Any news or views on International Cricket
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By gmdf
#22891
You can see why the ECB are in favour - 4 days Tests and we're "celebrating" a 0-0 Test series! :doh:
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By Bucksman
#22892
Nothing more to be said, really, from the England point of view, other than, perhaps, a reinforcement of the term, utter helplessness!
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By Vetchetarian
#22893
I woke up at odd hours and listened to all The Tests, but only for short spells. I found the commentators to be too pro England. I make no apology in singling out Messrs Swann and Vaughan.
A good commentator does NOT 'come out' during his stint at the mike, but these two simply cannot restrain their bias.
I judge all commentators by the great Bill Maclaren, who made watching rugby internationals a real joy. Even when his beloved Scotland were involved, it was only his accent that gave him away as being a Scot. His sheer joy of the game, not any partisanship, was always in evidence.
In cricket commentary John Arlott, Richie Benaud, and Brian Johnstone reigned supreme.
I like Jonathan Agnew a lot, but where was he for the last Test ?
Vic Marks is always good value. He is witty and knowledgeable about the game.

Back to the actual cricket. England got a hammering down under - again. So nothing new there. Too many average players in the squad. Not enough class to stretch The Aussies on their own midden.

I am not alone in believing that the structure of cricket in the U.K. is now, more so than ever, geared to the short form, with it's instant gratification/appeal to those who are totally indifferent to the longer game.
Players, particularly batsmen, are brought up on scoring quickly. Such are the demands of instant cricket. Many cannot adjust to playing a long, slog free innings.
The opener Stoneman, in the first innings of this last test, was out in the mid 20's, with a strike rate of 100.00. That says it all for me. Where did he think he was ? What form of the game was his mind on ?

I suppose the same tired squad, all safe in their secure positions, central contracts , etc., will now move on to New Zealand.

I'd send them all back to Blighty now, and take the financial hit.
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By Vetchetarian
#22897
chris wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:11 pm
Vetchetarian wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:33 pm

I like Jonathan Agnew a lot, but where was he for the last Test ?
He returned home to nurse his Emma his wife who is fighting from breast cancer.

It was a pre-arrangeed deal. He nearly missed the entire series.
Thanks for the info, chris. I was unaware of his wife's illness. Hope she recovers. Cancer is such a ,,,,,,,
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By PaulTavs
#22910
I honestly don't think things are as bad as being made out.

Yes, England were thumped in Australia. It's not a vintage side, but when has it been? Maybe in the run up to 2005 and then the summer of 2005 itself.

It's still a lot better than many of the dark days of the 1990s. We've still won every Ashes series at home from 2005 onwards and in 2010/11.

The usual reasons are brought out, and sure, there may be grains of truth in all, but if England beat India this summer, will India blame too much T20?

When it comes to T20, yes it is increasing its presence. But domestic cricket has to show it can make money too, especially with modern salaries and overheads. If a sports fan with no knowledge of cricket was taken to a Championship game in a pristine ground and watched a 4-day game in front of 500 people per day, he would think it was nuts that the players were being paid six-figure salaries - especially when you told him there were no games betwen October and March!

There is still a heck of a lot of good 3-4-5 day cricket to watch in England every season.
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By PaulTavs
#22915
Can anyone offer an explanation as to why Gary Ballance is the fall guy?

Having scored 51, 1 and 45* in a couple of tour games, his presence has been negligable, but he did nothing wrong, as he had no opportunity to.

Meanwhile Liam Livingstone has played a Lions and a tour game.

I don't at all begrudge Livingstone's selection - I just wonder then why he wasn't picked in the first place and now Ballance is jettisoned? What has changed in the past 3 months?
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By chris
#22919
PaulTavs wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:43 pm
Can anyone offer an explanation as to why Gary Ballance is the fall guy?

Having scored 51, 1 and 45* in a couple of tour games, his presence has been negligable, but he did nothing wrong, as he had no opportunity to.

Meanwhile Liam Livingstone has played a Lions and a tour game.

I don't at all begrudge Livingstone's selection - I just wonder then why he wasn't picked in the first place and now Ballance is jettisoned? What has changed in the past 3 months?
All I can think of, Paul, is that they eventually realised that he was superfluous to requirements. Having sat down in each selection meeting prior to the 5 tests, they realised that they just were not going to select him.

Not sure if the same people select prior to a tour as sit down to pick the 11 who play. But assuming that they are slightly different people, there could have been feedback to say, that as you say, ...'he's not done anything wrong but he just doesn't add anything to the squad, we ain't going to select him. Better give to give a possible future player added experience.' At least Livi is 4 years younger than Ballance.

I just hope they are not thinking Livingstone's spin bowling has some selectorial merit.

Or perhaps they just want to lay the foundations to justify a summer of drink carrying for the newly appointed Lancashire captain.

Or simply it's the latest stage of the merry-go-round. They had to do something after the 4-0 Ashes defeat, or the media would have had a proper go.

Or it's similar to the last Ashes down under, where the tailenders were blamed (by Gooch?) for not scoring enough runs. It's your fault. Not ours.
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