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Thread: Do we romanticize with the past too much?

  1. #1
    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Do we romanticize with the past too much?

    I agree Today's Batsmen have it easier due to helmets, flatter tracks et al., but do we exaggerate the difference between the times too much and romanticize and icon-ize the batsmen of yesteryears too much? They too had a few advantages compared to today's Batsmen such as lack of spin-bowling of the highest quality, more casual fielding and so on. I agree flatter pitches do contribute to monumental increase in the number of runs scored but it is also due to many other factors such as developments in technology aiding better coaching, physios, and most importantly a different psychological(more aggressive) approach towards batting.

    It gets even worse when Bowling is concerned as the same people who say pitches have become flatter aiding batting refuse to acknowledge bowlers who are taking heaps of wickets in the very same flatter wickets and continue to romanticize about the Lilees and Hadlees and mourn the supposed death of good bowling. Aren't Steyn, Asif, Bond, Akthar in their peaks as good or maybe slightly worse off compared to the the greats in the 70s and 80s?

    First post btw.
    Last edited by Teja.; 14-03-2010 at 05:38 AM.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    I agree Today's Batsmen have it easier due to helmets, flatter tracks et al., but do we exaggerate the difference between the times too much and romanticize and icon-ize the batsmen of yesteryears too much? They too had a few advantages compared to today's Batsmen such as lack of spin-bowling of the highest quality, more casual fielding and so on. I agree flatter pitches do contribute to monumental increase in the number of runs scored but it also due to many other factors such as developments in technology aiding better coaching, physios, and most importantly a different psychological(more aggressive) approach towards batting.

    It gets even worse when Bowling is concerned as the same people who say pitches have become flatter aiding batting refuse to acknowledge bowlers who are taking heaps of wickets in the very same flatter wickets and continue to romanticize about the Lilees and Hadlees and mourn the supposed death of good bowling. Aren't Steyn, Asif, Bond, Akthar in their peaks as good or maybe slightly worse off compared to the the greats in the 70s and 80s?

    First post btw.
    Welcome to the site

    No doubt some on this site do

    I thought when you said past you were talking about the 1900s I was going to talk about the better spin bowling of that time, but the 1980s I am feeling old
    You know it makes sense.

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    Hall of Fame Member _Ed_'s Avatar
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    Welcome, and a very good first post.

    The one thing I'd mention relates to this part...
    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    Aren't Steyn, Asif, Bond, Akthar in their peaks as good or maybe slightly worse off compared to the the greats in the 70s and 80s?
    Possibly, but the thing is that those guys in the 70s and 80s were able to perform at an extraordinary level for great periods of time. Those names you mention, however (so far, in some cases), have been unable to be at that level for the same great lengths of time.

    International cricket is probably a far more rigourous environment now, to be fair, but it means the longevity of the great fast bowlers of the past hasn't on the whole been replicated in this era. As a result, a lot more fringe or slightly under-developed bowlers who probably wouldn't get a look in in a first-choice XI are playing a lot of international cricket.
    Last edited by _Ed_; 14-03-2010 at 05:44 AM.

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    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Ed_ View Post
    Welcome, and a very good first post.

    The one thing I'd mention relates to this part...

    Possibly, but the thing is that those guys in the 70s and 80s were able to perform at an extraordinary level for great periods of time. Those names you mention, however (so far, in some cases), have been unable to be at that level for the same great lengths of time.

    International cricket is probably a far more rigourous environment now, to be fair, but it means the longevity of the great fast bowlers of the past hasn't on the whole been replicated in this era. As a result, a lot more fringe or slightly under-developed bowlers who probably wouldn't get a look in in a first-choice XI are playing a lot of international cricket.
    Thanks for the warm welcome guys.

    and Ed,

    I was referring more to the quality of bowling rather than the bowlers themselves. Before these guys, we had McGrath, Alan Donald, Pollock, Waqar, Wasim etc. My point is that there was no period in time when we had a dearth of quality fast bowling and Batsmen have almost as much of a challenge with today's talented pacers than the Batsmen of the 70s and 80s did. There has been at most a 10%-15% decline which has been more than made up by the recovery of spin bowling.
    Last edited by Teja.; 14-03-2010 at 06:11 AM.


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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    I think that it tends to get balanced out.

    What I miss, and would love to know more about, is that middle tier. The Mankads, Dexters, these types; you look at a set of decent figures and know that they must have been good players. I don't think that we hear enough of why they were good players, the stories behind the figures. Their magnum opus', their Damien Martyn in India, their Harbhajan Singh vs Aus in '01.
    Last edited by vic_orthdox; 14-03-2010 at 06:22 AM.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Do we romanticize with the past too much?
    If this is possible, which I am not convinced it is, then I am, arguably, the worst offender on the forum

    Welcome Teja - judging by that thoughtful first post you're going to be good to have around

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    International 12th Man
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    In the 1979 Worlds Fastest Bowler competition, only 5 of the fastest bowlers in the world (at that time) could touch 150kph with their fastest ball. Nowadays in Australia, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Shaun Tait are all capable of touching 150kph and that's just Australia alone.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Welcome to CW Teja, some great opening posts there. I'm definitely with vic here; I think that, by and large, a 50+ batsman would average 50+ in every generation, just as a sub 25 bowler would average under 25. Successful players are successful because they have a lot talent, work hard, and adapt to the cricketing environment that they play in.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdu_ben91 View Post
    In the 1979 Worlds Fastest Bowler competition, only 5 of the fastest bowlers in the world (at that time) could touch 150kph with their fastest ball. Nowadays in Australia, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Shaun Tait are all capable of touching 150kph and that's just Australia alone.
    But they're doing so with the benefit of much greater knowledge on the physics of how someone can hurl a ball down 20-odd yards at 150k, as well as much better training techniques, and, probably more importantly, much better (or at least different) speed guns. If a bowler from the 70s had the benefit of these improvements, as well as the higher work ethic and commitment that comes with modern cricket, I've no doubt that they'd be reaching 150ks +, at least according to modern speed guns.

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    International 12th Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    But they're doing so with the benefit of much greater knowledge on the physics of how someone can hurl a ball down 20-odd yards at 150k, as well as much better training techniques, and, probably more importantly, much better (or at least different) speed guns. If a bowler from the 70s had the benefit of these improvements, as well as the higher work ethic and commitment that comes with modern cricket, I've no doubt that they'd be reaching 150ks +, at least according to modern speed guns.
    YouTube - World's Fastest Bowler Competition - 1979

    At the time they were recorded in the mid 130's - early 140's, but apparently the recordings were off by about 12kph, so I just added them on. ie: on the video Thomson was clocked at 147, so he was 159 with todays speed guns. Holding was 141 so obviously his 153 and so on.
    Last edited by wfdu_ben91; 14-03-2010 at 06:49 AM.

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    International Vice-Captain King Pietersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdu_ben91 View Post
    In the 1979 Worlds Fastest Bowler competition, only 5 of the fastest bowlers in the world (at that time) could touch 150kph with their fastest ball. Nowadays in Australia, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Shaun Tait are all capable of touching 150kph and that's just Australia alone.
    What's your point?

    Also, for the record, In 1975 in Test Match conditions Jeff Thomson was timed at 160.45kph on 2 ocassions, Andy Roberts was timed at 159.49, Holding at 150.67 and although ill at the time Dennis Lillee was timed at 148.54. Then in '76 Thomson was timed at 160.6, Roberts at 157.4, Lillee at 154.8, Holding at 153.2 and Daniel at 150.8.

    Also, none of the bowlers topped 150kph in that 79 study. Thomson bowled the quickest delivery at 147.9kph.
    Last edited by King Pietersen; 14-03-2010 at 06:52 AM.

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    For every person who thinks a player from the past is better and talks about them with rose tinted glasses, there is an individual who is rating someone they watched immediately better than someone from the past, simply because they can't believe someone was better.
    "I am very happy and it will allow me to have lot more rice."

    Eoin Morgan on being given a rice cooker for being Man of the Match in a Dhaka Premier Division game.

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    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    For every person who thinks a player from the past is better and talks about them with rose tinted glasses, there is an individual who is rating someone they watched immediately better than someone from the past, simply because they can't believe someone was better.
    Yes both cases when done in the extreme are bad, but the problem is the second person is immediately associated with fanboy-ism and not taken with the much weight which is ideal but the first person is looked onto as someone with knowledge rather than bias because of the common past-is-better perception.

  14. #14
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Heh, good post. I agree with that.

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    Having watched cricket since the mid 70's I find teams get better all the time as they get more and more quality players. The only difference now is you have 7-9 top quality players in one team as compared to only 3-5. You need to be talented and fit to play cricket qualities that players like Hadlee had a natural abundunce of and he stood out but today nearly all players are as fit as Hadlee.

    I heard on a radio show that England have the same amount of coaches, trainers ect as players on the current tour.

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