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Stephen Vagg

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Joined February 2014

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A Queenslander never forgets a selection slight.

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I went through his tests and came up with some completely subjective definitions:
* Crucial contribution in a game Oz won: 1977-78 vs India 5th test (crucial first day century), 1982-83 v Sri Lanka (took Oz from 1-43 to 2-290 on first two days day), 1983-84 vs Pakistan 1st test (took Oz from 1-34 to 4-386 on first two days)
* Lone (or lone-ish) hand in defeat: 77-78 vs West Indies 1st test (81 when no one else got higher than 46) & 4th test (75 no one else got higher than 49), 1978-79 1st test (took Oz from 2-2 to 3-210 giving us a chance at victory) and 6th test (121 when no one else scored higher than 19), 1979-80 vs India 6th test (60 first innings no one else got higher than 23), 1981 v England 5th test,
*Handy contributions in Oz victory (i.e. a useful 40 or so): 75-76 5th (took Oz to 1-171 on first day) & 6th test (came in Aust 4-220 on first day and left when they were 351), 1977-78 vs West Indies 5th test (took Oz from 2-38 to 2-171, likely victory though called off due to riot), 1978-79 vs England 3rd test,
*Handy contribution to set up a win then wrecked by collapse in second innings: 1978-79 vs England 4th test, 1979 vs India 3rd test, 1981 v England 3rd and 4th test,
*No real contribution in a disastrous defeat: 1978-79 vs England 2nd test & 5th test, 1978-79 vs Pakistan 1st test, 1979-80 vs Pakistan 1st test, 84-85 vs West Indies 1st test
*No real contribution in a victory: 75-76 4th test, 1981 1st test, 1981-82 v Pakistan 1st test, 83-84 vs Pakistan 5th test
*No real contribution in a draw: 79-80 vs India 1st, 2nd & 4th test, 79-80 vs Pakistan 3rd test, 1980 vs England, 1981 v England 2nd & 6th test, 83-84 vs Pakistan 2nd test,
*Going big in a draw: 79-80 vs India 5th test, 79-80 vs Pakistan 2nd test, 83-84 vs Pakistan 4th test,

So some very very good innings but a lot of collapses and defeats.

The hot and cold of Graham Yallop, the anti-David Hookes

From memory that double century against Pakistan captured people’s imaginations at the time… it was the sheer size of it

The hot and cold of Graham Yallop, the anti-David Hookes

Yes, typo, dammit, sorry. 12,671 came from Cricinfo. The others would be tour games, I guess – he scored a decent amount touring with Oz in England 1977, Sri Lanka 1983 and Windies 1984 – plus touring teams playing South Australia.

From Cricket Archive:
First-Class Batting and Fielding For Each Team by David Hookes
Team Matches Inns Not Out Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
Australia 23 41 3 1306 143* 34.36 1 8 12
Australians 19 30 3 926 108 34.29 2 7 13
South Australia 136 233 10 10439 306* 46.81 29 50 142

Remembering David Hookes

I think part of the appeal of Hookes is the enigmatic unfulfilled potential thing.

Remembering David Hookes

In official tests I would say he was a match winner in the following tests:
– 2nd test 1982-83 coming in at 3-83 in the second innings and chasing down 190 with Hughes
– 2nd test v NZ in 1985-86 coming in at 4-163 and helping Australia get 260
(Both tricky run chases)

In World Series Cricket he played two match winning innings in Super Tests:
– 6th SuperTest 1977-78 – 2nd innings Australia 3-18 Hookes came in and put on 53 helping Australia get to 167 and we won by 41 runs – that’s a match winning innings
– semi final SuperTest 1978-79 Australia first innings were 3-17 when Hookes came in and scored 69 (next highest score 23), keeping Oz in the game (which we won by ten wickets)

Also he played a ‘lone hand’ in the 2nd innings of 1st Super Test 1977-78 (Australia lost but Hookes gave us something to bowl to) and second innings of final in 1978-79 (Australia lost but Hookes’ 96 kept us in the game)

Not quite the top rank, definitely, but some amazing performances at the top level.

Remembering David Hookes

I don’t think he really crossed with Bob Simpson as coach though did he? He was out of the side by 1985-86 – and Simpson didn’t come in until the 1986 tour of New Zealand. I think the issue was more Greg Chappell as selector (that’s how Hookes saw it anyway).

Remembering David Hookes

Warne was a little green under Border – I would maybe argue David Boon and Geoff Marsh (when he played)

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

I really like it when players do an extra season playing domestic cricket only, eg Border, Ponting.

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

Interesting Ponting said that about batting in 2009 as there were a lot of good batters around who simply weren’t given an extended run at test level – Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Andrew MacDonald, Cameron White, Michael Klinger – or not until years later – Adam Voges, Chris Rogers. There was a whole bunch who were overlooked.

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

Good to see 1912 getting some mention on these pages!

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

I think Clarke was a good captain in terms of tactics. I like how he was always trying something different, trying to be proactive. He needed a strong supportive vice captain, that’s all.

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

Yes that’s true I think it’s a mental hurdle Australian selectors struggle with. And it means careers are ended prematurely

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

I guess that’s a… compliment? 🙂

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

Incidentally I just finished reading ‘Fierce Focus’ by Greg Chappell who said he wanted to bring Ian Brayshaw along on the tour. Not sure whose place Brayshaw would’ve taken (maybe Dymock?) Not sure Brayshaw would’ve fixed the issues but he was a very good player.

Test XIs we should have picked: 1977 Ashes

He was vice captain to Simpson in the West Indies in 77-78 and captained Australia in a few tour games over there. Also he captained Queensland a few times. Had no luck winning us the Shield but he was no orphan on that score.

Five Australian fast bowlers who would’ve made good Test captains

I don’t think I’ve read a moustache sledge on these forums before… 🙂

Five Australian fast bowlers who would’ve made good Test captains

Yes that’s right about Kaspa. Queensland’s had a few more fast bowling captains than most states – Thomson, Rackemann, Geoff Dymock. I think when MK played, from memory, there was always Stuey Law and Jimmy Maher to do the job. And to be fair they were very good.

Five Australian fast bowlers who would’ve made good Test captains

He was a good NSW captain. Something was always happening when he was in charge – interesting declarations, attacking cricket. His autobiography is worth reading on this.

Five Australian fast bowlers who would’ve made good Test captains

I didn’t know that about Lawson – yes, you’re right against Middlesex – thanks! https://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/46/46326.html

Five Australian fast bowlers who would’ve made good Test captains

Yes Hughes, Border and Lawson were considered so entrenched the S Africans figured there was no point – the irony being I think Lawson might’ve been open to an offer, for the security. Also players like Bob Holland weren’t considered because they weren’t on the radar – though Holland proved to be a matchwinner.
but generally fast bowlers were the most receptive to the South Africans because it offered them security… I don’t think any fast bowler turned down a South African offer, except Mike Whitney.

Five Australian fast bowlers who would’ve made good Test captains

Yep – Peter McFarline, a leading journo of the time, pushed for Hogg. Hogg’s image at the time (and since) is of the hot tempered anger man but apparently there is more to it than that.

Five Australian fast bowlers who would’ve made good Test captains

In fairness, I think the one who should’ve played over Walker was Mick Malone. A very good bowler. Though I do love Dymock.
First class stats for the tour https://cricketarchive.com/CricketIreland/Events/Australia_in_British_Isles_1977/f_Australians_Bowling.html
Dymock 13 wickets at 31, Walker 53 wickets at 22, Pascoe 41 wickets at 22, Malone 32 wickets at 26
Based on first class stats and experience you can’t really blame them for going for Thommo, Pascoe and Walker
Just for whatever reason Walker didn’t do that well at test level.
Same for spinners – O’Keefe took 36 FC wickets at 29 and Bright 39 at 20. Bright’s figures were better but O’Keefe didn’t do horribly in tour games, just the tests.

I’ve sometimes wondered if Australia wouldn’t have just been better off using their Centenary Test side with Thommo for Lillee, i.e.
1) Davis 2) McCosker 3) Chappell 4) Cosier 5) Walters 6) Hookes 7) Marsh 8) Gilmour 9) O’Keefe 10) Walker 11) Thommo
You have deeper batting plus Cosier’s bowling

Test XIs we should have picked: 1977 Ashes

Just a quick note that I appreciate the hard core early90s stats nerd-dom of this Mark Waugh argument… 🙂

Shane Warne's standout tour of New Zealand in 1993

I had to google it though to be sure 🙂

Shane Warne's standout tour of New Zealand in 1993

That was 2000 https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2000/feb/19/cricket1

Shane Warne's standout tour of New Zealand in 1993

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