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Thread: Why can't anyone decide on two openers in an all-time Australian XI?

  1. #1
    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    Why can't anyone decide on two openers in an all-time Australian XI?

    Very similar to the last thread I posted, but every single Australian XI I've seen posted has a different combo of these:

    Hayden
    Morris
    Trumper
    Lawry
    Simpson
    Ponsford

    Rarely rated but extremely good nonetheless:

    McDonald
    Woodfull
    Bardsley
    Langer

    Please arrive at a consensus within 10,000 posts. Thanks.
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    Dan
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    Archie Jackson and Simon Katich, IMO.
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    International Vice-Captain Mike5181's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    Archie Jackson and Simon Katich, IMO.
    Katich as an opener was pretty awesome. Pretty sure he averaged over 50 there.

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    International 12th Man AndyZaltzHair's Avatar
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    I think It's largely because Australia had so many top quality ATG openers almost every decade or so and the fact that they run very close performance wise, it's a daunting task to pick two; it comes down to one's preference really when choosing and how individual rates each era in which the openers performed.

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    Last edited by AndyZaltzHair; 01-09-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    Simpson and Lawry by a 'country mile'.

    Admittedly they are not close to Hobbs and Sutcliffe in terms of partnerships formed, but an average opening stand of 60 runs every time they went out to bat beats Slater + Taylor plus Hayden + Langer by a long way - 10 runs.

    I would also argue that the quality of attacks that they faced when playing against England and the West Indies means that they are greater opening batsman than what raw statistics indicate. They may be closer to Hobbs and Sutcliffe than we think. And certainly more talented than Hayden and Langer.

    Also, as technicians, Simpson and Lawry had no obvious weakness. The other Australian openers did have technical failings in the following areas;

    Hayden: Swing bowling. Hoggard in English conditions showed Hayden's poor ability to cope with the in-swinging ball bowled on a good length. I don't think he would last more than a session against high quality swing bowlers like SF Barnes or Fazal Mahmood during one of our ATG match-ups.

    Morris: Swing bowling. Morris was frequently and consistently undone by Bedser such that his average never climbed out of the 30's during the last 5 years of his career. Incidently, contemporaries of both Bardsley and Morris indicated that Bardsley was just as skillful as Morris despite Bradman's obvious liking for Morris.

    Trumper: For all his brilliance his low batting average indicates a poor temperment. He was not a successful batsman despite being a genius.

    Ponsford: Fast short-pitched bowling. Compared to the likes of McCabe he was indecisive on his feet and got hit more often that he should have. In my opinion he would have more successful as a middle-order batsman when the ball was softer and his great skill against spin would have been more useful.
    Last edited by watson; 01-09-2012 at 09:37 PM.
    Len Hutton - Jack Hobbs - Ted Dexter - Peter May - Walter Hammond - Frank Woolley - Ian Botham - Alan Knott - Hedley Verity - John Snow - Fred Trueman

    Victor Trumper - Bill Lawry - Don Bradman - Greg Chappell - Allan Border - Keith Miller - Adam Gilchrist - Alan Davidson - Shane Warne - Dennis Lillee - Glenn McGrath

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    Dan
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    In all seriousness, I think Australia has traditionally produced ATG middle order batsmen to go with very, very good openers - its our weakest area IMO.

    In my mind, Trumper gets the first slot. Although he was arguably better (or at least as good) in the middle order, 3-6 is pretty much locked in with obvious candidates. So, to get Trumper in, he has to open - and he was good enough there anyway.

    The second slot depends on the make-up of the bowling attack. If you went with Lillee-Warne-McGrath-Davidson (or a comparable 3rd paceman), I'd take Bob Simpson to act as a second, occasional spinner. If you went with Lillee-Warne-McGrath-O'Reilly, then I'd go with Morris or Ponsford, which comes down to the day of the week on which you ask me for the selection. Today it's Ponsford.

    Although doing some stats searching, Simpson averaged 55 opening. I'd probably stick with him the whole time then, TBH.

    Gives this XI:
    1. Victor Trumper
    2. Bob Simpson
    3. Sir Donald Bradman
    4. Greg Chappell
    5. Steve Waugh
    6. Keith Miller (c)
    7. Adam Gilchrist (wk)
    8. Alan Davidson
    9. Shane Warne
    10. Dennis Lillee
    11. Glenn McGrath

    Add Ricky Ponting, Ray Lindwall, Bill O'Reilly, Fred Spofforth to give a 15-man squad.

    Border, Grimmett, Ponsford unlucky to miss out IMO.

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    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Simpson and Lawry by a 'country mile'.

    Admittedly they are not close to Hobbs and Sutcliffe in terms of partnerships formed, but an average opening stand of 60 runs every time they went out to bat beats Slater + Taylor plus Hayden + Langer by a long way - 10 runs.

    I would also argue that the quality of attacks that they faced when playing against England and the West Indies means that they are greater opening batsman than what raw statistics indicate. They may be closer to Hobbs and Sutcliffe than we think. And certainly more talented than Hayden and Langer.

    Also, as technicians, Simpson and Lawry had no obvious weakness. The other Australian openers did have technical failings in the following areas;

    Trumper: For all his brilliance his low batting average indicates a poor temperment. He was not a successful batsman despite being a genius.

    Ponsford: Fast short-pitched bowling. Compared to the likes of McCabe he was indecisive on his feet and got hit more often that he should have. In my opinion he would have more successful as a middle-order batsman when the ball was softer and his great skill against spin would have been more useful.
    Trumper: Era, era, era. Averaging 42 was pretty much superior to any of his contemporaries. Clem Hill, average 39, was the preeminent Australian middle order batsman of the day, in comparison.

    Ponsford averaged 55 opening the batting, significantly higher than his career 48. He was far less successful in the middle order.

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    The artist formerly known as Monk Red Hill's Avatar
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    I have changed my mind over the years, but have settled now on Simpson and Trumper.

    The more I consider the attacks (Trueman, Statham, Tyson & Hall and Griffiths) faced by Lawry and Simpson, the more I admire them. Lawry is my third choice.

    Was never a fan of Hayden, considering he struggled against great quicks early in his career, then was dropped and returned to go well against less credentialed pacemen (Srinath and Agarkar).

    Always admired Langer's tenacity, but he irritated me to watch as a batsman.

    Simpson brings a lot to the table. High average opening, great slipper and handy leg spinner. Trumper was undoubtedly a master craftsman and our greatest batsman pre-Bradman.

    My Australian XI

    B. Simpson
    V. Trumper
    D. Bradman
    G. Chappell
    K. Miller
    N. Harvey
    A. Gilchrist
    S. Warne
    D. Lillee
    B. O'Reilly
    G. McGrath

    12th- R. Lindwall

    Hate to leave out- A. Davidson
    Last edited by Red Hill; 01-09-2012 at 09:51 PM.
    I'd like to imagine in cricketing heaven that Hughes has already found Archie Jackson and they're sitting, smiling and discussing what might've been, and also discussing how fickle both batting and life can be. Maybe Trumper sits close by, nodding.

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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    Here is an interesting study on opening batsman to back up my boring mantra;

    Stats from the past: The opening salvo | Highlights | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo

    Another important stat is that that the average opening stand in the Simpson-Lawry era was 38.4 runs. Their average opening stand was 60.94 thus giving a ratio of 1.59 - this is the best ratio on show by some distance.

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    International Vice-Captain kyear2's Avatar
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    Trumper, with Simpson just over Morris.

    V. Trumper
    B. Simpson
    D. Bradman
    G. Chappell
    A. Border
    K. Miller
    A. Gilchrist
    S. Warne
    D. Lillee
    B. O'Reilly
    G. Mcgrath

    R. Ponting
    R.Lindwall
    A.Morris

    Just picture a slip cordon of Simpson, Chappell and Warne for the quicks. Just amazing. Also this team againts the W.I. AT XI, Epic 5 match series.
    Aus. XI
    Simpson^ | Hayden | Bradman | Chappell^ | Ponting | Border* | Gilchrist+ | Davidson3 | Warne4^ | Lillee1 | McGrath2


    W.I. XI
    Greenidge | Hunte | Richards^ | Headley* | Lara^ | Sobers5^ | Walcott+ | Marshall1 | Ambrose2 | Holding3 | Garner4

    S.A. XI
    Richards^ | Smith*^ | Amla | Pollock | Kallis5^ | Nourse | Cameron+ | Procter3 | Steyn1 | Tayfield4 | Donald2

    Eng. XI
    Hobbs | Hutton*^ | Hammond^ | Compton | Barrington | Botham5^ | Knott | Trueman1 | Laker4 | Larwood2 | Barnes3

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    International Coach uvelocity's Avatar
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    lack of taylor
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    I just love all kinds of balls.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Trumper: For all his brilliance his low batting average indicates a poor temperment. He was not a successful batsman despite being a genius.

    fine with the rest but this is really silly
    Indians can't bowl - Where has the rumour come from as I myself and many indian friends arwe competent fast bowlers ?

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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    Trumper: Era, era, era. Averaging 42 was pretty much superior to any of his contemporaries. Clem Hill, average 39, was the preeminent Australian middle order batsman of the day, in comparison.

    Ponsford averaged 55 opening the batting, significantly higher than his career 48. He was far less successful in the middle order.
    Trumper is an interesting one. Thing is I'm still cranky because of the 1903-04 series. In the fourth Test at Sydney when Australia needed a big knock from the great man, he scored 7 and 12. England won the series 3-2 !

    And then at the height of his powers in 1905 when he should have been seeking revenge he scored a miserable 125 runs at 17.86 in the following Ashes series.

    I could go on...........truth is, for me, Trumper is frustration personified

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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uvelocity View Post
    lack of taylor
    Early Taylor - yes. Just not mid-late Taylor.

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    International 12th Man AndyZaltzHair's Avatar
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    I would put Trumper first in the list; reasons already said in the other thread,

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyZaltzHair View Post
    The thirty year period from 1877 to 1907, batting average was 23.13 across 96 Test matches when bowling was most dominant factor. At that period, Trumper had average of 35.30 which by today's standard increases to 50.68 by conversion rate of 30% by considering batting average from 1981 to 2011. He was a master at every conditions and poor pitches.

    He was great under all conditions of weather and ground. He could play quite an orthodox game when he wished to, but it was his ability to make big scores when orthodox methods were unavailing that lifted him above his fellows.

    For this reason Trumper was, in proportion, more to be feared on treacherous wickets than on fast, true ones. No matter how bad the pitch might be from the combined effects of rain and sunshine, he was quite likely to get 50 runs, his skill in pulling good-length balls amounting to genius
    .
    Secondly, I would put Morris in Australian XI. He had great composure; was elegant and equally good at playing pace and spin. Even with Bradman in the team, he was the leading run scorer in the undefeated tour of England. He had some difficulties facing Bedser in later tours but still managed to pile up 206 with Hassett's help.
    Last edited by AndyZaltzHair; 01-09-2012 at 10:37 PM.

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