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Thread: Cook Vs the WI quartet of the 80s

  1. #1
    State 12th Man Jigga988's Avatar
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    Cook Vs the WI quartet of the 80s

    Read this a bit ago from the evening standard, Cook's pretty ballsy...

    'The West Indies went unbeaten in a series from 1980-95. Anyone who saw them play can say that never before or since has there been a more formidable or brutal cricketing machine. Yet modern players I have spoken to are sceptical of such claims to greatness - England opener Alastair Cook, for instance. "People ask how I think I would have coped against the West Indies fast bowlers," he told me. "I say, has sport got quicker? Football, rugby, tennis, athletics - they've all got quicker. Why is cricket the only one that's gone backwards? Fortunately, as much as I'd love the glory days of cricket to be the 1970s and stuff, it's not true.

    "The standard has got better. It suits the commentators to say that the bowling was better in the 70s, 80s or whatever, because that's when they played. Those bowlers were great for their era but the wickets weren't great, the bats weren't great, they didn't have [much] protection. The West Indies were bowling in the mid-80s mphs . . . Fidel Edwards is faster today. As cricketers we're fitter, stronger, faster and so therefore we bowl, er, slower?

    "If you go back and look at the footage, there was a couple of quick spells - we were watching a lot of classic cricket on TV in Australia - but if you believe they were better than today, that's foolish. It does frustrate me a little bit. I mean, there were some great bowlers at that time but . . ."

    Well, Alastair, call me foolish but I believe the West Indies sides celebrated in Fire in Babylon were superior to any of today's Test nations and would have demolished the present England team. The beauty and frustration of it all, however, is that we can never know for sure. We can only conjecture and surmise and imagine. Fire in Babylon opens in cinemas on May 20.'

    Bought about an interesting argument. I'm too young to judge anything that goes past ten years ago so interested to hear thoughts, but much like the commentators in Cooks argument it sounds like the writer (Jason Cowley) is caught up in a bit of nostalgia. OTOH, Cook speaks of pace but I know the WI quarter had so much more to there armery and the depth and quality throughout their attack was another thing alot of modern attacks cant boast. Apologies if this brings up some deep-rooted argument that's already taken place on here btw...
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    Not it's not nostalgia. The WI of that time would have beaten any team in history IMO, and no team nowadays would measure up to them.

    Cook is right in that certain standards have improved, the quality of fielding and the rate of scoring. But its not a hard and fast rule. In general, I think the standard of pace bowling has gone down considerably, which is why modern batsmen are less equipped to tackle high quality pace.

    There is not about speed, it's about quality. There are plenty of 90 mph bowlers around, but aside from Steyn, none of them are worldclass. The West Indies had four worldclass bowlers who all averaged <25 operating at the same time, capable of taking wickets in all conditions, which they did. Never happened again. As Steyn and McGrath have shown, you dont need to consistently ball at 95 mph plus to be a success in the modern era (Steyn usually bowls in the mid-80s).

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    vcs
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    Cook would be crucified if he put forward that line of argument on a CW thread.

    Rightfully so, as well.

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    International Coach GotSpin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcs View Post
    Cook would be crucified if he put forward that line of argument on a CW thread.

    Rightfully so, as well.
    Indeed. It's a horrible argument.
    Mark Waugh
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    Bun
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    ha ha success so trivial has gone into the kid's mind.

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    International Vice-Captain robelinda's Avatar
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    Blocked around an average Aussie attack and now he's mastered Marshall and Ambrose and Holding and Roberts? F A I L.
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    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Cook is Bun and I claim my five pounds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIMH View Post
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    In principle I think Cook has a point and over a period of time you should see the quality of cricket improve. And I certainly think the quality of the game in the last few decades has been higher than before the war. However we have extensive video evidence of the game since the 70's and what it suggests is that the game has plateaued over the last 30-35 years and in particular the quality of fast bowling has declined over that period. Certainly there are no pace attacks even close to the Windies in the early 80's or even Lillee/Thompson in 1975.

    What has this happened? One reason is the overall decline of cricket in the West Indies. Also the sheer quantity of international cricket means that fast bowlers break down more often and perhaps become more cautious about going. flat out. Test cricket is no longer the pinnacle of cricket in the way it was 30 years ago and fast bowlers have to be more cautious.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    **** Cook...........

    He couldn't even negotiate Amir and Asif properly and has the gall to come out and say he would have mastered Marshall and Holding and Ambrose????
    And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    He never said he'd master them, just that over time standards have improved, which is a reasonable thing to say. Does come across as a bit of a **** though.
    "Your averages, captain, coaches and players can probably survive incompetence over a relatively short series, so if youíre going to be rubbish, make sure itís against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand or someone."

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    the problem is that he thinks that bowling fast means bowling well.........WAC

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    Cook


    Here's more on that story....

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...oks-england.do

    There's something he has to remember....

    If he was facing the Windies in the 1980s, he would've been batting on lightning-fast tracks at Sabina Park and Kensington Oval, neither of which exist any more, and without the wonderful protection offered by helmets these days.

    Allan Lamb and Robin Smith >>>> Alastair Cook when it comes to facing the great WI fast bowlers.

    This reminds me of another silly comment, this time made in the Sunday Times by Pat Pocock. I can't reproduce it, because Rupert Murdoch demands that we pay to use his website....

    But here it is....

    Speaking about being whitewashed 5-0, he says: "Lloyd and Viv Richards had quite a bit to answer for to world cricket at the time. When a team bowls at 12 overs an hour and 50% of the balls go above the batsman's nipples it is not going to do a lot for cricket and the sport became worse and worse as a spectacle to watch."

    Really, Pocock?

    Wherever the Windies of Lloyd and Richards went, they played in front of sold-out crowds, so they clearly enjoyed the spectacle....

    And the amount of time it took to bowl the overs mattered little at the time, because the win percentage of the WI team of those days was higher than the opposition. In fact, the opposition should've been happy they took that long to bowl their overs, because it gave their opponents a chance to hang on for a draw in some of the games.
    Last edited by shivfan; 28-04-2011 at 01:17 AM.

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    International Captain weldone's Avatar
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    What an argument!

    Ok so Fidel Edwards bowls faster than WI quarlet...

    But then Mr. Alastair Cook, if I'm watching cricket for the last 20 years, then Shaun Tait bowls faster than Glenn McGrath did. No? And Umar Akmal and Yusuf Pathan hit the ball harder than Sachin Tendulkar....
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    Cook said that the WI quartet bowled in the mid-80s!

    In fact, during the 1975-76 series, Holding hit 97mph, and Thomson was up there too. But, as Holding points out in his book, 'No Holding Back', it's not how fast you bowl, but how you mix it up, and he learnt to do that after that series.

  15. #15
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I thought Cook would have known better than to come out with that sort of comment regarding something he has no experience of

    Someone ought to see what Peter Willey has to say about it - he played, very courageously and with as much success as anyone, against the best West Indies attacks and he's stood as an umpire for years so, unlike Cook, he is in a position to make a judgment

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