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

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Wed 22 Dec 2021, 3:47 pm

First topic message reminder :

JDizzle wrote:James Bracey? Admittedly looked painfully bad vs NZ in the summer, but if we are wanting to give guys a chance then he shouldn’t be forgotten about so quickly. Especially as he was batting out of position. Better FC record than Hameed and made a half century for the Lions in Aus in 2020 and a ton this time. But he was flown home because English scoring runs just isn’t on!


Fair. Had forgotten about him actually and he was thrown a suicide pass in the summer against the best test team in the world. He probably does deserve another shot in the near future.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 16 Jan 2022, 12:40 pm

Well done to Australia. Only rain prevented five nil. Boland and Green having brilliant series with the ball, Head having a breakthrough one with the bat. And they did it without Hazlewood for four tests, and with Smith having a poor series.

The problems building up in English cricket have finally surfaced, and it's going to be a year of severe defeat on the test circuit. New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan should all beat this England side, West Indies have a chance too.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Sun 16 Jan 2022, 12:44 pm

Happy for Wood there. And much credit to the bowlers throughout, who were reasonably good generally. Get Robinson on a fitness plan for an international sportsman, though. I’m sorry, pal, toiling in hot weather shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Id like to see Buttler disappear, I’ll not be swayed by a good Bairstow innings either. Going away to fix his game but constantly being called up again anyway was stupid decision making and speaks of a hierarchy lacking in any sense.

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Post by VTR Sun 16 Jan 2022, 1:44 pm

Glad the tour is over, went out when it was two down, wasn't in the least bit surprised over even that bothered by yet another collapse, never thought the win was on. Not sure how anyone can claim this is a worthwhile sporting contest anymore, I'd say this is probably a worse performance than the two 5-0s.

England need to now work out if red ball cricket actually matters. The schedule also needs sorting out as well. Or just not change it and continue to sell people a massacre as something worth spending money on

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Post by alfie Sun 16 Jan 2022, 1:53 pm

Still sitting here quietly digesting all that...too hot to sleep at the moment.

Sad end to a very disappointing tour for England : I did fear that whatever they might have taken from the draw salvaged in Sydney would be lost as they tried to patch an already inadequate side together for this last game. But to fold so limply at the end after what had a been a commendable fightback was still a horrible way to go out : it may be understandable on one level after the way they've been battered over the last few weeks but must raise further doubts over a number of players for the immediate future.

I am actually glad to hear Root say he wants to continue as skipper. I don't think he is a good captain at all ; but there really is no one else at the moment (I really don't want to burden Stokes.) and at least it shows his level of commitment remains unbroken.

What I think must happen though is a change of coach . I have nothing against Silverwood : none of us know what he does in the dressing room and he is quite obviously handicapped by a paucity of good players ; so how much is "his fault" we cannot really know. But I think it is obvious that he and Joe as a team simply don't work : and as Root must continue for now he needs someone else to help him. Ideally someone who can teach him what he needs to do in these crucial moments of games ; but in any case a new face to have a chance of lifting what has to be a pretty shattered group of players.

Not long until they have to go to West Indies ; no first class cricket to find replacements for those players who really shouldn't be sent on that trip either. There were 19 players on this tour counting last minute sub Billings. Bess , Overton and Lawrence never got to show their wares so unless they were truly awful at drink carrying I'd imagine they are entitled to get a free pass for this fiasco. Root , of course ; Stokes , Wood , Anderson , Broad , Robinson , Bairstow...Malan at a pinch and Crawley can just about hold their heads up but that leaves another six who frankly can only be considered for the next tour for want of alternatives...I do not envy whoever does have to select a tour party. Not sure a fairly meaningless t20 series will be much of an indication of likely additions.

Is it all total despair then ? Not really . Have seen plenty of disastrous tours before (by England and others) and things often turn around quicker than expected. But I am seriously concerned at the degree to which English batting in particular seems to have gone down the toilet lately. The law of averages says someone will pop up at some time to take on the mantle of a Cook or a Root : but looking at the young "potential" players I am unable to see any signs of such ready to emerge. Have to hope there are some hidden in the County game that will be identified...for now it will be a case of stitching together the best group they can. All I can recommend for now is forget technique and focus on character...they are going to need a lot of that to come back from this fiasco.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 16 Jan 2022, 1:55 pm

4.9 - 0

Brutal. A truly dismal and demoralising tour.

Change is needed both at the top (Silverwood replaced) but also structurally to the domestic game for significant changes long term.

When Silverwood got the job I wished the ECB had thrown everything at Gillespie. I still feel that way. Dizzy is by a distance the best candidate I can think of having worked in the English game enough to understand it but also having experience from outwith that system for fresh ideas.

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Post by alfie Sun 16 Jan 2022, 2:00 pm

Yes I'd like Gillespie too , KC. Not sure he would want to take it on but if there is any way to get him...pay him whatever he asks !

While we are at it I'd also like to see if Dale Steyn could be poached as a bowling coach at least until Jimmy retires and becomes available !

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Post by king_carlos Sun 16 Jan 2022, 2:19 pm

alfie wrote:Yes I'd like Gillespie too , KC. Not sure he would want to take it on but if there is any way to get him...pay him whatever he asks !

While we are at it I'd also like to see if Dale Steyn could be poached as a bowling coach at least until Jimmy retires and becomes available !
Personally I think an experienced bowling coach who's willing and capable of being strict with this unit of seamers is absolutely paramount.

For a long time now it's often felt that this bowling unit can a law unto themselves. They pick their lengths, set their fields and that's that whether it's working or not. When it works it can really work but when it doesn't it really doesn't.

It's a talented group but personally I feel they need a strong hand on the tiller to negotiate different conditions and the different tactics that come with them. With how much cricket England play rotating the bowlers will remain necessary whether we like it or not too. I feel an experienced coach focused on the seamers to manage and communicate that rotation and planning will be vital.

Allan Donald? Ottis Gibson?

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Post by Duty281 Sun 16 Jan 2022, 2:21 pm

I think this is the worst overseas tour I've seen from England. Destroyed in all five tests, didn't make 300 once, and this was the only test where England took 20 wickets.

Hameed has been broken again. Averaged 10 for the series and, after two 20s in Brisbane, didn't make a double digit score from test two onwards. Burns predictably woeful, as was Buttler, and Woakes with the ball. Malan tailing away. Root only averaging in the 30s - it's unrealistic to expect him to have the same year again as in 2021, so England are in extra trouble. Stokes, in more breath-taking stupidity, rushed back with no practice, then played to the point of injury, then played when he was injured! Pope looks utterly lost. And Leach's confidence has taken a knock.

Bright points - Anderson and Broad are timeless masters of their craft, though it was baffling that neither played the first test, especially Broad! Robinson, fitness issues aside, looks top-quality in these conditions. Oh and England finally figured out Smith, he only averaged 30 in this series with zero tons.

In fact, that's actually another disappointing thing. Australia were well below their best with the bat, Labuschagne averaging 42, Warner 34 and Smith 30, but in spite of those three stellar batsmen playing well beneath themselves, England were still annihilated.

Anderson, Broad, Wood and Robinson all averaged between 23-26 with the ball - impressive, but all of Australia's bowlers, except Neser, ended up with averages below 25. Boland took 18 wickets @ 9.5 with a SR of 27!

What's the future for England? Bleak. Best summed up by the news that, due to over rate penalties, England have actually ended this tour with fewer WTC points than they started with! It's the West Indies away next in a three test series - I think the West Indies are favourites to beat a tired and bedraggled England team. Then it's NZ at home for three tests, and South Africa for the same number. Again the opposition should be favourite for both of those series, NZ especially, but SA have their own batting issues too. And a trip to Pakistan in October, which England have zero chance in. Dark times. Change needed at the top, and probably in the middle too.

Aussies have got a visit to Pakistan coming up. It'll be their first away series in a while.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 16 Jan 2022, 2:40 pm

Duty281 wrote:Aussies have got a visit to Pakistan coming up. It'll be their first away series in a while.
Not wanting to distract from England's pummeling but I'm really interested to see how Australia do in Pakistan (3 Tests), Sri Lanka (2 Tests) and India (4 Tests). 9 Tests on the bounce in very different conditions.

They are also due to play one Test against Afghanistan in India but no idea if that is still happening?

I'm really fascinated to see how they go. A top order with 4 lefties going to India with Ashwin being statistically the best bowler to left-handed batters in the history of Tests will always be interesting.

I just don't know what to expect. Their seam attack is of course superb but could be somewhat nullified by conditions. For the same reasons Lyon excels in Australia he has been solid but unspectacular in the subcontinent outside of Bangladesh where his record is very good indeed.

Swepson will presumably be the second spinner but has yet to play a Test. I've honestly seen very little of him. He seems to give it a rip but whether he will have the control to worry good players of spin is yet to be seen.

Cam Green's emergence as a bowler is big for trips to the subcontinent as it allows them to play 2 spinners and still have 3 seam bowlers. Green also needs his workload managed though. He's a very tall bowler who's body is still developing. The combination of that and too many overs in Tests can rapidly lead to injury.

Carey's keeping up to the stumps could get a very tough examination I fear.

Intriguing tours that will hopefully lead to more watchable cricket than this series.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Sun 16 Jan 2022, 7:01 pm

All great teams in any sport are full of 'leaders'..

The fact your Captain loses two series at home and gets whitewashed but for rain away.. with no obvious replacement waiting..

Is very telling...

Bairstow got a hundred he is experienced and more gifted than anyone in the top 6 bar Stokes and Root.

Promise him a run in the team and give the captaincy to him.

If England has any respect it dumps Root as Captain..

England got hammered.


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Post by Jetty Mon 17 Jan 2022, 3:10 am

kingraf wrote:I know Burns wants to have his dominant eye tracking the ball, but I'm convinced the way be bats with his head turned means he's halfway to squaring himself up every time

Can't he have his eyes lasered so he has 20/20 vision?

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Mon 17 Jan 2022, 9:57 am

Root saying all the right things in the interview I watched about restructuring the game and county season to make the test team more competitive. Essentially saying all the things that have been discussed already on here. Nothing revolutionary but at least they know what needs to be done to give themselves a better chance.

Whether there is the will to implement that change I'm not so sure when it would probably mean losing some white ball revenue. We'll see, but at least he didn't bury his head in the sand.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Jan 2022, 12:49 pm

Burns and Hameed to be dropped, Alex Lees likely to open with Crawley.

Reserve opener to be Sibley or Rob Yates.

According to the Independent

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Jan 2022, 12:51 pm

https://twitter.com/jamieporter93/status/1482719893900476417?s=21

“ It’s not the pitches it’s the ball! Simple! In 2018 we used the kookaburra pink ball for one round of matches in division 1 and the scores significantly higher! I think the kookaburra red ball would give the perfect balance!”

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Post by king_carlos Mon 17 Jan 2022, 1:14 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:https://twitter.com/jamieporter93/status/1482719893900476417?s=21

“ It’s not the pitches it’s the ball! Simple! In 2018 we used the kookaburra pink ball for one round of matches in division 1 and the scores significantly higher! I think the kookaburra red ball would give the perfect balance!”
I've been mentioning the need to look at the recent Dukes balls for a while. When the ball is swinging conventionally for 60 overs it's pretty clear there's not a balance between bat and ball anymore.

We know that Dukes can make balls which don't swing as much as the Test side going back to Vaughan as skipper have frequently rejected the batch of balls from the current year and gone hunting for ones from past season that hooped round corners. Dukes want their latest work being used on the highest stage so they've responded by making balls that swing more and more would be my guess.

Pitches are also a massive issue but the ball a significant factor too. Cricket balls being largely dire has been a bug bear of mine for years though. Pitches rightly get huge scrutiny if they are absolute roads or massively favour home bowlers. If a ball offers nothing (older Kookaburras with a less pronounced seam) or a ball hoops around corners massively favouring home bowlers (recent Dukes) we just trot along though. The home nation is responsible for the balls just the same as the pitches. The recent Dukes have been bad for cricket here.

You only need to look at how long cricket has clung to white balls to see how little appetite there is for research and change in this area though. As the leather can't be dyed white it has to be painted which simply doesn't work. As such white balls are abysmal and always have been. Still we use them though.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 17 Jan 2022, 1:34 pm

On a slightly less serious note...

The photos of the post match presentation from T5 where the England team appear to be wearing about half a dozen different types of England kit between them really made me laugh. Whites, trackies, shorts, trousers, gilets, quarter zips, hoodies, test caps, ODI style caps, flip flops, spikes, trainers.

There's such a village feel to. A bit like when a club gets a new sponsor and kit provider but the lads in the 2s and 3s who actually have to buy they own stash don't want to pay up so the XIs turns up wearing assorted club kit from about four different brands and designs that guys have collected at the back of a cupboard over the years.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 17 Jan 2022, 2:10 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Burns and Hameed to be dropped, Alex Lees likely to open with Crawley.

Reserve opener to be Sibley or Rob Yates.

According to the Independent

I do think they should give Sibley another shot under a new coach - I think many of us have said on here, he clearly can play at international level - you don't score two centuries if you just purely can't handle the levels (especially one abroad in SA). As we all noted, he just needs to be coached to begin to take advantage of the loose deliveries, just develop an "out shot" etc...hopefully under some new direction/coaches he could develop that. I do think it is worth noting, while it isn't a direct comparison between fitness and cricketing skills, when he did originally come into the side there was a lot of questions about his fitness/fielding (believe he was termed jokingly "The Fridge") and he went away one winter and worked tirelessly to get to a point where that wasn't an issue. I don't think it would be a lack of commitment from him at all which would stop him...

Happy to see he hasn't been totally discarded.

I'll pop up a post when I have time about a potential squad for that WI tour, but to begin the discussion my tl;dr with the batting is lets get onto some youngsters/performers with the Lions and be rid of Burns/Malan/Buttler (pains me to say it) and just have Bairstow in the reserve in case of emergency role. I'll explain more later
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Post by Duty281 Mon 17 Jan 2022, 2:19 pm

Don't fret too much about the test series - the five match T20 series begins in five days time. England might actually win some games!

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Post by king_carlos Mon 17 Jan 2022, 3:49 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Burns and Hameed to be dropped, Alex Lees likely to open with Crawley.

Reserve opener to be Sibley or Rob Yates.

According to the Independent

I do think they should give Sibley another shot under a new coach - I think many of us have said on here, he clearly can play at international level - you don't score two centuries if you just purely can't handle the levels (especially one abroad in SA). As we all noted, he just needs to be coached to begin to take advantage of the loose deliveries, just develop an "out shot" etc...hopefully under some new direction/coaches he could develop that. I do think it is worth noting, while it isn't a direct comparison between fitness and cricketing skills, when he did originally come into the side there was a lot of questions about his fitness/fielding (believe he was termed jokingly "The Fridge") and he went away one winter and worked tirelessly to get to a point where that wasn't an issue. I don't think it would be a lack of commitment from him at all which would stop him...

Happy to see he hasn't been totally discarded.

I'll pop up a post when I have time about a potential squad for that WI tour, but to begin the discussion my tl;dr with the batting is lets get onto some youngsters/performers with the Lions and be rid of Burns/Malan/Buttler (pains me to say it) and just have Bairstow in the reserve in case of emergency role. I'll explain more later
I've said quite a few times that I thought Sibley should have been on this tour. Blunting the new ball still has more purpose in Australia as even these newer Kookaburra's with a more pronounced seam to stop moving as they soften.

In England where the ball has been swinging for most the innings on green tops I'm not sure if there's quite the same value on blunting the new ball as there once was. If we can move back to better tracks and a ball that offers balance it certainly could again though.

Sibley needs a shot (at least one, maybe more) through the off-side and he desperately needs a means of playing spin other than just pushing it back. If he can develop those he could offer something. I fear that those improvements would require big changes to his technique though.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 17 Jan 2022, 3:57 pm

Reports coming out that Stokes and Root haven't put their name in for this years IPL auction. Prior to this tour there had been a lot of rumours that Root wanted to play more T20 cricket and was going to enter the auction.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 17 Jan 2022, 4:01 pm

king_carlos wrote:

Sibley needs a shot (at least one, maybe more) through the off-side and he desperately needs a means of playing spin other than just pushing it back. If he can develop those he could offer something. I fear that those improvements would require big changes to his technique though.

Sibley's reliance on the legside scoring reminds me of John Crawley and he was unable to develop an off-side game good enough for test cricket albeit was a very good player of spin at least in English conditions. With that in the back of my head I can't see Sibley being able to develop an adequate off-side game either but would like to be proven wrong. His stance is too closed off and would as you say KC require big technical changes.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 17 Jan 2022, 5:09 pm

king_carlos wrote:Reports coming out that Stokes and Root haven't put their name in for this years IPL auction. Prior to this tour there had been a lot of rumours that Root wanted to play more T20 cricket and was going to enter the auction.

I believe the IPL overlaps with the beginning of the English test summer again...obviously not sure where cricket will be Covid/quarantine wise at that point, but it was a potential issue bubbling (albeit if it was as usual times, the test players wouldn't have played the full IPL, only an issue if Covid etc).

Good news from the test team point of view that Root and Stokes won't be doing that - some much needed time off will be appreciated for Root after that West Indies series I think!
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 17 Jan 2022, 6:10 pm

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/cricket/ashes-2022-england-joe-root-chris-silverwood-b977119.html

A good few notes in here from MacPherson - this one stands out though

“Pope felt so short on support that at one stage it is understood he gave serious consideration to flying out his Surrey coach Vikram Solanki, who is expected to leave the county for the IPL, to work with him, off his own bat.”

If that isn’t a summation of the current English coaching staff I don’t know what is
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Post by guildfordbat Mon 17 Jan 2022, 6:21 pm

king_carlos wrote:As said many times I largely think the influence of captaincy in the modern game is massively overstated. It's not like previous eras where captains had to practically corral players onto the field, decide tactics with very limited information or analysis, coach players themselves where coaches were lacking, etc, etc.

I certainly think captaincy has far more influence in white ball cricket these days where limits on bowlers and field placements are in play.

...

The captaincy and bowling doesn't matter if we have one batter though.

Hi Carlos - I guess it depends on what is being stated. Wink I agree with you for the reasons given that the influence of captaincy has declined over the years but still consider it can be an important factor. Yes again, more in white ball cricket but nevertheless an influence in red ball.

Particular captains I've seen swing tight games their teams way in different types of domestic games are Hollioake for Surrey around the turn of the century and ten Doeschate for Essex in more recent times. Both having a good cricket brain allied to a bit of quirky thinking.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 17 Jan 2022, 7:45 pm

king_carlos wrote:Anyone else seen the footage of ambidextrous Aussie spinner Nivethan Radhakrishnan bowling off-spin and SLA for the U19s?

We've seen Kamindu Mendis doing it in international cricket. Shaila Sharmin and Jemma Barsby have both done it in women's cricket.

I wonder if it's something we might see more often as the game hopefully keeps evolving.

Hi again KC - not seen but I'll try and look out for it. Something like that is always entertaining but I do wonder how much it ultimately achieves.

A few years back when I was going to watch semi-professional football matches, before the start or during the interval I would sometimes see a guy on the pitch juggling a ball from one foot to the other, flicking it up to and over his head etc a few dozen times. All very skilful and worth a quick watch but it was never going to help put the ball in the onion bag. I suppose that's why he was the brief entertainment feature and not playing the 90 minutes.

Tbf, this young Aussie might get some success by going from one hand to another at times and mixing it up but my gut feel is that one will always be the stronger and he would be better off developing that. Happy to be shown wrong if he goes with both successfully. I note you mention one or two others have done it.

As an aside, the late Brian Close was a multi-talented sportsman best known for his cricket career with England, Yorkshire and Somerset. He had a right-hand golf handicap of 4 who within a month taught himself to play left-handed with a handicap of 9! Shocked

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 17 Jan 2022, 7:48 pm

king_carlos wrote:4.9 - 0

Brutal. A truly dismal and demoralising tour.

Change is needed both at the top (Silverwood replaced) but also structurally to the domestic game for significant changes long term.

When Silverwood got the job I wished the ECB had thrown everything at Gillespie. I still feel that way. Dizzy is by a distance the best candidate I can think of having worked in the English game enough to understand it but also having experience from outwith that system for fresh ideas.

See what you did there. Clever. Very Happy

Btw, I agree with you about Dizzy (Joey already knows that).

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Post by alfie Tue 18 Jan 2022, 4:03 am

I see speculation about changes for West Indies is off and running...

Sibley recall ? Well maybe. He is probably no worse than the others ; but although I tend to agree with KC that he might have been handy on this tour , I note that after 22 Tests he averages just under 29 despite the two hundreds - and his most recent few games were pretty awful. His withdrawal from the Lions tour also points to a loss of confidence so I would question whether March is the right time to throw him back into action ? And really : if having made a couple of hundreds is a sign he must have what it takes , surely Burns - who has made three and still averages north of thirty - has a better claim , despite a poor tour of Australia ?

Lees is touted as a new face : he was talked about a few years back , though not selected - and his form subsequently declined. He may indeed be worth a look ; but his FC average of just 34 suggests some caution
might be held about his prospects.

I am not , by the way , wishing to be dogmatic about the merits or demerits of these options (beyond stating that Crawley - although probably better suited at three - should certainly open in West Indies ; and that Hameed , whose Ashes campaign has sadly set him back a long way , should not travel at all). Just that although the opening pair remains the most important issue for England at present , we may not be able to solve it at the moment whatever selections are made . At various times , Sibley/Burns or Burns/Hameed have given hints of potential - only to crash and burn. If , say , Crawley/Lees has a couple of good partnerships in West Indies , will it be quickly abandoned again if they get mauled by NZ India and SA in the English summer ?
Try a pair and stick with it or keep recycling ? They've actually done a bit of both the last few years. Not helpful , perhaps : but my feeling is the only way they are going to get a real improvement is by finding one opener who proves to be the real deal ; and then trying others to find his best available partner - much as Australia are currently doing with Warner. The snag , of course , is finding the "one"...

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Post by alfie Tue 18 Jan 2022, 4:30 am

As to the rest of the batting : I am not sure there is all that much scope to mess around right now despite the awful collapses in Australia. Root at four and surely Stokes next despite his generally - and understandably - modest returns in Australia - must be locked in. And after his efforts in Sydney Bairstow has to be either inked in at six or given back the gloves and the seven spot. So we are left with either a Foakes recall or another chance for Lawrence at six ; and the identity of the number three.
Malan was a slightly controversial call up for Australia - though I seem to recall it was fairly popular on here in advance. He did well early ; but as he faded with the series his popularity with posters seems to have gone south along with his scores...does he deserve another shot ? I doubt he is a long term prospect ; but would a return to James Vince be a better choice ? Kirsten is flagged by many as a desired coach and he has expressed a view that suggests Vince would be on his radar (not sure if that serves to make Vince more acceptable or Kirsten less !)

Of course you could also throw in some completely new player at three - and hope. But I would suggest that one of the problems recent new boys have had is that there are too many trying to find their feet at the same time - and it doesn't make it any easier for an inexperienced player to do so  if the innings is constantly crumbling around him. Some comparisons have been made between Ollie Pope and Ian Bell : I would suggest one striking difference is that Bell came into a team in which he was immediately surrounded by Trescothick Strauss Vaughan and Flintoff (chap called Pietersen turned up around the same time!) - while Pope has found himself in amongst a revolving door of "hopeful" opening pairs , journeymen number threes (sorry Denly and Malan) and later order players who aren't quite sure whether they are batsmen or wicket keepers...
It has done for Pope , I fear - at least in the short term. No way should he travel to West Indies : like Hameed , he needs to go back to his county , regain some confidence , and work on his game. He is young enough to come again ; but another rotten tour right now might just about finish him and I don't want to see that.

Long winded way of saying I would leave Malan there for the West Indies. Though I wouldn't die in a ditch over it - he may not be up for it himself ; looked pretty wrecked in Hobart , though his family issues might be significant there.

As for the six/seven : as I say there are surely two options. Foakes (who gets better every time he isn't in the side ; but seems for some reason to be less than highly regarded by England management ?) is the most polished keeper option : if they are at all interested in trying him this would seem a reasonable opportunity - I don't think Billings is a realistic option , though he kept tidily enough in Hobart. But on the other hand , Bairstow showed in Sydney that he can bring to the team the sort of fight that has all too often been lacking in recent times - plus demonstrating he is actually a better bat than either a few of his rivals or his own struggles in recent times might have suggested. He surely has to play - and his record shows he does a lot better with the bat when employed as designated keeper - especially when batting in the normal keeper's slot at 7 .
Buttler you'd think can't be considered , although I note he expressed his desire to stay in the Test arena before the Sydney Test. This tour was a disaster for him : not just his scores and his declining performance behind the stumps , but his demeanour was that of a fellow who never really looked as if he was sure he wanted to be there. It was well documented before the tour that he was ambivalent at best about the trip ... I suspect he undertook it more out of a sense of duty than a genuine enthusiasm - and it showed. But in all honesty he has never really looked consistently at home against the red ball as opposed to the white , except for a couple of series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. I know management value him highly for factors other than runs and catches ; but realistically he has to justify a place as one of the best 6 batsmen or they are simply picking him on a whim. And even if his hand heals quickly he is very obviously in need of a rest.

Lawrence didn't get to play in Australia so he is presumably entitled to be included either as a member of the XI or the squad. Outside of that there is probably room for one or tow more reserve bats. Entries welcomed...

Bowlers later.

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Post by alfie Tue 18 Jan 2022, 6:37 am

OK bowlers . Going to be less prescriptive about these as I haven't a clue what they will want to do about resting - or how many pace bowlers are actually going to be fit for the trip. Plus of course , unlike the undermanned list of serious batting candidates there are actually quite a number of reasonable bowling options.

Wood is a must as long as he is fit. (Always a day to day proposition. But he has seemed pretty durable on the Ashes tour).  Overton did nothing wrong - not that he had a chance - so I'm taking him. Broad and Anderson are still IMHO in the preferred XI ; but their presence or otherwise is at least partially down to rotation plans (I hate all this rotation ; but accept some sort of resting policy is unavoidable , especially for the elder statesmen , in this modern world of rushed and packed Test schedules - not to mention covid complications. Have to point out though that apparent overthinking of the rotation plans for the Ashes Tests effectively ensured that (a) The series got off to a rotten start for England and (b) the ideal bowling group never got deployed for any single Test ! Bah...)
Anyway I have them both down a "maybe"

Reckon there is a case for resting Robinson. Looked knackered by end of tour ; needs to improve fitness ; will be busy in the summer - and probably won't find West Indian conditions particularly helpful. We will see.

Woakes ?  Honestly don't know why he can't fire overseas...sure he like home conditions ; but I would have thought he is nippy enough and tall enough to operate better than he seems to with a red ball outside England... He batted quite well in Australia and that might ensure his selection ; but I'm really not sure it should. Is Sam Curran recovered yet ? Reckon I would prefer him if he is , at this point.
Mahmood ?  Garton ? As the likes of Archer and Stone are apparently long term injured and who knows whether either will ever be back in the long game , I think it might be time to look at them. This tour may be a good time.

Spinners then. Leach I am inclined to leave out.  Don't expect bunsens and I frankly doubt he is likely to be a serious force in their absence . Almost ready to mark his file "Asia specialist only " though I expect to get howled down for that view.  
So who else ? Well Bess I do feel has had rather strange treatment. Maybe he has lost confidence (perhaps not surprising !) and is considered therefore too risky...in which case they might as well send him back to the CC ; but I'd have thought he might be worth a shot against a less than formidable West Indian batting list - at least for a start.
And finger spinners are not everything : is a Parkinson debut out of the question ?  Shane Warne says Mason Crane should be recalled - but Shane is perhaps a little biased there as he seems to be something of a pupil to the great man these days ; though perhaps his opinion is still worth considering.

So all up I guess I really haven't a clue about the bowling outfit Smile

Leaves my (tentative) squad something like :

1 Crawley
2 Lees Burns Sibley ? or a tin of custard...
3 Malan or Vince
4 Root
5 Stokes
6 Bairstow (Lawrence if YJB keeps wicket)
7 Foakes (or Bairstow)

Plus reserve batsmen : two spare openers from above (shallow) pool , and a spare middle order bat preferably not Pope at this stage.

Bowlers Five pace including Wood Overton Mahmood and/or Garton and two spinners : Bess plus a wrist spinner ?

As I say , all rather tentative at present ; but my general thoughts on the matter.

That'll do me for now. Feel free to line up with the ripe tomatoes...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 18 Jan 2022, 11:13 am

I see this complete non story re: the police asking a few of the Aus/Eng players to move inside with their post Ashes drinks at a hotel (see link below, it's a complete nothingness) is providing the ECB with a nice little excuse to get rid of Thorpe...as for some reason he filmed it and apparently that's a bad thing for the ECB.

https://twitter.com/TheInsiderPaper/status/1483290941981143040
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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Tue 18 Jan 2022, 11:48 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:providing the ECB with a nice little excuse to get rid of Thorpe...as for some reason he filmed it and apparently that's a bad thing for the ECB.

Yeah, of all the reasons to get rid of England's 'batting' coach.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 18 Jan 2022, 11:59 am

Some good points, Alfie. thumbsup

My own view on selection is that it's totally pointless talking about selection because the people making the selection choices are idiots. We've seen persistent failures such as Burns, Buttler and Bairstow get chance after chance; while other players like Hameed, Sibley or Foakes are jettisoned at the first opportunity. Maybe it's something to do with the letter B? With that in mind, here are my views on selection:

Openers - Hameed and Sibley should be first choice for now. Lees is possibly the next cab off the rank, but Yates is a promising player. Burns should never play for England again. Jennings shouldn't be forgotten as an option for subcontinent conditions with a tour to Pakistan coming up. Lammonby has dropped off, and I don't see Crawley as a long-term opener.

Number 3 - For now Crawley should be man in possession here. I was unconvinced by Malan's return as he doesn't have the technique for test cricket, and he's done nothing to disprove that. Hain may be worth a shot, though he's approaching a now-or-never age, and his SR isn't exactly convincing.

4/5 - Is still Root and Stokes for now, but I don't think Stokes is a long-term option. I think he'll call it quits soon - that will present enormous problems to the coveted 'balance' of the side. But India and South Africa have long tails and they make it work.

6 - I like Pope, but he needs to work on his chronic issues v spin. I don't particularly like Lawrence. Bohannon must be tried. He has a FC average of 44 and averaged 53 last season, plus he's only 25.

Keeper - Foakes, Foakes, Foakes. Give him a run, selector folks.  Bracey is still a viable option, but please no more Bairstow and definitely no more Buttler. Billings is also a no, he got a Simpson-esque call up.

I'd like Root and Stokes to have the West Indies tour off, to rest and recharge and allow some of the names competing for a spot to get some tests. Leaving a top seven of this for the West Indies tour:

Hameed; Sibley; Crawley; Bohannon; Pope; Lawrence; Foakes.

Then two of those names in the top six make way for Root and Stokes. in the summer.

Spin bowling - Leach must be backed, if he falters it's Bess' turn. But they need games, some actual test fielding placements, and support. You can't expect Leach to play one test in every six or seven and for him to magically turn it on.

Seam bowling - Healthier for now, but once Anderson and Broad go it's further problems. Robinson is a fantastic prospect, though needs to work on fitness. Not expecting to see Archer or Stone in white again, so Wood has to carry the burden of being the sole 90mph bowler for now. With that in mind, Mahmood should be called up for the West Indies tour. Woakes is a top bowler at home, but please don't pick him for an overseas game ever again (unless as a specialist batsman)! We'll see what Sam Curran is like when he returns.

But all of this is pointless without the desperately needed changes at the top to the domestic structure, coaching and all the other things spoken about. The swamp needs to be drained at the ECB.

The series v the West Indies will be very tough and I'm anticipating another defeat for England, like in 2019.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 18 Jan 2022, 4:40 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
king_carlos wrote:As said many times I largely think the influence of captaincy in the modern game is massively overstated. It's not like previous eras where captains had to practically corral players onto the field, decide tactics with very limited information or analysis, coach players themselves where coaches were lacking, etc, etc.

I certainly think captaincy has far more influence in white ball cricket these days where limits on bowlers and field placements are in play.

...

The captaincy and bowling doesn't matter if we have one batter though.

Hi Carlos - I guess it depends on what is being stated. Wink I agree with you for the reasons given that the influence of captaincy has declined over the years but still consider it can be an important factor. Yes again, more in white ball cricket but nevertheless an influence in red ball.

Particular captains I've seen swing tight games their teams way in different types of domestic games are Hollioake for Surrey around the turn of the century and ten Doeschate for Essex in more recent times. Both having a good cricket brain allied to a bit of quirky thinking.
Hi Guildford

Tendo was an excellent leader and Hollioake a real innovator in one day cricket particularly. Good examples. Chris Read was another who I thought did that well in County cricket. I would put County captaincy in that slightly different bracket to Tests though as there is a lot less analysis going on at that level. As such reading a players strengths and weaknesses on the fly can have far more influence in the field.

In Tests my view tends to be that sides know a players strengths a weaknesses even if it's the first time you play them at that level. There's footage available of most players for the average punter on YouTube these days let alone a Test sides analysis team with a budget to match. Largely, either your attack is good enough to exploit those weaknesses in the the given conditions or they aren't at Test level is my view.

On the ambidextrous thing I know that Gareth Batty on comms feels that spinners he's seen bowl with both hands tend to have a clear stronger suit. I'm not sure how realistic developing both will be. You'd basically need to commit double the time to training that most bowlers do. It just interests me that we seem to be seeing more it in the modern game as trends change.

I believe Graham Gooch actually bowled seam up with both arms early in his career. One of the Mohammad brothers bowled spin with both arms too. So it isn't brand new, just happening more.

The Mohammad brothers impact on cricket is fascinating. Hanif's long lasting records for long vigils at the crease. Mushtaq playing the earliest reverse sweeps. Sadiq batting left-handed despite being right handed so that his dominant right hand was his top hand and enabled off-side play. A fascinating family of cricketers.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 18 Jan 2022, 4:55 pm

For the Windies tour I'd lean towards:

Batters - Root (c), Bairstow, Crawley, Sibley, Bracey, Livingstone, Bohannon

All-rounders - Stokes

Keepers - Foakes (Bairstow as reserve gloveman)

Spinners - Leach and Parkinson

Seamers - Anderson, Broad, Wood, Robinson (if fit), Mahmood, Garton

From that I'd probably start with a top 7 of:

1.Sibley 2.Bracey 3.Crawley 4.Root 5.Stokes 6.Bairstow 7.Foakes

I usually lean towards play a spinner which would be Leach or Parkinson. I share others reservations that Parkinson could be targeted by Test batters due to the pace he bowls but we wont know if that's true or he can adapt unless tried.

The 3 out of the seamers and quicker bowlers there depending on conditions.

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Post by alfie Wed 19 Jan 2022, 1:19 am

Hmm. I can see that KC and I are very much on the opposite side of the table from Duty Smile

I guess after the disaster they've just had anything might be worth a try ; but I would suggest that leaving out every player who actually made a run in Australia (except Crawley) and sending a collection of two walking wickets , one hopeful newcomer and a few recycled moderate performers should at least ensure Duty's concluding prediction of another defeat !

Look I get the idea of giving Root and Stokes a rest. Would be happy to be guided by the support staff - even though that group are surely somewhat discredited after what has happened recently. But I'd be very surprised if Root were to miss the tour and suspect Stokes will be determined to get right back into the game after the nice little rest he will enjoy for the next month or so. Who would captain this "experimental" outfit , I wonder ?

Bohannon I obviously haven't seen but I am impressed that he actually has a FC average that suggests he is capable of batting for a serious amount of time : most of the other names I am seeing thrown around struggle to average over thirty in domestic cricket so selecting them for Tests strikes me as sheer insanity... I would be happy to see him on the tour as the one really "new" batting prospect .
I simply do not believe in picking a bunch of young players all at once who are either in wretched form or haven't played at all recently, just because you are fed up with recent results and want to cull anyone over 25. The best of the next generation must and will come through but have to do so in some kind of managed progression. Hameed and Sibley to open ? Seriously ? If by some miracle they survived it might be about 19/0 at lunch...

Bracey is an interesting call. Had forgotten about him - but at least he fits Duty's template of having a Test Average of about ten in the last year or so Smile

No seriously I would not be against Bracey as an opener. He was indeed misused against NZ albeit he would have been nowhere near the side in "normal" circumstances. Probably as good an option as Sibley and certainly no worse than Hameed at present...

I think we are all in general agreement about the bowlers.

Will be interested to see the views of the rest of the 606v2 selection panel . Perhaps we could end up having a vote on all the spots just for fun and see how close we get to the actual party ?


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Post by alfie Wed 19 Jan 2022, 4:02 am

Now apart from the selection questions , I am sensing a strange gap on here...

Where is guildford's response to Agnew's plans to effectively axe half the First Class Counties , and indeed abolish the CC altogether ? I believe most on here want to see a serious amount of change in the English domestic game - not just as a response to the recent rotten run but because it has been clear for some time that the system isn't producing young batsmen fit for International cricket (other than the 20 over thrash format) but I'm not sure a total "burn it all down" approach is either practical or likely to work the magic hoped for.

Have just listened to a discussion between Ward , Key , Atherton and Hussain re the tour and its lessons , future plans etc...commend it to all. They are up for change all right ; but admit there may not be a perfect solution and that any rearrangement of the domestic season is going to call for compromise.

You fellows on the ground are much better placed than I to comment anyway so I will resist proposing a detailed plan of my own to rebalance red and white ball stuff.

But I do hope to hear from guildford as one of the remaining dinosaurs before the Extinction Event Smile

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 19 Jan 2022, 8:36 am

alfie wrote:Now apart from the selection questions , I am sensing a strange gap on here...

Where is guildford's response to Agnew's plans to effectively axe half the First Class Counties , and indeed abolish the CC altogether ? I believe most on here want to see a serious amount of change in the English domestic game - not just as a response to the recent rotten run but because it has been clear for some time that the system isn't producing young batsmen fit for International cricket (other than the 20 over thrash format) but I'm not sure a total "burn it all down" approach is either practical or likely to work the magic hoped for.

Have just listened to a discussion between Ward , Key , Atherton and Hussain re the tour and its lessons , future plans etc...commend it to all. They are up for change all right ; but admit there may not be a perfect solution and that any rearrangement of the domestic season is going to call for compromise.

You fellows on the ground are much better placed than I to comment anyway so I will resist proposing a detailed plan of my own to rebalance red and white ball stuff.

But I do hope to hear from guildford as one of the remaining dinosaurs before the Extinction Event Smile

Hi Alfie - I have long felt that dinosaurs get a tough press. They ruled the earth for 143 million years so must have got something right. That correct, Joey? [He's also the 606 creatures expert.]

Out now. More later.

PS Have you seen Olly's new thread? I suspect he was paid by the line but it's money well earned!

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Post by Galted Wed 19 Jan 2022, 9:19 am

guildfordbat wrote:
Hi Alfie - I have long felt that dinosaurs get a tough press. They ruled the earth for 143 million years so must have got something right. That correct, Joey? [He's also the 606 creatures expert.]


Ouch.

I hold PJ's lethal animal anecdotes in very high regard but that's an awful slap in the face for Tino, especially considering his shameless attempts to ingratiate himself with the 606 cricket cult.
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Post by guildfordbat Wed 19 Jan 2022, 9:33 am

Galted wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Hi Alfie - I have long felt that dinosaurs get a tough press. They ruled the earth for 143 million years so must have got something right. That correct, Joey? [He's also the 606 creatures expert.]


Ouch.

I hold PJ's lethal animal anecdotes in very high regard but that's an awful slap in the face for Tino, especially considering his shameless attempts to ingratiate himself with the 606 cricket cult.

Without disrespecting Tino’s animal expertise in any way, I think that - similar to Alfie’s dinosaurs - we all have to move on and recognise that he is now Tino of the Cricket Board.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Wed 19 Jan 2022, 9:39 am

guildfordbat wrote:Tino of the Cricket Board.

I bloody love you, GB.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by superflyweight Wed 19 Jan 2022, 9:40 am

guildfordbat wrote:
Galted wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Hi Alfie - I have long felt that dinosaurs get a tough press. They ruled the earth for 143 million years so must have got something right. That correct, Joey? [He's also the 606 creatures expert.]


Ouch.

I hold PJ's lethal animal anecdotes in very high regard but that's an awful slap in the face for Tino, especially considering his shameless attempts to ingratiate himself with the 606 cricket cult.

Without disrespecting Tino’s animal expertise in any way, I think that - similar to Alfie’s dinosaurs - we all have to move on and recognise that he is now Tino, the cabin boy of the Cricket Board.

Think this is more accurate.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 19 Jan 2022, 1:25 pm

alfie wrote:Hmm. I can see that KC and I are very much on the opposite side of the table from Duty Smile

I guess after the disaster they've just had anything might be worth a try ; but I would suggest that leaving out every player who actually made a run in Australia (except Crawley) and sending a collection of two walking wickets , one hopeful newcomer and a few recycled moderate performers should at least ensure Duty's concluding prediction of another defeat !

Look I get the idea of giving Root and Stokes a rest. Would be happy to be guided by the support staff - even though that group are surely somewhat discredited after what has happened recently. But I'd be very surprised if Root were to miss the tour and suspect Stokes will be determined to get right back into the game after the nice little rest he will enjoy for the next month or so. Who would captain this "experimental" outfit , I wonder ?

Bohannon I obviously haven't seen but I am impressed that he actually has a FC average that suggests he is capable of batting for a serious amount of time : most of the other names I am seeing thrown around struggle to average over thirty in domestic cricket so selecting them for Tests strikes me as sheer insanity... I would be happy to see him on the tour as the one really "new" batting prospect .
I simply do not believe in picking a bunch of young players all at once who are either in wretched form or haven't played at all recently,  just because you are fed up with recent results and want to cull anyone over 25. The best of the next generation must and will come through but have to do so in some kind of managed progression. Hameed and Sibley to open ? Seriously ?  If by some miracle they survived it might be about 19/0 at lunch...

Bracey is an interesting call. Had forgotten about him - but at least he fits Duty's template of having a Test Average of about ten in the last year or so Smile

No seriously I would not be against Bracey as an opener. He was indeed misused against NZ albeit he would have been nowhere near the side in "normal" circumstances. Probably as good an option as Sibley and certainly no worse than Hameed at present...

I think we are all in general agreement about the bowlers.

Will be interested to see the views of the rest of the 606v2 selection panel . Perhaps we could end up having a vote on all the spots just for fun and see how close we get to the actual party ?


Calm down, fella, calm down.

Hameed and Sibley are the best two openers in the country. Not saying much, but it is what it is until Yates or Lees come through, or one/both improve.

I would like Root and Stokes to get a rest, but I accept it's only 50-50 on happening for Stokes and almost certainly not for Root. In my hypothetical scenario anyone could captain, not much would be lost in Root's absence there.

'I simply do not believe in picking a bunch of young players all at once who are either in wretched form or haven't played at all recently' - the alternative choice is to pick a bunch of experienced failures, like the three Bs, and we all know how that'll turn out! And, in any case, most of the players I've picked are in their mid 20s or more, Foakes is 28. Bohannon would be the only debutant. At some point England have to build for the future. They've had a habit of relying on short-term stopgaps - Denly, Malan, Moeen - and that needs to stop.

Very harsh on Bracey. He only had two tests, batting in an unfamiliar position, and certainly has the potential if nothing else.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 19 Jan 2022, 1:48 pm

I think I fall more towards the Duty line of thinking for the West Indies tour selection of batsmen.

Didn't mind the Malan selection for the Ashes, and in fact on the most "normal Aussie" pitches he did fine...but when the pitches got a bit spicier we saw his failings come to the fore again. One thing Ed Smith did get correct in his tenure really (as harsh as it may have sounded), Malan's game is really only suited for one set of conditions, think it would be best for all parties if he was left on the sidelines to focus solely on trying to maintain a place in the white ball setup now.

I wouldn't be against these older "stop gap" type batsmen (in the mould of say Chris Rogers) if they were helping us win test matches, but the reality is they simply are not. Literally the only test matches England have won in the last year are the ones where Root has put in a superhuman performance with the bat.
So this is why I tend to err more towards Duty's, lets give some fresh blood and more youthful players a go in the West Indies.

I would disagree about resting Root and Stokes though - Root is clearly standing down from his t20 ambitions (IPL) and Stokes also withdrawing his name from the IPL this year, so they should get some time off to rest post this tour now. Only issue is Stokes's fitness, who knows how he will recover from the side strain...if he is fit, he definitely plays in the test side for me.

Foakes should be given the gloves now - I am not as big a fan of him as some on here, and he had some really unfortunate injury luck which robbed him of a spot this summer, but it was frankly ridiculous he wasn't the backup keeper for the Ashes...and I think it would be best for all involved if we just let Buttler concentrate on being our best white ball batsmen ever for as long as possible.
I actually think they've gotten Bairstow's role right in recent months...he is a handy backup/break in case of emergency option to have around, as he has tried and had some success with altering his technique in the last 12/18 months...I'd keep him in this role only. I really do not think one innings should override his previous four years of failures though, even if during those four years he was not handled as well as possible.

As for the actual options for the batting? I have to admit I am unsure of the youth/alternates but see Lees/Yates/Bracey/Bohannon etc floated around, and they alongside Lawrence/Pope/Crawley/Hameed/Sibley probably should be the pool the selectors pick from. They have a four day warm up match planned before the first test, which will give at least some chance to all to put forward a case for the XI!

In terms of seamers...a bit easier. Robinson/Wood/Anderson/Broad as the main quartet is fine, and agree with the consensus on here of wanting to give Mahmood an opportunity to be in the squad. Archer/Stone won't be available, but I have noted that Archer is doing some gym work with the current T20 squad out in West Indies, so I would think he might be in and around the group to continue rehab when the test side is over there too.

Spin wise...the West Indian test side of recent times has been stacked full of right handers in the top 7, with only Kyle Mayers playing regularly as a leftie. Would suggest to me it might be a good opportunity to reintegrate and get behind Leach for a series in unfamiliar conditions.

Anyways before then we have some T20is to be played!

I see reports that Salt is expected to be given a debut in this format alongside Roy at the top of the order, which is nice to see. I think the likely XI is to be along these lines...

Salt
Roy
Livingstone
Morgan
Moeen
Billings (wk)
Dawson/Garton???
Jordan
Rashid
Mahmood
Mills

The main spot undecided really being that #7 spot - they could go batting heavy and insert Banton up the top of the order, or play some extra spin with Dawson or add some pace with Garton. I struggle to see Payne, Topley or Vince getting a game barring injury, or rest for the odd game.

Hoping to see Livingstone given a chance to bat at #3!
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Post by JDizzle Wed 19 Jan 2022, 2:03 pm

Will go into some more detail later - but will just note, before I forget, Josh Bohannon has the same number of FC centuries as Rory Burns has Test centuries. This concerns me a lot if he is the next shiny new thing.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 19 Jan 2022, 2:24 pm

JDizzle wrote:Will go into some more detail later - but will just note, before I forget, Josh Bohannon has the same number of FC centuries as Rory Burns has Test centuries. This concerns me a lot if he is the next shiny new thing.

Please don't spoil our shiny new thing by pointing out possible flaws. Let's just believe.

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Post by James100 Wed 19 Jan 2022, 4:08 pm

Excellent post Olly, agree with pretty much everything you say about the Test side

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Post by JDizzle Wed 19 Jan 2022, 8:29 pm

Right then, let's add my thoughts to proceedings...

I think the best two openers in England are Burns and Sibley. I would have it in my head that these would be the two guys to invest in going forward. Burns has a ceiling which probably is an average of around 35, as with his technique if anything is slightly out of kilter or off he will struggle. It probably explains why he gets lots of 0s and low scores as when things aren't quite in sync yet he is very vulnerable. This isn't an ideal quality for a Test opener! But he has proven that when he gets set he can score hundreds which is a quality not a lot of our batters have!

Sibley also does have some qualities to like, mainly his ability to go away and improve his game, which is something that not a lot of England players have done recently. I believe his decision to miss the Lions tour was because he wanted to spend the winter working with Gary Palmer (Cook's old batting coach) who helped him remodel his technique to get to where he is now. That, his self enforced fitness push and his long innings show an impressive mindset and attitude for a young batter and I like it. I would check in on him, but wouldn't be averse to leaving him to implement his changes in the CC before a recall.

I have expressed doubts over Hameed ever since his recall vs India. I am not sure on what basis he was picked or can be picked now. He averages 31 in FC cricket so the weight of runs aren't there. He has a technique that is fairly universally agreed isn't suited to pitches with bounce - Aus and WI?! - so he doesn't really pass the eye test either. Would he have even been in the County XI to score his ton that got him recalled in a warm up vs India if not for those few innings in India 5/6 years ago? I doubt it. I think he should be send back to Notts until he forces the door down with weight of runs.

Crawley travels. Not sure where he bats though. He almost has the opposite problem to Sibley - too many shots and not sure when to use them! Sometimes he could do with a lower tempo. And please to God, someone hammer him with 1000s of balls until that crooked bat angle on his drives it coached out of him.

I would be tempted to persist with Malan for this tour. His calling card is playing pace and the Windies spinners shouldn't cause an issue (unless Chase is possessed by Murali again) - even in his two fifties in the Ashes he really looked lost vs Lyon. I think he's a useful stop gap for the Windies though, as it should play to his strengths. I also give him somewhat of a pass for the final few games in Aus as I would imagine he more than anyone would have struggled with the bubble life given his personal situation.

I would desperately be ringing David Bedingham, knocking on his door, throwing stones at his window until he agreed to take up his English passport too.

On Bohannon, his lack of FC hundreds really worries me. He only has three, which doesn't scream out he is someone who can bat huge periods of time. I have only seen him bat in the Lancs vs Somerset game in the CC that was on Sky and he didn't look like he was a cut above anyone else. Admittedly it was only one game. Tom Lammonby looked the best bat in that game, and I still believe in him! But it is too soon after a really rough year. I want to see Bohannon go big in the first few games in 2022 and their is a spot in the middle order open for him.

Root and Stokes have to tour. Can't rest them unless they are injured.

Bairstow gets in for me too. Like I said before the MCG Test, just pick your best team. Unless it is a very close call, then age should be the tie breaker. I don't see an option that is close to Bairstow. The only other name I would throw in would be Ben Brown - averaged 51 last season and has a career average of 40. I don't know him at all really, and he has just moved to Hampshire. He is also 33, so a stop gap. You wouldn't take him to tour at that age. If you take him, you play him.

I would take Bracey too. Think he was shafted a bit with the way he was dropped in and it is clear he isn't a WK at test level. Plus he covers the top order and can be the emergency third choice WK.

I don't really think Foakes will develop into too much of a Test player. His two tests in the Windies last time really worried me re. his ability vs quality fast bowling. He'll probably average around 30, similar to Buttler. Which you'd take I guess, and just allow Jos to be Jos in the white ball stuff. If batters were coming out of England's ears, I would always lean towards the find a batter and develop their keeping a la Prior. But we aren't there!

Bowling is quite a lot easier. Anderson, Broad, Robinson, Wood, Leach are locked in.

Second spinner is Bess or Parky. I would take Parkinson I think - as a) I don't rate Bess's off spin, he is a useful all round cricketer though and b) Leach doesn't really bat or field, so Parkinson could be slotted in for him without losing much elsewhere. The concerns about Parkinson's bowling (slow pace, no googly) have been done to death, but I don't think he is another Crane. His FC record is exceptional - if we are going to say county pitches are seamer friendly and don't help spinners, we do have to acknowledge 102 FC wickets at 23 is superb. But bowling leg spin at test level is really, really hard. How many have succeeded in Tests in the last 20 years?

Mahmood tours, but England have to be careful thinking he is another Wood. Wood is the quickest bowler in the world. He can bowl in the style he does. Mahmood is sharp (85-90), but he is not Wood. He is skiddy and can reverse it. Great strengths to have, but don't pick him and tell him to bowl 93mph bouncers. That is Mark Wood not him.

I don't get the Garton calls. He was going at over 4 an over in the CC last season! That just doesn't cut it at test level one bit. I just don't see him ever being a Test level cricketer unfortunately.

Burns, Crawley, Malan, Root, Stokes, Bairstow, Foakes, Robinson, Wood, Broad, Leach.

Bracey, Sibley (check on his progress with a view to him playing this summer), Brown (if he starts over YJB, if not then Lawrence), Anderson, Parkinson, Mahmood.

I think, looking at my squad, is I do believe they have identified somewhere near the best cricketers in England and Wales. Which is a bit worrying.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 19 Jan 2022, 9:46 pm

I agree about Lammonby, I still have faith, but the next two-three seasons are the crucial years for him. Maybe he had a tactical season off last year to avoid being called up for that horror run of tests?

Also agree about Garton. Haven't seen a lot of him but, as well as the woeful economy you pointed out, he also averaged over forty with the ball last season, which is dismal compared to a lot of other bowlers.

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Post by JDizzle Wed 19 Jan 2022, 9:52 pm

I would have to check, but I think it’s a weird quirk of Lammonby’s game that his four hundreds have all been in the second innings of games! Which should be tougher to bat in. Not sure if that is a pro or con - I think I will believe a pro, as he has room to add ‘easier’ first innings runs.

The Women’s Ashes start tomorrow. In good news, the women’s team are in better shape than England men. In bad news, Australia women are a better team than their men! Hard to see England winning the Ashes back.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 19 Jan 2022, 11:01 pm

Good post JD. Few points on:

Beddingham - Is he qualified? I thought there were visa issues there post Brexit for him to even play as a non overseas in the CC.

Bracey - He should never have been keeping or batting 7 at Test level but I do rate Bracey as a top 3 bat.

Brown - Would have been top of my list to keep against NZ instead of Bracey. Jordan Cox and Ollie Robinson (Kent version) would also have been well ahead as gloveman.

In defence of Garton. If we get the experienced bowling coach that we need (Donald please) then I'd want Garton working with them. He has the raw skills that mean who could, albeit with a huge amount of work, theoretically add things to this attack that most our seam option can't. Given how few bowlers with different skills England are producing I think we need to actually work hard with the ones that have something different.

Overton for example currently is a better bowler, certainly in English conditions, but at the end of the day is another copy and paste English seamer. He needs to bowl very full lengths to get results. Due to his height and (to my eyes mythical) extra yard of pace he's now got I think there's a hope that he could perform a different role if required. I just don't see it though. I think he's a very good swing and seam bowler on English wickets with the Dukes ball. We've already got plenty of those who are even better than Overton though!

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