I've always thought of Bradman as having the better cricket mind of all the ATG's as well as his batting. Is that a fair assessment, or is there someone I'm not giving credit to?
But he probably was the most mentally strong cricketer ever... Even if guys like Tendulkar and Lara went back to Bradman's time, they wouldn't average tha high because no matter what the condotion/opposition are, they are more prone to mistakes than Bradman. They'd throw their wicket away at some stage
Bradman was a smart man no doubt but he pulled some real boners in his time including his mistreatment of Grimmett and Miller and perhaps a lack of foresight that allowed the insurrection of WSC.
He had a great memory of things that had happened previously and would set fields accordingly.
Also for someone as good as Miller to come into a side who was as dominant as Australia at the time, with his history in the War, would have been difficult to take Bradman and his attitude to the game seriously. Flip side Bradman had come into the side in the depression and was seen as a guiding light beyond cricket. Losing wasn't in his mind ever, so those minds weren't going to get along!
Loved Bradman's "The Art of Cricket". His cricket mind was brilliant. Miller got exactly what he wanted from his teammates, I think - Expectations of intermittent greatness.
Excerpt on swing bowling from the book:
It is a great read, technical but interesting.Quote:
One of the most interesting parts of the matter is the knowledge that a cricket ball will not change direction in the air if travelling too fast.
I have long held the view that a bowler of Tyson's pace could not produce the degree of swing which was achievable by a bowler of Bedser's pace.....
Certain conditions are shown to be desirable in order that maximum swing may be obtained. They are :-
1. A new ball with a shiny surface.
2. A humid atmosphere, with cloud.
3. A wind blowing from the right quarter.
As these factors disappear, so will swing......
There was a period in Australia when some cricket ball manufacturers, probably for reasons of economy, resorted to lacquering the surface of balls instead of shining them. The lacquer gives a beautiful bright, glossy finish. But that ball will not swing to anything like the same extent as one with the leather itself polished.....
An interesting point about polishing the ball which may not be appreciated is that the bowler likes to have one side only shined up. A ball with one shiny side can be made to swing even though it has virtually no seam at all, but with no seam and two rough sides it probably couldn't.....
Putting things in their simplest form so that bowlers will know what to do one may say the seam of a ball acts like a rudder. Point the seam towards slips and the ball will veer that way to become an out-swinger. Point the seam towards fine-leg, the reverse will happen and you will get an in-swinger....
But the swinger which dips late, the ball which apparently is dead straight three quarters of the length of the pitch and then suddenly dips one way or the other, is the very devil. A late out-swinger which cuts away still further off the pitch will defeat anyone....
One of the great sins of some new ball bowlers is that they will continue to bowl cartwheeled outswingers at the stumps so that the ball finishes well outside the off stump and the batsman can safely watch it go by whilst another bit of shine has gone off the ball....
Really enjoyed reading that excerpt.
Bradman by a mile.
Missed 7 years of international cricket in his prime due to WW2.
Out of his 29 centuries 12 were Double centuries.
Another thing that makes me think Bradman had no equal is that Jack Hobbs who is every all time team i can think of, of his 15 centuries only 1 was a Double century.
Of Gary Sobers 26 centuries only 2 were more than double centuries.
I hope this paints a picture further than just oh but Sobers could bowl.
So Bradman played half the amount of Tests Sobers did scored 3 more centuries than Sobers and 10 more Double centuries.
Its not even close.
Bradman by 1.75 miles
The gap between Bradman and Sobers is significantly large, but it's not as wide as we like to think if we look at Sober's best decade. And a decade is a long time if you think about it. For example;
Bradman 1928-38, 1946-48 V ENG
Years = 12
Tests = 37
Runs = 5028
Ave = 89.78
100s = 19
50s = 12
Best Decade: Don Bradman 1929-38, 1946 V ENG
Test = 28
Runs = 4197
Ave = 99.50
100s = 16
50s = 8
Best Decade: Garry Sobers 1958-68 V ENG
Tests = 20
Runs = 2098
Ave = 82.07
100s = 9
50s = 7
Best Decade: Sobers 1958-68
Tests = 53
Runs = 5511
Ave = 71.57
100s = 19
50s = 21
Another factor that makes Bradman standout above the rest is that it only too him 9 Test matches (20 months) to reach an average of 100. In other words he settled in to his role at No.3 and matured as a batsman amazingly quickly, no mucking about.
Sobers on the other took 20 Tests to push is average into the 60s, and it wasn't till he'd been playing for 4-5 years did he really hit his straps and start piling on the runs.
(Note: 'Best Decade' is according to what I could find using Statsguru. Other people might be able to improve the batting average of either player by choosing slightly different start and finish dates.)
Sobers also started out as a spin bowler.