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DaveJ

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Joined December 2017

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Hard to argue, though Boult is a bit behind the other three in Test cricket. In fact, Wagner’s stats in Tests are slightly superior.

The fab four of fast bowling

You take more wickets or score more runs if you play more matches. Which is why we don’t talk about Michael Clarke being a much better batsman than Bradman. Pretty close for me between Gillespie and Johnson. On his day I’d go with Johnson and maybe added fear factor to complement the other bowlers. But Gillespie has a slightly better overall record – fewer bad series than Johnson. Maybe a tossup between Hussey and Clarke.

The greatest Australian Test XI this century

Indeed, assuming that Zimbabwe can come for a short 3 match series in August without a 14-day quarantine seems a bit optimistic, seeing it’s unclear whether a Trans-Tasman travel bubble is up and running by then. Ditto for Windies and Afghanistan. I imagine if regular testing is possible they may not need 14 day quarantines by October, but it’s all still a bit up in the air.

Cricket Australia confirm blockbuster summer schedule

It’s curious in all this why Adelaide isn’t mentioned at all, as if assuming it is obvious it should have one of the Tests. If Brisbane is chosen because it favours Australia, why not Perth too? Could have hosted the day-nighter. Adelaide is the nicest ground of the three by all accounts, but it is also the smallest of the three cities. Was it because India insisted on having Adelaide as a friendlier pitch if we insisted on Brisbane?

WACA furious about Perth's snub for India Test series

Two pretty strong lineups. A suggestion for the batting order – Tom Hayward is your premier opener here, had 40 century opening stands with the young Jack Hobbs for Surrey (all after Hayward was 34) and was the second batsman to reach the landmark of 100 first-class centuries after WG Grace. Stoddart less of an opener. Hayward’s record on pre-1914 pitches more impressive than Strauss’s. They made Strauss a Sir? Because he won a series in Australia and had a middling but hardly stellar batting record? Actually played Tests five years fewer than Hayward. The fact that Swann played 60 Tests in five years while Stoddart had 16 in ten shows how things have changed.
Enjoying the series in all respects, though the anecdotes and trivia are probably best part. Adding a bit of pedantry to the Phil Edmonds story, he was actually born in Northern Rhodesia, today’s Zambia, which was separate from the colony of Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe.

The Calendar Ashes: Sixth Test, March

Yep that seems to be what the Indians are talking to CA about. The idea is to convince CA to release Australian players for the IPL, as they aren’t normally allowed to go to play in other T20 leagues during our domestic season. The sweetener would be extra ODIs after the India Tests which would be a big TV money spinner. World Cup would be postponed, though it’s a bit unclear whether that would work in Feb/March as other countries already have international series scheduled then.

Is the T20 World Cup worth it?

Very few sports leagues operate with a fully fledged free market. The US major sports leagues drafts or the salary caps in NRL etc, designed to keep a semblance of level playing field in the wider interests of the game. The Giteau law is in the same mould. The effect of the Bosman ruling in the EU that overturned limits on foreign players in European soccer leagues showed what goes wrong when you can’t impose such limits – the same two or three teams winning the English Premier League year after year, and hardly an English player in sight among them.

The Wrap: Giteau’s Law must survive, but with a twist

Yep AD, hard to believe SA wouldn’t have shaded Australia in the 70s and maybe even the Windies towards the end if it hadn’t been for apartheid.

The Calendar Ashes: Fifth Test, February

Very strong batting side apart from Campbell, though Hooper exemplified some of the unfulfilled promise they started to show from that time on. Lara’s 153 not out in Bridgetown wasn’t just a candidate for the innings of the decade award, but was named as second greatest knock of all time by Wisden a few years later. Helped instigate or deepen the Warne/Waugh feud as Warne might not have been dropped if Australia had won that Test. Scored 153 out of 233 while he was at the crease against an attack of McGrath, Gillespie, Warne and McGill, guiding them to a one-wicket win.

The best West Indies Test XI of the 1990s: Part 1

Clear advantage to Australia here. Three of four batting greats vs one for England (Hendren). I’d happily take McGrath, Johnston and McGill against Trueman, Laker and Malcolm. Peel’s figures look great, but you can add on about 10 to averages in the 1880s to make them comparable with recent decades. When thinking of Lawry and Simpson, I was reminded recently they didn’t do so well in South Africa in 1966-67, particularly Lawry. Lost the series 3-1 and saved by rain from losing a fourth (8 wickets down in the 2nd innings and still short of making SA bat a second time). Lawry had a bad time again in SA three years later when they lost 4-0 (though not as bad each time as Ian Chappell). Mike Procter was the main destroyer for SA, with 40-odd wickets at 15 across 7 Tests (aged 20 and 23!). Graeme Pollock averaged over 70 in both series.

The Calendar Ashes: Fifth Test, February

Noone can deny their right to seeking employment, but they don’t have a god-given right to national selection (just as it is up to clubs in England and France to choose whether to recruit them. ARU and QRU are also entitled to make a hard-headed calculation about what is best for the long term interests of the game. If the benefits of having such a ban in encouraging players to stay in Australia outweigh the costs of losing a couple of young players, then it’s worth thinking about. I’m not necessarily convinced it would work, but it surely isn’t ridiculous to consider it.

The Wallabies should ban Hockings and Lucas for life

Good work picking that England team out of the mire. Looks like a marathon research effort – or is there a special search function on Cricinfo where you can filter by player’s birthday? I think I’d support Hole over Inverarity on batting record given you’ve already got Noble as all rounder and thus two excellent spinners. Surprised that Australia’s run margin over England is so thin at the SCG given our overall Test record at home is pretty dominant (something to do with runs in draws and margins of victory perhaps?)

The inclusion of Foster prompted me to refresh my memory on Wikipedia and was amused to find this claim – that he could manipulate the release so that the ball could, in the words of Wisden, “double its speed upon hitting the ground”. If you believe some of those pre-WWI accounts the bowlers could more or less make the ball turn corners like a cruise missile and do all sorts of magic tricks. Mind you, I’ve played on a couple of wet wickets where the ball seemed to double in pace off the pitch.

The Calendar Ashes: Fourth Test, January

With many hundreds of Test crickets on both teams a random effect would predict a relatively even spread of talent unless something like your Relative Age Effect was in operation. But hard to see why in this case January would be a particularly bad month for England, eg compared to November, December or February. Have to call it a random but low probability event.

The Calendar Ashes: Fourth Test, January

Are they enforcing a word count? Doesn’t seem to apply in some other cases.

The Calendar Ashes: Fourth Test, January

Interesting questions. In states where the virus is all but eliminated, the common sense approach would be not to sweat the small stuff (not the actual virus). Some caution advisable, and the game needs to show it is being responsible. But if there are few if any cases going around in the community the risk of a cricket game being the source of spread would be extremely low. A different matter if the infection rate ticked up, of course.

The challenges for community cricket post-COVID-19

Not a great bowling lineup, though with Botham and Willis on their day in the early 80s could be more than useful. Emburey always seemed to be a good competitor against Australia, but clearly not a great record overall.

The best England Test XI of the 1980s: Part 2

Sure was. Then I saw the score a few seconds later – 1/4 chasing 4/632 declared! England lost the game by about innings and 150.

The best England Test XI of the 1980s: Part 1

Disagree somewhat Paul regarding 80s as a whole, though you may be right about batting quality. Lack of batting superstars as later decades, but this was balanced by having arguably the greatest set of quick bowlers of any decade – Marshall, Holding, Garner, Ambrose, Hadlee, Imran, Wasim, Lillee, Roberts, Walsh, Alderman, Kapil Dev, Botham, Willis (though weakish on the spin). The first eight guys on that list would be leading candidates for greatest all time XI, and there would only be one or two other candidates from other decades. Conceivable that an abundance of good bowlers depressed the overall batting standard? (I guess some might say you could make the reverse argument)

The best England Test XI of the 1980s: Part 1

It was an enjoyable and well-made doco with a lot of insights, but has a cloud over it given it was made by Jordan’s company. Nevertheless his pettiness and extraordinarily competitiveness are well depicted, one complementing the other – but you could say he was honest in the way he admitted that players like Drexler or Malone being spoken of in the same breath as him in one season really spurred him on. Not as an appealing personality as Magic or even LeBron, but not a complete monster and arguably the greatest athlete of all time.

Petty MJ was cringe-worthy in The Last Dance

Tend to agree, though I’d support an additional DRS as a general principle.

Spit banned but sweat OK to polish balls

Perhaps reflects the Roarer age cohort a bit?, though the successes of 15-25 years ago weighed heavily and I agreed with most. Bit surprised to see Finegan ahead of Elsom or Fardy, given he was so often a bench player. Ditto Paul over the others and AAC over Latham or even Folau. Seem to remember Kepu being one of our problem props at scrum time, unlike Noriega.

The greatest Wallabies team of the Super Rugby era, as voted by you

Gooch was an interesting character, very patchy record before his 37th birthday, then blossomed. I confess to remembering when he got a pair on his debut against Australia (Thommo and co) in 1975. Promptly dropped and took years to get back in the side. Securing a 2-2 draw at home against the Windies in 1991 was quite an achievement after being thrashed by them for several series in a row. Robin Smith and Alec Stewart has big series, along with Gooch. De Freitas was the best English bowler amazingly enough – evidence that Windies were on the way down from their peak.

The best England Test XI of the 1980s: Part 1

Amazing all those guys pre-WWI who bowled fast leg breaks and off cutters. Gives a pretty good insight into what the pitches were like.

The Calendar Ashes: Third Test, December

Good point about Shaun Marsh – hard to argue with those figures- and a few match winning innings I recall in recent years.

My Sheffield Shield team of the decade

“ infinite loss and loneliness”?? Bill, get a grip son! That’s very in-Australian hyperbole. [But amazing to think a 47 year-old could be playing so well.]

The Calendar Ashes: Third Test, December