England from 526 to 1000.

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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu May 14, 2020 7:25 pm

Can't find historic rankings (I've seen them before) but my recollection is SA were ranked second. They were never anything other than a tough side to beat until fairly recently.

I didn't think WI were terrible back then either and England did well to beat them! Especially in WI where WI were often on top.

These are SA stats during three years with this series in the middle. They're er, magnificent numbers.

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engin ... pe=batting

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engin ... pe=bowling
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu May 14, 2020 7:26 pm

I accept they would become stronger a few years later, after ABDV, Amla and Steyn emerged.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu May 14, 2020 8:11 pm

England are the context in this thread and winning some of these series was quite novel. They had only just beaten the WI in a series for the first time in decades. Winning in Pakistan and SL ended long barren runs there. And soon after they were to win in the WI and SA and win the Ashes. All ending long runs without victory. These were fine achievements. Not caving in to SA after being pummeled at the start of the series (to the point that Gough chucked it in) and going behind twice feels of a piece with these improvements. Fletcher's second side wasn't quite there yet, but parts of this series and their ability to fight when up against it were big signifiers for what was to come.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Thu May 14, 2020 8:25 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Can't find historic rankings (I've seen them before) but my recollection is SA were ranked second. They were never anything other than a tough side to beat until fairly recently


There is a huge difference between South Africa around 2002 when Donald retired, and what followed. To tie it in with an aforementioned point, I remember Gilchrist beating that quickest 200 record that Astle would take of him not long after in the game mentioned; but Australia I believe dished out the biggest beating in test history, save for that Oval game in 1938 when England scored nearly a 1000 before declaring. Innings and something like 400 runs. Won 5 straight games vs South Africa in the 6 matches played in both countries.

List of series that followed with Zimbabwe removed

2-2 England
1-0 loss to Pakistan
Landslide at home to Windies
1-1 draw in NZ
Lost to SL 1-0 away
Lost 1-0 India away
Lost England 2-1 home
Win 2-0 West Indies
Lost 5-0 in two back to back series vs Australia
Win 2-0 NZ home
Lost 2-0 home SL

Out of the 2 series they won, New Zealand were one - a team that had to wait nearly a decade for their next series win vs India when not playing Zimbabwe or BD.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Thu May 14, 2020 8:34 pm

Between Lara's masterpiece in SL in 2002, and a test victory in 2013 windies only won one series against England when the 2003 post world cup tour to Zimbabwe isn't counted, nor wins Vs BD (who they lost to at home in the 2000s). Zimbabwe shouldn't count, it was literally a D team.

I'd say they pretty indicative of how terrible they were
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Fri May 15, 2020 9:22 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:England are the context in this thread and winning some of these series was quite novel. They had only just beaten the WI in a series for the first time in decades. Winning in Pakistan and SL ended long barren runs there. And soon after they were to win in the WI and SA and win the Ashes. All ending long runs without victory. These were fine achievements. Not caving in to SA after being pummeled at the start of the series (to the point that Gough chucked it in) and going behind twice feels of a piece with these improvements. Fletcher's second side wasn't quite there yet, but parts of this series and their ability to fight when up against it were big signifiers for what was to come.


Lara and the paceman had kept the lid on the bottle in the late 90s, but their tour of South Africa in 98/99 was a real watershed moment for the Windies; it was a brutal indication of how far the team as a whole had dropped down in quality, and a reminder of what was in store for them in any series that Lara didnt play ridiculous in. Lara had the best series possibly ever in 99 vs the Aussies and Ambrose and Walsh continued to be excellent...even with three legends playing at their top level, they couldnt win the series. As soon as Lara returned to being mortal, which happened a lot in that period as he struggled trying to lead a team with ridiculous and unrealistic expectations based on past success, Windies got battered.

For this reason the 2000 home series bashing didnt feel novel, it felt like a mere reality. The Windies were a very poor side by then. England muzzled Lara in both series mostly, in 02/03 too, and in 04, and that was enough for crushing victories. Not sure we can attach much importance to these wins. Lara scored something ridiculous like 16 hundreds in his last 3 years, but Windies hardly won anything even with himin that form. Without Ambrose and Walsh by 2001, even that wasnt enough for success.

Pakistan and SL are undoubtedly historical series wins that stand the test of time, and will remain legendary performances... but the Windies series can really be ignored. In fact, the failure in 2009 must also go down as one of Englands worst series losses.

History doesnt make players better. What better teams did to turn the Windies into a fortress had no baring on the quality they could dish out at these stages. If anything, that historical legacy hung over the team like a choking stench
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri May 15, 2020 9:38 am

They didn't only have Lara in the batting (who beat the Test innings record in 04) they had Chanderpaul. And Gayle and Sarwan were handy. Jacobs was ok. I quite liked all of their pace attack in the 2004 series, Edwards/Best/Collins/Collymore. I know their Test stats aren't good but they were challenging at that time, and Edwards was fearsome. Collymore was pretty skilful. I'm not trying to say WI were good, even less a successful side. But they weren't usually pre-beaten. They would compete, but too often capitulate when things started to go against them. Later on, they were beaten before they even started away from home. At home they would have the occasional success.

My next pick will be from that series in 04. Tough to choose.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Fri May 15, 2020 10:07 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:They didn't only have Lara in the batting (who beat the Test innings record in 04) they had Chanderpaul. And Gayle and Sarwan were handy. Jacobs was ok. I quite liked all of their pace attack in the 2004 series, Edwards/Best/Collins/Collymore. I know their Test stats aren't good but they were challenging at that time, and Edwards was fearsome. Collymore was pretty skilful. I'm not trying to say WI were good, even less a successful side. But they weren't usually pre-beaten. They would compete, but too often capitulate when things started to go against them. Later on, they were beaten before they even started away from home. At home they would have the occasional success.

My next pick will be from that series in 04. Tough to choose.


I think the others all started to become better players as Lara walked off into the the sunset. Chanderpaul maybe not, but he bloomed late into his career, must have been near 10 years into it around 2004 when he clearly took a step upwards and became a quality guy, and by memory he gave England a tough time in 2004 getting him out. Before that he was always known as a player capable of a 50, but converted nothing into centuries. I cant remember the exact numbers, but I believe he scored his first hundred in the Barbados match that Ramprakash made an epic score on, but it was like the 15th time he had passed 50. Clearly remember criticism of him in those days, the Windies commentators seen him as a bit of a lost hope, especially when he got taken apart in many series in the early 2000s.

Sarwan is a tough player to critique, because averaging 40 in this team is a god send....I just wonder how many of those runs came in the end of his career when pitches at home became dead even by subcontinent standards. He scored 4 hundreds on the succession of draw pitches provided to England in 2009, in games that never produced results, and werent meant to. Away from home he wasnt much cop at all, very average player when not on a lifeless deck. As we found out on debut in 2000 when Gough pinned him with a bouncer, any pace in the pitch and he was terrible playing the short ball. Gayle was another player who Id say bloomed past the retirement of Lara, before that he was a below par opener who played alot because of no alternatives. That 2008ish series in OZ he had a blinder, it seemed like he could turn into a proper class player, but while he got better, it never happened.

Corey Collymore was always injured. Great guy and very decent paceman who was test class save for breaking down all the time. A real loss for WIndies. Fidel and Best were erratic as hell, and wile Fidel got better with age, id imagine his figures around early into his career were a bit tragic. Every over had a boundary ball, and together they were incapable of building pressure. I liked Pedro Collins, but he played late into his career when he significantly lost pace and required swin to do anytin
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri May 22, 2020 2:50 pm

April 1-3, 2004: England beat West Indies by 8 wickets at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/150 ... es-2003-04

2004 had the sensation of a gathering storm, beginning with Steve Harmison bowling the West Indies out for 47 in Jamaica, and concluding with England pulling up two wickets short of going 2-0 ahead in Durban against South Africa. That draw was one of two in the year. The other secured by Brian Lara's unbeaten 400 landmark knock in Antigua. The other nine were England wins, with their first series victory in the Caribbean since 1967 (and it remains their most recent) and home grand slams against West Indies and New Zealand. It was the great summer of Ashley Giles.

In the Caribbean, one by one, the mighty citadels fell, as England won in Kingston, Port of Spain and wrapping up the series in Bridgetown. Of those three overwhelmingly entertaining performances, my heart lies with the success in Barbados, as it embraced perhaps the ultimate, quintessential Graham Thorpe innings. Inserted on an unreliable pitch, West Indies posted 224, with Andrew Flintoff taking one of only three Test five wicket hauls. Flintoff emerged as a top class Test bowler in this year.

England should have batted first. It was only going to get harder, and they lost wickets frequently, with Fidel Edwards especially short, fast and nasty. The highest score was Michael Vaughan's 17... other than Thorpe's magnificent 119*, batting for five hours, and providing a showcase of how to operate with the tail. At first it was all nurdle and run (on a very hot day), keeping the strike. As he approached and surpassed his century, he began to find the boundary and fully exploited some demoralised bowling as the West Indies lead vaporised. England held a precious lead of two runs.

As tended to happen in this series, West Indies faded away in the second innings, bowled out here for 94, only Brian Lara offering much pluck. Matthew Hoggard took a hat-trick to scatter the middle order and they were all out in 42 overs. Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick knocked off the target in an hour. England had won a series in the West Indies (against a declining side) at one of the great venues in international cricket.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Durhamfootman » Fri May 22, 2020 8:49 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Can't find historic rankings (I've seen them before) but my recollection is SA were ranked second. They were never anything other than a tough side to beat until fairly recently.

I didn't think WI were terrible back then either and England did well to beat them! Especially in WI where WI were often on top.

These are SA stats during three years with this series in the middle. They're er, magnificent numbers.

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engin ... pe=batting

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engin ... pe=bowling

there's a top 5 there that would be as good as anything in the world at the time, backed up by a couple of bowlers with 30+ batting averages. The bowling itself, however, demonstrably looks a seamer short. If Steyn had been around a little earlier, SA might have been a truly great team in that period
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri May 22, 2020 8:56 pm

The bowling isn't exceptional. But it's the noughties. If the batters are having a boon decade, someone has to suffer.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Sat May 23, 2020 9:30 am

Durhamfootman wrote:there's a top 5 there that would be as good as anything in the world at the time, backed up by a couple of bowlers with 30+ batting averages. The bowling itself, however, demonstrably looks a seamer short. If Steyn had been around a little earlier, SA might have been a truly great team in that period


If my memory is right, South African pitches out of all the matches between major players returned far less high scores than those elsewhere. If you switch the filter to only away games, and remove that tour of BD (because this is a real low point of BDs test history, even a tailender scored 200 against them they were that bad) which causes some weird numbers in the support case figures, you arent left with much.

Ntini ends up averaging 40. Pollock 28.5. Hall 30. Kallis 36. Boje 32. That would be the most consistent 5 man attack based on wickets.

If thats your 5 man attack then some notes are worthwhile;

Boje ended up being picked exclusively for the most wild of bunsen pitches in Asia when touring. He was picked 25 times after 2002 to retiring just after this 2005 cut off... he averaged plus 40, 70, 70, 67 and 80 in these years generally for his wickets, which considering the amount of caps, puts him right into Ian Salisbury zone of worst ever.

Kallis might be returning decent numbers, but this is a time bowling starts to take a back seat in his workload. You cant consistently rely on him bowling 20 overs an inning. Halls only really decent series where he played more than one test was in England. Averaged 100 in Australia and nearly 200 in the Windies. England were the only team to make him look capable. Pollocks return is significantly over his career average, and Ntini is a name on paper, but outside Africa in this period he was no better than a county trundler putting up consistently poor figures.

Taking that into consideration then, Boje didnt play outside the subcontinent. Pollock and Kallis spent time injured. Ntini was misfiring.

And what do you supplement this with? The next 5 bowlers in this period average between 60 and 70 (Nel, pretorious, Adams, Peterson)

Even in the context of the 2000s, this is a bowling attack out of form, toothless and with absoutely zero depth.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Sat May 23, 2020 9:30 am

Durhamfootman wrote:there's a top 5 there that would be as good as anything in the world at the time, backed up by a couple of bowlers with 30+ batting averages. The bowling itself, however, demonstrably looks a seamer short. If Steyn had been around a little earlier, SA might have been a truly great team in that period


If my memory is right, South African pitches out of all the matches between major players returned far less high scores than those elsewhere. If you switch the filter to only away games, and remove that tour of BD (because this is a real low point of BDs test history, even a tailender scored 200 against them they were that bad) which causes some weird numbers in the support case figures, you arent left with much.

Ntini ends up averaging 40. Pollock 28.5. Hall 30. Kallis 36. Boje 32. That would be the most consistent 5 man attack based on wickets.

If thats your 5 man attack then some notes are worthwhile;

Boje ended up being picked exclusively for the most wild of bunsen pitches in Asia when touring. He was picked 25 times after 2002 to retiring just after this 2005 cut off... he averaged plus 40, 70, 70, 67 and 80 in these years generally for his wickets, which considering the amount of caps, puts him right into Ian Salisbury zone of worst ever.

Kallis might be returning decent numbers, but this is a time bowling starts to take a back seat in his workload. You cant consistently rely on him bowling 20 overs an inning let alone maybe more than 10. Halls only really decent series where he played more than one test was in England. Averaged 100 in Australia and nearly 200 in the Windies. England were the only team to make him look capable. Pollocks return is significantly over his career average, and Ntini is a name on paper, but outside Africa in this period he was no better than a county trundler putting up consistently poor figures.

Taking that into consideration then, Boje didnt play outside the subcontinent. Pollock and Kallis spent time injured. Ntini was misfiring.

And what do you supplement this with? The next 5 bowlers in this period average between 60 and 70 (Nel, pretorious, Adams, Peterson, +Hayward). Even in the context of the 2000s, this is a bowling attack out of form, toothless and with absoutely zero depth.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat May 23, 2020 10:05 am

Plenty of candidates for 2005.
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