PEWS is so loved on this forum
PEWS is so loved on this forum
Longevity obviously matters; the very fact Sachin is still one of the best (let's be conservative) dozen or so batsmen in the world over two decades from his debut is incredible.
However I personally hate the retrospective downgrading of a player's achievements because they went on after their peak. Ponting's current travails are the best current example, but the history of cricket is littered with other examples. After 82 tests and at 35 years of age Garry Sobers's average was still north of 60. George Headley's average before WW2 was 66.72, but he played two further tests in 1948 when he was nudging 40 and a final one in 1954 when well into his fifth decade and scored just 55 runs in the 5 bats he got, lowering his career mark to 60.83.
Does playing on past their peaks lessen their youthful genius? Not IMHO. Very few people downgrade (say) Muhammad Ali for being a washed up ghost of his former self in his last two bouts against Holmes & Berbick but because cricket is so stat orientated there's more of a tendancy to amongst some quarters.
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- Barney Ronay on Mario Balotelli
Maintaining long-term success within a cricket side is not about finding players who can reach a mystically high level of skill for a couple of years and be a passenger either side of the peak, or even about finding players who come in, do their stuff and retire right at the top of their games in short careers; it's about finding players whose values remain high for long periods. The longer a player can maintain high standards or even just play better than the next best player left out the side, the more value he is, the more he'll help his side win/save games and the better he should be rated. The romanticist in us all naturally makes us look for and remember what players were like at their best, particularly when they're from the team we support, and there's nothing wrong with discussing players peaks and they're interesting, emotional and artful. These peaks and highs represent the part of cricket that makes us want to watch it and not just compile databases on it; but from a performance analysis perspective it means comparatively little to the length of time a player can positively contribute.
Last edited by Prince EWS; 25-12-2011 at 05:18 AM.
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Rejecting 'analysis by checklist' and 'skill absolutism' since December 2009
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To my way of thinking it shows a healthy disregard for personal glory and is almost praiseworthy in itself. & I don't think the first 15+ years of someone's career is cherry picking.
With someone in Ponting's current nick it's more debateable, as averaging <30 isn't cutting the mustard but the selectors must still think he can turn it around or he wouldn't keep getting picked.
Seriously, did you actually read my post or just assume I'd say what people expect me to?
Also it must be questioned as to what point is a player an asset and up to what point a liability to the team?
I know you mentioned that until garry sobers was better than the next best alternative he was adding value but if garry adds only 20 runs per match and he has even more pathetic people as the next best alternative then what does that imply? Doesn't that mean that Sobers was just less **** than the next **** player but essentially both are ****?
Effectively that brings us back to the same point that players who excelled for a long period deserve more accolades
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