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Is this current England Test Team the Greatest Ever England Test Team?

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Is this current England Test Team the Greatest Ever England Test Team? Empty Is this current England Test Team the Greatest Ever England Test Team?

Post by gboycottnut Sun 14 Aug 2011, 1:45 am

There was an interesting topic at the end of Test Match Special today about whether this current England Test Team is the best ever test team that England have ever had.

Geoff Boycott himself believes that the 1950's England team are better than the present team in terms of individual ability and technique as it contained many great names of English cricket such as Hutton, Compton, May, Cowdrey, with an awesome array of bowling options including Trueman,Tyson,Statham, Loader,Bedser, Laker,Lock,Wardle.. Whilst the famous Ashes winning England team of 1981 which Boycott himself was part of contained some great batsmen like Gower, Gooch, with a great all-rounder in Botham, a great keeper in Knott and a great though ageing pace bowler in Willis. Apart from these great players in the 1981 team there wasn't actually much else in that England team. Brearley whilst being an excellent captain was just an average county batsman, and Gooch, Gatting and Dilley were then not as good as they were years later. As for guys like Old,Hendrick,Taylor, Willey,Parker and Larkins, the less said the better about them the better.

Anyway, what are everyone's opinions on this interesting topic.


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Post by pauline1981 Sun 14 Aug 2011, 2:33 am

yes we the best

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Post by gboycottnut Sun 14 Aug 2011, 8:46 am

pauline1981 wrote:yes we the best

England are the best test team in the world at present,
But is this test team better than the 1950's England test team containing those great names of English cricket like Hutton/Compton/Trueman etc, and better than the ashes winning 1932, 1981 or even the 1987 England test teams?

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Post by sugarrayb Sun 14 Aug 2011, 8:59 am

I heard Geoff on the radio and at the time agreed with what he said untill I talked to my dad about it who noted that whilst the team of the 50's had great players they did get spanked 4-0 in Oz in 58, which slightly takes the gloss off and they were all heavy defeats by 8 wickets or more!

I can't see this lot getting smashed 4 zip by anyone anywhere!

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Post by gboycottnut Sun 14 Aug 2011, 9:37 am

sugarrayb wrote:I heard Geoff on the radio and at the time agreed with what he said untill I talked to my dad about it who noted that whilst the team of the 50's had great players they did get spanked 4-0 in Oz in 58, which slightly takes the gloss off and they were all heavy defeats by 8 wickets or more!

I can't see this lot getting smashed 4 zip by anyone anywhere!

But this heavy series defeat did come at the end of their period of test dominance in the 1950's where after they lost a test series 1-0 V Pakistan in 1954, they didn't lose another test series until 1958/59. In any case by the time of this 1958/59 test series, that England team didn't have their 2 great batsmen Hutton and Compton (instead having to rely on guys like Graveney/Dexter/Richardson). Also England never once fielded a devastating 4 man pace unit in the same test. A 4 man attack of Trueman/Tyson/Statham/Loader could have made a huge difference in some of these tests, whilst Australia by then had available a deadly leg-spinner who was nearing the peak of his powers and would go on to bamboozle England's batsmen in the next ashes series in England in 1961. His name is a certain Richie Benaud.

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Post by Stellar Key Sun 14 Aug 2011, 10:21 am


As much as I respect Strauss's 2011 side , I think the 2004 -5 Mike Vaiughan team and Peter May's side from the 50s looked the better on paper.

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Post by Liam_Main Sun 14 Aug 2011, 11:31 am

I would say this is the best side since the 50s not the best side ever though.
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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sun 14 Aug 2011, 2:18 pm

It's difficult to be objective when so many things have changed. I'd be very surprised if the current team were the most talented team England have ever fielded. But, but what gives it the strength is a combination of a number of favourable factors: a settled side - mostly playing to its potential; good leadership on and off the field; a set up that is geared to getting success at Test level (contrast with England football which is geared towards failure at national level); players coming into their prime (eg Cook, Bell, Anderson, Prior, Tremlett, Bresnan); a high number of all rounders; several other major Test nations either in decline or at rebuilding stage.

All these factors are favourable - a few through good luck, but mostly good planning. So we had better make the most of it as we won't necessarily enjoy such a good combination for all that long...

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Post by Smile Sun 14 Aug 2011, 2:50 pm

The 1986/7 team lost to Pakistan and India both in England and beat a very weak Australian side. How are they on the short list?
Nasser's 2001 team that went to Pakistan and won were better.
This team are equal to the 2005 side who also did beat the South African side in 04/05.

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Post by Guest Mon 15 Aug 2011, 10:35 am

its so good being world test team no1 Very Happy

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 15 Aug 2011, 10:37 am

cricketfan90 wrote:its so good being world test team no1 Very Happy

Indeed thumbsup
Lets hope we can carry on.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 15 Aug 2011, 10:40 am

Difficult to tell how good this England team are, in that Australia were very poor in 2010/11 and India have been abysmal for large parts of this series.
England have had greater players that this side in some of their successful teams in the past. The 50s teams featured some of the greatest players England have EVER had - May, Cowdrey, Trueman, Statham, Lock and Laker.
But this is certainly one of the best sides for team spirit, for preparation, for concentration and ruthlessness.
Worries for me? Swann - has he peaked? and Strauss - how long can he go on?

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Post by dummy_half Mon 15 Aug 2011, 10:56 am

"Difficult to tell how good this England team are, in that Australia were very poor in 2010/11 and India have been abysmal for large parts of this series."

But how much of this has been because England have played extremely well?*

*To be honest, I don't think we've been at our very best this series, but have exploited weaknesses in the Indian team very effectively and had a few moments of luck such as Sachin's run out last match.

I do think this is an exceptionally good team, and is the best of my knowledge (back to about 1980) - beats the 2005 team for strength in depth in the batting, better keeper/batsman and a far better spin bowler, but isn't as good a seam bowling line-up.

The 50s side was obviously exceptionally talented, but played in a far different era - you have to offset the difficulties of playing on uncovered pitches against the lesser quality of fielding. Similar considerations have to be given to the late 60s/early 70s side that went undefeated (in series terms) over 8 series - however, that side probably had less strength in depth than the 50s team or the current one.

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Post by Pal Joey Mon 15 Aug 2011, 2:18 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:its so good being world test team no1 Very Happy

The first few days are always a thrill.

Don't think you'll be No1 for 74 months though, lol.
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Post by Guest Mon 15 Aug 2011, 2:54 pm

Linebreaker wrote:
cricketfan90 wrote:its so good being world test team no1 Very Happy

The first few days are always a thrill.

Don't think you'll be No1 for 74 months though, lol.

why not??

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Post by Liam_Main Mon 15 Aug 2011, 2:57 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:
Linebreaker wrote:
cricketfan90 wrote:its so good being world test team no1 Very Happy

The first few days are always a thrill.

Don't think you'll be No1 for 74 months though, lol.

why not??

With Linebreaker on this one, we'll be number 1 for a while but won't be as dominant a side as the Aussies were.

A 2/3 year stay at the top would be brilliant though.
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Post by Pal Joey Mon 15 Aug 2011, 3:32 pm

Yes Liam, maybe 3/4 years at best.

To remain dominant No.1 there needs to be a large points buffer which is built up over time. 125 points (as India have discovered) is only a few tests from losing No.1 when the contenders are 118, etc. If England don't play for another 9 months or so after this series, perhaps the only immediate threat will be SA who play SL and Aus at home.

On the plus side; the lower ranked teams scoring less points (i.e. not having the opportunity to play against England and win) may not make much headway. England may be under pressure in SL next year (March) and a drawn series would do some minor damage to their points, a loss would be more severe obviously.

(that's the thing - when you are on top and lose to anyone, then the penalties are very harsh. Look at Australia - they lost 43 rankings points in about 3 years!)
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Post by Pal Joey Mon 15 Aug 2011, 4:30 pm

a) If England wins final test (Eng 4-0)
England 125 : 117 India

b) If it remains 3-0 (draw 4th Test)
England 124 : 119 India

c) If India wins (Eng 3-1)
England 123 : 120 India

Then a lot depends on how SA, SL, Aus, NZ go up until March 2012, then
(assuming Aus bt SL, Ind, NZ; Aus draw SA 1-1; SA bt SL 2-1, NZ 3-0)

If England beat SL 2-0 (for above three scenarios)
a) England 127, SA 119
b) England 126, SA 119
c) England 125, SA 119

If England beat SL 1-0
a) England 126, SA 119
b) England 125, SA 119
c) England 124, SA 119

If England draw SL 1-1 or 0-0
a) England 124, SA 119
b) England 122, SA 119
c) England 121, SA 119

If England lose SL 0-1
a) England 121, SA 119
b) England 120, SA 119
c) England 119, SA 119

If England lose SL 0-2
a) England 120, SA 119
b) England 119, SA 119
c) England 117, SA 119

If SA beats SL 3-0 at home, draws 1-1 with Oz, bt NZ 3-0, then they will be No 1 even if England wins 4-0, but then loses to SL 2-0 or 1-0

If SA beats SL 3-0 at home, draws 1-1 with Oz, bt NZ 3-0, then they will be tied with England on 122 points if England wins 3-0, but then draws to SL 1-1 or 0-0

It would really help England remain at No1 - if Australia beats SL in SL, SA in SA, India in OZ... and England pummels SL in SL Smile

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Post by Guest Mon 15 Aug 2011, 7:56 pm

jimmy anderson is a huge part of our success Smile

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Post by Grizzly Tue 16 Aug 2011, 10:33 am

I hate comparing sides from different generations - who was better the WI side of the early 80s or the Aussie side of the early 00s ?
Impossible to answer, they both were dominant but had different strengths.

What I find difficult to assess is the legitimacy of Englands opposition in 2010-2011:
The Bangers were outclassed as they are in every series they contest, Pakistan were rolled for under 100 three times last Summer and can anyone (hand on heart) say everyone was trying all series ? we met the Aussies at a good time, they were in huge transition but nonetheless we destroyed them, The Lankans and the Indians don't appear interested to me, of course it's not easy facing a swinging ball at pace but application is needed in every form of the game, poignant perhaps that these stars are not found for effort in March when the $1m cheques are being handed out.

That said, England are the most complete test side in the world, they are playing at a consistently high level and deserve their #1 ranking, it's certainly the most dominant England side I can remember seeing in over 30 years of watching cricket, but in that time I don't remember too many sides performing like they don't want to be here.....

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Post by Alessandro Ciambella Tue 16 Aug 2011, 2:54 pm

Bonjourno!

Yes, this is Englands greatest TEAM. But when all is said and done, how many will be England greats like Flintoff, Botham or Tuffnell?

Forza Alonso!
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Post by dyrewolfe Tue 16 Aug 2011, 3:55 pm

Alessandro Ciambella wrote:Bonjourno!

Yes, this is Englands greatest TEAM. But when all is said and done, how many will be England greats like Flintoff, Botham or Tuffnell?

Forza Alonso!


I'd stick to something you know about...like tiddlywinks! laughing

Freddie's career was chequered at best and he's probably more famous for his heavy drinking and pedalo antics. Could've been a great if he hadn't spent so much time injured. A good player, most definitely, but falls short of true greatness.

And since when was Tufnell a "great"? Laugh Great guy, yes, but a great player? Not exactly.

Botham? Okay I'll grant you that one.

Most of the England team have the potential to eclipse the career stats of pretty much ANY player from the the last 20 years. Broad has the potential to equal or better Botham's achievements if he continues in his current form, nevermind Flintoff's. Graeme Swann is already a better bowler than Tuffers ever was AND better with the bat.

More potential greats include Cook, Bell, Prior and Anderson.
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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 16 Aug 2011, 8:28 pm

Alessandro Ciambella wrote:Bonjourno!

Yes, this is Englands greatest TEAM. But when all is said and done, how many will be England greats like ...... Tuffnell?

Forza Alonso!

I like the sense of humour Very Happy

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Post by gboycottnut Tue 16 Aug 2011, 10:01 pm

"Broad has the potential to equal or better Botham's achievements if he continues in his current form"

Never in a million years will Broad ever come close to matching Botham's achievements with either he bat or the ball.

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Post by Liam_Main Tue 16 Aug 2011, 10:58 pm

gboycottnut wrote:"Broad has the potential to equal or better Botham's achievements if he continues in his current form"

Never in a million years will Broad ever come close to matching Botham's achievements with either he bat or the ball.

Broads already done something Beefy never did, take a Test Match Hat-Trick. I don't think Broad will match Beefys achievements but he certainly won't be to far behind him. Broads batting average is going up and bowling average is going down so who knows what could happen.
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Post by Guest Wed 17 Aug 2011, 10:21 am

broad isnt a genuine all rounder bresnan is, and i think that bresnan could match botham in his achivements on the field

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Post by gboycottnut Wed 17 Aug 2011, 10:51 am

cricketfan90 wrote:broad isnt a genuine all rounder bresnan is, and i think that bresnan could match botham in his achivements on the field

Bresnan is no way a genuine all-rounder. A genuine all-rounder is a player who I would consider to be good enough to bat at number 6 for his national team, whilst also being a specialist frontline bowler (and not a bits-and pieces bowler like a Mark Ealham).

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Post by dummy_half Wed 17 Aug 2011, 12:03 pm

Looking on the bright side, at least we are no longer searching for the 'next Botham' by continuing to select players who were genuine all rounders only in the contect that they were neither good enough as batsmen or bowlers.

Bresnan and Broad are for me bowlers who can bat rather than true all rounders. If they weren't taking wickets you'd drop them from the team rather than retaining them as. In that context, Botham was definitely a true all rounder, in that at least at some points in his career he'd have retained his place as a pure batsman. Flintoff? borderline for me - had a short spell around 05 where his batting was consistent enough to be considered a front line batsman, but for much of his career he was primarily a bowler for whom getting significant runs was a bonus.

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Post by cabbagesandbrussels Wed 17 Aug 2011, 2:21 pm

They are the best in my lifetime.

I've gone through years of misery as an England fan throughout the late 80's and early 90's so I think I'm owed a decent side. thumbsup

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Post by dummy_half Wed 17 Aug 2011, 3:20 pm

Cabbage
I' a few years older than you, so am owed a good side even more Very Happy .

And this IS a very good side, with good strength in depth in batting and seam bowling, plus a top class spinner and very sound wicket-keeper batsman. Also, they seem to play for each other better than has often been the case with England.

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Aug 2011, 2:27 pm

best in my lifetime lol, that only been 18 years thus far

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Post by Pal Joey Sun 21 Aug 2011, 2:58 pm

Best in mine too... and I'm a little older.
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Post by cabbagesandbrussels Mon 22 Aug 2011, 10:18 am

gboycottnut wrote:
cricketfan90 wrote:broad isnt a genuine all rounder bresnan is, and i think that bresnan could match botham in his achivements on the field

Bresnan is no way a genuine all-rounder. A genuine all-rounder is a player who I would consider to be good enough to bat at number 6 for his national team, whilst also being a specialist frontline bowler (and not a bits-and pieces bowler like a Mark Ealham).

One of the reasons I believe that we are doing so well at the moment is because we seem to have forgotten about our obsession with finding "the next Botham".

Legend though he was, we don't need another Botham.
All we need is a really good set of bowlers who can bat a bit too. Lo and behold, this is what we now have.

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Post by Smile Mon 22 Aug 2011, 10:49 am

A genuine allrounder at six would be better than Morgan.

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Post by Guest Mon 22 Aug 2011, 2:16 pm

in the sub contient, patel might play instead of morgan.

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