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Rootin' for Joe etc...

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 11 Jan 2019, 10:17

There are one or two selection conundrums ahead of the tour to which Ed Smith and Trevor Bayliss will have to find answers.

The balance of the bowling attack

Although the pitches are likely to provide turn and Bangladesh and Pakistan's spinners have had decent figures relatively recently they do offer a little more bounce up front for the seamers even if they can flatten out.

England would appear unlikely go in with each of Leach, Ali and Rashid in the Tests in Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia. Ali looks safe as the number one spinner and his batting a potential asset. While if there is not too much turn on offer then Rashid, who gives the ball the biggest rip out of the England spinners, may be what's needed if the pitch flattens with his batting a useful bonus. Leach, for all his success in his debut Test series, could be the most vulnerable.

I would think a three seamer, two spinner attack most likely which begs the second question, with Ben Stokes assured of his place as the third seamer after his superb performances in Sri Lanka and the all round batting bowling and fielding skills which balance the side, which seamer from Broad, Anderson or Curran miss out or do they sacrifice a batsman?

The batting and finding the right solution

The six batsmen and keeper are Burns, Jennings, Bairstow, Root, Stokes, Buttler, Foakes, leaving two seamers plus Ali and Rashid/Leach.

With Curran offering those crucial explosive runs down the order and the selectors really wanting to look at Jennings facing proper seam bowling ahead of the ashes, it may appear likely that Broad and Anderson may have to wait until the Ashes to be reunited properly.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by hancockjr » 11 Jan 2019, 11:57

Rashid's runs are useful but should be given minimal credit - the second spinner should be the one who is the best spinner.

Then agree it's 2 from Anderson, Broad and Curran (actually 1 from Broad or Curran). Oddly, despite the above, if Rashid is preferred it could count against Curran, as we'd have a pretty strong tail anyway.

We can speculate between Broad and Curran, but ultimately they ought to be able to watch them in the nets and make a much more informed decision than anyone else.

As always, my worry is that they fudge/bottle it and leave a batsman out to accommodate Curran and Broad (though presumably it would be an opener dropped and there is no obvious alternative opener).

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by David Luiz Is A Hero » 11 Jan 2019, 13:11

Be very harsh to leave Curran out, arguably our top performer in 2018, I'd rather keep him going with the new ball and rotate Broad & Anderson as necessary for this series. No danger of them burning out this year but we do still need a succession plan.

Rashid over Leach as the second spinner but should Moeen be injured Leach would then be the 1st spinner.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by hancockjr » 11 Jan 2019, 14:27

David Luiz Is A Hero wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 13:11
Be very harsh to leave Curran out, arguably our top performer in 2018, I'd rather keep him going with the new ball and rotate Broad & Anderson as necessary for this series. No danger of them burning out this year but we do still need a succession plan.

Rashid over Leach as the second spinner but should Moeen be injured Leach would then be the 1st spinner.
No problem with preferring Curran over Broad (I would too, unless nets suggest otherwise), but it should not be to rotate Anderson and Broad - we should pick the best of the 2 (Anderson) and Broad is then simply dropped in favour of better players, and can fight for his place. As you say, they're not going to burn out so no rotation is needed.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 11 Jan 2019, 14:34

hancockjr wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 11:57
Rashid's runs are useful but should be given minimal credit - the second spinner should be the one who is the best spinner.

Then agree it's 2 from Anderson, Broad and Curran (actually 1 from Broad or Curran). Oddly, despite the above, if Rashid is preferred it could count against Curran, as we'd have a pretty strong tail anyway.

We can speculate between Broad and Curran, but ultimately they ought to be able to watch them in the nets and make a much more informed decision than anyone else.

As always, my worry is that they fudge/bottle it and leave a batsman out to accommodate Curran and Broad (though presumably it would be an opener dropped and there is no obvious alternative opener).
Yes it will be a decision on who is the best fit bowling wise between Rashid and Leach, the batting is a bonus but won't matter in the choice.

Rashid turns it far more giving it a real rip whereas Leach turns it less but offers more control. It very much depends on the wicket to my mind, if it's a real turner, as at times in Sri Lanka, then Leach is surely better as he turns it enough while offering more control. If however a second spinner is likely to come more into play as the wicket flattens out and wickets are at a premium then a big turner of the ball is needed like Rashid, the priority must be to take wickets.

I don't think you can really say generally these selectors have fudged the issue especially since Ed Smith has backed his hunches to the hilt. They played three spinners and had an attacking almost cavalier approach to their batting at times in Sri Lanka, a radical plan to beat them in their own conditions was hatched and adhered to despite the criticisms from some in the media. To play on turning wickets in intense heat with almost 100% humidity against a side with an enviable recent home record needed a rethink in both selection and tactics. Trevor Bayliss knew the conditions, knew what the approach had to be and devised the strategy.

Picking Jennings solely because of his past form on spinning wickets was a masterstroke that came off when all advised against it, his fielding at short leg was exceptional too. The problem with Keaton is he hasn't done it against seam and he can still look robotic in his foot movements.

The pitches last summer were difficult to bat on and not everyone can adapt as well as Virat. The Indian seamers were a real proposition first up with the new duke ball and Jennings didn't prosper. The selectors must hope his confidence is now higher, which in turn should get his feet moving forward from the crease and not be too robotic or stilted. I suspect we may yet see Jason Roy partnering Rory Burns in the Ashes.

I agree with you that it has to be a seamer and as you say Curran or Broad who misses out, a decision won't have been made yet but it surely will very much depend on how the wicket looks and their preparations in the warm up and nets. Curran offers left arm swing which is something different and perhaps adds slightly more variety but Broad is already world class and bowlers like batsmen do tend to like partnerships. It really could go either way between Rashid and Leach as well as Broad and Curran but four into two won't go.

England had to take mountains of criticism on their way to beating the world's number one ranked team 4-1, Ed Smith must be used to a winning team getting torn apart in the media so I can't see him or Trevor Bayliss ducking these issues now.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by David Luiz Is A Hero » 11 Jan 2019, 15:34

hancockjr wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 14:27
David Luiz Is A Hero wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 13:11
Be very harsh to leave Curran out, arguably our top performer in 2018, I'd rather keep him going with the new ball and rotate Broad & Anderson as necessary for this series. No danger of them burning out this year but we do still need a succession plan.

Rashid over Leach as the second spinner but should Moeen be injured Leach would then be the 1st spinner.
No problem with preferring Curran over Broad (I would too, unless nets suggest otherwise), but it should not be to rotate Anderson and Broad - we should pick the best of the 2 (Anderson) and Broad is then simply dropped in favour of better players, and can fight for his place. As you say, they're not going to burn out so no rotation is needed.
As it is a 3 test series, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw similar to SL where Broad plays 1 and Anderson 2. Obviously dependent on conditions, workload and results.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by hancockjr » 11 Jan 2019, 15:38

David Luiz Is A Hero wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 15:34
hancockjr wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 14:27
David Luiz Is A Hero wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 13:11
Be very harsh to leave Curran out, arguably our top performer in 2018, I'd rather keep him going with the new ball and rotate Broad & Anderson as necessary for this series. No danger of them burning out this year but we do still need a succession plan.

Rashid over Leach as the second spinner but should Moeen be injured Leach would then be the 1st spinner.
No problem with preferring Curran over Broad (I would too, unless nets suggest otherwise), but it should not be to rotate Anderson and Broad - we should pick the best of the 2 (Anderson) and Broad is then simply dropped in favour of better players, and can fight for his place. As you say, they're not going to burn out so no rotation is needed.
As it is a 3 test series, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw similar to SL where Broad plays 1 and Anderson 2. Obviously dependent on conditions, workload and results.
Anderson was only rested for the dead rubber - very different.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by David Luiz Is A Hero » 11 Jan 2019, 15:44

Without wanting to be an arrogant England fan, I would expect similar again :D

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 12 Jan 2019, 00:27

liquidfootball2 wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 14:34


It will be a decision on who is the best fit bowling wise between Rashid and Leach, the batting is a bonus but won't matter in the choice.

Rashid turns it far more giving it a real rip whereas Leach turns it less but offers more control. It very much depends on the wicket to my mind, if it's a real turner, as at times in Sri Lanka, then Leach is surely better as he turns it enough while offering more control. If however a second spinner is likely to come more into play as the wicket flattens out and wickets are at a premium then a big turner of the ball is needed like Rashid, the priority must be to take wickets.
In conclusion on the choice of spinner to accompany Ali...

If there is more work for the seamers to do, you want Rashid to be that wicket-taker, especially if the pitch is flat and there is nothing going on.

If however England are playing on an absolute turner, then you are not playing the extra seamer anyway as two seamers, including Stokes, is plenty where spin predominates, so Leach and Rashid will both play - but on the pitches you might expect to see in the Caribbean, surely then you will want a leg-spinner who turns it both ways.

The most likely side for me would be

Burns, Jennings, Bairstow, Root, Stokes, Buttler, Ali, Foakes, (Curran), Rashid, (Broad), Anderson

Where either Curran or Broad play.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 12 Jan 2019, 22:19

Australia beat India comfortably enough in the first ODI.

The far more concerning news for Australia is that their banned former captain and superstar batsman Steve Smith is to undergo surgery on January 15th on ligament damage in his arm which caused him to give up the Bangladeshi ODI franchise tournament he was playing in earlier than expected.

The recovery time for such an injury is said to be six weeks but will bring him up to the end of the Australian summer and perhaps lead to problems making his comeback for the national ODI team when the ban is lifted in March.

Whether the lead-up time and availability of match practice will be there before the world cup begins in our summer is another question.

There is no way Australia won't pick such a talismanic batsman but it is whether he will have the right preparation following his recuperation.

It's probably the last thing Smith needed ahead of a special year ahead with the World Cup and the most iconic series in test cricket to come but good that he's made the decision to go under the knife now while there still should be enough time.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 15 Jan 2019, 09:49

England start the first of their two consecutive two day non first class warm up games against a WI Cricket Board XI at the 3 W's Oval - University grounds, Cave Hill in Barbados today.

While Barbados, being in the tropics, is hot, it hasn't anything like the soaking humidity and sauna like conditions England had to endure in Sri Lanka, and is far more comfortable for the players. The wicket keepers were all put through a long session with Bruce French yesterday, all concentrating on standing up to the stumps and catching balls which turned a long way, because the pitch for the first two-day game is not going to be one of those traditional West Indian pitches of unblemished sheen. In fact, no pitch had been marked out before England left for an afternoon swim, let alone rolled and polished.

So these four days of match practice are more likely to be an extension of England’s tour of Sri Lanka before Christmas than the start of an old-time West Indian tour with Keaton Jennings, who has shaved his head for charity, calling it an 'interesting' surface. All three spinners are likely to play in what, given the nature of an under prepared spinning wicket, could be more than a little farcical with wickets falling in regular clusters. In the first-class match on this ground last month between Barbados and Jamaica, the home side’s left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican took 12 wickets for 116 runs. Jamaica, chasing 107, were dismissed for 65.

It is more than likely to be a glorified net practice with England batting all one day and bowling the other although with the state of the pitch that may alter, at least 12 a side and possibly a few more will play, even if only eleven of the fielding side are actually out on the field, the rules being relaxed as practice is more important.

Kensington Oval, however, the venue for the first Test starting on Jan 23, supplied a good wicket for its only first-class match there this season, so England then can be expected to play Moeen Ali with either Adil Rashid or Jack Leach and three seamers including Ben Stokes which possibly means Broad or Curran.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 16 Jan 2019, 09:24

Root, Stokes hit warm-up fifties

In the tour practice match England left out Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid, Steve Stone and Joe Denly from the 12 a side match

Joe Root scored a run-a-ball 87 and Ben Stokes struck 56 as England's batsman got a hit on day one of their opening warm-up match ahead of the three-Test series against Windies.

Root looked fluent on Tuesday at Three Ws Oval - a ground named after Windies greats Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Clyde Walcott - striking 12 fours and two sixes before he top-edged to short fine leg.

Stokes picked up seven fours and a six in his knock, while President's XI spinner Bryan Charles bagged five wickets, including, Root, Stokes and Moeen Ali (21), as England slipped from 217-4 to 248-9 before Woakes and Stuart Broad (14) added 36 for the final wicket.

Surrey duo Ben Foakes and Sam Curran endured disappointing days - Foakes was out for 11 to paceman Chemar Holder, with Curran sent packing for a second-ball duck by the same bowler.

The CWI President's XI attack also included seamer Alzarri Joseph, who has been named in their squad for the first test.

England v President's XI :

England 284 all out, batting on to make 317-10 : Root 87, Stokes 56 and Woakes 38* (Jennings batted again (15*), Anderson didn't bat)


England will bowl all day today regardless of wickets.

Darren Bravo recalled to the West Indies squad.

Darren Bravo is poised to play his first Test in over two years after being named in Windies’ 13-man squad to face England in Barbados. He was was involved in a longstanding dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board but made his return to the white-ball set-up in December and a Test recall has now followed.

However, there is no place for Marlon Samuels, who famously saluted Ben Stokes off the field during England's Test tour of the Caribbean in 2015, while Sunil Ambris and Kieran Powell are dropped for the first Test.

Uncapped batsmen Shamarh Brookes and John Campbell are named in the party, while Oshane Thomas is included as cover for fellow seamer Alzarri Joseph, who is continuing his comeback from a stress fracture of the back.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 16 Jan 2019, 15:45

Jimmy Anderson and Sam Curran both take early wickets at the start of the second and final day of the first tour warm-up match.

WI Presidents XI : 46-5 in reply to 317-10

Interesting selection coming up if Sam Curran impresses as he will almost certainly be competing directly with Stuart Broad for a spot in the first test starting XI.

They will be using Duke balls in this series so the seamers should have a big say in it.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 16 Jan 2019, 20:59

WI Presidents XI 128 all out. (not sure if they batted on after that but they are starting again tomorrow anyway)

So there will be another two day warm up match tomorrow against the same opposition at the same ground with the rules similarly relaxed.

Meanwhile Olly Stone has pulled out of the tour after a scan revealed he has a stress fracture of the lower back. England confirmed that a replacement for Ollie will be named in due course.
Last edited by liquidfootball2 on 16 Jan 2019, 22:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 16 Jan 2019, 21:51

Stuart Broad claimed a hat trick as the WI Presidents XI batted on to finish on 203-19, Anderson took 4-12, Root took 3 and there were two apiece for Ali, Curran and Woakes.

Final score card

England : 317-10
WI Presidents XI : 203-19

Match drawn

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 17 Jan 2019, 13:34

England's second warm up match starts in about half an hour, same opposition, same relaxed rules, and probably the same or a very similarly farcical scenario.

For all the obvious qualifications that need to be applied, this opposition contained six men with Test experience and one more, in John Campbell, who will make his debut next week. So to reduce them to 203 for 19 - yes, you really do have to be sceptical about these statistics - represents a fine effort from an admirably ruthless England. The sad news about Olly Stone's stress fracture apart, they will have been delighted by this first match.

That odd-looking scorecard is testament to a couple of other things, too. Firstly, this was a dreadful pitch and there was some painfully loose batting but neither the pace nor the bounce were even and no batsman, with the exception of Joe Root, looked comfortable upon it.

Broad looked in good rhythm using his new, shorter run-up, and found movement away from the right-handers on a good length, his headline grabbing hat-trick, even if of dubious worth, will give him the confidence that his new shortened run-up is working.

Anderson was the pick of England's seamers. Generating decent pace and movement, he claimed 4 for 12 - all four top-order batsmen - in 11 immaculate overs.

How relevant Sam Curran sharing the new ball with him was remains to be seen. But Curran, preferred to Broad as Anderson's opening partner by virtue of his ability to swing that new ball, also claimed two wickets in his first spell, including a beauty to account for Sunil Ambris. This Dukes ball - slightly different to the UK version - appears to stay harder for longer and swing for most of the day. It may be there is no need for Curran to be used so early, although for me only one of Curran or Broad will start the test.

Moeen was probably the pick of the spinners. He finished with two wickets, while Jack Leach managed just one and was the only bowler to concede anywhere near four an over. It may well be revealing that he will not play in the second warm-up match. Adil Rashid is looking more and more a heavy favourite to oust Leach from the starting line up, but we'll see how he shapes tomorrow.

Adil Rahid, Joe Denly and Jos Buttler all come into the side for today's game, with Joe Root - who has a heavy cold - and Anderson also sitting out. England will bat first today.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 17 Jan 2019, 16:53

The ECB have confirmed that Mark Wood has been called up to replace Olly Stone in England's squad for the forthcoming series in the Caribbean.

In the second practice match, Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow have taken their bowling attack apart after Keaton Jennings fell early on.

137-1 off 26 overs at lunch

They'll bat all day regardless of the score but Burns (62*) and Bairstow (50*) are looking in good touch ahead of next week's first test.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jennings came in again if they get through to a second new ball, and that being whatever the score and even if it takes one of the batters to retire out.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 17 Jan 2019, 21:47

England eventually 379 all out off 86.4 overs from 228-6 after a cluster of wickets fell mid innings on a substandard pitch.

Bairstow 98, Burns 68, Rashid 48, Curran 47 and Woakes 43 (Stokes didn't bat)

Failures for Buttler, Ali and Denly to add to Jennings' earlier dismissal but a good total considering the poor surface.

Although batting very much his second string that innings will do Adil Rashid no harm at all in his battle with Jack Leach. He'll have an opportunity to press his claims again tomorrow with the ball.

England set to bowl all day tomorrow whatever the score.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 17 Jan 2019, 22:14

The one and probably only worry for England appears to be one the openers, Rory Burns impressed and looks to be coming good but this was Keaton Jennings second failure, lbw half forward to an inswinger, a recurring mode of dismissal for him. He has floundered against seam for some time now and rather like Gary Ballance of old, just doesn't get a big enough forward stride in but instead goes half forward or just plays from the crease with the bat hanging.

It is not as if England have a plausible Plan B if another partner is required for Rory Burns, who did not convert his start into a first hundred for England, but otherwise batted satisfactorily for 68, before being stumped. Joe Denly’s first innings in the West Indies, like his two in the warm-ups in Sri Lanka, suggested he is too loose in shot-selection to be a Test opener.

Denly’s innings of 12 was the sketchiest of the day, not hit-and-miss, but miss-and-hit. He went for a big cover-drive to his first ball – when Miguel Cummins was putting in a decent spell – then cover-drove the second, which was a half-volley, for four. Denly aimed three more cover-drives off successive balls from Reifer, nailing the second, missing the first and third. He thought of hitting his first ball after tea through point and dragged on.

Surely an opportunity was missed in not taking Jason Roy for Denly, I remain of the opinion it'll be Burns and Roy opening in the Ashes

At least Jonny Bairstow came good by scoring 98 off only 112 balls in his new position of No 3, getting to know Burns in a stand of 118.

Just a thought, Bairstow opens and let's Curran and Broad both play, but it would be moving and therefore disrupting Jonny once again just as he was used to three and Joe Root won't bat at three, so a non starter or at least highly unlikely.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 18 Jan 2019, 21:13

WI Presidents XI 233-11 in reply to England's 379-10

Chris Woakes joined the England party and has put his own hand up for a test place next week, what a fiendishly difficult magician's trick is needed as the selectors try and squeeze 13 or 14 good candidates into the eleven to start.

He was an unused member of the England squad that whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in November but is pushing for inclusion for the first Test against the West Indies in Barbados after impressing with bat and ball in both practice games.

The seamer - seemingly behind Stuart Broad and Sam Curran in the pecking order - bagged two wickets and scored an unbeaten 39 in England's first outing against the President's XI earlier this week, and then followed an innings of 43 on Thursday with 3-31 on Friday, including top-scorer Sunil Ambris for 94, as the hosts made 233-11.

Broad and Adil Rashid took two wickets - Broad striking from the first ball of the day - with Curran, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Joe Denly picking up one each at Three Ws Oval in Cave Hill.

Ambris, meanwhile, was dropped by Windies for the first Test against England after struggling for runs during the series defeats in India and Bangladesh prior to Christmas, but gave a reminder of his talents in Cave Hill before he was pinned lbw by Woakes six runs short of a ton.

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Re: Rootin' for Joe etc...

Post by liquidfootball2 » 18 Jan 2019, 22:13

FWIW I think England could well go in with four seamers and just the one spinner after the evidence offered and especially that by the nature of the balls being used in this series.

England have been more than a little surprised by just how prominent the seam carried by this version of the Dukes ball is, the seam staying proud throughout and enabling swing and movement off the wicket which seems to continue for most of the day.

Therefore I suspect their proposed line-up will change to four seamers and only one spinner and may only alter to two spinners if England were to arrive at the Oval on Monday to find it dry and ready to turn, which is unlikely. West Indies have only one specialist spinner in their squad, Jomel Warrican, a tidy left-armer.

Curran’s left-handedness is an advantage on a West Indian island blessed by Trade-Winds. The Barbadian Oval has high stands but still allows the prevailing wind to enter from third man when the bowling is from the pavilion end.

Ideally Curran and Stokes could bowl to the right handers from one end. While the two senior bowlers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad (and Woakes were he to play) share the same end which would be ideally suited to their outswingers, as would Moeen Ali so he can drift his off-spin.

Harnessing the breeze, Moeen Ali this week has bowled more flightily than at any time in his England career, and he dismissed three left-handers in the right sort of ways, caught at slip or stumped – and three of West Indies’ top five batsmen will be left-handed. In case any of their lower-order right-handers hang around, Root has been bowling leg-breaks.

As a batsman Moeen has failed twice as has Keaton Jennings, but Curran is a better bat than Rashid and they should bat all the way to nine and can possibly carry one or two misfiring batsmen. Broad and Anderson are the only real tail enders.

I think Woakes will be unlucky but good to have on standby for injuries and I would make a stab at this line up.

Burns, Jennings, Bairstow, Root, Stokes, Buttler, Ali, Foakes, Curran, Broad, Anderson

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