England victorious on the field. But defeat is still a possibility. | Cricket News

Hello man. Your elusive editor, it’s been a while since I’ve been around, so I thought I’d quickly give my thoughts on the current state of English cricket. Many thanks to Billy, Rob, Chris, Thomas, John, Sam and Brian for capturing the fort in my absence.

First of all, it was great to see England so strong comeback At Old Trafford after a poor performance in the first Test. I was especially happy for Ben Foakes, who has now scored as many centuries in 16 Tests as Jos Buttler did in 57. Their average is also level-pegging. Obviously this debate is now settled. So let’s see how Fox evolves, while Jose persists in what it does best: throwing the white ball into all corners while keeping short form advertisers and marketers happy.

As far as the nature of England’s victories is concerned, I’m not quite sure what to make of this series honestly. I can’t think of too many series where fate oscillates so dramatically, so quickly. It is strange that a team can win by an innings in one week and then lose by an innings the next. So, my clear view is, what does this say about the strengths of both the teams? Are they great organizations capable of putting in great performances or just two teams with an incredibly flaky batting line-up (if the bowling attack is good enough to exploit those weaknesses when the conditions permit)? I think it’s the latter.

As a result, although I will probably sound like a plain old coder when I say this, I am concerned that the standard of Test cricket is simply not the same. After all, when conditions dictate that the batting sides need to sit, fight and weather the storm, they simply don’t know how to do it. We shouldn’t see so many games ending in three days.

Although I wasn’t able to watch much of the game – I was keeping an eye on it live cricket score Online at work – I felt like South Africa got their decision horribly wrong in the toss. His batting was just not able to cope with Anderson, Broad and Robinson (who are more than easy in the seaming position). However, I don’t think England’s weak batting could have been countered better if we had batted first.

Basically, England clearly got the best conditions. By the time Stokes and Fox were forming their match-defining partnership, some venom had certainly vanished from the surface. Maybe England would have been 0-2 down this time if South Africa had included him instead of making the bold/stupid decision to bat first? I may have got the wrong end of the stick here, as I have become a casual observer this year, but that was my impression from afar.

My second observation is that the intensity of this series seems very low (or rather the stakes don’t seem as high) as they were in the previous Titanic conflicts between England and South Africa. Therefore, I have nowhere found the action as absorbing. Although it’s great to see Rabada bowling to Joe Root, the hair on the back of my neck doesn’t stand out like it used to be when Allan Donald was bowling to Mike Atherton or Andrew Flintoff to Jacques Kallis. It just doesn’t seem like it.

I think the problem is that the current crop of batsmen on both sides (root aside) is not particularly good. Both the batting orders are probably the worst fielders ever in Test cricket. This is clearly because Test cricket is no longer a priority for ECB or SA cricket. And that, my friends, is another reason why this series hasn’t caught on to me yet.

Test cricket used to be the pinnacle of the game – I bet most TFT readers still want to – but it’s hard to pretend this is still the case when no country’s boards are prioritizing the format. Surely, something can ever be the pinnacle of the game if both the participants are really putting their all to succeed in the format?

Test cricket used to be the ultimate battle between two national systems vying for supremacy. But now it is not so. Which is why when England lost the Ashes last winter, there was a lot of laughter. The ECB was not even trying to win (as evidenced by the complete lack of effort after the last thrashing). And this, belatedly, gives us Andrew Strauss’s so-called high performance review,

The naive among us probably assume that Strauss’s brief was to create a framework designed to make England the world’s No. 1 Test team. But sadly, in reality, the high performance review is essentially a damage-limiting exercise to mitigate the inevitable negative effects The Hundred will have on both our Test and ODI sides, while somehow (perhaps pointless) The county is trying to limit the member’s anger so they can get some offer through.

just think about it. If you were really trying to make England the No. 1 Test team in the world, the first thing you would do is Bin the Hundred. But instead, there’s a sacred aspect of the hundred calendar that Strauss isn’t allowed (or doesn’t want) to touch—even if it’s a slap-bang in mid-August, when pitches are at their driest and spinners and exponents are in reverse. The swing should come by itself.

If the ECB was really serious about Test cricket they would actually be ring-fencing August (or most of it) for the County Championship. But they are not. He let Rome burn instead of admitting that The Hundred is unnecessary (or a problem at all). As a result, it is difficult to take Andrew Strauss or his review seriously.

So this is where English cricket currently stands:

a. They will move the domestic 50-over competition to April, where the ball will spin so much that it will be impossible to play a shot. Result? Our world champion 50-over team will probably be the worst team in the world in four to eight years’ time.

B. They will reduce the number of first-class games to 12 or 10, most of which are still scheduled for May and September when the medium pace bowlers will ‘use the facilities’ and batting will be a lottery. We will therefore surrender one of England’s major advantages over rival nations (playing more red ball cricket) while limiting our young batsmen’s ability to bowl good spin and withstand reverse swing before reaching Test level.

As Strauss knows this is a big problem—he’s not stupid, after all—he’s apparently suggested another red ball tournament to go along with The Hundred. But we all know it’s a futile idea. Any red ball competition played simultaneously would be like the current Royal London One Day Cup: a devaluation development tournament consisting of several 2Ra XI Cricketers.

While there is some statistic that England’s best red ball players don’t actually play in the hundred, ask this: who is the next cab in rank for Test selection? Brooke, Clark, Vince and Lawrence immediately spring to mind. well guess what? They all play in the hundred (as do all the best players in the middle order). Any bowler with pace will inevitably be playing in it as well. Basically, so, Dom Sibley could benefit from this idea and, erm, that’s about it.

So there we have people. The state of English cricket isn’t pretty: arguments on social media are relentless, spin from above is still widespread, and the ability of some cricket supporters to swallow the hype made by the ECB never ceases to amaze.

So, at least for the time being, I’m still pretty much out. I hope incoming president Richard Thompson can reverse some of the damage.

Help Obi-Wan Thompson. You are our only hope.

James Morgan

Leave a Comment