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 General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention

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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 25 Sep 2017 - 20:30

The man practically farts money. The second-most populous country in the world thinks he's practically a god. I doubt he cares what I think of him.

(Actually he'd probably be angry if he knew, but since he seems to be a hair-trigger away from RAEG at all times, that's not saying much.)
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 25 Sep 2017 - 20:35

Righteous Anger Exploding Generally?
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Thu 28 Sep 2017 - 19:24

So... Thoughts?

True, we don't exactly have the full story, but I must say it isn't the greatest look.


Is it a safe bet to say the thread'll be seeing a lot more of that reaction shot over the course of the looming Ashes?
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Thu 28 Sep 2017 - 19:35

At this stage I'm just hoping it isn't quite as bad as it looks, but then this is Ben 'The Locker Had it Coming' Stokes we're talking about here.  The correct reaction to it, though, is the same as that to the England squad announcement:

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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Sat 7 Oct 2017 - 10:49

So, Stokes confirmed not on the flight to Australia. Thoughts?
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Sun 8 Oct 2017 - 19:08

He's a very good player, but it's not the make-or-break that sections of the media seem to be treating it as. Shift Moe to six, Jonny to seven, and Woakes to eight and that's still a very strong lower-middle order. It doesn't give any rooms for injuries, but it works as is.

What's more worrying, much more so, is the person they've chosen to fix him. If they'd chosen Plunkett I might even have been tempted to view this as a positive; however, Steven Finn is at this point largely trading off past glories, with pace and confidence down. In a series where every pacer picked is almost guaranteed to get a game, that's a bad sign. Albeit probably no worse than Jake Ball. Definitely no worse than James Vince.

Any thoughts from Down Under?
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 9 Oct 2017 - 16:19

I'm not as informed on the English player pool as I am the Australian pool, but I'll be honest in that I feel anyone seriously writing England off because of the Stokes affair is being very foolish (to use polite terminology). They're bringing some proper talent over, and all of the names I recognise on their squad are capable of winning matches when they perform. It is of course a bit fun to stir the pot though.

On the Australian side of things we're not that crash-hot right now either, if anything I'd say things are sounding fairly similar to last Ashes in that both teams are having form slumps. With that said it could mean another race to see who can play the worst, or it could just result in some evenly pitted matches (hopefully the latter). I'd give us the advantage of course, Lyon is on smashing form right now and of course there's the ever-present power of an at-home pace attack. The batters will, as usual, be the weak-point in the team, the newcomers haven't really finished cooking yet so I expect some weakness there, leaving us as usual depending on Warner and Smith to reach big totals. Still Ashes are always in favour of the home team for a reason, and our batting lineup was even worse last Australian ashes yet the boys brought home the urn (or rather a certain fast bowler who has since retired brought home the urn).

There was talk of Shaun Marsh being put into the team, hopefully it was nothing more than a media beat-up though. When in recent times has putting either of the Marsh brothers in the test team worked out?
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 9 Oct 2017 - 19:10

I dunno: Renshaw, Khawaja, and Handscomb all seem handy at home.  Especially compared to Stoneman, Malan, and James Chuffing Vince abroad.  Cartwright and Wade more dubious, but I doubt Australia will need a Haddin to save them every first innings this time.  Broad's three years older and out of form.

Shaun Marsh would be hilarious. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Wed 11 Oct 2017 - 12:27

To be fair Khawaja has been floating around for a few years now and isn't really someone I'd consider a newbie, if he has a summer even remotely like the last one though he'll be big danger to England sure enough. Renshaw still doesn't seem to have mastered the art of turning long periods at the crease into big scores, and Handscomb is more of the unreliable type of batsman. Our aces are the same as usual, Smith and Warner, and as usual I expect that to bite the boys in the backside a bit.

With that said if Renshaw and Handscomb do do well this series then I'd say England will be well and truly outclassed. Right now things seem a bit even in terms of batsmen quality imo, with Root evening out Smith and Warner getting a bit unreliable, but if the other two find form like you suspect they might then, well, things won't be looking pretty for the tourists.


I swear if either of the Marsh's get in you won't be the only user of that reaction image. Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Wed 11 Oct 2017 - 19:35

Who'd you play at six then? Maxwell?
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 23 Oct 2017 - 15:34

Perhaps, although that wouldn't really help the glass canon issue the team already has. Eh, at this point that'll probably be agiven, might as well double down on the firepower of the canon.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 6 Nov 2017 - 21:43

Real talk, Athers: is there any reason NSW don't play with a handicap in the Shield? Because they should play with a handicap. It's ridiculous.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Fri 17 Nov 2017 - 12:29

Okay, so I woke up today to what one might call "unpleasant news".  Having gone to sleep nine hours beforehand after a really satisfying read of the newest Stormlight Archive novel (it's bril by the way) I woke up somewhat happy.  

That happiness lasted the whole twenty seconds before I rolled over, picked up the phone, and checked my messages, only to find during my slumber several things have happened to the Australian side.  My feelings internally went through the following reactions.





Rage, as my eyes slid from the news that Shaun bloody Marsh has returned to the news that Renshaw, one of the single most promising Batsmen to be recruited to the side last year and practically the only batsman in the nation capable of staying in the middle for any length of time, has been dropped (very badly) and replaced by Bancroft*, and finally to the news that our wicket keeper shall be some nobody who peaked eight years ago who scraped a passing grade not because of some heroic performance in the Shield or a quality average, but because his team held off declaring (costing them the match by the way) so as to allow him the time to get a high score of 71 (with a duck in the first innings) and "impress" selectors.  



Exasperation as I realise that all the turmoil of last year has, essentially, resulted in absolutely no change in the selection process.  Yet again we are seeing Shaun Marsh, a decent enough Shefield Shield player who has appeared many times in the test team and failed to impress even once, thrown into the team at the expense of better picks.  Yet again we are seeing a batsman with potential inexplicably thrown off the team despite being everything the team needs.  And once again the musical chairs for the wicketkeeper position keeps playing.  



And finally depression as I realise that not only is our team now looking inferior to England (HOW?  I want to know how on earth with the derth of talent in this country they still managed to cock this up), but that the selectors are never going to learn and that our test team is essentially doomed to mediocrity for the foreseeable future as a pack of incompetent selectors continue to play favourites at the expense of the teams international performance.



*I have nothing against the pick of Bancroft.  He was one of the potential recruits last year and his performance this season by all rights should have gotten him on the team.  But replacing Renshaw as the opener?  Nah, unnecessary, he could've slotted in easily at number six without Shaun Marsh wasting a spot and Renshaw could have continued to be groomed as one of the next gen openers while Bancroft could hone his craft and work his way up the order.  And on that note the treatment Renshaw's received is absolutely deplorable, if we don't see him work his way back into the team in a few years mark my words, it'll be because of these last few weeks.  


Frankly I believe these latest announcements are a symptom of a growing problem in the rationale that the shorter forms of the game, due to their far higher income earnings, have replaced the importance of fostering proper test talent.  You can see it written all over the selections here, crash and bangers abound and the one single player who had the real potential to be a classic test batsman has been thrown out of the team in manufactured disgrace.  


Frankly at this point my interest in supporting the boys has plummeted, and I'm about half an inch away from defecting to the lads hailing from my birthland instead.  It's becoming more and more clear that the only way change for the better will ever occur is for the entire institution to be engulfed in the fires of inferno the likes of which make the one sided stompings South Africa gave us last year look smalltime.  

I have to say it's almost impressive.  I expected the selectors to get complacent again, but I didn't expect the lessons from last year to be forgotten this quickly. In one short space of time we've gone from favourites to a laughing stock, and I find myself hoping England knocks the selectors picks.



As for NSW and its higher tier team, it's usually like that. Most leagues have that team, the team with the best talent that dominates the rest.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Sat 18 Nov 2017 - 8:23

When I saw the Shaun Marsh selection, I made a face something like this:



I can understand the logic behind the other picks. I don't necessarily agree with chopping and changing Renshaw, but getting Bancroft back into his preferred position is fine given his weight of runs, especially if you want to save the place of number six for someone who can bowl a bit. Which surely you do, to avoid overworking your fast men. Surely.

And Tim Paine... well no other career wicket-keeper is in form, and he got a couple of decent scores, and he's a safe pair of hands. He'd not a bad pick, just an odd one.

But Shaun Marsh... what has he got on the selectors? What exactly? Can he bowl dobble? Or are they singularly failing to learn from experience? It's no worse than picking James Vince, don't get me wrong, but it is in that league.

I'd have gone Renshaw, Maxwell at 6, and then Bancroft keeps these days doesn't he? But I'm not complaining with this. As an Englishman.


And sure, you have stronger sides. But 6/11 of the national team? The entire Australian bowling attack? And their two most nailed-on batsmen? Come on. No English county has more than one of Cook, Root, Anderson, Broad, Moeen, and Woakes, and that's the way it should be.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Thu 23 Nov 2017 - 11:54

A good day of cricket from what I read on the coach trip I spent most of my day on. Some are saying it's slightly in England's favour however Root going so cheaply leaves me feeling it's more Australia's day, with England having the opportunity to retroactively make it their day if they get Smith out for a similar lack of runs. Otherwise it's the little things like that that ultimately decide the winner in a close match, which by all remarks this is shaping up to be. Some quality knocks from the newbies, Stoneman and Vince had quality showings and I hope they put similar displays on when I get the chance to actually watch the match (whether it be this one or the next).

Overall this is sounding exactly what one would want from a first day, whichever side you're cheering on it's always good to see a solid contest between bat and ball going on.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Thu 23 Nov 2017 - 20:10

Balladeer wrote:
Definitely no worse than James Vince.

Balladeer wrote:
Especially compared to Stoneman, Malan, and James Chuffing Vince abroad.

Cricinfo wrote:
59.3 Vince is run out for 83!



That's it.  We're in the Bizarro Ashes.  England to win 4-1, Shaun Marsh scores runs in every game, Root and Smith bag three ducks each, and Lyon is the most terrifying bowler in the Austra- what?  Oh.

I agree, it's good creekit.  Just damn unexpected creekit.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Fri 24 Nov 2017 - 5:34

Soooo.  Bancroft out for 3, Marsh dropping a catch, the middle order collapsing yet again.  Remind me again why we dropped Renshaw?  Y'know, the only batsman in the side besides Smith and Warner with the ability to play Test cricket?

At this point I predict we'll be in the tail-end before 150 runs and we'll be lucky to get more than 180.  I have one word to describe out middle and lower order, and our performance so far.






I'll give them that the word on the street is that the pitch is turning now, but frankly that doesn't assuage my irritation.  Being almost run over on the footpath doesn't tend to leave one in a forgiving frame of mind.


On the flip side with Marsh and Smith out there right now this is Marsh's chance to finally put the naysayers, including myself, to bed.  So lets see if he's got the goods to turn this around.


------------------


Okay, not the complete trainwreck I thought this was headed towards being, but still firmly in Englands favour. All they have to do is get Smith or Marsh out early tomorrow and the rest of the team will crumble. Still it's nice that things are still up in the air on the opening of the third day.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Fri 24 Nov 2017 - 20:04

Hah, what are you like mate?  Solidly in Australia's favour.  When England were in roughly the same position, they'd just lost two wickets: one of a man with 83 (however weird that still feels to me), and one of Root.  Australia have a settled partnership at the crease, consisting of their best batsman (the best in the world?) and... Shaun Marsh.  But that's not such a bad thing: Marsh is very boom or bust.  I expect him to ton up now that he's out of single figures.

It could still go either way, but I'd say it's towards Oz now.  While England would have taken this position at the toss, I daresay they wouldn't have at the end of day one.  

That is a cracking picture though. Laughing

NEXT DAY EDIT: While I was half-right, can't help feeling it's Hazlewood as much as Smith who's put Oz inarguably on top going into day 4.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Sat 25 Nov 2017 - 13:17

I'd give it more to Smith, it's debatable whether the bowling attack would have the same fire if Smith hadn't done the legwork, if England had taken him for even forty runs less Australia would still be in big trouble.  I can't believe I'm about to say what I'm about to say but he and Marsh have saved what was otherwise looking like a lost match.  

Still, called it a bit.  I knew if England didn't get Smith out for a similarly cheap total Australia took Root for they'd be in trouble, and sure enough come end of day 3 Australia is on top for the first time in the match because of his gutsy knock.  

That all said with Root still at the crease going into day 4 this match is still up in the air, a drawn out innings from England could see them taking the match away from Australia regardless of if they get all-out, and his lack of firing in the first innings means he'll likely have the gas in the tank to do so now instead.  

I'd be more complementary about the two wickets Australia took in the final session if they weren't a batsman who'd already fired in the first innings and a batsman who hasn't been in decent form for ages. That shot Cook pulled was all kinds of "wut".



And yep, fantastic image.  Saved that permanently in the hdd last year as soon as I saw it, never gets old!  Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 27 Nov 2017 - 5:53

Wow, can't believe that match turned into a pasting. Bancroft finally showing why he had the Selectors parachuting him in with a quality, well paced showing. Wonder how England's going to recover from that one, two openers chasing the entire 169 on their own sets a worrying precedent. From a english perspective anyway, personally I'd be thrilled to see more of that, been far too long since I've seen a pair of openers just completely wreck the opposition.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Mon 27 Nov 2017 - 21:08

I don't know how impactful that last innings was, to be fair. The match was lost in England's second, as they showed their complete inability to bat against remotely talented bowling. Root made a fifty then got out, the others failed, par for the course. Then the final innings would largely have been bowlers going through the motions. At the same time, there could be a mental effect.

I'm not a fan of batsman-dominated cricket in any case, so that last innings was basically my idea of Hell.

AND NOW BAIRSTOW HEADBUTTED SOMEBODY LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT ALL THE TIME*


*Let's not.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Tue 28 Nov 2017 - 11:30

Apparently Bairstow didn't even headbutt recently, it was when they arrived in perth (in a pub while presumably fairly drunk), and if Bancroft doesn't care or mind which he's plainly stated as much in conferences (while also setting the entire room a-laugh) I honestly don't see it being worth the time of day. But you know the media, always after an easy sensationalist story.

As for the last innings, it was probably important as far as impacts go for Bancroft at least, ending the match with a solid knock will hopefully leave him with a good frame of mind going into the next test. That said if there's one thing I've noticed over the years with Test cricket it's that teams always start their strongest and then they slowly disintegrate and their motivation turns to mush. The fact they didn't get even a single wicket in that last innings is surely going to leave a sting in their minds, and if they can't get things going their way in Adelaide, the match they have their best shot at, then it'll all combine and start taking a toll. Like it does with every team that tours Australia, which England I've noticed seem to be especially prone.

On its own it might not seem significant, but if any more of the series goes badly for England I reckon it'll take a toll on them. Of course it's still likely too early to tell, only time and hindsight will allow us to pinpoint when the series starts to take a toll.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Thu 30 Nov 2017 - 11:46

Can't say I view the current allowances and likely recall of Stokes to be particularly. . . Smart? honourable? Can't think of the exact word right now, but it leaves a lot to be desired considering what he did fairly recently, a few differences in things and he'd be facing manslaughter charges right now. It very much feels like a slap on the wrist because god forbid someone with talent be appropriately punished when acting completely out of line.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Thu 30 Nov 2017 - 14:43

I still don't feel I know enough about the event. Honestly, if someone was making a homophobic attack, I'd not be terribly sorry if they got they jaw broken. Leave it to the courts, this one.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Contention   Thu 30 Nov 2017 - 16:16

Frankly it doesn't really matter what the person was saying, you don't go around king hitting people.  Two wrongs don't make a right and all that, however out of the pair regardless of what might have incited the punch Stokes is clearly the worse off of the pair for being violent.  


But oh well, even if he does end up back in the squad I seriously doubt it'll make a difference. Nah nah! Wink   Either England's already got the goods to win or they don't.
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