Mike lucky to avoid Windies
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