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

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Post by VTR Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:09 pm

First topic message reminder :

Don't know anything about that number 9 and 10, are they decent hitters that just happen to be low in the order, or were England again awarding outlier performances to the opposition?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Mar 27, 2022 12:15 am

kingraf wrote:This is a really bad passage of cricket. Like exceptionally bad. This entire month has been cricket in the 2000s, and it honestly is no wonder a brand new format was sprung if this is all people had to watch\

Yes this series, and really the majority of the one in Pakistan have not been good adverts for this format...
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Post by Soul Requiem Sun Mar 27, 2022 12:18 am

Crawley might have a future in the England side buts it's not as an opener, his technique is far too loose.

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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 12:38 am

Root has a serious problem against the dibbly-dobbling medium pacers.

And England have a serious problem now.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Mar 27, 2022 12:56 am

Lawrence goes shouldering arms for a duck, and we're collapsing to Kyle Mayers again
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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:11 am

Wow, this is truly pathetic, even by the low standards set over the last year

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:23 am

Lees dropped at third slip (should've been taken) off Mayers, but Stokes goes next ball. Shambles.
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Post by JDizzle Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:26 am

JDizzle wrote:
alfie wrote:Pitch is dead flat though , isn't it ?  Bat properly and England oughtto be able to bat themselves back into this.  

I would agree with this - bar the first morning this pitch has been pretty benign as we’ve seen from both teams lower orders. And only the batting we expected from the top orders at the start of the series has meant it is 200 plays 300.

If England can get through the first 25 overs unscathed, they have a chance to put a total on the board that the Windies won’t relish chasing.

This did not happen

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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:29 am

Windies will be worried though that our best batting doesn't come in until we're eight down, so probably in about 20 minutes time

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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:30 am

Root had a thousand-mile stare going after Stokes was out. This one is probably over. Could be over tonight. Could still be an innings defeat.

There is no hope for English test cricket. This could have been a three-niler but for the pancakes prepared in the first two tests.

Will England win a test this year? It's genuinely difficult to envisage.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:30 am

Hope this match will still be going when Alfie wakes.

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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:34 am

Duty281 wrote:Root had a thousand-mile stare going after Stokes was out. This one is probably over. Could be over tonight. Could still be an innings defeat.

There is no hope for English test cricket. This could have been a three-niler but for the pancakes prepared in the first two tests.

Will England win a test this year? It's genuinely difficult to envisage.

Only positive from this is Root will be gone. The tools at his disposal are pretty appalling, but his captaincy is beyond dreadful as shown today or that comical last wicket stand that India had in the summer. Two winning positions literally handed over. I am not sure of the solution but don't think Stokes is the answer. Perhaps someone with half a cricketing brain who can bat at 6, with Bairstow taking back the gloves at 7.

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Post by Galted Sun Mar 27, 2022 1:42 am

Duty281 wrote:Root had a thousand-mile stare going after Stokes was out. This one is probably over. Could be over tonight. Could still be an innings defeat.

There is no hope for English test cricket. This could have been a three-niler but for the pancakes prepared in the first two tests.

Will England win a test this year? It's genuinely difficult to envisage.

Still got SA coming up, which has been pretty straightforward for Eng over the last 3 or 4 series.  That will be a bit of a litmus test.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Mar 27, 2022 2:15 am

https://twitter.com/zaltzcricket/status/1507796789428199437?s=21&t=o7L_Mk9Mh8JaLMwq7KEo5w

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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 2:18 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:https://twitter.com/zaltzcricket/status/1507796789428199437?s=21&t=o7L_Mk9Mh8JaLMwq7KEo5w

Good lord

Well at least we can say we've got a record breaking team!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Mar 27, 2022 3:44 am

Bairstow and Lees look like they’re steadying the ship, Bairstow gets some chirping from Da Silva and co about slow scoring and then is out next over trying to smack one into next week.

Then Ben Foakes, is run out going for a quickly run two. Run out, in a test match…pathetic

Embarrassing stuff. I wouldn’t even call it schoolboy cricket, that’s being kind to them!
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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 3:49 am

Both pathetic incidents, to round of a pathetic performance today. Foakes really hasn't taken his chance again, does open the door for Buttler to return, maybe even as captain?

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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:10 am

Kyle Mayers doing the Roston Chase impression.

5/9, his first test five-for. His FC best is currently 6/29, so just one more needed for him.

All-round embarrassment from England. Another new low.

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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:14 am

We all joked before the series about who England would award ridiculous performances to. Even Da Silva's 100, I mean there's no way he should be doing that from number 8. This is easily as abject as the Holder/Dowrich/Chase travesty

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:21 am

Would I be right in thinking every time the England Captain doesn't score runs...England lose ??

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Post by JDizzle Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:22 am

A county should genuinely sign Kyle Mayers and watch him take 80 wickets @ 12.

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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:29 am

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Would I be right in thinking every time the England Captain doesn't score runs...England lose ??

Yes.

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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:35 am

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Would I be right in thinking every time the England Captain doesn't score runs...England lose ??

If you widen that definition to also include the matches where he scores runs, you are spot on!

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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:37 am

Stumps. So...that was quite something.

Leach to score a ton and take 6/25 tomorrow? Whistle

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Post by Pal Joey Sun Mar 27, 2022 5:01 am

It's not all bad news. England won the toss and will bat in Wellington. Let's hope the rain stays away and there's no gale force winds.
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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 6:07 am

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2022/03/26/mark-nicholas-makes-surprise-tilt-england-managing-directors/

Mark Nicholas has, surprisingly, applied to be the managing director of England men's cricket (responsible for selecting the new coaching team and restructuring the domestic game).

Rob Key has also thrown his hat in, but the favourites are Marcus North (er...OK) and Ed Smith (shudder).

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Post by alfie Sun Mar 27, 2022 9:03 am

Can't say I'm too surprised at the scorecard. Just watched the highlights and rather seemed to confirm my suspicion that the late West Indies partnerships were likely to break the fragile mental state of this England team.
We saw in the first two Tests that most of these fellows can bat - at least on flat pitches. Even the first two days here demonstrated they have some genuine fighting spirit (if not very good tactical sense at times ) : but , as has happened quite a few times recently , when a session goes badly against them with the ball and they find themselves facing an unexpectedly large challenge it appears they just lose heart completely and accept defeat. Lot of that looked like the end of some of the Ashes Tests. Just going through the motions - as if they know they're dead anyway so no belief that they can put up serious resistance...it is sad. But it's happening so often as to become utterly predictable...I honestly do not know how it can be changed but it probably has to be addressed with a complete change of leadership. for a start.

I've never been of the "off with their heads" school of thought - panic knee jerk change rarely does much lasting good : but with coach already gone - and "interim" coach not having much joy - it seems to me that Root's position as captain is untenable. I've advocated for him to remain at the helm until now ; but his body language in the field , which really looked poor quite early in this game , and is too often lacking anyway - coupled with his tired looking dismissal and general air of resignation has convinced me he has reached the end of his tether.
Problem being Stokes - only logical successor - is already part of that leadership group . So can he manage to change the whole mindset of the team ? I really don't know ; but I think we have to let him try. Letting him start with the new coach in place at the start of the summer (probably isn't going to be Collingwood , I'm afraid...I had hopes of him but I fear this debacle might have tainted his appeal too much to see him proceed at this time).

This tour hasn't been a total disaster because it has shown at least what doesn't work. It was always going to be a bit of an experimental interval between the end of an Ashes cycle and a new start. Might as well make that new start now .

At least they will get some time away from the coal face now before facing NZ. Essential that the changes are made decisively during this break so the new leadership can start fresh , baggage discarded.

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Post by alfie Sun Mar 27, 2022 9:08 am

Mark Nicholas might do a good job as managing director - would be something different at least. But to be honest I don't care who takes the job as long as it isn't Ed Smith ... We've already seen the nonsense he comes up with in place of rational thought Smile

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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 3:34 pm

Seems Root is definitely out of the way as captain, because near enough every headline and report is talking about it. Why this is the tipping point, I'm not sure. The tipping point for me was earlier when Root's woeful captaincy in the India series which directly cost two tests.

Any future captain has to come from outside the current international set-up. If the next captain is Stokes, or Bairstow, they're doing it wrong. My vote would be for Tom Abell. Won't do much with the bat, but neither did Mike Brearley.

But of course the problems go deeper than the captaincy. This is the weakest England test side in my lifetime, possibly ever.

The establishment in the ECB must be toppled. Give jobs to outsiders, not the current failed order.

And if England could stop bowling short and down the leg-side to tailenders, that would be appreciated. I saw a stat that showed Pakistan have one of the best strike-rates in terms of bowling to tailenders in recent years (England one of the worst). Pakistan tend to bowl fast, full and they attack the stumps against those batsmen. Worth considering?

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Post by kingraf Sun Mar 27, 2022 5:19 pm

Duty281 wrote:Seems Root is definitely out of the way as captain, because near enough every headline and report is talking about it. Why this is the tipping point, I'm not sure. The tipping point for me was earlier when Root's woeful captaincy in the India series which directly cost two tests.

Any future captain has to come from outside the current international set-up. If the next captain is Stokes, or Bairstow, they're doing it wrong. My vote would be for Tom Abell. Won't do much with the bat, but neither did Mike Brearley.

But of course the problems go deeper than the captaincy. This is the weakest England test side in my lifetime, possibly ever.

The establishment in the ECB must be toppled. Give jobs to outsiders, not the current failed order.

And if England could stop bowling short and down the leg-side to tailenders, that would be appreciated. I saw a stat that showed Pakistan have one of the best strike-rates in terms of bowling to tailenders in recent years (England one of the worst). Pakistan tend to bowl fast, full and they attack the stumps against those batsmen. Worth considering?

To be fair while this is as poor as England have been in the recent past, they did go through a phase from 86-90 when they won 4 Tests out of 44. A run so bad I had to double check to make sure I read that right. So as bad as England have been, they've shown historically that they are capable of so  much worse.
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Post by Soul Requiem Sun Mar 27, 2022 5:51 pm

They did win a test series in Australia during that period Raf.

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Post by kingraf Sun Mar 27, 2022 5:57 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:They did win a test series in Australia during that period Raf.
This lot won in South Africa and Sri Lanka not even 2 and half years ago.
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Post by kingraf Sun Mar 27, 2022 6:16 pm

Onto Kyle Mayers - He's a nice little cricketer, and as annoying as it is, innocuous bowlers do have match winning spells from time to time. Bevan's 10-fer vs the Windies. Michael Clarke taking a six-fer in India (although that did end in a loss), even Mayers took twin 3-fers against South Africa last year, so he can bowl. He's also got a fourth innings double ton in Asia, coming in at 59/3, so I think he's just a real gamer. The kinda player who probably won't ever have a particularly impressive set of numbers, but capable of making memorable things happen. Great to see
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Post by alfie Sun Mar 27, 2022 6:39 pm

kingraf wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:They did win a test series in Australia during that period Raf.
This lot won in South Africa and Sri Lanka not even 2 and half years ago.

Of course they did. And drew at home with Australia in 2019. In fact , until last year their recent record was certainly not awful.

They are ordinary , true. But when they aren't operating shorn of virtually their first and second choice pace bowling groups they are probably capable of competing with most opponents. Seems crazy to call it a bad year but essentially that is all it is : tour of India followed by taking on NZ with a depleted team ; down 1-2 to the same excellent Indian outfit and then a hardly unusual thrashing in Australia...disastrous run of results which has left the team progressively worse off in terms of morale.

To call this team the worst ever is hyperbole. Plenty of problems which aren't going to be fixed overnight : and my contention is that this is a good time to have Stokes take over and try to infuse the rest with his fierce competitive spirit. Root is just the wrong man to lead a team out of the mud - even if he weren't drained by the stress of the last couple of years. He could (more or less) lead a confident team with some success , as we've seen in the past...but this situation calls for a change.

I'm as disappointed as anyone with this latest setback but even if they'd won this match I'd still be more concerned by what they do in the coming home summer - when they will hopefully stop messing about experimenting and actually try and pick the best team they can put on the field each match. For one reason or another , I think they have consciously decided not to do just that in about 11 or 12 of this rotten run of 17 matches for one win. Maybe they might get the message now ?

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Post by AlciG Sun Mar 27, 2022 9:33 pm

England have the West Indies exactly where they want them Whistle

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Post by AlciG Sun Mar 27, 2022 9:44 pm

Well... England's best partnership at the crease now.

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Post by AlciG Sun Mar 27, 2022 10:14 pm

Going way down leg

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Post by AlciG Sun Mar 27, 2022 10:15 pm

At least I can understand taking this review... not much runs to work with. Some of the 1st innings reviews though were head scratchers

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Post by AlciG Sun Mar 27, 2022 10:37 pm

Da Silva for MotM for me. WI's were in a tough place when he got to the crease.

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Post by alfie Sun Mar 27, 2022 10:39 pm

All official now ...

Congratulations West Indies clap clap clap

Well deserved series win : battled hard to avoid defeat when they were getting the worst of the first two matches ... and made no mistake here once they got on top. Can moan all we like about England's failings ; but the home team deserves a lot of praise for their victory.

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Post by VTR Sun Mar 27, 2022 10:46 pm

kingraf wrote:

To be fair while this is as poor as England have been in the recent past, they did go through a phase from 86-90 when they won 4 Tests out of 44. A run so bad I had to double check to make sure I read that right. So as bad as England have been, they've shown historically that they are capable of so  much worse.

Agree with this, the current team is a shambles, but the players are now expected to play the top few teams almost endlessly, so as much money as possible can be made. This Windies series hasn't come long after 5 Tests in Australia that were pretty much back to back. The team is massively underperforming, but not helped at all by the greed from above

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Post by Duty281 Sun Mar 27, 2022 11:09 pm

alfie wrote:All official now ...

Congratulations West Indies clap clap clap

Well deserved series win  : battled hard to avoid defeat when they were getting the worst of the first two matches ... and made no mistake here once they got on top. Can moan all we like about England's failings ; but the home team deserves a lot of praise for their victory.

Yep, agree. The second test may have been played on a flat deck, but the West Indies still had to deal with the scoreboard pressure of replying to a total of 509, and they batted for just over two days to preserve the draw. Tough to imagine England managing the same feat.

I note England's hapless run of only four wins from the start of 1986 to June 1990, but there were a lot of draws. I think the draw + England win tests combined come out at over 50% in that period, whereas currently it's 11 defeats in the last 17 tests.

We'll see where England go from here. I accept they've had a tough run of fixtures recently, predominantly playing the best three nations in the world, but there's little sign of such difficulty abating. NZ at home this summer - Kiwis big favourites despite the wobbles they've had recently, and the loss of some of their batting order. South Africa at home, they've made improvements, they generally like playing over here (as England do over there), and they seem to have a more resilient batting order than England.

Then, in the winter, the away trip to Pakistan, which I'm fairly prepared to write off already! Wonder if England will end up recalling Moeen for that? Followed by, I believe, a two-test series in New Zealand in early 2023 and, of course, five more tests against Australia in the summer of 2023.

Difficult to see where the wins are coming from! The ECB presumably aren't toning down the opposition because of money, but don't they realise it's been nearly 12 years since Bangladesh visited England for a test series! And nearly 20 for Zimbabwe.


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Post by guildfordbat Mon Mar 28, 2022 12:06 am

AlciG wrote:Da Silva for MotM for me. WI's were in a tough place when he got to the crease.

Yes, and he got it. Right call imo for Da Silva to narrowly pip Mayers. Da Silva batted incredibly well and showed massive application in getting a century in a match where no one else even got to 50.

Also agree with Brathwaite getting MotS. By some distance for me. Led by excellent example. When the West Indies couldn't win a Test, he ensured they didn't lose.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:56 am

I imagine I would be right in assuming very few West Indians would get into the England XI....So if inferior players are battering you there must be a problem with the set up..

Replace the guy leading it before losing becomes acceptable..

Having no one to replace an incompetent leader is laughable...

Give it somebody... Anybody..

Start again but not with the girly boy.

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Post by msp83 Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:40 am

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:I imagine I would be right in assuming very few West Indians would get into the England XI....So if inferior players are battering you there must be a problem with the set up..

Replace the guy leading it before losing becomes acceptable..

Having no one to replace an incompetent leader is laughable...

Give it somebody... Anybody..

Start again but not with the girly boy.
Brathwaite, Crawley? Root, Bonner, Stokes, Bairstow, Holder, da Silva, Roach, Seales, Mahmood/Leach, or Woakes if only they play in England. Brathwaite and Holder will easily walk into a post-Cook England team. And even when Anderson and Broad are picked, Roach can be an equally good 3rd seamer.
How many of this England lot make it to the West Indies team? Root of course, and Stokes surely despite Holder's presence. Bairstow, just like he's better than England's over-hyped new batters, can make it to this WI lineup. But that's about it really.
Shannon Gabriel has a more proven record than Mark Wood, and even for that matter Jofra Archer. Bonner has proven to be of greater substance than England's bunch of 20Somethings. Even Kyle Mayers would be a better bet than the likes of Oliver Pope.

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Post by alfie Mon Mar 28, 2022 12:24 pm

England ex-captains lining up to call for Root's exit as skipper...  I hope Joe can read the writing on the wall and step down gracefully as I have nothing but respect for him and his determination to try and take England forward ; but he really needs to accept that it just isn't getting them anywhere.

I have consistently argued he was entitled to continue , partly for his inspirational example and partly for the want of credible alternatives. Also had hoped he might learn from experience (as I would suggest Cook did , for example) : but the repeated examples of late order opposition partnerships causing England to lose their heads - and subsequently the matches - has convinced me that he is too set in his ways ; and maybe just lacks that instinct that is a hard to define but essential part of successful captaincy.

As others have said , won't solve all the problems . But will enable a fresh start in June ; hopefully allow Joe to concentrate on doing what he does best - and just maybe the new leader (presumably Stokes) might take to the role with aplomb : won't know until we try ...

I see the calls for bringing in a "wild card" from outside. I get the attraction. But it is really just a punt , is it not ? To bring in a player who wouldn't make the team on merit , in hopes he might work wonders as a leader ?  

Comparisons with Brearley are not , I submit , totally accurate : he was a marginal player , yes. but still one who had earned selection in the first place - even if he might not have kept his spot had England not needed a replacement for Tony Greig in something of a hurry. His batting never really justified his place going forward either - but he managed to show his value by managing the other ten players (some of them were quite good at batting , fortunately !) and obtained serious results. As he did again in his - brief - emergency recall after Botham proved the old fear that charismatic all rounders don't always make good leaders. (And OK , I do get that is a caution re Stokes Smile )

I reckon Chris Cowdrey , in the "Year of the Five Emperors Captains " , is a better example : it really didn't go well...

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Post by guildfordbat Mon Mar 28, 2022 3:55 pm

Alfie - even by your usual standards, that's an excellent post. A top notch comparison of current England captaincy issues with those of the past together with who we turned to in earlier years and how they got on. I suspect it may surprise some of those lucky enough to be in the younger contingent here that Brearley was originally selected as a batsman and not as captain.

Going out now but I'll post a few thoughts later on what I would do. Might just help if we get Olly's usual review and marks out of ten for the series. Wink thumbsup


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Post by Soul Requiem Mon Mar 28, 2022 4:10 pm

The batting is such a mess with no obvious way of fixing it that I wouldn't be against having a specialist captain. Whomever it is cannot perform any worse than those already tried.

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Post by Pal Joey Mon Mar 28, 2022 4:41 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Alfie - even by your usual standards, that's an excellent post. A top notch comparison of current England captaincy issues with those of the past together with who we turned to in earlier years and how they got on. I suspect it may surprise some of those lucky enough to be in the younger contingent here that Brearley was originally selected as a batsman and not as captain.

Going out now but I'll post a few thoughts later on what I would do. Might just help if we get Olly's usual review and marks out of ten for the series. Wink  thumbsup


I can kick it off for you if you like, Guildford.

Obviously Joe prefers and performs better at No. 4. so that's one obvious change. Rest him from the captaincy. Think Stokes is still a bit mentally fragile so no point promoting him to the captaincy. Bring in some tough, knockabout guys... with a history of taking no nonsense from anyone.

Might need to get a few of them into the nets in the coming month or two but I'm sure it's achievable. England need a charismatic coach who can G up the players and share some personal experiences (of ups and downs and how to recover from the downs) and a shrewd manager who can sort through the chaff and has an eye for pure gold.

Hopefully Jofra will be back sooner rather than later... he just needs to value his wicket a bit more and perhaps concentrate on a comfortable line and length rather than trying to break people's faces.

Alex Lees
Ant Middleton
Gerard Butler (c)
Joe Root
Ben Stokes
Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Jamie Smith (wk)
Bear Grylls
Idris Elba
Dev Patel
Jofra Archer

Coach: Ali G
Manager: Alan Sugar

That would be a truly awesome team.....!

Note:
One good double-barrelled proper English name, one Smith, a few killers, one adventurous type and the rest basically pick themselves on form.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Mar 28, 2022 5:12 pm

I echo your sentiments Alfie re: Root - I just hope in the process of removing the captaincy from him, they don't alienate him...because we can't afford to lose Root the batter anytime soon!

I don't really get the attraction of an outsider coming in - are we really sure there is a genius captain waiting in the wings in the county game? I see Abell's name floated...is it great captaincy that he happens to captain a side that produces bunsens at home?

I think it has to be Stokes alongside a new coach, or a wildcard punt on someone in the setup outside him (basically Broad or Anderson for a year or two?).

The key appointments really are the Director of Cricket and new coach. Captaincy can really wait until then...but they're the key ones. Morgan worked so well as skipper, because he worked alongside Bayliss (who was, and is a great white ball coach) and was backed by Strauss to lead the white ball revolution. They have to nail those two appointments before we decide upon captaincy.
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Post by JDizzle Mon Mar 28, 2022 7:54 pm

Bunsens at Taunton? It’s not 2019 anymore. We prepare green tops now!

It’s not really a genius level tactician you are looking for if you go for a specialist captain though I don’t think. I don’t remember Brearley, but no-one really remarks on his on field captaincy - it is more about how it got the the best out of Botham via his man management. Same with Nasser really, he dragged that team into the 21st century via his force of personality rather than by any tactical wizardry.

And not many people would have had Morgan pegged as one of England’s greatest ever captains when they crashed out of the 2015 WC only beating Afghanistan and Scotland. But he had a vision which aligned with Bayliss and more importantly with the players he had. There would be no point trying to play the style they do without Hales/Buttler/Roy/Bairstow etc

You always see teams fail in the NFL when coaches and General Managers are hired in different cycles, and they end clashing and visions not aligning. It is crucial that the Coach gets to pick his captain.

So if you do pick a ‘wildcard’ - Abell, Billings, Vince etc my question would be can they command the respect of the team and do they have the personality, drive and vision to take England forward? Rather than whether they have any sort of tactical magic. As my opinion remains that 90% of Test captains sit in the middle tactically and don’t make a noticeable difference on the pitch, and there are 5% either end which do - for good and bad!

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