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Old 9th July 2017, 12:47   #281
Corbo 61
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Balance playing for his place doesn't help the need for upping the run rate. You may think it is all fine now but tomorrow could be a lot of rain around.
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Old 9th July 2017, 12:50   #282
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I think Stokes, Bairstow, Ali at 5,6,7 is the way to go as I think that suits their batting and Bairstow seems to bat best when he's batting with one of those two and as you say it's likely to keep the left/right mix going although I'm sure the England management don't look at that as even a minor consideration.

I also don't really rate Stokes' bowling and unless there's reverse swing he doesn't really look much of a threat or keep the batsman quiet so I wouldn't be bowling him too much which should allow him to be ok to bat higher up.
A couple of years ago he looked like he was going the Flintoff way then his batting moved forward. He's a pretty useful 4th seamer but maybe not developed to being quite a first change bowler at test level.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:06   #283
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Looks like the pitch is breaking up and it only gets better for England if they can at least get 300. Stay out there till tea and then put SA in to bat.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:07   #284
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More intriguing now. With Saffers having a sniff it should liven things up. And best the middle order bat now anyway. 300 lead may be enough but 400 should do it.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:08   #285
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But the point that keeps being missed is that Bairstow doesn't see it as a burden and wants to do it. Depriving him of the role could affect his batting in a negative way, putting all the pressure on him to score heavily with the bat.
All-rounders and keepers usually have to be persuaded to specialize on their batting, although Sangakkarra and McCullum certainly prospered after giving up the gloves well into their careers. The whole point is that expectations to bat longer and score more heavily are raised when specialising as a batsman. Bairstow, to me, seems to have the mental fortitude to take it on.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:10   #286
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Erm, England still need 100 to 150 to be really confident. Think we need to knuckle down a bit and grind out some runs until tea. South Africa are going to need to go to their part time bowlers at some point if we stick in there and we should be able to score some quicker runs during the second session. Hard to see any team batting 3 sessions on the 5th day, so post enough runs to not give them a sniff of winning and crowd the bat for 3 and a half to 4 sessions.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:20   #287
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Erm, England still need 100 to 150 to be really confident. Think we need to knuckle down a bit and grind out some runs until tea. South Africa are going to need to go to their part time bowlers at some point if we stick in there and we should be able to score some quicker runs during the second session. Hard to see any team batting 3 sessions on the 5th day, so post enough runs to not give them a sniff of winning and crowd the bat for 3 and a half to 4 sessions.
With the way the pitch is behaving we should be really confident with 270! I really can't see SA chasing down this total on here but anythings possible.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:27   #288
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With the way the pitch is behaving we should be really confident with 270! I really can't see SA chasing down this total on here but anythings possible.
You'd be pretty disappointed to lose it from here I agree. The one you'd be afraid of is QDK riding his luck a little for 20 overs. I think there will always be a wicket ball around the corner so slower scoring batsmen probably aren't going to stay in long enough to be a real threat.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:52   #289
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Dawson just needs to stick around with Bairstow for a while. Not sure Ali needed to be quite so aggressive against the spinner at that point as we really just needed to try and grind out another 50 or 60.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:53   #290
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Well it's one way to avoid the declaration dilemma.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:54   #291
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Erm time to slog and hope for another 30! Dawson a bit unlucky you don't plan for that ball.
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:57   #292
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Hello from Greece. Are England mucking this up?
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:58   #293
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Hello from Greece. Are England mucking this up?
Possible but still should be enough. Yammas. Hot?
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Old 9th July 2017, 13:59   #294
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Saffers will be going for a win from here.
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Old 9th July 2017, 14:12   #295
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Possible but still should be enough. Yammas. Hot?
Yes although not quite as hot as last weekend. I am coming back tomorrow so I will probably catch the highlights then.
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Old 9th July 2017, 14:18   #296
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It's certainly making the game more interesting. Down to Mo and Dawson to win the game. There's plenty of assistance and barring a miracle performance from Amla and/or De Kock it should be a fairly comfortable win still.
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Old 9th July 2017, 14:23   #297
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One of the issues with playing so many "all-rounders" is the lack of introspection needed when the team is in the midst of a collapse. A few of the dismissals from the middle-order and beyond have been a little silly, and while England probably feel they're ahead of the game, they will be very nervous if they lose the afternoon session even half as comprehensively as they've lost the morning session. For the sake of entertainment, this is the best thing that could have happened to this match. It has set-up and intriguing chase on a wicket that appears to have deteriorated. Dawson's going to have to bowl well in the fourth innings to justify his inclusion, having contributed 0 runs, and 2 tail-end wickets thus far.
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Old 9th July 2017, 14:34   #298
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Balance playing for his place doesn't help the need for upping the run rate. You may think it is all fine now but tomorrow could be a lot of rain around.
All now dramatically changed and two schools of thought on approach :

- Cook and Ballance were right to crawl along and the collapse shows batting isn't easy.........
- Cook and Ballance were wrong to crawl along and the collapse shows they had the best of the batting (3rd) conditions and wasted them......

We may find out when South Africa either can't get the ball off the square and collapse in a heap, or score without massive difficulty at a reasonable pace and make England's innings look pathetic.

Some of the wickets were a bit soft, and you can't persuade me several England batsmen contributed to their own demise - Cook loose stroke, Ali down the track, and whilst Root may have been 'done' by the ball before he got out, and Ballance forgiven for hanging his bat out a bit and maybe excuse Dawson for not seeing a straight one, Broad for his dismissal albeit first ball and don't think Stokes could have done much, but a number 'could have done better'.

Fair play to Bairstow and to a lesser degree Ballance for their efforts, perhaps not quite as many demons in the pitch as some would have you believe. Calls for application, I think part of the problem is England have two modes, score quickly or dig in.

What I will say is when a wicket could fall at any moment, not that I think the pitch is that far gone yet, you need to make most of scoring opportunities, rotate the strike, move the field around. Passivity can just lead to no momentum, once that had gone England batsmen new to the crease were just under more pressure.

Reckon England were 20 or so runs short last night, Cook and Ballance then added 19 off the first 9 overs of the morning before Cook went so arguably another 5-10 runs shy.
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Old 9th July 2017, 14:46   #299
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All now dramatically changed and two schools of thought on approach :

- Cook and Ballance were right to crawl along and the collapse shows batting isn't easy.........
- Cook and Ballance were wrong to crawl along and the collapse shows they had the best of the batting (3rd) conditions and wasted them......

We may find out when South Africa either can't get the ball off the square and collapse in a heap, or score without massive difficulty at a reasonable pace and make England's innings look pathetic.

Some of the wickets were a bit soft, and you can't persuade me several England batsmen contributed to their own demise - Cook loose stroke, Ali down the track, and whilst Root may have been 'done' by the ball before he got out, and Ballance forgiven for hanging his bat out a bit and maybe excuse Dawson for not seeing a straight one, Broad for his dismissal albeit first ball and don't think Stokes could have done much, but a number 'could have done better'.

Fair play to Bairstow and to a lesser degree Ballance for their efforts, perhaps not quite as many demons in the pitch as some would have you believe. Calls for application, I think part of the problem is England have two modes, score quickly or dig in.

What I will say is when a wicket could fall at any moment, not that I think the pitch is that far gone yet, you need to make most of scoring opportunities, rotate the strike, move the field around. Passivity can just lead to no momentum, once that had gone England batsmen new to the crease were just under more pressure.

Reckon England were 20 or so runs short last night, Cook and Ballance then added 19 off the first 9 overs of the morning before Cook went so arguably another 5-10 runs shy.
While some of the batsman contributed to their demise, that's normally the case on even the worst of pitches. This pitch is doing plenty for any type of bowler much more like a 5th evening pitch than a 4th morning. I guess we'll see how well SA bat on it soon enough but all our bowlers should be a handful on this pitch with inconsistent bounce and seam movement for the quicks and plenty of spin as well.
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Old 9th July 2017, 15:00   #300
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Useful runs from Mark Wood here. Elgar stuffed up by taking off Rabada post lunch, I feel.
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