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#541

This is an excellent read.

Always knew Donald was a good lad.


#542

aye, superb article. Had to watch the highlights of the start of the 4th innings at lunch.

Donald’s autobiography (I think it’s mentioned there) is a good read actually - nothing ground shaking like Trescothick or McGrath’s, but easy and not too long, interesting about growing up in SA at that period, and a few good insider’s descriptions of some tussles. I love the fact that Donald signed the glove whilst having drinks with Athers in the bar afterwards, and even more so I love how Donald went up from fine leg to Boucher in the over after Boucher dropped a pretty straightforward one off him, just to give him a bit of encouragement.


#543

Are you off to see any of the series this year?

My brother and I are going to the third day at the Oval at the end of the month. It’s been too long since I saw a day of international cricket.


#544

Heh. I’m going to the third day, too!

Also, a friend has a spare ticket for Lord’s on Thursday. Not sure of the price but if anyone fancies it then shout.


#545

No, can’t take time off work and every weekend from here to eternity is booked out. Off to a domestic T20 for the first time though. I’ve got my eye on a day or two vs India or Pakistan next year, maybe go to Trent Bridge.


#546

Yeah, there are quite a lot of T20 matches on in the evenings, which are always good fun for an afterwork trip, even if the rest of the crowd never seem that interested.


#547

Where are you sat? We’re in the new stand (can’t remember what they call it these days). Last time I went to the Oval to watch test cricket we were right next to the steps where the players come out in the Bedser. I got to say hello to Tendulkar and watch Kumble move the England bowlers around the ground. Which was nice.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/engvind/engine/match/258470.html


#548

Day 4 at Trent Bridge for me, also supposed to be going to Old Trafford but I’ve double booked myself with the World Athletics. Don’t even care about the athletics, frankly, but I can’t really back out. Annoying.


#549

Donald, who like most of the South Africans thought Cork’s talk:walk ratio left a lot to be desired…

Nice.


#550

We’re in the May’s stand which has been redone recently but is attached to the pavillion. Do you mean the OCS stand are the other end?

I’ve not been to test match cricket since 2005. I’ve been spending my money on seeing quite a bit of county cricket and watching the serious stuff on TV.


#551

Yeah, OCS stand, that’s it.

I’ve been in the May stand a few times, but not since they rebuit it. I try and avoid it as I always end up sunburnt there.

I don’t get to watch any of it on TV these days, so county stuff and tour warm up matches are what I’ve been to in the past few years.


#552

Cook, Jennings, Ballance, Root, Bairstow, Stokes, Moeen Ali, Dawson, Broad, Wood, Anderson

Looks pretty under whelming to me. I’d much rather be getting Hales in there than Jennings or Ballance - Hales is a special player still figuring out test cricket imo, Ballance has been found out by the short ball at test level far too often, and Jennings is, well, just not as good as Hales. Real shame about Hameed’s appalling form. It’s him or Hales in the long term for me (with Hales down the order if he doesn’t open).

Same with Rashid over Dawson, not really sure what Dawson offers the team as a big positive, not keen on people who offer a bit with bat, ball and fielding, but don’t stand out in either of the first two. Better in my mind to have someone who has games where he can’t be relied upon, but when he’s on it, he’s a really good option.

Hopefully Wood will be one game in, one game out, or I think he’ll break down. Love him when he plays though.

Maybe it’s not so bad. Get Woakes in for Anderson long term, get a proper spinner in (maybe Crane, maybe Rashid - Woakes for Anderson really bolsters up the batting) for Dawson.


#553

We’ve basically brought in another allrounder because no one wants to ask Moeen or Broad to bat at 8. Seems completely nuts to me. No idea what Dawson will contribute. Lord’s tends to be flat as hell so I’d rather another seamer, especially one who knows the wicket and is happy sending down a bouncer or four. Or Stoneman, or Buttler, or Billings or any number of actual prospects.

Long term I think the next proper England spinner will be Leach, but that could still be a way off yet. Woakes is the nailed on number 8 when he’s fit but I’m not sure he’ll ever be an outright threat with the ball like Jimmy. I know I’m biased but I think Sam Curran and Craig Overton are the next serious English strike bowlers, though again that’s probably a few years off. In the meantime, when Jimmy retires I think we will have a much less interesting attack for at least a little while.


#554

Agree with a lot of that. I more meant Woakes in for Anderson as Woakes is nailed on as a selection, and Anderson surely won’t last much beyond this winter? Woakes has also started to impress me with his wicket taking ability. I’m always very reluctant to name anyone as a real strike threat at test level, it’s such a step up, and it’s hard to extrapolate who’ll do well and who won’t. Such a shame Wood doesn’t seem to have the durability. Stokes is a good strike option at least. But yeah, when Anderson goes (and he’s not all that at the moment anyway), there’s gonna be a real hole. I guess one thing I;m really annoyed about is not trying out a seam option instead of Dawson - let’s see what we’ve got, rather than hedge bets. Also why I’m not massively against the Jennings pick, even though I wouldn’t have gone that way.

I’d rather have seen Stoneman in for Ballance, or better, Buttler for Ballance, and push Bairstow up to 3 (assuming Root wants to stay at 4)


#555

I’d go along with all of that. Wood is the kind of bowler we want and the the kind we need to replace Anderson but more and more we’re producing up-and-downers like Finn, Ball and Toblerone-Jones. Coad at Yorkshire sounds like he might be in the Wood mould. Not the extravagant swing of Jimmy but the wicket-to-wicket line of Wood with just enough movement to regularly find the edge. No idea how quick he is though or whether his early form will stick around. You’re quite right that it’s bloody difficult predicting who will become a seriously threatening bowler at test level though, which is one of the reasons it’s great to have someone like Woakes who has built a career whilst confounding expectations. There certainly will always be a place for him in the side.

I’m intrigued to see what becomes of Broad too. At 31 and with increasing injury issues he wont have a whole lot longer in the England side either. The dream would be for him to channel and refine his legendary hot streaks some how so that he remains effective while necessarily bowling fewer overs, but that’s probably a fairy tale. His fifers though…


#556

I don’t know what Woakes has to do to convince people he can take wickets. He has 48 at 29 runs apiece in 17 tests, Jimmy had 53 but at 36 at the same point and Broad 46 at 38. I’m not particularly aiming this at you, I used to argue with @magnificent_work about him on the old site, and it seems to be prevalent throughout the cricketing world. He averages 25 per wicket in all first class, pretty much exclusively in Div 1 and tests. In short, I :heart:️ Chris Woakes.

I still haven’t seem him bowl a ball yet, but his record last year was excellent. Hopefully you’re right, we could do without him going down the Kerrigan road and taking up the spinner place long term.

Dawson is a weird one. Bet he hasn’t batted at 8 since he was about 11 years old, and he’s no frontline spinner. Kind of shows no faith in him having him at 8, and at the same time no faith in the top order as he’s there as a safety net. Mmm, paradoxical.

I’ll also go with @kenako and say that Stoneman would have been a better bet than Jennings. I still think Jennings was a one-season wonder, but Stoneman being in would have screwed my fantasy team, so OK.


#557

Dunno much about Leach at all yet, but I’ve been impressed with Crane over the last 12 months (county circuit, Australia, international debut). Open to trying a genuine spin option though, not a trundling wheelie bin.

Broad’s interesting innit. Injuries allowing, he could well be test level for 2-3 years, but that’s a big disclaimer. When he was struggling to hit above mid 80s in terms of speed a year or two ago, he was a lot less threatening too, which I didn’t really expect, as he’s never been searing pace. That doesn’t auger well.

I always hoped Barker would come through as a decent pace, left arm swing bowler, but he’s a bit too feast or famine. Too old now as well.

You and your fantasy teams.

Side note - very much been enjoying the live streams of county games available for free on youtube. Top stuff.


#558

Crane looks good, has rave reviews and seemingly everything going for him, but we are world leaders in hyping up spinners too early and basically killing them.

Currently in and out of the Kent second XI.

He can bowl a doosra! Get him in the squad! 2 years later he was working in the city.

And poor old Simon Kerrigan of course.

I hope they just leave him be for a few years, but if he gets half decent results, they won’t, and the press/public will be clamouring for him anyway.


#559

There is genuinely not a day goes by without me considering fantasy tactics in one sport or other. Restrained myself from entering the Tour de France one this year to keep myself relatively sane.


#560

Oh I remember Loudon, good player for Warwickshire for a short period, mainly as a batsman though. Dated Pippa Middleton for a bit too iirc.