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England's Summer of Cricket 2021

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Post by JDizzle Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:21 am

First topic message reminder :

Jacks, Crawley, Hain, Stokes, Salt (WK), Lawrence, Gregory, Overton, Saqib, Ball, Parkinson?

Will MacPherson suggests Hales won’t be picked, which is a bit odd given they hinted he would get a chance this summer.

You also have Vince, Duckett and keep an eye out for Harry Brook.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:06 am

Burns is just such a bad test batsman. A child could see that one coming.

Bumrah puts four balls going away from the batsman. Then, surprise, surprise, the fifth one comes back in. Burns is clueless. 0/1.

The out-of-touch Crawley comes in. Hameed probably grateful he's not been recalled for this.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:28 am

KP_fan wrote:Ashwin dropped.....sad, a pity, but probably understandable
Kohli loses the toss...and he will lose 4 out of 5 tosses

Hi KP-F - not to me. Grateful for your reasoning.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:33 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I did not see that England XI coming - continuing to opt to not play a spinner with no Stokes/Woakes to balance the side...surprises me.

First thoughts. It looks to me like an England side hoping the poor weather forecast is correct and aiming for the draw rather than a win. Unless two of our seamers properly come to the party, hard for me to see us taking 20 wickets.

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:39 am

guildfordbat wrote:
KP_fan wrote:Ashwin dropped.....sad, a pity, but probably understandable
Kohli loses the toss...and he will lose 4 out of 5 tosses

Hi KP-F - not to me. Grateful for your reasoning.
Guildford, think its about the team balance. Ashwin, despite rediscovering his batting touch a bit in the recent England and Australia series, still has moved so far away from batting 6 or 7. Jadeja on the other hand, has improved so much as a batter in the last 4 years. They don't seem to expect spin to play a major role, the team thought process seemed to be that they needed 4 quicks. The only way they could have had 4 quicks was by dropping Ashwin, Jadeja is in as much for his batting as his bowling. Don't think it is Jadeja over Ashwin, its Thakur over Ashwin.
And as I wrote earlier, I would still have gone in with Ashwin. 3 seamers and Ashwin, and Jadeja to back things up. Not ideal, but Ashwin these days, has been able to overcome tracks and get wickets even in non-spinning conditions. Jadeja will hold his own probably by holding an end up in the early part of the game, and can come in a more aggressive way in the 3rd or 4th innings, but in the first innings, you probably needed Ashwin.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:39 am

Duty281 wrote:Burns is just such a bad test batsman. A child could see that one coming.

Bumrah puts four balls going away from the batsman. Then, surprise, surprise, the fifth one comes back in. Burns is clueless. 0/1.

The out-of-touch Crawley comes in. Hameed probably grateful he's not been recalled for this.

Nonsense, every batsman will know the set up is coming so that's not relevant, outswingers followed by the inswinger or vice versa. In the first over of a test match against a bowler of Bumrah's class is a completely different kettle of fish, the feet aren't moving and you're not quite sure what the ball is doing, rather than poor batting it's actually very good bowling. Are we going to suggest that Anderson for instance only has 600+ test wickets because of poor batting?

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:43 am

Bumrah, despite that first over strike, still looks some way short of his best.
Now that they are playing Shardul, think an early go is due, as he can swing the ball...
Crawley has looked better than he ever did during the summer and of course the winter tours.

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:50 am

The ball is not doing a great deal off the pitch or in the air. All the more reason India might end up regretting the Ashwin call.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:57 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Burns is just such a bad test batsman. A child could see that one coming.

Bumrah puts four balls going away from the batsman. Then, surprise, surprise, the fifth one comes back in. Burns is clueless. 0/1.

The out-of-touch Crawley comes in. Hameed probably grateful he's not been recalled for this.

Nonsense, every batsman will know the set up is coming so that's not relevant, outswingers followed by the inswinger or vice versa. In the first over of a test match against a bowler of Bumrah's class is a completely different kettle of fish, the feet aren't moving and you're not quite sure what the ball is doing, rather than poor batting it's actually very good bowling. Are we going to suggest that Anderson for instance only has 600+ test wickets because of poor batting?

I have to agree, thought it was very good bowling by Bumrah, with extravagant movement too. He's unlucky not to have picked up a couple more in this spell
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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:08 pm

They lost a wicket in the first over, but I'd give that first hour to England. Crawley has looked good, and Sibley has survived in typical style. Siraj came on as first change, should be seeing Shardul in action soon.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:21 pm

msp83 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
KP_fan wrote:Ashwin dropped.....sad, a pity, but probably understandable
Kohli loses the toss...and he will lose 4 out of 5 tosses

Hi KP-F - not to me. Grateful for your reasoning.
Guildford, think its about the team balance. Ashwin, despite rediscovering his batting touch a bit in the recent England and Australia series, still has moved so far away from batting 6 or 7. Jadeja on the other hand, has improved so much as a batter in the last 4 years. They don't seem to expect spin to play a major role, the team thought process seemed to be that they needed 4 quicks. The only way they could have had 4 quicks was by dropping Ashwin, Jadeja is in as much for his batting as his bowling. Don't think it is Jadeja over Ashwin, its Thakur over Ashwin.
And as I wrote earlier, I would still have gone in with Ashwin. 3 seamers and Ashwin, and Jadeja to back things up. Not ideal, but Ashwin these days, has been able to overcome tracks and get wickets even in non-spinning conditions. Jadeja will hold his own probably by holding an end up in the early part of the game, and can come in a more aggressive way in the 3rd or 4th innings, but in the first innings, you probably needed Ashwin.

Thanks, msp. I appreciate and follow the thinking although would go back to your earlier comments. For me, Ashwin is a class act and so, like you, I would want to be able to call on him regardless of the conditions.

At the start of the match, David Lloyd on Sky was pretty neutral about the decision but pointed out that spinners have had noticeably less success in Tests at Trent Bridge than seamers. Whilst that may also have seemed to support the decision to omit Ashwin, he added that the last time a spinner took a Test fivefer there was in 2006 when achieved by both Muralitharan and Panesar in the same match. If you regard both of them as class acts (Murali always was, Monty probably near to it then), it lends support to me view that Ashwin should still have been picked.

Anyway, all at a very early stage. Let's see how things unfold.

England on 33/1 coming back into it decently atm after the loss of Burns. However, one more wicket before lunch and Indian tails will certainly be up ....


Last edited by guildfordbat on Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:26 pm

One of the better starts for England in recent times, Joe Root must be wondering what on earth is going on out there? Would have faced at least 30 balls by now!

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Post by JDizzle Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:27 pm

An interesting tweet from Freddie Wilde:

https://twitter.com/fwildecricket/status/1422818799284281346?s=21

All of India’s batsmen average over 39 against SLA in Test cricket. Agarwal, Pujara, Kohli and Pant average over 95 vs SLA. Might explain the thought process going into leaving Leach out.

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:31 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
msp83 wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
KP_fan wrote:Ashwin dropped.....sad, a pity, but probably understandable
Kohli loses the toss...and he will lose 4 out of 5 tosses

Hi KP-F - not to me. Grateful for your reasoning.
Guildford, think its about the team balance. Ashwin, despite rediscovering his batting touch a bit in the recent England and Australia series, still has moved so far away from batting 6 or 7. Jadeja on the other hand, has improved so much as a batter in the last 4 years. They don't seem to expect spin to play a major role, the team thought process seemed to be that they needed 4 quicks. The only way they could have had 4 quicks was by dropping Ashwin, Jadeja is in as much for his batting as his bowling. Don't think it is Jadeja over Ashwin, its Thakur over Ashwin.
And as I wrote earlier, I would still have gone in with Ashwin. 3 seamers and Ashwin, and Jadeja to back things up. Not ideal, but Ashwin these days, has been able to overcome tracks and get wickets even in non-spinning conditions. Jadeja will hold his own probably by holding an end up in the early part of the game, and can come in a more aggressive way in the 3rd or 4th innings, but in the first innings, you probably needed Ashwin.

Thanks, msp. I appreciate and follow the thinking although would go back to your earlier comments. For me, Ashwin is a class act and so, like you, I would want to be able to call on him regardless of the conditions.

At the start of the match, David Lloyd on Sky was pretty neutral about the decision but pointed out that spinners have had noticeably less success in Tests at Trent Bridge than seamers. Whilst that may also have seemed to support the decision to omit Ashwin, he added that the last time a spinner took a Test fivefer there was in 2006 when achieved by both Muralitharan and Panesar in the same match. If you regard both of them as class acts (Murali always was, Montyprobably near to it then), it lends support to me view that Ashwin should still have been picked.

Anyway, all at a very early stage. Let's see how things unfold.

England on 33/1 coming back into it decently atm after the loss of Burns. However, one more wicket before lunch and Indian tails will certainly be up ....
It will be up to Shardul Thakur to justify his selection over one of India's alltime match-winners. So far, a decent start from him.
The Duke's always keeps the game interesting enough even on a dead track. This is far from that though there is nothing extravagant in terms of movement. England indeed, off to a good start.
Overrate, as has been the case throughout this English summer, remains appalling! India do have Jadeja who can bowl an over a minute in their ranks, but we may see him in action probably only for the last over before lunch at the most.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:35 pm

Probably going to put the mockers on him here, and I do recognise he has a long long way to go...but I really do like Zak Crawley, and think there is a high class test batsman in there, particularly against pace. I can see him going very well in Australia, so am almost hoping he survives the summer (!)
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Post by guildfordbat Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:43 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Probably going to put the mockers on him here, and I do recognise he has a long long way to go...but I really do like Zak Crawley, and think there is a high class test batsman in there, particularly against pace. I can see him going very well in Australia, so am almost hoping he survives the summer (!)

Nice work, mate! Rolling Eyes

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:44 pm

Oops
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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:44 pm

Crawley's been beaten by the ball as many times as he's found the middle of the bat. A fun innings which ends at an excellent time for India, now they've got a few overs at Root before the interval.

Odd dismissal, though, the keeper didn't seem that interested.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:03 pm

Good, even session of test cricket. Sibley narrowly escaping last ball before lunch.

Ball's done plenty and beat the bat plenty, so India probably disappointed with only picking up two wickets in the first session.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:24 pm

Duty281 wrote:Good, even session of test cricket. Sibley narrowly escaping last ball before lunch.

Ball's done plenty and beat the bat plenty, so India probably disappointed with only picking up two wickets in the first session.

As the bowling side you nearly always want one more wicket than you end up with but I think India will be happy enough. Having lost the toss, two wickets taken and never allowing England to get away (other than the 3 successive fours by Root off Siraj), albeit aided by an appalling over rate.

At 42/1, England had come back decently from the first over loss of Burns and had a chance of 'winning' the session. However, there's a huge difference between one and two wickets for the bowling side and so I would give the session to the visitors.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:53 pm

Sibley falls into a trap with an incredibly poor shot, India certainly ahead now.

Bairstow coming to the crease...odds on him being bowled?

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Post by guildfordbat Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:54 pm

Sibley clips to short mid-wicket off Shami.

66/3. If India weren't on top, they are now!

Here's Jonny ....

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Post by eirebilly Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:10 pm

I know that Sibley is a proper grafter and test batsman but I cant help feeling that he puts so much pressure on other batsmen to score runs.

I am not against slow scoring but he doesn't even look to rotate the strike at all.
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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:45 pm

India nearly got one with the last ball of the first session, they have got Bairstow with the last ball of the second session. Very timely and keeps England in check.

Shame for Bairstow. He worked hard in that innings, only seemed bothered by the few overs of Jadeja. Very good innings from Root thus far, classic Root in many aspects. Poor from India for the most part - trying the 'magic' ball too often, allowing too many easy singles and strike rotation - but they've got two wickets and they'll be happy enough.

Just 9.4 overs behind the rate. Rolling Eyes

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Post by JDizzle Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:51 pm

LBW is kind of better than being bowled? Clutching at straws here. Give yourself a chance of salvation via umpires call.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:54 pm

Not really a surprise to see Bairstow struck in front, he can have all the shots in the world but if you're undone by the straight ball over and over again you won't survive in test cricket. You don't even need to set YJB up any more, just bowl straight and you'll eventually get him, fabulous white ball player that he is, test cricket will highlight those weaknesses.

Sibley does invite pressure onto the team, grafting for your start and blunting the new ball is vital but he doesn't have a second gear.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:04 pm

Now England are in trouble with Lawrence lasting just the four balls.

Three ducks in his last four innings.

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Post by alfie Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:08 pm

I thought for a while I had saved the innings by tuning in just as Sibley got out...one good partnership and then that wicket on the last ball of the session - rats !

And now Lawrence gone : seems to be the start and end of each blessed session doing England in. So hopefully Jos can keep Root company to the last over of the day and we should at least have 200 before the all rounders come in Smile

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Post by eirebilly Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:26 pm

Well, India could be batting today at this rate...
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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:26 pm

That was a real exhibition from Bumrah. Gave Buttler a complete schooling. Lucky to get nought, as they say.

Back to the familiar questions, then, like will England make 250?

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Post by alfie Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:28 pm

Rats again ! Buttler gone - for the third duck of the innings...

Combination of good Indian bowling , ball moving a bit and hardly any of these chaps having any red ball cricket up their sleeves ?

Hope the tail can wag but I think I'm too weary to stay and shepherd them through. Good luck Sam and Joe...

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:40 pm

Disaster for England as Thakur traps Root dead in front. He'd looked fairly untroubled until then.

138/3 to 155/7. Never change England.

Oh dear, Robinson spoons some catching practice to mid-on. 155/8. Doh

Alfie will wake to a horror show unless Anderson and Broad knock a few over tonight.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:45 pm

The joke that is the hundred has done a blinding job improving the form of the test batsmen, bravo ECB.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:23 pm

183ao. Curran adding a mini-flurry to the total. Bumrah finishing with 4/46, though he could have easily had better figures.

No surprise to see England struggle. I said initially I'd be surprised if they managed to bat the day and so it has proved.

India will have an equally tough struggle on their hands in bowling-friendly conditions, though at least they've had some preparation in the immediate lead-up to this test. Just under an hour for England to bowl at them tonight, they'll want at least three.

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Post by VTR Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:24 pm

This is dire, but India might be just as bad, we will have to see. The schedule really is getting ridiculous now with no thought given for either side to prepare properly

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:26 pm

VTR wrote:This is dire, but India might be just as bad, we will have to see. The schedule really is getting ridiculous now with no thought given for either side to prepare properly

Yes, it's why I wasn't looking forward to this series. India have been quarantined for too long. England have had no proper preparation. Five tests just squeezed in for the hell of it. Modern cricket is terrible.

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Post by VTR Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:34 pm

Agree, I'm a huge Test cricket fan usually, but didn't even realise this was starting until yesterday. India away was a desperately poor series as well on poor pitches. Series like this used to feel like big events where you would expect a decent focus on it. The Ashes with half the team refusing to go doesn't even bear thinking about

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Post by Duty281 Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:33 pm

Another day of test cricket, another torrid English collapse and another miserable effort witnessed with the bat.

Rounded off with a poor effort from England in that mini-session. Struggling with consistency in terms of line, often a little too short in terms of length. Good day for India, good platform from their openers.

Draw still the favourite, I reckon. If the BBC is accurate then at least one session will be lost tomorrow. If the Met Office is accurate then at least two sessions will be lost. Then there's further rain to come on Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

Adding to the prospects of the draw was the utterly pathetic over rate today - 66 overs in England's innings, 13 in India's, two for the changeover, meaning 9 overs lost in the game already. Imagine only being able to bowl 78.4 overs in 6hrs and 20mins of play, I think that's around 12.3 overs an hour.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:30 pm

VTR wrote:Agree, I'm a huge Test cricket fan usually, but didn't even realise this was starting until yesterday. India away was a desperately poor series as well on poor pitches. Series like this used to feel like big events where you would expect a decent focus on it. The Ashes with half the team refusing to go doesn't even bear thinking about

Certainly less focus from Sky. In case not known, I would flag that Hussain, Key and Rainford Brent are not involved with the first two India Tests, instead concentrating on the Hundred.

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:31 pm

Good day in office for India on the opening day of the test. India are notorious first for their first test implosion so much so that they would be all too happy to start every test with the second! But this has been a better start at the very least, the icing being the openers, managing to survive that mini session.
Though Sam Curran was at it yet again!, thankfully, India found a way around him before he could extend the damage. Root, after a bit of an edgy start, looked good. Crawley and Bairstow had starts. But overall, a pretty poor batting effort from England.
As for the Indian bowlers, Bumrah got a much needed confidence boosting start with a first over strike, and improved as the day went. Towards the end, he was somewhere close to his best and could have taken even more than the 4 he got!
Mohammed Shami was excellent, sometimes the length was a touch short, but he consistently asked questions and deserved every bit, the 3 wickets he got.
Mohammed Siraj, playing his first test in England, wasn't quite on his A game though he ended Crawley's promising start just when India needed a wicket.
Shardul Thakur, coming in for Ravichandran Ashwin, would have had some pressure on him, but after a steady start, played a significant role in England's collapse of 7-45.
Ravindra Jadeja didn't get to bowl much on the day. I suspect Ashwin, would have bowled a bit more... Jadeja did trouble Bairstow in particular when he had the ball, but should just give himself a sound kicking for the no-balls he bowled. A spinner, just can't bowl no-balls! Today it didn't cost Jadu, but things could be different on another day and he should just kick the habit.

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:34 pm

Indian openers Rohit Sharma, and the returning KL Rahul ensured the day would completely belong to their side by playing out the 13 overs without any damage. Both played out nearly 40 balls each, but tomorrow will be a fresh day, a fresh start. They would be hoping to make this platform into something more substantial.
Batting isn't likely to get any easier, but this is a real opportunity for India. The overheads conditions could probably be decisive. Hope the rain would behave.

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:35 pm

Bit surprised to see James Anderson bowling only 3 overs out of the 13. And Sam Curran only the 1.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:50 pm

When was the last time England produced a test match quality batsman (who went on to become that)? Must be over 5 years now I reckon

Maybe a first class competition where Darren Stevens is celebrated for being so potent isn't quite the quality needed eh
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Post by sirfredperry Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:02 pm

England's batting has been weak and inexperienced for some time. Thanks to the scheduling we end up playing India in, almost, back-to-back series followed by....Australia away.

You only have to look at the first-class averages of the batsmen to see that they will struggle at Test level. With Stokes away, the batting is even weaker.

Sibley making a two-hour 18 is only good if someone is going exceptionally well at the other end.

Rain may well save England and also reduce the workload on the bowlers.



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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:07 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:When was the last time England produced a test match quality batsman (who went on to become that)? Must be over 5 years now I reckon

Maybe a first class competition where Darren Stevens is celebrated for being so potent isn't quite the quality needed eh
Didn't Joe Root start his test career 9 years ago?
I would think he's the most recent English test quality batter to have really established himself as that.
By the way, could Moeen Ali be any worse than some of these specialist bats? Daniel Lawrence has 3 ducks in his last 4 test innings and even when he scores, never quite look the part. Oliver Pope scores far too many flashy 20s. Zak Crawley hasn't produced too many substantive test batting efforts. And Yet, Moeen, who has multiple test tons, and the best bowling record for an England spinner after Graham Swann, is easily written off even when they don't trust their chosen spinners to actually play! .

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Post by msp83 Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:14 pm

As for the match, I won't yet call the England score a really terrible one yet. Indian batting has a sense of the brittle about. Both Pujara and Rahane have been struggling for consistency. Kohli hasn't scored a big one for a while, Pant is hit or miss. Rahul is just returning to test team after a couple of years and Rohit is playing his first series against England in England in his new role. And to add to all that, they have 3 number 11s placed from 9 to 11! Though they restructured their bowling for this series opener following the WTC final, it was the batting that lost that game...

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Post by king_carlos Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:29 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:When was the last time England produced a test match quality batsman (who went on to become that)? Must be over 5 years now I reckon

Maybe a first class competition where Darren Stevens is celebrated for being so potent isn't quite the quality needed eh

Fewer fully professional counties and fewer first-class games but played at a much higher standard in the period of the summer conducive to balanced cricket. The answer has been clear for a while.

I do have sympathy with the ECB (I often don't) in this regard in that the County game desperately needs change to survive long term but any attempt to change the game is met with derision.

The status quo is too much international cricket, with much of it at too low a quality, being played just to make cash so the ECB can prop up the Counties with play too much cricket, with much of it at too low a quality, whilst is bleeding cash. Something has to give.

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Post by king_carlos Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:31 pm

Another dismal batting performance from England.

They are definitely capable of getting on a roll with the ball and causing an India collapse so the game is far from over but India's good bowling (Bumrah excellent) and the fight showed by Rohit and Rahul to be unbeaten overnight has put them firmly in the drivers seat.

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Post by KP_fan Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:38 pm

Watched most parts of the game until tea 138-4...and while Ind looked like being in  better situation at that point......I went into no connectivity for couple of hours......to emerge and be happily shocked
a.o for 183
Normally I am used to seeing Ind collapse like that in seaming conditions
I hear time will be lost due to rain, but we saw in WTC final, when conditions are so seam /swing friendly barely 3 days are enuf

Ind made right changes reacting to WTC final loss.......Out lacking rhythm Ishant & in Siraj in more free flowing rhythm.....Out ashwin ( would you imagine) and in come one of my favorites, Shardul....a proper fast medium seam bowler having come from small town, thru Ranji grind and a very decent lower order batsman
4 seamers , batting down to No. 8 and a world class spinner in the 11

How Indians are batting, ... though will get them 15s and 20s before they nick one given the conditions and Eng attack....so  Eng is not totally out...but 166 is about 50 short of a fighting total and 80 short of par score

India's nos 5,6,7 and 8 will probably realize sticking around alone ain't good enuf and score faster when the ball lost shine...and take the game away from Eng
Esp 6,7,8 are all capable of a run a ball 50s to 30s

India plays the first game fo the tour really bad as msp pointed out....and they did that in the WTC final
Will wtch longer highlights tomm to see how good really were shami, bumrah and shardul in picking last 6 wickets
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:50 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:When was the last time England produced a test match quality batsman (who went on to become that)? Must be over 5 years now I reckon

Maybe a first class competition where Darren Stevens is celebrated for being so potent isn't quite the quality needed eh

Fewer fully professional counties and fewer first-class games but played at a much higher standard in the period of the summer conducive to balanced cricket. The answer has been clear for a while.

I do have sympathy with the ECB (I often don't) in this regard in that the County game desperately needs change to survive long term but any attempt to change the game is met with derision.

The status quo is too much international cricket, with much of it at too low a quality, being played just to make cash so the ECB can prop up the Counties with play too much cricket, with much of it at too low a quality, whilst is bleeding cash. Something has to give.

I often see the “what do we expect when the first class games are moved into the fringes of the summer county schedule” tweets and comments…as if the counties are being forced for that to be the case. You find me a county chairman who would rather their cash cow t20 blast games be played at the start of April, and I’ll be surprised!

But you’re right Carlos - something does have to give soon. Unfortunately I fear it is going to be more players (ala Stokes) rather than the administrators…

Think most of us on here are in agreement that 18 professional counties just isn’t really the way forward for cricket in this country.
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Post by GSC Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:24 pm

At the end of the day what purpose does the county championship serve at present.
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