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Rank Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Kevin Pietersen and Michael Clarke.

thierry henry

Cricketer Of The Year
I honestly somehow can’t remember anything Smith ever did (beyond just watching him in various unspecified innings and thinking ‘yuck’) but to average 50-odd as an opener from SA probably makes him the most underrated player in the time I’ve been watching cricket?
 

Fuller Pilch

International Coach
Also Graeme Smith was great in the 4th innings when batting is seen as the toughest time (pre Baz Ball).
4th innings averages:

Smith averaged 52

Amla 37

KP 37

Clarke 31

Despite that I'd rate Clarke 2nd, and the other 2 pretty equal.

Smith
Clarke
KP and Amla
 

shortpitched713

International Regular
Yeah this is fair. And KP played 10 tests against McWarne, not a small sample.
It was at the tail end of McGrath and Warne's career though that KP faced them. Whereas Graeme Smith faced sometime in the earlier years from 2002 to 2005 before KP debuted.

Honestly, I think putting extreme emphasis on just 2 bowlers faced, and that for a small chunk of both of their careers, to judge 2 batsmen against one another is a very spurious argument.

Maybe if it was Tendulkar and Lara we were comparing then their record against McGrath and Warne would be relevant, even then I'm a bit skeptical, as it's the overall Australian attack you have to face, not just McGrath and Warne.
 

TheJediBrah

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It was at the tail end of McGrath and Warne's career though that KP faced them. Whereas Graeme Smith faced sometime in the earlier years from 2002 to 2005 before KP debuted.
McGrath and Warne in 2005-2006 were just as good as they ever were. Warne possibly the best he's ever been in the 2005 Ashes.

It's not like the overall attacks KP faced other than McWarne were that weak either. Ok maybe the 05 Ashes was a bit ordinary, with McGrath missing for a lot, Gillespie bowling club standard and some back-ups like Tait. But the 05/06 Aus attack had Stuart Clark at his peak backing up McWarne.
 

Flem274*

123/5
I don't think it matters tbh, because opening is just harder. Any competent FC bowler will be dangerous with a fresh rock in a test match, it's backing it up later that separates the test regulars from the nuffies.

When your job is to face the new ball every time, the situation grossly favours the bowler over you and often you have to play within your attacking talents so as to not get out. Low scores are inevitable. If you get through this, you still have to face the same quality of spin as the middle order does.

A 45 average as an opener is equivalent to 50 anywhere else imo. Smith is clearly better than the rest of these guys, and it isn't particularly close, regardless of perceived talent or media darling auras.

Openers are second only to strike bowlers in "things good teams have and bad teams almost never have". They're the most valuable batsmen in cricket, which I guess will be an unpopular opinion but it's not my fault I'm always right.
 

subshakerz

International Captain
It was at the tail end of McGrath and Warne's career though that KP faced them. Whereas Graeme Smith faced sometime in the earlier years from 2002 to 2005 before KP debuted.

Honestly, I think putting extreme emphasis on just 2 bowlers faced, and that for a small chunk of both of their careers, to judge 2 batsmen against one another is a very spurious argument.

Maybe if it was Tendulkar and Lara we were comparing then their record against McGrath and Warne would be relevant, even then I'm a bit skeptical, as it's the overall Australian attack you have to face, not just McGrath and Warne.
You mean in 2005 when McGrath ripped the heart out of England in the first test in his best spell ever and KP counterattacked him on debut, and Warne took the most wicket in a series in his career? Or 2007 when he top scored against Australia arguably at their strongest when England were being steamrolled? Those were the two of the most high profile pressure series this century and he came good. Has to count for something.
 

subshakerz

International Captain
I don't think it matters tbh, because opening is just harder. Any competent FC bowler will be dangerous with a fresh rock in a test match, it's backing it up later that separates the test regulars from the nuffies.

When your job is to face the new ball every time, the situation grossly favours the bowler over you and often you have to play within your attacking talents so as to not get out. Low scores are inevitable. If you get through this, you still have to face the same quality of spin as the middle order does.

A 45 average as an opener is equivalent to 50 anywhere else imo. Smith is clearly better than the rest of these guys, and it isn't particularly close, regardless of perceived talent or media darling auras.

Openers are second only to strike bowlers in "things good teams have and bad teams almost never have". They're the most valuable batsmen in cricket, which I guess will be an unpopular opinion but it's not my fault I'm always right.
I hear you. I do think as a batsman KP was the most talented of the bunch with the highest ceiling. But I do think opening is a specialist position and Smith shouldnt be compared with KP for that.

One thing Smith has going for him more than others is that he was the ultimate impact player. The guy has four tons in successful chases and SA never lost when he scored his 27 centuries. What a champ.
 

TheJediBrah

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Smith & Pietersen were both total alpha chads

Clarke was a bit but had a soft side

Not sure about Amla
 

TheJediBrah

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Tbf to Amla, it's pretty alpha to come on to bowl then walk to the crease and just blatantly throw it, not a single **** given
 

trundler

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Amla is like Dravid. Workman-like.
Nah no way. Amla played some of the most fluent and attacking clutch knocks like the Perth 196 and triple in England. He was breaking every record Kohli set in ODIs for a long while too. Different format but it shows he was more like Ponting than Dravid if anything.
 

subshakerz

International Captain
Nah no way. Amla played some of the most fluent and attacking clutch knocks like the Perth 196 and triple in England. He was breaking every record Kohli set in ODIs for a long while too. Different format but it shows he was more like Ponting than Dravid if anything.
Wasn't sure if the batting style or personality type was being discussed.
 

TheJediBrah

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Batting style is definitely relevant, but it's not the be-all and end-all. You can be a flamboyant batsman but still be a bit of a beta, likewise you can be an accumulator and still be an alpha.
 

Raz0r6ack

School Boy/Girl Captain
I hear you. I do think as a batsman KP was the most talented of the bunch with the highest ceiling. But I do think opening is a specialist position and Smith shouldnt be compared with KP for that.
Exactly. An opener isn't necessarily a better batsman then a middle order batsman. It's just preferable that you put your best batsmen at 3 or 4.

Also it doesn't mean that an opener would automatically average more as a middle order batsmen as opposed to opening.

McGrath and Warne in 2005-2006 were just as good as they ever were. Warne possibly the best he's ever been in the 2005 Ashes.

It's not like the overall attacks KP faced other than McWarne were that weak either. Ok maybe the 05 Ashes was a bit ordinary, with McGrath missing for a lot, Gillespie bowling club standard and some back-ups like Tait. But the 05/06 Aus attack had Stuart Clark at his peak backing up McWarne.
McGrath won Player of the tournament in the 2007 World Cup as well. McGrath and Warne retired on top.
 
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Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
not sure what's less relevant, TJB going full in on the weird MRA stuff or religitating a twenty-two year old USAnian election
 

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