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The Latest Comparison - Ponting or Chappell?

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Why on Earth can't it be that easy now?
Is it so difficult to believe that the current age is one of an especially low standard?
In both decades, pitches tended to be exceptionally flat and there were few particularly good bowlers around.
 

FaaipDeOiad

Hall of Fame Member
Richard said:
Why on Earth can't it be that easy now?
Is it so difficult to believe that the current age is one of an especially low standard?
In both decades, pitches tended to be exceptionally flat and there were few particularly good bowlers around.
Explain to me how the current bowling stocks in world cricket are significantly weaker than in, say, the 50s. In the 50s, aside from England, most attacks were fairly weak, particularly after Miller declined and before Davidson and Benaud arrived on the scene. Current bowling stocks are weak compared to the 90s or the 70s, sure, but not compared to most of the rest of cricket history.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Hugh Tayfield on uncovered wickets was such a poor bowler, wasn't he? Neil Ad**** was dreadful? Peter Haine and Trevor Goddard were poor?
Ray Lindwall was still a pretty damn good bowler until about 1955, too. In any case, Miller hardly experienced much of a decline - he was still a fine bowler into his final series. Benaud and Davidson, incidentally, both emerged at the start of the decade, and were pretty good pretty much from the start of their careers.
The back half saw the emergence of Hall, Sobers and Gibbs - who were such poor bowlers, weren't they? Before that, there was Ramadhin and Valentine.
India had Subhush Gupte if not much else.
Not to mention the fact that pitches-wise the 1950s was probably the least batsman-friendly decade since the 1930 revolution.
 

LongHopCassidy

International Captain
Hugh Tayfield on uncovered wickets was such a poor bowler, wasn't he? Neil Ad**** was dreadful? Peter Haine and Trevor Goddard were poor?
Nope - poor strokes were employed by inept batsmen.

The back half saw the emergence of Hall, Sobers and Gibbs - who were such poor bowlers, weren't they?
Again, it was all luck and uncovered pitches. You give the batsmen far too much credit.

Not to mention the fact that pitches-wise the 1950s was probably the least batsman-friendly decade since the 1930 revolution.
In that case, Hassett, Morris, Weekes and May are better batsmen than those of any age. I repeat, ANY AGE.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
LongHopCassidy said:
Nope - poor strokes were employed by inept batsmen.
Of course, you'd know that, having seen so much of Tayfield's bowling, wouldn't you? 8-)
Again, it was all luck and uncovered pitches. You give the batsmen far too much credit.
1, The batsmen, I'm sorry?
2, how in the blue blazes do uncovered pitches unduly affect seamers like Hall.
3, incidentally, the fact that uncovered pitches were about, and allowed the like of Tayfield\early-Gibbs (who'd just be average Joes\Gileses\Vettoris\Tufnells in this day-and-age) to be high-class bowlers was considered by many to make cricket a better, more diverse game. Not saying I agree with these sentiments, but certainly uncovered pitches are just the way things were then, and as such fingerspinners in those days WERE good bowlers, unlike today outside the subcontinent.
In that case, Hassett, Morris, Weekes and May are better batsmen than those of any age. I repeat, ANY AGE.
Err, just because the 50s was a time where batting was often difficult doesn't mean batsmen who did well then can be classified as such.


YES, I KNOW THIS POST WAS MADE WITH A HUMOROUS INTENTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ACTUALLY FOUND IT EXTREMELY FUNNY MYSELF, ESPECIALLY IN COMBINATION WITH THE AVATAR.
 

JBH001

International Regular
Richard said:
Hugh Tayfield on uncovered wickets was such a poor bowler, wasn't he? Neil Ad**** was dreadful? Peter Haine and Trevor Goddard were poor?
Ray Lindwall was still a pretty damn good bowler until about 1955, too. In any case, Miller hardly experienced much of a decline - he was still a fine bowler into his final series. Benaud and Davidson, incidentally, both emerged at the start of the decade, and were pretty good pretty much from the start of their careers.
The back half saw the emergence of Hall, Sobers and Gibbs - who were such poor bowlers, weren't they? Before that, there was Ramadhin and Valentine.
India had Subhush Gupte if not much else.
Not to mention the fact that pitches-wise the 1950s was probably the least batsman-friendly decade since the 1930 revolution.
What about Trueman, Statham, Tyson, Laker, Lock, Loader etc.
Even Alec Bedser went alright until the 1954-55 series (damn shingles).

Though the less said about those foot dragging Australian chuckers the better. ;)
 

JBH001

International Regular
LongHopCassidy said:
In that case, Hassett, Morris, Weekes and May are better batsmen than those of any age. I repeat, ANY AGE.
Morris is perhaps the finest of Australian opening batsman.
Weekes would have a lot going for him to step into an All Time WI XI.
As for PBH May, he is probably the finest English batsman since WW 2.
(Not including Hutton whose career began pre WW2)
 

aussie

Hall of Fame Member
Richard said:
Why on Earth can't it be that easy now?
Is it so difficult to believe that the current age is one of an especially low standard?
In both decades, pitches tended to be exceptionally flat and there were few particularly good bowlers around.
One of the reason they probably weren't many good bowlers around in the 1930s is because only Aus & Eng were strong and both sides had some top bowlers then, so this argument is a bit flawed..
 

andyc

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
It's a bit rough to say that Ponting isn't as good because he didn't play against the same calibre of bowlers, as it's hardly his fault. His average is almost 5 runs higher than Chappell's (8%, if you were interested), so surely that would at the very least make up for the differences in bowling attacks.
 

C_C

International Captain
andyc said:
It's a bit rough to say that Ponting isn't as good because he didn't play against the same calibre of bowlers, as it's hardly his fault. His average is almost 5 runs higher than Chappell's (8%, if you were interested), so surely that would at the very least make up for the differences in bowling attacks.
Not necessarily.
I dont think players like Hayden,Ponting, Kallis, etc. would be averaging 50+ if they played in the 70s/80s or even much of the 90s.
 

aussie

Hall of Fame Member
C_C said:
Not necessarily.
I dont think players like Hayden,Ponting, Kallis, etc. would be averaging 50+ if they played in the 70s/80s or even much of the 90s.
maybe not the 70s but if they were in top form as they are in now i'd back Ponting & Kallis at least to average 50 during the 90's.
 

C_C

International Captain
aussie said:
maybe not the 70s but if they were in top form as they are in now i'd back Ponting & Kallis at least to average 50 during the 90's.
90s ? the 90s was arguably the best decade for bowlers barring perhaps the 75-85 period.
Ponting and Kallis both were averaging below 45 well into their 25th birthday and 4-5 years after their debut. Thats the kind of stage(age and experience) where batsmen of the highest callibre (such Viv, Tendulkar, Lara, G.Chappell, Gavaskar, etc.) have already established themselves as the next big kahuna ( ie- averaging over 50 or very close to it). Steve Waugh was one notable exception but then again, Waugh earnt his stripes against some of the best attacks in cricketing history. Ponting,Kallis, etc. ( basically batsmen who've made hay in the last 5 years, particularly aussie batsmen of that period) have faced some of the worst bowling standards on some of the flattest pitches on this planet. As such, they neither have the prodigal talent nor the early establishment of their names/earnt their stripes against extremely high quality stuff to be considered in the same bracket as the greatest of batsmen- not yet anyways.
Given the difference in pitches and bowling stocks we see currently, players like Ponting, Kallis, Dravid, etc. would have to average 60 or very close to it (at the end of their careers) to be considered on par with the Laras and Tendulkars of the world.
 

Matt79

Global Moderator
FaaipDeOiad said:
I'm simply indicating that the attacks aren't crap. Bowling strength in the world today isn't what it was in the 90s, but people vastly overestimate the drop in class all the time, and use all sorts of insane hyperbole to back it up. Every attack in the world is garbage except for England? Give me a break. Every period in test history has poor bowlers, great bowlers, average bowlers and everything else, and every batsman makes more runs against the crappy ones than the good ones. People automatically assume that because a player played in an era of more difficult bowlers means they proved themselves more, but it's not necessarily true. It's like assuming that because Gavaskar and Ian Chappell made lots of runs against the West Indies means they had the best of the great West Indies bowlers from around the same time, which isn't entirely accurate.

I'll give a crude example using Chappell to add some substance to the debate. Arrow used the "30 average" barrier to seperate "good" bowlers from poor ones. Seems fair enough, right? So how many times did Chappell make big runs against attacks including several bowlers averaging under 30? I'll use career averages and at least 100 wickets to make it simpler.


Centuries against attacks including 4 "good" bowlers
West Indies, Brisbane 1979 - Andy Roberts (25.61), Michael Holding (23.69), Colin Croft (23.30), Joel Garner (20.98)

Centuries against attacks including 3 "good" bowlers
England, MCG 1975 - Chris Old (28.11), Geoff Arnold (28.30), Derek Underwood (25.84)
West Indies, Brisbane 1975 (both innings) - Andy Roberts (25.61), Michael Holding (23.69), Lance Gibbs (29.09)
West Indies, SCG 1976 - Andy Roberts (25.61), Michael Holding (23.69), Lance Gibbs (29.09)
England, Old Trafford 1977 - Bob Willis (25.20), Chris Old (28.11), Derek Underwood (25.84)
England, MCG 1980 - Ian Botham (28.40), Bob Willis (25.20), Derek Underwood (25.84)

Centuries against attacks including 2 "good" bowlers
England, The Oval 1972 - Geoff Arnold (28.30) and John Snow (26.67)
England, SCG 1974 - Bob Willis (25.20) and Geoff Arnold (28.30)
Pakistan, MCG 1977 - Imran Khan (22.81), Iqbal Qasim (28.11)
England, WACA 1982 - Ian Botham (28.40), Bob Willis (25.20)
England, Adelaide 1982 - Ian Botham (28.40), Bob Willis (25.20)



Now, Chappell scored 24 centuries in his career. If you rate all the attacks with 3 or more bowlers averaging under 30 as good ones, 7 of them came against good attacks, while a full 12 came against attacks that were simply crap by the standard given. By that same criteria, right now Australia, England, South Africa and Pakistan would probably have good attacks, while India and Sri Lanka would fall in the middle with 2 good bowlers.

If you look at the names as well, the likes of Geoff Arnold and Derek Underwood (on a normal wicket) don't exactly inspire massive fear. Greg Chappell obviously played some brilliant innings against great bowlers. He scored a century against one of the best attacks of all time in 1979, one in each innings against Holding and Roberts in 75, and also faced Botham and Willis at their best in the early 80s with success, and made runs against Hadlee and Imran with their weak support too. However, the assumption that because he played in the same era as Imran, Hadlee, Holding, Roberts, Garner, Croft, Botham etc and still had a good average means that he scored heaps against all of them and faced awesome attacks every time he made runs is false. Like Ponting, his career crossed with some great bowlers, and sometimes he faced them and did well, but a lot of the time he made runs against the weaker bowlers around, because they were easier to make runs off. If you did a similar study on Ponting you'd probably get about the same result.
Great Post!
 

Matt79

Global Moderator
C_C said:
90s ? the 90s was arguably the best decade for bowlers barring perhaps the 75-85 period.
Ponting and Kallis both were averaging below 45 well into their 25th birthday and 4-5 years after their debut. Thats the kind of stage(age and experience) where batsmen of the highest callibre (such Viv, Tendulkar, Lara, G.Chappell, Gavaskar, etc.) have already established themselves as the next big kahuna ( ie- averaging over 50 or very close to it). Steve Waugh was one notable exception but then again, Waugh earnt his stripes against some of the best attacks in cricketing history. Ponting,Kallis, etc. ( basically batsmen who've made hay in the last 5 years, particularly aussie batsmen of that period) have faced some of the worst bowling standards on some of the flattest pitches on this planet. As such, they neither have the prodigal talent nor the early establishment of their names/earnt their stripes against extremely high quality stuff to be considered in the same bracket as the greatest of batsmen- not yet anyways.
Given the difference in pitches and bowling stocks we see currently, players like Ponting, Kallis, Dravid, etc. would have to average 60 or very close to it (at the end of their careers) to be considered on par with the Laras and Tendulkars of the world.
Not being a world beater before you're 25 doesn't mean you can't be an all time great. There are a few different discussions going on on different threads re the different natures of cricketing systems in different countries etc. Plus, such a distinction discounts the greatness of players like Waugh, and to an extent Ponting, who go away, analyse what isn't working for them and then fix it. It has been commented previously in a variety of media that as much as anything else, for Ponting getting married and achieving a settled and happy personal life coincided with his transition from good player to great player. Does the fact that it took him a few years to get his head right diminish him as a cricketeer, given its now manifest that he succeeded in doing so?
 

FaaipDeOiad

Hall of Fame Member
C_C said:
Not necessarily.
I dont think players like Hayden,Ponting, Kallis, etc. would be averaging 50+ if they played in the 70s/80s or even much of the 90s.
Out of curiosity, do you actually have a reason for that opinion, besides that they didn't average as high in the early part of their careers as they do now? Given that Ponting was only 26 in 2001 after which his career really kicked off (same with Kallis), it's perfectly reasonable to suggest that he simply wasn't as good then as he is now, and that explains the difference in performance. Indeed, if you've watched Ponting over the course of his career, it's quite obvious that he's a much better player than he was 5 years ago. Beyond that, Ponting has a superb record against pace bowling on wickets of all kinds, and in the last few years he's done extremely well against spinners in all conditions as well.

I can understand the argument with Hayden, because he was percieved to have a weakness against good swing bowling for a long time. I think that weakness was significantly overblown, but nevertheless it was there to some degree, and it's reasonable to suggest that if he'd faced quality swing bowling more often he'd be less likely to be successful, particularly as an opener. Ponting on the other hand has proven himself in all conditions, and the only real question mark you could place over his career is his ability against spin... and given that we live in one of the strongest periods of spin bowling ever, that weakness has certainly been tested over and over again in a way it wouldn't have been if Ponting had played in the 80s or 90s. So what's the weakness in his game that makes you think he would average at least 10 runs per innings less than he does now if he played in the 90s?
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
It may have been overblown, and I think the criticism Hayden receives on here is sometimes too harsh, but you must find it very striking that a few people on this board (TEC and Richard for two, whose opinions I often disagree with) did pick Hayden to have a bad Ashes series in England due to the quality of England's attack and swinging conditions. He didn't do much to prove them wrong. They were spot on.

It does look like he's certainly sorted himself out, but all those comments in regards to Hayden's problems with swing came about prior to the Ashes, and the Ashes did a lot in justifying that.
 

FaaipDeOiad

Hall of Fame Member
Jono said:
It may have been overblown, and I think the criticism Hayden receives on here is sometimes too harsh, but you must find it very striking that a few people on this board (TEC and Richard for two, whose opinions I often disagree with) did pick Hayden to have a bad Ashes series in England due to the quality of England's attack and swinging conditions. He didn't do much to prove them wrong. They were spot on.

It does look like he's certainly sorted himself out, but all those comments in regards to Hayden's problems with swing came about prior to the Ashes, and the Ashes did a lot in justifying that.
Yeah. There was something to it, but I think Hayden developed a technique which left him vulnerable against swing because it suited the attacks he actually faced in test cricket between 2000 and 2005. Most of his problems were caused by the same things which he used to dominate bowlers who weren't swinging the ball, like batting miles out of his crease and putting in a huge stride to anything that was pitched up and looking to drive it. If you're facing conventional swing as a left-hander you'll get yourself in a lot of trouble playing like that, but if you aren't you'll make a lot of easy runs.

He could obviously play swing early in his career, otherwise he would never have averaged mid 50s for Queensland given the way the Gabba played then. He has plenty of good traits for that anyway, like being an excellent leaver of the ball, and having superb concentration. He has been playing it a lot better recently as well, so I'd argue he simply went back to what he was doing right in the first place.

Nevertheless, it's fair to argue that Hayden wouldn't have been as successful as he has been if he'd played the way he has in a different era, even if I don't believe he would have been an outright failure. I don't think it's really fair to say that about Ponting.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
JBH001 said:
What about Trueman, Statham, Tyson, Laker, Lock, Loader etc.
Even Alec Bedser went alright until the 1954-55 series (damn shingles).
Yeah, Sean said apart from that attack - no-one could possibly deny it's potency.
Though the less said about those foot dragging Australian chuckers the better. ;)
Most of them weren't even that good, though.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
JBH001 said:
Morris is perhaps the finest of Australian opening batsman.
The all-too-forgotten Bill Woodfull was probably better IMO.
Weekes would have a lot going for him to step into an All Time WI XI.
IMO in the top 10 of all-time at worst.
Only Bradman and Headley certainly ahead for mine.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
aussie said:
One of the reason they probably weren't many good bowlers around in the 1930s is because only Aus & Eng were strong and both sides had some top bowlers then, so this argument is a bit flawed..
Err, South Africa, India and West Indies mightn't have been as strong as Eng and Aus but they certainly weren't poor, at least nowhere near as poor as some of the nonsense we see today.
 

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