Back to Dubai for the first day of the 3rd Test and a lost cause for England as a series but usually a game we will win because the campaign is lost. Arriving at the ground at 10:50.... bit of a surprise to find Pakistan choosing to bat and 21 for 5!! The story unfolds. I'm only here for the day so you'll have to add the rest yerselves but today is at least interesting.
England v Pakistan 3rd Test @ Dubai International Cricket Stadium Friday 3 February 2012
The Third Test. The series lost, a dead rubber, playing for pride and all that. Playing for the number one position as well because 2-1 is better than 2-0 or even 3-0 with Sri Lanka away to come. Have England rung the batting changes? Nope. No-one new though they have persisted with Monty Panesar for this game. The rumours of the introduction of Bopara have come to nothing.
Coming in from Oman means that I arrive at the airport at 9:40 and then spend an interesting 40 minutes directing a local Dubai taxi driver to the place I have been to once. This man has driven in the city for over 10 years yet I have to point out to him that he's passed the stadium before he notices. The drive costs twice as much as the last time, but one of the exit roads is now half a bridge to be fair and we come to a negotiated price somewhere between the last one and this one. (I think the fact that I started to make a note of the complaints number might have had something to do with this).
So.. into the ground, up to the press box, settle myself in and look at the scorecard. Pakistan have won the toss and are 21 for 4 halfway through the 11th over with Broad on 5/3/3/10 and Anderson bowling his 6th with 1 for 9. Before I'm up and running he is 2 for 9 as he has Misbah LBW on an Umpires Call after review and Pakistan are in a state of dissarray at 21 for 5. The bowlers are doing what they have been doing for the past three games. Let's hope the batsmen manage to over-perform and actually pass the Asian score this time!!
Akmal is nearly runout by a shy at the stumps on the 5th ball of the 15th (Why do we never hit the stumps when it matters? Is the cry from the press box) Monty is introduced early and is soon causing Shafiq all kinds of problems as the Pakistani tries to cut his country out of trouble playing and missing at everything. However it is Broad and Akmal that provide the next wicket as one keeps low from the Press Box End and the batsman misses it, is judged in front and sent on his way despite an 'Umpire's call' review. 39 for 6 at the end of the 19th and Broad has 4!
Swann replaces Monty at the end of the 21st because he got the new man Rehman out before. The first ball is driven confidently but he tries to go over KP at Mid on with his second but gets a top edge and after an age Mr Kevin takes the catch and Pakistan's slump continues to 44 for 7. The nightmare of their lowest score (in Sharjah in 1992) of 53 is starting to loom. Their lowest score against England (Edgbaston 2010) of 72 looks a looooong way off. Nevertheless, they stagger into lunch at 12 having passed 50 with their last shot of the session and at least equalling the first of those two targets. England's session I think boys and girls!! Lunch.........
One of the things about being a 'ligger' in so many ways at these events is seeing people you watched as a younger man wandering about the same room etc. Faces from Pakistan's glory years float past on their way to work as summarisers for TMS and/or Pakistani Radio - Mr Unis is the only one I can put a name to but the faces (less wrinkled in memory) are familiar. The other thing is the menu choice... lots of labels 'spicy', 'less spicy' (less spicy than what?) and 'non spicy' are not particularly helpful - the 'less spicy' should have the label 'semi - volcanic' for the poor virgin English taste buds. Puddings also interest me... there are two. The Universal Fruit Salad for the predominently vegetarian Asian audience primarily and the good old Western 'Bread and Butter Pudding' for the Brits! I am about to be offended by the stereotype but I taste it first and it is...... bloody marvellous!! The racial tension is eased and I return fulfilled to my job/hobby just in time to see Broad pass Ajmal's bat with the first post Lunch ball.
All is once more right with the world as the English bowler delivers a maiden. Monty takes up the challenge from the scoreboard end but the very vocal 500 or so Pakistani suporters are getting well behind their boys as Shafiq and Ajmal push their score towards the magic 73. To say they are 7 down after the first two hours of this game, they seem to be finding things much easier after the interval, although scoring is slow it is because of natural tailender caution rather than problems from the spinner and they pass the lowest ever total with a pulled four off of Broad in the 35th. He went past the bat in his first over but it looks a little more benign now for the seamers. However, it isn't for the spinners as Ajmal misses a straight one and is the 5th LBW victim of this innings at 78 half way through the 36th over - Monty 8.3/1/16/1.
Umar Gul is the next man in as Ravi Bopara gets onto the pitch and gets his hands on the ball as the 12th man replacement for Trott. The end of the over heralds a replacement at the Press Box end with Jimmy replacing Stuart for the 37th. Shafiq ia still trying desperately not to hang about as he swishes wildly at Anderson's third and misses cutting down his own leg stump by millimeters.
However it isn't Shafiq's wild shot selection that does for him. It's a ball that tucks him up from Panesar which he fails to steer away from his legs and which traps him in front with no reviews left. 85 for 9 and 6 LBW's to the English bowlers, 2 to spin and 4 to seam. In the 41st there is nearly a seventh as Jimmy gets one to spit a bit... probably high, not good enough for a review anyway. The future of the Pakistan innings lies in the hands or their two fast bowlers as Cheema joins Gul for the last rites. Gul is nearly out but if given Not Out, on review it is more 'out' than some of the others but because it is identified as an 'Umpires Call' and the original decision was not out Gul survives. He replies with a six into the crowd under the scoreboard as the two move the score towards 3 figures with every run being cheered to the rafters by the 'rampant 500'.
A 14 runpartnership between the two looks like taking their country to 3 figures... that is until Anderson delivers a beauty to Gulk and cleans him up on 99 and off England come to a standing ovation... NOW can the batsmen put this to bed by tomorrow lunch time?
Gul and Cheema v Strauss and Cook. Well in the first couple of overs the Pakistanis win hands down as the two English batsmen waft and chase balls they should leave alone. Strauss gets a flakey boundary and one of the balls from Cheema that Cook sticks his bat down on squirts for a season but neither of the openers look set to be there fore long. In the third over the inevitable happens as Cook edges one of the wafts and is exccellently caught by Akmal for a solitary 1 and England start the reply with 5 to their name and 9 wickets to come. Trott strides out to put some solidity into the reply but will people stay with him. There was a joke going around at lunchtime that anything over 100 would give England a hard job... it was slightly tongue in cheek... but only slightly. The front end looks incerdibly vulnerable at the moment.
In Gul's next over, as Trott tries to flip to leg he is ajudged LBW because he does not connect with the ball playing across the line. He puts his bat under his arm and wanders off without thinking about a review... the analysis identifies the ball would have missed the stumps and England's woes continue as they move to 7 for 2! Kevin arrives at the crease in another position where he is required to anchor an innings... it hasn't worked out in previous scenarios like this and one wonders how long it will be before we se Ajmal at one end or the other.
The answer is that he takes the 8th over, the one before the Tea interval. Kevin is very very forward to him immediately and when the 4th ball is a little wide he steps back and cuts for a three. Strauss faces the rest of the over and he also cuts the first ball he faces to the boundary so the spinner's first over goes for 7 and England go in at the break on 19 for 2 off 8 with Strauss on 9 and Pietersen on 6.
80 runs behind with 8 wickets in hand the national side walk out to continue this strange first day. During the break one solitary England fielder has been put through his paces by two coaches, one driving thrown balls while the player sprints in, attacks the ball and tries to throw down one of two sets of foam rubber stumps with catch nets behind them. Not sure who it was, if it was a Test squad member then the one it looked most like is Onions without his beard.. if it was a one day player, no idea why he was doing this during the first day fo a Test match. Anyway, that aside Gul starts the third phase of this first day and KP takes a single from his first, his captain follows suit off the next ball and the last two hours of the day are underway.
Have to say I'm surprised to see Cheema back on at the scoreboard end for the second over after Tea. It suggests that Ajmal did not think he was getting anything significant from the ball in his 6 before the break. It could bode well for Kevin who may have been given some time to get his eye in against a seam attack before he does battle with the Pakistani slow man again. There is a confidence and fluency abouthis play against the faster ball which simply disappears once the spinners take the ball - a beautiful drive through the covers emphasises this difference as I type - God I'm good!!
Speaking of good, Kevin is driving like a true cricketer today, his second four is sublime and the two men are heading towards 50 even though Ajmal has been introduced by the 11th over. England seem to have come out with a different frameof mind in this session. They are looking to attack both Gul and Ajmal off the front foot. The fifty arrives 2 balls into the 14th and the pair seem to have weathered the early storm - something unusual in this series as far as England pairings are concerned.
The change is noticed by the Pakistanis and the two pronged spin attack is not long in coming. Rehman replaces Ajmal at the Scoreboard end and Ajmal moves to the Press Box end to take the 15th. But England are not phased and in the 17th the two men bring up the 50 partnership and the "boat" is pretty well steadied again. If they can take it past 100, Bell might even be able to make a score!!
2 balls into the 19th, Kevin misses a rapid one from Rehman. The Pakistani cry goes up and the umpire gives Pietersen. Looking at it in real time it looks like it is going down the leg side so Strauss requests the review. The analysis identifies that the ball is shaving, by the smallest of measures, the very top of the leg stump. However, once again the umpire has given the decision as out and therefore KP must go. He has every right to think he is hard done by... quite a few in this game shave beenon the very edge of the accuracy of the machinery and I'm sure there will be debate about this 'umpire's call' margin and whether it is fair. There are always going to be very fine boundaries between in and out so the technology debate will roll on.
England however are 64 for 3 and Bell is at the crease needing a REAL innings to reset his confidence levels. 9 runs come from the next 9 overs as Rehman and Ajmal put the brake on well and truly. With 15 overs to go before the end of play the England momentum has almost virtually gone and it doesn't get any better when Bell has a stumping review that is very difficult to call. In one frame it is out and in the other??? Who would be a Third umpire? "Ump 3" goes for out after an age!! and Bell goes for 5 at 75. Poor old Ian, it doesn't get much better for you son! Very little 'benefit of the doubt' given to any batsman today I'm afraid.
Morgan is in again on a hiding to nothing and in a situation that doesn't really work with his game. However, it is as new innings and this could be his day. The TV and press are debating all kinds of aspects of this series. Bell has managed 32 runs off 32 balls against Ajmal and has been out to himn FOUR times. 31 LBW referrals have happened in this series and of that number 27 have been upheld while only 4 have been overturned - is that good umpiring or are the present rules about the borderline decisions biased towards the bowlers. Whan a ball is literally just skimming the stumps can a third umpire be totally sure that the bails would have been dislodged etc etc.
At 88 for 4 in the 33rd over Morgan has another LBW decision against him and this time the decision is overturned Taufel did not give3 him but the DRS sayas it was going to hit and Morgan is on his way. 88 for 5 with the 9th LBW of the day. Today there have been three umpire verdicts (all Taufel) overturned.
Meanwhile Prior is out in the middle with his captain (still on 35 off 98 balls and not looking at all confident despite his time at the wicket) with his country 9 runs behind with 5 wickets in hand.
The main problem with the England batsmen is they simply cannot hit Ajmal. He bowls straight and they keep missing him!! With 9 overs to go I have to leave to get my flight. England trail by 7 and should go into an overnight lead but whether the leading run is hit by Prior, Strauss or Anderson is still in the balance and anything over 99 will be a surprising bonus after this very poor batting display by both sides. You simply have to hit straight balls!!
Can we assume that as this game starts on your Sunday you will not be gracing the green green grass of Dubai this Test Grockle?
I've recieved a report that the game should start on time.No sandstorms or frost (minus6 in Saltford at the mo)overnight.Jos not called up yet either.
10/2.On your bike Mr Ali.You know you hit it and hotspot has caught you out.Don't start playing Mr Innocent.It's in the book mate, caught Prior bowled Broad.
This Bristol boy is doing the business with Jimmy Anderson.
Pakistan may have left the seamers on for too long because the partners seem to have weathered the first storm and now seem a little more confident against both Ajmal and Rehman. Ajmal has changed ends but little is getting past the bat. Then again Kevin is playing much straighter than he has been in the past and is getting forward as far as he can (he has been doing that all series but Ajmal is not getting the movement off the pitch he was getting in AD).
What an amusing days cricket. Yes the ball is moving but not to the extent you would think 16 wickets could go down. Pietersen looked good which is good news but then all it takes is a hint of turn and its all over, but he is not alone. DRS has never been bought into play so much, but is it down to just enough movement causing problems rather than the system itself?
As they say in friendly Sunday cricket when you have a team all out for 50 - early lagers or in the sky commentators minds, 3 extra days of golf
I think you are absolutely right, Lecidreman, that it is a small amount of movement that is bringing so many lbws into play..... that combined with a collection of nervous batsmen, the vast majority of whom have been ineffectual in the best part of two full series between these two teams.
If the ball was turning prodigiously, people would be getting bowled or, if hit on the pads, probably adjudged not out as the ball would be spinning too fiercely.
Realistically, hawkeye, has changed the way that umpires look at lbws.... as the system shows that the ball is hitting the stumps far more often that the average pundit, or umpire, had assumed.
Interesting chat after play with Marcus and the Sky team about batsmen having to change their technique, esp against spin, because of DRS. There is no benefit of the doubt for the batsman any more - KP was really stuffed by this.
I will also be interested to hear what the players (both sides) say about the pitches after the series. Commentators and media seem agreed that tracks are flat, with a bit of slow spin. Yet all the batsmen are struggling, both sides, to seam and spin. Maybe these tracks are just non-standard and very hard to read by non-players, and the batsmen feel they do misbehave even tho your eyes tell you they shouldn't.
SP - I should say that it's also a case of two strong bowling sides and two very much less strong batting outfits.
If we look at the home series with Pakistan, both sides struggled desperately for runs there, too.
Only Trott and Broad did much of note, on either side, in that series with the bat, if memory serves.
Outside of Trott, I think the other England batsmen variously averaged between 25 and 30 in that series. Admittedly, some of them might kill for that sort of average in this series!?
p.s. If by changing their technique, Marcus meant that batsmen have to play far more with their bat and far less with their pad, then I think that that is an excellent point in favour of the DRS system.
A usual outrageous and prejudiced comment by Boycott G and I think by Vaughan M - jolly Yorkshire men, that outside the six batters on tour ONLY ROOT J could seriously be thought of as a replacement and he wasn't ready yet!. There was no one (apart from Root - who would be as good as Boycott G one day said Boycott G) in the Lions team who could possibly fill a batting position, and the next Test match English batters would have to come from the under 19s!!.
The bloke is such a profound big head and IMO an idiot, I don't know why I let him upset me so much!! So I must be the idiot!!
Boycott might be right that there is nobody outside the current team that will be as good a Test batsman as Boycott.
BUT.. what does that have to do with the price of the eggs?
Surely, the only relevant point is whether or not there are people outside the current Test team that could do a better job than the six wonderful paragons of consistency that currently occupy the six batting places?
As I have said before, the basis on which the selectors are so sure that they have picked the six best batsmen is unclear, given that the batsmen that they have picked rarely play any County Championship cricket!
DRS seems to be finding umpires as well as players out. A couple of years ago many people were saying how good Tauful was.
Overturned three times today and no way could he be 100 per cent sure of Pieterson's lbw.
England will need to show a lot of spirit and skill or they will lose by more than 100 runs to become the first team since 1907 to lose a Test having bowled the oppo out for fewer than 100 runs, first-up.
I was that 'stupid idiot' who said that he preferred a balanced attack of 3 seamers + 2 spinners rather than 6 specialist batsmen, and was sort of called someone who didn't know what he was talking about by some other posters who knew better!!. I bet Strauss would give his 'right arm' for another alternative bowler to his armoury at the moment. A fat lot of good has been the sixth specialist batsman during this series!!
Nothing like it Clarence.One or two have bounced but look at the scoreboard.Pakistan 333-4.Not the type of score you'd get on a bunsen.This wicket is nothing like Manchester in 1956.Last man out,Misbah,played down the wrong line and was plum LBW to Monty.Just poor batting and he had the cheek to review it.
Monty is a spin bowler so no shock that it spun.Played down wrong line again.Good bowling followed by bad batting.
Azhar still there 145 n.o.No cobras for him!
The Sky boys don't seem to have picked up on how bad AGod thinks the wicket.
Oh dear there goes another one.Swann spins it,surprise,surprise,then outside edge to slip.
BristolRob Monty is a spin bowler so no shock that it spun.Played down wrong line again.Good bowling followed by bad batting.
Azhar still there 145 n.o.No cobras for him!
The Sky boys don't seem to have picked up on how bad AGod thinks the wicket.
Oh dear there goes another one.Swann spins it,surprise,surprise,then outside edge to slip.
Before lunch, with a newer ball, that's exactly what they were saying;
'uh, oh, the England batsmen are not going to like the look of this.'
I reckon England will be left to get 320, but will only get about 220 of them..
It could be over before the close if we get going. With plenty of 4s and 6s lets treat it like a T20 and we might have a chance - open with Broad and Pietersen, with Swann at 3. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We certainly won't win it or get a draw by trying to be conventional.
You have to say that, for all the praise that has been heaped on the Flower/Strauss regime, their team has shown very little of the cussedness on the sub-continent that was shown during the Fletcher/Hussain regime.
And I say that as someone who deplored some of the tactics employed by Fletcher/Hussain (such as Giles bowling miles outside leg stump to Sachin.)
AG I do wonder how Fletcher's 'revolutionary' forward press/sweeping tactics would work in this new DRS age. Would Murali have ended up with 1000 wickets?
Also the greatest success on the subcontinent during Fletcher's reign was te winter of 2000/2001 when England won series 1-0 in Pakistan and 2-1 in Sri Lanka. An ever-present member of England's middle order in both series was Graham Thorpe, master of manoeuvering the ball around to keep the scoreboard ticking over (in the Lahore test he made a century qith only a single boundary in it - can you imagine most of the current England batting order having the patience?).
Maybe England should promote Thorpe from Lions coaching duties to the full England squad.
I think KP's large gate was at least because he was trying to play with the bat, not the pad, and was proof of the amended technique all batsmen, esp on the subcontinent, are going to have to learn. I think Prior suffered similarly in the first innings (or was it the 2nd Test - can't remember).
It's easy to criticise when batsmen (esp those who aren't our favourites anyway) get out sweeping or playing attacking shots. I suspect those who do are the same who criticise them for getting bogged down against the spinners!
KP was a straight transfer to Delhi from Deccan in early january for an undisclosed but probably overirnflated fee. Morgan was bought in last year's auction by Kolkata so has another year to run, as does Stuart Broad who was bought by Kings XI Punjab but did not participate last year due to injury. I would expect Broad to play this year, not least because he is the England T20 captain with a World Cup coming up later this year.
Having seen how well Broad bowled in the Pakistan innings yesterday, I would not be hugely surprised if the ECB did everything in its power to try to prevent Broad from going. Such things might, of course, include some kind of additional financial inducement.
Can anyone see any of our top six mastering the Sri Lankan spinners?? Time for a transplant - bring in the young Lions - and I'm afraid G Swann now believes his own publicity, is no longer world class - hasn't been for at least 12 months and should be replaced by Briggs - two left spinners seems ideal to me!
I agree entirely with AG. Swann has loads in the bank still (13 wkts at 25 each in this series is hardly poor!), and that's against a team with few left-handers now (didn't Baggy or somone say he averages 4 runs per wkt v Pakistani left-handers?!).
Post-Murali, SL's spinners are nothing special (tho I may hae said the same about Pak's spinners a month ago), and Briggs is nowhere near the Test team - tho it's interesting to note that there don't seem to be any other off-spinners lined up behind Swann - I think I read Moeen Ali is next in line - cripes!
SP - I think much more of an immediate challenge will be playing Ajmal and Afridi in tandem in the coming one-day series.
I think England will need to bowl exceptionally well to be competitive in the ODI series because Ajmal, Afridi and Gul represent an exceptional triumvirate of ODI bowlers, so I think life will be very tough for the England batsmen.
I think Swann may be more successful against Sri Lanka - they have more left-handers for a start. To be honest, apart from the Younis/Azhar combination in the 2nd innings here, England's bowlers have done and excellent job. Monty coming in for the second Test proved that two spinners are essential in these conditions.
I would expect Swann and Panesar to pair up again in Sri Lanka. The interesting thing will be what happens when they England go back to the single-spinner format back home in te summer. If Monty continues to out-bowl Swann, will he get the nod? During a tea-time discussion on TMS journalists were doubtful. Swann may sneak in n ot just on his batting, but his spot in a slip cordon that has looked shaky since the departure of Collingwood (and going further back Trescothick).
The discussions on the batsmen to take to Sri Lanka were also interesting. Having billed today as the day 'England batsmen were playing for their places' they concluded that
-KP won't be dropped because he's KP
-Bell won't be dropped because he's Bell, and he has spent a long time training for the short-leg fielding spot
- Morgan won't be dropped because he 'brings something different' (unfortunately due to lack of time they didn't go on to explain what the 'something different' was)
Bizarrely, if someone from this squad is going to be left in Blighty in March I wonder if it will be Ravi. If he couldn't force his way into the playing XI in this series then I'm not sure he ever will (last-minute injury or illness notwithstanding). Surely if the top 6 are keeping their places, then the 'reserve' batsman should either be someone who is knocking on the door looking to force his way into the team (and on current events I don't think Ravi is) or a younger player getting experience travelling with the full England squad.
If the current top six are England's best batters then God help us all. On the other hand I do believe that our current Test team are some of the greatest talkers of a game of circket EVER. After his serious pronouncements that he and his current England mates intended to be the Man Utd of world cricket, I cannot take seriously anything he and his mates say again, particularly as his supporters now cling to the hope that he can get to bowl at lots of left handers so that he can still be called the best spinner in the world!! Ha Ha!!
Mike, I meant whichever team wins on Friday, it will be an ENGLAND victory!!!!
I think the night before the match they should all line up against the fence and Alastair Cook and James Taylor can take turns to pick players for their team. Would at least get an idea of who Cook would like to have in his team!
The one-day squad is, I believe, to be announced shortly.
So I'll give you my slightly left-field pick for Sri Lanka. Just 2 warm-up matches and 2 Tests.
Just 15 - I think that should be enough players to cover for a 2-match Test series. I am undecided between Finn and Onions - think Onions may be a better option, shorter, skids onto the bat more and probably gets more reverse swing than Finn. But whichever goes most likely to be carrying drinks. I am expecting fallout for my indecision over Jos - IF he plays and succeeds in the UAE one-day series (not just the T20s) then I'd take him, however it may be a year too early in which case Davies keeps the spot as back-up keeper.
Bell and KP keep their spots. Although looking horribly at sea in this series, they have proven Test records both at home and away, in a variety of conditions. Morgan does not.
Carberry has become the forgotten man since his withdrawal from the England Performance Programme tour to Australia at the end of 2010. Before then he was in that oft spoken position 'next cab off the rank' as far as England were concerned. He certainly made an impressive comeback for Hampshire in the second half of last summer. Of course after his DVT scare he may not be allowed to fly long-haul any more.
I'd be content with that squad. Carberry puts a bit of pressure on Strauss, no bad thing, while I agree with what you say about Bell and Pietersen, and Taylor puts them under more pressure than did Bopara.
I don't think Buttler's keeping is strong enough yet for him to be cover if Prior goes in the finger on the morning of a Test. I like the idea of getting him along for experience, but I don't think he's close to Test selection yet.
I'd rather not see Buttler pushing for the keeper's spot but looking to get in as a batsmen/fielder ala Morgan. Not ony does he not want to be competing with Craig but also he won't get a look in against Prior at the moment and he's too good a batsman to be kept out by the fact that there is only one pair of gloves.
I believe it was mentioned before, but it really is pathetic for Andy Flower to claim that England lost because they hadn't played a test for four and a half months. Everyone is saying that our Lions are too young, but I note that other countries particularly Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand etc have no qualms about dropping some none performing batsmen and promoting youngsters. I am confident that including two or three Lions batsmen in place of two or three existing England batsmen could work wonders!
Pietersen and Trott (and Bopara on 3rd innings) destroyed by spinners. Question - are the Pakistan spinners some of the greatest ever, or are the current crop of England batters the greatest talkers in history?? The only good point is, I suppose it will ease Bairstow and Buttler into the team!!
Well, if no-one else is going to say it, I will - well played England, excellent thumping victory! Especially Captain Cook, Bopara (tho he had a life or two), Steve Finn and the other bowlers. Craig couldn't get going with the bat, but kept extremely well with a great legside catch to get rid of Younis and a sharp stumping.
I think Morgan and KP will generally struggle when the pitches are this slow, while I'm not sure Craig will necessarily be a successful replacement for KP as opener when the ball doen't come on. I suspect Engalnd will want to play Jos when he's fit, but tough to work out where he fits best and what the ideal combination will be at the moment. Would be a good time to experiment a bit, I think.
Some of the comments I have read by Kevin Pieterson in the last two days sounds to me like he is trying to talk-up his selection for today’s match, I think he will be picked anyway but is he concerned about his selection?
Kevin Pietersen is confident he and others can take their lead from captain Alastair Cook’s scintillating form in the remainder of England’s one-day international series against Pakistan.
SheptonPaul England win / stroll by 9 wickets with 13 overs to spare; Pietersen 111* off 98 balls.
This contribution from a listener on BBC text: ''Great moment for KP, fully deserved it. He's the first on the training pitch and last out. Great professional and role model."
Anyone care to concur / comment?
I know you would like me to say something nice. A very good knock by KP! Now he's found a bit of form let him have a rest and lets see how Bairstow and Buttler perform in the last match!
We move on to Sri Lanka later, so lets take stock after that!
Jos' injury seems to have been a happy coincidence for the powers that be as they haven't had to explain why one of the best short form batsmen in England was sitting out these games.
Maybe someone ought to remind them that for part of last season Jos Buttler was the most destructive T20 batsman in the world above Mr Boom Boom himself. Can't see him breaking in myself but I do still hope to see him in his pomp on Thursday evening...it's what I'm making the trip for but I expect to be disappointed.
Would expect Alex Hales to come in to open with Kieswetter in the T20s. Then KP, Morgan, Ravi and Samit not necessarily in that order followed by Jos (I expect England will have him at 7) and 4 bowlers.
Not sure about the final ODI - will England stick with the winning team or experiment a bit on Tuesday. Can argue for either.
I would experiment, but England have a tendency to stick to winning teams - I'd only expect Jos to play if one of the batters has picked up a strain or injury - unless they want to give him a run-out before the T20s - in which case he may come in for Trott?
I note that Eoin Morgan says winning the ODIs has made up for losing the Tests!!
If he really believes that then it explains a lot and proves that we have a big big problem, and frankly unlines why he shouldn't be anywhere near the Test XI.
I doubt many of his team-mates share that view. But his attitude to first-class cricket has been evident for a while.. Exemplified by playing in the IPL rather than for Middx, even though a Test place was up for grabs.
It is a matter of continued regret that he was, shamefully, rewarded for his stance by getting the place anyway.
Alot of posters on Middlesex till we die are lucky enough to know the players- or at least talk to them 2 or 3 times a year at various 'meet the players' events, therefore the vast majority seem reluctant to give Morgan a hard time on MTWD. However, I don't believe in keeping my thoughts to myself. Steve Finn is Middlesex through and through, and even when told to take a rest by ECB will still turn up at Middle games to give support- not Morgan though. The one form of the game he excells at - T20 and he isn't interested in playing for us- he always needs a rest. Why does he need a rest? Cos he's spent the last 6 weeks playing in the IPL!
The best bit was a few weeks ago. I'm sure our new sponsers were delighted to be told 'Strauss, Finn, and Morgan, will be modelling the new kits. Turned out the Morgan in question was Beth Morgan, as Eoin hasn't been near a Middlesex kit in eighteen months!
If his attitude is typical then I can't understand why Angus Fraser doesn't show him the door! He mostly certainly shouldn't be in the England Test team - I suggest he goes back to Ireland and tries to get in their 'future' test team!!
I'm sorry but I just don't like his attitude!
Will be interesting to see what happens. His contract is up at end of this season. I know I shouldn't draw conclusions from 'he doesn't tweet with his Middlesex team mates'- but the fact remains that he doesn't.
To be honest he gives the impression county cricket is beneath him. I suspect others on MTWD do agree with me- even if they are less openly hostile.
Some valid anti-Morgan arguments on this thread so far.
But surely `doesn`t tweet with his Middlesex team mates` is a quality in his favour, especially when you consider all the harm that tweeting and twittering have caused in sport in recent times - Saturday`s boxing fiasco being the latest.
He is on twitter though- Eoin16. (and last May/June was tweeting with IPL team mates and wishing them luck)
Finnysteve does tweet with his Middle teammates on a regular basis.
There was an interview last season (sorry I can't remember exact quote) where Morgan effectivly said that playing under the pressure of the IPL infront of 50,000 crowd was more useful to his learning curve than playing infront of 2,000 in home conditions at Uxbridge. In one sense I suppose that is true, since the atmosphere at the IPL must be closer to a T20 international than Uxbridge, but it did nothing to endear him to me.
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