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Thread: Michael Bevan has an interesting test record. Underrated as a test player?

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year mr_mister's Avatar
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    Michael Bevan has an interesting test record. Underrated as a test player?

    So first let's consider his bowling record. 29 wickets @ 24, with a famous 10 fer. It's likely this average would have risen if he played more tests(his batting avg would have too) but as it stands it looks very impressive. He looks like a very effective bowling all-rounder based on his raw averages, 24 and 29.

    That brings us to his batting. An ugly 29 avg with just the six half centuries, he's an even more neutered Graham Hick, how could this FC batting behemoth not translate it to tests?


    Bevan averaged 55 against the Windies(with Ambrose/Walsh/Bishop) and 60 against Pakistan (with Wasim,Waqar/Mustaq) across two series in his brief test career. Got 3 fifties in each series. 5 of those fifties were 70+ and four 80+. So these were long, valuable innings. He averaged a respectable 40 overall after his breakthrough Windies series, to go with a suprisingly super low bowling average, and must have been expected to be a huge success.

    Yet it all fell apart in 1997. A crappy, brief performance in the ashes and a couple of poor tests against South Africa followed. After only only a handful of failures Bevan's averaged dropped to a horrible 29 and he never got the chance to rectify it. And it wouldn't have been too hard to do that. With such a small amount of tests under his belt his average was still yo-yoing around as his form dipped all over the place like plenty of new test players. One solid series against the weakend 2000s attacks could have easily got it back up close to 40, but he never got that chance.

    Bev never got the chance to find his feet and I'm confident he would have based on 2 solid series against Pakistan and West Indies. Born at the wrong time!
    Last edited by mr_mister; 01-10-2017 at 10:40 AM.
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    From what I recall he struggled with short pitched bowling by the less than mighty Devon Malcolm and never recovered.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    I think Gough did him in knowing he couldn't play the short ball from his time at Yorkshire. As LT says, he never recovered after that series. The fact there was so much depth obviously didn't help either as with most other sides he would have had more chances but the Aussies were just ridiculously strong at the time and he failed to take his chance.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    It seems hard to believe that you can dominate Shield cricket without being able to play the short ball. Can't play swing/seam, ok, you can get by in Australia. But bouncers?
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    It seems hard to believe that you can dominate Shield cricket without being able to play the short ball. Can't play swing/seam, ok, you can get by in Australia. But bouncers?
    Remember how Bairstow got in trouble against West Indies a few years ago, Bevan was playing it as badly as that and never recovered, possibly because they were so strong and never got the chance to.

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    International Vice-Captain Tangles's Avatar
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    Loved watching Bevan but he didn't take his chance and due to the batting depth never got a 2nd go. Being undone by spin would have been less bad than bouncers I think. It just resonated badly with selectors, fans and ex-players. Unaussie you know.

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    State Captain Bijed's Avatar
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    How did his batting in Shield Cricket fare after he'd been worked out at test level? Was it a case of his never being the same batsman again? I guess not as his first-class record is so good he must have still been piling on the runs throughout his career, though I suppose he'd have had to reinvent himself a bit?. I had a quick look and his ODI career was still really good after he'd finished playing tests, but then his weaknesses weren't necessarily so big a problem in that format.
    Last edited by Bijed; 01-10-2017 at 01:51 PM.
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    Cricketer Of The Year stephen's Avatar
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    I heard an interview with him at the end of his career. He said that getting dropped from tests hurt his confidence and he became too conservative after that. At some point he realised he was never going to get picked and just started enjoying his game. After he did that he had his most prolific first class years but by then he was not being considered by selectors.

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    International Regular SillyCowCorner1's Avatar
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    Imad Wasim now is equivalent to Bevan in his prime.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Top_Cat's Avatar
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    The short ball thing was a furphy, he could play it fine and smashed quicks in FC cricket cricket for years before he was even picked in Tests. Bevan's biggest problem was that he was dynamite slips catching practice.

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    It took Steve Waugh nearly 4 years and over 40 Test innings to score his first century and finally boost his average into the 40s.

    Michael Bevan was sacked after a dozen fewer innings which doesn't seem fair to me. Yes, he had problems against bouncers but so did Steve Waugh until he stopped hooking and pulling and slowly developed the art of the leave.

    Given more time Bevan would have almost certainly worked-out a similar method against the short-ball and then gone on to score thousands of attractive runs because he really was that talented.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyCowCorner1 View Post
    Imad Wasim now is equivalent to Bevan in his prime.
    Not even half the ODI batsman than Bevan was.
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    Cricketer Of The Year mr_mister's Avatar
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    Did he face much short stuff in that Windies series I mentioned? Surely getting runs against Ambrose means you had to cop a few short balls

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    Cricket Web Staff Member quincywagstaff's Avatar
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    In Australian cricket, batsmen who struggle against seam, swing or spin are tolerated (up to a point) but struggling against short-pitched bowling is a fatal weakness to have. I guess that’s because Australian cricket defines itself by playing well on bouncy pitches better than anybody else and that’s illustrated by being the best players in the world of short-pitched bowling.

    And put simply Bevan was consistently found wanting against short-pitched bowling. I can recall Bevan being dismissed on four separate occasions in Tests looking all at sea against it (MCG 94/95, Brisbane 96/97, Edgbaston 1997, Old Trafford 1997) and eventually he just couldn’t be trusted.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    He played his last test at 27. That's the age many players of his era actually started cementing their place in the team (Hayden, Langer, Martyn. Hell Mark Waugh was 25 when he made his debut)

    Seems to me things probably would have been fine if he did get that second chance in 99/00/01 but he didn't so we try to give more attention to stuff like the short ball than perhaps is deserved

    Also he averaged like 82 in FC cricket at the SCG which is absolutely astonishing
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