No, I didn't. I've only "liked" Jones since last summer. Before then he was decidedly average (and who knows - he might become so again). Clearly, though, since 2001\02 (the first time his unusual ability with reverse-swing was revealed) it's been clear to most people that he had potential.Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad
I changed tack on Flintoff the moment he started bowling well, you may notice.
I certainly haven't "rubbished everyone" - see, for a recent example, Munaf Patel. I said immidiately that he bowled well on his Test debut, and I thought he looked likely to pretty much from his opening spell.
And don't get into "oh, he's got a good First-Class average - you're bound to like him" - yes, that's not something I've denied. I don't think someone who has a poor First-Class average is remotely likely to be a good Test player. And it's no coincidence that when players are brought in with poor First-Class records, they usually do poorly.
With Clarke, as another example, you'll notice I quietly pointed-out his 398-for-once-out, thereby hinting that I wondered whether he might, just maybe, have turned some corner or other.
First-Class records aren't as simple as just a whole career - any more than Tests are.
Generally, if someone comes into Test cricket and does poorly, I'll rubbish them. I rarely, if ever, though, say "he doesn't have potential", because that's a very dangerous thing indeed to say. It's so easy to be wrong if you say that.
I do, of course, say things like "fingerspinners will never be successful in Australia" and if any of Hauritz, Doherty, Cullen, whoever do that much I'll fully admit to being wrong on that score but... funny thing... I can't remember the last time Australia had a fingerspinner who amounted to much.
I've also said that quality wristspinners are rare, and as such I don't rate MacGill too highly and I don't think it's too likely that players like Bailey and Casson are going to do too much.
Australia, in the entire 20th (and very early 21st) century have had 4 - no more - great wristspinners. They've had a few average ones (Mailey, MacGill, Holland, Hohns, O'Keeffe, etc.) and doubtless plenty of others who've come nowhere near Test standard.
How many batsmen or seamers have I said "he'll never be successful in Test cricket" or even come close to saying it?