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England's Summer of Cricket 2024

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Post by Duty281 Fri Apr 05, 2024 11:27 am

First topic message reminder :

Now the County Championship has begun, it is officially summer once more. Don't let the rain tell you otherwise!

We can talk about promising county performances, the build up to the World T20, and Ollie Robinson's latest injury when it happens. Then, in just under two months, England start playing games:

England v Pakistan, four T20s, 22nd May-30th May
World T20 in June
England v West Indies, three tests, 10th July-30th July
England v Sri Lanka, three tests, 21st August-10th September
England v Australia, three T20s, 11th September-15th September
England v Australia, five ODIs, 19th September-29th September


It's a bit of a pressure summer for England. The ODI side made the most disappointing defence of a World Cup crown since France in the football in 2002, so there's pressure on the T20 side, and Mott in particular, to deliver something decent in the Caribbean.

For the test match side, it's been three series without a series win for England, so the expectation is on for England to get back to winning ways against the West Indies and Sri Lanka. The West Indies often cause England a few troubles, but England have won their last seven home series v the West Indies, dating back to 2000, and you have to go back to 1988 for the last time the West Indies won a series in England.

Sri Lanka are visiting for the first time in eight years for a test series, so it's well overdue. They've certainly managed to upset England in the past, very famously in 1998, but also in 2014, so it's a series that cannot be taken for granted.

And to round off the summer the ECB are making a dash for cash, with eight limited overs games against the Aussies in the fading September light, in games that will probably be forgotten in no time at all.

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Post by Jetty Tue May 07, 2024 12:22 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Saw Jofra was playing a club game in West Indies on Saturday - poor folk turning up to have him bowl at you on your weekend game!

Great to see him back in an England squad - hope he can stay fit.

I see another perennial sick note, Olly Stone, is back playing county stuff in the last round. I know he went to Australia in the winter and had a good spell, and is pushing hard for an international return this summer.

Maybe on Friday Notts bowling will be Pennington, Paterson, Stone and Tongue ....maybe not Tongue as I see he hasn't played any 2nd XI games. Mahmood who has played 2 will be bowling for Lancs. It could be Stone v Mahmood for that England place.

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Post by GSC Fri May 10, 2024 6:36 pm

Sounds like McCullum has told Jimmy this is going to be his last run?
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Post by Duty281 Fri May 10, 2024 7:25 pm

The end was coming for Jimmy, but it's obviously been hastened by Bazball.

Pretty disgraceful that he didn't have a chance to make an announcement on his own, which hints at disagreement.

Unclear at the minute as to whether he gets one swansong test, the full summer, or nothing at all.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri May 10, 2024 8:29 pm

Jetty wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Saw Jofra was playing a club game in West Indies on Saturday - poor folk turning up to have him bowl at you on your weekend game!

Great to see him back in an England squad - hope he can stay fit.

I see another perennial sick note, Olly Stone, is back playing county stuff in the last round. I know he went to Australia in the winter and had a good spell, and is pushing hard for an international return this summer.

Maybe on Friday Notts bowling will be Pennington, Paterson, Stone and Tongue  ....maybe not Tongue as I see he hasn't played any 2nd XI games. Mahmood who has played 2 will be bowling for Lancs. It could be Stone v Mahmood for that England place.

The first three highlighted were in action today with Pennington (I was most reliably informed) being specifically watched by an ECB bowling coach/assessor. That doesn't mean Pennington is about to be immediately called up to the Test side - the ECB casts its net widely with an assortment of players, particularly young players, being assessed by ECB representatives even at second team level. However, he's certainly on their radar and did his future prospects no harm at all today with a tidily impressive return of 3/46 from 22 overs.


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Post by king_carlos Sat May 11, 2024 1:19 am

Duty281 wrote:The end was coming for Jimmy, but it's obviously been hastened by Bazball.

Pretty disgraceful that he didn't have a chance to make an announcement on his own, which hints at disagreement.

Unclear at the minute as to whether he gets one swansong test, the full summer, or nothing at all.

From what I've seen, Guardian got a scoop rather than the coaching team officially announcing anything ahead of Jimmy here. He's expected to address it on Saturday when he's on comms. Most reports suggest he'll get Tests this summer for a swansong.

I love Jimmy, but this feels like an utterly bizarre thing to link with Bazball.

Surely taking 5 wickets in 4 Ashes Tests at an average of 85 might've hastened the end a bit more? He genuinely bowled poorly as well. Not beating the bat lots without reward sort of bowling. Just legitimately looking unthreatening for the vast majority of it. Frequently bowling short of the length that was getting results. Down on pace. Others being thrown the ball at crucial times ahead of him. A one legged Stokes and the SOS called Moeen (who's poor figures you almost fetishised bringing up it could be said Duty...) out bowled him. That is a bit of an issue.

He was much better in that bowling dry role in India. Does he want to go to Pakistan on those insanely flat tracks though? Other than that the horizon is, Sri Lanka and Windies at home (where I don't have an issue with us trying other seamers), NZ away (see the previous), India at home (see the previous) and the Ashes in Oz (where he'll be 43 and he hasn't fared great there).

I'd pick Woakes ahead of him at home now. Both for his bowling and his batting at 8. If they're going to give some of the less experienced seamers exposure whilst still picking a spinner and a pace bowler, it might be hard to select Woakes and Anderson in the same XI much.

It does feel like the summer for it to finally happen to be honest.

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Post by alfie Sat May 11, 2024 5:05 am

Well it is hardly unexpected that England would want to look to the future with some young fast bowlers this year…and I didn’t really think Jimmy would be particularly keen to go to Pakistan anyway. Not sure the fact that McCullum has discussed this with Anderson means he is automatically excluded from the action this summer though : would make more sense to mix experience with youth and rotate bowlers a bit rather than have Jimmy quit outright or have just a token farewell Test , would it not ? After all , “moving on” from Anderson and Broad worked so well in West Indies in 2022 😏

Will wait and see what Anderson has to say on Saturday. It was pretty likely that this season would be his last at the top level whatever the management wanted to do.
But I’d hope he is able to finish up in a dignified manner over the summer rather than be put out to grass abruptly as the BBC headline seeking article seems to be expecting.

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Post by GSC Sat May 11, 2024 9:13 am

Be pretty cruel and unnecessary to not give him a farewell. Particularly given WI and SL aren't on par with an Ashes or India series these days, and Jimmy can still offer a lot to the younger seamers. But also fair to say last summer looked like age had finally caught up with him and it's probably time.
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Post by VTR Sat May 11, 2024 12:42 pm

All confirmed then, one final Test at Lord's, fitness permitting, and that will be it. Hard to remember a time when he wasn't in or around the team!

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Post by KP_fan Sat May 11, 2024 5:26 pm

Anderson is retiring
"The Anderson" too gone ....was around for eternity and in my honest observations spanning 4 decades the most difficult seam bowler to handle after Hadlee and at par with Hadlee.
In his last interviews he had expressed wish to carry on and now sudden one more test would imply he was pushed out.
Eng has 6 home tests and he would have held his place on merit in home conditions for sure.
But the other side of argument could be to try new bowlers in less stressed home conditions.

Great seam bowler , clichéd as it sounds....End of an Era
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Post by alfie Sun May 12, 2024 3:25 am

A sad moment when an icon like Jimmy finishes up ; but everything has an end point.  I would have preferred to see him play most of the home Tests this summer but presumably once he knew they wanted to move on he accepted it would be best for team and himself to bow out after the first  match and leave the decks clear - rather than try to battle on and risk being dumped mid-summer.
Pretty sure McCullum would have had an amicable and respectful discussion with him rather than pointing a gun at his head. I also reckon Jimmy will be disappointed that he couldn't fit into the plans for another year or so ; but will have come to accept the logic of giving youth a decent run up to the next Ashes and be content to step away - hopefully with a good final performance.

Only snag will be if the injuries mount up and they end up against Sri Lanka searching the counties for a fit seamer Smile    But seriously there appear to be a fair few options around at present : whether any of them will be able to make the step up to lead the attack now Broad and Anderson are gone remains to be seen. Otherwise a lot rests on Wood's fitness , with Woakes (also late in career) not much use overseas and Robinson strangely teetering on the brink despite his excellent early Test figures.

For those of us old enough : when Statham and Trueman finished up there was a period in which England pace bowling became rather underwhelming. Then Snow , and Willis , and Botham eventually appeared. And then another gap...and so on.  I suspect it will be some time before we get any more "greats" so must hope what we have for now will be effective enough until the cycle returns...

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Post by Jetty Sun May 12, 2024 9:32 am

So who are the fast bowlers to be chosen for the WI series?


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Post by alfie Sun May 12, 2024 11:11 am

Jetty wrote:So who are the fast bowlers to be chosen for the WI series?


Imagine First Test will be Anderson Wood and Woakes : they will want to start the series well. Then I guess we will see the likes of Tongue , Atkinson Carse and Potts - with Robinson presumably featuring once Jimmy has moved off to the sidelines. Maybe some newer names ? Not seeing huge success for that group of "next generation" bowlers in the recent county games I'm afraid !

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Post by king_carlos Sun May 12, 2024 11:13 am

I'd guess they'll want one experienced seamer, one quicker option and one of the younger seamers in the attack for most the season. Then Leach or Bashir. It'd seem like a good balance.

Experienced - Jimmy (for Windies T1), Woakes, Robinson (if he can sort his s**t out)

Quicker - Wood, Atkinson, Tongue, Stone (if he stays fit), Carse?

Younger seamers - Potts, Cook, Turner (if fit)

I do wonder if how well Cook has started made them think he has to get a debut this summer? He's earned the chance, Jimmy moving on does open up a slot for the 80-ish mph seamer.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun May 12, 2024 1:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:I'd guess they'll want one experienced seamer, one quicker option and one of the younger seamers in the attack for most the season. Then Leach or Bashir. It'd seem like a good balance.

Experienced - Jimmy (for Windies T1), Woakes, Robinson (if he can sort his s**t out)

Quicker - Wood, Atkinson, Tongue, Stone (if he stays fit), Carse?

Younger seamers - Potts, Cook, Turner (if fit)

I do wonder if how well Cook has started made them think he has to get a debut this summer? He's earned the chance, Jimmy moving on does open up a slot for the 80-ish mph seamer
.

I've been told (reliably, I believe) that ECB bowling scouts have been impressed by Cook and see him as being as close to a successor for Anderson as there is. However, Key is reluctant to turn to him preferring Robinson if, as Carlos also says, he can sort his s**t out and faster men.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun May 12, 2024 2:53 pm

Not sure why it would be a competition, Robinson seemed to be brought in as the Broad replacement already, so this would be an extra spot (in English conditions). Don't really see them using Woakes as a main option at this point in his career either, but he's generally been in as a change option at home anyway so even if he gets the new ball it just opens up that slot for someone else. Unless Stokes is going to try to bowl a significant amount again?

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Post by Jetty Mon May 13, 2024 2:55 am

Lowlandbrit wrote:Not sure why it would be a competition, Robinson seemed to be brought in as the Broad replacement already, so this would be an extra spot (in English conditions). Don't really see them using Woakes as a main option at this point in his career either, but he's generally been in as a change option at home anyway so even if he gets the new ball it just opens up that slot for someone else. Unless Stokes is going to try to bowl a significant amount again?

Maybe it will be Atkinson and Cook and not Robinson

Cook 113.1 overs 25 wickets at 11.20
Atkinson 64.0 overs 9 wickets at 20.88

Robinson 97.0 overs 9 wickets at 37.33
Seales 145.4 overs 23 wickets at 21.86

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Post by Lowlandbrit Mon May 13, 2024 12:48 pm

Could be. The real problem is that, to fit all the bats in, it's either Stokes as the fourth seamer, or Root as the spinner. Doesn't feel comfortable either way at the moment.

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Post by Jetty Mon May 13, 2024 1:50 pm

Lowlandbrit wrote:Could be. The real problem is that, to fit all the bats in, it's either Stokes as the fourth seamer, or Root as the spinner. Doesn't feel comfortable either way at the moment.

It would be Stokes as 4th seamer. He is fit again so need 3 other fast bowlers. One tall 6'4, one fast and another.
Ideal world Tongue, Potts and Archer . ..my favourites Smile

1Crawley 2Duckett 3Pope 4Root 5Brook 6Stokes 7Foakes 8Potts 9Wood 10Atkinson 11Leach

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Post by Duty281 Mon May 13, 2024 2:11 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:The end was coming for Jimmy, but it's obviously been hastened by Bazball.

Pretty disgraceful that he didn't have a chance to make an announcement on his own, which hints at disagreement.

Unclear at the minute as to whether he gets one swansong test, the full summer, or nothing at all.

From what I've seen, Guardian got a scoop rather than the coaching team officially announcing anything ahead of Jimmy here. He's expected to address it on Saturday when he's on comms. Most reports suggest he'll get Tests this summer for a swansong.

I love Jimmy, but this feels like an utterly bizarre thing to link with Bazball.

Surely taking 5 wickets in 4 Ashes Tests at an average of 85 might've hastened the end a bit more? He genuinely bowled poorly as well. Not beating the bat lots without reward sort of bowling. Just legitimately looking unthreatening for the vast majority of it. Frequently bowling short of the length that was getting results. Down on pace. Others being thrown the ball at crucial times ahead of him. A one legged Stokes and the SOS called Moeen (who's poor figures you almost fetishised bringing up it could be said Duty...) out bowled him. That is a bit of an issue.

He was much better in that bowling dry role in India. Does he want to go to Pakistan on those insanely flat tracks though? Other than that the horizon is, Sri Lanka and Windies at home (where I don't have an issue with us trying other seamers), NZ away (see the previous), India at home (see the previous) and the Ashes in Oz (where he'll be 43 and he hasn't fared great there).

I'd pick Woakes ahead of him at home now. Both for his bowling and his batting at 8. If they're going to give some of the less experienced seamers exposure whilst still picking a spinner and a pace bowler, it might be hard to select Woakes and Anderson in the same XI much.

It does feel like the summer for it to finally happen to be honest.

Bazball that flattened the wickets at home. Bazball that has a new demand for 85mph+ pace.

Jimmy would have been fine for this summer and the next, but Bazball has shuffled him along.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon May 13, 2024 2:54 pm

Duty281 wrote:

Bazball that flattened the wickets at home. Bazball that has a new demand for 85mph+ pace.

Jimmy would have been fine for this summer and the next, but Bazball has shuffled him along.

Chris Woakes isn't exactly express pace and did pretty well last summer, outbowled Jimmy by a long way.

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Post by king_carlos Mon May 13, 2024 2:58 pm

Plenty of other seamers, English or Aussie, didn't average 85 on the flatter wickets in the Ashes though, Duty. I adore Jimmy, but he has declined. The, "bowling as well as ever", trope that many commentators are addicted to is frustrating when it's so clearly inaccurate. It's incredible he's still as good as he is at this age, but he's nowhere near what he once was. I generally agree he'd be "fine" for the next two summers. When conditions are in his favour he'll be very good and when not he'll drop his lengths back, bowl economically but with a very high strike rate. Which is "fine". It's nowhere near what Jimmy was at his best, but, yeah, it's fine. Is fine what you're wanting from a short term option though? Surely if we are settling for fine then you pick a younger option who should be fine this summer but might be more than that going forward?

Whilst Key and Stokes in particular seem keen on more pace, they've predominantly picked English seamers. Especially at home. Jimmy, Broad, Robinson and Wood have been the mainstays. Then Woakes returned from injury issues during the Ashes. Only Wood is quick.

Matty Potts got chances whilst others were injured and did well but be he has a very good CC record and was arguably dropped for slower seamers once they were fit. I certainly wouldn't say Potts is a pace based selection.

JOverton got one Test against NZ. Tongue got two Tests last summer. Those two, with 3 Tests between them, are the only real pace based selections aren't they? I didn't want Overton picked as I don't rate his bowling that highly. Tongue did really well and is clearly a talent though. So, the idea that they are basing selection mainly on pace currently has two examples, with 3 combined appearances, one of which came off.

The attack balance under McCullum at home has either been 2 English seamers and one quicker bowler or an all English seamer attack. Overton got that Test against NZ as the others pacers were crocked. The same for Tongue against Ireland and Australia. The furthest they've taken the desire for pace is one quicker bowler in an XI.

My main two takeaways from the idea they are obsessing on pace has been. Firstly, it seems overstated - see above about them still largely picking medium-fast nibblers when they've been the best options. Secondly, isn't more pace what we've frequently called for ourselves? We only need to go back to the Edgbaston Ashes Test where most of us were watching Jimmy, Broad, Robinson and Stokes barely scratching 80mph and thinking, "Jesus, this attack looks laughably pedestrian and needs some variety".

If they suddenly pick a pace attack of JOverton, Carse and Atkinson on a green top and lose, then they'll have f***ed it with the desire to find extra pace. The seamers they are looking at make sense to me though. They aren't just there as they are a bit quicker than medium-fast. All seem to have other skills and that bit of pace. I think Potts is a real talent who did well in previous chances. Tongue did well last summer. Stone is a terrific talent who's looked good in previous chances. Turner and Atkinson look hugely promising.

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Post by Duty281 Mon May 13, 2024 6:42 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:

Bazball that flattened the wickets at home. Bazball that has a new demand for 85mph+ pace.

Jimmy would have been fine for this summer and the next, but Bazball has shuffled him along.

Chris Woakes isn't exactly express pace and did pretty well last summer, outbowled Jimmy by a long way.

He did indeed, he was amazing. Sadly I think he's getting phased out as well.

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Post by Duty281 Mon May 13, 2024 7:00 pm

king_carlos wrote:Plenty of other seamers, English or Aussie, didn't average 85 on the flatter wickets in the Ashes though, Duty. I adore Jimmy, but he has declined. The, "bowling as well as ever", trope that many commentators are addicted to is frustrating when it's so clearly inaccurate. It's incredible he's still as good as he is at this age, but he's nowhere near what he once was. I generally agree he'd be "fine" for the next two summers. When conditions are in his favour he'll be very good and when not he'll drop his lengths back, bowl economically but with a very high strike rate. Which is "fine". It's nowhere near what Jimmy was at his best, but, yeah, it's fine. Is fine what you're wanting from a short term option though? Surely if we are settling for fine then you pick a younger option who should be fine this summer but might be more than that going forward?

Whilst Key and Stokes in particular seem keen on more pace, they've predominantly picked English seamers. Especially at home. Jimmy, Broad, Robinson and Wood have been the mainstays. Then Woakes returned from injury issues during the Ashes. Only Wood is quick.

Matty Potts got chances whilst others were injured and did well but be he has a very good CC record and was arguably dropped for slower seamers once they were fit. I certainly wouldn't say Potts is a pace based selection.

JOverton got one Test against NZ. Tongue got two Tests last summer. Those two, with 3 Tests between them, are the only real pace based selections aren't they? I didn't want Overton picked as I don't rate his bowling that highly. Tongue did really well and is clearly a talent though. So, the idea that they are basing selection mainly on pace currently has two examples, with 3 combined appearances, one of which came off.

The attack balance under McCullum at home has either been 2 English seamers and one quicker bowler or an all English seamer attack. Overton got that Test against NZ as the others pacers were crocked. The same for Tongue against Ireland and Australia. The furthest they've taken the desire for pace is one quicker bowler in an XI.

My main two takeaways from the idea they are obsessing on pace has been. Firstly, it seems overstated - see above about them still largely picking medium-fast nibblers when they've been the best options. Secondly, isn't more pace what we've frequently called for ourselves? We only need to go back to the Edgbaston Ashes Test where most of us were watching Jimmy, Broad, Robinson and Stokes barely scratching 80mph and thinking, "Jesus, this attack looks laughably pedestrian and needs some variety".

If they suddenly pick a pace attack of JOverton, Carse and Atkinson on a green top and lose, then they'll have f***ed it with the desire to find extra pace. The seamers they are looking at make sense to me though. They aren't just there as they are a bit quicker than medium-fast. All seem to have other skills and that bit of pace. I think Potts is a real talent who did well in previous chances. Tongue did well last summer. Stone is a terrific talent who's looked good in previous chances. Turner and Atkinson look hugely promising.

The pace thing is newer. Key has underlined an intention, since the end of the India test series, to focus on pace. That's what he said in an interview. He said we've got the batting sorted (they haven't, but never mind), now we need to sort out the bowling. He said the best attacks in the world are all 85mph+ with high skill and that will be the focus from now as England build towards the Ashes (five words that will forever haunt me).

So that's what England are doing now. It doesn't matter what they've done in the past. They're going to be building around this idea, with maybe room for one 80-82mph bowler on an overcast day/green pitch (or Jimmy's retirement outing), and focusing on pure pace. We'll see how it goes.

I take your point about Edgbaston 2023, but that was another extreme. There wasn't a single bowler picked who could touch 85mph, though of course the selection of Moeen was far more damaging.

Key has named Carse, Tongue, Potts, Atkinson, Fisher, Mahmood, Turner as the main names to focus on. Key has also namechecked Hull for the future, plus Aldridge and Akhter from county performances. Key derided watching medium pacers as 'a waste of time', though said Sam Cook was seriously impressive. I suppose we could throw J Overton in as well...if he could stay fit! And a certain Archer, but not this summer in whites at least. And Wood should still be good for a bit.

I'm open to seeing how it goes, but Bazball has hastened the demise of Jimmy and probably Woakes. Broad's gone and Robinson's on his 26th last chance. Time for something new.

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Post by Duty281 Mon May 13, 2024 7:08 pm

Shemilt of the BBC thinks that England's bowling attack this summer, after Anderson's farewell, will be taken from a shortlist of Wood, Woakes, Potts, Tongue and Atkinson, with Robinson notably absent. I've never regarded Shemilt as having inside info before, unlike other journalists, so take it with a reservation.

Pennington and Worrall are also being talked up. Worrall wouldn't be eligible until early next year, and it'd be amusing if he did play Australia....having already played a few ODIs for Australia! Actually, that makes him similar to Boyd Rankin.

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Post by king_carlos Mon May 13, 2024 9:02 pm

Absolutely. Moeen's 9 wickets @ 50 destroyed England's chances. A terrible selection. Unforgivable. Unexplainable. If only he'd taken 5 wickets @ 85 like Jimmy. He could've proved he had another 2 summers in him that way. If it weren't for the evil Bazball demons stealing those chances of course. Grrr... Laugh

It's not focusing purely on pace, Duty. It's focusing on slightly quicker seamers with high skill. Your own post says that in one paragraph then you ignore it in the next. Which is unusual as it's completely out of the blue for you to be very selective about what you focus on in order to be opposed to the current management of the England men's Test side!

Take the shortlist that Shemilt published. Potts and Tongue are very much fast-medium rather than fast. I'd also say that while Atkinson can crank it up he's probably closer to Hazelwood type pace than Starc. They have other skills though. Potts has a terrific wobble ball. Tongue has that in to out angle from getting past the vertical and he can take it away from right-handers. Atkinson has a mean outswinger when he gets it going.

Then from the other names that Key has mentioned. Turner, Fisher and Mahmood are also firmly in the fast-medium but skilled category. Which leaves Carse as the only Overton type potential selection that seems mostly on the speed gun. I don't really see Carse as a Test bowler unless he could do something Wagner-esque with the short ball. I definitely see Carse as potential Plunkett replacement in ODIs but that's a different discussion.

I'd agree with Key that the prevalence of genuine medium pacers with keepers up to the stumps is a waste of time when selecting for Tests. In order for players like Ryan Higgins (who's basically a dream CC signing) to be a threat at Test level, you'd need to play on snake pits that would see games end in 2.5 days when bowlers such as Cummins, Rabada or Bumrah found a length on them.

It seems to me that Key is doing what many of us on here have discussed for a long time. Not least after the latest embarrassment in the Australia. Given we generally have a good home record due to strong seam attacks, let's use more home Tests to blood seamers that add some variety to the stables. It feels like something we've talked about so many times, I'm excited to see how it goes. As you say, it's an overdue look at a new method.

It's just laughable to me to use it as evidence of Bazball hastening of the "demise" (I genuinely laughed out loud at that choice of word by the way  Hug ) for a 41-year-old who averaged 85 last summer. It's also apparently the end of Woakes, who was spell binding last summer in the same 'Bazball conditions' and expected to play a central role this summer. Even if Jimmy hadn't been so terrible in the Ashes, it would still feel hilarious to talk about hastening the demise of a 41-year-old seamer. A bit like saying that a 102-year-old relative has passed away unexpectedly.

I almost want Worrall to play in Oz just for the media implosion from some of their pundits. It could be a PR masterstroke for England to take him in the squad even if he's nowhere near making an XI. Just use him to distract all the flack from the Australian tabloids.

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Post by alfie Tue May 14, 2024 8:03 am

Couple of things.

I note KC's quotes of Anderson's Ashes figures as a sign that he was all but done ; but suggest that this may have been just a little misleading. Usman Khawaja (who did get some up front experience in that series) recently opined in an Australian piece that he felt Jimmy was actually a lot better than his (admittedly horrible!) figures suggest. As he pointed out , he himself should have been out to Anderson several times but for fielding errors ; and he reckoned that Jimmy was both unlucky and economical as ever for most of the series. Interesting.

Also note the Indian tour once again showed Anderson's value , even in unhospitable conditions. I for one believe Jimmy could have certainly done a job this summer - and probably been of service on forthcoming tours later in the year , provided his fitness held up.

However I don't really think he was going to be a factor in Australia in a further twelve months. And I think from his own comments Jimmy didn't think he would be either. So what has really been chosen here is having the great man bow out perhaps 1 year earlier than he might , in order to trial some new blood in less pressurised situations than Australian or Indian tours - accepting even that this possibly might hurt England in the short term , but would hopefully pay off as we go on. Sounds as if Jimmy himself saw the sense of it and is content to step aside for the good of the team , even if it isn't quite the path he'd have chosen himself.

You can reasonably argue either way : but I think the decision that has been taken is probably sound enough. How well the resultant "new blood" programme works is going to be up to those who get their chances as a result...

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Post by alfie Tue May 14, 2024 8:16 am

And I see a few comments above from various posters about some of those prospects : and will bow to the knowledge of those who have seen some of them close up unlike my sketchy info gathering from 12000 miles Smile

I did like what I saw of Potts in his debut Test season. Not express of course but he had something , I thought. Tongue looked pretty handy too but sadly he seems to be more often in sick bay than field lately - like a lot of fast men ! Atkinson I am somewhat ambivalent about on the little I have seen so far. Is Stone fully fit again ? And will he stay so , I wonder - he certainly has some serious wheels so could be handy.(not even going to mention the elephant Archer in the room). I hope Woods can be successfully managed for a year or two more. Have seen a few comments in the media re Pennington who is a new one to me - would be interested to hear from anyone who has seen a bit of him ?

Any others I've missed ? Might be fun seeing how things play out ...

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Post by Pal Joey Tue May 14, 2024 12:24 pm

alfie wrote:
Any others I've missed ?  Might be fun seeing how things play out ...

No, you've covered most of them, alfie.

Except for DJ Worrall of course... but you probably don't read the tabloids any more, or do you? Smile

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Post by Duty281 Tue May 14, 2024 1:20 pm

king_carlos wrote:Absolutely. Moeen's 9 wickets @ 50 destroyed England's chances. A terrible selection. Unforgivable. Unexplainable. If only he'd taken 5 wickets @ 85 like Jimmy. He could've proved he had another 2 summers in him that way. If it weren't for the evil Bazball demons stealing those chances of course. Grrr... Laugh

It's not focusing purely on pace, Duty. It's focusing on slightly quicker seamers with high skill. Your own post says that in one paragraph then you ignore it in the next. Which is unusual as it's completely out of the blue for you to be very selective about what you focus on in order to be opposed to the current management of the England men's Test side!

Take the shortlist that Shemilt published. Potts and Tongue are very much fast-medium rather than fast. I'd also say that while Atkinson can crank it up he's probably closer to Hazelwood type pace than Starc. They have other skills though. Potts has a terrific wobble ball. Tongue has that in to out angle from getting past the vertical and he can take it away from right-handers. Atkinson has a mean outswinger when he gets it going.

Then from the other names that Key has mentioned. Turner, Fisher and Mahmood are also firmly in the fast-medium but skilled category. Which leaves Carse as the only Overton type potential selection that seems mostly on the speed gun. I don't really see Carse as a Test bowler unless he could do something Wagner-esque with the short ball. I definitely see Carse as potential Plunkett replacement in ODIs but that's a different discussion.

I'd agree with Key that the prevalence of genuine medium pacers with keepers up to the stumps is a waste of time when selecting for Tests. In order for players like Ryan Higgins (who's basically a dream CC signing) to be a threat at Test level, you'd need to play on snake pits that would see games end in 2.5 days when bowlers such as Cummins, Rabada or Bumrah found a length on them.

It seems to me that Key is doing what many of us on here have discussed for a long time. Not least after the latest embarrassment in the Australia. Given we generally have a good home record due to strong seam attacks, let's use more home Tests to blood seamers that add some variety to the stables. It feels like something we've talked about so many times, I'm excited to see how it goes. As you say, it's an overdue look at a new method.

It's just laughable to me to use it as evidence of Bazball hastening of the "demise" (I genuinely laughed out loud at that choice of word by the way  Hug ) for a 41-year-old who averaged 85 last summer. It's also apparently the end of Woakes, who was spell binding last summer in the same 'Bazball conditions' and expected to play a central role this summer. Even if Jimmy hadn't been so terrible in the Ashes, it would still feel hilarious to talk about hastening the demise of a 41-year-old seamer. A bit like saying that a 102-year-old relative has passed away unexpectedly.

I almost want Worrall to play in Oz just for the media implosion from some of their pundits. It could be a PR masterstroke for England to take him in the squad even if he's nowhere near making an XI. Just use him to distract all the flack from the Australian tabloids.

The difference being that Jimmy has long been excellent, while Moeen has long been garbage, so we could forgive Jimmy the odd transgression. Not just chuck him away after his first bad series in about five years. Plus, you may have missed but I have been very critical of Jimmy recently, and I indicated his time was coming to an end after India, and I wondered if he might retire after this winter anyway.

Potato, tomato. Pace to me is 85mph and up (because I'm English). England generally focuses on bowlers in the low 80s, with the odd exciting option who bounds in at 90mph plus. This is definitely an upgrade in pace to that consistent 85mph+ bracket, even if you'd rather refer to it as 'slightly quicker'. I'm not very selective about what I focus on, I give everything a thorough appraisal.

Bazball did indeed hasten Jimmy's demise. I have no doubt he could have played a full part this summer and next summer, maybe missing out the winters (definitely Australia, probably Pakistan, maybe NZ), but Bazball has declared it not so. It may seem strange to say it about a 41 year old, but he's as fit as ever and could have probably maintained it for another few years, such is the exceptional care and effort he puts in.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue May 14, 2024 1:26 pm

Pal Joey wrote:
alfie wrote:
Any others I've missed ?  Might be fun seeing how things play out ...

No, you've covered most of them, alfie.

Except for DJ Worrall of course... but you probably don't read the tabloids any more, or do you? Smile

D J (aka Dan or Frankie) Worrall. More tonight.

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Post by GSC Tue May 14, 2024 3:42 pm

I'm not sure you can really attribute bazball to a team deciding to move on from a 41 year old who does finally seem to be declining, in favour of using (on paper) easier series to blood younger players ahead of upcoming harder tests.

That seems more in line with general thinking
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed May 15, 2024 9:54 am

GSC wrote:I'm not sure you can really attribute bazball to a team deciding to move on from a 41 year old who does finally seem to be declining, in favour of using (on paper) easier series to blood younger players ahead of upcoming harder tests.

That seems more in line with general thinking

Yeah I agree - it's a shame, and I think I would personally be in favour of just gradually phasing him out, but at least this way he does get a proper farewell test where the public can come along and show their appreciation, rather than finding out after the fact that was his last game.

If we're building towards India at home and Aus away in 12-18 months (which I think seems to be the logical case...), this summer represents a good opportunity to blood the next cabs off the rank.

Speaking of next cabs off the rank...Jamie Smith impressing yet again with the bat this week. I wonder how close to a call up he is
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Post by guildfordbat Wed May 15, 2024 10:56 am

guildfordbat wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
alfie wrote:
Any others I've missed ?  Might be fun seeing how things play out ...

No, you've covered most of them, alfie.

Except for DJ Worrall of course... but you probably don't read the tabloids any more, or do you? Smile

D J (aka Dan or Frankie) Worrall. More tonight.

Dan (also known as Frankie or Sir Frank after the late West Indian great) signed for Surrey from Gloucs at the end of the 2021 season. Going by their comments at the Oval when Gloucs played Surrey (Worrall wasn't playing) circa September 2021 and his imminent signing had already been announced, some of their supporters weren't sorry to see him go. Too often injured and/or not keen to play was their view. Have to say I had similar feelings and feared we had been sold a pup. However, a total transformation for me since then. Surrey's leading Championship wicket taker in 2022 and 2023 as we won the title both years, twice earning him my vote as Player of the Season (even ahead of Jamie Smith, PJ Wink ).

He qualifies for England at the start of the 2025 season and will be 34 midway through that season. A bit old for a usual Test debutant but I wonder how much that matters as the Ashes appear to be the Holy Grail. He's not as fast as some but still has a bit of nip and swings the ball to good effect either bringing it in on the stumps or leaving it out there for an edge to keeper or slips. Usually reliable and dependable whether bowling at opening batters or the tail. He's not a sophisticated batter but is a handy biffer who can make good and annoying runs at number 10.

Unlike his Surrey team mate and definite England contender Atkinson, for example, who is still learning his trade, Frankie knows his game.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed May 15, 2024 11:20 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:..
,,,.

Speaking of next cabs off the rank...Jamie Smith impressing yet again with the bat this week. I wonder how close to a call up he is

He's not far off but the top 6 seems settled upon. Barring injury to one of those, the most likely opening for Smith would be as number 7 keeper replacing Foakes. There's increasing speculation about that happening although I wouldn't be keen on it. Not because I want to keep Foakes in the Test side (I don't) but because I would prefer Smith to solely concentrate on his batting and develop that huge talent further.

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Post by Duty281 Wed May 15, 2024 3:53 pm

Stokes will be playing county cricket this week. It's his first competitive action since the India tour, where his form tailed off in concerning fashion.

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Post by dummy_half Wed May 15, 2024 4:14 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:..
,,,.

Speaking of next cabs off the rank...Jamie Smith impressing yet again with the bat this week. I wonder how close to a call up he is

He's not far off but the top 6 seems settled upon. Barring injury to one of those, the most likely opening for Smith would be as number 7 keeper replacing Foakes. There's increasing speculation about that happening although I wouldn't be keen on it. Not because I want to keep Foakes in the Test side (I don't) but because I would prefer Smith to solely concentrate on his batting and develop that huge talent further.

So if not Foakes, who would you want in the side? Has to be someone capable of batting 7 at the moment, as I can't see us going with only 4 bowlers including Stokes and none of the other bowlers are capable enough with the bat to be higher than 8. Presumably not YJB, who must now be either batter only or dropped.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed May 15, 2024 9:28 pm

dummy_half wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:..
,,,.

Speaking of next cabs off the rank...Jamie Smith impressing yet again with the bat this week. I wonder how close to a call up he is

He's not far off but the top 6 seems settled upon. Barring injury to one of those, the most likely opening for Smith would be as number 7 keeper replacing Foakes. There's increasing speculation about that happening although I wouldn't be keen on it. Not because I want to keep Foakes in the Test side (I don't) but because I would prefer Smith to solely concentrate on his batting and develop that huge talent further.

So if not Foakes, who would you want in the side? Has to be someone capable of batting 7 at the moment, as I can't see us going with only 4 bowlers including Stokes and none of the other bowlers are capable enough with the bat to be higher than 8. Presumably not YJB, who must now be either batter only or dropped.

Agreed, has to be someone capable of batting 7. That's essential and Foakes has long shown an inability to do so. His Test batting average is now under 30 and if you disregard his successful debut series in Sri Lanka (not unreasonable imo as it was as far back as 2018) it drops further to under 25. Whilst he's a correct, classical batsman he lacks the versatility to up the run rate and is incapable of batting with the tail. At Test and county level, he's regularly the junior partner in any stand. Batting at 7 with an ordinary or weak tail considerably lessens the chances of him featuring in a meaningful partnership.

I'm confident this is mainly why Key has referred to the top 6 being settled but not extended it to the top 7 and, as you can tell from the above comments, I agree with him. I'm pretty sure his ECB scouts are currently looking for other options. They would be better people to ask than me as they see a lot more cricket but I would expect Phil Salt and the other Ollie Robinson to come into the mix. [Jamie Smith is also there although I'm not keen as posted earlier.] I also wouldn't exclude Bairstow IF he can show a return to form and fitness behind the stumps. There's no need to rush to a decision now. However, we do need to be actively looking for someone more suitable than Foakes.

Ok, if it turns out there isn't a better all round package than Foakes, keep him. However, imo you're whistling in the dark if you think that isn't a weakness in the side.

And just to add - whilst his glovework is extremely good and clean, Foakes is a liability to his Test captain and bowlers when it comes to the use of reviews which is increasingly such an important part of international cricket. Personality and character issue.

None of this should be new. Well covered on related threads - especially by Olly - in recent months.


Last edited by guildfordbat on Wed May 15, 2024 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Post by guildfordbat Wed May 15, 2024 10:01 pm

Duty281 wrote:Stokes will be playing county cricket this week. It's his first competitive action since the India tour, where his form tailed off in concerning fashion.

Hold the back page -
England captain plays county game!

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Post by guildfordbat Wed May 15, 2024 10:10 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Saw Jofra was playing a club game in West Indies on Saturday - poor folk turning up to have him bowl at you on your weekend game!

Great to see him back in an England squad - hope he can stay fit.

...

I don't know if he's even back from the West Indies yet but Jofra was being spoken of last week as turning out for Sussex in at least part of their current seconds game against Kent at Beckenham. He hasn't played there as yet but two days still to go. We'll soon find out ...

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Post by king_carlos Wed May 15, 2024 10:12 pm

alfie wrote:I note KC's quotes of Anderson's Ashes figures as a sign that he was all but done ; but suggest that this may have been just a little misleading. Usman Khawaja (who did get some up front experience in that series) recently opined in an Australian piece that he felt Jimmy was actually a lot better than his (admittedly horrible!) figures suggest. As he pointed out , he himself should have been out to Anderson several times but for fielding errors ; and he reckoned that Jimmy was both unlucky and economical as ever for most of the series. Interesting.

Also note the Indian tour once again showed Anderson's value , even in unhospitable conditions.  I for one believe Jimmy could have certainly done a job this summer - and probably been of service on forthcoming tours later in the year , provided his fitness held up.

I've felt for a while that Jimmy has shifted his length back as he's got that bit slower. He's often seemed to beat the bat in recent years without 'luck'. Having watched it happen so much, at a conservative length, I've increasingly come to wonder if the combination of being a bit slower and bowling a bit shorter means that the best batters are simply able to react more.

The very well known second innings stats aren't a new thing either and are unavoidably an issue. He's been averaging 1 wicket in the 2nd innings for 5 years now. The average has been getting worse in the 2nd innings as well.

I absolutely agree that the ability to bowl so economically overseas is extremely useful in certain conditions. Even given the high strike rate that has often come with it in the last few years. I argued many times during his peak that Jimmy has been underrated as an away bowler. His record in India is phenomenal. Would he want to go to Pakistan at 42 on the flattest decks you'll see though? As that seems the only tour on the horizon suited to the sub 2 RPO but higher SR style bowling.

Overall, I just feel that it's the right time. There are other seamers that I think warrant looking at, whilst there has clearly been a decline from his best.

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Post by king_carlos Wed May 15, 2024 10:18 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
GSC wrote:I'm not sure you can really attribute bazball to a team deciding to move on from a 41 year old who does finally seem to be declining, in favour of using (on paper) easier series to blood younger players ahead of upcoming harder tests.

That seems more in line with general thinking

Yeah I agree - it's a shame, and I think I would personally be in favour of just gradually phasing him out, but at least this way he does get a proper farewell test where the public can come along and show their appreciation, rather than finding out after the fact that was his last game.

If we're building towards India at home and Aus away in 12-18 months (which I think seems to be the logical case...), this summer represents a good opportunity to blood the next cabs off the rank.

Speaking of next cabs off the rank...Jamie Smith impressing yet again with the bat this week. I wonder how close to a call up he is

I know Guildford disagrees, but I really like the idea of looking at Smith as a keeper-batter in seaming conditions. In England, Oz, NZ and SA we wont generally see English keepers up to the stumps that much. Smith just looks an outstanding batting talent to me. Particularly playing seam and pace. Which meshes well with using him as keeper in those sorts of conditions.

1.Crawley 2.Duckett 3.Pope 4.Root 5.Brook 6.Stokes 7.Smith

That looks like a very dangerous top 7. I still think that Pope and Stokes might be better off switching spots! Given England's issues with batters outside Root for so long, a top 7 such as that would be very exciting.

If you need a specialist keeper for spinning conditions, then Foakes (or others such as the Ollie Robinson with an adults brain) are there if required. I've long been an advocate of more horses for courses selection like that though. We pick more spin bowlers in spinning condition. So why not pick batters and keepers who are more suited to playing spin?

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Post by guildfordbat Wed May 15, 2024 11:52 pm

Carlos - I don't agree but I can still understand and like your post. I do get the impression that the wind is blowing in Smith's direction.

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Post by king_carlos Thu May 16, 2024 12:05 am

Guildford - At least Smith as a like for like replacement for Bairstow is less ludicrous than my Stokes to 3, Smith at 6, Pope at 7 with the gloves thought. Which is somewhat tongue in cheek, as I know it's not happening. Jokes aside, I do just think Pope is a natural keeper from what little I've seen. Being tiny does help with it somewhat, but his hands are fantastic, reactions are lightning fast, his footwork is pretty darn good.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu May 16, 2024 8:49 am

guildfordbat wrote:
dummy_half wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:..
,,,.

Speaking of next cabs off the rank...Jamie Smith impressing yet again with the bat this week. I wonder how close to a call up he is

He's not far off but the top 6 seems settled upon. Barring injury to one of those, the most likely opening for Smith would be as number 7 keeper replacing Foakes. There's increasing speculation about that happening although I wouldn't be keen on it. Not because I want to keep Foakes in the Test side (I don't) but because I would prefer Smith to solely concentrate on his batting and develop that huge talent further.

So if not Foakes, who would you want in the side? Has to be someone capable of batting 7 at the moment, as I can't see us going with only 4 bowlers including Stokes and none of the other bowlers are capable enough with the bat to be higher than 8. Presumably not YJB, who must now be either batter only or dropped.

Agreed, has to be someone capable of batting 7. That's essential and Foakes has long shown an inability to do so. His Test batting average is now under 30 and if you disregard his successful debut series in Sri Lanka (not unreasonable imo as it was as far back as 2018) it drops further to under 25. Whilst he's a correct, classical batsman he lacks the versatility to up the run rate and is incapable of batting with the tail. At Test and county level, he's regularly the junior partner in any stand. Batting at 7 with an ordinary or weak tail considerably lessens the chances of him featuring in a meaningful partnership.

I'm confident this is mainly why Key has referred to the top 6 being settled but not extended it to the top 7 and, as you can tell from the above comments, I agree with him. I'm pretty sure his ECB scouts are currently looking for other options. They would be better people to ask than me as they see a lot more cricket but I would expect Phil Salt and the other Ollie Robinson to come into the mix. [Jamie Smith is also there although I'm not keen as posted earlier.] I also wouldn't exclude Bairstow IF he can show a return to form and fitness behind the stumps. There's no need to rush to a decision now. However, we do need to be actively looking for someone more suitable than Foakes.

Ok, if it turns out there isn't a better all round package than Foakes, keep him. However, imo you're whistling in the dark if you think that isn't a weakness in the side.

And just to add - whilst his glovework is extremely good and clean, Foakes is a liability to his Test captain and bowlers when it comes to the use of reviews which is increasingly such an important part of international cricket. Personality and character issue.

None of this should be new. Well covered on related threads - especially by Olly - in recent months.

I think the other Ollie Robinson is very much on the radar too - he had a good start to the season, and from everything I've read is an excellent gloveman too (Smith I think we would both describe as an adequate keeper, not exceptional).

I think you are right re: Foakes, which we've been over many many times on this forum. I do think it would send a bit of a weird signal to be phasing out Jimmy with a view to finding bowlers for future tours vs India/Aus in 12-18 months, yet keeping one of Foakes and/or Bairstow with the gloves...especially when there does seem to be more obvious young talent coming through in that area of selection. You'd like a keeper to get 10-12 or so and 12-18 months of being in the test arena under their belt before those tours, which is similar to the philosophy they seem to be employing with the seamers...not sure I'd understand them keeping on Foakes/Bairstow with the Jimmy news tbh.
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Post by VTR Thu May 16, 2024 12:41 pm

If the Surrey mafia aren't keen on Foakes then England really should move on. Or is this an attempt to keep him in the CC as they bid for another title Very Happy

Joking aside, I agree on all that, he hasn't really taken the chances offered to him and does seem to lack confidence. Likely to now go the same way as Chris Read with England looking for someone who can counter attack from number 7

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Post by guildfordbat Thu May 16, 2024 4:17 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Saw Jofra was playing a club game in West Indies on Saturday - poor folk turning up to have him bowl at you on your weekend game!

Great to see him back in an England squad - hope he can stay fit.

...

I don't know if he's even back from the West Indies yet but Jofra was being spoken of last week as turning out for Sussex in at least part of their current seconds game against Kent at Beckenham. He hasn't played there as yet but two days still to go. We'll soon find out ...

Yep, Jofra's back! NV Play report one of the Sussex players has been substituted for him today. Not yet involved in the game with Sussex and other of their players batting.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu May 16, 2024 4:46 pm

VTR wrote:If the Surrey mafia aren't keen on Foakes then England really should move on. Or is this an attempt to keep him in the CC as they bid for another title Very Happy

Joking aside, I agree on all that, he hasn't really taken the chances offered to him and does seem to lack confidence. Likely to now go the same way as Chris Read with England looking for someone who can counter attack from number 7

Ha! I like your comments and usual good humour, VTR.

Also joking aside, Foakes is a very valuable player for Surrey. His main weaknesses which I flagged don't tend to apply there. Reviews aren't a part of Championship cricket. Furthermore, he regularly bats at number 5 for Surrey and so can usually go at his own pace and perform the role of junior batter in a partnership with a more dominant batter unlike with England where he's further down the order and often left with the tail which does him and them no favours.

Interestingly (or not), Surrey have chosen to keep Foakes at 5 this season whilst Lawrence who signed to boost his England chances has to make do with number 6.

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Post by Duty281 Thu May 16, 2024 5:48 pm

Josh Tongue will miss at least the West Indies series, and possibly the Sri Lankan one as well, after suffering a setback in his injury recovery.

He hasn't played any competitive cricket since August last year.

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Post by king_carlos Thu May 16, 2024 6:12 pm

Such a shame for Tongue. He impressed in that Lords Ashes Test. A bit of extra pace along with better control of the wobble seam than I was honestly expecting. Then that out to in angle clearly bothered some very good players. Khawaja looked the best batter across that series by a distance and he just left a straight one from a complete misjudgement of that angle. Marnus was completely squared up by it as well. I still feel he should've played more than that 2nd Test in the series.

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Post by king_carlos Thu May 16, 2024 6:21 pm

alfie wrote:Have seen a few comments in the media re Pennington who is a new one to me - would be interested to hear from anyone who has seen a bit of him ?

I've been keeping an eye on Pennington since George Dobell (usually well informed) mentioned him a bit back.

There's a lot to like that you sometimes don't see from English seamers. He's in the fast-medium bracket rather than medium to medium-fast. He's also tall. Whilst still being good at getting the ball to move off the pitch.

The thing I like most is that he seems to be able to sit on a full length for such a tall bowler - a bit reminiscent of Broad there. I've often felt that some taller England seamers are very reliant on the ball moving to bowl a fuller length. When it stops moving, it just gets a bit 'floaty' when some tall bowlers pitch it full. Craig Overton certainly felt like that to me. Robinson at his best is a very tall bowler who could keep bowling full. At the sad 74mph type nonsense he's bowled more recently, he is another who just looked like he was offering throw downs when he pitched it full enough to hit the stumps. Whereas Pennington seems to have that bit of pace to bowl a fuller length without that happening.

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