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Thread: Hussain: We need a Wilko

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    Hussain: We need a Wilko

    HUSSAIN: WE NEED OUR OWN WILKINSON
    Tuesday 25th November 2003
    Sky Sports

    English cricket needs a superstar of the calibre of Jonny Wilkinson, former captain Nasser Hussain thinks.

    The Essex batsman believes that, for England to be the best in the world, England must find a matchwinner who can beat even the best teams,

    Hussain led to third in both Test and one-day international ratings but they suffered an early exit in the World Cup and failed to beat Australia in the Ashes series.

    "If you get a superstar in your team like Wilkinson you can make a good side into a great one," said Hussain. "So there are chances, if you get things in the right place, for cricket, football, any sport.

    "Make no mistake, the one thing any England team needs in any sport is a superstar, it just turns any side around."

    Though Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick each topped 200 Test wickets, Hussain believes England have suffered in comparison with countries who have proven matchwinners who have become among the most successful bowlers of all time.

    "For us, in the bowling department, if we had one genius, someone who could get you 400 Test wickets, it would lift the standard of the team. That is where the rugby team is fortunate that they have got one.

    "If you look at Australia without Shane Warne or Sri Lanka without Muttiah Muralitharan you can see the difference. You just need to find one genius from somewhere."

    Hussain, who hopes England's rugby triumph will inspire victories in other sports, admits that Ashes defeats live longest in the memory.

    He added: "The two things that stand in people's memory are World Cups and Australia; the rugby boys were very fortunate that they got them both in one afternoon!

    "We didn't and haven't and that is all we will be remembered for. They are the things I didn't put right as captain and they will be things that someone else will eventually have to put right. But until certain things are in place it won't happen.

    "A lot of things need to happen, like finding bowlers who can take 10 wickets in matches regularly, before we are beating Australia and winning World Cups.

    "The other day when I was sat there watching the final, it was a great feeling but it made me think what a shame it was we didn't do that in our World Cup. It would have been nice.

    "But every time I have played cricket for England I have felt that the country is behind us. That is the thing you feel most, that you let people down and that is what we have done in World Cups.

    "Most of us that have played would do anything to have that feeling they have now, going back as heroes. Just small things like going back to England after winning in Pakistan or here in Sri Lanka in 2001 was huge so to do what the rugby boys have done would beat any feeling.

    "Winning the Ashes is similar, it would beat any feeling you could have."
    I can agree, but for one thing they already have Andrew Flintoff, who could be a potential match winner (OK, he's not now, but he certainly could be), same goes for James Anderson. Also he backs it up with a very strange argument about Shane Warne being the Australian equivalent. Now, I agree that Warne is a good player (though he's made some awful decisions off the pitch) but he certainly isn't the star in the same way that Jonny Wilkinson is for the English rugby team. Australia have Hayden, Punter, McGrath, Lee, who are all in the same class as Warne although a different type of players.
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    I think he was referring to the fact Shane Warne has taken 400 wickets in his Test career.

    I think Freddie is our man, if he can't do it no-one can. He's got all the required attributes to become a 'Beefy' style player.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    So has McGrath. Australia have many "Wilkinsons", not just one. Therefore, it doesn't make a difference if you take away one of them. Why point to Warne, given his not-exactly good behaviour off the pitch?
    Last edited by Samuel_Vimes; 25-11-2003 at 09:49 AM.

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    From what I can tell, Hussain is talking about England needing a bowler as Caddick and Gough are mentioned as only having 200+ wickets rather than, as you correctly point out, McGrath and Warne who have taken 400+ wickets.

    Maybe he doesn't class McGrath as a genius? He may mean people who do extra special things with the ball and as brilliant a bowler as McGrath is, he doesn't do special things with the ball.

    Also McGrath hasn't exactly been an angel, he's been warned who knows how many time about his behaviour on the field and there was his spat with Ramneresh Sarwan which got him into trouble as well.

    Basically England haven't had a consistently world-class bowler for at least 10 years IMO, the last being Botham or Willis. (Feel free to correct me, my memory is playing up )


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    U19 12th Man JohnnyA's Avatar
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    Hussain is such a bandwagon jumper ...

    England need a team of players who can play together for 10 years or so. If they have that, you will have your 400 wicket takers (Anderson, Harmison, Jones ...). But remember the likes of Warne and McGrath are successful because they play together with a bunch of other star players (the Waughs, Ponting, Haydyn, Taylor, Slater, Gilchrist, McDermot, Gillespie ..............)

    If England can find a few young batsmen, they have a squad bristling with star talent: Anderson, Harmison, Jones, Freddy, Tres, Vaughn ... the future hasn't looked so bright for English Cricket in 20 years. Cricket is not a one man game ... it's about a collective team effort. Nasser's always bemoaning something that they do better elsewhere. I wish he'd just shut up sometimes (although I do believe he's been Englands best captain since Brearley (spelling?))

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    Exactly right-he always has something negative to say. Also, yeah, he was a brilliant captain though
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    Originally posted by Samuel_Vimes
    So has McGrath. Australia have many "Wilkinsons", not just one. Therefore, it doesn't make a difference if you take away one of them. Why point to Warne, given his not-exactly good behaviour off the pitch?
    That he's a badly-behaved person off the pitch is pretty irrelevant to whether or not he's a match-winner.

    Hussain is only echoing an opinion shared by others in the England dressing room.

    "But it was not just at Old Trafford that Warne tormented us. He was the biggest single difference between England and Australia in every Ashes series I played in. That is not to say that we would automatically have won without him, but things would have been a damn sight closer." - Michael Atherton, Opening Up.

    And it's not as though McGrath was exactly a bowler Atherton scored millions off.

    But Hussain's main point is sound, even if he said it in his usual unfortunate way. All he's actually saying is that we need a great player or two. There is at present nobody in the England side who would be a guaranteed first-choice pick for any other country, and Hussain believes that we would be much more likely to succeed if we had such a player.

    Cheers,

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    Agreed about the Warne/McGrath thing, it is irrelevant how a player behaves off the pitch, and I personally believe that Warne is a very slightly better bowler. But it just seems to me that Hussain always has something negative to say. If England won the Ashes 3-2, instead of celebrating like everyone else, he would probably say that we should have won 5-0.

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    But couldnt any sporting outfit in the world do with a matchwinner??? Thats like the most obvious thing I have ever heard... How stupid...
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    Originally posted by halsey
    Agreed about the Warne/McGrath thing, it is irrelevant how a player behaves off the pitch, and I personally believe that Warne is a very slightly better bowler. But it just seems to me that Hussain always has something negative to say. If England won the Ashes 3-2, instead of celebrating like everyone else, he would probably say that we should have won 5-0.
    I actually doubt that. If we were to win the Ashes 2.51-2.49, he'd probably explode with delight, because beating Australia is the all-consuming obsession of England captains (even if they later become ex-captains).

    All of Hussain's "negative" comments over the last couple of years - that I've seen, at any rate - have been in the context of "X or Y may be all very well, but it's not going to help us beat Australia, because to beat Australia you've got to........"

    And he's no different to almost any significant England captain, because they all become aware that in the end, history will judge them on their Ashes record (with the notable exception of David Gower), whether they like it or not.

    Cheers,

    Mike

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    here is a prime example of the sort of negative / defeatist mentallity that plagues many of the international teams & players when it comes to Australian cricket!

    If only, but if, we need, if we had.....blah blah blah.....

    When are they going to learn that nothing will change unless you make it happen - so what are they doing about it?????

    Hoping that 1 world class bowler will come along and make it right is never going to be enough on several counts......

    *does England have the right structure to produce / recognise such a skilled player today?
    * does their current cricketing environment produce players with the determination required to succeed - not perhaps since Beefy?
    *do they have the right support network to nurture the player into International cricket?
    *do they recognise the need for a team effort - WI has recently had the likes of Walsh, Ambrose & Lara, Pakistan has had Akram, Younis, Inzi etc, RSA had Donald, Pollock, Kallis, Kirsten & Gibbs - all world class yet they couldn't dominate.

    Australia is as much about the team as it is any individual player. Furthermore the Australian effort is not based upon the performance of any 1 individual in either discipline, and they have strength in depth for when the 'superstar' is out injured or whatever.

    It would appear that Hussain has failed to grasp this, but the real tragedy is that he is not alone in this.

    :P

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    England have the potential match winners already. they just need to step up to the plate. Vaughan is a great batsman and will learn to be a good skipper given time. Anderson also looks to have the goods but is still very young. Flintoff has had a good year and must continue with the form he has shown. Consistency is the key. Being able to do it for every session of every match. Play with aggression and passion, confidence is what you're doing.

    Australia has the edge over most sides mentally before a ball is bowled. That's where teams must improve. Stick it back up the Aussies and don't allow them to dictate the terms. See how they like it.

    The batting is coming together. Trescothick has a good average but needs to turn 50s into more 100s. Thorpe is also very good when he's there. Hussain and Butcher have averages in the mid 30s and that is not good enough. They must do better.

    The bowling is improving but the lack of a quality spinner is hurting England the most. Giles is solid but that is all. Harmison is young and will improve. Johnson needs to maintain fitness.

    All in all the pieces are there but I think it will be 2 years before we see whether these guys can take the next step and judge them then.

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    England would be better served by finding a (using the same rugby analogy) "Johnson" or a "Vickery" or a "Back". The hardworking guys who do the hard work and lay the platform.

    Without those guys having a "Wilkinson" is useless.

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    i dunno, if they stuck goalposts at each eng of the oval im sure wilkinson could slot the McGraths of teh world through at about 85%
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    PY
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    Originally posted by hourn
    England would be better served by finding a (using the same rugby analogy) "Johnson" or a "Vickery" or a "Back". The hardworking guys who do the hard work and lay the platform.

    Without those guys having a "Wilkinson" is useless.
    A very good point. We haven't (in the bowling department) got someone who just keeps it tight at one end and gets people out by being accurate. We have strike bowlers everywhere but no McGrath/Pollock style player.

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