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England's Summer of Cricket 2021

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Pal Joey
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Post by msp83 Sat 14 Aug 2021, 7:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

Siraj will have a couple of deliveries at Anderson. The lead is already a nice 25.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 28 Aug 2021, 8:09 pm

Surran seems to have lost that yard of pace he gained a couple of years ago and without it he's a sitting duck for the better batsman. Overton and Robinson have secured their place for the rest of the series, hoping to see the extra pace of Mahmood soon.

I would say that despite his travails last time out that Coverton looks like he might be handy down under as well as Robinson who looks like he'll excel anywhere. They won't offer the same kind of threat as the true pace of Archer or Stone but will offer control from height ala Tremlett.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 28 Aug 2021, 8:52 pm

Overton bowled really well I thought. It's good seeing him getting to bowl a swing bowlers lengths despite being so tall. Whilst Silverwood is far from getting everything right he is perhaps a good coach for letting a player such as Overton bowl his natural lengths rather than thinking, "he's tall so get him to bang it in".

I'm still not certain that Overton would bowl well in Oz to be honest. As said I think he's a very good out and out swing bowl. Which usually doesn't fair well down under. I'd take him in Oz over Surran in this form but if those are the choices in those conditions then we're in trouble!

Robinson I think could bowl really well in Australia. That height, accuracy and seam movement are a good combination for hard pitches. I could see Robinson getting that 'up and down' variable bounce that some seamers get in Australia when cracks open up. So often when the cracks appear I think the lateral movement seamers get is a case of it either doing nothing or too much. A bit all or nothing with the lateral movement off the cracks. If bowlers are really accurate with their lengths then they can get that variable bounce in terms of height though.

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Post by JDizzle Sun 29 Aug 2021, 2:08 am

Interestingly, Robinson and Overton took the new ball when the Lions played an unofficial Test vs Australia A in 2020. They both had excellent figures as they battered a reasonable Aus A side.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/eng-lions-in-australia-2019-20-1213167/australia-a-vs-england-lions-only-unofficial-test-1213176/full-scorecard

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Post by alfie Sun 29 Aug 2021, 3:57 am

Interesting , that Lions Test , JD.  Quite a few of the fringe candidates did well in that match - and as you say , the Aussie A team wasn't exactly rubbish.

I am not sure I agree with KC about the bowling of the likes of Overton in Australia. From what I have seen living here for many years it is something of a fallacy that only certain types of bowler can succeed on Australian pitches. Yes , many of the pitches produced for Tests do favour tall fast bowlers : but not all pitches are the same , and skilful bowlers with a variety of styles can get results as long as they adapt their lines/lengths to the prevailing conditions.
Anderson and Bresnan were both highly effective in 2010 , for example. (In fact Jimmy was also pretty good on the last tour , though he suffered from lack of support.) Home grown bowlers like McGrath , who was no speed freak but was of course brilliant ; and going much further back McKenzie and Davidson were excellent bowlers who did not rely on speed alone (though Garth certainly wasn't any slouch - had a wicked bouncer !) Terry Alderman is remembered for destroying England with swing in England - but he did OK at home as well.

If a bowler is good enough , he can take wickets in Australia. Maybe there are particular grounds where you need take more notice of conditions in selection ; but I would generally  tend to select with a preference for form and class over apparent suitability (except in extreme circumstances ; like those "unusual" pitches we saw in India for the last couple of games. Won't be anything like that in Australia this year - even the fabled WACA is gone)

Which is not to say Overton will be a success or even a tourist . Just that I don't think he should be ruled out in advance - he has made a very decent claim (better than I expected) for future consideration in the match just completed , even if he only got a spot due to injury absences.

Anyway a lot of ifs about this tour . Will it happen at all : who will be fit , who will want to give it a miss...

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 29 Aug 2021, 8:42 am

Kohli is already talking about India being at their most dangerous when people are doubting them and it will be a surprise if they don't come bouncing back at The Oval.

Just as England rarely lose two successive home Tests, they are often, it seems, vulnerable after a good win. Most expected them to win The Ashes after Stokes's miracle at Headingley in 2019, but they promptly lost the next Test.

It is almost certain that Ashwin will play at The Oval and that will strengthen India.

Reflecting on Headingley just gone, what a bit of luck Root had losing the toss. Having erred on inserting India at Lord's, he would have been reluctant to put them in again and may well have chosen to bat.

At least the home skipper merely tosses the coin while the away captain does the calling. Wonder if Kohli calls (heads or tails) the same throughout a series, or alters it. Bradman once called the same and lost every toss of a series.

Hussein was branded a useless naughty naughty* boy after similar failures. WG Grace would call "the lady". If it turned up Queen Victoria as heads, he would win. If it was Britannia as tails he would, er, win.

* I see "naughty, naughty" has replaced my original description.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Sun 29 Aug 2021, 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Duty281 Sun 29 Aug 2021, 9:05 am

On tosses I remember when Flintoff was captain going into the Ashes of 2006/7. He said in his autobiography (well, one of his autobiographies) that as captain he would always call 'tails'. But when it came to the Brisbane test of 2006 he was shown the ceremonial coin that was being used - the badge of England was 'heads', the badge of Australia was 'tails'. He felt that he couldn't call against the badge of England so, going against his usual choice, opted to call 'heads'. He lost the toss, Harmison bowled that wide, Australia racked up a mountain of runs on day one and that was that.

Maybe it would have been different had he called 'tails'. Maybe England would have only lost 4-1!

On this current event England are in a good place and I can't see how they don't win this series from this position. They've achieved stability in their batting order selection, some of the batsmen have scored some much needed runs (including Root who desperately required a score), the seam bowlers are (with the exception of Curran) in excellent form, Woakes and Mahmood are waiting to come in to boost England further, and India's frailty has been exposed with two swift collapses.

Would be stunned if England don't run out 3-1 winners. Expect further collapses and miserly scores from India.

India will surely bring Ashwin in for Sharma for the next test. They may also be forced to replace Jadeja - with Vihari? - who has suffered a knee injury.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 29 Aug 2021, 10:13 am

Duty - I admired your optimism before Leeds and I admire it again. Surely, knowing England, there will be more twists in this series.

I'm at my most pessimistic after a commanding England performance. Even in the triumphant 2010-11 Australia tour they managed to throw in a shocker at Perth.

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Post by KP_fan Sun 29 Aug 2021, 2:48 pm

A More detailed view on T3

What went wrong from an Indian P.O.V

1. India is not an organically strong team, like Lloyd's or Waughs sides...no where close to it actually ....they are just beginning to win some overseas tests
They played and won with fierce intensity on D5 of T2...it "got to their head" and they tried to blast their way through the next test is same vein.
And crumbled on D1 and in first 5 sessions, so far back that return became almost impossible

2. A great show on D3 was under relatively less pressure with the mindset ...we have nothing to lose game is gone ..
On D4 team saw and thought too much of scenarios of escape and great miracles...and the pressure got back to them......whether to play positively, play at all or leave.....and the enormity of seeing off the new ball ...made them indecisive....Pujara shouldering arms & going LBW was symptomatic of team's mentality

3. Kohli dodged the bullet of carrying 4 tailenders in T2...but you cannot dodge bullets and jump red lights without getting caught or crashing .....all the time.
He's gotta have either Ashwin or Shardul at No. 8 in T4.
Given that the BIG three are all averaging barely in 30s....you need a batter at No. 8 capable of giving 30 odd runs with the bat.

4. Of the BIG 3 Kohli is on current form the worst, Rahane 2nd worst and Pujara the "least bad"
Pujara & Kohli are not "droppable"....will he drop Rahane?
and bring in SKY or Vihari...I would support that move

5. OR will Kohli be reactive, overcompensate to strengthen batting, delude himself and bring Vihari as an additional "batting allrounder" who can bowl off spin in place of Ishant
or SKY with the logic that SKY can bowl part time seam up or off spin both

6. Ashwin will have a plan, a plan B &C also for Root....I am still of the view if Ind gets Root cheaply...it's almost game over for Eng...and for that one reason alone Ashwin should play and bowl with relatively new ball/.

7. A word on Eng's remarkable improvement with the ball
from the stock ball outside the off stump with occasional in dipper.....which Indians were leaving, and leaving a lot and quite well

Eng consciously and successfully changed their strategy to make the stock ball one that come angled in to the pad...so now Ind batsmen cannot leave, leave, leave.....
they have to play, play play.....and until the one comes that holds the line straight and they are sucked into playing and nicking
Ind needs to find a way to counter this

8. If Eng replace Curran with anyone...they would be even more potent
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Post by GSC Sun 29 Aug 2021, 5:01 pm

Woakes back in the squad so presumably he'll play for Curran. Buttler not playing because his second child is due so Bairstow keeping and Billings called up. Wood passed fit so we won't see Mahmood this test
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Post by Duty281 Sun 29 Aug 2021, 5:18 pm

Burns; Hameed; Malan; Root; Bairstow; Pope; Moeen; Woakes; Robinson as an all-but confirmed top nine, I think. Billings only coming in if Bairstow gets injured, presuming Pope over Lawrence. Woakes straight back in for Curran.

The remaining two places will be filled between Overton/Anderson/Wood. If Anderson needs a rest, it'll be Overton and Wood. If England trust Anderson to get through another test the choice is between retaining the same balance of attack with Overton, or a slight rebalance with Wood providing an extra pace option - in that scenario I hope England pick Overton over Wood.

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Post by VTR Sun 29 Aug 2021, 5:40 pm

Agree with that top 9. Buttler isn't much of a loss as he's looked really out of form with the bat so far this series. Someone like Pope coming in can hardly make fewer runs

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 29 Aug 2021, 7:18 pm

If you look at the England team selection, then each Test the team has looked stronger. Possibly at The Oval we'll have Pope and Woakes back.

You do have to feel for Leach, though. He's hardly played for months and then sees Moeen come into the side. I'm a Moeen fan and like having him in the team. But it's tough on Jack.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 29 Aug 2021, 7:37 pm

If England want a spinner I don't see why they don't play Leach over Moeen, or just pick another specialist bat and let Root bowl the spinner overs.

Moeen has done as poorly as expected with the bat - averaging 16 in three innings, with a 27/13/8 contribution...and he was very fortunate to get as high as 27 in that one innings - and done OK, but nothing earth-shattering, with the ball.

You wouldn't lose much batting-wise picking Leach, and you wouldn't lose much bowling-wise picking another batsman. Moeen is a halfway house stopgap selection which currently isn't of any benefit.

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Post by msp83 Sun 29 Aug 2021, 8:42 pm

Couldn't follow any of the last day of action in the test match, but not really surprised at the outcome. Was always on the cards, with the new ball in early morning. Still, disappointed they didn't bat out at least an hour more...
Anyways, there are discussions back home in the media about the need to play the 6th batter, an idea the skipper rejected even in the post-match presser. Ishant seems to have bowled himself out of the next test. The next test in Ravichandran Ashwin's latest County home ground. Historically, the pitch has been friendlier to batters. Ashwin needs to come back in. Probably for Ishant. There were also some fitness concerns with Jadeja, though he hs subsequently been cleared of any serious injury. Jadeja surely would continue to play as a batter alone for me over Vihari, so long as he can bowl. After the openers, he has been the most consistent among the Indian lineup, running out of proper batting partner in every innings in which he got going.
Ashwin for Ishant is the change I would go in with for the next game. If either Shami or Bumrah are feeling like they need a rest, bring in Umesh... Also, tell Rahane he'll have to deliver consistently, and that if the result doesn't go India's way in the coming game, Suryakumar will be playing in his place for the last test.

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Post by alfie Mon 30 Aug 2021, 12:01 pm

Duty281 wrote:If England want a spinner I don't see why they don't play Leach over Moeen, or just pick another specialist bat and let Root bowl the spinner overs.

Moeen has done as poorly as expected with the bat - averaging 16 in three innings, with a 27/13/8 contribution...and he was very fortunate to get as high as 27 in that one innings - and done OK, but nothing earth-shattering, with the ball.

You wouldn't lose much batting-wise picking Leach, and you wouldn't lose much bowling-wise picking another batsman. Moeen is a halfway house stopgap selection which currently isn't of any benefit.

While I do sympathize with Leach , I can see the logic in the Moeen selection. (if Stokes were playing I'm sure Leach would have been the preferred option : but he ain't)

You say picking Leach wouldn't cost much with the bat ; but that is based on a small sample and the circumstances of these two matches (at Lord's it mattered not because the team lost ; and here Moeen's runs -had he made any - would have been unnecessary anyway) But seriously : Leach isn't batting at seven. So the swap automatically lengthens the "official" tail. True the tail hasn't made many yet (though Overton did well here) but there is surely more upside potential to Moeen : the team is picked with an eye to what players might reasonably be expected/hoped to do , is it not ?
As to forgetting a spinner altogether : sometimes it seems like a good idea. But it has rarely produced great results for England in recent years. And anyway given the difficulty in finding batsmen who actually make runs lately one might make the same argument about not gaining much by adding Lawrence or Crawley Smile

I am a bit neutral on Moeen as an ongoing selection. He was at one time a very valuable player ; and I like him - as I think his teammates do (we should not despise the value of team harmony) but it is fair to say he's not done much lately. As I say , if Stokes were available I probably wouldn't be considering him but I reckon at the moment he makes sense as a "team balancing" option - even if he is a "halfway house stopgap".

What sort of future he has is another argument. Safe to say he needs a performance or two. But winning this series is the pressing issue right now ...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 30 Aug 2021, 12:26 pm

Sibley has just got an absolutely horrendous LBW given against him in his county championship return. Proper, what on earth is the umpire even seeing there
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Post by guildfordbat Mon 30 Aug 2021, 12:46 pm

Although Lawrence is in the current Test squad, he's playing for Essex in their Championship game which started today. Unless there's an injury, seems certain he won't be turning out for England this week.

With Buttler on pre-paternity leave, looks like Pope will come in with Bairstow taking the gloves.

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Post by alfie Mon 30 Aug 2021, 1:29 pm

India have a selection question or two , I guess. Ashwin seems a logical pick given Ishant looks very out of sorts : suppose Thakur would be an option but I honestly think England would feel more threatened by the spinner.
Of course the other issue is whether any of the other pace men are in need of a rest ? Five matches close together is a strain on any fast bowler and the risk of leaving out a potential matchwinner needs to be balanced against that of playing a deciding last Test with main attack weapons exhausted...an issue which England also have to consider.

Presume Jadeja will be fit to play ? If he isn't then it will still be four pace men ...

Don't think they will change the batting. Rahane needs runs but Pujara showed it is usually worth giving long time performers extra time. Think the key for India remains getting a good start from Rahul and Rohit.

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Post by alfie Mon 30 Aug 2021, 1:31 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Although Lawrence is in the current Test squad, he's playing for Essex in their Championship game which started today. Unless there's an injury, seems certain he won't be turning out for England this week.

With Buttler on pre-paternity leave, looks like Pope will come in with Bairstow taking the gloves.

Think you can bet on that safely enough. And it keeps up the important statistic of always having at least three wicketkeepers in the XI Smile

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Post by msp83 Mon 30 Aug 2021, 8:53 pm

alfie wrote:India have a selection question or two , I guess.  Ashwin seems a logical pick given Ishant looks very out of sorts : suppose Thakur would be an option but I honestly think England would feel more threatened by the spinner.
Of course the other issue is whether any of the other pace men are in need of a rest ? Five matches close together is a strain on any fast bowler and the risk of leaving out a potential matchwinner needs to be balanced against that of playing a deciding last Test with main attack weapons exhausted...an issue which England also have to consider.

Presume Jadeja will be fit to play ? If he isn't then it will still be four pace men ...

Don't think they will change the batting. Rahane needs runs but Pujara showed it is usually worth giving long time performers extra time. Think the key for India remains getting a good start from Rahul and Rohit.
Have a feeling Ashwin's going to be back in, possibly for Ishant. Can't see Ishant playing the next test. Jadeja is cleared of serious injury, and should hopefully be ready for the next game. Can't afford to lose one of the 3 consistent batters who also happens to be a top class spinner. If at all they have to rest one of the quicks, it unfortunately has to be the best of the lot, Jasprit, considering he's going to play all of MI's IPL games, and then would be leading India's charge in the T-20 WC, and before all that, there will be a decisive last test to play as well. Going in without him will reduce the attack considerably though.
Suryakumar for Rahane, isn't a call I would be contesting much, though I wouldn't make it myself, for this 4th game. Rahane is on thin ice though, and needs a big, substantive performance. Can't really afford too many more wasted starts and failures. Vihari is the regular batting reserve in this team for a while, he has the FC numbers and is a fine team player. I though, am not sure about his test class, and would instead pick Suryakumar. As former India batter and national selector Dilip Vengsarkar suggested the other day, if you are to pick SKY, it has to be now, he has turned 30, has attained greater maturity and consistency as a batter in recent times, and has shown that he belongs at this level through his limited overs performances. If he has to be given an opportunity, it can't be too late.

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Post by msp83 Mon 30 Aug 2021, 8:55 pm

By the way I noticed one of the Indian newspapers reporting, that Rishabh Pant was told by the umpires that he can't bat outside the crease as it may create footmarks in the danger areas of the pitch. Didn't see cricinfo or cricbuz reporting it, but if this is true, it has to be utterly ridiculous from the umpires.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 30 Aug 2021, 10:58 pm

I can't imagine his stance was the problem but rather him charging straight down the pitch into the danger zone.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 31 Aug 2021, 9:32 am

Yeah no batsman can run right down the middle of the wicket into the danger zone - either when charging or running between the wickets
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Post by alfie Tue 31 Aug 2021, 10:03 am

I actually think the stance can be an issue - even without the batsman moving down the pitch ; though it was a new one on me : I recall (Bairstow I think it was ) being told by the umpire that he couldn't take up his stance a certain distance outside his crease as it might damage the danger area. Can't remember what match it was - might have been in Sri Lanka ?
Commentators noted it was unusual but apparently something they could insist on : the Pant stance presumably a similar issue.

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Post by KP_fan Tue 31 Aug 2021, 10:14 am

msp83 wrote:As former India batter and national selector Dilip Vengsarkar suggested the other day, if you are to pick SKY, it has to be now, he has turned 30, has attained greater maturity and consistency as a batter in recent times, and has shown that he belongs at this level through his limited overs performances.

Yup its one of the occasions where qualitative, viewing based judgment supersedes the quantitative numbers and Pecking order.
SKY now is like Kohli was at his Prime....Vihari at best will be like a 2/rd version of Puajra
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 31 Aug 2021, 3:34 pm

I think if Wood is to play one of these remaining tests, with one of Anderson/Robinson rested, then The Oval you'd think will make the most sense. Should think it'll be more of a flat deck, where Wood's pace might be needed.

Woakes in for Curran seems a no brainer to me, as much as I do like Curran as a player.

Probably an XI of;

Burns
Hameed
Malan
Root
Pope
Bairstow (wk)
Ali
Woakes
Overton
Robinson
Anderson

With the Wood decision being one made on fitness...which we have little to no insight into!
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Post by king_carlos Tue 31 Aug 2021, 4:07 pm

That's the side I'm expecting, Olly. If Woakes is fully fit he will add a lot as both a batsman and bowler.

Overton bowled much better than Curran has this season and earned another Test. Sam looks like a player that really needs some time with his county to get some rhythm back into his batting and bowling. He's played so much for England since a young age that he hasn't really had a chance to develop or 'find' his game away from that spotlight, especially with the red ball.

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Post by msp83 Tue 31 Aug 2021, 7:11 pm

alfie wrote:I actually think the stance can be an issue - even without the batsman moving down the pitch ; though it was a new one on me :  I recall (Bairstow I think it was ) being told by the umpire that he couldn't take up his stance a certain distance outside his crease as it might damage the danger area. Can't remember what match it was - might have been in Sri Lanka ?  
Commentators noted it was unusual but apparently something they could insist on : the Pant stance presumably a similar issue.
I don't think the batter's stance is something that the umpires should be interfering with. Batting outside the crease is a very legitimate strategy to counter swing. Has the laws of the game specified how far can that be? I don't think it has, and I don't think it should be. Can the rules regulate how far can a batter step out to play a spinner?

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 31 Aug 2021, 7:13 pm

msp83 wrote:
alfie wrote:I actually think the stance can be an issue - even without the batsman moving down the pitch ; though it was a new one on me :  I recall (Bairstow I think it was ) being told by the umpire that he couldn't take up his stance a certain distance outside his crease as it might damage the danger area. Can't remember what match it was - might have been in Sri Lanka ?  
Commentators noted it was unusual but apparently something they could insist on : the Pant stance presumably a similar issue.
I don't think the batter's stance is something that the umpires should be interfering with. Batting outside the crease is a very legitimate strategy to counter swing. Has the laws of the game specified how far can that be? I don't think it has, and I don't think it should be. Can the rules regulate how far can a batter step out to play a spinner?

If they charge from said stance into the danger area then the umpire can speak to the batsman. The rules are no different batting than are bowling. Batting outside the crease is not the issue here.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 31 Aug 2021, 7:54 pm

I bet Matthew Hayden is happy that umpires weren't telling batsman off for advancing whilst he was playing. I think the sight of Haydos walking down the pitch at seamers just waiting for them to drop short so he could swat them to the midwicket boundary is burned onto a few bowlers corneas.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 31 Aug 2021, 9:26 pm

Ollie Pope averages just over 100 in FC cricket at the Oval. Not a bad place to get his recall it must be said. It'll be his first home Test if he does play.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 31 Aug 2021, 10:41 pm

Seems to be full steam ahead for England with Cricinfo reporting that neither Anderson nor Robinson will be rested for this fourth test.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 31 Aug 2021, 11:34 pm

Heard today that Burns will be vice-captain for Thursday's Test. Probably not that surprising with Stokes and now Buttler missing and him being Surrey captain.

Probably not that significant either unless - gulp! - Root were to pick up an injury and miss the final Test.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 01 Sep 2021, 11:23 am

Prasidh Krishna a reserve has been added to Indian squad for the 4th test
would imply one of the main bowlers is carrying a niggle....possibly Bumrah
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Post by sirfredperry Wed 01 Sep 2021, 1:05 pm

Reckon this series is going to finish 2-2. I can see India bouncing back here and then England doing their usual at-home trick of winning after losing the previous one.

If so, the sequence will be similar to the 2-2 Ashes series of 2019.

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Post by GSC Wed 01 Sep 2021, 1:19 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Heard today that Burns will be vice-captain for Thursday's Test. Probably not that surprising with Stokes and now Buttler missing and him being Surrey captain.

Probably not that significant either unless - gulp! - Root were to pick up an injury and miss the final Test.
It's Moeen which seems even more left field
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Post by Duty281 Wed 01 Sep 2021, 1:23 pm

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/eng-vs-ind-2021-joe-root-back-at-no-1-in-icc-test-rankings-1275659

Root number one in the world again. clap

Kohli, struggling with the bat in this series, no longer the highest-ranked Indian on the list.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 01 Sep 2021, 3:28 pm

Duty281 wrote:https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/eng-vs-ind-2021-joe-root-back-at-no-1-in-icc-test-rankings-1275659

Root number one in the world again. clap

Kohli, struggling with the bat in this series, no longer the highest-ranked Indian on the list.

Root is the best batsman in the world right now...also helped by the fact that Smith & Williamson haven't played much test cricket, especially Smith
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Post by alfie Wed 01 Sep 2021, 3:54 pm

So India keeping their bowling options open. Does Kohli want to stick to his four fast bowler plan at all costs ? Or is it that Jadeja isn't quite right and Ashwin (who surely must play) will just replace him ?

England making Moeen VC is no surprise to me. He has had a leadership role before in the whiteball game and more experience than most of the rest.

Pope for Buttler is a lock. Won't harm the batting ; YJB takes the gloves (just a question of batting order : does the keeper move down to 6 , or stay at 5 ? Suspect he might as Root and Jonny seem to like batting together) The other significant aspect here is the fielding. England looked sharper in the last match , the slips much more assured , with Bairstow settling into second and Overton and Burns outside him. One drawback of Jonny going behind the stumps is that cordon is disrupted again  : the good thing being Pope is surely the best choice to go straight into second in his place. He is a superb fielder anywhere and  they will lose nothing with him slotting in - and I'd still have him at short leg to the spinners...

Bowling choice is tricky. Woakes for Curran seems obvious. OK he hasn't played much lately ; but he has a fine record here and surely deserves his chance to return to the team...will strengthen the batting too as he is a more reliable bat than Sam. I have more regard for Curran than a few on here ; but have to admit he has not really fired in these games ,  and the lure of a different (left arm) angle and general points of difference from the other seamers isn't enough to justify his continued selection. Overton was excellent and must play again.

Which leaves the only pressing issue being whether to play Wood and rest one of the main pair. Points for and against :

Oval might be flatter - Wood's pace might be required. Anderson probably doesn't love this ground as much as some and can he really play five Tests in a row ? And even Robinson has done a lot of work. Would hate to get to the deciding match and find both the main bowlers are knackered... That was arguably the reason Australia lost at home to India last year : they failed to rotate their pace bowlers and were running on fumes in the last match...
On the other hand Wood may , I hear , be somewhat constrained in the field : and is he still at some risk of aggravating his injury ? And to break up the bowling partnership that did so much damage to India last week would be a bold move : India don't fear any bowler ; but they have a very healthy respect for Anderson and might take a bit of a confidence boost if he were left out.

For the record I would be leaning to playing Wood and letting Jimmy rest and come back on his home ground next week. But I am not sure England will agree...

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Post by KP_fan Wed 01 Sep 2021, 4:09 pm

India's XI not my prefrred but my Guess as Kohli will put out tomm

1. Rahul
2. Rohit
3. Pujara
4. Kohli
5. Vihari
6. Pant
7. Jadeja
8. Ashwin
9. Shami
10. Siraj
11. Krishna
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Post by Duty281 Wed 01 Sep 2021, 4:32 pm

Cricinfo's probable teams:

England (probable): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Haseeb Hameed, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Craig Overton, 10 Ollie Robinson, 11 James Anderson.

India (probable): 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja/R Ashwin, 8 Shardul Thakur/Ishant Sharma, 9 Mohammed Shami/Umesh Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj.

It would be a big surprise if England deviated from that selection. They seem pretty settled and happy. India's team is unclear below the usual top six, with a number of close selection calls. India may use two spinners, unless Jadeja is injured; Sharma will surely be removed from selection; and any one of Shami/Bumrah/Siraj could be rested.

Weather is absolutely fine for this test. Pitch conditions, as usual at the Oval, expected to be good for batting. India have a horrible record at this ground and are coming into it in a weary state. England are in an improved position and will fancy going back-to-back in the wins column, while Woakes' recall is a huge boost to their chances.

I make England massive, massive favourites for this one. I'd be staggered if India got a result, truly staggered.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 01 Sep 2021, 6:44 pm

GSC wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Heard today that Burns will be vice-captain for Thursday's Test. Probably not that surprising with Stokes and now Buttler missing and him being Surrey captain.

Probably not that significant either unless - gulp! - Root were to pick up an injury and miss the final Test.
It's Moeen which seems even more left field

Yep, never trust what I'm told or say!

Maybe an attempt to (further) boost Moeen's self-confidence.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 01 Sep 2021, 7:43 pm

Driving Dagger thru multitude hearts Maligned Ali gets elevated to be the Vice Captain of the English cricket team
England's Summer of Cricket 2021 - Page 19 1f610
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Post by guildfordbat Wed 01 Sep 2021, 8:40 pm

Duty281 wrote:
...

Weather is absolutely fine for this test.

...

Sure hope so. Do wonder about the light though. Just across the river at Lord's this week, play has ended early in each of the three days of Middlesex's Championship game due to bad light. That's even with the lights having been on.

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Post by VTR Wed 01 Sep 2021, 10:04 pm

KP_fan wrote:Driving Dagger thru multitude hearts Maligned Ali gets elevated to be the Vice Captain of the English cricket team
England's Summer of Cricket 2021 - Page 19 1f610

Except he's really popular, no one calls him that other than you and I don't think many even really care who the vice captain is. Good points otherwise though

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Post by alfie Thu 02 Sep 2021, 7:48 am

Duty281 wrote:Seems to be full steam ahead for England with Cricinfo reporting that neither Anderson nor Robinson will be rested for this fourth test.

Yes that seems to be the plan. Apparently they are more interested in Wood for the final match so are happy to keep him on ice for now. Just hope Jimmy isn't too knocked about because it would be hard to leave him out on his home ground in a deciding Test later ! But that is for the future...

India by contrast seem to be keeping all their options open when it comes to their bowling selections : could be virtually any combination from about eight or nine players - bit of a pain for Tipping Comp selection Smile

To be honest I haven't a clue how this game is likely to go. Have picked England in the Tipping Competition but won't be astonished if India storm back strongly from their poor performance last week so not counting any domestic fowls .

Weather seems set fair so I imagine a result is likely even on a good batting pitch : don't think either team is reliable enough with the bat to make a draw feasible unless substantial time is lost like the first game.

Wonder if both captains will be wanting to lose this toss ?


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Post by Duty281 Thu 02 Sep 2021, 10:12 am

I think both captains will want to bowl first, though I could be proven wrong. The Met Office says plenty of dark clouds around for the first few hours of play, and I doubt Kohli will want to expose his batting order (victim of two collapses in the last test) to that. Equally Root should be seeing a chance of knocking India over cheaply again.

That said, it is supposed to be a good batting wicket and perhaps Root won't want his side to bat fourth v Ashwin?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 02 Sep 2021, 10:24 am

Duty281 wrote:I think both captains will want to bowl first, though I could be proven wrong. The Met Office says plenty of dark clouds around for the first few hours of play, and I doubt Kohli will want to expose his batting order (victim of two collapses in the last test) to that. Equally Root should be seeing a chance of knocking India over cheaply again.

That said, it is supposed to be a good batting wicket and perhaps Root won't want his side to bat fourth v Ashwin?

Yes I tend to think you have to bat first at The Oval - overheads might say otherwise, but the pitch is usually good for batting, and good for turn later in the game. I wouldn't want to be giving Ashwin the advantage of a last innings wicket (if he does play!)
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 02 Sep 2021, 10:50 am

Root's gone to number 1 in the world, analysts everywhere gushing about his game and hyping up him beating Yousef's most runs in a year record. Has a cumulative total of 8 runs in the test match ever been more nailed on?
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Post by Duty281 Thu 02 Sep 2021, 11:10 am

The early rumour mill suggesting Bumrah and Sharma are sitting out of this one.

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