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Old 21st September 2007, 09:25   #21
Chin Music
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I am out for the Colombo test, will be hoping that England are at least competitive, though my fear is that Graveney and co will ensure that we go into the series with some truly absurd selections. 2-0 to Lanka sounds about right for the tests. Hope we can do a tad better than 4-1 in the ODIs.

Incidentally I think it tends to rain a fair bit in Lanka in December, that might be our best chance of slavaging a draw in at least one of the tests.
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Old 21st September 2007, 11:13   #22
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Incidentally I think it tends to rain a fair bit in Lanka in December, that might be our best chance of slavaging a draw in at least one of the tests.



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Old 21st September 2007, 13:15   #23
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Without Flintoff anything other than a 0-3 and 0-5 humping in the tests and ODI's respectively will be something of a minor triumph.
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Old 21st September 2007, 13:34   #24
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Don't think Flintoff would have had so much of an impact in the tests anyway. A fully fit Flintoff would of course improve our bowling with the discipline that he offers but he's rarely been the destructive force that he could have been, and of course he's offered little with the bat in recent times. As regards the ODI team, still so much muddled thinking with the batting order, they have stuck with Prior as an opener for longer than was appropriate. Are they going to throw in Mustard at the deep end.

For the test batting line-up I'm for Vaughan opening with Cook and Shah coming into the middle order with Strauss dropping out for the time being. Its the bowling that is worrying though, we are asking for Anderson to really step up and lead the attack consistently, but whether he can take the wickets that his potential suggests he might is another matter.
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Old 21st September 2007, 13:37   #25
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Without Flintoff anything other than a 0-3 and 0-5 humping in the tests and ODI's respectively will be something of a minor triumph.
I know that Flintoff's bowling has been crucial, but it's time we stopped bemoaning his absence and developed a bowling unit that can do the business without him. At least, that's what we ought to be doing. I suspect that you are right though.
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Old 21st September 2007, 14:55   #26
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Don't think Flintoff would have had so much of an impact in the tests anyway. A fully fit Flintoff would of course improve our bowling with the discipline that he offers but he's rarely been the destructive force that he could have been, and of course he's offered little with the bat in recent times. As regards the ODI team, still so much muddled thinking with the batting order, they have stuck with Prior as an opener for longer than was appropriate. Are they going to throw in Mustard at the deep end.

For the test batting line-up I'm for Vaughan opening with Cook and Shah coming into the middle order with Strauss dropping out for the time being. Its the bowling that is worrying though, we are asking for Anderson to really step up and lead the attack consistently, but whether he can take the wickets that his potential suggests he might is another matter.
I doubt if Anderson will be leading the attack in Sri Lanka with Harmison and Hoggard back. We don't even know if he will be selected with Tremlett and Sidebottom in the mix.
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Old 21st September 2007, 15:17   #27
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I doubt if Anderson will be leading the attack in Sri Lanka with Harmison and Hoggard back. We don't even know if he will be selected with Tremlett and Sidebottom in the mix.
don't think SiBo is that clear cut a starter. Conditions are unlikely to suit him in SL where the ball rarely swings. Tremlett I think is an outsider for this tour if Harmison/Hoggard are back.
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Old 21st September 2007, 15:50   #28
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don't think SiBo is that clear cut a starter. Conditions are unlikely to suit him in SL where the ball rarely swings. Tremlett I think is an outsider for this tour if Harmison/Hoggard are back.
They suit Vaas...
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Old 21st September 2007, 16:02   #29
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They suit Vaas...
Good bowler though SiBo is there is a difference here, Vaas has been top draw for a decade and more, learning to bowl on those tracks and he's used very strategically over there, never bowling in long spells but very regularly picking up the odd wicket before, inevitably Murali takes over.
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Old 21st September 2007, 16:21   #30
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Good bowler though SiBo is there is a difference here, Vaas has been top draw for a decade and more, learning to bowl on those tracks and he's used very strategically over there, never bowling in long spells but very regularly picking up the odd wicket before, inevitably Murali takes over.

Fact is Vaas has over 300 test wickets whereas no Sri Lankan right arm quick has ever got anywhere near 100. This would suggest, at the least, that ruling out ouronly left armer because of the conditions not suiting him may be premature.
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Old 21st September 2007, 16:33   #31
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You can't compare Vaas and SiBo yet, he is in a league above him when it comes to the subcontinent, he knows how to use the conditions to his advantage like Chin said. It's probably Sidebottom's first game in the subcontinent, i wouldn't be surprised if he struggled but as you say it maybe to early to tell whether he will be a problem to the Sri Lankans or not.
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Old 21st September 2007, 17:40   #32
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I just hope that if Harmison doesn't come off England will stop making the usual excuses, sticking with him because he is a match-winner "on his day". Up to now the only thing that has kept him out of the side is injury. He's never been dropped, no matter how direly he has performed. It's time he awoke to the reality that there are bowlers anxious to take his place.
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Old 21st September 2007, 17:41   #33
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He has over 200 test wickets you know.
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Old 21st September 2007, 17:42   #34
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You can't compare Vaas and SiBo yet, he is in a league above him when it comes to the subcontinent, he knows how to use the conditions to his advantage like Chin said. It's probably Sidebottom's first game in the subcontinent, i wouldn't be surprised if he struggled but as you say it maybe to early to tell whether he will be a problem to the Sri Lankans or not.
It's possible, but Sidebottom should be given a chance.
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Old 21st September 2007, 17:59   #35
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I agree about Harmison. Having 200 wickets, nothing to prove and it might just be his day would have worked with Fletcher but it can only go on for so long. One reason why the selectors are not naming the team until after the ODIs. Fletcher would have named his Test team based on reputation and loyalty by now.

I am hoping Shah replaces Strauss. He has a chance in the ODIs to impress.
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Old 21st September 2007, 21:17   #36
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I think the selectors should have given Ramprakash one last go, if only just to get Bob Willis charging into Lords full pelt brandishing an axe
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Old 21st September 2007, 22:13   #37
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I really think we are going to a massacre over there... our own
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Old 22nd September 2007, 12:29   #38
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I think the selectors should have given Ramprakash one last go, if only just to get Bob Willis charging into Lords full pelt brandishing an axe
They may do so. If they do, though, it will be because he is probably the best English batter of his generation and likely to score lots of runs, rather than in order to wind Willis up.
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Old 22nd September 2007, 12:30   #39
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They suit Vaas...
Thank you Kim. My view entirely. I would very much like to see Hoggard, Sidebottom, Anderson, Hoggard and perhaps Tremlett play ahead of the permanently crocked (Flintoff) and long term non-performers who hate touring (Harmison). Even if they are a little workman-like. Swinging and cutting the ball at fast-medium is likely to be more effective than banging it into the pitch, 3ft wide of off-stump, at 90mph. As Vaas and Darren Gough have shown in Sri Lanka.
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Old 22nd September 2007, 13:39   #40
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They may do so. If they do, though, it will be because he is probably the best English batter of his generation and likely to score lots of runs, rather than in order to wind Willis up.
I'd go further by picking the likes of Hick & Robert Croft and watch Willis' veins burst.
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