Mike lucky to avoid Windies

The Cricket Paper - - COMMENT & VIEWS - DAVID RIM­MER, HERTFORD HEATH

OW­ING to many fac­tors in­clud­ing our coun­try’s strength and op­po­si­tion’s strength, it is im­pos­si­ble to be dog­matic about whom Eng­land’s best cricket captain was.

As Rod­er­ick Eas­dale’s ar­ti­cle The para­dox of Brear­ley: How much did he owe to luck and how

much to skill, last week) cor­rectly pointed out Eng­land’s op­po­si­tion against Mike Brear­ley team was of­ten mod­er­ate. The Mid­dle­sex captain was lucky not to be skipper against the West Indies.

He of­ten had con­cerns about his own form, but one thing that did shine through was his undi­luted joy for other team mem­bers. One could never say that about Ray Illing­worth all the time, but the York­shire­man and Brear­ley were the best of Eng­land cap­tains when a mod­er­ate score was be­ing de­fended. They each had a knack for get­ting on the right bowlers at the right time.

Brear­ley was a top captain but it is im­por­tant to bear in mind that a skipper can­not do much if the op­po­si­tion was too good. As Eas­dale pointed out Eng­land lost 3-0 to Aus­tralia in 1979/80 which is when their Packer play­ers re­turned to the na­tional team.

Great or just lucky: Mike Brear­ley

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