Test XI of players who never really fulfilled their potential

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Post by Guest on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 4:09 pm

First topic message reminder :

If you had to make a test XI, out of players who never really fulfilled their potential, who would you go for?

this is mine:

1.Marcus Treschothick ( i know its not really his fault, however there was so much potential there, and he is proving it in f/c cricket) (just for you hodge Wink

2.Hershcelle Gibbs: was always more inconsistent in test cricket, and seemed to get in quite a bit of trouble

3.Ravi Bopara: has the talent, but seems to always waste the chances he gets given

4.Rob Key: i know he bats higher, but i had to squeeze him in...So much talent, but could never transform it to international stage

5.Graeme Hick: scored so many f/c runs, but once again couldnt transform it to international stage

6.Michael Bevan: very good ODI player, had the talent etc, to make it in test cricket but never did

7.James Foster: One of the best gloveman in world cricket...however batting lets him down...good player but sadly couldnt get enough runs

8.Nathan Bracken: Yet again, very good ODI player, played a bit of test cricket, started off decnetly, but couldnt find much consistency, and thus was a wasted talent in test cricket

9.Tino Best: had everything..pace, good shortball, and bowled well in f/c cricket...but couldnt transform it to international stage

10.Sreesanth: pace, aggression however radar lets him down, tries very hard has natural talent, but gets wound up too easily and thus just ends up spraying it everywhere

11.Shoaib Akhtar (to a certain extent) very good bowler, very quick. however injury controversy etc...meant he didnt get to play much test cricket and a real shame for him and pakistan.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 18 Feb 2012, 11:33 am

dummy_half wrote:Glad to see my broad-brush categories have been useful in extending the discussion - Mike's additional cotegory is a useful additional consideration, as there are some players who do seem to get messed about by the coaches and selectors (Chris Read perhaps being another to fall at least in part into that category, although it is also arguable whether he ever really had the talent to step up to International level as a keeper-batsman, despite a solid batting record at County level). Clearly these categories are not mutually exclusive, and it would often be the marginal players who would also be messed about by the selectors.

Be interested to see where people would place Jack Russell in these categories - not quite good enough (i.e. cat 1), behind a better player in the selector's opinion (i.e. cat 3 - as clearly Stewie was a far better batsman and an acceptably good keeper, compared with Russell being a fantastic keeper and at best a Test number 7 or 8 batsman), or someone who was primarily messed about by the management and selectors (Mike's additional category 5)?

The stories about Alex Tudor are interesting - perhaps he was just the sort of player that was only happy to perform when fully fit, and so wouldn't play through even minor niggles. Could have been a confidence thing, or perhaps a psychological issue that he had broken down several times when starting games with minor injuries, and so had mentally convinced himself that it would happen again.


First off, thanks to Mike for supplying Nasser Hussain's take on Tudor. Didn't know that or at least had forgotten it. All tallies.

Dummy - I'm as sure as I can be from a bit of a distance that the main issues for Tudor were psychological flaws. As I said in my first post, he seemed to be too often plagued with self doubt, particularly concerning whether his own body could stand up to the next game. In my view, his lack of fitness was far more in the mind but increasingly took over. I may not be right in those views but, particularly based on conversations at the Oval, I'm certainly not alone. Hussain also appears to be in the same camp.

As for Jack Russell, I suspect he'll need a unique category all to himself! I referred to him as 'a flawed genius' when we did out Top Ten Keepers of all time poll last year and stand by that. On his day, utterly magnificent - probably no one has ever been better at stumping batsmen off medium pace and faster bowlers. However, lacked consistency which could let him and England down. Also, someone who showed on occasions but not often enough that he was a talented and determined batsman. Unlucky to understudy Stewart a lot of the time when his (Stewart's) much better batting was preferred to Russell's better keeping.

Finally, Russell was clearly a considerable eccentric. That was generally presented to us (the general public, the spectators) by the press in a light hearted way. How it was viewed by England's management and other players close up - particularly in the more confined environment on tour - I don't know but possibly less sympathetically which may have also counted against him.

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Post by gboycottnut on Sat 18 Feb 2012, 5:24 pm

Surely Ian Botham has to be the ultimate test match player who never really fulfilled his potential. During Botham's early years as a test match player from 1977 to 1978, he was a devastating wicket-taking bowler for England with his ability to bowl genuinely quickly at times, allied to his ability then to swing the ball very late. However as he got older he became more and more physically out of shape and out of condition such that he no longer could produce that same fire and pace with the ball, nor swing the ball very late which made it harder for him to take wickets.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Sat 18 Feb 2012, 6:31 pm

Jack Russell - also an excellent painter but wearer of very tatty headgear.....

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sat 18 Feb 2012, 6:44 pm

I'd probably have Russell somewhere between the n°3 and n°5 categories. He was unlucky in that his career coincided with Stewart who was a far superior batsman and an adequate 'keeper. There's also no doubt that he (too) often paid the price for the other English batsmen's frailties, as IMO had he been playing in a side with a good top 6 he would have played nearly every test. So in that sense he was mis-managed, as were quite a few English players in the 90s.

Chris Read is an interesting one. While there's no doubting England could have treated him better (Fletcher announcing to the world press that he wasn't a good enough batsman before the start of an Ashes series being a prime example), it also seems that for all his talent he never really convinced the men in charge that he fitted into the team better than Gerraint Jones (read Vaughan and Hussain's autobiographies for more details).

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 20 Feb 2012, 11:34 am

gboycs. Agree that Botham's bowling did tail off. But he was probably worth playing for his batting alone, not to mention catching.
As "late" as 1986/87 he was making match-winning 100s in Tests. Like Merv Hughes and Warne, he also took a lot of wickets by "personality" - the classic case being Melbourne Boxing Day 86 when he served up a lot of drivel which the Aussies succumbed to.
Don't think you can really describe a guy who took nearly 400 Test wickets and scored more than 5,000 Test runs as under achieving.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Mon 20 Feb 2012, 10:08 pm

Here's another suggestion: Keith Fletcher - ended up with decent enough batting average of 39.9 over 58 tests. But I have strong memories of there being a constant doubt as to whether he was quite good enough, with constant talk about whether he should be dropped. The profile by John Thicknesse brings out the doubts about the mental toughness element:

Keith Fletcher was a fine craftsman, especially clever in his use of the crease against spinners on a turning pitch, but lack of assertiveness kept him in the second rank of England batsman, despite the fact that ten more runs would have given him an average of 40. The same flaw contributed to the termination of his five-year contract as England coach midway through its term, in 1995. Despite his gifts, and popularity, he was always happier in the small pond of Essex, whom he captained to three Championships, including their first in 1979. At Test level a somewhat apologetic air seemed to bring out the bully in fast bowlers: he never fully recaptured his composure after the attentions of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in 1974-75. One ball in particular left a lasting mental scar - a flyer from Thommo at Sydney that ricocheted at such pace from gloves to cap-badge that Fletcher was almost caught at cover. Seven years later, 47 Tests after he had apparently been finally discarded, the selectors turned to him to captain England in India after Mike Brearley's retirement. But Fletcher became illogically defensive after defeat in the first Test at Bombay. He convinced himself that the umpires would protect India if England made a winning opening, and appeared to settle for a 0-1 series defeat, playing out five successive dreary draws. "The Gnome" never forgave Peter May, understandably, when the then chairman of selectors appointed a new captain, Bob Willis, without observing the courtesy of telling Fletcher he'd been sacked. But the decision was the right one.

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Post by sirfredperry on Tue 21 Feb 2012, 9:03 am

Yes, the 1982 India Test series was quite dreadful, with over rates of 11 an hour even with the spinners operating. But Fletcher played some wonderful innings for England, particularly his match-saving 170-odd at Lord's v NZ in 73
You can imagine him averaging nearer 50 than 40 now, well away from the formidable bowling attacks of Aus and WI in the 1970s.

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Post by Stella on Tue 21 Feb 2012, 10:19 am

Was Fletcher that good?

I remember him playing for Essex in the early-mid 80's and to be fair he may have been past his best but he didn't look that good a player.
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Post by sirfredperry on Tue 21 Feb 2012, 11:28 am

Fletcher could look a bit scratchy at times, a bit like Ian Bell on a bad day. But like Bell he had some lovely strokes. Summing up - he was a very good county player and a quite good Test player. Very sharp in the field, too.

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Post by Stella on Tue 21 Feb 2012, 12:33 pm

Gower?

Bags of talent but got out too easily too often.
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Post by Taylorman on Tue 21 Feb 2012, 3:12 pm

Graeme Hick for me stands head and shoulders above the rest. His first class stats compared to his test is like chalk and cheese. Was practically unstoppable in first class and scored centuries at will.
Then went into tests and was replaced by an unsure shaky sgadow of himself.
Played a season or two in NZ and came here with an awesome reputation and despite doubts here and delivered spectacularly.
Smashed runs at will. Not that thats hard to do in NZ dom. Cricket but he was phenomenal.
Then went into tests and we all went... Whaaaaaaaat!!!!

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 21 Feb 2012, 9:45 pm

Simon Jones would warrant a place aswell if Banger does in my opinion! Same as Tresco it's not his fault with injury but such a shame we haven't seen him in international cricket since 05. He was my pick of the England bowlers in that series,even above Flintoff,as whenever England needed a wicket (start of a session,partnership,etc) he always seemed to deliver!

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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 1:11 pm

Stella. Yes, Gower could be infuriating and then on other occasions he would have the whole ground purring like contented cats.
However, a Test average of 44 with 18 100s and more than 8,000 runs is a fair old achievement, especially as he had to contend with many Test series against the all-conquering Windies.
It always annoyed me that Gower, averaging more than 40, would be dropped for someone averaging in the 30s. Earlier, Graveney suffered the same sort of fate, until the selectors realised that at 39 he was still as good as any and recalled him.

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Post by Stella on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 1:21 pm

sirfred

Wasn't Gower dropped more for his attitude? Gooch was apparently not best pleased with his laid back nature to training.

And yes, maybe I was being a tad critical of Gower although his record against the Windies is very poor.
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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 1:29 pm

Stella. Yes, you're right. The iron entered Goochie's soul during the 90/91 Aussie series. Not sure that Gower's record against the Windies was much worse than anyone else's, save Allan Lamb who was exceptional against them.
In more than 50 years of watching cricket I don't think if I've seen a more eye-pleasing batsman than Gower, nor a more infuriating one.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Stella on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 1:32 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Stella. Yes, you're right. The iron entered Goochie's soul during the 90/91 Aussie series. Not sure that Gower's record against the Windies was much worse than anyone else's, save Allan Lamb who was exceptional against them.
In more than 50 years of watching cricket I don'tthink if I've seen a more eye-pleasing batsman than Gower, nor a more infuriating one.

Gooch himself had a decent record, I think.

Yes, him and Mark Waugh were as good to watch as anybody and both could have scored more, IMO.
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Post by Guest on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 2:02 pm

Mark waugh defo didnt fulfill his potential!

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 2:06 pm

I always think it's harsh saying guys who averaged mid-fourties or so (like Waugh and Gower) which was excellent for their era, didn't fulfill their potential.

On the Gooch-Gower debate, there was an interesting debate on our HoF thread about Gooch, who was basically refused entry because of the damage his "my way or the highway" approach is felt to have done to English cricket through the nineties. With Gooch, you got the feeling that if you failed it could only be because you hadn't practiced hard enough...

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Post by Stella on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 2:21 pm

Yes a bit harsh, especially on Gower but not so much on Waugh, who was possibly the most talented of the brothers but the least productive.

Still, I'd rather watch mark than Steve.
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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 2:32 pm

Mark Waught had to put up with sledgers who reminded him, when he got lippy himself, that he was "not even the best player in his family".

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Post by Stella on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 2:37 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Mark Waught had to put up with sledgers who reminded him, when he got lippy himself, that he was "not even the best player in his family".

Yes, a great sledge.

Another sledge involving junior.

He once came into bat in a state game and prompted to mark his crease, have a look around and generally take a bit of time before taking guard.

Jamie Siddons said "C'mon it's not a bloody test match"

Waugh replied, "It can't be, you're playing"
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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 2:57 pm

Lovely. The Endo Brandes biscuit sledge - unrepeatable here but well known to most - probably takes the....biscuit.

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Post by Stella on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 3:01 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Lovely. The Endo Brandes biscuit sledge - unrepeatable here but well known to most - probably takes the....biscuit.

That's up there with the best of them thumbsup
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Post by Guest on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 3:44 pm

the sledge between waugh and siddons is pretty funny to be honest.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 10:11 pm

"Top Ten Ashes Sledges
Here, in possibly the first book extract ever to appear on a Cricinfo blog, are ten of Briggs’s favourite Ashes sledges. (Warning: fruity language.)

1 Mark Waugh to Jimmy Ormond on his Test debut, 2001: “Mate, what are you doing out here? There's no way you're good enough to play for England.”
Ormond: “Maybe not, but at least I'm the best player in my own family.”"

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Post by gboycottnut on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 10:30 pm

sirfredperry wrote:gboycs. Agree that Botham's bowling did tail off. But he was probably worth playing for his batting alone, not to mention catching.
As "late" as 1986/87 he was making match-winning 100s in Tests. Like Merv Hughes and Warne, he also took a lot of wickets by "personality" - the classic case being Melbourne Boxing Day 86 when he served up a lot of drivel which the Aussies succumbed to.
Don't think you can really describe a guy who took nearly 400 Test wickets and scored more than 5,000 Test runs as under achieving.

It still isn't good enough. Botham may have taken 400 test wickets and scored more than 5,000 test runs, but when you compare the high number of wickets and the number of runs he made in the early part of his test career say around 1978 when he was frequently brilliant due to having both the athleticism together with the remarkable talent to play the game compared to late on in his test career say around 1987 when his performances started to go downhill sharply from primarily not looking after his body properly, there is a strong case to be made for saying that Botham actually didn't fulfill his own potential. If Botham did actually look after his body properly by undertaking the strict day-to-day training regimes which the likes of his fellow rival all-rounders at that time took such as Imran, Hadlee and Kapil, the world would have been his oyster as he would then have been a very strong candidate for being the greatest ever all-rounder to have played the game.

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Post by gboycottnut on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 10:45 pm

Stella wrote:Gower?

Bags of talent but got out too easily too often.

Gower although very graceful to watch batting at times was a very frustrating batsman for us English fans, as he kept on getting out in the same fashion i.e. the ball is wide outside his off-stump, he decides to have a poke at it only for it to go off the edge of his bat into the hands of the keeper or to one of the slip fielders. The aussies also discovered another good method of getting Gower out, i.e. place one or two fielders on the legside boundary, and get the bowler to bowl it full and fast at Gower's pads, whereby Gower would just flick the ball off his pads into the air to one of the fielders waiting on the legside boundary.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Thu 23 Feb 2012, 12:56 am

gboycottnut wrote:It still isn't good enough. Botham may have taken 400 test wickets and scored more than 5,000 test runs, but when you compare the high number of wickets and the number of runs he made in the early part of his test career say around 1978 when he was frequently brilliant due to having both the athleticism together with the remarkable talent to play the game compared to late on in his test career say around 1987 when his performances started to go downhill sharply from primarily not looking after his body properly, there is a strong case to be made for saying that Botham actually didn't fulfill his own potential. If Botham did actually look after his body properly by undertaking the strict day-to-day training regimes which the likes of his fellow rival all-rounders at that time took such as Imran, Hadlee and Kapil, the world would have been his oyster as he would then have been a very strong candidate for being the greatest ever all-rounder to have played the game.
That may be true - but if you set the bar high enough there will be vast numbers of cricketers who can be said to have under-performed. Jimmy Anderson - decent bowler, but what took him so long to reach his current standard when the shelf life of a fastish bowler is not that long. Prior - badly underperformed in ODIs, Strauss - serious mental frailty over quite a long period, letting captaincy affect his batting. As for KP...etc, etc

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Post by gboycottnut on Thu 23 Feb 2012, 1:44 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:
gboycottnut wrote:It still isn't good enough. Botham may have taken 400 test wickets and scored more than 5,000 test runs, but when you compare the high number of wickets and the number of runs he made in the early part of his test career say around 1978 when he was frequently brilliant due to having both the athleticism together with the remarkable talent to play the game compared to late on in his test career say around 1987 when his performances started to go downhill sharply from primarily not looking after his body properly, there is a strong case to be made for saying that Botham actually didn't fulfill his own potential. If Botham did actually look after his body properly by undertaking the strict day-to-day training regimes which the likes of his fellow rival all-rounders at that time took such as Imran, Hadlee and Kapil, the world would have been his oyster as he would then have been a very strong candidate for being the greatest ever all-rounder to have played the game.
That may be true - but if you set the bar high enough there will be vast numbers of cricketers who can be said to have under-performed. Jimmy Anderson - decent bowler, but what took him so long to reach his current standard when the shelf life of a fastish bowler is not that long. Prior - badly underperformed in ODIs, Strauss - serious mental frailty over quite a long period, letting captaincy affect his batting. As for KP...etc, etc

These many cricketers you have mentioned may have underperformed like to say but in terms of sheer natural talent and all-round brilliance, not many of these guys have the same amount of talent and brilliance as Botham had during the early part of his career (particularly in 1978) when more times than not he was simply outstanding and looked to have the whole world at his feet if he had continued in the same manner for the rest of his test career. That is why I have stated and believe that Botham has actually underperformed and not fullfilled his potential when now looking back at his test career.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 23 Feb 2012, 2:19 pm

Got to agree with hampo171 on Ben Hollioake,horrible to lose such a talented player so young. Remember Alec Stewart always saying he was one of the most naturally talented players he played with and as a keeper says he hit the gloves harder than the rest of the Surrey bowlers as a 19 year old!

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 23 Feb 2012, 2:26 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:
gboycottnut wrote:It still isn't good enough. Botham may have taken 400 test wickets and scored more than 5,000 test runs, but when you compare the high number of wickets and the number of runs he made in the early part of his test career say around 1978 when he was frequently brilliant due to having both the athleticism together with the remarkable talent to play the game compared to late on in his test career say around 1987 when his performances started to go downhill sharply from primarily not looking after his body properly, there is a strong case to be made for saying that Botham actually didn't fulfill his own potential. If Botham did actually look after his body properly by undertaking the strict day-to-day training regimes which the likes of his fellow rival all-rounders at that time took such as Imran, Hadlee and Kapil, the world would have been his oyster as he would then have been a very strong candidate for being the greatest ever all-rounder to have played the game.
That may be true - but if you set the bar high enough there will be vast numbers of cricketers who can be said to have under-performed. Jimmy Anderson - decent bowler, but what took him so long to reach his current standard when the shelf life of a fastish bowler is not that long. Prior - badly underperformed in ODIs, Strauss - serious mental frailty over quite a long period, letting captaincy affect his batting. As for KP...etc, etc

Agree with the Corporal here,yes you can claim Botham's lack of fitness let him down but compared to players such as Barry Richards (always the first to mind for some reason!) it didn't hold him back enough to make a team such as this. Would be interesting to do an English unfulfilled talent team and see how many players from the 90's - early 2000's would warrant a place though! Erm

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Post by guildfordbat on Thu 23 Feb 2012, 4:12 pm

Re: Botham and possible failings.

I think it needs to be understood that what we lesser mortals see as a weakness in a very good or even great player is often all part of his make up and that he wouldn't have been the player he was without it.

A couple of things at this stage about the world's greatest ever all rounder, Sir Garry Sobers.

1. He is probably best remembered for hitting six sixes in an over for Notts against Glamorgan.

2. He was also thought of as sometimes being too carefree.

These two things are not normally thought of together.

However, the time Sobers hit his six sixes he was batting lower down the order than normal. He was unavailable to bat at his planned number as he was placing a bet in a Welsh bookies when two wickets unexpectedly and quickly fell.

How things might have been different if Sobers had not liked a bet during a game?

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 23 Feb 2012, 7:57 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Re: Botham and possible failings.

I think it needs to be understood that what we lesser mortals see as a weakness in a very good or even great player is often all part of his make up and that he wouldn't have been the player he was without it.

A couple of things at this stage about the world's greatest ever all rounder, Sir Garry Sobers.

1. He is probably best remembered for hitting six sixes in an over for Notts against Glamorgan.

2. He was also thought of as sometimes being too carefree.

These two things are not normally thought of together.

However, the time Sobers hit his six sixes he was batting lower down the order than normal. He was unavailable to bat at his planned number as he was placing a bet in a Welsh bookies when two wickets unexpectedly and quickly fell.

How things might have been different if Sobers had not liked a bet during a game?

Yes agree that all things good and bad make up a player! Odd how we Surrey posters struggle to view KP in this way however Rolling Eyes

Never knew that about Sobers with the six sixes however! Laugh Got to love facts like that,always enjoyed the fact that a few of the Aussies in the 1981 Headingley team made a decent pay check jokingly betting on the game as well!! Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat on Thu 23 Feb 2012, 9:00 pm

king_carlos wrote:
.... Never knew that about Sobers with the six sixes however! Laugh Got to love facts like that, ....

King Carlos - for your next birthday or any special royal event Wink , I recommend you ask Queen Sofia to buy you ''Six of the Best - Cricket's Most Famous Over'' by Grahame Lloyd (published by Celluloid Ltd). A wonderful account of each ball of that over and much wider issues as seen by Sobers, the poor bowler Malcolm Nash* and all the other surviviving players from that game.

*Back in the '80s I worked for the head office of an insurance company near here. A mate of mine there was in in charge of new business admin, processing all the paperwork. After first giving up cricket around this time, Malcolm Nash worked for the same company as a regional salesman in Wales. Whenever Malcom submitted an incomplete form, my mate would always phone him with the opening words, ''Malcolm, I'm going to have to hit these papers for six!''. So predictable yet still made us all laugh! Laugh

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 24 Feb 2012, 10:24 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
*Back in the '80s I worked for the head office of an insurance company near here. A mate of mine there was in in charge of new business admin, processing all the paperwork. After first giving up cricket around this time, Malcolm Nash worked for the same company as a regional salesman in Wales. Whenever Malcom submitted an incomplete form, my mate would always phone him with the opening words, ''Malcolm, I'm going to have to hit these papers for six!''. So predictable yet still made us all laugh!

Laugh Wonderful anecdote there!

Also Six of the Best found and bookmarked on Amazon! Ale

Incedently delighted to see we've signed Rudolph for the start of the season! About the best we could've hoped for without Kartik available - weren't really going to find another top quality spinner. clap

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Post by Demon Racer on Fri 24 Feb 2012, 10:38 pm

I think Harbhajan Singh could be accused of failing to fulfill his potential.

IIRC, he was the fastest bowler to reach 300 Test wickets(in terms of age), somewhere between 27/28/29 years of age.

By the time he had 250 Test wickets, his average was like 25/26. Pretty impressive for a modern day finger spinner.

Roll forward 2012, he can't even buy a wicket in the Indian domestic competitions.

His Test average has ballooned to 32/33. Last 187 Test wickets have come at 37 a piece.

He doesn't seem to know how to spin his off break anymore, nor get the drift that bamboozled the Australians back in 2001.

After 50 Tests, he had 17 x 5 wicket haul. Which was a shade under 1 every 3 matches.

Since 2006, he has played 48 Tests with 6 x 5 wicket hauls.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Fri 24 Feb 2012, 10:48 pm

guildfordbat wrote: Back in the '80s I worked for the head office of an insurance company near here.
Maybe the amount of frivolity in that office meant that the five year plan was not achieved, and hence led to your banishment to the Woking Salt Mining Company? Wink

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri 02 Aug 2019, 9:11 am

guildfordbat wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
.... Never knew that about Sobers with the six sixes however!  Laugh Got to love facts like that, ....

King Carlos - for your next birthday or any special royal event  Wink , I recommend you ask Queen Sofia to buy you ''Six of the Best - Cricket's Most Famous Over'' by Grahame Lloyd (published by Celluloid Ltd). A wonderful account of each ball of that over and much wider issues as seen by Sobers, the poor bowler Malcolm Nash* and all the other surviviving players from that game.

*Back in the '80s I worked for the head office of an insurance company near here. A mate of mine there was in in charge of new business admin, processing all the paperwork. After first giving up cricket around this time, Malcolm Nash worked for the same company as a regional salesman in Wales. Whenever Malcom submitted an incomplete form, my mate would always phone him with the opening words, ''Malcolm, I'm going to have to hit these papers for six!''. So predictable yet still made us all laugh!  Laugh

A personal treasured memory above and a small tribute from me to Malcolm Nash who died this week aged 74.

He is most and will be for ever known as the bowler whom Garry Sobers hit for six sixes in an over, the first time it had ever been done and truly an iconic sporting achievement at the time. Typically, Sobers did not boast of what he had done or make light of his opponent but paid tribute to him saying, ''Malcolm was doing the right thing - he was trying to get me out.''

What was important to them both was the game. A game that Malcolm Nash served admirably for nearly 20 years with Glamorgan, taking almost 1,000 first-class wickets and bowling them to the County Championship title in 1969.

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Post by dummy_half on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 8:55 am

Guildford

Thanks for bumping this thread, even if for the sad news of reporting the passing of Malcolm Nash. Other than the 6 6s, I didn't really know about this obviously fine county pro, including that he was more known as a left arm seamer and the spin he was bowling to Sobers was an experiment in trying to become another Underwood.
Just shy of 1000 wickets at 25 and 7000 runs at about 17 makes me wonder why he didn't get a look in at England level - certainly stats that would have got him into the discussions had he been 10 years or so later.

Some interesting names got bandied around this thread - I think Mitch Johnson did enough later in his career to say he ultimately fulfilled expectations, whereas Steven Finn now appears to be a text book case of the coaches ruining his early potential. I note even 7 years ago we had mention of James Hildreth as someone who got to the fringe of selection but never quite got his chance.

Obviously have to add James Vince to the list of 'outstanding county players who didn't cut it at Test level', alongside Ramprakash and Hick.

Might be interesting to compile the opposite list - players who achieved much with less 'natural gifts'. A few names that come to mind immediately are Alistair Cook, Boycott, Collingwood and Trundler Tim Bresnan

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 9:47 am

Dummy - thanks in turn.

There's actually an obituary of Malcolm Nash in today's Telegraph. This confirms, as I thought, that he had an England trial - it doesn't say the year but I'm guessing around the mid '70s - and comments he ''was regarded by many as unfortunate not to have been given a go at international level.''

The obituary also confirms the story I told Carlos earlier in the thread about Sobers batting as low as 7 in the order that momentous day in Swansea as ''he had nipped out to the bookies earlier and could not be found.'' Smile

If you would like to kick off a ''players with less natural gifts'' thread, I'll happily try to add to it.

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