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Chris Cairns vs Andrew Flintoff

Who was better? Cairns or Flintoff?


  • Total voters
    37

Flem274*

123/5
Yep, another vs thread. Who was the greater test cricketer over their respective careers? (Flintoff is a "so far" in career but sadly I don't think he has much time left unless he improves his injury record).
 

_Ed_

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Cairns for me, just. And quite possibly due to NZ bias, although I was never a huge fan of him as a bloke.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
In Test cricket, Cairns fairly comfortably. Both badly disrupted by injury, of course, and both would almost certainly have been so much better but for that. But Cairns the better batsman by quite a bit, and as bowlers Cairns was good for longer than Flintoff has been so far (the vast majority of his career in fact) but Flintoff once he finally got his act fully together was a fair bit better than Cairns had ever been.

In ODIs I'd probably go Flintoff, but Tests alone, Cairns without much doubt.
 

Zinzan

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Cairns 89-04 62 mts 3320 runs 158 HS 33.53 ave 218 wkts 7/27 BB 29.40 ave 13 fifers

Flintoff 98-07 67 mts 3381 runs167 HS 32.50 ave 197 wkts 5/58 BB 32.02 ave 2 fifers


Flintoff had the best series of the two, although many would forget Cairns also had a strong series against probably a stronger Aussie side in 2000, although NZ lost.

Cairns the better overall career for mine
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
In Flintoff's case those overall figures are relatively meaningless, and despite meaning to many times I've never truly examined Cairns', so they might well be too.
 

Zinzan

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In ODIs I'd probably go Flintoff, but Tests alone, Cairns without much doubt.
Agree, but only by a whisker. If you asked me a couple of years ago I would have said Flintoff quite comfortably, but his oneday game has certainly flattened out
 

Zinzan

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In Flintoff's case those overall figures are relatively meaningless, and despite meaning to many times I've never truly examined Cairns', so they might well be too.
For this particular comparison they are actually very meaningful. Both have been plagued with injury, both were thrown into test cricket far too early meaning their statistics were decidely average to start with, yet both ultimately fulfilled their potential to some extent to be considered the worlds best allrounders for a time (Cairns in 99-2000, Flintoff in 2005-06).
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
So break them down, and examine how the respective periods compare.

Don't allow one to distort the other.
 

Zinzan

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So break them down, and examine how the respective periods compare.

Don't allow one to distort the other.
I'll allow you the honour if you please, wish I had the time at the moment tbh. I will say this though, I will be very suprised if their career stats don't follow very similar patterns.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Only too happy - as I say, been meaning to look properly at Cairns' career for yonks.
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
Here is the strangest thing.

I rate Flintoff as the better bowler
I rate Flintoff as the better batsman

Yet Id take Cairns :blink:
 

weldone

Hall of Fame Member
For this particular comparison they are actually very meaningful. Both have been plagued with injury, both were thrown into test cricket far too early meaning their statistics were decidely average to start with, yet both ultimately fulfilled their potential to some extent to be considered the worlds best allrounders for a time (Cairns in 99-2000, Flintoff in 2005-06).
Cairns' stats in 1999-2000 are much better than Flintoff's in 2005-2006, especially in batting....I just checked...
 

GIMH

Norwood's on Fire
Here is the strangest thing.

I rate Flintoff as the better bowler
I rate Flintoff as the better batsman

Yet Id take Cairns :blink:
fascinated by this Goughy, could you elaborate? I think I have an idea as to what you will say, but still...
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
fascinated by this Goughy, could you elaborate? I think I have an idea as to what you will say, but still...
When I think of Flintoff I think of a certain type of batsman and bowler. One that is very capable and almost special.

He can be a very talented batsman and he can be one of the top bowlers in the World.

The batting of Cairns is explosive and he is/was a very good player but I couldnt bring myself to elevate him to near pure batsman level. Also his bowling is/was effective and he was skilled but never reached the elite level.

However, Flintoff is more flawed and far more prone to the valleys and peaks of form.

Breaking them down, I think Flintoff is the better bowler and batsman but Id take Cairns as Id be more likely to know what I was getting and is less likely to suck.

When building a team Id want rock solid foundations which I think Cairns provides. I believe Cairns to be also more professional and be a better bet to contribute to the long term success of a team.
 
Last edited:

gettingbetter

State Vice-Captain
Cairns 89-04 62 mts 3320 runs 158 HS 33.53 ave 218 wkts 7/27 BB 29.40 ave 13 fifers

Flintoff 98-07 67 mts 3381 runs167 HS 32.50 ave 197 wkts 5/58 BB 32.02 ave 2 fifers


Flintoff had the best series of the two, although many would forget Cairns also had a strong series against probably a stronger Aussie side in 2000, although NZ lost.

Cairns the better overall career for mine
No offence, but how much water does this really hold...it was 5 Test matches.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
4 really as he was poor in the First Test. But anyway, there's a fair bit to be said for being the largest cog - by a fair whack - in your side beating the best team going around, a team that's hammered most others (including your side) before and after.

If Flintoff had performed only in that series, people would not talk extensively about him - see Simon Jones. Similarly, if Flintoff's highly impressive performances for the preceding and succeeding 2 years and year respectively had not been replicated in 2005, he'd not be talked of anywhere near as highly as he has been.
 

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