Legends, Comebacks and ‘Resting’ Players

22 12 2010

There has been a fair bit of cricket and cricketing news over the past couple of days that we haven’t had time to comment on, so, in very disjointed but hopefully lucid style, we are going to round up our thoughts on these matters.

  • Where else to start but with Sachin? Much has already been written and will undoubtedly continue to be  written about this great little man but his achievement against South Africa was of such a magnitude that we feel the need to add to the cacophony of voices.

    We remember back in 1996 on the Indian tour of England one of the Indian commentators saying that Sachin would one day be the first man to get to 100 international hundreds. At the time this was such a ridiculous number (and quite frankly still is!) that we ascribed this comment to over enthusiasm. With 50 test hundreds and 46 ODI centuries this forgotten commentator has been proved right as it is surely inevitable now.

    With age forcing the decline of other leading players in the game such as Ponting and Dravid, it is not only Sachin’s amount of runs but also his longevity and fitness which should be praised as the little Indian appears to simply get better with age. We believe there is no reason why he can’t go on for another two or three years, in which time it is conceivable that he might end up with close to 120 international hundreds. Certainly we imagine there would be fairly short odds on him reaching 60 test hundreds.

  • From one all time great to another. Jacques Kallis scored 201 not out in South Africa’s one sided game against the Indians over the weekend. Remarkably it was his 38th test match century, yet only his  first double which is an oddity in itself.

    In our eyes he is undoubtedly South Africa’s finest cricketer ever and, perhaps extraordinarily, deserves genuine comparison to the great Sir Garry Sobers. Sobers is consistently called the finest all round cricketer ever to have played the game yet Kallis has achieved figures directly comparable to the great man, undoubtedly without the flair but certainly at a similar level of effectiveness. Well played Sir!

  • New Zealand’s Dan Vettori  has been removed from his all singing and dancing role in New Zealand cricket and been allowed to concentrate on his own game and captaining the side.

    In the turmoil and angst that is New Zealand cricket, Vettori has been a consistently world class operator and effective with ball and bat. If the Black Caps are to remain competitive on the world stage they need him to be firing and so this reduced work load can only be a good thing.

  • A brief Ashes thought now as we are pleased to see that Andy Flower has committed to keeping four bowlers for the Boxing Day test match. There is talk of ‘resting’ Finn and playing either Bresnan or Shahzad in a similar way to which Greg Chappell apparently said Mitchell Johnson was ‘rested for the Adelaide test’. Pure rubbish as anyone can see – if you are removed from the side you are dropped – there is no two ways about it.

    For all his woes at Perth Finn still picked up some crucial wickets and is the leading wicket taker in the series on either side. Leave him in, give him some confidence and he will grow in stature as a test match bowler. We personally don’t mind him leaking a few runs if he is taking wickets.

    If a change is required though, please let it be Shahzad who comes in rather than Bresnan…

  • We feel a little dirty for mentioning this competition – being as it is not one of our favourite developments in world cricket – but the IPL announced their rosters from which sides could pick. The top reserve price is $400,000 and is the level in which such luminaries as KP, Yuvraj Singh, Adam Gilchrist, Dan Vettori and Chris Gayle sit.

    Included in any IPL list for the first time and sitting pretty in this top bracket at the age of 41 and after four years of no cricket was Brian Lara. When his possible signing for Surrey was mooted earlier this year we wrote then that we thought it was a bad idea and we haven’t changed our mind now.

    The problem when legends make come backs is that they rarely enhance their previous reputations. We remember Lara as the mercurial flashing blade that won numerous test matches for the West Indies single handedly. We don’t want to remember him scratching around for 20 off 20 balls in an over hyped domestic competition.

Thoughts on the above?

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5 responses

22 12 2010
BP

Good read as usual.

My own thoughts:
1) On Sachin Tendulkar — like countless other Indians, I feel blessed to have been born in his era. For most of the ’90s, this man was the brightest (and sometimes it felt like the only!) shining light for Indian cricket. And I’m not sure it’s possible for outsiders to truly comprehend what this man has meant for fans of Indian cricket, particularly those who fell in love with the game because of him. Probably only Aussie contemporaries of Sir Don might be able to relate. What more can i say…may his cricketing passion and skills live long and prosper!
2) Yup…Kallis abolutely deserves to get into the 200 club. A magnificent contributor, indeed. Who knew a new mop of hair was all that was needed! 🙂
3) On the Ashes…brilliant comeback by the Aussies…and about time! I guess my 2-1 prediction, as also your 2-2 call, are still alive! England do have more players in form than Australia…but i just read a report saying the English bowlers are looking really tired…
4) Don’t know if you’ve read Stuart Clark and Paul Marsh’s quotes on the role of Aussie sledging in their team’s revival! So abusing your opponents (or retaliating, as per Johnson) is all it takes to get late swing going, eh? I’m really am learning some fascinating new things about cricket!

22 12 2010
Brian Carpenter

I think you’ll find that a lot of people who remember the best pre-isolation South African cricketers will argue in favour of either Graeme Pollock, Mike Procter or Barry Richards as the best player the country’s produced, but, through no fault of their own, they don’t have the Test records to match their talents (although those of Richards and Pollock in particular are far from shabby, just made from low numbers of Tests).

I’ve felt for quite a while that Kallis doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he’s such an unflashy batsman and because people too often forget his wickets and catches.

His status at the very top of the South African pantheon is open to discussion, but there can certainly be no doubt that he’s one of the greatest Test cricketers of all time, and, yes, I’d go with the view that he comes in just behind Sobers when you’re talking about all-rounders from any country.

22 12 2010
Bradders

Yes that is true and I did pause for thought before writing that statement. The only thing is that inevitably due to Kallis being an all round cricketer and as such his worth to the team being greater than a single batsman or bowler I think he nicks it. Had he been batsman alone he would have rated up there with those guys anyway! Pollock while being an allrounder was still a bowling all rounder and his batting prob wasn’t as good as Kallis’ bowling… Anyway those are my thoughts and reasons.

30 12 2010
diogenes1960

it’s funny how everyone forgets GA (Aubrey) Faulkner….look at his stats, admittedly from a time when SA played little test cricket, look at bthe support he got from fellow team members and at least mention him alongside Proctor as a truly effective all-rounder.

30 12 2010
Bradders

You’re absolutely right – I did miss him out and you’re absolutely correct in saying that he should perhaps have been considered. Even despite him though I think you could make a strong argument for Kallis but either way, they both remain exceptional cricketers.

Cheers for commenting.

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