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Thread: The Cricket Thread

  1. #281
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    That double century is exactly what I was thinking of.

    England need to bowl well again to save it turning into a draw. They have had two long first innings so the risk is that Australia will just bat for too long for England to have time to win.

  2. #282
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    Smart money is on the draw unless you lose a few quick wickets. But y'know, a draw here ends our losing streak in Australia so....

  3. #283
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Well the pitch was so docile that they probably could have had an 8 day match and it still wouldn't have got 20 wickets.

    Speaking if taking wickets the English attack is still yet to take 20 wickets in any of the test matches. That has got to be a worry for any English fan not just heading into the fifth match but for the future in general.

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  4. #284
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    We've got some issues that need solving with the bowling for sure, but I don't think it was that bad in the 2nd and 4th tests to inspire panic. We took 18 wickets in the second test and bowled pretty well on a poor track at the MCG. Our issues are sort of the same before this series: without Stokes, it doesn't look like there is a natural successor to Stuart Broad around, and when he doesn't do the job you have to wonder where the wickets are going to come from. Anderson still bowls really well at times but at his age you can't expect him to bowl teams out on his own, or to keep overperforming forever. Eventually you get found out. Broad's half century probably buys him a few more games but realistically you need to be identifying who can become his long term replacement now.

  5. #285
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I think our biggest issue has probably been Ali. His bowling has been so poor as to hardly register (I think he's got 3 wickets at 117 each or something?) and his batting just isn't there like in the summer. It's not that he's not scored a few runs, just that he's never looked settled.

    Compare Moeen's bowling with Lyon's over the series and I think that's the main answer to our field issues.

  6. #286
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    That too. The question about Moeen as first choice spinner was settled, but now it looks like he's going to have to settle it all over again. It's true, though, without much in the pitch for the seamers you have to look to your spin option and there's been sod all there.

    I mean, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. We seem averse to having two first class spinners in England but there are places where it's just completely necessary. As we said above I'm not for cutting him from the team on the back of it but having more options in there who know how to get test wickets can only be to the good.

  7. #287
    Moeen's better than he's shown on this tour. We've made the Aussie bowlers look good, too - so many wickets just given away. There's been a combination of small issues that have combined to make this tour utterly disastrous - Cook's vulnerability at the top, Root's ongoing tendency to get himself out for 60 odd, Ali's dip in form, Bairstow's indecision in how to bat with the tail. The lack of pace is something we can't really do anything about at this stage. The truth is, flat out pacemen don't get many wickets in England, so they don't get games in England. Plunkett is a case in point - 6 wickets last season. This idea that pace is the be all and end all is a myth - and we go to most places in the world and we are competitive. Whinging about the fact we don't produce bowlers who can succeed in Australia when we go there once every 4 years for 3 months is a bit pointless, really. We've lost this series with the bat - not enough runs on the board. We won the series in 2010-11 with a similar attack. The difference there was Cook, Trott and Pietersen all delivered big when it mattered.

  8. #288
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    Oh for sure, batting has been the real difference. But the other thing to factor in was that Graeme Swann bowled well. And you had Finn, Tremlett and Bresnan all chipping in to cover Broad, who didn't have the best series that time out as I recall.

    I mean I don't think it's an Australia thing - I've long held that you need to be able to call on a few spinners, and am slowly coming to the conclusion we're seeing diminishing returns with Broad. I don't think we need to panic about the attack but we do need some kind of a plan. But the batting is the bigger concern.

  9. #289
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    Warner's tweet and dig at Swann just adds the fuel to my burning hatred for the guy. Sure some may find it funny and hilarious, but he's the vice captain. What great leadership he shows. Great role model. All for sledging and banter but that was neither from him.

  10. #290
    We're not ones to judge when it comes to the conduct of vice captains.

  11. #291
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    Gotta love KP.

  12. #292
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    Depressing stat for the English fans out there. There are as many Australian batsmen averaging over 100 as there are English batsmen averaging in the 50s. And England's second best bowler on the tour, both by average and economy rate? Joe Root. Ali is running at 135.00.

  13. #293
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    The batsmen's conversion rate has been a real issue. I mean, you've got Root and Malan not converting 50s to 100s in this test, and coupled with Cook, Stoneman and Vince all getting to the point where they should be settled only to get out is another issue on top of that.

  14. #294
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    Here's a question. Can anyone be said to be a better batter than Bradman if they don't get a higher average? Or is the average the be all and end all?

  15. #295
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Yes I would accept someone is better if their average wasn't necessarily better but not when the gap is this high. It isn't just that Don has an average of 65 or 70 when everyone is 60, it is 50% higher. That is a very significant amount and he is THAT far ahead of not just the current batsmen but the batsmen that were active at that time.

    Technically they may be better and if Bradman was transported to today he may not have excelled quite as much, todays batsmen also do face a much wider variety of conditions however the fact that the very best batsmen of his time, as well as today's time, have a ceiling of 60. If there were others that were a smattering of those batsmen in the 80s and more in the 70s while today's can only manage 50 with the best at 60 then I would accept that the average isn't as important because people in the same conditions as him were closer to him, however even those who were in direct competition at the time were also this far behind him, they faced the same bowlers and were in the same conditions yet over the same time Bradman did 50% better than them.

    None of the current batsmen are that far ahead of the pack over their whole career so I will conclude that Bradman is the best because even at his time he was that much better than the other batsmen around.
    Last edited by SirSam; 01-05-2018 at 09:34 PM.

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  16. #296
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    Lol oh England. Another no ball that would have resultled in a wicket.

    And in regards to Bradman I just can't stand the average being the be all and end all for most people. As great as he was he only ever played test cricket here and in England. The players today have it a million times harder. I'm not convinced he'd be as good today as he was back then. If Smith keeps up this pace for another 5-10 years he'll be the best ever to me.

  17. #297
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Poor England just can't catch a break here.

    My point still stands with Bradman, you are saying that it was so much easier for batsmen back then but if that was the case there should be people with averages closer to Bradman but that isn't the case, the game was still similarly balanced between bat and ball with the ceiling for averages being 60 for everyone that wasn't Bradman. Batsmen back then had different challenges to face, uncovered pitches, much less curated grounds that didn't run as fast, FAR poorer equipment and a lot less protection.

    If Smith keeps his average at 65 for 5-10 years then he will be in the conversation because the rest of the batsmen of his era are retiring with mid-50s which would show he is indeed an outlier over a long period, right now though he has had 4 really good years. I would argue that Ponting and Clarke have also had equally impressive stints and that is just talking recent Australians and even they eventually had bad years, Bradman's idea of a bad series, the bodyline series, was still an average of 57, an excellent series average for most batsmen.

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  18. #298
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    Almost everyone I have seen talk about it agrees that batsmen today have it way easier, not harder. Sam's point about uncovered pitches is the be all and end all here. There is no such thing as a sticky wicket nowadays but every batsman until the end of the twentieth century would have had to know how to play them.

    In fact, pretty much all professional sports have long since passed peak difficulty. At least all of the ones that I know anything about.

    The other thing to remember about Bradman is that WW2 interrupted his career. If you really want to compare Smith, and frankly I don't even think he really belongs in the conversation yet, you have to factor in that Bradman lost six years in his early thirties - your peak, as a batsman.

    Ugh, can't believe I am making the case for an Australian.

  19. #299
    It's impossible to compare players from different eras. The game is completely different now. Bradman, for example, didn't have to deal with every single innings being analysed forensically to identify potential chinks in his armour - the only gameplan anyone could come up with was from what was gathered from real time. Usually, by then, he'd already got his hundred.

    Smith goes out to bat every time with the opposition thinking they can exploit a weakness. More often than not, they can't. Does that make him better than Bradman? Whose to say Bradman wouldn't have been like that? As Prime says, Smith only ever bats on what us non-professionals would consider 'roads'. Bradman will have batted on legitimate puddings, particularly in England. Like I said - different game.

    Smith has scored runs everywhere around the world, too. Bradman played very little cricket on the subcontinent, for example. Bradman didn't play one day cricket, either, so that didn't influence his development or his style.

    Also, whose to say Brian Lara wasn't better than both of them, given that he is still the record holder for the highest first class and Test score? I know who I'd rather watch bat all day. The word 'best' is subjective. Can't we just say that we are probably in the midst of witnessing one of the all time greats carve out his legacy, and it's an absolute privilege to be around as he does?

  20. #300
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    That's how I used to feel about both Lara and Tendulkar. Maybe one day I will feel that way about Smith.

  21. #301
    I did feel that way about Cook. I don't feel that way about Joe Root though. He is beginning to frustrate in terms of how he gets himself out when set. He clearly has the ability to match the likes of Kohli and Williamson, but you know he'll offer a chance when he gets past 60. Smith and Kohli don't do that - they give the distinct impression when they've nurdled their way to 30 without you even noticing that they'll go on. And on. That breeds confidence with the rest of the batting line-up, so it's no surprise to see that, Bancroft aside, they've all made runs on what is an absolute dream to bat on.

    Meanwhile - James Vince has to go. He will never stop giving his wicket away, so it's time to pull this experiment. I'd be tempted to give Bairstow a go at three, if Root insists on batting at four, even if it means bringing in another keeper to bat in the lower order. They've got to do something. Malan has impressed, and I think Stoneman has been the best successor to Strauss, even if he is yet to make the big score he needs to really cement his place.

  22. #302
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Why isn't Root batting at 3 I seem to have remember him batting higher up the order in the past and doing so quite well at least against us (although my memory may be hazy or I may be confusing him with someone else).

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  23. #303
    He batted at 3 in India last year, but wasn't hugely successful, and he chooses to bat at 4. He was one of Cook's opening partners too (think he opened during the 2013 Ashes, think he even scored 180 odd in 1 game). Once Pietersen was sacked he just wanted to bat 4, and Bayliss has seemed happy to indulge him.

  24. #304
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Apparently Root spent the night in hospital with dehydration. The guy is out there batting again, what a tough bastard. At least there won't be any talk of going quiet into the night.

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  25. #305
    I must admit, I very much like the symmetry that the tour began with the story of Stokes having too much to drink, and it ended with Root not having enough.

  26. #306
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    It was almost worth getting tonked around Australia just for that post.

    Bayliss is leaving England after the 2019 Ashes, and Smith says it's on the bucket list to win a series in England. I guess that's kind of a 'no shit, Sherlock' statement. Lehmann leaving Oz after that series, too.


    Good to see it's not just us suffering battering collapses, India didn't put up much of a fight against South Africa, who didn't exactly pile the runs on themselves in Cape Town. I suspect the pitch must have been pretty poor by today's standards, though India will still be gutted to have slipped from 71/4 to 135 all out.

  27. #307
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Really excited to see how Australia do in South Africa. The two best fast bowling attacks in cricket and two of the best batsmen in modern times: Steve Smith & AB DeVilliers. Really going to be something to see who comes up trumps. We took them down after the last Ashes series but they rolled us up into the foetal position last summer so there is a lot of potential for some close matches.

    As for Lehman and Bayliss, it has to be one of the toughest jobs in the world being coach of an international cricket side. Rumors have been suggesting Justin Langer is next in line of the Aussie gig but apparently Ricky Ponting will be helping Lehman out in the ODI series. Two very good options there, personally I would like Langer simply becuase in a team of hard working players he was renowned as the hardest and potentially had a little less natural talent than Punter. Then again both were known for being the hearts of the team and lead the team song at different points so both 'get' the culture of Aussie cricket as Lehman does and unlike Mickey Arthur.

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  28. #308
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    South Africa will destroy us again.

    Ponting in as next coach for us and Vaughan for the Poms

  29. #309
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    I doubt it'll be Vaughan, to be honest. He'd have to start coaching first of all. Second he'd have to give up his broadcasting and other media gigs. And finally he's got a lot of business interests outside of the game.

    That said, I have no idea who it actually will be.

  30. #310
    I expect Chris Silverwood will be in the frame. They could look at Jason Gillespie, or, failing any of them, there's always Peter Moores and Ashley Giles!

  31. #311
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    The King of Spain! Think he'd make a good coach.

  32. #312
    He didn't last time he coached the national team.

  33. #313
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    There was an absolute gem of a C&B in the BBL here tonight if you guys get it over there.

  34. #314
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    It is on here but you have to have the right channel. BT Sport, I think. I don't get it. But then I probably wouldn't watch T20 anyway.

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