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    (Original post by moment of truth)
    Which young bowler would you rather have in your team, Mohammad Amir, Kagiso Rabada or Mustafizur Rahman?
    A very good question.

    Mustafizur for me - as the article above indicates, the kid's averages are just outrageous. What a talent.

    I think Rabada will be a great bowler - but mainly in red-ball cricket, especially given the new quota imposed by CSA.

    As for Amir? I'm convinced he has the highest ceiling of the three. His talent is unquestionable, but I feel we may have been robbed of some of his best years. He can still achieve great feats, but I think it'll take longer for us to appreciate as his development has been slowed down significantly by his misdemeanours and the subsequent bans.
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    The Fizz
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    A very good question.

    Mustafizur for me - as the article above indicates, the kid's averages are just outrageous. What a talent.

    I think Rabada will be a great bowler - but mainly in red-ball cricket, especially given the new quota imposed by CSA.

    As for Amir? I'm convinced he has the highest ceiling of the three. His talent is unquestionable, but I feel we may have been robbed of some of his best years. He can still achieve great feats, but I think it'll take longer for us to appreciate as his development has been slowed down significantly by his misdemeanours and the subsequent bans.
    I could have included Jasprit Bumrah in this too, I think.

    I agree with you. I still think that we need to see more of Mustafizur in test match cricket, he has shown his quality in limited overs cricket, but can he bowl long spells of fast bowling and can he toil when the pitch is flat? That is the question.

    Agreed about Amir, too. I still think he has a hell of a lot to offer in the next few years though. He will always be known as a 'match-fixer'. I just hope he stays out of trouble for the rest of his career.
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    Hope Voges is OK. Always worrying to see something like that.
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/36179795

    Good article on James Taylor
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    Cook with his third hundred of the season thus far today, amid poor weather conditions.

    Essex 335-2 at the close against Worcestershire.
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    It is a lovely sunny day here in north London, ideal for going to watch Middlesex or Surrey. So the County Championship games start on a Sunday.

    ECB- why not start on Saturdays?
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    It is a lovely sunny day here in north London, ideal for going to watch Middlesex or Surrey. So the County Championship games start on a Sunday.

    ECB- why not start on Saturdays?
    One word: football.

    They struggle for crowds anyway, so having a county match on at the same time as London football sides playing at home (especially at this time of the season, when teams are fighting for promotion/relegation across the Football League and PL) would be ill-advised.

    I'm really enjoying the Championship so far, to be honest. Even if 12 of the 13 matches in the first division so far have resulted in a draw.
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    Sad news - West Indian broadcaster Tony Crozier has died, aged 75. A recogniseable voice on cricket and passionate on West Indies cricket.
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    You've got to wonder how close Robson is to a call-up, to be honest. With at least two of the top five England positions under scrutiny - arguably three - you imagine his three mammoth innings thus far in the County Championship will serve him well.

    The Guardian are saying James Vince and Jake Ball are the new faces in England’s Test squad to face Sri Lanka at Headingley next week.

    You imagine Vince will come in as a straight swap for Taylor at five, leaving Compton and Root at three and four respectively.

    England Test squad (likely): Cook (capt), Hales, Compton, Root, Vince, Stokes, Bairstow (wkt), Ali, Broad, Anderson, Ball.
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    Am expecting England to whitewash Sri Lanka, to be honest.

    Pakistan will be tougher, due to their bowling attack, but am expecting England to have a very successful summer!
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    Really pleased Compton and Hales are in line for a few more Tests, to be honest.

    The former gets a lot of stick - and some steady 30s may not be enough to save him from the drop considering this SL side is so inferior to England - but he knows where his stumps are, and he can be a long-serving anchor in the upper order.

    Sure, he may not be the player to thrill and put bums on seats, but he's undoubtedly the right man if we're ever 8-2 against Australia in the Ashes.

    Bairstow was amazing with the bat in SA, and deserves a run up the order to be honest. Granted, Buttler can't come in and move Bairstow up, but I'd like Bairstow to have the gloves and perhaps shoe-horn both of them into the XI once Buttler returns from the IPL. It's ridiculous Bairstow and Moeen bat so far down - no wonder the pair have admitted to losing confidence.

    A great interview with Bairstow in the Guardian today, by the way: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...cricket-father
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    Kohli and De Villiers are just unbelievable. The later surely the greatest limited overs player of all time, and if Kohli continues to put teams to the sword he won't be far behind him. Like Jos Buttler said, it's like having Messi and Ronaldo in the same team. God forbid Gayle gets going, he showed signs today.
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    Awesome from RCB, of course. Their batting depth and line-up is scarily good - and it was good to see Gayle knock an impressive score with an array of skilled shots after some single digit scores.

    A 184 target seemed quite fierce, to be honest. I'm a huge fan of KKR - and these two sides are my two IPL favourites personally - but it shows Bangalore's impressive quality to achieve that target with minimal fuss.

    Gayle seemed to get bored of dot balls and just let go - and that's when he's most dangerous.

    Kohli has eight 50+ scores in this season's IPL, and he became the highest run-scorer in an IPL season en route.
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    I make that a tricky day for England.

    I've been very dubious about all these pundits saying SL would be a walk over - and so it proved. Rain is always going to affect any series in England, so it's always unlucky we'll see a whitewash. With rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday, I very much doubt we'll see a result in this Headingley Test to be honest.

    SL bowled absolutely woefully for the first hour - their stuff was short, wide, poor length. They served up some dirge, but when they found their length and got in and around the England's batsmen's knees, things changed. Shanaka enjoyed a debut from a dream - three priceless wickets in quick succession. Imagine removing Cook and Root on your debut.

    Shanaka was the final bowler deployed by Mathews - and even the commentators on TMS noted surprise that he was introduced so early. He served up a couple of dollies early doors, no doubt due to nerves, but rebounded magnificently. Well played, lad.

    Cook is made to wait for his record, and rightly so. He has always been suspect at dealing with wide balls, to be honest. He likes to cut and cover drive, but he sliced that one today. The ball which dismissed him was Ryan Harris-esque.

    That wasn't the only poor shot, either. Vince (who actually played some lovely stuff) got out to a brain fart moment, and Stokes/Root played poorly too. I actually thought Compton's dismissal wasn't his fault. It was a pearler of a ball - but, naturally, he'll be crucified by the public and seen as not good enough. I hope today's dismissal on 0 doesn't affect him, because there's a good player in there - and an England-standard player.

    Well played Jonny Bairstow, though. I'm such a big fan of his. He's had criticism galore, and it must be an emotional moment for him playing for England, given his family's history. I hope he gets to a hundred tomorrow - because, on home turf, it'll mean more than anything to him.

    Hales did a fantastic job of anchoring the innings, too. Full credit to the pair of them. It was a tough day after losing the toss, because the conditions really suited bowling, but that duo did great things to keep England relatively content.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    I make that a tricky day for England.

    I've been very dubious about all these pundits saying SL would be a walk over - and so it proved. Rain is always going to affect any series in England, so it's always unlucky we'll see a whitewash. With rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday, I very much doubt we'll see a result in this Headingley Test to be honest.
    I think their bowling has always been decent enough, and in English conditions in early May you would bank on them doing well, especially as they have a few young bowlers who have genuine pace (Chameera).

    Their downfall comes with their batting which is always going to struggle against this strong English bowling attack in these conditions. They are basically a one man batting line up with Mathews leading the way, but the youngsters haven't really stepped up when they have needed to. Chandimal produces one excellent innings every so often (see his 160 odd against India), but other than that there isn't that much.

    I didn't take into account the weather when I wrote my post, so maybe a whitewash isn't possible, but I see England as such strong favourites that I don't give SL much of a chance. Would be happy to be proved wrong, though.
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    (Original post by moment of truth)
    I think their bowling has always been decent enough, and in English conditions in early May you would bank on them doing well, especially as they have a few young bowlers who have genuine pace (Chameera).

    Their downfall comes with their batting which is always going to struggle against this strong English bowling attack in these conditions. They are basically a one man batting line up with Mathews leading the way, but the youngsters haven't really stepped up when they have needed to. Chandimal produces one excellent innings every so often (see his 160 odd against India), but other than that there isn't that much.

    I didn't take into account the weather when I wrote my post, so maybe a whitewash isn't possible, but I see England as such strong favourites that I don't give SL much of a chance. Would be happy to be proved wrong, though.
    SL may avoid the follow on even at 88-7. Rain may be an obstacle to an England victory given the forecast.
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    SL may avoid the follow on even at 88-7. Rain may be an obstacle to an England victory given the forecast.
    Follow on enforced. Not sure how much play they will get in during the weekend, but England should win from this position (unless the next 3 days are washed out)!
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    Oh Yorkshire. How many teams have been able to enforce a follow-on with a score of 298? :rofl2:

    Sri Lanka are missing Sangakkara big time.
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    (Original post by moment of truth)
    I think their bowling has always been decent enough, and in English conditions in early May you would bank on them doing well, especially as they have a few young bowlers who have genuine pace (Chameera).
    The one positive they DO have is that they possess a genuine world-class spinner in Herath.

    But today, crikey, Bairstow was just batting on a different planet. Nobody - not SL or England - could cope with batting out there today. Headingley is a notoriously tough ground to bowl on, as well as bat on, and I think it helped that Bairstow was on home turf. In truth, it's a farce that he's currently batting so low.

    He has clearly worked on his technique. He sees the ball early, and moves late. He's a great bloke and a great batsman - and he really deserved his second Test century. Worth remembering that he contributed half of England's runs. Nobody else contributed bar Hales, in truth.

    I think Hales will be gutted with the nature of his dismissal. He's given his wicket away cheaply there. I worried for Bairstow at that point, because Moeen came and went quickly and he's clearly suffering a crisis of confidence at the minute. As for Broad. What the hell was he playing at? You saw the fury on Bairstow's face - because he was worried the hundred wouldn't come. It was a dreadful moment for Broad. He had no right to try that shot when he was so fresh at the crease, and he rightly dragged on. Still, Bairstow got his ton - albeit they scrambled their way to it - and then Anderson/Broad worked their magic.

    Anderson has been critical of Headingley in the past, saying he doesn't enjoy playing in Leeds. It's no surprise, really. He hasn't got decent returns there in previous years, but he turned it on today. Great figures, and a really deserved five-for. As for Broad, he's just right slap bang in the middle of his prime, isn't he? The pair were great - and we'll certainly miss them.

    434 Test wickets for Anderson now. Only McGrath and Walsh, out of the seam bowlers, have more. It was a relentless spell by Anderson today. He banished his Headingley demons - and how!
 
 
 
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