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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:59   #601
Midnight
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Cool conditions the first few days expected, but according to Smith the pitch has less grass on it that previous pink ball tests. He expects it to be conducive to batting.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 04:04   #602
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England win the toss - good call, Joe.

Wow, that’s a bit of a shocker, England decide to bowl!
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Old 3rd December 2017, 23:42   #603
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Sigh, 7 days in and I can barely muster the slightest bit of interest in this series.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:34   #604
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Sigh, 7 days in and I can barely muster the slightest bit of interest in this series.
On 22nd Nov, I wrote "Don't think it worthwhile to fork out for a BT Sport subscription if I'm likely to lose interest in the lack of a contest midway through the 2nd Test". A no brainer, really.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:22   #605
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On 22nd Nov, I wrote "Don't think it worthwhile to fork out for a BT Sport subscription if I'm likely to lose interest in the lack of a contest midway through the 2nd Test". A no brainer, really.
Yes, we had two whole days of competitive cricket in this series before the slide down to the inevitable.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:31   #606
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Possibly the weakest side we have sent to Oz...probably the most gutless one.
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Old 4th December 2017, 10:25   #607
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Possibly the weakest side we have sent to Oz...probably the most gutless one.
The 1920/1 party arguably (and understandably) takes the 'weakest' prize, 9 men making their Test debuts during the 5-0 defeat (4 debutants in the first Test alone).
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Old 4th December 2017, 16:33   #608
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My two cents- I think the England selectors really disregarded the value of team cohesion and having a batting order that had played together for a while. In fact, it got really absurd at a point- you have like 5 Test debutantes in 2017 alone when the incumbents didn't necessarily fail.

Yes, may be there were a couple of injuries but that just doesn't justify the chopping and changing that was done in the past 6 months to end up with almost a Frankenstein batting order of sorts.
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Old 4th December 2017, 18:22   #609
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My two cents- I think the England selectors really disregarded the value of team cohesion and having a batting order that had played together for a while. In fact, it got really absurd at a point- you have like 5 Test debutantes in 2017 alone when the incumbents didn't necessarily fail.

Yes, may be there were a couple of injuries but that just doesn't justify the chopping and changing that was done in the past 6 months to end up with almost a Frankenstein batting order of sorts.
I don't normally defend selectors but I would also argue that the current English selectors haven't been well served by the talent coming through the county game. Of course some of them are also otherwise heavily involved in the county game but based solely on their selection decisions they have often been left up the proverbial creek.
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Old 5th December 2017, 01:12   #610
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Strauss came in and declare he wanted to focus on the white ball game - no doubt to help fill coffers when the WC comes in 2019.

Test team has been neglected -all focus on the T20 franchises and the long form left to rot.
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Old 6th December 2017, 10:11   #611
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Strauss came in and declare he wanted to focus on the white ball game - no doubt to help fill coffers when the WC comes in 2019.

Test team has been neglected -all focus on the T20 franchises and the long form left to rot.
Got to say I agree with you on this. He decided to focus on the white ball stuff, the Lions teams have barely played any first class cricket worth their salt and as a result there is a talent deficit, tough cricket deficit amongst the next in line and has there been a revolution with the coaching staff and their aims at Loughborough? I very much doubt it. I was having a dig at Strauss last year in India. I'm not minded to be much changing my tune at this moment in time.
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Old 6th December 2017, 19:04   #612
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the Lions teams have barely played any first class cricket worth their salt and as a result there is a talent deficit
Really? You would put this down to the fact that the Lions, who play very few games anyway, have played less red ball cricket?

I would put it down to having your two best bowlers of the last ten years in the twilight of their careers yet still better than the rest. That our pitches and tournament set ups don't encourage the bowlers who would thrive in Australian conditions. Those same conditions do not prepare our batsmen for what they are about to face.

Australian cricketers are like vines. They face difficult conditions so in order to succeed they have to be stronger, bigger and faster. Their bowlers should always be faster than ours. Ours will most often be more skillful so when in helpful conditions have more nous and understanding of how to exploit them. Look at Anderson and Broad, more skillful that the Aussi boys but not as fast, this occasionally works but sometimes pace is the big differentiator.

The fact that David Masters and Darren Stevens can perform so well tells you what you need to know. That few counties have anyone capable of bowling at 90 mph for more than 4 overs in a day is a problem. How many are there over the age of 21? Wood, Footitt (though never fit).
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Old 6th December 2017, 19:25   #613
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Really? You would put this down to the fact that the Lions, who play very few games anyway, have played less red ball cricket?

I would put it down to having your two best bowlers of the last ten years in the twilight of their careers yet still better than the rest. That our pitches and tournament set ups don't encourage the bowlers who would thrive in Australian conditions. Those same conditions do not prepare our batsmen for what they are about to face.

Australian cricketers are like vines. They face difficult conditions so in order to succeed they have to be stronger, bigger and faster. Their bowlers should always be faster than ours. Ours will most often be more skillful so when in helpful conditions have more nous and understanding of how to exploit them. Look at Anderson and Broad, more skillful that the Aussi boys but not as fast, this occasionally works but sometimes pace is the big differentiator.

The fact that David Masters and Darren Stevens can perform so well tells you what you need to know. That few counties have anyone capable of bowling at 90 mph for more than 4 overs in a day is a problem. How many are there over the age of 21? Wood, Footitt (though never fit).
Masters has been retired over a year.
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Old 6th December 2017, 20:34   #614
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Really? You would put this down to the fact that the Lions, who play very few games anyway, have played less red ball cricket?

I would put it down to having your two best bowlers of the last ten years in the twilight of their careers yet still better than the rest. That our pitches and tournament set ups don't encourage the bowlers who would thrive in Australian conditions. Those same conditions do not prepare our batsmen for what they are about to face.

Australian cricketers are like vines. They face difficult conditions so in order to succeed they have to be stronger, bigger and faster. Their bowlers should always be faster than ours. Ours will most often be more skillful so when in helpful conditions have more nous and understanding of how to exploit them. Look at Anderson and Broad, more skillful that the Aussi boys but not as fast, this occasionally works but sometimes pace is the big differentiator.

The fact that David Masters and Darren Stevens can perform so well tells you what you need to know. That few counties have anyone capable of bowling at 90 mph for more than 4 overs in a day is a problem. How many are there over the age of 21? Wood, Footitt (though never fit).
Didn't mean that it was the only factor but if there isn't an environment for the younger players to develop their skills in a different environment to the norm that you mention then there shouldn't really be a surprise that there isn't exactly a conveyor belt of players coming through. I also mentioned Loughborough and the so called ECB academy. They have a bit of a record for ruining some half talented fast bowlers too. Stuart Meaker was apparently recorded as having bowled well over 90mph, yet by the time they had worked on him, he could barely record above 85mph. This suggests talent development is a problem with the powers that be, not necessarily the raw talent itself and more that counties will takea safe bet on a military medium bowler who is likely to cash in with the raft of games that they play early season too.
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Old 6th December 2017, 21:47   #615
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Not hard to highlight the England frailties - our 'best' spinner was a middle order batter who originally bowled a bit of off spin, 'quick' bowlers fine in English conditions but found wanting when the ball doesn't swing, batting line up includes players with modest County averages in 2017.
English pace prospects quickly seem to have genuine pace coached out of them and are expected to bowl long spells in 4 day cricket learning their trade.Pitches not prepared to encourage spin and too often spin prospects used only to contain and limit scores in the one day game. All in all not a great set of prospects for test cricket.
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Old 7th December 2017, 03:41   #616
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Tour match at Perth. Ali to captain.

Moeen Ali
Jake Ball
Gary Ballance
Mason Crane
Tom Curran
Ben Duckett
Ben Foakes+
Keaton Jennings
Dan Lawrence
Jack Leach
Liam Livingstone
Mark Wood

I would have thought that the England batsmen would get some more practice. I take it that Ali will bat only.
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Old 7th December 2017, 10:42   #617
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No idea why Bairstow, Malan, Cook and Vince are not playing in this even if it is going to be against some rubbish bowling.
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Old 7th December 2017, 10:57   #618
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No idea why Bairstow, Malan, Cook and Vince are not playing in this even if it is going to be against some rubbish bowling.

Agree.

Not for the first time one must question the tour programme we were offered, or requested or accepted.
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Old 7th December 2017, 11:10   #619
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What happens if someone gets loads of runs or loads of wickets? I assume moeen won't do much bowling in a side with England's best spin bowler and a young leggie.
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Old 7th December 2017, 11:20   #620
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What happens if someone gets loads of runs or loads of wickets? I assume moeen won't do much bowling in a side with England's best spin bowler and a young leggie.
Ironically, the one player you'd think needs some rest to recover from an injury is skippering this team.

Some of the decision making on this tour is getting ridiculous.
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