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Author Topic: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI  (Read 688 times)

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petehosk

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Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« on: January 29, 2018, 04:30:04 PM »

Bit of fun here. Was online and found this topic and wondered what choices others would make? Please note that the choice is not mine!
The first statement "This is the side that would have beaten Steve Waughs Australians (maybe)." was a little controversial as that was a pretty stong side. And even if you did believe that statement, if the Aussie team consisted of the strongest players since the 1980's in their team, then I have a feeling the team below would get soundly beaten 9 out of 10 times!   
Anyway - I have pasted the artical below chaps.


Englands Best Modern Test XI

This is the side that would have beaten Steve Waughs Australians (maybe). If only theyd been born at a similar time so they were at the peak of their powers together. Of course, if Keith Fletcher was the coach, and they were still playing for their counties the day before a test, it wouldnt have made much difference. However, these are the cricketers who, more than any others, have won our hearts (and the odd test match) since we started watching cricket in the late 1980s.

1 Graham Zap Gooch: Take Terry Alderman out of the equation and youve got one of the most successful openers of the modern era. The man with the Frank Zappa moustache scored one of all the all time great hundreds at Headingley in which he memorably carried his bat against Walsh and Ambrose. It was tough to leave out Alastair Cook of course, but were going for the master not the apprentice. Furthermore, Goochs presence in the XI would inevitably annoy our number three (especially if we put him in charge of our teams training schedule).

2 Michael Skipper Vaughan (Capt): Our best captain since Brearley, and perhaps Englands most elegant opener of recent times. His average took a knock when he moved down the order, but between 2002 and 2004 he was unstoppable. Scored 900 runs in seven tests against India and Sri Lanka, and became the first batsman for 32 years to score over 600 runs in a test series down under. Whats more, these runs were made against McGrath, Warne and Gillespie at their peak. It was the best Ive ever seen an England batsman play. Like Gooch, Alastair Cook is breathing down his neck, but Vaughans grace at the crease, his superb captaincy skills, not to mention his ability to nail the quickstep and the American smooth, wins our vote.

3 David Lubo Gower: During the 1980s the notorious cricket giggle Sticky Wicket christened Gower Lubo. Were not sure why (we were innocent in those days) but somehow it summed up his laidback demeanour and charm with the ladies. Gower was a joy to watch. His cover drive was possibly the best ever, and even though he refused to move his feet, one elegant shot made us forget all the times he nicked off behind and looked like a plonker. Like many of the batsmen in this team, he would have scored bucketloads in the current era. Having said that Gower still averaged over 40 comfortably (the benchmark for elite players in those days).

4 Graham The Legend Thorpe: Englands best player of spin of the modern era. Thorpie was also a pugnacious stroke-player against pace. Could bat with guts and determination, but also accelerate when needed. Consider this: in his seminal innings against Pakistan in Lahore, Thorpe hit just one boundary. Yet his highest tests score (200no in New Zealand) was the third fastest test double century in history; only Botham and Gilchrist had reached the milestone in less deliveries. It was a shame that injuries and personal problems robbed Thorpe of some of his most productive years. Steve Waughs Australians and Murali rated him as one of their toughest opponents.

5 Kevin Peter Pietersen: Love him or loathe him, nobody can doubt KPs pedigree. He is undoubtedly Englands most entertaining batsman of modern times. Just oozes talent and would have been just as good in previous eras as he is now. The reason? Bowlers frequently dont get Pietersen out; Pietersen gets Pietersen out. He gets bored; he gets cocky; he annoys us when he doesnt play for the team. But lets face it. Hes bloody brilliant. The perfect number five batsman in this team.

6 Alec Gaffer Stewart (Keeper): There were three candidates for this role: Stewart, Matt Prior and Jack Russell. You could make a case for all of them. Russell was probably the best keeper (and certainly the best painter and goalkeeping coach). Prior has improved his keeping and is probably the best keeper-batsman in the world today. However, Stewart was the best batsman of the three and his keeping was incredibly reliable. People might claim that Stewart was a better player when he opened the batting and didnt keep, but this misses the context. Stewarts batting often suffered because he was behind the stumps for two days and frequently didnt get much of a rest; think how often the top order used to crumble in the early 90s.There would be no such worries with this team. The Gaffer could put his feet up and enjoy watching Pietersen and Co.

7 Sir Ian Beefy Botham: He was Ian Botham. We couldnt exactly leave him out. The perfect man to bring balance to this team.

8 Andrew Freddie Flintoff: Talking of balance, lets have a bit more of it. We havent made this selection on sentiment. Freddie was an outstanding bowler: fast, accurate and lethal against left handers. Heaven knows why he didnt get more wickets. Every team needs a seamer who bowls a great line and hits the bat hard. Flintoff was brilliant at this. Of course, there were other candidates for his position, but the idea of Freddie coming in to bat at eight, after Botham, was too much to resist. It would be fun watching them bat together.

9 Graeme Swann: Hes probably not a better bowler than Panesar at this point, but Swanns batting, personality and yes, his fielding (sorry Monty), get him the nod. Indeed, this selection was a bit of a no brainer really. Which other spinner were we going to pick? Gareth Batty? Eddie Hemmings? Nick Cook? Ian Salisbury? Keith Medlycott? Give us a break.

10 Darren Twinkle Toes Gough: My favourite England fast bowler. When selecting this side, I tried to create a balanced seam attack. Flintoff provides the height and accuracy; Botham provides the swing and aggression; Gough provides a nice contast: a genuinely quick skiddy bowler and a brilliant exponent of reverse swing. Goughie also complements the dancing prowess of the XI. Vaughan can manage the ballroom styles, but Goughie can do the salsas and pasodobles.

11 Jimmy Anderson: The thing we love about Jimmy is that hes now very consistent in all conditions. Give him a dead pitch in India or the UAE and hell out-think the batsman. Give him and English greentop and hell blow them away. Hes also a brilliant fielder the one thing this team actually lacks (although Thorpe wasnt bad in his younger days).

So there we have it. Do you agree? Who would you add? Who would you replace?

Before you add your tuppence worth bear this in mind: this is a test XI (so no ODI or T20 specialists please) based on England teams since the late 1980s (which was the era we discovered cricket); therefore the likes of Hammond, Barrington, Dexter and Compton (Denis, not Nick!) havent been considered. Its still pretty tough to chose though
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Alvaro

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 05:32:38 PM »

Vaughan over Trescothick? Not in my name!
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Manormanic

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 07:31:04 PM »

Firstly it depends how far back you want to go - if you're talking only the late 80's then Gower probably doesn't make it, for example (indeed, Lord Beefy is debatable as his last really top class performances came in 87).  You also have to consider whether you're going sum total of a career or at their absolute peak...

In any event, its a tricky selection and I doubt you would get many even close to unanimous choices - probably as few as two (Flintoff and Anderson).

I might change my mind when I am less tired tomorrow, so I won't name my side just yet, but a few names to ponder....amongst the batsmen, Root has to be up there, as does Robin Smith.  I also have a thought that von Strauss might make a surprising number of XIs.

Bowlers - Harmison has to be in with a shout.  I'd also consider Sidebottom, who would offer a different angle to the other quicks.  Statistically, Hoggard got out more top order players than anyone so he'd be a thought too.

Oh, and for the gloves, Bairstow :)

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jamielsn15

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 08:21:34 PM »

Sorry Pete, not having beefy in there based on late 80s performances alone. Here's mine

1. Gooch
2. Cook
3. Trott
4. Pietersen
5. Thorpe
6. Stewart
7. Flintoff
8. Swann
9. Gough
10. Broad
11. Anderson

Master and apprentice to open, Trott is the best consistent 3 we've had, KP and Thorpe to keep it ticking over, in very different ways. Flintoff circa 2005, Stewart to bat and keep well enough, Gough for skiddy bowling, Swan cos he's streets ahead, Broad for his longevity and Anderson is a no brainer.

If we were going from slightly earlier, I'd have Gower at 3 and beefy over Flintoff. Beef wasn't worth a bowl after 1987...
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Buzz

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 09:44:25 PM »

Unless the team has Craig White in, it doesn't count.
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Alvaro

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 10:06:52 PM »

I went for a purist XI that I'd enjoy watching, again 89/90 onwards.

Stewart
Tres
Vaughan
Root
KP
Colly
Flintoff
Russell
Swann
Gough
Jones
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Manormanic

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 08:43:56 AM »

Unless the team has Craig White in, it doesn't count.

A great player - and an almost unique example of someone who went from bowling fill in off spin to suddenly huring down serious gas in his mid-20s.
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Manormanic

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2018, 08:47:27 AM »

Anyway, lets have a go at this one.  I'm going to make my start date 1989/90 as well, so leaving out Gower and Botham:

Gooch
Vaughan
Robin Smith
Pietersen
Thorpe
Bairstow
Stokes
Flintoff
Swann
Harmison or Sidebottom
Anderson

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Alvaro

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 09:18:58 AM »

Again, good team. I'm unsure about Smith as an all round player, though you'd back him in a bicep to bicep battle with SAF, PAK or Aussie.

My serious let's win everywhere team is:

Cook
Trescothick
Vaughan (c)
Root
KP
Stewart (+) although he loses points for wimping out of India in 2000
Stokes
Flintoff
Swann
Anderson
a fit one of S Jones or Dean Headley.
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Manormanic

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 09:22:52 AM »

Again, good team. I'm unsure about Smith as an all round player, though you'd back him in a bicep to bicep battle with SAF, PAK or Aussie.

a fit one of S Jones or Dean Headley.

Smith was damned for his perceived failings against Warne, S and Ahmed, M.  Which is pretty harsh given just how good those two were.  I'd take his bravery - and class - against extreme pace over Root'd beautiful 75s at this stage.

Healey is an interesting one - he could have been top class had injury not hit him so hard!
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Alvaro

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 09:38:19 AM »

I agree about Smith and the 'leg spin' perception. I think that Root is the better all-surface player, though accept that England didn't really tour the subcontinent in Smith's glory years.

I also think that Thorpe was a superior player to Vaughan, but one needs a decent captain and there are no other obvious candidates in my team.
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Manormanic

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 10:27:58 AM »

I also think that Thorpe was a superior player to Vaughan, but one needs a decent captain and there are no other obvious candidates in my team.

Yes; depends which Vaughan too, right?  The Vaughan 02-05 when fully fit and mostly unencumbered by the captaincy was a frighteningly good player.  The later version was less of a batsman, but a hell of a skipper.
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Alvaro

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 10:34:01 AM »

He was also lucky as a skipper that he inherited the bowling attack that Hussain's foresight bestowed him.
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northernboy1987

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 12:24:48 PM »

Presuming we're picking all players at their peak (especially if I can have early 2000's Vaughan when we're batting and late 2000's Vaughan when we're fielding!):

Cook   (Picks himself)
Gooch   (narrowly shaves out Tres and Strauss for me)
Vaughan C   (Can I have early 2000's Vaughan when we're batting and late 2000's Vaughan when we're fielding?)
KP   (Don't like his attitude/personality but he could seriously bat)
Root   (Possible argument for leaving out Root or KP for Thorpe?)
Stokes   (Only genuine no6/4th Seamer worth picking imo)
YJB +   (Just personal preference, Prior or Stewart could easily be picked here)
Flintoff   (Great bat to have coming in at 8 and genuine top class quick, peerless on his day)
Swann   (Picks himself)
S Jones   (Just beats Broad on added pace and old ball ability, Gough also a great choice here)
Anderson   (Picks himself)

My only doubt is that I don't really have a "proper" new ball bowler to open with Jimmy, I tend associate Stokes, Fred and Jones with the older ball.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 12:28:22 PM by northernboy1987 »
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Johnny

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Re: Englands Post late-1980s best Test XI
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 03:15:27 PM »

Fred was awesome with he new ball once Strauss worked out that it is ok to give the new cherry to an all rounder. Serious wheels
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