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Old 21st January 2016, 20:37   #161
Ali TT
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Yes but he played an incredible innings in a dead rubber....
Always thought his best innings was a century against the Saffers in a low scoring match at headingley in 98.
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Old 21st January 2016, 20:38   #162
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Craig White has a similar approach to jones in that he didn't really run in with rhythm. It was nearly all in the action after something of a short slow run up.
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Old 21st January 2016, 20:48   #163
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He had a very slingy type action with a lower arm, that sort of lead him to naturally bowl reverse swing as many English seamers are up and over types. I rather think you are forgetting Gough when you speak of reverse swing, he wasn't too bad at it either and he had bowled very well in the two Asian series in 2000/2001, possibly his finest performances in England colours. I remember him bowling Martin Crowe with a fine late inswinger in an ODI in 94 that had Ritchie Benaud impressed (that may have been his debut).

You are right that White didn't have the body to bowl quick enough, he simply didn't have the core strength to do it.

As regards the make up of a test attack, I'm with you, one seamer or other is likely not to bowl as many overs in a 5 man attack. Indeed there were even concerns about that in the make-up of the 2004/5 team and that man who came under scrutiny was Jones. Ali, despite his limitations does a job and usually has an impact in taking top order wickets.
Gough was good at it, so is Jimmy at times, Stokes can get it to go. I'm pretty sure White did it before Gough. In terms of being best I just felt for a brief period both Jones and White could do it regardless of the state of the pitch or the atmospherics. It could be that as they each only had one summer and both summers could have been dry. At times the others sometimes look or looked like they were trying to make it reverse and it just didn't happen, maybe due to their actions.
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Old 21st January 2016, 22:15   #164
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... I think Ali is more of a bits and pieces cricketer at the moment, but so are most of the others spinners plying their trade in county cricket. I also think the work he's done on his bowling, plus moving him around in the order, has had a pretty adverse affect on his batting. Hopefully that will be a short-run phenomena as his action does seem to have settled down a bit more in this series so he can maybe spend more time on his batting over the coming year. I think at this point in time he's a reasonable cricketer in terms of what England need, rather than an irreplaceable one if someone breaks through this year, or next, or the year after. There's still some potential to develop his bowling a little more, but he clearly is a more natural batsman and the only way he'll be more than a decent stop-gap until someone better turns up is to bat the way he did batting at 6 with a bit more responsibility and try and become a test quality number 5. Then again it might take us 20 plus years to find another top quality spinners in which case he's safe until a better bits and pieces player pitches up.
I think it depends to some extent what happens with the seamers in terms of batting. You say on the 4th test match thread that you don't think batting will enter into the decision of who replaces Finn. I think you're probably right, but that situation with regard to the third seamer is something of a rarity in recent times, and depends to a large degree on Ali's presence at 8. I think for example that Bresnan kept his place for a while largely because of his batting, and that may have been true of Broad at times as well. It seems to me that without any outstanding spinner available and with Broad's batting on hold, England decided to stick Ali in the team and thus put themselves in a position where they feel they can develop their seamers as they wish. But if for example Woakes comes to merit a regular bowling place, or if those nos 2, 3 and 5 get sorted out, then England may find themselves in a position to actively seek a better spinner. I agree with your assessment of batting as Ali's stronger suit, so I would really like England to have stuck with him in the top 6 somehow. He really shot himself in the foot by letting Anderson take strike in that last over and thus not being the hero he should have been for saving the game with his century.
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Old 22nd January 2016, 00:18   #165
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I don't like to be the bearer of bad news but butch had a test batting average of 25 after 30 tests. Obviously this is irrelevant for some reason you will point out but worth considering. He took 16 wickets compared to all of moeen's. So pick who you want.
I'll take Butch and his 8 test tons including a match winning 173 at Headingly which I had the pleasure to see in person.
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Old 22nd January 2016, 10:54   #166
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He was the first English player who really got reverse swing going, as before that it was just the Pakistan quicks. ...
White surprised quite a few people with his bowling and not just batsmen but, in reality, reverse swing has been around since the game was first played with a seamed, leather coated ball.

The name given to it may be much more recent, however.
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Old 22nd January 2016, 15:00   #167
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I'll take Butch and his 8 test tons including a match winning 173 at Headingly which I had the pleasure to see in person.
So did I. An amazing innings.
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Old 24th January 2016, 15:17   #168
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Lovely fifty for mo playing perfectly given the situation.
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Old 25th January 2016, 11:52   #169
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Hit out of the attack on four occasions in this test so far.

A spinner who offers little threat really needs to bring some control when needed.
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Old 25th January 2016, 15:47   #170
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Hit out of the attack on four occasions in this test so far.

A spinner who offers little threat really needs to bring some control when needed.
His bowling average is on the cusp of being over 40.

By year

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 39.94
2016 : 123

By season

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 43.65
2015/16 : 48.57

Exclude the home series vs India and his test average is 47.
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Old 25th January 2016, 15:56   #171
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His bowling average is on the cusp of being over 40.

By year

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 39.94
2016 : 123

By season

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 43.65
2015/16 : 48.57

Exclude the home series vs India and his test average is 47.
If you don't include his best series you shouldn't include his worst series either.

His bowling doesn't look threatening though and when he does pick up wickets it's usually because the batsman has tried to slog him. This match he got both his wickets due to the batsman playing poor shots trying to score a boundary.

An interesting question: how many other Test teams would he get into?
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Old 25th January 2016, 16:05   #172
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Originally Posted by Jock McTuffnel v3 View Post
His bowling average is on the cusp of being over 40.

By year

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 39.94
2016 : 123

By season

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 43.65
2015/16 : 48.57

Exclude the home series vs India and his test average is 47.
You almost had a sensible argument. Phew. Dodged that one.
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Old 25th January 2016, 16:11   #173
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If you don't include his best series you shouldn't include his worst series either.

His bowling doesn't look threatening though and when he does pick up wickets it's usually because the batsman has tried to slog him. This match he got both his wickets due to the batsman playing poor shots trying to score a boundary.

An interesting question: how many other Test teams would he get into?
Maybe a few - Bangladesh, Windies as a batsman.
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Old 26th January 2016, 16:29   #174
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Updated at the end of the series

His bowling average is 39.76, SR 64.5

By year

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 39.94
2016 : 123

By season

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 43.65
2015/16 : 48.57
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Old 26th January 2016, 16:38   #175
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What about 2014/15?
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Old 26th January 2016, 16:43   #176
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What about 2014/15?
There wasn't a series that spanned the calendar year - ie no tests over the winter between the India at home and Windies away.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...;type=allround
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Old 26th January 2016, 16:55   #177
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Is that the same as or better than Giles?
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Old 26th January 2016, 18:24   #178
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There wasn't a series that spanned the calendar year - ie no tests over the winter between the India at home and Windies away.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...;type=allround
Unfortunately I can't view that page on my mobile, I just get the mobile version of his main page. If anyone has a workaround, I'd be grateful to hear it (Android OS), it's been bugging me for ages.

Anyhow, my understanding is that the seasons are defined by the English summer season (which is denoted as the calendar year) and off-season (denoted as split over two years). The tour itself needn't run over two years to be written as such. Wikipedia currently agrees this point, so England in the West Indies was 2014/15, and England in UAE 2015/16. I appreciate the West Indies series overlapped with the start of the county championships, but I think this has more to do with the crammed current calendars no longer reflecting how tours were once scheduled.
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Old 26th January 2016, 19:13   #179
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His bowling average is on the cusp of being over 40.

By year

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 39.94
2016 : 123

By season

2014 : 28.09
2015 : 43.65
2015/16 : 48.57

Exclude the home series vs India and his test average is 47.
The obvious point to make about the website stats you are using is how can he have an average in 2016 of 123, when the only series he has played was SA and his bowling average was 48.5?

The point people are making when defending Ali isn't that he is a great spinner, its that the alternatives at the moment aren't great. We played 3 spinners in the UAe, Ali 9@48.7, Rashid 8@69.5, Patel 3@54.6. There isn't a spinner in county cricket with over 50 wickets and a bowling average below 35, so nobody is really crying out for selection. The point of having county matches is at least in part so the selectors can have a look at what is available and good players can shine. At the moment there is no strong evidence to suggest there is a better alternative than a bits and pieces cricketer as a spin bowler for England. Chucking a player in who isn't able to perform significantly better at a lower level on the off chance they may possible do better isn't really sensible selection, you might as well throw six names in a hat and pull one out and hope you are lucky. If Rashid can improve his consistency and accuracy with Yorkshire or Ansari can perform anything like in Div 1 then clearly Ali goes. My guess is Ansari is the more likely replacement just because his home county pitch isn't such a medium pacers dream and he will get the overs in over middle part of the season to justify selection.
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Old 26th January 2016, 20:14   #180
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Anyhow, my understanding is that the seasons are defined by the English summer season (which is denoted as the calendar year) and off-season (denoted as split over two years). The tour itself needn't run over two years to be written as such. Wikipedia currently agrees this point, so England in the West Indies was 2014/15, and England in UAE 2015/16. I appreciate the West Indies series overlapped with the start of the county championships, but I think this has more to do with the crammed current calendars no longer reflecting how tours were once scheduled.
I always thought that if a series started in one year and ended in the other, both years would be included. So the last Ashes series to be played in Australia would be 2013/14. By that logic it would be the 2015 series against Pakistan and the 2015/16 series against SA. That would make Jock right as all the Tests against West Indies were played in 2015.

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The obvious point to make about the website stats you are using is how can he have an average in 2016 of 123, when the only series he has played was SA and his bowling average was 48.5?
Because the Test he did well in was played in 2015.
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