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TheLastWolf

Cricket 40: Paines in the Ashes

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There’s some test cricket in Pakistan on. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that.

It doesn’t seem to be going particularly well for South Africa but, to be fair, I can’t say I have much idea what’s a good score in Karachi.

ETA: Pakistan are 33-4 so perhaps South Africa weren't doing too badly after all.

Edited by ljkeane

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I remember listening a while ago to a Pakistani commentator (I think it was Ramiz Raja) talking about how much Pakistani pitches have changed in domestic first-class cricket. Apparently they have changed significantly since the Inzy/Yousuf/Younus era (when you could bat all day provided you could deal with the heat) and it is not uncommon now for pitches to offer consistent seam and spin.

The current test scores would seem to be further evidence of that change! Though I haven't watched the highlights yet so perhaps batting ineptitude is to blame (neither Pakistan nor SA are rich in batting).

Edited by Paxter

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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.

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Pakistan is out playing South Africa!!! 

I'm pinching myself... 

From 27/4 to 308...

Now getting SA all out for 220...

#:%"#@ shit 

After ages India will be getting their favorite rival back to form. I don't have any crappy jingoistic ideas tho

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James Vince just got a half century! That’s not supposed to happen. He gets a nice looking 20 or 30 and gets out.

ETA: And the bowler has robbed him of the chance to seal a match winning hundred by bowling a wide.:lol:

Edited by ljkeane

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11 hours ago, ljkeane said:

James Vince just got a half century! That’s not supposed to happen. He gets a nice looking 20 or 30 and gets out.

ETA: And the bowler has robbed him of the chance to seal a match winning hundred by bowling a wide.:lol:

For some reason, I was watching this live. And it was a very, very big and deliberate wide. What a shit.

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Yep, AJ Tye's wide robs Vince of his century. To be fair the boundary off the previous over by the other batsman was also just as culpable for robbing him of his century, but it's easier to understand that wasn't deliberate (more a reflex pull shot) and he did block out the rest of the over.

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It sounds like the India England series is going to be on Channel 4. I have to admit I'm a bit torn. On the one hand getting test cricket back on free to air tv since 2005 is absolutely a good thing. On the other hand from a personal point of view Sky's cricket coverage tends to be really good and I suspect whatever Channel 4 are able to cobble together on short notice won't be to the same standard.

ETA: In less good news Australia have pulled out of their tour of South Africa.

Edited by ljkeane

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India, England and Australia are in contention to face New Zealand in the WTC final 

India will qualify if they win their home hosting series against Eng by 2-0,2-1, 3-0,3-1 or 4-0 whitewash 

Eng will qualify if 3-0,3-1 or whitewash away 

Aus qualify if Series draw, Ind win 1-0, or Eng win 1-0,2-0,2-1

Permutations and combinations, phew... 

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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. 

Edited by Paxter

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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. 

Edited by Paxter

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15 hours ago, Paxter said:

India's bowling plans. Just amazing preparation and I have to hand it to Shashtri or whoever is the mastermind.

Bharat Arun

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Predictions for India v England?

You'd think India is easily in the box seat based on:

  1. An incredible home record (they hardly lose a home test, let alone a series)
  2. Sky-high confidence after the Aus win
  3. 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. 

Edited by Paxter

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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. 

Edited by Paxter

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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!

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I just got up so missed whatever went wrong with Burns but this isn’t a terrible result from the openers for England anyway. Better than I was expecting.

In terms of the series, yeah, the problem for England is getting 20 wickets. Last time out in India they didn’t bat too badly and lost 4-0. I think England’s best hope is the part time groundsman in Chennai getting it wrong and producing a couple of minefields by mistake. Doesn’t look like it.

ETA: On the bowling front the lack of Jadeja seems to be a bit of an issue for Kohli. Nadeem and Sundar are relieving the pressure on England a bit.

Edited by ljkeane

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12 hours ago, Paxter said:

So I expect England to win 2-1 :P. 

Curse you, pax!

A good day today. Delighted for Joe, who played superbly. He looks back in the big 4/5 now. Gutted for Sibley. But if he’d been playing positively, or as positively as he ever gets, he might well have turned that Yorker into a low full toss. 

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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.

 

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