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Old 18th February 2020, 12:57   #341
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It could be, but rarely is. Instead we pick a fourth seamer.
Because we mainly play on seam friendly English conditions.
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Old 18th February 2020, 14:20   #342
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It could be, but rarely is. Instead we pick a fourth seamer.
Which is ridiculous!
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Old 19th February 2020, 01:00   #343
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As England supporters we can feel so fortunate to have had Botham, Flintoff and Stokes to compare in terms of all round contributions.

Special talents all and flawed characters, players who make for compelling viewing whenever out to bat or coming up to bowl.
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Old 19th February 2020, 16:51   #344
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As England supporters we can feel so fortunate to have had Botham, Flintoff and Stokes to compare in terms of all round contributions.

Special talents all and flawed characters, players who make for compelling viewing whenever out to bat or coming up to bowl.
Totally agree! Compare and contrast with Mitch Marsh
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Old 19th February 2020, 16:57   #345
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Totally agree! Compare and contrast with Mitch Marsh
All rounders are definitely less common in Australia or seems. I suspect also the case in domestic cricket as well as internationally. Certainly ever since Botham, we've had the search for the new Botham, Flintoff...

Not having a world class all rounder didn't seem to harm the great Australian side of the 90s/00s, nor the West Indians of the previous era.
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Old 19th February 2020, 17:40   #346
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All rounders are definitely less common in Australia or seems. I suspect also the case in domestic cricket as well as internationally. Certainly ever since Botham, we've had the search for the new Botham, Flintoff...

Not having a world class all rounder didn't seem to harm the great Australian side of the 90s/00s, nor the West Indians of the previous era.
If you have a world class bowling attack, including Warne & McGrath, then a 5th bowler is not as important and you can make do with part timers such as the Waughs.
The WI often seemed to search for an allrounder - with Harper and Baptise all getting caps
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Old 20th February 2020, 06:09   #347
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... Not having a world class all rounder didn't seem to harm the great Australian side of the 90s/00s, nor the West Indians of the previous era.
Indeed. The glitzy all-rounder's celebrity status is good for the newspapers but not necessarily good for the team. In my memory, England's best test side (under Strauss) did not have an all-rounder -- Trott or Collingwood would fill in with a few overs if necessary. The good thing about not having an all-rounder is that you play your best six batsmen and your best four bowlers, and their roles are fairly clear. In contrast, with Flintoff in the side we couldn't play our best six batsmen because Flintoff had to play in a batting spot because he was too fragile to occupy a bowling spot; and then because having Flintoff in a batting spot weakened the batting, there was pressure not to play the best keeper or the best spinner because we needed more runs. With Stokes in the side the roles of the other non-opening bowlers have been muddied by the availability of his bowling and as a result we have found it hard to develop them. That's not to say there aren't benefits to having an all-rounder in the team; but I think it throws up some problems too.
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Old 20th February 2020, 06:56   #348
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Indeed. The glitzy all-rounder's celebrity status is good for the newspapers but not necessarily good for the team. In my memory, England's best test side (under Strauss) did not have an all-rounder -- Trott or Collingwood would fill in with a few overs if necessary. The good thing about not having an all-rounder is that you play your best six batsmen and your best four bowlers, and their roles are fairly clear. In contrast, with Flintoff in the side we couldn't play our best six batsmen because Flintoff had to play in a batting spot because he was too fragile to occupy a bowling spot; and then because having Flintoff in a batting spot weakened the batting, there was pressure not to play the best keeper or the best spinner because we needed more runs. With Stokes in the side the roles of the other non-opening bowlers have been muddied by the availability of his bowling and as a result we have found it hard to develop them. That's not to say there aren't benefits to having an all-rounder in the team; but I think it throws up some problems too.
I rather agree with you re Flintoff but donít agree with you about Stokes because heís clearly one of the best batsmen and I donít know what you mean about the muddled role for other bowlers. Rather than muddled, the utterly inept handling of Archer by Root is the only thing I can really think of, but that has nothing to do with Stokes being in the side.
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Old 20th February 2020, 07:08   #349
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Indeed. The glitzy all-rounder's celebrity status is good for the newspapers but not necessarily good for the team. In my memory, England's best test side (under Strauss) did not have an all-rounder -- Trott or Collingwood would fill in with a few overs if necessary. The good thing about not having an all-rounder is that you play your best six batsmen and your best four bowlers, and their roles are fairly clear. In contrast, with Flintoff in the side we couldn't play our best six batsmen because Flintoff had to play in a batting spot because he was too fragile to occupy a bowling spot; and then because having Flintoff in a batting spot weakened the batting, there was pressure not to play the best keeper or the best spinner because we needed more runs. With Stokes in the side the roles of the other non-opening bowlers have been muddied by the availability of his bowling and as a result we have found it hard to develop them. That's not to say there aren't benefits to having an all-rounder in the team; but I think it throws up some problems too.
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I rather agree with you re Flintoff but donít agree with you about Stokes because heís clearly one of the best batsmen and I donít know what you mean about the muddled role for other bowlers. Rather than muddled, the utterly inept handling of Archer by Root is the only thing I can really think of, but that has nothing to do with Stokes being in the side.
Flintoff's injuries probably also affected his role as a batter, not just a bowler. I think in his golden period of 2003-6 he averaged at or around 40 and there weren't many competent alternative batters around at the time. Key was probably the best but he didn't justify a spot. When Flintoff's body started to go, he very much became a stand and deliver batter and his performance declined as a result.

Ashley Giles may not have been a great test spinner, but he was definitely the best English spinner. I think his average for Warwickshire was around 27, far ahead of any domestic alternative until Panesar came on the scene. So I think it's a mistaken recollection to suggest he only played to bolster the batting because of Flintoff's inadequacies.
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Old 20th February 2020, 07:38   #350
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I rather agree with you re Flintoff but don’t agree with you about Stokes because he’s clearly one of the best batsmen and I don’t know what you mean about the muddled role for other bowlers. Rather than muddled, the utterly inept handling of Archer by Root is the only thing I can really think of, but that has nothing to do with Stokes being in the side.
I agree that Stokes is one of the best batsmen, and that Archer's story is not to do with him. Regarding the other bowlers, the most salient examples are probably Moeen and Sam Curran, neither of whom would perhaps have had test careers in a four-bowler side, and neither of whom look likely to develop to the point where they could (even though that role would only exist when Stokes were unable to bowl).

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... Ashley Giles may not have been a great test spinner, but he was definitely the best English spinner. I think his average for Warwickshire was around 27, far ahead of any domestic alternative until Panesar came on the scene. So I think it's a mistaken recollection to suggest he only played to bolster the batting because of Flintoff's inadequacies.
I don't think he only played because of Flintoff. But Panesar was a far superior spinner and for a while was kept out of the side because of Giles's batting. Also, in a four-man attack I think Yates (?) might have had a go. I agree with you about Giles's domestic record, but the wider point is that if there is a weakness in the top six then it is harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because there is more pressure to consider their batting. Likewise if there is a seriously good bowler in the top six it is also harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because you don't really need to.
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Old 20th February 2020, 07:49   #351
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I agree that Stokes is one of the best batsmen, and that Archer's story is not to do with him. Regarding the other bowlers, the most salient examples are probably Moeen and Sam Curran, neither of whom would perhaps have had test careers in a four-bowler side, and neither of whom look likely to develop to the point where they could (even though that role would only exist when Stokes were unable to bowl).

I don't think he only played because of Flintoff. But Panesar was a far superior spinner and for a while was kept out of the side because of Giles's batting. Also, in a four-man attack I think Yates (?) might have had a go. I agree with you about Giles's domestic record, but the wider point is that if there is a weakness in the top six then it is harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because there is more pressure to consider their batting. Likewise if there is a seriously good bowler in the top six it is also harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because you don't really need to.
Panesar only really became a serious contender after the 2005 Ashes, and the only series he didn't play was the following tour Down Under, when a half fit Giles was preferred. A mistake although unlikely to have changed the outcome of the series.

In the current side, there have been greater batting weaknesses across the lineup that have pushed the selectors into packing the lower order with lesser all rounders.
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Old 20th February 2020, 08:40   #352
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... In the current side, there have been greater batting weaknesses across the lineup that have pushed the selectors into packing the lower order with lesser all rounders.
The wider point is that if there is a weakness in the top six then it is harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because there is more pressure to consider their batting. Likewise if there is a seriously good bowler in the top six it is also harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because you don't really need to.
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Old 20th February 2020, 08:47   #353
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I agree that Stokes is one of the best batsmen, and that Archer's story is not to do with him. Regarding the other bowlers, the most salient examples are probably Moeen and Sam Curran, neither of whom would perhaps have had test careers in a four-bowler side, and neither of whom look likely to develop to the point where they could (even though that role would only exist when Stokes were unable to bowl).
I do think that for a reasonable period that Moeen has been the best spinner available to England and certainly the one I most want on a turning track. Leach has been pretty reliable in the last year or so when he's played, but he isn't really a big ragger of the ball and that is a bit of a limitation.

I think Sam Curran has been a bit of a project player, left arm swing with variety and batting ability too. I don't think he quite cuts the mustard, but the reason why he's sometimes has been selected is that the likes of Anderson or others have been injured and he's been one of the next most likely.

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Panesar only really became a serious contender after the 2005 Ashes, and the only series he didn't play was the following tour Down Under, when a half fit Giles was preferred. A mistake although unlikely to have changed the outcome of the series.

In the current side, there have been greater batting weaknesses across the lineup that have pushed the selectors into packing the lower order with lesser all rounders.
Even then it was only the first two tests of 2006/7 Ashes that Giles played at the expense of Panesar. How did we lose at Adelaide and all that......
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Old 20th February 2020, 08:49   #354
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The wider point is that if there is a weakness in the top six then it is harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because there is more pressure to consider their batting. Likewise if there is a seriously good bowler in the top six it is also harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because you don't really need to.
That's a theoretical take. I don't think it reflects the empirical reality of the examples we are talking about for the reasons I have given above.
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Old 20th February 2020, 09:13   #355
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I agree that Stokes is one of the best batsmen, and that Archer's story is not to do with him. Regarding the other bowlers, the most salient examples are probably Moeen and Sam Curran, neither of whom would perhaps have had test careers in a four-bowler side, and neither of whom look likely to develop to the point where they could (even though that role would only exist when Stokes were unable to bowl).

I don't think he only played because of Flintoff. But Panesar was a far superior spinner and for a while was kept out of the side because of Giles's batting. Also, in a four-man attack I think Yates (?) might have had a go. I agree with you about Giles's domestic record, but the wider point is that if there is a weakness in the top six then it is harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because there is more pressure to consider their batting. Likewise if there is a seriously good bowler in the top six it is also harder to find the best set of specialist bowlers because you don't really need to.
Don't forget that Swann was available to Fletcher all that time too but he didnt like him (he's only human I guess).
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Old 20th February 2020, 09:25   #356
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Indeed. The glitzy all-rounder's celebrity status is good for the newspapers but not necessarily good for the team. In my memory, England's best test side (under Strauss) did not have an all-rounder -- Trott or Collingwood would fill in with a few overs if necessary. The good thing about not having an all-rounder is that you play your best six batsmen and your best four bowlers, and their roles are fairly clear. In contrast, with Flintoff in the side we couldn't play our best six batsmen because Flintoff had to play in a batting spot because he was too fragile to occupy a bowling spot; and then because having Flintoff in a batting spot weakened the batting, there was pressure not to play the best keeper or the best spinner because we needed more runs. With Stokes in the side the roles of the other non-opening bowlers have been muddied by the availability of his bowling and as a result we have found it hard to develop them. That's not to say there aren't benefits to having an all-rounder in the team; but I think it throws up some problems too.
True if the allrounder is not top class. However, since Swann (until Leach) has there been a spinner worthy of his place in a 4 man attack.
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Old 20th February 2020, 09:28   #357
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Don't forget that Swann was available to Fletcher all that time too but he didnt like him (he's only human I guess).
To be fair did any of us really think that Swann would prove to be such a success? I remember being a little annoyed when he was first selected (I think ahead of Monty?) believing him to have been chosen more for his batting (he'd even opened in some domestic one dayers) than bowling.
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Old 20th February 2020, 11:42   #358
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I do think that for a reasonable period that Moeen has been the best spinner available to England and certainly the one I most want on a turning track. Leach has been pretty reliable in the last year or so when he's played, but he isn't really a big ragger of the ball and that is a bit of a limitation.

I think Sam Curran has been a bit of a project player, left arm swing with variety and batting ability too. I don't think he quite cuts the mustard, but the reason why he's sometimes has been selected is that the likes of Anderson or others have been injured and he's been one of the next most likely.



Even then it was only the first two tests of 2006/7 Ashes that Giles played at the expense of Panesar. How did we lose at Adelaide and all that......
Ironically we lost Adelaide because Giles dropped ponting early in his innings. Of that I am convinced.
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Old 20th February 2020, 11:44   #359
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True if the allrounder is not top class. However, since Swann (until Leach) has there been a spinner worthy of his place in a 4 man attack.
It should also be said that a 4 man attack has its faults when it can often require an unsustainable number of overs to be bowled for certain bowlers. We've been very lucky to have such exceptional athletes in Broad and Anderson who've lasted a very long time and have been such fine bowlers too.

I don't think being a bowler in a four man attack suited Tim Bresnan for instance, who didn't have the athleticism to sustain bowling at respectable enough speed to take test match wickets.
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Old 20th February 2020, 11:56   #360
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Chin agreed - IMO a 4 man attack only really works when they are four top bowlers. Bresnan would not be my idea of one of three seamers in a four man attack! Also further complicated if the bowlers are not "robust" eg Wood, Archer and increasingly Anderson
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