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England test cricket

Post by liquidfootball2 » 05 Jul 2015, 10:46

Only England would do the opposition a massive favour by playing at Cardiff. They surely should have scheduled a match at Old Trafford or Headingley and have had the opener at Jimmy's favourite Trent Bridge or a ground where we've done well in the recent past like Edgbaston. It seems just financial reasons and primarily the object of trying to keep Sofia Gardens as a test ground when it should have stayed as a county ground, that have been given undue importance.

It's hard to imagine Australia deciding to give up fortress Brisbane and start at Hobart instead.

Therefore the choice of Cardiff for the first Ashes Test this summer makes things unnecessarily difficult early on for England

Where there is not a will, there is not a way – and because winning this Ashes series was not the top priority of the England and Wales Cricket Board when they planned it, England’s cricketers will surely not do so.

James Anderson is England’s match-winner. If you want to win a series, then you start it on a swinging ground, preferably Trent Bridge, where Anderson took ten wickets and squeezed England home by 14 runs in the opening Test of the last home Ashes series.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricke ... -foot.html
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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by forestfan » 05 Jul 2015, 14:52

Well, the typical weather conditions in south Wales might help the English cause... the choice and order of venues is unlikely to be the decisive factor though.

The loss of Harris is a blow for the Aussies, as he was their man to keep it tight with the new ball. If the two Mitchells struggle for control then there's a chance for our batting line-up to put pressure on them. Realistically though England need everything to go right, and to channel some of the energy of the one-day side and the first Test against New Zealand, to have much of a chance. Negative, cautious cricket will get us nowhere, and while this is a good Australian side it's certainly not the side of Warne, McGrath, Ponting and Gilchrist. They can't afford to be scared of them. All together now - "He bowls to the left..."

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 05 Jul 2015, 18:11

Yes Forestfan i pretty much agree with you, no illusions here and i expect the Aussies to win fairly comfortably perhaps 3-1. All of which means that to me it's a bit of a mystery why we're not trying to maximize any advantage we can.

My biggest worry is the form of Ballance whose technique of going back to the stumps to give himself more time looks to have been found out. I'm just hoping Bell can bring his better county form into the test as he's another on an abysmal run, and to have three and four so vulnerable following a virtual rookie opener isn't good at all.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Maldini » 05 Jul 2015, 18:39

I think it's a touch premature to say Ballance has been found out :lol:

Leave the knee jerky nonsense to the footy threads please. :wink:

He had a poor series against New Zealand and particularly Trent Boult (he isn't alone there) but you seem to have forgotten the previous series against the West Indies. He was one of the stand out batsmen with scores of 122, 77 and 81no and still averages over 52 in Tests.

Personally, I think the series boils down to how well Anderson and Broad bowl. If they bowl as well as they can then we have a squeak as the Aussie batting isn't as formidable as it once was. Only Steve Smith appears to be in real form and his unorthodox technique could be exposed if the groundsmen actually prepare pitches that favour our attack rather than the ECB bank balance. :roll:

Saying that, I think the Aussies will sneak it 2-1.

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Re: RE: Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 05 Jul 2015, 21:06

Maldini wrote:I think it's a touch premature to say Ballance has been found out :lol:

Leave the knee jerky nonsense to the footy threads please. :wink:

He had a poor series against New Zealand and particularly Trent Boult (he isn't alone there) but you seem to have forgotten the previous series against the West Indies. He was one of the stand out batsmen with scores of 122, 77 and 81no and still averages over 52 in Tests.

Personally, I think the series boils down to how well Anderson and Broad bowl. If they bowl as well as they can then we have a squeak as the Aussie batting isn't as formidable as it once was. Only Steve Smith appears to be in real form and his unorthodox technique could be exposed if the groundsmen actually prepare pitches that favour our attack rather than the ECB bank balance. :roll:

Saying that, I think the Aussies will sneak it 2-1.
Hmm, i hope it is found to be a little premature and would really like to see him prove me and the doubters wrong. I suppose with bowlers now moving the ball away from him and not trying for lbw as previously, the technique that made him plenty last year and against the Windies is coming under closer scrutiny.

It happens to all batsmen that bowlers will work on any perceived weakness and recently he has tried to push forward a bit more (though often without the corresponding foot movement just the bat) but with little success.

Unfortunately his few excursions back to county cricket where it was hoped he may rediscover confidence and form haven't resulted in anything better (unlike Bell), and so he inevitably finds himself in the firing line.

Both New Zealand and especially Australia have far better seam attacks than India or West Indies and if he's now finding county attacks tough going then it's not looking too bright.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Spinynorman » 05 Jul 2015, 21:37

However it goes it should be great to watch. :)

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Stower79 » 06 Jul 2015, 06:07

I think there are a lot of question marks for both England and Australia.

From an England perspective, I think Cook may well be in the 'last chance saloon' in terms of his captaincy of the team. Like many, I have never been convinced that he is either a natural leader or a good tactician. He is certainly a fantastic batsman and has proven his battling qualities with all that has gone on over the last couple of years. But my gut feeling is that 'New England' will be looking to go in a different direction with a more attacking style in the Test match format (as well as the shorter game) and Cook does not strike me as the man to lead that revolution. Someone like Root is surely next in line. I think a series defeat would spell the end for Captain Cook, as captain.

Cook's partner at the top of the order is still not set in stone. Lyth will start the series as the incumbent, and rightfully so after his century at Leeds. But he is still very much an unknown quantity on the international stage and there are many others lining up behind him waiting for a crack.

However, in terms of batting numbers 3,4 and 5 are the main concern for me. Root is clearly locked-in, being one of the best batsmen in world cricket right now. But what position should he bat? My feeling is he should be batting at 3 - as he did in the ODI's - for the reasons that not only can he have more influence on the England innings batting in that position, but also that he is a much more of a counter-puncher than Ballance and would take the game to the opposition. Cook, Lyth and Ballance as 1,2 and 3 feels a bit negative and one-paced.

Both Ballance and Bell are probably fighting for their positions in this series. Bell has been very inconsistent of late and seems to have now lost his ODI place for good. If his bad run continues, I can see him losing his Test spot to one of the younger players. Bairstow appears to be knocking on the door, if not banging it down now. The England hierarchy may even want to give Morgan another crack. Ballance really needs to prove he can handle himself against the best bowlers as has been alluded to above. I hope he can. But he had a disastrous World Cup, albeit coming back from injury, and didn't look exhude the same confidence against NZ in comparison to his previous exploits in Test match cricket. Too early to judge him as a long-term proposition, but my feeling is his relatively poor form may continue and if he doesn't get runs in the first test, I wouldn't be surprised to see him taken out the firing line for the time being.

Stokes and Buttler - both young talented cricketers - seem to be both nailed on at 6 and 7 for now and rightfully so. England need to stand by these two and let them flourish. It would be great if Stokes could improve his bowling to develop himself as a genuinely world-class all-rounder.

As for the bowling unit. Well, clearly Jimmy is nailed on and much will depend on him in english conditions. I believe Moeen Ali will start at Cardiff. But he is another who is fighting for his place with Rashid's encouraging performances in county cricket and the recent ODI's. I'd be inclined to give Rashid the nod at Cardiff as I think he is a better bowler and more likely wicket taker.

And I feel that Broad requires a big, big series. England need him to bowl at his best if England are to be successful. I don't think his spot in the team is guaranteed if he has a couple of bad matches. Wood looks to be a real talent and could be star in this series, but is another that needs to prove himself. Long term I think England would really like to get some variety into that attack with a left armer in the Willey or Footitt mould. So Broad and Wood need to be on their game.

I have no doubt that if England have a bad couple of matches early on then we'll see a change in personnel and ultimately a change in captain. Even if England do win the series, Cook's days are probably numbered as captain with the new coach favouring a fresh approach.

The Australian team is not unbeatable by any means. This is not a great Australian team. Sure, there are individuals that are dangerous. Johnson and Starc are clearly the major threats on the bowling side and may well be the difference. The Aussies will miss Harris a lot. Lyon remains to convince as a top class spin bowler. Smith is probably the best batsman in the world at the moment and England need to find a way to get him out. But the batting is not that much stronger than the last time they toured England. Rogers, Voges, Marsh/Watson should really not be feared in english conditions. Warner needs to do his talking on the pitch. Can he prove himself in english conditions? The jury is out for me. Injury-prone Clarke is on his last legs as an Australian batsman (and captain) and Haddin is in a terrible run of form.

Like the last series in England,I feel that the series could be decided by one or two players having an outstanding series. Looking forward to it starting, but a bit apprehensive that England don't really have the right captain and approach to beat the Aussies without making some major changes. Home conditions do give us a shout though.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 06 Jul 2015, 06:32

Very nice summary Stower and it neatly covered three important talking points, Moeen or Rashid, the lack of an attacking batsman in our top three where Hales could be another option and of course the dynamic and intuitive captaincy of Clarke v the more conservative and pragmatic Cook. I too think this could be Cook's last series leading the side even if we do well.

In the away series we often had Australia at about 150 for five and it was their lower order batting that possibly won the series for them or at least was a major contributory factor, and more especially so if linked to the way Mitchell Johnson blew ours away for next to nothing every time. If the two Mitchell's bowl to type and coupled with our recent record of finding the lower order tougher than the batsmen, then this again could prove to be a decisive factor.
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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by forestfan » 06 Jul 2015, 10:01

Not sure about moving Root up to 3, he's been unstoppable at 5 recently, and remember when we put him up to open, he was out of the side by the end of that series. If there's an issue at 3 then Bell as the senior player has to stand up and take responsibility.

A more aggressive approach has been needed for a while but that doesn't mean just picking the one-day team in Tests. Lyth isn't a blocker like some of his predecessors at the top of the order. The top four might not have too many sixes in them, but this is five-day cricket, remember... I'd rather we still had KP but the middle-lower order is now full of game changers. The balance of the side has improved from last time anyway.

Seems like a natural time for Cook to step aside after this series, or he might wait until the winter for the traditional trigger for an England captain's exit, a series with South Africa... but it might still be too soon for Root and there aren't too many other candidates.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Mav3rick » 06 Jul 2015, 14:14

Broad was touted as the next England captain not too long ago. Maybe if he has a good series he could take it on for one ashes cycle to give Root more time to develop.

Maybe cook will surprise everyone and get a bit more aggressive and/or have a good series win.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by forestfan » 06 Jul 2015, 15:48

Broad's too injury prone to be considered, as well as showing little sign of maturing on the field... he lost the T20 captaincy as well recently, which suggests he's becoming someone viewed as more part of the past than the future really.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Stower79 » 07 Jul 2015, 01:46

forestfan wrote:Not sure about moving Root up to 3, he's been unstoppable at 5 recently, and remember when we put him up to open, he was out of the side by the end of that series. If there's an issue at 3 then Bell as the senior player has to stand up and take responsibility.

A more aggressive approach has been needed for a while but that doesn't mean just picking the one-day team in Tests. Lyth isn't a blocker like some of his predecessors at the top of the order. The top four might not have too many sixes in them, but this is five-day cricket, remember... I'd rather we still had KP but the middle-lower order is now full of game changers. The balance of the side has improved from last time anyway.

Seems like a natural time for Cook to step aside after this series, or he might wait until the winter for the traditional trigger for an England captain's exit, a series with South Africa... but it might still be too soon for Root and there aren't too many other candidates.
I understand that view about Root moving to 3. Remember though that he was pushed up to open with Cook very early on in his Test career. And he still scored 180 in one innings against Australia amongst the failures. He was a player still very much finding his way in the team and in Test match cricket. After that series he was pushed down the order to accommodate Carberry and subsequently lost his place at the end of the series down under. But since then his batting has come on leaps and bounds in all formats of the game. He batted 3 for Yorkshire and in the recent ODI series. In recent times he has been coming in at 20-3/30-3 anyway with England on the back foot. With Root at 3 I think it could provide a different dimension to England's batting. My gut feeling is he is a class act and can bat anywhere. And, for me, the higher up the order the better to provide maximum influence. Steve Smith started down the order and is now at 3. England shouldn't be afraid to make this change.

I see your point about Bell. He could do a job at 3, but he has his own form issues at the moment and this could only be a short-term fix. However, we'll see what transpires.

I certainly wouldn't advocate just picking the ODI team for Test matches. As we know, Test match cricket is a different beast. However, it is clear that a more attacking approach is now required. I'm not talking about swashbuckling cricket, sixes, switch hits or ramps like in the T20 or ODI's. But a more aggressive style is required to put the opposition on the back foot. To counter punch. I think this is especially important against the likes of Australia. I agree that we are getting there. Like anything with England it is often evolution rather that revolution. But I'm quite excited about the next few years. I just don't see that Cook is the man to lead that change. Having said that, it is not impossible England could win this series.

It has been good to see the likes of Hales, Roy and Bairstow scoring runs in the County Championship this season to prove they are not just shorter-form prospects. No doubt they'll get a chance for England in the longer format at some stage.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Stower79 » 07 Jul 2015, 01:56

Mav3rick wrote:Broad was touted as the next England captain not too long ago. Maybe if he has a good series he could take it on for one ashes cycle to give Root more time to develop.

Maybe cook will surprise everyone and get a bit more aggressive and/or have a good series win.
I don't see Broad as captaincy material. I think any chance of that has now gone. For me, he needs to concentrate on his own game and to keep his place in the side. He hasn't been bowling particularly well of late and his batting confidence has been shot to bits, although he showed signs of a return to form against NZ.

It is perfectly conceivable England can win the series under Cook. But I doubt we'll see a different style to his captaincy or that he'll be much more aggressive with his batting. And we don't need him to change his batting style. It is perfectly fine for Test match cricket. But can Cook create an environment as captain which allows the players to play with the type of freedom and confidence we saw in the recent ODI series? I think that is what Bayliss and Farbrace will be looking at during the series.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 08 Jul 2015, 15:57

Delighted to see Ballance making hard runs after his recent travails. Root just gets better and better and makes test cricket look so effortless, he has the potential to be one of our really true test greats.

Let's hope Bell can come good as he's a class bat but this run is bringing back memories of his 2005 Ashes and he wants to contribute. I wouldn't drop him but it's getting worrying.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by foxinthebox2001 » 09 Jul 2015, 09:58

Honours even after day 1, despite Bob Willis and Marcus North both claiming their respective teams had a slight advantage on last nights 'the verdict'.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 09 Jul 2015, 19:03

Decent position for England, really bowled better than Australia had done on the first day.

Big day from Moeen, firstly with the bat and then two big wickets. With Australia batting last and with increasingly uneven bounce, reverse swing and possibly some turn (even if slow), any sort of lead could be invaluable.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Mav3rick » 10 Jul 2015, 12:22

Nice bit of new ball bowling from Anderson there - enjoyed watching that.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Spinynorman » 10 Jul 2015, 12:30

It's all looking good.......................at the moment.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Maldini » 10 Jul 2015, 12:37

After how the the first 90 minutes of day one went, it's looking amazing! :)

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 10 Jul 2015, 15:47

149-3 at tea (lead 271)

Just keeps on getting better, and now Bell has joined the party with a timely unbeaten fifty odd. The scoring rate of almost five an over in that session is really moving the game on in a hurry.

There is now sufficient in the wicket to keep the bowlers interested and batting is only going to get harder - great position for England.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by foxinthebox2001 » 10 Jul 2015, 15:57

Looks to be slipping away from the Aussies, their best outcome would be a rain affected draw.
Anything much over 350 to chase, and it could be a whole lot more, would put them out of the game.
The crucial moment will be when Cook declares, if Sunday is doubtful weatherwise, he should give his bowlers 45 minutes before stumps today. Should have a lead of about 380, but has his captaincy changed enough for him to take a risk or two?
The old Cook would bat until lunch tomorrow, and get an unnecessarily big lead.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 10 Jul 2015, 17:43

Maybe no declaration, wickets are falling on this strip mainly through adventurous batting which obviously gives the bowlers every chance

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 10 Jul 2015, 17:48

Aussies back in with a chance
It's a tall order but the Aussies will think they're favourites now.

Mikey Holding fairly spot on with the odds

Eng 5/12, Aus 5/2, draw 30/1

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 11 Jul 2015, 17:15

Simply brilliant, a complete performance. What a bonus Cook's excellent captaincy was, hardly any errors and seemed to get everything right.

All the pre-match questions about Balance, Bell, Moeen and the captaincy have been more than answered and Root just keeps on getting better.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Spinynorman » 11 Jul 2015, 17:21

What a great win. :)

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by Mav3rick » 11 Jul 2015, 17:35

Enjoyed that today, but Australia will come back strong at Lord's.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by liquidfootball2 » 11 Jul 2015, 17:41

Where Watson will be lbw again.

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Re: Ashes first test Cardiff.

Post by foxinthebox2001 » 11 Jul 2015, 18:57

liquidfootball2 wrote:Where Watson will be lbw again.
On current form KP has more chance of playing at Lords than Watson.

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Re: The Ashes

Post by liquidfootball2 » 13 Jul 2015, 10:00

Yes, looks like Watson could be the one to go according to Darren Lehmann.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann says he is prepared to make changes for the second Ashes Test, amid speculation all-rounder Shane Watson is set to be dropped.

England won the series opener by a crushing 169 runs with more than a day to spare in Cardiff and, with the tourists needing middle-order assistance in both innings, Watson was dismissed twice in familiar fashion, LBW in both innings for modest scores of 30 and 19.

Watson has now fallen LBW 39 times during a 59-Test career repeatedly blighted by injuries, and has only passed 50 twice in his last 16 innings

With fellow seam-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, 11 years Watson's junior, waiting in the wings Australia do have a ready-made alternative and Lehmann indicated it was one the tourists were considering deploying when the second Test starts on Thursday at Lord's.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-1 ... nn/6614156

Well at least Watto's given us two new definitions for commonly used cricket terms:-

lbw - leg before Watson

DRS - don't review Shane

Object of the day in one of the papers:-

The new Shane Watson bat - basically a picture of a pad with a bat handle on it

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Re: The Ashes

Post by foxinthebox2001 » 13 Jul 2015, 12:14

I just wonder. if Haddin had held that Joe Root dolly catch....
It all seemed to go Englands way, wickets falling just as a partnership was building, wickets falling at crucial moments, just before the new ball, just before the end of sessions.
And I agree with Lord Boycott, take nothing away from England but Australia looked as if they believed they only needed to turn up.
So many got up to 30 then played a daft shot, add that to underestimating Moeen, ok he is no Warne or even Swann but he deserves a bit more respect than the Aussies where offering.
If the pitch is a bit bouncier/quicker their bowlers may have more influence, but only if they have learnt to keep the ball pitched up on a good length.
Taken a gamble on the weather this week, got a ticket for day 5. but if it stays fine it will probably be done and dusted inside 4 again.

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