I always say its the hope that kills you…
Q: what do cricket and skittles have in common?
??? No idea!
Stokes WAS rubbish on Thursday. Believe me, I was watching him bowling pointless short crap on a slow pitch that was easy to play. I counted how many balls it was before he got anyone to play forward…gave up after 20 odd.
His bowling has gone backwards which is why I was so concerned when Anderson broke down. Aussie attack just looked better…all round. They batted badly first time round, save Smith and Siddle. Second time round was a different story. I struggle to see where England go from here.
Don’t get me started on Roy’s shot either in second innings…Boycott was nearly on the defibrillator I think.
As a Stokes by marriage and a Cumbrian by birth I feel embarrassed. I didn’t see the lowlights of the final day but chortled at your description of Boycs
First day was ok apart from Stokes’ bowling. The final day were indeed lowlights. Boycott was,probably for the first time in his adult life, speechless…only temporarily though.
What changes would you make for the next test? Anderson out and Jofra in, Moeen out and Leach in… Any others?
Steve Smith out and…
Not sure that Leach will be that effective at Lords.
Batting was ultimately just as big a problem. Back in the not so distant day, there was a batting order of Strauss, Cook, Trott, Bell and Pietersen which one could plausibly expect to bat all day in decent conditions against almost all attacks. Root was of the same mould, and Burns has perhaps given himself the confidence to do it, but I’m not sure about the others. Nor am I sure about who might do better.
I think England should feel mildly confident about the rest of this series. Smith won’t continue to save Australia every time (although I hope he does!)
Take Smith out and it is a very brittle batting line up.
I wonder if Starc will get a bowl at Lords? Harsh to drop any of the bowlers based on the recent performance. Could only be Siddle or Pattinson as the option to go out of the side.
Siddle bowled pretty well, but I’d bring Starc in for him without hesitation. I know he’s not been at his best in tests lately, but I think he’s just too good to leave out.
At the start of the series I thought that both sides had pretty average to poor batting line ups and decent bowling attacks. I have seen little to change my mind except that if Anderson and Archer were missing, England’s attack is definitely second best.
Without those two, England have an attack good enough to reduce Australia to 122-8, but not good enough to finish them off!
Another slightly frustrating day yesterday. I’m not generally too reactionary about selection but I feel like it might be time to end the Jason Roy as test opener experiment at this point. I wouldn’t write him off as a test batsman altogether, as I feel he could end up being effective in the middle order, but he just can’t leave the ball which is such a fundamental skill for an opener.
Decent looking knocks from Burns, Bairstow, Woakes and Denly - particularly good to see Bairstow looking fairly comfortable and confident at the crease again, and I really hope yesterday wasn’t just a blip - but it was a shame that none of them were able to build on good starts. We do seem to have a lot of our batting lineup showing a lack of form at the moment - Roy, Root, Buttler, Bairstow are all looking decidedly shaky. I suspect the weather will bail us out in this test, but the signs are not good for the rest of the series.
Test cricket seems to have lost the ability to bat “time”. Apart from Cook and Trott in recent years no one else in the England set up seems able to leave the ball alone and not feel compelled to have a waft at it as it passes by. Test cricket isn’t about scoring quick runs, it is about building a total that can give the bowlers a chance. England’s middle order is too one dimensional, as much as I rate them in the limited overs stuff. Pretty 30s, 40s etc do not win test matches, never have, never will.
I don’t have sky but caught some of yesterdays play whilst in the gym…totally agree, they were trying to play everything. I coach (possibly overstating the reality!) U9s at my local club and even our kids would have left some of those balls alone and they are playing limited overs
Bancroft and Khawaja are judging the England bowling beautifully this morning. Only hitting the bad balls, leaving as much as possible, and when in doubt playing with soft hands. The ball’s doing a bit but we’re getting very few chances.
Spoke too soon! Cracking delivery from Archer.
England eventually got it together after bowling too short and wide for nearly an hour…however the West of Scotland weather seems to have reached London now…
Our own club ground here flooded on Monday when the nearby river burst its banks. Happens occasionally in December/January, but August?? Drainage is great fortunately, and things were looking ok for tomorrow until we had more heavy rain last night, then a thundery monsoon at 7pm tonight…not confident now as groundsman…
Naturally yesterday was the first day of the series that I couldn’t stay plugged in to the action… I was out for the entire afternoon session but watched the highlights late last night. I can’t think of a better test innings than Stokes’s yesterday. To have been so measured and patient for the first 100 balls and then explode with such a dominant attacking display when needed was just amazing.
Far from a great team performance, and there are still some significant concerns heading to Old Trafford, but momentum can be a powerful thing and it is definitely with us now.