WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons

Sven Roeder 5:19 Thu Feb 4
England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
AND TALKSPORT. No ball by ball by TMS

1st Test (Chennai) Feb 5-9 (4am start)
2ndTest (Chennai) Feb 13-17 (4am)
3rd Test D/N (Ahmedabad) Feb 24-28 (9am)
4th Test (Ahmedabad) Mar 4-8 (4am)

March 12 14 16 18 20 (all 1.30pm)
March 23 26 (both 8am) 28 (9am)

England Captain Joe Root starts the series playing his 100th Test (P99 W45 D19 L35 ,49.39 average, 19 centuries) against Virat Kohli (P87 W44 D18 L25 , 53.41 average, 27 centuries).

Crawley out due to damaging his wrist while isolated.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Queens Fish Bar 3:56 Sat Feb 27
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
Vaughn in today's Kippergraph.

India won the third Test by 10 wickets but it was a shallow victory. In fact, there were no winners from that game at all.

Yes, India showed their skill. We are not being fair if we do not accept that their skill levels in those conditions are far better than England’s.

But the good of the game needs to be looked at here and as ex-players it is our duty to call it out. We have to be fair and recognise these players are battling for their careers and over the last two weeks they have been let down by the surfaces.

How can anyone say that 250 is a par first innings score in a Test match and claim the pitch is good enough? Test cricket is not about accepting you need to have a bit of fortune as a batsman to score runs in the first innings.

In the second innings, maybe, but in the first innings the ball should be carrying through. We want to see a fair balance between bat and ball, not balls bowled on length by an orthodox spinner and one zipping into pads, the other ripping past the outside edge.

We saw two days of entertainment but it was freakish. It was like watching T20 cricket played in whites. The players realised there was a ball with their name on it and played shots to get runs while they could.

Making a 50 was going to change the Test match and that can’t be right. It is everything we complain about in county cricket when pitches do so much in April and May and we promote and praise a player because he gets a 50 to change the course of a four-day game. That is what we say is wrong about our system and yet it has just happened in a Test match but I still see people defending these pitches over the last two weeks. It is not right.

This is why if you have a World Test Championship you need to deduct points for producing surfaces that are not deemed good enough for Test cricket.

But also it is a real concern for the game that we have seen India respond to going 1-0 down by producing pitches which turn prodigiously from ball one and which they know full well will only last two or three days.

You can’t tell me those pitches are right for Test cricket. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of the game, so there is no way that a very average off-spinner like Joe Root - and he will not mind me saying that - should be getting five for eight on the second morning of a Test.

Did Ahmedabad pitch break ICC rules and will India be punished?
The longer powerful countries like India are allowed to get away with it the more toothless the ICC looks. The governing body are allowing India to produce whatever they wish and it is Test cricket that is getting hurt.

Perhaps it will take broadcasters to ask for refunds for things to change. They accept Tests finishing early because the players are not good enough but not when home boards produce such poor pitches. They are left with three blank days but are still having to pay for production. They will not be happy and might think twice about paying good money for Test rights.

A little bit of me says England are getting what they deserved for the way they picked players for this Test tour. The disregard they showed Test cricket by sending Jonny Bairstow home to walk his dogs for two weeks and then go back and bat at three against Ravi Ashwin has bitten them on the backside. How Jonny was not banging the door down to stay after Sri Lanka I will never know.

How do England’s batsmen sort themselves out?
You can blame selectors and management for not keeping him there but he should have been demanding he stayed for the Test series and missed the one-dayers. If you take the mickey out of Test cricket then I can’t then have sympathy for someone who goes back and makes a pair. To play against this quality attack on those pitches, you cannot take your eye off the ball. Bairstow and the England management took their eye off the ball.

Technically a number of England players are not aligning to the angle they are receiving the ball from. They are out of sync. Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Rory Burns, when he was in the team, and Zak Crawley twice to the left arm spinner, were not aligned properly to the angle of the ball. It is your method that is wrong and down to you to work that out with help of the coaches.

Technically and mentally England are all over the place. They look bamboozled. They swapped, changed and rotated in a big series so I have no sympathy for the management but I do have sympathy for young players trying to make their way on those surfaces. They are not good enough.

southbankbornnbred 4:20 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
Yep, Eerie - was up early and finished a feature.


southbankbornnbred 4:19 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
I remember reading that on the 2014 Ashes tour, Chef spent an hour after training, in the nets with Finn, trying to remind the poor bowler how to bring his arm down in a straight arc.

Really basic stuff, but the poor guy had become so frustrated by different demands on his action that he'd developed something like the 'yips' and was falling to one side on delivery.

It was then that everybody knew that Finn was mentally busted. Chef tried to help as much as he could, apparently, but to no avail.

Someody, or some group of bodies, royally fucked up Steve Finn's career. Sakers and Fraser both deny it was them, of course. Maybe DATA had a thing or two to say, who knows? Injuries also played a part, of course, especially in slowing him down by his late 20s.

Clearly, as a player, Finn had to take some responsibility - he could in theory have told them all where to go. But he was young, keen and a bit too malleable. Plus, when you're a young professional, you're told to listen to experienced pros.

Eerie Descent 4:18 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
Busy day at bornnbred HQ?

southbankbornnbred 4:05 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)

I'm no expert on FinnGate, but I believe that while they were trying to correct the problems with his delivery stride/no-balling, they were simultaneously trying to modify his action to supposedly improve it and take some of the pressure off his body. Clearly, that failed. Then they tried some other things, and they also failed to improve his game. By the end, he was a worse, slower and more injury prone bowler than when he began.

The row/dispute seems to be over who was to blame.

El Scorchio 2:20 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
I'm going to guess it was key to his effectiveness as a bowler to deliver from as close to the wicket as possible, and going wider would reduce that.

I'm certainly no bowler or anyone with huge knowledge of the technical ins and outs of release positions beyond the basics though.

ornchurch ammer 1:30 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
Surely knocking the bails off in his delivery was due to getting too close to the stumps and could have been resolved by simply moving across the crease. Too simple?

southbankbornnbred 12:04 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
Also, what I really didn't understand about Finn is that when he burst onto the scene as a teenager, he seemed to have a good, classic high-arm action and he generated speeds regularly around 88-90 mph. He also stayed fit for a while.

I'm not a coach and wouldn't pretend to be, but it seemed like his action probably only needed tinkering with, rather than a fundamental overhaul.

But I'm not a coach and have no idea whether his original, or revised, action was causing the excessive strains on his body.

I did see him boot the bails off too often on a trip to Lords. I found it quite funny: he looked like he wanted to run through the stumps!

southbankbornnbred 12:00 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)

Yep, absolutely. To this day, I can't believe how they screwed up Steve Finn.

I'm quite sure the ECB were heavily involved in breaking him, but Middlesex didn't help. The obvious tensions between the two sets of coaches meant he was being pushed and pulled around in all directions - try this, try that, do this, do that. Eventually, his form and action were so poor he lost his central contract - forcing him to play a huge amount of poor quality county cricket which, he says himself, forced him to lower his speed and become less effective.

By the end, his action and body were broken.

A classic example of how not to do it.

southbankbornnbred 11:54 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
And, yes, I'm aware there are 12 test-playing nations. But you can't play yourself and I'm sure we all agree that nobody will be touring Zimbabwe any time soon.

stewie griffin 11:51 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
agree with all that sbbb, although funny enough, Finn is an example of why I think county cricket gets a raw deal in all this.
It was England who fucked around with his action to stop him knocking the bails off.

Perhaps an even more stark example is Jimmy. It was England who said his action would cause him injuries. England who changed his action, had him carrying drinks and not playing. The action England gave him, gave him a stress fracture of the back and a test match average of about 150 while he used their plan. He had to go back to county cricket, return to his previous action, have no injuries and ultimately become our best ever bowler.

And don't even get me started on how every single England batsman got progressively worse the longer they spent around Mark Ramprakash. More time with Dr Matt is the answer, I suspect.

Who knows, maybe I'm a bit complacent, or maybe we've all been a bit spoiled the last 20 years. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, being as good as we have been since about 2001 seemed a very distant possibility.

southbankbornnbred 11:45 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
This patchwork approach of the ECB - we'll send this batsman to play some low-level cricket in Sri Lanka, and that bowler to a 'masterclass' net session in India - has to be revised and knocked into a better co-ordinated regime focused on quality.

Personally, I think they have the money to establish a permanent camp somewhere (doesn't have to be Gibraltar, as oddly recommended by my contact) which would allow the ECB to co-ordinate the whole thing internally.

Another idea I read, which made perhaps a little more sense, was for the ECB to sign a permanent, lucrative deal with a well-established club (just below the top level) in South Africa or India and to use that club's facilities every year to set up the same sort of semi-permanent training camp.

One thing's for certain - and casting aside the chaos of yesterday's pitch - English batsmen need to learn how to play spin, and English cricket needs to learn how to develop spin bowlers. In future, four out of the ten test-playing nations will be spin-heavy sides (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangaldesh). If England ever want a chance to dominate test cricket in the way that the Windies or Aussies did in the 70s/80s/90s and early 2000s, then they need to learn the basics of succeeding (not just playing) in those sorts of conditions.

At the moment, all England do is rely heavily on their excellent home performances and take Stewie's "fingers crossed" approach (sorry, Stewie!) to away tours. You'll never dominate that way - and you'll rarely become the #1 side in the world.

Given England's relative resources, that is what they need to aim for. England are probably, cash-wise, the second most powerful test nation on the planet. How often have we even been the #2 test side in the world?

The money is there within English cricket to make the national side far more competitive in all conditions. But the amateurish nature of the domestic sport continues to hold it back.

southbankbornnbred 11:28 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)

The ECB is itself reviewing its handling of younger players and where/how they send them abroad - having admitted that the current regime is poor.

So I'm not sure that defending a system that the ECB itself wants to reform (but doesn't know how) is logical, but ho-hum.

There is little co-ordination of the regime. And some of the supposed learning programmes are awful. So, for example, the ECB has sometimes sent young fast bowlers off to the sub-continent (which seems odd) only to then discover that they spent the entire time in indoor nets. Which wouldn't teach Malcolm Marshall about how to play in India.

It's that sort of thing that I'm talking about when I say the current approach is amateurish and ill-considered.

The ECB believed it was ticking that box when it sent bowlers to that fast-bowling school. And it was. But that's all it did - the actual experience had almost no material effect on their experience or performance.

That sort of crap has to end. As Stewie says, it's better to leave players alone if you're going to school them badly. It sounds boring, but you have to be very hands-on with that sort of training these days.

Look what poor, un-coordinated regimes and masterclasses all over the country did to Steve Finn's action. He went from being genuinely one of the best fast bowling prospects in world cricket - and an out-and-out 90mph man, to being so poorly coached on technique that he was virtually falling over, when he wasn't knocking off the bails, in his delivery stride - at 82mph.

Finn also wasn't helped by the ridiculous daily grind of relentless, poor quality, county cricket.

Shit, poorly co-ordinated coaching is often worse than no coaching at all. And that's what the ECB accpets and needs to reform.

Westside 1:57 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
I think that Stokes is one place too high at 5. To me he should bat at 6.

He averages 46 at 5, 37 at 6.

I'd leave him at 5.

ornchurch ammer 1:14 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
I think that Stokes is one place too high at 5. To me he should bat at 6.
Butler doesn’t come off enough with the bat and is inferior to Foakes with the gloves so Foakes would go 7 for me.

Sven Roeder 12:09 Fri Feb 26
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
Not sure you can blame the ECB for sending these players away to get exposure to different conditions and some intensive coaching.
As much as you would like English players to be playing in the SHEFFIELD SHIELD I don't think that has any chance of happening .... the days of Gary Sobers, Barry Richards, Viv Richards, Botham AND Vic Marks appearing are long gone.
As said English players have traditionally come and played grade cricket .... Alec Stewart came to Perth for a decade as did a fresh faced David Gower. Even Dan Lawrence.
And our own VIRGINIA HAM
Agree that players doing things themselves would be to their advantage but not sure many English equivalents of LABUSCHAGNE (5 Tests when he played for SECOND DIVISION Glamorgan) fancy batting once a fortnight in grade cricket.

zebthecat 10:21 Thu Feb 25
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
Sven Roeder 9:21 Thu Feb 25

I agree with you completely. Of all the batmen on this series only Rohit and Root have looked they had the a plan for this pitch so difficult to really blame the failure much (Bairstow excepted who looked utterly clueless and got bowled yet again - surely you can't put him in at 3 again?).
Bess to come in next test for Broad and I'd keep Anderson and think about swapping Archer for Stone. Archer needed a cortizone injection to go for the last match so no point breaking him before the white ball stuff.
I have a suspicion that Stokes is a lot more injured than England have admitted. Apart from his fielding he has been a total passenger on this tour bowling wise and looked comfortably the worst seamer we have in the squad. Also Ashwin is eating him alive.

stewie griffin 9:33 Thu Feb 25
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
yeah, agree with all of that, Sven son. No great fan of his, but thought it was harsh to omit Burns given his lack of cricket. Wouldn't have made any difference, but the top 3 of SibLOL, Burns and Crawley seemed an obvious pick. But then, to be fair, Bairstow has historically been a good player of spin and his IPL stints mean he has more experience of conditions, plus he scored 100 at 3 in Sri LOLka, so could understand that pick.

Never sure, though, about the GROUP love-ins you mention. Take the South African fellow who bats at 3 for your mob. Came here as a run of the mill sort, no great shakes. Came on his own, and got taught how to bat in Wales. Think that's got to be more beneficial than 5 star hotels and the like. Like young footballers going out on loan. That happens too, and plenty spend their winters in club cricket, but needs to be at a higher level, for me.

Sven Roeder 9:21 Thu Feb 25
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
I dont think there is as much of a problem as people are making out. Though I dont understand the rotating and selection which smacks of FUNKY smartarse-ery. Which smells of Ed Smith & his glove puppet James Taylor.

The wicket was a disgrace ... who knew it was possible to make one worse than the previous one. Even the Indians struggled to cope and Joe Root took 5/8 on day 2 of a Test.
Was a lot of talk of players getting out to straight balls but the combination of a pink ball where the seam is hard to pick up, a dust pitch and balls on the same part of the pitch going straight on when they land on a slightly different part of the ball OR jumping and turning at right angles makes it hard for anyone.
When Pujara is out to a straight one you wonder what is going on.
As for England , as I have said earlier I am not judging any of these batsmen in terms of the Ashes (or even the summer). I just think its a shame that what SHOULD be a great Test in a 100,000+ plus stadium turns into a 2 day debacle.

Given the resources they have I understand the ECB DOES try and expose up and coming players to varied conditions.
They do send groups to UAE, India etc... fast bowlers, spinners , batsmen .. on training camps as well as having probably the most extensive programme of tours for the Lions.
On major tours the Lions (obviously not under current conditions) shadow the main team and are in the country or nearby.

As for England beyond this series they need to plant Crawley at 3 and with Root, Stokes, Pope to follow with then either Buttler or Foakes to follow just need to sort out their openers. No reason for Burns & Sibley not to have another go.

Westside 8:31 Thu Feb 25
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)
yep - that's the well worn argument on Root at 3. But he's normally coming in at 10/2, so i can't see how it makes any difference.

Well, clearly it does as an average nearly 40% higher batting at 4, than 3 demonstrates.

England having a problem at 3 is mothing new. The Root fix has been tried before, didn't work.

Root should bat at 4 and the batting line fits around him,

southbankbornnbred 8:29 Thu Feb 25
Re: England tour of India (Live on Channel 4)

Haha! That should read “Stewie”!

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