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Old 17th November 2015, 20:25   #61
geoff_boycotts_grandmother
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You need a world class first slip though with Read keeping as he doesn't take anything he has to dive for.
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It was a poor innings by Bell with the bat.
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Old 17th November 2015, 20:37   #62
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Trescothick to return to fill the opener void and stand at first?
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Old 18th November 2015, 12:43   #63
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The thing with transitions is that you hope the future you are transitioning to is better than the past you've transitioned from.

One wonders, however, whether a lineup of

Carberry
Cook
Compton
Root
KP
Bell
Read

would be any worse than one we can currently assemble from Cook and Root, Bell at 3 and any combination of the young pups.
Are you dropping Stokes and returning to a 4 man attack in this hypothetical team?

For what it's worth I think there is a very good chance that Compton will be named in the touring party for South Africa.
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:11   #64
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Are you dropping Stokes and returning to a 4 man attack in this hypothetical team? ...
It could be that the switch to a 5-bowler team is part of the reason why the titular transition is proving rather tricky. The retirement of Swann has seemingly led us to stop selecting the best available spinner, but instead to select a part-time spinner who can bat; which means that we then need to get extra bowling from the top six, and so we can't just select the top six on batting merit. The result is that there are actually now only five batting places in the team, and only three bowling places in the team, and so it's harder for us to find the best bowlers and the best batsmen. I don't object to a five-man attack per se, but it would be nice if it were to include either our four best seamers and our best spinner, or our three best seamers and our two best spinners -- and I don't think it can, because batting considerations come in. The question re. Stokes is: is he really our sixth best available batsman?
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:17   #65
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I think Stokes is at worst the fourth best batsman available, certainly from what I've seen from Bell, Robson, Lyth, Compton, Carberry, Bairstow and Buttler.
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:26   #66
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Are you dropping Stokes and returning to a 4 man attack in this hypothetical team?

For what it's worth I think there is a very good chance that Compton will be named in the touring party for South Africa.
It was merely a hypothetical musing looking at the batting only.
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:46   #67
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I think Stokes is at worst the fourth best batsman available, certainly from what I've seen from Bell, Robson, Lyth, Compton, Carberry, Bairstow and Buttler.
That's probably right, especially when you consider that we've made our second best batsman unavailable and are now pretty much regarding Taylor as a certainty, when he's had 5 test innings with only one successful one and has technical quirks that may well cause him to struggle in SA. Stokes hasn't looked out of place with the bat at 6, except perhaps on this tour of UAE and SA ought to suit him better. I don't think he's, as yet, a particularly convincing test number 6 but beggars can't be choosers.
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:52   #68
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It could be that the switch to a 5-bowler team is part of the reason why the titular transition is proving rather tricky. The retirement of Swann has seemingly led us to stop selecting the best available spinner, but instead to select a part-time spinner who can bat; which means that we then need to get extra bowling from the top six, and so we can't just select the top six on batting merit. The result is that there are actually now only five batting places in the team, and only three bowling places in the team, and so it's harder for us to find the best bowlers and the best batsmen. I don't object to a five-man attack per se, but it would be nice if it were to include either our four best seamers and our best spinner, or our three best seamers and our two best spinners -- and I don't think it can, because batting considerations come in. The question re. Stokes is: is he really our sixth best available batsman?
I'm sure I've asked you this before but I can't remember your response - who are our best two spinners?
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Old 18th November 2015, 14:40   #69
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I think Stokes is at worst the fourth best batsman available, certainly from what I've seen from Bell, Robson, Lyth, Compton, Carberry, Bairstow and Buttler.
That's fine then, if that's true. And then we would perhaps want to make sure we don't ask him to do too much bowling. But look at his averages in recent test series: 14.66 vs Pakistan, 25.12 vs Australia, 57.00 vs New Zealand, 35.20 vs West Indies (partly at 7). He's been disappointing with the bat in our last two test series. I take the point about the competition not being up to much at present, but we don't want to get into the situation where a better batsman than Stokes is available for selection but we can't drop Stokes because of his bowling.

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I'm sure I've asked you this before but I can't remember your response - who are our best two spinners?
I'm not sure my opinion on that is really the point. I'm not a selector and I haven't been able to watch much cricket in recent years. The issue I raised is simply about team structure. If it happens to be the case that our best spinner (or one of our two best when we're playing two) is a very good batsman too, then we would do well to treat his batting as just a bonus, since when he's injured we would want him to be replaced by the next best available spinner. The same goes for seamers too. The basic point is that if our sixth batsman and our fourth bowler have to be players like Patel, Ali, Stokes, Woakes, and Rashid, who we can call all-rounders, then that makes it harder for new specialists to come into the team.
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Old 18th November 2015, 15:13   #70
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I'd consider Stokes to be fourth most likely to get a hundred and third or fourth most likely to get a 5fer in the current set up. I wouldn't want to limit one or the other, especially as there are plenty of cricketers who when they have bowled well go on to bat or bowl well thanks to the confidence they have gained in the other discipline. If there is a better batsman available and he is struggling then fine, you have to make a selection decision based upon that but we are a long way off finding two established batsmen higher up the order as it is.
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Old 18th November 2015, 15:23   #71
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I'm not sure my opinion on that is really the point. I'm not a selector and I haven't been able to watch much cricket in recent years. The issue I raised is simply about team structure. If it happens to be the case that our best spinner (or one of our two best when we're playing two) is a very good batsman too, then we would do well to treat his batting as just a bonus, since when he's injured we would want him to be replaced by the next best available spinner. The same goes for seamers too. The basic point is that if our sixth batsman and our fourth bowler have to be players like Patel, Ali, Stokes, Woakes, and Rashid, who we can call all-rounders, then that makes it harder for new specialists to come into the team.
What makes you think the selectors aren't picking the two best spinners available already? The fact that both can bat?
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Old 18th November 2015, 15:24   #72
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In the absence of any better spinners - and you've yet to name any - maybe the selectors believe that Rashid and Ali are England's two best spinners?

This doesn't seem an outrageous thought when Rashid was the leading English wicket-taker amongst spinners in Division One and Moeen, who was first choice spinner last summer, outperformed him in the UAE.
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Old 18th November 2015, 15:42   #73
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What makes you think the selectors aren't picking the two best spinners available already? The fact that both can bat?
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In the absence of any better spinners - and you've yet to name any - maybe the selectors believe that Rashid and Ali are England's two best spinners?

This doesn't seem an outrageous thought when Rashid was the leading English wicket-taker amongst spinners in Division One and Moeen, who was first choice spinner last summer, outperformed him in the UAE.
I'm not talking about that. I believe that Jock and Sir Virgs are, so maybe you should go and find them. I'm talking about trying to keep the bowlers in bowling slots in the side, so that if better bowlers come along, or if they get injured, it's straightforward to swap them over without affecting the rest of the team.
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Old 18th November 2015, 15:54   #74
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I'm not talking about that. I believe that Jock and Sir Virgs are, so maybe you should go and find them. I'm talking about trying to keep the bowlers in bowling slots in the side, so that if better bowlers come along, or if they get injured, it's straightforward to swap them over without affecting the rest of the team.
So you'd like to bat your specialist bowlers (who happen to be able to bat) further down the order so that our selectors don't get confused later on into thinking that they could only be replaced with other bowlers who can also bat?

These are the same selectors that you trust to be well placed to determine who our best specialist spinners are?
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Old 18th November 2015, 16:00   #75
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I'm talking about trying to keep the bowlers in bowling slots in the side, so that if better bowlers come along, or if they get injured, it's straightforward to swap them over without affecting the rest of the team.
Wow, just wow.
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Old 18th November 2015, 16:07   #76
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I'm not talking about that. I believe that Jock and Sir Virgs are, so maybe you should go and find them. I'm talking about trying to keep the bowlers in bowling slots in the side, so that if better bowlers come along, or if they get injured, it's straightforward to swap them over without affecting the rest of the team.
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Old 18th November 2015, 16:39   #77
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I'm not talking about that. I believe that Jock and Sir Virgs are, so maybe you should go and find them. I'm talking about trying to keep the bowlers in bowling slots in the side, so that if better bowlers come along, or if they get injured, it's straightforward to swap them over without affecting the rest of the team.
This is possibly my favourite ever post.

Imagine the chat "sorry chaps, I know you are the two best spinners but unfortunately you bat too well so we need to drop you and pick an inferior bowler who is a proper number 10."

"Okay no probs"
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Old 18th November 2015, 16:42   #78
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This is possibly my favourite ever post.

Imagine the chat "sorry chaps, I know you are the two best spinners but unfortunately you bat too well so we need to drop you and pick an inferior bowler who is a proper number 10."

"Okay no probs"
With the reasoning that otherwise we are so stupid that we may confuse ourselves as to what it is we picked you for should we need to pick a replacement in future selectorial meeting.
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Old 18th November 2015, 18:03   #79
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I think in fairness to Sans, the English selection is currently muddled because we have so many all rounders who are yet to really justify their place with either discipline. I include the two keepers in that as well.

They say a great all rounder is like having two players in the side for the price of one. Trouble is, when that all-rounder isn't very good that means having two crap players and the sum of the parts is less than the whole.
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Old 18th November 2015, 18:31   #80
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I think in fairness to Sans, the English selection is currently muddled because we have so many all rounders who are yet to really justify their place with either discipline. I include the two keepers in that as well.

They say a great all rounder is like having two players in the side for the price of one. Trouble is, when that all-rounder isn't very good that means having two crap players and the sum of the parts is less than the whole.
That's perhaps fair enough but the specialist spinner we picked because our all rounder spinner wasn't good enough / needed supplementing in UAE, turned out to be worse than our all rounder spinner. I know Sans is framing it as Rashid was also picked as an all rounder to avoid admitting that there really might not be better spinners out there, possibly including ones not even getting picked for their counties but that seems a little implausible.

Stokes could certainly be replaced by a better fast bowler. In fact, I think we're quite well at home there as long as the excellent Anderson and Broad remain fit and as long as at least one or two of the others manage not to be broken either. You might argue that Woakes would be another all rounder competing. As above though, it's not that clear that he'd be replaced by a better specialist batsmen were he to be dropped for one of those.
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