100 Cricketers – The Seventh XI Bowlers and Introducing the Eighth XI

The latest in my “100 cricketers” series, finishing the look at the seventh XI and introducing the eighth XI in batting order. Has some bonus features as well as the usual photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my “100 cricketers” series, which features the specialist bowlers from the seventh XI and introduces the eighth XI in batting order. There are also a couple of extra features near the end of the post. The introductory post to the whole series can be found here, the post which introduces the seventh XI is here and the previous post in the series is hereWe start our look at the bowlers with…

THE QUICKER BOWLERS

I have two players in this XI who are picked principally as pace bowlers. Anya Shrubsole in this combination would be third seamer, while the new ball would be taken the two genuinely quick bowlers, Imran Khan and…

PAT CUMMINS

The 25 year-old who consistently bowls at speeds of over 90mph has thus far played 20 test matches in which has taken 94 wickets at 22.02, while he has at times also made useful contributions as a lower order batter, with 528 runs at 20.30. He has also been effective in shorter form cricket, with 82 ODI wickets at 26.53 from 48 appearances and 25 T20I wickets at 21.24 from 20 matches. In the 2018 Boxing Day test match at the MCG when Australia as a whole were roundly defeated, confirming India as holders of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, he was the one Aussie to emerge with his reputation enhanced, playing a fighting innings and bagging six cheap second innings wickets after India had declined to enforce the follow-on. He is the only current Australian player I would definitely want to find a space for in the England team were such permissible (Steve Smith, a shoo-in on past performances is as far as I am concerned out on behavioural grounds). As this suggests my reckoning based on recent performances by the two sides is that England are heavy favourites to regain The Ashes this summer, but the presence of a fit, firing Cummins will make their task harder – and I hope that is what we see – I would always want each team to be at full strength. 

ANYA SHRUBSOLE

She has had only five test matches (17 wickets at 24.52), but her records in ODIs (61 matches, 77 wickets at 26.51) and T20Is (63 matches, 86 wickets at 13.96) are splendid. She was the star of the 2017 world cup final, her 6-46 consigning India to defeat after they had looked like winning for most of the match and earning her many accolades, starting with player of the match on the day and also including becoming the first woman to feature on the front cover of Wisden. We now turn to the…

SPIN BOWLERS

Those who have followed this series closely will recall that as well as naming her vice-captain of this XI I made a point of mentioning Heather Knight’s off-spin bowling. In view of the fact that I already had an option, albeit not quite front-line, in that department it was natural for my front-line options to select two spinners who represented different varieties of spin bowling. I went for having a full range and plumped for a legspinner and a left arm orthodox spinner…

DANIEL VETTORI

The Kiwi played 113 test matches, scoring 4,531 runs at 30.00 and taking 362 wickets at a slightly costly 34.36. He also played 295 ODIs scoring 2,253 runs at 17.33 and taking 305 wickets at 31.71. That slightly elevated test bowling average not withstanding I reckon that among New Zealand born spinners only Clarrie Grimmett, who not only had to move countries (to Australia) but was on to his third Aussie state before mkaing the breakthrough was better. I saw him action in 1999, when his fine bowling played a major role in consigning England to the series defeat that plunged them to the bottom of the world test ratings. In the year 2000 two developments, a two-divisional championship and central contracts came into force, and since then England have fared much better on the international stage. In later years his batting became almost as significant for New Zealand as his bowling, and he was also did fairly well captaining the side. 

AMANDA WELLINGTON

This is a pick with the future in mind. The 21 year-old legspinner has only played one test match, has 15 ODI wickets at 31.80 and 10 T20I wickets at 11.20. However, she bowled well in the Womens Big Bash League this year, and had an OD match for South Australia v ACT in which she scored 29 and took 4-35. I expect to hear a lot more of her in future, having been favourably impressed by those bowling performances that I have heard commentary on.

INTRODUCING THE EIGTH XI

Here in batting order is my eighth XI:

  1. Matthew Hayden
  2. Justin Langer
  3. *Michael Vaughan
  4. Dilip Vengsarkar
  5. Shivnarine Chanderpaul
  6. +Andy Flower
  7. Richard Hadlee
  8. Graeme Swann
  9. Stuart Broad
  10. Linsey Smith
  11. Terry Alderman

EXTRAS

This post will end in the usual way, but first a couple of extras.

ANSWER TO MATHEMATICAL PUZZLE FROM YESTERDAY

Here is an official solution to yesterday’s mathematical puzzle, posted by Mahdi Raza:

solution

We also have a bonus feature…

AUTISM PLAN

I was alerted to this via twitter, but the main detail is in a facebook post which you can view by clicking on the graphic below:

Autism Plan

It costs NAS West Norfolk some £15,000 a year to run activities for our members (over 380 families currently signed up). There is a new fundraiser now on just giving for those who can afford to donate, and all money raised will be used by NAS West Norfolk for activities that help autistic people. We finsih of course with…

PHOTOGRAPHS

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England Seal ODI Series Victory

An account of the third ODI between Australia and England, and some of my own photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Just after 11AM yesterday UK time England completed a victory over Australia in the third One Day International that also secured them the series victory with two matches remaining. This post tells the story of that victory

THE MATCH

Steve Smith won the toss for Australia and sent England in to bat, which given that England had won the first two matches batting second was a sensible decision. Moeen Ali’s dismissal to the first ball of the 39th over left England at 181-6, at which point Australia looked favourites, and Smith’s decision to send England in looked to be thoroughly vindicated. Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes then batted so well in the last 11.5 overs, the former reaching his 5th ODI hundred along the way, that England finished their 50 overs with 302-6.

Australia in response were then ahead on comparison for much of the way. In the closing stages Stoinis and Paine batted well up to a point but they were dropping further and further behind the rate. When Stoinis holed out at the death Australia needed 19 off three deliveries which meant that Woakes only had to avoid overstepping or slinging the thing wide – and he very comfortably achieved this, England’s final margin being 16 runs. Stoinis played a quality knock, but Tim Paine’s 31 not out off 35 balls was as clear an example of a match-losing innings as I can recall (though skipper Smith’s 45 off 66, which first put Australia behind the rate merits a dishonourable mention in this category). 

A CONTROVERSIAL DISMISSAL

Smith was given out caught by Buttler. The onfield umpires referred with a ‘soft decision’ of out, meaning that to give Smith not out the TV Replay Umpire needed to find incontrovertible evidence that it was not out. The mere fact that even with replays to help them people were not in agreement as to whether it was out or not says that the evidence was not incontrovertible, so the TV Replay Umpire was right to stick with the decision of out. Also, because of camera foreshortening TV replays are notoriously unreliable when it comes to assessing whether catches have carried (and I write this as a fan of technology overall). Finally, the way Smith was batting his dismissal benefitted Australia at least as much as it did England.

A TALE OF TWO 49th OVERS

England went into the 49th over of their innings on 264-6. Pat Cummins not only got smacked around (always likely at that stage of an innings), he also unforgivably bowled a wide, and then with the seventh delivery, which had been necessitated by the earlier misdemeanour, a no-ball. The eight delivery, necessitated by the no-ball, and a free hit for that reason, was walloped for four. The meant that the over cost 25 in total, and Cummins’ indiscipline accounted for eight of those 25 (1 for the original wide, 2 for the no-ball, one taken off the no-ball and the last four).

Australia went into their 49th over at 273-6, needing 30 to win. Mark Wood was disciplined enough to limit his over to the regulation six deliveries, and he managed one dot ball, conceded four singles and only one four – eight off the over – a good fairy offering that outcome at the start of the over would have found herself one-handed! The difference between Cummins’ over and Wood’s was 17 runs (25 minus 8), and England’s winning margin was 16.

PHOTOGRAPHS

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Ashes Composite XI

My composite Ashes XI with reasoning and justification. Also some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

A common feature of final days of series is the selection of a composite XI based on performances in said series. This is my effort for the current Ashes series. I am going to name my team in batting order first and then explain/amplify/justify these selections.

THE TEAM

My team in batting order (England player names in dark blue, Aus in green):

  1. Alastair Cook
  2. David Warner
  3. Dawid Malan
  4. Steven Smith (Captain)
  5. Shaun Marsh
  6. Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
  7. Mitchell Marsh
  8. Mitchell Starc
  9. Pat Cummins
  10. Nathan Lyon
  11. Jimmy Anderson

MY REASONING

The openers need no justification – the only major contribution from an opener not named Warner in the series was Cook’s monumental innings at the MCG. Number three is a thorny one. James Vince has demonstrated clearly that he does not belong there, and his huge score here at the SCG notwithstanding I remain skeptical about Usman Khawaja, hence my decision to promote England’s leading run scorer in the series to a position he occupies for his county. Number four, and with it the captaincy was the easiest selection of the whole lot. Shaun Marsh has not put a foot wrong since being called up to replace the inadequate Handscomb at number 5, and I regarded him as a must pick. Jonny Bairstow and Tim Paine have both had good series with the gloves, but I have opted for Bairstow as definitely the superior batsman. Mitchell Marsh has had a magnificent series, and was an absolute shoe-in at number 7, especially as Moeen Ali has had a terrible series – he has batted poorly in every match and his bowling average reads like a Bradman batting average. Of the specialist bowlers I have picked those at number 8,9 and 10 in the batting order are absolute stand outs. Number 11 was tricky, since Anderson with virtually no support has had a good series, and the better supported Hazlewood as also had a fine series. Accepting that even were it possible vivisection is not permissible (though ‘Anderwood’ is only one letter removed from a former test great!) I have opted for Anderson as I rate his the greater achievement. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Looking at the makeup of the team (and accepting that Hazlewood for Anderson and Khawaja for Malan would both be valid changes), Australian picks predominate in both batting and bowling, though it is especially the bowling, which in my team comes out at 4-1 (including all-rounder Mitchell Marsh) to Australia and is reality more like 4.3-0.7 (rating my selection of Anderson over Hazlewood as a 70:30 pick) which has split the sides. England have collected barely more than half of the 100 wickets that were available to them at the start of the series, whereas Australia assuming that they take the six England wickets that remain in this match will have managed 90, failing to take 20 opposition wickets only on the MCG pitch. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

I always like to include a few photographs in my blog posts, so I end with these recently taken pictures:

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The first five pictures were taken while walking to the Scout Hut on Beulah Street for Musical Keys yesterday.

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These last four pictures were taken in Fakenham on Thursday.

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