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  1. Post
    #1

    The Ashes

    First Test - August 1-5 (Edgbaston)
    Second Test - August 14-18 (Lord's)
    Third Test - August 22-26 (Headlingley)
    Fourth Test - September 4-8 (Old Trafford)
    Fifth Test - September 12-16 (The Oval)

    Okay - interesting times ahead here...

    Deserves its own thread despite NZ not being involved.

    England's predicted 1st team team excludes Archer and Curran. Curran was their best player last year, and Archer is their 2nd best bowler behind Anderson imo (and may be better in the long run).

    England - expected:

    https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_...rst-ashes-test

    1 Burns 2 Roy (as he seems to only knows one way - the first session could be interesting if England bat) 3 Root C 4 Denley (you may ask who? exactly - former bits and pieces leg spinner now thrust into replacing Vince, Malan, and the long list of failed Eng top order batsmen) 5 Stokes 6 Bairstow + 7 Buttler 8 Ali 9 Woakes 10 Broad 11 Anderson

    Well they bat deep, even if noone really knows whether Burns, Roy and Denley are upto it. And Woakes and Anderson will get all the swing on offer.

    I think Broad is very very lucky. The argument for his inclusion is that Woakes is competing with SCurran, fair point, but that still leaves Archer missing out. I expect Archer to make his debut this series, be it through injury, dropping or dead rubber. If Curran plays, the England top order is completely failing, and things have been implemented to remedy this failure.

    Word I read is that my fan favourite James Pattinson is a very very hot property to get a call up. Which means one of Starc or Hazelwood will be dropped. Given Josh is the VC.... Well - good to see both Aus and Eng have similar to NZC selection headaches with Tim Southee as the experienced and often vc bowler who is skating around being dropped.

    An irony is, England with Leach, Archer and Curran not making the team, and all this bowling and allrounder talent have the personal to be a very very good team. But its just so dicey relying on Root alone, and the likes of S Curran blasting 50's at 9 all the time. Then again, is Curran the best Zimbabwean born seam bowling allrounder playing test cricket right now - coughCDGcough.

    My money for the series is on England. But I think it will be closer than I anticipated 6 months ago - Aus have prepared well, they are thinking horses for courses, and England are still labouring with Broad. Broad will probably have the series of his lifetime now.

    I dont know the full expected Aus team - but rumours are Bancroft may get called up after an excellent warmup game.

    1 David Sandpaper 2 Cameron Sandpaper 3 Uzzie 4 SPD Sandpaper 5 Head? 6 Lasagne/MMarsh 7 Paine 8 Patto 9 Patty 10 Haze/Starc 11 Lyon

    I'm totally making some wild guesses to the Aussie team at 2, 5 and 6. Their squad is huge at 17 players... 6 is still a sore spot for them. I wouldn't bother with an allrounder there myself. I'd make SPD bowl any overs of legspin Labu was asked to bowl, and actually play the next best batsmen they have. Even if its Richardson or Patterson way below where they're used to.

    The dangers - James Pattinson and Pat Cummins with Haze could rip through the England top and middle order in one session. And they damn well know it.
    Last edited by Paddles; 31st July 2019 at 2:43 am.

  2. Post
    #2
    Aus team basically announced.

    Harris v Bancroft for the opener spot with Warner. Bancroft fancied.

    Pattinson a certain starter. About time.

    Interestingly, Siddle, Starc and Haze are said to be fighting for one spot. Wow. So much for the best 3 quicks in the world.

    Wade, this to me is huge, Wade, will bat 6. Aus are flagging the allrounder. Completely. I said above I would do this. They're actually going to do it.

    https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_...rst-ashes-test

  3. Post
    #3
    Finding it hard to get as up for it as usual, possibly due to it being so soon after the World Cup and also Iím going on holiday to USA in a couple of weeks so probably only going to be able to watch the first test. No doubt will be fired up come the national anthems tomorrow night.

    Worried about our top order which has been a concern for a while now. Roy at least is proven at international level and against some of these bowlers, albeit in a different format, and did bat well and made runs in the 2nd*innings last week, albeit against Ireland. There is reason to have confidence heíll score runs, but Burns and Denly donít look up to test level so far. There arenít any other top order options standing out though so I suppose rather they have to be given the chance of 10 innings at home, and then dumped if they donít produce. Definitely the right thing for Root to be moving up to 3, and it sounds like itís just going to be a switch with Denly. Iíd have been tempted to leave out one of Burns or Denly and move everyone up one spot, then you can have both Archer and Broad, but would mean Ali and Woakes both probably batting a spot too high.

    Expect Archer to come in at some point but sounds like with the injury heís had thereís concern about him being able to bowl 20 overs a day at the moment so he might be held back for now. You have to play Broad in home conditions as last week showed - yes it was ďonly IrelandĒ but I think most teams would have struggled that morning and it's not like he hasnít done that to Australia before. You have to play Woakes at Edgbaston too.

    Would be tempted to go:

    Roy
    Burns/Denly
    Root
    Stokes
    Bairtsow
    Buttler
    Ali
    Woakes
    Broad
    Archer
    Anderson

    Probably a batsman short, but would back that bowling lineup to bowl Australia out. It's the same composition we went with in the World Cup with the 5 fast bowlers and a spinner.

  4. Post
    #4
    5 rfm? Surely Curran plays if you want 6 bowlers? For his batting and lfm?

    But given the 2018 Dukes swings like Austin Powers - Aus are likely to play only 4 bowlers of which 3 are seam.

  5. Post
    #5
    I'm actually fairly excited by this series. My heart wants England to win, but Australia look a better team this time than in 2015. And that England top order looks worse than ever with 3 basic debutantes who are not smashing the lights out at domestic.

  6. Post
    #6
    Top order is a worry, but the middle order is very strong, and not sure there are many stronger. The bulk of our runs look like coming from positions 4-7 (counting Root as the 4, but sounds like he’ll be 3), and Ali and Woakes at 8 and 9 are players with test centuries and averages of 30 too so there is batting reasonably deep in the order. Australia’s lineup seems kind of the opposite where there are a lot of runs in the top 4 but if you can get through them you’ve got a good chance of restricting the total. Sounds like Archer wasn’t quite 100% ready for this match after the injury, and you always have to play Woakes at Edgbaston and Lord’s anyway. Expect Archer to come in for Broad if the latter doesn’t perform.

    Think this series will be won by the batsmen. It will likely be mostly bowler friendly conditions and both bowling attacks are very strong. Whichever team has 2 or 3 batsmen who can make 300+ runs in the series will win.

  7. Post
    #7
    invisibleman18 wrote:
    Top order is a worry, but the middle order is very strong, and not sure there are many stronger. The bulk of our runs look like coming from positions 4-7 (counting Root as the 4, but sounds like he’ll be 3), and Ali and Woakes at 8 and 9 are players with test centuries and averages of 30 too so there is batting reasonably deep in the order. Australia’s lineup seems kind of the opposite where there are a lot of runs in the top 4 but if you can get through them you’ve got a good chance of restricting the total. Sounds like Archer wasn’t quite 100% ready for this match after the injury, and you always have to play Woakes at Edgbaston and Lord’s anyway. Expect Archer to come in for Broad if the latter doesn’t perform.

    Think this series will be won by the batsmen. It will likely be mostly bowler friendly conditions and both bowling attacks are very strong. Whichever team has 2 or 3 batsmen who can make 300+ runs in the series will win.
    You're absolutely taking the mickey here aren't you? I mean seriously...

    Perhaps you forgot what the WI and NZ middle orders served up to England in the recent series' England lost :P

    Stokes (at 5 no less!), Bairstow, Buttler, Ali? Strong? No. Just no. SCurran was saving your bacon from 9.

    England bats the deepest, though. That I will concede. But bar Buttler and Root - the batting is dire in top and middle. Root has gone at 37 for the last year and a half. Buttler is the only one in the team to go at 40.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...;type=allround

    Eng and SA have batting problems big time.

    For the Kiwi fans, there is something really pleasing about this list above I did not notice. Look at Southee's runs...

    For the last 2.5 years - and you really see how much England batsmen are failing...

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...;type=allround
    Last edited by Paddles; 1st August 2019 at 1:28 pm.

  8. Post
    #8
    I did say many not any didn't I? I'm happy to maintain that Root-Stokes-Buttler-Bairstow is a strong middle order. Disagree that it's dire. Form in recent tests hasn't been great but still think those 4 are not bad batsmen.
    Last edited by invisibleman18; 1st August 2019 at 1:25 pm.

  9. Post
    #9
    I'm sorry - I completely disagree. The English batting is a shambles. I love watching Woakes and Curran turn a game for you guys. I really do. But Bairstow has been shambolic for years, Root is now at 3. And he is no KW or Pujara batting that high. Buttler at 40 has been a bit of a success. I am surprised Foakes was discarded with so quickly for Bairstow's return tbh.

    Stokes is batting way too high at 5. Just way too high. He is barely averaging 30 of late.

    England's batting - bar batting deep, is presently in a dire state of affairs.

    They may turn a corner this series, and have it all click together and feast on some stupid Aus bowling plans. But noone - outside England - rates the England top or middle orders. Noone. Pakistan look to be putting together something more useful in time if they can find someone to bat 3.

    I mean - what did Ireland recently roll England for? 85 was it? They were rolled in NZ for 58 and WI for 77. Its a repeated story. The batting has been a joke for a while.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...id=1;type=team

    I'd love to put money on England to win the Ashes, but I just keep thinking Pattinson will slice through you guys. Of course, how long before he gets injured is another matter.
    Last edited by Paddles; 1st August 2019 at 1:49 pm.

  10. Post
    #10
    invisibleman18 wrote:
    I did say many not any didn't I? I'm happy to maintain that Root-Stokes-Buttler-Bairstow is a strong middle order. Disagree that it's dire. Form in recent tests hasn't been great but still think those 4 are not bad batsmen.
    Yeah, great white-ball batsmen. Bairstow's test form has been very poor and his pair against Ireland hasn't done much to ease doubts. I think he's averaging around 30 or less since the start of 2018. Buttler is the same, can be awesome but isn't close to his ODI force in tests.

    Stokes is too high at 5, agree with Paddles. Deny is untested. Roy is untested. A lot hangs on Root.

    Woakes and Broad, seriously... don't want to be banking on them.

  11. Post
    #11
    Fair enough. I'm obviously biased and still riding the World Cup high, but I do still feel that form is not always permanent and that some of these players have been in subpar form, particularly away from home and perhaps with most of the focus on World Cup, but are not necessarily dire players full stop in the test format. There are no real batting alternatives though so they have to find some form quickly.

    Think Stokes will be at 6 and Buttler at 5. At least, in the interview Stokes had with Vaughan and Farbrace on the test match special podcast this week he said he should be at 6 and was listed at 6 in the team posted by the ECB this morning.

  12. Post
    #12
    They win the toss and bat first. No Starc or Hazelwood and the three cheats come straight back in.

  13. Post
    #13
    Warner cops a bad call and doesn't review.

    Broad has burnt a review already.

  14. Post
    #14
    Thankfully the missed edge didn't cost anything. Batting not looking easy out there. Feel like we'd have chosen to bowl anyway.

    Ooh hawk eye showed it was missing. Justice for the one he edged I guess!

  15. Post
    #15
    <N> wrote:
    Yeah, great white-ball batsmen. Bairstow's test form has been very poor and his pair against Ireland hasn't done much to ease doubts. I think he's averaging around 30 or less since the start of 2018. Buttler is the same, can be awesome but isn't close to his ODI force in tests.

    Stokes is too high at 5, agree with Paddles. Deny is untested. Roy is untested. A lot hangs on Root.

    Woakes and Broad, seriously... don't want to be banking on them.
    Burns is untested and many pundits are writing him off as a failure already too...

  16. Post
    #16
    Feel Bancroft is an LBW waiting to happen the way he walks across the stumps like this.

  17. Post
    #17
    Look at that cloud cover. Jimmy must be licking his chops. His last home Ashes series, if not ever, one would imagine.

  18. Post
    #18
    invisibleman18 wrote:
    Feel Bancroft is an LBW waiting to happen the way he walks across the stumps like this.
    Yeah - but he has made early season county runs when the scoring has been abysmal by most.

    I don't rate Bancroft, but apparently he worked a lot at his rebuilding his game during his ban.

  19. Post
    #19
    Bancroft blocks (wasn't even a checked drive) straight down the ground for 4 with lazy elegance. That was quite some shot, tbf.

    Khawaja as per usual looks a million dollars with a whip from off to squarer than midwicket. Straight out of the Allan Border playbook, but looked so much more elegant than AB would ever muster.

  20. Post
    #20
    Here is Shane Warne to talk about intent and body language.

    5 minutes before he talks about Poker or women?

  21. Post
    #21
    So yeah, about batting first?

    Guess it's karma that they fell cheaply.

  22. Post
    #22
    Sandcroft gone too. Great start this.

  23. Post
    #23
    Bancroft gone.

    SPD Smith time.

    Looking forward to the crowd here.

    But I am watching channel 9 so I get ads instead.

  24. Post
    #24
    invisibleman18 wrote:
    Sandcroft gone too. Great start this.
    lol

  25. Post
    #25
    Smith looks to smash the first ball, full and wide, is the crowd getting to him?

    Crowd is as loud as an EPL football game during a rivalry match.

    Everyone in the crowd seems to have a piece of yellow sandpaper, grey haired people too.