England's greatest test?

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England's greatest test?

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:50 am

As England's 1000th test approaches, the BBC's running a poll for the top 10 greatest of those 1000 games.
https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/44919073

What makes a great test? Several of the nominees are very close victories or come-from-behind wins. Others involve tremendous performances resulting in a thrashing, particularly of Australia. Some are kind of dull games that came alive on the last day with a courageous effort to save a draw and win/draw a series.

What makes a great test for you?

I voted for Edgbaston 2005, with Headingley 1981 a very close second. I'd imagine the final winner will be between those two. I also had all three picks from 2005 in my top 10, although the Oval was perhaps as much about what it represented rather than being an outstanding match in its own right. Still, the tension on the final day was just incredible.

My top 10:
Edgbaston 2005
Headingley 1981
Karachi 2000
Lord's 1963
Oval 2005
Trent Bridge 2005
Mumbai 2012
Trent Bridge 2015
Melbourne 2010 (not least because it's the only one I actually attended...)
Old Trafford 1956

Your top 10?
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:53 am

The options weren't great and were very Ashes friendly. I think I picked England's win in SL in 2001 as their best Test in my time on a thread here. But there's a difference between best Test featuring England and best England performance.

I picked the three from 05, plus Karachi, plus Headingley '81 as my top five, so ones I remember.

Obviously Headingley 81 and Edgbaston 05 will come top as they broke out of a cricket audience to be followed by a wider audience.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:55 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:I think I picked England's win in SL in 2001 as their best Test in my time on a thread here.


Colombo rather than Kandy.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:15 pm

Yep, very Ashes friendly. Also a significant recency bias - of the 15 or so nominees, all but 6 were from the last 20 years. And only two games out of the couple of hundred that England played before the war.

But that's the nature of these polls. Most people participating won't remember or be aware of much before they started watching - even if they know about the test in theory, it's hard to consider how good it was when all you've done is read about it rather than be aware of it while it's happening. Anyone who remembers Bodyline is going to be into their 90s by now...
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:21 pm

I picked the Bodyline, the series I'd most like to see in cricket history. But it's for the series rather than a match.

And the Oval Test, of 1882, which sounds incredible.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:22 pm

I remember TMS used to feature great Tests at lunch. Usually really well done.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:26 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:
And the Oval Test, of 1882, which sounds incredible.


I think this was the one that was so tense that someone chewed through the handle of his brother in law's umbrella.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:30 pm

Hmm. That Test was the last not to be covered by Wisden.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:24 am

England's win in Jamaica under Gooch should be in there.

Athers v Donald was a thrilling contest, but no need for the Test to be selected.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby ianp1970 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:43 pm

A shortlist of 17 from 1,000 - the rest must have been shocking :d'oh:

A few of my personal favourites that didn't make the list:

Melbourne 1982/3 - Miller rebound catch after Border heroics
Brisbane 1985/6 - Botham confounds can't bat/bowl/field headlines
Headingley 1998 - England defeat SA in consecutive tests to win series
Lords 2000 - West Indies defeated in two days
Kingston 2004 - Harmison 7-12 blows away WI
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:07 pm

The ECB have named an all time England XI, presumably to tie in with the 1000th Test.

Alastair Cook, Sir Leonard Hutton, David Gower, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Sir Ian Botham, Alan Knott (wkt), Graeme Swann, Fred Trueman, James Anderson, Bob Willis.

I can hardly start to convey how bad I think this side is. 5/11 from this century, yet only one from the 2005 side... Only two players didn't play after 1977. And they are the only two I'd keep in the side!

Mine (off the top of my head): Hutton/Sutcliffe/Hammond/Barrington/Compton/Stewart/Botham/Laker/Trueman/Barnes/Underwood.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby alfie » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:12 pm

I understand that XI was picked by online respondents to a poll ? Which doubtless accounts for the weighting in favour of current - or famous recent - players. Taking it with a pinch of salt along with most such selections.

Actually quite like Arthur's "top of the head" XI (though I'd question whether the admirable Stewart quite fits the bill : surely must be Knott if we are taking a modern ?)
Though if we are reaching back far enough to include Barnes ...there was a chap (bit before my time ) called Hobbs who might be worth a shout...
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Durhamfootman » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:02 pm

I'm extraordinarily myopic abut these things, but England's greatest test was at CLS in 2013. I watched every minute of it from my seat beside the players steps. Harris was magnificent all test long, Rogers (and Bell too) demonstrated the value of the now long gone art of obduracy in test cricket, Clarke was a charmless nurk, Broad had one of those days and England snatched a 4 day win from nowhere in pretty much one session. On a personal note, I met Phil Hughes, Ed Cowan nicked all my sweets and Pietersen was as warm, as helpful and as friendly towards the fans as it was possible to be... everything, in fact, that Clarke wasn't.

It was a terrific test match and I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly since up to the point where Bresnan lifted the wicket of Wee Davey, sparking the Broad feeding frenzy, it looked as though the match was heading inexorably towards an Australia win
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:06 pm

Impossible to leave one of Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Hutton out. But only two openers.

Sutcliffe averages over 60, which is unique for an opener and won't ever be beaten. So one of Hobbs and Hutton...

The article I first read made it sound like the 'ECB' picked the side, but I later found out it was a poll. So fair enough. Like Beckham being in the top 100 Great Britons about ten years ago. His face happened to be in the frame at that time.
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Re: England's greatest test?

Postby ianp1970 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:11 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Impossible to leave one of Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Hutton out. But only two openers.

Sutcliffe averages over 60, which is unique for an opener and won't ever be beaten. So one of Hobbs and Hutton...

The article I first read made it sound like the 'ECB' picked the side, but I later found out it was a poll. So fair enough. Like Beckham being in the top 100 Great Britons about ten years ago. His face happened to be in the frame at that time.


My favourite of these voted polls - that I'll always remember - is from the late 80s, when 'I Owe You Nothing' by Bros was voted the best single of all-time :facepalm
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