That was then, this is now

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That was then, this is now

Postby from_the_stands » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:46 pm

As I'm sure you've all seen, Ian Chappell has been lamenting the death of Australian batting in his cricinfo article "The Sun Sets on Australian Batting."

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/current/story/626895.html

In the article, he suggests that a definite decline in standard has occurred in Australian cricket, both at domestic level and also club level. He laments changes to the way junior cricket is being organised, claiming that youngsters aren't being taught how to grind out an innings. He may well be right. Indeed the sensationalist Oz media have jumped all over Australia's poor performance in India, pointing out that player averages are lower than they were in the previous generation. A whole range of issues have in fact been canvassed, although batting remains at the forefront of frustrations down under.

As Tasmania enjoy the spoils of being crowned domestic champions for season 2012/3, the numbers do highlight the grim reality that all is not well with Oz batting. Below are some comparisons that look at the most recent domestic season, and the season that unfolded twenty years earlier in 1992/3, a summer in which Allan Border famously flung a cricket ball in disappointment in the Australian dressing room at Adelaide having narrowly lost to the West Indies.

Top 10 batsmen in 1992/3;

Name Mat I NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St Team

JD Siddons 10 19 2 1116 197 65.64 4 6 14 - SOA
MJ Slater 9 17 1 1005 143 62.81 3 6 9 - NSW
ML Hayden 11 21 2 971 161* 51.10 2 5 20 - QLD
GR Marsh 10 19 0 891 138 46.89 5 1 3 - WA
JA Brayshaw 10 20 2 852 110 47.33 1 5 2 - SOA
GS Blewett 10 20 1 797 119 41.94 2 4 3 - SOA
RT Ponting 10 17 1 781 125 48.81 3 4 9 - TAS
SG Law 10 18 0 752 142 41.77 2 3 10 - QLD
DF Hills 10 17 0 717 138 42.17 3 4 5 - TAS
WN Phillips 10 18 0 711 205 39.50 2 2 4 - VIC

From this list, Jamie Siddons ruled the way by just over one hundred runs, yet amazingly couldn't land a baggygreen for love nor money. James Brayshaw is another who could consider himself unlucky, with a career average of 45, yet no cigar. Ricky Ponting was still a year away from his Test debut, with Matthew Hayden enduring a seven year stretch in the international wilderness still ahead of him at this point. Of course the names missing from this list are; Mark Taylor, David Boon, Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Damien Martyn and Allan Border.

Top 10 batsmen in 2012/3;

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
RT Ponting
9 16 4 911 200* 75.91 1453 62.69 3 4 1 108 13
(Tasmania)
MJ Cosgrove
11 20 0 784 104 39.20 1565 50.09 1 7 1 102 2
(Tasmania)
CJL Rogers
10 17 2 742 131 49.46 1571 47.23 3 1 0 82 2
(Victoria)
AJ Doolan
10 18 1 715 149 42.05 1385 51.62 1 4 0 99 2
(Tasmania)
PJ Hughes
6 12 0 673 158 56.08 1137 59.19 2 3 0 85 2
(South Australia)
CJ Ferguson
9 17 1 639 164 39.93 1506 42.43 1 2 0 79 1
(South Australia)
JA Burns
10 19 1 587 120 32.61 1315 44.63 2 2 3 74 6
(Queensland)
NJ Maddinson
8 16 1 532 154 35.46 736 72.28 1 2 2 65 10
(New South Wales)
CL White
9 15 1 510 144 36.42 1029 49.56 1 3 2 53 10
(Victoria)
MS Harris
10 20 0 510 114 25.50 1094 46.61 1 1 1 68 0
(Western Australia)

From this list, Ricky Ponting is miles ahead of the pack, yet would have only finished fourth in 1992/3. Mark Gosgrove in second place would have finished in seventh. The really alarming stat is that in 92/3, nine of the top ten finished with an average of 40+, compared with only four in 2012/13, with the tenth place batsman averaging 25! The players missing from this list are; Dave Warner, Ed Cowan, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Usman Khawaja. Only Phil Hughes holds his hands up here, although what happened with him in India I do not know. At least he handed his homework in on time!

Could it be argued that our bowlers are better now than 20 years ago? Lets take a look.

Top 10 bowlers from 1992/3;

Name Mat O M R W Ave Best 5 10 SR Econ Team

WJ Holdsworth 10 322.1 51 1152 45 25.60 7-41 3 1 42.9 3.57 NSW
MS Kasprowicz 11 362.5 85 1009 43 23.46 6-59 3 - 50.6 2.78 QLD
CD Matthews 10 416.1 91 1225 43 28.48 5-72 1 - 58.0 2.94 TAS
BP Julian 10 346 65 1224 37 33.08 5-84 2 - 56.1 3.53 WA
GRJ Matthews 9 413.2 137 949 36 26.36 8-52 3 - 68.8 2.29 NSW
S Young 10 341.3 98 984 34 28.94 5-56 2 - 60.2 2.88 TAS
CG Rackemann 7 241.2 44 723 32 22.59 5-75 1 - 45.2 2.99 QLD
ND Maxwell 7 272 68 756 30 25.20 5-46 1 - 54.4 2.77 VIC
GJ Rowell 8 256.1 64 737 28 26.32 5-31 2 - 54.8 2.87 QLD
PT McPhee 8 345.4 92 950 28 33.92 5-48 1 - 74.0 2.74 TAS

From this list, we can see that there were quite a few good bowlers around back in the day. Seven of these players earned baggygreens, with the eleventh guy on the list being a certain GD McGrath. The players missing from this list include Terry Aldermann, Merv Hughes, Craig McDermott and Shane Warne.

Top 10 bowlers from 2012/3;

Player Mat Inns Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5 10
CJ Sayers
9 17 353.0 106 889 48 6/49 8/73 18.52 2.51 44.1 3 0
(South Australia)
LR Butterworth
11 20 376.4 122 936 45 6/49 10/89 20.80 2.48 50.2 4 1
(Tasmania)
JP Faulkner
10 18 282.4 68 793 39 5/23 7/133 20.33 2.80 43.4 2 0
(Tasmania)
JM Mennie
6 12 234.0 49 727 33 6/43 9/109 22.03 3.10 42.5 1 0
(South Australia)
JR Hopes
8 14 335.0 105 728 32 5/27 6/49 22.75 2.17 62.8 1 0
(Queensland)
CJ Gannon
7 14 274.1 78 729 31 6/53 8/78 23.51 2.65 53.0 1 0
(Queensland)
MG Hogan
9 15 300.5 91 750 30 5/40 6/79 25.00 2.49 60.1 1 0
(Western Australia)
TA Copeland
8 16 315.0 96 806 30 4/56 6/111 26.86 2.55 63.0 0 0
(New South Wales)
DE Bollinger
9 17 253.2 64 765 28 4/31 8/108 27.32 3.01 54.2 0 0
(New South Wales)
JM Bird
6 10 173.5 32 555 27 6/25 8/86 20.55 3.19 38.6 1 0
(Tasmania)

From this list, only three test players can be found in this pool of average bowlers, who surprisingly enough, boast better averages than their counter-parts twenty years earlier. Missing from this list are; Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc (currently injured), Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazelwood (was injured) and Nathan Lyon.

What I can only conclude from all of this is that bowling averages are made to look better by vurtue of the batsman simply not scoring like they used to. Ian Chappell is right. This generation of Oz cricketers is rubbish compared with those that proceeded them.

Kill me now.

:coat
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Re: That was then, this is now

Postby mikesiva » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:45 pm

An interesting analysis, FTS....

However, do not get too down - it's a similar crisis that the Windies went thru in the mid-1990s. But I believe there's a lot more talent in Australia now than there was in the Windies in the decade that followed 1995. I don't think Australia will be as dominant as the Mark Taylor-Steve Waugh-Ricky Ponting era, but will continue to be a regular player in the top five of the rankings. Just please don't take it out on the players who can't fill the big boots of their predecessors....
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Re: That was then, this is now

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Things look particularly bad at the moment. But before the India series, Australia seemed to be making progress, and held their own against South Africa. Off the field problems remain a bit of an unknown factor. But I'd be surprised if Australia are really as bad a team as they seem right now. Hughes and Khawaja had decent goes in CC I think?
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Re: That was then, this is now

Postby Alviro Patterson » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:56 pm

Australia are missing a trick in not calling up Chris Rogers, even at 35 he'd give the top 6 some much needed stability and take the pressure off Clarke not to mention he has played county cricket for several years.
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Re: That was then, this is now

Postby andy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:56 pm

i agree AP however I would also have gone back to Phil Jaques..
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Re: That was then, this is now

Postby greyblazer » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:27 pm

A player like say Bailey in the 90's would have struggled to get anywhere near an Australian test side but there is every chance of him playing for the current Australian team. It tells you something about the present Aus. side.
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Re: That was then, this is now

Postby Alviro Patterson » Wed May 01, 2013 7:46 pm

Whilst looking for potential England Lion material, I come across Sam Robson of Middlesex who turns out to be Australian. His FC batting average is very respectable considering Middlesex were in Division 2 and has mainly batted against Tiflex balls.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cham ... 72485.html
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