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Thread: The greatest batsman from each Test team

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    The greatest batsman from each Test team

    Funnily, while making a post about this earlier it occurred to me how debatable this matter actually is. Really, there's only two cases where it's truly set-in-stone.

    So who do you think? For argument's sake we'll say only players whose careers are over to be considered.

    If I had to pick, I guess I'd go:
    England - Grace (WG); and since 1900, Hobbs
    Australia - I wonder now...
    South Africa - Pollock (G)
    West Indies - Headley (G), with Sobers a damn close second
    India - Gavaskar, with Tendulkar all but certain to take over when he retires, though I so wish we could've seen more of Merchant as he might well have been better than either
    New Zealand - Crowe (M), though that might change later in my life when I find-out more about Bert Sutcliffe as I'm planning to
    Pakistan - Hanif Mohammed
    Sri Lanka - currently de Silva (PA), but probably Sangakkara by the time he retires
    Zimbabwe - Flower (A)

    (This will almost certainly have been done before of course, but a quick search couldn't find anything glaringly obvious)
    Last edited by Richard; 15-05-2008 at 02:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Funnily, while making a post about this earlier it occurred to me how debatable this matter actually is. Really, there's only two cases where it's truly set-in-stone.

    So who do you think? For argument's sake we'll say only players whose careers are over to be considered.

    If I had to pick, I guess I'd go:
    England - Grace (WG); and since 1900, Hobbs
    Australia - I wonder now...
    South Africa - Pollock (G)
    West Indies - Headley (G), with Sobers a damn close second
    India - Tendulkar, though I so wish we could've seen more of Merchant
    New Zealand - Crowe (M), though that might change later in my life when I find-out more about Bert Sutcliffe as I'm planning to
    Pakistan - Javed Miandad
    Sri Lanka - currently de Silva (PA), but probably Sangakkara by the time he retires
    Zimbabwe - Flower (A)

    (This will almost certainly have been done before of course, but a quick search couldn't find anything glaringly obvious)
    I think Headley, Sobers, Lara and Richards all have good shots at being the best from West Indies.

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    Sobers is the best by a fair margin IMO.
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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    England - Jack Hobbs
    Australia - Donald Bradman
    South Africa - Jacques Kallis, with a nod to Barry Richards & Graeme Pollock, if they had played more
    West Indies - Garry Sobers
    India - Sachin Tendulkar, with a nod to Vijay Merchant, if he had played more
    New Zealand - Martin Crowe
    Pakistan - Javed Miandad
    Sri Lanka - Kumar Sangakarra
    Zimbabwe - Andy Flower
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subshakerz View Post
    I think Headley, Sobers, Lara and Richards all have good shots at being the best from West Indies.
    TBH I've always thought of Headley and Sobers as clear of the other two, and they (Lara and Richards) are fighting for third or fourth.

    I've always thought Lara slightly superior to Richards, but there's not really much in it.

    Everton Weekes too I'm currently reserving judgement on. Magnificent batsman beyond question, and could conceivably be better than both Lara and Richards. But so far I don't know much about him beyond banal career batting-average.
    Last edited by Richard; 14-05-2008 at 09:41 AM.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    England - Jack Hobbs
    Australia - Donald Bradman
    South Africa - Jacques Kallis, with a nod to Barry Richards & Graeme Pollock, if they had played more
    West Indies - Garry Sobers
    India - Sachin Tendulkar, with a nod to Vijay Merchant, if he had played more
    New Zealand - Martin Crowe
    Pakistan - Javed Miandad
    Sri Lanka - Kumar Sangakarra
    Zimbabwe - Andy Flower
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    For argument's sake we'll say only players whose careers are over to be considered.
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    England: Hobbs
    Australia: Bradman
    South Africa: Probably Kallis, Pollock also a fair call.
    West Indies: Sobers
    India: Gavaskar
    New Zealand: M. Crowe
    Pakistan: Miandad
    Sri Lanka: Sangakkara
    Zimbabwe: A. Flower
    Bangladesh: There's a few current candidates that are too early to call. For now, Habibul Bashar.

    All of them are clear cut IMO except for South Africa. Anyway, I think the "current players" have played long enough to prove themselves. It's only with guys like Hussey (for example) where you really can't make a judgement.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Given how far down Tendulkar has slid in some people's estimates in the last 4 years, I think it's fair to say they haven't neccessarily.

    I mean, say Sangakkara's form crashes from next season onwards and for the rest of his career he averages 27, plays 30 more Tests because of his past glories, then gets dropped for good and goes on to a law career? Are you really telling me you won't change your impression of him in the slightest? Especially should Mahela Jayawardene go from strength to strength in that same time?

    Not likely of course, but then nor did I think Tendulkar's 2003, 2004, 2005 and early-2006 nightmares were remotely likely.
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    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Given how far down Tendulkar has slid in some people's estimates in the last 4 years, I think it's fair to say they haven't neccessarily.

    I mean, say Sangakkara's form crashes from next season onwards and for the rest of his career he averages 27, plays 30 more Tests because of his past glories, then gets dropped for good and goes on to a law career? Are you really telling me you won't change your impression of him in the slightest? Especially should Mahela Jayawardene go from strength to strength in that same time?

    Not likely of course, but then nor did I think Tendulkar's 2003, 2004, 2005 and early-2006 nightmares were remotely likely.
    I think my opinions of all the players you mentioned are fairly clear cut. I can hardly imagine a crash in form which would make me think Sangakkara was inferior to de Silva for example. It's plausible of course, but it would have to be truly massive, and even in that case one would be inclined to consider his career in more than one simple part, like say Steve Waugh or Viv Richards.

    Do you honestly think you can't judge someone like Ponting as a batsman at all? Ranking him with absolute authority in a close call like, say, Steve Waugh, sure. Against Mark Waugh though, I don't think Ponting could do anything at this point in his career which would make me think he was inferior.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    I simply think "wait until the career is finished" is a good general rule. And I don't like to partially apply it, much as it might in some cases be harmless to do so.

    Of course there's virtually nothing in the rest of Ponting's career that could conceivably make Mark Waugh a better batsman than him. But that's not really the point.

    Another thing - presuming you weren't leaving-out Tendulkar under this rule - what is it that makes you consider Gavaskar better?
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    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Another thing - presuming you weren't leaving-out Tendulkar under this rule - what is it that makes you consider Gavaskar better?
    That particular question has been done so much on this forum that I'd rather not answer the question in any detail. If that makes me a stage fiver, so be it.

    Suffice to say that I think Tendulkar is a very good test batsman but he wouldn't make my all time XI or anything of the sort. Gavaskar would.

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    I really want to rank Merchant higher than anyone, but alas, he didn't play enough. I would certainly rank him higher than Gavaskar if I could though, and in an Indian XI, he would make it before Gavaskar.

    With that said, discounting Merchant, Sachin is ahead of Gavaskar fairly comfortably for mine, with Dravid pulling up a close third.

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    In most other forms of batsmanship, Sachin is superior to Gavaskar.
    But in terms of temperament, an absolute must for an opener and for one being the backbone of the batting burden, Sunny leads Tendy.

    Overall, lean towards SMG over SRT
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    I really want to rank Merchant higher than anyone, but alas, he didn't play enough. I would certainly rank him higher than Gavaskar if I could though, and in an Indian XI, he would make it before Gavaskar.

    With that said, discounting Merchant, Sachin is ahead of Gavaskar fairly comfortably for mine, with Dravid pulling up a close third.
    I've always been torn between Tendulkar and Gavaskar as India's greatest batsman. I realize that Tendulkar has certainly better stats. However, the fact that Gavaskar was an opener and (IMO) faced tougher attacks in his career closes the gap between the two. I think I'll go with Tendulkar, but only by just that much.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engle View Post
    But in terms of temperament Sunny leads Tendy.


    I really fail to see how TBH. Tendulkar is a perfect shining beacon of how temperament for international cricket must work.
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