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ljkeane

Cricket: Industrial Action Edition

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 I'm still not even sure how strongly enforced 'targets' are, if they're mandated or just strongly suggested. I don't think this is a high profile enough game to have any higher ups start poking around. If it were a world cup match that would be different.

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6 hours ago, Paxter said:

I wouldn't want to be an SA selector right now. Apart from the general lack of depth that Consigliere and others have identified, particularly with the departure of the Kolpaks, they also have to contend with the targets. This from Cricinfo (Firdose Moonda):

 

I think they're somewhat linked issues. I think a lot of the players who're leaving South African cricket have been told their chances of being consistently selected are fairly slim.

South Africa win the toss and bat.

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Yeah true, I remember reading that Kyle Abbott never quite recovered from his omission in the last World Cup Semi-Final (Vernon Philander was the benefactor on that occasion).

Once again Amla is in before too many runs are on the board. He might have to get used to that in this series. Over in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe are just shy of 300 in a one-off test. Not a bad effort against Herath in unfamiliar conditions. Credit to Ervine for another gutsy test knock.  

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Oh they promoted QdK to the key no. 4 position. Who knows whether it works, but I think that's a great move.

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Yep, it worked all right - great partnership between him and Amla. But now they've undone it all by both getting out in quick succession. If at least one of them had stayed in they could have guided South Africa to a big score, but now they have to be careful with such a long tail.

Promoting de Kock makes sense especially when you are batting first in a Test match and he hasn't spent an innings in the field. He was instrumental in this innings in getting the scoreboard ticking over again. In the second innings he might drop back again unless the opening partnership gives him enough of a breather.

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It was a good day of Test cricket, with several swings in momentum. I'd say the two sides are probably reasonably even at the moment, South Africa will be ruing the way their middle order collapse seemed to sabotage their hopes of a really big total, but England have let some of their advantage slip away.

18 hours ago, Paxter said:

And some bright news coming out of the West Indies!

It looks like they might have a competitive side for their England tour, at least for the limited over games (I'm guessing most of those players are unlikely to be seen in the Tests).

Maybe the Australian cricket board need to contemplate how they've ended up with a worse relationship with their players than the West Indies Cricket Board.

17 hours ago, Jeor said:

I thought de Bruyn played reasonably well while he was at the crease - surprised they dropped him.

I agree he seemed to do fairly well in the first innings at Lord's.

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7 hours ago, williamjm said:

Maybe the Australian cricket board need to contemplate how they've ended up with a worse relationship with their players than the West Indies Cricket Board.

I'm not sure how much coverage the dispute has had overseas, but the media has been all over it here. I think most fans are (at least) embarrassed and disappointed by the conduct of the parties, particularly as they have made it a public battle rather than a substantive negotiation process.

Now that Sutherland is actually sitting down with the ACA, I'd expect some progress before the India tour (but maybe not in time for Bangladesh).

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Good fightback by SA. Loving Philander's belligerent lower-order batting. Looks like he's got a decent technique and if his form with the bat continues, he could be considered a genuine bowling all-rounder.

I'm still not convinced Morris should have come in for de Bruyn given the lack of specialist batsmen in the side, but if he can continue with the bat and offer some good overs with the ball then he will have justified his selection.

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Well, that innings wrapped up remarkably quickly.

South Africa better make use of these conditions now while it's still humid and cloud cover overhead.

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Root is just too good for SA at the moment. Otherwise the visitors have acquitted themselves pretty well so far with the ball. They are missing Rabada immensely though.

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Yeah, an attack of Rabada, Philander and Morkel would have been perfect for these conditions. Morkel gets bounce, Rabada brings pace, and Philander has accuracy and seam movement. That three-pronged pace attack could do well in all conditions, really.

Root gone, which should give South Africa some hope. England still 185 behind with 6 wickets in hand so match is in the balance.

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Posted (edited)

If they had Abbott and Rabada in their side, they would have a completely different (and more effective) attack. Olivier doesn't look ready for test cricket for mine.

Edited by Paxter

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England's middle order had a bit of a hiccup there. South Africa will get a decent lead unless Ali does one of his rescue jobs.

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So for all the pessimism it looks like, barring a Root double hundred in the second innings, South Africa are getting a win here.

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Certainly looks like the way it's going. And with the sun coming out, and weather being potentially better in subsequent days, England really did bat at the worst possible time in the match.

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In retrospect, South Africa's first innings total looks a lot better than it did at the time. There was a good team effort from the South African bowlers, particularly Philander and Morkel but Morris and Maharaj also made useful contributions. On the other hand, there was some very poor batting from England.

I continue to be confused by Dawson's presence in the team. At least at Lord's it was a pitch where two spinners were a good choice, but here it's really a seamers wicket so England could easily have gone with Ali (and Root) as spinner and played an extra batsman - Dawson may claim batting is his stronger suit but his batting has been woeful so far this series.

It's already looking difficult for England to avoid defeat, I think they would need to dismiss South Africa very cheaply in the second innings (not implausible), and then have a couple of players put in a really heroic batting performance (also not impossible but I think the odds are against it).

16 hours ago, Paxter said:

I'm not sure how much coverage the dispute has had overseas, but the media has been all over it here. I think most fans are (at least) embarrassed and disappointed by the conduct of the parties, particularly as they have made it a public battle rather than a substantive negotiation process.

It's had occasional mentions over here, but they haven't really gone into much detail about the dispute, the main focus has understandably been on whether the Ashes series could be under threat.

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Yes, can't really see a way back for England here. They could take the remaining 9 wickets for 100 runs, giving themselves a target of 300 to chase when the sun comes out. But there's no guarantee they'd be able to make 300.

I don't know much about him, but looking at his statistics I also don't really see the point of Dawson. He's clearly not a frontline spinner (155 wickets in 126 first-class matches at an average of 36) and his first-class batting average is a fairly low 33. I get that Ali isn't viewed as a frontline spinner either (Test record 108 wickets at an average of 39, in 38 matches) but the answer to the lack of a frontline spinner isn't to get two mediocre ones.

Looking at it from a team composition point of view, it's an unhealthy fascination with all-rounders as you already have Stokes in there too. I think they should have five specialist bats, Bairstow as wicketkeeper, two all-rounders (Stokes/Ali) and three dedicated bowlers. It gives you five serviceable bowlers (plus a sixth part-timer in Root), and a strong batting lineup with Ali at 8.

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2 hours ago, Jeor said:

Yes, can't really see a way back for England here. They could take the remaining 9 wickets for 100 runs, giving themselves a target of 300 to chase when the sun comes out. But there's no guarantee they'd be able to make 300.

I don't know much about him, but looking at his statistics I also don't really see the point of Dawson. He's clearly not a frontline spinner (155 wickets in 126 first-class matches at an average of 36) and his first-class batting average is a fairly low 33. I get that Ali isn't viewed as a frontline spinner either (Test record 108 wickets at an average of 39, in 38 matches) but the answer to the lack of a frontline spinner isn't to get two mediocre ones.

Looking at it from a team composition point of view, it's an unhealthy fascination with all-rounders as you already have Stokes in there too. I think they should have five specialist bats, Bairstow as wicketkeeper, two all-rounders (Stokes/Ali) and three dedicated bowlers. It gives you five serviceable bowlers (plus a sixth part-timer in Root), and a strong batting lineup with Ali at 8.

Almost totally agree. The only problem being that we don't possess five specialist batsmen. :(

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Posted (edited)

South Africa are miles ahead in this one now, even with Elgar and De Kock falling in quick succession. Assuming they go on to win the match, it is hard to know what to make of this series so far. Two matches between fairly evenly-matched sides will have produced two one-sided thrashings of each team.

Some idle observations:

  • Dawson bowled pies today and Ali is yet to bowl. Why did two spinners ever make sense at this ground?
  • Watching Amla bat is mesmerising. Particularly alongside the far more labored Du Plessis.
Edited by Paxter

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So, all England have to do to win is to reach the biggest fourth innings victory target in Test history on a deteriorating pitch. Somehow I don't see that happening, although hopefully they'll at least put up a bit more of a fight than they did in the first innings.

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