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Old 20th November 2015, 13:24   #121
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One aspect of transition that seems definitely to have happened is that Cook's got his reputation back. He's leading by example with the bat now, and perhaps relatedly, his captaincy isn't coming in for too much criticism. He's said one or two daft things along the way, but in general, I'd say Cook's managed to ride out the transition from the team-with-KP to the team-without-KP fairly well. Indeed, one gets the feeling that this forum is now one of the only places still plagued by tiresome pro-KP carping on a fairly regular basis.
True, I think Bayliss has to take credit for this as I believe he has allowed and encouraged Cook to take charge. Under Flower it seemed like a dictatorship and the Moores era was incompetent, not helped by the idiot Downton, in general. As everybody with half a brain knows the captain has to be the number one in a dressing room and on the pitch, and luckily we now have a coach who seems able to step back and support rather than control.
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Old 20th November 2015, 13:46   #122
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Arguably the prime of his career Ashley Giles was the one who went to Pakistan itself in 2000 and took a stack of wickets in that series, generating a good deal more spin than he would later in his career as he tended to get more side and get more action on the ball as a consequence. The Gilo of 4/5 years later had issues with his hip and as a consequence didn't do that, bowled more front on and operated far more over the wicket in a containing role.

I take your point, the only thing being that I still think Pakistan would have gone after the more defensive version and still kept the scoreboard ticking quite effectively without losing too many wickets. For instance, Fat Sam didn't bowl that badly but ended up travelling a fair bit. Quite honestly he bowled better than the other two in that last test but still hardly kept things that tight.
Patel bowled a lot of pies on day 1 on a very spin friendly surface, although he did bowl some good ones too. I didn't see nearly as much of the second innings but he definitely bowled a lot of dross there too. I think you're underestimating how useful an actually good spinner would have been. See what Monty and Swann did in UAE and India last tours of each, for example.
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Old 20th November 2015, 14:22   #123
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Patel bowled a lot of pies on day 1 on a very spin friendly surface, although he did bowl some good ones too. I didn't see nearly as much of the second innings but he definitely bowled a lot of dross there too. I think you're underestimating how useful an actually good spinner would have been. See what Monty and Swann did in UAE and India last tours of each, for example.
I'm not underestimating what a good spinner would be able to do, just that it is not an option open to England right now. I didn't say that Patel was brilliant, just that I should have probably worded what I said better in that he was less skank than the other two.

See my response to Sans from earlier today re even a relatively ok spinner being likely to travel the distance when up against in form quality players of spin.
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Old 20th November 2015, 16:18   #124
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One aspect of transition that seems definitely to have happened is that Cook's got his reputation back. He's leading by example with the bat now, and perhaps relatedly, his captaincy isn't coming in for too much criticism. He's said one or two daft things along the way, but in general, I'd say Cook's managed to ride out the transition from the team-with-KP to the team-without-KP fairly well. Indeed, one gets the feeling that this forum is now one of the only places still plagued by tiresome pro-KP carping on a fairly regular basis.
I do love how anti-KP posters complain that KP is mentioned too much on this board and in doing so bring up his name again. Move on please.

Still not convinced by Cook's captaincy to be honest but he appears more relaxed and in love with the game again, which is infinitely preferable to how he came across a year ago.
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Old 20th November 2015, 16:38   #125
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I hold no candle for Rashid - but we are carrying bowlers who take 5 wickets in a test once in a career.

Simply not good enough.

Monty : 12 in 50 tests
Tuffers : 5 in 42 tests
Gilo : 5 in 54 tests
Emburey : 6 in 64 tests
Tim May : 3 in 24 tests
Stu MacGill : 12 in 44 tests (!)
Rashid : 1 in 3 tests
Moeen Ali : 1 in 19 tests
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Old 20th November 2015, 16:49   #126
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I know it's a bit old fashioned but I think the average is a rather better way of evaluating a bowler. Not that Ali comes across amazingly measured that way either.
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Old 20th November 2015, 17:09   #127
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I know it's a bit old fashioned but I think the average is a rather better way of evaluating a bowler. Not that Ali comes across amazingly measured that way either.
Indeed his test average in 2015 for 12 tests is : 45.06 - awful.

a more general point is that cricket is years behind Baseball in Sabremetrics (moneyball) style stats.
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Old 20th November 2015, 17:19   #128
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Partly because in tests batting and bowling average are pretty much on the money.

Where it's lagging is in limited overs cricket.
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Old 20th November 2015, 17:35   #129
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I hold no candle for Rashid - but we are carrying bowlers who take 5 wickets in a test once in a career.

Simply not good enough.

Monty : 12 in 50 tests
Tuffers : 5 in 42 tests
Gilo : 5 in 54 tests
Emburey : 6 in 64 tests
Tim May : 3 in 24 tests
Stu MacGill : 12 in 44 tests (!)
Rashid : 1 in 3 tests
Moeen Ali : 1 in 19 tests
Nobody is saying Ali is a great spinner - but in 5 of 6 innings his figures were better than Rashid's. In his 5 other innings Rashid took 3 for 490. On spin friendly conditions Rashid had an average of 69.5. There is a reason Yorkshire hardly ever bowl him in the first innings, but at Test level can you pick a spinner just in case he has the right conditions to bowl out the tail pretty quickly on day 5, unless he justifies his place in the top 5. The alternative to Ali at the moment is to go with 5 seamers.
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Old 20th November 2015, 17:45   #130
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Partly because in tests batting and bowling average are pretty much on the money.

Where it's lagging is in limited overs cricket.
I still think it's a little difficult to evaluate ODIs when we don't really see the game standing still for long enough to accumulate a really good data set to know how valuable, for example getting 1/40 off 10 in the middle over is by comparison to 3/58 with one wicket opening and another couple bowling at the death.

Tests, as you say, have pretty robust metrics, just not ones that include the same amount of data as a baseball pitcher or hitter's stats. That's just about the amount of cricket played by comparison though.
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Old 20th November 2015, 22:28   #131
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I do love how anti-KP posters complain that KP is mentioned too much on this board and in doing so bring up his name again. Move on please. ...
Sorry. But it seems to me that in terms of the thread's titular "transition", the things that made such a thing necessary -- more than the constant rejuvenation any team has to accomplish as players retire, get dropped and/or get injured willy-nilly -- were the dropping of KP, and the retirements of Swann and Prior. Hence, I suppose, our three main discussion topics of recent times. In fact your complaint is justified because the plan for replacing KP, sensibly enough, has just been to try to pick the best batsmen (as long as they're not KP). That's a decent way to move on. Whereas in trying to replace Swann and Prior, the selectors haven't just tried to pick the best available spinner and keeper. I have some respect for the suggestion in the OP that just picking a classy keeper might be helpful.

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Nobody is saying Ali is a great spinner - but in 5 of 6 innings his figures were better than Rashid's. In his 5 other innings Rashid took 3 for 490. On spin friendly conditions Rashid had an average of 69.5. There is a reason Yorkshire hardly ever bowl him in the first innings, but at Test level can you pick a spinner just in case he has the right conditions to bowl out the tail pretty quickly on day 5, unless he justifies his place in the top 5. The alternative to Ali at the moment is to go with 5 seamers.
I'm not sure about the last bit there. I think in some tests in SA and elsewhere we might be able to go in with 4 seamers plus Root. There's also the option (if we can pick from outside the selected squad for the sake of argument) of picking -- in place of Ali -- Tredwell, or Keedy, or Cosker, or someone like that who has lots of experience of doing slow bowling for a living. I know there are loud voices prepared to make umpteen posts per hour trying to have it be true that Ali is the best available spinner, but I don't think we can really tell that that's the case, because things have been set up in such a way that any challengers for his place have to be very good batsmen. At the very least it has to be potentially significant that Rashid was the only England bowler to take a five-for in the last test series, and that Cook trusted Patel more than Ali in the first innings in Sharjah.
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Old 20th November 2015, 23:03   #132
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Sorry. But it seems to me that in terms of the thread's titular "transition", the things that made such a thing necessary -- more than the constant rejuvenation any team has to accomplish as players retire, get dropped and/or get injured willy-nilly -- were the dropping of KP, and the retirements of Swann and Prior. Hence, I suppose, our three main discussion topics of recent times. In fact your complaint is justified because the plan for replacing KP, sensibly enough, has just been to try to pick the best batsmen (as long as they're not KP). That's a decent way to move on. Whereas in trying to replace Swann and Prior, the selectors haven't just tried to pick the best available spinner and keeper. I have some respect for the suggestion in the OP that just picking a classy keeper might be helpful.

I'm not sure about the last bit there. I think in some tests in SA and elsewhere we might be able to go in with 4 seamers plus Root. There's also the option (if we can pick from outside the selected squad for the sake of argument) of picking -- in place of Ali -- Tredwell, or Keedy, or Cosker, or someone like that who has lots of experience of doing slow bowling for a living. I know there are loud voices prepared to make umpteen posts per hour trying to have it be true that Ali is the best available spinner, but I don't think we can really tell that that's the case, because things have been set up in such a way that any challengers for his place have to be very good batsmen. At the very least it has to be potentially significant that Rashid was the only England bowler to take a five-for in the last test series, and that Cook trusted Patel more than Ali in the first innings in Sharjah.
So who was KP dropped for? Ballance or Ali? They've both really nailed their places.
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Old 21st November 2015, 10:35   #133
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Nobody is saying Ali is a great spinner - but in 5 of 6 innings his figures were better than Rashid's. In his 5 other innings Rashid took 3 for 490. On spin friendly conditions Rashid had an average of 69.5. There is a reason Yorkshire hardly ever bowl him in the first innings, but at Test level can you pick a spinner just in case he has the right conditions to bowl out the tail pretty quickly on day 5, unless he justifies his place in the top 5. The alternative to Ali at the moment is to go with 5 seamers.
We need to look beyond figures sometimes, particularly when dealing with such very small data sets.

Rashid regularly bowls for Yorkshire in the first innings. The longer form of the game, with footmarks and wearing pitches, has always been his forté and it still is. It seems fears that we may deny ourselves the services of a genuinely attacking test spinner, following perceptions of his performances in one day internationals, may not have been groundless.
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Old 21st November 2015, 10:42   #134
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It seems we have to put a lot of blind faith in Rashid's attacking qualities, but then if we're not allowed to use numbers or even the evidence in front of our own eyes, we are left with little choice.
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Old 21st November 2015, 10:46   #135
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Visual evidence is there for all who can to see.

Perhaps there are some on here, and one in particular, who often seems to post quickly after myself on a range of subjects, who just don't want to see it.

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Old 21st November 2015, 11:08   #136
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and that Cook trusted Patel more than Ali in the first innings in Sharjah.
Wasn't that more a case of bowling match-ups? Had it been left-handlers at the crease Cook would have gone for off-spin, but with it mainly being right handlers he went with a SLA.

Which goes back to something I was saying ages ago, which is that specialist spinners may be something of a luxury If they can't turn it both ways. I think Swann averaged in the 40s against right-handers, for example, but was fortunate to play in an era containing an unusually high percentage of left-handers.
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Old 21st November 2015, 15:03   #137
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Wasn't that more a case of bowling match-ups? Had it been left-handlers at the crease Cook would have gone for off-spin, but with it mainly being right handlers he went with a SLA ...
Hard to say. But if so then I suspect there was also something of Cook already knowing for sure that Ali and Rashid were awful, but not yet being quite sure that Patel was too.
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Old 21st November 2015, 18:03   #138
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We need to look beyond figures sometimes, particularly when dealing with such very small data sets.

Rashid regularly bowls for Yorkshire in the first innings. The longer form of the game, with footmarks and wearing pitches, has always been his forté and it still is. It seems fears that we may deny ourselves the services of a genuinely attacking test spinner, following perceptions of his performances in one day internationals, may not have been groundless.
I've not made any comment about his performance in ODIs, they were his Test Match stats and my opinion on watching him bowl for 4 days in the last 3 tests. I didn't see his one good performance, but what I did see was poor. I actually think he is quite a good 20/20 bowler as batsmen can't set themselves for a shot when even the bowler has no idea where it will land. Yes he can spin it but good batmen know they don't have to wait many balls or the next easy 4. I'd love him to prove me wrong, but I'll be very surprised.
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Old 23rd November 2015, 10:56   #139
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He's not been consistently good but "poor" is a bit strong, I think.

All players take time to get to their best at test level and Rashid will be no exception.

Given his potential, I'm very surprised the selectors have decided not to let him try to achieve this. As he's a decent batsman and a good fielder too, it's not as if he has no other way of contributing in the way that, for example, Panesar, a fairly limited spinner himself, did.

I think it may be a slight exaggeration to say that in T20, he has no idea where the ball may land. However, that's T20 and even if there was any truth in the claim, why should anyone really care?
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Old 23rd November 2015, 14:33   #140
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He's not been consistently good but "poor" is a bit strong, I think.

All players take time to get to their best at test level and Rashid will be no exception.

Given his potential, I'm very surprised the selectors have decided not to let him try to achieve this. As he's a decent batsman and a good fielder too, it's not as if he has no other way of contributing in the way that, for example, Panesar, a fairly limited spinner himself, did.

I think it may be a slight exaggeration to say that in T20, he has no idea where the ball may land. However, that's T20 and even if there was any truth in the claim, why should anyone really care?
As I mentioned earlier I didn't watch his good day in the First Test. On the days I watched he was bowling at least one very poor ball per over and the Pakistan batsmen were able just to wait for it and despatch it without any real risk as they were clearly just sitting back knowing the runs were coming. They didn't need to try and hit him out of the attack, which would have at least carried some risk. In 20/20 he takes the premeditated shot out of the equation because it must be impossible to know roughly where the ball will pitch.
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