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  1. #1
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    How great was Gundappa Vishwanath at his best?

    Vishy truly held a willow in the manner of a magician and for sheer batting prowess Vishy was in the class of a Tendulkar,Viv or Lara.He did not posesse much power but his wristwork simply had electricfying effect..On his day Vishwanath produced strokes that were surreal bissecting the most impregnable of fields.Vishy literally took cricketing artistry to regions of divinty.On bad wicket many experts thought he was ahead of Gavaskar .His 2 best innings were on the lightning quick Madras pitch in 1974-75 and 1978-79 that above all won games from precarious positions.His 97 n.o is ranked amongst the dozen best test inings ever scoring over 50 % of the team's total runs.On the bounciest of wickets Vishy blended the skill of a surgeon with the creativity of a poet .Vishy averaged 49, 6 more than brother -in-law Sunil Gavaskar in games won and India never lost a game when Vishy scored a century.His 114 out of 237 at Melbourne in 1980-81 was another classic as well as his 79 and 83 at Wellington in 1976 and 107 at Delhi in 1981-82.Gavaskar never witnessed a batsmen adapt to seaming conditions on a green wicket as Well as Vishy did at Wellington in 1976.Gavaskar rated him the best batsmen he ever saw.Andy Roberts and Dennis Lillee thought Vishy was the better player on the lighting fast wickets.


    In my view the Vishwanath playing West Indies in 1974-75 at home when aggregating 568 runs at 56.8 or or 1978-79 v West Indies was a player in the Viv Richards,Gavaskar or Greg Chappell class.His best 6 innings to me were in the class of the best of greats like them.Often on fast tracks Vishy overshadowed Gavaskar.

    A Vishy late or square cut resembled cricketing art or wizardry at its supreme depth.He also posessed a shot that was a combination of a hook ,pull and flick.At his best Vishy was a musical composer and architect moulded into one.

    To me at his very best a whisker behind Lara,Tendulkar or Viv if not their equal .Very similar to Rohan Kanhia and David Gower.

  2. #2
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    Wasnt Dravids hero for no reason. I rate him just below tendulkar too. Hugely underrated.

  3. #3
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    Meaningless nostalgia, and arbitrarily selecting some guys to be great based on questionable visuals is what is wrong with old-school cricket watchers.

    This guy has an average 2 points better than Rohit Sharma (who is also supremely elegant). His ODI average is 20 (and 52 was a bad strike rate even then) , List A average 28, FC average 41.

    I can find you 200 guys with numbers like this, but apparently this fellow is next to only Tendulkar because 'aesthetics' and he played well on tough pitches based on two or three examples (obviously by same token he played poorly on good ones, because his average is, by top level standards, average...

    I wonder how this person can be treated like some superstar, while Mohammad Hafeez with an average barely 2 runs lower is reviled as the worst player of Pakistan (though he also was a useful player on top) and not completely rubbish in ODI to boot....

  4. #4
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    And no I don't think Hafeez is exceptional.

    The example is just to point out how absurd some of these aesthetic criteria are.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CricketAnalyst View Post
    And no I don't think Hafeez is exceptional.

    The example is just to point out how absurd some of these aesthetic criteria are.
    The OP has conveniently inserted "at his best" in the title to establish his tall claims. Even Azhar Mahmood "at his best" was the 8th ATG batsman of all time as per Wisden.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oligochaetes View Post
    The OP has conveniently inserted "at his best" in the title to establish his tall claims. Even Azhar Mahmood "at his best" was the 8th ATG batsman of all time as per Wisden.
    Azhar mahmood legit has claim for top 10 innings played by a subcontinent player


    #MPGA

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Azhar mahmood legit has claim for top 10 innings played by a subcontinent player
    I agree. That was his best innings and it is ranked as 8th best by Wisden. Therefore Azhar Mahmood at his best was better than Richards, Tendulkar, Ponting, etc.

  8. #8
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    Did I just see Vishy and Rohit Sharma in the same sentence.

    @MMHS - did you ever see Vishy bat? From what I have heard, he was a fine fine player. Are comparisons to Rohit Sharma and Azhar Mahmood justified?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidilicious View Post
    Did I just see Vishy and Rohit Sharma in the same sentence.

    @MMHS - did you ever see Vishy bat? From what I have heard, he was a fine fine player. Are comparisons to Rohit Sharma and Azhar Mahmood justified?
    Comparisons with Rohit Sharma are not justified.

    But that's for the opposite reason that in white-ball cricket Rohit Sharma will go down as one of the greatest to ever play, and Vishy was a total failure.

    In Test, Rohit hasn't played enough, but their numbers are similar. And there is no batsman more good to watch than Rohit, so dont' talk about vishy being an artist etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidilicious View Post
    Did I just see Vishy and Rohit Sharma in the same sentence.

    @MMHS - did you ever see Vishy bat? From what I have heard, he was a fine fine player. Are comparisons to Rohit Sharma and Azhar Mahmood justified?
    He was 2 inches taller than the stumps

  11. #11
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    Vishwanath was a superb player but he was several rungs below SRT/ Lara/ Viv.

    It's a huge stretch to say he was only a notch below.

    His Test average of close on 42 was very good for that era. He was an artist with the bat, but he had the habit of getting out when set in his 20s/ 30s.

    It would be equally wrong to compare him in Tests to Rohit Sharma and Hafeez; these guys aren;t in the same class as Vishy.

    So bottomline for me is, let's not exaggerate on either side - by comparing him to SRT/Lara/ Viv or to Rohit/ Hafeez. Bot comparisons are useless.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cryin Out Loud View Post
    Vishwanath was a superb player but he was several rungs below SRT/ Lara/ Viv.

    It's a huge stretch to say he was only a notch below.

    His Test average of close on 42 was very good for that era. He was an artist with the bat, but he had the habit of getting out when set in his 20s/ 30s.

    It would be equally wrong to compare him in Tests to Rohit Sharma and Hafeez; these guys aren;t in the same class as Vishy.

    So bottomline for me is, let's not exaggerate on either side - by comparing him to SRT/Lara/ Viv or to Rohit/ Hafeez. Bot comparisons are useless.
    I am assessing Vishwanath at his best.Read what great bowlers like Andy Roberts and Dennis Killee felt about him.On bad wickets some rated him better than even Gavaskar.Vishys best 6?innings were in the Lara class like his unbeaten 97 at Madras.For sheer genius he was close to the every best .
    Remember how highly Sunny rated Vishy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    I am assessing Vishwanath at his best.Read what great bowlers like Andy Roberts and Dennis Killee felt about him.On bad wickets some rated him better than even Gavaskar.Vishys best 6?innings were in the Lara class like his unbeaten 97 at Madras.For sheer genius he was close to the every best .
    Remember how highly Sunny rated Vishy.
    I know about Vishy and have seen him play, unfortunately in his later years. But he was superb. I don't disagree with what you've said but the comparison 'at his best' can be misleading. Can VVS Laxman at his best- versus the Aussies - be said to be in the SRT /Lara/ Viv league? The window is too misleading, and comparisons are best done over a career, otherwise they become meaningless IMO.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidilicious View Post
    Did I just see Vishy and Rohit Sharma in the same sentence.

    @MMHS - did you ever see Vishy bat? From what I have heard, he was a fine fine player. Are comparisons to Rohit Sharma and Azhar Mahmood justified?
    Wonderful player, one of my AT favorite. He is among those players whose stats don't tell everything. I believe he had 12 hundreds and none in losing case which for a 70s IND player, great achievement. He has supreme stylish and a very much non Asian player, who loved pace a bounce. I never had seen him live, but from archives, I have seen his 114 at MCG and part of the 1974 Series against a rampant Roberts - enough.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CricketAnalyst View Post
    Comparisons with Rohit Sharma are not justified.

    But that's for the opposite reason that in white-ball cricket Rohit Sharma will go down as one of the greatest to ever play, and Vishy was a total failure.

    In Test, Rohit hasn't played enough, but their numbers are similar. And there is no batsman more good to watch than Rohit, so dont' talk about vishy being an artist etc.
    Vishy was a fantastic player. Seriously comparing him Rohit Sharma is daft. People who started watching cricket in the last 10-15 years are all about stats. Cricket in 70's and 80's was completely different, not many people averaged in 50's. The bowling was brilliant and pitches in the 80's weren't batting friendly. People who averaged 30's were considered as good players, 40+ very good and 50+ were ATG. These days anyone can average 50+. The fact that Rohit Sharma in this era, struggles to even average 40 in shows how horrible he is as a test player. A player whose average is only 39 because of his hundreds against SL and West Indies at home. If we remove those two teams his average in 30 innings drops to 26. This guy is keeping out players like karun Nair.

    At least I agree that Azhar Mahmood played couple of blinders against SA on his first tour there as a batsman. He batted against Donald, Pollock et all to score those hundreds, What has Rohit achieved to be compared to anyone just based on mediocre average? Also Vishy predominantly played in the 70's, ODI cricket was at its infancy during that time. Remember first WC was in 1975? He retired in 1983, nice work comparing a player from that era to players of now who play on flat tracks and short boundaries. Care to watch some videos from early 90's in Australia, look how far the boundaries were.

    I was watching a game between SA and Australia in 1993/94, Australia at least had 2 all run 4's in their innings, thats how long the boundaries were.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    Vishy was a fantastic player. Seriously comparing him Rohit Sharma is daft. People who started watching cricket in the last 10-15 years are all about stats. Cricket in 70's and 80's was completely different, not many people averaged in 50's. The bowling was brilliant and pitches in the 80's weren't batting friendly. People who averaged 30's were considered as good players, 40+ very good and 50+ were ATG. These days anyone can average 50+. The fact that Rohit Sharma in this era, struggles to even average 40 in shows how horrible he is as a test player. A player whose average is only 39 because of his hundreds against SL and West Indies at home. If we remove those two teams his average in 30 innings drops to 26. This guy is keeping out players like karun Nair.

    At least I agree that Azhar Mahmood played couple of blinders against SA on his first tour there as a batsman. He batted against Donald, Pollock et all to score those hundreds, What has Rohit achieved to be compared to anyone just based on mediocre average? Also Vishy predominantly played in the 70's, ODI cricket was at its infancy during that time. Remember first WC was in 1975? He retired in 1983, nice work comparing a player from that era to players of now who play on flat tracks and short boundaries. Care to watch some videos from early 90's in Australia, look how far the boundaries were.

    I was watching a game between SA and Australia in 1993/94, Australia at least had 2 all run 4's in their innings, thats how long the boundaries were.
    Well I can't help it if the last game you watched was in 1994 and therefore nothing after counts for you.

    The first scoring shot for England in their ODIs was an all run four as well. If you didn't bother to watch, that means you are unqualified to comment. Clearly you are not actually aware of what is happening, but at the same time you want to sound authoritative about games you aren't even watching.

    In no era, ever, has an average of 19 OR a SR of 52 been acceptable. This guy was a total failure in the 50 over format, and his numbers in Test Cricket are good enough to be a regular for many years, but nothing that much better than that. Anyone can 'subjectively' say, this guy's wrist-work was beautiful, and then just completely ignore the wrist-work of Rohit Sharma hitting the best bowlers in the world for sixes on front-foot pulls.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    I am assessing Vishwanath at his best.Read what great bowlers like Andy Roberts and Dennis Killee felt about him.On bad wickets some rated him better than even Gavaskar.Vishys best 6?innings were in the Lara class like his unbeaten 97 at Madras.For sheer genius he was close to the every best .
    Remember how highly Sunny rated Vishy.
    But when Virat Kohli rates Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma highly I'm guessing you feel totally free to ignore that.

    That's because this isn't any sort of cricketing assessment going on here; it's some snobbish virtue-signalling where we all understand that soft-spoken South Indian guys are true class and their failures are aberrations, so they must be judged at their best. And brash North-Indians are just hacks, and their successes are flukes and the reality is they are losers, which we point out when they fail etc...

    And this isn't about North India, South India purely; it's just that so-called 'tragics' just have this set of players who are good guys who have to be praised and equally another set of bad ones who have to be attacked.

    Never mind if Rohit Sharma scores a metric ton of runs, he is useless even in ODIs if he fails thrice. Meanwhile Rahane can score one 70, and after that he can go back to wasting balls and not scoring runs and it's fine, we won't even talk about it, because he's one of the good guys. Right?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CricketAnalyst View Post
    Well I can't help it if the last game you watched was in 1994 and therefore nothing after counts for you.

    The first scoring shot for England in their ODIs was an all run four as well. If you didn't bother to watch, that means you are unqualified to comment. Clearly you are not actually aware of what is happening, but at the same time you want to sound authoritative about games you aren't even watching.

    In no era, ever, has an average of 19 OR a SR of 52 been acceptable. This guy was a total failure in the 50 over format, and his numbers in Test Cricket are good enough to be a regular for many years, but nothing that much better than that. Anyone can 'subjectively' say, this guy's wrist-work was beautiful, and then just completely ignore the wrist-work of Rohit Sharma hitting the best bowlers in the world for sixes on front-foot pulls.
    I don't even understand why you are bringing Vishy's ODI career here while the OP was talking about test cricket. India weren't a good ODI team in the 70's and we hardly won any games. Only after Kapil and in 80's did India take to ODI game. Look at what India did in 75 & 79 WC we did not win much. So what if Vishy had a poor ODI record? That doesn't make him a poor player. There are lots of players who had mediocre ODI records but did very well in tests and still were called greats. Vishy might not have been a great but is surely not a inferior to Rohit Sharma like you claim. I never said I did not watch any game after 1994 and I am quite aware of what is happening in International cricket. I accept that Rohit Sharma is a very good ODI player but based on just that he isn't better than Vishy by any stretch of imagination.

    ODI cricket was perceived different in the 70's in India. Vishy played just 25 ODI's spread over 9 years of his 13 year career. That amounts to about 2.5 games a year. You talk about SR, No Indian player averaged more than 36 in the 70's and Sunny's SR was 46 during that time. Please understand the time and what was the situation in World cricket at that time. People like Geoff Boycott were playing ODI cricket and ODI's were played for 60 overs. There is no comparison to the current scenario. Rohit Sharma is a product of T20 generation and yes he is able to plonk sixes of the bowlers he was facing. I would challenge him to hammer the same six against Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding in Sabina park in 1980.

    You seriously cannot compare players from 70's in ODI's to current generation and call someone better based on the Average and SR.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CricketAnalyst View Post
    But when Virat Kohli rates Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma highly I'm guessing you feel totally free to ignore that.

    That's because this isn't any sort of cricketing assessment going on here; it's some snobbish virtue-signalling where we all understand that soft-spoken South Indian guys are true class and their failures are aberrations, so they must be judged at their best. And brash North-Indians are just hacks, and their successes are flukes and the reality is they are losers, which we point out when they fail etc...

    And this isn't about North India, South India purely; it's just that so-called 'tragics' just have this set of players who are good guys who have to be praised and equally another set of bad ones who have to be attacked.

    Never mind if Rohit Sharma scores a metric ton of runs, he is useless even in ODIs if he fails thrice. Meanwhile Rahane can score one 70, and after that he can go back to wasting balls and not scoring runs and it's fine, we won't even talk about it, because he's one of the good guys. Right?
    What are you talking about man. You have certainly lost the plot here. No one is talking about how good of a person Vishy is. Was anyone attacking Rohit Sharma personally? He isn't even considered as someone who is brash in the Indian team. No one said Rohit Sharma is useless in ODI's, please point me to a post which says that. The topic is about Test cricket, nothing about ODI was ever mentioned about Vishy in the thread. You were the one who dragged Rohit Sharma and ODI averages in this thread, no one else did.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    What are you talking about man. You have certainly lost the plot here. No one is talking about how good of a person Vishy is. Was anyone attacking Rohit Sharma personally? He isn't even considered as someone who is brash in the Indian team. No one said Rohit Sharma is useless in ODI's, please point me to a post which says that. The topic is about Test cricket, nothing about ODI was ever mentioned about Vishy in the thread. You were the one who dragged Rohit Sharma and ODI averages in this thread, no one else did.
    His argument was Vishy is so good because Gavaskar rates him highly. My question is why be selective about this logic? Why is it that Gavaskar rating Vishy highly means he is a legend, but Kohli rating Sharma highly is meaningless?

    I am saying that a lot of these assessments are aesthetic and personal rather than based on cricket. Even in Viswanath's time 42 average is nothing special at all that this person is being treated like some all-time great.

  21. #21
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    @CricketAnalyst great posts. But unlikely you will get a response from @Harsh Thakor

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    I don't even understand why you are bringing Vishy's ODI career here while the OP was talking about test cricket. India weren't a good ODI team in the 70's and we hardly won any games. Only after Kapil and in 80's did India take to ODI game. Look at what India did in 75 & 79 WC we did not win much. So what if Vishy had a poor ODI record? That doesn't make him a poor player. There are lots of players who had mediocre ODI records but did very well in tests and still were called greats. Vishy might not have been a great but is surely not a inferior to Rohit Sharma like you claim. I never said I did not watch any game after 1994 and I am quite aware of what is happening in International cricket. I accept that Rohit Sharma is a very good ODI player but based on just that he isn't better than Vishy by any stretch of imagination.

    ODI cricket was perceived different in the 70's in India. Vishy played just 25 ODI's spread over 9 years of his 13 year career. That amounts to about 2.5 games a year. You talk about SR, No Indian player averaged more than 36 in the 70's and Sunny's SR was 46 during that time. Please understand the time and what was the situation in World cricket at that time. People like Geoff Boycott were playing ODI cricket and ODI's were played for 60 overs. There is no comparison to the current scenario. Rohit Sharma is a product of T20 generation and yes he is able to plonk sixes of the bowlers he was facing. I would challenge him to hammer the same six against Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding in Sabina park in 1980.

    You seriously cannot compare players from 70's in ODI's to current generation and call someone better based on the Average and SR.
    great post thanks a lot.would you not agree that at his best Vishy was like an ATG?remember his best innings in a crisis .

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Wonderful player, one of my AT favorite. He is among those players whose stats don't tell everything. I believe he had 12 hundreds and none in losing case which for a 70s IND player, great achievement. He has supreme stylish and a very much non Asian player, who loved pace a bounce. I never had seen him live, but from archives, I have seen his 114 at MCG and part of the 1974 Series against a rampant Roberts - enough.
    great post.one of the finbest ever aginst genuine pace bowling and on bad wickets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CricketAnalyst View Post
    His argument was Vishy is so good because Gavaskar rates him highly. My question is why be selective about this logic? Why is it that Gavaskar rating Vishy highly means he is a legend, but Kohli rating Sharma highly is meaningless?

    I am saying that a lot of these assessments are aesthetic and personal rather than based on cricket. Even in Viswanath's time 42 average is nothing special at all that this person is being treated like some all-time great.
    I am talking about test cricket.Vishy hardly played ODI'S .Still had a class 75 agisnt the best pace attack of all time in 1979 prudential cup.Rohit Sharma is a giant in ODIS.Vishy made an immortal contribution in tests,Rohit in ODIS.At his best or in a crisis or on bad wicket's Vishy could even surpass Gavaskar.Averaged over 45 for considerable period which is like averaging over 50 today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    I am talking about test cricket.Vishy hardly played ODI'S .Still had a class 75 agisnt the best pace attack of all time in 1979 prudential cup.Rohit Sharma is a giant in ODIS.Vishy made an immortal contribution in tests,Rohit in ODIS.At his best or in a crisis or on bad wicket's Vishy could even surpass Gavaskar.Averaged over 45 for considerable period which is like averaging over 50 today.
    I realize that you are not amenable to facts based discussions but why do these so called "best Pace Attacks of all time" look nothing spectacular on actual footage? Simple logic here is such high praise should be restricted to players who can actually stand out and you can back your words with some credible evidence other than producing certificates of achievements from Ex-players.

    Meanwhile here is some GRV footage. Iam sure you will actually Tell me why this is soo special without falling back on certificates from Ex-Players. (Iam totally aware of all the high praise Sunny has for GRV)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TSmstZYPMY
    Last edited by hadi123; 15th February 2018 at 13:18.


    Sydney Bangalore Manchester Centurion Durban Jo'burg Mohali Colombo Dhaka Adelaide Kolkata

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    He is held in extremely high regards by his fellow team mates and fans alike. A simply question though, don't you think any X,Y,Z player looks good when he is at his best? Even guys like Irfan Pathan, Hafeez, Shehzad, V. Prasad, etc?


    If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn’t arrived yet: Viv Richards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
    He is held in extremely high regards by his fellow team mates and fans alike. A simply question though, don't you think any X,Y,Z player looks good when he is at his best? Even guys like Irfan Pathan, Hafeez, Shehzad, V. Prasad, etc?
    Can't classify a Pathan or Hafeez with Vishy who was s genius on his day.See his remarkable record in India's wins and against great bowling attacks.Imagine averaging around 45 Upto 1982 in that era.Close to an all time gy.

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    Just saw the highlights of Vishwanath 114 against Australia in MCG.It Seems to be a Brilliant knock on a difficult pitch and I doubt whether likes of Rohit Sharma can score 40 on that pitch against that Attack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Just saw the highlights of Vishwanath 114 against Australia in MCG.It Seems to be a Brilliant knock on a difficult pitch and I doubt whether likes of Rohit Sharma can score 40 on that pitch against that Attack.
    @Harsh Thakor Did India managed to draw/Win in that Test?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    @Harsh Thakor Did India managed to draw/Win in that Test?
    Won the test and India drew a rubber for the first time ever in a series in Australia.India never lost a test when Vishy scored a century.

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    Simple answer to OP's question is 'pretty'.
    Also note that same answer is applicable to questions like 'How great was Anwar Ali at his best?'

    Fact is Vishy was a good batsman who had a few great days. Sort of like a 60's-70's version of VVS when on song. He's just about an India great. No way close to an ATG. All those nostalgia haze comments don't change anything. Cherry picking +ve comments would result in similiar threads for a host of talented but inconsistent chaps - Walters, Kim Hughes, Dennis Amiss, Amarnath etc.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pratiktc View Post
    Simple answer to OP's question is 'pretty'.
    Also note that same answer is applicable to questions like 'How great was Anwar Ali at his best?'

    Fact is Vishy was a good batsman who had a few great days. Sort of like a 60's-70's version of VVS when on song. He's just about an India great. No way close to an ATG. All those nostalgia haze comments don't change anything. Cherry picking +ve comments would result in similiar threads for a host of talented but inconsistent chaps - Walters, Kim Hughes, Dennis Amiss, Amarnath etc.
    Still a Walters,Amarnath or Amiss did not match the genius of Vishy or squalled him at his best.V.V.D.did.Both were as good as any great on their day wit their best efforts on par or even better than some of the best of all time.The games is not only about statistics but also about artistry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    Can't classify a Pathan or Hafeez with Vishy who was s genius on his day.See his remarkable record in India's wins and against great bowling attacks.Imagine averaging around 45 Upto 1982 in that era.Close to an all time gy.
    How about VVS Laxman? Him at his best tamed the Aussie bowling attack and was among the most attractive batsmen in the world. Can we compare him with Sachin, Lara or Ponting?


    If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn’t arrived yet: Viv Richards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
    How about VVS Laxman? Him at his best tamed the Aussie bowling attack and was among the most attractive batsmen in the world. Can we compare him with Sachin, Lara or Ponting?
    At his best in that bery class or club

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