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Old 11th October 2007, 04:27   #181
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Great job by Cookie to guide England home with KP. Great knocks by both and both of them really needed a big score. Well deserved MoM award for Cookie
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Old 11th October 2007, 11:05   #182
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I'd like to see Cook & Shah opening the batting for England, but with one of them instructed to strike out at the bowling. Surely a fully fledged batsman should be able to adapt his technique to slog it better than a wicket keeper can?? After all, I've seen Chris Tavare of all people could score quickly in one dayers!
I don't think Shah has any experience of opening, plus won a game batting at 6 the other day plus got a hundred against India to take England above 300 from a precarious position. It would be silly to have Shah taking too many risks early on if the wicket keeper is unable to fill Shah's role in the middle order. Even though Mustard generally got to 20 before getting out, England were going at a run a ball whilst Cook was still playing himself in, which takes the pressure off Cook somewhat and allows him to play naturally like yesterday. He played very well indeed
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Old 11th October 2007, 11:39   #183
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I don't think Shah has any experience of opening, plus won a game batting at 6 the other day plus got a hundred against India to take England above 300 from a precarious position. It would be silly to have Shah taking too many risks early on if the wicket keeper is unable to fill Shah's role in the middle order. Even though Mustard generally got to 20 before getting out, England were going at a run a ball whilst Cook was still playing himself in, which takes the pressure off Cook somewhat and allows him to play naturally like yesterday. He played very well indeed
I agree. I think Shah is well suited to the middle order. He is a good player of spin and I think makes a good finisher.
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Old 11th October 2007, 14:25   #184
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I agree. I think Shah is well suited to the middle order. He is a good player of spin and I think makes a good finisher.
I think Shah is a good middle order batsman, though he does play at 3 for Middlesex and should adapt fairly comfortably to moving up the order, in a way that Colly wouldn't. In fact, a proper batsman ought to be able to make a better fist at opening than a keeper.

The basic problem for England isnt a matter of opening talent, but rather too many of the England batsmen are too steeped in first class cricket where self preservation is at a premium. The likes of Shah, Bell and Pietersen should be capable of slogging fours all day in powerplay and Moores priority should be to get them playing to that game plan.
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Old 11th October 2007, 15:01   #185
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I think Shah is a good middle order batsman, though he does play at 3 for Middlesex and should adapt fairly comfortably to moving up the order, in a way that Colly wouldn't. In fact, a proper batsman ought to be able to make a better fist at opening than a keeper.

The basic problem for England isnt a matter of opening talent, but rather too many of the England batsmen are too steeped in first class cricket where self preservation is at a premium. The likes of Shah, Bell and Pietersen should be capable of slogging fours all day in powerplay and Moores priority should be to get them playing to that game plan.
They can slog 4s in powerplay, but there is a big risk in doing so. How many times have we seen England 3 or 4 down early on for very little, and the lower order having to try and nurse England through the 50 overs, unable to take any further risks? Far better to get a pinch-hitter up the order to take the risks and leave your quality wickets intact.
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Old 11th October 2007, 19:15   #186
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They can slog 4s in powerplay, but there is a big risk in doing so. How many times have we seen England 3 or 4 down early on for very little, and the lower order having to try and nurse England through the 50 overs, unable to take any further risks? Far better to get a pinch-hitter up the order to take the risks and leave your quality wickets intact.
I'm not convinced, this is essentially the age old find your Gilchrist debate where Oz have a genuine batsman who is also a pretty nifty glovesman. We just don't have a Gilchrist, so trying to create one out of clay just ain't going to happen.

Also Mustard has yet to carry his bat through a powerplay session, something I'd expect Shah or Bell to do.
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Old 11th October 2007, 20:22   #187
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I'm not convinced, this is essentially the age old find your Gilchrist debate where Oz have a genuine batsman who is also a pretty nifty glovesman. We just don't have a Gilchrist, so trying to create one out of clay just ain't going to happen.

Also Mustard has yet to carry his bat through a powerplay session, something I'd expect Shah or Bell to do.
No, its not about finding a Gilchrist, that is the obsession of everyone who expects Mustard/Prior/whoever to bat through the powerplay. It is about best deploying your resources.

It is my belief that Mustard is basically good for a run a ball twenty. The question is then where would this run a ball 20 be most usefully deployed. IMHO it would be more useful for him to score a run a ball 20 opening the innings, than a run a ball 20 at the end of the innings.

If he gets a duck, you haven't really lost anything; if he gets his run a ball 20, you've given the innings a little momentum; if you get lucky he gets a 25 ball 40.

Bat him at no.7 and he may not get a bat, which isn't using your batting resources efficiently. Your batting depth is reduced as he isn't a genuine batsman. This means the assault is delayed by a couple of overs, which will lower your score. Think of the Duckworth-Lewis system. A team say 200-4 after 40 overs will be calculated to score less than a team 200-3. mustard is to all intents and purposes a free wicket. By him having opened you are effectively 200-3 rather than for 4, as you will still have that extra batsman in reserve, and so you are expected to get a higher score.
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Old 11th October 2007, 21:02   #188
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My objection to having someone sent in at the top of the order to get a quick 30 or 40 and not worrying if he gets a duck is that it gifts a wicket early in the innings to the opposition. Sure, it's just one wicket and not a "real" batsman, but to the bowlers it is a wicket, they have the side 1 down in a short time and it motivates them. I know that with proper batsmen a wicket can go down early, but why make it even more likely?

With Trescothick in the team we did fine with two genuine opening batsmen. Now I promise I had no idea about this before I started the post and just now looked it up, but England's highest 1st wicket partnership in ODIs is 200 by Trescothick and ... Solanki v. South Africa at the Oval in 2003. England won. Trescothick features in a lot of good stands, if only he were available. But Solanki is...
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Old 11th October 2007, 21:04   #189
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Mustard is to all intents and purposes a free wicket. By him having opened you are effectively 200-3 rather than for 4, as you will still have that extra batsman in reserve, and so you are expected to get a higher score.
Tell that to the Duckworth-Lewis calculators.
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Old 11th October 2007, 21:06   #190
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My objection to having someone sent in at the top of the order to get a quick 30 or 40 and not worrying if he gets a duck is that it gifts a wicket early in the innings to the opposition. Sure, it's just one wicket and not a "real" batsman, but to the bowlers it is a wicket, they have the side 1 down in a short time and it motivates them. I know that with proper batsmen a wicket can go down early, but why make it even more likely?

With Trescothick in the team we did fine with two genuine opening batsmen. Now I promise I had no idea about this before I started the post and just now looked it up, but England's highest 1st wicket partnership in ODIs is 200 by Trescothick and ... Solanki v. South Africa at the Oval in 2003. England won. Trescothick features in a lot of good stands, if only he were available. But Solanki is...
No we didn't.
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Old 11th October 2007, 21:07   #191
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Tell that to the Duckworth-Lewis calculators.
You might want to adjust your tactic if rain is forecast.
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Old 11th October 2007, 21:18   #192
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No we didn't.
OK, we were still a rubbish team. Just imagine if we had Trescothick at his best batting in the current team, I think it would be great - but I accept it's unlikely to happen. But seriously, about Solanki, he made a difference in the 20/20s and having him keep wicket was brilliant. What about bringing him into the ODI set up as batsman/keeper? Or am I off on a flight of fantasy?
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Old 11th October 2007, 21:29   #193
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I would like Solanki opening and keeping.
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Old 11th October 2007, 21:36   #194
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I would like Solanki opening and keeping.
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Old 12th October 2007, 00:05   #195
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OK, we were still a rubbish team. Just imagine if we had Trescothick at his best batting in the current team, I think it would be great - but I accept it's unlikely to happen. But seriously, about Solanki, he made a difference in the 20/20s and having him keep wicket was brilliant. What about bringing him into the ODI set up as batsman/keeper? Or am I off on a flight of fantasy?
I agree Trescothick at his best would strengthen the current side, but one of the reasons we were a bad side was because we didn't bat deep enough. Batting a keeper up the order shunts everyone down a place and gives you extra depth. Previously if Trescothick got out (which playing big shots you are liable to do so), we only had to lose one or two more wickets and they were through to our tail.
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Old 12th October 2007, 09:26   #196
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Bat him at no.7 and he may not get a bat, which isn't using your batting resources efficiently.
I'd rather have Mustard at 7 not getting a bat than Bopara at 7 not getting a bat.
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Old 12th October 2007, 09:35   #197
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I'd rather have Mustard at 7 not getting a bat than Bopara at 7 not getting a bat.
That's the post I was about to make!
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Old 12th October 2007, 10:32   #198
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Mustard doesn't get many runs at 7. Thats why he was picked specifically to open. He's a pinch hitter who likes to take advantage of the field restrictions
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Old 12th October 2007, 17:29   #199
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I'd rather have Mustard at 7 not getting a bat than Bopara at 7 not getting a bat.
Would you though? A likely scenario that would result in Bopara not getting a bat would be Mustard or Prior getting quite a lot of runs off not very many balls, and that would put England in a pretty good position. If it was the other way around and the top order had batted too slowly trying to keep wickets in hand, then most sides would beat England quite comfortably (unless the bowlers bowl particularly well). As Michelle suggests, if Tres was fit then he would come in to open with Cook and the keeper would bat down the order, that would be a no-brainer, but he is not going to come back any time soon, if at all. Solanki is an interesting suggestion, but to be fair to Mustard and even Prior I think that it is underestimating the fact that they have kept wicket throughout their cricketing careers, and anyway Solanki only averages late 20s himself, which I would think Prior and Mustard are capable of reaching over a long stretch of games themselves. Saying that England are after a Gilchrist and neither of them are as good as him is over-simplifying it a bit, I don't think the selectors expect the kind of output that Gilchrist gives. And even then, like in the current India-Australia series, he has only come off once in 5 games in which time the lower-middle order have plundered a lot of runs. I think the current tactics are making England more competitive and they should only get better over time
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Old 12th October 2007, 18:36   #200
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Your point about Prior is incorrect mate .. he hasn't been getting quick runs .. his cumulative strike rate for the Windies series was 60 .. against India it was 88 .. and he only managed to average 29 against the Windies and 20 against India .. utter pap

From my point of view we still have the problems as we had during the WC (losing early wickets) the only difference is the middle and lower order have got their acts together
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