Mark Ramprakash was never going to be a great Test cricketer. Steve Waugh was.

Mark Ramprakash eventually fell short of a triple century last week, but it was still a whopping innings and journalists up and down the land dusted off their ‘Ramprakash could have been an England Great’ stories. Well we’ve had it. Mark Ramprakash couldn’t have been one of England’s Greats. How do we know that? Because he wasn’t one. It stands to reason.

That’s simplistic (not for the first time). Given better support by selectors and management Mark Ramprakash could have been a better Test player, but not a great one. It’s indicative of an ‘if only’ mentality which has no place in top level sport. The ingredients of a Test class batsmen aren’t just technique and timing. More than either of those it’s mentality and determination.

Take Steve and Mark Waugh. Mark had all the shots (and then some). On his day he made batting look easier than sighing at your own worthlessness. Steve on the other hand looked borderline ugly at the crease. Who was the better batsman? It was Steve, unquestionably. He scored more runs at a greater average and inevitably scored them when they were most needed. He made no excuses and he made sure he made the most of every opportunity.

Steve didn’t need the support of anyone because he made bloody certain that everyone else needed him. People say that he made the most of what he had, which is tantamount to patronising him. In reality, making the most of what you have is an absolute necessity as an international batsman.

To say: ‘If only Ramprakash had made more of what he had, because he had the talent,’ is akin to saying: ‘If only Matthew Hoggard had more natural batting talent, because he makes the most of what he has’. Mark Ramprakash made the least of what he had. He wasn’t an underachiever. What happened in Mark Ramprakash’s Test career happened for a reason.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 06, 2012

King Cricket latest

Contact us

Subscribe to King Cricket


Anonymous skchai said...

Hard to settle these kinds of "what if" counterfactuals. People say that Ramprakash was nervous in the crease, but wouldn't you be nervous if you knew that Ray Illingsworth was going to chop off your head if you didn't score heavily in the next innings?

Interesting you mentioned Steve Waugh. It took him three+ years and 26 Test matches to score his first international century. If the Australian management setup at the time had been anything like England, he would have been long before his 26th match, then perhaps given a one-off every year or so to sink or swim. And most likely we would have never heard from him again, and wouldn't be talking about him right now. Mental toughness comes, in part, from the security of knowing that you can fail one or twice without sinking down a great hole in the ground.

7:02 pm  
Blogger Blue and Brown said...

Our point is that it can't be proved that Ramprakash would have made a great Test player and it bugs us when people make out that given the right support he would have been. As you say - no-one knows.

However, we've done exactly the same thing, haven't we? We're saying that he WOULDN'T have made a great Test player, but we can't prove that. This is why we work in a warehouse and not as a lawyer.

We still reckon that Steve Waugh grasped his chance though, whereas Ramprakash didn't. He may have done it partly through his bowling in the first place and he may have done it in a more forgiving system, but he still did it.

7:16 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

I like all this dicussion about Mark Ramprakash. I think about him a lot.

Do you think his parents thought they would balance his name?

Jesus, he's called Ramprakash, lets call him Mark or he'll be a right flash get.

Wouldn't it have been better if they bit the bullet, went the whole hog and called him, Racing Rocket.

bet he would have made it as Great Test Player (GTP) then.

3:17 pm  
Anonymous stupid of brum said...

Call me ignorant, but what sort of name is Ramprakash any way? Is it English?

12:49 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home