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Best Batsman

Which batsman would you choose and why?

  • Lara

    Votes: 22 21.2%
  • Tendulkar

    Votes: 21 20.2%
  • Ponting

    Votes: 30 28.8%
  • Dravid

    Votes: 14 13.5%
  • Kallis

    Votes: 3 2.9%
  • Inzamam ul Haq

    Votes: 7 6.7%
  • Hayden

    Votes: 2 1.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 5 4.8%

  • Total voters
    104

Benny2k1

U19 12th Man
Im voting purley on Achievements:

Lara: Highest test score, highest first class score, most runs in a test over, highest run scorer, playin in a weak side, most double and triple hundereds outside the don

Tendulkar: Most centuries

Dravid: Very good average

Kallis: good average, fastest test 50

Ponting: Very good Average, Looks on course for all the records goin, so maybe my vote in 3 or 4 years

so therefore i vote Brian Lara
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
Goughy said:
Lara as a favourite player I can understand.
Lara as the most talented player of his generation I can understand.

But Lara as the best player is a sign of looking at impressive and gaudy stats over actual contribution to the team.

In this post I do not expect to change peoples minds about Lara but I would like to get people thinking and viewing things from a different perspective.

Too many people are giving Lara a free pass because they say he is playing for a weak WI team, without actually looking at what he has done.

Lara deserves to be catagorized amongst the best based on style, average and records but it is important to scratch the surface and realize that Lara has not been the stalwart of WI cricket he has been made out to be.

I have illustrated other issues in other threads but I would like to point out another problem in this one.

The most telling fact is his performances in series and how that has affected the result.

Throughout his career (the good and the bad times), In the 1st test of a series Lara averages only 40.42. The 1st test is the most important in setting the tone for the series and very important in determining the potential for a series win. This is not a bad average, but certainly way below what we would expect from an 'alltime great' in the most important test of a series.

Compare that to the fact that Lara averages 81.19 once the result of the series has been determined (either won or lost).

Simply Lara does not produce (compared to what many beleive) when it matters in regards to team success.

Add in the fact that Lara averages 74 in drawn games.

The legend of Lara has been built on his performance in meaningless games.

If Lara saved his best for when the team could still win a series I would push him into the cricketing hall of fame myself. However, this is far from the case. A simplistic but relatively accurate observation is that once Lara plays his best the series is is already lost. In general he has failed to combine performing with helping the WI to a series win.

For far too long Lara has not been held responsible for his part in the WI failure to win series. In reality he has performed far better without pressure (the accusation of soft can be leveled at him). His failings have been hidden behind a weight of unimportant runs that deceive the casual observer.

This current series against NZ is a case in point. Failed in the 1st 2 tests. Series is now lost so he can relax, feel no pressure and bat well in the final meaningless test.

Again, I do not expect to change peoples minds, but please consider the evidence presented here and think about it for a minute. Even if you do not agree it is always important to consider a different arguement before deciding yours is correct.
Would you happen to have Waugh or Tendulkar's stats for this?
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
Jono said:
Would you happen to have Waugh or Tendulkar's stats for this?
No, do you?
If you do not and want me to check them out I will. It will take a bit of time though.
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
Nah I don't, but if you had stats which were more comparatively favourable to those Waugh or Sachin (or even Ponting, Dravid, Kallis) it'd definitely strengthen your argument. I understand it'd take some time and would be a hassle to do though ;)

I feel you do have a point, as I have often felt in the past that Lara does often score in dead rubbers when the series is lost, which is ironic since its Sachin who is so often labelled the choker under pressure. That being said, Lara has hit his far share of majestic knocks, 153* at Barbados seems to spring to mind!
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
Jono said:
Nah I don't, but if you had stats which were more comparatively favourable to those Waugh or Sachin (or even Ponting, Dravid, Kallis) it'd definitely strengthen your argument. I understand it'd take some time and would be a hassle to do though ;)

I feel you do have a point, as I have often felt in the past that Lara does often score in dead rubbers when the series is lost, which is ironic since its Sachin who is so often labelled the choker under pressure. That being said, Lara has hit his far share of majestic knocks, 153* at Barbados seems to spring to mind!
Damn, already started. Wish Id read this a couple of hours ago.:)
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
Jono said:
Would you happen to have Waugh or Tendulkar's stats for this?
Well I do now. See the attachment for the comparison.

Lara fares the worst on all 4 of the categories I looked at, however he was facing tough competition.

However, It does hold up what I said in the previous post. When compared to other potentially great players, Lara pads his stats in meaningless games more often.

The average for Tendulkar in 'When result of series is already decided' is a little misleading as he played in many more short series. Therefore there were few of these meaningless games. Virtually all of Sachin's games had an impact on the result of a series.

To those that read this. It takes work to have a hypothesis and investigate and test it. Please, if you disagree thats fine but at least think about it.

As a small disclaimer- I truly believe evey stat to be true but it is late and I am doing this the old fashioned way with pen and paper...with the help of Excel, Laptop and internet. Everything should be correct but even if there is a small mistake somewhere it does not change the findings.

Enjoy and draw your own conclusions
 

Attachments

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oz_fan

International Regular
1990's
Lara/Tendulkar - too hard to split
Inzy
Ponting
Dravid
Hayden/Kallis - not much spectacular from these two in the nineties.

2000 onwards
Ponting
Dravid
Hayden
Kallis
Lara
Inzy
Tendulkar
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
open365 said:
I think Lara and Tendulkar are lightyears ahead of the rest.

The effect these two had on cricket is enourmous, they were the shining lights of their countries sides for years and carried the hope of a nation(in the Widnies case, a small one) where ever they played.

Lara was/is a genius, capable of playing superb innings under pressure and knotching up giagantic scores, he averages 52 against the strongest bowling line-up in world cricket and would have as many centuries as Sachin if doubles counted(of which he has 8,Sachin 4).
Admitedly, he isn't the most consistent player over a series, but his overal record speaks for itself, especialy as he's carried the worst Windies line-up for years.

Sachin has been playing international cricket since he was 16, and has had to put up with
un-precidented amounts of media pressure. He is capable of destroying top class bowling attacks and does not have a bad record against any country(i think, haven't checked the stats) he has been amazingly consistent in both forms of the game for someone who's been playing international cricket for 16 years. He was a national hero and just looks a million miles beter than anyone when he's playing well. Ok, you may point to the fact that he hasn't scored as many noticeable innings as Lara, but the amount of runs/centuries he has scored are just as valuable.

These two are both legends of the game, and i think atm they deserve to be head and shoulders above the rest.

Out of the others, i think Ponting is a clear 3rd. He is well placed to break a lot of records set by Lara/Sachin and the form he's been on of late has been outstanding. The only real reason i rate Lara and Tendy higher than him is because he hasn't finished his career so it would be un-fair to rate him totaly when he could still get better.

Dravidand Kallis are both terrific players, but in my opinion they bat too slowly and don't have the same match winning ability as the other 3. When their careers are finsihed, i don't think they will have the same status as Lara and Sachin because there will always be the question of batting too 'selfishly' (not that i think they do). This may be unfair because they are still fantastic players but i won't speak to my grand children in the same manner about these two than i will about Lara/Sachin/Ponting.

Inzy is also a great player, and does fantasticaly well in tight situations but i think he has had too many bad patches to be considered in the same bracket as the others.
You know, it is SO SO nice to see a positive post in a thread about comparisons. We should all learn something from you. Hats off... :)
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
Goughy said:
Well I do now. See the attachment for the comparison.

Lara fares the worst on all 4 of the categories I looked at, however he was facing tough competition.

However, It does hold up what I said in the previous post. When compared to other potentially great players, Lara pads his stats in meaningless games more often.

The average for Tendulkar in 'When result of series is already decided' is a little misleading as he played in many more short series. Therefore there were few of these meaningless games. Virtually all of Sachin's games had an impact on the result of a series.

To those that read this. It takes work to have a hypothesis and investigate and test it. Please, if you disagree thats fine but at least think about it.

As a small disclaimer- I truly believe evey stat to be true but it is late and I am doing this the old fashioned way with pen and paper...with the help of Excel, Laptop and internet. Everything should be correct but even if there is a small mistake somewhere it does not change the findings.

Enjoy and draw your own conclusions
I don't how Lara was the worst in all areas of comparison, sure he scores lesser in the first tests, but I think Lara has been involved in a few more low scoring games than Sachin has, for some reason for the other. That said, I just think that after having watched them for almost the whole of their careers now, I think I will rather have Lara in a test match than Sachin, but it is so close that I actually wouldn't mind either playing. I mean, Lara did play in a POOR Windies side. I mean, there is no real way to categorize the number of times he was out as the 7th or 8th guy when the cream of his team's batting line up was gone and he had to throw his bat around because he had his world famous tail batting with him. For me, I just go by how I remember innings. I think almost all of his innings meant something in that series against Australia in 99... HIs innings of 277 was meaningful. His innings of 182 was meaningful at the time. His recent hundreds were all meaningful. Plus, considering the recent series against Australia, I think he was out due to wrong decisions of the umpires 3 out of the first 4 times. Sure, it is part and parcel of the game, but I don't think it ever impacted ONE player so often within ONE series.


For me, stats are just pointers. I go by how current and former players rate them and stuff. And it is mostly acknowledged that Lara is an all time great and that he and Sachin are the best of the post 90s generation. Between the two, I feel it comes down to a matter of personal choice and my choice is Lara over Sachin by the smallest of margins.
 

open365

International Vice-Captain
honestbharani said:
You know, it is SO SO nice to see a positive post in a thread about comparisons. We should all learn something from you. Hats off... :)
*doffs cap*

On the subject of Lara: He is only a human. Like a writer on cricinfo said, this is part of what makes him so great. He is not a Tendulkar type player, just as Kallis isn't a simmilar player to Ponting(and vice-versa). I believe his charm cannot be quantified by stats, though they have made me think twice over my perceptions of him. Lara may score all his runs when it doesn't matter, but in the end i couldn't care less. Why? Because he has always had a magical effect on people who watch cricket. With the worst West Indies side in living memory, Lara has gave their supporters something to cheer about, he's inspired the next Windies great to pick up a bat and play. I think sometimes people take too much care with statistics and lose someone of the magic of cricket. Yes, i appreciate those stats and i'm not trying to contradict you, but cricket is about variety, and i don't think we should think any less of a player because he isn't as good/intresting as so and so. Players like Murali and Kallis shouldn't be ridiculed because they are a chucker/selfish (not my opinion), we should accept that they are who they are and appreciate the finer aspect of their games.

On the stats: Isn't it true that Lara has played more of his games in non-series deciding tests because the Windies have been so bad that they are normaly out of the series quite early in comparison? Also, what is the value in the drawn match statistic? The players don't know before they go out to bat that this match is going to be a draw so they should give-up/score more runs.
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
honestbharani said:
For me, I just go by how I remember innings. I think almost all of his innings meant something in that series against Australia in 99... HIs innings of 277 was meaningful. His innings of 182 was meaningful at the time. His recent hundreds were all meaningful.

For me, stats are just pointers. I go by how current and former players rate them and stuff. And it is mostly acknowledged that Lara is an all time great and that he and Sachin are the best of the post 90s generation. Between the two, I feel it comes down to a matter of personal choice and my choice is Lara over Sachin by the smallest of margins.
The eye and the memory are probably the least reliable way to properly evaluate talent. Emotion, preference, style, bias all play a role even on the unconscious.

Recommended reading on the failure of the eye, memory and supposed experience in evaluating talent and success is "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis.

Sure stats can be unreliable but that why you must set a hypothesis and test it rather than playing with and manipulating figures to help support an arguement. I have nothing against Lara that I am trying to prove, my view on Lara is a product of research and analysis.

Nothing can change the fact that Lara has scored more runs in 'garbage' time than any other top player. Lara HAS NOT played that many match winning innings. Its just the ones he has played are especially memorable. You may think stats are just a pointer. However, the challenge with stats is not finding a use for them but using the correct stats for a proper and meaningful analysis.

I still see no reason why Lara is held in the high esteem he is apart from his records and high profile. He is a player that underperforms in important situations and raises his game when the pressure is off.

Again, I know people are not that interested in analysing evidence and forming an opinion based on a wealth of knowledge. This is fair enough as most people just want to be a fan of the game and pick their favs. based on what they see and feel. I dont have a problem with that so I guess at the end of the day it is each to their own.
 
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Pothas

Hall of Fame Member
Cricket is not a science it is a sport and an entertainment, therefore when judging a player i find it perfectly to base it on ones expierence of that player or a particular inings. Instead of pointlessly pouring over stats.
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
Pothas said:
Cricket is not a science it is a sport and an entertainment, therefore when judging a player i find it perfectly to base it on ones expierence of that player or a particular inings. Instead of pointlessly pouring over stats.
The science of sport (inc cricket) is continuously evolving. Stats are pointless to those who choose not to accept their potential role in breaking aspects of a player down. They may not be conclusive, but they are capable of flashing red flags and identifying something that would otherwise have been missed. To call stats pointless shows a complete lack of understanding of what can be acheived in taking the subjective out of a topic.

Agreed they can be dangerous if people use them to back up their opinions but not if they are used correctly to prove or disprove a statement and form opinions.

The point you make in the quote is why I have absolutely no issue with anyone picking and choosing their favourite player based on our experience, preference or one innings. Cricket should be fun and we all have our reasons why we like one guy over another. But to use it as a criteria for judging the best is a little lazy and self-absorbed to say the least.
 
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aussie

Hall of Fame Member
Beleg said:
During the 90's:

1. Tendulkar
2. Lara
3. Inzamam
4. Dravid
5. Ponting
6. Kallis

During the 2000's:

1. Dravid
2. Ponting
3. Inzamam
4. Kallis
5. Lara
6. Tendulkar
Hayden would be in their from 2000 for sure, take out Inzamam who i'd put at 8, with Gilchrist ahead of him slightly.
 

Slifer

International Regular
Goughy said:
The eye and the memory are probably the least reliable way to properly evaluate talent. Emotion, preference, style, bias all play a role even on the unconscious.

Recommended reading on the failure of the eye, memory and supposed experience in evaluating talent and success is "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis.

Sure stats can be unreliable but that why you must set a hypothesis and test it rather than playing with and manipulating figures to help support an arguement. I have nothing against Lara that I am trying to prove, my view on Lara is a product of research and analysis.

Nothing can change the fact that Lara has scored more runs in 'garbage' time than any other top player. Lara HAS NOT played that many match winning innings. Its just the ones he has played are especially memorable. You may think stats are just a pointer. However, the challenge with stats is not finding a use for them but using the correct stats for a proper and meaningful analysis.

I still see no reason why Lara is held in the high esteem he is apart from his records and high profile. He is a player that underperforms in important situations and raises his game when the pressure is off.

Again, I know people are not that interested in analysing evidence and forming an opinion based on a wealth of knowledge. This is fair enough as most people just want to be a fan of the game and pick their favs. based on what they see and feel. I dont have a problem with that so I guess at the end of the day it is each to their own.
u know y Lara hasnt played that many match winning innings news flash, its because he lacks a decent attack to back him up. Case in point his 2001 series in Sri Lanka where he scored a record 42% of the WI runs and they still lost 3-0. Or to even more illustrate this point in 1999 Lara scored 546 runs in a series Wi drew 2-2 with Australia. In 2003 he scored 533 against the said team but WI lost 3-1. Care to know y? In 1999 he had the services of Ambrose and Walsh, in 2003 he didnt. And of Lara's 31 hundreds i would very much like to know which of them u would label as useless. on the contrary most of his hundreds have been quite selfless and have come in some dire situations. Had Lara been a man who cared more about his average he could have easily have closed shop many times and just settle for the not out. Lara is a great and deserves the praise raved on him.
 

Anil

International Coach
taking these players at the top of their form, i would vote for tendulkar in odis, lara would edge him out in tests, overall i would still pick tendulkar for his consistency(except the last couple of years of course!), lara and tendulkar are well ahead of anyone else on this list, ponting is in tremendous form right now but until he learns to play quality spin in spin-friendly conditions, he will never be at that level for me....dravid, the great wall of india, definitely the most consistent indian bat over the past few years but has never reached the stratospheric levels of a tendulkar or a lara, inzy, brilliant player, proven match winner, again not quite in the same league whatever imran might say, hayden doesn't really belong in this list at least not right now, neither does kallis for all their consistency....just don't have the same kind of impact....
 

sirjeremy11

State Vice-Captain
Ponting in his last 30 tests (including this one) - HS 257, 12 100's, 12 50's, 3328 runs at 69.333. Fantastic.
 

howardj

International Coach
sirjeremy11 said:
Ponting in his last 30 tests (including this one) - HS 257, 12 100's, 12 50's, 3328 runs at 69.333. Fantastic.
Kallis in his last 30 Test Matches (including this one) - HS 177; 12 x 100's; 13 x 50's; 3196 runs at 74.32. Sensational. :)
 

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