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Thread: Brilliant, elegant & excellent batsmen

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    Brilliant, elegant & excellent batsmen

    As you are thinking about great batsmen which ones always come immediately to mind because of their brilliance, elegance and excellence -- the ones who always conjure up for you visions of magnificent performances and superlative skill -- those who stand out above the rest in your memory?

    For me, there are three, in alphabetical order:

    Sir Donald Bradman
    George Headley
    Sir Everton Weekes


    All three stirred my blood whenever I saw them bat -- there was always electricity in the air and a feeling of great expectation whenever they walked out of the Pavilion. Even when they didn't score well (not often) they inevitably dazzled with their power and remarkable skill.

    Don Bradman -- The first time I saw this remarkable man bat I was amazed by his uncanny ability to always be in position to play just the shot he intended and the incredible versatility of his stroke play -- I had never seen a batter pull a ball pitched on his off-stump for a sceaming leg boundary before! Two other things stood out about his batting for me, and remain burned in my memory: the enormous power that he generated for every one of his offensive strokes (which it seemed was almost every one) and the fact that very rarely did he hit a ball in the air. Runs seemed to just flow off his bat as he sprayed the ball to every boundary.

    George Headley -- I was lucky enough to see this marvelous batsman in his prime and his magnificent stroke play is etched in my memory -- particularly his impeccable driving. Clarrie Grimmett, the great Australian leg spinner, gave George Headley the sobriquet "The black Bradman" after Headley had demolished his bowling during a test match -- something that very rarely happened to Grimmett. Later, during a press conference, a reporter asked Learie Constantine about Grimmett's label. "Well", Constantine replied, "we refer to Don Bradman as 'the white Headley'"!

    Everton Weekes -- How could anyone with the name "Everton De Courcey Weekes" be anything but a charismatic and brilliant batsman? Well, to me, he certainly was those things -- and more. No other batsman stirred my blood as he did. No other batter I have seen had his passion and panache. I saw him bat some memorable innings, none greater than the glorious double century century he hit during one afternoon in the Lancashire League (the first and only one) -- I was working the score board at Bunley CC that day and we could barely keep up with his run onslaught.


    Everton Weekes

    Of course, I saw many other truly great batsmen (including the other two members of "the three Ws" - Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell), but none stand out in my memory as do those three.

    So who are the most memorable batsmen you have seen -- those that are etched in your memory because of their brilliance, elegance and excellence?

    There will no doubt be a generational bias here but these kind of personal selections have always been so affected -- one of these days, sooner than you now think, your children/grandchildren will be asking you "who was that and how come you think he was so great" when you reminisce about a past hero of yours. As a boy, Whenever I used to talk about how great Don Bradman was my father used to say "Ah, but you should have seen Jack Hobbs" to which my grandfather replied "Yes, but Victor Trumper was the best".
    Last edited by jamesicus; 16-11-2005 at 02:23 PM.

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    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    As an old fart (but nowhere near your vintage, Jamesicus), my players of sheer elegance are from a different era (as you inferred) and have one thing in common - they are all southpaws.

    At the top of the pile is Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers, who is arguably the greatest cricketer this planet has ever seen. His hooks and pulls were destructive, often savage, but I shall remember this genius for the greatest late cut I have ever seen.

    My second offering is David Gower, a mercurial talent who even made getting out an art form. The effortless flashing square drive was a thing of wonder, the blade a rapier that timed the ball so sweetly that it hardly seemed to make contact with the grass as it hurtled towards the fence.

    My final submission is Robert Graeme Pollock, a batsman who in the space of one day, one glorious, sunny day at Canterbury in 1965, turned an unbelieving, spotty schoolboy into a disciple of the holy game of cricket. Pollock made batting a simple game indeed, his speed of thought and hand-eye co-ordination giving him an eternity to pick his spot whilst threading the ball through the packed off side field, yet when he opened those shoulders, he hit the ball with immense power.
    Last edited by luckyeddie; 16-11-2005 at 12:26 PM.
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    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    great post James,you almost make me regret being 14.

    i'll give my three nominations when im not so busy.

    good thread idea.

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    International Coach Barney Rubble's Avatar
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    Of modern batsmen that I have had the privilege of watching, either on TV or live:

    Sachin Romesh Tendulkar - untouchable among players since Bradman in my view, and Shane Warne agrees. Capable of taking apart any bowling attack, in any conditions, on any day, from any position in the batting order. One of those few sportsmen worldwide who is genuinely deserving of the adoration of the millions, nay, billions who, like me, worship the ground he walks on.

    Brian Charles Lara - genius, simply put. The fact that I was there for probably his last Test innings in England is something I'll always cherish. Even his ducks are the most attractive ducks around.

    Saeed Anwar - potentially an unconventional choice, but always a batsman I loved watching - and the fact that his 194 in an ODI consisted of a massive number of 4s (22 I think) rather than a load of sixes like most big OD scores shows how adept he was at finding gaps. A class act.


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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Mark Waugh
    David Gower
    Greg Chappell

    In my time machine

    Victor Trumper
    Archie MacLaren
    WG Grace
    DG Bradman
    You know it makes sense.

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    International Debutant a massive zebra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac
    Archie MacLaren
    Interesting choice. Care to expand on why you chose him?
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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a massive zebra
    Interesting choice. Care to expand on why you chose him?
    I have seen a picture of him; miles down the wicket with the bat high above his head, I would love to know if he batted that way.

    Cardus said 'He was the noblest roman' "He did not merely cut the ball, he dismissed it from his presence' (not an exact quote)

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    And there are two contemporary "modern" batsmen who stir my blood quite a bit --

    Brian Lara
    Sachin Tendulkar


    I think that in future years they will both be listed among the immortals by many people.
    Last edited by jamesicus; 16-11-2005 at 04:30 PM.

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    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Sachin Tendulkar - no one else I have seen has that blend of technique, elegance and sheer attacking power. He is the best right-hander (to avoid controversy ) I have seen live.
    Brian Lara - perhaps not elegant in the true sense, but when he gets going, there are hardly any better to watch.
    Mohammad Azharuddin - despite his reputation being sullied by involvement in the match-fixing scandal, Azhar was a treat to watch.

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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dasa
    Mohammad Azharuddin - despite his reputation being sullied by involvement in the match-fixing scandal, Azhar was a treat to watch.
    Ah yes.

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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    The batsmen which make my blood stir are mostly from the 90s and current as I am not that old. Also I dont regret it as I did not have to live through the periods of World War 2 and the like.

    Some batsmen who have stirred by blood:

    B.C.Lara
    S.R.Tendulkar
    Inzamam - always amazes me how late he plays the ball
    M.A.Azharuddin
    A.C.Gilchrist

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    Cricketer Of The Year Anil's Avatar
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    from players i have seen

    for explosive brilliance, no one that i have seen matches viv richards

    for elegance and stylish stroke play, i can't go past david gower

    for sheer technical excellence, i would have to go for the little master, sunil gavaskar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney Rubble
    Of modern batsmen that I have had the privilege of watching, either on TV or live:

    Sachin Romesh Tendulkar - untouchable among players since Bradman in my view, and Shane Warne agrees. Capable of taking apart any bowling attack, in any conditions, on any day, from any position in the batting order. One of those few sportsmen worldwide who is genuinely deserving of the adoration of the millions, nay, billions who, like me, worship the ground he walks on.

    Brian Charles Lara - genius, simply put. The fact that I was there for probably his last Test innings in England is something I'll always cherish. Even his ducks are the most attractive ducks around.

    Saeed Anwar - potentially an unconventional choice, but always a batsman I loved watching - and the fact that his 194 in an ODI consisted of a massive number of 4s (22 I think) rather than a load of sixes like most big OD scores shows how adept he was at finding gaps. A class act.
    I kid you not those were my 3 choices.

    Good stuff, I agree in terms of the criteria of this thread (elegance, excellence and of course they have to be 'brilliant') those to were three of my favourites to watch.
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