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Thread: England players and selection discussion thread

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    State Vice-Captain Bijed's Avatar
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    England players and selection discussion thread

    I know stuff like this obviously comes up in the various match threads, but I thought it was worth having a dedicated thread for discussing the various members of the England teams across the various formats in terms of how they're doing, if they're going in the right direction etc. Also seems a good place to discuss selections and potential selections, a la the South African Selection thread.

    Anyway, since it's tests we've got going on at the moment, I'll focus on the test side for now.

    Core Players

    Cook - Probably on the decline, but by no means a spent force yet. I had been hoping that his batting would see a bit of an uptick once he'd relinquished the captaincy, as I thought that last winter it was really starting to drag him down. It hasn't materialised yet, but then of course he's only played 2 tests since, so can't really go drawing any conclusions on this just yet. Still generally better than others we've had in the top 3 recently.

    Root - Conversion obviously a historic problem, ideally the captaincy would provide that mental nudge to get him to buckle down and make it a thing of the past. The 190 was promising in this regard, and though he got out for 70-odd next test, even players with ATG conversion rates get out between 50-100 sometimes. Basically, we'll see - anyway he's still our best batsman by some margin. At the moment, it's probably more relevant how his captaincy shapes up - so far I'd say you can tell he's inexperienced, but he's not looked a fish out of water by any means.

    Bairstow - Batting has dropped off a bit since his golden run a year ago, though he's still making regular contributions. He nearly always looks comfortable and in good touch, so he's not regressed to Bairstow Mk 1, but he is a bit of a Root-lite with regards to getting in then giving his wicket away. I've said it before, but this would ok (not ideal, but acceptable enough) if he was at seven, but if we're seeing him as our number 5 going forward he needs to start making big scores again, or even emulating his captain and getting out for 70-80 rather than 40-50 would be a step in the right direction. I accept that he's got a fair workload batting at 5 (which generally means coming in reasonably early with us) and keeping, which means that this kind of thing is an accepted risk, so it may be that we need to take another look at where he bats. OTOH, his keeping seems to have come on wonderfully, really pleased with him in this regard

    Stokes - Not sure tbh. He's already put in some fantastic performance with bat and ball and won us matches, and I can accept that he's never going to be the champion of consistency, but for all that I'm not convinced he's really moving forwards as a test player. I'm certainly not saying drop him or anything like that, but I am getting a little frustrated with him. Batting - fine, he's a poor starter - lots of good batsmen are. Bowling - I don't expect him to take lots of wickets all the time, but when he's not he doesn't seem to start bowling some pretty poor stuff. Still does great things in the field.

    Moeen - Still plenty of soft dismissals, but actually, given that a year ago it looked like he could well be one game away from being cast off, he turned things around really well. Doesn't excuse the sometimes rubbish ways he gets out in, of course. His bowling might be heading in the right direction too, which would be a huge plus for the team if so. In this regard he seems basically more consistent, but also better at keeping his head when he does send down a bad one or the batsman are going after him.

    Broad - Hasn't been bowling at his best for a few tests, but he's not been awful. Obviously its not ok if this his is level from now on, but I really don't imagine that'd be the case. Batting, aside from the initially scratchy-as-hell but then quite good 57*, he's been as much a rabbit as he has for the past little while a. It's a shame, but Jimmy Adams showed that getting badly hit can permanently mess up much better batsmen than Stu, so I'm not expecting him to become particularly good again. When he's not being exposed though, it'd be nice if he put away some of the crap shots he gets himself out too, but I'm not expecting that to happen either.

    Anderson - Has shown that he can be as excellent as ever, but realistically I think you'd have to be quite the optimist to think that this will be the case for anything longer than a year. I have been wrong about him before though.

    Others

    Jennings
    - Hard to say for me. I think he's definitely got the right temperament, and whilst he's admittedly got out to some very good bowling a times this series, I think it's a legitimate question as to whether he's up to it at test level. His century in India for me shows that he's not a no-hoper. If we stick with him, I can see him doing a job going forward, but not really setting the world on fire.

    Ballance - Whilst I think people can still be prone to being too harsh on him, I think it's now looking pretty established that his test exploits are not going to match those in the County Championship.

    Dawson - Not good enough at either discipline for me. If Moeen hadn't bowled well, I'd probably have looked at giving him another couple of tests, but at the moment I just don't think there's any reason for him to be in the team. I expect we'll see him again.

    Wood - I expected more, basically, and I imagine he has more to offer than we've seen these past couple of weeks. But right now he's terrible and should go.
    Last edited by Bijed; 23-07-2017 at 07:25 AM.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bijed View Post
    Anderson - A shadow of his former self, coasting on his reputation and not at all worth his place anymore imo.
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    State Vice-Captain Bijed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    wash your mouth out
    Tbh I was actually taking the mick out of myself for being wrong on that count in the match thread, but the strike-through formatting didn't seem to survive my submitting the post. I've now deleted that bit for clarity
    Last edited by Bijed; 23-07-2017 at 09:25 AM.

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    I don't think Jennings is up to it. Primarily a defensive player but hasn't once given an impression of lasting permanence this summer. His dismissal in the second innings at TB was a case in point. Left in the pose of a perfect looking forward defensive, but the ball was already through the gate.

    I'm not advocating a return to the bad old chop'n'change days of yore, but the downside of an extended run for a young player not in prime nick is the road back to the test XI is a lot longer when a chap has failed for a series rather than a couple of tests. The names of Vince, Duckett and Lyth all noteably absent from any discussion of possibles at least partly because they all had extended runs and didn't cut it.

    When was the last time a tyro English batsman turned around a run of two or more tests without a serious score to justify the faith shown? Serious question.
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    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    I don't think Jennings is up to it. Primarily a defensive player but hasn't once given an impression of lasting permanence this summer. His dismissal in the second innings at TB was a case in point. Left in the pose of a perfect looking forward defensive, but the ball was already through the gate.

    I'm not advocating a return to the bad old chop'n'change days of yore, but the downside of an extended run for a young player not in prime nick is the road back to the test XI is a lot longer when a chap has failed for a series rather than a couple of tests. The names of Vince, Duckett and Lyth all noteably absent from any discussion of possibles at least partly because they all had extended runs and didn't cut it.

    When was the last time a tyro English batsman turned around a run of two or more tests without a serious score to justify the faith shown? Serious question.
    Bairstow perhaps.

    Anyway, yes, there has to be a mix of persevering and chopping and changing, but in the end if you look and think he's technically or mentally not up to it, you need to move on quickly. We don't seem to have gotten it right ATM, but maybe we just haven't any Test quality bats around.

    There is, and always has been such a noticable difference in level between County and Test cricket it really is an hard one to judge.

    I've always thought Luke Wells looks a Test match player to me. I'd like him on the carousel sometime.
    Last edited by grecian; 23-07-2017 at 08:02 AM.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grecian View Post
    Bairstow perhaps.

    Anyway, yes, there has to be a mix of persevering and chopping and changing, but in the end if you look and think he's technically or mentally not up to it, you need to move on quickly. We don't seem to have gotten it right ATM, but maybe we just haven't any Test quality bats around.

    There is, and always has been such a noticable difference in level between County and Test cricket it really is an hard one to judge.

    I've always thought Luke Wells looks a Test match player to me. I'd like him on the carousel sometime.
    Jonny Red has undoubtedly come good, but has been dropped at least twice for it to happen. Even the skipper was stood down from duty at the arse end of the last Ashes tour.

    Broadly agree though. There's no "one size fits all" magic underpants for every player. Hate to be an old fart, but I do think one often learns a lot more from actually seeing a player too. Given the head coach's apparent disdain for touring the county circuit it does mean he's placing a lot of faith in the selectors and cricinfo scorecards.

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    State Captain ImpatientLime's Avatar
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    reckon these curran boys need to be thrown in sooner rather than later.

    both still works in progress but jeez, they have got the right attitude and temperament for this top level stuff.

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    State Vice-Captain Bijed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    When was the last time a tyro English batsman turned around a run of two or more tests without a serious score to justify the faith shown? Serious question.
    This is proving remarkably difficult to answer. Closest thing I can think of was Collingwood, who was only dropped once before starting his second life shakily, but then came good 3 tests into it
    Last edited by Bijed; 23-07-2017 at 09:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    I don't think Jennings is up to it. Primarily a defensive player but hasn't once given an impression of lasting permanence this summer. His dismissal in the second innings at TB was a case in point. Left in the pose of a perfect looking forward defensive, but the ball was already through the gate.

    I'm not advocating a return to the bad old chop'n'change days of yore, but the downside of an extended run for a young player not in prime nick is the road back to the test XI is a lot longer when a chap has failed for a series rather than a couple of tests. The names of Vince, Duckett and Lyth all noteably absent from any discussion of possibles at least partly because they all had extended runs and didn't cut it.

    When was the last time a tyro English batsman turned around a run of two or more tests without a serious score to justify the faith shown? Serious question.
    I was willing to give Jennings the benefit of the doubt before that second innings dismissal at TB, but it was just so so god damn awful that if he doesn't make a seriously good score or a couple of good scores (think 1 ton or a couple of 50's) in the next 2 games of the series then I'd bin him and get the next lad in, whoever that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImpatientLime View Post
    reckon these curran boys need to be thrown in sooner rather than later.

    both still works in progress but jeez, they have got the right attitude and temperament for this top level stuff.
    If TRJ wasn't already in the squad then I'd be wanting to bin Wood for Tom for the next test, he's 22 it's time to get him in the team before County Cricket ruins him.
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    Gob
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bijed View Post
    I know stuff like this obviously comes up in the various match threads, but I thought it was worth having a dedicated thread for discussing the various members of the England teams across the various formats in terms of how they're doing, if they're going in the right direction etc. Also seems a good place to discuss selections and potential selections, a la the South African Selection thread.

    Anyway, since it's tests we've got going on at the moment, I'll focus on the test side for now.

    Core Players

    Cook - Probably on the decline, but by no means a spent force yet. I had been hoping that his batting would see a bit of an uptick once he'd relinquished the captaincy, as I thought that last winter it was really starting to drag him down. It hasn't materialised yet, but then of course he's only played 2 tests since, so can't really go drawing any conclusions on this just yet. Still generally better than others we've had in the top 3 recently.

    Root - Conversion obviously a historic problem, ideally the captaincy would provide that mental nudge to get him to buckle down and make it a thing of the past. The 190 was promising in this regard, and though he got out for 70-odd next test, even players with ATG conversion rates get out between 50-100 sometimes. Basically, we'll see - anyway he's still our best batsman by some margin. At the moment, it's probably more relevant how his captaincy shapes up - so far I'd say you can tell he's inexperienced, but he's not looked a fish out of water by any means.

    Bairstow - Batting has dropped off a bit since his golden run a year ago, though he's still making regular contributions. He nearly always looks comfortable and in good touch, so he's not regressed to Bairstow Mk 1, but he is a bit of a Root-lite with regards to getting in then giving his wicket away. I've said it before, but this would ok (not ideal, but acceptable enough) if he was at seven, but if we're seeing him as our number 5 going forward he needs to start making big scores again, or even emulating his captain and getting out for 70-80 rather than 40-50 would be a step in the right direction. I accept that he's got a fair workload batting at 5 (which generally means coming in reasonably early with us) and keeping, which means that this kind of thing is an accepted risk, so it may be that we need to take another look at where he bats. OTOH, his keeping seems to have come on wonderfully, really pleased with him in this regard

    Stokes - Not sure tbh. He's already put in some fantastic performance with bat and ball and won us matches, and I can accept that he's never going to be the champion of consistency, but for all that I'm not convinced he's really moving forwards as a test player. I'm certainly not saying drop him or anything like that, but I am getting a little frustrated with him. Batting - fine, he's a poor starter - lots of good batsmen are. Bowling - I don't expect him to take lots of wickets all the time, but when he's not he doesn't seem to start bowling some pretty poor stuff. Still does great things in the field.

    Moeen - Still plenty of soft dismissals, but actually, given that a year ago it looked like he could well be one game away from being cast off, he turned things around really well. Doesn't excuse the sometimes rubbish ways he gets out in, of course. His bowling might be heading in the right direction too, which would be a huge plus for the team if so. In this regard he seems basically more consistent, but also better at keeping his head when he does send down a bad one or the batsman are going after him.

    Broad - Hasn't been bowling at his best for a few tests, but he's not been awful. Obviously its not ok if this his is level from now on, but I really don't imagine that'd be the case. Batting, aside from the initially scratchy-as-hell but then quite good 57*, he's been as much a rabbit as he has for the past little while a. It's a shame, but Jimmy Adams showed that getting badly hit can permanently mess up much better batsmen than Stu, so I'm not expecting him to become particularly good again. When he's not being exposed though, it'd be nice if he put away some of the crap shots he gets himself out too, but I'm not expecting that to happen either.

    Anderson - Has shown that he can be as excellent as ever, but realistically I think you'd have to be quite the optimist to think that this will be the case for anything longer than a year. I have been wrong about him before though.

    Others

    Jennings
    - Hard to say for me. I think he's definitely got the right temperament, and whilst he's admittedly got out to some very good bowling a times this series, I think it's a legitimate question as to whether he's up to it at test level. His century in India for me shows that he's not a no-hoper. If we stick with him, I can see him doing a job going forward, but not really setting the world on fire.

    Ballance - Whilst I think people can still be prone to being too harsh on him, I think it's now looking pretty established that his test exploits are not going to match those in the County Championship.

    Dawson - Not good enough at either discipline for me. If Moeen hadn't bowled well, I'd probably have looked at giving him another couple of tests, but at the moment I just don't think there's any reason for him to be in the team. I expect we'll see him again.

    Wood - I expected more, basically, and I imagine he has more to offer than we've seen these past couple of weeks. But right now he's terrible and should go.
    Interesting to note that after 55 test matches, Brian Lara had 10 centuries under his belt to go with 23 fifties. Were there complaints from people at the time about Lara throwing them away as it is for Root now? I honestly can't recall
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    State Captain ImpatientLime's Avatar
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    lara's 55th test was just before that series v australia in 99. from what i recall, his form going into that series had been really patchy for sometime and he was attracting a lot of criticism.

    the pressure was really mounting as the west indies appeared in terminal decline and he was the one world class player left in his prime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gob View Post
    Interesting to note that after 55 test matches, Brian Lara had 10 centuries under his belt to go with 23 fifties. Were there complaints from people at the time about Lara throwing them away as it is for Root now? I honestly can't recall

    Centuries were rarer in the 90s than they are today. Lara basically had no really good batsmen to bat with often as well during that time. Context matters a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    In the end, I think it's so utterly, incomprehensibly boring. There is so much context behind each innings of cricket that dissecting statistics into these small samples is just worthless. No-one has ever been faced with the same situation in which they come out to bat as someone else. Ever.
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    Cook - Looks a little bit burned out if you ask me. He doesn't look like he's hungry for runs, nor is he giving off too many positive vibes in the field, true class act though and is better than any other options.
    Jennings - Did well on a flat track for that 100 in India but since then hasn't really looked comfortable.
    Ballance - No, no, no, no and no.
    Root - Class act.
    Bairstow - Bats too high in my opinion.
    Stokes - Does some awesome things from time to time but either it's great or it's trash.
    Ali - Same as Stokes, genius at times but looks daft other times.
    Dawson - Kidding me, right?
    Broad - Lost his outswinger and looks down a bit on pace, I don't think he has too much longer.
    Wood - Something just isn't right, his pace is way down.Maybe just LO will be good for him.

    Anderson - I know he cleaned up SA tail and lower order players well, but in perfect conditions he hasn't delivered recently. Will he be a huge threat down under? No, he won't, he wasn't really in his pomp and I feel like someone else could benefit a lot more.

    My advice for England: Find some young players, work on them, stick with them and support them. Find a better coach than Bayliss for test matches, he's kinda naff. England have talent there, I've been told that a lot but you know so do all countries, it's about how you use that talent, England's test record of late is poor, and something clearly needs to change.

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    Gob
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani View Post
    Centuries were rarer in the 90s than they are today.
    Any facts to back this?

    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani View Post
    Lara basically had no really good batsmen to bat with often as well during that time
    Chandrepaul, Hooper, Adams were all decent. Can't be far worse than what Root has to deal with now

    Although this is not about Lara vs Root

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    Its not and FWIW, I think Root has the potential to be up there but I, of course, rate Lara as the greatest batsman I have ever seen. I am just mentioning that centuries were rarer then. You can check the no. of hundreds alone in that decade and you will see what I am saying.

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