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Cricket Lovely Cricket: England in India


Alexlotl
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Three changes for the next test for India, senior players getting the chop. Interesting what they were saying in commentary, India's fielding (and training) is poor compared to England.

The poor fielding emphasises how little control Duncan Fletcher has over this Indian team. I can't find the quote, but he used to talk about how being excellent at batting or bowling depends on talent, and there's only so far a country/team can go with limited resources, but there is no excuse for being poor at fielding, as it's entirely down to practice, drilling and effort. The Blackcaps have emphasised this over the years; limited ability with bat and ball, but (generally speaking) shit-hot fielding with lots of run outs making up the wickets.

I recall during the last India series in England a lot of reports about how Rahul Dravid was the only player who was putting in gym time and doing extra fielding drills, and his fielding (along with everything else he did) that series was fantastic. Now he's gone, there's presumably no-one there to set a positive example for the younger players.

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Indian fielding being poor is so well known I kinda wonder if it'll get to be a lazy stereotype.

I think it may be becoming a lazy stereotype, but it's at least somewhat true for this current test team. I was in India for the first two tests and there were a few times when I couldn't believe the way the Indian outfielders were giving up on chasing fours that might have been saved. Or sometimes making a dive that was more for show than a genuine attempt to reach the ball.

It might only happen a couple of times in a day but I thought it was quite telling that it would happen at all at this level. And Tendulkar seemed to be a notable culprit.

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Strange days play. A battle of attrition. Hopefully Root and Prior will not give away their wickets early tomorrow and get up the total up above 300. Hard to know how India will bat. Their fielding and bowling seemed tighter after the recent performances/criticism. Disappointing that Finn is not in there but hopefully Bresnan can find a bit of better form.

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How's this for a top 6 batting line-up then?

Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Root, Bell, Prior

Bell's not looking in great form, and shifting him back down to #6 might be a real tonic. He's played 27 matches at #6, averaging 58.32 with 6 of his 16 hundreds coming from that position. Have a look.

Our #6 problems solved, and Root slotted into a position where he can manage the transition from the new ball to the old. That said, a team with four block-happy openers in might not sell a lot of tickets.

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When I switched over and it was still only 4 wickets down in the last session, I thought we'd blown it. But a superb run out from Cookie and that last delivery from Swann really changed the balance of play

If I were India, I'd declare overnight and concentrate on putting our guys under pressure - having to bat for the majority of two days (even on what has been a benign pitch so-far) can't be easy, and who knows what target they might have. They have nothing to lose, after all, and might as well go for it. Otherwise any time they spend batting in the morning is time taken away from them potentially getting a result.

Obviously I'd love to see us win the match, but I'm more than happy to see us bat-out for the draw to take the series win. I just really don't want us to lose.

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And that's the series... Sensible from Cook to bat for the draw, a great century from Bell and Root looked solid again.

Commentators making the point that the IPL is bad for fast bowlers, and it is up to the senior Indian players to set a good example and train harder, helping bring the young players up to the higher fitness level England maintain.

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Did anyone bother with either of the 20/20 games? I don't usually but yesterday's was a cracker; Morgan winning it with a six from the final ball with 3 required and Dinda having previously pulled out of his run up on the final ball. Just a shame most 20/20 games are no where near as close / exciting / interesting.

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yeah, it was an excellent match. ropey seam bowling from both sides, Yuvraj's mystery spin (the mystery being how he got 6 wickets in the two matches without turning a ball) Lumb redeeming himself, Hales showing his class again, a vital knock from Buttler and all topped off by Morgan's heroics.

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Guppy is a fricking legend - awesome fielder, too. The lack of success for the Black Caps in this era is a tale of criminal mismanagement. Here's the limited-overs XI we could have right now, if things had been handled differently: Guptill, Nicol, Taylor, Ryder, B McCullum, Watling, Franklin, N McCullum, Bracewell, Southee, Vettori. I'd back that team to knock over any in the world, properly led and motivated.

Yes, I'm excluding Williamson from the list above. Absolutely test class, but he can't seem pick up the pace in the shorter forms.

Guptil Facts: he has only three toes on one foot after a forklift truck accident in his youth.

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It was a quality innings. One moment the commentators were moaning at the lack of dot balls he'd allowed to him, the next he started hammering the ball about.

I've always got a bit of a soft-spot for the Kiwis; my ex comes from (and has returned to) Wellington and whilst we were together they were pretty much my second team in all international sport. She was more of a rugby fan than a cricket fan, but I can't really say I'm that interested in egg chasing. Still keep up to speed with the cricket team though!

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