The lost art of batting for a draw

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The lost art of batting for a draw

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:59 pm

Following a thought I had on the India/England thread, I decided to follow up here. I honestly cannot remember the last time England actually successfully saved a game by batting out a draw on the final day.

So I went to have a look back over draws in the last few years (there haven't been many, which says something in itself). 'Successfully saving a draw' means that England were the side batting for the majority of the final day, and at the start of that final day there was a strong prospect they would lose if they didn't bat out the majority of that day (as opposed to England being in a position to set a target, or batting in the 4th innings chasing a target and running out of time, or the match situation being such that there wasn't time for a result).

Let's take a look
2016:
v India, Rajkot: Nope, England set the target, India successfully batted out the draw.
v Sri Lanka, Lords: Nope, England set target, rain affected
v South Africa, Cape Town. Maybe, if you're being charitable. England scored 627 in the first innings, South Africa 629 in the second making it a one innings game to be played on the final day. England were batting in the third innings, and realistically were batting for a draw as they didn't have time to set a target and bowl South Africa out. However, they only really needed to bat two sessions to make the game safe, and bad light helped out.

2015:
v Pakistan, Abu Dhabi: Nope, England were chasing an easy target, but ran out of time.
v West Indies, North Sound: Nope, England set the target, West Indies successfully batted out the draw

2014:
v India, Trent Bridge: Nope. Pitch was so turgid England didn't even get to bat a second time.
v Sri Lanka, Lord's: Nope. England set the target, Sri Lanka successfully batted out the draw

2013:
v Australia, The Oval: Not really. Heavily rain affected, and a generous Australian declaration was the only chance of a result. Technically England were saving the game, but they were close to making the target before running out of time.
v Australia, Old Trafford: Nope. Rain prevented any realistic chance of a result -
v New Zealand, Auckland: Yes. Finally, a definite. England batted the entire final day and hung on 9 wickets down - 153 overs in the fourth innings in total.
v New Zealand, Wellington: Nope, Rain. England were on top.
v New Zealand, Dunedin: Yes. England conceded a nearly 300 run first innings lead, but batted for most of days 4 and 5 (170 overs in all) to secure the draw.

Conclusion: We have to go back nearly 4 years, to the era when Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Prior were still in the squad and Compton was Cook's opening partner. Perhaps that's unsurprising. In the post 2013 Ashes 'rebuilding' era, England have only once (and even then, it's a maybe) successfully batted out a draw on the final day of a test.

Positive cricket: we've got a lot more results, but more have been bad than good. Perhaps it's time to re-examine the approach.
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Re: The lost art of batting for a draw

Postby Dr Cricket » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:09 pm

Explains the 14 losses nicely as well.
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Re: The lost art of batting for a draw

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:55 pm

bhaveshgor wrote:Explains the 14 losses nicely as well.


That's exactly my point. England have no examples of successfully batting for a draw, because every time they have been in that position, they have instead lost the match.
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Re: The lost art of batting for a draw

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:12 am

Good point, especially that this team of batters have no history of batting out time, as their predecessors managed.

Maybe we can't expect them to be the sort of players who can hit 400+ in an ODI, /and/ be able to bat out four sessions?

There have been stretches where they've defended with discipline, even in this series, but they lose focus. I suspect today they gave up (?) but it would have meant a lot to their supporters, and probably their captain, to have seen it out.
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Re: The lost art of batting for a draw

Postby Making_Splinters » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:31 am

The focus even at domestic level is players who can play all three formats. How do you expect those players to learn how to bat for periods of time when there is such pressure on them being able to play T20?
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Re: The lost art of batting for a draw

Postby bigfluffylemon » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:34 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Good point, especially that this team of batters have no history of batting out time, as their predecessors managed.

Maybe we can't expect them to be the sort of players who can hit 400+ in an ODI, /and/ be able to bat out four sessions?

There have been stretches where they've defended with discipline, even in this series, but they lose focus. I suspect today they gave up (?) but it would have meant a lot to their supporters, and probably their captain, to have seen it out.


India can manage it. Pakistan can manage it (ok, they didn't quite get the draw against Australia, but they batted over four sessions and gave it a damn good go). South Africa can manage it. AB de Villiers can score the fastest 150 in history and block for 20 runs for 150 balls. Heck, Sri Lanka and the West Indies can manage it. Why can't England?
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Re: The lost art of batting for a draw

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:35 am

Yes that's fair enough.
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