Wednesday, 23 July 2008

South Africa show up England's failings

I expected South Africa to thrash England at Lords’. As it turned out the beatings were put back a week until they got to Headingley, not that they lost any of their severity. England lost in Leeds because of two things: batting and bowling.

How can a side that made 593-8 at Lords’ be bowled out for 203 and 327 at Headingley? The fact is that the 593-8 is out of the ordinary for England. 203 is a more representative score, a true reflection of where England’s batting is at. Earlier in the summer against much weaker opposition England managed first innings scores of 319 (Lords’), 202 (Old Trafford) and 364 (Trent Bridge). Given these scores, 203 sounds about right. The second innings was classic England:

• a bad start, it is the law that when facing a huge task an England opener has to get less than five.
• a hopelessly out of form number three.
• a middle order whom play like they have just won the lottery
• someone who looks in decent form who then gets out to a soft catch
• a general collapse followed by someone in the lower order making the score look much more respectable than it really is

On a flat wicket, in the sun, England was reduced to 152-6, of which Jimmy Anderson had made 34. Rubbish.

England’s bowlers continued to struggle. Flintoff’s return is welcome and he added some pace into the attack. Anderson bowled well without much success. Broad looks worryingly like a man who doesn’t know how to take wickets but it is difficult to drop a number eight who regularly makes more runs than half of the top order combined. Pattinson was there for reasons about which I will not go into, mainly because I haven’t figured out what they could possibly be. That leaves Panasar who looked ineffective.

South Africa batted really well and England’s singly failed to follow their lead. South Africa made 522 and to be honest it looked like a 500 wicket so it seems churlish to criticize England’s bowlers for not getting South Africa out sooner. There was some movement early on in the first day but it was by no means a 203 all out wicket, at least not for a quality Test line-up...

Its twenty-twenty finals day on Saturday. The first match is Essex v Middlesex and Cook and Strauss have been told (and no this isn’t me having a laugh by making something ridiculous up):
It was deemed after two tough Test matches that those players who played in both Tests will not be available,” an England spokesman said.



Peter said...

interesting post - was amazed that we hardly looked like picking up wickets then suddenly England started to tumbe - Pietersen should have been shot 4,4,1,4,out 13 off 5 balls is ridiculous when there is no chance of a win only a draw.

That said he has played superbly so far

Nice Blog mate

Mahesh said...

As I said to you before, the selectors are smoking something I can't get hold off. Now Vaughn and that other joker are blaming each other for team selection. Confused?

I'd drop Pattinson, Broad, Strauss, for starters. Get in Colly, Hamison / Hoggard, Sidebottom in the team. Maybe Vaughn opening with Cook. Do you have any stats on how Vaughn did as a opener as opposed to down the order?

I saw Freddie bowling and he looked decent enough to retain him in the team. Maybe he needed that match to get into shape. We will see what happens in the next test. Panesar didn't look too comfortable either, he kept missing teh rough patch which would have made life a bit difficult for the SA batsmen.

Having said all this, I still think SA won the match rather than England loosing it. Me thinks that the levels of the two teams are different.

scorpicity said...

unbelievable indeed... on many things you pointed out. Frankly I expected SA to thrash the crap out of that team and was surprised seeing the first test to a point whether I was dreaming if it was the same team... But I still say of all the cricket being played across the world, this is the most interesting series so far for the moment.

I feel it is ok to give Broad a bigger run, As for Vaughan... am speechless.

Rob said...

Thanks for your comments. I fear that Broad may be for the chop (despite averaging the same as Strauss, Bell, Cook and Vaughan with the bat). the bowlers seem to repeatedly get the flak for the top orders rubbish batting.