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Thread: Is there an ideal team balance?

  1. #1
    International Coach Barney Rubble's Avatar
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    Is there an ideal team balance?

    All the talk about whether or not Australia's lack of a fifth bowler hindered them during the Ashes got me thinking - is there an ideal template for building a successful team, or is it just a case of whatever works?

    Australia have proven that four bowlers can work extremely effectively, but only when one of those is a spinner capable of bowling long spells and taking wickets on any surface, and another is one of the greatest pace bowlers world cricket has seen. Other teams that have played only four bowlers have failed dismally.

    England have proven that five bowlers can be a massive advantage - however, for this to work the team really has to have a world-class all-rounder a la Flintoff. England have shown in the past that if the all-rounder isn't good enough (e.g. Craig White, Dominic Cork, Gavin Hamilton, Flintoff c.1998) then it can put increased pressure on the other bowlers and the batsmen.

    And I'm not just talking about whether four or five bowlers is better - there are issues outside that area too, for example the style of opener you employ (do you pick Sehwag and Gibbs, Richardson and Atherton, or one of each type?), where in the order different types of batsmen should bat (is Bell good enough for no4? Should Katich bat higher? etc), what to do if you don't have a Gilchrist (pick Jones or Read?), how important it is that one or two of your bowlers can bat (would you take Pollock over McGrath?), and is it better to pick a wicket-taking spinner or one who keeps it tight if you can't have both (MacGill or Giles?). All these are issues which international selectors all over the world have to consider, and their decisions are always analysed and criticised six ways from Sunday - so let's canvas the CW opinion.

    This thread isn't intended to start some heated arguments (as some threads have done recently) - this is all a matter of opinion, guys.

  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Personally, I would say it depends on what the core of the side is. Now, speaking from an Indian perspective, Gambhir is picked as the foil to Sehwag, not because he can defend well, but because he is overall a better opener than most in India. The middle order is basically settled, with only the no.6 spot up for grabs once Sachin comes back and Sourav is dumped. As far as the wicketkeeper issue is concerned, I would say you should always play your best keeper in test matches. For ODIs, it is okay to compromise, but for tests, you need the best man with the gloves. And again, from the Indian view, I would pick Kaarthick for tests. And as far as bowlers who can bat goes, India is lucky to have Pathan, Kumble and Harbhajan and Zaheer as their four main bowlers, all of whom can hold a bat decently as far as tailender standards go.



    But speaking in general...


    1. The best openers should be picked, as in who is most likely to make runs. How they make them does not really matter.


    2. The batsman best equipped to face the new ball should bat at 3. The best batsman in the middle order should bat at 4, the next best at 5 and the last one at 6.


    3. The best keeper should be picked, period. Especially in Tests.


    4. The four best bowlers should be picked. The runs will always be a bonus.
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  3. #3
    International 12th Man
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    I think there is always a best balance, given the players available and the conditions in which the game is to be played. I don't think there is any such thing as an "ideal balance" for a theoretical team in all conditions.

    Your team must be able to take 20 wickets (assuming you are trying to win)
    Your team must be able to score more runs than the opposition can score for their 20 wickets. If you pick a team and you don't think you can score the runs you must weaken the bowling (which includes possibly picking a worse keeper, since he is effectively part of the bowling attack). If you pick a team and don't think you can take the wickets then you must weaken the batting. Simple!

  4. #4
    SJS
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    Is there an ideal team balance?

    Yes there is but it can be achieved by 14 players. Seven batsmen, one wicket keeper, six bowlers (including two FAST bowlers, two medium pacers and two spinners !!

    Hence the need for , ideally, two all rounders and a wicket keeper who can bat. While batting wicket keepers are blooming due to the advent of the one day game, the traditional all rounder is so rare,

    I am always adked why two medium pacers and not four tearaway fast bowlers. We seem to think that a medium pacer is merely some one who doesnt bowl terribly fast. While that is factually correct, that is not the reason for his being in the team. Bedser would command a position in any team in the world today (so would MacGrath who is really medium pace as of now) before most FAST bowlers,

    Fast, medium and spinners have different jobs to do and all have a place, Since we are constrained by availability of both genuine all rounders and classy bowlers of all varieties we have started believing that only two types of bowlers will do. Thank God for Murali and Warne otherwise we may have believed bowers are all made in one mould


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    Yes there is but it can be achieved by 14 players. Seven batsmen, one wicket keeper, six bowlers (including two FAST bowlers, two medium pacers and two spinners !!

    Hence the need for , ideally, two all rounders and a wicket keeper who can bat. While batting wicket keepers are blooming due to the advent of the one day game, the traditional all rounder is so rare,

    I am always adked why two medium pacers and not four tearaway fast bowlers. We seem to think that a medium pacer is merely some one who doesnt bowl terribly fast. While that is factually correct, that is not the reason for his being in the team. Bedser would command a position in any team in the world today (so would MacGrath who is really medium pace as of now) before most FAST bowlers,

    Fast, medium and spinners have different jobs to do and all have a place, Since we are constrained by availability of both genuine all rounders and classy bowlers of all varieties we have started believing that only two types of bowlers will do. Thank God for Murali and Warne otherwise we may have believed bowers are all made in one mould
    Good post

  6. #6
    Hall of Fame Member Jamee999's Avatar
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    10 allrounders, 4 pacers, 4 spinners and 2 medium pacers, and a keeper who keeps like Jack Russell and bats like Donald Bradman.
    Or something.

    RIP Fardin Qayyumi (AKA "cricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990 - 15/4/2006

  7. #7
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamee999
    10 allrounders, 4 pacers, 4 spinners and 2 medium pacers, and a keeper who keeps like Jack Russell and bats like Donald Bradman.
    Will this do ??

    1. Vinoo Mankad Left arm spinner
    (great left arm spinner and holder of the worlds highest test opening partnership of 413 with Pankaj Roy PLUS brilliant fielder)

    2. Frank Worrell Right arm legspinner
    (One of the greatest West Indian batsmen, arguably one of the finest captains of all time, brilliant fielder, bowled leg breaks which brought him 69 test wickets in his 345 first class scalps. He averaged nearly 50 -49.5- in tests and 54.2 in FCC. Scored 191 not out as an opener against England in a test)

    3) Sobers Left arm pace, medium pace, orthodox finger spin and chinaman cum googly
    (Nothing needs be said. scored his world record 365 not out at number three-probably the greatest all round fielder the game has seen, slips, gully, cover point, out field even keeper !!))

    4. Frank Woolley - left arm spinner
    (Scorer of nearly 60 thousand first class runs including 145 centuries, over 2000 wickets and over a thousand catches !! Inspired poetry to describe his graceful batting AND kept wickets for England if I remember right !!)

    5. Keith Miller right arm fast - outswing and off cutters
    (Great genuine fast bowler and good enough to bat at number four for a strong Australian batting side-great fielder anywhere)

    6. Leslie Ames
    (one of the finest keepers in the history of the game. His great keeping is not known of only because of his amzingly good batting. Only keeper with more than 100 first class centuries. Scored 3000 FC runs in a season, 2000 in a season 5 times and 1000 in a season 17 times ! Highest stumpings by far in the history of the game - 417 in 593 first class matches and 23 in just 47 test matches. Had 64 stumpings in one season. Of the four times in the history of the game that any keeper has scored a thousand runs and taken a 100 scalps, thrice it has been him !! Averaged 40.5 with the bat in tests, Twice won the award for the fastest hundred in an English season.)

    7. Ian Botham Right arm pace - outswing
    (Fast bowler, attacking batsman who could tear apart the best attacks in the game and exceptional fielder)

    8. Imran Khan Right arm fast Inswing
    (Great fast bowler and very good batsman with sound technique to defend and big strokes if required)

    9. Richie Benaud Right arm leg spin and googly
    (Great leg spinner. Under rated only because his country produced so many greats of his type. One of the greatest gully fielders)

    10. Wilfred Rhodes Left arm spin
    (40,000 first class runs and over 4000 wickets plus 765 catches. Opened the batting with Hobbs by prescriptive right later in his career and was his partner in the record opening partnership against Australia. Recalled for England in his 50th year against Australia he won the game and the series for them bowling 48 overs for 96 runs and 5 wickets !!)

    11. Richard Hadlee Right arm fast - swung both ways
    (One of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game. Extremely competent lower order batsman)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    Will this do ??

    1. Vinoo Mankad Left arm spinner
    (great left arm spinner and holder of the worlds highest test opening partnership of 413 with Pankaj Roy PLUS brilliant fielder)

    2. Frank Worrell Right arm legspinner
    (One of the greatest West Indian batsmen, arguably one of the finest captains of all time, brilliant fielder, bowled leg breaks which brought him 69 test wickets in his 345 first class scalps. He averaged nearly 50 -49.5- in tests and 54.2 in FCC. Scored 191 not out as an opener against England in a test)

    3) Sobers Left arm pace, medium pace, orthodox finger spin and chinaman cum googly
    (Nothing needs be said. scored his world record 365 not out at number three-probably the greatest all round fielder the game has seen, slips, gully, cover point, out field even keeper !!))

    4. Frank Woolley - left arm spinner
    (Scorer of nearly 60 thousand first class runs including 145 centuries, over 2000 wickets and over a thousand catches !! Inspired poetry to describe his graceful batting AND kept wickets for England if I remember right !!)

    5. Keith Miller right arm fast - outswing and off cutters
    (Great genuine fast bowler and good enough to bat at number four for a strong Australian batting side-great fielder anywhere)

    6. Leslie Ames
    (one of the finest keepers in the history of the game. His great keeping is not known of only because of his amzingly good batting. Only keeper with more than 100 first class centuries. Scored 3000 FC runs in a season, 2000 in a season 5 times and 1000 in a season 17 times ! Highest stumpings by far in the history of the game - 417 in 593 first class matches and 23 in just 47 test matches. Had 64 stumpings in one season. Of the four times in the history of the game that any keeper has scored a thousand runs and taken a 100 scalps, thrice it has been him !! Averaged 40.5 with the bat in tests, Twice won the award for the fastest hundred in an English season.)

    7. Ian Botham Right arm pace - outswing
    (Fast bowler, attacking batsman who could tear apart the best attacks in the game and exceptional fielder)

    8. Imran Khan Right arm fast Inswing
    (Great fast bowler and very good batsman with sound technique to defend and big strokes if required)

    9. Richie Benaud Right arm leg spin and googly
    (Great leg spinner. Under rated only because his country produced so many greats of his type. One of the greatest gully fielders)

    10. Wilfred Rhodes Left arm spin
    (40,000 first class runs and over 4000 wickets plus 765 catches. Opened the batting with Hobbs by prescriptive right later in his career and was his partner in the record opening partnership against Australia. Recalled for England in his 50th year against Australia he won the game and the series for them bowling 48 overs for 96 runs and 5 wickets !!)

    11. Richard Hadlee Right arm fast - swung both ways
    (One of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game. Extremely competent lower order batsman)
    Can any of them bowl offspin?

  9. #9
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg
    Can any of them bowl offspin?
    NO. we can replace one of the left arm spinners but the great allrounders dont conatin top class off spinners. Let me think
    Last edited by SJS; 26-09-2005 at 02:14 PM.

  10. #10
    SJS
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    Monty Noble could replace Frank Woolley.

    Monty Noble - Right arm off spinner
    Test batting average of 30.3 (FCC 40.7). 121 test wickets in just 42 tests at 25.0 each with 9 five wicket and 2 10 wicket hauls in the 42 tests.

    A better bowler than Woolley though Woolley is a better batting proposition.

  11. #11
    International Regular twctopcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    Will this do ??

    1. Vinoo Mankad Left arm spinner
    (great left arm spinner and holder of the worlds highest test opening partnership of 413 with Pankaj Roy PLUS brilliant fielder)

    2. Frank Worrell Right arm legspinner
    (One of the greatest West Indian batsmen, arguably one of the finest captains of all time, brilliant fielder, bowled leg breaks which brought him 69 test wickets in his 345 first class scalps. He averaged nearly 50 -49.5- in tests and 54.2 in FCC. Scored 191 not out as an opener against England in a test)

    3) Sobers Left arm pace, medium pace, orthodox finger spin and chinaman cum googly
    (Nothing needs be said. scored his world record 365 not out at number three-probably the greatest all round fielder the game has seen, slips, gully, cover point, out field even keeper !!))

    4. Frank Woolley - left arm spinner
    (Scorer of nearly 60 thousand first class runs including 145 centuries, over 2000 wickets and over a thousand catches !! Inspired poetry to describe his graceful batting AND kept wickets for England if I remember right !!)

    5. Keith Miller right arm fast - outswing and off cutters
    (Great genuine fast bowler and good enough to bat at number four for a strong Australian batting side-great fielder anywhere)

    6. Leslie Ames
    (one of the finest keepers in the history of the game. His great keeping is not known of only because of his amzingly good batting. Only keeper with more than 100 first class centuries. Scored 3000 FC runs in a season, 2000 in a season 5 times and 1000 in a season 17 times ! Highest stumpings by far in the history of the game - 417 in 593 first class matches and 23 in just 47 test matches. Had 64 stumpings in one season. Of the four times in the history of the game that any keeper has scored a thousand runs and taken a 100 scalps, thrice it has been him !! Averaged 40.5 with the bat in tests, Twice won the award for the fastest hundred in an English season.)

    7. Ian Botham Right arm pace - outswing
    (Fast bowler, attacking batsman who could tear apart the best attacks in the game and exceptional fielder)

    8. Imran Khan Right arm fast Inswing
    (Great fast bowler and very good batsman with sound technique to defend and big strokes if required)

    9. Richie Benaud Right arm leg spin and googly
    (Great leg spinner. Under rated only because his country produced so many greats of his type. One of the greatest gully fielders)

    10. Wilfred Rhodes Left arm spin
    (40,000 first class runs and over 4000 wickets plus 765 catches. Opened the batting with Hobbs by prescriptive right later in his career and was his partner in the record opening partnership against Australia. Recalled for England in his 50th year against Australia he won the game and the series for them bowling 48 overs for 96 runs and 5 wickets !!)

    11. Richard Hadlee Right arm fast - swung both ways
    (One of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game. Extremely competent lower order batsman)

    Now if that team can't take 20 wickets i'm lost!!!
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  12. #12
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    Generally when I'm selecting teams in WCC, I try and get 5 batsmen, 1 all-rounder, 1 wicket-keeper, and 4 bowlers. Or 6 batsmen, a keeper and 4 bowlers if the batting needs to be bolstered. I think that's the best balance I can get.
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  13. #13
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by twctopcat
    Now if that team can't take 20 wickets i'm lost!!!
    Just look at this England side from the first decade of the last century
    - Hobbs

    - Rhodes
    (left arm spin)

    - Maclaren

    - Fry

    - Woolley
    (left arm spin)

    - FS Jackson
    right arm med pacer with a best of 5 for 58, a batting average of 48.8 !!

    - LC Braund
    (Right arm leg spin and Med fast) a hundred and a batting avg of 26 in those times.

    - Hirst-
    (left arm med paced spinner as great an all rounder as Rhodes)

    - Lockwood
    (right arm fast)

    -Lilley Keeper

    - SF Barnes
    Right arm medium pace. 189 wickets in just 27 test matches. Arguably the greatest bowler of all times.

    They actually had a choice to select a team like this. I dont think these 11 ever played together in a test but all of them have played with each other and it could have happened. The all rounders are rare only now. There have been teams from australia which had so many all round players.

  14. #14
    SJS
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    I forgot. They also had Colin Blythe. 100 wickets in 19 tests at 18.6 3ach. 9 times in 19 test he got a five for.

    In Rhodes, Hirst and Woolley they had three of the finest all rounders in the history of the game and they had so many others like Jackson who were like the all rounders of today. Bowling all rounders or batting all rounders.
    Last edited by SJS; 26-09-2005 at 02:54 PM.

  15. #15
    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    Will this do ??

    1. Vinoo Mankad Left arm spinner
    (great left arm spinner and holder of the worlds highest test opening partnership of 413 with Pankaj Roy PLUS brilliant fielder)

    2. Frank Worrell Right arm legspinner
    (One of the greatest West Indian batsmen, arguably one of the finest captains of all time, brilliant fielder, bowled leg breaks which brought him 69 test wickets in his 345 first class scalps. He averaged nearly 50 -49.5- in tests and 54.2 in FCC. Scored 191 not out as an opener against England in a test)

    3) Sobers Left arm pace, medium pace, orthodox finger spin and chinaman cum googly
    (Nothing needs be said. scored his world record 365 not out at number three-probably the greatest all round fielder the game has seen, slips, gully, cover point, out field even keeper !!))

    4. Frank Woolley - left arm spinner
    (Scorer of nearly 60 thousand first class runs including 145 centuries, over 2000 wickets and over a thousand catches !! Inspired poetry to describe his graceful batting AND kept wickets for England if I remember right !!)

    5. Keith Miller right arm fast - outswing and off cutters
    (Great genuine fast bowler and good enough to bat at number four for a strong Australian batting side-great fielder anywhere)

    6. Leslie Ames
    (one of the finest keepers in the history of the game. His great keeping is not known of only because of his amzingly good batting. Only keeper with more than 100 first class centuries. Scored 3000 FC runs in a season, 2000 in a season 5 times and 1000 in a season 17 times ! Highest stumpings by far in the history of the game - 417 in 593 first class matches and 23 in just 47 test matches. Had 64 stumpings in one season. Of the four times in the history of the game that any keeper has scored a thousand runs and taken a 100 scalps, thrice it has been him !! Averaged 40.5 with the bat in tests, Twice won the award for the fastest hundred in an English season.)

    7. Ian Botham Right arm pace - outswing
    (Fast bowler, attacking batsman who could tear apart the best attacks in the game and exceptional fielder)

    8. Imran Khan Right arm fast Inswing
    (Great fast bowler and very good batsman with sound technique to defend and big strokes if required)

    9. Richie Benaud Right arm leg spin and googly
    (Great leg spinner. Under rated only because his country produced so many greats of his type. One of the greatest gully fielders)

    10. Wilfred Rhodes Left arm spin
    (40,000 first class runs and over 4000 wickets plus 765 catches. Opened the batting with Hobbs by prescriptive right later in his career and was his partner in the record opening partnership against Australia. Recalled for England in his 50th year against Australia he won the game and the series for them bowling 48 overs for 96 runs and 5 wickets !!)

    11. Richard Hadlee Right arm fast - swung both ways
    (One of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game. Extremely competent lower order batsman)

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