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The Roar

Jon Richardson

Roar Rookie

Joined April 2018

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Never happened playing in senior grade cricket from the late 70s to late 80s or in various levels of rep cricket I was involved in. I noticed it coming in to more social games I played from the 90s.

'Catch!': Is there method in the madness?

Hi Paul. Interesting to hear about Simpson’s view. As good a slips catcher as any they say. I thought I was going mad there for a while, having heard no one else express the same thought. I share your view about this starting with trying to sell bat-pad dismissals to the umpire.

'Catch!': Is there method in the madness?

Possibly in some rare situations Micko that might be the case. But having played a lot of cricket at a respectable level and taken a lot of catches in both the outfield and slips it shouldn’t be necessary. If you are paying attention a long distance from the bat you’ll have an idea from the shot whether its might have gone in the air. It’s then up to you to pick out the ball from the sky/background. Someone yelling Catch won’t tell you where to pick it out from. But I wouldn’t be fussed if they were just doing it for those outfield catches. It’s the calls for close-in chances when it’s more likely to be counterproductive than increase the chances of a catch that I can’t get my head around.

'Catch!': Is there method in the madness?

Of course. I remembered reading about him but saw he only played 7 Tests so wanted to check. Also you seemed to have him as an alternative to C Cairns so looked like you needed an extra bowler, but I guess it’s Watling at 6 if you take Cairns and 7 if you take Donnelly. I’d recommend the latter, Watling’s record is great for a best ever 7, ordinary for a 6. Hadlee, Bond and Boult would make for a great attack. Your spinner is the weak link with all due respect.

Australia to face the best Kiwi XI ever to tour the country

Andrew Jones? JR Reid? McCullum? Bruce Taylor over Cairns? You mean Martin Donnelly the batsman who only played a few Tests but was supposed to be great?

Australia to face the best Kiwi XI ever to tour the country

The chances of Pakistan playing Bhatti at no.6 are close to zero. He is 33 and has a first class batting average of 24. Seems to be more of a bowler. Whereas Iftikhar has a decent FC record, got 79* in the Aus A match and looked good in the T20 series. Can also bowl a bit. Seems a much more likely they have him in mind if they replace Haris Sohail.

Australia vs Pakistan: First Test preview, prediction

Misbah has hinted that Naseem will play, though it could be a bluff of course.

Pakistan's middle order holds the key against Australia

Great article, JG. Tends to confirm that at this stage, Smith’s record is BAB in line with his average. I agree averages aren’t everything, but they tell a lot if you use them the right way. For example, if we consider a player’s record against the best teams or attacks, on different surfaces, away from home, and during a peak period of several years, they are particularly telling. The Bradman peak years sounds like a good measure, although the list above should have Sobers in third place in terms of averages. The ICC rankings claim to take a lot of these factors into account, but they really only reflect a 3-4 year peak as far as I can tell: hence Smith being so close to Bradman on their top rankings, which looks ridiculous in terms of their longer careers.

When you ask: does anyone really think Ken Barrington (career average 59) was a better batsman than Ponting (52)? I guess I’d ask why you assume he wasn’t, or think many people wouldn’t look at their records and think Barrington might have been better? Barrington’s average away from home was 74, and his average vs Australia in 23 Tests was 65. Barrington is ranked no.1 on the ICC rankings for 1965, a brief stint ahead of Sobers, who I’d argue was definitely better than Ponting. Ponting was below 50 away and against England. Barrington’s stats were boosted by great records against India and NZ, but Ponting had similar boosts from Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the post-2000 Windies. But there’s a case to say they were on a similar level – their averages would have been very similar taking their best 8-10 years and subtracting matches against the weakest teams. By the way, I think Ponting’s weakest years were his early ones: I believe his best ten consecutive years were 2002-12.

Is runs per Test in any way a better measure than average per innings? It distorts things in against eras – or countries- where games were cut short more by rain, and time wasn’t added on to make up. Would almost certainly favour Australian batsmen. Ditto for topscoring in both innings. A lot of Bradman’s big scores didn’t allow for a second innings.

Could Steve Smith actually be the best after Bradman?

Nice article about a player worth remembering. Not sure if the headline was really meant by Alex or contributed by editors. Obviously it’s a stretch to say he was better than Bradman, seeing he only averaged 45 in 70 first class games while Bradman was powering at close to 100. He only had a modest tour of England in 1930, not a phenomenal one: he averaged only 34 in all Test and county games, and played only two Test innings, scoring 73 in the 243 run stand with Bradman. He was dropped after four Tests against a weak West Indies the next year.

But he was racked by ill health through these seasons. And some people did claim at the time (before or early on in the 1930 tour) that he was better than Bradman. He did pip Bradman to state selection and to a national team tour of NZ despite being a year younger. His 164 remains the second highest for any Australian batsman on debut (behind the 165 n.o. by Charles Bannerman in the first ever Test).

The boy who was better than Bradman

Hi Qwetzen. I used Cricket Archive which lists players’ first class and other representative games. They show 7 FC games for Vic by Grimmett 1919-24, including the two Shield games you mentioned (others were against visiting MCC, Tasmania, et al). Hard to believe he had such trouble breaking into a Shield side in his early 30s!

No Lyon, Bevan and Haddin (another ACT rep) get counted towards the first FC teams they played for. Haddin goes into NSW 2 thanks to his batting average. Lyon would be in SA 2 (behind Ashley Mallett). Bevan wouldn’t be in the top 6 or 7 NSW teams on the basis of his batting, but his bowling average would have put him in the second team if we hadn’t used the 20 match eligibility criterion (perhaps a good example as to why). As mentioned elsewhere, the idea was to get a consistent criterion for an origin rule that would shed some light on collective strength. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the state a player represented first was the one where spent most time growing up. (Also worth mentioning that Lyon and Haddin much of their youth in NSW towns.)

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

McGill defines as WA under the state of origin rule used here. Mallett for SA as he made his debut there, although he had been selected as 12th man for WA the year before. As mentioned at the end of the article the idea was to have a consistent criterion to measure collective strength rather than claim to pick the best team from each state. It would take a lot longer to dig into the past of everyone around the world to subjectively decide where they were “really” from, although I did have a good idea for Australian teams – in the vast majority of cases (over 90%) players first represented the state where they grew up.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Actually Grimmett belongs to Wellington on this exercise because they are treated as a first class province going back to 1905. Surely better than counting towards the Vics? But Mallett is the SA spinner as his first class debut is counted for the, and his average is better than Lyon’s, who also counts as SA.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Sounds promising. My impression in gathering the data was that the better teams on this list also had greater depth, except as mentioned in the case of Barbados, no doubt a reflection of its smaller population. The Australian teams would definitely stay in the same order.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Interesting Rafiqul. Bangladeshi teams were at a disadvantage in this kind of comparison that covers a long history seeing it came to Test cricket late and has only recently getting some good results.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Hi Matth – some pertinent comments here. Theoretically all batsmen’s scores would contribute to the hypothetical total runs scored but intuitively, you’re right – in picking your best bowlers for an individual game you wouldn’t worry too much about their batting average. Natal was really boosted by having all rounder bowlers like Pollock, Goddard and Procter.

And a very fair point about Clyde Walcott- I think his average as keeper was only about 37, so Barbados would have dropped down to fourth behind Yorkshire. Or bring in a weaker batting keeper Hard to drop one of the three W’s – the obvious one to drop would be Desi Haynes but that would have broken my rule about 2 openers in each team I’d Hi Matth – some pertinent comments here. Theoretically all batsmen’s scores would contribute to the hypothetical total runs scored but intuitively, you’re right – in picking your best bowlers for an individual game you wouldn’t worry too much about their batting average. Natal was really boosted by having all rounder bowlers like Pollock, Goddard and Procter.

And a very fair point about Clyde Walcott- I think his average as keeper was only about 37, so Barbados would have dropped down to fourth behind Yorkshire. Or bring in a weaker batting keeper Hard to drop one of the three W’s – the obvious one to drop would be Desi Haynes but that would have broken my rule about 2 openers in each team I’d Hi Matth – some pertinent comments here. Theoretically all batsmen’s scores would contribute to the hypothetical total runs scored but intuitively, you’re right – in picking your best bowlers for an individual game you wouldn’t worry too much about their batting average. Natal was really boosted by having all rounder bowlers like Pollock, Goddard and Procter. The equivalence in this exercise for a four bowler team is: 4 runs in bowling average = 10 runs batting.

And a very fair point about Clyde Walcott- I think his average as keeper was only about 37, so Barbados would have dropped down to fourth behind Yorkshire. Or bring in a weaker batting keeper. But hard to drop one of the three W’s – the obvious one to drop would be Desi Haynes but that would have broken my rule about 2 openers in each team unless there is none with a respectable record.

McGill case shows you can’t attribute everything to a player’s success to their state of origin. But these figures need to be looked at in a general way rather than showing precise differences between provinces. Eg If you took out McGill and replaced him with WA’s next best spinner, Bruce Yardley, the average differential would drop by 10, and they would drop a couple of places on the rankings below Transvaal and Lancashire. But I wouldn’t have claimed that the one or two runs margin that WA has over these teams on the table is terribly meaningful anyway. But margins of 20-30 runs do look somewhat meaningful.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Ah yes, have edited thks.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Yep, as mentioned when I did dig deeper it doesn’t change the picture much. Eg The top five NSW teams are all born and bred in NSW, except Usman Khawaja (schooled there but born Pakistan) and Peter Nevill (grew up in Victoria and played up to U-19s for them).

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Actually Bond was included here under the rule meant in fine print that if a province didn’t have enough players with 20 Tests others could be included. Some provinces might protest but its hard to dismiss the quality of Bond. Canterbury also had a fine third quick in Bruce Taylor (Ave 26.6). The Canterbury team with best averages on this list did well to end up between Western Province and Jamaica, was handicapped by too many batsmen averaging under 40 and lack of a top spinner:

M Latham, S Fleming, C McMillan, H Nicholls, B Dowling, N Astle, L Germon, R Hadlee, B Taylor, T Burtt, S. Bond.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

The best Northern Districts team on this list was J Wright, B Young, Williamson, Styris, H Marshall, C Cairns, Vettori, D Nash, Boult, S. Doull.

Hope there are no obvious omissions. Southee’s bowling average is a bit higher than the three quicks here. Agree on Williamson and Watling being in a World XI, but not sure ND looks better on paper (eg averages and ICC rankings) than a full current NSW side which has the top four Test bowlers plus Smith and Warner.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

My error in transposing Fleming’s average (25.9) from the spreadsheet – but doesn’t affect the Vics’ final position. Agree Richards and Procter’s numbers used here are artificial and you could look at it either way (Saffers would say why not include more like Clive Rice or Garth Le Roux). But wouldn’t affect Natal’s final rank as I mentioned.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Hi Qwetzen – I checked that out for Grimmett but it seems Wellington is counted in official stats as FC going back to 1906, so stuck with that as didnt want to be accused of Aussie bias. Also, Grimmett played for Victoria for four years before moving to SA, so they still couldn’t have him under these rules.
Max Walker definitely counts as Tasmanian if we tried to work out a “pure” state of origin for everybody. He never played for them though. I did count a couple of Tassies who represented Tas first before they entered the Shield (Ted McDonald and Jack Badcock) but there weren’t many.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Counted as SA under criteria used here as ACT wasn’t first class. But only makes the SA 2nd XI as Ashley Mallett had a better average (and was bloody good too).

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Many thanks for the kind words Jeff. Encourages me to try my hand again – though will aim for shorter next time!

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

True, but kept him with Tas to be consistent with criterion of selection by first class province they played for first. Could have assigned most Australian players’ home states according to birth/schooling/junior cricket, but it would have required too much research to do it for every country. But I did notice where I did have info that it was relatively for the best players to have grown up in rival provinces. The most notable exception is Jim Laker, a Yorkshireman who ended up in Surrey after the war and played County there. Bird wouldn’t qualify otherwise under the 20 Test criterion, and even then probably wouldn’t make the top 5 NSW lineups on the basis of averages.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?

Agree dB and I think NSW would come out ahead on this rating system: Bradman’s gap ahead of the rest would be hard to make up even though Windies and England have a few more guys averaging in the high 50s early 60s. Almost impossible to improve on NSW bowlers combined average which is also best of any eligible Australian combination since 1920. Windies (Marshall, Garner and Ambrose) would have a slight edge among the quicks but the gap between O’Reilly (22.6) and West Indies’ spinner (Roger Harper, ave 28) would more than offset that.

Great cricketing nurseries: Which provinces have produced the best Test players?