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  1. #1
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    Why didn't Mark Ramprakash and Graeme Hick succeed at the international leve?

    Two players who had unbelievable first class records, remember during the 90s the quality of overseas stars was extremely high. Ramprakash and Hick were performing well enough to get into the England team, but they weren't as consistent at international level. I have always wondered why this was. Didn't seem like they had many technical issues as well.

    Anyone explain why they didn't succeed at international level?

  2. #2
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    Not strong enough mentally
    Ramprakash was the best domestic player of his era but struggled in international
    Hick was just constantly mediocre and never soured or hit any heights in his career


    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles"

  3. #3
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    There was a similar player in India as well. Check Ajay Sharma's first class stats. He used to play for Delhi.

    He had scored over 10000 runs in 129 FC matches with an average of 67.

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    There are two words to explain Hicks failure.



    Waqar



    Younus

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza619 View Post
    There are two words to explain Hicks failure.



    Waqar



    Younus
    So against other teams he set the world on fire?

  6. #6
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    Imran explained it perfectly in his book for Hick, applicable for Ramprakash as well.

    Hick was a predominately front foot player, whose entire game was built on stressing front foot to the pitch of the ball and drive through the line - he was exceptionally good at that. Often, batsmen moves back (shifts weight to back foot) to play good length balls, that gives them a fraction of a second of extra time, Hick’s first movement was into driving position on front foot. This was extremely effective in County circuits where too many games often forced pacers to bowl within limit and wickets were also better for batting in general - easy on pace & bounce, not much sideway movements with lots of soft overs from medium pacers bowling length-line. Once set, Hick was the king of County cricket, particularly on that beautiful batting track at New Road, Worcester.

    At international (Test) level, he was subject to fast & short hostile pace and top teams never allowed him to play in his comfort zone - kept pegging him on back foot until he got desperate. This was first exposed by WI pacers, particularly Ambrose, then Aussies & Pakistanis also exploited his weakness - a height of 6’3”+ didn’t help either in this regard. His ODI stats are much better than Test stats, and the reason was simple - by the time he started ODI career, limit was imposed on short bowling.

    This was the same reason with Zaheer Abbas - he was the best County batsman of 1970s (when every contemporary great bar Gavaskar played there) - Zaheer scored over 20K FC runs for Gloster, at an average close to 60 .... at a time when in same seasons Viv & Greg barely touched 50 and his ODI stats are actually better than Viv - similar in numbers and includes runs against Viv’s bowlers.

    Ramprakash is a system produced batsman whose drives were text book perfect and he could play every type of bowling equally good or bad), but he was just not tough enough mentally to fight it out at highest level. I believe this lack of confidence was again due to his weakness on back-foot - he was always subject to a barrage of short bowling which didn’t help him building confidence. He was given enough Tests (50+) to establish himself, but ended with an average in mid 20s. His ODI stats are even worse, though both at List A level, it was comparable to Hick. His FC/County stats are actually better than Hick and he lasted longer. At the last end of career, Ramprakash had few remarkable County seasons, but it was too late by then, didn’t get the call.

    The third one in this group was Ian Bell - though comparatively much better Test record, but still I believe he underachieved - that cover drive demands better return.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza619 View Post
    There are two words to explain Hicks failure.



    Waqar



    Younus
    No, it was Curtly Ambrose & Ian Bishop first. Every fast bowler troubled him for his technique, WY was part of that mix, but not the way you are hyping here.

  8. #8
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    Most British Asian players are mentally weak, so it is not surprising to see Ramprakash fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhaag Viru Bhaag View Post
    There was a similar player in India as well. Check Ajay Sharma's first class stats. He used to play for Delhi.

    He had scored over 10000 runs in 129 FC matches with an average of 67.
    He was very weak against pace bowling. Looked very timid against genuine quick bowlers. Was prolific scorer in domestic cricket bcoz there were no genuine quicks around

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    I 1st Ramos in the 80s in the Natwest final and he looked so natural but the early success was his undoing. He grow up in front of the cameras and being the type of player he started to become, he became obsessed with technique and forget that in the end its a game of see ball, hit ball. The more he focused on his technique the more his game regressed. In the late 90s he got a great 100 at Barbados against Ambrose and Walsh but the success was short lived.
    As far as Hick was concerned, the pressure of expect actions caused similar issues. I don't agree totally with the front foot analysis, he faced quick bowlers in County cricket and dealt with them with ease, his 1000 runs was completed with a huge 100 against the Windies in 88. He was someone that needed an arm around him but as the team struggled he was an easy target.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Most British Asian players are mentally weak, so it is not surprising to see Ramprakash fail.
    one of the mentally hardest captains England has had was a british asian. i wouldnt say many others would fall into the mentally weak category either. guys like adil rashid and moeen have made the most of their skills despite being technically limited, especially in moeen's case.

    i dont think theres any significant prevalance of underachievement due to mental weakness among british asian cricketers compared to non-asian british players, of course it'll be skewed when you compare it to non local england cricketers who are arguably technically more skilled, and thus hold down international spots with greater confidence like kp and jofra.

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    Hick came in with so much hype. He had an insane county record with 57 FC hundreds BEFORE making his debut and averaged over 62. He also scored a hundred against the touring West Indians in 1988.

    So the weight of expectations were huge going into his debut series in 1991. The West Indians, especially Curtly Ambrose, peppered him with the short ball and that was Hick's downfall.

    Ramprakash's issues were mental. A stylish batsman who again had a terrific county record but it never translated to the big stage.

    The problem I have though with people, especially Pakistan fans, citing Hick and Ramprakash as the ultimate proof domestic stats are meaningless when selecting international cricketers is that these two were the exception to the rule. This argument has been used for 11 years to sideline Fawad Alam.

    If you cannot maintain a domestic FC average of 40, it's extremely difficult against better bowlers who offer fewer bad deliveries to average 40 in Test cricket. England weren't wrong to give Hick and Ramprakash a run - but they shouldn't have stuck with them for that long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Most British Asian players are mentally weak, so it is not surprising to see Ramprakash fail.
    Ramprakash had a Guyanese father and an English mother.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
    So against other teams he set the world on fire?
    He was always left in a shock state after those deadly inswinging yorkers, which perhaps shattered his confidence against other teams as well.

    I dont know his average against all teams but he was Waqar’s bunny big time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhaag Viru Bhaag View Post
    There was a similar player in India as well. Check Ajay Sharma's first class stats. He used to play for Delhi.

    He had scored over 10000 runs in 129 FC matches with an average of 67.
    Add Wasim Jaffer to the list as well. Prolific run scorer in domestic but struggled in International level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianG00se View Post
    Add Wasim Jaffer to the list as well. Prolific run scorer in domestic but struggled in International level.
    Very weak against away moving ball in overseas conditions. Geoff Boycott once told him on his face during a tv show during test match in West Indies in 2002 that he wud not last long if he does not develop technique against moving ball

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianG00se View Post
    Add Wasim Jaffer to the list as well. Prolific run scorer in domestic but struggled in International level.
    There was also Amol Mazumdar from Mumbai who didn't even play 1 international match for India.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Imran explained it perfectly in his book for Hick, applicable for Ramprakash as well.

    Hick was a predominately front foot player, whose entire game was built on stressing front foot to the pitch of the ball and drive through the line - he was exceptionally good at that. Often, batsmen moves back (shifts weight to back foot) to play good length balls, that gives them a fraction of a second of extra time, Hick’s first movement was into driving position on front foot. This was extremely effective in County circuits where too many games often forced pacers to bowl within limit and wickets were also better for batting in general - easy on pace & bounce, not much sideway movements with lots of soft overs from medium pacers bowling length-line. Once set, Hick was the king of County cricket, particularly on that beautiful batting track at New Road, Worcester.

    At international (Test) level, he was subject to fast & short hostile pace and top teams never allowed him to play in his comfort zone - kept pegging him on back foot until he got desperate. This was first exposed by WI pacers, particularly Ambrose, then Aussies & Pakistanis also exploited his weakness - a height of 6’3”+ didn’t help either in this regard. His ODI stats are much better than Test stats, and the reason was simple - by the time he started ODI career, limit was imposed on short bowling.

    This was the same reason with Zaheer Abbas - he was the best County batsman of 1970s (when every contemporary great bar Gavaskar played there) - Zaheer scored over 20K FC runs for Gloster, at an average close to 60 .... at a time when in same seasons Viv & Greg barely touched 50 and his ODI stats are actually better than Viv - similar in numbers and includes runs against Viv’s bowlers.

    Ramprakash is a system produced batsman whose drives were text book perfect and he could play every type of bowling equally good or bad), but he was just not tough enough mentally to fight it out at highest level. I believe this lack of confidence was again due to his weakness on back-foot - he was always subject to a barrage of short bowling which didn’t help him building confidence. He was given enough Tests (50+) to establish himself, but ended with an average in mid 20s. His ODI stats are even worse, though both at List A level, it was comparable to Hick. His FC/County stats are actually better than Hick and he lasted longer. At the last end of career, Ramprakash had few remarkable County seasons, but it was too late by then, didn’t get the call.

    The third one in this group was Ian Bell - though comparatively much better Test record, but still I believe he underachieved - that cover drive demands better return.

    Thanks for this.

    I think Ian Bell did underachieve in ODI cricket. I think England should have batted him in the top 3 for a prolonged period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhaag Viru Bhaag View Post
    There was a similar player in India as well. Check Ajay Sharma's first class stats. He used to play for Delhi.

    He had scored over 10000 runs in 129 FC matches with an average of 67.

    I'll check him out. Amazing stats .

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post

    Anyone explain why they didn't succeed at international level?
    Ramps overthought things. Didn’t relax often enough at test level. Extraordinary, given that he had excellent technique and was Bradmaneque at Surrey, averaging 100 for more that one season.

    Hick had a technical flaw in that he was mostly a front-foot player and couldn’t get onto the back foot quick enough against the quicks. Additionally, I think he overthought things in tests like Ramps. He was still good enough to get five test hundreds. In ODIs he was protected from the short ball, and excelled.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Most British Asian players are mentally weak, so it is not surprising to see Ramprakash fail.
    I detest this “mentally weak” trope, it is meaningless.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    No, it was Curtly Ambrose & Ian Bishop first. Every fast bowler troubled him for his technique, WY was part of that mix, but not the way you are hyping here.
    Had a good record against Donald.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Ramprakash had a Guyanese father and an English mother.
    Guyanese are mostly Indian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Ramps overthought things. Didn’t relax often enough at test level. Extraordinary, given that he had excellent technique and was Bradmaneque at Surrey, averaging 100 for more that one season.

    Hick had a technical flaw in that he was mostly a front-foot player and couldn’t get onto the back foot quick enough against the quicks. Additionally, I think he overthought things in tests like Ramps. He was still good enough to get five test hundreds. In ODIs he was protected from the short ball, and excelled.
    Thanks for the explanation pal.

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    Both did find things tough psychologically partly due to the weight of expectations but also worth pointing out the nature of the era they played in against high quality bowling attacks on wickets which were a lot tougher, as an example Athers stats don't do him justice. Also, they didn't entirely represent a well oiled England set which you see today; I think both Mark and Hicks would have done fine in the England set up of the last 10 years or so, Trott is another technically sound batsman who did very well despite his mental issues. England still see a great deal of value in Mark though even now, I have seen him many times around the national academy helps the youth and development teams a fair bit

  26. #26
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    Different pitches and different bowlers in international cricket. More chance for bowlers to exploit weakness and once it's known, it gets harder.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

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    As @MMHS and @Robert wrote, Hick was too quick onto the front foot.

    He was actually Rhodesian, and in an earlier era this would have been ironed out by playing domestic cricket in South Africa every winter. He was unlucky that that avenue closed when he decided to play for England instead of Zimbabwe.

    There was an element of hubris and complacency with Hick: who writes a book BEFORE his international debut and calls it “My Early Life”?

    He only needed to make minor adjustments to his technique but he wasn’t smart enough. Hick was a God in Asian conditions though: his 178 in an innings defeat at Mumbai was amazing.

    Ramprakash was exactly the same as Steve Waugh: mentally brittle and needed to be persisted with to make himself at home in Test cricket.

    After 22 Tests Steve Waugh had a top score of 79 not out and an average of 28.73. He had been persisted with for 3 long years.

    After 22 Tests Ramprakash had been in and out of the team for almost 7 years. He had a top score of 154 and averaged 23.25.

    Ramprakash (and John Crawley) would have made it as Test cricketers in an era in which the English selectors were more loyal. They were victims of a culture in which world class youngsters aren’t persisted with.

  28. #28
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    Just to emphasise this, this is what every mid-1990’s England Test team should have looked like:

    1. Atherton
    2. Stewart
    3. Hick
    4. Thorpe
    5. Hussain or Crawley
    6. Ramprakash
    7. Lewis
    8. Gough
    9. Caddick
    10. Tufnell
    11. Malcolm

    They had incredible potential, but they blew it with disloyal selection and an inability to handle Mavericks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I detest this “mentally weak” trope, it is meaningless.
    Mamoon has complexion issues and thereby always supports the wrong side of the stick

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    I was a massive Hick fan growing up .
    His problems were mental and I believe he was soft as well which did not help his cause.

    He was also severely mismanaged. He was dropped 10 times in 60 odd tests he played . Sometimes after only being given one test .

    His record overseas was very good, close to 40. He had a good record in Australia, South Africa , India and a decent one in West Indies . This is in the era of great bowlers. He struggled more at home , maybe due to expectation.

    He also had a good one day record and was man of the match in a World Cup Semi.

    He had a mediocre test record , and I’m sure he will also think he could have done things better . They rightly called him an “enigma”.

  31. #31
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    Wasim Akram was the first bowler to absolutely expose Hick...

    and it was at a B&H final at lords, worcs v Lancashire.

  32. #32
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    There was definitely an element of not giving confidence and time to both these players as well as many others during that era

    Too often teams were chopped and changed and players came and went through revolving doors

    They both wouldve done a lot better in the last 20 years where players were centrally contracted and backed more

  33. #33
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    Just mental toughness. It is the most important aspect towards succeeding at the top level, not talent or technique. A top bat has to have the determination to never give their wicket away.

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    Hick was quite ordinary in international cricket. However, England was also quite ordinary as a team.

    When you play for an ordinary team, performance often suffers.


    Bangladeshi Fan

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    As @MMHS and @Robert wrote, Hick was too quick onto the front foot.

    He was actually Rhodesian, and in an earlier era this would have been ironed out by playing domestic cricket in South Africa every winter. He was unlucky that that avenue closed when he decided to play for England instead of Zimbabwe.

    There was an element of hubris and complacency with Hick: who writes a book BEFORE his international debut and calls it “My Early Life”?

    He only needed to make minor adjustments to his technique but he wasn’t smart enough. Hick was a God in Asian conditions though: his 178 in an innings defeat at Mumbai was amazing.

    Ramprakash was exactly the same as Steve Waugh: mentally brittle and needed to be persisted with to make himself at home in Test cricket.

    After 22 Tests Steve Waugh had a top score of 79 not out and an average of 28.73. He had been persisted with for 3 long years.

    After 22 Tests Ramprakash had been in and out of the team for almost 7 years. He had a top score of 154 and averaged 23.25.

    Ramprakash (and John Crawley) would have made it as Test cricketers in an era in which the English selectors were more loyal. They were victims of a culture in which world class youngsters aren’t persisted with.
    I did wonder about Hick’s book before he played internationals (I believe he was in the ZIM squad for the 1983 WC but didn’t play).

    Excellent point on Tugga and Ramps. The latter kept getting dropped. Then they messed him about by making him open. Really bad management in those days, all reactive and no idea how to boost the more sensitive types.

    Crawley was lavishly talented. I remember on the 94/5 Ashes some lads in the nets bowling at the English and Aussies, and when asked who was the best they all said Crawley not Waugh. I thought Crawley was a second-innings fifty merchant - he would fail first up, the get some pressure-off runs in a losing cause to do enough to get picked again.
    Last edited by Robert; 28th June 2020 at 12:28.


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