In some ways I think they are two different things. The player that we could least afford to be without was definitely McGrath but I wouldn't necessarily rate him in first place as the greatest match winner as a Ponting first innings of the series ton, a blitzing Gilchrist knock and Warne's 5th day heroics were huge for Australia and really showed the dominance of our team.
Basically I'm saying McGrath wasn't as flashy as others and obviously he was a beast and we would win matches thanks to him, but Aussie brilliance was just as often associated with the three other names (and more) that I've mentioned.
Agree with Nufan there. McGrath just constantly did the job, over and over again.
Gilchrist or Warne more likely to do something outstanding and dramatic. But McGrath just as likely to do something as them. Hard question!
1. Top-order wickets
2, Late-order, and 5th Day wickets
3. Solid runs at the top of the order
4. Fast runs in the middle-order, and great wicket-keeping.
I suspect that top-order wickets is slightly more important than the other 3 factors - therefore McGrath.
However, it's a bit like asking, 'What is the most important component in a motor car?'
4. Windscreen wipers.
Well, in a storm, the car is going no where useful if the driver can't see a thing out of the windscreen. It just depends....
I always loved Langer. Loved watching him transform from a dour middle order/#3 into an aggressive opener.
Loved watching him punch a cover drive off the first or second ball for 4. And he had that bat **** crazy element too. Awesome cricketer!
For me the question isn't about consistency, otherwise I would pick McGrath. It is about: who was the most likely to alter the match significantly in our favour and that was Warne. Many players made many significant contributions in that side; and they were all to one extent or another consistent; but when we needed a wicket or something huge to happen Warne was central to that time and time again. He'd do it across both formats as well. He's one of the most "clutch" sports persons I've ever seen - along with the guy in my avatar.
Last edited by Ikki; 09-09-2013 at 01:18 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.
For me, it was Warne, more than McGrath, that was getting out the important batsmen when they were making those runs. McGrath may get Lara out cheaply, for instance, but in that match it is Chanderpaul giving Australia trouble and scoring. It would then be Warne who'd come out and snuff that danger out, being the "match-winner" in that sense. The figures at the end might show McGrath a bit cheaper and faster in getting his wickets, but for me Warne more regularly made those match turning moments. If the batsmen tended to stay in after McGrath opened and weren't phased by his bowling on that day, it almost seemed like McGrath wasn't going to get them out that match - no matter how tidy he would remain for the rest of it, since he was so hard to score off of - but when Warne came on to face those settled batsmen he'd have the freakish ability to uproot them through sheer will.
In the end, whether those runs come a bit more expensive or not...you have to get those wickets to win those matches. If McGrath wasn't on form as an Australian I'd still be betting on Warne to make the difference. For me it was when Warne had no answer that got me the most disheartened, and that for me defines him as an incredible match-winner.
Last edited by Ikki; 09-09-2013 at 01:47 AM.
Has to be McGrath. Warne didn't step up when playing India. McG had no such hiccups
And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW
Yeah we don't crap in the first world; most of us would actually have no idea what that was emanating from Ajmal's backside. Why isn't it roses and rainbows like what happens here? PEWS's retort to Ganeshran on Daemon's picture depicting Ajmal's excreta
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