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England's Winter of Cricket 2023/24

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Good Golly I'm Olly
JuliusHMarx
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James100
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VTR
msp83
Pal Joey
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Post by king_carlos Sat 17 Feb 2024, 3:22 pm

First topic message reminder :

I haven't seen a ball from today. Not sure I want to seeing the scorecard.

I woke up early for work, checked the score, saw the collapse, felt sad. Then didn't look again until after close.

It all looked so promising for a moment.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 18 Feb 2024, 11:31 am

alfie wrote:Well I guess partly because , as for the Ashes : four very close games , two each , plus a dominant game with the result lost to the weather ...v two heavy defeats , one good win and one get out of jail miracle , plus a weather influenced draw they were edging : pretty similar , I agree. But hardly a regression , surely ?
And as for this we are only three games in. This game has ended up a shocker ; but the first two were proper contests . Let's see what happens from here , eh ?

But apart from that I think you're cheating a bit by dissing all those series wins on the grounds of poor opposition. You can only beat what's in front of you : but they did that rather impressively.

Absolutely agree they have more to prove against the top sides. But that doesn't negate the fact that they're a better team now than they were three years ago. I think most people will agree with that , even if you don't.

Yeah, like I said, it was either a static return or slight regression in the last Ashes series. Either way, it's not a very big improvement.

I'm not knocking England's returns against nations outside of the top table. I'm just pointing out that under Root England used to regularly beat those types of nations as well - 7 series wins out of 10 and 19 test wins out of 30 for Root's captaincy against non-top table opposition - so we can't use it as evidence of a great improvement under Stokes/McCullum just because they're also doing it.

A better team than three years ago? Just been smashed by 400+ runs and are having a worse tour of India than in 2021, against a weaker Indian side. Not seeing it myself.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 18 Feb 2024, 11:37 am

KP_fan wrote:Was the type of inning that Wood played vs SA in world cup from a similar situation of all over.
Ind's biggest win ever in their 577 tests....and this is the type of imposing win they get when they get selection & performance to optimal level.
Eng only need 1 more win to go back with a credible tour.....and so they need to clear the cobwebs.

Ind will bring KL for Patidar who I guess will be "released" to play Ranji.
They will be temped to rest Bumrah....but I'd say play him to close the series & let him off in the last test.

Eng need to designate IMO Duckett, Crawley and Pope & off course Wood to hack their way Bazballing and remaining to play normal cricket.
And if Root's gonna bowl so many overs then swap his batting slot with Bairstow....and play Robinson & Atkinson for Anderson and one of Rehan or Hartley

Agree about Bumrah. Get the series won, then let him put his feet up for the fifth test if he needs it. Plus, he only bowled 23 overs in this one.

Going to be a big test for Stokes/McCullum. They'll stick with the Bazball philosophy, though, and encourage everyone to try and hit their way out of trouble. I just wish they'd have a word with Root to play his classical game. Pressure building on Root innings by innings. 14 without a ton now, and a very fallow time by his standards, plus the critical drop of Rohit which cost 100+ runs.

I am confused by how England approached this innings, however. Barely played a shot in anger until Wood turned up. Evidence of a mentally frazzled team. Only two innings of 40+ in the entire match. Cobwebs a plenty.

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Post by msp83 Sun 18 Feb 2024, 11:57 am

That was much quicker than expected. England was mentally shot, instead of Bazball, we got Nothingball, some of the most purposeless batting displays I have seen from this England team of Stokes and Baz. The likes of Crawley and Pope couldn't stick to their strength, and Root, Stokes and Bairstow couldn't find any form.
Jadeja did a fine job again, he has had an outstanding all-round game in front of his home crowd. As thrilling it was to see Jaiswal bat, it has to be Jadeja the player of the match. 7 wickets including a 5for, and a rescue-act ton

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 18 Feb 2024, 12:18 pm

England never used to collapse before Bazball. FACT.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 18 Feb 2024, 12:40 pm

VTR wrote:Also to add for this match, for all the talk of "we'll chase them down", which was obvious nonsense, the only real things to be gained were to see if the middle order could find any form. Clearly that hasn't worked out so I think it's time to drop Bairstow for Lawrence. Do I think Lawrence will smash a game changing century? No. But he can't do any worse so give him a chance

I agree with putting Lawrence in for Bairstow.

Since Bairstow's return from injury he's averaged 30 overall, and not yet hit a century on his return. His average in India is below 26 and Asia as a whole is below 30. I also don't expect Lawrence to do much with the bat, but he can't be much worse, and, perhaps crucially, Lawrence can bowl part-time spin and take the workload off Root.

Root has bowled 107 overs in this series. That's madness and it can't be helping his focus on his batting. 107 overs bowled and Root's averaging 13 with the bat in the series. The second most overs Root bowled in a series was 63 in Pakistan. He averaged 25 with the bat in that series.

He needs to stop bowling so much. I used to complain he was underbowled, now it's being switched too far the other way!

Bairstow's test career is possibly one of the strangest in the history of the game. He had two golden years (2016 and 2022) where he averaged 62 with the bat and hammered nine centuries. The rest of his test career he's averaged 28 across 71 tests, with three centuries, which is an appalling record for a man of his talent. Basically the vast majority of his test career has seen him bat around the level of Moeen/Woakes/Ramprakash, but the memories of those golden years sustain him. Will he be sustained until 2028 for that next golden year?

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Post by Duty281 Sun 18 Feb 2024, 3:30 pm

https://www.espncricinfo.com/records/most-double-hundreds-in-a-series-282953

Jaiswal chasing a bit of history. In test cricket only Don Bradman, in 1930, has scored three double centuries in a test series. Jaiswal has a chance to level, or perhaps better it, over the next two tests.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/jaiswal-and-india-break-six-hitting-records-1421663

And a look at the other stats shows India's aggression. Jaiswal got the joint most sixes in a test innings, tied with Wasim Akram, as he converted his third consecutive hundred into a 150+.

India also hit an astonishing 28 sixes in the match, a test record, and that has taken the number of sixes hit by India in the series to 48, which is the highest ever for a team in a test series...and there's two games left!

Also, this was Rohit's 11th test hundred, and every single hundred has come in a test victory for India. No other player matches that. Pope has 5 hundreds for England and all have resulted in wins, so that's the key for England!

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Post by Duty281 Sun 18 Feb 2024, 9:10 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/68330146

Not sure if mind games, but Stokes is talking up the possibility of being able to bowl.

"However, the 32-year-old has now revealed he has been bowling at "100%" in practice and has not ruled out bowling in a match before the series is out.

"I'm not saying yes, I'm not saying no. I have progressed a lot faster than I thought I would," said Stokes.

"I'm always very optimistic about most things. That will be a more detailed chat with the medical team about what workload I have to do to pass me off as not being a massive risk.

"I managed to bowl at 100% in one of the warm-up days here, which made me feel pretty good. I felt like I could have bowled in the game but that would have been stupid. It's a work in progress."


Stokes hasn't bowled since the second Ashes test, and he often struggled for rhythm then, sending down 14 no-balls in 29 overs.

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Post by alfie Mon 19 Feb 2024, 3:50 am

Well that was pretty ghastly. Can have a devastating effect on a team , that sort of smashing - have to hope that this team (which has shown a lot of resilience in the past) can park it and bounce back in a few days . At least they have an extra day to get over it physically due to that rapid fold up .

I'm not exactly surprised the last day went like that. However "positive" you want to be in the overnight situation , it was blindingly obvious there was no way back so impossible to maintain any real belief ; and so in the face of some very professional Indian batting that third innings turned into a ritual slaughter - with the hapless fielding side waiting for the declaration to exchange one type of misery for another.

Similarly the fact that England's second innings resembled a burst of seal-clubbing rather than a cricket match was not unexpected. Duckett and Crawley were clearly not their usual exuberant selves even before the daft run out ... and once Crawley had fallen (rather unluckily , I think : drs has not been kind to England in this match) it was all ill judged sweeps and other "nothing" shot dismissals. Except for Wood who enjoyed himself briefly Smile

They will never admit it ; but I suspect that with the cause totally lost , they were basically happy to get the whole painful affair over quickly by just having a swing rather than trying to prolong the agony. In a way , it was all fairly irrelevant as this match was lost in a couple of hours on Saturday and the rest was just mopping up. The manner of the win will doubtless boost Indian confidence : whether it will destroy England for the rest of the series we will have to wait and see...

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Post by alfie Mon 19 Feb 2024, 4:21 am

So , moving on...

Can England take lessons from this and bounce back ? They did in The Ashes ; so I for one won't rule it out - but it ain't going to be easy.

Need to fix a few things :

1/ Win the toss. This is down to pure chance so better be praying - because it does have a huge impact on games on these (excellent so far , by the way) Indian pitches.
2/ Get their bowling group right : problems here because of wear and tear and the unfortunate loss of Leach. They don't have the list of spares enjoyed by the hosts ; so will have to do as best they can.
3/ Most within their control : bat effectively for the whole of their first innings. These 250-300 s don't cut it here (especially when India keep hitting 400 themselves) so maximising opportunities like the one they tossed away on Saturday is essential. Doesn't mean abandoning the attacking philosophy ; but calls for a more nuanced approach.

Crawley must play his attacking game - which actually consists mostly of fairly classical strokes anyway. Duckett is less orthodox but his way is probably the only one likely to work for him - and it does generally serve to disrupt the opposition bowling so sensible to continue. Pope seems to have joined his opening colleagues in going a bit crazy from the off : given his known difficulties starting , especially against spin , it may not be the worst tactic. He's only really fired in that one amazing innings so far ; but he has really been got out by good balls in just about every knock so probably doesn't need to change much.

But then we have a misfiring middle order. Root is just far too good to be averaging 12 , no matter what the conditions or opposing skills. He has basically thrown away four of his six innings with wild shots and that is the - pardon me - root of the side's batting woes. Because it isn't just the team's best bat contributing nothing , but the knock on effect on the rest of the order. Bairstow bats best when he has a clear mind - either to take up a counter attack , grind for a period , or cash in on a good platform . At present he seems a little uncertain what to do : actually batted pretty soundly in the first two games (in a more orthodox manner than the top four) before being nipped off in those annoying 25-40 range scores. But in this last game he looked (all too briefly !) very hesitant first knock and scrambled the second...I suspect they will persevere with him unless he's totally cooked in the head ; but I would swap him in the order with Stokes...

And Stokes of course is also affected by the lack of middle order stability. He is forced all the time to rein in his attacking impulses - generally until he's running short of partners. (not sure he has to go as hard as he does , to be honest : Foakes and the young spinners are limited but not rubbish with the bat and I think Ben could trust them a bit more) I do think moving higher up the order - after all he isn't bowling - would help his mindset and maybe lead to some significant innings rather than breezy forties...

What I'm really saying is that they should all bat to their natural skill sets - which is essentially the central tenet of "bazball". Think that has gone astray a bit over the last couple of games and needs to be rediscovered. If they get it right there is still hope. Fingers Crossed

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Post by Duty281 Mon 19 Feb 2024, 10:33 am

alfie wrote:They will never admit it ; but I suspect that with the cause totally lost , they were basically happy to get the whole painful affair over quickly by just having a swing rather than trying to prolong the agony. In a way , it was all fairly irrelevant as this match was lost in a couple of hours on Saturday and the rest was just mopping up. The manner of the win will doubtless boost Indian confidence : whether it will destroy England for the rest of the series we will have to wait and see...

Need to fix a few things :

The thing is 'just having a swing' didn't happen. England got utterly stuck in the crease. None of the top eight scored at a SR of over 45 (with the exception of Bairstow, 4 off 3!), and Root played a completely painful 7 off 40. It seemed Root was trying too hard to not give his wicket away and failed to strike a balance between being stuck and playing brainless cricket.

The surrender was utterly pathetic. Yes, the game was gone, but there's another test on Friday, and the second innings was a chance to put some overs into the legs of the Indians and for some of the middle order to find form, but it didn't happen. India didn't have to work hard for their 10 wickets.

The thing that England need to fix most of all is their appalling arrogance. It's difficult to be likeable as England, essentially the pantomime villain, but the style of play may win over neutrals. What will swiftly turn the neutrals off, however, is England sounding off as they do in the media. It goes beyond confidence and into the realms of stupidity, especially as England are nowhere near being the best in the world. Duckett's pre-chase comments were moronic in the extreme: "This team is all about doing special things and creating history. They can have as many as they want and we'll go and get them."

Such comments only serve to motivate the opposition further, and linked to that is the continued idiocy of announcing the team in advance, allowing the opposition to prepare for England's bowling set up.

Such arrogance may make a veneer of sense if England were as dominant as Australia in the late 90s/early 00s, or the West Indies in the 80s, but when you're getting smashed by record margins - 400+ runs! - it makes England look a laughing stock.

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Post by VTR Mon 19 Feb 2024, 11:56 am

I think some duck tape over Mr Duckett's mouth, or maybe not send him in front of the media is in order. He also called Stoke's 80 odd (or whatever it was) in the first Test a match winning innings, this was before England shipped that huge lead. Silly comment at the time and not improved much despite the win.

Saying "the more the better" to chase before only getting into triple figures thanks to Mark Wood was just absurd, especially when he himself was very poorly run out

So yeah, cut out the rubbish please

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Post by Pal Joey Mon 19 Feb 2024, 1:05 pm

Duty281 wrote:... but the style of play may win over neutrals. What will swiftly turn the neutrals off, however, is England sounding off as they do in the media.

No it won't. Why would a neutral want to be associated with such a massive capitulation? Who are these neutrals you think may be 'won over'?
You are surely dreaming, yes?

As for the second bit, well, that's nothing new either. England 'sounding off' is an integral part of the whole ECB media plan. It's an artform.
As for individual players; nobody twists their arms to publish such nonsense as Duckett did. It's amusing to read such bold statements though.

For many neutrals, that's all part of the overall entertainment package which gets thrust upon us. That's widely understood (but certain content is not necessarily accepted) and it probably won't turn or sway the neutrals either way as you are suggesting.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 19 Feb 2024, 1:38 pm

Missed the last few days of chat/action...

Clearly going to be tough for England to win another game in this series sans Leach - realistically going to need to win the toss, and rack up a proper 500+ type score and hope scoreboard pressure + batting on the 4th innings pitch does the trick. Struggle to see any other path to victory unless India serve up a true lottery pitch (and I see absolutely no reason why they would do that...)

England also going to need their middle order to buckle up and score some runs.

From Root, Bairstow, Stokes, Foakes you currently have the following stats

24 innings played
478 runs combined at an average of 19.91
Stokes has the three highest scores which are 70, 47 and 41

I'd personally give them another test all round, I don't think Lawrence is really going to massively improve things (its not like Brook is sat on the bench)...but need them to seriously buck their ideas up, as they've wasted really good platforms in all three tests now.

Would be nice if Twitter/BBC HYS golden boy Ben Foakes actually lived up to being half as good as these folk think he is...taking the odd good take and/or catch behind the stumps doth not a good test cricketer make. I see his batting average has now dipped below 30, despite a fair few not outs and his initial 2018 debut series in Sri Lanka doing a LOT of heavy lifting there...
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Post by Duty281 Mon 19 Feb 2024, 1:59 pm

Yeah, Foakes' average minus the Sri Lanka games is below 25. And the SR is 46. Essentially putting him around Geraint Jones level, not Matt Prior. Meaning it seems inevitable that once/if Brook returns, hopefully in the summer, Bairstow will be retaking the gloves (not that Bairstow is currently sparkling with the bat) and Foakes will be cast adrift. I do think he struggles batting where he is, but it's not very practical to move him up the order.

No sign yet of Rew entering proceedings after his disappointing Lions tour.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 19 Feb 2024, 2:42 pm

Duty281 wrote:Yeah, Foakes' average minus the Sri Lanka games is below 25. And the SR is 46. Essentially putting him around Geraint Jones level, not Matt Prior. Meaning it seems inevitable that once/if Brook returns, hopefully in the summer, Bairstow will be retaking the gloves (not that Bairstow is currently sparkling with the bat) and Foakes will be cast adrift. I do think he struggles batting where he is, but it's not very practical to move him up the order.

No sign yet of Rew entering proceedings after his disappointing Lions tour.

Long way off the summer yet, but I actually think it would be prudent from a long term viewpoint to blood one of the younger guys (be it Rew, Robinson, or whoever they land on) this summer with two, lets face it, easier home series vs SL and WI, with a view to them having 12-18 months of test cricket under their belt before the 2025 Ashes in Aus.

As I say, that's getting a bit long term when really in the here and now it would be bloody handy if Bairstow and Foakes scored some runs!
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Post by Duty281 Mon 19 Feb 2024, 3:54 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Yeah, Foakes' average minus the Sri Lanka games is below 25. And the SR is 46. Essentially putting him around Geraint Jones level, not Matt Prior. Meaning it seems inevitable that once/if Brook returns, hopefully in the summer, Bairstow will be retaking the gloves (not that Bairstow is currently sparkling with the bat) and Foakes will be cast adrift. I do think he struggles batting where he is, but it's not very practical to move him up the order.

No sign yet of Rew entering proceedings after his disappointing Lions tour.

Long way off the summer yet, but I actually think it would be prudent from a long term viewpoint to blood one of the younger guys (be it Rew, Robinson, or whoever they land on) this summer with two, lets face it, easier home series vs SL and WI, with a view to them having 12-18 months of test cricket under their belt before the 2025 Ashes in Aus.

As I say, that's getting a bit long term when really in the here and now it would be bloody handy if Bairstow and Foakes scored some runs!

Yeah, that would be a good idea I think. As well as the 2025/26 Ashes in Australia, the 2025 English summer sees England play five tests at home to India. So that's going to be ten straight tests against the two best teams in the world, and it wouldn't be wise to drop inexperienced players into the middle of that if it can be avoided.

Rew has got the better FC numbers in terms of conversion and FC average (10 runs higher than Robinson; slight Somerset factor?), but Rew's strike rate is just under 48, which may be a concern.

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Post by VTR Mon 19 Feb 2024, 4:51 pm

Have to be careful though, England pretty much ruined James Bracey's career a couple of years ago. It could well be that Foakes and Bairstow are still the best options for a while yet

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Post by king_carlos Mon 19 Feb 2024, 5:20 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Yeah, Foakes' average minus the Sri Lanka games is below 25. And the SR is 46. Essentially putting him around Geraint Jones level, not Matt Prior. Meaning it seems inevitable that once/if Brook returns, hopefully in the summer, Bairstow will be retaking the gloves (not that Bairstow is currently sparkling with the bat) and Foakes will be cast adrift. I do think he struggles batting where he is, but it's not very practical to move him up the order.

No sign yet of Rew entering proceedings after his disappointing Lions tour.

Long way off the summer yet, but I actually think it would be prudent from a long term viewpoint to blood one of the younger guys (be it Rew, Robinson, or whoever they land on) this summer with two, lets face it, easier home series vs SL and WI, with a view to them having 12-18 months of test cricket under their belt before the 2025 Ashes in Aus.

As I say, that's getting a bit long term when really in the here and now it would be bloody handy if Bairstow and Foakes scored some runs!
I could see Jamie Smith getting his Test cap sooner rather than later. According to a few usually well informed journalists I've heard on podcasts, it sounds like YJB had lost the gloves before Brook was ruled out. Some saying he'd been told his fitness to keep in Tests was the issue.

Smith is very highly rated with the bat by all reports. I could see them taking a punt on him if Bairstow can't regain his previous athleticism and Foakes doesn't make runs soon.

I've long been a Foakes advocate but these conditions are where I'd expect him to score more runs as well. He isn't as good against high pace from what I've seen, these have been largely good batting tracks.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 19 Feb 2024, 6:12 pm

Dobell suggesting Bairstow will keep his place for T4.

I just about get wanting to continue to show confidence in an underperforming player and believing he'll come good. Well, maybe. Bairstow's already had 6 completed innings and is averaging a paltry 17. In contrast, Iyer was averaging 26 from his 4 completed innings when our India supporting friends here successfully demanded his removal.

For me, Bairstow would have been binned now with Lawrence coming in. Not convinced Lawrence would star but if he was good enough to be called up to the squad, he should be good enough to come in and perform better than Bairstow has been doing. Although I personally don't rate Lawrence's bowling (his action resembles a drunken windmill), he would at least give us another option and lessen the demands there on Root.

Anyway, it looks like either a century coming up for Bairstow or this post to be revisited for T5....

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 19 Feb 2024, 6:29 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Yeah, Foakes' average minus the Sri Lanka games is below 25. And the SR is 46. Essentially putting him around Geraint Jones level, not Matt Prior. Meaning it seems inevitable that once/if Brook returns, hopefully in the summer, Bairstow will be retaking the gloves (not that Bairstow is currently sparkling with the bat) and Foakes will be cast adrift. I do think he struggles batting where he is, but it's not very practical to move him up the order.

No sign yet of Rew entering proceedings after his disappointing Lions tour.

Long way off the summer yet, but I actually think it would be prudent from a long term viewpoint to blood one of the younger guys (be it Rew, Robinson, or whoever they land on) this summer with two, lets face it, easier home series vs SL and WI, with a view to them having 12-18 months of test cricket under their belt before the 2025 Ashes in Aus.

As I say, that's getting a bit long term when really in the here and now it would be bloody handy if Bairstow and Foakes scored some runs!
I could see Jamie Smith getting his Test cap sooner rather than later. According to a few usually well informed journalists I've heard on podcasts, it sounds like YJB had lost the gloves before Brook was ruled out. Some saying he'd been told his fitness to keep in Tests was the issue.

Smith is very highly rated with the bat by all reports. I could see them taking a punt on him if Bairstow can't regain his previous athleticism and Foakes doesn't make runs soon.

I've long been a Foakes advocate but these conditions are where I'd expect him to score more runs as well. He isn't as good against high pace from what I've seen, these have been largely good batting tracks.

Jamie Smith! In my haste this lunchtime I knew I’d forgotten someone obvious. Yes he feels like the next cab off the rank at the keeper position.
Guildford probably better placed to say what his glove work is like - I don’t recall him being amazing or horrendous from what I’ve seen on Surrey streams
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Post by msp83 Mon 19 Feb 2024, 7:14 pm

Talks of resting Bumrah are back again. Indian newspapers, even Cricinfo and Cricbuz speculating the led pacer might be rested for the 4th test. I wouldn't want to risk Bumrah, but without Shami, its a very hard thing to do, not to play him... Mukesh Kumar is a medium pacer who can be good in seaming conditions. Akash Deep might be a yard quicker but not in the league of the recent crop of quicks that India's had. Think they've moved on from Umesh Yadav, though he's been particularly effective in home conditions. So between Mukesh and Akash, I'd prefer the latter but they are likely to go with the former who doesn't add any value with bat or in the field either.
KL Rahul is likely to recover fully and come in for Rajat Patidar who missed out badly in the opportunities he had.
Ravichandran Ashwin's good to go BTW.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 19 Feb 2024, 8:20 pm

msp83 wrote:Talks of resting Bumrah are back again. Indian newspapers, even Cricinfo and Cricbuz speculating the led pacer might be rested for the 4th test. I wouldn't want to risk Bumrah, but without Shami, its a very hard thing to do, not to play him... Mukesh Kumar is a medium pacer who can be good in seaming conditions. Akash Deep might be a yard quicker but not in the league of the recent crop of quicks that India's had. Think they've moved on from Umesh Yadav, though he's been particularly effective in home conditions. So between Mukesh and Akash, I'd prefer the latter but they are likely to go with the former who doesn't add any value with bat or in the field either.
KL Rahul is likely to recover fully and come in for Rajat Patidar who missed out badly in the opportunities he had.  
Ravichandran Ashwin's good to go BTW.

Finally India found balance after going thru Dravid induced chaos and showed what many of us knew the might of India at home when they get most selections right.
They won the T2 inspite of bad team selection & it's criminal to lose even a single home game.
BUT
Atleast Ind not only struck balance, they found long term replacements and standbys given that Pujara, Rahane are gone and Kohli as good as gone and Rohit  at 36 on last legs.
Ind media is fickle & frivolous and often talks without either real sources or logic.

Bumrah is neither injured nor will be forced to rest.......nor had he to bowl much in this test and infact negligible in the second inning.
I believe they will leave it to Bumrah the VC to take the call and he will play........if we win this game, the series is locked and then they can rest him for T5
Also he is aspiring to be the captain and would like to show that he can play most tests in a series if not all.
I think other than KL for Patidar, no other change unless there are injuries. In T5 Indians should rest one of Ashwin or Jadeja and play Washington....and Akashdeep for Bumrah.
Washington it aught to be touring overseas as backup for Jadeja and not Ashwin anymore....for we need Jadeja's batting replacement and a fewer overs of tight spin.

I hope Eng can win the toss and bat first, for in this form I would like to see Ind's strength bowling first and batting second.
I think Ind will overhaul Eng even batting 2nd and 4th inning might not even be needed.
Every one is talking about spin, but where Eng has been badly outplayed is in reverse swing.....Bumrah got them colossally in T2 and Siraj had a big impact with his 4-fer in T3.
I don't see Eng crossing 300 to 325ish even if they bat first for one of Bumrah / Siraj will find a spell of reverse swing.
And with tail-up Ashwin coming round the wicket is very hard to hack & reverse sweep, not no one has yet read Kuldeep and he doesn't need a 3rd / 4th inning pitch

PS*
I can bet Sarfaraz is due for a 100 and possibly a BIG one and possibly 2 in next two games.
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Post by KP_fan Mon 19 Feb 2024, 9:05 pm

A few thoughts on Eng now:

Eng have not walked the talk and as going has gotten tougher they have been talking more and more.
Stokes  to digress attention from the main issue talks about side and non issues, so to distract  he will talk about his own bowling in fuzzy mumbo jumbo almost Dravidisque lingo:
"I'm not saying yes, I'm not saying no,""Me being me, I'm always very optimistic about most things."I managed to bowl at 100% in one of the warm-up days here which made me feel pretty good. I felt like I could have bowled in the game but that would have been stupid."

And he talks about DRS umpires calls, which is a good debate  to open up when you are the positive beneficiary of it and when you win, but it sounds like both sour grapes and attempted distractions when on the negative receiving end of it in defeats.
Given that it's not something new made-up for this tour but has existed since near past eternity.

The elephants in the room for Eng:

1- What happened to  the "We will chase down 600 & the more the better"
I am not saying that's the right thing to do, but they do owe an explanation on why EVERYONE dug a hole and started eating-balls, playing for a draw instead of the hackers viz Duckett+Crawley+Pope going for it, and other batting positively ?

2- What happened to Eng's ability to pick any wickets with reverse? One would expect 150kph Wood to deliver a lot more with old ball
Remember last tour Anderson had a spell of reverse in which he plucked out Indian middle order in T1-Chennai, a K.O punch that lost India the match.
And Anderson assisted by Stokes had Ind on the mat with reverse in Mumbai until Pant deliver a counter-punching inning.
There is no  acknowledgement of their inability to exploit reverse as an issue ?
And any plans to address this?

3-Is Root being over-bowled?
43 overs in the match and 27 out of 98 overs in second inning that's nearly 30% overs in a 5 man attack in second inning.
Is it impacting his batting? and regardless of denials and tangential answers wrapped in fuzzy talk.....it has to be  having an impact.  Those are the laws of biology and human bio-mechanics.
It takes a lot out of body and mental focus to bowl that much for one who is neither a bowler at FC level nor a career allrounder but primarily a top order batter.

Will Stokes ball in T4 to take load off Root?
my view....NO, it's a red herring he planted to digress from these elephants in the room
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Post by guildfordbat Mon 19 Feb 2024, 10:23 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Yeah, Foakes' average minus the Sri Lanka games is below 25. And the SR is 46. Essentially putting him around Geraint Jones level, not Matt Prior. Meaning it seems inevitable that once/if Brook returns, hopefully in the summer, Bairstow will be retaking the gloves (not that Bairstow is currently sparkling with the bat) and Foakes will be cast adrift. I do think he struggles batting where he is, but it's not very practical to move him up the order.

No sign yet of Rew entering proceedings after his disappointing Lions tour.

Long way off the summer yet, but I actually think it would be prudent from a long term viewpoint to blood one of the younger guys (be it Rew, Robinson, or whoever they land on) this summer with two, lets face it, easier home series vs SL and WI, with a view to them having 12-18 months of test cricket under their belt before the 2025 Ashes in Aus.

As I say, that's getting a bit long term when really in the here and now it would be bloody handy if Bairstow and Foakes scored some runs!
I could see Jamie Smith getting his Test cap sooner rather than later. According to a few usually well informed journalists I've heard on podcasts, it sounds like YJB had lost the gloves before Brook was ruled out. Some saying he'd been told his fitness to keep in Tests was the issue.

Smith is very highly rated with the bat by all reports. I could see them taking a punt on him if Bairstow can't regain his previous athleticism and Foakes doesn't make runs soon.

I've long been a Foakes advocate but these conditions are where I'd expect him to score more runs as well. He isn't as good against high pace from what I've seen, these have been largely good batting tracks.

Jamie Smith! In my haste this lunchtime I knew I’d forgotten someone obvious. Yes he feels like the next cab off the rank at the keeper position.
Guildford probably better placed to say what his glove work is like - I don’t recall him being amazing or horrendous from what I’ve seen on Surrey streams

I would say that you've got it about right there, Olly, concerning Jamie Smith's wicket keeping. Perfectly okay would be my take but nothing so special to merit inclusion as a keeper alone. He certainly seems more comfortable keeping to seam than spin where I've seen him miss the odd stumping. That's not too surprising for an inexperienced keeper. I also don't think he's helped by his height (just checked, he's 6 foot 2). Keepers are possibly now taller on average than when I was growing up watching the likes of small-sizers Alan Knott and John Murray but it's still something that strikes me when I see him with gloves.

As posted before, I do though highly rate Smith the batter. Capable of any batting spot but probably best suited to number 4 or 5. An unselfish player who - in contrast to some of his elders in India - has good game awareness and bats according to the needs of his team, be it grinding out or pushing the scoreboard along. A range of shots and good concentration too, enabling him to score an unbeaten double hundred two years ago when only aged twenty-one.

I believe Smith has a very decent chance of becoming a Test player although consider that he and England would probably be best served by him concentrating solely on his batting. There's also the issue of how much opportunity Smith will get to keep at Surrey. If Foakes gets dropped by England, he'll be back keeping for Surrey - Alec Stewart regularly describes Foakes to Surrey members as ''the best keeper in the world''. Smith is on a longish term contract and Surrey would be unwilling to let him go to another county even if he wanted to.




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Post by king_carlos Tue 20 Feb 2024, 5:23 pm

Confirmation today of Bumrah being rested for T4 and Rahul still being out injured. So Patidar will presumably remain and Mukesh has returned to the squad fresh of a Ranji 10-fer.

Bumrah missing is obviously a massive boost for England. He has simply been too good when he's got the ball going both ways.

This may sounds absurd given the century and five-fer, but Jadeja didn't look to be moving at his best in T3 after that hamstring injury. Part of me wondered if India might give him a break, back themselves to be too good without him by bringing in Axar again. He's in the squad though.

For England, I expect that Bairstow will be backed for another Test.

Instinctively I'd think that Wood must be rested. I kept thinking they'd rest the tiring seamers in the Ashes, yet they just ploughed on through though. I think I'd take the punt on Robinson. His high release and seam control means he should offer something different. The question is around his conditioning.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 20 Feb 2024, 5:39 pm

I think both Anderson and Wood need a rest. Anderson looked spent during the second Indian innings. I'd be shocked if Bairstow were dropped. He's getting all five, even if he has another poor return in the fourth test.

Not sure how much Mukesh's 10-for counts. There are some horrendous mismatches in Ranji - see the one recently where Hyderabad scored 615/4 in 60 overs! Agarwal hit 366 off 181 balls, the fastest ever FC triple ton - and Mukesh looked hopeless in the second test.

India obviously thinking with Bumrah that they can probably win without him, but if they don't close the series out here, then a fresh Bumrah will return for the fifth test. Something that maybe Australia should have considered during the Ashes, when their main pace trio were running on empty by the 5th test.

Just checked and Mukesh's 10 for was against the weakest team in Elite Group B, and said weakest team have only scored above 300 once in seven FC games this season.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 20 Feb 2024, 6:03 pm

Atkinson has been pulled from the IPL with, "the ECB managing his workload after a long winter away". CWC, Caribbean tour, now India tour. May we be about to see Atkinson debut?

It'd be a hell of a baptism if so. McCullum and Stokes have favoured a pace option in the attack when it's been available to them though. They've become very good at chipping out wickets during tougher bowling periods over Stokes' captaincy. A significant part of that has been the success of varying iterations of the short ball barrage.

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Post by VTR Tue 20 Feb 2024, 6:23 pm

Duty281 wrote:

Not sure how much Mukesh's 10-for counts. There are some horrendous mismatches in Ranji - see the one recently where Hyderabad scored 615/4 in 60 overs! Agarwal hit 366 off 181 balls, the fastest ever FC triple ton - and Mukesh looked hopeless in the second test.

.

What are they calling that, Hyderabadball?

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Post by KP_fan Tue 20 Feb 2024, 6:28 pm

Bumrah rested is not a good idea and I hope they play Akashdeep.  
I have seen Mukesh can reverse it but that's if he gets to old ball.
I doubt if Patidar will make it into the 11....Padikal might debut.
Personally I would play Washington as a batsman for Patidar
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Post by king_carlos Tue 20 Feb 2024, 6:32 pm

VTR wrote:
Duty281 wrote:

Not sure how much Mukesh's 10-for counts. There are some horrendous mismatches in Ranji - see the one recently where Hyderabad scored 615/4 in 60 overs! Agarwal hit 366 off 181 balls, the fastest ever FC triple ton - and Mukesh looked hopeless in the second test.

.

What are they calling that, Hyderabadball?
Agar-doo-ball?

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Post by msp83 Tue 20 Feb 2024, 7:09 pm

So Bumrah indeed rested. The thinking seems to be that in Dharmshala, where it is likely to be more conducive for seam bowling, they wanted Bumrah... Seems the India VC was keen to play all 5 tests, but was advised by the management and medical staff not to as there is a T-20 World Cup coming up right after the IPL.
If Shami was around, I wouldn't have given it a 2nd thought, but with him not yet recovering, and Siraj not quite in their league yet, I would not want the latter to be partnered by the likes of Mukesh Kumar, your run of the mill seamer who is strictly not more than OK at his best. He can be a handful in seaming conditions, but doesn't have the pace to trouble top batters even when he gets it to reverse. And unlike Bumrah who likes batting against England in particular, Mukesh is hopeless in that department. I've mentioned this earlier, but the fresh lot of quicks coming up the ranks, doesn't inspire me with a lot of confidence.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 21 Feb 2024, 5:59 am

msp83 wrote:So Bumrah indeed rested. The thinking seems to be that in Dharmshala, where it is likely to be more conducive for seam bowling, they wanted Bumrah... Seems the India VC was keen to play all 5 tests, but was advised by the management and medical staff not to as there is a T-20 World Cup coming up right after the IPL.
If Shami was around, I wouldn't have given it a 2nd thought, but with him not yet recovering, and Siraj not quite in their league yet, I would not want the latter to be partnered by the likes of Mukesh Kumar, your run of the mill seamer who is strictly not more than OK at his best. He can be a handful in seaming conditions, but doesn't have the pace to trouble top batters even when he gets it to reverse. And unlike Bumrah who likes batting against England in particular, Mukesh is hopeless in that department. I've mentioned this earlier, but the fresh lot of quicks coming up the ranks, doesn't inspire me with a lot of confidence.
Indianexpress cricket has been getting more correct selection informations than others writes this :

Bengal fast bowler Akash Deep, 27, is likely to make his Test debut during fourth Test against England in Ranchi which starts on Friday. Akash is set to play in place of Jasprit Bumrah, who has been released for the game to manage his workload.

Akash and Mukesh Kumar, also a Bengal fast bowler, are the two pace options to partner Mohammed Siraj for the fourth Test. But The Indian Express understands that the team management and selectors are likely to go with Akash as they are impressed with the way he bowled in the matches between India A and England Lions Akash picked up 10 wickets from two red-ball games for India A in Ahmedabad
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Post by KP_fan Wed 21 Feb 2024, 6:08 am

If he plays, Akashdeep will bat at no.9, above kuldeep and Siraj
Unlike other Indian seamers, he has some skills with bat
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Post by Duty281 Wed 21 Feb 2024, 9:12 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/68337474

Sounds like England are going back down the three spinners route, with Robinson as the sole frontline seamer, and Stokes might possibly be bowling. Anderson and Wood, unsurprisingly, rested after their exertions in the third test.

Apparently there's already some cracks in the wicket, so England are getting overexcited again.

Unsure about Stokes bowling. It's one thing to be fit enough to bowl, but does he have the rhythm and ability necessary to be an asset?

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/ind-vs-eng-ollie-robinson-in-line-for-recall-as-england-weigh-up-bowling-balance-1421947

Cricinfo suggesting the final selection call will be Bashir v Anderson.

England were surprised by the extent of the cracks already, and anticipate plenty of turn from the start of the match, with variable bounce to come into play sooner rather than later.

Maybe we'll finally see a spinning lottery pitch? Would represent England's best hope.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 21 Feb 2024, 4:14 pm

Duty281 wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/68337474

Sounds like England are going back down the three spinners route, with Robinson as the sole frontline seamer, and Stokes might possibly be bowling. Anderson and Wood, unsurprisingly, rested after their exertions in the third test.

Apparently there's already some cracks in the wicket, so England are getting overexcited again.

Unsure about Stokes bowling. It's one thing to be fit enough to bowl, but does he have the rhythm and ability necessary to be an asset?

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/ind-vs-eng-ollie-robinson-in-line-for-recall-as-england-weigh-up-bowling-balance-1421947

Cricinfo suggesting the final selection call will be Bashir v Anderson.

England were surprised by the extent of the cracks already, and anticipate plenty of turn from the start of the match, with variable bounce to come into play sooner rather than later.

Maybe we'll finally see a spinning lottery pitch? Would represent England's best hope.

Be handy to win a toss too!
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Post by msp83 Wed 21 Feb 2024, 5:38 pm

Is it going to be a lively turner from the start? Will India consider Axar for Bumrah then? Will surely add to the batting, and might be useful to bowl more overs than the obligatory 5 or 6 that Deep or Kumar might be asked to bowl. Considering Axar's terrible bowling form of late, I feel even Washington should be in the mix for selection, is a better quality batter, and can't be much worse than Axar in his current form.
Have a feeling though, that they'll go in with Mukesh or Akash, probably the former...

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Post by king_carlos Wed 21 Feb 2024, 6:05 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/68337474

Sounds like England are going back down the three spinners route, with Robinson as the sole frontline seamer, and Stokes might possibly be bowling. Anderson and Wood, unsurprisingly, rested after their exertions in the third test.

Apparently there's already some cracks in the wicket, so England are getting overexcited again.

Unsure about Stokes bowling. It's one thing to be fit enough to bowl, but does he have the rhythm and ability necessary to be an asset?

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/ind-vs-eng-ollie-robinson-in-line-for-recall-as-england-weigh-up-bowling-balance-1421947

Cricinfo suggesting the final selection call will be Bashir v Anderson.

England were surprised by the extent of the cracks already, and anticipate plenty of turn from the start of the match, with variable bounce to come into play sooner rather than later.

Maybe we'll finally see a spinning lottery pitch? Would represent England's best hope.

Be handy to win a toss too!
All three Tests have gone to the side that won the toss so far. England undoubtedly need that bit of luck to close the gap.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 21 Feb 2024, 6:09 pm

If Avesh does play, he'll be the sixth debutant so far in the series.

T1 - Hartley
T2 - Patidar and Bashir
T3 - Sarfaraz and Jurel
T4 - Avesh?

Lots of new names coming through.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 21 Feb 2024, 6:09 pm

If Avesh does play, he'll be the sixth debutant so far in the series.

T1 - Hartley
T2 - Patidar and Bashir
T3 - Sarfaraz and Jurel
T4 - Avesh?

Lots of new names coming through.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 21 Feb 2024, 7:40 pm

msp83 wrote:Is it going to be a lively turner from the start? Will India consider Axar for Bumrah then? Will surely add to the batting, and might be useful to bowl more overs than the obligatory 5 or 6 that Deep or Kumar might be asked to bowl. Considering Axar's terrible bowling form of late, I  feel even Washington should be in the mix for selection, is a better quality batter, and can't be much worse than Axar in his current form.
Have a feeling though, that they'll go in with Mukesh or Akash, probably the former...

I doubt if India will suddenly change track and make a rank turner.
Akashdeep is most likely to play.........they may spin a surprise and play Washington as 6th bowling option for Patidar
I won't mind that
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Post by Duty281 Wed 21 Feb 2024, 11:31 pm

Appears that England are going for a left-field selection. Instead of Bashir coming in for Anderson, or Anderson retaining his spot, it now seems likely that Lawrence will be entering the fray.

The pitch is expected to turn from ball one - Stokes has commented on the pitch with 'I've never seen anything like it' - so England are likely to reinforce their batting and add a part-time spinner in Lawrence, rather than go for a full-time bowler such as Bashir or Anderson. The Telegraph say Lawrence is 'favourite' to make the side.

That would make England's team: Crawley; Duckett; Pope; Root; Bairstow; Stokes; Lawrence; Foakes; Rehan; Robinson; Hartley.

Have fun working out the batting order! Stokes looks very likely to bowl during the test after getting through another rigorous net session.

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Post by alfie Thu 22 Feb 2024, 1:52 am

Not at all surprised Stokes is considering bowling (though we will have to wait and see how effective he will be). Ruling himself out prior to the series was in the same category as his retirement from ODIs ... always subject to change as circumstances allow.

If this pitch is really going to be as tricky from the start as some fear , the more batting they can pack in the better so Lawrence would be a chance. But I still think Bashir is just as likely : after all , if Stokes can't bowl many overs you would just have Robinson Hartley and Rehan plus two part timers ; which might be seen as a bit light. And they may wish to limit Joe Root's workload a little ?

Will be interesting to see how India assess the pitch before their final selection. They generally seem to judge things fairly well - reasonably enough given it is their territory.

Whatever the pitch , I'd think Bumrah will be missed. But probably impractical to ask him to play all five so makes sense to let him have a break now. I don't think they are being over confident in doing so : after all their "back up" players have generally performed pretty well in this series. Not much doubt that India have easily the most depth in playing stocks in world cricket at the moment - which doesn't make them unbeatable but does mean they are less impaired by the loss of key players than any other side.

As others have said above , England would dearly love to win the toss. Though if the pitch were to spin crazily from the start the toss might mean less than in these earlier games...

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Post by KP_fan Thu 22 Feb 2024, 5:37 am

alfie wrote:

If this pitch is really going to be as tricky from the start as some fear , the more batting they can pack in the better so Lawrence would be a chance. But I still think Bashir is just as likely : after all , if Stokes can't bowl many overs you would just have Robinson Hartley and Rehan plus two part timers ; which might be seen as a bit light. And they may wish to limit Joe Root's workload a little ?

Will be interesting to see how India assess the pitch before their final selection. They generally seem to judge things fairly well - reasonably enough given it is their territory.

Whatever the pitch , I'd think Bumrah will be missed. But probably impractical to ask him to play all five so makes sense to let him have a break now. I don't think they are being over confident in doing so : after all their "back up" players have generally performed pretty well in this series. Not much doubt that India have easily the most depth in playing stocks in world cricket at the moment

As others have said above , England would dearly love to win the toss. Though if the pitch were to spin crazily from the start the toss might mean less than in these earlier games...
Those are two interesting points .
If the pitch is really a Rank Turner from ball 1 then toss doesn't matter much.

Indians have not said a word on the pitch and English have been unusually talkative almost as if they are trying to win some psychological points by talking up.
There has not been any images of thr full pitch. Only one with corners cracked at one end and to me the cracked portions look like the crease /Yorker length spots which render them irrelevant.

There should be a pre match presser today and we will hear the Indian word on pitch and hints on team composition.
Bumrah was hardly required in T3 while siraj plucked out four in a spell of reverse.
Bumrah is irreplaceable but of Akashdeep plays he is a bit like Siraj in speed and bowling style , primarily and inswing/ in cutter bowler quite conducive to getting reverse
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Post by Duty281 Thu 22 Feb 2024, 8:22 am

Robinson and Bashir in. Wood and Rehan out. Anderson retains his spot.

Not massively surprised at Rehan being dropped. As we’ve seen, Stokes has generally thrown the ball to Rehan last, even preferring Root to bowl before Rehan. Anderson staying in indicates that maybe the pitch isn’t going to turn from ball one…unless England have misjudged it.


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Post by KP_fan Thu 22 Feb 2024, 8:55 am

Indian experts who have seen this pitch and played in Ranchi opine it will be more of the same as Rajkot.
Gill in his Press Conf now talked about the difference between sides being Indian seamers and that Bumrah is great but others also know how to extract reverse on these pitches
Implies Ind will have 2 seamers and going by Indian express report who have gotten it right earlier also, akashdeep debuts

After hyped up talk of never seen a pitch like this with cracks before Eng back paddle to 2.spinners and 2 seamers+Root

Robinson and Bashir for Wood and Rehan means batting further weakened
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 22 Feb 2024, 9:03 am

Duty281 wrote:Robinson and Bashir in. Wood and Rehan out. Anderson retains his spot.

Not massively surprised at Rehan being dropped. As we’ve seen, Stokes has generally thrown the ball to Rehan last, even preferring Root to bowl before Rehan. Anderson staying in indicates that maybe the pitch isn’t going to turn from ball one…unless  England have misjudged it.


Seems the sensible selection - albeit hopefully Jimmy is not too tired after his exploits in the last test. Would be helpful if Stokes can send down a few for his sake I think.
Excited to see how Robinson goes, think he's been slightly unlucky to have not played to this point - he went very well in Pakistan when reverse was on offer, and fancy him to do so here too.
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Post by alfie Thu 22 Feb 2024, 9:45 am

Wasn't expecting that selection ! Hopefully Jimmy is fine after a few days rest ; and I am , like Olly , looking forward to seeing Robinson in action. Prior to the series , much of my hope for the series was based on a feeling that Robinson might play a significant role so glad to see he is getting his chance at last.
The Bashir for Rehan move I didn't see coming. Rehan has had a mixed series I suppose , but as the most experienced spinner in the side Smile I'd assumed he'd be retained. Presume the presence of several rather useful left handers in the Indian lineup has had a bit to do with this one...

With England - and apparently India also ? - retaining two seamers , it seems that further viewing of the pitch has lessened suspicions that it might prove a minefield. Another one fairly similar to the first three should make for a good contest as long as England haven't become too demoralized after the events of last Saturday/Sunday.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 22 Feb 2024, 10:07 am

KP_fan wrote:Indian experts who have seen this pitch and played in Ranchi opine it will be more of the same as Rajkot.
Gill in his  Press Conf now talked about the difference between sides being Indian seamers and that Bumrah is great but others also know how to extract reverse on these pitches
Implies Ind will have 2 seamers and going by Indian express report who have gotten it right earlier also, akashdeep debuts

After hyped up talk of never seen a pitch like this with cracks before Eng back paddle to 2.spinners and 2 seamers+Root

Robinson and Bashir for Wood and Rehan means batting further weakened

Yes. From The Telegraph's side that Duty posted last night, we had arguably England's best ever number 11 in Hartley. Now we have two rank number 11s in Anderson and Bashir.

Anyway, just have to leave the top 7 to get the runs and the rest to take 20 wickets.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 22 Feb 2024, 10:36 am

guildfordbat wrote:
KP_fan wrote:Indian experts who have seen this pitch and played in Ranchi opine it will be more of the same as Rajkot.
Gill in his  Press Conf now talked about the difference between sides being Indian seamers and that Bumrah is great but others also know how to extract reverse on these pitches
Implies Ind will have 2 seamers and going by Indian express report who have gotten it right earlier also, akashdeep debuts

After hyped up talk of never seen a pitch like this with cracks before Eng back paddle to 2.spinners and 2 seamers+Root

Robinson and Bashir for Wood and Rehan means batting further weakened

Yes. From The Telegraph's side that Duty posted last night, we had arguably England's best ever number 11 in Hartley. Now we have two rank number 11s in Anderson and Bashir.

Anyway, just have to leave the top 7 to get the runs and the rest to take 20 wickets.

Not too stressed on that - Hartley and Robinson will bat 8 and 9, and both are more than capable with the bat, hitting handy 20/30s. If we're worrying about what 10 and 11 are like with the willow, then things have likely gone very awry elsewhere! Smile
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Post by alfie Thu 22 Feb 2024, 12:12 pm

Anyway, Jimmy has a top score of eighty odd ... against Guess Who 🙂

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