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THE RED ROOSTER

England v New Zealand - The Cricket Thread

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Theres a break in the clouds and its time for the sound of leather upon willow and the start of the International Cricket season between two evenly matched sides.

 

Conditions in the UK most resemble those found in NZ and the batting line up of Kenny's boy Hamish Rutherford, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Brendan McCullum hold no fear of the swinging ball, which should favour an attack of Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee. Englands 12 for this test will probably see the omission of Bresnan though its should be Broad

 

There's a few things to wonder about in this series:

 

You wonder if :England have learned to pitch the ball up to Brendan NcCullum and not bowl short.

You wonder if Dan Vettori's absence fromn this series realy matters that muc,h since Dan was outbowled by Ashley Giles in 2004 and Monty Panesar in 2008. Could this be the turn for Bruce Martin and has Graham Swann's shoulder reasly recovered from surgery.

You wonder if,and it's a big if, Englands front four get to tea no more than two down whether a combination of Cook, Compton, Trott and Bell really can press home the advantage..

You wonder if someone will shout out "get Rooted" when young Joe comes toi the crease.

You wonder if the Kiwis failure to knock over the last six England wickets on that final day in Auckland leaves any mental scarring.

 

Black days for the Black Caps or Black Armbands all round at the ECB ?

 

First Test to be drawn due to weather intervening but then...

 

 

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Someone should tell the English media that this isn't a 'warm up' for the Ashes.

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After the last series in NZ, when most of the action happened in the wee small hours, it'll be nice to be able to follow this series and see terrestrial highlights when I get home.

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That has got to be the most soul destroyingly slow and boring two hours of cricket that I've ever seen.  I know the tactics of the game are completely different to the faster formats but a run rate of under 2 is just abysmal.  Is the aim of England's batting to bore the NZ team into falling asleep, it's working for me....

 

If it were a union game then the commentators would be going on about the subtleties and nuances of the game that make it so interesting.  Highlights would be restricted to penalty kicks.

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The commentators have just mentioned that the first innings average test scoring rate since 2000 at Lords is 3.41.  England are shuffling away at 2.08.  Just hit the bloody thing!

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105-2 after 50 overs.  I don't think I've ever seen a team bat for a draw on the first day of a test match.

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Even Boycott is saying the batting's too conservative. :O

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Well done to Bell and Root for stopping the rash batting and ensuring the run rate goes back below 2.

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You'd struggle to think that England were number 2 in the international rankings and NZ 8.


Maybe the last 3 bowlers can show the front line batsmen what to do when batting.

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England 232 all out, but Jimmy Anderson's taken a wicket in the first over.

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300 test wickets for Anderson. Good effort that.

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Quite amazing to think that Jimmy is only the 4th Englishman to get 300 wickets, and will probably be our second greatest ever wicket taker by the end of the summer.

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Not looking good for England bowling way too short. Amazing how the relaid turf at Lords is cited as the reason why England hit so few boundaries. Obviously no-one told Ross Taylor that. Would not want to be sitting in the front rows square of the wicket tomorrow morning when England bowl short to Brendan McCullum. As they say in the trenches "incoming" ! ....

 

England are living to regret Broad's inclusion at Bresnan's expense .. and perplexed as to why Cook has not given Joe Root's offspin an exploratory over or two considering Swann is getting prodigious turn on day 2.

 

Good job rain is forecast for Sunday and Monday.

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Dear oh Dear, No rain today, England at least 50 short of a defendable score with New Zealand unlikely to bat as badly again. It seems like the "pre-ashes warm up" is not going according to plan.

Gobsmacked that the fourth estate still thinks England are favourites because with a 250 target you only need two batters to get in to achieve that total. Its all up to the bowlers again and will Anderson and Swann be more supported by Broad and Finn than in the first dig.

One ray of sunshine for England is Joe Root. As with Australians when I get Yorkies telling me how great someone is I take it with a truckload of salt, but based on what I saw in Napier and Auckland and in this Test match this is a fine young prospect that at 22 is only going to get better and is still, given the turn Kane Williamson got, an option as a second spinner.

Still Monday morning headline from the fourth estate is most likely to be Captain Cooked !

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TRR I don't think so now ! I hope you didn't have a bet! At lunch 29/6. I think the target was always defendable, to chase it down would have been the 3rd highest successful chase at Lords. A difficult pitch to get in on.

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Thought eng would defend that , but not that easy.

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England are living to regret Broad's inclusion at Bresnan's expense ..

It's great being wrong sometimes, isn't it? :D

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Rain at Headingley means there probably won't be any play 'til after lunch. Looking on the bright side, the first cake has arrived in the TMS box.

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Much brghter day today, and after batting with the solidity of melting ice cream chasing a modest total at Lords . New Zealand arrive with an unbalanced 4 man seam attack and a part-time off spinner in Kane Williamson with the prospect of calling in Jeetan Patel from Warwickshire which would have strengthened the batting as well as giving more bowling options rejected.

 

With the make up of the side McCullum has no real option but to bowl if winning the toss which kind of makes it a pointless exercise as Cook will prefer to bat though wiser heads might whisper in his ear that if there looks to be a bit of moisture in the wicket and overhead conditions are favourable he should consider doing what NZ least want him to do and bowl.

 

The venerable John Reid was of the view to Murray Deaker pre-the tests down in NZ that Kiwi batting fragility was caused by excessive 50 and 20 over cricket with batters getting out going after the bowling. In reality they have been exposed against the moving ball as pitches in New Zealand are flat these days.. in this respect, the recall of Martin Guptill is long overdue and do not be surprised to see him move up the order

 

But if New Zealand have batting woes, Nick Compton was not viewed as a major loss at Middlesex when he left Lords to go to the flattest track on the County Circuit at Taunton. Stacks of runs for Somerset and on similariliy flat wickets in India and New Zealand meant that his  technical weakness was not exposed until Lords.

 

Someone who showed much better technical skill was Joe Root on who the fourth estate are going overboard with talk of opening the batting and captaining the side.With his brother on the field as a subsitute fielder and dad in the press box at Lords, Roots were sprouting everywhere, yet as every young player in British sport has to realise that when he has a loss of form  the road from penthouse to outhouse is a swift one with the press.

 

Jonny Bairstow also needs a run or two. I am not convinced by him as an Test batter having seen him sorted out by Kemar Roach last summer. Another local in Tim Bresnan contends with Steven Finn for an England place with Broad having taken his wickets for the summer in the last test. Given the emphasis Andy Flower places on loyalty I would not be surprised to see Finny retained.

 

Too much time has already been lost for there to be a positive result unless there is somethinmg in the wicket or bating fragiity continues on both sides. 54 overs are lost from the game already and if you think sides bowl 98 overs in a daye ven with an extra half-hour up to 7.00 added on top of the extra 1/2 hour for the additional 8 hovers the you are optimstic...

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Did we not enforce the follow on so that Compton could have another chance to cement his place in the Ashes team? If so it was a failure - out for 7!

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England's go slow on the second evening gives NZ a chance of a draw if the promised rain turns up on Tuesday. I can understand England batting again and not enforcing the follow on but this is dependent upon scoring enough runs quick enough to give the bowlers at least 4 1/2 session s to bowl the Kiwis out. Theres too much talent in the NZ line up for a third collapse in a row. So England may rue Trotts sonewalling performance which decreased the England run rate just at a time you would have thought it would accelerate, putting pressure on the middle order today to up the tempo.

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I understand the point made by the commentators last night about left handers finding it easier to bat yesterday but the difference between Cook's quite flowing batting and the dross batted by Compton then Trott surely couldn't be solely down to the pitch.  If they're serious about putting up a good score then there was no excuse for no-risk batting by Compton and Trott on what was predicted to be the best weather for batting in the test.  Either hit the bloody ball or get out so someone who will can come in.

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