The Roar
The Roar

Jon Richardson

Roar Pro

Joined April 2018

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Rich owners that hate money? Is that a typo or am I missing something here?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 5: Winning more games

Sure, fair point MK. I was exaggerating a bit, it’s really all those scrums that end in a kick at goal from 40 metres out when one prop falls over that drive me bananas.

Early observations from Super Rugby AU’s law variations

I think someone suggested making the golden point only work if you score a try, I.e. so people don’t just play in the hope of a penalty goal, which is the bane of rugby anyway. I would suggest also allowing for field goals, which are at least the product of constructive team play and not reliant on an opponent slipping over in a scrum or misjudging entry into a ruck or refereeing error.

Early observations from Super Rugby AU’s law variations

Absolutely right, awarding penalties for scrum dominance is just about the dumbest thing in rugby, especially when allied with its ugly cousin, the penalty kick at goal from anywhere on the field.

Early observations from Super Rugby AU’s law variations

You are right, Steven, I think I speak for many Roarers in saying that I couldn’t give a flying proverbial if the English selectors get it right? Indeed, I tend to pray for the opposite. But it’s still an interesting topic for discussion. Don’t think you’re right about Stokes – a Test batting average of 37 – similar to Keith Miller’s career – is more than adequate In the top six for an all rounder whose bowling averages is about the same as Brett Lee, Geoff Lawson or Andrew Flintoff’s. The logic of needing two all rounders is misguided. Seem to be asking the right question about Crawley, based on stats, though didn’t he top score for England? Pope looks like a find for the future even if he failed in this match. And you are definitely right about the Windies batting- it is mediocre, and the bowlers aren’t world beaters.

I had no idea what the reference to Ed Smith was about.

England’s selectors ensure their team is second rate

I’m surprised Healy hasn’t been mentioned. I didn’t see Taber but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone around the world to rival Healy against both pace and spin since 1970 apart from Alan Knott. My choice in slips would be Simpson, Taylor, M.Waugh, G Chappell and Mallett at gully. G Chappell was outstanding. Ponting made more mistakes than these guys, but easily commands cover. Starc definitely a better fielder than McGrath, as was Thommo I think. Probably McDermott and Hughes too.

Australia’s best fielding XI since 1970

Thanks Julian. Good points. I don’t have ready answers on each, as had to use a fair bit of rule of thumb to identify which teams had a chance of being near the top, and calculations were a bit painstaking. Suffice to say there were no other teams I could see in the 1948 or 1984 eras mentioned who mustered 6 or 7 batsmen averaging around 40 and above after a decent number of Tests. In the latter 2000s both England and India managed 5 or 6, as did South Africa a few years later, but the totals werent quite as good as the Aussies of 2002 or 2006. India probably had the next best lineup at one point- Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Ganguly, Dhoni.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

Think you’re right about both 1943-44 and SA. That SA team almost certainly would have been the best in the 70s, but could have had some grand battles with the Australians, and the Windies later on.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

Good call AllDay, maybe I should doublecheck how the 1913-14 English side would have totalled. I got a similar differential – 145 – for the SA team in the third Test in 1970. Spinner Traicos in particular and along with Bacher and Lance brought down the numbers. (And Irvine and Traicos only had 3 tests then). Of course, you could have a great team with 8 or 9 very good players and a couple of lesser lights. 1974-77 Aussies might be in this category too. I guess mine was looking at something a bit different, a kind of perfection from 1-11.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

Hi Paul. I did cast a rough rule over pre-WWI teams and couldn’t spot any that didn’t seem to be pure quality from 1 to 11, though I am happy to be corrected. The 1902 team was full of good players, but they were fall well below the other teams in terms of the statistical measures I used – non of the batsmen averaged over 40, which was standard in those days, but the bowlers, eg Jones, Hopkins and Howell, had worse or no better averages than their counterparts in the later Aussie and West Indian teams. Bad day at the office in first innings of First Test, 1902, though- Aus all out 36, Wilf Rhodes 7/17! The 1928/29 England team was right up there with the best average differentials – fourth Test team had a better one that Steve Waugh’s side, helped by Hammond and Jardine being early in their careers.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

Agree on Lee and Fleming. But argue that Gillespie was a bit behind Holding and Garner overall.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

Yes I expected the same, when you had a batting lineup of Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Ganguly and Dhoni. But when all the bowlers are averaging around 30 you’re nearly 100 runs down on the best teams under this system.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

Nice idea, will give it a try.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

There was at least one other poorish decision on Day 2 by Illingworth, judging by the highlights. Gave Chase not out lbw for a ball hitting top of middle. Didn’t hit above kneeroll so it’s hard to see where his doubt came from. Of course quite a few of these would be given not out prior to DRS when the ump only has a split second to judge the height. The neutrality of these umpires is irrelevant I’m sure. I’d still prefer to have neutral ones as a rule, provided they maintain a certain standard. There’s a lot of luck in cricket with balls just missing the edge etc. Can’t demand perfection, and DRS is a pretty sound backup, though maybe give one extra review per innings? Or after 80/100 overs?

The problem with non-independent umpiring

West Indies were about as impressive in that mid-60s period (‘63-67) as they were in later years. But even bigger thrashings of England to come.

West Indian Test wins in England: Part 1

Think you’re probably right about it being a matter of rust, without seeing most of the decisions. These days with DRS nationality of umpires shouldn’t matter too much and Kettleborough seems to be a very good one normally. But DRS is also a reason why it’s still preferable where possible to have neutral umps. The DRS is a backup if they have a bad day and umpires aren’t there only to make decisions on dismissals.

The big issue with the umpires in Test cricket's return

Thanks Paul. Kohli’s side in the last Test against Australia last year looked about the best on paper using averages – about a +129 differential. They haven’t yet had a consistent run of having their top 3 quicks fit along with the best batting lineup yet. Maybe in the series in Aus next season?

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

They were only a whisker behind Hutton’s ‘55 team on the differential. One of the best batting totals thanks to having Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Hammond, Hendren and Jardine as the top 5. Hammond averaging over 75 at that point. Bowling not as hot as some though, with Geary and White in support of Larwood and Tate.

Which was the greatest Test team assembled on a single day?

All fair points Paul. It’s a matter of preference whether you compare someone by averaging them out over their entire career or look at an extended peak. In Viv’s case, there seems a strong view that his eyesight declined in later years, when he was older than Walcott and Weekes when they retired. Some have suggested taking someone’s best 60 Tests or even their best 80 innings as in a Bradman career. I would go for the best 8 or 10 years. But also, I would look at performances away from home which are more challenging, put you more on a footing with other contemporaries, and don’t give you a boost if your home wickets are easier than others. Richards actually had a better away average across his entire career than either Weekes or Walcott. But if I was picking a best ever Windies side I’d have him open – he actually averaged over 60 across his career at 3 or opening. In partnership with Greenidge, so you could keep a middle order of Headley, Weekes, Lara and Sobers.

The next best West Indies Test XI

Yes I think I had in mind the Khanates of Central Asia, eg Uzbekistan and places like that, a lot of which had rulers descending from the original Mongol invaders (as were the Mughals who ruled India for a glorious period?)

A royal cricket team

I imagine they’ll choose to use the Dukes ball, for want of anything more regal. But doesn’t Khan also mean ruler? I.e Genghis Khan, etc? That would open up a whole can of worms. Not many would get in the top side except for the Khans and maybe Pope and Collis King. Some are tipping Pope may go onto be the best, though not as a keeper. The Pope didn’t just command authority on paper in the Middle Ages, he actually ruled a big chunk of territory in Italy called the Papal States up to the 19th century, now shrunk to Vatican City.

A royal cricket team

Interesting exercise Paul, good for thought. I’d question a couple of choices, notably Rae. You’re correct, he and Stollmeyer had the second best opening partnership average of all time, but this is a case where averages are less robust the smaller the sample sizes become. Rae only played 15 Tests, so he might be another Adam Voges – with an average depending on a lot of games against the weaker sides of the day – India and NZ. He only averaged 14 in three Tests vs Australia. So I’d be happy to take two or three out of Greenidge, Fredericks and Stollmeyer for your first team and pair one of these with Haynes in your second team. Also, a big case for Dujon ahead of Walcott as keeper. I discovered in looking at Bridgetown players that Walcott only played 15 matches as keeper, averaging 40 and didnt keep after 1951 due to back problems, I.e. for 9 of his 12 years as a Test player. And apparently not in Dujon’s league as a keeper. Dujon averaged over 40 for his first 50 Tests, so you don’t lose much, if anything, with the bat.
I’d favour Lance Gibbs for your first team as a spinner – second player to over 300 wickets, with a good average of 29, about the same as Ramadhin and mostly in years when scoring was higher. Wes Hall ahead of Bishop for mine, Lloyd over Kanhai. Also, can’t see Viv not being in the first team. I’m happy to take Viv Richards in the first team on the basis of his first ten years and first 60 Tests when he was averaging about the same as Weekes and Walcott and facing a much tougher range of bowlers and conditions. So my second team: Haynes, Stollmeyer, Worrall, Walcott, Chanderpaul, Lloyd, Deryck Murray, Holding, Roberts, Hall, Ramadhin.

The next best West Indies Test XI

Very true, lack of warmup games – a factor for most countries nowadays- is by far the most important reason for touring Test teams doing worse. We invested a little more into this in the Ashes tour last year, though it’s hard to say it paid off as only Smith and Marnus batted well, and Marnus had already spent the season playing county cricket.

Reclaim traditional pitches to revitalise Australian cricket

I agree with the sentiment though not sure how realistic it is to go back to the old ways – but it would be good if they could achieve variety. However, it would be overstating it to say that variety of Australian pitches helped Australia do well overseas. I’m not sure we had enough pitches that seamed like English ones or spun like Indian ones to overcome those disadvantages unless we outmatches the opposition in playing strength anyway. It’s not hard to remember quite a few disastrous tours of both England and the sub-continent. I’m sure variety helps players’ development and makes games more interesting. But it’s just as much a constant struggle to get a balance of conditions in one match, i.e. some seam at the beginning and turn towards the end, which is ideal. In recent years, some Shield wickets have gone too far in the direction of seam, to the detriment of developing spinners, which is why they have ditched the Duke balls for the time being.

Reclaim traditional pitches to revitalise Australian cricket

Peter Heine was apparently a very different breed of quick to Pollock – more of a mean streak in the modern vein. Jim Laker reported that once, frustrated by Trevor Bailey’s repetitive forward prods, Heine said `I want to hit you, Bailey… I want to hit you over the heart.’ Adcock and Heine were a handy attack in the 50s, perhaps under-rated because SA didn’t play that many Tests in that era.

An international XI of Peters