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Harsh Thakor

Tribute to Keith Miller on birth centenary today-How great?

Where did Keith Miller rank amongst the great allrounders of all time?  

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  1. 1. Where did Keith Miller rank amongst the great allrounders of all time?

    • Best ever
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    • 2nd best ever
    • 3rd best ever
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    • 4th best ever
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    • 5th best ever
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    • 6th best ever
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    • 7th best ever
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    • 8th best ever
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    • Not in the top 10 allrounders of all time
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Exactly 100 years a genius of the cricketing fraternity was born.Few sportsman ever sparkled such fragrance or were ever as explosive on a cricket field as Miller,who was an embodiment of grace and hostility personified.He could turn a game 360 degrees in just a few moments like a sudden attack of a bomber on an airbase.He had great attacking flair with the bat taking domination of bowling to its ultimate zenith  and combined incredible speed,bounce and movement with the ball to break the ribcage of the strongest of batting lineups.He was also amongst Cricket's most good-looking men with a suave or debonair appearance like a Hollywood star.Today I am paying him the tribute the legend richly deserves.

 

Arguably no allrounder ever would be as attacking when his team was in the depths of despair or repair a sinking ship with such elan.Miller was an entertainer par excellence with the bat displaying the most majestic of strokes..From the shortest of run ups Miller could create lightning with a cricket ball with his short lifting delivery often unplayable.He was also a master on bowling a quick leg -break which could rip through the defence or armoury of the best of batsmen.Miller could extract  pace from the slowest tracks and also deployed incredible variations of sped in addition to subtle or even disguised movement.He also was a great exponent of the bouncer ,but like a true sportsman never used it on the tail.At his best Miller resembled  a python swooping in to attacki its prey as a fast bowler.

 

Fascinatingly he played a role as a fighter pilot in world war 2 serving for 169 squadron in England flying Beaufighter and Mosquito fighter-bombers.He was granted leave to play for Dulwich in United Kingdom,with cricket thus probably saving his life.Significantly he bestowed the same hostility  in his cricketing years as he did as a fighter pilot.

 

Miller broke into the cricketing field made a spectacular 1st class debut for Victoria in 1938 scoring 181 versus Tasmania at the MCG.Thus he gave the great glimpses of his incredible talent with the bat.In his tset debit versus New Zealand in March 1946 he scored 30 runs and captured 2 wickets for 6 runs with Australia gaining a comprehensive innings victory.He made his Ashes debut in scintillating fashion scoring 79 and capturing 7 wickets for 60 runs enabling Australia to triumph by a staggering margin if an innings and 332 runs.At Adelaide in the same Ashes series he scored his 1st century with 141 not out .At Trent Bridge he captured 3-38 and 4-125 creating tremors in the batmen with his bouncers.Thus in his 1st Ashes series he averegaed 76.80 with the bat and 20.88 with the ball.

 

He was not at his best in the 1948 tour of England taking 13 scalps and averaging 26 with the bat.This caused his controversial sacking for the subsequent tour of South Africa in 1949-50.Ironically he joined the tour as a replacdement for injured players and performed on par.

 

In the 1950-51 Ashes series he topped the bating averages and also captured 17 wickets,including 2 five wicket hauls.

In the nest 3 test series at home against South Africa and away versus Australia Miller scored only once century at Lords in 1953 scoring just 114 run sin 8 remaining innings.

On his final ashes tour he achieved his first ever 10 wicket haul ion his career enabling Australia to secure their only test win of the series.

 

One of his most memorable performances were his dazzling and penetrating spell of 3 for 5 at MCG in an Ashes test in 1954 claiming Len Hutton,Bil Edrich and Denis Compton.In a subsequent test at Adelaide he was more lethal creating pandemomium in the English camp inducing them to 49-4 when chasing a meagre target of 94 runs to win,removing Hutton,Edrich,Cowdrey and May in successive overs.

His greatest bowling spell was in 1955 on Sydney Cricket ground when he blew apart South Australia for a record low of 27,capturing 7-12.

 

On Australia's maiden tour of West Indies in 1955 he hit 3 centuries and captured 20 wickets.He scored an unbeaten 147 at Kingston in the 1st test.

 

 

 

Keith Miller retired from test cricket with a haul of 10 wickets averaging 22.97 ,with 7 5 wicket hauls and scoring 2958 run with the bat at an average of 36.98, with 7 centuries.In first class cricket he scored 14183 runs ta 48.91 and captured 497 scalps at 22.31. When Miller performed to his potential, Australia usually won. Of the 55 Tests he played Australia won 31, which illustrates how strong the team was during that era, and Miller's contributions in those victories were immense: with the bat he averaged 43.39, and he scored four of his seven hundreds in those games; in contrast, in the nine Tests he played in that Australia lost, his average fell to a miserable 17, and he scored only one half-century in 18 innings.

 

Sadly Miller was never tested in One day cricket in which he may well have become the most outstanding of all the allrounders with his character.

 

In peak era in his first 11 tests Miller was statistically the best of all the allrounders averaging over 54 with the bat and less than 21 with the ball..For the major part of his career with both bat and ball he was statistically marginally overshadowed by Botham and Imran but one has to consider strike rate was much less in Miller's days and even playing conditions more challenging.Notable that even if Botham had  far more staggering booty of runs and wickets Miller overshadowed him in terms of batting and bowling average.Imran bettered Miller statistically but could not turn the complexion of game or serise with both bat and ball as Miller did in peak period.On statistical merit Sobers is still the king at his peak while Kallis was a great  batsmen and not at his best at both bat and ball as Miller in peak period.

 

On figures Miller would  not match the stature of Sobers or Kallis or even Botham or Imran.However in my opinion as an all-rounder he was overall 2nd to only Garfield Sobers when taking into consideration his ability as a match-winner.No great fast bowler was as skilled with the bat and fast bowling all-rounders are greater match-winners than batting al-rounders.As a pure match-winner he may have even superseded Sobers.Kallis never posessed the impetuousity of Miller with both bat and ball,to turn the course of games.Botham may have been more explosive but to me was not the technical equal of Miller with the bat and ball nor as consistent.Statistically Imran and Miller are very similar in terms of average but unlike Imran Miller was at his best with both b at and ball unlike Imran who became a very good batsmen late in his career.Imran lacked the flamboyance of Miller with the bat even if he was technically sound.Miller had the most outstanding record as a match-winner as an all-rounder even if he was part of a very powerful team.Alan Davidson rates Keith Miller as the best all -rounder he saw as well as Richie Benaud. In the end the ranking is very subjective as conditions varied in different eras .

 

Cristopher Martin Jenkins ranks him at 16th pace amongst the best cricketers of all ,ahead of Botham,Kapil Dev and Jacques Kallis. and behind only Sobers and Imran.Geoff Armstrong even though a Australian himself ranks Miller at 34th place ,below Sobers.Imran,Hadlee,Botham and Kapil Dev,weighing the International impact.Very creditable that Cristopher Martin Jenkins and John Woodcock rank Miller as a cricketer ahead of stalwarts like George Headley,Dennis Lillee and even Brian Lara.In my view as a pure cricketer Imran may just shave Miller by a whisker because of his incredible contribution as a skipper.I would choose Miller amongst my 15 best cricketers of all time ,above even the greats like Wasim Akram.Conclusively such rankings are hypothetical as cricketers belonged to different eras.Miller would anyway win my vote amongst the 5 most entertaining cricketers ever.

 

Miller will be remembered as one of the supreme entertainers of the game and alsosfor his devastating good looks which attracted many a women.He may be gone but his image shimmers for ever amongst cricket lovers like a star radiating for ever.

 

Statistics from cricinfo

 

Keith Miller's Test career

Period Runs Average 100s/ 50s Wickets Average 5WI/ 10WM
First 11 Tests 599 54.45 1/ 3 27 20.85 1/ 0
Next 33 Tests 1685 32.40 3/ 9 100 21.77 3/ 0
Last 11 Tests 674 39.64 3/ 1 43 27.11 3/ 1
Career (55 Tests) 2958 36.97 7/ 13 170 22.97 7/ 1

 

 

Edited by Harsh Thakor

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1 hour ago, Harsh Thakor said:

Please respond here friends.The man was a true legend-close to the best ever cricketer.

Dude I think most would not have even seen the clips of him playing, let alone live. I like reading cricket history, however I always get confused between Harvey and Miller. :laugh:

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Same era as Vinoo Mankad, pretty good all rounder himself. Played 44 tests, accumulated 2109 runs at an average of 31.47 and got 162 wickets @ 32. For the longest time he had the record of India’s highest test score of 231. He had the world record opening partnership with Pankaj Roy-413. There was this test match v England  where he scored 72 and 184, and also took 5 wickets. My thinking is that his role as an all rounder can be compared with Keith Miller’s. His record becomes all the more impressive when you consider the quality of Indian teams back then and the conditions under which they operated. He was already 30 when India got independence and still had a very substantial test career. Not taking anything away from Keith. Just saying that there probably is a very good story in Vinoo Mankad, from that period, in our own back yard.

Edited by kirkutfan

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17 minutes ago, Jimmy Cliff said:

The most balanced of all the ATG all-rounders. Good enough to bat in the bat in the Top 5/6 and open the bowling alongside Lindwall. Would he get in the Australian All Time XI though?

Definitely. Australia never had a better allrounder .Best Australian cricketer after Bradman and Warne, in my opinion.Ahead of Gilchrist.

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46 minutes ago, Harsh Thakor said:

Definitely. Australia never had a better allrounder .Best Australian cricketer after Bradman and Warne, in my opinion.Ahead of Gilchrist.

But do you really need an all-rounder in the AT Test XI?

 

Hayden

Simpson

Bradman

Smith

Chappell

Ponting/Waugh/Border/Miller

Gilchrist

Davidson

Warne

Lillee

McGrath

 

Miller's inclusion does wonders for the bowling with him being a potent 5th bowler but it also weakens the batting a little. I am tempted to pick someone like Ponting or Border instead at 6.

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1 hour ago, Jimmy Cliff said:

But do you really need an all-rounder in the AT Test XI?

 

Hayden

Simpson

Bradman

Smith

Chappell

Ponting/Waugh/Border/Miller

Gilchrist

Davidson

Warne

Lillee

McGrath

 

Miller's inclusion does wonders for the bowling with him being a potent 5th bowler but it also weakens the batting a little. I am tempted to pick someone like Ponting or Border instead at 6.

I would still have Miller in my team as he was the ultimate match winner,Great fast bowling all rounders win more matches than great batsmen .

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5 hours ago, Jimmy Cliff said:

But do you really need an all-rounder in the AT Test XI?

 

Hayden

Simpson

Bradman

Smith

Chappell

Ponting/Waugh/Border/Miller

Gilchrist

Davidson

Warne

Lillee

McGrath

 

Miller's inclusion does wonders for the bowling with him being a potent 5th bowler but it also weakens the batting a little. I am tempted to pick someone like Ponting or Border instead at 6.

You’ve got Davidson in there and he is an allrounder, even if Davidson isn’t considered an allrounder I’d be taking Miller over him, don’t think you’d be losing much if anything with the ball and miller was the better batsman.

 

edit: when posting this didn’t realise davidson’s Bowling average was 20.53. Personally I’d still take miller but I’ve got a thing for allrounders.

 

The Aussie all time xi in particular may not need allrounders with Bradman and Gilchrist and Steve smith.

Edited by gazza

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On 11/28/2019 at 1:13 PM, Jimmy Cliff said:

But do you really need an all-rounder in the AT Test XI?

 

Hayden

Simpson

Bradman

Smith

Chappell

Ponting/Waugh/Border/Miller

Gilchrist

Davidson

Warne

Lillee

McGrath

 

Miller's inclusion does wonders for the bowling with him being a potent 5th bowler but it also weakens the batting a little. I am tempted to pick someone like Ponting or Border instead at 6.

I would have both miller  & davidson. with these 2 and warne, you don't need to worry about weakening the batting. btw, your XI is excellent. only substitution I would make is either arthur morris or syd barnes (not the english one) in place of simpson.

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