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DaveJ

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Joined December 2017

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Trying hard to get excited, but I’m sure your ranking is right. A pity that Zim has gone downhill rather than up. Including teams like the current Zim and Ireland in Tests will further sully the comparability of Test stats, but I guess that’s already happened a bit with big bats, smaller grounds and fluctuations in pitch quality.

Zimbabwe's all-time Test XI

Good to hear, for someone who didn’t follow these matches. I wonder, we’re they playing on turning pitches against good spinners? If so, Hardie’s knocks look extremely impressive. Small point – these were not “unofficial Tests” – A matches shouldn’t be described in any way as Tests.

Takeaways from Australia A’s series win over Sri Lanka A

Good for Sri Lanka. Pity the last match is a dead rubber. Thought Warner’s innings one of the best you will see in an ODI, given the conditions. No need to fret much – Zampa and Agar in the team would have made a huge difference. Though Marsh, Carey, Head and particularly Marnus are all dodgy against spin. I’m certain that DRS cameras failed for Maxwell’s dismissal- it’s almost impossible for the ball to hit the stumps if it hits above the front leg kneeroll in front of the batting crease on a batter of above average height. The simulation got something very wrong.

Australia spun out of Sri Lanka ODI series

Lloyd deserves a lot of credit for his captaincy, but not enough to put him ahead of Headley or Weekes. Need to remember that Lloyd didn’t conjure Marshall, Garner and Croft out of thin air when they became available to add to Roberts and Holding, who were part of his team that were crushed 5-1 in Australia in 1975-76. It was a time when a once in a century collection of talent came together. They were still damn good after Richards took over and if they faded, it was because some of the quality waned a bit and some of the older players, like Richards himself, were past their peak of the early 80s.

Headley for me over Weekes, who didn’t have a great record away from home, nor against Australia and England. Conrad Hunte for me over Haynes, as he had not only a better overall average, but a more impressive record away from home and against the top teams. While the above bowling lineup would qualify as the best four, the Windies had a problem at their peak in winning series in the sub-continent. If looking at balance and success in all countries, I’d pick Gibbs ahead of Garner, with Sobers as the fourth seamer (he didn’t bowl much spin during much of his batting peak).

West Indies all-time Test XI

Good call on Walcott. Disagree on Headley and Hunte.

West Indies all-time Test XI

Good point about Jessop. But there are tons of times in England where the ball stops moving after a day or so an it’s flat as a pancake – see the latest Test at Trent Bridge? And England has played loads more Tests than anyone else. 20% more than Australia. Nearly twice as many as Windies, I.e about half as many matches outside England as Windies have played Tests.

The Kiwi dilemma: To support Brendon McCullum or Black Caps?

“It hurts not to be selected but that’s life and it’s nothing you can control.” I think that’s different to saying Skelton felt hurt by the decision in the sense of being “snubbed” or treated poorly. But let’s not get the facts get in the way of a good headline.

I don’t feel strongly about renaming the Cook Cup, but the Cap’n seems to be an odd one to pick on rather than every white settler luminary or explorer for the following 100 years or more. Obviously his surveying of the coast opened the way to settlement but if he had failed it would have been someone else from Britain, France or elsewhere. As Fitzsimons’ book shows, Cook was actually pretty enlightened in his attitudes to indigenous peoples by the standards of the time. Would make more sense to cancel everything that was named after the likes of Phillip, Macquarie, Parkes, Barton or Deakin, even Menzies.

Rugby News: RA threatens to quit Super Rugby, Skelton 'hurt' by England tour snub, Ella feted as Cook Cup name axed

Too young to play in ‘99 RWC I believe.

Rugby News: RA threatens to quit Super Rugby, Skelton 'hurt' by England tour snub, Ella feted as Cook Cup name axed

Jays Richardson bowled two of the worst ever final or penultimate overs in this match and the last T20. Completely incapable of bowling a yorker. Then bowled short and wide ball after ball with no third man!

'Pure class': Maxwell run chase leads Australia to Sri Lankan victory

Very curious that you would think it’s a choice, but so be it. I can’t imagine backing England against Australia just because a Langer or a Gillespie etc was coaching. Might want to beat them even more. Full marks to Bairstow and Stokes in going for and getting the win, though there is nothing worse than hearing a braying English cricket crowd when they do win. A bit telling that the fastest English century is only 16th fastest all time with 5 Windies, 3 Aussies and 3 Kiwis (incl. McCullun twice) among those above Gilbert Jessop.

The Kiwi dilemma: To support Brendon McCullum or Black Caps?

In Hutton’s favour – head and shoulders above the other batsmen on both teams in 50-51 and 53; topped all averages 1938; topped English batting 46-47; third in ‘48. Only one poor Ashes series – 54-55, when he was pushing 39 and won anyway as captain. In an era with some other decent English batsmen- Compton, Hammond, May, Paynter, Washbrook, Edrich. And strong Australian bowling. Don’t think his scoring rate was much worse than most in his era.
Also, Hutton averaged 57 vs Australia, Root only 37, and you could add 3-4 runs to Hutton playing in an era when scoring lower thanks to pitches, smaller bats and bigger grounds.

Superhuman Root will overtake Alastair Cook and become England's greatest ever batsman

Glad to see SL get some joy, but that must be the worst performance at the death by a team defending a total in T20i history- 60-plus runs off 3 overs! Don’t know how anyone can score that many against yorkers outside off but Australia didn’t try to find out. Maxwell played two of his worst ever shots getting out in this series – don’t know anyone thinks he should be considered for Tests when he can’t keep his head chasing 46 off 68 balls with 5 wickets down.

Whirlwind Shanaka rocks Aussies

Ok B, not sure about great, but a fine record nonetheless. His not out % not much worse than Hutton or Hammond, whom I do consider great. Don’t mind some openers scoring slowly, it really does make it easier for the middle order if you take the shine off the ball. Boycott had pretty good overall records against and in Australia, Windies and Sth Africa. But was only saying there’s no reason to put Cook ahead of him, especially taking account of the fact that Cook in a higher scoring era thanks to bats, boundaries and pitches.

Superhuman Root will overtake Alastair Cook and become England's greatest ever batsman

But Cook is nowhere near England’s greatest batsman. He just played a hell of lot more Tests. He played a lot fewer years than Hobbs, Hammond, Boycott or Compton and about the same as Hutton and Barrington. But played 161 Tests compared to 85 for Hammond, 79 for Hutton, 61 for Hobbs. To get a rough idea of quality, you start with averages and adjust for things like home and away records, average pitch and scoring conditions, performances against the best teams and maybe a bit of Bernie magic to discount innings played under less pressure. Cook’s raw average is 12-15 runs lower than the top England batsmen. I would give him extra points for being an opener, which means dealing with the seaming ball more often, but even then he’s way behind Hutton, Hobbs and Sutcliffe, also behind Boycott and Amiss. Overall, he’s 16th among English batsmen who played 40 or more Tests. Root still has a big gap to catch up to the top guys. My vote would go to Hutton (just) based on all those factors above, especially huge performances in several Ashes series against top attacks.

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/batting/highest_career_batting_average.html?class=1&id=1&type=team

Superhuman Root will overtake Alastair Cook and become England's greatest ever batsman

Are they really playing knockout quarter-finals with 1 v 8, 2 v 7, etc? Truly bizarre if they are. The fixtures page here doesn’t say what happens in the rest of the finals.

Super Rugby tipping panel – quarter-finals: When the rubber hits the road

Only someone who hasn’t played much cricket, or who is brainless could call the England collapse brainless. I suspect Oliver Brown is both. Apart from Crawley, the England bats got out for the same reason as the Kiwis – movement off the pitch and one or two errors, which batsmen make all the time.

'More false dawns than an insomniac': England roasted after 'brainless' batting collapse undoes debutant's heroics

They were usually 2nd in the Ashes and other 5 Test series, eg vs Windies in the 70s.

Cricket smorgasbord to look forward to as international fixtures released for Australian matches

One question for me – what happened to the “postponed” Afghanistan Test from last year. Surely that would have been better value than ODIs vs Zim, seeing we owe them one. Or does CA think the government will have a problem if the team is seen as representing the Taliban? The ICC was supposed to discuss this whole issue during the T20 World Cup but I don’t know what was decided. Calling Jeff, our Afghan expert!

Cricket smorgasbord to look forward to as international fixtures released for Australian matches

Secret mission, Once-a. Thanks for the kind words. Have I missed anything? Has there been any cricket of note since Pakistan ? I hope you’ve won a few more converts to capping!

Three little-known cricketers who were more than the game

Nice article and interesting choices. I imagine there were a few more – the Rev. David Sheppard was another who didn’t play as many Tests as he might have because he went into the church (later a bishop). There’s a case for Verity as England’s greatest spinner, going by the numbers. Bit like Derek Underwood. Though he didn’t retire from cricket to go into the army – played his last Test in June 1939. Could add quite a few cricketers who died in the two world wars. Fast bowler Tibby Cotter, killed in action in the charge of the Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba in Palestine in 1917 was the most notable Australian. Like Verity, may have been too old to play many Tests after the war.

Three little-known cricketers who were more than the game

Well done, Tony. Must have taken some working out.

An Australian cricket team by the numbers – with a twist!

Hard to see how Swepson, who might or might not play a couple of Tests and that’s it, gets a contract ahead of Richardson, who could play in all three formats.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

Paks must have been drooling at facing an attack of Abbott, Ellis, Green and Swepson (List A average of 53 @. 6 per over). What’s the exact number of our best 50-overs bowlers missing? 10 out of top 11?: Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, J. Richardson, Agar, K. Richardson, Behrendorff, Steketee, Kuhnemann, Neser? before we get to this lot.

Aussies lose despite McDermott ton in Pakistan

I think people were more familiar with his commentary and his grudges against some people, eg Steve Waugh, rather than what he was like as a person overall, a lot of which has become clearer in tributes since his passing.

'Greatest cricketer who ever lived': Emotional scenes at MCG farewell for Warnie

What was the issue?

'Greatest cricketer who ever lived': Emotional scenes at MCG farewell for Warnie

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