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Thread: What shoul SA do when their ENG exports come running back to SA?

  1. #16
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    I know, I know.

    It doesn't detract from the point, however. The guy has improved as a keeper, kept really well (and not just in the sense that he held his catches) throughout the Ashes, and deserves credit for that. He's had 2 or 3 bad Tests in his career and gets disproportionately slated for them. And next time he has a bad game (imagine! a cricketer having a bad game!) he will duly be subjected to ridiculously OTT criticism yet again, including in particular on CW.
    Last edited by zaremba; 18-11-2009 at 01:04 PM.

  2. #17
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Yeah, look, he had the odd bad game in the winter but seriously, he was decent over the winter. It's not like all of a sudden he learnt to catch this summer.
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  3. #18
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Last summer was the first time he'd had an extended spell without a shocking game. I myself have said many times that I am not prepared to believe a player has improved on the basis of a single season's work, they must demonstrate good-quality performance for longer than that, more so than ever having been truly awful beforehand.

    And yes, Prior 2007-2008/09 was indeed truly awful. It is quite true that in 10 of his 13 Tests (yes I know officially it's 14 but given that 1 of these lasted 14 deliveries, none in which he participated, I'm sure you'll agree it's irrelevant) he'd done not-that-much wrong, but in the other 3 he was as I say so dreadful as to beggar belief - honestly as bad as I've ever seen any wicketkeeper be in any Test. It is not at all acceptable to be that bad that reguarly as a Test wicketkeeper - games that bad are the sort that a competent wicketkeeper might expect to have once in 40 or so, and an excellent one basically never.

    Prior will have to keep-up his form from the 2009 summer for a little longer yet for me to be convinced he's a long-term option. If he is, great, because I've few doubts remaining over his batting - he's excellent against moderate seam, excellent against spin and seems competent enough against good-quality seam. But I think anyone claiming he was anything other than very poor indeed as a wicketkeeper in his Test career prior to the 2009 summer is kidding themselves.
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  4. #19
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    I think he when he was bad, he was very bad. That doesn't mean he was always bad and it certainly doesn't mean he was bad overall. IMO.


  5. #20
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    As I say - I think if 13 Tests in which someone is decent enough in 10 and abysmal in 3 counts as "decent overall" to you you're easily satisfied. I am not remotely happy with such a thing and would term it "very poor overall". As a wicketkeeper you are expected to get it right the vast majority of the time, and all decent wicketkeepers do. It's not like batsmen and bowlers who cannot remotely hope to do such a thing.

  6. #21
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong Richard, I don't disagree with how poor he was in those games. But three abysmal Tests in your first thirteen is forgiveable

  7. #22
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Not in my book, for a wicketkeeper, it's not. For a batsman or bowler it certainly might well be, but as I say, wicketkeeping (in fact fielding in general) is a completely different discipline to batting or bowling, and one where it's expected that the person get it right the vast majority of the time. Whereas no-one has ever remotely come close to expecting a bowler to bowl what he's trying to bowl near enough every delivery, nor a batsman to pick the right shot for every delivery he faces.

    In my book a wicketkeeper who has 3 abysmal Tests in 13, at any given point in their career, has had a shocking period.

    As I say, if the summer of 2009 marks the start of a new phase in Prior's career, super, I'm sure all England fans should be grateful. But I think anyone who adjudged him as aught but poor before then is being extremely generous to wicketkeepers (not just him). As I say - it's no coincidence that you'll have to dig pretty deep to find cases of a wicketkeeper who has done that badly that often.
    Last edited by Richard; 18-11-2009 at 04:15 PM.

  8. #23
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    but as I say, wicketkeeping (in fact fielding in general) is a completely different discipline to batting or bowling, and one where it's expected that the person get it right the vast majority of the time. .

    In my book a wicketkeeper who has 3 abysmal Tests in 13, at any given point in their career, has had a shocking period.
    Isnt 77% 'vast majority of the time'?
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there is bound to be edits

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  9. #24
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Jeez, there's a couple of South Africans of British descent/parentage playing for England, get over it.
    I have a nice bridge for him to cross.
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  10. #25
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Isnt 77% 'vast majority of the time'?
    It's not really vast enough, considering how bad he is when he's having a shocker. I'm all in favour of Prior remaining in the side, but if we were told that he's going to perform that badly in 23% of tests he plays for the rest of his career, I'd get him out of the side for sure.
    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.

  11. #26
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    wicketkeeping (in fact fielding in general) is a completely different discipline to batting or bowling, and one where it's expected that the person get it right the vast majority of the time. Whereas no-one has ever remotely come close to expecting a bowler to bowl what he's trying to bowl near enough every delivery, nor a batsman to pick the right shot for every delivery he faces.
    Surely you can't seriously mean this? Do you really mean that a Test bowler can't be expected to bowl near enough what he wants to near enough every delivery? I would expect them to do so. And yet when they're out of form, and/or under pressure, it can happen a lot. Think about the number of thigh-high full tosses all of England's bowlers bowled in the 2nd Pro20 game the other day. It's not much to ask that a bowler pitches the ball the vast majority of the time, but they failed even to do that. It happens.

    Luckily for bowlers and batsmen, bad form is self-limiting. A bowler is taken out of the attack; a batsman is dismissed.

    In Prior's case we're talking about 3 games out of 13 (which is to ignore, of course, the 5 most important matches of the lot). And what we're really talking about is maybe half a dozen dropped catches (I haven't counted) and a few more clumsy takes in the course of literally thousands of deliveries. And it so happens that a couple of those drops were particularly expensive, but that's no reflection on his keeping (let's not forget golden boy Craig Kieswetter's two dropped catches this season which cost over 500 runs between them.)

    Anyhow if any of this sounds as though I reckon that Prior is, has ever been, or ever will be, a top-class keeper, that's not what I mean. All I'm trying to say is that he has been treated pretty harshly for the mistakes that he made.

  12. #27
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Isnt 77% 'vast majority of the time'?
    I was thinking more ~95%+ TBH.

  13. #28
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    Surely you can't seriously mean this? Do you really mean that a Test bowler can't be expected to bowl near enough what he wants to near enough every delivery? I would expect them to do so. And yet when they're out of form, and/or under pressure, it can happen a lot. Think about the number of thigh-high full tosses all of England's bowlers bowled in the 2nd Pro20 game the other day. It's not much to ask that a bowler pitches the ball the vast majority of the time, but they failed even to do that. It happens.

    Luckily for bowlers and batsmen, bad form is self-limiting. A bowler is taken out of the attack; a batsman is dismissed.

    In Prior's case we're talking about 3 games out of 13 (which is to ignore, of course, the 5 most important matches of the lot). And what we're really talking about is maybe half a dozen dropped catches (I haven't counted) and a few more clumsy takes in the course of literally thousands of deliveries. And it so happens that a couple of those drops were particularly expensive, but that's no reflection on his keeping (let's not forget golden boy Craig Kieswetter's two dropped catches this season which cost over 500 runs between them.)

    Anyhow if any of this sounds as though I reckon that Prior is, has ever been, or ever will be, a top-class keeper, that's not what I mean. All I'm trying to say is that he has been treated pretty harshly for the mistakes that he made.
    OK, first a few of things: I am making absolutely no claims about Kieswetter's merits or demerits as a wicketkeeper, I know next to nothing about how good or otherwise he is. My comments have purely been aimed at Prior's wicketkeeping in itself. And his bad wicketkeeping in those matches was more than merely a few missed chances - in the lattermost Test in fact I don't off the top of my head recall any drops at all, just a whole load of utterly straightforward takes being missed. And also, the reason we "ignore" the 5 most important matches of his career (and in fact the 2 before that as well which most people have not-surprisingly brushed-over) is because my comment related to his wicketkeeping up to this summer - that of this summer is completely irrelevant to the point I'm making.

    So, anyway... yes, I do mean what I said. Wicketkeepers are expected to take the ball cleanly far more regularly than bowlers are expected to bowl the ball they're trying to. Think about it - even the very best bowlers probably bowl 1-2 bad deliveries in a fair percentage of spells, and even the not-quite-so-bad deliveries may conceivably constitute an error on the bowler's part (only he after all knows what he intends to bowl, we can just make the fairly safe presumption that no bowler ever deliberately bowls a leg-stump Half-Volley). However, the very best wicketkeepers routinely go through entire days', even matches', play without making a single fumble, and for a merely decent wicketkeeper to do it is far from unheard-of; for a merely-decent bowler to go through a whole 5-6-over spell without bowling a bad delivery is most unusual.

    Wicketkeeping, and fielding, is expected to be of a higher standard than bowling, and batting. Equally, I'd be surprised if an average, decent, middle-of-the-road Test batsman in standard, acceptable nick goes more than about 30-odd deliveries at a time without playing an ill-advised shot (and remember such a shot won't get you out even close to all the time, sometimes it'll just be a thick edge or a swish-and-miss).
    Last edited by Richard; 19-11-2009 at 02:52 AM.

  14. #29
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    the reason we "ignore" the 5 most important matches of his career (and in fact the 2 before that as well which most people have not-surprisingly brushed-over) is because my comment related to his wicketkeeping up to this summer - that of this summer is completely irrelevant to the point I'm making.
    Well technically you're right, but it's important to recognise that the point you're making itself involves an artificial dissection of Prior's record. You have left out of account the '09 Ashes (and for good measure you're not even credited that with being evidence of significant improvement). It reminds me of "Apart from 2004, Steve Harmison has always been crap", or perhaps "Apart from 708 specific deliveries, Shane Warne has never been a penetrative Test bowler". Yes these things are true, but the things you choose to leave out can tend to make the subsequent discussion quite misleading.

  15. #30
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    lol at this thread.
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