England from 526 to 1000.

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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:34 pm

Another bad year coming up in 1986. Until the return Ashes.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Gingerfinch » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:54 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Another bad year coming up in 1986. Until the return Ashes.


The Kiwi's and India. I won't google but I'm pretty confident they both beat us.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:31 pm

West Indies too.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Gingerfinch » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:35 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:West Indies too.


Yep 5-0, early 86. We must have played 14 tests that year and won say three, mainly thanks to the Aussies.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:57 am

November 14-19 1986: Brisbane. England beat Australia by seven wickets.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1677 ... ia-1986-87

During the uninspiring England home Ashes win of 2013- a series so humdrum that it took Michael Clarke's gimmicky dead rubber declaration at the Oval to give the contest a posthumous pulse and the nearest we got to any excitement that summer- I wondered how I got so blasé about England winning the Ashes that I was bothered about how they went about it. During the long uninterrupted, cruel hegemony of Steve Waugh, was I interested in how England would next win the Ashes, if it ever happened? It didn't matter. Did it?

So I'd think back to the last time an England Ashes win was so similarly underwhelming, in 1986-7, on the Three Can'ts tour (bat, bowl and field). It came at the end of another dreadful year for England, involving a now traditional 5-0 whitewash by the West Indies, and home defeats to New Zealand and (unbelievably) India. Running into the winter tour, England had lost eight and won zilch. But Australia were even worse than England. The Ashes were hard fought but of low quality, and occasionally even comical.

But... England won and it was the men in the baggy green that were suffering. It was Merv Hughes with his neck on a hinge, watching ball after ball arc over his head off Ian Botham's bat (he made 138 in the first innings) into the deserted burgundy and mustard Gabba bucket seats. It was David Boon getting out lbw to an Ian Botham slow medium off cutter. It was the old enemy who followed on and set England a paltry 75 to win.

Of course, that was the last time England would beat the Australians for nearly thirty years as Allan Border and then Steve Waugh's sides would pitilessly grind two generations of hopeful English dreamers into the dirt. The players who lost in 1986 would become superstars and legends; Steve Waugh, David Boon, Dean Jones... and England's young victors, Chris Broad, Philip DeFreitas and Jack Richards would write their names in water. When it rained for the next thirty years, the BBC would dig out footage of this win and the clincher in Melbourne, repeatedly for so many years, that eventually it became part of the humiliation.

Still, it was an Ashes win, right? Does it even matter how it came about?
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:16 pm

August 25-30 1988: Lord's. England beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1668 ... gland-1988

After England lost the dead rubber fifth Ashes Test in Sydney, they spent the rest of 1987 playing Pakistan home and away, losing both series 1-0. The home series defeat was their first to this opposition. They didn't win a Test in a series in 1988, losing at home 4-0 to the West Indies and drawing in New Zealand. And there wasn't a win in 1989 either, as they even lost the Ashes, defeated 4-0 by Allan Border's renascent Australians.

If we are looking for English cricket's nadir, surely we find it between 1987 and 1989. In these three years, there was a single Test victory. Not in a series, in a one-off meeting at Lord's against Sri Lanka who had never won a Test away from Colombo. But at least win they did, and this was a strengthening Sri Lanka side which included Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga. The biggest impression was made by the raw boned, seemingly untutored paceman Ravi Ratnayeke. The Sri Lankan pace ensemble was outgunned, and the UK media had the gall to compare it to a county seconds attack when England were fielding Foster, Lawrence, Newport and Pringle, who weren't hall-of-famers themselves. Phil Newport took seven wickets, yet another home pitch swing bowler of medium pace.

But if this was England's absolute zero, things were about to change a little for the better. They would never be quite so bad again. After the barren late eighties which tested fully whether I wanted to follow the England team at all, small changes became apparent. Graham Gooch became captain and this inspired him to become among the best batters in the world. England at least tried to train and behave like a professional sport's team, even if that led them to prematurely discard the talented but detached David Gower.

Jack Russell made his debut against Sri Lanka and made a five hour 94 batting as nightwatcher. In 1988 we saw Robin Smith for the first time. 1989 gave us Angus Fraser and Mike Atherton. And 1990 brought Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart. They weren't necessarily world superstars, but they were players you knew applied themselves properly, prepared themselves professionally, were competitors and cared about the England cricket team. And so I began to care more about the England cricket team. In the nineties England began to win games against the odds which could stand among their greatest Test victories. OK, they were inconsistent, and sometimes just picking up dead rubbers here and there- particularly in the Ashes. But there were some unforgettable, glorious wins.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Durhamfootman » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:57 pm

I'd forgotten that the late eighties cricket was actually worse than the nineties stuff

players who train?

it'll never catch on, according to the present Durham chairman.... most players play better when they're feeling guilty about still being hung over, apparently
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Gingerfinch » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:13 am

I'd like to know how many players England tried during that 88-89 period. I remember a few openers being tested, and even a Cowdrey, who was a decent at best county batter.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:43 am

These are the batting stats, 1987-89. 41 players in three years. Only Russell and Smith did ok, in seven and eight matches respectively.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine ... pe=batting

Among the bowlers, Dilley and Foster did well. But all the players only did well enough to win one game, against Sri Lanka.

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

Postby Gingerfinch » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:52 am

Cheers Arthur, a couple of 'horses for course' picks amongst that lot.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:57 am

A policy which would work spectacularly at Headingley over the next few years.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:08 pm

February 24- March 1, 1990: Sabina Park. England beat West Indies by nine wickets.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1661 ... es-1989-90

Nobody knows anything. From 1987-1989, England spent three years at the absolute nadir of their deepest slump. Their worst days since the Sporting Times announced the death of the old national game and a bail was burned. Then came England's greatest ever Test win. It took time for the Miracle of Sabina Park to gather the prestige that it carries now, standing among their most stirring achievements: the Headingley Test, the Edgbaston Test and those occasions when England beat Bradman or the time Laker beat Australia. It took a decade for the shock and the disbelief to wear away. England went to the West Indies in 1990 with no chance. The gulf in class between the two sides can reasonably likened to the loneliness of the universe.

I've always said that if there was a Test match time machine I'd go back to Bodyline. But if Australia in 1932-3 turns out to be booked up by fellow travellers, I'd go to Kingston in 1990. I usually liken the England team of 1990 to the Dirty Dozen (with one short), and there is something of that in the side, with the return of old lags Wayne Larkins and David Capel. If not quite sprung from a military prison for an impossible mission, they were at least elevated from England's least glamorous county. But the Dirty Dozen (minus one) doesn't capture how inexperienced this side was. Only Graham Gooch and Alan Lamb, captain and vice, had won any more than David Capel's 11 caps. Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart were winning their debut caps (how unforgettable for them).

History makes the side look stronger than it was. Gooch may be recalled as the best opener of the nineties, and only the emergence of Brian Lara later the same year makes ridiculous his claim to be the best batter in the world from 1990-95. But before this tour his career average in Tests was 36.9. Alan Lamb is remembered as a man who only made runs against the West Indies, but his overall Test average was 34. Future stalwarts Robin Smith and Angus Fraser had made eight and three appearances respectively.

England hadn't beaten West Indies for 17 years, and that was on a dustbowl in Port of Spain. They had only won in Kingston once, in 1954. Curtly Ambrose was injured for this Test, but replaced by Patrick Patterson, the world's fastest bowler. He joined Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh and the utterly terrifying Ian Bishop. Famous footage of Ian Bishop working over Smith on the St. John's featherbed gives a good impression of how lethal they were at Sabina Park. Alan Lamb batted for six hours at Sabina to make the 132 that won England the game. Amazingly he made another ton in Bridgetown. Angus Fraser in particular was magnificent as the key member of a four man pace attack.

The heartbreaking way they lost the series is another story, just as emotionally rousing. Anyone who had drunk enough to place money on England to do anything other than lose in the West Indies in 1990 surely put their ticket in the draw where they kept loose screws and utility bills and forgot about it. That they won in Jamaica, and damn near did the same in Trinidad, is their Cool Runnings story. Hardly believable. Yet it's true.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:18 pm

Too much to say about this game (especially the Gooch-Gower factor) but to keep to the points raised above, and to keep it short, here are the caps won by England players going into this series.

Gooch- 73.
Larkins- 6.
Stewart- debut.
Lamb- 57.
Smith- 8.
Hussain- debut.
Russell- 7.
Capel-11.
Small- 6.
Fraser- 3.
Malcolm- 1.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:01 pm

That XI will not have played together more than that once.
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Re: England from 526 to 1000.

Postby sussexpob » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:29 pm

Good post.

Is it a bit of hindsight as to the reason the status of the victory has changed? Viv didnt score a test hundred in his last 20 games, and this is near the end. Dujon famously forgot how to bat. I think only Haynes maintained his form into later years near his peak. Marshall was injured and missed three tests after. Bishop injured his back sometime around this series, and that essentially killed his career dead.

On paper, its an amazing side. In reality, its probably a batting line up averaging in the 30s, and a bowling attack with a couple of class players, an injured player, a declining keeper, and a bit of a failure.

But then again... its still a staggering win considering the picture you painted above.
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