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Thread: Who is really to blame for Australia's batting collapses post 2007 in Ashes series?

  1. #301
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    Anyone got any stats on matches won where a first innings century has been scored, or anything?
    Goughy tried once but his analysis didn't really make any sense. It basically said "teams win more matches when their batsmen score more runs". Really need scorecard data to be in a more usable format to do anything really useful.

    Get the feeling Watto's runs are judged based on what the rest of his team were doing around him. Rahul Dravid hit a load of fifties and no centuries at 3 on tour to New Zealand not long ago and received almost universal credit for holding the middle order together, building damaging partnerships, consistently blunting the new-ball attack and making things significantly easier for the batsmen to follow. I mean, you can say what you want about the psychological effect of someone scoring a ton, but when someone scores a series of fifties in a winning cause there's also a pretty large troop of ex-pros ready to exclaim the value of having someone so reliable and consistent at the top of the order to "take the sting out of the attack", "stop the rot" and other such clichés. Even now you have Haydos on TMS saying Watto's doing the most important part of an opener's job by seeing off the new ball. You can't play the "cricketing experience tells us..." card when there's nothing approaching any kind of consensus amongst experienced ex-pros.

    It just comes down to the fact that the real value of runs is almost impossible to judge, but also that cricket is a team sport and that value depends hugely on what everyone else in your team does. If Australia were to have two Wattos at the top of the order, that would be absolutely huge for the team, especially against an attack for which swing is the biggest weapon. Ponting would almost never face a ball less than 25 overs old, usually arriving at the crease with the score over 100. A century opening stand to kick off 80% of innings would just give Australia a ridiculous advantage. But with an opening partner who never once makes it past 50 and a woefully out-of-form batting lineup, that same contribution becomes close to useless.

    Anyway, I really can't judge at all. Way too many factors and no way of measuring them empirically. If Cribb ever makes a computer program that can mine scorecards for data I'll be able to give you a definitive answer.
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  2. #302
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    TBH, I don't actually think Twatto is to blame for Australia's collapses, per se. I have mainly got involved in this thread to contest the notion that 100s don't matter as long as your average is good. certainly people Australia need to look at before Twatto, i.e. everyone except Hussey.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TumTum View Post
    Don't just say context for the sake of it, give me examples where it would be different and we can discuss further.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    TBH, I don't actually think Twatto is to blame for Australia's collapses, per se. I have mainly got involved in this thread to contest the notion that 100s don't matter as long as your average is good. certainly people Australia need to look at before Twatto, i.e. everyone except Hussey.
    Yeah, I agree. There's quite clearly more problems in the side than Watson, but at the same time I don't think Watson is particularly helping the side.

    Take Uppercut's point about Watson being judged by what everyone else is doing - as I've said in a couple of threads Strauss gets away with only scoring 50s in the last 2 Tests both because of the context of both innings and also because Strauss has a batting lineup below him that is capable of capitalising on the starts he's made. With Watson, when the rest of the batting lineup is so woefully out of form and he's consistently making starts, the "yeah, but he's making 50 every time he walks out" isn't a particularly brilliant defence. While the rest of the Australian batting line up is so poor Watson needs to make more big scores to give Australia a chance at winning.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that neither side lost a Test this series when one of their batsmen made a ton. Obviously there's other factors involved, but this series is a good starting point when it comes to understanding why scoring big runs matters.


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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    500 and 200 is not the same as scoring 200 and 500 though.
    Yep. One is a likely win, the other a likely draw.
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  6. #306
    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Yeah, I agree. There's quite clearly more problems in the side than Watson, but at the same time I don't think Watson is particularly helping the side.

    Take Uppercut's point about Watson being judged by what everyone else is doing - as I've said in a couple of threads Strauss gets away with only scoring 50s in the last 2 Tests both because of the context of both innings and also because Strauss has a batting lineup below him that is capable of capitalising on the starts he's made. With Watson, when the rest of the batting lineup is so woefully out of form and he's consistently making starts, the "yeah, but he's making 50 every time he walks out" isn't a particularly brilliant defence. While the rest of the Australian batting line up is so poor Watson needs to make more big scores to give Australia a chance at winning.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that neither side lost a Test this series when one of their batsmen made a ton. Obviously there's other factors involved, but this series is a good starting point when it comes to understanding why scoring big runs matters.
    That's just a ridiculous argument though. Using a bowling analogy, it's like asking Harris to take an even greater quota of wickets to compensate for Hilfenhaus, Siddle, and Johnson's ineptitude.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeusEx View Post
    That's just a ridiculous argument though. Using a bowling analogy, it's like asking Harris to take an even greater quota of wickets to compensate for Hilfenhaus, Siddle, and Johnson's ineptitude.
    No it isn't, because a team is limited to taking 10 wickets in an innings. There's no limit to how many 1st innings runs a team can score.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeusEx View Post
    That's just a ridiculous argument though. Using a bowling analogy, it's like asking Harris to take an even greater quota of wickets to compensate for Hilfenhaus, Siddle, and Johnson's ineptitude.
    Not analogous. Bowling is a zero-sum game, batting isn't.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    It's also worth pointing out that 500 and 200 often is 200 declared or 200ao but we don't hugely mind because we would've declared before 300 anyway.

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    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    No it isn't, because a team is limited to taking 10 wickets in an innings. There's no limit to how many 1st innings runs a team can score.
    You said "While the rest of the Australian batting line up is so poor Watson needs to make more big scores to give Australia a chance at winning." So you are essentially asking Watson to play better (despite already playing well) simply because his team mates are failing. It's not Watson's duty to have to compensate for other players failings.

  11. #311
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Well yeah it kind of is because if he does, a la Hussey, we stand a chance. If he doesn't - as he hasn't - we get flogged.

    When your team isn't doing well it's absolutely invaluable that the batsmen who are in form and playing well in difficult conditions actually score runs and put their team in a place where they can win matches.
    Last edited by Spark; 07-01-2011 at 06:45 AM.

  12. #312
    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Well yeah it kind of is because if he does, a la Hussey, we stand a chance. If he doesn't - as he hasn't - we get flogged.
    That's not what I meant. Of course it would be helpful if he did, but it isn't fair to ask him to do so. If he was to compensate for their failings he would probably have to average 70 or above - so it's equivalent to asking him to average that amount, which is unreasonable.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    The argument is that in the context of the team Watson's playing for it would be better if he went on with it once in a while. Which is pretty undeniable, really.

    But it's just one example. Graeme Smith, for example, often leaves his middle order horrendously exposed by always either making a huge score or none at all, as happened in the second test against India when South Africa crashed to 131ao in response to 205. A steadying fifty would have made a massive difference in that context, given how dangerous the new ball was, the score they were defending and the ability of the players to come to cash in if given the chance.

    I just think it's tough to make a judgment on. I don't really trust perceptions.

  14. #314
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeusEx View Post
    You said "While the rest of the Australian batting line up is so poor Watson needs to make more big scores to give Australia a chance at winning." So you are essentially asking Watson to play better (despite already playing well) simply because his team mates are failing. It's not Watson's duty to have to compensate for other players failings.
    Look at Adelaide. Watson and Hussey rebuilt the innings very well after the horror start, before Watson threw his wicket away after lunch. Would it really have been to much to ask him to knuckle down and score another 50? Marcuss North might even have got one of his trademark tons when everyone else has tonned up, and Australia might not have closed their first innings in such dreadful shape.

    Obviously Watson wasn't to blame for 3 of his team mates getting out, but he's responsible for not going on with a start on a flat wicket and exposing an out of form number 6 when the ball was barely 30 overs old.

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    The argument is that in the context of the team Watson's playing for it would be better if he went on with it once in a while. Which is pretty undeniable, really.

    But it's just one example. Graeme Smith, for example, often leaves his middle order horrendously exposed by always either making a huge score or none at all, as happened in the second test against India when South Africa crashed to 131ao in response to 205. A steadying fifty would have made a massive difference in that context, given how dangerous the new ball was, the score they were defending and the ability of the players to come to cash in if given the chance.

    I just think it's tough to make a judgment on. I don't really trust perceptions.
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