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Old 22nd April 2017, 17:05   #61
1000yardstare
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8 and 2 for England's captain.
14 for Cook s/r 87.50
7 Bairstow

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Old 22nd April 2017, 20:20   #62
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Second fifty of the match for Livingstone. Meanwhile, Northants lost to Worcs with Moeen's fifty the only of the match - Duckett making the next highest score.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 17:07   #63
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Another half ton for Ballance. How long before he's recalled (again)?
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Old 23rd April 2017, 17:49   #64
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Second fifty of the match for Livingstone. Meanwhile, Northants lost to Worcs with Moeen's fifty the only of the match - Duckett making the next highest score.
Turned it into a career high score of 168.
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Old 24th April 2017, 08:11   #65
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Was curious about the shot this guy Aneurin Donald supposedly invented, although I have the very sincerest doubts he did as I have essayed similar shots when at school (casual practice) and think I've seen some Sri Lankan or possibly Dermot Reeve play this scoop shot thing

Anyway, guessing he is eligible for England this seems as good a place as any to ask if anyone knows what the background music might be - may be nothing, may be uncredited and pinched from somewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dWYAjFW5d4

Not brilliant in its own right, but could be part of a decent song.
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Old 24th April 2017, 12:38   #66
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Another half ton for Ballance. How long before he's recalled (again)?
Please, no, not again. It's painful viewing. There should now be a good few well ahead of him.
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Old 24th April 2017, 14:02   #67
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Please, no, not again. It's painful viewing. There should now be a good few well ahead of him.
If he has a full season back as his old run-machine self, I wouldn't be averse to seeing him back, no higher than number 5. Especially as he's making really tough runs at the moment. No way I'd want to see him brought back yet, though and probably not even by the Ashes. I'd also want some evidence that he's actually worked on his technique, too.
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Old 24th April 2017, 17:07   #68
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Finished 203*. Rescued the draw with a real captain's performance.
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Old 24th April 2017, 17:24   #69
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I'd also want some evidence that he's actually worked on his technique, too.
This surely has to be more important? We know that some players can score barrel loads of runs for their county yet cannot translate that when they step up. I'd like to see Livingstone and Borthwick ahead of him for starters, probably with Westley and Northeast too. Should take us four years to burn through those four so Ballance will be nearing 32 by then and we'll have decided he's too old.
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Old 24th April 2017, 18:01   #70
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This surely has to be more important? We know that some players can score barrel loads of runs for their county yet cannot translate that when they step up. I'd like to see Livingstone and Borthwick ahead of him for starters, probably with Westley and Northeast too. Should take us four years to burn through those four so Ballance will be nearing 32 by then and we'll have decided he's too old.
But he did translate it when he first stepped up, and his test average is still higher than the FC average of any of those bar Livingstone. This is the first time he's looked like the batsman of old (in terms of runs, not technique!) as his previous struggles have come when he's also been in poor form domestically.

I'd agree on Livingstone and probably Borthwick. Not really convinced by the other two, yet, although Northeast can't really do much more, in fairness. Would be keen to see them being tested in Div 1, which we'll get to see with Westley this season and probably Northeast next.

The other point is that if those four batsmen each carry on producing runs for the next four years then they'll remain in the frame. Chances are that they won't all be doing so.

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating a return for Ballance - certainly not yet, at least. If he has a great season then maybe he could be an Ashes squad contender.
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Old 24th April 2017, 18:09   #71
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This surely has to be more important? We know that some players can score barrel loads of runs for their county yet cannot translate that when they step up. I'd like to see Livingstone and Borthwick ahead of him for starters, probably with Westley and Northeast too. Should take us four years to burn through those four so Ballance will be nearing 32 by then and we'll have decided he's too old.
Ballance scored test runs though when he was in good form, so it's not like he's a Mark Ramprakrash.
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Old 24th April 2017, 18:41   #72
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This surely has to be more important? We know that some players can score barrel loads of runs for their county yet cannot translate that when they step up. I'd like to see Livingstone and Borthwick ahead of him for starters, probably with Westley and Northeast too. Should take us four years to burn through those four so Ballance will be nearing 32 by then and we'll have decided he's too old.
For me the issue with Ballance was better bowlers took advantage of an obvious technical flaw. After he was dropped first time he openly didn't try to work on his technique. If he's learned and changed things slightly he clearly has the temperament to make big runs in tests. If he hasn't he will just get exposed all over again at the highest level.
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Old 24th April 2017, 19:01   #73
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Not certain Borthwick or Westley are anywhere near test standard tbh. I'd take a run scoring Gazza Ballance over they two.
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Old 24th April 2017, 19:27   #74
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Ballance scored test runs though when he was in good form, so it's not like he's a Mark Ramprakrash.
Not just any test runs, either, a record-breaking stack of runs.

Initially his struggles looked like it was left-arm quick bowling, but after his recall it was spin. I think if he's in a good place and scoring runs then the same technique will be serving him well, as opposed to when he's low on confidence and the same weird technique looks like it's unusuable. Think his problems upon his return were just that he was playing badly full-stop.
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Old 24th April 2017, 20:39   #75
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Not just any test runs, either, a record-breaking stack of runs.

Initially his struggles looked like it was left-arm quick bowling, but after his recall it was spin. I think if he's in a good place and scoring runs then the same technique will be serving him well, as opposed to when he's low on confidence and the same weird technique looks like it's unusuable. Think his problems upon his return were just that he was playing badly full-stop.
I'm not averse to him getting another go at some point but the caveat on his test career are he only made runs against 3 or the worst bowling attacks to have represented their respective countries. Each time he's played stronger attacks he's come up short. Plenty of batsmen have rectified or mitigated technical flaws. The problem with Ballance when he first got dropped was he didn't seem to recognise any flaws in interviews he did with the press.
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Old 24th April 2017, 22:17   #76
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... Think his problems upon his return were just that he was playing badly full-stop.
I thought his main problem with England recently was that the tour management thought he was so completely useless as a specialist batsman that they preferred to pick any old all-rounder for that role in preference to him. For a old hand supposedly back in the squad in order to provide the very thing England needed most -- a bit of stickability -- it was utterly pathetic, and embarrassing to witness. Without wishing to diss the Gaz, I would be very worried were he ever to be selected in an England test squad again, as it might simply mean that the selectors were once again picking a player the management would not feel able to select in any starting XI.
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Old 25th April 2017, 11:09   #77
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I'm not averse to him getting another go at some point but the caveat on his test career are he only made runs against 3 or the worst bowling attacks to have represented their respective countries. Each time he's played stronger attacks he's come up short. Plenty of batsmen have rectified or mitigated technical flaws. The problem with Ballance when he first got dropped was he didn't seem to recognise any flaws in interviews he did with the press.
Wouldn't go that far with the SL side, although it wasn't some list of greats that they wheeled out. India had Ashwin and Jadeja playing some of the series, too, although they were far from the bowlers they are now.

But yes, it's obviously of note. I do just remember a really bitty, scatty 50 in one of the Ashes tests just before he was dropped which stuck in the mind both for playing a useful role in us winning the test and was a testament to his renowned grittiness. It was also pretty obvious that he was in a real struggle by that point but he has shown glimpses of being able to make runs against useful sides.
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Old 25th April 2017, 15:25   #78
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Wouldn't go that far with the SL side, although it wasn't some list of greats that they wheeled out. India had Ashwin and Jadeja playing some of the series, too, although they were far from the bowlers they are now.

But yes, it's obviously of note. I do just remember a really bitty, scatty 50 in one of the Ashes tests just before he was dropped which stuck in the mind both for playing a useful role in us winning the test and was a testament to his renowned grittiness. It was also pretty obvious that he was in a real struggle by that point but he has shown glimpses of being able to make runs against useful sides.
His grit and determination aren't in doubt it's the movement back and across as the ball gets bowled which gets exploited. If you divide his England career in to 3 he averages over 60 in the first third and under 30 in the second two thirds. My view is he will always struggle at the highest level unless he modifies his initial movement. The further up the ball gets pitched the more he seems to be out of position to play it. At times you could see all the leg stump from behind the wicket.
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Old 26th April 2017, 13:03   #79
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Dawson not making much impact for Hants - how long can they afford to keep Crane out of the team ?
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Old 26th April 2017, 14:01   #80
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Dawson not making much impact for Hants - how long can they afford to keep Crane out of the team ?
Dawson was picked mainly as a number 6 batsman and they went for 4 seamers. I suspect they never thought they would be in a position to make Yorkshire follow on, if they had they would probably have selected Crane over either Wheal or Topley. Their tail must be pretty weak if Topley bats above 11. Abbott isn't much of a batsman either. Its just a sad fact of modern cricket that teams will only ever go with 4 specialist bowlers. Probably wrongly going with 4 seamers on this occasion as the game panned out. Dawson fulfilled his role pretty well as he took 3 wickets and went at less than 2 and a half an over. Its not good for English cricket, but on a wicket where Rashid only took 1 for 95 Hampshire had made an understandable decision in their selection as they are trying to win matches.
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