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RE: West Indies v England - 21/4/2015 9:59:07 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
This really is a truly awful pitch for test cricket. The last one in Antigua was bad but this is worse, if it hadn't been for a bit of cloud cover I could bat to 200 on this comfortably. It's just flat, heavily rolled soil, it's a bowling lane. It's slow, the outfield is tepid and it's doing nothing for the spinner. Test wickets have to be competitive, the ICC have to address this if they want to protect the future of this format of the game and given the Windies use to produce the quickest wickets in the world right up until the mid-90's I wonder why these pitches are now suddenly so poor and docile.

Good appeal by England to get rid of Blackwood who played inside one coming back to him by Jordan that was on a nice length. Fully hitting the top of leg and it's a good review but England have their work cut out here to keep chipping away, it doesn't take too long to build a partnership on this surface.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


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Post #: 7111
RE: West Indies v England - 21/4/2015 10:01:22 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Sorry, scrap that, a partnership of balls to run down time of course! No real consistent runs in this, just took Samuels 160 balls to get fifty.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


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Post #: 7112
RE: West Indies v England - 21/4/2015 10:12:12 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Marlon Samuels, much like Chris Gayle, has all the gear and no idea for test cricket. He's very much the modern calypso cricketer, bags of unhindered talent but very few smarts, patience and tenacity to build consistency in this form of the game. If Samuels batted on better wickets he'd be out more often and it'd be an injustice but that's on him because he'd be a better player if he wanted to be.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


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Post #: 7113
RE: West Indies v England - 21/4/2015 10:51:22 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Samuels has hazarded his way into the 90's, he'll be delighted and we're off for bad light. Not sure much what more England could have done here, pitch is an absolute stinker.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7114
RE: West Indies v England - 21/4/2015 10:52:41 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Word is the groundsman was watering this pitch last night. Why? It's a slow pitch in not great conditions, why water it? It slows it down, it stops it hardening as the day goes on which means it won't spin. That's diabolical.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7115
RE: West Indies v England - 22/4/2015 7:46:29 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
This has been much better bowling from England since yet another rain delay this session. Broad got Ramdin with an absolute peach that fizzed into too tempting an area for him, Broad needs to keep his pace up there, he's a much better bowler when he's bowling at the stumps or in that fourth stump area but is above 85mph.

Samuels century was an unusual mixture of uncharacteristic patience, smash-mouth cricket and plenty of verbals. England really shouldn't get so grumpy about it, they dropped him on 30 and on any other day he's out six times between 60 and 100 but tip your hats to the lad and move on. Standing around, hands on hips, giving him glares and snapping at him as he celebrates his ton is bad sportsmanship, this isn't David Warner, this is a confident, slightly brazen strapping lad who's taken the game by it's horns of fun. When is sledging going to truly be considered part of the game? If you claim to do so then you have to put it all aside to congratulate the opponent when they achieve. We didn't do that today, and we should be disappointed in ourselves. Ben Stokes doesn't need to be an aggressor, we don't need another one of those, I'm not convinced about him as a third or fourth seamer anyway (why is Liam Plunkett still not playing, what did he do wrong) and whilst he's a twirler with the bat he's also fairly green and his luck will run out with those kind of shots further in the summer. He needs to focus on his line a bit more than his mouth if you ask me, and we know this young man has had problems already, he's been sent home from three tours already in his short career. I just look at him and feel as if he's uncontrollable potential, the coaches need to plan his progression out and work closely with him, starting with his bowling, let the top order worry about the main quantity of runs and don't bat him at five unless we are just trying to tack some extra runs onto a big lead.

Eight down. Broad gets Holder caught behind. Cook and Trott start to turn their minds to batting now, really hope they both get some runs this evening, or at least keep their wickets intact.



_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7116
RE: West Indies v England - 22/4/2015 7:57:35 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Broad bowled 79mph yesterday, he got Holder with one that clocked away at 91mph.

He's so much better when he's coming in from an angle, gives him more accuracy and control. It's bizarre he bowled like he did yesterday and then this spell today.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7117
RE: West Indies v England - 22/4/2015 8:25:53 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Number 10 and 11 partnerships are relatively comfortable on flat pitches like this one. There's no real pressure on the batsmen as they are not expected to score runs, what's done is done, the West Indies have already got the idea of what they are going to need to defend with the ball so this pair can just tee off on a flat pitch against fields that are set to get them out, not restrict the scoring rate. It plays into their hands more and they'll get lucky six or seven times for every time they get unlucky and usually unless it's at the stumps they're swing will be so wild they'll completely miss the ball no matter how good it is. You watch this pair, wouldn't surprise me if they put on another 25 playing like they're batting with badminton rackets.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7118
RE: West Indies v England - 22/4/2015 9:32:23 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Nervous start from Cook and Trott, very typical of two batsmen out of nick and under increasing pressure. Cook has played and missed at two and Trott drove very unconvincingly for four through the covers but Roach has found a nice length and Gabriel is thundering it in there although he's hitting the deck too hard on this pitch, he's already tucked a couple into Cook's pads and he loves them there.

These two just have to be patient, hang about, see these first 10 or 15 overs off and as this balls get older on this pitch you can be quids in, he knows when he's in he can play very well. No Taylor for West Indies either and he can really skid and push it across the left-hander, which would be the real threat to Cook.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7119
RE: West Indies v England - 22/4/2015 10:18:31 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Cook has just become England's second highest ever test run scorer with a reaching drive through the covers for four. He's quite settled now, he knows where his offstump is and he's playing and leaving with smarts and fluidity. Hasn't been troubled since the early play and misses and Trott looks calm at the other end too. Would love these two to put on a huge first wicket partnership.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7120
RE: West Indies v England - 22/4/2015 10:59:56 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Bishoo is getting a bit of turn out here, frustrating perhaps to see their leggie doing that when ours is sat upstairs waiting with the drinks, but I am not one for sending him home. It is positive and a learning curve to be around the test team, so far Cook and Trott have done fairly well, Cook has had two fall very close but just short, but outside of that he has manouvered himself to within sight of his 50 whilst Trott's confidence has grown with each over. Lots of runs to be had here but these two will have to start again tomorrow.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7121
RE: West Indies v England - 24/4/2015 8:57:55 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
For me England missed a trick this morning by trying to go after things just a bit too quickly. Root was terrific of course, he is a splendid batsman to watch these days. He's got quick hands, a really good eye for the ball and he has scored so fluidly here on a slow pitch which hasn't been conducive to batsmen batting long periods and moving up the gears, which he's done. Buttler flew a little, they both should have given themselves half an hour to play themselves in and then play some shots. This situation wasn't going to change after the score overnight, we were always very likely to have five and a bit sessions to bowl them out in but we needed to push past 500 to set an imposing target for them that increases the pressure, it makes it a little harder just to bat time if you think a quick collapse could put you in real trouble but when you only need 170 odd to level on a very flat pitch it's quickly achievable, it boosts the confidence and it makes every 10 runs after that even more significant in terms of time.

I'm really pleased Cook and Trott got some runs. Cook's average since the latter part of the India series doesn't look so bad with four half centuries in seven innings, decent nick it would be if it hadn't been for the catastrophe that came before. What he needs though is that century to really lift his confidence that extra few levels and get him where he knows where his offstump is at all times and he plays as freely as he did for those last 40 runs yesterday where he looked the Cook of old. Trott is a slightly different case because of what he's been through but he could use that confidence too, both played lots of nervous shots early on yesterday and against quicker Australian bowlers they probably wouldn't have lasted.

Moeen's run out was alarmingly awful. I'm not sure he's healthy, I'm not sure why he's there. It certainly says to me we don't think Rashid is ready that we rushed Moeen out from Worcestershire for a series against the second worst side in the world after just one match following an injury, but left Plunkett and Rashid out again. He's also not a premier spinner (I've said it before, I'll say it again) so people expecting him to mop up the last six wickets on this pitch can think again. Our most controlled off-break bowler and our wrist-spinner are back up in the pavilion, although I would say I'd like to see England really go at the stumps and at the batmsen in this session if we are going to make a breakthrough. Give it to Broad and Stokes, set them an attacking field with a short leg in for a few and bowl at middle or at the tip of their peak. We haven't bowled badly, we just need to be persistent, Windies don't have stayers so we know if we can get one or two you could be into them all.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7122
RE: West Indies v England - 24/4/2015 9:29:29 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Of course I say that and the plan to frustrate the West Indies out with off-break bowling has worked and Broad got Bravo with a juicy tempter he hung outside offstump and just got the slighest of nicks. Root has stayed in the attack but it's Stokes v Samuels at the other end which is a battle that I don't want, I want Broad to get Samuels driving, that's where we have the best chance of getting him out as he doesn't see too many short balls beat him despite his size and lack of movement and the perception that's what he struggles against the most.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7123
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 5:01:53 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Tell England's leading test wicket taker that he isn't their best ever, and this is what he'll do.

Jimmy Anderson has been a lesson in world class today. He made the new ball talk and brokered consistent damage, Brathwaite never looked troubled by the new ball yesterday but that was an absolute screamer straight into his neck to get the ball rolling and after that England got the slice of luck they were looking for as Bell dropped Chanderpaul but Cook reacted to snag a wonderful catch, and that was the key wicket for me because Chanderpaul bats for these kind of situations where runs are at a premium and he just has to sit on his wicket and score through frustrating bowlers and we never gave him that chance. Two very good catches from Jimmy as well, reacting quickly to a ball hurtling through the air, and then a fine run out to get the unsure Holder which was helped by an excellent stop by Ballance at cover.

Eight down now and I would love England to do this from here, and they really should. It could be the test that starts to turn things around, snatching victory from the jaws of a draw, our top order regaining some touch and a vintage England display of what made them such a force when they were at their highest peak.



_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7124
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 5:22:19 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Now we get all the chat about how this might not be such a bad pitch after all. Yes, yes it is. It's flat, it's lifeless and you can see that from the fact the Windies have both Roach and Gabriel who can bowl pushing 90 plus and they haven't been able to keep it up there past the first few overs. What you see with a world-class bowler like Jimmy is one who can work that hard seam so well and cut it off the top of the deck to make it swing even when conditions aren't favourable for seam bowling, we saw Broad show the bowler he could be so more frequently in the first innings with that short spell where he accelerated his run up, angled it in at the stumps and took four wickets. Jimmy is a different bowler who has becoming increasingly better over the years of being utterly lethal with the new ball, who can make it sing and is far more controlled with the older ball too, he bowls an average of 21 overs per innings and he still doesn't leak runs. That's world class. That's what the Dale Steyn's do and that's why Jimmy is one of the greatest ever bowlers to have played the game.

England need to try and clean this tail up after the br but not feel under pressure too, like they did in the first innings. Don't rush, forget batting, there's time, look for that nick outside offstump, continue to field well but don't feel like everything has to be done in that first 20 minutes. We need to keep their run rate down and the wickets will come in this scenario.

We send Cook and Trott out too unless it's abysmally late. This is test cricket, you can jig the middle order around if time starts to wear because all of our middle order play out of natural position anyway but let's start with our opening two and let them breathe in that kind of confident situation.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7125
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 6:24:09 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
The mental pressure has told for the West Indies. They survived the first handful of overs of the afternoon, and then they capitulated to Moeen who was getting a bit of turn but got his two wickets with ones that went straight on, and a full toss to get rid of the very good Ramdin, which is the last sign of life from this West Indies team this test.

143 to win with all the time in the world and two batsmen at the crease who can have the pleasure of taking their time to get some more runs under their belt. This is terrific.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7126
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 6:26:07 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
This is a sham. We've had the restart delayed by the heavy roller which has taken over 10 minutes to fire up. This is to roll this pitch, which is as flat as a pancake. Are we idiots?

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7127
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 6:43:25 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
That's poor from Trott. This is a slow pitch where it drops in a bit and he's shuffling too much at his crease, he's come and played right across that ball but has been too late to try and cut that ball, it's close and into his body and he's dragged on.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7128
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 7:17:35 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Cook is playing like the Cook we know and love again here. He's seeing the pitch of the ball early, he's moving his feet well and he's getting his head over it, he's not feeling for it or getting bunched up at the crease, he's really playing freely. A lovely four down through fine leg off a juicy cut. He needs to see England home here.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7129
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 8:47:23 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I think the horrendous winter and complete calamity that was the World Cup, from prior to the start right through to the spasm of a finish for English, has led a line of deception for the England test team. We are certainly not a completely fixed model but after a brighter finish to last summer we have come here and worked hard to get in and win a test on some very tough pitches. We have some exciting young players in Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali. We have experienced veterans who still have so much to give and guide like Ian Bell and Jimmy Anderson and we have potential in the likes of Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan. That is where Peter Moores and his coaching staff have to go to work, what Andy Flower and his staff did so well is nurture and build further talent that was just blossoming as they arrived, Moores arguably has a tougher task as England come out of the back of some truly dreadful performances and some decisions that have left them under intense scrutiny and not really sure who they are. You see elements of that in the games of Stokes and Jordan, especially when they bowl, they don't really know what their job is, what they are best at, should they pitch the ball up or bang it in? They have potential to do both but they look and play very much like two young bowlers with talent that badly needs ironing out and focus at the international level. This is where Moores and his staff, especially Ottis Gibson, will make their money. David Saker did an excellent job with the English bowlers and since he's left we've seen that drop off so Gibson has some work to do. It is the third and fourth seamers and a premier spinner that is England's greatest area of necessity over these coming months.

Rashid is an interesting prospect because all of us who watch county cricket know the turnaround in this young man's career over the past two years. How he has been allowed to go back to being a proper wrist-spinning leggie who really tries to pitch it up there even if it means he goes for runs, he's dealt with that psychological fear of being dropped for being swept for fours, he trusts his captain a bit more and his batting has improved vastly with his confidence. England picking Moeen for his test says they aren't so sure though, they may be seeing something in the nets, or it could be a personal problem. Rashid has had attitude issues before and he could have them again but I'd like to think he'd moved on from that and England really have to try a premier spinner at some stage, and Rashid is the best option right now. It'll be quicker at Barbados so it should crack more. Jordan leaks runs when he loses his line too, I think he's the most athletic player in the team and a handy lower-order batsman, but that's not reason enough to keep him. Could England be brave and go Rashid over Jordan in the next test? They probably won't but I'd like to see it.

The captain can be a far happier man after this test. They've won, he's scored some runs, took a couple of really good catches and generally captained well on a tough pitch. He's had one or two plans, spin and pace especially, that have created wickets and it will lift his head for the third and final test before returning to England. If he can finish strongly there will be no complaints going into New Zealand. He's not there yet, he needs a hundred but if you cut the winter out of the picture he's doing pretty well all things considered. He's getting there, and that's what we need to see right now.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7130
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 9:02:08 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Gary Ballance is in such good touch currently. Everything's finding the middle of the bat, he looked out of sorts and hampered by injury at the World Cup but after he got that first innings off his shoulders he's looked every bit the player he was last summer. So confident and such a good timer of the ball, he plays it all around the ground and he's just walked Samuels over the top for consecutive sixes. Averaging 62 at the minute in test cricket and he's got four hundreds and five fifties in his last nine tests, he's probably the most in-form batsman in the world in test cricket this past year.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7131
RE: West Indies v England - 25/4/2015 9:39:06 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17572
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Well done boys, we're very proud, that was a tough fit on an unsuitable pitch for test cricket, great advent for the five-day game as well if you ask me.

Fourth win in our last five tests, first overseas win since December 2012 and completed with a real spring in our step.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 7132
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