The issue I always struggle with, particularly when picking an ATG XI, is whether to select based on the performances a player had at Test level or with the understanding that the ATG team would actually be playing at some imaginary higher level and therefore need to be capable of playing at said level.
Put more simply, do I want to pick the best players to have graced the game? Or the most successful? Obviously a large proportion of the great players fit into both categories but some are more in one camp than the other.
I'd suggest Lara is definitely one of the 'best' players ever. Likewise someone like Miller. Their performances at Test level put them right up there with everyone else anyway but they're two guys who I think would have been obviously a class above if there had been another level to go to. Generally I consider players like that to be the true greats of the game.
Charisma is essential, which is why the vast majority would put Garry Sobers in that category long before they'd put Jacques Kallis in it
(1) Pick someone who is definitely an ATG (apart from Bradman)
(2) If I can't definitively say a player is worse than that guy, he's an ATG
All the other bull**** ways of distinguishing between 2 blokes with near identical records are just based on various innate biases we have which have nothing to do with the players' value as cricketers. Some biases are more popular than others and hence some equally valuable cricketers are more popular ATG selections.
Tendulkar should be the benchmark for years to come as far as batting goes. It's now gone beyond mere statistics, he's showing the endurance and appetite of the long distance runner. And the basic skillset hasn't deteriorated too much either like in Ponting's case. He changed his game long before the advent of his advanced years so he's been at hom in his new skin for some time now (unlike Ponting, who will find the transition much harder, probably impossible). I find him terribly boring otherwise, but he's fairly unimpeachable on the cricket ground.
Parmi | #1 draft pick | Jake King is **** | PM me for my list of CW posters you shouldn't talk cricket with in Cricket ChatCome and Paint Turtle
Not to mention that the term 'all-time great' is, well, pretty subjective anyway......
ATG isn't an acronym.
I couldn't take it anymore.
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