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Jacques Kallis vs Steve Waugh

Who was the greater test batsman?

  • Jacques Kallis

    Votes: 33 61.1%
  • Steve Waugh

    Votes: 21 38.9%

  • Total voters
    54

thierry henry

International Coach
I always felt like in the "pitches so flat" era (like 2002-2008ish??) that Kallis, Sanga, Ponting, Dravid were the ruthless and prolific run accumulators while Tendulkar and Lara, while regarded as greater overall, were no longer as prolific as their slightly fresher counterparts.
 

thierry henry

International Coach
Saying Kallis wasn't rated during his career is rubbish. It took a little while, sure, and people had their issues with him, but the man had a looooong career. There was literally like a full decade where he was seen as one of the elite players and batsmen. I know cos I was at this damn forum debating it.
 

subshakerz

International Coach
I always felt like in the "pitches so flat" era (like 2002-2008ish??) that Kallis, Sanga, Ponting, Dravid were the ruthless and prolific run accumulators while Tendulkar and Lara, while regarded as greater overall, were no longer as prolific as their slightly fresher counterparts.
Except you are wrong. Lara had his second wind from 2001 onwards and averaged 60 until his retirement in 2006.

Tendulkar had a dip with injuries from 2003 to 2006 and then had his second peak start after the 2007 World Cup until 2011.
 

subshakerz

International Coach
Saying Kallis wasn't rated during his career is rubbish. It took a little while, sure, and people had their issues with him, but the man had a looooong career. There was literally like a full decade where he was seen as one of the elite players and batsmen. I know cos I was at this damn forum debating it.
I am not saying that. Kallis as an allrounder was given his just rating towards the end of his career. But as a pure bat, if you say he was as feared by opposition as Ponting or Sanga, then I disagree.
 

thierry henry

International Coach
Anyway, since we're specifically talking about Kallis....that's a 6-year period where he scored 5500 runs at an average of 67. Over the same period Ponting averaged 70, and then aside from that only MoYo averaged over 60. Hence why I think it's fair to say that over a prolonged period Kallis really was That Guy.
 

subshakerz

International Coach

Well I said 2002-2008, and all 4 guys I named both averaged more and scored more runs than Tendulkar and Lara, so I feel like your "WRONG!" call is a little unfair. In fact I was literally....right.
I was referring to top 5 of the 2000s, but I think if you include 2001 to 2008, Lara should appear near there. I do recall Lara being considered among the best of the best, behind maybe Ponting, once he got his second wind.
 

subshakerz

International Coach
Anyway, since we're specifically talking about Kallis....that's a 6-year period where he scored 5500 runs at an average of 67. Over the same period Ponting averaged 70, and then aside from that only MoYo averaged over 60. Hence why I think it's fair to say that over a prolonged period Kallis really was That Guy.
Yet was he really seen that way in world cricket circles? The point wasn't to dispute that he had a period where he was a terrific runscorer. My point was that Waugh was rated higher in the 90s era than Kallis in the 2000s era. He never had 'The Guy' rating even when in his peak.
 

Xix2565

International Debutant
Basically I mean standout career-defining innings which every ATG can point to as the best expression of their skills. I am not sure how the MoM measure is reliable.
Best expression of skill =/= best chance of winning the game or having the most impact in winning the game. It's one thing to say they played brilliantly/perfectly but in the end what matters in Test cricket is the result and if they had a bigger impact by executing the basics in an unappealing way then I don't see why it should matter how many strokes they could play or if their wagon wheels had a million spokes to mark where they could score.

You may not need to go directly to MoMs but surely there's a much better way to analyse how a batter impacted a game beyond memory and narrative.
 

thierry henry

International Coach
Yeah I'm just arguing for him being solidly top 5 of "his era". I do acknowledge there's a bit of competition as a lot of guys scored well during that era. imo Tendulkar and Lara were of a slightly earlier era, Sangakkara probably hit his absolute peak slightly later, and then Kallis and Ponting were imo probably the best of their era. I was also a massive Dravid fan btw even if he wasn't quite as consistent an accumulator as Kallis and Ponting at his peak, and then there's MoYo who was somewhat less prolific but right up there in terms of his peak too.

I probably see Ponting, Kallis, Dravid and Sanga as the top guys of the flat deck era, I think.
 

subshakerz

International Coach
Yeah I'm just arguing for him being solidly top 5 of "his era". I do acknowledge there's a bit of competition as a lot of guys scored well during that era. imo Tendulkar and Lara were of a slightly earlier era, Sangakkara probably hit his absolute peak slightly later, and then Kallis and Ponting were imo probably the best of their era. I was also a massive Dravid fan btw even if he wasn't quite as consistent an accumulator as Kallis and Ponting at his peak, and then there's MoYo who was somewhat less prolific but right up there in terms of his peak too.

I probably see Ponting, Kallis, Dravid and Sanga as the top guys of the flat deck era, I think.
I count era as a bit longer period, so I put it as the decade. Timing an era to coincide with someone's peak is a bit too favorable, because as you said, push it a few more years and both Sanga and Tendulkar begin peaking again and Kallis' standing drops.

Nevertheless, I think Ponting, Lara, Hayden and Dravid were still rated ahead of Kallis in that time period, assuming you start from 2001 as Dravid, Hayden and Lara begin peaking then, as bigger threats for the opposition.

Dravid just had way too many critical innings in victories to ignore, and several double tons, Kallis never scored one until 2011. Lara and Hayden were much more aggressive.
 

thierry henry

International Coach
I wasn't timing an era to coincide with anyone's peak. If I was, it was Ponting's peak really. It was an approximation of a distinct era that I thought was well known in cricket history, where run scoring was quite easy and a group of players of similar age peaked around the same time. I think it's pretty clear that Tendulkar was not at the top of the tree during this time (no matter how much you shrink it down or stretch it out), and in Lara's case, he was slightly less prolific and then he retired. Not really comparable. Hayden obviously was very good around this time too but I honestly don't think I've ever heard anyone say he was better than Kallis? That's not even to say it's unthinkable, I just honestly never really heard it said.
 

thierry henry

International Coach
Anyway I honestly don't even have that strong of an opinion about Kallis v Waugh so not sure why I'm arguing about the nebulous topic of how players were perceived in the past
 

subshakerz

International Coach
Best expression of skill =/= best chance of winning the game or having the most impact in winning the game. It's one thing to say they played brilliantly/perfectly but in the end what matters in Test cricket is the result and if they had a bigger impact by executing the basics in an unappealing way then I don't see why it should matter how many strokes they could play or if their wagon wheels had a million spokes to mark where they could score.

You may not need to go directly to MoMs but surely there's a much better way to analyse how a batter impacted a game beyond memory and narrative.
Sure, but the ATGs we are talking about all executed the basics exceptionally well, and on top of that produced several of the greatest innings in their career based on playing against strong attacks, difficult conditions or difficult match situations. So it is a fair expectation to expect an ATG to have some to showcase.
 

OverratedSanity

Request Your Custom Title Now!
The whole thing's stupid anyway. Even if we assume its true that Kallis was rated lower by peers in the 2000s than Waugh was in the 90s, it's a dumb argument. People say dumb **** in the moment all the time.
 

subshakerz

International Coach
I wasn't timing an era to coincide with anyone's peak. If I was, it was Ponting's peak really. It was an approximation of a distinct era that I thought was well known in cricket history, where run scoring was quite easy and a group of players of similar age peaked around the same time. I think it's pretty clear that Tendulkar was not at the top of the tree during this time (no matter how much you shrink it down or stretch it out), and in Lara's case, he was slightly less prolific and then he retired. Not really comparable. Hayden obviously was very good around this time too but I honestly don't think I've ever heard anyone say he was better than Kallis? That's not even to say it's unthinkable, I just honestly never really heard it said.
Ponting's peak ended in 2006 though. Lara was just behind but certainly top three.

Of course, overall in career, Kallis would be ahead of Hayden. But there is no doubt Hayden was more feared as a bat until around 2006/7, and especially 2001-2004.
 

subshakerz

International Coach
The whole thing's stupid anyway. Even if we assume its true that Kallis was rated lower by peers in the 2000s than Waugh was in the 90s, it's a dumb argument. People say dumb **** in the moment all the time.
Nah, if you are top tier, you will be seen by your opposition as top tier. I think peer rating does count for something.
 

Bolo.

International Vice-Captain
Kallis was more underrated as a player for most of his career and he justly got rated towards the end. But as a batsman, he wasn't feared by oppositions frankly the same way others were in his playing time which is why he never got rated that highly. It is a fair point to say that Waugh for the early part of his career was poor in a way that Kallis wasn't but that period lasted 46 out of 168 tests after which he was consistently worldclass, which is pretty close to the total period Kallis had in his inconsistent early days and his 2008 dip.
Both started slow. Kallis topped and maintained a 40 average after 29 tests. Waugh after 61 (which took 8 years cos he was struggling to get a spot in the side). Kallis topped and maintained 50 after 73 tests, Waugh 161. Kallis spent the entire back half of his career averaging mid to late 50s. They are not comparable... however you rate them, Kallis was clearly a top level bat for a lot longer, and was considered as such.

Totally disagree. Number 3/4 is where the main bat is expected to set the pace and tone of the innings. Number 5/6 is where you consolidate and rebuild. And you are wrong about SA's batting order, early in Kallis' career they had fairly reliable batsmen like Kirsten, Gibbs, Cullinan and Cronje whom Kallis batted around. Later came Smith and Prince and then Amla and ABD. It's not like Kallis was a lone gun like Lara. He just never set himself apart.
This is wrong. The closer you get to the top of the order, the less important it is for quality bats to score fast. The top sees off the new ball, tires attacks and is less likely to run out of partners. You can argue that it is still better for the top to score quickly (its debateable), but there is no arguing that it is relatively more important than the middle.

RSA were 3 or 4 down for nothing every second game from readmission until when Kallis started to come right. Wasn't till about 2008 that they had a reliable top other than Kallis.

Basically I mean standout career-defining innings which every ATG can point to as the best expression of their skills. I am not sure how the MoM measure is reliable.
I don't think Kallis had too many stellar perfomances by ATG standards.

An ATG innings gives you an idea of a player's ceiling, but unless that player is Chris Martin, knowing there ceiling gives little indication of how good they are.
 

Xix2565

International Debutant
Sure, but the ATGs we are talking about all executed the basics exceptionally well, and on top of that produced several of the greatest innings in their career based on playing against strong attacks, difficult conditions or difficult match situations. So it is a fair expectation to expect an ATG to have some to showcase.
You say that like it is meaningful when it's comparing cherrypicked examples vs cherrypicked examples and not careers vs careers. Sorry but being impactful is not just about making runs in popularised series, which is the feeling I get from all of your picks. To boldly say that there is no Kallis ton that had impact is to be totally clueless about how cricket functions. And you've already made similarly bold statements with little to no evidence while pretending to be somehow legitimate in your assessments of both players.
 

CricAddict

Cricketer Of The Year
Nah, if you are top tier, you will be seen by your opposition as top tier. I think peer rating does count for something.
People will scoff at Pant being better than Gilchrist in batting currently and they will be right, given what both have achieved so far. But if Pant goes on to do great things and improve his keeping also significantly, he could well end up the best keeper of all time and get praised by the same people. So, timing of the peer rating matters.
 

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