There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

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

Postby Durhamfootman » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:32 pm

alfie wrote:but wouldn't it have made more sense to select a reserve opener who might also bat three rather than three natural number fives - none of which inspire huge confidence in any case ?

that was my first thought when I saw the squad
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby bigfluffylemon » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:12 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:
sussexpob wrote:Im getting a bet on 5-0. In the simplest terms, this squad looks pretty appalling.


It does seem to be a muddle.

Not going to be 5-0 though.


I'll take that bet, AC, if Stokes is out too. An attack of Broad, Anderson, Woakes and Moeen is too one-dimensional against the Aussie batsmen on flat pitches, and we know the batting woes with no fewer than three dodgy places (four if Stokes is out).

The teams send in 2006 and 2013 were much stronger and more settled on paper, and beforehand were predicted to be competitive. Team 2013 for the first test: Cook, Carberry, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Tremlett, Anderson. Only Carbs was not a proven test performer (although Root now is much better than Root then), we had more variety in attack including a top-class spinner, and they still got smashed.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:19 pm

The Aussies have plenty of weaknesses too.

Stokes would be irreplaceable. Not because he is so great, but because the back up batting is so unreliable.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:26 pm

Both those tours were era ending cock ups from the start, but England were playing very strong Aussie teams. Neither team is as strong this time. The Aussies are clearly favourites.

Admittedly, I didn't see the other two whitewashes coming.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby bigfluffylemon » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:52 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Both those tours were era ending cock ups from the start, but England were playing very strong Aussie teams. Neither team is as strong this time. The Aussies are clearly favourites.

Admittedly, I didn't see the other two whitewashes coming.


Neither did I. I expected the Aussies to win in 2013, but I also expected England to be competitive and for it to be a close series. I don't think the start of the 2013 tour was a cock-up (unlike 2006, where the wrong captain was chosen and the wrong spinner selected for the first test, unfit players were picked and Tresco's mental health issues were not picked up in time), but from Adelaide onwards it became a shocker.

I also don't think the Australian team in 2013 was particularly strong, although better than the current one on paper. The 2013 Aussie team had mostly the same players as in 2010, as did the England side. England frequently had them 4 or 5 down for not too many, only for Haddin to bail them out. The main difference between the sides was Johnson. Once he got inside England's heads (like Warne did in times gone by), they never stood a chance. It was clear that they'd largely given up after that first innings in Adelaide when Johnson destroyed them on a flat deck.

The Aussies have their weaknesses no doubt, especially in the lower order batting department, but unless they pick up some injuries to their own bowling attack, I can't see England putting on big enough scores to record a win or a draw. The only chance IMO is if the D/N test is a low scorer, then England's lower order might prove the difference.

I'll be happy to be proved wrong.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:16 am

I wonder if Collingwood might get a game? Averages abut 50 this season to Vince's 35.

Not likely with the Lions squad being there, it's the sort of thing that used to happen in the days of sea travel. But a notional chance.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby alfie » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:31 am

It seems the Stokes affair has caused an - understandable - outbreak of deep pessimism among England supporters on here...

Have to confess it hasn't done much for my mood : regardless of the eventual outcome it has taken the air out of England's tyres at a time when they should have been celebrating successive home series wins in both Test and ODI formats ; and looking forward to an important tour with - if not unbridled optimism , at least a measure of hope. The gloomy comments of Michael Vaughan and others and the ever helpful tweets of Kevin Pietersen add to the air of despondency . One might be forgiven for wondering if the tour should be abandoned as a non contest and save the airfares.

I'd suggest we should relax a little and see how it all plays out. The truth is Australia is a place where a total whitewash is always possible if the touring side gets off to a bad start : Brisbane is Fortress Australia and Adelaide and Perth these days nearly always produce results (it doesn't rain much !) so one down can become three down before you know it . The two grounds where touring teams tend to be more competitive then only appear when it is too late...
On the other hand if the visitors don't get smashed at the Gabba a series can develop very differently : touring players get more time to adapt to conditions , confidence isn't demolished under a weight of mocking from both local and home press ; and the chances are a five match series goes live into at least the MCG.

Jim Maxwell describes the England batting as "underwhelming". Not unreasonable ; but how should we describe Australia's at the moment ? Clearly this England team doesn't have the batting strength of the Strauss squad from 2010 , for example ; but the home side has plenty of weaknesses too. Aggers calls it the weakest Ashes squad he's seen...I seem to recall similar comments about Gatting's mob in 1986 ...

If I were Joe Root I'd be grinding my teeth at the antics of my vice captain - though I'm not sure he's the tooth-grinding type - but I would be surprised if he for one is thinking of leading a team to Australia just to get hammered. England are going to start very much the underdogs but if they can stand up to the early onslaught ( difficult as that may be ! ) they can surely at least make this a contest.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby alfie » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:43 am

bigfluffylemon wrote:
Arthur Crabtree wrote:
sussexpob wrote:Im getting a bet on 5-0. In the simplest terms, this squad looks pretty appalling.


It does seem to be a muddle.

Not going to be 5-0 though.


I'll take that bet, AC, if Stokes is out too. An attack of Broad, Anderson, Woakes and Moeen is too one-dimensional against the Aussie batsmen on flat pitches, and we know the batting woes with no fewer than three dodgy places (four if Stokes is out).

The teams send in 2006 and 2013 were much stronger and more settled on paper, and beforehand were predicted to be competitive. Team 2013 for the first test: Cook, Carberry, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Tremlett, Anderson. Only Carbs was not a proven test performer (although Root now is much better than Root then), we had more variety in attack including a top-class spinner, and they still got smashed.


Trouble with 2013 was it was very much on paper. What we didn't know was that Trott was close to the edge , Swann was fighting a losing battle with wear and tear , and Prior was on the downward slope. The variety in attack was largely mythical since it depended so heavily on Swann being at his best .
Plus , as we have since seen , the apparent harmony within that team was something of a facade.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby sussexpob » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:13 pm

At the moment, Joe Root might feel like a little Major General Urquhart at Operation Market Garden, being parachuted into hostile territory and under fierce attack, wondering where his bosses are going to bring him some worthwhile reinforcements.

For England to be successful in this series, they needed to strongly consider the likelyhood of their front line batting line up being wrapped around the Aussie bowlers fingers, and have some legitimate back up options to send in, in the event that this occurs. At the moment though, we are looking at either one of two players who have had decent runs in the side, one whos played 15 tests averaging 17 in an abysmal run of form that has shown he isnt good enough, the other had a whole summer being outclassed by average bowling attacks, unable to produce a single useful contribution.

Does anyone feel like Ballance or Vince left test cricket with question marks over their status, or have both rather answered their lack of ability at this level quite adequately. Ballance seems to have proved his county form matters little, and his technique is taken apart at a higher level; Vince has averaged in the low 30s in his last 3 county seasons, I believe that would coincide with his step up to Division 1, so he isnt even excelling in the top level of the county game on a regular basis.

The argument will be that there is no one, but Livingstone I believe has averaged 55 and 48 in the last two years, why isnt he there? Nick Browne is averaging over 40 in his career, had a decent season, why isnt he there?

What happens if Stoneman and Malan get taken apart? We have no other batters to cover this eventuality, we have only took one back up!
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Durhamfootman » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:44 pm

sussexpob wrote:
What happens if Stoneman and Malan get taken apart?

'when' more like....... in Stonemercenary's case, at least
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby m@tt » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:13 pm

Odd squad. Very underwhelming.

They’ve made one good pick: Foakes has an excellent record and reputation. I’m glad to see him picked. I hear some people saying Buttler is too good to be left out. If he’s too good, why he is averaging under 20 for Lancs? Why is his first class record so mediocre?

Crane I would have left with the Lions. Maybe drafted in later in the series. I’d have gone with Leach. Yes a more boring pick, but a player who has had two very productive years at Somerset and has plenty of overs and wickets behind him. As a last minute injury replacement, he is a like for like replacement (albeit a left armer) whereas a leggie requires different tactics and handling.

Overton I don’t mind, he’s a decent prospect. Personally I’d have taken Plunkett over either him or Ball, although he is lacking in red ball games of late. But at his age, he knows his game a lot better and would be able to cope with that.

Vince... I just don’t get it. Last year he was so predicable. Get him driving and he nicks it. Whether it’s the pace or the subtle nous of international bowlers, he was frustratingly easy to get out. He toured Australia a few years ago with the Lions, albeit playing one-day games. Scores of 4, 18 and 24. Not exactly showing his game was suited to conditions. Maybe he will prove everyone wrong, but it seems like the selectors have panicked.

Ballance is a pick of stubbornness. Specifically Root and Whitaker. He is able to play Test cricket and has a few tons. The question is can he play the best and he’s looked at sea so far. Part of the problem is that he should never have been recalled last year - that was mad and it shifted opinion against him so that even when he is averaging 100 for Yorkshire, people were against his selection. But he was given a chance last year and this summer and took neither. There’s only so long you can do that for.

Who should have gone instead? That’s unclear. I’d have rather taken Livingstone who has had two great seasons for Lancs plus big runs for the Lions. He would have been a great option as a middle order player (as would Foakes, with or without the gloves). Others would have gone for Hales, some for Northeast.

But at 3... I’m leaning towards the 3-openers approach (an aside - why no spare opener?) but we’re having enough trouble finding a second opener. If only Hameed had made big runs this summer. In that sense I do have some sympathy for the selectors.

Of course, we can still beat Australia, though they will rightly start as favourites on their home turf. Renshaw and Handscomb are both new to Test cricket, albeit they’ve started far more successfully than our newbies; we don’t know where Khawaja’s confidence is following his dropping in Bangladesh; Maxwell is still a gamble who may or may not come off; Wade isn’t good enough with gloves or bat. Their lower middle order doesn’t compare. But they do have two brilliant batsmen, a reliable spinner and a top notch quick attack.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby m@tt » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:16 pm

Cracker from Mark Nicholas:

Mark Nicholas wrote:Thoughts on Vince were documented in this column a week ago. His record does not deserve selection but he has the game for Australia, the pitches and the players. He will need to discipline those pretty cover drives off front and back foot and think more about straight drives and cut shots. There is a stealth to extra bounce. You think you are in position to play a shot but suddenly it is too late and the ball is flying from the edge of your bat towards the laughing hyenas behind the wicket. Vince can do something special if he finds a little vinegar to go with the honey.


So Vince has the game, yet will need to discipline the very shots he is known for and get him runs (at least at county level), i.e. his game?
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Slipstream » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:09 pm

Last f/c game for Livingstone 1, 69 * and 18-1-52-6. Could he have a chance? :hide
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:36 pm

He was in my squad. But it's a facet of a curious group of players that even if they lose Stokes, they still need a back up top three batter more than a like-for-like. I know Livingstone has been batting at three for Lancs, but I don't know if he would be considered there for England, who also don't have cover for Cook and Stoneman.

If England replace Stokes, they'll also need another pace bowler, as I doubt they'll travel with only five.
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Re: There may be troubles ahead: England selection issues.

Postby westoelad » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:14 pm

The leading cricket writers normally get leaks on these issues and are nominating either Westley or Livingstone and Plunkett or Finn. Why nominated replacements are necessary is a mystery when the Lions squad, to be nominated on Wednesday , are shadowing the Test squad. They are quite definate about Wood being in the Lions squad.
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