Revealed: Bradman's clashes with 'Invincible' Miller

Bradman had disagreements with his team-mates about their friendliness with their English counterparts.

Don Bradman's last Test innings on August 14 1948 at The Oval.

Many Australian cricketers wanted a friendlier style of international cricket after World War II, but Donald Bradman had other ideas, according to a recently published book.

According to the book titled "Bradman's War", authored by Malcolm Knox, during the 1948 "Invincibles" tour, Bradman had a running battle with his star all-rounder, Keith Miller.

Twice during the Test series, when Bradman threw Miller the ball to bowl, Miller threw it back, refusing.

In the dressing room at Lord's, the bickering went on, and former Australian opener Jack Fingleton, who was covering the tour, was told that Bradman "grumbled apropos of Miller not bowling".

"I don't know what's up with you chaps. I'm 40 and I can do my full day's work in the field," the Sydney Morning Herald quotes Bradman, as saying.

To which Miller allegedly replied: "So would I, if I had fibrositis during the war!"

The antecedents of this verbal exchange relate to Miller being a fighter pilot during the war, while Bradman never went to battle, as he suffered fibrositis, a nervous muscular complaint, and had been discharged from the army in 1941.

Miller's resentment towards his captain went back to the contrasting ways in which they had spent the war.

Miller had on his side several of the English and Australian cricketers, who had come out of the war feeling that cricket should be played in a new spirit.

The clash between this idea and Bradman's, which was to continue the combative atmosphere of cricket in the 1930s, was going to determine the path of Ashes cricket for decades to come.

In 1945, the English and Australian teams shared the same dressing room, a situation surely unique in the history of matches between the two countries. They did more than change in the same room. They travelled to and from the ground in the same motor-coach and stayed at the same hotel. Nobody lost anything by this. Nor did the cricket.

The Victory Tests began with a common resolve between the captains, Hassett and Hammond, to play "differently". Inspired by Keith Miller, the Australians drew the series 2-2. Many on both sides would say it was the happiest cricket of their life.

When they returned home, however, after an arduous series of matches in India, the servicemen began to detect, or imagine, a bias against them.

The Australian selectors picked a team to tour New Zealand for the first Test cricket after the war, and Hassett was not even vice-captain, let alone captain. Miller was the only other Services player chosen.

Don Bradman was singled out as the most likely suspect, as helped select the squad to New Zealand.

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