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Old 23rd July 2017, 18:15   #61
JRC67
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Originally Posted by stevieh View Post
At the risk of repeating myself, and I know some others don't agree, Joe Root could bat at 3 to shore up the top of the order, which would allow Westley or Malan to get used to test cricket at a less-pressure batting position. Jonny would be better to bat at 7, since he will continue to be our gloveman for the foreseeable future. Moeen is totally wasted at 8 and has to bat higher up at either 4 or 5, given Stokes has the 6 spot reserved.
When you look at the contenders for top 4 slots records they actually aren't much better and some worse than Woakes who has batted as high as 4 in First Class cricket. Woakes has a better first class record than Stokes ... maybe Woakes at 9 is an even bigger waste than Ali at 8! Woakes is a technically sound batsmen who could easily pronlongue his career by moving up the order as his bowling loses speed.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 18:21   #62
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OF COURSE Root should bat at 3. He just made a career out of it for almost 2 years and just as he becomes captain he shirks his biggest responsibility.

root at 3 basically frees up a middle order slot and lessens the strain on any debutant who may come into the side.
It seems so obvious to anyone with some objectivity about optimizing England's batting performance, so why does the England Management have such difficulty grasping the reality?
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Old 23rd July 2017, 19:07   #63
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Originally Posted by stevieh View Post
It seems so obvious to anyone with some objectivity about optimizing England's batting performance, so why does the England Management have such difficulty grasping the reality?
I think if Root as a new captain is dead set against batting at 3, then his wish has to be respected. He'll have enough going on in his head without being disgruntled about his batting position.

Otherwise, I'd agree with you.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 19:09   #64
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Originally Posted by stevieh View Post
It seems so obvious to anyone with some objectivity about optimizing England's batting performance, so why does the England Management have such difficulty grasping the reality?
One reason whether you like it or not is that Root himself has a far superior record at 4 and his issues of playing more expansive drives have been a bit more exposed at 3. That said his record at 3 is hardly that bad at all as he averages 45 there from 29 innings (16 tests) compared with 53 from 25 innings (15). I do take the point that it shores up the upper order but the other problem is that if he's out very early, you are 2 down with only shotmakers below.

The Bairstow issue pointed out is also a conundrum. For me, he's in the top 3 batsmen in the side behind Root and then Cook. However YJB has a total of 3 test centuries. It is a pretty tough job for him to bat and keep at that level and score such a huge number of runs. I'm not against him batting high up the order - he has the talent to do it so clearly - but then it goes back to the idea if you bring in a more specialist keeper (Foakes) and lose out on someone whose keeping looks to have improved a fair bit. There is a bit of a case for it but how much?

Just as an aside, the weather has been terrible here in London over the last couple of days. I went to play a game yesterday and we got 6 overs in, the rain got heavier and we called it quits. My club also had a game scheduled for today but that got abandoned by this morning as the ground was still very wet. With that mind, I'm wondering if the Oval may possibly offer a little more for bowlers with a high water table come Thursday? SA could have a very strong attack for this game with Rabada returning for Olivier and Morris having added some menace last game. Philander/Morkel/Rabada/Morris doesn't look that bad a pace foursome to me at all.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 20:08   #65
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Sarah Taylor should bat at 3. Then at least we'd have a proper wicket-keeper too.
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Old 24th July 2017, 05:53   #66
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One reason whether you like it or not is that Root himself has a far superior record at 4 and his issues of playing more expansive drives have been a bit more exposed at 3. That said his record at 3 is hardly that bad at all as he averages 45 there from 29 innings (16 tests) compared with 53 from 25 innings (15). I do take the point that it shores up the upper order but the other problem is that if he's out very early, you are 2 down with only shotmakers below.

The Bairstow issue pointed out is also a conundrum. For me, he's in the top 3 batsmen in the side behind Root and then Cook. However YJB has a total of 3 test centuries. It is a pretty tough job for him to bat and keep at that level and score such a huge number of runs. I'm not against him batting high up the order - he has the talent to do it so clearly - but then it goes back to the idea if you bring in a more specialist keeper (Foakes) and lose out on someone whose keeping looks to have improved a fair bit. There is a bit of a case for it but how much?

Just as an aside, the weather has been terrible here in London over the last couple of days. I went to play a game yesterday and we got 6 overs in, the rain got heavier and we called it quits. My club also had a game scheduled for today but that got abandoned by this morning as the ground was still very wet. With that mind, I'm wondering if the Oval may possibly offer a little more for bowlers with a high water table come Thursday? SA could have a very strong attack for this game with Rabada returning for Olivier and Morris having added some menace last game. Philander/Morkel/Rabada/Morris doesn't look that bad a pace foursome to me at all.
Thank you for the analysis of Joe's batting at the two positions 3 or 4.

Here is my feeling on the matter.

As arguably England's most influential batsman, what have been the team results when Joe bats at either 3 or 4? Personal statistics matter less than what the team achieves, and my suspicion would be that England's results recently might tilt in favour of Joe Root batting at 3 in the order. Much of Root's early career saw Trott at 3 and KP at 4, so I realize those matches wouldn't factor into the analysis. I haven't checked myself yet, but 8 points in batting average doesn't necessarily translate to greater success for the team overall.

Last edited by stevieh : 24th July 2017 at 06:28.
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Old 24th July 2017, 08:47   #67
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Where someone bats for their county is largely irrelevant, Test cricket is the next level.

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Originally Posted by stevieh View Post
As arguably England's most influential batsman, what have been the team results when Joe bats at either 3 or 4? Personal statistics matter less than what the team achieves,
But then you'd be making a big ass-umption that where he batted was a major factor in the team result rather than the contributions or lack thereof of the rest of the order, and the influence of say six bowlers in the side.

A fine example of where the result and Root's position being meaningless is when England stuffed India by 266 runs and Ballance and Root made 150s whilst Root scored 3 (and 56) He batted #6 in the next Test due to a nightwatchman and England won because Broad took 6/25 and India made 152 only in 1st innings, where Root batted was irrelevant.

And England beat Sri Lanka by an innings when he batted #4, he didn't contribute a single run........... Perhaps the best example of why it means jack S is he scored 40 and 1 1st Test against Bangladesh batting #3 and England won, scored 56 and 1 2nd Test still batting #3 and England lost.......


But if you want to see the stats, going back to the beginning of Ballance's career, well his 2nd Test to be precise as Trott had gone and so had KP....

Results by Joe Root batting position (vs SRL 2014 to SAF 2017)

#3

Won 3 (431 runs @ 86.20)
Drew 1 (128 runs @ 64.00)
Lost 6 (449 runs @ 37.42)

#4

Won 7 (717 runs @ 79.67)
Drew 1 (79 runs @ 39.50)
Lost 5 (368 runs @ 36.80)

#5

Won 5 (766 runs @ 127.67)
Drew 3 (511 runs @ 170.33)
Lost 5 (176 runs @ 17.60)

#6

Won 1 (77 runs @ 77.00)

100% record batting #6 since 2014, only batted there because of a nightwatchman. He also batted in 3 Tests where he batted a different position each innings, drew 2 and lost 1 with his contribution 218 runs @ 43.60.

There is one noticeable trend or correlation perhaps from the stats, England win when Root scores big runs. He scored 200no, 154no, 149no and 182no batting #5 which ended in 2 draws and 3 wins. At #3 he scored 254 and 124 which resulted in a win and a draw, and at #4 he scored 130, 110 and 190 which ended up with 3 wins.

Those big scores and their results taken out of the stats for positions 3-5 leaves W8 D2 L16 when he hasn't scored a hundred in that period compared to W7 D3 L0 when he did. Where he bats or what he scores? Neither is conclusive but there's more evidence what he scores is important and just taking the positions regardless of result and including matches he didn't bat the same position both innings :

Open : 78 runs @ 78.00
#3 : 1060 runs @ 50.48
#4 : 1167 runs @ 53.05
#5 : 1538 runs @ 76.90
#6 : 77 runs @ 77.00

England lost the match where Root had to open 2nd innings, covering Hameed's injury.

Not as close between 3 and 4 as overall, but clearly better at #5 and where England have won more than at #3 (38.46% vs 30.00%) but if going on results then root for Root at #4 as England win over half (53.85%) and where as captain he's batted and averaging 70.25 albeit only 2 Test and won and lost as his results - lost because the rest scored 112 and 120 between them in the 1st and 2nd innings respectively, not because of where Root batted.
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Old 24th July 2017, 08:49   #68
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I have omitted to mention who the sides were England played, but since that would make my point about his contribution and where he bats not being the only factors I'll say it now as an aside without detail.

I've seen enough of "results when X plays vs when X doesn't" in football discussions to know trying to use such stats as an only factor or to draw conclusions is doomed to failure, even the W2 D2 L8 stat I think it was for England using six bowlers doesn't cover all factors.
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Old 24th July 2017, 09:43   #69
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Thanks for doing the research Rebel, meaning that I don't have to continue what I had just about to start. One of my 'issues' with Root batting at 3 is that he is a bit looser outside his off-stump than others that we have had batting there and that perhaps he was more suited to batting at 4. His particular successes there were the 2015 home Ashes and the away series in South Africa the following winter.

I tended to agree with Ali that Root should get a preference as to where he bats and I pointed out the situation where you would wonder where a score might come from if Cook and he were out very early in an innings. The wider problem has been the absolute lack of performance from other specialist batsmen/reliance on all-rounders.
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Old 24th July 2017, 11:12   #70
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Originally Posted by Rebelstar View Post
Where someone bats for their county is largely irrelevant, Test cricket is the next level. ...
How can this be so? County openers are used to facing the new ball delivered by fresh bowlers, for example. Other things being equal, experience at county level batting at a certain position is likely to help face the challenges of batting at a similar position in the test team.

For what it's worth, I reckon Root would be most valuable to the side as an opening batsman.
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Old 24th July 2017, 11:29   #71
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How can this be so? County openers are used to facing the new ball delivered by fresh bowlers, for example. Other things being equal, experience at county level batting at a certain position is likely to help face the challenges of batting at a similar position in the test team.
For what it's worth, I reckon Root would be most valuable to the side as an opening batsman.
Ballance in the County Championship since 2015:
Avg at 3 - 30.2 (26 inns)
Avg at 4 - 67.8 (20 inns)
Avg at 5 - 58.7 (3 inns)
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Old 24th July 2017, 12:40   #72
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Yes, Rebel, thank you for providing the detailed research - the "analytics".

I realize and agree, of course, that it is a team game first and other batsmen in the lineup must do their part and contribute. In this second test vs SA, Root was manfully trying to hold the innings together from #4 by counter attacking, though the SA bowlers were already like sharks sensing blood. It wouldn't have mattered where Root was batting in the lineup for that one. Losing the toss and having to bat on the second morning was probably a bigger factor in England fizzling to 200 all out.

Chin's observation about Root being a bit loose outside off could be explained by the amount of ODI cricket Root has been playing where taking more risks is required and leaving balls that would miss the stumps is not the prevailing technique for top order players.

Root has earned the right, even were he not captain, to decide where he wants to bat, but should really be assessing how to optimize the effectiveness of the team batting. If his personal results were less spectacular, but the team was prospering, that would not be a problem. Indeed, from my perception of Root, he puts the team first. I was never suggesting otherwise.
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Old 24th July 2017, 14:45   #73
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Can we not try moving Cook to 3 and keep Root at 4 and praying for another opener with Jennings ,I know little about the county game but surely there must be someone ? I tend to agree that Cook may be getting to the end as an opener but for experience alone is still worth it as a player.
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Old 24th July 2017, 17:46   #74
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Can we not try moving Cook to 3 and keep Root at 4 and praying for another opener with Jennings ,I know little about the county game but surely there must be someone ? I tend to agree that Cook may be getting to the end as an opener but for experience alone is still worth it as a player.
Cook remains a better opener than all the alternatives even if a little below his peak. I think it would make a bad situation worse.
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Old 24th July 2017, 21:27   #75
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This game, as my Inbox keeps reminding me, is the 100th Test Match to be played at Kennington Oval. It was the venue of the first ever Test in England, against Australia in 1880, when it was also the established location for the FA Cup Final. Lord's became a Test venue a few years later but, because it often hosts two matches per year, it reached its own century back in 2000. Imagine if this weeks game turns out to be as exciting as the Lord's 100th:http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8...Scotland-2000/

My first visit to an Oval Test was the opening day of Number 63, when England managed to scrape a draw against Lloyd's West Indians. Although I and many others moan on about the tardiness of modern over rates, I can guarantee that, weather permitting, we'll see more bowled on Thursday than in 1980 (the Windies' laconic attitude to over rates, and their supporters' antics behind the bowler's arm combined to keep the first day's quota to below 80).

No such crowd interventions are tolerated today, and the ground looks very different. I'll be finding out whether the refurbished Peter May Stand makes for a more civilised experience than the last Oval Tests I attended, when the space under the stands was dangerously clogged. If England bat first, I'll hope for runs from anybody, but especially Tom Westley in his first Test, and will keenly anticipate Rabada's return. If South Africa take initial use of the crease, I'll be happy for a regular falling of wickets, but wouldn't be disappointed to see scores from Amla and de Kock.

Happy Century, you wonderful old oasis of green stuck in the middle of dirty South London. To think, it'll be the 98th Test Match there since English Cricket officially died on its turf all those years ago.
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Old 24th July 2017, 21:38   #76
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Changed his mind now....

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If Malan plays at the Oval, likely to bat 5 and Bairstow move to 7.
Can see this happening. Agnew wouldn't be floating it if he hadn't been given a steer by Bayliss - or more likely Strauss.

Cook
Jennings
Westley
Root
Malan
Stokes
Bairstow
Ali
Dawson/Wood
Broad
Anderson

Three-fifths of that top five really is England Lions 2016 - which I guess means the Lions is doing its job as a 'pathway' to the Test side...
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Old 24th July 2017, 22:12   #77
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It seems so obvious to anyone with some objectivity about optimizing England's batting performance, so why does the England Management have such difficulty grasping the reality?
Sadly theer are too few objective cricket fans on this site and the management themselevs are willing to mollycoddle Root, as they have done several captains in the past. As I always say, that is the problem with the English cricketing structure. They are all too soft and all too happy to go along with weak mentalities.

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Can see this happening. Agnew wouldn't be floating it if he hadn't been given a steer by Bayliss - or more likely Strauss.

Cook
Jennings
Westley
Root
Malan
Stokes
Bairstow
Ali
Dawson/Wood
Broad
Anderson

Three-fifths of that top five really is England Lions 2016 - which I guess means the Lions is doing its job as a 'pathway' to the Test side...
A debutant, Malan and Stokes are all batting above Ali, who has a superior test record to all of them. Great thinking and a brave new world!
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Old 24th July 2017, 22:24   #78
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Originally Posted by WeAreKent View Post
Can see this happening. Agnew wouldn't be floating it if he hadn't been given a steer by Bayliss - or more likely Strauss.

Cook
Jennings
Westley
Root
Malan
Stokes
Bairstow
Ali
Dawson/Wood
Broad
Anderson

Three-fifths of that top five really is England Lions 2016 - which I guess means the Lions is doing its job as a 'pathway' to the Test side...
Following in the footsteps of England Lions batsmen Vince, Ballance, Hales, Hameed...

Andy Flower has been pretty useless in developing batsmen over the years.
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Old 24th July 2017, 23:45   #79
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Following in the footsteps of England Lions batsmen Vince, Ballance, Hales, Hameed...

Andy Flower has been pretty useless in developing batsmen over the years.
You forgot Duckett, Lyth and Robson.
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Old 25th July 2017, 00:36   #80
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Bayliss doesn't want Ali to bat at 8, Ali doesn't want to bat at 8 so until Woakes comes back I see Dawson in the team.
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