Len Hutton : biography

23 June 1916 - 6 September 1990

Captain in Australia

Expectations before the Australian tour were low after the confusion of the 1954 summer and some controversial selections.Gibson, p. 187. Trueman, Jim Laker and Tony Lock, part of the winning 1953 team, were omitted, and Colin Cowdrey and Vic Wilson were included. Hutton further downplayed his team's chances through deliberately exaggerating its inexperience when talking to an Australian press already sympathetic to Hutton as a professional captain of a class-driven country.Marshall, p. 165. The team began the tour well and Hutton made a series of good scores in the opening games.Howat, p. 152. But for the first Test, Hutton did not include a spinner in the team and chose to bowl on winning the toss, an unusual strategy in Australia. Australia scored 601, England dropped 12 catches and, with the key players Evans and Compton injured, lost by an innings; the press blamed Hutton for choosing to bowl.Howat, p. 153. Despite the result, Hutton saw potential in Frank Tyson's bowling and arranged for Alf Gover, a respected coach who was in Australia as a journalist, to improve and shorten Tyson's run to the wicket.Howat, p. 154. For the second Test, Hutton left out the unfit Alec Bedser, England's most reliable bowler since the war, to include two spinners,Howat, p. 155. but in a low-scoring game, Tyson made the difference and England won by 38 runs. Hutton was unwell before the third Test, suffering from fibrositis and a heavy cold, and had to be persuaded out of bed by members of his team. He decided to play at the last minute and unexpectedly left out Bedser again, although he was fit to play. Hutton neglected to inform Bedser, who only learned of his omission when he saw the team list displayed in the dressing room before the match.Howat, pp. 156–57. Hutton contributed few runs, but Cowdrey and Peter May made large scores and Tyson took seven wickets as Australia were bowled out for 111 in their second innings, giving England a 128-run victory. The fourth Test was crucial, and Hutton's innings of 80 runs in four-and-a-half hours was the highest of the game. Wisden believed Hutton's tactics were instrumental in giving his team the upper hand, and in the final innings, England needed 94 to win and retain the Ashes. Early wickets, including Hutton's, fell to Miller, and when the captain returned to the dressing room, he said that Miller had "done us again." Compton, the next man in, replied "I haven't been in yet", and stayed at the wicket until the match was won by five wickets. Many commentators viewed this as a sign that Hutton's reserve had slipped in the critical situation, but Alan Gibson believes it was a deliberate ploy to inspire Compton.Gibson, p. 88. England went on to draw the final Test in a match ruined by rain. Hutton was out to the fourth ball of the match, but Australia were forced to follow on for the first time by England since 1938, and Hutton took a wicket with the last ball of the match before time ran out. This ended the series, which England won 3–1.

Hutton's tactical approach in the series was praised by Australian and English commentators; they noted how Hutton observed his opponents carefully to spot weaknesses. His caution was criticised, but the main complaint was that he deliberately slowed the speed of play, reducing the number of overs bowled, allowing the fast bowlers to rest and restricting the rate at which Australia scored.Howat, pp. 162–64. With the bat, Hutton scored 220 runs in Tests at an average of 24.44. In all first-class matches in Australia, he scored 959 runs at 50.47. The tour ended with two Tests in New Zealand; England won the first by eight wickets, and the second by an innings and 20 runs. New Zealand were bowled out for 26 in their second innings, which, in 2013, remains the lowest Test score. In the latter match, Hutton scored 53 batting at number five in his final Test innings. He had played in 79 Test matches, scoring 6,971 runs at an average of 56.67 with 19 hundreds. As England captain in 23 matches, he won eight Tests and lost four, and along with Percy Chapman was the only England captain to win consecutive series against Australia.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine