I rate Miller very highly indeed, even though he's Australian
Miller is 10 runs off on average for being an ATG for a #5. Miller more than makes up for that difference in being superior to Kallis/Sobers as a bowler - not only saving more runs than they would go for, but getting more wickets and saving overs by doing so at a faster rate.
For example, this is something I did a long way back:
Per Inning Performance:
Sobers: 50 runs
Miller: 34 runs
Sobers: 1.5 wickets for 51 runs and 138 balls
Miller: 1.8 wickets for 41 runs and 111 balls
Difference: 16 runs or 0.3 wickets 10 less runs and 27 less balls conceded.
Again, my reply in the above becomes relevant.Quote:
Again, you're missing my point. The debate, as far as I can tell, is that he shouldn't be in the batting order at all. His batting isn't good enough to warrant being selected in the top 6 at all, regardless of how good his bowling is. Having 6 ATG batsmen is more important than having 5 ATG bowlers.
But that's not the case with bowling all-rounders. They have to bat. So, it's preferential to have the best batting bowler. As I said, that is IF you want an all-rounder. Some sides will just go 6 specialists bats - a Gilchrist - and 4 front line bowlers. That's reasonable. I am saying, however, if you want to utilise an all-rounder, you'd be stupid to give Kallis or Sobers any overs. You are purposely hindering yourself because you are choosing to bowl an inferior bowler (not everyone has to bowl), but you do not have a choice on who bats because everybody has to. Using them to bowl a few overs - or as a throw-the-kitchen-sink move is not using them as all-rounders, that would be using them as part-timers.
I generally pick a straightforward team in an ATG discussion:
However, if I wanted to play two spinners, I think I'd have to include Miller:
Imran is the other option, but I think Miller was a better batsman than Imran.
You might assume you will not need it 9/10...but if this is an Earth XI vs a Mars XI and the fate of the World is on the line (silly, but this is what I mean for when I am picking the best side) why would you unnecessarily risk it? What if one of your specialist bowlers breaks down? You're ****ed. Not just for being a capable man down, but because now the guy who has to pick up the slack is nowhere near the requisite level.
I'd much rather need Miller the batsman to make up the difference than Sobers the bowler. Or furthermore; I'd rather that choice be out of my hands than the fault being of my own negligible selection.
Especially considering the dynamics of cricket. A batsman getting injured still has 10 other guys (more likely 5-6) to make the difference. If a bowler goes down you're ****ed in this scenario as the load now rests on 3 bowlers.
For you the difference was slight between the difference in picking Sobers or Miller overall but sided with the batsman. But when you take into the consideration of how a match can actually play out you can see that the slight difference can make a huge impact. Why take such a real risk because of a perceived (and debatable) advantage?
In the recent past I've selected both Imran and Miller in my team. For the reasons above, I've started to put both Warne and Murali in it too. I used to think that 2 is overkill but in reality what if you pick one spinner and, like the above scenario, he gets injured? By picking 2 all-rounders and 2 spinners I cover almost all the bases. 3 front-line pacers (more than enough) 2 spinners (way more than enough).
I have a genuine spearhead in Lillee who, if need be, can bowl monster long spells. I have Imran and Miller who are ATG pacers and both who provide even more batting depth (as a whole, more valuable than picking 2 of Hadlee/Marshall/McGrath IMO). And I have 2 of the greatest spinners whose performances are so good they rival ATG pacers. I have a side where if nothing goes wrong (no one gets injured) can rival any other team and I also have the kind of side that can adjust to most any problem that may arise (like an injury or horrifically out of form player). That Miller batting in the top 5 may hinder the middle-order somewhat is offset by the long tail - although, compositionally it makes the most sense that he bats #5.
What I personally belive is that optimally one should select both a batting and bowling all rounder in any team, once they do not compromise in the top six or the bowling attack. It is always a good idea to have a decent #8 batsman to shepherd the tail for a couple extra runs or help save the team on the final day of a test. Similarily no matter how good your bowling attack, there is always the need for a handy fifth bowler either to provide rest before the next new ball, be a partnership breaker or just to extend the bowling rotation. Again though, not at the expense of the batting or bowling lineups.
Barry Richards ^
Don Bradman *
Viv Richards ^
Sachin Tendulkar/ Greg Chappell/ Brian Lara/ George Headley
Garry Sobers ^
Adam Gilchrist +
Glen Mcgrath/ Dennis Lillee
All about balance, Hutton to be the anchor, batting depth with match winners in the middle order, best batting all rounder, attacking and metronomic bolwers, pace and accuratcy and an amazing cordon and outfield. Besides myself and Jager not many others place an emphasis on the cordon, but bowlers like Marshall, Lillee and Mcgrath depended heavily on their cordons for wickets, as well as Warne and it must be a factor for me when choosing such sides.
It's 1-1 heading into the 5th Test and Earth has to win the final Test against Mars otherwise Earth the planet gets obliterated by a massive Ray Gun. The Mars groundsman has prepared a flat track to favour his team (just like the Indian ones generally do at Mumbai or where-ever).
Therefore: Earth is going to need the X-factor of Miller in the team because his inclusion gives the team greater bowling variety and depth. A batting centric team won't do in a 'must-win situation'. The second option it is to save us all from doom.
Will Gilchrist will at least hurt some of them with some well placed beamers.