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Everything posted by Paxter

  1. Where to now for England? India looked a completely different side in this test (esp in the spin department), and at the same time a number of fragilities emerged for the tourists that I think could plague them for the rest series. The spinners took wickets but were unable to keep the runs down, the two paceman tried hard but were far short of Archer and Anderson and the top order just looks rubbish. Bring back Keaton Jennings and/or Jonny! An aside: that win snapped a four match losing streak for Virat as captain. But his century-less run continues...
  2. Is this series going to be simple as "bat first - win"? Ashwin has put in one of the great all-round performances in this match. Perhaps he can even snatch MoM from Rohit.
  3. This is some series that Ashwin is having...
  4. Also: Kevin Andrews lost preselection for the next election. Lol. Worth a double post!
  5. Should be some light at the end of the tunnel with quarantine workers soon to have access to the Pfizer vacc, which has a very high efficacy. And it looks as if the TGA will go ahead and approve the AstraZeneca vacc (which is being manufactured in Melbs by CSL) soon. Personal note: I finally made it back. Will be my first time seeing family in a long while when I'm done with my quar. Nice feeling, but I do feel sorry for the many thousands who I know are still stuck trying to get back, whether permanently or to see loved ones.
  6. On Virat - his last century for India in any format was in November 2019. He is due you'd think.
  7. India are in all sorts at 80-odd for five (including a run out and two stumpings)....but it's already game over you'd think. Most sides would probably struggle to make more than 150 in the fourth innings on a wicket like this.
  8. Windies get a rare win away from home! And with what is essentially a second XI. Got to give them credit there.
  9. Haha I actually think that’s harsh TWS. India would’ve probably been bowled out cheaply themselves if not for that incredible knock from Rohit. It’s a much more bowler friendly surface than we saw in the first test.
  10. I think Rohit basically killed England’s chances on Day One. That was imperious.
  11. Jeez. I’m a fan of the rotation policy but there are a lot of changes. I wonder if four changes after winning the first match of a series is some sort of record! Happy but also nervous for Mo. I’m expecting India to bounce back strongly, but if England win the toss again you never know...
  12. I’m willing to give England the benefit of the doubt. I think they did try to push the scoring but India/Ashwin were just too good. Of course, they are still heavy favourites to win with assistance for Bess and Leach.
  13. West Indies whaaaaaaaaat. That was incredible. A lot of records broken.
  14. First blood to England with Jofra snaring Rohit! ETA: And Gill follows - that was a poor shot. This is down to the seasoned pros now: Puj and Virat. If one of these don’t make a century, I’m expecting an England win...!
  15. Come baaaaaaaaaack Raja!!! I tell TWS all the time that his Aussie centric view is far worse than any Indian fan I’ve ever met!
  16. I wish I'd see Javed play. That photo of him with the bat raised and Lillee ducking is burned into my mind - he must've been a fiery character as well as an amazing talent. I know it's way too early to draw any conclusions, but I think England would be sitting back feeling satisfied about their selection. India's pacemen have really kept the runs down and taken wickets, while the spinners have released the pressure. Even Ashwin is going at nearly 3 and only bowled a few maidens. I can see Stokes being called upon to bowl quite a lot.
  17. Also pleased for Root that he's shaking off the "50 and out" malaise. But England need to go on from 263/3 and turn it into a big score.
  18. Triple post...where are all the India fans haha. That was terrible from Burns, who threw away what should have been a great opening session for England. And poor Lawrence had no chance. Bring back Jonny!
  19. Still no Moeen for England, who it seems has moved on from the three-spinner selection policy employed in recent India tours. India has gone the other way, with Pant promoted to five and three spinners included (though still no sign sadly of the injured Jadeja). I haven't loved Kohli's captaincy so far...waiting far too long to get the left-arm spinner on against Sibley and setting fairly negative fields. But it does look like an easy paced road. Nice toss for England to win.
  20. Predictions for India v England? You'd think India is easily in the box seat based on: An incredible home record (they hardly lose a home test, let alone a series) Sky-high confidence after the Aus win England's spin attack hasn't improved much since their last drubbing in India. How will they get 20 wickets? So I expect England to win 2-1 :P.
  21. Double Post. But I feel like I have to praise Pakistan separately. Yes, South Africa is a loooong way from its best in test cricket. But Pakistan showed some real spine in that test match, which was nice to see. Kudos to Fawad Alam for proving the doubters wrong too. And I always loving seeing Yasir bowl well.
  22. Yes, a real shame RE: the South African tour, but I think we saw that coming after England's aborted attempt and the emergence of new virus strains in SA. The only practical hope was getting the Aussies vaccinated before the tour, but that was politically impossible. A few reflections now that the dust has settled on that epic Aus v India series (if you can be bothered reading): 1. Australia needs to re-think its approach to developing test batsmen. I know that we have been here before with Australia (e.g. after that innings mauling at the hands of SA in 2016, which resulted in the end of careers for Voges and Nevill, as well as Cummins being fast-tracked). But this series was a nadir. Failing to score 400 over an entire summer is a massive problem for a team that has built its home success on strong batting performances and first innings leads. And the problem is...there is really no-one queueing up to take over from the failed Wade. The next option is...Travis Head, who they just dropped for not being up to test cricket. Imagine if Australia still had the likes of Di Venuto, Lehmann, Love, Katich, Cox, Blewett and Law waiting in the wings. They would all be in the first XI! 2. Looking at India's success with a large pool of players, and now England's squad mentality to its subcontinent tours...has the idea of squads/rotation finally proved itself at test level? Australia has long resented this policy in test cricket, but you could really tell the difference between the jaded Starc and the rearing Thakur by the time we got to the 'Gabba. 4. India's bowling plans. Just amazing preparation and I have to hand it to Shashtri or whoever is the mastermind. The way they bowled to Marnus and Smith in the first two matches changed the whole complexion of the series, because Aus just couldn't get scores without them. 3. India: Stop omitting Pant. Or at least start playing him as a batter ahead of Vihari. The guy is pure gold. I know I was wrong about most things in this series...but I was always an advocate for getting him into the side against Australia. The "no fear" approach is exactly what you need to succeed in those conditions. The two more substantial knocks he played were Gilchrist-esque, but even the briefer stays were valuable in changing the tone and getting Australia on the defensive. And yes...he should have been Man of the Series! 4. How good is Pujara. Even though he struggled for touch in the series, he still faced the most balls of any player. Crazy. 5. Where does this stand in terms of the greatest series of all time? I think it is the best underdog and come-from-behind win of all time. I also think the third and fourth tests had two of the most nail-biting finishes, so it's right up there in terms of excitement. In terms of quality, I'd probably rank it behind the '05 Ashes and '01 India v Aus. I think those two series had more champion players involved, whereas both India and Aus had their share of weaknesses in this series.
  23. I wouldn’t ditch Albo just yet. Wait until closer to the election, then dump him and hope for some bounce/honeymoon. Federally, the ALP is on a hiding to absolutely nowhere. But they will clean up in WA in a month or so. And the QLD outright win was an unexpected positive. Swings and roundabouts, unless you don’t care about state politics.
  24. So I watched the highlights...I wouldn’t say there were any demons in the pitch but it definitely offered something to everyone. Rabada’s first wicket kept a touch low, while the second reared off a length to catch the glove. But really, it was more of a combination of strong bowling plus inept batting that mattered more than the pitch. SA gave two top order wickets to run outs. Elgar played a rare loose shot, De Kock a less rare one. Faf got a lovely ball from Shah. SA’s quicks looked very dangerous with the new ball.
  25. TBH I'm pretty annoyed it's taking so long to do the above. They could have done an emergency authorization just for that sub-group a while ago. The urgent need is there to stop new strains entering the community.
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