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Thread: Manufactured openers' success

  1. #61
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Just going to put this out there, but is opening the batting really that much different from batting in the middle order? It's not as if batsmen who are brought up playing in the middle order just plain refuse to face the new ball in the nets or refuse to go in to bat if two wickets fall in the first over. I think that often, way too much emphasis is placed upon opening being different from playing in the middle order.
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  2. #62
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Dravid being, ironically, crap at opening.
    If Dravid opened from 03-05 he would have probably succeeded. Hypothetical I know, but he opened when he was low on confidence, in crap form, and possibly being physically threatened by Richard based on the fact that he shouldn't be opening because he's a #3.
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  3. #63
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    Just going to put this out there, but is opening the batting really that much different from batting in the middle order? It's not as if batsmen who are brought up playing in the middle order just plain refuse to face the new ball in the nets or refuse to go in to bat if two wickets fall in the first over. I think that often, way too much emphasis is placed upon opening being different from playing in the middle order.
    Definitely subscribe to this. Certainly you'd hope your openers of any era played in the V more than other batters but then, a bloke as good as Sehwag shows what else can be done in the position. Good players find a way to score no matter where they bat.

    Hayden, for example, has spanked the daylights out of my England attack in ICC3 batting at number 7. ****.

  4. #64
    Cricketer Of The Year Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by social View Post
    Sehwag, Katich, Watson, Prince etc are defying conventional wisdom by succeeding (to various degrees) in a position that conventional wisdom dictates as the preserve of "specialists."

    You cant put it all down to flat tracks as all have achieved some measure of success in "reasonable bowling conditions."

    IMO, the game has changed in that:

    a. openers aren't simply sent out to take the shine off the ball;

    b. opening bowlers arent generally the opposition's best bowlers; and

    c. today's players are more comfortable starting against pace.

    Thoughts?
    Its a combination of all those factors that you mentioned. See VVS Laxman was forced to open for most part of his career in the 90s...and he was mediocre to awful. It wasnt until 2001 when he made the number 5 position his own and has completely transformed himself as a player. It was interesting to see commentators like Boycott, Greig, Chappell who criticized him earlier as an opener hailing him after his exploits as a middle order.

    But I think, you send him now to open the batting, he wouldnt do a very bad job because in the 90s, he was facing Wasim, McGrath and Ambrose whereas now he would be facing Bollinger, Kemar Roach and Asif.

    At the same time, I remember Ian Chappell's words before the Ashes this year. My favourites were Australia but Chappell said Australia would find it very difficult to retain the Ashes because they picked only one specialist opener in Hughes.
    After the second test, he was dropped, and Watson partnered Katich. He didnt do a terrible job, got a few 40s and 50s, and Katich got a few 50s too I think but this really begs the question, would specialist openers provide Australia with a better start?? perhaps a 100 run partnership?? This once again stresses the importance of specialist openers!
    Maybe they would...Watson is flourishing now against the West Indies, would he do so against Asif/Aamer/Steyn? We have to wait and watch I guess..

    I am a bit undecided but I think Richard made an excellent point here

    Being natural or manufactured is a completely separate issue to how good someone is. Though sometimes whether one is natural or manufactured can impact on how good someone is.
    Last edited by Black_Warrior; 16-12-2009 at 08:09 PM.
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  5. #65
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    Just going to put this out there, but is opening the batting really that much different from batting in the middle order? It's not as if batsmen who are brought up playing in the middle order just plain refuse to face the new ball in the nets or refuse to go in to bat if two wickets fall in the first over. I think that often, way too much emphasis is placed upon opening being different from playing in the middle order.
    Pretty much agree with this. There are small differences in what needs to be done but that isnt a big issue for most good players.

    The big difference is situation and comfort zone. Middle order players will be faced with game situations they are not used to and batting in a place they are not used to.

    As with most sports most of the differences and difficulties are between the ears.
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there will be edits

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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by four_or_six View Post
    1500 runs @ 48 with 4 centuries.
    I'm not talking about stats here. I'm talking about his inability to handle incoming deliveries which has been exposed in ODIs. For some odd reason, it hasnt been exposed in tests, but I am positive that it will. Btw, I do believe that he will be a successful opener in ODIs.
    Last edited by bunny; 16-12-2009 at 10:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunny View Post
    I'm not talking about stats here. I'm talking about his inability to handle incoming deliveries which has been exposed in ODIs. For some odd reason, it hasnt been exposed in tests, but I am positive that it will.


    Considering his dismissal history, how has it not been 'exposed' as a problem (despite making plenty of runs)?
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 16-12-2009 at 10:26 PM.

  8. #68
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Regardless of whether someone has opened all their pre-Test life or not, once they've opened in 30-40 Tests or more then they're an opener.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Pretty much agree with this. There are small differences in what needs to be done but that isnt a big issue for most good players.

    The big difference is situation and comfort zone. Middle order players will be faced with game situations they are not used to and batting in a place they are not used to.

    As with most sports most of the differences and difficulties are between the ears.
    I think that's a reflection of how the games' changed though. If you saw a bloke who left the ball really well, knew where his off stump was and was pretty circumspect, the inclination in the past was that he'd be well suited to opening. I don't think that's the case any more.
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  10. #70
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    As I say - where have I (or to my knowledge anyone) ever said it should? Some of the best ever openers were (apparently) manufactured - Gooch and Merchant to name a couple.
    This is a bit disingenuous Rich. You've objected on many occasions to the idea of players who have played in the middle order playing as openers.
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  11. #71
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178 View Post
    Regardless of whether someone has opened all their pre-Test life or not, once they've opened in 30-40 Tests or more then they're an opener.
    No, they're an opener if they've reached the age of 20 and have an obvious preference for opening.

    See, I can put opinion accross as fact too.
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  12. #72
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79 View Post
    This is a bit disingenuous Rich. You've objected on many occasions to the idea of players who have played in the middle order playing as openers.
    Only ever on the grounds that I don't believe they can do it against quality new-ball bowling. As I say, whether one is manufactured or natural can sometimes impact upon how good they are, but a manufactured good player is as good as a natural good player in my book. If someone has been manufactured into an opener and has subsequently answered all questions I expect an opener to answer I'll consider him a top-notch opener (eg Gooch). If they haven't (eg Sehwag) then I won't. There are natural openers who I think the same of (eg Hayden).

    What I tend to say most of all is that it's stupid to have someone who prefers to bat in the middle opening while someone who prefers to open bats in the middle. That's why I regard it as so utterly stupid that Australia have manufactured several openers in order to have Hussey in the middle and South Africa have done likewise with ABdeV.

  13. #73
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    Just going to put this out there, but is opening the batting really that much different from batting in the middle order? It's not as if batsmen who are brought up playing in the middle order just plain refuse to face the new ball in the nets or refuse to go in to bat if two wickets fall in the first over. I think that often, way too much emphasis is placed upon opening being different from playing in the middle order.
    Had already essentially been mentioned and touched upon from several different angles TBH.

  14. #74
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    I think that's a reflection of how the games' changed though. If you saw a bloke who left the ball really well, knew where his off stump was and was pretty circumspect, the inclination in the past was that he'd be well suited to opening. I don't think that's the case any more.
    There were expectations of what an opener should be (ones I have always disagreed with given my preference for 'muscular' cricket) but that doesnt mean middle order players were not capable of doing the job. Just that they were not chosen to do so.

    A lot of the comfort zone issues I mention are to do with the stereotypical image of an opener and how certain middle order batsmen dont feel comfortable opening given that they feel shoehorned into a role they dont fit. Im sure they are more than capable though.

  15. #75
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    What I tend to say most of all is that it's stupid to have someone who prefers to bat in the middle opening while someone who prefers to open bats in the middle. That's why I regard it as so utterly stupid that Australia have manufactured several openers in order to have Hussey in the middle and South Africa have done likewise with ABdeV.
    Dont think this is accurate.

    Hussey made his debut as Langer replacement vs WI 05/06, when Langer retured unitl hsi retirement in 06/07 Hussey proved his versatility by batting in the middle-order with very good success.

    When Langer retired, there was no need then for Hussey to more from # 4 since he was in super form then. So then a natural opener in Jaques came in.

    Hayden got injured vs WI 08. Then Katich opened, maybe Hussey could have opened here & Katich @ 4 then. But with Hussey as i said batting so well @ 4, Katich got a run & has proven be very excellent manufactured opener.

    The when Hayden retired a natural opener in Hughes came in to partner Katich. Given's Hussey's indifferent form since SA 08/09, during the Ashes Watson really was the only option to open with Katich.

    But i personally do feel Watson shouldn't be opening for AUS given his imprtance as an all-rounder & his injury record. Hughes & Jaques/Katich should be opening IMO TBH.

    With De Villiers yes he is natural opener. But i honestly feel he better suited to batting in the middle-order. McKenzie worked very well as a manufactured opener for a period i'd say.

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