Sri Lanka vs. England, 3rd Test – open thread

We’re all tucked up with work and other things at the moment and judging by the comments (or lack of them during the series), then it hardly seems appropriate to write a preview of a dead rubber Test Match.

Whether we decide to daily reports depends on the interest level of the Test – I.e. no interest, then I doubt we’ll make the time to do a daily report, after all we’re not professional writers just 4 guys who are/have been passionate about cricket.

For those that wish to, then please feel free to comment on the game below.


39 thoughts on “Sri Lanka vs. England, 3rd Test – open thread

  1. quebecer Nov 21, 2018 / 11:10 pm

    So, it’s Jonny at #3. From what Root was saying, it seems they are going to leave him there and essentially tell him to work it out, confident in the fact that Jony has always responded well in such situations.

    Though in an ideal world Jonny might bat at 5 (or even 4), for the life of me, I can’t think of a better solution given the options available.


  2. Miami Dad's Six Nov 22, 2018 / 8:27 am

    My interest in this series and tour waned with each rain shower in the limited overs stuff. What ought to have been a nice appetiser to the Tests instead washed away most of my enthusiasm. So I have only watched the odd half hour over breakfast, whilst grumbling to my cats about greedy schedulers.

    Having said that, it does look like England finally got a subcontinental tour selection and balance correct right from the off. No weird 5 seamer/1 part-time spinner side, that seemed to regularly occur in the Cook years (that might be my perception playing tricks). Instead we’ve had the most prolific spinner in the county championship and the one most used to playing on turning pitches, turn up and, well, do really well. Rashid has done well as the wicket taking wildcard. Moeen has done well with the pressure of being number one spinner off.

    We’ve also had the green shoots of some good players, straight from the County Championship, as opposed to weird, nerdy clones from Flower’s England Lions bootcamp. Foakes, Burns – solid, successful pros who know their games inside out.

    Also – Joe Root. Scored a ton. A really good, match-winning 3rd innings ton.


    • Zephirine Nov 22, 2018 / 11:10 am

      Ah, thank you Miami Dad’s, you’ve posted exactly what I was going to say. Especially about the players from the CC.

      This tour has felt very distant for some reason, but it’s good to see Root taking hold of the side. And also giving due credit to the Morgan approach (which is the McCullum approach originally). Not that ‘playing with freedom’ should mean mindless bashing, even if sometimes it comes out that way; it’s more about players not letting the pressures get to them.


      • Miami Dad's Six Nov 22, 2018 / 1:21 pm

        Yes, it does feel like the first real “Root-led” victory. I think it’s the ton, the very peripheral roles of Jimmy and Stuey, and of course the complete absence of the unmanned drone who was the previous incumbent of his captaincy role.

        Liked by 1 person

        • AB Nov 22, 2018 / 1:50 pm

          It certainly felt like the first stage of Root’s captaincy was really just being the boyish mouthpiece for Cook’s continued (un)strategic (non)direction. Finally, Cook is gone and Root can actually take charge.

          It really helps that the mouthy homophobe with the hair trigger has been demoted from vice-captain as well.


    • Benny Nov 22, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      Oh yes. My feelings too.

      Quite understand our blog hosts being busy. I always felt work interrupted life too much.

      I’m getting irritated by this Bairstow “I want the gloves back” thing. Don’t know how much of it is himself or the media latching onto a handy controversy. I don’t recall such an issue when Hales was replaced as white ball opener – by Bairstow. I was impressed by Buttler’s reaction, after the first test, when he said that Foakes’ keeping showed him the standard he needs to aim for.

      I’m looking forward to watching Root’s chaps tomorrow.


      • Miami Dad's Six Nov 22, 2018 / 3:45 pm

        “It’s an opportunity to go out and play some good cricket, be able to go out and score some big runs, that’s how I’m viewing it,”

        “If I’m not keeping wicket then so be it. Ben’s come in and he’s done well and, like people have said, I’ve not really done too much wrong when it’s come to keeping over the last two or three years.

        “That is, in some ways, hard to take because it’s not like you’ve had a massive dip in form so therefore it’s your fault. Injuries happen, people come in and do well and that’s professional sport.

        “Naturally you’re disappointed. You look at it over a period of time, whether that be the one-dayers where you come in for one game, do alright and then someone else is back fit so you drop out, but it’s the way it’s happened and the way it’s turned out.”

        He sounds reasonable to me, and I’m not sure in any other sport it would be headline-worthy stuff. I’m not convinced he’s a Test-standard number 3, so perhaps he’s been set up to fail a bit, although it’ll give him the chance to concentrate on his batting technique which seems to have faltered a bit in the last 6-12 months or so.


      • Sophie Nov 22, 2018 / 6:27 pm

        I think one problem between Bairstow and the media is that he’s not particularly good at communicating his views, especially when he feels strongly about something. Sometimes in interviews, he seems on an entirely different wavelength, so they ask him something and he gives an answer that they didn’t expect and don’t want to hear, and instead of trying to understand his point of view, the interviewer puts on an impatient tone and Bairstow gets defensive, and then they tell us he’s difficult, when in my opinion, it’s really their job to ensure that they have a constructive conversation. I mean it’s not like he’s trying to be difficult or is rude or anything.

        Also, in this case, the BBC was definitely out for controversy; they quoted very little of what he actually said and not necessarily in context and put a controversial headline and made him sound belligerent, and it’s not the first time they do this either.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. d'Arthez Nov 23, 2018 / 4:36 am

    What we have learned from the series is that Root is a good tosser.

    I expect it fully 90% toss conversion rate after this series, since August 2015, despite an incompetent umpire’s best efforts to decrease toss performance.

    Pitch looks tacky, so I am sure that England win, because they don’t have to bat last.


  4. d'Arthez Nov 23, 2018 / 6:30 am

    Unless England collapse to 140 all out after lunch, I really don’t see much chance of Sri Lanka being competitive this game. Well tossed Joe.

    Pity that the game would have been much more interesting if Sri Lanka had won the toss. Then we could have seen if England are able to overcome the toss in Sri Lanka. If they could, then we’d really know if there was something special in the making here.

    How the hell the ICC has seen nothing wrong with the pitches in Sri Lanka over the last 3 years is really beyond me. Any statistician can tell you that the result distribution as seen in Sri Lanka over the last few years is suspect.

    But then ACU’s motto seems to be: ‘See no evil, hear no evil, investigate no evil’


  5. Northern Light Nov 23, 2018 / 10:13 am

    100 for YJB. Warms the heart, that does. Even more so as I expect it quite annoys quite a few of the people involved in English cricket that those of us outside the bubble don’t have much time for.
    I’m also sure it might annoy Selvey. Everyone’s a winner.


    • Sophie Nov 23, 2018 / 11:16 am

      Selvey does come across as slightly bitter occasionally, doesn’t he?


      • Sean Nov 23, 2018 / 11:25 am

        Just a tad…


  6. Metatone Nov 23, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    Nice to see Bairstow get a 100, but hard to read much into it re: future series given the special circumstances of SL’s bowling attack.


  7. dlpthomas Nov 24, 2018 / 4:49 am

    Brainless batting this morning.


    • Miami Dad's 6 Nov 24, 2018 / 9:10 am

      Weird call to put Broad in above Leach.

      Lanka accumulating nicely at 179-2. Batting fourth is surely a huge disadvantage, so they’ll want a decent sized lead.

      Rashid has only been given 5 overs so far and picked up the set batsman. Big turn from him so far.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 24, 2018 / 12:54 pm



        • jomesy Nov 24, 2018 / 1:41 pm

          Without question I am starting to enjoy the England cricket test team again after a very long time. Alistair Cook is no longer in the team. One may be a consequence of the other.

          Liked by 3 people

          • jomesy Nov 24, 2018 / 1:43 pm

            Interesting to hear Rashid saying in interview that he was trying to slow down his deliveries. I smiled at that thinking of old “friend” Selfrey.

            Liked by 3 people

        • oreston Nov 24, 2018 / 2:26 pm

          You beat me to it. Seeing that Adil had enjoyed some success, I just knew I had to have a gander at a certain Twitter account so that my empty mind could absorb, sponge-like, the lofty wisdom inscribed there.
          It was never going to be more than a slightly backhanded compliment, was it?

          Liked by 3 people

        • OscarDaBosca Nov 24, 2018 / 7:56 pm

          Don’t ever change Selvey, never let the facts get in the way of your opinions, facts are temporary, opinions last a lifetime and are unchanging


  8. d'Arthez Nov 24, 2018 / 10:35 am

    Since Sri Lanka need a lead of about 150 to stand a slight chance, due to having to bat last, we can pretty much say, game over now.

    As an added advantage, the initial breakthroughs (for second and third wicket, both set batsmen) were provided by Rashid.


  9. dlpthomas Nov 25, 2018 / 6:33 am

    How hard is it for a spinner to keep his foot behind the line? Really poor stuff from Sandakan.


    • dlpthomas Nov 25, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      Commentators claiming that at one stage 40% of Sandakan’s deliveries were (front-foot) no-balls – and none called. It probably won’t matter but that has cost England a few runs.


  10. oreston Nov 25, 2018 / 4:04 pm

    A lot of Test umpires these days only seem to pay any attention to the front foot rule when DRS is invoked. One of my pet peeves.


    • Benny Nov 25, 2018 / 8:01 pm

      Me too as well as people defending the practice – claims that the job is more difficult now. I’m sure most here have done a bit of umpiring at some time. To observe the front foot landing then look up at the batsman takes no time. There’s a good reason why “in the blink of an eye” is used to mean ultra fast


      • man in a barrel Nov 25, 2018 / 9:22 pm

        Remember that you also have to watch the “danger area”. Are there stats for how often St Jimmy Anderson gets called in the UK for roughing up the pitch versus overseas? Mind you, if he does it more in SE Asia, it would tend to support the idea that he is not a thinking cricketer.

        Is anyone else wondering how that series in India would have gone if England had selected a proper spinner rather than Ansari or Dawson, someone who could bowl tight but with threat rather than jobbing rollers?


        • d'Arthez Nov 26, 2018 / 11:11 am

          Would not have made that much difference. Unlike Sri Lanka, India do have the players to overcome the loss of the toss (India have lost only one game at home since 2013, and that was against Australia). England lost two matches by an innings, batting first, so presumably the pitches were better for India to bat on on Day 2 / 3, than they would have been on Day 5, whenever they’d be made to chase a target. England’s batting was simply not up to the mark to make that happen – Cook won four out of five tosses in India, so England already had a decent starting advantage in most games on their last tour there.

          Likewise would England have won 3-0 in Sri Lanka if they had lost all the tosses?


  11. dlpthomas Nov 26, 2018 / 10:10 am

    A stubborn last wicket partnership but it’s 3 – 0 to England. A very enjoyable series and really nice to Foaks and Leach do so well.


    • Sophie Nov 26, 2018 / 10:46 am

      Funny how they all have been saying the dressing room has been so much nicer than it used to be.


  12. d'Arthez Nov 26, 2018 / 11:06 am

    Toss won 3-0. As pretty much all the games have gone in Sri Lanka in the last 3 years.

    Can’t fathom why Joe Root did not get man of the series for his pre-match performances.


  13. d'Arthez Nov 26, 2018 / 11:15 am

    Meanwhile in the UAE New Zealand found a way to keep Abbas wicketless.

    On the less bright side, Yasir Shah ran through an utterly feeble New Zealand batting line-up. Only the top three bothered to bat, with just 5 runs being contributed by the numbers 4 through 11, losing an eye-watering 9 wickets in 8.3 overs.

    Looks like that series will be 1-1; Pakistan will rue their unnecessary collapse in the first Test. Now there will be something to play for in the decider.


  14. Mark Nov 26, 2018 / 7:30 pm

    I haven’t really paid much attention to this series. And I don’t think the current Sri Lanka are really a side you would put much store in. But I was interested in Joe Root’s post match comments…… “We’ve done things differently, we said we wanted to play in a certain way, and everyone has bought into that.”

    Which begs the question…. was there a time when not everyone did buy into it, and who were these players? And why didn’t the English cricket media report it? They know most of what goes on judging by how much they leak. Perhaps they were too busy genuflecting in front of so called greatness.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 26, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    In this series Sri Lanka and England batsmen passed a score of 50 11 times each. England crossed 100 four times. Not once did Sri Lanka manage an individual ton. If they had done so on at least a couple of occasions the series might have had a somewhat different outcome.


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