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Thread: If a selection fails, is it wrong?

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    If a selection fails, is it wrong?

    Hi.

    Just would like to ask this question to the members of CW. It is not a silly question as I have found mixed responses when I've discussed it with people but I think there will be a unanimous response on CW.

    To explain further, I am asking whether a selection of batsman x who goes on to score no runs or bowler x who takes no wickets/is too expensive is necessarily a bad selection or whether the correct processes will inevitably have failed selections here and there.

    Also interested if a selection which succeeds is necessarily the right one. An example would be selecting Sehwag in 2007/8. He scored runs in Australia, but does that make him the right selection or was it just lucky selection that he ended up scoring runs despite being in poor form.

    Have pitched this as an idea to Guardian website (Comment Is Free) so any and all examples would be helpful and interesting.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Cricketer Of The Year Cabinet96's Avatar
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    Of course not. No one is so consistent that they'll perform every game or series, and any old hack can have his day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabinet96 View Post
    Of course not. No one is so consistent that they'll perform every game or series, and any old hack can have his day.
    So if Tymal Mills was shockingly selected for the third Test and took 10 wickets in the match, you would not call it a good selection? How about over the long-term, if he then goes on to have an excellent England career? I'm gonna keep my views to my chest for the moment, but just want to flesh out the various arguments.

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    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    Selection is really only speculation, only in hindsight do we know whether or not a selection was good or not, if there were no better candidates for the position according to the criteria the player was selected on then I guess it's always a good selection, whether it works or not.

    Someone like Sehwag is different though, partly because of the way he plays
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  5. #5
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximas View Post
    Selection is really only speculation, only in hindsight do we know whether or not a selection was good or not, if there were no better candidates for the position according to the criteria the player was selected on then I guess it's always a good selection, whether it works or not.
    This is the crux of the debate I'm trying to encourage. Perhaps hindsight is irrelevant. Perhaps outcomes are products of chance and the correct selection is not the one that works but the one with the largest chance of working.

  6. #6
    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    Well I would agree with that

  7. #7
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Even over the long-term? Someone selected with seemingly little due cause goes on to have an all-time great career was still a wrong selection?

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    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    The key word is 'seemingly', often they have reasons going for them that aren't all that clear, or perhaps the selectors picked on potential, and were prepared for a degree of failure before success, which makes it even harder to assess the success of selections, because often players get dropped and come back better because of that experience, which I guess makes the original selection not a bad one, it's quite confusing.

    As for the long term, I think it's important to note that a successful long-term player was a good long term selection, but perhaps his selection wasn't actually a good one at the time, but in the end it was proved that he belonged in the international arena and was able to perform.

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    Even over the long-term? Someone selected with seemingly little due cause goes on to have an all-time great career was still a wrong selection?
    One suspects you're playing devil's advocate slightly there, but I'll bite: of course not.

    Some hunch selections, where domestic output doesn't suggest a player should be in the frame, have absolutely vindicated the Hail Mary. The two that spring to mind are David Steele, whose career FC batting average in the low-mid 30s belied an courage under fire Tony Grieg noticed, and Marcus Trescothick who was actually averaging less than 30 in FC when he played an innings against Glamorgan that made Duncan Fletcher mark him as one for higher honours.

    Their international records suggest that selection isn't just a question of crunching the numbers.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    One suspects you're playing devil's advocate slightly there, but I'll bite: of course not.
    I'm trying just to extract as many opinions as I can. Not trolling at all though. To the question you quoted, I currently am not sure what the answer is.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Some hunch selections, where domestic output doesn't suggest a player should be in the frame, have absolutely vindicated the Hail Mary. The two that spring to mind are David Steele, whose career FC batting average in the low-mid 30s belied an courage under fire Tony Grieg noticed, and Marcus Trescothick who was actually averaging less than 30 in FC when he played an innings against Glamorgan that made Duncan Fletcher mark him as one for higher honours.

    Their international records suggest that selection isn't just a question of crunching the numbers.
    However, do such selections count toward instinct and therefore result in numerous mistaken selections which outweigh the good done by the Trescothick style selections?

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    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    From an England point of view a selection that worked but at the time looked crazy was Marcus Trescothick. Was averaging below 30 in his career when he first got called up but proved to be a very good international player.

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    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    From an England point of view a selection that worked but at the time looked crazy was Marcus Trescothick. Was averaging below 30 in his career when he first got called up but proved to be a very good international player.
    Which is where the idea of 'seemingly has little going for him' comes in, perhaps the selectors often know things we don't

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    David Steele is an interesting case and shows that this, admittedly interesting question, is ultimately futile. As Brumbers says Tony Greig saw a bloke in '75 who he thought could play the quicks and gave him a chance - he nearly blew it right at the start, but got away with a couple of very poor hook shots and went onto enjoy a tremendous series against Lillee and Thomson

    A few months previously, after the first Test in Australia in 74/75 England had to send out for reinfocements after the injuries that the gruesome twosome inflicted in the first Test. The man who got the call was Colin Cowdrey, out of Test cricket since 1971 and nearly 42 - he didn't do too badly, but averaged only about 18 - it was said he was picked as cannon fodder as the selectors didn't want a youngster having his confidence ruined, but Steele was 33 and just as expendable - why didn't they pick him instead of Cowdrey?

    The answer to that one is that Denness was Cowdrey's county captain, although Greig was still there to champion Steele's cause - hindsight suggests Steele should have gone out instead of Cowdrey and would therefore have been the better selection, but then at Perth with its bigger playing area one of the dodgy hooks would might well have gone to hand, and the selectors would've looked like a bunch of desperate men.

  14. #14
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximas View Post
    Which is where the idea of 'seemingly has little going for him' comes in, perhaps the selectors often know things we don't
    Or perhaps their guesswork comes out with more bad selections than good ones?

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    I'm trying just to extract as many opinions as I can. Not trolling at all though. To the question you quoted, I currently am not sure what the answer is.



    However, do such selections count toward instinct and therefore result in numerous mistaken selections which outweigh the good done by the Trescothick style selections?
    It's never going to be an exact science and, in an ideal world scenario, successors to incumbents should be identified whilst the latter is in situ for a seamless transition.

    It rarely happens like that tho. Events take over and it has to be punched up on the fly a lot of the time. Take the unfortunate (and, to we the public at least, unexpected) loss of IJL Trott from the #3 slot for the second test. This is no small thing (he's already featured in more tests in that ticklish first drop spot than any other England player ever) & a proper test for the selectorial prowess of the English panel. Does Bell move up? Root? Who comes in? Ballance? Bairstow? Stokes, even?

    Whichever way they go it will be something of a punt, so the proof of pudding is, to some extent, going to be in the eating.

    FWIW it should be Bell for my money, but it's not my arse on the etcetera.

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