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  1. #1
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    England's greatest batsman

    Yes sorry, this is an England thread. But we have discussed the greatest Pakistan, India, South Africa and Australia batsmen recently I believe, so how's about England this time.

    I see a few candidates, with arguments depending on era, context, bowlers faced, averages, runs scored, achievements, and impact. Given the relatively younger age demographic on PakPassion. I would not be surprised to see honourable mentions for the likes of Vaughan, Stewart, Trescothick, Cook and Trott. Further suggestions and of course intense debate are welcome. (Years internationally active added for your pleasure.)



    Jack Hobbs (1907-1930). One of the more complete batsmen that the game has seen. The man born with the name of John played first-class cricket either side of the First World War and into his 50s, racking up 197 hundreds including 15 in Tests. Averaged 56.94 as an England opener, often alongside Herbert Sutcliffe. Never known for murdering the bowling and blasting the boundaries, he was a pristine runner between the wickets and sticky pitch specialist.

    Herbert Sutcliffe (1924-1935). One of the three great Yorkshire batsmen to score 100 first-class hundreds, and possibly the most immaculately turned-out and courageous player to ever open an innings for England. Known for his expert hook stroke, he is the only English batsman to retire with a test match batting average of 60.

    Wally Hammond (1926-1946). The famous captain-batsman and run machine, rated as the best player of the 1930s behind Donald Bradman, with 22 test hundreds at an average of 58.45. Hammond's performance on the 1928-9 tour of Australia is still one of the greatest a touring batsman has ever contributed Down Under. His A-class offside play has proven both legendary and influential in the English game.

    Len Hutton (1937-1955). The second Yorkshire batsman to register 100 first-class hundreds. A more defensive player than some of his contemporaries as he was so depended upon, this classical batsman registered 19 test hundreds and is known for his aesthetically pleasing and orthodox back-foot style. He retired with a test average of 56.67.

    Denis Compton (1937-1957). 17 hundreds at an average of 50.06. One of the more gifted sportsmen to be born in this country, Denis was a chinaman bowler and Arsenal footballer as well as a member of test cricket's '50 Club'. Compton played famous innings against Australia and South Africa, epitomising the theory that English cricketers fight their hardest with their backs to the wall. But he also holds the record for the fastest ever triple century (scored in three hours), for MCC against NE-Transvaal in 1948). Denis's friendship with the great Keith Miller led to the inception of the Compton-Miller Medal.

    Ken Barrington (1955-1968). Recipient of pretty much every 'Cricketer of the Year' accolade the various test nations have come up with, Ken scored 20 test hundreds and holds the highest average (58.67) of any post-War English batsman. Fiercely patriotic yet quintessentially English and cautious, Barrington was next to undismissable at times, which could explain an astounding average in away tests of close to 70.

    Geoffery Boycott (1964-1982). Possibly the last great Yorkshire batsman and the most famous, infamous, liked and disliked of all English opening batsmen, this beautifully turgid campaigner achieved 173 first-class hundreds and a test average of over 47. Like Barrington, Boycott viewed batting as an art form, a way of life, and placed the most extreme of prices on his wicket. Boycott has been criticised for his one-dimensional strike rates and difficult personality, but England often won when he succeeded; 22 test hundreds is the mark of a true match-winner. He may be the best candidate in history to select to bat for your life.

    Graham Gooch (1975-1995). Still England's highest-ever run plunderer in every form of cricket, this supremely fit and talented butcher of an opener was also an enigma and a tough man to know - like many sporting geniuses. Amongst Graham's 20 test hundreds, his Lord's masterpiece against the great West Indies fast bowlers has been dubbed by some as the best innings of all time.

    David Gower (1978-1992). A liquid batsman whose effervescence could both mesmerise and infuriate, he is one of the finest left-handers that England has produced; 8231 test runs is a tally second only to Graham Gooch. A refusal to buckle down explains a slightly lower average of 44, but his (18) test centuries - especially those against Ye Auld Enemie - were typically massive, thrilling and significant. Arguably England's greatest player of the late twentieth-century along with Gooch, both could have achieved even more had they got on better personally and professionally.

    Kevin Pietersen (2005-present). As early as 2006, respected cricket writers were inducting KP into all-time England XIs, but others would not even entertain the idea. KP is indeed the most divisive player on this list, his South African heritage and isolationist discourse often leading to the questioning of his national and team-player credentials, but he may also be the most brilliant. Pietersen is the only modern England player to be constantly hovering around an average of 50 in tests, and he is surely his adopted country's finest limited-overs batsman. 21 hundreds and over 7000 runs in the test arena make Pietersen a potential record-breaker - if he can keep his helmet screwed on. This brash nature sees his international career at times hanging by a thread, but it has additionally allowed Pietersen to decimate some of this century's greatest bowlers along the way: Warne, McGrath, Murali, Kumble and Steyn, to name but a few. And KP has also made the game more popular and fashionable again, through a glitzy celebrity status and Indian adulation. He has history in the palm of his hand.



    So, PP - who wins?


  2. #2
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    Hey we agree on something (more or less)

    I'd like to find spot for Graham Thorpe though. Had a great record, averaging close to 50 against most teams, which is pretty good considering the era (and not-too-stellar team) he played in.

  3. #3
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    Herbert Sutcliffe

  4. #4
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    Have seen only last three ,so can't make a comment about others , Gooch is best among three as a test batsman but Kevin is overall(including his odi and T-20 carrer) better

  5. #5
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    Good List by James Thakor .

    I think England's failure to produce a great batsman after 90 till 04-05, reflects on their record in that period.
    Live, I have seen only KP. Usually get to read a bit about others.
    Last edited by kungfu90; 14th November 2012 at 13:01.

  6. #6
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    It's either Sir Jack Hobbs (who figured out how to play swing bowling) or Walter Hammond.

    I'd prefer Wally as you also get a brilliant slip catcher and a capable FM bowler too. He was an all-rounder of the same quality as Sobers and Kallis.

  7. #7
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    first of all, thanks for not including WG Grace..he is more suited to folklore than real cricketing lists..
    i am not an expert like Thakor, but i will stick my neck out and say it would be Boycott.. dont really rate those who played in the 30s and 40s.. Boycott played in the era where bowlers were menacing.. that over by Holding that he played..cant imagine any other english batsman surviving so many balls.. not even Pietersen if i assume for a moment that he is english..

  8. #8
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    Gooch and Gower for me as I have seen them play.

  9. #9
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    From my reading Jack Hobbs would get my vote. He was able to conquer all bowling and wickets thrown at him with relaxed ease. I think that if Hobbs had been around in the 1970s, 80s or 90s the evidence would suggest that he would have adapted to the challenges successfully.

    Gower is the "best" England batsman I have ever seen. Sadly when I say best I don't mean most successful.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo_Don View Post
    Hey we agree on something (more or less)

    I'd like to find spot for Graham Thorpe though. Had a great record, averaging close to 50 against most teams, which is pretty good considering the era (and not-too-stellar team) he played in.
    +1

    Graham Thorpe was my favorite player during his playing times outside Indian cricket. The guy was amazing. In the 90's I used to support Darren Gough and Thorpe anytime they were not playing India. Genuine good guys and brilliant players. Thorpe is extremely underrated in English cricket. Not sure why as he was their best player in the 90's.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    +1

    Graham Thorpe was my favorite player during his playing times outside Indian cricket. The guy was amazing. In the 90's I used to support Darren Gough and Thorpe anytime they were not playing India. Genuine good guys and brilliant players. Thorpe is extremely underrated in English cricket. Not sure why as he was their best player in the 90's.
    And he was an excellent player of Spin bowling.
    Played the most important role in Nasser's team that won in Sri Lanka.
    Remained not out in both innings on a square turner against Murali.
    this was the series decider. Great stuff from him.
    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63918.html

  12. #12
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    Jack Hobbs was amazing run machine , so he's rightly at top of the list.
    From 80's onwards i would say its Kevin Pietersen.

  13. #13
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    hammond stats wise

    kp today, maybe cook in the future.

  14. #14
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    Jack Hobbs is my pick. From what I see from cricinfo, he came from a working class background and brought that culture into his cricket emphasizing on run collection rather than ambitious strokes. OP also mentions him being a good runner, good for someone who played in the early 20th century.

    Also it seems he didn't have any coaching and developed his technique on his own which is remarkable considering the English preferred (in some ways still do) orthodoxy over innovation. I think his technique was also the most emulated by other English batsmen of that era. admired his batting. That to me is the ultimate vote for Hobbs.

    Good list. Im surprised Robin Smith, Alan Lamb, and Tony Greig are not mentioned. Their figures are pretty good considering they played against the fearsome bowling of that era. They also represent a rich tradition of Saffers playing for England . And as someone mentioned, Thorpe is hugely underrated. Was tough as nails.

  15. #15
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    Quality suggestions. I thought about some of them but forgot others, as is inevitable
    Didn't want the OP to be too long and boring either.


    I would definitely give Thorpe a strong mention, and possibly Cook. I think Hobbs, Hammond and Gooch are the greatest, but Pietersen and Cook are the record-breakers for the future.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfu90 View Post
    Good List by James Thakor .

    Hey, I didn't see a single 'tiger ripping apart its prey' comparison. They aren't similar!

    Seriously though, good list, good read.

    P.S: If I missed a 'tiger ripping apart its prey' comparison, I apologize.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleMan View Post
    but i will stick my neck out and say it would be Boycott.. dont really rate those who played in the 30s and 40s.. Boycott played in the era where bowlers were menacing..
    Hadlee said that Boycott had an encyclopedic knowledge about how long a spell the new ball bowlers could bowl. He would block, and block, and block for over after over, then Hadlee would get frustrated and bowl a bad ball and Boycott would hit it for four, then go back to blocking.

    Lillee called him "A hard man to get out."

    He was first on the team-sheet, but England needed assertive shot-players round him to prevent the innings getting stuck, which is why I rate Gooch more highly. There was one memorable occasion when Botham deliberately ran him out so that England could have a chance of beating NZ in a test match!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    Thorpe is extremely underrated in English cricket.
    He was a big factor in England's wins in Pakistan and SL.

    FWIW here is my best England XI of players I have watched:

    Boycott
    Gooch
    Gower
    KP
    Thorpe
    Botham
    Knott (w)
    Swann
    Gough
    Willis
    Fraser

  19. #19
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    i think trescothick could have been a modern great..his technique was not the best to watch but h scored runs consistently..

  20. #20
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    From what I've seen of all the 'English' batsmen, Trescothick is the best, if we include all the players who represented England, Kevin Pietersen is the best

  21. #21
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    Swann better than Underwood?

  22. #22
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    Banger was nailed on for 10,000 test runs. In his final away series he scored an awesome 193 in Pakistan. And even as he approaches 40 he is still scoring bucketloads in domestic. Genuinely tragic.

  23. #23
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    England fan, but the list is bit of meh. Hope Cookie, Belly, Trottsky and KP continue taking large strides

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Banger was nailed on for 10,000 test runs. In his final away series he scored an awesome 193 in Pakistan. And even as he approaches 40 he is still scoring bucketloads in domestic. Genuinely tragic.
    It was a loss to cricket..but i am happy for him that he found peace within himself..read a recent interview and he came across as a man who had exorcised his ghosts...can identify with him...

  25. #25
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    Thorpe should be in this list for sure. One of the best if not the best player of spin from England.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  26. #26
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    Most naturally talented I've ever seen has to be David Gower. Pure elegance, never once did I ever see him try to really hit the ball. Everything was caressed to the boundary.

    Statistically and from reputation Hobbs and hammond would have to be tops. But from players I've seen it's probably boycott esp considering which era he played in.

    If Gower didn't throw his wicket away due to his infamous and infuriating 'wafts' outside off stump he would have gone down as the greatest ever. But that is what made him so exciting to watch.

    Special mention to Gooch who played some great individual innings towards the end of his career, but over his whole career he won't make the cut

  27. #27
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    David Gower is my favorite. Terrific stylish player with impeccable timing. I also liked Mike Gatting. But he kind of underachieved.


    2 possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are terrifying.

  28. #28
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    Kevin Pieterson. A destructive match-winner that can perform many different roles in a match.


    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  29. #29
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    Hutton and Gower.... a tie between the two....as my personal favorites.... (if I made a fan boy list!)
    Last edited by W63L35; 14th November 2012 at 21:11.

  30. #30
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    Gooch is the best English batsman I've seen so I will go with him. Was always the prize wicket


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    Jusqu'ici tout va bien. L'important n’est pas la chute, c’est l’atterrissage.

  31. #31
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    this thread is incomplete without Harsh Thakor's input... so on request here are his views..

    Without doubt Sir Jack Hobbs.Imagine scoring 117 hundreds after the war and so many of his 197 hundreds on sticky wet wickets.Scored 12 of his 15 test hundreds against Australia and almost all his centuries won matches.His aggregate of 61,237 runs may never be equalled in first-class cricket,nor his 197 centuries.To me the greatest opening batsman of all-above Hutton and Gavaskar.

    My list in order of merit would be
    1.Jack Hobbs
    2.Walter Hammond
    3.Len Hutton
    4.Dennis Compton
    5.Herbert Sutcliffe
    6.Graham Gooch
    7.David Gower
    7.Ted Dexter
    8.Colin Cowdrey
    9.Ken Barrington
    10.Peter May
    11.Geoff Boycott
    12.Kevin Pieterson

    Walter Hammond was the ultimate matchwinner like Viv Richards,Len Hutton the master techician,Sutcliffe and Barrington the ultimate to bat for your life,Denis Compton was the ultimate genius and the most innovative of all batsman,Graham Gooch wasthe most combative post war opening batsman,David Gower wasthe epitome of art and elegance ,Ted Dexter was the champion when the chips were down,Colin Cowdrey posessed the highest natural ability while Peter May was a s near to the perfect batsman as there could be,Boycott's record speaks for itself,and Pieterson is the most dashing English batsman of recent times.

  32. #32
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    Pre WWII: Denis Compton

    Post WWII: David Gower

  33. #33
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    Of all the England batsmen I've seen I would have to go for Gooch. He seemed to have so much time that it was like watching someone batting in slow motion. His average is not as big as the others but his era was one where bowlers tended to dominate.

    Of the rest it's possible to make cases for Hobbs and Hammond. I favour Hobbs slightly over Hammond because of his tremendous longevity. He had already proved himself in the less batsman-friendly days before WW1. The 20s was not such a strong decade for cricket as pre WW1, but he proved his class by continuing to make runs even into the 1930s at an age where most batsmen would have been long retired.

    I'm not going to go for either of them though. I'm plumping for Ken Barrington. His era is considered a bit unglamorous, but batsmen then had a lot to think about. Averages in those days were not high. Apart from his own average, that is! Bouncers were becoming accepted as part of the game, and there was also an absolute epidemic of chucking controversies at that time. Pitches were still uncovered, and team selections reflected that, so he needed to be able to cope with both pace (including short stuff) and spin.

  34. #34
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    Of those I have seen, Gower the most talented. But I dont think there is anyone who stands out above the rest, there are a lot of good ones. And most of the best English batters are from decades ago

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Harvey View Post
    Of all the England batsmen I've seen I would have to go for Gooch. He seemed to have so much time that it was like watching someone batting in slow motion. His average is not as big as the others but his era was one where bowlers tended to dominate.

    Of the rest it's possible to make cases for Hobbs and Hammond. I favour Hobbs slightly over Hammond because of his tremendous longevity. He had already proved himself in the less batsman-friendly days before WW1. The 20s was not such a strong decade for cricket as pre WW1, but he proved his class by continuing to make runs even into the 1930s at an age where most batsmen would have been long retired.

    I'm not going to go for either of them though. I'm plumping for Ken Barrington. His era is considered a bit unglamorous, but batsmen then had a lot to think about. Averages in those days were not high. Apart from his own average, that is! Bouncers were becoming accepted as part of the game, and there was also an absolute epidemic of chucking controversies at that time. Pitches were still uncovered, and team selections reflected that, so he needed to be able to cope with both pace (including short stuff) and spin.
    Only problem with Gooch was his susceptibility to good and intelligent away swing bowling. The way he was repeatedly owned by alderman in 89 brings him down a notch in my eyes

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sultan Yusuf View Post
    Only problem with Gooch was his susceptibility to good and intelligent away swing bowling. The way he was repeatedly owned by alderman in 89 brings him down a notch in my eyes
    Weren't all England batsmen repeatedly owned by Terry Alderman in 1989? He was a very good bowler in peak form.

  37. #37
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    Sure you can stick to the cliches and pick out Hobbs, Hutton, Boycott, Sutcliffe and the like, but I can't seem to think of anyone from the last decade, say. Aside from Kevin Pietersen of course.

    Vaughan was pretty handy on that one Ashes tour but he didn't live up to his potential. Ditto with Thorpe and Hussain.

    That said, Cook scoring runs for the next five years might just put a lid on this argument.


    Enzed.

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    In new era it has to be Gooch.

    In old times Hammond was the best.


    Fear the Creator ..... not the created.

  39. #39
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    "Oh, lovely, lovely. Well, look, I'd love to stop and chat but I'd rather have type 2 diabetes."

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshland View Post
    Sure you can stick to the cliches and pick out Hobbs, Hutton, Boycott, Sutcliffe and the like, but I can't seem to think of anyone from the last decade, say. Aside from Kevin Pietersen of course.

    Vaughan was pretty handy on that one Ashes tour but he didn't live up to his potential. Ditto with Thorpe and Hussain.

    That said, Cook scoring runs for the next five years might just put a lid on this argument.
    Thorpe did pretty well. Hussain never had the natural talent to be in the same class. Vaughan did have the talent and technique to be up there, but captaincy had a big negative effect on his form.

    Pietersen at his best looks awesome, but has not been consistent enough so far. Cook certainly has the potential to be up there, but it remains to be seen what captaincy will do for his form.

    England were rubbish for years, and even the improvement of the last 10 or 12 years has been based on teamwork rather than individual brilliance.

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  42. #42
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    maharaja ranjit singh

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Harvey View Post
    England were rubbish for years, and even the improvement of the last 10 or 12 years has been based on teamwork rather than individual brilliance.
    True, but the importance of Flintoff and Pietersen in being celebrities who produced brilliant individual performances and reignited public interest cannot be underestimated.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleMan View Post
    i think trescothick could have been a modern great..his technique was not the best to watch but h scored runs consistently..
    Mmm, almost an English Sehwag. He had quite a poor average overseas though - only about 35 compared to 50 at home.

    Conversely, Gower averaged 50 away and 40 at home. He did brilliantly in Australia and Pakistan. He had touble against WI though, only averaging about 30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    True, but the importance of Flintoff and Pietersen in being celebrities who produced brilliant individual performances and reignited public interest cannot be underestimated.
    How was the mainstream interest in cricket before 05 Ashes?

  46. #46
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    Good to see Thorpe getting a lot of respect on this thread. I have always thought he is a very underrated player.

  47. #47
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    What about Cook ppl? I think bloke can bat!

  48. #48
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    My list in order of merit

    1.Jack Hobbs
    2.Walter Hammond
    3.Len Hutton
    4.Denis Compton
    5.Herbert Sutcliffe
    6.Ken Barrington
    7.Graham Gooch
    8.Peter May
    9.Kevin Pieterson
    10.David Gower
    11.Ted Dexter
    12.Geoff Boycott
    13.Colin Cowdrey
    14.Tom Graveney
    15.Denis Amiss



    Hobbs was the ultimate batting master,Hutton was the ultimate technician,Compton was the most imaginative or innovative of batsman ,Hammond the most destructive with Pieterson,Barrington,the epitome of consistency with Sutcliffe and Boycott,Gooch was the most combative against great fast bowling with Ted Dexter,Gower posessed the highest natural flair with Colin Cowdrey while May posessed all the ingredients of a perfect batsmen.

  49. #49
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    Gower was brilliant to watch. In the modern era Pieterson and Cook have been good.

  50. #50
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    Wally Hammond I would think.

    Personal favourites are Kevin Pietersen and Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan in Test cricket, on his day.


    "It sounds like you have a great strength of character and strong will" - Ellyse Perry about me.

  51. #51
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    I really liked Alec Stewart. Threscothick would have been England's greatest ever batsman. I am going to say KP is England's greatest player ever.


    Nasir Jamshed- best ODI and T20 batsman

  52. #52
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    Never forget Ted Dexter and Peter May.Gary Sobers rated Dexter the best English batsman he ever played against.Dexter was a master in combating great bowling .Peter May is rated by many to have been the best post-war English batsman .His consistency and temerament was amazing.Colin Cowdrey posessed amazing natural ability and played brilliant innings against the West Indies attacks and Australia.

    Graham Gooch played great pace bowling better than any English batsman as he proved against the West Indies attack.I applaud the selection of Gooch high in the list.After Len Hutton ,Boycott and Colin Cowdrey were technically the most correct.I would have backed Peter May in the top 10 ahead of Boycott .

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    My list in order of merit

    1.Jack Hobbs
    2.Walter Hammond
    3.Len Hutton
    4.Denis Compton
    5.Herbert Sutcliffe
    6.Ken Barrington
    7.Graham Gooch
    8.Peter May
    9.Kevin Pieterson
    10.David Gower
    11.Ted Dexter
    12.Geoff Boycott
    13.Colin Cowdrey
    14.Tom Graveney
    15.Denis Amiss



    Hobbs was the ultimate batting master,Hutton was the ultimate technician,Compton was the most imaginative or innovative of batsman ,Hammond the most destructive with Pieterson,Barrington,the epitome of consistency with Sutcliffe and Boycott,Gooch was the most combative against great fast bowling with Ted Dexter,Gower posessed the highest natural flair with Colin Cowdrey while May posessed all the ingredients of a perfect batsmen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    Never forget Ted Dexter and Peter May.Gary Sobers rated Dexter the best English batsman he ever played against.Dexter was a master in combating great bowling .Peter May is rated by many to have been the best post-war English batsman .His consistency and temerament was amazing.Colin Cowdrey posessed amazing natural ability and played brilliant innings against the West Indies attacks and Australia.

    Graham Gooch played great pace bowling better than any English batsman as he proved against the West Indies attack.I applaud the selection of Gooch high in the list.After Len Hutton ,Boycott and Colin Cowdrey were technically the most correct.I would have backed Peter May in the top 10 ahead of Boycott .
    Give it a break, you're not being paid to type a bunch of adjectives :/

  54. #54
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    Hobbs, Hammond and Sutcliffe the top 3 for me. Sutcliffe was quite underrated imo. His ave never dipped below 60 (which even the great Don couldn't manage as he only made a handful of runs on debut) and together with Hobbs formed the greatest opening partnership in Test cricket history.

  55. #55
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    You'll have to go back 100 years to find England's greatest batsmen

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwremb View Post
    You'll have to go back 100 years to find England's greatest batsmen
    But isnt Michael Atherton the greatest ever test batsman. The Hobbs of the 90s. Everyone bow to the lord of lords Mike Atherton

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Bird View Post
    But isnt Michael Atherton the greatest ever test batsman. The Hobbs of the 90s. Everyone bow to the lord of lords Mike Atherton
    Atherton? Nah, McGrath chiseled him out time and again and he ended up with a career average in the mid-30s. Just like Vaughan and Strauss and Hussain (discounting minnows of course).

    Kevin Pietersen is the only "great" England batsman in this post-90s era.


    Enzed.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshland View Post
    Atherton? Nah, McGrath chiseled him out time and again and he ended up with a career average in the mid-30s. Just like Vaughan and Strauss and Hussain (discounting minnows of course).

    Kevin Pietersen is the only "great" England batsman in this post-90s era.
    I'd add Thorpe as well, hugely under rated, equally good against pace and spin

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshland View Post
    Atherton? Nah, McGrath chiseled him out time and again and he ended up with a career average in the mid-30s. Just like Vaughan and Strauss and Hussain (discounting minnows of course).

    Kevin Pietersen is the only "great" England batsman in this post-90s era.
    I was being sarcastic.

  60. #60
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    From What I have heard Jack Hobbs. From What I have seen from older generation - David Gower. Today- KP and tomorrow Cook.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    True, but the importance of Flintoff and Pietersen in being celebrities who produced brilliant individual performances and reignited public interest cannot be underestimated.
    Point taken, but what I'm saying is that I still don't think England have had anyone in that time who deserves to be classed as a great batsman, at least in comparison with some of those on the list.

    Pietersen can still get there and certainly has the ability. When in full flow he seems to take batting to a new level, but his inconsistency and vulnerability to part time slow left armers so far means that for an era where bat has dominated over ball to the extent it has, he currently falls short of true greatness.

  62. #62
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    A mighty effort today from one of the outstanding members of our graduand class.

    For Alistair Cook to come out and play so well, in his debut test as captain and after everything else that has happened in this test, was quite amazing. Leading by example.

  63. #63
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    Cook is standing between England and heavy defeat.England will likely lose heavily but cook is a big positive for them.


    2 possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are terrifying.

  64. #64
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    Cook has still a lot of time.... he can play easily 50 or 60 more matches ....which means he can double his current stats in terms of total runs and centuries.......

    Surely if everything goes well he will be up there as well... at least in terms of productivity if not class....

  65. #65
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    If we excuse people from pre-war era like Hobbs and Sutcliffe, the list is quite poor in my opinion. Gatting, Gooch are good batsmen but where are England's Chappells, Greenidges, Lloyds, Miandads, Azharuddins. I can understand the absence of geniuses like Pontings, Laras, Tendulkars but the absence of Chappell like batsmen has been one of the source of England's relatively poor batting culture. Hopefully guys like Cook, KP etc can set a new precedent.

  66. #66
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    I agree Gunther. We do not have a proud history of great batsmen at all. England have built their strong record in test cricket with an always-tight team culture, backs-to-the-wall courage, and the occasional genius performance from Botham or something.

  67. #67
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    Yep, but seeing how they performed today, we now have more poodles than bulldogs in the lineup

  68. #68
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    The only team players in this rabble seem to be Cook, Trott, Prior and Swann. Not enough to have a sustainable good side.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The only team players in this rabble seem to be Cook, Trott, Prior and Swann. Not enough to have a sustainable good side.
    ^ A team needs at least 7-8 players of that caliber. 4 is not enough. Captain Cook is surely keeping the pirates at bay though. Im pretty sure India will have to bat again but whether England can draw it is the question. Makes for an interesting day tommorow.

  70. #70
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    Performing in conditions which you are familiar with is all good, but it's when you produce the goods away from home which puts you a level above the rest and earns you respect.

    When you factor everything in, Cook is well on his way to becoming the best England have produced. In terms of productivity at least.

  71. #71
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    It is going to be Cook eventually. Pre 70s, claims of all cricket greats are dubious anyway.

  72. #72
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    KP does not deserve to be ahead of Cook to be on that list.

  73. #73
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    Unfortunately, watch Cook's numbers plummet now that he has the England captaincy - isn't that how they've all ended up in the last 15 years? Atherton, Hussain, Vaughan, Strauss have all suffered the same fate.


    Enzed.

  74. #74
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    Doesn't seem to have affected him so far...

  75. #75
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    Gooch was the best I have pleasure of watching. Vaughan was the most pleasing on the eye. Cook is their best by a mile. Never rated him until 2010 but boy he has proved me wrong.


    we will not miss a 'never will be' like Malik. Drop Him For Good.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Doesn't seem to have affected him so far...
    Bet you said the same thing about KP when he first started out versus the Saffas. Look how that ended up.


    Enzed.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshland View Post
    Unfortunately, watch Cook's numbers plummet now that he has the England captaincy - isn't that how they've all ended up in the last 15 years? Atherton, Hussain, Vaughan, Strauss have all suffered the same fate.
    None except Vaughan were destined to be batting greats when they took captaincy

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshland View Post
    Bet you said the same thing about KP when he first started out versus the Saffas. Look how that ended up.
    KP scored 2 hundreds in 3 games as skipper. It was not his batting but "other" issue that was the worry

  79. #79
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    ^Yeah Marshy you are being inconsistent here.

  80. #80
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    The Captaincy has made Cook a fringe selection to a very good ODI bat.

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