Thursday, 27 October 2016

England Team to play Bangladesh 2nd Test Dhaka 28th Oct - 1st Nov 2016


England have as expected picked Zafar Ansari to make his debut for England in the heat of Dhaka. He will replace Gareth Batty after deciding 3 spinners is enough. The seam bowlers will be Woakes and Stokes and joining them will be Steven Finn who will come in for Broad who will sit this one out. So the full team is.


Cook
Duckett
Root
Ballance
Ali
Stokes
Bairstow
Woakes
Rashid
Ansari
Finn

England again display their versatility with a team that bats all the way down. They will play with 4 batsman, 5 all rounders, a wicket keeper who can certainly bat well, and just 1 bowler Finn, who isn't that bad with the bat on his day either.

It promises to be another exciting test match starting at 5am BST on Friday and Saturday then with the clocks change on Sunday it will start at 4am GMT for the final 3 days.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Cook's Merry Men for India 2016 sadly Jimmy Anderson not included

First ever Test Match Rajkot Saurashkra India
England name the same squad that is currently touring in Bangladesh to continue to India for the Five Test Matches that start in Rajkot on the 8th November 2016. An early start time in India (due to light) of 9.30am will mean a very early 5am start for Friday and Saturday and then 4am once the clocks go back on Sunday. 

Unfortunately Jimmy Anderson will not be joining them for the start, his shoulder injury is still a problem it's therefore quite possible that he may miss the whole tour. At the moment they are hoping he can still fly out and join them at some point. This is a difficult time for Jimmy and at age 34 you have to start wondering how many more games will he play for England. Clearly not that many. It is however being reported that Anderson is now training indoors in England so all we can do is wait and see if he is considered fit enough.

Listening to Alistair Cook after the 1st Test it was obvious he was preparing the way for the media to be ready for changes to the team for the 2nd Test. It was abundantly clear the thought process was that the management wants as many players as possible to get match time in the heat and humidity of this part of Asia. Some have not played for a while, and that isn't the way this squad was designed, it was designed to be very flexible with all 16 players getting involved, with the Test Matches coming thick and fast.

Now it isn't completely impossible for all 5 of the players that did not play in the 1st Test that are on tour, to get a game. They are Ansari, Ball, Buttler, Hameed, Finn, now that would be pretty unlikely. But it's not impossible. They are all good enough in my opinion and they need to be match ready. My guess would be 2 or 3 to play. hAnsari and Finn have indeed been chosen. 

There are also rumours flying around that England might play 4 spinners, they will be assessing the pitch today to make that decision. If that was the decision then there might just be two changes. It is also expected that Duckett will get the nod again. The question is of course will Vince play, it is expected that he won't. But not confimed yet. Well confirmed now that he will play, lot of pressure hope it works out for him, but fair play to England for giving him every chance.

I don't think anyone that does not play in the 2nd Test should feel unwanted or rejected, this is a grueling schedule and more of a squad team then perhaps ever before. England need to be flexible and just as important ready to play, so hopefully making tough decisions now will pay off later. 

So England's test touring side to go to India 2016 is 


 Captain Cook
Ali
Ansari 
Bairstow
Ball
Ballance
Batty
Broad
Buttler 
Duckett
Finn 
Hameed 
Rashid
Root
Stokes
Woakes
Anderson now joining squad could play in 2nd Test

Sunday, 9 October 2016

England v West Indies Day Night Test Edgbaston 17th - 21st August 2017


So what is the real reason for holding a day/night test match with a pink ball? Are we supposed to believe this will save the game? Well I don't believe that for one minute.

So we could possibly be playing an Ashes Test under lights next winter. That really isn't getting much support down under (or from the England Captain)  because of course the Ashes matches sell out anyway, so what is the point then. But if there is a day night test then of course we do have to play some kind of practice match. It would be foolish not to. So I can see that and believe that to be one reason.

The other main reason that is given to US all the time is that this will enable those that are working to pitch up at about 5pm to 6pm and get to watch some evening Cricket. Well yes some will, but most will want to be there at the start at 2pm. Surely the idea is to sell seats from the START of the day at full price. 

If the weather is 50/50 then you will probably still go to watch a full day, but if it is 50/50 at 5/6pm then I certainly would be a little more unlikely to go along. The other negative is going along completely sober at 5/6pm and sitting next to a drunken mob is not going to be a lot of fun.

What is the real reason? It is of course TV this is perfect for Sky TV, its not rocket science why, their viewing figures and ability to sell dishes with their overall package will obviously go up. Not many of working age can sit down in front of TV and watch a test match all day long, but they can certainly watch a couple of hours early evening. 

To get bums on seats is so very easy, you reduce the price to sensible figure. Unfortunately for far too long going to a Test Match is to most people a special treat such as a birthday present. The overall costs that used to be about £100 a day is now more like £150 a day. Yes it is a great day out, but it is also far too expensive, and we are really being fobbed off with this day night excuse, bring down the cost of tickets and you will sell out...... it is that simple. 

The game is going ahead, and it opens up an enormous amount of anomalies with the weather and light. 
They have chosen 17th - 21st August which is mainly because of the need to switch on the lights during the "Dinner Break" The first two sessions being held with lights off. Dew will be an issue, in late August..... but perhaps..... that will even up the contest as batting will be very difficult during dusk. During the experiment at Egbaston this year, the lights didn't really kick in until very late on, the Warwickshire fans said they were really only effective for about 45 minutes. This won't always be the case of course, you can get darker nights earlier with cloud cover. But this is the opposite to science, it is called the English Weather. Getting the date about right is crucial though, you can't do this experiment any old time. 


The hours of play will be 

2pm - 4pm 1st Session

4pm - 4.20pm Tea 

4.20pm - 6.20pm 2nd Session

6.20pm- 7pm Dinner

7pm - 9pm 3rd Session 

Half an hour extra is possible if required due to interruptions. 

Reading the Warwickshire forum it is clear that they are split on this, but some have posted that they are open to giving it a try and others coming up with good reasons for and against. It sounds like ticket prices are actually starting at a more sensible price, now that's a shock isn't it? Get an experiment that you want to be a success, and so you reduce the ticket price, well that helps. 

Edit - It has also now been announced that a day night "round" of matches will be played in the County Championship, the date of this has yet to be decided however it is expected to be in June, which will most certainly mean that the evening session is played in dusk, or even fading light, rather than dark 

It will be interesting no doubt about that, but with the changes in weather that we experience in England quite honestly anything could happen and probably will.