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Old 30th July 2020, 11:15   #1
Ali TT
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England v Pakistan, 1st test in rainy Manchester again, 5-9 August 2020

England have named an unchanged squad, which means Bess remains ahead of his Somerset teammate Leach. Perhaps harsh on Leach, but given his performances in the winter, Bess deserves a chance to really establish himself and develop as a test player.
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Old 30th July 2020, 21:28   #2
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Anyone know what Pakistan’s best lineup is? My best guess is:

1. Shan Masood
2. Abid Ali
3. Azhar Ali
4. Babar Azam
5. Asad Shafiq
6. Mohammad Rizwan
7. Faheen Ashraf
8. Yasir Shah
9. Naseem Shah
10. Mohammed Abbas
11. Shaheen Shah Afridi

A level up on West Indies I’d say. The bowling attack doesn’t have the experience but there’s a lot of talent. Abbas is perfect for English conditions in the same way Asif was a few years ago.

Their batting is a lot stronger than West Indies. That middle order is very solid.
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Old 31st July 2020, 01:01   #3
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I had tickets for this match.

Currently awaiting refund....
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Old 31st July 2020, 02:30   #4
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That pace attack Pakistani fielded in Australia was waaaay too young and green. Surprised they didn't call up Haris Rauf, a mature body with experience bowling on English-like wickets in Tasmania. Seems to have quite a big heart too.
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Old 31st July 2020, 06:46   #5
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They're reimposing some lockdown measures in Manchester and Lancashire. I don't know if this threatens the match at all.
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Old 31st July 2020, 09:22   #6
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That pace attack Pakistani fielded in Australia was waaaay too young and green. Surprised they didn't call up Haris Rauf, a mature body with experience bowling on English-like wickets in Tasmania. Seems to have quite a big heart too.
Rauf has just joined the squad. He had posted 5 consecutive positive Covid 19 tests before finally getting 2 negative. I'm guessing he might not be ready for the First Test.
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Old 31st July 2020, 13:09   #7
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England have named an unchanged squad, which means Bess remains ahead of his Somerset teammate Leach. Perhaps harsh on Leach, but given his performances in the winter, Bess deserves a chance to really establish himself and develop as a test player.
I don’t think he really does; not at the expense of Leach anyway. But the selectors clearly value his all round skills. Yet again we’re picking a spinner for his batting, which is kind of funny when you think of Leach’s exploits last year. Best of luck to Bess anyway
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Old 31st July 2020, 16:41   #8
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Tough going I'd say for Pakistan. England are now pretty much at match sharpness whereas you'd imagine Pakistan are going to be pretty rusty. The batting is undoubtedly stronger than that of the West Indies but I'd still expect them to struggle. We get to see Babar Azam bat though and frankly I'm for as much of that as possible.
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Old 31st July 2020, 22:54   #9
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They're reimposing some lockdown measures in Manchester and Lancashire. I don't know if this threatens the match at all.
Wouldn’t have thought so. No spectators, behind closed doors, players in their bubbles.

Just have to hope nothing happens between their home visits and returning to the hotel. Or that they don’t mix with unapproved people while at home.
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Old 1st August 2020, 00:11   #10
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Rauf has just joined the squad. He had posted 5 consecutive positive Covid 19 tests before finally getting 2 negative. I'm guessing he might not be ready for the First Test.
Ahh righto. Didn't know that. Hopefully he's in good health.
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Old 1st August 2020, 07:19   #11
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I don’t think he really does; not at the expense of Leach anyway. But the selectors clearly value his all round skills. Yet again we’re picking a spinner for his batting, which is kind of funny when you think of Leach’s exploits last year. Best of luck to Bess anyway
I guess they figure if there's a high chance they won't actually need the spinner to bowl, but they can't 100% guarantee it, then better to go for the one who can bat and field.

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Tough going I'd say for Pakistan. England are now pretty much at match sharpness whereas you'd imagine Pakistan are going to be pretty rusty. The batting is undoubtedly stronger than that of the West Indies but I'd still expect them to struggle. We get to see Babar Azam bat though and frankly I'm for as much of that as possible.
England's batting still has a lot of questions over it. They're hardly firing and were rescued in the last match by the No10 having one of his rare pre-Aaron flashbacks. One has to assume the Pakistani quicks will be better than the West Indies attack come the test just gone.
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Old 1st August 2020, 09:59   #12
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Wouldn’t have thought so. No spectators, behind closed doors, players in their bubbles.

Just have to hope nothing happens between their home visits and returning to the hotel. Or that they don’t mix with unapproved people while at home.
BBC certainly suggested they didn't think it would, only real risk I'd suggest is wherever the players are to stay and the ground, and if the police do crowd control then no reason scenes fans eg Liverpool, are getting criticised for can't be avoided.

Park two coppers near the entrance the players will go in and send any people that turn up packing. Biggest problem is the government don't seem capable of stopping this kind of thing, 'advising' people not to go to beaches etc, need to back up (empty) words with meaningful actions.......
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Old 1st August 2020, 10:23   #13
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I guess they figure if there's a high chance they won't actually need the spinner to bowl, but they can't 100% guarantee it, then better to go for the one who can bat and field.
Therein lies the long term problem, picking a spinner on their batting and fielding which more or less undermines the point if you are picking a 'lesser' spinner ie the captain has to have faith in the man chosen to bowl spin.

You have to accept in a fair number of (1st) innings the spinner won't be required, if conditions don't suit or the seamers do the job. I suppose you could argue that any spinner, doesn't have to be the best, should be able to take wickets on a final day but since the 1-7 ought to be doing the bulk of the batting and not relying on 8-11 to 'bale them out' as it were (not citing anyone, not " ") then should be best spinner.

Put another way, you wouldn't pick seamers 1-3 on batting ability so why pick spinner 1 on that basis............ ?!?!? Just like you don't pick your front 3-4 batsmen on their bowling or fielding


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England's batting still has a lot of questions over it. They're hardly firing and were rescued in the last match by the No10 having one of his rare pre-Aaron flashbacks. One has to assume the Pakistani quicks will be better than the West Indies attack come the test just gone.
I am curious how much Bess' batting actually made a difference to England :

1st Test : Bess made 31no 1st innings helping add 50 for the last four wickets as England made 204, and still lost by 4 wickets

2nd Test : Bess made 31no again 1st innings, this time England posted over 450 with Bess coming in at 426/8 ie almost there anyway

3rd Test : Bess made 18no 1st innings, was mainly Broad's 62 that pushed England up from the 267/6 they were when Bess came in. Supporting role I guess you can argue, enabled Broad's cameo at the other end, whether Bess was pivotal or someone else might have done the same would be conjecture.


So one arguable 'significant' or possible match changing contribution, ironically the lowest of his three 1st innings knocks, but on the flip side 5/208 in 3 Tests bowling only FIVE balls less than any other England bowler begs whether he might as well have been an extra batsman......

Did he do much more in other Tests?

SAF 3rd Test : made 1 in only innings and took a 5wi so would argue his spin >> batting

SAF 2nd Test : made a pair, England won anyway and he took only 1 wicket in each innings so contribution negligible

PAK 2nd Test : 49 as night watchman, one of the better knocks but Buttler made 80no top score. Bess didn't bowl 1st innings, 3/33 2nd innings so his batting was a good contribution

PAK 1st Test : England all out 184, Bess made 5, 0/59 and a 57 2nd innings made no real difference as Pakistan chased down a target of 64 losing 1 wicket in the process.


So 7 Tests, batting contibrutions maybe making a difference in 2 out of 7, bowling in 2 out of 7 also. Early days, looks like he could be a possible Moeen Ali mk II, assuming he has more better days with the ball than he has so far, or if he tails off then Ashley Giles mk II

Much prefer the look of Leach, reckon he has more potential to be our best spinner for donkey's so Graeme Swann mk II. May not quite tick the boxes some look at in the batting department, but has batted out 30+ balls against New Zealand twice, Australia three times and of course 92 off 162 balls against Ireland.

Also made 4 not outs where he might have gone on to face 30+ balls, so 5 times faced 30+ balls, 4 times might have gone on to, and that 9 out of 18 innings played. On the flip side he has been out for single figures 7 times but not bad considering he isn't selected for his batting - and may be why he isn't being selected
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Old 1st August 2020, 11:35   #14
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They're reimposing some lockdown measures in Manchester and Lancashire. I don't know if this threatens the match at all.
It’s difficult to tell as the government refuses to publish legislation nor subject itself to parliamentary scrutiny but the Blackburn and Bradford lockdowns excludes elite sportsmen and their coaches. There would be others necessary for this game to ahead - umpires, groundsman, tv people (does a game happen if no one was there to witness it?) but the rule of thumb appears to be you can die so long as you are making money.
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Old 1st August 2020, 13:09   #15
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It’s difficult to tell as the government refuses to publish legislation nor subject itself to parliamentary scrutiny but the Blackburn and Bradford lockdowns excludes elite sportsmen and their coaches. There would be others necessary for this game to ahead - umpires, groundsman, tv people (does a game happen if no one was there to witness it?) but the rule of thumb appears to be you can die so long as you are making money.
If a man speaks but there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong? I think the umpires are the only essential witnesses; in these days of Twitter, news of the match would get disseminated fairly efficiently, and I suspect the umpires would spot and challenge any significant fake news from the players or management.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 11:58   #16
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Jonathan Trott is going to be the batting coach for this series. Jeetan Patel and Graeme Welch are also joining the coaching set up.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 14:04   #17
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I guess they figure if there's a high chance they won't actually need the spinner to bowl, but they can't 100% guarantee it, then better to go for the one who can bat and field.
Ordinarily, if you thought you wouldn't need your spinner you would drop him and pick an extra batsman instead (Root can always bowl), and if you thought you would need your spinner you would pick the best spinner. Surely it's not the case that England can't decide, on the basis of the pitch and weather, whether they need a spinner or not? Additional factors would include: (1) Stokes's presence in the team as someone who you want to bowl as 4th seamer, but not too much; and (2) the fact that although spin bowling is often presented in terms of "need", it isn't really like that, it's also a question of whether you want to have a spinner bowling (where England would want to answer, "only if we need to").
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Old 3rd August 2020, 14:25   #18
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Jonathan Trott is going to be the batting coach for this series. Jeetan Patel and Graeme Welch are also joining the coaching set up.
We're not going to see any quick scoring then.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 14:49   #19
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Jonathan Trott is going to be the batting coach for this series. Jeetan Patel and Graeme Welch are also joining the coaching set up.
What happened to Thorpe?
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Old 3rd August 2020, 14:58   #20
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What happened to Thorpe?
The coaching staff seem to be on rotation at present. Trott is a batting consultant rather than a coach as I understand it. Not sure what the dif6is.
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