His batting average as well as strike rate would be higher than it was.
He would have scored more runs, more centuries and higher scores in an innings than anyone would ever get close to
If you want to lower Bradman's average, then you need to lower, by the same proportion, the averages of other greats from that time - Hobbs, Hammond, Sutcliffe, Ponsford, Headley - all of them.
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Well, they crossed paths in 1928-29 and in 1930, but certainly for the most part they weren't
A bit like Viv Richards and Sachin I would say
Edit: This is in reply to the post above
Last edited by weldone; 08-05-2008 at 04:00 AM.
Yep. Fascinating to see the juxtaposition of Hobbs and Bradman in some photos from the 1930 tour - with Hobbs clapping as Bradman raises his bat. I wonder what Jack was thinking?
It is amazing how much we would like to run down those whom we have not seen.
I have heard so many arguments to try and assert why the players of the past were not good enough. For batsmen it is mostly easier to do with sheer statistics (mainly batting average) since these have generally got better after the relatively modest ones of the earlier years. For bowlers, people use the same lower batting averages to prove that wickets were easy to get. Where both dont work we resort to quality of wickets (good if we are trying to run down batsmen and bad if we are tying put down the bowlers), poor batting or bowling depending upon what we are trying to prove, quality of opposition and so on.
Unfortunately, for these people most of these 'attempts at punditry' fail when you come to the one and only , Don Bradman. So dtaggering are his accomplishments with the bat and so mind boggling the stats (the sole criteria by which the average fan is capable of assessing "greatness" and "relative greatness" that we are neatly divide into two groups those (the majority) who think Bradman was the God of batting and there will, probably, never be another like him or those who try even harder to show that he was just lucky to be born at a time when someone of his caliber was more than abundantly rewarded for his great but 'not-that-great' skills.
Bradman is a phenomenon that cricket buffs are alternatively, fascinated and intimidated by but a large number are very reluctant to put him so much above their own more recent heroes. This was the case even when he was playing. To start with those in England refused to accept what they were told by the English tourists of 1928-29 when they came back with tales of this 'boy-wonder'. He will know what batting is all about on our English wickets was the cry.
Bradman came to England and in 3 of the 7 inings that he played in the five tests he scored a total of 23 runs (8, 1 and 14) but around these three innings he played another four in which he scored 131, 254, 334 and 232. Every record that could possibly be broken in a single series was broken by this 22 year old including the world's highest innings score and a still standing 974 runs in the series.
More was to come.
Jardine realised (even if we dont) after just that one series (even if we dont after 75 years) that this man was extraordinary and nothing short of spectacularly extraordinary tactics would stop this phenomenon and bodyline and Larwood became history and part folklore. Richards is gone and Tendulkar is coming to the end of his long innings and no one has been driven to the desperation that the captains around the world were driven by this man and yet we want to undermine his achievements.
Mostly when I read the stuff written in this regard, I smile and beyond a cryptic remark or two avoid getting into a debate but I think there is a need to soberly and logically put Bradman's achievements in perspective for the younger generation.
I have always maintained that it is futile to compare great sportsmen, more so when their is much time separating the two. Its pointless this argument of Warne versus Grimmett or O'rielly or Lilley versus Lindwall. These are great players who would have been great in any era. Of course, we can take delight in chosing our heroes and getting into a debate over a pint of beer over it but we muxt, in our hearts realise that it is a futile excercise and to take it with th seriousness that some people do here is simply not worth it.
Bradman is the exception.
While you cant compare two greats of different eras, we can and do talk of the greats of an era. Thus most people agree that Lara and Tendulkar are the two premier batsmen of the modern era. That McGrath is the greatest exponent of the new ball in the modern times. We are able to do that, not just because we have seen everyone but because the achievements of thse greats are so overwhelmingly above those of their contemporaries. This is the only, if any, criteria by which a sportsman has to be judged - in comparison to his contemporaries.
This, in the case of Bradman, gives us a tool to measure Bradman against other great batsmen over different eras.
Here is how.
I have taken for this , besides Bradman, Hammond (from more or less his own times), Gavaskar and Richards from the seventies and eighties and Lara from the modern times. I have taken only players whose careers have ended hence Tendulkar is not chosen. If someone insists, I can do that but the results wont disprove what I am about to show.
I have taken the career stats of each of these players and compared it to the rest of the batsmen - in the world - during the exact duration of his career. Thus the batting averages of all the batsmen in the world (put together) during Gavaskar's test career are compared to his. Of course, since Gavaskar is a specialist batsman (and a great one at that) his average will be much higher than the rest of the world average. But this difference (in percentage) by which Gavaskar's average is superior to his contemporaries gives us a factor which can be figured out for each of these great batsmen.
So, if Gavaskar averaged 51.12 in test matches and the rest of the world averaged 30.08 during the same period, Gavaskar's average is 1.70 times or 70% higher than the rest.
Here are the figures for thse great batsmen. I have also included how much they are superior to their own countrymen because that maybe of interest to some.
Code:Player % over the world Richards 68 Gavaskar 70 Brian Lara 76 Wally Hammond 94 Don Bradman 227The difference is staggering. That is why Bradman stands alone atop the tree of great batsmen. Its not because his contemporaries were useless because they included all time greats like Hammond , George Headley , Herb Sutcliffe , Len Hutton , Denis Compton , Bruce Mitchell , McCabe, Hendren , Woodful , Ponsford , Leyland, Bill Edrich, Eddie Paynter, Morris, Brnes, Dempster, Duleepsinhji, Nourse, Jardine, Bill Brown, Hassett. The list is endless and very impressive and yet Bradman averages 3.27 times the world average score per innings ofr the twenty year period.Code:Player % ove countrymen Richards 64 Gavaskar 75 Brian Lara 109 Wally Hammond 77 Don Bradman 213
There is absolutely nothing in cricket that comes even remotely close to the domination exercised by Bradman over his contemporaries over a twenty year period. Thats why EVERY other batsman in the world dwarfs by comparison.
Thats why we can only assume that if we had the great forutne to have had him in our times we would have gone to our graves happily for he would not have missed that three figure mark (for his average) by the nano-whisker that he did in 1948
Last edited by SJS; 08-05-2008 at 03:43 AM.
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Bradman would be dire in today's era. He'd have to face the might of Irfan Pathan and the vicious spin of Virender Sehwag.
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