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2021 - 2022 Ashes

How many years has it been since relying on Anderson and Broad hasn’t been the answer? When they retire it will leave a hole!

Of course Anderson and Broad retirements will leave a hole. Impossible to replace experience just like that. Where are those coming through? Why do the likes of Stone, Wood, Archer et al have almost continual injury problems?

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Because Root can’t manage true quicks. He bowls Archer thirty overs in a test and can’t understand why he gets stress injuries.


I agree. A very fair observation.
I hope Robinson is at least one half of the answer.

Hes not quick though. Reminds me of Angus Fraser a bit.

Maybe Burns needs Christmas at home, with his family.

Perhaps he does but as I quoted earlier in this thread pity the poor guy replacing him (or anyone else). There was a time, if I remember correctly, when some squad players got shunted out to get some game time.

I was thinking of the “but who would you get to replace him” question, and my somewhat laconic reply would be one of the specialist fieldsmen they take round with the squad. Because they wouldn’t miss the runs.

There is no one. We have had a fragile batting line up since the era of Cook, Strauss, Bell, Pietersen.
The issue is one of why can we not produce Test quality batsmen anymore. My suspicion is the ever growing limited overs competitions that are money spinners for players have gained too much emphasis. Frankly, the Mickey Mouse 100 tournament is not helping anyone. It does no more that focus on a shorter attention span.
Technique is everything at test level. If you have a weakness the opposition will soon exploit it and it does not matter how mentally tough you are that weakness will soon become a flaw.
I don’t know what the answer is to our current test match issues. There is, I fear, no short term fix.


The problem is that, aside from test matches (and even then it’s really only the tests in the UK, Australia and India), the longer format games don’t bring in the money. Go to a 4 day county game and count the crowd - in many cases you will actually be able to. There has to be a focus on limited overs games because without them domestic cricket would very quickly become unviable. It might not be your favourite flavour but ‘Mickey Mouse’ cricket is now the lifeblood of the game.

There’s a separate question about how the likes of Australia can produce test batsmen and we can’t. They have a similar balance to strike between the cash generating limited overs formats and loss leading Sheffield Shield, although I suspect the latter is better attended and therefore better funded than the County Championship.

No answers here either, really, but we can’t blame the ECB for the popularity of T20/The Hundred.

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You are 100% correct, the limited overs, in all its forms, has seriously eroded the technique of the batsmen. The ruthless chasing of the £ by the ECB by promoting The Hundred has played it’s part here.

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But if the short form is the problem, why hasn’t that stopped Australia (or indeed India)?

They have Justin Langer as coach.

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I think cricket has changed, and not necessarily for the worse. I think part of the joy some of us find in Test cricket is how esoteric, slow-paced and impenetrable it seems to the uninitiated! This is why it’s relatively unpopular. It is also pleasingly slow-paced and steeped in history, so I love it, but I don’t think the ECB or other organisations, and least of all the players, can be blamed for chasing money, in a short-lived career. Retired county cricketers, who let’s remember earn between £20,000 and £80,000/ year (ok up to £150k-£200k for the very few players at the top of the pile) have to rely on second jobs after their career finishes. The lucky ones are thrown benefit dinners by their counties. Compare this to the millions available in the short formats and they would have to be fanatical about playing long forms of cricket not to be attracted.

Also, with regards technique, there’s always been room for unorthodoxy. It’s mistakes that cost wickets and they can’t be adequately explained by the fact that the shorter formats are now popular. Burns’s dismissals for example haven’t been because he’s played too aggressively, he’s just made mistakes.

Viv Richards, Steve Smith, Shiv Chanderpaul, Marcus Trescothick, Kevin Pietersen. They all had odd techniques, but they rarely miss(ed) in short or long formats, (where applicable!). They’re just better and more consistent than old Burnsy, for whom the bell will surely toll soon.

I love cricket, in all formats. Yes, even the admittedly unsettling and aesthetically nauseating Hundred. Personally, I am happy enough if economics dictate how long it has to be played to be deemed a match, especially as insisting on the primacy of longer formats is clearly a losing battle.


Also, if that’s what it takes, we are surely better off losing! He terrifies me.

There is much to like in this post, however I never thought of Viv Richards as having an unorthodox technique, although like Trescothick and Pietersen he did use amazingly fast hand and eye coordination, but they used it to get out of trouble, but Sir Viv never looked in trouble.

I am not that bothered about the short forms of the game, but I don’t think I would ever go and see one. My father in law stays away on the grounds that they are a bit beery and blokey for his liking. I am not convinced that chasing TV equals more people interested in the game.

And there is a good following for test cricket in the UK, Australia, India, even New Zealand.

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Specifically on Sir Viv, his autobiography was aptly titled “hitting across the line”. He innovated by doing just that, when it was all but taboo. He was also into playing front foot pull shots before it was cool.

Also, he chewed gum on the pitch! Innovator extraordinaire.


I hope you’re right about the ongoing popularity of test cricket. I think you probably are. We are talking about it on here after all and there isn’t a Hundred thread discussing all of the crisp-based teams.

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Perhaps we can all agree that in all senses, KP is nuts?

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Not sure I agree with much of what you say.
Cricket has not fundamentally changed. It is still the same 22 yards, scoring system, number of players etc… It may have invented different methods of avoiding a draw and clothing may be different colours but most of the rules have been the same for the last 100 years.
When watching test cricket I like most others, am riveted on what is happening on the pitch, I am not thinking of other people’s thoughts and from the roaring crowd at the scoring of a 4 or 6 or the fall of a wicket, I don’t think they are either.
I am not clear on why you say that test cricket is “relatively unpopular”? relative to what? The slow pace builds a tension that can result in a gloriously savage intensity. Take Headingley 2019, the 2005 Ashes as a whole. The 2009 series, all build up to an engrossing match that fill grounds.
I don’t blame players for wanting to earn a decent living, but the points you make about earnings apply in any sport. How do Championship, League 1 and 2 football payers survive after retirement?
With regards to your second paragraph the issue is why did Burns (et al) make the mistakes they did.
With respect to the techniques of Richards and those you mention. They may have mannerisms but their basic technique of classic batting was the same.
I despise the 100. It is a gimmick that players have been sucked into. If you consider the women’s 100 it is a disaster. Women’s cricket needs to improve dramatically. The players will only get better if they have better coaching and play at high intensity. Some of those girls in the 100 were unfit to the point of obesity. Much of the the bowling is poor, the fielding weak. OK The England ladies and Australian girls are mostly fitter, faster and can throw properly. But on the whole the 100 has not improved the women’s game. As for the men it is just a flat track slog fest.
The 5 day test format is not a losing battle. The problem is that the ECB fail to understand the preparation that is needed to produce a squad that can compete technically with the top opposition.

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