England from 526 to 1000.

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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:44 pm

Guess it's relative. Myabe pre 70s the gain was fully mainstream, and having lived through the post 2000s decline, it feels like the generation before had it better
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby ianp1970 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:58 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:and it competed in news terms with football (which kept the summer months free) reasonably well. Cricket was the national summer game.


Very much so AC.

Only 3 then 4 TV channels as well throughout the 70's/80's: one of which showed all home summer tests (albeit some afternoon sessions had racing and tennis interruptions) from start to finish. TMS was listened to around the country, especially on camping and caravan sites in the holidays (portable TV's were new, and hook-up electricity extremely rare) - we were often asked by passers-by for a score update. Newspapers were read every day, 2 or 3 on a Sunday, with coverage not just of the test matches, but full reports of all county games as well.

Cricket was very much the national summer game!
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:39 pm

June 15-19, 1978, Lord's. England beat Pakistan by an innings and 120 runs.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1712 ... gland-1978

By 1978 England looked damaged by the Packer defections, with Bob Taylor, Graham Roope and Clive Radley transient and inadequate replacements for the players who took the Australian dollar. On the plus side, in the first Test against Pakistan at Edgbaston, David Gower announced himself in international cricket with a four off his first ball (a half tracker from forgotten medium pacer Liaqat Ali).

If England were singed by the Packer takeover, Pakistan were gutted. They lost Asif Iqbal, Imran Khan, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas and Mushtaq Mohammad. Packer later returned for Javed Miandad, Sarfraz Nawaz and Haroon Rashid who featured in this series against England. Sarfraz and Javed were their quality players in '78, but they had a handful of useful batters who would establish themselves in years to come, like the legendary slow batter, Mudassar Nazar, and Wasim Raja who showed up heroically against the West Indies quicks averaging nearly 60 over 11 Tests.

England completed a 2-0 series win at Lord's in a one sided game. It is most memorable for one of the great prodigious displays of Ian Botham's early career. In the first innings, he made his second ton of the series (his third in his first seven Tests) on a pitch green enough for even Liaqat Ali to take a 3-fer (his Test best), turning 134-5 into 324 for nine. The sort of performance that helped establish his mythology. But principally Botham's considerable and prodigious contribution to the game was his second innings bowling of 8-34, propelling a third of England's overs. He cut Pakistan down from 100-2 to 132 all out and this was about as good as he could have ever bowled, with that characteristic orthodox late outswinger utterly unplayable. Bob Willis took seven wickets in the game, but no one remembers this Test for Big Bob.

Pakistan had the better of the dead rubber at Headingley in overcast conditions. Sarfraz Nawaz was transformed there into a menacing quick swing bowler taking 5-39 as the rain closed in and ended the match as a draw. Some similar blitzes in county cricket were well known. In the following winter, Pakistan (with their Packer players back) set Australia 382 in Melbourne to win the Test. At 305-3, Australia, with Allan Border and Kim Hughes at the crease, looked well placed to pull off a monumental run chase. They were bowled out just five runs later. Sarfraz finishing with 9-86. By whatever means, the game had suddenly moved on. From orthodox swing under grey skies in England; to reverse swing, potentially anywhere, anytime. It took most of the rest of the world twenty years to work it out and catch up.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:31 pm

January 6-11, 1989, The SCG. England beat Australia by 93 runs.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1711 ... ia-1978-79

One major contrast with cricket when I first started watching, is how much more facilitated batting is now. Partly due to equipment, particularly the helmet which transformed run making for lower order batters especially. But mainly it's the pitches, which clearly helped the bowlers a lot more and deteriorated faster. One series of bad pitches remains imbedded in my memory above any other, the Packerless Ashes of 1978-9.

Adelaide apart, occupying the crease was like Russian roulette. Any score beyond 200 looked like runs on the board. And England got nowhere near that in their first innings in the fourth Test in Sydney, totalling 152 with only Ian Botham's 59 making it beyond 20. In the circumstances, Australia's lead of 142 in reply, looked huge. When Boycott was out first ball of England's second innings, the game looked lost. But it in fact ushered in one of the greatest England innings of the past fifty years. Derek Randall's 150 in ten hours. Given the conditions, and the heat, and the quality of Hogg, Hurst, and Dymock, Randall's innings was at the very least the equal of Michael Atherton's marathon in Jo'burg.

Techniques were more variable back in the seventies, more characteristic. Randall walked into the stumps as the bowler delivered, with his bat flapping like a stable door in the wind. His lank hair tufted out from under his dark blue England cap, like he was an insubordinate schoolboy game for a lark. And he always seemed to provoke the Aussies. Here, Rodney Hogg in particular.

Randall set himself to single mindedly save the game by whatever means. Some of that plan involved audacious stretches of time wasting. But the main part was made of immense concentration and determination. Do England players now seek to occupy the crease in adversity so dutifully as the Notts batter did on days 3 and 4 at the SCG? It's hard to believe they do. So focussed was Randall on the draw, he couldn't even contemplate the win that his later batting partners began to propose between overs. He just wanted bat until stumps on day five. England had lost the previous Test at the MCG, to reduce their lead to 2-1. Another defeat in Sydney would wipe out their early advantage completely.

England eventually set Australia 205 to win. They were bowled out for 111 by Emburey and Miller. Because the pitch was still a dog. At the MCG, Allan Border made his debut. In his second Test, in his home town, he wasn't dismissed in either innings, making 105 runs on an appalling surface. He was clearly a class above his team mates and of course went on to be one of the great Test batters.

Randall's innings to win the Fourth Test was one of the best by an England player I can remember, though it, and this hard fought win is rarely mentioned now. In his superb book on the series, The Ashes Retained, captain Mike Brearley said this was the most brilliant victory in adversity that he knew of. But two years later it was eclipsed for all living memory by the miracle of Headingley. Sydney and Randall's heroics faded from recollection.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby DiligentDefence » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:23 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:June 15-19, 1978, Lord's. England beat Pakistan by an innings and 120 runs.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1712 ... gland-1978

By 1978 England looked damaged by the Packer defections, with Bob Taylor, Graham Roope and Clive Radley transient and inadequate replacements for the players who took the Australian dollar.


That's extremely harsh on Bob Taylor who was a superb wicketkeeper ( I would argue better than Knott who he replaced) and he was hardly transient either.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:49 pm

Well he was a very good keeper, but even by the late seventies we were looking for the keeper to be a batter. Knott came back for a bit once the Packer days were over. Taylor wasn't a good enough batter to last for too long and no one who came after him was as much of a specialist as him. His Test average of 16.3 (three fifties and no tons) wasn't enough. He got 57 caps though, so he lasted longer than I thought.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:56 pm

Scored a very memorable 97 in Adelaide though. And a player I quite liked.
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