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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

oz_fan

International Regular
howardj said:
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. :)
Yeah Kallis is underated but the reason he isn't in the same tier as Lara, Tendulkar, etc is because he doesn't bat well against the Aussies. He did get the hundred the other day but to go to the next level (Lara, Tendulkar) he needs to score more consistently against the Australians. I think his average against the Australians is under 40, thats a big difference compared to his career average of 57.
 

howardj

International Coach
oz_fan said:
Yeah Kallis is underated but the reason he isn't in the same tier as Lara, Tendulkar, etc is because he doesn't bat well against the Aussies. He did get the hundred the other day but to go to the next level (Lara, Tendulkar) he needs to score more consistently against the Australians. I think his average against the Australians is under 40, thats a big difference compared to his career average of 57.
The low average though, is due to the start of his career against Australia, when he scored:

49 runs @ 9.8 (1996/97); and
207 runs @ 34 (in 1997/98).



Since then, I think most people would acknowledge that his game has developed out of sight (just like Ponting and Hayden). His record against Australia in the last five years stands up to any batsman in the world:

245 runs @ 49 (2001/02 in Australia);
184 runs @ 36 (2001/02 in South Africa);
83 runs @ 83 (2005 Super Test);
193 runs @ 64 (2005/06 in Australia)
156 runs @ 52 (2005/06 in South Africa)
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
sorry, I forgot that you were a computer who was ranking players... Seriously mate, I would rate almost everyone of Lara's innings in draws as higher than anyone else's in draws, because in all probability and on the evidence of his team's performances recently, they WOULD have lost those matches. And as open365 suggested, the fact that the Windies are so pitifully poor means that they get to play in the most number of meaningless tests. And Sachin gets to play in the least amount of meaningless tests because he has hardly ever played anything more than a 3 test series.


The day I start ranking players JUST based on stats and stats alone will be the day I am done watching cricket. I feel better when I watch Lara score runs than I do when I watch Ponting, Sachin or Kallis or Dravid do. And I think without him, Windies would have lost every other match they have played in. And I think he has NEVER had the luxury of facing the 8th ranked bowling attack in the world, an attack that I think he would shred to pieces.


Edit: This was in response to Goughy's post.
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
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.
Did you know these were garbage games before they started? How many times has his knocks given his side a CHANCE to save a whitewash? Why doesn't that count? Do you even have any idea how bad whitewashes are to a side's morale? Do you have any idea how big cricket is in the Windies? The kids may not be playing it, but it is still followed with a passion. You know what impact the whitewashes have had on those supporters? Do you know what impact all these runs from Lara has had in keeping them going? And for a man who is so intent on stats, just check this out: Without supporters and fans, no GAME can exist. No matter how many UNGARBAGE runs a guy can make, at the end of the day, if the people are going away from the game inspite of him, then he is not doing that good a job. That's that.
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
honestbharani said:
The day I start ranking players JUST based on stats and stats alone will be the day I am done watching cricket.
Said it all there, mate.
 

oz_fan

International Regular
Slifer said:
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.
Yep. Pefect example of his selflessness was in the 3rd test against Australia last year. He could have easily blocked that ball from Mc Grath but instead attempted to charge Mc Grath. Knowing that the tailenders wouldn't survive for long, Lara could have played for the not out but instead tried to make some runs for his team.
 

Slifer

International Regular
I would also like to add that in saying that Lara is great I in no way wish to diminish the accomplishments of his peers (inzamam, dravid, etc) i for one am thankful to be living in an era of such great bats. Pity we dont have more decent bowlers around to some how balance out the equation.
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
WEll, at least Murali and Warne are still here. Warne is still going great, and hopefully the lull with Murali is just a dip in form, not anything permanent. We need these guys to be around a bit longer to stop matches from becoming batathons. If only Bond, Akhtar etc can remain injury free and McGrath's wife recovers....... *dreams on*
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
Slifer said:
I would also like to add that in saying that Lara is great I in no way wish to diminish the accomplishments of his peers (inzamam, dravid, etc) i for one am thankful to be living in an era of such great bats. Pity we dont have more decent bowlers around to some how balance out the equation.
I think that's a very good point. I too am privileged to be able to watch so many great batsman in my time of watching cricket, however people too easily see it as denigration of some of the great batsman like Ponting, Kallis, Inzy, Hayden etc. when we claim that as well as they have done, they aren't in Tendulkar or Lara's league just yet (and in Inzy and Hayden's cases, I very much doubt they ever will be). Ponting is obviously pushing the limit (though I still feel the last thing he needs to do is go to India and do well, but it won't stop him from being an all-time great like some have suggested) and Kallis and Dravid have been absolute machines recently... but what Lara and Sachin achieved in the 90s against the brilliant attacks and less batsman friendly conditions is what elevated them to a status above the other greats currently around.
 
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Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
As for the appreciation thing - I feel thankful everytime I see Warne bowl. I feel a swelling in my throat when I think he'll retire. He's just a bloody legend, I know the day he retires I'll be fighting the tears.
 

opc10

Cricket Spectator
Ponting...

Ponting IS the best batsmen of the ERA.

That includes Lara, Tendaulkar, Richards, Chappell,etc....

When all the arguments subside about quality of opposition, how they look, technique, etc. The only true indicator is averages. And i mean averages against countries that can actually play cricket...

His average is comparable with Tendaluker, Dravid and Kallis(All up around the mid 50s). However, look at Tendaulker, Kallis and Dravid's averages against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. That combines with the number of innings played against these minnows, has bumped their averages up by app. 2-4.

Conversely, ponting has played only a couple of innings against both countries with a surprisingly modest average.

Take out averages against these 2 countries and Pontings still stands at around 58, whilst the others drop back down to about 52-53.
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
Although I agree Ponting is a great batsman and is destined to be one of the greatest ever, I'm not sure I'd entirely agree at the moment. We'll see what he does against Bangladesh this year, though.
 

SJS

Hall of Fame Member
opc10 said:
Ponting IS the best batsmen of the ERA.

That includes Lara, Tendaulkar, Richards, Chappell,etc....

When all the arguments subside about quality of opposition, how they look, technique, etc. The only true indicator is averages. And i mean averages against countries that can actually play cricket...

His average is comparable with Tendaluker, Dravid and Kallis(All up around the mid 50s). However, look at Tendaulker, Kallis and Dravid's averages against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. That combines with the number of innings played against these minnows, has bumped their averages up by app. 2-4.

Conversely, ponting has played only a couple of innings against both countries with a surprisingly modest average.

Take out averages against these 2 countries and Pontings still stands at around 58, whilst the others drop back down to about 52-53.
Thats all fine but remember Ponting never had to face the Australian bowling attack. That would be another test :)

I suspect Lara, Dravid and Tendulkar would flourish against their own countrymen if they had the opportunity to play them.

As far as comparing Ponting with Viv Richards....well, well, well
 

opc10

Cricket Spectator
I only put Viv in their for something to do?

People get mixed up with Charisma, style and flair, versus performance. Not saying Viv didnt perform, but I dont think he's up their with the greats...

Its a bit like Lillie V McGrath. Now Dennis looked cool, had a beautiful action, the gold chain flapping, but his record isn't a pinch on McGraths.

The problem is, that when comparing opposition, we get selective. People now days say that "...Oh the batsmen have higher averages because pitches are flatter, Bat Technology, poor opposition, etc. etc. So using that logic, McGrath's record is even more impressive...But yet the same people will say that Lillie was better???!!!!! It defies Logic.

You say how would Ponting go against the Aussie attack. Then i would say, how would Viv go against his West Indian attack !

That is why Stats dont lie. Stats over a short period can lie, but the longer the period, the more true they become. I think Ponting has been playing long enough to warrant his greatness...
Everything else is subjective and open to personal opinion. Most of which has no true basis.

Punter is a Legend....
 

Boofra

Cricket Spectator
Jono said:
I think that's a very good point. I too am privileged to be able to watch so many great batsman in my time of watching cricket, however people too easily see it as denigration of some of the great batsman like Ponting, Kallis, Inzy, Hayden etc. when we claim that as well as they have done, they aren't in Tendulkar or Lara's league just yet (and in Inzy and Hayden's cases, I very much doubt they ever will be). Ponting is obviously pushing the limit (though I still feel the last thing he needs to do is go to India and do well, but it won't stop him from being an all-time great like some have suggested) and Kallis and Dravid have been absolute machines recently... but what Lara and Sachin achieved in the 90s against the brilliant attacks and less batsman friendly conditions is what elevated them to a status above the other greats currently around.
Exactly. If Ponting is as great as Sachin and Lara then why wasnt he performing like a great when he played in the 90s and even up until around 2001 when all the great bowlers began to either fade or had retired. (Walsh, Ambrose, Donald, Younis, Akram...). Fact is, after his 2001 tour of India Ponting was close to being dropped. 5 yeas into his test career and he was nearly dropped!

No doubt he is an all-time great however. His performances over the last few years have been astonishing, regardless of the quality of opposition. BUT, the fact that his peak periods have coincided with the beginning of batting's most prolific era means that i cant quite put him up there with Lara and Sachin.

Case in point, in his first 9 tests vs the Windies (when either one or both of Ambrose/Walsh played) Ponting scored 1 hundred. So thats 1 ton in 9 tests vs all-time great bowlers. In his proceding 6 test vs the Windies, against the likes of Merv Dillon, Cameron Cuffy, Vasbert Drakes etc, Ponting has scored 1 double hundred and 4 hundreds. Now why wasnt he putting in these performances against the great bowlers? Why did his magnifient batting suddenly drop off during last years Ashes where he averaged 40 and played one significant innings in 10? (albeit one of the best innings you'll ever see which did underline how good he can be) Could it be because he was once again facing some top quality bowlers? And is it any coincidence that once he returned to facing mediocore bowlers he started scoring hundreds at will again.

I suppose the point of the above statements are that no matter how much someone trys to say "the only thing that matters in the end is average" well that simply isnt true. Great players in all sports are defined by how they perform against the best in the biggest moments.

Dont get me wrong, Ponting has performed in some big situations. Infact he is IMO on a par with Greg Chappell as Australia's best batsman since Bradman. However, unless he performs in India and plays as he is now against England's attack during the upcoming Ashes then there will always be a question mark over whether he would have been this dynamic had his career started 5-10 years earlier when some great opponents were around.
 

Slifer

International Regular
opc10 said:
I only put Viv in their for something to do?

People get mixed up with Charisma, style and flair, versus performance. Not saying Viv didnt perform, but I dont think he's up their with the greats...

Its a bit like Lillie V McGrath. Now Dennis looked cool, had a beautiful action, the gold chain flapping, but his record isn't a pinch on McGraths.

The problem is, that when comparing opposition, we get selective. People now days say that "...Oh the batsmen have higher averages because pitches are flatter, Bat Technology, poor opposition, etc. etc. So using that logic, McGrath's record is even more impressive...But yet the same people will say that Lillie was better???!!!!! It defies Logic.

You say how would Ponting go against the Aussie attack. Then i would say, how would Viv go against his West Indian attack !

That is why Stats dont lie. Stats over a short period can lie, but the longer the period, the more true they become. I think Ponting has been playing long enough to warrant his greatness...
Everything else is subjective and open to personal opinion. Most of which has no true basis.

Punter is a Legend....
As far as Richards is concerned although he didnt face his own attack he did face others comparable to his own. Ex: Imran, Wasim, Qadir from PAkistan, Hogg, Lillee, Thompson and the mighty spin quartet from India. Oh and he did all this w/o a helmet and with unrestricted bouncers. As far as Lillee is concerned i'll leave it to my god old friend "Francis" to comment on this one.
 

marc71178

Eyes not spreadsheets
opc10 said:
People get mixed up with Charisma, style and flair, versus performance. Not saying Viv didnt perform, but I dont think he's up their with the greats...
Aussie, is that you?
 

SJS

Hall of Fame Member
opc10 said:
I only put Viv in their for something to do?

People get mixed up with Charisma, style and flair, versus performance. Not saying Viv didnt perform, but I dont think he's up their with the greats...

Its a bit like Lillie V McGrath. Now Dennis looked cool, had a beautiful action, the gold chain flapping, but his record isn't a pinch on McGraths.
People also get entangled in statistics. No Viv's greatness does not lie in his flair though he had oodles of it. BTW, did you see him bat?
opc10 said:
You say how would Ponting go against the Aussie attack. Then i would say, how would Viv go against his West Indian attack !
We dont know but are you aware of the quality of bowlers around the world when Viv was playing? Do you think Ponting gets to face anyone like Lillee, Imran, Hadlee ?

The quality of bowling, particularly pace bowling, around the world is the lowest one has seen in a very very long time. The exception is in the Aussie attack who also have one of the all time great spinners playing for them (and most would call that an understatement of great magnitude). The difference between Aussie bowling of the last decade and more and the rest of the world is too glaring.

Yes Windies had a better fast attack then any other team in the world and that was NOT BECAUSE other countries did not have quality fast bowlers but because they did not have Windies QUANTITY and seemingly inexhaustible supply !

opc10 said:
That is why Stats dont lie.
No they dont but without clear perspective of the context they can be (mis)used to draw completely misleading conclusions

So the greatest innings ever played in test cricket are :
1. Lara - 400*
2. Hayden - 380
3. Lara - 375
4. Sobers - 365
5. Hutton 364.....blah blah blah
 
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GIMH

Norwood's on Fire
SJS said:
No they dont but without clear perspective of the context they can be (mis)used to draw completely misleading conclusions

So the greatest innings ever played in test cricket are :
1. Lara - 400*
2. Hayden - 380
3. Lara - 375
4. Sobers - 365
5. Hutton 364.....blah blah blah
Excellent point!! :)

Saying that, I still chose Lara, one of the reasons I watch cricket
 

oz_fan

International Regular
In the 90's the averages of batsmen were more straightforward in ranking a player because there were more class attacks from most countries and there were less tests against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
SA - Donald, Pollock (At his best)
WI - Walsh, Ambrose
Pakistan - Younis, Akram
Sri Lanka - Murali, Vaas
Since then some of these players have retired or are nothing on their former selves.

Now the only really class attack in cricket is the Australians and in recent times the English. Ponting is a great batsmen, probally one of the best ever but the fact that he never had to face class attacks like Lara and Tendulkar at his peak means that we will never really be able to compare them.
 

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