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Harsh Thakor

Clive Lloyd-75th birthday today tribute-Where did he rank amongst the great batsmen and cricketers?

Where did Clive Lloyd rank amongst the great West Indies cricketers?  

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  1. 1. Where did Clive Lloyd rank amongst the West Indies cricketers?

    • In the top 3
    • In the top 5
    • In the top 10.
    • In the top 6
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Today the cricket world celebrates the 75th birthday of Clive Lloyd who was was without doubt amongst the greatest cricketers to have set foot on a cricket field.Few cricketers ever did so much to re-shape the destiny of the nation as Clive.His contribution was reminiscent of an emperor rebuilding a kingdom and build an invincible empire.Few batsmen ever bated with a greater sense of responsibility or shouldered a crisis so resolutely.I can also hardly name a skipper after the war who could surpass the batting consistency of Clive as a captain.The sight of this giant figure stooping down to the wicket with a bat will be entrenched in my mind ever.He virtually carried the bat like a bludgeon.The cricket world never had a greater father figure or greater motivators of men.He was not the best of tacticians but a pure motivator I can only place Ian Chappell or Imran Khan in the same bracket.Clive won 36 out of 74 tests which is statistically only behind Steve Waugh.Responsible for probably creating the bets ever side in the history of test cricket.Galvanized or marshalled his resources like perhaps none ever did,virtually infusing a new spirit in his team.that embodied the resurgence of West Indies cricket. Above all also a great sportsman who respected opponents like when congratulating India when winning the 1983 world cup.



Clive was not the most stylish,elegant or technically correct batsmen but I can hardly name many batsmen who were more entertaining or hit the ball with such ferocious power.A blow from his bat could send the best of deliveries over the rope.What was remarkable that although he never sacrificed his instinct for attacking strokeplay he wast he ultimate champion in a crisis to repair the damage like Alan Border,Steve Waugh or Javed Miandad.



To me his 102 in the 1975 world cup final is still the best innings ever played in a world cup and from the point of view of domination one of the 5 bets knocks ever in ODI cricket .He simply took domination in batting to regions of divinity combining the explosive or remorseless power of a canon or a tank with the skill of an architect and temperament of a soldier.He simply resembled a tiger tearing flseh against the best ever pace pair in the history of cricket which was Lillee-Thomson.I can never forget his hook shot of Lillee and some of his glorious drives.As the innings progressed the intensity of his strokeplay increased like a sea continuously getting more turbulent.Above all it won West Indies the inaugural world cup.



In India in 1974-75 Lloyd ripped the heart of the greats spin attack ever of Bedi-Chandra-Prasanna exhibiting some of the most imperious strokeplay ever seen in India.His 163 at Bangalore and unbeaten 242 at Mumbai won the series for his team.It was a sight to behold watching Lloyd dance down the pitch.



In Australia in 1975-76 he topped the batting averages scoring 469 runs at an average of 46.90 including 2 centuries,facing the best or most lethal pace duo ever in Lillee and Thomson.Inspite of facing a ferocious barrage of bouncers Lloyd fought like a soldier on alien territory or a boulder resisting a gale.It was sight to behold witnessing Clive counter attack Lillee and Thomson who broke the ribcage of any batting line up.In my view no batsmen ever played the pair of Lillee-Thomosn at their quickest,better.



He was not consistent as a batsmen in WSC in Australia but was responsible for West Indies winning their 1st unofficial series in Australia by winning the supertests series 2-1 and thus the unofficial world test title.In that period he knitted a bunch of talented individuals into a world-beating side .With the dilgence of a surgeon he worked on al the weaknesses facing West Indies cricket.That renaissance in West Indies cricket took place during the 1976 tour of England when Lloyd adopted the strategy of adopting only pace bowlers in the attack and vanquished their opponents 3-0.In 1979 in WSC he scored a fabuluos match-winning197 versus Australia and average over 60 in the 5 supertests.



Still the greatest turning point in his leadership was in the 1979-80 tour of Australia.It was virtually a series where the Calypsos were seeking revenge for their humiliation of a 5-1 defeat in 1975-76.West Indies vanquished a powerful Australian side that just beat England 3-0 which was a remarkable achievement and thus capture the Frank Worrell trophy for the 1st time down under.It was revelation witnessing the fiery spirit of Roberts,Garner,Holding and Croft who blazed away like military tanks.Never was an Australian batting side so intimidated since bodyline in an official series where the Carribean bowlers revealed vengeance at its ultimate zenith bowling a continuous barrage of bouncers or short balls.Clive had simply instilled a new spirit within his players and Viv Richards played better than any batsmen since Bradman.In the final test at Adelaide Lloyd's classic 121 on a quick pitch had a lot to do with West Indies winning the test and their 1st series in Australia,and thus wining the title of the unofficial test world champions.He simply blazed away with characteristic fluidity against Lillee,Thomson and Len Pascoe.



In 1981 in a series versus England at home he was the leading run scorer averaging 76.50 and won the man of the serise award ,leading his team to a 2-0 victory.



In 1981-82 his batting in the final tset and leadership had a lot to do with West Indies coming back at Adelaide in the 3rd test,like a tiger from the ambush.His 55 and 77 n.0 took his team out of the woods to retain the Frank Worrel trophy.



From 1983 to his retirement in 1985 Lloyd to me displayed consistency in batting no post-war skipper ever did,even overshadowing the great Viv Richards,At home versus India he averaged over 66 with 2 centuries,including a match saving oone at Trinidad in the 2nd test.In India he topped the averages scoring 496 runs at 82.50 including a match-wining 161 n.o at Kolkata after his team was precariously placed at 212-8.He was involved in an unforgettable partnership with Andy Roberts of 149 runs that completely turned the complexion of the match.In successive series versus Australia at home in 1983-84 ,in England in 1984 and in Australia in 1984-85 he averaged above 50.In that year he took West Indies to a helm or statute no team arguably ever attained in the history of the game.West Indies won a then record of 11 tests in a row resembling an invincible empire.Clive Lloyd retired in the manner of the great military generals,being true ornament to sport.



Thus where did Clive Lloyd rank amongst the great West Indian batsmen and cricketers,as well as all batsmen and cricketers?Clive would in my view rank amongts the greatest West Indies batsmen ,skippers and left-handers.As a skipper I rank him only behind Frank Worrel in West Indies and overall only behind Ian Chappell,Worrell,Mark Taylor,Imran Khan and Alan Border.Amongst the left handers he was only behind Lara,Sobers,Pollock and Border but still arguably the best attacking left-handed batsmen facing genuine pace bowling,with Sobers.Remember Lara was not at his best against express pace.,particularly short pitched stuff.Amongst West Indies batsmen he ranks only behind Viv Richards,Lara,Sobers,Headley and Weekes .Overall considering his contribution as a captain as a cricketer only Sobers,Viv,Marshall,Lara ,Headley,Weekes,Worrell and Ambrose in my view rank ahead of Lloyd.In my view Lloyd would overall win a place amonst the 50 best cricketers of all time,edging the likes of David Gower, Colin Cowdrey,Peter May or even Javed Miandad and just edged by Everton Weekes, Ricky Ponting,Greg Chappell and Alan Border.I feel Lloyd has been underrated in the list of top 100 cricketers by writers like Geoff Armstrong ranking him at 82nd,Christopher Martin Jenkings at 73rd and John Woodcock at 65th.I place him around 45th.

Edited by Harsh Thakor
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He should get credit for creating the strongest team in the history of cricket.It was his initiative even though he got idea from Aussies that led to four prong pace attack.Once he unleashed that beast there was nothing any team could do to stop WI and for some reason there was no shortage of tall fast bowlers coming up in WI for next two decades.

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On 8/31/2019 at 6:25 PM, putrevus said:

He should get credit for creating the strongest team in the history of cricket.It was his initiative even though he got idea from Aussies that led to four prong pace attack.Once he unleashed that beast there was nothing any team could do to stop WI and for some reason there was no shortage of tall fast bowlers coming up in WI for next two decades.

The captaincy of Frank Worrell, Sobers and Viv were the best years for Windies cricket.  However, Sobers was the best individual performer of them all because he could win matches on his own by batting and bowling. His fielding was good as well. Lloyd was the best captain of those 3 though as he played the most significant role amongst all West Indian captains to develop the world's best team ever.

Edited by Straight Drive
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10 minutes ago, Straight Drive said:

The captaincy of Frank Worrell, Sobers and Viv were the best years for Windies cricket.  However, Sobers was the best individual performer of them all because he could win matches on his own by batting and bowling. His fielding was good as well. Lloyd was the best captain of those 3 though as he played the most significant role amongst all West Indian captains to develop the world's best team ever.

worrell was better than lloyd overall from what I've read. great man-management skills, enough tactical ability to use the much poorer bowling resources he had, gave a sense of unity to the diff caribbean islands, etc. the first great black captain of the windies.

even as a player, he was better than lloyd: batted as well (before his decline in last 1-2 yrs) and was a damn useful 5th or 6th bowler to have.

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7 minutes ago, Vijy said:

worrell was better than lloyd overall from what I've read. great man-management skills, enough tactical ability to use the much poorer bowling resources he had, gave a sense of unity to the diff caribbean islands, etc. the first great black captain of the windies.

even as a player, he was better than lloyd: batted as well (before his decline in last 1-2 yrs) and was a damn useful 5th or 6th bowler to have.

Worrell was a good captain too but he was before my time. Can't comment much on him.I think then Kanhai and Sobers were also captains before Lloyd took over.

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Overall an entertaining cricketer with a calm attitude. His counter attacking innings against India in tests is the best that was played against great Indian spinners. Quality batsman and a very good first slip fielder. Being in slips against Croft, Garner, Roberts and Holding wasn't eaay and he hardly dropped catches in slips againsnsst their bowling.The bat in his hand looked like a small toy though when the tall man batted.

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often the category 'great' in batting is associated with  a 50+ avg:   which I don't think is always right. Lloyd averaged 46.67 with adequate longevity  often batting  in positions '4' or lower. His almost even split in home &  abroad averages means he is atleast a'very good' category batsman. Him being a great ODI batsman combined with being a great captain( to form that 4 prone pace attack and start the world  dominance ) ensures Lloyd was a  'lower tier ATG player ' atleast.

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