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Thread: Then and now

  1. #1
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    Then and now

    Now then, it's time for a good old-fashioned fracas about the cricket in the modern age versus cricket in the halcyon days when one apparently withstood a swift one to the goolies without the slightest tremor of the upper lip.

    Flippancy aside, one does hear a lot about how difficult it was to bat in the days of uncovered pitches with less compressed bats and less (and lower quality protective gear). Quite true. But, at the same time, the bowling speeds have gone up across the board (increased strength and fitness for athletes in general), the lbw law has changed, ground fielding and catching have improved out of sight, strategies and techniques have evolved....

    Without coming down on one side of the fence or the other, I think it would be interesting to have a discussion about this.

    An interesting tidbit to dwell on: an article in cricinfo written by a couple of boffiny guest columnists a couple of years ago indicated that post 90 (the era of the neutral umpire), the number of lbws increased noticeably i.e. statistically significantly). If one were to actually consider this in conjunction with the abolishment of the has to pitch in line with the stumps for both sides of the wicket, it could conceivably be argued that batting is actually harder now that it was in the days of the sticky dogs. After all, it's like adding a whole new mode of dismissal.
    Last edited by hang on; 12-02-2011 at 05:55 AM.

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    look forward to points like the institution of the front foot noball rule and the limiting of intimidatory bowling being brought up too. i didn't list all the pros and cons of batting then versus now but i think that most on this site are knowledgeable and analytically inclined enough to touch on the whole spectrum of arguments.

    happy chuntering and arguing!

  3. #3
    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    When are you suggesting the modern times start?

    The change in the LBW law was around 1936 from memory, the front foot rule in the 60s, uncovered pitches were still in England until the late 60s from memory and maybe even later
    You know it makes sense.

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    i was hoping that the course of discussion would end up suggesting a starting point of the 'modern era'. or perhaps even a couple of modern eras.

    want it to be as free flowing a conversation as possible, with as many riffs as takes one's fancy.

    i, too, think that the lbw law changed around the mid 30s.

    when did the covering of pitches start? early mid 70s?

    another factor that could be interesting to discuss is the relative/complete lack of acclimatisation that modern batsmen have to 'endure' before playing tests? most teams play a practice match or two before the first test of a tour, whereas in the past there would be about half a dozen such matches, apart from a few matches between tests.

    before i am accused of being a modern favourer, i would just like to assure everyone that i am just playing the devil's advocate!


  5. #5
    International Vice-Captain Noble One's Avatar
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    From watching footage from the 1950's and 1960's the first noticeable difference is how little value for money the batsmen gain from their strokes. A strongly hit cover drive will result in two or three runs, rather than the guaranteed four we see in the modern era. It is little wonder that the majority of great batsman from that era relied so heavily on nudges behind square for runs.

    At a guess I would attribute this to stronger bats in the modern era. Also add that modern day outfields are lightening quick through careful maintenance by ground staff, and the introduction of shorter and shorter boundaries.

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    anyone know whether longer tours end up favouring batsmen or shorter one? more chance to get into form. but, again, some chance of starting well and then completely being 'found out', as it were....

    or does it pretty much even out?

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend fredfertang's Avatar
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    I think its very difficult to argue against the fact that the game is constantly evolving and that as coaching techniques and fitness improve the game just keeps on getting more difficult - if you transported Bradman into the 21st century I am sure he'd be reduced to the ranks of a mere mortal - on the other hand if he had been born in 1980 he'd be as dominant today as he was during his time

    As Archie says defining eras is the tricky bit - in fact realistically I'd say it's impossible - but my assessment would be that over the course of 15-20 year cycles (longer in the past) the game changes by moving up a gear. That's the main reason why I think Tendulkar is such a great player - I'm not really much of a fan of his, he seems to have more than enough of those as it is, but there's no doubt that he is as good a player now as he was in a different era - I'm not sure that that can be said of anyone else in the history of the game - save WG but that was so long ago as to be a rather different point

  8. #8
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend vcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hang on View Post
    anyone know whether longer tours end up favouring batsmen or shorter one? more chance to get into form. but, again, some chance of starting well and then completely being 'found out', as it were....

    or does it pretty much even out?
    I think it would even out, but it's a good point you've raised.

    I often think it's a bit of a shame that players of the calibre of Sangakkara, Andy Flower (and even Tendulkar to an extent) haven't had the chance to play in long series against top opposition like many English, Australian and West Indian players. It does affect their chances of building up a relatively balanced and complete record, IMO. They can't really play themselves into form over the course of a series. SL in this day and age, with a very competitive team, having to settle for 2-Test series in places like Australia really grinds my gears.

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    at the risk of being cast into the outer darkness as a non believer, i am not sure that bradman would have been anywhere near as dominant now as he was then. the increase in standards/competition across the board would have it so, unfortunately. i subscribe to stephen jay gould's analysss (transposed to the cricketing arena) about how the peaks in the past are not replicable because the quality of play/competition has increased in a sport.

    a rather well documented analysis that he, a baseball aficionado, if there ever was one, conducted a decade and a half ago (i think). have read it but don't have a link to it. could anyone oblige with a link or a better synopsis of his argument, please.
    Last edited by hang on; 12-02-2011 at 06:48 AM.

  10. #10
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    I doubt he would've averaged 99.94 but even if he averaged 70 across his career (which is a gigantic drop in average)... he's averaging 70!
    citoyens, vouliez-vous une révolution sans révolution?

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    yes, i think he was freakishly good in that he would have ended up averaging something significantly more than the top players of today.

  12. #12
    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Okay I will argue for the old players, I know you will all be surprised


    Modern batsman advantages
    Better protective equipment especially helmets but also arm protectors, chest protectors and much better boxes (just ask Bubble on his box during the 74-75 series). The helmet is the biggest thing, the removal of the fear factor, according to players who faced Holding in 76 without helmets and again in 84 with helmets described it as chalk and cheese.

    Better bats, if players even of the 80s mistimed a ball in trying to hit a six the ball almost always failed to reach the boundary, now mistimed strokes often go 20 rows back. Also the new bats enable players to play a wider variety of shots. For instance a batsman when I was young – 1970s – if a bowler pitched short on the off side the batsman would either let the ball go or play a cut shot. Now a batsman can confidently play a pull shot to a ball well outside the off stump.

    I would think this would make it harder for a captain to set a field on the off side as now if a bowler bowls short on the offside the batsman can hit the ball to the unprotected onside. Surely in former days a batsman who could only cut the ball to the offside would find it harder to score if the offside field was heavily packed with fieldsmen.

    No sticky wickets for the modern player, stickies could often see whole teams bowled out for under a hundred. In fact wickets are much better as a whole these days, as confirmed by batting averages at Test level continuing to rise.

    Fielding has improved but I am not sure catching has, I can’t remember the Chappell brothers missing more than two catches between them in the slips in all the matches I watched. The better ground fielding is a given but is more than balanced by the shorter boundaries.

    The amount of cricket these days, I know they played a lot of county cricket but I know they also did not always exert themselves. Surely the amount of cricket must put a lot of strain on the fast bowlers with injuries meaning the modern batsman does not have to face the best bowlers as much as they should.

    TV has made it hard for the modern bowler to pick the seam this was common place in the olden days and I can still remember Rodney Hogg walking back to his mark and picking the seam. It was caught on TV and the commentators said “Hogg is doing something he should not be doing.” That was the end of the matter.

  13. #13
    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    Love it when archie is posting more than once a month. WAG.

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    RIP Craigos. A true CW legend. You will be missed.

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    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    Love it when archie is posting more than once a month. WAG.
    Thanks mate, too much work of late but have had a few days off which is nice and love to spend time in this place

    I thought WAG meant Wife and GF?

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    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    It can do but round these parts it usually means what a guy

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