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Thread: Ageing Genius - Lara, Ponting and Viv

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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Ageing Genius - Lara, Ponting and Viv

    A couple of posters were talking about Ponting in recent times. He seems to be in imperious form at times, ridiculously vulnerable at times. He's almost bipolar in some ways.

    Jono then asked whether Lara was similar in his twilight, and it is certainly how I remember him. Rather than being the great deity he was in his prime, where you hoped for a moment of mortality from him to capture his wicket, Lara was "one of us" who would occasionally show a moment of utter impossibility. Often this would be at a crucial moment, or when people were most doubting him.

    I was wondering whether this is in common with other greats; for those who were around at the times, does this sort of pattern sound familiar to Viv Richards, as it is the impression I've had from those who've talked about his batting after his prime. Are there others who follow this trend?

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    With Ponting right now as I was saying in the other thread, I think it's his mental issues, not his physical/technical ones getting the better of him right now. Age might be a factor but more in the manner of him being aware of it and then making strange decisions. I mean - how much has he gotten out to legitimately good bowling over the last summer, and how much has he gotten out to silly shots, like pulling/hooking down fine leg's throat on 0, pulling straight to midwicket (like just now), pulling a ball hitting two inches from the top of off, or just doing something completely bonkers like in the last game? When he does knuckle down and play his normal, determined game though he looks really good as he did in both Bellerive innings, aside from the first 50.

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    International Coach social's Avatar
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    Dont think it's a coincidence that all 3 rely/relied on a great eye, fast hands and feet rather that stellar techniques as physical attributes are the first to go

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    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    It is so easy to look at his stats(I am sorry don't want a stat debate, just IMO) after so many years and say he played far too long, but I don't remember IVA Richards going through that phase ever and it could be because the last I saw him bat was around in 1989.

    When I watched him bat in the 1987-88 tour, he was magnificent as ever. His innings in Test match in Delhi and the ODI 100 at Rajkot where he 7 sixes and made his 100 in 68 balls.


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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz View Post
    It is so easy to look at his stats(I am sorry don't want a stat debate, just IMO) after so many years and say he played far too long, but I don't remember IVA Richards going through that phase ever and it could be because the last I saw him bat was around in 1989.

    When I watched him bat in the 1987-88 tour, he was magnificent as ever. His innings in Test match in Delhi and the ODI 100 at Rajkot where he 7 sixes and made his 100 in 68 balls.
    To take an example from Lara, some people who went and saw his double century in his last tour in Adelaide would say the same thing.

    But, as I said, you were there at the time, so maybe that its an impression that has been painted on me from people in hindsight, rather than at the time.

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    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Well those two innings stand out that I still remember, but I watched both the series and I didn't believe IVA had lost any of his skills. But again I could be mistaken, we didn't have so many games in those days .

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    International Vice-Captain Riggins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by social View Post
    Dont think it's a coincidence that all 3 rely/relied on a great eye, fast hands and feet rather that stellar techniques as physical attributes are the first to go
    What is technique other than eyes, hands and feet??
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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz View Post
    It is so easy to look at his stats(I am sorry don't want a stat debate, just IMO) after so many years and say he played far too long, but I don't remember IVA Richards going through that phase ever and it could be because the last I saw him bat was around in 1989.

    When I watched him bat in the 1987-88 tour, he was magnificent as ever. His innings in Test match in Delhi and the ODI 100 at Rajkot where he 7 sixes and made his 100 in 68 balls.
    You’re right, Viv was in excellent form in 1988, and carried it through until the end of the 88/89 series in Australia. In hindsight, that is probably when he should have retired (from an average-preserving POV anyway) because in his last 17 Tests after that series he averaged just 34 with one century.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Richards had a shocker in the 1989 series at home to India - that series begun inglorious final phases in the careers of himself, Greenidge and (as a batsman) Dujon - it was also a chastening debut series for Keith Arthurton, who would eventually come back strong 3 years later. And most of the Indians could barely make a run.

    Richards in his last series in England however appears to have been a master giving one final glimpse of his excellence. Apart from that series, there wasn't a lot of good in him playing Tests after the 1988/89 Australian tour.
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by social View Post
    Dont think it's a coincidence that all 3 rely/relied on a great eye, fast hands and feet rather that stellar techniques as physical attributes are the first to go
    Always held this thought, and its why I believe Kallis, Sachin and Dravid (though Dravid was/is testing my theory with that awful run from 2007-2008) have the ability to perhaps go on longer than a Viv, Lara, Ponting, Sehwag (not that he's in their class yet) without being quite unpredictable.

    Only time will tell for Ponting, but its why I believe he won't pass Sachin's most runs. Just a hunch, don't have any facts other than a decline which I don't think Kallis has ever experienced.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Kallis is a funny one, in that his eye has seemed to fail him regularly throughout his career. Honestly can't count the number of times I've seen him simply not sight a really full ball at all - has happened in every single series I've seen him involved in against England (1998, 1999/2000, 2003, 2004/05, more than ever in 2008, didn't see enough of 2009/10 to comment).

    Really weird that he can have been so effective as he has been despite a pretty clear weakness.

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    State Vice-Captain popepouri's Avatar
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    Chanderpaul comes to mind. He didn't do a whole lot before 30.

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Personally, felt Lara was as good as ever 2005, 2006 and he retired in 2007 May.. So I am not sure how it goes... Didn't think his technique was any sorta suspect at all.. And in that Aussie tour, he was done in by poor umpiring at least 3 or 4 of his 8 innings... So I felt he was really fine during his ageing or however that is supposed to be said..
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popepouri View Post
    Chanderpaul didn't do a whole lot before 30.


    Chanderpaul debuted at 19, averaged 59.55 in his first 9 Tests as a fill-in player, then averaged 51 in the next 12 after he became a fixture.

    It was only between 1997/98 and 2001 that Chanderpaul disappointed, both in terms out output and fitness record. From 2001/02 (at the start of which he was still only 27) to the home spring of 2009, he averaged 59.52 in 64 matches against Test-standard teams - he had a bad time in the ad-hoc series in England (which shouldn't even really have been played) and didn't do very well in Australia a few months back either, but he should have plenty more chances ahead of him yet.

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    State Regular GuyFromLancs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Kallis is a funny one, in that his eye has seemed to fail him regularly throughout his career. Honestly can't count the number of times I've seen him simply not sight a really full ball at all - has happened in every single series I've seen him involved in against England (1998, 1999/2000, 2003, 2004/05, more than ever in 2008, didn't see enough of 2009/10 to comment).

    Really weird that he can have been so effective as he has been despite a pretty clear weakness.
    Yes, technique over eye for Kallis. By technique I mean anticipation, intelligence, posture, stamina, knowing exactly your limitations, decision making.

    Like Kallis, Michael Vaughan had the above but only average hand-eye co-ordination which is why he lost some fully deliveries around his feet and why when he did it looked so terrible.
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