Stephen Fleming finishes with a pair of fifties

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Stephen Fleming playing like a dream for the first half of his net before losing interestEverybody else is saying it, so why shouldn’t we? How apt that Stephen Fleming should retire with a fifty in each innings. In total he hit 46 in Test cricket, but only nine hundreds. Statistics might not tell the whole story, but there’s only the odd semi-colon missing in this instance.

We did something about Stephen Fleming’s retirement a bit back. It’s probably a two or three out of ten update, if we’re honest. It features ‘facts’. We’re never very comfortable when we’ve got ‘facts’ at our disposal. We choke.

New Zealand v England, third Test at Napier – day four
England 253 (Kevin Pietersen 129, Tim Southee 5-55)
New Zealand 168 (Stephen Fleming 59, Ryan Sidebottom 7-47, Stuart Broad 3-54)
England 467-7 declared (Andrew Strauss 177 not out, Ian Bell 110, Daniel Vettori 4-158)
New Zealand 222-5 (Matthew Bell 69, Stephen Fleming 66, Monty Panesar 3-49)


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  1. Cosmo Cook, Broad, Jimmy A
    In a thousand schoolgirl’s folders?
    Not for me for I’m adult
    And I like Fleming’s shoulders

    Drives you to doggrel that man. Will miss him dreadfully

  2. Fetch the apostrophe police – that should have been schoolgirls’ of course

  3. 6 or 7 runs per innings?! And the rest!

    A good captain, like a great fielder at point, is worth 20-30 runs per OD innings…possibly 30-40 in a Test innings?

    That picture of Daniel Vettori scares me. From studenty Toploader-alike to vaguely homoerotic soft focus. *shudder*

  4. Mahinda, I based the calculation on the difference between Fleming’s record as captain, compared to what he “should” have got, given the averages of his team. There’s a bit of a problem in that he captained for so long, so his bowlers’ averages are reflective of his captaincy. But I don’t think his captaincy per se would be worth more than 15 runs, and it’s probably down around 10.

    Remember that I’m comparing him to a typical captain, not a brain-dead one.

    If you think he’s worth 40 runs per innings as a captain, put it this way: would you rather have in your side Ponting and Tendulkar or Fleming and Gibbs?

  5. I may have been moderately inebriated when making that last comment. Oops.

    Still, I’ll back my point.

    All other things being equal, I’d rather have Fleming captaining my side and no Ponting, than Ponting as captain. Tendulkar, and it’s probably another matter. That’s because I rate Tendulkar as a very special batsman indeed, and Ponting not so good. Still excellent of course, but not as much of an inspiration or a match-winner. Not sure where Gibbs comes into it.

    In a Test match, where both sides score 500 or so over both their innings, I really do think that a very good captain would be worth an extra wicket or two, and some runs. Okay, I suppose they’re more “negative runs when the other team’s batting”…if you see what I mean.

    Anyway, whether you put the figures together and call it “60-80 runs” or “40 runs and a wicket” is a moot point — it’s a definite difference over a typical captain, e.g. Atapattu, Ponting, Ganguly, Lara.

    Of course, I have no stats to back myself up. If someone can pull something meaningful together, I’ll run away.

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