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I don't like cricket

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I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:14 pm

I love it, as 10cc once sang.
Anyway, with England playing their 2nd tour match (well, they managed play on day one at least) and the next Ashes series only a couple of weeks from starting, I thought it might be apt to discuss who people's favourite all-time players were. This was inspired by Wisden's recent announcement of their all-time Test XI, to mark their 50th anniversary. Their dream team is as follows:

Wisden World XI

1. Jack Hobbs (England, 1908-1930)
61 Tests, 5,410 runs at 56.94

2. WG Grace (England, 1880-1899)
22 Tests, 1,098 runs at 32.29

3. Donald Bradman (Australia, 1928-1948 - captain)
52 Tests, 6,996 runs at 99.94

4. Sachin Tendulkar (India, 1989-2013)
198 Tests, 15,837 runs at 53.86

5. Viv Richards (West Indies, 1974-1991)
121 Tests, 8,540 runs at 50.23

6. Garry Sobers (West Indies, 1954-1974)
93 Tests, 8,032 runs at 57.78, 235 wickets at 34.03

7. Alan Knott (England, 1967-1981 - wicketkeeper)
95 Tests, 4,389 runs at 32.75, 250 catches, 19 stumpings

8. Wasim Akram (Pakistan, 1985-2002)
104 Tests, 414 wickets at 23.62

9. Shane Warne (Australia, 1992-2007)
145 Tests, 708 wickets at 25.41

10. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies, 1978-1991)
81 Tests, 376 wickets at 20.94

11. Sydney Barnes (England, 1901-14)
27 Tests, 189 wickets at 16.43
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Bellatori on Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Hi Dan... I found this list incomprehensible. WG Grace is a figure from history but as an opener was he that good... no probably not. Alan Knott was a good keeper but again not the best. You have to have Bradman but as Captain. I might be tempted to find room for Alan Border or Ricky Ponting for that. Where is Brian Lara and Sunil Gavaskar. Geoff Boycott was hammered by the West Indies quicks, went away, rethought his technique and came back stronger... even he would be a better choice than Grace.

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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Bellatori on Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:52 pm

One of my favourite songs about my favourite game. I used to coach at a public school for 5 years. Best time of my sporting life. As a babe my mother used to put Test Match Special on the radio and have the cricket on the TV on silent whilst she did the washing and ironing... Happy days Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy 

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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:23 pm

Not a word about Wally Hammond. I've seen his name emblazoned on a pre-war cricket bat in an auction sale!
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:50 pm

Almost impossible to pick.

 Had Jeff Thomson not had a bad shoulder injury relatively early in his career he would have remained unplayable on his day as a fast bowler. And fancy facing Michael Holding while not wearing a helmet? Or Andy Roberts? Or Dennis Lillee? Or Joel Garner? Or... yeah, it is impossible...
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:52 pm

Bellatori wrote:Hi Dan... I found this list incomprehensible. WG Grace is a figure from history but as an opener was he that good... no probably not. Alan Knott was a good keeper but again not the best. You have to have Bradman but as Captain. I might be tempted to find room for Alan Border or Ricky Ponting for that. Where is Brian Lara and Sunil Gavaskar. Geoff Boycott was hammered by the West Indies quicks, went away, rethought his technique and came back stronger... even he would be a better choice than Grace.
Hi mate. I think W G Grace was in for a good reason. It's Wisden's 150th anniversary and the team covers that whole period. Grace was without doubt the pre-eminent figure in cricket in the 19th century. While his record at test level and his overall batting averages are not impressive to modern eyes they need to be put against the context of the era and in particular the dodgy pitches. He basically invented modern batting. Before him people played forward or back, but not both. They were attacking or defensive but not both. He took the game forward in technical terms like no one before or since. And although Grace was an all-rounder he opened the batting too, so that's why they have him doing that. I think you could make the case for lots of opening batsmen from Gavaskar (who you mention) to Herbert Sutcliffe, Len Hutton and many others. I think Hobbs is probably fair enough though, as is Grace, for the reasons I've given.
Alan Knott is perhaps more contentious. They seem to have picked him on the basis of his being the best technically in terms of keeping. Personally I find it hard to look beyond Gilchrist. His batting was superb, even if it declined a bit in later years. He was also great behind the stumps and keeping wicket to Shane Warne could have been no easy matter. Another one who was one of the first true keeper/batsmen and who seems to have been almost forgotten about in recent years in Dujon who played in the great WIndies side of the 80s. He even opened the batting on one tour of England when one of the openers was injured (Haynes I think). Which reminds me, Greenidge and Haynes weren't too shabby either.
As for Bradman being captain, he did captain the 'Invincibles' in 1948 who went unbeaten all tour but a few of his team mates didn't get on with him down the years. Jack Fingleton being one (in)famous example. His place in the side is obviously assured though. When you pick sides like this both him and Gary Sobers seem to be the only two players just about everyone agrees on.
Regarding the rest of the side, I was delighted to see Malcolm Marshall in there. Ritchie Benaud did his best all-time XI a while ago and it didn't include a single West Indian quick bowler. Marshall is probably the pick of that lot for me because he could get results on almost any type of wicket. He was a good batsman too. I remember one season where his form was such that he was promoted to bat at 5 for Hampshire. It's great to see Sir Viv in there too. When I was young I always admired him the most out of all the batsmen I saw. David Gower was another favourite of mine but Richards was on a different level. He never batted with his average in mind and always looked to dominate the opposition bowling. He'd probably be a better shout for captain out of those picked.
Lara is one who is slightly underrated I feel. I always preferred watching him to Tendulkar. I know people say that the latter had the pressure of carrying a nation's hopes but Lara often had to carry the team in a period that was hardly vintage for West Indian cricket. He played to the situation too unlike Tendulkar who almost always batted the same way no matter what in tests. You knew he could play differently as well because he was superb opening the batting for the India one day side.
Finally I think I would take slight issue with Wasim Akram too and have Imran Khan in instead. I presume they picked Wasim because he's a left-handed bowler. He could certainly make the ball talk and he could bat too but Imran was a genius. He played in that era when you had him, Hadlee, Botham and Kapil Dev and he was probably the best of the lot. Botham was unbelievably good early in his career but he didn't look after himself and gradually declined from the early 80s onwards. Imran just got better and better though. I remember reading that in his last 10 years as a test cricketer he averaged around 50 with the bat and something like 17 with the ball!
Anyway, I just hoped this would generate a bit of debate and give an opportunity to talk about who were our favourite players.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Penderyn on Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:05 pm

This is all watcher's stuff - if imaginative. Anyone who has, like me, had to field on the boundary for a long, long, hot afternoon knows it is the biggest waste of time there is. other than commemorating thatcher! Oh God, the boredom of it!
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:00 pm

My Dad's in Brisbane for the whole of the first test, the lucky git. I'm starting to get excited now. I still struggle to get my head round the idea of England being favourites though.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:30 pm

The pendulum will swing and Australia will regain those Ashes...
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:14 pm

I sincerely hope you're wrong there, Phil. It was a good start for England though I thought. Obviously we need to see how quickly Australia can be bowled out tomorrow and then how much England can get. If Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson can find their rhythm though 300 might not be that easy to overhaul, even on flat wicket. Australia's top order looked very dodgy again though.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:46 pm

There won't be much between the sides, Dan, but it is just time for the Aussies to have the rub of the green. They didn't get the key decisions in England last Summer , but the chances are that they will this time round.

Trust me - I have a feel for these things...!
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:51 am

Well, Phil: I hope you're proud of yourself Wink
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:15 pm

There is no pride to be had in simply recognising the inevitable... Sad
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:21 pm

We shouldn't play Australia. Challenge Luxembourg or somebody.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:39 am

It's never particularly pleasant losing the Ashes but that was good for cricket for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Australia played an attacking brand of cricket that was far better to watch than the so-called 'attritional' way in which England have played under Cook / Flower in recent times (boring is a more apt way of describing it) and secondly because, in Mitchell Johnson, it has been shown that there is still a place in test cricket for a genuine fast bowler. Delighted to see Stokes get a well deserved century too.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:13 am

I am not sure the difference the consistent winning of the toss assisted those Aussies. It might have been a little closer if we had enjoyed the opportunity to bat first - but who knows?

Ultimately we were just not good enough in the first three games and can but hope for better performances in the final two games. It has the hallmarks of the 1974/75 tour when we were stuffed well and truly - until Jeff Thomson ( now there was a FAST bowler!) was injured and Lillee had to shoulder the entire burden.

The pendulum always swings in sport. Whoever thought , for example,  that the West Indies would ever play second fiddle to anyone or struggle to find a genuine and effective 'quickie'...?
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:31 am

I think the winning of the toss helped them but I don't think it would have affected the results too much if it had been the other way round. Just hoping we can salvage a bit of pride now. 5-nowt looks well and truly on the cards though.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:33 am

Hard to disagree, although I just have a feeling we will come good at least once - as in 74/75 when Mike Denness ( another captain under pressure at the time) made big runs in a later game when the series had been lost.

It'll be interesting to see just what the performances next Summer at home will look like against 'easier' opposition.. like India...    Shocked .
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:44 am

Aussie Skipper Clarke Sympathises with Cook


" Bad luck, Alastair, old boy - I am sure your luck will change very soon..."    ( possibly misheard)   Shocked 
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:09 pm

England need to ring a few changes. I know that's a cliche but it's true. I'm not saying the likes of Matt Prior should be discarded permanently but he needs a break from the team and, if they really fancy Bairstow as his long term replacement, if the perfect time to bring the Yorkshireman in. I think the same applies to Swann too. I would possibly have rested Anderson for the last two tests as well but it looks like Broad will struggle to play in at least one of them. Having said all that, it's the batting side of things that's been the real issue for a while now.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Ivan on Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:34 pm

I also love cricket, staying up late to hear some of the first two Test Matches and getting up early to hear some of the third. I don’t see much of it though, because I won’t get Sky Sports and give money to Rupert Murdoch.  No 

I don’t think Cook has enough imagination and intuition to be a good captain, but it didn’t seem to matter when we were winning. I also think that batting at number three is the most difficult position (you can have to bat second ball or when the score is 200-1), and in my opinion Cook, as a far more experienced player, should have taken that position when Trott went home.

The Ashes are lost, and although we don’t want to lose 5-0, I think it’s time to rest Anderson and Swann (who are ineffective in Australia anyway) and maybe boot Pietersen and Prior.

Broad’s injury shows how dangerous it can be to field just four bowlers, I think there should always be five. I exchanged tweets with Jonathan Agnew on Sunday and we agreed that Bairstow should take over as wicketkeeper and bat at number six – but that was before Stokes hit his century!

My team for the 4th Test would be: Carberry, Root, Cook, Bell, Ballance, Stokes, Bairstow, Bresnan, Broad, Finn, Panesar. If Finn proves to be expensive again, at least there are four other bowlers!

This article on why we lost the series might be of interest:-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/25405029

I just hope that Phil Hornby’s political predictions aren’t as spot on as his cricketing ones!  afraid
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:44 pm

Good post, Ivan and I agree with all of that.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:39 pm

I understand all the emotions on display. However, although Prior may need a rest, he should not be discarded permanently just yet. Pietersen is a different matter. I am not sure we can keep waiting for his brilliance to emerge so inconsistently. Jimmy Anderson may still have a part to play in English conditions, but has probably made his last Aussie tour.

We revere Australians too much and are too ready to admire their toughness - all of this makes us more likely to fall prey to their aggression on the pitch. If we see how much they are crowing right now, it points to the relief they actually feel - but they conceal their lack of certainty or confidence better than the Brits.

We need to get a bit 'nastier' as a nation - and that includes taking every opportunity to insult those who annoy us - like Tory politicians. I do my best, honest...
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:01 am

Prior's only 31 I think. Like I said, I'm advocating a break. I think KP may well retire from international cricket and take the T/20 money. I think that might have happened in the summer if the Ashes weren't back-to-back. I wouldn't blame him either, he's played about 100 test and loads of ODIs / international T/20s. I think I would probably drop him in any case though. Some of his shots have shown he's more bothered about winning personal battles to boost his own ego as opposed to fighting for the team.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:50 pm

The Ashes - thank goodness it's over!  We didn't even show up for ONE Test as I felt we might. Total and utter defeat - it can't get any worse right now, although the flat line may be around for some time...
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Ivan on Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:30 pm

Mrs Windsor is preparing to welcome home the England cricket team:-


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BdMndBfCQAAt-Ix.jpg

Seriously, this chap Flower is no better at coaching our cricketers than he was at managing the Co-op bank.  scratch
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:38 am

At least we've found a new all-rounder anyway Laughing
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:16 pm

On reflection, the single most significant factor in the Ashes debacle was the return to form of Mitchell Johnson. England simply could not cope with him and that pervaded all else that went so wrong.

Where did Johnson find this form? - he wasn't even fit to be in the team not so long ago and was spraying the ball everywhere.

Having said that, there were many other contributory failings in England's fragile batting and they could not build on early bowling successes in at least two of the Tests . Winning only one toss  - once the Ashes were  already lost- didn't help. But, overall , there can only be one verdict : we were just not good enough and the Aussies will always smell a lack of confidence and fear.

We shall return...!


(PS - Dan - good to see a tribute to Eusebio on your posts. Some player- with a cannonball shot. Not the very greatest, but not far off...RIP...)
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:18 pm

This was my favourite moment of the series by the way:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/cricket/video-watch-piers-morgan-face-2963358
Wink
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:08 pm

Sir Les on the England Women's Test Victory...



" Crumbs, mate -  and grab me googlies : those English Sheilas have only gone and beaten our Aussie Batting Beauties! Mind you, I always said that I wouldn't mind a 'Glance to Leg' and seeing what they could do 'Down Under' with a quick 'Full Toss'..."
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:46 am

The whole handling of the Finn situation seems a bit weird and it makes the decision to not take Onions, or at least draft him in, even more weird. Although, as a Durham fan, at least we might have some of the county's best players not being nicked by the national team this summer. That said, I think Onions will probably get a call up. Hopefully Borthwick will get more time bowling for Durham though as it's a bit early for him to step up to test cricket I think. He's also one of Durham's best batsmen.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:32 am

Is it the case that Onions is best suited to English conditions where the ball swings at its best?

He doesn't seem to have anything in the realms of express pace , but clearly he is a tricky customer for even the most accomplished of batsmen.

He also reminds me( inc. his bowling action) of a similar bowler in the past - but I can't bring the other chap's name to mind. Any suggestions, Dan...?
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:00 am

Phil Hornby wrote:Is it the case that Onions is best suited to English conditions where the ball swings at its best?

He doesn't seem to have anything in the realms of express pace , but clearly he is a tricky customer for even the most accomplished of batsmen.

He also reminds me( inc. his bowling action) of a similar bowler in the past - but I can't bring the other chap's name to mind. Any suggestions, Dan...?
I think you're spot on about Onions, Phil. In that he would be / is better suited to English conditions.
However, from the selections that took place on the tour Down Under it was clear that Flowers and the other selectors wanted someone they could rely upon to bowl line and length. I know they took 3 big, tall pace bowlers in Finn, Tremlett and Rankin. In reality, only Finn possesses the ability to bowl at pace now (his shot confidence notwithstanding). I think I could bowl faster than Rankin (not really, but you take my point). Tremlett has lost so much pace he's barely recognisable and will almost certainly never play test cricket again. I think Finn has suffered because, instead of being told to bowl at pace in short bursts - which would suit him I feel, they have attempted to turn him into another Glenn McGrath. McGrath became the bowler he did because he couldn't bowl at pace. Flowers is a conservative coach (and Cook a captain in the same mould) so Onions would have been able to provide the role which they were looking for in the third seamer. Even the Aussie quicks (Johnson aside) basically bowled a very well disciplined line and length at fast-medium during the last Ashes. Onions is probably pleased he wasn't picked though Laughing
As for the bowler from the past, Neil Foster perhaps?
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:10 pm

Wouldn't want to argue with any of that, Dan. Especially perceptive on the McGrath issue! If only Finn could have been coached into emulating him ( while not hitting the stumps at the bowling end, of course!).

Good call on Foster, although I can see something of yesteryear's Aussie Graham McKenzie in the long strides to the wicket, although Onions is not so 'side-on' as he delivers as was 'Garth'.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:14 pm

I think Finn should be allowed to bowl as quick as he can in short, sharp bursts in much the same as Johnson was used by the Aussies. Hopefully the emergence of Ben Stokes as a reliable all-rounder / first change seamer will allow for a more explosive bowler like Finn to play his natural game and not have to worry to much about bowling tight spells. As the third seamer Finn was a bit too constrained. He's only young though and should hopefully come back mentally and physically better prepared.
Graham McKenzie is a bit before my time. I only really started watching cricket in the early 80s.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:08 pm

What does everyone think of the KP situation?
I can't help thinking he's a bound to be a dick (he is good mates with Piers Morgan) but the situation seems to have been handled badly. I know he batted recklessly in Australia at times but I think that was perhaps a combination of the rest of the team not doing it and his being isolated from the 'think tank', which is a bit odd given what an important player he is (was) and also his being one of the most senior players in the team (possibly the most capped, come to think of it). As Tom Fordyce pointing out on the BBC's site, Pietersen is 33 and England batting coach Graham Gooch scored 14 of his test centuries after his 33rd birthday. It seems like he's been made the scapegoat to me but I think getting rid is far from the panacea Cook and co. hope it will be. I think it means Giles will get the job of looking after all three formats for England too, given it seems odd that a new coach would be appointed after being told that Pietersen couldn't play for him (even though the player would probably be up for it). Giles strikes me as another boring 'yes' man (as does Cook). Time will tell but I'll definitely miss watching him play for England. I was lucky enough to catch one of his international centuries (in an ODI against New Zealand at Durham's ground).
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Ivan on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:18 pm

Dan Fante. You wrote this a few weeks ago:-
 
I think KP may well retire from international cricket and take the T/20 money……I think I would probably drop him in any case though. Some of his shots have shown he's more bothered about winning personal battles to boost his own ego as opposed to fighting for the team.
Are you saying something slightly different now?  scratch 
 
I don’t like Kevin Pietersen as a person, but that’s neither here nor there. He objected to the quota system, which was used by South Africa to encourage non-white cricketers to aim to play for their country. It no doubt weakened the team for a while, but it was well intentioned and probably effective in the long run, as evidenced by the emergence of players such as Hashim Amla.
 
England made Pietersen captain, but that only lasted for five months and three Test Matches. He demanded the removal of the coach, Peter Moores, and got himself sacked as captain in the process. In 2012, he was dropped from the England team after sending text messages about his team-mates to the opposing side. Maybe that should have been the end of his Test career, but he was brought back after he apologised.
 
Flower clearly couldn’t handle Pietersen, but he’s gone, so who is behind this latest development? Cook maybe? He’s a dull and unimaginative captain. As you’ve speculated, Giles could have had the nod that he’s going to be the manager and he doesn’t think he can handle Pietersen either. But isn’t it the job of management to learn to manage everyone in the team, and harness their talents? Pietersen on form is an exciting player to watch, and what some people in the ECB hierarchy seem to be forgetting is that cricket needs to pull in crowds to survive.
 
The recent tour of Australia has been an unmitigated disaster, and the buck stops with Flower, he had to go. Cook should stand aside as captain, somebody less mediocre than Giles or Downton should become manager, and that person should at least have tried, one last time, to get the best out of Pietersen. He’s a difficult bugger (Dominic Cork described him as “England's most destructive player on and off the pitch”), but he’s also great entertainment. Which is what cricket is meant to be, and nobody should lose sight of that.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:53 am

The classic dilemma : do you entertain a 'maverick' who simultaneously can undermine the team spirit and harmony, and yet produce great displays which benefit that same team?
 
Many of us will have been faced with the same problem in a professional /work situation.   My own experience is that, while that maverick can be managed and accommodated, so far as your personal interaction with them is concerned, it is much more difficult to manage them in terms of what other team members have to 'suffer'. In other words, you may be happy to 'ride the waves' but others may find it far more unpalatable. To me, the team is always more important than the individual in such situations.
 
I don't care if Pietersen stays, but he'll always attract attention -too often for the wrong reasons...
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:22 pm

Ivan wrote:
Are you saying something slightly different now?  scratch 
 
Yes. I've explained why in the rest of my post. It's a tough one to call though, admittedly.
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Re: I don't like cricket

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:36 pm

Kevin Pietersen: the man who fell to earth
 
Extracts from an article by Ed Smith:-
 
“The furore over Pietersen’s treatment opened up the fault lines that run through English sport. This final sacking has morphed into a referendum on the establishment. To his critics, Pietersen is a man who eventually falls out with everyone, a non-team player, unreliable at a far deeper level than his performance on the pitch. In finally reaching this position, the ECB joins a long list of employers and institutions that ultimately could no longer find a home for him.

Pietersen’s allies rail against the English suspicion of mavericks and flair, the triumph of company men, the complacent persecution of a misunderstood outsider, the hint of tall-poppy syndrome. Pietersen has found supporters in unusual places, people who might not warm to him personally but hold an even greater grudge against the establishment.”

 
For the whole article:-
http://www.newstatesman.com/2014/02/man-who-fell-earth-kevin-pietersen
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Re: I don't like cricket

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