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Cricket XX - Debutants Balls


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#1 Stubby

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:32 AM

So here we are again.

Raining in England. Big Aussie hundred. Headshots.

Normal service may have resumed.

#2 Alex.

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:48 AM

The sky is falling pretty severely in my part of South London at the moment. I'm about 20 minutes from Oval station.

#3 Xray the Enforcer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:02 AM

Damn and blast. I was looking forward to some cricket with my hangover breakfast.

Thanks for the notes about different pitches. I'd love to, at some point, see a day of cricket at some of the more infamous grounds. Hell, I'd even love to go out and have a look around the playing field to get a sense for what a "green" pitch looks like up close. When I win the lottery, I suppose.

This is probably part of my cynicism with sports (American sports leagues are gross, money-grubbing motherfuckers that would even shame Sepp Blatter, a congenitally shameless person if there ever was one), but I wonder if the local cricket authorities are making the pitches more bland to ensure at least 4.5 days of play for each Test and maximize profits. I mean, that makes business sense, but it does little for the actual quality and integrity of the sport in its natural state, and one of the great things about cricket is the unpredictability of the pitch.

#4 Jeor

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:14 AM

I wonder if the local cricket authorities are making the pitches more bland to ensure at least 4.5 days of play for each Test and maximize profits.


You're quite right there. Not only do they want to maximise the amount of days played, there is the sense that cricket played on 'tough' pitches where runs are hard to come by doesn't make for enticing cricket. Us purists might like ball dominating bat and economy rates of 2.50 runs per over, but administrators don't think the general public want to see that.

Pity about the rain - I'm interested to see if Smith can go on. He may well have just saved his spot with this knock - he started the series well but faded in recent times. If he can score his maiden century that will go a long way to helping him secure his place in the team. It looks like this Test was a boon for the Aussie selectors, now they can comfortably lock in Rogers, Clarke, Watson and probably now Smith. They'll likely retain Warner as well, which makes for a settled batting order (at least at the start of the next series).

Even though Smith is an ugly batsman, the thing I like about him is that he's aggressive and earlier in the series made runs when they were needed, which shows some guts and the ability to successfully counterattack. I may not consider him a 'proper' Test batsman until he gets a century, but I think it's worth keeping him in the lineup if he can score the runs, no matter how weird they look.

#5 Daeric

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:29 AM

So here we are again.

Raining in England. Big Aussie hundred. Headshots.

Normal service may have resumed.


There was always going to be cosmic consequences for Watson actually getting an lbw review correct.

#6 Xray the Enforcer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:34 AM

Ugh. I hate it when people try to "improve" the sport by changing something fundamental about how it's played. Reminds me of that shitbird rule, the designated hitter, in American League baseball. It's too early to tell for certain, but I've noticed that...when everyone in MLB was juicing, the American League with their DHs dominated. When MLB cracked down on juicing, all of a sudden their designated hitters (and other batsmen) started to suck, and the pendulum swung in favor of the purist National League because it had superior pitching and more all-round players instead of specialist hitters.

The moral of the story: forcing your sport to rely on high run rates only encourages players to be cheating arseholes. But, hey, if the money is good, who cares about integrity?

There was always going to be cosmic consequences for Watson actually getting an lbw review correct.


/lol.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />

Edited by Xray the Enforcer, 22 August 2013 - 07:35 AM.


#7 brAnthelAstgreenseer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:51 AM

The the way people talked about pitches in the previous thread was really not very accurate ofthe sub-continent pitches.Yes they tend to be flat on first day ,yes they do not offer much for new ball swing bowlers,but they do get the ball to reverse in as many as 16-20 overs. You need a different skill while playing here.You have to bowl back of the length wicket to wicket(just see how C.Vaas and J. Srinath got his wickets.)No home side tries to prepare a pitch for draw conditions.They try to tilt in their favor their side.

Recently the batting quality has gone down in general and hence any pitch which favors the bowlers might look like a land mine. I do think the audience wants to watch runs being scored but the audience also wants to see a good game of cricket with both bowlers and batsmen finding it tough to make their runs and take their wickets respectively.

#8 Xray the Enforcer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:04 AM

The squeegee tractors are out (steady, Hereward), so hopefully that means we'll see some play soon.

#9 Jeor

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:16 AM

The the way people talked about pitches in the previous thread was really not very accurate ofthe sub-continent pitches. Yes they tend to be flat on first day ,yes they do not offer much for new ball swing bowlers,but they do get the ball to reverse in as many as 16-20 overs. You need a different skill while playing here.You have to bowl back of the length wicket to wicket(just see how C.Vaas and J. Srinath got his wickets.)No home side tries to prepare a pitch for draw conditions.They try to tilt in their favor their side.


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be disparaging with the grandma comment earlier, if that's what you're referring to. I do think that batting is generally easier in the subcontinent, although perhaps not all of it is due to the pitch and its lack of bounce. The conditions are also very hot and humid, and therefore favour the batsmen because bowlers tire out much faster and their spells become less threatening as time goes on. There are different skills involved in batting on these pitches - having to account for the turn and the reverse swing as you say - but I still think most batsmen would rather play on those wickets than something like the Wanderers.

And while no home side tries to prepare pitches for draws, it can often be in the interests of a home team to blunt the visiting team's bowling attack by preparing slow wickets, particularly if the visiting team has fast bowlers who can strike in more conventional conditions. Many a decent English or Australian fast bowler has wilted in subcontinental conditions, for instance. So maybe they don't prepare pitches with the ultimate goal of a draw in mind, but it would be one of the side-effects.

#10 Xray the Enforcer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

I tuned in just in time to see Siddle get bowled out by Anderson.

Edited by Xray the Enforcer, 22 August 2013 - 09:18 AM.


#11 Jeor

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:09 AM

Not that the conditions favour spinners, but I wonder if Cook will bring Kerrigan on again sometime today.

#12 brAnthelAstgreenseer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:24 AM

After all that to get out to Trott.

Edit: Great hundred by Smith.He needs to carry on .I think Australia need a minimum of 450+ on this wicket to win this match.

Edited by brAnthelAstgreenseer, 22 August 2013 - 10:27 AM.


#13 Xray the Enforcer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 12:41 PM

And the Aussies declare on 492.

#14 williamjm

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 04:21 PM

As I mentioned before, I had a ticket for day one at the Oval. In terms of the spectacle I didn't get quite as lucky as Hereward and the X's, but it was still a good day's play. England's selection was just as baffling at the ground as it probably was on TV. Kerrigan was perhaps a bit unfortunate to bowl his first overs against Watson in full flight on a flat pitch, but he'll need to do something impressive in the second innings to justify his selection. I think it's fair to say that the crowd was generally unimpressed by Woakes and Kerrigan's bowling, in one of Woakes' later spells they decided to offer their own ideas on selection with a chorus of All We Need Is Ravi Bopara (to the tune of Radio Ga Ga), although how much of that was due to their enthusiasm for Bopara's medium pace bowling and how much of it was due to Ravi Bopara's name scanning well in song lyrics (see also, Seven Nation Army) is debatable. I think it's difficult to see what the selectors were thinking, although Woakes might have an opportunity to redeem himself if he bats well. Tremlett would surely have been a much better bowling option and despite his recent issues I'm sure Monty would have done better than Kerrigan did.

It was definitely the most impressive Shane Watson innings that I've seen (and not just because the previous time I saw him at The Oval he was bowled by the first ball of the match), he did a great job of balancing attack when the bowlers were vulnerable and some more circumspect batting when they were bowling well. With Smith also scoring a century today I think Australia might at least get something out of this tour since they probably have a decent idea of their batting order going forwards.

#15 sh_wulff

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:32 PM

Twatson has done enough to hold on to his place, but I'm certain it will soon be business as usual for him

#16 williamjm

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:45 PM

Twatson has done enough to hold on to his place, but I'm certain it will soon be business as usual for him


I did briefly wonder if England were playing the long game with their selection for this Test, providing two bowlers so unthreatening that even Shane Watson can almost score a double century so that he'd be guaranteed his place for the Australian leg of the Ashes, giving them a good lbw target for the entire series. Maybe we're just underestimating Andy Flower's subtlety and long-term planning?

#17 Jeor

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:42 PM

I do feel sorry for Kerrigan, completely overlooked on the second day after getting 0/53 off 8 in the first two sessions of the first day. Bowling only 8 overs out of 128 when you were selected purely as a bowler has got to hurt your self esteem and Cook didn't even want to bowl him against the tailenders. The tail is much stronger again this time around (which it has to be since we're minus one batsman). Faulkner at 7 isn't great, but we have Starc and Siddle at 8 and 9 and Harris at 10 which is a bit more sturdy.

England under no pressure, I reckon they'll just want to grind out a draw with some slow batting. It'll be up to the Aussies to try and make something of it.

#18 Alex.

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:28 AM

The weather in South London is magnificent this morning. Bollocks to work, I'm awarding myself a day off to watch cricket all day. Standard tele in the garden, cooler of beer stuff I reckon.

#19 Adelstein

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:51 AM

I did briefly wonder if England were playing the long game with their selection for this Test, providing two bowlers so unthreatening that even Shane Watson can almost score a double century so that he'd be guaranteed his place for the Australian leg of the Ashes, giving them a good lbw target for the entire series. Maybe we're just underestimating Andy Flower's subtlety and long-term planning?

There was a school of thought - with which I'm not sure I agree, even if I can see where it was coming from - that Paul Collingwood's double century in Adelaide in 2006 was a disaster for England cricket. (England's failure to find a reliable #6 batsman since Colly's retirement doesn't do many favours for the theory).

But over the next four years, if this proves to be a one-off and Watson doesn't improve, this century might come to be seen in a similar light.

#20 Jeor

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:45 AM

Even if they come off worse in this match, England have learned some valuable information regarding their third-tier crop, which was probably the selectors' aim anyway. I know it's only two days into the Test, but Kerrigan certainly didn't look ready and Woakes wasn't convincing either. This means that the selectors are far more likely to stick to their much better second-tier bowlers - Tremlett and Onions - and won't be tempted to experiment with the others at least in this next Ashes series. Which many could have said before this match anyway, but I think the English squad for the Australian tour is going to be far better off with this information now in hand.