30 June 2012

Watson at sixes and sevens

Lots of coverage of the fact that Shane Watson thought Australia had an advantage from Wade batting 7 v Bresnan before the first ODI.   I thought it was strange as Bresnan has a better average than Wade in Tests and just 3 less than Wade on ODIs, but Wade has mostly batted 1-3 so has had far more opportunity.

My guess is that the England stats team have looked at how long there is to bat when number 7 gets in and assessed the importance of having a batsman in that position.   They've concluded that there's little point playing a batting all-rounder at 7.   I'm happy to support their analysis, particularly in the UK.
Irrespective of who bats 7, Watson seemed to be missing the fact that Australia have Steve Smith batting at 6.   So far he's flattered to deceive in international cricket....he may come good but at the moment Smith makes England's number 6, Kieswetter - someone who himself has hardly been an unquestionable success - look like a master.

Australia may win the series because they have the better team, but it certainly won't be because their 6 and 7 are stronger than England's.   The Aussies have made it harder for themselves - is there anyone in the world that really thinks that Ricky Ponting would not be superior to either Bailey or Smith?   He's a better fielder than Bailey and at a minumum a comparable batsman, and Smith - well he's not a batsman at all really....

Keep talking the talk Twatto.   How someone with so little brain can be vice-captain is beyond me!
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22 June 2012

Freddie, Freddie, Freddie!

There's some of what Flintoff said that I agree with - Atherton did only average in the late 30s in Tests for example, so when he's held up as an example of a great batsman I do sometimes wonder just how great he was.   But similarly Flintoff's stats don't make him look quite as good as his reputation would make you assume - Bresnan's short career has seen him perform infinitely better than Flintoff with both bat and ball.

Atherton was right Flintoff was a terrible captain - truly one of the worst in my lifetime in international cricket.   I watched in Melbourne in 2006 as he single-handedly got Australia back into the game with some terrible defensive field placings off Panesar that allowed the struggling Symonds to play himself in and get his confidence up (he got a hundred).   And in Sydney he played a terribly irresponsible shot (running down the track and having an enormous slog) when well on the way to a century....mindless.

Atherton has also publicly admitted he was wrong about Cook, so unlike many commentators he can clearly own up to his mistakes.   No need to have a go then Freddie - or atleast it might be better to be a little more objective if you're going to.   Back to your D list celeb circuit and TV shows.   Talking of D list celebs and TV shows, have you seen Michael Vaughan is the latest to take the Strictly pay cheque at the cost of his reputation?

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21 June 2012

Manjrekar questions ODIs

You probably know that I think ODIs need to go to as 3 formats of international cricket is too many and the importance of Tests should be maintained.   Sanjay Manjrekar appears to agree, although I can't say I agree with all the points he makes.   One format for experimentation and the other for the very best of the best would be ideal....it'll take many years, players retiring or striking though.   But most of all it will take the sponsors walking away from meaningless ODIs which is gradually happening.
We can review if ODIs are still around in...somewhat spookilly....2020!

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17 June 2012

Bell was out

I'll never feel comfortable with batsmen that don't walk.   Bell admits he was out on 23 yesterday....surely he'll be thinking about that whenever he remembers that innings and it must mean less than a "proper" century.   I wonder how many of the other England batsmen would have gone on to a hundred if they'd been allowed to bat twice?
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Wind, wind, more wind


The windiest conditions that I can remember playing in yesterday - a proper gale force wind to bowl into and when facing their spinner the ball was moving around in the air based on the gusts of wind rather than his flight.

Sad to hear that the wind led to 3 children getting injured.   Hopefully they'll make a full recovery....

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12 June 2012

All out for 6!


Had to post this piece about a Somerset team all out for 6 - I don't think 6 is that bad!

So far this season we've been 15-4, 7-3 and 20-4 (same match) and 22-3 at Steyning.   I'm worried that 6 all out isn't that far away!

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10 June 2012

England's ODI side

Watching Cricket Writers on TV with gritted teeth given that Michael Henderson's on it.   Not someone who's views I agree with or who's consiliatory enough to share a pint with.   He seems to think there is only his view!

They've been discussing England's ODI line up in the absence of their most talented batsman.   Personally I'd go for:

Bairstow (wk)

Also in the squad: Finn, Stokes, Buttler, Briggs.

I feel a bit sorry for Bopara getting shunted around the order again, but I think it's needed and he can be told he has until the next world cup there to make his mark.   I did consider Carberry opening and Bopara remaining at 4, but England will feel Carberry is a little old.   I'd have no problem if he played though and Bopara batted 4 rather than Bell - I'm not sure if England will feel that Bell has had enough chances and he'll get omitted, but they need a bit of experience in there.
Your thoughts?
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8 June 2012

Colin Povey - mixed thoughts


Mixed views about seeing Warwickshire CCC chief executive interviewed this morning. Sad because it was about the financial implications for the fans , The ECB, the insurers and his county of yesterday's washout ( and possibly another one today). Encouraging, on the other hand for those that argue that sport keeps you young - he doesn't seem to have aged since  25+ years ago when he was a run-machine at our old tour friends Whitchurch CC.

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6 June 2012

Ed Smith's new book and article on Cricinfo


Interesting piece by Ed Smith about the value of certain players over and above their stats, in relation to Tim Bresnan.   He makes the point that Bresnan isn't an ideal subject for that though as his stats are excellent!

I'm going to have a read of his new book referenced at the end of the article, "Luck - What It Means and Why It Matters".   So far I've been impressed by everything I've read from Ed Smith....hopefully that will continue.   I'll give you a summary when I'm done...

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The latest ECB deal

Slight concern that these deals get done so far in advance that they get in the way of sensible changes to strategy - i.e. this deal with ESPN Sports will net the ECB $240m apparently but it runs until the 2019.   I really hope that the ICC use the 2015 World Cup as a cut off for 50 over cricket and revert to two formats of the game, but I said that about 2011 so I'm not very hopeful.   Perhaps if the ICC is on the ball they can ask the Boards to all work to the same time periods when negotiating these kind of extensions so they can all aim for deals up to 2019.....I can't see it happening though.
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1 June 2012

Fault on both sides in KP limited overs retirement

I've been agreeing with those that say that 3 formats of cricket is too much for a while now and for me it's 50 over cricket that has to go.   So does Kevin Pietersen by the sounds of it.  
Where the ECB have gone wrong is stipulating that you have to play ODIs and Twenty20 or neither.   Clearly there's no reason for that because the formats are very different and the squads change between the two - e.g. Cook, Trott, Bell and Prior who all play ODIs (most of the time), but not Twenty20.  

An easy compromise was available - Pietersen to play on in ODIs and Twenty20s until the end of this contract and then all England contracts to change to split the formats when they were next agreed.   That would have left England with one of the best Twenty20 batsman in the world available for the World T20 later in the year.   As an aside, it would have meant he was available for the ODIs this summer, but they're of zero importance so England could have "rested" him if necessary to ensure he was available for Twenty20.

The problem with how things have turned out is that the ECB had the wrong contracts in place and would now be forced into something of a climb down to get their best Twenty20 batsman to come out of retirement for that format only.   How do you resolve that?   Ask all pro cricketers in this country for their opinion and then take their opinion on board wahtever the result - it would certainly mean that contracts would not group together ODIs and Twenty20 and the ECB could claim to be a forward thinking organisation listening to employees.

End result, England get their best team on the pitch for the world T20 and a happier more likely to succeed Pietersen for Test cricket.   Chances - slim to zero!

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