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Thread: Dire Times Ahead For England

  1. #31
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Langeveldt
    By doing what? Scoring loads of runs in England colours?
    By doing enough to earn a recall and being criticized after 6 Tests upon his recall. Really, has he been that bad? Sri Lanka isn't an amazing place to start or restart your Test career v Murali.

    From all reports his 'keeping has been very good. What has Geraint Jones done in his half-a-season to suggest he's better than Read?
    Sreesanth said, "Next ball he was beaten and I said, 'is this the King Charles Lara? Who is this impostor, moving around nervously? I should have kept my mouth shut for the next ball - mind you, it was a length ball - Lara just pulled it over the church beyond the boundary! He is a true legend."

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  2. #32
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Read - better 'keeper then batsman perhaps
    G.Jones - better batsman then 'keeper.

    It will depend on what sorto f player the England selectors want. So far they think they want a 'kkeper who's main strength is his 'keeping.
    Beware the lollipop of mediocrity. Lick once and you suck forever...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boobidy View Post
    Bradman never had to face quicks like Sharma and Irfan Pathan. He wouldn't of lasted a ball against those 2, not to mention a spinner like Sehwag.

  3. #33
    International Debutant iamdavid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    Even though he bats at 7 usually for Kent?

    Him at 7 following Flintoff may be more solid though (with Giles at 8)



    Interesting call. As a Warwickshire fan, and one who first saw Wagh at the age of about 14 (incidentally on a day when Aus hit 600+ for 4 into the 3rd morning of the Test, how times have changed!) I may be a bit biased, but I do think he is an option (also bowls a bit of off spin)
    I got to bowl to him in the nets in 2001 , he was sick of the bowling machine so he invited all the kids who were watching to come & bowl at him .

    He didnt have a great 2002 but this year was superb , also none of the blatant technical flaws which were evident in Smith or McGrath.
    His off spin is handy to fill in a few overs as you point out , in fact I recall him taking a seven-for this year , he's probably in the same class as Vaughan as far as bowling is concerned.

    Just needs to keep making the runs & hopefully when a spot opens up he is the man they turn to.

    On the matter of Butcher I agree with Richard , always been a big fan of his , he was easily Englands best batsman against South Africa IMO , he is all class & Ive seen him make facing some very good bowlers in very tricky conditions look very easy.
    He will get out softly alot as he is not the greatest concentrator , however he has the talent & you cant really argue with his numbers in the last 2 years.
    Why on Earth do they feild him in the slips though , he's got to be the worst slipper I've ever seen , if I had a dollar for every catch he's had a mess of then I'd be a lot richer than I am now.

  4. #34
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by vishnureddy
    I don't think this tour is an indicator of their overall ability. Most teams nowadays are struggling in SRL on those spinning pitches and English batsman aren't the best against spin. They will be back to their best against West Indies with their bowling attack. I thought Crawley was unlucky too . They need to bring in Collingwood as a batsman in at 6. The pace bowling worries me . They all need helpful conditions to bowl well on except for maybe Harmison and Flintoff.
    Harmison and Flintoff cannot bowl well!
    Harmison has got wickets only when the batting has been poor: 9 in 1 Test against Bangladesh and 9(?) in 2 Tests against Zimbabwe, neither of whom have very many batsmen you would expect to play well at Test level. His only impressive spells against batsmen who tend to do particularly well are 3 for 55 against India, 4 for 33 against South Africa (both in 1 innings) and 6 for 156 in 3 innings at the end of The Ashes 2002\03. None of them contained any good bowling anyway, but they are odd-outs in the general pattern of being played competently and being exposed as palpably substandard.
    As far as Flintoff goes: has there ever been a worse bowler whose ability continues to be believed in? He simply cannot bowl wicket-taking deliveries, and not very often have batsmen played poor strokes against him. Fortunately, when they have, plenty of the catches have been dropped. Contrary to popular thinking, these dropped catches actually improve the accuracy of his record, not disfigure it. Because a bowler doesnít deserve any credit for a poor stroke.
    Crawley was very unlucky to be dropped when he was but he hardly did himself any favours in 2003, his First-Class form was very poor. Collingwood has played reasonably well in 3 of his 4 Test innings, but has yet to show that he can make Test-match half-centuries, a basic requirement in a Test batsman. We canít start to make a fair judgement until heís played a couple more Tests, but at present there are players who have earned a spot more than him.
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  5. #35
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JohnnyA
    I wasn't really talking about this tour. If England can get their best bowlers on the field and 100% fit, they will always have a chance. But that's not the problem IMO. The batting is the problem, and the fact that we have holes (or imminent holes) at 3, 4, 5 & 6, not even to mention the wicket keeper ... and no obvious replacements for even one of those slots.

    If ever there was an advertisment for the radical restructuring of English cricket, that would be it - we can't even find 6 deserving batsmen to fill the top 6

    England would be hoping to build their fast bowling battery around Harmison, Jones, Flintoff. None I would say require helpful conditions, although I'm sure they'd prefer it. Hoggard, Anderson and the rest are a different story. Hoggard is a waste of space IMO. Anderson's run up problems have lost him his swing and his pace. At 21 years of age, he should be at home working with the coaches every day of the week ... another 81 mph bowler with no movement is not the answer. Kirtley is OK, Johnson is less than OK on his recent showings.
    There really is no such thing as favourable conditions for Harmison, Jones and Flintoff. None are swing-bowlers, none are especially good seam-bowlers. None will get very many wickets without poor batting. Hopefully all will go to West Indies and be exposed. Even then, thereíll almost certainly be some excuse.
    As far as Hoggard and Anderson are concerned, Iíd much prefer have both in proper English conditions (if we ever see them again). However on wickets that donít offer seam and when conditions donít favour swing (and West Indies isnít traditionally the easiest place to make a cricket ball swing) neither are very good. Both have so far been exposed for the most part in their Test-careers.
    Kirtley isnít much of a bowler when thereís no seam and swing, either, and heís not the most accurate in The World, either. More accurate than some, but not as accurate as Caddick and the like.
    Johnson is for me better than all the above. Accurate, and even if he doesnít have the ability to bowl wicket-taking balls in unfavourable conditions, he certainly does in favourable ones.
    My ideal attack for the New Zealand series (forget West Indies; some more bowlers have to be exposed before this comes to pass) would be Caddick, Johnson, Saggers, White (yes, I still hope to see him back and bowling again).
    Not forgetting Martin Bicknell, who is deadly with a new-ball almost anywhere, totally innocuous with an older one. Still a better bowler than Harmison, Jones, Flintoff, Anderson or anyone like that.

  6. #36
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Langeveldt
    I think the Batting is in good hands at the moment, but if all the new guys who come through keep failing, then who is going to take over from the likes of Thorpe? Surely its no coincidence that guys like Smith, Troughton, Solanki, Key, McGrath etc have all done sod all?
    Troughton and Solanki have yet to play Test-cricket. Donít judge them on ODIs Ė neither should have been picked for them. The failures of Smith and Key at international level is slightly worrying as both have done well in domestic cricket in the last few years. However Smith has only played 5 innings, and Key only 3 in his proper position. How many times must England pick openers in the middle-order; itís a complete waste of time.

  7. #37
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    Even though he bats at 7 usually for Kent?

    Him at 7 following Flintoff may be more solid though (with Giles at 8)
    If you really think Flintoff is a better batsman than Geirant Jones, youíre seriously deluding yourself.

  8. #38
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mr Mxyzptlk
    Because Read has proven himself a solid option for several seasons and Geraint Jones has not?
    Read batted well in 2002 in First-Class-cricket but he had a poor 2003 compared to that. Jones has only had one good season, too, but for a part of 2003 he was averaging very nearly 60.
    I am always one to say donít rush a player in after just one good season, but with the hounding-out of Stewart weíre left with little choice. Jones is for me the only viable option. And Read has now been proven, fairly conclusively, not to be up to the standards of Test-cricket.
    And for me wicketkeeping is not an issue. Itís similar to the Russell\Stewart situation: Russell (Read) brilliant, Stewart (Jones) more than acceptable. Just because Stewart and Jones would make the side as batsmen alone (and if you ask me Jones is good enough for this to apply) people seem to have this bizarre mind-block that they canít be good enough wicketkeepers. Sorry, that donít apply.
    If Read had had a good 2003 (ie averaged 35+) I would be defending him and saying he had to get a couple more chances, but he didnít. It would be a small risk to rush Jones, but really itís almost a no-option situation.

  9. #39
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by halsey
    So both of them have averaged in the mid to late 40's for a considerable time now, and have just been lucky? Yes, lucky if they've played 5 tests, not lucky if played 30 to 40. The luck will even itself out over that period of time.
    Itís a popular belief and in some cases itís totally untrue. Most batsmen have slightly more good luck than bad over a career; some (like Trescothick) have much more good luck. Even in The Ashes and the first 4 South Africa Tests, he was still getting luck, just fortunately it wasnít resulting in undeserved big scores.
    As for Vaughan, I can give you an exact breakdown if you like:
    115 v SL, Lords: dropped on 28 and 33 by Jayasuriya at second-slip.
    100 v Ind, Lordís: dropped by Ratra on 50, caught-behind on 77 and given not-out, lbw on 89 and given not-out, should have been caught on 97 by any other fielder than Ganguly.
    197 v Ind, Trent Bridge: dropped by Patel on 19.
    Even in a 55 against India at Headingley, he still managed to get dropped twice in 2 balls, before giving yet another chance shortly after and it being taken.
    177 v Aus, Adelaide Oval: caught at cover on 19, given not-out by a gutless third-Umpire.
    As I say, Vaughan himself, to his credit, admitted to his luck, so to deny it is rather silly.
    He had lots of luck in a short period of time; other than that, there hasnít been much. He played 3 good innings in that time, too, at The Oval (195), MCG (146?) and SCG (187). However, since the start of the 2003 season his luck has dried-up. He has made 2 centuries (Edgbaston v SA; Kandy v SL) and a half-century (Kandy v SL) but his average, excluding the Bangladesh games, is poor.
    IMO he would do far better, with his style of play, in the middle-order.

  10. #40
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    You cannot knock out innings just because they don't suit your theory - how many times will you try and do it?
    I will do it as many times as I wish Ė I do not do it because they donít suit my theory, I do it because to do it produces the theory. The theory fits the data, not the other way around.
    As to the actual acts: surely you cannot possibly argue that runs against Bangladesh count for much, so the basic point is that the only time he has made some decent Test runs his last 15 matches and 27 innings is at The Oval. My point is that this game in an anomaly in the trend of failure.
    If you wish to use generalisation and invalid data (the Bangladesh games) to blur the picture thatís up to you but the logical view is that Trescothick has only had one good game in his last 15 against proper Test opposition (and I do count Zimbabwe as such as far as opposition batsmen are concerned, because the conditions helped the bowlers a lot).

  11. #41
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    For crying out loud - he was far and away England's best fast bowler in the recent series, and his average and Eco were superb.

    He has been an incredibly unlucky bowler in the past year, as many experts have commented.

    Credit where credit is due.
    ďExpertsĒ have an incorrect definition of luck, you know that. Bad luck is missing-out on wickets which would have come from good balls. Having an innocuous delivery outside off cut to cover and dropped is, if you like, poetic justice, for the bowler at least. For the batsman itís lucky, because heís done something that under normal circumstances would result in his dismissal, but for the bowler itís just exactly the same result in the scorebook as if the ball had been let go to the Ďkeeper.
    In the recent series these wickets and chances came off his bowling:
    A Long-Hop gloved to the Ďkeeper down the leg-side.
    Another Long-Hop, top-edged to the Ďkeeper.
    An lbw decision given to a ball that was not hitting the stumps.
    A tail-ender played a poor shot, edging a ball that a top-order batsman would have left, to slip.
    A fairly innocuous short-ball, which the batsman somehow managed to glove to slip.
    A Long-Hop pulled straight to long-leg.
    A full, straight ball which a batsman looking for quick runs missed.
    A good, away-swinging delivery, edged to slip. Justice was done to all as the catch was taken.
    An innocuous delivery outside off, back-foot drive attempted, edged to Trescothick. Justice done to the bowler as the catch was grassed.
    An innocuous short-ball, which could have been ducked easily, hooked to long-leg, justice done as the chance put-down.
    Yet another Long-Hop pulled straight to deep-backward-square-leg.
    Seeing a pattern? Of course you wonít set any stall by it, because you believe that just by bowling economically a bowler deserves every wicket he gets, but the pattern is undeniably there Ė most chances come with short balls (6 out of 10, given that the Chandana lbw was not a chance). 1 wicket in the series was through good bowling Ė Jayasuriya with a well-pitched away-swinger.
    His economy-rate was very good indeed, no denying that, heís a very accurate bowler, but in Test-cricket you need more than just accuracy.

  12. #42
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    So good that he bats at 7 for his County Side?

    I believe that was below Ealham, who never looked anything better than a number 8 (7 at a big push) for England.

    And you think he could bat 6 in Tests? OK...
    Just because Kent have enough good batsmen (Fulton, Key, Smith, Symonds, Walker) to bat him at seven when he could perfectly easily be batting three or four for a weaker batting side doesnít take anything away from the runs heís scored. Anyway, I canít believe heíll bat below Ealham next season, if he hasnít broken into the England side.

  13. #43
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Originally posted by halsey
    Erm, no he hasn't. You've got it wrong. Remember his 161 against Sri Lanka in 2002? There are probably many more-just can't remember them
    In that 161 he was absolutely plumb lbw to Charitha Buddhika Fernando on 27. Decent Umpiring and heíd have made no more than 27. Simple as. Played well for a 134 after that, no denying that.
    If you want, I can even go through Trescothickís Test-career and his luck:
    66 in 1st Test innings (Old Trafford); dropped at square-leg on 3.
    71 in 4th innings (The Oval); dropped at slip on 7.
    Century and half-century at Galle; dropped 3 times in first-innings, once in second-innings.
    66 v India at Mohali, first-innings; absolutely plumb lbw to Kumble on 24, for some reason Bucknor gave it not-out.
    99 v India at Motera, first-innings; again, absolutely plumb to Kumble on 36, not given by that idiot Robinson.
    76 v SL, Lordís, second-innings; lbw on 44, not given.
    161 v SL, Edgbaston, already mentioned.
    80-odd v SL, Old Trafford, first-innings; dropped twice in 2 balls, 64 and 66.
    23* v SL, second-innings, dropped at deep-backward-square on 22.
    72 v Aus, ĎGabba; dropped in the gully on 1.
    31 vs SA, Edgbaston, first-innings; dropped at first-slip on 0.
    52* v SA, second-innings; dropped at first-slip on 51.
    68* v SA, The Oval, second-innings, dropped at first-slip on 1.
    Single-figures against SA at Lordís; still managed to get dropped.
    See? Heís been lucky on many occasions. In 2001 he had no luck all season and scored 3 fifties and a hundred; he got one chanceless fifty each in the seriesí in Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka (2003\04, not 2000\01); he got twin fifties chancelessly at The Oval against India; and of course the 217 in the first-innings at The Oval.
    Now Iíve lost count of his first-chance average, but I can tell you for certain itís far lower than the scorebook one, especially if you exclude the Bangladesh games.
    Basically Trescothickís flaws have been exposed and, for the best part of the last year-and-a-bit, decent bowlers have exploited them (Bangladesh havenít, not surprisingly). Trescothickís First-Class average is anything but impressive. We can only now wait until the West Indies tour. While runs are flowing against his name, no case can be made for his exclusion, thatís all Iíll say.

  14. #44
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Regarding the future of English batsmanship, a few comments:
    First and foremost, Anthony McGrathís name has been mentioned several times. WHY? He was mistakenly selected for 4 Tests, and while his batting average is over 40 and his bowling average under 20, I still hope he never plays Test-cricket again. His First-Class average is just over 30, heís our captain, and basically Iíd much prefer see him making a few runs for us than failing for England. Heís not even young; letís just leave his name out of these discussions as we do of the less recent selection mistakes like Afzaal, Maddy and Adams, all selected for Test-cricket when their First-Class records advised otherwise.
    People have branded Kent batsmen Key and Smith failures. Smith has played 5 innings, which is something approaching a fair go but not yet a complete one, not for someone with a First-Class average of 40. As for Key, heís played 3 innings in his proper position. Donít judge an opener on his failures in the middle-order. Heís averaged over 40 in each of the last 3 seasons, just like Smith. Donít write him off just yet, but donít pick him in the middle-order either.
    Some batsmen I believe are good prospects for England (NOT saying these are the only ones):
    Strauss - FC ave over 40.
    Key Ė domestic FC ave over 40 for each of last 3 seasons.
    Solanki Ė good FC ave, disappointing last season, confident he can pick it up.
    Shah Ė always had a good FC ave, just never been in the right place at the right time.
    Bell Ė poor last 2 seasons, brilliant in 2001, canít have meant nothing.
    Troughton Ė brilliant in 2002, very good for first half of last season, tailed-off.
    Wagh Ė never been brilliant at stringing good seasons together; when heís good heís very good, when heís bad heís horrible.
    Ed Smith Ė FC ave over 40 for each of last 3 seasons (and in 1999), over 60 last season.
    Matthew Wood Ė 1998 good, 1999 terrible, 2000 limited, 2001 very good, 2002 terrible, 2003 very good. Notice a pattern? If he could only string two decent seasons together, heíd be pushing for a place.
    Pietersen Ė minute he is available must surely come into consideration, FC ave superb over last 3 seasons.
    Collingwood Ė FC ave over 40 in 2001 and 2002; limited in 2003. Played a couple of reasonable Test-innings.
    Two vital things that seem often to be forgotten:
    A player can only be selected if a place is available. I presently think Butcher, Hussain and Thorpe should hold down three, four and five, though it would be better if it was Butcher one, Trescothick two, Hussain three, Vaughan four.
    There really is no point picking openers to bat in the middle-order. No-one ever seriously considers picking middle-order players to open, do they (with one notable exception)? So why do it the other way around? In my list there are 3 openers, 1 of whom has already played 10 Test innings as a middle-order batsman and failed miserably.
    Some other important things:
    I never think itís a good idea to pick a batsman who has not made many runs recently (ie if a batsman has a seasonís average of less than 30 I can never condone his selection, even if he has a career average of over 40). However, just to pick a batsman because he is making runs in one season is not a good idea either.
    So many players have been selected for the wrong form of the game recently, not just in Pakistan, but in England too. Afzaal for Tests; Solanki for ODIs; Shah for ODIs; Strauss for ODIs; Collingwood in 2001 was top FC runscorer and selected for ODIs; Troughton for ODIs; Johnson for ODIs.

  15. #45
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Richard
    Just because Stewart and Jones would make the side as batsmen alone (and if you ask me Jones is good enough for this to apply)
    You're not one of the Clarke detractors are you?

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