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Thread: The Cricket Thread

  1. #1
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    The Ashes

    Should be a cracker of a series I reckon.

    2-1 series win to Australia.

    Looking forward to the late nights (Y).

  2. #2
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    I'm going to a day at a couple of tests.

    I've got more faith in England than most people here.

    Hoping for the first really great Ashes contest for a while. Too many of the recent ones have been fairly one-sided.

    Edit: early days so difficult to call, but honours probably even so far.

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    Yeah, both sides won their share of sessions, didn't they? Though, the Aussies brought things back in their favor with some quick wickets. Good on Root and Ballance to take England to a competitive position. Day 2 should be a good one.

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    Yeah, if the Aussies hadn't had the late flurry, we'd have been well on top after a poor start. A lot will depend on how many runs the England tail put on tomorrow morning, but we'll only really see how well they have started after the Aussies have had a bat.

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    Gotta feel for buck there, deserved to reach his ton.

    Game still evenly poised, last hour of this session could decide who's on top.

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    Good to see Bell make some runs. If he finds some form, and Root doesn't lose his, it'll be a good summer for England. I've always thought England probably have the edge in terms of bowling, so if the senior batsmen make some runs (those two and Cook, especially) it could be tough for the Aussies away from home.

    Not getting carried away though. Reckon they'll be fired up for Lords and it will be tougher than this first outing.

    After that I have a day at the 3rd and 4th tests.

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    Moeen Ali is an injury doubt for Lords. Bit of a blow given that he played well in the first test. That said, Adil Rashid is waiting in the wings, and they've got fairly comparable batting averages in first class cricket, and Rashid has taken more wickets and is less expensive. There might be a slight dip in our ability to bat deep, but that should be made up for with some small improvement in bowling.

    Meanwhile, Haddin is out - not sure if that might be a blessing in disguise for Australia, actually. Good batsmen but I've never thought he was much of a keeper, and if the new guy can hold on to some of those byes, then run chases will be that little bit shorter.


    My take on the two sides, in case anyone is interested, is as follows.

    There isn't too much to choose between the two openers. I'd say Cook is the best of the four, but Lyth is less proven than either Warner or Rogers. I'd probably give the nod to England by a tiny amount. At 3 and 4, I think Australia have the edge. There isn't too much difference between Clarke and Bell as they are both one of the better players in their respective sides, but are both also hindered by a tendency to not make the runs that they should at times. At 3, even though I'm not sure Smith is as good as the stats say (think it's a bit of a freak of the numbers that he was the top batsman in the world), you'd still have to say he looks more likely to really hurt a side than Ballance at this point.

    Once you get past the dangerous top order, this is where I think England start to look like the better side. I don't think even many Australians would take Voges over Root, and while Shane Watson is undoubtedly talented he's never been the most consistent in terms of delivering on his ability, while Ben Stokes seems to be the kind of player who really can have an impact on a game. I don't know much about the new Australian wicket keeper, but when it was Haddin vs. Buttler I felt that the edge went to England here too - both in terms of handling the gloves, but also because Buttler seems to be a more effective counter-attacking batsman than Haddin. Brad can occupy the crease for a long time and make some big scores at times, but he's also prone to getting out for lower scores and doesn't have the best average.

    At which point, you are into the genuine bowlers. England bat almost through their tail, but I'm not sure any of our batsmen are as good as Mitchell Johnson, with the exception of Moeen Ali. Australia, I think, expect no real runs from maybe three of their bowlers, though, while in England's case it's really only Jimmy Anderson that swings the bat at the ball and hopes.

    As for bowling itself... as I say, I think the edge is England's in this area, more than any other. Mitchell Starc always strikes me as dangerous, but expensive. Mitchell Johnson is so unpredictable - we've seen little evidence that he can produce his explosive, unplayable form in England. Given that these two lead the attack and you have to compare them to Anderson and Broad - two of the top five batsmen in the world - you have to conclude that they might just give too many runs away in getting the wickets, or be a bit too erratic to take 20 wickets consistently.

    In terms of the supporting unit, Hazlewood looks decent, but I'd still take Mark Wood on the evidence I've seen of both of them. I also think that of the all-rounders, Stokes looks more likely to do serious damage than Watson with the ball, as well as with bat. The only real bowler who might have an edge is the spinner, Lyon - but even then, the only thing he's really got on Moeen Ali is that he's done it more often. They both look dangerous, but not a Shane Warne or Graham Swann quality match-winner.


    So yeah - that's how I see the sides, and this is why I had more faith than many others here that we could turn the number one side in the world (as was), and why I think if we can do a good job on the Aussie top 4, or if Cook and Bell can lead by example and nullify that danger with some runs of their own, it could be a fine summer for England.

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    Haddin doesn't drop Root for 0 in the first innings that test is completely different and I have no doubt we go on to win it. He's a shit keeper and the selectors were morons to have Neville as the back up keeper over Wade who is a better keeper and batter than both of them.

    Voges is shit and I have always said that in his many years playing for WA in the domestic squad over here. Both Marsh brothers should be in the starting 11. Fuck Voges and Watson off. I honestly have no faith in the squad that has been picked. The selectors lost this series before a ball was bowled. Losing Harris I must say is a bigger loss than people will give credit too. Warner, Rogers, Smith, Clarke, S Marsh, M Marsh, Wade, Johnson, Starc, Harris and Lyon should have been the 11 for the first test. If Starc is out for the second test just give you guys the urn.

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    Yeah, I think if Root goes for 0 it's a very different test. England would have had to be very, very good in that second innings to avoid defeat. Catches win matches, and all that. But still, on such things all tests turn.

    I agree with you on losing Harris, too. Very dangerous bowler and while you never want to see someone have to retire through injury, there's a big part of me that is pleased we don't have to face his bowling.

    I've looked at my tickets again. I'm at day 1 at Edgbaston, and day 2 at Trent Bridge. Would have been good to get to Lords, too, but between the price, the demand and the effort involved in getting down to London, it wasn't feasible in the end.

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    Reasonable start by Australia so far. Need to kick on to put some pressure on, but laying down a bit of a platform.

    Weather forecast for Lords is pretty good. We may lose a few overs due to bad light on days one and two, and the chance of rain goes up pretty dramatically on days 4 and particularly 5, but there's no reason to think we won't get a result... yet, anyway. British summers are famously changeable.

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    I know Warner likes to be aggressive, but there is no need to do that.

    Throws away a good start with a silly shot.

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    Doesn't look like it is going to matter.

    I'm reduced to hoping this rubbish pitch doesn't come to life later in the test. Can see us losing this by an innings if it does.

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    It's a shame about the pitch, hopefully this isn't served up in the remaining tests.

    Don't want to turn this series into whoever wins the toss wins the game.

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    Yeah, Cardiff pitch wasn't great, but there was at least something in it for the bowlers. This one is woeful. Hoping for better in test 3.

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    If I was Clarke I'd bat out all day 2 of possible.

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    I'd love it if he does. If you're England you then immediately write off the test, try and bat through all of day three and as much of day four as you can, and let the game peter out.

    Pitch already looking a bit better today. Apparently they've had the heavy roller on it. Broad struck early and the runs aren't flowing as well as they were yesterday. However, unless England knock through the rest of the order rapidly, it's going to come far too late for us here. There is still a chance to win the game but it's far, far more likely that the best we can reasonably expect is a draw.


    EDIT: I wonder what the odds on England bowling the rest of Australia out and leaving Smith there on about 300 n.o. are?

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    Smithy will go on the attack after he gets his 200. He desperately wants that.

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    When do Australia declare - 600?

    Dangerous position for England, this. If they don't do well, Australia can basically bat themselves into a position in this last session where the follow-on becomes a near-certainty. If they do well, they can probably knock over the Aussie tail just in time for them to face 15-20 overs tonight and lose a couple of batsmen ahead of a difficult day tomorrow. In many ways, the best possibility for us is probably for England to bowl well enough to restrict the scoring without actually taking too many wickets, which would in turn give Clark a decision to make rather than forcing his hand one way or the other. That way, he either has to see out the day without the kind of runs that would make the lead too intimidating, or probably declare quite late in the day which might be late enough for our opening batsmen to get through unscathed.

    Australia really can win this test, but unless they break records of the bad kind in the second innings, they absolutely can't lose it now. The pitch will work against England, and I'm not sure they have the batsmen to go out and match this kind of score quickly enough. Australia win, or draw.


    What's the weather forecast again?!!


    EDIT: Forecast has changed, as we thought it might. Good chance of rain on Sunday afternoon now. Chances of rain on Day 5 are the same as before, around 20% at worst. Tomorrow will be very bright, though.

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    I'd tell them to go out and slog and then retire and make England bat for 10 overs tonight.

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    Yes, me too, if I were in your shoes. Our worst case scenario is being two or three wickets down at the start of play tomorrow, not being an extra 40 runs behind.

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    Or now. Whatever.

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    Excellent call, for me. With Johnson down, they weren't going to make many more runs, and you've basically got a whole session to bowl at us.

    Huge 2 hours for England now. Need to bat sensibly. It's not about the score at the end of the day, but about setting yourself up to do well tomorrow.

    The first target to reach is 366. If we can avoid the follow-on, it's going to be really difficult to get a result with the forecast for Sunday. Cook and Lyth need to play clever here, and we need to just hope that Johnson and Starc don't have a field day.

    Personally, I think the whole thing feels like an Aussie win, but I've just got a sliver of hope that Cook and Co. can make me change my tune.

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    Well nice start. Lol.

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    Ha, could be major trouble here.

    Ballance is a good number three to come in, in theory. He's a bit Trott-like, and shouldn't do anything too rash. But it's awful start, no doubt. Lyth not doing his CV any good at all. I'm sure there is something in the whole thing about being tired after two long days in the field, but that's a part of the game and if you can't cope with it.... well, I'll leave that thought there. Don't want to cane the young man too much.

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    He looks like he's about 40! Didn't think he was young.

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    Adam Lyth? Hard life in Yorkshire, clearly.

    He's 27 - new to the side more than young, although he's younger than I am....

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    The bald look makes him look like he's in his 40's haha.

    I think you guys will be fine from here. Finish the day 1 down.

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    Terribly unlucky that.

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    Got to be the dream scenario for Australia - at least an hour to get at Cook and Bell tonight. Get one of those out, and Root has to play himself in twice.

    Big effort needed from the senior batsmen now.


    EDIT: Well, fuck that then. Best pray for rain.

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    Cracking ball that. Ballance very hard done by. And I was just about to head off to bed. Friggin woke me up these wickets.

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    Well f me.

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    Ha, seem to remember predicting that we could lose by an innings yesterday, if the pitch picked up. Looking a hell of a bet now. Follow on looks near certain.

    Don't want it to seem like I'm blaming the pitch, though. It's helped that it's come to life but some of these shots are woeful choices.

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    Certainly no bed till 3am now for me. Not liking not being able to hear the edges through the mics. Can you hear them? Or is it just us over here?

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  36. #36
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    I'm done with guessing regarding this test, we're in such a hole. But how long do the Aussies think England would need to bat for their first innings before you'd start to worry? Or do you think even if they got through the day, that you'd still be confident of victory?

    The bad news for England is that the rain is now expected, almost guaranteed, before the start of play. They'll need to play themselves out of the hole they've dug for themselves. It could soak the outfield, and the start might be delayed by a shower or two, but generally it looks like we'll get most of the play for the next three days.


    edit: Good stand for Chef and Stokes, but over now. The trouble is virtually every one of our 'stroke-makers' down the order has to play themselves in and occupy the crease for a stint. If Broad, Buttler and Ali do what Stokes has done, and Cook does nothing silly, then we're not completely out of it - but I think that will be what it takes.


    England's session - but they left themselves with so much to do that Australia will be happy to just get the wicket of the free-scoring Stokes.


    2nd edit: We've had a pretty decent day all in all, but the fall of Cook is a hammer blow. Ali doing OK, and I think Broad and him need to just try and play their strokes and get the last 100 runs they need to avoid the follow on.

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    Just tuning in now, wtf is Brett Lee on about saying Clarke can't wait to get off the field ASAP and let the openers come out and do their thing. Surely you have to make them follow on.

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    I'd have thought so, unless the plan is to put more scoreboard pressure on us in the hope that we fold again. There's also the thinking, I guess, that the likes of Lyth, Ballance, Bell and Root will all be rested right now, and would have plenty of reason to want to make a big knock. Might be better to try and score quickly and make them chase it in the field.

    It's a risky call, though, because if this weather forecast turns for tomorrow turns again, or is wrong, then they might not have the kind of time necessary to take ten wickets. The forecast for Monday is getting worse, with rain now half expected for the first two sessions.

    My position on it is unless the pitch is a minefield and going fourth is really risky, you always enforce the follow-on.

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    It's just mind boggling. You're going to give them two days to chase down 400 odd. That's easily doable on this pitch. Batting fourth on this pitch wouldn't have been a problem. This just makes the way England have to bat completely different. Doubt they wouldn't have been 5/6 down by the time they got to a lead. Now they can just take their time and bat for a draw at worst over two days.

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    Yeah, as I say, I'd have put us back in if I was Clarke. It's not difficult to imagine a situation where this backfires. Say England can nick a wicket or two tonight, or bowl tight to keep the scoring down. Then it rains a bit harder or longer than expected tomorrow morning so we lose some of the first session. All of a sudden Australia probably need to bat beyond tea on day 4 before declaring. If the rain does then come on the afternoon of day 5, England would only have to bat for 2 sessions to get out gaol with the draw.


    A lot of 'if's in there - but 'if's that wouldn't have even existed if we were batting again.

    EDIT: Though Glenn McGrath - the only Australian I admit to admiring - says he isn't surprised by the decision. So I might just shut up.

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