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Author Topic: NZ vs England Test Series
Raskolnikov
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England appear to now be picking their batsmen on the basis of their slip-catching ability. That's the only reason I can think of for including Strauss, who has been in abysmal touch for nigh on two years, ahead of Shah. Cook-Vaughan-Bell-KP-Shah is surely a better choice than Cook-Vaughan-Strauss-KP-Bell. Shah may as well sign up with the IPL, while I can't imagine that Bell's particularly impressed with his demotion.
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Etienne
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I'd have picked Shah over Strauss too, but the latter's century in the last match suggests he might be rediscovering his form. And if he does get back to his form of 2-3 years ago, then he's an automatic choice.

Looks like Shah might get a run if Bell's injury is as bad as it looks in any event.

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The Purple Cow
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Bell's injury not as bad as first feared, no fracture.

Shah got 96 in his last England innings, not sure what he has to do to convince people he's worth a pop.

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Etienne
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His last test was pretty calamitous.
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E10Rifle
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Dear God, NZ 470-9, the tail allowed to wag to its heart's content. There's an unmistakable whiff of mid-90s drift about England at the moment it has to be said. And Harmison looks fucked. Possibly for good.
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The Purple Cow
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I hope you are wrong about Harmi E10, but I don't think you are. He hasn't just lost his line and length - he also lost 10 mph.

**

Is Patel the last remaining specialist conventional off-spinner in test cricket?

Off the top of my head I can't think of another.

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Raskolnikov
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Shaun Udal hasn't announced his international retirement.
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G-Man
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Hmm, perhaps a good time to announce my own retirement from international cricket.

I'm glad that NZ's tail didn't set any world records. Poor Raskolnikov might have had to point out that these would have been worthless.

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Tubby Isaacs
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What E10 said. Mid 90s it is- not 1999, yet. It sounds a good track, there's no Bond, so we should at least bat enough time that Vettori and Patel have too much time to bowl us out.

Talking of Vettori, he averages over 40 in his last 23 matches with the bat.

[ 06.03.2008, 09:05: Message edited by: Tubby Isaacs ]

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Duncan Gardner v8.2
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Watched the first session run fest. It should go to a draw, but there'll be pressure on Moores to make changes for the next game. Jimmy Anderson has gone to play for Auckland in a local province game (pissing off many Kiwis), so Broad may come in for Harmison or Hoggard.
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Tee-Rex
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Taylor and Vettori aren't tail-enders. One promising (if inexperienced) batsman, one near-all-rounder, who's done this kind of thing before. They probably did set a world record for a Samoan-Italian partnership.

Pointless prediction time: NZ will come close to winning, but it will rain in the 4th innings.

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Eggchaser
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Pietersen puts an optimistic slant in the style of "Charge of the Light Brigade" on shithouse England's pisspoor batting -

quote:
""Our guys batted brilliantly, I think we put in a great performance here.

"If a few of us had tried to play our normal games and got out for 10 or 15 we could have been in a whole lot of trouble.

"To lose only four wickets in the day is a fantastic effort. Yes, we haven't scored as many runs as everybody would have liked, but it's not that kind of wicket."

What the fuck is he smoking?
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The Purple Cow
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To be fair that one's a bit of an aberration, his post-day analysis is usually very sharp.

**

This England team seems to be somewhat rudderless at the moment, the batsmen are overly risk-averse, the seam-bowling is under-cooked and lacking bite, and even Vaughan's captaincy seems to have lost some of it's edge.

**

Monty's bowling too flat and too one-paced, a sure sign of a spinner who has lost his confidence. Top class spinners loop the ball MORE after they have been hit, not less.

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Eggchaser
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I wonder what the averages for Monty are when Vaughan has captained and when he hasn't? I'm pretty certain Vaughan doesn't rate him, or indeed English spinners very much.

Harmison (and to a lesser extent Hoggard) look like they've been bowling in the first tour match against a President's XI. At least Anderson's taken himself off to Auckland to get some time on the pitch rather than lounge around and then expect to waltz into the team fully prepared like a certain lazy bastard from Durham.

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Etienne
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I don't think the centrally-contracted players have any say in which matches they play or not, Eggchaser.

[ 07.03.2008, 15:16: Message edited by: Etienne ]

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