View Poll Results: Who do you think was the better Test bowler?

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  • Dominic Gerald Cork

    2 8.70%
  • Matthew James Hoggard

    15 65.22%
  • Not much between them

    1 4.35%
  • Alex Tudor

    5 21.74%
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Thread: Dominic Cork vs Matthew Hoggard - TEST match BOWLING

  1. #1
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Dominic Cork vs Matthew Hoggard - TEST match BOWLING

    This is a potentially interesting question, now that Matthew Hoggard's Test career is almost certainly over. Raised principally because of the England 1995-2008 team thread (a period which nicely enough encompasses both bowlers' entire careers). Both of these two were bowlers short of the highest class, whose basic inherant skill level was not, quite, sufficient to give them the potential to achieve excellence, never mind brilliance. Both of times were left leading their country's attacks, a role you could tell they were certainly short of the class to do to a particularly accomplished degree. Yet both had disadvantages in their careers which meant that in the end they probably came out on the "moderate" rather than "good" platform. To an extent, to me, both go down as wasted talents. With less ill-fortune, I reckon both could've been very good, complimentary, bowlers.

    Yet both had their moments aplenty at Test level and both left the impression that their side would've been weaker, at some points, for their non-presence.

    Hoggard was useless between 2000 and 2003, but from 2004 to 2007 performed pretty well, taking advantage of what friendly conditions he encountered and twice putting-in some fabulous shows when the odds were stacked against him. But in the end his career was ended premuaturely and for most of his home career the ball used did not swing anywhere near as much as you'd expect a ball to do in England.

    Cork in 1995 and 1996 managed some stirring, and to my mind quite excellent, bowling, and rehashed this in the summers of 1998 and 2000. Sadly, in the meantime, he did very little of note, but bad selection played its part, considerably so IMO, as did the unfortunate, and deeply untimely, breakdown of his marriage.

    Before thinking the above through I'd be inclined to go for Cork, purely (possibly) because he was the first England bowler whose above-the-ordinary skill I really took note of. However, all things considered, perhaps Hoggard in the end achieved a little more. Certainly Cork never produced (even if he never got THAT many chances) one, never mind two, performances of the calibre of Nagpur 2005/06 or Adelaide 2006/07. But for those two, they're on an equal footing. However, I think that those two matches just tip things towards Hoggard.

    Also, Hoggard ended-up playing for far longer for one simple reason - his temperament was better than Cork's. Cork should've been a fixture in home Tests (and most away ones, perhaps with the exception of those to the subcontinent) from '95 to '02 at the absolute earliest, if not a season or two later. That he wasn't was down to his inability to keep a level head. Hoggard excelled in this department, even if his powers of swing and accuracy were a little inferior to Cork's.

    So, surprising myself, I think I'd have to vote Hoggard here on a head-only basis. Can't quite bring myself to do it though, so Cork it is.

    And please - bowling only. Cork obviously added far more value with the bat than Hoggard did, but ignore this in this poll please.
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  2. #2
    Cricketer Of The Year Xuhaib's Avatar
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    Not an expert on such topics but from what I remember Hoggard always seemed more threatening, Cork was bit of a cannon fodder ITBT, don't know how their records look like but would be shocked if cork ended up with a better test record.

  3. #3
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Pitches were much, much flatter in Hoggard's day. If this were comparing two batsmen that would be the first thing you'd say Dicko
    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    The Filth have comfortably the better bowling. But the Gash have the batting. Might be quite good to watch.

  4. #4
    Cricketer Of The Year Xuhaib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Pitches were much, much flatter in Hoggard's day. If this were comparing two batsmen that would be the first thing you'd say Dicko


  5. #5
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Pitches were much, much flatter in Hoggard's day. If this were comparing two batsmen that would be the first thing you'd say Dicko
    I did mention, did I not, that Hoggard was handicapped considerably by the fact that the ball used between 2001 and 2006 hardly swung? I didn't mention (but will now) that between 2002 and 2006 most pitches offered precious little to seam.

    That said, Cork's success in 1995 and 1996 at home mostly came on pretty flat decks in two very, very sunny summers. Cork was a master at clear-air turbulance and a really good swing-bowler with the right type of ball takes the pitch out of the equation completely.

  6. #6
    Cricketer Of The Year Xuhaib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I did mention, did I not, that Hoggard was handicapped considerably by the fact that the ball used between 2001 and 2006 hardly swung? I didn't mention (but will now) that between 2002 and 2006 most pitches offered precious little to seam.

    That said, Cork's success in 1995 and 1996 at home mostly came on pretty flat decks in two very, very sunny summers. Cork was a master at clear-air turbulance and a really good swing-bowler with the right type of ball takes the pitch out of the equation completely.
    in 96 Pak was in England and from what I remember Cork was smashed to all corners, did not impress at all.

  7. #7
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuhaib View Post
    Not an expert on such topics but from what I remember Hoggard always seemed more threatening, Cork was bit of a cannon fodder ITBT, don't know how their records look like but would be shocked if cork ended up with a better test record.
    Hoggard and to a lesser extent Cork looked and were cannon-fodder on a number of occasions - if the ball didn't swing (which inevitably, regardless of the skill of the bowler, happened from time to time), neither offered anything much. Though both could and did recognise this and were capable of falling back onto excellent lines and blocking-up an end.

    Cork's eventual Test record, though, comfortably exceeds Hoggard's. Career averages are usually meaningless and these two's cases are no exception, but Cork's was 29.81, Hoggard's against Test-class teams 32.07.

  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuhaib View Post
    in 96 Pak was in England and from what I remember Cork was smashed to all corners, did not impress at all.
    Yup, by which time the pitches had become incredibly flat, and Cork's marriage was breaking-up. As Shane Warne proves, that doesn't have to be a handicap if you're strong enough, and Cork wasn't. He wasn't exactly "smashed to all corners" - his economy-rate was 3.31-an-over, expensive, but hardly Sajid Mahmood or Devon Malcolm-esque. Nonetheless, he wasn't impressive in those 3 Tests, not at all.

    But don't you worry - in a damp summer with the domestics fine and dandy, Cork could and would have decimated Pakistan, that series or any other.
    Last edited by Richard; 08-01-2009 at 08:06 AM.

  9. #9
    Cricketer Of The Year Xuhaib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Yup, by which time the pitches had become incredibly flat, and Cork's marriage was breaking-up. As Shane Warne proves, that doesn't have to be a handicap if you're strong enough, and Cork wasn't. He wasn't exactly "smashed to all corners" - his economy-rate was 3.31-an-over, expensive, but hardly Sajid Mahmood or Devon Malcolm-esque.

    But don't you worry - in a damp summer with the domestics fine and dandy, Cork could and would have decimated Pakistan, that series or any other.
    His figures seems to be pretty decent an underrated bowler i reckon, but why just 37 tests?

  10. #10
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    As I say - just the way things worked. He was picked when he shouldn't have been several times and (in part as a result of this) not picked often when he should've been.

    In the summer of 2002, for instance, he was in the best form of his career but couldn't have been handled worse than he was if they'd tried.

    Likewise, he was selected for the winter of 1996/97 (in part at least) before he'd recovered fully, and the inevitable poorness of his performances that winter meant he wasn't seen again until 1998, when he again came in and bowled pretty well (if less so as the summer wore on).

    Likewise he was ignored in 1999 for absolutely no good reason. That someone has been ineffective in Australia doesn't mean for a second that they won't be in England. When he got back in in 2000 he again performed excellently. Then he got a serious injury in the winter of 2000/01 and didn't fully recover until the summer of 2002, when as I say he bowled brilliantly for the most part but was picked at all the wrong times and wasn't picked at all the right times. And that was it. In 2003 he played with a chipped bone in his ankle which inevitably meant his returns were no more than moderate so he never came close to the picture. And from 2004 onwards he moved to Lancs and was never the same bowler so never had the remotest of cases to play again.

  11. #11
    First Class Debutant ozone's Avatar
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    Hoggard for mine, by a small but clear margin. Hoggard pre 2002/3 Ashes wasn't actually that bad, but he had a terrible tour and then was still sub-standard in the games he played in 2003. However, from the West Indies tour in 2004 to the end of his career, Hoggard was an incredibly consistant bowler. Cork, as good as he was in English conditions, was not good enough to get in the side away from home. Apart from the tour of South Africa in the mid-90s where he was excellent, he only played 5 more tests away from home, and performed poorly in these.
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  12. #12
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Gone free of stats on this one and am going to vouch for Hoggard,

  13. #13
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozone View Post
    Hoggard for mine, by a small but clear margin. Hoggard pre 2002/3 Ashes wasn't actually that bad, but he had a terrible tour and then was still sub-standard in the games he played in 2003.
    I don't agree that Hoggard wasn't poor in 2001/02 and 2002 TBH. On the rare occasion the ball swung and seamed (Bangalore and the first-innings at Christchurch 2001/02, first-innings at Trent Bridge 2002) he was OK, but aside from those games the fact that his figures were as good as they were (and that was pretty poor rather than diabolical) was down to the fact that batsmen of times played him poorly (never more so than the Second and Third Tests at home to Sri Lanka in 2002 and the First Test against India, but also in New Zealand in the Third Test). When good batsmen played well, however - as India when they got going in 2002 and Australia in 2002/03, and even Sri Lanka in the First Test in 2002 - Hoggard offered absolutely nothing.
    However, from the West Indies tour in 2004 to the end of his career, Hoggard was an incredibly consistant bowler. Cork, as good as he was in English conditions, was not good enough to get in the side away from home. Apart from the tour of South Africa in the mid-90s where he was excellent, he only played 5 more tests away from home, and performed poorly in these.
    As I say though - had his mind been right, I don't have the slightest doubt he could've performed well in Zimbabwe and New Zealand in 1996/97, and once again in South Africa in 1999/2000. West Indies in 1998 might've been a bigger ask, but it'd not be impossible. I wouldn't deny that he'd have been extremely unlikely to have any real success in the subcontinent in 2000/01 or 2001/02 (had he been fit) though.
    Last edited by Richard; 08-01-2009 at 09:19 AM.

  14. #14
    First Class Debutant ozone's Avatar
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    You can debate how good Hoggard was before the 2002/3 Ashes forever, but the fact is he bowled well in some games and considering he was using a ball that essentially didn't swing, I think he did at least a fair job.

    Cork was unlucky and I think that under different circumstances, he would have bowled better in New Zealand, and maybe even Zimbabwe, but I just don't think he would have been at all effective in Australia or the West Indies.

    When compared to Hoggard, who bowled well all around the world post-2004, I think there's little doubt which is the better bowler.

  15. #15
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    As I say - that Hoggard of 2004 onwards was a better bowler than Cork isn't something I'm going to be disputing. Nor that Cork's chances of success in Australia or West Indies were relatively slim.

    However, poor-quality ball or not, Hoggard up to the end of the 2003 calendar-year was simply not a good bowler IMO. I don't think he'd have been much good even if a better-quality ball had been being used in the 2002 home summer (he didn't play in the 2003 summer, not against a Test-class team anyway, and he only played once in the 2001 one, with relatively moderate results, so those two summers didn't impact a great deal).

    Hoggard of 2004-2007 > Cork, fair enough. But Hoggard of 2000-2003 <<<<<<< Cork.

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