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Thread: Greatness and Longevity

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    International Debutant Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Greatness and Longevity

    I have been thinking about this for a while and then I came across this on Cricket Chat over the last couple of days in various topics.

    Whether it was Ponting vs Tendulkar or Botham vs Dev or analysing Waqar as a great bowler, it always seems to come up - how long a player managed to be at his peak, how long a player managed to be great.

    I am very interested in reading some perspectives on this from you guys. I don't want this to become a debate between any two players but more in general about how important longevity is according to the cricket fans on this forum.

    Say someone like Andrew Flintoff, at his peak has great but his peak lasted for at best 2-3 years? Is that enough for Flintoff to be considered among the great all rounders of his time?

    Waqar Younis - I know he has a lot of fans on this forum and his record is great especially during his early years, but he was just not a match winning bowler from 98 onwards. Is that an important factor when looking at his career?

    There are players who reach great heights but do not manage to be at that level for too long. There are players who reach heights but manage to maintain it for longer. How do you assess them?

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    State Captain slowfinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Warrior View Post
    I have been thinking about this for a while and then I came across this on Cricket Chat over the last couple of days in various topics.

    Whether it was Ponting vs Tendulkar or Botham vs Dev or analysing Waqar as a great bowler, it always seems to come up - how long a player managed to be at his peak, how long a player managed to be great.

    I am very interested in reading some perspectives on this from you guys. I don't want this to become a debate between any two players but more in general about how important longevity is according to the cricket fans on this forum.

    Say someone like Andrew Flintoff, at his peak has great but his peak lasted for at best 2-3 years? Is that enough for Flintoff to be considered among the great all rounders of his time?

    Waqar Younis - I know he has a lot of fans on this forum and his record is great especially during his early years, but he was just not a match winning bowler from 98 onwards. Is that an important factor when looking at his career?

    There are players who reach great heights but do not manage to be at that level for too long. There are players who reach heights but manage to maintain it for longer. How do you assess them?
    Flintoff really didn't redefine how we see cricket today, for that reason, I'm out.
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    Personally, its always bothered me when people refuse to give credit to cricketers who maintain their form and serve their country by playing quality cricket for a long time, and brush off longevity in favour of a few years of brilliance, which is why i dont agree when some people say Waqar is greater than Wasim/Imran.

    I also dont care much when people use expressions like "he's the best in the world on his day" or "he' was the best cricketer ever in his prime" and ignore the rest of the cricketer's career when he was ****. Shouldnt the player be penalised for his poor performances? Why should his greatness be judged on just his successful years and not on his career as a whole? It's just people's mentality i guess, they love to ignore the bad phases in a cricketer's career and glorify the bright spots, which is completely unfair to another cricketer who has performed roughly at the same level but for far far longer.

    Theres nothing worse than a spent, past his days, old warhorse being kept in the team based on long-past feats, knowing full well he's not going to repeat them. Not only does it affect the team's performance and morale, it keeps out a promising youngster from the side. On the other hand, if a cricketer is performing well even in his late 30s is kept in the team, it gives the youngsters a good mentor within the team, and encourages other upcoming players to raise their game even more to force their way into the side.

    Cricket is a sport and every cricketer is supposed to be an athlete. Maintaining one's fitness is an overlooked aspect of being a great cricketer, and more often than not, it is unfortunately the player's fault when he gets injured. Thus i dont buy the other statement which people often make in defense of cricketers with short careers that "they werent the same after so- and-so injury" Well, hard luck, but you're no use to the side if you're not playing. If guys like Lillee, SRT and Lara can come back from career threatening injuries and do well, then why cant everyone?

    So, personally, i admire those cricketers who work hard to rectify their failures and maintain their consistency for a good period than those who light the world on fire for a few years because of their raw talent and then fade away because they failed to evolve. A lengthy, consistent record is simply far more difficult to achieve than a 30 match wonder-run. It takes more hard work, and is therefore, for me, a far better record.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I think there has to be an element of durability in any discussion about who is or is not an all time great. That doesn't however mean that lesser players cannot touch greatness - Frank Tyson is a good example - just one series really but he bowled in that as well as any fast bowler ever has, Jeff Thomson is similar albeit he was at his peak a little longer - I don't think either is an all time great, but I do think Waqar did enough to earn that status


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    State Captain slowfinger's Avatar
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    Also I think there has to be a sense of aura and personality about a person, which I just didn't find in Freddie. His only series was the Ashes, Pakistan and by the next ashes he slumped again.

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    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Aura and personality were Flintoff's best two traits in my opinion.

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    PEWS has some formula for this, like everything else.

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    International Debutant Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satguru View Post
    Personally, its always bothered me when people refuse to give credit to cricketers who maintain their form and serve their country by playing quality cricket for a long time, and brush off longevity in favour of a few years of brilliance, which is why i dont agree when some people say Waqar is greater than Wasim/Imran.

    I also dont care much when people use expressions like "he's the best in the world on his day" or "he' was the best cricketer ever in his prime" and ignore the rest of the cricketer's career when he was ****. Shouldnt the player be penalised for his poor performances? Why should his greatness be judged on just his successful years and not on his career as a whole? It's just people's mentality i guess, they love to ignore the bad phases in a cricketer's career and glorify the bright spots, which is completely unfair to another cricketer who has performed roughly at the same level but for far far longer.

    Theres nothing worse than a spent, past his days, old warhorse being kept in the team based on long-past feats, knowing full well he's not going to repeat them. Not only does it affect the team's performance and morale, it keeps out a promising youngster from the side. On the other hand, if a cricketer is performing well even in his late 30s is kept in the team, it gives the youngsters a good mentor within the team, and encourages other upcoming players to raise their game even more to force their way into the side.

    Cricket is a sport and every cricketer is supposed to be an athlete. Maintaining one's fitness is an overlooked aspect of being a great cricketer, and more often than not, it is unfortunately the player's fault when he gets injured. Thus i dont buy the other statement which people often make in defense of cricketers with short careers that "they werent the same after so- and-so injury" Well, hard luck, but you're no use to the side if you're not playing. If guys like Lillee, SRT and Lara can come back from career threatening injuries and do well, then why cant everyone?

    So, personally, i admire those cricketers who work hard to rectify their failures and maintain their consistency for a good period than those who light the world on fire for a few years because of their raw talent and then fade away because they failed to evolve. A lengthy, consistent record is simply far more difficult to achieve than a 30 match wonder-run. It takes more hard work, and is therefore, for me, a far better record.
    Agree with you on most points... just on the bolded parts

    The issue is, how do you know?

    Say with players like Dravid or Ponting, how do you know if they will bounce back or not..This time last year, people on Cricket chat were debating whether to drop Dravid or not. The problem really is, that on most occasions, you just don't know. Ponting might/might not bounce back against India.

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    International Debutant Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUFAN View Post
    Aura and personality were Flintoff's best two traits in my opinion.
    Absolutely

    Quote Originally Posted by slowfinger View Post
    Also I think there has to be a sense of aura and personality about a person, which I just didn't find in Freddie. His only series was the Ashes, Pakistan and by the next ashes he slumped again.
    Not always Sir. For me Warne and McGrath did not have any sense of aura or personality (at least in my books) but they are all time great bowlers nonetheless.

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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Warrior View Post
    Absolutely



    Not always Sir. For me Warne and McGrath did not have any sense of aura or personality (at least in my books) but they are all time great bowlers nonetheless.
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    International Debutant Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    I knew that was going to get me into trouble. I did say my books. He always came across as pretty dumb off the field to me.
    Last edited by Black_Warrior; 24-12-2011 at 05:15 AM.

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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Warrior View Post
    I did say my books. He always came across as pretty dumb off the field to me.
    Fair enough I guess if you were talking off-field. I thought you meant he didn't have any on-field aura or personality, which seemed extraordinary - few bowlers have ever had more IMO, whether you thought it was a positive thing or not. There was a mid-career period for Warney, from about 98-01, where he was trading pretty much exclusively on aura and personality and very little else.
    Last edited by The Sean; 24-12-2011 at 05:18 AM.

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    Hall of Fame Member Furball's Avatar
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    McGrath had a frightening aura as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Warrior View Post
    Agree with you on most points... just on the bolded parts

    The issue is, how do you know?

    Say with players like Dravid or Ponting, how do you know if they will bounce back or not..This time last year, people on Cricket chat were debating whether to drop Dravid or not. The problem really is, that on most occasions, you just don't know. Ponting might/might not bounce back against India.
    Yeah, its more difficult for bowlers to come back from big slumps. In fact i cant quite think of any really famous examples of bowlers coming back strongly after they'd been written off. There are a few im sure
    For batsmen its probably a bit easier. But of course you can never be 100% sure either way about a player. More a case of probability really, that is, how likely a batsman is to make runs. Tendulkar and Dravid in this respect were written off by virtually everyone including me, oh how wonderful their renaissance has been.
    Hoping for Ponting to follow suit

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8ankitj View Post
    PEWS has some formula for this, like everything else.
    PEWS loves you all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riggins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by simonlee48 View Post
    Sanga has done well but Murali has done better. In my opinion, Murali is simply the best off spinner in history of cricket and I can't make that kind of statement for Sanga.
    Sanga isn't the best off spinner in the history of cricket? News to me.

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