Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 Aug

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Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 Aug

Postby bigfluffylemon » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:08 pm

And so, to the fourth and final test.

After a turnaround where they finally remembered how to bat in test matches, England appear to be in the ascendancy again. An encouraging debut from Tom Westley and Toby Roland-Jones in particular, a much better balanced side now that the disastrous Dawson pick has been reversed, and their key players have all found some form. South Africa on the other hand are struggling with the fitness of their bowlers, and the form of several of their batsmen, in particular, Heino Kuhn, and more worryingly, captain Faf du Plessis.

Old Trafford is England's best ground - not since 2001, against Pakistan have England lost here, and in the meantime have racked up 8 wins and 2 draws (both against Australia, both rain-affected, likely to have been 1 win 1 loss had the rain not intervened). It's even more of a fortress for the home side than Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.

As such, there can only be one prediction: crushing South Africa win.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby bigfluffylemon » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:11 pm

As an aside, for the stats geek in me, it's interesting how ground records have all been utterly irrelevant so far this summer. Lord's - England hadn't won against South Africa since readmission. Trent Bridge - England hadn't lost here since 2007, and apart from the road in 2014 had won every game in the meantime. The Oval - one of England's worst grounds over the last ten years, with only one victory in their last five games, including crushing defeats against Australia, and in 2012, against South Africa, in an absolute shocker of a performance.

As such, England's proud home record at OT fills me with no confidence whatsoever.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby alfie » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:53 am

bigfluffylemon wrote:As an aside, for the stats geek in me, it's interesting how ground records have all been utterly irrelevant so far this summer. Lord's - England hadn't won against South Africa since readmission. Trent Bridge - England hadn't lost here since 2007, and apart from the road in 2014 had won every game in the meantime. The Oval - one of England's worst grounds over the last ten years, with only one victory in their last five games, including crushing defeats against Australia, and in 2012, against South Africa, in an absolute shocker of a performance.

As such, England's proud home record at OT fills me with no confidence whatsoever.


I suppose what those records really show is that much of the reason for individual ground "streaks" is just coincidence ... and the law of averages will eventually reassert itself. ( I do recall a few years back noting England had a great record at The Oval , against Australia in particular- so these things change over time.)

In other words : this result was due...
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby mikesiva » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:14 am

Kuhn is the south African keaton Jennings. Neither has the technique to open the batting in test cricket on a long term basis. Aidan Markham should be given a chance this test. South Africa have to win this test so they are likely to play the same five bowlers fitness permitting. If they want to shore up the batting they could bring in theunis de bruyne for Morris but that is unlikely when trailing 2-1. Also de Kock shouldn't bat at four. That's where du Plessis should be batting. Quinton should bat either at five or six.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby westoelad » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:54 am

Jennings wasn't in the best of form coming into the test series and he's been up against a very good attack in bowler-friendly conditions. Excellent article in the Times today about microsecond errors in timing can make a batsman's technique look completely erroneous. Coming through such spells is a lot to do with strength of character which Jennings undoubtedly has. Whether he'd be better off back at Durham or retained in the Test side is a very fine call. Certainly wouldn't write him off yet.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby andy » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:48 pm

Have a feeling Dawson will be straight back in the side for this test...having listened to Bayliss and knowing the normal wicket at OT, has dawson coming back into the side written all over it :(
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby bigfluffylemon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:20 pm

The forecast is looking iffy, especially days 4 and 5 (although that is a while out, forecasts change). At the moment it doesn't appear to be enough to prevent a result, but the conditions are likely to be cool and cloudy for much of the game. Bad light may well play a factor, both in lost play hours and dodgy batting collapses.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby andy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:01 pm

Pitch and outfield under covers, lot of rain has fallen, and in a race of time to get the ground playable
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:29 pm

Cricinfo thinks England and SA will be unchanged, depending on Big Vern coming through a fitness test.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby westoelad » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:07 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Cricinfo thinks England and SA will be unchanged, depending on Big Vern coming through a fitness test.

Neither team has a choice really as no alternatives have played any red ball cricket in the past month.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby bigfluffylemon » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:55 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Cricinfo thinks England and SA will be unchanged, depending on Big Vern coming through a fitness test.


I think much will depend on Big Vern's fitness. If he doesn't play, England really ought to be able to take the series. Theoretically Old Trafford should suit Morkel very well given it's quite bouncy, but given the recent rain the pitch may be a bit more stodgy than usual.

I reckon South Africa will play him unless he's confined to a hospital bed. He's just too valuable with the series on the line.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:56 pm

Back injury this time, apparently.
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby bigfluffylemon » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:12 am

No word yet on Philander?

I'm about to head to the airport for the 30-odd hour journey to visit home, so I'm going to miss most of the first two days. I hope not to be too disappointed when I land tomorrow and turn on TMS in the car :)

As an aside, I'll be at Edgbaston for day 1 of the first test against the West Indies. I thought I'd get myself a bit of history by attending the first D/N test in England. Are any other posters going?
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby mikesiva » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:54 am

"10.10am: Breaking news from the ground: Vernon Philander and Chris Morris are both out, reports Firdose. That is likely to mean Duanne Olivier and Theunis de Bruyn coming in, a pair of allrounders replaced by a pare of specialists... Philander had been struck by back spasms yesterday and SA were reluctant to go in with him not fully for for a second match running."
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Re: Fourth test: England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 4-8 A

Postby westoelad » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:54 am

bigfluffylemon wrote:No word yet on Philander?

I'm about to head to the airport for the 30-odd hour journey to visit home, so I'm going to miss most of the first two days. I hope not to be too disappointed when I land tomorrow and turn on TMS in the car :)

As an aside, I'll be at Edgbaston for day 1 of the first test against the West Indies. I thought I'd get myself a bit of history by attending the first D/N test in England. Are any other posters going?

Both Philander and Morris out -bet Jennings is relieved at that.
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