On the latest Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast, host Yas Rana was joined by Wisden Cricket Monthly magazine editor Jo Harman, and Phil Walker, the WCM editor-in-chief, to pick Wisden’s England Test and ODI teams of the 2000s, as part of the 2000s in Review series.
Matthew Hoggard was a member of England’s celebrated pace attack from 2005, in the side that won the Ashes after 18 years. Overall, he took 248 wickets in 67 Tests, averaging 30.50 and striking once every 56 balls – pretty compelling numbers.
Hoggard was also charged with leading England’s pace attack on a demanding tour of India in 2001-02 and was an integral member of the England team during the 2000s. He was therefore a shoo-in to Wisden’s England Test team of the 2000s. Phil cited a stat discovered by BBC in 2015 as evidence for why, despite the esteem he is held in by England fan’s the right-armer is still underrated, a bowler who could be incisive as well as build pressure, and be counted on to contribute every time he took the field.
“We’re not debating whether he should be in the side or not, but Hoggard got 248 wickets in his entirety, and 28 per cent of those dismissals came against batsmen who averaged 45 or over,” said Phil. “So this notion that Hoggard was a workhorse and would block an end and run in for you all day, and then the real players get in to work at the other, is not really borne out by the stats.
“Going back to ’05, that was the Hoggard story. He might not have been breaking records and taking six-fors and seven-fors, and building up that column with five-wicket hauls, but he was getting out Hayden and getting out Clarke and Ponting regularly. And that was the story throughout his career.
“The BBC five years ago did a survey looking at English bowlers throughout history, from Trueman to Botham to Willis, etc. Hoggard came out top by their system. Of all their bowlers, in terms of weighted wickets, getting real, proper players out, not cleaning up the tail. Hoggard came out top. He will die as an underappreciated bowler. He’s one of England’s greats.”