There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby m@tt » Wed May 16, 2018 10:14 am

I don't believe the scouts have all been chosen, nor Smith had the time to implement the analysis procedures he's after - he said as much in interviews (on that, whilst I wasn't keen on his appointment, he did at least give a good interview explaining his rationale, which you'd expect given his media work, unlike his predecessor who struggled to articulate his thinking).

Foakes - he was in the Ashes and NZ squads as a backup keeper. He hasn't been replaced or overtaken in that role - rightly or wrongly, Buttler is in as a specialist batsman not a wicketkeeper.

Wood has been fit - but he's been on the IPL bench which is why he hasn't featured for Durham. He cut his contract short, taking a financial hit, so he could play for Durham this week and took a career best haul, albeit against one of the weakest teams in the league.

I wouldn't say Bess is out of form. I haven't heard any reports of him bowling poorly this season. He took 8 wickets in the MCC vs Essex game and since then he hasn't bowled a huge number of overs due to conditions - just 9 overs against Yorkshire, then 7+34 against Hampshire (in the second innings they were stonewalling, Bess went for under 2 an over).

Selection should be about more than who scored the most county runs over the past fortnight. Otherwise every England squad would have wholesale changes! Bess has been performing brilliantly since breaking into the Somerset side, been picked for the Lions, MCC and North/South and stepped up well. To have 7 five-fers from 16 games is remarkable. He's clearly part of England's long-term thinking, even if his selection has come sooner than intended, and is said to have impressed with his fielding and temperament too, whilst his batting is pretty good too (an added bonus, not a significant factor). The only other alternative was Virdi who is also on the radar, having toured with the Lions, but has only played 7 games - his time may well come, it's hardly a snub.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed May 16, 2018 10:37 am

My hunch about Smith is he's another appointment that reflects the values of those making the selection rather than any particular quality of his own, much as Moores followed Flower. Admittedly I'm basing my negativity on his extremely poor and idiotic journalism. But given he's got the job, let him get on with it. I'll put my criticism on hold until a year or so has passed...
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby sussexpob » Wed May 16, 2018 11:05 am

I am aware that Buttler is a specialist bat, but it does not really explain why Foakes is ignored with a FC average of 53 this year after making a squad and essentially being dumped without opportunity. Foakes averages 42 in FC, and one can assume from that he is more qualified than alot of players to fulfill the role Buttler is being asked, or to allow Bairstow to shelve the gloves.

Looking at it from all levels, he was deemed good enough to play potentially in the Ashes series, has done little wrong to suggest otherwise, has form, has a long standing record that proves talent, and has additional skills that can help the team. So what exactly is the reason he is over looked?

Bess has virtually no experience playing away from helpful Taunton conditions. I think Somerset have only picked him away twice. His other away games have been played on bunsens in Windies. The MCC match had Dan "7 first class wickets in 50 matches" Lawrence leading the attack for Essex as a spinner. The Windies A matches were dominated by two journeyman windies bowlers on pitches that turned right angles.

Taunton hasnt been a bunsen this early in the season, and he has provided 1 wicket at a SR of 300!!!! He might have talent, but it seems rather ludicrous to pick a 20 year old spinner with limited provable worth outside the most helpful conditions, for a test match at Lords in May.Somerset won pick him away, but hes deemed good enough for the national team? Got "England wreck prospect" all over it that.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby sussexpob » Wed May 16, 2018 11:14 am

As for the point about scouts, having a flick through I cant find one article that suggests Ed Smith has directly said the system isnt ready. Do you have one to share? We do know that about 7 of the 12 scouts were hired as early as last year, and that the analysis systems have been in place a while with the head of development speaking at length in recent times about the system. Strauss by memory made a comment to suggest when Smith was appointed that he was the icing on the cake.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby sussexpob » Wed May 16, 2018 11:24 am

Either way, its not really the point. We were sold Ed Smith's suitability for the role solely on his apparent ability to enact a system of selection based in cricketing analytics. Strauss is directly quoted as saying that. Now we have Smith coming out and saying he dispensed with cricketing analytics with his squad, and picked it on "cricketing judgement". So what is it to be? The last selector was dumped and a new system put in place, the first test of that system comes and we are told that the ideas that the whole system are based on might not actually be as good as throwing darts on a list of names.

He extends that point by saying Buttler is not being picked on the basis of IPL form. He has no FC form. This isnt an analytical assessment. So WTF is it?

Well, its random guesswork isnt it? Random guesswork that takes form, established test match performance over 18 games, established FC performance over 85 games..... throws it out the window and says "yep, that guy who failed over and over again to perform might just be the one"... no reason why, just I think he is. This is comical.

And this is before we even get into what Smith actually knows about analytics. Wasnt he essentially fired from Cricinfo for copying someone else's ideas on the subject, removing their name and putting his own at the top, and selling it as his own idea!!

It seems hes an absolute faker!!
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby sussexpob » Wed May 16, 2018 11:32 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:My hunch about Smith is he's another appointment that reflects the values of those making the selection rather than any particular quality of his own, much as Moores followed Flower


And absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he opened the batting for a county team for years, and is very good friends with, the person who was doing the hiring.

I wonder what next? Strauss brother, by trade a bricklayer, being appointed coach because hes good at building things?
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby m@tt » Wed May 16, 2018 1:31 pm

sussexpob wrote:I am aware that Buttler is a specialist bat, but it does not really explain why Foakes is ignored with a FC average of 53 this year after making a squad and essentially being dumped without opportunity. Foakes averages 42 in FC, and one can assume from that he is more qualified than alot of players to fulfill the role Buttler is being asked, or to allow Bairstow to shelve the gloves.

Looking at it from all levels, he was deemed good enough to play potentially in the Ashes series, has done little wrong to suggest otherwise, has form, has a long standing record that proves talent, and has additional skills that can help the team. So what exactly is the reason he is over looked?


Foakes hasn't been "dumped". He was in a touring squad as a back-up keeper. Should we have dropped Bairstow at some point during the winter to be nice and give Foakes an opportunity? We've now selected a squad for a home series where there isn't a need to select a back-up keeper, or a back-up spinner or a back-up batsman or extra seamers. The squad has just 12 men in it and Bairstow is still the keeper. Has Foakes' position as next-in-line keeper changed?

sussexpob wrote:Bess has virtually no experience playing away from helpful Taunton conditions. I think Somerset have only picked him away twice. His other away games have been played on bunsens in Windies. The MCC match had Dan "7 first class wickets in 50 matches" Lawrence leading the attack for Essex as a spinner. The Windies A matches were dominated by two journeyman windies bowlers on pitches that turned right angles.

Taunton hasnt been a bunsen this early in the season, and he has provided 1 wicket at a SR of 300!!!! He might have talent, but it seems rather ludicrous to pick a 20 year old spinner with limited provable worth outside the most helpful conditions, for a test match at Lords in May.Somerset won pick him away, but hes deemed good enough for the national team? Got "England wreck prospect" all over it that.


So who should be the spinner? Virdi and Parkinson are even less experienced than Bess. Leach, Dawson and Crane are injured. Ali dropped.

sussexpob wrote:As for the point about scouts, having a flick through I cant find one article that suggests Ed Smith has directly said the system isnt ready. Do you have one to share? We do know that about 7 of the 12 scouts were hired as early as last year, and that the analysis systems have been in place a while with the head of development speaking at length in recent times about the system. Strauss by memory made a comment to suggest when Smith was appointed that he was the icing on the cake.


On the video on the ECB website, Smith says that a second selector is still to be selected (Newell and Fraser are still in their old roles for the time being) and refers to the scouting network needing to be set up. As you say, some where put in place last year, so I think it's a case of finalising it rather than setting up from scratch.

sussexpob wrote:Wasnt he essentially fired from Cricinfo for copying someone else's ideas on the subject, removing their name and putting his own at the top, and selling it as his own idea!!


Sort of - though it was a section in an article rather than the entire thing! It wasn't good, and one of the reasons why I was sceptical of Smith's appointment - and I remain so, but am willing to give him the summer to see how he does before jumping on his back, rather than expect him to implement all his plans inside a fortnight.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby ianp1970 » Wed May 16, 2018 7:59 pm

A couple of further thoughts:

If the captain/coach/selector/manager does deem a that we require an additional middle-order batsman to augment the keeper and all-rounder, is there a good reason why would the specialist batsman should come in behind this pair?
At 100-5 at 3pm on Day 1, is Buttler the man for the job? Or at 20-3 at 12pm would someone like Gubbins (or Malan, if the order was Cook/X/X/Root/Malan) be better suited?
Also, if we somehow reach 450-5 at lunch on Day 2, does a Buttler 80-ball century taking the score to 700-7 dec. at evening drinks make that much of a difference compared to 600 all out at the close?
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby bigfluffylemon » Wed May 16, 2018 11:22 pm

Aggers' article on the selection might be the biggest load of tosh he's ever written.
https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/44130617

He even talks about Buttler's complete lack of batting credentials in the long form, then applauds the selection anyway. :facepalm

He describes the squad as 'forward thinking', when we've just gone back to the same old tried-and-failed players, and horribly out of form ones - Buttler, Woakes, Stoneman, Wood etc. Bess is the only arguable 'forward-thinking' selection, and it's pretty much been forced by the absence of any other spinner.

Aggers has gone rapidly downhill in my estimation in the last few years. I'm sure he used to be more insightful (maybe it's the rose-tinted specs), but he's essentially just become another ECB sycophant. I don't know if the latest article is toe-ing the ECB corporate line, loyalty to his former colleague or both, but it is utter drivel.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby sussexpob » Thu May 17, 2018 8:34 am

Personally a big fan of the comparison being drawn between Buttler and Roger Federer. Ed Smith loves Roger, so obviously Buttler was going to get picked
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby sussexpob » Thu May 17, 2018 8:38 am

As I said yesterday though, Aggers is yet another person now telling us that Ed Smith isnt a "data guy" , he justs calls talent how it is.

I get the feeling we have been sold Andrew Strauss' mate on the basis he was this big number cruncher with revolutionary ideas on scouting and data analytics, and now everyone is keen to point out he isnt actually this data man, he's just got amazing cricketing judgement.

Well, what previous qualification does he have to prove his cricketing judgement? Nothing. In fact, he was a terrible pundit and writer on cricket. If he isnt a data guy like first advertised, is this an admission that they gave the job to someone without any justification for it (apart from his boss beng a close friend)?
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu May 17, 2018 9:30 am

bigfluffylemon wrote:Aggers' article on the selection might be the biggest load of tosh he's ever written.
https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/44130617



Agnew was never much of a cricket writer or analyst. But Aggers is a broadcasting great.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby m@tt » Thu May 17, 2018 9:30 am

sussexpob wrote:Personally a big fan of the comparison being drawn between Buttler and Roger Federer. Ed Smith loves Roger, so obviously Buttler was going to get picked

He loves Bob Dylan too (half his Spectator articles had a Dylan reference shoehorned in). Wonder who the Dylan-equivalent pick is? :P
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu May 17, 2018 9:33 am

Don't think many cricketers exist in a counterculture. They seem to have the usual characteristics of self made men.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby alfie » Thu May 17, 2018 11:04 am

Well I am not ready to judge Smith on one selection. Have to say I am slightly disappointed with his first offering ; but will wait and see where it - and he - go from here.

Bess as spinner seems reasonable enough : with Leach injured (Crane too !) it was either go back to Moeen ( no rush , surely ?) or throw in a new boy... Bess had good county form last year and is worth a try , I'd have thought. I've not seen him so cannot judge - I did see Virdi at the Oval a week or so back and quite liked what I saw but agree it might be a bit soon for him. With Asian tours approaching the more we all see of prospective spin choices the better , no ?

Stoneman is dead lucky - or not : if the conditions suit the Pakistan seamers this might kill him off completely ! Anyway he is surely on his last chance.

The one that makes little sense to me is Buttler. As Ian says , a specialist bat at number seven is unlikely to be a sustainable option. Yes he might play a spectacular innings if the situation is set up for him ; but has not Bairstow done so in the same position already ? Plus he's dug them out of a few holes batting down the order : will Buttler ? They seem to have gone for this argument that YJB is "wasted" at seven but I just can't see it...he's averaging forty plus there and runs are runs. What if he cannot fire at five consistently ? You've just exchanged a strength for a weakness ...OK not a reason not to try something ; but surely it would make more sense to pick a man you consider good enough to bat in the top six and leave Bairstow and Stokes undisturbed ...if Buttler isn't that man why pick him ?

Ah well as I said I will wait and see. Good luck to them anyway...
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