International cricket rolling thread

India, with 3 injured players bat out four sessions losing just 5 wickets and 2 on the final day. One of those in the second over.
A 62 run partnership off 260 balls between Vihari and Ashwin was a magnificent example of discipline that got them home after Pant scored a belligerent 97.

5 days for no result and a great game of cricket.

So, what do we take from this? That with diligent and careful batting, even this sharp Aussie attack can be blunted? England are still fucked, then :slight_smile:.

Cheer for this review of Cam Green. Not having seen anything of him, good to get some sort of idea of what to expect.

I think a bowling all rounder who can take the new ball and get top order wickets whilst scoring big runs at 6 is going to be very difficult to find. England haven’t had one since Botham, Pakistan since Imran, India since Dev, NZ since Hadlee (and even then Hadlee wasn’t exactly bashing runs around). Flintoff didn’t take the new ball for England in 05 for instance (Hoggard and Harmison) and Stokes doesn’t take the new ball now (Anderson/Broad/Archer dependent on who is playing). If Green really can bowl 87mph (still working in old money up here) and is accurate enough to tie an end down, plus is as good a bat as Chappell reckons, that’s a win I reckon. If Green winds up as good as Stokes - and does the same sort of role of breaking difficult partnerships and what not - he’s going to be a fearsome cricketer (though it has taken a while for Stokes to become what he has been over the last 18-24 months).

Good to see this series go down to the wire. Again, not seen it, but this seems a pretty sterling rearguard action. Indeed, until one of the Indian batsmen (Vahari?) got injured, there was still decent chance of India knocking off the runs. God knows who is going to be in their team next week though, given the number of wounded in the touring party. You’d say, given Australia’s record at The Gabba and those injuries, Australia still the favourites.

On the all-rounder question - was it not the case that Flintoff was bowled somewhat sparingly for much of his career, to try and protect him from injury? I’m sure it’s true though that Hoggard and Harmison, at that time, were better bowlers anyway, and Flintoff was more needed for his runs.

Stokes is perhaps a more interesting case - Anderson and Broad are legends of course, so it would take a pretty special bowler to open ahead of them. If one of them weren’t in the team, Stokes would surely be a frontrunner to open the bowling? Though of course he will often have just come off the field after a heroic batting effort, so there’s that to consider too. And Archer of course is a genuine 90mph man, so again hard to displace.

They tried to save Flintoff from himself a number of different ways and they did try to limit his overs (it helped when they had the likes of Simon Jones or Harmison in his pomp, to pick up the slack) but they never really managed it because of a) ego (he was also told to change the angle of his plant foot at the crease as it was going to knacker his ankle - he refused as “this is the way I bowl and it’s successful” and sure enough his ankle did for him) - and b) they gave him the captaincy and he bowled himself into the ground (think there’s one game against Sri Lanka where he bowled 50 odd overs in an innings due to his own decisions).

Flintoff should probably have been used like Stokes currently is. The guy you turn to when you need a partnership breaker or a bit of inspiration. He ultimately probably bowled too much and it shortened his career.

On Stokes taking the new ball: If Anderson or Broad doesn’t play, good chance Archer is in the side and will open the bowling. If neither of them play, good chance someone like Wood or Stone is in the side as well as Archer, both of whom tip the radar gun at 90 mph. I think you’d probably want to give them the new ball due to their pace, so they get chance of using it whilst it is hard. Also, the reason that Anderson and Hoggard opened the bowling is swing, so even if none of the non-Archer fastest bowlers are in the team (England will, in the fullness of time, always play Archer if fit, I suspect), if someone like Woakes is in the team, you’d still want him to have first use to try and get the natural swing from a new ball.

Stokes is also one of England’s men in the slip corden - if you have him bowl with the new ball, when edges are perhaps more likely, you’re taking him out of that area. I suspect that they may well want to leave Stokes as the 4th seamer to be honest - as with Flintoff, it may help to restrict his overs too (if the first three seamers are doing well, you keep them in rotation as the Aussies do with their quicks) and thus save him from injury. His batting is now too important - he’s arguably England’s best bat now, especially given Root’s extended run of form.

Of course, problems then arise because Wood is made of glass and they keep talking about how Archer should have his overs limited to shock bursts to make the most of his pace…there are unlikely to be easy answers.

Arguably the best things about Broad and Anderson are their ability to bowl for long spells without going for a lot of runs. Judging by what is coming through (and the inability to find a spinner to bowl like Swann in a similar holding role from one end for ages), this is going to be the core hole in England’s bowling line up when one or the other of them retires.

England are in Sri Lanka for a two test series.

A bad start from Sri Lanka - won the toss, put themselves in and got themselves out for 135. I wasn’t up at 0430 to hear it, but the (English) commentators I’m hearing seem pretty clear it was poor shot selection rather than outstanding bowling.

In reply England lost a couple of early wickets just to show you what they can do if they try (Sibley and Crawley falling to Embuleniya - the former to a good ball, the latter lobbing to mid-off) but Root and Bairstow are now on a 100 partnership and likely to have a lead by the end of the first day.

Anderson not playing for England, and Dan Lawrence getting his first cap, in to bat No. 5.

Tough for batsmen who haven’t played for so long - no surprise that there are some poor decisions and shots being displayed.

It would be, but this SL team has only just got home from a tour of South Africa!

England couldn’t quite get a lead, but are in a commanding position nonetheless with Root and Bairstow still in.

England end Day 2 on 320/4 with Root 168no and Lawrence having scored 73 on debut. The Sri Lankans must be wondering why they bothered to come back from South Africa.

As far as shot selection went yesterday, Bess’s 5 wickets included 2 attempted reverse sweeps, Dickwella splicing a long-hop to point and Shanaka sweeping hard onto short-leg’s foot, from where it lobbed up to the keeper.

Sri Lanka are an embarrassing shadow of the side from 15-20 years ago.

Getting smashed in SA was bad enough, but this home performance is just depressing. And I’m not even a SL supporter.

In the prior Australia-India test, the teams entered the final session of the last day with all 3 outcomes possible. Perhaps India winning was a bit of a long shot by then, as one of the batsmen couldn’t run. But had that not been the case, the test had the potential for a draw, or either side winning, right until the end. This strikes me as pretty rare. How rare was it, and are there examples of test matches in history that close (with respect to all 3 outcomes) until the final few overs?

4 results, technically.

I have no idea, but my gut feeling is the answer is “just often enough to make every match worth watching, while rare enough that it’s special when it happens”. I would guess around 20% of matches.

I’m not sure how to phrase the statsguru search but I’d say any match that reaches the last session of day 5 with the chasing team needing fewer than 100 runs to win would qualify.

To be honest I’d guess less than 1 in 10 matches are truly like this. Maybe as few as 1 in 20.

If only India had a few more injuries early on they might have won the series already.

I don’t think either team could play more like they’d been paid to play well or badly to generate drama. It’s like WWE

England are 38/3 chasing 74 at the end of day 4.

SL’s second innings have really showed how poorly England bowled in the first innings, and if Eng continue to bowl like that then the second test will not go so well for us. It’s still very much England’s to lose from here, but after a strong first couple of days it’s been pretty much all SL and we have not looked particularly threatening with the ball.

3 second wickets down aside, our batting does look pretty good, and Broad has bowled as well as I’ve ever seen him in Asia.

No drama in the end for England: collapses are all about sustained mental pressure and I’ve no doubt the chance to walk of the field, relax, subtract 38 from 74 and then 3 from 10, go to sleep and start fresh was of more benefit to England than Sri Lanka.

That said, SL have shown what they can do and made a more respectable fight of it than 136 all out suggested, so they’ll know if they can sustain that level of performance for most of the next test they’ll have a fighing chance.

Drama a plenty at the Gabba. Seven overs to go. India need 39 runs, Australia 5 wickets.

And India have done it - that’s quite some chase. Especially considering their team was full of reserves. Lack of killer instinct from Australia? Their first defeat at the Gabba since 1988.

Thoroughly well earnt Test and series win.

First defeat at Gabba since 1988 is correct but mostly that’s because the Gabba Test has been the first of the series and visiting teams are now coming out and playing without being acclimatised.

Australia could have won it several times. They were 70 runs short in their 1st innings. Couldn’t finish the Indian tail. Then were a bit tardy in their 2nd innings, though 317 in four sessions was still a reasonable target to set.

There was a point with about 10 overs to go when the asking rate got above 7/over I thought it could be saved but Pant and Agarwal hit out successfully and got them home.

In the 4th innings of both Sydney and the Gabba Australia couldn’t get through the last batting pair.

We may have to get used to getting beaten by the India “second” XI because they have very good depth now.

Expect Rahane will retain the captaincy when Kholi completes his new parenting duties and returns to the squad.

Well, that was quite the surprise when I woke up this morning, and this one certainly qualifies in the category of every outcome possible at the beginning of the last session. I fell asleep with about 50 overs left assuming it would end in a draw, which definitely looked to be the most likely conclusion. Nice that India went for the win, but a couple of errant shots would have flipped the script completely, and the opposite outcome would have surely led to controversy. But now, Rahane has to keep the captaincy for India, and I hope Kohli agrees. Looking forward to watching the replay.

ETA: WinViz gave India a 1% chance of winning when I fell asleep and I remember the Australian announcing team suggesting that that figure was too high.