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  1. #1
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    POTW : Phantom Menace

    The age old debate of which batsman is the best has confounded many on PP but this post is an excellent attempt to explain what makes the best, the best!

    Congratulations to @Phantom Menace for winning the POTW

    http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/sh...0#post10457810

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom Menace View Post
    All 3 formats should be considered and they are, but not equally. Not even close.

    Ultimately what matters most to your legacy as being the best at a sport is two main things. Performing at the highest level skill level of the sport and performing in the matches which people care about the most. (Well coming from a highly populated country crazy about the sport certainly helps a bunch too)

    For performing at the highest skill level:

    The most important skills for a batsman are scoring runs and not losing your wicket while the most important skill for a bowler is taking wickets, especially those of the best batsmen. The highest level of cricket to test these aspects of a batsman is clearly test cricket. As a batsman you have to deal with easily the most dangerous field settings. You have to face the best wicket taking bowlers in the world for elongated spells with fewer restrictions on what the bowler can do and the pressure of making mistakes and losing your wicket is much higher because of the huge opportunity cost. From a bowlers perspective its the highest level because test batsmen have the best technique for dealing with your bowling.

    The point of bi lateral ODI and 20/20 has always been earning money. They help keep the boards afloat and the players paid because tests are so hard to monetize.

    For performing in the matches which people care about the most:

    The big one here is ODI world cups. Every team is tinkering and refining themselves to be at their best for this event. Every major team is competing and everyone is hyped to the maximum. Legends can be and are made here.

    Outside of ODI world cups every country also cares about big test matches. Every cricket enthusiast knows what 281, 153*, Headingly 1981, 60 all out and 99.94 mean. The 2005 Ashes gripped the whole of England. South African fans won't soon forget Steyn ripping through the great Indian line ups in India. NZ fans get warm fuzzy feelings at the mere mention of the city of Hobart and the 1999 Chennai test is more remembered than any bilateral ODI.

    Not only are legends made in these matches, they also exhibit players dealing with huge mental pressures with the massive weight of hope and expectation. Performing under at the highest level of inspection of your technique and ability or mental fortitude. This is how you see who is performing at the zenith of the sport.

    Half of the cricketing world doesn't care about the 20/20 world cup. Same thing with the ICC Champions trophy.
    Most ODI bi laterals are forgotten a year later and 20/20 bi laterals even sooner than that.

    Lets look at the recently retired Hashim Amla

    The tale of his career in a nutshell is that he was an elegant player who at one point was the best batsman on the planet (off the back of his test form) who had a late career slump and couldn't bring his A game when it mattered most in world cups.

    If he had kept his test average a few points higher (50+) his legacy would be impacted massively.

    If he had a better record at ODI world cups it would also impact his legacy massively.

    If he scored a couple of 20/20 international hundreds and averaged 5 more in the format the conversation around his career and legacy wouldn't change at all.

    As far as the fab four are concerned I currently have it Smith followed by Kohli, then Williamson and Root clearly last. I also have Williamson closer to Kohli than Kohli is to Smith. Test average of 63 is no joke!

    Versatility doesn't just matter across formats. Smith has shown a better aptitude to conquering foreign spinning conditions than Kohli has swinging conditions.

    Maybe Kohli is missing out by not facing Pakistan or maybe he would average 35 against them and he is in fact benefiting. We just don't know. Hopefully relations improve and we can see but sadly that doesn't look likely right now.

    Kane is also missing out on not having a marque test series to play in.

    Root and Kane both are disadvantaged by having weaker batting surrounding them. Can't be fun for them to always be coming in to face the new ball. It is a nice luxury to have a Pujara or Sharma in front of you depending on format and a bowling attack with strong pacers and spinners in all formats also.

    I expect Smith, Kohli and Kane to all be ATG. Not entirely sold on Root yet and I never have been. Doesn't seem to have the mental strength of the others. Maybe he will prove me wrong.


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  2. #2
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    Oct 2010
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    Great post. Enjoyed reading it and very well written. Congrats mate!

  3. #3
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    Very well written. Congratulations.

    Although I don't agree with some of the points but overall good insights.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I appreciate the recognition.

    I don't expect everyone to agree with me, especially on my actual ratings but I'm glad to see that some people like my contribution to the discussion.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2004
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    Excellent take on the criteria for "best" cricketers.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  6. #6
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    Apr 2013
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    Good post, congrats.


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  7. #7
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    Oct 2004
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    Another chance to read this excellent post.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter


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