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Thread: English batting post-Hutton, pre-Gower

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    International Debutant harsh.ag's Avatar
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    English batting post-Hutton, pre-Gower

    Let's talk about English batsmen post Hutton-Compton and pre Gower-Gooch, basically since the early to mid 50s till mid 70s. Even though we know a bit about stalwarts like the elegance of May, the drudgery of Barrington and Boycott, not to mention Dexter, Cowdrey, Amiss, Edrich, Graveney and more. I think too much (of my know-how at least) has come from standalone anecdotes, tidbits and stories. If this has been done before, ah well, who cares, let's have another go at it

    Expecting some May love here from the slightly older English posters.
    Last edited by harsh.ag; 25-04-2013 at 12:29 AM.
    If you were that old, and that kind, and the very last of your kind, you couldn't just stand back and watch children cry.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    The one I have enjoyed reading about is the opener Barber. He played his shots in the 60s when others were blocking and refused to run singles at the end of an over if he thought Boycott was trying to hog the strike. I suppose we can assume this was not against Hall
    You know it makes sense.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    The one I have enjoyed reading about is the opener Barber. He played his shots in the 60s when others were blocking and refused to run singles at the end of an over if he thought Boycott was trying to hog the strike. I suppose we can assume this was not against Hall
    In a similar vein Ollie Milburn - the 1970s would have been a much better place for cricket fans were it not for the accident that ended his career

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    I was sad Knott did not come back after the WSC days,seemed a charcter,in more ways than 1.


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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brockley View Post
    I was sad Knott did not come back after the WSC days,seemed a charcter,in more ways than 1.
    In fact he did - he had a woeful series with the bat against 1980's West Indians and then got back in for the last two Tests in '81 and did ok, but then he went to South Africa that winter and at 35 that, as they say, was goodnight

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    Oh really saw him play in a WSC match in oz but was only 10/11 and was more keen on watching the Aussies,i started watching 78/79 and Taylor was keeper,he couldn't bat for ****..
    Remember john Snow from the match tho,was quick even then.

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    International Coach Pothas's Avatar
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    Always hear good things about Tom Graveney, not least in the Dolly book.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pothas View Post
    Always hear good things about Tom Graveney, not least in the Dolly book.
    Bit of a maverick was Long Tom, but wonderful to watch and, unlike almost all his teammates, still with us

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    Didn't Peter Burge play for Queensland in the late 60's?I know Tony Lock did,WA.

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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    My impression, having started watching the game in 1971, was that we were really struggling to find good batsmen. Boycott and Edrich were exceptions, but seemed quite old to me even then. The lack of younger batsmen coming through was really shown by the line-up in the 1972 Ashes when the average age of the top 5 must have been around 35, or maybe even higher. And it's not as if they were scoring many runs, either. For a while, newcomers didn't do much better - Lewis, Denness, Roope and Jameson were all tried and found wanting. Fletcher came and went quite regularly, maintaining a decent average by filling his boots against the weaker sides but no-where to be seen against anyone challenging.

    Pre-Gower, the only ones who showed promise were Steele (see the 'Shafted' thread), Woolmer and, for a brief while, Randall. Woolmer's test career, after making 3 Ashes tons, never recovered after joining WSC. Possibly the best captain we never had, judging by his subsequent career. Randall's career nose-dived after that run-out by Boycott, but it's easily forgotten how good he looked for a brief three-test period in 1977.

    For whatever reason, we stopped producing great batsmen by the early 1960's. Cowdrey, May, Graveney and Barrington had all emerged by then, as had Boycott & Edrich, albeit only just at that stage. I honestly have no idea why.


    EDIT
    Just realised that I had forgotten Dennis Amiss, who really was terrific until committing the apparently unique crime of being undone by Lillee and Thomson
    Last edited by wpdavid; 25-04-2013 at 05:44 AM.

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    International Debutant harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid View Post
    My impression, having started watching the game in 1971, was that we were really struggling to find good batsmen. Boycott and Edrich were exceptions, but seemed quite old to me even then. The lack of younger batsmen coming through was really shown by the line-up in the 1972 Ashes when the average age of the top 5 must have been around 35, or maybe even higher. And it's not as if they were scoring many runs, either. For a while, newcomers didn't do much better - Lewis, Denness, Roope and Jameson were all tried and found wanting. Fletcher came and went quite regularly, maintaining a decent average by filling his boots against the weaker sides but no-where to be seen against anyone challenging.

    Pre-Gower, the only ones who showed promise were Steele (see the 'Shafted' thread), Woolmer and, for a brief while, Randall. Woolmer's test career, after making 3 Ashes tons, never recovered after joining WSC. Possibly the best captain we never had, judging by his subsequent career. Randall's career nose-dived after that run-out by Boycott, but it's easily forgotten how good he looked for a brief three-test period in 1977.

    For whatever reason, we stopped producing great batsmen by the early 1960's. Cowdrey, May, Graveney and Barrington had all emerged by then, as had Boycott & Edrich, albeit only just at that stage. I honestly have no idea why.


    EDIT
    Just realised that I had forgotten Dennis Amiss, who really was terrific until committing the apparently unique crime of being undone by Lillee and Thomson
    Nice post. Agree about Fletcher. Steele and Woolmer, we should have seen more of. No idea about Randall though.

    I always wondered why Amiss is not rated higher as an opener since he has a good record. I guess after seeing their side being undone by a new attack like that of Lillee and Thomson, the english establishment cannot prima facie announce that this was a devastating new ball attack, and the batsmen need to be given some leeway. There will always be an immediate push-back, however wrong such a push-back might be.

    Politics, f***.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Amiss certainly should be rated higher - his 262* in Jamaica in 1974 was one of the great Test innings, and his double ton on recall for the last Test in '76, against a pace attack of Holding, Roberts, Daniel and Holder showed he had plenty of courage. If he had had a bit more self-confidence early on, and not made a mess of the opportunities he got between 1966 and 1973, he'd be right up there with Boycott

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    International Debutant harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Fletcher did perform quite well against the Windies in the early 70s though. Credit should be given, because they were a fine bowling side then.

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    International Debutant harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    Amiss certainly should be rated higher - his 262* in Jamaica in 1974 was one of the great Test innings, and his double ton on recall for the last Test in '76, against a pace attack of Holding, Roberts, Daniel and Holder showed he had plenty of courage. If he had had a bit more self-confidence early on, and not made a mess of the opportunities he got between 1966 and 1973, he'd be right up there with Boycott
    What mess did he make?

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.skm View Post
    Fletcher did perform quite well against the Windies in the early 70s though. Credit should be given, because they were a fine bowling side then.
    Fletcher was a decent enough bat but he really didn't like extreme pace at all - in the time he played against West Indies the only really quick man they had was Keith Boyce, and as Fletch was his county captain I suspect he knew he wasn't going to get a really aggressive working over. He was by far the weakest of the weak links in 74/75, and he only ever played once more against the really quick stuff, in the centenary Test and he was out cheaply twice then. His Test career finished in '82, but he was never picked for the 76 or 80 West Indies series, or the Australians in 77 or 81 and he didn't get to tour those countries either - but against spin he was excellent - a real twinkletoes, which makes it all the more disappointing that he bottled his duels with the fast men, because he should have been able to duck and weave just as well as the likes of Derek Randall

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