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  1. #1
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    Cricket - The Ashes

    England about to name their squad. What do you think about the names named and England's chances? I'm quietly optimistic.

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  3. #2
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    Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain
    Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
    James Anderson (Lancashire)
    Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
    Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)
    Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
    Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
    Alastair Cook (Essex)
    Mason Crane (Hampshire)
    Ben Foakes (Surrey)
    Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
    Craig Overton (Somerset)
    Ben Stokes (Durham)
    Mark Stoneman (Surrey)
    James Vince (Hampshire)
    Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

    First thoughts... no Hales but a place each for Vince and Ballance? Erm...

    Disappointed not to see Mark Wood in there. He had a poor last Test but he's quick and has the ability to be a match winner. One bad game doesn't make him a bad player IMO...

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  5. #3

    Cricket - The Ashes

    Disappointed with Ballance and Ball especially as there is no Mark Wood unless he's injured in which case his place should have gone to Plunkett for raw pace on those pitches.

    I'm doing the two first tests and maybe a cheeky trip to Perth too (watch out Barry!).


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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie Earle's Perm View Post
    Disappointed with Ballance and Ball especially as there is no Mark Wood unless he's injured in which case his place should have gone to Plunkett for raw pace on those pitches.

    I'm doing the two first tests and maybe a cheeky trip to Perth too (watch out Barry!).


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    I agree about the bowling. For all Anderson, Broad and Woakes' ability it's a bit "samey" for Australia. Someone of the likes of Plunkett, Wood or the other Overton (Craig is medium but Jamie is express pace) would have been a nice option to have.

    Personally, I would have had Hales back over Vince and had Hales coming in at three. Ballance does get an awful lot of stick but does have a better average (and over more Tests too) than Jennings, Malan, Westley, Stoneman and Vince so I can see the logic there a little.

  8. #5
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    I think Hales is very unlucky to miss out. He has scored a ton of runs for Notts this year. Also, the spinning dept is a bit sparse with only Moeen and the uncapped and largely untested Crane. Would like to have seed Rashid there. Our top order batting is a bit fragile but so is the Aussies'. Don't think this series will be 5-0 anyway.

  9. #6
    I agree about Hales, should certainly have been in to bat at 3 or 5 and also act as a reserve opener.

    I also can't fathom why Crane is in other than to carry drinks. He would have been far better going with the Lions to tour Aus and simply be called up when ready. I know he's done ok in state cricket in Aus but he hasn't played anywhere near enough for Hamps.


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  10. #7
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    Hales very unlucky and like others I think Plunkett should have been given the nod in front of Ball.

  11. #8
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    I can see it being the lowest quality Ashes series in history, looking at the make up of the 2 sides. I liked Vince and was pleased he was given a go last year but has he improved significantly? His stats in red ball cricket suggest not, admittedly I have not seen him live this year to make my own mind up.
    Ballance simply hasn't corrected his technical flaws, which will be exposed by the extra pace on Aussie pitches, unless we are only intending to consider him for Melbourne and Sydney, by which point the Ashes may well be gone?
    Crane ahead of Leach? I simply cannot make a case for that.

    That said, I hope those who are going out there enjoy it regardless of the scores. I have been fortunate enough to go to the last 2 series over there and it is a wonderful experience, the best sporting event in the world I think.

  12. #9
    Agree with much of what's been said.

    Hales should have gone over someone like balance who has been poor for England's and will struggle against their pace.
    I can understand Vince being there as he's technically very good although has never made a decent contribution for england.
    No way should ball be there. It wouldve been roland if not hurt but Surely wood should be there?!? Again unless hes not fit.
    England obviously rate crane but rashid should be there for me.
    On a side note I'm happy foakes is there.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacko51 View Post
    Our top order batting is a bit fragile but so is the Aussies'.
    Yep, I think a lot rests on the fitness of Cummins and Starc. But Warner and Smith have carried their batting recently (just as Cook and Root have carried the England top four) and they have problems with the WK, all-rounder and number three positions.

    For me, if Cook, Root, Stokes, Anderson and (the increasingly influential) Moeen fire then we have a decent chance but they arguably have the more dangerous bowlers in Aussie conditions, a very under-rated spinner and two world-class batters. The odds would look to favour the Aussies at home but the likes of Stokes/Moeen can turn a Test by themselves.

  14. #11
    I live in Melbourne and I can tell you the Aussies are worried by the flaws in their own side, but less so about England's. They always expect to win a home Ashes series.

    From my perspective, I suspect that the Aussie bowlers will just prove to be better overall. Their pace bowling depth is unbelievable really - even when Cummins and Starc are not fit they've got Hazelwood, Pattinson, and even guys like Jackson Bird, who is a fine bowler that rarely gets a look in. Lyon is much improved as the main spinner, with Agar as a potential variation if required. Taking 20 wickets is the key for me, and with the fragility in England's batting, I just think that the Aussie bowlers will exploit it more in home conditions. England will rely too much on Anderson and Broad, and while the surfaces will suit Stokes bowling a bit more, he tends to be underused which will probably negate his impact. The Aussies will go after Ali the same way they did with Swann last time, and it will be interesting to see how he responds. I think the weaknesses you mentioned Rob will be negated by playing at home - the options available, Khawaja, Henriques or Stoinis, plus Nevill for wk, will do ok in Aussie conditions. Khawaja is a touch player - if he gets some runs early in the Sheffield Shield, then he could score big.

    I'm hoping for a good series, and I will be there in Melbourne (and hopefully Sydney) but I think Australia will win 3-2, or maybe even 4-1. I don't see a draw, barring weather, with the way the 2 teams play.

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