Good day everyone, hope you had a good bank holiday and a good weekend.
Time for my blog.
In this blog I’m just going to chat mostly about cricket, if it bores then better close the window.
So where do I start with England.
I stress that England were favourites to win the test series against the West Indies because of the experience and talent they had in the dressing room. I wouldn’t call West Indies medicare at the start of the test series because West Indies are a strong side. I thought Chanderpaul would deliver as he was the main guy for them for a number of years. I wouldn’t have taken them lightly because obviously they have players like Taylor, Bravo, Samuels who served as a warning to England. I respect the West Indies very much because the senior players like Holder, Ramdin, Samuels could have easily snubbed the test series to play in the IPL, but I’m glad for them that test cricket came first. Overall the West Indies would take a draw, I am pleased for them that they did.
From an England perspective, there have been some notable performances from various players. I was happy that Cook got a century in the third test in Barbados, it will mean a lot to him for his confidence coming up to the test series against New Zealand. In the third test, Jordan took some unbelievable slip catches against spin and pace bowling. I was also proud of Joe Root of getting his first test century oversees, he totally deserves that century. Also for Gary Ballance, he has been able to establish himself as a number three batsman. I was sad to hear that Jonathan Trott is retiring from international cricket. He hasn’t been able to adapt himself to being an opening batsman. I thought Trott had a miserable time, only getting one 50 and three ducks isn’t very memorable. I was impressed by Jimmy Anderson. I thought he was the man of the series as well. He got a brilliant 5 wicket haul in one innings which I will remember well. I was also proud that he overtook Botham as the highest wicket taker for England. I see Anderson playing for another few years because he keeps himself healthy and stays in shape.
Where do England go from here?
I think there should be enquiries made by Graves to the England Cricket Board. I did feel it was a wasted opportunity for Trott. I may have swapped Trott at number 5 to replace Moreen. If Trott had scored a 50 then maybe I would have kept him on but it wasn’t to be. I would have probably given my first cap to Lyth as opening the batting does come naturally to him. To me, the test line up reminds me of an ODI XI because the top nine can all bat. It is kind of frustrating to see that. It isn’t because they can all bat, it is just that England have taken the option that they need to score plenty of runs instead of having bowling variations. What I mean by that is Broad, Jordan and Woakes do bowl fast medium or medium fast pace so for the opposition point of view they will know who they are facing because there isn’t much difference. I would have liked to seen two spinners, probably Tredwell and Rashid if the pitch was going to turn by Day 3 or Day 4. I don’t understand what England’s long-term goal is for Moreen Ali, do they want him to convert to a bowling all-rounder or a batting all-rounder. Reminds me of Jadeja of India where he is a middle order batsman that can bowl spin.
For the next test series against New Zealand in England. My first priority would be to get an opening partner for Cook so Adam Lyth would be the first option, although I would consider Nick Compton and Sam Robson because they should have a second chance to shine. Dependent on the pitch, I would like to play Tredwell and Rashid or only one of those spinners. I would also think carefully about the amount of bowling all rounders there are. I am a bit concerned about having Jordan, Woakes and Broad in the lineup where they all do the same seam bowling. I would probably drop Woakes and put a fast bowler in that lineup and recall someone like Finn or Tremlett. I would keep Buttler as the wicket keeper, he hasn’t been doing too much wrong, he is developing his cricket to the test arena. I would keep the rest such as Cook, Ballance, Root and Anderson as they are.
Thank you for those cricket fans who have tuned in to my blog.