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The ATG Teams General arguing/discussing thread

the big bambino

International Captain
No, he got more games because the selectors (and anyone else who tries to claim it) were wrong. Russell was a far better keeper who was slightly worse with the bat in comparison to Stewart as a keeper batsman.

At the same time, Stewart was a far better opener then any other option available so should've been playing as that.
That's how you do it. Can't argue the facts? Don't worry: just claim you are right and everyone else is wrong - including the selectors who know more than you. You can understand why the selectors picked Stewart on his batting. Then when it became clear his batting suffered while keeper it didn't deteriorate enough to justify Russell. Neither did England at the time have bowlers that were difficult to keep to and favour Russell's selection bcos of his superior keeping skills.

3 or 4 runs is now huge is it?
Can you confirm? I'm reading 7.
 

AndrewB

International Regular
So, Stewart should have been opening or batting at #3. And Russell should have been at #7. But instead England were jamming in Mark Ealham, Ben Hollioake, Chris Lewis & Craig White as bits and pieces (read ineffective) all rounders.
This isn't really true: Lewis played in 32 Tests, in which Russell kept wicket 20 times, Stewart only 8 times. Blakey and Rhodes twice each. (Most of his Tests were in a pretty continuous run from 1991 to 1993, when he was picked whoever the keeper was). White played 8 Tests in the Stewart/Russell era (1990-98), and the keeper was Rhodes 4 times, Stewart and Russell twice each. Hollioake played a grand total of 2 Tests, and Russell wasn't dropped in either case (he hadn't played in the previous few Tests either). Ealham only played 8 Tests, 2 alongside Russell, and again there's not much sign that Russell was dropped to accommodate him.

I haven't checked, but in my recollection the usual reason for dropping Russell was to bring in an extra batsman.
 

harsh.ag

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
The Knighted vs Non-Knighted XI

Sir Jack Hobbs
Sir Len Hutton
Sir Don Bradman
Sir Viv Richards
Sir Everton Weekes
Sir Garry Sobers
Sir Clyde Walcott +
Sir Ian Botham
Sir Richard Hadlee
Sir Andy Roberts
Sir Curtly Ambrose

vs

Sunil Gavaskar
Herbert Sutcliffe
Brian Lara
Sachin Tendulkar
Greg Chappell
Jacques Kallis
Adam Gilchrist +
Malcolm Marshall
Shane Warne
Dale Steyn
Glenn McGrath
 

marc71178

Eyes not spreadsheets
Well he was always the keeper the final 4-5 years he played, when he was an old man. The era of him being a batsman only came in his prime. I also think 7 runs is a big difference (27 and 34) to show one was more talented as a batsman while keeping.

Then there's the elephant in the room that their career batting averages of 27.1 and 39.5 speak for themselves. Yes I know Stewart was better without the gloves. Was still a better batsman than Jack Russell with them too - he was more likely to be tired after keeping all day but he didn't magically transform into a tailender
Your use of him being an old man as an excuse would be good if he didn't actually perform better then that at any point before.

When they were in direct competition, the averages were almost identical, but the gap in keeping ability was vast.

It is total bull**** to look at overall averages when nobody is denying Stewart was a better batsman, but that was mainly shown when he played as a specialist which is what he always should've been used as.
 

Lillian Thomson

Hall of Fame Member
No matter how many years go by and how many posters come and go on this forum there are always some people who think that Alec Stewart keeping wicket was a good idea.
 

AndrewB

International Regular
Your use of him being an old man as an excuse would be good if he didn't actually perform better then that at any point before.

When they were in direct competition, the averages were almost identical, but the gap in keeping ability was vast.

It is total bull**** to look at overall averages
But fine to claim that 24 and 32 are "almost identical"?
 

Red

The normal awards that everyone else has
I really fail to see what people don't get about this. Stewart was a serviceable keeper, but not a great one. And keeping made him a serviceable batsman, but not a great one.


As a keeper, his batting average was 34

Not keeping, his batting average was 46


He should have been selected as a top order bat, and not had to take the gloves. He was an elite top order bat.

So arguing he should be the keeper in an ATG team is stupid. Alan Knott (regarded as a truly great keeper) averaged virtually the same as Stewart did as a keeper-batsman.

Or if you want a proper keeper capable of comfortably batting in the top 6 for team balance take Les Ames, who could comfortably bat at 5 or 6 and average 43 as a keeper-batsman. Same role as Stewart but a considerably better batting avg.

It's not complicated at all.
 

mr_mister

Hall of Fame Member
It's not complicated yet you fail to see the other side's point. It's gone beyond Stewart keeping in an ATG side it's about Stewart vs Russell. Russell, god love him, did not add much with the bat. With Stewart gloved up it allowed another specialist bat to strengthen the side. Hick or Ramps or Crawley usually. And sometimes they went with Ealham, Lewis or White as an AR. But the poster earlier(forget who) ignored the fact that sometimes it was a Hick or Ramprakash in at 7 instead of an AR, and sometimes Stewart himself. I at least see what the selectors were trying to do there.

Yes it didn't work out as that extra bat usually failed and the AR's for England in the 90s did **** all.

Yes Stewart's contribution with the bat was far weaker when he was gloved up. But he still got six tons.

Basically, I really doubt Stewart strictly opening and Russell doing the full time keeper's job throughout the 90s would have resulted in a drastically different outcome for England's test success. Besides its not like Stewart was dropping edges left right and centre - Russell was just apparently some weird autistic savant at keeping and somehow was a god behind the stumps despite looking like an uncoordinated fool when holding a bat.

Did the 1990s English side really need more than a 'serviceable' keeper? I feel there's only so much they can do to change the game if the edges arent coming. It's not like England were producing top quality spin to allow for a lot of stumping chances. There's a lot of factors armchair posters fail to grasp when commenting on perceived selection stupidity, like the selectors are apparently brainless.
 
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marc71178

Eyes not spreadsheets
But fine to claim that 24 and 32 are "almost identical"?
Where's 24 come from? The trade off was 5 runs. Stewart would've scored a lot more then 5 more per innings without the gloves I have absolutely no doubt. In fact I'd back him to have scored more then any other batsman we had and been a 45 averaging opener, which was far better then anything apart from Atherton.

And, as pointed out, the players who were coming in as the extra bat were the likes of Hick, Crawley and Ramprakash, all non-entities who barely added more with the bat then Russell did. It'd be a different matter if it were a 50 averaging player being kept out but it wasn't, we needed all the batting we could get so handicapping our best player was ****ing stupid.
 

Red

The normal awards that everyone else has
mr_mister said:
It's not complicated yet you fail to see the other side's point. It's gone beyond Stewart keeping in an ATG side it's about Stewart vs Russell. Russell, god love him, did not add much with the bat. With Stewart gloved up it allowed another specialist bat to strengthen the side. Hick or Ramps or Crawley usually. And sometimes they went with Ealham, Lewis or White as an AR. But the poster earlier(forget who) ignored the fact that sometimes it was a Hick or Ramprakash in at 7 instead of an AR, and sometimes Stewart himself. I at least see what the selectors were trying to do there.

Yes it didn't work out as that extra bat usually failed and the AR's for England in the 90s did **** all.

Yes Stewart's contribution with the bat was far weaker when he was gloved up. But he still got six tons.

Basically, I really doubt Stewart strictly opening and Russell doing the full time keeper's job throughout the 90s would have resulted in a drastically different outcome for England's test success. Besides its not like Stewart was dropping edges left right and centre - Russell was just apparently some weird autistic savant at keeping and somehow was a god behind the stumps despite looking like an uncoordinated fool when holding a bat.

Did the 1990s English side really need more than a 'serviceable' keeper? I feel there's only so much they can do to change the game if the edges arent coming. It's not like England were producing top quality spin to allow for a lot of stumping chances. There's a lot of factors armchair posters fail to grasp when commenting on perceived selection stupidity, like the selectors are apparently brainless.

I disagree wholeheartedly. It's not a failure to grasp different factors.

The facts stand that Stewart without the gloves was a far better batsman. And it's a lot more than just an increase of 6 or 7 runs on his average.

Without keeping, Stewart has a significantly higher ratio of 50s and 100s per innings than he had as a keeper. He made nine 100s and twenty two 50s from 51 tests as a non keeper, and only six 100s and twenty three 50s from 82 tests as a non-keeper.

So as a keeper, he'd make a 50 or 100 in tests only 35% of the time.

As a non-keeper, he'd make a 50 or 100 in tests 60% of the time.

That's a massive and significant difference, and having Stewart opening or at 3 would have put England into a lot stronger positions early in tests.

During Stewart's time England had a lot of guys averaging mid 30s which doesn't make a good team, and hints at inconsistency. By giving the gloves to Stewart, they effectively made another inconsistent and mediocre batsman who could have been a great. Having Stewart open and not keep for most of his career would have made them a significantly better side imo.



mr_mister said:
It's not complicated yet you fail to see the other side's point. It's gone beyond Stewart keeping in an ATG side it's about Stewart vs Russell. Russell, god love him, did not add much with the bat. With Stewart gloved up it allowed another specialist bat to strengthen the side. Hick or Ramps or Crawley usually. And sometimes they went with Ealham, Lewis or White as an AR. But the poster earlier(forget who) ignored the fact that sometimes it was a Hick or Ramprakash in at 7 instead of an AR, and sometimes Stewart himself. I at least see what the selectors were trying to do there.
As far as this goes, playing another specialist bat was not much better than playing Russell and Stewart as a specialist bat. Career batting averages for the players you mentioned were:

Ramps: 27
Crawley: 34
Hick: 31

Russell's career average of 27 plus the extra you get from Stewart as a non keeper makes the side far better IMO.

mr_mister said:
Did the 1990s English side really need more than a 'serviceable' keeper? I feel there's only so much they can do to change the game if the edges arent coming. It's not like England were producing top quality spin to allow for a lot of stumping chances. There's a lot of factors armchair posters fail to grasp when commenting on perceived selection stupidity, like the selectors are apparently brainless.
Although they weren't world beaters, Tufnell, Giles & Croft played plenty of tests and deserved the best keeper (as all spinners do). In addition, there's a lot more scope in England for keepers to keep up to the stumps to medium pace than there is in Aust and other places (if the keeper is good enough). Fraser, Cork and a few other fast/medium pacers of that era were in that category.
 
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mr_mister

Hall of Fame Member
My point re Hick, Ramps and Crawley was yes they all failed in the end, but the thought was in the right place. They just didnt deliver with the goods. Still had higher ceilings with the bat then Russell did, and thats what you have to consider when selecting batsman surely

Its easy to point how bad a move it was in hindsight when they all ended up with super crappy career stats, especially in their final years post Russell retirement anyway
 

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