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Thread: Experience

  1. #1
    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    Experience

    "Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.

    Paulo Coelho said this and this thought is often applied to cricket. An experienced outfit should better an inexperienced outfit. This got me thinking about just how experienced most teams are these days.

    If we take every teams last playing XI and add up their combined caps what should we expect to see? An average of how many matches? How many will we see, and how many should we see?

    Lets find out:

    Firstly lets compare the Ashes teams:

    Australia
    319 caps @ 29
    The immense experience of Ponting bolsters a rather inexperienced lineup. Hauritz, Hilfenhaus, Hughes, North and Siddle making up almost half the team don't even add up to the average number of caps per the Aussie squad, with just 24 between them.
    Also interesting to note that Clarke has become the second most capped player in the Australian team.

    England
    414 @ 37.6
    Only Bopara and Swann have less than 10 matches under their belts and if we extend that to 20 only Prior and Broad are added to the list. However Flintoff the most experienced player (76M) falls 56 matches behind Ponting. A group of veterans with no distinguished leaders.

    India
    729 @ 66.3
    With Dravid Laxman and Tendulkar holding 100+ caps between them, as well as Harby, Zaheer and Sehwag hovering around the 70 mark, India holds an immensely experienced group of players. Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma are the only ones without 20 caps but are being given match time along with veterans early on in their careers.

    New Zealand
    277 @ 25.2
    Vettori holds a third of his teams caps while McCullum and Martin hold onto another third. New Zealand are still essentially a very young line up, with Vettori just turning 30 and only Martin and O'Brien appearing within a few years of expected retirement. If Ryder, Taylor and Guptill can stick around, the teams experience in coming years should steadily rise.

    South Africa
    634 @ 57.6
    Boucher, Kallis, AB, Smith and Prince reflect a very experienced batting lineup. However besides Ntini and to a lesser extent Steyn South Africa's bowling is relatively inexperienced. However they still have a good few years in some of the top players as they blood in their new attack. Parnell could be seeing a fair few caps come his way.


    West Indies (not the fake one against Bangers)
    447 @ 40.6
    The big 3 of Chanderpaul, Gayle and Sarwan make up for most of this teams experience, yet Taylor, Edwards and Ramdin represent the next generation coming through into this team. After finally dropping Powell, hopefully their bowling attack may change course and the West Indies may rise again.

    Pakistan
    255 @ 23.2
    A team on the rebuild after a long hiatus. A curious mix of experience lies within the Pakistani lineup, where 5 players have over 20 caps and 5 have under 5. With talk of neutral Test venues in the air, hopefully Pakistan can get some experience under their younger players belts.

    Sri Lanka
    459 @ 41.7
    After Murali goes Sri Lanka will lose a fair amount of their experience. With 5 players of over 50 Test experience in the regular lineup Sri Lanka are integrating the old with the new, the VERY new. Besides Dilshan, Jayawardene, Samaraweera, Murali and Sangakkara the next most experienced player is Warnapura with 13 matches. After losing Vaas and the loss of Murali upcoming, its important for Sri Lanka to get matches into their future attack. Kulasekara and Mendis and a Malinga returning from injury should feature heavily in the equations in upcoming years. But is it to late for them to gain the experience of the past greats?
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  2. #2
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    "Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”

    a rare good one from an author i dont rate very highly. dont know why most atheists like me hate paulo coelho, richard bach kind of writers.

    I am of the opinion that a test cricketer with 40+ caps is usually ready to take on most situations presented to him at the international level. by this time, a reasonably good batter would have crossed 2500 - 3000 runs and scored about 7-8 test hundreds. a good bowler would have taken about 125-175 wickets. as it normally takes 5 years of regular selection in home and away series against 5 or 6 opponents to reach 40 tests, there would be enough experience in his kitty to handle various cricketing problems he may have to face. beyond this is just an added advantage. that is why i feel players like worrell, walcott and roberts or even, grimmett and oreilly, or prasanna and gupte would count as having had full careers despite playing less than 50 tests. stretching that theory a little bit there should be no discernible difference in terms of experience between a player with 100+ caps and one with 40+ caps.
    Last edited by bagapath; 14-07-2009 at 06:41 AM.

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    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    Interesting to note then that 4 of the top 8 have on average less than 40 caps between them.

  4. #4
    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    IMO, the average experience of the teams reflects on their degree of consistency. You can generally state with a fair amount of certainty how the teams with 40+ caps on average (Ind, SA, WI and SL) will go in any particular series.


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    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    While teams like New Zealand and Pakistan you just have NFI what they'll do?

  6. #6
    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
    While teams like New Zealand and Pakistan you just have NFI what they'll do?
    Well, could you have predicted the Pakistani performances these past two tests?

    As for NZ, its not exactly an issue of predicting how they'll play a test , but rather when they'll play another test

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    I'd say those stats show no correlation. You don't need experienced players, you just need good players, and some players become better with experience.

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    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    So you don't believe that Test match experience is valuable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
    So you don't believe that Test match experience is valuable?
    Of course it is, because a lot of players improve with experience.

  10. #10
    Cricket Spectator MattyP's Avatar
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    the answer is obvious, its a mixture of old experienced heads and young raw talent. its the same for any sport nit just cricket.

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    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    But some of these teams have young talents with 20-30 Tests under them, while others have under 10. Are the more experienced more successful?

  12. #12
    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Experience isn't just number of test caps, I don't think. For example, Australia have recently debuted Marcus North and I would call him very experienced. Whereas Philip Hughes I would call inexperienced, and he has almost the same number of caps.

  13. #13
    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    I suppose age and FC caps may be a more relevant indicator of experience to go along with Test caps.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
    But some of these teams have young talents with 20-30 Tests under them, while others have under 10. Are the more experienced more successful?
    Well yeah because

    a) Most players are better after 20-30 tests than they are at the start of their career
    and
    b) Only the better players remain in the team after 20-30 tests.

    But I don't think experience is crucial, beyond basic requirements like decent captaincy (although even then experience isn't always important- look at MS Dhoni's captaincy for India compared to Anil Kumble's). It's rare that a player is already good enough after only two or three tests, but if he is, then there's no advantage to playing a more experienced, lesser player.

  15. #15
    Not Terrible Athlai's Avatar
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    I think talent does get outweighed by experience somewhat in cricket. At the highest level the difference between the best and worst players isn't all that great, the standard is already very high. Experience and a cricketing brain however can count for a lot, some immensely talented batsman can be outplayed by lesser batsman through experience and mentality alone.

    I reckon choosing experienced players is why Australia and now South Africa's batting lineups have been so formidable. They know how to deal with pressure and are experienced enough to deal with almost anything that gets bowled at them.

    Experience in bowling though is a harder thing to gauge IMO, you have more tricks up your sleeve yet this is counteracted by the batsman knowing said tricks better.



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