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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, 9:24 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 alfie Sat 18 Jun 2022, 4:05 am

Fair point about helping to promote the game in the associates , Olly.

The reservation I would have about that (apart from whether such a total blowout really does much for Dutch cricket - though I guess the beer sales were good !) are that , with the already overcrowded International calendar , expecting any of the major countries to fit in yet more fixtures seems a bit of a stretch and is likely to lead to more player burnout. How many such games could be fitted in ?

 If everyone is prepared to do their part by playing some series outside the usual group it may work though. Certainly India have enough spare players , for example. And I am fine with seeing Australia host Afghanistan or a Lord's Test against Ireland . Won't happen every year of course but as a part of the programme , OK.  Limited over series like this one ? Works for England I guess because they are able to field completely separate Test and one day sides - although perhaps some counties are going to complain they've been left a bit short this week ! And I am sure it wouldn't be allowed during The Hundred Smile

Not sure SA or West Indies though , would fancy adding to their commitments at this time ?


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Post by king_carlos Sat 18 Jun 2022, 8:55 am

I've thought for a while that if the ECB were actually serious about promoting associate cricket they could set a minimum quota of associate cricketers in county XIs the same as many have a maximum limit on overseas players.

With so many counties and so many games I see no reason why a max of two 'overseas players' from Test nations plus a mandatory associate player in each XI who doesn't count to that quota couldn't do a lot of good for the wider game in the long run whilst potentially improving county cricket too. Not least as having one player in each XI would the require more than one associate player in each squad getting to train full time, having access to better coaching and facilities.

I play club cricket in Scotland now and was recently talking to Alisdair Evans the Scotland bowler who is also their player rep. He had to fight tooth and nail to get them minimum wage for the time they spend in camp. In terms of wage many very good cricketers from associate nations would rip a county coaches hand off if they were offered basically an academy contract.

I also feel it could promote more varied cricket in the county structure. Many very good associate cricketers are spin bowlers for instance. Others are much better players of spin than a lot of English cricketers naturally are due to the pitches here.

Finally, I frankly like the idea of players from associate nations coming into county setups and showing some sleep walking, jobbing pros (not saying all non international county players are that at all but there are a few) what a bit of application can do for your game. PNGs fielding and fitness is an example of why top county performers coming into international cricket, then looking short of Test fitness or rubbish in the field shouldn't be happening. PNG looked at what they could improve with very little resources, then piled hours and hours of training into their fielding and fitness.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 19 Jun 2022, 12:21 pm

No chance of a 500 today, rain has reduced the encounter to 41 overs per side and the Dutch are batting first (sensible decision!). Carse in the XI for Curran. Roy becomes the 26th England player to reach 100 ODIs, Buttler the 8th to reach 150 ODIs.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 19 Jun 2022, 1:39 pm

Duty281 wrote:No chance of a 500 today, rain has reduced the encounter to 41 overs per side and the Dutch are batting first (sensible decision!). Carse in the XI for Curran. Roy becomes the 26th England player to reach 100 ODIs, Buttler the 8th to reach 150 ODIs.

I would think that's all part of managing Curran's back injury and return to fitness.

Meanwhile, Topley plays 2 in 2. Not only his form with the ball but his fitness and fielding for Surrey have been surprisingly good this season. Seen him take a couple of excellent catches.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 19 Jun 2022, 5:58 pm

The Dutch made a respectable 235/7 from their 41 overs. Never going to be enough, obviously, and both Roy and Salt made scores in the 70s in England's reply.

More importantly, Morgan out for another duck and it really is the end of the road for him very soon. He's in a similar position to Hussain in 2004 - only in the side because he's captain.

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Post by VTR Sun 19 Jun 2022, 7:44 pm

Agree, it's Bairstow, Roy, Root, Buttler and Stokes as 5 of the top 6. Then if Morgan is captaining that's now keeping Livingstone out of the side. Morgan needs to find some form pretty soon!

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Post by Duty281 Sun 19 Jun 2022, 10:06 pm

Very true and Livingstone is crucial because he can offer England another spin bowling option, which could be valuable for the next 50 over World Cup in India. Plus you've also got Malan who's probably ahead of Morgan at this stage as a pure batsman.

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Post by alfie Mon 20 Jun 2022, 9:01 am

I am never so keen to pension off players sooner rather than later : you often don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...

But I do agree Morgan seems to be approaching his sell by date ; and even if he can get back in runs it is questionable whether he would now be more effective with the bat than the player who might occupy his spot : not exactly a shortage of white ball batters lining up at present !

However he does have an excellent record as skipper and it may be that this is still a good enough reason to keep him on deck - at least for the coming t20 tournament. With Roy and Buttler opening and presumably Malan following anyone from 4 down will often as not get not many overs to bat so as long as Livingstone is one of them I am not sure it matters too much who takes 4-7 in the order...and Morgan does have a good (past) record of being able to hit sixes almost immediately. Reckon he probably deserves the chance to lead the side into this one.

I do have a feeling that the 50 over WC may be a bridge too far for him though. Unlike the t20 , I'd want Root involved in that ; and I'm not sure there would be room for a captain who no longer stands out as one of the clear best batting options. All of which does raise the question of whether it is time to afford Buttler a few opportunities to lead the 50 over team in matches. Might be a bit awkward swapping about in the two formats so I guess they will need to look at the programme for the next few months ?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 20 Jun 2022, 9:36 am

alfie wrote:Fair point about helping to promote the game in the associates , Olly.

The reservation I would have about that (apart from whether such a total blowout really does much for Dutch cricket - though I guess the beer sales were good !) are that , with the already overcrowded International calendar , expecting any of the major countries to fit in yet more fixtures seems a bit of a stretch and is likely to lead to more player burnout. How many such games could be fitted in ?

 If everyone is prepared to do their part by playing some series outside the usual group it may work though. Certainly India have enough spare players , for example. And I  am fine with seeing Australia host Afghanistan or a Lord's Test against Ireland . Won't happen every year of course but as a part of the programme , OK.  Limited over series like this one ? Works for England I guess because they are able to field completely separate Test and one day sides - although perhaps some counties are going to complain they've been left a bit short this week ! And I am sure it wouldn't be allowed during The Hundred Smile

Not sure SA or West Indies though , would fancy adding to their commitments at this time ?


I don't really see why the ECB and the Irish cricket board can't come to some sort of arrangement for touring sides, where before a series against England they can't have a test played against Ireland. Wouldn't it be better prep for New Zealand, better for the overall game, if instead of playing that County XI they played a test against Ireland before this test series? India before this one off test, will be playing a 4 day game against a Leicestershire XI (likely 2nd XI these days)...could that not be a test against Ireland?!
I'm sure similar could be arranged for folk visiting SA to play Zimbabwe etc beforehand if they really wanted too also...(maybe similar with India/Pakistan and Afganistan/Bangladesh?).
It may seem slightly token, and sure there would be a few thrashing in there - but these teams won't get better in the long term if people in their country aren't getting to even see the odd game against top sides!

Ultimately really we're too far down the road now, these things needed to be happening a half decade ago if not before then. Obviously in an ideal world the ICC would enforce some form of rota of home/away games in tests in particular alongside the World Test Championship...but that seems a pipe dream of mine!
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Post by Duty281 Tue 21 Jun 2022, 2:40 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/61882279

ODI tomorrow, test match the day after. Fun scheduling.

Doesn't sound like good news for England with regards to the test - Stokes is unwell and has missed training so is a doubt for the third test, and the BBC are speculating that Anderson and Potts will both be rested, because the fifth India test starts on July 1, meaning that the two Overtons might come into the XI for this final game v the Kiwis.

Also didn't realise until now that India are not just coming for the test, there's a limited overs programme to follow, with three T20s and three ODIs against them, which is followed immediately by three ODIs and three T20s v South Africa. A total of 13 games in July for England and a possible 17 days of cricket. Packed scheduling, but at least August and September are sparsely filled with just the three tests.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Tue 21 Jun 2022, 2:56 pm

Duty281 wrote:Stokes is unwell and has missed training so is a doubt for the third test

If I had any money, I'd put it all on Stokes being passed fit.

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Post by alfie Wed 22 Jun 2022, 6:45 am

Trescothick now testing positive which is a bit of a concern : not that they can't survive without the batting coach ; but I suppose it increases the risk that one or more players might be last minute drop outs.

Not much they can do though except have replacement plans on ice. Hopefully won't be any more.

As to the possible make up of the team (if all available) : assuming Stokes is fit to bowl there is perhaps a case for double-Overton and rest one of the current pace trio - leaving out Leach unless the pitch suggests spin is essential. If Stokes were unable to bowl I would be very reluctant to entrust the attack to two Overtons plus Potts and one other , just on the basis of experience. Could be a tricky choice - though at least either Overton would seem to improve that dodgy looking tail !

I get that the India match is very soon after this one ; but think I'd still rather put out the best side now and worry about next week when it comes. Suspect Baz feels that way too.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 22 Jun 2022, 8:58 am

Stokes is training today - so should be fine for tomorrow all being well.

Kiwis have Williamson/Bracewell/Conway back all fine and well too I believe
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Post by Duty281 Wed 22 Jun 2022, 11:32 am

DJ's got some good tunes for this one.

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Post by JDizzle Wed 22 Jun 2022, 11:48 am

JOverton plays over an injured Jimmy. Hopefully it is just a precaution regarding Anderson, as he’ll be crucial vs India and SA. Certainly lengthens the batting line up!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 22 Jun 2022, 11:56 am

Hmm seems concerns when Jimmy only bowled 8 overs in that 2nd dig of the NZ innings were justified. Maybe being a touch cautious with the series wrapped up, but not a great sign he joins the ever growing injury list for the bowlers!

Good chance for Jamie Overton though - not sure there's a great deal of control in that England attack now mind...
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Post by alfie Wed 22 Jun 2022, 1:12 pm

Suspect this is very much precautionary rather than "injured". Series won ; India Test in another few days ; chance to try a new fast bowling option ? They had already said they don't intend to do rotation so unsurprising it is phrased the way it is...

As to the attack listed : yes as Olly says , not over much control ; but in truth without Jimmy , control is always going to be impacted...and even if injury absentees are factored in that wouldn't change too much. Broad was more expensive than usual last week but he can probably apply brakes if desired , if not as well as Jimmy. Though they don't seem to be fussing too much about economy rates anyway at present !

Leach playing so either they think they will need a spinner this time or are giving him this one to hopefully regain some confidence before the Indian team lines him up. As long as Stokes is good to bowl the attack doesn't look too bad - given the long injury list - and the batting certainly looks a bit longer with J Overton at eight.  

Surrey fans : has he really improved out of sight from last season ? His figures suggest he has - especially given the buckets of runs in the CC this year.  If he can measure up , he will provide a useful bit of serious pace to add to England's options ; so fingers crossed he fires.

Some sympathy for Craig. Leapfrogged in the pecking order , just when it appeared they might have been a double act this week. And soon after being clattered on the head by his twin too Smile

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Post by Duty281 Wed 22 Jun 2022, 1:30 pm

Dutch haven't made enough as their lower order completely fell apart.

Surprised J Overton gets in ahead of C Overton, especially with the batting factor that C Overton (supposedly) brings. Have made the Kiwis favourites in both games so far, but England have defied me. This third test seems even more weighted in New Zealand's favour with Anderson missing.

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Post by alfie Wed 22 Jun 2022, 1:37 pm

Not watching ; but I notice Netherlands have manged a respectable 244 - three decent batting efforts , I suppose : less said about their bowling/fielding in the first one the better , perhaps ?

Willey appears to have been the pick of the bowlers. Struggles to get a game when everyone is fit ; but I think he's a bit underrated by England. Probably won't be suited to a WC in India so his major honours chances seem to have passed him by ; but he rarely lets anyone down.

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Post by alfie Wed 22 Jun 2022, 1:39 pm

Duty281 wrote:Dutch haven't made enough as their lower order completely fell apart.

Surprised J Overton gets in ahead of C Overton, especially with the batting factor that C Overton (supposedly) brings. Have made the Kiwis favourites in both games so far, but England have defied me. This third test seems even more weighted in New Zealand's favour with Anderson missing.

I'm sure Stokes won't mind if you keep jinxing the Kiwis , Duty Smile

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Post by JDizzle Wed 22 Jun 2022, 5:02 pm

Jos should be England’s permanent number 4. He’s the nearest thing that there has been to AbdV in ODIs and at this stage of his career he is wasted at 5/6. Livingstone is a great replacement as a finisher vs pace.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 22 Jun 2022, 5:06 pm

alfie wrote:Not watching ; but I notice Netherlands have manged a respectable 244  - three decent batting efforts , I suppose : less said about their bowling/fielding in the first one the better , perhaps ?

Willey appears to have been the pick of the bowlers. Struggles to get a game when everyone is fit ; but I think he's a bit underrated by England. Probably won't be suited to a WC in India so his major honours chances seem to have passed him by ; but he rarely lets anyone down.

Probably been the best new ball bowler in the ODI setup for the last few years, but there have always been concerns about him as a death bowler - bowls at a very hittable pace and perhaps doesn't have the variation of some others (then again, there've been a few who had so many variations that they lost any sort of reliable stock ball). Also of course is a very good bat at County level, including as a pinch hitting opener, but rarely brings that to the party in the international game when asked to play as a closer / lower order bat. As his biggest asset as a bowler is swing, I agree that the next WC is not really suited to him, but, as with Plunkett, he's a guy that's done a good job when asked.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 22 Jun 2022, 5:15 pm

JDizzle wrote:Jos should be England’s permanent number 4. He’s the nearest thing that there has been to AbdV in ODIs and at this stage of his career he is wasted at 5/6. Livingstone is a great replacement as a finisher vs pace.

If we really want to go all out for big scores, I'd even argue for him to bat 3 behind Roy and Bairstow - surely you want to maximise the amount of time your most destructive batsmen could potentially be at the crease? Have someone like Root available at 4 to steady the ship if needed (Stokes can do this as well when the situation demands)

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Post by JDizzle Wed 22 Jun 2022, 5:37 pm

I wouldn't go that far! The new ball only moves for a few overs in ODIs so would be pushing the envelope too far to risk exposing Buttler to it. Especially with the way Roy plays, he is susceptible to sub 5 ball innings, and whilst I want Jos up the order I don't want him in during the first over.

Willey's been harshly treated by England for a while. Sometimes fairly, leaving him out the 2019 WC squad for Jofra was the right call, and sometimes unfairly - it is mad he hasn't played more T20s in the first choice XI. With all the injuries knocking about, it would require a huge amount of luck if Archer, Woakes and Wood were all fit at the same time for the next ODI WC so things are wide open.

Carse looks like someone worth investing in for the Plunkett middle over role. Has some pace and bowls a heavy ball - might be a touch expensive but will pick up wickets, which is what England want.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 22 Jun 2022, 7:49 pm

JDizzle wrote:Jos should be England’s permanent number 4. He’s the nearest thing that there has been to AbdV in ODIs and at this stage of his career he is wasted at 5/6. Livingstone is a great replacement as a finisher vs pace.

I would totally agree, especially with Morgan seemingly on the way out. I saw a piece from Tim Wigmore the other day, that says on average Buttler has only faced 23 balls per game in ODIs since 2015...feels like similar to his shift up the T20 side, something similar in the ODI arena makes sense.

Also agree with sentiments on Willey - a handy operator to have in and around the wider squad, but he isn't in the first choice XI for me.

I think probably our best XI for the 2023 World Cup would be...(fitness permitting)

Roy, Bairstow, Root, Buttler, Stokes, Livingstone, Moeen, Woakes, Archer, Wood, Rashid

Of course, the likelihood that bowling attack is all fit at the same time is very slim!
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Post by VTR Wed 22 Jun 2022, 9:13 pm

What a team that would be! Batting all the way down and 8 bowling options. It's an improved version of the 2019 world cup winning team which I always felt had Woakes maybe a touch too high at 7

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 22 Jun 2022, 9:33 pm

That top seven is ridiculous, you've then got Salt and Malan in reserve.

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Post by JDizzle Wed 22 Jun 2022, 9:34 pm

VTR wrote:What a team that would be! Batting all the way down and 8 bowling options. It's an improved version of the 2019 world cup winning team which I always felt had Woakes maybe a touch too high at 7

Moeen was batting at 7 for the first part of that tournament with Plunkett missing out. Which strengthened the batting but weakened the bowling! But they got the big call right to go with the stronger bowling in the end.

I don’t think Moeen is locked into his slot just yet!

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Post by king_carlos Wed 22 Jun 2022, 11:15 pm

The CWC being in India helps England from a bowling perspective as it will bring Livingstone and Root into play as part timers and makes Mo at 7 a pretty ideal selection.

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Post by alfie Thu 23 Jun 2022, 6:28 am

Probably a bit early to be picking the WC XI : as Olly notes , would be pretty lucky to have all the first choice bowlers in one piece at the time. Can hardly even guarantee all the batsmen with all the cricket they are playing.

Still that hypothetical team looks handy ! I am not too fussed over whether Stokes or Buttler bats four or five as it may well be different games suit different orders and would hope England are flexible. Agree Moeen more likely to be valuable in India than if this were being played in England again ; and perhaps less need for a Plunkett-style middle over pace man (though I see Carse is trying to establish himself in that role - and he could be a very useful option to have if he can succeed consistently)

Long way to that event anyway ; but the white ball ranks are looking pretty well stacked at the moment thumbsup

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Post by alfie Thu 23 Jun 2022, 7:03 am

Turning attention to the Third Test : having had ten days to digest all the drama : the Pope's Progress ; Root Rules ; Brilliance of Boult ; More Magnificent Mitchell and Blundell the Bold ... all culminating in the crazy last day Bairstow Blitz and Stokes Sealing the Deal : going to be hard to top that Smile

I guess this is technically a dead rubber ; but doubt either team will see it that way. NZ may feel they've had two matches stolen from under their noses ; and England after the rotten run of the previous year or so will surely be desperate to keep the winning feeling. Anderson is a loss , of course : but it will be quite interesting to see what J Overton can do at this level. Some players will want to continue their good form and one or two others have a lot to prove so no shortage of individual motivation either.
NZ will be happy to have Williamson back , even if his recent form has been down. Still not sure how they will line up ; but surely Wagner must play this time ? Can't help thinking he could make things a bit tricky for England with the older ball this week : reckon this match is very open.

I hear there might be a bit of rain about during the five days , though (hopefully !) not enough to spoil the game. Pitch likely to be decent for batting so perhaps whoever wins the toss might take the guildford approach this time and bat ! Stokes continues to talk about the plan of attack being indeed "attack !" ; and clearly England mean to remain positive at all times . I did note , however , even on that mad last day at Trent Bridge , that he and Bairstow played busily but not recklessly up until tea - in a bit of a contrast to their approach at Lord's. On that first occasion England weren't really under any time pressure ; but Jonny lost his wicket through going too hard too early at Jamieson ; and Ben's charging out at CDG really should have seen his innings snuffed out at the start : I reckon they took that on board and made the adjustment needed. Always a fine line between pushing hard to get on top of a good bowler and overdoing it - and they won't always get it right ; but with the number of stroke players in this side I'd expect them to always score fairly quickly and hope they don't get too carried away with all the Bazball chat. Don't need ten per over every session. I think Baz & co are smart enough to plot a positive but sensible course...

Looking forward to another entertaining match - and hoping I can get lucky with this week's guesses in PJ's Tipping Contest Smile

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Post by JDizzle Thu 23 Jun 2022, 7:48 am

king_carlos wrote:The CWC being in India helps England from a bowling perspective as it will bring Livingstone and Root into play as part timers and makes Mo at 7 a pretty ideal selection.

Mo will be 36 by the time the first ball is bowled, and averages 236 (albeit in only 6 ODIs) in India. Two spinners will be needed, but Moeen’s performances do worry me!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 23 Jun 2022, 8:47 am

JDizzle wrote:
VTR wrote:What a team that would be! Batting all the way down and 8 bowling options. It's an improved version of the 2019 world cup winning team which I always felt had Woakes maybe a touch too high at 7

Moeen was batting at 7 for the first part of that tournament with Plunkett missing out. Which strengthened the batting but weakened the bowling! But they got the big call right to go with the stronger bowling in the end.

I don’t think Moeen is locked into his slot just yet!

No for sure not - but having three actual spin options would be handy in the XI, so in an ideal world he would be in form and in the XI. If not, you'd need Livingstone's bowling to really come on a bit more, as the backup for that #7 spot at the moment is probably Sam Curran?

Of course, this is all pre-Rehan Ahmed 2023 hype, which will consume us all in the next 12 months and render this conversation obsolete
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 23 Jun 2022, 9:21 am

JDizzle wrote:
king_carlos wrote:The CWC being in India helps England from a bowling perspective as it will bring Livingstone and Root into play as part timers and makes Mo at 7 a pretty ideal selection.

Mo will be 36 by the time the first ball is bowled, and averages 236 (albeit in only 6 ODIs) in India. Two spinners will be needed, but Moeen’s performances do worry me!

His economy is sub 6 though which he's in the team for, his average is a bit misleading and ignores his role in the team as a bowler.

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Post by JDizzle Thu 23 Jun 2022, 9:52 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
JDizzle wrote:
king_carlos wrote:The CWC being in India helps England from a bowling perspective as it will bring Livingstone and Root into play as part timers and makes Mo at 7 a pretty ideal selection.

Mo will be 36 by the time the first ball is bowled, and averages 236 (albeit in only 6 ODIs) in India. Two spinners will be needed, but Moeen’s performances do worry me!

His economy is sub 6 though which he's in the team for, his average is a bit misleading and ignores his role in the team as a bowler.

He does average 50 though. There is definitely a trade off with how he is used in sacrificing some threat for economy - but you need to take wickets in the middle overs otherwise you just get slaughtered at the death in the modern era. Which is why Plunkett was preferred to him in 2019.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 23 Jun 2022, 9:55 am

My biggest concern with the ODI XI named above it age - Archer would be the only one under 30 (Livingstone turns 30 a couple of months before the tournament). OK, obviously the CWC is the culmination of a 4 year cycle, so you pick the best available team regardless of age (I advocate both 'if you're good enough you're old enough', and 'if you're good enough you're young enough'), but many of the players will be 33-36 years old, so fitness could be an issue.

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Post by alfie Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:22 am

The age issue is a valid concern , I guess. Though they seem to keep very fit these days (ask Jimmy !)

I note also that suggested XI has really only one new face from 2019 , in the person of Livingstone, replacing Morgan (Moeen was in the side in the earlier games before giving way to Plunkett.)

You don't usually see teams virtually unchanged from four years earlier turning up and repeating their success , I think. Not saying they can't ; just doesn't seem to happen very often. But then again ,I will be astonished if all the nominated bowlers are fit at the same time !

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Post by alfie Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:30 am

Interesting to see the novel Indian arrangement for their warm up game against Leicestershire : apparently Pujara , Pant and Bumrah will play for the locals to ensure a good contest. Nice bit of lateral thinking after a lot of sub-standard warm ups in many countries recently . It is a 13 per side thing though.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:33 am

Kiwis win the toss and bat first - they've packed their side with batting too

Latham, Young, Williamson, Conway, Nicholls, Mitchell, Blundell, Bracewell, Southee, Wagner, Boult

Basically three front line bowlers only. Huge reliance on Bracewell's offies there...
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Post by alfie Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:33 am

Ha...Williamson wins the toss and elects to bat. Guildford will approve - but not what I wanted for the Tipping Comp Sad

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Post by alfie Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:43 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Kiwis win the toss and bat first - they've packed their side with batting too

Latham, Young, Williamson, Conway, Nicholls, Mitchell, Blundell, Bracewell, Southee, Wagner, Boult

Basically three front line bowlers only. Huge reliance on Bracewell's offies there...

Yeah that bowling line-up looks a bit thin ! They have lost a bowler through injury in each of the first two games , so would be dead unlucky to do so again : but if someone did get injured they really would be in the soup !

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