Shooting for Lara's Record

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:22 am

To score more than 400 runs in a test match. Is it only justifiable in the fourth or your team's second innings of a test where the opposition has either set you a huge first innings target or with their two innings have set you a huge run chase? When you have no option but to bat out the innings, if you hit 400 runs, is it not likely that you're putting your team in a position to win unless the first innings declared had someone else doing the same thing?

Depending on how quickly you score 400 - let's say it takes a minimum of two days not in their entirety to amass that total - it's unlikely that you've enough time to do that in the first innings and then allow yourself enough time to bowl out the opposition twice. Particularly as amassing that total suggests a benign wicket.

The question arose on a thread about the second test with NZ vs India. McCullum has a chance to be the first NZ batsman to hit a triple century but if he gets a quick-fire 350 pushing it, does that tantalisingly offer up the possibility of getting 400 or should he, as captain, make the selfless decision to look to declare before lunch to give an extremely unlikely but nevertheless mathematically possible victory?

Is it ever justifiable in a test match to score so many runs?

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Post by kingraf on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:30 am

when your name is Brian Lara and your team is 3-0 in a series just after Matthew Hayden took your previous record.
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Post by VTR on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:33 am

I remember at the time, it was clear that Lara sacrificed a chance of the team win to take the record. I remember him saying something like "we felt needed that many runs to give us a chance of winning" (750 it was in the end, I think). No one was fooled by that one!

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:35 am

What if you did it at Anderson or Afridi pace? Say 150 balls for 400. Would you want to push on for 500?

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Post by skyeman on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:36 am

Lara going for the glory and taking 202 overs out of the match batting first probably cost WI's the win in that Test match. But the crowd/TV wanted him to go for it.

Entertainment can sometimes be justifiable.


Don't think BM will go for it though but i hope he does.

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Post by kingraf on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:40 am

Took Lara 580 odd balls to reach 400, I think the sheer pace he went at, sorta gives him a pass.
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Post by skyeman on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:43 am

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:What if you did it at Anderson or Afridi pace? Say 150 balls for 400. Would you want to push on for 500?


A century every 37 balls! I would pay a GRAND to watch that.  I would have to be bowling Laugh 

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:44 am

Then you wouldn't need to pay a grand. That might get you into trouble with match fixing  Hug 

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Post by VTR on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:45 am

I was glad that Lara got the record back anyway, it seemed very cheap when he lost it to Hayden vs Zimbabwe. At least the record currently is held against a decent attack containing Harmison, Flintoff, Hoggard and Simon Jones

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Post by skyeman on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:51 am

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:Then you wouldn't need to pay a grand. That might get you into trouble with match fixing  Hug 

 Laugh Laugh 

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Post by skyeman on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:54 am

Or BM against the Indian attack and fielding Rolling Eyes 

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Post by Stella on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:59 am

You couldn't blame McCullum for going for it, in this circumstance. Good luck to him.
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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 12:10 pm

McCullum going for it is entirely justified, IMHO. NZ have done wonderfully well to save this match and they are 1-0 up in a two-match series. No point in declaring and giving India even a sniff. Also no sense of his racking up a huge score in meaningless fashion. He's had to fight every inch of the way, by all accounts
Lara's team was well ahead in the series when he first broke the record and well behind when he recaptured it. So no probs there.

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Post by Stella on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 12:12 pm

Mark Taylor famously declared on 334, so he didn't pass Bradman's then Aussie record of 334. In most other triple's, the player would have that world record on his mind, make no doubt.
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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:24 pm

So are you implying what Hayden did against Zimbabwe was unpatriotic?  Wink 

As in all things in cricket, the important thing is to set mini targets and assess where you're at upon reaching them. The first thing BM has to concentrate on is getting 300. Then depending on who sticks around, sort out his rhythm for getting to 350. No panic for getting runs if McHasheesh sticks around. Then declaring enters it because he can assess the conditions in a break. If his partners start crumbling around him then declarations go out the window and he grabs what runs he can. Similarly if he falls, he'll probably want the tail to gather up as many crumbs before they're all out. Option A is the only likely option of entertaining either a declaration or a 400.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:28 pm

My one question is does McCullum have the fitness to do it? He's batted the best part of two days now and looked incredibly weary yesterday!

Of course this is one of the rare occasions where he doesn't need to declare, so is justified in going on as long as he can imho
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Post by Stella on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:42 pm

Back to Taylor. I know his reasons for declaring but c'mon, would it have mattered? It doesn't diminish Bradman's knock, or indeed his feats in Cricket. Records are there to be broken.
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Post by VTR on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:51 pm

I think Mark Taylor's was a bit different as the series was 0-0 after the first Test so he was looking to force a win.

I had to check cricinfo and do wonder if the declaring on 334 to not pass Bradman's record has been romanticised as it looks to me that he was 334at the end of the second day and declared overnight. Or was it the case he did infact bat on to that score after refusing the light at some point?

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Post by Stella on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:52 pm

VTR

I read at the time that he didn't want to pass his record out of respect.
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Post by VTR on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:56 pm

Yeah I remember that being reported as the reason Stella. Maybe it was the case he realised overnight. I found this snippet on cricinfo:
 
"He [Taylor] clipped the final ball of the day, from Aamir Sohail, towards square leg, but Ijaz, who had hardly excelled in the field before then, threw down a hand and managed to stop what would have been a record-breaking single"

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Post by Stella on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:59 pm

VTR wrote:Yeah I remember that being reported as the reason Stella. Maybe it was the case he realised overnight. I found this snippet on cricinfo:
 
"He [Taylor] clipped the final ball of the day, from Aamir Sohail, towards square leg, but Ijaz, who had hardly excelled in the field before then, threw down a hand and managed to stop what would have been a record-breaking single"

Fair enough, VTR. Long time ago, but definitely read something about him not wanting to pass it. maybe it was somebody's opinion? Like you say, he may have thought about it overnight and not wanted to go past Bradman.

Nice detective work.
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Post by Fists of Fury on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 2:22 pm

I hope he doesn't break BC Lara's record. Part of me would die.

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 2:37 pm

I don't wish to rain on this thread (a very good one) or McCullum's innings (even better). However, there are a lot of factors that McCullum is up against if he is to reach 400.

In no particular order -

* Neesham has done brilliantly but can he and the tail stick around with McCullum for long enough?

* Following up a point made by Olly, can the physically drained McCullum maintain his concentration? In my view, it's easier (or, rather, not quite so difficult) for many players to maintain concentration for the team than for a personal goal. Lara was different and attracted bouquets and barbs in roughly equal measures as a result.

* Following on from the above point, we'll now need to see a different sort of innings from McCullum. From - as Sir Fred puts it - having ''had to fight every inch of the way'' to a more attacking and adventurous style. Can McCullum move into and stay at top gear?

* The captaincy will bring additional doubts and uncertainties for McCullum. Will he be more keen to declare than if he was captain in the pavilion watching a team mate near 400? Thoughts as to the declaration could also distract his concentration.

* And most bizarrely as all (as Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler might say), an Indian bowler might actually send down a good ball to him!

Whatever happens in the rest of McCullum's innings and even with my own severe doubts that he will reach 400, he deserves to be hugely congratulated on almost certainly having saved a virtually lost Test match and won a series for his country.  clap clap clap 

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 2:40 pm

To be fair to Hayden I think he scored at a good lick. Clarke declared on himself on 329 not out recently so may be he was reluctant to beat The Don as well.
The big question is, would Atherton have declared on Hick if he was on 363* and going for the England record ? !

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Post by Stella on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 2:42 pm

sirfredperry wrote:To be fair to Hayden I think he scored at a good lick. Clarke declared on himself on 329 not out recently so may be he was reluctant to beat The Don as well.
  The big question is, would Atherton have declared on Hick if he was on 363* and going for the England record ? !

Ha, may have done if he had faffed around like he did when on 98  Very Happy 
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Post by Mike Selig on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 3:13 pm

I think the Taylor declaration thing was a media myth IIRC. It was more the case that at the end of day 2 Aus were on 600 and declared; that Taylor happened to be on 334 at the time was more of a fluke than any kind of design.

Still compare and contrast to Lara though. I'm afraid his 400 didn't do much for me, supreme effort of concentration though it was. It was really a case of putting himself above the needs of the team - West Indies failed to win the match, and Lara actually slowed down significantly throughout the course of his innings. In fact, he severely underused his seamers on the final day, and accepted the draw with still 10 or 15 overs to go IIRC, leading some unkind commentators to suggest that he made sure West Indies didn't get too close to the win in case it brought his innings into even sharper focus.

There were some comments at the time that Lara scoring 400 would do more for West Indian cricket than a win in a dead rubber in a series in which they'd already been tonked. Although quite possibly true, it sounded weak at the time, and even weaker now.

Simple thing for me is it was a selfish innings by a selfish individual on a flat pitch against a tired and quickly uninterested attack (Harmison was actually removed from bowling for persistent running on the wicket - some unkind souls suggested it wasn't completely accidental). And he was probably out caught behind for 0 off Harmison (but not given, I believe by Darryl Hair).

None of this is intended to downplay the sheer scale of concentration and stamina needed. Or how great a batsman Lara was, and how great some of his innings were.

However I find it strange that Hayden's knock is viewed with entirely so much scorn, when it was actually scored against a not-so-bad Zimbabwe team (before political interference completely decimated it; it included for example Streak and Price as bowlers IIRC), but more importantly set up a win, was scored at an ever accelerating pace (outscoring a free-flowing Gilchrist in their partnership e.g.) and Haydos actually threw his wicket away instead of looking for the 400 mark.

I'm not suggesting Hayden's was necessarily the superior innings (neither would make a top 50 of all time great test innings surely), but the placing of the Lara knock as far better has always wound me up. I think it stems from the wish to see the top spot occupied by a truly great player, but still...

For what it's worth I can't see McCullum getting there. I wouldn't blame him for trying, as NZ are 1-0 up so his first thought should be making the game safe. In that respect his knock is already, IMO, superior to BCL's anyway - it has actually achieved something for his team, which is after all the point of the game.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 3:57 pm

guildfordbat wrote:I don't wish to rain on this thread (a very good one) or McCullum's innings (even better). However, there are a lot of factors that McCullum is up against if he is to reach 400.

In no particular order -

* Neesham has done brilliantly but can he and the tail stick around with McCullum for long enough?

* Following up a point made by Olly, can the physically drained McCullum maintain his concentration? In my view, it's easier (or, rather, not quite so difficult) for many players to maintain concentration for the team than for a personal goal. Lara was different and attracted bouquets and barbs in roughly equal measures as a result.

* Following on from the above point, we'll now need to see a different sort of innings from McCullum. From - as Sir Fred puts it - having ''had to fight every inch of the way'' to a more attacking and adventurous style. Can McCullum move into and stay at top gear?

* The captaincy will bring additional doubts and uncertainties for McCullum. Will he be more keen to declare than if he was captain in the pavilion watching a team mate near 400? Thoughts as to the declaration could also distract his concentration.

* And most bizarrely as all (as Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler might say), an Indian bowler might actually send down a good ball to him!

Whatever happens in the rest of McCullum's innings and even with my own severe doubts that he will reach 400, he deserves to be hugely congratulated on almost certainly having saved a virtually lost Test match and won a series for his country.  clap clap clap 

Good post guildford. McCullum's innings is just some recent context. The triple century is definitely an achievable goal and the quadruple a much tougher and higher peak to climb but then again so did saving this match a day ago when BM only had his century.

Judging by the posts it seems that amassing a big score is acceptable in the second innings when your side is fighting to save the test. So taking the BM example, what he must do is bat through the first session and then assess after that. If he is fatigued, perhaps he won't want to hog the strike. If he starts to lose a few wickets, then he might change his mind and look to dominate the strike but that might well precipitate his own demise.

Personally I like your point or Olly's about team goals and personal goals. I think it's dangerous to think just yet that the test match is saved or at least dismiss any hope of India winning. For that reason, the two current batsman should still go out tomorrow with that besieged mentality early on before settling in to accumulating runs. The longer they go without losing a wicket, the more they can relax later. I imagine though the neutral is hoping for India to focus, mop up the tail and see if they can get there with their batting and the interest will be how much either side is prepared to push for a result. From a NZ perspective, it's a rare thing where a likely loss is turned into a moralising draw so it's nice to see a bit of application from a senior player and hopefully that fight will rub off on a few others in similar situations in the future.

However, it does raise the question, do we tend to remember the side with rose-tinted glasses innings that saves defeat in the final innings? Let's take the last England NZ test with that exciting draw? Matt Pryor was a hero and a valiant draw was achieved. England claimed the moral victory and rightly so. But do we not gloss over the first innings in doing so? How does a team get under the pump in order to be in a position to save it? There doesn't seem to be the same level of respect for a first innings score that goes on too long where the game ends in a draw. But in the end hindsight reveals the crucial moments in both scenarios. Are we sometimes too critical of the batsmen and not critical enough with the bowling?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:07 pm

guildfordbat wrote:* And most bizarrely as all (as Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler might say), an Indian bowler might actually send down a good ball to him! 

More chance of The Wolf scoring a goal Guildford!  Very Happy 
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Post by skyeman on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:34 pm

Olly wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:* And most bizarrely as all (as Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler might say), an Indian bowler might actually send down a good ball to him! 

More chance of The Wolf scoring a goal Guildford!  Very Happy 


Or Moanrhino saying the right thing Very Happy 

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:40 pm

Olly wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:* And most bizarrely as all (as Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler might say), an Indian bowler might actually send down a good ball to him! 

More chance of The Wolf scoring a goal Guildford!  Very Happy 
 laughing clap 

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