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England's Summer of Cricket 2021

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VTR
BamBam
hampo17
JuliusHMarx
CaledonianCraig
GSC
lostinwales
Mind the windows Tino.
sirfredperry
msp83
Pal Joey
Gooseberry
Jetty
Soul Requiem
Dolphin Ziggler
king_carlos
KP_fan
JDizzle
Good Golly I'm Olly
alfie
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Duty281
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Post by Duty281 Fri 14 May 2021, 9:39 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 alfie Sat 12 Jun 2021, 6:20 pm

msp83 wrote:New Zealand did a fine job rapping the tail starters quickly. Now they've ran into the strong English batting unit, and yet again facing stiff resistance. Mark Wood and Oliver Stone, who can also bowl a bit,  are turning it around for England. They've already taken the lead into the 20s, and I totally expect New Zealand set to chase over hundred...

Very Happy

Wood and Stone certainly proving there is nothing in this pitch to justify the batting collapse...

They're never going to get a hundred lead ; but they are threatening to force us all to come back tomorrow. Not expecting a big crowd.

Wagner has bounced Wood out now so maybe not. Extra half hour beckons.

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Post by KP_fan Sat 12 Jun 2021, 6:24 pm

Duty281 wrote:Yep, has been a disgrace. Kiwis have a good bowling line-up, but no test match side should find itself 84/7 on this pitch.

Difficult to know how to grade this England team, or identify where they're going. I feel they've been getting better than expected results, for the most part, over the last few years, but they've been doing that so often that I thought, maybe, I was underrating them.

Then they throw in a performance like this!

Is progress being made? Tough to say. The batting line-up is essentially Root and Stokes (both good batsmen, but not in the elite category), plus a few guys who may come good but currently have low (below 40) averages. Quality spin bowling is still absent. The seam bowlers are good, but once Anderson and Broad retire, it will leave a mammoth hole. If England don't get the batting sorted by the time those two depart, it's difficult to see anything other than a fall to where the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh currently reside, in terms of ranking and ability.

Anyway, England are in the lead, the Great Escape is alive.

As a outsider with no emotions and allegiances towards Eng cricket , I think Eng suffers from complicating things thru over-analysis esp over

REST>> Do people like Broad, Anderson and others playing only test cricket even need rest from test cricket.
If they do need rest, let them skip FC games

ROTATION>>Rotate to achieve what
Ridiculous to take an informed batsman out in the guise of rotate
Rotate out a playing OK Bairstow and bring him  in cold and  horribly out of form
Rotate Butler out in the mid of the test series...again to achieve what

Cricket and especially test match cricket  is a simple game  of consistency and momentum & Eng has been guilty of shooting & killing those emboldened traits themselves
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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 6:39 pm

So 122-9 at stumps. The bowlers made sure New Zealand will have to bat again. Fine effort from Wagner and Henry, good support from Boult and Patel. Wagner getting back into form at last...
Horrible, forgettable batting display from England. And for once, the lower order couldn't mask the utter ineptitude of the batting unit.
England can still hope though! New Zealand was once bowled out for 26 in a test innings. In this test, 2 of the batsmen who got out in 80s bagged ducks in the 2nd innings!. For New Zealand, there are 3 of them waiting!

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Post by KP_fan Sat 12 Jun 2021, 6:51 pm

msp83 wrote:So 122-9 at stumps. The bowlers made sure New Zealand will have to bat again. Fine effort from Wagner and Henry, good support from Boult and Patel. Wagner getting back into form at last...
Horrible, forgettable batting display from England. And for once, the lower order couldn't mask the utter ineptitude of the batting unit.
England can still hope though!  New Zealand was once bowled out for 26 in a test innings. In this test, 2 of the batsmen who got out in 80s bagged ducks in the 2nd innings!. For New Zealand, there are 3 of them waiting!

There will be no miracles here....NZ go into the final with two Real tests under the belt and tail up with a dominating show in both.
They have problem of who to drop when Williamson & Southee are fit for the final
Watlig I understand will be playing his farewell test in the final and retires thereafter.

It will be a lip smacking game  between  2 good sides...India is stronger but going in cold as nets  and these friendly practice games don't count.
I won't be  surprised if BCCI has "lobbied" for a dry or at-least non-seaming pitch in Southampton
I full expect Jadeja and Ashwin both in the playing 11 plus 3 seamers in Bumrah, shami and Ishant...but am also afraid of the last minute screw-ups that Kohli is capable of making with selections.

The Eng series will be a different ball game....seaming pitches rolled out with a vengeance by hosts...and all the stars Stokes, Woakes, Butler, Curran and possibly Robinson too back.
( A drawn or narrow series defeat for Ind was my prediction  for that one)
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Post by Duty281 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:04 pm

KP_fan wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Yep, has been a disgrace. Kiwis have a good bowling line-up, but no test match side should find itself 84/7 on this pitch.

Difficult to know how to grade this England team, or identify where they're going. I feel they've been getting better than expected results, for the most part, over the last few years, but they've been doing that so often that I thought, maybe, I was underrating them.

Then they throw in a performance like this!

Is progress being made? Tough to say. The batting line-up is essentially Root and Stokes (both good batsmen, but not in the elite category), plus a few guys who may come good but currently have low (below 40) averages. Quality spin bowling is still absent. The seam bowlers are good, but once Anderson and Broad retire, it will leave a mammoth hole. If England don't get the batting sorted by the time those two depart, it's difficult to see anything other than a fall to where the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh currently reside, in terms of ranking and ability.

Anyway, England are in the lead, the Great Escape is alive.

As a outsider with no emotions and allegiances towards Eng cricket , I think Eng suffers from complicating things thru over-analysis esp over

REST>> Do people like Broad, Anderson and others playing only test cricket even need rest from test cricket.
If they do need rest, let them skip FC games

ROTATION>>Rotate to achieve what
Ridiculous to take an informed batsman out in the guise of rotate
Rotate out a playing OK Bairstow and bring him  in cold and  horribly out of form
Rotate Butler out in the mid of the test series...again to achieve what

Cricket and especially test match cricket  is a simple game  of consistency and momentum & Eng has been guilty of shooting & killing those emboldened traits themselves

I agree that England are rotating and resting far too much. Some of the bowlers - particularly Anderson, Wood and Archer - I do understand, as they've suffered from recurrent injuries in the past, but it's been poor form to 'rest' the IPL contingent, especially seeing as how the IPL was prematurely brought to a halt.

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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:21 pm

New Zealand, unlike England, went in with a regular frontline spinner, all be it not a very good one. Mitchell is not much better than Root as a bowler, pretty mediocre nowhere nat the CDG levels even for an all-rounder. But even then, they opted for the spinner, they did have seam options like the experienced Dug Bracewell in the reserves as they wanted to rest Southee and Jamieson.
And it is strange and stupid that some of the players not picked for the test squad, are playing T-20s, and are actually not resting. Ridiculous!

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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:36 pm

While England has been producing such a mediocre performance, the likes of Sam Curran and Moeen Ali were bashing around the bowling in county cricket, T-20 Blast! Laughable! At least those players who were not first choice test players, those should have been playing here. This is complicating things unnecessarily as KPF said, just pure uncomplicated nonsense!

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Post by king_carlos Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:38 pm

I largely agreed with the rotation over the winter. The schedule is absurd and throwing in covid it was understandable. I'm really not interested in going back to the situation of the Nineties and Noughties when players would be picked pretty much no matter what and many would burn out pretty quickly or get injured. For a long time that was England's routine and it was frustrating. If you pick full strength for every game with the modern schedules then you don't end up seeing many players for long as injuries and burn out take their toll.

Woakes in particular but also Buttler being absent from T2 here frustrates me though. They'd improve the side significantly and with the IPL ending early it could have been done.

That said I'm not sure that England shorn of Stokes and Archer would have matched New Zealand anyway. They have earned that number 1 Test ranking and are a very good unit of players well lead.

This England team have such a limited batting lineup that they need special individual performances to drag them out of holes all too often. With Stokes and Archer crocked we are missing two of the players capable of those special moments.

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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:46 pm

KP_fan wrote:
msp83 wrote:So 122-9 at stumps. The bowlers made sure New Zealand will have to bat again. Fine effort from Wagner and Henry, good support from Boult and Patel. Wagner getting back into form at last...
Horrible, forgettable batting display from England. And for once, the lower order couldn't mask the utter ineptitude of the batting unit.
England can still hope though!  New Zealand was once bowled out for 26 in a test innings. In this test, 2 of the batsmen who got out in 80s bagged ducks in the 2nd innings!. For New Zealand, there are 3 of them waiting!

There will be no miracles here....NZ go into the final with two Real tests under the belt and tail up with a dominating show in both.
They have problem of who to drop when Williamson & Southee are fit for the final
Watlig I understand will be playing his farewell test in the final and retires thereafter.

It will be a lip smacking game  between  2 good sides...India is stronger but going in cold as nets  and these friendly practice games don't count.
I won't be  surprised if BCCI has "lobbied" for a dry or at-least non-seaming pitch in Southampton
I full expect Jadeja and Ashwin both in the playing 11 plus 3 seamers in Bumrah, shami and Ishant...but am also afraid of the last minute screw-ups that Kohli is capable of making with selections.

The Eng series will be a different ball game....seaming pitches rolled out with a vengeance by hosts...and all the stars Stokes, Woakes, Butler, Curran and possibly Robinson too back.
( A drawn or narrow series defeat for Ind was my prediction  for that one)
Of course no real chance of a miracle here.
As for the WTC final, not sure Kohli would play both Ashwin and Jadeja, see only 1 of them playing and him going in with 6 batters and Pant. Like you, I would prefer Jadeja in place of the extra batter though.
As for New Zealand, I think they should play all their 4 top seamers, Boult, Southee, Wagner and Jamieson. Play young Rachin Ravindra as the all-rounder who can fill in some spin along with Williamson.
Gill, Rohit, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Pant, Jadeja, Ashwin, Ishant, Shami, Bumrah.
If they aren't playing the 2 spinners, I'd prefer Jadeja, and would have Siraj in as the 4th quick.
Latham, Conway, Williamson, Taylor, Nicholls, Ravindra, Watling, Jamieson, Southee, Wagner, Boult
Don't think Patel or Santner are going to make much difference against India...

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Post by KP_fan Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:51 pm

msp83 wrote:New Zealand, unlike England, went in with a regular frontline spinner, all be it not a very good one. Mitchell is not much better than Root as a bowler, pretty mediocre nowhere nat the CDG levels even for an all-rounder. But even then, they opted for the spinner, they did have seam options like the experienced Dug Bracewell in the reserves as they wanted to rest Southee and Jamieson.
And it is strange and stupid that some of the players not picked for the test squad, are playing T-20s, and are actually not resting. Ridiculous!
I wonder where is Corie Anderson and why not in contention for that all rounders slot
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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:56 pm

KP_fan wrote:
msp83 wrote:New Zealand, unlike England, went in with a regular frontline spinner, all be it not a very good one. Mitchell is not much better than Root as a bowler, pretty mediocre nowhere nat the CDG levels even for an all-rounder. But even then, they opted for the spinner, they did have seam options like the experienced Dug Bracewell in the reserves as they wanted to rest Southee and Jamieson.
And it is strange and stupid that some of the players not picked for the test squad, are playing T-20s, and are actually not resting. Ridiculous!
I wonder where is Corie Anderson and why not in contention for that all rounders slot
He seems to have fallen off as far as any international cricket is concerned. Not even picked in the IPL these days. Played his last match for New Zealand a while back I guess. Think Neesham might be a better bet, and is still in contention, played for the NZ A team late last year. With CDG doing a decent enough job and Mitchell starting off well with the bat in his test career, Neesham is not able to find his way back, and Anderson is nowhere in the frame.

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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 8:03 pm

As for England, the only way England could have balanced their side for this series was by playing Woakes, Moeen or Sam Curran. Woakes was the most obvious one as he doesn't play T-20Is regularly. Moeen would have been a good option as well, wouldn't have been any worse than most of their batters, and could have provided a wicket-taking spin bowling option. 7 may be a place too high for Sam Curran to bat in tests, but he would have made it possible to play Leach besides adding strength and variety to the seam bowling unit.
England seem to be rotating just for the sake of it. Comes across as downright stupid!

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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 8:05 pm

what is the time frame for Stokes and Archer to return? Are they scheduled to be available from the start of the India series? Or is the recovery likely to take longer? If so, particularly in case Stokes is not available, will be interesting to see how they go as far as balancing the side is concerned.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 8:18 pm

I highly doubt Archer will be available for any of this summer's games. He may not even be fit for the World T20. Stokes should be back for the first test, but how much match practice he'll have had going into it is another matter.

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Post by msp83 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 8:26 pm

Duty281 wrote:I highly doubt Archer will be available for any of this summer's games. He may not even be fit for the World T20. Stokes should be back for the first test, but how much match practice he'll have had going into it is another matter.
Getting players back right in from the cold is the Rest and Rotation style! So Stokes should be fine. Perhaps they might even give him a rest for a couple of tests to ensure parity of Rest in line with other all-format players, the current face can't count as rest, he's out injured!! Just utterly ridiculous!
Had some logic to begin with, but what is happening now is just an absolute travesty!

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Post by KP_fan Sat 12 Jun 2021, 8:37 pm

msp83 wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
msp83 wrote:So 122-9 at stumps. The bowlers made sure New Zealand will have to bat again. Fine effort from Wagner and Henry, good support from Boult and Patel. Wagner getting back into form at last...
Horrible, forgettable batting display from England. And for once, the lower order couldn't mask the utter ineptitude of the batting unit.
England can still hope though!  New Zealand was once bowled out for 26 in a test innings. In this test, 2 of the batsmen who got out in 80s bagged ducks in the 2nd innings!. For New Zealand, there are 3 of them waiting!

There will be no miracles here....NZ go into the final with two Real tests under the belt and tail up with a dominating show in both.
They have problem of who to drop when Williamson & Southee are fit for the final
Watlig I understand will be playing his farewell test in the final and retires thereafter.

It will be a lip smacking game  between  2 good sides...India is stronger but going in cold as nets  and these friendly practice games don't count.
I won't be  surprised if BCCI has "lobbied" for a dry or at-least non-seaming pitch in Southampton
I full expect Jadeja and Ashwin both in the playing 11 plus 3 seamers in Bumrah, shami and Ishant...but am also afraid of the last minute screw-ups that Kohli is capable of making with selections.

The Eng series will be a different ball game....seaming pitches rolled out with a vengeance by hosts...and all the stars Stokes, Woakes, Butler, Curran and possibly Robinson too back.
( A drawn or narrow series defeat for Ind was my prediction  for that one)
Of course no real chance of a miracle here.
As for the WTC final, not sure Kohli would play both Ashwin and Jadeja, see only 1 of them playing and him going in with 6 batters and Pant. Like you, I would prefer Jadeja in place of the extra batter though.
As for New Zealand, I think they should play all their 4 top seamers, Boult, Southee, Wagner and Jamieson. Play young Rachin Ravindra  as the all-rounder who can fill in some spin along with Williamson.
Gill, Rohit, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Pant, Jadeja, Ashwin, Ishant, Shami, Bumrah.
If they aren't playing the 2 spinners, I'd prefer Jadeja, and would have Siraj in as the 4th quick.
Latham, Conway, Williamson, Taylor, Nicholls, Ravindra, Watling, Jamieson, Southee, Wagner, Boult
Don't think Patel or Santner are going to make much difference against India...

You can't go into a test match with 4 bowlers...
Ashwin will be the first spinner
If they don't want Jadeja....then they should play shardul who is almost a bowling allrounder
Ind should consider bringing Bhuvi also in the squad.....who is also almost a bowling allrounder
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Post by VTR Sat 12 Jun 2021, 8:49 pm

On England's young batsmen, Lawrence could just about be in the team vs India, but I can't see the other three in there. Pope the most likely at a push I would say. Frustrating as both Pope and Crawley have had what appeared to be breakthrough performances at the time, but have regressed badly. Bracey, I would not be that surprised if he never plays a Test again

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Post by GSC Sat 12 Jun 2021, 9:19 pm

England have 1 world class batsman, another capable of game changing innings and a lot of solid/potential players. Some of those potential players need to start separating
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Post by Duty281 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 9:47 pm

Pope appears to have turned into Joe Denly, with his run of scores being 34, 28, 22, 12, 1, 12, 29, 15, 22, 20, 19 and 23, since the start of the year.

He's had 19 tests now, not an insignificant number, and only averages 31.5, with one century. Might be starting to wonder if he'll ever come good and get anywhere near his phenomenal FC record.

Crawley approaching similar ground with an average below 30 after 14 tests. Since making that astonishing 267, he's turned into David Warner - 9 innings of single digit scores (two ducks), an innings of 13, an innings of 17, and one half century v India (53).

Lawrence it's very early days. Two ducks in three innings is poor though, especially the manner of both dismissals. Good 81 in the first innings of this test.

Openers? We all know England are stuck, currently, with two players who average low 30s, and they're unlikely to improve on that. Prayers that Hameed and Lammonby come good.

I would be surprised if Bracey played another test.

Even Root's on a downslope with the bat. After averaging 97/60/49/50 in the years 2014-2017, he averaged 41/37/42 in the years 2018-2020. However he has had a upturn this year, currently averaging 56 thanks to those three big hundreds in south Asia; though he's now on a run of 11 innings without a 50...and today's knock wasn't exactly encouraging!

I do fear England are heading for some very dark days in the test arena. Once Anderson and Broad retire, the batting failures will be magnified, and there's little sign of those failures being fixed any time soon.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat 12 Jun 2021, 9:50 pm

Seems I've missed quite a day, albeit some rather ridiculous overreactions on here to losing a game of cricket against a side that is clearly better than England.
Think we all know some of these youngsters need to make the transition from promising to actually producing, and soon. Main issue is, who exactly is banging the door down to replace them? Not like they're leaving out a swathe of great bats really. Kind of got to stick it out with them and hope they click (Pope in particular).

Hopefully a few weeks off between this series and the start of the India one, they can get some work in and a few can find some form, along with the return of Stokes/Woakes/Buttler/Curran etc to help the balance of the side out too.

How did the bowlers go? I see the finished and on the decline Stuart Broad did ok...
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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 12 Jun 2021, 10:00 pm

I understand resting and rotating the bowlers but you need your batting line up to be consistent and it's anything but at the moment.

Players seem to be chopping and changing position all over the place. Pope was doing well at 6 so keep him there and have Lawrence at 5. Crawley has been shifting from opening to 3, Lawrence himself has been 7 then etc. It's just brainless, injuries haven't helped notably to Crawley and Pope. Burns missed Sri Lanka and was then dropped halfway through India. Bairstow played ok then went home and was rubbish on his return.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Rotation does not work

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Post by VTR Sat 12 Jun 2021, 10:01 pm

The bowling was excellent after the first drinks break, though not very good before it. I think we will see a more balanced team for the India Tests. Its quite common to have a young/new player at 6 in a development type role, with less pressure. Lawrence or Pope I would say. It has been asking a lot to have 4 young batsmen in the top 7. Regardless of ages I'd say Burns is the only player who looked in form across both Tests, Mark Wood may well have been the next best batsman, which says it all!

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Post by Duty281 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 10:15 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Seems I've missed quite a day, albeit some rather ridiculous overreactions on here to losing a game of cricket against a side that is clearly better than England.
Think we all know some of these youngsters need to make the transition from promising to actually producing, and soon. Main issue is, who exactly is banging the door down to replace them? Not like they're leaving out a swathe of great bats really. Kind of got to stick it out with them and hope they click (Pope in particular).

Hopefully a few weeks off between this series and the start of the India one, they can get some work in and a few can find some form, along with the return of Stokes/Woakes/Buttler/Curran etc to help the balance of the side out too.

How did the bowlers go? I see the finished and on the decline Stuart Broad did ok...

There's certainly no shame in losing to New Zealand - I agree they're a better side - but there is shame in being reduced to 76/7 on a good batting wicket, and getting battered in the process. Especially with the number of soft dismissals.

There is no one banging down the door to replace the likes of Pope/Crawley/Lawrence if they falter...that's why it looks like being dark days for England. If those younger players falter, as they're currently doing, there's no realistic options (as yet) to replace them. England could be heading for a period of 5-10 years where the majority of the top 7 are averaging below 40 - which is horrific, it'll be like the 90s -and soon (probably) Anderson and Broad and their combined 1,100 wickets will be out of the picture.

Bowlers were pretty decent after a tough first hour. Stone recovered well, Wood bowled an intense spell before lunch which did for Nicholls, and Broad cleaned up. Bracey's keeping was poor, alas.

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Post by KP_fan Sun 13 Jun 2021, 7:04 am

Duty281 wrote:Pope appears to have turned into Joe Denly, with his run of scores being 34, 28, 22, 12, 1, 12, 29, 15, 22, 20, 19 and 23, since the start of the year.

He's had 19 tests now, not an insignificant number, and only averages 31.5, with one century. Might be starting to wonder if he'll ever come good and get anywhere near his phenomenal FC record.

Crawley approaching similar ground with an average below 30 after 14 tests. Since making that astonishing 267, he's turned into David Warner - 9 innings of single digit scores (two ducks), an innings of 13, an innings of 17, and one half century v India (53).

Lawrence it's very early days. Two ducks in three innings is poor though, especially the manner of both dismissals. Good 81 in the first innings of this test.

Openers? We all know England are stuck, currently, with two players who average low 30s, and they're unlikely to improve on that. Prayers that Hameed and Lammonby come good.

I would be surprised if Bracey played another test.

Even Root's on a downslope with the bat. After averaging 97/60/49/50 in the years 2014-2017, he averaged 41/37/42 in the years 2018-2020. However he has had a upturn this year, currently averaging 56 thanks to those three big hundreds in south Asia; though he's now on a run of 11 innings without a 50...and today's knock wasn't exactly encouraging!

I do fear England are heading for some very dark days in the test arena. Once Anderson and Broad retire, the batting failures will be magnified, and there's little sign of those failures being fixed any time soon.

You don't need batsmen to score runs to win tests....you just need runs
Eng has the luxury of bowling all rounders that no other team has

Put Woakes, stokes, Ali, Curran, Robinson and Wood in an 11...all can bat....even Bess is a handy batsman.
Eng has 3 WKs who are decent batters that I have seen in Bairstow, Butler and Foakes...and Billing has looked good in IPL, but haven't see in tests

Eng has atleast two decent proper batsmen in Root and Burns.
So if they play 6 bowlers most of whom can bat+1 WK+Root and Burns....then they are missing only 2 established batters

Few sides have a perfect settled eleven......and Eng is not in any deeper trouble than most sides.


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Post by alfie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 7:30 am

Having watched it to the bitter end out of a kind of macabre fascination I come away from day three both disappointed and more than a little concerned about the immediate future for England.

First off I should say that I am not at all surprised NZ are winning the match and series : I thought beforehand they were favourites. I know a lot of people - including some posters on here - were a little sceptical about their top ranked status , thinking it a bit of a statistical anomaly  ; but their displays in these games have surely put those reservations to bed. So losing to them - even at home - is not earth shattering ; despite it spoiling a long running "undefeated at home" record for England. It is the nature of the defeat , and the way in which previous promising steps seem to have gone into reverse , that is most troubling.

Obviously Covid and the associated upheaval has turned international cricket into a much less ordered business. So I can sympathise with the efforts of management to try and "manage" players through the unusual times. But I do fear that the obsession with the white ball squad has impacted England's thinking to the detriment of the longer game. The Test side was , as Vaughan says , not strong enough to allow too much messing about .Bowler rotation is fine - they have a good stable of options at present. But fiddling with the batting seems to have rather destabilized the order.
In truth England would probably have been well beaten in India whatever they had done with the batting. But by pulling players in and out they effectively said that the the series was not one they were totally committed to winning - and that can foster a rather negative  attitude and arguably has contributed to the obvious loss of confidence currently seen in the team. Even in the skipper who has come down dramatically from his fine form early in the recent tours...

Missing players (most notably the injured Stokes) can sometimes not be helped. But I think it is a bad idea to go into any Test Series with a primary aim of just trying out fringe players, as opposed to winning the current contest And the selection of Bracey as wicketkeeper in these games stands out as an example of muddled thinking. He was in the squad originally as a potential top four bat ; and had he been picked as such I'd have no problem , even if his returns in these games suggest he just isn't ready. But when Foakes got injured it was surely time to replace him with a proper keeper rather than throw Bracey into an unfamiliar role. I get they didn't want to change tack and grab one of the IPL mob - but Billings was added to the squad :  would it not have been more logical to give him the job ?  Now they might have killed a young player - at least for a while - with no benefit to the team.

To be honest , I do not think the batting is as hopeless as poor old Nasser seemed to be suggesting in his agonized post stumps rant. It isn't as good as many people had started thinking after some good results against the weaker Test teams over the last eighteen months ; but neither is it as bad as this latest display suggests. I see a bunch of mostly still young players all currently a bit rattled : lack of confidence more significant than technical faults , though there are a few of those about too. Hopefully some at least of this lot will recover and eventually thrive ... but the problem for the immediate future is that five Tests against India and a tour to Australia are next up . Since England are apparently going to be largely guessing as to what their best line up is , there is a risk things could get worse and they could end up having to virtually rebuild from scratch in twelve months time.
I am not too concerned about the bowling. Certainly when Anderson and Broad eventually finish they'll be missed . But they both seem to have a bit left yet , and I've seen enough promise amongst the younger crew to think they can step forward over time. Spinners less so ; Swan(n)s seem to be rare birds in England. But if the pace attack is firing , a "holding" spinner can do a job (as Giles did to reasonable effect for a while) - and hopefully sooner or later one of the younger prospects will blossom.

It isn't all doom and gloom. But Silverwood and his crew have some serious thinking to do in the lead up to the India Tests. I hope they make the right calls - or better ones than they've perhaps done lately.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 13 Jun 2021, 10:37 am

Atherton on Sky articulating well my view that England were too ''timid'' at Lord's and should have ''showed intent'' on the final day. Atherton emphasising - as I tried to say here - that didn't mean they should ''go all guns blazing'' and that they still could have settled for the draw. However, they were provided with an opening by Williamson's fair declaration but showed their ''lack of confidence'' in the way they batted and were never remotely interested in the win. The justified criticism imo being the lack of intent and interest from outset.

Atherton going on to assert that the same lack of batting confidence grew even greater yesterday as the wheels came off so badly.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 10:57 am

Today could be the day. The greatest comeback in test history. Anderson, once part of a 198 run stand with Root, and Stone may just combine to take the lead up to 150. Then the Kiwis, shocked by it all, get reduced to 21/6 after an amazing spell from Broad, before Wood's pace wraps it up.

Or...England lost their last wicket after four minutes, NZ win by 10 wickets.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:01 am

Oh, it lasted one ball.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:15 am

This belongs more on the 'Rest of the World' thread but it's too hot to move around! Wink

Anyway, just to say it's going to be an interesting challenge to name the eleven for NZ's Championship Test.

Boult's one ball today and his second wicket of the innings doing his chances no harm at all. [Always settle for a couple, eh Tino?! Smile ]

About 13 or 14 strong contenders if all fit.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:20 am

All I will add here is that the England batting needs a total overhaul. It has been failing too long. More options need looking at.
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Post by king_carlos Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:41 am

guildfordbat wrote:This belongs more on the 'Rest of the World' thread but it's too hot to move around! Wink

Anyway, just to say it's going to be an interesting challenge to name the eleven for NZ's Championship Test.

Boult's one ball today and his second wicket of the innings doing his chances no harm at all. [Always settle for a couple, eh Tino?!  Smile ]

About 13 or 14 strong contenders if all fit.

It's the hallmark of a good side. When teams play well the replacement seem to just naturally stack up behind them. Conway and Young for the batting. Blundell to just step in when Watling walks into the sunset. Henry is a very useful seam/swing bowler to back up their excellent main quartet.

When sides are in a good place players can discover their game in domestic cricket. Hence Conway and Young's domestic records coming into Test cricket. England on the other hand are picking batsman such as Crawley on potential rather than performance. England just have too many guys learning their trade in Test cricket.

The only thing this NZ side are missing is that top quality spinner to be a really great side.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:52 am

On a different note it's ridiculous that this is a two test series when we've got a five test series against India coming up. Should have been 4 and 3, from an England monetary point of view I dont see a big difference as every ticket sells regardless of who we play.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:56 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:All I will add here is that the England batting needs a total overhaul. It has been failing too long. More options need looking at.

Sadly, there's not many options throwing their hands up to get tried Craig!

A few seasons ago (when the top order batting was still pish...) I was a big advocate of picking James Hildreth despite him being in his mid thirties. In less than ideal circumstances I just preferred picking someone who had learned their game in county cricket short term rather than throwing in youngsters on a punt because they might work out long term. Even Hildreth's form has finally dropped off in recent seasons though.

If Malan can keep scoring runs he's an option that has played plenty of county cricket to know his game.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:59 am

Root apparently averaging 31 at home in the last four years.

Kiwis win. clap

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Post by alfie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 12:49 pm

king_carlos wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:All I will add here is that the England batting needs a total overhaul. It has been failing too long. More options need looking at.

Sadly, there's not many options throwing their hands up to get tried Craig!

A few seasons ago (when the top order batting was still pish...) I was a big advocate of picking James Hildreth despite him being in his mid thirties. In less than ideal circumstances I just preferred picking someone who had learned their game in county cricket short term rather than throwing in youngsters on a punt because they might work out long term. Even Hildreth's form has finally dropped off in recent seasons though.

If Malan can keep scoring runs he's an option that has played plenty of county cricket to know his game.

Time to bring back Joe Denly devil

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Post by msp83 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:53 pm

Much deserved win for New Zealand. Even without Williamson, Southee Watling and Jamieson, 4 of their first choice players, they smashed England in their backyard. Should give them serious confidencee going into the World Test Championship final... India will have their task cut out.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:31 pm

England are playing New Zealand again next summer in a three test series, so we won't have too long to wait for the return series. Interesting run of games coming up for England in the test arena over the next 18 months:

5 tests v India (home)
5 tests v Australia (away)
3 tests v West Indies (away; February 2022)
3 tests v New Zealand (home)
3 tests v South Africa (home)
3 tests v Pakistan (away; November 2022)

The Australia and Pakistan series can be written off, pretty much. Any wins are a bonus. New Zealand will obviously be tough, and South Africa and the West Indies both have the potential to beat England with their quick bowlers doing the damage.

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Post by JDizzle Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:57 pm

It is as simple when you take two of England's best players out of a top 7 that only really features two real quality Test players, you are probably going to struggle for runs. Especially against a side as good and experienced as NZ.

Bracey does keep for Gloucs, so he shouldn't have been in too unfamiliar a situation. He clearly isn't a very good keeper, but that is the age old debate that we've done to death! I am not as quick to write him off to making another Test cap, purely as Sibley and Burns have very clearly defined ceilings as Test players and we aren't blessed with top order bats.

I'm not really sold on the calls for Malan either. If we are writing off Pope/Crawley for averaging 30, then Malan averages 28 after 15 Tests! 23 if we Crawley his stats and take out his one big 100 vs Australia on a mega road in Perth.

Pope is the one you massively invest in for me. You feel if his wild slashes outside off stump were a major problem they would been exposed by the seamers you get in the CC - but every time he goes back to Surrey he averages 60. He definitely has problems vs spin, but we can work with that. I wouldn't consider dropping him really until after the Ashes this winter unless it gets really bad.

Agree with the consensus that Crawley could do with some time in County cricket. Clearly talented like Pope, but the big difference being Pope has dominated county cricket to a level Crawley can only dream of.

The rotation thing is a tough one. As Soul mentions, some of it was forced with Burns getting injured etc. but some of it has felt wildly unnecessary. The only thing I would say is they were very clear that it was to prevent 'bubble fatigue' and it was a mental health issue so it is impossible for me to say whether a lot of the breaks over the winter were needed. It does seem mad that Buttler is playing T20 at the moment whilst a Test is ongoing though.

England's bowling reserves look strong though. It's why I can't ever see things going completely off the rails for this Test team. Even when Anderson and Broad inevitably do go, Woakes/Robinson/Stone/Wood/Overton/Archer is a strong stable to have in reserve. At least at home. And an away win is rare anyway!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:17 pm

Agree re: Malan JDizzle - so much clamour for him, the bloke has played 6 first class innings in two years (!)

Shows the dearth of options really that people want him to be the next cab off the rank
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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:30 pm

I think the point about Malan is that he must be in a good place with his batting and mentality these days. Is he really a worse option than Crawley and/or Bracey?

It may not work but exposing Crawley and Bracey to a phenomenal Indian attack this summer is madness. Their confidence is already shredded. You can see it everything they are doing right now, and a battering against India could ruin them for ever. Building for the future is one thing but winning tests is also important.

Investing in Pope is clearly the right thing but Crawley and Bracey need time away from the test cauldron and unless there is someone better placed than Malan, I think he is probably deserving of another chance.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:32 pm

By selecting Malan you're not destroying the confidence of a youngster, you can use him for the rest of the year so that Crawley can hopefully start making consistent runs back at Kent.

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Post by Pal Joey Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:33 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:I think the point about Malan is that he must be in a good place with his batting and mentality these days. Is he really a worse option than Crawley and/or Bracey?

It may not work but exposing Crawley and Bracey to a phenomenal Indian attack this summer is madness. Their confidence is already shredded. You can see it everything they are doing right now, and a battering against India could ruin them for ever. Building for the future is one thing but winning tests is also important.

Investing in Pope is clearly the right thing but Crawley and Bracey need time away from the test cauldron and unless there is someone better placed than Malan, I think he is probably deserving of another chance.

How about Mulan? Not sure about her/his county cricket stats but she/he sure can wield a sword.


Last edited by Pal Joey on Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Afro Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:34 pm

Duty281 wrote:Root apparently averaging 31 at home in the last four years.


Thats pretty strong form in the context of our current batting performances Whistle
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Post by JDizzle Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:47 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:By selecting Malan you're not destroying the confidence of a youngster, you can use him for the rest of the year so that Crawley can hopefully start making consistent runs back at Kent.

Just pick Bairstow for that role if you have to. A better player than Malan for me.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:53 pm

JDizzle wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:By selecting Malan you're not destroying the confidence of a youngster, you can use him for the rest of the year so that Crawley can hopefully start making consistent runs back at Kent.

Just pick Bairstow for that role if you have to. A better player than Malan for me.

Based on the fact I don't care for T20 cricket I wouldn't be too concerned by the potential knock on effect of selecting Malan but selecting Bairstow can and has in the past effected his ODI form.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Tue 15 Jun 2021, 6:07 pm

So, can someone explain what Bracey is/was before this?

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Post by Duty281 Tue 15 Jun 2021, 6:52 pm

Afro wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Root apparently averaging 31 at home in the last four years.


Thats pretty strong form in the context of our current batting performances Whistle

He's leading by example, certainly!

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Post by JDizzle Tue 15 Jun 2021, 7:58 pm

https://youtu.be/6QACwnoCChg

An interesting video from Jarrod Kimber on England’s batting, for anyone interested.

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Post by JDizzle Tue 15 Jun 2021, 8:08 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:So, can someone explain what Bracey is/was before this?

Top order batsman for Gloucs. Unlike most County players he does bat top 3 for his county. Yet he was shoehorned in at 7. Game was (allegedly) built on a compact and solid defence. But only averages 36 in FC cricket, but who averages more!

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Post by king_carlos Tue 15 Jun 2021, 10:11 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:So, can someone explain what Bracey is/was before this?

A talented top 3 batsman. A solid county wicket keeper but no more with the gloves. Keeping in Test cricket is tough and wont have helped his batting. I'd still like to look at Bracey at 3 for England without the gloves as ridiculous as some might feel that is.

There are a lot of better WKs in county cricket that realistically should have been used as the stop gap at 7 once Buttler and Foakes were unavailable. Ben Brown would have been my pick from the county circuit. He might have only played 2 Tests in his career but he's a good glove man and solid lower middle order bat that has experience batting in that position.

Even Bairstow with the gloves for 2 Tests. He's got plenty experience of it and is unlikely to be involved in the India series so will get a breather later in the year.

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