First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

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First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:00 am

Tuesday, 04.30 GMT.

England have never won in Galle in four attempts, their most memorable effort coming in 2003 when Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard's last wicket rearguard hung on for a draw as the light closed in. During those days in the reign of Muttiah Muralitharan and some bespoke pitches, England travelled to the Resplendent Isle with less hope than they did even to India and any draw was worth celebrating and usually included some valorous defensive heroics. That England won in Sri Lanka in 2001 can seem like false memory syndrome so surreally improbable it appears; and the main protagonists of the victory, Giles, Graham Thorpe and Darren Gough will linger long in the affections of their supporters.

Yet even on that tour, England were pasted by an innings in the first Test in Galle, with a hundred and a fifty from Marcus Trescothick among his finest Test performances. There may not be many stories of past glories on the tour of 2018, as only stalwart seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have toured there before, and both average over 40. Both sides are in steep decline and lack experience in key positions. Especially so with Sri Lanka when Rangana Herath retires after the Galle Test, which surely guarantees a dust bowl to see him off. And yet, an exciting and unpredictable series feels likely. It is difficult to foresee who the series winners will be. England will be out of their comfort zone in Asia with a weak batting line up, but against bowlers with little international pedigree (once Herath has made way). Sri Lanka will have their spinners to rely on, who were still good enough to whitewash Australia and South Africa at home but are falling through the rankings so quickly there is concern for their future in this format.

At last the heavy scoring Surrey opener Rory Burns will make his debut, curiously overlooked for so long while over a dozen other less prolific batters got their chance at the top of the order. Similarly, will a great of Sri Lankan club cricket, Malinda Pushpakumara, finally get a decent chance to break into Test cricket at the age of 32, and enjoy the kind of late flowering that Herath did? In spite of the usual reservations it is always interesting to see England back playing Test cricket, and while these tourists might not be the legends of 2001 it'll be engaging to see which of these emerging players will make their names, and which will only be curiosities uncovered by future searches on statsguru.

My prediction, a 2-1 home win, assuming the rain stays away. Sri Lanka are still proving good enough to beat everyone but India on their pitches and you have to go back four years to find a draw.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:08 pm

There are two, two day warm up games starting today, which are promised to be squad games, so of little interest to the spectator.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Dr Cricket » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:45 pm

tbh most spectators come to warm up games to watch the players not the actual games, remember how the likes of newman etc struggle to get that in their tiny little brains in 2011, 2014 when india played odi warm up games, 13 players but a very decent crowd that came for india didn't give a crap about it, yet they go on about all the time how the fans don't want to watch it or how pointless it is for warm up etc.
pretty much most fans that come to warm up games to watch india play in england come to get autograph or to see the players, they really don't care about the game if they did most people would pay or watch the proper odi or test games, you only come to pay or watch Warm up games to get cheap tickets and a glimpse of the superstars.
Baffling how fans are being used to question 12-13 players games.
only really the quality of the warm up games is legitimate concern for having loads of players but then you have the question how do you get your bench players overs and runs, especially when you only have 2 warm up games all series impossible to do it.

in reality think 12-13 players isn't a problem.
the main problems are the poor pitches, poor faculties and poor teams.
11 or 13 players or even 18 player games make no difference whatsoever to the quality of the games.
if anything think 12-13 players games is the right call mostly because it allows 6 bowlers to be used the main 4-5 in the test teams and the 2 back ups encase of injures or poor form and then it allows you to play 8 batsman in the batting so all or most of the batting contenders get a bat in the middle to either get in the test teams or get some runs under the belt.
if you playing 11 players most likely 1 or 2 batsman not getting to play and unable to play in the test matches or unable to get form for the test matches and for the bowling either someone misses out on overs to allows the bench some bowling or the reserve bowlers unable to acclimitise and get overs in the belt before the test matches and prepare just incase they have to play because of injuries.

TBH a lot of the time teams play 12-13 players because of the bowling and not the batting especially if you have 6-7 bowlers but are not really able to pick your first choice attack overseas.
pretty much england did it today because Anderson and broad needs overs and then they need to pick one of Woakes, Curran to join them in the test team especially when it is suggested one of Woakes, Curran and Broad will play and broad might be dropped from the team.
so basically a bowl off between broad, Curran and Woakes.
Ali and Rashid again need to be picked to get ready for the red ball so that already 6 players and then you probably need another 6-7 batsman that need batting time and suddenly it is 12-13 player team.

Anyway back to point surprised the journo are not complaining they love to complain during the english summer although thankfully none of the papers send journalist for tourist warm up games anyway now.

Funny how when england are doing it.
"At least it was a decent work out as England weigh up their options in their attempt to finally find a combination to take 20 wickets and win an overseas Test for the first time since their victory over Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2016."

but when other teams do it in england it is a disgrace and they are under prepared and haven't bowled enough overs or something like that.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/crick ... Lanka.html

"and England wisely used 14 players on the opening day to avert heat-stroke "
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/201 ... l-opening/
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Dr Cricket » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:50 pm

the best analogy I can give is that it is basically football warm up games/ preseason games.
managers make so many changes and substitution that so the players are match ready and they can practice tactics and set pieces etc.

treat it as players getting sub in and sub out of games.
bowlers playing when they bowling and batsman playing when their are batting and even in the field specialist fielders are practising.
in this game england used all 3 wicketkeepers in the squad and allowed burns to practice in 2nd slip to pace and root was first slip to spinners.

issues isn't really the number of players but the number of warm up games and then the facilities and quality of opposition.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:39 am

I notice Gentle Ben has retired injured.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:55 am

Squads.

Karunaratne/Dhananjaya/Kusal/Mathews/Chandimal/Roshen/Dickwella/Dulruwan/Lakmal/Herath/Sandakan/Dananjaya/Lahiru/Pushpakamura/Kaushal/Kasun

Who will be opening with Karunaratne?

Burns/Jennings/Moeen/Root/Pope/Stokes/Buttler/Rashid/Leach/Broad/Anderson/Denly/Stone/Woakes/Foakes/Bairstow/Curran

Only England would take six pace bowler on a tour of SL.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Slipstream » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:07 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Squads.

Karunaratne/Dhananjaya/Kusal/Mathews/Chandimal/Roshen/Dickwella/Dulruwan/Lakmal/Herath/Sandakan/Dananjaya/Lahiru/Pushpakamura/Kaushal/Kasun

Who will be opening with Karunaratne?

Burns/Jennings/Moeen/Root/Pope/Stokes/Buttler/Rashid/Leach/Broad/Anderson/Denly/Stone/Woakes/Foakes/Bairstow/Curran

Only England would take six pace bowler on a tour of SL.


I think they take 6 pace bowlers everywhere they go. Sometimes even have to call up someone as injuries do happen. Hope Broad and Anderson are going to bowl more than 11/12 overs. They last bowled about 2 months ago. Still be short of 50 overs needed before a first Test. Leach also needed to bowl in both games.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:37 pm

Not certain by any means that Broad will play. Anderson, plus another pace bowler, plus Stokes.

Wouldn't be stunned if Leach didn't play. They're going to call Denly their third spinner (even though he has 62 first class wickets in 14 years). We've been here before with Dawson and Ansari.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Slipstream » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:33 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Not certain by any means that Broad will play. Anderson, plus another pace bowler, plus Stokes.

Wouldn't be stunned if Leach didn't play. They're going to call Denly their third spinner (even though he has 62 first class wickets in 14 years). We've been here before with Dawson and Ansari.


Yes. Agree with you.

Seamers can take wickets in Sri Lanka
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:53 pm

I think they should pick two seamers and Stokes. I agree that the pace bowlers will have some threat. Though Galle is likely to be the most out-and-out spin track so three spinners also in the first Test seems reasonable.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby bigfluffylemon » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:41 pm

Surely Leach is a better option than Moeen or Rashid as first spinner? It's not as if England's batting is not plenty deep, and anyway, it doesn't seem to prevent them falling in a heap most of the time.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:47 pm

I think he should be in there. But he didn't play in the warm up and England haven't really backed him in the past. Hope he gets to play in Galle.

Burns
Denly or Jennings
Moeen or Denly
Root
Pope or Moeen
Stokes
Buttler
Rashid or Moeen
Leach
Broad or Curran or Woakes or Stone
Anderson
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby alfie » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:25 am

Unfortunately for Leach this second "match" - in which he would surely have been given a solid bowl out - is looking like a complete washout . Going to make it hard to pick him for Galle.
I felt before the tour that Leach might be the best wicket taking option for England - assuming the hosts produce pitches extremely helpful to spin bowling. This, after all , is the criticism often leveled at him in the county game - that he relies on raging turners at Taunton to get his big hauls : but nobody denies he regularly does the business in such conditions. It is looking more likely though that they are planning to go with Moeen and Rashid , assisted by Denly and Root.

Not writing England off in this series. They struggle in Asia , sure . And have lost Cook. But Sri Lanka is not exactly at the top of their game at present ; and with Herath signing off after Galle...

Guess it might depend on which of the newer players on either side stand up - that and the odd bit of luck , if the conditions are very tricky for the bats.

Hope it stops raining long enough to finish a match or two...
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:44 am

alfie wrote:
Not writing England off in this series. They struggle in Asia , sure . And have lost Cook. But Sri Lanka is not exactly at the top of their game at present ; and with Herath signing off after Galle...



SL are still beating non-Asian tourists reasonably comfortably still though. But Herath retiring could be the difference as you suggest.

Hard to know how much of a loss Cook will be. In the last three years he's been tending to make one contribution a series. And away from home, without A&B so effective, they've led to draws. But I suppose, England might be looking enviously at a draw as the series progresses.
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Re: First Test: Sri Lanka v England in Galle, 6/11/18.

Postby alfie » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:13 am

England would probably take a draw in Galle. As you say , Arthur , it hasn't been a happy place for them.

I would make Sri Lanka favorites ( to be honest I'd make nearly every home team favorites these days , given the poor preparation touring sides get) but I just don't see them as a irresistible force...England will need at least a couple of batsmen to have really good tours ; but that is possible. No result would really astonish me. Worth noting England did come back from an initial loss when they toured (after their UAE disaster ) six or seven years ago and drew the series - due partly to pace bowling in the second match ! They did have a stronger team then...but I guess Sri Lanka did too.
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