View Poll Results: Greatest Match-Winner in the Australian Team of the 1990s-2000s?

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  • Glenn McGrath

    26 65.00%
  • Shane Warne

    9 22.50%
  • Ricky Ponting

    2 5.00%
  • Adam Gilchrist

    2 5.00%
  • Other

    1 2.50%
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Thread: Who was the biggest match-winner in the great Australian side?

  1. #46
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyFromLancs View Post
    India is a kind of litmus test. You might expect McGrath would struggle on the sub-continent, but

    Warne took 34 wickets at 43.11

    McGrath 33 at 21.30.

    Unbelivable really. McGrath was off the scale!
    What has really sold me on McGrath's career is when you look at his breakdown by opponent/location, there's no real weakspot. His worst opponent was South Africa - 57 wickets from 17 matches at 27.33. So he still averaged 27 against his worst opponent. Location wise, it's much the same story - his worst there is Pakistan, where he has 19 from 5 matches at 31. I mean, the bloke was a ****ing machine.
    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    Only a bunch of convicts having been beaten 3-0 and gone 9 tests without a win and won just 1 in 11 against England could go into the home series saying they will win. England will win in Australia again this winter as they are a better side which they have shown this summer. 3-0 doesn't lie girls.

  2. #47
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    Warne had his issues with India, but why are they the litmus test in general? For a spinner, I can see the point but overall? I'd have considered our rivals for the #1 spot, which were S.Africa during that period of reign as more important. And yes, Warne was better against them than McGrath.

    Ironically, McGrath did struggle (considering his standards) in SL and Pak.

    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    What has really sold me on McGrath's career is when you look at his breakdown by opponent/location, there's no real weakspot. His worst opponent was South Africa - 57 wickets from 17 matches at 27.33. So he still averaged 27 against his worst opponent. Location wise, it's much the same story - his worst there is Pakistan, where he has 19 from 5 matches at 31. I mean, the bloke was a ****ing machine.
    Look at his record in Australia vs the various countries. Against S.Africa and NZ in Australia his record isn't good: 31 @ 80 and 33 @ 73 respectively. Very consistent, but as I've brought up in other threads it's about as consistent as many of the greats (i.e. Donald) were.
    Last edited by Ikki; 10-09-2013 at 07:04 AM.
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  3. #48
    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adders View Post
    If McGrath hadn't have missed 2 tests there is absolutely no doubt in my mind the Aussies would not have lost that series
    Quite likely true, but what if McGrath played that Tests instead of Warne rather than alongside him as you're suggesting? Australia would've lost the series anyway IMO and we'd all be sitting around saying how much they missed Warne.

    I voted for McGrath, but I don't really think the 2005 series is a great example of why. Australia lost when McGrath was out but they likely would've lost if Warne was out too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonlee48 View Post
    Sanga has done well but Murali has done better. In my opinion, Murali is simply the best off spinner in history of cricket and I can't make that kind of statement for Sanga.
    Sanga isn't the best off spinner in the history of cricket? News to me.

  4. #49
    State Regular GuyFromLancs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Warne had his issues with India, but why are they the litmus test in general? For a spinner, I can see the point but overall? I'd have considered our rivals for the #1 spot, which were S.Africa during that period of reign as more important. And yes, Warne was better against them than McGrath.

    Ironically, McGrath did struggle (considering his standards) in SL and Pak.



    Look at his record in Australia vs the various countries. Against S.Africa and NZ in Australia his record isn't good: 31 @ 80 and 33 @ 73 respectively. Very consistent, but as I've brought up in other threads it's about as consistent as many of the greats (i.e. Donald) were.
    One could argue that South Africa just weren't versed in playing spin at all. I mean, how many great spinners have come out of SA in the past 20 years? By my reckoning it's a non-negative digit less than 1.

    I think these things matter. If SA can't produce even primitively test-quality spinners; then their batsmen (who have plied much of their trade in SA) may then struggle when they come up against the likes of Warne.
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  5. #50
    International Captain Himannv's Avatar
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    I thought Warne would win this poll with ease but it seems I was mistaken. I always felt he was their best chance of snatching a win even when things didn't go their way.

    McGrath was definitely very consistent and is one of the best pace bowlers of all time, but Warne had that X factor about him that makes him an ideal choice for this sort of question. I think even most captains of that era turned to him when they needed to break a particularly solid partnership or bowl during the latter stages of an evenly poised test match.
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  6. #51
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyFromLancs View Post
    One could argue that South Africa just weren't versed in playing spin at all. I mean, how many great spinners have come out of SA in the past 20 years? By my reckoning it's a non-negative digit less than 1.

    I think these things matter. If SA can't produce even primitively test-quality spinners; then their batsmen (who have plied much of their trade in SA) may then struggle when they come up against the likes of Warne.
    The same could be conversely said for India and pace bowling, don't you think?

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Quite likely true, but what if McGrath played that Tests instead of Warne rather than alongside him as you're suggesting? Australia would've lost the series anyway IMO and we'd all be sitting around saying how much they missed Warne.

    I voted for McGrath, but I don't really think the 2005 series is a great example of why. Australia lost when McGrath was out but they likely would've lost if Warne was out too.
    Well I do.......and it has been mentioned a few times in this thread as such.

    A couple of things to consider. Not only did they lose the 2 tests McGrath didn't play in, at Old Trafford when he returned from the injury (clearly too soon) he returned his worst ever bowling figures.......so I don't think it's a stretch to say McGraths injury cost you 3 test wins.

    Secondly, the Aussies had a perfectly capable replacement for Warne sat on the bench...........Dizzy and Kaspas (and Shaun Tait) performances show that there was no such capable replacement for GD McGrath.
    Last edited by Adders; 11-09-2013 at 05:16 AM.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    The above is just an interesting aside but lacks any context for discussing the actual tests involved. Only someone who didn't watch the series or is just interested in a snide response would even bring it up.

    No one who watched that series came out with the notion of "whew, nevermind Warne who just had one of the greatest series of all time and almost carried the team to a win; McGrath just proved how much of a match-winner he is!"
    **** post. It is a perfectly reasonable pov. I can assure you I watched just about every ball of that series and I am not making a snide response............it is my opinion.
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  9. #54
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    You can have a perfectly reasonable POV, but I think we're stretching the meaning of reasonable by using a 3 Test sample of which said player was pretty crap for 2 of them. Especially to show that said player was the greatest match-winner for one of the greatest sides of all-time based on that 3 Test sample. McGrath's figures for the other two Tests: avg. 36, sr. 59.

    Frankly, Warne was 2 runs away from winning the Ashes without McGrath. If McGrath's form in those Ashes were anything to go by, and instead Warne was out and McGrath was in; they weren't going to come any closer. Sure, maybe if he hadn't been injured he would have contributed more but that would be an opinion based on other Tests - not Ashes 05. Or you could say that had other batsmen than just Langer averaged above 40 Australia would have retained the Ashes with Warne anyway.

    It's just not a good example. Surely, if you were summing up McGrath's legacy, or match-winning ability, you'd pick another more flattering series.
    Last edited by Ikki; 10-09-2013 at 04:22 PM.

  10. #55
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure who had or would have had the bigger impact on the '05 series (and Warne obviously did bowl and bat quite well) but there are a few things I know for sure;

    - there is no way McGrath was fully fit in the Tests he played after Lords (was basically walking up to bowl in Manchester and still managed a, given, expensive 5)
    - even relatively minor tearing of ligaments in one's foot or ankle means you're feeling it every time you hit the crease for months afterward and, consequently, it does change your technique and blunt your effectiveness as a bowler. It's not just the pain, though; transfer of momentum from the run-up to the delivery depends heavily on ankle and foot stability. You lose the ability to fully trust your body to bowl the ball where you want it to so naturally back off a bit.

    From there, everything gets affected; pace, movement and general zip (read: seam) because you can't get through your action as powerfully as usual. Having watched the vast majority of the series, it was pretty obvious McGrath's foot was affecting his bowling. Everyone who's had to plough through 20+ overs with a twisted ankle can, I'm sure, attest to this and McGrath's injury was far worse than that or he'd have probably played at Lords.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 10-09-2013 at 04:49 PM.
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  11. #56
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Look at his record in Australia vs the various countries. Against S.Africa and NZ in Australia his record isn't good: 31 @ 80 and 33 @ 73 respectively. Very consistent, but as I've brought up in other threads it's about as consistent as many of the greats (i.e. Donald) were.
    FYI, for everyone else who's wondering where on earth those numbers came from, those are averages and strikerates.

    The convention is to quote wickets and averages in which case McGrath's are 28 @ 31 for SA and 27 @ 33 for NZ.

    Not that it means much in the context of his overall career, a couple of average Tests can blow our your numbers against one opponent pretty easily and, in McGrath's case, one bad series against NZ where they played him really well was all it took. Every bowler has soft spots in their record if you slice their career thinly enough, McGrath's no different.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 10-09-2013 at 05:11 PM.

  12. #57
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Love when Ikki gets on his Warne is a mythical creature/Greek God who would win matches from nowhere and would thrive under pressure etc. posting. Couple of reasons.

    1) He genuinely believes it, which is fair enough, so he argues it passionately.
    2) Warne had one of the all-time great teams in the 2005 Ashes, bowling absolutely amazingly, and the team still lost

    I realise you made a huge post saying why that isn't a counter-argument to your point, but I am sorry it is. When the bloke bowls as good as anyone may have ever bowled in a whole series, and he is surrounded by absolute champion batsmen, bowlers and fielders, and the team still loses... it shows he isn't the MVP. Or at the very least, its not proof that he is more important than McGrath.
    Last edited by Jono; 10-09-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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  13. #58
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Glenn McGrath
    Top Order (1-3) = 40.0%
    Middle Order (4-7) = 34.8%
    Lower Order (8-11) = 25.2%

    HowSTAT! Wickets by Batting Order Graph

    Shane Warne
    Top Order (1-3) = 23.0%
    Middle Order (4-7) = 39.8%
    Lower Order (8-11) = 37.1%

    HowSTAT! Wickets by Batting Order Graph

    I wonder whether the impact of Warne was less than McGrath's (as suggested by some people in this thread) for the same reason that all spinners are disadvantaged when compared to fast-bowlers - they rarely get the new ball, and therefore don't often dismiss key/star top order batsman cheaply. After all, it's the Top 4 that generally make or break an innings. Although someone like Gilchrist at No.7 can come along later in the day and put the 'icing on the cake' for the batting side.

    That is, Warne's figures might look great because he's bamboozled Fraser, Tufnel, and Devon Malcolm at the end of the innings. But if McGrath has picked up Atherton for a duck in the 3rd over, then this is far more likely to have destabalised the England batting order, and hence cause a win for the Aussie side.
    Last edited by watson; 10-09-2013 at 11:30 PM.
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  14. #59
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    I realise you made a huge post saying why that isn't a counter-argument to your point, but I am sorry it is. When the bloke bowls as good as anyone may have ever bowled in a whole series, and he is surrounded by absolute champion batsmen, bowlers and fielders, and the team still loses... it shows he isn't the MVP. Or at the very least, its not proof that he is more important than McGrath.
    No, it isn't because the response was that we hadn't lost with McGrath while he was playing those Ashes (which includes 2 draws of which Warne's importance was far more important). So if your point is strictly winning, the 1 game we won...you're basically saying the 1st Ashes test of 05 is why McGrath was the greatest match-winner of that great Australian team.

    Moreover, as I said, I don't consider the fact that a match was directly won by a player when I define match-winner because no one player wins a match. Therefore I define it in terms of not strictly the result, but the impact a player could have on a game in turning the tide.

    And the bolded is, frankly, garbage. Love ya mate, but utter tripe IMO. If those "champion" players performed anywhere near their level, then you'd have a point. Everyone bar Langer averaged in the 30s with the bat, and every bowler bar Warne and McGrath - who didn't play 2 tests - averaged 40+ with the ball.

    Following that logic, if Bradman barely won Tests because his team couldn't help him win, he's not the MVP of the side. And when/if he does win, it's the guy who made a 50 (not Bradman who made 100+) who was more important.

    If you don't think Warne should garner any praise as a "match-winner" by your definition, fine; but don't try to use McGrath when in the matches that McGrath was available Warne was more important on the whole. You're basically just giving him praise for being there alongside a better performing player.

    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    That is, Warne's figures might look great because he's bamboozled Fraser, Tufnel, and Devon Malcolm at the end of the innings. But if McGrath has picked up Atherton for a duck in the 3rd over, then this is far more likely to have destabalised the England batting order, and hence cause a win for the Aussie side.
    I actually looked at top batsmen both faced across their careers, country from country, and there was very little between them. I'll try to find the spreadsheet. And that encapsulates why Warne was so good. Despite the fact that he was a spinner, he still routinely took big batsmen. And what more, while McGrath would face the batsmen when they were unsettled; Warne would then have the trouble of trying to dislodge them because McGrath couldn't. As a spinner Warne also had to bowl more, without the new ball, on pitches routinely not suited for spin. In fact, during Warne's career there were only two countries where spin outdid pace - SL and India.

    So while it is true that he got to bowl to the tail more, his figures are hindered in other ways as well.
    Last edited by Ikki; 11-09-2013 at 08:45 AM.

  15. #60
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    FYI, for everyone else who's wondering where on earth those numbers came from, those are averages and strikerates.

    The convention is to quote wickets and averages in which case McGrath's are 28 @ 31 for SA and 27 @ 33 for NZ.

    Not that it means much in the context of his overall career, a couple of average Tests can blow our your numbers against one opponent pretty easily and, in McGrath's case, one bad series against NZ where they played him really well was all it took. Every bowler has soft spots in their record if you slice their career thinly enough, McGrath's no different.
    Yeah, I know, I just couldn't be arsed writing avg. and sr. all the time.

    I agree with you in general though. I was just pointing it out because I remember I started a Donald thread, asking why he was so underrated, and people routinely said someone like McGrath just had a more complete record when you see that they're basically similar. Everyone bar Marshall, as far as I know, has a crap record here or there.
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