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Jack Hobbs vs Len Hutton vs Herbert Sutcliffe vs Sunil Gavaskar

srbhkshk

International Vice-Captain
Leaving aside Barry Richards for obvious reasons, the above four are typically considered the four best openers ever - how would you rank them and why? And if you'd to pick two how would you go about it?
 

wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
Obviously I wouldn't see much point in comparing career statistics. I'd be far more interested in reading the opinions of knowledgeable people who saw them play.
It would be interesting to read Hutton's views on the other 3, as he would have seen all of them play; albeit as a young man in the cases of Hobbs and Sutcliffe.
Similarly, someone like Wally Hammond's views on Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Hutton would be interesting as he played with all 3 for England, as well as seeing plenty of them at county level.
Maybe someone like Richie Benaud would have interesting views on Hutton vs Gavaskar, having seen a fair bit of both of them.
 

trundler

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Sutcliffe is a curious case. Difficult to compare with the others. Performed well under pressure and in the Ashes (60+ average). Was a ferocious hooker of the ball and was a great technician. Yet his reputation doesn't match his stats at all.
 

wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
Sutcliffe doesn't even make his shortlist, astonishing.
Hobbs' partnership with Sutcliffe yielded some astonishing statistics. Apparently their first wicket partnership for England averaged 87, mostly batting against Australia of course. I know that one shouldn't compare across eras, but personally I'd pick Sutcliffe ahead of Greenidge for the short list.
 

silentstriker

The Wheel is Forever
Obviousl
It would be interesting to read Hutton's views on the other 3, as he would have seen all of them play;
I used to think that but then I keep on hearing opinions from recent former players, and it makes me trust nothing that players say. They aren't usually the smartest tool in the shed.
 

wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
Zero west indian fast bowlers in the short list! You can make an all time XI without having a west indian fast bowler but I think it's a little crazy to not have someone like Malcolm Marshall even in your short list?

EDIT: Whoops - was looking at the wrong list :p
No, I think you read it correctly. Not sure about Sydney Barnes as a fast bowler, actually.
 

trundler

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Hobbs has to be in a league of his own and I think he's a reasonable lock. The other spot would be contested by Hutton and Gavaskar. I would say there's very little between them; so many similarities between the 2 but I'll just go with Sir Len as he faced arguably tougher conditions and overcame more. Towered over his contemporaries, did he. Interesting to note all 4 of them were rather dour.
 

Coronis

International Regular
I personally have Hobbs slightly ahead of Sutcliffe and Hutton with Gavaskar slightly behind.

Reasons why Sutcliffe may not be rated by peers and media: First and most obvious, he played with Hobbs for half his career, England's best batsman for almost 20 years, always overshadowed. Second, his prime happened to coincide with that part of his career (he was 29 coming into test cricket and 36 once Hobbs was retired). Third, unlike other greats of the time, excluding Hobbs, he wasn't predisposed towards large scores, like Bradman, Hammond, Hutton and even Headley.
 

OverratedSanity

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I personally have Hobbs slightly ahead of Sutcliffe and Hutton with Gavaskar slightly behind.

Reasons why Sutcliffe may not be rated by peers and media: First and most obvious, he played with Hobbs for half his career, England's best batsman for almost 20 years, always overshadowed. Second, his prime happened to coincide with that part of his career (he was 29 coming into test cricket and 36 once Hobbs was retired). Third, unlike other greats of the time, excluding Hobbs, he wasn't predisposed towards large scores, like Bradman, Hammond, Hutton and even Headley.
I think the fact that used his pad a lot before the law was altered affects how he was rated.
 

Bolo

State Captain
I used to think that but then I keep on hearing opinions from recent former players, and it makes me trust nothing that players say. They aren't usually the smartest tool in the shed.
Kohli was one of the greatest bats of his era and captained the strongest side of his era. Who are you as an armchair fan to question his selections?

Post set to appear on CW x years after he retires.
 

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