NWR Cricket

Looking good in Durban!

I am cheerfully surprised to discover that Finn has the best strike rate for any England bowler with 100 test wickets over the last 50 years. And the sometimes maligned Ali (albeit with fewer than 100 wickets) has the best strike rate amongst spinners.

Only three fast bowlers (100+ wickets) have a better average than Finn in the last 50 years.
Yes I was surprised by that from Finn - that said there are some 'notable' players with similar or better rates who have less than 100 -

James Pattinson @ 48.4
Finn @ 48.3
Doug Bollinger 48.0
Simon Jones 47.8
Allan Donald 47.0
Marshall 46.8
Jermain Lawson (!) 46.3
Ryan Harris 45.9
Shoaib Akhtar 45.7
Waqar 43.4
Steyn 41.4
Shane Bond 38.7
Philander 37.9
I actually paid a tenner for a week's Sky pass - first time a Test match has been on when I could watch most of it for ages. Well worth it!

It's quite remarkable to see how far SA have fallen, and how fast. I heard a SA commentator saying before the game that SA were ecstatic that we'd dropped Bell, as last time they saw him in our team he was kicking all kinds of butt. Similarly, last time I saw Du Plessis, Amla and Duminy they all scared the hell out of me. On the basis of this match, probably only three players looked Test class - ABDV of course, plus Morkel and Elgar. Piedt took some wickets in the second innings but mostly against a rushing English middle order; didn't look particularly dangerous against anyone not in a hurry. Steyn of course is world class if fit.

I see KP (our one!) is predicting it'll be 4-0 if the weather doesn't intervene. He may well be right, particularly if Steyn is out for the series.
Jonathan Agnew alluded to a perceived lack of leadership from Hashim Amla. I don't know how true that is, and he would know more than me, but I suspect not too much unless someone has been blabbing to him. In theory that should be a very strong batting lineup, with someone like Duminy coming in at 7 when he ought to be at 5. Amla and ABdV are genuine greats IMO.

They do appear to be trying to cover up batting weaknesses by playing just 4 frontline bowlers. For years I felt England got it wrong by doing the same, and I'm really happy with the England bowling balance now. They're not all world class, but they all seem to play their part. The batting if anything is just a little too deep, which means Bairstow at 7 and Moeen at 8, when both really ought to be a position higher.

Pleased for Compton. I supported leaving him out originally, as I felt he was so uptight it would only go downhill, and at the time there were plenty of other options in the batting. As the rest of the contenders have dropped away, he looks very much right for the current side, as does Taylor (who should have been a fixture in the team well before now). Hales seems caught between trying to prove he can adapt to test match cricket, and playing his natural game. I think success lies in working on a little more caution outside off stump, but apart from that trying not to tinker too much. It is never going to turn out well if a player has to learn a new style whilst playing their 1st few tests.


p.s. whilst not a huge fan of Kallis, he is exactly what this current team really need now - a quality batsman and capable 5th bowler.
Have been watching local TV coverage and media reaction Consensus is England put in a very professional performance but the Saffers were at best amateurish and at worse a disgrace ! Would not surprise me if England made a clean sweep,assuming no weather issues
Incidentally,there is a heat wave in the Cape and it is forecast to stay in mid 30c all next week. So anyone going who has not got a seat in the shade,is going to spend a lot of time in the beer tents !!!
Will be there myself for a couple of the days
I think it might be a tenner a month now but sky sports mobile (viewable on ipad/hrough telly an airplay etc) was only a fiver for the the entire sports range - a total bargain for anyone who watches anything from footie to monkey tennis.
Finn bowled well, Broad too... Woakes looked good but never threatening and the rest played their part. Only Cook failed, and Hales (well it is his first test). Its nice to have depth waiting as well. Buttler better with the gloves, but Bairstow a more consistent batsmen for Tests.

SA had Steyn, Elgar and De Villiers of note, Morkel bowled really well for no reward, the rest... they were not at the races. Still it wasn't a completely one sided match as both bowling units did their jobs, but SA suffered when Steyn broke down. A good test and looking forward to Cape Town.
I think it might be a tenner a month now but sky sports mobile (viewable on ipad/hrough telly an airplay etc) was only a fiver for the the entire sports range - a total bargain for anyone who watches anything from footie to monkey tennis.

I have Sky Sports Mobile TV and watch on my phone or connect to a TV. About £9 a month for everything including F1, News, etc. £5 for SKY sports 1 and 2, (but that might also be network/device dependant) which is fine if you only want cricket as the majority of it is on 2, except some of the non-England games when they clash in timings. Watching NZ-SL ODI right now on 2. Much better value than NOW TV.