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  1. #81
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Ok, that was a collapse. Top scorer was 12, reminds me of some terrible Aussie innings of the last few years. Full credit to the bowlers though they were near flawless. The fact Mitchell Starc, the top wicket Taker in the World Cup is still yet to play is pretty incredible.

    Now we'll see if the batsmen can take the game away. The weather looks nice, obviously the pitch is offering something but time is on Australia's side and the momentum is with them.

  2. #82
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I'll go one further, no real excuses if you don't retain the Ashes right here after that showing.

    And I don't think Root is going to retain the captaincy long after this series ends. Decent enough start but got hammered in the 2017 Ashes, lost the subsequent series in New Zealand, could only split the two home tests with Pakistan, admittedly came back well against India and Sri Lanka but since then we've lost to the West Indies and are now going to be hammered in a home Ashes for the first time since 2001 when, let's face it, the Aussie team were more than a bit special.


    Besides, he probably needs it to help his batting. The captaincy and coming in at #3 seems to have been too much for him. He's managed just three centuries in the last two years. It seems to me like he'll have it taken away and given to someone else, so he can concentrate on contributing with the bat again, and it'll also satisfy the public's demands for change after a really weak attempt at winning them back.

    We also don't have the players to go away and win in Australia next time out, so we might as well start looking for the batting order that can put him more of a contest in four years time.

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  3. #83
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    The Aussie innings seems to have been nothing special but most have got 20 or 30. If we lose from here it would be a big problem.

    To your comments about Root, who would replace him as captain? The most established player would be Ben Stokes from what I know but there is absolutely no way he will be captain given his off field history. Apart from him Bairstow or Woakes maybe? You probably know the team and their history better than me.

    If we do win it will be a huge feather in the cap for Paine & Langer given that Ponting and Clarke were never able to get a win in England and except for maybe 2015 they had better sides.

  4. #84
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The sad thing is there's no good answer, but I suspect you may have to roll the dice just to give Root the chance to fix his batting.

    So our most experienced player is Anderson, followed by Broad. I'll skip over the obvious problems with picking either of them. Next are Bairstow and Root, though I'm honestly not sure Bairstow solves our captaincy issues. Then there's a run of options... Woakes, Stokes, Moeen Ali, and Joss Buttler. You've hit on the problem with Stokes, Ali is taking a break from cricket. Buttler does have the advantage of being the Vice captain of the ODI side.

    I think you might have to get creative, to be honest. Give it to Rory Burns even though he's new, because he's won the county championship and openers often make good captains? Promote Eoin Morgan back into the side because his captaincy with the ODI side has been good and he could probably get as many runs in the middle order as the current lot are managing? Go back to an established club captain like Dawid Malan or James Vince? Hell, even recalling someone like Ian Bell.

    I'm not saying all of these are brilliant ideas but to be honest I think we're in a situation where they are going to have to get creative and if I were in the meeting I'd be asking for ideas on the premise that nothing is off-limits.


    EDIT: Mentioning Eoin Morgan has brought home to me how much our batting has fallen. He was dropped for not being up to scratch as a test player in 2012. His record then had a lot of failures but he also hit a century in the Pakistan series, two halves against Sri Lanka, and then one century and another half against India. Up against someone like Buttler, Morgan's average was comparable and he was more likely to make a major contribution once he got himself in.

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  5. #85
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    What a difference 24 hours makes.

    All statistics say England has only a tiny chance but my goodness am I nervous right now.

  6. #86
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    other than the Root dismissal, this has been almost perfect, exactly what England needed. Patience is the key here. They are now favourites to win, but lose a couple of wickets and it all goes to hell.


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  7. #87
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I would say that Australia are still more likely to win, we have one of the best bowling teams in the world, just one or two wickets with anything more than 20 runs to win and the pressure immediately swings right the other way.

    It is going to be a bloody close one though, Test cricket is just so damn good.

  8. #88
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I will say this. If we do lose it is just about 95% a failure of our batsmen. In the first innings only two of them got over 10 and in the second there were a lot of them getting out still relatively cheaply.

  9. #89
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    I would say that Australia are still more likely to win, we have one of the best bowling teams in the world, just one or two wickets with anything more than 20 runs to win and the pressure immediately swings right the other way.

    It is going to be a bloody close one though, Test cricket is just so damn good.
    Quoted for what is obviously now truth.

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  10. #90
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    And yet the reason we love test cricket, you can never rule out the FUCKING ABSURD.


    GET IN THERE!!!

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  11. #91
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    Absolutely embarrassing all round by the Australians on that field. Fielding, horrible. Bowling, atrocious. Captaincy absolutely horrendous and that is the reason why it’s now 1-1. Paine dropped, gloves to Wade make Smith captain again. I have no faith in Paine going forward after that.

  12. #92
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Arise Sir Benjamin Stokes.

    And an OBE for Leach while you're at it.


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  13. #93
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Oh fucking hell what an ending.

    I went to bed after the run out so obviously I wasn't watching live but when I read the cricinfo report I could believe it. That has to be one of the greatest innings in cricket history. I love that you quoted me PT because it just highlights how absurd of an accomplishment it was.

    Australia so rarely seems to win the close matches, I normally say it is as penance put on us by the cricket gods for how insanely dominant the team was in the past.

    Of course there are things that could have and should have been done better by the Aussies but from what it seems like no matter what they did there would have been no stopping Ben Stokes.

    We are in for one hell of a final two matches.

  14. #94
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Given Sam's gentlemanly reaction here against the vast majority of what I've seen from Aussies on the 'net and in the press, I think it's safe to say we have the best Australian here at LoP.

    Considered running for office?!

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  15. #95
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    Jack Leach and I share a hometown (pretty much). The greatest 1* in test history, made all the better for him having his glasses repeatedly wiped.

    I was in a soft play with the kids following the Guardian's OBO report of it all, and I was just so damned tense. I'm going to have to go back to listen to the TMS stream of it, because I imagine that was superb.

  16. #96
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I generally resist this kind of hyberbole. There's a tendency to immediately default to what you've seen lately. But after a few days reflection... that's the most remarkable England test I've ever seen, and it probably does beat even the Botham efforts.

    Yeah. I don't think people are going overboard. It's got to be the best. Going from a lowest score in the Ashes since 1948, Stokes winning it staying in there for hours, and hitting a ridiculous number of sixes when getting caught out would have ended it all there and then.

    The rest of the series will determine whether or not this goes down in the annals of history the way Freddie Flintoff and Botham and others have done, but there's no doubt in my mind it's the best regardless of what happens in the final two tests.


    Momentum with England. Smith expected to return in the warm-up later this week ahead of the fourth test. It's all set up now.

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  17. #97
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Let's not forget also how long Stokes bowled the day before with Archer out of the attack. Just outstanding. A shoe-in for the SPOTY award surely...


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  18. #98
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    In regards to the Aussie press reaction I think while that last lbw call was a shocker and bundles in nicely with the shocker Kasprowicz got at Edgebaston in '05 Australia had othrer chances, notably the run out that they fumbled, the review they wasted before and generally played far too defensively against Stokes who had no catching pressure put on him which I found crazy given how good our bowlers are.

  19. #99
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I thought it'd been fairly well proven in the last few days that the DRS was wrong, the umpire was right, and it would have been a bad call if they'd have the review left.


    It's led to a bit of soul-searching here in England (at least in some quarters, can't imagine it's too widespread) about whether or not we'd have taken it with any better grace had DRS given him out and been judged wrong after the fact. And I don't suspect we'd have taken in particularly well, in all honesty. You only have to look at the VAR debate in football to see how these things can get away with us.

    The Kasparowicz one was a poor call though to be fair it was a long time after the fact that I heard anyone bring that up. I don't remember anyone thinking it was a shocker in real time, more that it was a tough thing to call that happened to go against Australia (not least because there was no DRS back then). It was only afterwards that it got elevated to some kind of miscarriage of justice, not really when England won that first series but when they won several Ashes on the bounce between 2009-2013. Then, as a way of symbolically undoing that turnaround, it seemed to enter Aussie lore for more strongly. 'Well of course it's all built on a lie', that sort of thing. At least, that's how it's come across.

    I do think a lot of this comes down to cricket fans are spoiled. The umpires get so much right in comparison with other sports that when they are finally human enough to get something wrong they have a bit of a meltdown about it.



    The truth is, Lyon should have run him out. All the stuff about poor captaincy, poor decisions, potential umpiring problems, saving a review and all these other things.... there's some truth to a lot of them, of course, but what it really comes down to is there was a golden chance, and it was butchered. The one rule is that when those things come up you never leave them in the hands of the umpires or of chances and percentages, you've got to be merciless. Frankly, I think the pressure got to him just as much as it got to some of the bowlers, and given the field settings, quite clearly the captain.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  20. #100
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Hard to argue with anything you've said although I haven't seen anything about the lbw decision that was given not out but seemed plumb on DRS being wrong.

    Just for comparison, if you go back to the famous '99 tied ODI World Cup Semi-final it all hinged on a run out going correctly and while there was a lot that could go wrong, no players panicked, they just got it done as the best teams just do.

  21. #101
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Yeah, DRS had it as absolutely plumb. The reasoning I've seen given (and accepted by people who know way more about cricket than me, to be perfectly honest about it) is that the DRS couldn't tell the difference, or "missed the deflection off Stokes’s front pad and thus followed an incorrect trajectory from when the ball hit his back pad." The theory, then, is that the ball wasn't turning and would probably have slid down leg.

    But this is why in certain circles there's been some real questions here. Had that been given out in those circumstances, and then the alternate explanation came out, how would we have handled it? Probably quite poorly, to be honest about it. And is there a fundamental question about using technology to overrule an umpire, when the umpire gets it right? The basic principle shouldn't be changed, but that feels worse somehow. And it's left a lot of questions out there.

    So the leading theory here is that the decision was spot on, but it's not been in some kind of triumphalist way, and has led to more serious conversations about cricket and the way it operates than it has only showboating or Aussie-baiting.




    Anyway - Lyon injured in the warm-up for the Derby game. Though he's not expected to miss any test time because of it. I guess we'll find out how he responds. The talk out of the Aussie camp and the ex-players attached to them is that the run-out attempt has left him 'scarred'.

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  22. #102
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Broad got a couple quickly. Probably the trickiest pair to get out at the crease. Crucial moment in the innings.

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  23. #103
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    If anyone can stay in for a few hours alongside Smith then Australia are going to post a very large score. Best chance for getting Smith out at this point seems to be a run out which isn't great, still it is a shame seeing how most of the Australian middle order have been unable to support Smith. Matt Wade absolutely threw his wicket away when Australia were well in control which was a shame. He has a lot of promise and has been in fantastic form before the series so I was excited to see what he made of being a specialist batsmen but he doesn't seem to have the temperament of a proper test player after all.

  24. #104
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    You seem to have two batsmen, based on this series. It's lucky for you that one of them is Smith because that'll probably still be good enough.

    Archer putting down that catch when he was on sixty-something could be massive.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  25. #105
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    England just avoid the follow on. Bowled out not long after. Warner gone for no loss, a pair of ducks now and Broad seems to have his number.

    If the English bowlers can stay on top until at least tea, they might be able to bail the batsmen out a bit here - could end up being an all-or-nothing affair at The Oval. If Australia can get on top again, I'm not sure you'd fancy England to bat through a whole day to save the test.

    EDIT: And the second Aussie opener gone cheaply. Like Deja Vu, this. Get the two rocks out quickly and England's prospects are OK, but if they bat and take the game away it's all too much.

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  26. #106
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    It's over but not without another scare.

    Smith and Cummins were the difference I think, while he didn't get all the wickets it was Cummins who got rid of thrwe top two and pilled on the pressure more than any other bowler. Smith was Smith, the guy is in a league of his own, he has only had 5 innings and has nearly scored 700 runs.

    I also can't say enough about Tim Paine's leadership. You can say what you want about his field placing at Headingly but off field I think he may go down as the most important captains we have had since Border. Since Border we have really had very 'establishment' captains, particularly in Ponting, Clarke and Smith you had three guys who were born, bred and raised in our high performance institutes and contracts. Having a guy who had some life experience outside cricket and had experienced some true hardship meant he could actually be a circuit breaker to the culture that had been built up in the Aussie team and institution that led Sandpaper Gate and the justified Ugly Aussies tag. There are rumors he could retire as soon as the end of the tour and if he does I hope his legacy lives on, he actually makes me proud of the team and not just because of how good they are but how they go about playing the game.

  27. #107
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    Deserved winners in the end. Thought Nasser Hussain said it best, would have been an injustice if we'd got to the final test with a chance to win the game. Stokes' heroics were magnificent but to be honest they were just papering over the cracks. Australia outplayed us, fairly handily in fact. Can't see us putting up much resistance in Australia on this evidence, so I expect you'll have the urn for a while, Sam!

    Many, many questions for England. A lot of them are about how we've prepared for the summer rather than the players, but there's still some obvious things to sort out with the batting.

    I think the difference in the series overall was Smith. The bowling was decent by both sides, but aided by some pretty poor batting (though I would agree that Cummins was probably the pick of the bunch, mainly because England's best bowlers were often inconsistent, ranging from unplayable to ineffective). Paine probably did out-captain Root, but not by so much as to be decisive and crucially I think not when it really counted and that captaincy was what was going to win the series. Smith, on the other hand, rescued a flailing Aussie batting line-up time after time, and without his runs I think England would have won the series fairly comfortably. Take the first test, for example. Without Smith's back-to-back hundreds, I don't believe anyone can credibly see the Aussies winning that match. Imagine if he'd made, say, 30 in the first innings. Australia bowled out for less than 200, before England post nearly 400 in reply. Does anyone see Wade making his century if Smith isn't at the other end? Even if they do both make it, it's far less likely that England get rolled so cheaply without the scoreboard pressure that came from his making their first innings competitive. You can do similar things for practically every test.

    So yeah, for me he's the difference - the one world class batsman on the field, and bowlers who are less and less good at getting those players out (because we encounter them so much less frequently than in the past). It's telling, I think, that Smith has waaaaay more runs than anyone else in the series despite missing a match, and it's equally telling that only two other Australians managed more than 200 runs in the series. Smith got 671. The 2nd and 3rd highest run scorers were both England players, and were coincidentally the only two other players to manage more than 300 in the series.


    The question that's brewing for me is not whether Smith was the difference here, but whether or not he's getting into consideration for a Greatest Ever Australian XI. He's certainly got to be in the conversation, though there are some fine, fine players that he'd need to overcome because you've certainly produced some decent batsmen in your time.



    My current thinking for England going forward is this. Burns was one of the few bright points with the bat. Swapping Roy and Denly around seemed to work quite well. So maybe try and Roy and three at Root at four, where he seems to be more comfortable, and have a batting line-up like this.

    Burns
    Denly
    Roy
    Root
    Stokes
    Bairstow


    Question marks over Buttler after that series, after 5 failures in 8 innings and never going on to make even a 50. Average of 16.25 isn't anywhere near good enough. He's made just one century in 35 matches, too. I'd be looking long and hard for a replacement, judging by this form.

    Right now, Dominic Sibley has to be making a strong case for England to take a look at him, and though he's not going to be the answer to making us world class I suspect the batting line-up might be a tad more convincing with someone like Gary Ballance in there to solidify things a bit. We've never really recovered from losing Trott and Collingwood, who were never the prettiest players of the ball or the best counter-attackers but they gave the side a durability that is sadly missing nowadays.

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  28. #108
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    You make a good point about how pivotal Smith was and I can't exactly argue with you given the stats I pulled up. Really the batting has been weak from both sides minus Stokes, Burns, Labuschange and Smith, certainly on the Australian side there are very few positives. Warner in particular has been horrible at a time when we needed him to step up. Even Wade who scored a century really got lucky doing it against a depleted attack that had already been broken by Smith and hasn't done anything else since. The averages tell the real story, only the top 2 Australian batsmen average over 30 and in the top 7 are two bowlers: Siddle & Pattinson and our wicket-keeper Tim Paine.

    Crazily enough, even though I gave Cummins the wrap Hazelwood actually ended up with a better average. He is actually from where I was born and I used to play cricket against and then with his older brother Brendan who was the first person I ever saw get a double hat-rick. Can't imagine what the guy who actually ended up in the Test team must have done to the poor country high school players.

    Things aren't much rosier on the English side average wise, most are 30 or below, only Burns & Stokes getting on the board with something substantial.

    Do you think the changes will get rung in for the final match or will they stick with the troops that got them there. I'm also interested in the question of Root's captaincy, does he keep it and if so who can take it up? Given his form Burns seems the only guy that could take it on but that seems premature. Is there any chance they could bring Eoin Morgan into the team to lead for a year while someone else cements their place and learns on the job?

    As for your question about the greatest ever Australian 11, that is a tough one. This would be my shortlist if I had to write it today.

    Openers:
    Victor Trumper
    Bill Ponsford
    Arthur Morris
    Matthew Hayden

    3:
    Don Bradman (duh)

    4 & 5
    Ricky Ponting
    Greg Chappell
    Ian Chappell
    Steve Waugh
    Alan Border
    Steve Smith
    Michael Clarke

    All-Rounders
    Keith Miller
    Richie Benaud
    Doug Walters

    Wicket-Keeper
    Adam Gilchrist
    Ian Healy
    Rod Marsh

    Spin Bowlers
    Shane Warne
    Bill O'Riley

    Fast Bowlers
    Glen McGrath
    Dennis Lillee
    Fred Spofforth
    Ray Lindwall
    Mitchell Johnson
    Brett Lee
    Jeff Thompson
    Craig McDermott

    To your question of 'would Steve Smith make it?' I would say not yet. He has played 67 matches, the first 10 or so of which were as a spin bowler down the order so he has only really had 50 or so matches as a pure batsmen which for a modern player isn't that long. Guys like Ponting and Clarke has sustained runs of purple form as well where their average was pushing 60, hell even Michael Hussey had a time where he was in that kind of picture and I think Adam Voges average is still over 60 and neither of them are getting anywhere near the best XI of all time. Right now Smith is about as good as it gets but I'm interested in if he can sustain it for another few years before I rank him ahead of Ponting, Border, Greg Chappel & Steve Waugh who all had nearly 10 year runs at the very top. Just for the exercise here is my 11:

    Matt Hayden
    Victor Trumper
    Don Bradman
    Ricky Ponting
    Steve Waugh (c)
    Keith Miller
    Adam Gilchrist
    Shane Warne
    Ray Lidwall
    Dennis Lillee
    Glen McGrath

    In true Aussie fashion it is pretty much all out attack. I'm probably a bit blinded in my Steve Waugh love as most commentators seem to put Chappell in under Ponting in these sorts of lists but he was a little before my time, as The Grade Cricker podcast says he is 'your dad's favourite player'. Part of me would love to have a tearaway quick bowler in it: Spofforth, Lee, Johnson or Thompson but the case for Lilliee & McGrath is too strong to leave either of them out and Lindwall's batting squeezes him in. In his day Lillee was known to be fast as was Miller. If it was a spinning pitch I would probably sub Ponting or Waugh for Clarke who was amazing against spin and Miller for Beanaud but asside from that my team would be pretty set.

    Out of curiosity who would you have in your English XI, any current or recent players?

  29. #109
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    Of an all-time XI, you mean? God, that's a tough one. I don't tend to like picking players for these things that exist before my time, or before I got to see much of them on tape (which really begins with the late 1970s early 1980s). And a lot of our names tend to be before then. But here's the way the conversation tends to go.

    Cook is one of the two openers for most people. Len Hutton might get the other berth and Jack Hobbs has to be in the conversation. Alec Stewart could potentially take the other berth if you're looking at him as a batsman/wicket-keeper combination. His average is a bit lower than the others but he was a reliable figure during a time when Pakistan had Younis/Akram/Khan, the West Indies had Walsh/Ambrose, Australia had Warne/McGrath... y'know, arguably better bowlers up against him than the other options. Some people might put Gooch or Boycott in the conversation, too.

    The middle order gives you some combination of W.G. Grace, David Gower, Kevin Pietersen, Graham Thorpe, Wally Hammond, Ken Barrington, Denis Compton, with the likes of Bell, or Root, as more wildcard contemporary picks.

    For your all rounder, Botham, Flintoff or Stokes. Hard to look anywhere else.

    If you don't take Stewart as an opener, you probably have to have Alan Knott in the side as a wicket-keeper. The next best option is to lose a bit of solidity and go for a counter-attacking batsman in Matt Prior.


    For your out-and-out bowlers, Anderson and Broad top the list and both have to be in the conversation. Bob Willis and Fred Trueman are the stand outs from the earlier period. A whole host of good bowlers being glossed over here of course, like Gough, Caddick, Fraser, Dilley.

    The spin options are probably Derek Underwood or Swann, though Laker, Titmus and Ray Illingworth all probably have a place in the discussion too.



    As for the players I've seen plenty of footage of, it'd be something like this:

    Cook (c)
    Stewart+
    Gower
    Thorpe
    Root
    Botham
    Stokes
    Broad
    Swann
    Anderson
    Harmison


    Choosing a wicket-keeper as an opener gets you another all-rounder in, which means we can bat a bit down to number 9. Swann has been our only world class spinner for a couple of generations, so he's an easy pick. I've just about seen enough of Gower and Botham in their pomp to get them into the XI. Root just about edges Bell and Pietersen, especially as I'm picking him as a genuine middle order man rather than as a number 3 or with the responsibility of captaincy, and he performed much better in that role. I've actually left out the best captains (Strauss would be my pick based on that criteria) so the armband passes to Cook (though Gower is also an option as his figures as captain are a bit skewed by some disastrous performances against the great West Indian side of that era). Harmison gets in purely because of the need for some genuine pace and the lack of real alternatives.


    If I were picking an earlier team, I think you've got to get Hammond in there at the very least for one of the bowlers, and you maybe have to drop one of the all-rounders for a wicket-keeper as I think that a Jack Hobbs might just be too hard to leave out. I reckon Fred Trueman or Bob Willis would definitely get in ahead of Harmison to fill that fast bowler position, too. If you did pick Hutton, he's a real possibility for the captaincy.

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  30. #110
    If I had to go players that I've seen footage of XI in their primes I would go for -

    *** = was 2 when he retired, but have seen enough footage!

    Cook (c)
    Stewart (wk)
    Vaughan
    Pietersen
    Root
    Stokes
    Botham***
    Flintoff
    Swann
    Broad
    Anderson


    Stokes can play as specialist batsman and in addition, even tho Root can play much higher up, I wanted Pietersen in to balance up the order so I wanted him in. Vaughan was truly elegant and a leader at a time of epic fast bowlers being about! (Mind you, if I was more immersed with Gowers work, it'd be a flip of a coin but Vaughan I've seen much more of)

    Botham and Flintoff at 8 and 9?! Epic stuff innit!

    I challenge (if anyone wants to) a best XI in Test Cricket of World stars (the catch is you have to pick players that have played since 1990 to keep things modern!

    Also yay we drew the series haha

  31. #111
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrayZera View Post

    I challenge (if anyone wants to) a best XI in Test Cricket of World stars (the catch is you have to pick players that have played since 1990 to keep things modern!
    I'll have a crack.

    S Anwar (Pak)
    M Hayden (Aus)
    R Dravid (Ind)
    J. Kallis (S. Afr)
    S. Tendulkar (Ind)
    BC Lara (W. Ind)
    A. Gilchrist (Aus)
    S. Warne (Aus)
    W. Akram (Pak)
    A. Donald (S. Afr)
    G. McGrath (Aus)


    So, you've got Saaed Anwar and Matthew Hayden to open the batting. Rahul Dravid of India is the number 3, and though he scored fewer total runs than Ponting I think the fact that you want someone super-dependable at 3 (in case an opener falls early) makes him the clear choice. Kallis coming in at four, but he's got a strong enough record there that I've got confidence in him and want him in the side. Then the two entertainers in Tendulkar and Lara at 4 and 5, who should have a platform to play after those four have been in and could potentially be even more destructive than they were playing higher up the order. Both are capable of batting it away from anyone. Gilchrist is the obvious choice for wicket keeper.

    Akram edges in ahead of several other bowlers in with a shout because he was capable of doing it with the bat as well as being one of the best swing bowlers I've ever seen (which ultimately is what guarantees no English participation here). Only one spinner but when it's Shane Warne that's not a concern for me. The genuine pace option was a coin toss between two South Africans but in the end I've gone for Donald over Steyn. Glenn McGrath rounds out my XI.

    No Englishmen, because we tend to produce very good teams rather than standout individuals. Alastair Cook getting in at opener or James Anderson nicking a bowling spot are probably the best bets, but I think in either case they weaken the side rather than improve it. Four Aussies, two each from Pakistan, India and South Africa, and then one from the West Indies.

    Yeah, I'd back that side to win 99 times out of 100. Though I suppose a critic of the side might argue it's biased towards my youth, with a lot of those players plying their trade in the 1990s.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  32. #112
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    Hayden (Aus)
    Smith (SA)
    Sangakkara (SL)
    Tendulkar (Ind)
    Kallis (SA)
    Lara (WI)
    Gilchrist (Aus)
    Warne (Aus)
    Steyn (SA)
    Muralidaran (SL)
    McGrath (Aus)

  33. #113
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    M. Hayden
    A. Cook
    R. Ponting
    S. Tendulkar
    B. Lara
    S. Waugh (c)
    A. Gilchrist
    S. Warne
    D. Steyn
    C. Ambrose
    G. McGrath

    Mine is probably a little Aussie heavy but that is the team I've seen the most of and since the 90s they have been the most consistently dominant team.

    The different guys I've gone for are Aleister Cook who is my rock at the top of the order. He would be there to do a similar role to David in PTs team. I went with Steve Waugh at six for his ability to bring together and motivate a team of killers and also his dependability with the tail.

    Bowlign wise I was surprised no one else picked Curtly Ambrose, he was one of the most deadly bowlers I've ever seen and to me easily makes the side.

    If it was a subcontinent wicket I would pick Murli instead of Steyn.

  34. #114
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    Ambrose definitely in my thinking. Back when I was a kid there were a lot of bowlers who operated in pairs, and him and Walsh, as well as Akram and Younis, were all highly feared when you played the West Indies or Pakistan respectively.

    In the end I went for Akram solely because he's a better batsman than the other three. But they were all devastating bowlers.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  35. #115
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    Somerset continuing to find new and exciting ways to throw away a chance of the title, first letting James Vince score an absurd number of runs and then probably letting Kyle 'The Monk' Abbott take the first ever 18-for in County Cricket. So frustrating.

  36. #116
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    If we're talking county cricket, Dom Sibley is on the verge of a double century against relegated Notts. But yes, to everyone but me the battle at the top is of more significance. Am I right in thinking Somerset have never actually won (despite once fielding a team with Botham and Viv Richards in it?!) It'd be quite something if they conspired to throw it away from here.



    I do like the look of Sam's side, the more I look at it. I'm coming around on maybe having Cook in there ahead of Anwar, even though the latter had a better average. It'd be interesting to see them compared if they'd played in the same era. Anwar faced more high quality bowlers regularly, but Cook played in an era where you play that much more cricket, and so some of his stats are so much higher as a result. Definitely an argument for Smith too, though the same factors come into play.

    The one thing I will say is that you can't really have an opener doing the job Dravid is doing in my team, because it's a number three specific job, as in someone who can play like an opener at number three if necessary or can attack if the top two in the order have played you into that kind of position. I think no one really balanced both better than Dravid. He's less likely to get out for a duck than pretty much anyone else I can name in that role, though he doesn't have quite the same style as some of the other names listed. Think a better version of the role Trott played for the successful England team.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  37. #117
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    Hope you're all watching Taunton. Somerset out for 203 in the first innings about three days ago, two days pretty much completely rained off, Essex get to 101-1. And now have collapsed to 141 all out. Somerset forfeit their second innings and probably have an hour or so to bowl at Essex - take ten wickets and Somerset finally, finally win the bloody Championship. The last 9 fell in 19 overs, so there's time - and the Taunton pitch is turning all over the shop.

  38. #118
    I am so unhappy with ecb with running The Hundred... So uneccessary

  39. #119
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    Yeah, I'm with you there. I forget who it was that said it but the gist was basically 'cricket for people who don't like cricket'. That'll obviously work.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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