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Old 28th May 2016, 20:14   #201
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Has anyone checked if there is a correlation between those who talk about monty coming back and those who suggest the other chap should come back too?
The other chap? Chris Read?
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Old 28th May 2016, 22:02   #202
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Cool. So when we add jack leach (Taunton bowler as we are told this counts against batsmen) we have three. Good stuff.
Don't forget that Brad Wadlan has a bowling average of 16.
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Old 29th May 2016, 20:32   #203
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Think I've worked out the real English spin conundrum. A few years ago we had a guy called Swann and he was the best we'd had for a long time. Our Captain was pretty over-awed by Swann and set the fields where ever he wanted them and pretty much did as a he was told as he didn't have much of a clue about how to manage a spin bowler. The management were very happy and felt Swann could play for maybe a thousand years.

Then Swann retired unexpectedly and the management needed a spinner. They sent a load of young spinners and a young batsman to Sri Lanka as a shoot out for a test place. Surprisingly the batsman proved a better spinner than all the young spinners - fair play he could actually spin it sometimes which the other young spinners found difficult. In a flash of inspiration he appeared in the team and to help the young finger spinner they decided to bring in a foreign leg spinner to coach him. Surprisingly as this completely different type of bowler got to work with the young finger spinner there was no discernable improvement in his bowling.

Hoping to improve things and realising that maybe a leg spinner wasn't adding a lot they decided that the weakest and least experienced aspect of the test team was in least requirement of support and that a wicket keeping, batting and fast bowling coach were more valuable (despite the seam bowling being spearheaded by the most successful and experienced opening bowlers for many years).

They also had a young batsman who could bat a bit and had kept wicket. So they worked and his wicket keeping and instead of dropping him after a run of indifferent form gave him the gloves. Fair play to the keeper despite looking awful to start with he has clearly worked at keeping to the seamers, but probably because of the importance attached to spin bowling looks in shock and horror when one comes on to bowl and seems stumped by the idea of stopping the ball and taking the bails off when the batsman has gone for a little walk.

If we are serious about playing any spinners in India I think England really need to start putting a structure in place:

1. Serious work on Bairstow's keeping to spinners, we aren't going to get a lot of chances to take wickets in India and he needs to up this side of his keeping alongside his improvement to the quicks
2. Bring in someone with experience to coach and help the spinners - we will probably have 3 young and inexperienced spinners in India and they will need some form of support. It doesn't need to be a mega star just someone with a bit of experience and knowledge of the game.
3. Work out how each spinner should respond when good player of spin bowling go after them ... as they will do in India. Matthews completely went after Ali today in the way good players of spin have learned they can go after him because what he does is tries to bowl flatter and faster and when he does that it nulifies what he can do which is float the ball up and get some balls to really grip and turn. Other spinners the right thing to do is bowl faster and flatter.
4. Actively support and encourage the spinners in the field ... Ali was clearly losing confidence but Cook pretty much tried to look like he hadn't noticed it.
5. Stop taking the spinner straight off almost every time they take a wicket. We give a seamer an extra couple of overs as a reward for taking a wicket .... we also give a seamer an extra couple of overs as a reward every time our spinners take a wicket, regardless of the state of the game.
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Old 29th May 2016, 21:12   #204
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Some good points, it does definitely seem as if Moeen is used to break a partnership, and then let the seamers come back on to have a go at the new batsman. It's difficult to see him bowling long spells which is going to be important in India especially. He seems such a laid back character that he seems happy enough with the situation, whereas I think someone like Swann would give the skipper a right bollocking if he tried taking the ball off him after taking a wicket. England need to find someone from somewhere as a second spin option pretty soon.
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Old 29th May 2016, 21:41   #205
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I actually thought it was madness to have taken Ali off so soon after he took a wicket and then it was crazy that he wasn't brought back sooner than he was. By that time an increasingly confident Mathews et al were able to go after him. He really wasn't helped today by his captain and even so, the early part of Mathews assault could have quite easily resulted in the ball spooning up in the air.
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Old 29th May 2016, 22:30   #206
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Moeen is taken off after taking a wicket because he's the worst of the bowlers. Cook knows that Moeen is picked for his batting, and Cook knows that the spin bowler is picked for his batting because spin bowling is not as good as seam bowling. You don't want the worst bowler bowling at the new batsman. The main reason batsman after batsman has a go and tries to get after Moeen is because they know they're far better at batting than he is at bowling.

Cook is anyway an awful captain. He's never going to be able to captain any bowling attack that doesn't work by numbers.

And there's not really any point in picking spin bowlers to bowl if we never pick a good keeper. Yes coaching Bairstow will improve his keeping and thus improve the team, but really if we want it to be worthwhile picking the best spinner then we need to pick the best keeper too.

I don't think any serious thought will be given to how not to lose abroad.
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Old 29th May 2016, 23:07   #207
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There was a passage where Chandimal slogged Ali for three fours into the vacant long leg region in the space of about 8 balls. I couldn't really fathom this, was it brainless captaincy, brainless bowling, or both?
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Old 29th May 2016, 23:32   #208
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There was a passage where Chandimal slogged Ali for three fours into the vacant long leg region in the space of about 8 balls. I couldn't really fathom this, was it brainless captaincy, brainless bowling, or both?
Don't forget brainless selectors.
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Old 30th May 2016, 00:56   #209
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I actually thought it was madness to have taken Ali off so soon after he took a wicket and then it was crazy that he wasn't brought back sooner than he was. By that time an increasingly confident Mathews et al were able to go after him. He really wasn't helped today by his captain and even so, the early part of Mathews assault could have quite easily resulted in the ball spooning up in the air.

I agree. In the first innings as well. How could you not keep him on after such a good looking wicket. He should be allowed to bowl at a new batsman.
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Old 30th May 2016, 14:50   #210
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Moeen is taken off after taking a wicket because he's the worst of the bowlers. Cook knows that Moeen is picked for his batting, and Cook knows that the spin bowler is picked for his batting because spin bowling is not as good as seam bowling. You don't want the worst bowler bowling at the new batsman. The main reason batsman after batsman has a go and tries to get after Moeen is because they know they're far better at batting than he is at bowling.
In a lot of situations I agree - however Ali was picked as very much a work in progress with his bowling. In a tight game Broad and Anderson are the right option ... but at times they need to look to developing someone if they are in the team on potential.
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Old 30th May 2016, 15:22   #211
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In a lot of situations I agree - however Ali was picked as very much a work in progress with his bowling. In a tight game Broad and Anderson are the right option ... but at times they need to look to developing someone if they are in the team on potential.
Everyone's a work in progress until they are retired. The idea that Moeen was picked for tests on bowling potential is a bit speculative, I think, and is perhaps another way of saying that at the time they first picked him, he wasn't good enough at bowling to be England's main spin bowler. To me that just means he was a foolish pick; instead of picking the spinner with the best batting credentials, they should have picked the spinner with the best spin-bowling credentials. As widely documented, it's also not clear that he's improved his bowling since England started picking him for tests. I don't think he has. So if, as you implicitly suggest, he was picked as someone who wasn't good enough but they were guessing that his bowling would improve sufficiently to make him good enough, I think it was a bad guess. No sense in now, several years later, giving him extra overs when we've got a protective runs blanket on the off chance it'll improve him; it's patronising, indulgent, and wrong-headed. Personally I think they knew when they first picked him that he wasn't very good at spin bowling but they didn't think it would matter -- and so any improvement would just be a bonus. The fact that he hasn't improved his bowling and yet is still in the team rather suggests this. And if that's the case then on the whole you could argue that they were right and it doesn't matter -- England have done fairly well with him in the team even though his own bowling performances are often largely awful; his batting is occasionally very handy; we have four seamers in the team to do almost all the significant bowling at home; and when we lose away we probably would have done so with a far better spinner too.
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Old 30th May 2016, 16:54   #212
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Just for they wondering if Monty can comeback he is currently going at over 6 without a wicket against Essex.
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Old 30th May 2016, 17:10   #213
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Old 30th May 2016, 17:24   #214
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We definitely do not need 4 seamers and 2 spinners in the team this summer. ...
Just on this again ... Michael Vaughan was saying just now that he would drop Compton for Borthwick for Lord's, mostly because he thinks it would strengthen the batting, but also because of what it would add to the bowling attack. It may be that much of the reason Borthwick's part-time spin would be advantageous is because our main spinner is really a part-time spinner (so if for example Tredwell not Ali were our main spinner, Borthwick's spin bowling might seem to be a less significant addition); but there's also the consideration that if the pitch does aid spin bowling at any point, then it is good to have several types available, both for the sake of variety and also so the captain can use spin from both ends if there's nothing for the seamers.
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Old 30th May 2016, 17:33   #215
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Borthwick also has the best Test bowling average of all the spinners. It would be interesting to see where they'd bat him if they picked him. I suspect he's not as near selection as Vaughan believes. Is he part of Vaughan's management group?
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Old 30th May 2016, 17:42   #216
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Borthwick also has the best Test bowling average of all the spinners. It would be interesting to see where they'd bat him if they picked him. I suspect he's not as near selection as Vaughan believes. Is he part of Vaughan's management group?
I suspect so too, and I don't know the answer to your question. Maybe. In any case it's ironic that Borthwick, whose place Ali took, still has a better record than him as a test spinner while having in the meantime become a probably much better batsman too. Indeed, it makes one wonder how imperiously brilliant Ali himself might by now have become with the bat had England picked some old duffer like Batty or Tredwell to fill the spinner's spot for the last few years.
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Old 30th May 2016, 19:38   #217
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Just on this again ... Michael Vaughan was saying just now that he would drop Compton for Borthwick for Lord's, mostly because he thinks it would strengthen the batting, but also because of what it would add to the bowling attack. It may be that much of the reason Borthwick's part-time spin would be advantageous is because our main spinner is really a part-time spinner (so if for example Tredwell not Ali were our main spinner, Borthwick's spin bowling might seem to be a less significant addition); but there's also the consideration that if the pitch does aid spin bowling at any point, then it is good to have several types available, both for the sake of variety and also so the captain can use spin from both ends if there's nothing for the seamers.
I agree with MV, but I still maintain that 4 seamers and 2 spinners isn't necessary. It would however seem as though Ali's bowling isn't ever going to be test class, so 4 seamers and 2 half spinners might be the way to go. Even if Borthwick didn't bowl, for me Malan and Borthwick are both more worthy of their place than Compton.
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Old 30th May 2016, 19:53   #218
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I suspect so too, and I don't know the answer to your question. Maybe. In any case it's ironic that Borthwick, whose place Ali took, still has a better record than him as a test spinner while having in the meantime become a probably much better batsman too. Indeed, it makes one wonder how imperiously brilliant Ali himself might by now have become with the bat had England picked some old duffer like Batty or Tredwell to fill the spinner's spot for the last few years.
Certainly he had a good few days, anyway! 6 wickets on top of an unbeaten 188. Maybe he comes in for Compton and we have him, Ali and Root plus another batsman who spins (D'Oliveira?) for India.
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Old 30th May 2016, 20:10   #219
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Another fine display from jack leach. Wickets under 29 now and has bottle.
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Old 30th May 2016, 20:23   #220
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Would like to see Leach on a lions tour.
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