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Thread: Is Matt Prior the best keeper/batsman

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    U19 Cricketer KungFu_Kallis's Avatar
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    Is Matt Prior the best keeper/batsman

    Have seen a few of these articles lately... e.g. Matt Prior is the equal of Australia great Adam Gilchrist as a wicketkeeper-bastmen says Jack Russell - Mirror Online
    This article quoted Jack Russel so has some weight. Although he is English of course, the same as most of the people who said that James Anderson is best swing bowler in the world until last year for some reason... But is there something more in this one?

    Prior has obviously improved and is now consistently a gun bat. But is he really the best keeper or keeper batsman in the world, better than AB De Villiers and Dhoni, or even rivalling Gilchrist? Was Gilchrist even the best of his era? Better than the possibly underrated Andy Flower because of his minnow nation? And does only Test cricket count in these judgements, as Prior of course only plays Tests. And how much weight is there in the other "team" aspects of keeping aside from catching and scoring important runs? Hmmm is all I'll say for now.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    I'm not quite sure what this thread is about.

    Matt Prior is the best wicket keeper/batsman in the world by a massive margin. Dhoni and de Villiers don't even come close.

    However, comparisons with Gilchrist are ridiculous at this stage.
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    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    I think that people are getting over hyped because of Prior's recent century against the Kiwi's.

    However, as far as 'rear-guard actions' are concerned it's still not a patch on Gilchrist's 149 not out (163 balls) in 1999 against Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib, and Saqlain;

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    International Debutant Adders's Avatar
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    I think since Prior does only play test cricket (although **** knows why, I'd have him playing in the short formats ahead of the keepers we've been playing) then you need to keep the debate to test cricket only.

    Better than Dohni??? Yes. I'm not sure Prior will ever score a defining double like Dhoni did against the Aussies, but for consistency Prior has it all over him. Far better keeper too.

    Better than AB?? Hmmm, this is the tough one. De Villiers is one of the best batsmen in the world and as much as I love Matty Prior I don't quite hold him in that higher regard. But is AB really a keeper and will he be there long term for SA?? He's only held the gloves for what 11 odd tests?? So based on that I reckon Prior gets the nod.

    Better than Gilchrist?? No. But to be fair not that far behind. Up until around 2005 when Gilly was averaging mid 50's and flaying the world, he was by far the best the world has ever seen. Sadly though his batting ave declined and finished at around 47, Prior could go on to match or even better that.


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    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    I think even the English and Aussie fans would accept that Gilchrist is better than Prior but Prior has made the gap in ability look a lot less in the last couple of years. Lets leave it at that and just appreciate a very good player at the top of his game.

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    Comical.

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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    lololololol he's English so he's **** [/****s]

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    wade's pretty gun tbf

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    I would rather have AB in my team. AB is one of the best batsmen in the world, where Prior isn't anywhere near that, so I think it's fair to say AB is a considerably better batsmen. And as far as keeping goes, AB has not been keeping long at test matches for us, but the difference in wicket keeping skill level is not even as close as big as the one in batting.

    It's simple for me, when making a World Text XI, i would much rather AB at keeping, and the option of selecting another world class batsmen. The keeping difference is just not big enough to have Prior instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonnench View Post
    I would rather have AB in my team. AB is one of the best batsmen in the world, where Prior isn't anywhere near that, so I think it's fair to say AB is a considerably better batsmen. And as far as keeping goes, AB has not been keeping long at test matches for us, but the difference in wicket keeping skill level is not even as close as big as the one in batting.

    It's simple for me, when making a World Text XI, i would much rather AB at keeping, and the option of selecting another world class batsmen. The keeping difference is just not big enough to have Prior instead.
    I got to agree with this. AB the batsman is miles ahead of Prior and his keeping is fine. He may not have the best technique WRT to keeping but he takes his catches and that's all that matters IMO.

    Keeping stats for the last 12 months:
    Prior 14 matches, 24 innings, 37 dismissals
    AB: 11 matches, 21 innings, 43 dismissals.

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    International Vice-Captain MW1304's Avatar
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    The stats boys will say that de Villiers is a much better batsman than Prior but if you've actually watched them both play over the past few years you'll see that this isn't really the case. The gap is pretty marginal. If you asked me who i'd rather have coming in at 500/3, I'd say de Villiers; if you asked me who I'd rather have coming in at 50/3, well, I wouldn't say de Villiers.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    I cannot understand what possesses people to use catches per innings as a measure of a wicketkeeper's ability.

    The Prior vs de Villiers question is an interesting one for my money, as you're not really comparing like with like - I wonder what their averages would look like if you swapped them over, playing at different positions in different lineups? AB hasn't been keeping in Tests for long, and it remains to be seen whether he can sustain the standards in what is an exceptionally hard task. One year isn't enough to place someone on a pedestal as best in the world.

    I would be inclined to say there's an argument for both to be in contention for a World XI.
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    Cricket Spectator Kapil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW1304 View Post
    The stats boys will say that de Villiers is a much better batsman than Prior but if you've actually watched them both play over the past few years you'll see that this isn't really the case. The gap is pretty marginal. If you asked me who i'd rather have coming in at 500/3, I'd say de Villiers; if you asked me who I'd rather have coming in at 50/3, well, I wouldn't say de Villiers.
    This.

    And let's consider the keeping.
    For the sake of neutrality, let's say James Pattinson is the bowler.
    Last over of a Test match, opposition 9 down playing for a draw.
    Pattinson fires one down the legside, which the batsman deflects round the corner.
    AB is going to miss it. Match drawn. All over.
    Prior is quite likely to go flying to his left and pull off a screamer. Match won, Prior the hero.

    Frankly, I'm a stickler for best keeper for keeper, even if it means sacrificing batting ability. But let's face it, the way keepers are trained up these days, the batting difference in merely negligible. And AB is far more likely to go off on the third day of a Test because his back is a bit iddy-biddy sore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapil View Post
    This.

    And let's consider the keeping.
    For the sake of neutrality, let's say James Pattinson is the bowler.
    Last over of a Test match, opposition 9 down playing for a draw.
    Pattinson fires one down the legside, which the batsman deflects round the corner.
    AB is going to miss it. Match drawn. All over.
    Prior is quite likely to go flying to his left and pull off a screamer. Match won, Prior the hero.

    Frankly, I'm a stickler for best keeper for keeper, even if it means sacrificing batting ability. But let's face it, the way keepers are trained up these days, the batting difference in merely negligible. And AB is far more likely to go off on the third day of a Test because his back is a bit iddy-biddy sore.
    I disagree, in that scenario, I would back AB to make the catch. AB has amazing reflexes and I have seen him pull off "screamers".

    Fair enough, his back is a bit iffy, but in the year that he has been keeping, he has never went out with a sick note, so it ain't fair to bash him with that stick.

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