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Harsh Thakor

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About Harsh Thakor

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  • Birthday 12/20/1967

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  1. Remember how Headley,Hobbs and Trumper were champions on bad wickets or even Vishy.On bad wickets with cracks Steve Waugh or Dravid could overshadow Tendulkar or Lara.Similar compassion of Ian Chappell Border and Miandad with Pollock and Viv. https://www.cricketweb.net/the-curious-case-of-the-don-and-the-sticky-wicket/
  2. This is my choice of batsman for a pitch untrue for test cricket with inconsistent bounce. 1.Victor Trumper Proved his prowess on wet sticklers scoring at a mythical run rate.Average of 0ver 39 not impressive but if you consider nature of wickets and domination you would have to regard Trumper as mythical. 2.Jack Hobbs Scored half of his 197 centuries on bad pitches and around 30,000 runs before the War.Even Bradman could not match his craftsmanship on a pitch with cracks or soaked with rain.His hundreds agaisnt Australia at the Oval in 1926 and at Melbourne in1928-29 for sheer virtuosity in conditions of adversity,may never be surpassed. 3.George Headley Outscored Bradman on wet pitches and played the role of a lone crusader more than anyone.Principally a backfoot player but still posessed an amazing range of strokes.I doubt Lara or Viv could have surpassed Headley on tearing pitch.Averaged 60+ which was remarkable. Provoked fans to term Bradman as the 'White Headley.'Considering his era tok batting to untraversed heights. 4.Ian Chappell Whn the chips were down or when a side was n the depths of despair Ian could be more handy than even Viv Richards or Greg Chappell.I can never forget his dancing down the spinners to combat vicious turn or fending of or hooking to confront short-pitched deliveries at express pace.Averaged over 50 at one down as well as scored 12 centuries.Better player of a bouncing ball or spin than brother Greg or Steve Waugh. 5.Alan Border/Neil Harvey The ultimate champion in losing causes but still won important games or series for Australia.No left hander was as combative on bad wickets as Border who resembled a surgeon performing an operation.At his best when scoring 2 150's in a single test at Lahore on a turning pitch in 1980 ,100and 98.n.o at Trinidad in 1984 and 79 n.o at Melbourne v England in 1982-83. Harvey could bat like a magician when the situation demanded like when sculpting a famous win in run chase of 336 runs against South Africa in 1951.Instrumental in shaping Australia into aside of world beaters revealing skill of mythical heights in adverse conditions in England. 6.Javed Miandad Although not as agressive as Viv Richards or as correct as Gavaskar morally more combative than anyone on his day.Border may have been a whisker ahead to bat for your life ,bit not as effective in niggling opponents to the limit.Whether on a wet English pitch or a final day Australian wicket with inconsistent bounce Javed was the ultimate battler.Miandad wast he ultimate catalyst as an improviser.Chosen over Drvaid or Steve Waugh because of the weight of his sheer character. 7.Gary Sobers /WG Grace Not only could he take opposing bowling attacks to complete submission Sobers also was master in conquering bad wickets.A perfect illustration was his 1113 against England at Kingston i 1968-69 when he all but won the game from the depths of despair.His 254 at Melbourne in 1972 was not far behind nor his 132 in the tied test in terms of sheer prowess.Sobers would also played a role as a bowler and all-rounder overall. Grace registered scores of 344 and 400 on wicket of uncut grass and in such conditions amassed 54896 runs , scored 126 centuries and scored over 1000 run sin 28 English seasons.For sheer domination ,presence or impact Grace had no equal.Grace also captured 2876 wickets and took 100 wickets in a season 8 times. The likes of Bradman,Lara,Tendulkar,Gavaskar,Pollock ,Barry or Viv just miss out as they were at their best on genuine wickets.Rahul Dravid came closest to missing out here or even Steve Waugh as bad wicket specialists.
  3. These are the batsman I would choose in an Asian all-time test XI if the wicket was broken or the pitch untrue.On a deteriorating pitch with cracks and uneven bounce these would be my ultimate Asian batsman. 1.Vijay Merchant Proved his prowess on the wet pitches in England in the season of 1936 and 1946 compiling. mind boggling aggregate scores of over 1300 runs..Epitome of technical perfection resembling a surgeon performing an operation.Noone did his gardening better . 2.Virendra Sehwag/Majid Khan Sehwag's lightning or razor sharp reflexes could overcome any barrier of technical shortcoming.His attacking strokeplay could be the most effective weapon on a wicket with unpredictable bounce.His 201 at Galle in 2011 facing Murlitharan and 84 at Kolkata on a difficult pitch are testimony of this as well as his 158 in 2004 at Madras against Australia. Like Sehwag Majid posessed limited footwork but still possessed the genius of a magician and surpass even a Barry or Viv Richards on an untrue pitch as he displayed against Glamorgan in 1968 when scoring 156 at Tunbridge Wells. 3.Rahul Dravid Concentration and determination personified.Would overshadow Tendulkar in a crisis or on bad pitches.His 148 at Leeds in 2002,big partnerships at home and away with VVS Laxman against Australia and back to back fifties in the final test at Kingston in 206 are proof of this.Tendulkar was more correct or flamboyant but it was Rahul who made more subtle adaptation on difficult tracks. 4.Gundappa Vishwanath In his era was more effective on pitches of uneven bounce than his brother-in -law Sunil Gavaskar.He proved this against West Indies at Madras in 1974-75 and1978-79 on wickets almost as quick as Perth ,where his strokeplay embezzled and won India the game.Vishy also took India out of adversity when scoring match-winning 114 on challenging track at Melbourne in 198081 and 78 and 79 at Dundin in 1975-76 that saved the test.Vishy's wristwork was the idol foil on pitch with cracks who could produce strokes of a magician. 5.Javed Miandad Not the most technically correct but a master in improvising strokes in accordance to the given conditions or situation.The ultimate battler of his day who niggled the best of bowlers more than anyone.A revelation at Perth in 1978-79 when scoring 135 ,in Bangalore in 1983 or at Trinidad in 1988. 6.VVS Laxman /Mohinder Amarnath VVS Laxman was the best Asian batsman I have eve seen in a run chase who triggered off and steered India to some of its most famous victories in run chases against Australia in 2010 and Sri Lanka.Ressurected India from the grave to reach pinnacle of glory in famous partnerships with Rahul Dravid against Australia at Kolkata in 2002 and Adelaide in 2003-04.In many ways an incarnate of Vishwanath who could drop his wrists to the best of deliveries and bisect the gaps.I have rarely seen batsman manouvre a ball with such grace as Laxman in adverse going. Mohinder was not as talented as VVS or as much a match-winner but posessed supreme technical skill and was the ultimate epitome of determination.In West Indies in 1983 when aggregating 593 runs at an average of 66 performed better facing express pace than anyone arguably in history of test cricket.Earlier in Pakistan when scoring 584 runs he tackled Imran at his best better than anyone.I have rarely seen batsman as resolute or rock solid and his 80 and 91 at Barbados in 1983 was the ultimate manifestation of supreme skill of batsmanship facing adversity. 7.Asif Iqbal Few batsman at no6 played more great innings in a crisis.Significant that Asif turned more games than Zaheer ,Majid or Javed in his day.His 135 at the Oval in 1967,152 n.o at Brisbane and 120 at Sydney as well as his 135 at Kingston in 1977 are an ample illustration .In WSC cricket he was the most successful Pakistani batsman.Asif could also perform the role of a useful stock bowler. The likes of Sunil Gavaskar,Sachin Tendulkar,,Aravinda de'Silva ,Wasim Raja,Inzamam or Salim Malik just miss out.Virat Kolhi has never been at his best on bad wickets.I strongly feel Gavaskar was troubled on tracks where the ball jumped or bounce uneven .Tendulkar maybe the best batsman ever but still not as resolute or defiant as a Mohinder or Dravid or as crafty as a Vishy or Laxman.
  4. Please come back here ICF viewers.Plead your participation.Appreciate.
  5. This is my list in order of merit of the 12best cricketers of all timeoverall-80%consideration to tests and 20% to other forms,apart from the likes of Hobbs and Grace who played much less test cricket.In the case of W.G Grace and Jack Hobbs much greater emphasis to1st class cricket. 1.W G Grace The inventor of the art of batting who stood out like a colossus like no sportsman ever.If you consider the condition she batted in he could well have been the best of all batsman.No cricketer ever was as impactful or defined cricket as much.He conquered the most treacherous pitches with grass uncut like a surgeon successfully performing an operation on a patient considered incurable.Aggregated 54896 runs at an avergae around 39 and averaged only 32 in tests .Possibly had he played in Bradman's era he would have statistically matched him 8 performing the double of 1000.Also took 2876 scalps at an average of around 18 .For 8 successive seasons achieved the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets.When scoring 400 and 344 he looked closest to performing a miracle on the cricket field .In 1876 scored 2622 runs in a season and in August scored more runs than any batsman ever.Playing against Kent for Gentleman MCC he amassed 344 when his team was 329 runs in the arrears.,the highest score ever made till then in 1stclass cricket.That season he also achieved a heroic feat of scoring 177 and capturing 8 wickets for 69,for Gloucestershire against Nottinghamshire. 2.Gary Sobers Morally no all-rounder came near Sobers who too all-round cricketing skill to regions of divinity.No bowler had a greater bowling repertoire,no batsman had a greater range of strokes and no fielder could pull of more stunning catches.A three-in one cricketer who could turn a complexion of game 360 degrees. ni every department.Statistics do scant justice to the extent of how he towered above any other cricketer of his day.No allrounder equalled Sobers' majestic performances in 1970 for rest of the world when he took 21 wickets and scored 583 runs or in 1966 in England when he scored 722 runs and took 20 scalps.Averages 57.78 with the bat . Even if he was overall statistically expensive as a bowler averaging 34.03 he was outstanding in peak era for his time ,averaging around 27 .In my view would have been by a margin of a whisker more impactful than Bradman in a test side. 3.Jack Hobbs Some cricket historians rate Hobbs better than Bradman in all types of conditions.Hobbs was more prolific on wet or bad pitches and was more proven in a crisis.Hobbs still has the highest first class aggregate of 61237 runs and scored 197 centuries,which is still a record.I would not envisage even a Bradman,Tendulkar,Steve Smith or Lara equalling Hobbs in unfavorable conditions,who made the technical improvisation of a magician.Hobbs participated in a record 166 century partnerships.No opening batsman has equalled the quality of his centuries at the Oval in 1926 and at Melbourne in 1928-29 which determined the fate of the Ashes.Above all never played for his individual records.In modern era I would have backed him to average around 65 in tests .It is worth reading historians account, of how Hobbs batting completely turned the complexion of a game when his team was in dire straits and he could bat in accordance with the situation as noone ever could ,including Bradman..For longevity he was the king,scoring 98 centuries after the age of 40 and 117 centuries after the Ist world war.No batsman ever scored over 2000 runs in a season 17 times. 4.Sachin Tendulkar No batsman ever may score 100 International centuries or dominate a sport at the top for such a long sustained duration.Nor did anyone take batting skill to such sublime levels,conquering every type of conditions or wickets.The youngest to achieve all the 1000 run landmarks.Arguably did not deliver a knockout punch to win games as much a he could have like a Viv or Lara,but at his best virtually played the role of a lone crusader.I doubt any middle order batsman ever faced as much pressure.Posessed every component of a perfect batsman more than anyone.Few batsman made a Muhammad Ali style comeback as Sachin did in 2008 down under. 5.Don Bradman Displayed glory of supremacy in sport more than anyone ever,like an invincible emperor reaching heights of divinty.Statistically on another tier from any cricketer.Bradman literally re-defined the law of averages, putting the best mathematicians in a quandry in how to evaluate or scale his figures.None ever will even come close to his test average of 99.94 or rate of making a century in every 2nd test.No batsman ever so clinically dissected a bowling attack or posessed such phenomenal powers of concentration .However not at his best on wet or bad wickets or against express pace as shown in the 'bodyline' series.Also only played in England and Australia.I would back him to still average around 70,-75 in tests in modern era . Still I doubt he would surpass Tendulkar in all forms of the game ,play spin better than Lara ,tackle express pace better than a Viv or Gavaskar or better the strike rat of Sehwag or Gilchrist. 6.Viv Richards No batsman ever delivered as convincing a knockout punch or placed opposing bowlers to submission as Viv.Considering his era in peak period the best after Bradman,averaging above 60 from 1976-81.Viv took domination of bowling to regions of divinity which he illustrated at a crescendo in Kerry Packer supertests in 1977-78.The best ever batsman in ODI cricket,who championed many a final.Fell out because of inconsistency in the latter part of his career.Turned the complexion of game more than any batsman ever who at his best blazed a cricket field like a streak of light shimmering.If he wished could have averaged above 60.The best ever against sheer pace.Won more ODI tournament finals than Tendulkar. 7.Shane Warne Re-defined the role of the leg-spinner being the greatest match-winning cricketer of his day.Warne was a major architect of the ressurection of Australia into emerging what was arguably the greatest cricketing power ever. He created more prodigious turn than anyone. in addition to having an unplayable flipper.No cricketer of his day could make such a dramatic turn in fortunes of a game.708 wickets haul was less than Muralitharan,but morally he was considerably more impactful and better overseas. 8.Sydney Barnes Figures simply speak for themselves taking 7 scalps per tset at an average of 16.49.At medium pace cut the ball both ways with the skill or deception of a wizard.The equivalent of Bradman to bowling.He jagged the ball in a manner which made it unplayable for batsman. 9.Imran Khan No cricketer did so much to define the shape of it's cricketing destiny as Imran .From 1981-87 he was the most outstanding all-rounder in the world,outplaying Botham and Kapil.Imran pioneered the art of reverse swing and from 1981-83 be acme the bets fast bowler in the world.His performances and leadership enabled Pakistan to win their first test series on Indian and Englsih soil and morally capture the test world champion tag in 1988 in West Indies with a drawn series.In 1992 he ressurected his team from the grave to reach the pinnacle of glory in the 1992 world cup.No paceman performed a well against the best team of his era,West Indies.In peak era arguably performed better than any paceman ever averaging around 17 with a strike rate of around 43 balls per wicket.What went against him was that he was not at his best with both bat and ball. 10.Brian Lara Simply the equivalent of a Rembrandt or a Beethoven to batting who at his best could sit with the Gods of Olympus.Took batting wizardry to regions unexplored ,executing strokes that were surreal.No batsman ever with such relish played the role of a lone crusader to win or turn games single-handedly as Lara.None had a better penchant for registering mammoth scores or being so mercurial even after crossing three figures.Not as technically sound as Tendulkar or as merciless as Viv Richards but for sheer aesthecism,ahead of both these icons.Inconsistency marred his career but no batsman scored such a high percentage of his team's runs after Bradman and Headley,than Lara.Arguably 2nd only to Bradman ,amongst test batsman.In peak period better than Tendulkar and proved himself more in a crisis than Viv or Sobers.To me the best left-hand batsman of all.His most defining moments were in the 1999 Frank Worrel trophy and in Sri Lanka in 2002,.In 2 successive tests against Australia in 1999 after his team was one down, he resurrected his team from the grave to reach a pinnacle of glory.In Sri Lanka he aggregated a record 688 runs,for a 3 test series.Also captured the world record score twice ,which no batsman has ever done.Best test strike rate of most of his era of around 60.Arguably at best,no batsman ever reached such heights of glory. 11.Malcolm Marshall No right arm paceman disguised which direction a ball would swing and nonone mastered the art of skidding a ball as effectively.Took pace bowling artistry to metaphysical regions with complete mastery of bio-mechanics.Even as a component of the greatest pace quarter ever,convincingly overshadowed every bowler who comprised it.His strike rate of 46.7 and avergae of 20.94 speak for itself,even if he could not join the elusive club of those who captured 400 or more scalps.A more creative version of Dennis Lillee.Did not swing a ball so much but posessed lethal swerve.In England in 1988 when taking 35 scalps,bowled biter than anyone ever.A ore than useful batsman,too. 12.Walter Hammond Unfortunate to have played in the , in addition to taking 85 wickets.era of Bradman but still often came into touching distance of him.In full flow none of his time was more majestic than Hammond,who resembled a Galleon in full sail.Scored 7624 runs at an average of 58.46.Equivalent of a great all-rounder in a later era.At his best could be more impressive than even the Don,scoring the fastest ever triple century.His 240 at the Oval was amongst the game's classics. 13.Wasim Akram Revolutionized the art of fast bowling more than anyone ,virtually taking it to another dimension .Wasim was the ultimate magician taking bowling wizardry to regions of the divine.In peak ear overshadowed Waqar,Ambrose an Donald in terms of bowling avergae.Took a record 502 scalps in ODIS.In combined cricket to me the bets of all paceman,considering the support he received from his teammates.For a great part of his career averaged around 22 with the ball and had a strike rate around 50.At one stage also a very fine batsman,in the class of a Kapil Dev.In Australia in 1989-90 arguably bowled better than any overseas paceman ever and displayed all-round skill ni the Botham class.Best paceman of his time against West Indies and best ever on flat tracks of the sub-continent.Performed two test and ODI hat tricks.Scored 257 against Zimbabwe .Best achievement as his match-winning performance in 1992 world cup final.Whne taking 21 wickets in a home series in 1990 against West Indies revealed pace bowling mastery on flat pancakes at its supre me height. 14.Ian Botham At his best the best ever match-winner amongst all-rounders exuded cricketing energy at it's zenith.No all-rounder ressurected a side from a grave like Botham did in the 1981 Ashes at home or in the 1980 Jubileee test in Mumbai.Even if not as artistic in sum total more explosive at his best than Sobers or Miller,whose wickets,runs or catches could make a more sensational twist or turn to match than anyone.From 1997-82 2nd to only Sobers.No batsman hit a ball harder,bowled more intelligently or leaped more spectacularly in the slips than Botham.Sadly lost consistency after 1982 when he was overshadowed by Kapil Dev and Imran Khan. Relatively poor against West Indies but neverthless in 1984 at Lords against them scored 81 runs and took 8-103.In 1986-87 gave a sterling allround performance down under to enable England to retain the Ashes.Scored a century and captured 5 wickets in test matches on a record 5 occasions.Best all-rounder statistically combing centuries(14) and five wicket hauls.(27) 15.Jacques Kallis Statistically the best all-rounder ever in terms of aggregate and average.From point of pure all-round skill 2nd to only Sobers and to bat for your life the best ever batsman amongst all-rounders.At his best with ball potentially as dangerous as Botham or Kapil and in small phases excelled with both ball and bat.As a pure batsman in tests next to only Tendulkar in terms of run aggregate and centuries.Remarkably captured 5 wickets and scored a century twice in test cricket.However lacked the 'x' factor and at times did not sufficiently press the pedal on the accelerator.He also scored quite a bulk of his runs against the weaker teams of his era.Noteworthy also that he hardly bowled much for most of his career.A champion in terms of consistency ,but could not surpass the match-winning prowess of a Sobers.Imran,Botham or Miller.Arguably the leading candidate to replace Sobers in a team.Played a major role as an architect in enabling South Africa to reach the top of the pedestal in test cricket.
  6. This is my list of the best batsman from the sub-continent on bad,wet, broken wickets unfit for test cricket.. 1Javed Miandad 2.Vijay Merchant 3.Gundappa Vishwanath /Majid Khan 5.Sunil Gavaskar 6.Aravinda De'Silva/ Rahul Dravid 8.Sachin Tendulkar 9.Hanif Mohammad 10.VVS Laxman 11.Mohinder Amarnath 12.Salim Malik 13.Saed Anwar 14.Kumar Sangakkara/Mahela Jayewardene Noone posesesd more grit or determination of Javed,who was a true streetfighter.In 1936 and 1946 in wet English summers Merchant arguably even surpassed skill of Bradman.On bad wickets Vishy and Majid could bat like magicians.Gavaskar was the ultimate epitome of mental strength .De'Silva and Dravid did their gardening with precision few ever batsman did playing in exact tune to the given conditions.Tendulkar played some of his best knocks on bad tracks like at Bangalore against Pakistan or at Durban in 2010-11.In a 4th innings Laxman was close to the best of all time like he showed playing against Australia and Sri Lanka .Monder Amarnath was combat personified as much as any great batsman as he proved in the Carribean in 1983 and in Pakistan earlier.Salim Malik in precarious conditions at Leeds in 1987 and 1992 played the role of a lone crusader and also came out on top on a bad track in Trinidad in 1988 .Few openers batted better when the going was going against them as Anwar could like at Kolkata in 1999 when scoring an unbeaten 188.Sanga and Mahela took mastery to regions of the sublime on difficult tracks,Younis Khan resembled a soldier when batting as much as any cricketer. Fans should see the video youtube of the batting of Vishy and Majid at their best on bad tracks which even Viv or Lara may not surpass or even those of Dravid or Laxman which exhibitd more application on a treacherous tack than even Tendulkar.Notably Gavaskar overshadowed Tendulkar in the 4th innings.
  7. These are is my teams strictly on pitches virtually not fit for test cricket which are a blessing for bowlers and a nightmare for batsman. My all-time XI on a bad wicket with uneven bounce Victor Trumper Jack Hobbs George Headley Ian Chappell (C) Neil Harvey Gary Sobers Kumar Sangakkara (W) Curtly Ambrose Derek Underwood Sydney Barnes Murlitharan Trumper was the ultimate champion or genius on bad tracks when you asess his scores on wet tracks or in the dampest seasons.Hobbs was the ultimate master on wet sticklers where he scored the bulk of his 197 centuries overall and 12 hundreds in test cricket.Headley overshadowed Bradman on wet tracks making Bradman the 'White Headley.'In bad conditions Ian Chappell would overshadow the likes of even brother Greg,Viv or Gavaskar.Harvey spectacularly won game for Australia chasing a total of 33 v South Africa in 1951.Sobers played some of his best innings on difficult wickets like his 113 at Kingston v England or when engaged in a staggering run stand with cousin David Holford at Leeds in 1966.Sanga exhibited great skill on tracks with low bounce.Ambrose was the ultimate destroyer in a 4th innings to win a game defending a low total like against England in 1994 and South Africa in 1992 .On bad wicket Underwood could skittle aside out for less than even hundred runs.Barnes was more unplayable than anyone in bowler friendly conditions with his movement of the seam often unplayable .Murli was more lethal than Warne on bad wicket.Without hesitation Ian Chappell would be my skipper. My post-1970 test team for a bad wicket Gavaskar Majid Ian Chappell (C) Border Miandad Steve Waugh Sangakkara (W) Ambrose Underwood Mcgrath Murlitharan Of the names that did not make in all-time team for a bad wicket I am justifying their merit here.Gavaskar often displayed his prowess on the rained wickets in England like at Old Trafford in 1974 as well as on broken tracks like at Bangalore in 1987 v Pakistan .At Tunbridge Wells in 1969 when scoring 156 against Glamorgan Majid surpassed the skill of even a Sobers or Viv when tackling the uneven bounce.Border often played the role of a lone crusader like when scoring 2 150's on a turning pitch in Pakistan in 1980 .Miandad ultimate streetfighter niggling even the likes of Lillee .Waugh turned or won more games from the depths of despair in his day mastering the uneven bounce on tack sin West Indies and the sub-continent.Mcgrath's line and length was so consistent that on a bad pitch any team would rattle. By a whisker I preferred the grit or determination of a Miandad.Border,Ian Chappell or Steve Waugh to the likes of Lara,Viv ,Tendulkar or Kallis on an untrue pitch in a test match or broken wicket.
  8. This is my list in order of merit of the top 15 batsman ever facing spin bowling 1.Brian Lara-688 runs facing Murlitharan in 2003 on turning tracks proves the point.Artistry in regions of divinty. 2.Sachin Tendulkar.-noone tore Warne to the shreds as Sachin did be it in India,Sharjah or Australia .Epitome of technical mastery. 3=Rohan Kanhai/Everton Weekes-Batted more like Bradman ever than anyone in their day demolishing the likes of Gupte.Traversed regions of domination unexplored.Huge run aggregates in series versus India. 5.Ian Chappell-The ultimate master on bad wickets beautifully tackling the likes of Prasanna in India in 1969-70.Marvellous footwork.Beautifully danced down the pitch. 6.Zaheer Abbas-Supreme timing and style who on his day could sit besides the Gods of Olympus.No batsman was more prolific against the Indian spin attack when he averaged 195 with 583 runs at home in 1978-79 nor when averaging 130 with 3 centuries in 1982-83.Overall scored 5 double centuries in his career including 2 in England facing top quality spin.Mesmerised Derek Underwood and Bishen Bedi. 7.Virendra Sehwag-Never seen a batsman express such ferocity facing spin on turning tracks as Viru did when scoring 201 in Sri Lanka .No batsman tore spinners apart at such a n incredible strike rate as Sehwag. 8Javed Miandad-Record speaks for itself with his great consistency on Indian soil in 1983 and 1987 scoring a fifty almost each time.In 1978-79 tore the Indian spin quartet to pieces.Few batsman made such subtle technical adjustments 9.Sunil Gavaskar -His 96 on a broken wicket against Pakistan is possibly the best test innings ever in a losing cause or broken wicket.In a total package the ultimate epitome of batting perfection . 10.Alvin Kalicharan -Kanhai.,the other way round.Played a gem when scoring 124 at Bangalore in 1974-75 and also when scoring 187 at Mumbai in 1978-79. 11.Mohammad Azharuddin-Often a class act facing spin with his magical wristwork,resembling a dancer.Simply took spinners by the scruff of the neck to turn or win games,particularly at home. 12.Kumar Sangakkara -His record simply speaks for itself being a master in pulverizing the turning ball. 13.Neil Harvey-At his best revealed magical touch against the turning ball in England and South Africa. 14.Alan Border-Ultimate man to play the role of alone crusader in a crisis.Proved his prowess when scoring 2 150's in a single test at Lahore on turning wicket.Prolific on turning pitches in India . 15.Michael Clarke-The finest Australian batsman of the recent generation facing spin as he demonstrated in India in 2004 and 2010.Could improvise brilliantly on bad tracks.
  9. My list of the 15 best left-handed cricketers of all in order of merit.Posted in commemoration of International left handers day. 1.Gary Sobers-Allround cricketing skill to heights of divinity.Figures simply don't tell the story.Could turn a game 360 degrees.50 years ago took a allround cricketing performance to a scale unequalled when scoring 583 runs and capturing 21 scalps. In England in 1966 achieved heroics no one ever did when capturing 20 wickets and scoring 722 runs.Had as much a repertoire of strokes as any batsman ,more versatile than any bowler and could pull off the most incredible catches.He could bowl pace,fast-medium spin and chinaman.In my view as a cricketer was more impactful than even Bradman. 2.Wasim Akram-Took the art of fast bowling or wizardry to metaphysical depths traversing unexplored regions with his reverse swing.At his best a world-call allrounder or batsman too.Placed above Lara because of ODI performance and also because of his greater success as a skipper.No pace man ever was as penetrative or lethal on flat tracks.The ultimate magician .Played a major role in Pakistan winning the world cup in 1992 . 3.Brian Lara-The most gifted batsman I ever saw who took aesthecism or creating genius to a height unsurpased.Could single-handedly turn or win games more than anyone .Twice supassed world record score and scored most double centuries after Bradman.No batsman carried the mantle of weak batting side as much as Lara.Argubaly the 2nd best test batsman ever to Bradman. 4.Graeme Pollock-Arguably more talented than Sobers who could master any conditions and had he had a full test carer may have bee 2nd to only Bradman.Gave exceptional performances in testing English condition s and high class Australian bowling.2nd best average of 60.97 before Steve Smith arrived on the scene. 5.Alan Border-The ultimate man to bat for your life.Border has the best overseas average of any batsman of his time .No left-hander was harder to dislodge or better on bad wickets.No Australian batsman conquered all types of conditions like Border,including Ponting,Chappell and Smith.More consistent than even Lara and overseas the best left-handed batsman of all in terms of records.No batsman averaged more in a series against the great West Indies pace attack than Border did when averaging 0ver 74 in 1984 on Carribean soil.Alos averaged 131.22 on turning wickets in Pakistan in 1980 and in four successive Ashes series in England averaged over 55..Also a great leader who played a major role in laying the base or breeding ground for Australia acquiring the mantle of the champion test side in 1995 and also led Australia to win their 1st ever world cup in 1987. 6.Adam Gilchrist-The best match-winner of his day and amongst the top 5 of all being more explosive than nay one in his age.Averaged over 60 in the first half of his test career and no batsmen before him had as impressive a strike rate.One of the architects in Australia emerging as world -beaters displaying an aura of invincibility. 7.Kumar Sangakkara-A model of consistency personified who statistically is the best left-handed batsman of all .A master in a crisis.Considerably less impressive overseas and rated below Gily as he could not so dramatically turn the course of a match. 8.Frank Woolley -A classical batsman who mastered wet tracks and also a very useful bowler.Outstanding 1st class statistics scoring 145 centuries and an aggregate only behind Hobbs.Talent of the Kith Miller class. 9.Alan Davidson-No let arm bowler has a more impressive average at 20.58 and few genuine quickies ever batted better.In terms of average better than Wasim Akram overall but played in a less competitive era. 10.Clive Lloyd-The father figure of West Indian cricket who resembled a great emperor galvanising his troops into an invincible army.No left-hander confronted the greatest pace duo of Lillee and Thomson so forthrightly like in 1975-76 in Australia.A model of consistency with the bat overshadowing the great Viv Richards from 1981-85 with the bat.Knitted a bunch of talented individuals to become arguably the best team ever in the history of test cricket.A great ODI batsman too whose 102 in the 1975 world cup finalranks as one of cricket's top dozen innings of all time. 11.Bishen Bedi-epitome of artistry in spin bowling revealing the grace of a flute player or ballad dancer.I have never sen a spinner with such harmonic rhythms who took bowling perfection to regions of the sublime.266 scalps speaks for itself and his record aggregate of 31 wickets by an Indian in Australia in 1977-78. 12.David Gower-I have never seen a more graceful batsman who literally caressed a cricket ball even when dispatching it to the ropes.Strokes were like the touches of a painter's brush.A master against genuine pace averaging over 43 in the Carribean and over 44 in Australia. 13.Neil Harvey-In terms of talent in the Greame Pollock class and on bad wickets one of the best of all time.Flourished most when the situation demanded like when scoring an unbeaten 151 in a run chase of 336 in a run chase on a wearing wicket against South Africa. 14.Derek Underwood -The best spinner ever on a helpful pitch who could skitttle a team for a score of around hundred. 15,Saed Anwar-Took batting histrionics at crescendo no left -handed opener did when blasting away.On his day could even join Lara.Played some of the finest tset and ODI innings in the most testing circumstances.His unbeaten 188 Kolkata in 1999 was one of cricket's gems.
  10. Well said.Do place your vote in poll.I would exchange your placing sof Gavaskar and Hobbs.Like your reasoning kindly.
  11. How great would you rate him overall? Best of all openers?2nd best?In class of Viv or Sachin?Ahead of Sunny?
  12. On 21st July a fortnight ago we celebrated the 75th birthday of the South African batting superstar Barry Richards.I cant express the extent of my regret in forgetting his 75th birthday landmark.I am posting this tribute commemorating Barry's reaching 75.Really Sorry to miss out on the actual day. There could rarely have been a more gifted sportsman let alone cricketer than the immortal Barry Richards.I could not name a batsman more technically perfect who could blend technical skill attacking agression and creativity in more perfect proportion.He would often tear an attack apart with the ferocity of an army launching a combing operation but never at the expense of the technical skill of a surgeon or architect.Barry was simply perfection personified in batting posessing every ingredient of the complete batsman.In full flow he made the rest of the field often look as though it was just going through the motions ,like an Emperor leading his knights in a parade. Sadly he could only play 4 official tests with Apartheid policy of South Africa debarring him from playing test cricket after 1969-70.At international level he made a comeback in the Kerry Packer WSC supertests.Nevertheless he averaged 72.57 in his official tests and in unofficial supertests topped the batting averages at 79.He aggregated over 500 run sin the 1976-70 series agaisnt Australia and in the unofficial series in Australia in 1977-1978. At Kingsmead in the 2nd test of 1969-70 series against Australia Barry scored 140 in 164 balls Overall he aggregated 508 runs scoring another century and enabled South Africa to win the series. In Kerry Packer WSC games he scored 2 of the finest centuries,including a double hundred. He scored 207 against Australia representing World XI in 1977-78 and an unbeaten 125 in the Wsc final playing agaisnt Australia again in 1978.In his knock of 2017 in the 90 min she played with Viv,Barry scored 93 runs while his compatriot only 41.In his unbeaten 125 at SCG he steered his team home in the 4th innings chasing a victory target of 224 runs in adverse batting conditions taking the likes of Ray Bright,Gary Gilmour and Dennis Lilleee apart.Remarkably,both were executed in winning causes.It was a revelation for Australian fans who arguably never witnessed such majestic strokeplay since Bradman or perfection touching heights of the sublime.Above all he overshadowed greats like Viv Richards and the Chappell brothers. Don Bradman felt Barry was was the best batsman he saw and so did Ray Robinson .One was reminded of an emperor in full pop conquering territory after territory with Barry out there in the middle.Even the likes of Sobers,Kanhai,May ,Greg Chappell or Pollock did not display as clinical execution as Barry .Above all his game was not just that of a computerized machine and had its own kind of elegance or artistry.It would not be wring to say that Richards was like a Viv Richards and Sunil Gavaskar rolled into one.Similar to Sunny and Viv .he never wore a helmet. It was in first class Cricket that Barry displayed batting of metaphysical proportions.Statistically Geoff Boycott or earlier Jack Hobbs was better but is hard to envisage batting domination so consistently taken to such depths as Barry did.He conquered all the great bowlers be it spinners like Bishen Bedi or Derek Underwood or Jeff Thomson or Imran Khan at their quickest.Never on English soil were bowlers crucified with such correctness of Grammar as Barry.Often for spectators it was more of witnessing an exhibition.At stages Barry would even make the great Gordon Greenidge look pedestal.Barry in Englsih first class cricket scored 1000 runs 9 times and overall including South Africa and Australia 15.Unlike Boycott he carved out many a win for his county Hampshire,enabling them to capture the county championship title.Barry was also prolific in limited overs county cricket. In 1972 playing for Western Australia he aggregated 1583 international runs in the season at an average of 109.86.In a game against Western Australia he scored 356 including 325 runs in a single day.This was simply batting in Bradmanesque heights.In that match he faced bowlers of the calibre of Dennis Lillee ,Graham Mckenzie and Tony Lock.His batting revealed virtuousity in regions of divinty like a new monument being erected..What was remarkable was that he continuously accelerated his rate of accumulating runs ,resembling a passenger train or thoroughbred racehorse going faster and faster until reaching full gear. In that season he also scored a double century facing John Snow playing against an MCC team.Facing Jeff Thomson at his fastest he scored a century against the touring Australian sin 1975,which speaks for itself.I n English county cricket he scored centuries in all types of of conditions be it flat wickets,turning tracks,bouncy surfaces or even wet sticklers.In 1973 playing against Warwickshire Barry singlehandedly salvaged his team's cause playing role of a lone crusader scoring 240 when the 2nd highest score was not more than 56.Other incredible feats were scoring 189 out of a total of 289-6 against MCC at Lords and a double century verus Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge when no one scored more than 30. Overall in first class cricket Barry scored 34,843 runs with 80 centuries at an an average of 54.74. Certain cricketing greats like Gary Sobers feel that Barry was a true great but cannot be classed with the likes of Gavaskar,Viv,Lara or Tendulkar because he never proved himself in formal test cricket.This is why many past cricketers excluded Barry from their all time test world XI.In Contrast the immortal Don Bradman,Opener Graham Gooch ,Kim Hughes ,Derek Underwood and umpire Dicky Bird rate Barry at the top of the tree,even ahead of Viv,Tendulkar and Gavaskar.Fascinatingly most West Indians chose Greenidge or Gavaskar instead of Barry in their all -time test XI.Both batsman overall fetched more votes than Barry.In the middle are the views of greats like Lillee,Imran ,Mike Brearley,Chappell brothers or Clive Lloyd who eulogize barry but still rank Viv Richards ahead of Barry,as the best batsman of his time. I would select Barry in my all-time XI as he was the ultimate match-winner and turn more games than Hobbs,Gavaskar or Hutton.Arguably to bat for your life I may prefer Sunny or Hutton or on bad wickets Hobbs or Trumper.Taking into regard aesthetics and impact in first class cricket overall .It must be stated that when playing in official tests he did not face the greatest bowlers and basically missed the challenge or pressures of official cricket. How would Barry compare with Pollock, Viv or Gavaskar?Unlike Gavaskar.Gooch or Chappell brothers he did not face the fiercest Carrribean pace quartet.It is also noteworthy that the likes of Lillee or Imran found it a more daunting proposition to bowl to Viv.West Indian speedsters feel Gavaskar or Boycott were harder to dislodge.Gary Sobers overall rates Gavaskar ahead while players of later generations generally rate Viv as the best they ever saw.Some may disagree with me but for sheer genius Viv or Lara may just edge Barry buy a whisker in my view.I doubt Barry would slaughter opponents in equal degree to Viv .In Barry's favour are that he mesmerised the world's best bowlers in country cricket while Viv never had to take on his team's great pace quartet .Never forget Viv was not at his best in first class cricket when encountering the great Malcolm Marshall in the Carribean.Barry was more technicallly organized and correct than Pollock and at his best in a more competitive era.Pollock was however more proven scoring over 22oo runs and 7 centuries in official test cricket. To me amongst batsmen overall Barry would rank behind Bradman,Hobbs,Tendulkar,,Viv Lara ,Sobers and Hammond.Respecting cricketing aesthetics I would place Barry a whisker above Gavaskar and Hutton or even above Graeme Pollck and Greg Chappell.Amongst cricketers overall Barry would comprise my top 15,just nosed by Wasim,Kallis and Lara.It maybe my very personal view that had Barry had a proper international career he would have been the best international batsman of all time,combining tests and ODI's,In sole tset cricket 2nd to only Bradman.I can't express the extent of loss to the cricket world of Barry being debarred,like destroying a comet or star from being born in the galaxy.A genius of geniuses was literally stopped in his tracks. Quoting Jack Fingleton "Once in two or three generations there comes a virtuoso batsman who beguiles even his opponents."In the view of Henry Blofeld "I have never seen anyone make the art of batting simpler than Barry Richards." Quoting Dicky Bird "I go for Barry Richards as the best batsman I have ever seen.Even if people may argue you cannot judge a man on the basis of only playing four tests there is no doubt in my mind that he was the best."
  13. This is my list of the 15 best batsmen in test cricket in order of merit.Excludes any other form of cricket. 15 best test batsmen of all time in order of merit. 1.Don Bradman In statistical term simply in a different league from anyone or like a creature from another planet.No sportsman let alone cricketer has established such a degree of supremacy over contemporaries of created statistical landmarks which will probably never be challenged,let alone equalled.Bradman mystified or puzzled even the best of mathematicians .His test average of 99.94 can never be equalled.For his era his strike rate too was astonishing . If I had to scale Bradman for later eras he would possibly have averaged around 70-75 in later eras.Bradman was not at his best against the bodyline bowling not on wet pitches.He also only played in England and Australia. Trumper,Hobb sand Headley overshadowed the Don on bad wickets and I doubt Bradman would have intimidated express pace as brutally as Viv Richards or stood up to it as adeptly as Gavaskar facing the new ball.No doubt Bradman would have been the best in the later eras,but not necessarily against the most lethal bowling or treacherous pitches. 2.Jack Hobbs- His aggregate of 5410 may not have been that high and if you scale average and Centuries Hutton and Gavaskar may inch ahead.However taking into consideration the state of the wickets Hobbs executed most of his runs and the situation she confronted at his best,Hobbs was the supreme champion.Hobbs pioneered the art of tackling the googly in South Africa,which was unplayable till then.His centuries at the Oval in 1926 and at Melbourne in 1929-30 ranks among the most defining efforts ever in the history of the game,both compiled in the worst of conditions.Hobbs overshadowed Bradman on wet sticklers. 3.Brian Lara No great batsmen single-handedly turned or won games for his country as Lara,or carried the workload of a team's batting more.The prince from Trinidad could register mammoth scores with more pomp than anyone .Even when reaching three figures or a double hundred Lara would never curb his strike rate .In my view qualitatively he made a great impact in test cricket than Tendulkar if you asess the number of times he resurrected West Indies from the grave .In 1999 his successive scores of 211 and 153n.o took West Indies to reach the pinnacle of glory after looking dead and buried.At Barbados he encountered the trickiest of batting surfaces to take his team across the line,arguably amongst the 3 best test match innings ever.His 277 at Sydney in 1992-93 was also a gem displaying all-round brilliance and domination few overseas batsmen ever surpassed in Australia.In full flow he could be as mercurial as Viv Richards .Lara could produce strokse that were surreal taking cricketing art to regions of divinity.Broke the world record score twice which is remarkable. However his career did have an ebb and flow where he encountered patches of inconsistency.Many of Lara's centuries were scored in losing causes.Lara also never scored a test century against a great genuinely fast bolwer like Alan Donald,Wasim Akram,Waqar Younus etc.Still he played Glen Mcgrath better than Tendulkar . 4.Gary Sobers Possessed every component of a perfect batsmen be it power,technical skill or temperament.Blended the explosive power of a cannon with the skill of an engineer and temperament of a soldier.In a crisis would overshadow any batsmen of his age or even Viv,Greg or Sachin.Took to the sword the best bowlers ever like Richie Benaud,Vinoo Mankad,Subash Gupte,Alan Davidson or even Dennis Lillee.It is difficult to conceive many better innings than Sobers's 132 in the 1961 tied test at Brisbane,113 at Kingston v England in 1968-69 and 254 at Melbourne in 1972.Above all Gary averaged over 77 in tests won.Above all he was an epitome of consistency. Perhaps had an advantage of batting at no 6 for a good part of his career and not at an earlier position.Also lot of his runs scored against weaker attacks of India and Pakistan ,and averaging under 45 in Australia. 5.Sachin Tendulkar In terms of longevity the supreme champion .Broke the record in terms of age for youngest player to achieve all 1000 run landmarks.Tendulkar arguably faced more pressure than any middle order batsmen ever and in his peak period received minimal support from his contemporaries.He proved himself in any types of conditions and against every type of bowling.Ultimate epitome of consistency of his day averaging over 56 for a great part of his career .Made a Muhammad Ali style comeback after a tennis elbow win in 2007-08 to become his old self again after a loss in form in between.More complete than any batsman ever and to me overseas at his best in South Africa,where he he revealed batting perfection at it's ultimate height. Not ranked higher than some because he did not turn the course or win games sufficiently ,often not able to deliver the final knockout punch or turn the final screws.In a crisis he could be overshadowed by Rahul Dravid,while Sehwag could win more games at his best.Tendulkar was also not at his best in run chases,where the likes of Lara,Gavaskar or even VVS Laxman overshadowed him. 6=Sunil Gavaskar/Len Hutton I cannot seperate the two opening stalwarts who were champion s technically and very hard to dislodge.Both could master bad wickets but Gavaskar wa sthe more proven against top class pace . Gavaskar broke all the batting records facing the best pace bowlers ever and stats wise in official cricket from 1977-80 was 2nd to only Bradman till then.Unlike Viv Richards and Greg Chappell Gavaskar proved himself as a master against great spin bowling or on turning tracks. Hutton negotiated Lindwall and Miller at their peak and shaped English cricket as few cricketers ever did.Played some of the finest gem son bad wickets like when scoring 37 out of 49 at Sydney . The main weakness of Gavaskar and Hutton was their relatively slow scoring rate ,often batting laboriously to wear down a possible result.Gavaskar also benefited from staying away from Packer cricket and facing the weaker Australian and West Indies attacks against whom he scored 9 centuries and over 1600 runs from1977-79. 8.Viv Richards Statistics can hardly do true justice to Viv who intimidated the best of opposition or changed the complexion of game more than any batsmen in the history of the game .In his peak from 1976-81 the best since Bradman when including WSC supertests averaged over 60.Viv was revelation in England in 1976 when he scored 829 run sat an average of around118.In 1977-78 in WSC Supertests he averaged a remarkable 86.20 making him look head and shoulders above other superstars like Barry Richards or the Chappell brothers.No batsmen simply exuberated so much command on a cricket field exhibiting the aura of an emperor.More great bowlers or even great players of later decades prized Viv's wicket than any batsmen. Later on did not display the same consistency often averaging below 50 in a test series .Viv did not also face his own West Indies pace quartet nor face a crisis often. 9.Walter Hammond Unfortunate to play in the era of Bradman but for which he would have elevated his status to the scale of a Viv or Tendulkar.The most merciless batsmen morally of his time revealing the authority of a military dictator in full flow.Averaged 58-46 scoring 7249 runs and 22 centuries.Amongst the great match-winners in cricket history. 10.George Headley A better batsman than even Bradman on wet or bad pitches.Before Lara no batsman so single-handedly bore the brunt of a weak side's batting like Headley.George was an architect of West Indies winning their 1st ever series versus England in 1935 with his 270 as well as sharing the 1929-30 series at home versus England when scoring 2 double hundreds.An epitome of consistency averaging 60.83 which is outstanding considering more than often he had to ressurect his team from the depths of despair.Arguably nobody defined spirit of West Indian cricket as much as Headley. 11.Steve Smith Statistically the best after Bradman displaying more pomp when batting than anyone of this era.On Australian tracks or conditions the most outstanding performer ever after the Don.Unorthodox stance or style of play but can still take batting domination into regions of the sublime.In term sof average even Viv,Sachin or Lara have not come close to Steve. However not at his best when the ball is moving in the air or on a green top .Also not faced as good bowling as past greats. 12.Everton Weekes Looked like a re-incarnation of Bradman when batting .Plundered runs more after the Don more than anyone ,till then..Unorthodox but could tear any bowling attack to pieces displaying mastery of backfoot play.The finest exponent of the pull and hook shot of his time.In India in 1948-49 amassed a record 779 runs,scoring 5 centuries at an average of 111.Averaged a remarkable 58.61 and scored a century every 5 innings.However hardly proved himself in England and Australia. I can visualize few batsmen resembling a cricketing machine as much or as mercilessly putting opponents to submission. 13.Graeme Pollock Had the 2nd highest test average of all of 60.97 .His 135 at Trent Bridge in 1965 is ranked in the class of the best of al time.Arguably more talented than even Gary Sobers, but not fully tested.Amassed a record aggregate in a home series against Australia in 1969-70 and also very prolific in 1966 v Australia.A major part of a nucleus that made South Africa arguably the best side in the world.Greats like Chappell brothers rate Polock in the Lara or Tendulkar class,with Greg choosing Graeme in his all-time XI.Pollock gave some of the finest bating exhibition sin testing conditions in Australia and England. 14.Greg Chapell Statistically the best batsmen of his era,including unofficial games in Packer supertests and against rest of the world.In WSC Supertest cricket boasted of the leading run aggregate of 1416 runs and the highest individual score of 246.No batsmen was more successful in the Carribaen or against them playing the great pace attack as Greg who in 1979 amassed 621 runs with 3 centuries at an avergae of 69.Also scored magnificient centuries in England like 131 at Lords in 1972 or unbeaten 235 at Faisalabad in 1980.Averaged over 70 in tests won which was remarkable. Greg never played in India and did not prove himself thus against great spin bowling or on turning tracks.He was also at times caught wanting against the rising or bouncing delivery.Neverthless after Barry Richards,the most complete batsmen of his terror who combined watertight technique with attacking strokeplay to perfection. 15.Ricky Ponting A batting genius in his own right who could devour the best bowling attacks in the manner of Viv,Lara or Sachin.Arguably a better exponent of express pace than even Tendulkar being amaster in pulling deliveries even on the stumps.Statistically at one stage in his career Ponting semed set to even surpass the heights acheived by Tendulkar but law of averages acted against him.Neverthless 43 centuries is a staggering figure as well as a 53+ average.Above all Ponting scored more hundreds in winning causes than any Australian batsmen ever and at his best could even give more flourish to the course of games than any batsmen.One of the major architects in the rise of Australia to a cricketing superpower. Not ranked close to the top because he was not at his best overseas ,and also represented a champion team.He rarely encountered a crisis as Lara,Dravid or Sachin.Ponting also was not a great player of spin bowling.Ranked below Viv as he played lesser bowling and not as impactful.Greg rated ahead of Ricky considering the great attack she faced.
  14. This is my selection of the 2O best test cricketers of all time in order excluding first class cricket,T-2O's or ODI's. 1.Gary Sobers- Placed at the top because of displaying supremacy in every form of the game as no one did ,To me morally turned games more than Bradman .Arguably amongst the top 3-4 batsmen of all time in test cricket if you gauge his scores on bad wickets or in a crisis. Also the most versatile bowler ever who could bowl fast,fast-medium.spin and china man.In 1970 took all-round cricketing facts to it's pinnacle playing for rest of the world scoring 583 runs and capturing 21 wickets.In 1966 in England almost achieved the same level scoring 722 runs and taking 20 wickets. 2.Don Bradman- His statistics literally took batting achievements to another dimension reaching heights of supremacy over rivals arguably no sportsman ever did.Phenomenal scoring rate for his time .Set standards statistically no sportsman ever attained which made the best mathematician bewildered. 3.Shane Warne - The greatest match-winner of his time who re-defined the role of a leg spinner .Few cricketers could ever infuse such a spirit in a game as Warne who often looked like performing magic on a cricket field. 4.Brian Lara No batsmen had as great a penchant for registering mammoth scores that too at such a blistering scoring rate of single-handedly turning or winning games.Carried the brunt of a weak team as no batsmen ever did.A better test match-winner than Tendulkar. 5.Jack Hobbs On wet or bad wickets the best batsmen of his time and better than Bradman.First batsman to conquer the googly effectively.Turned or won tests from the most critical positions like at the Oval in 1926 and at Melbourne in 1920-30.Averaged 56.94 ,with 15 centuries which is remarkable if you consider that most runs were scored on wet pitches. 6.Imran Khan Placed so high on the pedestal as no cricketer shaped a nation's fortunes as much as Immy.Even if mainly a great fast bowler ,was amongst the best skippers of all time who knitted a bunch of talented individuals into world -beaters.From 1982-87 the best all-rounder in the world and from 1987-90 amongst the top 12 batsmen.As an allround cricketer it was Imran who enabled Pakistan to reach the status of test world champions in West Indies in 1988.In peak ear close to the best fast bowler ever.In 1982 and 1987 overshadowed Ina Botham when playing against him . 7.Sachin Tendulkar No batsmen reached all the thousand run landmarks at such a young age as Tendulkar or ever scored 50 test centuries.No middle order batsmen faced as much pressure which makes his feats all the more remarkable .Outstanding in the most diverse conditions as few batsmen ever were but at times found wanting when having to pull the trigger to take his country over the line. 8.Malcolm Marshall No right arm paceman posessed as subtle craft as Marshall who surpassed any paceman in delivering a skidding bouncer or disguising the ball moving away or inwards.Mastered the flat pitches on the sub-continent like no overseas paceman. An absolute revelation in England in 1988 when at a fractionally slower speed revealed mastery of bowling mechanics at a degree no Calypso paceman ever did.Outstanding stats with strike rate of 46.7 and average of 20.94. which is remarkable inspite of his bowling alongside three of the best paceman ever in Garner,Roberts and Holding.From 1983-91 eclipsed every fast bowling great . 9.Sydney Barnes Equivalent of a Bradman to bowling with the most spectacular figures of capturing seven wickets per test at an average of 16.49.His cut and movement was virtually unplayable even at medium speeed. 10.Viv Richards No batsmen was ever as explosive or intimidating who could turn the complexion of a game more than anyone..In peak era from 1976-81 2nd to only Bradman with staggering scores in England in 1976 averaging 118.42 and in WSC supertests in 1977-78 averaging 86.2..Played for a champion team unlike Lara or Tendulkar and not at his best against spin.Still no cricketer better delivered a knockout punch.Never los ta series as a skipper and consolidated the empire he inherited from Clive Lloyd.Rankd lower because he was not fully test in a crisis or played his own pace attack. 11.Ian Botham The closest man ever to re-incarnate the genius Gary Sobers who at his best was close to the game's best ever match-winner.Whether batting,bowling or fielding he exuded energy few cricketers ever did on a field.In 1980 in Mumbai delivered the greatest all-round performance ever in the history of the game when scoring a century and capturing 13 wickets to win the test for England.In the 1981 Ashes ressurected England from the grave to reach the pinnacle of glory ,like no cricketer did for his country in the history of the game.Fastest man to reach double of 3000 runs and 200 wickets.Also took 5 wickets and scored a century in the same game,which none has done.Sadly after 1982 declined with lack of consistency,particularly as a bowler . 12.Jacques Kallis Statistically the best ever all-rounder in terms of aggregate and average and amongst the top 6 batsmen ever.However not the most effective in stepping the gas to turn or win games and not at best with both ball and bat simultaneously.To bat for your life the best amongst the all-rounders and for sheer skill only 2nd to Sobers.A major architect in South Africa reaching the top of the tree in test cricket .Captured 5 wickets and scored a century twice. 13.Keith Miller One of the most outstanding match-wining all rounders who could turn a game with both bat and ball.Arguably the best fast bowling allrounder performing better agaisnt strong opposition than Botham,with a better avergae as batsmen and bowler. After Bradman,the most influential cricketer in Ashes cricket for Australia.For a sustained period performed best with both bat and ball like in his first full series and the 195-51 Ashes series.and against West Indies in 1951-52.Rated below Botham and Kallis as his aggregate was not as high .Statistically Miller was very similar to Imran. 14.Dennis Lillee -Adding WSC supertests took 460 scalps and 4 or more 7 wicket hauls.The most complete paceman ever. classically and the most determined. Outstanding against the best batting sides of his time,like West Indies and England. 15= Len Hutton/Sunil Gavaskar Technically supreme who could master any type of conditions.Gavaskar broke all the batting records facing the best pace attacks while Hutton was prolific in the most treacherous conditions.Hutton averaged over 56 and Gavaskar over 50 which is remarkable considering they opened the batting. Gavaskar was equally adept in conditions sfavouring pace,spin or swing. 17.Richard Hadlee The best ever paceman statistically if you consider that he bore the brunt of a weak attack and still had 330 scalps in 60 tests in peak period.On a green top the ultimate champion possessing control at a height only Glen Mcgrath did. 18.Glen Mcgrath/Wasim Akram For sheer artistry or creativity Wasim was the ultimate king with his Wizardry of variations of reverse swing.For bowling intelligence or craft Mcgrath was the ultimate master .Mcgrath was statistically the giant with 563 scalps at 21.64 but I still feel morally Wasim was more penetrative.Onn an unhelpful track Wasim would always overshadow Mcgrath.Wasim was also a more than useful batsmen. 20.Wally Hammond. Had he not played in Bradman's ear would have asserted the superiority of a Viv Richards or Gary Sobers over his rivals.Almost always looked like agalleon in full sale taking domination to heights not traversed. 21.George Headley Eclipsed Don Bradman on wet or bad wickets and bore the brunt of weak team more than nay batsman before Lara.Averaged 60.83 which is better than any West Indies batsman ever.Responsible for West Indies winning their fist ever series against England in 1935 and his double hundreds enabled his side to share a series at home in 1929.30. 22= Steve Smith/Murlitharan Steve Smith statistically is next to only Bradman and arguably the best ever on Australia tracks after the Don.Never seen a batsmen exhibiting more pomp or command in recent times.Plundered runs more than anyone after the Don averaging over 63 but not faced as great bowling as previous greats like Lara or Sachin. Also not at his best agaisnt the moving ball or on green tops.Murlitharan is stats wise the best of all spinners or even bowlers but did not win as many games as Shane Warne and not equally effective overseas. 24.Everton Weekes Plundered runs like none in his time.Similar to a re-incarnation of Bradman revealing Pugnacity at supreme height playing the best bowling as though mowing grass on a lawn.Staggering run aggregate in India in 1948-49 of 779 runs averaging over 11 and against India later at home. 25.Greg Chappell After Barry Richards the most complete batsmen of his era who blended technical skill with attacking aggression like nonone else.Statistically also the best batsmen of his era who topped the run aggregate in World series cricket and was most prolific against the top West Indies pace attack on their soil .In supertests in West Indies in 1979 scored 621 runs at an avergae of 60 with 3 centuries in 1979 .Scored 246 and 174 facing a World XI in World series Cricket in 1977-78 and averaged 56.14 overall in WSC cricket,which was more than Viv Richards.Averaged 100 playing against Rest Of the World in 1972.Morally scored 31 centuries at an average of over 55.Also a successful skipper and medium pace bowler.
  15. Great players no doubt who just miss out.Dean was for a while at the top in ODIS,
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