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Best ever England team....

October 6 2017 at 9:24 AM
Stu  (Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

 
....Freddie Flintoff`s view.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/41507153

Nothing wrong with getting behind the team but the best ever? I think Fred is back on the booze.

 
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Guest
(Login sooty-yorkie1)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 9:30 AM 

I doubt he actually thinks that, no doubt he was told what to say. He's well known ex-cricketer and the ashes are coming up. Got to fill those cricket pages in the off season.

 
 

Guest
(Login matthefish2002)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 9:39 AM 

I can see argument this is the best ever England side in white ball cricket but in tests while not an awful side and have some good players but nowhere near enough to call us a great side.
Sure many people would agree the batting is very weak.

 
 
JG
(Login _JG_)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 11:42 AM 

Fair comment about the limited overs team- we should really have won the two most recent global tournaments- but Flintoff is clearly talking about the Test side seen as he mentions Cook and Anderson. Nice to be positive but this is obviously ridiculous; there have been two far better England sides in the last 10-15 years (Fletcher's side peaking 2005 and Flower's peaking around 2010), never mind all of the great sides of the 20th century.

 
 
David in Morley
(Login DavidinMorley)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 12:12 PM 

I read an article in the press recently in which Jim Maxwell was saying he reckons this will be the worst England team to tour down under, so I suspect Flintoff's piece could be just to counteract that and any other Aussie critics.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 12:25 PM 

Best ever England team?

I can think of better Yorkshire teams admittedly the last one being in the 60s before Fred was born. Flintoff that is not Trueman

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 12:27 PM 

Which ever it is, I think we'll face the worst ever Australian team out there, apart from the time when their 1st XI was playing for Packer. And even then they had Allan Border and Rodney Hogg.

 
 
Lew
(Login Lewis_116)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 12:49 PM 

I would say its a strange England team.

On one hand you have Root and Cook, arguably our best two batsmen of the last 20 odd years. Stokes is he goes, who is a huge cog. You then have Bairstow and Ali at 7 and 8 which has to be our greatest batting depth ever in tests. Then Anderson and Broad, two of Englands best ever bowlerz - At least in the modern era.

So from that angle. We are good.

But, we then have 3 batting positions in our top 5 which are unproven or weak. That is a huge concern and I cannot remember ever thinking so many batting positions were available. Then you could argue our bowling lacks a certain variety - A genuine fast bowler and maybe left arm option.

I suppose this answers our inconsistency. The positive is that there are some quality youngsters in the Lions squad, who could grow into filling these voids.

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 1:02 PM 

I think that's spot on, Lew. Dodgy top 5, despite Cook and Root, exceptional 6, 7, 8 (though Stokes's absence will weaken that), dodgy spinner, strong-on-paper seam, without much of a record in Australia.

Australia look similar, with only Warner and Smith any great shakes with the bat. They don't have our all-rounders, but their off-spinner is superior and their quick men could be, if they ever get (and remain) fit. They also have Maxwell, who must be their worst Test player since Ken 'Slasher' Mackay.

Actually, looking at the two line-ups I wonder why I'm forking out £lots to go and watch. Could be the pleasure of travelling, the companionship of friends, a hot sun, and Cottesloe Beach!

 
 
Seadog73
(Login Seadog73)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 1:16 PM 

Dave - however bad the series is, the tour will be fantastic. An Ashes tour is still is on my bucket list, unfortunately. I personally think this might be a very tight series indeed.

 
 
Me4791
(Login Me4791)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 6 2017, 3:50 PM 

Agree with Lewis 116. No inbetween with this squad. Probably 8 top players and the rest unproven, suspect etc.
Broad, Anderson, Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Cook, Root and Stokes are quality England players of recent times and some would qualify to be England greats. Woakes if he stays fit is a quality all round cricketer and must be the best number 9 we have had. The others not so good.
The 86/87 England team got slaughtered in the press beforehand and ended up winning everything with a similar squad set up. Gooch didn't tour and a few were inexperienced or had been in and out like DeFreitas, Broad, Jack Richards, Small, Athey etc

 
 
Idle man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 7 2017, 11:25 AM 

First team I grew up with in the early sixties included May, Cowdrey, Dexter, Barrington, Graveney with the bat, Trueman and Statham with the ball. Yet we never held the Ashes from 1956 to 1970, and lost home series to WI (twice) and S Africa. Funny game.

 
 
Alibor
(Login Alibor2)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 7 2017, 11:42 AM 

The problem with making comparisons is that the strength of opposing countries should be taken into account, like the Bradman era and others with the Aussies or period of West Indian domination or some of the great South African or sub continent countries. There is no way that the squad selected for the forthcoming Ashes series in the strongest ever, but it could be one of the weakest. Unless Cook, Root and Bairstow score big and Anderson and other seamers excel themselves, we could struggle to win one test.

 
 
Guest
(Login BrickyardBoy)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 7 2017, 11:55 AM 

"First team I grew up with in the early sixties included May, Cowdrey, Dexter, Barrington, Graveney with the bat, Trueman and Statham with the ball. Yet we never held the Ashes from 1956 to 1970, and lost home series to WI (twice) and S Africa. Funny game."

At face value it seems inexplicable that a team comprised of such talented cricketers should have failed to win the Ashes. The failure becomes more explicable when with reference to the scorecards of the matches between England and Australia between 1956 and 1970 it is revealed that the players referred to never actually played together in a single Test Match against Australia.

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 7 2017, 12:50 PM 

WE did, of course, win the Ashes in 1953 and 1954/55 (Hutton) and we slaughtered them in 1956, Laker's year. In my opinion the strongest England team of my lifetime, with almost two complete attacks of world class to call upon.

I remember the party that set sail in 1958/59 being described as the strongest ever to go to Australia - and we got hammered! There were circumstances. England under May were very defensive minded, and Wardle's invitation to tour was withdrawn after he had been sacked by Yorkshire.

The surprise, though, was Australia. This was the year of the fast chucker. Never mind Murali, these guys were blatantly throwing them down at 90+ and hitting people. They also had Alan Davidson, one of the great all-rounders now in his prime, as well as Benaud and a guy we'd never heard of, Norman O'Neill.

To a degree we were cheated out of the 58/59 Ashes, and the team went on to beat a very strong W Indies, away, the following winter. Trueman's finest series, probably.

This year, who knows? Come January we may be hailing James Vince as the best player in the world. I bet we're not, though. Australia have no Davidson, though; that is for sure. Mitchell Starc would be the nearest.

Incidentally, Tests in Australia were then of six 5-hour days. It was thought too hot to play for six hours, though I'm sure they bowled more balls in a day than we do, even so. Pre-war Tests in Oz had been 'played to a finish', however long it took; no draws, surely the purest form of cricket, but it led to some monumental slow scoring as the likes of Hammond ground out double centuries without taking the slightest risk.

 
 
Alibor
(Login Alibor2)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 7 2017, 12:55 PM 

The Ashes winning England sides in 1953 and In Australia 1954-5 captained by Len Hutton were two of the best England teams.

 
 
JG
(Login _JG_)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 7 2017, 1:15 PM 

I definitely don't agree this is the worst ever Australian side. Smith and Warner are world-class batsmen, Lyon is probably their best ever finger spinner and Starc, Hazelwood and especially Cummins are towards the beginning of their careers but all have impressed thus far (as their Test averages of 28, 26 and 25 attest) and look set to go on to have fine careers if they can stay fit.

They're certainly better than the 2010/11 vintage where the batting relied heavily on a 35-year old Mike Hussey as a past-it Ponting and out-of-form Clarke struggled, whilst the bowling consisted of a misfiring Johnson, an injury-affected Harris and a couple of honest triers in Hilfenhaus and Siddle- not to mention the various dreadful spin options tried.

 
 
Seadog73
(Login Seadog73)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 7 2017, 1:42 PM 

It'll be a miracle if Starc, Hazelwood and Cummins are all fit for all five tests. The supporting cast of pace bowlers is not as strong as those three.

 
 
remit 1
(Login remit1)

Ah, yes!

October 7 2017, 5:11 PM 

Spot on, Alibor! Though Trueman - and it still hurts to acknowledge this - only played in one Test over both series.

Our success under the captaincy of Hutton makes you realise that his contribution to English cricket was not confined to run-making.

 
 
Me4971
(Login Me4791)

Re: Best ever England team....

October 9 2017, 11:05 AM 

The mid eighties sides of Australia were worse than the current one. They had lost G Chappell, Lillee and Marsh to retirement at the same time and it was left to ALlan Border to get it right by the late eighties with S Waugh/M Taylor/McDermott/Healy. We even won the Ashes in 85 and 86/87!

 
 
 
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