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England's Summer of Cricket 2022 as Joe Root Steps Down

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 15 Apr 2022, 1:24 am

First topic message reminder :

Joe Root has decided to step down from the captaincy. Main problem now is - who should take over?

Stokes is the only one really in contention. But should he be lumbered with the captaincy? His workload is immense as it is. But if he doesn't take the job, then who?

Let's hope Root's stepping down doesn't effect his batting! Captaincy cares hardly showed in his stats over the last few months.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 28 Apr 2022, 9:10 am

Wouldn't want Hales back in the Test side, as he's another like Buttler who has never quite worked out how he should bat in the longest format - keep with the attacking philisophy that got him there or bat 'properly'? He'd be a welcome addition to the ODI and T20 squad though - not many other countries that could have omitted a player that talented for 3 years and not see a marked drop in performance.

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Who would you say were realistic alternatives for the Test captaincy for this summer? Not looking for someone who is the long term answer, just who should be leading England into their next series.

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Post by alfie Thu 28 Apr 2022, 9:35 pm

I am a little surprised at all the negativity surrounding the (surely inevitable anyway ?) appointment of Stokes as England Captain. Have to wonder if it isn't just a result of all the (perhaps largely justified ) pessimism most England supporters have adopted in recent years.

Sure , it is a lot to ask of the key all rounder. And certainly , it could turn out disastrously : but so could any choice ... why assume the worst will come of giving the job to a man who (A) Seems to want to do it , (B) Is an acknowledged inspirational leader anyway , and (C) Is the only player around with impeccable cricketing skills to guarantee a place in the team ? At least let him have a go at it before declaring "no good will come of this".

Duty suggests he may not last that long in the job. Maybe : even if England do well under him the pressure may prove difficult to carry for a prolonged time. Doesn't really bother me : if someone else is ready to take over then (as it is fairly obvious no one is right now) then fine...I do not believe it is necessary for a national captain to serve for five years or more - though obviously if one is doing a good job and is happy to continue then he can and should. Surely no point in looking far ahead until the current rather gloomy picture is dealt with , eh ?

Which brings me to what I particularly like about what I've heard from Key : he speaks of flexibility , of not overthinking issues around team selection - of picking the best team for what is in front of them. Is this not what we all want ? Remains to be seen how this "simple" approach will play out in practice but I like the stated intent. Still got to get coaches in place but it seems likely he is looking to get people who will be able to work with the respective captains so there is no muddled messaging to the players and a clear plan of action : and if all that is easier in principle than in practice then I still reckon he is starting out on the right track.

Maybe I am an optimist but I feel moderately more confident about English Cricket than I did before Key took on the job.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 29 Apr 2022, 3:02 am

dummy_half wrote:Wouldn't want Hales back in the Test side, as he's another like Buttler who has never quite worked out how he should bat in the longest format - keep with the attacking philisophy that got him there or bat 'properly'? He'd be a welcome addition to the ODI and T20 squad though - not many other countries that could have omitted a player that talented for 3 years and not see a marked drop in performance.

Duty
Who would you say were realistic alternatives for the Test captaincy for this summer? Not looking for someone who is the long term answer, just who should be leading England into their next series.

Yes, I did just mean Hales for the T20 squad, perhaps with a view to the World Cup later this year, certainly don't want him anywhere near the test squad!

There were perhaps four alternatives to the test captaincy. Bairstow could have got it. He's a senior figure and currently in the test XI. Vince or Burns could have been recalled and given the captaincy. Abell could also have been called up for the first time and made captain. None of these options would have hurt the batting in any great way.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 29 Apr 2022, 3:08 am

A couple of years ago I suggested Burns get the captaincy. He's not good enough for test cricket but he's still done better than any other opener since Cook, the batting wouldn't be harmed nor would our star all rounder.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 29 Apr 2022, 9:44 am

Had Burns form not slumped he would've been in a good position to sneak into the captaincy I imagine. From a bare cupboard I still think he's one of the better opening options. He's a player who fails the eye test though which in the court of public/press opinion holds a lot of lingering value in cricket it seems. When a player such as Burns isn't scoring runs it looks absolutely horrendous!!

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Post by king_carlos Fri 29 Apr 2022, 9:47 am

Some players see odd statistical jumps (or troughs...) when they get the captaincy. Hopefully we see Stokes batting reach it's peak. Even in such a tough batting period his average is poor for a batter of his talent. He hasn't been helped by playing when clearly not quite ready due to this teams reliance on him as a batter and bowler - the Ashes a perfect example - but he should be averaging more than 36 after 79 Tests.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 04 May 2022, 3:14 am

Stokes did his first media rounds yesterday as skipper, well worth catching up on in one of the various media outlets - he spoke well about himself, and his ambitions.

From a cricketing point of view, most interestingly he said he will be moving down the order to bat at 6, to help with "workload management" - and that he was batting 5 to basically help the team the last year or so when he's been available.

I think that makes most sense? Have seen rumours he wants to shift Root back down to 4 too...albeit nothing confirmed anywhere about this yet.
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Post by alfie Wed 04 May 2022, 5:44 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Stokes did his first media rounds yesterday as skipper, well worth catching up on in one of the various media outlets - he spoke well about himself, and his ambitions.

From a cricketing point of view, most interestingly he said he will be moving down the order to bat at 6, to help with "workload management" - and that he was batting 5 to basically help the team the last year or so when he's been available.

I think that makes most sense? Have seen rumours he wants to shift Root back down to 4 too...albeit nothing confirmed anywhere about this yet.

Yes I thought he spoke well too. Seems to have ideas and some confidence he can put them into practice. Think it will be very important that they appoint a coach who will back him rather than someone with significantly different views ; and that he can get some initial support from whoever else is involved in selection. Because the rather definite statement that he wants to bat six implies that he must have fairly detailed ideas about the rest of the batting order, no ? Obviously he isn't going to come out and say I want so and so before even a selection panel is convened ; but I'd imagine he expects to be consulted before he is handed a list of names and has to try and fit them in available spots - even if that means too many players not in the best position for the their own - or the team's - best interests.

Not sure Root was always afforded that luxury.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 May 2022, 10:06 am

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/may/04/england-drop-no-6-test-rankings-lowest-points-tally-since-1995-cricket

Talking of 6, England have dropped down to 6 in the now old-style test rankings. They were 1st this time ten years ago! Still got a way to fall yet. Also, Olly Stone's comeback lasted 7 balls before he pulled up with a thigh strain. Obviously, it never rains...

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Post by king_carlos Wed 04 May 2022, 2:59 pm

Stokes at 6 immediately makes me wonder if Bairstow will be moved to 5 or if he'll get the gloves at 7. At 6 and 7 YJB actually has a decent record considering he's played a lot of Test cricket in seam friendly years. Above that the flaws in his technique have been exposed more and his record is terrible. I really hope he isn't going to be moved back into the top 5.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 10 May 2022, 3:10 am

Sky have posted the interview Nasser Hussain has done with Rob Key, around 45 minutes here on Youtube. Very interesting watch I think

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDhFZhj_ccU
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Post by Duty281 Tue 10 May 2022, 8:22 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/61394116

Awful news about Thorpe, seriously ill in hospital.

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Post by alfie Tue 10 May 2022, 10:20 pm

Yes not sounding good for Thorpe at all. I don't like the sound of that "prognosis is unclear" so hope for better news soon. Hasn't been a good year for famous cricketeers.

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Post by alfie Wed 11 May 2022, 2:27 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Sky have posted the interview Nasser Hussain has done with Rob Key, around 45 minutes here on Youtube. Very interesting watch I think

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDhFZhj_ccU

Was indeed a good interview - thanks , Olly.

What I like about Key and his (very open) comments since his appointment , is that he seems to be essentially flexible rather than being locked in to a pre-conceived set of plans. An approach that I believe will be much more effective (if he can bring other significant people on board) than the seemingly rather rigid "this is the programme for the next x months" we have had lately.

Being prepared to change plans in the face of fresh evidence strikes me as an eminently sensible policy...

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Post by Duty281 Wed 11 May 2022, 3:15 am

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/may/10/brendon-mccullum-favourite-to-become-englands-test-head-coach

Brendon McCullum has, surprisingly, emerged as the leading contender to be coach of England's test team. Could be appointed this week.

He's never coached a first-class team before, and I'm not sure his hyper-aggressive approach is what the England test team needs. Key is open to letting McCullum job-share with his current role as coach of one of the soulless franchises in the IPL. This doesn't sound good.

Mind you, there's been more 'leading contenders' for this role than in the race to succeed Sven in 2006, so it may not happen.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 11 May 2022, 4:23 am

I respect McCullum a lot as a cricketer and coach. It's incredibly important though to note that the improvement NZ Test cricket saw which is frequently attributed to Baz's leadership also coincided with fundamental changes in their domestic game. Without changes to the domestic game in England coaching and captaincy changes is just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic in my opinion.

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Post by alfie Wed 11 May 2022, 6:03 am

Interesting. I'd thought McCullum was a big chance for the white ball role ; but if this is true it could be seen as a bit of a gamble. He is probably well suited in terms of personality and attitude to the game to fit in with Stokes - and arguably help this England team play with a bit more freedom and a smile on their faces (something I fancy Key would like to see) So if it comes off , all good.

Risk being lack of experience in the coaching job. As Duty says , wait and see if it actually happens...

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Wed 11 May 2022, 7:15 am

Looks like McCullum has been confirmed, according to the BBC.

I don't actually mind the appointment. He is a gamble but I think he is smart enough not to get the team to try and play in his image as most of them aren't fit to carry his kit bag, let alone play like him.

As KC has already alluded to, whoever takes the role is shuffling cards with broken fingers so might as well get someone like McCullum in and completely start from scratch. Hopefully it comes as part of changes to the domestic set up and you'd hope Key and McCullum are bright enough and influential enough to drive that change. So long as the ECB are brave enough to back them.

Would agree with Duty though, if he is allowed to carry on coaching his IPL franchise, then that isn't exactly treating the test job with the respect we all think it deserves. This is the England test team head coach role. It shouldn't be combined with another job.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 11 May 2022, 7:34 am

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2022/05/11/england-consider-shock-move-australia-womens-white-ball-coach/

Sounds like Mott or Collingwood for the white ball role, with McCullum to be announced for the red ball role later. Says in here that he is resigning from his IPL gig (I don't think it would be an issue if he wanted to continue it personally)
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 11 May 2022, 7:57 am

Maybe I am drinking from the positivity fountain, but the McCullum appointment is exciting I think.
While yes he hasn't coached a first class team yet (albeit our last coach had, and look what good that did...), he obviously has a wealth of experience in test cricket/international cricket and was widely renowned as a great captain during his time - and has coaching experience already. As KC notes, he was key in laying the foundation for NZ's recent red ball success, and enjoyed a lot of test success himself!
I think because he was so good in the white ball stuff, often his test work is overlooked - nothing all time, but an average of nearly 40 while keeping, in often a poor test side is nothing to be sniffed at - especially with four double centuries in there (including a couple in the subcontinent).

Morgan has often spoke glowingly when it comes to his time working with him at KKR - so you'd suspect, he will be able to strike up a good relationship with Stokes. And, maybe, they might have some good ideas! I suspect either way it'll be entertaining.

And the fact he is leaving his lucrative IPL gig, as now is being reported...is a decent coup for Key and co I think.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 11 May 2022, 12:11 pm

It's an interesting appointment, a left-field one as our American cousins would say, but it doesn't imbibe me with a lot of optimism. What England need is some grit, experience and solidity to get the best out of a very limited batting line-up. This is a devil-may-care idea. An inexperienced coach taking hold of a team that is in a big downward spiral. Doesn't sound good. I wonder if this decision will see the return of Buttler as part of a move to revert to an aggressive-first approach in the batting order.

Overall, I don't expect much from McCullum because, as mentioned above, the domestic game is in a near-crisis state, and the current players in the England test team are a mostly poor bunch, with little coming through. One elite quality batsmen in the entire side. Then it's Stokes who, after a brilliant 2019 and 2020, is averaging 26 in his last 12 tests, and the rest of the batting is a shambles. The bowling lacks a high-quality spinner, and the seamers are either being menaced by Old Father Time or various injuries. Not to mention the fielding which ranks as one of the worst in the test arena in the last few years. The fixture list is bloody tough as well.

Different story entirely for the limited-overs sides. Overloaded with exceptional talent in the batting, maybe lacking a bit in the bowling, but it's a much more propitious prospect for whoever gets the job. Nice gentle start with an ODI series in the Netherlands, too, before the T20 World Cup later this year and the 50 over World Cup in late 2023. Both competitions where England are in with a genuine shout, but winning the 50-over World Cup in India would, if England pulled it off, rank as one of the greatest ever accomplishments in English cricket history. Mott? Don't know much about him, but good luck if he gets it.

Key sounds exciting. He's doing things differently. And he probably won't last more than 18 months in the role because he will end up upsetting the cricketing establishment, then England will revert to a safe, dull, Ashley-Giles type to replace him. But we can enjoy the ride while it lasts.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 12 May 2022, 4:17 am

Ollie Robinson has bowled one over for Sussex this morning and then promptly left the field.

Haven't seen the reason for why, but guessing it's injury-related. Oh dear.

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Post by VTR Thu 12 May 2022, 7:01 am

And that's the kind of thing that will hamper McCullum. Hardly any talent emerging and when it does we can barely get it on the park. Imagine if Andy Flower had Broad, Anderson, Bresnan, Finn and Tremlett injured all or most of the time. Wouldn't have got anywhere near number one in the world

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 12 May 2022, 2:16 pm

https://twitter.com/cricket_ali/status/1524858734765293568?s=21&t=ve7zK5j3eRx4agJLnc8VZQ

Interesting excerpt from McCullum on (I believe) his NZ podcast/radio show here - only words I know, but excited that he seems to really relish the challenge
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Post by king_carlos Thu 12 May 2022, 2:22 pm

Duty281 wrote:Ollie Robinson has bowled one over for Sussex this morning and then promptly left the field.

Haven't seen the reason for why, but guessing it's injury-related. Oh dear.

A friend was at the Sussex vs Middlesex game at Hove and observed that despite taking wickets and bowling consistently, as he almost always does for Sussex to be fair, he didn't look in tip top shape. Looking the part is of course less important than being fit enough to deal with the rigours of Test cricket. As we know Robinson has really faded through Tests due to his fitness.

With his high release, repeatable action and fantastic seam control, especially of the wobble ball, he is a prime candidate to be a fantastic Test bowler. He really needs to work on his fitness though. There's no shortcuts for improving your base cardio either. You have to put in a lot of miles of low intensity work to build that base. It's very boring and takes a lot of commitment.

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Post by alfie Fri 13 May 2022, 1:13 am

Well , glad to see McCullum confirmed in the job : obviously we will have to see how it all goes but despite his limited coaching experience I am optimistic.
I do not subscribe to the view I have seen expressed in some quarters that he will automatically steer England back to a Bayliss-like policy of overdoing the aggressive intent , just because he was so well regarded in the white ball game : I fancy he is smart enough to know the difference between positivity and recklessness , and to seek to strike the optimum balance. And comments I've seen from him seem to allude to having players play to their own strengths so hopefully we will see the team play with intent but also sensible regard for the situation and conditions.  But as I say , we will have to wait and see...

Meanwhile a bevy of batsmen , both tried and discarded and as yet uncapped , are monstering county attacks up and down the land . When did we last see all these hundreds in April/May ? And how much do they actually mean in a Test context ? You could pick a lot of players on recent runs : getting the right ones is the tricky bit  Smile

On the other hand the fast bowling prospects are dying like flies... Archer , Stone , Curran - all in various stages of rehab ; Woakes and Wood still injured , as is Fisher. Robinson going down again after minimal appearance (trusting his fitness even when he is deemed ready will be something of an act of faith , no ? )
All seems to leave us with Broad and Anderson (maybe good thing they were kept in cotton wool in March !) , Mahmood and Overton. Better hope these fellows stay intact for 2nd June .Otherwise it is look for another new cap or two...

Which despite the dreams of some posters , probably wouldn't be Darren Stevens Smile

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Post by king_carlos Fri 13 May 2022, 2:09 pm

Matt Potts and Jamie Overton apparently in the running for Test callups.

Woakes - Shoulder and knee
Robinson - Stomach bug and general fitness
Archer - Still to return from elbow injury
Wood - Same as Jof
Stone - Still to return from stress fracture in back
Surran - Steadily returning from stress fracture
Mahmood - Missing Roses clash with stiff back
Fisher - 'Stress reaction' in his back

Anderson, Broad and Coverton playing at the moment, must be favourites for T1. All very good English conditions bowlers. Virtually no variety though.

Joverton has always struck me as just not a good enough bowler to step-up despite his height and pace being eye catching at times. He can bowl very good spells but more often seems to leak runs. I expect Brydon Carse could be added to the list of bowlers who would be considered ahead of Jamie if

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Post by Duty281 Fri 13 May 2022, 4:26 pm

Basically, fate is injuring all of England's bowlers until England have no choice but to pick Darren Stevens.

I actually missed the news about Woakes until I saw your post, it appears that he is almost certain to miss the first test due to injuries sustained over the winter.

Overall, England's team is just such a mess with most of the bowlers injured, and most of the batsmen no good. The top three is a mystery to us all. The first two tests are back-to-back, then there's a minimum nine day break between tests two and three (during which England will play an ODI series in the Netherlands), so the use of the bowlers will need to be carefully managed to avoid further breakdowns.

NZ's team looks better settled, and they have two warm-up games pencilled in, but they do have some issues. Nicholls may miss the first test due to a calf strain, and any of Williamson/Conway/Boult/Southee/Mitchell may miss the opening test depending on how their soulless IPL franchise does. The final of the IPL is the 29th May, so there could be a problem there.

Despite that, I think NZ are very strong favourites for this series, and I'm loving the early 13/8 I see on them to win this series. Also, I haven't seen the umpires named for the series yet, but I believe there's a return to neutral umpires this season, at long last...though not much of a benefit here as English umpires are amongst the best.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 14 May 2022, 10:02 am

There's an element of bad luck involved in all the injuries but at some point scrutiny has to be put on England's ludicrous schedule. They played 15 Test last year with a 16th cancelled, plus the World T20 and however many memorable bilateral white ball games. They've already played 5 more Tests this year, have 7 more this summer, another World T20 and, thank the lord, plenty more bilateral white ball games.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 16 May 2022, 8:51 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/61468818

Oh dear, Saqib out for the season. Another promising fast bowler on the scrapheap.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 16 May 2022, 8:56 am

Duty281 wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/61468818

Oh dear, Saqib out for the season. Another promising fast bowler on the scrapheap.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 16 May 2022, 9:44 am

I do think, in line with KC's post above, that some scrutiny needs to be applied. The amount of English fast bowlers falling apart has gone beyond bad luck. It's like Arsenal several years back who had injuries way beyond the average of a PL team. There may be something amiss in the physiotherapy/sports science area at county or even international level, or it could just be the scheduling.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 16 May 2022, 10:37 am

Less cricket and quality over quantity.

Pat Cummins - 14 FC matches and 41 Tests
Josh Hazlewood - 41 FC matches and 57 Tests
Mitchell Starc - 51 FC matches and 69 Tests
Scott Boland - 82 FC matches and 3 Tests (he's 33 though)
Jhye Richardson - 19 FC matches and 3 Tests
Michael Neser - 76 FC matches and 1 Test (32-years-old to have 'amassed' that many FC apps)

Robinson has played 66 FC games. Sam Curran, another critiqued for playing IPL, has 54 FC games. COverton has played 103 - Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood have a combined 106.

At some point the question has to be asked, is this helping in any way? If not then is it sensible to continue like this given how much FC cricket costs? Would that investment be better placed in grassroots programs especially with state schools and Asian communities that make up huge numbers of club players but comparatively small numbers of pros?

In my opinion we need fewer FC games with those played being of a much higher quality.

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Post by JDizzle Mon 16 May 2022, 11:11 am

I suppose the counter argument is Saqib only has 28 FC games, Fisher 23, Stone 44 and they are all broken down too. Whereas Broad and Anderson are at 244 and 273! Bar a few outliers, bowling 85/86/87+ is just so hard on the body. Cummins and Hazlewood have had their injuries too.

I wouldn't complain at less FC games though - but for a myriad of reasons, not just fast bowlers health.

With Fisher done for the season too, it seems inevitable Potts debuts vs NZ. Jamie Overton gives me very strong Saj Mahmood vibes and I would steer well clear. TRJ, another with an injury history, has started the season very well... What a comeback that would be. I am struggling to find any other feasible options.

Anderson, Broad, Robinson, COverton, Potts would be enough for my squad. But these JOverton rumours have to be coming from somewhere.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 16 May 2022, 11:49 am

Craig Overton is apparently being troubled with a knee injury, but it's only 'concerns' at this point. Robinson's fitness levels are a disgrace and I wouldn't be surprised if he misses the NZ series.

Potts will have to come in. And Brooks may be called up, as Lawrence is troubled with *sigh* a hamstring injury.

The squad is being named tomorrow, I believe.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 16 May 2022, 2:55 pm

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2022/05/16/englands-fast-bowling-crisis-deepens-saqib-mahmood-ruled-season/

Telegraph usually know what they're talking about. They think the first test top seven for England could look like this:

Lees; Robson; Crawley; Root; Brooks; Stokes; Foakes.

A recall for Robson who has been in good form this season averaging 64, albeit in the second division and on batting-friendly pitches. Robson's first foray into test cricket, in 2014, saw him average 30 over 7 tests. Brooks also in for a debut. No Bairstow who hasn't played red-ball stuff this season and is still over at the IPL.

Telegraph also thinking Parkinson may squeeze ahead of Leach in selection. Potts and J Overton likely to be called up. Carse could be considered, but he's only just returned from a knee injury. I like the little I've seen of Potts so far. Unsure on Overton. Robinson, who was bowling as an off-spinner at the weekend, is unlikely to be fit, but has a game for Sussex v NZ on the 26th May where he may have a chance to prove, or even disprove, his fitness.

Confirmation tomorrow on how much of this is accurate.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 16 May 2022, 3:20 pm

JDizzle wrote:I suppose the counter argument is Saqib only has 28 FC games, Fisher 23, Stone 44 and they are all broken down too. Whereas Broad and Anderson are at 244 and 273! Bar a few outliers, bowling 85/86/87+ is just so hard on the body. Cummins and Hazlewood have had their injuries too.

The 'only' in that arguably comes in perspective of how much FC cricket English players get through though. You say only 44 for Stone for instance. Glenn McGrath played 65 FC games in his entire career.

Re Broad and Anderson. Until more recent years they barely played FC cricket though and obviously their white ball careers ended early to prolong their Test careers. Both were really good white ball bowlers at one point. For the bulk of their peaks baring the odd two or three games at the start of a summer Anderson and Broad basically just played Tests, much to the chagrin of many CC fans at the time!

But these JOverton rumours have to be coming from somewhere.

If rumours are to be believed Key himself rates Jamie. The Saj comparison is apt I think. He's tall, can be quick and sometimes puts that to good use. Too often I've just seen him bowl pies. Being 6'5" and high-80s instead of low to mid-80s isn't going to trouble Test batters unless it's in the right areas. If he's inaccurate all those extra few mph will do is help the ball get to the boundary a bit faster.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 16 May 2022, 3:25 pm

Duty281 wrote:No Bairstow who hasn't played red-ball stuff this season and is still over at the IPL.

With Stokes moving to 6 I wonder if Bairstow will now be in a shootout with Foakes for the gloves. Bairstow's stats at 6 and 7 are good, when he gets in against the slightly older ball he's played many excellent innings for England despite the technical weaknesses. Batting above 6 has usually been disastrous for him however.

I'm a massive Foakes fan and have championed him for a long time but his glovework hasn't been immaculate and since that bright start with the bat in 2018 he has a top score of 42* from 8 Tests and 16 innings. I hope it clicks as his keeping at it's best is truly spectacular and a joy to watch, especially up to the stumps. So far he hasn't even convinced one of his biggest fans in myself though!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 17 May 2022, 12:59 am

Duty281 wrote:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2022/05/16/englands-fast-bowling-crisis-deepens-saqib-mahmood-ruled-season/

Telegraph usually know what they're talking about. They think the first test top seven for England could look like this:

Lees; Robson; Crawley; Root; Brooks; Stokes; Foakes.

A recall for Robson who has been in good form this season averaging 64, albeit in the second division and on batting-friendly pitches. Robson's first foray into test cricket, in 2014, saw him average 30 over 7 tests. Brooks also in for a debut. No Bairstow who hasn't played red-ball stuff this season and is still over at the IPL.

Telegraph also thinking Parkinson may squeeze ahead of Leach in selection. Potts and J Overton likely to be called up. Carse could be considered, but he's only just returned from a knee injury. I like the little I've seen of Potts so far. Unsure on Overton. Robinson, who was bowling as an off-spinner at the weekend, is unlikely to be fit, but has a game for Sussex v NZ on the 26th May where he may have a chance to prove, or even disprove, his fitness.

Confirmation tomorrow on how much of this is accurate.

Always felt Robson was a little harshly dropped myself at the time, he seemed to have something about him I thought. Obviously not saying he's going to be the next Strauss/Cook, but worth a punt seeing as he's in good nick clearly.

Bowling wise, I really do hope they give Parkinson a good go this summer - it really is rather ridiculous he hasn't played yet, and actually if we are experiencing a bit of a seam bowler crisis, maybe preparing a few drier wickets that will turn against NZ/SA (who aren't exactly the most renowned players of spin) and having two spinners may be an option come July/August.

Not sure on the seamers alongside Broad/Anderson - but when you're going to be on what, the legitimately like 10th/11th choice (?) options, they're going to have massive flaws to their games most likely!
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 17 May 2022, 1:27 am

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/may/17/tom-harrison-steps-down-as-ecb-chief-executive-cricket-england
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Post by Duty281 Tue 17 May 2022, 2:40 am

Yes, Robson was a little harshly dropped, but he played at a time when England were looking for an opener who would average 40+, not knowing there wasn't one out there! His test average is marginally better than Burns'.

Good to see Harrison gone. Take the Hundred with him?

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Post by VTR Tue 17 May 2022, 3:55 am

Robson was one of those who got an early hundred then fell away badly. See also Lyth and Compton. That seems to have been the pattern for years now, whereas in the strong era before that players would make early hundreds then become a fixture e.g. Strauss, Trott, Prior etc

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Post by alfie Tue 17 May 2022, 4:28 am

That Telegraph XI looks to me like pure speculation on the part of the writer , rather than any "inside information". New selection mob so who knows what they are thinking ? I also noted the teams advanced by six writers from The Cricketer - a total of 27 names suggested , to fill 14 places...

Reckon everyone is basically guessing.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 17 May 2022, 4:29 am

Duty281 wrote:Yes, Robson was a little harshly dropped, but he played at a time when England were looking for an opener who would average 40+, not knowing there wasn't one out there! His test average is marginally better than Burns'.

Good to see Harrison gone. Take the Hundred with him?

Made at the back end of a period when batting averages were much higher though it should be noted. The game always goes in trends and currently we are in a bowler dominated one in Test cricket. Especially important when looked at an opening batter such as Burns who plays his home Tests in recent English conditions on seaming wickets and against Dukes that swing conventionally for 60+ overs.

Suranga Lakmal's record is an interesting example of that shift to a bowling friendly era. When starting his career in that batter dominated period he was on course for one of the worst Test bowling records in history. His stats over the last 5 years are actually very good.

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Post by Afro Tue 17 May 2022, 4:52 am

I think we might see Tom Haines get his chance myself. Key seems to like him
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Post by VTR Tue 17 May 2022, 4:54 am

Might Lakmal have improved his skills though? The likes of Ishant, Broad, Starc all required quite a while before becoming top performers. Even Jimmy Anderson transformed himself as he worked on additional skills

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Post by king_carlos Tue 17 May 2022, 5:27 am

VTR wrote:Might Lakmal have improved his skills though? The likes of Ishant, Broad, Starc all required quite a while before becoming top performers. Even Jimmy Anderson transformed himself as he worked on additional skills

Lakmal developed the wobble ball, as most seamers have over this period where seam has started to dominate. The wobble ball is a big reason for that shift towards seam dominating more though. We now see new opening bowlers such as Hazlewood who earlier in their careers bowled swing using the wobble seam with the new ball as it's so effective.

Analysis and DRS has largely aided bowlers more than batters too. Spinners getting LBWs has of course been huge. Things as simple as more bowlers coming around the wicket to lefties and bowlers using the crease more, hence the wobble balls rise, are so much more prevalent now. Seamers have even changed what a 'good length' is due to analysis. It used to be between 6-8m from the stumps. As analysis showed that too many balls weren't challenging the stumps many seamers are shifting to 5-7m to keep bowled and LBW in play more.

Of the batters who played before and after this dip in batting averages I believe the only one to have stayed steady and not seen a decrease in his figures is Dean Elgar.

Of the 23 bowlers to take more than 20 wickets in both eras you only have Steyn (past his peak when the change came), de Grandhomme (change bowler so smaller sample size) and Abbas who got worse in the seam friendly era. Hazlewood, Starc and Rabada stayed very similar. Then 17 bowlers figures got significantly better.

If you look at batters with significant Test runs (over 3000) averaging over 50 then 13 of the 32 batters scored a lot of their runs between 2000-2017 when averages were high. Of the top 10 Bradman, Sutcliffe, Hobbs and Hammond all played in the 1920s and 30s. The highest scoring decades in Test cricket:

1. 1940s - Not as big a sample size though
2. 2000s
3. 1920s
4. 2010s
5. 1930s

Cricket likes to take simple metrics such as averages and compare across different periods but when you play unavoidably has a massive influence on what your figures will be.

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Post by VTR Tue 17 May 2022, 5:54 am

Good response, thanks! I can definitely buy into analysis favouring bowlers more. If I'm a batsman, I will have my weaknesses pulled apart by a team of analysts. I'll then have 4 or 5 bowlers trying to exploit that. One mistake and that's the end of my innings. One mistake as a bowler and I might go for a four but get it right on the next ball (unless im Saj Mahmood, I'll simply get hit for four again). Add to that I might even have to face something unexpected like Dan Lawrence bowling.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 17 May 2022, 6:38 am

I've heard several very good FC batters but OK Test batters talk about Test bowlers 'figuring you out'. In FC cricket you'll face a bowler several times across a season but it's very spread out and of course most bowlers just aren't as good. In a Test series though you'll face fantastic bowlers for potentially 10 innings on the bounce in a short period. Bowlers would figure out where to bowl to limited batters and just drop the ball there over and over again in a way FC bowlers didn't.

In a way I think we are seeing that process massively sped up for batters due to analysis but also due to bowlers having a wider range of skills now. All county academy seamers these days will be learning things like bowling around the wicket to lefties and how to bowl the wobble ball as well as an outswinger. Rewind to the noughties and even as analysis started to show certain tactics many bowlers just couldn't do them. Going around the wicket to lefties is a great example. Many very good Test bowlers in the noughties really struggled with the mechanics of that as they tried to learn it very late. Even if analysis could find flaws many bowlers having narrower skill sets meant they couldn't always take advantage.

It's a very interesting time for seam bowling. The wobble ball is arguably the biggest change we've seen for bowling since reverse swing. The difference being though that even with near constant ball tampering of varying degrees reverse swing is an illusive thing to rely on even for the few bowlers who ever do so. The wobble ball is working with new and old ball for long periods though, plus lots and lots of seamers can bowl it.

It's also key to mention that pitches and balls have changed. Windies have made a huge move from dead low bouncing tracks to using the Dukes and livelier wickets. India were often producing 700 plays 600 roads, now we are seeing tracks that bring spin and seam into play. England have played on a lot of seaming tracks and now use Dukes that swing forever. The red Kookaburra has changed to favour bowlers more.

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Post by VTR Tue 17 May 2022, 8:04 am

Yes, agree with all that. I'd also add, because of the financial side it must be hard for England players to get established if they keep being assigned 5 match series vs India and Australia. Hard to have a decent average when constantly having to face Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc, Bumrah, Ashwin and Jadeja. Then New Zealand we seem to be playing a lot lately, also an excellent bowling unit. South Africa have now assembled a strong unit. No wonder someone like Ollie Pope can't get established

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