English Cricket Thread

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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby Durhamfootman » Fri Mar 31, 2023 2:32 pm

Durham say they intend to adopt the new England approach and Lees will be key to that if they do. If he comes out in the next 2 months flaying bowlers to all parts and scoring runs rapidly, I'd suggest he'd be back in the frame for an ashes opener slot pretty quickly
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby sussexpob » Fri Mar 31, 2023 2:47 pm

Durhamfootman wrote:Durham say they intend to adopt the new England approach and Lees will be key to that if they do. If he comes out in the next 2 months flaying bowlers to all parts and scoring runs rapidly, I'd suggest he'd be back in the frame for an ashes opener slot pretty quickly


Lees really annoyed me in his stint in an England shirt. I think he's got a decent technique, some patience and willingness to gut it out, but somehow it didnt translate into success.
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby Slipstream » Sat Apr 08, 2023 10:06 pm

Archer not playing at the moment, just a precaution. He was fine before the IPL. His right arm no bandages or sleeves. Saw him in the dugout before his first game, heavily strapped arm and when he went to bowl had a sleeve covering it.

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Ben Stokes, Archer's England captain, was also ruled out of Saturday night's fixture. Stokes said earlier this week that he had bowled "pain-free" during Super Kings' victory over Lucknow Super Giants on Monday night, but reports emerged on Friday night that he had a sore heel after training.

Was the sore heel after the one over?
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby andy » Mon Apr 10, 2023 10:32 am

Genuinely worried about stokes....I was thinking maybe he won't be able to bowl and just be a batter only...but the way he was trying to bat on that one knee in the test series was worrying...year or two left of Ben at his best at the most?
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby sussexpob » Mon Apr 10, 2023 11:00 am

andy wrote:Genuinely worried about stokes....I was thinking maybe he won't be able to bowl and just be a batter only...but the way he was trying to bat on that one knee in the test series was worrying...year or two left of Ben at his best at the most?


Considering the fact he is averaging 30 with the bat and 35 with the ball since the start of 2021, I am not sure he has been at his best for a long while. If your predition of further decline is true, then he's not going to justify his spot in the team moving forward. More worrying is, that performance against the best 2 teams he played is incredibly poor. Average of 24 with bat, and 37 with ball against India/Australia.

Away from home too, the form is very grim. Low 20s bat, over 40 with the ball (17 tests in the period, so no small sample).... which lets face it, is incredibly poor and unworthy of selection.


Who would blame him for cashing whatever he has left in the tank on Franchise cricket. I certainly would.
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby Durhamfootman » Mon Apr 10, 2023 12:29 pm

Dobell always reckons it's futile to talk about averages with Stokes because, as he puts it, Stokes is not an 'averages' cricketer. He plays the game to win and he never hides... always prepared to do whatever it takes to win even if it screws up his own personal averages. His averages will have taken a hammering anyway since he became captain and will probably continue to do so, because he leads by example and shows his team how he wants them to play.... so he comes out and throws the bat from the off, he takes the ball when the opposition are on top and he does the hard short ball stuff and cares not a jot about what any of this does to his averages. If he's prepared to do this, then the rest of his team have the freedom to come out, play their game and not worry about failure, because if you fail, Stokes doesn't care as long as you gave it everything you had. The results of this approach are plain to see. England have gone from a team that won once in 17 tests to a team that have won 9 in 11 or something like that with largely the same pool of players to pick from, but here's the thing....... he was probably only able to change the mindset of the other players because they look up to him and they trust him and they seem prepared to happily follow him anywhere he wants to lead them. Even vastly experienced players like Anderson and Broad have signed up for this... have signed up for missing tests if it's in the best interests of England and seem happy about it. Root didn't get away with that. But then even Root didn't walk away, which he could have done after all the grief he was subjected to, he got behind it because it was Stokes asking. That's a quality that very, very few individuals have in any walk of life. At the risk of sounding like groupie, he's quite simply an astonishing cricketer and the players understand this. I rather think they would walk through walls for him

When he does hang up his boots, nobody will ever remember him for his averages.... they'll remember the time he dragged England on one leg to their first World Cup victory, or the time he saw England home to T20 WC victory, or saved England from ashes humiliation by single handedly winning a vital test match from a position that no-one had the right to win from, maybe even the time he got battered for 5 sixes to throw away a T20 WC. Perhaps he'll be remembered for changing completely the way test cricket is played by England (maybe even by everyone one day....time will tell) through his own vision, beligerence and sheer force of will.

If he can keep his body going and hold on long enough to captain England to ashes victory in Australia in a couple of years time that would cap everything off
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby sussexpob » Mon Apr 10, 2023 2:43 pm

I find it interesting how success and failure are defined in sporting context. I try and thing of a batsman England have had in my lifetime watching the game that generally compares to Stokes with the bat (Average 35 ish).... and stumble on John Crawley. Both players played in sides that are considered low points of Englisch crickets batting output historical. Both average the same. Both had decent runs in the team. One is known as a legend, the other an abject failure and often cited as a prime example of England's inability to transfer county talent to the international stage in his era. The reason, as presented, is that one made runs at times of impossibility, against the odds, stood to the fore when everything was lost.

Crawley made 156* against Murali on a pitch Murali took the best test figures of my lifetime. Crawley made 150 runs vs Peak Wasim and Waqar in trying to get a drawn series against the odds in 1996. He scored a 100 in the only test England won vs the early 2000s Indian team that beat/drew against Steve Waugh's legendary Aussie team either side of that series. The only difference is, in 1998 England's other batters crumbled as Murali took 9/60 and they lost. In 1996 England fielded Chris Lewis, Robert Croft and Ian Salisbury in that test, and gave up a predictably massive score with the ball. England then got hugely outplayed vs India at Trent Bridge and Headingley in 2002.

Things that follow affect the way we judge an individual contribution. Maybe if Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann were lining up in 1996 to bowl England to a series leveller instead of 3 of the worst bowlers England ever fielded, we'd remember it differently. Maybe if England's 90s batters werent rubbish at batting v spin that 150 not out would have been considered like Lara's in SL a few years later. But they are binned because of context.

Is Stokes 2019 innings v Australia as impressive? They dropped him, missed easy runouts, missed stumpings... would England have won the world cup had Stokes not accidentally stopped a run out by deflecting the ball to the boundary and turning a loss into 5 runs that tie the game?

I guess you could argue you make your own luck, and I sympathise with that point somewhat. I think the way you can play can make teams back off or hesitant.... but my god, Ben Stokes has been obsecenly lucky through his career. That series in the late 2010s in India where in one test alone the keeper dropped 2 stumpings, the ball smacked offstump without removing the bail, and he was dropped numerous times.... at points its like God has shares in him
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby Durhamfootman » Mon Apr 10, 2023 3:04 pm

God can spot a winner, clearly :D

I rated old Creepy Crawley. Liked him a lot. His autograph is on the boy's bat near to Shane Warne's (although they were obtained in different years) because he was a player who's name I thought the boy should have. It looks remarkably like 'Jolcs'
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby alfie » Tue Apr 11, 2023 7:36 am

Interesting choice of John Crawley as a comparison - though I would submit that comparing figures in this case is a little pointless as he and Stokes performed radically different roles in their teams : what is "good" for an all rounder might be seen as somewhat less so for a top order bat.

Like DFM , I quite rated Crawley - and I'm not sure "abject failure" was a view except among the kneejerk fraternity. But he did , I think it is fair to say , suffer from the lack of a media fan club - which caused his relatively ordinary but hardly awful returns to be judged much more harshly than those of a couple of his contemporaries. I refer , of course , to Hick and Ramprakash ; both of whom surely underperformed significantly more than Creepy (as their Test figures indicate) but tended to have excuses made for them by a media that had promoted them relentlessly in advance.

Crawley was arguably unlucky in that he played nearly half his Tests against a strong Australian team ; and his average of under thirty in Ashes Tests was of course unacceptable. But he performed very well in home Tests against India Pakistan and Sri Lanka so it is perhaps unfortunate that he never made a tour to any of those countries. There can be some luck involved in overall statistics : right place in right time , etc - or the reverse.

Anyway despite my generally favourable view of him I have to agree that he didn't quite have the consistency - or the game against top class pace bowling - to justify a long career.

But what has this really have to do with Stokes ? He still averages about 36 with the bat and 32 the ball. Compare , say , Botham : 33 and 28 respectively and he doesn't come off too badly I'd have thought. I do agree he seems to have a fair bit of good fortune in some of his "big" innings : but on the other hand he has also had a fair bit of bad luck when it comes to ill-timed injuries - which I would suggest are largely responsible for his serious dip in performance in 2021. If you leave out those seven Tests in 2021 from the "recent selective" stats , you will see his averages both batting and bowling are back near his career stats so suggestions that he is in terminal decline seem a little premature.

His injury issues are a concern , indeed. Crossed fingers as I think England need him for a little while yet !
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby sussexpob » Tue Apr 11, 2023 10:37 am

alfie wrote:But what has this really have to do with Stokes ? He still averages about 36 with the bat and 32 the ball. Compare , say , Botham : 33 and 28 respectively and he doesn't come off too badly I'd have thought.


Without being bothered to check the exact stats, I think Botham was still averaging 20 a wicket at the point he passed 200 test wickets, with a bat average also in the high 30s. Before his fitness gave way and he played on with pathetic returns that ruined his career averages, you can make the case that for a very sustained time he was not only an all-time world leading all-rounded, but his numbers would make a case for him being the best bowler of his era, and a very worthwhile mention in the all-time conversation for specialists. I think thats were Stokes claim as a legendary figure of English cricket/world cricket history somewhat wanes. I dont think at any point he could make a sustained case for being a specialist with either discipline in a quality side. There are small peaks here and there, but not sustained. For me, to be considered a world class all-time level all-rounder, you have to either have one discipline that gets you in a good team alone. You could argue in the context of Englands disaster batting, he gets into the side as batsman (and he does) - but that is in a period of historically low batting form, so it feels by the way side. Even in the 90s with our disaster side, an average of 35 (which why I mention Crawley) doesnt cut much.
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Apr 11, 2023 10:44 am

Botham got a big head start playing against sides without their Packer players. It was Alvin Greenwich batting for WI, not Gordon.
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby sussexpob » Tue Apr 11, 2023 10:51 am

alfie wrote:Interesting choice of John Crawley as a comparison - though I would submit that comparing figures in this case is a little pointless as he and Stokes performed radically different roles in their teams : what is "good" for an all rounder might be seen as somewhat less so for a top order bat


Maybe a slightly rhetorical question, but at what point does an all-rounder with lowering production in one discipline cease to be an all-rounder? Ben has taken 36 wickets in his last 25 tests.... I cant give you an answer as to what that should be considered, personally I think that falls between part-time/batter who bowls and all-rounder, but the trend downwards and fitness concerns makes me think in the future, its going to fade to one side.

My guess is Stokes future will lie in batting more and more. He is bowling much less, and returning much less when he does. Problem is, his batting average is going downwards recently - and its sharper away from home, and against better quality sides. I think he needs to ditch bowling to preserve and focus on batting, and getting that average up.

Maybe he can turn it around, but I dont think its isolating or manipulating stats to suggest in the last 2 plus calendar years, its downwards trend on both metrics. Its expected for a player with fading fitness and increasing age/responsibility in captaincy.

My point really is, if he cannot upturn his form or even decline slightly more, he cannot sustain his position in the team on performance. Average downtrending from 30 to into the 20s with the bat, and over 35 with the ball..... even a pretty average specialist at that point becomes better for the side.
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Apr 11, 2023 10:53 am

alfie wrote:But he did (Crawley), I think it is fair to say , suffer from the lack of a media fan club - which caused his relatively ordinary but hardly awful returns to be judged much more harshly than those of a couple of his contemporaries.d 32 the ball.


Crawley was fast tracked into the England side after doing well at school and university, and was hugely hyped, and talked of as an England captain. Before he had done anything. Of course, when he wasn't superman, the press moved on to someone else. Crawley had plenty of chances. I don't think there are any what-ifs there. His technique wasn't great. Fletcher even brought him back for another go.
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby sussexpob » Tue Apr 11, 2023 11:19 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:
alfie wrote:But he did (Crawley), I think it is fair to say , suffer from the lack of a media fan club - which caused his relatively ordinary but hardly awful returns to be judged much more harshly than those of a couple of his contemporaries.d 32 the ball.


Crawley was fast tracked into the England side after doing well at school and university, and was hugely hyped, and talked of as an England captain. Before he had done anything. Of course, when he wasn't superman, the press moved on to someone else. Crawley had plenty of chances. I don't think there are any what-ifs there. His technique wasn't great. Fletcher even brought him back for another go.


I never argued that he didnt get chances or he was a great/bad player; just merely highlighting that you take two similar batsman in career average performance, two batsman who have played some "storied innings", and in one case (even when isolated to batting alone) you will get one narrative of a player who's technique didn't stand up to test cricket and flattered to live up this billing, and another which will be full of praise and willing to overlook failures or batting technique issues to present a very different reality.

There are a handful of county players averaging 45-50 in the 90s, Crawley being part of that group, that did not transfer.... and have lived on as representing the failure of the 1990s. Whether that is fair or not, I didnt comment on.... but certainly at the time, his career was viewed exclusively in terms of failure.
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Re: English Cricket Thread

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Apr 11, 2023 11:41 am

I was mainly responding to Alfie's view that the press didn't hype him. I remember BBC tv doing a teatime discussion on him before he even played county cricket. England needed a magic fix. If you weren't that, they moved on, and maybe went back to you next time you led the CC averages.
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