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Greenidge vs Gooch

Better opening bat: Gordon Greenidge vs Graham Gooch?


  • Total voters
    24

BazBall21

State Vice-Captain
I know there was recently an openers countdown on here but this is a direct matchup between two openers from the same era.
 

shortpitched713

International Regular
Gooch at his best could be better than Greenidge I would think, just looking at how unbreakable he looked like at his peak, making big innings even against the West Indies. But over the course of a career I would go Greenidge as he was noticeably more consistent in his run-making.
 

Teja.

Global Moderator
Gooch was very good and is underrated.

However, Greendige is an ATG batsman and the second best opener after Gavaskar in the last 60 years. Greenidge in his 10 year 'prime' between 1976 and 1985 (which is about as long as the careers of batsmen like Sehwag, Hayden, Smith etc) had much better numbers than his overall ones. He was one of the 4-5 batsman of the time having an average over 50 and considered one of the top batsmen of his era a decade into his career. He was still very useful for his team for several years after that but playing on for 7 more years after his peak as a 40 average opener (which was still high quality for the time) has sadly affected his reputation a bit.

This is Greenidge compared to other openers from 1976 to 1985 with min 1000 runs:

1656702191639.png
 

flibbertyjibber

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Greenidge was different class. One of the best openers ever. Gooch had a fantastic end to his career but Greenidge struck fear across the world for a far longer period.
 

Red

The normal awards that everyone else has
I've long thought Gooch a little underrated. He averaged 45 as an opener against the WIs thru the 1980s. He scored more runs against the WIs in the 80s than anyone, at a higher average (of anyone to have scored more than 500 against them in the period) than anyone other than Robin Smith and Martin Crowe.
 

Starfighter

Hall of Fame Member
Gooch was very good and is underrated.

However, Greendige is an ATG batsman and the second best opener after Gavaskar in the last 60 years. Greenidge in his 10 year 'prime' between 1976 and 1985 (which is about as long as the careers of batsmen like Sehwag, Hayden, Smith etc) had much better numbers than his overall ones. He was one of the 4-5 batsman of the time having an average over 50 and considered one of the top batsmen of his era a decade into his career. He was still very useful for his team for several years after that but playing on for 7 more years after his peak as a 40 average opener (which was still high quality for the time) has sadly affected his reputation a bit.

This is Greenidge compared to other openers from 1976 to 1985 with min 1000 runs:
This is an example of taking an arbitrary career slice if ever I've seen one.
 

Fuller Pilch

International Coach
Gooch was very good and is underrated.

However, Greendige is an ATG batsman and the second best opener after Gavaskar in the last 60 years. Greenidge in his 10 year 'prime' between 1976 and 1985 (which is about as long as the careers of batsmen like Sehwag, Hayden, Smith etc) had much better numbers than his overall ones. He was one of the 4-5 batsman of the time having an average over 50 and considered one of the top batsmen of his era a decade into his career. He was still very useful for his team for several years after that but playing on for 7 more years after his peak as a 40 average opener (which was still high quality for the time) has sadly affected his reputation a bit.

This is Greenidge compared to other openers from 1976 to 1985 with min 1000 runs:

View attachment 32245
Interesting that John Wright only averaged 32 (4 100s) from 42 tests 'til 1985. From 1986 until the end of his career in 1993 he averaged 45 (8 100s) from 38 tests.
 

Burgey

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These are two great players. I loved Greeniedge. I reckon that double ton he made vs England in 84 when they were chasing 300 plus on the last day is such an under rated knock. Arguably one of the best ever played. England had a good attack too, with Willis and Botham both playing. Fmd chased down 320 odd and Richards & Lloyd didn’t even get a hit.

Gooch just seemed to get better and better with age, if anything. Also a great player.

Would give this to a Greenidge but readily admit to some bias in doing so and wouldn’t be upset if the poll went the other way.
 

grecian

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I've long thought Gooch a little underrated. He averaged 45 as an opener against the WIs thru the 1980s. He scored more runs against the WIs in the 80s than anyone, at a higher average (of anyone to have scored more than 500 against them in the period) than anyone other than Robin Smith and Martin Crowe.
In the end this is just showing us what we know he was good at, yet for years he was average against fast-medium accurate players, just because it's not the most frightening or ***y type of bowling, no-one seems to count it,it was an huge weakness for Gooch, and hence why he has to be rated below greenidge at least.

If there was a question of what opener in the world I would want for an ultra-fast attack, Gooch maybe first on the list, but in general he's not close.
 

grecian

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
This is an example of taking an arbitrary career slice if ever I've seen one.
Really don't see that, it's taking the end bit out when he's getting older, can't think of any stat that less deserves arbitrary as a description than taking out stuff when they are aging, but still soldiering on because no-one is better..
 

Bolo.

International Debutant
It's arbitrary because it requires the other players to peak at the exact same time as him. His contemporaries likely look better than him over 10 (or x) years if you pick the starting dates to suit their peaks rather than his.

You can make a whole lot of top players look like arguably the best in the world over x years, because you won't find many peaks that align exactly.
 

BazBall21

State Vice-Captain
Well I need to get better at these polls😭 knew from the start that putting Crowe up against Javed was very ambitious but I hoped this one would be more competitive. Gordon maybe has the edge but I think they’ve got valid cases against each other.

Gooch better against high pace and probably edges it against quality attacks.
Greenidge better against lateral movement and definitely more consistent across his career.
 

BazBall21

State Vice-Captain
No. Haynes was a notorious home track bully. Now Gooch was as well but not as bad as Desmond.
I agree with Tom that the poll between Gooch/Haynes would probably be closer than this but I think Gooch is closer to Gordon than Haynes in reality.
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Gooch had a very complicated career really. So many different Phases of Gooch compared to many cricketers.

Anyway, one big advantage that Greenidge had was that he didn't get to face the West Indian bowling attack, which was definitely the stand out at the time. Probably did better than Gooch against Terry Alderman though.

If you look at their careers vs. each team, the big difference is that Gooch's record vs. Australia is noticeably weaker. Gooch had better results than Greenidge against Pakistan and India, particularly in Pakistan. Greenidge in contrast made absolute hay in England against England. Gooch's average of ~45 against West Indies (similar home & away albeit slightly lower in WI) is notably superior to other top openers of the time (Boon, Jones, Raja). Greenidge also didn't play against South Africa. Gooch has a poor (but brief) record against South Africa, unless you consider (?) the Rebel tour of 81/82 where he scored 30, 109, 83, 68 and 48 (avg. 68) against an excellent RSA bowling attack.

Look, both were great openers. Superficially, Greenidge was the "better" opener and I certainly don't begrudge anyone that opinion. Just reckon they're a bit closer than some are making out here.

FTR - I've actually met both of these players. Gooch a few times when I was a kid.
 

grecian

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Superficialy. look I like you HDS, but how the hell do you call That superficial? it's just abusing the word, then asking it not to tell anyone else because they wouldn't understand.
 

BazBall21

State Vice-Captain
Gooch had a very complicated career really. So many different Phases of Gooch compared to many cricketers.

Anyway, one big advantage that Greenidge had was that he didn't get to face the West Indian bowling attack, which was definitely the stand out at the time. Probably did better than Gooch against Terry Alderman though.

If you look at their careers vs. each team, the big difference is that Gooch's record vs. Australia is noticeably weaker. Gooch had better results than Greenidge against Pakistan and India, particularly in Pakistan. Greenidge in contrast made absolute hay in England against England. Gooch's average of ~45 against West Indies (similar home & away albeit slightly lower in WI) is notably superior to other top openers of the time (Boon, Jones, Raja). Greenidge also didn't play against South Africa. Gooch has a poor (but brief) record against South Africa, unless you consider (?) the Rebel tour of 81/82 where he scored 30, 109, 83, 68 and 48 (avg. 68) against an excellent RSA bowling attack.

Look, both were great openers. Superficially, Greenidge was the "better" opener and I certainly don't begrudge anyone that opinion. Just reckon they're a bit closer than some are making out here.

FTR - I've actually met both of these players. Gooch a few times when I was a kid.
I think Gooch definitely has the edge against quality attacks despite being a no-show against the Aussies on a few occasions. There’s his record against WI, early 90s Ashes, Wasim/Waqar in 93 etc. Greenidge failed on what was probs his toughest England tour with Botham/Willis both in their prime and not great overall records against Aus/Pak but he was probably a bit unlucky with timing in terms of proving himself as Australia were very strong during the period before his peak and then he had to confront the Pakistan Ws near the end etc.

Greenidge though was definitely more consistent than Gooch and his record in England/NZ is excellent, both places of traditional difficulty for openers and Gooch’s weaknesses against lateral movement are well-documented. Gordon maybe has the edge but like you say, this is closer than the result suggests.
 
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