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Thread: Best Ashes Teams

  1. #46
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Depends on whether you're picking a side with the best numbers or one that'll win.
    Best numbers = best chance of winning. Simple as that.

    A batsman who averages 23 and has a positive mindset <<<<< one who averages 49 with a negative mindset.

    To be of any use, a specialist batsman must score runs. If he doesn't, he loses-out to one who does.
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  2. #47
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpers_Ghost View Post
    I thought i'd check the stats to back my opinion on this and was actually surprised that I was right. Russell>>>>>>>Stewart at keeping. In Ashes Russell=Stewart in batting results. If this wasn't based on Ashes, I'd go Stewart. Not Stupid and far more Sensible than Healy>Gilchrist.
    Healy had more good Ashes performances than Gilchrist (as well as more poor ones). If you look carefully I've never once said Healy was > Gilchrist, just that he had more extensive

    Also the suggestion that Russell was >>>>>> Stewart can be based only on two things: one, over-emphasis on natural talent or; two, inability to recognise change. Early on Russell was indeed vastly superior to Stewart as a wicketkeeper; later Stewart was actually better standing back though Russell remained superior up to the stumps. It's always seemed to me that many people are unable to recognise that Stewart became one of the best batsman-wicketkeepers in history, after starting very ordinarily.

    As for their batting Russell essentially had one reasonably good Ashes - 1989. Stewart had several, and late in his career finally had a couple of genuinely pretty good ones. Stewart's batting >>>>> Russell's, whatever any career average tells you.
    Atherton was ordinary, although he did try hard. Broad was a series winner, even if he couldn't back it up.
    Atherton was a considerably superior Test opener to Broad (he was pretty good, Broad was average), simple as that. Broad was lucky to be in the right place at the right time with regards Ashes success; Atherton was the inverse.

    If you wanted to give yourself the best chance against a good Australian attack (or indeed a good attack from anywhere) Atherton would be a considerably better pick than Broad.
    Tuffnell, well that maybe is nonsensical but who else Giles? Embury? Hemmings? none any better and a fifth paceman would be pointless.
    No it wouldn't. You might as well play ten players if you view it as pointless. Either pick another batsman or just play your best five bowlers. Tufnell, truth is, was very occasionally brilliant and incredibly often utterly useless. Against Australia he had one great game and quite a few dreadful ones.

  3. #48
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpers_Ghost View Post
    thought I'd actually check Atherton's stats to see if they agreed with my impresion of Atherton's ordinariness and was quite shocked at just how diabolical they were.
    1 century in 33 matches, with an average under 30. Poor
    Actually the reality is that Atherton was genuinely poor under acceptable circumstances against Australia only once - in 1997. In 1998/99 his dreadfulness is utterly irrelevant as he would have and did do poorly whoever he faced in that condition (he could barely make a run against Zimbabwe in 1996/97). In 1989 and 2001, too, he would have and did fail against all-comers.

    In order to assess Atherton against Australia accurately you can look only at four series' - 1990/91-1997. In that time he was far from outstanding but far from dreadful either. And certainly better than some just-about-adaquete opener like Chris Broad.

  4. #49
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Best numbers = best chance of winning. Simple as that.

    A batsman who averages 23 and has a positive mindset <<<<< one who averages 49 with a negative mindset.

    To be of any use, a specialist batsman must score runs. If he doesn't, he loses-out to one who does.
    That's an extreme example. For mine, a batsman who averages, say, 35 vs a bloke who scratches around averaging 45 is far more useful. I'd rather see Mark Ealham in an Ashes side than Ramps.

    Anyway, it's not that simple. While Ramps was scratching around scoring 50 at a glacial pace, Aus were busy winning the match. As I said, England were competing well and sometimes in the ascendency on the back of knocks by blokes like Butcher/Hussain/Thorpe/Stewart when in walked Ramps and, within a short period of time, out walked the momentum they'd built. In a team environment, that's demoralising.

    Without checking, I'm pretty sure the above all had inferior records against Aus. Yet I can promise you the Aussies would rather face Ramps than any of them. It's not just about how many but how and when you score your runs too.
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  5. #50
    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Well I'll tell you one thing - Boon never opened against England from 1989 onwards. Scored one hell of a lot of runs at three though, and Ponting obviously loses nothing from going down to six.

    Nonetheless, if you want those two, both Waughs and Border (not unreasonable) you have to push one to the top and Boon would of course be much the best choice.
    Yeah but how often did Ramprakash bat at number 7?

    I just wanted him in my lineup (along with the others from 3 to 6).

    I could chuck in Matthew Elliott to open with Slater if I wanted to pick players in their more natural positions.

    What a brilliant 199 by Elliott btw. REGARDLESS of the let off.

  6. #51
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    I'd say AFTER the let-off myself - he hadn't played very well up to it. And regardless of how well he played after it, he'd not have had the chance if Thorpe could catch.

  7. #52
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    That's an extreme example. For mine, a batsman who averages, say, 35 vs a bloke who scratches around averaging 45 is far more useful.
    I asked before and got no answer - who, between 1989 and 2006/07, apart from Hussain, Pietersen, Stewart and Thorpe, did a better job as a middle-order batsman for England against Australia than Ramprakash? Smith was a sitting-duck against Warne; Crawley was a sitting-duck against any decent seamer; pretty much anyone else tried was just not good enough for Test cricket. I suppose you could possibly make a case for Hick based on 1993 and 1994/95.
    I'd rather see Mark Ealham in an Ashes side than Ramps.
    As you know, I'm Ealham's biggest fan as a ODI bowler, but in Tests he offered precious little.
    Anyway, it's not that simple. While Ramps was scratching around scoring 50 at a glacial pace, Aus were busy winning the match. As I said, England were competing well and sometimes in the ascendency on the back of knocks by blokes like Butcher/Hussain/Thorpe/Stewart when in walked Ramps and, within a short period of time, out walked the momentum they'd built. In a team environment, that's demoralising.

    Without checking, I'm pretty sure the above all had inferior records against Aus. Yet I can promise you the Aussies would rather face Ramps than any of them. It's not just about how many but how and when you score your runs too.
    Again, though, I cannot say anything more than that Ramprakash was at least scoring runs while most others could barely even do that. Look at John Crawley - terrific player in one respect (against spin and against seam directed at his pads) but a sitting-duck against anything outside off-stump moving away. And Crawley was, apart from Hussain\Stewart\Thorpe, the best England had to offer in the time in question.

    You seem to underestimate just how bad most England batsmen were. I'm not for a second claiming Ramprakash's contribution was absolutely ideal, merely that he did better than most had the foggiest chance of doing, because mose were simply not good enough to repel bowling of the calibre of Alderman And Co. \ McDermott And Co. \ McGrath And Co. (delete as appropriate)
    Last edited by Richard; 03-06-2009 at 06:16 PM.

  8. #53
    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Thorpe can catch, although I can remember in a Test at the SCG he dropped a catch and kicked the ball away in disgust and it went for a couple of overthrows, does anyone else remember that? My memory of the event is a little hazy.

  9. #54
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUFAN View Post
    Thorpe can catch, although I can remember in a Test at the SCG he dropped a catch and kicked the ball away in disgust and it went for a couple of overthrows, does anyone else remember that? My memory of the event is a little hazy.
    No kidding; it happened on the other side of the country!

  10. #55
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUFAN View Post
    Thorpe can catch, although I can remember in a Test at the SCG he dropped a catch and kicked the ball away in disgust and it went for a couple of overthrows, does anyone else remember that? My memory of the event is a little hazy.
    That was actually The WACA, 1994/95. You'd have been only a little boy of 11 or so.

    Anyway I know Thorpe can catch, which was what made it so unutterably frustrating that he failed to do so on far more occasions than he should have done. Thorpe as a slip fielder was a flawed genius, which, while better than the likes of a Mark Butcher who was simply a dreadful dropping machine, is eminently not what you want as a seam bowler.

    His drop off Elliott was his most infamous but far from his only one.

  11. #56
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    You seem to underestimate just how bad most England batsmen were. I'm not for a second claiming Ramprakash's contribution was absolutely ideal, merely that he did better than most had the foggiest chance of doing, because mose were simply not good enough to repel bowling of the calibre of Alderman And Co. \ McDermott And Co. \ McGrath And Co. (delete as appropriate)
    Not supported by the facts, I'm afraid. Especially in 1998, Ramps came in several times on the back of at least decent starts by the openers or was supported by the middle-order. Only in a couple of knocks was he the lone blocker propping up a losing team.

    Have a look for yourself;

    1st Test: Australia v England at Brisbane, Nov 20-24, 1998 | Cricket Scorecard | Cricinfo.com

    Chasing 480-odd, England were doing well enough to at least get close to the Aussie score on the back of decent knocks by Butcher and Hussain. I dictinctly remember them being well-placed at stumps on day 3 with Thorpe going well but Ramps bogged-down. Remember Ramps continuing on in that vein the next day and Thorpe getting out playing a wild pull shot because no runs were coming from the other end.

    2nd Test: Australia v England at Perth, Nov 28-30, 1998 | Cricket Scorecard | Cricinfo.com

    Distinctly remember, after the England fightback after a disastrous first dig, Ramps and Hick putting on a decent partnership. Then, again, Ramps got bogged-down and Hick had to hit out (notably his two successive 6's off Dizzy towars the end of day 2). Next day, Hick got out trying to score because, again, Ramps just wasn't scoring anything. England needed runs and Ramps sat on his handle.

    3rd Test: Australia v England at Adelaide, Dec 11-15, 1998 | Cricket Scorecard | Cricinfo.com

    Second dig in Adelaide. I know England weren't really in with a show of winning this Test but they couldn't just draw it either. So why not have a go? Instead, Ramps just hung around leaving all the scoring to someone else. Thankfully Fleming put him out of his misery with a massive in-swinging yorker.

    A couple of positive examples;

    4th Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Dec 26-29, 1998 | Cricket Scorecard | Cricinfo.com

    Here, Ramps batted really well. Taking his chance on a really tough deck and was the only guy to look good against MacGill from what I remember. Stewart was playing a lone hand, needed support and got it from Ramps. Got a beauty from Nicholson in the second dig.

    5th Test: England v Australia at The Oval, Aug 23-27, 2001 | Cricket Scorecard | Cricinfo.com

    Obviously his best Test against the Aussies.

  12. #57
    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    No kidding; it happened on the other side of the country!
    At the SCG or the WACA,
    it doesn't matter

    M A R V E L L O U S..

  13. #58
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUFAN View Post
    At the SCG or the WACA,
    it doesn't matter

    M A R V E L L O U S..
    Frankly, the response by Dev Malcolm at having another catch dropped was awesome. Something inside him broke there and then.

  14. #59
    U19 Cricketer Trumpers_Ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Actually the reality is that Atherton was genuinely poor under acceptable circumstances against Australia only once - in 1997. In 1998/99 his dreadfulness is utterly irrelevant as he would have and did do poorly whoever he faced in that condition (he could barely make a run against Zimbabwe in 1996/97). In 1989 and 2001, too, he would have and did fail against all-comers.

    In order to assess Atherton against Australia accurately you can look only at four series' - 1990/91-1997. In that time he was far from outstanding but far from dreadful either. And certainly better than some just-about-adaquete opener like Chris Broad.
    cherry picking the acceptable and ignoring the bad is a wierd way to go about it.

    For me the bad series are probably of more value in determination. Probably just reflects a different mindset between us. (interesting how you use a reverse philosphy to grade Hayden though).

    As for the differences of opinion in terms of opening batting, wicketkeeping and spin bowling, this is probably because these are the areas that Australia has had the biggest advantage over England in the last 20 years.
    openers: Aust 4 really well performed options; England none really (except maybe Vaughn)
    Wicketkeepers: Aust 2 alltime greats; Eng alot of chopping a changing, nothing outstanding (I don't rate Stewarts Ashes performences that higghly if you didn't notice)
    Spinners: Aus 1 alltime great & 1 one well performed backup; Eng nothing of note
    In other areas its not so one sided in Aust favour.

    cheers

  15. #60
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Actually the reality is that Atherton was genuinely poor under acceptable circumstances against Australia only once - in 1997. In 1998/99 his dreadfulness is utterly irrelevant as he would have and did do poorly whoever he faced in that condition (he could barely make a run against Zimbabwe in 1996/97). In 1989 and 2001, too, he would have and did fail against all-comers.

    In order to assess Atherton against Australia accurately you can look only at four series' - 1990/91-1997. In that time he was far from outstanding but far from dreadful either. And certainly better than some just-about-adaquete opener like Chris Broad.
    I've seen you say this about Atherton on many occasions in my year or so on this forum, but I've never quite understood it.

    In 1989 Athers was very much the coming man. He was a rising star who, although only 21 years old, was regarded by all and sundry as well capable of playing Test cricket, in very much the same way that I think that David Gower was in 1978. His record in various forms of cricket was by that stage already very impressive. Atherton was not out of his depth, and his 47 on debut was an innings of real promise.

    So I can't see why you say that he shouldn't have played Test cricket at that time. Can you briefly explain your view on this?

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