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  1. #1
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    Zaheer Abbas or Gundappa Vishwanath? Who was the better Test batsmen?

    Rarely in the history of the game have 2 great batsmen been so close to each other in stature.Zaheer Abbas and Gundappa Vishwanath were the ultimate stylists of their day and age giving the art of batting it's prose or poetry.They were simply the epitome of artistry and elegance reminiscent of a musician or painter.,literally sculpting their innings.Their strokes had the beauty of a lotus blooming.

    Zaheer was the marginally more complete , classical and stylish.Vishy was the more creative and talented.Zaheer was better against spin,Vishy better against pace.Zaheer was more effective on the flat tracks,Vishy better on the fast or bad ones.Zaheer had a better penchant for making mammoth scores,Vishy was the better batsmen in a crisis.

    Statistically Zaheer had a better batting average of 44.79 ,but Vishwanath was more prolific scoring 6080 runs and much more successful against the premier team of their day,the West Indies,Vishwanath scored 4 centuries at an average above 50 against them while Zaheer scored no century and averaged only 17.In Australia considering the opposition Zaheer fared better averaging over 57 in 1976-77 facing the likes of Lillee,including scoring a century.Vishy averaged over 50 in 1977-78 but against a 2nd string attack,with only Thomson a genuine great.In England Zaheer was definitely a notch ahead scoring 2 double centuries,but again it was Vishy who was better in crisis situations like at Lords in 1979 and at the Oval and Old Trafford in 1982.At home what gave the edge to Zaheer were his scores against India which were Bradmanesque.Pertinent that both Zaheer and Vishy never scored a test hundred in a losing cause.

    .The Vishy against West Indies in 1974-75 and 1978-79 would have been more an asset to a side than Zaheer Abbas.However the Zaheer Abbas against England in 1971 and arguably 1974 as well as against India at home in 1978-79 and 1982-83 would have have been a more eligible candidate than Vishy.In Australia it was virtually a draw .

    With a gun on my head by less than a a whisker I would choose Gundappa Vishwanath over Zaheer Abbas.My main criteria was Vishy's consistency in a crisis,on bad wickets and against sheer pace.

  2. #2
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    Vishi. Abbas was absolutely horrendous against the West Indies averaging 18.50 in 15 innings with 1 50, while Vishi was brilliant.
    Last edited by Hitman; 10th January 2019 at 15:58.


    If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasnít arrived yet: Viv Richards

  3. #3
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    Vishwanath scored runs when the chips were down and everyone else including Gavaskar struggled. He scored 14 test centuries and India did not lose any of these 14 tests.

    Vishwanath's most fondly remembered series was 1974-75 series against West Indies where West Indies won 3-2. Vishwanath was the batting mainstay of India in that series.

    Vishwanath and Gavaskar both scored centuries in the famous innings at Port of Spain when India scored 406/4 in the fourth innings to earn a famous victory.

  4. #4
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    Vishwanath as a test batsman, the most clutch Indian batsman of all time and a master against pace, bounce and seam. Always scored the hard runs, never did useless stats padding. Lillee, Andy Roberts and Hadlee are some legends who have praised him to the skies, rating him above Gavaskar.

    Overall it is Abbas, he was one of the pioneers of ODI cricket besides being a very good test batsman. He was a better player of swing and spin than the Indian.

    Both of those guys were artists with the bat. Vishy's square and late cuts, Abbas' check off drives were examples of their supreme genius.
    Last edited by Swashbuckler; 10th January 2019 at 16:18.

  5. #5
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    @Junaids @MMHS @Ab Fan please participate here.Cherish contribution with your knowledge Also@Robert

  6. #6
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    Azharuddin's batting style was quite similar to Zaheer Abbas's batting style though Azharuddin may never have seen Zaheer Abbas's batting as there was no TV coverage of matches in India till early 1980s.

  7. #7
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    Zaheer without a shade of doubt. I'm sure many non Indians (and most of the Indians themselves) might not even have heard of this Vishwanath guy. Zaheer is a legend and one of the pioneers of stylish batting. He is only 2nd to Viv in ODIs. Even in tests, Indians will know better how Zaheer tormented the famous Indian quartet and caused their retirements. Zaheer Abbas is a legend comparable with the likes of Allan Border, Greg Chappel.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shandarchowka View Post
    Zaheer without a shade of doubt. I'm sure many non Indians (and most of the Indians themselves) might not even have heard of this Vishwanath guy. Zaheer is a legend and one of the pioneers of stylish batting. He is only 2nd to Viv in ODIs. Even in tests, Indians will know better how Zaheer tormented the famous Indian quartet and caused their retirements. Zaheer Abbas is a legend comparable with the likes of Allan Border, Greg Chappel.
    You may not have heard of Vishwanath, but Vishwanath has scored more test runs and centuries than Zaheer Abbas. Zaheer Abbas was a stylist batsman who scored heavily in England and Pakistan. Vishwanath was a stylist batsman known for his square cuts. Vishwanath scored his runs against the most fearsome bowlers of those days, viz against against West Indies. Zaheer Abbas failed miserably against West Indian pacers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by latecut View Post
    You may not have heard of Vishwanath, but Vishwanath has scored more test runs and centuries than Zaheer Abbas. Zaheer Abbas was a stylist batsman who scored heavily in England and Pakistan. Vishwanath was a stylist batsman known for his square cuts. Vishwanath scored his runs against the most fearsome bowlers of those days, viz against against West Indies. Zaheer Abbas failed miserably against West Indian pacers.
    Scoring in England against the likes of Botham, Willis is no mean feat. As pointed out in the OP, Zaheer also fared well in Australia. He clearly averages better even there. I'll take Zaheer in my team everyday and twice on Sundays.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shandarchowka View Post
    Zaheer without a shade of doubt. I'm sure many non Indians (and most of the Indians themselves) might not even have heard of this Vishwanath guy. Zaheer is a legend and one of the pioneers of stylish batting. He is only 2nd to Viv in ODIs. Even in tests, Indians will know better how Zaheer tormented the famous Indian quartet and caused their retirements. Zaheer Abbas is a legend comparable with the likes of Allan Border, Greg Chappel.
    Only you, those who have some knowledge of the game will tell you otherwise.

    Yeah sure, ODI cricket was never played after the 80s.

    Just like how Sehwag ended Saqlain's career in Pakistan?

    Why stop at Border and Chappell, why not bring in Bradman?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shandarchowka View Post
    Scoring in England against the likes of Botham, Willis is no mean feat. As pointed out in the OP, Zaheer also fared well in Australia. He clearly averages better even there. I'll take Zaheer in my team everyday and twice on Sundays.
    Vishy averaged more than Zaheer in Australia, NZ, WI and India. Abbas averaged more in England and Pakistan. But hey why let facts get in your way? Even Imran never rated Abbas highly, called him selfish and scared of fast bowling.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
    Only you, those who have some knowledge of the game will tell you otherwise.

    Yeah sure, ODI cricket was never played after the 80s.

    Just like how Sehwag ended Saqlain's career in Pakistan?

    Why stop at Border and Chappell, why not bring in Bradman?



    Vishy averaged more than Zaheer in Australia, NZ, WI and India. Abbas averaged more in England and Pakistan. But hey why let facts get in your way? Even Imran never rated Abbas highly, called him selfish and scared of fast bowling.
    From Op:-
    In Australia considering the opposition Zaheer fared better averaging over 57 in 1976-77 facing the likes of Lillee,including scoring a century.Vishy averaged over 50 in 1977-78 but against a 2nd string attack,with only Thomson a genuine great.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
    Only you, those who have some knowledge of the game will tell you otherwise.

    Yeah sure, ODI cricket was never played after the 80s.

    Just like how Sehwag ended Saqlain's career in Pakistan?

    Why stop at Border and Chappell, why not bring in Bradman?



    Vishy averaged more than Zaheer in Australia, NZ, WI and India. Abbas averaged more in England and Pakistan. But hey why let facts get in your way? Even Imran never rated Abbas highly, called him selfish and scared of fast bowling.
    Genuinely made me laugh. Although that poster's post me laugh even more. There's delusion, and then there's stupidity.


    If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasnít arrived yet: Viv Richards

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakPremi View Post
    From Op:-
    In Australia considering the opposition Zaheer fared better averaging over 57 in 1976-77 facing the likes of Lillee,including scoring a century.Vishy averaged over 50 in 1977-78 but against a 2nd string attack,with only Thomson a genuine great.
    I was answering that poster in question, not the OP.

    Vishy too scored a famous match winning 100 in the 1981 series against Lillee and Pascoe.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
    Only you, those who have some knowledge of the game will tell you otherwise.

    Yeah sure, ODI cricket was never played after the 80s.

    Just like how Sehwag ended Saqlain's career in Pakistan?

    Why stop at Border and Chappell, why not bring in Bradman?



    Vishy averaged more than Zaheer in Australia, NZ, WI and India. Abbas averaged more in England and Pakistan. But hey why let facts get in your way? Even Imran never rated Abbas highly, called him selfish and scared of fast bowling.
    Excellent post. Would have to take Vishy over Zaheer, both were class but Vishy a level above against the ATG pacers.


    Politics trumps intelligence (pun intended).

  15. #15
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    Vishwanath was more talented as a batsman

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    Who cares? It's 2019 now and both these ex cricketers are immensely respected. From quick look at record Zaheer seems to be the more prolific scorer in his generation but almost every ex cricketer talks very highly of Gundappa as well. So i guess he must have been special too.

  17. #17
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    lol have never heard of this vishwakunath guy. Surely Zaheer.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sher Khan View Post
    lol have never heard of this vishwakunath guy. Surely Zaheer.
    Mr Serkan it's vishwanath.

  19. #19
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    Did not see Vishwanath. Zaheer's test career with only 12 centuries is nothing to shout about. He could not have been that good. So much for the "Asian Bradman" tag


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  20. #20
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    Zaheer Abbas was called Asian Bradman during his playing days. With the benefit of hindsight, that clearly appears like an overhype.

    Vishwanath, because of his ability to score runs under advesrse batting conditions was likened to Vic Trumper of Australia. And that was a high praise indeed. To those who are not aware who Vic Trumper was, old cricket historians regarded him as Bradman of wet pitches.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sher Khan View Post
    lol have never heard of this vishwakunath guy. Surely Zaheer.
    That shows you in poor light as a fan and not Vishy as a player.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by freelance_cricketer View Post
    That shows you in poor light as a fan and not Vishy as a player.
    The thing is that India has had so many good batsman over the years, we don't blow the trumpet about every one of them all the time. It's only the best of the best that we regularly speak about. Vishy was a tremendous batsman, just ask Dennis Lillee.


    If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasnít arrived yet: Viv Richards

  23. #23
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    For a third rate team, the amount of arrogance that Pakistani fans have is baffling.

    It is not a surprise that some of them have heard about Zaheer but not Vishwanath.

    Zaheer is one of the 4-5 quality batsmen that Pakistan has produced in its history, while India produces 2-3 top batsmen every generation.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by latecut View Post
    Zaheer Abbas was called Asian Bradman during his playing days. With the benefit of hindsight, that clearly appears like an overhype.

    Vishwanath, because of his ability to score runs under advesrse batting conditions was likened to Vic Trumper of Australia. And that was a high praise indeed. To those who are not aware who Vic Trumper was, old cricket historians regarded him as Bradman of wet pitches.
    great post Vishy was a genius ,better than even Gavaskar on bad wickets.Talent in the Lara class.Still Zaher performed better overall,particularly overseas.Vishy did not equal the best of Zaheer in England in 1971 and 1974 and aginst India in 1978-79 and 1982-83 when he was like an Asian Bradman.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justcrazy View Post
    Vishwanath was more talented as a batsman
    Who was the better overall in test cricket? Zaheer had a better record overseas and Vishy did not equal his performances at his best statistically.

  26. #26
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    Please come here Really want your contribution here @MMHS @Junaids @ABfan

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
    Vishwanath as a test batsman, the most clutch Indian batsman of all time and a master against pace, bounce and seam. Always scored the hard runs, never did useless stats padding. Lillee, Andy Roberts and Hadlee are some legends who have praised him to the skies, rating him above Gavaskar.

    Overall it is Abbas, he was one of the pioneers of ODI cricket besides being a very good test batsman. He was a better player of swing and spin than the Indian.

    Both of those guys were artists with the bat. Vishy's square and late cuts, Abbas' check off drives were examples of their supreme genius.
    Only test cricket who was better? Note that Vishy did not score 2 double hundreds in England,average around 57 twice in Australia facing likes of Lillee or scale such a statistical height as Zaheer did at home versus India.On performance Zaheer ahead,bar WEst Indies against whom Vishy batted like a champion.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
    Vishi. Abbas was absolutely horrendous against the West Indies averaging 18.50 in 15 innings with 1 50, while Vishi was brilliant.
    What about Zaheer scoring 2 double centuries in England ,average 195 and 130 in home series versus India and average over 56 against top pace in Australia in a series twice? Zaheer scored more runs facing Dennis Lillee.

  29. #29
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    I think, it's for Test, because in ODI there is hardly anyone to compare with Zaheer. I am a fan of both Abbas & Vishi. Between them, it's really difficult to select one.

    Vishi is one of my AT favorite. He is among those players whose stats hardly tells everything. He had like 12 hundreds and none in losing case which for a 70s IND player, great achievement. He was supreme stylish and a very much non Asian player, who loved pace a bounce, a brilliant "difficult" wicket player. 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 - he was probably the best cutter from Asia.

    Zed is also one of my AT favorites and aesthetically probably the most pleasing player in form. His driving range was best among contemporaries and he was blessed with a pair of wrist like Azharuddin. Probably the most destructive player against spin, and medium pace. His County record is as good as anyone, which was probably his down fall in Test as well - became predominantly a driver on front foot.

    The contrasting difference between these two is that Zaheer was a front foot demolisher while despite being Asian, Vishy was predominantly a back-foot player. Vishy definitely was a better player under pressure, but Zed could have taken a game out of reach in a session. One of Zaheer's misfortune (eye sight was another one), that he lost his best 2 years for WSC in his late 20s and he played lots of Test when into 30s, which pulled his career average down - PAK hardly played many Tests in 1970s when Zaheer was in his prime, and he missed Tests against his favorite prey IND & ENG in 1970s. Both of them had similar stats away from home, but Zaheer was a monster at home.

    I don't think, we should pick one unanimously - it's just too close & unfair for one. I'll take Zaheer in ENG & PAK, probably Australia as well; but Vishi definitely in WIN & IND. A safer call from me is to say - if I am to force a win from dominating position, it's Zaheer; if I am to save a Test from behind, it's Vishi.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    What about Zaheer scoring 2 double centuries in England ,average 195 and 130 in home series versus India and average over 56 against top pace in Australia in a series twice? Zaheer scored more runs facing Dennis Lillee.
    Let's just say he had a bit of help from you know who, or rather two of them.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    I think, it's for Test, because in ODI there is hardly anyone to compare with Zaheer. I am a fan of both Abbas & Vishi. Between them, it's really difficult to select one.

    Vishi is one of my AT favorite. He is among those players whose stats hardly tells everything. He had like 12 hundreds and none in losing case which for a 70s IND player, great achievement. He was supreme stylish and a very much non Asian player, who loved pace a bounce, a brilliant "difficult" wicket player. 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 - he was probably the best cutter from Asia.

    Zed is also one of my AT favorites and aesthetically probably the most pleasing player in form. His driving range was best among contemporaries and he was blessed with a pair of wrist like Azharuddin. Probably the most destructive player against spin, and medium pace. His County record is as good as anyone, which was probably his down fall in Test as well - became predominantly a driver on front foot.

    The contrasting difference between these two is that Zaheer was a front foot demolisher while despite being Asian, Vishy was predominantly a back-foot player. Vishy definitely was a better player under pressure, but Zed could have taken a game out of reach in a session. One of Zaheer's misfortune (eye sight was another one), that he lost his best 2 years for WSC in his late 20s and he played lots of Test when into 30s, which pulled his career average down - PAK hardly played many Tests in 1970s when Zaheer was in his prime, and he missed Tests against his favorite prey IND & ENG in 1970s. Both of them had similar stats away from home, but Zaheer was a monster at home.

    I don't think, we should pick one unanimously - it's just too close & unfair for one. I'll take Zaheer in ENG & PAK, probably Australia as well; but Vishi definitely in WIN & IND. A safer call from me is to say - if I am to force a win from dominating position, it's Zaheer; if I am to save a Test from behind, it's Vishi.
    Great analysis .well done .Very accurate and analytical assessment of both players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    Only test cricket who was better? Note that Vishy did not score 2 double hundreds in England,average around 57 twice in Australia facing likes of Lillee or scale such a statistical height as Zaheer did at home versus India.On performance Zaheer ahead,bar WEst Indies against whom Vishy batted like a champion.
    Note that Zaheer Abbas did not score:

    Debut 140 against Mckenzie with 28 boundaries, some of the greatest shotmaking ever seen on a cricket field

    139, 97* in back to back tests, both match winning efforts against peak Andy Roberts and Lance Gibbs in 1974

    match saving 83, 80 on an NZ greentop against peak Hadlee which forced the NZ GOAT to call him better than Gavaskar, Sunny agreed with the assessment

    match winning 4th innings 100 against WI in Port of Spain to chase down a record 406 target

    match saving 100 against England (Lord's) against peak Botham when we were facing innings defeat

    match winning 100 against Chappell's full strength Australia (Lillee, Pascoe) in Australia

    A true master on bad wickets and the textbook definition of clutch. Never scored cheap runs, 14 100s and we never lost any of them, they were either match winning or match saving. Stats don't do him justice, in a crisis situation I will choose him above Sachin or Lara as number 4 batsman.


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