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4th thread - who's going to win?

Who will win?


  • Total voters
    39
  • Poll closed .

wpdavid

International Coach
Absolutely no idea. In my time of watching County Cricket has never produced anything other than the occasional strong XI. The 2005 side was a strong side but it was fleeting and there wasn't another group of unlucky players being left out. It just seems at the moment there's an extraordinary lack of quality.
And that's the real worry. The question that should be addressed is why there's been such a decline in the quality of quicks coming through. You could look back as far as the mid-1990's and list 3 or 4 at any time who were capable of turning in decent test match performances. Not world class, but pretty serviceable. That production line seemed to last until a couple of years ago, and now none of us have a clue who should replace Anderson and Broad when they go, or even who should partner them if Wood doesn't end up being good enough.

My pet theory is that things changed when we doubled the number of group games in the 2020 cup, and the whole emphasis of the season seemed to change. One of KP's articles that got posted the other day actually made some pretty telling points about the domestic structure, but they were rather lost in the row over his comments about Ballance in the other article.
 

3703

U19 12th Man
I don't think England ever got particularly good, even in 2010-12. Australia got really, really bad for a while there after the India debacle of 2008, and English cricket has been all about Ashes results. Need only look at Broad's twitter account to get a picture of how the players think. "English cricketer. 3x Ashes winner," - it's tunnel vision. Australia lost to all manner of sides from 2009 through to 2013. You ask players to stop playing their natural game and deny their instincts, you end up with a team that won't give you anything. England put a solid XI together through that time, but that they didn't once beat South Africa or even look like winning a world cup would suggest that they never got particularly strong.

It didn't help having a success-starved UK media. The first hint of consistent cricket and they were falling over themselves lavishing praise upon Flower and his charges. They buzzed as if he had delivered world domination, but when you look back, the self-professed peak identified by Andrew Strauss a few years ago was "being above Australia in all three forms of the game." Nevermind that Australia were mid-table. I'm telling you, they had destination disease.

It's fair to say the county system hasn't produced a dominant side in modern cricket. Mind you neither has India's domestic system - and we can talk for hours about the shortcomings they have can't we?
 

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
I don't think England ever got particularly good, even in 2010-12. Australia got really, really bad for a while there after the India debacle of 2008, and English cricket has been all about Ashes results. Need only look at Broad's twitter account to get a picture of how the players think. "English cricketer. 3x Ashes winner," - it's tunnel vision. Australia lost to all manner of sides from 2009 through to 2013. You ask players to stop playing their natural game and deny their instincts, you end up with a team that won't give you anything. England put a solid XI together through that time, but that they didn't once beat South Africa or even look like winning a world cup would suggest that they never got particularly strong.

It didn't help having a success-starved UK media. The first hint of consistent cricket and they were falling over themselves lavishing praise upon Flower and his charges. They buzzed as if he had delivered world domination, but when you look back, the self-professed peak identified by Andrew Strauss a few years ago was "being above Australia in all three forms of the game." Nevermind that Australia were mid-table. I'm telling you, they had destination disease.

It's fair to say the county system hasn't produced a dominant side in modern cricket. Mind you neither has India's domestic system - and we can talk for hours about the shortcomings they have can't we?
England were good. They were the second best side in the world, behind South Africa, and it was even close between those two for a wee while.

Broad and Anderson were up there with the best new ball pairs. Tremlett and Finn were actually taking wickets. Swann was one of the best spinners. Cook was going to overtake Sachin. Trott could not be got out. Pietersen could turn games singlehandedly. Prior was one of the best keeper-bats. And Ian Bell did his downhill skiing thing.

They won a series in India against a pretty good side in Indian conditions. Won the Ashes obviously. Pakistan exposed them I suppose but Pakistan does that to everyone.

I do agree that they should stop comparing themselves to Australia.
 

Bahnz

Hall of Fame Member
Yeah, the 2012 series was closer than the 2-0 scoreline suggests (though having said that, the 1-1 scoreline in the 2010 series in SA badly flattered England, so I guess you gotta take the rough with the smooth). They were also the better rounded side thanks to Swann, which is why England have won a series in India while SA haven't (though to be fair to the Saffers, I can't remember when the last time was that they toured there).

Not giving England much of a show in this series - too many players under form clouds, and too many just not tested against the kinda fire that's on it's way. Do think Australia will collapse a few times, but I just don't England will have the all round class to capitalise and beat such a strong Aussie side.
 

Furball

Evil Scotsman
England were good. They were the second best side in the world, behind South Africa, and it was even close between those two for a wee while.

Broad and Anderson were up there with the best new ball pairs. Tremlett and Finn were actually taking wickets. Swann was one of the best spinners. Cook was going to overtake Sachin. Trott could not be got out. Pietersen could turn games singlehandedly. Prior was one of the best keeper-bats. And Ian Bell did his downhill skiing thing.

They won a series in India against a pretty good side in Indian conditions. Won the Ashes obviously. Pakistan exposed them I suppose but Pakistan does that to everyone.

I do agree that they should stop comparing themselves to Australia.
Nope.

England's side was better, and better balanced than South Africa's, in that period.
 

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
Nope.

England's side was better, and better balanced than South Africa's, in that period.
well, South Africa did beat them in England. You can argue that they were better, sure, I'm just responding to the claim that they weren't that good. They were 2nd best in the world by most people's reckoning.
 

vic_orthdox

Global Moderator
It's funny, I think straight after the Indian series (2011 at home), they were doubtlessly number one in the world, as India had been ranked top prior to that series, and they had recently performed well away from home against SA (from memory).

But straight after that they had the 3-0 loss to Pakistan in UAE, which really pulled them back to the pack in neutrals' eyes, and made it arguable again.
 

GIMH

Norwood's on Fire
Nah through 2011 we were the best in the world. We never sustained it because Swann's decline started around the summer of 2012, we never solved the sixth batsman dilemma, bowling depth evaporated, KP saga, Strauss retiring

But before all that ****. Any world XI from circa 11 would be rammed with England players:
Cook, Trott, Swann, Anderson, Prior shoo-ins at the time
Bell, Pietersen, Broad had cases too

Basically what jack said
 

Flem274*

123/5
England were good. They were the second best side in the world, behind South Africa, and it was even close between those two for a wee while.

Broad and Anderson were up there with the best new ball pairs. Tremlett and Finn were actually taking wickets. Swann was one of the best spinners. Cook was going to overtake Sachin. Trott could not be got out. Pietersen could turn games singlehandedly. Prior was one of the best keeper-bats. And Ian Bell did his downhill skiing thing.

They won a series in India against a pretty good side in Indian conditions. Won the Ashes obviously. Pakistan exposed them I suppose but Pakistan does that to everyone.

I do agree that they should stop comparing themselves to Australia.
Nah I think England may well have been #2 as well but Prior was the best keeper bat by light years. He was always the best. Let's not let recent Ashes revisionism belittle him here.
 

Furball

Evil Scotsman
Cook, Trott, Bell, Prior, Swann and Anderson would have strolled into any World XI in that period of time.

England's bowling attack was clearly the best in the world and the batting unit was damn strong with pretty much no passengers besides Morgan.
 

Pothas

Hall of Fame Member
Was that not also the time when South Africa had loads of drawn series, especially at home? You kind of always felt they had the better players (long term anyway) but there is no way they were a better side at the time.
 

Cabinet96

Global Moderator
Yeah, South Africa drew with India at home (year after drawing with England) while England beat India 4-0. I don't think they had better players either. Guys like Petersen, Paul Harris, Prince, Tsotsobe were pretty meh. Only Morgan and late Collingwood were at that level. As Vic said in the summer of 2011 it was undebatable. But then Philander arrived, Boucher retired meaning AB took the gloves and Duminy came in to bat 7, who had improved a lot. England started losing games in Asia and guys like Bresnan, Trott and Bell regressed from God like to average or poor. I don't think the rankings ever lied in that period tbh.
 

Furball

Evil Scotsman
Was that not also the time when South Africa had loads of drawn series, especially at home? You kind of always felt they had the better players (long term anyway) but there is no way they were a better side at the time.
Drew at home to India and Australia IIRC.
 

3703

U19 12th Man
And lost to a decent but hardly incredible Australia 2009 team.
Johnson fired in that series. Only reason it played out like it did.

The gap between his best and worst back then was unbelievably ridiculous. I'm not sure I've seen anything else like it in sport.
 

Salamuddin

International Debutant
England were good. They were the second best side in the world, behind South Africa, and it was even close between those two for a wee while.

Broad and Anderson were up there with the best new ball pairs. Tremlett and Finn were actually taking wickets. Swann was one of the best spinners. Cook was going to overtake Sachin. Trott could not be got out. Pietersen could turn games singlehandedly. Prior was one of the best keeper-bats. And Ian Bell did his downhill skiing thing.

They won a series in India against a pretty good side in Indian conditions. Won the Ashes obviously. Pakistan exposed them I suppose but Pakistan does that to everyone.

I do agree that they should stop comparing themselves to Australia.
Very questionable whether that Indian side was very good. England faced probably the weakest side India put out in a home series in a generation.

Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar and Zaheer were all well past their best. Kohli, Pujara, Ashwin were all still rookies. On top of that Yadav got injured after his match winning performance in the first test at Ahmedabad.

The truth is that series win probably masked over the weakness inherent in the England side - they were luckly to get away with a draw in NZ shortly afterwards and obvioulsy got demolished in Oz a year later.
 

Salamuddin

International Debutant
England were good. They were the second best side in the world, behind South Africa, and it was even close between those two for a wee while.

Broad and Anderson were up there with the best new ball pairs. Tremlett and Finn were actually taking wickets. Swann was one of the best spinners. Cook was going to overtake Sachin. Trott could not be got out. Pietersen could turn games singlehandedly. Prior was one of the best keeper-bats. And Ian Bell did his downhill skiing thing.

They won a series in India against a pretty good side in Indian conditions. Won the Ashes obviously. Pakistan exposed them I suppose but Pakistan does that to everyone.

I do agree that they should stop comparing themselves to Australia.
England were never really going to stay number 1 for that long. I'm not sure they ever had the bowling attack to do so.
Anderson is a fine bowler but a step below Dale Steyn and probably also the current Aussie quicks. Broad is good in English conditions but mediocre outside.
SWann's best performances came against the weaker batting lineup.
The third seamer position was always a revolving door.

They just never had a truly consistent, versatile and well rounded attack which a team that aspires to stay number 1 for a lengthy period of time.
They got away with in English conditions more often than not but they were exposed away from home.
 
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Cabinet96

Global Moderator
It was hardly the bowling that let them down in Sri Lanka and the UAE though. Signs that the bowling was losing it's way didn't really arrive until 2013 in NZ (no Swann) and the Ashes in Australia a year after that.
 

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