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Thread: The Greatest All-Rounder of All Time

  1. #136
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    The Sean is more knowledgeable than I, I hope he kicks in with his 2 bob.
    Flattery will get you everywhere Ikki!

    There’s no question that in his early career Miller was seen predominantly as a batsman, and an outstanding one at that, nor is there any question that the demands of bowling – and of not taking anything particularly seriously – took the edge off his batting as his career progressed. Phillip Derriman put it best when he noted that “Miller came into big cricket as a brilliant batsman who surprised people by bowling as well as he did, and went out of it as a great fast bowler who could still bat brilliantly but only on occasion.“

    For most people, Miller shone brightest as a batsman in 1945 in the Victory Tests and for the Dominions XI against England – in those six “Tests” he made 654 runs at 72 with four centuries and his batting was by all accounts of absolutely the highest class. Bill O’Reilly was one of many convinced he would go on to become one of Australia’s greatest ever batsmen but as Tiger himself later said: “He never blossomed out as I was certain he would.”

    There are a number of reasons for this, and Bradman can take some credit/blame – he recognised in Miller early on a great natural bowler and the Australian side of the time needed Miller’s bowling more than his batting, so as Nugget’s career progressed bowling assumed the greater significance, even if his back problems meant that he couldn’t bowl the sheer quantity of overs that his captains might have liked. It should be remembered as well that due to the war Miller didn’t play his first Test until the age of 26, and was 27 by the time he played his second. It’s only natural then that he declined after a few years, given by that time he was well into his 30s.

    It was noted too by John Warr among others that Miller’s technique, particularly on wet wickets or those taking spin, could be found wanting – too much pad and not enough bat, and without the patience required in those conditions to build a big score. As Ikki, Matt and several other posters have also correctly pointed out, Miller relished a contest and found it hard to motivate himself to cash in against minnows – it’s no coincidence that all of Miller’s Test centuries came against either England or WI, the two other major powers in world cricket at the time.

    To say that he never performed with both bat and ball at the same time isn’t correct though. He’s one of only two men along with Sobers to score 300 runs and take 20 wickets in the same series more than once, and topped 200 runs/15 wickets in four further series. For a player renowned for flights of erratic behaviour and a devil-may-care attitude, his overall Test career is actually one of admirable consistency. Whether he would have achieved more or less with a different attitude is a moot point, what he did achieve still puts him among a tiny elite.
    Last edited by The Sean; 13-08-2009 at 06:58 AM.
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  2. #137
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBH001 View Post
    TBPH, I think that buying into the Miller 'myth'. From my recollection of the statistical record, he did indeed, to a great extent, feast on average and inferior opponents, and non/low pressure situations. Not that there is anything wrong in that mind you - I just dont buy the "Miller didnt try hard enough because he didnt care" argument.
    TBF, most of Miller's best performances came against stronger opposition. His record against the lesser teams of the time is pretty ordinary.

  3. #138
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    LOL, I mean had the war not even existed...not had he played then while it was going on.
    I realised that! All those Messerschmitts up his arse would have been very distracting.

    What I was trying to say was that these sorts of things are desperately difficult to call. It's impossible to know what would have happened had the War not interrupted his career. The fact that he didn't start playing Tests till 1945 might have helped his career, or it might have hindered it. You just can't be sure.

    What I find a little easier to call is that he would have been an even better batsman had he not bowled. I wouldn't say this is a given (for example in the cases of Gilchrist and Botham, I think that their other skills (keeping / bowling) helped liberate them as batsmen) but it sounds quite plausible. But the fact is that he was an all-rounder, and it's in that role that we know him as the great player that he was.

    ps great post, Sean.
    Last edited by zaremba; 13-08-2009 at 06:57 AM.

  4. #139
    International Captain kingkallis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Sean View Post
    TBF, most of Miller's best performances came against stronger opposition. His record against the lesser teams of the time is pretty ordinary.
    Even Imran avoided playing minnows!
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  5. #140
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkallis View Post
    Even Imran avoided playing minnows!
    I'm not sure I get your point mate. Imran played plenty against Sri Lanka IIRC.
    Last edited by The Sean; 13-08-2009 at 12:57 PM.

  6. #141
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    ps great post, Sean.
    Thanks Mr Z.

  7. #142
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Sean View Post
    Flattery will get you everywhere Ikki!

    There’s no question that in his early career Miller was seen predominantly as a batsman, and an outstanding one at that, nor is there any question that the demands of bowling – and of not taking anything particularly seriously – took the edge off his batting as his career progressed. Phillip Derriman put it best when he noted that “Miller came into big cricket as a brilliant batsman who surprised people by bowling as well as he did, and went out of it as a great fast bowler who could still bat brilliantly but only on occasion.“

    For most people, Miller shone brightest as a batsman in 1945 in the Victory Tests and for the Dominions XI against England – in those six “Tests” he made 654 runs at 72 with four centuries and his batting was by all accounts of absolutely the highest class. Bill O’Reilly was one of many convinced he would go on to become one of Australia’s greatest ever batsmen but as Tiger himself later said: “He never blossomed out as I was certain he would.”

    There are a number of reasons for this, and Bradman can take some credit/blame – he recognised in Miller early on a great natural bowler and the Australian side of the time needed Miller’s bowling more than his batting, so as Nugget’s career progressed bowling assumed the greater significance, even if his back problems meant that he couldn’t bowl the sheer quantity of overs that his captains might have liked. It should be remembered as well that due to the war Miller didn’t play his first Test until the age of 26, and was 27 by the time he played his second. It’s only natural then that he declined after a few years, given by that time he was well into his 30s.

    It was noted too by John Warr among others that Miller’s technique, particularly on wet wickets or those taking spin, could be found wanting – too much pad and not enough bat, and without the patience required in those conditions to build a big score. As Ikki, Matt and several other posters have also correctly pointed out, Miller relished a contest and found it hard to motivate himself to cash in against minnows – it’s no coincidence that all of Miller’s Test centuries came against either England or WI, the two other major powers in world cricket at the time.

    To say that he never performed with both bat and ball at the same time isn’t correct though. He’s one of only two men along with Sobers to score 300 runs and take 20 wickets in the same series more than once, and topped 200 runs/15 wickets in four further series. For a player renowned for flights of erratic behaviour and a devil-may-care attitude, his overall Test career is actually one of admirable consistency. Whether he would have achieved more or less with a different attitude is a moot point, what he did achieve still puts him among a tiny elite.
    I blame Hitler for not allowing us to see the best of Miller the "all-rounder"

  8. #143
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Ha ha actually I'd blame Hitler for not letting us see the very best of Miller the batsman.

  9. #144
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkallis View Post
    Even Imran avoided playing minnows!
    that is totally untrue. he played 10 tests against sri lanka, the minnow of his era, and took 46 wickets at an average under 15. if you take these wickets away, his overall bowling average falls to 24 (from a figure under 23). it is obvious that he did benefit from playing a lot against them. i consider imran the best all-rounder ever (sobers in my books was a batting all-rounder) but i wont buy the argument you have presented.

  10. #145
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    that is totally untrue. he played 10 tests against sri lanka, the minnow of his era, and took 46 wickets at an average under 15. if you take these wickets away, his overall bowling average falls to 24 (from a figure under 23). it is obvious that he did benefit from playing a lot against them. i consider imran the best all-rounder ever (sobers in my books was a batting all-rounder) but i wont buy the argument you have presented.
    This was what I was getting at when I asked what kingkallis meant by his statement - it didn't make much sense, and your figures there bear this out.

  11. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    that is totally untrue. he played 10 tests against sri lanka, the minnow of his era, and took 46 wickets at an average under 15. if you take these wickets away, his overall bowling average falls to 24 (from a figure under 23). it is obvious that he did benefit from playing a lot against them. i consider imran the best all-rounder ever (sobers in my books was a batting all-rounder) but i wont buy the argument you have presented.
    I believe what the poster may have been referring to was one series against New Zealand in 1990 which Imran opted out of when he discovered that Hadlee wasn't playing. But that was the exception, not the rule.

  12. #147
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    okay guys... here is how i intend to run the polls... suggestions are welcome...

    to qualify for the polls, the player

    1. should have taken 4 or more wickets in an innings at least 5 times. post WW2 cricketers should have taken at least 100 wickets.
    2. scored 50 or more on at least five occasions. and average > 20 with the bat overall
    3. am including stats against all nations and including the ICC XI vs Australia match.

    I intend to conduct two prelim polls and choose SIX players out of them for the final polls.

    Poll 1 will feature pure all rounders. batting avg > 30. bowling avg < 35. and bowling avg is not more than two points above batting avg. we are selecting FOUR players from this pool.

    Code:
    GA Faulkner (SA) 	25 	1754 	204 	40.79 	4 	82 	7/84 	26.58 	4 	20 	0 
    WA Armstrong (Aus)	50 	2863 	159* 	38.68 	6 	87 	6/35 	33.59 	3 	44 	0 
    Imran Khan (Pak) 	88 	3807 	136 	37.69 	6 	362 	8/58 	22.81 	23 	28 	0 
    KR Miller (Aus) 	55 	2958 	147 	36.97 	7 	170 	7/60 	22.97 	7 	38 	0 
    JM Gregory (Aus) 	24 	1146 	119 	36.96 	2 	85 	7/69 	31.15 	4 	37 	0 
    FE Woolley (Eng) 	64 	3283 	154 	36.07 	5 	83 	7/76 	33.91 	4 	64 	0 
    TL Goddard (SA) 	41 	2516 	112 	34.46 	1 	123 	6/53 	26.22 	5 	48 	0 
    IT Botham (Eng) 	102 	5200 	208 	33.54 	14 	383 	8/34 	28.40 	27 	120 	0 
    CL Cairns (NZ) 	62 	3320 	158 	33.53 	5 	218 	7/27 	29.40 	13 	14 	0 
    MG Johnson (Aus) 	25 	788 	123* 	32.83 	1 	110 	8/61 	28.68 	3 	6 	0 
    SM Pollock (SA) 	108 	3781 	111 	32.31 	2 	421 	7/87 	23.11 	16 	72 	0 
    A Flintoff (Eng/ICC) 	78 	3816 	167 	32.06 	5 	225 	5/58 	32.59 	3 	51 	0 
    IK Pathan (India) 	29 	1105 	102 	31.57 	1 	100 	7/59 	32.26 	7 	8 	0 
    MH Mankad (India) 	44 	2109 	231 	31.47 	5 	162 	8/52 	32.32 	8 	33 	0 
    N Kapil Dev (India) 	131 	5248 	163 	31.05 	8 	434 	9/83 	29.64 	23 	64 	0 
    MA Noble (Aus) 	42 	1997 	133 	30.25 	1 	121 	7/17 	25.00 	9 	26 	0 
    W Rhodes (Eng) 	58 	2325 	179 	30.19 	2 	127 	8/68 	26.96 	6 	60 	0

    Poll 2
    will feature batting all rounders, bowling all rounders and bits and pieces all rounders. we will select TWO players in this poll.

    1. batting all rounder: batting avg > 40 and bowling avg > 30
    2. bowling all-rounder: batting avg > 20 and < 30; bowling average < 30.
    3. bits and pieces all-rounder: batting avg > 20. bowling average not more than 10 points above batting avg

    Code:
    GS Sobers (WI) 	93 	8032 	365* 	57.78 	26 	235 	6/73 	34.03 	6 	109 	0 
    JH Kallis (ICC/SA) 	131 	10277 	189* 	54.66 	31 	258 	6/54 	31.08 	5 	147 	0 
    AW Greig (Eng) 	58 	3599 	148 	40.43 	8 	141 	8/86 	32.20 	6 	87 	0 
    TE Bailey (Eng) 	61 	2290 	134* 	29.74 	1 	132 	7/34 	29.21 	5 	32 	0 
    W Bates (Eng) 	15 	656 	64 	27.33 	0 	50 	7/28 	16.42 	4 	9 	0 
    Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ) 	86 	3124 	151* 	27.16 	2 	431 	9/52 	22.29 	36 	39 	0 
    MW Tate (Eng) 	39 	1198 	100* 	25.48 	1 	155 	6/42 	26.16 	7 	11 	0 
    AK Davidson (Aus) 	44 	1328 	80 	24.59 	0 	186 	7/93 	20.53 	14 	42 	0 
    R Benaud (Aus) 	63 	2201 	122 	24.45 	3 	248 	7/72 	27.03 	16 	65 	0 
    WPUJC Vaas (SL) 	111 	3089 	100* 	24.32 	1 	355 	7/71 	29.58 	12 	31 	0 
    G Giffen (Aus) 	31 	1238 	161 	23.35 	1 	103 	7/117 	27.09 	7 	24 	0 
    Akram (Pak)  	104  	2898  	257*  	22.64  	3  	414  	7/119  	23.62  	25  	44  	0
    HH Streak (Zim) 	65 	1990 	127* 	22.35 	1 	216 	6/73 	28.14 	7 	17 	0 
    RR Lindwall (Aus) 	61 	1502 	118 	21.15 	2 	228 	7/38 	23.03 	12 	26 	0 
    RJ Shastri (India) 	80 	3830 	206 	35.79 	11 	151 	5/75 	40.96 	2 	36 	0 
    Abdul Razzaq (Pak) 46 	1946 	134 	28.61 	3 	100 	5/35 	36.94 	1 	15 	0 
    DL Vettori (ICC/NZ) 	92 	3220 	137* 	28.24 	3 	293 	7/87 	33.55 	18 	47 	0 
    DA Allen (Eng) 	39 	918 	88 	25.50 	0 	122 	5/30 	30.97 	4 	10 	0 
    L Amarnath (India) 	24 	878 	118 	24.38 	1 	45 	5/96 	32.91 	2 	13 	0 
    R Illingworth (Eng) 	61 	1836 	113 	23.24 	2 	122 	6/29 	31.20 	3 	45 	0 
    JH Sinclair (SA) 	25 	1069 	106 	23.23 	3 	63 	6/26 	31.68 	1 	9 	0
    Last edited by bagapath; 13-08-2009 at 09:06 PM.

  13. #148
    Global Moderator Fusion's Avatar
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    Are you creating separate threads for the polls or are we supposed to vote in here?

  14. #149
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    will create separate threads for the polls.

    the list is produced here so that we know what we are getting into. rather than worry about missing names etc after the polls are on.

  15. #150
    SJS
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    In his book on Ian Chappell, Ashley Mallet writes of a very interesting episode narrated to him by Keith Miller's son Dennis.

    'A few years ago Keith and Denis were watching the Test cricket, and a voice over refered to Don Bradman as the world's best (ever) cricketer. Denis said, Keith rose to his feet and said."Bradman, best batsman? Yes. Best cricketer? Garry Sobers!" '
    Last edited by SJS; 14-08-2009 at 08:15 AM.

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