-best-defence-in-england/

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Post by king_carlos Wed 26 May 2021, 6:46 pm

Cricviz are excellent and that article is no different to usual. Really interesting.

Sibley has a game that I think could go well in Australian conditions which will help him stay in the team at least medium term as you say. He's not cowed by pace and comfortable playing the ball above the hip.

I was frustrated with Burns in India. I think he has got a game against spin and could have done better in alien conditions but just didn't back himself after getting out reverse sweeping in the first innings of T1. My worry is that he has too many technical flaws for top quality seamers and quicks to target at Test level.

Crawley might be a simple case of a player who will need time back in domestic cricket to work out his game having had a taste of Test cricket. He's definitely talented and has natural strengths that can suit batting 3 very well but he is still very raw. Many top Test batsman had to go away and work on his game after early chances so he wouldn't be the first or last by any means if that ends up being the case.

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Post by JDizzle Wed 26 May 2021, 7:53 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:I wouldn't have selected Hameed either but averaging over 50 opening the batting at this time of the year is seriously good going.

Just having a look at the 2021 Stats I make the below openers averaging 50 this year:

Ricardo Vasconcelos (23) - 2021 CC Average of 70.42 - Career Average 39.60
Jake Libby (28) - 67.88 - 34.10
Rory Burns (30) - 61.55 - 42.44
Adam Lyth (33) - 59.77 - 38.36
Haseeb Hamed (24) - 52.66 - 32.90
Ian Holland (30) - 50.20 - 28.61
James Bracey (24) - 47.90 - 36.78

With a couple of Alex's in Davies and Lees averaging in the high 40s this year too, it is certainly a boon of a year for opening batsman. I would agree there can't have been many year where it has looked like this!

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed 26 May 2021, 11:38 pm

30 as an English opener counts for more. There's got to be an equivalent average formula

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Post by king_carlos Thu 27 May 2021, 12:47 am

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:30 as an English opener counts for more. There's got to be an equivalent average formula

Even Warner who has been infamously terrible by his standards in England averages 26 in Ashes Tests here and has passed fifty on 7 occasions in 25 innings. Burns averages 31 in England and has passed fifty 5 times in 22 innings. So Warner actually passes fifty in England slightly more often than Burns, though Burns does have 1 Test century in England to Warner's none though.

Worth noting that whilst Burns averages 5 runs an innings higher than Warner in England he has faced variable opposition in home Tests. Whereas Warner's Tests in England have obviously all been against mixtures of Anderson, Broad, Swann, Woakes, Archer, etc, etc bowling with a new Dukes in home conditions.

So basically I think Burns has been somewhere between inconsistent and poor, rather than just unfortunate to play lots of Tests in England. I'm a Burns fan as well, I do think that he has added more stability than many for a long while at the top. When Silverwood took over and changed the way the side batted it was important to have top order players that bought into those changes and Burns did that by blunting the new ball to good effect at times, but not yet often enough.

If England are to keep improving under Silverwood they will need more than Root and Stokes to step up though. Currently every other batsman that's been through the side recently averages under 35 in Test cricket.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 28 May 2021, 7:35 am

Recall of Hameed seems to be a mixture of the influence of Giles and a long term view to help support his longer term rehabilitation. Bear in mind there's still no Lions and likely wont be this winter. I don't think he's really in the frame for a starting test spot in this series. As noted by others his CC form is good rather than breath taking (and D2), it took Dom Sibley a season and a half of better scores to break in and Burns is the stand out batsman this summer so far.

Theres also always going to be questions about him in Australia which is the next big tour. But longer term in Asia, at risk of stereotyping him, it would be good to have a specialist project player in the bank. its crazy that hes still on 24, same age as the likes of Bracey!

Bearing in mind England have recently featured Denly for an extended period in the test side I dont have a problem at all with him being in the squad, but nor do I see the current top 3 as Englands worst by any stretch. It is an after thought though, he wasnt in the initial selection so hes surely very much a reserve.

As Carlos says England have full stop struggled to produce consistent test class batsmen for a long period now. Cook and Root are the only vaguely recent batsmen to be in that "world class" bracket, Stokes gets a lot of plaudits for a couple of years of good scores but still overall his record with the bat in tests isn't special and will continue to sit out at least one series a year even when fit. Home conditions aside (and theres been some flat decks) England need multiple batsmen who can sustain averages around 40 as much as they need some bowlers who can take wickets overseas.

Have to feel for Foakes who seems to have got the Leach habit of avoiding caps. Leach himself actually fit for a whole year is likely to be sat on the balcony again anyway, the assumption has to be they wont play a spinner with most of the all rounders left out and the weak top 6.

I'm also going to go back and delete the post where I mocked Billings for his talk of targeting a test call. Im assuming Bracey will play. Its actually a little odd that Billings is the guy coming in given he will have to spend the white ball games in the bubble and they are leaving out players to avoid them spending the whole summer in bubbles, but I guess with the other three senior keepers unavailable hes the nearest thing they have to an experienced option to help mentor Bracey and act as injury reserve.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 28 May 2021, 8:13 am

Ben Stokes

2016: 45.2
2017: 43.91
2018: 26.85
2019: 45.61
2020: 58.27

With the exception of 2018 when outside influences caused by himself admittedly he's been hovering around the 45 average mark for quite a while now.

With Ollie Pope and Rory Burns in the squad, is there really any need for Billings?

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Post by king_carlos Fri 28 May 2021, 1:24 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Recall of Hameed seems to be a mixture of the influence of Giles and a long term view to help support his longer term rehabilitation. Bear in mind there's still no Lions and likely wont be this winter. I don't think he's really in the frame for a starting test spot in this series. As noted by others his CC form is good rather than breath taking (and D2), it took Dom Sibley a season and a half of better scores to break in and Burns is the stand out batsman this summer so far.

One thing I'd pull you up on there, Goose. It's a conference system so not Div 2.

Hameed's centuries did both came against Worcestershire, who were second last in D2 in 2019 after being relegated from D1 in 2018, on a feather bed. He also got a second innings fifty against Derbyshire with the ball doing plenty, a second innings fifty against a strong Warwickshire attack and 49 against Essex on a really tough Trent Bridge pitch facing Porter, Siddle, Snater and Harmer.

So whilst it's not been a barnstorming season by any means when factoring in the dead Worcester pitch he has scored tougher runs elsewhere as well.

I'm glad he's back around the squads. Of all the openers trialed since Strauss departed he has still looked the best talent of the lot to me.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 May 2021, 4:00 pm

Looks like being good and warm weather for this week's test at Lord's.

Jimmy Anderson, presuming he plays, will level Cook's record of 161 test caps, an astonishing achievement of longevity for a fast bowler who was plagued by injury in his early career. Anderson also needs to play a total of nine more tests to have made the second highest number of appearances in the history of test cricket. And, one more longevity record, Anderson is only 8 wickets away from 1,000 first-class wickets. I think he'll be the first Englishman to reach that milestone since Andy Caddick.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 31 May 2021, 5:02 pm

Duty281 wrote:Looks like being good and warm weather for this week's test at Lord's.

Jimmy Anderson, presuming he plays, will level Cook's record of 161 test caps, an astonishing achievement of longevity for a fast bowler who was plagued by injury in his early career. Anderson also needs to play a total of nine more tests to have made the second highest number of appearances in the history of test cricket. And, one more longevity record, Anderson is only 8 wickets away from 1,000 first-class wickets. I think he'll be the first Englishman to reach that milestone since Andy Caddick.

I think I discussed this with Guildford a while back. Anderson will be the first Englishman since Caddick and potentially the last.

Broad is the only other obvious candidate on 830 FC wickets, so that will depend on how long Jimmy's opening partner keeps going. If he can have another 3 fully fit and successful seasons taking 20ish wickets with Notts at the start of the summer and bowling very well with England than he might just get there.

The last to reach 1000 FC wickets I believe was Sri Lankan 1 Test wonder Dinuka Hettiarachchi, with the brilliant Rangana Herath reaching the milestone shortly before him.

Dominic Cork of course got extremely close to reaching the milestone shortly after Caddick but fell just short at 989 wickets.

Looking at current CC players as examples then Tim Murtagh has 867 FC wicekts but will reach 40-years-old this season and is being rotated by Middlesex more these days. Chris Rushworth has 547 FC wickets at 34-years-old, not many will be more consistently successful than Rushworth. Ben Coad who is in the similar bracket of remarkably consistent English seamer that Rushworth lives in has 172 FC wickets at 27-years-old.

Simon Harmer has 680 FC wickets. If he were to play on to around 40 might get to around that 1000 FC wicket mark. It's still a long way off though, even so it shows the template I think any bowler would need to reach 1000 bowling in the CC now. It would need to be a spinner, at a County that is building their bowling and pitches around a spinner that will consistently out bowl the opposition spinners to the extent that preparing turning pitches isn't as much of a gamble with the toss.

I think we will see very few bowlers from now on reach that milestone.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 01 Jun 2021, 9:16 am

To my eye, the only "real" decision either side has left on the table to decide ahead of tomorrow is with the Kiwis, and what they want to do with the #7 spot.

Expecting them to play four seamers from 8-11 (Henry, Southee, Jamieson, Wagner), and I would think they will continue with Mitchell at #7 to strengthen the batting, and Mitchell/Williamson will make up 5th bowler overs if needed. Other options are Santner and De Grandhomme...not sure either is good enough to usurp Mitchell coming off a hundred in his last test, but maybe if they expect turn then Santner might play.

Expecting;
Latham
Blundell
Williamson
Taylor
Nicholls
Watling (wk)
Mitchell
Jamieson
Henry
Southee
Wagner

Really struggle to see England picking Leach as part of a four man attack, with no potential part time seam overs. Expecting Robinson and Wood to join Anderson/Broad on the teamsheet tomorrow
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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 01 Jun 2021, 9:29 am

Been a little bit out of the loop recently so what XI are we expecting from England?

Burns
Sibley
Crawley
Root
Pope
Lawrence
Bracey
Robinson
Broad
Wood
Anderson

I'd rather see Olly Stone in place of Mark Wood, see what he can do in England against a good batting line up, we know on the whole that Wood isn't quite good enough in home conditions.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 01 Jun 2021, 10:54 am

I think we are expecting that top seven and, judging by the rumours circulating, Anderson and Broad will start. The remaining two spots are up for grabs.

I'd be concerned if England go in with no frontline spinner. It's going to be hot through the five days, so spells from the quicks will probably be shortened, and it'll likely be a pretty flat wicket as Lord's often is, so I'd like England to play a spinner if only for a measure of control and balance.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 01 Jun 2021, 1:54 pm

Cricinfo listing this as a possible team:

England (possible): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope, 6 Dan Lawrence, 7 James Bracey (wk), 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson.

Though Cricinfo cover themselves by saying it's possible that Stone or Wood comes in for Leach, and that it's not definite England will be playing both Anderson and Broad. Bracey will be the first Gloucs debutant since Jon Lewis...who only got one test.

Few more doubts about NZ:

New Zealand (possible): 1 Tom Latham, 2 Tom Blundell/Devon Conway, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Colin de Grandhomme/Daryl Mitchell, 8 Mitchell Santner/Matt Henry, 9 Kyle Jamieson, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Neil Wagner.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 01 Jun 2021, 8:14 pm

Wow Cricinfo reporting that Devon Conway is expected to make his test debut for NZ tomorrow opening with Latham
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