NWR Cricket

Overall, and given the mis-handling of selections, I'm not especially down about a 3-1 defeat, though that is also softened by the knock on impact that it's India and not Australia that face NZ in the new test match final.;)
I suspect most in NZ would be pleased we are facing India. NZ just has this mental struggle when playing against Australia in the big games, although we did beat them today.
 
I think that as long as the weather stays fine, India vs New Zealand at lords should be a belter.

just returning to the last test, had England got selection right, they had every chance to win that. Even with the team they picked, they could have run it much closer. They were not good enough mentally. Too many straight balls getting wickets
 
I think that as long as the weather stays fine, India vs New Zealand at lords should be a belter.

just returning to the last test, had England got selection right, they had every chance to win that. Even with the team they picked, they could have run it much closer. They were not good enough mentally. Too many straight balls getting wickets
Ideally for the test final, neither side gets rolled in their first innings. India's last experience at Lords was great for me in the Mound Stand and Jimmy Anderson but none of the Indian batsmen will want to relive that experience and Trent Boult et al could have a field day. As could Jaspit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma to be fair. A close day 5 finish would be wonderful - how do they decide if it is a draw/tie? Super over? Black caps will not relish that!

The manner of England's capitulation in the 2nd test and even more so the day/night match had already shot them mentally, I think. Living in the bubble must be challenging - though Bairstow has shown that leaving and returning is even worse. A radical rethink is needed by Silverwood and Root ahead of the away Ashes matches, especially if they still have to go through some degree of isolation still, though presumably vaccination will have become normal by then.
 
I don't really understand the wrong selection comments - once rotation was a given - though obviously the day/night pitch was not correctly read - but I did not hear any comments on that in advance or at the start of the test. I might have made a couple of different calls, but they would have been marginal decisions.
I think the selectors did at least a coherent job, and I think we were led to excessive expectations or at least hopes by the first test result, but in the end I think we were (1) outplayed y the better team, and (2) a few players underperformed. But we need to remember that these days there are no longer the round the country first class matches that there used to be to acclimatise tourists to conditions and we had quite a few relatively inexperienced batsmen in particular.
 
Mostly about choosing the attack and putting in the extra batsman in the last test. You could argue that the extra batsman worked given he scored nearly a hundred of the team's runs, but it's only any good if he adds another forty to the 350 the rest of them have run up already, which of course they did not. The other 2 tests were played on stupidly poor wickets, but one team coped better than the other and this is where the whole 'keep a winning team together' mentality comes in. England beat India pretty well in the first test, something that few were expecting. Cue the fans suddenly being allowed in and pitch that I would complain about to the fullers surrey 2nd XI 2nd division about, but if India were facing the players who had just outplayed them on home soil? I might not have expected a series victory and the England squad is full of talent, so the changes should not have been a problem, but they clearly were. Not an easy situation by any means though.

Peter to expand on my comment about it being a belter, I think that Bumrah, Ishant (who has really rolled back the years) and Siraj vs Boult, Southee and Wagner and the two respective top orders should, really should make a five day test that's well balanced a distinct possibility.
 
Plenty of good points there Chris but nothing specific about where selection went wrong (particularly as the seeming aberration in T4 went right).
Ian S, an astute commentator on cricket, also was negative on selections so would like to hear his views too

I am normally quite a grumbler but on this occasion I don't feel that selections were to blame
 
Plenty of good points there Chris but nothing specific about where selection went wrong (particularly as the seeming aberration in T4 went right).
Ian S, an astute commentator on cricket, also was negative on selections so would like to hear his views too

I am normally quite a grumbler but on this occasion I don't feel that selections were to blame

I'm not sure who this astute Ian S fellow is. Sounds like he understands the game much better than me :D

Yes, I think there is agreement from all, that they mis-read the 3rd and 4th test pitches, with great sympathy for the mistake for the 3rd test, because it had apparently been swinging significantly in the warm-ups in the days before the game. I was surprised seam was so successful in that final game. In hindsight a seamer for Bairstow or Pope might have won the game (or even a different spinner for Bess), but I doubt I would have expected the pitch it turned out to be.

It's been a learning experience for a number of the batsmen - Crawley, Sibley, Lawrence, Pope, plus Foakes - as Stokes said to them, they will have encountered some of the toughest conditions to bat in (against spin) in that series. I'm not sure I would have made any different batting selections (though I do like 5 bowlers rather than 4 + part-timers, so I would have left one batsman out - quite probably Lawrence, so what do I know!). Spin was always the concern at the start and having won the 1st test, I'm sure the pitches were prepared to ensure spin was to the fore. No complaints, except for that to be taken so far that a test finished in 2 days (and another not much longer). I don't think we have a great spinner. Each of ours offers something, but none would make the Indian team. I half expected one of the touring reserve spinners to get a look in (instead of Bess), but don't know who was still available

Seam bowling selections have confused me a little, with Stokes barely used, until asked to bowl a huge amount in the last test. If he can bowl a full shift, he adds wonderful balance to the side. Archer appears to have a recurring elbow issue that needs resolving for him to progress - it's not happening and I think that injury is the reason. Anderson impressed more than expected, with Broad much less effective. Glad to see Stone get a game, but if the ambition is to take 3 quicks to Australia, it feels wrong to expect them to perform on the back of 1-2 tests in a year beforehand.

Rotation policy? Barring the poor handling of Moeen and Bess, I'm supportive under the circumstances. These aren't ordinary tours and may risk feeling like a prison. I'd rather protect mental health by rotating people in/out, than risk someone leave due to stress. That said, given they're talking about potentially continuing the policy into the Ashes, they do need to learn the lessons and think about when players will leave and also the difficulty for players joining. e.g. Bairstow is a better batsman than that, with good experience in Indian conditions, but he floundered. They need to understand what could have made it easier for him.

p.s. fully agree on Ishant - just as good a pleasant surprise as Anderson.
 
What I think is a shame is that the rotation policy is providing full strength teams for Eoin Morgan and having no impact on the IPL. It is the test team that is bearing the brunt.
 
The test team should be the pinnacle of the game. Unfortunately money talks and the IPL wins at the expense of this. As for the ashes if there is some form of bubble rotation then there will be only one winner and that won’t be England. Somehow meaningful practice needs to be built into the schedule to allow those coming back in to the team don’t come in “cold”.

Whilst the batting was dire in India it’s the bowlers that concern me most - Archer is clearly troubled by his elbow and has never lived up to the hype, Anderson surely only has another year in him, Broad only a couple more years and as for a spinner to rival/partner Leach....well. England and the county game have to invest in and fully back young bowling talent.
 
Lords have seriously pissed me off. When they released the tickets for the New Zealand test I naturally assumed they were following the govt guidelines on crowd size which were published at the time. I was surprised to be able to buy tickets as I thought that at 25% capacity they would be hard to get. I also thought that they might have been smart enough to only make available those seats that could actually be filled. No. What they have done instead is take my money, keep it for weeks and only now apparently realised that they have a full stadium but only a quarter of those sold seats can actually be filled with people. My son has worked incredibly hard during lockdown and brought his predicted gcse grades up to being very high indeed. After all he’s had to put up with I was looking forward to surprising him with a day at the test (he loves cricket). To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.
 
Lords have seriously pissed me off. When they released the tickets for the New Zealand test I naturally assumed they were following the govt guidelines on crowd size which were published at the time. I was surprised to be able to buy tickets as I thought that at 25% capacity they would be hard to get. I also thought that they might have been smart enough to only make available those seats that could actually be filled. No. What they have done instead is take my money, keep it for weeks and only now apparently realised that they have a full stadium but only a quarter of those sold seats can actually be filled with people. My son has worked incredibly hard during lockdown and brought his predicted gcse grades up to being very high indeed. After all he’s had to put up with I was looking forward to surprising him with a day at the test (he loves cricket). To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.
Yes - it did surprise me when I was offered tickets, with very little mention of the fact that a full crowd was unlikely. I confess that I didn’t buy any, based largely on the assumption that disappointment beckoned, but also because my son’s treat was already booked in for the India test. Not well-handled by the MCC.
 
Our tickets for last season’s test at Old Trafford against Pakistan rolled forward to the India test this year but as it was fully sold then not sure what they intend to do when we get to the game. No clues forthcoming.....
 
I think that MCC hoped to get the NZ Test registered as a 'test event' which would have allowed for at least 50% capacity. Neither covid nor government guidelines distinguish between hospitality boxes and the general seating. Hospitality and debenture holders will be pared back in the same way. Though heavily reduced from normal capacity, my rough calculations suggest there will still be a fair amount of general tickets available, it's just they will be allocated in a separate ballot, which I and guessing will take place in late April or early May.
 
What is the likely situation regarding spinners at Southampton in June? I did read that Lords, where the game was originally to be played, isn't as spin friendly as Southampton.

It is quite significant for NZ, as our best test spinner, Patel, isn't a great batsman and makes for a long tail if he bats at 7 or 8. It is why we often carry Santner instead. India have adopted the same pragmatic approach in recent times, favouring Sundar because he is a better batsman than the other available spinners.

The best NZ line up is actually one with no spinner at all. We really need Williamson to bowl when needed, but I suppose we can't ask him to do everything.

You will see something pretty special when Conway gets his first test, which is likely to be against England.
 
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