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  1. #1
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    Just how weak is Test cricket in the current era?

    We all know the story.

    We live in an era of huge bats, grassless wickets, Kookaburra balls which do nothing between overs 20-80, and big scores.

    Yet every time batsmen have to play in challenging conditions, those big scores become small scores.

    Draws are viewed as a hallmark of old-fashioned cricket, even though modern pitches are exactly the type of flat, intact surface on which a Trevor Bailey would bat all day to save a Test.

    Time and again teams do what India did in the 2018 Fifth Test at The Oval - they eschew the opportunity to bat all day to save a Test, and instead launch a ludicrous effort to score 400+ to win, and end up losing.

    Occasionally a successful rearguard occurs - think of Neil Wagner and Ish Sodhi saving a home Test against England.

    But in general modern batsmen seem to lack the technique to defend or the temperament to bat time, even though the pitches and the balls are made for doing exactly that.

    So just how bad is the modern crop of Test cricketers?

    We all know that spin bowling is as bad as it has been since the 1970's. Yasir Shah was humiliated in most of his Tests in Australia, New Zealand and England and Ravi Ashwin was outbowled by Moeen Ali in England. Ravendra Jadeja is a marvel at home, yet bowling in the second innings at The Oval he took 3-179!

    But pace bowling is pretty dire too. The outstanding bowlers have been Jimmy Anderson - who wasn't good enough to get into England's 2005 Ashes team - and Dale Steyn who was a fairly limited bowler himself, as he often showed in Australia and England.

    You then have players like Mitchell Starc, who has all the tools except for a Test cricket brain, with the result that he has an identical Test record to Neil Wagner (Starc 182 wickets at 28.17, Wagner 149 wickets at 28.26).

    I have never seen England, Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies consistently put out Test teams in which there is no genuine pace in the bowling attack. Until now. And while Rabada is quick enough, the opening bowlers for South Africa have operated in the 130's for years now in Test cricket.

    Wicketkeeping is in a pretty dire state too now - Bairstow and De Kock and Watling can't catch, Paine and Sarfraz can't bat.

    I've never seen such a weak generation of opening batsmen - I actually can't think of a single international class Test opener in any country in the world now that Dave Warner is banned.

    As for middle-order batting, well Smith, Kohli, Williamson and Root all have obvious technical frailties and the fact that nobody can really separate them as Test batsmen in an era with a ball like the Kookaburra in widespread use tells you everything you need to know about their limitations.

    Until the last 20 years, we lived in a world in which there would be 3-4 strong Test teams and 3-4 weak ones.

    Now we live in an era in which teams 1 to 7 are all weak, and 8 to 10 are pathetic.

  2. #2
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    An exceptionally weak era especially when you consider a team like England in the last 3 years. Beat only a Saffer team at their weakest away and failed spectacularly in WI,UAE, India,OZ and NZ. Even at home with a dark red Dukes they couldn't beat PAK twice, NZ, just managed to win the ashes and dropped a test to the windies.

  3. #3
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    The bats from current era don't have a tight defense game but their approach towards the game is far more aggressive than the older era.

    The players of modern era are willing to take risk and take on bowlers, rather than tuk-tuking at a Strike Rate of 40, which was quite common in older era. The demand of the game has changed now.

    The modern-era players have a more positive mindset and an aggressive approach towards the game, and this is the only reason why test cricket hasn't been died yet. If the players would have continued with the defensive approach of players like Boycott, Gavaskar and Border, then test cricket would have been died 5 years back only.

    Cricket has evolved with the time and it is important for older era fans to accept that the demand of modern era has also changed. Yes, they dont have a defense as tighter as it was from older era players but their mindset and approach towards the game is quite aggressive now.

    Back then, a SR of 35 was equivalent to SR of 50 today.
    Last edited by Ab Fan; 17th September 2018 at 06:45.

  4. #4
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    Lament of an old man yearning for return of the glorious days when he/she/it was younger. Fielding and catching are perhaps the best they have ever been, stroke making is better than what it ever was, pitches are some of the toughest we have ever had - tracks turning square from day 1 in Asia, green pitches in England, SA and NZ, Aussies pitches are perhaps not as lively as they used to be but still produce more results compared to the previous era due to faster pace of the game.

    For your rant on current batsmen struggling on tough pitches, most top batsmen of previous eras would mostly get run out if they played now give the abysmal fielding and catching standard in general (barring a few exceptions) of those days and most pacers would struggle to play back to back 5 days of tests and play another test after a 3 day gap.

    We used to have Rest days in a professional sport, imagine asking for that in the current era!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketindiafan View Post
    Lament of an old man yearning for return of the glorious days when he/she/it was younger. Fielding and catching are perhaps the best they have ever been, stroke making is better than what it ever was, pitches are some of the toughest we have ever had - tracks turning square from day 1 in Asia, green pitches in England, SA and NZ, Aussies pitches are perhaps not as lively as they used to be but still produce more results compared to the previous era due to faster pace of the game.

    For your rant on current batsmen struggling on tough pitches, most top batsmen of previous eras would mostly get run out if they played now give the abysmal fielding and catching standard in general (barring a few exceptions) of those days and most pacers would struggle to play back to back 5 days of tests and play another test after a 3 day gap.

    We used to have Rest days in a professional sport, imagine asking for that in the current era!
    The abolition of Rest Days has been an absolute disaster, IMHO.

    Rest Days ensured that Fast Bowlers got a longer break between bowling, and could bowl faster for longer with a smaller risk of injury.

    Rest Days also meant that a spinner bowling on Day 5 was bowling on a pitch which had had six days of sunshine on it.

    If I could change one thing in Test cricket, I'd abolish the Kookaburra ball.

    If I could change a second thing in Test cricket, I'd bring back Rest Days.

  6. #6
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    On a positive note, hitting for power, running between the wickets and outfielding quality is at an all-time high.

    Umpiring is better - due to technology we are not getting many howler decisions and accusations of bias any more.

    I disagree that catching is better - look at the number of drops in the recent Anglo-India series, it’s unheard of. Could be that players’ concentration spans have shrunk due to the growth of LO cricket.

    Defensive technique has been lost to the point where fewer batters can survive against the moving ball. Indians and Aussies can’t play swing. England keep getting out of jail due to lower-order all-rounders clobbering the old ball. England can’t play spin like the Three Gs in the eighties.

    Keeping standards have fallen. There is nobody of the class of Jack Russell - unbelievable hand speed, standing up to the medium pacers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    The abolition of Rest Days has been an absolute disaster, IMHO.

    Rest Days ensured that Fast Bowlers got a longer break between bowling, and could bowl faster for longer with a smaller risk of injury.

    Rest Days also meant that a spinner bowling on Day 5 was bowling on a pitch which had had six days of sunshine on it.

    If I could change one thing in Test cricket, I'd abolish the Kookaburra ball.

    If I could change a second thing in Test cricket, I'd bring back Rest Days.
    Concur on all counts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketindiafan View Post
    Lament of an old man yearning for return of the glorious days when he/she/it was younger. Fielding and catching are perhaps the best they have ever been, stroke making is better than what it ever was, pitches are some of the toughest we have ever had - tracks turning square from day 1 in Asia, green pitches in England, SA and NZ, Aussies pitches are perhaps not as lively as they used to be but still produce more results compared to the previous era due to faster pace of the game.

    For your rant on current batsmen struggling on tough pitches, most top batsmen of previous eras would mostly get run out if they played now give the abysmal fielding and catching standard in general (barring a few exceptions) of those days and most pacers would struggle to play back to back 5 days of tests and play another test after a 3 day gap.

    We used to have Rest days in a professional sport, imagine asking for that in the current era!
    Rest days are normal in sport.

    It's why Rugby World Cup matches for any team are a minimum 7 days apart, and football World Cup knockout games are at least 4 days apart.

    Even athletes need a rest.

  9. #9
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    Ah the good old days. You are just having nostalgia of watching past players playing at a snail pace. Its human nature to glorify the past.
    But in reality players of this era are far superior in fitness. Fab 4 of today would excel in any era. Every batsman has some chinks in their armour Eg: Sachin was suspectible to incoming deliveries.And regarding draws a lot of teams do look for a draw if victory isnt possible . Most recent example is 4th ashes trat and eng vs nz test Even batters of today grind it out when there is need of it
    Eg: Smith 100 in 1st ashes test and stokes and ali 50s recently
    Most importantly pitches are not flat now a days in tests its just a delusion. Test matches are more and more low scoring.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Rest days are normal in sport.

    It's why Rugby World Cup matches for any team are a minimum 7 days apart, and football World Cup knockout games are at least 4 days apart.

    Even athletes need a rest.
    But the rest is between games, not within a same game/match!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Rest days are normal in sport.

    It's why Rugby World Cup matches for any team are a minimum 7 days apart, and football World Cup knockout games are at least 4 days apart.

    Even athletes need a rest.
    We are not talking about gaps between two matches, I'm sure you know this or is it you being just facetious?

    Which sport allows a rest day in between an ongoing test match like the good old so called professional era used to have? And on top of that they used to play not more than 75-80 overs regularly without any penalties. I am so glad those useless concepts have been done away with.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    The abolition of Rest Days has been an absolute disaster, IMHO.

    Rest Days ensured that Fast Bowlers got a longer break between bowling, and could bowl faster for longer with a smaller risk of injury.

    Rest Days also meant that a spinner bowling on Day 5 was bowling on a pitch which had had six days of sunshine on it.

    If I could change one thing in Test cricket, I'd abolish the Kookaburra ball.

    If I could change a second thing in Test cricket, I'd bring back Rest Days.
    Oh the same old nostalgia.

    While we are at it, let us go back to bowling 75-80 overs a day and having 10 days and a practice match between Test matches.

    I'm glad when I started following cricket seriously in mid-late 80s, that practice was gradually on its way out. More so when I realised it was introduced mostly for religious reasons.

  13. #13
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    The thread shows that age is catching up to the OP. Get on with the times, test cricket is barely surviving as it is. If the batsmen go back to blockathon at 40 SR then it will die in 5 years.

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    Yes let's watch Angus Fraser bowling to Chris Tavare session after session and adore how strong test cricket has suddenly gotten.

    105 overs. 189/3.

    My heart can't handle all the excitement man. Nopes.


    ya aenu chuk lay ya mainu aenu chukkan di taaqat day

  15. #15
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    There are many things to pick apart in the OP but one of the most egregious is the implication that batsman trying to chase down 400 instead of playing for a draw is a bad development. I'd much rather watch a team which is 3-1 down try to chase 400 than try to keep the series at 3-1

  16. #16
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    Test cricket is in brilliant health at the moment.

    Every game is a spectacle. Sure, I'd like a well fought draw or two but barring that it's great.

  17. #17
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    Test cricket is as good as it's ever been.

    Those who are reminiscing about the past are simply romanticising the situation.

  18. #18
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    It's not the weakest of all time but it's certainly weaker than it was when I started watching test cricket in the late 90s/early 00s.

  19. #19
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    Teams have become more stronger at home.

  20. #20
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    This is hardly a weak era of test cricket.

    People talk like as if the 70s was so competitive.

    9 out of 10 times it was only AUS and WI winning matches.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoUgandaCranes View Post
    Yes let's watch Angus Fraser bowling to Chris Tavare session after session and adore how strong test cricket has suddenly gotten.

    105 overs. 189/3.

    My heart can't handle all the excitement man. Nopes.
    Eh? Both were England players and Tavaré's test career ended five year before Gus's began.

    Gus was a top bowler, effective in all the conditions he played in and I wish England had his like today.


    Quote Originally Posted by the_outsider View Post
    This is hardly a weak era of test cricket.

    People talk like as if the 70s was so competitive.

    9 out of 10 times it was only AUS and WI winning matches.
    Not so, England won in Australia in 1972/3, held WI away a year later and beat India away in 1976/7.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketindiafan View Post
    Which sport allows a rest day in between an ongoing test match like the good old so called professional era used to have? And on top of that they used to play not more than 75-80 overs regularly without any penalties. I am so glad those useless concepts have been done away with.
    The rest day was for Christian reasons. The last one was in 2001. It actually increased the tension because fans were so desperate to get oin with the match.

    Over rates used to be much higher than they are today. They have been static at about 14 overs per hour for decades even with the spinners on. I can remember England and NZ agreeing to bowl at least sixteen an hour in one series.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    We all know the story.

    We live in an era of huge bats, grassless wickets, Kookaburra balls which do nothing between overs 20-80, and big scores.

    Yet every time batsmen have to play in challenging conditions, those big scores become small scores.

    Draws are viewed as a hallmark of old-fashioned cricket, even though modern pitches are exactly the type of flat, intact surface on which a Trevor Bailey would bat all day to save a Test.

    Draws were hallmark of cricket of 70s and 80s because back then cricket used to be similar to 3-4 days cricket and not 5 days cricket.

    Can you list of instances when modern batsmen are losing games consistently in 3 days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Time and again teams do what India did in the 2018 Fifth Test at The Oval - they eschew the opportunity to bat all day to save a Test, and instead launch a ludicrous effort to score 400+ to win, and end up losing.

    So just how bad is the modern crop of Test cricketers?
    Can you list how many times players from 70s and 80s could bat for more than 420 overs and still save the game?

    Please don't lie and try mislead younger generation by painting false narrative.

    Those batsmen were worse than modern batsmen. Even on flat pitches they used to lose games in 3-3.5 days (350-400 overs).

    This myth has already been busted on PP, but not surprised that you continue with same narrative.



  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Eh? Both were England players and Tavaré's test career ended five year before Gus's began.

    Gus was a top bowler, effective in all the conditions he played in and I wish England had his like today.




    Not so, England won in Australia in 1972/3, held WI away a year later and beat India away in 1976/7.
    never mind. you didn't get my sarcasm. I know who they were and when they played and what their ability was.


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  25. #25
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    How many tests had 450 overs bowled in 70s/80s?

    Saving tests with 350 overs are totally different than saving tests with 450 overs.


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    Yasir Shah wasnt humuliated in England. I think he did OK there considering Pakistan was only playing with 3.5 bowlers (inclusive of a half fit Sohail Khan).

    I was hugely shocked at his failure in Australia though. He had the game to succeed in Australia but don’t know what went wrong.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza619 View Post
    Yasir Shah wasnt humuliated in England. I think he did OK there considering Pakistan was only playing with 3.5 bowlers (inclusive of a half fit Sohail Khan).

    I was hugely shocked at his failure in Australia though. He had the game to succeed in Australia but don’t know what went wrong.
    It started with him being used to contain runs rather than taking wickets. It was horrible way to use a leg spinner in Aus. There was no guaranty that he would have done much better, but at least you give the best chance to your best bowler.


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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    The rest day was for Christian reasons. The last one was in 2001. It actually increased the tension because fans were so desperate to get oin with the match.

    Over rates used to be much higher than they are today. They have been static at about 14 overs per hour for decades even with the spinners on. I can remember England and NZ agreeing to bowl at least sixteen an hour in one series.
    I am not too sure about this. I was trying to find average number of overs in test matches in 1980s and it was 331 overs per test. That's 3 days and 60 overs of play. 331 overs when draws were in much higher numbers.

    Anyone has exact over rates of each decade?


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

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_outsider View Post
    This is hardly a weak era of test cricket.

    People talk like as if the 70s was so competitive.

    9 out of 10 times it was only AUS and WI winning matches.
    India did make it to the #1 ranking in the 70s... twice actually, but the second time shouldn't count as it was the Packer-depleted era. The first time was without any blemish.
    Last edited by Napa; 7th October 2018 at 15:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    It started with him being used to contain runs rather than taking wickets. It was horrible way to use a leg spinner in Aus. There was no guaranty that he would have done much better, but at least you give the best chance to your best bowler.
    Could be fitness issues. He has had fitness problems for a while now

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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza619 View Post
    Could be fitness issues. He has had fitness problems for a while now
    I watches Aus series. It was not a fitness issue for him. It was poor captaincy. He was asked to bowl defensively outside of leg stump. If you are asked to bowl negative line then you can't pick up wickets. Few times you bowled regular line and he looked much better.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    I watches Aus series. It was not a fitness issue for him. It was poor captaincy. He was asked to bowl defensively outside of leg stump. If you are asked to bowl negative line then you can't pick up wickets. Few times you bowled regular line and he looked much better.
    Ok. I think Shadab Khan potentially will do better in Australia. It seems like our bowling is as much of a problem in Australia as our batting

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    BUMP
    @Junaids

    Can you spot how many your beloved 70s and 80s teams are above Australias effort today in this list of 4th inngs blockathons measured by no.of overs faced in the 4th inngs ?

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...m;view=innings

    Last edited by Tusker; 11th October 2018 at 14:32.


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tusker View Post
    BUMP
    @Junaids

    Can you spot how many your beloved 70s and 80s teams are above Australias effort today in this list of 4th inngs blockathons measured by no.of overs faced in the 4th inngs ?

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...m;view=innings

    You know I love a good rearguard and I love Tim Paine, so I’ve enjoyed today.

    But surely you recognise that a third rate batting line-up batted a day and a half to save a Test against a second rate bowling attack on a pitch that was slow, had regular bounce and didn’t assist spin on the last two days.

    The last half-day was fun, but it was a boring Test between two weak teams on a horrible pitch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    I am not too sure about this. I was trying to find average number of overs in test matches in 1980s and it was 331 overs per test. That's 3 days and 60 overs of play. 331 overs when draws were in much higher numbers.

    Anyone has exact over rates of each decade?
    That was WI slowing it down. The other sides thought - you’re only giving us 13 per hour, we’ll only give you 13 per hour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    That was WI slowing it down. The other sides thought - you’re only giving us 13 per hour, we’ll only give you 13 per hour.
    Excluding WI, it's the same number - 331 overs in each test in 80s.


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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    Excluding WI, it's the same number - 331 overs in each test in 80s.
    Interesting - as I said Eng-NZ rattled along at 16 overs per hour. There was the ‘Siege’ tour of India by England in 1981/2 where the Indians, having gone one up, slowed it down to nine overs an hour with the spinners on, and England retaliated by giving them eight an hour. What a bore that must have been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Interesting - as I said Eng-NZ rattled along at 16 overs per hour. There was the ‘Siege’ tour of India by England in 1981/2 where the Indians, having gone one up, slowed it down to nine overs an hour with the spinners on, and England retaliated by giving them eight an hour. What a bore that must have been.
    I think you mean the sixth test where less than 250 overs were bowled.
    http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1...-india-1981-82

    I think both teams just gave up on result because they played 4 draws on a trot. Bad times for bowlers on that tour.


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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    You know I love a good rearguard and I love Tim Paine, so I’ve enjoyed today.

    But surely you recognise that a third rate batting line-up batted a day and a half to save a Test against a second rate bowling attack on a pitch that was slow, had regular bounce and didn’t assist spin on the last two days.

    The last half-day was fun, but it was a boring Test between two weak teams on a horrible pitch.
    Beg to disagree. However you completely dodged the question - why aren't the supposedly great defensive players and their teams (WI/Eng/Pak/Aus) from the 80s ( Who could be immovable objects on Green tracks going by your hyperbolic descriptions) occupying all the top slots in that list ?

    You into Fiction much ?


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    I am not too sure about this. I was trying to find average number of overs in test matches in 1980s and it was 331 overs per test. That's 3 days and 60 overs of play. 331 overs when draws were in much higher numbers.

    Anyone has exact over rates of each decade?

    for 4th inngs :

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...ults;type=team

    From that

    2010 = 100001/282 = 354 balls/match
    2000 = 108586/310 = 350
    1990 = 80288/227 = 353
    1980 = 46499/156 = 298
    1970 = 56261/140 = 401

    For all inngs in a match:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...ults;type=team

    Code:
    Dec	Matches	Balls	Balls/Match
    
    2010s	376	742414	1975
    2000s	464	916337	1975
    1990s	347	700101	2018
    1980s	266	528477	1987
    1970s	198	446566	2255
    1960s	186	448076	2409
    1950s	164	374366	2283
    1940s	45	107012	2378
    1930s	89	189322	2127
    1920s	51	114614	2247
    1910s	29	51945	1791
    1900s	41	73940	1803
    1890s	32	62052	1939
    1880s	29	48342	1667
    1870s	3	4758	1586

    Now be ready for the next excuse - Everything back in 1908s was high quality so even if they faced lesser no.of overs it was all super high quality. You cant win here


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  41. #41
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    Watched a lot of footage tests played in 70’s and 80’s on YouTube.

    The standards were appalling. Most cricketers looked like pregnant women. Their athleticism is shameful. Fielding was bad. Nondives, nobsliding saves. They just escort the ball to the boundary.

    Batsmen lacked muscle to hit big batting a few. Nobody wants to watch batsmen scoring snail paced 50’s. 8 day tests are a joke.

    Bowlers were mostly trundlers. Only WI bowlers and a couple from Aus could be considered as fast bowlers. The rest would trundle at 115k’s and lacked any energy or passion.

    Modern day players would wipe the floor with those 70’s and 80’s era bowlers.

    It’s only since 90’s we started seeing some fantastic bowlers from Pak, Aus that made bowling look more exciting. Batsmen also started playing more aggressively and the game became more interesting.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by troodon View Post
    Watched a lot of footage tests played in 70’s and 80’s on YouTube.

    The standards were appalling. Most cricketers looked like pregnant women. Their athleticism is shameful. Fielding was bad. Nondives, nobsliding saves. They just escort the ball to the boundary.

    Batsmen lacked muscle to hit big batting a few. Nobody wants to watch batsmen scoring snail paced 50’s. 8 day tests are a joke.

    Bowlers were mostly trundlers. Only WI bowlers and a couple from Aus could be considered as fast bowlers. The rest would trundle at 115k’s and lacked any energy or passion.

    Modern day players would wipe the floor with those 70’s and 80’s era bowlers.

    It’s only since 90’s we started seeing some fantastic bowlers from Pak, Aus that made bowling look more exciting. Batsmen also started playing more aggressively and the game became more interesting.
    Exactly my thoughts as well ... confirmed by the stubborn refusal from the old era fanatics to explain based on footage ... invariably they al resort to re-cycling stories and producing certificates of achievements all signed by ex-cricketers from the same sure ! Yup no conflict of interest there


    1974 ashes footage : https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...4+ashes+series

    Plenty of cricket - nobody will watch that today !
    Last edited by Tusker; 12th October 2018 at 03:09.


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    Yeah yeah ,seen all those shupa fast bowlers in those disgraceful pitches as well.


    In cricket, my superhero is Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been my hero.
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    Yea, let's ensure that Test cricket is played the way it used to be in the 70's, and in the process ensure that the already struggling format of the game that we so dearly love dosen't even survive for another 5 years. That would be the best solution for the betterment of the format of the game, isn't it?


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

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tusker View Post
    BUMP
    @Junaids

    Can you spot how many your beloved 70s and 80s teams are above Australias effort today in this list of 4th inngs blockathons measured by no.of overs faced in the 4th inngs ?

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...m;view=innings

    Or that blockathon by SA against India at Delhi some years back, when AB of all batsmen blocked almost entire day! Or what Faf did against Aus in Aus. That's like Boycott blazing to a 70-ball ton on day 1 of a test match.

    My point is modern day batsman could play so out of their character to serve their teams' needs. Could old era batsmen play out of their dour character and blaze away in test cricket?

  46. #46
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    I guess OP has not watched cricket in the 90s. Paul downton, Jack Russell, England was outrageously pathetic against spin during that time. Pakistan lost home series to noob teams like Srilanka, Zimbabwe. India was literally Tendulkar nothing else. West Indies/Australia/SA were decent. Otherwise it was a pathetic era.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnaveen1980 View Post
    I guess OP has not watched cricket in the 90s. Paul downton, Jack Russell, England was outrageously pathetic against spin during that time. Pakistan lost home series to noob teams like Srilanka, Zimbabwe. India was literally Tendulkar nothing else. West Indies/Australia/SA were decent. Otherwise it was a pathetic era.
    Eh? Downton played his last match in 1986 IIRC.

    Atherton, Thorpe and Hick all played spin really well. It’s the current team that can’t play spin.

    England could at least hold what was still a very good WI, and beat SA in 1998.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnaveen1980 View Post
    I guess OP has not watched cricket in the 90s. Paul downton, Jack Russell, England was outrageously pathetic against spin during that time. Pakistan lost home series to noob teams like Srilanka, Zimbabwe. India was literally Tendulkar nothing else. West Indies/Australia/SA were decent. Otherwise it was a pathetic era.
    West Indies were brilliant till 95 and Australia from onwards. Saffers were decent throughout. Hardly a 'pathetic' era.


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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    West Indies were brilliant till 95 and Australia from onwards. Saffers were decent throughout. Hardly a 'pathetic' era.
    In fact '90s was perhaps the most competitive decade in international cricket especially when you consider the no. of greats and ATGs playing in that decade.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP2011 View Post
    In fact '90s was perhaps the most competitive decade in international cricket especially when you consider the no. of greats and ATGs playing in that decade.
    It's the most underrated era for sure. All the talk of the glory days of the 70's and 80's, pre WW2, Australian dominance of noughties etc. but people just don't seem to rate the 90's as highly despite having the best cricket across both formats.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    It's the most underrated era for sure. All the talk of the glory days of the 70's and 80's, pre WW2, Australian dominance of noughties etc. but people just don't seem to rate the 90's as highly despite having the best cricket across both formats.
    '90s had several good to great teams in Aus, WI, SA and Pakistan! Which other decade can boast of having that many quality teams littered with so many great players simultaneously?

  52. #52
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    Quality bowlers in this decade -
    AUS - Hazlewood , Starc, Cummins
    SA - Rabada, Steyn, Philander, Ngidi
    Eng - Broad, Anderson.
    India - Bumrah, Shami, Ashwin
    NZ - Boult, Southee

    Not bad at all. All or most of these bowlers average in their 20s or lower 20s.

  53. #53
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    Harsha Bhogle once in an article said it best - "It's human tendency to underrate the present and grossly overrate the past".


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

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    In terms of spin playing ability and slip catching it's weak. But batsmen are scoring at a very good rate. Offies are essential in test cricket and fast bowlers are able to bowl long spells without breaking down for the most part.

    Not the strongest era of test cricket but I don't think it's the weakest.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
    Harsha Bhogle once in an article said it best - "It's human tendency to underrate the present and grossly overrate the past".

    Yup I remember that article ... here's the link:

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine...ry/603756.html

    The quote from that article:

    The leader of their attack sends a tingle down the spine of most batsmen and makes spectators sit on the edge of their seats. It is human nature to underrate the present and grossly overrate the past, but if you outlaw that trait, the time has come to place Steyn among the greatest fast bowlers of the game.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP2011 View Post
    Or that blockathon by SA against India at Delhi some years back, when AB of all batsmen blocked almost entire day! Or what Faf did against Aus in Aus. That's like Boycott blazing to a 70-ball ton on day 1 of a test match.

    My point is modern day batsman could play so out of their character to serve their teams' needs. Could old era batsmen play out of their dour character and blaze away in test cricket?
    That's a very good point ... Iam not saying it never happened in the past but by and large someone would have to pay me a lot of money to go watch that old style of blockathon cricket.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    It's the most underrated era for sure. All the talk of the glory days of the 70's and 80's, pre WW2, Australian dominance of noughties etc. but people just don't seem to rate the 90's as highly despite having the best cricket across both formats.
    1995 to 2018 - those 23 years have been the most competitive years in international cricket in my opinion.

    1. Australia was the powerhouse for 17 years out of 20.

    2. England was undefeated in the Ashes at home from 2005-2015. (they still are, in fact)

    3. South Africa were consistently the best team overall, across all conditions and formats. This era saw the greatest ODI ever between these two teams.

    4. India started winning away from the 2000s and by 2015 had become a powerhouse in ODIs. And their performance at home has never been stronger.

    5. Post 2003 WC and upto 2015 especially, New Zealand have been the best team they have ever been in a long time.

    6. Sri Lanka is the same case. 1996 to 2015 is the strongest they have ever been in world cricket.

    Bangladesh became a real force at home in the second half. Who would have thought back in 2003 that Bangladesh would knock India out of a WC and then have test wins against Eng, Aus and SA?

    Even small teams like Ireland, UAE and Afghanistan reached their peak in this era.

    6 teams were competitive across the level and have beaten each other consistently in these last 22 odd years. I don't think there was ever a time before where 6 teams were about par and anyone could win on their day.


    As @Hitman said, Harsha is completely right. We get emotional about the past and often are quite myopic about the present.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    It's the most underrated era for sure. All the talk of the glory days of the 70's and 80's, pre WW2, Australian dominance of noughties etc. but people just don't seem to rate the 90's as highly despite having the best cricket across both formats.
    I rate the nineties highly - though England were bottom in the world in 1999!

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    Test cricket definitely has declined

    Batsmen don't know how to graft
    Flatter pitches all round
    No superstar pace bowlers anymore - maybe Anderson
    Smaller grounds
    No West Indies of before - they were a big draw
    Teams consistently doing poor overseas - more than before

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I rate the nineties highly - though England were bottom in the world in 1999!
    Wasn't referring to you. You are a wise poster. There are certain other posters though who believe cricket's quality declines every decade and absolutely refuse to rate anything after era of Windies dominance and Imran's Pakistan.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    Wasn't referring to you. You are a wise poster. There are certain other posters though who believe cricket's quality declines every decade and absolutely refuse to rate anything after era of Windies dominance and Imran's Pakistan.
    Thank you.

    Like I said, the skill set changes with time. Some skills get better such as fielding and hitting for power. Some decline like defensive techniques.


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