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England Pakistan 2018
I'll stick my neck out and say that selecting Jos Buttler is muddled thinking. Being able to play trick shots when the bowlers are trying to hide the ball is no guide as to the ability to build an innings when they are trying to get you out. I would be happy to be proved wrong but I don't think he should be in the squad.

I rate Dom Bess. He will be a very fine player but whether he yet has the game to trouble Pakistani Test batsmen remains to be seen. His opportunity comes for want of any alternatives but it would be great to see him take it.
[-] The following 1 user Likes GrizzlyBear's post:
narsty simon
I am inclined to think that Buttler deserves the chance to establish himself as a Test batsman.
He is obviously an extraordinary talent so if he could succeed at Test level, it would be a great boost for England.
With him, Bairstow and Foakes, if only the ECB could invent a version of the game that requires three wicketkeepers, we would be world champions in no time.
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Terry... I agree....
On a day when there was likely to be plenty of movement in the air and (maybe) off the pitch, England leave out Woakes and decide to bat first.
Not working out too well for them so far.
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Poor selection. Poor preparation. Poor tactics.

Please can we have some batsmen who know that swinging at something wide of off stump when your team is 168 for 6 isn't the way to play Test cricket. Give me Ken Barrington. Give me Geoff Boycott. Give me Jonathan Trott.
If the ecb continue to disrespect county cricket they will get the batsmen they deserve ie no technique and t20sloggers who don't value their wicket
[-] The following 1 user Likes narsty simon's post:
Leicester Exile
Simon... I know it's difficult, but you can't keep blaming T20... This team haven't played much of that format for atleast 9 months and some players much longer.

The championship is failing to produce winning competitive players... the structure of the red ball game needs changing.... constant failure can not be rewarded... Real competitive games of a high standard... Division two cricket generally isn't good... The level of many teams very poor ... So much so I wouldn't be surprised that a relegated bears side doesn't bounce straight back.

Its easy to do when you are frustrated... but you can't just blame T20 for England's failures at Test cricket... Bar the odd golden moment it's been poor for a very long time.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Warleybear's post:
Regardless of the standard of the Championship (I personally think it is of a good enough standard to produce Test cricketers) if, as a Test batsman, you think that swinging at a ball outside off when your team are backs to the wall, then you are either daft or you don't have the necessary aptitude to play the game at this level.

What frustrates me with England is that we don't seem to learn from our mistakes; all winter the issue was batsmen giving their wicket up cheaply, flashing and nibbling at wide balls, not getting their heads down and focusing. The same issue presented itself today; there is no problem with scoring slowly when the odds are stacked against you, the shackles can come off when conditions become more favourable. There are 5 days available for play, you don't have to hit every ball for 4.

Much depends on the change bowlers now; I get the impression that if Pakistan can see off Anderson and Broad they will score freely off the rest. If only there was a swing bowling all rounder who could exploit the conditions...
Bears fan, Wolves fan, blood red Socialist, a not so vital statistician...
WB - No-one is blaming T20 - the blame is players have become focused so much on the way T20 is played i.e as 11 batsmen have only got 20 overs in which to score the runs needed the tendency is to try and hit every ball out the ground. The players do not seem capable of trying to ensure the 11 batsmen see out 100 overs.

The ECB need to give red ball cricket the same focus as white ball cricket instead of pushing it out the borders of the season.
LE - aka John
[-] The following 1 user Likes Leicester Exile's post:
narsty simon
Exactly LE
I thought the decision to leave Woakes out would haunt England, if only because of the number of times he's dug the top order out of a hole with the bat. Also the pitch looks more suitable for a bowler who looks for movement rather than trying to bang it in.

It goes a lot deeper than that though, and I thought Geoff Boycott was onto something when he said the time is approaching when we simply have to give some young batsmen a go. I'm not convinced that Stoneman and Buttler will ever make test batsmen and I only ever thought of Malan as a stop gap.
Of all the opening pairs that England have ever had (and just counting those that have opened together at least ten times), Stoneman and Cook have the lowest average opening partnership.
They average 19.68 together.  Best ever were Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe who averaged 87.81. 
Best of recent times (you probably wouldn't guess) were Nick Compton and Alastair Cook who opened 17 times and averaged 57.93.
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I know it's early to be throwing in the towel but this England side simply do not look equipped to play Test cricket, nor have they done so for a while. You need raw material and maybe we haven't got a great set of red ball players but at least part of that is due to the ECB's deliberate prioritisation of limited overs cricket in the scheduling of domestic games, Strauss' call for a focus on 50-overs, a coach who never watches Championship cricket, prattling about franchises, etc. At national and also county level, the way into the first class side is increasingly through the limited overs game which teaches young players how to bowl defensively and slog. There's a lot more to being a first class cricketer than that.

It's taken a few years for the wheels to come off, especially as some old school players like Cook and Anderson are still around to hold the line, so there probably isn't a quick fix available. It needs recognition that red ball skills differ from white ball ones and a development programme for players who have the right technique for the longer game. Sam Hain should be the first name on it.
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When it comes to death wishes and collapses, in the past, Pakistan, like England, have had a few - but then again, (more recently) too few to mention.
So whilst I wouldn't write England off yet in this Test,I agree that changes are needed.
Stoneman must surely be in the last chance saloon (hopefully consuming a non-alcoholic beverage).  I would suggest that Nick Gubbins should be letting Ed Smith know his cap size. 
And surely Chris Woakes has to come back.  Mark Wood may have a great game from now on; but last evening, he was charging in and bowling quickish, straight up and down stuff in conditions where everyone else was moving the ball around.  People quite rightly talk about horses for courses; but Wood's selection was like choosing a steeplechaser to run in the Derby.
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(24-05-2018, 07:52 PM)Leicester Exile Wrote: WB - No-one is blaming T20 - the blame is players have become focused so much on the way T20 is played i.e as 11 batsmen have only got 20 overs in which to score the runs needed the tendency is to try and hit every ball out the ground. The players do not seem capable of trying to ensure the 11 batsmen see out 100 overs.

The ECB need to give red ball cricket the same focus as white ball cricket instead of pushing it out the borders of the season.

Actually LE ... Sadly they do.

Yet England, bar the odd great moment, regularly fail to deliver with the bat over a very long period of time. T20 is played by all Test nations, so why are Pakistan approaching 400 whilst once again we fail with the Bat. Red ball cricket has to look at itself and ask what is wrong with its structure. With 18 sides .. that's a lot of red ball cricket days in a season... Something is wrong with the quality of the matches and competitiveness of them. For example... Perhaps England batsmen need to play more championship cricket rather than being mothballed? Blaming T20 is far too easy.

I fear England will loose this test match today to Pakistan.. and that won't be because of T20.
Please re-read my posting again - it is the attitude of the players (and the ECB) that is wrong not the T20 format. In red ball cricket having two divisions means the best 9 play each other eliminating the less competitive games for the best players. With the two divisions most games in 1st division ARE competitive. I do agree the England batsmen should be playing in CC matches and those games need to be played across the season and not just at the end of winter and autumn.
LE - aka John
LE... I said sadly they do... Not you. There are those who like to hide red ball cricket problems behind T20.

English batsmen don't play T20 every week... Some have played only a couple of games in a year. They certainly should be playing more division one championship cricket. I personally believe the standard of division two is generally poor. I would cut the number of red ball counties and play all the way through the season. Some counties would survive successfully in the white ball format.

Let's hope England show more application in the second innings on what should be a good batting day.... Anything else must mean that the restructuring of the championship happens quickly to save the red ball game in this country... Pruning makes a stronger structure.
Apart from Root the batsmen so far are showing no fight. Absolute disgrace - time for big changes at the ECB
LE - aka John
What is the point of an 18 county championship if it produces this sort of things far too many times? T20 is played all around the world... Yet in England our championship structure produces this type of thing far too often. Players with no fight from a system that produces, and indeed encourages, the average far to often.
WB It is not an 18 county championship - although it will be if they bring in the conference system. We have a top tier of 9 counties with relegation if underperforming. That is not the problem.
The problem is relegating the CC to April May and September instead of playing it throughout the summer to get the experience of all types of wickets. Add to this the top players playing too much International cricket throughout the year and then not being allowed to play for their county. Just when do the players get the chance to practice and work at problem areas in their play etc?
Finally, with so many games limited to 20 overs ( and for bowlers 4 overs) it is not surprising their skill set changes and adapts to a different playing method.

And PLEASE do not take that a criticism of T20 but rather a severe criticism of the game's administrators.
LE - aka John

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