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Thread: New Feature - Glenn McGrath was a Giant Killer

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    New Feature - Glenn McGrath was a Giant Killer

    Or was he? CW's Dave Wilson looks behind the numbers to see if our perception of McGrath is true, and to maybe identify any unsung giant-killers.

    Cricket Web - Features: Glenn McGrath Was A Giant Killer

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    U19 Debutant Austerlitz's Avatar
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    Nice stats breakdown.Key one for me is the runs saved.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    great work chasingthedon...........

    Macca was a true champion indeed.......I don't get a few things though.......

    won't runs saved below the average not be a very good indicator since bowlers like Lille played only 70 tests and still managed to save more than 5500 runs compared to McGrath who played 124 tests???
    And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW

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    why is mcgrath called macca? was he really referred to as macca during his playing days? news to me but then that's hardly surprising.

    was sure that marshall, the one and only, was macca, and in fact, had a cross purpose discussion with someone (teja, i think) about marshall's bowling being similar (not in my opinion) to that of tremlett's!

    or was that mako? age is not a good thing!
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    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    McGrath's nickname was primarily Pigeon. Not sure of any others. Awesome article, thanks. What a freak. I have said it before but I'll reiterate, I am beginning to appreciate what he did far more now than when he played. I guess it goes to that old saying "you never know what you've got till it's gone".
    Last edited by Ikki; 05-05-2011 at 08:24 AM.
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    I'm not completely convinced by this argument:

    It's not simply a case of taking the wickets of the top-rated batsman, for example he may have already scored 250 - clearly if he's dismissed for a lower score that has more impact.
    For the batsmen who can be rightfully called 'giants', getting them early is far easier than getting them after they are set. Getting Tendulkar at 5 would look the greater 'giant-killing' feat, though getting him at 62 is the real 'giant-killing'. Something like in the range of 70% to 130% of their average would be giant-killing.


    Though percentage of top order wickets is often quoted as justification for the greatness of a bowler, to me this is illusory. To win a game, all twenty wickets need to be taken, and someone like Akram who repeatedly runs through the tail is every bit as important, and in my book as great, as McGrath who took a large percentage of top order wickets.

    For fear that some fans might take offence at the above, let me clarify: I do appreciate the magnificence of McGrath as a bowler. It's just that I do not need the crutch of statistics for that.

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    International Regular NasserFan207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borges View Post
    I'm not completely convinced by this argument:

    For the batsmen who can be rightfully called 'giants', getting them early is far easier than getting them after they are set. Getting Tendulkar at 5 would look the greater 'giant-killing' feat, though getting him at 62 is the real 'giant-killing'. Something like in the range of 70% to 130% of their average would be giant-killing.


    Though percentage of top order wickets is often quoted as justification for the greatness of a bowler, to me this is illusory. To win a game, all twenty wickets need to be taken, and someone like Akram who repeatedly runs through the tail is every bit as important, and in my book as great, as McGrath who took a large percentage of top order wickets.

    For fear that some fans might take offence at the above, let me clarify: I do appreciate the magnificence of McGrath as a bowler. It's just that I do not need the crutch of statistics for that.
    Except there's no question which is more important to a team's success.
    Batsman I tolerate: V. Richards, S. Tendulkar, E. Morgan, N. Hussain. KEVIN O F******* BRIEN

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Opener View Post
    Except there's no question which is more important to a team's success.
    and also there is no question which is easier to obtain

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Clearly the best ever. If anyone disagrees, they're full of it and don't know anything about cricket.
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Clearly the best ever. If anyone disagrees, they're full of it and don't know anything about cricket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smalishah84 View Post
    great work chasingthedon...........

    Macca was a true champion indeed.......I don't get a few things though.......

    won't runs saved below the average not be a very good indicator since bowlers like Lille played only 70 tests and still managed to save more than 5500 runs compared to McGrath who played 124 tests???
    Thanks - yeah, that's why I included runs saved per wicket, or impact per wicket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Borges View Post
    I'm not completely convinced by this argument:

    For the batsmen who can be rightfully called 'giants', getting them early is far easier than getting them after they are set. Getting Tendulkar at 5 would look the greater 'giant-killing' feat, though getting him at 62 is the real 'giant-killing'. Something like in the range of 70% to 130% of their average would be giant-killing.


    Though percentage of top order wickets is often quoted as justification for the greatness of a bowler, to me this is illusory. To win a game, all twenty wickets need to be taken, and someone like Akram who repeatedly runs through the tail is every bit as important, and in my book as great, as McGrath who took a large percentage of top order wickets.

    For fear that some fans might take offence at the above, let me clarify: I do appreciate the magnificence of McGrath as a bowler. It's just that I do not need the crutch of statistics for that.
    maybe you'd have been happier if I'd called it high-impact?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Austerlitz View Post
    Nice stats breakdown.Key one for me is the runs saved.
    Thanks - don't think it's been looked at before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chasingthedon View Post
    maybe you'd have been happier if I'd called it high-impact?
    Not really.

    McGrath is the greatest 'corridor' bowler of his era, his metronomic accuracy and his impeccable seam position are legendary. We have statistics at our disposal to show that he was extremely successful. But none of that would tell us much about the essence of McGrath's bowling; why a doggedly accurate bowler who has never been the fastest among the quicks, who was clearly not among the greatest movers of the ball, was so successful.

    It was not just his style, perhaps closest to Curtly Ambrose, but his tactical acumen that made him so special. His consummate skill, tenacity and intensity in spotting a batsman's weakness, planning his downfall, and then executing that plan with the precision of a grandmaster in chess. Reminiscent of Andy Roberts at his best.

    Seeing him bowl reminded me of two of my favourite quotes:
    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo Da Vinci.
    "Perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint Exupéry.

    Statistics don't come anywhere close to explaining that; why he was so so special. Nor do appellations like 'Giant Killer' or 'High-Impact'.

    Not trying to take anything away from your original statistical analysis. Just that I think that to tell the whole story, any statistic has to be 'explained'.



    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Opener View Post
    Except there's no question which is more important to a team's success.
    Quote Originally Posted by smalishah84 View Post
    and also there is no question which is easier to obtain
    Taking top order wickets is by far the harder task. However, elementary Game Theory 101 would tell us that doing the harder task better than others does is not by itself 'more important' than doing the easier tasks better than others.

    For example, if there is a race to the finish over to the top and down on the other side of a hill, the climb is by far the harder part of the route. The competitor who does this part extremely well, gaining a big lead over the others in this stretch would capture our imagination. Just as the cyclist who dominates the climbing stages - 'The King of the Mountains' - is the subject of adulation. However, in the overall, somewhat prosaic, matter of winning the race, the time gained over the others in the 'easy' downhill section is every bit as important.

    The percentage of top order wickets taken may be indicative of many other things; but it is certainly not indicative of how effective a bowler was.
    Last edited by Borges; 06-05-2011 at 09:17 AM.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borges View Post
    The percentage of top order wickets taken may be indicative of many other things; but it is certainly not indicative of how effective a bowler was.
    A very well written post don't quite agree with the above

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