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Thread: Best cricketers in the world since the turn of the century

  1. #1
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    Best cricketers in the world since the turn of the century

    I thought I'd compile a list of the best cricketers in the world since the year 2000.

    2005: Shane Warne (Hon. Flintoff, Inzamam, Ponting, McGrath)
    2004: Damien Martyn (Hon. Kallis, Langer)
    2003: Ricky Pointing (Hon. Matthew Hayden)
    2002: Michael Vaughn (Hon. Shane Warne)
    2001: Muttiah Muralitharan (Hon. Brian Lara, Matthew Hayden, VVS Laxman)
    2000: Muttiah Muralitharan (Hon. Inzamam, Andy Flower, Steve Waugh)

    Warne is my pick for 2005 because he striked a wicket every 45 balls, that's comparable to the best fast bowlers strike-rate. Martyn made six centuries in the sub-continent and those were against consistent marathon bowlers. Ponting averaged 100 for 2003, enough said. Vaughn was a run making machine in 2002 and made six centuries. The best English batsman against Australia since Graeme Gooch Id say.

    Murali, for me, despite not getting as many wickets per test, was better in 2001 because he had a better strike rate, whereas he bowled more overs in 2001. It was tempting to say Lara because of his three centuries against Murali and Sri Lanka. 2000 is Murali as well and what prevented Inzamam from coming close was how Pakistan did in Sri Lanka.

  2. #2
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    I've thought of making a similar thread in the past, but rather than just discussing who has been the best cricketer of each year since 20002, I thought about discussing who has been the best batsman and bowler since the turn of the century.

    I think you were a bit stiff on Dravid in 2003. He should have at least received an 'honourable' mention. He had a superb 2003 and 2004 resulting in him getting Test cricket and Cricketer of the year in the ICC awards.

    It is interesting though, who has been the best batsman since 2000? Lara, Kallis, Inzy, Ponting, Hayden, Laxman, Dravid, Tendulkar? Its known that since 2002 Kallis, Ponting and Dravid have been leading from the front, Lara too has been excellent. But I don't think I've seen too many stats or discussions as to who has been the best batsman in this millenium.

    Bowlers is generally easier, with Murali, McGrath and Warne being the only bowlers off the top of my head to be consistently dominant over the 5-6 year period.

    If someone were to pick a cricketer of the century so far, who would you pick? I'd probably go Murali, but its a tough one.
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  3. #3
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    I recently had a dicussion with a lad on who the best batsman since the turn of the century was and he said Matthew Hayden since he's had four years in a row making over 1000 runs. So he's a contender.

    That's a good question and I'd have to really think about it. Without thinking about it I'd probably say Ponting just because if you blinked, he went from 20 centuries to 28.

    In the bowling department it's easy, Murali. Warne's 2000 and 2001 (31 wickets in the 2001 Ashes aside) weren't his best years. People forget that Warne got the most wickets in 2002 and anybody saying he needed that years rest is wrong because he was great that year... but still, 2002, 2004 and 2005 aren't enough to compare to Murali and McGrath. McGrath is actually a strong contender and might be closer than one thinks. Murali's strike-rate in 2000 was in the high fifties and 2001 was his better year for me. While McGrath strikes at around 50 and has the economy of the best spinners and an average to back it up.

    I'm not a big believer in stats compared to others, but if you are, McGrath is up there with Murali. Here's a study I did somewhere else that compares the best period I ever saw McGrath bowl in (Perth December 2004 to Lords Sep 2005)

    It's a mathemactical fact: If somebody is taking more wickets than McGrath, and McGrath averaged inbetween the Perth test to the point where he stepped on the ball, 16.11, and Hadlee's average in six matches against Australia is 16.08 that means both men had the same average of runs taken off them per ball. Now I refused to believe that someone renound for economy like Hadlee bowled the same number of over overs as McGrath and could get far more wickets. For Hadlee to bowl the same number of overs as McGrath and get far more wickets at the same average means he went for runs quickly... which we know wouldn't happen. So what I did, is I went to cricinfo again and counted the ammount of over Hadlee bowled in just six matches. Then I counted the ammount of overs McGrath bowled in the nine tests inbetween Perth and Lords. Here were the results...

    In the 1986 season, Sir Richard Hadlee bowled a whopping 327.2 overs in six tests. And in one test Hadlee didn't get to bowl in a second innings due to rain. So that's 11 innings.

    In the nine tests inbetween Perth and Lords, three tests more than Hadlee, McGrath bowled 335 overs!

    So not only did Hadlee nearly bowl more overs... McGrath played three more tests. So it's not the matches... it's the overs bowled! So insted of saying "wicket's per match," which is misleading, lets say, "wickets per balls" which is how bowling strike-rates are calculated.

    Glen McGrath Perth to Lords:

    52 wickets off 2010 balls (335 overs) had a bowling strike-rate of 38.65 (rounded off) at an average of 16.11.

    Sir Richard Hadlee in his famous six tests against Australia in the 1985/86 season:

    49 wickets off 1964 balls (327.2 overs) had a bowling strike-rate of 40.08. (rounded off) with a bowling average of 16.08.

    So both had an average you can call the same. McGrath, however, took wickets faster (not by much), while Hadlee kept his average low by bowling far more economical than McGrath... but if both have the same average, teams are taking the same ammount of runs off them meaning McGrath is getting the wickets faster.

    I wont even bother comparing it to his 1985 season... although that season might be better than his 1986 simply because he took so long to get wickets... although he economy is applaudable. This isn't even mentioned Warne taking wickets off McGrath, which he did at Lords when McGrath was heading for a 10fer.

    I also was thinking of one-dayers when I said Hadlee never had a period as good as McGrath's Perth to Lords. I didn't bother doing a study on their one-day figures, though I think McGrath would win.



    But I'd give it to Murali.

  4. #4
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    Excuse me.

    I forgot to mention that I was comparing McGrath's hot period of Perth to Lords against Hadlee's period in 1986 when he played six consecutive games against Australia. That's seen as his best hot period.

    And I also forgot to mention that I should have mentioned Dravid, yes, as a Hon. mention.

    As far as Lara goes. I believed Tendulkar would have continued being the best batsman in the world when the new century turned around. It didn't happen. Of course he's brilliant, no question... I just expected more success.

    Brian Lara's a weird one. Somebody who scores so many high centuries should be averaging around 70-80 a year like Inzamam did last year. He's a bit too hit and miss for me to be a contender. Lara at his best, is the best batsman I'm ever likely to see... but remember, to average something like 50 and get 400 not out means you have to go out around 8 times to bring that average down. Yes I know Lara averaged much more in 2004, but he should have averaged more. When Gary Sobers made 365 not out, he went on to average around 144 for that year.

    People forget that when Lara started out, people thought, and I did too... that Lara would go on to be the second best batsman of all time. He went, in the 90s, to averaging over 60 to averaging below 50 for a period. So for somebody who's made eight double centuries in his career, he needed to go out a bit to bring that down.

    Sorry to babble, I'm saying this because I'd have Lara over Tendulkar since the turn of the century... but neither would be my pick.


  5. #5
    International Regular Beleg's Avatar
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    2000 is Murali as well and what prevented Inzamam from coming close was how Pakistan did in Sri Lanka.
    Like winning 2-0?

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    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    No. Inzamam didn't score big runs on that tour... I didn't bother checking who dismissed him... but regardless, I'm rating individual performance, not team performance.

    I also forgot to mention who's cricketer of the century... so far I don't know. I'm sort of an advocate that Murali gets wickets because he doesn't have a lot of competition for wickets. Also he's bowled marathon spells over 70 overs in some games. Plus his strike-rate isn't that much better with the aid of spin friendly pitches.

    (Please note: I do not want to start a Murali debate in this thread. If you want me to debate it, tell me to post in the Murali vs. Warne thread. In my experience, mentioning Murali, for some weird reason, starts firey debate. The only reason I'm writing about him now is that he's the first obvious contender for player of the century._

    I also think crickets become more of a batters game since the turn of the century with big 400 scores. I cry at watching what happened to the Pakistan vs. India series. Hopefully we'll get a result this time.

    I think the only people I could consider for player of the century are:

    Murali
    McGrath
    Dravid
    Ponting
    Kallis

    There are other contenders, but these are the strongest.

  7. #7
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    I am really sorry to double post. I don't know how to edit on this forum since it's a bit different. It turns out Inzamam did have a great tour of Sri Lanka as far as individual performance go, I was wrong. But I'll stick with Murali.

  8. #8
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Interesting, some excellent posts there Francis. Welcome to Cricket Web by the way. There should be an edit button under your post, so you can edit your posts by clicking that.

    On your first point, yeah Hayden is a very strong contender. He's not exactly the most popular member of CW you'll soon find out (), and I'm far from his biggest fan, but statistically he has been absolutely amazing since the turn of the century. Whether his sudden rise has a lot to do with pitches generally flattening out and the amount of sheer world class bowlers falling, or just a huge improvement in his game (or even both) is up for debate I guess, and its been debated on CW a lot.

    Here are the stats of 10 contenders I've chosen for best batsman since the turn of the century (In order of highest average). Of course stats aren't the be all end all, but they'll show a pretty interesting comparison. If I've missed anyone who is a real contender, than just post their stats as well. I haven't included players like Graeme Smith and Virender Sehwag who have debuted since 2000, and despite scoring plenty of runs, haven't played out the full 'century'. Their average since 2000 hence is their overall average anyway.

    Jaques Kallis
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    unfiltered            96  7613 189*  57.24  23  38 189  6/54   31.64  4  94  0
    filtered              64  5764 189*  65.50  18  28 136  6/54   32.88  3  66  0
    Ricky Ponting
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    
    unfiltered           100  8253 257   57.71  28  32   5  1/0    44.80  0 116  0
    filtered              67  6161 257   64.17  22  22   1  1/9   143.00  0  84  0
    Rahul Dravid
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    
    unfiltered            96  8239 270   58.43  22  39   1  1/18   39.00  0 130  0
    filtered              62  5541 270   63.68  16  23   1  1/18   33.00  0  91  0
    Inzamam Ul Haq
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    unfiltered           107  8172 329   51.72  25  42   0   -       -    0  76  0
    filtered              49  4455 329   61.87  17  19   -   -       -    -  26  0
    Matthew Hayden
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    
    unfiltered            79  6988 380   54.17  25  24   0   -       -    0  97  0
    filtered              72  6727 380   57.49  24  24   0   -       -    0  89  0
    Brian Lara
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    
    unfiltered           121 11204 400*  53.86  31  46   0   -       -    0 148  0
    filtered              56  5631 400*  56.31  18  17   -   -       -    -  62  0
    Sachin Tendulkar
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    
    unfiltered           128 10337 248*  56.48  35  41  37  3/10   49.78  0  78  0
    filtered              55  4496 248*  56.20  13  18  24  3/10   56.54  0  28  0
    VVS Laxman
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    
    unfiltered            71  4401 281   44.01   9  24   1  1/32  100.00  0  78  0
    filtered              55  3775 281   51.01   9  19   1  1/32   33.00  0  59  0
    Adam Gilchrist
    Code:
                         Mat  Runs  HS   BatAv 100  50   W    BB  BowlAv 5w  Ct St
    
    unfiltered            80  4918 204*  50.18  15  22   -   -       -    - 304 33
    filtered              75  4478 204*  49.20  14  19   -   -       -    - 287 31
    As expected, Kallis, Ponting, Dravid and Inzy have dominated the most. They're the only ones averaging 60+, which is quite frankly freakish. Hayden and Lara have scored more runs however, but I guess the number of test matches played must be taken into account. Hayden scoring 1000+ runs for 4 years running is an absolutely amazing feat, but Australia play more test matches than Pakistan for example, so Inzy is disadvantaged there.
    Last edited by Jono; 01-02-2006 at 12:55 AM.

  9. #9
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    It should be mentioned that Tendulkar scores a massive double century against Bangldesh, and more importantly for the stats. It was a not out innings. So Tendulkar really isn't a contender for me. Laxman, despite playing perhaps the best innings I've ever seen in my life in 2001, really isn't close either for me.

    I'd put Gilchrist above both of them. We cricket fans have short memories. Despite his loss of form and poor Ashes, he finished 2005 with an average above 50. I don't know how many times I've seen Australia in trouble and he'd just score a century, fast and within a session it was Australia's game. He's sort of a Viv Richards pick, you might not pick him on stats, you'd pick him on impact.

    Those were some interesting stats. Kallis and Ponting have played close to the same ammount of tests since 2000, Kallis has a higher average, Ponting's made more centuries. Hayden's made the most centuries. Dravid's average is what I expected it to be... but I expected him so have more centuries.

    I think I'll pick Ponting... but it's weird. I'd never rate Ponting as great as Tendulkar, or even close... but he'll probably pass his 35 centuries at the rate he's going. Lara might too... but as a far as I know, Lara will retire in a year so I doubt it.

  10. #10
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    You're right, I should have added Gilly. *edits him in*
    Quote Originally Posted by Francis
    Excuse me.

    I forgot to mention that I was comparing McGrath's hot period of Perth to Lords against Hadlee's period in 1986 when he played six consecutive games against Australia. That's seen as his best hot period.

    And I also forgot to mention that I should have mentioned Dravid, yes, as a Hon. mention.

    As far as Lara goes. I believed Tendulkar would have continued being the best batsman in the world when the new century turned around. It didn't happen. Of course he's brilliant, no question... I just expected more success.

    Brian Lara's a weird one. Somebody who scores so many high centuries should be averaging around 70-80 a year like Inzamam did last year. He's a bit too hit and miss for me to be a contender. Lara at his best, is the best batsman I'm ever likely to see... but remember, to average something like 50 and get 400 not out means you have to go out around 8 times to bring that average down. Yes I know Lara averaged much more in 2004, but he should have averaged more. When Gary Sobers made 365 not out, he went on to average around 144 for that year.

    People forget that when Lara started out, people thought, and I did too... that Lara would go on to be the second best batsman of all time. He went, in the 90s, to averaging over 60 to averaging below 50 for a period. So for somebody who's made eight double centuries in his career, he needed to go out a bit to bring that down.

    Sorry to babble, I'm saying this because I'd have Lara over Tendulkar since the turn of the century... but neither would be my pick.
    Yeah I agree with your overall view on Lara. Without a doubt in my mind, Lara, Sachin and S Waugh are the 3 best batsman in the 90s. They all had different strengths and characteristics which is what made all 3 so great. However without getting into a Lara vs. Sachin debate, what Sachin has over Lara is general consistency. Or at least he's had it over the general period of his career. Since 2003, Sachin hasn't been consistent, so Lara would probably edge him there. None the less my point is, whilst Lara scores amazingly brilliant knocks often consisting of 200+, 250+, and of course his 375 and 400, he is also likely to get out cheaply due to his flashy nature which whilst making him absolutely awesome to watch, can get him in trouble early. That'd be the obvious reason as to despite his 375 and 400 not out, his average still isn't as high as Sachin, Dravid, Ponting and Kallis. Of course, what Lara has over Sachin is that after the turn of the century he's still managed to dominate. Sachin was consistent from his debut all the way to 2002, whilst Lara had a break and spots of failure. However since his return after the 'cricket is ruining my life' fiasco, he's been great. Neither are the best since 2000 though I'd agree. But they both own the 90s, that's for sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Francis
    No. Inzamam didn't score big runs on that tour... I didn't bother checking who dismissed him... but regardless, I'm rating individual performance, not team performance.

    I also forgot to mention who's cricketer of the century... so far I don't know. I'm sort of an advocate that Murali gets wickets because he doesn't have a lot of competition for wickets. Also he's bowled marathon spells over 70 overs in some games. Plus his strike-rate isn't that much better with the aid of spin friendly pitches.

    (Please note: I do not want to start a Murali debate in this thread. If you want me to debate it, tell me to post in the Murali vs. Warne thread. In my experience, mentioning Murali, for some weird reason, starts firey debate. The only reason I'm writing about him now is that he's the first obvious contender for player of the century._

    I also think crickets become more of a batters game since the turn of the century with big 400 scores. I cry at watching what happened to the Pakistan vs. India series. Hopefully we'll get a result this time.

    I think the only people I could consider for player of the century are:

    Murali
    McGrath
    Dravid
    Ponting
    Kallis

    There are other contenders, but these are the strongest.
    Those would be my contenders as well.

    And yes, Murali debates can be sparked quite easily on this board (and many other cricket ones I imagine) but hopefully this thread stays clear of them because its a very interesting one. Particularly because I pretty much 'matured' as a cricket fan, due to my age, at around 1997-98 and hence my memories from 2000 onwards are strong and not quite as patchy as some of the 90s years.

  11. #11
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    1000 runs in a year

    Getting 1000 runs 4 years in a row is a fantastic achievement, and I believe Marcus Trescothick will follow Hayden this year in doing it, having gone past the 1000 run mark for the 3rd year running against Pakistan last November, one of the most underrated batsman in world cricket if you ask me, as he seems to be sparsely appreciated outside England

  12. #12
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    Without doubt, Kallis is the cricketer of the century.

    Best batting average: 65

    Batting Average versus Australia: 50

    Batting Average in Australia: 57

    Bowling Average: 136 wickets @ 32.

    And what a team player!

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Agreed, Kallis for me..
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  14. #14
    TIF
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    Before talking about the players of the century, you must first know when the century actually started The century started on 1st January 2001 and not on 1st January 2000 as opposed to popular belief.

  15. #15
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TIF
    Before talking about the players of the century, you must first know when the century actually started The century started on 1st January 2001 and not on 1st January 2000 as opposed to popular belief.
    Man I was waiting for that reply from someone. I was hoping it wouldn't come, but deep down knew it would.

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