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Thread: Pujara could be batting equivalent of McGrath

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year Xuhaib's Avatar
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    Pujara could be batting equivalent of McGrath

    Atleast imo.

    McGrath eventhough was a great bowler but I thought his stats were boosted 10-20% by modern batsmen aggresive approach and their indiscipline around their offstump i reckon if he would have played in 70's and 80's he would have averaged around the 25-26 mark instead of 21 that he ended up with. I feel the same thing can happen with Pujara but ofcourse in reverse as not many modern day bowlers are use to batsman who are so astute in ball leaving and judgement of their offstump hence the indiscipline creeps in as they look to lure the batsman in playing a flase stroke and loose their lines. I thought SA did not bowl badly but due to outstanding awareness by the 2 batsmen of their off stump they would loose patience and deliver an odd loose ball which to Kohli and Pujara credit they would make full use off it.

    I think Pujara is talented enough to average 50 in test cricket as it is however with this skill off being able to know his defensive game so well he will be able to get on top off modern day fast bowlers who are not use to batsman with such defensive discipline and may even average 55 or 60+

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    McGrath's average was boosted by indiscipline? WTF?! That was McGrath's USP, he made the batsmen crap themselves mentally. He MADE them uncertain. Jeez, precious few bowlers in history have worked over a batsman as well as he used to. This ''awareness of off stump'' that you speak of isn't just looking back and saying hey, that is where my off-stump is. It is about what happens in that split second when the bowler is delivered from the bowler's hand to when it reaches you.

  3. #3
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    This argument about McGrath doesn't hold and it's one of the myths that keeps going around without any data to back it up. In fact, the patient batsmen often had the most trouble with him. In the rare occasion that people got on top of him, they were not the ones you'd associate with good judgement about leaving balls.

    McGrath's stats, if anything, would have been better in previous eras when they didn't have the same attacking mindset - they would have been even more unnerved because they'd try to leave, misjudge it just a little bit, and get pwned.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 21-12-2013 at 12:34 PM.
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    If Mike Atherton had one thing (and he pretty much only had one thing) it was patience/discipline.


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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    You had to attack McGrath. He wanted you to try and play him out so he could work you over. You needed to throw him off his line and length. I remember reading Nathan Astle saying he had a conversation with (then coach) Steve Rixon on how to play him before and ODI.

    "What are you going to do about McGrath?"
    "Play him out, smash the rest"
    "He wants you to do that. Smash him."

    Astle scored a ton.

    Incidentally, I think batsmen need to take the same approach to Philander.
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    Steve Waugh used to say that he never understood why, particularly later on, people didn't bat out there crease and use there feet to McGrath.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    lol at this thread. Had McGrath played earlier he'd have averaged more, because patience.

    Completely ignores the roads he bowled on in the 2000s, but still averaged 21 or so and took bucket loads. Pujara should be hoping that by his career' s end he's considered worthy of carrying McGrath's jockstrap as a cricketer.
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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    That's the first post I've liked on CW. You should be honored.

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    Cricketer Of The Year hendrix's Avatar
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    I'm going to assume this thread is more about Pujara than it is about McGrath, so I won't bother with the McGrath-vs-indisciplined batsmen error.

    What we've seen in the last 5 years is a resurgence in swing bowling. Anderson, Zaheer Khan, Southee and Boult etc type bowlers were nowhere near as prevalent as they were 10 years ago. Even if there were bowlers who could swing it if they wanted to, they tended not to use swing as their primary means of strike bowling. They have done very well because modern batsmen play early and through the line of the ball, looking for scoring uptions.

    Pujara is a batsman who plays the ball extremely late and doesn't reach forward to the ball. This makes him excellent against swing bowlers. It also limits him in terms of his scoring option down the ground. He's the opposite of a Watson or Guptill type player. His wagon wheel last night was like butterfly wings, there were no runs straight but plenty of late cuts and flicks.

    Joe Root is a similar type of player. Not quite as complete but he has a similar mode of scoring.

    You need a well rounded attack to get these types of players out. You can't give them any width because they'll score off it. But I think you also need pace so that they can't rely on just waiting for the ball. Although Root has been moderately successful in the Ashes, Harris and Siddle have been extremely accurate in not giving him any width and Johnson has enough pace to unsettle his MO.
    Last edited by hendrix; 21-12-2013 at 09:16 PM.

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    International Debutant the big bambino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    This argument about McGrath doesn't hold and it's one of the myths that keeps going around without any data to back it up. In fact, the patient batsmen often had the most trouble with him. In the rare occasion that people got on top of him, they were not the ones you'd associate with good judgement about leaving balls.

    McGrath's stats, if anything, would have been better in previous eras when they didn't have the same attacking mindset - they would have been even more unnerved because they'd try to leave, misjudge it just a little bit, and get pwned.
    There is evidence for it. McGrath paid most for his wkts v SA and NZ, both comparatively modest batting sides in his era and more defensive than say India whom McGrath owned. There is also the series against NZ when he averaged around 60 where they adopted the tactic of leaving him alone outside off and making him bowl to them. Warne preferred more defensive teams and consequently did well against SA for example while if you took the game to him as India did (and our shield batsmen) then he could be mastered. While both were great bowlers it is arguable that McGrath's average would have been higher, as the thread starter suggests, if teams were more patient with him. The stats seemed to show that if teams could have "left" McGrath and attacked Warne they would have come closer to competing with Australia. However you need to have the resources and mindset to do it. Some teams are culturally more aggressive and others more defensive. It would need a team with batsmen capable of applying different attitudes during an innings depending on the bowler they are facing. Difficult but not impossible.

  11. #11
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Look at individual batsmen and their scoring rates vs. success. I did a detailed breakdown years ago. The results were very clear.

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    International Debutant the big bambino's Avatar
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    Yet the individual results can be neatly accumulated by team. Apart from an odd ball result against BD McGrath struck at 60 and 71 v NZ and SA. His economy rate against both was around his career average. Both teams made him bowl more often than others to take their wickets. I reckon both were more successful in leaving his line just outside off alone. There is enough encouragement for teams to develop tactics around denying McGrath wickets (Just like Oz did with Murali when playing Lanka) by following the Fleming example; and attack Warne like India did. Whether any team could implement such a divergence of attack and committed defence is another thing though.

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    Surely two series are to little to draw any conclusions. Couldn't those guys have batted really well and he bowled poorly? Or some combination of both.

  14. #14
    International Debutant the big bambino's Avatar
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    I'm talking about his overall performance against SA and NZ (and similarly Warne's against India and his shield record too). I'm just using Fleming's series as a representative example.

  15. #15
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    I have said for a while that Pujara will break the major test records and average more than 60 in his career. He has the kind of remorseless efficiency that I imagine Bradman had and this test showed that he can score outside India. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he averages more than 70 in his career.

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