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England cricket, 2019-20 winter tours

Santino

lovelier than lovely
So England started a Test match in New Zealand or something. And the openers didn't completely fuck it up.
 

butchersapron

blood on the walls
Not sure we'd have been so well placed - i wouldn't say comfortable - if NZ had used a review early on. Burns i think it was faint edging to keeper. Nerves might have come into play in first half hour of first session of first test then.
 

SpookyFrank

Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.
I was gonna start this thread but I was too lazy.

Yes, not a terrible start from England, excepting Root.
 

Monkeygrinder's Organ

Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager
I haven't seen any of it but it sounds fairly encouraging, even accepting they may have ridden their luck a bit. Let's be honest, England's top order has been so hopeless for so long that if they can regularly set any sort of platform that will massively improve the team because the middle and lower order batting is still pretty formidable. Ideally you'd like a new Cook/Strauss type partnership but just not being 30-3 every innings would be a damn good start.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
I watched the first session last night. Good and boring from the top three. Sibley looked very comfortable until he got worked over by de Grandhomme of all people. Boult bowled well, without luck. As seems to be his way, Burns appeared to live a charmed life. He does seem, for whatever reason, to have a knack for that.

First impressions of Sibley. No chance in hell of him nicking off to a wide one early on, or probably at any time. He just isn't interested in anything wide and looks to have the appetite to bat and bat, which is what reports say of him - when he gets in he goes big. He has an ungainly technique but looks comfortable with it. As commentators were saying, it's like a right-handed Graeme Smith - angled bat, strong bottom hand, everything shovelled through on side: I believe all 22 of his runs were on-side. Ugly as fuck, and may be just what England need. But, and it's quite a big but, his dismissal was poor. That angled bat simply guided a gently swinging, military medium delivery pitched on about fifth stump into the hands of first slip - and it came after two previous balls had also beaten him. Looks like the kind of thing that will have NZ analysts poring over and I would expect a different line of attack against him from the start next innings.

NZ may have missed a trick leaving out Ferguson. Burns in particular showed no interest whatever in doing anything to Wagner's half-trackers other than dodging them. That's got to be the right approach vs Wagner - he relies on batsmen fancying him, and I'm not sure he has a plan B. That said, it is a flat track. This could be a draw.
 

Casual Observer

binoculars
Good to see a Surrey lower middle order batsmen playing in the lower middle order this time. Had feared Ed Smith would belch out some Latin nonsense and send Pope in as an opener.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
Good to see a Surrey lower middle order batsmen playing in the lower middle order this time. Had feared Ed Smith would belch out some Latin nonsense and send Pope in as an opener.
Pretty horrible dismissal. Wild drive at a very wide one. Roy-esque. Vince-esque. NZ may get back into this from that.

And curran next ball.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
England well placed with the wicket showing hints of misbehaving. Maybe this won't be a draw after all. Looks like it will be a very un-NZ-like wicket, starting flat and slow then becoming uneven and slow as it dries out. May bring Leach into it. Amazing stat yesterday - out of the last 100 wickets taken by NZ bowlers in NZ, none of them have been taken by spinners.

Meanwhile, Warner smashes a hundred v Pakistan and India demolish Bangladesh in a session. The England-NZ series likely to be the only real contest out of the three.
 

Casual Observer

binoculars
Going well for England thus far with what is effectively a Surrey academy XI (with 7 ringers).

Sky have boobed by ditching Gower and keeping Bumble but you can't have everything.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
Hmmm. I'm not entirely convinced by any of the Surrey academy contingent thus far in their careers tbh. Sibley yet to prove himself. Burns continues to be a bit flaky, if we're honest. Pope played a horrible shot yesterday, just as bad and irresponsible as anything Roy did in the summer. Is Curran a test-quality bowler? I'm still yet to be convinced, and he definitely isn't a test-quality batter.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
Broad's innings yesterday was a very sorry sight. The worst of the worst rabbits, he is now. Not even able to slog. Looking at the stats, Broad's batting decline has cost England about 20 runs per test match. That's a significant loss. Anyway, no way Leach should be below him, and Leach has a case for coming in above Archer.
 

Casual Observer

binoculars
Sounds like a balls up on the booze front. Atherton said they only ordered 200 kegs for the whole game and ran out after 2 days. I blame Ed Smith.

EDIT: That's the booze for the crowd, of course, not the England team.
 
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littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
I hate agreeing with Vaughan, but I can see his point about England 'training their brains' to score 450. Their first innings is in context now as 100 runs short. Still all to play for, but NZ were very disciplined and very good today - even de Grandhomme was disciplined in his own way, resisting the temptation for a long time to fall into England's trap. They are a proper test batting unit.

England were flat, and their speeds are a bit worrying. When Stuart Broad is consistently under 130 ks, we know that all is not right in his world. I know he was bowling off-cutters for a while there, which is fine, but he was down on speed all day. Curran looked how Curran looks on flat pitches. Archer tried, but de Grandhomme in particular was up for the challenge, while Watling just swayed out of the way. NZ played Archer very well, so hats off to them for that.
 

Pink Panther

Well-Known Member
At least the NZ innings used up more than 200 overs so there's only one more day left. It would be nice to think we could bat out 90 overs for the draw when the opposition has just batted for more than twice that length of time.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
It's a learning curve.
Does the curve point up or down?

omg a kookaburra ball, where did that come from? How do we bowl with it?

I'm on the case of the batting more than the bowling, though. After that Watling double, NZ now have six batsmen averaging over 40 in their top seven. England have one.
 

SpookyFrank

Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.
I hate agreeing with Vaughan, but I can see his point about England 'training their brains' to score 450. Their first innings is in context now as 100 runs short. Still all to play for, but NZ were very disciplined and very good today - even de Grandhomme was disciplined in his own way, resisting the temptation for a long time to fall into England's trap. They are a proper test batting unit.

England were flat, and their speeds are a bit worrying. When Stuart Broad is consistently under 130 ks, we know that all is not right in his world. I know he was bowling off-cutters for a while there, which is fine, but he was down on speed all day. Curran looked how Curran looks on flat pitches. Archer tried, but de Grandhomme in particular was up for the challenge, while Watling just swayed out of the way. NZ played Archer very well, so hats off to them for that.
Broad probably just knackered after three days of bowling.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
So new England looks rather like old England. :guy: It's not the defeat so much as its manner, which was naive. They're an experienced bunch with a massive crew of people and a ton of money behind them (more than can be said for NZ). There's no excuse for naivety.

Bowling-wise probably best not to dwell.

Batting-wise, Denly and Stokes come out of it with some credit, but that's about it. Pope played two horrible shots, betraying a lack of mental discipline. Root? :(
 
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