Cricket Discussion - Part 2

RussellEbertHandball

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That settles it - Smith IS the best since Bradman.
Best since Bradman argument seems to have gone in my time watching the game, and the 25 years after he retired but before I started watching Test cricket;
Harvey then
Walters then
Greg Chappell then
Border then ( remember his whole career was against the West Indies at their prime)
Ponting now
Smith

I thing Chappell, Ponting and Smith are on the podium. Hard to argue against Smith at the moment but lets see what he is like at 100 tests. He is at 65 tests at the moment. Got to an average of 50 in his 25th test, got to 60 in 41st, dropped down under 60 after the next test, and has been at 60 since 49th test.

Ponting got his average to 50 in his 66th test. Grew it steadily to 59.99 by the end of his 107th test. That was his peak average. Over the next 61 tests it declined to 51.85.

Chappell hit 108 in his debut test and only innings in that test and only time his average was over 60. He got to 50 in his 22nd and only time in his 87 test got under 50 was 34th. It hovered between 54 and 56 for most of the time between 38th test and final test 87th and finished with 53.86. it peaked at 58.

 
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raptalia

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Best since Bradman argument seems to have gone in my time watching the game and the 25 years after he retired but before I started watching Test cricket;
Harvey then
Walters then
Greg Chappell then
Border then
Ponting now
Smith

I thing Chappell, Ponting and Smith are on the podium. Hard to argue against Smith at the moment but lets see what he is like at 100 tests.
When I was a lad a lot of people raved about Neil Harvey but it was more about his batting style and the manner in which he made runs than the weight of runs he made. Warner, Smith and Mike Hussey all made more runs than Harvey in fewer or as many innings. I can recall one commentator who regularly used the phrase, 'as graceful as a Neil Harvey cover drive'. Mention of Harvey cover driving puts me in mind of an interesting story taken from the book 'Bradman's Invincibles' by Roland Perry which told the story of the Australian's 1948 tour of England. Early in the tour Neil Harvey was having a rough trot so he decided to take advice and who better to advise a young cricketer than the greatest batsman of all time. There was a problem though, as a teenager Harvey was in awe of Bradman and rather than ask Bradman directly he decided to use his good friend Sam Loxton as a go between. Loxton approached Bradman and said, 'I have this young friend who seems to be getting caught a lot Don, he has asked me for some advice, what should I say'. Bradman smiled and said, 'tell young Harvey if he doesn't hit the ball in the air he cannot get caught'. Simple advice but from then on Harvey deliberately avoided playing skied shots, made the Test side and hit a Test century in the famous Leeds Test in which Australia scored 404 in a day to win. Bradman was a great player, an astute Captain but not the most approachable of people at least not to those starting out.

I actually met Don Bradman once and of all places it was at the Port Adelaide Football Club. I was having a quite beer when a gentleman in a suit approached me and asked where he might find John Cahill. I asked who he was and he replied, 'I am Sir Donald Bradman's Secretary and he has an appointment for lunch with John Cahill'. I took a deep breath and looked across in the direction he had come from and sure enough there was the Don. I told Tim Evans, who took a deep breath, and rang for Jack. I walked over and asked the Don if he would like a drink he smiled and said, 'no thanks I think that is in hand'. I am told that Bradman had a soft spot for Port and had great admiration for Fos Williams.

Old timers in my youth also spoke and wrote highly about Victor Trumper who played before WWI. Of course Trumper would not have the runs on the board to compare with modern players. It is hard to judge players from different eras because they play a lot more Tests these days, with different equipment and under different conditions. You wonder how some modern day players would go with lighter bats and uncovered wickets. On of the most famous cricket photos of all time shows Victor Trumper jumping out to drive with his hands positioned near the very end of the handle.

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Of the modern era I have a soft spot for Alan Border because he played through the 1980's when Australia wasn't at it's strongest and many of his innings were 'backs the wall' stuff.

My best three would be Bradman, Smith and Ponting with honorable mentions to Hayden and Border. I agree that it is an early call on Steve Smith but I cannot deny his record thus far.
 
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RussellEbertHandball

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Make Smith bat in the 4th innings might be the best way to stop him. This is a list of top 5 averages for batting in 1st innings of game with players comparisons for batting in 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings. You can manipulate list for highest and lowest and biggest margins for all players at


Bradman relatively crappy in 4th innings but still 4th highest when you do 4th innings rankings.

rCountryOverall1st Innings2nd Innings3rd Innings4th InningsDiff
1st/4th
InnsRunsNOH/S100sAvgInnsRunsNOH/S100sAvgInnsRunsAvgInnsRunsAvgInnsRunsAvg
1
Australia​
80​
6996​
10​
334​
29​
99.94​
22​
2387​
1​
334​
9​
113.67
28​
2310​
85.56​
15​
1565​
130.42​
15​
734​
73.40​
-40.27​
2
Australia​
31​
1485​
7​
269*​
5​
61.88​
10​
654​
3​
269*​
2​
93.43
9​
577​
72.13​
5​
173​
57.67​
7​
81​
13.50​
-79.93​
3
Australia​
119​
6485​
16​
239​
25​
62.96​
38​
2973​
5​
215​
15​
90.09
26​
1535​
63.96​
35​
1417​
50.61​
20​
560​
31.11​
-58.98​
4
England​
33​
1415​
4​
144*​
5​
48.79​
13​
944​
2​
144*​
4​
85.82
7​
212​
30.29​
8​
175​
25.00​
5​
84​
21.00​
-64.82​
5
West Indies​
40​
2190​
4​
270*​
10​
60.83​
13​
934​
2​
270*​
5​
84.91
9​
325​
40.63​
15​
664​
47.43​
3​
267​
89.00​
4.09​
6
Australia​
48​
2122​
4​
266​
7​
48.23​
15​
1148​
1​
266​
5​
82.00
14​
562​
40.14​
10​
161​
16.10​
9​
251​
41.83​
-40.17​
 
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philreich

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Smith's last 6 Ashes Tests have yielded a rather handy average of 157. The guy is a freak!!!

Speaking of freaky, how's this?

McGrath 563 Test wickets at 21.64.
Cummins 101 Test wickets at 21.64.

But here's the kicker - Cummins has a better strike rate than the great man. The scary thing for opposition batsmen is that he's only 26, and getting better with every outing. I'm glad he's on our side!!!
 

RussellEbertHandball

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After Burns' long slow first innings I wondered if he would bat all 5 days given weather looked like intervening a bit. He batted a couple of overs at end of day 1, all of day 2, a few overs early day 3 and a few overs at end of day 4 and then start of day 5. I remember Boycott did something similar in 1977 partly because he was slower than Burns. Kim Hughes dominated the Centenary Test in 1980 but it was heavily effected by rain.

Dont know the other innings but found the link for all f them at.


 

RussellEbertHandball

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Fair effort by Cummins to join this list. Probably helps he didn't play 21 tests between 18 an 21 years of age. Lillee took 22 tests and was 26 and took almost 5 years to achieve it. He lost 18 months or so with a back injury. Cummins has taken about 7.75 years, has lost about 5 years with injuries and is 26 as well.

 

philreich

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Not much happening at Lords, but the Windies seem to be treating the third ODI against India like a T20 game - they're 0 for 79 after 8 overs!!!
 
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raptalia

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Imagine being Mitchell Starc and you find yourself carrying the drinks for Peter Siddle.

They dropped one plodder in Pattinson, now drop the other one.
Siddle is in the side to do the 'in to the wind' stuff. He can move the ball sideways which is useful with the Drake ball in England. In any case Mitchell Starc's form has not been all that great and Cummins, Pattinson and Hazelwood would probably be in front of him anyway. In top form in Australia Starc would be in my side but he isn't in top form and this is England. Peter Siddle has taken 217 Test wickets so he cannot be all that bad.

James Pattinson was not dropped he was rested. And again for a plodder his record isn't too bad. he has taken 76 wickets at 26.97 in 18 Test matches in an injury plagued career.
 

raptalia

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Honours even at this stage. Warner out cheaply again is a worry. At this stage we should have more concerns about Australia's batting than it's attack. Smith isn't going to make runs every innings and it is time for Khawaja, Bancroft, Warner and Paine to step up.

The match is shortened with three extended days left and we probably need 350+ to off set the task of batting last. Our batsmen have to make the game safe then it is up to the bowlers.

I note there is more rain forecast over the next three days.
 

philreich

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Siddle is in the side to do the 'in to the wind' stuff. He can move the ball sideways which is useful with the Drake ball in England. In any case Mitchell Starc's form has not been all that great and Cummins, Pattinson and Hazelwood would probably be in front of him anyway. In top form in Australia Starc would be in my side but he isn't in top form and this is England. Peter Siddle has taken 217 Test wickets so he cannot be all that bad.

James Pattinson was not dropped he was rested. And again for a plodder his record isn't too bad. he has taken 76 wickets at 26.97 in 18 Test matches in an injury plagued career.
Yep - I think our bowling is fine, and will take a lot of wickets in the remaining Tests. If Siddle had had a bit of luck on his side, he could have taken 3 or 4 last night.

The real issue now is, can our batsmen take a decent lead into the second innings? Hopefully Smith can keep doing what Smith does - churn out another ton, but who can stay with him?
 

finbarr

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Siddle is in the side to do the 'in to the wind' stuff. He can move the ball sideways which is useful with the Drake ball in England. In any case Mitchell Starc's form has not been all that great and Cummins, Pattinson and Hazelwood would probably be in front of him anyway. In top form in Australia Starc would be in my side but he isn't in top form and this is England. Peter Siddle has taken 217 Test wickets so he cannot be all that bad.

James Pattinson was not dropped he was rested. And again for a plodder his record isn't too bad. he has taken 76 wickets at 26.97 in 18 Test matches in an injury plagued career.
Pattinson was dropped. You can throw up whatever euphemism you like. He may have been a good bowler prior to his injuries, but he is now a plodder.

I am fully aware of the “idea” of Siddle and why he’s in the team, but frankly, his job is the job Hazelwood would be doing behind the new ball pairing of Cummins and Starc, only Hazelwood would do it better.
 

philreich

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I'd like to pay tribute to Nathan Lyon, who has just equalled Dennis Lillee's tally of 355 Test wickets. I'm not sure if he can catch McGrath (563) or Warne (708), but the guy has given wonderful service to Australian cricket, and he fully deserves every accolade that comes his way.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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Gotta admit I didn't have a lot of respect/acknowledgement for Lyon's first 150 wickets or so, which made him the most successful Oz off spinner. I didn't think he was close to being as good as Ashley Mallet, (Trumble played in the early 1900's) and probably because we had been spoiled with the variety of Warne and McGill for 20 years before Lyon became the first choice spinner for Oz, and the sub continent spinners were more lethal.

But his last 40 odd tests where he has taken around 200 wickets, I have come to regard him as very good test spinner and more importantly, works well in partnerships with the fast bowlers to build great pressure on the batsmen.
 

raptalia

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I'd like to pay tribute to Nathan Lyon, who has just equalled Dennis Lillee's tally of 355 Test wickets. I'm not sure if he can catch McGrath (563) or Warne (708), but the guy has given wonderful service to Australian cricket, and he fully deserves every accolade that comes his way.
Yes well done Nathan Lyon.

A few years back I thought GOAT was struggling but he stuck with it, as did the selectors and he has improved out of sight. At one stage Lyon's main role in the side seemed to be leading the team rendition of Under The Southern Cross I Stand after a victory but in recent times that has changed. Mike Hussey, the previous choirmaster is really glowing in his praise for Lyon's personal qualities and his character.

The link below links to a comprehensive article that tells of the rise of Australia's most prolific finger spinner. It traces his rise and dispels a common myth about Nathan Lyon. He wasn't a groundsman who became a Test spinner by pure chance but the article outlines the real story.

 

philreich

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Yes well done Nathan Lyon.

A few years back I thought GOAT was struggling but he stuck with it, as did the selectors and he has improved out of sight. At one stage Lyon's main role in the side seemed to be leading the team rendition of Under The Southern Cross I Stand after a victory but in recent times that has changed. Mike Hussey, the previous choirmaster is really glowing in his praise for Lyon's personal qualities and his character.

The link below links to a comprehensive article that tells of the rise of Australia's most prolific finger spinner. It traces his rise and dispels a common myth about Nathan Lyon. He wasn't a groundsman who became a Test spinner by pure chance but the article outlines the real story.

The thing is, he turns 32 later this year, so he's by no means a spent force. It's up to him of course, but I can envisage him playing for another 5 years. That being the case, 500 wickets seems a formality. For a finger spinner, that's insanely good.
 

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