Jump to content



England vs New Zealand 3rd Test | ENG win by 7 wkts to win series 3-0

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Uilleam said:

Pope in at first drop is a big ask. 


I don’t think His Holiness has any record either capitalising on a good opening stand or repairing a broken one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Scott7 said:

I don’t think His Holiness has any record either capitalising on a good opening stand or repairing a broken one.

Here's Atherton, from The Times:

(Mind you, as a friend of mine from Sheffield once said to me - What does a fookin' Lancastrian know about fookin' cricket?)



England v New Zealand: Time for tinkering Ollie Pope to prove he can be trusted at critical No 3 position

Mike Atherton

, Chief Cricket Correspondent

Tuesday May 31 2022, 3.00pm, The Times

Dan Christian, the Australia all-rounder, is one of the game’s more thoughtful cricketers and in a recently co-authored book with Gideon Haigh, about the life of an itinerant T20 cricketer in the age of a pandemic, he muses on some of the changes that have occurred during his long career. Specifically, in one early chapter, on the effects of every ball of every match now being televised, streamed or recorded.

We are used to reflecting gratefully on this development. There is little now that cannot be watched live or after the event — a tremendous boon for observers, writers, pundits and supporters. But what about the effect on the cricketers themselves? The temptation must be strong to scrutinise every dismissal, every mistake and every glitch in technique — and often you can see young players, moments after being dismissed, settling down in front of the computer screen in the dressing room, ready to analyse.

“Cricket has developed a bit of an obsession with studying video to analyse technique and correct faults. We spend too much time watching the 5 per cent of cricket where we do things wrong, to the exclusion of 95 per cent of the time we do things well,” wrote Christian, a player old enough to have straddled the pre and post-streaming era and who therefore is more aware of its attractions as well as its dangers.

The dangers of this for young players who are still finding their way and learning their game must include paralysis by analysis and/or constant tinkering. From a distance, it has been possible to see, in Ollie Pope’s recent Test experiences, a descent into this kind of introspective thinking, where concentrating on technique and method overtakes working out how to score runs and adapt and exploit various situations to win matches.


Pope’s most recent Test, in Hobart at the end of the Ashes tour, was a case in point. This fine young player had clearly got himself into a bit of a muddle, to the extent where he was caught poking at a wide ball in the first innings and then bowled around his legs in the second. While he says that the context of the second innings has been overlooked — he was batting with the lower order and looking to push things along — he concedes to having a scrambled mind at that point.


So part of his rehabilitation at the start of a summer has been to settle on a method and stick to it. Previously, he had been among a number of young players who had been sucked into the trend of taking guard towards off stump, but he has adjusted that now back to middle stump, with his pre-delivery movement (or trigger) taking him towards off stump, as the ball is released. His back-lift, previously slightly hidden behind his body, before swinging around, is now more visible, hovering over off stump, and coming down in a straight line, better to access the ball.

Confident in the changes made, he has not tinkered further. Instead, all his energies have been focused in practice on making good decisions in the channel and being clinical in his choice of shot. During his preparations, he sometimes sets up with an additional (yellow) stump placed on a fourth-stump line: the aim is to play anything inside it, and leave anything outside. Precise judgment around what to play and how to score has been his aim, to reduce what had increasingly appeared to be a frenetic tempo at the start of his innings, as confidence drained away.


The runs have flowed this season. He is averaging close to 70 in this year’s County Championship and confidence has returned after a difficult Ashes in which he made 67 runs in six innings and was dropped mid-series. Left out in the Caribbean Tests, the change in management has come at a good time for him. Pope’s elevation to No 3 is one of the first big calls by the new management team in a squad not that dissimilar to what has gone before.

No 3 is a pivotal role in any batting line-up, one that requires its incumbent to be both technically sound enough to fend off the new ball should early wickets tumble, and dominant enough to be able to press the accelerator if not. Some No 3s veer to the former (Jonathan Trott, for example, who was successful and consistent in that position), some, like Ricky Ponting, the great Australian batsman, to the latter.

The ability to shape the game is one reason why Ian Chappell, the former Australia captain and a fine No 3 himself, thinks your best batsman should position himself there. “Unless you are a born opener,” he has said, “No 3 is the best place to bat.” Joe Root is the most naturally suited to it, but is clearly reluctant and Stokes’s first call was to reinstate England’s senior batsman to No 4.


Pope has never batted at No 3 in a first-class game. Brendon McCullum has acknowledged the risk — “Any time you introduce a player into an unfamiliar role, there is an element of risk” — but recognises the potential rewards on offer, too. “All the guys in the side talk about how good a player he is, and what his potential is. Let’s see it, give him the opportunity in a position which has been difficult, if he’s able to nail it, then your middle order looks very, very good,” McCullum said.

A year ago Pope himself might have seen the move as too risky, but now feels ready for the chance. He is 24 years old, has been through the kind of ups and downs that effect most young players from time to time, and has played 23 Tests, enough to have given him a feel for it. The past 12 months, beginning with the New Zealand tour of a year ago, have been difficult but he remains a fine young player and the time feels right for him to show his true colours and seize the opportunity.



Link to post
Share on other sites

On 01/06/2022 at 09:55, Scott7 said:
On 01/06/2022 at 08:34, Rousseau said:

McCullum and Stokes' reign starts tomorrow. 


What are we expecting?


Defeat for NZ, I meant. Obviously.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At 23.10 last night, I suggested that NZ would win.

Drink was involved, since you ask.


Potts must think that Test Match cricket is a piece of piss. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Rousseau changed the title to England vs New Zealand 1st Test | NZ 39-6

England spinner Jack Leach has been withdrawn from the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's after suffering symptoms of concussion.


The 30-year-old took a heavy fall while chasing a ball to the boundary in the sixth over of the first day.


Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson has been called up as the replacement and will make his Test debut.



Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Rousseau changed the title to England vs New Zealand 1st Test | NZ 45-7

I always get concerned when the runs start to mount up. 


Going from 45-7 to 80-7 within a few overs sounds bad. 


Is it just because NZ are taking more risks? 


I suppose that's not a bad thing from ENG's point-of-view? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Rousseau changed the title to England vs New Zealand 1st Test | NZ 90-8

Knew it was too early to dispense with both Anderson and Broad in one go. Bothe are still capable of making dents in any batting line up. Sir Richard Hadlee was nearly 40 when he retired, i'm sure Jimmy has another year left and Broad at 35 should be good for 2-3 if injury free, while bringing on the younger bowlers like Stone, Potts, Archer and Robinson. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Rousseau changed the title to England vs New Zealand 3rd Test | ENG win by 7 wkts to win series 3-0
  • Rousseau changed the title to England vs New Zealand 3rd Test | NZ 329 & 326 - ENG 360 - Day 4

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.