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Thread: Matty Hayden v SUnil Gavaskar - better test opener ?

  1. #151
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by thierry henry View Post
    But it's not really an argument. It's more an argument about the assumptions that need to be made before argument commences.

    I only know what I know, and I actually don't have a solid opinion on the matters being discussed. Certainly not a know-it-all.

    I think it's a damn shame that this forum has reached a point where so many things can't be discussed because simply bringing them up is regarded as trolling.
    First of all, I dont think it is trolling.

    Okay let me tell you something else I think. Statistics are an extremely unreliable way of understanding how good a player was. And to compare two players its even worse.

    The best way to do that is to have seen them both play yourself. This presupposes a good understanding of the game. I do not want to say that I have a better understanding than you. I am just making a point about how to compare two cricketers. The deeper one's knowledge of the game (all aspects of it) the better one's ability to judge the capabilities of a player and hence the comparison of two players. My understanding of Gavaskar and Hayden falls in this category (that I have seen both of them play not that I have a great understanding of the game )

    Then comes the problem of comparing two players one has never seen, say Bradman with Trumper or Spofforth with Tom Richardson. Its so easy to look at the stats and come out with a numerical criteria but that is what I call the "fast food of cricketing punditry". If it was as easy as that we could just feed all the data into a computer and settle all arguments once for all and all the cricket lovers across the entire planet would have nothing more to argue about. Unfortunately it doesn't work. So what does one do?

    I will tell you what I do. I read. I try to understand from those who have seen both Bradman and Trumper or Grace and Hobbs, or Lohmann and Spofforth. I read what those who actually saw them play, played with and against them think of them. It doesn't tell me in black and white who is better than who in all cases but it tells me much more about each of these cricketers than I could ever, ever, hope to learn by merely looking at figures. PLUS the process gives me joy and pleasure to be transported into the times of my great grand father and feel what they felt in those days. I may then form an opinion about who was better between Bradman and Trumper or I may not but I do get to understand what type of a cricketer each of them was and I can see that they were so different from each other and each was great in his own way.

    This reduces the 'tension' (for want of a better word) in me to somehow or the other rank them so very precisely, because one cant - not in all cases.

    Finally comes the most difficult comparison of all, to compare a player you have seen with a player you haven't. This is very tough indeed. I may be able to compare Hobbs and Hutton from the writings of Cardus and Thomson but thats because my own opinion based on 'evidence of vision' does not interfere. I do have a problem comparing Gavaskar with, say Vijay Merchant or Len Hutton or Bert Sutcliffe. It is very tough and I can understand that it is the same for you when you compare Gavaskar with Hayden.

    But trust me, statistics are not the best way to solve that issue for you. Its much better to talk to a cricketers who have seen both (not one but as many as you can) and then see what they have to say. You dont have to listen to someone like me and if you cant talk to cricketers then read. There are enough accounts of the cricketers of Gavaskar's era who are still watching and writing and even commenting on the game. Try and understand what they are saying. It will help not to come to CW and win a pointless argument but to better appreciate the game you clearly love so much.

    If nothing else, if it just reinforces in you the idea that stats are not the ideal way to understand cricketers you haven't seen, I think you would have done fabulously.

    I have nothing else to say and defiinitely don't want to bore you with what I think of Gavaskar and Hayden. I am sure you will. if you try, find many more eminently qualified to do so.

    All the best.
    Last edited by SJS; 19-10-2008 at 08:31 PM.

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by thierry henry View Post
    Point out where I said Hayden was as good as Gavaskar?

    Gavaskar was better for sure



    You seem to have no concept that you should have reasons for a belief that you have.

    It only went around in circles because you're not interested in justifying yourself. Given some useful explanation/evidence I'd happily believe that Richards was (substantially?) better than other top batsmen. However, whenever you or anyone else has tried to put forward a case for Richards being substantially > than x batsman who averages 50something, there seems to have been a fairly easy rebuttal.
    Sorry if I misunderstood your intention re-Sunny and Mat

    OK, Richards, seemingly had more time then any other player I have watched

    Richards could tear apart an attack faster then anyone else I have ever watched (Gilly included, but I would rate him 2nd), I think he still holds the fastest Test ton

    He refused to be intimidated, never wore a helmet, and this would often demoralise the bowlers and the opposition and would also seem to inspire his team-mates (I have read this from a number of the players he played with)

    If you wanted to turn the above around like a lawyer you could make a case that this attitude cost him many runs, and stopped him delivering more for his team
    You know it makes sense.

  3. #153
    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Disappointing to me to see Martin and Sean engage in such character-denigration as this. I like and respect both you guys and (unlike several posters in this thread) you're both better than this sort of crap.
    That is a bit strong mate

    I don't feel offended in any way, in fact I thought he made some good points

  4. #154
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Nothing wrong with going for Gavaskar. He is an altime great.

    However, Id take a little issue with some of the stated reasons. I dont think he played on more difficult pitches. Gavaskar played on some very friendly batting tracks and probably (Ive not checked) benefited the most from big runs in dull draws.

    Also the 70s and 80s were not as strong as the 90s. Some very good bowlers but there was certainly a lack of depth in the 80s. I wouldnt say 2000s are better but just that I dont think there is much difference from now to the 70s/80s
    well, I was not around in the 70s and was in my toddler years in the mid 80s, so I am not going to argue that point, I will take your word for it.



    But what I meant was, relative to Hayden, Gavaskar did face more difficult pitches and better bowling attacks.. I think, even though I was obviously not around to personally judge, it is something one can say to a degree of confidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    In the end, I think it's so utterly, incomprehensibly boring. There is so much context behind each innings of cricket that dissecting statistics into these small samples is just worthless. No-one has ever been faced with the same situation in which they come out to bat as someone else. Ever.
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  5. #155
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    First of all, I dont think it is trolling.

    Okay let me tell you something else I think. Statistics are an extremely unreliable way of understanding how good a player was. And to compare two players its even worse.

    The best way to do that is to have seen them both play yourself. This presupposes a good understanding of the game. I do not want to say that I have a better understanding than you. I am just making a point about how to compare two cricketers. The deeper one's knowledge of the game (all aspects of it) the better one's ability to judge the capabilities of a player and hence the comparison of two players. My understanding of Gavaskar and Hayden falls in this category (that I have seen both of them play not that I have a great understanding of the game )

    Then comes the problem of comparing two players one has never seen, say Bradman with Trumper or Spofforth with Tom Richardson. Its so easy to look at the stats and come out with a numerical criteria but that is what I call the "fast food of cricketing punditry". If it was as easy as that we could just feed all the data into a computer and settle all arguments once for all and all the cricket lovers across the entire planet would have nothing more to argue about. Unfortunately it doesn't work. So what does one do?

    I will tell you what I do. I read. I try to understand from those who have seen both Bradman and Trumper or Grace and Hobbs, or Lohmann and Spofforth. I read what those who actually saw them play, played with and against them think of them. It doesn't tell me in black and white who is better than who in all cases but it tells me much more about each of these cricketers than I could ever, ever, hope to learn by merely looking at figures. PLUS the process gives me joy and pleasure to be transported into the times of my great grand father and feel what they felt in those days. I may then form an opinion about who was better between Bradman and Trumper or I may not but I do get to understand what type of a cricketer each of them was and I can see that they were so different from each other and each was great in his own way.

    This reduces the 'tension' (for want of a better word) in me to somehow or the other rank them so very precisely, because one cant - not in all cases.

    Finally comes the most difficult comparison of all, to compare a player you have seen with a player you haven't. This is very tough indeed. I may be able to compare Hobbs and Hutton from the writings of Cardus and Thomson but thats because my own opinion based on 'evidence of vision' does not interfere. I do have a problem comparing Gavaskar with, say Vijay Merchant or Len Hutton or Bert Sutcliffe. It is very tough and I can understand that it is the same for you when you compare Gavaskar with Hayden.

    But trust me, statistics are not the best way to solve that issue for you. Its much better to talk to a cricketers who have seen both (not one but as many as you can) and then see what they have to say. You dont have to listen to someone like me and if you cant talk to cricketers then read. There are enough accounts of the cricketers of Gavaskar's era who are still watching and writing and even commenting on the game. Try and understand what they are saying. It will help not to come to CW and win a pointless argument but to better appreciate the game you clearly love so much.

    If nothing else, if it just reinforces in you the idea that stats are not the ideal way to understand cricketers you haven't seen, I think you would have done fabulously.

    I have nothing else to say and defiinitely don't want to bore you with what I think of Gavaskar and Hayden. I am sure you will. if you try, find many more eminently qualified to do so.

    All the best.
    SJS is having a bit of a rejuvenation in his posting form, much like SRT.....







    seriously, it is always great to read such posts when you are at your eloquent best, sir... Hope you continue for as long as possible.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    I've gone and looked at Sunil's successful WIndies series, his scores and the lineups.

    Gavaskar's 1st successful series against WIndies: 774 runs @ 154.8

    1st test match: 65, 67*

    Bowlers:
    VA Holder
    GC Shillingford
    GS Sobers
    JM Noreiga
    AG Barrett
    CA Davis
    CH Lloyd

    3rd Test match: 116, 64*

    Bowlers:
    KD Boyce
    GC Shillingford
    GS Sobers
    LR Gibbs
    JM Noreiga
    CA Davis
    CH Lloyd

    4th Test match: 1, 117*

    Bowlers:
    VA Holder
    UG Dowe
    JN Shepherd
    GS Sobers
    Inshan Ali
    MLC Foster
    CA Davis
    CH Lloyd
    RC Fredericks
    RB Kanhai

    5th Test match: 124, 220

    Bowlers:
    GS Sobers
    UG Dowe
    JN Shepherd
    CA Davis
    JM Noreiga
    DAJ Holford
    MLC Foster
    MC Carew

    Did you see a good, even decent attack? I didn't.

    Gavaskar's 2nd successful series against WIndies: 390 @ 55.71

    1st test match: 37, 1

    Bowlers:
    AME Roberts
    MA Holding
    BD Julien
    DAJ Holford
    RR Jumadeen
    RC Fredericks

    2nd test match: 156

    Bowlers:
    AME Roberts
    MA Holding
    BD Julien
    DAJ Holford
    RR Jumadeen
    CH Lloyd
    IVA Richards

    3rd test match: 26, 102

    Bowlers:
    MA Holding
    BD Julien
    AL Padmore
    Imtiaz Ali
    DAJ Holford
    RR Jumadeen
    CH Lloyd
    RC Fredericks

    3rd test match: 66, 2

    Bowlers:
    MA Holding
    BD Julien
    VA Holder
    DAJ Holford
    RR Jumadeen
    RC Fredericks

    Best attack where Roberts and Holding who were only together for 2 of the tests?

    Gavaskar's 3rd successful series against WIndies: 732 @ 91.5

    1st test match: 205, 73

    Bowlers:
    N Phillip
    ST Clarke
    VA Holder
    DR Parry
    RR Jumadeen
    AI Kallicharran
    HA Gomes

    2nd test match: 0

    Bowlers:
    N Phillip
    ST Clarke
    VA Holder
    DR Parry
    S Shivnarine
    MD Marshall

    3rd test match: 107, 182*

    Bowlers:
    N Phillip
    ST Clarke
    VA Holder
    HA Gomes
    DR Parry
    S Shivnarine
    MD Marshall

    4th test match: 0, 4

    Bowlers:
    N Phillip
    ST Clarke
    VA Holder
    HA Gomes
    DR Parry
    S Shivnarine

    5th test match: 120

    Bowlers:
    N Phillip
    ST Clarke
    VA Holder
    HA Gomes
    DR Parry
    S Shivnarine

    5th test match: 120

    Bowlers:
    N Phillip
    ST Clarke
    VA Holder
    HA Gomes
    DR Parry
    S Shivnarine

    6th test match: 40

    Bowlers:
    N Phillip
    RR Jumadeen
    VA Holder
    HA Gomes
    DR Parry
    M Marshall

    As you can see, not yet a strong bowling line-up. I think this was Marshall's debut series as well, and a shocker. What, was he dropped for the 4th and 5th test? Disappeared and recalled for the 6th test.

    Gavaskar's 4th successful series against WIndies: 505 @ 50.50

    1st test match: 0, 7

    Bowlers:
    MD Marshall
    MA Holding
    WW Davis
    EAE Baptiste
    HA Gomes

    2nd test match: 121, 15

    Bowlers:
    MD Marshall
    MA Holding
    WW Davis
    HA Gomes
    WW Daniel
    IVA Richards

    3rd test match: 90, 1

    Bowlers:
    MD Marshall
    MA Holding
    WW Davis
    HA Gomes
    WW Daniel

    4th test match: 12, 3

    Bowlers:
    MD Marshall
    MA Holding
    WW Davis
    HA Gomes
    WW Daniel

    5th test match: 0, 20

    Bowlers:
    MD Marshall
    AME Roberts
    WW Davis
    MA Holding
    RA Harper

    6th test match: 236*

    Bowlers:
    MD Marshall
    AME Roberts
    WW Davis
    MA Holding
    RA Harper
    HA Gomes

    Tough line-up faced in the last two test where you really can say there was a great WIndian pace attack.

    ----

    As I've shown, that bar a few tests, this mythology created with regards to Gavaskar is just that...a myth. When he did face "the great WIndian pacemen" this is what happened.
    This was one of two series in which garner, marshall, holding and roberts bowled together. The other one was against England. In total, only three batsmen have scored hundreds against this attack. Gavaskar, Amarnath and Kapil Dev. If you look at marshall, garner and holding (minus roberts) then only one batsman has scred two hundreds against them, martin crowe. gavaskar did not play agains them as a bunch other than the first series (including roberts) mentioned above.

    against holding, garner and marshall his overall record is
    18 31 3 1464 236* 52.28 7 2 4


    you cant take anything away from his record against top class fast bowling

  7. #157
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pnottath View Post
    Easily Gavaskar. Tell me one series where Hayden made his runs outside home against top quality pace attack. And by a decent pace attack it should include atleast two guys who were top class.

    Sunny faced the West Indies quickies when the quickies themselves were in their prime. And he did that in an age when batsmen were less equppied (don't think he wore a helmet early in his career) and an average of 40 was enough tor regard one as a super bat.

    Oh and not to mention of his ability to score in the 4th innings of a test match.
    Australia V S.Africa 20001.

    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    This was one of two series in which garner, marshall, holding and roberts bowled together. The other one was against England. In total, only three batsmen have scored hundreds against this attack. Gavaskar, Amarnath and Kapil Dev. If you look at marshall, garner and holding (minus roberts) then only one batsman has scred two hundreds against them, martin crowe. gavaskar did not play agains them as a bunch other than the first series (including roberts) mentioned above.

    against holding, garner and marshall his overall record is
    18 31 3 1464 236* 52.28 7 2 4


    you cant take anything away from his record against top class fast bowling
    Already explained he met them sometimes singularly or in pairs and very few in 3s. Already explained that one of these series Marshall was on debut and shocking...lot of the above explains itself. I don't think it's particularly as hard meeting that trio as a group than by themselves where you can fend off one and then play the weaker WIndies bowling.
    Last edited by Ikki; 19-10-2008 at 10:58 PM.
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  8. #158
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    First of all, I dont think it is trolling.

    All the best.
    The problem with reading, especially about older players, are the rose-tinted ways that they are described. We went through this in the Sobers thread.

    The problem with relying on reading material too much is becoming indoctrinated with the bias' and maybe with certain variables that were important then and less important now. For example, in most of what I read regarding Sobers' bowling, it's amazing very very few people talk about how poor his strike-rate is or mention it at all. Wickets-per-test sufficed as a measure. But really, it doesn't.

    Unless the sample is too small or we're talking about a player who had some special occurrence (S.Africans/apartheid, for e.g.) the stats are the only reliable criteria. I am aware that not everything is quantified in statistics, but a large portion of the game is to get a very very good idea about said player or bowler. In fact, the times where stats "seem" to be incorrect are very very few. And there has not been any assertion I've heard of, of Gavaskar being better than his stats suggest.

    I've seen Gavaskar bat, and I didn't think it remarkable at all. But I think it's stupid to watch old tapes because you don't get the true sense of occasion or pressure the batsman is under, for example. But if you're going to say "I saw Gavaskar bat, he is that much better" then you have to explain on that point. But don't say he had a beautiful technique, etc. A lot of people don't care if the batsman just has the cut shot, because he may average 60.

    Get down to the nitty gritty about why x is better than y. But to say they are not comparable as you have, even compared Hayden to Dev... just silly. When one hears that, they don't care if you have seen them both bat because you just gave up your credibility.

  9. #159
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    you cant take anything away from his record against top class fast bowling


    Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    He took a time machine?

    Lame perhaps, but only one series to show? Against quality pace attack? Gavaskar has done 10 times that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Looks good in paper doesn't it?. But havin actually watched those 6 test vs SA in 2001/02, that wasn't a top quality SA pace attack at all. Since Donald was passed his best, Nitini wasn't a good test bowler as yet, Hayward was poor.

    Pollock hadn't declined yet & Kallis was in his best bowling form (but then again Kallis was never really a wicket-taking seamer).

    The only time Hayden has faced a top quality attack in testing conditions was SA in 6 test in the 05/06 season with Ntini/Nel leading the charge 7 did very well to curb talk of him being a FTB & could make runs when the ball was moving. So he is wayyyyyyyyyyy behind Gavaskar on this front.

    He though has potentially 11 test vs SA & ENG in this final stage of his career againts to two very good attacks. Making runs there based on how his career has gone will close the book on him being regarded as one of the games great openers or not.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pnottath View Post
    He took a time machine?

    Lame perhaps, but only one series to show? Against quality pace attack? Gavaskar has done 10 times that.
    It depends what you call a good quality attack. NZ in Hayden's time had a better attack than they did in Gavaskar's. Sri Lanka in Hayden's time was much stronger than what they were in Gavaskar's time. In fact, where did Gavaskar do this 10 times? I just showed you his form against the "quality" Windies attack. Other than that, the only other quality attack is against Pakistan where he did well. He was poor against England and did not face any other strong attack. I am interested to see these 10 instances.

    How about Australia V Pakistan 2002? A quality attack, very balanced, and in some of the harshest conditions any Test player has faced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    Looks good in paper doesn't it?. But havin actually watched those 6 test vs SA in 2001/02, that wasn't a top quality SA pace attack at all. Since Donald was passed his best, Nitini wasn't a good test bowler as yet, Hayward was poor.

    Pollock hadn't declined yet & Kallis was in his best bowling form (but then again Kallis was never really a wicket-taking seamer).

    The only time Hayden has faced a top quality attack in testing conditions was SA in 6 test in the 05/06 season with Ntini/Nel leading the charge 7 did very well to curb talk of him being a FTB & could make runs when the ball was moving. So he is wayyyyyyyyyyy behind Gavaskar on this front.

    He though has potentially 11 test vs SA & ENG in this final stage of his career againts to two very good attacks. Making runs there based on how his career has gone will close the book on him being regarded as one of the games great openers or not.
    We've been through this one quite a few many times. Listed the stats of Donald and the others for the year prior and they were a very very strong attack. Donald not being at his peak is one thing, but Donald was still one of the best bowlers in the world.

    If I were to pick at the attacks like this, then there are things in Gavaskar's record to pick off as well: Marshall's debut, Gibbs' retirement, Roberts' debut too IIRC. I'm sure I can find more.

    In Gavaskar's time, the 3 attacks that could be considered strong, he failed against one (England), he was very successful against the other (Pakistan), and his Windies has more than a few question marks. Let's not pretend he was facing strong attacks on a regular basis.

    Attacks faced by both players

    Gavaskar: Pakistan were stronger then, WIndies were stronger then. That's it.
    Hayden: Sri Lanka stronger now, S.Africa playing now, NZ stronger now.

    England is about a tie, depending how much you rate the attacks Hayden has faced, India are better now and Australia are much better now. Overall, the attacks of the 2000s were at least as good, if not better than those of the 80s.

    Edit/add: Actually, even the Pakistan attack he faced in the 80s was really not that strong until he played his last test series - he averaged 49 against them.

    Essentially, most of the teams in the 80s had an attack with one great bowler and mediocrity in between.
    Last edited by Ikki; 20-10-2008 at 12:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    We've been through this one quite a few many times. Listed the stats of Donald and the others for the year prior and they were a very very strong attack. Donald not being at his peak is one thing, but Donald was still one of the best bowlers in the world.

    If I were to pick at the attacks like this, then there are things in Gavaskar's record to pick off as well: Marshall's debut, Gibbs' retirement, Roberts' debut too IIRC. I'm sure I can find more.

    In Gavaskar's time, the 3 attacks that could be considered strong, he failed against one (England), he was very successful against the other (Pakistan), and his Windies has more than a few question marks. Let's not pretend he was facing strong attacks on a regular basis.

    Attacks faced by both players

    Gavaskar: Pakistan were stronger then, WIndies were stronger then. That's it.
    Hayden: Sri Lanka stronger now, S.Africa playing now, NZ stronger now.

    England is about a tie, depending how much you rate the attacks Hayden has faced, India are better now and Australia are much better now. Overall, the attacks of the 2000s were at least as good, if not better than those of the 80s.

    Edit/add: Actually, even the Pakistan attack he faced in the 80s was really that strong until he played his last test series - he averaged 49 against them.
    Okay you quote abt many greats making their debut in the matches playe. What about the fact that Gavaskar himself was raw during his first series to WI?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    We've been through this one quite a few many times. Listed the stats of Donald and the others for the year prior and they were a very very strong attack. Donald not being at his peak is one thing, but Donald was still one of the best bowlers in the world.

    If I were to pick at the attacks like this, then there are things in Gavaskar's record to pick off as well: Marshall's debut, Gibbs' retirement, Roberts' debut too IIRC. I'm sure I can find more.

    In Gavaskar's time, the 3 attacks that could be considered strong, he failed against one (England), he was very successful against the other (Pakistan), and his Windies has more than a few question marks. Let's not pretend he was facing strong attacks on a regular basis.

    Attacks faced by both players

    Gavaskar: Pakistan were stronger then, WIndies were stronger then. That's it.
    Hayden: Sri Lanka stronger now, S.Africa playing now, NZ stronger now.

    England is about a tie, depending how much you rate the attacks Hayden has faced, India are better now and Australia are much better now. Overall, the attacks of the 2000s were at least as good, if not better than those of the 80s.

    Edit/add: Actually, even the Pakistan attack he faced in the 80s was really not that strong until he played his last test series - he averaged 49 against them.

    Essentially, most of the 80s was an attack with one great bowler and mediocrity in between.
    NZ, SL might be stronger. But still not good enough to be branded as world beating sides. There is a HUGE HUGE difference between the quality of bowling Gav faced, as compared to the likes Haydos faced.

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