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Old 9th July 2016, 10:11   #361
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Originally Posted by luckyluke View Post
I like the cut of your jib but when you put it like that it doesn't seem like a lot, does it?
No, he's by no means been an amazing player for England in any format but he's certainly done enough in tests to remain our best option, in my view, as there have been lots of other games in which he's chipped in usefully with a few wickets or runs but nothing dominant in either discipline. That's as much to do with the lack of aptitude for the longer format of the alternatives as it is to with Ali's fairly limited merits as a bowler but anyone not recognising that he's selected to be an all rounder, not a specialist spinner, isn't paying attention. If his bowling offers no real value against Pakistan either then he'll be a marginal pick in India but will probably still play, unless he's also poor with the bat, most likely in a batting slot and with another spin bowler playing. It's a bit distorting to look at his few wickets against Sri Lanka and conclude that he's had a terrible series with the ball though: he got next to no bowling when the England attack was rampaging through SL in helpful conditions for quicks and a fair bit when they were set on flat decks.
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Old 9th July 2016, 10:19   #362
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He played well in that game, I think he finished with seven wickets, but one good performance every two years isn't really good enough to command a place in the side.
You forget he has a magnificent beard and is now pretty much all that remains of multicultural Britain. The thing I was referring to as surprising wasn't so much his performance in that match as the fact that he got the MoM award for it, which might with equal propriety have gone to Compton or Broad.
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Old 9th July 2016, 12:35   #363
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That screeching sound is the goalposts moving. Although even then you keep missing them. You described him as having one good performance every two years referring to his MotM 7 wicket haul. Or does that one not count any more as it brings his total up to two?

How about his other test hundred and his 8 wicket match haul, incorporating a five for? They're all within 2 years of one another, as his test career has only spanned a day over two years so far.

So that's two hundreds and one five for inside two years plus a man of the match award for a 7 wicket match. Stop me if I'm going too quickly for you.
Two centuries against a poor bowling attack and one fivefer isn't much of a return though is it, in over two years. A bowling average above 40 and going up and a batting average below 30 and going down is more relevant than a disputable MOTM award.
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Old 9th July 2016, 13:25   #364
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Doing a bit further analysis than just runs, how often fifty, that he made 155no recently etc.

MM Ali (Tests x26)

Runs in a match
00-29 runs x11
30-59 runs x7
60-99 runs x5
100+ runs x3

Wickets in a match
0 wkts x4
1 wkts x6
2 wkts x4
3 wkts x4
4 wkts x5
5+ wkts x3

He has scored 50+ runs and taken 3 wickets in a match 4 times in 26 Tests :

vs IND (home/lost) 32 & 39 + 1/38 & 2/28
vs NZL (home/won) 58 & 43 + 3/48 & 1/35
vs AUS (home/won) 77 & 15 + 2/71 & 3/59
vs AUS (home/lost) 30 & 35 + 3/102

I think that's a quite generously low number of runs and wickets. He only takes the 4+ wickets you might reasonably expect a bowler in a five to take in 8 Tests, that compared to taking 0-1 on 10 occasions. In fairness he has bowled under 12 overs in a match three times so probably fair to adjust that to 7 Tests/occasions of 0-1 wickets.

His runs contribution as a percentage of those England have scored is interesting.

<1% of runs : 1st inns x7, 2nd inns x3, Match x4
1.00-3.99% of runs : 1st inns x4, 2nd inns x2, Match x6
4.00-6.99% of runs : 1st inns x4, 2nd inns x4, Match x4
7.00-13.99% of runs : 1st inns x4, 2nd inns x3, Match x6
14.00-20.99% of runs : 1st inns x5, 2nd inns x3, Match x5

He has scored 21.00-27.99% in 1x 1st inns, and 28%+ in each of 1st inns, 2nd inns and match once.

What does that mean? He's not really making many runs when others don't, 4% being 15 out of a total of 391, 7% being 27 out of 391, 40 out of 391 is 10% and 28% is 110 out of 391 - using 391 as England's 1st inns average in Tests Moeen has played in.

I should point out on the odd occasion he has come in and not made runs as he ran out of partner, it is not that frequent. On the flip side he has also made runs when England chased down a small-ish target, so for example he made 11 out of 74 before England's innings was cut short early by the end of the 5th day and that gives him 14.86% of the total even though his score wasn't that impressive.

So it is swings and roundabouts, you can argue he bats too low etc, well actually 522 of his 1138 runs (46%) have come batting 8 or 9, and one central part of the argument I see is his 155no batting at #7, so you can't have it both ways. That 155no was 31.12% of the England total

Depends what you want to set as a standard for him to achieve most of the time in terms of runs and wickets, say 20 runs and 4 wickets (2/26) or 40 runs and 3 wickets (4/26) or 60 runs and 2 wickets (7/26) in which case he's achieved one of the three in just 7 of his 26 Tests. As some of those targets are pretty low and give him three chances, I'd hope he'd have done them a few more times.

Why isn't that 13/26 you may ask, well he took for example 3 wickets and scored 71 runs in one Test, that means he took 2+ wickets and scored 60+ runs AND took 3+ wickets and scored 40+ runs - but he didn't do it twice. ie it met 2/3 of the targets.

As some are alluding too, some of his better match performances are fading into the past, he's only met any of the three targets once in his last 10 Tests, scoring 389 runs a large chunk of which came in the 155no, and taken 21 wickets of which 1/3 came in the 1st Test in South Africa and just 5 since.


I share the view that he's almost too comfy in selection, no real pressure to score runs as he's batted down the order and if he scores some runs from time to time with Anderson et al doing the job he's little pressure to take wickets either - England won 3/6 of the Tests in which he's taken just 5 wickets and drew 2 of the others.

Would England have won the matches Moeen scored 100s and say 75+ in, or the ones he took 4+ wickets in an innings in anyway?

* 155no vs SRL - only real doubt because they batted better in the 2nd innings so might have drawn. W>D maybe
* 108no vs SRL - England lost anyway, he did help take the score from 57/5 to 249 but only really reduced the margin. L=L
* 77 vs AUS - boosted England from 293/6 to 430, may well have been a closer otherwise but hard to say W/D/L. ?
* 6/67 vs IND - England had a 239 run 1st inns lead, hard to say he won it. Might have been closer, his replacement may have done as well. W>W/D
* 4/39 vs IND - England won by an inns having led on 1st inns by 215 without Ali having bowled. India were already 53/2 trying to make England bat again.
* 4/69 vs SAF - South Africa were 100/3 before Ali took a wicket, he certainly contributed to the 89 run 1st inns lead. Might have ended in a draw or potentially worse, hard to say.

So of his performances you might argue as match winning, although cases can be made for smaller scores and less wickets, it's not easy to say he made a difference - one for sure England lost anyway, others England had sizeable leads.

Chips in, bits n pieces, sometimes stars, however you look at it are there any other players who would survive in the side with relatively low levels of contributions ongoing?

This will upset a few, but if you do take out his wickets vs India he's taken his other wickets (49) at 48.69 which is pretty much part-timer territory (or very ordinary bowler) His record is a lot better than Hick's (23 wickets @ 56.78) because a) Hick got the over before lunch and thrown the ball when there was nothing in the pitch or England were struggling, b) in over double the number of Tests he bowled less balls, and c) Indians didn't fall over to get out to him in one series, out in India Hick took 3/19, 2/9 and 2/97, he was lucky to get 20 overs most series let alone Tests.

And to stress, I'm not suggesting Hick was a better spinner than Moeen is, just Moeen seems to be more like/closer figures to a part-timer than say Swann or what you might hope for from a front line spinner.
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Old 9th July 2016, 14:42   #365
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Two centuries against a poor bowling attack and one fivefer isn't much of a return though is it, in over two years. A bowling average above 40 and going up and a batting average below 30 and going down is more relevant than a disputable MOTM award.
You really aren't hitting even your rapidly altering self awarded targets in this debate, are you? His batting average is over 30 and going up, at least if you allow us to go back to the one before his very last test for a trend. You ought to remember the unbeaten 150 in question because you used it to suggest he ought to be batting in the top order. I've given you my views about his bowling and he's clearly not a front line quality test spinner but quite probably neither are our other spinning options and none of them are front line batsmen worth a test pick just in that respect (which I think Ali was when first picked and still is now, just, given our batting resources overall).

That he won the man of the match award isn't disputable, neither is the fact that he had an excellent game with the ball. I'd have given the award to the marvellous Broad, with the tie breaker on their bowling being Broad's very useful innings when Ali did nothing with the bat but that doesn't mean Ali didn't perform admirably.

I think there's a moderately strong case to be made against Ali, as I've outlined a fair bit above but you're not making it, as you prefer inventing things to using the truth or doing any research. You're either an inveterate liar, a troll or a fool. Apologies for the insults but one at least of them appears amply justified by your efforts in this thread. The problem with the case against Ali, by which I mean the real one, not the moron version you're producing, is that actually replacing him requires a reasonable prospect of an overall improvement in the side and I think that's tough to believe in.

Oh and it's one day over two years.
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Old 9th July 2016, 14:50   #366
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You really aren't hitting even your rapidly altering self awarded targets in this debate, are you? His batting average is over 30 and going up, at least if you allow us to go back to the one before his very last test for a trend. You ought to remember the unbeaten 150 in question because you used it to suggest he ought to be batting in the top order. I've given you my views about his bowling and he's clearly not a front line quality test spinner but quite probably neither are our other spinning options and none of them are front line batsmen worth of a test pick just in that respect (which I think Ali was when first picked and still is now, just, given our batting resources overall).

That he won the man of the match award isn't disputable, neither is the fact that he had an excellent game with the ball. I'd have given the award to the marvellous Broad, with the tie breaker on their bowling being Broad's very useful innings when Ali did nothing with the bat but that doesn't mean Ali didn't perform admirably.
I think the post by Rebel above is comprehensive and convincing. Hard to argue with any of it. The recall for Ballance has shown the selectors and coaches feel he isn't good enough for a top five spot, and seeing as they work with him in training more than what we see in matches, I'm happy to trust their judgement on that. I'm not opposed to Moeen being in the side, but if you are saying that he should be because there is no one better in County Cricket then that is rubbish, because if you took the stance that anyone untested wasn't good enough then you'd never drop anyone and would be left with an ageing team.

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Old 9th July 2016, 15:09   #367
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Doing a bit further analysis than just runs, how often fifty, that he made 155no recently etc.
....
Got to love the contrast, don't you? From outright ignorance of the stats from CD to in depth but essentially empty and futile analysis of them from Rebel.
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Old 9th July 2016, 15:20   #368
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Got to love the contrast, don't you? From outright ignorance of the stats from CD to in depth but essentially empty and futile analysis of them from Rebel.
And yet you somehow complain about both. I prefer to watch players than be over reliant on stats, but I find Rebels analysis interesting on all matters, not just this one. I wouldn't call them empty or futile.
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Old 9th July 2016, 15:26   #369
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I think the post by Rebel above is comprehensive and convincing. Hard to argue with any of it. The recall for Ballance has shown the selectors and coaches feel he isn't good enough for a top five spot, and seeing as they work with him in training more than what we see in matches, I'm happy to trust their judgement on that. I'm not opposed to Moeen being in the side, but if you are saying that he should be because there is no one better in County Cricket then that is rubbish, because if you took the stance that anyone untested wasn't good enough then you'd never drop anyone and would be left with an ageing team.
The post by Rebel is full of pointless minutiae that don't really tell us anything useful but I can see why someone who started off by arguing that Ali had had one hundred or five wicket innings or other good performance in 2 years might be impressed by someone who can not only look on cricinfo but do some further analysis of the stats.

The recall of Ballance just tells us that the selectors like the side balanced as it has been for the last couple of years, with Ali in it. You could more legitimately claim that it shows that they aren't interested in trying out a specialist spinner than that it shows that they don't rate Moeen as capable of batting in the top 5, although either is entirely speculative.

I'm not sure whether you've understood my point about alternatives. It wasn't that there are no better spinners in the county game, I'm fairly sure that there are some who would be at least marginally better, although we might end up picking one who did worse, as that's a peril of selection. The point is rather that the England side works quite well with 4 genuine quicks, which we have the luxury of picking because we have so many all rounders in Stokes, Woakes and Ali, and a spinner you could call a part timer if you liked that definition (I would say Ali is marginally superior to that designation) but who bats very well. One slightly interesting thing that is in Rebel's post is the number of innings that Ali hasn't bowled much in. Okay, you could contend that in some of them a better spinner might have got more work but it's clear that England, certainly playing at home, doesn't actually need a spin bowler at all quite a lot of the time and can do just fine with one like Ali a fair bit of the rest of the time. Like I say, you can make a counter argument (well you can't but someone more sensible could), but unless that argument factors in the difference between the other spinner's batting and Ali's, then it's rather futile. Rashid is someone I rather thought could be a better spinner and a not much worse lower middle order batsman and he still might realise his potential but you can see why the selectors haven't given him another go after the UAE.
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Old 9th July 2016, 15:29   #370
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And yet you somehow complain about both. I prefer to watch players than be over reliant on stats, but I find Rebels analysis interesting on all matters, not just this one. I wouldn't call them empty or futile.
Well yes because you're trying to argue about a player's achievements when you've apparently no idea at all what they are, to such an extent that I'm surprised I'm wasting my time shooting the fish in the barrel while Rebel is dropping a few morsels in such a vast sea of irrelevance that they're diluted beyond there being any point in them at all.
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Old 9th July 2016, 17:11   #371
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Well yes because you're trying to argue about a player's achievements when you've apparently no idea at all what they are, to such an extent that I'm surprised I'm wasting my time shooting the fish in the barrel while Rebel is dropping a few morsels in such a vast sea of irrelevance that they're diluted beyond there being any point in them at all.
Your not really shooting fish into a barrel, your complaining that too many stats or not enough stats are being used, being argumentative when I agree with most of what you say, and the deciding you are above and deciding I am not 'sensible' enough to debate this. Maybe if you didn't write crap like that I would read it more thoroughly. This has all come from a post about Dawson proving players can step up to international cricket, so it's possible you have misunderstood or misinterpreted what was being said.

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Old 9th July 2016, 21:28   #372
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Your not really shooting fish into a barrel
Correct. The fish are very much in (and at the bottom of the) barrel.
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Old 9th July 2016, 21:38   #373
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Correct. The fish are very much in (and at the bottom of the) barrel.
If you think that's the case than that's someone else who hasn't read the conversation.
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Old 10th July 2016, 16:14   #374
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Your not really shooting fish into a barrel, your complaining that too many stats or not enough stats are being used, being argumentative when I agree with most of what you say, and the deciding you are above and deciding I am not 'sensible' enough to debate this. Maybe if you didn't write crap like that I would read it more thoroughly. This has all come from a post about Dawson proving players can step up to international cricket, so it's possible you have misunderstood or misinterpreted what was being said.
Lol, no I'm shooting fish in a barrel, not into a barrel. Google it if necessary. Do you think the complaints that you're arguing about a player's record without having much of a clue about that record and keep posting things that are clearly untrue are unfair? Perhaps you could explain how. I don't for a moment expect you to bother reading my posts properly as you haven't remotely mastered reading your own yet.

I actually don't mind at all debating a player with very little use of stats, although I think that could only ever be a pretty partial converstation. What I object to with you, just in case you haven't worked it out by now, is you pretending that you're debating on a set of facts when you're, at the very best interpretation, too lazy to bother checking them and hence constantly getting them wrong. Rebel's approach is very different and has more merit but not that much more, for the reasons I've already given.
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Old 10th July 2016, 16:56   #375
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This will upset a few, but if you do take out his wickets vs India he's taken his other wickets (49) at 48.69 which is pretty much part-timer territory (or very ordinary bowler) His record is a lot better than Hick's (23 wickets @ 56.78) because a) Hick got the over before lunch and thrown the ball when there was nothing in the pitch or England were struggling, b) in over double the number of Tests he bowled less balls, and c) Indians didn't fall over to get out to him in one series, out in India Hick took 3/19, 2/9 and 2/97, he was lucky to get 20 overs most series let alone Tests.

And to stress, I'm not suggesting Hick was a better spinner than Moeen is, just Moeen seems to be more like/closer figures to a part-timer than say Swann or what you might hope for from a front line spinner.
I've cut out most of the post otherwise this page will go on for miles! Obviously taking out all his wickets against India is statistically useless (as that's well over 10% of his test matches they're not to be ignored) but removing the 6fer and examining then is something that it can be argued is of merit as it's fairly clear that it's an outlier. Similarly, though, if you take out his worst series against Pak I presume that'll push his average into the 30s, which is where almost all spinners find themselves.

As for point (a) in comparison to Hick, that also applies to Moeen: he only tends to get the ball when the seamers haven't made something happen or when we need a breakthrough.

The % comparisons were a bit interesting but again it's hard to deduce anything from them. England have a very long batting line-up, so even if we write off runs from 9-11 one would still expect Moeen to get an absolute maximum of 12.5% of the runs (and obviously above that would be an overperformance), and fewer again when top order batsmen will obviously have more innings. But splitting it into a distribution as you have doesn't tell too much for other reasons in addition to this. Batting is, by its nature, usually a fairly binary operation: you get out before getting set or you get a decent number of runs. Naturally, then, one expects quite a few failures for every success, the alternative being batsmen like Roy or Bell who consistently get starts and fail to convert.

Ultimately, though, it comes down to the balance of the side we have. A batsman who, in Stokes, is a useful top-six presence but also a front-line bowler. That obviously gives us a bit more license to play around, but a number 8 still needs to be able to bat pretty well and Broad and Jimmy aren't good enough to be any higher than 9 and 10, really. Woakes moving close to establishing himself in the side means that we might have another viable 8, but otherwise a replacement for Ali needs to be either close to his ability with the bat or a far, far better bowler.

Of all the championship bowlers plying their trade, there are only a handful of spinners who stand out as clearly better than Ali, but another part of the issue is that Mo is one of the few bowlers whose test record is better than his FC average (albeit merely by a shade). Rashid is the obvious example: almost as good with the bat and a superior CC bowler. As of yet, he's done nothing to suggest he is one of those players whose international records will come close to his domestic ones and had no ability to control his line and length in the UAE. Hopefully that will come with time but he's not making a good case for himself really in the CC this season.

What about the other candidates? Tredwell is someone who I wouldn't have minded coming into the side as a stop-gap at times but is close to retirement age, is a comfortably worse batsman and certainly has not set the world alight in the CC over the last 18 months. Kerrigan has been deemed not to have the mental aptitude for international cricket so has a long way to go to earn another crack at it, and has done OK without excelling this season. Also a rabbit (albeit with a good record this season with the bat!). Ollie Rayner has been mentioned by a few as he's having a decent season but I can't help but feeling that's scraping the bottom of the barrell and there's very little to present a compelling case that he'd be much better. Leach hasn't played 30 FC games yet. Ansari is the most likely but has struggled for fitness this summer. If he stays fit for the rest of the summer and maintains his form then I'd be happy to give him a crack.

Ultimately, though, your description of Moeen as a bits and pieces player is correct. That's what he is. Nobody thinks he's close to Swann in ability. He comes into the attack when we're struggling and quite often gets breakthroughs - it only has to be one or two wickets in a match for that to be the case. He bats well from down the order without having much chance for century-making. I don't see why being a bits-and-pieces bloke has to be a problem.
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Old 10th July 2016, 19:21   #376
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Lol, no I'm shooting fish in a barrel, not into a barrel. Google it if necessary. Do you think the complaints that you're arguing about a player's record without having much of a clue about that record and keep posting things that are clearly untrue are unfair? Perhaps you could explain how. I don't for a moment expect you to bother reading my posts properly as you haven't remotely mastered reading your own yet.

I actually don't mind at all debating a player with very little use of stats, although I think that could only ever be a pretty partial converstation. What I object to with you, just in case you haven't worked it out by now, is you pretending that you're debating on a set of facts when you're, at the very best interpretation, too lazy to bother checking them and hence constantly getting them wrong. Rebel's approach is very different and has more merit but not that much more, for the reasons I've already given.
I don't often get stats wrong, made a few cock ups yesterday but don't we all. You seem to read too much into my posts sometimes, the first one which praised Dawson wasn't meant to demean Ali. I do read what you say, but if you have misinterpreted my post as something it isn't, it is quite difficult to reply without being accused of moving the goal posts. I try not to use too many stats, most of what I post are just my musings, and isn't to be taken too seriously.
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Old 10th July 2016, 19:50   #377
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I don't often get stats wrong, made a few cock ups yesterday but don't we all. You seem to read too much into my posts sometimes, the first one which praised Dawson wasn't meant to demean Ali. I do read what you say, but if you have misinterpreted my post as something it isn't, it is quite difficult to reply without being accused of moving the goal posts. I try not to use too many stats, most of what I post are just my musings, and isn't to be taken too seriously.
I'm not really going to accept that I misinterpreted any of the several posts getting Ali's record wrong and concluding that he wasn't good enough based on frankly rather stupid errors. It takes a few seconds to google a player's name + cricinfo then check match list on his stats. It doesn't help that you barely accepted there was any error and just moved on to making up a new fact that made Ali a bad player. If you really think that we're all making similar errors then you're wrong on that too.

Certainly I don't think you need worry about being taken too seriously but if you just want to be a joker then try being funny and not taking umbridge when you get criticised for getting stuff wrong.
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Old 10th July 2016, 20:04   #378
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Originally Posted by Bestie View Post
I've cut out most of the post otherwise this page will go on for miles! Obviously taking out all his wickets against India is statistically useless (as that's well over 10% of his test matches they're not to be ignored) but removing the 6fer and examining then is something that it can be argued is of merit as it's fairly clear that it's an outlier. Similarly, though, if you take out his worst series against Pak I presume that'll push his average into the 30s, which is where almost all spinners find themselves.

Ultimately, though, your description of Moeen as a bits and pieces player is correct. That's what he is. Nobody thinks he's close to Swann in ability. He comes into the attack when we're struggling and quite often gets breakthroughs - it only has to be one or two wickets in a match for that to be the case. He bats well from down the order without having much chance for century-making. I don't see why being a bits-and-pieces bloke has to be a problem.
I've done the same to your post for the same reasons.

Think you're right on most points although Moeen is more than a bits and pieces player, in the sense that he's a perfectly legitimate top order batsman, just being used down the order because we have so many bowlers who also bat that one of them has to be at 7 or 8. If we had hordes of batsmen averaging mid 40s in tests you might argue that he wasn't in contention for a top order slot anyway so would then be being used as a bits and pieces player even if he does bat top 4 for his county but we don't. The reason he's not playing in our top order is that he also bowls, not that he's not good enough. It's similar to suggesting that Woakes isn't a real all rounder because he's batting too low at 8 to be considered as one.
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Old 10th July 2016, 20:57   #379
Bestie
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Originally Posted by Fatslogger View Post
I've done the same to your post for the same reasons.

Think you're right on most points although Moeen is more than a bits and pieces player, in the sense that he's a perfectly legitimate top order batsman, just being used down the order because we have so many bowlers who also bat that one of them has to be at 7 or 8. If we had hordes of batsmen averaging mid 40s in tests you might argue that he wasn't in contention for a top order slot anyway so would then be being used as a bits and pieces player even if he does bat top 4 for his county but we don't. The reason he's not playing in our top order is that he also bowls, not that he's not good enough. It's similar to suggesting that Woakes isn't a real all rounder because he's batting too low at 8 to be considered as one.
Fair enough. Don't personally think he's quite good enough to get in the side as a batsman alone, but any more than that is quibbling over semantics.
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Old 10th July 2016, 20:59   #380
CDogg16
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Originally Posted by Fatslogger View Post
I'm not really going to accept that I misinterpreted any of the several posts getting Ali's record wrong and concluding that he wasn't good enough based on frankly rather stupid errors.
Then please quote where in my original post I said Ali wasn't good enough. My original post, which is no longer on this thread was about Dawson and his positive impact on the international scene.

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It takes a few seconds to google a player's name + cricinfo then check match list on his stats. It doesn't help that you barely accepted there was any error and just moved on to making up a new fact that made Ali a bad player. If you really think that we're all making similar errors then you're wrong on that too.
Exactly, anyone can do it, so there's not much pout regurgitating stats that anyone can find, and I did accept there was an error.

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Certainly I don't think you need worry about being taken too seriously but if you just want to be a joker then try being funny and not taking umbridge when you get criticised for getting stuff wrong.
I don't want to be a joker, but I don't want to try and belittle posters and insult them for unnecessary reasons like others on here do. It's not my intention to be funny but I can say for a fact that I haven't told people that they shouldn't post on here or to complain about what other people post if I don't agree with it, or try to dictate to what others post.
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