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Thread: Have batting standards massively declined in recent years?

  1. #1
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend morgieb's Avatar
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    Have batting standards massively declined in recent years?

    Watching cricket recently, I have noticed one thing - if pitches even have a little bit of juice in them then the games are generally quite low-scoring.

    Now I didn't watch that game, but I have had the misfortune of having to read a 30 page debate on the pitch condition of the India/South Africa game. What is clear is that a return to turning-based wickets in India have seen the highest score in the series be 215....which is pretty bad for wickets which aren't the Grand Canyon. And you can survive and score runs with some patience.

    Let's also look at Adelaide. It is quite a bit more bowler-friendly than your average Adelaide wicket, yes. But green/bouncy enough to see 12 wickets fall on one day for about 250 runs? That I'm not sure about. It still looked a pretty decent wicket.

    And let's not forget the Ashes. The pitches had swing but they were far from greentops. Yet you saw **** like 60 all out, and England only reaching 400 (on a very low wicket) once despite some often very average bowling from Australia. Plus also once a side got on top, they stayed there and the opposition's batting would inevitably collapse.

    What is clear to me that unless you have a massive road (like what we saw at Perth, and also the first test in the UAE) scores in the last year or so have been quite low at Test cricket. This can only mean in my eyes that batting standards are pretty poor these days. Do you agree?
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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    TB in that first session was definitely a greentop IMO, given how the pitch had been juiced up ten minutes before play.

    Otherwise, yes.
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    International Coach TheJediBrah's Avatar
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    Batsman have probably gotten worse playing in unfamiliar conditions, from an Australian perspective at least. See them play on dustbowls in India or green tops in England and they're useless.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Top_Cat's Avatar
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    No.

    Batsmen have always struggled in unfamiliar conditions. It's what made guys like SWaugh, Lara, Tendulkar, etc. so special in that they were able to do the business away from home. Aussies struggling with the seaming conditions in England despite bossing it at home, absolutely nothing new about that. To pick on a couple of notable Aussies, Doug Walters' average drops in half when you consider his Test record in England (no tons either) and G Chapp, a bloke with one of the highest averages of any batsman, averaged bang-on 40 in England.

    Yeah we've had a few more sub-100 scores maybe but I think that's a reflection of blokes' tendencies these days to try to attack their way out of the mire instead of digging in for a day. More of a trend thing than ability, for mine.
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    First Class Debutant Valer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    No.

    Batsmen have always struggled in unfamiliar conditions. It's what made guys like SWaugh, Lara, Tendulkar, etc. so special in that they were able to do the business away from home. Aussies struggling with the seaming conditions in England despite bossing it at home, absolutely nothing new about that. To pick on a couple of notable Aussies, Doug Walters' average drops in half when you consider his Test record in England (no tons either) and G Chapp, a bloke with one of the highest averages of any batsman, averaged bang-on 40 in England.

    Yeah we've had a few more sub-100 scores maybe but I think that's a reflection of blokes' tendencies these days to try to attack their way out of the mire instead of digging in for a day. More of a trend thing than ability, for mine.
    The only teams that are making more runs at the moment (past 5 years vs the 10 prior) are Pakistan and Bangladesh...

    For mine its more about good bowling, buts its hard to show either way.

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    Dan
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    No.

    Batsmen are just better suited to playing on the kind of decks that actually occur regularly in Test cricket than those that pop up once in a blue moon. Batting techniques and ability should be focussed on success in the conditions you're actually faced with, not some arbitrary standard of "could you make runs on a sticky in 1909?"
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    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Yeah we've had a few more sub-100 scores maybe but I think that's a reflection of blokes' tendencies these days to try to attack their way out of the mire instead of digging in for a day. More of a trend thing than ability, for mine.
    I overarchingly agree with your post, but I think you've gone a touch far here; I think there is greater inability to play on square turners/greentops than in past generations, but it correlates with the increasing scarcity of dustbowls and massive seamers.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend NUFAN's Avatar
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    Steve Waugh was a good player to bring up in this thread because for his first Test 27 Tests or so he was quite ordinary. Now have a look around the teams at the moment and there are so many lineups with bats with 20 or less Test matches under their belt. This matters particularly in challenging conditions.

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    Global Moderator Cabinet96's Avatar
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    I see it as modern batsmen being better at some things and worse at others.
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    I don't think theres any drop in 'skill', for lack of a better word, but like TC suggested, but the mental aspect of batting seems to have taken a little hit.

    There's also been a massive number of atg batsmen retiring of late, and the ones filling the gaps have only just begun to flourish.

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    I've said for a long time that when there's a bit of extra help for the bowlers in a wicket today's batsman don't have the technique to cope with it. That isn't because of a drop in standards. Today's batting standards compare to any other era. They don't have the appropriate technique because they haven't had the opportunity to learn it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson View Post
    I've said for a long time that when there's a bit of extra help for the bowlers in a wicket today's batsman don't have the technique to cope with it. That isn't because of a drop in standards. Today's batting standards compare to any other era. They don't have the appropriate technique because they haven't had the opportunity to learn it.
    Technique is such a myth. Go watch videos of techniques in the 80s, they were **** to when the bowling was class. Geoff Boycott the patron saint of technique was bowled leg stump backing away from Michael Holding once.

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    Not necessarily.

    A match like what we've seen so today is indeed rare. Most test matches see decent scores (not always 500 plus) but between 250-400.

    Just have a look at the test matches in Sri Lanka. One of the perks of being relegated to small 7 is that I got to watch a fair number of test matches in Sri Lanka and they produce the best pitches. Quite often you will see first innings totals being matched or surpassed often by the team batting second, and the game really in the balance for most part.

    The 2010 Ashes defeat which saw a fair few collapses including 98 all out had a number of consequences, one of them was a move towards more easier conditions for batting. I remember the C9 commentators back during the MCG test saying how the curators had let down the Boxing day crowd as if they were to blame for Australia folding on Day 1.

    But if you look at test cricket all around, even New Zealand, the 2013 England vs New Zealand was again an excellent series where two closely ranked teams fought hard and the balance kept swinging.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend zorax's Avatar
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    I think it's largely what Dan, Cabinet and LT have said so far. Batsmen have techniques now days that work for the pitches that occur most frequently - ie, flat ones.

    I think temperament is also an issue, but that's again because of the conditions that occur now days. Flat pitches demand batsmen score fast and score heavy to force a result. Add this to the increased prevalence of limited overs cricket, and thus the typical batsman is less inclined to defend and grind for runs and more inclined to look for the counter-attack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 91Jmay View Post
    Technique is such a myth. Go watch videos of techniques in the 80s, they were **** to when the bowling was class. Geoff Boycott the patron saint of technique was bowled leg stump backing away from Michael Holding once.
    Technique is not a myth. Nor does it mean that someone like Boycott who had a very solid defensive technique never played a bad shot.

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