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(Login Spanishnick)

Re: Too many Southpaws?

October 31 2016, 10:14 AM 

And there was I suggesting Bangladesh had peaked. More significantly, I had underestimated just how far England could trough.
Entertaining and fascinating couple of tests though. Be glad to get a couple of weeks of proper sleep mind- woke up at 4.30 on the dot this morning just out of habit.

(Login Martinh00)

Re: Too many Southpaws?

October 31 2016, 10:29 AM 

England have painted themselves into a corner - in part because of the nonsensical scheduling.

Hard to see on what basis Ballance should keep his place but the alternatives wont have played any competitive cricket since the end of the domestic season. I don't count the beer matches they seem to favour these days. There isn't a single warm up match before the next Test. So, bring Hameed in by all means and move Duckett down, but we cannot be surprised if he fails to make an impact

As for Ballance, It is so frustrating that Whittaker (and I suspect Cook who likes him by all accounts) pressed for his inclusion for the Pakistani tests, when he was only showing glimpses of his old form. What form he had was knocked out of him, and his shot yesterday demonstrated to me that he is back where he was 12 months ago. A full season in county cricket and it could have been a different story.

He spent last winter in South Africa without playing a single game, and this could well be his fate in India. I can't believe for a minute that this is what he needs right now. Surely either a complete rest from cricket or the opportunity to get his form and flair back playing at a lower level would be preferable?

Idle man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: Too many Southpaws?

October 31 2016, 11:45 AM 

Completely agree regarding Ballance. Anyone who watched him regularly last year would have been surprised by his selection. Even the hundreds looked far from the efforts of a restored to form test player. That initial foot movement has always looked odd and not really compatible with playing at the top level. It always struck me as something which would find him out sooner or later and I think good county bowlers have started to make him look frail these days too. Then when he first came back to us from England he looked so bad that I worried he might be completely finished. He's recovered somewhat but should definitely not have been returned to England unless and until he started to score big runs consistently.

Two related comments: if, as is quite likely, he is going to be a solid county player but no better( and I completely recognise that he might still recover to be better than that, or, sadly, not be that good) then he starts to figure in our 'if not Gale, then who?' debate.

Secondly, as far as England selection is concerned, I do think they have been a little unlucky. To have reached 2016 with a middle order including none of Bell, Trott, or dare I say it KP would not have been predictable five years ago. All for very different reasons, and I'm not saying any of them should be playing, but still left a hole. Gary appeared to be helping to fill it at one stage. He might have done so better if they'd left him at 5 or 6.


Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: Too many Southpaws?

October 31 2016, 12:26 PM 

I have no sympathy for the selectors at all, nor any faith in Whitaker's judgement. Cook played some County cricket last season and saw some of the talent in the second division, but good players have been overlooked/ignored, mediocre ones selected.

The two best spinners in Div 1 were Leach and Rayner. Rayner may have played himself out of contention by bowling poorly at Lord's in the Championship decider, though he would have brought world-class slip catching to the table. I've been going on about Leach since Yorkshire played Somerset at Taunton, where he bowled beautifully in unhelpful conditions, early season. Then, of course, he took 6-for at Headingley in September.

Gary Ballance began the season looking as though he had never held a bat, though he did play well in Abu Dhabi against a strong attack in which Tredwell bowled well - another forgotten spinner. So did Jake Ball, who had a good season. Gary slowly got it back, playing for Yorkshire, and batted particularly well at Riverside. Then he was rushed back with indecent speed into England colours, with entirely predictable results.

It was becoming obvious that Hales and Vince were not good enough, and the selectors were unlucky to lose Taylor (though not as unlucky as Taylor!), so most of the batting contenders were left-handed. Right-handed contenders included Ian Bell, who should have gone to India, Hameed and Worcestershire's Joe Clarke. Also the likes of Hildreth, who has been a good player for about 15 years.

Instead they went for batsmen who can bowl spin, and the result has been there for all to see. Now they're probably going to have to bring in Hameed for his debut, with Duckett moving to 4, which seems the obvious place to bat him. Bairstow should be at 5 and Stokes 6, which would at least give alternate left/right-handers at the top. Woakes could be promoted, as an alternative. He surely bats better than he bowls. Finn's selection was similar to Ballance's, based more on hope than on any form or performance during 2016.

The selectors have dug their own hole and should be buried in it.

(Login EastYorkshireTyke)

Re: Too many Southpaws?

October 31 2016, 1:47 PM 

On the whole there's some very good points Dave, particularly your assessment of Whitaker, but you can't surely criticise the inclusion of Ballance and Finn, calling them based on hope rather than form during whilst calling for the inclusion of Bell who averaged 33 last season?

(Login WhiteroseDave)

Re: Too many Southpaws?

October 31 2016, 2:05 PM 

The obvious move seems to be to bring in Hameed with Duckett (or root?) moving to 4. What seems very odd to me is that some are still talking about bringing Buttler into the test team, he's only scored 42 more first class runs than me in the last 12 months!

(Login wakefieldfan)

coming back to county cricket

October 31 2016, 2:12 PM 

do you think it will be a good thing or bad that Garry Ballance and Rashid did so badly that they will not get in an England side so will be put back into county cricket and paid by the ECB ,

(Login garywilson2)

Re: coming back to county cricket

October 31 2016, 2:22 PM 

Rashid will certainly play in the next test at least .

(Login Martinh00)

Re: coming back to county cricket

October 31 2016, 2:33 PM 

Balance and Rashid are on incremental contracts, so they wont be paid for by the ECB when they play for us.

It does however start to make it worthwhile to look at the possibility of Ballance as four day captain. The decision can be made after the India tour but assuming he plays no further part in proceedings then it seems likely that we will have him for the full season.

Idle Man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: coming back to county cricket

October 31 2016, 2:45 PM 

My thoughts on Ballance as captain would depend on his test career being, as far as one can see, over, not on him coming back for another few months where England pick him up again as soon as he manages to middle anything. So I was looking a little further ahead. My captain for next season would be Andrew Gale.

And my sympathy for the selectors is profoundly limited DM. I agree they've made some very poor calls. I was simply suggesting that some nailed on choices have relatively unexpectedly gone missing. Totally agree with you about the spinners, both the ones they should have selected and the ones they shouldn't.

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