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Old 2nd August 2007, 11:49   #41
Midnight
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Originally Posted by geoff_boycotts_grandmother View Post
Sri Lanka's 1-1 draw in England was a more impressive result than Australia's 2-1 defeat..... To be honest I'm basing it more on how I rate the teams going forward as I think the current teams are much different from the ones that had such a good record in Australia's case and such a poor one in Sri Lanka's case.

I'd also disagree as I think McGrath is IMHO the bigger of the holes to fill. I'm probably in a minority here, but 563 wickets at 21.64, economy rate of under 2.5 is incredible.

His 15 most common wickets included Lara and Tendulkar the two batting greats of his era; Vaughan, Kallis and Jimmy Adams three batsmen who were also ranked no.1 in the world; plus captains and key wickets (target the captains) in the likes of Atherton, Hussain, Fleming. You've then got players like Stewart, Butcher, Gary Kirsten, Trescothick who were pretty decent with only Sherwin Campbell, the dangerous but erratic Chris Cairns and then Curtly as not particularly impressive victims.

Warne might have taken more victims, but his wickets cost 20% more, he had a higher economy rate and his victims were less illustrious. His top 15 contains some familiar names - Atherton, Stewart, Hussain, Trescothick are also all in McGrath's top 15 -but batsmen like Strauss, Richardson, Prince, Craig McMillan, Giles, Boucher, Caddick aren't as impressive as McGrath's regular victims. I'm sure there's a stat somewhere that shows that Warne's wickets were proportionally more against the tail than someone like McGrath.

As for Stuart Clark's victims - the only batsmen who has ever been ranked top 5 that he's dismissed more than once is Kallis (4 times).

To lose someone like McGrath who can consistently dismiss the best in the world is a massive hole, as shown by the last 3 test matches he missed against England (all England wins) compared to his previous 12 games against England (10 wins, 2 draws). When Warne missed games the difference was never that marked.

Actually a fair proportion of Warne's victims were batsmen in the order from #7 to #11 which can mean many things, including being related to who he had an opportunity to dismiss. Nonetheless Murali has more top order victims in a proportional sense.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 11:52   #42
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True - and the Gabba isn't the most conducive ground for reverse anyway.

Could be more suited to Fernando perhaps.
Well if the Aussie batsmen are bothered by Fernando that would be an even greater shock. He has the height and the pace, when bothered to be a real menace but lacks the attitude and the control and the fitness to be that much of a threat on a consistent basis. He could have a good day and get a stackful of wickets for not very many runs but my money would be on a day where he gets 0 for plenty and the Aussies get off to a flyer.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 12:22   #43
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Well if the Aussie batsmen are bothered by [him] that would be an even greater shock. He has the height and the pace, when bothered to be a real menace but lacks the attitude and the control and the fitness to be that much of a threat on a consistent basis. He could have a good day and get a stackful of wickets for not very many runs but my money would be on a day where he gets 0 for plenty and the Aussies get off to a flyer.
Shouldn't this be on the Harmison thread?
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Old 2nd August 2007, 13:24   #44
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Well ‘the reality’ is that it wasn't much more than 12 months ago that India was ranked No 3 on the ICC rankings and Sri Lanka was ranked No 7. And it was only this month that Sri Lanka moved past them. I personally don’t think there is much between the two teams, but last time out India really pushed Australia, whereas Sri Lanka have never won a Test here. It’s not surprising that the administrators would suggest India get top billing.
Its not surprising and until Sri Lanka go and beat Australia they are unlikely to get the box office recognition I think their current team is worthy of. Sri Lanka don't get the test series their current team deserves in England either. That's why I want Sri Lanka to win, its a bit of a vicious circle.

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Really? – What was your pace attack for most of the SL series?
Flintoff, Hoggard, Plunkett and Mahmood IIRC. Panesar probably an upgrade over Giles on the spin front.

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Going forward? There could be some pretty significant personnel changes in the SL side over the next few years as well.
I think this current Sri Lanka team's window of opportunity is another couple of years, which makes it sadder that its not a longer test series.

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But true, Australia’s big changes have already occurred. As to which Australian loss is the more significant, it’s probably pretty line-ball, but in the past we have been able to fairly regularly produce match-winning seamers, but only a few world-beating leggies (or spinners in general for that matter).
There's match winning seamers and then there is Glenn McGrath. Someone like Harmison is a match winning seamer but he's no McGrath. There's a big gap between being world class and an all-time great. Hell, Warne's an all-time great, but I felt that the pressure lifted a little if Warne came on to replace McGrath.

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But he’s only ever bowled against two batsmen who have been ranked in the top 5! And one of them he’s dismissed 4 times in 3 matches!

Why are you bringing Smith up? Is it to stir up midnight? He has never been ranked as high as Gibbs (whom Clark has dismissed twice in three Tests) or Strauss (Clark has dismissed him four times in five Tests). Not to mention the fact that in the particular series you mention he was generally out before Clark had a chance to bowl at him.
Oops. My bad. I thought Smith had reached higher in the rankings than Strauss or Gibbs. To be honest I don't think any of those three are that great. Clark has only dismissed KP once in 5 tests, so notwithstanding his success against Kallis I'd say the jury is still out with how he'll deal with the very best players.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 13:31   #45
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Shouldn't this be on the Harmison thread?
I actually thought about what I'd written and then guessed you could have come back with a Harmy comment. So true!
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Old 3rd August 2007, 00:57   #46
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There's match winning seamers and then there is Glenn McGrath. Someone like Harmison is a match winning seamer but he's no McGrath. There's a big gap between being world class and an all-time great. Hell, Warne's an all-time great, but I felt that the pressure lifted a little if Warne came on to replace McGrath.
I agree there is a gap between being an all-time great seamer and a match winner, and I also agree that McGrath's record is, in some respect, superior to Warne's. The point I'm trying to make is that there are generally 3 seamers in the team, so they can share the loss of McGrath between them - if one can do McGraths job (ie knock over top wickets cheaply) in one match or series, maybe one of the others can do it in the next match/series. But if the seamers struggle then it's all up to the (generally) lone spinner, and this was where Warne was priceless.

But otherwise I agree with what you say - McGrath's loss will be big, and it should see us slip back to the pack. Although no-one in the pack is really distinguishing themselves as a challenger at the moment.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 01:15   #47
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Would Lee have taken so many wickets without McGrath as a miserly bowling partner?
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Old 3rd August 2007, 04:02   #48
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Would Lee have taken so many wickets without McGrath as a miserly bowling partner?
Probably not.
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Old 5th August 2007, 00:27   #49
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My recollection is that Lee's figures have generally been a lot worse when McGrath hasn't played.
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Old 5th August 2007, 19:04   #50
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I agree there is a gap between being an all-time great seamer and a match winner, and I also agree that McGrath's record is, in some respect, superior to Warne's. The point I'm trying to make is that there are generally 3 seamers in the team, so they can share the loss of McGrath between them - if one can do McGraths job (ie knock over top wickets cheaply) in one match or series, maybe one of the others can do it in the next match/series. But if the seamers struggle then it's all up to the (generally) lone spinner, and this was where Warne was priceless.

But otherwise I agree with what you say - McGrath's loss will be big, and it should see us slip back to the pack. Although no-one in the pack is really distinguishing themselves as a challenger at the moment.
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Old 9th August 2007, 09:40   #51
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I believe the salient point is that there aren't a pack of challengers out there. It would have different if these retirements had occurred during a period when some of the other countries were nipping at our heels.
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Old 9th August 2007, 13:13   #52
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I believe the salient point is that there aren't a pack of challengers out there. It would have different if these retirements had occurred during a period when some of the other countries were nipping at our heels.
Fair point and I think that the quality of the Australian batting will keep the other sides at bay even with the attack diminishing in potency. The problems for the likely challengers are well documented. England has an entire first choice line up of fast bowlers out plus slightly flaky batting. Pakistan is inconsistent and has also been missing key fast bowlers. SA just seems a bit short of the requisite quality. Sri Lanka has a shot perhaps but again, I doubt the strength in depth is there.
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Old 9th August 2007, 13:34   #53
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Fair point and I think that the quality of the Australian batting will keep the other sides at bay even with the attack diminishing in potency. The problems for the likely challengers are well documented. England has an entire first choice line up of fast bowlers out plus slightly flaky batting. Pakistan is inconsistent and has also been missing key fast bowlers. SA just seems a bit short of the requisite quality. Sri Lanka has a shot perhaps but again, I doubt the strength in depth is there.

If England ever got its first choice bowling line-up on the park at once it would be more formidable. Alas though, this is almost a pipe dream. The heavy schedule today does affect pace bowlers more than most but England does seem to have an inordinate number of injuries to its faster men.
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Old 24th September 2007, 17:36   #54
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Haddin, Hopes and Voges all in as cover for Ponting, Watson and Hussey.

No place for Jaques or David Hussey, are the ozzie selectors myopic?
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Old 25th September 2007, 05:19   #55
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Haddin, Hopes and Voges all in as cover for Ponting, Watson and Hussey.

No place for Jaques or David Hussey, are the ozzie selectors myopic?

I don't know if Jaques is on the radar as a one day player because of his perceived poor fielding. Maybe Hussey at 30 is not seen as part of the future. I wonder if our relatively ageing team is starting to feel the pinch. Neilson and co. have complained about the intense schedule as attributable for our injuries but all the other countries had a lot of flying and playing in a short amount of time as well.
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Old 25th September 2007, 05:28   #56
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The aussies seem to be picking players that are established on the domestic and picking players that are either playing very good this moment of time or have had good domestic seasons, which is good. They don't really seem to pick young players and stick them in the deep end straight away.
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Old 25th September 2007, 09:59   #57
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The aussies seem to be picking players that are established on the domestic and picking players that are either playing very good this moment of time or have had good domestic seasons, which is good. They don't really seem to pick young players and stick them in the deep end straight away.

Yes, I suppose our formula has proven successful over a number of years now so it makes sense to stick to it.
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Old 25th September 2007, 11:55   #58
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I do not think the Aussies are doing much wrong. they have been winning everything for nearly a decade and it is about time some of the other teams tried to compete with them. If nothing else it will just make them come back stronger.
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Old 25th September 2007, 12:02   #59
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I don't know if Jaques is on the radar as a one day player because of his perceived poor fielding. Maybe Hussey at 30 is not seen as part of the future. I wonder if our relatively ageing team is starting to feel the pinch. Neilson and co. have complained about the intense schedule as attributable for our injuries but all the other countries had a lot of flying and playing in a short amount of time as well.
The players that were injured are not old.Ponting,Hussey and Watson.
The long break probably had a bit to do with it in Hussey and Pontings case.
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Old 25th September 2007, 12:38   #60
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The players that were injured are not old.Ponting,Hussey and Watson.
The long break probably had a bit to do with it in Hussey and Pontings case.
Watson aside, our team is relatively old compared with other nations. It had the highest average age of all the competing teams and I think only Clarke and Watson of the regulars were under 30. Hussey may be reasonably new on the international scene but he's already 32. Punter is rising 33 and has a bad back which he's admitted will probably cause some other related injuries. Punter's also had a lot of intense cricket over the years which can cause cumulative stress on the body.
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