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Cricket XXII - A Cook's Tour


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#1 Stubby

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:03 AM

Anyone thinking this could go to a fifth day?

 

Personally, I would like it if it does.



#2 sh_wulff

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:40 AM

Anyone thinking this could go to a fifth day?
 
Personally, I would like it if it does.

I agree with you on this one!

#3 ljkeane

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:47 AM

This is genuinely shit. Christ during the years of defeats during the 90's at least we'd usually compete in one or two tests. Even in 2006/7 we were at least playing a genuinely great Australian side and actually put in the odd good innings. Ffs this Australian side lost 6 straight tests this year and we're completely capitulating.

#4 The Anti-Targ

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:33 AM

Quick book a test series for NZ against England, we might have a chance...but then again how sad would it be if England kicked our arses as bad as Aussie is kicking theirs? As well as the series against the Windies is going we mustn't forget Bangladesh.



#5 Adelstein

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 03:22 AM

I'm not going to lose any sleep over losing at Perth, even losing by a reasonable margin. Ignoring the Bothamesque nonsense spouted about clean sweeps, Australia were always going to be favourites here. Adelaide is the one that stings, really.

 

To a degree, England have been unfortunate. They've lost every toss and so been batting second in every match, which is often a harder position to win a match from. Illness and injury have cost them a key batsman and any chance of a settled first-change bowler, not to mention their best bowler of the series (by an astonishing margin) in the Australian second innings here. The weather has held off to allow a full five days' play at every match, which minimises the opportunity to draw. Ryan Harris has done the unthinkable and remained fit; Mitchell Johnson has increased his accuracy by an order of magnitude. It's been something nobody's wanted to admit openly for a long time, but tacitly acknowledged, that Australia has potentially the best bowling attack in the world right now, and they've realised that potential between series. The form book is meaningless here; South Africa would struggle against these guys right now, let alone England.

 

That doesn't excuse England's failures. Some of the batting has been abject, and much of the fielding has been poor. But then again much of that nonsense happened after the match was functionally lost, so although it's psychologically a concern I don't know how much value to put on it. That the bowling - with the exception of Broad - has been similarly mediocre is the real worry, since the bowlers have been England's consistent strength over the last few years, even when the batting has imploded at Ahmedebad, the Oval or Dubai. And, yes, they're paying the price for some of their collective failings over the last couple of years - the failure to find an adequate replacement for Strauss or Collingwood, the failure to nurture the pace reserves, the (apparent) overutilisation of their most important asset to the point he now seems worn out.

 

I do think it's possible to get carried away, though. England's best chances on paper of winning matches are yet to come, and during the Dark Years it was vanishingly rare for England to win a live match against Australia, so I don't think it's fair to call this side worse than them yet. And while the matches haven't been close, without the misfortune mentioned above they could have been closer. England would still be losing, I'm sure, but it wouldn't feel quite so desperate.


Edited by Adelstein, 16 December 2013 - 03:23 AM.


#6 arya_underfoot

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:29 AM

Bell's lost the plot here. What a stupid shot to play!! Particularly given how comfortably he has been handling the tiring Australian bowlers.

 

A quick finish coming up tonight...



#7 Heerad Farkhoor

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:35 AM

I was feeling masochistic, so I watched this morning.

 

Thank you, sir, may I have another?



#8 The Anti-Targ

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:59 AM

So Shillingford's been suspended as a chucker. The bowler who could have been a key player in the Windies attempt to win the 3rd test and draw the series is out, until he can prove he's corrected his action. And he was suspended because 2 balls were bowled with a >15deg extension. Man they don't give much margin for error.

 

I guess England are reaching a first milestone: exceeding their first innings total. No chance of saving the test, but they are battling on.


Edited by The Anti-Targ, 16 December 2013 - 05:07 AM.


#9 Alex.

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:02 AM

All round fairly shite (again), but happy to see Stokes give something back. 

 

Congrats to Australia, you've played us off the park all series.



#10 The Winged Shadow

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:10 AM

Stokes showing some fire, great fightback from him. Pretty unfortunate for Bell, silly shot to get out to. England still got a good tail, so they could make this difficult for the aussies. The pitch is pretty fucked up at the moment, should be a good day tomorrow!



#11 Jeor

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:22 AM

I agree with Adelstein, no need to hit the panic button just yet for England.

 

I also agree though that the bowling has been the most surprising letdown. England have always had some batting issues here and there these past few years, but they've managed to paper over the issues by reliably getting one batsman to have a superstar series (alternating between Cook, Trott, Pietersen and Bell playing the leading roles) or by having Prior in better form to rescue collapses. It's their bowling that has been consistently excellent, and thus more of a surprise and harder to deal with when you're used to getting good performances almost all the time.

 

To me it's really Anderson and Swann that have been off. Those two have been a really big part of England's success in the past, and both have had a very off-colour series so far.  Lyon is turning the ball more than Swann, and Anderson isn't getting any swing. Broad has been bowling well. Tremlett/Bresnan haven't done a great job but if Anderson and Swann bowl like they should, then that fourth bowler doesn't have to be amazing.

 

Swann may yet get a chance to revive himself in Sydney's spinner-friendly confines (or the all-round pitch of the MCG) but I think Anderson has missed his chance. The Gabba was probably the pitch that suited him the most due to its seam-friendly conditions, followed by Perth, and he hasn't really grabbed the bag of wickets we would expect from someone of his excellent record. Of course Anderson may well prove me wrong by bowling well in the next two Tests, but England really needed him at the Gabba and the earlier half of the series.



#12 Heerad Farkhoor

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:55 AM

Good post, Jeor. And add my congratulations to those of Alex for another superb performance.

 

The Guardian's The Spin blog had an interesting piece on England's decline, which is worth a read.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/dec/12/the-spin-england-steady-decline

 

For me, the most important bit is this:

 

In the last two years, James Anderson has delivered 7,256 balls in international cricket, more than anyone other than Ravi Ashwin. Among the quicks, next on the list is Stuart Broad, who has got through 6,344. Dale Steyn is third, with 5,549. Anderson has bowled 285 overs more than Steyn in that time. This year, again, the two quick bowlers with the heaviest workload worldwide have been Anderson and Broad. No wonder Anderson is flagging, or that Broad so often seems to bowl shy of the speed he is capable of. Meanwhile, Steve Finn is still being put back together after having his run-up remodelled, and his action tinkered with, and Tim Bresnan has been injured. To support four bowlers, two tired, one broken, one injured, the selectors chose a debutant, Boyd Rankin, and a man who was out of form all through the summer, Chris Tremlett, on the strength of what he did two years ago.

 



#13 The Winged Shadow

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 03:36 PM

Damn, those are some impressive numbers from Anderson and Broad. Puts things into perspective.

 

Aussies seem to go through bowlers left and right. Almost a whole new attack this Ashes compared to last.

 

Should be a good day today if Stokes keep it up and get some backup from Prior and the tail. I am almost hoping for a draw so the Boxing Day test is more spiced up!



#14 sh_wulff

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 03:42 PM

I wonder if we will get past lunch on the 5 the day?

#15 The Anti-Targ

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:37 PM

I wonder if we will get past lunch on the 5 the day?

 

5 wickets in a session is quite a lot. But given it'll mostly be tailenders it's certainly on the cards to be all over by lunchtime.



#16 sh_wulff

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

5 wickets in a session is quite a lot. But given it'll mostly be tailenders it's certainly on the cards to be all over by lunchtime.



Maybe. Mitch will trip over his shoelaces so Australia is also a bowler down.

#17 Stubby

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:27 PM

It is still possible that only 4 wickets will be needed, if Broad's no good.

 

And on those bowling numbers, :stunned:.


Edited by Stubby, 16 December 2013 - 07:27 PM.


#18 Adelstein

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:57 PM

In theory, England are back to having a reasonably strong tail, with Swann at 10, but Broad's injury disrupts that a bit. I'd be surprised to see him batting unless he's not required until after tea, England get within realistic sight of victory (e.g. 450/9) or his injury is much less serious than believed. In the absence of runners, anything else would be irresponsible. None of those conditions seem remotely likely, though.


Edited by Adelstein, 16 December 2013 - 07:57 PM.


#19 Jeor

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:25 PM

Hereward, those numbers are amazing, especially considering Anderson is a pace bowler and yet still leads the lists. Using that info it's easy to see why England have always been looking to squeeze in a fifth bowling option when they can.

Re: Broad I doubt he will bat again. He was walking around with a limp and very gingerly yesterday, so I don't think he's in any state to play. The only conceivable situation would be him coming in at No. 11 when England are 9 down and only need to survive ten overs or less, and I doubt that situation would arise.



#20 Stubby

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:28 PM

Forecast today is for a maximum of 30.  But the kicker is that it's 98% humidity.  Feels like Bangkok or Chicago.