Bradman would have been amazing if he was playing test cricket today. That is, until he got worked over by Iain O'Brien.
had he made his debut post 2001, with a helmet and field restrictions on leg side, and shorter boundaries and lighter bats, and on covered wickets, bradman would still be batting in his first innings
As I've brought up a couple of times, its his mental skills that must've been so far ahead of anyone else. I could play against U/16s for the rest of my cricketing career, and I wouldn't average 100, and consistently make those scores, because I'd allow myself to get overconfident, or make a stupid mistake. Bradman didn't let himself do that against the best players in the world at that time. Hence he made such enormous scores.
It is, as has been pointed out, ridiculous to assess a player whose career ended nearly 60 years ago. There are a whole lot of variables within the game of cricket which have been altered since those seemingly idyllic, almost romantic days. If Donald Bradman played today, this is what I think will be in his favour:
- No sticky wickets
- Flatter pitches
- Better bats
- Smaller boundaries
- Better protective gear (and no Bodyline, to boot)
...plus the fact that he was still dominating net bowlers as a 68-year old.
This is what I think will go against him:
- Timeless Tests (I'm almost certain that they featured in his era; I'm not sure whether he ever had the opportunity to play one)
- Better ground fielding
- Greater professionalism of bowlers (leading to a greater amount of desperation, as a lucrative career is on the line)
- More media pressure (I don't know how he'd react if the media - and by extension, people who read various media - wrote him off after a few relative failures because of his exceedingly high standards)
- More substantial video analysis (allows bowlers to probe for technical flaws, although his supreme discipline would reduce the effect of this - see Justin Langer)
He would probably cope just as well as he did back in the 1930's, but it is impossible to say for sure, so I'm wimping out on this one. :p
Exactly half of Bradman's 52 Tests were timeless games, apparently. UIMM, all pre-WWII international games in Australia were timeless (Sean to confirm). However, by the sounds of things, his scoring-rates tended to be sufficiently quick that time limits would not be an impediment.
As regards video-evidence - this can help batsmen as much as bowlers. Sachin Tendulkar, for example, has always found ways to spot weaknesses in his own game, usually before anyone else has. I'm more than confident Bradman could use video-evidence to his advantage, if anyone were to be able to use it to theirs against him.