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  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Test match cricket

    Just a few hours until India and South Africa set off on a three-Test series that should have an impact for both sides, depending on the outcome.

    Changes for India, with Bumrah unfortunately injured, although they have a couple of more than decent pace men to complement Ashwin and Radeja with the slower ball. The two spinners have great combined results on home soil.

    Pant makes way for Saha behind the stumps, but I have confidence Pant will be in the team on batting merit before too long.

    For South Africa, they haven’t had their troubles to seek but there is the nucleus of a very bright, talented young team there.

    Given it is India at home then it is hard to see past them for the series, the surfaces will suit them far better and while the SAFs have upgraded in the spin department, it isn’t going to be close to the hosts.

    For those with Sky, it appears to be on one of the international channels, Star Gold, at 887. Play seems to start at five am though! That would seem to suggest the evening session commences somewhere around ten am which is more realistic! Can’t find any indication of highlight programmes on Sky Sports or BT and forget to check Star. For those without Sky there will be online radio coverage, both from Indian and South African broadcasters for sure.
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  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    There is a half-hour highlights package from day one of the Test on Star Gold (Sky 887).

    Also discovered that Sony Max (Sky 886) seems to show cricket. The closing stages of the 3rd ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is on now.

    EDIT -oops, didn’t say when the highlights package was on - it is 9pm!
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 02-10-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Interesting dayís play to start the series off. India won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat on what looks like a flat, flat pitch.

    They patiently withstood decent attacks at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions, which left them facing tired pace bowlers from then on, and spinners who donít really seem up to the mark. It was to be expected the Indians would take advantage and so they did, flaying South Africa with fours and sixes, very often cuts on the offside for the former and smites over deep mid-on for the latter.

    Rohit clubbed his way to a century in his debut as an opener, with Agarwal nicely poised on 84. Rain intervened before the sixtieth over could be completed, restricting India to a meagre 202-0 .

    I am not sure what the forecast is, will need to check, but India look set. For South Africa it is hard to see how they take twenty wickets. Philander isnít a bad bowler and got some swing both ways but canít conjure up the pace and aggression of a Ngidi. Rabada toiled away but is always going to struggle on a pitch like this.
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  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    India pushed on massively on day two. Awargal and Rohit piling on the runs and setting big scores, one double century and one not far off. And although the remaining batsmen didn't score big they did score quickly to set an imposing target.

    This gave them enough time to have a go at South Africa, with the timing of their declaration. We then saw the difference between the two spin attacks, with the Indian pair conjuring up bounce and turn effortlessly and taking three wickets before close of play.

    Ashwin and Radeja are going to bump their figures massively over the next day or two, Awatgal and Rohit already have and probably won't be required to don the pads for a second time.

    Top cricket if you support India, desperately disappointing if you back South Africa - but interesting cricket regardless and the potential for some real fun from the Indian spinners as the pitch deteriorates.
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  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Well, well, the enigma that is Test cricket!

    South Africa were on their knees at the close of day two but came out fighting on day three. Elgar and Du Plessis took advantage of a quick outfield in the morning session with some bold shots.

    This continued into the afternoon session, albeit De Kock eventually replacing Du Plessis. South Africa piled up the runs and piled up the boundaries from finding the gaps, a mixture of wide and fine on the offside. There have to be question marks about the Indian field, both inner and outer, for being just too close in. The outfielders in particular missed several catches just by virtue of ten or twenty yards' positioning. It is excusable once, twice, three times but I think it was easily double figures, possibly on both sides.

    Elgar, who opened, and Du Plessis and the De Kock, made all the difference. Elgar was very patient in holding down his end and running up an admirable 160, He ultimately fell to Jadeja with a misjudged slog sweep that gave the Indian spinner his 200th Test wicket at IIRC a very good average. Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers however, claiming a five-for after many, many overs.

    De Kock is a player I really, really like and while Elgar anchored today's play, De Kock made all the difference, scoring at a very quick rate and making a century before being clean-bowled for a Nelson on 111.

    So, South Africa ended up on 385-8, trailing by 117 runs.

    They did far better today than was expected, certainly by me, and deserve credit for that. Still hard to see beyond India but the draw has become less unlikely.
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  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Let this slip a bit but as expected, India saw it out comfortably with a convincing margin of victory, in no small part due to skittleing out the dangerous South African middle order in quick time, when they were asked to bat again. Shami bowled very well, to complement the spinners. Doesn’t look like India missed Bumrah

    I have hope that there is still life in this series, but it does feel a touch mismatched at the moment.

    Over in Australia, their domestic red-ball cricket is about to start - the Sheffield Shield. Not sure if there will be any coverage on tv channels in the UK but there are a bunch of positions in the Test side that are up for contesting.
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 08-10-2019 at 12:11 AM.
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  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Not posted on the Second Test as Iíve not really seen anything other than very truncated highlights, due to being on holiday.

    India steamrollered South Africa, winning by an innings and 137 runs. It is rare for teams to enforce the follow-on these days and maybe shows just how confident Virat Kohli was in his team.

    Good performances in all the departments but the stand-out must be Wriddhaman Saha behind the stumps, with some excellent wicket keeping. Some of his catches will be on YouTube and are worth watching
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  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Still on holiday so not seen much of the Third Test, actually only very brief highlights online.

    India are poised to inflict another hefty defeat on South Africa. It has been a bit of a demolition job. Interestingly, it is their pace bowlers, Umesh and Shami, who have been wreaking havoc, not the very competent spinners. The quicks have been taking wickets at ridiculously cheap rates.

    Every generation conjures up a great bowling attack. In my lifetime, the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and England have all held claim to that title. This Indian attack is a bit special, especially given that they are without the best fast bowler in the world, in Jaspit Bumrah.
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  10. #9
    'S' Form Donald Max's Avatar
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    test series is very slow i am bored with this i just watch some of my favorite player betting then witch of. but i love fats series like t20 and one day matches and these matches warm you all the time.

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Max View Post
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    test series is very slow i am bored with this i just watch some of my favorite player betting then witch of. but i love fats series like t20 and one day matches and these matches warm you all the time.
    I totally get why Test cricket is boring for some.

    There can be long passages of play that feel very boring, because nothing seems to be happening.

    Sometimes that is because nothing is happening, and it is boring.

    To win at Test cricket you have to take twenty wickets. There are a bunch of variables - the weather, the pitch, the state of the ball, your fielding positions. They all interact.

    And for me that is the beauty of the game. You can watch a couple of hours with nothing seeming to happen. But it might be because it is a flat pitch, offering nothing to your bowlers, with dry conditions that don’t offer swing.

    You have to take twenty wickets. So you are patient and try to keep throwing the ball down just outside off stump again and again and again. And batsmen being batsmen want to score runs, so eventually you hope they are drawn out into attempting shots they don’t need to, because they are impatient. And that is when natural variation in the bounce of the ball, or its movement through the air, lead to the batsman misjudging the shot and edging it to a fielder.

    I have to be honest, that kind of play is what I love most about cricket. The cat and mouse, the patience, the building of the pressure on the batsman.

    It is hard to compare cricket and its different forms with other sports. In some ways it is easier to compare it with literature.

    One-day cricket is the short story. T20 is a comic book. Neither of those descriptions are criticisms, they are hugely enjoyable and respectable forms of the game.

    Test cricket is a sprawling novel at its best that drags you in several different directions before hopefully coming to a denouement. And if it doesn’t then that is because it is what it is - sometimes frustrating. But often utterly compelling.
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 25-10-2019 at 12:14 AM.
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  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    I totally get why Test cricket is boring for some.

    There can be long passages of play that feel very boring, because nothing seems to be happening.

    Sometimes that is because nothing is happening, and it is boring.

    To win at Test cricket you have to take twenty wickets. There are a bunch of variables - the weather, the pitch, the state of the ball, your fielding positions. They all interact.

    And for me that is the beauty of the game. You can watch a couple of hours with nothing seeming to happen. But it might be because it is a flat pitch, offering nothing to your bowlers, with dry conditions that donít offer swing.

    You have to take twenty wickets. So you are patient and try to keep throwing the ball down just outside off stump again and again and again. And batsmen being batsmen want to score runs, so eventually you hope they are drawn out into attempting shots they donít need to, because they are impatient. And that is when natural variation in the bounce of the ball, or its movement through the air, lead to the batsman misjudging the shot and edging it to a fielder.

    I have to be honest, that kind of play is what I love most about cricket. The cat and mouse, the patience, the building of the pressure on the batsman.

    It is hard to compare cricket and its different forms with other sports. In some ways it is easier to compare it with literature.

    One-day cricket is the short story. T20 is a comic book. Neither of those descriptions are criticisms, they are hugely enjoyable and respectable forms of the game.

    Test cricket is a sprawling novel at its best that drags you in several different directions before hopefully coming to a denouement. And if it doesnít then that is because it is what it is - sometimes frustrating. But often utterly compelling.



    The capacity for a 5 day sporting rollercoaster is what makes it.

  13. #12
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Feast or famine! We have a double whammy starting overnight with Australia v Pakistan and New Zealand v England.

    In the Australian game, there is interest. Pakistan tweaking their side again and capable of being awesome or awful, from game to game. For the Aussies, Warner has shown decent form domestically and will want to make up for his terrible Ashes series. Labuschagne meanwhile, has the chance to build on his breakthrough Ashes. It will also be interesting to see how Australia rotate their fast bowlers on home soil.

    New Zealand is a tough test for England. I think the Kiwis have won ten of their last twelve series at home. The biggest question mark is probably around the gloves, with Buttler assuming wicket keeping responsibilities again. For once the top order looks like it may have some direction. Sibley and Burns have played together domestically and Crawley is waiting in the wings. Denly drops to three which will be interesting to see. This of course allows Root to drop to four. He will be happier there but I think it is a sign of weakness - he will say his average is better at four, but that is an average based on a softer ball and more fatigued bowlers.

    Ive not actually seen the England team but I understand Sam Curran is likely first change bowler after Broad and Archer, which makes this a big series for him in terms of his Test future.
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  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Needing to go to bed as an early start tomorrow.

    At the risk of tempting fate, Dom Sibley already looks exactly what England want from an opener. 28 balls, only two scoring shots, but both dispatched for four.

    Burns looking like he is settling into the role as well.
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  15. #14
    @hibs.net private member JimBHibees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    I totally get why Test cricket is boring for some.

    There can be long passages of play that feel very boring, because nothing seems to be happening.

    Sometimes that is because nothing is happening, and it is boring.

    To win at Test cricket you have to take twenty wickets. There are a bunch of variables - the weather, the pitch, the state of the ball, your fielding positions. They all interact.

    And for me that is the beauty of the game. You can watch a couple of hours with nothing seeming to happen. But it might be because it is a flat pitch, offering nothing to your bowlers, with dry conditions that don’t offer swing.

    You have to take twenty wickets. So you are patient and try to keep throwing the ball down just outside off stump again and again and again. And batsmen being batsmen want to score runs, so eventually you hope they are drawn out into attempting shots they don’t need to, because they are impatient. And that is when natural variation in the bounce of the ball, or its movement through the air, lead to the batsman misjudging the shot and edging it to a fielder.

    I have to be honest, that kind of play is what I love most about cricket. The cat and mouse, the patience, the building of the pressure on the batsman.

    It is hard to compare cricket and its different forms with other sports. In some ways it is easier to compare it with literature.

    One-day cricket is the short story. T20 is a comic book. Neither of those descriptions are criticisms, they are hugely enjoyable and respectable forms of the game.

    Test cricket is a sprawling novel at its best that drags you in several different directions before hopefully coming to a denouement. And if it doesn’t then that is because it is what it is - sometimes frustrating. But often utterly compelling.
    Agree with that test cricket is the genuine test of the player his technique and the team.

    Think it is a societal thing now needing instant gratification.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBHibees View Post
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    Agree with that test cricket is the genuine test of the player his technique and the team.

    Think it is a societal thing now needing instant gratification.
    Cricket is one game that has not improved technically over the years.
    The bowlers of the 70s/80s would make mincemeat of today's ill-prepared batsmen and the batsmen likewise to the bowlers.
    The concentration on the one-day game has ruined the sacred arts of batting especially but bowling too.

  17. #16
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretoday View Post
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    Cricket is one game that has not improved technically over the years.
    The bowlers of the 70s/80s would make mincemeat of today's ill-prepared batsmen and the batsmen likewise to the bowlers.
    The concentration on the one-day game has ruined the sacred arts of batting especially but bowling too.
    I agree that the rise of limited-overs cricket has had a definite impact on Test cricket.

    Funnily enough, I thought England played decent Test cricket yesterday. They were patient, especially with the new ball, against what is a very worthy bowling unit. I think the very quick outfield helped, which meant when they were finding the gaps, they were finding boundaries. NZ will be frustrated they didnít take more opportunities but there was good and patient Test bowling, especially working out Sibleyís tendency to play down the leg side to get him out, and then the delivery that was slightly wider of the crease to snag Denly (I think).
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  18. #17
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    Stokes falls short on 91, but England looking strong.

    United we stand here....

  19. #18
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    England all out for 353, getting into the afternoon session on day two.

    It is a fascinating score. England will be happy with the way they progressed initially, then hit a horrible slump, then steadied the ship for a bit of attrition. And the pitch is still fresh enough to offer something for Broad and Archer (and I suspect Sam Curran will be fired up to demonstrate what he can do with the ball, given he looked absolutely miserable on the team balcony after being dismissed at bat).

    Very interesting stat in that in their last six home Tests to date, NZ have taken 101 wickets and every single one has been from pace, not spin. The pitch doesn’t look too much like a deteriorating one that will offer spin. It is late and I am struggling to remember but I think NZ are stacked with left-handlers in the top order (may have that wrong!) which might nullify what Jack Leach can do.

    Lots of scope for the England quicks though, and a not-bad target to defend. The corollary is that there is some strength in that NZ top and middle order and they play very well on home soil.

    Keeping half an eye on Australia-Pakistan. Cummins and Starc did a bit of a demolition job at the Gabba and the Australian opening pair were motoring along. Pakistan are playing a sixteen year old quick bowler who has genuine pace. I hadn’t really clocked him until now and it will be fascinating to see how he does, especially there in Brisbane and also if they play in Perth.
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  20. #19
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Ooh, excitement!

    I am flirting between watching the two Tests, just switched over to Australia-Pakistan. Australia , responding to Pakistamís fairly weak innings have been motoring along, the opening pair having made a hundred stand so far. The 16-year old Naseem, who has been bowling with some ferocious pace thought he had just got David Warner edging to slip, for his first Test wicket but he had overstepped the line and it was a no-ball. Still, he looks a talent, but at his age and with his pace he will need to manage the stresses and strains on his body. His action doesnít look like one he can consistently deploy for the next twenty years!

    Meanwhile at Mount Managaui, it is tea. NZ looking fairly comfortable though they dropped the wicket of Latham to some good bowling from Sam Curran. Kane Williamson already looks set in and if I was a gambling man, I would put my money on NZ putting some runs on the board between now and close of play. Cricket is a capricious mistress though, and a quick spell of wickets for England would turn things back around.

    Dont think I will stay up much longer, though it isnít hard to turn oneís back on two fascinating Test matches!
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  21. #20
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Dfficult work flitting between two Tests but Labuschagne has made his first Test century for Australia and it obviously meant a lot. I think he will be a player over the next decade. Warner scores a mighty 154 to announce his return to form but was caught out by a peach for the 16-year old tyro, Naseem. He has an outstanding future if he is physically managed properly. He still has a lot of physical development to go. Smith came in desperate to play, and he really is Hollywood -itís like wanting to see Messi or the like. He was undone after a Viv Richards-style boundary however and was dismissed for four.

    Over at Mount Managaui, Sam Curran had done well overnight to snare Kane Williamson for a paltry 51. De Grandhomme and Watling have both put on half-centuries to solidify NZís position however.

    The Gabba Test is looking like a bit of a battering for Pakistan. The NZ Test still seems a bit poised, advantage slightly England perhaps but tight to call.
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  22. #21
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    If ever I win the lottery I will make a point of taking in a test match in the bay of plenty. It looks like heaven to me.

    United we stand here....

  23. #22
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    If ever I win the lottery I will make a point of taking in a test match in the bay of plenty. It looks like heaven to me.


    The Bay Oval looks like the dream cricket ground - friendly, relaxed and a good outfield that conjures up boundaries and good fielding. A pitch that can suit the bowler and the batsman. Heaven indeed
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  24. #23
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Australia looking well-placed, building up a healthy lead on Pakistan. Wade has the potential to go big and Labuschagne is in uncharted territory, a great batsman but certainly new to the Test arena but he has his first hundred and can stride on from there.

    I was poised to put how well-placed NZ looked against England, then first ball after tea, Stokes gets De Grandhomme caught by Sibley, first ball. Great catch by Sibley but also a reinforcement of the Stokes narrative - he doesnít quite deliver world class batting figures. He doesnít quite deliver world class bowling figures. But he does both rather well, and when it comes to the crunch he can do one or the other at critical moments. Plus he is a world class fielder. Exceptional cricketer.
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  25. #24
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    I never really got the expression ď...like a dog with two tailsĒ until now!

    New Zealand have pushed on at the Bay Oval, patient cricketing but against increasingly tired bowling. They are giving themselves the chance of a declaration and a potential victory.

    Over at the Gabba, it is really just a matter of time. Australia heading towards an innings victory almost certainly, Cummins and Starc again driving it with 4-53 between them so far.
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  26. #25
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    Pakistan have been defending brilliantly. Credit due.
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  27. #26
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    I never really got the expression ď...like a dog with two tailsĒ until now!

    New Zealand have pushed on at the Bay Oval, patient cricketing but against increasingly tired bowling. They are giving themselves the chance of a declaration and a potential victory.

    Over at the Gabba, it is really just a matter of time. Australia heading towards an innings victory almost certainly, Cummins and Starc again driving it with 4-53 between them so far.
    As a guy who obviously loves cricket whats youíre view on test match cricket in Australia and New Zealand? The flat pitches and the kookaburra cricket ball might well lead to home victories, but imo itís not as exciting. Iíve read that many in the Southern Hemisphere would rather use the Duke ball and I agree.

    United we stand here....

  28. #27
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    As a guy who obviously loves cricket whats you’re view on test match cricket in Australia and New Zealand? The flat pitches and the kookaburra cricket ball might well lead to home victories, but imo it’s not as exciting. I’ve read that many in the Southern Hemisphere would rather use the Duke ball and I agree.
    Timely point. Cricket Australia used the Duke ball in the Sheffield Shield to prepare for the last Ashes.

    By the same token one of the England cricketers, Denly I think, came out the other day calling for English county cricket pitches to be prepared more akin to foreign pitches. The problem there is that short-overs cricket has forced county cricket out to the very start and very end of the season, making it impossible to recreate those flat Southern Hemisphere strips.

    I think for a while, home advantage has become key and that has benefitted England as much as anyone. Nevertheless, India, South Africa and England can all, dependent on circumstance, go to Aus with a reasonable chance. Aus went through a real trough but are now looking very strong.

    NZ have a fantastic home series record but again, they have one of the top three batsmen in the world at the helm, a bunch of decent to very good guys around him, and a well co-ordinated bowling unit. Plus arguably, the shorter series format there gives them a better chance. At some point they will lose Williamson, Taylor, Guptill, Nicholls, Boult and if they don’t have the replacements lined up they will suffer in the same way Aus did when they lost McGrath, Langer, Hayden, Warne, Gilchrist etc all within a few years.

    But to get back to your point, I can see the argument for the Duke on Southern surfaces, but when you look at domestic Aus cricket, it is still producing fantastic bowlers of spin and pace. From a purely selfish point of view, I love a big series Down Under, opening at the Gabba, with the tourists in to bat and the Aussies using the Kookaburra - it isn’t as subtle as the Duke but it can be explosive.

    Maybe a compromise - the Kook in Brisbane and Perth, the Duke at the SCG, MCG, and Adelaide
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 27-11-2019 at 01:17 AM.
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  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Timely point. Cricket Australia used the Duke ball in the Sheffield Shield to prepare for the last Ashes.

    By the same token one of the England cricketers, Denly I think, came out the other day calling for English county cricket pitches to be prepared more akin to foreign pitches. The problem there is that short-overs cricket has forced county cricket out to the very start and very end of the season, making it impossible to recreate those flat Southern Hemisphere strips.

    I think for a while, home advantage has become key and that has benefitted England as much as anyone. Nevertheless, India, South Africa and England can all, dependent on circumstance, go to Aus with a reasonable chance. Aus went through a real trough but are now looking very strong.

    NZ have a fantastic home series record but again, they have one of the top three batsmen in the world at the helm, a bunch of decent to very good guys around him, and a well co-ordinated bowling unit. Plus arguably, the shorter series format there gives them a better chance. At some point they will lose Williamson, Taylor, Guptill, Nicholls, Boult and if they don’t have the replacements lined up they will suffer in the same way Aus did when they lost McGrath, Langer, Hayden, Warne, Gilchrist etc all within a few years.

    But to get back to your point, I can see the argument for the Duke on Southern surfaces, but when you look at domestic Aus cricket, it is still producing fantastic bowlers of spin and pace. From a purely selfish point of view, I love a big series Down Under, opening at the Gabba, with the tourists in to bat and the Aussies using the Kookaburra - it isn’t as subtle as the Duke but it can be explosive.

    Maybe a compromise - the Kook in Brisbane and Perth, the Duke at the SCG, MCG, and Adelaide
    I read somewhere that they had tried using a white duke ball in some lower level matches in England and it was moving about all over over the place. I wonder if they’ll ever use that.

    United we stand here....

  30. #29
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Itís looking like the long game in this test again. New Zealand have such a strong batting line up that a draw is the worst they can get. More importantly I can see myself lying back on one of those grass banks one day.

    United we stand here....

  31. #30
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    Itís looking like the long game in this test again. New Zealand have such a strong batting line up that a draw is the worst they can get. More importantly I can see myself lying back on one of those grass banks one day.
    It is another great-looking ground isnít it?

    I didnt catch yesterdayís play other than highlights earlier this evening. Been watching the play tonight, though came off for a bit, will go back on.

    NZ have put out two big stands, with Latham and Taylor, and Watling and the debutant Mitchell.

    I worry for England as they donít have a spinner who is in the team because they are a spinner. Stokes is surely not fit and they risk either exacerbating that, and risking him for SAF, or they pull him from bowling and put more workload on Archer and Broad, who both already have been carrying a heavy share of the overs.

    Going back to your first sentence, you are right. The Watling/Mitchell partnership especially has been patient Test cricket batting. Lovely stuff.
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