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2021 - 2022 Ashes

Not much to add really, except that I think it’s unfortunate that three key players [Stokes, Bairstow and Buttler] seemed to me to be clearly way out-of-form / injured / knackered, and unable to contribute much, right when we needed their talents most.

But I’d agree there’s a systemic problem that probably goes beyond individual failings etc.

My main question is simply why do other countries seem to have their Test cricket thriving despite the other forms of cricket - perhaps even in fact because of the other forms of cricket - while England seem to be falling to pieces?

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Your question is a very good one, but hard to answer. I have a view that we still have a practice in this country of appointing what i call “the great and the good” to management positions on governing boards who have little or no expertise in the area concerned. I dealt in my own career with three sporting governing bodies in the UK and found them to be self serving, badly run and hid behind a lack of accountability.
In cricket there has been a failure to manage difficult talented players. Vaughan knew and understood Pietersen. Strauss did not. Pietersen had a huge ego, but that is what was a key part of making him great. But he was fanatically dedicated to success. I believe that he and Vaughan together would have a very positive impact. I don’t care a jot as to whether is is a nice guy or not. But he had a winning mentality. That is what matters.

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Really interesting and impassioned comments all round.

There are a lot of different factors at play, from the available talent to coach and team selection, as has already been said. I do think one other important point is that there are intangible things that happen in sport which can be hard to fully explain. Unlikely things can and do happen, and they can compound, which is part of the excitement. Lady Luck would be a good choice for a new opener, but I understand that she’s concentrating on the Hundred at the moment anyway.

Slightly separately, I wonder what really motivates those at the ECB who make important decisions and can’t help think of the corruption at FIFA!

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Wilfred Rhodes and Bobby Abel would be better than the current lot!

Speaking as a Gloucestershireman myself, what England need is a Zaheer Abbas & Sadiq Mohammad opening pairing, for some backbone; impenetrable sometimes and beautiful to watch always.

And a Mike Proctor as Stokes is not what he was…sadly.

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Throw in a Jack Russell too while we’re at it

You might as well add in Courtney Walsh as well! :grinning:

I was just thinking that England could do with some like van der Dussen, trying to grind out a long innings on an uneven pitch.

Then he got a ball from Bumrah that just defied belief - do try and see it if you possibly can.

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Yes, that delivery from Bumrah just kept coming back; extraordinary. Then the last ball yorker to bowl Maharaj was unplayable. Both 140km rockets. Brilliant bowling.

There is an excellent article in today’s Times by Mike Atherton. His analysis of the current situation plus some coherent suggestions for possible improvement are both clear and concise.
there is also an excellent zoom discussion on youtube with Atherton, Rob Key and Nasser Hussein. called “why we lost the Ashes” It is well worth watching.

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Thanks for the tip - interesting but not totally surprising and Rob Keys was totally on the subject.

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Shall I awake at 4.00am tomorrow and turn on TMS?

Not sure what the team will be. Rumours in “The Cricketer” that Burns will return in place of Hameed. (Last Test saloon for our Rory??).

I see on BBC Sport that Root is backing Silverwood to stay on. This seems to me to be rather like General Sheridan still backing Custer to stay on in charge of the 7th Cavalry after the Little Big Horn.

I have faith in Broad, Anderson and Robinson, Root with the bat ( he must now be due for a big score if his form is anything to go by!) I suspect Stokes is unfit.

If we bat first I fear 275 as a maximum.

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Yet again, SA vs India is looking like a cracking finish. Sadly I won’t be able to watch tomorrow.

Yes, at the moment it is odds on SA, but if Bumrah can get those inswing deliveries going it may get tight.

Regularly watch the Brian Close v Michael Holding over. Close was well into his 40’s when he faced Holding in his pomp. Not much protective equipment in those days. John Edrich had the right idea, play him from the non strikers end.

Root is too decent a guy to not show loyalty unfortunately, but Silverwood is toast and should be. Backing him looks about as sensible as giving full support to Bojo right now…

Stokes will not be fit I agree.

Hameed has flattered to deceive; technique looked ok in first Test but lack of foot movement hasn’t helped plus a couple of wicked deliveries (and a couple of poor shots it has to be said too).

I fear for England a couple of years down the road as there is nothing really visible on batting or bowling front which makes me think they will improve.

Not merely toast, but completely oxidised.

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I still think Hameed is the best of a shoogly peg. But then I thought Buttler was bound to do well. Yet another thumbs down for Silverwood from me. I see what you are saying @MarkC about Root being loyal, however I think there comes a point where loyalty looks like foolishness, and Root’s captaincy could do with less of that just now.

Don’t disagree with any of that. I admire but at the same time deprecate Root’s loyalty.

Hameed is no worse than the others, but that bar is far too low at present. There are actually very few world class openers around at present. Elgar has grit, courage and determination. Warner is a fading punk…no real sign of a Greenidge, Haynes, Hayden, Strauss, Smith, Sehwag, Cook though. To name but a few…

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