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ljkeane

Cricket: Industrial Action Edition

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Ha yes me too, I thought South Africa would struggle in this series after the Lord's loss and the Rabada suspension. But they absolutely demolished England in this match: sorted out their catching and no balls, added a very useful quick in Morris and some spine to their batting with the omission of Duminy. Du Plessis' captaincy was excellent and he deserves a lot of credit for the gutsy decision to promote De Kock to number 4. But it was Philander who really broke England's back (five wickets and 90-odd runs); his MOM award was richly deserved.

England now have ten days to pick up the pieces. Ballance, Jennings, Dawson and Wood are all potentially under pressure. Personally I would move Ballance down the order and get Root in at 3. And I'd hope that one of Woakes or Ball are fit for The Oval to make way for Wood and/or Dawson. I'm not sure what they should do with Jennings. That second opening slot has been such a revolving door that they may be better off giving him the whole series to prove himself.

ETA: Zimbabwe are putting up an unusually good fight in the SL test. The host's performance doesn't bode well for India's upcoming tour, which could be very one sided.

Edited by Paxter

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Well that was a pretty abject capitulation. They were always going to lose but it'd be nice if they put up something resembling a fight. I've pretty much had enough with the way England bat under Bayliss. I know he wants them to go out and be positive but there needs to be some application at some point.

Anyway there pretty clearly needs to be changes. England can't carry on with only two, maybe three, actual test quality batsmen. We still need to find an opener. I don't think Ballance is up to test cricket but he's definitely can't play at 3, Root may not like it but he just needs to suck it up and play there. Stokes and Ali are both very talented but they need to knuckle down and actually become good test batsmen rather than just occasionally dangerous, I think playing Ali down at 7/8 gives him the excuse to continue to play loosely and they should promote him up the order.  

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26 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

Well that was a pretty abject capitulation. They were always going to lose but it'd be nice if they put up something resembling a fight. I've pretty much had enough with the way England bat under Bayliss. I know he wants them to go out and be positive but there needs to be some application at some point.

 

 Agreed. Grinding to 56/1 in the first session of the first day is really what set the test up for SA. England need to add that aspect to their batting.

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19 hours ago, Paxter said:

England now have ten days to pick up the pieces. Ballance, Jennings, Dawson and Wood are all potentially under pressure. Personally I would move Ballance down the order and get Root in at 3. And I'd hope that one of Woakes or Ball are fit for The Oval to make way for Wood and/or Dawson. I'm not sure what they should do with Jennings. That second opening slot has been such a revolving door that they may be better off giving him the whole series to prove himself.

Apparently, Ballance has a broken finger thanks to Morne Morkel and is likely the miss the next Test. I'm not convinced by Jennings, but I'd probably agree he should be given the rest of the series, especially if they're going to have to bring in another uncapped player into the top 3.

10 hours ago, ljkeane said:

Well that was a pretty abject capitulation. They were always going to lose but it'd be nice if they put up something resembling a fight. I've pretty much had enough with the way England bat under Bayliss. I know he wants them to go out and be positive but there needs to be some application at some point.

I think it's fine having positive batting as a plan A, but there needs to be at least a plan B for situations where that isn't the best approach.

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http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-south-africa-2017/content/story/1111719.html

There are some fundamental problems with Bayliss. The first is that he has very little knowledge of county cricket. He hasn't played it, he doesn't have the depth of contacts from which to garner opinions and, because of that, he can have little informed view on selection. For that reason, if no other, he was an extraordinary choice as head coach by Andrew Strauss...

Bayliss isn't much of a technical coach, either. The players refer to him as "a man of few words" who leaves the technical work to others and is more interested in creating a positive, settled environment in which the players are able to perform to their optimum.

That's important, of course. But if he doesn't have much say in selection and he doesn't have much say in coaching, it does rather beg the question: what does he do? If he's just creating a relaxed environment, he could be replaced by a couple of scented candles, a yucca plant and a CD of ambient whale noises.

 

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That was a stunning performance from Kaur and India to knock Australia out of the WWC. India were rank underdogs having lost to Australia by 8 wickets during the pool game. I think most pundits were expecting the defending champs to ease past India and then face an in-form England in the final. Not to be.

And that 100 from Kaur. Worth watching how she made reached her century - I've never seen the like!

Meanwhile England are set to ring the changes in the third test. Westley is the surprise pick ahead of Stoneman to replace Ballance at first drop, while both Roland-Jones and Malan will be pushing to replace Wood and Dawson. I have a feeling Dawson might just survive the cull as The Oval will probably be more spin-friendly than Nottingham.

ETA: Oh and thanks @Hereward for providing a good belly laugh at the thought of Bayliss being replaced by ambient whale noises.

Edited by Paxter

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17 hours ago, Paxter said:

Meanwhile England are set to ring the changes in the third test. Westley is the surprise pick ahead of Stoneman to replace Ballance at first drop, while both Roland-Jones and Malan will be pushing to replace Wood and Dawson. I have a feeling Dawson might just survive the cull as The Oval will probably be more spin-friendly than Nottingham.@Hereward

I'm not really very familiar with Westley but hopefully he can be a bit more successful at establishing himself in the top order than most recent candidates have managed. Dawid Malan did have an impressive T20 debut against South Africa last month so he should have plenty of confidence if he is picked.

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Amazing comeback from England to snatch victory in the WWC. India were on track to create history with their first win, but they contrived to lose 7-28 in the last 9 or so overs.

This was probably the most exciting World Cup Final in recent times, in either the men's or women's game. For the neutral observer, it was a nice way to end a successful tournament.  

A question for the Brits: how much media/public attention is the domestic T20 comp getting compared to the ongoing test series?

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45 minutes ago, Paxter said:

A question for the Brits: how much media/public attention is the domestic T20 comp getting compared to the ongoing test series?

I think it's fairly low in terms of public attention, I think not having any free-to-air coverage has really hurt T20 getting any attention beyond cricket fans who have Sky subscriptions. It looks like the ECB have finally learned this lesson and there will be some games shown free to air when their new T20 tournament launches.

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Great Women's World Cup Final, I feel very sorry for Mithali Raj though. All hte talk was about how this might be her swansong, and how she has single-handedly pulled the Indian women's team through the years and finally had a team around her that could contribute. It would have been a great story for India to win it instead of the usual Australia-England, but credit to England for hanging in there all the way and getting the win in the end.

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We may not be too far from a deal on the Australian cricket front now that the main representatives are in detailed talks (and CA is talking about some form of revenue-sharing), but the Bangladesh tour is still in peril. The players are due to meet in Darwin for a training camp on August 10, before flying out to Dhaka on August 18. I'd have thought that at least an interim deal would need to be in place before the training camp starts for the tour to go ahead.

Personally I'll be very annoyed if the tour is cancelled. Bangladesh have been in great form in home tests and deserve the chance to challenge an Australian side that they have never defeated. For their part, I think the Aussies would be keen to snap their subcontinental series losing streak and get their team on track for the Ashes.

Edited by Paxter

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Herath is shortly due to lead Sri Lanka in an important first test against India. You'd think that India would canter to a series victory here, as they have a much more settled lineup when compared to a Sri Lankan side riddled with leadership and performance issues. But India do have a few problems themselves, with both of their regular test openers (Rahul and Vijay) missing and the fallout from the Kumble exit to deal with. This could be a surprisingly interesting series.

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And the best spinner in England is *drum roll* Moeen Ali! Again!

Dawson dropped for the third test, with Malan set to debut. I'm excited, but won't predict a good test match after my "Sri Lanka/India could be close" claim.

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Heh, Philander's 2-7 off 8 overs, he was 2-3 until a couple of balls from the end of his eighth over. England are screwed.

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It was good to see England showing a bit of determination this time, on a day when South Africa mostly bowled well and scoring was hard they did hang in there. Cook is probably the perfect batsman for this sort of situation and he looked to be in good form. It was difficult to really make too much of a judgement on England's debutants, Westley showed some promise in his innings and I wouldn't judge Malan too harshly for being dismissed by a thunderbolt of a yorker from Rabada. England will be hoping batting gets a bit easier tomorrow, they still have Bairstow and Moeen to come so if they continue to bat as they did today they could get a decent first innings score - but there's still a lot of work for them to do.

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Watching the highlights Westley looked ok given the conditions and the pace attack South Africa have. I'm a bit dubious a 28 year old with a sub 40 first class average is going to be the long term solution at 3 but England will have to take what they can get at the moment.

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170-odd for four is not a bad effort against this attack, with conditions suiting seam bowling. Obviously England were very reliant on Cook, but I thought Westley played pretty well. I'd tend to agree with @ljkeane though on whether he offers a long-term solution. He looked like a less patient version of Jonathan Trott.

Edited by Paxter

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Both sides seem to be taking it in turns to collapse in a heap in this series. 

Still, it's very tough batting conditions so England's score is looking very good now.  Excellent effort from Cook and Stokes even if the limited availability of Philander certainly helped. 

Stokes is an odd player as a batsman. He's very inconsistent but he seems to produce his best performances in the toughest conditions. His hundreds have come away at Perth, Cape Town and in India plus both his home centuries have been in good bowling conditions. He could do with starting to pick up some scores when he's actually expected to.

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