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Thread: Will the dynamics in test cricket change once the veterans retire?

  1. #1
    International Debutant WindieWeathers's Avatar
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    Will the dynamics in test cricket change once the veterans retire?

    Just looking at the top sides these days they have quite a few players who are 30 and over,

    India

    Tendulkar= 36 years old
    Sehwag= 31 years old
    Laxman= 35 years old
    Khan= 32 years old
    Dravid= 37 years old


    Australia

    Ponting= 35 years old
    Hussey= 34 years old
    Lee= 33 years old
    Katich= 34 years old
    Haddin= 32 years old
    Clark= 34 years old


    South Africa

    Kallis= 34 years old
    Harris= 32 years old
    Prince= 32 years old
    Boucher= 33 years old


    England

    Strauss= 32 years old
    Collingwood= 33 years old
    Sidebottom= 32 years old
    Swann= 30 years old

    You look at some of the ages of the players and it's hard to imagine them still playing in 3 or 4 years, so my question is once most of these players are gone will the gap between the top sides and the lower tier suddenly be much smaller? i have to say it looks like Australia and India are gonna have some big shoes to fill once those lot are gone , though it would be a huge task to replace Kallis i think South Africa won't be in bad shape at all, England don't look like they'll have many problems either (especially if the South African link is still in play).

    Of course it all depends on who comes through the ranks for Australia and India respectively, but if the quality isn't adequate then teams like Pakistan and WI who are bringing through talented young players just might smell blood while SA and England remain solid, the next few years should be very interesting in test cricket.

  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    The dynamics in Test cricket are always changing when veterans retire, because veterans retire at regular intervals, always.

    No Test team ever stays the same for more than a handful of games at a time.

    This question could be asked at any given point whatsoever in Test history, and answered with a "yes" every time.
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    You're right in general Richard, but if Ponting, Dravid, Kallis and Tendulkar were to go in a period of 2-3 years, that'd be pretty big!

    Can't think of such an example recently when it comes to batting. Lara and Waugh went within a few years, but that's about it.
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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    After India's tour of Australia in 2011, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Zaheer Khan or at least 3 of 4 can go together. It will largely depend on the players who replace them then are good enough or not for India to keep the fiht on for the top spot in world cricket.


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    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Lee and Clark aren't playing and neither will play another Test in all likelihood. Not really worried about our batting, it's just the nature of the side, they're always old because they debut so late.
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    International Debutant WindieWeathers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    The dynamics in Test cricket are always changing when veterans retire, because veterans retire at regular intervals, always.

    No Test team ever stays the same for more than a handful of games at a time.

    This question could be asked at any given point whatsoever in Test history, and answered with a "yes" every time.
    Looking at some of the ages though it's feasible to suggest many of them could all go at the same time, which could leave a massive hole in a side, and in turn effect their results greatly, i'm aware that no test team stays the same forever, but the same four sides have been on top for ages, with the veterans retiring there just might be a window of opportunity for the likes of WI and Pakistan to make an impact.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    You're right in general Richard, but if Ponting, Dravid, Kallis and Tendulkar were to go in a period of 2-3 years, that'd be pretty big!

    Can't think of such an example recently when it comes to batting. Lara and Waugh went within a few years, but that's about it.
    In all honesty, these days all of the above named are nothing more than good Test batsmen. Yes, they were once exceptional and will rightly go down as top-class batsmen rather than merely good ones in the grand scheme, but their simultaneous retirement would merely constitute legends exiting together, not a sudden massive depletion in the calibre of batsmanship.

    Lara on the other hand was still performing as well as he ever did until the last year of his career; Stephen Waugh had 2-and-a-half years of middling performances before his retirement.

    It's most unusual for a truly top-of-the-tree player to go out while still performing like a truly top-of-the-tree player - certainly, at least, among batsmen. Not least because such a thing would tend to be quite wasteful - it's most unusual for a batsman to overnight (well, off-season at least) decline from brilliant to poor - usually it'll be brilliant to good to poor. And as long as a player continues to enjoy Test cricket it'd make little sense for him to quit while he was still good enough to play it.

    Bowlers it's a little different - some (Ambrose, Walsh, McGrath) quit while still as good as ever; some (Donald, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram for instance) do indeed go from being brilliant to not-good-enough-any-more literally without warning. It happens more often to seam bowlers - especially those of a certain type.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindieWeathers View Post
    Looking at some of the ages though it's feasible to suggest many of them could all go at the same time, which could leave a massive hole in a side, and in turn effect their results greatly, i'm aware that no test team stays the same forever, but the same four sides have been on top for ages, with the veterans retiring there just might be a window of opportunity for the likes of WI and Pakistan to make an impact.
    How many times in Test history have teams overnight gone from being very good to not-all-that-good?

    By-and-large, if a team gets to the top it tends to get there because of great strength in depth, strength which tends to echo down the ages. Take South Africa for example - there have always been teams with a fair few players of common age since readmission, but the talent has kept coming and thus when a quality player goes, another one takes his place.

    England on the other hand have mostly squandered what (usually limited) talent they have in the last 4 decades. West Indies unlike other teams seem to tend to go in real cycles - throughout their history they've had several real dearths of talent and several times when the talent has been overflowing, and not all that often very much in between.

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    In all honesty, these days all of the above named are nothing more than good Test batsmen. Yes, they were once exceptional and will rightly go down as top-class batsmen rather than merely good ones in the grand scheme, but their simultaneous retirement would merely constitute legends exiting together, not a sudden massive depletion in the calibre of batsmanship.

    Lara on the other hand was still performing as well as he ever did until the last year of his career; Stephen Waugh had 2-and-a-half years of middling performances before his retirement.
    Was Lara in 2005-2007 really performing better than Tendulkar has from 2007-2009? Sachin's the best he's been since 2001!

    Not sure about Kallis over the last 2 years either.

    Dravid yes, has definitely been in decline.

  10. #10
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Kallis has indeed shown very little sign of decline of late (indeed some of his batting in the recent series against England was about as good as anything he's produced all career), but there's no way I'd say Tendulkar of 2006/07-2009/10 has been anywhere near as good as the Tendulkar of 1990-2002/03.

    Tendulkar of 2003/04-2005/06 was, rightly, having serious questions asked of him by the end of the period - he was booed-off his home ground and CWers were seriously considering the prospect of dropping him. Of late he's shown once more that he's easily good enough to be playing still, but I don't feel he's batting like one of the best in the business any more. I hope he can go on like this for a while longer, but I can't believe we'll ever see him produce like he did in his heyday again (though obviously it'd be awesome if he could).

    As for Lara, I'd put the batting he produced at any point 2001/02-2005 ahead of anything Tendulkar has produced 2006/07-2009/10. Not that that matters, because Tendulkar at any point 1990-2002/03 was > Lara either 1992-1996 or 2001/02-2005 anyway.
    Last edited by Richard; 18-02-2010 at 08:38 AM.

  11. #11
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    I'm not intending to make it a Lara vs. Sachin thread, I'm more suggesting that Sachin is getting runs. It's irrelevant how he gets them, he'll never bat like he did back in his heyday, and in some way I don't think he intends on trying.

    Unless you're going simply on watching, why do you think Lara 2 years prior to his retirement has been better than Sachin in the last 2 years (assuming he was to retire today, which thankfully he isn't?).

    I mean sure Lara didn't change his game as drastically as Sachin has from his pomp to just before retirement, but that doesn't mean Lara ended as one of the best whilst Sachin is merely very good.

    It wouldn't surprise me if in the last 2 years Sachin is in the best 5 performing batsmen.

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    International Debutant WindieWeathers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    How many times in Test history have teams overnight gone from being very good to not-all-that-good?

    By-and-large, if a team gets to the top it tends to get there because of great strength in depth, strength which tends to echo down the ages. Take South Africa for example - there have always been teams with a fair few players of common age since readmission, but the talent has kept coming and thus when a quality player goes, another one takes his place.

    England on the other hand have mostly squandered what (usually limited) talent they have in the last 4 decades. West Indies unlike other teams seem to tend to go in real cycles - throughout their history they've had several real dearths of talent and several times when the talent has been overflowing, and not all that often very much in between.
    Your last point is what i'm hoping for Richard, i really think WI have at least 15 or so really good young players who will be coming through the ranks within the next 3 years so you might be right, what inspired me to make this thread is if a team like WI come on strong in the next three years while veterans who've played a huge role over the years are just leaving the India and Australia sides things could get very interesting, for all what has gone on in the past we still don't know if the top sides have genuine quality to call on when the inevitable happens, they might have good players who come through, but it's the very good players who make you a top side in the end.
    Last edited by WindieWeathers; 18-02-2010 at 08:51 AM.

  13. #13
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    I'm not intending to make it a Lara vs. Sachin thread, I'm more suggesting that Sachin is getting runs. It's irrelevant how he gets them, he'll never bat like he did back in his heyday, and in some way I don't think he intends on trying.

    Unless you're going simply on watching, why do you think Lara 2 years prior to his retirement has been better than Sachin in the last 2 years (assuming he was to retire today, which thankfully he isn't?).

    I mean sure Lara didn't change his game as drastically as Sachin has from his pomp to just before retirement, but that doesn't mean Lara ended as one of the best whilst Sachin is merely very good.

    It wouldn't surprise me if in the last 2 years Sachin is in the best 5 performing batsmen.
    I've never been tremendously bothered about how someone plays - if Tendulkar has changed his game it's because I'm sure he needed to. If Lara did not change his game it was because he did not need to.

    To look at it in fairly crude terms - Tendulkar since his return to form in South Africa in 2006/07 has averaged 50.20 in the 30 Tests in that time; in comparison, IIRR he averaged about 61 in 90-odd Tests between 1990 and 2002/03. And, as I say, all being well he'll still have a few more years in him yet - we wait to see what'll happen in those. This is a substantial reduction - and it is quite likely, I can't help thinking, that it'll go down again a bit before he ceases to be Test-class (whenever that may be).

    Lara however has already retired - forced though it may have (stupidly if so) been. Between 2001/02 and 2005 Lara's performances were (I don't even need to look it up to tell you) almost exactly the same as they were 1992-1996, his own heyday. Now, the fact that batting was in general easier in the latter period than it was in the former means I don't feel Lara batted quite so well in the latter as the former, but nonetheless, he was still batting as one of the game has seen.

    He was certainly not between 2005/06 and 2006/07 (again in crude terms, he averaged "only" 45.58 in this time).

    The point, really, is that Lara did not retire while performing as he had at his very best, and I don't feel Tendulkar is remotely likely to. Tendulkar and Lara's careers took vastly different paths, one of the reasons comparing them is so pointless, and one is over while the other's is not. But I don't feel either are likely to retire while performing as one of the best in the game.

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Sachin of late has been as good as Lara was at any time, to me..


    The reason I still rate Lara slightly higher has nothing to do with any perceived fall in Sachin's game.. And yeah, Sachin right now, can still have a more than decent shout at being the best batsman in the world..
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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    Tendulkar today is batting at as good a form as any in his career IMO.

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