England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Cast Your Vote!

Who should be the allrounder in the England test team of the last 40 years?

Poll ended at Tue Jul 12, 2022 10:41 am

Ian Botham
1
13%
Andrew Flintoff
4
50%
Ben Stokes
3
38%
Moeen Ali
0
No votes
Someone else (I'll tell you in the comments)
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 8

England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:41 am

This one's going to be tough, without a doubt. How do you pick only one?
Last edited by bigfluffylemon on Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby sussexpob » Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:59 am

Botham's peak was before my time, so I cant really compare him to the others. I have Flintoff over Ben more because of value - Flintoff was a front line bowler, and a very good one at his peak.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:05 am

Apologies, sussex, I think the poll might have lost your vote as I edited it to add Moeen while I was doing the spinner shortlist (not that I think Moeen will win, but his record as a spinner is actually reasonable, and under my own rules he belongs in the allrounder slot rather than specialist spinner). Please vote again. Sorry.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby sussexpob » Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:10 am

Flintoff wasnt as good a batsman. Especially to back of a length bowling, his feet could be a little cemented, and he had a tendency on bouncy pitches especially to sort of throw his hands out to the ball hard with no footwork. It's what held him back from being a true batsman. Ben obviously isnt Tendulkar, but he has a stronger defence, which helps him play longer contributions.

But then Flintoff had that 4 period where he averaged over 40 with the bat, and 25 ish with the ball.... inside that period, he was probably the best player on the planet. I dont think Ben can claim that.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:16 am

sussexpob wrote:Flintoff wasnt as good a batsman. Especially to back of a length bowling, his feet could be a little cemented, and he had a tendency on bouncy pitches especially to sort of throw his hands out to the ball hard with no footwork. It's what held him back from being a true batsman. Ben obviously isnt Tendulkar, but he has a stronger defence, which helps him play longer contributions.

But then Flintoff had that 4 period where he averaged over 40 with the bat, and 25 ish with the ball.... inside that period, he was probably the best player on the planet. I dont think Ben can claim that.


I'd say Ben has been more consistent than Flintoff over his career. Although I'd have Fred as the better bowler, Stokes has more hundreds and more 5-fers and a better bowling average and strike rate. Stokes definitely hasn't hit that 2004-2005 peak that Fred had (although 2019 came close), but Flintoff's later years post injury were pretty forgettable, and while he bowled tightly he often didn't take many wickets. Stokes has a knack of breaking partnerships.

So do you pick a player on the basis of peak performance or career consistency? That's why these debates are fun :D
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby sussexpob » Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:25 am

bigfluffylemon wrote: I'd say Ben has been more consistent than Flintoff over his career, but hasn't hit that 2004-2005 peak that Fred had. Although Stokes in 2019 came close.


You could make that case certainly, but Flintoff must have been about 20 years old on debut, and there was definitely a feeling with him that he was there not worth of his place, but with his immense promise. He came into that game v South Africa on a green pitch against the best new ball attack in the world, and got a pair (IIRC).

Once he had time, Flintoff turned into a player of true timeless quality. So I sort of ignore that early period.

At their peak, i'd take Flintoff with little hesitation.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:30 am

sussexpob wrote:
bigfluffylemon wrote: I'd say Ben has been more consistent than Flintoff over his career, but hasn't hit that 2004-2005 peak that Fred had. Although Stokes in 2019 came close.


You could make that case certainly, but Flintoff must have been about 20 years old on debut, and there was definitely a feeling with him that he was there not worth of his place, but with his immense promise. He came into that game v South Africa on a green pitch against the best new ball attack in the world, and got a pair (IIRC).

Once he had time, Flintoff turned into a player of true timeless quality. So I sort of ignore that early period.

At their peak, i'd take Flintoff with little hesitation.


Sure, but Stokes was just 22 on debut, and came in against Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris, with the former bowling unplayably well, and made a hundred in his second match - the only hundred on a tour when Trott, KP, Cook and Bell were cannon fodder.

I'd agree with you that if you were picking for absolute peak I'd take Flintoff.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby sussexpob » Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:37 am

I think Ben had a couple of years in CC when he proved himself though. I think that gap between 20-22 is probably the widest point in a players career. After 2-3 years of being totally garbage, Flintoff kicked on and was good, then great.

I wonder (I cant be bothered to do it) if you took their comparable records with Flintoff starting at Ben's age, what Flintoff's record would look like. Because by memory Flintoff was averaging single figures with the bat to begin with.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:09 pm

Botham from '77-'81 was sensational, but then he just phoned it in for the rest of his career and got overweight and lacked discipline. Good catcher. For me, Stokes doesn't get in this side as a batter or a bowler. When free from injury Freddie was an inspirational player, and a truly great reverse swing bowler. He gave us the '05 Ashes. Of course he is in.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby Gingerfinch » Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:22 pm

Beefy was past his prime by the time I started watching Cricket, so went with Freddie over Stokes as I wanted a better bowler.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby Durhamfootman » Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:58 pm

I grew up with ITB and he was quite simply better than everyone since, for me.

Similar bat as Stokes, but a better bowler. Terrific swing bowler, equally as inspirational a player as Flintoff, but a better bat.

He was also a loose cannon and a complete wildcard. Wouldn't get in a modern side because of his lifestyle, his complete lack of discipline and his total indifference to training, but I was a teenager, when Beefy was tearing everything up and that was exactly what I wanted from my heroes

hopeless captain, hopeless pundit, but best allrounder.... ever! I still don't comprehend how someone who played as well as he did in his pomp, could have such little understanding of the game
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:21 pm

He'd get in among the three best pace bowlers for the first three years of his career. A great swing bowler. He was slim then.

As a batter he'd too often just see if it was his day. When it was it was spectacular. But it too rarely came off. To be fair, England were usually struggling and he'd probably be coming to the crease on the back of doing his fair share of bowling.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby Durhamfootman » Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:32 pm

There's a really good section on Botham in David Shepherd's autobiography 'Shep' where he details Botham batting for Somerset in a one day game. Too long to tell the tale, but I always thought it summed up Botham the batsman, as well as Botham the entertainer
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby DiligentDefence » Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:52 pm

The time period is too late for Botham I think. So it comes down to Stokes or Flintoff. I think Flintoff was the better bowler and Stokes the better batsman so it's a tough call. Probably just Flintoff.
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Re: England test team of the last 40 years: the allrounder

Postby alfie » Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:00 am

Are we only allowed to consider Botham post 1981 ? ("last forty years") Because it makes all the difference. Think I will have to assume that is the rule...

And if that is the case , I am going for Stokes : but if we are taking whole careers into account Botham would be my choice - with the proviso that Ben may yet eclipse him.

Flintoff was fantastic - but only relatively briefly. I'd like any of 'em in my team :)
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