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Hadlee, Khan, Dev, Botham - Who was the best allrounder?

FaaipDeOiad

Hall of Fame Member
In my opinion, Hadlee was the best bowler, Botham the best batsman, Imran probably the best all-rounder.
 

C_C

International Captain
Best bowler:

Hadlee
Khan
Kapil
Botham.

Best batsman:

Imran
Botham
Kapil
Hadlee

Best allrounder:

Imran
Kapil
Hadlee
Botham.
 

PY

International Coach
I've tried to answer this before and been shot down so I'll ask this time.

Is it at their very best or overall? Ability to change a game? Longevity of career?

Few questions to ponder.
 
PY said:
I've tried to answer this before and been shot down so I'll ask this time.

Is it at their very best or overall? Ability to change a game? Longevity of career?

Few questions to ponder.
Overall.

Thus it incorporates all the aspects you listed amongst all other criteria.
 

Anil

International Coach
as an all-rounder, imran first, botham second, kapil third and hadlee fourth....of these first and second positions are arguable especially when you consider botham's catching record(100+ catches i think), but imran was a significantly better bowler and at least comparable as a batsman so my choice is imran...
 

C_C

International Captain
Anil said:
as an all-rounder, imran first, botham second, kapil third and hadlee fourth....of these first and second positions are arguable especially when you consider botham's catching record(100+ catches i think), but imran was a significantly better bowler and at least comparable as a batsman so my choice is imran...
He was a significantly better batsman than Botham, also a significantly better bowler and captain. Only place Imran was behind is catching.
I am sorry but comparing someone who maintains a 50+ batting ave. for over 50 matches and 27-28 batting ave against the WI to someone who never even averaged 40+ with the bat for 50 matches and 19-20 batting ave against the WI is just ridiculous.Saying that Botham was a better batsman than Imran simply because he scored more tons is like saying Azhar was a better batsman than Gillchrist because he scored more tons.
Ie, utter tosh.
 

Sanz

Hall of Fame Member
As an allrounder, Botham, Kapil, Imran, Hadlee.

As a bowler Hadlee, Imran, Kapil, Botham

As a Batsman Botham, Imran, Kapil, Hadlee.
 

Anil

International Coach
C_C said:
He was a significantly better batsman than Botham, also a significantly better bowler and captain. Only place Imran was behind is catching.
I am sorry but comparing someone who maintains a 50+ batting ave. for over 50 matches and 27-28 batting ave against the WI to someone who never even averaged 40+ with the bat for 50 matches and 19-20 batting ave against the WI is just ridiculous.Saying that Botham was a better batsman than Imran simply because he scored more tons is like saying Azhar was a better batsman than Gillchrist because he scored more tons.
Ie, utter tosh.
where did i say botham was definitely a better batsman..? when i said "at least comparable", i meant at the very least equal, towards the latter half of his career, imran became a very good batsman, he was always technically superior to botham but when he started concentrating on his batting and bowling less and less, he built up an impressive record as a very good middle-order batsman for pakistan, and justified his place in a pak side brimming over with batting talent...having said that no one can really dispute botham's instinctive brilliance with the bat and his match-winning abilities and averages alone don't tell the story in botham's case...these two are the best all-rounders of the four and along with sobers, the 3 greatest all-rounders ever....placing botham last in that list isn't supported by stats or by people who watched him play....and captaincy doesn't come into the picture when you discuss all-round playing talent...
 

steds

Hall of Fame Member
C_C said:
I am sorry but comparing someone who maintains a 50+ batting ave. for over 50 matches and 27-28 batting ave against the WI to someone who never even averaged 40+ with the bat for 50 matches and 19-20 batting ave against the WI is just ridiculous.
But against the West Indies in the West Indies, Imran averaged 21.78. Facing the West Indies in Pakistan, which were unfamiliar and unhelpful conditions to the West Indian seamers boosted his average.
Most of the West Indian test players played in County cricket/league cricket summer in, summer out, so would have been familiar and adept at bowling in the helpful conditions home and away against England
 

Swervy

International Captain
god..how many times have we done this one.

CC and I will never agree on this I dont think :D

For me, Hadlee was the best bowler
For me Botham was the best batsman, however Imrans performances certainly did outstrip Bothams later on..but at Bothams peak as a batsman,(IN MY OPINION), Beefy was a better batsman than Imrans at his peak

Each player had his merits..Botham was from 1977-1982 the best swing bowler in the world, and arguably the most destructive bowler full stop in the world..he could of course be capable of bowling rubbish sometimes..and from 77 to 82, Botham the batsman was possibly the most destructive batsman in the world outside the West Indies....but susesptible to rash shots and getting out early. It is a testement to Botham that he was THE target for opposition bowlers from all countries, because all bowlers in the world knew that he really could alter the course of a game in a flash

Imran was an average batsman who got much much better as he went on...but it must be said that at his absolute heightof power as a fast bowler, his bowling was of the standard of a decent and useful lower order batsman, not that much more.His batting did improve as his bowling started to fall off(although he didnt fall from grace as a bowler in any way like maybe Botham did, even only a couple of years before the end, he was still pretty nippy and damned good)

Hadlee was simply the best pace bowler I have ever seen..but his batting wasnt so consistant, but he was able to put some great innings in there

Dev's bowling for me overtakes Bothams only when Bothams fitness levels slipped. When taking all of the bowlers peaks as a measure of the players abilities, then Dev comes last for me I am afraid...but still easily the best seamer (along with Srinath) India have produced in my lifetime. As a batsman, he could be as fast scoring as anyone in the world, but didnt show the application to staying around as Imran did, and did have the ability of Botham with the bat...Botham could destroy attacks for longer periods.

So for me...Botham rules...but I am sure others will disagree..each player played in vastly differing conditions, in teams with different abilities, and each player played differing roles, so really all it comes down to is personal choice
 

Beleg

International Regular
But against the West Indies in the West Indies, Imran averaged 21.78. Facing the West Indies in Pakistan, which were unfamiliar and unhelpful conditions to the West Indian seamers boosted his average.
Perhaps you should actually check out the nature of pitches dished out for the Pak vs. Windie encounters in Pakistan before so unceremoniously dumping Imran's performance there? A green top is a green top, be it Sabina Park or Multan and any bowler worth his salt would be able to utilize both. If it is a good bowler, which walsh, holding, garner, roberts, ambrose and bishop undoubtedly were, the degree of unfamiliarity with an unknown pitch would be no more than a minor inconvenience.

(and didn't Imran play county cricket during late seventies, early eighties? I'll be interested in seeing his records there, specially against the WI pacemen. IMO, if you are going to base an argument of superiority on statistical rendition only, then you have to key in elements across the complete range of cricketing categories, not just test matches)

Swervy,

I'd be curious in hearing what you regard as Imran's 'height of powress'? Is the period before 1981, when he was an ordinary batsman and a useful bowler, or the last 50 odd tests when he averaged 50 with the bat and under 20 (I think, I can be wrong since I haven't bothered checking) with the ball? If it is the latter than how can you make the argument that at the height of his powers he was nothing more than a good lower-order batsman? And if it is the former than why he did end up doing so poorly in contrast to the latter part of his carrier? Doesn't your choice of phrase end up looking like a poor misnomer?


Disclaimer: I personally have no strong opinions. Have watched the people concerned live very sparsely and I am totally unwilling to judge based on that. I read the last debate which contained some pretty nice statistical analysis supplied by SGS I think - but that ended up just going around in fathomless circles withe people focusing on certain set issues while (generally) ignoring others like county/first-class records against eachother, injury/pre-injury performance difference, mental toughness/performance as captains etc.
 

aussie

Hall of Fame Member
well Swervy you are one of the older one's here so you would have seen them all & i really cant argue but i remember Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell & co having this same discussion when England were down under the last time & their views were similar to yours....
 

C_C

International Captain
steds said:
But against the West Indies in the West Indies, Imran averaged 21.78. Facing the West Indies in Pakistan, which were unfamiliar and unhelpful conditions to the West Indian seamers boosted his average.
Most of the West Indian test players played in County cricket/league cricket summer in, summer out, so would have been familiar and adept at bowling in the helpful conditions home and away against England
Not many batsmen did well against the west indies in west indies back in those days.
Botham averages 14.17 in West Indies.....in other words, Imran averages one and half times what botham does in WI.
Botham simply failed miserably compared to the other 3 allrounders of that era when it came to the big daddies of that era- the West Indies.
If you cannot perform against the best of the best, you are not the best. Simple as that.
That is why i consider him inferior to Kapil as a batsman as well- both have similar stats overall in batting but Kapil has a far better average against the West Indians.
As per Imran Khan and Botham goes in batting, the question doesnt arise.
Imran averaged 50+ with the bat for over 50 tests...botham barely averaged 40 for like 20-25 tests or somethign.
Overall, Imran shades botham handsomely with the bat and even against the top bowling attack of that time(WI), he shades botham- home, away and overall.

Imran Khan, IMO is the second best allrounder ever, narrowly after Gary Sobers.
For those who argue that Imran didnt bowl and bat well at the same time, well for one, nobody bowled and batted well at the same time for a long while..
For two,Imran averaged 52.77 with the bat and 19.00 with the ball over the last 53 tests of his career.
For three, he carried a hefty bowling load till end of 1989 ( bowled 1733 balls in 6 tests- that is 48 overs per match... full time bowling, i would say!).

So, from 1982 to 1989, that is, for eight years, he averaged 49.27 with the bat while averaging 18.76 with the ball.
This was his bowling load for that span- in 1982, he bowled on average 43 overs per match, in 1983, he bowled 33 overs per match, in 1984 he played only one match with a broken foot and didnt bowl. In 1985, he bowled 40 overs per match, 1986 he bowled 37 overs per match, in 1987 he bowled 30 overs per match, in 1988 he bowled 43 overs per match and in 1989 he bowled 48 overs per match.
And before people start jumping around for 1987, Pakistan didnt bowl in 4 outta 20 innings in that year and in 3 other innings Pakistan didnt bowl more than 50 overs.

Considering that MOST pace bowlers average between 35 and 40 overs per match, to say that Imran's batting magnificence was due to reduced bowling workload would be inaccurate.
For, through eight years, Imran bowled just as much as McGrath-Ambrose etc. bowled, averaged 18.76 with the ball and 49.27 with the bat.

Simply speaking, Imran was the best batsman and the second best bowler outta those four and the third best bowler of the 80s behind Marshall and Hadlee ( in that order).
 

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