International cricket rolling thread

So, tomorrow, England start their test series against the West Indies in Barbados.

It’s been a while since we’ve been there, and we got embarassed last time out - it was the series that basically did for Peter Moores as coach, and that seems like forever ago. We’ve swung up, back down and are possibly on the way back up again since then.

I haven’t followed West Indian cricket much, and I don’t recognise much of their likely team, but they are going to be tough to beat at home. I’d like to put England as favourites, but we don’t like to make it easy for ourselves.

I note they’ll use a Duke ball. England’s seamers will love that. I’m not seeing high scoring games.

For purely logistical reasons, and living in England, the Windies tour is my favourite - there’s something exceptionally civilised about coming home in the evening and still being able to catch a couple of sessions of Test match cricket after work. This one, I think, has some serious potential to be quite good. I think this England team is substantially better than the one that went in 2015. That batting unit had Cook on the wane (a circumstance that lasted for years, due to our inabilty to find anyone to partner him, never mind replace him), the shot version of Trott, the very shot version of Ian Bell, the overmatched at Test level Garry Ballance at 3, Buttler before he worked out what was what (assuming he has done now) in red ball cricket and Ben Stokes who has improved substantially, at least in my view, since then. Broad and Anderson then vs Broad and Anderson now is probably not much difference - Anderson is better now, Broad worse. Chris Jordan was the 3rd seamer and spin was provided by James Tredwell and a rushed back from a side strain Moeen Ali. The bowling unit seems better for depth now. Even accounting for all that, and England bat deep, they’re not exactly giving off the air of security, so the bowlers will have to come to the party.

I’m also quite looking forward to seeing some of the Windies guys - even accounting for the quality of the opposition, Jason Holder took his wickets at something like 12 in 2018, which is a pretty hefty improvement. Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach are reasonably good seam up bowlers. Jamal Warrican destroyed the England Lions tour that went out there last winter - something like 30 odd wickets at 9 (that is not a misprint - though my recall may be off, it genuinely was something stupidly low). Not seen anything of Shimron Hetmyer - but he went at a substantial wedge in the IPL auction, so I’d imagine that there’s some fireworks there. Much like the Sri Lanka tour, and in agreement with Teuton, I can see low scoring, bowler dominated games, that have the potential to be quite exciting. Looking forward to it.

South Africa currently starting their drag into the World Cup with an ODI series polishing off the Pakistan tour that featured Test matches over Christmas and New Year. Pakistan won the first ODI when SA set 260 ish for 2 off 50 overs, which was a very odd score. Surely nowadays you throw the bat around a bit more and score more than that? Pakistan timed their chase well and got them in the last over but SA looked very short - at least 30 runs. Today, SA were chasing and won. I’d not noticed before but Andile Phehlukwayo has some better than decent ODI figures for SA - averages 30 or so, goes at around 5.75 an over. Today he also got them over the line with 69 in the chase (in tandem with Rassie van der Dussen - who I will confess is a new one on me; only his second ODI today). If Phehlukwayo is rounding into form, with Steyn, Rabada, Maharaj and Duanne Olivier, they’ve got quite a good bowling line up. Unbelievably, given recent history, runs might actually be the issue for them - I wonder if they could tempt ABDV for one more crack at a World Cup?

The team I am tipping for an outside run at the World Cup is NZ. Have a look at some of their ODI performances over the course of the last 18 months, factor in that NZ is probably the closest to English conditions that you’ll find on the international circuit - add them together and come up with 5 probably. But you get my meaning.

Virat won every gong going in the 2018 ICC awards. Can’t say I disagree with much of that - though making him captain of the World XI might be due to some of the other players involved and choosing the best of them. Didn’t think much of his captaincy in England - though clearly he did alright in Australia. No England players in the World Test XI - again, not sure I disagree that much there - 4 made the ODI World XI, which given our history at World Cups seems like teeing us up for the inevitable let down in the summer.

Pakistan lost another match we should have won and our Captain is a racist shit.

First I have heard of the latter part of this - but then I am not up on everything that happens with all the international teams. What has Sarfraz done/said?

In addition to the above - first test between Australia and Sri Lanka starts later this week - a day/night match in Brisbane. Will be interesting to see how Australia’s overhauled batting selection goes. Am sure there are better informed members of the board who can let us know what they think there.

Australia should win that series. If they don’t some serious questions need asking. Elite questions, if you will.


We’ll have a chance to see New Zealand in action - India are touring there now, and they both have to be thinking they’ve got a chance in the World Cup.

They’re wrong though. England are going to win.
These ODIs are going to be difficult to follow in England, as they start at 2am, but it’s going to be worth keeping track of the good performances ahead of the cup. I’m not sure who to back, really - India are on a high after defeating Australia but NZ are, as Cumbrian says, a strong outfit.

I’m taking my eight year old daughter to her first one dayer today. The chance to see the best one day batsman in the world right now (LRPL Taylor) is just too good to miss. I hear India has some fellow named Kohli who’s pretty handy as well.

I do feel a bit guilty that she’ll get an unrealistic impression of what being a Black Caps fan is like though. I fear we’re in for more decades of disappointment once the current golden generation retire.

NZ 157 all out. My fears were unfounded. Sanders 6 landed just in front of us though.

India walking the game, NZ never got anywhere close to enough.

Was it good bowling, lisiate, or poor batting or both?

I was reading the Wiki on David Lloyd the other day (partly to remind myself of why he is called “Bumble”) and it recounted his retirement as England coach with quotes from Tim Lamb (then chairman of the ECB), Alec Stewart, and others saying things like how nice it would be to deliver a World Cup win for him to round off his time with England - following which England infamously failed to even make it out of the group.

You can’t make jokes like that when we actually have a semblance of a chance - it’s got the reverse mockers the wrong way round, or something.

Both. Shami bowled beautifully and none of our batsmen looked comfortable against the spinners. Once Taylor meekly returned the ball to Chahal after being totally fooled everyone seemed to just throw their wickets away.

The sun strike stoppage was utterly ridiculous coming so soon after the dinner break. If only there were some sort of way to predict the relative angle of the sun for a given date and plan around it. Maybe erect some kind of durable markers and take note of where the sun rises and sets throughout the year…

You are on the money there.

His captaincy is barely average, and that is with leading the best team going round.
He was so wound up about winning the series he held his team back. Pajura and Bumrah won the series with solid bit contributions from the others. He is conservative and reactive with setting fields. Can’t handle conceding a boundary. On those rare occasions Aust put a partnership together he didn’t come up with anything creative to make something happen, though he didn’t really need to, so poor were we with the bat. Probably contributed to him having a series below expectations though his output was still pretty good.

India would be even better without him as skip, but he’d be a thoroughly irritating prick and distraction to have in the team for any other leader.

I guess it’s just one match - but that’s not a lot of comfort, if your one match happens to be a World Cup semi or a final. Let’s see how they go in the rest of a series, but, purely on the basis of the scorecard (given the time difference, I’ll probably only get to see highlights) this was a bit of a dooring. Hope you had a good day out otherwise though.

We have seen something similar before up here - he strikes me as a bit like Kevin Pietersen when it comes to the captaincy. With respect to Kohli, think I said in the England/India thread, that I thought Kohli didn’t get the rub of the green much, but certainly didn’t help up here. They’d have won the game at The Oval, for instance, with better captaincy during England’s first innings.

@AK84 - that is not ideal. Saw some highlights of the game when I got home last night. My knowledge of Urdu is, predictably, nil, so would have had no chance of picking this up in real time and it was not shown in the highlights in any case.

Think I said this on another thread, but really like the look of Shaheen Afridi. He’s got this wrist snap at the point of the delivery and seems to be able to get the ball to move pretty well. One to watch.

Likely to be two debutants in top six.

CA gave SL one warm-up game, though it was pink ball vs a select XI. Downgraded from first class status so not much more than centre wicket practice vs the tourists. Set up as a batting drag race between Renshaw, Burns, Labruschagne and Pucovski for two Test spots.

Naturally they all failed twice. Then Kurt Pattison who was off-radar scored twin centuries. So he forced himself into the squad. The thinking was Pucovski was going to play and Pattison’s smash & grab got him the other. Out would go Handscombe and Lambruschagne and Khawaja to open. I thought it better with Harris and
Burns to open, Khawaja @ 3 then Pattinson, Pucovski and Head.
In the bowling Hazelwood is hurt as is his best replacement James Pattinson. So Richardson or Siddle get the 3rd seamer spot.

Turns out I’m wrong as the team’s just been announced.
Harris, Burns, Khawaja, Lambruschagne, Pattinson, Head, Paine, Cummings, Starc, Richardson, Lyon.,

Lambruschagne is living the Australian dream. First class average of 25, modest net bowler but gets picked to bat at #3 and bowl 20 overs of legspin. Don’t know who’s acid trip was that.

Pucovski looked good but is raw and might be fragile. He has 500 career first class runs. Matthew Wade has scored nearly 700 this season plus 300 BBL. If he isn’t picked vs SL and the locals run up the score it’s a bit hard to see how he gets in the team for the Ashes.

Add Smith, if he gets both fit and form, and it’s arguably as good as we can field. Still dodgy batting and not sure I’d back them vs the Kiwis, let alone India, Poms or Saffers.

Not ideal is putting it mildly.

Oh, we are excited about him here. Lanky, fast and most importantly as he showed in bowling pressure final overs, he has ice in his veins.

Now, please remain uninjured.

See also: England in their Champions Trophy semi-final vs Pakistan a couple of years ago.

Cricket captaincy itself seems to be in a bit of a rut at the moment. I think you could argue that, at the moment, the best of the lot is Jason Holder of the West Indies. There seems to be a lot of people in the other teams who are captains through default - certainly Joe Root and Tim Paine, and Kohli. Faf seems decent from what I’ve seen.

Sarfraz was under 19 captain. He was groomed for the role for years.
No fucking excuse.