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    Despite being a Yorkshire supporter and a fan of Balance. he can't continue to be dead weight in the side. I was surprised when he was selected to play against Pakistan, now this tour. Haseeb Hameed should be opening with Cook, with Ducket lower down the order. Batty i suppose we economical and picked up a few wickets, but I would have rather had Ansari in the team for that added edge.
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    Cook's opening partner has been an issue since Strauss retired.

    The issue with Root filling the hole Trott left when he retired is now at number four, with Ballance clearly not good enough for international Test cricket. The solution is obvious - Hameed at two, partnering Cook, because Hameed bats time and that's what you want when the new ball is the most dangerous.

    Then, Duckett - who likes to play - can be deployed at four, after Root.
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    And at some point we'll have to realise that Jos Buttler is just about the most talented batsman we've ever had and will make a success of test cricket if we give him some time.
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    And at some point we'll have to realise that Jos Buttler is just about the most talented batsman we've ever had and will make a success of test cricket if we give him some time.
    This. x100.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant selection headache for the selectors to have. Bairstow kept near flawlessly in this Test match, but regardless, he and Buttler probably have the red-ball runs in them to both play. Despite an impressive performance against Bangladesh over the past few days, Bairstow has a penchant for shelling an important catch. The issue, really, is how Buttler plays his way into the selectors' thinking. He won't be playing red-ball cricket for the next eight months or so now.

    Another travesty, of course, is the fact Foakes doesn't get a look in. He'd probably have been England's number one wicket-keeper in the 2000s. He is such a good glove specialist, but he finds himself below Bairstow, Buttler, Billings and arguably even Duckett in terms of wicket-keeper hierarchy now.

    Billings deserves to be a white-ball starter, because his brilliance in limited overs cricket has taken him far and wide, and he has succeeded in England and in the southern-hemisphere, but he's unlucky enough to be plying his trade in an era where two of the country's greatest ever wicket-keeper batsmen - Buttler and Bairstow - are dominating.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    This. x100.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant selection headache for the selectors to have. Bairstow kept near flawlessly in this Test match, but regardless, he and Buttler probably have the red-ball runs in them to both play. Despite an impressive performance against Bangladesh over the past few days, Bairstow has a penchant for shelling an important catch. The issue, really, is how Buttler plays his way into the selectors' thinking. He won't be playing red-ball cricket for the next eight months or so now.

    Another travesty, of course, is the fact Foakes doesn't get a look in. He'd probably have been England's number one wicket-keeper in the 2000s. He is such a good glove specialist, but he finds himself below Bairstow, Buttler, Billings and arguably even Duckett in terms of wicket-keeper hierarchy now.

    Billings deserves to be a white-ball starter, because his brilliance in limited overs cricket has taken him far and wide, and he has succeeded in England and in the southern-hemisphere, but he's unlucky enough to be plying his trade in an era where two of the country's greatest ever wicket-keeper batsmen - Buttler and Bairstow - are dominating.
    Not too fussed about no red ball cricket tbh. More interested in a proven ability to score runs at international level, whatever the format, and trusting players to adapt. Would take Buttler's international record over a good county record any day of the week.

    Can understand the selectors' logic in not wanting a keeper across 3 formats. Buttler's the better keeper, so ideally you'd have him keeping in tests, and Bairstow could bat 5 no problem. But Bairstow doesn't get in our best ODI side, so Buttler can't give the gloves up there. No problem at all with Buttler in as a specialist test batsman though.
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    Just another note on the brilliance of Stokes, and his emergence as a true out-and-out match-winner for England: Last time an England player scored 100 or more runs and took five or more wickets in a Test in Asia was Ian Botham at in 1980.

    Cook was full of praise after the Test, too, saying: “The guy is that x-factor cricketer which every side would love to have. And he balances our side and gives us options. The one thing that he has done over the last year is to improve his method against spin.”

    He's absolutely right.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Still, having not played a Test for 14 months, it was a fantastic performance - and these are exciting times for Bangladeshi cricket.

    Elsewhere, Dominant Pakistan are just six wickets away from going 2-0 up against WI, who are 171 for 4 needing a further 285 to claim victory. Brathwaite hit 67, and Blackwood is 41 not out, but it looks unlikely they will claw themselves out of this one after Pakistan declared on 227-2 with Shafiq on an unbeaten 58.

    That declaration may have seemed premature, but with the pitch offering little, Pakistan know they'll need all the time possible if they are to get rid of the Windies. We saw Yasir pick up two wickets - despite the pitch being placid - but Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood saw WI through to stumps with an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 47 in 17.2 overs. It's worth remembering, too, that this is the same duo that helped West Indies saved the Jamaica Test against India in August.

    Yasir claimed Johnson early on, before Darren Bravo fell to Rahat, and Marlon Samuels also went to the former.
    I'd say it was more exciting times if we actually managed to play more cricket! I'm not sure we even play half the games that England do every year.

    BCB really need to try and organise more tours with other sides - forget Australia, England and India since they will rarely play us. Even South Africa might be tough..

    Should try to play Windes, NZ, Sri Lanka and Pakistan as regularly as possible.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    I'd say it was more exciting times if we actually managed to play more cricket! I'm not sure we even play half the games that England do every year.

    BCB really need to try and organise more tours with other sides - forget Australia, England and India since they will rarely play us. Even South Africa might be tough..

    Should try to play Windes, NZ, Sri Lanka and Pakistan as regularly as possible.
    Some of the associate sides would absolutely love some test cricket too. Or, you know, cricket in general.

    Although, somewhat understandably, I can't imagine Bangladesh would want to play them unless some of the other "proper" sides did too.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    I'd say it was more exciting times if we actually managed to play more cricket! I'm not sure we even play half the games that England do every year.

    BCB really need to try and organise more tours with other sides - forget Australia, England and India since they will rarely play us. Even South Africa might be tough..

    Should try to play Windes, NZ, Sri Lanka and Pakistan as regularly as possible.
    Agree with your closing statement completely.

    Test matches like the one we've just witnessed are exactly why I'm anti the two-tier system.

    This tour is very important for the message it sends out. As aforementioned, England - like Australia before them - could have easily stayed at home and decided not to travel.

    It's to their credit they have, and they've been rewarded by some fascinating cricket against another flawed yet progressive side.
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    Some of the associate sides would absolutely love some test cricket too. Or, you know, cricket in general.

    Although, somewhat understandably, I can't imagine Bangladesh would want to play them unless some of the other "proper" sides did too.
    Are they allowed to play Tests if they don't have test status? I don't know how it works. Well we just played Afghanistan in a 3 match ODI series which is more than England can say.

    If Bangladesh only played the associates then it would in effect end up being like the two tier system that England and co are so keen to put in place.

    (Original post by Mackay)
    Agree with your closing statement completely.

    Test matches like the one we've just witnessed are exactly why I'm anti the two-tier system.

    This tour is very important for the message it sends out. As aforementioned, England - like Australia before them - could have easily stayed at home and decided not to travel.

    It's to their credit they have, and they've been rewarded by some fascinating cricket against another flawed yet progressive side.
    Tbh England didn't travel to Bangladesh out of the goodness of their heart. It was for two reasons:
    - as England haven't played Bangladesh outside of tournaments since 2010
    - they saw it as good practice in sub-continent conditions before the ridiculously long tour of India
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    Are they allowed to play Tests if they don't have test status? I don't know how it works. Well we just played Afghanistan in a 3 match ODI series which is more than England can say.

    If Bangladesh only played the associates then it would in effect end up being like the two tier system that England and co are so keen to put in place.



    Tbh England didn't travel to Bangladesh out of the goodness of their heart. It was for two reasons:
    - as England haven't played Bangladesh outside of tournaments since 2010
    - they saw it as good practice in sub-continent conditions before the ridiculously long tour of India
    I don't think associates are allowed to play tests.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    Are they allowed to play Tests if they don't have test status? I don't know how it works. Well we just played Afghanistan in a 3 match ODI series which is more than England can say.

    If Bangladesh only played the associates then it would in effect end up being like the two tier system that England and co are so keen to put in place.
    No they're not. Which is ********. But there we go. Was just me hoping cricket might be run like a proper sport one day.

    Every established team should play more against the associates. We have countries wanting to play cricket and being excluded by the self-interest of an elite few.

    But for Bangladesh in particular, for the reason you mention, I could see why they'd be reluctant. Really it needs England, Australia and India to open the game up.
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    No they're not. Which is ********. But there we go. Was just me hoping cricket might be run like a proper sport one day.

    Every established team should play more against the associates. We have countries wanting to play cricket and being excluded by the self-interest of an elite few.

    But for Bangladesh in particular, for the reason you mention, I could see why they'd be reluctant. Really it needs England, Australia and India to open the game up.
    So long as those 3 continue to play 5 Test match/7 ODI/3 T20 series over a 3 month period, there will never be enough time for other teams to get a regular play.
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    No they're not. Which is ********. But there we go. Was just me hoping cricket might be run like a proper sport one day.

    Every established team should play more against the associates. We have countries wanting to play cricket and being excluded by the self-interest of an elite few.

    But for Bangladesh in particular, for the reason you mention, I could see why they'd be reluctant. Really it needs England, Australia and India to open the game up.
    (Original post by Zerforax)
    So long as those 3 continue to play 5 Test match/7 ODI/3 T20 series over a 3 month period, there will never be enough time for other teams to get a regular play.
    Best way to include the associates is more tri-series. Many won't want to take time out of their schedule to head to Ireland or the Netherlands, or welcome Afghanistan.

    So why not create a tri-series? Less travelling, equal amount of games. A Test series in England could easily become a tri-series with Ireland, likewise, any Pakistan/India-based Test series could welcome Bangladesh, or even Afghanistan. Zimbabwe could benefit from being added to a couple of SA/NZ/Australia home Test series, and the list goes on...
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Best way to include the associates is more tri-series. Many won't want to take time out of their schedule to head to Ireland or the Netherlands, or welcome Afghanistan.

    So why not create a tri-series? Less travelling, equal amount of games. A Test series in England could easily become a tri-series with Ireland, likewise, any Pakistan/India-based Test series could welcome Bangladesh, or even Afghanistan. Zimbabwe could benefit from being added to a couple of SA/NZ/Australia home Test series, and the list goes on...
    Yea I think you're right. I swear there used to be more tri-series before? They seem to have been cut down in recent years?
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    Yea I think you're right. I swear there used to be more tri-series before? They seem to have been cut down in recent years?
    It's the fault of the Future Tours Program (FTP), who rarely if ever plan tri-series, usually because nations - usually the leading ones - generally don't favour playing a match in a neutral country against opposition not from said country.

    Tri-series are brilliantly competitive, though, and they enable minnows to get experience against bigger teams, and bigger teams the chance to gain practice in tournaments.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    So long as those 3 continue to play 5 Test match/7 ODI/3 T20 series over a 3 month period, there will never be enough time for other teams to get a regular play.
    This.

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    There are big concerns going to India right now for England.

    Time and time again, they are finding themselves 30-3 or 30-4, and if that happens in India, I think Jadeja and Ashwin will blow them away.

    The specialist batsmen need to prove themselves now, and get confidence from the second Test.

    With five left handers in the top six, it's another worry heading to India because Jadeja and Ashwin will tear them apart.

    Maybe even more of a pointer to deploy Buttler as a right-hander. The Ballance position needs looking at as a matter of urgency.
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    Pakistan wrap up the second Test against WI, bowling them out for 322 after Blackwood posted 95.

    The home side win by 133 runs - largely thanks to Yasir's six-wicket haul in the second innings - and that takes Misbah's series win total to 10, and takes Pakistan's win-loss record in Abu Dhabi Tests to 5-0.

    Yasir was on fire from the off, picking up his eighth five-wicket haul and second ten-wicket match haul in 18 Tests.

    He removed Chase early on, before dismissing the aforementioned Blackwood, who fell five short of a hundred, and Jason Holder. Shai Hope and Devendra Bishoo briefly gave the tourists hope with an eighth-wicket stand of 45, but Yasir and Zulfiqar Babar took out the last three wickets in the space of four overs to seal the victory.
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    Well played Pakistan, glad we won. I am still sad to see West Indies lose so much, however. It is nice to see them putting up a bit of a fight from time to time but they have much more potential than this IMO.

    Am I correct in thinking that this will probably be Misbah's last test series in the UAE?
 
 
 
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