Originally Posted by Top_Cat
Again, his numbers are misleading and I'm gathering by what you're saying you didn't see him bat in either 1998 or 2001. Not talking about his dead rubber Tests but the ones where he got a full series. Not once did his batting contribute to a win but, on many occasions, he did the exact opposite and was a large contributor to letting the Aussies back into the match.
Call it a bias but I'm no fan of a player who seems so unwilling to bat for the team, preferring instead of bat the same way no matter the match situation. It's a huge knock, for mine. The problem with that attitude is that it's essentially saying to the guy at the other end "It's up to you to win the game, I'm just going to bat how I bat." if he was scoring big, that'd be one thing but he faffed about so many times for 100+ balls, essentially doing very little to contribute to a win. When a bloke is just sitting on his bat handle, the obvious tactic is to contain him and lay the pressure on the other guy knowing he'll crack eventually. And that's exactly what the Aussies did. That he managed to keep his numbers above 40 says more about how good a player he wasn't than how good he was, in my view.
I've seen every England game since 1994.
He wasn't the only batsman to not take the initiative against the Aussie bowlers. It's harsh to slam just him.
Also, you don't know that his role in the England team wasn't decided by the England captain & coach. A number of batsmen aren't able to adapt to situations and a number of GREAT batsmen played the same way regardless of the match situation.
Again, I wouldn't have him in my Ashes XI, just saying that in terms of talent he wasn't bad.
All-Time Test XI:
Gavaskar, Boycott, Tendulkar, G.Pollock, V.Richards, Sobers, Gilchrist (wk), Warne (c), Waqar/Wasim, Lillee, Ambrose.