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Old 20th November 2015, 08:34   #1
Rebelstar
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England in South Africa 15-16 (Dec 26 to Feb 21)

Dates exclude any warm up games etc.

South Africa vs England

TESTS :

1st Test (Durban) Saturday 26th December 2015
2nd Test (Cape Town) Saturday 2nd January 2016
3rd Test (Johannesburg) Thursday 14th January 2016
4th Test (Centurion) Friday 22nd January 2016

ODIs :

1st ODI (Bloemfontein) Wednesday 3rd February 2016
2nd ODI (Port Elizabeth) Saturday 6th February 2016
3rd ODI (Centurion) Tuesday 9th February 2016
4th ODI (Johannesburg) Friday 12th February 2016
5th ODI (Cape Town) Sunday 14th February 2016

T20Is

1st T20I (Cape Town) Friday 19th February 2016
2nd T20I (Johannesburg) Sunday 21st February 2016


England Test squad

Alastair Cook (Essex, capt)
Nick Compton (Middlesex)
Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
Joe Root (Yorkshire)
James Taylor (Nottinghamshire)

Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wk)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wk)

Ben Stokes (Durham)
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)

Chris Jordan (Sussex)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Mark Footitt (Surrey)
James Anderson (Lancashire)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/34866711
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Old 20th November 2015, 08:48   #2
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A few 'surprises' in the squad, Bell left out or 'dropped' depending on viewpoint and probably less known facts, Whitaker on that link/webpage saying

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Whitaker (National Selector)
It was clearly a difficult decision but he has struggled for runs in recent series and we felt that it was the right time for him to take a break and spend time working on his game out of the spotlight
Ballance returns having been dropped after two Tests against the aussies last summer, scored 98 runs @ 24.50 which is more runs than recalled opener Compton scored in his last six innings (54) but at 32.5 he too has been recalled.

Compton (9 Tests) : 479 runs @ 31.93 (HS 117, 100 x2)
Ballance (15 Tests) : 1194 runs @ 47.76 (HS 156, 100 x4)

Perhaps the selectors read all the pieces about openers and concluded what a lot of people have (rightly or wrongly), that England have chopped and changed openers and most conclude Compton was the pick even if that may be misuse of the word 'best' when describing something as best of a poor lot.

Hales is still failing to convince in ODIs but is in the squad, covering options or perhaps running out of them!

I have to conclude Rashid is into the Test wilderness already, might get a recall for a tour to India but somehow Patel is in. I would guess back up to Ali who will no doubt revert to his #8 and first choice spinner role.

Footitt is in, and Jordan recalled. Be interesting to see, assuming England stick with Stokes, keeper, Ali as 6-8 and Broad and Anderson spearheading the attack, which of Footitt and Jordan fill in the gap.

Personally I'd play just four bowlers, although I'd perhaps have given Tredwell the spinner spot and would not play Stokes in the top six until such a time as his batting is convincing - 972 runs @ 28.59, even at #6 it is 'only' 787 runs @ 35.77 which mightn't be bad IF his 45 wickets weren't costing 40.44 apiece.

Funnily enough a glance or two down that Test squad gives me an ODI feeling about it - Hales, Ballance, Taylor, Bairstow/Buttler, Stokes, Ali, Woakes, Jordan, adding in the others who are more established Test players.
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Old 20th November 2015, 10:17   #3
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<Yawn>

I see the second test starts on the 2nd not the 3rd. Have they scrapped that requirement for a three day gap between tests now? Or does no one believe England will make the Boxing Day Test last until the fifth day?
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Old 20th November 2015, 14:55   #4
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Is the not convincing in ODIs mentioned in the original post Hales the same one who hit a destructive hundred in the game before the post? Not saying he's been amazing overall but rather an odd bit of timing.
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Old 20th November 2015, 19:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelstar View Post


Personally I'd play just four bowlers, although I'd perhaps have given Tredwell the spinner spot and would not play Stokes in the top six until such a time as his batting is convincing - 972 runs @ 28.59, even at #6 it is 'only' 787 runs @ 35.77 which mightn't be bad IF his 45 wickets weren't costing 40.44 apiece.
The problem with dropping Stokes as a frontline batsman is ... his average of 35.77 is significantly higher than all the specialist batmen who have been tried in the top six except for Ballance. For example Compton a tad under 32, Bairstow in the mid to high 20s, Taylor mid 20s. I watched him bowl twice in the Ashes and twice against Pakistan and I think his bowling has made significant progress in the last 6 months. UAe hasn't helped his batting average, but first test he was out in the run chase and third test he probably shouldn't have batted. Shot in the first innings of the second test was awful and irresponsible. I don't see a lot of convincing alternatives at the moment as a specialist bat.
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Old 10th December 2015, 10:13   #6
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South Africa have named their squad for the first two tests of the forthcoming series. One key decision is that of giving AB De Villiers the gloves. I have to say that I'm a little surprised but it does tend to give them a bit more batting depth, something that they looked shockingly short of in India. However they won't be facing any turning tracks or facing much in the way of spin. Even without Philander that pace attack looks tasty, the batting has one or two gaps, although I'd be rather surpised if one or two of that upper order doesn't find some form on home soil.

Hashim Amla (capt), AB de Villiers (wk), Kyle Abbott, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl

http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-af...ry/950827.html
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Old 10th December 2015, 12:04   #7
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I'm pretty shocked they have handed de Villiers the gloves too Chin. I actually thought this would be a good thing for England in that it was likely to reduce de Villiers effectiveness with the willow but apparently he averages an astonishing 58.26 when playing as a batsmen-keeper!

Assuming Steyn is declared fit I assume they will go with the following line up:

Elgar
Bavuma
du Plessis
Amla
de Villiers
Van Zyl
Duminy
Steyn
Abbott
Piedt
Morkel

Like you say Chin it's still an excellent seam attack even without Philander but there are definite weaknesses there. They key for England will be making an early breakthrough and exposing the "big 3" to the new ball.

It promises to be a very interesting series.
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Old 10th December 2015, 12:07   #8
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I think they might play Rabada (if he is fit) in place of Van Zyl.
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Old 10th December 2015, 12:12   #9
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I think they might play Rabada (if he is fit) in place of Van Zyl.
I don't think so CM - the coach has already declared they want 7 specialist batsmen. Rabada could easily play instead of Abbott or Piedt though (or even Steyn if he isn't fit).
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Old 10th December 2015, 12:14   #10
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Apparently Steve Finn is playing for the Lions today in a T20 game versus Pakistan A with a view the joining up with the full squad shortly (as reported by KYS last week). Fingers crossed for Finn as an attack of Anderson, Broad and Finn looks a lot stronger than Anderson, Broad and Woakes.
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Old 10th December 2015, 12:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyduck View Post
I don't think so CM - the coach has already declared they want 7 specialist batsmen. Rabada could easily play instead of Abbott or Piedt though (or even Steyn if he isn't fit).
SA have to adapt to the 'Transformation targets', i.e. they need 1 (black) African and 3 other non-whites in their team. Amla takes one spot, Duminy probably takes another. If they pick a specialist spinner they pick Piedt and then they can probably pick Bavuma as their batsman especially if they think that Abbott is possibly a little ahead of Rabada right now, so that would probably make the team nigh on the one you suggested.
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Last edited by Chin Music : 10th December 2015 at 12:43. Reason: Last bit
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Old 10th December 2015, 15:53   #12
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I think they might play Rabada (if he is fit) in place of Van Zyl.
At kingsmead we might play radaba ahead of piedt.

Personally pretty disappointed the selectors opted to go with ab keeping instead of picking QDK.

From those selected this would be my team:

1.Elgar
2.Bavuma
3.Amla
4.AB
5.Faf
6.Van Zyl
7.Rossouw
8.Steyn
9.Abbot
10.Piedt/Radaba (depending on the wicket)
11.Morkel

Don't think duminy can be persisted with an average of 35 is simply not good enough.

SA will will want to get root in early and see how he copes with the new ball on the bouncy south african tracks, didn't fare too well against it last time out in aus.

Should be an exciting series.
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Old 10th December 2015, 18:57   #13
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Should be an exciting series.
England-SA almost always is. Starting from the 2003 series I can't remember a single uncompetitive series between these two sides - probably consistently the best Test rubber going. Might not have matched the heights of 2005 Ashes say (not that many others have in the game's history) but no easy/dull victories either.

An inexperienced but talented English side against an SA side recovering from the India reverse promises plenty of intrigue once again.
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Old 10th December 2015, 19:04   #14
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South Africa may have picked 7 batsmen but there's a real difference in tails.

I'm not sure whether the South Africa tail is weak by modern standards (it's certainly weak to the South African tail of old when they were blessed with Pollock and Klusener, McMillan etc) or England's tail is just ridiculous.

Assuming England go Woakes and SA Radaba, England will have a no.10 with more test 50s than South Africa's 8, 9, 10 have fc 50s combined. And that no.10 will have more test 150s than 8, 9, 10 and 11 (and 12th man) have fc hundreds. In fact England's no.11's test best is only 1 off of the no.8's fc best.
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Old 10th December 2015, 19:40   #15
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South Africa may have picked 7 batsmen but there's a real difference in tails.

I'm not sure whether the South Africa tail is weak by modern standards (it's certainly weak to the South African tail of old when they were blessed with Pollock and Klusener, McMillan etc) or England's tail is just ridiculous.

Assuming England go Woakes and SA Radaba, England will have a no.10 with more test 50s than South Africa's 8, 9, 10 have fc 50s combined. And that no.10 will have more test 150s than 8, 9, 10 and 11 (and 12th man) have fc hundreds. In fact England's no.11's test best is only 1 off of the no.8's fc best.
Broad could easily go back to rabbit mode against Morkel and Steyn, and hopefully Woakes won't play.
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Old 10th December 2015, 20:18   #16
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South Africa may have picked 7 batsmen but there's a real difference in tails.

I'm not sure whether the South Africa tail is weak by modern standards (it's certainly weak to the South African tail of old when they were blessed with Pollock and Klusener, McMillan etc) or England's tail is just ridiculous.

Assuming England go Woakes and SA Radaba, England will have a no.10 with more test 50s than South Africa's 8, 9, 10 have fc 50s combined. And that no.10 will have more test 150s than 8, 9, 10 and 11 (and 12th man) have fc hundreds. In fact England's no.11's test best is only 1 off of the no.8's fc best.
SA's tail is weak without philander. Even with him its not great. Steyn on occasions has shown he can hang around and abbot has shown he can do a dizzy gillespie type of role. But wouldn't put any money on morkel or piedt. Missing that pollock or klusener type in this side
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Old 11th December 2015, 15:19   #17
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A good preview here
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cri...th-Africa.html
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It was a poor innings by Bell with the bat.
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Old 11th December 2015, 16:29   #18
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Does anyone have a timetable of warm-up matches? I hope that there are some, and that they will be played as proper matches.
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Old 11th December 2015, 16:36   #19
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Does anyone have a timetable of warm-up matches? I hope that there are some, and that they will be played as proper matches.
There are two 3 day warm up games against a so-called SA Invitational XI (rather than a proper cricket team) - the first starts on the 15th December and the second starts on the 20th December. The first does not have first class status. I think a few SA fringe players are expected to appear in the second.
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Old 11th December 2015, 17:39   #20
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Does anyone have a timetable of warm-up matches? I hope that there are some, and that they will be played as proper matches.
You optimist you.

Also, in an attempt to clutch at straws, what will be the South Africa players' preparation?

Finally, what are my chances of finding reasonably priced accommodation for the Cape Town test if I get over excited about this series and accidentally book a flight?
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