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View Poll Results: Who is England's greatest ever batsman?

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  • WG Grace

    7 14.89%
  • Sir Jack Hobbs

    17 36.17%
  • Herbert Sutcliffe

    1 2.13%
  • Wally Hammond

    7 14.89%
  • Douglas Jardine

    1 2.13%
  • Denis Compton

    2 4.26%
  • Sir Len Hutton

    3 6.38%
  • Peter May

    0 0%
  • Ted Dexter

    1 2.13%
  • Ken Barrington

    4 8.51%
  • Sir Geoffrey Boycott

    0 0%
  • Graham Gooch

    4 8.51%
  • Other (please specify)

    0 0%
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Thread: Who Is The Best English Batsman of All-Time?

  1. #1
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Who Is The Best English Batsman of All-Time?

    Ok. This mayíve been asked before, but it hasnít in my time on the Forums, so here it is. Hopefully itís a bit less cut & dried than the ďbest batsmen of all timeĒ, which is only ever gonna be one fella. Iíve limited myself to an even dozen nominations, so thereís bound to be one or two glaring omissions, but I donít see you starting a new thread, so just leave it, ok? Weíve all had a drinkÖ

    Anyway, test averages & v brief reasons:

    WG Grace: (ave 32.29) invented modern batting; the first man to score freely off either foot on each side of the wicket.

    Sir Jack Hobbs: (ave 56.94) ďThe masterĒ. Many rate him as the best BB (Before Bradman). Ideal, classic style. Great longevity in the game.

    Herbert Sutcliffe: (ave 60.73) Superb defensively, wonderful concentration & very brave. Great hooker; constantly strove to improve his game.

    Wally Hammond: (ave 58.45) Took Sir Donaldís test record with his 336no against NZ; joint top run maker in 32/33 (with Sutcliffe); 22 test centuries; wonderful cover drive off front and back foot.

    Douglas Jardine: (ave 48.00) Every Aussieís favourite Anglo-Indian Scot. Genius tactician who planned & executed the perfect tour. Iron-willed & very brave; prepared to take his own medicine against Constantine iní33. Also arguably the greatest defensive batsman of his era.

    Denis Compton: (ave 50.06) Played for Arsenal (!); the original brylcreem boy largely responsible for English cricketís post-war boom. The classic right-hander, wonderfully audacious & a stylish stroke maker.

    Sir Len Hutton: (ave 56.67) the ideal opener; held test best with his 364 against the Aussies; outstanding record against Lindwall & Miller, who werenít bad! Englandís first pro captain.

    Peter May: (ave 46.77) Rated by some as the best post-war English batter, v strong on leg side. An instinctive cricketer marked as FEC at early age; fulfilled his destiny by winning 20 tests in 41 as skipper.

    Ted Dexter: (ave 47.89) Wonderfully dashing stoke maker. Arguably the most fluent of Englandís post war batters. Attacking batsman with strong cover drive.

    Ken Barrington: (ave 58.67) wonderfully gutsy batter; held himself in check, but a better stroke player than many gave him credit for.

    ďSirĒ Geoff Boycott: (ave 47.72) the ultimate accumulator; not the most naturally gifted player, but a perfectionist who worked exceptionally hard at his game (as he will tell you).

    Graham Gooch: (ave 42.58) Englandís leading test run-maker. A rock of dependability in the early 90s. Last Englishman to be ranked #1 before Vaughan.
    Last edited by BoyBrumby; 30-12-2004 at 05:59 PM.
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  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Grace totally overwhelms anyone else IMO.
    Averaged in the 50s in First-Class-cricket in his years which make-up most players' careers (teens, 20s and early-mid-30s). His average went down to 39.something as he played on into his 40s, 50s and 60s. His Test-average really doesn't tell you that much as Test-cricket was so limited back then and he was already in his 40s when he played his few games.
    If Grace played today I find it quite conceivable he'd average something close to 100, given that 20 was a pretty reasonable batting-average in those days and he more than doubled it.
    Hobbs, Hammond, Sutcliffe, Hutton and Barrington were all good, no doubts. The rest were fantastic players but most evidence suggests they weren't quite as good as the top lot.
    Gooch, meanwhile, was sensational in his last 5 years or so and wasn't really that good before then. I owe my love of the game to him in a big way, I was fortunate enough to start watching during his golden period.
    Last edited by Richard; 30-12-2004 at 06:02 PM.
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  3. #3
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    And Compton was certainly not a left-hander! Maybe you've got him and his most famous partner, Bill Edrich, mixed-up?
    You're right, of course. He merely bowled left-handed. B*gger.

  4. #4
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Never mind, I'll let you off the hook.
    I didn't quote your post, so no-one'll know.
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  5. #5
    State Vice-Captain Link's Avatar
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    cant vote for Vaughan, No?

    hmm anyway

  6. #6
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    from what ive heard Barrington was pretty damn impressive, his record just enhanced his status...

  7. #7
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    I once read he started off as an attacking batsman but ended up having to change his game and style of batting to become of defensively minded batsman.

    For me I voted for JB Hobbs.
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  8. #8
    International Regular NikhilN's Avatar
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    Hey! why isnt Vaughan on that list???? dont you know that he is the best english ODI batsman ever?
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  9. #9
    First Class Debutant nookie_lk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikhilN
    Hey! why isnt Vaughan on that list???? dont you know that he is the best english ODI batsman ever?

    nice one....lol
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  10. #10
    Banned Peanutbutterbar's Avatar
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    I picked Hobbs, but I think that in 10 years, Andrew Strauss could be on that list. Looks like a great player.
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  11. #11
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  12. #12
    SJS
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    Jack Hobbs just pips Waly Hammond.

    Mightily surprised to see Jardine on this list while so many others didnt make it.

    Scandalised to see someone voted for Jardine while Compton, Sutcliffe, Huttone, May and others have still to open their account

  13. #13
    PY
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    100 hundreds tips the balance for me.

    Though I was tempted to vote Gooch as he's the only one I've seen live and he scored an unbeaten century for Essex. Plus I saw his 333 on TV.

    All of the above are truly phenomonal batsman though and difficult to compare all of them as they all have such good records.
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  14. #14
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS
    Jack Hobbs just pips Waly Hammond.

    Mightily surprised to see Jardine on this list while so many others didnt make it.

    Scandalised to see someone voted for Jardine while Compton, Sutcliffe, Huttone, May and others have still to open their account
    I have to hold my hand up as the guilty party.

    I think DRJ is the most traduced player in the history of test cricket. His popular (Australian) stereotype is of the supreme Pommie snob, both autocratic & arrogant. In reality I think he represented the British qualities of cool-headed determination, resolve & disdain for naysayers.

    He lead England on only 15 occasions (a stop-gap in today's terms, Vaughan is already on 21 having missed one thru injury too), but he will always be remembered as one of the select few who have won back the urn in Oz. The Australians of 32/33 may not quite have had the all-round strength of the 04/05 vintage, but their batting was awesome (Richardson, Woodfull, McCabe) with, of course, The Don @ no 3. If ever a team needed a plan it was DRJ's.

    Of course the plan he produced (originally a defensive gambit, transformed into a potent attack by the genius of Larwood) lives on in infamy; it being outlawed shortly after. The simple fact is that DRJ broke no rules, but "bodyline" was an albatross around his reputation to his grave & beyond.

    None of this mentions his batting, as you may've noticed! History has been almost as unjust to his batting as to his reputation. He retired prematurely (hurried along by a typically perfidious MCC) at only 33 with an average of exactly 48. He probably didn't play enough tests to truly be in the pantheon, but was superb defensively & marshalled his talent for every run it was worth.

    In reality Wally Hammond should've got my vote, but, being the magnificent player he was, will garner more support than DRJ. My instinct to support the underdog has, on this occasion, got the better of my critical faculties.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby
    I have to hold my hand up as the guilty party.

    I think DRJ is the most traduced player in the history of test cricket. <snip>
    None of this mentions his batting, as you may've noticed! History has been almost as unjust to his batting as to his reputation. He retired prematurely (hurried along by a typically perfidious MCC) at only 33 with an average of exactly 48. He probably didn't play enough tests to truly be in the pantheon, but was superb defensively & marshalled his talent for every run it was worth.

    In reality Wally Hammond should've got my vote, but, being the magnificent player he was, will garner more support than DRJ. My instinct to support the underdog has, on this occasion, got the better of my critical faculties.
    I'd agree that Jardine's historical reputation has been tainted by seventy years of Australian whingeing, but even so, his batting was nowhere near all-time great levels.

    For me it has to be Hobbs. Almost nobody who saw both Hobbs and Grace regarded Grace as the better batsman, and very very few who saw both Hammond and Hobbs thought Hammond the better batsman. And there were plenty who regarded the fact that Hobbs was supreme on bad wickets while Bradman was pretty much useless on them as evidence that Hobbs outclassed the Don.

    Of course any of the propositions contained in the paragraph above are at least debatable, but at least on the comparisons with English batsmen, contemporary opinion was overwhelmingly in Hobbs's favour, and that counts for quite a bit in my book.

    Interestingly, at least to some, the English batsman with the all-time highest peak rating on PWC is Peter May.

    Cheers,

    Mike
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