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Old 8th October 2013, 15:40   #1
1000yardstare
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Test Series Selections

Looking back how often do we get the selection for the 1st Test of a series wrong, usually in the bowling department. Picking two spinners when we shouldn't, not picking two spinners when we should.

The series v Pakistan in the UAE.
Warm Up matches -

http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archiv...50/350696.html
http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archiv...50/350696.html

In the second warm-up match Panesar takes 8 wickets but is left out of the first Test. Tremlett is preferred but it is unknown is that he isn't 100% fit. Would it have made any difference that Rehman and Ajmal's spin was too quick for the England batsmen?

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...;type=s eries
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Old 8th October 2013, 16:42   #2
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Originally Posted by 1000yardstare View Post
Looking back how often do we get the selection for the 1st Test of a series wrong, usually in the bowling department. Picking two spinners when we shouldn't, not picking two spinners when we should ...
Regarding the former, have you any particular series in mind? Regarding the 2009 Ashes series and its 1st test at Sophia Gardens, I don't think one can say we really got that one wrong. Our second spinner didn't take any fewer wickets than our second or third seamers, and he was more economical than either; so it's hard to argue that a fourth seamer would have been better than him. On the Aussie side, their spinner took more wickets than any of their seamers. It was a bad pitch for bowlers, full stop. Having said that, though, there's a general problem here of not knowing what might have happened had we done something different from what we did.
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Old 8th October 2013, 16:53   #3
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Regarding the former, have you any particular series in mind? Regarding the 2009 Ashes series and its 1st test at Sophia Gardens, I don't think one can say we really got that one wrong. Our second spinner didn't take any fewer wickets than our second or third seamers, and he was more economical than either; so it's hard to argue that a fourth seamer would have been better than him. On the Aussie side, their spinner took more wickets than any of their seamers. It was a bad pitch for bowlers, full stop. Having said that, though, there's a general problem here of not knowing what might have happened had we done something different from what we did.
Are we unique in this though? Australia certainly picked the wrong side at TB and Lords this Summer (all more to do with the individuals selected rather than the make-up of the team. They also continually failed to pick the right side in India. I'd imagine getting the test side right on tour is not an easy task, especially in the SC when warm-up tracks may be very different, and a lot more ropey, compared to the test ones.

As for England, we perhaps should have played Monty in the first test in UAE, although it was the batsmen what lost us that series. In SL following on, it was after we dropped Monty and reverted to 1 spinner + part-time in Fat Sam that we actually won a test match.
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Old 8th October 2013, 17:14   #4
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Generally and perhaps surprisingly, our pace bowlers did quite well in UAE and our batsmen abysmally, so that's a tough example to be sure of although certainly in retrospect Monty would have been a better choice than Tremlett in the first test, yes. Sans is right about the Sofia Gardens track and in general about the only getting to run time one way problem too. My view is that we misread the pitch there as suiting turn when it really suited nobody and that we should have played another seamer (who could bat and field) instead but it seems unlikely our attack would have consequently done well rather than abysmally.
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Old 8th October 2013, 17:22   #5
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... In SL following on, it was after we dropped Monty and reverted to 1 spinner + part-time in Fat Sam that we actually won a test match.
Since that was a two-test series, I suppose one could argue that we got it wrong for the first test in that series and then corrected. Maybe that's the series KYS had in mind -- but then, it rather looks like we picked three spinners in the first test there, and two in the second (albeit not the best two). In general, though, the result of the match is not always to be seen as a direct result of the bowling selections! The KP fanboys, for example, might suggest that that Colombo victory was solely down to his matchwinning ways ...
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Old 9th October 2013, 00:18   #6
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Originally Posted by sanskritsimon View Post
Regarding the former, have you any particular series in mind? Regarding the 2009 Ashes series and its 1st test at Sophia Gardens, I don't think one can say we really got that one wrong. Our second spinner didn't take any fewer wickets than our second or third seamers, and he was more economical than either; so it's hard to argue that a fourth seamer would have been better than him. On the Aussie side, their spinner took more wickets than any of their seamers. It was a bad pitch for bowlers, full stop. Having said that, though, there's a general problem here of not knowing what might have happened had we done something different from what we did.
That's true.

The bowler to miss out was Onions. I think he might have made a difference.

Have we ever won in England playing 2 spinners? Certainly couldn't see why two were picked for the 5th Test at the Oval against the Australians. Lyon 1/103 and Swann 3/134.

Another strange one was not playing a spinner at all at Headingley v SA in Aug 2012 and Pietersen took 4 wickets. When Swann played there in May 2013 he took 10 wickets.
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Old 10th October 2013, 20:18   #7
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Originally Posted by 1000yardstare View Post
That's true.

The bowler to miss out was Onions. I think he might have made a difference.

Have we ever won in England playing 2 spinners? Certainly couldn't see why two were picked for the 5th Test at the Oval against the Australians. Lyon 1/103 and Swann 3/134.

Another strange one was not playing a spinner at all at Headingley v SA in Aug 2012 and Pietersen took 4 wickets. When Swann played there in May 2013 he took 10 wickets.
Now that was a barmy call to make.
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Old 10th October 2013, 21:36   #8
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Surely first test of 2006/7 series must be one?
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