Test Cricket: Sri-Lanka-New Zealand II; England-Australia III; West Indies-India I

dmt

Jun 4, 2013
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It's always interesting to me that Bradman's status as being the best is untouchable, despite him not looking great on film and playing against such weak opposition. I just see that as being a bygone era that isn't really relevant today, like matching up Dempsey against heavyweights post-70s or something. With cricket, the game becoming truly professional is fairly recent, certainly after Bradman, and it's even more recent that it has become a proper sport, in it's competitiveness and approach to being the best.

Going back to Smith though, he'd fit in with the best Australian teams without a problem. He's an elite level talent and we're lucky to have him, Williamson, Root and Kohli around all at the same time.
I would agree that Bradman played in a pre modern era. But he was so far ahead of all of his contemporaries, it is just staggering.

If you were to transport Bradman to 2019 and put him vs Cummins, Starc, Wood etc, of course he would not be able to handle the pace and movement. But if he was born in 1990 with modern coaching, training and nutrition, i am sure he would do fine. Might not average 100 but might average 50-60.

I agree we are lucky to have these four playing together. Reminds me a little of having Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting and Kallis playing in the same era together.
 

WaltzingMatilda

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It's always interesting to me that Bradman's status as being the best is untouchable, despite him not looking great on film and playing against such weak opposition. I just see that as being a bygone era that isn't really relevant today, like matching up Dempsey against heavyweights post-70s or something. With cricket, the game becoming truly professional is fairly recent, certainly after Bradman, and it's even more recent that it has become a proper sport, in it's competitiveness and approach to being the best.

Going back to Smith though, he'd fit in with the best Australian teams without a problem. He's an elite level talent and we're lucky to have him, Williamson, Root and Kohli around all at the same time.



Root??

I think you spelt Pujara wrong
 
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Jack

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England have an interesting decision going into the next test. Knowing what England are like, I don't expect too many changes but the only people without question marks over their form/ability are probably Root, Stokes, Broad and Woakes.

For me, I'd drop Buttler in the order to elevate Stokes and maybe even Woakes ahead of him, I think Denly should go and be replaced by Foakes, Sibley or another bowling option in Curran, then I'd put Bairstow higher up the order and bring in Leach for Ali.

Burns
Roy
Root
Bairstow
Stokes
Buttler
Woakes
Curran
Broad
Archer
Leach

I'm more in favour of Curran being in the team I think. He's 21 so could be a staple of this team for the next 15 years and it's important to bring that sort of talent in, but on top of that, he offers something different. Stokes, Woakes and Broad are all reasonably fast, right arm bowlers but there's no real variety there, just like there wasn't for Root and Ali, so bringing in Curran would pose a different threat, as would a Leach and Root combination if it's turning lots. An attack of Archer, Woakes, Broad, Leach and Curran has more obvious unpredictability and if you're lacking obvious talent, that might be the best way to go.
 
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England have an interesting decision going into the next test. Knowing what England are like, I don't expect too many changes but the only people without question marks over their form/ability are probably Root, Stokes, Broad and Woakes.

For me, I'd drop Buttler in the order to elevate Stokes and maybe even Woakes ahead of him, I think Denly should go and be replaced by Foakes, Sibley or another bowling option in Curran, then I'd put Bairstow higher up the order and bring in Leach for Ali.

Burns
Roy
Root
Bairstow
Stokes
Buttler
Woakes
Curran
Broad
Archer
Leach

I'm more in favour of Curran being in the team I think. He's 21 so could be a staple of this team for the next 15 years and it's important to bring that sort of talent in, but on top of that, he offers something different. Stokes, Woakes and Broad are all reasonably fast, right arm bowlers but there's no real variety there, just like there wasn't for Root and Ali, so bringing in Curran would pose a different threat, as would a Leach and Root combination if it's turning lots. An attack of Archer, Woakes, Broad, Leach and Curran has more obvious unpredictability and if you're lacking obvious talent, that might be the best way to go.
I think Archer (if fit) and Curran have to come in. Ali has to go, and so does Denly. We need a spinner I guess, so sure...Leach.
 

McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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Usual English panic attack :smile

All that happened, really, was that England lost their GOAT bowler to injury and Australia's GOAT (nearly) batsman was in superb touch. First century was wonderful.

All that should happen now is Ali should be dropped for Leach and Archer should come in for Anderson. That's your lot.

Then, when Bairstow fails again, bring in Foakes for the third test. He should be fit by then.

Bairstow's numbers from January 2018 are a disgrace. He'll probably score 150 runs next test :lol:
 

WaltzingMatilda

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Nov 29, 2015
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England have an interesting decision going into the next test. Knowing what England are like, I don't expect too many changes but the only people without question marks over their form/ability are probably Root, Stokes, Broad and Woakes.

For me, I'd drop Buttler in the order to elevate Stokes and maybe even Woakes ahead of him, I think Denly should go and be replaced by Foakes, Sibley or another bowling option in Curran, then I'd put Bairstow higher up the order and bring in Leach for Ali.

Burns
Roy
Root
Bairstow
Stokes
Buttler
Woakes
Curran
Broad
Archer
Leach

I'm more in favour of Curran being in the team I think. He's 21 so could be a staple of this team for the next 15 years and it's important to bring that sort of talent in, but on top of that, he offers something different. Stokes, Woakes and Broad are all reasonably fast, right arm bowlers but there's no real variety there, just like there wasn't for Root and Ali, so bringing in Curran would pose a different threat, as would a Leach and Root combination if it's turning lots. An attack of Archer, Woakes, Broad, Leach and Curran has more obvious unpredictability and if you're lacking obvious talent, that might be the best way to go.



Foakes, Woakes, & Stokes will be fun for the commentators
 
Jun 4, 2012
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All that happened, really, was that England lost their GOAT bowler to injury and Australia's GOAT (nearly) batsman was in superb touch. First century was wonderful.
But that's not all that happened is it? In the second innings, Burns, Denly, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes and Ali combined scored 2 more runs than Woakes, and they only scored 2 more than him, because shots worth 2 from him couldn't be run when he had a crippled Anderson as a partner.

Over both innings, these guys scored the following:

Roy - 38
Denly - 29
Buttler - 6
Bairstow - 14
Ali - 4

That's an utter failure by 5 batsmen, and to top it off Ali was useless with the ball, and Bairstow was shaky behind the wicket.

6 Aussie players scored over 40 in a single innings. Only 3 England players managed that. I am pleased Burns got his century, but would you back him to get another one in the next test? Would you even back him to get a 50 in either innings? I wouldn't, hopefully I'm wrong, but he looked vulnerable through a fair chunk of his century and he hasn't exactly looked convincing previously.
 

Haggis

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But that's not all that happened is it? In the second innings, Burns, Denly, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes and Ali combined scored 2 more runs than Woakes, and they only scored 2 more than him, because shots worth 2 from him couldn't be run when he had a crippled Anderson as a partner.

Over both innings, these guys scored the following:

Roy - 38
Denly - 29
Buttler - 6
Bairstow - 14
Ali - 4

That's an utter failure by 5 batsmen, and to top it off Ali was useless with the ball, and Bairstow was shaky behind the wicket.

6 Aussie players scored over 40 in a single innings. Only 3 England players managed that. I am pleased Burns got his century, but would you back him to get another one in the next test? Would you even back him to get a 50 in either innings? I wouldn't, hopefully I'm wrong, but he looked vulnerable through a fair chunk of his century and he hasn't exactly looked convincing previously.
Pretty harsh. Statistically, you wouldn't back anyone in the history of the game to score century in any given Test. Let alone two in a row.

Give a batsman the maximum of 10 innings in the series (assuming no washouts or innings victories). Over the course of his career, Ricky Ponting scored 41 centuries in 287 innings. That's one century every 7 innings on average. So Ponting would be expected to score one or two centuries per 5 match Ashes series.

Kohli scores Test hundreds at a clip of one every 5.2 innings, so he's probably good for two or three over the series.

And these are all-time greats, including all the series they played against far lesser opposition than this Australian attack.

I never like hearing talk about a player looking vulnerable during a century either. Sure, he looked vulnerable. He was under a lot of pressure and facing a tremendous bowling lineup. But he fought his ass off and ground out a fine innings. There's no such thing as a lucky Test century against Australia. :thumbsup

Watch him fail to break into double figures for the rest of the series now. :lol:

:hat
 
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Pretty harsh. Statistically, you wouldn't back anyone in the history of the game to score century in any given Test. Let alone two in a row.

Give a batsman the maximum of 10 innings in the series (assuming no washouts or innings victories). Over the course of his career, Ricky Ponting scored 41 centuries in 287 innings. That's one century every 7 innings on average. So Ponting would be expected to score one or two centuries per 5 match Ashes series.

Kohli scores Test hundreds at a clip of one every 5.2 innings, so he's probably good for two or three over the series.

And these are all-time greats, including all the series they played against far lesser opposition than this Australian attack.

I never like hearing talk about a player looking vulnerable during a century either. Sure, he looked vulnerable. He was under a lot of pressure and facing a tremendous bowling lineup. But he fought his ass off and ground out a fine innings. There's no such thing as a lucky Test century against Australia. :thumbsup

Watch him fail to break into double figures for the rest of the series now. :lol:

:hat
I know what you're saying, and I am not saying he should get a century, what I meant really was that this century does not convince me that he will be a solid opener for us who regularly stays in for a long time and adds on 45-60 runs on a fairly regular basis. He looks like someone who is going to generally be out for about 25. It is probably harsh, and I hope his confidence is boosted and he pushes on, but I just don't have any confidence that he will.

Denly looks out of his depth. The others are good enough in terms of ability, but just not performing with the bat (bar Root, Stokes and Woakes).
 

Jack

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Over both innings, these guys scored the following:

Roy - 38
Denly - 29
Buttler - 6
Bairstow - 14
Ali - 4

That's an utter failure by 5 batsmen, and to top it off Ali was useless with the ball, and Bairstow was shaky behind the wicket.

6 Aussie players scored over 40 in a single innings. Only 3 England players managed that. I am pleased Burns got his century, but would you back him to get another one in the next test? Would you even back him to get a 50 in either innings? I wouldn't, hopefully I'm wrong, but he looked vulnerable through a fair chunk of his century and he hasn't exactly looked convincing previously.
I think the most obviously lacking player from that bunch is Denly and I was thinking about this earlier; I wouldn't back him to score a combined 50 over both innings. Burns batted well and showed he has character, despite an odd technique, Roy is clearly very talented and I think he is getting unfair stick, and both Buttler and Bairstow are talented players, although in the case of Bairstow, he's clearly very out of form.

With all of those though, they're no different than Cook or Bell were at some points in their career, for example, as in talented but clearly not at their best and they need things to go for them but you could see them scoring runs...but Denly? I just don't see it. I don't see him scoring anything in this series to warrant a place and he's 33. I'd back someone like Adam Lyth or Gary Ballance to do better. Ballance is 29, he can still learn and improve whereas what are you going to get out of Denly?
 
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I think the most obviously lacking player from that bunch is Denly and I was thinking about this earlier; I wouldn't back him to score a combined 50 over both innings. Burns batted well and showed he has character, despite an odd technique, Roy is clearly very talented and I think he is getting unfair stick, and both Buttler and Bairstow are talented players, although in the case of Bairstow, he's clearly very out of form.

With all of those though, they're no different than Cook or Bell were at some points in their career, for example, as in talented but clearly not at their best and they need things to go for them but you could see them scoring runs...but Denly? I just don't see it. I don't see him scoring anything in this series to warrant a place and he's 33. I'd back someone like Adam Lyth or Gary Ballance to do better. Ballance is 29, he can still learn and improve whereas what are you going to get out of Denly?
Aye, that's all fair and agreed.
 

McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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But that's not all that happened is it? In the second innings, Burns, Denly, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes and Ali combined scored 2 more runs than Woakes, and they only scored 2 more than him, because shots worth 2 from him couldn't be run when he had a crippled Anderson as a partner.

Over both innings, these guys scored the following:

Roy - 38
Denly - 29
Buttler - 6
Bairstow - 14
Ali - 4

That's an utter failure by 5 batsmen, and to top it off Ali was useless with the ball, and Bairstow was shaky behind the wicket.

6 Aussie players scored over 40 in a single innings. Only 3 England players managed that. I am pleased Burns got his century, but would you back him to get another one in the next test? Would you even back him to get a 50 in either innings? I wouldn't, hopefully I'm wrong, but he looked vulnerable through a fair chunk of his century and he hasn't exactly looked convincing previously.
Well obviously more than that actually happened, yeah, but here's what was known before the test:

a) it's test cricket and things like this happen; b) it's two weakish batting lineups; c) it's two strongish batting bowling line ups.

Here's the weakest performers for Australia along the lines of what you did above -

Bancroft - 15
Warner - 10
Paine - 39

With contirbutions from the others. So what we see is that Australia's openers performed even more grotesquely than the English ones, the rest of hteir Batsmen performed better.

Australia won by 251 runs. Smith made about 290 runs.

Anderson is not a miracle worker, but he is. I watched the first day, and that included his overs - which were brilliant and delivered at .25 form memory. .25 runs an over.

My comment - "All that happened, really, was that England lost their GOAT bowler to injury and Australia's GOAT (nearly) batsman was in superb touch" - i absolutely stand by. If Smith had gone for 4 and 10, England would have won. Comfortably. If Anderson had remained fit, even if Smith had been in that kind of touch, i'm very happy it would have been much closer.

In short, what we saw was Australia's batting line up struggle less and profited accordingly. This is normal fare, especially when the other team loses their best player. What we saw was one of the ATGs in touch very early, which was unexpected by most. These were the two things that denoted the result of the match.
 
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Well obviously more than that actually happened, yeah, but here's what was known before the test:

a) it's test cricket and things like this happen; b) it's two weakish batting lineups; c) it's two strongish batting bowling line ups.

Here's the weakest performers for Australia along the lines of what you did above -

Bancroft - 15
Warner - 10
Paine - 39

With contirbutions from the others. So what we see is that Australia's openers performed even more grotesquely than the English ones, the rest of hteir Batsmen performed better.

Australia won by 251 runs. Smith made about 280 runs.

Anderson is not a miracle worker, but he is. I watched the first day, and that included his overs - which were brilliant and delivered at .25 form memory. .25 runs an over.

My comment - "All that happened, really, was that England lost their GOAT bowler to injury and Australia's GOAT (nearly) batsman was in superb touch" - i absolutely stand by. If Smith had gone for 4 and 10, England would have won. Comfortably. If Anderson had remained fit, even if Smith had been in that kind of touch, i'm very happy it would have been much closer.

In short, what we saw was Australia's batting line up struggle less and profited accordingly. This is normal fare, especially when the other team loses their best player.
Aye that's fair, but the point is that, as you say here, "the rest of their batsmen performed better". So their openers and ours were poor, but then the rest of our team was poor too. They got the ball doing all sorts in the second innings whether seam or spin...our guys made it look like a runway for batting no matter who bowled.

The thing is, that our team should not be a weak batting one. A team with Root, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes, Ali and Woakes should be scoring a lot. That ignores Roy...because he's not proven as a reliable test batsmen, but the others all have proven test batting. Bairstow, Buttler and Stokes are all capable of centuries and have done it. Root is quality, Woakes is good and Ali should be reliable with the bat.

That team should actually have a very short tail, with the openers the one weakness, but in fact the tail starts at position 6 at the moment, with position 4 as good as tail end too.
 

Haggis

CHB World Championship People's Champion
May 16, 2013
34,185
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Well obviously more than that actually happened, yeah, but here's what was known before the test:

a) it's test cricket and things like this happen; b) it's two weakish batting lineups; c) it's two strongish batting bowling line ups.

Here's the weakest performers for Australia along the lines of what you did above -

Bancroft - 15
Warner - 10
Paine - 39

With contirbutions from the others. So what we see is that Australia's openers performed even more grotesquely than the English ones, the rest of hteir Batsmen performed better.

Australia won by 251 runs. Smith made about 290 runs.

Anderson is not a miracle worker, but he is. I watched the first day, and that included his overs - which were brilliant and delivered at .25 form memory. .25 runs an over.

My comment - "All that happened, really, was that England lost their GOAT bowler to injury and Australia's GOAT (nearly) batsman was in superb touch" - i absolutely stand by. If Smith had gone for 4 and 10, England would have won. Comfortably. If Anderson had remained fit, even if Smith had been in that kind of touch, i'm very happy it would have been much closer.

In short, what we saw was Australia's batting line up struggle less and profited accordingly. This is normal fare, especially when the other team loses their best player. What we saw was one of the ATGs in touch very early, which was unexpected by most. These were the two things that denoted the result of the match.
Yep.

Smith (and Siddle, but primarily Smith) was the difference between Australia scoring 284 in the first innings, or being rolled for around 100.

When Siddle came in to bat, Smith was on 42 and Australia were 122/8. They ended up with 284 and their #4 was at the crease in the 8th over, was last man out and ended up contributing more than half of that competitive first-innings 284 total.

And that was the difference between Australia winning in fine style, and Australia getting crushed by an innings or close to it. Just that one of Australia's four or five greatest ever batsmen played one of the four or five greatest innings he'll ever have in his career, against an English attack missing their most experienced strike bowler. Well, that's cricket. That's how the true greats of the game reveal themselves. The difference between the teams in this game was basically that Australia had Steve Smith, and England didn't. :thumbsup

:hat
 
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I also remember the English player called Jack Russell who died tragically in a freak accident.

He was licking his balls in the street and got hit by a bus.
 

McGrain

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Aye that's fair, but the point is that, as you say here, "the rest of their batsmen performed better". So their openers and ours were poor
Well Burns wasn't poor.

The point i'm trying to make is that yeah, Australia did outbat England but only because a) Smith got 290 (he doesn't do that, Oz lose) and b) because they also outbowled England. This always gets overlooked. England losing their best player who was also a bowler had an important part to play in this.

Australia only outbatted England because of Smith and only outbowled England because of Anderson.

The media's reaction has been very much results based.

The thing is, that our team should not be a weak batting one.
Disagree.

Someone like Bairstow is a good example. Bairstow's average in Test Cricket since January 2018 is, I think, 22. I'm not 100% on that, but I think it's the case. So that's completely pathetic and nothing to build a series on. Anyone expecting him to make runs against this attack, no, probably wasn't going to happen, probably won't happen. He's not that good at Test Cricket. I can say that because even if he makes a double ton next match, his average for the form period isn't going to get over 32.

Buttler, special, special player. At one-day. At 20-20. His average in Tests is 35ish. He's not that good at Test Cricket.

Stokes's average is lower than Buttler's. His last century in a test match was 2017 or early 2018, whenever the Windies were over. He's not that good at test-batting.

Ali's form with the bat in the last 18 months has been disastrous.

This test series is a battle of the bowlers and it will remain one. England go from marginal favourites to marginal underdogs without their greatest bowler of all time. The wildcard becomes Archer; if he can replace Anderson's wickets, England will become slight favourites on a game by game basis once more.
 
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