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Thread: This obsession with how batsmen would do against all-time great dream lineups...

  1. #31
    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    How about Kumble bowling on a wet track?

    Even the sound of it makes me gulp.
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  2. #32
    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    This line of thought happens in all sports.

    AFL: "How good would Ablett have been in the era of flooding"
    Tennis: "How good would Federer and Sampras have been with wooden racquets"

    People love to compare the greats, and also people love to say that the current greats aren't that good. People say we elevate our contemporaries too high, but an equal amount of tearing our contemporaries down because of some nostalgia happens as well.

    Sehwag, Kallis and Ponting cop this a lot I reckon.
    Kallis really cops it for an entirely different reason though..


    Sehwag, Hayden and Ponting would be more apt.. Throw in likes of Jayawardene and Sangakkara too while we are at it...
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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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  3. #33
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Hayden actually was someone I was supposed to say as well, good point.
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  4. #34
    vcs
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    I think batsmen of the past, even if they faced better attacks on the whole, it wasn't as if they were always up against 4 ATGs with no respite.. there probably were a few weak links even in those attacks that could be targeted. People sometimes seem to forget that.


  5. #35
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcs View Post
    Is it unique to cricket fans? I mean, I don't often see football fans discussing how Maradona would do against a defence consisting of Maldini, Baresi, Thuram and Cafu for example. But I'm not a particularly die-hard football fan either, so maybe they do.

    The point is, how important is it in practice, to be able to survive and score at an average of 50+ (or whatever determines greatness) against an attack of Marshall-Lillee-Hadlee-Warne(insert your own dream lineup here)? Now I'm not suggesting that minnow-bashing should be enough to bestow greatness on an individual, but really, how often do you come up against an all-time great bowling lineup in adverse conditions?
    Football fans do to a degree. But football isn't such an analysis driven sport like cricket.

    But i disagree with this thread. Since as i always say on CW there is large section who subscribes to PEWS theory of:

    Quote Originally Posted by quote
    A batsman's job - or responsibility if you like - is to find a technique that optimises his scoring in his own era; not develop a technique that'd work in any era at the expense of maximum output in current conditions just to satisfy people who wish to compare him with former players.
    Which i & others (memembers who no longer are on CW these days) disagree & have argued to the death. While many others as the responses to this thread indicates ATWA PEWS notion. Quite obviously who believe that aren't going to change (at least on this site), nor will people like myself who subcribe to the complete opposite, since a start ideological gridlock has developed with this matter & no middle-ground can be found at least on this site.

  6. #36
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    How about we reverse it? I'm pretty sure many old timers bowling averages would bump up if they had to enjoy bowling on the flat decks around today. I think there's a few bowlers around the world that, if they played in a previous era, would be seen in a better light because they got helpful conditions more often.

    But it doesn't matter because it's all hypothetical. What does matter is some bowlers are much better at bowling in this era than others.
    SMH. Another one of the old arguments again..

    This is not true at least for the truly great bowlers. At least not for the truly great bowlers.

    For example not because McGrath averaged 20 witht he ball in this FTB era, means his average means more than Imran, Marhsall, Hadlee, Ambrose, Donald, Lillee who played in era of more helpul pitches. All of those bowlers had unique skills to to bowl on flat pitches too & if they had to bowl on the roads of the last 10 years i dont see why they wouldn't have had equal success like McGrath.

    But as i said, this has been argued before & it is going around in circles again. I expect the calvary to come in to call this "era bias" or of something of the sort in a few..

  7. #37
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    How about Kumble bowling on a wet track?

    Even the sound of it makes me gulp.
    This is not a hypotetical scenario worth considering. Since batsmen according shouldn't have to bat on wet wickets.

  8. #38
    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    How about Kumble bowling on a wet track?

    Even the sound of it makes me gulp.
    I reckon Swanneh would do particularly well on a wet track as well.
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  9. #39
    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Got_Spin View Post
    I think it is fair sometimes - Regardless of whether said modern day batsmen has 'tailored' his game to score runs in the present. Technical flaws aren't going to recover themselves regardless of era.

    ftr - I don't think all modern day batsmen should be brought down. I still believe (in most instances) that if you're good enough to play in one era, you'd probably be good enough in another. However, there are definitely cases where a modern day batsmen has greatly benefited from a lesser supply of quality bowling line ups and bowler friendly wickets that have covered up technical weakness that would otherwise have been exposed. Sure, said batsmen might have been able to cover these flaws up had he been forced to play in such an era, but I still think his average would have been brought down with it.
    Well no-one's saying that averaging 60 in an era where the average batsman averages 35 is more impressive than averaging 55 in an era where the average batsman averages 25. Not at all. Your utility during your era is determined by how well you play relative to the rest the world, not the rest of time.

    What I disagree with though is picking out someone like Sehwag and saying he'd suffer a much larger average drop in another era than someone like Dravid, and using it to make a case for Dravid being better the batsman. Firstly I don't think it's necessarily true, but more importantly, even if it is correct, I just find the whole concept completely and utterly irrelevant to a batsman's quality. Sehwag and Dravid honestly don't give a **** how they'd do in different eras and neither do the bowlers bowling to them, the selectors that pick them or the punters who bet on them. They've both done their best to adapt their techniques to the conditions and the bowlers they face today, not to satisfy the whim and fancy of people like us who want to compare them to Greg Chappell.

    It is possible to compare players between eras, but the only way to do it with any real context is to compare players' output relative to their contemporaries. Guessing who'd do well in different eras based on technique is admittedly quite an interesting theoretical conversation but IMO it shouldn't really have a baring on how highly we rate the players in question.
    Last edited by Prince EWS; 21-10-2010 at 02:49 PM.

  10. #40
    International Coach tooextracool's Avatar
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    I think the point that people have completely ignored here is not that players are a product of their own generation etc. Yes I am all for players having techniques that suit the style of pitches on which they routinely play during their generation and it is unfair to compare them to previous generations. However, the point about FTBs is a valid one.

    To explain this let me use an example from Tennis. Lets say we have 2 hypothetical players and lets call them 'Federer' and 'Nadal'. Federer goes through tournaments beating all inferior opponents 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 etc to reach the final. Nadal on the other hand gets through to the final winning some games in 4 sets and being really tested throughout the tournament. Yet when they get to the final, Nadal wins in 5 sets and maintains an overall favorable win-loss record against Federer. Should we subscribe to the notion that Federer is better simply because he managed to completely obliterate all those inferiors who never had a chance against them while Nadal couldn't do the same? Or should we say that Nadal is superior because in the greatest of adversities and against the very best he usually comes out on top?

    I think I would go for Nadal on that one. I think this analogy can be used in cricket. Matthew Hayden for example bullied every single mediocre bowling attack he could find in unprecedented fashion. And yet when he came up against a strong pace bowling outfit in bowler friendly conditions (such as in the 2 Ashes series in England) the guy could barely lay bat on ball. No matter how much we try to ignore them, seamer friendly conditions still exist in cricket and anyone who cant score runs in those conditions needs to have his record looked at under the microscope. When I look at a player like Thorpe, who IMO is one of the most criminally underrated cricketers from the last 2 decades, I will always consider him to be a better player than Hayden. I couldn't care less if Hayden averages 50+, when he was put in unfavorable conditions, he was not even half the batsman as Thorpe was.
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  11. #41
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooextracool View Post
    I think the point that people have completely ignored here is not that players are a product of their own generation etc. Yes I am all for players having techniques that suit the style of pitches on which they routinely play during their generation and it is unfair to compare them to previous generations. However, the point about FTBs is a valid one.

    To explain this let me use an example from Tennis. Lets say we have 2 hypothetical players and lets call them 'Federer' and 'Nadal'. Federer goes through tournaments beating all inferior opponents 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 etc to reach the final. Nadal on the other hand gets through to the final winning some games in 4 sets and being really tested throughout the tournament. Yet when they get to the final, Nadal wins in 5 sets and maintains an overall favorable win-loss record against Federer. Should we subscribe to the notion that Federer is better simply because he managed to completely obliterate all those inferiors who never had a chance against them while Nadal couldn't do the same? Or should we say that Nadal is superior because in the greatest of adversities and against the very best he usually comes out on top?

    I think I would go for Nadal on that one. I think this analogy can be used in cricket. Matthew Hayden for example bullied every single mediocre bowling attack he could find in unprecedented fashion. And yet when he came up against a strong pace bowling outfit in bowler friendly conditions (such as in the 2 Ashes series in England) the guy could barely lay bat on ball. No matter how much we try to ignore them, seamer friendly conditions still exist in cricket and anyone who cant score runs in those conditions needs to have his record looked at under the microscope. When I look at a player like Thorpe, who IMO is one of the most criminally underrated cricketers from the last 2 decades, I will always consider him to be a better player than Hayden. I couldn't care less if Hayden averages 50+, when he was put in unfavorable conditions, he was not even half the batsman as Thorpe was.

    EXACTLYYYYYYY. TEC this is why you have been by main man of this site for the start. Although Hayden did correct those deficiences post Ashes 05.

    People making it sound when defending modern day FTBs of the 2000s era, when the whole "products of their generation" argument. Like if seamer friendly condtions/pitches of the 90s, 70s TOTALLY disappered in the 2000s era, thus you cant compare how they would have done if they played in the past. Which is the crazy part of that logic.
    Last edited by aussie; 21-10-2010 at 03:01 PM.

  12. #42
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    SMH. Another one of the old arguments again..
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    This is not true at least for the truly great bowlers. At least not for the truly great bowlers.

    For example not because McGrath averaged 20 witht he ball in this FTB era, means his average means more than Imran, Marhsall, Hadlee, Ambrose, Donald, Lillee who played in era of more helpul pitches. All of those bowlers had unique skills to to bowl on flat pitches too & if they had to bowl on the roads of the last 10 years i dont see why they wouldn't have had equal success like McGrath.
    I agree to an extent. It is harder to bowl on flat pitches, so they would have been affected a bit, but 20 has generally been the wall on how low bowling averages can go in most cases (60 with the bat, which of course is why Bradman is so special) when the bowler has played a decent amount of games.

    But the not so great bowlers, the merely good ones, like Mitchell Johnson etc I believe would average several runs less in previous eras. Dale Steyn and Shane Bond would be what they are in any era, but if you transplanted say, Richard Collinge to this day and age he wouldn't be averaging 29.

    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    But as i said, this has been argued before & it is going around in circles again. I expect the calvary to come in to call this "era bias" or of something of the sort in a few..
    Diddums. If you don't want to be argued against then don't post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
    Well yeah Tendy is probably better than Bradman, but Bradman was 70 years ago, if he grew up in the modern era he'd still easily be the best. Though he wasn't, can understand the argument for Tendy even though I don't agree.
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  13. #43
    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooextracool View Post
    I think the point that people have completely ignored here is not that players are a product of their own generation etc. Yes I am all for players having techniques that suit the style of pitches on which they routinely play during their generation and it is unfair to compare them to previous generations. However, the point about FTBs is a valid one.

    To explain this let me use an example from Tennis. Lets say we have 2 hypothetical players and lets call them 'Federer' and 'Nadal'. Federer goes through tournaments beating all inferior opponents 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 etc to reach the final. Nadal on the other hand gets through to the final winning some games in 4 sets and being really tested throughout the tournament. Yet when they get to the final, Nadal wins in 5 sets and maintains an overall favorable win-loss record against Federer. Should we subscribe to the notion that Federer is better simply because he managed to completely obliterate all those inferiors who never had a chance against them while Nadal couldn't do the same? Or should we say that Nadal is superior because in the greatest of adversities and against the very best he usually comes out on top?

    I think I would go for Nadal on that one. I think this analogy can be used in cricket. Matthew Hayden for example bullied every single mediocre bowling attack he could find in unprecedented fashion. And yet when he came up against a strong pace bowling outfit in bowler friendly conditions (such as in the 2 Ashes series in England) the guy could barely lay bat on ball. No matter how much we try to ignore them, seamer friendly conditions still exist in cricket and anyone who cant score runs in those conditions needs to have his record looked at under the microscope. When I look at a player like Thorpe, who IMO is one of the most criminally underrated cricketers from the last 2 decades, I will always consider him to be a better player than Hayden. I couldn't care less if Hayden averages 50+, when he was put in unfavorable conditions, he was not even half the batsman as Thorpe was.
    I don't think that's a good analogy at all because batting is not win/loss - cricket is not an individual sport. Winning the game is always worth the same in tennis - scoring 30 and scoring 160 is rarely worth the same in cricket. A scrappy four- or five-set win in tennis when compared to a breezy three set win is probably more analogous to a scrappy, edgy innings of 100 off 210 balls when compared to an effortless innings of 100 off 120.

    It's not really that I don't think we can make some vague guesses as to how players would go in different eras based on their techniques and how they've gone in certain circumstances during their careers - I just think it means diddly squat. In today's age, a batsman who ruthlessly cashes in moderate to flat pitches with extreme regularity and fails once every three years when a juicy pitch appears is a lot more useful than the batsman who averages 40 everywhere - and that's what it's all about to me: how useful you are in your own time. Batting success in the 21st century so far has been based around clinical efficiency, ruthlessness, concentration and consistency, because while difficult batting conditions do still exist, they're almost so rare as to make them basically irrelevant.

    If none of your batsmen can really cash in on moderate to flat pitches, you're going to lose a lot of games on moderate to flat pitches in the 21st century because they're common as muck - piling on mammoth runs with clinical efficiency and consistency is just a more important skill these days than being able to battle it out on a greentop. How players playing today would've gone in the 80s, while an interesting topic, means nothing to me as far as judging their quality goes - it's all about how useful they are now compared to their contemporaries and the so-called "flat track bullies" are more useful than the Thorpes of the world at present.
    Last edited by Prince EWS; 21-10-2010 at 03:58 PM.

  14. #44
    International Coach tooextracool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    I don't think that's a good analogy at all because batting is not win/loss - cricket is not an individual sport. Winning the game is always worth the same in tennis - scoring 30 and scoring 160 is rarely worth the same in cricket. A scrappy four- or five-set win in tennis when compared to a breezy three set win is probably more analogous to a scrappy, edgy innings of 100 off 210 balls when compared to an effortless innings of 100 off 120.

    It's not really that I don't think we can make some vague guesses as to how players would go in different eras based on their techniques and how they've gone in certain circumstances during their careers - I just think it means diddly squat. In today's age, a batsman who ruthlessly cashes in moderate to flat pitches with extremely regularity and fails once every three years when a juicy pitch appears is a lot more useful than the batsman who averages 40 everywhere - and that's what it's all about to me: how useful you are in your own time. Batting in the 21st century so far has been about clinical efficiency, ruthlessness, concentration and consistency - those are the attributes that have made batsmen particularly effective in this era because while difficult batting conditions do still exist, they're almost so rare as to make them basically irrelevant. If none of your batsmen can really cash in on moderate to flat pitches, you're going to lose a lot of games on moderate to flat pitches in the 21st century - piling on mammoth runs with clinical efficiency and consistency is just a more important skill these days than being able to battle it out on a greentop. How players playing today would've gone in the 80s, while an interesting topic, means nothing to me as far as judging their quality goes - it's all about how useful they are now compared to their contemporaries.
    I agree with you regarding the comparison of people from different eras and I rarely indulge in those. At the end of the day you are a product of your own era and that is the end of the story.

    I do think however, that the case of a juicy pitch showing up is more than every 3 years. We're seeing it with enough frequency to suggest that players need to be at least somewhat competent on them. I dont deny that FTBs are in fashion and that players like Trescothick, Hayden, Gayle etc were/are quite valuable to their team. However, the fact of the matter is that these players also tend to go missing when their team is in troubled waters. Ask me any day of the week and I'd pick a player like Laxman or Thorpe over Hayden despite the trade off for the extra runs on flat pitches. Because the fact that these players are liabilities in certain conditions basically takes the sheen away from their overall record.

  15. #45
    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Also, lets please not turn this into a Hayden-specific debate, because I think this thread could be really good if we don't. Whether or not his performances in India in adverse batting conditions make up for his failings in England in adverse batting conditions of a different nature really misses the point of the thread completely.

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