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Ashes 2021/22 and other cricket through the winter of 2021 thread

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 14 Oct 2021, 9:46 am

First topic message reminder :

Thought I'd start a new thread for the winter cricket of 2021 that we (covid depending) have ahead of us. Obviously the World T20, but that has it's own thread...

The main event being the Ashes, with the dates below

Men's Ashes schedule
First Test: 8-12 December - Gabba, Brisbane (00:00 GMT)
Second Test: 16-20 December - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (d/n - 04:00 GMT)
Third Test: 26-30 December - MCG, Melbourne (23:30 GMT, 25 December)
Fourth Test: 5-9 January - SCG, Sydney (23:30 GMT, 4 January)
Fifth Test: 14-18 January - Optus Stadium, Perth (02:30 GMT) (subject to change)

Women's Ashes schedule
Test: 27-30 January - Manuka Oval, Canberra (23:00 GMT, 26 January)
First T20: 4 February - North Sydney Oval, Sydney (08:10 GMT)
Second T20: 6 February - North Sydney Oval, Sydney (08:10 GMT)
Third T20: 10 February - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (08:10 GMT)
First ODl: 13 February - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (23:05 GMT, 12 February)
Second ODl: 16 February - Junction Oval, Melbourne (23:05 GMT, 15 February)
Third ODI: 19 February - Junction Oval, Melbourne (23:05 GMT, 18 February)

India have a busy winter, with New Zealand touring in November/December and then India head to South Africa for the boxing day test/January.
There's an interesting test series between Bangladesh and Pakistan in Bangladesh in Nov/Dec, which should be an entertaining watch. Unfortunately I don't see much cricket on the schedule for Pakistan/Sri Lanka (unless I am missing something!)
A few others on the future tours programme, but not confirmed yet as far as I see...
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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:30 pm

England didn't need express pace 10 years ago as that was a once in a generation batting line up we had and just put ridiculous amounts of scoreboard pressure on the Aussies. Look at the scores from that series

260 (take that now!), 517,620 187 & 123 at Perth (exceptions to prove the rule), 513 & 644. Massive, massive scores and Australia had a bowling line up way inferior to what they will field this time.

England's attack was decent (supplemented by a top class spinner) but didn't need to be the 1980's Windies with a top 7 putting scores like that on. My village team would have a good go defending 644.

If (big if) the pitches are damper and turn out to be seam friendly, it will still be for a shorter period than over here with the Kookaburra ball and although it brings the England bowlers into the game a little bit more, I don't think the differential between the attacks moves much. It isn't like Hazlewood and Cummins are going to be crying into their breakfast over a seaming pitch. On the contrary, they will be absolutely delighted. They will be even more of a handful.

The Aussie batting line up isn't frightening bar a couple of outliers and probably inferior to 2010/11 but England's is less scary. How many centuries do we have in Australia? 2 I think? A green Stokes and a decent effort from Malan.

The simple fact is, England's high class seam bowling in the low to mid 80's against Australia's high class seam bowling (in home conditions) at high 80' to low 90's is where this will be won. Far more difficult to play Cummins on a seaming wicket than Chris Woakes.

Stokes being around probably stops a whitewash given the class and more importantly, balance, he brings to the side but I still can't see anything other than a comprehensive Aussie win unless Root, Stokes and one of the top 3 make a lot of runs. We'll also need at least 2 bowlers in the top wicket taking lists by the end of T5. Can't see it happening.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by guildfordbat Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:37 pm

Pal Joey wrote:

...

VTR wrote:And in response to the Tim Paine issue:

There has to come a point I think where we accept Australian Test captains with integrity just isn't ever going to happen for a prolonged period

If it turns out to be Pat Cummins, then I'm sure we'll have nothing to worry about. He's squeaky clean. Pretty sure there's no skeletons in his closet.
He's just what Australia needs at this point. I like Labuschagne (he has captaincy potential... maybe later on) but he needs to present himself more seriously and lose the joker tag if he is to be considered. I think Pat Cummins would come across a lot better and has a more reserved personality.

Hi Joey - the only thing I can think of which might count against Cummins is Australia's history of not appointing frontline bowlers as skippers. Sometimes a keeper but so very often a main batsman (I'll grant you Waugh bowled and pretty respectably but it was his batting which got him in the side and the captaincy). You probably need to go back to the great Benaud in the '50s and early '60s for a bowler who regularly led Australia.


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Post by Pal Joey Fri 19 Nov 2021, 3:18 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:

...

VTR wrote:And in response to the Tim Paine issue:

There has to come a point I think where we accept Australian Test captains with integrity just isn't ever going to happen for a prolonged period

If it turns out to be Pat Cummins, then I'm sure we'll have nothing to worry about. He's squeaky clean. Pretty sure there's no skeletons in his closet.
He's just what Australia needs at this point. I like Labuschagne (he has captaincy potential... maybe later on) but he needs to present himself more seriously and lose the joker tag if he is to be considered. I think Pat Cummins would come across a lot better and has a more reserved personality.

Hi Joey - the only thing I can think of which might count against Cummins is Australia's history of not appointing frontline bowlers as skippers. Sometimes a keeper but so very often a main batsman (I'll grant you Waugh bowled and pretty respectably but it was his batting which got him in the side and the captaincy). You probably need to go back to the great Benaud in the '50s and early '60s for a bowler who regularly led Australia.


That's right, Guildford. Benaud in 1964... so 57 years.
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Post by Duty281 Fri 19 Nov 2021, 3:26 pm

I agree with most of Tino's post. England's seam bowlers are going to struggle in the 20-80th over period and will be eaten alive by the Australian batsmen, with the possible exception of Mark Wood who has the pace to provide variety. It's a shame England don't have more of that variety with Archer and Stone absent.

Anderson averages 35 in Australia. though his last series average in Australia was a decent 28. Broad's average in Australia is 37. Woakes was around a 50 average the last time. Overton's average was 38. Stokes was bowling at an average of 33, but that was back in 2013/14, he didn't play the last series in Australia.

Those sorts of averages won't win you series in Australia, unless the batsmen are regularly putting 450+ on the board, and that's quite unlikely to happen...I think we'll see more scores under 250 from England, than scores over 450!

A lot of faith being put in Wood and Robinson who haven't yet bowled in Australia, but I'd be surprised if Wood managed more than 2 tests, 3 is probably the absolute limit.

And of course the spin is absolutely crucial. Do England have a top-class spinner? No. And they've shot themselves in the foot by pursuing absurdist short-termism in picking Moeen over the summer, rather than letting Leach develop - Leach has only played 16 tests and it's been nearly four years since his debut!

I'd also argue Australia's batting is stronger than the 2010/11/2013/14/2017/18 line-ups - Smith averages 68 in Australia, Labuschagne 72, Warner 63. That frightens me. Outside of that maybe not so much, Harris appears to be a weakness, but Green has good potential and who they pick at 5 between Khawaja or Head is a more than solid option. Paine losing the captaincy may mean he clears off out of the team entirely, which is further good news for Australia!

I said 4-1 Australia, but the more I look at it the more I struggle to see where England's one is coming from! The only hope is Root doing what Cook and Vaughan have done in previous trips Down Under, and being backed up by...someone. Anyone.

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Post by Afro Fri 19 Nov 2021, 4:08 pm

Whatever state the pitches are in, the Aussie attack is going to be superior to ours. Neither batting lineup is a patch on ones of past years, but if you looked at the top quality, proven batters, its also in their favour IMO.

Warner, Labuschagne and Smith versus Root and Stokes.

So we are going to have perform at our best to be competitive, and hopefully we will have someone rise to the occasion, outperform expectations and establish themself
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Post by VTR Fri 19 Nov 2021, 7:43 pm

Well you have to be hopeful though I understand the 4-1 predictions or worse!

England's domination in 2010/11 seems inevitable in hindsight, but it wasn't like that at the time. England's first innings of that tour even felt like here we go again, even the defeat at Perth to level the series looked like a possible turning point.

Before that tour Cook was one game away from being dropped. Bell had not established himself. Prior had just about wrestled the gloves back from the mighty Tim Ambrose. So you never know what might happen this time!

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 20 Nov 2021, 5:57 pm

Tim Paine out.

But some now think that with a new captain - and Cummins is being touted - that England will now find it harder.

I think they'll certainly find it harder if Paine drops out of the team entirely, as he was not really worth his place.

Still, I think that the last few weeks, with Stokes back and Aus needing a new skipper, have meant that it might not be 5-0 to Australia after all.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:05 am

sirfredperry wrote:Tim Paine out.

But some now think that with a new captain - and Cummins is being touted - that England will now find it harder.

I think they'll certainly find it harder if Paine drops out of the team entirely, as he was not really worth his place.

Still, I think that the last few weeks, with Stokes back and Aus needing a new skipper, have meant that it might not be 5-0 to Australia after all.
Captaincy aside I think Paine is a solid red ball keeper and a poor batsman. Early in his career before his finger injuries his F-C stats were much better I remember reading somewhere.

Some will point to his average (32.63) being similar to Buttler (33.33) given they would have been head to head. My first point on that would be that Buttler hasn't been particularly successful in Tests either! The second would be that Paine's still modest average is helped by 10 not outs in 57 innings and he has no tons. Whereas Buttler has 8 not outs in 92 innings. Buttler also has 2 tons and 18 fifties. Meaning whilst both are pretty poor Buttler has played more innings that significantly affected matches.

Australia aren't that blessed with red ball keepers to replace him though. Alex Carey and Josh Inglis were in their A-team for the Lions tour, whilst Carey was tipped to be second keeper in the intra-squad match. Both have limited F-C experience. I've not seen much of Inglis keeping but I'd say Carey is worse behind the stumps than Paine.

From what I've read Paine will play just not as skipper anyway.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 23 Nov 2021, 8:59 am

England playing a warmup game against the England Lions...well playing a bit, with most of day 1 washed out due to rain. Hameed had made an unbeaten half century before the rain came down
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Post by Pal Joey Tue 23 Nov 2021, 9:05 am

A little damp at the Redlands Cricket Club today.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/england-step-out-for-first-tour-match-ahead-of-ashes-opener-at-gabba-20211123-p59bbl.html

More rain is expected over the next few days and probably into December and beyond.

I just had a quick check of the long range weather forecast. Overcast on most days but Friday the 10th and Sunday the 12th don't look so good. There might be some bursts of sunshine on the other few days so there will be windows of opportunity to make runs... or take wickets.

So unfortunately the weather will play a part in hampering preparation for both sides; which is a pity. It's not much better down here either. I've hardly seen the sun in the past three weeks. We get one nice clear still day; then the clouds reappear and just seem to hang around all day and night for the next week or more.

Whilst I agree with both Tino's and Duty's comments; I feel sure this adverse weather will most certainly be a real leveller. It won't surprise me to see at least one Test washed out... maybe even two. How's things in Melbourne, alfie?
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Post by guildfordbat Tue 23 Nov 2021, 2:36 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:England playing a warmup game against the England Lions...well playing a bit, with most of day 1 washed out due to rain. Hameed had made an unbeaten half century before the rain came down

When I saw Hameed had reached an unbeaten half century, I thought there must must have been a full day's play. Wink

Anyway, other than for Hammed and Burns, pretty rubbish preparation ... rain, just 2 days remaining, 12-a-side, those who were at the T20 WC left in quarantine, some Lions drafted into the England side and making up the numbers.

We really could have done with a proper competitive fixture.

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Post by alfie Wed 24 Nov 2021, 3:06 am

guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:England playing a warmup game against the England Lions...well playing a bit, with most of day 1 washed out due to rain. Hameed had made an unbeaten half century before the rain came down

When I saw Hameed had reached an unbeaten half century, I thought there must must have been a full day's play. Wink

Anyway, other than for Hammed and Burns, pretty rubbish preparation ... rain, just 2 days remaining, 12-a-side, those who were at the T20 WC left in quarantine, some Lions drafted into the England side and making up the numbers.

We really could have done with a proper competitive fixture.

Dream on guildford Smile

Teams just don't get them these days I'm afraid. Hosts rarely provide anything meaningful and the time factor often prevents even enough intra-squad workouts. Suppose no modern players want old style "long" tours anyway , and all the t20 action (international and franchise) keeps eating up the available days so this is what we are stuck with...

Hope the weather allows a bit of action for the rest of the warm up period. In fact hope the weather allows the Test Match itself , given the rather dismal forecasts...

Like the Hameed comment by the way Smile

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 24 Nov 2021, 10:06 am

Hi Alfie - yes all too sadly inevitable these days.

I remember an article about 3 or 4 weeks ago in which some chap called Vaughan was saying this warm up game should be given first class status with a financial reward for the winners!

I have to acknowledge I overlooked (as Vaughan also obviously did) the requirement for England's T20 WC players to go into quarantine upon reaching Australia.

Oh well, perhaps the rain will prevent the onfield drubbing being quite so heavy for England ....

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Post by alfie Wed 24 Nov 2021, 10:36 am

Interesting to see the range of views on this impending series...

Most (all ?) of the England posters seem to be convinced the series will be an Australian walkover. But PJ clearly believes things are a lot less certain - and has been consistent in his view that the weather pattern could be quite significant. I tend to agree.

Obviously the big difference between this and 2010/11 , when a previous La Nina heralded an England series win , is that this England team lacks the pedigree of that side. Question might then be whether this Australian team is as good as the one that was beaten on that occasion. Would suggest that is something of an open question.

Easy to look back and say (as I've seen comments above) Oh they had Doherty and Beer , they were rubbish : but they actually had Johnson, Harris , Siddle , Hilfenhaus - plus Watson ; and batting included Ponting , Clarke , Katich , Hughes (as well as the then just starting out Smith and Khawaja) and Haddin: hindsight does tend to downgrade losing teams , especially in the eyes of England fans unaccustomed to winning in Australia.

I'd agree this year's Australian team is stronger in bowling - as long as the first choice four are fit and firing. Not so sure about the backup. The batting though looks vulnerable to me. If Smith were to have a modest series - or get injured - and either Warner or Labuschagne fail to cover for that , would they expect to make winning scores ? (Very hypothetical , I'd hasten to add ! But just to illustrate that it doesn't need much tweaking to change the odds)

As I've said before , Australia are favourites . England will need to improve to seriously challenge. But it is far from impossible : this is not Hussain Butcher Key Caddick White Dawson etc taking on Waugh Hayden Ponting Gilchrist Warne McGrath ...

Brisbane will be huge (more on that later) but I am looking forward to this series.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 24 Nov 2021, 2:22 pm

Disappointing to see the 2nd day of the warm up game between themselves washed out - yes not an ideal preperation schedule, but to have it further impacted by weather could have some serious effects (thinking mainly on the bowlers, who've now been a fair while without putting overs in their legs!)
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Post by alfie Thu 25 Nov 2021, 3:10 am

Weather indeed continuing to play havoc with team preparation. Not ideal as the First Test in Australia is so often crucial...

There have been 19 Ashes Tests in Brisbane since WW2 .  Twelve of them were won by Australia : and eleven of those wins led on to an Australian series victory , many of them quite overwhelming. (The one exception Typhoon Tyson's pace inspired 3-1  England win back in 1954/55)
England have won just twice - both times going on the take the series win also.

Interestingly the five draws have resulted in two England series wins , two drawn series and just one Australian victory.

History is , of course , just history. But if past trends were to hold true ,  you might think that if Australia win here they're nailed on to clean up ; whereas if England can get out of it without losing they have a better than even chance of overall success. Which at the very least might have an effect on morale...

So : important game , no ?

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 25 Nov 2021, 10:21 am

alfie wrote:Weather indeed continuing to play havoc with team preparation. Not ideal as the First Test in Australia is so often crucial...

There have been 19 Ashes Tests in Brisbane since WW2 .  Twelve of them were won by Australia : and eleven of those wins led on to an Australian series victory , many of them quite overwhelming. (The one exception Typhoon Tyson's pace inspired 3-1  England win back in 1954/55)
England have won just twice - both times going on the take the series win also.

Interestingly the five draws have resulted in two England series wins , two drawn series and just one Australian victory.

History is , of course , just history. But if past trends were to hold true ,  you might think that if Australia win here they're nailed on to clean up ; whereas if England can get out of it without losing they have a better than even chance of overall success. Which at the very least might have an effect on morale...

So :  important game , no ?

Good work with the historical stats, Alfie.

A bonus point as well for giving a shout out to Typhoon Tyson. Wink


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Post by Pal Joey Thu 25 Nov 2021, 11:13 pm

News just in. Tim Paine has taken leave from all cricket. The pressure was too much for him and the team. A bit of a sad way to go but at least now there may be a way forward for the team.

Meanwhile the wild weather and potential for flash flooding continues along the eastern seaboard. Not looking so good for the next few weeks at least.
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Post by Duty281 Fri 26 Nov 2021, 1:07 am

Duty281 wrote:Confirmed today that BT Sport will be broadcasting the upcoming Ashes series, as they did in 2017/18, as well as the limited overs' games. England's follow-up tour of the West Indies will also be shown on BT, so nothing for Sky England-wise over the winter months.

https://www.bt.com/sport/cricket/the-ashes/bt-sport-to-show-ashes-2021-22-home-of-australia-international-cricket

BT in a bit of a quandary - they had planned to use the commentary from Australia's Fox network, but Vaughan is working for them and he's persona non grata. So BT might cobble together their own commentary team at the 11th hour, or use Australia's Channel 7 commentary coverage which I understand is less prestigious.

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Post by alfie Fri 26 Nov 2021, 7:21 am

Duty281 wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Confirmed today that BT Sport will be broadcasting the upcoming Ashes series, as they did in 2017/18, as well as the limited overs' games. England's follow-up tour of the West Indies will also be shown on BT, so nothing for Sky England-wise over the winter months.

https://www.bt.com/sport/cricket/the-ashes/bt-sport-to-show-ashes-2021-22-home-of-australia-international-cricket

BT in a bit of a quandary - they had planned to use the commentary from Australia's Fox network, but Vaughan is working for them and he's persona non grata. So BT might cobble together their own commentary team at the 11th hour, or use Australia's Channel 7 commentary coverage which I understand is less prestigious.

Whoever you get stuck with , there is always the mute button Smile

I know the BBC has sidelined Vaughan ; but does BT actually have to follow suit to the extent of dumping the Fox commentary ? If you can find a way round the time delay there is always the radio...

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Post by alfie Fri 26 Nov 2021, 7:29 am

Pal Joey wrote:News just in. Tim Paine has taken leave from all cricket. The pressure was too much for him and the team. A bit of a sad way to go but at least now there may be a way forward for the team.

Meanwhile the wild weather and potential for flash flooding continues along the eastern seaboard. Not looking so good for the next few weeks at least.

Just saw this too on the news . Not exactly shocked as although he has been playing for Tasmania seconds - and has been solidly backed by some teammates - I thought he was going to be feeling the pressure with all the media stuff. Guess that is it for him , a little earlier than he might have wished. Though then again , he has had a year or two in an elevated role he probably never expected - and which might easily have been nipped in the bud had the authorities taken a different view of his photographic misdemeanours in 2018 ...

Swings and roundabouts - or snakes and ladders. Moral : careful what you send on your phone.

Probably better for new skipper Pat Cummins. Clear air , etc. After the obligatory questions he should be free of any association and can carry on with his new keeper (Carey I assume) without any off-field distractions.

What's the odds on a partially washed out Gabba Test ?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri 26 Nov 2021, 11:36 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Confirmed today that BT Sport will be broadcasting the upcoming Ashes series, as they did in 2017/18, as well as the limited overs' games. England's follow-up tour of the West Indies will also be shown on BT, so nothing for Sky England-wise over the winter months.

https://www.bt.com/sport/cricket/the-ashes/bt-sport-to-show-ashes-2021-22-home-of-australia-international-cricket

Also see in there BT have got rights for WI and NZ home internationals (I seem to think Sky had the WI rights most recently but might be wrong on that front).

BT also confirmed they’ll be taking the Australian commentary for the upcoming series, so make sure you can find that mute button in the dark of night this winter…

I’d suggest this is all pretty poor news for the viewer in this country (Sky’s cricket coverage on the whole is excellent, whereas BT’s has been shoddy at best in my experience).

Following on from Duty's post about BT now scrambling at the 11th hour for a commentary team or their own or taking the poor at best Channel 7 feed from Australia.
As unfortunately anticipated, their shoddy coverage/interest in the sport continues...I really don't know why they bid so much for the rights and then fail to have their own coverage team/analysts/commentators.
PJ/Alfie...has the lineup of comms for the Aussie channels we're getting been announced? *prays for no Slater/Warne et al*

I know everyone on the Sky coverage isn't a good cup of tea for all on here, but at least they put the bloody effort in. Heck, even Channel 4 cobbled together a decent enough studio team at the 12th hour for the India tour...

Not entirely surprising re: Paine - I see Warner's wife had made some comments in the media about CA/Paine texting affair (and made some good points tbf), so cynically I wonder if he was given a slight nudge from powers that be, so as to get this as quickly in the back mirror of Aussie cricket as possible.

Be interesting to see how Cummins goes as skipper - does he have any experience from sheffield shield stuff?
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Post by Gooseberry Sat 27 Nov 2021, 7:24 am

For me its not mattered so much who the team of presenters/pundits are so much Sky's "house style" and focus on making up controversies that aren't really there and encouraging over the top statements and catering to extreme ego's. Crickets not as bad for it as some other sports they put out, but it also kinda stands out more and feels more wrong to someone who grew up listening to the Ashes on BBC radio. BT just makes it even more difficult to watch.

Its not as big a concern for me in terms of enjoyment of this series as the state of the England squad going though. In spite of troubles Australia are going through its hard to imagine any scenario other than them crushing England.

Paine situation, its rough on him as an individual but he maybe should've just retired knowing he didnt deserve a spot in the team anyway before it came out. I do find it a bit hypocritical of the board to chuck him under the bus and say he should've lost the captaincy before, then reinstate Smith to VC who was found to be at the heart of the wider cultural problem and culpable in actual cricketing issues. Covid travel issues could always have created chaos for the commentary teams. Warners wife moaning about the media is a bit interesting when she felt the need to comment in the press about Ben Stokes' personal life in the past and makes a living by selling her celebrity status.

Dont think they had another viable option than Cummins who has been VC for some time and will have respect of the team, and must be considered capable of leading. Only question that comes up is that it ties them to playing him in every test, which is rough on a fast bowler and means he will have to manage his own workload a bit ....although I cant imagine Englands batting grinding out too many 5 days tests.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 29 Nov 2021, 3:18 pm

England's preparations sound like they're going brilliantly - Stokes choked on a tablet over the weekend, then got smashed in the forearm by a 'throw-down' from Trott, though he should still be fully fit for the first test - whether he'll play or not is another matter:

Giles said England were yet to make a call on whether Ben Stokes would play in the first Test, starting on December 8, after nearly five months out of the game to prioritise his mental health, during which time he was also nursing a serious finger injury.

"Ben seems to be going well and it's just great having him around," Giles said. "We've still got to be steady with him, he hasn't played a lot of cricket lately and, going back to that prep period, it's not ideal for anyone, but particularly the guys who haven't had a lot of cricket under their belt. We'll just keep building him up and see where we are at the end of this four-day game.

"I'm hopeful and I would always like to be confident. We've just got to treat Ben carefully, as we would with anyone else who has been in that position of not having a lot of cricket under their belts. He will be a difficult man to hold back if he is ready to go."


A four-day game v the Lions starts tonight UK time, England's second warm-up game...don't think there'll be too much play as it's forecast to hose down in Brisbane for most of the next four days.

However the early weather forecasts for the actual first test seem to indicate it'll be dry, sunny and hot, with no threat of actual rain.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 29 Nov 2021, 6:14 pm

https://www.thecricketer.com/Topics/ashes/mcg_leading_race_host_fifth_ashes_test,_day-night_match_possibility.html

Certainly seems like the Perth test will be moved - I know we all have our opinions on Covid, but they appears to have some seriously draconian measures in Western Australia don't they?
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Post by Duty281 Mon 29 Nov 2021, 6:39 pm

England haven't won a test in Perth for over 40 years, they won't mind it being moved. Interesting to see that a second day-night test is being considered.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 30 Nov 2021, 11:56 am

As you predicted Duty, first day of England's warm up match completely washed out and not looking any prettier in the forecast for the upcoming couple either.

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Post by Pal Joey Tue 30 Nov 2021, 12:37 pm

Ridiculous amounts of rain here for the last couple of weeks... it feels like months. Can only imagine how much more humid and wetter it is up in SEQ. 60mm of rain just today with 97% humidity and 21 deg. C at 10:30 at night... 11:30 here.

A good test of conditions is the good old Loaf of Bread Survival Test.
Usually you can leave a fresh loaf of bread out for a few days... maybe 4 or 5 days without it growing mould. I don't like keeping bread in the fridge. However at his time of year it's about 1 or 2 days at most. Worse in Queensland... maybe just one day before it grows legs and tries to walk away.. Smile

Almost certain at least two days could be lost for the 1st Test. I see now that Saturday and Sunday look OK but there's so much humid air being blown in from the sea that I'm not sure this forecast will hold true.

If you want to check out the real time radar...

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR663.loop.shtml
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Post by Duty281 Tue 30 Nov 2021, 1:58 pm

Yes, I see the BBC forecast for Brisbane has changed since I looked yesterday and there's now thunderstorms forecast for the first two days of the test.

A drawn test at 7/2 may be worth a punt.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 30 Nov 2021, 6:39 pm

Interesting that Mitchell Johnson feels a second D/N Test could favour England significantly. The England bowlers would certainly prefer the pink ball but so do the Aussies. Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc all average under 20 in D/N Tests. Starc especially has absolutely loved bowling with the pink ball.
 
They also all have experience with the pink ball. Robinson and Wood have never played a pink ball Tests. Woakes and Overton averaged more with the pink ball from only 2 Tests. Unsurprisingly the only England bowler with a standout D/N record is Jimmy.

The pink ball will certainly suit them better than the red Kookaburra but the Aussies love it too. I'd also guess that a second D/N Test could make it easier for the Aussies to rotate Michael Neser in as he's a very handy swing bowler in reserve.

Johnson says that the England batsman play the moving ball better than the Aussies but both batting lineups have such significant frailties that I don't think it's so black and white like that.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 01 Dec 2021, 1:00 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:As you predicted Duty, first day of England's warm up match completely washed out and not looking any prettier in the forecast for the upcoming couple either.


Second day completely washed out too.

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Post by alfie Wed 01 Dec 2021, 6:22 am

Perth seems impossible given their fortress mentality - which the Premier keeps making clear is not for turning. I had thought Hobart might get the gig but seeing a lot of support for a second day/night Test here at the 'G. Financially attractive , so ...

Logically it should suit England's bowlers ; but the Aussie pink ball record is awesome. Remember things change a lot with the move from daylight to dusk so a bit of luck involved as to who is batting when.
In any case I am reasonably optimistic about the England bowlers on this trip. La Nina should help ; Anderson and Broad have bags of experience here and can be rotated ; Woakes and Overton have , I think , improved from four years ago and Robinson and Wood are better options than Ball (remember him ?) Plus Stokes as all rounder allows Leach to play and I'd certainly hope he'd do better than poor Moeen did last time : not that visiting spinners - however good - win many Ashes Tests in Australia.

Problem for England remains the batting. No Cook this time (OK only one real score last time , but it was a monster. Not sure he's been replaced) Couple of others with Australian experience , including Stokes who was famously missing in 2017/18 ; and you'd hope Root is poised to better his fairly ordinary record in Australia. But this is the area that really has to improve if they are to seriously compete. I'm hoping more than expecting.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 02 Dec 2021, 5:24 am

Even as an England fan the amount of tripe spouted about Mitchell Starc recently is making me want him to have an absolute screamer of a series.

He's been a favourite player of mine for a while as he's an incredibly entertaining player to watch and seems an extremely likable character. The story about him buying the Aussie womens team long spikes earlier this year was great for instance.

Due to Australia hardly playing Test cricket in 2 years his poor 3rd and 4th Tests against India seem to have been extrapolated into a terminal decline by some. Even in that Indian series he took 8 wickets at an average of 19.75 in T1 and T2. In 2019 he took 42 wickets at 20.71. So it really was 2 Test matches as well.

I certainly think he's a bowler that Australia could rotate and manage better, as such I do think Jhye Richardson should play in this series. Seeing people write Starc off is just so premature though. From Australia's perspective I'd definitely give him T1, then have him nailed on for both the D/N games if as expected two of them are scheduled.

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Post by alfie Thu 02 Dec 2021, 7:39 am

I don't think too many people are writing Starc off. (Warne is very critical - he has also expressed concern over Lyon) but most of the talk is around the idea of Richardson possibly playing in Brisbane (he did brilliantly in a Shield game there recently) and Starc being kept fresh for the pink ball event in Adelaide. I think it is a reasonable argument - though not one I had originally supported. Rotation will surely be a thing in this series , so picking the best places for each bowler to turn out makes some sense.
Main issue being how Richardson will fare with the step up to the Test arena ; as we know Starc's pedigree , never mind his last couple of games. Net appearances might even be a factor...

Choosing which Tests for England's bowlers to play will also be a tricky bit of judgement. Hope they manage it better than they did in India !

Latest weather forecasts are a bit dodgy : fair chance of a good deal of rain days 1-4 ; so who knows what sort of a game we will see ?

Carey officially in as Aussie keeper for Tests 1 and 2 , to no one's surprise.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 02 Dec 2021, 9:39 am

I see we got some play in between England and England Lions yesterday...and I am concerned.
I am concerned that Jonny Bairstow was at #6 for the England side which had the batting lineup you'd expect for the 1st test, and Ollie Pope was in the Lions lineup which looked the reserve batting lineup.

This would be an absolutely *insane* selection decision. Unjustifiable. I hope it was merely so Pope would definitely get a bat.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 02 Dec 2021, 9:53 am

On the good news note however, I see Stokes got a fair few overs under his belt - hopefully his body comes through ok after it.
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Post by Duty281 Thu 02 Dec 2021, 9:55 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I see we got some play in between England and England Lions yesterday...and I am concerned.
I am concerned that Jonny Bairstow was at #6 for the England side which had the batting lineup you'd expect for the 1st test, and Ollie Pope was in the Lions lineup which looked the reserve batting lineup.

This would be an absolutely *insane* selection decision. Unjustifiable. I hope it was merely so Pope would definitely get a bat.

Saw the same thing, Olly. Think it does mean that Bairstow will get selected over Pope as the other members of the top seven in the England XI were the ones you expect to play in the first test (Burns, Hameed, Malan, Root, Stokes and Buttler).

I'd certainly pick Pope, but Bairstow is a favourite of the coaching and Root and such a move wouldn't surprise me.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 02 Dec 2021, 10:10 am

Might be irrelevant for the first test, anyway, the Brisbane forecast for the test is looking worse by the day. The BBC forecasting that two days will probably be washed out, with two more days likely to be disrupted by rain. The draw, which was 7/2 earlier in the week, is now 15/8.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 02 Dec 2021, 11:01 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:On the good news note however, I see Stokes got a fair few overs under his belt - hopefully his body comes through ok after it.

Yeah, that's encouraging about Stokes. 2/31 off 12. A proper return for sure. Seems a sensible amount for him to have bowled - a decent test for his body without recklessly endangering it.

Also good that Leach got 18 overs under his belt. However, nothing in the final column and 69 conceded. I won't be sending him home after a first day at the office but he'll need to tighten up.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 02 Dec 2021, 9:26 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:On the good news note however, I see Stokes got a fair few overs under his belt - hopefully his body comes through ok after it.

Yeah, that's encouraging about Stokes. 2/31 off 12. A proper return for sure. Seems a sensible amount for him to have bowled - a decent test for his body without recklessly endangering it.

Also good that Leach got 18 overs under his belt. However, nothing in the final column and 69 conceded. I won't be sending him home after a first day at the office but he'll need to tighten up.

I have concerns about Leach in this series. He can struggle to keep it tight when it's not turning much and really struggles against left-handers who will make up 4 of Australia's top 7, 2 of the 3 right-handers are Australia's best batsman in Smith and Labuschagne.

I do rate Leach and think he's England's best spinner from a bare cupboard so I would pick him. When looking for a long term Test spinner for England you want bowlers with rounded records though. The big disparity in Leach's record at Ciderabad compared to away and the difference in his record between right and left handers are red flags.

My worry is that Leach would be a cracking second spinner for England to bring in when conditions suit but perhaps not the best bowler to have as a nailed on first choice. He's an incredibly likable character and can bowl extremely well when it clicks so hopefully he can prove me wrong.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Fri 03 Dec 2021, 11:42 am

Duty281 wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I see we got some play in between England and England Lions yesterday...and I am concerned.
I am concerned that Jonny Bairstow was at #6 for the England side which had the batting lineup you'd expect for the 1st test, and Ollie Pope was in the Lions lineup which looked the reserve batting lineup.

This would be an absolutely *insane* selection decision. Unjustifiable. I hope it was merely so Pope would definitely get a bat.

Saw the same thing, Olly. Think it does mean that Bairstow will get selected over Pope as the other members of the top seven in the England XI were the ones you expect to play in the first test (Burns, Hameed, Malan, Root, Stokes and Buttler).

I'd certainly pick Pope, but Bairstow is a favourite of the coaching and Root and such a move wouldn't surprise me.

Bit of a farce of a game (understandable given the weather) but Bairstow out first ball which will cheer you pair up.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Duty281 Fri 03 Dec 2021, 6:56 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I see we got some play in between England and England Lions yesterday...and I am concerned.
I am concerned that Jonny Bairstow was at #6 for the England side which had the batting lineup you'd expect for the 1st test, and Ollie Pope was in the Lions lineup which looked the reserve batting lineup.

This would be an absolutely *insane* selection decision. Unjustifiable. I hope it was merely so Pope would definitely get a bat.

Saw the same thing, Olly. Think it does mean that Bairstow will get selected over Pope as the other members of the top seven in the England XI were the ones you expect to play in the first test (Burns, Hameed, Malan, Root, Stokes and Buttler).

I'd certainly pick Pope, but Bairstow is a favourite of the coaching and Root and such a move wouldn't surprise me.

Bit of a farce of a game (understandable given the weather) but Bairstow out first ball which will cheer you pair up.

Ah, but Bairstow didn't get a pair, he scored 11 in his second knock!

I've settled on the knowledge that Bairstow will be picked and he will be clean bowled in the first innings for 3, leaving England 91/5.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 05 Dec 2021, 8:49 am

Australian team for 1st Test has been announced. Harris opens with Warner, Travis Head is in and Starc keeps his place.

To me, this is a comparatively weak Aussie batting line up. I say comparatively as I expect that, at home, they'll still post reasonable totals.

The main problem for England is not the Aussie batting - it's their bowling. The home side have a formidable bowling attack and maybe their batters won't have to make that many to win the series.

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Post by VTR Sun 05 Dec 2021, 12:55 pm

Yes, not an amazing Aussie lineup. So England should generally be confident of restricting them to around 550, rather than the usual 650-5d featuring a Marsh brother making a double century

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Post by Duty281 Sun 05 Dec 2021, 2:44 pm

Incredibly strong Australian team. Three top-quality batsmen who would make it into a World Test XI, the promising Cameron Green who averages over 50 in FC cricket, and Head who averages just over 45 in tests in Australia and has scored both his test tons at home. Harris is the only weakness I see in that Aussie batting line-up. Carey's making his debut and while his FC stats are nothing special, he'll probably be coming to the crease with the score in the region of 350-450/5 more often than not, and he can make quick runs against a tiring England attack..plus he's probably better than useless rent-a-gob Tim Paine.

Then the bowling, a variety and a class that England can't get remotely close to. Starc averages 27 with the ball in Australia, Hazlewood 25 and Cummins 21. And Lyon averages a bit higher at 32, with the worst SR of the four, but he'd still get into England's team no bother. Lyon's also going to have a few left-handers to bowl at, if the seamers haven't cleaned them up first.

Australia are taking on an England team with only two top-quality batsmen, one of which has never done particularly well in Australia, the other is coming back after a long lay-off, and a plethora of medium-pace bowlers who average over 30 in Aussie conditions.

The only Australian weakness I can see is they haven't played much test cricket in the last two years. Can't see England winning a test. A draw may be possible in Brisbane, but the current BBC forecast indicates plenty of dryness.

Oh and also England don't have the requisite ruthlessness to win many tests. We saw that in the summer when England were in prime winning position twice and let India escape to victory twice.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 06 Dec 2021, 9:46 am

My preliminary thoughts on Ashes, as I get more familiar with teams, forms and side stories

-Feel Sorry for Paine's exit...I don't believe retrospective punishment for politically / socially incorrect statements in personal lives.
The yardstick is so subjective and cultural. You get away saying far more racists & sexist things in sub continent for example

-Nevertheless in cricketing terms Paine was the most  dispensable cricketer in the 11...holding on his place only because he was captain IMO....and Carey a stronger replacement

-Good to see Cummins get Captaincy...thoroughly deserving  OK
However making Smith the VC isn't logical from my P.O.V
He is not the captain because of the conviction in that whatever scandal it was.....and if he cannot be captain, he should not be VC
OR
If he can be VC...then why not make him captain

Also the cricketing community hopes that this is not the cricketing equivalent of Vladimir Putin-Dimity Medvedev arrangement.
Nathan Lyon, veteran, sure of a place in the side would have been my clean choice for vice captaincy

--Money would have been on Aus but it isn't yielding high enuf returns. I expect Eng to lose but hope they fight and compete

--Finally I sense Corona will have a say in the series although I wish not
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Post by king_carlos Mon 06 Dec 2021, 11:03 am

With the Paine stuff I'd presume it was the sending a picture of an unsolicited picture of his erect man-sausage to a coworker that sealed his fate rather than the social aspect of Paine being married but courting another woman, etc. I think in most walks of lives and jobs if I sent an unsolicited picture of old blind bob at full mast to a coworker then I'd be staring down the barrel of a firing (pun intended).

It's been mentioned by a few pundits that Paine was cleared by an investigation at the time but that 'investigation' didn't even talk to both parties involved in the messages. A bit like the sandpaper-gate investigation that only talked to Warner, Smith, Bancroft and Lehman, didn't touch any other players or coaches for fear of what that might churn up. I don't really see how this situation can be investigated without talking to both parties. That of course is a c*ck-up (I'm not even sorry) on CAs part rather than Paine's for a change, it's pretty clear that CA just tried to bury it at the time and hoped it would go away quietly.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 06 Dec 2021, 11:46 am

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/cricket/the-ashes-2021-joe-root-ollie-pope-b970201.html

MacPherson suggesting that Pope is now favoured for the #6 slot ahead of Bairstow - he’s usually fairly well informed so hopefully England have come to their senses on this one.

Also suggests it’ll be Wood/Robinson and one of Broad/Anderson to makeup the bowling attack for this one. Do note the line in there that they haven’t ruled out leaving out Leach…but surely they won’t actually do that and go in with 5 seamers which would be absolutely bonkers
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Post by king_carlos Mon 06 Dec 2021, 12:52 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/cricket/the-ashes-2021-joe-root-ollie-pope-b970201.html

MacPherson suggesting that Pope is now favoured for the #6 slot ahead of Bairstow - he’s usually fairly well informed so hopefully England have come to their senses on this one.

Also suggests it’ll be Wood/Robinson and one of Broad/Anderson to makeup the bowling attack for this one. Do note the line in there that they haven’t ruled out leaving out Leach…but surely they won’t actually do that and go in with 5 seamers which would be absolutely bonkers
With so much rain around I do worry that England will see a tinge of green and need a change of pants.

1.Burns 2.Hameed 3.Malan 4.Root 5.Stokes 6.Pope 7.Buttler 8.Robinson 9.Wood 10.Leach 11.Anderson

That's probably about as strong as we can hope for I'd guess. Not great obviously with Archer and Stone crocked combined with a flimsy batting lineup but Stokes being back at least balances things a bit better.

I think Australia will win the series but I'm not sure about the margin purely as I think their side is pretty flawed too. Head is a player I rate but struggles against seamers coming round the wicket to him. Green is clearly very talented but does plant his front leg which can often be prolific at FC level with a good eye but gets found out in Tests. Harris hasn't settled yet. At 35 will Warner bring his recent T20 form into red ball cricket? They are the better side at home no doubt but there is at least a softer underbelly than there once was when touring down under.

Whilst I don't rate Paine highly he is a better gloveman than Carey to be fair to him as well.

The Aussie pace attack is very strong though. Cummins is absolutely outstanding, an all time great in the making.

king_carlos

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 06 Dec 2021, 2:22 pm

KP_fan wrote:
...

-Good to see Cummins get Captaincy...thoroughly deserving  OK
However making Smith the VC isn't logical from my P.O.V
He is not the captain because of the conviction in that whatever scandal it was.....and if he cannot be captain, he should not be VC
OR
If he can be VC...then why not make him captain

Also the cricketing community hopes that this is not the cricketing equivalent of Vladimir Putin-Dimity Medvedev arrangement.
Nathan Lyon, veteran, sure of a place in the side would have been my clean choice for vice captaincy

...

Hi KP_f - very much with you on Smith's appointment as VC. As you say, it lacks logic on the face of it and so would seem a rather cowardly way of getting him back in the captaincy mix.

Also agree that Lyon would have been a good alternate VC choice.

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