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Wisden's best Test XI

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Post by Stella Wed 23 Oct 2013, 4:03 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/24640224

A good team ,as expected, but there could be plenty of debate, especially the inclusion of Grace.
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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Oct 2013, 4:17 pm

I would have had Gavaskar as the opener rather than Grace, and I'd have had Gilchrist as the wicketkeeper.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Oct 2013, 4:52 pm

Help!

I was out of cricket touch during Wasim Akram's heyday, on a sporting desert island, no papers, no internet, so: How good was he?

One of the two best fast bowlers of all time, as Wisden says?
Or political correctness.

Imagine there's been some effort to include players of all eras, but including only Sobers and Knott in the 1930 - 1974 era raises an eyebrow - as if there's a compulsion to choose some oldies but also pandering to the TV age.

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Post by Stella Wed 23 Oct 2013, 4:54 pm

Akram was a great bowler, and a leftie of course. Bit of variety.
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 23 Oct 2013, 5:31 pm

Yep, I think Wasim's been included because he gives left-handed variety which is, I suppose, fair enough. Personally if I was including a 'bowling' all-rounder to supplement Sobers as the 'batting' one I'd go for Imran, but that's just my opinion.
Gilchrist vs. Knott is a tricky one but, IMHO in the 'best of' team you should look at a players primary role first. In that case I'd agree with Knott's inclusion, as he was a better 'keeper than Gilchrist and, in this team, Gilchrist's batting probably wouldn't be that vital.
What is interesting is who might make a team to take this one on?
My take on that would be something like:

Hutton
Gavaskar
Hammond
Headley
Pollock
Kallis
Gilchrist(wk)
Lillee
Murali
O'Reilly
McGrath

Perhaps a bit of a tail, although the batting is bolstered by including Gilchrist.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 23 Oct 2013, 5:39 pm

Hi Kwini - good to see you on a proper part of the forum. Wink 

I admit Akram wasn't one of the immediate names that came to my mind when I first saw the title of this thread. However, he is actually a decent call. A very fine fast bowler with a record to match. I suspect there's also an element of Wisden wanting to include a quickie who wouldn't be (too) out of place batting as relatively high as number 8. Although lacking consistency with the willow, Akram could give it some welly and made a few big scores.

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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Oct 2013, 6:03 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Yep, I think Wasim's been included because he gives left-handed variety which is, I suppose, fair enough. Personally if I was including a 'bowling' all-rounder to supplement Sobers as the 'batting' one I'd go for Imran, but that's just my opinion.
Gilchrist vs. Knott is a tricky one but, IMHO in the 'best of' team you should look at a players primary role first. In that case I'd agree with Knott's inclusion, as he was a better 'keeper than Gilchrist and, in this team, Gilchrist's batting probably wouldn't be that vital.
What is interesting is who might make a team to take this one on?
My take on that would be something like:

Hutton
Gavaskar
Hammond
Headley
Pollock
Kallis
Gilchrist(wk)
Lillee
Murali
O'Reilly
McGrath

Perhaps a bit of a tail, although the batting is bolstered by including Gilchrist.
I'd have Lara for Headley and Holding for O'Reilly in there in the alternative 11.


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Post by Mike Selig Wed 23 Oct 2013, 6:08 pm

Evening all,

I have no bones whatsoever with the pick of Akram. He was a genius with the ball, made it do things I wouldn't have believed possible. The fast bowling equivalent of Shane Warne in his ability to make you simply go "wow" from time to time. If you pushed me I would rate him as the best I've seen (roughly from the mid-90s), just edging out McGrath and Ambrose.

I would certainly rank him higher than the likes of Lillee and Imran. The only other seamer I may have ahead of him would be Holding.

Overall there are very few quibbles I could have with the selection. Perhaps on another day, I might have picked Richards over Grace (but I understand the reasoning behind Grace being in the side), Pollock, Lara, Greg Chappell or probably a number of people over Tendulkar, but these are all arguable.

Certainly I agree with Knott over Gilchrist; the latter may have revolutionised the role of the keeper-batsman but the former was a genius with the gloves (and not too shabby a batsman either).

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Post by Stella Wed 23 Oct 2013, 6:12 pm

My team to take that on.

Gavaskar
Hutton
Headley
Lara
Pollock
Gilchrist
Imran
Hadlee
Ambrose
Murali
McGrath
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Post by guildfordbat Wed 23 Oct 2013, 6:35 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Evening all,
....
I would certainly rank him [Akram] higher than the likes of Lillee and Imran. The only other seamer I may have ahead of him would be Holding.
....
Certainly I agree with Knott over Gilchrist; the latter may have revolutionised the role of the keeper-batsman but the former was a genius with the gloves (and not too shabby a batsman either).
On Holding, interesting to me how perceptions seem to have changed over the years. When he and Marshall were playing together, it was generally Holding who was regarded as number one. Now he normally takes second place to Marshall in these sort of ''all time'' polls. Suspect Marshall was a little under rated at the time but that Holding is not given sufficient credit today.

Mike is spot on about Knott. Besides his ''genius'' keeping, his batting is worth flagging. A batsman with a mix of determination, shots and brains. I can recall several times when he got England out of trouble but never an occasion when easy runs were on offer to him.


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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Oct 2013, 6:41 pm

Can Knott be even regarded the best ever gloveman in England? I've read somewhere that many people rated his contemporary Tailor as better with the gloves, though Knott as an overall package was a lot better. I also remember reading a lot of stuff on the keeping abilities of Godfrey Evans who is rated one of the very best keepers. Knott as an overall package is better than either of them, but as an overall package, I think Gilchrist is even better, Knott might be the better gloveman between the 2, but Gilchrist certainly is a better bat, and he is someone who changed the very profile of the role of the wicketkeeper.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:00 pm

Msp - that (Taylor being even better a keeper than Knott) was a view at the time and you're right that Knott first got and then cemented his place through being the far superior batsman. However, comparisons are near impossible as (1) Taylor had next to no international experience during Knott's era and (2) the lack of tv coverage of Taylor playing county cricket in relative contrast to Knott's appearances at Test and ODI level. Furthermore, Knott made everything of his opportunity behind the stumps for England and I really struggle to think he or anyone could have done better. Tough on Taylor but that is sport.

You'll have to ask Kwini about Evans. I seem to remember him posting about drinking in Evans' pub! Very Happy

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Post by KP_fan Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:03 pm

Stella wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/24640224

A good team ,as expected, but there could be plenty of debate, especially the inclusion of Grace.
 
Hobbs, Grace and Bradman are from the dinosaur era.....larger then life because of distance from the contemporary...playing against one opponent and a few minnows in 2 countries at most....no pressure of travelling, technology, multiple formats, razzmataz, never tested on subcontinental crumblers...they might well be glorified versions Of Mahela Jayawerdene and Samaraweera in home conditions.
 
I would replace them with the more rounded, known and tested Gavaskar , Boycott and Lara or one of the Chappell brothers
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Post by msp83 Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:09 pm

Don't think Ian Chappell can really come into the frame. His captaincy was more standout than his batting that was not a great deal more than good.

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Post by Stella Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:10 pm

KP_fan wrote:
Stella wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/24640224

A good team ,as expected, but there could be plenty of debate, especially the inclusion of Grace.
 
Hobbs, Grace and Bradman are from the dinosaur era.....larger then life because of distance from the contemporary...playing against one opponent and a few minnows in 2 countries at most....no pressure of travelling, technology, multiple formats, razzmataz, never tested on subcontinental crumblers...they might well be glorified versions Of Mahela Jayawerdene and Samaraweera in home conditions.
 
I would replace them with the more rounded, known and tested Gavaskar , Boycott and Lara or one of the Chappell brothers
Ian Chappell ahead of Bradman?

These guys played againt the best there was to offer, and succeeded, and in Bradman's case, became almost mythical.
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Post by KP_fan Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:10 pm

msp83 wrote:Don't think Ian Chappell can really come into the frame. His captaincy was more standout than his batting that was not a great deal more than good.
yes true....let's put it between Greg chappell, Viv richards and Lara
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Post by KP_fan Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:12 pm

Stella wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
Stella wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/24640224

A good team ,as expected, but there could be plenty of debate, especially the inclusion of Grace.
 
Hobbs, Grace and Bradman are from the dinosaur era.....larger then life because of distance from the contemporary...playing against one opponent and a few minnows in 2 countries at most....no pressure of travelling, technology, multiple formats, razzmataz, never tested on subcontinental crumblers...they might well be glorified versions Of Mahela Jayawerdene and Samaraweera in home conditions.
 
I would replace them with the more rounded, known and tested Gavaskar , Boycott and Lara or one of the Chappell brothers
These guys played againt the best there was to offer, and succeeded, and in Bradman's case, became almost mythical.
Best that there was to offer ain't the criteria....... but the best amongst the all time best available.
I ave dropped ian and opened No.3 to lara, Richards , Greg chappell..
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Post by Stella Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:12 pm

Lara for Sachin, yes.
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Post by KP_fan Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:15 pm

Stella wrote:Lara for Sachin, yes.
i would second that....from No. 4 downwrads except for Akram all otehr positions are debatable and can easily be replaced from 1970-2010 era.

also Sid Barnes at 11 is from the same dinosaur era bashing one country and minnows
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Post by Biltong Wed 23 Oct 2013, 7:17 pm

Will have Steyn in any XI

His strike rate alone demands it.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 23 Oct 2013, 10:57 pm

Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
But replacing icons like Bradman with second (third?) raters, but great self-publicists, such as Ian Chappell is nonsensical.
 
But I digress from guildford's question about Sir Godfrey.
Surely judgement of wickie quality in every era is torn between glovemen and batsmen - even in the early/mid-fifties, when Evans ruled the world, or at least his part of it, there were 'keepers like Keith Andrew who received the "best keeper" back-handed compliment. (A bit like "best golfer without a major" debate we constantly waste time on on another board.)
 
But I would say that Alan Knott redefined wicket-keeping as sixties-era observers viewed his performances, for Kent and for England. He also caused the entire fielding ethos of England to be uplifted, made everyone better or at least strive to be better.
Plus, as guildford noted, he never let anyone down with the bat, quite the contrary - just not flamboyant, busy and bustling rather than stroke-maker supreme.
 
Knott the best ever in my book.


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Post by Mike Selig Thu 24 Oct 2013, 12:06 am

I don't really wish to get involved in comparing eras, because the arguments are well-worn and usually circular. Hoggy a while back summed-up the pros and cons of playing in Bradman's time vs today in what remains one of the best posts I have read on this forum.

The only thing I would say is that if it was easy or easier to average the kind of numbers Bradman or Barnes did in those days, then more people would have done so, or at least approached those numbers.

Yet averages remain consistent over most eras, in that the best batsmen average 50-55 and some fantastic batsmen 55-60. Nobody apart from Bradman has gotten anywhere close to an average of even 70, yet he averages another third on top of that. Similarly the best bowlers average in the 20-25 range, which is basically a quarter worse than Barnes.

Fairly sure Bradman played in South Africa also. And certainly travel in those days was a bit more of a hardship than hopping on a plane for a few hours.

As I say, there were pros and cons, and the argument is hypothetical at best. I therefore choose to rank players as per their relative performances to their peers (for those I haven't seen) which I believe is the only sensible way. In that regard, Bradman and Barnes are the first two names on the team-sheet.

Regarding Knott vs Taylor, I am somewhat sceptical, but then I haven't seen any footage of Taylor keep. I have on the other hand seen footage of Knott, and all I can say is that if Taylor was indeed better then he must have been one hell of a keeper...

I have a lot of sympathy for kwini's argument. Indeed I believe Chris Read was viewed as a better keeper than he actually was partly because he was obviously a better keeper than Jones but also partly because he was (at international level at least) a mediocre batsman at best. Whilst Read's keeping was (and still is) good-to-very good, I don't believe it was that far ahead of that of say Gilchrist. The converse is also probably true: Gilchrist's keeping was rarely given enough credit IMO; whilst he wasn't a genius along the lines of Knott, he worked himself into a very good international keeper who contributed to a lot of Shane Warne's victims.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 24 Oct 2013, 12:32 am

Agree with some of the other comments that Grace was probably selecteed because of his reputation as a legend of the early game rather than being one of the finest openers ever. I'd make a gase for any of Sutcliffe, Boycott, Barry Richards, Gavaskar and Greenidge (possibly even Hayden) ahead of W G.

Otherwise, a few marginal calls - Tendulkar and Viv could be replaced by e.g. Kallis and Lara without making a big difference to the strength of the side. However, if I am paying to watch, I'd certainly want Viv there to provide some entertainment.

SPin bowling is back to our perennial argument regarding Warne and Murali - the two finest spinners of the modern era. Murali statistically the better bowler, Warne the better all round cricketer. For simple reasons of style (that is, I loved watching the ease with which he could achieve the impossible), I'd always favour Warne, but it really is a close call.

Seam bowling options are even more difficult to separate. You could list about 10 and draw three from a lucky dip and end up with a trio you could argue merited selection. In defence of Wisden, Marshall's career stats stand out even in the company of his Windian fast bowling team mates* and Akram's ability to reverse the ball either way at pace was devastating (particularly at the death of one dayers). Barnes is the statistivcal freak of the bowlers, although as with Grace, his performances are so long ago that it is difficult to contextualise.

Keeper - well, Knott seems to be widely accepted as the best ever keeper-batsman and Gilchrist the finest batsman-keeper. Who offers more to this side? Well, with the batting of the top 6, and an 8-10 of Akram, Warne and Marshall (all competent lower middle order batsmen), I'd rather have the more reliable keeper than the extra 10-15 runs that Gilly would get.

*guildford raised the point earlier about Marshall now being viewed as the best of all the West Indian quicks, while at the time Holding was probably more highly regarded. I suspect this is in part that, while their careers in the Test team did overlap, Holding was at his peak as Marshall was coming in (and not setting the world on fire), but a few years later Marchall was THE man leading the attack in the transition from Holding and Garner to Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop. Also, Holding had one of the most pleasing run ups and actions of any outright fast bowler, while Marshall's could at best be described as effective - bowled almost off the wrong foot, very chest on but with an incredibly quick arm to generate the pace and incredible skill to be able to still get outswing and outseam movement with this action.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Oct 2013, 5:19 am

Hobbs
B Richards
Bradman
Pollock
IVA Richards
Sobers
Knott
Marshall
Warne
Akram
Lillee - with Holding very close on his heels

Whenever it comes to these threads the above or thereabouts tends to be what I end up with and can't say I often consider making amendments to it!

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Post by KP_fan Thu 24 Oct 2013, 8:30 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
.
 
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
a bunch of happy , "pressure-less" portly men chucking pies..bowling 100s of overs in a day with small run-ups  gentle speeds of 120 kph and if someone touched 130kph he became "dangerous" like Larwood and someone who could swing / seam / cut it at 125kph ended up with bowling average of 16.
 
a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong..... and a Super version of Jayawerdene averaging 99
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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 8:41 am

KP_fan wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
.
 
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
a bunch of happy , "pressure-less" portly men chucking pies..bowling 100s of overs in a day with small run-ups  gentle speeds of 120 kph and if someone touched 130kph he became "dangerous" like Larwood and someone who could swing / seam / cut it at 125kph ended up with bowling average of 16.
 
a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong..... and a Super version of Jayawerdene averaging 99
Bradman faced as much pressure as any cricketer in history, KP fan. The Austrlian public in the face of recession drew comfort from the fact he was a batting and sporting freak. Also, technology. Surely that works both ways.
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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 8:42 am

KP_fan wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
.
 
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
a bunch of happy , "pressure-less" portly men chucking pies..bowling 100s of overs in a day with small run-ups  gentle speeds of 120 kph and if someone touched 130kph he became "dangerous" like Larwood and someone who could swing / seam / cut it at 125kph ended up with bowling average of 16.
 
a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong..... and a Super version of Jayawerdene averaging 99
Why did nobody else average 99? Must have been easy back then.
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Post by KP_fan Thu 24 Oct 2013, 8:47 am

Stella wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
.
 
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
a bunch of happy , "pressure-less" portly men chucking pies..bowling 100s of overs in a day with small run-ups  gentle speeds of 120 kph and if someone touched 130kph he became "dangerous" like Larwood and someone who could swing / seam / cut it at 125kph ended up with bowling average of 16.
 
a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong..... and a Super version of Jayawerdene averaging 99
Why did nobody else average 99? Must have been easy back then.
Jaywerdene average 80 vs. Bangladesh and a super-Jayawerdene would average 99
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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 8:58 am

KP_fan wrote:
Stella wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
.
 
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
a bunch of happy , "pressure-less" portly men chucking pies..bowling 100s of overs in a day with small run-ups  gentle speeds of 120 kph and if someone touched 130kph he became "dangerous" like Larwood and someone who could swing / seam / cut it at 125kph ended up with bowling average of 16.
 
a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong..... and a Super version of Jayawerdene averaging 99
Why did nobody else average 99? Must have been easy back then.
Jaywerdene average 80 vs. Bangladesh and a super-Jayawerdene would average 99
But Bangladesh are crap. England were not.
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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Oct 2013, 9:15 am

dummy_half wrote:

*guildford raised the point earlier about Marshall now being viewed as the best of all the West Indian quicks, while at the time Holding was probably more highly regarded. I suspect this is in part that, while their careers in the Test team did overlap, Holding was at his peak as Marshall was coming in (and not setting the world on fire), but a few years later Marchall was THE man leading the attack in the transition from Holding and Garner to Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop. Also, Holding had one of the most pleasing run ups and actions of any outright fast bowler, while Marshall's could at best be described as effective - bowled almost off the wrong foot, very chest on but with an incredibly quick arm to generate the pace and incredible skill to be able to still get outswing and outseam movement with this action.
Dummy - those are perceptive comments in response to my earlier point, thanks. Radio and tv commentators at the time certainly praised Holding's run up to the heavens and I'm sure that has created a lasting impression for many of those around at the time.

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Post by KP_fan Thu 24 Oct 2013, 9:33 am

Stella wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
Stella wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
.
 
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
a bunch of happy , "pressure-less" portly men chucking pies..bowling 100s of overs in a day with small run-ups  gentle speeds of 120 kph and if someone touched 130kph he became "dangerous" like Larwood and someone who could swing / seam / cut it at 125kph ended up with bowling average of 16.
 
a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong..... and a Super version of Jayawerdene averaging 99
Why did nobody else average 99? Must have been easy back then.
Jaywerdene average 80 vs. Bangladesh and a super-Jayawerdene would average 99
But Bangladesh are crap. England were not.
Bangladesh are not crap.....there is a just a wide gap between BD and SL...anf that would recreate the early 1900s 2 team environment
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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 9:40 am

KP_fan wrote:
Stella wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
Stella wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Don't see much point in bashing the dinosaur era unless the criteria are redefined.
.
 
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
a bunch of happy , "pressure-less" portly men chucking pies..bowling 100s of overs in a day with small run-ups  gentle speeds of 120 kph and if someone touched 130kph he became "dangerous" like Larwood and someone who could swing / seam / cut it at 125kph ended up with bowling average of 16.
 
a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong..... and a Super version of Jayawerdene averaging 99
Why did nobody else average 99? Must have been easy back then.
Jaywerdene average 80 vs. Bangladesh and a super-Jayawerdene would average 99
But Bangladesh are crap. England were not.
Bangladesh are not crap.....there is a just a wide gap between BD and SL...anf that would recreate the early 1900s 2 team environment
Bangladesh are pretty useless though, wheras England and Australia were the two best teams back ten, with South Africa, West Indies, and India making up the numbers/ So, your analogy doesn't make sense. If a player comes around now, and averages 99 over 50 odd tests against the best teams, then he will be compared to Bradman, but not a player who averages the same against a weak opposition like Bangladesh.
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Post by KP_fan Thu 24 Oct 2013, 9:58 am

stella wrote: Bangladesh are pretty useless though, wheras England and Australia were the two best teams back ten, with South Africa, West Indies, and India making up the numbers/ So, your analogy doesn't make sense. If a player comes around now, and averages 99 over 50 odd tests against the best teams, then he will be compared to Bradman, but not a player who averages the same against a weak opposition like Bangladesh.

 

a modern day equivalent would be a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong.....
if there is only BD and SL today and uae, afganistan and HK.......then SL and BD would be the two strongest teams.

and Jayawerdene a mini Bradman...or conversely Bradman a super jayawerdene
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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:02 am

KP_fan wrote:
stella wrote:  Bangladesh are pretty useless though, wheras England and Australia were the two best teams back ten, with South Africa, West Indies, and India making up the numbers/ So, your analogy doesn't make sense. If a player comes around now, and averages 99 over 50 odd tests against the best teams, then he will be compared to Bradman, but not a player who averages the same against a weak opposition like Bangladesh.

  

a modern day equivalent would be  a cricketing world comprising of Bangladesh and Lanka only playing each other in Colombo and Dhaka only...with a few series ever 4th year vs  Afganistan/ UAE/ Hongkong.....
if there is only BD and SL today and uae, afganistan and HK.......then SL and BD would be the two strongest teams.

and Jayawerdene a  mini Bradman...or conversely Bradman a super jayawerdene
But your're making things up, as there isn't only Bangladesh and Sri- lanka. That's my point. Bradman took on and pulverised the best throughout his career. Nobody has done it since.
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Post by Mike Selig Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:06 am

KP_fan wrote:
Bashing....where is bashing......just reminding everyone....two teams...a few minnows.... one team dominant largely....not much travel beyond the known 2 country climes, no technology, or razzmataz of 3 formats, no pressures from media...most importantly never faced mystery and congenitally diabolical spinners on subcontinent crumblers and mine--fields.
 
On the other hand, he played far fewer matches against the minnows than current test cricketers - Bradman averaged something ridiculously high against South Africa, imagine if he'd played against them as often as Murali bowled against Zimbabwe?

Moreover players those days had to deal with uncovered pitches, had little or no protective equipment, their bats were essentially just a piece of wood, the boundaries were bigger, the outfields usually less well tendered, they didn't have the video analysis available to dissect bowlers. When they went on tour, they had to deal with the after-effects of weeks on a boat, without any of the sort of comforts enjoyed by today's players, or indeed the medical knowledge to speed up recovery. Often they took on these tours at great expense to themselves personally. Let's not forget these players were amateurs (in the literal sense of the word) - they had to organise any training they did around their jobs, with all the constraints that this implies (and it is easier to practice on your own as a bowler than as a batsman); indeed even as late as the 60s it is well accepted that Neil Harvey lost out on the chance to become Australia test captain because he had to move state to find a job, and the state he moved to already had a captain, a certain Richie Benaud...

As I said in my original post, pros and cons to every era. However across all eras, batsmen have averaged 50-55 if they were great, and 55-60 if they were exceptional. Apart from one.

EDIT: I got things mixed up. It was of course Harvey who moved for professional reasons and missed out on the chance to become Australia captain when Benaud replaced Hassett. The rest of the post stands.


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Post by Mike Selig Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:11 am

Stella wrote:
Bangladesh are pretty useless though, wheras England and Australia were the two best teams back ten, with South Africa, West Indies, and India making up the numbers/
Whilst I have sympathy with the argument, it is a bit dangerous to assert this. It is well documented that Argentina were very very strong at the start of the 20th century, and the USA at the end of the 19th. How these sides were in the 30s and 40s is not known, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they were still stronger at least than South Africa and India.

Anyway slightly off topic...

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Post by dummy_half Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:15 am

KP
There are plenty of batsmen who have high averages against Bangladesh, but none of Bradman's contemporaries got close to his performance level.

Perhaps worth noting that the Don 'only' averaged 89.7 in his 37 matches against England (and 110 in Shield cricket, when playing against the best his home country could offer), so his performances agaisnt the best available oppopsition are still extraordinary. He also averaged over 200 against South Africa (admittedly in only 5 matches and bolstered by a 299 not out), who were probably the next best opposition.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:41 am

king_carlos wrote:Hobbs
B Richards
Bradman
Pollock
IVA Richards
Sobers
Knott
Marshall
Warne
Akram
Lillee - with Holding very close on his heels

Whenever it comes to these threads the above or thereabouts tends to be what I end up with and can't say I often consider making amendments to it!
I like this team a lot. Particularly pleased to see the inclusion of Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock.

My main uncertainty would surround the seam bowlers. Not that Marshall, Akram and Lillee / Holding weren't great - they all were. Simply that there are several other great options in this category to consider, as Dummy particularly flagged. Due to his statistical supremacy, one of the King's choices would lose out to Barnes if I were picking. From an even earlier era, some (and I suspect Shelsey well might!) may wish to also consider George Lohmann.

Whilst he would lose out to Sobers for a place in my eleven, I would be keen to have Keith Miller in my squad. At the least, he deserves a respectful nod on this thread.

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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:44 am

Barry Richards?

This is a 'test' XI and whilst he would have probably scored loads, we will never know.
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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:54 am

Stella wrote:Barry Richards?

This is a 'test' XI and whilst he would have probably scored loads, we will never know.
Was waiting for that. I understand the argument but it's been done to the death. It's a personal choice and I have my reasons as previously documented. I would just emphasise that I have never met anyone who saw Richards bat and argues against his inclusion in this sort of side.

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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:05 am

guildfordbat wrote:
Stella wrote:Barry Richards?

This is a 'test' XI and whilst he would have probably scored loads, we will never know.
Was waiting for that. I understand the argument but it's been done to the death. It's a personal choice and I have my reasons as previously documented. I would just emphasise that I have never met anyone who saw Richards bat and argues against his inclusion in this sort of side.
Not knocking your choice, guildford, sorry if it came across like that.
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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:18 am

No problem, Stella. I appreciate it's not a universal choice and, indeed, not supported by Wisden now. However, he remains the best opener I have ever seen in almost half a century of watching our game. By my rules (which apply exclusively to me!), that's good enough.

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Post by Mike Selig Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:22 am

I would probably have Barry Richards in or close to any "best XI" going TBH.

The thing which interests me in these kind of threads is the near unanimity for his namesake Viv Richards's inclusion. Whilst nobody would doubt his quality and flair, his stats, whilst very very good, are matched and indeed bettered by a number of other middle-order players over the years.

If you agree (as most sensible people will) that Bradman is a shoe-in at 3, and Sobers for the all-rounder spot at 6 (were he not an all-rounder, Sobers would surely be challenging for a middle-order spot as well) this leaves 2 more batting places in the middle-order at 4 and 5. Given the plethora of suitable candidates, it strikes me as a bit strange that Richards is such a unanimous inclusion. Conversely I am somewhat surprised with the rarity with which someone like Ken Barrington or Jaques Kallis are mentioned. Just goes to show that style does matter.

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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:38 am

Mike Selig wrote:I would probably have Barry Richards in or close to any "best XI" going TBH.

The thing which interests me in these kind of threads is the near unanimity for his namesake Viv Richards's inclusion. Whilst nobody would doubt his quality and flair, his stats, whilst very very good, are matched and indeed bettered by a number of other middle-order players over the years.

If you agree (as most sensible people will) that Bradman is a shoe-in at 3, and Sobers for the all-rounder spot at 6 (were he not an all-rounder, Sobers would surely be challenging for a middle-order spot as well) this leaves 2 more batting places in the middle-order at 4 and 5. Given the plethora of suitable candidates, it strikes me as a bit strange that Richards is such a unanimous inclusion. Conversely I am somewhat surprised with the rarity with which someone like Ken Barrington or Jaques Kallis are mentioned. Just goes to show that style does matter.
Mike

I agree with regards to Richards. Sachin and Lara to name two, were arguably better players.
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Post by msp83 Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:46 am

While Bradman was superb against the best of his era. I don't think Barry Richards has a case like that. He did well in the limited opportunities he got in the test side, and did well in first class cricket in England and South Africa. But he hasn't proved himself against the best of his era as he hasn't really proved himself in spinning conditions. He might have done it, or he may have remained a Ricky Ponting like figure in India with a mediocre under 30 average. And it is not that we don't have openers of proven world class in that era. Sunil Gavaskar to start with, and then there is Geoff Boycott. I don't think there is a strong case to suggest that the unproven Richards should be placed a level above the other 2 proven masters, particularly Gavaskar, who had a more rounded game than that of Geoffrey.


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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:51 am

Mike - we really need the Corporal in on this but I feel that Barrington was at his very best when things for the team were going badly. (Very similar reasons apply to my admiration for a certain West Indian batsman of the 1980s whom I've done well - if I say so myself - not to directly mention yet!).

Having a team of ''all time great'' batsmen who as a bunch can be pretty much relied upon to deliver consistently and continually rather negates the need to include someone who you most need when you are in the soup.

We tend to regard ''great'' as approximating to very likely to win in style. That's probably fair enough and explains a lot of the thinking behind the ''all time great'' teams being suggested now. However, if I had to pick a team ''guaranteed as near as possible not to lose'' my batsmen, in particular, would be very different with Barrington definitely coming to the fore.

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Post by Stella Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:56 am

Hilary, guildford? Very Happy 
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Post by guildfordbat Thu 24 Oct 2013, 12:02 pm

Stella wrote:Hilary, guildford? Very Happy 
I didn't say it, Stella, but now you come to mention it ....

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 24 Oct 2013, 12:12 pm

can't quibble too much with Wisden's choices. I do feel it's a little Anglo-centric (four Englishmen may be one too many) but you can make a strong case for every player picked.

Nearly all best Test XIs will look something like this:
Hobbs
Gavaskar/Grace/Barry Richards
Bradman
two of Tendular, Richards, Lara, Chappell, Barrington, etc. (too many to mention).
Sobers
Knott/Gilchrist
Warne/Murali
three other bowlers (too many to mention again)

Mike raises an interesting point about how unanimous Viv Richards seems to be. I actually don't always have him in my XI, though I nearly almost have Tendulkar.

Barry Richards is always a tough one to debate here, due to very limited sample size. However, anyone who's seen him bat will say they have very little doubt he'd have been a hugely successful player. For sheer pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyHvFArouAM

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Thu 24 Oct 2013, 12:13 pm

Mike Selig wrote:I would probably have Barry Richards in or close to any "best XI" going TBH.

The thing which interests me in these kind of threads is the near unanimity for his namesake Viv Richards's inclusion. Whilst nobody would doubt his quality and flair, his stats, whilst very very good, are matched and indeed bettered by a number of other middle-order players over the years.

If you agree (as most sensible people will) that Bradman is a shoe-in at 3, and Sobers for the all-rounder spot at 6 (were he not an all-rounder, Sobers would surely be challenging for a middle-order spot as well) this leaves 2 more batting places in the middle-order at 4 and 5. Given the plethora of suitable candidates, it strikes me as a bit strange that Richards is such a unanimous inclusion. Conversely I am somewhat surprised with the rarity with which someone like Ken Barrington or Jaques Kallis are mentioned. Just goes to show that style does matter.
While I'm a great fan of Richards I do agree that there are a number of middle-order players who could compete with him for a slot in this team. Hammond, Pollock, Headley, Barrington, Greg Chappell, Weekes. Even the likes of Allen Border or Steve Waugh if you wanted a bit more grit. What I do think Viv had above most of these players however, was an ability to dominate bowlers, not just through a wide range of attacking shots, but also through the force of his personality. I think it's that, his swagger, his confidence bordering on arrogance, that makes him stand out from the majority of his competitors, and which makes him on of the first choices for teams such as this in the minds of a lot of people.

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