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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 13 Aug 2013 - 22:01

Surprised to see Smith being considered for dropping.  He seems like a work in progress, but he's shown promise and can bowl on occasion.  Watson, meanwhile, can also do a bit of both (his bowling in particular seems very tight), but I suppose injury is a bigger problem for him.  And Warner...  We'll have to see.

Essentially, it seems to me that there are five decent batsmen in the Australian side (+ Haddin), and probably the same in the English one (+ Broad); with Clarke and Bell being very good (Bell better than Clarke, granted), and Root and Smith being works in progress.  All of them, Bell aside, need to perform with a bit more consistency, although the fact that both sides have some very good bowlers may have overshadowed that; but none are bad.

It's worth looking as well at the toss patterns, and who batted first.  England, England, Australia, England... remove the rain from Old Trafford and you've got the order of wins. Meh Maybe England just got the luck of the draw... or coin.
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Athrun888
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyWed 14 Aug 2013 - 13:08

That pattern is indeed interesting. I guess neither team seems to do well with run chases and are better defending instead.

And to be fair on Warner discipline problems aside he's always been a top class batsman, so I can see why he's safe. Even in the short time he's been back from exile he's shown to still be in the sort of form that kept him in the opener slot for so long. I can see why he's considered safe.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyFri 16 Aug 2013 - 14:09

I've got the scorecard for the England Lions (a.k.a. the England "B team") against Australia- (specifically, minus Clarke, Rogers, Haddin, Harris, Siddle and (oddly) Bird) open in the background.  Can't say that I know many of the English players, but Lees (opener) and Ballance (no. 5) have been tipped for the top, so it's worth keeping an eye on.

It's also amusing to see Ed Cowan down at number 7. Laughing

EDIT: Given how the Lions have manhandled Warner's bowling so far, I'd suggest that Australia keep it to a minimum in the next test. They may want to forget about Agar for now as well.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptySat 17 Aug 2013 - 7:05

Well, this has all gone pretty much as I expected. The current Australian team is very average and they can't chase a total under any circumstance. I hope they aren't this embarrassing back home.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptySat 17 Aug 2013 - 14:57

They're continuing their fine form by throwing wickets down the drain after the English Lions, I'm afraid. Hope they can find some good batting in time for December if not the 21st. Meh 
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyMon 19 Aug 2013 - 16:17

More harsh criticism from an old Australian player, this time it's Kim Hughes having a blast about Watson. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-19/watson-should-be-dropped3a-hughes/4896986?section=sport

He also has a bit of a go at England at the end with this remark.  "England's batting has been poor also. Heaven help us if Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott start to play well."  Spot on, if that happens we're looking at 400+ first Innings totals from England on an average, and our current team can't even get 299 measly runs after having over a third of them earned by the openers.  

While his remarks are rather harsh I honestly find myself agreeing with it a decent amount.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyMon 19 Aug 2013 - 17:26

What this chap is suggesting that nobody else has is alternatives.  It's all very well rubbishing Khawaja, but if there's nobody better... Who would your line-up be in the final test then, Athrun?  (Or anyone else who might be paying attention: Oldschool?)
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 20 Aug 2013 - 0:02

Balladeer wrote:
What this chap is suggesting that nobody else has is alternatives.  It's all very well rubbishing Khawaja, but if there's nobody better...  Who would your line-up be in the final test then, Athrun?  (Or anyone else who might be paying attention: Oldschool?)
I am not paying enough attenttion to give a proper analysis. Mine are cursory observations. Our team is so average that I lost interest years ago. Call me when the pain is over Pale 
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 20 Aug 2013 - 10:39

Alas I also don't really know about the pool of batsmen outside those who've previously been in the team, so my fifth test team would largely be the same team used in the fourth test as far as batting is concerned. Despite how much I've voiced my discontent with him I would consider popping Cowan back in to replace Khawaja for the fifth test though. But that would be largely my only change, for this test at any rate.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 20 Aug 2013 - 10:56

I might have tried Hughes over Khawaja, and Stork - sorry, Starc over Bird. But that's just me.

Couple of good headlines: "Broad Defends Decision Not to Walk" vs. "England Villain Fires Broadside at Aussies". Guess which one's the Australian headline. Wink Seriously though, he comes across as a bit of a berk from either article.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 20 Aug 2013 - 11:11

I actually like it when a player has a bit of an attitude. It makes them a fun personality to watch, and can spice things up a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 20 Aug 2013 - 14:52

Faulkner over Khawaja, eh?  Well, I was 50% right, but...  eh, I suppose he did okay in the Lions game.

EDIT: First day of the last test, and "Boof" is already stirring things up, harking back to Broad's non-walking.  Seems a bit unfair (dare I say "desperate"?) at this stage, given that the England team have been pretty good at walking since then.  Anyway, the only appropriate response from Broad is two half-centuries and two five-wicket hauls. Wink

EDITEDIT: Two un-tested (ha!) players on the England team?  One will obviously be subbing in for Big Bres, but the other?  Chris Woakes is an all-rounder: have England finally got fed up with Jonny Bairstow?  I'd have thought that this relatively unpressured last test would be a fine occasion to give the underperforming number 6 a last chance...

...nope, he's out of there.  Australia have won the toss, so it's time to see whether the coin has indeed been the defining aspect of this series (as mentioned at the top of the page).

THREDIT: And there goes Warner! Dance Good start, Anderson making a good case for his continued inclusion.

FOURTH EDIT: Shocked Wow, I'm glad the Ashes are won, because Woakes and (especially) Kerrigan are handing out free runs.  England have three great bowlers at the moment, and two liabilities.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyWed 21 Aug 2013 - 13:27

I see by the scoreline it's been a great start for Australia. That said, it's still only that, a start. I won't be celebrating until I see a much higher score from them, because after the farce that was last innings celebrating over one partnership when the rest of the team can just fall through would be silly of me.

Nice to see Watson finally step up to the plate though, great work from him so far, seeing an opportunity to score runs and then taking it is a vital skill to have and it's good to see him showing it off.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyWed 21 Aug 2013 - 13:56

Thank goodness, another one down.  I'll save my celebrations for the collapse, though.

EDIT: Just Clark doesn't count.  Good play from LBWatson: maybe he'll lose that nickname now (which I just made up).
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyWed 21 Aug 2013 - 18:09

I take a break from Tales of Graces f just in time to see Watson finally bite the dust.  I suspect the total he got is going to shut up his critics (including me) for a while.  I was busy but it's very clear from his score he did an amazing job out there.  And speaking of amazing jobs the catch taken was excellent as well.  

And speaking of amazing jobs, Smith is starting to prove himself as well, very nice score he's got so far.  Two overs to go, can England get Siddle out?  I personally suspect they won't, Siddle can bat after all so I wouldn't be surprised to see him last.

EDIT: End of play 307 for 4 wickets. Siddle did as predicted and survived the day, making 18 runs from 15 balls.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyWed 21 Aug 2013 - 19:23

Well, that was a day and a half.  Definitely Australia's day and a half, mind, but it's hard to know whether that's because they won the toss, or because England are trying out their new bowlers, or because Watson has finally found some form.  Who can say.  Australia still have some competent men in reserve, but Jimmy, Graeme and Stu (not our admin. Stu) should be able to do a number on them, with a little support from Woakes.  I think Woakes did a pretty tight job for a newly capped all-rounder.  He bowled some decent overs, and had a close shot at LBW-ing Watto as well.

Poor old Simon Kerrigan, though.  Evidently stressed beyond belief, to come into the attack just as Shane Watson is finding his form is plain unfortunate.  I'd guess (especially from his lacklustre Lions performance) that he's outclassed as well, but it's sad that he's had an attack of the jitters to compound things.

EDIT: Second time the rain has seriously intervened this series, and again it's when England are in trouble: has Geoffrey Boycott got his hands on a weather machine?

...this is dull.  Who wants to play a game?  Give your Ashes composite XI, including batting order and captaincy.  Most of the BBC-suggested ones are variations on a theme, but then they're all British.  Mine is similar again:

Spoiler:
 

EDITEDIT: I'm almost regretting my number 3 now. It's sad, that I feel like I ought to congratulate England's openers for staying in until stumps. Aww! 
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptySun 25 Aug 2013 - 19:44

Double post, sorry. What has been a thrilling final day for the Ashes, with England requiring 21 off 24 balls to win, is called off due to bad light. What could have been England's first 4-0 goes down the pan due to ICC regulations being moronic. A change in the state of affairs is coming, I suspect.

And while I'm at it, why can't they play cricket indoors? When stadia nowadays frequently have retractable roofs, what's the issue with that? This series could have been a much more interesting 4-1.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 17 Sep 2013 - 10:00

Triple post.  Are you sulking, Athrun? Very Happy Not that you should be: claims that Australia's performance in tests has been sacrificed for ODIs seem to have been well-founded. Of course, it's not like any proper cricket fan cares about ODIs anyway, but Watto must be happy.

I've been more interested in the Pakistan v Zimbabwe series, to tell the truth. For a side who barely play tests and are near the bottom of the ranking, Zimbabwe played well! They fought hard in the first match before a last-innings collapse, and won the second. We could always do with more test-playing countries, although I understand that Zimbabwe has a heck of a lot of other issues to solve first.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyTue 17 Sep 2013 - 18:15

Oh, I'd actually simply forgotten about it since a large chunk of the ashes were basically interrupted by rain. Nah nah!  Nice to hear Zimbabwe is starting to do well, it would be nice to have another country that plays good cricket.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyWed 18 Sep 2013 - 14:15

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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyWed 18 Sep 2013 - 14:20

Great news for the game as a whole, hopefully this sees dud decisions reduced significantly. I'm especially glad to see training for the reviewer is going to take place, that should put a stop to a lot of the duds.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptyMon 23 Sep 2013 - 13:06

England have announced their Ashes 2013-14 squad:

Spoiler:
 

Asterisks denote those who were always dead certainties.  Bairstow and Finn were never in any real doubt; nor were Rankin or Stokes, after their ODI performances.  Panesar was in doubt only because of his tendency to pee on people: Kerrigan's performance in the last Ashes test shows how few other spin options England have.

That leaves a few surprises.  Tremlett's form has (so I hear) not been great, so on-form Graham Onions is probably crying (ha!); Carberry performed questionably in his one previous test, but I guess England wanted to flash a v-sign at poor old Nick Compton; and Ballance is a complete unknown in tests.  Done well at county and Lions level though, and he can't be worse than Bairstow, can he?

Balladeer's Cricket Analysis brought to you by reading too many BBC and ESPN cricket articles.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptySat 2 Nov 2013 - 17:20

BUMP!  We're three days into the second Ashes season next year, having polished off England's first warm-up match, in which basically everyone who wasn't a dead cert for the side anyway was rubbish.  The exception being one-test wonder Michael Carberry.  Bowling was rubbish apart from Jimmy, batting was rubbish apart from Trott, Bell and Carbs (Trott at least will be happy), and fielding contained two dropped catches.

The most ironic bit?  Gary Ballance played a second-string Australia side as a member of the English Lions earlier this year, and scored a century.  He goes into this warm-up match against a second-string West Australian side, and gets out for a golden duck! Laughing / Duh!
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptySat 2 Nov 2013 - 18:04

I haven't really been paying attention to the news lately so i just looked up the match in question and I have to say it's not all that flattering.  This bit is what got me: England were cruising at 2 for 330 when Bell retired in order to give his teammates some time in the middle.

His departure sparked a collapse of 7 for 61 as England were bowled out for 391 in reply to the WA side's 5 for 451 declared.


That reminds me of that match in England when Rogers and Warner got a ton of runs and then the rest of the batting order fell to pieces in embarrassing fashion.  Either way a good result for Australia A and a not so good result for England.  But to be fair to them they hadn't brought some of their stars with them so there's every chance they can pick things up.  

Source
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home)   General Cricket Thread (It's Come Home) - Page 11 EmptySat 2 Nov 2013 - 18:22

Yup, that pretty much summarises the affair. Trott and Bell no doubt facepalming from the stands. Doesn't look like Prior's really improved over the interval either.
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