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

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Post by KP_fan Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Duty281 wrote:What do we think of the future of ODI cricket as a whole, because its demise is once again being discussed?

Wasim Akram thinks ODI cricket should be put out of its misery; Mark Ramprakash says that Stokes' ODI retirement could be the beginning of the end for ODI cricket; but Ravi Shastri says there should be fewer T20Is.

My view is that ODI cricket should stay, and it's T20i cricket that should be abolished. T20 should remain franchise/domestic only. No need for a T20 World Cup when the IPL and such exists. If T20i cricket does stay, I think there should be no three format players, only two formats maximum. I'd be very disappointed if 50-over cricket died on an international basis.  

No format will die as long as they are generating revenues.
And much as I used to call them Meaningless-Masala-ODIs, these games as well as meaningless T20Is generate more revenue then tests.
Instead of 5 to 7 ODIs per series earlier...now limited over series comprise of 3+3.
Test Matches, "The Premium Form" of the game per purists ( including me) is still the commercially subsidized format of the game.
Now the defeats in ODIs/T20Is don't hurt as much, nor are wins remembered for long, only World Cups stay in memory.
But the international games generate high viewership rating & expensive advertisements (atleast on Indian TV)

As I wrote on the Ind-WI thread, the Indians have stopped complaining about too much cricket.
BCCI has found peace by putting out as many as 2 and a half to 3 squads now...call them Senior (or premium) and A and B squads for international games.
Ensuring prime stars get plenty of rest / rotation......and the pool of contracted players gets bigger and everyone gets full contracted fee, playing lesser games
Recently we have seen 2 Indian series running concurrently and twice VVSL has been India's national coach for a series when Dravid was with another Indian squad at the same time in another series.

If a marquee player Stokes was under BCCI management.....BCCI would have NEVER let him retire, would have done a sweet deal with him guaranteeing his workload across formats and asking him to appear for a very limited number of ODIs and T20Is and also letting him skip B grade test series.

No format will die since even these meaningless ODI&T20Is are indeed generating revenues, that are essential to subsidize tests and pump into FC, junior and women cricket development
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Post by alfie Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:00 am

And done. Pitched up again - who'd have thought ?

Bit of a juggle from YJB but he re-gathered very nicely. Broad finishes with three.

Lead of 161. Handy , to say the least.

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Post by kingraf Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:03 am

A lead of 161. Not quite game out of hand, but South Africa would take that when they won the toss. Pitch looks good, but maybe will look a little different when Rabada and Nortje inject an extra 15kph. As is, England are going to probably need to score north of 350 to get a competitive target. And of course, any wicket where is 350 is a third innings score, is probably a wicket where 200 isn't a super challenging total. Still, hard to rule out a team that has cracked 275+ in the fourth innings in four straight Tests. They'll believe no deficit is inherently out of reach
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Post by Duty281 Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:06 am

I hope those last two wickets show England the folly of their short-ball tactic, but obviously it won't. If they didn't learn from Bumrah hitting the most runs in an over in test history, they won't learn from this.

Nortje scored more runs this morning than in his previous 9 innings combined. How many of the balls he faced would have hit the stumps?

161 the lead. We get to see how 'Bazball' works in a third innings setting now. Batting conditions look better than on day one, but probably not enough to alter the destiny of the test. In fact the test could be over today!

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Post by alfie Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:22 am

I suppose those who advocate the short ball plan will say that those last three wickets went down for just 37 so not too bad overall. And I can't prove that less runs would have been made had the bowlers attacked the stumps with a full array of slips from the outset. My gut feeling is they might have been cleaned up sooner , but in truth this wasn't a particularly bad example of the "letting the tail wag" business...there certainly have been a few recently that cost a lot more.
Think it must be a bit significant though that the wickets fell to conventional bowling and normal slip placements. Doubtless some will claim they only did so because the batsmen had been softened up so the argument never ends...

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Post by kingraf Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:28 am

Our catching has been putrid. Absolutely putrid
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:39 am

Lees against Rabada is what it must be like watching me try to face one of the first teamers in nets
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Post by Soul Requiem Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:40 am

kingraf wrote:Our catching has been putrid. Absolutely putrid

The catching of all teams so far this summer has been putrid, one of the New Zealand tests had something like 14 drops.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:42 am

Put him out of his misery England for crying out loud
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Post by Duty281 Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:43 am

Crawley out cheaply again. Couldn't have seen that coming. Rolling Eyes

His average goes down to 26 for his career and 16.4 for the summer. But he'll keep getting picked.

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Post by alfie Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:44 am

Oh that's a pretty daft sacrifice of his wicket by Crawley. I have had high hopes for him ; but honestly think he has to go - for his sake and England's . Just stubbornly carrying on like this is madness.

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Post by VTR Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:44 am

It was a very positive 13 though, can't drop him after that!

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Post by Duty281 Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:46 am

When England named their 14 man squad for this game, it was also for the second test as well, so I don't think they'll be dropping Crawley for the second test.

Bizarre how certain players get chance after chance after chance, while others are binned at the earliest stage.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:57 am

I'm surprised that Crawley's average this summer is as high as 16.

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Post by VTR Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:58 am

Agree, people such as Carberry, Lyth, Ballance, Vince and Burns were dropped for much, much less than this, generally never to return. He's a walking wicket just gifting the early initiative to the opposition every single time

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri Aug 19, 2022 8:02 am

Can't believe the umpire didn't give that out on field - was absolutely plumb!
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Post by Duty281 Fri Aug 19, 2022 8:06 am

Two scores in the 40s this summer keeping Crawley's average at 16!

If SA can take out Root and Bairstow this afternoon, they might fancy winning this tonight.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:07 am

Yeah this is over today
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Post by kingraf Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:10 am

So goes cricket. You play a switch hit conventional sweep, a conventional reverse sweep and you are dismissed playing a forward defence. No one minds a loose forward defence though
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Post by VTR Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:17 am

Clearly not looking good. England look really out of form, almost like they've played no red ball cricket for about 6 weeks. Credit to South Africa though, they sensed vulnerability and have been good enough to exploit it

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Post by JDizzle Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:25 am

VTR wrote:Clearly not looking good. England look really out of form, almost like they've played no red ball cricket for about 6 weeks. Credit to South Africa though, they sensed vulnerability and have been good enough to exploit it

To be fair, South Africa’s only red ball cricket for ages has been getting carted everywhere by the Lions!


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Post by Duty281 Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:37 am

Innings defeat inside three days? Still trail by 80 and just two away from the tail.

Jansen hasn't even bowled yet. Nortje's cranking it up to 95mph.

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Post by kingraf Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:43 am

In hindsight swinging for the fences down 55/6 and needing to pull off record breaking chases every fourth innings was probably not the most sustainable path to victory.
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Post by Duty281 Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:47 am

Nortje's bowling fantastically. Lees got stuck in his innings, didn't know whether to stick or twist and in the end did neither.

Because of the rain on day one, only 162 overs have been bowled, meaning that if it hadn't been for the rain this would be the last session on day two...and the test is five wickets from the end!

Foakes out too. That was rubbish from Foakes. I have said previously that this style of play will merit more losses than wins in the long-term, you can't keep relying on miracle chases, but it'll be amusing to see the same people (not on here) who lavished praise on England previously line up with the vituperative criticism.

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Post by JDizzle Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:51 am

kingraf wrote:In hindsight swinging for the fences down 55/6 and needing to pull off record breaking chases every fourth innings was probably not the most sustainable path to victory.

When your team has only won 1 Test in 17 though, it was bloody good fun! The real work starts now for Stokes and McCullum.

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Post by VTR Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:59 am

Yes, a bit of balance is needed. The 4 Test wins were pretty unexpected, no one was confident of winning any of them. This series feels like another level, South Africa have a hell of a bowling unit. Their batting is strong enough to do the job needed, so it's a good side they've put together. The question marks over Lees, Crawley and Foakes were always there. England won't do very well with if a third of the team aren't good enough

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:08 am

VTR wrote:The question marks over Lees, Crawley and Foakes were always there. England won't do very well with if a third of the team aren't good enough

Lees is probably going to end up with Englands second highest score in the match. I don't much of think this inevitable defeat can be laid at his door.

He may not be good enough overall, but getting rid of him and Crawley (who has to go) at the same time wouldn't be smart.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by alfie Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:10 am

Not going too well for the home team , is it ?

I think this will indeed be over today...even if Stokes goes ballistic. SA have totally dominated the game : they have actually " won" every single session of the match - which is pretty rare even when one team wins handsomely.

No question England just haven't been on their game in any area : how much this is down to not having played for a while and how much just one of those games is irrelevant. It will test their new-found confidence in their approach if they are to come back in the (very soon coming) second game. I'm sure there will be a lot of rubbish spouted about Bazball and its shortcomings but in truth they aren't getting beaten because they are too attack minded but because the other team has outplayed them from ball one.

Very impressed with the SA attack. Nice mix of different seam options , and a highly effective spinner (albeit one who has benefited today from some indifferent batting) Maharaj will bowl as well on another day and not get wickets ; but he has been the perfect foil to the pace men today , supplying good control and variation. But Nortje with his pace has really done a magnificent job as the first change quick...he will have England doing some hard work with the bowling machine this week !

Hundred up thanks to some lusty blows from Broad but the innings result still looks good...

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Post by VTR Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:19 am

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
VTR wrote:The question marks over Lees, Crawley and Foakes were always there. England won't do very well with if a third of the team aren't good enough

Lees is probably going to end up with Englands second highest score in the match. I don't much of think this inevitable defeat can be laid at his door.

He may not be good enough overall, but getting rid of him and Crawley (who has to go) at the same time wouldn't be smart.

Agree, I'm not advocating getting rid of all three, just they are the three who might never be good enough. Crawley absolutely has to go, the other two need more chances

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Post by alfie Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:29 am

Broad having fun out there as a rapid fifty partnership puts the possibility of making SA bat again (just about) back on the table ...

All good fun but I am not expecting these to to channel Botham and Dilley Headingley 1981 Smile

...and it couldn't last , of course. Broad finds a fielder and that innings loss looms again...

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Post by alfie Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:51 am

And all over ... well deserved innings win for SA. Well done them for a comprehensive performance clap clap clap

More to say maybe when I've had some sleep...

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Post by Duty281 Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:51 am

Nine down. Absolute thrashing. This would have been a defeat inside two completed days had it not been for the rain. Horrific. And, presuming England lose their last wicket soon, they'll have lost eight wickets in the session, like the old days.

South Africa's bowling unit is superb, with more depth in reserve, and the batting is solid enough, with the odd sprinkling of quality, to do the job.

It's been an odd summer. England have been outplayed for the majority of the five tests, but those four ludicrous chases changed the complexion and added gloss.

Of the top seven, Lees, Crawley and Foakes don't look good enough with the bat. Will Jennings be picked for Pakistan? Foakes is an added complication because he's got the best gloves of anyone. Stokes is rusty as you like and I don't think he'll return to the days of 2019. Pope has made a decent, but not brilliant, start to life as number three. He's certainly got the spot for now, though I do worry about him in Pakistan and spinning conditions. Bairstow has been in the form of his life, but I am wondering how long the flame will burn for and what average he'll return to when it fades out. Root is Root but is it realistic to expect him to continue averaging 55-60 in the medium-term?

Not enjoying Stokes' captaincy so far. Far too aggressive and full-pitched to top order bats, in line with attacking cricket but shipping too many boundaries, and the same negative rubbish as under Root when bowling to the likes of Nortje and Bumrah.

There's the final wicket. Well done to South Africa, that was a thumping. clap

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Post by kingraf Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:52 am

England batted 80-odd overs to go 314/20. Pretty shocking for a home performance.
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Post by alfie Sat Aug 20, 2022 2:05 am

Duty281 wrote:Nine down. Absolute thrashing. This would have been a defeat inside two completed days had it not been for the rain. Horrific. And, presuming England lose their last wicket soon, they'll have lost eight wickets in the session, like the old days.

South Africa's bowling unit is superb, with more depth in reserve, and the batting is solid enough, with the odd sprinkling of quality, to do the job.

It's been an odd summer. England have been outplayed for the majority of the five tests, but those four ludicrous chases changed the complexion and added gloss.

Of the top seven, Lees, Crawley and Foakes don't look good enough with the bat. Will Jennings be picked for Pakistan? Foakes is an added complication because he's got the best gloves of anyone. Stokes is rusty as you like and I don't think he'll return to the days of 2019. Pope has made a decent, but not brilliant, start to life as number three. He's certainly got the spot for now, though I do worry about him in Pakistan and spinning conditions. Bairstow has been in the form of his life, but I am wondering how long the flame will burn for and what average he'll return to when it fades out. Root is Root but is it realistic to expect him to continue averaging 55-60 in the medium-term?

Not enjoying Stokes' captaincy so far. Far too aggressive and full-pitched to top order bats, in line with attacking cricket but shipping too many boundaries, and the same negative rubbish as under Root when bowling to the likes of Nortje and Bumrah.

There's the final wicket. Well done to South Africa, that was a thumping. clap

Didn't take long to bring out your inner Total Pessimist , Duty ! You forgot to add that the only decent bowler in the side is shortly eligible for the pension and Stokes doesn't trust Leach any more than Root did... Yeah , we are all doomed Smile

Look , of course it was a shocker. But let's not over react to what is in fact one game : and one that was decided to a great extent by a first innings collapse in very difficult batting conditions. These things happen to even the best of teams ; and the true test is how they come back at the next outing.

SA bowling was excellent , by the way. NZ and India had some fine bowlers too , let us not forget : but the main difference here was that SA didn't have one who let the side down and released the pressure. And of course when you blow the opposition away in 40 odd overs you don't have to worry about coming back tired for second and third spells. Reckon they will be tough to play again next week but fancy England to counter them a bit better - they will need to ! Not sure the SA batting is all that though. Got the 300 they needed to back up the demolition of the England first innings ; but I think they were helped a bit by the home team being rather off their game. They'll be confident going into match two but I'm certainly not about to declare them massive favourites just on the strength of one match.


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Post by alfie Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:12 am

Now to cast a critical eye on England.

First point is that the weaknesses that existed at the start of the summer still remain. I don't think any of us really thought they had all been magically fixed overnight. The difference that enabled the team to win four matches in a row is the change in attitude and belief brought on by the approach of McCullum and Stokes as leaders. Hopefully the confidence to play with positive intent (not all reckless abandon - that was all media nonsense which distorted the reality of what was happening) will not be flattened by this reverse.
McCullum in his chat with the commentary team after the game was thoughtful and open about the whole thing. He knows there are things that need addressing and I am quite sure he will be working with the players over the coming days to do just that. But he is firm that he doesn't want a culture of timidity to infest the side - even alluded to the fact that the second innings did suggest a bit of that had crept in. How the batsmen in particular come back in Manchester will be very instructive.

Obviously the batting collapse gets the headlines. But I would suggest that the most decisive passage of play was actually the opening partnership of Elgar and Erwee on the second day (and even the following stand with the less-convincing Petersen) that drew the teeth of the England bowling and set the scene for what was always likely to be a match-winning lead. It wasn't always particularly elegant ; but they did what was needed to keep out the good balls , and profited handsomely from the (far too many) loose ones : once they reached the England score just as the third wicket fell the innings was only going one way with a ball 45 overs old...
Actually the clatter of wickets that offered the illusion of an England fightback until Maharaj and Jansen took over has focused most attention on the England "short to the tail" tactics (which I don't like. But fear we might be stuck with - though hopefully with some very necessary modifications). I reckon the failing to make inroads when the ball was new was the greater issue...and I suspect that was very largely due to the main bowlers needing the run , as it were. Broad in particular looked keen to attack but not quite right (much better with the eventual use of the second new ball) It was a bad day for Potts to have a bit of a 'mare as it meant no one apart from Anderson exerted any control ; and when early wickets weren't forthcoming SA were able to scoot away too quickly. In retrospect I wish they'd played Robinson (if they could have predicted the events and conditions of the first day or so Leach might have been seen as redundant , or Potts less necessary) but that is hindsight.

Anyway , done is done . So what is missing and what can be done to fix it ?

1. Top three has been a problem for ages. Even winning earlier on , only Pope enhanced his reputation - and even he only turned up two innings out of eight. Good to see he got difficult runs here ; but still a work in progress. Big issue is of course Crawley who is seemingly nailed on but appears to have lost all confidence (that second innings dismissal was awful - and rather set the scene for what followed) With only Brook in the squad - and surely unfair to ask him to debut in an unfamiliar position ? I am afraid SA will be salivating at the prospect of being one scalp away from getting Root to the crease inside the first few overs...

2. That tail. Can't just pick bowlers for their batting ; but a Test order with Broad at eight is just not sustainable in the long run. No immediate solution ... Robinson can (allegedly) bat ; but I've not seen much evidence of it.

3.Bowling attack is too dependant on Jimmy for control as well as key wickets. I think he too needed this game to get fully in the groove so hopefully he will fire up on his home ground and whoever accompanies him will do the job much better than this week. Lack of true express pace and an all-surfaces spinner are things they just have to live with for now. At least Stokes supplied some fireworks and hasn't broken down yet ; though he leaks so many runs you wouldn't want him bowling massive overs anyway.

Not too bothered about Foakes. Keeping is fine and if he failed in this match he did a job against NZ not long back ; he is no Gilchrist but not a rabbit either. Can't expect him to rescue the side from collapse every week any more than YJB or Root - who were just about due to have a failure after the season they've had. Pity they both picked the same days to have them ; but I don't think that means the middle order is no longer the strong engine room of the side.

Given the squad and the management attitude I'd expect maybe Robinson for Potts as the only change. It isn't ideal ; and things will doubtless be different for Pakistan ; but this is where we are and I think we can withhold too much hand-wringing until we see how well they bounce back from this defeat. They don't usually lose two in a row at home...

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Post by Duty281 Sat Aug 20, 2022 5:34 am

alfie wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Nine down. Absolute thrashing. This would have been a defeat inside two completed days had it not been for the rain. Horrific. And, presuming England lose their last wicket soon, they'll have lost eight wickets in the session, like the old days.

South Africa's bowling unit is superb, with more depth in reserve, and the batting is solid enough, with the odd sprinkling of quality, to do the job.

It's been an odd summer. England have been outplayed for the majority of the five tests, but those four ludicrous chases changed the complexion and added gloss.

Of the top seven, Lees, Crawley and Foakes don't look good enough with the bat. Will Jennings be picked for Pakistan? Foakes is an added complication because he's got the best gloves of anyone. Stokes is rusty as you like and I don't think he'll return to the days of 2019. Pope has made a decent, but not brilliant, start to life as number three. He's certainly got the spot for now, though I do worry about him in Pakistan and spinning conditions. Bairstow has been in the form of his life, but I am wondering how long the flame will burn for and what average he'll return to when it fades out. Root is Root but is it realistic to expect him to continue averaging 55-60 in the medium-term?

Not enjoying Stokes' captaincy so far. Far too aggressive and full-pitched to top order bats, in line with attacking cricket but shipping too many boundaries, and the same negative rubbish as under Root when bowling to the likes of Nortje and Bumrah.

There's the final wicket. Well done to South Africa, that was a thumping. clap

Didn't take long to bring out your inner Total Pessimist , Duty !  You forgot to add that the only decent bowler in the side is shortly eligible for the pension and Stokes doesn't trust Leach any more than Root did... Yeah , we are all doomed  Smile

Look , of course it was a shocker. But let's not over react to what is in fact one game : and one that was decided to a great extent by a first innings collapse in very difficult batting conditions. These things happen to even the best of teams ; and the true test is how they come back at the next outing.

SA bowling was excellent , by the way. NZ and India had some fine bowlers too , let us not forget : but the main difference here was that SA didn't have one who let the side down and released the pressure. And of course when you blow the opposition away in 40 odd overs you don't have to worry about coming back tired for second and third spells. Reckon they will be tough to play again next week but fancy England to counter them a bit better - they will need to !  Not sure the SA batting is all that though. Got the 300 they needed to back up the demolition of the England first innings ; but I think they were helped a bit by the home team being rather off their game. They'll be confident going into match two but I'm certainly not about to declare them massive favourites just on the strength of one match.


Ah, the issue being that it wasn't just one game. England have been outplayed for the majority of all five tests this summer. Every time the third innings has concluded, England have either been massively behind or actually defeated. Those four consecutive chases were some of the strangest things I've seen in sport, never mind in cricket, and hid the glaring flaws that existed. You don't often get one smash-and-grab win in test cricket, let alone four in succession!

The India chase was excellent from Root and Bairstow. But the three NZ chases...I don't think the first would have happened if CdG hadn't been injured, and the second probably wouldn't have occurred if Jamieson didn't get injured. And by the time of the third chase NZ were exhausted and seemed to have given up.

England's team is very limited in the batting and this approach they're taking is all wrong. Getting bowled out yesterday in 37.4 overs in excellent batting conditions is disgraceful. And they'll keep taking this overly aggressive approach to games, which is wrong. And, as I said at the time, winning those smash-and-grab tests was actually the worst thing for England in the medium-term, because a record of 4-1 has deluded many people that 'Bazball' is right and will pay off. But it won't. And because of those wins it'll take even longer for the penny to drop. If England's record was currently 1-4, which would be a fairer reflection, maybe McCullum/Stokes would have begun to realise that adjustments are needed.

It's just all wrong.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sat Aug 20, 2022 7:44 am

Probably a good and timely reminder that this is still a work in progress with the same players as before for England.
Do wonder whether the plan for Pope is to establish him at 3, or to prepare him to open.

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Post by msp83 Sat Aug 20, 2022 2:55 pm

Coule follow the test off and on. Fabulous game in between all that silly white ball stuff.
Brilliant from South Africa. England will have to have more nuance to their approach...
I see England supporters are very critical of the many chances being given to Crawley. They managed to squeeze a few decent innings out of the Pope through this method so much so that someone even mentioned him alongside Root over here! So perhaps Crawley, who for me, seems to have a bit more to him than his current record suggests, should be given a couple more chances, particularly as they couldn't find a half decent opener after 2006 when Alastair Cook debuted in India! Is Robinson not quite their with his fitness that they didn't pick him for the first test? I feel he could be a very handy all-condition bowler for England if he stays fit and focused.
As for South Africa, think Markram is South Africa's holy one, getting chances after chances. Yes he did have an impressive start to his test career, but his out of position at 4 is based on a few shots he played in the IPL and the limited overs internationals in recent times. Think someone like Kaya Zondo, who had a score in the warm-up, should have been given a chance, keep Markram in as the reserve opener... In any case, when Bavuma returns, he'll be slotting back into that middle order... And I am not too convinced by their wicketkeeper bat Kyle Verreynne, think Ryan Rickleton, a seemingly fine bat who also is a wicketkeeper, should be given a chance. Verreynne did score a ton in New Zealand, but hasn't quite looked the part for me at the top level.

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Post by alfie Sun Aug 21, 2022 12:40 am

Ah we are not going to agree on this , Duty. I do not accept , for example , that England were "outplayed" for the majority of those earlier Tests : yes they ended up with challenging fourth innings targets ...but until those second NZ innings the games were well balanced. And if the targets set looked formidable , that was shown (by these and the India Test) to be somewhat a product of a belief from "earlier" times that over 250 in a last innings is generally unlikely : recent records here and elsewhere shows that is no longer the case. Sure NZ had ill luck with injuries ; but you can't use that to write off three successful and eventually comfortable chases .

And as to this match : the second innings collapse had nothing to do with an over aggressive approach. Only Crawley of the top order got himself out - and his shot was more the product of a scrambled mind than a team policy. The rest of the bats perished to defensive pushes : in fact you could say that they were altogether too timid in countering the SA bowling . Only Bairstow really tried to counter attack ; and he did so with sensible shots rather than anything outlandish , and actually fell while attempting to defend against Nortje rather than go after the ball. Late wickets rather thrown away atre meaningless as the game was long
gone once Stokes was left with the rabbits...Broad trying to block it out would have been ludicrous and boring for the fans !

I am definitely not saying all is rosy - as per my post above. But I reckon they're a lot better than you are suggesting.

We can revisit this when more evidence is in , eh ?

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Post by Duty281 Sun Aug 21, 2022 4:53 am

Well I'm concerned about McCullum's comments in the wake of the test defeat. Firstly, doubling down on Zak Crawley:

Spoiler:

I disagree that Crawley isn't a consistent cricketer, right now he appears to be very consistent! Crawley averages 94 in tests against short-pitched bowling, but just 12 against good-length bowling, and he has a weakness against spin with left-arm spinners dismissing him eight times at an average of 13.6. Crawley may have some pretty shots in the locker, but his defence is hopeless and he's so easy to get out, and it's difficult to build a test career around that.

I agree that selection loyalty is important, but only to a point. If you show too much loyalty, and persist in picking someone such as Crawley, you risk destroying them mentally which does them long-term damage. Crawley may have a chance if he goes back to county cricket for a couple of years, rediscovering and rebuilding his game, before being introduced back into the England fold. But if you keep playing him against the likes of Rabada and Nortje, and possibly the spin of Pakistan later in the year, what's realistically going to happen other than a succession of low scores?

But it looks as though we can expect Crawley to be picked for the last two tests of the summer.

McCullum also doubled down on England's approach:

Spoiler:

Ah yes, England lost twenty wickets in just under 83 overs, but England apparently need to attack more. It's just utter madness. Test cricket is about the grind.

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Post by JDizzle Sun Aug 21, 2022 5:50 am

My big takeaway from McCullum’s comments are England need a National Selector appointing before they go to Pakistan this winter. I’d expect nothing less from McCullum/Stokes to back Crawley, but they need saving from themselves.

They don’t watch County Cricket, save what Stokes plays in, and they don’t analyse the numbers. They need one or two people who do.

Test Cricket is a simple game - in the white ball stuff things like team philosophy and style come into it more. Test cricket, you just have to score more runs for the cost of 20 wickets than the opposition. Whether that is grinding and smashing, which seems to work better for YJB. Get a selector in who can find you the best six batters in England and I would wager good money Stokes and McCullum will get forget any complaints about the style of batter if they are consistently putting more runs on the board as a team.

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Post by kingraf Sun Aug 21, 2022 8:20 am

As bad a loss as it was, it's just one loss. No need to throw babies out with the bathwater. Except Crawley. He needs to go back to County and come back a #4-5. I remain completely unconvinced that someone his size can open the batting. Especially a pitches with a bit of movement. Nothing against him, but the the physics of inertia and biology of synapse response, make it really hard for someone his size to adjust in time at that level. Even the great Matthew Hayden only averaged 34 in South Africa, 34 in England, and 28 in New Zealand. And he was only 6'2!
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Post by alfie Mon Aug 22, 2022 12:37 am

Completely agree with all above about Crawley. I understand McCullum not wanting to slag him off in public ; but think some of those comments are only going to look sillier by the week if he continues to play - and fail.

More to the point it risks setting the team up for collapse : the second innings should have been a chance to work back into the game (though to be honest I doubt they could have succeeded given the excellence of the SA attack and the deficit). But by throwing away his wicket to a totally unnecessary swipe at Maharaj , Crawley (a) immediately exposed Pope to the spin which is his weakness and (b) both helped to keep SA momentum going and maybe kindled more of those "oh dear , here we go again" fears that probably haven't yet been completely banished from the England dressing room.
That might be overstating it : but surely no question that this regular loss of at least one early wicket is putting unwanted pressure on the rest of the order. Can't fairly expect some combination of Root/Bairstow/Stokes to dig them out of trouble every second innings. Unfortunately the lack of options for opening in the Test squad (did they really need to lock it in like that in advance ?) means no change at the top yet so we can but hope...

I am not worried about the "maybe go harder" comments. Think we should recognise that is not a call for just swinging at everything - just looking to score and turn pressure back on the bowlers rather than being too passive in defence. Probably the biggest thing SA did to secure this win was getting Root for practically nothing twice as he is the epitome of playing safe but "busy" cricket - and always ensures runs keep ticking over.

Anyway , on to Manchester and let us see what transpires.

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Post by Duty281 Mon Aug 22, 2022 8:31 am

England's schedule for the second Pakistan tour of the year confirmed:

Three-day warm-up: England v Lions, 23-25 November, Zayed Cricket Complex, Abu Dhabi
First Test: Pakistan v England, 1-5 December, Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Second Test: Pakistan v England, 9-13 December, Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
Third Test: Pakistan v England, 17-21 December, National Stadium, Karachi


No real preparation, just throwing England in at the deep end, so what can be expected other than a Pakistan win? The third test coincides exactly with the opening test of the Australia-South Africa series.

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Post by JDizzle Mon Aug 22, 2022 8:44 am

It’ll be interesting to see what pitches Pakistan prepare. Do they go with turning decks like vs SA or mega roads like vs Australia.

I think England would prefer turning decks - seen as they have the best player of spin in the world and Pakistan’s spinners aren’t great. Watching 4 x 80mph seamer’s try to bowl Pakistan out on the pitches we saw in the Australia series could be a chastening experience…


Last edited by JDizzle on Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by VTR Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:27 am

Zak Crawley presumably a shoe-in to open on that tour with the reasoning being "he's got an outstanding record against Pakistan, as well as being a special talent"

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:35 am

VTR wrote:Zak Crawley presumably a shoe-in to open on that tour with the reasoning being "he's got an outstanding record against Pakistan, as well as being a special talent"

If Jennings plays as well, seeing as he can only play spin, him and Crawley would surely be the tallest opening partnership of all time?

You're welcome.

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Post by Duty281 Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:46 am

Crawley does average 160 v Pakistan.....also averages 12.75 in the subcontinent from 8 innings.

I think Pakistan will still favour turning pitches. Root is a phenomenal player of spin, but the rest of the batting not so much. Bairstow had 3 ducks out of 4 innings in India last year, and did nothing special in Sri Lanka. Stokes averages less than 30 with the bat in Asia. If England's top three for this series includes Crawley and Pope, well that's just asking to be 5/2 every time! I hope Jennings gets a recall, he did well enough in Asia albeit many years ago, but he doesn't fit into 'Bazball'.

Plus England's spinners aren't brilliant. Leach + Moeen (I'm presuming McCullum got Moeen to reverse his test retirement to pick him for this tour) will hardly scare the likes of Babar and Shafique.

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Post by Duty281 Mon Aug 22, 2022 5:23 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/aug/22/ben-stokes-england-cricket-test-captain-interview

Documentary about Ben Stokes comes out on Amazon Prime on Friday.

Seems to focus on his four-month break from the sport due to his issues with anxiety and subsequent recovery and comeback to the sport. It also touches on the loss of his father, and the time he defended a gay couple, but was prosecuted by the law before being found not guilty. However the investigation and trial led to a ban by the ECB, which caused him to miss the 2017/18 Ashes, and he nearly quit the sport entirely as a result. He still seems to rail against the ECB establishment because of it.

The obvious highs of his career will also be visited, but nothing much about the great Alex Hales mystery (Stokes refers to him as 'my friend at the time'). One quote from Stokes about the international scheduling is very revealing:

“The schedule is so jam packed,” said Stokes. “In my opinion it is just wrong that in the top level of sport you are looking so far ahead as to when you can stop. I know I can’t play all this cricket, it is a joke. The fact that series’ are overlapping is ridiculous. To have a Test series and one day series going on at the same time is just mind blowing to me.

“In the latest white ball series they had no time to train. That in itself is just wow. That should be an eye opener to people.”

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Post by king_carlos Tue Aug 23, 2022 2:58 pm

Duty281 wrote:England's schedule for the second Pakistan tour of the year confirmed:

Three-day warm-up: England v Lions, 23-25 November, Zayed Cricket Complex, Abu Dhabi
First Test: Pakistan v England, 1-5 December, Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Second Test: Pakistan v England, 9-13 December, Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
Third Test: Pakistan v England, 17-21 December, National Stadium, Karachi


No real preparation, just throwing England in at the deep end, so what can be expected other than a Pakistan win? The third test coincides exactly with the opening test of the Australia-South Africa series.
I agree absolutely that almost all Test series would be better with more preparation for the touring side but it does sometimes feel that England fans get a bit more hung up on it that others.

South Africa had the one non F-C warmup before T1 that only Jansen from their bowling attack played in for instance yet their seamers looked a long way from undercooked. Meanwhile England's attack in home conditions seemed to be deriving how to hit a line and length from first principles at times!

I'm just happy to see England touring Pakistan to play Tests as much as anything.

The tour having 7 T20i's prior to the World T20 in Australia, then 3 Tests after it is some prime 2022 international cricket scheduling though it must be said.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Aug 24, 2022 6:25 am

Robinson in for Potts the only change for the 2nd test - the one change I'd have done for the first test.
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