Yeah but grazorblade
, world-class bowlers can do damage on most wickets against batsmen who have a fundamental technical weakness against short-pitched deliveries.
His f/c average was so much higher than his Test average because, despite doing brilliantly in County cricket, his weaknesses got exposed when he played at a higher level.
It's a bit like Adam Taggart's scoring record in the A-League compared to in higher quality competitions.
And there would be Aussie batsmen who have excellent Shield records but have done poorly in Test cricket. Possibly such batsmen have their Test stats helped by virtue of the fact that Australia plays a heck of a lot cricket at home on roads against weak opponents. But such batsmen, when they go to the Subcontinent or England, and the ball is suddenly spinning, seaming and swinging, they become walking wickets. I gather Hick was a bit like this with the short-pitched delivery.
You seem to be very good with statistical analysis, grazorblade
, so look at it this way...
Only pseudo-statistical, but anyway. The County Championship in the 80s and 90s did not have plenty of world class bowlers. England only had a few really good pace bowlers, such as Darren Gough and Ian Botham. Both were very good. Neither was a true great though, as bowlers go. There was the odd West Indian, Pakistani, South African, Kiwi and Australian playing in the County Championship who was world-class. But there would have been a lot of mediocre bowlers. And in the context of that dilution in quality, those bowlers wouldn't have been that skilled at short-pitched bowling.
So basically, Graeme Hick encountering attacks with, at most, one very good to world class fast bowler. He would have been facing a lot of average bowling. And he did brilliantly against such bowling. More to the point, that type of bowling didn't test (or allow him to improve) his fundamental technical weakness.
Then, suddenly, Graeme Hick finds himself playing Test cricket. The amazing think about Test cricket is that each country can, usually, gets its best cricketers playing it. So Hick goes from facing lacklustre attacks with, at most, one very good bowler to facing attacks with sometimes four world class fast bowlers. There are not so many freebies and nowhere to hide. Plus, the 90s was a golden era in terms of the quality of fast bowling. Think about Hick facing attacks containing, in any given match, all or many of:
West Indies- Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh, Curtley Ambrose, Ian Bishop
Pakistan- Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis
Australia- Craig McDermott, Damien Fleming, Glenn McGrath. Plus, Shane Warne (who is a leg-spinner, not a fast-bowler, but of a quality rarely seen in the County Championship)
South Africa- Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Jacques Kallis, Craig Matthews