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Renato CARINI

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Joined April 2020

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Love Test cricket, love cricket history and love Victor Trumper. Also, enjoy the ODI world cups but the T20s and regular ODIs are just money-making garbage. Sorry. Like the Olympics, soccer World Cup and NRL finals, too.

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Pope,

FYI:

Hill,

Much higher average in draws
Much higher average when leading

Also, Hill played in a very high scoring series, 1897-98, which Trumper missed

And then didn’t play in the low scoring series of 1909.

Check the numbers for the games where they both played.

Cricket may need to adopt the par score system to measure the skill level of its Test batters

Micko

You nearly gave me a heart attack!!

If you interviewed ANY Test cricketer from that time

You wouldn’t find a single one who said Hill and Trumper were close.

Not one.

Cricket may need to adopt the par score system to measure the skill level of its Test batters

That’s why you’re a guru, Rosie 😊

Cricket may need to adopt the par score system to measure the skill level of its Test batters

Would have been a finish for the ages,
if Gilly kept chasing.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Yeah, Rosie.

That makes sense and fatigue/health probably did play a role.

Having read so much about the man, I do know that he played cricket for enjoyment and camaraderie.

And he enjoyed batting artistically, in the manner described above.

It was his default setting.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Oh, against NZ in 2001-02

The series that Targa reckons NZ should have won.

😂 😂 😂

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Only 11 overs?

What happened then, Josie?

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Yeah matth

Play for a draw from ball one
and then if it looks safe by tea on day four,

Push for victory!

Surprisingly, not many wins 😁

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Jeff
_
Have you ever considered the possibility of someone playing sport primarily for enjoyment?
_
A crazy idea, I know.
_
Everyone who knew Victor said he played for enjoyment.
_
And he enjoyed batting artistically.
_
Of course,
he could put this to one side for the sake of the team if the situation looked grim,
as he did so brilliantly in timeless tests.
_
You’ll forgive me for not quoting all those mind boggling performances but they can be found here:
_
https://www.theroar.com.au/2021/07/01/the-worlds-greatest-come-from-behind-batsmen/

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Jeff,

This point is open to interpretation,
and you might well be right.

But what is not conjecture is that,
in the eight innings I have described,
Trumper was choosing to play the most high risk shots.

He was failing to climb Mount Everest

Not failing because he couldn’t keep the ball out of his stumps.

Or squeeze a single and get up the other end while waiting for the change bowlers.

This distinction is important,
as is his record when the game was clearly heading for a result

Table B

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Fair call, matth.

Compared to junior’s peers however:

Taylor
Boon
Steve W
Slater
Border

He stands out,
together with Slater.

Remember the fast scoring/dominant Aussie era was really

2000-2007

Which was at the end of junior’s time.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Yeah, Dave.

It would be nice if we could establish some common ground.

Tell me what you think of this idea:

In the strict sense,
VT failed in 1905 and 1909
but to leave it just there is misleading.

He was failing to execute extremely difficult and dangerous strokes, often at the start of his innings.

The metaphor I use is that of a higher jumper attempting to smash the world.

If they had six attempts and failed with them all, would we describe their performance as a failure?

Probably not.

Trumper was attempting to set new standards in batting artistry, at least when he thought the game was relatively safe.

Your thoughts?

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Hi matth.

You raise an important point.

Some players are clearly suited to the ‘no pressure to score, just hold on’ situation.

Boycott, Barrington, Hutton, Atherton
come straight to mind.

Some can be match winners AND hold on if required:

Don, ABD, Punter Ponting, etc.

Trumper was in the category of ‘match winner only’

And I can’t think of another like him.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

That’s a fair take, matth

Trumper could do it (eke out a draw)
but he was loathe to play this way.

Here is an example from a first class game against Essex
where Australia nearly lost.

http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1900S/1902/AUS_IN_ENG/AUS_ESSEX_28-30JUL1902.html

Trumper could concentrate fiercely,
for hours if need be,
but he wanted a result
rather that playing solely for a draw.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Hi Dave.
_
In the main piece,
_
I gave a breakdown of all 26 three-day Tests played between 1899-1926
_
I divide them in two groups:
_
Those where the first innings ended half an hour before stumps (table (B);
and those that did not Table (A).
_
Games from table B finished with a result in 75%
those from table (A) 16.7%
_
You can draw your own conclusion from this.
_
I have concluded that for a three-day match to be on a ‘result track’
the first team needs to finish batting half an hour before stumps.
_
That’s what the data says.
_
Remember, after the first day, they remain approximately 245 overs in which to complete the match,
complete the first team’s innings,
plus three more innings.
_
In the first Test of 1909
_
The first day’s play was almost completely lost,
Australia finished at 2 for 27
This obviously placed the game on this ‘drawn trajectory’
(even though it ended with a result).

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Agreed, Paul

And then Victor was such a likeable fellow
that discipling him would have been the most unpleasant of tasks.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

JGK

Quite simply, he would never be selected.

Though we would be able to watch him in Grade cricket!

Interestingly, Trumper was a run machine
in his first few seasons at the first-class and grade level
(1897-98 + 1898-99 and first half of 1899-00).

His first 14 scores above 75 were:

77*; 120*; 191*; 133; 162*; 113; 292*; 103; 260*, 253, 208, 77, 119 and 165;

This catapulted him into the Test team
only then did he revert to the methods I have described above.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Hi Dave.

Oh, I hope you don’t think this is personal.

Many, many people have said that Trumper had a poor tour in 1905 (and also in 1909)
You just reminded me that this is something I should address.

As far as I can see, every time Trumper batted the match was still on the line. E.g. in the drawn third Test, where Trumper made 8 and 0, Australia had to bat for 91 overs and were 7 wickets down in saving the match.”

This line tells me that you really don’t understand the Trumper mindset.

He never had the slightest interest
in holding down an end and batting out 91 overs to secure a draw,
something that a Boycott or Barrington would have loved.

If purely defensive batting was what the game required,
as you argue,
Trumper would leave this task to others.

You can argue,
you can say this is irresponsible,
you can say this cost Australia a few matches.

But what you can’t say is that Trumper enjoyed batting out a draw.

We can only judge a person by their actions.

I have provided details for eight of Trumper’s dismissals
from the 1905 and 1909 tours,
dismissals that came from the most reckless strokes you can imagine.

For example,
Victor’s second innings at Birmingham lasted three balls
and the sequence went:
_
B1: single off Hirst
B2: a hard drive is dropped by the bowler
B3: deftly turns a half-volley in the direction of square leg and is caught
(i.e. played with a closed face)

Do you know of any batsmen
who would choose to play their FIRST THREE balls in that manner?

Trumper, at the start of his innings,
failed to execute the most dangerous strokes in the game,
but everybody knew the outcome
should he revert to more conventional play.

He are the thoughts of a contemporary:

“When Trumper plays a straight bat driving game he is still a wonder,
but he is rarely willing to play the orthodox game.”

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

“Couldn’t the counter view be that if he was indeed getting himself out, that this is a sign of a batsman not in form? Not executing correctly?”

That’s an unusual take, Jeff.

Trumper was setting himself the incredibly difficult task of executing the most dangerous strokes from his very first ball.

Imagine if a high jumper attempted the world record record and failed in 6 attempts,
would we say they were ‘out of form’?

Most batsmen would not even consider attempting the strokes Trumper attempted,
and certainly not at the start of an innings.

In a sense, Trumper did fail in 1905 and 1909

He failed to execute the ‘Trumper magic’
that people had,
by now, come to expect.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

I agree, Paul.

It’s reasonable to say that Darling and Noble would have preferred that Victor did NOT play in this reckless manner. Here are two quotes that offer a window into their mind:

Darling:

Trumper, though he has given some marvellous displays, and is acknowledged to be the most accomplished batsman in the side, still has that failing, the desire to score from the moment he takes block, which has so often brought him to grief in the international contests.

If Trumper will learn, he should imitate Noble for the first half dozen overs of his innings.”
(Referee, Sydney, October 10, 1899, p6)

Noble:

Victor Trumper, unlike most other batsmen, never played himself in before trying to score. If he considered his first ball should be hit for four, he hit it. On rare occasions this brought about his early downfall (not so rare in 1905 + 1909 – RC). It was then that people said: ‘What a pity he does not leave them alone and play scotch (safe) for a few overs.’ Had he done so he would not have been Trumper. Nevertheless, this was the only weakness in his batting, because it sometimes helped the element of chance to bring about his early dismissal.
(Noble, M.A., The Game’s the Thing, Cassell and Co., 1926., p181)

Victor was a law unto himself. You could talk to him and coach him; he would listen carefully, respect your advice and opinion, and leaving you, would forget all you had told him, play as he wanted to play, and thereby prove that, although you might be right, he knew a better method. He would hit the first ball in a Test match for four if it suited him. Sometimes, but not often, this would lead to his early downfall.”
(Noble, M.A., The Game’s the Thing, p173-4)

It’s reasonable to assume both Darling and Noble had tried to change Victor’s devil-may-care ways but he would not be swayed.

Like an adrenaline junkie,
Trumper loved the thrill of walking the tightrope,
taking risks and backing himself to pull off something audacious.

It brought him great joy
and made HIM the batsman everyone wanted to watch.

Only in a crisis would he put this all away
and play in the conventional way – hence his matchless record in a ‘come-from-behind’

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

“It does indeed beg the question why he would play the first three balls like that – either misunderstanding the match situation, or understanding but being reckless, or trying to play his way but failing to execute after three balls? All of those possibly suggest a poor performance, technically or tactically.”

It is a good question, Jeff
(playing his first 3 balls like that).

You can make a case that it was irresponsible of Victor to play the way that he did
(in this Birmingham Test).

But it is not logical to make your second observation (of poor form).

How many batsmen could go out on a really difficult wicket
at start their innings with three high-risk shots?

It was suicide,
as one of his contemporaries said.

I think everybody knows what would happen if Victor played conventionally,
and one critic did indeed state the obvious:

“When Trumper plays a straight bat driving game he is still a wonder, ” (Referee, Sydney, August 11, 1909, p12).

We also have the direct evidence or Trumper’s performances
in the games that were on the ‘result trajectory’:

135*, 12, 1, 104, 13*, 28, 27*, 2, 73

This was the result when Victor played
what the Referee editor described as “a straight bat driving game”

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Hi Paul.

Thanks for the feedback.

One function of this article
was to highlight to the reader the WAY Trumper played,
particularly, when the game seemed on the drawn path.

For example,

caught at long-on
stumped
bowled trying to cut off the stumps
caught after jumping out to drive

Batsmen who value their wicket do not play this way.

Comparing the Trumper of 1905 with that 1902,
on commentator wrote:

“He seems to have thrown prudence to the winds”

Trumper often failed
but you could count on one hand the number of times he failed
when he decided to play carefully.

That is, to put a high price on his wicket.

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Thanks for such a considered response, High Plains.

Mark Waugh is the closest thing we have to ‘another Trumper’.

Scoring rate is always a guide to a player’s ability and skill level
and Mark’s superior strike rate,
even under difficulties,
is a evidence of superior talent.

And as you point out,
Mark lifted for the important occasions.

My next article is on ‘Junior’ and I think you will enjoy it!!

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Here’s that piece I referred to, Rosie.

The relevant passage is to be found,
3rd column from the right,
three paragraphs from the bottom.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/12827709

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

Hi Rosie.

“Does Trumper’s recurring poor health in any way explain his reduced output during 1905 and 1909, and/or his captains bouncing him up and down the order rather than always opening the innings with him?”

Regarding his health, I don’t think this was an important consideration,
outside of the odd match or two.

More important for me was that after 1905
he was no longer devoting enough time to the game, i.e:

not practicing regularly,
not playing first-class cricket

And this was bound to take a toll

In 1910, he reverted back to his old habits (regular play etc.)
and his consistency returned.

I have article somewhere in which the ”Referee’ editor makes this observation,
I’ll see if I can dig it out.

To the second part:

Trumper definitely recognised the significance and responsibility of opening
and took his performances in that role more seriously.

Australia’s record in all first class cricket
given as W-L-D

VT opens: 333– 25
VT middle order: 286-35
VT absent: 23 – 6

Busting cricket myths: Trumper was failure in 1905 and 1909

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