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Thread: Nick Knight ?

  1. #1
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    Nick Knight ?

    do you think Nick Knight was a unlucky player in not getting enough chances to prove himself in Tests? i think he was. His oneday form remained amazing till the end.

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    International Regular DCC_legend's Avatar
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    yea i think he was unlucky, he should have been givin the chance condidering his one day form was so good.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Nick Knight was given plenty of chances in Test-cricket, he simply wasn't good enough (as with Neil Fairbrother and the early Graeme Hick), due to a technical flaw of never being sure enough of the position of his off-stump.

    Still England's best-ever ODI batsman, though.
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    International Regular shortpitched713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Nick Knight was given plenty of chances in Test-cricket, he simply wasn't good enough (as with Neil Fairbrother and the early Graeme Hick), due to a technical flaw of never being sure enough of the position of his off-stump.
    You'd think that would be a problem in most forms of cricket, not just Tests...
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Well it weren't in ODIs.

    Look at his record if you don't believe me.

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    International Regular shortpitched713's Avatar
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    Oh, I know he was good in ODIs, but I'm not so sure that the reason you gave is why had so much trouble in Tests.

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    U19 Cricketer albo97056's Avatar
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    Whenever i saw him bat in tests he just looked too nervous. With odis you can be very free flowing, just have a slash at anything wide, whereas he tried to change his game for tests which was the wrong way to go. If hed have played the same way he would probably have played a lot more tests. I believe he was shoved down the order for a few tests aswell which might have made a difference.
    Im afraid i dont buy into richards' two sides for 2 forms of the game theory. Sure there are people who did well in one and not tother, but i think the majority would have been for one of several reasons:

    -Not getting enough opportunities

    -Not having a decent run in the team

    -Being a really slow scorer (though not lacking in any other area) - often these guys get stereotyped as players who cant change their game.

    -A bad mindset

    -Just being unlucky not to get more games (Mark butcher springs to mind for odis)

    Most are covered under those catagories i believe, though there are the odd exceptions. Nick Knight had a bad mindset i reckon (though obviously no one can really say except for him). I seriously doubt anybody who can make it to the top level and can score hundreds galore in odis and county cricket agaisnt exactly the same bowlers as in tests are lacking outside off stump. The only reason they nick them is because of a negative mindset brought on by the test match game or great balls which you can get in any form of the game.
    Obviously im not saying this can neccessarily be overcome easily, it may be that knight couldnt do anything about it. Thats just the way he played when he saw a red ball. Certainly a better explanation imo than "Hes not good enough".

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Only someone who specifically vetoed the idea that the two game-forms are different could come to such a conclusion. It was patently obvious to anyone watching that Nick Knight did not always know where his off-stump was, by the amount he played defensive strokes to deliveries that were not on the line of the stumps. He could only leave the stuff that was nowhere near.

    Of course, you can blame it on mindset and there's virtually no way to prove otherwise, but as far as I'm concerned most things people blame on mindset are just a cop-out, a way of refusing to believe a player isn't good enough. Another classic case of this is Harmison, especially where ODIs are concerned. Knight played shots in Test cricket too, y'know, and that did get him out of times, too.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Im afraid i dont buy into richards' two sides for 2 forms of the game theory. Sure there are people who did well in one and not tother, but i think the majority would have been for one of several reasons:

    -Not getting enough opportunities

    -Not having a decent run in the team

    -Being a really slow scorer (though not lacking in any other area) - often these guys get stereotyped as players who cant change their game.

    -A bad mindset

    -Just being unlucky not to get more games (Mark butcher springs to mind for odis)
    Hmm. Well that's rubbish really. I'm going to assume you're just talking about batting, because bowling is so clearly different that I seriously doubt anyone would claim otherwise. Why don't you have a look at some domestic records, where players like Vaughan, Slater et al were given extended runs in one day matches with little pressure of being dropped? They are ordinary.

    One obvious difference is the fields. I'll even take the Nick Knight example for this one. Given his weakness was off-stump awareness, he would be far less likely to get out in ODIs for the simple reason that less catching fielders behind the wicket existed. He'd edge to a vacant slip area regularly even in ODIs - but given the neccessity to save runs, you couldn't stack the slips obviously, so he'd obviously pick the gap in that area quite often. After the first 15 overs were out of the way, the slips would typically vanish altogether. It works the other one too though. If you take a player like Michael Vaughan, who in a test match might play out the following over:
    ...4.. giving him quite a good test strike. Given the defensive fields in ODIs though, that four shot could have been creamed straight to the fielder at extra cover, and all of sudden we have a maiden on our hands. In one day cricket, you need to take more singles and rotate the strike. A lot is made of having to be a strokemaker but you don't really - you just have to be able to take a run off more balls than not, and learn to place the good ball into the gap. Michael Vaughan doesn't do this well - he hits glorious shots straight to fielders in ODIs and then plays perfect defensive shots but that gets him nowhere. Michael Slater was extremely similar.

    Secondly, the bowling objectives make a large difference. Again I will point to Knight. While in test matches, bowlers may have been willing to float one full outside off to get the edge, risking a drive through the covers, they weren't so willing in ODIs due to the need to save runs. They'd bowl a little shorter and a little tighter in to try to bowl dot balls or single balls and hence Knight's weakness wasn't being shown up. In tests, obviously, it's the opposite. Your technique is examined, and your defensive weaknesses are put under the hammer by good bowlers. They don't mind so much if you take 12 off an over if they think they have a chance of getting you out for 30 odd in the next over.

    There are other differences as well including the simply pressure to score quickly and the need to hit big down the order.

    Quite often players can be good at both forms of the game but sometimes they are just suited to one form and not t'other. Knight was one such case.
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  10. #10
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    That's a great post in general (certainly a great contender with GIMH's "England in 07" for this week's Afridi), but I particularly like the bit about the batting strike-rates - I lose count of the number of times I at commentators saying "he just needs to play naturally, he scores quickly anyway". If it was so simple, why doesn't he do it? Does no-one notice that he plays the exact same way in both games, it just has different results?

    Well - clearly someone does, but do these generally-knowledgeable people not?

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    U19 Cricketer albo97056's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Hmm. Well that's rubbish really. I'm going to assume you're just talking about batting, because bowling is so clearly different that I seriously doubt anyone would claim otherwise. Why don't you have a look at some domestic records, where players like Vaughan, Slater et al were given extended runs in one day matches with little pressure of being dropped? They are ordinary.

    One obvious difference is the fields. I'll even take the Nick Knight example for this one. Given his weakness was off-stump awareness, he would be far less likely to get out in ODIs for the simple reason that less catching fielders behind the wicket existed. He'd edge to a vacant slip area regularly even in ODIs - but given the neccessity to save runs, you couldn't stack the slips obviously, so he'd obviously pick the gap in that area quite often. After the first 15 overs were out of the way, the slips would typically vanish altogether. It works the other one too though. If you take a player like Michael Vaughan, who in a test match might play out the following over:
    ...4.. giving him quite a good test strike. Given the defensive fields in ODIs though, that four shot could have been creamed straight to the fielder at extra cover, and all of sudden we have a maiden on our hands. In one day cricket, you need to take more singles and rotate the strike. A lot is made of having to be a strokemaker but you don't really - you just have to be able to take a run off more balls than not, and learn to place the good ball into the gap. Michael Vaughan doesn't do this well - he hits glorious shots straight to fielders in ODIs and then plays perfect defensive shots but that gets him nowhere. Michael Slater was extremely similar.

    Secondly, the bowling objectives make a large difference. Again I will point to Knight. While in test matches, bowlers may have been willing to float one full outside off to get the edge, risking a drive through the covers, they weren't so willing in ODIs due to the need to save runs. They'd bowl a little shorter and a little tighter in to try to bowl dot balls or single balls and hence Knight's weakness wasn't being shown up. In tests, obviously, it's the opposite. Your technique is examined, and your defensive weaknesses are put under the hammer by good bowlers. They don't mind so much if you take 12 off an over if they think they have a chance of getting you out for 30 odd in the next over.

    There are other differences as well including the simply pressure to score quickly and the need to hit big down the order.

    Quite often players can be good at both forms of the game but sometimes they are just suited to one form and not t'other. Knight was one such case.
    Yes i was talking about batting in particular, but i reckon some of it applies to bowling aswell.I dont understand why nearly every commentator or newspaper critic works on the principle that if a player is good at one form then as a rule they will be good at the other, while nearly everyone on this forum talks otherwise. Is there some conspiracy here?
    I for one dont see how a game that takes one day rather than 4 or 5 can be so different as to make a player worthless to one and invaluable to another. To me the only difference can be in the mindset of either the player or in the people who select /coach the team.
    If youve made your way to even county level you're bound to be able to bat. If, as indeed you point out above that field setting is the most important part of the differences between games (and obviously the need to score off every ball also), then the differences in performance to my mind can ONLY come due to the way one thinks about approaching the game. NOT in their technique or talent. Its just a matter of having the minset to hit the ball into a gap. To me if youve made it to the top level you will be able to hit gaps if you play the same way that you suceed in your best form of the game.
    Knight infact was one who wasnt the typical one day accumulative player that you speak of. If anything he was suited to opening in odis because he could hit over the top, not hit gaps, although he could drop into that role later.
    Why could he not play in this aggressive manner in tests? Many before have done the same. Pietersen will play exactly the same way between forms of the game and it doesnt seem to prevent him playing both games. There are few examples of a player playing the same way and having the career knight did. And those i put down to the other factors on my list.
    Knight was always so tentative outside off stump in tests. He had a much higher sr in odis, an obvious sign that he was playing differently (71 to 43 infact), especially when they were packing the slip cordon. Countless times id watch him take an hour to get into double figures, it was aggonising, definitely not a sign of a player playing his natural game. The fact is that there'd always be 2 slips and possibly a gully for the first 15 overs when he was batting in odis. How many more would there be in tests? One or two extra catchers at most.. You're not telling me a 50% change in an average from tests to odis can be explained by a couple of extra cathers. Id like to see exactly how many cathces off him were taken at gully or 3rd slip! I doubt more than 3 or 4. Even if it were 5/6 it still wouldnt account for the disscrepancy in the average (and thats not taking into account the extra runs that were available to the freed up positions!). What other factors could come into it if we ignore mindset? Maybe the red ball? Possibly. Cant think of much else....Though he coped with the red ball fine in county cricket.
    Theres no need to call my argument rubbish. Many others have the same view, im inclined to think that you are infact in the minority here.... There really is no way to say for sure.

  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    EVERYONE has a higher strike-rate in one-day games than Tests. Also, those with lower averages very rarely fail to suffer in strike-rate too.

    And if it really were so simple as having the right mindset to hit the ball into gaps - why do so many fail to do it? Why do you so often see strokes hitting the fielders? IMO it's nonsense to blame such a thing on mindset - just, as I said earlier, a cop-out. If you've got the skill, you hit the gaps. If you haven't, you don't. The speed a ball is delivered at, mindset doesn't have time to come into it where placement is concerned - it's all about that split-second judgement, which comes down to skill and skill alone. Several different skills, of course.

    Oh, and regarding why do commentators and newspaper critics work on the principle that the best players are the same - it's much of a generational thing. Most such critics are in their 40s and 50s and had early experiences of the one-day game where such a thing was true. But it no longer is. And most of this board are much younger (19-20-21-22 sort of ages in the main). We grew-up with the game the way it currently is. So we realise the reality that there are many, many players good enough in one form, not in the other.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    I for one dont see how a game that takes one day rather than 4 or 5 can be so different as to make a player worthless to one and invaluable to another.
    Well it appears you haven't read the post you quoted then.

    If, as indeed you point out above that field setting is the most important part of the differences between games (and obviously the need to score off every ball also), then the differences in performance to my mind can ONLY come due to the way one thinks about approaching the game. NOT in their technique or talent.
    Well, no. People bat differently. Hitting the gap is a skill - it's a technical aspect of the game that not all batsmen posess. Someone like Michael Vaughan simply isn't very good at it in comparison to others. Obviously he's not so ridiculously bad at it that he's the worst one day player of all time, but he's not as good at it as others aroud. It's of no concequence in test cricket because he has a sound defense and he can hit bad balls for four with attacking fields in place. The test game suits his batting technique and his strengths. The one day game does not.

    Why could he not play in this aggressive manner in tests? Many before have done the same.
    Because, as has been said, his weakness outside off stump, occompanied by fields set for this weakness and bowlers trying to exploit it rather than restrict him, prevented him from succeeding. He tried to play aggressively at times and he failed then too. He simply wasn't a very good test batsman.

    He had a much higher sr in odis, an obvious sign that he was playing differently (71 to 43 infact), especially when they were packing the slip cordon.
    Well duh! Thank you captain obvious.Name me any recognised batsman of the modern ero who has a similar test strike to his ODI strike rate, and who played significant matches to judge so.

    You're not telling me a 50% change in an average from tests to odis can be explained by a couple of extra cathers
    Read the third paragraph of my post.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Well duh!
    You've been reading too much C_C!

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Oh, and regarding why do commentators and newspaper critics work on the principle that the best players are the same - it's much of a generational thing. Most such critics are in their 40s and 50s and had early experiences of the one-day game where such a thing was true. But it no longer is. And most of this board are much younger (19-20-21-22 sort of ages in the main). We grew-up with the game the way it currently is. So we realise the reality that there are many, many players good enough in one form, not in the other.
    Yeah, I was going to say the same thing earlier in reponse to your post. Commentators who are generally ex-players don't appreciate the difference because they either played little to no one day cricket or they played in an era where it actually wasn't that dis-similar to test cricket. It takes an eighteen year old who has only been following cricket seriously for 5 years to truly appreciate this difference as that's all he has ever seen - he doesn't need to have to adapt to the change as they haven't been many in his time.

    (And god it feels weird referring to myself in third person.)

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