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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » NZ vs England Test Series (Page 1)

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Author Topic: NZ vs England Test Series
Lieutenant Dub
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Test and one-day squads have been named: Prior and Bopara out, Strauss and Ambrose in.

England's one-day squad to tour New Zealand:
P, Collingwood (Durham, capt), T Ambrose (Warks), J Anderson (Lancs), I Bell (Warks), R Bopara (Essex), S Broad (Notts), A Cook (Essex), D Mascarenhas (Hants), P Mustard (Durham), K Pietersen (Hants), O Shah (Middx), R Sidebottom (Notts), G Swann (Notts), J Tredwell (Kent), C Tremlett (Hants), L Wright (Sussex).

England's Test squad to tour New Zealand:
M Vaughan (Yorks, capt), T Ambrose (Warks), J Anderson (Lancs), I Bell (Warks), S Broad (Notts), P Collingwood (Durham), A Cook (Essex), S Harmison (Durham), M Hoggard (Yorks), P Mustard (Durham), M Panesar (Northants), K Pietersen (Hants), O Shah (Middx), R Sidebottom (Notts), A Strauss (Middx), G Swann (Notts).

Presumably Mustard will be first choice keeper then. If he even manages to match his first-class batting average (27) in tests then England will be having the same decision to make again in a few months' time. Read's signing up for the ICL presumably means he's given up on being picked again, but I wonder what James Foster has done to Moores.

As far as I can tell, this brings to 7 the number of current county wicketkeepers who have been involved in the England set-up at some point:

Mustard (Durham)
Ambrose (Warks)
Prior (Sussex)
Read (Notts)
Nixon (Leics)
Foster (Essex)
Jones (Kent)

Luke Sutton at Lancs and Jon Batty at Surrey can probably count themselves unlucky that they haven't been included at some point (they'll be to old now - although they said that about Nixon). Nic Pothas is probably the best batsman of the lot but is Zimbabwean. Davies at Worcs will most likely be next in the queue.

[ 04.01.2008, 21:13: Message edited by: Lieutenant Dub ]

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Etienne
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Bopara's in both squads.
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Barndoorio
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I imagine Kieswetter will get a go in a few years time when he's eligible. And unlike some of those keepers I think he's a good batsman.
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goldstone97
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What's the feeling about Prior being dropped? At least Moores stuck to his Sussex roots with the replacement (sort of).
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Etienne
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I think he had to go, because that level of keeping wasn't up to scratch. I'm not convinced Ambrose will be any better, but hope springs eternal.
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goldstone97
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Prior's test average is pretty impressive, but if his keeping's that bad, I guess it doesn't matter. I suppose his first class record isn't quite good enough to consider him as a specialist batsman, either.

I always thought Prior was considered a better wicketkeeper than Ambrose at Sussex, but I could be mistaken.

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E10Rifle
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Has James Foster been shagging all the selectors' wives or something?

Not saying he's an automatic first choice, but worth a place in the party. What more does he have to do (other than play for a team less maddeningly flimsy than Essex)?

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Lieutenant Dub
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Bopara isn't in the test side. That's the BBC's mistake, not mine.

James Foster is a good 'keeper and a decent batsman. More to the point, what's Mustard done to deserve a place above everyone else? Moores must reckon he's seen something that everyone else has missed, like Fletcher did with Trescothick.

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Etienne
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Mustard and Ambrose have scored runs in the first division, which Foster hasn't. He may well be worth another chance, despite that of course.

Sorry for doubting you, Lt.

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Lieutenant Dub
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How dare you etc.
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Raskolnikov
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So, will a 'breezy' 39 from Strauss for Northern Territories be sufficient to regain his place at the top of the order? Given Vaughan's significantly better performance as an opener (Avg. 49.5) than in the middle-order (Avg. 37.8), and Bell's emergence over the past twelve months as a player of genuine class, it would seem an act of madness. Still, playing Bopara ahead of Shah in SL and then swapping Prior for Mustard didn't seem excessively bright.

Today's stat table: Why Vaughan Should Open
code:
Position__Inns__NO__Runs___Avg___100s
All_______132___9___5,356__43.5__17
@2_________64___4___2,970__49.5__10
@3_________29___1___1,254__44.8___5
@4_________32___3_____882__30.4___2
@6+_________7___1_____250__41.7___0
@!2________68___5___2,386__37.8___7

That said, Strauss was probably right to claim that without Shane Bond, NZ lack threat (England are already around 8/13 to win). Bond's career has already been tragically curtailed by injury. It will be a terrible shame if it ends early due to his involvement with the ICL.
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E10Rifle
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Always with the stats, Raskers. You must've been wallowing in Cricinfo today; slow day at the office?

Still, I agree with everything you've posted about cricket today. And Strauss has done nowhere near enough to merit returning as an opener. Vaughan's best innings have almost all been at the top of the order.

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Raskolnikov
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Serious work avoidance + toying with the upgraded Statsguru.

Vaughan as an opener seems obvious, but I don't recall it ever being picked up and properly discussed. I think the reason he does better is that he concentrates more intensely when opening and consequently when he gets 'in' and relaxes, he's still focussed enough to keep on batting. When he bats at 3 or 4, he doesn't seem as focussed to begin with, and if he plays himself 'in', reaching 20 or 30, and then relaxes, he keeps getting out to loose shots shortly afterwards. I hope that we'll see Cook, Vaughan, Bell, Pietersen, Shah, Collingwood, but fear it'll be Strauss, Cook, Vaughan, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bell.

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ursus arctos
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One thing that has struck me about test stats as a baseball-grounded outsider is non-homogenous nature of the opposition. Not only are there only nine or ten possible opponents, but the gap in quality between the first and the last is much wider than it would be in pretty much any serious league over a reasonable period of time. As a result, I would think that there is a certain degree to which Australian bowlers are favoured by never having to bowl against Australia, and that Bangledeshi bowlers are disfavoured because they don't get to bowl against their own team. The fact that the dominant team changes over time helps to some extent, but it can also introduce some distortions in comparing players from diffeernt eras (say West Indian batters of the 70s and 2000s, not to mention the period when there were fewer test countries).

I've noted on here before that "sabremetric" analysts of baseball have been working a lot on "park effects" (i.e, the extent to which the stadium in which a game is played influences offensive and defensive statistics) and other advanced metrics over the last 30 years or so in an attempt to factor out local or temporal factors that effect performance, and it seems that cricket is somewhat behind in this respect.

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Raskolnikov
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There's certainly some truth in that, ua. At its most crude, one can compare the number of wickets taken by Murali and Warne in total with the number when Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and ICC games are excluded. Of course, for some of this period, Zimbabwe almost had a genuine Test batting line up (certainly Test-class individuals), but it does suggest that Murali's total of 723 is some distance short of impressing as much as Warne's 708.

code:
Player________Overs____Wkts__Avg___SR
Murali (all)__6,533.4__723___21.8__54
Warne (all)__6,784.1__708___25.4__57
Murali (adj)__5,341.1__555___23.8__58
Warne (adj)__6,613.1__685___25.5__58

Clearly, there are more sophisticated ways of measuring achievement - and, in fairness to cricket, they have been in use since 1987. The weighted ranking system introduced then (at Ted Dexter's behest) assesses current form and is weighted for match conditions and the quality of the opposition. These have become fairly widely accepted amonst cricket fans over the last twenty years. More recently, there have been attempts to back-date the rankings so as to be able to calculate 'best-ever' players. There did use to be a similar system for individual innings' performances, but I am unable to locate it.

[ 16.01.2008, 12:13: Message edited by: Raskolnikov ]

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