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Thread: The ATG Teams General arguing/discussing thread

  1. #376
    SJS
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    Making up All Time Great Teams is a fun exercise and best done in bars. It is not something one can get passionate about. I wrote this about making an all time team, here on CC, way back in December 2005 . . .

    I follow a simple system. Other than Hobbs, Bradman, Sobers and SF Barnes, I vote for different people every time this sxcercise comes up and it does once a quarter or so

    Trumper, Hutton, Barry Richards, Sutcliffe, Gavaskar as openers.

    Headley, Hammond, Viv Richards, Tendulkar, Lara, Ranji, Compton, Weekes, Worrell etc for middle order

    Evans, Oldfield, Taylor, Ames, Knott etc for keeper

    Miller, Imran, Hadlee, Marshall as bowling all rounders

    Lillee, Lindwall, Larwood, Trueman, Roberts, Holding etc as fast bowlers

    Grimmett, Orielly, Laker, Verity as spinners

    You always get a good team

    How does it matter. They are all great players. How can we really evaluate one against the other ? You can support any one of them and if you know your cricket find enough to support your case.

    Simple


    Since then, to cater to younger tastes I have added Lara, Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Warne and Murali to the list . . . . to cater to younger tastes
    Last edited by SJS; 16-09-2012 at 06:39 PM.

  2. #377
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    Making up All Time Great Teams is a fun exercise and best done in bars. It is not something one can get passionate about. I wrote this about making an all time team, here on CC, way back in December 2005 . . .

    I follow a simple system. Other than Hobbs, Bradman, Sobers and SF Barnes, I vote for different people every time this sxcercise comes up and it does once a quarter or so

    Trumper, Hutton, Barry Richards, Sutcliffe, Gavaskar as openers.

    Headley, Hammond, Viv Richards, Tendulkar, Lara, Ranji, Compton, Weekes, Worrell etc for middle order

    Evans, Oldfield, Taylor, Ames, Knott etc for keeper

    Miller, Imran, Hadlee, Marshall as bowling all rounders

    Lillee, Lindwall, Larwood, Trueman, Roberts, Holding etc as fast bowlers

    Grimmett, Orielly, Laker, Verity as spinners

    You always get a good team

    How does it matter. They are all great players. How can we really evaluate one against the other ? You can support any one of them and if you know your cricket find enough to support your case.

    Simple


    Since then, to cater to younger tastes I have added Lara, Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Warne and Murali to the list . . . . to cater to younger tastes
    I like those lists SJS.

    I guess the main point I was trying to get across before was that we tend to make our lists too short by having preconceived ideas about certain players and excluding them from our pantheon of greats. This in turn limits our fun!

    Ergo, by concluding that the records of Grimmett and Mailey are, in reality, similar we have gained another ATG leg-spinner, not lost one. No one is saying that Grimmett wasn't superb.
    Last edited by watson; 16-09-2012 at 07:04 PM.

  3. #378
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    I like those lists SJS.

    I guess the main point I was trying to get across before was that we tend to make our lists too short by having preconceived ideas about certain players and excluding them from our pantheon of greats. This in turn limits our fun!

    Ergo, by concluding that the records of Grimmett and Mailey are, in reality, similar we have gained another ATG leg-spinner, not lost one. No one is saying that Grimmett wasn't superb.
    Spot on my friend.

    Mailey was widely considered the world's finest leg spinner till the advent of the 1930's. Then in one decade, the world saw two fantastic bowlers bowl in tandem with the old ball in an attack that had the weakest new ball attack not just in Australian but in most countries' history. Remember, even Grimmett was asked to open the Aussie attack in three Ashes innings in a row and McCabe was a regular new ball bowler! So these two, Grimmett and O'rielly, took the cricketing world by storm. But for the fact that there was an even bigger super star in the team in form of the incomparable Bradman, it is these bowlers posterity would have recalled when talking of that glorious era in Aussie cricket.

    Mailey, Grimmett and O'reilly were three completely different type of bowlers. O'reilly was rightly compared by Bradman with Barnes rather than any spinner because of was not a conventional spinner. He bowled at medium pace. The Don, whose utter dislike for Grimmett is well recorded (it was mutual of course) and who was responsible for bringing an end Grum's career, is on record to say that as a pure leg spinner, Grimmett was the best of all time. But he considered O'reilly the greatest bowler, of any type, of all time. There are those who disagree but the fact remains that he held the small old Grum in very high regard, howsoever reluctantly. He does not mention Mailey anywhere.

    Now, how do we ever compare players from eras long gone before us. The only way is by trying to understand from the views of their contemporaries and those who can provide first hand accounts of these greats. It may not always settle an argument (for arguments never are) but it lends better insight than we can get on our own with our umpteenth hand views with over-rated statistical tools as our main support.

    I have in the past, here on CC, done similar threads on players as seen by their peers. An example is a thread A Fast Bowler's fast Bowler and a feature I did on Bedser's death Getting To Know The Gentle Giant - From Those Who Did Know Him

    I will try and do one on these three leg spinners of the inter-war period. Its not a promise . . . just a declaration of intent
    Last edited by SJS; 16-09-2012 at 07:35 PM.

  4. #379
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Jack Hobbs from his 1935 autobiography: 'Sir Jack Hobbs: My Life Story';

    Faulkner will go down to history as South Africa's greatest allrounder. He was a really splendid googly bowler, keeping an immaculate length, much faster than Grimmett, and perhaps the best of all the googly bowlers with the exception of Arthur Mailey.
    It's also interesting is that Jack Hobbs rated Faulkner exceptionally highly.
    Last edited by watson; 16-09-2012 at 07:44 PM.


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    International Vice-Captain kyear2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Sutcliffe with Hutton at No.5 as the defensive 'glue' in the middle-order - I reckon.

    If Hutton in the middle-order is too unpalatable then Hobbs and Hutton to open with Sutcliffe omitted. This is because Hutton is comfortably the better batsman (faced LIndwall and Miller) despite Sutcliffe's average.
    Fully agree with that, can't just shoe horn someone some place they didn't play, and Hutton was clearly the superior player.
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  6. #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post

    I have in the past, here on CC, done similar threads on players as seen by their peers. An example is a thread A Fast Bowler's fast Bowler and a feature I did on Bedser's death Getting To Know The Gentle Giant - From Those Who Did Know Him

    I will try and do one on these three leg spinners of the inter-war period. Its not a promise . . . just a declaration of intent
    Thanks for sharing these thread SJS

    They are gun. Just going through the fast bowler thread
    And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW

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  7. #382
    SJS
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    As regards the question of bowling long hops and full tosses, it is well recorded that Grimmett and O'reilly were very accurate with the former particularly miserly with every single ball he bowled. Mailey, on the other hand, seemed to make a virtue of bowling untidily, even by intention at times. Where Grimmett and O'reilly believed purely in line and length and putting shackles round the batsman's feet, Mailey was totally enamoured with precocious spin at the cost of length which, kind of, averaged a good length with the full tosses and long hops thrown in. For the other two bowling was very serious business, for Mailey it was fun and games as with everything else in life. He spun the ball like mad, tossed it up in the air and then waited for the batsman to make a fool of himself. If in the process a fairly large number failed to land on a good length that was part of the fun. In those days of suspicion of leg spin bowling even these could result in the batsmen losing their head and getting out.

    Here are views of first hand accounts of revered writers and cricketers who saw all three play and who hold very high opinions of all.

    He tossed up his spin to the batsman slow and alluringly; never have I seen on a cricket field such undisguised temptation as was presented by Mailey's bowling. It was almost immoral. He once clean bowled Hobbs with a slow full toss after the master and Sutcliffe had put on 283 together. Mailey needed to double up his body to express the humour of it.

    No bowler has spun te ball with more than Mailey's twist, fingers and right forearm and leverage. He lacked the accuracy of Grimmett but Mailey bowled his spin with the lavishness of a millionaire, Grimmett bowled it like a miser - as ray Robinson once put it.

    Terribly expensive, no doubt, according to the skinflint economy of our seamsters of 1963. It is doubtful, in fact, if Mailey would get a place in modern first class cricket matches in this country. The fact that he played cricket for fun would, in itself, keep his claims and talents under sever and suspicious scrutiny.

    He bowled any amount of full tosses. 'If ever I bowl a maiden.' he once told me, 'it's the batsman's fault not mine.'


    - Cardus from Full Score, Cardus on the Ashes and Close of Play

    Mailey and Grimmett had (only) one point in common. Each was a bosey bowler. Their points of dissimilarity were so many . . .

    In the post war (WW1) years he (Mailey) never looked on length as essential to success, claimimg that a ball spun viciously must do something different, and that even if it was a full toss or a long hop, it could cause the batsman to fall into error.

    Mailey was almost a profligate, and cared little about cost so long as he brought home the victims. Compared with him Grimmett was a miser, out for wickets at the smallest possible cost. He rarely bowled a loose ball.

    There was a legend that Mailey did not care very much whether he bowled a full toss, a long-hop or a regular snorter. It was good publicity . . . it made batsmen careless . . .

    When the Mailey full-toss came down from the skies the ball had been spun viciously by powerful fingers with a supple wrist to help them. That spin would make the ball drop; often it would dip at the last minute; sometime it would make a late change of course. Now and again it would not do the unexpected, but the wise batsman was the one who feared Mailey the Greek bringing such gifts. Arthur took good wickets with that ball. He knew its possibilities. And I haven't any doubt he bowled it deliberately, hoping for the best. It was the same with the long-hop, a ball that from a medium pacer would bring four runs without risk. Here again, the Mailey brain worked it out that a ball spun with all the power he possessed would almost certainly do something different. If it landed half way down the wicket, what matter? There was a;ways a chance that the batsman may mistime it . . .



    - Johnny Moyes from Australian Bowlers and A Century of Cricketers

    As a bowler of slow leg-breaks and googlies, Mailey was imaginative and experimental. He would invite a batsman's contempt with a wide, lull him with long-hops. then send him witlessly pondering to the pavillion with one that struck venomously from leg stump to the top of the off. Like PGH Fender he was never devoted to precision for its own dull sake. . . "Sometimes", he once remarked, "I am attacked by waves of accuracy; and I don't trust them."

    - RC Robertson Glasgow from More Cricket Prints
    Last edited by SJS; 17-09-2012 at 01:44 AM.

  8. #383
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    "I am attacked by waves of accuracy; and I don't trust them."

    I like the quote SJS. But how inaccurate was Mailey? I think the best way to measure this is to look at some relative Economy Rates of some great leg-spin bowlers;

    Bill O'Reilly = 1.94
    Richie Benaud = 2.10
    Clarie Grimmett = 2.16
    Subhash Gupte = 2.34
    Sydney Barnes = 2.36
    Shane Warne = 2.65
    Bhagwath Chandrasekhar = 2.70
    Aubrey Faulkner = 3.09
    DVP Wright = 3.11
    Stuart MacGill = 3.22
    Arthur Mailey 3.29

    And for contrast some offies and lefties;

    Lance Gibbs = 1.98
    Jim Laker = 2.04
    Derek Underwood = 2.10
    Wilfred Rhodes = 2.49

    So yes, after looking at those numbers we can easily see that Mailey had the worst Economy Rate, therefore making him the least accurate by implication.

    However, what do those Economy Rates mean in real terms? If we assume that on average spinners bowl about 20-40 overs per innings then Mailey has supposedly given away 40-80 runs more per Test match than a more accurate bowler.

    So I guess the obvious question is -
    Does a very good Strike Rate (eg Mailey: 60.4 balls V Grimmett:86.4 balls against England) justify the cost of an extra run per over? Yes or no?

    (Also, how about Ritchie Benaud's Economy Rate? If you want miserly then you should be just as likely to pick Ritchie as Clarrie in your ATG team)

  9. #384
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    "I am attacked by waves of accuracy; and I don't trust them."

    I like the quote SJS. But how inaccurate was Mailey? I think the best way to measure this is to look at some relative Economy Rates of some great leg-spin bowlers;

    Bill O'Reilly = 1.94
    Richie Benaud = 2.10
    Clarie Grimmett = 2.16
    Subhash Gupte = 2.34
    Sydney Barnes = 2.36
    Shane Warne = 2.65
    Bhagwath Chandrasekhar = 2.70
    Aubrey Faulkner = 3.09
    DVP Wright = 3.11
    Stuart MacGill = 3.22
    Arthur Mailey 3.29

    (Also, how about Ritchie Benaud's Economy Rate? If you want miserly then you should be just as likely to pick Ritchie as Clarrie in your ATG team)
    Era. Richie played in the 50s, which were notorious for defensive batsmanship. They didn't call Trevor Bailey 'barnacle' for nothing.

    Although when Richie became skipper, he did everything he could to change that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    Era. Richie played in the 50s, which were notorious for defensive batsmanship. They didn't call Trevor Bailey 'barnacle' for nothing.

    Although when Richie became skipper, he did everything he could to change that.
    Were they defensive because the bowling was accurate and the fields were defensive, or did all the batsman decide similtaneously not to play shots? In other words, it was a 'vogue' thing?
    Last edited by watson; 17-09-2012 at 06:07 AM.

  11. #386
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    I know England were the best opposition for Australia back then, but using one average against one country to compare two bowlers just doesn't sit with me.

    I could go and say Warne got flogged by the best batting lineup Australia faced in the 2000's (India) and is therefore a poor spinner, and it would have the same weight as that argument - thing is, there's so much more to it than just a single average
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  12. #387
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Were they defensive because the bowling was accurate and the fields were defensive, or did all the batsman decide similtaneously not to play shots? In other words, it was a 'vogue' thing?
    I think it was the start of the 'a draw is as good as a win because we didn't lose' mentality. England, in particular, was starting lose its edge and wanted to avoid losing games at all costs IIRC.

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    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    I know England were the best opposition for Australia back then, but using one average against one country to compare two bowlers just doesn't sit with me.

    I could go and say Warne got flogged by the best batting lineup Australia faced in the 2000's (India) and is therefore a poor spinner, and it would have the same weight as that argument - thing is, there's so much more to it than just a single average
    If you are comparing two bowlers that played against a line-up of different nations (like Warne and Murali) then I agree.

    However, when Mailey played he didn't have the luxury of playing against 'minnows'. All but three of his matches were against strong England sides that contained Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Woolley, Hendren et al.

    Since Mailey and Grimmett played nearly the same amount of Test matches against England (21 V 22) we can make a neat comparison between the two bowlers and draw some reasonable conclusions.

    Since the averages bewteen the two bowlers against quality opposition were about the same we can ask a nice question: Which is more important to a Test match outcome - Grimmett's significantly better Economy Rate or Mailey's significantly better Strike Rate.

    The answer may well be, neither. And on balance both bowlers are about the equal of eachother!

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    Dudley Nourse is South Africa's greatest middle-order batsman. Discuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    I think it was the start of the 'a draw is as good as a win because we didn't lose' mentality. England, in particular, was starting lose its edge and wanted to avoid losing games at all costs IIRC.
    Interesting point.

    I will assume then that the runs scored per over in the 1950s is significantly lower than other decades. That would fit your understanding/idea.



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