Test Match Cricket


Proper cricket discussion in here only - bastardised forms of the game, like pyjamas cricket can be discussed elsewhere.

I just see that Pietersen scored a century in his first game as England and Wales captain before being dismissed. That's an excellent start for him. I was posting about E&W over on the betting forum about a month back. I mentioned that, even though they'd won home and away series against New Zealand in the past 6 months or so, I didn't think their bowling attack would pose any problems whatsoever for Australia next summer.

If you think back, they had Flintoff batting at #6 in 2005 and then another 3 seam/quick bowlers in Harmison, Hoggard and Jones. Three of those four are fast, two of them can reverse swing the ball and Hoggard was bowling his outswingers as well as he ever did. Fast forward to the start of the South African series when Flintoff wasn't in the side and they only had three seam bowlers in Broad, Sidebottom and Anderson. Broad can bowl quick but is raw and while the others are decent swing bowlers, they didn't have anyone with express pace and their attack looked lightweight and lacked depth and variation.

Add Vaughan's inability to get a run and their other batsmen failing to convert 30s and 40s into centuries and you can see why South Africa went 2-0 up ahead of this last test of the series. Vaughan was a supremely gifted captain but even that couldn't mask his complete lack of form and it was the right time for him to resign. When I was watching him lately I couldn't believe this was the same player who enjoyed such a run of outstanding innings in Australia in 2002/03. Giving KP the job was a bold move but I was speaking to the bhoy about it and we agreed he's brash, confident and arrogant enough to possibly pull off the responsibility of being the leader, tactician and main run-scorer.

At least by getting the job now he'll have plenty of cricket as captain in the winter to prepare for the Ashes next summer. Their batting line-up still looks a little brittle though. Strauss hasn't recaptured his 2004/05 form and while Cook's been regularly in the runs, the Aussies sussed him out by pitching the ball up full to him a few winters back. Collingwood and Bell mix big scores with runs of poor form and Flintoff has struggled with the bat in recent times. So there's going to be huge pressure on KP to get big scores.

Broad's an excellent lower order batsman but his primary job is as a wicket taker and he should be picked for the winter tests to aid his development ahead of the Ashes. Harmison bowled well yesterday but it remains to be seen whether he has the application and desire to have another go at the Ashes. He doesn't travel well and it'll be intriguing to see if he's picked for the winter tour. But if they're to have any chance of taking 20 wickets in a match against Australia, they'll need pace, bounce and hostility. Flintoff will provide it alright and Harmison is their best option to complement him if he has the hunger to do so.

It should be a belter of a series but South Africa travelling to Australia before then promises to be just as good.


There weren't many alternatives to KP were there? He's clearly their best player - far removed from the flash in the pan that many hoped he'd be (many of that many being English) but he's not really a natural type that you'd earmark for captain. That said they could hardly overlook their most gifted player when there was nobody screaming out to replace him. I think it was probably done with some reluctance - reminds me of Australia, they didn't want Warne as captain but they had options, England had none.

Anyway haven't seen much of this series at all. Saw some of the controversy over the dropped catches when I got back from Costa Rica, funny stuff with Vaughan taking the high ground and then getting the morals wrong himself. Missed most of the action though.


They have problems throughout the team. Strauss is not in form. Bell is hot and cold. Still haven't solved wicketkeeper/batsman issue. They badly need Simon Jones back. I reckon they won't take Harmison to India. Broad is expensive, Anderson is getting there.


I saw the canadian cricket team in Malahide yesterday - i was torn whether to put it on the celeb spotting thread- anyway if its sunny tomorrow i strongly reccommend heading out to Fingal to watch the game


England and Wales have the entire final day to get 197 to win the last test. I haven't seen any of this one as Sky Sports 1 has mysteriously been missing from our NTL package this week. Broad took a few wickets today after apparently bowling poorly in the first innings and they would have had far fewer runs to get but AB De Villiers making a big score. They should get 197 but it'll be a good test, especially if South Africa take a few early wickets.

As for other captaincy options, there weren't many to be honest. Strauss did it decently a while back before they opted for Flintoff but, as balbec says, he's not in great form. Flintoff messed up his chances due to indiscipline and is only coming back into the team and Collingwood isn't making consistent runs either.


England and Wales knocked off the runs with 4 wickets down to start the KP reign with a victory. Strauss and Cook had a century opening partnership to allay any fears they wouldn't chase it and there was only a slight wobble when Strauss and Bell went in quick succession to leave them 147/3. Should be an interesting winter for them and their touring squad will tell a lot ahead of the Ashes next summer.


Was pieterson given the captaincy so he couldn't fuck off to india and play in the 20/20 super league thing......


Giving him the captaincy would certainly make it improbable that he'd fook off to India for the cash but they didn't have (m)any other options in truth.


Just resurrecting this thread after the India/Australia series had its own discussions.

Australia have rebounded somewhat by easily accounting for New Zealand 2-0 in a recent home series. The second test was a complete mismatch and Australia won by an innings. Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson did the damage with the ball and Brad Haddin make huge runs.

The England and Wales two match series in India is scheduled go ahead despite the attacks last week. The BCCI pointed out that the Ashes weren't postponed in 2005 after the 7/7 attacks so they're anxious for the games to be played.

The EwCB seems to be showing a great deal of indecision and passing off responsibility to individual players to decide if they'll return to India. Dominic Cork says in the papers this morning that he knows 5 England and Wales players who definitely will not return.

The cynic in me says they're using these security fears as a route into the IPL 20/20 League next year. The EwCB still won't release centrally contracted players to play in this what with the Ashes taking place only a a couple of months afterwards but you might not get a renewed EwCB contract if you refuse to return to play this test series. Hey presto, you'll then be free to negotiate your own deal for huge $$$$ to play in the IPL.

Money before The Ashes - WG Grace, Dennis Compton and Ben Hollioake would be turning in their graves.


What do you make of India at 4/5 to win series Bandage? Generous odds according to rock and I tend to agree with him based on what I have seen/heard regarding both teams form.


Free money larry. I'd be extremely surprised if they didn't win it 2-0 to be honest. I'd expect Mishra and Harbhajan to wreak havoc with the ball on Indian pitches and India still have the best batting line-up in world cricket in my opinion.

The EwCB announced earlier that they plan to resume the tour. The squad will be flying out to a training camp in Abu Dhabi but they'll only definitely commit to travelling across to India once they're satisfied with the security arrangements. All the original squad, bar the injurd Ryan Sidebottom, are travelling.


grand will lump on heavily so.


just checked paddy website and india are now 4/9 to win series. i mistakenly backed them to win first test at 8/11 thinking that was the odds for the series. could odds on india really have shrunk from 4/5 to 4/9 or were both rock and myself mistaken on previous odds?


They were definitely above even money during the ODI series. They were 4/6 last week with Paddy for the series.


I'm pleasantly surprised at the commitment of the England and Wales lads in returning en masse. I was sure flaky cunts like Harmison and Flintoff would take any chance to avoid going back there. I still think they'll get beaten handily enough mind.


don't you be backtracking on your assurance that india would slaughter them. while you haven't explicitly said england and wales are in with a chance i think this could be the start of a massive flip flop from you.


Nope, they'll definitely lose the series. Definitely. It's just a matter of whether it's a straightforward 2-0 or if they'll graft out a draw in one of the games with the aid of some rain and/or bad light.

Interesting story today about Chris Lewis, the former England and Wales bowler, being arrested for drug smuggling in Heathrow last night. A load of cocaine was found in his luggage when he returned from a flight to London on a flight to the Caribbean.


England and Wales have named their team for tomorrow's first test:
Collingwood (C)
Prior (WK)

Stuart Broad couldn't overcome his thigh injury so they've gone with a second spinner and given Graeme Swann his test debut. Harmison and Anderson will take the new ball, with the main support coming from Flintoff. I suppose Collingwood and Bell can bowl some medium pace too, along with KP's spin but that looks a weak attack to me.

India are expected to include Yuvraj Singh for the retired Saurav Ganguly. He's destroyed England in pyjamas cricket in recent years so they'll hardly be happy to see him strolling out to the crease.


I thought Pieterson was the test captain not Collingwood


He is. I did my (C) and (WK) additions at the end of my post and misplaced the (C) one.