After the heroics of Ben Stokes at Headingley England were finally defeated and once again it was that man Steve Smith.
Let’s be honest if you have a player who scores over 200 in a test match you are not going to lose too many. He’s an exceptional player, right up there with Bradman – the best batsman in the World! If he was in our side we would have won the Ashes, simple as that!
So, everyone is asking how do you get him out? My philosophy is……keep bowling to off stump. He won’t leave them forever. With, of course, the right field placings from our captain (Root sometimes baffles me with fielding and bowling selections) and mix it with the occasional bouncer to his midriff and slightly above, he won’t score to many there either!
As for our batting it is “wobbly “ at best. I am amazed with all the technology there is available these day’s we don’t seem to be using it, and if we are, are we making the most of it?
We often see shots of the dressing room with laptops, what are they looking at? I was on a plane in Australia between test matches and just happened to be sitting next to the Australian team doctor and in front was someone I didn’t recognise but obviously an analyst. On the left of the laptop screen was a batsman with a drop down box of left and right handed bat and every English player. On the right was a description of strengths & weaknesses with a dropdown box pinpointing where to bowl and what fields to set. I cant help but wonder if they use it!
Smith has scored 671 runs at an average 134.2 in just five innings! You would have thought the backroom staff would be analysing smiths dismissals from the last few years, everyone has a weakness, the only time we have got him out has been a loose shot when he is tired.
I said before England should have had a three day game against the Lions, you don’t get back into form by having meetings! Which was exactly what Australia have done!
England now have a lot of work to do in a short time replacing Trevor Baylis. I doubt that Ottis Gibson will be far away from their minds but it’s a decision the ECB need to get right before New Zealand & South Africa although I think we are fairly evenly matched with them. Later in 2020/21 we are being hosted by India that will be very tough tour, the last one was embarrassing! Interest in visiting India seems buoyant so we will be publishing our pre and post tour suggestions short on the new site. It will offer the chance to experience the luxury trains, stay in heritage boutique palace hotels or hunt to see tigers in natural habiat.
I think Sam Curran has been extremely unlucky not to have played a game, he was player of the series against India last summer, being a left handed bowler he will cause problems. I expect to see him recalled!
With the “Beast from the East” expected to hit the UK in January/February, they forecast the worst winter since 1913, so why not avoid it and come to South Africa with us! We still have places available!
All the best