Ashes report card - England

Ashes report card - England

Post by Mike Holman » Thu, 09 Jan 2003 23:30:12


Trescothick E. Lacerated by Gillespie. Will be similarly vulnerable to
Ntini in the summer unless he does some serious work on his technique.
Would probably benefit from moving down the order to 5, at which
position he's less likely to have to face new balls wobbling about on
him and catching the edge of his bat waving randomly in the off-stump
area.

Vaughan A++. Emerged as a batsman of true world class, at least in
part because Australia do not possess a left-arm over seamer to
exploit his uncertainty about his off stump when the ball is moving
across him.

Butcher C. The Wog accused him of being a dead-*** bully, but I
think it's a little different. It's not so much that he's a weak
attack bully either, but that he can't cope with really fine bowling.
He's a bit like a high-jumper who can clear 2.30 with ease but always
knocks the bar down at 2.32. A competent Test player, but short of the
highest class. Has yet to finish on the losing side when he gets a
ton.

Hussain B. Fought hard with passion and pride throughout the series.
He's a very ugly batsman and has poor technique, but his stubborn will
allows him to leap some of the hurdles he should, by rights, fall at.
Admirably graceful in defeat - I can't recall him whingeing about
anything other than the length of the England injury list and the
inability of his bowlers to put pressure on the Australian batsmen.
That he was able to lift his team to their Sydney performance after
the disasters of the previous matches is testament to his leadership,
but his captaincy has become quite bizarre. He's become so obsessed
with clever plans and ploys to get batsmen out that he's made his
young bowlers' jobs almost impossible. A bowler of Gough's calibre can
cope with weird field settings, but the Hoggards and Harmisons of
this world need to have fields which protect them a bit and allow them
to get used to bowling simple line and length to good batsmen.

Crawley D. Not exactly a letdown, but not exactly good either. Not
going anywhere. As far as I can make out, he's occupying a place until
we can find someone more interesting.

Key D. He's definitely got the character to play Test cricket. He
doesn't seem to show any fear, his general approach is positive, and
he's got a few good shots in his locker. It's still early days, and he
deserves a bit more of a run, but I'm not optimistic that he will
really make the grade.

Stewart E+. Showed that he's still capable of getting Test 50s. Showed
that his wicketkeeping has become fragile. The longer he remains in
the team, the less time the post-Stewart line-up will  have to get
used to its new balance. I'd pension him off now.

Foster C+. Has now improved to the extent that he really is a
wicketkeeper, but his batting still leaves quite a bit to be desired.

White B. England's equivalent of Sanjay Bangar. A very limited player
with nowhere near the ability normally needed to be useful in Test
cricket, but one who steadily plugs away and gets rather unexpected
rewards for hard work. Shouldn't really be in the side at all, but
still likely to get to play.

Giles B. Possibly the most crucial of England's casualties. More
effective at the Gabba than MacGill was in either of the last two
Tests. Badly missed from then on.

Dawson E. Another young lad with plenty of heart, but whose skill
levels are not yet high enough for Test cricket. Worth keeping an eye
on over the next 2-3 years to see whether experience and practice will
get him up to international class, but not one to bet the farm on as
the future of English spin bowling.

Jones C+. Looked genuinely dangerous until he did more damage to
himself than anything the Aus batsmen could do to him. Another sad
loss to the series.

Harmison D+. Devon Malcolm, anyone? There's a great deal of potential
in Harmison, but his current radar chip appears to be one of Dev's
hand-me-downs. Comical as a fielder, hilarious as a batsman, but
genuinely fast as a bowler. If he can learn to bowl straight for more
than an over, could well be an Ashes series winner in 3-4 years time.

Hoggard E++. There was one occasion on which the ball swung and
Hoggard was in the team, and he made the most of it. Otherwise, he
looks utterly bereft when he has to try and bowl at top-class batsmen
on a good pitch. A horse for a course, but they don't usually have
courses like that in Australia. Well worth having on the roster, but
not worth picking unless there's reason to suppose the conditions will
help.

Caddick F++. Comprehensively revealed as a worn-wicket specialist who
is incapable of leading an attack. Basically now dead weight in the
team.

Tudor F. Just keeps on getting worse and worse. A lost cause. Pity.

Silverwood (E). If you blinked, you missed his non-event of an
appearance. To be fair, it's asking a bit much to virtually step off a
plane into a Test match, but what little there was didn't give any
reason to suppose that it had been worth the effort of getting him
there.

Cobbleigh-Andall, "Uncle" Tom F. For all I know, there might be
another half-dozen England players who appeared for a few minutes at
some point in the series, but they didn't make any impression on me.

Cheers,

Mike

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Diogenes The Tram » Fri, 10 Jan 2003 05:03:54

Hmmm, Australia average out at somewhere between A-- and B++ whilst England
are around B and B-.

I'd have thought, given the gulf between the sides, your ratings might have
reflected that a little more?

Not sure about the F++ for Caddick either - top wicket taker for England
with 20 wickets.......I reckon he (and us) would have settled for that when
the tour started in October.  He might well be a bit ropey but he's still
England's only match winner with the ball (and he proved it at Sydney).

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Mike Holman » Fri, 10 Jan 2003 06:57:24

On Wed, 8 Jan 2003 20:03:54 +0000 (UTC), "Diogenes The ***"

Quote:
>Hmmm, Australia average out at somewhere between A-- and B++ whilst England
>are around B and B-.

>I'd have thought, given the gulf between the sides, your ratings might have
>reflected that a little more.

Lessee now. English batsmen A++, B, C, D, D, E, E+. English bowlers:
B, C+ 1 match each, those who played more B, D+, E, E++, F++.

How you get from that to an average of B- is quite beyond me. Looks
more like C- to D-

Quote:

>Not sure about the F++ for Caddick either - top wicket taker for England
>with 20 wickets.......I reckon he (and us) would have settled for that when
>the tour started in October.  He might well be a bit ropey but he's still
>England's only match winner with the ball (and he proved it at Sydney).

As usual, taking the overall number of wickets tells you sod all about
what he actually did.

He was the senior strike bowler, and it was his job to get the opening
batsmen out. He singularly failed to do that on almost every occasion,
and his main contribution was to get the Australian top order well
settled down, as if batsmen of their calibre needed it.

If his role had been that of fourth seamer, used only to fill in
except when the conditions actually favoured him, then I'd have given
him a B, but since his appointed role was to lead the attack and he
was a dismal failure at it, I can't see why I should give him a high
overall rating. The ++ is enough to account for his superb bowling in
the last innings of the series. Perhaps if he'd produced that earlier
on, I'd have a less jaundiced view, but it seems to me that he is now
occupying a place which could be taken by someone who is just as
ineffective now but might actually gain experience and skill by
playing, and will be around for several years rather than several
months. As a manifesto for why he should remain in the team, I found
his overall performance wholly unconvincing.

Cheers,

Mike

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Moby » Fri, 10 Jan 2003 08:30:03


<snip>

I tended to agree with your comments, but couldn't match them to most of the
marks.

Moby

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Mike Holman » Fri, 10 Jan 2003 09:24:27


tapped the keyboard and brought forth:

Quote:



><snip>

>I tended to agree with your comments, but couldn't match them to most of the
>marks.

That's because you don't understand my marking system. Neither do I,
of course, but that's not your concern.

I suppose if it means anything, it relates observed performance to
what I think they should have done. I freely admit that "what I think
they should have done" is highly elastic, though I expect more from
senior players or players apparently occupying senior roles than of
juniors or weird specialists.

Cheers,

Mike

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Ian Galbrait » Fri, 10 Jan 2003 11:26:44

On Wed, 08 Jan 2003 14:30:12 +0000, Mike Holmans

[snip]

Quote:
>Vaughan A++. Emerged as a batsman of true world class, at least in
>part because Australia do not possess a left-arm over seamer to
>exploit his uncertainty about his off stump when the ball is moving
>across him.

We do but they weren't playing. Something to keep in mind for future
tours.

[snip]

Quote:
>Hussain B. Fought hard with passion and pride throughout the series.
>He's a very ugly batsman and has poor technique, but his stubborn will
>allows him to leap some of the hurdles he should, by rights, fall at.
>Admirably graceful in defeat - I can't recall him whingeing about
>anything other than the length of the England injury list and the
>inability of his bowlers to put pressure on the Australian batsmen.
>That he was able to lift his team to their Sydney performance after
>the disasters of the previous matches is testament to his leadership,
>but his captaincy has become quite bizarre. He's become so obsessed
>with clever plans and ploys to get batsmen out that he's made his
>young bowlers' jobs almost impossible. A bowler of Gough's calibre can
>cope with weird field settings, but the Hoggards and Harmisons of
>this world need to have fields which protect them a bit and allow them
>to get used to bowling simple line and length to good batsmen.

Well put, thats exactly my opinion of his captaincy this tour. A small
blackmark against his name for seemingly disputing the umpires
decision every single time he was out.

Quote:
>Key D. He's definitely got the character to play Test cricket. He
>doesn't seem to show any fear, his general approach is positive, and
>he's got a few good shots in his locker. It's still early days, and he
>deserves a bit more of a run, but I'm not optimistic that he will
>really make the grade.

His shot selection has to improve.

[snip]

Quote:
>Tudor F. Just keeps on getting worse and worse. A lost cause. Pity.

What happened to him after Perth? He can't have taken that long to
recover.

[snip]

--
Ian Galbraith

'I'm not an ***!'' he says, shaking his head. ''I don't want
to create responsible shows with lawyers in them. I want to invade
people's dreams.'' -Joss Whedon

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by alve » Fri, 10 Jan 2003 20:33:16

snip

Quote:

> Harmison D+. Devon Malcolm, anyone? [snip]

Yairssss, he's definately the Frankenstein of bowlers. As you say, he's
definately got Dev's radar and I'd suggest that he's also had Gladdy's
neck recycled into the build.

Oh, and I don't think there's any potential in Harmlessone at all. His
action also reminds one of Frankenstein in it's smoothness. I'll be
surprised if he lasts Eng's next two series.

Alvey

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Vijay Kumar » Sat, 11 Jan 2003 00:26:24

Quote:

> Crawley D. Not exactly a letdown, but not exactly good either. Not
> going anywhere. As far as I can make out, he's occupying a place until
> we can find someone more interesting.

> Key D. He's definitely got the character to play Test cricket. He
> doesn't seem to show any fear, his general approach is positive, and
> he's got a few good shots in his locker. It's still early days, and he
> deserves a bit more of a run, but I'm not optimistic that he will
> really make the grade.

> Stewart E+. Showed that he's still capable of getting Test 50s. Showed
> that his wicketkeeping has become fragile. The longer he remains in
> the team, the less time the post-Stewart line-up will  have to get
> used to its new balance. I'd pension him off now.

> Foster C+. Has now improved to the extent that he really is a
> wicketkeeper, but his batting still leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Let us see, Stewart finished second in averages (behing MPV), 4th in aggregate
(behind MPV, NH & MAB) and had two very useful innings in a winning cause.
Key still struggles with the bat (a Ganga in the making perhaps). Crawley
quite lived up to the "crawl" in his name but still averaged more than twice
Key, and Foster ... um, well... he was there, yes thank you. And the grades
are E+, D, D and C+? Foster's batting was far less than convincing and it
can be argued that with Stewart in the side, England had a chance of making
it 3-2 with a win in Melbourne (105/5, who knows what another 50 runs from
Stewart could have done in the match) Stewart could not have been that bad
a keeper not to have taken the three straight edges that Foster did.

You are mixing up the grades for Stewart - maybe the E for his keeping but his
batting was definitely worth a B as was Hussain's.

The way I see it, Stewart is still good enough to be in the Eng side as a
pure batsman. Vaughan, Trescothick, Hussain, Thorpe, Stewart, Butcher,
Foster, Giles, Jones, Gough, Caddick seems a side that could achieve
some decent results this English summer (presuming availability of course - I
am not sure if Gough or Thorpe will every play for England again)

I think Hussain should go back to the #3 spot which I recall he once occupied.
He has grown as a batsman, although he is still distinctly un-pretty.

Vijay

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Rob » Sat, 11 Jan 2003 04:28:17



Quote:
> Let us see, Stewart finished second in averages (behing MPV), 4th in
aggregate
> (behind MPV, NH & MAB) and had two very useful innings in a winning cause.
> Key still struggles with the bat (a Ganga in the making perhaps). Crawley
> quite lived up to the "crawl" in his name but still averaged more than
twice
> Key, and Foster ... um, well... he was there, yes thank you. And the
grades
> are E+, D, D and C+? Foster's batting was far less than convincing and it
> can be argued that with Stewart in the side, England had a chance of
making
> it 3-2 with a win in Melbourne (105/5, who knows what another 50 runs from
> Stewart could have done in the match) Stewart could not have been that bad
> a keeper not to have taken the three straight edges that Foster did.

Stewart was the best of the rest then - hardly reason to keep a 40 year old
going when he makes glaring errors with
the gloves.
Key is a lumbering fool that drops catches and can't handle spinners or part
time bowlers
Crawley should never have toured in the first place - he's been useless
since 1994.
Foster's no sort of test batsman and Read is a better keeper.

Quote:

> You are mixing up the grades for Stewart - maybe the E for his keeping but
his
> batting was definitely worth a B as was Hussain's.

As the senior player, the one the others are supposed to learn from, his
performances were ordinary at best.

Quote:

> The way I see it, Stewart is still good enough to be in the Eng side as a
> pure batsman. Vaughan, Trescothick, Hussain, Thorpe, Stewart, Butcher,
> Foster, Giles, Jones, Gough, Caddick seems a side that could achieve
> some decent results this English summer (presuming availability of
course - I
> am not sure if Gough or Thorpe will every play for England again)

If that's the side to face SA this English summer, I've got little problem
with that.   Given the choice I'd drop Stewart - but if you're going to play
him against anyone, I'd say SA is his side - mostly seam / fast bowlers and
negligible spin threat.   If we keep the balance you suggest, I'd go for
Read, not Foster.   Though it pains me to say so, I reckon Gough won't bowl
another ball for England - Harmison for him.   I'd keep Caddick for one or
two more series so the youngsters can learn from him to bowl medium pace
rubbish in the first dig, then decent agressive fast medium in the second.
I'd have Anderson instead of him.

Quote:

> I think Hussain should go back to the #3 spot which I recall he once
occupied.
> He has grown as a batsman, although he is still distinctly un-pretty.

Personally, I'd juggle the top 3 around.   Hussain didn't look good at 3 to
me and that's usually where you keep your best player.   I'd go Butcher,
Trescothick, Vaughan, Hussain, Thorpe.
 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Ian Galbrait » Sat, 11 Jan 2003 11:04:27



[snip]

Quote:
>Key is a lumbering fool that drops catches and can't handle spinners or part
>time bowlers

After his initial innings fright against Warne he looked better
against spin than against the fast bowlers.

[snip]

--
Ian Galbraith

'I'm not an ***!'' he says, shaking his head. ''I don't want
to create responsible shows with lawyers in them. I want to invade
people's dreams.'' -Joss Whedon

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Rob » Sat, 11 Jan 2003 19:57:55


Quote:


> [snip]

> >Key is a lumbering fool that drops catches and can't handle spinners or
part
> >time bowlers

> After his initial innings fright against Warne he looked better
> against spin than against the fast bowlers.

He may have improved but if I was the opposition captain, I'd always bowl
spin to Robert Key - no matter how good or bad my spinner was.
 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Mad Hami » Sun, 12 Jan 2003 11:41:00

On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 10:57:55 -0000, "Rob"

Quote:





>> [snip]

>> >Key is a lumbering fool that drops catches and can't handle spinners or
>part
>> >time bowlers

>> After his initial innings fright against Warne he looked better
>> against spin than against the fast bowlers.

>He may have improved but if I was the opposition captain, I'd always bowl
>spin to Robert Key - no matter how good or bad my spinner was.

did you watch him bat?

He used his feet very well to the spinners and was consistantly
hitting them down the ground well. Looked much worse against pace than
spin.
--
"Hope is replaced by fear and dreams by survival, most of us get by."
Stuart Adamson 1958-2001

Mad Hamish
Hamish Laws

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Mark She » Mon, 13 Jan 2003 14:57:42



Quote:
> Hmmm, Australia average out at somewhere between A-- and B++ whilst
England
> are around B and B-.

> I'd have thought, given the gulf between the sides, your ratings
might have
> reflected that a little more?

> Not sure about the F++ for Caddick either - top wicket taker for
England
> with 20 wickets.......I reckon he (and us) would have settled for
that when
> the tour started in October.

True, but he bowled in  5 matches for 20 wickets,  4 for 10 just prior
to that.

Mark Shea

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Mark She » Mon, 13 Jan 2003 15:01:12


Quote:
> did you watch him bat?

> He used his feet very well to the spinners and was consistantly
> hitting them down the ground well. Looked much worse against pace
than
> spin.

Like Trescothick? Absolutely immobile to the quicks, but suddenly a
ballet dancer to the spinners.

Mark Shea

 
 
 

Ashes report card - England

Post by Mad Hami » Mon, 13 Jan 2003 18:32:52



Quote:



>> did you watch him bat?

>> He used his feet very well to the spinners and was consistantly
>> hitting them down the ground well. Looked much worse against pace
>than
>> spin.

>Like Trescothick? Absolutely immobile to the quicks, but suddenly a
>ballet dancer to the spinners.

for mine Key looked worse against the quicks that Trescothick.
He was out several times attempting to pull while still going back...
--
"Hope is replaced by fear and dreams by survival, most of us get by."
Stuart Adamson 1958-2001

Mad Hamish
Hamish Laws