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Old 11th December 2015, 16:41   #21
Fatslogger
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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?
Long time (2002, I think) since I went to Cape Town but it was pretty cheap back then and the food was excellent.
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Old 11th December 2015, 16:51   #22
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It's dark and miserable in London, I have skyscanner up on my pc and Steven Finn has just taken 4-0-22-3 for the Lions in their T20.

It's so tempting.
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Old 11th December 2015, 17:03   #23
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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.
Thanks, Psy. In these dark days we need all we can get.
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Old 12th December 2015, 09:33   #24
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Long time (2002, I think) since I went to Cape Town but it was pretty cheap back then and the food was excellent.
Food is still excellent as will most everything else be. But New Years is the peak time so I imagine accommodation will be scarce and expensive. Half of Johannesburg decamps there for the summer break as well as northern hemisphere tourists and the extra England cricket fans.
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Old 12th December 2015, 20:40   #25
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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.
SA A team will play the second game while the first game will be made up of under 19's and amateurs
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Old 12th December 2015, 22:11   #26
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If there is an injury or two during the tour what the chances of a call up for Finn? Currently my favourite young fast bowler in world cricket.
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Old 12th December 2015, 22:28   #27
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If there is an injury or two during the tour what the chances of a call up for Finn? Currently my favourite young fast bowler in world cricket.
If he continues to demonstrate his fitness, he'll be added to the squad anyway, without an injury to another player.
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Old 13th December 2015, 21:09   #28
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If he continues to demonstrate his fitness, he'll be added to the squad anyway, without an injury to another player.
Bayliss seems to confirm this towards the end of this article -- while also confirming that Hales will open and Bairstow keep.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/201...t-test-cricket
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Old 13th December 2015, 21:40   #29
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I think the Hales opening and Bairstow keeping has been odds on for a while. I will be interested to know what they are going to do with the no.3. I really wouldn't go back to Ballance at 3 and think that he might be a more likely success at 5 perhaps. I want Root to go to 3 long-term as I have little doubt that he has the class to do the role, though I acknowledge that sometimes he's a bit to eager to go at balls he should be leaving outside the off-stump. The last issue is who the 3rd seamer will be for the first couple of tests.
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Old 13th December 2015, 23:29   #30
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... I will be interested to know what they are going to do with the no.3. I really wouldn't go back to Ballance at 3 and think that he might be a more likely success at 5 perhaps. I want Root to go to 3 long-term as I have little doubt that he has the class to do the role, though I acknowledge that sometimes he's a bit to eager to go at balls he should be leaving outside the off-stump. ...
I agree about Ballance. I'd have Compton at 3. Regarding Root: there's no such thing as long-term in test cricket except retrospectively -- as it happens, it's always match by match and series by series. We'll see what kind of cricketer Root develops into, but in this series, as Stefan says:

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... 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 ...
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Old 14th December 2015, 06:45   #31
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I agree about Ballance. I'd have Compton at 3. Regarding Root: there's no such thing as long-term in test cricket except retrospectively -- as it happens, it's always match by match and series by series. We'll see what kind of cricketer Root develops into, but in this series, as Stefan says:
Root is a much better player than 2 years ago. That said I have concerns about a lot of England batsmen against the bouncing ball. Then again there are several that I just don't rate as being test class in any case whether bouncy fast pitches or slow low turners.
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Old 14th December 2015, 10:09   #32
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Finn called up and on way to Saffers.

Terrific news and a real boost to the attack.

http://www.ecb.co.uk/news/articles/f...ded-test-squad
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Old 14th December 2015, 10:26   #33
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Finn called up and on way to Saffers.

Terrific news and a real boost to the attack.

http://www.ecb.co.uk/news/articles/f...ded-test-squad
That's great news. He'll miss the first warm up but it would be good to see him play in the second game.

Edit: actually, as the first game isn't first class it might be a good opportunity to get him to bowl a couple of spells on the 2nd or 3rd day.
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Old 14th December 2015, 10:35   #34
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What's all this about fast, bouncy pitches? Only The Wanderers comes close to the Gabba and Waca. And only Morkel comes close to Johnson and Harris in terms of bounce.

Unless I'm mistaken I don't remember Newlands, Kingsmead or Centurion bouncing any more than the Oval.
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Old 14th December 2015, 10:45   #35
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What's all this about fast, bouncy pitches? Only The Wanderers comes close to the Gabba and Waca. And only Morkel comes close to Johnson and Harris in terms of bounce.

Unless I'm mistaken I don't remember Newlands, Kingsmead or Centurion bouncing any more than the Oval.
Centurion normally is fairly lively from recollection, Newlands can be a lot flatter I'd agree. I'd be surprised though if SA didn't look to ensure that there was more bounce in their pitches for this series.
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Old 14th December 2015, 17:28   #36
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I think the Hales opening and Bairstow keeping has been odds on for a while. I will be interested to know what they are going to do with the no.3. I really wouldn't go back to Ballance at 3 and think that he might be a more likely success at 5 perhaps. I want Root to go to 3 long-term as I have little doubt that he has the class to do the role, though I acknowledge that sometimes he's a bit to eager to go at balls he should be leaving outside the off-stump. The last issue is who the 3rd seamer will be for the first couple of tests.
I agree.
I actually like Balance and believe he is a very good Test player. But he is not a No.3, even at FC level most of his success has come from further down the order. I believe he is on the tour as cover for Root/Stokes injury and Taylor not making a run in first two Tests. Don't forget we conceivably would not have won the Ashes without his contribution in the first Test.
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Old 15th December 2015, 09:06   #37
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56/3 - Compo going well.
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Old 15th December 2015, 09:14   #38
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A fairly inauspicious start to the tour for England's top order - Cook out for 2, Hales out for 8 and Root out for a breezy 28. Compton and Taylor at the crease now.
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Old 15th December 2015, 09:52   #39
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I see that both teams have mendaciously put "XI" in their names ...
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Old 15th December 2015, 10:02   #40
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Root and Hales dealt entirely in boundaries.
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