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Paxter

Cricket 33: ODIs Still Aren’t Proper Cricket Edition

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Looks like Pakistan will get over the line in the first test against the Black Caps. I was impressed by Watling and Nicholls' resistance yesterday (they fought off the in-form Abbas heroically) but, in the end, it looks like NZ will pay the price for a poor first innings score.

As an aside, I am bemused by some of the reporting surrounding the Aussie test side at the moment. Yes, they aren't a great test team (especially sans Warner and Smith), but the side is nowhere near as unsettled as people are claiming. Provided Usman is fit, there are two batting slots up for grabs - the same spots that the banned players vacated after South Africa. It's not ideal, but it's not dissimilar to the situation at the start of last summer when one batting slot and the WK slot were vacant. 

And let's not forget that India has never won a test series Down Under. For sure, they have a great opportunity this summer, but I think they will still have to play out of their skins to seize it. There is also a massive key-person risk with Kohli, whereas Australia's stocks are spread across several decent players in Australian conditions. 

Edited by Paxter

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8 hours ago, Paxter said:

Looks like Pakistan will get over the line in the first test against the Black Caps. I was impressed by Watling and Nicholls' resistance yesterday (they fought off the in-form Abbas heroically) but, in the end, it looks like NZ will pay the price for a poor first innings score.

As an aside, I am bemused by some of the reporting surrounding the Aussie test side at the moment. Yes, they aren't a great test team (especially sans Warner and Smith), but the side is nowhere near as unsettled as people are claiming. Provided Usman is fit, there are two batting slots up for grabs - the same spots that the banned players vacated after South Africa. It's not ideal, but it's not dissimilar to the situation at the start of last summer when one batting slot and the WK slot were vacant. 

And let's not forget that India has never won a test series Down Under. For sure, they have a great opportunity this summer, but I think they will still have to play out of their skins to seize it. There is also a massive key-person risk with Kohli, whereas Australia's stocks are spread across several decent players in Australian conditions. 

I think Australia will always have a chance in home conditions, but they really need some batsmen to find some form. The bowling stocks are pretty good with Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and solid backups like Siddle, while Nathan Lyon is a quality spinner. That bowling lineup could take on any other Test side with a high degree of confidence.

But with Australia it's really the batting that is going to be the crucial thing. If they don't put up some big scores - and Smith/Warner aside the century conversion rate of the rest is pretty poor - then it's going to be a painful summer.

Re: Kohli, he is obviously India's best player by quite a way, but I do think they have other batsmen who can score. They'll have to adjust to the higher bounce but I think in this modern era with Indian players having more overseas experience (through BBL and other tournaments) that's probably less of an issue than used to be the case. I think the opposite challenge for India is to make sure their bowlers, who have bowled very well recently, keep on performing in Australian conditions.

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Bahaha Pakistan. Absolute classic match coming down to the last wicket, but really, this is laughable.

Poor old Azhar Ali is beside himself.

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Gah now I'm super frustrated by Williamson. Why oh why would you not bring the field up at the end of the over against Ali? He's not a renowned boundary hitter or innovator.

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WHAT A WIN. Absolutely stunning. One of the great test matches.

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Hundred for Bairstow batting at 3, admittedly Sri Lanka are looking a little ragged. Still, with Foakes having done so well it's certainly not doing Bairstow any harm to score some runs as a batsman.

Heh, wicket just as I typed how ragged Sri Lanka were looking.

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Looks like England will sweep Sri Lanka in this series. Impressive stuff, the hosts’ underperformance notwithstanding. And have they finally solved their problems at number 3?

India bounced back nicely to draw the T20I series against Australia. Kohli looked imperious last night. Cannot wait for the Adelaide test now.

And Babar finally broke through with his first test hundred, albeit in benign conditions against New Zealand. Pakistan made quite a sporting declaration, let’s see what the visitors can do now with the bat.

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5 hours ago, Paxter said:

India bounced back nicely to draw the T20I series against Australia. Kohli looked imperious last night. Cannot wait for the Adelaide test now.

There was a brief moment in that match where it looked like India were in trouble - needing about 70 runs off 40 balls with only Kohli and Karthik and the tail to come. Kohli ends up smacking two sixes and a four within the space of a few balls and brings it home easily in the end. I really hope we get to see the best of him in the Test series. There are so many Indian fans in Australia, it's like a neutral ground at best!

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17 hours ago, Paxter said:

Looks like England will sweep Sri Lanka in this series. Impressive stuff, the hosts’ underperformance notwithstanding. And have they finally solved their problems at number 3?

I think keeping Bairstow in that position does seem like a reasonable option, if he's not going to be required to be the wicket-keeper as well. I'm still unconvinced about the opening partnership and there aren't many games before the next Ashes series for it to settle - only a tour of the Windies and a Test against Ireland. I think Jennings in particular needs to prove that he can do well against the West Indies fast bowlers.

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Two more sleeps until the Adelaide test match!

Just a couple of small things before the India series kicks off:

  • BJ Watling is just pure test match cricket gold. His 42 n.o. off 180 balls (!) has kept New Zealand in the series.
  • Congrats to Bangladesh for putting an extremely poor Zimbabwe series behind them and dispensing with the Windies in clinical style. 

 

Edited by Paxter

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Two wickets early highlight India's biggest problem in this series - who apart from Kohli is going to stand up and make the big runs required to win test matches in Australia?

ETA: Both openers lost their wickets playing lazy wafts outside the off stump. Clueless stuff and I'd again make the point that India has played hardly any longer-form warm-up games. Didn't Shashtri and Kohli learn anything from the England tour?

Edited by Paxter

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And now India in deep trouble and with a chance of being bowled out for less than 200 after choosing to bat first. Pujara aside, that was really, really poor test batting.

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5 hours ago, Paxter said:

Two wickets early highlight India's biggest problem in this series - who apart from Kohli is going to stand up and make the big runs required to win test matches in Australia?

ETA: Both openers lost their wickets playing lazy wafts outside the off stump. Clueless stuff and I'd again make the point that India has played hardly any longer-form warm-up games. Didn't Shashtri and Kohli learn anything from the England tour?

Pujara and Rahane both have decent record in Australia here don't they?

The bigger question is who in the Aussie batting lineup will get any decent runs. Other than Usi, they are all pretty shite or inexperienced. How the fuck did Head get into the team....

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2 hours ago, The Winged Shadow said:

Pujara and Rahane both have decent record in Australia here don't they?

The bigger question is who in the Aussie batting lineup will get any decent runs. Other than Usi, they are all pretty shite or inexperienced. How the fuck did Head get into the team....

Vijay and Rahane have good records in Australia, I don’t think Pujara did (until today!)

Australia’s batting is a problem, let’s see how this pitch plays tomorrow.

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4 hours ago, Paxter said:

Vijay and Rahane have good records in Australia, I don’t think Pujara did (until today!)

Pujara has an oddly poor record outside the subcontinent, you’d think he’s the most likely to do well in all conditions with his technique, until this year. He does seem to be correcting that though.

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Kudos to New Zealand. They could have easily fallen into a heap after the poor second test and conceding another first-innings lead in this match. But Williamson seems to have at least secured them a drawn series, if not a chance at a series win on Day Five.

Finch gone early on Day Two in Adelaide. Bring back Renshaw!

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Impressive from Ashwin. I didn't see that coming. If you'd told me that the Indian quicks only had one wicket between them after 50 overs, I'd have guessed an Australian score of 180-1, not 111-4.

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Hah, looks like my random prediction of low scores in this series is coming true at least for this test. Must be the first time in a while we're likely to get sub-300 scores in the first innings of an Adelaide Test!

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Yeah I wasn’t expecting this sort of wicket but it’s made for an interesting contest.

You’d think that if India can bat for a couple more sessions tomorrow then Australia will basically be out of the game.

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Hmmm well, all three results technically still possible at lunch on Day 5!

A lot will depend on how many wickets India can nab in the next session. Assuming they can remove Paine or a couple more of the bowlers, then it should be game over. But if Paine and Cummins can blunt the Indians before tea, who knows what could happen in the final session.

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