Reckon Colly's test career ended on quite a high.
Reckon Colly's test career ended on quite a high.
#J.Hobbs; #L.Hutton; #D.Bradman; #V.Richards; #G.Sobers; #A.Border; #A.Gilchrist; #K.Miller; #I.Khan; #S.Warne; #M.Marshall;
Looking at Hussey today, 25 in the first innings, can he make it a perfect ending?
Originally Posted by zaremba
Accidental Founder of the Fawad Alam Appreciation Society!
Slowfinger - An active member of CricketWeb for 7 years and counting!
The legendary S F Barnes, in his last ever test series made a record that stands till today. The figures of his achievement are staggering to put it very mildly.
Barnes played only the first four Tests of the series. England won three of them. Barnes figures, well known to most cricket buffs are still worth repeating
- Tests : 4
- Wkts : 49
- Avg : 10.94
- St Rt : 27.7
- Eco. : 2.37
- 5 fors : 7 . . . in just 4 Tests !!!
- 10 fors : 2 . . . in just 4 Tests !!!
If he had played the last Test, it is impossible to imagine the record would ever have been broken. As it is, with about 13 months left for the centenary of the end of this amazing bowler's career, the record still stands.
There is a tendency to run down Barnes' figures by talking of the opposition and the conditions. While it is clear that of the three countries playing Test cricket by then, South Africa were the weakest. However, there is more to it.. . .
South Africa were coming out of their minnow status in the new century. Having lost four straight series (eight straight Test matches) to England in the 12 years of the end of the 19th century, all at home, they had begun to get back at the 'mother country' in the first decade of the 20th.
In 1905-06 they trounced England 4-1 at home.
Granted a tour of England in 1907, as a reward, they performed very creditably, drawing the Tests at the Lord's and The Oval and lost by 53 runs at Headingley in a low scoring game. England had played their full strength side (barring Barnes who they continued to treat shabbily) with a side that reads the who's who of the English stars of the day.
- CB Fry
- Tom Hayward
- Johnny Tyldesley
- Reggie Foster
- Les Braund
- George Hirst
- Gilbert Jessop
- Dick Lilley
- Colin Blythe
The fact that they played just 12 players in the three Tests showed they took the Proteas seriously after their big series loss of the previous tour to SAfrica.
In 1909-10 England toured South Africa again and again the lost the series, this time by three games to two. The English side had included Jack Hobbs, Frank Woolley, Wilfred Rhodes, Simpson-Hayward, Colin Blythe . . . and no Barnes !
England had now won only one of the last three series and just 3 of the 13 Tests. This has to be remembered when we talk of the 1913-14 series.
Another factor that needs to be remembered is how the other England bowlers' fared in that last series of Barnes. Here are the figures of Barnes against those of rest of England for the four Tests in which he played . . .
The Rest of England included Rhodes, Woolley, Douglas, Hearne, Bird and RelfCode:Player O M R W 5w 10w Best Avg S/R E/R S F Barnes 226 56 536 49 7 3 9/103 10.9 27.7 2.4 Rest of England 371.1 83 953 30 1 0 5/89 31.8 74.2 2.6
It is interesting to see that there isn't such a great difference between the economy rates of Barnes (2.4) and the Rest (2.6). They were good bowlers and were able to keep the South Africans on a tight enough leash. They just couldn't take wickets the way Barnes did. Hence the strike difference of 27.7 against 74.2.
And remember the man was forty years old.
Coming back to Barnes' farewell to Tests, who is to say when he should have retired. The guy just kept getting better with age inspite of England treating him like a pariah and selecting him very reluctantly to start with claiming Test matches were completely different from the leagues he was used to playing in and then when he astounded the world, not least the Aussies on who he was let loose, they used every pretext, mostly related to his personality and how difficult he was to handle, to keep him out of the side and yet this is what he did. In his last 10 Tests he took 88 Test wickets at 10.7 each.
Of course, it has a lot to do with the fact that eight of these games were against South Africa who were completely clueless against him. Australians were obviously far better. Yet, seen in the context of the rest of England's bowlers who is to say whether he needs to have retired, or rather never played again for, he never announced his retirement.
Another interesting aspect of Barnes' bowling has to do with how he fared at the beginning of a Test as against in the latter parts. There is a general perception that with uncovered pitches the latter part of the matches used to be a delight for bowlers. Well . . . not true for Barnes. His figures for the four innings make very interesting reading. Have a look.
It is interesting to see that the performances in the first and third innings are far better. He also bowls much more overs (in both innings) when England field first. This is very strange. Anyone with a theory on this ?? :o)Code:Inn # O M R W 5w Best Avg S/R First 417.2 122 946 77 11 8/56 12.3 32.5 Second 179.1 49 398 23 3 6/52 17.3 46.7 Third 583.2 152 1410 74 9 9/103 19.1 47.3 Fourth 132.2 33 352 15 1 5/102 23.5 52.9 Overall 1312.1 356 3106 189 24 9/103 16.4 41.7
Its too bad he only played those 27 tests. Wasn't chosen multiple times when he should've been, probably would've even been good enough after the war. 14/144 in his final test, wow.
Last edited by Coronis; 05-01-2013 at 12:50 AM.
There is the famous instance of when Barnes was bowling in a charity match to the famous West Indian Sir Learie Constantine, known for his belligerent batting. Barnes, now in his fifties, excercised a vice like grip over Constantine which irked his captain Cec Parkin who wanted the crowd to be entertained by some luscious hitting by the famous West Indian. "Chuck 'em up to him, Sid" he said. "Let the crowd see him crack one or two."
Barnes threw the ball down, collected his sweater and refused to finish the over or bowl again in the match. As he put on his sweater, he turned to his skipper and said, "I have a reputation as well as Constantine."
He was right of course and in the modern time, we would have celebrated his guts to stand up to authority but in that time and age they despised him for nothing but demanding the self respect he knew he deserved.
When he was on the ship going to Australia, handpicked by Lancashire skipper MacLaren who was leading the English side, the vessel ran into terrible weather within just a few days of the voyage. The players, most of whom had seen nothing further than the grounds they played on, were scared stiff and worried that they would all go down to the bottom of the ocean. MacLaren famously said, "If we do go down, at least that bugger Barnes will go down with us,"
Constantine played him in the tour game of the West Indians against Staffordshire in 1928, Barnes was well into his fifties and it was 14 years after his last Test series we are talking about. Constantine writes . . .
Barnes was bowling. He was over fifty then, but I thought him the greatest bowler I met during that English visit (remember he played Harold Larwood among others on that tour) He had every sort in the bag and could take a wicket with any of them.
He next metions Barnes in the context of the season of 1937 . . .
What was my greatest game for Nelson? Its not easy to say, but I think I liked best a personal duel I had with Barnes, one of the finest players of all time.
As far back as 1895, eight years before I was even born, Barnes was playing for Rishton as a professional. He went from league cricket to playing for England in Australia and did magnificently. When I first saw Barnes , during my initial tour of England, I learned by watching him just how to set a field, measure a run and trick a steady batsman. He had broken innumerable cricket records and will always be remembered as one of the great personalities of the game.
In 1930, he was playing for Rawtenstall. We won the toss but Barnes began to go through our wickets as he well knew how. I was told to save the situation and went out to the wicket to find him absolutely at his best. The wicket had just enough moisture to take the spin well, and could he spin them !
We were 68 for 3 when I went in and Barnes skittled them out till we had 118 for 9, my score being 45 not out. I had to knock them about and be quick about it !
I shall never forget the length, spin and guile Barnes produced to stop me from getting the bowling, to get either me or the partner out. I went for Barnes and hit him; and he went for me., attack versus attack, like rapiers crossing, then I was caught and bowled by the master off about the best ball of the innings. For that was typical of Barnes - the more you hit him the better he bowled !
Last edited by SJS; 05-01-2013 at 02:06 AM.
For batsmen there are many tempting examples.
1. Andrew Sandham
In ten Tests between 1921 and 1925, Sandham had managed just one fifty and a Test average of 19.1. He would have never expected to play another Test for England when he got a call for the 1930 maiden tour of West Indies. Sandham was in his 40th year.
This, however, did not make him the oldest player in a team from the graveyard . . . well quite a few of them were closer to that age than to being debutants.
George Gunn was in his 51st year and had last played in a Test match in 1912 - 18 years ago ! He was surely more surprised than Andrew.
Patsy Hendren was a youngster, I guess, at 42
The oldest was left arm spinner and all rounder Wilfred Rhodes in his 53rd year still playing for England 31 years after his debut in 1899 !!
Nigel Haig was ten years younger than Rhodes at 42 but was going to open the bowling attack !!
Bill Astill, the off spinner, was 42.
Fred Calthrope was a young debutant at 38 !!
Jack O'Connor was an absolute infant playing just his second game at 33.
NO, Andy Sandham shouldn't have been surprised. What he did, after the ten Tests for a solitary century was surprising, nevertheless.
- In the first Test at the Kensington Oval Sandham scored 152 and 51. Nearly doubling the runs he had made in his entire ten Test career till then.
- In the 4th Test at Sabina Park he scored 325 and 50. Making a total of 528 in just these two games - he had managed just 287 in his first ten !
- The fact that he did not reach double figures in any of the four innings of the second and third Test makes no difference to the fact that he aggregated 592 runs in the series at 74.0 which, by the way, was Andy's last.
- Sachin in his 72 Test series has managed a best of 493. :o)
- Of course there is the minor matter of the triple century he scored in the first innings of his last Test. This, at that time, was the highest EVER Test innings !
- Sachin, after 194 Tests and 320 innings is yet to score a 250 !
BTW, the comparison with SRT is not to run the great man down but just to put Sandham's performance in that amazing series, 72 years ago, in perspective and give them a bit of statistical context.
How can you do better than scoring over 500 runs in your last series and also make the highest ever Test score in your last game.
By the way, the 375 runs, Sandham scored in that last Test was also the highest match aggregate of all time and remained a record for 44 years till Greg Chappell broke it by 5 runs in 1974 !!
We need to look long and hard to find a better end to a test career but we will be back :o))
Last edited by SJS; 05-01-2013 at 02:58 AM.
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