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Winning catch. More of the same at Taunton, please!

 

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Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Rogers and Out (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 08:22
There's a wide range of views about why we were relegated, from the 'sack 'em all' perspective to those suggesting a more contemplative approach as we attempt to regain our first division status next season.

Whilst I would lean towards the latter approach, I feel that certain players will probably leave, and I'd be thinking in terms of James Franklin, Adam Voges, Nick Compton and unfortunately Ryan Higgins. I'd like to hope that someone in the club could tell Higgo that he would be likely to get more playing time especially if Franklin goes, as he can be useful in all formats of the game. However, if the rumours are true, he'll be lining up for Gloucester next season and will, no doubt, perform like Gareth Berg against us.

Despite somehow almost making the quarter finals, our T20 campaign this season was appalling and although many on here dislike the format, I believe the repercussions affected our whole season. Bringing in Brendon McCullum and inserting him as captain was a strange decision. Daniel Vettori as specialist T20 coach may well also have undermined Richard Scott.

Whilst the above views are conjecture on my part, reading the body language of the team in general, it seemed apparent that all was not happy in the camp. From barely celebrating wickets (this happened several times, but most notably at the end of the first innings at Edgbaston) to the captain having words with Tim Murtagh before virtually every delivery in the same game.

Our tactics at times were baffling. Essex at home is regularly cited but the day/night game at Chelmsford probably sums up our season in a nutshell. Batting first, we treated the game like a T20, getting bowled out for around 250 on day one. Whilst I think we had read too much into our Abu Dhabi experience, Essex then made 500 plus and despite bold efforts from Compton and Stirling, our tail could not survive the required four overs at the end to secure a draw. Those five points that should have been gained would have saved us.

As has been mentioned by others, taking away Essex and Warwickshire, there was not a lot to choose between the other six sides and one team was always going to be unlucky. Sadly it was us. Last year, we achieved a couple of sensational wins at Scarborough and Taunton as well as enjoying a fair slice of fortune on the way.

This season, everything that could go wrong did do so - the two Essex games, the arrow incident at the Oval and having to play the last game at Taunton.

Where do we go from here ? Firstly I would like us to desist from signing costly T20 overseas 'stars' such as Mr McCullum. I'd rather see the likes of young players such as Tom Lace, Martin Andersson and Robbie White so that they gain experience of first team cricket.

Although he didn't cover himself with glory this season, I'd be inclined to give Daniel Vettori the responsibility for coaching across all formats, as long as he doesn't turn us into a Kiwi old pals' team.

It looks like Jimmy Harris is back in the fold and that is good news, as he is an excellent team man, often the only voice you hear shouting encouragement on the pitch. If Steven Finn can regularly show the form he produced against Lancashire, combined with Tom Helm, TR-J (when available) and Murts (one more season perhaps), our pace attack should be fine.

In spite of his twelve wickets at Taunton, I'm not sure of Ravi Patel's future at the club. I think we need another spinner to give Ollie some competition as I'd place Nathan as more of a white ball player.

If Franklin and Voges depart, that leaves a gap for a new captain. With Malan possibly away with England at times, how about somebody younger, like Nick Gubbins ? I know he had a poor season but he has the quality to rise again and I reckon he would have the respect of the other players.

One final point. Despite it being a desperately disappointing season, there are always games to look back on with enjoyment.

In T20, Ryan Higgins' brilliance in getting us an unlikely tie at Cheltenham ; Tom Helm's last over against Sussex at Lord's, reminiscent of John Price's heroics at Edgbaston in 1975.

In red ball, the comprehensive thrashing of Yorkshire at Lord's ; Timmy Murtagh's cover drive for three to secure a one wicket win at Edgbaston ; Finny blowing away Lanky at Lord's with an eight wicket haul.

Whilst relegation is painful, it is by no means the end of the world. I'm sure we can regroup and be amongst the front runners for promotion next term.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Westrock (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 08:30
Thanks for the clarification

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
pantherlike (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 08:45
Agree with LP (sorry mate, didn't trawl back to page 13), Adelaide and those making the case for caution on lighting a bonfire under the pavilion!

The season reminds me the 1998 AFL season, where I'm sure you'd alll know that Brisbane were condideeed the best wooden spooners of all time, only to go and win three premierships in a row from 2001!

The Middle were third on the table last week. The weather etc evened out the comp so much that someone had to cop it. We did. End of...

That said, yes we could've pushed Essex harder, but there's always examples of those in a season. We were champs last year for goodness sake!

So, I'd say we'd be amongst the best ever Div 2 sides next year and should be looking to add silverware to the cabinet for a straight up promotion.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
hdo (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 09:04
Chunky, thanks for answering my earlier question re fitting more overs into the allotted time. The answer was more simple than I realised!

I fear that Malan won't sign a new contract after relegation, but I'd like to think he'd repay the loyalty we've showed him over the years. Having said that, we might see little of him in future if he manages to keep his place in the England setup. I agree with those above who've said it's time for the likes of Holden and White to break into our team and show their worth.

Would love to see Eskinazi succeed next season and score big runs against Div 2 bowling. I wouldn't want to see him become the next Dan Housego or Adam London. Hope Gubbins can return to his 2016 form too.

Whatever happens in the next 12 months, I'm sure it won't be boring.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 09:12
Bouncing straight back is essential, otherwise the 'brain drain' will begin, with players like Gubbins, Helm, Holden, Robson and others getting lured away by Division one counties.

For now, the immediate worry is Malan, as he is yet to sign a new deal.

I don't know if he will think he has to play in Division one to remain in England Contention.

It would be some rare good news if he signs a new contract in the next week or two (I assume he will want his future sorted before he flies off to Oz in November).

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Holmegaard (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 09:23
Any legacy from 2016 certainly didn't amount to much. Whatever was wrong with the club this season was wrong from day 1, and pervaded all competitions. Worst of all in my view has been the lack of heart and desire shown on the field - unworthy of a club calling itself the champions - and the smug complacency shown in post-match interviews.
While I can't fathom how we can be punished for 'arrowgate' at the Oval, the Somerset game looked a bridge too far even before it started, and based on performances across the season it would have been a travesty had we stayed up.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
WayOutWest (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 10:03
I will take up chunkys challenge. Fraser to stay of course.

The reason I would like to see Franklin, Voges and Compo go is simply it seems their bodies won't allow them to perform as they can. It's called getting old.

Simmo Captain.

Holden and White to be given a chance.

Please sign Imad Wasim. All rounder who will allow us to play Ollie when needed in tandem.

Offer Higgins regular cricket in order to entice him to stay.

The budget saved could either be banked or spent on a domestic batsman available if there is one.

This would refresh the side without any major changes. It isn't knee jerk as I said at start of season the three mentioned were past it. Just my opinion.

Not one player averaged over 40. Is that good enough?

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
adelaide (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 11:17
Quote:
Holmegaard
Any legacy from 2016 certainly didn't amount to much. Whatever was wrong with the club this season was wrong from day 1, and pervaded all competitions. Worst of all in my view has been the lack of heart and desire shown on the field - unworthy of a club calling itself the champions - and the smug complacency shown in post-match interviews.
While I can't fathom how we can be punished for 'arrowgate' at the Oval, the Somerset game looked a bridge too far even before it started, and based on performances across the season it would have been a travesty had we stayed up.

No, it would not have been a travesty. Four teams finished bracketed by two points. Were we so much worse than Somerset, Hampshire and Yorkshire that it would have been a travesty if one of them had got the bullet? Were we worse than them at all? I don't see it as a travesty that we did go down (with all due respect to Arrowgate) and a lot was wrong but let's not exaggerate.


Adelaide

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
phillie (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 11:27
quote phillie]Sorry Freddie think I have to correct you on Uxbridge your not correct
I went to Uxbridge first day beautiful hot sunshine and got there just after 11 am
By 11.30 no not a later inspection one would have thought but day called off completely as unfit. Why? the outfield was pretty bone dry but was told it was because not enough care was taken ( or suggest Middx supervision) over actual wicket cover which water had leaked under on the wicket.It was not the outfield although the drainage is non existent there. playing the match there was a farce in late summer. Went the next day on the same ticket and still got charged again for car park. Rained off after brief rain and saw about 45 mins total farce!
and they wonder why attendances are not there. Obviously not totally Middlesex fault they played there. Perhaps with the Oval debacle they should grow some with dealing with the powers ECB etc![/qu

Sorry have to correct you. No water got under the covers onto to the wicket. That was a theory put around by a website.

The area concerned was a patch to the side of the wicket affected by heavy overnight rain.

You state that drainage is non existent there, How do you know? In fact Middlesex had drainage put in yonks ago.

The brief rain you mentioned second day dumped about an inch of rain in 20 minutes. Would have stopped play anywhere.

Car park charges at outgrounds are at the behest of Middlesex members. And no county will give you free car parking. The current charge at Hampshire is 90 quid a season or 8 quid a day as an example. And it is at your risk if no play occurs. And they will charge you again next day.

Attendances will be low when its raining anywhere. About 5500 turned up for the T20's as it was sunny.

We are there as with all of the other outgrounds cos we don't own a ground. Food for thought maybe. Especially when the Graves Big Bash gets going in mid summer at Lords.

And the Uxbridge ground curator was there at 4.45am each morning which ensured some cricket was played.



You may or not have some affiliation towards Uxbridge CC but you are certainly giving them your full support and I do concur the groundstaff worked tirelessly in the circumstances.

However we have to agree to disagree over your points raised. I presume you were there with insider knowledge over the ground water.I was told by an official with a walkie talkie water had got under covers to the side of the pitch.Not a website report and both Middlesex and Uxbridge cc's are hardly likely to admit an embarrassing cause.

However assuming you are right and it was just overnight rain it had been quite a few hours in the dry and the morning was full sunshine.I walked the perimeter outfield and it was pretty bone dry. So something happened for play to be called off for the day at after 11am, as I assume you are not suggesting 10 times amount of overnight rain fell on that specific patch mentioned.

Main grounds would have coped with the heavy 20 min shower the next day be it at least a couple of hours delay and being on an outground at that time of year is another story.

I find it hard to believe Middlesex paying for digging up a full outground and installing
proper drainage but I will take your word for that. If so not very good was it?

PS Food in the clubhouse was excellent!

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
29 September, 2017 11:29
The Ashes tour is going to be make or break for Malan. If it is make, then he wouldn't play much county cricket. If it is break then at 30 he won't get another opportunity.

Aside from the batting our regular bowlers didn't shine. Not a single one in the top 20.

A number of posters have commented on the palpable lack of zip and enthusiasm in the field. I don't see enough games to comment but I would like others opinions on why this should happen.

Simmo for skipper sounds right. And please please please let's have a proper no. 7.

And let's not automatically assume we will romp to promotion next year. That is really tempting fate.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
adelaide (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 11:55
Quote:
freddie tittlemouse
And let's not automatically assume we will romp to promotion next year. That is really tempting fate.

Absolutely agree. There are four really weak looking counties in Div 2, which partly explains the much higher proportion of wins, but it is fairly obvious that a really positive risk-taking attitude is needed. That has been missing, I would say, since the point at which we became title favourites in August(?) last year. That (together with some bad luck with the weather) nearly lost the title but having won it in the end despite the conservatism that seems to have taken over this year. The Essex match typifies it. I'm not sure that the Surrey run chase was ever feasible on that pitch but we could have tried to have a go.

Part of the reason for conservatism in Div 1 is of course the ease with which you can go down, coupled with nearly everyone else being a potential relegation rival. The lack of a Div 2 trapdoor should encourage a more positive approach. But without it a team is unlikely to go up.


Adelaide



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 29/09/2017 17:00 by adelaide.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Surbiton crusader2 (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 12:11
Quote:
adelaide
Quote:
freddie tittlemouse
And let's not automatically assume we will romp to promotion next year. That is really tempting fate.

Absolutely agree. There are four really weak looking counties in Div 2, which partly explains the much higher proportion of wins, but it is fairly obvious that a really positive risk-taking attitude is needed. That has been missing, I would say, since the point at which we became title favourites in August(?) last year. That (together with some bad luck with the weather) nearly lost the title but having won it in the end despite the conservatism that seems to have taken over this year. The Essex match typifies it. I'm not sure that the Surrey run chase was ever feasible on that pitch but we could have tried to have a go.

Part of the reason for conservatism is Div 12 is of course the ease with which you can go down, coupled with nearly everyone else being a potential relegation rival. The lack of a Div 2 trapdoor should encourage a more positive approach. But without it a team is unlikely to go up.


Adelaide

Division 12???

SC2

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
snicko (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 12:23
Having attended Taunton - There was a definite lack of spark and enthusiasm amongst most of the players (Harris apart). There were not many 'leaders' among the group and I couldn't help feeling that some were resigned to just going through the motions.

We need a team with more leaders and players with grit who play for the honour of representing Middlesex.

I'd consider making Harris club captain and moving on a few mercenaries. Div 2 would enable the likes of Gubbins, Holden & Eskinazi to blossom and bode well for our eventual return to Div 1.

N.B. - we need a quality match winning spinner for Div 1.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Holmegaard (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 12:40
Quote:
adelaide
Quote:
Holmegaard
Any legacy from 2016 certainly didn't amount to much. Whatever was wrong with the club this season was wrong from day 1, and pervaded all competitions. Worst of all in my view has been the lack of heart and desire shown on the field - unworthy of a club calling itself the champions - and the smug complacency shown in post-match interviews.
While I can't fathom how we can be punished for 'arrowgate' at the Oval, the Somerset game looked a bridge too far even before it started, and based on performances across the season it would have been a travesty had we stayed up.

No, it would not have been a travesty. Four teams finished bracketed by two points. Were we so much worse than Somerset, Hampshire and Yorkshire that it would have been a travesty if one of them had got the bullet? Were we worse than them at all? I don't see it as a travesty that we did go down (with all due respect to Arrowgate) and a lot was wrong but let's not exaggerate.

Adelaide


Well, travesty may have been pushing it. My disappointment was getting in the way there. But we finished last, and in my view, that was fair enough.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
rod/ed (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 15:30
Sack em all is not an option, and as LP stated these are the players that were good enough to win the CC last year. Also good enough to stay up, had common sense prevailed in the home match v Essex.
So here's how I see a team and their incentives for next year.

Robbo & Gubbo : Both still have designs on playing for England and I feel sure one or two opening spots will be available in the the next year or two. So both batsmen will be keen to score heavily in Div 2
Eski: has to prove he can score consistently throughout a season. If he can't in Div 2 then he never will.
Mala: if he has a good winter then we'll not see him and this spot becomes a problem. If he fails in Oz then his Test days are over and Div 2 may not seem attractive. Therefore offer him the CC & T20 captaincy (yes, RnO, ask him not to speak to Murts every ball).
Holden: keen to establish himself
Simmo : overlooked by England so again Div 2 not enticing, so offer him RL50 captaincy. He could play soley as a batsman
Higgo: for goodness sake get him to stay. An all rounder is needed.
Ollie/Sowter/Ravi: Three into one doesn't go, or even into two. My hunch is to go with Sowter . He's a good fielder and a prospect with the bat. I fear Ollie is now injury prone with age.
Harris: Another with designs on an England call up so will want to impress. My alternate pick as captain of CC, I hear he's done good work with the 2s
Three quicks to make up the team: Murts could well be useful early season . I'd also cut our losses with Vettori and make Tim T20 coach.
Helm: designs on England so will have to impress in Div 2
RoJo: to regain his Test place he will want to pick up plenty of wickets.
Finny: Test days gone but showed commitment by rejecting Lancs. He shouldn't be guaranteed first pick but by taking wickets he'll be on the team sheet.
Barber & Fuller should be pushing the above for starting if their standards drop.



Stirlo : white ball only
Podmore: beat find another county
George Scott and Andersson to push Eski/Mala/Holden
Compo/Voges/Franklin : thanks for the memories.


So no great changes needed perhaps a class bat if available similar to Sanga south of the border.Or an all rounder if we let Higgo go.

Whatever I'm MTID

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 15:33
We still might appeal Arrowgate.

See separate thread.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 16:47
Apparently the pitch inspectors are not going to deliver their verdict until Monday.

You would think if Somerset were definitely in the clear the announcement would have been made by now.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
BarmierKev (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 16:58
More lifelines. More hope.

I now want closure that we are down.

Not my quote but is true. It is the hope that kills you.



Barmy Kev
I'm only here for the tele

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 17:24
It might come down to intent.

The law about excessive turn was drafted on the assumption that any poor pitch would be 'unintentional' and a warning for a first offence would be sufficient.

But, what if a county knows it hasn't had a warning for 12 months and deliberately produces a pitch below standard, because they think the worst that will happen is a warning.

Deliberately producing a pitch below the required standard might get an automatic points deduction, with no previous warning.

If Somerset were definitely in the clear, I would have expected announcement by now.

 
Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
29 September, 2017 17:29
If Hildreth can score a century how can it be a bad pitch?

To paraphrase Kev:
John Cleese (Clockwise). It's not the despair Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.

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