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England's Winter of Cricket 2023/24

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Post by Duty281 Thu 30 Nov 2023, 2:31 pm

After the disappointment of the World Cup, can England be the first away team in 11 years to win a test series in India?

Three ODIs v West Indies (3rd December-9th December)
Five T20s v West Indies (12th December-21st December)
Five Tests v India (25th January-11th March)

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Post by Duty281 Thu 30 Nov 2023, 2:32 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/67573128

First news is that Stokes has had knee surgery and hopes to be fit for the India series.

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Post by KP_fan Sat 02 Dec 2023, 6:30 pm

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2023/11/29/ollie-pope-interview-england-bazball-india-tour/

Ollie Pope interview: ‘England will Bazball as hard as ever in India’
Pope speaks exclusively to Telegraph Sport about why there is no guarantee he makes England’s XI in India and targeting the 2027 World Cup

So they will Bazball hard in India.....good to hear that

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Post by king_carlos Sun 03 Dec 2023, 5:13 pm

Late order hitting from Surran, Carse and Rehan has lifted England to what should be a very defendable 325ao on the last ball in the first ODI.

They went off like a rocket with Salt in particular, then a flurry of wickets meant an important Brook knock steadied the ship.

As said previously when discussing this tour, I really like the "backup opener" tactic at number 3 with this younger generation of white ball players. Given the abundance of top order power I think opening very aggressively with Salt and Jacks makes sense. Then Crawley at 3 can either keep the pressure on in the PP by breaching the ring when the fielders are in. Or if he's in for the middle overs then Crawley is a superb runner between the wickets. After that an engine room of 4.Duckett 5.Brook 6.Buttler looks really good in ODIs.

England have stacked this side with batting ability down to 10 as well, relying on Livi and Jacks to be a 5th bowler. Batting very deep looks reminiscent of the earlier Morgan/Bayliss XIs. Whilst the top order has a different balance.

Bowling wise. I'm excited to see Atkinson presumably take the new ball where he shone for Surry. Rehan is so exciting as well of course. Whilst I think Carse could potentially be our best middle overs option since Plunkett.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 03 Dec 2023, 9:10 pm

Atkinson did a good job, as did the spinners, but Carse was forgettable, and Curran (0/98) was utterly abysmal. Has to be questions over Curran's continued inclusion in the ODI team. Has been poor for a long while.

Overall, same as the World Cup. A terrible defeat, but this time to a team outside the top ten of ODI cricket.

Shai Hope, ODI career SR of 77, blasting 109 off 83 sums it up. Doh

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 03 Dec 2023, 10:59 pm

Duty281 wrote:Atkinson did a good job, as did the spinners, but Carse was forgettable, and Curran (0/98) was utterly abysmal. Has to be questions over Curran's continued inclusion in the ODI team. Has been poor for a long while.

Overall, same as the World Cup. A terrible defeat, but this time to a team outside the top ten of ODI cricket.

Shai Hope, ODI career SR of 77, blasting 109 off 83 sums it up. Doh

Buttler's poor captaincy from the World Cup also continuing. With the spin of Rehan and Livingstone being a lot more effective than England's seam trio, I found it baffling that Jacks was never given a bowl.

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Post by VTR Mon 04 Dec 2023, 6:39 am

Exactly, which would have given options at the death, including not having to bowl Curran again after he went for around 20 in one shocking over.

No surprise to see England not have a clue how to get Shai Hope out. He's actually a very good ODI player, but England even make him look like a titan in Tests, where his record is poor

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Post by JDizzle Mon 04 Dec 2023, 7:18 am

It’s kind of interesting the two World Cup finalists this year basically picked their Test seam attacks.

Bumrah/Siraj/Shami/Starc/Cummins/Hazlewood are quality bowlers in ODIs and Tests. Even when England won in 2019, you had bowlers with form in longest format in Woakes and Archer (in the future).

If you sent an attack of Curran, Carse and Atkinson (has the most potential to be fair) out in a Test match the results would be dire.

It seems to me that batting in ODIs more closely resembles T20 batting, but bowling should lean more towards Test match bowling. As taking wickets is the only way to slow the scoring the rate.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 04 Dec 2023, 8:46 pm

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2023/12/04/rehan-ahmed-brother-farhan-england-world-cup-squad-u19/

Forget about Rehan Ahmed, it's all about Farhan Ahmed. The 15-year-old younger brother of Rehan has been picked for the England U19s World Cup squad. Many believe him to have greater potential than Rehan.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 05 Dec 2023, 9:54 am

Duty281 wrote:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2023/12/04/rehan-ahmed-brother-farhan-england-world-cup-squad-u19/

Forget about Rehan Ahmed, it's all about Farhan Ahmed. The 15-year-old younger brother of Rehan has been picked for the England U19s World Cup squad. Many believe him to have greater potential than Rehan.

JDizzle we have a new hope and saviour
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Post by KP_fan Wed 06 Dec 2023, 8:22 pm

By the look of scorecard, Eng too seemed to have encountered a spinning pitch at Antigua
Surely they will chase down 200 & don't hope to see a dramatic surprises when i glance at scorecard on waking up tomm

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Post by alfie Thu 07 Dec 2023, 6:38 am

So one-all after a rather easy England win in the second of these rather less than rivetingly important ODIs...

Good from an England pov to see Buttler finally getting some runs again - and Sam Curran bouncing back from a hammering the other day to wreck the early WI innings. But one has to question how much anything done in this series really means in an overall International context - as West Indies couldn't even see off the minnows to qualify for the last WC. Still seems Hope is their only real asset at present.

But Jacks has done himself no harm with more rapid runs at the head of the order. Even got a chance to bowl this time I see. Rehan Ahmed more wickets too so his development continues thumbsup

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Post by VTR Thu 07 Dec 2023, 2:28 pm

A decent win, but hard to know where Windies rank these days. Their performances put them as something like being the 12th best ODI team, but I have a feeling they are underachieving and should be qualifying for tournaments ahead of the likes of The Netherlands. Good to see England dismiss Hope for less than a hundred for once!

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Post by Duty281 Sat 09 Dec 2023, 8:18 pm

Looks like a loss today. 49/5 after 9.4 overs, in a rain-reduced 43 overs game. Buttler's torment continuing with a golden duck, and WI debutant Forde currently on 3/16 after 5 overs.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 10 Dec 2023, 2:12 am

Yes, a loss. 206/9 from 40 overs was never likely to be enough, although England did briefly run the West Indies a bit close thanks to Jacks' 3/22. It was then the old weakness of death bowling as Atkinson sent down a horrific over, costing 24, which sealed the series defeat.

Onto the T20s.

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Post by alfie Sun 10 Dec 2023, 5:30 am

Duty281 wrote:Yes, a loss. 206/9 from 40 overs was never likely to be enough, although England did briefly run the West Indies a bit close thanks to Jacks' 3/22. It was then the old weakness of death bowling as Atkinson sent down a horrific over, costing 24, which sealed the series defeat.

Onto the T20s.

Can hardly wait Rolling Eyes

Pretty dismal ODI series for England against a second string West Indies outfit. Couple of half decent performances in there but doesn't seem like anyone screaming "lock me in the squad for the next x years" ...

Results don't really matter too much I guess. But with no more 50 over stuff for ages (so all the attention will be t20) the future white ball team development hasn't exactly developed over these three games. Long run up to the next serious 50 over (Champions Trophy 2025) so plenty of time ; but I suspect we might still be guessing a bit about the correct blend of experience and "new" blood when it comes around. The way of the world , as the 50 over format becomes the poor relation of International cricket ?

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Post by Duty281 Sun 10 Dec 2023, 2:49 pm

At least the T20s have some purpose with the World Cup around the corner. Another limited-overs tour of the West Indies awaits next year as well.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 11 Dec 2023, 2:49 pm

England have announced their test squad for India. It's quite an interesting squad.

Batsmen: Ben Stokes (capt), Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Joe Root.
Keepers: Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes.
Spinners: Rehan Ahmed, Shoaib Bashir, Tom Hartley, and Jack Leach.
Seamers/Quicks: James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Ollie Robinson, and Mark Wood.


Bashir a big surprise to be included. A 20-year-old off-spinner from Somerset who has played just six FC games and taken 10 wickets @ 67, but obviously Key sees a lot of potential in him. Hartley in for a potential test debut as perhaps the direct backup to Leach - despite his modest stats, Hartley is seen as promising because of his high release point. Rehan Ahmed included also, and Leach back from injury. No Dawson (shame) and no Moeen (thank goodness).

On the quicker bowling front, this England appear to have realised that no matter how brilliant Woakes is at home, he isn't much cop overseas and isn't included. But Anderson (41!), Robinson and Wood all there, with a punt also taken on Atkinson, which may be seen as a surprise with him leapfrogging the likes of Tongue and Potts. Atkinson's had a tidy start to his FC career, with 45 wickets @ 26.64, and is obviously seen as another huge talent.

Less surprising on the batting front. Everyone you'd expect is there, including Stokes who it seems is set to recover from surgery in time, though I doubt we'll see him bowl.

Possible team for the first test might be: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Stokes, Brook, Bairstow (WK), Rehan, two of Anderson/Robinson/Wood, and Leach.

Or an extra bowler might be included at the expense of either Pope or Brook. I think Bairstow will get the gloves over Foakes, but this really wouldn't be my choice in subcontinental conditions.

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Post by JDizzle Mon 11 Dec 2023, 3:29 pm

Duty281 wrote:England have announced their test squad for India. It's quite an interesting squad.

Batsmen: Ben Stokes (capt), Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Joe Root.
Keepers: Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes.
Spinners: Rehan Ahmed, Shoaib Bashir, Tom Hartley, and Jack Leach.
Seamers/Quicks: James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Ollie Robinson, and Mark Wood.


Bashir a big surprise to be included. A 20-year-old off-spinner from Somerset who has played just six FC games and taken 10 wickets @ 67, but obviously Key sees a lot of potential in him. Hartley in for a potential test debut as perhaps the direct backup to Leach - despite his modest stats, Hartley is seen as promising because of his high release point. Rehan Ahmed included also, and Leach back from injury. No Dawson (shame) and no Moeen (thank goodness).

On the quicker bowling front, this England appear to have realised that no matter how brilliant Woakes is at home, he isn't much cop overseas and isn't included. But Anderson (41!), Robinson and Wood all there, with a punt also taken on Atkinson, which may be seen as a surprise with him leapfrogging the likes of Tongue and Potts. Atkinson's had a tidy start to his FC career, with 45 wickets @ 26.64, and is obviously seen as another huge talent.

Less surprising on the batting front. Everyone you'd expect is there, including Stokes who it seems is set to recover from surgery in time, though I doubt we'll see him bowl.

Possible team for the first test might be: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Stokes, Brook, Bairstow (WK), Rehan, two of Anderson/Robinson/Wood, and Leach.

Or an extra bowler might be included at the expense of either Pope or Brook. I think Bairstow will get the gloves over Foakes, but this really wouldn't be my choice in subcontinental conditions.

Worth nothing Bashir is also 6’4 - so they are clearly desperate to find an Axar Patel type bowler. This thinking usually never works as being good at bowling is generally more important than being tall.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 11 Dec 2023, 5:14 pm

Duty281 wrote:Possible team for the first test might be: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Stokes, Brook, Bairstow (WK), Rehan, two of Anderson/Robinson/Wood, and Leach.

Or an extra bowler might be included at the expense of either Pope or Brook. I think Bairstow will get the gloves over Foakes, but this really wouldn't be my choice in subcontinental conditions.
I reckon Foakes will keep with Stokes or Pope batting three depending on how the skipper recovers. 5 Tests in India looks like a lot for Stokes regardless of the surgery. He has barely been able to move in the field for a while. Bairstow might not even manage all 5 Tests for the same reason. So could realistically see YJB missing out at some point with Stokes dropping back to 6. Both are on one leg.

1.Crawley 2.Duckett 3.Stokes/Pope 4.Root 5.Brook 6.Bairstow/Stokes 7.Foakes (wk) 8.Rehan 9.Robinson 10.Leach 11.Anderson/Wood

That'd be my guess at the potential team makeup. That's presuming it'll be played on bunsens too.

England desperately need Robinson to step up and be the bowler he can be. High release, great seam control, brilliant accuracy. He should be fairly effective everywhere. Frustratingly his conditioning has varied from, just good enough to be a Test bowler, to, is this actually a professional athlete.

I wish that Dawson was in the squad but I do think Key is speaking sense re being a replacement player. I wouldn't pick him ahead of Leach who I think has improved since he altered his delivery slightly to get drift and dip, plus Leach gets more action on the ball than Dawson anyway. I also wouldn't play two SLA orthodox spinners I don't think. Even with India's right-handers. I'd prefer Rehan's variation. Would Dawson be that interested in being a reserve player, earning a basic touring fee and missing the SA20? Probably not, sadly. He's definitely the best replacement for Leach in these conditions though. A tough one given how high the wages in the smaller T20 leagues now are. Until recently the England touring fee would be similar to what players such as Dawson might get in the non IPL leagues. With the SA20 and IL T20 that's changed though.

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Post by VTR Mon 11 Dec 2023, 6:52 pm

JDizzle wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
Bashir a big surprise to be included. A 20-year-old off-spinner from Somerset who has played just six FC games and taken 10 wickets @ 67, but obviously Key sees a lot of potential in him. Hartley in for a potential test debut as perhaps the direct backup to Leach - despite his modest stats, Hartley is seen as promising because of his high release point. Rehan Ahmed included also, and Leach back from injury. No Dawson (shame) and no Moeen (thank goodness).

Worth nothing Bashir is also 6’4 - so they are clearly desperate to find an Axar Patel type bowler. This thinking usually never works as being good at bowling is generally more important than being tall.
I've still got PTSD over Boyd Rankin and his "extra bounce" on Australian wickets. The reality was the ball disappearing to the boundary extra quickly

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Post by KP_fan Mon 11 Dec 2023, 7:27 pm

India's conundrum would be, the type of pitch to make

If it's rank turner from D1, it doesn't matter whether you bat first or last, game lasts 3 days .....an average spinners is also bumped up, delivers spitting cobras....and the superiority of Jadeja and Ashwin doesn't stand out.
The recent pitch between NZ & BD as well as the one test that Ind lost to Aus during Aus's last visit and that pitch in Ahemdabad where Root took a 5-for.....are all such lottery pitches that India will ( or should) refrain from.
When they tried to compensate the pitch in the game after the one they lost to Aus....they ended up making a Patta where barely 3 inning finished in 5 days.

The ideal pitch is one which has some purchase for spinners on first 3 days and breaks down to a rank turner on Days 4&5.
This is where toss becomes relevant.
This is the type of pitch that India should make and trust that they can overcome Eng even in losing the toss scenario.
Get them on D1 leveraging the superiority of their spinners...and then bat better part of next two days  to get so far ahead in the game that Eng cannot catch them on Day4 when the pitch has become rank turner.

India has a surplus of spin riches......Jadeja, Ashwin and I think Axar who had lost his form with ball will retain his spot having shown signs of coming back to his rhythm in T20s when pitch was gripping a bit vs Aus will be the 3 spinners.
Plus he is as good as a top order batter these days.

Pity Kuldeep who has been in bamboozling form will have to sit out
and Pity Washington who is  good enuf to play for India as a top 6 batter on any pitch and as a pure bowler on Indian pitches may not even make it into the squad.
And Bishnoi who when a finished , polished product is developing into a Rashid Khan alike....won't even be in the reckoning for the test squad.

Ind's seamers especially Shami and Umesh are masters of using the Indian pitches to get both conventional and reverse seam movement off lengths that only they can find.
Umesh has been dumped for good seemingly after a bad game in WTC final as the scapegoat just like Bhuvi was after the T20 final.

But the point being Indian seamers produce wickets in clusters on spin paradise pitches.
Unless India makes the lottery type pitch....Eng will struggle to take 10 wickets in Indian first inning.
Anderson was the best bowlers with conventional and reverse swing......has been well rested....dunno how many miles he has in his legs.......they should play him in 2 or 3 tests max.
Leach will be steady in first inning and good in 2nd inning.

I don't believe the squad although announced is final...around Christmas & new year time....messages will flow and Moeen & Broad might on team's popular demand and answering the duty for the nation.....might "unretire".....in that unretiring culture that Stokes has brought. England's Winter of Cricket 2023/24 1f603
Both though will be very effective on the Indian pitches

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Post by Duty281 Tue 12 Dec 2023, 1:29 am

king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Possible team for the first test might be: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Stokes, Brook, Bairstow (WK), Rehan, two of Anderson/Robinson/Wood, and Leach.

Or an extra bowler might be included at the expense of either Pope or Brook. I think Bairstow will get the gloves over Foakes, but this really wouldn't be my choice in subcontinental conditions.
I reckon Foakes will keep with Stokes or Pope batting three depending on how the skipper recovers. 5 Tests in India looks like a lot for Stokes regardless of the surgery. He has barely been able to move in the field for a while. Bairstow might not even manage all 5 Tests for the same reason. So could realistically see YJB missing out at some point with Stokes dropping back to 6. Both are on one leg.

1.Crawley 2.Duckett 3.Stokes/Pope 4.Root 5.Brook 6.Bairstow/Stokes 7.Foakes (wk) 8.Rehan 9.Robinson 10.Leach 11.Anderson/Wood

That'd be my guess at the potential team makeup. That's presuming it'll be played on bunsens too.

England desperately need Robinson to step up and be the bowler he can be. High release, great seam control, brilliant accuracy. He should be fairly effective everywhere. Frustratingly his conditioning has varied from, just good enough to be a Test bowler, to, is this actually a professional athlete.

I wish that Dawson was in the squad but I do think Key is speaking sense re being a replacement player. I wouldn't pick him ahead of Leach who I think has improved since he altered his delivery slightly to get drift and dip, plus Leach gets more action on the ball than Dawson anyway. I also wouldn't play two SLA orthodox spinners I don't think. Even with India's right-handers. I'd prefer Rehan's variation. Would Dawson be that interested in being a reserve player, earning a basic touring fee and missing the SA20? Probably not, sadly. He's definitely the best replacement for Leach in these conditions though. A tough one given how high the wages in the smaller T20 leagues now are. Until recently the England touring fee would be similar to what players such as Dawson might get in the non IPL leagues. With the SA20 and IL T20 that's changed though.

Hope you're right about the balance of the team. I also have worries about Pope at 3 because of his weakness v spin, which will be tested, as will the entirety of 'Bazball' in turning conditions for the first time.

Agree about Robinson, but I think we'll be frustrated by him until the end of time.

I'm fine about Rehan and Leach being the starters, it's just a shame Dawson isn't there as back up. Are England really going to turn to Bashir or Hartley if injury/bad form necessitates a change? It's just further frustrating that England played Moeen during the summer, when that time could have been used to develop a spinner with a future - Rehan could have played a few more tests by now, or Dawson could have felt included in the set up.

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Post by alfie Tue 12 Dec 2023, 1:38 am

Couple of surprises in that squad. Bashir "going for experience" says Key : is it really a good idea to have one of a 16 man list in that category ? Especially as there are just 4 pace bowlers : Anderson an (ageless 41) , but still ; Wood and Robinson neither accustomed to going far without injury - and an uncapped Atkinson ?

So Stokes is not even hopeful of bowling ; which leaves team balance in a very dodgy state. Even with just four bowlers (plus Root - who does need to be used more) , the tail looks as fragile as India's white ball one. Want five bowlers ? So : Rehan at seven ? Wow...

And no , I really don't have a better idea Smile

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Post by Jetty Tue 12 Dec 2023, 2:11 am

KP_fan wrote:

I don't believe the squad although announced is final...around Christmas & new year time....messages will flow and Moeen & Broad might on team's popular demand and answering the duty for the nation.....might "unretire".....in that unretiring culture that Stokes has brought. England's Winter of Cricket 2023/24 1f603
Both though will be very effective on the Indian pitches

Broad in India 10 at 61.70 and Ali 18 at 48.61 Smile

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Post by alfie Tue 12 Dec 2023, 2:17 am

I can't agree though , Duty : about England being better off using the Ashes as "development " rather than drafting in Moeen. (Mo would not have been my first choice - I'd have preferred Dawson , but as the best available option , not for "experience". ) As it turned out , Moeen probably was the best of the less than ideal options so I'm not going to complain about a missed opportunity now. It seems they don't really rate Dawson or he'd be on the plane instead of one of the new boys so I think his file is all but closed.

Absolutely with you and KC about Robinson ! He has the tools to do the job anywhere (even , as we saw last year , in Pakistan) ; but too often goes missing just when you'd expect him to thrive. Would be a great time for him to make the step up to regular reliability as well as on and off brilliance...

As for Pope : spinners will test him , no doubt. Perhaps batting at three - if he does - will at least afford him a chance to settle before he faces an ordeal by it from both ends ? As KP_fan notes , it may not be in India's best interests to go too heavy on the "spinning pitch" plan ; so we may see a bit more of a balance . Hey , if they are prepared to back their own (excellent) pace bowlers we might actually see a very good series !

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 12 Dec 2023, 10:05 am

Be interesting to see how they balance the XI - going with Ahmed, Leach plus two seamers feels a bit light to me, with Rehan's inexperience and the seamers hardly stellar injury history between them.

Might have to be some tough choices to be made with leaving a bat out.
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Post by king_carlos Tue 12 Dec 2023, 1:12 pm

I really struggle to see how they balance going with more bowlers when Rehan is the best batter among them by a distance and Rehan really doesn't look like a Test 7 yet! Talented no doubt, but batting below Carse in the white ball stuff for a reason.

Dawson was fantastic with Hants last season but his career FC bowling stats of 296 wickets @ 32.10 tells the broader story. Leach's record is significantly better in terms of average, SR, wickets per match and economy. Even Dom Bess with 248 wickets @ 33.76 is pretty similar to Dawson. Very close on SR and economy too. Spinners can develop later, Dawson of course had that period where he bowled less, tried opening the batting, etc. I really struggle to see Dawson as more than experienced cover for Leach though. I rate Dawson too. I think he's been underutilised by England in white ball cricket. I've never seen much from him that makes me think he'd trouble Test batters though.

I'd be viewing Pope as the reserve batter here due to those spin weaknesses, as Duty notes. His footwork really has looked hopeless against quality spin at times. It's been more assertive since he started playing more aggressively under Stokes/McCullum. It's still a clear weakness though.

It's going to be a tour with lots of 'Bazball' debate around the batting I reckon. They will inevitably dance past a few and we'll see some stumpings. Particularly if it's played on s**t tips. Given how these individuals, other than Root, generally play in spinning conditions I think their best chance is going hard though. Prodding around won't work. Ashwin and Jadeja are too good.

The evolution in Bazball and the game theory involved is in judging when playing that aggressively is the best call, then making sure players are hitting to their strengths. Stokes has had some shocking looking dismissals on the surface but I actually think the hyper aggressive approach is right for him at times. It looks ugly but I think overall the good outweighs the bad. Crawley is definitely a better player batting like he does than trying to be conventional. The same with Duckett leaving the ball so little. I think the game theory aspect of Bazball is fascinating and has amplified a limited batting units strengths whilst mitigating some glaring flaws.

The opposite to that was the collapse at Lords that still makes me shudder. Pope's dismissal to Green to kickstart it was just so dumb. He's 5'9" and not that great against the short ball. Why try to swivel hook Cam Green. Just so stupid and the opposite of game theory when they were in complete control with Lyon having just gone off.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 12 Dec 2023, 1:53 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Be interesting to see how they balance the XI - going with Ahmed, Leach plus two seamers feels a bit light to me, with Rehan's inexperience and the seamers hardly stellar injury history between them.

Might have to be some tough choices to be made with leaving a bat out.

Absent Stokes bowling, it does get tricky, although in India you pretty much have to consider Root a first choice all rounder, especially if the two principal spinners both turn the ball away from right handers - so depending on the pitch you are 2 seamers, 2 spinners + Root or 3 seamers, 1 front line spinner + Root. Not ideal, but do you really fancy any of our bowlers having to bat as high as 7? Ahmed might get there in the end, but he's not ready yet.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 12 Dec 2023, 3:49 pm

king_carlos wrote:I really struggle to see how they balance going with more bowlers when Rehan is the best batter among them by a distance and Rehan really doesn't look like a Test 7 yet! Talented no doubt, but batting below Carse in the white ball stuff for a reason.

Dawson was fantastic with Hants last season but his career FC bowling stats of 296 wickets @ 32.10 tells the broader story. Leach's record is significantly better in terms of average, SR, wickets per match and economy. Even Dom Bess with 248 wickets @ 33.76 is pretty similar to Dawson. Very close on SR and economy too. Spinners can develop later, Dawson of course had that period where he bowled less, tried opening the batting, etc. I really struggle to see Dawson as more than experienced cover for Leach though. I rate Dawson too. I think he's been underutilised by England in white ball cricket. I've never seen much from him that makes me think he'd trouble Test batters though.

I'd be viewing Pope as the reserve batter here due to those spin weaknesses, as Duty notes. His footwork really has looked hopeless against quality spin at times. It's been more assertive since he started playing more aggressively under Stokes/McCullum. It's still a clear weakness though.

It's going to be a tour with lots of 'Bazball' debate around the batting I reckon. They will inevitably dance past a few and we'll see some stumpings. Particularly if it's played on s**t tips. Given how these individuals, other than Root, generally play in spinning conditions I think their best chance is going hard though. Prodding around won't work. Ashwin and Jadeja are too good.

The evolution in Bazball and the game theory involved is in judging when playing that aggressively is the best call, then making sure players are hitting to their strengths. Stokes has had some shocking looking dismissals on the surface but I actually think the hyper aggressive approach is right for him at times. It looks ugly but I think overall the good outweighs the bad. Crawley is definitely a better player batting like he does than trying to be conventional. The same with Duckett leaving the ball so little. I think the game theory aspect of Bazball is fascinating and has amplified a limited batting units strengths whilst mitigating some glaring flaws.

The opposite to that was the collapse at Lords that still makes me shudder. Pope's dismissal to Green to kickstart it was just so dumb. He's 5'9" and not that great against the short ball. Why try to swivel hook Cam Green. Just so stupid and the opposite of game theory when they were in complete control with Lyon having just gone off.

I actually think it would be of benefit to England/Bazball if India prep some pitches like they did last time we were over - make it a total lottery, and I think in that scenario having bats who go after the bowling and try to score runs while they're at the crease is the way to go, rather than just waiting for one with your name on it (see Glenn Phillips just this past week!). Much more likely to win that way I think than if India just prep some traditional pitches where their superior spinners will definitely be the difference
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Post by king_carlos Tue 12 Dec 2023, 4:11 pm

100% Olly. I'd much rather bunsens given how England play and bowl spin. Sneaking a game or 2 in a lottery feels the best bet.

Realistically the Indian seamers are likely to be far better in those conditions as well as the infinitely superior spinners who just happen to all bat. Even if they don't recall Yadav. Bumrah is exceptional. Shami is quality and bang in form. Siraj can be very good on dry wickets.

It seems the BCCI were spooked by T1 in 2021 where they prepared a flat one and England won the toss. Even then that required Root scoring all the runs, Dom Bess taking 4-fer in the 1st innings, Jadeja being injured, Axar not debuting until T2 and Jadeja being injured. Since then it's felt like they've tried to take the toss out of it by producing raging turners. The pitch during the Aussie tour that might as well have had a specific patch of rough with "Jadeja bowl here" on it being one of the more hilarious ones.

The pink ball Test with Root's absurd figures was amusing too but there's been some interesting analysis on that suggesting it was as much the lacquer extra lacquer and reinforced seam on the pink ball as the pitch itself. It either bit in ridiculously on the seam, bounced and spun or it just shot through low.

I'd be far more fearful of a painful Ashes debacle type tour if they just produced decent pitches that went 5 days. Ashwin, Jadeja and their batting depth should prevail there. England's seam attack with injury issues would tire. Leach has had injuries too and would basically have to bowl from one end unchanged for multiple sessions. Get Stokes and Bairstow in the field for days on end with 1 leg apiece.

Ian Higgins from TGC a few weeks ago comes to mind though, "They've already Poopie tipped themselves out of winning a World Cup".

I fear it could be a rough one whatever way though. These just aren't the conditions for England's players. 5 Test tours are long affairs. Then touring India is notoriously wearing mentally. The players tend to be more hotel, bus, ground, bus, hotel, bus, fly, bus, blah blah than elsewhere just due to how high profile cricket is. It's not like Oz where even if they're getting pummelled on the pitch there can be escape off it, pop out for a flat white, see the beach, etc. I worry it could get tough to watch.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 12 Dec 2023, 6:21 pm

I imagine we'll see the usual sub continent pitches, where it's brilliant for batting on the first three days, but becomes gradually more receptive to spin until 200 becomes difficult to chase on the final day. Not that I think we'll get to many final days with the pace England bat at!

India might be spooked if in the first test England put up a monster score in double-quick time, similar to how they were spooked in 2021, and revert to farcical lottery pitches, but I doubt it'll come to pass.

One test victory would probably be a success for England. As England haven't made any actual improvements under Bazball, just drastic changes to the style, there's no reason to expect it will be much different from 2021 where England were beaten 3-1. And the three losses then were really heavy. An extra test this time, so maybe 4-1 India is the expectation? But if England start badly then it could be an ugly 5-0 scoreline, particularly if they grow weary of their time on the road. And I really don't like the look of England's depth if injuries/bad form requires a change to be made.

Don't forget, England are playing a T20 in a few hours. It's going to have the new stop clock trial.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sixty-second-stop-clock-trial-begins-with-t20i-series-between-west-indies-and-england-1412253

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 12 Dec 2023, 9:59 pm

king_carlos wrote:I really struggle to see how they balance going with more bowlers when Rehan is the best batter among them by a distance and Rehan really doesn't look like a Test 7 yet! Talented no doubt, but batting below Carse in the white ball stuff for a reason.

Dawson was fantastic with Hants last season but his career FC bowling stats of 296 wickets @ 32.10 tells the broader story. Leach's record is significantly better in terms of average, SR, wickets per match and economy. Even Dom Bess with 248 wickets @ 33.76 is pretty similar to Dawson. Very close on SR and economy too. Spinners can develop later, Dawson of course had that period where he bowled less, tried opening the batting, etc. I really struggle to see Dawson as more than experienced cover for Leach though. I rate Dawson too. I think he's been underutilised by England in white ball cricket. I've never seen much from him that makes me think he'd trouble Test batters though.

I'd be viewing Pope as the reserve batter here due to those spin weaknesses, as Duty notes. His footwork really has looked hopeless against quality spin at times. It's been more assertive since he started playing more aggressively under Stokes/McCullum. It's still a clear weakness though.

It's going to be a tour with lots of 'Bazball' debate around the batting I reckon. They will inevitably dance past a few and we'll see some stumpings. Particularly if it's played on s**t tips. Given how these individuals, other than Root, generally play in spinning conditions I think their best chance is going hard though. Prodding around won't work. Ashwin and Jadeja are too good.

The evolution in Bazball and the game theory involved is in judging when playing that aggressively is the best call, then making sure players are hitting to their strengths. Stokes has had some shocking looking dismissals on the surface but I actually think the hyper aggressive approach is right for him at times. It looks ugly but I think overall the good outweighs the bad. Crawley is definitely a better player batting like he does than trying to be conventional. The same with Duckett leaving the ball so little. I think the game theory aspect of Bazball is fascinating and has amplified a limited batting units strengths whilst mitigating some glaring flaws.

The opposite to that was the collapse at Lords that still makes me shudder. Pope's dismissal to Green to kickstart it was just so dumb. He's 5'9" and not that great against the short ball. Why try to swivel hook Cam Green. Just so stupid and the opposite of game theory when they were in complete control with Lyon having just gone off.

Hi Carlos - very much agree with you and others about the apparent lack of balance. Especially with Dawson unwanted and perhaps acknowledging some local bias on my part, I would have included Jacks in the squad. He's just had a more than decent ODI series against the West Indies and would provide a handy all-round option for consideration when narrowing the 16 down to 11.

Bashir seems included for the experience. If that's the case, I'm not convinced it's appropriate. I've read that the England Lions will also travel to India and be shadowing the main tour. Wouldn't it be better for all if Bashir was with that squad? If the Lions play any games, it wouldn't surprise me if Bashir ended up with them to get some match time.

As regards the actual eleven for T1, I have a sneaking feeling that Bairstow might get the keeper's gloves provided he can fully prove his fitness. He was appalling at the start of the Ashes but noticeably improved as the series went on. He's also a more versatile batter than Foakes who, notwithstanding his classical style and ability to play spin, can't bat with the tail for toffee and lacks Bairstow's capability to give it a clout. Foakes' judgement from behind the stumps for reviews has also been poor too often.

IF England did go with Bairstow keeping and only 4 frontline bowlers (plus a bit of Root as flagged by dummy), that would allow all the batsmen in the squad to play. If not, I agree that Pope looks most vulnerable. Pope though might be helped slightly by being vice-captain. That by itself shouldn't get him in the 11 but if Stokes looks doubtful to play all 5 Tests, they might prefer Pope to be stepping up to skipper from a place in the side than a seat on the bench.

Anyway, more entertainment one way or another coming our way. Smile


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Post by Duty281 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:02 am

Quite a way short with the bat. Just 171, after being 77/0 from six overs. Salt top scoring with 40. About 20 away from par, I'd say.

Curran then set the tone with the ball, conceding 16 from the first over! Jacks not much better, following up with 14 from the second over.

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Post by alfie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:20 am

Think guildford has a good point about Jacks. Maybe wouldn't be an automatic selection but would give the flexibility (seemingly lacking at present) to enable four or five bowlers without a tail that starts at seven. He wasn't rubbish in Pakistan - even if his debut bowling figures flattered him.

I'm not making too many predictions before this gets under way. Let us see how injury recoveries go - Stokes especially. Even if they've already given up on him bowling (why oh why didn't he get his operation done first chance instead of making that ultimately fruitless return to the ODI arena he had sensibly forsaken ? ) it would make quite a difference if he was moving comfortably at the crease and in the field.

I do think the batting is better than it was in 2021 - though of course it remains to be seen how it stacks up against a very good and varied Indian attack - whatever the conditions are like. Plenty of doubts about it before the Australians arrived but they generally handled that rather handy attack quite well so may do better than we expect this time - though the dodgy tail looks a concern...another reason Bairstow is probably the better bet for the WK spot.

Bowling though bothers me. Probably have to hope for Robinson to really turn up and Leach to show how much he has improved with the added confidence shown him by the new leadership . But again , wait and see, eh ? Few gave them any chance of winning in Pakistan , let alone 3-0...

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Post by Duty281 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:05 am

England lose, despite the best efforts of Rashid (first English player to 100 T20 wickets) and Rehan.

England's bowling choices were a bit bizarre towards the end. Rashid's figures were 3-0-14-2, and the West Indies needed 47 from 30 with four wickets left. Rather than bring Rashid on again for his final over, to try and turn the screw with another wicket and/or tight over, England decided to bowl Livingstone and then Mills.

They conceded 32 runs from those two overs, meaning by the time Rashid bowled his final over the game was effectively gone.

Ultimately, just not good enough again from the seam bowlers and the batting order (bar Salt).

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Post by alfie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 4:33 am

Actually watched a bit of this - bailed out when it appeared West Indies were maybe going to win by D/L to spoil the party , so didn't see Russell & Powell's handy finish...

But I was impressed with Rashid (tend to agree with Duty that "saving" his last over for the penultimate was not a smart move) and also Rehan. If anything good is to come from this rather dismal white ball tour it will probably be further development for that young man - which may pay off in all formats. Oh , and also the promising efforts from Salt at the top of the order (with the caveat there that I want to see him perform against stronger opposition than West Indies , Ireland or The Netherlands)


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Post by VTR Wed 13 Dec 2023, 10:01 am

It's another defeat from what should have been a winning position. The confidence seems very low at the moment, and the defence of the T20 world title could be as bad as that of the ODI one.

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Post by alfie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 11:38 am

VTR wrote:It's another defeat from what should have been a winning position. The confidence seems very low at the moment, and the defence of the T20 world title could be as bad as that of the ODI one.

Yeah it was a bad one , really. I mean , you can say the seamers aren't quite up to it , but when you are 165/5 with three overs left , you'd think you are surely nailed on for 185-190 , no ? Which would have been plenty. But somehow they contrived to lose 5 for just 6 runs picard

Confidence indeed seems to have gone out the window - seemingly along with any sort of judgement. Ah well , only four games to go ...

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Post by Duty281 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 7:11 pm

Josh Tongue will be out for a while. This will perhaps be why he wasn't in the squad for India.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2023/12/13/josh-tongue-out-injury-news-england-india-tour-squad/

Centrally-contracted quick Josh Tongue appears unlikely to play again until the English summer having been ruled out of the tour of India with a pectoral injury.

Having seen specialists late last week, Tongue is set to undergo a minor operation on the injury, which denied him an ODI debut in the Caribbean this month, and has now ruled him out of a trip to India with either the full squad or England Lions.

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Post by VTR Wed 13 Dec 2023, 7:48 pm

The injured bowling attack is probably more impressive than the one that's actually going to be playing. It's staggering and ridiculous how many England seamers are getting injured

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Post by KP_fan Thu 14 Dec 2023, 7:24 am

Indian Women are playing a rare home test after 9 years
a One off test vs Eng-Women

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Post by Duty281 Thu 14 Dec 2023, 8:57 pm

Two nil to the West Indies.

Adil Rashid was once again brilliant with the ball, 2/11 from his four, but Rehan showed his rawness with his four overs going for 47. Curran, again, was abysmal, with one of his two overs going for 30.

Still, 177 should have been in reach for England, but they never really threatened the target. Lots of batsmen getting starts but none kicking on like King did for his match-winning 82. Curran redeemed himself somewhat with a first T20i 50. The batting order was also an experimental mess. Curran at 4, LL at 5, Brook at 6.

WI got 13 maximums, England just 8. That was the key stat.

Crisis, or is it just a post World Cup hangover? I certainly think some of the players could do with a break, Buttler especially.

Elsewhere, Talksport have snapped up the radio rights for the India/England test series, ahead of the old BBC. But TV rights? Still up for grabs. The last test series England played in India the TV rights had to be snatched up at the last minute by Channel 4. Same again? Quite possibly.

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Post by VTR Thu 14 Dec 2023, 9:05 pm

What has happened to Curran's bowling? Has he been having one to one coaching with Jade Dernbach?

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Post by alfie Fri 15 Dec 2023, 5:37 am

KP_fan wrote:Indian Women are playing a rare home test after 9 years
a One off test vs Eng-Women

Great first day for India 410/7 ... rather fell away today losing the last 3/18 ; but now they've picked up Dunkley and Knight early to see England 42/2 with a lot of work to do in reply...

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Post by KP_fan Fri 15 Dec 2023, 5:58 am

Eng lose again and it's only WI they are playing
What seemed like a temporary and surreal blip in form during world cup seems to be real and sustained
Credit to WI also, always said they can beat anyone on their day and they are playing good cricket right now

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Post by alfie Fri 15 Dec 2023, 7:12 am

KP_fan wrote:Eng lose again and it's only WI they are playing
What seemed like a temporary and surreal blip in form during world cup seems to be real and sustained
Credit to WI also, always said they can beat anyone on their day and they are playing good cricket right now

In fairness , they are missing a few "first choice" players. Or at least , players who would have been "first choice" couple of months ago. If this is partly an attempt to settle on a new line-up moving forward , it may be indicating that the sensible way to move on will be incremental change rather than the wholesale cleanout many were demanding after that dismal ODI WC. Might be this bunch of games shows which "new" players should get first opportunity when they look at the team for the next serious event in the abbreviated formats...

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Post by alfie Fri 15 Dec 2023, 8:18 am

India's women have taken an iron grip on this match ... England completely collapsing to 136/9. Only Nat S-B offering any resistance with a gutsy 59.

Think they'll be following on and this will end tomorrow.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 15 Dec 2023, 12:06 pm

alfie wrote:
KP_fan wrote:Eng lose again and it's only WI they are playing
What seemed like a temporary and surreal blip in form during world cup seems to be real and sustained
Credit to WI also, always said they can beat anyone on their day and they are playing good cricket right now

In fairness , they are missing a few "first choice" players. Or at least , players who would have been "first choice" couple of months ago. If this is partly an attempt to settle on a new line-up moving forward , it may be indicating that the sensible way to move on will be incremental change rather than the wholesale cleanout many were demanding after that dismal ODI WC. Might be this bunch of games shows which "new" players should get first opportunity when they look at the team for the next serious event in the abbreviated formats...

Bairstow certainly should still be in the side for the World T20 if he can re find form. I'd definitely be tempted by 1.Buttler 2.Jacks 3.Salt 4.Bairstow 5.Brook as a top 5. That way Jacks and Salt can go hard early as Roy (then briefly Hales again) used to alongside Buttler. Whilst Bairstow can play longer innings and Brook just seems ideal for that 5 spot where he can hit from ball 1 or play play a bit slower.

The bowling is the massive concern. Especially with Jof's injuries. Dilly wont go on for ever either. Stokes being unable to bowl hits the ability to just use depth of options to overcome that.

They desperately need Surran to rediscover form before the World T20. The way he converted himself into a death bowler because that's what the team needed was so impressive. He then replicated it in the IPL. Which is a far higher standard than most bilaterals. His form with the ball has just completely gone to s**t though.

Whilst the batting power is no longer compensating as it once could.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 16 Dec 2023, 7:14 pm

Ooof, another rough day in the field. England put the West Indies in, and the West Indies scored 222/6. Ouch.

It was the old death bowling again which let England down. 143 after 16 overs. Then 25 runs off Mills, 15 off Rashid, 21 off Curran, then 18 off Topley - all of which meant England conceded 79 from the final four. Shocked

Is there currently a worse team in terms of death bowling than England? Was also a painful day for Atkinson who went 0/33 off his two overs.

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