I normally relish the chance to try and convince non-believers of the eminence of WG, but on this occasion I think I'll pass given those rather odd pre-conceptions you have there
What odd pre-conceptions? Everyone was an amateur and there were no professionals back then. And isn't he known for being a cheat?
Now I would be willing to consider Grace as being rated equally to a good 40-45 averaging batsman today (if you convince me), but I wouldn't rate him being equal to say a Tendulkar or a Lara.
Could you post some footage?
Ranji isn't even wearing pads, some real pace bowling there. Would like to imagine how they would have gone against the likes of Marshall, Lillee, Waqar, Steyn, etc.
Did anyone notice that people were sitting directly behind Grace and Ranji while they were batting with no netting or barrier inbetween? They must have had complete faith in the batsman hitting the ball, or perhaps they didn't mind getting hit because the bowling wasn't very fast. Grace was wearing pads though.
However, after 3 months of practice on modern pitches with modern equipment against modern fast bowlers I would postulate that they would fair much better than your average Test batsman.
After all, Grace andf Ranji are called greats for very good reasons: - superb hand to eye co-ordination, leaders in innovation and technique, determined and iron-clad temperment, and so forth.
(Incidently, this highlights a 'problem' when choosing Grace or Ranji during an ATG Draft. Do we assume that they be will playing in a hypothetical Test match against modern fast bowlers without any practice or preparation against modern fast bowlers, or assume that they would be playing a modern domestic season before taking part in their first hypothetical Test match? I've always assumed the former so tend not to select pre-WWI batsman)
How do you know that they had superb hand eye coordination?
The hand eye coordination needed to face the likes of fast bowlers today doesn't just come within a matter of 3 months. And if they did have the superb hand eye coordination you are talking about then their averages would have been better.
I'd back myself to do better on a 2013 Year 10 Astronomy exam than Galileo; doesn't mean I'm a better astronomer than him. (Pretty sure I've ripped that comparison off from another member here ftr, apologies for not remembering who).
I'm sure cricket has improved vastly in standard overall since 1910; in fact I think people would be surprised to see an overall rise in quality since the 70s for example, judging by the hard evidence that exists in other sports to prove increased athleticism and refinement of skills over time.
I just think trying to judge sportsmen in absolute terms like that is completely absurd, not to mention pretty much impossible objectively when it comes to cricket. The only valuable - not to mention possible - way to compare players across eras is to first compare them to their peers and then compare the results of those comparisons.
In other words, you can't hind behind the statement 'Grace was the greatest batsman of his time relative to his peers' because it's an All-Time-Great Draft. Grace 'will be' facing Marshall at his 1984 peak whether you like it or not.
And Galileo 'will be' taking that 2013 astronomy exam to turn your point on its head.