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Old 6th December 2007, 23:20   #121
Michelle Fivefer
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You mean that in 2003 you weren't rooting for Anderson to make his test debut after those brilliant performances at the World Cup? I know I was!
Not particularly, I don't think. He was so new on the scene that it was enough that he was in the one-day side.
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Old 6th December 2007, 23:27   #122
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Not particularly, I don't think. He was so new on the scene that it was enough that he was in the one-day side.
I felt the same.
Anderson says -
Part of me does think maybe if I just had two or three years more to settle, I might have had a longer run at it, then again I might never have got the chance.
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Old 7th December 2007, 00:36   #123
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You can slate Swann and his county record as much as you like, but he's a better spinner than Batty ever was
You have evidence for this?

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and he showed in the one day tour that he was up to the rigours of international cricket.
The rigours of international one-day cricket

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Jeez, that was embarressing watching the county workhorses get slogged round the pitch like the journeymen they are.
'County workhorse', to my mind, only describes Sibo in that line-up. How exactly are any of Hoggy, Anderson or Monty 'county workhorses'? It's a good description for Swann, mind.

I'm not advocating an unchanged attack, that's unpossible anyway with Hoggy out. Broad in for him. I've lost patience with Anderson - no player should really be dropped on a single performance, but his bowling in the second innings comes damn close to deserve it. On the back of his Test record to date, his chances are up. But then, the same could be said of Harmy - toss a coin as to who out of those two play.
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Old 7th December 2007, 17:46   #124
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Just how bad was Anderson in this match? I only caught a bit of the last day.

This summer he seemed to benefit from the extended run and gained a bit more consistency towards the end of the summer. I hoped that he had gained some momentum, but has it all fallen apart again?
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Old 7th December 2007, 18:02   #125
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Some days he has this 'zip' about him which enables him to bowl out the very best batsmen in the world, he just didn't have it in this test. It could be the conditions or the fact he didn't take the new ball but he was basically cannon-fodder for most of what I saw
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Old 7th December 2007, 18:18   #126
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Hear hear. In fact it is only Flintoff's absence from the side which allows it to be "balanced". Whenever he was in, we had to play 5 bowlers because he was never properly fit, and so we were always a batsman short.

Selvey was a seamer. Nuff said. But well spotted: the phrase "balancing the side" is rarely used except to justify picking the wrong team.
Flintoff when fit in the middle part of his career to date was an integral part of an extremely successful England side. He did balance the side nicely, as it happens and to suggest otherwise is a little odd. He allowed four fast bowlers to play along with a containing spinner without the batting being enfeebled by not having enough depth. More recently the equation has been different even when he has been fit enough to play because he's not really been fit enough to play as one of only four bowlers but also hasn't been batting well enough to count as anything like a batting all rounder. Without him the side is not adequately balanced as it is short of bowling options although MF is quite right in making the point that the big problem is not balance but quality. At present a fully fit and in form Flintoff would clearly strengthen the bowling greatly even just by playing instead of an alternative fast bowler. Then the question would be whether the side would be better off with an extra bowler or an extra batsman. It's all entirely academic though. There are issues of balancing the side without him too. There is clearly a worry about the tail end batting, although the main problem last test was with the specialists. There is also a problem with the lack of variation in the attack and in that sense a lot of the worries about having three bowlers who at least partially rely on swing were realised in the last test. I suppose a more pertinent point might be that Anderson bowled badly though.
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Old 7th December 2007, 18:30   #127
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They can only do the best with what they've got though can't they? The main option to add variety is to recall Harmison, but that might only succeed is changing the angle from which the ball speeds to the boundary. Anderson at least started to threaten regularly during the summer, unlike Harmison over the last 2 years. Or the option to bring in a debutant, Broad.

Some of the tail batted quite well in this match but can not be asked to continually bail out the top order if by doing so it fundamentally weakens the already stretched bowling.

There are not any obvious solutions that I can see, other than playing Broad and hoping to goodness he comes through quickly.

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Old 7th December 2007, 18:40   #128
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They can only do the best with what they've got though can't they? The main option to add variety is to recall Harmison, but that might only succeed is changing the angle from which the ball speeds to the boundary. Anderson at least started to threaten regularly during the summer, unlike Harmison over the last 2 years. Or to bring in a debutant, Broad. some of the tail batted quite well in this match but can not be asked to continually bail out the top order if by doing so it fundamentally weakens the already stretched bowling.

there are not any obvious solutions that I can see, other than playing Broad and hoping to goodness he comes through quickly.
I agree entirely. Still, I can't see that Anderson is the best option after that game. It's not as if it represents one poor test on a background of consistent recent success, is it? I'd play Harmison and Broad next game, I think, unless it looks impossible to play without two spinners. There might even be a case for playing all the fit bowlers apart from Anderson giving this side:

Cook
Vaughan (c)
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Prior (wk)
Swann
Broad
Harmison
Obliquearse
Panesar

It's pretty ugly though. The thing is that it's hard to see non specialist batsmen (counting Prior as a specialist) contributing all that much to the total with Murali bowling so I think I'd play Bopara instead of Swann pretty much every time.
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Old 7th December 2007, 18:42   #129
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It's almost a case of picking a bowler specifically to get out Sangakarra. In the ODIs Broad got him out 3 times and in the other two innings he got out to the off spin of Swann and Shah. Off spin is definitely a good option to Sangakarra so I would pick Swann and if Hoggard isn't fit, Broad, to give both their debuts. With Tharanga coming in for Jayasuriya it would be a big blow to lose Hoggard
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Old 8th December 2007, 14:19   #130
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When we need two spinners, I think Swann will bring some of the balance we're talking about back into the team.
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Old 8th December 2007, 15:05   #131
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When we need two spinners, I think Swann will bring some of the balance we're talking about back into the team.
He'd balance the lower order batting nicely but at the expense of losing part of the pace attack. Whether his bowling is good enough to justify that I'm unsure.
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Old 8th December 2007, 15:07   #132
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'County workhorse', to my mind, only describes Sibo in that line-up. How exactly are any of Hoggy, Anderson or Monty 'county workhorses'? It's a good description for Swann, mind.

I'm not advocating an unchanged attack, that's unpossible anyway with Hoggy out. Broad in for him. I've lost patience with Anderson - no player should really be dropped on a single performance, but his bowling in the second innings comes damn close to deserve it. On the back of his Test record to date, his chances are up. But then, the same could be said of Harmy - toss a coin as to who out of those two play.

That's fair, Hoggy was always exempt from criticism and had a good match, nor is Monty a workhorse, he just didn't bowl particularly well. Sibo to my mind should play when Hoggard is unavailable then drop out when the Hog's in the side. Anderson can only be considered a one day player from here on in - he's irritated me for a while, I've always felt he has talent but unlike Harmison he's never reached the zenith of his game.

Broad & Harmison will probably go on to make a monkey out of me, but I feel both are more likely to make an impact and turn a game and should definitely play.
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Old 8th December 2007, 15:49   #133
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I agree entirely. Still, I can't see that Anderson is the best option after that game. It's not as if it represents one poor test on a background of consistent recent success, is it? I'd play Harmison and Broad next game, I think, unless it looks impossible to play without two spinners. There might even be a case for playing all the fit bowlers apart from Anderson giving this side:

Cook
Vaughan (c)
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Prior (wk)
Swann
Broad
Harmison
Obliquearse
Panesar

It's pretty ugly though. The thing is that it's hard to see non specialist batsmen (counting Prior as a specialist) contributing all that much to the total with Murali bowling so I think I'd play Bopara instead of Swann pretty much every time.
Prior at 6? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Prior fan, but I think Shah or Bops would have a far less ugly look about it at Colombo and Galle. Swann and Broad I can see, if only because it gives a couple of tail-enders that can bat, but Prior at 6 on two grounds where 400 is not likely to be enough first up ...? Think the only option we have is two out of four seamers with Collers, Bops, Shah, even KP to provide the rest.
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Old 8th December 2007, 16:03   #134
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Old 8th December 2007, 16:07   #135
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I agree entirely. Still, I can't see that Anderson is the best option after that game. It's not as if it represents one poor test on a background of consistent recent success, is it? I'd play Harmison and Broad next game, I think, unless it looks impossible to play without two spinners. There might even be a case for playing all the fit bowlers apart from Anderson giving this side:

Cook
Vaughan (c)
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Prior (wk)
Swann
Broad
Harmison
Obliquearse
Panesar

It's pretty ugly though. The thing is that it's hard to see non specialist batsmen (counting Prior as a specialist) contributing all that much to the total with Murali bowling so I think I'd play Bopara instead of Swann pretty much every time.
Part of me is quite sympathetic to that line up, though I'd be very worried about the batting depth and would lean towards Bopara ahead of Swann. I also feel on principle that it's wrong to drop a player after one test, though pragmatism will dictate that sometimes debutants will lose their places.
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Old 8th December 2007, 16:09   #136
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Prior at 6? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Prior fan, but I think Shah or Bops would have a far less ugly look about it at Colombo and Galle. Swann and Broad I can see, if only because it gives a couple of tail-enders that can bat, but Prior at 6 on two grounds where 400 is not likely to be enough first up ...? Think the only option we have is two out of four seamers with Collers, Bops, Shah, even KP to provide the rest.
That's probably what I'd do too but it leaves the side very short of pace bowling, especially given how little we can rely on any of the seamers other than perhaps Obliquearse.
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Old 8th December 2007, 18:04   #137
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That's fair, Hoggy was always exempt from criticism and had a good match, nor is Monty a workhorse, he just didn't bowl particularly well. Sibo to my mind should play when Hoggard is unavailable then drop out when the Hog's in the side. Anderson can only be considered a one day player from here on in - he's irritated me for a while, I've always felt he has talent but unlike Harmison he's never reached the zenith of his game.

Broad & Harmison will probably go on to make a monkey out of me, but I feel both are more likely to make an impact and turn a game and should definitely play.
So your attack would be Broad, Harmy, Swann, Monty? Two debutants there
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Old 8th December 2007, 18:15   #138
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I
Cook
Vaughan (c)
Bell
Pietersen
Collingwood
Prior (wk)
Swann
Broad
Harmison
Obliquearse
Panesar
Would love to see how the top five responded to that, could be a turning point for them.

I'm warming to this idea and anyway we probably have nothing to lose.
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Old 8th December 2007, 18:17   #139
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Would love to see how the top five responded to that, could be a turning point for them.

I'm warming to this idea and anyway we probably have nothing to lose.
I really don't like that side much but it's certainly possible that it's the best of a bad lot.
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Old 9th December 2007, 00:31   #140
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So your attack would be Broad, Harmy, Swann, Monty? Two debutants there
Naa, possibly on paper, but in real life with Hoggy injured, I'd probably stick with Broad, Harmy, Monty and Sibo.
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