January 29, 2012

Who's the pick of the modern greats?

Ponting, Tendulkar or Lara - who among these modern batsmen was the most dominant?
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Ricky Ponting's remarkable resurgence in the last few months, culminating in a fighting double-century at the Adelaide Oval has caused discussion to veer away from his impending retirement to his likely legacy in the game.

There's no argument that Ponting deserves to be mentioned with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara as one of the three most dominant batsmen of the era. But who is the best of that trio of superb strokemakers?

Tendulkar gains a lot of support because he's idolised in a country of more than a billion people, he was compared to Sir Donald Bradman by the man himself, and is on the verge of scoring a hundred international centuries, a remarkable feat of skill and longevity.

Ponting gains votes for his versatility as a batsman and his determination to battle hard in adversity. He has always looked to dominate opposition attacks but he also played one of the best-ever innings to save a Test match, at Old Trafford in 2005. Ponting hasn't shied away from a tough challenge and this has never been more evident than in his recent battle with age. Ponting may trail Tendulkar in discussions on the aesthetics of batting but he bows to no one in the matter of perseverance.

Meanwhile, in a classic case of out of sight out of mind, the now retired Lara hardly ever enters the conversation these days. To exclude him from the discussion is a mistake. He's the current world record holder for most runs in an innings - having regained the title - and next to Bradman, he's the scorer of the most "big" centuries in Test cricket. He has the only score of 400 in Test cricket, a triple-century to go with it, and another seven double-centuries. That's a remarkable feat of hefty scoring, especially when you consider that neither Tendulkar nor Ponting has a triple-century to his name.

This probably highlights an area where Lara is superior to the other two - his knowledge of how to amass big scores. Lara had an innate knowledge of which bowlers to target in order to score quickly and which ones were the most likely to endanger his existence. Consequently, he'd score quickly in spurts and steadily at other times. Fully capitalising on this knowledge he was able to achieve huge scores. Because he didn't put his wicket at risk by trying to score at a rapid rate when the best bowlers were fresh, he was able to maintain a fast run rate by feasting at the most opportune times.

This method also allowed him to maintain a similar run rate from the beginning to the end of his career, which not even Bradman was able to achieve. That is why Lara was able to perform the most remarkable feat of all - reclaiming the world record for the highest score in Test cricket ten years after originally setting the mark.

While the world has watched and waited anxiously for Tendulkar's 100th international century, Ponting has quietly beavered away in the background, restoring his reputation with persistent practice and hard-earned runs in the middle. The fact that those runs were increasingly more convincing in Adelaide and he was able to push on to score a double-century has turned the conversation from "When will he retire?" to "How long will he play on?"

There's no doubt Ponting has resurrected his career and provided himself with an opportunity to add to his glittering record. He'll never reach the statistical peak of Tendulkar, but while the Little Master continues to stumble with the defining century in sight, often because of a mental aberration, Ponting impresses with the strength of his mind.

Nevertheless, if you told me I could pick just one of that trio I'd take Lara. I loved the way he played spin bowling and I admired his determination to always do it "my way".

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 1, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    lara and sachin are only great batsmen but ponting is more ...... he took more responsibility for his country........ he scored more runs as a captain .......than any other captain .....

  • on February 1, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    @pietrojackson ....Bradman found the similarity between him and Tendulkar while the latter was going strong against Mcdermott and co at Perth in 1992.I doubt that you missed Tendulkar's batting on the tours of '93,'96,'02,'07,else you would not have called him an accumulater.People are drawing conclusions about his batting when he is on the verge of retirement,ridiculous! To all iconoclasts here....Lara himself said that Tendulkar was better than him, but then whom am I talking to here? Crazy bunch of people, they will regret later what a phenomenon Sachin Tendulkar was!!

  • pietrojackson on February 1, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    As a Brit I have no national prejudice in this debate and I would give my vote to Lara with Ponting #2 and Tendulkar #3. Lara was a sublime batsman who spent a chunk of his career captaining and shoring up a losing side and yet was still glorious to watch while executing many wonderful innings with his team under the cosh. WI wickets were in decline over much of his pomp and the inter-Island squabbles, extreme political bickering and admin mess did little to help his cause. Tendulkar had little in the way of captaincy pressure, is idolized to the extreme in India and so suffered few of the pressures that Lara was subject to. Personally I would drop whatever i was doing to make time to watch Lara and Ponting at the crease. Tendulkar [and Kallis] to me is an accumulator - and i think that was what Bradman was referring to in terms of similarity with himself. Not the hallmark of a great batsman - unless you average in the 90's.

  • MistaDizzy on February 1, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Where are Kallis and Dravid????

  • on February 1, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Lara faced Ambrose and Walsh on several occasions playing for Trinidad & Tobago in the regional competition and had to break the regional record for runs scored in a season on 2 occasions before he eventually selected to play for the West Indies. End of story!!!

  • dork29 on February 1, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Lara is easily the best. I would say Ponting is number 2 and Sachin is number 3. Both Lara and Ponting have always had the ability to change the complexion of the game with their individual brilliance. They largely contributed to the team's success most of the time. Tendulkar is probably second to Lara in aesthetics. But in terms of sheer determination and temperament both Lara and Ponting are superior. Tendulkar is weak in mind. His temperament is suspect. He can boast of good technique and look aesthetically pleasing. Lara scored well, scored big and made a difference. Also Lara knew WHEN TO RETIRE. No matter who says what, LARA is the GOD among batsmen.

  • on February 1, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    LARA is the Best Test Batsmen in the World

  • AbhiNaik on February 1, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    How can Ponting be included in same league as Tendulkar and Lara. Playing excellent cricket for 7-8 years against only fast bowling is not the criteria. He never faced Mcgrath, Warne, Gillespie at test level. Even Miller (Blue haired offspinner) would have troubled him given his record against spin. The comparison is only between Lara and Sachin. Being an Indian and a Mumbaikar I am biased towards Tendulkar. But there are reasons for that too. Lara was good at amassing huge innings. It was like a dam being broken. The 'water' just didnt stop. But by that logic Murali would be better than Warne. Also Lara never played Ambrose, Walsh, Patterson etc. Lara had an amazing backlift and his pull was second to none but they pale in comparison to Sachin's back foot cover/straight drive. Another special shot is charging down the pitch to a fast bowler and hitting sorry caressing the ball through covers for four (along the ground).

  • roger_harps on February 1, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    Mr. Chappel...Lara is better than Sachin for you..but for me Sachin is better than our Bradman..

  • SatyajitM on February 1, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Ian is entitled to have his opinion, everybody is. However, this article sounded more like propping up Lara and Ponting and enlisting Tendulkar's frailties :-) I don't doubt the class of Lara, but one big mistake many people do is to equate big innings with geatness. In that case all three Sehwag(having two triples), Gayle and Clarke are greater Test batsmen than Ponting and Sachin. That would be ridiculous to conclude! Also, Sangakkara(seven doubles) must be a much greater batsman that Kallis (just one double), which is again wrong. Fact is that even after not getting those huge (not necessarily winning) scores Sachin is still ahead of Lara in avg which means he is more consistent, also he has most number of 150 plus scores. In my pecking order of test batting since 90s, Sachin & Lara would be in same bracket (I would put Sachin just ahead of Lara in that group). Next bracket of batsmen would be led by Ponting along with Dravid, Kallis and Sangakkara.

  • on February 1, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    lara and sachin are only great batsmen but ponting is more ...... he took more responsibility for his country........ he scored more runs as a captain .......than any other captain .....

  • on February 1, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    @pietrojackson ....Bradman found the similarity between him and Tendulkar while the latter was going strong against Mcdermott and co at Perth in 1992.I doubt that you missed Tendulkar's batting on the tours of '93,'96,'02,'07,else you would not have called him an accumulater.People are drawing conclusions about his batting when he is on the verge of retirement,ridiculous! To all iconoclasts here....Lara himself said that Tendulkar was better than him, but then whom am I talking to here? Crazy bunch of people, they will regret later what a phenomenon Sachin Tendulkar was!!

  • pietrojackson on February 1, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    As a Brit I have no national prejudice in this debate and I would give my vote to Lara with Ponting #2 and Tendulkar #3. Lara was a sublime batsman who spent a chunk of his career captaining and shoring up a losing side and yet was still glorious to watch while executing many wonderful innings with his team under the cosh. WI wickets were in decline over much of his pomp and the inter-Island squabbles, extreme political bickering and admin mess did little to help his cause. Tendulkar had little in the way of captaincy pressure, is idolized to the extreme in India and so suffered few of the pressures that Lara was subject to. Personally I would drop whatever i was doing to make time to watch Lara and Ponting at the crease. Tendulkar [and Kallis] to me is an accumulator - and i think that was what Bradman was referring to in terms of similarity with himself. Not the hallmark of a great batsman - unless you average in the 90's.

  • MistaDizzy on February 1, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Where are Kallis and Dravid????

  • on February 1, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Lara faced Ambrose and Walsh on several occasions playing for Trinidad & Tobago in the regional competition and had to break the regional record for runs scored in a season on 2 occasions before he eventually selected to play for the West Indies. End of story!!!

  • dork29 on February 1, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Lara is easily the best. I would say Ponting is number 2 and Sachin is number 3. Both Lara and Ponting have always had the ability to change the complexion of the game with their individual brilliance. They largely contributed to the team's success most of the time. Tendulkar is probably second to Lara in aesthetics. But in terms of sheer determination and temperament both Lara and Ponting are superior. Tendulkar is weak in mind. His temperament is suspect. He can boast of good technique and look aesthetically pleasing. Lara scored well, scored big and made a difference. Also Lara knew WHEN TO RETIRE. No matter who says what, LARA is the GOD among batsmen.

  • on February 1, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    LARA is the Best Test Batsmen in the World

  • AbhiNaik on February 1, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    How can Ponting be included in same league as Tendulkar and Lara. Playing excellent cricket for 7-8 years against only fast bowling is not the criteria. He never faced Mcgrath, Warne, Gillespie at test level. Even Miller (Blue haired offspinner) would have troubled him given his record against spin. The comparison is only between Lara and Sachin. Being an Indian and a Mumbaikar I am biased towards Tendulkar. But there are reasons for that too. Lara was good at amassing huge innings. It was like a dam being broken. The 'water' just didnt stop. But by that logic Murali would be better than Warne. Also Lara never played Ambrose, Walsh, Patterson etc. Lara had an amazing backlift and his pull was second to none but they pale in comparison to Sachin's back foot cover/straight drive. Another special shot is charging down the pitch to a fast bowler and hitting sorry caressing the ball through covers for four (along the ground).

  • roger_harps on February 1, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    Mr. Chappel...Lara is better than Sachin for you..but for me Sachin is better than our Bradman..

  • SatyajitM on February 1, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Ian is entitled to have his opinion, everybody is. However, this article sounded more like propping up Lara and Ponting and enlisting Tendulkar's frailties :-) I don't doubt the class of Lara, but one big mistake many people do is to equate big innings with geatness. In that case all three Sehwag(having two triples), Gayle and Clarke are greater Test batsmen than Ponting and Sachin. That would be ridiculous to conclude! Also, Sangakkara(seven doubles) must be a much greater batsman that Kallis (just one double), which is again wrong. Fact is that even after not getting those huge (not necessarily winning) scores Sachin is still ahead of Lara in avg which means he is more consistent, also he has most number of 150 plus scores. In my pecking order of test batting since 90s, Sachin & Lara would be in same bracket (I would put Sachin just ahead of Lara in that group). Next bracket of batsmen would be led by Ponting along with Dravid, Kallis and Sangakkara.

  • Slevin7 on February 1, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    @dms1972 Good point, all of them are great in their own way. Still doesn't explain Chappel's ommission.

  • on February 1, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    All you guys out there rooting for Tendulkar and Ponting, please go to Youtube, search for Kumble on Lara, Stuart Mcgill on Lara, Muralitharan on Lara, Greame Swann on Lara and the list goes on. All of them including the Aussie great Glenn Mcgrath rated Lara a notch above Tendulkar. Mind you guys, these players have bowled to both Lara and Tendulkar and not merely bellowed from the stands like us. Accept the fact, I am an Indian and I like Tendulkar too, but Lara on song was something else. He transformed the game into a thing of Art. All hail the Prince of batsmen.

  • irongloves on February 1, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    There are many well presented arguments here . However , Kallis deserves to be included in this review . The fact remains that he made his runs against officially recognised Test opponents and, more often than not , for an underperforming SA side who would have collapsed in a heap had he not been the anchor around which the rest of the side put an innings together. Mr Chappell does seem to have an aversion towards SA players but , as a matter of interest , his personal record against SA is probably the reason for it . He was humiliated by the likes of Mike Procter , Peter Pollock and Eddie Barlow and his Test record against SA reveals that he made only 288 runs in 18 innings at an average of 16.94 ! Come on Mr Chappell ....where is your much vaunted belief in fair play ??

  • on February 1, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    Now that Sachin is not performing upto his own standards(which is way above Lara and Punter),the self proclaimed Einstein (read Ian Chappel) is back to prove that Ponting is better than Tendulkar...its quite funny that he kept mum on this topic while Ponting was struggling for runs. He may get a partner in this crime in the form of Ganguly who recently did a Ph.D on Sachin and concluded that Kallis is better than Tendulkar in tests

  • BillyCC on February 1, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor, laughable comments as always. From the number of posts in this forum supporting Lara as the greatest of the modern greats, it appears that Tendulkar does need a lot of propping up from the billion Indian fans. Of course, Bradman doesn't need any propping up. He was clearly the best of his generation and all generations.

  • sachin86 on February 1, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    It's funny how posters here say lara is a match-winner and sachin never won any matches.I bet most of you have never seen lara play.He was a flat track bully and was a big failure abroad.only 8 out of his 34 tons came in matches won.Next time atleast bring a sound argument people.

    he never took his team atleast to WC knockout stages(forget finals)..whereas sachin took india to finals twice...with record breaking amount of runs in 1996 and 2003 and 2011...sachin is a champ...lara only made his name through 375 and 400...he is nothing barring that...

    sachin scored 33000+ runs and 99 centuries...tell me how he never was a match-winner...

  • Lara4life501 on January 31, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    Great article Mr C,right on the money as always, for the record it has been an argument you have made for years when ever this subject matter comes up.When you rate who is the best I believe you have to look at the players records against the best,when were talk the best team of the modern era,you cant look past Australia,Look at Lara's record against Australia,you see 3 double hundreds (2 of which were scored in Australia) out of 9 overall hundreds against Aus,Of Lara's 34 test hundreds 19 are scores of 150+ 9 of which are double hundreds,5 of thoes double hundreds was scored outside the west indies,also Lara's 1st test hundred was a double hundred (277 Sydney 1992-93) and his last hundred in international cricket was also a double hundred 216 vs Pakistan at Multan 2006 (Lara's 2nd last test before retirement,also look at all the former players and ask who's the best they have seen,played against/bowled to...the answer is always overwhemingly Brian Lara

  • MrDynamic on January 31, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    I concur ... absolutely true:

    Posted by on (January 29 2012, 11:46 AM GMT)

    Ian Chappell is quick to exclude any valid proof when it comes to making his point. He conveniently forgets about Sachin Tendulkar's exploits barely a year back when there were calls for him to retire (1546 runs at 78 per dismissal throughout the calendar year of 2010). Unlike Ponting, he has never gone 23 months without scoring a century in tests; even more remarkable since Ponting has played extensively in those 23 months. I'm pretty sure he even picked Lara just to avoid getting heckled for picking Ponting over Tendulkar, as I'm sure he would have loved to.

  • MrDynamic on January 31, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    We all know why Mrs. Chappell wrote this particular column at this moment and not in the last two years. People notice ... you keep losing credibility if there is some :)

  • KDoc on January 31, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    I have to agree Ian..well said. Besides, Lara made his runs when all the other teams except the WI are strong; against strong oppositions like Australia, England, India etc, on flat Asian wickets or bouncy Australian, or swinging English wickets.

  • on January 31, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Hey heeeeeeeeeeeeey Now that Sachin failed in few matches Ian Chappel is back again. Mr Chappals visibility is inversly proportional to Sachin's performance. Sachin Scores hundered Chappal goes into hiding, Sachin Scores low Chappal is back with his big mouth. The Same holds true to Sanjay The Jealous Manjrekar.

    What did your Mirror say Mr Chappel when ponting didnt Score a 100 for over 2 years? Now that he scored against worst bowling attack ur words are back.

  • phendel on January 31, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    lara definitely....especially like the bit about his big scores against almost everyone.....greatest batsman against spin & has a batting style recognizable by anyone watching cricket.....Ponting right up there too esp his golden years (2001-2007) and Tendulkar for his endurance and (still) 99 hundreds

  • on January 31, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Cricket4ever ,please take a look at their statistic before you comment, yes tendulkar has definitely outclassed both batsmen in odi,arguably cause he plays as a opener with more chances to convert his 50/ to 100s pointing has scored 41 centuries in 274innings , and tendulkar 51 in 311 innings in test cricket and since tendulkar hasn't scored a century within the past 25matches( worse than postings run) pointing would of had every. Chance to s ore the same amount of runs if only he had payed the same amount of test matches as tendulkar, the same goes for kallis but not Lara

  • on January 31, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    iam totaly with ian chappel in this regard.to me he & m holding r the 2 best analyser of th e game .they r very good at explaining the basic nuances of the game.to me brain lara was very good agst spinners i donot remeber the year his performence agst s l lanka in srilanka where in he scored couple of hundreds agst murli & co. stands out.SACHIN HAS NEVER SCORED RUNS WHEN THE TEAM NEEDED MOST .HE NEVERPLAYED AN INNIGS LIKE THE ONE BY RAHUL & VVS AT CALCUTTA.IF HE WAS A GREATEST BATSMEN EVER HE SHLD HAVE SAVED THE ADELAIDE TEST

  • cricket657 on January 31, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Furhter post - cricket4ever6, I was interested in your analysis, as on first glance, the figures look compelling, but on a closer look, you're ranking their careers based on 15% of their innings - whilst it's an interesting analysis, it's not particularly robust or compelling in terms of fairly analysing their career from a statistical perspective. In fact, in Kallis' case, your talking about circa 30 innings out of 254. Sure, it might indicate he's a very good player, but I wouldn't use it as the sole analysis to contrast him to other very good players...

  • cricket657 on January 31, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    Hmmm - interesting thread. I was really surprised to see Kallis mentioned in the same breadth as Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar. I never saw Kallis perform well against Aust, although was aware he'd performed well against others. Reviewing his career stats, his average falls to 46 when you remove Bangladesh and Zimbabwe runs, and his career averages by country don't make great reading, suggesting he wasn't a great batsmen, merely a very good one. Interestingly, the same happens to Tendulkar (47), although Lara's and Ponting's ave only comes down to 51. Looking at averages by country, Lara performed relatively modestly overseas, whereas Ponting and Tendulkar perform consistently in most conditions. Given above & Ponting only really struggling in India, I think it's easy to say he's definitely top 3 and probably top 2, together with Tendulkar...

  • Cheekaaa on January 31, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    indians were cunning. they never pick pak as the best bowling line up becos srt never fared well against them... he avgs only 42 against them till date, that he played 2 series against wasim / waqar... against saf he avg 42 .. against aus he faced mcgrath only in 3 seires 1999 / 2001 & 2004. he managed to fare only shade better. not great stats agains mcgrath. if managed to face mcgrath in other series his stats vs aus would been dipped even low.... stats given for all the three batsmen.. read avg / 100's srt: pak : 42 / 2 // saf : 42 / 7 // aus : 55 / 11 // sl : 60 / 9 // eng: 56 / 7 // wi : 55 / 3

    bcl: pak : 53 / 4 // saf : 49 / 4 // aus : 51 / 9 // sl : 86 / 5 // eng : 62 / 7 // ind : 34 / 2 //

    rtp: pak : 66 / 5 // saf : 52 / 8 // wi : 59 / 7 // sl : 46 / 8 // eng : 44 / 8 // ind : 54 / 8 //

  • on January 31, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    Lara is a class player. No doubt about that. As Chappell said he has maintained his style of play though out his career. Even Tendulkar has changed the way he used to play, but don't forget that Tendulkar has put behind his age and still he his playing. But in my point of view Ponting is surely equal lent to both Lara and Tendulkar. Because the responsibility that he has taken is awesome. He has played four consecutive world cup finals, including three time world cup winning team, that includes two time world cup winning captain. We all know that Tendulkar has declined captain responsibility few times. So I would say Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar are equally greats and true Legends.

  • timmyw on January 31, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor - I was skimming through the comments and found this Gem: "Ponting hasn't done anything worthy of mention as a batsman." Hmm. Have you actually watched any cricket? I suggest using statsguru on this very sight and see how many of Pontings runs came in wins. Then compare that to everyone in history. You might get a shock. It's a strong case for Ponting. I have to admit, I was calling for Pontings head before this test series. Now I can't justify that. It's funny out of all those players mentioned in the comments my favourites are both lara and Dravid. Dravid was and is very underrated. I loved his technique. Sadly it is his time I think, being bowled so often is a bad sign. Again, for mine, Lara is simply the greatest. Sachin also loses out simply because he didn't step up when India needed him the most. Ponting did and has done so more than anyone in the modern era. This fact is born out for all to see if you will look search by country and wins, Do it!

  • on January 31, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Lara.. Lara... Lara... The batting legend... He had his own style of tearing the opposition apart. Loved every bit of his master stroke. Great batsmen are those who dominate, inflict fear in the opposition's mind and take the game away from them. Players like Dravid, Kallis keep on grinding and score hundreds which are meaningless most of the time in the context of the game. After all, Attack is the best form of defense!

  • kurups on January 31, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Ponting is real good but you have to see that he was part of a great time for most part of his career and never had to face a bowling attack as good as the aussies. That way you have to give it to Tendulkar cos the bowling attack he faced in matches were all better then the team he was representing. Ponting always had a weak indian bowing attack to be flayed and milked.

  • CricFan24 on January 31, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Same article by Chappeli ,with a few changes here and there, every few months. SACHIN TENDULKAR- By far the Greatest ever (Bradman second)...the likes of Ponting,Lara etc are mere footnotes to Tendulkar in the modern era.

  • HawksEyeFocused on January 31, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    I think Lara and Inzamam ul are far better than Tendulkar Both of them were match-winners and didn't play for making personal records!!!

  • Slevin7 on January 31, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    Chappel is hopelessly biased and lives in an Aus cocoon. Not to even mention Kallis is seriously clumsy. Ricky never had to bat against the best bowling attack of the modern era i.e. Warne and McGrath.

  • on January 31, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    if u talk about batting ters no 1 to eliminate sachin!!!!!!!but if its about a cricketer there no one beter tan kallis,tats 4 sure. coz he has scored more than 12000 and 10000 runs in tests and odi resp. he has also taken more than 250 scalps in both tests and odi.he's still playing. plays t20 as well. he is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Coraline_Jones on January 31, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Undoubtedly ... Lara is the greatest cricket player ever born on earth ... well said greg luv ya ... Lara followed by sachin then Comes another class of players like Dravid, Ponting and kallis. Once Rickey and sachin retires ppl stop talking abt them ... Lara retired way back in 2007 but ppl still adulate him adore him. He is such a gr8 that world will never witness another player like him.

  • harshthakor on January 31, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Brian Lara had better overall match performance ratings than any contemporary great ,even ahead of Tendulkar which considers the level of bowling attacks,state of p[itches,situation of game etc.However in combined cricket Tendulkar is considerably ahead.Lara lacked Sachin's consistency and it is significant that they were at their best when playing for weaker teams.

    No batsman ever combined such perfect technique with ability to dominate bolwing like Sachin,while no batsman dominated bowling so convincingly combining such elegance as Lara.

  • harshthakor on January 31, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Rahul Dravid would stand in comparison with Lara and Tendulkar and arguably edge Ponting.No batsman has been as consisitent in a crisis as Dravid who has also won many a game against the toughest opponents on their very tracks.To bat for you life Kallis deserves a place but he has hardly won games.

    Considering his phenomenal 15,000 runs and 99 hundreds overal Sachin wins.He posessed consistency,ability to win and save matches,conquer the most lethal attacks on the most difficult wickets,had great tecnique etc.Tendulkar was like Sunil Gavasakar and Viv Richarsd combined into one.

    Brian Lara at his best was arguably next onlyto Bradman in test cricket.and Ian Chappel is correct about his breathtaking scoring rate and ability to register mamoth scorse without curbing his style.No batsman after George Headley bore the brunt of such a weak batting side and it is significant that Lara was rated 2nd only to Bradman in 2 stats analysis by Ananth Naryana in 2009.

  • on January 31, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Jacques Kallis should be there... he has also been a superb performer...

  • Cricmed on January 31, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a fantastic player, can't take that from him, but I can't put him infront of Lara, Tendulkar or Kallis.They are the best three players I have ever seen. But I always say that Lara is the best because he scored alot of run, broke records and played some sublime inning for a team that was always loosing. While Tendulkar and Kallis always had other players who can consistently help them to slam bowlers around the park. Do anyone ever wonder what would have happen if Lara had played in a more dominant team?

  • longdonkey on January 31, 2012, 2:25 GMT

    I think people need to think about all three of these players at the peak of their careers not the present. I would rate them 1. Lara 2. Tendulkar 3. Ponting then a large gap to the rest. You have to remember Ponting had an average of about 60 for a lot of years.

  • on January 31, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    @ Z in LA:

    Punter is superior to Kallis who has the magnetism of drying paint.

    I fail to understand why Indian fans are up in arms the moment anyone says SRT isnt the best. He is a fine player, as are Lara and Ponting.

    @ an earlier poster:

    When did India become one of the 3 top bowling sides during Ponting career?

  • on January 31, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    It is very difficult to ignore personal favouritism because of human nature but sticking with records would be a good way to objectively decide this battle. On the basis of stats Tendulkar is on top and very honestly it is the best of cricket when he plays.

  • on January 31, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    Lara. But Sachin and Ponting are both greats. However, Sachin has had Dravid, Laxman, etc for many years, and Ponting was part of one of the all time great teams. By contrast, Lara played with a West Indian team that just got worse and worse.

  • Busie1979 on January 30, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    Even if Kallis is a lesser batsman than these 3 (which is open to debate), he would be the first guy I pick from this era. In terms of bowling - Kallis has 274 wickets, Tendulkar 45, Ponting 5, Lara 0. Catches - Kallis 180 from 150 tests, Ponting 193 from 162, Lara 164 from 131, Tendulkar 113 from 188. Kallis has an equivalent batting record, is a proven wicket-taker, and has as safe a pair of hands as Lara and Ponting (Tendulkar is easily the weakest fielder). There is no question in my mind, Kallis is the best cricketer.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on January 30, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    This is just one more article from cricinfo to increase the number of readers.

  • anuAddict on January 30, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    Good timing Ian, somehow I felt it was coming- a great series for Ponting and a horrible one for Tendulkar. Ian's article is my hope- last time it worked for Tendulkar when Ian's mirror told something, now again I think we are about to see final spark from tendulkar.

  • Busie1979 on January 30, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    It seems to be well accepted that it is only among those three. The only reason is that these guys sparkled at a very young age and are really good to watch and maintained a very high standard over their careers.

    But there are plenty of others who make a compelling case but may not be as good to watch from a purists perspective - Sehwag in his prime? Kallis? Sangakarra? Hayden? Dravid? Steve Waugh? Chanderpaul? Cook? Trott? Pieterson? Imzamam?

    If it has to come down to those three, lara is the best. He held up a very weak batting line up for most of his career, whereas Ponting and Tendulkar had the comfort of knowing that they had legends of the game to help them out.

  • on January 30, 2012, 23:11 GMT

    Dear Ian Chappell, I am sorry to tell you but most of your articles are quite biased. Not including Kallis is a big proof.

  • Rayyan11 on January 30, 2012, 22:58 GMT

    Tendulkar is a great record setter may be an entertainer, but not a match winner. On the other hand both Ponting and Lara may not have piled enough runs as Tendulkar. However, while Lara and Ponting are on crease both Australia and West Indies never lose hope of winning. However, when Tendulkar is at the crease, one may be sure that he will stuck a century, however not even die hard Indian fans are sure whether Tendulkar will take them home. Tendualkar is a record machine, not a match winner. Therefore both Lara and Ponting sits above Tendulkar.

  • on January 30, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Wait a minute.. if cricket4ever6 wants to make his own set of rules.. then let's consider the condition of the wickets ad also other batsmen as well. We all know that averages in the sub continent tend to be higher because the wickets are made for batting, hence players from Sri Lanka & especially India would have better home averages. I would also argue that a player like Chanderpaul would have had a higher average if he had a beter supporting cast around him. Instead, he is always batting in a position of weakness in trying to save West Indies. I would also argue that throughout his career Shiv always faced better bowlers than the opposition. The same could be said of Lara. That is why Lara has to be numero uno in the 90's and 00's era and that is why Shiv deserves a mention. Breado

  • BillyCC on January 30, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    @cricket4ever6, please adjust your averages now by really considering the quality of the opposition. England were not a top 3 away side until recently, so let's remove all of India's performances against them except for their last two away series. India also played Australia in a couple of series without McGrath and Warne both playing which is not a Top 3 bowling attack. Youa lso need to include Pakistan as a Top 3 bowling side in the early nineties. Tendulkar probably looks as bad as Ponting now.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on January 30, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    Ian Chappel is no doubt biased. Ponting is a great player. But in the class of Tendulkar or Lara or Kalis. Ponting is definitely a fighter though. His recent form against low grade Indain bowling line up (exluding Zaheer ofcourse) cannot be counted. He may have prolonged his career a bit. That's about it. He should know when to call it quits though. While the going is going. Because he will not fare better after this series.

  • Supa_SAFFA on January 30, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    Kallis definitely deserves recognition as one of the greats, if not as the greatest, although not for his role as a merely useful support bowler or as a slip fielder pocketing so many catches off SA's historically pace-heavy attack. He deserves that place for his batting superior average and for scoring more test hundreds per match than any of the three batsmen favoured above him. When has Kallis ever gone through a long-term slump in form? When has his place in his team ever come under serious scrutiny? When Ponting's Ozzies were skittled for 47, Kallis was there. When Lara's Windies team was whitewashed 5-0 by SA, Kallis was there. When India suffered a 4-0 whitewash against England and then Australia, Kallis wasn't exactly there, but neither was Tendulkar really. Or Dravid in the end. Ditto for Sangakkara as Kallis dominated Sri Lanka with a double ton this last month. These dominating batsmen are dominated by King Kallis.

  • on January 30, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    @MiddleStump Lara is a class batsman...please don't mention him in the same line as sehwag. Lara crafted his innings, he valued his wicket, and battings his own way was maintaining his class no matter what happened around no situation was too big

  • smudgeon on January 30, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Nothing gets up the noses of Indian cricket fans like a Chappell! It's a good article and discussion, and I think in terms of talent and watchability, Lara wins hands down. It can't be easy carrying a team, and while I have the sneaking suspicion that Lara often played for records at the expense of the team, there's no denying he was a sublime strokemaker who was almost impossible for bowlers to get the best of. I'd still pick Viv Richards as the best batsmen I've ever seen, but Lara comes close.

  • cricket4ever6 on January 30, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Note that in the previous post I averaged each batsmen vs the top 3 opposition teams of his era on the opposition's turf, then averaged the resulting 3 numbers. If you simply average each batsmen's innings vs the top 3 opposition teams on the opposition's turf, the winners are the same, but the conclusion is even stronger than before.

    1. Tendulkar: 52 2. Dravid: 47 3. Lara: 46 4. Kallis: 43 5. Ponting: 39

    Tendulkar is truly in a class of his own. Dravid and Lara are a notch below, and Kallis another notch below that. Once again, Ponting is nowhere near the class of the other 4.

  • cricket4ever6 on January 30, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    Here are real numbers to settle this once and for all... let's compare the averages of Tendulkar, Lara, Kallis, Ponting and Dravid against the top 3 opposition teams of their eras, in the opposition's home country. Tendulkar, Lara & Dravid vs Aus/Eng/SA, Kallis vs Aus/Eng/Ind, Ponting vs Eng/Ind/SA. (Note that this should give Ponting the edge since his opposition is the weakest.)

    And the winners from #1 to #5 are:

    1. Tendulkar: 51 2. Dravid: 48 3. Lara: 46 4. Kallis: 44 5. Ponting: 39

    This surprised even me, since I had put Ponting ahead of Dravid before.

    If the toughest test of a batsman is his performance against the best teams on their home turf, this decisively proves that Tendulkar is in a class of his own. Dravid, Lara and Kallis are a notch below that, and unfortunately I must now put Ponting another notch below, nowhere near the class of the other 5.

  • on January 30, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Obviously all three are marvellous players. Lara is the greatest genius since Viv, but of these 3 I think the case exists that Ponting is likely to end his run with the greatest reputation. Certainly, Punter is the finest player of pace since Viv, the most dashing and entertaining player of the lot and the most successful.

    Overall, I would say Lara, Punter and SRT.

    Statistically, there is nothing really in it.

  • mumbaiguy79 on January 30, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    Lets forget about who is the greatest. I consider my self privileged to witness Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting playing cricket during my life.

    Cheers to these wonderful guys!

  • cricket4ever6 on January 30, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    To all the comments along the lines of what if Ponting wasn't a captain, what if the bouncer wasn't introduced, why didn't Tendulkar play bouncers as well as Ponting, etc. Each batsman tunes his game to the kind of wickets he's batting on, and the nature of the opposition bowlers. So all these arguments are not relevant in comparing batsmen of the same era. All you need to compare is statistics - totals, averages, and the quality of the opposition. In this respect, Ponting comes in well after Tendulkar, Lara and Kallis.

  • cricket4ever6 on January 30, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    As a batsman, it's much easier to play your shots when you have a strong batting/bowling team building a platform for you, and your opposition and its bowlers are nowhere as dominant. Ponting numbers have to be seen in that context. His best years were in the company of the Australian greats, and his performance after the Australian greats retired is mediocre at best, although he may been past his prime by then. He is still a legend, but not in the class of Tendulkar and Lara, or even Kallis, when you look at performance versus the opposition.

  • on January 30, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    obvious choice it is, Sachin the best

  • serious-am-i on January 30, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    I am an die hard Indian fan and for me Lara is the best when it comes to dominating in tests. Sachin and Ponting follow closely so is Sanath Jayasurya I wonder how u missed him. Kallis and Dravid were match winners but were not dominating the bowlers. Sachin scored mostly against good oppositions like Aus, WI when they had good bowlers. While Ponting scored mostly against Eng and SA. Lara scored almost against every one for some reason he failed against India which I can't hardly understand till date. Lara stands out mainly because he was the only one scoring when all others around him failed.

  • trueindian on January 30, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    Honestly, Lara is the best of all the batsmen to have played Cricket. And Chappell has given a good insight in to the game of cricket about all those three good players. This can happen only when you have a deep analysis of something. Well done. You have really done a good job.

  • Maryem on January 30, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    In complete agreement. No one can match class of Lara. I will rate them as below 1. Lara 2. Ponting 3. Kallis 4. Tendulkar 5. Inzaman

  • Desihungama on January 30, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Incorrect answers. If the question is who dominated the opposition to oblivion, the answer is Javed Miandad and Viv Richards.

  • Barnesy4444 on January 30, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Kallis would be in the side of the last 20 years but as the all rounder, not as the strike batsman. He can't dominate bowlers the way these three could. The best side of the last 20 years would likely be: Hayden, Sehwag, Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar, Kallis, Gilchrist (wk), Akram, Warne, Waqar Younis, McGrath.

  • on January 30, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    Lara Lara Lara !!!! no other options

  • on January 30, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    Ian on the dot again! Lara was clearly a gifted bat, best of the 3 to watch and, made most of his runs in a crisis!- and a mountain of runs too.

  • maddy1986 on January 30, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    i am totally agreed with ian chappell when lara play the pullshot by standing in the one leg he looks like nataraja giving the pose for rudra thandavam next one to lara is undoubtably rahul dravid

  • MENDIS_Forever on January 30, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Lara never palyed Walsh and Ambrose.Ponting never played Warne and pidgeon.Sanga never played Murali.But Sachin...played everybody.He is the greatest!

  • dms1972 on January 30, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    I am so sick and tired of those who dislike Ponting claiming that he never faced Warne and McGrath as the basis for their argument that Ponting isn't a great player. It is NOT a valid argument. If it was, then so too is the fact that Lara never faced Walsh and Ambrose, Tendulkar never faced Kumble and Harbajhan, Kallis never faced Donald, Pollock and Steyn. And we would end up with no great players! Just face facts and admit that Ponting is one of the all-time greats, along with Lara, Tendulkar and Kallis.

  • MrDynamic on January 30, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Cleverly written Ian ... but people know that it's just your view. I just want every one to realize that he is not a neutral writer and has never been one hence his columns have less credibility. Missing Kallis out tells how ignorant/biased you/column are/is. I don't know how long you will continue to attempt to justify what you kept saying in your earlier columns. But realize that the truth prevails.

  • B.C.G on January 30, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    @kh1902-I find it amusing how you just dismiss Kallis as a batsmen who doesn't score when it matters.You must be a jealous & bitter Indian fan as you witnessed Kallis SINGLE HANDEDLY DENY India a series victory in S.A.Where had G.Smith & A.B. gone?Kallis won the MAN OF THE SERIES WHEN S.A. whitewased India in India(2000).Also won MAN OF THE SERIES AWARD IN S.A.'s only ICC trophy victory-1998.Well against your biased views.

  • Bollo on January 30, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Number of innings it took them to score 10,000 test runs? Lara - 195, Sachin - 195, Ponting - 196. That`s a decent glimpse at the difference between these blokes.

  • MiddleStump on January 30, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Strange article to say the least. When he was 35, Ponting had a lean patch that lasted nearly two years. Chappell commends him for his comeback and it is not without reason. But too much cannot be made out of his return to form. After all he dropped himself to number 4, played at home and scored hundreds against the likes of Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar. At nearly 38, Tendulkar led the Indian batting to a very honourable series in South Africa last year, facing Steyn and Morkel at home. Kallis also played well in that series but he certainly did not outshine the Little Master who is nearly 4 years older. As for Lara, good as he is, I would rate Sobers ahead of him as a batsman from the West Indies. If scoring 400 and batting his way is the criteria, then Sehwag with two triple centuries must also be considered. He knows no other way of batting, regardless of the consequences. Chappell must also talk to Warne about players of spin. His poor record in India had something to do with SRT!

  • B.C.G on January 30, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    @David_Boon-Kallis has a strike rate of 46(perfect for tests btw) which is increasing with every match.He has hit 90 sixes in tests,more than the so called dominant, aggressive Punter & Tendulkar in lesser matches.How can any defensive player achieve this?He balances caution with aggression;thats how!!Ironically your namesake had an ever more terrible strike rate of 40.Waugh-48,Border-40.These players too were boring & should not have any aura attached to them esp. waugh & border.

    Those questioning the quality of Kallis's runs;the foll. blog is tailormade for your use-http://blogs.espncricinfo.com/itfigures/archives/2012/01/batsman_analysis_by_bowlerpitc_1.php#more From this-Lara,Kallis,Chanderpaul should be the real greats Averaging 35+ in the tough batting conditions

  • Bollo on January 30, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    Most dominant, gentlemen... Lara (SR 61), Ponting (SR 59), SRT (SR 54), Kallis (SR 45), Dravid (SR 42).

    Similar total runs, similar averages - there is a reason why neither Kallis nor Dravid comes close to being a World XI No.3.

  • _ZAR on January 30, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Kallis shld have been discussed... interestingly, he has a comparable batting record and the best bowling stats among these 4 :), which makes him one of the modern greats

  • Ibanezfan on January 30, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    Indian fan here. For sheer dominance, Brian Charles Lara is streets ahead of Sachin and Ponting. Always batted with his back to the wall, courtesy of a weak team, and yet never took his foot off the pedal. Was there ever a boring moment when Lara batted? Sachin comes in second. His nervous 90s shtick kills all the interest his beautiful batting generates. Ponting's record in India is pedestrian. He definitely cannot dominate in all conditions. Lara could, Sachin could. Ponting is definitely the lest intimidating of the three. And all you guys talking about Kallis, Dravid and others, Chappell's question was about dominating the game. I rate Dravid higher than Tendulkar as a match winner but Dravid and Kallis are quietly effective. They have never dominated bowlers.

  • 12th_man on January 30, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Well as a neutral, I agree Lara is the best of those three and the most stylish. You only have to think about the team mates of Ponting and Tendulkar to know that they have been lucky to have talented team mates and weren't often called upon to carry their team as often as Lara.

    Let's not forget Kallis, he's the toughest one to get out.

    They all offer something different from each other... Lara for style and placement Ponting for attacking relentlessly Tendulkar for consistently score 100s Kallis for being hard as a rock. Inzamam is right up there too.

  • AB99 on January 30, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    The top dominating batsman are: 1. Lara 2. Ponting 3. Gilchrist 4. Petersen 5. Sehwag 6. SRT 7. Kallis

  • on January 30, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    Been reading the posts and lots of subjective horsedung around. Agree that he needs to look at Kallis, Dravid and Sangakara as well, at least.

    So I used the statsguru tool and looked at these 5 test players stats for away games (the assumption that it's typically more difficult to play away from home), and then look at the batting averages for lost games as as well as won and drawn games. Again runs scored in lost games are probably more important, however that is subjective.

    The stats are as follows: Player Lost/Won & Drawn Tests Runs scored Batting Ave

    Ponting Lost 21 1335 31.78 Ponting Won/Drawn 47 3879 56.21

    Tendulkar Lost 42 3072 37.46 Tendulkar Won/Drawn 64 5633 73.15

    Lara Lost 43 3420 39.76 Lara Won/Drawn 23 2316 68.11

    Dravid Lost 37 2251 32.62 Dravid Won/Drawn 57 5439 71.56

    Sangakara Lost 21 1512 36.87 Sangakara Won/Drawn 24 2168 58.59

    Kallis Lost 21 1409 36.12 Kallis Won/Draw 45 3790 65.34

  • B.C.G on January 30, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    @ankitrawat8-strokemakers eh-why not just mention sehwag,afridi & gilly.They have enough strokes between them to make the above mentioned trio seem like bailey or boycott.Kallis will continue to defy everyone & win over more fans with his recent aggressive approach.Watch out!!!!!!!!!!! Im not a fanatical protea btw.I'm very much Indian.

  • senthillara on January 30, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Brian Lara is the best remarkable win of 2004 Champions trophy with the moderate Windies team, he play most of game in the critical situation, do you guys remember he scored 380 with a six do any other batsman do that, thats his style.. Lara one man army... Lord of cricket

  • quint1980 on January 30, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    These stats speak for itself!!! (Arrogant Aussie)

    Player Tests Runs 100s Ave Wickets Ave Catches Jacques Kallis 150 12 260 41 57.02 274 32.51 180 Brian Lara 131 11 953 34 52.88 0 0 164 Ricky Ponting 162 13 200 41 53.44 5 54.6 193 Sachin Tendulkar 188 15 470 51 55.44 45 54.33 113

  • on January 30, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Very good article but missed Kallis and Inzamam to mention, the two other modern greats of cricket!

  • on January 30, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Ponting for sure he is great batsman, has lead the team and is good on all grounds worldwide, on the other hand, Tendulkar is good at indian grounds with indian Umpires and indian crowds, not a good captain, is not a match winning material either.

  • on January 30, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Totally biased form Ian Chappel. How can you not put Jaques Kallis in that list. Amazing and pathetic. Probably still harbouring residual bitterness over being part of the Aussie side famously whitewashed 4-0 in South Africa in 1969/70.

  • Long-Leg on January 30, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    As an England fan, and therefore neutral in this debate, I would also go for Lara. He may not have enjoyed the longevity of the other two, but he is the one I would most like to watch again. Lara scored his world record 375 against England in 1994. After the match I always remember Michael Atherton (then England captain) saying that it didn't matter where the bowlers bowled "we were in the hands of a higher power".

  • on January 30, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    wonderful article... lara, the best player to watch...

  • srikanths on January 30, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    Tendulkar deifinitely a better player against pace bowling and Lara against spin. Overall it has to be tendulkar

    I recall reading a piece by Boycott on Lara playing short pitched bowling.He mentioned that for such a great player, his playing of short pitched bowling was not great . While not weak, he was definitely not as comfortable against short pitched bowling as Tendulkar was. But , one has to admit that he was more dominating against spin right throughout his career. Tendulkar has become much more circumspect in recent years against spin. Something to do with age, perhaps. One can debate between the two, but only between the two of them.Ponting and others come a distant third.....

  • gi.gos on January 30, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    All the below are modern day greats of the game.Expecting a very good article on these players

    lara,sachin,ponting,dravid,kallis,inzy,yusuf,sanga,mahela,sehwag,chanderpaul,jayasurya,laxman,hayden,steve waugh

  • HumungousFungus on January 30, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Er...Jacques Kallis anyone? Higher batting average than any of Tendulkar, Lara, and Ponting? 41 Test Match hundreds? It amazes me how a man with such incredible consistency and ability is continually overlooked. And this is before you throw in 250+ Test wickets. If we are grading the current generation on pure quality, and the definition is "modern greats" then Kallis needs to be in the discussion, and maybe at the top of it. I am not South African, for reference...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 30, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    @LillianThomson, mate any list of great batsmen from 1975 cannot be without The Little Master Sunil Gavaskar. Get a grip. Will you? You can talk to any Caribbean Fan from that era and they'll tell you who left their awesome bowlers clueless time and again. Do yourself a favour and don't reveal that you have been following cricket for 35 years. At least then, you won't look so twisted!

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    How can you forget Dravid and Kallis? Dravid with over 13,000 runs and 36 centuries. Kallis 12,000+ runs along with 250+ wickets! And that that too batting in South Africa which is the hardest place to bat on!

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Sachin,Kallis,Lara,Ponting in that order

  • rtmohanlal on January 30, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    (cont...) (e)From 1990 to 1996 was the lone performer in AUS,SAF,ENG & NZL except some rare hits from other here and there. Lara too had this fate from 2000 till end after the retirement of 2 Cs. (f)Much consistant and longevity in tests when compared to Lara.Has scored almost 33% more runs in tests than Lara.Also 50% more hundreds too. (g) In one days scores over Lara easily with a avg: of 45 & str: rate of 86 against Lara's respective figures of 40 & 78. (h) has scored almost 80% more runs than Lara in 1 dayers. (i) More huge 100 scores in 1 dayers than Lara.Easily in this respect 'Lara' of one day cricket. So over all Lara lags way behind SRT.

  • criclanka on January 30, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Mr. Chappel you have missed out sangakkara on your list. Please go through sangakkara's records. for me he is up there with sachin,lara,kallis and ponting

  • criclanka on January 30, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Mr. Chappel you have missed out sangakkara on your list. Please go through sangakkara's records. for me he is up there with sachin,lara,kallis and ponting

  • rtmohanlal on January 30, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    SRT over Lara for obvious reasons: Factors in which Lara scored over SRT: in 100 plus scores Lara has on the avg: about 25 runs more and on the avg: about 10 more in STR: RATE than SRT.(though if not out included SRT outweighs Lara in avg: of 100 plus scores) Factors in which SRT scored over Lara: (a) Withstanding the huge expectations of crores of people over 22 years of time. (b) has much varied 100s than Lara.Lara never has a 100 vs the 2 Ws,Donald and 'Kumble in India'. (c)SRT has great avg:s in all countries with a lowest avg: of 42 in Pak.Lara's avg: varies from very high in SL to low in Ind(33).SRT avg: more than Lara in almost all major countries. (d)Though not able to finish the game like Lara's 153* vs Aus, SRT too has a brilliant 136 vs Pak which almost brought near win from utter disaster.(cont...)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 30, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    This is my follow-up - I don't think Sachin can be ahead of Ponting in this list. First of all, Lara and Ponting both had to perform as Captains and as Batsmen. Sachin didn't play that dual role. Sachin was on his own with no Captaincy. Ponting and Sachin had tremendous performers around them, and in the case of Sachin a certain Dravid actually scored more runs than Sachin ever since he debuted in Jun 1996. Add VVS, Ganguly and Sehwag in the mix, Sachin never had to carry the team on his shoulders from Jun 1996 to Jan 2012. Dravid it is for me - way ahead of Sachin. Arresting the rut and avoiding a collapse are the roles given to Dravid which is as hard as, if not more than, stroke making. Ponting had a similar cushion as Sachin, as a player. Compare and contrast this to Lara - barring Shiv and Hooper, at various stages of his career, name the batsmen that come across as world class in the Windies team! NONE! So, it's got to be Lara, then Ponting and Dravid for India, not Sachin.

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    cook is the best among all and sachin has no place in test he is no 1 in odi.ponting is better between those 3.

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    No JK? What were Ponting and Tendulkar's averages after 150 games?

    Player Tests Runs 100s Ave Wickets Ave Catches Jacques Kallis 150 12 260 41 57.02 274 32.5 180 Brian Lara 131 11 953 34 52.88 0 0 164 Ricky Ponting 162 13 200 41 53.44 5 54.6 193 Sachin Tendulkar 188 15 470 51 55.44 45 54.33 113

  • rickusf on January 30, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    What about Kallis. His average is higher than all 3 of these batsmen.

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    very funny and quite expected from that old sauer kraut who along with his brother gave cricket a bad name lara is probably the most selfish of the top 10 batsmen of all time never a team player or a half decent captain he did bat almost 3 days for the 400* same story with his 375 and not surprisingly both matches drawn against england also no coincidence that this article only published after ponting finally after 2years scored some runs and no mention of king kallis with superior stats

  • jeremyt on January 30, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    Typical one-eyed Aussie - maybe a bitter one taking into account what happened to Chappell when he came here back in 69-70. Why no Jacques Kallis on his list? He has a better average than Ponting, Lara or Tendulkar - oh yes, and the small matter of 274 test wickets as well!

  • spindoc007 on January 30, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Chappell the CHOP..brother of Chappell the CHEAT..put on your glasses mate!! Player Tests Runs 100s Ave Wickets Ave Catches Jacques Kallis 150 12 260 41 57.02 274 32.51 180 Brian Lara 131 11 953 34 52.88 0 0 164 Ricky Ponting 162 13 200 41 53.44 5 54.6 193 Sachin Tendulkar 188 15 470 51 55.44 45 54.33 113

    King Kallis.....stat's don't lie!!!!!

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Lara: 11 953 runs in 131 tests, including 34 hundreds for an avg of 52.88 Ponting: 13 200 runs in 162 tests, including 41 hundreds for an avg of 53.44 Tendulkar: 15 470 runs in 188 tests, including 51 hundreds for an avg of 55.44

    Looking at these stats, Tendulkar is by far the best of the three. But, is he better than Kallis? Kallis: 12 260 runs in 150 tests, including 41 hundreds for an avg of 57.02

    On the batting side, Tendulkar and Kallis is as close as dammit to each other, if you look at the number of runs divided by tests, as well as tests divided by 100's.

    Of the first three, Tendulkar is the only to also bring a bit of bowling to the mix, having taken 45 wickets in his career. Kallis, however, have taken 274 wickets.

    So, as a pure batsman Kallis is on par with Tendulkar, who is much better than the other two. Add his bowling, and Kallis becomes the best player of all mentioned.

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Please man. Really? Need some stats there Aussie? Lara averaged 52.88, Ponting 53.44 and Tendulkar 55.44 - Kallis averages 57.02 Your arrogance amazes me. The difference between these three is that Kallis also took 274 wickets.

  • GreatXl on January 30, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Player Tests Runs 100s Ave Wickets Ave Catches

    Jacques Kallis 150 12 260 41 57. 02 274 32.51 180 Brian Lara 131 11 953 34 52. 88 0 0 164 Ricky Ponting 162 13 200 41 53. 44 5 54.6 193 Sachin Tendulkar 188 15 470 51 55. 44 4 54.33 113

    Please explain??????

  • TonyRai on January 30, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    u choose the perfect timing to write this. but sachin remains the best. and i m not saying this cuz i m indian. i m pakistani.

  • krgs on January 30, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    oh mr.Ian ( not a Sachin fan ) Chappel...how can u even include ponting in such a list..remember his record in India against spin..getting lbw time and again playing across the line..sachin and lara are in a league way ahead of ur aussie mate..i would rate tendulkar ahead of lara for the number of victories and the pressure he has played under for the past 22 years..arrogant fellow..let australia come to India next year

  • here2rock on January 30, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    In order Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar. Tendulkar has forgotten to entertain the crowds and is just chasing reocrds now.

  • on January 30, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    The Chappell brothers have never been known for their objectivity. Even though I am a big fan of Ponting (who deserves all the praise), statistics backs Kallis in every way - batting and bowling average / wickets taken / same amount of hundreds even though Ponting has played 12 more tests. Come on Ian, get over the white wash.

    Articles like this dents the credibility of Cricinfo.

  • Dupsie on January 30, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    I think one glaringly obvious fact that was omitted here is that for most of Ponting's "glittering" career, he did not face the Best bowlers during the same period I.E. McGrath and Warne. Whilst Lara, Sachin and indeed Kallis did. I think ponting is a great batsman but not in the same league as Lara, Sachin and indeed Kallis. I still cant believe he got player of the Decade...

  • JustinBr on January 30, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    I agree. Higher average, wickets as well...Kallis has to be up there.

  • on January 30, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    Ponting doesn't have a patch on Jaques Kallis. Not in statitics, not in consistency and not in class. I think Sachin is the true great, but Kallis is definitely ahead of at least Ponting.

  • on January 30, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    The expert forgot about Kallis who has a better batting and bowling average than any of the trio mentioned above.

  • cricfanraj on January 30, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    I know the answer that Ian is going to give even before reading the article. Ian is a big fan of Lara ( Look at All time 11 selections) and he got his own reasons.While I respect his choice I think Sachin is the best batsmen for new generation. Having said that Lara is not far behind . Pointing is great but there is yard difference between him when compare with Sachin or Lara. My top 3 would be Sachin , Lara and Pointing will come third at some distance.

  • on January 30, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Ponting is overrated! Tendulkar is a master, and if Kallis stays fit, he will go past him! Oh yes, and Chappell is a delusional, old man.

  • on January 30, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Ponting is overrated. Tendulkar is a master, and if Kallis kan keep fit he will go past him.

  • on January 30, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    I agree with david8 - no mention of Jacques Kallis? Kallis has as good (if not better) a record than the three mentioned.

  • sanjaykool on January 30, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Lara struck 8 centuries while Windies won 32 tests he played 25 % ponting struck 28 centuries while AUS won 99 tests he played 28.3 % Sachin struck 20 centuries while India won 61 tests he played 32.7 %

    So Sachin has contributed more to win to the country he has played than others

    That too playing from one of weakest bowling side and one of the worst fielding side in test cricket.

  • mittalanuj on January 30, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Comparing to all Sachin is way below many players in terms of match winners...Among moderns indian great players I would rate Kumble at the top followed by Rahul Dravid and VVS. Sachin has scored over all of them in longevity and century making...And comparing to other contemporaries like Lara, Kallis,Ponting , Sangakara he is way behind...

  • Saffalicious on January 30, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Interesting that Kallis has a better average than all 3 mentioned, and the man can bowl! The question was however who dominated the most, and in this all 4 (including Kallis) had completely different styles. Lara did it his way regardless of the match situation, Kallis mostly played it at one pace and spent time at the crease accumulating and frustrating the bowlers, tendulkar was very good or very disappointing and Ponting was probably the most versatile to the match situation. I would find it hard to choose between Kallis and Ponting (as a Saffa that says alot) but most bowlers were probably the most afraid of Lara when he got into his groove, and that at the end of the day is the acid test.

  • kurups on January 30, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Lara, Sachin & Ponting in that order in terms of greatness....in terms of watchability - Lara is way ahead, then Ponting and Sachin. In terms of shots - Most shots of Lara, A Ponting Pull and Sachin straight drive or backfoot punch. we are blessed to have watched this trio in our lifetime. Kallis didnt come to my mind.but I wonder what Ian Chappel thinks of Kallis and where would he be placed!!

  • on January 30, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    I THINK DRAVID SHOULD BE AMONG THIS LIST MR.CHAPPELL !!! HE IS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD

  • cenitin on January 30, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    I rate Sachin higher than ponting and Lara. Because for me the best batsman is who performed in all conditions, against all kind of attacks, who can play spin and fast bowlers equally well. Most people don't know about some hidden facts. They only trust there memory but see below points : Sachin avg is more than 40 in all countries (conditions) whereas Ponting avg is only 21 in IND, Lara avg only 45 outside WI and in all countries outside the WI his avg is not even 50 or above even in a single country. He is having avg 33 in IND and 36 in NZ. That tells that apart from Sachin both these gr8 batsman struggled in some countries. Also if you compare Lara and Sachin, in Aus Sachin avg is 58 and Lara 42, in Eng Sachin avg 57 and Lara 48 , in SA sachin avg is 43 and Lara 46, in NZ Sachin avg is 50 and Lara 36. Also Sachin avg is 48 in WI and Lara avg is mere 33 in Ind. Clearly Sachin performs better than Lara everywhere away from home.

  • george204 on January 30, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    I agree - Lara by a distance. He was the most entertaining, the most memorable, the hungriest, and turned/won more games than the others despite playing the majority of his career in a very weak team. Tendulkar never scored 500 runs in a series. Ponting had the advantage of one of the strongest ever test teams around him.

  • tusharkardile on January 30, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    what a great timing, Ian. Almost as good as your trademark hook. Is it just a coincidence that you wrote this article when Ponting scored three centuries after a two year long lean patch, and Tendulkar finished his two bad away series before which he had scored 8 TEST centuries in 12 months. But I cannot but agree with you about the selection of the modern great.

  • ansram on January 30, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    Lara best because of his ability to demolish any opposition on any surface. His ability to score big is not matched by Ponting, Tendukar, Kallis etc. Ponting had the backing of a very strong Australian batting line up and bowlers, and rarely had to bat under immense pressure like Lara and Tendulkar. I rate Lara above Tendulkar because Tendulkar could never match lara at his peak, and never played innings like that of 153*, 277, 213..., all ranked in Wisden 100. So Lara>Sachin>Ponting for me.

  • on January 30, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Right in his analysis! I would say Lara, Sachin and Ponting in the order.

  • roarster on January 30, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    If we work on the premise that it's easier to score runs when you know that the whole enterpirse doesn't rest solely on your own bat, Lara has to take the laurels. With the notable exception of Chanderpaul there were few constants in the West Indian run scoring charts during his career. In contrast Ponting could reasonably expect a healthy output from Hayden, Langer, Waugh (x2) Martyn and Gilchrist, while Sachin could look to Dravid, Sehwag, Ganguly or VVS to plug any shortfall he might have left on the odd occasion. I also agree that Kallis deserves at very least a mention for the sheer weight of numbers in both forms of the game, although as the article is specific to their batmenship his impressive figures in the other disciplines should be discounted.

  • billy_bilal on January 30, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    I think the real comparison is between Lara and Sachin. Sachin is overall better player of course but Lara's ability to achieve the unachievable is what gives him edge. If you are a neutral fan who would you pay to watch at his best. I think the answer for 8 out of 10 would be Lara. others like Pointing, Kallis or sangakara are one class below these two.

  • tomhedley on January 30, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Dravid and Kallis are great players but they don't have that God given genius about them. The three mentioned above are three of the all time greats, batsmen who take your breath away when you watch them live and have the ability to make the greatest bowlers look ordinary. I'd have to pick Lara, what he did against the Australians in the Caribbean in 98/99 was out of the ordinary, the 1 wicket win at Barbados and his double hundred earlier in the series stand out as pieces of batsmanship that will never be equaled by anyone in my lifetime.

  • Romanticstud on January 30, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    I saw a comment about Kallis not scoring centuries in India he has 3. HM Amla (SA), CH Lloyd (WI) and ED Weekes (WI) have scored 4 in India, Ponting has 1, If you take the subcontinent results except where the country is their home country ... SRT has 11 Hundreds and an average of 70.22 with 2458 runs ... Kallis is second 8 hundreds at 60.17 with 2046 runs ... Ponting is 3rd just under 2000 runs 5 hunderds at 40.55 ... Lara averaged 58.84 with 1530 runs and also 5 hundreds ... Alan Border scored more hundreds on the sub-continent ... 6 than Ponting ... Lara only played 14 tests on the sub-continent compared to Ponting with 30 ... SRT has played 29 test excluding India ... Kallis 23 ... SRT has a conversion rate of 2.63 tests per 100, Lara 2.8, Kallis 2.88, Border 3.67, Ponting 6 In the rest of the world excl home Ponting 3.3, Kallis 4.09, SRT 4.27, Lara 4.33 ... Border 6. Overall Kallis 3.65, SRT 3.65, Lara 3.88, Ponting 4.05 ...Border 5.

  • on January 30, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    Lara, The Super Champ was far way better then two other greats.

  • thougtswork on January 30, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    I have read through the comments from many saying that Sachin is not a match winner and Lara is. Certain things I wanted to highlight from my side. I want everyone who think Lara is a match winner to tell for the duration of his career i.e. starting early ninetees to his retirement and while he was a captain what reputable championship west indies has won. Any overseas series victory either in SA, Aus, India or Pak. Any Worldcup and any series victory against a major test playing country who have ranking above them. Lara always played with a mediocre west indies team which no one ever expected to win anything meanigful. He never had the pressure of expectations. He could play at will since noone expected them to win. He has got WI some victories but in pure nos. Sachin has contributed much more to Indian victories as contributor than Lara to WI. India has won much more thank WI and had more players who contributed to India victories (kumble, ganguly, Saurav, Sehwag etc).

  • ali00 on January 30, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    The Three batting legend since Sir Donald Bradman

  • on January 30, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Sachin is d best for consistently nd he is a match winner...

  • ali00 on January 30, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    i would go for Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar are the best one.

  • on January 30, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    I think Lara is always the best and most of the Indian batsmen are good at their own grounds with their own Umpire and with their own crowds.

  • on January 30, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    I completely agree with Ian. There is no doubt about the fact that Lara is the only player amongst the 3 who has dominated the bowling on consistent basis. He also looks more stylish than the other 2. What makes Ponting better than Lara n Tendulkar is that his ability to score runs at important occassions for eg : World cup final 2003 where he dominated the bowling attack. And Tendulkar on the other hand has failed to do so on important occassions ans will only be known as a statistical hero. So for me.. 1) Lara 2) Ponting 3) Tendulkar

    For all people who think that y Kallis is not included..the answer is it will be an insult to Kallis if he is only included among batting greats. His comparison is only with Sir Gary Sobers who along along with Kallis are the 2 greatest cricketers of all time.

  • on January 30, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    Ponting is the best !!! best captain , best player !!!

  • david8 on January 30, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    Ah.. the arrogance & ignorance of a former Australian cricketer comes to the fore again.. How in the world can you not mention Kallis in any conversation regarding the modern greats of cricket??

    By the way, in my opinion it's a tie between Kallis & Tendulkar for the best modern day great!!

  • ats78 on January 30, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    There is always gonna be difference of opinion when you choose who is the best player as of now. I simply would say ( I am an Indian ) that Lara Sachin Ponting all 3 are class players, Sachin was never a match winner that is a very lame statement , if you see how much pressure he had and once he got out the whole team would sink specially in the 90s was one of the prime reasons people think that way, Ponting always had a great team around to work with and Lara was in a way his story was similar to Sachins, so you cant compare legends with one another they all are great in my opinion, one mention would definitely be Saeed anwar specially in ODI's , whenever he was playing against India I would love to watch him bat he was really a flamboyant cricketer, and Kalis would have been up there but in ODI he lacked in strike rates just as dravid did. But to me all the great players ...

  • Romanticstud on January 30, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    This article was written with some bias ... I agree SRT has a lot under his belt ... Lara has the highest score ... Ponting, however has batted in 12 more tests than Kallis to reach 41 ... And where is "The Wall" ... And what about Jayawardene ... And strike rate ... Can it be that sometimes in a test one needs to consolidate after early losses or prevent yet another defeat on home soil like Kallis did last year in Cape Town ... but since 2008 ... Where is Ponting in the list of 50 batsmen with the most runs an average of 43.35, he is 29th ... SRT has 57.00 in 5th place ... Kallis 54.14 in 11th Place ... But Younis Kahn and Samaraweera have 69.04 since 2008 Samaraweera has scored more runs ... In fact AB De Villiers is 3rd with 64.61 ... Michael Clarke is the top Australian in 16th with 51.10 ... South Africa have 4 batsmen that have maintained 50+ Averages ... England and WI 3 ... Aus, Pak, SL And India all 2 each ...

  • ankitrawat8 on January 30, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    why are people rooting for kallis or dravid to be in this list??...the article is about most dominant strokemakers of modern times!!!

  • Integrity1 on January 30, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    @Raksri ... Kallis has 3 centuries in India. Just shows your ignorance. As far as the article goes Kallis is the greatest cricket player that ever lived. Cricket is not just about batting. It is also about bowling and fielding. How do you classify one a "great" based only on one dimension? In tests, over 12 000 runs, 274 wickets and 180 catches, but that does not make him an all time great? Ian Chappel needs to get over his bias.

  • on January 30, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Amongst These i think Lara is No. 1 no comparison of him with anyone.

  • MiddleStump on January 30, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    An article full of contradictions. Even though he was only 35, for nearly two years Ponting went through a lean patch. He finally dropped down the order to number 4 and made runs at home against India. Tendulkar was almost 38 last year when he led the batting in South Africa against Steyn and Morkel - a different proposition than Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar. By that age, Lara had retired and we don't know what Ponting will be doing if he is still around. Chappel's conclusion is also hilarious. He selects Lara because of the way he played spin bowling. Chappel must have a chat with Warne before coming to such conclusions. It might dawn on him that Warne's poor record in India has something to do with Tendulkar.

  • on January 30, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Kallis? How can he possibly not be considered?

  • on January 30, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    I would rate Ponting first..simply coz of the number of runs he scored in victories and while setting up matches for victory, then Lara..coz of his big innings and quality against spin..then Tendulkar..then fourth is Kallis...

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    Kallis deserve more than a mention. The fact that Chappell does not even discuss him shows that anything South African still gurts him after the trashing the Aussies received in 1967 and 1970. Seriously Chappell, get over yourself! This articles should have appeared on1 April!

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    SPOT ON :) Even if we take India, it is not as 'unanimous' as people/media want to think it is. There were people who said G Viswanath was better batsman than Gavaskar. Mohinder Amarnath, Vengsarkar too had their own 'followers'. Often the under-rated Azharuddin is left out of debates, but his wrist work is unmatched by anyone (Laxman and Jaisimha are said to be 'close'!). Obviously as a complete cricketer, Kapil Dev is beyond parallel with maybe Ravi Shastri coming a distant 2nd as the next best all rounder that India ever produced. Sachin was attractive especially when he was attacking in Tests - like in Perth, like in Cape Town in the company of Azhar etc. It was always a real PITA to watch him play in the trail of a century! For me the so-called comparison with Lara should end with the classic of an innings that Lara played with the last wicket to seal a victory against Aussies. Sachin is a good batsman - let us not argue about it. AFA Ian's point goes, Lara wins hands down

  • KaZsa on January 30, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Why doesn't Sanga and Kallis not in this league?They are among the best comsidering the persiverance they have shown and their all round ability and the value to the team.

  • Bomber1 on January 30, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Until Ian Chappell learns to deal with his mental block regarding South Africa, his journalism and commentary will always lack objectivity. He has never got over his poor personal record in South Africa where Trevor Goddard, Eddie Barlow,Mike Procter and Peter Pollock kept getting him out(average of just over 16 in 9 tests). He lost 7 of the 9 tests he played in South Africa. This would be his otherwise inexplicable reason for making no mention of Kallis.

  • baskar_guha on January 30, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    @ LillianThomson Fortunately, the rest of the world that you describe mainly consists of you and your rather twisted mind.

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Tendulkar by all means stands out; there are lotta aspects that one needs to look out for before just putting one's neck out and claiming Lara, Ponting or Sachin. Well,ppl easily tend to forget the opposition that a certain Sachin or a Lara battled as compared to their counterpart, Ponting. Make no mistake,scoring a century against Australia deserves many more accolades than scoring a century against India; taking nothing away from our (India) bowlers though. Also, for a certain Greg or an Ian, it's pretty to easy to come out and say Sachin hasn't won as many matches as compared to Ricky. We gotta look at the teams that Ricky and Sachin were a part of; without a shadow of a doubt- Ricky led the best team in the world; winning was a habit, completely a contrasting happening for the Little man from India. If ppl are saying Ricky is under pressure,then how do you describe what Sachin goes through everyday? Lara and Sachin are in a diff league, Sachin stands out because of his consistency

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    why the talk of sachin not being a match winner always crops up. i agree he has not won india as many matches as he should have while chasing or he may not have been batting till the end but he has set up so many victories for india. we in india will never be satisfied with sachin's performance. even if he were to get out after a 100, people will curse him for not carrying on till the end. australia series was hopeless, i agree. but it's high time we treat these legends of the game with due respect

  • Shareef28193 on January 30, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    Where is kallis coming from? I don't rate kallis atall. Never a match winner nor savior. Its Lara considering he had to do it single handedl because of the lack if support from the very average west Indies team

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    cldnt agree more with ian.i feel priviliged to have seen the great Brain Lara in action.never did one know that batting cld be made so attractive.by far the most skillful batsman of his time

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    ha ha ha inzamam averages 32 against aussies in australia less than 20 lolzzzzzzzzzzz ordinary player not even in a class of cook

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    ponting is not a match winner good bowling attack helped him lara neva won match he has played some great innings because of below average bowling attack same case with tendulkar still tendulkar singled hand win many matches youngest one to score century in pert just 17 same in england nobody can match his genius class not even lara or ponting tendulkar is shea genius at the age of 17 on a fastest track scoring hundred that too against best team look at ponting record in asia below average lara and tendulkar are greatest genius ponting is nowaynear he is good player not great or genius look at 2011 sa tour for ponting and sachin ponting was absolute failure sachin 2 centuries dominated worlds best bowling attack

  • on January 30, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Ponting is the best =)

    (from Pakistan)

  • on January 30, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    Sorry you can't Say Sachin Tendulkar is not a Match winner If he is not then India Can not win in the matches in which he score a century that No is More. And is we compare all three batsman they were best of their field but if you see only one man can best in all format he Is Sachin Tendulkar so my preference to him and as you say in between that Sachin is Indian were lot of population is huge so he is Fvo8 this is foolish statement if that true then he can not receive standing ovation by 17000 people in Australia when he got out in last test

  • on January 30, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    Oh! The debate starts just after Ponting gets double and SRT struggling to get a ton. But Ricky has got those runs against apposition lost 4-0 in both away series. Chappell should have waited for few more innings before starting this.

  • FatBoysCanBat on January 30, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    @Noboundary: Sir Vivian Richards was [is] not considered a modern great because he is not modern. It is debatable what is considered the start of the modern era but many believe it is the mid 1990's. Like many, I initially wondered why Kallis isn't included but, after thinking about it, it would have been because he not a batsman but an all-rounder - and he is definitely the best of the modern era, and in my opinion all-time.

  • blaster.pk on January 30, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Sir Ian , you are 1000% correct. Lara played attacking cricket throughout this entire career. He is not only very quick to score but very entertaining to watch.

    First of all sachin is no better than Kallis, dravid.

    Whats the use sachin scoring 99 centuries when he cant score one match saving innings like Lara has done through out this career. Lara single handedly saved a series against AU in 1999. show me one innings better than the 153* LARA scored against AU.

    Sachin is the most over rated and selfish batsman in this world. Atleast Dravid scored good in england, sachin failed both in ENG and AU.

    Lara is more honest than Sachin, Lara walks when he is out.Sachin even if he is out still he will wait for umpires ( like what he did at adelaide with Ball from lyon) Sachin was standing for umpire to give out . Why cant he be true to himself and walk like Lara and Gilchrist.

    Like muralidharan said sachin all the runs in his side, records in this side but still LARA IS BETTER.

  • itzvinay on January 30, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Why are people looking at averages, bowling capacity and other irrelevant stuff? This comparison is all about the skill called batsmanship and no one can deny that Lara and Tendulkar had that more than anybody else...in fact Dravid comes close to...but I will always consider Lara the God of batting...though he may not be the one hoarding records

  • on January 30, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    This list should have included Dravid and Kallis as well . They have been the real dominant when it comes to "Test" matches and real impact players .

  • on January 30, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Will rate Lara as the best followed by Ponting and then Tendulkar.Would have really liked to see Kallis in the list but i guess the paucity of "big " scores keeps him out of the list.He is the most valuable though.Also Lara was definitely the best player of spin amongst these 3 ( handling of murali in sril lanka was stupendous) , he was also the man who played " the boy on the burning deck" role most often, i think even more than sachin.Lastly, sachin actually falls into the third position because of his curious inability to fight these days and his absolute inability to be a consistent test match winner.

  • OkyaBokya on January 30, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Nothing sensational. TRP gaining article, I would say. There is no need for this article otherwise.

  • MrSlickJerk on January 30, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    I would go with Sachin at no.1 then Lara and then Ponting.

  • on January 30, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    For me it is Shahid Afridi... I'm so frustrated not to see him in this list... LMFAO

  • TheOnlyEmperor on January 30, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Ian repeatedly writes on this for a reason. As an Aussi he has the compulsive need to see a fellow Aussi amongst the greats. He does at this at a time when Ponting has scored after 2 years in Tests and at a time when Sachin didn't. He makes it appear that Sachin is considered a great only because of the billion Indian fans. His lack of objectivity is there for all to see when he fails to even consider Kallis and Dravid in the list. Lara was stylish and scored big hundreds! Sachin excelled in both Tests and ODIs, when it came to consistency and scoring centuries. Ponting hasn't done anything worthy of mention as a batsman. I've never seen an Indian write an article propping up Sachin. Sachin doesn't need props. Sadly the Aussi greats including Bradman do and that's my say!

  • thekkut on January 30, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    amit_mallick hats off to you truely said people cannot be judjed great after playing for 15 years

  • thekkut on January 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Just dont go with words of chappel.He just want to support ponting into this group and want to say that pontings career also not in danger.This chappel is the same man who one time ignored the investigation of modern greats

  • on January 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Undoubtedly Ponting... he is fighter to the core and very very miser in giving away his wicket!

  • sbalmiki1166 on January 30, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Sachin got in to the international scene when he was 16 facing the great bowlers from pakistan, aus, eng, sa. and scoring runs continuously against these bowling attacks. same goes for lara. but ponting never started as a born talented cricketer but the time when he started gaining stardom, the bowling attack he was facing was nothing compare to sachin and lara. Besides aus dominated the cricket for 10 years where all the other bowling attck was very ineffective. ponting scored most of his runs against these bowling attack in home conditions. ponting has poor record in sub continent. where as sachn has overcome everybody in all conditions.

  • on January 30, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    If the talk is about dominance i would rate Lara>Hayden>Sehwag>Tendulkar & if it was about consistency, I would put Kallis>Dravid>Tendulkar. But I believe in impact and here my picks would be Lara>Sehwag>Sanath>Laxman>Hayden>Gilchrist>Graeme Smith I cannot rate Inzamam as I haven't seen him bat enough. I think Saeed Anwar was a better impact player for Pak. Sourav Ganguly not a great in Tests, but easily the most (positively) influential player-captain combo in India's cricket history, considering both traditional formats...

  • on January 30, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    I like the timing of this discussion. Gr8 job Chappell ;)

  • nvngupta on January 30, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    what a timing from Ian. why this article was not written two years back when there was resurgence from SRT . also i would like to state that why lara's inning of 153 is counted as match winner remember there was catch drop by hely just when 5-6 run s were required. had hely taken the catch indies would have lost . wondering if even then it would have talked in same breath. nothing to take away from lara. he was a real pleasure to watch and being a lefty he was a naturally superemly graceful. remember lanka where he scored 600 runs but still windies lost all 3 test by innings. tendular has played many innings like that. the oly plus point in lara's favor is his capability of playing big innings.

  • dms1972 on January 30, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Here we go again with those who dislike Ricky Ponting, telling us that Ponting never had to face Warne and McGrath, therefore he can't be considered a great. Well, guess what?! Lara never had to face Walsh and Ambrose, Tendulkar never had to face Kumble and Harbajhan, while Kallis never had to face Donald, Pollock and Steyn. The ONLY blemish on Ponting's batting career is his record in India, and that is entirely due to one man, Harbajhan! Just like McGrath made Tendulkar look silly, so too did Harbajhan of Ponting. You can make a case for any great batsman not to be considered a great, Ponting's record in India, Lara was too inconsistent, Tendulkar has bloated his average by playing many more games against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Kallis doesn't score runs when they're needed most. Simple fact is they are all great players, with very little between them.

  • srikanths on January 30, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    Fickle fans. If this piece had appeared after last 2007-08 series against Australia or after SA 2011 when Tendulkar played well and scored well, the response would have been different.Lara contributing on wins is as much a myth as Tendulkar not performin when critical. MosT impressions are built around narratives. Lara's is built around 153*. Tendulkar's built around 136 against Pak in a losing cause Look at the overall statistics. His 14 Centuries have been in losing cause as against 11 of Tendulkar Lara 's last test was when he was 37. Tendulkar almost 39 is still playing. Let us be clear , age does affect peformance. Tendulkar of 1998 was several notches above Tendulkar of 2012 Fans have a tendency to come out based on last played series.

  • on January 30, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    People have very short memories.Months ago, they were prepared to consign Ponting to History/dustbin.. Couple of good knocks against an impotent attack seem to have restored his greatness.While evaluating all time greatnes one must take into combined performances in Oneday and Tests.Here Tendulkar has no peers.In tests too, he did not have the luxury of batting against a weak bowling attack like India's which has resurrected many falling batsmen in the past.

    Ponting has failed totally in india, failed to solve Mendis Mystery, miles behind Tendulkar in onday runs. We have to wait and see how he fares against a more potent pace attack.

    Ian Chappel , at this point of time appears more correct than ever. For asssessment of alltime greatness his analysis is flawed.

  • gandabhai on January 30, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    Its typical to see so many Pakistani fans going for Ponting or Lara or both or even their own potato Inzamam in choosing the premier batsmen. Some of them are also getting 'high tech' nowadays by using Indian sounding names . They think we dont know .ssshhhh ,dont let them know we know.

  • on January 30, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    Ponting is the best because he has scored his runs in bowling-friendly conditions than Sachin, but it is high time we move beyond the 3 and expand it to a 5 players-debate...Kallis and Dravid are as good as they have been made anytime

  • gandabhai on January 30, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    Mr Chappell , Which player in the history of our great game has a standing ovation whenever he goes out to bat , including in England & Australia. I also remember how 'your man' Ponting was booed all over England last time he was out their.Does that say anything?

  • on January 30, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    one good series and ponting is back on top? ha ha ha ha ask ponting to score the same against england or south africa in their respective countries now.

  • Balumekka on January 30, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    Typical Chappell with his narrow vision!Jaques Kallis is a true allrounder, has a higher batting average, very good bowler, great fielder and a great match winner. So he is better than these three. Out of Chappell's three, Lara was the greatest because he was the lone fighter in a oridinary team at that time!

  • on January 30, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Kallis wasnt rated up until 2 years ago, ironically when Ponitng was out of form and Lara was retired, funny that. Before that there was 14 years of slow plodding Kallis losing matches for South Africa.

  • Manuu on January 30, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    Its between Sachin and Lara. And Sachin nudges ahead. Of course its a typical Aussie ploy to include Ponting who has never been able to play spin well throughout his career

  • David_Boon on January 30, 2012, 3:11 GMT

    Pretty sure Kallis isn't getting a mention because of the strike rate of 45 (which is terrible). Also he has a ridiculous number of not outs that boost his average. Doesn't take much of a cricket fan to see he's a clear step below these three.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 30, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    Brian Charles Lara it is for me too, Ian. Won't bat an eyelid to make that choice. But, I simply can't choose between Ponting and Sachin. I just don't know how to decide between these two. That's for another day. For now, it's got to be the Prince of West Indies, Brian Charles Lara. God, what flourish! What arrogance! What a combo of brutality and elegance! OMG! Can't imagine anybody coming close to The Prince! Thanks for this piece Chappelli!

  • on January 30, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    Tendulkar is the best. With sheer amount of runs he has scored, the number of years he has carried the expectations of the country and the world , the understanding of the game. The gentleman he is . His average , the number of centuries. His technique , his class. His performance in the world cups.His performance and efficiency under all conditions , pitches and all attacks. His range of shorts. All make him THE BEST.

  • timmyw on January 30, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    Hmm I agree with people here mentioning kallis. He is a run scoring beast. But I agree with Chappelli as well, Lara was the best for mine. Ponting second. Ponting won many many games for Australia, a lot more than any of the others, perhaps even put together. However with Tendulkar I don't think he stepped up to the plate when India really desperately needed him. Perhaps that is why Ian doesn't mention Kallis. Lara though.... Champion. He was always my favourite to watch. Lara was incredible. He dominated series like no one else in the modern era, He utterly murdered spin. Some of his cover driving to Warne against the spin was just pure genius. Murali copped it too. All this from a guy in a very modest side for a lot of his career, to excel the way he did, with only 6 not outs to his name over 130-odd tests and all those enormous scores he gets it for mine.

  • shahid9522 on January 30, 2012, 2:54 GMT

    have to go with Lara as he was always a lone warrior for west indies and a match winners. Ponting and Kallis always been supported by other match winners and Tendulkar's individual record is great but he didnt won india matches

  • cricket_vijay on January 30, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    Sachin is the best. Ian is the last..

  • Barnesy4444 on January 30, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    Kallis is fantastic and may average the same but doesn't compare. Have a look at the strike rate 44 compared to Ponting nearly 60. Kallis scores his runs much slower than the other three as he doesn't have the range of strokes and can't dominate in the same way, he only recently made his first double century. He is tough though, very, very tough. I saw Lara make 184 at Adelaide and I can't remember breathing the entire time, it took my breath away.

  • on January 30, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    SORRY ALL LARA LOVERS!!!!! If Tendulkar had good batsmen around him to help produce draws.................Lara had support of great bowlers likes Ambrose and Walsh to make his runs count towards victories................................JUST AS AMBROSE AND WALSH RETIRED lara COULDN'T WIN ANYTHING DESPITE HIS CONSISTENT BIG SCORES. ...............its the champion bowlers that make batsmen runs count towards victories which AUS WI and PAK had !!!

  • on January 30, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    Tendulkar in ODIs and Kallis in tests.................................coz they have best rate of getting man of the match awards........................

  • abdulqadeer.wi on January 30, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    Chappell has really surprised me. Never thought he was a Lara fan. Great to hear and good to see commonsense prevailing. What many forget is that Lara 99% of the time came in with hardly any runs on the board and he was basically the team, whereas Tendulkar and Ponting had the support of a great middle order. And as Chappel said the way Lara played spin. Brilliant.

  • Wypinkara on January 30, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    @Ahsan Zaman.. How can you say that " Tendulkar is not a Match Winner in his entire career" 70% of his centuries are Match Winning ones. He is the top scorer in 3 word cups. And What about Lara ? How many Matches has he won for West Indies ? During his Time, West Indies came down from Almost No. 1 to the Rock Bottom. What did Lara do to arrest this slide ?. So one should always remember that Match Winning is all about Team work. If you have a good bowling side capable of taking 10 wickets, or at least defending then only you can think of Match Winning. For example if Sachin had played for Australia during the McGrath and Warne era, All his centuries would have been a Match Winning Ones. And Similarly if Ponting were playing for India, only 70% of his Centuries would have been Match Winning Ones.

  • Biophysicist on January 30, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    Having shortlisted three of them, to pick the greatest among them, you just have to see who has the closest home (h) versus away (a) record. Here Sachin (h: 56.37, a: 54.74) beats the other two by a good margin (Lara, h: 58.65, a: 47.8; Ponting (h: 58.95, a:46.97). However, you should not overlook Dravid (h: 51.35, a: 53.05). After all, he scored the maximum runs in tests in 2011 and Kallis who has the highest average among them and a pretty good home (58.59) versus away (53.59) average. The big hundreds don't mean much if they are scored in matches where there is no interest (which are petering away into draws (e.g., Lara's 400).

  • on January 30, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    I think that the very fact that Kallis is an all-rounder disqualifies him in the eyes of some. Batsmen like their batsmen to be batsmen, they are not interested in good cricketers.

  • Marcian on January 30, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    I missed the point of the piece and so did many others; after reading the article a second time, its about who is the most dominant batsman of the three modern-day greats - and in that regard Brian Lara clearly stands out. He dominated bowling attacks and his strike rate is better than the rest. To score 375 not out and 10 years later to break the record again with 400 not out was a remarkable super-human effort. His appetite for huge scores was unbelievable and unmatched in the modern day - no doubt about that. And to add, he had a first-class highest score of 500 and that was not out too. Kallis was never a dominant batsman and never will be and that is why he was omitted from discussion. I get the point now. But, if anyone does a piece on the most productive batsman in the modern era then Jacques Kallis tops the list. He is a legend and should be mentioned in the same breath as Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid and Ponting.

  • kh1902 on January 30, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    Surprised by the number of people who keep saying Tendulkar plays for records. How do people know that? Can't comment on a person's motivations if you don't know them.

    Maybe he just keeps playing for the love of the game and the stats are incidental?

    If Ponting becomes the highest run scorer, will people say he plays for records? Of course not! He's Australian and they only play for love of country, so no need to question his motives.

  • BestTeaminWold_India on January 30, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    Sachin is the best batsman by far. Mr Chappel is just jealous of the great man. Mr Tendulkar has scored runs all around the world and against all attack, be it Ambrose, walsh, warne, Mcgrath, Mcdermot, Merve Huges, Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain, Murali, Donald, Pollock, etc. You name the bowler, he has scored a century. Now that is the hall mark of great player, no player in the world could ever match sachin.

  • VANMOST on January 30, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    Pointing and Lara are better than Tendulkar. It doesn't mean that Tendulkar is not a great batsman, he is but if you look at his stats; his most centuries and performances are either at home grounds or Asian pitches or against small teams or while setting the targets. I did quote these figures bluntly, I did analyze them. Tendulkar is not a man of crisis. There are few moments when he performed when needed. If I am wrong, please quote his performances against big teams when India was is troubled and he performed; there will be countable events.

    On contrary, look at Pointing and Lara.. They have performed on every pitch, team and event. They always performed when their teams needed them. My man is Pointing definately.

  • on January 30, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    All three are good, But the only person I would pay to watch is Lara.Who can forget that high backlift and the grace and power.

    I stiil shudder when I recall the time Lara thrashed Murali in the 3 test series in Sri Lanka where the windies lost 3-0 .

    No one ( except the Don ) has pllayed so many match winning innings.As for Sachin TENDULKAR, not a single hundred he scored was included in the widen 100 which was compiled by Ananth Narayan , an Indian statistician.

    Ponting has a few bravura performances but he had one of the best teams ever to support him unlike Lara.

    Therefore, I agree with Ian Chappell that Lara is the best .If you ask my fellow Sri Lankan Murali , he would say the same.

  • kh1902 on January 30, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    People often say that Tendulkar's reputation is based on the adulation he receives in India. There are some counterarguments to this. 1. Non-Indians rate Tendulkar highly, eg Bradman, Warne - do they hero-worship Tendulkar as well? 2. He gets as much abuse as he does adulation and this is often ignored - there are people who view his achievements negatively simply because they dislike him. 3. With adulation comes scrutiny - Sachin Tendulkar is the most scrutinised player the game has ever seen. People ignore Ponting's failures on the subcontinent or Kallis' repeated failures in England. Such things would be held against Tendulkar because everyone would be aware of them

    From reading the comments here, it is clear that South Africans are as parochial as Indians - however Indians will acknowledge how good other players are but say Tendulkar is the best. South Africans, being as ungracious as they are, will denigrate Tendulkar just to elevate their man.

  • kentjones on January 30, 2012, 1:39 GMT

    In ful agreemenst with Iam here. Lara has been a forgotten man owing to his absence since his unfortunate premature retirement from the game, forced out by narrowminded individuals who lacked a sense of the importance of BCLARA to the West indies and the game of cricket. Lara was good enough to continue playing and scoring heavily at the highest levels. Lara was a batsman of the highest calibre who transcended the game. He had the ability to turn a game of bat and ball to the beautiful wonderful game that it is, he had all the shots and the ability to score at will. as Ian said he was a thinker of the game and possessed the ability to target the weaker bowlers for quick runs. He bided his time and would control the tempo of his batting to suit the type and talent of the bowlers he faced. He was always aware of the spectator and oftgen sen them into ecstacy with his batting. His last words to the crowd when retiring was "Did I enertain you?.

  • Q72941 on January 30, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    Lara always stood far above any other batsmen after the King Viv, simply because of his Majestic methodology of his batsman-ship.

  • on January 30, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    About SACHIN, Current performance of Sachin is not well, may be some collision inside team ... But he is always consistent with runs throughout his 20 years tenure . He has scored runs everywhere.

    About LARA, he was never a consistent player. He got out cheaply in most of the matches & when he got start, he converted it to Big One

    About PONTING, Very best for fast pitches game Player. But in sub-continent, he even dont know how to play or Score runs. So, you can't put him at Top. He is great but not made for Elite group.

    About Kallis, Very good player & scored runs everywhere.

    So for me, RANK is like that: 1. SACHIN 2. LARA 3. KALLIS

  • TheBengalTiger on January 30, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    LOL peeople say Indian fans are biased!

  • on January 30, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    Great choice Sir. Lara is definitely best out of three .The way he by himself dominated opposition attack when their was no resistance from other bowler. For majority of career he had to play for a loosing team and was lone saviour. For me best example comes to his last tour of Sri Lanka when he scored bulk of runs still Windies lost 3-0. When he was batting it seems he was batting on completely different pitch while Murali was eating rest of Windies Batsmen! No doubt Lara is greatest of this era!

  • rama_krish on January 30, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Lara forever; Ponting is great; Tendulkar,Ok

  • on January 30, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    I would personally go with Ponting. Not going for Tendulkar only because he has hardly been a match winner in his entire career. Ponting and Lara both were match-winners.

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 30, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    Sanga and Kallis are worse travellers than Sehwag. All 3 struggle against good swing bowlers. Hard to include them in this discussion. Personally, I would include Dravid instead of Sachin in this discussion simply because he had(past tense) the ability to apply himself in tough situations whereas Sachin is the best strokeplayer on a track which doesn't support bowlers much (but then he can take apart any bowling). Sachin is basically a technically correct version of Sehwag with supreme motivation and ambition.

  • RoJayao on January 30, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    Lara to me was an incredibly selfish batsman- did any of those huge scores result in a match being saved or won? No, they all came on roads that resulted in draws. Nevertheless Ian's arguments are sound and as pure batting talent I think Lara exceeds Ponting and is at least the equal of Tendulkar. However unlike Ponting and Tendulkar, Lara played in a much weaker team and did not have the same support. Perhaps that puts him ahead slightly. Then again, McGrath had him worked out the last few years of his career, something no one could say about Tendulkar or even Ponting really.

  • Manush on January 30, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    I rate Lara as No.1 amongst the three. Graceful. He was a treat to watch against the best pace and spin alike, moving his feet always. His achievement of scoring 400 in an innings is stupendous hard and long one which is very difficult to break. The other two similar but Ponting edges over Sachin, as Ponting is always at his best, when chips are down and his record of winning for the teams cause overtakes Sachin's individual records, which will stay long. Behind them fast coming closer are Kallis and Sangakara !!

  • ARad on January 30, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    I would also rate Lara the best followed by Tendulkar and Ponting. The other three modern greats are Kallis, Dravid and Sangakkara. SANGAKKARA may be mentioned along with the top three in a few years if he continues to make runs against all bowling attacks without having too much support from the openers and other middle order batsmen in the next few years especially when you consider that his batting was hindered by the fact that he kept wickets for more than a third of his career in Tests and throughout his ODI career.

  • on January 30, 2012, 0:22 GMT

    Why was Kallis not considered?

  • on January 30, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    LARA the best..

  • Meety on January 30, 2012, 0:18 GMT

    @ oze13 - I think Ian Cahappell has a long held beleif that the best batsmen are the strrokemakers, & Kallis whilst certainly a great, has often played passive innings & not taken the iniative, on pure stats, Kallis could be held to be the best of the lot, however, his impact falls behind the other 3!

  • viswanav on January 30, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    Wow! Finally, some players are getting their due on Cricinfo. Quite a while back, there was an article on Mark Waugh, and now, Lara. Lara is the best for me anyday. No one can match him in terms of style and class. It's a pity his career was cut short by injuries and controversies. But I just can't believe Kallis has been overlooked!My top two would be Lara and Kallis.

  • steveoehley on January 30, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    That Kallis doesn't even get a mention totally discredits this article.

  • explorer76 on January 29, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    Lara is great. He had the misfortune of being part of a weak team with a fragile batting lineup, unlike Tendular and Ponting who were always part of strong batting lineups. They never had to absorb as much pressure as Lara who always had the whole west indies batting depending on him.

  • dms1972 on January 29, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    Here we go again, all the Ponting-haters regurgitating the same old lines about Ponting never having to face Warne and McGrath, as if they were the only two quality bowlers to have played in the last 17 years. What about Murili, the greatest wicket-taker of all time (albeit with a suspect action), Shaun Pollock, Dale Stein, Jaques Kallis, Andrew Flintoff, Waqar Younis, Anil Kumble. The only blemish on Ponting's career is his record in India, and that is entirely due to one man, Harbajhan. Tendulkar never had to face Kumble and Harbajhan, Lara never had to face Walsh and Ambrose, and Kallis never had to face Donald, Pollock, Steyn or himself, so by the logic of the Ponting-haters, how can we possibly take their records seriously either.

  • on January 29, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    I think this is a tough one but considering all facets , that is skills , size of scores and most importantly - helping your team win in tough conditions . Lara takes the trophy there. For me , it would be - Lara as number one for the modern greats , then maybe Sachin & Ponting

  • on January 29, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    Undoubtedly it's Lara. Because he was like 'half the team'. He must have faced tremendous pressure. Sachin and Ponting always played in one of the top-5 sides of the world, while Lara's team was just better than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh (in the rankings).

  • cricket4ever6 on January 29, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    Tendulkar and Lara are in a league of their own, and while Ponting is a great batsman, he is a rung below these two. I'd put Kallis, Ponting and Dravid in the 2nd rung, with Kallis ahead of Ponting and Dravid. The basic statistics (runs, average, 100s, 100s/inning) proves this point. Lara's stats are not as good as the other 4, but I'd put him next to Tendulkar because he had to score while wickets were falling on the other end even more than Tendulkar had to throughout his career. And Tendulkar, Lara and Dravid had to score against significantly better bowling opposition, even after you take out Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Also look at Ponting's performance after the Australian greats retired to get an idea of how much better Tendulkar and Lara's relative performances were, being on weaker teams and facing stronger opposition. Finally, Kallis's numbers are not only better than Ponting's (Ave, 100s/inning), but he achieved his batting records while also being a very good bowler.

  • Dubious on January 29, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    While Lara was great--as no doubt they all are--he was too mercurial for my mind. And if you were forced to choose at gun point which batter to stake your life on to make the important runs, you'd have to go for Ponting. Whenever I think of India coming from behind and winning against the odds, or getting ahead and dominating a bowling attack it's not Tendulkar that comes to mind but Laxman, Sehwag and even Dravid.

  • Ms.Cricket on January 29, 2012, 23:22 GMT

    My grandmother's dog's grandmother could score runs against the recent Indian attack so Ricky Ponting scoring against India recently is too early to predict as genius.

  • on January 29, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    a true inspiration to all caribbean people the great bc lara

  • ansell on January 29, 2012, 22:58 GMT

    None of them. Kallis has a higher average than any of them. And was/is a terrific bowler and fielder to boot. So Kallis it is.

  • cricinfo_2010 on January 29, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Ponting success in recent series with IND is some good batting, great luck (so many time beaten and the ball not carrying or falling near mediocre fielders) and a mediocre and inconsistent indian bowling. if he had to face the same Australian bowlers and fielders, i doubt his scores better Shaun Marsh in the series.

  • on January 29, 2012, 22:53 GMT

    Agreed. Brian Lara was more fun to watch and a very stylish stroke-maker and a run accumulator. Tendulkar is one who will always be the record-book favourite while Ponting will be the symbol of fight and determination. Tendulkar is less of a match winner than the other two. It has been proven by stats. When India have been chasing ODI score of more than 275, Tendulkar's average is less than half his career average (somewhere in the late 20s). I would rate them as 1.Lara 2.Ponting 3.Tendulkar

  • cricinfo_2010 on January 29, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    i think Sachin's self-digged-defense approach and fear-fo-failure made him look like mediocre batsman over the last decade. Otherwise, none of the cricketers alive are match to him. "Sachin Tendulkar" at "TENth gear" is above all in any era and "Sachin Onedulkar" at "FIRST gear" is reason of this article. So, yes, "Sachin Fivedulkar" at "FIFTH gear" is the debate that Chappel bringing in.

  • on January 29, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    It is an unfair question. All are great in their own way. Nobody has lasted as long as Tendulkar. Twenty three years is a long time to maintain the same level performance, year in and year out. That takes some doing!

  • Zahidsaltin on January 29, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    If you ask me today as a pakistani I will say Azhar Ali lol

  • Zahidsaltin on January 29, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    YOU REALLY KNOW HOW TO TEASE INDIANS specially at a time when it feels like rubbing their wounds. Anyhow I would like to know that what makes ponting better than Sanga or Dravid to be mentioned with Tandulkar and Lara AND What makes Tandulkar and Lara so poor that they cant be mentioned with Kalis.

  • christy29 on January 29, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    i think kallis isn't here because hes better then all of them and if you look at every, he is the greatest player to have played in the modern era

  • cricinfo_2010 on January 29, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Chappels(i&g)s and Manjrekars never waste time to pull Sachin Tendulkar's legs. Whenever Sachin is down, immediate you will see this kind of article. If Sachin hits back to form and few centuries in coming months, these guys will go low key and start the cycle. Otherwise, why this article needed now? This article makes sense may be 5 years later after both Sachin and Pontings retires. By the way, i believe none of these guys are the best. It's Kallis, the best betsman, all-rounder, cricketer over last decade and half. Of course, if he had born in india, he would have failed long ago due to set expectations from fans and media.

  • on January 29, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    Great batsmen is one who score most run, and no one come close to Tendulkar. . All other argument is waste time. whats one the table count, how you get that is doesn't.

  • on January 29, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    yawn...bored of these articles now. Its Lara, Ponting, then Tendulkar/Kallis = loveless runs.

  • cric_freak88 on January 29, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    for me it;s a tie between sachin n lara

  • TriniTraveller on January 29, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    HaHaHa - I have to say that Ian obviously needs to boost the number of viewers he has. Why so controversial? I would say that there is a hairs width between the batsmen and thus the "best" changes as innings are played and their greatness is reassessed. I am a Trini so biased towards Lara as a better batsman but having met Lara and Tendulkar I have to say Sachin is the better man. Took a bit of offense at Shantanav Chakraborty's rant. Selective stats are always fun so why do you not try Anantha Narayanan's article on the 27th Jan in the It Figures blog on this site. It suggests that Lara scored a greater % and has a higher average of "tougher" runs then Sachin plus as Shiraz Lateef says Lara had the pressure of being a modern day Atlas carrying his team (though you could argue that Sachin was / is carrying his whole billion plus nation :o) Chill fellahs, we just want good cricket and these guys have given it to us in spades

  • on January 29, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    tendulkar is a big name , but he has shadowed great like rahul dravid too. though in recent series hes bit in trouble. personally i will favour Lara but his time was very short. when he was on the field tendulkar was no2. over performance in my opinion kallis is ahead of all. ponting can be ranked after all these players.

  • amit.80s on January 29, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    My pick will be Ponting coz he produced more match winning performances with the bat than Tendulkar and Lara combined and that matters most. But after they all retire it will be just stats were everyone look at and thats were Tendulkar is standing tall above the rest.

  • peteurite on January 29, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    Mr Chappel,who cares what you think,or write ,Sachin has own class .One can not compare with any players,since Sir Donald had compare Himself with Lil maestro!!!!!!!!

  • TRexGotPhD on January 29, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    I seriously think that this is a "convenient" choice as well. Lara is not only better than Ponting he is also a fairly politically neutral choice. By not choosing Sachin or Ponting, Chappell has stayed away from any brickbats coming his way. Sachin is the best of the trio but choosing him over Ponting would invite problems for Chappell. Ponting has had the favor of playing second best attacks, since for a decade Australian attack was the best and Sachin and Lara had to tackle that.

  • Erebus26 on January 29, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Brian Lara played two of the greatest innings you'll ever see - 213 and 153* in 1999 against Steve Waugh's Australians. A great batsman who will always be my number one pick.

  • gandabhai on January 29, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    India have been trounced by England & now Australia recently WHY ? One of the reasons was the Conditions but the other MAJOR reason was that those 2 teams planned a brilliant campaign and executed to perfection .They built pressure at both ends and the Great Indian batting line up faltered , time after time . (Okay their batsman were also out of form) The point i am trying to make that it is 100 times harder to do something when you are carrying the weight of PRESSURE on your shoulders .Please try to imagine what it must be like for Sachin every time he goes out to bat .The Great Lara or Mr Ponting would Not have averaged above 30 had they been subjected to such constant pressure .

  • Crikoot on January 29, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Ian is right the way Lara regained his record of highest score. We ought to add few other factors also to analyze their records -- factors like wickets that they played at, home or away, umpires decisions and luck.

  • on January 29, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Lara is undoubtedly the most talented batsman in the world. Players like him should never retire. Always entertained evry1 including the opponent. He scored in every part of the world. An amazing player to watch and a true genius.

  • on January 29, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    Well chappell has a point of why Lara was the greatest? Lara had no help at times doing by himself . Wasim Akram and Shoaib akhtar rates him as the best batsmen he ever bowled too. U guys think pointing can take on a attack against likes of McGrath ,Warne, glisspie consistently in this career. every player had ups and downs in their careers. But Lara and tendulkar kept at very consistent pace. Lara would have played more but he also needs help on the other hand. U get tired of playing on ur own for long period of time. Tendulkar and pointing had full support on the other hand.

  • Avidcricketlover on January 29, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    This is Ian's umpteenth article on the same topic. He has spoken on the same so many times too. Just because Ponting has scored against a mediocre attack doesn't make the case. Ponting even if he had failed in this series and retired, he is still a legend in my book. He is one of the legends that adorned the game along with Sachin, Lara and Kallis. Can't think of anyone else in the same league. Just like Warne and Murali to spin bowling, these were to batting. Kallis was the lone all-rounder in this era which makes the sense to include him as one of the legends.

  • Parsuram on January 29, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    Ian, I have to disagree with you on this one. For sheer longivity and consistency Sachin is Above Lara and Pointing (he has been playing for over 22 years now!). Furthermore, a great yardstick for measuring greatness is the quality of the opposing bowlers you face. Both Pointing and Lara never had to face bowlers of the calibre of Ambrose, Walsh, Mcgrath and Warne in test matches amd ODI"S.Pointing never mastered Indian conditions while Lara's teamate,now Pastor Ridley Jacobs --who was the wicketkeeper for WI when Lara scored his 375 and 400 on the slowest pitch in the world--described Lara as selfish. Another yardstick for determining the numero uno amomg batsmen is their off-field character. Both Lara and Pointing have courted controversy while Sachin is spoken of very highly by everyone including Warne. Do I need to say more? I rest my case. Mr. Chapple, please judge Tendulkar fairly and not only on the last two series. Both Pointing and Lara have had long bad patches too.

  • on January 29, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Ponting is the best anyday!

  • Parsuram on January 29, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    I have to disagree with Ian. While all three are excellent cricketers, I must say that Sachin by dint of his staggering consistency over two decades puts him above against Lara and Pointing. While the other readers have failed to analyze is the opposition bowlers that they have to score against. Lara didn't have to face Ambrose and Walsh, plus MCgrath and warne--four of the best bowlers of the this era. Yes, use this yardstick--the quality of the opposion bowlers-- to determine your best batsman!Then again Pointing nevered mastered the conditions in India while Ridley Jacobs the wicket keeper who played with Lara when he scored the the 375 and 400 in the slowest pitch in the world--the Antigua Recreation Ground--described Lara as selfish. What more evidence do you want to hear about Lara not being a team player? Another yardstick for judging a COMPLETE NO ONE cricketer is his off-field behavior . Lara and Pointing,except for TEndulkar have been found wanting in this area!CASE CLOSED!

  • JoseBautista on January 29, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    wow dravid gets overlooked again

  • on January 29, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    As soon as india loose nd sachin tumbled for his 100th century, here comes one more chappel again who wanna show d world dat sachin is nt as gr8 as lara and pointing watso ever he is saying its jus show an mentality of an aussies as aussies coul not produce a gr8 batsmen after sir bradmen chappel leaves no oppurtunity to bring pointing into d frame of greatest batsmen, sachin & lara has no comparison wid pointing. dravid ,kallis & pointing are in second league wid kallis d most dangerous as he has been an world class all-rounder ever

  • on January 29, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    definitely i would pick Lara because he had to play under lots of pressure for most of his career unlike tendulkar and ponting

  • on January 29, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    Well said Chappel, I admire Ponting for having the effort to fight it out & score all around the world, imagine if Ponting had played alot of cricket on the sub continent flat tracks, imagine what he & Lara could have achieved !! I would rate Inzamam & Kallis up there too for the efforts they have put in, Kallis has a great ability to carry the tag of genuine all rounder for so long & Inzamam has under achieved so much, imagine having an Inzamam in Australia !!

  • Resalat on January 29, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Sachin is Brilliant, a true legend of the game, perhaps the greatest batsman of his era in terms of scoring runs. Ricky Ponting always had a tremendous side throughout his career. But Lara was the part a sinking kingdom, which actually sunk completely after his retirement. All of them are greats. But watching Lara batting against any team is the greatest thing I had seen in my life. Only watching the bowling of Wasim Akram gave me similar pleasure.

  • smudgeon on January 29, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    nothing gets up the nose if Indian supports like a Chappell. seriously guys, it's an opinion. you have yours, Ian has his. why is it there is such a loud, noisy majority, who see a vendetta if someone dares to suggest Sachin isn't the best at, well, everything?

  • gandabhai on January 29, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    Ponting starts scoring a few runs against a weak bowling attack and Mr Chappell bigs him up to the rafters .Please remember that Pontings contribution while OZ were failing was zilch . Pontings team mates have always softened up the opposition to make his life more easy. Only then has Ponting stood up .Ponting is a Great batsmen but he should not be mentioned in the same breath as SRT & Lara.

  • talmaeena1 on January 29, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    LARA all the way...Ponting not far behind..Tendulkar has played so many more games than either of them and does not have match-winning knocks that compare to either batsmen. Yes, he scored centuries, but not in pressure situations. It's Lara all the way on those counts.

  • mars2009 on January 29, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    For me Lara is the greatest, reason... Lara needed mood to bat on any surface against any opponents. not favourable conditions like other two.

  • blaster.pk on January 29, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    Sir Ian , you are 1000% correct. Lara played attacking cricket throughout this entire career. He is not only very quick to score but very entertaining to watch.

    First of all sachin is no better than Kallis or dravid.

    Whats the use sachin scoring 99 centuries when he cant score one match saving innings like Lara has done through out this career. Lara single handedly saved a series against AU in 1999. show me one innings better than the 153* LARA scored against AU.

    Sachin is the most over rated and selfish batsman in this world. Atleast Dravid scored good in england, sachin failed both in ENG and AU.

    Lara is more honest than Sachin, Lara walks when he is out.Sachin even if he is out still he will wait for umpires ( like what he did at adelaide with Ball from lyon) Sachin was standing for umpire to give out . Why cant he be true to himself and walk like Lara and Gilchrist.

    Like muralidharan said sachin all the runs in his side, records in this side but still LARA IS BETTER.

  • on January 29, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    Lara was a cricket rock star. He and Warne brought flair in this era. Some say he was a flat track bully, absolutley ridiculous! Can you call the Barbados, Jamaica pitch flat?... Are the seaming wickets in England flat?... How much does Shiv Chanderpaul average against India or in England for that matter?... He is not mentioned because he is never mentioned - and it is a discussion of dominant players. Shiv's strike rate is on the lower side, but he proved he could dominate an attack when he wanted... even scoring 100 off 60-odd deliveries vs. Mcgrath and co. in 2003. Tendulkar, Dravid, Kallis, Sanga, Punter are all great players... The discussion can go on - many cases can be made, but the sum of the matter is, LARA was the most dominant!

  • Rahulbose on January 29, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    Why do this comparision now? Could it be that Ponting had a good series so you can mention his name in the list? The only serious debate is about Lara and Tendulkar. Ponting is a great, but if you count him then you have to include Dravid, Kallis and whole lot of others. Lara and Tendulkar are a class apart and all non-biased fans know that. You can either wait for Tendulalkar to retire, or like me give the verdict now. Tendulkar is the better ODI batsmen and Lara was better in Test matches.

  • Devapriya on January 29, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Come on, Ian, other than Lara all the others are still playing. But who is the no 1 batsman -Kumar Sangakkara. I think he deserves a mention. If he carries on to a similar no of tests he will be a great batsman too. May be only Sachin will,be ahead of him.

  • rtmohanlal on January 29, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    (cont...) batting is concerned. W.r.t Ponting pls note that this is only the weak Indian bowling that enabled him a resurrection.Also what about his test record in India? So overall it is undoubtedly & justifiably SRT for me all the way.If some one can object my claims pls do so with valid reasons.l

  • on January 29, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    I am surprised by not finding great Inzamam in the list. He has great contributions and was generally competed with Lara and Tendulkar. At that time, Ponting was not compared with them. A batsman is great if his team can win by his contributions. Generally if a batsman contribute more in a team win then he is better. In this regard, Inzamam and Lara was best. I consider these four in this order; Lara > Inzamam > Tendulkar > Ponting Here I have given the statics for these players for their batting averages for their team win and loss..

    Batting average in Test Inzamam Won=78.16 , Lost=28.36, Diff=50 Lara Won=61.02 , Lost=42.19, Diff=19 Ponting Won=60.39 , Lost= 33.73, Diff=27 Tendulkar Won=66.59 , Lost= 37.65, Diff=29

    Batting average in ODI Inzamam Won=51.26 , Lost= 29.62, Diff=22 Lara Won=61.82 , Lost=25.40, Diff=35 Ponting Won=49.84 , Lost=28.80, Diff=21 Tendulkar Won=57.05 , Lost=33.31, Diff=24

  • rtmohanlal on January 29, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    (cont..) performer in the WI team.This is absolutely false. Walsh & Ambrose played along with him in the first 10 years of his 16 year old career.Then w.rt his match winning inns...other than the 153* Lara does not have another inns of that sort.If the claim is that Lara played great inns in precarious situations, then SRT has done the same too in similar occassions on a lot of time. And then w.r.t one dayers ... no comparision.SRT wins by leaps and bounds.An avg: of 45 & str: rate of 86 against LARA'S 40 & 78 respective figures. And then add longevity factor.34000 international runs to Lara's 22000 international runs and that too at better average.More importantly faired much more consistantly in all conditions than Lara.Add to that the expectations of around 40 crore cricket fans in India. So the 2 things as far as I am concerned where Lara scores over SRT is when on song he scores a bit lenghty at a slightly better str: rate.Other than that he is way below SRT when over all

  • rtmohanlal on January 29, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    SRT had 2 ordinary series in ENG & AUS..But yet he averaged around 35 in both series. Even after this relative failure his avg: in AUS & ENG are 53 & 54 respectively and he outweighs Lara quite comfortably who only has 41 & 48 respectively in AUS & ENG.In SAF both have avg: of 46. But in NZL SRT has 49 avg: to Lara's 36. So here SRT OUTWEIGHS Lara by a fair distance.And then Lara's record in India... he does not have a single 100 against Kumble & co underlined by the fact that his avg: in India is a pathetic 33.The only nations were Lara outweighs SRT is in SL & PAK.There too one must not forget that SRT has avg:s of 60 & 42 respectively.These all points to 1 thing .Adaptability wise SRT is way above Lara.Another drawback of Lara was that he couldn't score a single 100 against the 2Ws, Donald & Kumble in INDIA.All the 4 specified were length bowlers and this points to a clear technical weakness in Lara's batting.Another myth related to Lara is that he always was the lone

  • Night-Watchman on January 29, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    Focusing on the obvious, Ian missed THE GREATEST of modern era. In my mind, Jaques Kallis is the unheralded great of modern era. His number of runs is at the fourth place and comes at a phenomenal average of 57+ which none of these gus mentioned here match. He has amassed 41 test hundreds in 38 test matches less than Tondulkar I predict that if he plays up to 39 years, he will easily surpass Tondu's record of 51 test hundreds. Mind you, that is just his batting. He also has 274 wickets bowling top notch fast bowling. Add to that a stupendous 180 catches, he is a one man army for South Africa, a Titan for the side. You just missed it Ian, just like your predictable special comments.

  • niraj13 on January 29, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    First of all, the timing of writing this article is not right. Just because Sachin and India had a poor series and Ponting had a good series doesn't mean that these comparisons should begin again to belittle the Master. Although, all three batsmen are great in their own right, Sachin stands out in my view. He has battled injuries through his career and above all the unrelenting pressure. He has still managed to perform in all conditions and against all attacks. Lara also played in a team that failed to put up winning performances, but I don't think the pressure on him was anywhere close to what Sachin has. Ponting never had any sort of pressure except may be in the last few months. Add to the mix, the fact that in ODI's, he is lightyears ahead of everyone and there is not doubt that Sachin is greatest of this era and may be next to only Bradman in the alltime list. The only thing he is missing from his basket of achievements is a triple ton & I hope he gets it before hanging his boots.

  • sirvivfan on January 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Funny the other day I was debating the same with a friend. My conclusion is the same....Lara different league! I am A Pakistani supporter. This guy was pure genius. Also don't forget personality wise he is also ahead, the other two are dour? Lara always had good things to say about opposition, very sporting. For example Shoaib and Mustaq two I recall he rated highly. So evidence of humbleness. Riaz

  • on January 29, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Mr. Chappell. We know who your favorite is. We have known it for quite some time now. Why do you want to impose your opinion on the rest of the world ? Just because you are the most vocal on this 'childish' topic won't make everyone follow your thought. So give it a rest.

  • on January 29, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    I fully agree with the conclusion: It is LARA who is the best out of the three great batsmen!

  • CricLook on January 29, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    Mr. Chappell is right in my openion. Lara, is a gifted player, an entertainer who promote the game in its best. His batting is worth watching than anything else. The lone heroism he showed over time in a weaker WI team is the greatest argument on his cause of greatness and the cricket lovers always wanted to see in Sachin. Then comes Ponting, a man with utmost pride of australian cricket , leader of a champion team who love to lead with his bat. His innings in 2003 world cup is one of the greatest knock a captain played in world cup. Even when the australian side is sliding , he manage to defeat the mighty south african in their won backyard. The Sachin, a master, a run hungry player, a consistent scorer and above all a man with character. He always remains out of controversy and plyed the game like an obedient pupil. Only failure is..he has few contribution in wining or saving tough games. His inablity to occupy creeze when team demand most and convert scroes in wins that matter most

  • Lord_Dravid on January 29, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    people forget the pressure factor..no ones plays with more pressure each time than tendulkar..he carries the burden of over a billion people each time he bats and that can signifiantly affect one mentally..unlike ponting who has played without pressure most of his career in a great aussie team alongside other modern greats..as for lara i dont think anyone back in west indies would've cared if he didnt score or at least his house wouldnt get stoned!! so therefore tendulkar despite all the pressure and expectation from him, he has most runs in tests and odis by a large margin wins the title! anyone disagree?????? :)

  • on January 29, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Kallis is better and Inzimam are better.

  • oze13 on January 29, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    I believe Kallis deserves to be mentioned with this elite group of batsmen, as does Dravid. All are great players, but Lara was touched by genius. Simple as that! 1. Lara 2. Tendulkar 3. Ponting 4. Kallis and 5. Dravid.

  • amit_mallick on January 29, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    come on Ian......as soon as tendulkar stumbled to score a century you started to shout he is not the best......how the hell you can mention abt ponting's innings at old traford which was merely a innings that has nothing to compare with the likes sachin's 136 against pakistan or his 103* against england or lara's all time ranked best 153* against aussie. ponting is definitely good.....to some extent great........but you know wht....it takes long 12 to 15 yrs for ponting, kallis and dravid to be mentioned as great whereas sachin and lara were great at the age of 24........can u imagine any other player of this era has so much of impact on cricket like wht sachin and lara had or sachin still has? lara is bit aggressive while sachin eased with most perfection...lara can be ranked a bit highr with his massives tons but sachin is better with his consistancy in test and way better with whtever he has done in oneday. mark my word when sachin will retire crickte will lose 50% of its spectator.

  • on January 29, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    Lara for sure, Ponting had Hayden, Gilchrist, Martin, Clark, Hussy etc at the majority of his career, and Tendulkar had Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Sewhag etc, they weren't in the same pressure as Lara, he had to play under pressure for the majority of his innings. Without a doubt I would pick Lara!

  • rahilahmed89 on January 29, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    All 3 are Great Batsman!!! I agree with Chapple that they are the best modern day batsman. The little Master Sachin is the most beatiful to watch. Lara i think is the best player of spin of the trio and Sachin the best of the Fast Bowler. Whats common with these 3 Batsman that they are alll strokemakers. They take the attack to the bowlers and have demolished attacks. Ponting has a similar Record as Dravid and Kallis do. But he scores his runs at a Strike Rate of 58 and the Strike Rate of the other two greats is about 45. They score the sume runs but u would always prefer a batmsan who can do it quickly. Kallis and Dravid cant demolish an attack in a session as these 3 Greats PONTING LARA SACHIN have done throughout their careers!

  • S.Alis on January 29, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    "Someone forgot about Jacques Kallis, I see (again!)" ... +1

  • on January 29, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    booooooooooooooo ian didnt named Jacques kallis... the greatest of batsman nd very gud bowler... kallis has equal authority on spin nd pace, in subcontinent or in england, his defence is most solid among Ians 3... he didnt play like rookie against spin in India like ricky does, nd he never does aann unnnn ufffff against pace... out of 10 pace spin sachin 8 9.5 ricky 9.5 6 kallis 9.5 9.5 critices says dat he didnt dominate bowlers, but dats not only way of playing test,. poor guy never gets the credit...

  • mowgliworld on January 29, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    There is no science on your method of choice. Technique/Stats/Handling pressure? Please provide a table with the key quantitative and qualitative metrics and then we can compare. Else Ian Chappell's word is as good as any other fan's. Sorry to say that but without the methodology and metrics - pointless read or cheap journalism

  • BillyCC on January 29, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    My theory on Kallis and his exclusion from many of these "greatest of modern times" discussions is purely this: he has no aura. Wrongly, this lack of presence has always overshadowed his statistics, which are greater than all of the three batsman mentioned above (+ he bowls!). Kallis' problem is that he is the major contributor to a side that should have but never really became the best and most consistent side in the world over his career. Against Australia, South Africa have been in many winning positions in series over the past 14 years and come up with only one series victory. In that time, Kallis (a proven matchwinner against other countries) has been poor, whereas his counterpart Ponting has won matches with his bat between these two sides. Like it or not, Australian crowds tell the same story. The standing ovation for a batsman coming in is reserved only for Tendulkar and Ponting. Dravid, like Kallis, would get no such treatment. Dravid is in the same boat as Kallis.

  • on January 29, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    I dont know whether you will ever read this or no, but Ian you have once again tried to justify a statement that you made in 2007 against Sachin Tendulkar. Among the three, your evaluation of Sachin was that he was adored by a billion and that his longivity is commendable. But you have failed to see that he has scored runs against all attacks and has played with equal proficiency in all parts of the world and against all oppositions(Ponting, Lara have been miserable in India).He isn't moody like Lara was, and is an ultimate team man. He is a master of all formats of the game unlike Lara, who has struggled against quality opposition in ODIs. He, in fact has failed miserably in World Cups.Lara's test average in Australia is a mere 41, in England its 48. His career has fluctuated in rapid proportions. Yes, he is a great and had an amazing ability to amass big scores, clearly better than the other two, but he loses out on the other grounds.Only 8 of his 34 hundreds have yielded wins.

  • LordOfCric on January 29, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Ian chappel being stubborn and keep writing such article to prove how good of a batsmen ponting is. Tendulkar & Lara is one class ponting can't compete with them. Greg ruined Indian cricket future & Ian ruined Khuwaja future by giving preference to Shaun. Khuwaja would have scored heavily in this series unlike Marsh........

  • on January 29, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Im sorry but Kallis is in no comparison to these guys. When has he ever dominated bowling attacks (other than West Indies Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). He's boring, scores slowly and has always had a weakness against high quality spin and extreme pace. Hes been troubled by Brett Lee, Flintoff, Shoiab etc

  • on January 29, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    To echo Warne from a few years ago: Lara <Daylight> Tendulkar <chasm> Dravid/Ponting/Kallis/Sangakkara. Best five batters of the last 20 years as far as I am concerned. I'd take Lara because I would drop everything I am doing to watch him at his best.

  • playitstraight on January 29, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    Brian Lara all the way, the man was a class act and loved the way he batted, both in Tests and ODIs. After Lara, I would put Kallis, Ponting, and lastly Tendulkar. And yes, I am an Indian.

  • on January 29, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Its funny how Mr Chappell always comes up with such articles when Sachin is not in best of forms. Most of Lara's longer innings came on placid tracks of WI, Aus(when they were batting friendly), Sri Lanka. How many 100s did Lara score in India if the rest of the world thinks its a batting paradise, not necessarily 4th and 5th day? You can't even compare Lara with Tendulkar as the former's batting records in ODIs suck at best. How many memorable innings did he play in 50 over format of the game anyway? As for Ponting, he beat the hell outta of a weak Indian bowling attack in his own yard, lets see if he can replicate the same in India where the ball turns square even for part timers(Clark's 6 wicket hall, anyone). Even before reading the article, I knew what Ian would say. At his best, Tendulkar was better than anybody, even Lara who is known to lose patience and was susceptible to fast bowling, ask McGrath and Brett Lee.

  • Gaylo on January 29, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    LARA LARA LARA!!!!!! Next is Ponting simply because he was able to handle both captaincy and was a match winner with the bat. Third is Dravid. Dont rate Dravid by this series, apart from ganguly's captaincy, he was the one who won/saved test matches for India abroad. Sachin might have scored 99 centuries and he may be leading run scorer, but he never scored when team needed him to.

  • on January 29, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    In my opinion the biggest attribute that LARA possessed in his time was his ability to score such massive runs and to play such marathon innings in a team where most often he would not enjoy the luxury of a class batsman on the other end. I m sure Mr Chappell will agree that a reliable partner on the other end is very crucial in construction of any substantial innings as that partner will on many a occasion will take pressure of you and let your innings grow. The greatness of LARA is that for a long time he played in a side where he didnt enjoy that luxury too often. If one just keep this one point in mind i m sure he is a class apart from Sachin, Ponting & Kallis all of whom had the luxuries of a solid partner and stable and strong bating lineup available to them.

  • S.Jagernath on January 29, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is better than any batsmen that has played within the period he has,his statistics prove it.He has been brilliant in all conditions.Some say he lacks match winning ability,but his consistent batting is enough.His century at Centurion in 2010 was truly special,on a fast pitch against Dale Steyn he produced a classic.Chappell is unhappy with an Indian gaining such praise.According to the stats,Tendulkar & Dravid are much better than Lara & Ponting.Ponting's average of 26 in India is embarassing,Lara isn't far off at 33.The both average less than 50 in England while Tendulkar averages well in the 50's with Dravid's average at 68.Jacques Kallis struggles with very accurate seam & swing,as his poor average in England verifies.

  • badmaash on January 29, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Saeed Ajmal is better!!

  • cantwaittosee on January 29, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    I think Kallis deserves a mention.

  • badmaash on January 29, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Brian Lara lived and played in an entirely different zone than the rest. There is no comparison in my opinion, he was the closest definition of a cricketing genius.

  • on January 29, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    Im Pakistani ... Lara Ponting n Sachin r great players no doubt... b8 Sachin is better than lara n ponting....

  • AncientAstronaut on January 29, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    Reading the comments section is more fun than reading the article :D Everyone has the right to choose a favorite player, and in Chappel's case, it's Lara. What's disappointing is that the article is extremely shallow. He hasn't analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the three players, especially the weaknesses. Sachin is obsessed with personal records, Ponting plays like a dutch girl in Asia, and Lara was as consistent as a solar eclipse.

  • TheBengalTiger on January 29, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    Interesting topic, but a riddiculous article. I wouldnt even have to look to see who wrote this. Tendulkar's 'mental aberrations', have allowed him to cope witht he pressurte of a billion people on his shoulders. Ponting started swearing at Duncan Fletcher when he got run out. Also, you ignore ODI's. Is there a reason for this? I wonder if its because in that format tendulkars class is shown that much higher than anyone elses. Look at how Ponting plays in unfamliier conditions and look at how Tendulkar does. That answers that questin easily without any issue. I think Lara was brilliant, the most dominant in terms of how he could destroy a bolwing attack on any given day. But tendulkar is domonant in the true sense of the word, in that he can dominate an attack by just playing his own natural game.

  • BilalPAK on January 29, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    Hello, Ian and all the cricket lovers here. It's an interesting comparision to chose the BEST among the BESTs, but at the same time it's really disappointing to see the lack of sportsmen spirit from indian fans whenever you are going to compare someone ( even the likes of lara) or to put someone above tendulkar, share warn over kumble or Imran khan over kapil dev. Anyway, Mr. Ian, very well said "I admired his determination to always do it "my way"." That's how the way you discribed the EDGE Lara used to have over others.

  • on January 29, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    its absolutely ridiculous not to include dravid & kallis in that list....ponting was great when aus had all greats playing in their team,look at his stats after the retirement of mcgrath, warne,gili,hayden..he hasnt delivered in pressure situations after aus lost those players...tendulkar was wonderfyl till 2000, after that he may have scored a lot more runs than before but he hardly scored when the team needed him..lara was unfortunate to play with a weak side but he didnt let his standards fall.. kallis is more effective than tendulkar & ponting,even ganguly said that recently... dravid also deserves a mention..and i think even most indians will agree that it was dravid who stood up in tough situations,not tendulkar....though i will still agree that lara was the best batsman of them all.... but kallis is the most "valuable" cricketer a team can possess...he should definitely walk into any all time eleven...but unfortunately many people dont give him the accolades ha deserves.........

  • meursault on January 29, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    I completely agree. Lara was a freak. Huge scores at all levels in all conditions often in weak teams. Ponting and Tendulkar have been very, very good batsmen over a long time, but Lara is the only player of the last 20 odd years (perhaps with Warne) who had all the characteristics of a genius doing what he did.

  • doosra95 on January 29, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    BC LARA rest my case...........R.Ponting

  • MrGarreth on January 29, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    Its amazing how much it begrudges Ian to ever mention a Saffer in a positive light. He was part of that Aussie side that lost 4-0 to SA. He has NEVER gotten over that. Not surprised by the Kallis ommition. Very very bitter old man.

  • buntyj on January 29, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    one silver lining of sachins relative failures abroad in past year is that we are no longer debating whether sachin was greater than bradman or even 2nd to bradman; instead we are beginning to shift to a more honest assessment- he has been one of top 3 batsmen of his time, 1 of top 3 indian batsmen ever n maybe in top 10 alltime from any country.

  • eng_mdkhan on January 29, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    I was hoping that before Ian finished the article that he picks Lara and was mighty glad he did. Not only Lara amassed runs at a prolific rate he did so with style....how we miss is inimitable style, the back and across movement, high back lift and a flourishing finish to send the ball crashing to the boundary. If batting was a beauty competition then Lara would be the Miss Universe of all times. Well done Ian.

  • hhillbumper on January 29, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    i think i would go with Lara,then Ponting,Then Kallis,Sanga then Tendulkar. They all have their flaws but Lara was the most attacking and carried Windies batting.All the rest had some support and if I needed one batsman to win a match it would be Lara.

  • on January 29, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    To me Lara is the best batsman of the modern era followed by Inzamam & Ponting. Being the leading run getter in the world or holding the maximum number of records doesn't make you number 1. The real thing is how many matches a player has won for the team. One can consider in this league players like Chris Cairns, Kallis, Inzamam, Lara and Ponting. Sachin Tendulkar is without any doubt the highest run getter in the world of cricket but no way near being the called the greatest. His recent performance in Australia is a clear evidence of this. Has he been the greatest player in the world he should have performed well in atleast one of the test matches and should have saved India from 4 - 0 white wash. That is when you win the honours of being called the world's greatest batsman or being matched with the likes of great Sir Don Bradman.

  • CricFan78 on January 29, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    Ponting? Can he play spin on turning tracks? Hah

  • on January 29, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    I would also GO with Brian Charles Lara... simply because I could not find so many qualities in one cricketer. The Ponting and Tendulkar may be great however Lara is superset of both of them. Long live the legacy of Lara.

  • on January 29, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    All Indians are blind followers of Sachin but I aint. I agree with Chappell when he rates Lara ahead of Sachin, atleast in Tests. Sachin has no match saving or memorable Test centuries to his credit. But look at Lara....400*, 277,375,153*; Lara vs Sri Lanka in 2001...the issue stands resolved !!!!

  • va_jatt on January 29, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    tendulkar and lara are best batsmen, cause of their class. ponting is not even close too sir jack kallis so i don't know y he is in the article.. lol watching n playin cricket for last 25 years i haven't seen any player like sachin. he just too perfect. and about kallis i would have him in my team rather than any of these players if i want to win a game.

  • on January 29, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    @ cool2cool all players have bad periods, even the most overated cricketer, SRT

  • Beazle on January 29, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Lara was a matchwinner- neither Sachin or Ricky were, at least to the same extent. One interesting fact about Lara is that in 215 innings -he was oonly not out on 6 occasions; he always played for the team and never worried about his average.

    Lara is the greatest batsman of the modern era, just behind Viv Richards as the best since 1975. They were both attacking match winners and thats what counts.

  • RARD on January 29, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    In terms of mental toughness,Ricky is way ahead of both Tendulkar & Lara. Granted,he scored runs against a leaderless& mentally shattered Indian team on easy batting tracks at Sydney & Adelaide and that too at home,it still needed application & determination.And who can forget that fighting hundred in the recently concluded world cup against India,when he was obviously on the decline. Along with Sunil Gavaskar,Allan Border & Javed Miandad,I would rate him as amongst the four mentally toughest batsman to have played the game. Irrespective of how he performs in Australia's away series,Ponting will be a first ballot hall of famer.

  • harshthakor on January 29, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    What gives Tendulkar the edge is that he has performed for a phenomenal length of time playing like a champion for a period of 24 years.No great batsman has equalled this.Tendulkar was more complete than any modern great and posessed better technique than Ponting or Lara.Shane Warne and Alan Donald place him as the best batsmen they have ever bowled to.To me Tendulkar's phenomenal comebak from 2009 to 2001 wins him the vote.However morally I agree that Lara was the best to watch who dominated bowling more than any modern great and combined it with unmatched elegance like poetry in motion.

  • Rohan1 on January 29, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Ha, Ha ! Chappel been writing the IDENTICAL piece for years and years. I think he just COPY/PASTES it..Andrew Mcdonald- Lara avg. 42 In Australia.

  • on January 29, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    In agreement with Mr. Ian Chappell, Lara is best of the trio. It is a hard decision to make, but Lara scored in the toughest of conditions without much support from his teammates. Sachin had Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman, while Ponting batted with a formidable lineup.

  • MENDIS_Forever on January 29, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    KING VIV> sachin,lara,ponting,dravid,sanga,ganguly,Miandad

  • on January 29, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    A few months ago, Ponting was 'passed it' and now he's being compared to Lara? Thats a little bit strange... Poor Jacques Kallis, doesn't even get a mention but coming from mr Chappell, I can't say I'm too suprises....

  • Lovetesh on January 29, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    They all are great of games, no point in comparing. I still rate Tendulkar above because of his on-field behaviour. He was truly a great cricketer as well as ambassdor of the game.

  • harshthakor on January 29, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    At his peak Lara was the best test match batsman of the modern era and in a crisis would eclipse both Tendulkar and Ponting.He could also change the complexion of a game or series at his best better than the two other greats.No batsman of the modern era posessed Lara's creative genius and ability to register mammoth scores.Lara is the best lefthanded batsman of all and arguably the best test match after Bradman.Overall however Tendulkar wins my nod because he posesses every component of a perfect batsman and also has mammoth combined figures in International Cricket.Ponting,I would rate one notch below the other two as he played for a champion team.Lara bore the brunt of one of the weakest batting sides and in full flow was only surpassed by Bradman and Viv Richards.Inconsistency went against Lara being rated ahead of Tendulkar.Tendulkar has faced more pressure than any great batsmen ever.

  • enigma77543 on January 29, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    @s.jagernath, ".Lara's ability against spin is questionable as his record is poor in India,Ponting as well" Lara played only 1 series in India & scored 2 fifties & avg 33. You can't expect people to have great avg in every series, that much leeway has to be given since even the best people can have moderate to bad series at times; even Murali said Lara played him better than ANYONE. Ponting - as I've said before, he scored huge chunk of runs during period when most pitches around the world were at their flattest & bowling-attacks were at their weakest & the best attack was Australia's, which he didn't have to face, not to mention, by the time he used to come, Hayden & Langer had steam-rolled the opposition. In the last few years, as bowling-std & pitches have been a little better, his performance has been plummeting & if it wasn't for pathetic Indian-attack, his time was up. As I've said, he'd 25 inns IN India & avg 26, visited India SIX times....just not acceptable from the "best"

  • rahulkmc on January 29, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    @Charindra: As much as Indians love Sachin, most of the fans love good cricketers. Sir Viv is the best among brutalizers of all era, Brian Lara the best batsman and most elegant of all in our era and Kallis/Dravid the best test players we have come across. Cook might be mentioned in a few years down the line if he continues with the good job. Sachin has the greatest amount of support but that is because he carried the team for a long long time before a few others joined in. Similarly Lara carried WI for a major part of his later years. For once I agree with Ian, Lara is the best of the three.

  • DingDong420 on January 29, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Ian Chappells views quite frankly count for diddly squat. All batsmen have their pros and cons. Ponting has always had the best bowling attack to aid him as did Lara for most of his career. Technically nobody comes close to Sachin but there's something aesthetically beautiful about a left hander in full flow. id have Sachin and Lara in the top group along with Ponting and Kallis not far behind.

    Add to that Kallis's bowling and id have him ahead of Ponting. I have to say i have a lot more admiration for Ponting now than i did when he was in full flow 8 or so years ago.

  • lillie_express on January 29, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Lara was the best. Artistry wise he could not be matched, the back foot cut thru point and the blistering square drive off the quicks and that cover drive off the spinners. Second, he was equal against spin or pace. Tendulkar not as good v quicks, Lara could and would hook and pull beautifully, tendulkar didnt. ponting questionable v spin, look at his record in India. Third, and most important, Lara did it all when it counted. Think WI v Australia in 1999 as the epitome of this, his 153* ranked second best innings ever in test cricket. Second innings score of substance is a bug bear for Tendulkar, despite his statistical feats. Same story for ponting. I agree chappelli, Lara had it all: style and charisma (it is all bout entertainment after all), immense talent, application

  • aarifboy on January 29, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    To me:1 Lara 2 Ponting 3 Sehwag.Sachin Dravid and Kallis are good but not greats.

  • SAJIL_KERALA on January 29, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    I would put Ghilchrist above Ponting for his breathtaking counter attacking which allowed the frontline australian batsman to play without feat as they know that Gily would be there to save the day for Aussies.

  • on January 29, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    If you compare Tendulkar lara n pointing giving there 100% againts the best bowling atack ever acording to me i.e. Muralidharan,mcgrath,stain,goel garner,warne.I would say tendulakar is the best.Sachin will score 50,lara 47,ricky 43. U said lara targeted bowlers best does't targets bowlers may b he was good at targeting and therefore he may have scored his most runs againts weak bowlers.Sorry chappel sachin is Better than lara n you also know this.Just bcs you've wrote one shocking blog in 2007 after ind thrashed out of the wc u r trying to defend ur loosing case once again.

  • kh1902 on January 29, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    I find the agitated South african responses about Kallis amusing. I don't think any of them actually stop to think that there are legitimate reasons why Chappell has excluded him, such is their blind adulation for him, based on his statistics alone. Lara and Tendulkar were capable of scoring runs when the rest of the team was crumbling. Not sure that Kallis has done that very often against quality bowling - he tends to crumble with the rest of the team.

    I think these South african fans are doing guys like Graeme Smith and A B Devilliers a disservice by putting Kallis on a pedestal. Those two bail South Africa out of trouble more often.

  • on January 29, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Ian, I know where you are coming to..Sachin has bit of a low series and the fickle fans as always are beating him..what better time than this to stir this unwanted discussion to make your point that Lara was the best...obviously, you'll receive more votes this time...anyway remember you are just one among the cricketers and there are so many distinguished others who rate Sachin the best of not only this era but of all eras except may Bradman including Lara.

  • SAJIL_KERALA on January 29, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    I must pick Lara as the most dominant player after watching so many of his great innings in 90's. Ponting though had a great record, was not as dominant as Lara, and does not have impressive record in Sub-continent. Tendulkar started as an explosive, sensational batsman, become mere grafter when started scoring hundred as he was obsessed with records, statistics and average. Afterwards, he was not pretty batsman to watch although of late he started to show glimpse of the young vintage Tendulkar. But if someone ask me who is the most dominant, destructive, exciting, and complete batsman, then I have got only one Answer: the original master blaster Sir Viv Rcichards, all other master blasters are fake, and media hype.

  • on January 29, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    As has been aptly commented before only BC Lara needed a wide enough canvas that Test Cricket uniquely provides to display the full extent of his genius -- enough said. Rather mischievous omission of saffer maestro Kallis say whot!

  • prashant1 on January 29, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Chappel has ALWAYS had a thing against Tendulkar. He wanted him to retire in 2006. NOTHING new at all...

  • Glenn_563 on January 29, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    For me, Kallis never belongs to the level of these three. You cannot be a great batsman when you are in a very good team and don't win any awards or tournaments. C'mon, they always had an awesome bowling attack and so many tournaments being hosted at their home. Kallis is the leader of the team and his strike rate is 45 in tests and 72 or 73 in ODI. That is simply unacceptable for the best batsman of the team. We are like wolfs and we hunt as a team (since it is a team game). In that scenario, a leader leads and influences the whole team just like the leader of the wolf pack is in the centre of the attack and coordinates the attack. Kallis is a terrible best batsman for a good team. With such strike rates, of course his team will never be number one. No, he does not even come close to these three. Like I said, no major tournaments won despite the fact that they have an awesome team and many tournaments have been played in their home. Kallis, BIG NO NO NO

  • vik56in on January 29, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is the greatest batsman of his era and its not Lara,Ponting or Tendulkar. Lara has most of his records in perfect batting conditions on flat wickets.Ponting's subcontinent record is poor and Tendulkar has never orchestrated a great Indian Test win like Laxman or Dravid.However Lara will stand out as the best player of spin.His use of footwork and his complete mastery of Muralitharan in the WI-Sri Lanka series is cricket at its pinnacle.

  • rajsri on January 29, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    guys who say ponting done belong of his perfromance in india , ned to ,ook at his stats against srilanka and pakistan in their respective countries. he averages 50+ against srirlanka in sl and pakistan in pak. Just to remind people obsessed with sachin, he averages under 40 in england and in 30's in newzeland and West indies, which tells a different story.Ponting had a difficult time in India in 2001, no denying the fact he was too tentative the first time around. he worked on it hard and in the next series in in 2008 he scored a century in bangalore and 89 in delhi. Also the lst time he was the highest scorer in 2010 for australia scoring a 73 in bangalore and 78 and 78 in mohali.BTW guys kallis and lara have not scored centuries in india, their highest is in 80's, if 100's alone are the mortal for ones greatness.

  • on January 29, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    I think Ian Chappell is 100 % right Brain Lara is greatest cricketer and batsman of current age Mr Tendulkar have never ever won match for india abroad and in india against major side and Lara always plays for country and team By doing so Lara have won so many matches for windies or save match if you get record of Lara you will find 90% hundred have won matches but not is not case for any other Lara has ability to won matches and score runs when matter for his team not scoring when nothing mater like Mr Tendulkar

  • on January 29, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    What is the frequency at which Mr Chapel revises this list?

  • ROLAYH on January 29, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    I believe this should have been asked by many so far..but how can you ignore Kallis? May be on overall usability (bowling and fielding) he could be rated higher than all the players mentioned by Mr. Chappel

  • on January 29, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    i love to hate Mr. Chappell articles and senseless ideas. i always read his articles just to see the new lows and funny biased ideas he has developed. Always biased in favor of Aussies. for the whole 2 years Ponting was reeling and with one good series and he becomes the world's greatest batsman after Bradman. The article started with all new incaranated Ponting who is the world's best batsman. Where was he, 2 years ago? doesn't he struggles against quality spin? Is he able to play on flatter tracks consistently well? if u cut his career from 2003-05 (where he piled up runs and made several records and centuries), he is a mere above average batsman; which is not the case with Lara and sachin. they were consistently awesome throughout their careers. although they had lows in between, but everybody has some lows if he plays regularly for 20 yrs or so. they bounced back from their lows to new highs. I urge Cricinfo to stop Mr. Chapell for expressing his biased feelings and opinions.

  • enigma77543 on January 29, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Kallis surely has better avg than Lara & Tendulkar but this sport goes beyond numbers - that's why a guy avg 32 in Test-cricket & 39 in First-Class is considered Father of Cricket, numbers aren't completely inconsequential but they are NOT everything & you CAN'T judge on just that; Kallis is surely a very good bat but he's simply not in the league of Tendulkar & Lara (just my opinion) & that's why you don't see knowledgeable people mentioning his name when it comes to the list of best moden batsman. All in all, I think only Lara & Tendulkar make it on their sheer genius but as I've said, both have their flaws so I don't think one can be classed above the other. For me personally, if I'd to choose for a series, I'd go for Tendulkar for the consistency while if I wanted one big match-winning innings against a strong attack then I'd choose Lara. We like comparing stats & guessing whose "better", it's fun but as someone who's worked with stats I'd say it's nearly impossible at ttimes

  • legfinedeep on January 29, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Kallis' has one HUGE flaw as a batsman and a cricketer: he does not hail from a cricket-obsessed country that creates idols and Gods out of their sportsman. With Tendulkar, oftentimes it is difficult to separate the talent from the hype. Would he be as revered had he hailed from some obscure region on the African continent? Kallis has labored under the radar his whole career, yet he has been the more valuable and effective cricketer in modern day (and likely all time) cricket. It is a travesty and insult to this legend to exclude him from any discussion of modern greats.

  • enigma77543 on January 29, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    As they say, people have short memories (& politicians allover the world seem pretty adept at exploiting just this), Lara's biggest problem was his inconsistency, he was heavily criticised, not the least by WI cricket-fans for his flamboyance (at times bordering on careless) & inconsistent batting & now that he's retired all's well I guess! Tendulkar has without doubt one of the very few in HISTORY to have exhibited such consistency for over 2 decades, that's no feat but his obvious flaw is his lack of selflessness & greed for records, making records isn't bad thing but playing mostly to make records isn't the best thing for the TEAM. Ponting -he's unable to play on slow pitches good spin (avg of 26 over 25 inns in Ind) - if most Ind are flat-pitch-bullies then Ponting is pacy-pitch-bully; his peak came during a period of flattest of pitches & weakest of bowling-attacks globally (barring Aus) & he's started going down last couple of yrs as bowling-std seem to be going up - NOT GREAT

  • on January 29, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    if Dravid was not in Indian team, i am sure he would have made the list too. Also Kallis. Both have close to 40 Test centuries + wickets for Kallis and catches and those extra runs for Dravid.

  • on January 29, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Let me start by saying that Ian Chappell is a grouse but he is so correct about this - Lara has done it home and away against every type of attack and in a declining team. Tendulkar will always be a legend but he is an accumulator of runs and records. Ponting is good but not in the same class as either- My hindustani bretheren need to acknowledge Lara's greatness. As an objective cricket afficionado it is difficult to work through other people's biases but records and stats dont always tell the full story. Each in his own way dominated test attacks but only one truly took apart attacks -look at Lara's angles and his ability to find space when no one else could. Just imagine if Lara played in the same team as Warne and Mcgrath- what he could have done. On the reverse- if Ponting and/tendulkar had been in the declining Windies side of Lara's era would they be acknowldged as true Legends!!!

  • B.C.G on January 29, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Ian wants comments on his blog to cross the 10k mark I suppose.Why bother writing such stereotypical articles?What use is this one for example?Every Indian knows his likes & dislikes by rote now.His bias against Kallis is also sickening.That 4-0 thrashing in 1969-70 still hurts his ego I suppose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kh1902 on January 29, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    I constantly hear alot of people complaining that Kallis gets overlooked. He doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as any of these three. Kallis is great at accumulating statistics but always goes missing when South Africa are really in trouble. He often scores runs when a few other of his teammates do as well. He performs poorly in England and is underwhelming in Australia. Some South Africans feel the need to denigrate Tendulkar to elevate Kallis - that in itself shows that Kallis' so-called achievements can't stand on their own merits. People need to put down others to make Kallis look better.

    I rate Lara and Tendulkar in one league (and in that order) since they both played in weak teams without bowling attacks which could win test matches. Then a drop to Ponting, then a massive drop to someone like Kallis who isn't even a great batsman.

  • on January 29, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    either it looks good to you or bad, Lara is above all of the 2 discussed. If u go by record, ponting will be the # 1 as he set up test matches for his bowlers, won ODIs for the team & won 3 world cups 2 as captain. Where as tendulkar couldn't handle the pressure of captaincy not once but twice & as a Pakistani I wana add that though inzimanis not among the 10,000 elite group, still better than tendulkar as he didnt setup matches only,he won them.

  • on January 29, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    One bad series and the likes of Chappel who wanted Sachin to look into the "honest" mirror 4 years back creep in with their blasphemous articles.Hayden, Dravid and Kallis have been much better batsmen than Ponting.In multiple series Sachin was the key factor between Indian victory and loss - a dependence and pressure no other batsman had faced.

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Lara in full flow was an even better batsman than Ponting and Tendulkar, leaving Kallis from this category (considering he is the best all-rounder of his era) is a grave mistake.

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    How many centuries did Lara have Mr.Chappell? Can you guarantee that his form would have dipped if he had continued playing. He has the pressure of a mere thousands, while Sachin has the pressure of 1 billion and then some wherever he travels. He's been consistent for twenty years. Can you say that about Ponting and Lara? Hmmmmm, I don't think so. Not to mention Lara had NO centuries against India. Sachin has at least 3 against every test playing nation.

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Mr.Chappel. The only way to judge a batsmen is to look at his centuries and see against whom he has the highest amount. Alos, it should be judged by which batsmen had decent record with EVERY team and din't just dominate one team. Lara dominated England. Sachin has scored the most against Australia and SL, which had the two best bowlers in the world and he played them in THEIR prime, and has a decent record against other teams also. Lara is great no doubt, but his most comes against England, whose bowling attack lacked bite in the 90's. Ponting is also a great batsmen but his most centuries have also come against the likes of India, England, WI, which do not have the best bowlers apart from Kumble. I am not saying this because I am an Indian, but you cannot compare raw apples to ripe oranges.

  • swazzer on January 29, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Finally, a true appraisal of the best batsman of this generation. It's not just the numbers, the grace and finesse. He was poetry in motion and a true joy to watch.

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    Brian Lara all the way.He played all types of bowlers much better than Mr.Tendulkar and Mr.Ponting .He was dominant on any kind of cricket pitch.

  • ElPhenomeno on January 29, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    I dont even pay attention to chappell's "who's the best" articles anymore. He does it once every year to generate some hits. In any case its his personal opinion and not some gospel of law we all have to listen and agree to.

  • Gizza on January 29, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    The best batsman always bat at number three. It is the most difficult position to bat in. Lara and Ponting are ahead of Tendulkar and Kallis on that account already. It also shows how underrated Dravid is. If Sachin batted at No. 3 and Dravid at No. 4, the Wall would have had it so much easier. On average he would come at a period where there is a significant different in the age of the ball. Only thing that goes Sachin's way is that Warne (best of his era) said he was the most difficult batsman to bowl to. The second best McGrath Sachin and Lara were equals. Murali who is a bit lower down in my book said Lara. I wonder what Ambrose, Akram, etc. have said? I would personally choose Lara then Dravid although just against leg-spin I would choose Tendulkar (while the best puller/hooker is easily Ponting).

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    I think Lare is much better batsman than Tandulkar who is master on Indian pitches and against spin bowling.Tandulkar can not play real fast bowling on fast piches or green pitches and in crises.He never took India to victory on crtitical situation or in crises.He is a batsman of scoring for records only which is no way enable him to become gretaest batsman of all times.It shpuld be Lara Ponting Viv Richard and then Tandulkar.

  • yuio3456 on January 29, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    the headline of the article was "who was the most dominant," a lot of people are saying that ponting never had to face the bowling of mcgrath, or warne or gillespie, but that isnt really his fault, is it? we can only guess how ponting would handle truely spectacular bowling in his prime. brian lara certainly looked dominant while he was in full flight, but that was undershadowed by his own team not performing well, same with tendulkar on most occasions. to the question of "who was the most dominant", i'd have to say ponting was, but probably only because many of his centuries and good scores did not come in vain, and usually ended up in an australian win. to people who want kallis among this list, i suspect he isnt there because he isnt a "dominant" player, he isnt an aggressive batsmen, who isnt a natural stroke-maker, which goes with a strike rate of 45, scoring slowly, while lara, ponting and tendulkar have a strike rate of 55+

  • IndianCrazyFan on January 29, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    Mr Chappell why havent opened this discussion an year ago only why now?? Because now Ponting did well and Sachin is down. What a bias? If you have opened this an yesr ago you must have feared that firstly Ponting is no way near Sachin 2 year superb form and you will end up comparing him with Lara. How biased are you?

    Anyway to me Lara and Sachin are the only great ones. Ponting though is superb batsman he always had a great team in place and plays with less pressure. If same Poting was in WI or India team he would have gone long time back.

    Between Lara and Sachin --- Sachin definelty my take doesnt matter whether he fails another year or so. He is the greatest batsman in both ODI and test formats. No comparison.

  • trumpoz on January 29, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    It all really comes down to "if my life were dependant on the outcome who would I want batting for me". For that answer it would have to be Lara. The other two scored more runs at a higher average (and Kallis as well) but the ability to carry one's own team to victory against tremendous odds puts Lara above the other two. Tendulkar has made huge numbers of runs, but has failed to truely deliver when his team needed it the most - how many times has he saved India from defeat in tests or carried them to victory in one-day games. Ponting has saved Australia an a few occasions but the last couple of years he had failed to deliver. Maybe I'm just remembering Lara more fondly becuase he is retired, but the abilty to single-handedly win games off of your own bat is a trait that can never be under-estimated. It is something that Tendular and Ponting have had the chance to do, and haven't been able to deliver.

  • dmqi on January 29, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    NO COMPARISON BETWEEN LARA WITH THE OTHER 2.IF I GIVE LARA 9 OUT OF 10, I CAN NOT GIVE PONTING AND TENDULKAR MORE THAN 7. 375, 400 NOT OUT, 7 DOUBLE CENTURIES AGAINST ENGLAND, AUSTRALIA, SA, PAK, SRILANKA ALL IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD. YOU DO NOT COUNTS NUMBERS ONLY, YOU COUNT QUALITY.EVEN VIV RICHARD IS A BETTER BATSMAN THAN TENDULKAR AND LARA, JUST ACCEPT THE FACT. A BATSMAN WITH A HIGHEST SCORE OF 248 IN 20 YEARS CAREER CAN NOT COME ANYWHERE CLOSE TO LARA, PERIOD. 50 SMALL SHRIMPS COSTS 5 DOLLARS, ONE SALMON COST 25 DOLLARS.

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    my ratings...1:The DON..2:-B.C.Lara...3:-R.T.Ponting....4:-S.R.Tendulkar because ponting is much better than tendulkar...ponting is the king of current era...and is also th Player of the decade

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    And when it comes to Kallis and Dravid, I think that they are more of the defensive type batsmen nd not the ones who aim to dominate the bowling from the word go. Their strike rates are in the early 40s compared to mid 50s for the above three. Kallis has the best average and that too in south african conditions and so many wickets to back them up, continues to amaze me and probably he is the best all round cricketer in the game and is neck to neck on the Greatness Quotient with Tendulkar. the two would come in my top 5 ever to play the game. but batting wise he would is just behind ponting for the way in which he gets his runs and only in 4 homegrounds, But nor for long if he continues to bat the way he is.. prolific run getter i must admit Dravid is an exceptionally good batsman and probably the greatest in the world in some other era, unfortunate to have 4 contemporary ones better than him. Still officially the 2nd highest run getter but not for long, i think his time has come

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    100% true.....as Lara has scored a Double century in different conditions...i.e. in aus, pak, Sl every where.....

  • on January 29, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    And i think that we are underestimating the value of ODIs where tendulkar is more than 5000 runs ahead of ano other.. and double the number of centuries.. you cant even imagine of reaching any of these. And to have carried the Indian batting for about 19 years as the best batsman is some achievement. Lara only did that for about 14 years and ponting for 10 years, being world champions with warne mcgrath and company helps when you know that the other sie is going to be bowled out easily and you just need to amass runs as manyy as you can with the likes of Steve Waugh Hayden Gilchrist Langer Martyn all there to take care of the game if you get out. Its more like what chappell said about the Aussie quicks and their qualities. Lara outscores tendulkar in this regard.. he had to single handedly do everything for the WI. so 1) Tendulkar 2)Lara 3)Ponting would be my rating.

  • on January 29, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Its unbelievable how ian chappel forgot kallis!!

  • mohashin_reza on January 29, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Couldn't have agreed more.......Lara is the best of his generation.........he's head and shoulders above others..........

  • on January 29, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Its very clear that Chappell does not like Tendulkar. He used to be a fan of Sehwag but due to his recent form in australia there are question marks on him. what we need to understand is that this article is more about the greatest Strokemakers and not just batmen. and its about The Greatest! My vote would go Tendulkar because of such Emphatic unheard of resurgence that he has had and because of his longevity to perform at the highest level for 22 years and still be in the top 10 ranked test batsmen and ofc the 100 100s with the kind of pressure of a billion fans that he has.. getting to 80 or 90 is considered as failing. Ponting still has 3 years ahead of him to become what tendulkar is now, if he performs in the same way that he is doing now. coming to Lara i think that it was most incredible of him to reset the world record and make Daddy hundreds like no other that sets him apart but he still loses out on longevity.. probably 2 more years would have set him apart as the greatest.

  • Mayan005 on January 29, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Lara, the ultimate flat track bully. His career and run getting is not too dis-similar to that of one Virender Sehwag.

    btw, Chappell had to wait 3 years for this opportunistic sniping...

  • on January 29, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Ian Chappell is quick to exclude any valid proof when it comes to making his point. He conveniently forgets about Sachin Tendulkar's exploits barely a year back when there were calls for him to retire (1546 runs at 78 per dismissal throughout the calendar year of 2010). Unlike Ponting, he has never gone 23 months without scoring a century in tests; even more remarkable since Ponting has played extensively in those 23 months.

    I'm pretty sure he even picked Lara just to avoid getting heckled for picking Ponting over Tendulkar, as I'm sure he would have loved to.

  • Charindra on January 29, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    Mr. Chappell has opened a can of worms here. Let's see how many Indians keep quiet about 'GOD' not being rated number 1. And yes, I believe Kallis should be included in this too. I think people miss him because they think of him as an allrounder, whereas if he didn't bowl he would have been mentioned with the other 3, and would probably have scored many more runs, without the burden of bowling and taking wickets. Awesome cricketer! I'm not going to rate anyone as the best, because each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. But I'm Sri Lankan and I saw how Lara played Murali in 2001. It was simply brilliant. It was like Happy Feet, he was dancing all around the crease and down the pitch.

  • on January 29, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    well said by Ian. LARA is the greatest batsman of his era. he is aggrasive from start of his career to end of it. he always dominats the bowlers which i think others lacks.........Inzamam also comes in the same category with other 3.

  • Ind_Saffer_1987 on January 29, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    In a feeble attempt to create discussion, Chappell has purposefuly left out Jacques Kallis from this list.

    It's so petty and childish, thats its actually laughable. This article (as many of Chappell's prior articles already have done) has lost all credibility purely in it's content, let alone the conclusion.

  • srikanths on January 29, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Kallis is possibly along with Sobers is the best all rounder and possibly moew useful as a package than the three, but purely as a batsman, I don;t think he quite measures up to these three In fact , Tendulkar and Lara are in a different class. Look at Kallis record against Australia and England in England and look at the same in the case of Lara and Tendulkar Averages hav a tendency to moderate the critcal ones. You play 70% against slightly weaker team, and what one loses out when playing against top teams , one can make up by just being 10% more effective against weaker teams. Kallis no doubt is grea but not quite the Lara , Tendulkar class. You have to compare a Tendulkar in Australia against Ponting in India. Greatness is adapting and playing well in alien conditions. South Africa may have more bowler freidnly pitches in terms of bounce and not so much in swing. You will have to look at Kallis in Eng and against the best in Australia and agaist spin in India ( was good in India .

  • on January 29, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Really So we'll just ignore a certain Jacques Kallis?

  • on January 29, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    Someone forgot about Jacques Kallis I see (again!)

  • UrKiddingMe on January 29, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Sorry Chappelli but Tendulkar and Lara are in a class of their own. Ponting belongs in the group just below along with Kallis, Sangakara, Dravid etc... I still remember Ponting's performance in India in 2001. He was rubbish. Tendulkar and Lara have never been that bad.

    As usual for an Aussie you've neglected ODIs in which Tendulkar is head and shoulders above everyone else. I guess Bradman did not play ODIs so that form of cricket can't count right?

  • on January 29, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    Brian Lara easily the best to watch and he played on poor teams and without always playing on roads at home like the sub continent players. So I too agree with Chappelli.

  • cool2cool on January 29, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Mr. Ian Chappel, you said "while the Little Master continues to stumble with the defining century in sight, often because of a mental aberration, Ponting impresses with the strength of his mind". Where was strength of Ponting's mind 2 years before this series. He was very very lucky to get to score against very very weak Indian attack, any other attack n he would had been RIP.

  • anuk12 on January 29, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    Although it's a delight to hear Chappel on commentary and hear stories and match analysis, it's clear he is very biased person. How many times is he going to stir this debate on cricinfo? He writes 1 article on Sachin vs Pointing vs Lara every year!

  • sameer111111 on January 29, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    Lara any day. He had all the best qualities of Ponting and Sachin combined. Sachin could have been there but dosent have the quality of innings that Lara had. 23 years old career and just a solitary innings in Perth sometime in the early 90s. And Lara was a pure joy to watch, an artist. In terms of consitency, Kallis should be mentioned. Never saw him go through a seriously lean patch. And he can bowl.

  • Marcian on January 29, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    I've always been a fan of Ian Chappell: the writer, commentator and cricketer but this article does not do justice to his vast knowledge. There's no in-depth analysis - its too short and vague. He doesn't even mention Jacques Kallis - a modern-day great and perhaps even the best of the lot. 150 matches with an average of 57, surely, he has to be right at the top; after all, he plays most of the matches in bowling friendly pitches - swing and seam - in SA unlike the placid tracks in the sub-continent. Even Sourav Ganguly admitted that Kallis is the most effective and productive of them all: Kallis, Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting, in that order.

  • on January 29, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Jacques has the greatest average of all of them haha

  • LillianThomson on January 29, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Outside India, I suspect that most of us would classify the modern batting greats as follows: 1) Lara, 2) Sangakkara 3) Kallis, 4) Ponting and 5) Tendulkar. I have been watching international cricket for thirty five years, and my own order from 1975 onwards would be 1) Viv Richards, 2) Graeme Pollock, 3) Barry Richards, 4) Brian Lara, 5) Greg Chappell, 6) Kumar Sangakkara, 7) Jacques Kallis, 8) Ricky Ponting, 9) Stephen Waugh, 10) Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar was probably the fifth most gifted on that list, but his temperament is so flawed and so self-absorbed that less gifted men like Sangakkara have overtaken him due to their superior mental strength. Tendulkar has been cursed by the star culture in India, and by the fact that only in India are ODIs taken as seriously as Tests, and it has diminished him hugely and cost him his place in the pantheon of greats.

  • on January 29, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Lara hands down. He used to play in a side low on talent and still make them competitive. Spot on about the "big centuries" and Mr. Chappell being an Aussie should know 'cause he used to turn it on against them so often. Great player - arguably the best this generation has seen. Of course take nothing from the two other names mentioned here. Superb players in their own rights with smoking hot stats to back it up.

  • UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on January 29, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    STATISTICS & LONGEVITY FAVORS TENDULKAR AS NUMBER ONE......IF THE YARDSTICK IS BRUTE DOMINANCE & CAPTAINCY...THAN ITS PONTING.....POWER & WINNING SINGLE HANDEDLY FAVORS LARA... TENDULKAR FACED THE MOST FEARSOME BOWLERS FROM AUSTRALIA & WEST INDIES IN ALIEN CONDITIONS & PRACTICED WITH THE MOST DOCILE ON DEAD INDIAN PITCHES......PONTING DIDN'T HAD TO FACE MCGRATH, WARNE, GILLESPIE, MCDERMOTT, BRET LEE,SIDDLE,PATTISON ETC AND HE WAS WELL SUPPORTED BY GREAT BATSMEN.......LARA DIDN'T HAD TO BAT AGAINST WALSH,AMBROSE, IAN BISHOP, & OTHER WEST INDIAN FAST BOWLERS....TENDULKAR'S CONTRIBUTION IN WINNING MATCHES IS DEBATABLE......BOTH PONTING & LARA AVGS. AROUND 30 ON BATSMAN FRIENDLY PITCHES IN INDIA........TENDULKAR IS SUCCESSFULLY BEARING THE PRESSURE OF 1200 MILLIONS INDIANS FOR PAST 22 YEARS!!!!!.... GRAEME HICK SCORED TONS OF RUNS IN COUNTY....BUT COULDN'T HANDLE THE PRESSURE OF TEST CRICKET!!!!!......ALONG WITH BRADMAN, TENDULKAR IS A BIT AHEAD OF OTHERS...NEXT IS LARA....THAN PONTING

  • on January 29, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    To me Lara was greatest of all. He was also a match winner a very graceful batsman, he was an artist!!

  • on January 29, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    Why does Jacques Kallis invariably get ignored when trying to find the best batsmen of our generation? Kallis has an etremely similar record to the other three, but with the best average of all four, and 41 hundreds. Not to mention he has almost 300 Test wickets. Surely that must put him at least in contention?!?!?!

  • on January 29, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    30 centuries in a winning cause...9000 runs in a winning cause...and a very capable captain...ponting is best as a player...for skill lara is best.

  • on January 29, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Absolutely on the dot .The best player of spin there ever was . Never fettered to his crease . Twinkling toes . To hammer Murali and Co in Sri Lanka scoring 688 runs in 3 test matches and almost 40% of the total team score in the Series - this is just one example of his staggering desire to dominate the bowling irrespective of reputation . I think Sachin must have the dubious record of getting out the most number of times to rank newcomers ( Shaun Udal , Monty Panesar , Nathan Lyon , Ray Price just to name a few.

  • Emancipator007 on January 29, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    as Lara and SRT of '90s would testify) than SRT (courtesy Punter's 100 plus Test wins), he is not in the same class as SRT and Lara. Lara and SRT the best of the modern era with SRT just shading him cos of his tighter overall game but Lara obviously a more rapacious and hungry batsman. Ponting,Kallis, Sangakkara and Dravid (Samaraweera's 50 plus average is finally deserving of being in the same tier as this lot in the light of his stupendous show in SA and also England) in the tier just below the titanic twosome .(Incidentally all these 4 filled their boots with an avalanche of runs in a "peculiar" period b/w 2002-2006 when only SRT of all the major bats failed which some also attributed to his persistent tennis elbow prob in early 2000s).

  • sony_sr on January 29, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    I agree lara is the most dominant of mordern day batsmen. But his try to place ponting ahead of sachin is only a joke. I don't think even ponting can be considered amoung great batsmen.

  • Emancipator007 on January 29, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Lara, the ultimate game imposer of this era with sustained batting tempo thru all this big century innings. Ponting suspect record against quality spin in India and even overall record in England (2 countries where he could not really dominate). Check Ponting's records in Tests vis-à-vis Lara and SRT in the 90s and you will know why they shade him. Ponting is actually a greater ODI batsman than a Test bat (though records are awesome in both). Tendulkar undoubtedly the most talented of the trio (playing the same at 16 as he is at 39 which is UNPRECEDENTED in history) and the ONLY one to play pace and spin equally adeptly. Additionally his classical stroke play was married with a superb defensive technique which distinguished him from the trio. Also better record in OZ than Lara. Conclusion: even though Ponting may seem a better match decisive batsman (I prefer using that term than match winning as until 20 wickets are claimed there is no way of knowing which 100s are more important CONT

  • ian_ghose on January 29, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    I keep hearing this name - Sachin Tendulkar. Who is he? Does he play for India? Was he playing for India in Australia? If he was, why didn't we see him? Was he hiding under some rock while India was getting rogered all ends up? What great batsman? If I had started watching cricket since India's tour of England, I'd have thought that he's a fat old gnome, who people take pity on and therefore allow him to bat at no.4. Doesn't look like a batsman at all!

  • ian_ghose on January 29, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Look look! Gupta.ankur has wriggled out of his hole and is still spitting venom. Thought the combined 8-0 White-wash would have knocked some sense and humility into his bloated head - but boy was I wrong. Now Gupta, maybe you should really keep quiet.

  • EJ72 on January 29, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    As a South African its always interesting to see that Jacques "the walking textbook" Kallis is usually excluded from these lists. Legends all of them but notwistanding the fact that Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting have taken a combined 50 test wickets to Kallis 274 and they have averages of 52.88, 55.44 and 53.44 to Kallis 57.02 he is never mentioned in these musings. Again, for most of his career he effectively had to carry the team as opposed to Ponting who would come in once Hayden and co had beaten the opposition into submission. So, for sure, he perhaps hasn't always captured the imagination as the other 3 have and averages aren't everything... but if I were a coach I'd have his name on the team list before any of the other 3 greats. If I were to choose 1 of the 3 players in the article it would also be Lara for the way in which he dictated play to the bowling side.

  • on January 29, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    Lara it is then...In Pakistan, somethimes we hope for a Sachin century, as there is this belief(in Pakistan)....everytime Sachin scores a century...India would loose

  • Avidcricketlover on January 29, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Kallis was the greatest all-rounder after Sobers era. Certainly the best player. Considering playing conditions at south africa is total aberration as everyone likes playing at their home. It may be seaming for you but for him, its his home. But beyond that, he is consistent. Sachin and Ponting are the best batsmen. One is a complete batsman and another is a big match player. Now comes the question of Lara. Lara is how Sehwag but with more skill and consistency everywhere. He doesn't care about anything as far as his batting and bats the same way everywhere. I would hail all of them. Sachin, Ponting, Lara and Kallis. I'm just thinking that I will have none left to follow in a few months or mebbe a year from now. All are legends and all of these men are nearing their career-ends. Just thanking the stars for having been able to see them. No one seems to be consistent now. All these people are their own country's prime batsmen even now. That says the state of cricket.

  • nzcricket174 on January 29, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    Brian Lara's 153* against Australia at Bridgetown is one of the best innings ever played. I don't think Tendulkar or Ponting have played an innings even remotely close to it.

  • backwardpoint on January 29, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Spot on, Ian. As always. I should add a few more points though.

    Apart from being technically quite correct, a graceful approach to batting, playing when the team needs him the most, playing when the rest of the team was crumbling (which was often enough). Getting in and making it count and scoring big counts too.

    For me, he has been the best of the lot in Tests. By quite a distance.

  • syedahmed91 on January 29, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Uhm.......... Jack kallis?

  • on January 29, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    What about Jacques Kallis?

  • on January 29, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    There are three big names which in my view should have been included in this list. Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakara and Jacques Kallis. Out of these six names, I believe the best batsman to have come to the fore in the past 2 decades has been Jacques Kallis.

  • remnant on January 29, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Indeed Lara was a sight to behold! A genuis with the accompanied baggage of passion and insanity that is their hallmark.

    That he shone for the Windies in an era when the big guns had fallen silent and it was left to him only to score heavily and either save the day or wrest victory only adds to his legend.

    Chappell is right that he is out of sight, but whenever the discussion of modern greats will come up, Lara artistry will be evoked!

  • Sameer-hbk on January 29, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    Tendulkar and Lara are a class above the rest and Ponting does not deserve a mention in the same league. Don't know what Mr. Chappell thinks about "versatality", but an average of 26.48 after 14 Tests in India while scoring 662 runs is barely adaptability and versatality. Great batsman are judged by their performance in alien conditions against their toughest opposition... While Tendulkar and Lara did well in Aus against Aus... Ricky Ponting has never been able to adapt and dominate in India against India.

    Tendulkar and Lara are best of their era who carried weaker teams on their performance for long periods and Ponting is a batsman who played in a strong team for majority of his career making life a lot easier for him. Ponting is probably a distant third... And if u r talking only test cricket, then Dravid might have a word to say in that too :)

  • tjsimonsen on January 29, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Well, I too would pick Lara. His raw stats are not quite up there, but he batted in a poorer team. And when he was really on song, he gave the impression that nobody could do anything to stop him - not even to contain him. HOWEVER, no list of the most dominant modern batsmen is complete without Kallis (I'd still pick Lara, though).

  • BellCurve on January 29, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Batting averages for batsmen who have scored more than 10,000 runs in Test cricket: (1) Kallis 57.02, (2) Tendulkar 55.44, (3) Ponting 53.44, (4) Lara 52.88 (5) Dravid 52.31. Man-of-the-match awards for batsmen who have scored more than 10,000 runs in Test cricket: (1) Kallis 23, (2) Ponting 16, (3) S.Waugh 14, (3) Tendulkar 14, (5) Lara 12. This analysis suggests there is daylight between Kallis and the rest. Surely, Ian Chappell, the time has come to acknowledge the great man from Cape Town?

  • MCC_Tie on January 29, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    If Ponting deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Lara, so does Kallis.

  • Cool_Jeeves on January 29, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    My top pick is Ricky Ponting followed by Lara. If I had to pick a batsman for a World XI other than Tendulkar, I would get murdered in India. But If I had to pick a batsman to face a World XI attack, first choice has to be Ponting. Plenty of innings against high class bowling all over the world. Lara also faced pressure but crumbled against McGrath except in one 1999 series. Tendulkar is bogged down with a subordinate objective of 100 tons, while Ponting was also a captain.

  • farkin on January 29, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Ponting deserves to be mentioned with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara as very Average captains and past there best before date

  • on January 29, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Tendulkar's huge obsession and gluttony regarding personal milestones is becoming more and more transparent as days go by. I find it hard to believe people hem and haw about his batting aesthetics despite not being a hooker, a puller, or a cutter of the cricket ball. Avoiding captaincy, not moving down/up the order when team needed, rift with Dravid for not letting him score 200, trying to stay not outs while letting tailenders face the music (most recently I remember Graeme Smiths comment that he could not believe India would give such a meek surrender and Tendulkar showed no effort to save one of the tests), one can go on and on and on about his misadventures during his cricketing life...he might be a good batsman but definitely does not qualify as a good cricketer. Chappell was pretty tactful when he said Ponting never shied away from challenges and readers who are a little insightful about the game can read between the lines...

  • TWIC on January 29, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Brian Lara would be my pick too. One of the few classical batsmen to play in the modern game and I am glad he receives some recognition for his feats.

    Im just curious as to why Jacques Kallis isn't even mentioned. He may be classified as an all-rounder but as a batsman alone, he averages higher than all 3 and has outscored Lara. I would still choose Brian over Jacques, but I think the man deserves at least a mention...

  • Lakpj on January 29, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Totally agree with Ian, Lara without doubt one of the best of all time. When you consider his ability to single handedly dominate an attack and take his side to victory he must be only behind Viv Richerds. He did not only did it in ODIs but all so in Tests, I can still remember his magical tour to SL in 2001 where he scored more than 600 runs in a 3 test series when all his team mates struggled.

  • Gupta.Ankur on January 29, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Another silly article to berate sachin.......very soon warner would be voted ahead as he too strikes the ball better than sachin........

    And where is Dravid? and where is Kallis? I think chappell is too biased and he we are done listening this over and over again.

  • on January 29, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    record speak itself you sick chappel how abt u which record u got or what is ur achievement except useles talking

  • on January 29, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    What about Kallis? Surely one of the greats of our time.

  • on January 29, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    And what about "The uncluttered mind"/ "The new Bradman" Chappelli NOW? And I dont know from which angle you see your matches Ian, I have mostly seen both Ponting and Lara are/were in the same boat whereas Tendulkar is the one who is most bowler picky. My advice to you is watch all the matches irrespective of whether it involves Aus/Ind.

  • ankit_askon on January 29, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    I think it is not fair to leave out kallis out of this comparison. Why do people and media forget kallis. He has one of the best batting averages in test cricket and is a brilliant bowler and fielder. I think he is greater than all the three discussed in the article by Ian Chappell.

  • waz_1992 on January 29, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    1. Lara 2. Tendulkar 3. Ponting (A very distant third and only just ahead of Kallis).

  • S.Jagernath on January 29, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Ricky Ponting being versatile?How?Rahul Dravid is versatile,Dravid has opened the batting,dropped into the middle order & excelled in each position.Dravid,at 38 even opened at a very green & bouncy Trent Bridge & scored 117.I don't know of Lara or Ponting carrying their bats,both of them dropped into the middle order with age to avoid the movement of the new ball but not Rahul Dravid.I wonder what the other guys here in South Africa think about Jacques Kallis' exclusion.

  • on January 29, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    It has to be LARA. My second choice is Ponting and Last one is Tendulkar. LARA had played many great innings where he single handedly won for West Indies. Same ponting has won many matches for Australia but Tendulkar has not won a single game for india. He should not be in great players list.

  • murraymckechnie on January 29, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    What about Kallis? He has a better batting average (57 in tests and 45.55 in ODI's) than Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar. He has also mainly played in tough conditions in South Africa and not batsman friendly conditions like India. The fact that he has only scored 2 double centuries shows that he is consistent and doesn't need huge scores to keep his average up.

  • dunger.bob on January 29, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Oh dear, what a can of worms you may have opened there. .. :) .. One issue with Lara is the question of longevity. He had a longish career but not in the same postcode as Tendulkars 22 years or whatever. (Which, I guess, puts pay to a theory I had in 1990 or so that the Newspapers had somehow gotten his age wrong). .. I love watching Punter bat but I honestly think that of the three of them, Punter is technically the worst. On the other side, what a big match player. Look no further than the 2003 World cup final for an example of what I mean by that.

  • on January 29, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Ian Chappell, have you heard of Jacques Kallis?! MOST under-rated batsman, but who stands head-to-head with the names you've mentioned here...

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Control + F "Kallis" - No matches found.

    Worthless article since it excludes the greatest batsman of our era.

  • S.Jagernath on January 29, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    Another article of no substance.Once again Rahul Dravid has been ignored yet his statistics & technique are better than both Lara & Ponting.Dravid also happens to be more elegant as well.Lara's ability against spin is questionable as his record is poor in India,Ponting as well.Scoring big on flat pitches in matches destined for draws does not make Lara better than Tendulkar.

  • ganbob on January 29, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Lara is easily the best among the three. Lara>SRT>Punter...

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Then where is Kallis? I don't thing u can drop him from this list!

  • Shovon177 on January 29, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    I absolutely agree. If i have to spend my last dollar to watch any of these three greats, I will spend it to watch Lara, the most spectacular batsman. Lara used to be a match-wiinner and thrived under pressure, which Sachin rarely does.

  • leleraja on January 29, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Who's the pick of the modern greats? This is a no brainer - Sachin, since he never had to play Indian bowling!! Imagine how many runs more he would have scored and how many more records he would have created!!!

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Lara is the only player to ever hold all three of test cricket's most wanted batting records at one time - Most Runs, Most Hundreds, Highest Individual Score. The fact that he scored at a strike rate of over 60 and faced some of the greatest bowlers of the the past two decades, while taking into account he had little or no support from the batsman around him and was forced to take on more risks than someone like Sachin or Ponting, says a lot about Lara. He has the most scores of 200+ after Bradman. Sachin has never reached 250 is tests (248* is his highest score), while Ponting's highest score is 257. Lara has dominated many bowling attacks and played some very memorable innings against the best team of his time, Australia. He retired in early 2007, the following 3 years proved to be some of the best years for test batsman in terms of averages. Considering the fact Lara didn't have the same luxury of batting support around him nor an effective bowling attack, he is simply the best.

  • Nuxxy on January 29, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    Thank you Ian Chappell. Lara was the least consistent of the 3, and captaining a rapidly declining team was a heavy burden. But he is the one I'd pay to watch, and if I was a bowler and it was his day, the one I'd least like to bowl to. And there is no doubt he was the most attractive stroke-maker of the 3.

  • dilanz51 on January 29, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    I'll take Sangakkara anyday. Sachin is not a match winner so i dont care about him

  • kart_india on January 29, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    I am not a big fan of chappell,however,my opinion is all three are greats .sachin tendulkar has to be the greatest for his sheer weight of runs,his longetivity.how many batsmen are able to maintain that level of consistency for more than two decades.Brian lara well has so many big scores,even if u see his test average,its close to 53,not as much as sachin but you will note he only has 6 notouts which help in averages,also if u see he has scored close to 12000 in about 130 tests..but if i had to say it,i would say sachin the greatest modern oneday player,brian the greatest modern test player...but if its one name in all formats....SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    There are 4 greats of the modern game. How can anyone not mention Jacques Kallis? He adds more value to any team. Purely as batsman I'd have to also go with Lara, but as a cricketer, Kallis is far superior. It is true that he has only come into his own in the last 4 years, previously being surrounded by an uncertain batting line-up, he is now confident in those around his, thus being able to dominate when needed, and consolidate when called to do so. His trademark recently has become the way he walks to the crease, and very often get going quickly, putting opposition bowlers on the back foot, and then building from there. Am I biased because he is South African? Probably a little. Just imagine a team with Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis and Lara. I don't think any era has produced such quantity of quality.

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    Kallis should also be included in this list... Lara didn't have a very good team to get enough spotlight.. Ponting had a very good team to achieve his records. And Sachin , hmmm.. he was a lone warrior like Kallis most of the time. I would say Sachin(of the 1996-2007) > Ponting(1999 -2007) > Kallis > Lara

  • DaisonGarvasis on January 29, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    For once I agree with Ian. Even this long after Lara retirement, the "will do it my way" attitude he kept throughout his career put him ahead of everybody. He did it his way and his way only. I remember one comment from Nassar Hussain "we sledge many batsmen but one batsman we were careful not to sledge was Lara. Because the last thing you want in a cricket ground is a CHARGED UP LARA WITH A BAT IN HIS HAND, HE CAN HURT YOU BAD".

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Ponting was the best catcher of his time and probably the toughest guy in cricket ever. Also, his ability to perform even when put under the burden of captaincy and not shying away until a successor was ready put him to the forefront among the three. Lara maybe was a touch above Tendulkar and Ponting, but if you have to choose between the two, I'd choose Ponting because of his ability to carry a team even when he hasn't got runs. Tendulkar would probably go and have a breather on third man or fine leg.

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Well written Ian. Not only Lara paced innings the superior of them two but he summarises the beauty of cricket, he was exhilarating to watch, just a genius. His every stroke was so flamboyant, as an audience you not only admire his contributions to cricket, but also how he made them. Pure brilliance.

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    I don't agree on Ponting's match saving inning at Old Trafford in 2005 as one of the best ... there were so many lower order batsmen also chipped in to save the match ....

  • on January 29, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    definitely it's Lara. Just watch his batting style and dominance where other two lack.

  • rajagopalann on January 29, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    agreeing with Ian,but he forgot to mention Kallis in the list

  • Adnan143 on January 29, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    for once i must admit i had to agree with mr chappell on his selection, LARA is true modren day master of batting

  • on January 29, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    Huge fan of each of these men. Tendulkar's ability to singularly sway mood of an entire nation, and bookmakers alike is legendary. Bradman, hundred 100s, Warne's nightmare, modesty apart -the fact that once 16 yr old prodigy is still scoring heavily 23 yrs later is insane. Ponting's entered a very good team, and became a great like his team. His peppery surface masks a fierce, competitive man who plays hard. Once a hard-drinking, fiery lad, he remarkably cleaned up his act to pip Warne and Gilchrist to the top job; speaks volumes about his love for the game. Lara wasn't a lot of these things, not a team man, often aloof and hardly willing to graft. With due respect to the men above though, his highest notes were gold! He wasn't modest, so he'd dare audacious strokeplay even in dire situations. Grafting was beneath him, so he'd put allcomers to sword, even risking death by it. A magnetic blend of power, finesse, and avarice for big runs. Best of the three .. even if by a whisker

  • Hassanmir on January 29, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    Its all about winning contributions. Lets see what have they contributed to their team as far as winning matches are concerned assuming that we are talking about Tests only. Ponting will have an advantage since in this era they had the most destructive bowlers but I guess it is what it is. I think Kallis and Inzamam should be added to this list too and then we should determine who has the greatest performances which led to winning mathces for their teams. Maybe calculate their batting averages in winning matches and guess what ?? Inzamam has the second best EVER average in Tests ( winning matches). A true unsung hero I guess. By the way who's the first ?? someone named Sir Donald Bradman :-)

  • vinjoy on January 29, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    I wonder how KALLIS is less than these three. If scoring BIG is an important parameter (no 300 by Kallis so far), are Gayle and Jayasurya better than Richards Dravid, S.Waugh and others who have not scored a 300. Kallis has to be part of every discussion on modern greats. Period.

  • on January 29, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Lara was only able to make the huge scores that he did because he was often the lone fighter in his side. Ponting and Sachin have had other quality batsmen making runs alongside them for most of their careers.

  • on January 29, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    No doubt Lara is special talent. The best of bests.

  • Himad on January 29, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    As much as I disagree with you on everything you write or say, I can't agree with you more on this. I will pick Lara over the Tendulkar anyday and the third position is owned by a man from SA known as Kallis. I am sorry but Ponting does not belong here.

  • on January 29, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    This is a hard discussion. Lara has the highest scores, but also played for a much shorter period than Tendulkar, and was less consistent (similar average, more "big" scores means more "smaller" scores as well). He also didn't have to face the West Indies attack, which was still daunting for the first half of his career. Ponting did not face the dominant attack of our times at all!

    Tendulkar has the positives of long career, many tons, often facing hard attacks, carrying Team India, etc. But he does lack the following: 1. Massive scores. A highest of 248 vs. BD suffers vs. a lot of his contemporaries, not just Lara. 2. Few fourth innings "lone boy on the burning deck" innings that led to victories or saving matches. Compare that to Lara's 153* vs. Aus for instance. SRT's big fourth innings efforts have either not ended in victory (ton vs. Pakistan) or been part of an ensemble (100 vs. Eng at Mumbai after Sehwag's blitz). While runs in any innings count, those in the fourth stand out!

  • Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on January 29, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Sir Brian Charles Lara all the way! And one shouldn't forget that he was a match winner, often winning matches from hopeless situations; and plus the fact that he played in the weakest team compared to the other two! P.S. I'd like to see Inzi mentioned at 4, especially given how he could play very fast bowling with ease, and for being a true match winner!

  • suharshan on January 29, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    Nice article ! Surprising to see an Aussie not picking Ricky at the end

  • on January 29, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    LARA for me ! Flare in his batting was something else

  • Naren on January 29, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Lara was the most selfish batsman of the era. Even when West Indies has a chance to win, he will keep pushing for personal milestones like 360+ 400+ scores. But Ponting has scored 9000+ runs in winning cause. His counter attacking game even when the side is down 2, 3 wickets with nothing much on board is special. Players like him made the golden era possible for Australia. There is no stroke matching Ponting's hook or pull.

  • natasrik on January 29, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    Even though Chappell has picked lara but to me both Sachins and Laras records just stands as personal milestone but when it comes to Pontings case his records speaks for the country and team australia as such. Infact he has scored 20,000 runs on the winning note for team australia in all formats of the game. So I would pick Ponting.

  • unregisteredalien on January 29, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    This will go nuclear. Personally, I'd take Lara as a batsman but Ponting if I was building a team to win (but I wouldn't make him captain!).

  • on January 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Typical of Chappell to leave Steve Waugh out of the equation, but in saying that, I agree, Lara would also be my choice if i had to narrow it down to one.

  • on January 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Tendulkars longevity and ability to sustain such high standard for so long pushes out lara and ponting to distant second. Beside, Ponting didn't play McGrath and Warne, so he's gets ranked below lara in my book. Now, What does poor Kallis have to do get some respect?

  • pakspin on January 29, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Tendulker is just a dead track bully...scoring in AUS in the 90s when they had India like pitches..look what happened when AUS went back to their pitches from the 70/80s..he got exposed..That's why batmen from that era are greater ...1. Lara 2. ponting. 3. Tendulker..however he is number 1 in chasing selfish centuries at the expense of the team and never playing a match winning innings..I rate Dravid higher than Tendulker since Dravid's record in testing conditions in much better...Tendulker is just a dead pitch king

  • Rumy1 on January 29, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Keeping statistics and numbers jugglery away, I completely agree Lara wa s the best of the three. I would rate Lara, Sachin, Ponting in that order.

  • BlightyTragic on January 29, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    Chappelli, I often regard your writing as insightful and with much in depth analysis. But I fear on this occasion that you have missed perhaps another notable mention. Even as an England supporter, I cannot ignore the batting prowess of Jaques Kallis. I understand that he does not have as many "big" centuries as the others (two at this stage I believe) but I count a Kallis ton worthy of two of some other players. Kallis has that ability to tear an attack apart, retake a session, or indeed, come up with the goods when they are needed. For a bloke to average 58 in the modern game isn't a fluke, the man has grafted some spectacular displays of skill, technique and when required, pure bludgeoning. Is he better than the others? Perhaps with a 'but'. Are any of the other three outright the best? Maybe with an 'if'. Not pulling apart you article, but thought I'd better mention the guy who has been the bain of most bowling attacks in recent memory.

  • srikanths on January 29, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    Ian Chappell generally puts things in great perspective and also comes out with the most rational and practical explanations on cricketing strategy. But, like all cricket experts , comes out with sweeping generalisations , as he did in the case of both Ponting and Tendulkar. In the aftermath of World Cup 2007 and Tendulkar's injury laden two years between 2005 and 2007, he rendered hisi judgement. The verdict . Tendulkar should retire.Tendulkar's performance saw a huge spike after that. He has done the same with Ponting. There is nothing wrong with verdict as long as they admit mistakes. They never do that. One thing everyone discounts is the aspect of expectations which Tendulkar had to manage right through his cricketing life. All this talk of West Indies public being as harsh and crictial as Indian public is all hogwash. What sets Tendulkar apart was his ability to . atleast most of the time rise above that and perform under great expectations

  • world.cricketer on January 29, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    sachin tendulkar all the way...............billions of people following him and entertaining all such a great player then lara followed by dravid then ponting

  • on January 29, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    I guess Ian Chappell hasn't heard of Jaques Kallis who's ave. is higher than the above 3 and has nearly 300 wickets. Compare him with Gary Sobers after the same number of tests and there's not much difference.

  • takenaback on January 29, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    I don't agree with Ian Chapell on many things even though I am an Australian but I can concur that Brian Lara is the best batsmen I have seen in my opinion. Now that is not to say he is the best but he is the best that I have witnessed from say 1990 to the present day. I wouldn't put Ponting in the class of Tendulkar or Lara, nevertheless Australia's best batsmen for some time. I will always remember the quick feet and wrists of Brian Lara but more than that he just looked elegant at the crease more so than Tendulkar. I'm sure these comments won't satisfy the many Indian supporters but just my point of view.

  • Emancipator007 on January 29, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    as Lara and SRT of '90s would testify) than SRT (courtesy Punter's 100 plus Test wins), he is not in the same class as SRT and Lara. Lara and SRT the best of the modern era with SRT just shading him cos of his tighter overall game but Lara obviously a more rapacious and hungry batsman. Ponting,Kallis, Sangakkara and Dravid (Samaraweera's 50 plus average is finally deserving of being in the same tier as this lot in the light of his stupendous show in SA and also England) in the tier just below the titanic twosome .(Incidentally all these 4 filled their boots with an avalanche of runs in a "peculiar" period b/w 2002-2006 when only SRT of all the major bats failed which some also attributed to his persistent elbow prob in early 2000s).

  • mixters on January 29, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    Fair enough I guess although I would want all three in my middle order. The SRT 100 hundred thing is great but if you have played more cricket matches than everyone it takes of the shine a bit. I mean if Bradman had played as many tests as SRT he would have 100 test match centuries let alone what he may have scored in ODIs if they played them in that era (29 test centuries in 52 matches0 so Tendulkars greatest preformance has to be his longivity I just hope no 16 year old comes along and plays 250 tests that will disapoint over a billion people because even an average batsman will accumulate more runs than SRT if they play for long enough PS the prime of Bradmans carrer was closed by WW2 he only played as a young or old man his best years were taken up by the recess in world cricket caused by the war

  • Emancipator007 on January 29, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    Lara, the ultimate game imposer of this era with sustained batting tempo thru all this big century innings. Ponting suspect record against quality spin in India and even overall record in England (2 countries where he could not really dominate). Check Ponting's records in Tests vis-à-vis Lara and SRT in the 90s and you will know why they shade him. Ponting is actually a greater ODI batsman than a Test bat (though records are awesome in both). Tendulkar undoubtedly the most talented of the trio (playing the same at 16 as he is at 39 which is UNPRECEDENTED in history) and the ONLY one to play pace and spin equally adeptly. Additionally his classical stroke play was married with a superb defensive technique which distinguished him from the trio. Also better record in OZ than Lara. Conclusion: even though Ponting may seem a better match decisive batsman (I prefer using that term than match winning as until 20 wickets are claimed there is no way of knowing which 100s are more important CONT

  • Jwara on January 29, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Lara certainly was a truly dominant batsman. But i would venture to say that when the mood dictated to him he dominated all the bowlers. No waiting for lesser lights in the opposition bowlers. What a player!! At their peaks tendulkar and ponting were not bad either. Tendulkar against all comers for a period. Ponting magnificent against pace bowlers to start with and a gradual development against spin.

  • CUPULW on January 29, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Am with u ChappellI :) Lara is the one batsman who played Murali at his peak and his series in Sri Lanka with 2 double hundreds (if my memory serves right) was the best batting seen in the island since test status. In fact no one has managed to better that since; it is not just the runs, its how :) Also lets not forget , Lara played in a broken team, a bunch of average guys who could not rise to the heights of their predicessors. He played Warne without fear and Kumble too well. further he faced some of the best bowling around in test matches. Sachin, Ponting (and Dravid & VVS) did not have to face the likes of Warne, McGrath, Lee, Kumble, Srinath, Zaheer, who were in their respective teams. Compare that to the WI bowling attack Lara had LOL One more fact is he made runs all over the world. Though not looking at the various places he played am sure he did well at most venues. He is the best of the lot in this generation. Just as VIV was the best of the previous generation. Cheers

  • on January 29, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    Totally agree. Lara scored big against the best, except the two triples against england, this double centuries were against australia -3 (twice away), sri lanka 2 (once away), Pakistan (away), south africa (away) - the best bowling attacks then (even now). And, he retired at the right time.

  • SixFourOut on January 29, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    The problem with Ponting is he never had to face Macgrath, Lee, Gillespie, Warne, if he had, you can bet he'd be a few centuries short, whereas Lara never got to face the weak Windies attacks of the 90's and capitalize......////..... For my money you take 2-3 runs of the average of guys in teams with the best attacks and you add 2-3 to the guy in the team with the weak bowlers. But all that aside, KALLIS has to up there as the equal of any player

  • baskar_guha on January 29, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Without question it is Tendulkar for I doubt if Ponting or Lara have the ability to play and achieve under the pressure of a billion fans/critics watching his every cricket move, that too for over two decades. I have had the privilege of seeing all three in action in person and while they are a cut above the rest, Tendulkar exudes a majesty in his batting that only the King would have.

  • Mark00 on January 29, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Lara and Ponting were complete batsmen. Apart from the final stages of their careers, both had the ability to pull and hook the fast bowlers without risking their wicket. Tendulkar never had this ability because those shots require a complete change in body position, which is something Tendulkar, like Sehwag, struggled with. The shots Tendulkar does play, he does very well, so in the end he averages about as much as the half-dozen other top players, but there can be no doubt that he benefitted tremendously from the 1992 rule change that restricted bouncers and, therefore, the potential of fast bowlers for hostility and menace.

  • on January 29, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Its pretty sad including Ponting between these guys!

  • khurramlone on January 29, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    There is no doubt that Lara is all time great, but why pick his two big scores as examples of his greatness? They were both inconsequential innings with little value on outcome of game (both draws). Lara's best innings was his 153* against Australia when his last wicket stand with Walsh won the match (and ultimately tied the series) against a vastly superior team.

  • on January 29, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    In my view Brain Lara is great batsman.

  • sasi on January 29, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Mr Ian i couldn't read ur biased article because ur missing another contender (Mr Jacques Henery KALLIS) for the elite batsman category. U as always ignore him and try to compare pointing with these two, and be very biased towards ur country men.

  • Dilectus on January 29, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Brian C. Lara is without any doubt greatest of em'. True genius, more creative, more aggressive, pure match-winner, played half of a career with mediocre team. Tendulkar follows next, wonderful technique, very classy, heaps of runs, longevity of career, played more than half of his career with mediocre team but selfish sometimes. Ponting played in a dominating team meant less pressure, so he'll always stay at Three.

  • Rakesh_Sharma on January 29, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    How can you compare Tendulkar to Ponting. Ponting played as Captain for major part of his career since 2004 till 2011. Tendulkar on his part has played 96% of the matches as ordinary player. All greats were captain of the team as well which affects the game. Ponting did wonders despite being captain. Bradman played as captain.Lara played large number of games as Captain. So comparing Tendulkar with others has to be looked in the context of leading the side. AND Tendulkar is a big Zero here.Had Ponting played just as a player as long as Tendulkar his performance would have been atleast 40 to 50% still better. So Ponting wins hands down. I know Indian fans have star worship culture so they will not digest the realities.

  • indianpunter on January 29, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    and the point being..?? have you not said all this several times prior? or did you want to bask in the glory of Ponting's second wind? I am fast losing respect for you. Of course, senility spares no one.

  • Noboundary on January 29, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    I have no idea why Sir Vivian Richards is not considered a modern great! I would rate him way above all the three that Ian mentions here. No body dominated like Richards. Nobody made the best bowlers shake in their boots the way he did. No body treated great bowlers with contempt the way he did.

  • CanTHeeRava on January 29, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    A no brainer...Mr Ian Chappell has no clue what he is talking about. I respect many of his views on cricket in general. However, he should keep out of Tendulkar-Lara-Ponting debate. Before the India Australia (2012) series started he was calling for Ponting's head...Now he is rating Ponting's mental toughness ahead of Tendulkar's...I don't mind. He is not known to be a fan of Tendulkar. I am a Lara fan myself hence Chappell's certificate is inconsequential.

  • RichAbIan on January 29, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    I agree. Lara stands out a bit more because of his ease with spinners and even Murali accepted that Lara was the hardest Test batsman to bowl as he played Murali with ease when he toured Srilanka. He also played in a very weak West Indies side devoid of any other major stars. One -ve side of Ponting is that through much of his Test career, his position as no.3 in tests was cushioned by the fantastic opening parternship of Langer and Hayden, which regularly set him a solid start to build on from, though he has rectified this with his recent performances under presure. Tendulkar flourished in both Australia and England but has not played as many match winning knocks as was expected of him. In both test and ODI's his centuries have not assured victory to the team compared with the effect of players like Jayasuriya and Lara. Kallis too deserves to be mentioned among these 3. Over 23,500 runs with 58 centuries and 540+ wickets in International cricket makes him a modern behemoth too.

  • Andross on January 29, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    totally agree, Ponting for a long time has been one of my favourite players, but there is not doubt in my mind that the greatest of the three giants is Lara.

  • HKOLL on January 29, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    How could Ian forget to include Jacques Kallis alongside the three greats above? There has been no player who has 12000+ runs in test cricket and 274 wickets to go along with that. I also understand that we cant really keep adding more and more good players (Dravid, and Inzy) into the shortlist for the modern greats, not including Kallis never completes this shortlist, irrespective of whom you would pick.

  • FatBoysCanBat on January 29, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    This is the best article I have read on the subject. I too would take Lara because you must remember a vast majority of his innings' came when no one else in the team stood tall, Tendulkar [Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Azaruddin etc.] and Ponting [Waugh, Martyn, Clarke, Hussey etc.] have more often then not had the support of team mates during their careers - Lara only had Chanderpaul late in his career and Hooper at the start as world-class team mates. Lara may not have the stats of Tendulkar or Ponting but is [was] more attractive to watch and was the best player of spin I've seen in a long time. From his initial stance, Lara's trigger movement was to put his back foot back and across towards off stump but he also pressed forward with his front foot at the same time, this allowed him to play off the back foot or front foot with only a slight adjustment of weight and is why he was never really troubled by genuine pace [150kmh] because he didn't have to make a big exaggerated movement.

  • on January 29, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Where's Kallis, Ian ??? He too deserves a mention !

  • Governor on January 29, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    I rank Brian Lara ahead of Tendulkar. Brian Lara was an entertainer who scored his runs on all types of wickets. But, if you want to pick a number 3 batsman who could bat at 3 and/or 4, I would pick Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting ahead of Sachin.

  • I-have-Steyns-autograph on January 29, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    uh... kallis?

    unlike the other three, kallis has played approx. half his matches on south african pitches which must surely be the most difficult to bat on in the world.

    sachin, an amazing batsman no doubt, had the advantage of playing half in india. and a great deal more on other subcontinental featherbeds. and we all know about his record in 4th innings.

    ponting never had to face mcgrath, warne etc. never conquered india, and is comprehensively outperformed by kallis statiscally.

    lara, the most inconsistent of the 4. again, comprehensively outperformed by kallis. high score of 400? so what? any flat track bully can do that (sehwag, jayawardene etc).

    it's got to be kallis. or tendulkar in his prime.

  • on January 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    top notch stuff ian !m :_) i agree 100%

  • peeeeet on January 29, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Ahh Mr Chappell, you have a way of stirring up the Indian fans don't you. But I like your honesty. People may bag you out on here for the comments you make, but the bottom line is you always say what you think at the time rather than what people might want you to say. I also feel for Kallis who always seems to get left out of these greatest modern batsmen conversations.

  • on January 29, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Tendulkar never compared himself with Don, Don only told his wife he is playing like me, Jealousy Aus people always change their comments time to time , when India thrashed last time aus in aus , every body praised , this time they have made pitch for them, Ponting how many double century scored in india ????? Dont compare with tenddulkar with any one , He is great in all forms , whether he is scoring.... or ... not.... Teacher can onllly judge student... for Tendulkar he is teacher... he can only judge himesslf....Still he is highest run getter against AUS..

  • bzzd on January 29, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Surely Ian Chappell, a cricketer I much admired, is forgetting Jacques Kallis in his comparison!!

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 29, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    Ponting by a long shot is the greatest modern batsman. Tendulkar can never be considered a great batsman because he never plays when the team needs him. His contribution was zero in Australian white wash this year and the English white wash last year.

  • on January 29, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    Ponting's so-called "remarkable resurgence" has been against a toothless Indian attack. There was nothing "fighting" about it double century (which he made in like 400 odd balls), he just cashed in on a flat track and an insipid bowling attack. He is really lucky to get such a chance when his career was almost about to end. In fact through out his career he had the good fortune of not having to face good bowlers. I do not remember him dominating any of the bowling greats (well Mc Grath and Warne were in his own team).

  • murli786 on January 29, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Ian, you have written better stuff before. And on several occasions you have talked about this topic on TV. I remember your interview with Harsha at the CCI, where you said ''should you put a gun on my head, i will pick Lara'''. The point i am trying to say is that this article shows you dont have much to talk. I am a huge fan of your analysis and i remember the cool ways you commented on air be it at 2008 Sydney or the 2005 Ashes at Edgbaston & Old Trafford.

    Please dont get sucked into writing inane stuff or key something just for the heck of getting paid. Value what you do because there are many who value your articles. Long back you wrote about Tendulkar -''mirror mirror on the wall'' and people berated you. Well, that was ok because you were the first to be bold to comment on Tendulkar's wane in batting. Of course, you were wrong, but that doesnt matter. Be original and please do not be repetitive.

  • on January 29, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    On his last visit four years ago, there were standing ovations at every venue from crowds that probably didn't expect to see him again. This time also we have seen same view across all venues he played, hoping that this could be his last test tour in Australia. I can bet my life on this that Sachin will return back again in next Australia tour. Believe it or not but he is Sachin and not any other cricketer.

  • chad_reid on January 29, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    lara is way better than both of them

  • on January 29, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Brian lara all the way!!!!!! but I do wish Sachin hurry it up on his 100th q100

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  • on January 29, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Brian lara all the way!!!!!! but I do wish Sachin hurry it up on his 100th q100

  • chad_reid on January 29, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    lara is way better than both of them

  • on January 29, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    On his last visit four years ago, there were standing ovations at every venue from crowds that probably didn't expect to see him again. This time also we have seen same view across all venues he played, hoping that this could be his last test tour in Australia. I can bet my life on this that Sachin will return back again in next Australia tour. Believe it or not but he is Sachin and not any other cricketer.

  • murli786 on January 29, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Ian, you have written better stuff before. And on several occasions you have talked about this topic on TV. I remember your interview with Harsha at the CCI, where you said ''should you put a gun on my head, i will pick Lara'''. The point i am trying to say is that this article shows you dont have much to talk. I am a huge fan of your analysis and i remember the cool ways you commented on air be it at 2008 Sydney or the 2005 Ashes at Edgbaston & Old Trafford.

    Please dont get sucked into writing inane stuff or key something just for the heck of getting paid. Value what you do because there are many who value your articles. Long back you wrote about Tendulkar -''mirror mirror on the wall'' and people berated you. Well, that was ok because you were the first to be bold to comment on Tendulkar's wane in batting. Of course, you were wrong, but that doesnt matter. Be original and please do not be repetitive.

  • on January 29, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    Ponting's so-called "remarkable resurgence" has been against a toothless Indian attack. There was nothing "fighting" about it double century (which he made in like 400 odd balls), he just cashed in on a flat track and an insipid bowling attack. He is really lucky to get such a chance when his career was almost about to end. In fact through out his career he had the good fortune of not having to face good bowlers. I do not remember him dominating any of the bowling greats (well Mc Grath and Warne were in his own team).

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 29, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    Ponting by a long shot is the greatest modern batsman. Tendulkar can never be considered a great batsman because he never plays when the team needs him. His contribution was zero in Australian white wash this year and the English white wash last year.

  • bzzd on January 29, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Surely Ian Chappell, a cricketer I much admired, is forgetting Jacques Kallis in his comparison!!

  • on January 29, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Tendulkar never compared himself with Don, Don only told his wife he is playing like me, Jealousy Aus people always change their comments time to time , when India thrashed last time aus in aus , every body praised , this time they have made pitch for them, Ponting how many double century scored in india ????? Dont compare with tenddulkar with any one , He is great in all forms , whether he is scoring.... or ... not.... Teacher can onllly judge student... for Tendulkar he is teacher... he can only judge himesslf....Still he is highest run getter against AUS..

  • peeeeet on January 29, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Ahh Mr Chappell, you have a way of stirring up the Indian fans don't you. But I like your honesty. People may bag you out on here for the comments you make, but the bottom line is you always say what you think at the time rather than what people might want you to say. I also feel for Kallis who always seems to get left out of these greatest modern batsmen conversations.

  • on January 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    top notch stuff ian !m :_) i agree 100%