The more batsmen England pick, the fewer they have

The big question before this fourth Test was could England’s batsmen start making some runs and maybe win a few more Tests?

When the answer revealed itself to be “no and yes” it became apparent that these were actually two separate questions.

England somehow cobbled together a half-decent first innings score while simultaneously making their batting appear even less solid. The second innings was more of the same.

In Top Gun, Maverick’s “hit the brakes and he’ll fly right by” trick is a neat one, but probably not a ploy on which to base a career. We feel similarly about England’s current approach to building totals.

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26 Appeals

  1. Having moved on from the various players who regularly make county runs, we are now firmly in ‘which player with a mid 30s average has made runs this season’ territory.

    I would rather be looking at the ODI team, which has quite a lot of batsmen in it, at this point, which is why the idea of Hales in the middle order is growing on me.

    • Or Hales in the top order even. Speaking of the ODI side, can’t help but feel Morgan is ten times the player Malan or Westley are as well. England might prefer him to focus on the other two formats so maybe he isn’t an option but he’d certainly improve our test batting lineup right now.

    • Hales scored a double against an attack with one half-decent bowler who was about ninth choice for SA before going Kolpak, and suddenly he’s nailed on for number 5.

      Malan was picked on the back of LO form, and has a decent-ish FC average (38, better than Hales). Look how that turned out.

      He might be an adequate stop-gap, I suppose. But a lot of people (possibly not you Howe) seem to think they’ve found The Answer after one double-ton. In which case, Cameron Steel to play opposite Cook vs. the Windies?

      • Possibly, though it’s perhaps not as knee-jerk a reaction as you suggest: I wouldn’t have dropped Hales in the first place as I always felt he had something and deserved one more series at least. And his replacement Duckett hardly set the world alight. For balance, I’d also have picked Scott Borthwick for that series and it all seems to have gone a little quiet on his England chances.

      • Hales actually opted out of the Bangladesh tour. Like a time-traveller stepping on a butterfly etc and so on.

  2. The more batsmen England pick, the fewer Essex and Yorkshire have. They seem to be playing an all-bowling match in Scarborough at the moment.

  3. On current evidence, it appears that Ryan Sidebottom’s at least the bowling equal of Ryan Sidebottom, but Ryan Sidebottom isn’t half the batsman Ryan Sidebottom is.

  4. Man of the Match and Series. Not bad for a second spinner.

    • Well he comes in to bat at 9 and in a team with only one spinner he’s the second one, so I think we can now safely conclude Moeen is England’s specialist fielder.

  5. Interestingish Moeen stat this series.

    4 matches, 252 runs (HS 87, two 50s, ave 36.00, SR 71.79), 25 wickets (BBI 6/53, BBM 10/112, Ave 15.64, Econ 3.23, SR 29.0).

    There was a bit of fuss made about his “200 runs, 20 wickets” in a series milestone, particularly for a four-match series. But how much rarer is “250 runs, 25 wickets”?

  6. The Southern bias against Northern opening batsmen has gone too far now – even the weather in Southampton is conspiring to stop Hameed finally scoring a First Class hundred.

  7. Imagine this team with Peterson and Bell in it. Are they still playing?

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