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Futtocks

The Ashes... again!

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One thing England have often done since I started watching test matches in 1974 is let teams off of the hook such that momemtum changes. Recently we have had Australia in the 200s for 5 or 6. Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle and Agar in the summer have all had momentum changing innings in the last 2 series.

I remember in the West Indies hay day England once a series would have them reeling Richards, Haynes, Greenidge and Lloyd would be back in the hutch and you think at last we've got em only fir Dujon to make a hundred with Gomes or Marshall supporting.

I temember a one day game at Old Trafford in 84. We had Windies 70 odd fir 7 after about 30 overs only for Richards and Holding to add an unbeaten 200 for the tenth wicket.

In Australia's hay day we'd occasionally have them 100 for plenty then Warne or Healy would weigh in to double the total. It's so frustrating fir me to see us having teams by the shirt and curlies only to let them off the hook.

We never seem to have the same tail wagability.

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140 odd for 5 to 320 odd for 6. Let them off the hook again. Onto 400 tomorrow I imagine.

 

On current form we'll struggle to make anywhere near that and have to bat last............unless we're following on. :(

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One thing England have often done since I started watching test matches in 1974 is let teams off of the hook such that momemtum changes. Recently we have had Australia in the 200s for 5 or 6. Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle and Agar in the summer have all had momentum changing innings in the last 2 series.

I remember in the West Indies hay day England once a series would have them reeling Richards, Haynes, Greenidge and Lloyd would be back in the hutch and you think at last we've got em only fir Dujon to make a hundred with Gomes or Marshall supporting.

I temember a one day game at Old Trafford in 84. We had Windies 70 odd fir 7 after about 30 overs only for Richards and Holding to add an unbeaten 200 for the tenth wicket.

In Australia's hay day we'd occasionally have them 100 for plenty then Warne or Healy would weigh in to double the total. It's so frustrating fir me to see us having teams by the shirt and curlies only to let them off the hook.

We never seem to have the same tail wagability.

As David Coverdale almost once sang........Here we go again.....

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Matt Prior ...  Maybe he's trying to see how much he can mess up before being dropped.

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Im giving up posting on this thread. The sweary filter will render my contributions illegible.

 

Suffice to say, it's been disgraceful.

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Gordon Bennett! There's going to be some heads rolling when England get home after this series.

 

Stokes 72 not out though, which is a decent knock, but there's no way we will bat three full sessions tomorrow.

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Root has had a couple of unlucky ones (a call that might have been reversed and then an excellent catch) but that's small comfort.  I didn't see Bell's dismissal but apparently it was a bit controversial.  The rest just don't even look like they know how to play cricket any more.

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The  England bowling, fielding and tactical performance in the morning session was an absolute shambles. Bowlers were routinely going for ten runs an over and Cook never remotely looked like taking charge. Captaincy has got on top of him and he needs a break.

 

No bowler seemed able to diminish the scoring opportunities they were offering. Anderson, ostensibly the "captain" of the bowling attack, all but gave up.

 

If the team loses tomorrow, the series is gone and so Cook and Anderson could be rested ... perhaps camouflaged by an unexpected back spasm etc.

 

Trouble is, who would captain the side? Unfortunately, the answer is no-one, so Cook has to stay and play.

 

If I was Andy Flower, I'd tell Cook to forget about his media responsibilities, fly to Fiji and spend a week on the beach.

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I really wonder about this England side.  They finish day 2 in the best position of the series for them then they try their damnedest to chuck it away.  First, the bowlers decide that they no longer want to bowl the good length that got them 9 wickets, probably thinking that Lyon didn't deserve their concentration.  Also, why wouldn't they give Panesar more of a shot at bowling when he was clearly very threatening when he was on, was Cook worried about runs or something?  Then the batsmen, Cook and Pietersen aside, decide to waft their bats around like a drunken nets session when it looked like a fairly boring pitch that had few horrors on it.  Then the bowlers again, that good length that did them well in the first innings was obviously dismissed as a fluke as they decided to go back to daft shorter balls that were so easy to spot that I'm sure will help the Aussie batsmen get a good sleep without too many worries in their minds.

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I haven't been actually embarrassed by an England side for a long time. Just so poor and with the killer instinct of a kitten.

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The team is not motivated and its current performance is, more often than not, flipping useless.

 

However, I'll still be up watching them tonight and hoping for the boys to come good.

 

I just hope I'm not getting some practice in ready for next season at Odsal.

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Congratulations to Australia, but even they must be a bit bemused by how easy it's been for them.

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Hopefully a lesson will be learned from the Ashes, like all other England sport teams they've continied to pick players on reputation rather than current form.

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Time for Cook to stand up and be counted. He inherited Strauss' team and now he has to work with Flower to create a new one. The first priorities are: -

 - to make Bell take some responsibility ... make him vice captain

 - to find a spinner ... Monty is too much of a liability because we don't have enough  runs to cover his weaknesses in the field and in his batting.

 - drop Cook or Carberry to bat at 3 ... we need a right hand / left hand opening pair so that the new-ball bowlers are constantly having to change their line of attack.

 - to give Prior the summer off to regain some confidence behind the stumps; let him play in the one-day team.

 - to come to a gentleman's agreement with Pieterson ... he is to keep his mouth shut in return for more money for two years. After that, he's gone.

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Time for Cook to stand up and be counted. He inherited Strauss' team and now he has to work with Flower to create a new one. The first priorities are: -

 - to make Bell take some responsibility ... make him vice captain

 - to find a spinner ... Monty is too much of a liability because we don't have enough  runs to cover his weaknesses in the field and in his batting.

 - drop Cook or Carberry to bat at 3 ... we need a right hand / left hand opening pair so that the new-ball bowlers are constantly having to change their line of attack.

 - to give Prior the summer off to regain some confidence behind the stumps; let him play in the one-day team.

 - to come to a gentleman's agreement with Pieterson ... he is to keep his mouth shut in return for more money for two years. After that, he's gone.

Cook is one of the world's best batsmen, he reached 8000 runs at a younger age than any other test batsman ever.  He just doesn't seem to be able to do difficult captaincy situations and concentrate on his game at the same time.  The seriously simple dropped catch yesterday was probably caused by him thinking about whether to bring in a different bowler, field positions, motivation and so on while having then to concentrate on the ball coming at him.

 

Panesar is a world class spinner who will take wickets if given the right support.  If you're having to rely on your number 11 to get you runs then you're in serious trouble as a team, that means your top order batsmen are not doing their job.

 

Carberry is unfortunately a bit old to be allowed time to apprentice into an opening role, he either settles right into getting an average of 40+ or he has to go.  He was brought in to take the pressure off Cook to make early runs yet he just blocks an end trying not to give away his wicket.  Drop him, move Root to opening batsman and aim to keep him there for the next decade, move Bell to 3 and bring in a run-maker at 5.

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72 for 6. A familiar pile of cack from the middle order. Only Northern grit can drag us out of this hole.

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72 for 6. A familiar pile of cack from the middle order. Only Northern grit can drag us out of this hole.

Upper and middle order.  It needed a few inexperienced players to get some scores to make it as high a score as it was, I think they haven't read the memo about throwing their wicket away pointlessly.

 

Remember as a kid at school when your school would play a team from another school that was either way above your level of competence or way below and you knew it before you took the field?  It usually ended up in a daft scoreline one way or the other.  That's what this seems like, England look beaten when they walk out on the field without a ball bowled or faced.

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I think they have been ready for home at somepoint during the second test. Mentally they are shot. Once this test is done I think we will know abit more. I think some players will be dropped some may retire and think something will come out from what's gone on in the dressing room. I would like to think the ODIs will bring some respite but I doubt it.

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There seems to be a concerted call for all players to play a full county programme at the beginning of next season. Only successful ones to get picked.

 

A reasonable proposal, I think.

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