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View Poll Results: Who was the better opener?

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  • Trescothick

    19 54.29%
  • Atherton

    16 45.71%
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Thread: Trescothick V Atherton

  1. #1
    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    Trescothick V Atherton

    Two very different openers, who CWers seem divided on. Tresco was more attacking and finished with a higher average, Atherton was a great defensive batsman, finished with an average that arguably didn't do him justice. Both truly nice blokes.

    Anyway, I could go on here, but all I want to ask is who do people feel was the better Test opener for England?

    Discuss.

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  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    Two very different openers, who CWers seem divided on. Tresco was more attacking and finished with a higher average, Atherton was a great defensive batsman, finished with an average that arguably didn't do him justice. Both truly nice blokes.

    Anyway, I could go on here, but all I want to ask is who do people feel was the better Test opener for England?

    Discuss.
    Hmm, don't think Aths was a great defensive batsmen or finished with an average that didn't do him justice.

    Did you watch him GIMH?

    He was really gutsy and really made the most of his talents. Got to admire him for over-riding his terrible injury, and we have no idea how much that may have reflected in his play.
    Last edited by grecian; 23-03-2008 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Not being very fair on Athers
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  3. #3
    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    I was trying to be objective actually so should have said "many feel he was a great defensive batsman" etc. Did say "arguably" WRT average though. No point editing now though

    Yeah, I did watch him, hard to make comparisons though as I feel when he was in his prime I did not really understand Cricket. Certainly if someone had to keep their wicket for my life, I would not be upset if Athers the man chosen - provided McGrath wasn't bowling

  4. #4
    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    I was trying to be objective actually so should have said "many feel he was a great defensive batsman" etc. Did say "arguably" WRT average though. No point editing now though

    Yeah, I did watch him, hard to make comparisons though as I feel when he was in his prime I did not really understand Cricket. Certainly if someone had to keep their wicket for my life, I would not be upset if Athers the man chosen - provided McGrath wasn't bowling

    Yes I have edited accordingly, I felt I was being unfair on the bloke.

    I also should admit my own bias, being a Zummerzet fan.


  5. #5
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Atherton every single time for me. Not only does his simplistic career average say little about him (need to look deeper than that in almost any career of any length) but Trescothick's scorebook-average flatters him enormously. His scorebook average against Test-class teams is 41; his first-chance average, over his entire career, is actually just over 30. And while that accurately sums-up the fact he was never a Test-class player, even Trescothick had his moments, mostly during the summer and winter of 2004 and 2004/05. And his mostly good 20s, 30s and 40s undoubtedly helped smash the wayward Australian seamers onto the back-foot in 2005 too. Exclude this and he did nothing of note whatsoever, but the fact he was mostly awful shouldn't completely obscure the fact he played an important part in this time.

    Anyway, Atherton. What so few people seem to realise is that his injury was not a constant thing. There were 2 series where it affected him really badly; knock these out and you have a summation of what Atherton was capable of without the injury. And really, I don't see any reason to consider these 2 series (Zimbabwe in 1996\97 and Australia in 1998\99) of any importance whatsoever. So he couldn't score when he could barely move; WTF does this matter? He played another 90-odd Tests where he did score, very well.

    Atherton, of course, also had 2 Tests at the start of his career (which he shouldn't have played) and 10 at the end where his performances were not good at all. Again, there's nothing unusual there whatsoever, more players than not have bad starts (especially when selected too early) and ends.

    Since I last posted an Atherton analysis, StatsGuru has been improved, and I can now offer a true assessment of the part of his career that matters. So here it is. Excluding the meaningless series in which he was injured, the meaingless series where he was picked too early, and the last 3 series in which he was on the way down.

    The most annoying thing is the fact that there were 4 series against Australia that, in my view, were either completely or fairly meaningless. And this led to the conclusion that he couldn't play against Australia, which as you see from the fact that he played 44 innings against them in the time which does matter and averaged 35 is completely and totally untrue.

    His record against the typically weaker attacks of his day - India, New Zealand and Zimbabwe - is excellent, lending weight to the suggestion that in the post-2001\02 age where most bowlers were poor he could easily have averaged in the 50s.

    I watched most of Atherton's career, and am willing to open my eyes to the fact there is a massive difference between the fit Atherton and the unfit Atherton (and that the last 10 games don't really mean too much compared to the 97 in the middle when fit). And I could tell you without even looking at the averages that he'd done damn well. Then you look at the fact he averaged 41.54, when attacks were more often strong than weak, and you see he's been one of the best England batsmen of recent times. Often he was the best in the side.

    Why anyone would deny this is beyond me.
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  6. #6
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Atherton every single time for me. Not only does his simplistic career average say little about him (need to look deeper than that in almost any career of any length) but Trescothick's scorebook-average flatters him enormously. His scorebook average against Test-class teams is 41; his first-chance average, over his entire career, is actually just over 30. And while that accurately sums-up the fact he was never a Test-class player, even Trescothick had his moments, mostly during the summer and winter of 2004 and 2004/05. And his mostly good 20s, 30s and 40s undoubtedly helped smash the wayward Australian seamers onto the back-foot in 2005 too. Exclude this and he did nothing of note whatsoever, but the fact he was mostly awful shouldn't completely obscure the fact he played an important part in this time.

    Anyway, Atherton. What so few people seem to realise is that his injury was not a constant thing. There were 2 series where it affected him really badly; knock these out and you have a summation of what Atherton was capable of without the injury. And really, I don't see any reason to consider these 2 series (Zimbabwe in 1996\97 and Australia in 1998\99) of any importance whatsoever. So he couldn't score when he could barely move; WTF does this matter? He played another 90-odd Tests where he did score, very well.

    Atherton, of course, also had 2 Tests at the start of his career (which he shouldn't have played) and 10 at the end where his performances were not good at all. Again, there's nothing unusual there whatsoever, more players than not have bad starts (especially when selected too early) and ends.

    Since I last posted an Atherton analysis, StatsGuru has been improved, and I can now offer a true assessment of the part of his career that matters. So here it is. Excluding the meaningless series in which he was injured, the meaingless series where he was picked too early, and the last 3 series in which he was on the way down.

    The most annoying thing is the fact that there were 4 series against Australia that, in my view, were either completely or fairly meaningless. And this led to the conclusion that he couldn't play against Australia, which as you see from the fact that he played 44 innings against them in the time which does matter and averaged 35 is completely and totally untrue.

    His record against the typically weaker attacks of his day - India, New Zealand and Zimbabwe - is excellent, lending weight to the suggestion that in the post-2001\02 age where most bowlers were poor he could easily have averaged in the 50s.

    I watched most of Atherton's career, and am willing to open my eyes to the fact there is a massive difference between the fit Atherton and the unfit Atherton (and that the last 10 games don't really mean too much compared to the 97 in the middle when fit). And I could tell you without even looking at the averages that he'd done damn well. Then you look at the fact he averaged 41.54, when attacks were more often strong than weak, and you see he's been one of the best England batsmen of recent times. Often he was the best in the side.

    Why anyone would deny this is beyond me.
    So...after all this, which one of his games did you count?
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  7. #7
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    I told you, there's 97 still there. Is that really not enough? 97 games is a damn massive career.

  8. #8
    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    So...after all this, which one of his games did you count?
    Yes this is the problem. We'll also never know his FCA, because no-one took account of it at the time.

    Still it looks like I'm in the minority here, so I may accept my bias has skew-whiffed me, I am only human, after all. Yet the stats leave me unmoved, a lot of ifs and buts in there really.

  9. #9
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grecian View Post
    Yes this is the problem. We'll also never know his FCA, because no-one took account of it at the time.
    I did, I assure you. Atherton didn't get dropped that many times, because slip-catching by-and-large was better in the 1990s, like bowling (and no, I don't accept any bias there, strikes me as bloody well straightforward deduction) but I could tell you a handful of innings where he was and profited. You don't want to hear that, of course, because you want to believe I don't take any notice of let-offs for players I rate.

  10. #10
    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I did, I assure you. Atherton didn't get dropped that many times, because slip-catching by-and-large was better in the 1990s, like bowling (and no, I don't accept any bias there, strikes me as bloody well straightforward deduction) but I could tell you a handful of innings where he was and profited. You don't want to hear that, of course, because you want to believe I don't take any notice of let-offs for players I rate.
    Well, I just doubt anyone has such a memory. I just believe you make a massive deal over it for some, but don't for others, for instance you've worked out an exact first-chance average for Tres, but you don't seem to have done it for Cook or Athers. No, I don't believe slip-fielding was so much better, it's not how I remember it, and it's utterly unprovable, as you well know.

  11. #11
    International 12th Man Shaggy Alfresco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    slip-catching by-and-large was better in the 1990s, like bowling (and no, I don't accept any bias there, strikes me as bloody well straightforward deduction)
    How can you qualify this with data, like you can with the flatness of pitches/quality of bowling?

  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grecian View Post
    Well, I just doubt anyone has such a memory. I just believe you make a massive deal over it for some, but don't for others, for instance you've worked out an exact first-chance average for Tres, but you don't seem to have done it for Cook or Athers.
    I've done it for a whole 3 people over entire careers so far, though to prove the point I shall shortly do it for Cook, who is another who's had a little more than the standard amount of fortune so far in his career. When Cook is added, there'll be Trescothick (don't rate), Vaughan-the-opener (don't rate), Pietersen (rate) and Cook (rate).

    I'd have a job doing it for Atherton with what I currently have, but one day I assure you I will be able to and (to prove a point) will do it.
    No, I don't believe slip-fielding was so much better, it's not how I remember it, and it's utterly unprovable, as you well know.
    It's fairly proveable, but far from easy I'll grant you. I recall, however, way more chances being dropped in recent years than in the not-too-distant past either. FWIW, so does Richie Benaud.

  13. #13
    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Alfresco View Post
    How can you qualify this with data, like you can with the flatness of pitches/quality of bowling?
    You can't and he knows it, I particularly remember an Eng-WI tour in 95, I think, where I seem to remember drop after drop.

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Go on then, give us some actual fielders, batsmen, bowlers and scores?

  15. #15
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Trescothick much better IMO. Artherton is hugely overrated by some.

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