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Old 24th August 2010, 13:47   #21
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I am really pleased that Cook has made a century and saved his career, because it avoids the two nightmare scenarios of 1) continuing to open with Cook still struggling or 2) replacing him with someone else who might also fail or moving Trott up to open and moving Bell up to 3. However, I'm not convinced that this is a triumphant return to form, not until we have seen him bat at Lord's. But he did show a lot of character to play the way he did on Friday.
Me too. I thought Cook played beautifully once he got to about 35 - he even managed to get a few cover drives away! Hopefully he'll do the business again in the final test - England will certainly need his runs.
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Old 24th August 2010, 13:49   #22
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I'm not sure these figures are accurate Pops. I'm sure Bell scored a century in South Africa. It's a fairly small sample size but those averages (if correct) are very poor.
Quite right - how did I miss that? Bell made 140 at Durban. Average of 44.71 is correct.
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Old 24th August 2010, 13:50   #23
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That's why I said that Trott moving up to open and Bell at 3 was a nightmare scenario. Bell has once again said that his ambition is to bat at 3 but he is so much better down the order that I hope he stays at 5 or 6.
It was more in response to Cesar
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Old 24th August 2010, 13:56   #24
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It was more in response to Cesar
Oh, right. It was because your post appeared directly after mine.
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Old 24th August 2010, 13:56   #25
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Bell is better suited to batting at 5 or 6. This would suggest he replaces Morgan in the side but he has outscored Collingwood in the Pakistan series and it would be harsh to drop a player like Colly.
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:16   #26
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The only player in the top 6 under any threat BEFORE the Ashes is Morgan.

KP would have to score <20 in the next 4 tests before he would remotely be under pressure.
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:22   #27
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People are finally beginning to question why Pietersen is bullet proof. Once he is looked on as just one of the batsmen in the line-up his place will also come into question if he doesn't play some successful innings soon.

I think Strauss will come good. He was our best batsman in 2009, making 1172 runs @ 53.27 with 4 100s and 4 50s. Being rested from the Bangladesh tour doesn't seem to have had the beneficial effect intended as he has had a very poor year so far, but I hope this was just a blip.

I'm confused by Trott. At times he seems the best no. 3 we've had for ages, looking composed and putting in solid performances. But the line between "composed" and "in a world of his own disregarding the need to up the pace" has been crossed more than once, in two cases leading to matches being lost. The blame for the defeats should be placed elsewhere but if only he had batted with a bit more intent things could have been different.

I am really pleased that Cook has made a century and saved his career, because it avoids the two nightmare scenarios of 1) continuing to open with Cook still struggling or 2) replacing him with someone else who might also fail or moving Trott up to open and moving Bell up to 3. However, I'm not convinced that this is a triumphant return to form, not until we have seen him bat at Lord's. But he did show a lot of character to play the way he did on Friday.
I didn't see the last Test match as I was on holiday but I've noticed before that Trott is extremely limited against spin bowling. He only has about one shot and that is a backfoot flick for one or two off his hip, unless it is a real rank delivery like Kaneria served up in the first Test. There are times where his innings just stalls and goes nowhere and puts pressure on other people. Cook was similar but he has added a variety of sweeps to his game over the last year or two. I think Trott is safe, especially for the Ashes as they'd rather have someone a bit tougher at 3 and the spin shouldn't be as big a factor. It will be Bell in for Morgan I would have thought, unless Morgan makes a hundred at Lord's, in which case Colly could get the chop.
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:24   #28
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The only player in the top 6 under any threat BEFORE the Ashes is Morgan.

KP would have to score <20 in the next 4 tests before he would remotely be under pressure.
If KP doesn't score well in Australia on those kinds of pitches against the filth of their fast bowling attack, then I think the selectors will really start to worry. There is zero chance of him being dropped before then.
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Old 24th August 2010, 15:47   #29
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If KP doesn't score well in Australia on those kinds of pitches against the filth of their fast bowling attack, then I think the selectors will really start to worry. There is zero chance of him being dropped before then.
I reckon he'd have at least 3 tests before being dropped - if its 3-0 Oz he's more likely to get punted.

"One score away from blah blah...."

On the other hand there is no one to bring in bar Morgan/Ravi
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Old 24th August 2010, 15:59   #30
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I'm not sure these figures are accurate Pops. I'm sure Bell scored a century in South Africa. It's a fairly small sample size but those averages (if correct) are very poor.
Okay, I was wrong on Bell Psy in terms of centuries and half centuries- he did indeed score one century too. I'll modify the figures to take account of this. The averages though, are correct I'm pretty sure of that.
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Old 24th August 2010, 16:00   #31
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but he is so much better down the order that I hope he stays at 5 or 6.
This.
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Old 24th August 2010, 16:11   #32
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the filth of their fast bowling attack
On cricinfo they were discussing the attacks of the top 6 Test playing nations- Australia are broadly speaking seen as the best all conditions attack in the world. I wouldn't necessarily go along with that, but to write them off- especially in their home conditions is premature indeed. They were not fantastic here last year, but then our conditons for Test cricket are probably unique. While their attack clearly far below the last tour of Australia, I doubt there will be easy runs on offer for the most part.

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Old 24th August 2010, 18:30   #33
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... I'm confused by Trott. At times he seems the best no. 3 we've had for ages, looking composed and putting in solid performances. But the line between "composed" and "in a world of his own disregarding the need to up the pace" has been crossed more than once, in two cases leading to matches being lost. The blame for the defeats should be placed elsewhere but if only he had batted with a bit more intent things could have been different. ...
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... Trott is the man we need to lose for Bell. Trott's batting style and pace just heaps extra pressure on the middle order.
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I didn't see the last Test match as I was on holiday but I've noticed before that Trott is extremely limited against spin bowling. He only has about one shot and that is a backfoot flick for one or two off his hip, unless it is a real rank delivery like Kaneria served up in the first Test. There are times where his innings just stalls and goes nowhere and puts pressure on other people. ...
I'm perfectly happy with Trott scoring slowly. I don't really see how it puts pressure on others. There's always pressure on in test cricket, and if Trott's response is to stay in, and the response of others is to get out, then Trott can handle the pressure and the others can't.

Not losing in Australia will be about sitting in the crease for day after day. Trott currently is the only member of the England team who looks remotely psychologically capable of doing so. He'd be the first batsman on my team sheet by a long way. The rest of them give the impression of not having the foggiest idea of what will be required of them this winter.
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Old 24th August 2010, 19:25   #34
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Strauss is a good captain with an excellent batting record, he will come good in Australia. Pietersen is bullet proof. Trott is the man we need to lose for Bell. Trott's batting style and pace just heaps extra pressure on the middle order.
You are quite right. The pressure to get on with it at 170 odd for 2 when there only 2 and a quarter days to go is immense in test cricket. The way Cook crumpled under the pressure of batting with Trott in that second innings at the Oval only sledgehammers home your very valid point.
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Old 24th August 2010, 19:25   #35
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Not losing in Australia will be about sitting in the crease for day after day.
Disagree entirely sans. Australia are an attacking side, who exert pressure through that attacking style.

The main way to defeat them I think, is to counterattack. As well as Ashes 2005 being the obvious example, two0 others which spring to mind are Sehwag out there in India's 2007/08 tour, you could see the difference in mentality when he came in. Or Sangakarra's fantastic Hobart innings in 2007 that same winter. Okay, Australia won both those series eventually as both of these examples were from positions of virtually a lost cause, but I still say counterattacking against Australia is the best chance of beating them. Come to that, Ashes 2009 we made the running at Lords, and indeed at The Oval in the 2nd Innings.

I believe that the bottom line is, one way or another to be successful against Australia, well their opponents must put the pressure back on them. Playing for a draw might work, or it might mean that the team who does this can eventually be worn down.

Last edited by A Newbie : 25th August 2010 at 10:23.
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Old 24th August 2010, 19:29   #36
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People are finally beginning to question why Pietersen is bullet proof. Once he is looked on as just one of the batsmen in the line-up his place will also come into question if he doesn't play some successful innings soon.

I think Strauss will come good. He was our best batsman in 2009, making 1172 runs @ 53.27 with 4 100s and 4 50s. Being rested from the Bangladesh tour doesn't seem to have had the beneficial effect intended as he has had a very poor year so far, but I hope this was just a blip.

I'm confused by Trott. At times he seems the best no. 3 we've had for ages, looking composed and putting in solid performances. But the line between "composed" and "in a world of his own disregarding the need to up the pace" has been crossed more than once, in two cases leading to matches being lost. The blame for the defeats should be placed elsewhere but if only he had batted with a bit more intent things could have been different.

I am really pleased that Cook has made a century and saved his career, because it avoids the two nightmare scenarios of 1) continuing to open with Cook still struggling or 2) replacing him with someone else who might also fail or moving Trott up to open and moving Bell up to 3. However, I'm not convinced that this is a triumphant return to form, not until we have seen him bat at Lord's. But he did show a lot of character to play the way he did on Friday.
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Old 24th August 2010, 19:30   #37
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I'm not saying that he's putting pressure on others, but not putting enough responsibility on himself to score runs as well as occupying the crease. At the Oval there was plenty of time left in the test match for runs to be scored at a leisurely pace. But in making 36 runs from 130 balls - a s/r of 27.69 - he missed scoring opportunities that would have given England a better total to defend. Of course he wasn't to know that the batting would collapse quite so spectacularly. Also it's a complaint that only comes up when England lose. It's a fine line, and at Edgbaston his two fifties (at s/rs in the 40s and 50s) were invaluable. It's an adjustment he should be able to make as he is capable of batting more productively. It's simply (!) a matter of remembering that while bent on occupying the crease he also needs to show intent to score runs.
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Old 24th August 2010, 19:31   #38
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Are you puzzled by the cases where matches were lost or where elsewhere the blame should be placed?
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Old 24th August 2010, 19:48   #39
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The only player in the top 6 under any threat BEFORE the Ashes is Morgan.

KP would have to score <20 in the next 4 tests before he would remotely be under pressure.
Collywobble is looking decidedly wobbly.
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Old 24th August 2010, 19:49   #40
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Collywobble is looking decidedly wobbly.
It's all relative- vs South Africa and Pakistan, only Bell outstrips him average wise.
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