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Alexlotl

Cricket Lovely Cricket: England in India

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It was a time of Cricket...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNX1beRgwJ8

Yes, it's proper cricket time again. England are touring India for 4 tests, 3 T20s and 5 ODIs, starting with the first test on the 15th. Fixture list here!.

The build up has been... interesting. The BCCI have made another money grab and tried to extort the BBC and Sky an extra 50,000 GBP and 250,000 GBP respectively for letting TMS and Sky use facilities at the ground. The Beeb have come to an arrangement, but the last I heard Sky had not, meaning that their presenters will be sitting in a studio in the UK watching the piped-in feed from the Indian broadcaster. A bit like TalkSport used to on the radio, in the late 90s.

Player wise, England's quicks are looking creaky, with both Broad and Finn carrying minor injuries and in doubt for the first test, and Stuart Meaker called up as coverage. Graeme Swann had to make a dash home to help care for his sick daughter, but is now back in India. Ian Bell will be flying back for the birth of his first child, and will miss the second test.

The battle for the opening spot looks likely to be won by Nick Compton, 29 year old grandson of the legendary Denis Compton. Expect much romantic reminiscing guff. Interesting to see such a relatively old player getting his first cap - I don't think we've seen a 29 year old come into the team since Sidebottom, and even he had one previous cap. Joe Root is presumably on standby.

Not sure what's happening at #6 - Bairstow or Patel? The latter provides some spin options, and has been in good form in the warm ups. I like having a fatty on the team personally, cricket and baseball are about the only two sports these days where you can get away with it.

Oh, and some guy called Kevin is back in the team. I haven't heard much about him.

On the India side, I believe eternal nearly-man Suresh Raina has been dropped and Yuvraj Singh has regained his place in the test team following his recovery from cancer. Good work, sir. Tendulkar is still there, but has made some vague rumblings about maybe stopping one day.

I really can't predict this series - entirely depends on how weak England are against spin, I suspect. Anderson vs Tendulkar should be beautiful to watch, and I'll be very interested to see if Cook is a more tactical captain than Strauss.

My one-to-watch? England's slip cordon. With the retirement of Strauss, who on earth is going to be in there? Bairstow, if playing, (wicket keeper that he is), and Anderson when he's not bowling. Compton?

Maybe Patel, I hear a big man can be effective in the slips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGuPP8vLlTc

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The battle for the opening spot looks likely to be won by Nick Compton, 29 year old grandson of the legendary Denis Compton. Expect much romantic reminiscing guff. Interesting to see such a relatively old player getting his first cap - I don't think we've seen a 29 year old come into the team since Sidebottom, and even he had one previous cap. Joe Root is presumably on standby.

Well Strauss debuted while in his late 20s and we tried Carberry recently. On the bowling side Tredwell debuted at relatively old. Nothing wrong with it I think.

Ed Cowan now seems to be coming good for the Aussies. Quiney also looked decent in his short innings though we will have a better judgement on him later tonight I'm sure.

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It's all up in the air what with injury concerns, players unavailable, who'll replace Strauss, KP's return etc. I must say I'm looking forward to it. The one thing I can be certain of is that on TMS, Boycs will no doubt be repeatedly using the term "slow turners". If you made a drinking game out of it I'd say you'd be steamin by the end of his first commentary stint.

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Ah man, any excuse for THE REFRIGERATOR HAS OPENED. Love that moment.

I have a fear we're gonna get battered, while looking crap against spin. Crazy I know.

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EDIT: Christ, Tapatalk chewed this.

An interesting point on the frailty-against-spin saga is that it has largely been a product of the DRS, with umpires now giving far more LBWs, particularly when playing forward or using sweep shots, which used to be England's Duncan Fletcher mandated spin-breakers of choice.

But this series is in India, and because Sachin doesn't approve of these new fangled "mechanical looms" there's no DRS in use. As the BCCI control the TV feed, there may not even be any simulations for the folks at home.

So, will the umpires maintain the DRS-LBW-friendly mindset, and look stupid on TV when there's no supporting evidence, or will they revert back to pre-DRS behaviour, giving the batsman the benefit of the doubt in the majority of LBW calls?

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I really fancy England to win at least one Test here. I don't think the Indian batting line up is much to fear, and whilst their spinners are strong, I think we'll play it better than people expect.

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And they're off! India win the toss and bat. Pitch looks drier than a dry thing, with a high sand percentage and cracks showing already.

First ball pitched short of a length and barely makes knee height :facepalm:. This is going to be hours of boredom (pace) punctuated by short bursts of fear and excitement (spin).

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I love it when whoever wins the Test wins the match, means we get rid of the actual cricket and just coins as sport.

Looking at the pitch, I wouldn't have backed England to win this match even if they had won the toss, even with this team.

Good day's cricket, even though the bat did dominate. England are going to get massacred.

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Aye, you could see that coming from a mile off. Once either Cook or KP get out the rest will quickly follow.

What is the solution? Defensively prodding and poking doesn't seem to work. Can you expect the batsmen to play more aggressively against India's quality spin on their home turf? Hopefully KP will have a bit of a bash at it tomorrow.

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Defensive would work if it was done well. Compton was bowled through the gate. Trott got out early and that happens.

Tomorrow should be OK til the late afternoon. The pitch is playing very well until the dust gathers towards the end of the day.

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I'm feeling quite disgustingly optimistic about this. If we can survive this test (I'm not entertaining the idea that we might win it), then pick Monty for the next test, and bat the way we have in this second innings, we could take the series. I'm sure the Indian Media are itching for an excuse to crucify the team and/or Duncan Fletcher, and a draw here would probably kick that off.

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A good day all round. Cook again leading the line well. Still a lot of questions to come with the middle order but it was good to see England win a day. It can't always be down to Cookie though. Tomorrow should be an exciting battle.

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just woken up, checked the score and wow! huge century from KP and 10 wickets from Monty! we have them on the rack.

it's great to see those two being England's heroes, too. KP gets a lot of shit for not doing this every time he comes to the crease, so it's nice when he reminds the doubters exactly what he can do. a lot of people seem suspicious of his talent, and unable to accept him for what he is - an unpredictable, somewhat unreliable, but extraordinarily talented and outrageously flamboyant attacking batsman. he's now played two barely-believable innings in his last three tests. it's a shame there was all that baloney about textgate in-between them. and Monty is always getting dropped and forgotten about, and generally treated a bit shabbily for the terrible crime of not being quite as good as Swann. being England's second-best spinner is a thankless task, especially as he's not going to get selected even when he outbowls Swann, because Swanny is a better batsman and fielder, but we should appreciate the fact that at the moment we actually have two good spin bowlers. who'd have thunk that?

anyway, cricket! woo!

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