Category Archives: England

Nick Compton to switch to Worcestershire

 

 

South African born and raised until his early teens, Nick Compton has been given permission to switch county sides in order to gain vital first-class practise against Australia ahead of the Ashes later next month.

 

The opener lost his place in the Test squad after disappointing outings against New Zealand this spring, England selectors instead opting for Joe Root alongside captain Alastair Cook.

 

With Compton out of the Test scene he quickly headed back to Somerset and hit a neat 81 in his first display against a touring Australia side. That innings proved to cricket betting pundits that Compton hasn’t lost his batting confidence and thankfully for England he’s been allowed a transfer to Worcestershire next week, to again face the Aussies.

 

In earning two practice matches against Australia before the Ashes, Compton has a great advantage over his batting rival for a place in the starting XI at Trent Bridge.

 

Root is his main adversary and almost certain to earn the call, but much relies on the Yorkshireman impressing during England’s warm-up with Essex this weekend. Even if Root does hit a century or two, he won’t have direct experience facing Australia’s bowling attack until that first delivery on 10 July.

 

Compton, meanwhile, will now receive two matches worth of experience against England’s opponents and that could sway a selection in his favour. It is gratifying to see the counties working so well together to ensure their England internationals are as prepared for Australia and even if Compton misses out on the first Test the competition will keep Root on his toes.

 

England are favourites in the cricket betting odds to win the Ashes this summer but they must not let that status lead to complacency. The team suffered that ignominy against South Africa last year and when touring New Zealand this spring, two Test results that proved how fragile the top order can be when lacking competition.

Sri Lanka thrash England – SA to top the rankings?

Despite a heroic final innings total of 264, England were bambooooozellled by Herath who spun a web around the English taking 6 for 97 in 38 overs. A fine effort by the boy who seems to be following in the twinkling footsteps of the great Murali.

An outstanding effort by South African born Jonathan Trott who managed 112, a fine effort by the man who is one of many England players who learnt his trade in South Africa but like so many other rejects, couldn’t make the cut and barge his way into a very strong Proteas squasd, and so opted to join the SA ‘B’ side, which has a few locals in it to make up the ‘quota’ of English born players to make sure they can technically call it the English cricket team.

England are on a slippery slide after getting dominated by Pakistan (who also spun a massive web around the English batting line-up) and now losing to Sri Lanka, are set to lose their number 1 test ranking to South Africa in a few weeks, with South Africa on a very good run of form, comprehensively beating New Zealand away from home in the recent test, one day and T20 series.

South Africa are looking forward to the upcoming test match series in England, with test match captain Graeme Smith quoted as saying “It will be nice to see some of the boys again. Its almost like playing a domestic match back in SA, so our boys will feel right at home, its the only place where we go on tour and cant speak about on-field tactics in Afrikaans.”

Just a reminder, if England lose the next test match against Sri Lanka, they will slip to 2nd place in the world rankings, with South Africa, who are on a great run of form, taking their rightful place at the top of the world rankings and we can finally have a team there who is actually winning.

South Africa vs. England 1st Test – Lords

Yesterday many would have never believed the test would start on time. A months worth of rain fell in parts of England Yesterday, the rain didn’t abate until late in the night. However this morning the sun greeted those that woke up early, although there are some clouds about.

England have named an unchanged side, consisting of: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Andrew Strauss, 3 Michael Vaughan (capt), 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Paul Collingwood, 7 Tim Ambrose (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Ryan Sidebottom, 10 Monty Panesar, 11 James Anderson. This side has set a world record in that it has been unchanged side for the sixth successive match.

South Africa have delayed naming their side until the start, leaving the choice of whether to field Paul Harris or a 4th seamer as a mystery to England. The possible side is: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Ashwell Prince, 6 AB de Villiers, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini

The players to watch out for in this series from South Africa are: Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla. South Africa have now got a settled pace attack with Ntini and Steyn being key performers and they are expected to be dangerous, however Morkel is a an unknown entity. Recently back from injury, a solid performance with the ball and possibly the bat could be the extra gear South Africa needs. On the batting side, Smith Mckenzie, Kallis, De Villiers and Prince have all contributed this summer as has Amla, however Amla has shown some fantastic warm up match form,  scoring 172 and 161 which has sent out a strong message to the English that he means business. If he can continue this run of form, South Africa will be very difficult to beat. However if he fails, South Africa could be in trouble as McKenzie and Smith could be in trouble early and the last thing SA needs is to be 30/2 in the first test.

England’s players to watch will be James Anderson  and Ian Bell. South Africa have come out and said they will be targeting Bell and Collingwood who have had a poor run recently. Bell needs to perform and if Anderson can produce some of the glimpses of form shown this season, he could help rip through the South African batting. I don’t think Sidebottom is good enough to tear apart the South African attack and he might get punished by Smith if he is not accurate.

The match should set off an absolute corker of a series in which South Africa will be looking for their first win on English turf since re-admission in 2002

New Zealands Fixtures for England

April 2008
Sun 27
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  Marylebone Cricket Club v New Zealanders
Arundel Castle Cricket Club Ground
 
Mon 28 – Wed 30
11:00 local, 10:00 GMT  Kent v New Zealanders
St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
 
May 2008
Fri 2 – Mon 5
11:00 local, 10:00 GMT  Essex v New Zealanders
County Ground, Chelmsford
 
Thu 8 – Sun 11
11:00 local, 10:00 GMT  England Lions v New Zealanders
The Rose Bowl, Southampton
 
Thu 15 – Mon 19
11:00 local, 10:00 GMT  1st Test – England v New Zealand
Lord’s, London
 
Fri 23 – Tue 27
11:00 local, 10:00 GMT  2nd Test – England v New Zealand
Old Trafford, Manchester
 
Fri 30 – Sun 1
11:00 local, 10:00 GMT  Northamptonshire v New Zealanders
County Ground, Northampton
 
June 2008
Thu 5 – Mon 9
11:00 local, 10:00 GMT  3rd Test – England v New Zealand
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
 
Wed 11
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  Worcestershire v New Zealanders
County Ground, New Road, Worcester
 
Fri 13
17:30 local, 16:30 GMT  Only Twenty20 International – England v New Zealand
Old Trafford, Manchester
 
Sun 15
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  1st ODI – England v New Zealand
Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street
 
Wed 18
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  2nd ODI – England v New Zealand
Edgbaston, Birmingham
 
Sat 21
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  3rd ODI – England v New Zealand
County Ground, Bristol
 
Wed 25
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  4th ODI – England v New Zealand
Kennington Oval, London
 
Sat 28
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  5th ODI – England v New Zealand
Lord’s, London
 
July 2008
Tue 1
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  Ireland v New Zealand
Mannofield Park, Aberdeen
 
Thu 3
10:45 local, 09:45 GMT  Scotland v New Zealand
Mannofield Park, Aberdeen

Previews of Australia vs Sri-Lanka, Pakistan vs Bangladesh and South Africa vs India

The last day of the group stages features two key matches out of the three on offer. The first match of the day at 10 am (8:00am GMT) is the decider between Australia and Sri-Lanka, the winner will join Pakistan in the semi-finals. It is hard to call a winner in this game, as Australia are without a doubt the best side in the world in the longer versions of the game, however they have struggled to adjust to the shortest version, twenty20.

There is no doubt they have the players that can impact on this game, however they haven’t seemed to adjust to this format quickly enough. I think Sri-Lanka will win it in a tightly contested game. The key man for Australia will be Symonds, a brutal innings from him could change the game.

Pakistan vs Bangladesh: There is nothing to lose for Bangladesh who started off by thrashing the West Indians, and struggling from there. They have some classy players, but are no match for the powerful Pakistanis.

South Africa vs India: The final match could cause some calculator work to be used if India beat SA. South Africa will qualify as the number one side even if they lose to India provided it is nail bitingly close. However if South Africa get trounced by India, they could find the net run rate counting against them and fail to qualify. It is an unlikely situation, especially as India just need a win to qualify regardless of by how much it is.

I have worked out that if India score 210 and SA fail to make 195 they will be knocked out. At the moment they have the best NRR however the matches are so close it is easy for them to relinquish this position.

I predict South Africa to win this game but it will be their toughest game of the tournament so far as there is added pressure on them. The conditions will be very interesting and more than likely favouring the side batting first. This toss is a vital one to win.