Cricket's finest minds ponder the game's vital questions

Who's the next-best batsman after Bradman?

We all know who the greatest batsman of them all is, but who's second in line?

April 22, 2013

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Geoff Boycott


Jack Hobbs executes the pull, 1926
Jack Hobbs: a run machine everywhere © Getty Images
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In terms of figures and performances, making runs, and helping win matches, it has to be Don Bradman. The best. But the people in the era he played, think that on all types of pitches, and I repeat, on all types of pitches, John Berry Hobbs was the best player the world has ever seen.

Now, nobody can compete with Bradman on good batting pitches. His record is unbelievable. But you have to remember, right up to the 1970s, cricket was played on uncovered pitches in Test matches. In many of the hot countries, they didn't get much rain, so you hardly ever got a wet pitch - or a sticky dog, as they call it in Australia. But in places like New Zealand and England, where we get lots of rain, you never quite know what you are going to get. The pitches would be juicy. Even if they were not wet, the grass would make the ball move around.

Hobbs played 61 Tests. Remember, only England, Australia and South Africa played then. He averaged 56.94. It doesn't even come close to Bradman's 99.94. He played his first Test in 1907-08 and his last one in 1930.

He was the oldest of 12 children. He taught himself the game by actually using a cricket stump and a tennis ball in the fives court - which is very much like a squash court - at Jesus College, Cambridge, where his father was the groundsman and umpire for the college. With no formal coaching, Hobbs practised on his own through the long vacations, hitting the ball with a stump. He said in his autobiography, years later, that this was responsible for his ability to play predominantly off the back foot and to place the ball accurately.

I think this simple practice laid a wonderful foundation. As a boy Hobbs watched the older boys playing cricket at the college and tried to pick up things. He had no formal coaching; he became a natural batsman with hand-eye coordination and footwork, the neat, quick footwork you need to hit a tennis ball with a stump on a fives court.

This, to me, is what made him a great player on all sorts of pitches, where the ball turned alarmingly, where it jumped when it was wet. It was fascinating when I read that the greatest batsman ever, Bradman, born a few years later, used the same method as a child when he was growing up in Bowral on the other side of the world. When you think about it, Bradman hitting a golf ball with a cricket stump was making the same type of cricket match for himself as Hobbs was doing on the other side of the world.

Hobbs was more or less brought up on the principle laid down by the first great batsman, WG Grace, which was to get the left leg forward to the length of the ball and the right foot right back to the short ball. That's how Hobbs played, from Grace's way of playing and by watching his elders. He made his first-class debut for Surrey in 1905 and scored 197 hundreds.

He is known to have been the best player anybody has ever seen. Now how do I know this? I never saw him play, but I've read so much about him by the doyen writers of the day, who wrote about the way Hobbs played and what he did, and the batsmen of that era who talked about him.

Hobbs had never played on matting wickets when he went to South Africa for the first time to play. The ball turned alarmingly on matting pitches there, but in five Test matches in 1909-10, he worked it out and scored 539 runs at an average of 67. The key is not the 67. It's that it's double the average of the next four run-makers for England - George Thompson, Frank Woolley, Lucky Denton and Wilfred Rhodes. They averaged 33, 32, 26 and 25.

He more than doubled their averages, which showed how good he was compared to everybody else, which is how we rate Bradman. We look at how many players average 50 in Test cricket and they are the iconic greats of our era. Yet Bradman averaged twice as much.

Hobbs' nickname was "The Master", because he played on all types of pitches. He had a great opening partnership with Herbert Sutcliffe of Yorkshire. They were fantastic players on sticky pitches, when it rained overnight and the ball jumped. At The Oval in 1926. In Melbourne two years later, they just played out of this world.

Hobbs was just an outstanding player. Wilfred Rhodes, the great allrounder of the time for Yorkshire and England, said, "He was the greatest batsman of my time. I learnt a lot from him when we went in first together for England. He had a cricket brain, and the position of his feet as he met the ball was perfect. He could have scored thousands more runs, but often he was content to throw his wicket away when he had reached his hundred and give someone else a chance."

Sutcliffe, who formed the greatest opening partnership ever for England with Hobbs, said: "I was his partner on many occasions on extremely bad wickets and I can say this without any doubt that he was the most brilliant exponent of all time and quite the best batsman of my generation on all types of pitches. On good wickets, I do believe that pride of place be given to Sir Donald Bradman."

Jack Fingleton played with Bradman and became a great writer. He wrote, "Although figures indicate the greatness of Hobbs, they don't convey the grandeur of his batting, his faultless technique and the manner in which he could captivate those who could recognise and analyse style. Australians who played against him believe cricket never produced a more correct batsman but it is well to note Hobbs' claim that he never had an hour's coaching in his life. He was a self-taught cricketer, observing, thinking, and executing for himself." Very interesting, that.

And the great doyen writer of the time, Neville Cardus, wrote: "Immediately the bowler begins his run, Hobbs seems to have some instinct of what manner of ball is on the way. Rarely does he move his feet to an incorrect position. His footwork is so quick that even from behind the nets it is not always possible to follow its movement in detail."

Mouth-watering stuff, eh? What a player he must have been.

As told to Siddhartha Talya. Geoff Boycott scored 8114 runs in 108 Tests for England between 1964 and 1982

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Suresh Menon


Sachin Tendulkar bats in India's second innings at the SCG, Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2012
Tendulkar: a post-modern batting giant © Getty Images
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All things considered - longevity, domination in more than one format, stamp on more grounds in more countries around the world, pressures of travel and media - there is an argument for placing Sachin Tendulkar above Don Bradman in the pantheon. Bradman played 52 international matches over 20 years, at an average of 2.6 matches per year. Tendulkar's combined total of 662 international matches in 25 years means he has played an average of 26.5 matches annually. While Bradman played on just ten grounds in two countries, Tendulkar has played on 105 grounds in 16 countries. As CLR James said in another context, "You need not build on these figures a monument, but you cannot ignore them."

But, for the purposes of this piece, these are side issues. As is the fact that an entire new approach to bowling - Bodyline - was invented just to check one batsman, and even then Bradman averaged 56 for the series.

In any case, Bradman is too firmly entrenched in our collective consciousness to concede ground to any other batsman, however Bradmanesque his record. That 99.94 alone is a conversation-stopper.

The best after Bradman? Averages and statistics are one way to go. Then there is the modern concept of "impact". Once the cricketing criteria are discussed, there is the matter of what the player meant to his country psychologically. An Australia emerging from the Depression needed a Bradman as salve; so too did an India emerging from economic backwardness need a Tendulkar as symbol and aspirational figure.

Among those who would challenge Tendulkar for the No. 2 spot, the Jamaican George Headley alone possibly carried that burden, not so much economic as cultural and political as the rising hero in a region beginning to establish its own identity.

But divorced of history, sociology, even context and seen as pure batsmen of their time and place, there are surprisingly few who are in or around what the mathematician GH Hardy referred to as the "Bradman class".

WG Grace, Ranjitsinhji, Jack Hobbs, Victor Trumper, Vijay Merchant - how can we ever judge their skills and compare them to one another? We are defeated by time and place; statistics seem a weak tool.

It becomes a little easier when Bradman is used as the cut-off, as the player who, in the words of Cardus "brings to an extensive technique the modern outlook on cricket". That was written in 1930, when Bradman made 974 runs in a single series, a mark that has not been bettered.

And then came (in no particular order), Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Greg Chappell, Ricky Ponting, Sunil Gavaskar, Tendulkar. The post-moderns, if you will, who batted with authority over a long period and carried the flag for batsmanship. Forget the caveats (covered wickets, better equipment, changing laws biased towards batsmen), consider only the evolution of the craft. Later generations start from a place where previous generations left off.

From that list, the only challenger to Tendulkar's pre-eminence is Sobers, probably the greatest cricket player of all time, the man who could do everything including keep wickets, bowl two styles of left-arm spin and as fast as anyone else when he took the new ball.

Yet as a batsman, Tendulkar, both orthodox and creative, explored deeper and in greater detail the possibilities inherent in playing a leather ball with a wooden implement. His was the wicket most coveted since Bradman's by bowlers. Above all, there was the endorsement from the Don himself, who saw in Tendulkar the man who came closest to his own style of batting.

Bradman retired in 1948. Sixty-five years later, the game has changed so much that it is difficult to believe a single player can dominate it to quite the extent he did. Yet, Tendulkar, in a career spanning nearly a quarter of a century has done exactly that. He is the don of the post-Bradman era.

Suresh Menon is editor, Wisden India Almanack

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Mike Coward


Sachin Tendulkar drives down the ground, India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 2nd day, February 23, 2013
Tendulkar's figures would have enthused Bradman © BCCI
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Don Bradman was a pedant and a stickler for courtesy and convention, so he would not have appreciated anyone, especially someone attached to the fourth estate, second-guessing who he thought to be in his league as a batsman.

Furthermore, as a virtual recluse late in his long life, he had a well-known aversion to the listing of the best players and the naming of best XIs and the like, although it is true that one such compilation surprisingly appeared under his name.

So the age-old question of who is the best batsman after the Don has currency for yet another generation.

He may not have liked subjective exercises of this nature but, wittingly or not, as far back as 1950, Bradman prepared a template to assist our judgement. In Farewell to Cricket, one of his five books on the game, he observed: "Figures are not entirely conclusive, especially short-term figures, but it is difficult to avoid their significance if a man produces them year after year against every type of opponent and under all conceivable conditions."

Visionary he may have been but not even Bradman could have imagined the dimension and complexity of cricket's New World and that the rival for his mantle as the game's pre-eminent batsman would hail from the Indian megatropolis of Mumbai.

Sachin Tendulkar has irrefutable claims to the distinction. He is the Bradman of his day, of the New Age.

It is well documented that Tendulkar is deeply embarrassed by any comparison with Bradman and deftly steers any such conversation in another direction. At the same time he is proud that his style and success evoked in Bradman memories of his salad days. That Lady Bradman also clearly saw the comparisons delighted the Don. And Arthur Morris and Neil Harvey, the only survivors of Bradman's undefeated Invincibles to England in 1948, also are of the view that Tendulkar is the only player they have seen to rival their master and mentor. This counts for a great deal.

If only we knew what was said when Tendulkar, cannily chaperoned by Shane Warne, visited Bradman at his home in Holden Street, Kensington Park, South Australia to wish him a happy 90th birthday in August 1998.

There are, of course, inherent dangers in making comparisons and judgements across the ages, and ideally this debate should always extend beyond a comparative study of the exploits of Bradman and Tendulkar.

That said there are issues that must be addressed given Bradman's conviction that the significance of certain figures cannot be avoided if they are produced year after year against every type of opponent and under all conceivable conditions.

For all his greatness and his mind-numbing average of 99.94, it must be remembered Bradman played his entire 52-Test match career on uncovered pitches at ten grounds in Australia and England, over a 20-year-period ruptured by World War Two. He only toured England - on doctor's advice he was unavailable for the tour of South Africa in 1935-36 - and played at home against England, West Indies, South Africa and India.

As a point of interest Tendulkar's first ten Tests were played on different grounds outside India and completed four months after his 17th birthday.

At the time of writing Tendulkar is in his 24th year in the international arena and had played 198 Test matches on 59 Test match grounds in 14 countries, if you respect the sovereignty of the constituents of the West Indies Cricket Board. He has complemented this with 463 one-day internationals and captivated crowds everywhere with 100 international hundreds and an imposing Test average of 53.86.

These are remarkable statistics that provide some measure of Tendulkar's greatness - figures that would have enthused the Don.

Tendulkar has complemented his unique and thrilling batsmanship with exemplary courage, sturdiness, discipline, adaptability, consistency and resilience, which are admired by his contemporaries and, indeed, his predecessors the world over. Keen of mind, intensely competitive, intuitive and self-effacing, he is, in his 40th year, still blessed with a boyish and infectious enthusiasm that has uplifted all of us who love the glorious game.

Like Bradman before him, Tendulkar has taken the art of batting to new and unimagined heights and made the cricket world a better place.

Mike Coward is an Australian writer who is establishing the interview archive at the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame

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Garry Sobers cuts on his way to an unbeaten 150, England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Lord's, 2nd day, August 24, 1973
Garry Sobers: did cricket plenty of good © Getty Images
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Ian Chappell

Sir Garfield Sobers is easily the best cricketer I've ever seen, and if you're not convinced, then accept the opinion of the next best allrounder, Keith Miller, who once declared: "Best batsman of all time - Bradman. Best cricketer of all time - Garry Sobers."

Sobers is also the best batsman I've ever seen. Just like he could do everything on the field - bowl three different styles, take brilliant catches and throw down the stumps regularly - he was also a great all-round batsman. I rate him just ahead of another fine left-hander, South Africa's Graeme Pollock, on the basis that Sobers hooked and Pollock didn't.

In a 1960-61 tour match, one of Australia's fastest bowlers bounced Sobers and followed up with a stream of invective. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Sobers responded casually: "You're not fast enough to bowl bouncers."

With smoke coming out of his ears the quickie delivered his fastest bouncer and Sobers hit it like a rocket in front of square leg. Having completed the swivel that follows a well-executed hook shot, Sobers looked the bowler in the eye and said: "See, I told you you're not quick enough to bowl that stuff."

I had the good fortune to play with Sobers in my late teens and then against him in the international arena. On a few occasions for South Australia he was awoken from sleep on the masseur's table with his pads on. He would simply shake his head, grab his bat and gloves and stroll to the middle to do battle. He wasn't a believer in early-to-bed-and-no-strong-drink but it rarely seemed to even up the on-field contest.

I only once saw him bat in a cap for South Australia. It was the maroon West Indies cap, in a game against the touring South Africans. He went out and flayed the tourists in making a century. Years later in a Barbados bar I quizzed him: "Garry, why did you ask Les Favell [SA captain] if you could wear the West Indies cap that day against South Africa?"

He took a sip of his Banks beer. "Ian," he laughed, "at that stage they hadn't seen a West Indies cap [because of apartheid] and I thought it was time they had a good long look at one."

For fans who didn't see Sobers play, he could be every bit as destructive as Viv Richards or Adam Gilchrist, but he was technically superior. He completed the demolition job with less risk. Because he was so successful there, it's assumed he batted at six, but in his early career he was either at three or four. His record over a significant number of innings in those positions is better than lower in the order on both average and strike rate. He was a born No. 4 but he could bat anywhere with equal flair. He chose to move down to No. 6 once he became captain and took on a greater bowling load.

He's one of only three players, Jack Gregory and Keith Miller being the others (and Imran Khan a borderline fourth), who were genuine new-ball bowlers and batted high in the order. Jacques Kallis is close but he doesn't qualify as a genuine new-ball bowler.

Sobers' name appears on most run-scoring graphics, but this one time a commentator chose to highlight another player. "There's Geoff Boycott," he said, "a great player."

I challenged him off air. "Boycott played for himself and averaged 47," I said. "Sobers played every second for the good of cricket and he averaged 58. That's a great player."

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

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Martin Crowe


Sunil Gavaskar drives down the ground, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 3rd day, June 12, 1982
Sunil Gavaskar: passed the ultimate trial by fire © PA Photos
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Donald George Bradman. Australia. Greatest Ever Batsman. Just rolls off the tongue, easy peasy. Question is, who comes next behind the great man? Daylight? No, a bit flippant. So how do we decide? Let me name four candidates from four different eras and then make a decision.

Do I need to go back to the start, to the 19th century? Not really, cricket was a bit raw back then. So how about we start with Bradman's era? Does this first candidate's name start with an H? It does, but it's not Hammond, it's George Headley, the Black Bradman, from the West Indies.

Headley over Hammond because he scored a century exactly every four innings, Hammond one nearly every seven. So Headley's ratio was closer to Bradman's than anyone else. Also similar to the Don was Headley's mindset. He spent a lot of time visualising what he wanted. He often didn't sleep prior to a match, so when he got to the middle he was calm and relaxed. Headley is the first candidate.

Next era is 20 years on and another West Indian, Garry Sobers, the flamboyant, brilliant left-hander from Barbados. It's not so much the record, which is lofty, but the way in which he played and dominated. Like Bradman, he was the best of his day. He succeeded in all conditions and in all situations. He scored big, he scored fast, he scored consistent Test centuries, one every six innings, on top of his all-round duties. Sobers is candidate No. 2.

Moving on to the next 20 years and to the batsmen who faced the might of the greatest fast-bowling attack ever, the vaunted West Indian big men. This was the hardest assignment of all: to survive, attack and conquer this uncompromising blitz of short fast bowling. The man to do it best was Sunil Gavaskar from India. Roberts, Garner, Holding, Croft, and Marshall - the little master stood up to them and scored seven* fine centuries against them, amongst his 34 Test hundreds overall. Gavaskar pips Viv Richards and Greg Chappell from that era for that one reason alone, that he passed the hardest exam, a test not even Viv would have topped. Gavaskar is candidate No. 3.

Twenty more years on, the final man is easily found; it's the other little Indian master, Sachin Tendulkar. Bradman himself thought Tendulkar looked the most like him - high praise indeed. Tendulkar continues to show us why. The greatest run-scorer, century-maker and household name, he is candidate No. 4.

So who will it be: Headley, Sobers, Gavaskar or Tendulkar? It's almost impossible to know where to start, to start removing anyone of these unbelievable batsmen. So I will add a new premise to finding the next best after Bradman. It is who would be the ideal batting partner to join Bradman? After all, isn't batting all about the partnership? So if you had the right-handed Bradman at one end, who would you want to see join him to bat with? Or if you were a bowler, who would you prefer not to see?

I have my answer. I believe the greatest batting partnership you could ever wish to lay your eyes on would be Don Bradman and Garry Sobers, the greatest left-hander of all time. The Australian and the West Indian; the short, fast-moving run machine and the tall, languid, carefree freak. The ideal contrasting yet complementary pair.

So there it is, close your eyes and dream the dream, Bradman and Sobers batting together at Lord's on a great pitch, with the sun blazing down on a full house. Enjoy it. It's heavenly.

*The number of centuries Gavaskar scored against Marshall, Holding, Croft, Roberts and Garner (facing at least one of the five in each match) has been corrected from nine to seven

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late '80s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

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Posted by ZA77 on (April 25, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

Special batsmen were fulfilling their required criteria for their era. Like Sutcliff, if you were weak against leg break, your survival was almost impossible. But on contra hand, quality fast bowlers were not there. For Bradman, two, three off breaks were there in career. But quality fast and fast medium bowling were almost absent. Obtaining same statistic does not mean that both bowlers of different era have same abilities. Grimmett (3 deliveries) and Warne (at least six different deliveries) almost have same statistic but Grimmett bowling average was more than 30 against England. In those days, you had to face hardly six to eight different type of deliveries per attack but now at least 12 - 15 (3- 4 special one like doosra of Saeed etc) different deliveries including stock balls of different bowlers too. So I think comparison of 99.94 with 53.86 is not possible. Here we should apply theory of evaluation in which bowling attacks are improving with having several types of deliveries.

Posted by SG70 on (April 25, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

(contd) show you 100s of players who dont make it to the Test level after having played FC cricket (Never mind Club cricket which is the standard of cricket from Bradmans time when evaluated impartially with benefit of Hindsight) . The best examples of people who couldnt cut it at the Test level are Hicks, Ramprakash, Kambli, Lehman etc.

Boycott is not like a impartial angel. At other times he has hailed Sobers as the best . I cant believe people buy what these "Experts" say at face value. He cant ofcourse get into the nitty gritty for obvious reasons but if you could have a private discussion where he can speak freely he might tell a different story and he will most certainly get stuck trying to explain Hobbs foortwork. Again go watch it at Britishpathe. It tells the story like no one else can. Dont believe your eyes? Then try to drive like Hobbs with both legs in air and the front leg at 40 degrees & "FEEL" the oddity. You will then realize how your theory is a non-starter.

Posted by SG70 on (April 25, 2013, 18:35 GMT)

@BillyCC I never said batting standard has remained same. Infact I say the opposite i.e much high. Ditto with Bowling and Fielding too. You can twist as much as you want but this is the cold hard truth. People dont say these things out of respect but someone needs to call a spade-a-spade.

The problem here is you have simply assumed that facing Bowes and Co is same as Amby and Co because their Bowling avgs are about the same and overall Batting avgs are in the same ballpark. This flies in the face of cricketing logic. Why ? Because Bowlers like Bowes,Tate etc will not get into some decent clubs these days. Even Boycott agrees that bowling standards are far better these days. Just go look at his best 11 bowlers. Hence for the modern batsman it would be very very easy to face bowlers from the 30s bowling according to 30s rules and conditions and equipment. So you need to prove that it is easier to step up to the next level than it is to go many levels up. I can literally (contd)

Posted by   on (April 25, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

When batting against a good bowler what do a batsman do? He playes him out and score against the not so good bowler. Just food for thought. Impliment this when next time you say that a player scored against the great bowlers. When playing in Aus, SA and England, when did the person get his runs First day or after that when pitch were flatter. How was the conditions on that wicket. Not all wickets in these contries are seaming bouncy wickets.

Posted by   on (April 25, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

When we say tendulkar has played on all kinds of wickets just remember is is always dry and good to bat on. And when he played in asia where he played most of his games batting was not that difficult. During warne's time Australia also prepaired wickets to suit his bowling, Its only on certain wickets in australia where there was more bounce. Still my feeling is wickets today is easier than when the pioneers played. I still also maintain that you cant compare players from then to now. New shots were seen and practiced. Nobody knows how a bradman, a hobbs, a suthcliff would have been against this bowlers. Would they have been what they were. Its still hand eye cordination. When bradman played someone in table tennis he lost then practiced hard and next time he won. What does that tell you about the man. Don bradman was a great batsman who were way above his peers. Tendulkar are averaging 54 now and in that area there is about 6 to 8 batsmen. they are just as good as he is.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 25, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Why peer comparison is so important. When any field starts, it is very easy to obtain top positions as system has defects and some people can advantage of it. Now cricket has been played with ten countries with professionalism so chances of getting more telent is more as compare to cricket playing before world war II with amatuer players. Mainly two teams were there so how many peers had chances to compare themselves with Bradman as overall pool was very small. Take example of Headley he had to face prime attack of Australia as well 37.33 but when came to England his overall average was 71.23, overall average decline due to Australia. Sutcliffe batting average 66.85 due to three leg break bowlers, he lost his wickets 22 times to them. But he also had not played quality fast bowlers. But facing two leg breaks in timeless matches are becoming very difficult to survive. Overall (65 + 62 overs) equal to 763 balls it means almost 127 overs.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 25, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

@SG70, the biggest flaw in your reasoning is that you think batting quality has stayed the same throughout the ages but bowling quality has suddenly exploded out of nowhere after the 1950s and 60s. That is utterly and completely wrong. The value of a run today is more or less the same as the value of a run in Bradman's era. Otherwise, why would Boycott name Hobbs as the second best batsmen of all time. Why are Hutton, Hammond, McCabe, and Ponsford talked about as great batsmen if their runs were not worth anything? I say more or less valuable because there have been periods when run scoring was more difficult. At the elite level during the era of the Windies quicks, Pakistani quicks and Indian spin bowlers, Chappell averaged 53, Gavaskar a touch less, Miandad about the same etc. This is about 4 to 5 runs less than the greatest players of other eras. It certainly doesn't explain a 40 run per innings gap no matter how you slice and dice it.

Posted by jay57870 on (April 25, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

Geoff - Obviously the "best batsman ever" debate is far from settled! Per Boycott, Jack Hobbs was the "best player the world has ever seen" when considering (he repeats) "all types of pitches". And "nobody can compete with Bradman" when considering "good batting pitches". Clearly Geoff's opinion is openly split (& contradictory)! Both played Tests in familiar Eng & Oz (add SA for Hobbs): A very small & cozy world! So how in the world can they be called the best ever? By inserting an "in his era" qualifier! So how about the modern era? It's a whole new big world out there - complex & demanding - 3 forms, 24x7 scheduling, intense competition & (yes) extremely differing pitches & weather! It raises a whole new debate - especially when Sachin Tendulkar's name inevitably crops up! His international record todate: 34,273 runs & 100 tons on 105 grounds in 16 nations over 23 years! All before age 40! Frankly, isn't he the "best batsman ever" based on the "all types of pitches" standard, Geoff?

Posted by BillyCC on (April 25, 2013, 0:58 GMT)

There are a lot of people referring to the 1990s as the period when Sachin dominated. Some come up with stats that he was 8 runs per innings better than the next best (which by the way is still 32 runs per innings short of what someone else has done). The point though is, what is so special about 1990-1999. Nothing really, it just happens to miss out Steve Waugh's golden year of 1989. If we did the analysis from 1989 to 1998, then Waugh averages 56.3 and Tendulkar averages about 2 runs per innings less. One might say that is unfair to Sachin because he debuted in 1989. Fine, let's take the next logical starting point which is 1995 to 2004. This was when Kallis and Ponting debuted and Sachin had a six year head start. Kallis and Ponting are about 4.5 runs per innings shy of Tendulkar even with the debut effect. This is hardly a compelling case for Tendulkar being miles ahead of the next best. The 1990-1999 is pure coincidence.

Posted by IPSY on (April 24, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Sir Geoffery, Based on my earlier reasons, I can't see how anyone can ever rate Tendulkar over Gavascar who battled against the likes of Thomo, Lilee, Roberts, Holding, Croft, Garner, Marshall, et al, in just his national cap or his sun hat. Neither is SRT better than Mohinda Armanath and some others who played in Bishen Sing Bedi's team, when Bedi surrendered a test match to the WI team in Jamaica, because of fearsome fast bowling, on a pitch that was giving WI fast bowlers some good help at Sabina Park! Let SRT ask about those kinds of experiences, when fans are jokingly telling him that he's better than those really tough players! I can't see how anyone can rate any modern batsman with an average less than 60 now, over any batsman who played before 1980 and has an average of 50+, with the exception of Viv Richards who refused to bat in any helmet. In fact, I think since Lara retired, only Sangakkara and Cook to some extent, who are taking advantage of modern tech with big scores.

Posted by IPSY on (April 24, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Geoff, You've made a very solid case for Hobbs here. Some crazy heads say that modern technology puts the modern batsman at a greater disadvantage than those of yesteryear. They totally forget that the reason why the said modern technology was introduced was to make cricket, which was one of the most DANGEROUS games, a much safer and more comfortable experience for players. Hence, instead of 22 yards of uneven surfaces, littered with all sorts of pot holes, shallow gullies, knolls, etc. - don't talk of batting on them after a shower of rain, we now have grounds-men meticulously preparing pitches, as if they're hotel beds for batsmen to sleep on. And instead of just their cap, or white sun hat, you see people like SRT garbed like an astronaut, every time he goes out to bat, in his helmet and all sorts of other protective paraphernalia, against even the tamest spin bowler! Yet he can only muster an avge of 53 in all that comfort and safety. But some fans rate him over Gavascar! Nonsense!

Posted by IPSY on (April 24, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

nav84, All that the stats that I presented to compare SRT and Lara demonstrates to the world is: Even though SRT started to play test cricket before Lara, and also competed against him during his entire career, at the end of the 2006 cricket season when Lara ended his test match career, even though SRT had played more matches and batted in more inngs than Lara, Lara had scored a whopping1300+ runs more than SRT, at a better average. You don't need to do any complicated "MATHS" exercise to work out this. It is arrived at by simple kindergarten "COUNTING" - tha is, adding and subtracting. Or, you can also find out by reading and "UNDERSTANDING" the stats that are recorded by any cricket record keeping agency such as Cricinfo. Also, Lara was repeatedly rated over SRT on a yearly basis, by the modern method used to rate batsmen, teams, bowlers, etc.; but I will never be that insane and try to rate Lara over Bradman! What I do know, as the figures show, is that Lara is way ahead of SRT!

Posted by kristee on (April 24, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

I think Ponting's 30 hundreds from some 375 ODIs to be very special, considering he was a middle order player. Oz had great openers and he too often came to the crease quite number of overs into the match and especially thereby being deprived of the powerplays.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

@Sindbad No......Not all batsmen get equal opportunity to score runs and batting at no 4 or 5 in a odi is not the same as opening. The first 3 gets the best opportunity en most balls to score big. After batting slowly the presure is put on the middle order thus opportunity is not great for averaging high as you have to take more risks. Do you really think about what you are writting?Take your god and see the difference in his scoring in the middle order and opening. test you get more time and can leave good balls.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

Why do you drag down legends to prove that another legend is better?Don Bradman, sobers, suthcliff, dravid, kallis, lara, viv, and all the others are great players just as india's players. To belittle bradman to push tendulkar is just foolish and childish. If Don Bradman played now with all the help en technology would he have been the same? No one knows. He could have been even better. All I know is he was better than those that played with him and outscored them by 40 on average. He must have been very special. What if he played for that 6 years of WW2, he might have scored another20 100's. I'm a fan of sunny. To me he is one of the best openers. I rate him above any player from India. I don't count ODI's as it is easy to score runs as all ODI pitches are roads and you don't need skill to score on those. Those players in the middle order have to score quickly and are prone to get out and not score lots of 100's becuase of limited exposure. Test cricket is the true measure of greatnes

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

Also , any comparison of modern day batsmen is incomplete without including ODI performances. If ODIs are relatively so easy why do most top batsmen avg. higher in Tests than ODIs ?

Posted by kristee on (April 24, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

I remember even Indian commentators being so dismissive about comparing Gavaskar to Richards. But then that was a time when better sense prevailed in cricket. I don't feel Tendulkar and Lara looking much different from that respective pattern. Perhaps WI's decline too might have influenced the mood.

Posted by Zsam on (April 24, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

@Prashant, I suppose you were mentioning me, Both Lara and Sachin's figures indicate some real softening up by these marquee bowlers. This is what fast bolwing is supposed to do.Only McGrath seems to have been tamed by Lara and that is reflective in the avg of 47 in 44 inngs as compared to Sachin who has 36,in 18inngs.You cannot forget that even Sachin never got hold of McGrath.For Pakistan with 2 Ws and Imran, again both avg. in early 30s,Sachin 32 in 11 inngs, he batted, and Lara avg 30 in 13 inngs. .Again with DONALD, Sachin avg. 32 in 20 INNGS and Lara 34 in 20 inngs.Not exactly all time stuff.I wonder how these two would have fared during the 70s and 80s era. The innings here are not one or two but long enough to suggest a pattern, so who took who's wkt alone does not tell the tale of stress and duress.If Donald doesn't big up Sachin, do you think he'll be let off by the desi media to land any job in India at all, considering how touchy we are about him!

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

@Vijay Vinayak .........based on your logic of batting higher is tougher then Sachin Batted higher than Dravid in ODI ................Now plz new white ball also swings & bounces more than old one & scoring in power plays is tougher for avg batsman as proven from poor batting stats in batting power plays taken in 30 th over bcz no short singles available.........Sachin's performance in middle order is also far superior to Dravid with avg 42 & S/R 82 compared to Dravid's 39 &70

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

I recall a long back - must be around 15 years ago now . Gavaskar was commentating on a Tendulkar match . He said something to the effect - " Not only is Tendulkar going to break all records. Those records are going to be written with a Golden pen"....So True. Almost every stroke and run of Tendulkars' is a work of Art in itself.

Posted by prashant1 on (April 24, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

@Meety. And in matches against SA "Involving" Donald , Cronje got Tendulkar almost as often. Donald has always maintained that Tendulkar is far and away the best - That's the way it goes sometimes. But ,as mentioned- you prefer to continue to be naughty and reveal a lack of proper cricketing knowledge by picking and choosing as you see fit.

Posted by harshthakor on (April 24, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

Personally,I wish Geoff chose a batsman he saw in real life.In the majority of the xi's chosen by famous cricketers in Richard Sydenham's book the players selected were those the cricketer himself saw or played with or against.Infact certain players did not even place Bradman or Sobers as they had not seen them.Others only included these 2 but excluded many greats who they had not seen.

For genius on bad tracks the ultimate champion was Victor Trumper,a better batsman than even Bradman on wet tracks.George Headley was even better than the Don on wet pitches.

The most questioning point is how Hobbs would cope against short-pitched fast bowing,at what speed he would accumulate runs and above all adjust to the modern versions of the game.Hobbs would have found modern wickets docile,the standard of bowling on par but not been able to as mercilessly dominate bowling like Viv Richards.

Ist class cricket cannot equal test cricket whatever the high standard of English county cricket.

Posted by prashant1 on (April 24, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

@Meety - Your logic is "illlogical" .Lara avg. more against Eng/Aus than he did against NZ/SL in the 1990s. And inspite of his signature series vs. Aus at home in 1999 where he was dropped at least once in each of his hundreds, Tendulkar avg. better against Aus than Lara.

Posted by Meety on (April 24, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

@prashant1 on (April 23, 2013, 16:02 GMT) "...SL had Murali,Vaas etc..." - well the ect includes great bowlers like Wickramasinghe (3rd most prolific SL bowle of the 90sr) - with 75 wickets @ 43, Pushpakumara with 52 @ 37, Dhamasena 50 @ 38.No Lankan bowler of the 1990s (with 10 wickets or more) had a strike rate below 61! Sanath Jayusurya was the 9th most prolific bowler for SL in the 1990s & Aravinda deSilva was 11th!!!!!!!!! This is part of the reason behind Sachins high average in the 90s, 40+% of his matches were in that decade were aginst SL, Zim & NZ. @ DavisL on (April 23, 2013, 12:10 GMT) "...34000 international runs and 100 international hundreds cannot be pushed aside as if it were nothing..." Yes great achievement over the course of 780 innings (327 of which are Tests). Had Bradman played 327 Test innings, he would have 118 Test tons with NO allowance for ODIs & 20/20s & scored 28,596 Test runs - again no allowance for ODIs. Add 400 ODIs = 44,596 - not inc 20/20!

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 22:22 GMT)

@Zsam on (April 23, 2013, 15:47 GMT) - Gavaskar was a great batsmen - I have NOT bagged him (or for that matter any other great). Gavaskar's best against the WIndies happenned before the emergence of the WI pace battery. That said he was still brilliant against them - particularly in comparison to everyone else. I remember Gavaskar was almost immovable in Oz in 85/86 - somehow Oz scraped a drawn series. @prashant1 on (April 23, 2013, 16:02 GMT) - firstly Bangladesh didn't play in the 90s (thats a FACT). Secondly - so you say Cairns & Nash & Vettori are great bowlers? Thirdly - the fact remains that if you exclude Zimbabwe, NZ & SL hardly beat anyone but each other in the 90s.

Posted by kristee on (April 23, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Actually I'd love to see someone establish Tendulkar is better than Sir Don. For that'd automatically mean at least a dozen, if not more, favorites of mine are better than Don.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

Ridiculous!!! I can say the least..... come on!!! ppl are obsessed with Mr. Sachin Tendulkar. What is the criteria for best batsman?? just scoring CENTURIES?? huh!!! Rahul Dravid and Kallis will never be considered or discussed about. People always forget that Dravid batted one number higher up the order than sachin and always weathered the bowling and made it easy to sachin. No one can deny this fact. Dravid is the ONLY batsman in the history of TEST CRICKET to have scored a CENTURY in all "TEST PLAYING NATIONS" what more you need than this to consider as one of the best if not the best. Plz grow up and just dont go by the pulse of the common people. Dravid has played lot more match winning innings than Tendulkar.

Posted by SG70 on (April 23, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

@meety

So the top bowlers from Bradmans times were only about 4.5 % less effective than the top bowlers of SRT's time ehh ?

Which means that bowlers like Bowes and Bedser ( the two Bowlers with the lowest avgs in Dons time ) were only 4.5% off from Ambrose and Donald ehh ?

Just look at the brazen manner in which you have abused stats with total disregard to cricketing logic and context. There exists absolutely *NOBODY* from Dons time that is even remotely in the same country code as Amby ,Donald, Steyn, W's etc etc etc when it comes to absolute fast bowling skills overall. Don't take my word. Just ask any neutral fan who knows his fast bowling. To pretend otherwise is just being dishonest.

@BillyCC : the biggest flaw in your logic of comparing Batting/Bolwing Avgs across the eras is in the assumption that the value of a run scored against Bowes (the bowler with lowest Avg in Dons time) is the same as that against Ambrose. This is just utterly and completely wrong

Posted by prashant1 on (April 23, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

@Meety - as others have mentioned NZ had Cairns, Nash, Vettori, Morrison. NZ had Murali,Vaas etc.. Infact Lara avg. better against Eng,Aus than NZ in the 1990s. And Waugh avg. better against Eng,SA than NZ. So pls stop picking and choosing your configurations to suit your means. The fact of the matter is that only Ban and Zim would classify as minnows...Also Tendulkar avg. better than Lara vs. Aus in the 1990s , the dominant team of the generation.

Posted by prashant1 on (April 23, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

@Meety - Sheer nonsense again. And a copy/paste from another poster. You cannot pick and choose so-called minnows as is your want. SL had Murali,Vaas etc. There have been a lot of rebuttals of your copy/paste response. Pls scroll down. The FACT is excluding Ban and Zim ,the only teams which could be termed minnows in the 1990s at least, Tendulkar was 15% better than the "next best" for a decade...Bitter pill to swallow for you I realize - but tough luck.

Posted by Zsam on (April 23, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

contd: hanif's 499 and his 336 vs WI, which I only read on this website, and never saw. But this one is the only 2nd innings triple ton, ever scored and that even saved a match. I assume here that he must have had both Sachin like consistency and Lara like big innings propensity. He seems to be the amalgamation of both these 90s dominant players. In my humble opinion, it is Gavaskar from India and Hanif from Pakistan who are the best from the subcont ever. Now who to place above in this hierarchy. I would say, that though Hanif has some big scores to back him up, but not many centuries, though his scores very significant in some match outcomes, however SG through a larger portfolio, that also included being at one time, the only batsman worth removing to castle India, scores over the senior little master. Gavaskar it is. And I don't mean it due to partisan passions.

Posted by Zsam on (April 23, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

@Meety, Gavaskar scored when the bowling attacks were the best in any generation, and he was a master of pace and spin. compared to him Sachin has never matched Sunil in facing the best pacers of his era. As mentioned in my previous posts Sachin measures 32 vs Imran and 2Ws, 34 vs Donald and somethingl like 36 vs McGrath. Same is the case with Lara. Though both of them played in the helmet with vizors era, yet could not achieve over 40 avgs against the best pace attacks of their era. They only dominated after the retirements of these greats. Read my previous posts. Gavaskar on the other hand, was of a different mettle. 13/34 tons vs WI and some against the 4 pace battery, others vs Lillee, Jeff and Imran. What else do you need. Gavaskar must be the best opening bat ever. Certainly the best from India. not sure why you do not feel this should be the case vis a vis Sachin. But another cricketer who I feel has not been given his due is Hanif M of Pakistan. His 499 that stood for a contd

Posted by kristee on (April 23, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

Sounding smart and reasoning well seem entirely different exercises, some featured comments herein tend to suggest. I'd have been happy if somebody came up with anything concrete to doubt Don's greatness rather than offering just hypotheses after hypotheses.

Posted by Nampally on (April 23, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

I am sorry I made a mistake in Jack Hobbs stats: He 56.9 in 61 Tests not 51 Tests as mentioned in my earlier input. My apologies for the typo error. But the fact remains that averages alone do not spell out a batsman's skills. The difficulty Factors associated with each era or generation are huge Parameters. I defy anyone to put a realistic index on it. Each of the 5 authors has ignored this aspect in making his judgements on the Best batsmen or the next best.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

It might be a surprise to not see Kallis and Dravid, but while I appreciate their courage in crease, kallis like Sachin is to content on a hundred. Also he was lucky not to face steyn, donald, pollock and nitini. Also his record against Australia at its most dominant is pretty strong (when compared to every other batsman), but much less than Sachin and lara. Dravid also has a poor record against Australia and South Africa, and while he did well against them in his early days, his poor performances during his later years significantly diminished his average. He did pretty well against Donald in South Africa, but struggled a lot against steyn. If he retired about 4 years later, then I would have him and Ponting (assuming he did the same) as the best.

Posted by NaikSunil on (April 23, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

@Meety, "when one person does something wrong to others he is always suspicious of the same wrong being done to him by others" this is clear from your statement that myself, Crazykw and others are the same. Both pro-Don and pro-Tendulkar arguments have their place in the sun.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 23, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

It's interesting to note that Cricinfo has already done a piece on the All Time World XI in 2010 and that involved a true global panel of judges. Bradman and Sobers made every judge's team, Tendulkar was well behind on the voting but was next on the batting category (if you don't count Sobers as a batsman). This meant that Tendulkar didn't even make some teams. And the panel had a good mix of experts from the subcontinent. And Tendulkar was at the peak of his powers in late 2010 when the voting was done (I think he was on 49 test centuries then). If the same vote was today in 2013, he would definitely slip a little further, but probably still retain second or third place.

Posted by Britishcricket on (April 23, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

The eagerness with which @Meety jumps to answer any questions on Don even though it is not addressed to any one in particular is bound to raise eyebrows. When SRT fans do the same fingers are pointed out at their blind idol worship,patriotism etc but here is a case of a guy who has never seen Don bat but jumping to answer questions with help from @Billycc and stats. @iccmatchrefree's comment does come into the picture here. It's almost as if no one should point any fingers or question Don's stats..is it just me or does anyone else out here feel the same? @Meety, no matter how many answers you give to people there are many many questions unanswered as far as Bradman is concerned and there will always be people looking at his records with some sceptism. People have their own "All time bests" and your stats and answers won't make people change their mind. Stats and conditions differs from era to era significantly and not much importance is given to these by most as much as you do.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 23, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

@RaghuSharma45, thesis on why Sachin is the best: 1. Prove that Bradman isn't better 2. Prove that Sobers isn't better 3. Prove that Hobbs isn't better 4. Prove that Kallis, Lara, Dravid and Ponting aren't better. Steps 1 to 4 always involve something about a hundred centuries without any regard to number of matches played and without any regard that one-day centuries are not worth as much as test centuries. Proving that Bradman is the best doesn't actually require that much effort. It's all about the distance between the best and the second best.

Posted by DavisL on (April 23, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

No matter what stats and arguments are presented, 34000 international runs and 100 international hundreds cannot be pushed aside as if it were nothing.

When a batsman goes out to bat all the previous stats or performances don't count for anything....you have to face the bowler with a bat in hand and not with past statistics. To do this year after year for 23 years and still score 100 hundreds is just a blinding statistic! Forget the 34000 runs, the 100 hundreds is in itself a deal clincher for me.

All the stats from 1930s presented is not relevant at all when we look at the last 40 odd years. Sorry, I would still rate Sachin above Don, there are just too many questions left to be answered in case of Don.

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

@NaikSunil on (April 23, 2013, 11:27 GMT) - let us ASSUME that all Don fans are the one person for a moment. Please explain how that makes ANY difference to any arguements put forward. Judging by the type of response to icccricketreferee's post I would say that YOU, crazykiwi, DavisL, ClydeW, cricindian.com, & A Maurer are one & the same! Yet no actual comments as to why any pro-Don arguements are wrong - LOL!

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

@RaghuSharma45 on (April 23, 2013, 11:20 GMT) - nice try, it may somewhat fit billyCC - but what I have put fwd goes into far more depth & has Bradman at or around 90. Based on quality of bowlers & pitches. I shouldn't bother as you clearly haven't read the thread!

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

@prashant1 on (April 23, 2013, 7:23 GMT) Tendulkar was NOT 15% better than the next best in the 90s. In the 69 tests Tendulkar played - 41% of those Tests were against SL (minnows at the time), NZ & Zimbabwe. He murdered those sides during the 90s. Meanwhile Steve Waugh played 89 Tests & only 18% of his games were against "minnows". Tendulkar's ave v Zim/NZ/SL was 66.2, which means against quality opposition 45.6. Meanwhile Waugh averaged 65.9 against minnows & 51.2 against quality opposition. That is CONCLUSIVE proof that he was NOT the best batsmen of the 90s. BTW Lara averaged 52.9 v quality opposition. So Tendulkar can hardly argue being the 3rd best of the 90s. I count SL as a minnow as they won just 5 Tests against teams other than Zimbabwe or NZ.

Posted by NaikSunil on (April 23, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

@iccmatchrefree, thanks for bringing this to our attention...it is very easy to be influenced by what others have posted especially if one is not following the comments here on a daily basis, The key is to stick to one's opinion and not be influenced by what is written here. The need for multiple screen names is a classic example of the person putting forward his argument not having enough confidence in what he puts out and therefore resorts to such tactics to build up the numbers in favour of him. As you said, the need to be vigilant is of utmost importance otherwise there is a tendency to just read the last 3 or 4 posts here and pick up from there. A closer look at what you have highlighted is indeed true to a large extent, very deceptive and misleading indeed.

Posted by RaghuSharma45 on (April 23, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

4 simple steps in the Thesis of 'Don the Best' as per @Billycc, @Meety & Co. 1)Assumption -- Don would avg 99 (or 2nd best avg in any era plus 40) from 1928 till world ends therefore, untouchable. 2)All other so called great batsmen from 1949 till the world ends are (or will be) mediocre/average 3)Untouchable > Mediocre/average 4)Therefore, Don is the Best!

This theory deserves a Doctorate (Ph.d) Thanks for making our day Don fans…LOL.

Tendlya Is THE BEST!

Posted by   on (April 23, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

my other question is how come there is never a topic about the all time fast bowlers. Surely that is the toughest task. Spin bowling, well one can safely say warne and murali were world's best. But best fast bowler is mighty difficult.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

To me the best batsmen of modern era were sachin, lara and ponting. In terms of skill (technique+shots and talent) sachin was the best. I also enjoy watching him the most, even though I love seeing Lara's freakishly high back lift (similarly I lprefer watching federer, even-though I love Nadal's freakish top-spin he generates) But when it comes to making massive scores, the honor has to go to lara, and then ponting. Considering that sachin has the same number of doubles as sehwag despite playing almost 100 tests more tells the whole story. He didn't have that ability to convert his hundreds into big doubles. Overall, I would pick lara first and then Sachin and then Ponting. Regarding, Boycott's article I don't think it is fair to call Hobbs the best if he never saw him. You are making assumptions that greats in modern era won't cope as well in his era. If you are talking about uncovered pitches, well he didn't have to cope with reverse swing and the 2 best spinners warne and murali.

Posted by nav84 on (April 23, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

@IPSY Not sure from where you got the stats that you shared but what I dug out from cricinfo is this. Lara scored 11558 runs at an avg of 52.53 in 127 tests with 32 100s. During the same period, that is from 06 Dec 90 (Lara's debut) to 27 Nov 06 (Lara's retirement), SRT scored 8661 runs at an avg of 54.13 in just 109 tests with 30 100s. And these stats exclude Zimbabwe and Bangladesh as opposition. I hope you can do math to figure out who was better. Also I know you selected this period because it will conveniently (for you) exclude SRT's exploits against Australia first in Australia in 2008 (2 150's) and then in Indian in 2010 (90 and 200 in 2 tests ), against SA first in India (2 back to back 100's) and then in SA (2 100's) and against NZ in NZ (a 150+) and many other such knocks against quality teams both home and away. I wont take anything away from Lara. IMO SRT and Lara are best of last two decades and that too by a fair margin. However SRT is better than Lara by a slight margin.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 23, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

@Rain affected: You can seldom play in England without rain showing its presence. Sachin whose concentration gets affected by the slightest movement near the sight screen has had loads of problems in England thanks to the rain interruptions. Critically speaking, Tests should be evaluated without the weather playing a factor in performance, which is one BIG reason why IMO performances in England should be strongly discounted... but then, where would that leave Bradman ?

Posted by kristee on (April 23, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

The greatness of Bradman, Sobers or Kallis being measured in terms of their respective countries' populations! And what a far cry from the corresponding practices involving Messi or Pele or Federer!

Posted by ZA77 on (April 23, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

Before 1915, Jack Hobbs played on dusty pitches, where 40 average was impossible that is why Trumper was declared best before Bradman with average just near to 40. One thing which no discuss yet now is that he lost his wickets 13 time to Barnes (189), Barnes played 17 test matches against him. On wet wickets, it would be impossible to play him. In same era, Hobbs averaged was near to 60 with elegancy and ability to play on wet wicket. After 1928, emergance of Don Bradman, with 99.94 and people believe that he is bestever whereas the other batsmen like Sutclife batting average was 78.28 before arrival of Reilly (Best according to Bradman) and also Headley near to 80 against England, dropped to 71.23 overall. If Bradman would had played in same era, he would easily surpassed by Trumper (Perhaps best on wet wicket) and also by Hobbs. On wet wicket in England, how easily he lost his wicket in both inning against Verity in which he took 14 wicket, on wet wickets, against Barnes.

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

@CWijetunge on (April 23, 2013, 6:39 GMT) - I went thru the first half of Bradman's Tests in chronological order, until the site froze up. After the 30 Tests it was about 65% of matches were rain affected. I rounded down to 60%. Assuming none of his last 22 Tests had rain - it would still mean 35% of his matches were rain affected. By rain affetced, I took days where there was no play, or ANY mention in the Wisden reports. If you would care to check ALL 52 tests - knock yourself out! Most people would say a sample size of 60% would be enuff to make a call.

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

@ZA77 on (April 23, 2013, 7:08 GMT) "...had he played zooter of Warne..." - check out the careers of Grimmett & O'Rielly. Yes he didn't play them in Tests - but he did play them in Shield & in the nets. Those two spinners have CLAIMS to being BETTER than Bradman.

@ClydeW on (April 23, 2013, 7:01 GMT) - I will take Wisden or cricinfo over Wikipedia ANY DAY! "....All those queries aimed at you just shows that they don't, know matter what you reply!" - what the??????????? LOL!

Posted by prashant1 on (April 23, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

@Meety - That's sheer nonsense. Tendulkar has several multi-year periods where he avg. 65-70. And as numerous others have pointed out that through the 1990s Tendulkar avg. 59.4 (MINUS Ban and Zim). Infact just 3 batsmen who batted right through the 1990s avg. 50+. The "next best" batsman who batted right through the 1990s and MINUS Ban and Zim was Steve Waugh at 51.8. Tendulkar was 15% better than the "next best" for an entire decade. This differential is the highest for an batsman for an entire decade besides Bradman.

Posted by prashant1 on (April 23, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

If you had to pick one batsman to face up to any bowlers, any time, any conditions, any format - Who would it be ? First choice would be Sachin Tendulkar, obviously.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 23, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

@Meety, No doubt Don Bradman is statistically the best. For which he is my own top five list due to 99.94. But there is question that had he played zooter of Warne (Better than Murli because of distribution of wickets in all continents, Murli mainly in Asia), Doosra of Saqlain, Arm ball of Murli, flipper of Kumble, two googlies of Abdul Qadir, googly of Kaneria, toe crusher of Waqar, swining yorker of Wasim, variations of Marshall (Probably the bestever), leg cutter of McGrath. Also note that now bowlers have one special delivery (doosra Saeed Ajmal) plus one stock delivery (Afridi Off break) beside other variations. Also it is respect from this region that mostly people are not arguing for excluding him from list. Reason is simple whatever he did (amatuer) it is in two countries. For bestever batsman should be picked to prove himself against all conditions against different types of attacks. Like spin quartet of India on dusty subcont. pitches, four lethal weapon WI.

Posted by ClydeW on (April 23, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

@Meety, just shows what others have been mentioned about u in their previous posts...ur research is full of loopholes...even the sources of your research are questionable...i woul d say it again "u pick and choose that research which suits ur argument" . Research means looking for all possible sources that is reliable and not just one source from which you quote blindly. What with all those laughable quotes like "bowling average of Don' era can be compare to modern era", "just 4.5% difference in bowling quality", "60% or Bradman's matches affected by rain" and so on in your posts. Do you seriously believe that anyone will accept what you have mentioned in ur posts?…..All those queries aimed at you just shows that they don't, know matter what you reply!

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

@mrmonty on (April 23, 2013, 2:50 GMT) - great analogy. At times in their careers, Richards, Lara & Ponting performed 4 or 5 years at levels considerably higher than the highest Tendulkar peaks. That said Tendulkar, shunted risk, tightened his game & for the most part has maintained an outstanding level of excellence. Just on the car analogy - IF you had an ego though - wouldn't you want the wow factor? Not going to argue with you, it was a good analogy.

Posted by AMaurer on (April 23, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

@Meety & @Billycc Nice to see both of you working together and replying to posts yourselves….that's the true Aussie way mate! Don't chicken out by pretending to be someone else…take it on the chin and move on….that is how you become a champion!

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

@CWijetunge on (April 16, 2013, 13:53 GMT) - maybe, but what if Shakib playing for Bangladesh & having no real competitors for his spot, plays well into his 40s (say another 20 years), & plays 10 tests per year & takes 4 wickets a match & ends up with 900+ Test wickets, over a 230 Test career. Are you saying that would be superior to Murali's 800 wickets over 130 tests? In other words 100 more wickets by Shakib from an extra 100 Tests. So if that IS your arguement, would you agree that Courtney Walsh was a better bowler than Curtley Ambrose as Walsh took 114 more wickets? Chaminda Vaas has taken 355 wickets - is he Dennis Lillee's equal? In terms of batting - is Alec Stewart 8,463 runs superior to Sobers 8,032? Is Carl Hooper 5,762 runs better than Bill Lawry 5,234 runs. Surely you can't say YES to any of those questions, & so therefor MUST realise that averages are crucial in analysing greatness?

Posted by CWijetunge on (April 23, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

@Meety, "60% of Bradman's matches were affected by rain....that's news to me! I think he should have gone and batted in some drought affected countries of his time to ensure that they get some rainfall!

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 23, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

Bradman seemed to have faced only one bowler of any significance ( Larwood) in his 20 year long career. That renders his average pretty average. I'm pretty sure Kallis or even an Alan Border with all their dogged resoluteness would have had a far better average than Bradman had they played in his time.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 23, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

The other very minor issue is of course Bradman's form. To average 95 over 234 first class matches and 100 over 52 test matches, with a worst series average of 56 means that Bradman never suffered loss of form compared to a normal player. And that was over 20 years of first class cricket. It's mind blowing stuff. Over 20 years, Tendulkar had poor form at the beginning when he started out, in the mid 90s, in the mid 2000s and now in the last 2.5 years. Sobers and Hobbs had similar droughts in their career. On a side note, I really think Tendulkar fans should have a crack at why Tendulkar is a greater batsmen than Kallis (a batsmen in his own era) before even trying to build a case for him being the second greatest player of all time.

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

@Posted by Zsam on (April 22, 2013, 17:22 GMT) - I believe there is a very good case to put Gavaskar ahead of Sachin as the greatest Indian batsmen. I would say that it is a definate IF you factor in that in Gavaskar's years, opening the batting was the hardest position in the order & it really was tough going. In the end I think it is Tendulkar though, as he has done more in tougher conditions. I think Tendulkar is running the same risk as Gavaskar did, - playing on too long. I think Gavaskar retired about 2 years too late, (although he was monumental in Oz in 85 - it was in isolation of the previous seasons) - & there is enuff to suggest that Sachin has played 2 years too many!

Posted by g.narsimha on (April 23, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

Zsam-wow - great to know u r an INDIAN but not prepared to give credit to one of its greatest sportsman - great - now i believe why we are poor in sports - in my erlier post (2-4-13) i just refered what the great DON thinks of SACHIN but u conviniently avoided in responding it ,i know all of i billion + INDIANS doesnt considers SACHIN as great purly not on sporting grounds but majority of INDIANS admire & proud of him it doesnt metter what these poeple out here to belittle , demean him .

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

@Marktc on (April 23, 2013, 5:18 GMT) - Kallis is without doubt a great batsmen (& getting better). I think he gets excluded in most discussions for two reasons 1) He tends to have been quite passive in his batting & rarely played game-changing innings (I use the rarely in comparison to other greats, not merely good batsmen). 2) His stats have a few "blemishes" in that he didn't perform against the might of Oz, & he his overall average is inflated by his hammerings of Bangladesh & Zimbabwe. Kallis is much better placed to be discussed as the greatest cricketer rather than batsmen, as of course his bowling AND catching are top shelf. IF, Kallis keeps going the way he is currently, for say another 3 or 4 years - his sheer weight of runs will put him comfortably ahead of all his contemporaries.

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

@ClydeW on (April 23, 2013, 5:17 GMT) - nice try, but Larwood was "..Overlooked for the First Test allegedly because of a bruised foot..." which "...spared the selectors any dilemma by stating before the Lord's Test.`I refuse to play in any more Tests. Politicians are trying to hound me out of cricket. I was fit for the last Test" After that, Larwood retired. He recovered from the broken foot by 1934, but he had another foot injury. BTW - are you aware that nobody takes wikipedia seriously as a website for research. It is full of misquotes, I'll take cricinfo on cricket history any day. So ….please check all the information available rather than picking and choosing the ones that suit your argument!

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

@ZA77 on (April 23, 2013, 5:15 GMT)- I acknowledge both innings - they were monumental. I loved the way Lara refused to bow to age & played a similar style right to the end. I also admire the way Sachin re-constructed himself, from the flamboyent 90s to a more disciplined higher % type of batsmen more dour than the first half of his career. I actually wished that Punter had followed the Sachin model as opposed to the Lara one. You mentioned Lara's 19 x 150, are you aware that was 8.5 of his innings, Bradman's 18 x 150 was 22.5% of his innings.Lara has the 3rd best average for innings over 50 - at 113, which is a credible 35% of his innings, The Don is 1st place with an ave of 150 & 52.5% of the time. Clearly when Lara & Bradman have their eye in, they were hard to remove.

Posted by CrazyKiwi on (April 23, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

@iccmatchrefree, I did suspect this in one of my posts few days ago wherein I had stated that "Don's fans are confusing everyone by getting them to look at comparisons between Viv,Sobers,Sachin,Lara instead of including Don as well in the discussions. Don was shielded from the comparison with the result that no one was questioning Don's position at all even though it is quite clear that not everyone here agrees to him being regarded as the "best". Friends, be aware of such methods (including forming of teams/groups with a common agenda) when participating in online discussions. I know it is hard to pick, but a close examination of all the posts coming in will give you a good idea. Thanks for confirming by suspicion.

Posted by kristee on (April 23, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

To realize how much average matters, see the performance-wise difference between Eng and Oz as regards their recent tours. DB served his country reasonably long, sadly cut short by the war. He must have been of greater use than such greats like Hobbs, Lara or Ponting have been, and that's exactly his relevance. Okay, Kallis and Sobers could compete with him here; but the process involved some other skills.

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

@ClydeW on (April 23, 2013, 3:31 GMT) - I went thru the first half of Bradman's Tests in chronological order, until the site froze up. After the 30 Tests it was about 65% of matches were rain affected. I rounded down to 60%. Assuming none of his last 22 Tests had rain - it would still mean 35% of his matches were rain affected. By rain affetced, I took days where there was no play, or ANY mention in the Wisden reports. If you would care to check ALL 52 tests - knock yourself out! Most people would say a sample size of 60% would be enuff to make a call.

@AMaurer on (April 23, 2013, 0:38 GMT) - A BIG congratulations for finally posting under your own name instead of iccmatchreferee or ClydeW.

Posted by Marktc on (April 23, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

Without the luxury of Graham Pollock and Barry Richards being afforded full tests careers, we will never know. He question was, 'who is the best after Bradman.'... these two would have been right up there if they had a proper test career. Kallis is also overlooked mostly. Out of the top test batsman in terms of runs, he has the best average. Food for thought. Still, I do not think we can really judge who is best due to the times and conditions changing so much over the years. I do not understand our obsession with finding the best instead of celebrating all the greats,

Posted by ClydeW on (April 23, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

@Meety...just correcting one mistake in one of your posts earlier, your comment "Larwood stopped playing test cricket because of foot injury…No, my dear friend….he recovered from foot injury by beginning of 1934 (after bodyline) and was fit to play for England but MCC did not select him thereafter because Larwood refused to apologize to Aus cricket team for bodyline. Please check wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Larwood to confirm it. Bradman got him removed …no doubt about that….please check all the information available rather than picking and choosing the ones that suit your argument.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 23, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

@Meety, it is unfair not to recognize Lara. 400 and 375 on same ground. What about 501 at English ground in first class. seven hundreds in eight innings. Ok fine what about his 19 times 150 or plus. Many people say he is inconsistent. How he managed 11953 in 232 innings. Are you ready to accept his 132 runs at Perth. His 80 runs against Sri Lanka win the series for them. Also his 688 against them. I think you do not want to recognize him according to his abilities. 82 50 or plus (80-99, 20times) 34 hundreds then 19 times 150 or plus then 15 times 175 or plus. Nine times 200 or plus then 3 times 250 or plus then 2 times 300 or plus and again one 400. I think you do not want to recognize him according to his abilities. Only complete batsman including all in test match who has each and everything that other do not have. Elegant batsman with high backlift with ability to play in gaps, He was best nurdler, I have ever seen.

Posted by DavisL on (April 23, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

@iccmatchrefree….thank you for pointing this out, you are a champion!

Fair enough to say that this is expected in today's world of online debate/survey/polling but, this coming from the Aussies is in sync with what they do on the cricket field.

Agreed that Sachin has a billion to support him but then, that's b'coz he's got this huge mountain of runs and hundreds to back him up.

What about this crap? "the difference between bowling standards of Don's era and Sachin's era is only 4.5%" @Meety looks like you put a decimal point in there by mistake it should be 45% instead. Does this bloke who did the research and arrived at this finding know the spelling of the word "cricket"?

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

@Jojygeorge on (April 23, 2013, 3:39 GMT) - 4.5% is correct. The average wicket costs 31.8 runs, bowling attacks that Sachin faced over his entire career (as at June 2012) was 34.5 (slightly weaker than ave), Bradman was 36 - which means the bowlers he faced were approximately 4.5% worse (on averages) than Sachin. Please bear in mind that whilst Sachin faced bowlers of high pedigree, he also faced a swathe of bowlers who were NOT great bowlers. If you still do not believe me, got to the IT Figures blog in The Cordorn & analyse yourself. It is easy to find & there are some really great INFORMED comments too!

Posted by HarrisB on (April 23, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

Oh Boy! "Don would avg 90 odd in all eras", for the life of me I just cannot fathom this assumption… seriously! For what? Being a flat track bully as Boycott has pointed out? Whatever the argument is it is just absurd. Sorry, here is someone who hated bouncers and sticky wickets and changed his batting position so that the sun could dry out the pitch to make batting easier and it's presumed blindly that he will avg almost a hundred in all eras if he had stepped out to bat! I can bet my house on this one, Don himself would find this assumption hilarious! As posted by @cloudmess- "featured comment"-Don certainly would not have averaged 99 on dirt tracks (similar to the subcontinent),as his technique was suspect on poorer pitches. That also brings into question as to why he is selected at all in the debate on "who is the greatest". The greatest batsman has to be someone who overcame all sorts of conditions, pitches and bowlers and then succeeded and Bradman does not fit into this.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

As per Boycott - Bradman is a flat track bully who owes his high average primarily due to the knack of making it count when the going was good ! Uh oh...

Posted by kristee on (April 23, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

The relevance of DB is that he always puts you on the defensive as he's too unique. Kallis, the cricketer has a genuine rival in Sobers; none pops up at all against Sir Don.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 23, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

@Meety, only 4.5% difference in bowling standards between Bradman's era and now! looks like a typo error…..mate, please check and validate your comments before you post it. 4.5% is ridiculous to say the least.

Posted by ClydeW on (April 23, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

@iccmatchrefree….I must say that you have a keen eye for detail….thank you. @Meety, "60% of Don's matches affected by rain" which means all batsmen used one of their hands to hold an umbrella and then hold the bat with the other hand" I know you are putting up Don's case, you are entitled to it but, please check the facts instead of blindly relying on someone else or quoting such figures…60%...uhh!!

Posted by Amit68 on (April 23, 2013, 3:29 GMT)

This is an interesting exercise. There will never be agreement on who the second best is. However, what this exercise does reveal are the values and biases of the members of the jury. Most, we could have guessed: IC is always going to go for the attacking option. The Indian dude finds good reasons for picking Sachin. Boycott choosing an Englishman is not a surprise, but the romanticism of picking a player he never saw based on pretty words he read or heard is. The Australian journalist defers to Bradman. Martin Crowe uses his brains for a analysis, but finally goes with his heart, just as he did when he tried a comeback.

Posted by mrmonty on (April 23, 2013, 2:50 GMT)

I would give a car analogy to pick my greatest after Bradman. I am in the market for entry-level luxury car. I have narrowed it to two choices; a BMW 3 series and a Lexus IS. BMWs for all their performance prowess don't last beyond 5-6 years. Lexus is not more dazzling than BMW, but will keep you smiling when you avoid those shop visits year after year, lasting close to 9-10 years. If Sobers or Lara or Ponting dazzled with their highest high, Tendulkar has captivated with his consistency. Just like a car would you rather receive joy for 5 years or 10? That makes Sachin my pick as best after the Don.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 23, 2013, 2:46 GMT)

@iccmatchreferee, If, in the next era of 20 odd years the highest batting avg achieved was say 70, then as per this theory Don would avg 110 in the same era, if it is 80 then Don would avg 120, if it is 30 then Don would avg 70 and so on.

No, that's incorrect. If there are heaps of people averaging 70, then this means there has been a true structural shift in cricket and batting is easier. If there is only one averaging 70 and the best of the rest are still averaging 55, then that person has a strong claim to being the second greatest or the greatest ever. Rest assured, Tendulkar would no longer have a claim to being second greatest if such a person existed in the next 20 years and averaged 70 and 15 runs better than the next best, over a period of say 100 to 150 tests.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 23, 2013, 2:37 GMT)

@cricindian.com, good to see you've conceded defeat because you obviously seem surprised by all the checks and the stats I've found, you obviously can't retailiate with reasonable arguments. And yes, you've found out my little game. Presumably I must also go by other names like Suresh Menon, Mark Nicholas, Ian Chappell, Geoff Boycott, Mike Coward and Martin Crowe who all agreed to write their articles and agree that Bradman is No.1 and in four of those cases, Tendulkar is not even number 2. So tell me, why do four of these writers not choose Tendulkar? If Bradman had never played cricket, the title of this article would be: Who is the best batsmen ever? And even then, Sobers has three votes, Hobbs one, and Tendulkar two. How's that Ponsford argument going? Still scratching your head? What about Sobers and the LBW law? How many runs does that decrease Sober's adjusted average?

Posted by kristee on (April 23, 2013, 2:34 GMT)

As I was seriously considering to distance myself for good from this futile exercise, there comes a 'comment' alluding to my very identity. Well, I've always taken care not to sound serious when dragging in Tendulkar, such a mismatch to Sir Don, as against his fans' wishes. I'd have felt flattered to sound an Aussie or British with my command of English, if the insinuation had come from a more sensible camp. My policy is, I place my love for sports above my nationality when I discuss sports; and this applies to arts, books, cinema or whatever.

Posted by maddy20 on (April 23, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

Jack Hobbs? Seriously? If you would have said Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid I would have agreed but come on! A player is judged by his ability to succeed in all conditions and Jack Hobbs having played in only 3 countries with similar types of pitchs(support for seamers) is not at all great, more so when you have made only 5000 odd runs. Its laughable!

Posted by AMaurer on (April 23, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

@iccmatchrefree….thanks for bringing this out @Meety,@Billycc and Co. I do admire your teamwork, co-ordination and mutual understanding to put up Don's case but as they say "You can fool some people for some time but you cannot fool all the people all the time"…obviously you will deny all this.

Your posts made me cringe at times!

Please be a sport and accept the fact that Don is no longer considered the best although the headline of this article says something else.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 23, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

@Billycc now that @iccmatchrefree has found you out, your case for Don is stuck in the mud….no one would rely on what you say (no one believed anyways), I think it's a good idea to create a new screen name and put up your comments! No wonder, you were going around in circles and getting others like @Meety (or different screen names) to do it together with you. Just one more humble request….you have done so many last checks for me and everyone but, no one out here (apart from your little group of course) believes that Don is the Greatest? Any reason for it?…I think I know the answer….maybe do one last check!! BTW someone (one of your group) did say that Sachin avg <36 in his first series against Pak,correct, and I would say that Don would have averaged roughly half of that if he had been playing in that series such was the quality and hostility of that bowling attack! And yes, needless to say Don would be lucky to avg more than 50 in modern era C U in some other forum! Goodbye!

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 0:34 GMT)

@ZA77 on (April 22, 2013, 6:40 GMT) "Also note that Brian Lara and Kallis both average near to 100 against these sort of bowling in which spin wizards like Warne, Murali and Kumble (Flipper) were also be there..." - FALSE!I am a massive fan of Lara - he averaged the following against Warne 54.6, Murali 56.8 & Kumble 25.4. Kallis against the same averaged Warne 36.8, Murali 34.8 & Kumble 45.6. So it is clear you just completely make stuff up. I won't be bagging Lara, but it is hard enuff to claim he is the best of the modern era (in my view shone brighter than anyone else), his 400 & 375 happenned on the same ground against the same bowlers with the same result - a draw. Bradman hit a 300 in a day. Also the Don's top score was 452, & I would back the quality of the attack he faced that day as higher than any that Lara faced in County cricket in the 90s! The modern bat that stands out to me (surprisingly) is Kumar Sangakkara, he has scored in difficult conditions (despite being SL).

Posted by Meety on (April 23, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

@cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 9:46 GMT) - as for whether BillyCC o& I are the same person, I think anyone with a small amount of intelligence can see that even though we argue along similar lines, the way in which we say those arguements are COMPLETELY different!

I have shown enuff evidence to back the THEOREM - that Bradman COULD of averaged 90 in the modern game. A deciding factor could be the amount of games played against "weak" teams. For eg - in the modern era Ponting has played 7/168 - or 4% of his matches against Zim & Bang. For other greats it is Kallis 7.5%, Sachin 8% & Sangakarra 15%. IF you go by the MYTH that Bradman was great against medium pacers & spinners, could you see him EVER getting out under 100 against teams like SL, Bang & Zim? England don't have extreme pace, (I use extreme loosely but say 145kph+), India MAY of a talent in Yadav(I rate him), The fastest bowlers are with SA & Oz, & this is the factor that people try to mark The Don on!

Posted by BillyCC on (April 23, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

@cricindian.com, I've just proven that with their full toolkit of natural swing, pace, reverse swing, flippers, leg breaks and googlies, that the quartet of bowlers you mentioned had mediocre records in aggregate against India and Australia. Bradman would have smashed them. Why? Well it's been commented that Tendulkar's technique was very similar to Bradman's (both are compact, good in defence, similar build, score quickly). Just that Bradman averaged 45 runs more and lasted many more deliveries per innings. So it's a shame that Tendulkar averaged only 42 against Pakistan. Bradman would therefore average only 87. If we're looking at Australian performances against Pakistan, Border averaged 60 against this quartet overall, so Bradman could have averaged 100 no problems. Again, it's all about outliers. So how much do you adjust Sober's average because of the LBW rule? 25 runs? Takes him down to 34 overall. Hardly fitting for someone voted second best by Nicholas, Chappell and Crowe.

Posted by Meety on (April 22, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

@cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 9:46 GMT) PT 3 - If you were to use Sachin as a modern benchmark, Bradman & Sachin have both played similar amount of innings in "tough" conditions, the total average quality of attacks bothfaced were similar (4.5% difference). The factors that this research does NOT consider is 1) Better fielding standards, 2) Heavier touring schedule, 3) Better equipment, 4) Smaller boundaries. I tend to think they would even themselves out a bit - I think fielding is a big factor, but I also think that sprung bats is massive too. You can see the effect that better racquets had in Tennis, it is similar in cricket. There was some work done (I don't know where to find it) - that said that IF every chance had been taken against Bradman - he'd still of averaged 70ish - but that is every chance - I think you could take 10 off the average of every batsmen if faced with PERFECT fielding. I make no comment about UDRS - as it seems to even itself out!

Posted by Meety on (April 22, 2013, 23:45 GMT)

@cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 9:46 GMT) - please go to the Blogs articles in The Cordon by Ananth. They make great reading. He produced work based on the Historical cost of wicket being 31.8 (not including extras). In it, he worked out the "average" average of a bowling attack that Bradman faced was around 9 or 10% below (inferior) to todays attacks (Sachin about 6% inferior). Adjusting Bradmans average saw it drop to around 90. Very few batsmen maintained their average (meaning ALL batsmen cash in against WEAK bowling line ups). Sobers remained at around 56 - then the rest hovered around 50 to 53. There has been analysis also done on tough conditions (combined bowling strength & pitch quality) - Bradman has not got many innings in the 3 hardest conditions (out of 9) - but when you look at runs scored in harder than average conditions, his ave remains around 90 to 91. There are many statistical analysis that point to Bradman's ave NOT dropping below 90 in any conditions! (CONT)

Posted by Meety on (April 22, 2013, 23:33 GMT)

@iccmatchrefree on (April 22, 2013, 14:33 GMT) - what a great conspiracy theory. Unfortunately well wrong. Maybe the times have something to do with time zones? @Raveendran40 on (April 22, 2013, 9:50 GMT) - he averaged 90+ in Shield cricket against two of the greatest leggies of all time. In the 1930s, Oz had more spinners per Shield side than in modern times & the quality was at the top shelf. That is why!

Posted by iccmatchrefree on (April 22, 2013, 23:29 GMT)

The very fact that Don played in just 2 countries in familiar conditions should be more than sufficient to rule him out of the debate of "Who is the Greatest ever" because one of the fundamental requirements of any statistical analysis is this "A sample should be a fair representation of the population from which it is picked". So while Don is being analyzed on his performance in just 2 countries in 50 odd tests, others are being analyzed on their performance in more than 6 or 7 different countries in more than 100 tests (some of them in more than 150 tests).Other crucial factors like vast improvement in fielding quality, bowling quality, changed LBW rule etc. are also being overlooked here. Needless to say there are other issues which have already been discussed in detail by many….to summarize Don has not been tested against the fearsome WI, South African and Pak fast bowlers and spinning greats like Warne, Murali and Saqlain on the subcontinent.

Posted by iccmatchrefree on (April 22, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

As for people saying that Sachin's been blocking a youngster's career well, for any sportsman who nears end of his playing career there are two options one is "perform or perish" or "retire himself out". In Sachin's case clearly the first option applied till now b'coz he still contributes handy runs, obviously not as much as he used to in his prime. To compare this with Don, please google on Don's history 1) he was not at all popular among his teammates or with many outside his team 2) while he was the captain one of his opening batsman threw away his wicket b'coz he did not agree with Don on something 3)even after retirement Don would literally run Australian cricket from his home in Adelaide single handedly. These are off-field issues but, if someone's bringing these up against Sachin it is worthwhile to look at Don as well on similar issues!

Posted by iccmatchrefree on (April 22, 2013, 23:27 GMT)

Finally, it is pretty clear now that Don's fans are struggling to prove that Don would avg 90 odd in today's era or in any other era in which Don didn't play which is obvious by their vague answers to the various posts herein which basically proves that "One cannot compare players between eras" and therefore, the assumption of this article that "Don is the Greatest for all eras because he averaged 99" is wrong as has been rightly pointed out by many.

The incorrect assumption that Don would avg 90 odd in any era can easily be rejected by this very simple example;

If, in the next era of 20 odd years the highest batting avg achieved was say 70, then as per this theory Don would avg 110 in the same era, if it is 80 then Don would avg 120, if it is 30 then Don would avg 70 and so on…..doesn't make any statistical or practical sense whatsoever!

Posted by iccmatchrefree on (April 22, 2013, 23:25 GMT)

just a continuation from my previous post…..friends, online debates/polls can be hijacked easily by creating more than one screen names (account names) and made to flow in pre-determined directions as it has happened here…..while @Billycc, @Meety etc are working and co-ordinating together as a group/team to confuse everyone (they obviously know each other very well online at least) others supporting Sachin, Sobers etc. are working individually and separately without knowing this!!

Please bear in mind that if Don could avg +39 on 2nd best avg in his era, then Sachin has 41% more hundreds and 26.5% more runs than the 2nd best of his era. If the argument here is that Sachin played longer than others then all I would say is "others were not fit enough mentally and physically to last that long". "At the end of the day the one who finishes a marathon is declared the winner and the not the ones who were in the lead at certain times during the marathon".

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 22, 2013, 23:23 GMT)

@Billycc, that's a very lame attempt at pitting Don against Pak bowlers and getting someone to come out with <36 avg for Sachin.

Mind you SRT was just 16 years old and for that age that's a fantastic avg against the likes of Akram,Waqar,Imran and Qadir in their own backyard. Can't see Don avg more than 20 in that series considering his dislike for short pitch stuff, sticky wickets (which would also imply turning wickets) and the hostile environs of Pak in general.

Mate, everyone out here can see that you are making up your lack of numbers in support for your argument by creating multiple names or teaming up with others whereas others putting forward Sachin, Lara, Kallis are working individually without knowing this. Not sure whether this will win any additional brownie points or support but instead, it might be a huge set-back for your argument for Don.

Posted by cric_freak88 on (April 22, 2013, 23:01 GMT)

I beg to differ , but i disagree on Geoff Boycott's selection. If GB says that Sir Jack played in many conditions with an avg of 56.9 , GB needs to be reminded that Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid up until their 90 - 95 test matches averaged : 57- 58 ( even they played in every given condition : NZ , Aus , NZ ). Tendulkar wins this one hands down because of the sheer quality of bowling he faced in all given conditions and still coming out as a winner. And the amount of runs and hundreds he scored is impossible to achieve. I've envied India always for producing such great batsmen one after another. But i have to give credit where due : Post bradman era : Sachin is by far the best batsman who has played the game , he's approaching 200 tests , think for a minute how can someone play so many tests and still avg in the mid 50's. take a bow sachin tendulkar.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 22, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

I think it is fantasy created that Don Bradman is the best-ever. Whereas he was struggling to be the best batsman before world war II. When comparing between two batsmen of same era, criteria should be same. Like ability to play on wet wicket and so on. Sutcliff batting average was near to 80 before arrival of Reilly then it dropped to 66.85. How we know that Bradman is better than him. 89.78 as compare to 66.85. On all conditions Hobbs was better with style, grace and ability to play on wet wicket. Do not compare them on pure statistic and first decide who was actual best. For which the strongest one would be Sir Jack Hobbs, second one Bradman and third one Suctcliffe and may be forth one Headley. It is also true that whenever game level is improved, Don Bradman batting level decline in the same proportion (Inverse relation is present). Forget body line, what happened to him in a match in which Verity 14 wicket. Is his any inning would be master piece, without style and grace.

Posted by alarky on (April 22, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

Ahmad Uetian, I noticed that you are very juvenile in the submissions that you make to this debate. So, you just peddle a lot of wild childish unsubstantiated allegations about Lara, when you behold the real statistical facts regarding his indisputable superioity over SRT. I know a lot of people would have been shocked when they face the real figures. Hence, the reason why I did the research and presented the facts. Let me repeat why Lara was demoted from the opening position in ODIs, for the benefit of you and others who want to know: Lara was demoted to the middle order in ODIs (though I'm not debating ODIs due to the topic) because he was very controversial when he played; and he was a junior player who was not given the "Godly" respect that is given to SRT, as good as he was. So, the seniors exercised their seniority: Haynes wanted to open and Phil Simmons was a Sehwag type opener whom they dildn't want to leave out. But unlike SRT, they knew Lara would produce in any position

Posted by hhillbumper on (April 22, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Hobbs,Headley,Viv Richards are all better than Tendulkar.lets face it he has padded his figures against some pretty poor teams and on pretty flat pitches

Posted by Zsam on (April 22, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

@ iccmatchrefree, If you were to notice, the most vocal and persistent Sachin fans here are only a few of them. Now they could be multiple or not is not something I can conclusively arrive at, however the points they have been making are only ad nauseum. Repetitive to the point of being obnoxious. But still not compelling in displacing some points like 99 Test avg. 95 FC avg. We have seen all sorts of excuses for these stats, such as the, hold on: Great Depression, where only one batsman is good enough and the rest of the world is living in a land where time forgot. These are literally some excuses posters have provided here to justify how a 53 avg is better than a 99 avg! I must say, I have learnt a lot more after reading a lot of comments and participating in this blog. Actually my contribution has been quite revelatory in this wrt the Sachin stats vis a vis the 90s fast bowlers who were being projected as the peaks, he had scaled. The stats prove otherwise.

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

No contest. It is WG Grace. By the end of the 1870s he was averaging over 50 when no other regular FC player could average 30. That is Bradmanesque. He did that on filthy pitches which were completely uncovered.

He was also one of the leading bowlers in the period which makes him the greatest allrrounder who has ever lived.

Posted by Zsam on (April 22, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

@ iccmatchrefree, Hey boss, i'm Indian not Aussie. Just to let you know. But what I can state is that Bradman does not need paid testimonials nor do I think, he would have that amount. But somebody else in the modern world has done a lot in his powers to buy testimonials. What gets me is the irrational Sachin fan, who is impervious to reason and logic. I've until now, not felt the need to bring out nationality, but since you have made a personal attack on my integrity it is only fair that I clear the air. I'm from India, lived all my life there and if you want can convey in the strongest desi language you may need. Fact is not all Indians consider Sachin to be the greatest bcoz he was 'carrying a burden of a billion'. That I personally believe was Gavaskar who managed even better than Sachin. A lot of this debate is argued from nationalistic points, which is sad. But I'm not one to do so. Hope cricinfo puts this in response to the slander against me!

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

My top ten specialist test batsmen from all countries are : Jack Hobbs, Wally Hammond, Don Bradman, Viv Richards, Javed Miandad, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Virender Sehwag and Kumar Sangakara. This is based on long careers with multiple scores over 200 per innings. I place Brian Lara as the greatest left hander, the most attractive stroke maker and the best player of spin bowling of all time. Thank you.

Posted by CricketPissek on (April 22, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

@RandyOZ - you are so funny :) Your comments are so immature, I wonder if you're a 12 year old kid or just a bitter childish adult. You always seem to comment against England and India. Ponting, Lara, and Hussey as the greatest batsmen after Bradman. Only Lara really has a true claim there with Ponting maybe in the top 10. As much as I love Hussey's batting, claim to be in the top 10 all time great batsmen? Please! Even from his contemporaries I would rate Dravid, Sangakkara, and Tendulkar (of course Lara and Ponting too) higher.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (April 22, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

In this monumental discussion of who runs second to Bradman (and surely there is no one who knows anything about cricket from 1863 to the current day can dispute The Don's pre-emininence) it is as well to realise the both The Don & The Master, Jack Hobbs, had their best years denied them by the two World Wars. Hobbs lost four years (1915 - 18) when he was aged 34 -38 to the Great War; Bradman, arguably, lost even more potentially productive years, between the ages of 31 and 37. Indeed, Bradman lasted just two years after World War II, his retirement being within a few days of his 40th birthday in 1948. Hobbs was also ill for almost all of the 1921 season. He could have had 250 x100s! So, for me, it's the Don out there on his own; then there is Hobbs. And then the rest, playing on friendly, covered pitches with hi-tech bats being used in many soft games against the likes of Bangladesh. The real argument is about who's third. My choice would be George Headley, but that is another story.

Posted by RandyOZ on (April 22, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

The answer is clearly Ponting in his middle career period he averaged over 70. Lara and Hussey a close 3rd and 4th.

Posted by iccmatchrefree on (April 22, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

Sachin fans, please read below;

Note carefully the date,time and content of all the posts from Zsam,Meety,ravi.m,IPSY,alarky,redneck,remnant,Cynic ifyou please,Billycc and kristee in response to various posts from others...yes,you guessed it right…sounds the same…it follows a pattern. It's a group of 2 or 3 Aussie fans working together and posting under different screen names! Their method; 1)Keep Don's avg of 99 constant across all eras(completely wrong to start with) and then keep repeating many times that avg is the most important stat(though it is not) 2)Divert the debate and get others to compare between SRT,Lara,Viv,Sobers etc on yearly avg, bowlers faced etc and conclude that no one really stands out between them 3)Hence,Don is unmatched at 99avg! 4)Despite all this, if not many agree with them then, create new accounts and names and repeat the above 3 steps till they are in majority It's an old fashioned trick to win an online debate,polling etc...LOL!

Sachin is the winner

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

@Billycc, please finish this simple challenge first and then i would give you more tougher challenges. Please do not look at the avg of Pak bowlers versus Ind but instead please tell me how much would Don avg against the Pak bowlers with convincing reasons for it. and then the following series one by one...Anxiously waiting.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 22, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

@Britishcricket Also, it is fair enough to say that someone who has not been tested against the fearsome WI, South African and Pak fast bowlers and spinning greats like Warne, Murali,Qadir and Saqlain on the subcontinent cannot be in any which way regarded the Greatest, he might as well end up outside the top 10 batsmen of all time if he had played these.

Posted by NaikSunil on (April 22, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

Absolutely correct, the fundamental rule of statistical analysis is being broken here by picking Don as a yardstick as rightly pointed out by @Britishcricket, @CWijetunge and @Africasafari. More than 60% of matches played at home grounds and that is considered as a yardstick....completely wrong friends!

Posted by Sooraj4cricket on (April 22, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Complete agreement with Boycott sir.When you talk about being the greatest of all time,the problems you had to endure initially & performence on difficult conditions do matter a lot.Sir JB Hobbs' mastery on wet wickets is well-known.The same argument goes with George Headley.In 'Beyond a Boundary' CLR James shows-In comparison with Bradman on sticky wickets,Headley has 7 50s in 13 innings @39.85.Being the top scorer 6 times.Whereas Bradman has one 50 in 15 innings @16.66.Then he says "You need not build on these figures a monument,but you cannot ignore them."There is no idea to how the flat-track bullies of todays cricket would have faired then.Sadly due credit is never given to them and they go cruelly unmentioned.Statistics aside, they also played a great deal in bringing the game what it is today in their respective nations.So all these factors put together i believe Bradman goes 1st with Hobbs and Headley not far behind...

Posted by Britishcricket on (April 22, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

It does look a bit wierd that DGB who played just 50 odd tests in 2 countries is being compared with those who played over 100 (sometimes 150) tests in more than 6 or 7 countries.

Aren't we breaking the foremost principle of statistical analysis which is "A sample should be a fair representation of the population from which it is picked". The very fact that Don played in just 2 countries in familiar conditions should be more than sufficient to rule him out of the debate of "Who is the Greatest ever"

Even my Mom would know this basic rule of statistic analysis!!

Posted by HatsforBats on (April 22, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

@ cricindian.com, well I just had to check! In Tendulkar's first series against Pakistan (Imran/Waqar/Akram/Qadir) he averaged <36!

Posted by trevorleesafro on (April 22, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

I've tried using my understanding of statistics and cricket to create a comparison method. It uses a ranking system and a contribution index that reduces the influence of runs scored against poor opposition and in run friendly conditions. Hobbs always come out 2nd behind Bradman whatever the parameters/weighting. Batsmen from the 21st Century just don't compare when it comes to consistently performing to the best of their ability against the best bowlers around.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 22, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

@cricindian.com, please give me something more challenging. Against India, Akram averaged 29. Qadir averaged 51. Younis averaged 49. This is hardly the great bowling side that you claim Tendulkar faced. In fact, Khan was the best at an average of 24 against India but Tendulkar never faced him much since Khan didn't play India after 1989. Once again, your theories are all flawed. Just because you assemble a group of four great bowlers (yes, you have named four very good bowlers), it doesn't mean they fire all the time against all countries. For your information, all those bowlers again only did ok against Australia. Nothing spectacular. And I've just proven that they did poorly against India. Try try again. How's adjusting Woodfull's average going? I mean, it's looking like an impossible negative number if you want to bring Bradman's average down 50 runs per innings

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

Sachin greatest bcz he was COMPLETE BATSMAN

Posted by kristee on (April 22, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

Africasafari, he averaged more than 100 away from home. England was after all the best opposition he could face. And all that advantage, if at all, was enjoyed by any other player; none could get anywhere near. To say stuff like every cricket playing country then was a minnow serves only one purpose; belittling the game itself. If anything, it's actually today's players that are helped by too many minnows. Above all, he did as well in all FC. Who else can you find with such astounding figures?

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Sachin is above all except Bradman because he is a complete batsman who is equally good in Test & ODI, against all teams, pace & spin, Defence & attack, All around the wicket, of back foot & front foot. Has multiple boundary strokes of same delivery , the 2nd biggest ODI match winner with 2nd best (2nd only to Sir Richards) frequency of getting man of the match awards in ODI and finally because he is a big game player as his avg significantly rises in big games i.e. Tournament finals & World Cup games....Has played 6 WCs & have scored max runs in 2 WCs & 2nd top scorer in WC 2011 was Man of the series in 2003 WC.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (April 22, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

There is no doubt at all that Sir Jack Hobbs wa one of the greatest batsmen of all time not just of England. Though I myself am pretty long in the tooth, I have read and followed cricket long enough to know just how great he was and what an enduring association he had had with Herbert Sutcliffe at the top of the English batting order.It is hardly fair to compare the likes of these two legends along with the likes of Hutton,Hammond and the like with the superstars of our generation like Viv and Barry Richards,Lara and Tendulkar.There are several things that would be highly relevant.Longevity,bowling faced and runs scored in varying conditions and different types of wickets would all be highly relevant in deciding who the greatest is after Bradman.In fact without any disrespect to the great man one can even question the very premise of him being the greatest because he played only in Australia and England and the bowling he faced was not like what we have seen from the 50s till today.

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

@IPSY Further Bradman didn't have the option of playing ODI if he had then we would judge him on that as well but guys like LARA, Dravid had full option of ODI's & knew it was the most imp format since WC, that decided the best team, was played in only this format still they couldn't do well also plz don't put short periods in which lira did well & sachin didn't, The whole period needs to be looked at during which both played. Further if Lara was a great opener why did he leave that position since best batsman must have a chance to play max no of deliveries in ODI to get big totals. Either Lara knew he was not the best or he was afraid of new ball..Lara never had to face world best bowling attacks consisting of Ambrose & Walsh if he had to, even his test stats would have been inferior to Sachin. Further, what's the point of being stylish if your defense is poor as was the case with Lara who virtually always got bold lbw against stump aimed brisk deliveries. He was just master of spin.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

@Billycc, you keep going around in circles, let's start with Sachin's first test series against Pak...the bowlers were Akram,Waqar,Imran and Qadir. Till the time it is proven that Don would avg 99 in every era none of us here would believe that Don avg more than 50! As for bad bowlers in Sachin's era how many were there in Don's era...i would say all of them were poor to mediocre bowlers (except Larwood)

Posted by HarrisB on (April 22, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

Geoffrey, loved every bit of it...got to give it to you. You have basically said that Bradman was a flat track bully and disliked bouncers and sticky wickets. Add military medium bowlers and spinners bowling on unhelpful pitches and you have a classic example of piling up the runs by thrashing the same helpless bowlers again and again and again in almost similar conditions throughout his career. I for one would consider Don as one of the greats but not the best by any stretch of imagination mainly for his apetite for run scoring as otherwise, difficult bowlers (Larwood), sticky wickets and the like made him cringe.

Posted by kristee on (April 22, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Lara's candidature as the distant second best to Bradman more and more brightens as you check the records. He doesn't rely on NOs too much; something unique about mediocre/ average teams; Sehwag comes close but he is rather a sub continent specialist. As for Hobbs, Sutcliffe averages even better; so the comparison to Bradman becomes irrelevant. As for comments to belittle Lara over his reliance on big scores, as if he benefited on somebody's benevolence, I'd recommend his detractors to check how badly their hero depends on Sydney, yes the very venue where Oz were saving their face while kept going down to the WI pacers, for his flattering records in Oz. And all this hate for Bradman stems from the feeling that this hero looks absolute pedestrian before him.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 22, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

@cricindian.com, just did. Read carefully. The aggregate bowling averages in Sachin's era from 1989 to 2013 are nothing special. It hovers between 33 to 36. This just shows he played some against some great bowlers and against some very ordinary bowlers. In Bradman's era, it's also about 35 in aggregate. You're making the flawed assumption that Sachin played Steyn, McGrath, Murali and Donald at once on the same side. The only time that four great bowlers bowled at once was in the 1980s with the Windies. That side in aggregate averaged 26 runs per wicket. Every other team in the 1980s averaged more than 30 runs per wicket. Too bad Sachin didn't play in that era. The great Australian side from 1995 to 2006 average 27. Again, every other team averaged 30 or over. Doesn't make for compelling stats indicating great bowling quality which could take Bradman's average from 99 to 50. There were some pretty bad bowlers during Sachin's era.

Posted by CWijetunge on (April 22, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

I agree with you @Africasafari on your response to @kirstee because the same criteria would make even Mahela Jayawardane come into the reckoning for the greatest ever due to his phenomenal home record including a triple ton. Folks, let us accept Sachin and Murali as the best for now as per my previous posts....keep it simple highest runs and wickets in both Tests and ODIs takes the cake.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 22, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

"That fact that he only played test cricket against England and South Africa, is simply because of the time he played! He scored 6996 runs in just 52 tests, imagine how many he would scored had he played the same number that Tendulkar has."

Andy Ganteaume of the WI holds the record for the highest Test average and NOT Bradman. Andy's average is 112. He was allowed to play only 1 test match. These are the FACTS of the case. Now imagine, how many Test centuries and runs he would have scored had he played as many as SRT has in his lifetime! Andy should be declared the greatest ever batsman... because he has an average of 112! Incidentally, Andy is the oldest WI Test player still alive at 92!

Looks like we have just found a new cricketing GREAT!

Posted by Britishcricket on (April 22, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

I would still pick Sachin over Don purely because of the superb bowlers and the difficult conditions he had overcome in different countries. No doubt Bradman was a great but to call him the greatest is over the top. Make no mistake this bloke played over 60% of this matches on home grounds and as Geoffrey rightly pointed out all he did was score heaps of runs on beautiful batting wickets most of the time! Full marks to Geoffrey for calling a spade a spade.

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

@Chandra Rajaraman ......Ponting & Kallis way ahead of Dravid bcz of their superior ODI record & their much superior frequency of man getting of the match awards...............IPSY plz.... Test cricket is not the only format of cricket ODI is equally significant format of cricket if not more............& LARA was terrible compared to Sachin in that format with inferior Avg inferior S/R, with terribly performance in big games i.e. in tournament finals & World Cup games -below 38 compared to Sachin's 48+...In tests though Sachin & Lara are pretty much equal evident from even your stats..Hence combining both formats Sachin is superior. Y combining??...Y score 200 out of 200 in maths but score poorly in all other subjects ..r u a brillient student?? NO..It is the agregate performance that counts & only Sachin is a complete batsman with great performance in all formats & against all teams..& superior performance in big games ..2wice top scorrer in WC..& 2nd top scorrer in WC 2011

Posted by Africasafari on (April 22, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

@kirstee, yes Don is incomparable b'coz he played 63% of all his matches against on home grounds and 71% of his matches against just one opposition ….that itself takes him, his records and a candidature for "Greatest Ever" out of the reckoning…you just cannot call his records as a yardstick at all (except may be for his era only). Forget it!

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

@Billycc, Please read carefully "The challenge for you is to prove it by pitting Don against every bowler that Sachin faced one by one in different conditions, with helmet and all modern equipment on and with the new LBW rule rather than just generalizing Don as an 'outlier' and therefore would avg 99 in any era" You are generalizing the whole period..Try again. You are picking bowling average of Don's era which were in just 2 countries predominantly, the modern era is much much more varied! As for Hobbs all i can say you are just going with the flow when u picked Lara as the 2nd best sometime ago, then Sachin, now Hobbs.... U need to prove that Don is number 1 by arriving at an average of 99 in every era he plays...Sachin's era is a good start.

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

In response to Suresh Menon's comments about Tendulkar being better than Bradman on the basis of the number of grounds he has played on and the different opponents he has played against, I would say that this is a poor argument. That fact that he only played test cricket against England and South Africa, is simply because of the time he played! He scored 6996 runs in just 52 tests, imagine how many he would scored had he played the same number that Tendulkar has. He also averaged a ton every third innings! I'm not for a moment denying that Tendulkar is great batsman, but I simply don't think that he's in the same league as The Don.

Posted by TeamRocker on (April 22, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

OK ... let's look at certain things ... Sachin has played close to 200 tests. His average over this long period has hovered around 50-55 for the most. Almost all great cricketers and many mediocure ones during this period have an average of almost the same ... 50-54 ... and in terms of total runs there are now an absurd number of players who have more than 10,000 runs. The moral of the story is ... you stick around for long enough and you'll get more than 10000 runs. The biggest downer about Sachin is that at almost NO STAGE of his life has he either looked like a match winner or been a player who the opposition had to get rid of in order to win. He was just one of the others - except the short while when he made mince meat of Warne. Bottm line is - a great player must stand out above everyone else during his playing period. Bradman was in his time ... Sobers was in a great team ... so was Richards .. so have Laver, Sampras, Federer and others. This is where Sachin fails the test.

Posted by prashant1 on (April 22, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

But the realise surprise is how come Boycott didn't pick his MOM as the best ?!

Posted by prashant1 on (April 22, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

Boycott has provided the key to Bradman's average : Pile 'em on on flat tracks. The key is when in score as many as you can. If we look at the remainder of Lara's 230 inn. ( without his highest scores) Lara's avg. drops to some 47 .That means that over the bulk of his carreer , 230 inn. ,Lara actually avg. 47. So - the key "trick" to a high average - When "in" make sure to pile them on...No mystery. It's just that you have to learn to "avoid boredom"...and keep scoring...No great technique(Bradman had 7 ducks in 80 inn.), No better skills , No requirement of all pitch all surface type of play......JUST when in avoid boredom and pile 'em on - Secret of Bradman's average.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 22, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

@cricindian.com, again, all been done before. Tendulkar has played 198 tests. In all these matches, the aggregate bowling averages (all bowlers involved) of India and the opposition is about 36.5, strike rates are about 70. Over the period from 1989 to 2013, 970 test matches have been played and the aggregate bowling average is 33.3 and strike rates are 65. These are not amazing stats. Just shows there were good and bad bowlers today. In Bradman's era, 141 test matches were played and the aggregate bowling average was 33.5 and average strike rate was 76. Bradman contributed to that increase by surviving so many deliveries, his average was well over 100 balls per innings. So bowling strike rates would have fallen if Bradman had been a normal batsmen, taking that 76 down. So tell me, is Hobb's adjusted average only 7 if Bradman is taken down to a more normal adjusted average of 50? Hobbs averaging 7 but rated second best batsmen of all time????

Posted by ZA77 on (April 22, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Statistic alone cannot judge the exact. Now debate should be that who was actual best before world war II. Victor Trumper, Hobbs, Bradman, Sutcliffe, Headley and also Hammond. I think for couting all parameters the strongest one sould be Hobbs or Bradman. His elegancy was far superior than Bradman, also his abilities to play on all conditions were better than Bradman. His ability to play on wet wicket is better in which Trumper and also Headley ahead of Bradman. Bradman ability to play on wet wicket is questionable. How easily he lost his wickets to Verity in England on wet pitch in which he took 14 wickets. His style was simple. He played with cross bat or his bat came from third man. His ability to play googly also questionable. When faced Eddie Gilbert, unable to play him. Faced difficulty to play bouncers. Take example of Sehwag and Tendular. If all cricket related to Pakistan and India in their era then Sehwag way ahead of him but in actual Tendulkar is better, flawless techn.

Posted by ClydeW on (April 22, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

Don is the greatest? - why this assumption, seems ridiculous!! He played in just 2 countries in familiar conditions against average bowlers throughout his life. I would always rate the great batsmen since 1970 over Don any day for the simple reason that they have been tested in more varied conditions and against bowlers who are much much superior in quality.

Posted by liz1558 on (April 22, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

@ooper_cut - not sure what you mean - Hobbs was from Cambridge, although his England opening partners, Wilfred Rhodes and Herbert Sutcliffe, were Yorkies.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 22, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

@Billycc, you look like an expert at confusing everyone....please check your previous posts ...few times you have said that Lara is the second best, then again somewhere you have said that Sachin is the second best and now J Hobbs is the second best but leaving Don constant as the best.....your comments do sound strange.

Posted by Raveendran40 on (April 22, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

Meety, "Generally Don was amongst the finest players of spin EVER" ----how did you arrive at this conclusion, by looking at Don's records against spin on Eng & Aus pitches which hardly turn and grip like the subcontinent pitches? Also, you keep contradicting yourself between all your posts. In one of your posts you have said that "60% of Don's matches were affected by rain" then, how will the spinners be able to grip and turn the ball on pitches affected by rain and how will all this make Don one of the finest players of spin EVER? Just a brief check of all your posts filled with "questionable assumptions and statements which shows lack of proper research" is enough to say that you are building up a very feeble case for Don to be considered greatest. The reality is, he is not. Many have done extensive research on this article and pointed out a number of loopholes in your posts and Don's career in general to which your answers lack in conviction, in fact, they are contradictory at times

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

@Meety, I am sure you are coordinating with @Billycc on this article which can be seen from your response to me even though my post was to @Billycc. Therefore, I put this humble request to you as well just as I had done for @Billycc "prove that Don would average 90 odd in the modern era by pitting Don against every bowler that Sachin faced one by one in different conditions, with helmet and all modern equipment on and with the new LBW rule rather than just generalizing "Don could avg 90 odd in modern era".

BTW I can see that both you and Billycc have brought down Don's avg just a little bit for the modern era from 99 which is a good start. Billycc has said "So Bradman averages between 93 and 100 in whatever era you choose" and you have said "What can be THEORETICALLY stated is that Bradman COULD avg 90 odd in the modern era"

That's good teamwork I must stay, making sure that you do not contradict each other but, at the same time remain consistent in what you both post!! Good going.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 22, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

@Billycc, that's what you have been saying all along…what's new to what you have stated. The absurd and illogical assumption of Don's average being 40 plus the 2nd best average of any era across all eras is just being restated again. Please read my previous post carefully "The challenge for you is to prove it by pitting Don against every bowler that Sachin faced one by one in different conditions, with helmet and all modern equipment on and with the new LBW rule rather than just generalizing Don as an 'outlier' and therefore would avg 99 in any era. Ponsford can wait till then..." Anxiously waiting for your next post..

Posted by DavisL on (April 22, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

Hahahahaha......that's exactly what everyone here has been saying..."Don liked to bat on batting paradises and score heaps of runs" with some pointing out the poor strike rates of bowlers in Don's era

Thanks for confirming this Geoffrey "J Hobbs was the best player on all pitches in his era" basically saying he was the better player than Bradman when it came to all types of pitches. Obviously Don fans will twist what Geoffrey had to say and say that Don is the best but Geoffrey has put it quite bluntly...no two opinions about this mate!

Posted by liz1558 on (April 22, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

Hobbs' average means more when considered in the light of the pre Great War era. All the best batsmen of that 'golden age' who played 20 Tests or more - Trumper, Hayward, McClaren, CB Fry, Clem Hill et al - all averaged in the 30s, whereas Hobbs during that time averaged in the mid 50s (2467/57.32 to be precise). It would be the same as a batsman averaging in the 70s now. Sir Geof makes a valid argument.

Posted by ooper_cut on (April 22, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

Trust Boycott to come up with the name of a Yorkshireman. Jack Hobbs was a player before Sir Don and that was a totally different era of cricket much played like how it is played in the backyards now. Surely not a comparison, Geoff.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 22, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

@ZA77, no, Boycott said Bradman was the best ever. Just that Hobbs was better on certain pitches; but in aggregate, he clearly states Bradman was the greatest ever. So in terms of the question posed, Hobbs is the next best batsmen after Bradman.

Posted by kristee on (April 22, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

For any other record involving a single aspect of the game, nobody stands out the way Bradman does. Kallis's numerical superiority over Sobers does not qualify for such a distinction, cricketing common sense would tell you. As for Murali's over Warne, the difference is marginal compared to Bradman's over the next best. You can't just ignore such stats. Perhaps, unlike soccer, cricket, as such, is loved by very few; the loyalties seem too rigidly founded on nationalistic sentiments.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 22, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

One need not be a tennis player to distinguish a good shot from the bad, or a superior player from the mediocre. You need not be a F-1 driver to understand the sport, racing strategy, the relative superiority of various car makers and to distinguish them from driver performance. One need not be a painter to understand how an artist has given form, dimension and life to a theme.

I have stated all of this, so that sports writers and sports writers don't look down on the opinions and views of the spectator. One gets the feeling that the "cricket establishment" tends to dismissive of their views. Sure, just as you have good and bad players opining, you also have spectators with different understanding of the game and with different perspectives opining.

The spectators aren't like art critics or news channels with a bias and slant to protect... while claiming they are above it. The spectators say it as they see it, which is hardly something players opining on other players can say.

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

There are a couple of factors that give Hobbs the edge over Bradman: (a) He played a substantial number of test matches before 1915, when pitches were far more difficult than they were in the inter-war years, (b) His mastery over wet wickets was in stark contrast to Bradman, whose struggles on wet wickets are well documented. Hobbs was a pretty close second to Bradman, if at all.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 22, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

@meety, please have a look in this case also. It is true that 80% or more of the deliveries faced by Bradman during his entire career were delivered by medium and spin bowlers in which there were so many deliveries were arranged by part-timers like he faced Hammond in 31 test matches. Also note that Brian Lara and Kallis both average near to 100 against these sort of bowling in which spin wizards like Warne, Murali and Kumble (Flipper) were also be there. From quality point of view, I think Lara is way ahead of him despite his 99.94. For me his abilities are more than Bradman from quality point of view, like his 501 in first class, 400 in test matches plus 375 in test matches. He managed average 89.78 against amatuer of England as both team have same culture just like India and Pakistan, it means it was least international level for any game. Like 66.85 Sutcliff against prime attack of Australia. Also according Boycott, best batsman of that era Hobbs, not Bradman. What ur opinion.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 22, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

Till the 1970s, the visiting Test team had plenty of opportunities to get a measure of the opposition when they played numerous practice matches during the Tour, including those between tests. By the time the first Test started, the visiting team also had a good measure of the pitches as well as the weather patterns. They had an opportunity to study the opposition bowlers and become comfortable facing them. Most tours had 5 Tests. A good enough duration to come good and excel in a few innings for a batsman. This adjustment time is no longer available in the modern day and the local team invariably has the home advantage over the visiting team. That's one of the many reasons why I don't think too highly of the Bradman days.

Posted by aarifboy on (April 22, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

Cricketers above have gone for other players,while non cricketers chose Tendulkar as best after Bradman.How dare Cricinfo can place opinions of Memon and Coward on same page as Ian,Geoff and Martin?

Posted by   on (April 22, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Sir Jack Hobbs thoroughly deserved a vote. For a long time, staring at stats I didn't understand why Hobbs was rated so highly. But here is a simple exercise to convince oneself of his enormous stature in the game - see the test batting averages of all batsmen before world war I (call me a stats junkie!). Jack Hobbs average 57+ in that era of uneven wickets and plenty of sub 20 averaging bowlers. The next best was Stanely Jackson with an average just under 49. Bradman (and Grace) aside, no batsman left his contemporaries so far behind, so convincingly as Hobbs did. Definitely belongs in top 5 batsmen of all time!

Posted by kristee on (April 22, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Geoff, then why not nobody else had even averaged 60% he did? Bradman was a miracle as a batter; nobody else is. As cricketers, Kallis and Sobers perhaps are. As bowlers, Barnes and Murali nearly are. Period.

Posted by Meety on (April 22, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

@ZA77 on (April 18, 2013, 20:56 GMT) - you have mentioned Lohman. He was undoubtably a great bowler. However, you need to look at the bigger picture. A bowling average of 11 is amazing in any era, but given the overall cost of a wicket since the beginning of Test cricket is about 32, in Lohman's era it was about 23 & the modern era is 50% higher @ about 35. He also had ONE amazing series against Sth Africa where he averaged 5 for 35 wickets. So I would ESTIMATE, that in modern times, he would be more likely to average 19 to 20, with scope for his ave to be 2 or 3 runs higher or lower. This puts him firmly within the parameters of many greats. FYI - batting averages for Test periods are 1870 to 1899 = 23, 1900 to 1927 = 30, Bradman era 1928 to 48 = 35, 1949 to 1970 = 32, 1971 to 1988 = 32, Sachin era 1989 to 2013 = 35. (Rounded numbers inc extras).

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (April 22, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

@Shivago -Absolutely well said mate !Con't endorse B Lara's case any more than you did . Absolute best of 'present- modern' era by some way .... and Ponting comes in a respectable 2nd . the 2 most compelling match winners of this time in general and in Tests in particular .

Posted by Shivago on (April 21, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

For Lara to be overlooked in this article is a travesty! The man holds so many records, stood up single handedly to greater bowling attacks than today, the great Aussie attack of Warne, McGrath and Gillespie, Pakistan attack of wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, South African attack of Donald, Pollock and Ntini, Sri Lankas Muttiah Muralitharan plus many more world class bowlers while no other West Indies batsman helped with any consistency! 400, 375, 501 (in English County Cricket) it got to a stage where anything under 100 was seen as a failure with the bat! Beat Tendulkar, Richards, Gavaskar et al to test run land marks of 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 8000, 9000, 10000 and 110000 test runs! He for me has to go down as the number 2 batsman the world has ever seen!

Posted by BillyCC on (April 18, 2013, 23:05 GMT)

@cricindian.com, been there, proven that. In Bradman's era, the second best was either Headley (61) or Hammond (58 ish). Take your pick. The difference is 40. In the era before that, Hobbs (57) and Sutcliffe (60) were probably the picks. In the era of the Windies quicks, it was Chappell (53), Miandad (53), Gavaskar and Richards (both >50). No massive standouts. In Tendulkar's era, it's Kallis (56), Sanga (57), Lara (51), Ponting (52) and Tendulkar (54). Again, no massive standouts. So Bradman averages between 93 and 100 in whatever era you choose. He was standard deviations better than the next best. The era of the Windies quicks was strong, but averages reduced at most by 3-5 runs at the very elite level.

Posted by Meety on (April 18, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

@cricindian.com on (April 18, 2013, 11:00 GMT) - nobody can "prove" Bradman would average 99.94 in todays game. What can be THEORETICALLY stated is that Bradman COULD of averaged 90 odd in the modern era. Mike Hussey averaged about 80 for several years, Punter averaged about 70 for 5 years, the bowling of the modern era (with a few exceptions), tend to have worse averages than past decades. The bowling averages of Don's era is comparable to the modern era. The Don was a fine player of spin, so it is not too big of a stretch, to say he would of been strong in Asia. Given Oz's weaknesses in India (specifically) - maybe he would of had troubles, I cannot say for certain, what I can say is - generally he was amongst the finest players of spin EVER & so stood a very good probability of performing there. It is worth noting that Sachin's average in England & Oz is a LONG way short of what the Don averaged in those countries.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 18, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

Don Bradman test average of 99.94 and a first class average of 95. There should be one more article and apply bowling average of 10.7 in test and 13.3 of Lohmann to all well known bowlers and then decide who is no. 1. Brett Lee average near to 31 and him only 10.7 suggests what. Warne bowling average is near to 26. Are you ready to accept he is only 40% of Lohmann in term of statistic, exact less than half only. McGrath also exact half of him and Lillee near to 24, only 45% of him statistically. Loahmann is statistically the best so we should decide it that he is the bestever as his average is just near to single figure JUST like Bradman near to triple figure. For me Warne is best test bowler of his era, not because only of average. Can we say Marshall is unable infront of Loahmann becasue his average is almost double of him. No one achieved this figure after him. For those argue for only 18 test matches, just see his average is 13.3 in first class in 293 matches.

Posted by kristee on (April 18, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

Lara would be my candidate for the second, yet distant, best after the incomparable Bradman. He looked the player for a champion team rather than a mediocre one; perhaps that was his undoing for some time and he took time to adapt. An unselfish player, he was a game changer, exciting to watch and very honest.

Posted by AltafPatel on (April 18, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

@ dsklokuge Where is Kallis not in list where Sangakara and Gavaskar are there ?

Posted by SG70 on (April 18, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

@BillyCC ... all your arguments fall flat once you see the bowlers from Bradman ERA in action on a video clip instead of forming imaginary visuals based on what you have read in a Library or has been drilled into you by the relentless Bradman propaganda. Go search for Tate , Bowes, Voce , Farnes , Bedser, GOB Allen on Britishpathe and watch the clips. Once you have done that exercise you can come back here and tell us how scoring runs against that sort of bowling is just as demanding as the many great bowlers faced by Tendulkar. Stats become irrelevant once you see those clips. No body plays Test cricket like that today ... thats how far removed that ERA is from the current ERA. The only way you can still keep arguing is by being Passive aggresive or by being dishonest. But atleast you agree that standards have improved (phew !! )

Bradman was a un-questionable Legend of his time but to keep harping that modern legends are all tripe compared to him based on 99.94 is just silly.

Posted by alarky on (April 18, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

Harshthakor, your presentations in this debate are very sensible. However, you'll agree that after two players have competed against each other for a position in16 long years consecutively, the better has to be the one who outclassed the other in every item that was used to judge that competition? And, when the competition is based on "BTASMANSHIP", the winner would also be the one who really had "all the necessary INGREDIENTS for perfect batsmanship"? So, apply that to the SRT vs Lara debate. Forget the rest! For those who want to know why Lara was demoted to the middle order in ODIs (though I'm not debating ODIs due to the topic), Mr Lara was very controversial when he played; and he was a junior player who was not given the "Godly" respect that is given to SRT, as good as he was. So, the seniors exercised their seniority: Haynes wanted to open and Phil Simmons was a Sehwag type opener whom they dildn't want to leave out. But unlike SRT, they knew Lara would produce in any position!

Posted by jay57870 on (April 18, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

Both Bradman & Tendulkar are outliers. According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best-seller "Outliers", successful people are "invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot". Their extraordinary success is influenced by various people, society at large & different circumstances prevailing at critical junctures of their professional lives. They are products of their times: Bradman's (Depression/WW II) era is totally different from Tendulkar's (emerging India) New Age. It is what it is. To extrapolate results of one into the other's era is a futile exercise. To hypothesise in particular that the great Don would have maintained his magical 99.94 in today's world is statistical nonsense. As cricket historian David Frith puts it: "It is tempting to mark down Bradman and Tendulkar as the finest two batsmen who ever lived"! It is what it is!!

Posted by AMaurer on (April 18, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Being an Aussie I am surprised as to why my countrymen keep harping about Sachin and Murali playing many matches against Bang and Zim to prop up their career averages . It is indeed a classic case of belittling other champions' achievements so that our own champion is regarded as the GREATEST and remains the GREATEST forever!! Many of them conveniently forget that Sachin played just 8% of his total test matches against Zim & Bang whereas Don played 29% of his test matches against the then minnows WI,SA and India and that too on home grounds.

Friends, I can assure you that what you read in posts here from other Aussies does not portray the true picture of sports loving Australia. Please do not be misled. We love all champions in all sports of any nationality and share a drink with them after the match is over. It's just a game not war after all.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 18, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

Just to add another comment to Sachin's case so to speak as @Imsrk pointed out yesterday a) Sachin did not have the advantage of not having to face the likes of Warne & Mcgrath from Aus like Ponting did. b) Lara had a huge advantage of not having to face Ambrose and Walsh whilst Sachin had to face them. c)Kallis had an advantage of not having to face Donald, Pollock, Steyn & Ntini while Sachin had to face them as well. d) Sachin had the DISADVANTAGE of not getting a chance to face the Agarkars,Prasads,Srinaths, Ashish Nehras etc. while Kallis, Ponting and Lara had the advantage of facing these Indian bowlers and scoring heavily.

Fair point one would say.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 18, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

Tendulkar is bestever due to flawless batting technique. How we know King Viv was big match winner as compare to him. Any team had to face hostile attack of them of WI. So alone how can we judge, who is better. Take example of Inzamam, sometimes it looks like he is big match winner but he had Wasim, Waqar, Akhtar, Saqlain, Mushtaq and so on. Here I am not against his destruction, his destruction was flawless. I am trying to say that it is not necessary alone batsman cannot change the game. It is combine effect. Against attack make sense but against any particular bowler, how we know the exact. He scored 11 centuries against Australia, he started from 1989, so definetly he had to face McGrath and Warne. And for my observation, I always saw him scoring against them easily. Only three batsmen score four or more centuries in Australia from decade of 90s. Tendulkar 6, Lara 4 and Vaughan 4. His average never drop to less than 50 against WI, faced Ambrose and Walsh, before 2000, his avr 62.8

Posted by kristee on (April 18, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

The very exercise shows how badly cricket is restricted by jingoistic biases. The coinage of the adjective Bradmanesque alone tells how unique the player in question is, something even Federer or Pele perhaps can't hope to emulate. Although those two have closer rivals in their respective sports, they command such an awe, irrespective of patriotic allegiance, thanks to the better wisdom prevailing in their fields.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 18, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

@Billycc, glad to know that my posts are at least going through quickly now. The post before last one i had to try for more than 6 hours again and again just to get it posted and published...guess something wrong with this website today. As for Sobers, all i can is that he averages less than 24 against NZ (a write off according to you) in the 12 tests he played against them and he never had to play against his own West Indian quicks...but many still consider him to be one of the top 3 or 5 greatest batsmen....not in my books at least. I am most anxiously waiting for the findings of your research to confirm that "Don would avg 99 in modern era"....till then as i mentioned earlier Ponsford can wait. As for credibility of bowlers this has been answered before by various posters (including me) here...please check.

Posted by Britishcricket on (April 18, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

I agree with @crazykiwi, @Cwijetunge and others who question the constant average of 99 for Don across all eras. Statistically speaking this assumption would not stand up to any test whatsoever.

This also implies that straightway Don is taken out of the equation when it comes to comparison and becomes untouchable and all other remaining batsmen of all eras have to fight with each other to lay claim to be the second best. What an absurd statistical anlaysis is this...does not make any sense.

Posted by DavisL on (April 18, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

Just one quote that applies to any field of life …"The one who overcame obstacles and succeeded (Sachin) will always be ranked above the one who got rid of the obstacle and then succeeded (Don)" Friends, yes I am referring to Don getting rid of Larwood who gave him lots of trouble!

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 18, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

@Meety, i am impressed by your copy+paste skills. Anyway just to answer your query Don would avg at least 5 runs less if not more against the very same bowlers that you listed whom Sachin has faced if he had played in the last 30-40 years, mind you this might have easily resulted in more ducks against Don's name b'coz runs cannot be listed in negative. Sachin is way ahead of Don, your stats are not convincing, more meaningful stats please..

Posted by BillyCC on (April 18, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

@cricindian.com, the fully changed LBW rule was fully introduced in 1972. The first change was done in 1935-1937 and so Bradman played under one revised version where the batsman could be given out if the ball pitched outside the off stump but hit in line. He averaged just as high before and after that first change. He didn't play under the second change. But neither did Sobers who played from 1954 to 1974. So what is Sober's adjusted average in your world? 8? Sobers also only played against 5 teams. NZ was a writeoff, India was a writeoff until the 1970s. It was Australia, England and a couple of away matches against Pakistan. And Bradman finished his career six years before Sobers started. Did bowling suddenly experience a new lease of life in those 6 years so that every bowler from then on was credible but every bowler before that not? So add Sobers to your list as well, still haven't heard anything on Ponsford.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 18, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

@Billycc, for me and many of his fans Sachin is an 'outlier' for his mountain of runs in your own words as it is in your case with Bradman for his avg of 99. Just by stating that Don as an 'outlier' you are basically running away from the challenge to prove him to be 40+ avg the second best in modern era. None of the Aussie cricket experts, commentators, past or present cricketers that i have heard and read in books have ever said that Don would avg in the high 90s if he was playing in modern times leave aside experts from other nations. The challenge for you is to prove it by pitting Don against each bowler starting from the time Sachin started playing one by one in different conditions, with helmet and all modern equipment on and with the new LBW rule rather than just generalizing Don as an 'outlier' and therefore would avg 99 in any era. Ponsford can wait till then...

Posted by BillyCC on (April 18, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

@cricindian.com, already proven in many of my previous posts but of course you won't understand. It's pretty easy to prove if you look how much better Bradman was compared to his peers (100 vs 60 in test cricket + an average 95 in first class cricket). Today, there are a bunch of players hovering between 50 to 60, just as there were a bunch of players hovering between 50 to 60. Cricket has undergone an evolution, which has meant that both batsmen and bowlers have improved in quality over time ie. the contest between bat and ball has been even. Therefore, an average of 50 back in Bradman's era was considered great, just as an average of 50 today is considered great. And because Bradman was an outlier in his lifetime, there is no reason why he isn't an outlier in any other lifetime. As I said, you have to prove firstly that Bradman wasn't an outlier and then justify why only his average would come down so drastically and maintain the credibility of the other batting averages. You can't.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 18, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

@Billycc, please read my previous post carefully, I said "you still haven't convinced me or anyone here by any stretch of imagination or statistics that Don would average 99 now….till you do this I will keep Ponsford for a later date!" You have been found lacking in accepting a challenge that was thrown at you by many posters (including me) here many many days ago "which was to prove that Don would average 99 now" and then you expect me to take up a challenge on Ponsford now (even though I said I will keep Ponsford for a later date). All you are trying to do is hiding your lack of answers to this challenge by getting others to prove something else….HAHAHAHA!! Hope you did that one last check for the last time to find out whether 100 > 71!!

As for other comments of yours please read through all the posts here (including from myself) and you will get the answers.

Posted by prashant1 on (April 18, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

@harshthakor - the particular blog you mention is acutely biased towards certain players. and fauning towards others. Many ppl have deserted it.

Posted by harshthakor on (April 18, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Where Sachin Tendulkar stands out is that he combined all the ingredients that comprise the perfect batsman more than any great batsman be it technique,concentration,ability to win and save matches,temperament,innovative ability,consistency and above all ability to radiate joy.In no single aspect did Sachin defeat his rivals. Viv Richards and Brian Lara were more dominating with greater flair, Lara able to champion the cause of a weak batting line up and single-handedly change the course of a match better , Sobers at his best superior in a crisis and Hobbs technically superior and more consistent.

Sachin's greatness cannot be only expressed with his gigantic statistical achievements which will probably never be equalled.

Posted by harshthakor on (April 18, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

The most important criteria is that mere statistical compilations can never always depict the true picture.The era is an important factor and it is a strong possibility that had Viv Richards or Gary Sobers played in the modern era they may have even surpassed Sachin ,in test cricket.Today twice as many batsmen average above 50 than in the tines of Viv Richards and Sobers.Viv and Gary were both better players of pure pace bowling than Tendulkar and better on fast tracks.In terms of match performances in Anantha Narayana 2009 analysis Laar and Viv are both rated above Sachin with 22.23 and 21.63 points as against Sachin's 20.44.This evaluates the opposition,pitches,contribution to team's performance etc.Fascinatingly Jack Hobbs is rated at 23.6 here.Hobbs scored 117 centuries after the war in 1st class cricket.

In the pure test version Lara is 2nd to the Don with his ability to make mammoth scores and series aggregates as well as turn matches single-handedly.

Posted by CWijetunge on (April 18, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

@CrazyKiwi, I agree to what you say Don's fans are indeed trying to confuse everyone by "keeping Don's average of 99 constant across all eras" statistically and practically speaking, everyone knows this is wrong.

Posted by Meety on (April 18, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh on (April 17, 2013, 12:46 GMT) "...to say that bowlers like Larwood and Bowes were better than Akhtar,Waqar,Akram,Murali,Warne,Ambrose,McGrath,Steyn,Qadir,Saqlain,Ajmal has to be the joke of the 21century..." - here is Sachin's ave against these bowlers in order Akhtar - 5 (3 tests),Waqar - 15,Akram - 35,Mural - 44i,Warne -39,Ambrose (played 1 series - no dissmissals) ,McGrath- 22,Steyn - 16,Qadir (1 test)-41,Saqlain - 47,Ajmal (NEVER played against). Again - it is one thing to say look at who Sachin faced, it is another to actually say he did well against them! Only 9 bowlers have ever averaged less than 50 against Bradman - NONE of them got him out more than twice! Larwood averaged 77.6, Bedser 54.6 (Bradman was 38 to 40yrs old when he played him), Verity 71.1, Tate 80.2, Bowes 145.6 - all well regarded bowlers, some are considered Greats.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 18, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

From 1990 to onward Lee, Akhtar, Waqar, Wasim, Ambrose, Walsh, Bishop, Donald, Ntini, Styen, Gillispie, Mitchell Johnson, Flintoff, Morkel and Malinga. Before 1990 Richard Hadlee, Lillee, Thompson, Garner, Holding, Marshall, Robert, Colin Croft, Imran Khan, Merv Hughes and others, Tendulkar scored 8405 runs in first 100 test with batting average near to 57.96, then for last 98 test 7432 with batting average almost 50 only. Mostly fast bowlers were from decade of 90, it means he was extra ordinary against pace. For those argue, Tendulkar had not play fastest bowlers too much, please first see the reality and then decide. These all fifteen are fast bowlers not fast medium. Then faced quality fast medium are there McGrath, Vaas, Pollock and so many others then quality spinners like Murli, Warne, Saqlain and many many others he had to face. It is probable that single lacking in technique means lost of wicket against any attack.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 18, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

@Meety, a captain would always prefer a bowler who takes a wicket earlier than any other bowler....that says it all

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 18, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

@Meety,shows that have not done enough research on S/R and bowling quality between eras but instead,you are picking on someone else's research (however ludicrous his conclusion may be!)and pasting it here,this is obvious when you say "Detailed work has been done" Put red glasses on and you will see everything in red and same applies with any other colour. By this method I can easily advise you to look up the findings of surveys conducted in UK and Aus dailies recently on "who the Greatest batsman is" and conclude safely that "Sachin..the best ever" As @AMaurer had posted here when you say that "the difference in bowling quality between what SRT & Don faced is just 4.5%" it only shows that the person arriving at this conclusion has no idea on what cricket is all about. The corollary to this is "Don played very ordinary bowlers except a handful few i.e. while SRT played 52 bowlers who could take a wicket in less than 60 balls on avg Don played just 6 bowlers with same striking power

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

Average followed by strike rate would be the correct criterion. They too can lie but much less compared to career aggregate, No of centuries etc.. To rephrase, they expose a player more significantly.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 18, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

@DavisL, yes it took Hammond an extra 33 tests to score an extra 250 runs. What an open and shut case you and TheOnlyEmperor have.

Posted by Meety on (April 18, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh on (April 17, 2013, 12:46 GMT) - no contradictions. Just as innings & not outs are a function of a batting average - BOTH a S/Rate & E/Rate are functions of a bowling ave. If bowling averages are comparable to modern times (fact) - than the S/R & E/R have an inverse relationship compared to different eras. Great bowlers had high S/Rates in the past - but were accurate - so when they got a wicket their average is low. Brett Lee has a great S/Rate, but a relatively poor average, because his E/R was high. Stuey MacGill had a better S/Rate than Shane Warne, but MacGill's ave is 29 v Warne 25 - why - because MacGills E/R is 3.2 v Warne 2.6. The comparable AVERAGES of BOWLERS in the 1930s compared to the 1990s is similar. Detailed work has been done proving that bowling quality was comparable between what Sachin & Bradman faced, Sachin may have faced 100 great bowlers but he faced more ordinary ones - so on average the diff in quality is 4.5%!

Posted by DavisL on (April 18, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

@Theonlyemperor, that is a stunning statistic... "Bradman may have played Tests for 20 years, but no point in these 20 years did he hold the record for the most runs in Test cricket.That alone knocks him off from the "greatest batsman ever" contention". Very Good point indeed!

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 18, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

As a Don fan myself, am very disappointed about some posts from other Don's fans. Mate, this is just a sport, Bradman is not considered the best anymore, accept it and move on,that is how it is with everything in life. I am sure Sachin will also not be considered as the best if his records of 30K odd runs is broken. This is what startles me to the point of being really embarrassing; a)In a 'like' for 'like' comparison of Warne and Murali b'coz they played in the same era,Murali is much much better than Warne on all bowling stats but us Aussies don't accept this b)If Don is the best b'coz of his batting avg of 99, then GA Lohmann of Eng with a bowling avg of 10.75 is the best when it comes to bowling,again, this is not accepted by Aussies it has to be Lillee,McGrath or Warne c)How can a batting avg of 99 in 1930/40s be applied to all generations thereafter as a yardstick,comparisons should always be apples v apples i.e. same eras.

Posted by jay57870 on (April 18, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

Suresh - Clearly the title is wrong: Who's the next-best batsman after Bradman? How misleading as it presupposes Bradman's the "greatest batsman" ever. How fallacious as it oversells the 99.94 average as the all-encompassing truth of supremacy. Just like the "flat earth" model entrenched as the universal truth - until debunked by ancient Greek astronomers. Many compelling arguments have been posted & written authoritatively to challenge the 99.94 premise. Including Menon's introductory para, backed up by well-researched evidence, to support "an argument for placing Sachin Tendulkar above Don Bradman in the pantheon"! But in the ensuing 2 paras, Menon is (contextually) sidetracked - "for purposes of this piece" (read title) - only to "concede ground" to the "firmly entrenched ... (Bradman) collective consciousness" & declare that "99.94 alone is a conversation-stopper"! Meaning end of debate! Calling a compelling argument as "side issues"! Stereotypical. It's the wrong title, Suresh!!

Posted by BillyCC on (April 18, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

@cricindian.com, good to see you're not up to the challenge. Forget about Ponsford, does Hobbs only average 7? Does Trumper average -11? In terms of the 100 centuries, Bradman's done it all before in first class cricket, Hobbs did 200 centuries. If you play long enough, anyone can do it. You just need to keep getting selected in test cricket and occupy a top order position in ODIs. And it's actually the wrong comparison. We're talking test cricket here and it's actually 51 centuries to 44. ODIs are sadly irrelevant in this discussion. Secondly, it's the conversion rate that counts. Sachin's conversion rate is nothing special in test cricket. In ODI, it is excellent. If you really want to aggregate, you might as well aggregate the first class stats for the older generations who couldnt' play ODIs but instead played a lot more first class matches. Final thought of the day: if Ponsford batted today, is he actually a disguised Chris Martin?

Posted by CrazyKiwi on (April 18, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

Don's fans, please do not confuse everyone by the method given below; 1) Keep Don's avg as constant @99 across all eras 2) Compare all other batsmen of other eras in different aspects like averages, year by year performance etc and arrive at the conclusion that no one really stands out and 3) Therefore, Don is untouchable at an avg of 99!

This is not the right way to go about it.

Posted by harshthakor on (April 18, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

In the end it is virtually impossible to morally seperate the likes of Brian Lara,Sachin Tendulkar,Viv Richards,Gary Sobers or Jack Hobbs.Each batsman had unique qualities of their own that made them champions.Viv Richards would have been the best of matchwinners and players of pace bowling,Lara the best in registering mammoth scores and championing the cause of a weak team,Hobbs the ultimate batsman on wet tracks like Victor Trumper wile Sobers and Tendulkar posessed every ingredient for the perfect batsman.

It is difficult envisaging Bradman mantaining his average in the 1970's with the great pace attacks or in the more recent eras.George Headley,undoubtedly in the Bradman class did not face as many diverse attacks as modern day greats,nor did Bradman himself.

The most important question is whether we can ever make an accurate comparison of batsmen from different eras and if it is even fair to do so.

Posted by harshthakor on (April 18, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

A man obliterated is the great Sir Jack Hobbs.Probably he is the most eligible candidate to join the Don.His 197 first class centuries and 61237 runs are unequalled till today,that too 11 centuries after the age of 40.12 of his 15 test hundreds were against Australia.On wet tracks he was a champion.

The most important criteria is whether you are considering a batsman at his best or peak period or his overall career.At his best from 1976-81 Viv was the closest to Bradman ,while Brian Lara was the ultimate player in championing the cause of a weak batting team.At their best both Viv and Lara were better match-winners than Tendulkar ,who could turn the complexion of a game to a marginally higher ahead of Tendulkar in Ananth Narayana's analysis of the best test batsman in 2009.

Neverthless Tendulkar's phenomenal reign at the top facing undaunted pressure may well make him the best of all and he posessed more ingredients for the perfect batman than anyone.

Posted by Africasafari on (April 18, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

@CWijetunge, I agree with you that the simple issue of "Scoring runs and taking wickets" is being manipulated and twisted around by focussing on averages, strike rates etc to suit the convenience of people presenting their case here.

Sachin and Murali are head and shoulders above the rest in that regard though I would have loved to see more of Kallis mentioned in the discussions. But as you say Kallis is not the highest run getter in either test matches or ODIs and that alone takes Kallis out of reckoning.

Don's ability on subcontinent pitches against spinners or against the fearsome WI quicks or the Pak quicks have not been proven which takes him out of the equation whereas batsmen like Sachin have faced them at some point of time in their career but still ended up with tons of runs against his name despite all this.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

If some people could speculate Bradman would have averaged 50 or below now, some others can as well do Tendulkar would have done 25 or below then. Okay, the former outnumber the latter; everyone knows how and why. Bradman looks unreachable in terms of the most crucial stats, that's average. Compare two players, and you can see how average works better than any other factor. Returning to the topic, as for the second best, the best candidate from among the ones I watched would be Lara, who could alter the course of a match on his own a few times.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 18, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

@Billycc, you fail to understand what 100 international hundreds mean and if you check for one last time there is no one close to this tally of 100 international hundreds and therefore no one in Sachin's league at all so to say….just one more last check please!! HaHa! When you say that DGB average 40 plus as compared to the second best of his generation you again go back to the same absurd assumption "which is DGB would avg 40 plus in the modern era as well which is 98 or 99 (58 + 40)"….no one with a semblance of cricketing intelligence would believe that because you still haven't convinced me or anyone here by any stretch of imagination or statistics that Don would average 99 now….till you do this I will keep Ponsford for a later date! And just for your information, if you Aussies can claim that Don would average 99 now without even an iota of evidence to that effect, Sachin's fans arguing against Don has every right to claim that Don would average 50 now!

Posted by CWijetunge on (April 18, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

Thank you to all the posters who have accepted by simple but decisive argument which was;

"Sachin is the best batsman till date as he is the highest run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs and Murali is the best bowler till date as he is the highest wicket taker in both Tests and ODIs"

All these lengthy discussions about averages, strike rates, quality of bowlers faced etc are nothing but minor side issues to divert the attention from the real one which is "scoring runs and taking wickets"

Posted by BillyCC on (April 17, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

@jojygeorge, I believe (I could be wrong but happy to be proven otherwise) the first change of the lbw law occurred between 1935-1937. Therefore, after that period, you could be given out if the ball pitched outside the off stump but still hit in line. The other big change occurred after Bradman played: you could be given out if you are hit outside the line of the off stump but offering no shot. There is no evidence of how Bradman would have fared under the second change, but under the first change (if it occurred in 1937), he averaged 138 in 1937, 109 in 1938, 211 in 1946, 65 in 1947 and 114 in 1948. So it had no impact.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 17, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

@cricindian.com, you fail to understand what Bradmanesque actually means. It's not only about the magnitude of the average but the relativity to others. Lohmann is not the greatest bowler of all time because he averaged 11, but others in the same era averaged 13 (Ferris), 15.5 (W Barnes), 16.5 (Bates and S Barnes). It's hardly in the same league as 99 vs next best of 60 something. Last I checked, 11 vs 13 is only 2 runs per innings better. So try again. Good to see that you avoided the question of Ponsford averaging -1 if you wanted to adjust Bradman's average from 99 to a more normal true average of 50.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

@ IPSY............in ODI we have limited overs so all teams try to give chance to their best batsman to play maximum no of deliveries...................Obviously Lara either didn't think he was best batsman in ODI or he was too worried of new ball towards later part of his career so he dropped down. He certainly had huge problems with indippers at pace bcz of his over complicated technique. & got lbw & bold always against pace......................His poor big game performances i.e. WC & tornament finals show he was just a poor ODI player

Posted by alarky on (April 17, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

Suresh, As I noted earlier, the verdict against SRT is overwhelming! I also think like most that he should first pass the test against Lara, before he goes up against the likes of Sobers, Viv Richards, Gavascar and Kallis. But, the figures being exposed when compared with Lara put the stacks too high against him. So we should just keep it simple and say that he's a great batsman - don't get him into this 2nd to Bradman thing. With Sobers, Richards and Lara, they are just naturally good. Any of thee 3 wouldn't touch a bat for a fortnight and walk out of a late night Backardy Rum party on the first day of a test match, and and out class any batsman with awesome stroke play in that match. The 3 are beyond comparison, as Boycott et al say - just as Bradman. SRT on the other has to do his daily routine of knocking-up 300 balls per hour, or 1000 balls per day, to be ready for a match. But after all that, put him at the other end to bat with any of these 3, they make him look like an ameteur!

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 17, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar - The very best...

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 17, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

@Meety,don't know why Aussies keep saying that Sachin & Murali played a lot against Zim, Bang etc. Sachin played just 8% of his test matches against these nations whereas Don played 29% of his test matches against the then minnows WI,SA and India and that too on home grounds....Hope you get my point this time!

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 17, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

@Meety, you appear very confused about Strike rates and Economy rates and then go on to state that cricket is about runs and wickets. Aren't you contradicting yourself? Here is a simple explanation, if a bowler is very economical because he is difficult to face for whatever reason then, all a batsman has to do is play him out and look to score of other bowlers whereas if a bowler has an excellent strike rate a batsman wouldn't survive for long... forget run scoring!! The list of strike rates of bowlers that i pointed out is to highlight the fact that the strike rates of bowlers have become much better now as compared to Don's time and if Sachin and other modern greats stuggled to average 50 against modern bowlers with superb strike rates the same would apply to Don as well if he had playing now and his average would come down significantly as well....it's simple correlation...don't forget that the LBW rule is much more tougher on batsmen now than it was during Don's time!

Posted by IPSY on (April 17, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

Abhishek Kumar, No! I don't want a comparison in ODIs, once the topic is "Next Best After Bradman"! That would be matching apples with marbles, since Bradman never faced a single ball in ODIs. Another reason why it would be an unfair and unscientific comparison is that Lara batted the majority of his ODIs inngs in the middle order; while Tendulkar opened. And remember, when Lara opened the inngs in ODIs and SRT batted in the middle order, Lara was way ahead of him, having scored five ODI 100s before SRT scored even one. And worse, at that time, SRT played 79 ODIs batting in the middle order and could not score a SINGLE 100 - it was when he began to open the innings that he scored his first 100. Hence, this shows that there is a very strong and significant correlation between opening the innings in ODIs and scoring 100s - which is obvious. So, the only fair comparison between Lara and SRT is in test cricket; once Bradman's name is evoked - BECAUSE THEY BOTH BATTED IN THE MIDDLE ORDER!

Posted by CrazyKiwi on (April 17, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

@Meety and @cwijetunge have put it perfectly when they say that cricket is about runs and wickets...keep it simple...and don't make it too complicated with averages,strike rates, yearly batting averages and so on.

So when it comes to runs Sachin is the highest run scorer in tests and ODIs and when it comes to wickets Murali is the highest wicket taker in both Tests and ODIs.

No one can take away these runs and wickets from these two giants of cricket and therefore, are the greatest in batting (Sachin) and bowling (Murali).

Posted by ZA77 on (April 17, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

We cannot neglect the fact Bradman average is 99.94. But he had too many advantages which today batsmen do not have. Mat over concrete pitches, 26 timeless matches, long distance fielding, lacking in fielding adjustment, amatuer captain, amatuer bowlers, relaxation in LBW law, absence of quality fast bowler, absence of quality fast medium, absence of quality leg break bowler so LBW law favoured him most. Wicket to wicket turn rule means, if someone turn the ball from outside area of wicket to inside (right hand finger spinner plus pace bowlers with incutter suffered the most) not out given for LBW, which was not case of England batsmen like Sutclife three great leg break bowlers Mailey, Grimmett, O Reilly, also faced them in timeless matches. For those argue for helmet etc I think how many times he got injury due to less protection. Why not 10.75 of G Loahmann discuss with bowling average 13.7 in first class grabbing 1841 wickets in just 293 first class, statistically the bestever.

Posted by alarky on (April 17, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

Suresh, the VERDICT against Tendulkar is overwhelming - he doesn't even seem to be the 20th best batsman after Bradman! I didn't even realise that you have to add up SRT's scores for three cricketing dispensations in order to give him a chance to qualify! Why it is always made so easy for SRT only? What I also notice, he was never the leading batsman in any of these three dispensations. Eg: In the period against Lara, Brian was his superior in every aspect. In the second period, Kallis was the leading batsman and now in his third dispensation, he is at the bottom of every recognized batsman! So I do understand why he haS to be given all these chances to qualify, when all the others had a single go. However, that's unfair! Why did't Cricinfo put their jurors to judge just after Lara retired, once he was so close to be the closest challenger to Bradman. Why they instead waited for four years when SRT was taking advantage of a period when no country had a world class bowling attack?

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

"If the No of centuries is as much crucial as career average, Ponting must have been considered twice good as Richards. " Well, I was only referring to the pattern of logic followed here for obvious reasons. If Bradman becomes special, that's not because he averages 100, which is just another number, but because he becomes inapproachable in terms of the most significant stat.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 17, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

Why is no one taking into account the impact of the different LBW rule during Don's era? The rule was "only if the ball pitches in line and hits in line of stumps will a batsman be out LBW' which in effect rules out getting out LBW to big off-breaks, in-swingers, googlies and big leg-breaks of Warne,Qadir etc. The new rule is so much easier for the bowlers to get wickets which is why facing high quality spinners on the subcontinent makes it even more dangerous for batsmen of current and the last few decades.

I really cannot look beyond Sachin and his 100 hundreds inspite of all this to be the best of all time and mind you i am an Aussie not some crazy Don fan who have never seen him bat and rely on statistics and crazy assumptions.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

@cricindian.com... How sure are any of you that bradman with all the help that the modern cricketers have to their disposal that he would have averaged 50. Why not 70 or 80. If the Don was in his prime today what would his average have been? You don't become a bad player over night. He averaged in the 90's in first class as well as in tests. What is the next best average in first class? Pollock when in his 40's still scored a 140 in a rebel tour game against the ausies in the 80's. Even he is better than Tendulkar.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 17, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

@BillyCC,@BillyCc,people need to justify that Tendulkar is best ever by justifying why DGB isn't only to convince those who make the incorrect assumption that "If Don avgd 99 in his era he would avg 99 in modern era" Otherwise, for me, all the Sachin's fans and many current and former cricketers the benchmark for being the "BEST EVER" has been set which is 34000 international runs and 100 hundreds.....it is for the others who come after Sachin to try and beat it. I think it is you who is twisting the language….sorry to say this but you do get the purpose and intent of Menon's article. Going by your law of averages GA Lohmann of Eng with an average of 10.75 is the greatest bowler of all time….is this correct? The same applies to Bradman as well which is why he will avg 50 in modern era.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 17, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Bradman may have played Tests for 20 years, but no point in these 20 years did he hold the record for the most runs in Test cricket. That alone knocks him off from the "greatest batsman ever" contention.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 17, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

@cricindian.com, you must be kidding. Menon clearly states "for the purpose of this piece, these are side issues". Therefore, all the points he makes in trying to state Tendulkar is the best ever are all SIDE ISSUES. The gap is too large for Bradman to concede ground. Talk about trying to twist the language of the article. Get a grip. Anyway, here's one for you. If Bradman would average 50 today, so does Hobbs average 7? Hammond 9? Ponsford averages -1? You can't say Bradman's true average goes down to 50 but not adjust every other player's.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 17, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

@Billycc,if you say that Viv Richards would change his mind today then I am pretty sure that if Bradman had batted in today's era many would have seen it and would have changed their minds and would not even include him in the top 5 greatest batsmen ever! In one of your posts you were waiting for someone from the subcontient to comment on this article and when someone does come along and say that SRT is the BEST EVER as mentioned clearly in the first para you refuse to accept it by saying that " Suresh clearly tries to build a case for Tendulkar being the greatest, then reverts back to Bradman because he can't" Sorry, he has..read carefully the beginning of second para "But, for the purposes of this piece". And just to clarify once again DGB would average around 50 if he had played in the modern era with a much lower centuries ratio than SRT,Kallis,Ponting etc and there are many posters here to confirm this. For me views of former and current cricketers are more important than writers!

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 17, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

@meety, amazing that you can't get my point on Wisden & Kallis....it says two things a) Wisden is not the only reliable source of cricket related information and published articles because performance in Eng is the only criteria for awards,adulation etc which also explains the various published articles on Don by Wisden b) Did Kallis become a very good player only after he performed well in Eng? Any reasonable person with avg cricketing intelligence would say No! I, for one will not cut out the last 2 or 3 years of Sachin's career b'coz longevity and consistency that culminated in 100 hundreds is what makes Sachin the stand out batsman of all eras. The article is about second best which in itself is based on the wrong assumption that "Don was the best", there are plenty in the various posts here who do not consider him the best. What about the LBW rule that was heavily in favour of the batsmen during Don's time? It's impact is often overlooked by many. U need to look beyond Wisden!!

Posted by ZA77 on (April 17, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

Tendulkar records, first one to achieve these top records at a time, highest number of matches in both version, highest scorer in both version, highest number of centuries in both version, 100 hundreds (combine), 20 times 150 or plus in test cricket, 118 times 50 or plus score in test, highest runs with the help of 50 or plus 12210 in test cricket, highest numbers of fours in test cricket. highest numbers of fours in one day, 200 in one day cricket, Beside records, 11 centuries against Australia with 9 in One day, it means only one with 20 centuries against Australian attack. his average never dropped less than 50 again W. Indies. Before 2000, it was 62.81, later on drop to 55.21 with highest score 179 in 1994. Atleast average more than 45 in all continents, atleast average 40 or more in all test playing countries. Atleast average 35 in all continents in one day, Comparison with Ponting, have not flawless batting technique (weak on spin track specially on 4th and 5th days)

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 17, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

"If the No of centuries is as much crucial as career average, Ponting must have been considered twice good as Richards. "

I am frankly amazed at such reasoning. Just because a person scores twice the number of centuries it doesn't make a person twice as good. Nobody is saying that Steve Waugh is better than Don Bradman just because Steve scored more centuries than Bradman. However in the case of SRT, he has scored 100 international centuries, when the nearest contemporary player is miles away from that number and that's what makes him significantly "greater" than Kallis and Ponting. When we speak of comparing people from different eras then the reasons why SRT is "greater" than Don has already been brought out in my earlier posts.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

I'm not a Bradman fan, having watched none of him. But his stats look too powerful to entertain any delusion of putting my favorites above him. (BTW, the double negative in my previous comment is regretted.)

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

Elementary stuff being distorted into all sorts of complications! If the No of centuries is as much crucial as career average, Ponting must have been considered twice good as Richards. The same is the case with career aggregate. Try such a comparison with average, and you can see it works very well. And if technology can spot batters' flaws, what about bowlers' then? And as for speculations as to the amateurism then, why nobody else could not come anywhere near? You're best judged as a player by how much acclaim you command outside your country. Ignore some experts with dubious motivations; cricket is primarily business. Other major sports with wider spread across nations, tends to keep a better balance.

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

Order of merit for CURRENT batsmen in "tough" conditions (i.e bowlers & pitch) (numbers to June 2012). 1. Clarke 2,957 runs @ 52.8, 2. Sangakarra 4,619 runs @ 51.9, 3. Tendulkar 7,247 runs @ 51.4, 4. Trott 1,060 runs @ 50.5.

Mike Hussey averaged 49.6, Jayawerdene 49.3 & Kallis 48.3. Interestingly at the lower end Hammond 34.1, Hayden 38.2 & Ganguly 33.3.

Genuinely surprised that two Lankans have done so well in tough conditions, given they get discredited for playing on "batting paradises"!

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

@Nampally on (April 16, 2013, 21:07 GMT) - I would agree with you that Sobers is the best cricketer ever to play the game. This title would favour allrounders who excel in every facet - ball, bat & in the field. Kallis would be close, but if you included leadership - I'd give it too Imran Khan. @Ranveerrsingh - so you quote a list of S/Rates over the history of the game - and? S/Rates are a function of AVERAGES, with bowlers the other function is ECONOMY. High S/R & low E/R can still be > than a low S/R & high E/R. On the list of BEST averages of all time, there were 7 who played in the 1930s & 7 who played in the 1990s. If you go to best E/R of all time, SIX played in the 1930s to NONE post 1976! Batting averages are slightly increasing decade on decade, S/Rates are decreasing & E/Rates are increasing. That is a long term trend. It is NOT enuff to say Sachin faced sub-60 bowlers - he didn't ave over 50 against them, but he averaged 60+ against poorer ones but NOT 99.94!

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh on (April 16, 2013, 23:26 GMT) - re Wisden & Kallis - your point? Wisden has been around 100 years before the internet & Kallis taking 18yrs to get award is totally irrelevent. Anyway don't let that stop you from quoting a more reliable internet source! Regardless, you still cannot give any clear proof as to how Sachin is the best batsmen of the last 20 yrs let alone 50 or 150 yrs. People point to longevity, but want to cut out his 1st 2 or 3 yrs & his last 2 or 3 yrs. (BTW that is a career span of 20yrs or less which is equivelent to Bradman). Then people have said he was the best batsmen of the 90s (15% we reliably informed), when great bowlers ruled the pitches - yet 40% of Sachin's matches in the 90s were against SL, NZ & Zim. Bradman only played in TWO countries we hear - yet what is the comparative ave of Bradman & Sachin in those countries? Sachin is a great batsmen - no doubts, but the article is about 2nd best, & he has about half a dozen competitors for that!

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

I am always shocked Dravid is rarely mentioned atleast as an also-ran...

how can you list Kallis and Ponting but not Dravid when they have similar stats?

Posted by BillyCC on (April 16, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

@cricindian.com, I'm saying that if you asked Viv Richards today, he could change his mind. His comments were not written down by himself, they were a quick response to questions by the media; hence the inconsistency. The 5 examples you see in cricinfo are all considered opinions. One of them, Suresh Menon, clearly tries to build a case for Tendulkar being the greatest, then reverts back to Bradman because he can't. It is brilliantly written. There is an underlying theme to all of this. When people say Bradman is the best ever, they point to the average, the centuries ratio and the distance between the next best. They need no other justification. If people say Tendulkar is the best ever, they always need to justify why Bradman isn't, why Sobers isn't, even why Kallis isn't. That debate alone ensures that the headline of this article is correct. If the headline had been who's next best after Tendulkar, then all these 5 writers would disagree or mention Bradman alongside.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 16, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

@Meety,again you have got it wrong, the stats that i gave you of timeless tests were after excluding the 'rest days' and 'days lost due to rain'...please check the test records yourself, just 3 of the timeless tests involving Bradman had a day or more lost due to rain and another 6 day test match had 2 days lost, all the interruptions if any in other matches did not result in loss of day's play Really funny when you say "only reliable source is Wisden", it took 18 years for Wisden to name Kallis as a 'cricketer of the year' just few days ago!The reason being only a player's performance in Eng is counted for this award and Kallis hadn't performed well in Eng until the last test series there! Absolutely hilarious indeed..As for giving you names of other websites, the word "research" consists of two words "re" and "search" which means search again till you find. Research is never easy as they say!

Posted by Nampally on (April 16, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

@Nutcutlet: I am an Indian Fan & a strong supporter of Tendulkar. I watched Sobers, Gavaskar, Richards, Lara & Tendulkar in action many times. They are all unique Cricketer each excelling in his own way. I am assuming all the 4 who gave their individual opinions saw all these greats as well. Sobers leads them all in lifetime Test batting average followed by Tendulkar - see my earlier input. You were skeptical about Fans voting for their own countrymen! I voted for Sobers not because of his average but because of the Charisma, style & elegance he brought to Test Cricket - he was magical like poetry in motion. He was without a doubt the best ever Cricketer to walk on any Cricket field. I say this with greatest respect to Don Bradman, whom I never saw. A self taught Genuis with natural grace in an era where non white WI Cricketers had to be twice as good as white Cricketers to get recognized. Sobers played 2 greatest Test innings ever (as per Jack Fingleton) in Brisbane & Melbourne Tests!

Posted by desireuben1 on (April 16, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

how can you forget w.v. raman ?

Posted by SGopal65 on (April 16, 2013, 20:01 GMT)

Can you ask Sobers to write his opinion about who is the next-best batsman after Bradman? Perhaps even Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, and Tendulkar himself could write what they think, the only condition to be imposed on them being that they cannot select themselves.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (April 16, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

One more thing everybody missing here. All modern greats had advantages except sachin eg. Ponting had advantage of not facing likes of warne mcgrath lara had huge advantage of not facing amrose walsh kallis had advantage of not facing donnald pollack sachin had DISADVANTAGE of not facing agarkars and ashish nehras

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

enough talk about those who have reflected their cricketing eras. how about those that have had the greatest lasting impacts in the history of cricket? those that came before the Don? Ranji, to name one.

Other greats from recent times: Dravid, the Great Wall of India, who made the Indian Test team one of the most formiddable overseas squads? Chanderpaul, pure class. from the wristy wizard of Srilanka: Jayasuria. these men were overshadowed by more famous men like Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara. personally having watched dravid and tendulkar since i was a wee lad, i would say, in the perspective of tests, dravid's wicket was more valuable than Tendulkar's. Pure Dedication in an era of overwhelming talent.

all that said and done. nobody dares argue with 99.4. That is a milestone in Cricketing history that will NEVER be surpassed. besides in modern day cricket, Sobers and Bradman would have even the best of bowling attacks shivering to their marrows. pfft. protective gear.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

Sachin was the biggest match player proven from his performance in World Cup games & Tournament finals performance. He was top scorer in WC 2006 & WC 2003 & was man of series as well and was 2nd top scorer in WC 2011..........In tournament finals Sachin Avg 50 + with S/R 86................................................LARA, Kallis had none such achievement Only Richards come close.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

IPSY just dont see the matches alone..see the innings lara has played more innings when compared to sachin...

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Lara has a very weak case bcz 1). LARA, for most part of his career had the luxury of playing alongside top bowlers of his generation including Ambrose, Walsh etc hence didn't have to face them bowlers whereas Sachin had to face all good bowling sides coz India never had good bowling. 2). besides Lara had poor ODI record with inferior avg & S/R to Sachin 3) Great players are big game players who rise to big occasion but LARA had poor record in big games i.e. world cup & tournament finals with avg of 40 & 30 respectively compared to 50+ of Tendulkar

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

@IPSY I don't know about other 1000'run marks scored but if i am correct test matches have 2 innings. in completing the 10000 runs Lara took 112 test while sachin took 122 but the important factor comes to innings where both of them took 195 innings to reach this figure. So i believe we are even steven here. And for oppsn mark Lara never had to face WI bowling Attack which was really very strong in the early 90's.And even though Lara was great it wasn't sachin's fault he retired while he came back from the slump and took his avg greater than Lara. And for ZIM and BAN remark betwen 1990 and 2006 barring them both of them scored 32 test centuries. And now it was not sachin's fault again that he debuted at 16 while lara debuted at 21. now do you want to have a comparison in ODIs.

Posted by IPSY on (April 16, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

Cont'd: Suresh, Not only did Lara make over 1300 runs more than SRT in less matches and less innings during those 16 years that they competed, but he made them with much greater style and dominance. And Lara's wicket was the most PRIZED WICKET for those 16 years when they competed. Ask ANY BOWLER who bowled against them during that time. Of course, the world knew that Lara was the most dangerous batsman in the world for the entire 16 years when he played. He is the only man to date to break the world's batting record twice for the highest individual score. And, apart from Bradma's average of 99.94 in 52 tests, I think that Lara's individual record of 501 NOT OUT in first class cricket plus his 400 NOT OUT in tests (held by the same player) is the only other individual batting record in cricket that would NEVER be broken - one may be broken by a single individual, but NO ONE man could ever hold both records at the same time again! That's how you know someone who is Bradmanesque!

Posted by swarzi on (April 16, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

Suresh, If it's Bradman, it must be test cricket. And, SRT is again given the unfair advantage of longevity. But he has not always worth his place in his team. Eg:2004 to 2007, for 4 consecutive years, he was a huge FAILURE in the team! There were calls for his head! Though that would have been justifiable, he was given a SECOND CHANCE! Now, he's given a THIRD CHANCE, and in his THIRD YEAR of FAILURE again! Now, which single name from your long list was given more than a SINGLE CHANCE to prove that he's the Next Best After Bradman? Not one! Hence, it is unfair to give SRT so many chances while all the others only had one. Hence, SRT does not meet the criteria! And, I'm saying again that the only fair comparison for SRT is Brian Lara. They both started together (1989/90) and competed for16 long years, against the same oppositions; under the same rules and conditions; and "on the same number of grounds. But he failed the vs Lara test badly! So how can he be better than Sobers or Sir Viv?

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

I have no doubt that Sachin is a great player, but for his claims as the second best after Bradman is absurd. Most of his records are purely based that he has been playing for 24 years and India seems unwilling to drop him. He has simply played more than the other great players. In any other country where the team comes before the individual he would have been dropped since 2007. Bear in mind that when Sunny and Brian Lara left the game they both had every record that they wanted against everyone possible. For argument sake at the time of his retirement Lara held the most runs for less innings than Sachin, Waugh and Border. As a matter of fact only three players have scored 20% of their teams runs ie Bradman, Headley and Lara. Lara maintained that % over 131 test matches.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (April 16, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

How many of you have seen Bradman play and lived in his era? I would say Sachin is the best batsman and I do not put him next to Bradman because I have not seen how Bradman played..Is it becasue of his average? surely he played mostly on batting friendly conditions as his average suggest.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

The way the tendulkar followers talk we should disregard that brandman existed and that he did not have a good record. what you are implying is that all bowlers were slow to medium pace. Our club bowlers that I played against over the last 20 years are probably bowling at 130-140. I faced a bowler who after 2 years were clocked at 150km/h and his brother were faster. If Vernon philander and plenty others have shown is that speed is not everything and that skill and swinging the ball is far more lethal than just pace. Its rare where you get a bowler like steyn who bowls fast and swings it and doing this late. That Indian bowler who swings it both ways are a good bowler and he bowls at 130plus. The human reflexes are a very amasing thing. fast is overated. Accuracy is much more dangerous.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 16, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

@Billycc,by saying that "all you've proven with the Richards quote is that he doesn't really know or hasn't really considered what he's said. Those statements contradict each other" you are basically saying that Viv Richards has no idea about what he says The same could be said about many quotes about Bradman in the past and even now, right here among the different comments that have been posted. When you say that "Sachin is the best ever" quotes are actually throwaway comments at press conferences or interviews after he has broken a record you are just clutching at straws once again.. As for Indian fans not supporting Sachin as best ever, please note that there are many comments from Eng,SA,NZ and even AUS posters herein favouring Sachin as the best ever which more than cancels out these Indian fans.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 16, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

@Meety, whichever statistical research irrespective of the website concluded that " difference between what Bradman faced & what Tendulkar faced is 4.5%" has no idea about bowling whatsoever. Sorry,but to say that bowlers like Larwood and Bowes were better than Akhtar,Waqar,Akram,Murali,Warne,Ambrose,McGrath,Steyn,Qadir,Saqlain,Ajmal etc has to be the biggest joke of the 21st century. The other important point you keep missing is that the strike rate of bowlers in the last 30-40 years has improved considerably which is why you find that while "Don had to face just 6 bowlers with strike rate of less than 60 balls per wicket on an average, Sachin and other batsman of the recent past have had to face more than 52 bowlers with a strike of less than 60, many even less than 50!" PLease check the link on this very website http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283274.html which makes the finding " difference between what Bradman faced & what Tendulkar faced is 4.5%" go for a toss.

Posted by AMaurer on (April 16, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

Being an Aussie i am really sad to see the extent to which some people degrade the records of modern players like Sachin,Kallis,Sanga etc. just to support the one that they are favouring. As has been mentioned many times herein, it would be just ridiculous to say that Don would average 99 if he had played in the last 40 years or so, such has been the vast improvement in the quality of bowlers, fielding etc in cricket as compared to what it was in Don's time. Agreed that the protective equipment has also improved but really one only needs to look at the skills which current day bowlers possess which is far superior to Don's time. Needless to mention that all the Akrams,Waqars,Steyns, Warnes, Muralis,Ambrose's, Akhtars, Saqlains, Kumbles, Ajmals etc are much much better than Larwood, Bowes etc, if any one thinks otherwise, then i am afraid they have no idea on what cricket is all about! For me Sachin is the best followed by Viv Richards, Gavaskar,Kallis, Don, Sobers and so on...

Posted by CWijetunge on (April 16, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

I am from Sri Lanka and my understanding of cricket has always been that "bowlers have to take wickets and batsman have to score runs". From this very simplistic point of view, it is very obvious that the wickets taken and runs scored are what defines a great bowler and great batsman respectively! Murali is the highest wicket taker in both Tests and ODIs and Tendulkar is highest run-getter in both Tests and ODIs, that's it then, they are the greatest when it comes to bowling and batting!! All other discussions about averages, strike rates, centuries, 5 or 10 wicket hauls, number of match-winning performances etc are just secondary for me. This also implies that if anyone can break Murali's or Sachin's record they would be considered the best ever without any doubt.

Posted by Nampally on (April 16, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

Suresh, you say "forget the Caveat, consider only the evolution of Craft. Next generation start from where the previous generation left off"! Using that as the guidelines, how do you judge the craft of batting over a long period? It appears that you have finalized 2 candidates as Sobers & Tendulkar.Sobers averages 57.78 over his lifetime in 93 Tests & has played on every ground except in SA, due to apartheid(caveat?). Sobers started as a bowler during his initial 4 years. From 1958 to 1974 when he batted higher up, Sobers played 79 Tests scoring 7360 runs at an average of 63. Tendulkar played 198 Tests scoring 15837 at an average of 53.86. So on averages Sobers wins. Sachin's highest Test score was 248* whilst Sobers world record of 365* remained unbeaten for 40 years. But unignorable caveat is Sobers was a poor lad with no access to "white" cricket fields or coaching. He started in borrowed uniforms & rose to become a self taught cricketing genius. In that light alone he gets my vote.

Posted by SG70 on (April 16, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

@ravi the way you find out the speed is by just looking at the run up action and the reaction times of batsmen ... anyone who has seen a genuine fast bowler will know right away that the bowlers on display in that video are no where close to being fast bowlers.Iam yet to see a fast bowler bowl from less than 10 paces.If you want I can download those videos and run them frame-by-frame and compare them to bowlers with known speeds. You will see how slow the ball arrives at the batsman. But you already knew that. But such is the cult of Bradman and the brainwashing so thorough and complete that you will pretend that you are seeing a true fast bowler. You will ofcourse point me to millions of column inches to "back up" your views. See the key to these discussions is honesty . if you are bent upon pretending that the bowlers were fast there is nothing that will prevent you from doing so.

@Meety do you *honestly* believe that Bowes was within 10% of Allan Donald as that "research" tells?

Posted by Cricketluv on (April 16, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

Thank you momomad Nayeemudeen A Sri Lankan, Santh Jayasoriya , Can any one find a better who 'revolunised the most loved format of the game,is there at least in the discussion, it's too as the 20th in the list. The size of the country is also a criterion it seems.If Momomad continued he would have given Arawinda de Silva at least 25th place. Can a statistician try to find to who the greatest in all three departments- It means the all rounder both in Tests and ODIs- Let's keep T 20 aside for a while. I am trying to take Sanath within first ten. Thanks again.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Indian fans please go have a read on the internet about the life of don bradman and his playing days. timeless tests did not last more than 6 days and alot only lasted 4 days or 5. There were also a lot of rain interruptions. which means on uncovered pitches it's a nightmare. Scoring 404 in 4 or five hours. Just becuase you did not see it dooes not mean its not great.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

@ I.Aziz & all putting Kallis to be 2nd after don, you guys have kind of a vilid case as in tests …..as in Tests top 10 are 1). Don 2). Kallis 3). Sobbers 4). SRT 5). Ponting 6). Hayden 7). Hammond 8).Gvaskar 9).Lara 10).Dravid............But in ODI's Kallis is not there at all bcz both Kallis & SRT have same runs per inn = 42 ......but SRT S/R=86 of Kallis 74.....Sachin big match player with WC avg 48 & Tournament finals avg 50+ but Kallis is not..Sachin is higest run getter in WC 96 & WC 2003 & being man of the series & 2nd run scorer in WC 2011 but Kallis has no such achievement. Hence top 10 ODI batsmen are 1). Sachin 2). Richards 3). Ponting 4). Devilliers 5). Amla 6). Jayasuria 7). Kallis 8). Anwar 9). Dhoni 10). Lara ..combining the ODI & Tests every logical person will have to admit SRT is 2nd only to DON

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

ZA77 when doing a comparison with tendulkar you must remember he played far more innings against the rest of the world and have more opportunities to get scores. Only reason he have more test 100's than kallis and ponting is the amount more tests he played. Let tendulkar bat 50% of tests in SA and see how many 100's he'll get. Please compare apples with apples. If you bat 450 times in ODI's and open, you get more opportunities to score a 100 than a person batting at no.4 or 5. Everybody is bragging about the amount of runs scored. Give kallis, lara, ponting, sangakara, amla, de villiers the same amount of matches and they will def. match him or even exceed what he has scored. What about bradman, pollock, sobers, Richards if they played 190 tests like tendulkar. Kallis is 30 tests behind tendulkar and only 7 hundreds behind in tests. The reason tendulkar are not the best for all is becuase there are such alot of batters that have averages better than him in worse batting conditions.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

@SyedArbabAhmed On your criteria Drivid must be the best with highest no of ball played per inn in Test & ODIs. But there is no format of cricket in which someone has to just bat & bat for someone's life & not score runs so no matter how good someone is at just batting & batting. It is of no use................ It is the runs that count for team, their frequency (runs per inn) & finally the strike rate of scoring runs....................On this criteria Sachin is right up there with 30000+ runs with 50+ runs per inn in tests & 42+ runs per inn in ODI @ exceptional S/R 86

Posted by india26 on (April 16, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

One thing worth discussing the work horse. Sachin stands out. I dont know stats properly but combined test, ODI and sitting out with the Injuries.... Tendulkar is way above competition.His cricketing skills might have deteriorated lately but still he is value to any team be it performance wise or mentorship abilities. He is asset to any team. If we go back in time, on his debut series his stand with N.S Sidhu with blood soaked nose saved not only the match and series but inspired the entire generation.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

@Neil Bryan Lara has a very weak case bcz 1). LARA, for most part of his career had the luxury of playing alongside legendary bowlers including Ambrose, Walsh etc whereas Sachin played alongside terrible bowlers all his career. In tests it is the bowlers who win games & consequently make great innings match winning. Lara himself had to face this harsh reality during his magnificent SL tour in which he piled up 700 runs at 100+ avg & Murali rightly called him "KING OF SPIN" yet WI lost all matches & people might call it LARA's jinx but not true. Similarly Sachin's large proportion of such magnificent inn went in vain bcz of India's throughout terrible bowling & people call it Sachin's jinx. Analogically that is not true as well….2). besides Lara had poor ODI record with inferior avg & S/R to Sachin 3) Great players are big game players who rise to big occasion but LARA had poor record in big games i.e. world cup & tournament finals with avg of 40 & 30 respectively compared to 50+ of SRT

Posted by I.Aziz on (April 16, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

Jacques Kallis Record Matches Venue Runs average 100's 86 home 6886 56 22 74 away 5919 53 20 2 neutral 323 107 2

Sachin Record Matches Venue Runs average 100's 92 home 7132 52 22 106 away 8705 54 29

Jacques Kallis is still 33 tests behind Sachin and only 7 100's if he plays only 40 innings (more likely he will play more than 50) more chance are that his 100's tally will be around 49 (can very easily be 3 or 4 more) and total runs added to his tally will be around 2250+ so he will have a grand total of 15626+ and sachin right now is 15837 so please can someone tell me why Jacques Kallis is not in the list of # 2 after Don.

Posted by I.Aziz on (April 16, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

If we consider only test cricket by the time he retires Jacks will be (if he is not yet which some people may think not me) number 2 batsman off all time. Please do all your calculation on which ever gadgets you have it is he who will be at number 2 position beyond any speck of a doubt. I dont have anything else to add to it as it is enough. The man is greatest cricketer I have seen and have seen a lot in 40 years.

Posted by Mahaanama on (April 16, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

No doubt Tendulkar's 100 international hundreds is a great achievement. Anyway Tendulkar has scored 51 test hundreds in 327 test innings where as Bradman has ONLY played 80 test innings for his 29 test hundreds. Bradman didn't play any test cricket from 1938 to 1946 (from his age of 30 to 38) due to the world war II. So he has missed the best part of his career. On his come back in 1946 Bradman still averaged 105+ in test (by that time he was around 40 years old though). Bradman still owns so many world records. He has scored 309 runs alone in a single day of a test where as Tendulkar has never passed 250 run mark even in First-class cricket during his entire career(Bradman's highest First-class score is 452*). After all it shouldn't be all about career average or number of centuries during the career. Tendulkar has been ordinary in some parts of his career where as Bradman has been exceptional all the time. I don't understand why some people still compare great Don to this Sachin.

Posted by ravi.m on (April 16, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

@SG70 [2of4]

Re: sticky wickets, what's the point of a list when you already dismissed Bradman's 270 by hinting that Bradman was scared to bat on sticky MCG wicket; but then, all of a sudden, he put a flat magic carpet on top a couple of hours later so he could belt a 270. Your apparent "neglect" of Jardine's observation during Oval 232 hasn't gone unnoticed by the way. I hope you know what sticky wicket really means. Quite simply: almost all (UNCOVERED) wickets following a rain & bit of a sun bake after it. That weather was/is not all that uncommon along the east coast of Australia & all of England.

Bradman did not threaten to boycott the next tour. Only reason bodyline (rather, leg theory) was abandoned was purely because of the number of injuries in that series (especially, in Adelaide - so-called flat pitch). Cricket wouldn't have survived if they continued breaking skulls & ribs on regular basis.

Posted by ravi.m on (April 16, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

@SG70 [1of4]

How's video clip with almost exclusively one angle (from long-off) going to show someone's speed. If you watch some of the DK Lillee stuff from early 70s, he looked slower than Bhuvneswar Kumar.

Again, you "cleverly" ignored McGrath argument. Not that I concede they were slower in the 1930s like you suggested, but even if they were slow, there's no video evidence of their accuracy. All we have available is that they were tall & some serious erratic movements of the ball. For all we know, Bowes could have been as good as McGrath (yeah I heard myself - as silly as the injury ratio** comment from you). Only objective difference being, McGrath has played lot more matches. Just because Shane Bond didn't pick up 100+ wickets in both forms, do we class him as a "joke"?

Since golden duck in his 1st Test innings, Phil Hughes has scored 149 runs at an excellent strike rate vs Steyn ALONE. Wonder what Bradman would've done to Steyn. All prior to Chris Martin exploits. Just saying.

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (April 16, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

So many greats were overlooked, what about the match winning abilities and resolution of Javed Miandad?

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (April 16, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

Tendulkar is not a match finisher, who want him to bat for his life??? Certainly not me, he is not the impact player, match winner.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

If the Don was Indian, no one would be whinging...

But alas, his not... Sachin isn't as good as Bradman, get over it. Fair dinkum. The whinging is insane. 99 beats 50 something... Simple as... If Tiger Woods shoots 65 he beats the bloke who shoots 66. Simple. Easy maths. Cricket is STATISTICS. Stop making yourselves look foolish.

@Meety. You are the only sensible person I have read on this article. You are the also the only person who appears to have taken there cricket history seriously. I commend you for continually putting up with their obnoxious comments, I have no idea how you do it.

I fear for the future. When the people in this world forget their past. Be it Bradman or whoever. It's very sad. What you see today isn't necessarily the best people!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (April 16, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

I am weary of this topic. Most posters here start from the position, I am Indian, therefore Sachin is the Greatest; or I am Australian, therefore it's the Don; WIndians will argue vehemently for Lara / Richards / George Headley, & so on, ad nauseam. I have a much better idea: a debate about which was the greatest innings of all time? It would be a much sharper analysis (because it has a single focus, not a career's worth of baggage) & to avoid the one-eyed-nationalist syndrome, each contributor should be asked to choose two: one from his/her own countrymen, & one other. A poll of this would also be interesting but how many posters know anything about cricket before they were born? Perhaps there should be an entry test as a pre-requisite for expressing a view that actually has some validity! Most comments here suggest huge dark areas of ignorance of the history of Test cricket, although the enthusiasm to have a say (anything half-baked, anything that never went in the oven) is touching.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 16, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Comparison of Tendulkar is not possible with Kallis. Tendulkar is way ahead of him in batting. He scored 11 centuries against Australia as compare to him only five. Tendulkar batting average is atleast 40 countrywise. In Kallis case, England 35.33, Sri Lanka 35.33 and in Bangladesh 31.5. Continentwise his average is more than 40 in all continent. Again it is not the case of Kallis, in Europe only 35.33. For 150 or plus Tendulkar 20 times and Kallis 14 times. Six double hundred and him only two times. Before 2000, Tendulkar batting average was 62.81 against W. Indies by facing Ambrose, Walsh etc with highest score 179 against them, now it is 55.21. Also his average never dropped to less than 50 against W. Indies in his entire career. So debate unable to play Ambrose, Walsh etc is baseless. Deduct Zimbabwe and Bangladesh from Kallis, his bowling average would become 35.17 with striking rate 74.12. Sobers is way ahead of him in totality (batting plus bowling plus fielding).

Posted by   on (April 16, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

Considering match winning 100s as a factor in a batsman's greatness in Test cricket is flawed after a point because only bowlers can win Test matches; batsmen can at best set them up. The only scenario where a batsman can actually win a match is a last innings chase. While comparing Lara and Tendulkar on this factor, some points need to be considered: 1)Tendulkar had nearly no great bowlers to help him win Tests, with the exception of possibly Kumble. Lara played with Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop for the first 10 years of his career. 2)Lara winning Test matches single-handed is largely a myth founded upon two truly great innings-213 and 153*. Even during his amazing 600+ run series in Sri Lanka, West Indies lost 3-0. 3)Lara's team became poor only after about 2000. Till then, besides great pacemen, he had batsmen like Richardson, Adams, Chanders to help him. Not the equal of India's batting lineup, but pretty good nonetheless. 4)Tendulkar has scored 20 match winning Test 100s to Lara's 8.

Posted by Meety on (April 16, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

@SG70 on (April 16, 2013, 3:28 GMT) - further analysis has been done on a combined pitch quality & bowling attack strength. Sachin fairs well, in the tougher conditions (pitch & bowlers), his ave is an excellent 51.4, very few other batsmen are 50+ - they are Lara 51.6, Sangakarra 51.9 (surprised), Richards 53.8, Sobers 56.7 & Bradman 90.7. 47% of Sachin's innings have been in "tough" conditions, Bradman 44% - incidently Mike Atherton played 88% of his innings in tough conditions, but for an ave of 36. Brian Lara played 75% of his cricket in "tough" conditions . In easier conditions - Sachin averaged 60, Dravid 61, Kallis 75, Mo Yosuuf 84 & Bradman 108. Fundamentally the reason why Bradman is a statistical outlier is because when he got set, he cashed in better than any other batsmen ever has.

Posted by Meety on (April 16, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

@SG70 on (April 16, 2013, 3:28 GMT) - Research has been done on the "quality" of bowling attacks all the great batsmen faced over their ENTIRE career. The average wicket costs 31.8 runs, bowling attacks that Sachin faced over his entire career (as at June 2012) was 34.5 (slightly weaker than ave), Bradman was 36 - which means the bowlers he faced were approximately 4.5% worse (on averages) than Sachin. When adjusting batsmen's averages to reflect a 31.8 standard bowling line up the Best averages are 1. Bradman 88, 2. Sobers 57, 3. G Chappell 53, 4. Lara 52.5, 5. Tendulkar 51.2 & Kallis 51. This research (not done by me) was published in IT Figures for data @ 30th June 2012 (Sachin will have decreased since & Kallis risen). It is not enuff to say Sachin faced bowlers like Ambrose, Akram & McGrath etc - as his stats come DOWN against these bowlers & rise when you factor in bowlers from Bang, Zim & SL (early days).

Posted by ZA77 on (April 16, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

Statistic suggests Don Bradman is the best. Why not bowling best is George Loahmann with bowling average 10.75 in test cricket. With grabbing more than 100 wickets. In first class his bowling average is 13.73, just like Don Bradman first class average 95. He took 5 wickets haul 176 times in first class with 57 times 10 wickets. Are you ready to accept he is better than other greats like Wasim Akram, M Marshall and so on. His average is more than twice as compare to both greatest ever. Bradman scored more than 60% runs at home and less than 40% in England. He played his almost 80% innings against the same team. On ten grounds in 20 years, he played less than 10 matches on each grounds except Melbourne, 11 matches. It is self assumption that he is the bestever by playing amatuers of England with grabbing all greats in debate. Abesent of fastest bowler, how we know he is master of pace. Yes his average is 99.94 for which we can say that he is one of best, just like others Viv, Lara etc

Posted by Zsam on (April 16, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Sachin has also tried his influence to avoid the DRS since it usually reduces the margin of benefit of doubt. So all those trying to paint conditions as a challenge that is greater now need to factor this in. And I can say with certainty that India will accept DRS once Sachin retires. Besides even his ODI record has been made in more benign conditions than what the earlier ODIs had: bouncer restrictions, 4 powerplays. No wonder the double ton came after this powerplay. now compare this with Viv who scored 180 plus scores back in those days with less fielding restrictions and usually batted in non powerplays. in ODIs as well.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 16, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

Some amazing FIRSTS : Sachin is the first to score 200 runs in an ODI after nearly 3000 ODIs had been played in the history of the game. Sachin is the first man to score a 100 international centuries. These SIGNIFICANT firsts will ALWAYS keep his name enshrined in the record books of cricket. However the day a player crosses 100 runs in Test average and retires, Bradman will immediately become just another player. Sachin's legacy to cricket in that sense is timeless. That's what makes him the best batsman ever!

Posted by basana on (April 16, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

What a biased analysis. I cannot believe how can they miss Jacques Kallis. He is on the way to become greatest batsman in test cricket. And undoubtedly he is the greatest cricketer of all times. If anybody is looking for just batting, Tendulkar comes on the top but looking at the entire aspects of cricket..King Kallis is second to none.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (April 16, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

I always believe that Cricket is SOMETHING MORE than just numbers. Let me term that SOMETHING MORE as THE INTANGIBLE. THE INTAGIBLE leads a player to achieve those numbers. It should be clear to all that THE INTAGIBLE (Genius or Talent or whatever you might want to call it) of Sir Don has to be beyond compare to THAT of his contemporaries to produce those numbers. You don't see such a huge difference in the numbers of Tendulkar and his contemporaries. In fact, some have better numbers than him. Coming to impact on team's fortunes, anybody who followed Indian Cricket would know that Dravid had a greater impact on Indian fortunes than Tendulkar ever had. Tendulkar's impact is more as an ODI player. Longevity - Of course, Tendulkar is talented and it helped that he is from Mumbai which paved the way for earlier debut. We can't say it is staying power if he is still playing. He has to stay for commercial reasons, even though he is failing consistently with occasional success.

Posted by SG70 on (April 16, 2013, 3:28 GMT)

@ravi ... you may want to actually have a look at the bowlers from Bradmans days in action ... instead of drooling over 3rd hand highly embellished and notoriously incorrect assesments from unscrupulous "Experts" .... go search on Britishpathe for Tate, Bowes, Voce, Bedser and Farnes ... you will see firsthand how ridiculous it is to "debate" on the speed aspect. It is a non stater. Lol.

To classify these bowlers alongside Wasim, AD, Amby, etc as strike bowlers is to cause disrepute to the art of Fast bowling. PERIOD.

Posted by ravi.m on (April 16, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

@SG70 [4of4]

48 Tests, 2908 runs, 6 100s, avg of 34.6 (SR of 48.4). Avg of 35.1 in 9 wins. 26.4 in 2nd innings. 32.8 @ #4! Jeez, so much to write home about! Granted only 22 times out to those bowlers. But then, often helps the bowlers at other end.

I'd take bodyline 57 over this 35 anyday!

Anyway, I'm done!

Posted by ravi.m on (April 16, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

@SG70 [3of4]

Re: 7 fielders behind square. Let's get out of SRT bubble and imagine facing 90mph without "Ganguly armour" with 7 fielders behind square. Most modern batsmen will get out of fear without scoring much. Bradman got out of frustration (after averaging 57 & SR of 75).

**Regarding your comment on modern batsmen getting hurt by fast bowlers many times more, I honestly can't imagine "debating" about that with someone who actually "believes" that.

As for how "tough" most modern players are, I'm sure you've read Lillee-Siddle 'comparison' on cricinfo after the infamous resting incident.

Btw, cricinfo keeps ignoring my post about a certain SRT stat. Let me try again.

On the subject of great bowlers Tendlya faced: I picked the best pace bowler from each of the 6 country (McGrath, Donald, Curtly, Wasim, Bond, Anderson) in SRT's time.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (April 16, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

There is no question that Sir Don is the undisputed No.1 of all time. Even IF the bowlers during his time were trundlers, which of course is not true, none of his contemporaries had an average close to his. Fast forward to this era, there are several batsmen who have an average which is just below or equal to or greater than that of SRT. So, his average isn't unique amongst his contemporaries. SRT looked unique from others in the 90s. At the same time, Lara was surreal, unique, and as elegant as he was destructive, during this era and continued to look a class apart until he retired. From 02/03 on, for a decade now, SRT's career has been a slippery slope with some small peaks. We can't take a statement that Bradman made at one point of time during SRT's career and apply it to his entire career. I don't know who the next best batsman is, after Bradman. Lara indeed is way above SRT in this era and so are SMG and RSD. But for sure, the best cricketer of all time is Sir Gary.

Posted by Silverbails on (April 16, 2013, 0:24 GMT)

Come, come. Obviously, Bradman is No. 1. But, if one considers how important a player has been to his team, as Bradman was to his Australian team, then if we're looking at India alone, there are a number of players who would easily rank above Tendulkar: the Little Master, Gavaskar, for one, who withstood a barrage of fast bowling from the No. 1 Team from ANY era, the mighty Windies. Or, one could say the legendary Rahul Dravid: how many victories has he been involved in for India, compared to matches played? Sadly, SRT's record here is rather poor, especially overseas and in the fourth innings!! For other countries, Kallis would outrank Tendulkar. There are, of course, others in the other Test-playing countries who have had a similar impact. Longetivity in any sport at the top level really is a marvellous thing...

Posted by dieseldoc on (April 16, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

great assessment Ian...Sobers was the complete cricketer

Posted by Meety on (April 16, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh on (April 15, 2013, 14:00 GMT) - WRONG! It is a very easy bit of research to prove. Days lost due to rain does not equal a days play.

"...most pitches were indeed roads, there are indeed many websites to confirm this..." - the only reliable source is Wisden, NAME another website!

Strike Rates have dropped in recent years as a direct correlation to faster scoring, it has often been linked to the ODI (now 20/20) effect. Brett Lee has a magnificent S/R but has an average over 31. At the end of the day, what counts is wickets & runs. Over the entire History of the game (till June 2012), the average cost of a wicket was 31.8. That number has not changed much since 1900 (increasing slightly). Research has been done on the "quality" of bowling attacks all the great batsmen faced over their ENTIRE career. This research (on this very site), concluded the difference between what Bradman faced & what Tendulkar faced is 4.5%.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 15, 2013, 23:48 GMT)

@cricindian.com, all you've proven with the Richards quote is that he doesn't really know or hasn't really considered what he's said. Those statements contradict each other. What it means is that a lot of these "Tendulkar is the best ever" quotes are actually throwaway comments at press conferences or interviews after he has broken a record. They are not considered opinions written down like the five articles so far by Nicholas, Crowe, Coward, Chappell and Menon. As for the billion quotes, try again. A lot of Indian fans have echoed on these forums that Dravid and Gavaskar also have claims. Not that I agree with them, but it's food for thought.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 15, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

Great article by Menon. I agree with his conclusion. Build a case that Tendulkar could be the greatest, but realises you can't concede that much ground. The side issues cancel each other out effectively for people who really think about it. Therefore, Bradman it is, followed by Tendulkar. That's 3 votes to Sobers and 2 to Tendulkar. So it's not clear cut who is second best, but for me, Tendulkar is probably second greatest of all time.

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

@ Britishcricket on (April 15, 2013, 15:05 GMT) - it is COMMON knowledge that Larwood had a foot injury. Do an iota of research & you'll find this to be true. NOWHERE did Bradman complain to the MCC about Larwood. This is all a figment of your imagination, but as a good point to start being informed - read his profile!

Posted by KosalaDeSilva on (April 15, 2013, 22:39 GMT)

Sachin is a great batsman to watch, But We shouldn't forget Lara, Gilchrist , Pontin and Jayasuriya. Think they have their own style ,strengths as well as limitations.

Posted by MFNadeem on (April 15, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

Combine Sachin and Zaheer batting and bowling averages, it will make one Jack Kallis, and he is not even mentioned by the jury. Why?

Posted by Rally_Windies on (April 15, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

Mr. Menon - George Hadley was Panamanian ! his father was Bajan and he played for Jamaica - he lived in Jamaica with his mother's sister ...His mother was Jamaican ... His father worked on the Panama Canal when he was born, and then they moved to Cuba ---

Posted by Toescrusher on (April 15, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

This is a controversial topic. If it is record vs. record than Bradman wins? However, we know that Bradman era of cricket was not as competitive as it is today. It also depends what you are comparing? Is it cricket, a- with bookkeeping methodology, or b- contest in the ground between Ball vs. Bat. If the contest has later scenario which is a more practical and the rational one than no one but the King Viv Richard wins the contest in flying color. No one can match his dominance of the bat over the ball. Last but not the least please do not look at cricket from the binocular of bookkeeping, it simply doesn't show the true picture.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (April 15, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

Don't put Tendulkar as second best batsman. I think we should put tendulkar as greatest cricketer ever born. Tendulkar impact on whole cricket world is far far bigger than any cricketer ever born. Viv Richards might be second best batsman after bradman but Tendulkar is greatest cricketer.

Posted by cricket-india on (April 15, 2013, 19:54 GMT)

continued from my previous post...no single SRT innings in wisden's top 100 test batting innings. if one had to choose who should bat for one's life, one choses miandad, lara, steve waugh, dravid, and SRT only comes after them. graeme smith has never scored a century in a loss, and he's got 26 of them if i am right. too many great players being ignored in the pursuit of making SRT larger than life, IMHO. make no mistake, i am no SRT hater; i just demand every guy get his due, no more and no less. if SRT is great, so are all the guys i mentioneed in both my posts.

Posted by U.A.1985 on (April 15, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

Mr. Suresh Memon puts his analysis in a very escapist way. He mentions Sir Gary Sobers and showers praises on him saying he was great because he could bowl, bat and keep so he was the best cricketer etc etc but Mr. Memon overlooks the fact that the batting skills of a best cricketer can be better than even the best batsmen in the world. So there is no escaping for Tendulkar on that comparison Mr. Suresh Memon. Before competing with Sir Gary Sobers Tendulkar has lots of other competitors like Viv Richards, Gream Pollock, Greg Chapell, Ponting, Lara, Kallis, Gilchrist and so forth. I can still not recall Tendulkar dominating world cricket bowling the way Gilchrist and Ponting did in the 2000's.

Posted by PureLegend on (April 15, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

Wow, you have got to be kidding me! There is not even the slightest mention of Jacques Kallis in this discussion. No batsman has EVER carried an entire team on his shoulders the way Kallis has, and that even while bowling thousands of overs! Tendulkar is an astonishing batsman, but the massive distinction everyone seems to miss is that he played the majority of his matches in India - the proverbial batting paradise, whilst Kallis slogged away in South Africa (bowler's heaven!). I'm sorry, but if Kallis was born in India, he would probably have 200 centuries by now and India would probably be the greatest Test side around.

Posted by Nampally on (April 15, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

I find this strange when a series of writers comment on the same subject without defining the baseline parameters for selecting a batsman to be next best to Don Bradman. It is assumed that Don Bradman was the best because of his overwhelmingly superior batting average of 99.9! But for the rest of the bunch with a lifetime average in 55 range, it is purely subjective assessment. Most of the Cricket fans saw Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Sobers, Richards, Lara, Pollock. But very few would have seen Hobbs, Hammond & Headley. So I feel the Fans & Writers opinions are highly subjective especially when each has his own basis for assessment. In order to have a logical discussion on this topic, I would urge all 4 Writers on this subject to define clearly in point form, what is the basis for their assessment of either Gary Sobers or S.Tendulkar. This will elevate this discussion from subjective to logical!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Arguably the greatest cricket article I've read in years. This is a quote from Ian Chapell's view on the matter of interest:

I only once saw him bat in a cap for South Australia. It was the maroon West Indies cap, in a game against the touring South Africans. He went out and flayed the tourists in making a century. Years later in a Barbados bar I quizzed him: "Garry, why did you ask Les Favell [SA captain] if you could wear the West Indies cap that day against South Africa?"

He took a sip of his Banks beer. "Ian," he laughed, "at that stage they hadn't seen a West Indies cap [because of apartheid] and I thought it was time they had a good long look at one."

For that Sir Garry I salute you.

Posted by Zsam on (April 15, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

@Suresh wisden, is it not amazing that the man you consider even better than Bradman does not even have single Test level triple ton? Bats padded like an astronaut yet could only avg very pedestrian against the best 90s attacks., with avg less than Don's Bodyline avg. Never played a match winning knock. no all time test innings in top 100. Has got 30 tons in post 2000 after the bowling attacks lost quality. It is fallacious to club ODIs with Tests, since ODI were never played by pre70s gen. so comparisons are impossible. Against existing conditions of that era, he has only shone not for entirety of career but only for 6-7 years. how is that good enough to warrant this? On a test to test comparison he has no chance anywhere in top 5 at all. has 3 out 5 double tons against minnows. Very poor 2nd innings avg. In fact once tried to stay not out while exposing the tail just to beef up 2nd inningavg. Perhaps he is the greatest among all to have scored the most useless runs when not needed.

Posted by prashant1 on (April 15, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

The name of the articles should correctly be " Who is the next-best after TENDULKAR ?

Posted by prashant1 on (April 15, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

Tests...Tendulkar/Bradman.....The Rest. ODIs ...Tendulkar/Richards.....The Rest. Overall...Tendulkar....The Rest

Posted by prashant1 on (April 15, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

Sachin is the Greatest. NOT the "2nd best" after Bradman. Tendulkar is as good as it gets...Best ever...

Posted by cricket-india on (April 15, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

oh come on SRT fans...ind's best test yrs were 2001-2011; started with leadership by ganguly, then kumble and msd. the combo of dravid, srt, vvs, zak, viru, bhajji etc made us formidable. the first half of srt's career saw him part of a weak team that would be thrashed if it crossed its borders; srt could do nothing to change that, even if he did end up with glowing stats himself. 2001-2011 happened as much because of srt's teammates as because of him. they were in awe of srt but did not depend on him to win matches. our finest wins-the double at adelaide, the trple at multan, the 281, the 70+ at mohali...so srt has the masterpiece 136 at chennai in a lost cause. great no doubt, but we lost; there's only a certain level u reach if u score but ur team loses, which is why martin crowe and andy flower are not considered great, just good, while bradman and lara are greats. even lara's 400 isn't a patch on his 153 and 213. longevity isn't everything; is bhajji a greater spinner than gibbs?

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

after bradman who?-----it could be any one but tendulkar . At one time atleast 2 years back it could be tendulkar but not any more . checking for all criterion tendulkar does not stand any chance to come even close enough to be considered as next to Bradman .He does not play late cut at all,he is bowled maximum time in tests and now he is promoted to break records against weaker teams and if consistency is lost one cannot be considered next to genious

I would rank Dravid and gavaskar higher better in all respect compared to Sachin

Posted by A.Ak on (April 15, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Its ridiculous to compare people of different era... Many things have changed over time. Cricket has evolved. Better bat making, more protective equipment, Video archives, slow motion analysis, etc. Cricket is more sophisticated nowadays. It is a profession now.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 15, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

@Billycc, Viv Richards also said ""If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn't arrived yet." that would include Bradman as well! Bob Willis said that Sachin was the best in one of his commentary stint during the 1999 World Cup in England Also, please add Wasim Akram and Rashid Latif who have said that "Sachin is the best ever" I agree with you that Hadlee did say that Sachin is "arguably" the best ever" which is what we are doing.. Glad to know that you have 1000 quotes and books favouring Don but unfortunately, these do not add up to a billion!

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 15, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

As many have pointed out how can a batsman who played 37 of his 52 tests against just one country with average bowlers and the remaining 15 tests against minnows like SA,WI and India in similar conditions be considered the Greatest?? Shouldn't there be more credit given to the batsman of modern era (although with extra protection) who have to put up with the likes of Akram,Akhtar,Lee,Malinga, McGrath,Ambrose,Walsh, Steyn, Warne,Murali,Saqlain,Kumble etc on a variety of pitches and conditions. I think this alone should place the likes of Sachin,Kallis, Gavaskar,Richards etc above Don. Don is definetely one of the greatest but to call him the greatest is just a bit too much...just too many questions to be answered about Don's ability to play spin on subcontinent,short pitch bowling, reverse swing etc For me Sachin is the best ever without doubt and the 100 hundred's is just a confirmation of that.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

An extremely important facet of batting is adaptability-yet it is often overlooked in favor of destructive ability or flamboyance. To me, Tendulkar is the best since Bradman because of this factor. The man has scored a massive amount of runs against every opposition, all around the world, consistently over 20 years, in both Tests and ODIs. Plus he is, as Menon says, 'both orthodox and creative'. He can attack with destructive effect, plays all the shots, is strong off both front foot and back, has an immaculate technique against both spin and pace and most importantly is equally at ease on subcontinental dustbowls, English green strips as well as Australian fliers. That counts for a lot in my book. He has scored Test hundreds against all the great bowlers of his time, with the exception of Ambrose against whom he did not play much. He averages above 50 both home and away. In short, he has no weaknesses and numerous strengths. That is mind blowing stuff, over 20 years.

Posted by Britishcricket on (April 15, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

@Meety, please present History as it happened instead of manipulating the facts for your convenience..this is the sequence of events of what happened after bodyline; 1) Don complained to Australian cricket board about Larwood, who in turn complained to MCC 2) MCC asked Larwood to apologize to Don and the Aussie players to which Larwood stated that "he was just following Jardine's instructions and therefore it was Jardine who had to apologize, and thus refused to apologize himself. 3) Following Larwood's refusal MCC did not select Larwood for any more Test matches thereafter and Larwood's career was effectively over! This new story of Larwood not playing because of his foot injury is nothing but a figment of someone's imagination and baseless.

Also, mate it is true that on occasions Don would wait for the pitches to dry out so that he could bat with more comfort and score easily.

Posted by SG70 on (April 15, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

@ravi.m CI wont allow me to post video clips of Farnes. But let me know if you want to take this offline. they are all very modest bowlers ! Comparing them to Steyn&co is a joke. Let me know if you want to see other "FAST" bowlers . But Iam certain these facts wont bother any of the Bradman fans at all as there is tons of written words to fall back on.

Sticky Wkts : Your claim that Sticky dogs were common is just plain wrong. Can you list out the Test match numbers or the score cards were he batted on a sticky wkt?

@meety : Bradman played a huge role in getting bodyline banned behind the scenes. He threatened to boycott the next Ashes tour ... so its not like he was happy with BL and that it had no effect on him. And absent Hurt does not mean the batsman was hit by a bouncer. Most likely he was hurt while fielding. The no.of batsmen hurt by fast bowlers is without a shadow of doubt many times higher in modern times

@ravi.m do you honestly believe BL fieldsettings = lot of wkts ?

Posted by DavisL on (April 15, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

Many comments have touched upon helmets and other protective equipment etc which makes batting easier while facing fast bowling. I have to ask this very simple question "Does a batsman need helmets and other protective equipment when facing the likes of Murali,Warne,Kumble,Ajmal,Qadir, Saqlain etc on the raging turners of the sub-continent or does he need twinkle toes,flexible wrists and good defensive technique when playing these spinners?" I think we all know the answer....Make no mistake about it...this is what puts Sachin above Don clearly when it comes to playing high quality spinners on the subcontinent and to say that Don would continue to average in the high 90s if he was playing in the modern era against such bowlers is nothing but fantasy! And remember, short pitch bowling was used against in just the bodyline series which is where helmets do become a factor but, by getting Larwood removed from the Eng team Don accepted that he would have found the going tough against Larwood

Posted by Noboundary on (April 15, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

It is difficult to compare any other batsman with the Don. Impact on the team, impact on the game, average, longevity, ability to perform under all conditions (pitch, bowling) all considered I would rate Gary Sobers as No. 2 and Viv Richards as No.3. Gary is above Viv because he was also a quality bowler. Gavaskar is my No.4. Sachin will find a place among the top ten but there are others like Gavaskar, Lara, Martin Crowe, Barry Richards above him.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (April 15, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Out of 52 tests Bradman played 33 tests in Australian home grounds and scored 4322 runs. That means 80% runs in home grounds. I wonder, how can you say he is the best and Sachin comes second? I bet Sachin, Gavaskar, Sobers were better than Bradman anyday.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 15, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

@Meety, if pitches were so bad for run scoring and batting shouldn't the bowlers of Don's era have much better strike rates than they have? But, this is not the case. Just to give you one small little info, in more than 42 out of the 52 tests played by Don, at least one side has scored 350 or more at least once in the match....as someone mentioned before in the one of the posts herein, the story of "uncovered pitches" is all hyped up which is confirmed by this statistic and most of the pitches were in fact 'featherbeds' or 'roads' as they call it. On further analysis of Don's test scorecards it if fairly clear that most of the low scores have been made by the minnows (SA,WI and Ind) of that time. In one of your posts you have mentioend that "Bear in mind, some timeless Tests ended up being completed in two actual days, (5th Test Oz v SA in Feb 1932)" ...have you checked the scorecard of this match, Don did not bat at all in this match and was "absent hurt"!!

Posted by bigdhonifan on (April 15, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

5500 runs out of 6,996 against a weak bowling attack and the matches were played in just 2 countries. And you say who is second to Bradman.If Sachin was jsut played only one version of game and Just against a country with average bowlers, his average would have been 200. Bradman was first till 1960's , there after Sobers came, GAvaskar came, Viv, Lara, Sachin and ponting came. Best batsman (All versions combined) 1. Sachin 2. Sobers 3. Viv 4. Bradman 5. Sunil Gavaskar 6. Ponting 7. Dravid 8. Lara 8. Kallis

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

tendulakar may have many records on his back but sure he is not a match winner and no where in his career is he consistent and moreover his out used to have more bad effect on the bats men that are coming behind definitely i wounld not consider tendulkar as bradman .this is ridicuolus holding records on the back doesnt make him to be on par with the greatest players

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

When comparing batsmen from different eras we should not forget the important roll helmet and other body armor played for modern batsmen. All this safety equipment made facing genuine fast bowling some what easier. I believe that if Tendulkars and Laras have to play with out helmet their performance will go couple of notches down. Viv Richards was the last modern batsmen we should compare with Bradman or Sobers or Gream Pollock.

Posted by Fogu on (April 15, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

As Bradman was the greatest of his era so were Sobers and Tendulkar of their era. It is futile to compare greats of one era against the others. You play against the opponents you are facing and not the ones the others faced. It does make for interesting reading and discussion but I admire them all. In this era, even though Tendulkar is the greatest, I prefer Dravid and Kallis over him.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

The Importance of Sachin's Performance lies not only in his numbers, but in the fact that he inspired a whole generation of players who followed him in playing a different brand of cricket, which previously was not known to Indian players. If there was no Tendulkar, there would not have been a Sehwag, a Yuvraj, a Dhoni or a Virat. All these players on various occasions have accepted that Sachin has been their inspiration & they had grown up wanting to just play like him. So to me that is the greatest impact of this MAN on the Indian Cricket.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 15, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

@Meety, unfortunately you have twisted many facts to suit your argument. How come what you have researched becomes a 'fact'..and what others researched becomes garbage? Fact..DGB was involved in 8 timeless matches which lasted more than 5 days (excluding the rest day), and another 4 timeless matches ended on the 5th day and others inside 5 days. Please expand the scope of your research beyond 'Wisden'.. most pitches were indeed roads, there are indeed many websites to confirm this!! Rain in 60% of DGB's matches,again wrong, good guess to mislead everyone though! In fact,Aus did not have to bat soon after the rain delay in 3 matches(test numbers 201,213 and 214) and in test 291 DGB did bat after rain delay and made 13. Test 216 Aus vs SA @ MCG had a really tough pitch but,DGB did not bat at all and remained absent-hurt! Also,it is well known that DGB would wait for the pitches to dry out and then choose his time to bat..please note his different batting positions on the scorecard.

Posted by SaleemHatoum on (April 15, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

In my books if a batsman doesn't have a single 300 or 400 in one innings they have not achieved the legendary status. Sachin and and his neons (minus Lara) have not scored any triple or quad centuries. My books says batsmen who score triple and quad centuries have demonstrated a level of skill which is beyond remarkable.

Posted by ravi.m on (April 15, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

One last post on bodyline:

As I said earlier, it was the 7/7+ fielders behind square was what caused Bradman's average to drop to 57. And he only got out once to leg theory. Rest were bowled or caught offside trying to score quickly.

When Bradman employed the tactic of getting outside the line to drill through offside, his captain and team mates were upset that it's gonna make things worse for them. Don, in fact, cut down on that. Well, just stating that - not implying anything.

"Bodyline" is the term used by ordinary Australian batsmen & journalists. "Leg theory" was more apt for Bradman. It's not like Larwood didn't bowl any bouncers in 1930. Simply didn't have the packed leg side field. Given the availability of protective gear, it was fair to dismiss leg theory. Bodyline was in effect well into the 80s. Quite an irony the bouncer rules these days are ....

If only Bradman had the "Ganguly armour".. he wouldn't have needed it. If only the square leg field restriction was in place

Posted by kingchan on (April 15, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

This is my first post.I am a diehard fan of sachin(Mr Cricket) from the wills world cup 1996.From the series onwards i never missed a single ball of sachin play. know .Everyone knows about the statistics of master batsman and i will list some of the injury below 2001& 2002-Toe & Thigh injury 2003-Ankle 2004&2005 -Tennis Elbow Have anyone say after the above injuries able to succeed? I like/agree the post of skylight28,If he fails india will fail probably 90% and the first time scenario got changed yuvi-kaif played a wonderful knock against Eng in 2002. Some of the people complaining sachin was not performing in finals,But they forget how india entered into finals.Even wont agree comparing sachin with ponting.As a whole Aus is the wolrd best team constructed under the captain ship of stevewaugh and no expectation on ponting.On the other hand entire nation has more expectation on master and its successfully full filled till now. Done forget still one of the leading run scorer in IPL!!

Posted by ravi.m on (April 15, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

@SG70

Q2: Regardless of the era, that kind of domination warrants its due. Considering PITCHES, protective equipment, bats, no-ball rule etc., it only gets more amazing. It's waste of time writing a thesis here.

Q3: Larwood refused to "apologise" for bodyline series. As far as Bradman's concerned, it wasn't so much the bouncers that were an issue for him. It was the 7 to 9 fielders behind square. Contrary to popular belief (myth rather), Bradman fell to actual leg trap only once in 4 Tests. He got out (bowled or caught offside) trying to score quickly every other time. His SR was 75 for the series - that's right 75! That's 10 more than Tendlya's ODI strike rate vs McGrath & Donald outside Asia! In fact, ball-by-ball count vs Larwood had SR in excess of 80.

Leg theory merely reduced Bradman's aggregate from the usual 800 a series to 400. Had it not been for the behind square leg field, Bradman would have annihilated Larwood just like he did in 1930 even if he bowled 6 bouncers/over!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

and, somehow, every-time people forget Jacques Kallis !

Posted by ravi.m on (April 15, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

@SG70,

It's quite clear that you want to be selective of aspects to crown Tendlya, so I see this as an exercise in futility. Anyway, can you show empirical evidence to show that Donald's quicker than Larwood or Steyn's quicker than Farnes? Or, Ambrose's quicker than the West Indians Griffith, Constantine or Francis? Ever wonder how fast was the best pace bowler of our generation? Oh wait, it was his accuracy & seam that elevated him above all.

A Sreesanth on 1930 pitches would do better than a Marshall or Hadlee on most of the modern wickets. Bradman "struggling" on sticky wickets is a myth. One that was coined by frustrated English journalists and strongly upheld by Tendlya fanatics.

Jardine himself said noticing Bradman's "uncomfort" at sticky Oval wicket in 1930 was what sparked the bodyline idea. Guess what! Bradman churned out a casual 232!

Every rain-affected wicket, following bit of a sun bake was a sticky wicket. It was quite common in Bradman's time. Not a rarity - FACT!

Posted by Paulk on (April 15, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

I think most people who have watched Vivian Richards bat will say he is the greatest since The Don. Statistics be damned unless they are out of this planet, as The Don's stats certainly are.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

The top 5 batsmen we have seen in the last 25 years are Dravid, Kallis, Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar (in alphabetical order). All of them played between 20 Jun 1996 (Dravid's debut) and 27 Nov 2006 (Lara's last test). Is it fair to see the performance of these fabulous 5 during this period?

Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 0 4s 6s R Dravid (ICC/India) 1996-2006 104 176 22 9049 270 58.75 23 46 6 1120 13 RT Ponting (Aus) 1996-2006 103 173 25 8855 257 59.83 32 33 8 1008 56 BC Lara (ICC/WI) 1996-2006 98 177 4 8756 400* 50.61 27 31 14 1119 80 JH Kallis (ICC/SA) 1997-2006 100 170 28 8025 189* 56.51 24 40 9 897 55 SR Tendulkar (India) 1996-2006 93 154 15 7840 248* 56.40 26 28 9 1055 35

Dravid scored 9,049 runs in 104 tests averaging 58.75. Ponting 8,855 in 103 tests at 59.83. Lara 8,756 in 98 at 50.61. Kallis 8,025 in 100 at 56.51. Tendulkar 7,840 in 93 at 56.40. Tendulkar is great. But it is not fair to say that he is THE BEST of his era, without even mentioning other 4.

Posted by liz1558 on (April 15, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

SRTs feat of 100 international hundreds is special but no more special than Hobbs' scoring 197/199 (statisticians still can't decide) first class hundreds in his day. As they were both known as the 'master', Hobbs and SRT are closer to each other than either is to Bradman. It is their durability over a long period of time that marks both men out. It's also a bit unfair to say Bradman played 52 Tests over 20 years - noone played between 1939 - 1945 because of WWII. His 52 Tests were played over 14 years - more like 3.7 Tests per year.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 15, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

We rely on pure statistic in case Don Bradman era 1928-1948. In first 19 test matches, he scored 2634 runs against England with batting average 84.96. Herbert Sutcliff in first 19 test matches against Australia, he scored 2192 with batting average 78.28 in which he faced Mailey, Mailey plus Grimmett and then Grimmett alone. After that emergance of Reilly made his average dropped from 78.28 to 66.85 whereas his average further increase to 89.78. In timeless matches, facing two leg breaks at a time was almost impossible to survive. When he scored 194 (quality inning) against Australia, both greats (Grimmett plus O Reilly) delivered more than 1000 balls in one inning which is equal to 170 or more overs in current cricket. Facing three leg breaks in entire career with batting average 66.85 is better or without facing any great leg break with batting average 89.78 is better. I still think Bradman is better than Sutcliff but he was very near to Bradman or equivalent in terms of quality.

Posted by Romanticstud on (April 15, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

Bradman correctly was said to play in 2 countries over 20 years ... if you look at longevity ... Tendulkar and Kallis are cricketers that have challenged that aspect and their stats for the graphical display of matches played vs average show that they are challengers to the crown of best cricketer ever ... Remember too that Kallis has a wicket tally approaching 300 to add to his 13000+ runs ... Tendulkar has 15000+ runs since 1989 ... As a batsman alone Sachin has no peers in runs scored ... but it is the fact that he has scored 50+ 100s that makes him stand out more than any other fact ... If you look at improvement in averages Kallis has improved from his first series against England with an average of 4 ... now has a 56 average ... But then he too has 44 100s ... Why then does Kallis not get more mention ...

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Just a question... Don Bradman has scored more than 5000 runs against England (either played in AUS or ENG) out of his total test run 6996. Should we still call DOn the greatest batsman...?

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (April 15, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

Suresh Menon - The fact that you are considering Sachin's career as a one span of quarter of a century is mere disrespect to the golden moments Sachin once gave us. Sachin was a totally different player in the first 12-15 years of his career and after that period he is totally different. If you show today's (or 5 year back), Sachin to a 20 year old boy and say "this is the best batsman in the world", you will confuse the guy. First 12 years (max 15) of his career is the Sachin the world fell in love with. The memories of those 12 years are sooo awesome that the current 10 years of mediocre show has not affected our love to him. Please don't show me stats and averages, but we all remember how much the opponents valued Sachin's wicket that they celebrated Sachin wicket as if the match is won. Please don't disrespect the GOLDEN Moments Sachin gave us DAY-IN AND DAY-OUT in his early career putting them with same stature as the occasional blitz he delivers these last 10 years.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

NON STATISTICAL FACTORS FOR DETERMINING BATSMAN's RATING: 1). bowling that he faced. 2). criticality of game played i.e. WC & tornament finals 3). Conditions that he faced - Difficulty level of past & present actually cancels out. We can do a comparison of hardships of past vs hardships of present. In past a). uncoverd pitches, b). No protective gear. c). Fierce pace. In present a). Far superior catching & ground fielding, b). Strict lbw umpiring. c). Video analysis of weaknesses..In short mainly frequency of getting MOM coupled with longevity & bowling faced tells who is the best batsman. .Based on the these factos, in ODIs Sachin is well above all batsmen & just above Richards as Richards never had to face World's strongest bowling attack followed by 3). Ponting 4). Devilliers 5). Amla 6). Jayasuria 7). Dhoni ….. In Tests top 10 are 1). Don 2). Kallis 3). Sobbers 4). SRT 5). Ponting 6). Hayden 7). Hammond 8).Gvaskar 9).Lara 10).Dravid....combining the ODI & Tests SRT is 2nd to DON

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

ViV Richards is unarguably the greatest player after Don Bradman. Such a fearless cricketer who would intimidate bowlers has never witnessed after him. Rating SRT after Bradman is an insult to the sheer genius of Sir Vivian Richards.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Cricket today is not played like in the days of yore . During Bradman's era ,test cricket was played mostly by England and Australia at grounds that are allies to pace bowlers . I am not belittling Bradman's ability but he was never tested on the dust bowls of Asian countries. My suggestion would be to STOP nominating someone next to Bradman . Bradman never played the other forms of cricket and hence nobody knows how well he would have played Tests , when there is a need to switch modes from Tests to One dayers to T 20 not necessarily in that order . My conclusion is that to make a comparison , you have to bring them all on the same platform , which is not possible . Hence , Tendulkar , Sobers , Kallis and few others are as good as Bradman .

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Stats don't lie but one must look at significant stats that contribute to team victories,most imp being 1). rate of getting MOM-given only to match winner in every game 2). Consistency evident from AVG - not boosted by Not outs (NO) since NO just saves 1 delivery for team & nth else. 3). Frequency of match influencing scores 90 + in ODI's & 100-280 in tests bcz 300 + individual inn are only allowed by captain when test is going only towards draw 4). Longevity - helps team bcz it is hard for team to find another great eg if Aus players had long lasting careers then AUS still had Hayden Gilli playing at their best now & AUS would have been no 1 team now as well, same with WI but AUS & WI suffering bcz their players didn't have longevity hence longevity of greats is a great asset for team. 5). Balance of home & away performances & against all teams.

Posted by BDforever on (April 15, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

You should NOT have too many doubts here. Just go through timelines of both Bradman and Tendulkar. During Bradman's time he was the top ranked batsman for at least 90% of the preriod he played. During Tendulkar's era Tendulkar was NOT the top ranked batsman for at least 90% of the period he has played. Even though Bradman is beyond comparison both are great batsmen.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

If Don's average of 99.94 is a conversation stopper, then Tendulkar's hundred 100s is a winner. Both records will be unmatched, but I prefer the latter.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 15, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

Ohter greats like Sir Vivian Richard never manage any double hundred at home in test and Sir Garry Sober never manage any double hundred at opponent's home in test matches. Lara scored four double hundreds at home and five at opponent's home, which is more than any test batsman except Bradman. Vivian Richard manage +150 scores seven times, Garry Sober to eleven times and Lara 19 times in 232 innings. For 175 or plus Viv 7 times, Sobers 5 times and Lara 15 times. For Double hundred King Viv, only three, King Garry only two and Prince Lara nine times. For triple hundred King Viv none, Sobers one and Lara two and then quardruple only one price Lara. Again quintuple in first class, only one Lara. Can I say his transformation level in best among all. 82 fifty or plus, then 34 hundred, 19 times 150 or plus, 9 doubles and then two triple. Beside two triple, he scored his 277 highest score against Australia. His inconsistent LEVEL in test cricket 42%. (97 / 232).

Posted by ZA77 on (April 15, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

Gavaskar faced bowlers like Derek Underwood, Imran Khan, Micheal Holding, Ian Botham and Malcom Marshall He lost his wickets 50 (12+11+11+8+8) times by these five bowlers in his career and faced others like Wasim Akram, Richard Hadlee, Denis Lillee, Joel Garner, Andy Robert, Bob Willis, John Snow, Thomson, Craig McDermot, Merv Hughes, Lance Gibbs, Abdul Qadir and Garry Sober in his whole career. All eighteen took at least 200 wickets in test cricket in which four are spinners with playing at least 50 test matches except John Snow 49 and Andy Robert 47. From 1990 so many quality spinners came and it became most difficult to face at a time quality spinners plus quality pace bowlers at a time. Lee, Akhtar, Waqar, Donald, Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop etc were there. Then Wasim, McGrath, Pollock and so many others were there. Plus Murli, Warne, Kumble, Saqlain and so many others were there. It means in Tendulkar's era, even single lacking in technique means you may lost your wicket easily.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (April 15, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

Longevity? what a joke - consider the inconsistency in the line of thinking. If Tendulkar is the best because of longevity then who is the second best? Based on longevity it should be Kallis, or Ponting or someone similar? and then who is the third best? The measure of longevity is fundamentally flawed because it is contaminated by the times - that is to say - there is more cricket played today than there was 60 years ago - there is more money today than there was 60 years ago so cricketers do not need an occupation outside cricket to bring in money - so of course players are more likely to play more today than they were 60 years ago. Why? because they can.

Posted by mrgupta on (April 15, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

I think if the Criteria to choose best after Sir Don is 'not to wear a helmet' then we need to divide this analysis into 2 parts. With/without helmet. Its unfair as the eras are totally different. The batsmen in those days were brought up without helmets and they learnt to play that way only. By the time Sachin, Lara, Dravid and Ponting came out the scenario had totally changed. Sachin has been taught to wear helmet from his childhood days. We never know how he would have coped up if at the age of 13 he was playing without helmet. For me the fact that Sachin has managed to maintain his batting average for close to 200 tests and more than 450 ODIs is a super achievement in itself. Sir Sobers, Richards and Gavaskar were indeed greats but did not play so much Cricket. If batting average is one Criteria for great batting then i believe no. of Tons should be another and 100 Tons in Internationals cannot come on flat tracks alone. Why has no one else managed even 75?

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

99.94 is brilliant! Full stop, I would say. A batsman who played only at Home and in England when there were 4 other teams with test status during his era, had not been tested as 'great', leave alone 'greatest'. Irrespective of the reason why Aus never toured 'other' countries, Bradman remained untested. That. remains. a. fact. Moreover, he played in an era with West Indies, New Zealand and India (who joined 4 years after his test debut) were too young in to test cricket, must have had a run feast on them. Though, iirc, he didn't play against NZ. Again, South Africa in that era was a team which was very weak. Another bunny? I once did a StatsGuru search to check which were the highest wicket takers during Bradman's test career (1928-1948) among the non-Australians. As I recall, only 2 bowlers had 100 or more test wickets in that period. I am not sure how much light this search on SG would throw on what Bradman might have faced.

There are facts, there are stats and then, there is Don!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

It is his ability to give 100% and be motivated even after playing 16 years and over 350 ODIs and 100 tests! To remain humble after playing so long and achieving almost everything there is to achieve - is as tough as remaining calm when going out to bat in the middle with the crowd expecting something special every time. And he does both superbly.

Since 1999 he has suffered serious back spasms, and has been plagued by toe, finger, ankle, hand and elbow injuries. Yet he is as enthusiastic and motivated as he was when he started his career. Enthusiasm is a state of mind that arouses and inspires a person to put action into the task at hand. The word enthusiasm means 'God within' in Greek, and when a person is enthusiastic, it looks as if God is working hand-in-hand with him.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 15, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

When we use the word great, we as normal mortals, tend to associate absolute perfection with it. Greatness comes out of performance, consistency, respect, trend setting, benchmarking, exemplary technique, versatility, challenges faced, burden of expectations carried and life achievements, to name a few. A great player need not be flawless. In fact it's almost embarrassing to see Sachin at times take bouncers on the head. Yet that's never been his weakness nor his wicket taking ball. Bradman was great ( as defined) in his era. Sachin in his. Who is greater Alexander of Macedonia or Genghis Khan? It's futile to get into such a discussion. But if one must, I would choose Genghis as I would choose Sachin.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 15, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

Richards in Tests, Gayle and Pollard in ODIs and T20s all belong to the same mold. They are big powerful men with a quick eye and a sweet sense of timing. Their well connected shots can be awe-inspiring. They frightened the opposition. So, can they be counted as greats? Contrast this with a Lara, who was sublime and who scored with ease and grace. In my book, Lara is a few notches above Richards as a batsman. Kallis is Alan Borderisque in approach. Great to have on your team, consistent accumulators, difficult to get rid of because they play within their limitations, cut down risk, but in the ultimate analysis as a cricket fan - quite boring. How would Sobers have fared during Sachin's era? If he had played as many ODIs and Tests as Sachin facing the same quality opposition Sachin did ? Sehwag is more destructive than Sachin and probably as talented, but could he last? Whoever said running the distance and to keep going is easy? Ask all those who retired when their bodies gave up!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

I started watching cricket during the 1996 world cup when Tendulkar & Lara were the two best batsmen. I certainly give Tendulkar the edge over the price of port of spain.

But i pride myself as a fan who understands the history of the game & their is no way Tendulkar was better than Sir Gary Sobers & Sir Viv Richards. I'd even argue that Greg Chappell at his best was equal to Tendulkar at his peak between 1990-2003.

So having said that i would agree with Ian Chappell 1000% here in saying Sobers is the clear second best batsman after Bradman. I honestly don't see how this is not close to a unanimous worldwide view.

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

@SG70 - "Helmets dont come into the picture because Bradman never really needed them..." - in the 20 years Bradman played, batsmen were out Retired Hurt on average once every 11 Tests. Since Helmets (1980 roughly), the average is once in 20 Tests. So I have just provided EVIDENCE (not heresay) to show that a batsmen was TWICE as likely to be SIGNIFICANTLY hurt in Bradman's era as opposed to the modern era. The modern era where for most part, bowlers have been restricted to ONE bouncer per over. BTW - Bradman post Bodyline, re-engineered his game to step inside the line of fast short pitched deliveries & pull the ball, a legacy that has lasted 80 years & counting.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

It's startling to me that Kallis is considered so lightly by all the distinguished writers above. Consider the Don's aphorism "Figures are not entirely conclusive, especially short-term figures, but it is difficult to avoid their significance if a man produces them year after year against every type of opponent and under all conceivable conditions." Then compare Kallis with the likes of Ponting, Lara and even the great Gary Sobers. He does well, doesn't he? He does not better Tendulkar as the greatest batman of their generation, but it is difficult to argue that any of the others far excel him. And when it comes to the mantle of the greatest all-rounder of all time, only Sobers is in the same league.

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

@ SG70 on (April 15, 2013, 5:19 GMT) - to answer your points #3 (easy one first) - "Why was Larwood prevented from playing anymore?" - politics. As mentioned by myself earlier (so it HAS been answered), Larwood RETIRED from cricket himself! READ HIS PROFILE! He was told by his Board to offer an apology which he felt should of been made by Jardine. Bodyline actually continued on the pre-test part of the tour in India where riots caused jardine not to continue with the tactic for the Tests. Larwood had a broken foot prior to the return Ashes & it was doubtful whether he would play. He then wrote a letter stating "I refuse to play in any more Tests..." Contrary to certain contemporary beliefs - Bradman was NOT a selector for England & was not a member of their Cricket Board either.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 15, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

Sachin grew in stature in public view thrown into the arena as a boy to face the big boys. He still plays like a boy, eager, enthusiastic and unsure. Along with the stats he's got more talent to survive at the crease than anybody else. Just as the bodyline technique was aimed at the Don, every opponent has devised ways to take Sachin's wicket in every test match and series. Sachin's greatest wicket taker is Sachin himself. This is seen mostly in the 4th innings when Sachin's frame of mind dictates how long he will last at the crease. Sachin is human and hardly a perfect cricketer. Gavaskar used to be mentally stronger than him at the crease. As was Dravid. My submission is that Sachin has been TESTED by the best bowlers in all sorts of grounds in every circumstance of the game in various formats. Who else can lay claim to that? Not Bradman, even if it's not his fault. But then when we compare 2 dissimilar periods, we need to look at what Sachin has gone through to get where he is!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

@ alarky............Sachin avraged 42 @ S/R 82 as middle order batsman as well which is above LARA.................Besides Sachin was a big game player whereas Lara was not proven from Sachin's 50+ avg in Tournament finals & World Cup Games compared to Lara's 40 below avg in these imp games..........................U like Lara's style of batting that's f9 but he was just an avg ODI & Test player.............As Lara did not win a single test post Ambrose (Avg 20) & Walsh's retirement .................Tendulkar never had such good bowlers in his team

Posted by srikanths on (April 15, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

One of the gentleman Kashi127 mentions that the attacks of yesteryears were better. Definitely pace attack was better but not spin. There was no one the class of Warne or Murali that time. Also, Gavaskar did not play against Croft or Garner only against Roberts, Holding and Marshall. Agreed they were a handful but on the point that SRT got to play against weak attacks, let me remind the gentleman that SMG also played for three years against second rate teams when the top players were off to WSC (Packer circus). I have also seen SMG against pace, he was good but not the best against short pitched bowling. GR Viswanath was better against short pitched bowling., I recall SMG's struggle against Sylvester clarke and Norbert Philip on a fast and furious picth in 1979 and the way GRV handled them. Definitely concede that SMG was very very good, he also got his first series 774 runs against a mediocre WI bowling, stroke play he is no match or patch on SRT. He was a terrible ODI recl 36 in 60

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 15, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

I have seen cricket being played since 1972. I think what most people here don't take into account is that the longer you play and the more you play the easier it is for the opposition to figure you out. As one WI bowler famously said, that his team had figured out how take SRT out - by bowling the fast inswinger and taking him out LBW. This apparent "weakness" of SRT has never been a state secret and holds good even today to take most of the best batsmen out. Yet SRT scores - and scores attractively. His boundaries are wondrous and have his "trademark" on them. He has flair, unlike a Kallis. Richards was imperious on the legside. He had the sort of reputation that Gayle has in the IPL. Sachin isn't a bigman like Richards or a Sobers or even a Kallis. contd

Posted by ZA77 on (April 15, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

No doubt, on pure statistic Bradman is the best. Sir Bradman played total 26 timeless matches in test in which 23 played at home ground and only three in England. Ten matches at home were six day, five matches were five day in England and eleven matches were four days, all played in England. Bramdan lost his wickets 50 times by Verity, Bedser, Larwood, Tates, Bowes, Hammond, Yardley, Geary and then twice by Allen, Voce, Wright, Farnes, Griffith, Hazare (8+6+5+5+5+3+3+3+2+2+2+2+2+2=50) in which twelve bowlers from England and Griffith from West Indies and Hazare from India. Bradman only travelled four times in 20 years as compre to Hammond ten times in same twenty years with cricket played on 20 different grounds. For leg spin bowling, had to face Sutcliff more as he played Mailey, Grimmett and Reilly whereas quality fastest bowlers were absent in both teams. Facing these leg breaks in timeless matches, were never happened again in test cricket history.

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh on (April 10, 2013, 1:01 GMT) "...check all the news reports during the Ashes test matches of Don's era you will find that most pitches were featherbeds or 'roads' as they call it which also explains the poor strike rates of bowlers during Don's era..." - GARBAGE! There are very few occasions where Wisden (the only reliable source for pitch quality in an "on-line" search) EVER describes a pitch as a featherbed or a road. What Wisden does report on, is whether a pitch is WEATHER affected (i.e rain on an UNCOVERED PITCH) - & to that extent, approximately 60% of Bradman's matches were rain affected. Which affects the charactor of the pitch & generally makes scoring runs difficult. S/Rates (generally) were higher in Bradman's era, but conversely bowling averages were lower, which means scoring wasn't easy. Take Hedley Verity, his FC bowling ave was 15, his Test ave was 24, with an E/R of 1.9, name a modern bowler who has a sub 2 rpo! (CONT)

Posted by Asher_Jurgens on (April 15, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

Um . . . . . Have you ever heard of Jacques Kallis ? Perhaps the greatest cricketer of all time.

Posted by Kashi0127 on (April 15, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

It has to be either Sunil Gavaskar or Viv Richards. I have had the privilege of seein g both of them play in the stadiums. Why Gavaskar and not Dravid and Tendulkar? Gavaskar wins hands down for the kind of bowlers he faced and contributions he made. If the same no. of matches as played these days and with the kind of moderate attacks we have today and all kinds of protective gears we see including helmets, statistics wise Gavaskar would have easily crossed 25K runs in test cricket. The Tendulkars of today have it easy. Batting on dead tracks, weak oppositions like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh etc. and with no Roberrts, Garner, Holding, Colin Craft, Marshal, Lillee, Thomson , Hadlee to face. Yes there is an occasional Steyn and an occasional Wasim Akram , but they are few and far between. As to it being Viv Richards no words are necessary. As to Sobers , he was a class by himself not comparable to even Bradman mainly because of the variety of his contribution - bowling and batting.

Posted by Sooraj4cricket on (April 15, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

Totally agree to Mr.Menon.Still dont understand why there is a debate to who is first when all the cricket pundits have no doubts about the great Bradman.That aside looking on a broader spectrum,in world sport,when we talk about the modern day legends we say Federer,Woods,Schumacher,Bryant,Messi and in the same breath we mention Sachin.Many factors like longevity,consistency,runs etc really put him ahead of his peers.Being an Indian myself,i know the amount of pressure this man has to endure.People who dont know a thing about cricket criticize him.Just like CLR James mention about George Headley(ref:Beyond a Boundary),the amount of inspiration he gives just by his mere presence to not only his teammates but also a billion Indians is unbelievable.So the debate might be endless,but picking GOD as next is nothing wrong...

Posted by SG70 on (April 15, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

@ravi.m

So beating up a slow medium bowlers like Bowes, Tate etc requires same skill as negotiating a Steyn or a Ambrose or a Donald ? I see none of the Bradman supporters ever answering that question. Reasons are not hard to figure. Arguing with the Bradman supporters its asthough their understanding of cricket is completely different to the rest. How can anybody say that batting on a fast Waca pitch or a raging turner adds no real value to a batsmans resume ? When did this seminal change happen? By the time this series of "Expert" opinion closes I hope one of the Bradman fans will answer me these 3 pointed questions:

1. Who are the Bowlers equal in *absolute Skill* to Steyn, Wasim, Amby, Donald etc that Bradman negotiated ? 2. How does Bradman being far better than his peers translate to Bradman being the best of *ALL* times and that he could bat better than Tendulkar who had to contend with bowlers mentioned above. 3. Why was Larwood prevented from playing anymore.

Posted by srikanths on (April 15, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

Any discussion at this point of time, Sachin Tendulkar will suffer only because of the slid the last year and half. To put it in perspective, his poor performances in the last two years after SA tour has brought down his overall average from 56.96 to 53.86. Average tends to suffer if you srat too early ( especially when you are as young as SRT was ) and suffer when you play beyond 37-38. Lara stopped close to his best and he was 37.5 when he retired, Greg Chappell when he was 35/36 , Exceptions have been Bradman when he played when he was 40, and few others like Boycott. Gavasakar retired when was 37.5 In SRT 's case, average and performances of last years have to be discounted. He is clearly playing from memory the last two years. Keeping that aside, let us not forget that he was at his best against the best of the era for almost 20 years (2004-06 and 2011 onwards were his off years). Most all round batsmen, great in Tests and great in ODI , great against pace and spin

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

Bradman's statistics were not achieved in a day. He played cricket for 20 long years. It was not his problem that the frequency of matches was low in his time or that WW2 occurred. Bradman's career was as long as Sachin's and hence we cannot discriminate on that round.

If Bradman's overall international runs are not very high, we can consider his first class record. He scored 28000 runs in first class cricket at an average of above 95. This seals the debate IMO.

After Bradman, I would rate BC Lara based on the number of great innings, runs per innings (more important than averages in my view), strike rate and sheer audacity of stroke making.

Posted by nareshgb1 on (April 15, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

Good question: whose wicket did the bowlers covet the most? Many "pride" themselves on asking whats the big song and dance around Sachin? yeah.....ask those bowlers who did all the song and dance.

And all these intellectual discusions by learned critics here is pretty long drawn out - so just one more question:

can you imagine the last 23-24 years WITHOUT Sachin?

anyone else - does not matter half as much. Sachin? No way.

Posted by India_boy on (April 15, 2013, 4:48 GMT)

@ALL SRT FANS.....To call SRT the best batsman in the world, or even one of the top 10 is plain stupidity. He is not even the best Indian batsman. That credit goes to Sunny, then comes Dravid and then Vishwanath. Sachin and VVS are a close 4th. Ok SRT played against Donald, Waqar, Wasim, Pidge and Wasim, but what was his average against these bowlers? Less than 30! I dont think merely playing against the best bowlers makes you the best batsman! Forget about winning matches for the country, he has not even secured a draw for us ever!

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh on (April 10, 2013, 1:01 GMT) IF you are going to try & correct me, PLEASE READ what I said in the FIRST PLACE! I said - "There are only 9 matches that went LONGER than 5 days of actual play time (i.e no Rest Days).Bradman was involved in THREE of them" So to make it simple for you, I said whilst matches can be called "Timeless" , the reality is that most Timeless Tests were finished in LESS playing time than modern Tests! That I have researched, that is fact!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

To compare anyone to Bradman is difficult. He had shorter career than the cricketers of today and playing conditions were different, fewer countries playing the game etc. While sheer longevity if his career would be tempting to nominate Sachin, fo rsheer brilliance over a shorter career and allround perfOrmance, Sobers stands tall as the best succesSor to the great Don BRADMAN.

Posted by dirkcl on (April 15, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

I have always found this debate fascinating and Suresh is one of the few that share my views with contemporary players to early and even middle 20th century players. There is no contest. The latter had long touring trips, crappy wickets, and rules now being created. The newer batsmen deal with technology and this is where I believe the argument should end. In cricket, the batsman HAS the advantage, that why there are more centuries than 10 wicket match hauls. It should have been easier to score runs then. Nowadays every coach, bowling coach, and bowler watches video sessions of their opponents. Lara got caught at cover point so often in his latter playing days that it was mean. Also Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting have faced bowlers that spin every which way or exceed 90 mph. I usually leave eras alone Brad was the best before 1940 and Tendulkar best after 1980. and Sobers in between. Stop comparing eras because other than the name of the sport they are all different.

Posted by Born-2b-free on (April 15, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

How could one forget JH Kallis? 508 international matches / 25292 runs / 61 centuries / 570 wickets / 326 catches. He is a complete package! Out of these numbers 299 matches / 14681 runs / 34 centuries / 379 wickets / 219 catches were in a winning cause! Now that's some stats!

Posted by ravi.m on (April 15, 2013, 3:03 GMT)

Re: Menon's Piece

Do you really believe format matters when Bradman scored big 100s at strike rates of 90 when needed? Off the top of my head 244 @ Oval 1934 & 169 @ MCG in 1933 (fine finish to the greatest series comeback ever - bar none). Number of matches is highly misleading. Fact remains Bradman started at 20 & finished at 40 in an era where appendicitis was a serious life-threatening condition. The variety of grounds presented in England & Australia were quite sufficient. I don't see how batting is any harder at current WACA than sun-baked OVAL then, or at current "turners" as opposed to sticky Lord's/MCG then.

At the end of the day, the difference between Bradman and next best in his time was huge in every aspect. Apart from the total aggregate & longevity, Tendulkar is not even the outright best of his generation. Yes, he is for me. But, I can't argue too much if someone else chooses Lara or even Ponting or Kallis. Sure as hell wasn't the case with Bradman & rest of his time.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 10, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

@cricindian.com, you need to look at the exact quotes. Hadlee said he was "arguably" the best ever. Richards said Tendulkar was the best he had seen but he noted straight before that quote that he had not seen Bradman play. I can't find any quotes attributable to Willis. Hanif Mohammed and Nasser Hussain have direct quotes that say Sachin is the best ever. But I could give you a 1000 quotes or books on the topic

Posted by alarky on (April 10, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

Cont'd: And, don't compare Lara and SRT on ODI stats. SRT is predominantly an opening batsman in ODI, while Lara was a middle order batsman. And let me remind all that when Lara opened in ODI his 100/innings rate was more than 100% more than Tendulkar's; because Tendulkar's 100/innings rate was NIL. Because at that time SRT was batting in the middle order and after SEVETY NINE INNINGS, yes 79 INNINGS, he could not score a SINGLE 100 in the middle order! How could anyone look at all these short comings of SRT and even suggest that he's 20th after Bradman.

Posted by alarky on (April 10, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Mike, as an academician, you know that once you pick Bradman as the ultimate measure for great batsmanship, then you can't be judging 'his second' or 'his equal' by using criteria for such judgment on variables that are alien to Mr Bradman's experience. You know once you do that, your thesis would be shunned in academic circles! So, why is your topic: "the second best after Bradman", and the criteria used for finding out are such things like ODI stats, when THE POOR GENTLEMAN HAS NEVER EVEN FACED A SINGLE DELIVERY IN ODIs? Hence, if it's Don, the debate must be test cricket. And if you really want to give an impression of SRT's standing as a batsman in comparison to his peers, then pick his best match-up; that is, the one who has been exposed to and tested by almost all of the same playing situations over an equal period of time to make your judgement! The best to mind is Lara. Sixteen years (1989/90 to 2006) of competition is more than enough time for that judgement. What's the fear?

Posted by   on (April 10, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

From reading these posts I must conclude that Indians think everything from India is the best. Their team is the best thats why they will never win a series in SA and Aus. If Tendulkar was so good why don't he average above 60 or 70. In 1932 it was a ball against a bat and that did not change yet. Tendulkar played more than half the time on flat tracks and still only average 55. Where others from Australia and England and SA play on more difficult wickets and average equal or more than him. To those comparing averages from a certain date, doon't you think his whole career should be judged otherwise If we take bradmans first test fail and last test fail he will average more than a 100. Bottom line... Tendulkar is not the best. there are others who are better.

Posted by   on (April 10, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

@Mohammad in your analysis highest individual score in test like 400 or 375 don't win you games as was the case with lara's. Max runs in 1 over etc don't make it likely that u win, fastest 100 may win u 1 game but not consistently help your team win........Consistency (avg not boosted by not outs like Beven) coupled with high S/R win u games and rate of winning man of match Awards is demonstrates that. Sachin is 2nd on that criteria followed only by Richards whereas Dravid is at 200......... ...... and among all ODI players ever, SRT & Richards have highest (Avg not boosted by not outs * SR) product .......Yes Amla & De villiers are going on same route as Sachin but will take time to become greats.......Sachin is slightly supeior to Richards bcz, his longevity is like Ind had 2 Richards, 1 left after 12 yrs & other took over afterwards & played another 12 yrs ...... Hence Sachin is the greatest asset for his team

Posted by Britishcricket on (April 10, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Being an English cricket fan i would bet my house on this one (as Geoffrey would say) 50 years down the line both Don's and Sachin's records will still be standing, however, people will be more and more appreciative of the gruelling schedule, non-stop cricket, media scrutiny, scrutiny by technology, newer variations being developed by bowlers of modern times and would put Sachin at a rung above Don.

Posted by DavisL on (April 10, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

As much as i would like to accept that "DON IS THE BEST", with each passing day there are many many interesting facts, figures and arguments coming in favour of Sachin. This is pretty much evident in the way Bradman fans are getting agitated and sarcastic when it comes to Sachin's achievements, this in itself is the equivalent of mental disintegration of Bradman's fans as the Aussies would call it (through sledging). It is quite obvious that the internet and vast library of online data about almost everything in life is throwing up very very important facts which were quite easily overlooked in the past, an example in this case is Bradman getting Larwood removed from Eng cricket team after bodyline and Bradman choosing the time he bats so that the pitches get drier and easier to bat on and so on.. Ii will stick to my assessments in my previous posts which was "Sachin is better than Bradman" and therefore, is the best ever!

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 10, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

@BillyCC, this assumption was questioned by many posters few days ago...glad that you noticed it today! Well, when you talk about judges there are other judges like Bob Willis,Naseer Hossain, Sir Richard Hadlee, Hanif Mohammad and Viv Richards as well who have at different points of time said that "Sachin was the best ever"......but, you being a Bradman fan I am sure that you would consider the 4 judges of this article as better judges than Hadlee,Richards etc.

Posted by SG70 on (April 10, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

(cont) was Sticky Wkts. But he came upon them only rarely and his dislike for batting on them is illustrated when he reversed the batting order to buy time. In any case there are only 3 or 4 tests where he had to endure batting on a sticky wkt. Trumper , Hobbs and Hammond are considered better players on Sticky wkts. I will also give you thigh pads, gloves and elbow guard. But these disadvantages are easily outnumbered by those 10 points I mentioned in my earlier post.

So as you can see the modern batsman has many disadvantages stacked against him when compared to Bradman and there is no honest level playing field. You just simply cannot take 99.94 and compare it with any modern players Avg. If you do that you will also have to accept that a Bill Bowes, Bedser,Voce and Larwood were of the same skill level as Wasim Waqar, Donald , Akhtar as their stats suggest. It makes no sense especially if you see the video clips of Bowes and Bedser bowling.

Cheers thanks for your time and to CI

Posted by SG70 on (April 10, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

to recover from ship travel and hence they played practice matches. The truth is these matches were big revenue generators back then and all top players from both sides played them. Not Today . So SRT never got any chance to practice against the likes of Steyn , mcGrath, Waqar, Wasim before important test matches. In comparison Bradman got to play 4 FC matches during that "bodyline" tour. This is a big disadvantage for batsmen today.

I dont understand what you mean by better batting drills. The net sessions have remained the same for ages.

Helmets dont come into the picture because Bradman never really needed them. I already proved this. You can pretend as much as you want but intimidatory bowling was strongly frowned upon in those times. This is common knowledge. Infact nobody honestly thinks that Larwood was even remotely as lethal as say a Steyn, Akthar, BLee, Waqar Donald etc etc.

I forgot 9 Test countries vs 1. The only real disadvantage for Bradman was(contd)

Posted by SG70 on (April 10, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

@BillyCC You may not know this but way back when SRT started his career the bats werent the modern bats that you see now. He just used a heavier bat which were available even back in the 30s ... it would also kill your elbow and forearms which it nearly did for SRT. Read up on the Tennis Elbow. In anycase SRT doesnt play the uppercut in Test cricket nor does he go for the ariel shots. The big edge bat that you are refering to has a disadvantage in that leading edges will easily carry to as far back as deep cover. But do tell how the bat will automatically help someone to help put bat on ball ... Last time I checked the width of the bat has remained constant No?

Reg Travel: Why dont you tell us what ship travel Bradman undertook before this practice match :http://www.espncricinfo.com/bodyline/engine/match/316037.html There is plenty more like that. Point is that practice matches happened in the home tours too. In any case it is just hilarious to suggest that people needed time(contd)

Posted by prashant1 on (April 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

I would much rather watch Brad Pitt than Brad Man....Gimme Tendulkar any day of the week...

Posted by BillyCC on (April 10, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

@cricindian.com, then why is this article titled Who's the next best batsman after Bradman? And regardless of the outcome, why have three out of the four judges listed Sobers and not Tendulkar as the second greatest? Even if you disagreed with the premise of the title, this doesn't stop a judge from naming Tendulkar as the second best.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (April 10, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

savaarna - I dont even want to talk about averages, if you talk about average, there are better averaged players than Sachin. The fact that you listed a handful performances by sachin after 2003 tells me that is all he got to show after 2003. But before 2003 every time he came on to bat, it was a story to tell and remember. No disrespect to what he has acheived but all I am saying is he was a different player before 2003 and an entirely different player after 2003.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 10, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Bradman fans, it is the reality of life that there are and there will always be better batsmen than Bradman....unfortunately it is Sachin for now...and just to cheer you up, as someone has posted "anyone who beats 34000 international runs and 100 hundreds will be considered better than Sachin" Till then, it's Sachin who will be considered the GREATEST!!

Posted by   on (April 10, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Everyone here has talked about statistics- most no. of runs, highest strike rate, max no. of centuries, highest average, etc. Whether its Bradman, Sachin, Sobbers, Lara, Ponting, Kallis, Richards, Gavaskar or anyone else. One who got mentioned in almost each comment here is SACHIN. Whenever Cricket is talked about, Sachin will always be mentioned. To my mind, Sachin is cricket and Cricket is Sachin.

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (April 10, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

Tendulkar is not a match winner never been a finisher, then how he could be the best? will you allow him to bat for your life?

Posted by   on (April 10, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

Tendulkar fans seem to be fancying his 100 hundreds quite excel Bradman's average! But then Ponting fans could as well fancy he with 71 hundreds is twice as good as Richards with 36! See how this differs from assuming Ponting is twice good as Ashraful based on their respective averages!

Posted by BillyCC on (April 10, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

@eternity, thanks. Now let's look at the factors supporting Bradman's average to maintain. 1. Faaar better bats. A soft push for a single can go off the meat for a three. An edge to the slips could fly over due to the thickness of current bats. Tendulkar's uppercut which gives him so many runs would be ineffective. 2. You said better fielding. But there's also much betterbatting drills and skill sessions. 3. You mentioned there were heaps of practice matches. Here's the reason. You surely don't expect a cricketer to step out of a long voyage and just start playing Ashes tests. Last I checked, ships don't have training facilities. So a player might not train for a couple of months just due to travel. 4. Insane schedule. Believe it or not, a cricketer had to work back then (Bradman was a broker). Then they had families to attend to. Cricket was secondary. 5. Helmets. Enough said. 6. Medical technology: Bradman's eye and muscle problem has better remedies now. 7. Bouncer limit rule

Posted by   on (April 10, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

Tendulkar fans' logic would remain hopelessly fallacious until they can find either of these 2: a few players holding averages around 100 in cricket's history; no body other than him holding more than an average of 35 in his era. The 35% more runs he secured than Kallis undergoing 40% more dismissals won't just suffice. Consider all batters except Bradman; you can find too many players with 35% or more runs separating them and still leaving room for speculating as to who's best; you can't find a single instance where an average of 90% runs separating 2 players and still affording such speculations.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 10, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

I fail to understand why some people keep complaining about a billion people supporting Sachin, then why are they not bragging about Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid etc like they do for Sachin. It is pretty obvious that Sachin has got some monumental stats to his name which gives the Indians bragging rights just like Don has a phenomenal average to give the Aussies some bragging rights. Looks like a case of sour grapes for most Aussies!!

Posted by CricketChat on (April 10, 2013, 1:09 GMT)

In my book, Gavaskar would be the next best batsman after Bradman. Mostly, a self taught batsman coming from a country not known for producing any fast bowlers to grow with, he performed exceptionally well donning the role of an opener and the premier batsman of his side for a number of years with great success. He is the trend setter for other fellow Indian batsmen who flourished with a self belief taught by the master.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 10, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

@meety, looks like you have not done enough research on timeless tests ,there were more than 30 timeless test played by Bradman, please google and check for yourself. Regarding pitches, one would expect uncovered pitches to make batting really difficult and taking wickets that much more easier, but that's not the case. Again if you google and check all the news reports during the Ashes test matches of Don's era you will find that most pitches were featherbeds or 'roads' as they call it which also explains the poor strike rates of bowlers during Don's era. @Peter56 has highlighted these facts very clearly in his posts herein. There have also been instances of Bradman waiting for the pitch to dry out so that it becomes much easier to bat on!! again...please check for yourself. And getting Larwood removed from Eng team after bodyline just shows that Don was basically picking and choosing the type of bowlers he wants to play and also choosing the time to bat to score easily.

Posted by Nampally on (April 9, 2013, 23:22 GMT)

@ Mohamad Nayeemuddin: I normally do not comment on others' input unless I find something glaringly wrong. I fully agree with you that there have to be more parameters considered in rating the all time best batsmen. But I have to really question your logic as to how you arrived at a list which puts Sobers at #4,Headlwy @ #6, Tendulkar @ #12, Gavaskar @ #16. These 4 were rated to be rivals for the next best to Bradman by all the Writers on this topic. In fact one of the writer rated Tendulkar as the next best Whilst Sobers was rated by 2 of the 3 writers to be next best! Did you watch any of the 20 odd players you have rated in your list at their best? If you have, you must be the only one of many Million fans who has done so!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Bradman is the best ever, followed by Gavaskar, & Tendulkar.

Sir Len Hutton described Gavaskar as being not as good as Bradman, but close.

Hutton described Gavaskar's 221 at the Oval in 1979 as perhaps the greatest innings ever played.

Posted by gotmymojo on (April 9, 2013, 21:25 GMT)

According to an official poll in India, here is the list of the World 's best batsman:

Tendulkar Gavaskar Dhoni Dravid VVS Laxman Kapil Dev Vinod Kambli Bradman Kallis Jaisauriya Miandad Kevin Peterson

Case closed. Tendulker wins the title!

Posted by Nampally on (April 9, 2013, 21:23 GMT)

When there are about 10 batsmen grouped together in high 50's batting average over their life time it is almost impossible to pick a dominant winner unless new parameters (for rating) are defined. The 3 authors had each over 600 inputs - which included some excellent comments. Earlier I had suggested few new rating parameters such as: 1. the Highest score 2. Fastest 1000 runs & number of such streaks 3. # of Best Innings played 4. Playing Longevity 5. Degree of difficulty for the playing conditions- such as uncovered pitches, lack of modern protective gear, Living, travelling & practicing facilities + match Fee. This will even out any complexities due to playing in different ERA. Ian Chappel & Martin Crowe had selected Gary Sobers whilst Mike Coward picked Tendulkar. Applying the above parameters to these 2 or more guys might make the rating more realistic based on defined rationale.If the rating criteria is not defined, it is baseless to define a "Winner" with similar averages -AGREE?

Posted by gotmymojo on (April 9, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

There can be no question about the number two batsman in the world - it is the great Gary Sobers. A fantastic batsman, who was fearless, scored runs at a fast rate, didn't care for records, a larger than life cricketer - I don't think there ever will be another one like him in a thousand years. He was absolute masterclass with a stamp of authority. He had a mesmerizing effect on the opposition and the public. Like a Usain Bolt, Sobers is ahead of everyone by a mile!

Tendulkar, Viv, Greg Chappell, Lara, Martin Crowe, Barry Richards, Pollock, Gavaskar are all great players but not in the same league as Sobers!

Posted by warneneverchuck on (April 9, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

I think any good player from modern era is better than don like mahela clark amla they all r better than the so called greatest don. At least these players have performed under lot of pressure against variety of opposions instead of playing against just one country

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar played all his life with personal milestones in his minds. Even the least follower of cricket knows how Sachin has gone after records all his life, but nobody wants to admit that. Instead these guys argues in his favor to be the second greatest after Don Bradman. Sachin Tendulkar does not feature in the list of top 10 batsmen with highest average in test cricket, neither he features in the list of top 20 batsmen with highest individual test score. If a player plays 50 or 90 or 100 test matches with exceptional performances, he is good enough to play 200 test matches as well. It is only the matter of who is given the opportunity to play longer. Let us compare stats of all these players for 50 test matches, 90 test matches, and 100 test matches, and let us see who has the most number runs in those many matches, highest score, and similar statistics. I am not sure about the objective behind promoting Sachin to a particular place, a few places more than he deserves.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

Futile exercise going on. A player who leads by his closest by 20% aggregate is equated with one who excels his closest by 40% average. Warne has scored more than 70% of what Martyn has in tests. Would that mean he is 70% as good? But if it were about average, that question means a lot. Average is a far more reliable indicator than aggregate. Everybody knows this, but pretends otherwise so as to derive some smug satisfaction. What a pity!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

@Mohammad Nayeemuddin plz correct your stats Sachins 'middle order avg is 42 with SR 82 ..........compared to Dravid's 39 & SR 70...........................Besides he has 6 100's in middle order

Posted by Hammond on (April 9, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

Bottom line as far I can see it. If DG Bradman were Indian a billion people would be crying out that he was the greatest of all time. Because Bradman wasn't Indian, they champion a bloke who averages 45 runs an innings less than him as the best of all time. Because he is Indian. I wish Bradman was Indian then we could all amicably agree he was the greatest of all time. And then answer the question of number 2 which is the whole point of this post.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

All the analysts here have just discussed Test batting but ODI's career is equally imp, if not more, to determine greatness because World Cup decides the best team which is played in ODI format not tests. Additionally ODI batting poses tougher challenge than tests because of additional run rate pressure proven from fact that on average batsman have ODI avg 10 points lower than their test avg. If just ODI career is considered then Tendulkar is at the top followed by Richards & rest way behind because 1) Tendulkar is big game player as he has 50+ avg in Tournament finals & WC matches 2) He is match winner not just accumulator i.e. has 2nd best rate of getting MOM: MOM every 7th match inferior only to Richard's 6. 3) Finally bcz of his breadth of stats. Sachin is among the pool of top test players ever. So combining ODI & Test batting greatness & considering that he faced all the tough bowling sides but Aussie & WI batters never faced their own bowling, then Sachin is just below Bradman

Posted by SG70 on (April 9, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

@BillyCC and others who are asking why Bradmans avg would not be same now :

Here are the reasons

1. Faaaar better fast bowlers ( Amby, Walsh, Donald, Akram, Waqar, McGra, Steyn, Pollock) are miles better bowlers than Larwood, Bowes & CO 2. Faaaar better spin bowlers (Murali, Warne, Saqlain, Qadir ) 3. Faar better Fielding 4. Very little practice games involving the same bowlers who would play in Tests. 5. Switching between ODIs and Tests with little or no practice games. 6. Insane Schedule. 7. Reverse Swing. 8. LBW Law.

The game is soo different and so fast that only Bradman might have been able to adjust to a certain degree but to suggest that he would avg above 70 as some suggest is just highly unlikely.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

How come a player who could not win a single IPL tournament for his team is the greatest batsmen of all time. He may not have been able to a win a single World Cup either if it was not for exceptional performances of Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Gautam Gambhir among others. The more you play the more runs you will get. Not every board is a BCCI to allow a player to play according to his own intention and retire according to his own will. Not every country is India to extend unconditional support to some players for specific reasons. You cannot say a player great he has more cumulative runs in 200 test matches than a player with 131 test or 150. You have to look both of them in 131 games or 150 games. Similarly, you cannot say a player as greater who has more runs batting as an opener than who has less runs because he batted in middle order. Just check Sachin's record in the middle order in one dayers and he averaged under 32 without any 100s in 70 odd games.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 9, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

@Grant King - followed you request and as with Tendulkar (MINUS ban/zim) from 14 dec 1998 to 14 feb 2012 Kallis avg. 58.7 .Ponting 55.3. Lara 54 and some 15 other players with a 50+ avg. In the Tendulkar era - Steve avg. 55 , then .....And in the 1990s it gets even better . For batsmen who batted THROUGHOUT the 1990s (MINUS ban/zim) ONLY 3 avg. 50+. Tendulkar 59.4 , "next best" Steve Waugh 51.8. 15% differential over "next best" over a decade.

Posted by CrazyKiwi on (April 9, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

I am a neutral Kiwi.....so no leaning towards any one country or player. I thinks it's a straight toss up between Don's avg of 99 and Tendulkar's 34000 runs with 100 100s to decide who is the BEST!

Both records look unlikely to be broken, however just looking at the variety of conditions, quality of bowlers, technology,reverse swing, doosra's, carrom ball and the like which Sachin had to contend with i will go for Sachin over Bradman.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 9, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

@Grant King : Absolute figures are meaningless. They only take any meaning relative to peers. A 99.94 ONLY takes meaning on a comparative basis. Tendulkar was 13% better than the "next best" over 11 years. Needless to say Kallis has NEVER had such a differential over the "next best" and never will.

Posted by peter56 on (April 9, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

tommytucker if you are going to quote someone at least do it accurately what Bradman actually said was Garry sobers and Graeme Pollock were the best Left handers ever.you just decided to leave the sobers bit out of the quote.and this was before the rest of the world team toured England in 1970.when Sobers with 588 runs proved he was greater than Pollock and Barry Richards.they were billed as tests at the time,and were officially for the next 8 years .reducing Pollocks average to 55 and Barry to 54 while increasing Sobers to 58.63 I remember the excitement just before the tour Pollock fans were sure this was Graemes chance to prove he was as good or maybe better.Suffice to say that the Don never had to be asked the same question again As Sobers won the gold medal at the" olympics" of batting.3 neutrals here Mark Nicholas,Martin Crowe,and Ian chappell have all lgone for Sobers if cricinfo ask Geoff Boycott everyone knows he will say Sobers too

Posted by Africasafari on (April 9, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

I just cannot understand the confusion....Tendulkar stands head and shoulders above the rest followed by Pollock,Kallis,Sobers,Bradman,Viv Richards and the rest!

Posted by DavisL on (April 9, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

Many people here have assumed that if some other player plays as long as Sachin has then Sachin's records will be automatically broken!! This brings to mind a very obvious question "Why has not anyone played as long as and as well as Sachin has?" Any answers?? All said and done "anyone who breaks Sachin's record of 34000 runs and 100 100s to go with being the highest run scorer in both tests and ODIs would automatically become the BEST EVER irrespective of his nationality".

Geez....most players would finish on a stretcher if he had been playing as long as Sachin has!!

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 9, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

@BillyCC, you don't get this....i have never assumed that batting quality is constant...what i have clearly stated is that better bowling strike rates of modern era will invariably result in lower batting averages and for this simple reason Bradman's average will also come down if he was playing now. As for me taking up your challenge, that would only happen when you can convince everyone (including me) by your answers to the questions posted to you by many previous posters in this column who have questioned the validity of DGB's average of 99 in the modern era!! One of your previous posts talks about the evolution theory and "a human being called Sachin evolving 200 years before time" and other hilarious science fiction stories.....all this just shows one obvious thing which is "you are clutching at straws to put across your point".

Posted by swarzi on (April 9, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

Mr Coward, the BIG error that's made in putting Tendulkar among the super greats is when people equate Bradman's 99.94 avge with SRT's so called 100 International Tons! The error is that Sir Don's average is an UNDISPUTABLE performance phenomenon that we all don't expect ever to be achieved in 52 tests/82 inngs again! On the contrary SRT's so called 100 Tons is a CONCOCTED IDEA, which we're confident would be broken by any good player who plays as long as SRT. It was done to try to legitimise SRT as one of the super greats - otherwise, there's nothing to show. The concept of 100 Intern'l Tons is controversial because we know that the structure of County Cricket in England, especially in the 70s had teams that were not only more Intern'l, but 100x better than BANG or ZIM. The question is: What about the Tons scored by players of that time against arguably, bowlers of the Best Bowling Era of All Time? Can Lara's 375, 400*, & 501* by same-player be broken? No! Hence, the equity for 99.94

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 9, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

@meety, just to add to my earlier post you have mentioned "indisputably, Bradman faced the best opposition possible for around 75% of his career" Just to remind you that the best opposition possible does not necessarily mean the best possible bowlers!! Pretty sure you know this...couple more very very important facts that heavily discounts Bradman's so called greatness are 1) All his matches were played in just two countries, Eng & Aus in his entire career and 2) The LBW rule during Bradman's time so much in favour of the batsman....please google and check. You have compared SRT with other batsman of his era and highlighted the different periods of their career at which they were the best but, is this really the correct way to analyze batsmen...I am afraid NO!! Many batsmen will be at their best at different points of time in their career but what matters most is the amount of runs and centuries they finish with, if anyone can beat that then he will become the GREATEST!!

Posted by peter56 on (April 9, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

in 1980 Denis Compton stated that Viv Richards was as good a destroyer of attacks as Don Bradman had been. Botham said that viv was better than Bradman. Viv had a higher strike rate, played continually against much greater bowlers( Lillie,Thompson,Imran,Hadlee,) on much more bowler friendly wickets than Don did, and had to contend with much better fielding.and this was at least a decade before bat technology began to take off,So instead of moving bradman forward 40 odd years,suppose you moved Viv and Sobers back to the thirties against the relative trundlers that were operating,on the batting paradises that existed then,with the old LBW law,joke fielding,pretty much the same bats, both would have scored a lot more runs than they did in their respective eras,Vivs already superior strike rate would have further eclipsed the Don.remember Garry averaged over 73 from 1958-68.so he too could easily have averaged 90 in the 30s Sticky wickets? Don was useless on them Garry was great on them

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

Okay, Tendulkar has 7000 more runs than his closest rival. But that would not put his position comparable to Bradman's in 40 over his rival with average. Jayasurya has 7000 more runs than Saeed Anwar; actually you can find many such examples. But you can't find a single instance of 2 decent players who have played 50 or more matches and hold a difference of 40% in average.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 9, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

@Meety, if you think that strike rate of less than 60 can be considered to sub-standard bowling what could be said of bowlers of Bradman's time?? If Sachin and other modern greats have less than great records against such bowlers the same would easily happen to Bradman as well if he had been playing now! Many Aussies keep harping on Sachin playing against matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (Shane Warne said the same about Murali). Sachin played just 16 out of 198 test matches against Bang and Zim which is just 8% of his total matches. Could you please explain why Bradman played against the then minnows India and South Africa if that was the case. In fact, Bradman played 19% of his test matches against these minnows which is 10 out of 52 test matches. Please note Windies are not being considered as minnows here even though Bradman played 5 tests against them. 34000 international runs, 100 100s and highest run scorer in tests and ODIs easily make Sachin 'THE GREATEST EVER"!!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

Totally agree, with `Martin Crowe`, Bradman`, and Sobers, pick themselves as 1 and 2, and would loved too have seen them, batting together. Best Batsman of all time, batting with the best Left-hand Batsman ever, and Sobers, is also the greatest all-round player, ever. Remember these greats of our great game, played on green, damp, uncovered pitch`s, yet performed so exceptionally well. If these two legends of our game played on the roads, that some Countries call pitches, they`re average would have been so much higher.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

All the analysts here have just discussed Test batting but ODI's career is equally imp, if not more, to determine greatness because World Cup decides the best team which is played in ODI format not tests. Additionally ODI batting poses tougher challenge than tests because of additional run rate pressure proven from fact that on average batsman have ODI avg 10 points lower than their test avg. If just ODI career is considered then Tendulkar is at the top followed by Richards & rest way behind because 1) Tendulkar is big game player as he has 50+ avg in Tournament finals & WC matches 2) He is match winner not just accumulator i.e. has 2nd best rate of getting MOM : MOM every 7th match inferior only to Richard's 6. 3) Finally bcz of his breadth of stats. Sachin is among the pool of top test players ever. So combining ODI & Test batting greatness & considering that he faced all the tough bowling sides but Aussie & WI batters never faced their own bowling, then Sachin is just below Bradman

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

Kallis average more than tendulkar in tests and odi"s. oops did not see that one coming. The way Amla and AB are going i'm afraid Sachin will shift more down the pecking order. He should stay the best in india and thats it.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

Kallis average 61.61 between 14 dec 1998 and 14 feb 2012.... and tendulkar is his good period 59.whatever. stop choosing periods to show what you want us to belief. Others are just as good or even better in their good periods. Lets see the whole career for what it is and the good with the bad and how you get through the lean period and stand up to be counted.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

CricFan24 do something like that for Kallis between 1998 and 2012. Lets see if he average between 60 and 70.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

The comments herein can be summed up thus: some people's (while they are obviously too many, almost they all have the same nationality) wishful thinking that all batsmen except B'man and all bowlers of his era, no matter it spanned either side of a long war, were mediocre vs some others' (not that many, but they represent the world more widely) valid poser as to why he stood out from the rest in such a convincing fashion. As for longevity, nobody considers Vaas a better bowler than Lillee/ Marshall only because the former has better claim to it.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 9, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

From 1992 to 2003 , For batsmen who played THROUGHOUT that period Tendulkar avg. 59.6 MINUS Ban/Zim. The "next best" is Steve Waugh with 52.9. The differential for ELEVEN years is 13 %. Besides Bradman noone has ever had such a gap between him and the "next best" over such a long period - and arguable noone ever will....Sachin Tendulkar best in his era. Bradman best in his.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

Personally, both Bradman and Sachin are the 'greatest' batsman to have ever played the game. Assuming statistic is the only comparator between these 2 legends (other comparisons can only be hypothetical), then the question to pose to any aspiring batsman is: What would you choose-an average of 99.94 or 100 international hundreds?

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

Don bradman played test cricket for 20 years. Averaged 99.94. No one that played with him comes close to him. That for me says it all. Was the rest that bad and he average??? or was he that great that no one could touch him. No one since have played even close to his ability. Please don't compare average with the Don. Tendulkar???? He himself knows where he fits in. Fans don't know anything.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (April 9, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor-The mighty Aussies of past decade were 'found wanting' in India. Your comment has to be taken with a pinch of salt . The Aussies were denied in 2001 but it took one of the most memorable series of all time even for them to be stopped breach the final frontier. But true greatness cant be denied for long and 2004 series win completed what would have been a blot on their awesome C.V . And the recent series vs Aus in Ind ..... don't even think of mentioning 'that' Awe-ssie side in same stanza as the present 1!! It's not even funny ... 1 thing in common is they both wear the Baggy Green on their heads ...and the comparison ends there ! -:)

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

If we say that the Don is the 'greatest' batsman, because none could match his average of 99.94. Why should not Sachin be considered the greatest batsman given he has scrored over 30,000 runs plus 100 centuries-these numbers will never be matched. Sachin also carried expectations of a billion people and thanks to the electronic media his batting has been scrutinsed by all and sundry.Take your pick.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (April 9, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

@Mohammad Nayeemuddin LOL. You again framed all those 12 questions(mostly irrelevant in test cricket) to deliberately ignore sachin's contribution. Suresh Raina averaged 120 after his first test. Did you consider that as well :)

Put 100 tests as the min criteria and you will definitely find sachin in most of your questions. And what do you infer from the stats like Most sixes in test cricket, Fastest 100s in test cricket LOL. Absolutely irrelevant. Surely you have made up the questions to belittle the master. And for ODIS you still did not answer me if you have compared his average with players who have played atleast half of the games that he played (take 250 odis atleast). Fastest hundred or highest average / strike rate in fewer games do not reveal the whole picture. I cannot change your heart about sachin but if you want to see what he has achieved here is the link http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/index.html?class=2#batting

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 9, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

Even the Australian team at their zenith with "great" players such as Ponting, Glen and Warne were found wanting in India. The present Aussi team fared like a club side against the Indians in India. It is anybody's guess what would have happened to Bradman if he played in India or against the likes of Murali and Saeed Ajmal in the subcontinent. Competitive sport is a mental game and your genius gets tested when you face the best in the field from diverse backgrounds and can still keep your head up, year after year over a span exceeding 2 decades. Sachin did that. Who did Bradman face of such phenomenal talent apart from Larwood (whose only claim to fame was the Bodyline series)?

Posted by BillyCC on (April 9, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor, good to see you ignored my comment about McGrath, Gillespie and Lee vs Vaas. Obviously you can't win that argument. By the way, who is this player? It's an all rounder AVERAGING some 1400 INTERNATIONAL runs a year over a 18+year career span across multiple formats in some 60 odd grounds across numerous conditions and weather conditions and achieving this in an era of neutral umpires and TV replays. And batting at No.3 for much of his career and sending 30000 deliveries in international cricket as either first or second change bowler. Oh, and averages 2.2 runs more than Sachin. Similar to your Murali vs Warne comparison, could this be the exact same thing? Just that Sachin is Warne and Kallis is Murali?

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 9, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

@BillyCC: It's evident from your argument that there is no appreciation of the value of 5 and 10 wicket hauls in establishing a bowler's credentials. Little wonder Warne gets chosen over Murali even though Murali is leagues ahead. I've already made the point earlier, that AVERAGING some 1500 INTERNATIONAL runs a year over a 23+year career span across multiple formats in some 60 odd grounds across numerous conditions and weather conditions accounts for a lot more than what Bradman achieved. Achieving this in an era of neutral umpires and TV replays is phenomenal. Contrast this to the era before this, where the Aussies and the English used to play with 13 a side. Don't take my word for it, ask the WI test players of the 70s. Bradman scored 500+ runs in his last series and guess what, there were 2 other players who scored more than him in that series. That doesn't speak much of the bowling attacks of those days , the field setting, or captains - who were taught to play by the book!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

Next-best batsman after Bradman?? Excuse me...Sachin comes first before anyone else when you talk about Greatest of all time.! He face all over the world's best bowlers with unlimited pressure which make him only immortal of game. You talk lot and argue all time, but the fact is this: Sachin is Greatest.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (April 9, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

It is nice that Mike Coward has put in correct perspective the career highlights of te two greatest batsmen of all time. I am of the view that cricket had not evolved as much in the first half of the 20th century as it has post Packer. Bradman was quite obviously a great batsman and may have been as gifted as Tendulkar or even more. But in assessing their merits I would say that the quality of bowling and fielding they had to face may have been the big difference.The one thing that is repeated often about Bradman is that he played all his Tests on uncovered wickets. It is seldom mentioned that unlike Tendulkar,Bradman played all his Tests in Australia or England.Though uncovered pitches may have been challenging, I cannot believe that they were patches of debris. They would have been playable. The quality of bowling is what is more relevant.The best that Bradman faced were Tate, Larwood,Voce, Allen and Bedser. How does that compare with Ambrose,Walsh,Waqar,Wasim,Donald Magrath Warne ?

Posted by BillyCC on (April 9, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor, the amount of blank space between Murali's and Warne's five wicket hauls is not as big as the blank space between the number of wickets McGrath, Gillespie and Lee took and the number of wickets Vaas took. I can't even name another Sri Lankan bowler in that period who took a bagful. And therein lies the explanation. Your case has no legs

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

Can I say I am like Bradman... in that I too don't like such comparisons being made? :) Having said that I think anything other than numbers starts getting us subjective since we do not have any reliable method (not any I am aware of) that can adjust for factors like covered/uncovered pitches and heads, quality opposition bowlers, quality of teammates, change in rules (restriction on bouncers per over) etc. So when you go by sheer numbers then it is SAchin who wins hands down. But from a subjective point of view I tend to vote with Ian Chappell and Martin Crowe - Garry Sobers who is my favorite all time cricket all rounder. Although I hear current generation throwing the numbers at me of Jacques Kallis! But then did I not say subjective? The one player who cd have staked a claim to rival Bradman but was cut off by politics was Graeme Pollock. Imagine Bradman and Pollock playing in the same era and playing against each other for some 20 Tests - home and away!

Posted by A_S_M on (April 9, 2013, 3:30 GMT)

I take a liking to the featured comments of Paul Rone-Clarke and then Mohammad Nayeemuddin. Paul has truly pointed out high difficult it was to bat in the days of the Bradman, while Nayeemuddin has highlighted the statistical parameters that need consideration in defining a batting great. Please ask yourselves honestly: how much do I really understand when I say that such and such is the greatest after the Don? It is difficult indeed. Please also do not forget that Zaheer Abbas was nicknamed the Asian Bradman in his time, refer to Cricinfo search results on "Zaheer Abbas". He may have had a slightly lower test average than Tendulkar, but had a higher ODI average than him!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 2:30 GMT)

1. Which are the 10 batsmen with highest test average? 2. Which are the 10 batsmen with highest strike rates in test cricket. 3. Which are the 10 or 20 batsmen with highest individual score in test cricket. 4. Which are the batsmen who scored more than 300 runs in test cricket. 5. Which are the 10 batsmen who have fastest hundreds in test cricket 6. Which batsmen have played longest innings in test cricket. 7. Which 5 batsmen tops the list of batsmen with most double hundreds 8Which batsmen have the most number of sixes in test cricket. 9. Which batsmen have excelled more often in crisis. 10 batsmen having the highest average in One Day Cricket 11 Which batsmen have the highest strike rate in One Day cricket. 10. Which batsmen have the highest strike rates in One Day Cricket (in at least 100 games) 11. Who has the fastest hundreds in One Day International Cricket. 12. Which batsmen have more than 200 sixes in One Day games. Do this analysis and it will hep you find an accurate list.

Posted by aarifboy on (April 9, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

After The Don there was the best batting alrounder Sobers,a King called Viv and a Prince called Lara.Viv and Sobers played in great teams,prince played with no support at all.Prince is supposed to be next best after Bradman.

Posted by pruffhill on (April 9, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

tendulkar is better than Bradman. The hundred international centuries is an achievement just like bradmans batting average. Tendulkar has scored his runs against every nation in every nation across both test and ODI formats. The amount of cricket Tendulkar has played is phenomenal and if you look at his contemporaries he is far ahead of the pack in terms of runs and centuries. In Bradmans time there were timeless tests and he scored the majority of his runs against one opposition.

Posted by Meety on (April 9, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

As an Ozzy, whilst I admired Sachin's stroke play & obvious class, the two Indian batsmen that would give me the most sleepless nights wondering how we would ever get them out was Dravid & VVS, (in the 80s it was Gavaskar). Where to now for Sachin? There MAY be a Test series v Pakistan in August, but otherwise it is V Sth Africa in Sth Africa. It maybe a good time to retire, otherwise it is a series of away Tests, with only a home series v WIndies in OCtober 2014. It's hard to see Sachin continuing on much longer & he really runs the risk of diminishing perception of his legacy! Kallis? Well he has the luxury of a pace attack that can take some pressure off, as well as a deep batting line up, he could easily play (injuries aside), to Dec 2016. Sangakarra? I think he will retire before Kallis. Sanga seems to me to be a bloke who has a lot more to do in life after cricket. I think he'll drop ODIs after the 2015 W/Cup.

Posted by pruffhill on (April 9, 2013, 1:30 GMT)

tendulkar is better than Bradman. The hundred international centuries is an achievement just like bradmans batting average. Tendulkar has scored his runs against every nation in every nation across both test and ODI formats. The amount of cricket Tendulkar has played is phenomenal and if you look at his contemporaries he is far ahead of the pack in terms of runs and centuries. In Bradmans time there were timeless tests and he scored the majority of his runs against one opposition.

Posted by DKan on (April 9, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

@BillyCC Players debut in test cricket in their 20s on average. For Sachin to debut at 16, even though he handled himself admirably well doesn't mean he was selected because he was at his peak or close, he was selected because Indian batting at the time was not much to talk about. In alomost any other country he would have debuted about 19-20 and have retired by 36-37 with an at-par record to Sobers. IMO if we are discussing who is the better batsman, we should look at comparative ages. Being thrust into Tests too early is a serious disadvantage. How many cricketers debut at 16? And moreover how many survive to play 23 years. @Meety I'm happy to go with your dates too. Still record is same. I'd argue there are more bowling greats in 90s than 50-70s (Warne, Murali, Mcgrath, Ambrose, Walsh, Waqar, Wasim, Donald, Steyn, Anderson etc) Sport is more competitive now, and conditions varied and schedules tighter. I feel that gives a similar average now an edge only on batting though.

Posted by Meety on (April 9, 2013, 0:15 GMT)

(cont) - BOTH Sanga & Kallis have better tons per innings ratios than Sachin. BOTH batsmen are statistically superior, (than all the batsmen I have mentioned bar The Don), BOTH batsmen are arguably getting BETTER. BOTH batsmen have some level of claim to being allrounders as well. At this stage, there is some holes in Sanga's career that need to be plugged - before I can put him up as the best I have seen. Kallis on the other hand, is a different matter. I never rated kallis to begin with, felt Cronje was a better bat & bowler & fielder. Then come the early 2000s, Kallis crept up on me. He was starting to average 50, & that comes from putting good innings together. He fails in the Ozzy litmus test (unlike Sachin), as Kallis has done much better v Oz post McGrath/Warne & co. Sachin is the opposite. My only other negative against Kallis is - for much of his career (particularly in ODIs) - his innings were too passive.

Posted by Meety on (April 9, 2013, 0:08 GMT)

(cont) - Now with a bit of distance, I give Richards the higher honour as Sir Viv was dynamic during the World Series, which was arguably the toughest cricket ever played. I think Sunil Gavaskar has a good case to being the best Indian batsmen ever, & to say that does NOT take away from Sachin's achievements. Gavaskar did face (& excel) against the WIndies, which gets a big tick from me. I rate Greg Chappell as the best OZZY batsmen post Bradman, as he excelled against the WIndies & was also brilliant during World Series. So where does the more modern players sit now? Lara (as previously mentioned), had higher peaks than Sachin, but more troughs. IMO - at their BEST - Punter & Lara were better than Tendulkar, but the longevity issue, the consistancy of Sachin still places him ahead. However, in the last two years, TWO batsmen have come along, that I think can take the title of the best batsmen in the last 40 years - Kallis & Sangakarra!

Posted by Meety on (April 9, 2013, 0:01 GMT)

I am actually a fan of Sachin. I just get annoyed by intangible & plain false assertations that get put fwd by extreme elements of his fan base. Two years ago, I thought Sachin was a millimetre better than Lara, & half a centimetre ahead of Punter, & a bit of a centimetre better than Kallis & Dravid. Two years later, I am not so sure. Once upon a time, I use to rate Border ahead of Sir Viv, I used reasons such as a nation riding his every move, playing in a weak team & having to face the WI bowlers which Sir Viv didn't - (this all sound famiiliar?). IMO - the 1980s were harder cricket than the 1990s, there were no minnows & apart from the WIndies there was a scramble to claim the 2nd best status - Pakistan could go toe to toe with the WIndies home & away but could get smashed by a weak Oz, England would fold to the WIndies but hammer Oz, & India were strong at home. The "weakest" nation was NZ, but they had arguably the best bowler. (cont)

Posted by Meety on (April 8, 2013, 23:46 GMT)

@ Ranveerrsingh on (April 8, 2013, 12:14 GMT) - how many timeless Tests do you THINK there were & how many did Sir Don play in? Fact MOST tests during the 1930s were NOT timeless, they were in fact 4 day matches. Often these matches ended in draws NOT because the pitches were batting paradises - but because they were UNFIT to bat on! Hence - SOME matches became timeless to ensure a result. Most matches that went longer than 5 days had a REST day. Bear in mind, some timeless Tests ended up being completed in two actual days, (5th Test Oz v SA in Feb 1932), Match was over on the 4th day where there had been a washout on Day 2 & a Rest Day Day 3! There are only 9 matches that went longer than 5 days of actual play time (i.e no Rest Days).Bradman was involved in THREE of them. Also bear in mind, that in ONE of those matches, only 10 hrs of play occurred on the 1st 3 days! The arguement is, that pitches were much more subject to weather events & could change from easy to hard very quick!

Posted by Meety on (April 8, 2013, 22:54 GMT)

@cricindian.com on (April 8, 2013, 12:23 GMT) - the sub-60 S/Rate hypothesis is only relevant IF you can prove that Sachin excelled against those said sub-60 bowlers. If he was mediocre against them - it could be argued he faced too many sub-standard bowlers. How many Bangladesh or Zimbabwe bowlers do you think would ever have been capable of getting Bradman out? The fact is (indisputably), that Bradman faced the best opposition possible for around 75% of his career. No modern batsmen can hope to have that.

Posted by TheScot on (April 8, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

How bloody good Sir Don was, is quite evident from the fact that his one line on Sachin is taken as benchmark for judging the Indian batsman. That too he took from his wife (Even Sir Don knew who's the boss - wife). In fact even in his twilight years the Don recognized the power shift in cricket and where and how he would like to live among the people. So that was very clever, well placed remark. In a way he defined how majority of Indians think about themselves now - 'the best in the world'. In the retrospect I always think what if he had said something similar for Brian Lara, or Inzamam for that matter. Would the nature cricket in those countries been any different now? Or would he had change the psych of those nations? But then he was Don, he knew where and when to hit the ball. And he did scored big there.

Posted by gsingh7 on (April 8, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

for me sachin is best ever. he played on spinning tracks low tracks high tracks against murali warne saqlain ajmal, bret lee shoaib, gillespie macgrath, imran , wasim , vaas, shakib (bangladeshi greatest bowler ever), wi- sammi, pollard, narine, nz- vettori,patel, martin, harris, sa- pollock,donalds, klusner, pat,england-- bopara, dmitri , patel, jimmy, panesar. whereas bradman played medium pacers only no spinning rank turners. who knows he wud prove to be 2 levels below hughes and ponting if he played on rank turners of india or bangladesh. he cud had average in single figures if he had faced ashwin and co on indian rank turners. sachin played like champion on all tracks.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 8, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

@cricindian.com, let me deconstruct your argument. You say that bowling strike rates now are better than before. That is true. Then you say that this has led to better bowling quality now than before. That is also true. Your flaw is that you've assumed that batting quality is a constant. That is completely false. The quality of batting and bowling has moved consistently throughout the generations so that if you are comparing on a relative sense to batsman and bowlers of the past, then yes, I would agree, cricket has improved quality now. But it still does not explain why someone averaged 100 over 52 tests and 234 first class matches and the the second best averaged 60 in tests and 70 in first class cricket. The challenge for you is state how you think Bradman's average would come down from 100 to say 40-50 and quantify each factor with a certain number of runs.

Posted by peter56 on (April 8, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

( continued) I think it is reasonable to assume that if the Don had had to face O'Reilly and grimmett his average could have dropped to maybe 90. Conversely if Headley had not had to face these 2, his average would have raised from 67 to maybe 75. but the thing which really set the Don apart was not just the incredible stability his wife provided in order for him to focus TOTALLY on his batting, with an incredible single mindedness, the big advantage he held over everyone was his unique GRIP. In a 2003 book, a biomechanical analysis of Dons GRIP was done, concluding that Dons INITIALLY PERCEIVED WEAKNESS WAS ACTUALLY THE KEY REASON FOR HIS SUCESS- it created a "rotary" action in his swing of the bat that delivered extra power and ENSURED THAT HE KEPT THE BALL ON THE GROUND Also, his backswing kept his hands in close to his body, leaving him perfectly balanced and ABLE TO CHANGE HIS STROKE MID SWING, if he was initially deceived by the flight of the balL 3 huge advantages

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

Mike Coward - I would agree with you elevating Sachin to the "best after Don" category only if one consider Sachin's Career until 2003. Until 2003 Sachin's was a PRIZED wicket and you could see bowlers and fielders go delirious on getting it. After 2003 he has been a DIFFERENT PLAYER and a player on a long slide down. There has been occasional peaks but slide was always towards down and that long stretched part of his career is the only blemish (yeah all those years since 2003) on his otherwise spectacular career. Bradman may have thought Sachin was more like him but that was before 2003. The "Other Sachin" who played after 2003 is much poor that even with all those years of experience, he managed a handful of good performance in a span of 10 years. I agree the Sachin Pre-2003 is the greatest batsman after Don. Sachin after 2003 is a different story altogether - Don't get me wrong, even while writing this I CANT THINK OF INDIAN TEAM WITHOUT SACHIN. But that doesn't change the facts.

Posted by Zsam on (April 8, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

@Peter56, bodyline halved Bradman's avg, but it only brought him to where the best of any other era have hovered; in the mid 50s.dont forget it was a leg side stacked field. Even Sachin hasn't stayed there despite all the astronaut padding at his disposal!s, with the chest guards, elbow guards and of course helmets with vizors! Don't forget modern batsmen also get better bats and personal physiotherapists, with first class top of the line living conditions even while travelling. If the two Aussie fast bowlers were the reason why others couldn't match up to his avg internationally, then what about his first class avg of 95? And why couldn't other Aussie batsmen score against the rest of the world, like Bradman did, if the intl. bowling was as shoddy as you are making it out? 29 centuries, 12 double, 2 triple9one triple in a day actually!) and a then FC world record of 453, are very convincing points. in short given the challenges, of his time, this man was twice as good as the others.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

Always Bradman is the best. Why does no one ever mention that Bradman played the majority of his career with the lbw rule strictly being the ball pitching in line of the stumps. If it pitched outside off, it was not out even if struck in front.

What would Lara, Tendulker and Ponting's averages be with that law remaining the same?

Thus, it is impossible to ever say a greatest batsman. Greatest strokemaker, sure. Not greatest batsman. And saying Don is, with that advantage, is unfair to all who come after him.

Posted by peter56 on (April 8, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

since the early sixties when I first became hooked on test cricket,I always took it as gospel that Bradman was the greatest ever batsman I just looked at the average and compared the next best nearly a difference of 40 no contest.I still believe the don is the greatest but by a much smaller margin. he had everything in his favour by a wide margin.(1) the 1930s were the greatest decade for batsmen the pitches were roads,(2) the tests were timeless in order to try and get a result.(3)He played under the old LBW law until 1937 which was so pro batsmen it was a joke(4)the out fielding was pathetic no diving or trying to chase the ball (5) 4 tests only against bodyline HALVED his average.so Larwood had to go. and go he did funny the greatest ever whinge was from the Aussies not the poms. OK if batting was so easy in the 30s why could nobody else average more than the 67 of Headley and Hutton ? one reason was the Aussies had the 2 best bowlers in Grimmett and O'Reilly (continued)

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

after Sir Don Bradman the best batsman is sachin ramesh tendulkar no doubt abt that may be sunil gavaskar & lara can close to him but he is one step ahead than these 2.

Posted by roshi5 on (April 8, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

I think Sachin is the GREATEST EVER-- even better than Bradman. Did Bradman face any good spineer, did he play in the subcontinent, was his game analysed in computers day-in and day-out, did he play in SA,NZ,WI,PAK,SL and above all DID HE HAVE TO FACE THE CRAZY EXPECTATIONS OF 1 BILLION PEOPLE? The "Greatest Ever" tag must go to someone who has excelled in all the tests. Taking everything into account, i do not think that only an average of 99.94 in an era of amateur fielding makes you better than a guy who has scored 33000 runs, 100 centuries, played for 24 years with such consistency. SACHIN is the best. THE GREATEST EVER. I say it proudly as an Indian.

Posted by naz139 on (April 8, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Lara was the undisputed King of batsmanship in the 90s! Tendulkar no doubt is a great and a run machine, Lara entertained, won matches single handedly and made massive runs with such a risky backlift!

Posted by IPSY on (April 8, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

Cont'd: Notwithstanding those alarming figures against SRT in the match up against the fairest comparable peer, I know some would still surface a lot of intangibles that they usually use to try to rate him that high; but not even these would stand up to any exclusive test. Example, I've heard about his great technique, balance and all-round ability. In the first case, he's not an all round batsman, as he has proven that he's only confident batting at No. 4 in test matches. In terms of technique and balance. Look, this guy is no LAWRENCE ROWE, the man whom injury robbed of becoming greater than Bradman. He's not even Carl Hooper, "The Beauty Queen of Batting", but who didn't have the mental hunger nor the professional discipline to scale the ladder of greatness - he had time, ease and sublime correctness. So what I'm saying, SRT is a great player but it's a stretch too far to rate him better than those tough former greats when he can barely stand the test among his softer peers.

Posted by Zsam on (April 8, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

Bradman could not have 99 avg internationally and 95 in FC, unless he was really that good.If these figures were so easy to achieve than others too would have done that. It is inconceivable that only Bradman could hit the bowlers and no other batsman either in Autralia or England or even G. Headly could score similarly, both in Tests and FC. Batting and bowling have evolved, but a lot of modern batting can be said to have come about by such efforts. Then the converse of helmets and better bats along with greater fitness have also improved batting against traditional challenges. One more point: Bradman averaged 178 against India in his last series at age 40. Had he toured India, the avg wouldn't have come below 100 by any means! My little speculation. But his average in the 1931/32 series vs South Africa is also stupendous 201. There isn't much contribution from other in that series. I mean batsmen.

Posted by IPSY on (April 8, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

Mr Coward, I've done the research so let me make the ONLY FAIR COMPARISON that can be made for two greats of All Time: SRT and Lara started around 1989/90. SRT had batted in 16 inngs before Lara played a match and scored one 100. Here's what happened in the 16 yrs when both competed against each other against same opposition, in same conditions, on same grounds, under same rules, etc: Lara faster to 1000, 2000, 3000 & 4000 runs by 21 inngs to 28; 35/44; 67/76; & 76/86 resp. Then mysteriously,1998 to 2005 (except 2003) India was allowed to play either BANG or ZIM twice for 6 consecutive years and during that period SRT reached 5000, 6000,7000 & 8000 faster than Lara by103 inngs to104; 120/126; 136/146; 154/164 resp. In 2005 ZIM exited test arena and Lara again faster to 9000, 10000 and 11000. After Lara's last season (end of 2006) he scored 11953 runs to SRT's 10590; averaged 52.88 to 52.53; made 34 (100s) to 35 (SRT had 1 before); passed 250(+) thrice to SRTs Nil. Let the world judge!

Posted by Zsam on (April 8, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

Fact is, as it comes of these stats is: That as long as these players were part of the opposition, these two batsmen, messrs: Tendulkar and Lara were 15-20 runs below their overall career avg. Though Lara did avg 47 against McG, but still this pattern is quite strong. Once these bolwers leave, post 2000, that is, that the real beefing up of avgs occurs. Lara avgs 86 against Pak after and Tendulkar - 50. bonanza time, it must have been for them. check the statsguru. Its all there. SRT has scored almost the greater bulk of his centuries post the retirement of these greats. His last 30 Test tons have come in the post 2000 era after the retirement of these players.

Posted by Zsam on (April 8, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

These bowlers I mentioned really softened these batsmen up and that is reflective in the avgs.Both Lara and Sachin's figures indicate that. This is what fast bolwing is supposed to do.Only McGrath seems to have been tamed by Lara and that is reflective in the avg of 47 in 44 inngs as compared to Sachin who has 36,in 18inngs.We cannot forget that even Sachin never got hold of McGrath.For Pakistan with 2 Ws and Imran, again both avg. in early 30s,Sachin 32 in 11 inngs, he batted, and Lara avg 30 in 13 inngs. .Again with Donald Sachin avg. 32 in 20 inngs and Lara 34 in 20 inngs.Not exactly all time stuff.I wonder how these two would have fared during the 70s and 80s era.Let me tell you, I am a big fan of Lara's artistry, and even like Sachin, but can't stand the hyping up!Lara's was good against the Aussies back in the 90s. his 277run out in Sydney in 1991 was raved about a lot. .He played the 2nd all time best innings rated by Wisden vs Aus and was the difference in that series.

Posted by Zsam on (April 8, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

Sachin's averages with the creme de la creme of pacers are quite revelatory: With McGrath in Aussie team, he averages: 36.77. Without McGrath it goes up - 61.83! With Allan Donald in SA, its 32.9. Without Allan Donald, its 51.89! With Imran, Wasim & Waqar, its 32.9. Without them it goes to 50.92! Hmmm that's interesting. Most of his beefing has come up in the 2000s, post the retirement of these players. But he does well against Walsh and Ambrose with avg of 62. got to give him. But they were old horses by then. Nevertheless there's a lot of mythbuilding/marketing going on. Am glad the Cricinfo statsguru really does the job, when you actually want to check, afterall the back and forth noise on its posts.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

Im suprised as to how Sangakkara's name is not coined around in the comments section as one of the modern greats. Most say that he has a poor average outside sub continent, but he is averaging above 50 in Australia and England. And was on the brink of guiding his team to one of the best test match comebacks only for the Umpire to ruin the occasion. And not to forget the meager average Ponting has in India. Does that still make him one of the greats.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (April 8, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

@Mohammad Nayeemuddiou Regd your latest comment. Even you know sachin did not have the opportunity to bat higher in his early days and you say " after being an opener, Sachin neither has the highest average, nor does he have the highest strike rate in ODIs. " Compared with whose avg ? Surely not with players who have not even played half the games.

"Neither was Sachin a great batsman under crisis. Sachin is not even India's best ODI batsman. The best Indian ODI batsmen are Yuvraj Singh and Mahender Singh Dhoni. " You definitely did not watch cricket in 90's and early 2k. He won us games under pressure against Aus, (ICC knock out, sharjah to name few) wonder whether you even watched that pak 2003 WC .His 136 in chenna is no lesser than best .Post 2003 there are glimpses like that 200 against SA that 175 against Aus and match winning knocks in CB series 2008.

Your comparison of his average with the players who have played fewer games is ridiculous. He is our Best ODI batsmen period

Posted by decaby on (April 8, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

its amazing that lara wasnt mentioned in the article... from the moment Lara stepped on the SCG the world saw the greatest after Bradman... he might not be mentioned because of his winning percentage but look at the talent around Sacchin.. Pointing... Kallis... give Lara that talent pool around him Mike Cowrad wald have said different.. mike u need to do more research when trying to berate a clas player...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

Suppose Murali had taken 200 more matches to get all those records he currently holds. Perhaps still as good as, if not more impressive than, T'kar's. Would he have been greeted as a better bowler than Warne, citing longevity?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Well, if T'kar has made 9k runs more than Kallis, he has undergone 200 more dismissals as well. That's not exactly the way Bradman stands out from the rest. Rhetoric is poor substitute for reason.

Posted by IPSY on (April 8, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

Mr Coward, there seems to be some deliberate "muddying of the water" when this topic of batsmanship comparison is debated, by involving names of the calibre of Bradman, Sobers and Viv Richards with those of the softer modern day mortals - the likes of Tendulkar et al. I continue to say that it's an absurd exercise, not only for the obvious reason pertaining to the multiplicity of dicrepancies that emerge due to differences in era logistics, but also because I saw live performances of the likes of Sobers and Viv Richards as against Tendulkar et al; and to be fair, none of these soft modern day guys is even close to people like Sobers and Richards as regards batting exploits. Example, I saw SRT surrendered his wicket to Shoaib Akhtar, on a flat wicket at Faisalabad, for a half hearted appeal for a catch which replays clearly showed DID NOT HIT HIS BAT (seek the tapes). It's the only time I've seen a top class batsman do that. Compare 16 years of SRT & Lara - they started together - FAIR!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Sachin averaged under 32 without any hundred in the middle order in One Day games before he was promoted to open the innings. Even after being an opener, Sachin neither has the highest average, nor does he have the highest strike rate in ODIs. Neither was Sachin a great batsman under crisis. Sachin is not even India's best ODI batsman. The best Indian ODI batsmen are Yuvraj Singh and Mahender Singh Dhoni. Coming to tests, you compare Sachin with others with the same number of the games as other batsman,and you will find that there are many batsmen who have much better records than Sachin. There are more than 20 batsmen who have a higher individual test score than Sachin. There are many batsmen who have a better average, strike rate, and many such states better than Sachin. And everyone knows the fact that Sachin is poor player under pressure. Sachin does not have the highest score, average, strike rate, or any vital stats. Sachin is not simply good enough to be in the top five.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

This conversation will always be like this, Everybody in India believes that Tendulkar is the best ever. Rest of the world likes bradman just for his numbers, and the fact that he outscored his pears by an average of 40. Whereas tendulkars pears are averaging the same or even more. Now my question is why is Tendulkar the best? 100"s scored? Give others the same amount of tests and one days in flat conditions and they would probably match that or better it. So please people stop comparing different eras as it is impossible to do that. Pitch conditions, teams, bowlers are not of the same quality.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

FIRST ask any batsmen to score 100 centuries and then we can compare them. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is the best n greatest of all time. Because even Bradman couldn't last as long as Sachin and couldnt have succeded in limited overs as well. Bcoz many best test batsmen are not better ODI batsmen. But Sachin the great stands tall in both these aspects. No more comparisions, ODI or tests, Sachin is the best!!!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

"well This little man is nearest things to Bradman"...Tony Greig Comments during India vs Australia Final in 1998 sharjah cup

Posted by cricket-india on (April 8, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

in the first half of his career SRT was part of a weak team that couldn't win anywhere outside india-not even in zim. he could do nothing to change that, even if he did end up with glowing stats himself. in the second half of his career he was joined by ganguly, dravid, viru, zak, vvs, kumble, bhajji, MSD, etc who were in awe of him but did not depend on him to win. hence the double at adelaide, the triple at multan, the 281, the 70+ at mohali, the 32 wkts in 3 tests, etc. SRT has no entry in the top 100 test batting innings of the century. his masterpiece 136 was in a lost cause; not his fault, but that's the point. you're only great if you take your team to victory; which is why lara's 153 and 213 are immortal while his 400 is not. sure SRT is great, but only as great as VVS, dravid and the rest of them who took india to the top from 2000 o 2010. now they're all gone and ind are back to the 90s, winning at home (barely) and getting pasted abroad, again SRT can't help. i rest my case.

Posted by Naikan on (April 8, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

Juicy Topic. In my view Sachin has an incredible record. What strikes out most in case of Sachin is his all round ability to score in any form of cricket - where I feel some of the other greats fail in the process. It is also interesting to do an analysis of scores against the best bowlers from the all time list. Gavaskar scored 17 test centuries against a veritable bowling army of the W.Indies, PLUS against Lillee, Thomson, Imran, Hadlee and Botham. But then Sachin has played against a bigger army and scored 20 Test centuries + 16 ODI centuries (Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh, A. Donald, Steyn, Warne, Mcgrath, Murali, S. Pollock) - Ponting pales in comparison (13 & 7 centuries). As regards who would have been the best partner with the Don, I cannot believe Sir Gary would be the best choice. Partnership is based on more than just skills and it is clear that the Don was very comfortable with Sachin

Posted by A_S_M on (April 8, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

I take a liking to the featured comments of Paul Rone-Clarke and then Mohammad Nayeemuddin. Paul has truly pointed out high difficult it was to bat in the days of the Bradman, while Nayeemuddin has highlighted the statistical parameters that need consideration in defining a batting great. Please ask yourselves honestly: how much do I really understand when I say that such and such is the greatest after the Don? It is difficult indeed. Please also do not forget that Zaheer Abbas was nicknamed the Asian Bradman in his time, refer to Cricinfo search results on "Zaheer Abbas". He may have had a slightly lower test average than Tendulkar, but had a higher ODI average than him!

Posted by bbpp on (April 8, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

I can understand why many would rate Sachin as #2. The volume of runs, his longevity, his ability to play the "correct" cricket shots etc. However, with regards to TESTS, my personal preference is for batsmen who can consistently dominate games, bowlers and series and take control of a match or series. Sachin has been very consistent but not as commanding as say a Sobers, Viv, Lara, Ponting, Headley or even KP not that I am saying KP or Ponting is better overall. On the other side, he also hasn't been as stubborn or immovable as a Border, Javed, Waugh, Dravid, Kallis or Gavaskar. Again, not saying they were better.

In ODI's, I have seen him win countless games for India but I cannot say the same for winning, saving or causing concern in as many TESTS as some of the others. He got his runs but it wasn't often enough the most important runs. For Indian supporters, think of the impact of Viru and Laxman on some games/series as food for thought even though you don't agree.

Posted by f0restw0w on (April 8, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

The thing which i like about sachin is that he is the most versatile batsman of his generation,probably ever.Give him any kind of pitch,any format of the game,any bowler to face he comes out successful more often than not.Somebody said if kallis would be a opener in odi's he could have scored 90+ hundred but he is forgetting that kallis has a poor strike rate in odi's so he could been a liability as an opener,forget about scoring 90+ hundreds.Sachin can play like dravid as well as sehwag.His adaptibility is unparalleled in cricket history bar bradman perhaps.Just look at what sachin did on his first tour down under in totally foreign conditions as a teenager and compare it to another gr8 ala ponting performance, in his first few indian tours with considerable international experience and reputation.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 8, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

@Billycc, you are implying that "Bradman would still average 99 even if he had played bowlers of much better quality with superior strike rates than he had actually faced"..... nice joke, it will take me few hours before i can stop laughing!

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 8, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

@Billycc your statements make no statistical sense...how can you ignore the strike rate of a bowler when determining his quality? Sorry but it is plain obvious that you will go to any extent to say that Bradman is better than anyone even though many stats,variables and strike rates say otherwise.

Posted by savaarna on (April 8, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

To Daison Garvasis, Sachin played 110 test till 2003 where is avg was 55+ and after 2003 he played 88test where his avg is 52+.I dnt find much difference btwn 55+ & 52+.....God knws if today bradman would have seen him,might be he could say THIS LAD IS EVEN BETTER THAN ME....Remember his vital inngs against Australia,England,SouthAfrica all are after 2003....Atlast what to say abt ODI,beating Australia at Austrlia in ODI finals in the first two final(117* & 91) inngs,200 against S.A.where bowler was styen,kallis etc,then worldcup2011 he was the 2nd highest scorer....In the year 2010 heplayed 2 ODI in which he scored200* and played 13test he got 5 centuries out of 5 2 was double.... scoredso b4 commenting some thing pls go through the details...

Posted by SG70 on (April 8, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

@BillyCC ... You are wrong again about SRT being hit on helmet by Waqar... the ball hit him on the nose as the helmet did not have a viser. But unlike Bradman he did not try and get Waqar banned. There are plenty of very good Batsmen who got badly hit on the body( where there was no protection )by waqar, wasim, shoaib, donald etc (search Youtube if you are into batsmen getting hit) none has died except for that guy ( i forget his name) who died in the 1870s.

So if bravado and having the biggest scar is your poison then that guy who died would be your best batsman followed by Nari Contractor. Definitely and positively not Bradman. Unfortunately for you cricket isn't supposed to be played that way and that's as per Bradman himself. So you harping about bodily injury is farcical.

@Waspsting ... how do you know Bradman had better footwork and was a better player if you haven't seen him ? Keep in mind your take on contradictory and illogical statements by ex-cricketers.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 8, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

@Billycc, mate average strike rates are more relevant than bowling averages when considering the overall effectiveness of a bowler! In your blind hero worship of Bradman you are overlooking this very simple but telling statistic of strike rates!! When you state that "He is many standard deviations better than anything in his time, anything in his sport and anything in all other sports" you are basically fuelling the notion that "Bradman is a myth created by us Aussies and Englishmen". Mate, there are too many unanswered questions about Bradman's records as many of the posts herein have pointed out.....not least of all being Bradman's dislike for short pitched bowling which he had to play in just 4 of his total 52 tests.

Posted by Alexk400 on (April 8, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

I do not think bradman can survive one ball against Malcolm Marshall swinging delivery. Bradman is nothing but hype. Gavaskar , Sachin are run collectors at best. Sobers probably best cricketer. Best batsman for me is a batsman with aura and that is Viv richards. Period. Others are not respected by bowlers.

Posted by Nampally on (April 8, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

Again we start by assuming Don Bradman was the greatest batsman ever based on his batting average. Who is the Next Greatest? There are 2 West Indians, 2 Indians, 2 Englishmen & 2 S.Africans- listed. Why not add Neil Harvey to this list? Don is Miles ahead with batting average of 99.9 whilst others are all bunched together in high 50's. Ian Chappel & Martin Crowe both favoured Sir Garfield Sobers. Mike Coward thinks Tendulkar is entitled to that honour. Every Cricket Fan, Journalist & Player has his own opinion. Some based on the era they are born, some based on the evidence of watching them play great innings, some out of patriotism for their own fellow countryman & some on hearsay. Very few have seen them all in action. When their batting averages are all in the same range why not add one or more new characteristics to judge them such as : # of Greatest innings played, Highest scores made, # of Fastest 1000 runs, S/R + overall Cricket make up. Is this not the realistic way to decide?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

Except for a longevity that's rather commercially motivated and endures for emotional rather than cricketing reasons, T'kar doesn't stand out from the rest like B'man did, or even Murali did. Okay, he has 7k runs more than the second best; how much more dismissals than the second worst he must have undergone in the process? But then nobody expects literary exercises on cricket to carry much intellectual honesty.

Posted by Britishcricket on (April 8, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Some of the posters have concluded that "Sachin is not even the best of his generation".....for all the reasons and arguments provided against Sachin to prove this it just seems ridiculous that 34000 international runs with 100 100s to go with being the "Highest run scorer in both Tests & ODIs" is seen as "just another great batsman". Friends, what more proof do you need to consider "Sachin as the best of his generation" ...has anyone else of his generation played this long (23 years) and scored such a huge mountain of runs? Just purely from a neutral point of view it seems that only an Englishman or Aussie can be considered to be the "GREATEST EVER" even though their records are not any where near Sachin's!!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

Mike Coward makes a very important point about Tendulkar. Consistency. For 24 years he has played, and his record would only be possible if he was consistent. Think about how many other batsmen would 1. last for 24 years 2. given 24 years have the astounding record that he has.

Counting both ODIs and Tests he is averaging 1,400 runs a year !!!!!!! (Total amount of runs / number of years) What ??? I never did this calculation till today !!

I rest my case.

Posted by Dashgar on (April 8, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

People will always want to portray their favourite player as the best. In most sports this leads to all sorts of interesting discussion. Unfortunately in cricket everyone knows deep down that Bradman is the best, hence this article. However now we have to problem of people still blindly believing in their hero. When this happens they will hand pick a few stats or issues that show Sachin having a much harder situation to play in than Bradman and flat out ignore the issues Bradman faced and stats that support his claim. Look at all the facts people, if you want to examine bowler strike rates also look at their averages. If you want to belittle scoring runs vs 1 country look at other players vs 1 country (and also remember that 1 country was the worlds best at the time). When you handpick all your stats perfectly to prove Bradman wasn't the best then the argument is still a close run thing. Look fairly? Bradman is just as far ahead as if you just look at averages.

Posted by zaid.m1 on (April 8, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

Look no offence but I dont find Tendulkar a great batsman, he is a good batsman not great. I mean look at his avergae it is 53, which is good but how about L. Hutton. Also If you look at the ICC rankings of the best batsmen ever number one is 1) THE DON 2) L hutton 3) J.B. Hobbs 12) Mohammed Yusuf 20) Gavaskar 28)Tendulkar I mean just look at this, Mohammed Yusuf is considered a better batsmen than tendulkar and gavaskar, If you don't belive me just check this website for yourself, http://www.relianceiccrankings.com/alltime/test/batting/, (which is the official page of the ICC).

Posted by BillyCC on (April 8, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

@cricindian.com, simple, his average wouldn't have fallen or increased. Your argument that somehow a batsman who faces a lot of bowlers with strike rates lower than 60 will somehow lower that batsman's average over time is meaningless. Why? Because you're applying it like Bradman was an average batsman and would get out to a group of bowlers whose average strike rate was less than 60. Wrong! Bradman is an outlier. Read up on the definition of what an outlier is. He is many standard deviations better than anything in his time, anything in his sport and anything in all other sports. Average strike rates don't apply.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 8, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

@Meety & @BillCC, just to ask you one statistical question considering the amount of statistical theories, samples and explanations that you have provided; Sachin played 52 bowlers with a strike rate of less than 60 (i.e. a wicket every 60 balls or less) whereas Don played just 6 bowlers with a strike rate of less than 60 in his career....how much will Don's average of 99 fall to (or increase to as most of the Aussies reckon!) if he had faced 46 more bowlers with a strike rate of less than 60?

Posted by Sooraj4cricket on (April 8, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

First of all, I must mention that it should be very heart warming for every Sachin-fan to see the man's name after Sobers being picked both the times.But that apart, shouldering the hopes of a nation since he arrived on stage at the tender age of 16, and carrying the onus for atleast a solid 15+ years is no Lilliputian stuff.No one can forget the 114 he scored at Perth in 1992 against an attack of McDermott,Hughes,Whtiney etc when the team scored just 205.There may be many debates about SRT being a match winner or his centuries ending up winning ones on comparison with Ponting or Richards.But everybody knows the team India was and many of his innings have been instrumental in India's rare successes.He's not been revered as 'GOD' for nothing.If he was able to garner respect of people of all ages and all walks of life, and if he's more popular than the game itself to a billion Indians, then the man has some divinity in him...

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 8, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

@peter56,you hit the nail on the head.In one of my posts earlier i had posed this question to some of the Aussie posters here and none of them gave any answers,the question was "Why did they play timeless tests on uncovered pitches during Don's era?Aren't uncovered pitches meant to make batting really tough with test matches ending inside 3 days? Where is the need for timelessness? As you said in one of your posts "also he batted in the 1930s the greatest decade ever for batting paradises. the pitches were all roads. sometimes you couldn't get a result after 11days.A lot is falsely made out of uncovered pitches but the pitches were so perfect for batting this was often the only hope for the poor bowlers and even here Bradman was only caught 3 or 4 times and in one instance he reversed the batting order till the pitch dried". This also answers my question "Why do bowlers of Don's era have poor strike rates compared to bowlers of modern era?" And how does all this make Don the greatest?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

bradman number one u sure, he really one played one series eg bodyline where the bowlers bowled pace and bounce the rest of the time he was playing against spinners and medium pacers. richards played against the best bowlers ever to bowl, eg imran khan, dennis lillee, thompson, on fast bouncy pitches. i couldnt agree more sobers was a magician top 5 of all time easily,shame not to have seen richards and pollock face the pace of the west indies at there best but politics what can you do.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

In my opinion Sachin is best of all. All other players are considered to be best in any one format. either tests or ODI. But sachin alone has been best in both tests and ODI. Sachin has scored runs in almost all parts of world on different pitches. If i am not wrong Bradman might have played in only three countries(Eng,Aus,SA). Sachin handled huge pressure morethan 20 years. No other player had been in his situation like everytime you walk to ground to score a century.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 8, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

@BillyCC: I stand by my hypothesis that most of those who support Bradman against a Sachin for the numero uno spot would also support Warne against Murali. Their lack of objectivity and dispassionate assessment of performance can be borne out by the fact that on no parameter is Warne better than Murali... Supporting Warne over Murali is indefensible. Even test cricketers who thought Warne was the greatest had never learnt to face quality leg spinning. That's all. Murali had to constantly innovate as an off-spinner, especially against the better spin playing players.

But wait...let the records speak for themselves. Look at the the difference in the number of 5 and 10 wicket hauls between Murali and Warne. Now, that's what you call a BLANK SPACE of a gap between 2 contemporary bowlers of caliber! Yet how come Warne is supported over Murali by the legion o"Bradman supporters"? Here have a look for yourself : http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/93276.html I rest my case!

Posted by waspsting on (April 8, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

has been ridiculously overblown, with every article anyone writes mentioning it as a given.

(note, my observation has nothing to do with either Bradman or Tendulkar's quality of batsmanship - but is only a relfection of style)

Posted by waspsting on (April 8, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

Tendulkar is most definitely not.

I rate Tendulkar the best bat i've seen, and third to bradman and Sobers among all time greats. That is an assessment of his QUALITY, not his style.

I don't see the so-called similarities between Bradman and Tendulkar in style AT ALL - and attribute it to the reverence that Bradman commanded.

Said reverence may have been well earned, but it did NOT make him unfallible. He made more than a few contradictory and illogical comments about the game and its players over the years.

Bobby Simpson thought Michael Slater more akin in style to Bradman than Tendulkar was... I would tend to trust an intelligent, third part judge in this matter more than a player, who obviusly, didn't see himself play.

Slater's twinkling footwork and the way he seemed to be always looking for scoring oppurtunities fit much better with descriptions of Bradman's style than Tendulkar's do (to go along with all the differences I've already noted)

In sum, this Don-said-SRT-like-me

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

It has to be Sachin Tendulkar.. 1) Sheer volume of runs; 2) Conditions where the runs were scored; 3) For more than 10 years, he carried the batting of his team on his shoulders; 4) Dominated not 1 but many bowlers; 5) Ability to play match winning & match saving innings in various pace; 7) Untiring desire to succeed (likes of Lara, Botham, Kallis haven't won it and the biggest of all THE EXPECTATION OF BILLION PEOPLE EVERY-TIME HE STEPS ON THE FIELD

Posted by waspsting on (April 8, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

I grow weary of this over-told story of Bradman likening Tendulkar to himself - and would like this to be a 'featured comment', so everyone can see it.

Cricketers and notoriously bad judges of their own style (and wives are apt to be diplomatic). Bradman is probably the best batsman ever, as good a judge of style as any, BUT i see no reason to assume he was a better judge of his OWN style than the norm.

In common, Tendulkar is and Bradman was reputed to be very compact of style, playing very close to the ball.

In contrasts, Bradman was an out and out back foot player, by all accounts. Tendulkar isn't.

Bradman was noted for twinkling fast footwork (this is evident in videos even), Tendulkar is more a smooth, 'glides-into-position' type.

Bradman was renowned for the pull and didn't drive much in front of the wicket. Tendulkar can play the pull, but it isn't what he's known for, rather front of the wicket driving takes the eye.

Bradman was a full follow through player, (continued)

Posted by trumpoz on (April 8, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

There are three batsman who come to mind as the next best after Bradman - Sobers, Lara and Tendulkar. I cannot reliably comment on Sobers having not been born when he was playing. For me it comes down to Lara vs Tendulkar - different batsmen with amazing records and equally feared by bowlers worldwide. On their game they were both unstoppable and could seemingly do as they pleased whist making great bowling attacks look like under 16s. It comes down to the ability to win or save the game for their side when they are most needed. Brian Lara sticks out more than Sachin Tendulkar in this area alone - The Australian tour of W.I when Steve Waugh took over as captain.... Lara was winning games from his own back, carrying the team. He did it regularly throughout an era where the W.I were a shadow of themselves. Although Tendulkar did the same, he seemingly wasn't able to take his team to victory as often as Lara (and in no way diminishes the awe I have for his supreme bastmanship)

Posted by Apocalypsoz on (April 8, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

Being a blasphemous Indian, I would go with Ian Chappell and change the question.I would rather have the next best cricketer after Bradman ,and that would be Gary Sobers. Don't forget he was quite flamboyant off the field as well :)

Posted by Rajesh. on (April 8, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

While everyone else is debating who is the next best after Don Bradman, who better to adjudicate that than the great Don himself ? So, no debate here. He saw it & he said it - Sachin Tendulkar ! Period !!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

It is sad to see no mention of Barry Richards. If it wouldn't have been for Apartheid, my firm belief is that he may well have surpassed the likes of Sobers, Tendulkar, Lara, Viv Richards. Having said that, if I have to chose amongst the above, as someone rightly pointed out Sachin Tendulkar's longevity, his enthusiasm on the field is something that is an inspiration to everyone who is remotely associated with Cricket. My top 5 picks of all time would be : 1. Sir Donald Bradman 2.Barry Richards 3. Sachin Tendulkar 4. Sir Garry Sobers 5.Wally Hammond/Sir Viv Richards.

Posted by liz1558 on (April 8, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Anyone who saw Viv Richards bat between 1974 and 1981, either in Test cricket or WSC, racking up runs for fun against Lillee, Thommo, Imran Khan, Snow, Willis, Botham, Underwood, Bedi, Chadrasekhar - 5235 runs/Ave 60.83/18 hundreds - would have few doubts about his credentials. It was his ability to destroy genuinely great bowlers at will which sets him apart, only getting out when he got bored. In the second half of his career he slackened off, apparently not bothered about averages and records, but still turned it on on the rare occasion his side was in trouble. Someone needs to state a case for the Master Blaster.

Posted by Mehndi117 on (April 8, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Sachin is greatest bcz u cant define a player from a single format..

Posted by gujratwalla on (April 8, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

I hate to compare batsmen from different eras but having seen Sobers in full flight,Gavaskar at his best,Richards at his most fierce i would opt for Ian Chappell's choice.With Gavaskar my second choice.Both for the simple reason that they could hook the fastest bowlers. Tendulkar was often hot on the helmet by the fast men and this respect his greatness is diminished; both Sobers and Gavaskar batted without a helmet.

Posted by alipaki on (April 8, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

In my opinion Garifield Sobers was scond only to Sir Don.

Posted by peter56 on (April 8, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

(continued) Don complained why should he have to bat anytime, on anything less than a perfect wicket,(the analogy he used was: world snooker championJoe Davis would refuse to play on a bumpy snooker table)finally bodyline was devised to counter Bradman it worked for one series, and then Jardine and Larwood were exiled. I imean the public dont want to see bradmans average continue to be in the 50s if bodyline continues to be employed, he is box office so remove the threat to him.Don nearly always had everything in his favour. bodyline makes me believe that, had he been playing from the mid 70s to the mid 90s in those bowler friendly decades, against better bowlers he would have continued to average around his bodyline 56 He probably would still have been the best ever but no way would he be averaging in the 70s 80s or 90s. in the 30s, 4 other batsmen averaged over 65. including Headley 67 who played the whole decade10 tons in 19 tests and he scored 25.61% of Windies runs more than Don

Posted by AllroundCricketFan on (April 8, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

Only one batsman comes close to Bradman. Hashim Amla, who is excelling on every pitch in every corner of the world.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

One often forgets the contributions, Rahul Dravid made to international cricket. Though he may not have captured the imagination of the world with his technique and flair, hell, he is the second highest test run scorer of all time. If he is not great then who is ? Agreed, he may not be an immortal as Tendulkar but he has always been the next best. Lets not forget that the present day Tendulkar would still have been a hunch back, laden with the expectation of a billion and half to carry, had there not been a Dravid or a Laxman to shoulder his burden alongside. In the current era great players are seldom born, they are rather made with the help of an equally good team. Ponting would agree for all his wins and Lara would also agree for all his loses. Hence its time people start recognizing the contributions made by Dravid for world cricket and acknowledge the fact that cricket is poor without him playing in the whites.

Posted by peter56 on (April 8, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

Continuing) the don was also absolutely ruthless.but none of this should count against him. if he was smart enough to give himself an advantage over every other batsman then he got the benefit of devising his own technique.but bear some other factors in mind. his strike rate was only around 60 and this in an era of pathetic (by todays standards) OUT fielding. anytime the ball went a yard either side of a fielder it was 4 . nobody ran hard after anything. also he batted in the1930s the greatest decade ever for batting paradises. the pitches were all roads. sometimes you could not even get a result after 11 days( SA v ENG: 3/3/39 to 14/3/39) a lot is falsely made out of uncovered pitches but the pitches were so perfect for batting this was often the only hope for the poor bowlers and even here Bradman was only caught 3 or 4 times and in one instance he reversed the batting order till the pitch dried. on the other occasions he was not good enough to survive on the drying wicket.(continue

Posted by Hammond on (April 8, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

@Eliya Abbas- love how Tendulkar fans argue over a few runs here and there on the averages when the Don averaged 43 runs better than Sachin (or anyone else). In 1948 on his last test tour Don Bradman at the age of 40 scored 508 runs at an average of 72.57. Someone tell me the last time Sachin averaged 72.5 in a series?

Posted by BillyCC on (April 8, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor, your example is flawed. It would make sense if Murali averaged 15 to Warne's 25 and people still thought Warne was better.

@Dkan, you can't discount Sachin at the age of 16-18 because he was finding his feet in test cricket in the first two years and not discount Sobers' first two years and not discount every young player's first two years.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

In 2011, Sachin had a test batting average of 56.94! Maintaining that average over the first 22 years of his International career is an incredible feat. Yes, that average has now come down and Sachin isn't the same batsman he once was with the slow reflexes due to age catching up on him, but didn't the same thing happen to Sir Viv during his last couple of years? You don't see anyone judging Sir Viv simply bases upon those below-average performances towards the end of his career.

Posted by Meety on (April 8, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor on (April 8, 2013, 5:49 GMT) - you raise a couple of interesting points 1) I remember when I first saw Sehwag bat, & I thought "OMG - now we have to get TWO Sachin's out!" His defence was almost the perfect replica of Sachin's. Interesting how Sehwag sort of become a carnival freak, barely interested in occupying the crease & launching at anything he could free is arms on, yet Sachin (sort of like Boycott), started removing risk from his game. 2) My two fondest memories of Sachin are complete contrasts, the 1st being his first ton at the SCG, where I was enthralled by his "Completeness" - Shastri got more runs but Sachins was the star, the 2nd is a bit of 10 yrs later when he ground out his first double ton at the SCG. It was ugly, but my admiration for him grew tenfold, as he was clearly NOT in form, had all sorts of troubles outside off stump - & so he removed the cover drive from his range I THINK he didnt hit a 4 from midon to cover point - amazing WILLPOWER!

Posted by Saadwsiddique on (April 8, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

It's rather unfair that the best batsman after Don is ommitted from the list on the basis of personality. I amof course talking about Wally Hammond. Recently i read an article about Wally Hammond titled 'Wally Hammond: The Greatest..... Bar One'. There were many great batsman in that era. In England, Jack Hobbs was almost finished, Douglas Jardine. Patsy Hendrin & Len Hutton were in their prime. In Australia, they had Arthur Morris & (for a brief period) Victor Trumper yet to be considered as the second greatest batsman, to be considered as the only man who could challenge Bradman is a testimony to itself. There are very few people around who saw him play yet those who had the pleasure consider him it as sight to be seen. He unlike Bradman was very entertaining - His opponents considered him as an intimidating figure, whether with the ball, bat or in the field. His competitive spirit still his unmatched. His arrogance justified & his spot in history as the greatest bar one secured!

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (April 8, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

Best after Sir Don .... subjective considering the vast no. of truly great players and who played in diff. eras and conditions like pitches , equipment ,technology were at relative primeval stage compared to the present . However the present generation of batsmen have had best of most of aforementioned 'privileges' that past plavers didn't . In my book those players have greater claim to 'next after don' and so have to go by G Sobers from what I have read or heard on this site or on TV etc . After Sobers ,Viv Richards is a shoe in and they are the top 3 . Then among modern greats its Lara .. next Ponting and Kallis . These are by far the 'genuine' greats of present .Sanga , Dravid C'paul also deserve mention and are among greats of our time.

Posted by Meety on (April 8, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

@DKan on (April 8, 2013, 6:48 GMT) - good premise. The only bone of contention is that IMO - you have started & ended the sample size at the wrong time. I used the following parameter - 15 dec 1990 and 15 dec 2010, which perfectly matches Sachin's age to Sobers at debut, then when Sobers retired (20 yrs). The stats are ALMOST identical, with Sobers having his career ave of 57.78 versus Sachin's 57.64. When averages are so similar, it is really splitting hairs as to who is better - almost a flip of a coin. So I cannot fault your comparison, not sure if I agree about the qualities of bowlers as I mentioned in a previous comment, that Sachin thru the 90s played 41% of his Tests against SL, NZ & Zim, so whilst he played against many greats (Warne, McGrath, Donald) - the bowling of the "minnows" were not strong. It must be noted that Sobers did play aginst NZ 12/93 Tests, although recorded a poor average, I'd be prepared to say Pakistan was not strong either (8 Tests).

Posted by oranjizer on (April 8, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

I cant understand the logic how one generation of batsmen can be compared to another when there is no much difference in the game. Times have changes, more teams, more countries, different pitches, different rules, different shots (non-bookish), SPIN !!... Why dont you guys consider how Don Bradman might have fared playing in India on a spinning track ? He might not have done that well to keep up his average of 99 if he had played on spinning tracks on India and Srilanka. So how can he be the greatest ? Yes i agree that he is the greatest STATISTICALLY and for that generation only. Though im not a great Tendulkar fan, there is something which tends to overlook in him. Keep stats aside, just tell me how does it feel to play for 23 years carrying the hopes of a billion people !! So much pressure to perform EVERY SINGLE MATCH. Don did not have to face such pressure atleast. So all i can say is u simply cannot compare. There can be no greatest for all times. PERIOD

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

One has to factor in technology while evaluating batsmen today. Currently technology allows players, coaches and other experts to take apart a batsmen's technique and to find weaknesses. In the past, the only way to analyse an opponent was to play against him.

Honestly, it is very hard to compare players of different eras. Playing conditions, equipment technology, volume of cricket, approaches to cricket, multiple cameras etc. all have an effect on the game. Can you really compare a player today from a player 20 years ago, let alone 50-60 years ago.

Posted by Hammond on (April 8, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Kallis clearly has to be the second best behind Bradman if you take into account length of career, different forms of the game played and all the other "modern" difficulties that the Tendulkar camp believe makes modern players superior to a Hobbs or a Sobers. Kallis has played 162 tests all over the world against all the best bowlers and has scored 44 hundreds at 56.10. And he is getting better.

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (April 8, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

Thanks for the article Mike. Great to hear of Sobers and the rest but the fact is you cant really compare. Batting, bowling, wickets, cricket gear, and rules have changed from era to era. I would say that certain batsmen were the greatest in their own playing era. Still, I admire Sobers for been able to hook, and hook so superbly without the present day helmets and what not. Perhaps he was with his all-round abilities the greatest cricketer ever despite the era barrier.

Posted by Drew2 on (April 8, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

Some great responses here. @ Mohammad Nayeemuddin is absolutely correct. You can't look at the batting average alone. It must incorporate all parameters. I agree with @sachin_vvsfan. I would put Ponting and Lara's best eras in Test cricket ahead of Tendulkar. If you bundle Tests with ODIs (Forget T20) then Tendulkar is probably ahead. I still feel that Viv Richards however comes in at number 2 behind the Don.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (April 8, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

The opinion will be different but just look at those pictures..all shows pure elegance, a stamp of authority , solidity and complete grace!!

Only cricket is the sport where there are so many legends (and that is when we are talking about the batsman only, the bowlers are still not in the discussion)

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

hell jaques kalliss is the best of them all

Posted by sahbas_s on (April 8, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

Enough of this discussion on Who's next after Don!! It's time to credit our bowlers who have achieved the same as Don or Sobers or Sachin or Viv has achieved and still they are unsung heros.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (April 8, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

@mohammedMayeemuddin you have really made my day by rating SRT at 12 in your list. Thanks for the good laugh.

For me SRT would be the greatest batsman the game has seen.To maintain same level of consistency over 23 years and 600+ International games for your country is next to un-believable achievement.

You may say what you like, but to maintain that level of performance against some of the greatest bowlers of all time with many career threatening injuries to contend with and yes the modern-day technology, in-human pressure of 1.2 billion people is super-human effort.

His achievement in cricket will remain un-paralleled for as long as the game is played.

Posted by venkateswarlu84 on (April 8, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

Tendulkar is first to play for himself .. If u hv any of this list u can keep him at the top :) He s nowhere near any of greats .. If kallis scores less than what he s now even then he can easily break all tendulkar records (Plus he s complete bowler too). Having played 200 tests with big support whenever needed (Till he was settled bombay was the indian team, no wonder he got plenty of chances whenever he was down). Knowing all these facts people are still after tendulkar scores (Dont insult cricket comparing individual result with team performers). Often it looks so funny whenever these columnists takes out this tendulkar name out to compare with real true cricketers. Hope from now atleast they will not do.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 8, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

A good way to filter out prejudice in the Sachin-Bradman debate is to ask all those who use Bradman's 99 avg to hail his all-time greatness, to declare who is the better bowler between Warne and Murali. My guess is that most Bradman supporters would be Warne supporters, though the figures for Murali place him at a higher pedestal. And thereby rests my case!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

Several factors come into picture and hence we cannot conclude who is the best. It's just the technique they apply on the field on different condition. Bradman has his own advantage: 1. He played very less number of tests 2. And he played on the suitable conditions (mostly in Australia and in England)

Whereas Sachin doesn't have such pleasure and he played more than enough tests so that anybody can judge his batting style and still he survives (on this technology era).

So they are not comparable and both are great in their own terms.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 8, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

I can't imagine how people evaluate Sachin's greatness by only looking at Tests and not looking at the ODIs. It's same the 22 yards, the same ball and you still have to score at a fast clip. You need to innovate and be quick on the outfield. You need to be able to switch your game between Tests and ODIs, learning which balls to go for and which to leave depending on the format. Sachin's greatness comes from the fact that he gave himself numerous options on how to play a ball. He always out-thought the bowler which is why bowler's feel a personal triumph to get his wicket. Sachin played 3 times more ODIs than Tests every year in his prime in the late 1990s. Also - Attributing Sachin's achievements to his longevity is the dumbest argument. It's like saying a 200m sprinter running at 20 secs would run 400m lap in 40 secs while belittling the 10000m runner who is averaging 400m to the minute. How little people here know about sports!

Posted by DKan on (April 8, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

Just comparing Gary Sobers vs SRT. People say that Sachin averages much less, but lets not forget he started at 16 and is still playing (averagely in last 2 years). Sir Gary started at 18, and retired at 38 (averaging 57.8) with minimal ODIs. Taking the same years into account, look up SRT's stats from 30 Oct 1991 (starting Aus tour in 91) till 30 Jan 2011 (end of SA tour) and it is roughly the same age span. His average jumps to 58 in 166 tests. Not to mention the ODIs he played during the time, varying bowlers/conditions etc. Would it be safe to say SRT is as good as Sobers (in same age span) if not better (having played more intl cricket, and perhaps much better bowlers). We need to discount SRT for initial 2 yrs when he was finding his feet in cricket at age of 16 (most people can't come close to playing that early) and clearly last 2 years we've seen an aging legend not at his best anymore.

Posted by Pathiyal on (April 8, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

We have seen Sunil Gavaskar, Viv Richards, Javed Miandad, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting & Adam Gilchrist, who all have made us awe-struck with their batting performances proving us they are far ahead in their abilities and consistencies compared to the rest. But when the cricket fraternity considers Sir Donald Bradman even greater than these legends, we feel less privileged to have born past his era :-)

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 8, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

When you watch Sachin stroke the ball to the boundary, it's all class stamped over the shot. He's got a range of shots that any normal test batsman find it difficult to execute... The backfoot punch along the ground, of a good length delivery outside the offstump to the square leg boundary area is one good example. Everybody knows that imitation is the best form of flattery. Even the awe-inspiring Sehwag ( 2 triples and more than a dozen 150+ scores) in the early part of his Test career modeled his batting on Sachin. Sachin has abandoned some of his shots due to injury conditions and has had to continuously adapt himself as the opposition across the world assiduously plotted his technique by studying his video footage. No player in cricket history or today has had to go through this as much as Sachin has. That's what makes him an all-time numero uno. Sachin has stature taller than any cricketer past or present - thus we see the constant effort to belittle him... by petty minds!

Posted by Meety on (April 8, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

@vish2020 on (April 8, 2013, 3:49 GMT) - the mind boggles at how blinkered Sachin fans can be. "...Well when sachin retires, look at the combined hundred 100's of your so called Ponting, Kallis and Lara's..." - are you aware that Bradman's innings per 100s @ International level was around 2.8, Sachin's is close to 8, (6.4 in Tests). Sachin's 100s is a GREAT achievement, but it is a product of longevity. IF Sachin scored tons every 2.8 innings - he would of recorded nearly 117 TEST TONS - not 51. Only people with a passing interest in cricket are going to look at a COMBINED International tons record. In Tests, Sachin has a great innings per ton record of 6.4 (truely is great), HOWEVER it is THIRTEENTH on the list of BEST innings per tons ratio. There are FOUR contemporaries cricketers with a superior ratio in this metric - Sanga, Hayden, Kallis & Amla. IF Kallis played more Tests & opened in ODIs - I am fairly certain he'd have 90+ combined tons.

Posted by prasun1519 on (April 8, 2013, 4:48 GMT)

@Mohammad Nayeemuddin, test cricket is not like scoring runs fast. It sometimes wants players to be patient, play a long match saving innings based much on defense. In your list of great batsmen, you named three names who are only one day players, not very good test player. 5. Adam Gilchrist - Historically not a good player against spin. 11. Virender Sehwag - Not very reliable where ball swings and bounces. 20. Sanath Jayasuriya - Even he cannot come close the best SL batsman Aravind D'Silva. On the other hand, you didn't mention batting greats like, Rahul Dravid, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jacques Kallis, Steve Waugh. They stood whenever their team needed.

Posted by vish2020 on (April 8, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

When people hear Bradman they think of the average of 99.94 and I am sure 50 years from now when people talk about Sachin it would be hundred 100's. Now, When bradman retired his average was by far and ahead of anyone close and so we see the greatness. Well when sachin retires, look at the combined hundred 100's of your so called Ponting, Kallis and Lara's. So you can see, bradman is not the best ever he is the best in his time. Sachin is the best in his time. Two legends and neither one is bigger then him however the media wants to brainwash us that we know who the no. 1 is.. well we know sachin and bradman rule the the top and that's it.

Posted by arvin on (April 8, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

it is a nonsense comparison... bradman was a home pitches bully playing mostly with friendly players / umpires ...

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 4, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

@ChrisKay- everything you mention about Lara may be said about Sehwag - If not more. Sehwag was Lara on steroids. However, as mentioned several times, Lara had a distinct weakness against extreme pace.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

Perhaps Kallis, Sobers and Murali would be the closest in terms of stats, Murali being so by virtue of a single department of the game. All however have rivals in what make them so special. All the same, Lara stands apart from among the ones I watched; he walks when he feels he's out even though he too had his share of bad luck about dismissals; he bats on and on when set; he's capable of changing the course of match on his own; he has too less No of NOs suggesting he's perhaps less selfish; he's such a brilliant stroke player to watch; and so and so...

Posted by jay57870 on (April 4, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

One cannot measure a cricketer's greatness by stats or charts or parameters alone. There are intangibles, things that cannot be measured: leadership, practical intelligence, maturity, adaptability, concentration, work-ethic, self-belief, passion & will-power. All this is demonstrated in the player's physical endurance & mental toughness: the ability to play through pain & injury; to bounce back from slumps & fatigue; to handle adversity & crises; and, yes, to face the constant media scrutiny & expectations of a billion people, not to mention personal security threats these days. All of which defines Sachin Tendulkar & his phenomenal Staying Power over 23 years. That's precisely the point: he's outlasted his rivals (not just longevity or more matches) by staying the long course & doing things that are out of the ordinary. His phenomenal Staying Power sets Tendulkar apart from the rest of the best. Add to it, his honesty, integrity & character, there's no doubt: "He is the One"!!

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

The best batsmen the game has seen would be i Gary Sobers ii Graeme Pollock iii Gavaskar iv Richards v Sachin Tendulkar v Martin Crowe vi Adam Gilchrist The Don does not make it to this list because he played only in England and Australia and we don't know how he would have fared against the best spinners from the sub continent.r

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 4, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

@Meety, if conditions and opposition are so considered important why is it that Aussies refuse to believe that Bradman would have avgd much lesser than 99 playing on the subcontinent pitches against bowlers like Warne, Murali and Kumble? And what makes you think that a sample size of 52 tests (with 37 tests against just one side) in similar conditions for the whole of his career is indicative enough of Don's capabilities. Mate,I hope that you are joking....seriously!

Posted by Meety on (April 4, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor on (April 4, 2013, 6:46 GMT) - on topic of Bolt v Owens, I'd actually take Owens as he won Gold medals outside of sprints, as opposed to the brilliant Bolt who is "just" a sprinter. (Personally I would take Bolt as about my favourite athlete).

Posted by Meety on (April 4, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

@CricFan24 on (April 4, 2013, 4:13 GMT) - you don't get it! I clearly proved that Sachin was NOT 15% better than any other batsmen during the 1990s, in FACT, there are at LEAST two other batsmen who have that claim. NZ actually had their first Tests retrospectively awarded to them, they did not have Test status until AFTER WWII. Your "tooling" made no sense - you set a parameter of "...01 jan 2002 to 01 jan 2003..." (ONE year & then preceeded to call it a decade & said Sachin averaged 60 for the year. I'll give you a tip - on this very website, (IT Figures blog), did all the "tooling" needed in a fair non-bias manner. Bradman is out in front by about 30% on all KPIs. Also, there was an analysis done on batsmens best 52 Test sequence to see if any stacked to Bradman - non did, but Ponting NOT Sachin was the 2nd best! A 52-test sample size is a large amount for an analysis. There are about SIX in-depth blogs delving statistically into the best batsmen ever - they all point to Bradman!

Posted by ZA77 on (April 4, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

Judgement is not easy there should be perfect criteria of judgement when descbiring someone greatestever for batting in matches. Like overall batting average, batting average home versus away, batting average (continent wise), also country wise (Tendulkar atleast batting average 40 in all countries), batting records (something unique inside batsman like Tendulkar 20 times 150 or plus and 118 times 50 or plus at a time), ability to play big knocks (home plus overseas, Lara 19 times 150 or plus), highest individual scores (Lara 400 and 375 not out), tackling crunch situtations (Lara 153 not out), ability to change the results of series (Laxman 280), ability to dominate main strikers of any attack, ability to prove best against best attacks, qualities of bowlers of that era, ability to score according to situation like in defensive mode plus aggressive too when situation demands, ability to define himself according to some definition like Viswanath and Laxman were grafters.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 4, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Who is the greatest athlete ever - Jesse Owens or Usain Bolt? Comparing Bradman and Sachin is just like that. I go with Bolt and Sachin. Everybody else is entitled to their fantasies.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (April 4, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

The greatness of Bradman is a romanticized myth created by the Oz and the English. The English need to do that, else how would they explain the humiliation suffered under his hands? The Oz would keep singing about Bradman till they find somebody else of stature. Unfortunately for them Ponting and Greg Chappell didn't measure up. It's funny, how people forget that in those days captains were not given to changing their field settings according to the batsman and bowler's capabilities. The captain would set the field and the bowler had to bowl to the field.If the bowler didn't bowl accordingly, he was replaced. If the bowler did bowl accordingly and if the batsman's shot got past the field set, then too bad.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 4, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

@ChrisKay- aggregates are merely one of numerous parameters. Let's just say that if two players have similar figures but one has the greater aggregate - one would pick the one with the greater aggregate PROVIDED the aggregate has been accumulated over a longer period of TIME as well...because then this cannot be attributed to a hottish streak during a few good years but shows that the player has also been skilled to adapt to various conditions, bowlers etc...BTW this whole aggregate thing is of farely recent vintage. As far back as 2002 Tendulkar was rated 2nd best by Wisden after Bradman ,as also by general consensus.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 4, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

@Meety - Nice to know you are reading comments. However, a bit of courtesy instead of rabid nastiness is a good thing to have in a debate. As re. Saf if the amount of time a country is playing for is a qualification for "non-minnowness" then on what basis could you classify NZ as minnows since they have been playing test cricket since 1930. As also that in the 1990s they had bowlers such as Cairns,Morrisson,Nash and Vettori.Also, clearly from the absolute nonsensical nature of your "stats" - the results of my "tooling around" have far, far greater significance than yours...Cheers.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Well, if career aggregates count as much as averages, Vaas would have been considered a better bowler than Lillee or Marshall. And note the relevant caption in the profiles herein: averages, not aggregates; even though they feature both. A comparison across different eras assume some unique relevance in Bradman's case as the second best in his era obey the same pattern as the very best do in any other era. Note Kallis has a rival in Sobers as the best cricketer, even when either looks formidable about all round figures . No one, absolutely no one, stands apart from the rest so emphatically by virtue of a single department of the game.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 4, 2013, 2:34 GMT)

@Jojygeorge...agree with you..SRT's ODI double hundred takes the cake!!

Sachin is "THE BEST EVER".

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 4, 2013, 2:19 GMT)

Anyone with ODI double hundred apart from Sachin & Sehwag?.....no mention of these anywhere by any one.....Just hilarious!!

1)Sachin 2) Viv Richards 3) Gavakar 4) Don 5) Sobers and the rest

Posted by BillyCC on (April 4, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

@eternity, a couple of things. Thanks for the point about Tendulkar being hit by Waqar on debut. Turns out he got hit on the helmet (would have been on the head if he wasn't wearing a helmet) and the ball deflected onto his nose. Could have been a very short career if he had played in the pre-helmet era. By the way, Bowes was probably half as lethal as Wasim and Waqar in terms of speed impact, but that's about the same lethalness as Yadav in a net session in South Africa.

Posted by jay57870 on (April 4, 2013, 1:19 GMT)

Conspicuously absent from Chappell's story is Sachin Tendulkar. Not surprising. After all, Ian's been trying hard to retire the Little Master since 2007 when he issued his silly "mirror, mirror-on-the-wall" dictum. Contrast his story with Martin Crowe's reasoned analysis of Headley, Sobers, Gavaskar & Tendulkar as the best of their eras. Contrast with reputed cricket historian David Frith's informed opinion: "It is tempting to mark down Bradman and Tendulkar as the finest two batsmen who ever lived"! Contrast with the TIME Magazine article (May 21, 2012) on Tendulkar as the "world's best athlete"! Still, Ian knowingly bypasses Sachin. Instead he conjures up a Boycott vs Sobers "great player" challenge! Smoke & Mirrors! Vintage Chappell: posturing for a challenge "off air" with an unnamed commentator to pick a "great player"! Or maybe settle scores? Never mind. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt: Ian's story is dated April 1, 2013!!

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

DB needed just one boundary to get to 7k runs. And another normal series, by his standard of course, would have elevated him to that magic average. Too tantalizing. But then he was different. Obsessive fanaticism won't acknowledge that difference. A hyped longevity largely owing to a fanatic culture would be posing little threat to that magic career.

Posted by Meety on (April 4, 2013, 0:11 GMT)

@CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 9:21 GMT) - just a bit of cricket education for you, by the time Bradman started his Test career, Sth Afica had been playing Tests for 39 years.

Posted by Meety on (April 4, 2013, 0:06 GMT)

@JG2704 on (April 3, 2013, 19:55 GMT) - the opposition & conditions IMO, are more of a factor than team mates. If say Clarke finished his career with an ave of 53, (after another say 40 tests), & Amla played the same matches for an ave of 54, I'd consider Clarke better as he probably had to contend with Phillander & Steyn whereas the next best bowler around at the moment (stat-wise) would be Pattinson. There are heaps of other little things like individual innings in match winning & saving scenarios, versus dull draws & lost causes. Clarke's 150 against the Saffas when SA scored 97 & then Oz got that low score in response (can't bring myself to quote that score), would have to be considered a modern masterclass. Amla's defiant stance v England where he seemed to bat for 10 days straight would have to rate highly as well. At the moment though, it's Sanga & Kallis that are the best batsmen IMO.

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

@CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 10:49 GMT) - yes, given that you obviously didn't bother to read my precise response regarding the 1990s - I'll "tool around" too & then discover that from 1990 to 2000 - Mike Atherton averaged 115, Gatting 87, Ken Rutherford 102, Jonty Rhodes 88, Kallis 90, Mark Waugh 119 & Sachin 7. Yes an amazing 7, that is not very good!

Posted by ZA77 on (April 3, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

I never feel comforable to compare batsmen of different era. On pure statistic, G Loahmann is the best in bowling 10.75, just like Bradman 99.94. Bodyline series of 1932-33 cut Bradman average into half. Larwood took only 45 wickets without this series in his career. Against Australia only 31 wickets with average 40.9 (excluding bodyline), with striking rate 88. According to Bradman Eddie Gilbert was more faster than him. Gubby Allen totally 81 wickets, in bodyline series 21 wickets, without it 60 wickets totally. Excluding series against Australia, striking rate near to 80 with bowling average 45.9. These twos were the fastest played by Bradman. That is why I always said, how we know who is better. He may slightly better than Tendulkar or equivalent or Tendulkar is slightly better (not more), who knows. There is no yardstick to judge exact two different batsmen from two different eras. But there is no doubt, that both are legends in cricket.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 3, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

@Shan156 on (April 2, 2013, 23:05 GMT) I find the whole debate quite funny in a childish sort of way.

@Meety - So would you mark a player up and down depending on who they faced and who else they had alongside them in the batting line up? I guess then that the likes of Clarke and Shiv as future considerations would rank higher than guys like Amla , Smith , Kallis and God?

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

How much you're appreciated outside your country: that seems a fair standard in the context, given the overwhelmingly biased nature of responses. I feel Lara would be the winner from the era I'm rather familiar with then. BTW, the publishing preferences here seem a bit dubious; I won't be surprised if this fails to get past.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

There are 23 batsmen who have scored triple hundreds, and few others have got nearly to a triple hundred. There are twenty five batsman who have a higher highest individual score than Sachin Tendulkar. There are 18 batsman who possess higher career average than Sachin Tendulkar and most of them are from past times when the condition for batting were relatively difficult. There are four batsmen Who have scored four more double centuries than Sachin Tendulkar, with Bradman six more double hundreds than Sachin Tendulkar, and Lara three more double hundreds than Sachin Tendulkar, and I need not tell in much less number of matches, and four other batsmen have as many double hundreds as Sachin Tendulkar in much less matches than Tendulkar. Tendulkar does not have an entry in fastest test hundreds or highest strike rate or most number of runs in an over. Considering all those factors the list goes as follows. 1. Don Bradman 2. Viviran Richards 3. Brian Lara 4. Gary Sobers 5. Adam Gilchrist

Posted by Africasafari on (April 3, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

Why are some South African greats not being considered here by some? Agreed that Tendulkar,Lara, Richards and others were very good indeed...what about Graeme Pollock and Barry Richards? Pollock and Barry Richards have to be in top 5 if not in the top 3.

For me the list will be 1)Sachin 2)G Pollock 3)Viv Richards 4) Kallis 5) Barry Richards 6) Lara 7) Don Bradman 8)Gavaskar

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Actually DGB has no rivals in his department, that's, batting. Federer, Pele, McGrath, Rhodes ...all face challenge from candidates who look very close, if not better. Your stature is best assessed by how much your fanbase extend beyond your country. Bradman's time puts some limitations on him in this regard; moreover, cricket is yet to get beyond certain jingoistic habits. See how Federer is cheered even when he plays in Spain. Cricket has to get rid of a lot of jingoism/ parochialism before it can entertain any hope to become a global affair.

Posted by SG70 on (April 3, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

@BillyCC ... maybe time runs backwards where you are but before Yadav there was Waqar and Wasim going at SRT when he was 16 ... he even got hit on the nose and spanked the next ball down the ground. Why don't you show a bowler faced by Bradman that is half as lethal as those 2 and then we can talk about why SRT wears a helmet ?

here read this --> http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/455228.html

Pay attention to the last paragraph ... its quite telling.

" Yet even those blistering sessions were but an attenuated preamble to what happened in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Then, with four hefty fast bowlers at his disposal, one West Indies captain after another let them loose all day. The survivors of the original Bodyline series marvelled that there was no public riot, for it had come close to that in Adelaide in 1933, when two of Australia's batsmen were felled. Yet now, in a period of 20 years, West Indies fast men sent 40 opposing batsmen to hospital. "

Posted by DavisL on (April 3, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

Looks like the Aussies just can't get over the fact that Don's position as "THE GREATEST" is being questioned and usurped as well by some well-presented arguments and comments by many people here. While some like Tendulkar, Lara, Viv Richards and Gavaskar have got plenty of arguments in their favour as they deserve we should not forget others like Barry Richards, Pollock, Kallis and Miandad. But for me, I would still pick Tendulkar as the best of all, yes, even better than Bradman! His stats & records demand the highest respect and are just too big to ignore and pushed aside. It's unfathomable that anyone else can be said to be "THE GREATEST"! As an Englishman who has seen many many batsmen of past and present this is how i would rate them; 1) Tendulkar 2) Viv Richards 3) Lara 4) Gavaskar 5) Sobers 6) Bradman 7) Pollock and the rest.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 3, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

@Meety, yes Don avg 57 in the bodyline series but why did he get Larwood removed from the England test team after that if bodyline was to be banned for the next Ashes. The reason is simple....Don could see his life and run-scoring becoming difficult if this continued and his average would have come down even further!! Don did not get hit on his head during the bodyline series, but do you think that he would not get hit if had played 200 odd tests like Sachin? You state that "If Bodyline was brought in today, even with modern protection, non -SC countries would be a battleground won by the best pace battery, Sachin at his best (like other greats), would struggle to ave 40" this would apply to Don as well as his average would fall even more to be in line with the other greats! Remember while Don had to put with just Larwood, he would have had to put up with Steyn,McGRath,Donald,Waqar,Lee Akhtar,Wasim,Ambrose.Walsh and the like if he had played in the last 20 to 30 years. SRT the best!!

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 3, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

@Shan156, i agree with you that it if not fair to compare batsmen of different era's and that DGB is one of the best and the best ever! Sachin is playing in the test team because the Indian team is in transition and needs some experience in the line-up...you will hear Sachin saying the same when he retires....he could have retired 2 years ago when his average was more than 56 to make it look good...but no, cricket is a team game and as Sachin himself says "individual records should not matter" it is we cricket fans who keep reminding players of their records. Coming to the last point how much do you think DGB would average in modern day after playing bowlers like Waqar, Akram,Ambrose,Walsh,Saqlain,Qadir,Warne,Murali,Steyn, Donald,McGrath,Malinga ...remember that DGB only played in similar conditions in Eng & Aus and never played on the subcontinent against bowlers like Warne and Murali. If you thnk he will average 99 or more just because of helmet and other equip you are kidding me!

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

@Meety- Infact tooling around I found an even that from 01 jan 2002 to 01 jan 2003 Tendulkar avg, 60.6 (EXcluding Ban and Zim)...I wonder whether anyone else besides Bradman has ever avg. 60+ for a decade with no other player having done so.Again "next best" for the decade 1993 jan to 2003 is Steve Waugh with 54. Brian Lara barely crosses 50.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

1. Don Bradman 2. Vivian Richards 3. Brian Lara 4. Gary Sobers 5. Adam Gilchrist.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

@Meety- Against Aus,Eng,Ind,Pak,SA,SL,WI - Through the 1990s , Tendulkar avg. 58.6 to Steve's 51.8 .1) What in the world are you looking at ? 2) On what basis do you pick and choose minnows as per your convenience ?

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

1. Don Bradman 2. Vivian Richards 3. Brian Lara 4. Gary Sobers 5. Adam Gilchrist. Other special batsmen in that order are Graem Pollock, Barry Richards, George Hadley, Javed Miandad Virender Sehwag, Hashim Amla, Walter Hammond, Sachin Tendulkar, Greg Chappel, Kevin Petersen, Inzimam-ul-Haq, Sanath Jaysuraya, Martin Crow, Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh, Mahender Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Yusuf, Saeed Anwar, Dean Jones, Matthew Hayden, Herbert Sutcliffe, Sunil Gavaskar, Allan Border, Jack Hobbs, Barrington, Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Abbas, Gordon Greenidge, Victor trumper, Mohammad Azharuddin, Steve Waugh, Michael Atherton, Saleem Malik, Arvinda De Silva, Majid Khan, Colin Cowdrey, Ijaz Ahmad, Graham Gooch, Desmond Haynes, Clive Lioyed, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Gundappa Viswanath, Michael Vaughn, Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakkara, and David Boon. A very special mention for Shahid Afridi for having most entries in fastest hundreds and for highest strike rate.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

In the 1990s Murali got Lara out twice in 3 matches. Lara avg. 27 against SL ( If that's how Lara fares against minnows god help us all)..Later in 2001 Lara figured out Murali (as did most leftie batsmen including Fleming). Infact , post doosra Murali was much less effective against Lefties because for his doosra to be effective he had to pitch in line with the stumps , a clear give away.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

@Mohammad Nayeemuddin - Watching the "highlights" of a particular batsman may not mean much. Esp. if not against the best bowlers of the day - For eg. Lileel dismissed Richards 11 times in 12 matches.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

@Meety- so against the only "quality" opposition of the day -England , Headley when batting at No.3 did as well as Bradman...

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

@BTW , in the 1990s India were extremely poor - esp. away. As re. Bradman, almost every team besides England he played against could be regarded as minnows.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Watch some videos of Vivian Richards on Youtube and you will know who is the greatest batsman after Don Bradman, or even the greatest batsman of all-time. Gary Sobers may have been as good, but Vivian Richards caused unmatched destruction consistently, irrespective of the match situation and conditions. You look at his record, then you will know that he averaged over 50 while playing much superior pace, which often turned the course of a game. For the record, he has the fastest hundred. Then, you have Lara who scored 501, 400, 375 and most number of double hundreds than any other except Don Bradman. Lara also hold multiple records for most number of runs in an over. You also have Adam Gilchrist who has second fastest test hundred in test cricket behind Vivian Richards. Adam Gilchrist often turned the games in Australia's favor batting at No.7 with his explosive batting. So, the best five are 1. Don Bradman 2. Vivian Richards 3. Brian Lara 4. Gary Sobers 5. Adam Gilchrist

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

@CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 5:20 GMT) - what a load of garbage - Tendulkar was NOT 15% better than the next best in the 90s. In the 69 tests Tendulkar played - 41% of those Tests were against SL (minnows at the time), NZ & Zimbabwe. He murdered those sides during the 90s. Meanwhile Steve Waugh played 89 Tests & only 18% of his games were against "minnows". Tendulkar's ave v Zim/NZ/SL was 66.2, which means against quality opposition 45.6. Meanwhile Waugh averaged 65.9 against minnows & 51.2 against quality opposition. That is CONCLUSIVE proof that he was NOT the best batsmen of the 90s. BTW Lara averaged 52.9 v quality opposition. So Tendulkar can hardly argue being the 3rd best of the 90s. Your 1/2 ave analysis is pointless, as Bradman would of been FORTY EIGHT YEARS OF AGE had he played for another 20 Tests!!!(you can't be serious????) BTW - under the same premise with Sachin - he'd come close to dropping BELOW FIFTY (from a peak around 57)

Posted by ZA77 on (April 3, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

@Hammond, triple century is not only criteria to judge batsman skills. Take example of Sutcliff be never manage double ton but having average 66.85 against prime attack of Australia in which he lost his wickets 21 times to three leg bowlers (Mailey, Grimmett, Reilly). We only rely on statistic that 89.78 is better than 66.85. But no one argue that how we know which one is better. Facing two leg breaks in one test match in timeless was almost impossible to survive. Take an example of test match, 8 June 1934, Grimmett plus O Reilly (58+37+47+41 = 183 overs) and took 19 wickets. I think near to 1500 balls they delivered, just suppose one is equal to Warne and another one equal to Kumble and they were continously delivered balls so what would be the chances of survival. Headley never get timeless matches like Bradman, also he had come from diff region. to adopt conditions in England. if so could his average further increaase. Also on wet wicket, he was better Who is actual better in three?

Posted by obaidulmasum on (April 3, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

@CricFan24, thanks for your opinion. Actually I compared Sachin with Bradman and Sobers not with Lara and Ponting. But If you agree to do so then I also have some point. However Tendulkar and India manages Aus tour without their best bowler continuously from 1990-2000 series. From then Tendulkar never played Macgrath in Australia, Gillespie also missed some occasion, same also happened with Lee. Against England He never played inform Flintoff and Harmisson like 2005 Ashes. But Lara always played against fully fit Macgrath, Gillespie and Lee. He scored 400 run against fully fit Flintoff and Harmisson. So please never compare with them in such way. And what you said about some tendulkar's last horror tours. I think you can mention recent Australia tour where Tendulkar was not in his best form. But his horror form begins in recent series in India where he continuously failed to perform in his homeland. I think Ponting's horror form was durable than Tendulkar.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

@Meety - Paul Rone-Clarke ,Welfinishthis and others -As an eg. of how poor judgement may end up hammering a players stats - Bradman's last innings was a Duck. Assuming he played 10 matches more - and made half his career avg.( 50) for those remaining 5 matches ( i.e 1000 runs). His career run tally would then be 7996 and avg. 89. Another 10 at half of 89 ( say 45) and you get an avg. of 80. Still awesome but 25% off an avg. of 100. So - a well time retirement may be MORE important to total career figures than actual cricketing skills themselves...Which is perhaps why the general "rule" to retire when people ask "why" as compared to "why not?"

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

@obaidulmasum - On the non -asian "paradise" wickets- Tendulkar does better than Lara in Aus, Eng, NZ, Saf is the same...( This despite Tendulkars last couple of horror tours.)...Since you are so statistically adept you may also take a look at Ponting and Lara's home and away figures...cricinfo, please puiblish.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 3, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

@Meety - 1) The point is Bradman was matched by Headley against England ( the only decent team besides Aus). In the 1990s Tendulkar was 15% better than the "next best" - for an entire decade ( MINUS ban and zim)..2) Frankly, it doesn't matter what Tendulkar will be viewed as immediately. Richards too had a painful decline over a period of many years. Noone remembers that. Lara had innumerable more flops than hits - Noone remembers that....Somehow in Tendulkars case every tries to highlight only the negative - I guess that is the curse of TRUE greatness......3) Finally, Tendulkar may well have shown incorrect judgement in prolonging his career, but poor cricket judgement should not be confused with poor cricketing skills...

Posted by Rohan1 on (April 3, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

SACHIN TENDULKAR - Gods' own batsman...Only years from now will he be truly appreciated.

Posted by obaidulmasum on (April 3, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

I have some interesting stats which Indian fan never mention. They always say that Sachin's away average is better than his home average. But true is he also played in Pakistan, Srilanka and Bangladesh 29 test and conditions are very much similar to india. He played in Africa continent 19 times with an average of 45.19 against two team South Africa and weak Zimbabwe which is not statistically fine. His average in Oceania is 51.98 against only two nations - Australia and weak New Zealand. We can call it quite good. In Europe he played against only one team and that is England and in there his average is 54.31. Very good but many did better than him. In West Indies his average is actually average. Only in Asia it looks impressive. Over 60 percent of his total run (9590 runs out of total 15837) with an average of 56.41 suggests that Tendulkar is a batsman of Asian Batting paradise wickets. He is great but not the greatest. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by swarzi on (April 3, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

I'm tired of the Indians writing this bit of crap that "SRT is 2nd best after Bradman because Bradman said that SRT reminds him of himself"! So, just remind Bradman of himself and SRT you're second after him - as easy as that! What rubbish! In fact, even Cricinfo reports in SRT's profile that "Don Bradman CONFIDED to HIS WIFE that SRT reminds him of himself"! Or some say that it's his wife who said that SRT's batting reminds her of Bradman's. However, whatever is the truth or lie pertaining to this resemblance story, my question is, So what if SRT's batting looks like Bradman's? What's the secrecy to only tell his wife"? And, up to now we don't know the name of the person to whom Mrs Bradman leaked her husband's GOLDEN secret! Well, if to become 2nd best after a great batsman is just to show some resemblance of him, I hereby declare "Darren Bravo the 2nd best batsman ever after Brian Lara"! But wait! Bradman, Lara, Sobers, Hobbs, Gavascar, etc never took 2+ and 4+ years to score a 100!

Posted by CricketisKing on (April 3, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

I feel that such comparisons are unwarranted in any sport. Conditions, rules, equipment, travel options, fitness methods and equipment, etc. changes from era to era. Just enjoy cricket without making any sort of comparisons. Could Mr. Tendulkar or Mr. Gavaskar or Sir Sobers have been that great a player if they played in Sir Bradman's time and vice versa? We will never know. So why not just enjoy cricket for what it is.

Posted by obaidulmasum on (April 3, 2013, 2:09 GMT)

guys you know why I rate Bradman above all other? Because of his attitude. He simply wanted dominate the attack. In bodyline series Bradman didn't play in the first test. When he came in the next match, over 50,000 spectators expected he would do some magic to destroy english attack. Bradman got nervous and he tried to pull the ball over the fine leg boundary at the very first ball he faced just like our modern t20 player. He was a man of imagination and would be treat to watch in modern era. He showed the next generation how to handle raw pace against the most teasing line and length by the opposition bowlers with the most uncomfortable field settings. He never bobbed down in bodyline series and he proved in that series that if he couldn't find run through leg side then he scored run through offside. Thats the beauty of that man. Interestingly he played a magnificent hundred in the next innings to take his team to the victory. amazing

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Viv Richard is the best as I witnessed. Everybody here is going with heresay. Of course Australians would do everything to promote their iicon similar to how Indians would do about Sachin. I have never seen anyone dominating bowling attacks better than Viv Richard.

Posted by redneck on (April 3, 2013, 1:22 GMT)

@Jojygeorge haha body line he still avg'd higher than tendlukers whole career and while its fair to say with modern safety equipment bradman could have made more runs when his head wasnt litterally on the line. i dont see how you can say he would have avg'd 35 against wasim, waqar and co that to me is clueless. the whole argument you present has no reasoning as to why his avg would have dropped or why tendulker's would rise but the safety equipment argument does give a reason as to why bradman might have done better in the modern age. why does having more opposition to play against make you more accomplished? no, its about quality of the oppositon! hell we could send a player to kenya, bang, zim, usa, argentina and germany. if he makes a centuries against all of them does that make him the best in the world because hes made runs in every continent? hell no, as those nations just like india, nz and sa back then are not up to the standard and therefore stats vs them irrelivent!!!

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

@cricfan24 "...So much for all the unbelievably difficult batting conditions ... " - hence why Headley & The Don are superior batsmen to Sachin. I have a lot of respect for Sachin, however he has played on fro 2 years too long & his legacy has diminished somewhat. He'll be known more for his longevity, rather than his brilliance which IMO is sad. Kallis & Kumar are getting better with age, yet Sachin is barely half the batsmen he was 2 or 3 yrs ago. To look at Sachin's contempiraries, it will be hard to find a time when he was the best of the bunch.

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

@Jojygeorge on (April 2, 2013, 12:07 GMT) "........that was the only series in which DGB played bodyline and his average came down drastically..." - he still averaged 57 FFS! The reality is Bodyline was banned before the next Ashes, as it was against the spirit of cricket. The modern game has bouncer limits, & fielding restrictions so Bosyline can never be repeated. If we removed helmets from Test cricket, players like Rahane would have died on the pitch recently. You really fail to see the significence of the safety blanket that the modern cricketer enjoys. Yes it still takes courage to hook or pull, but to do so with just a towel wrapped around your ribcage, no helmet, & no arm protector- really meant playing with your life. Bradman still averaged 57 against it. If Bodyline was brought in today, even with modern protection, non -SC countries would be a battleground won by the best pace battery, Sachin at his best (like other greats), would struggle to ave 40.

Posted by Rowayton on (April 3, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

I agree with Chappell, with one proviso. I think Sobers is the best batsman I have seen, but I do wonder whether the ones you see when you are young stay in your mind as better than the ones who come later - the nostalgia factor has some effect. Somebody below said Sobers did not move his feet - I think that's only partly right. He was technically sound when he was building an innings, but once he was seeing them properly he just stood and delivered. One thing nobody has remembered is that Sobers was far and away the best batsman against the second new ball, probably of all time. He just used to slaughter it. And Waspsting asked about his spin bowling. It could be pretty good - he won the game in Brisbane in 68 bowling spinners. However I got the impression he himself didn't take it all that seriously. Bowled a lot of spinners on flat tracks when nothing else was happening, which explains his strike rate to some extent.

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

@JG2704 on (April 2, 2013, 20:27 GMT) - there was a time (probably about 5 yrs during the mid to late 80s) - when schoolkids or dads came home from work & the 1st question was asked is Oz batting - if the answer was yes, the next question absolutely was "Is AB still in?" - if the answer was yes, there was always a sigh of relief! Things never seemed lost if AB was still batting. My list of greatest Oz batsmen is 1. Bradman, 2. Chappell, 3. Border, 4. Ponting, 5. Harvey. Chappell & Border get the nod over Punter as I believe they played their cricket in tougher conditions against tougher opposition. As far as the groundwork is concerned, I believe he & Bobby Simpson share that honour. It was Simpson's vision & Border's take up of his mission that saw Oz grind their way to the top. Better fielding, better running between the wicket (aggressivly picking up singles) - were key planks behind Oz's rise, then came the talent.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 3, 2013, 0:09 GMT)

I know this might be a bit biased but I wouldn't be surprised if Clarke ends up being the greatest we have seen after Bradman once he retires, some very solid 5 years ahead of him now.

Posted by Shan156 on (April 2, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

And the other thing Indian fans constantly bring out in defence of SRT is 'pressure of having to handle expectations of 1 billion fans'. So, 1 billion Indians expect SRT to score a ton every time? ok, let's assume that number is just an exaggeration. Most people would have more important things to worry about than SRT scoring a ton. It is not like if SRT fails, then India, as a country, is going to be in disarray. And, SRT gets paid handsomely for his efforts. He is not doing free service. And, he doesn't need to. If he succeeds, it is good for him and his team; not so if he doesn't. It is all the Indian media hype. Everyone plays for themselves and their country. SRT is not alone in this. And, he continues to play despite failing for the last 2 years.Shows that the Indian selectors do not have the guts to drop him for his poor performance. You can hardly blame them, you can bet your bottom $ that they won't feel safe anymore after dropping him.India is such a hero worshipping nation.

Posted by US_Indian on (April 2, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

I had written earlier- the whole argument is baseless. going by the arguments both pro and against many legends have mentiioned Bradman as the greatest batsman and Sir Garfield Sobers as the greatest cricketer that means Sobers is 5 times greater than Bradman because a cricketer is one who bats, bowls fast and spin and fields close in and outfield. The arguments end here. The caption should have been who is the best after Sir Garfield Sobers?

In my opinion all these guys are over and above this article and discussion, They are Sir Sobers, Kieth Miller, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Jacques Kallis, Pollock, S. Durrani Vinoo Mankad, etc etc. All these guys were better at multiple things where as Bradman was good at just one thing. If people are arguing about who is the best of the batsman including or excluding Bradman then there is a huge list including players from all countries running into atleast 100's and there can be a choice of picking a few of them.

Posted by Shan156 on (April 2, 2013, 23:05 GMT)

@JG2704, it is hilarious to read some of the comments here from ardent SRT fans. Especially this @ZA. He claims to have identified lot of weaknesses in Bradman's batting which really makes you wonder how on earth did that man average over 99 while the best of the rest averaged 60 at that time. Must be some really poor batsmen going around those days. And, somehow these fans make is sound like batting was so simple those days conveniently forgetting uncovered wickets, having to travel months before a series, inferior protective gear (happened to watch the game when SRT got hit on the helmet by Akhtar - I believe he has got hit a few times, imagine him playing without an helmet, may not have survived this long),not so powerful bats,no bowling machine to hone your skills, etc. I respect SRT for he is such a great bat, who wouldn't? But, to put him on a pedestal and demean all other greats is pathetic. It is also incorrect to conclude that Bradman was the best ever-was the best in his era.

Posted by Hammond on (April 2, 2013, 22:39 GMT)

@ZA77- I find it interesting that you rate Tendulkar over Bradman when Tendulkar isn't even the best batsman in his own era. Surely that must go to Kallis? I also find it interesting that you rate Tendulkar over Bradman when Tendulkar has never even scored a triple century in any form of the game? Bradman scored 6 with a top score of 452. Maybe if Tendulkars FC average was higher you would have a point, but I don't see how you can argue with 234 first class cricket matches @ 95.14. Forgetting about your contention that the level of cricket in Bradmans day was lower (how do you know this- were you there?) if you can please point out if Sachin has averaged 95.14 in ANY level of cricket then that would be a decent starting point.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (April 2, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

One important omission in this article is that of Jacques Kallis. He has played 162 test matches and has an average of 56.10 with 13,128 runs and 44 centuries in test cricket and 11,498 runs in ODI. Not only with his bat, he has won matching from his bowling too. Just as a batsmen, he holds position with the four players mentioned in this article. Just from his averages and ability to win matches for SA, I would put him ahead of Tendulakar. I would also tend to agree with the assessment of Gavaskar. He faced the most fearsome WI attack in the last 50 years of cricket and conquered it without the use of helmet and gears that players use today.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 2, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

@Meety - You have a number of balanced fans differing with you so Sachin must be better than Don after all.

On a more serious note , how would you rate Border? He played in a lesser Oz side than the likes of Ponting,Hayden and to a degree Waugh but still had a career average of over 50. I think he probably set the groundwork for the great Aus era of the 90s/00s

Posted by warneneverchuck on (April 2, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

Sachin all the way then comes rest

Posted by 07sanjeewakaru on (April 2, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

I trust Chappelli. Sir Garry by a mile.......

Posted by ZA77 on (April 2, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

@meety, The reality is Bradman averaged over 90 in the Sheffield Shield against all the bowlers that played Tests. You are living in fantasy land in which you are unable to respect others comments. It is amazing to see that anyone comments on against Tendulkar that have authority to do that. But for same thing for Bradman, it is some sort of sin, amazing. I think Tendulkar is way ahead of Bradman. He had too much limitations like cross bat, simple style, diffuclty to play bouncer, difficulty to play leg break, adaptablity and so on. Tendulkar no weakness, even after playing 60 different grounds. We may say that Bradman statistically best in two countries but putting others and saying that he is best is only self belief. Larwood was fastest one, excluding bodlyline series he grabbed only 45 wickets. Gubby Allen also fast bowler, hardly play 25 test matches totally out of 80-90 matches.

Posted by gandabhai on (April 2, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

When asked if he would consider playing in the forthcoming ashes series , Michael Hussey practically said' NO WAY HOSAY ' . He didnt want to be in that pressure cooker environment any more . Does ANYONE appreciate how much harder it is to play under PRESSURE than to play without it . Mr SRT has played an international sport with more PRESSURE than ANY other other sportsperson EVER.And he has succeeded.

Posted by Shan156 on (April 2, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

@cricindian.com, "Would Bradman have averaged 99 in modern era? NO!!! ", how do you know that? Surely you cannot be God. I could also throw in some silly statements like Tendulkar would have averaged 30 in that time. It is inane to compare players across different era. What is more appropriate is comparing batsmen during an era. Bradman stood head and shoulders above everyone else during that time. Tendulkar did not. While one has to appreciate his ability to play consistently for over 20 years (not anymore, mind you, the last 3 years have been horrible for SRT and it is clear that he has lost it), there are other batsmen in the same time who have done admirably. Kallis, for eg., has a better average than SRT and if you talk of pressure, Kallis is also a quality bowler and has managed to stay fit and played consistently for a long time despite carrying dual workloads.

Posted by Shan156 on (April 2, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

@Sanath Rai, cannot argue with subjective opinions but to make a statement like "SRT is the best even today"? C'mon, be fair, on current form, he would not get into any top side. Since 2011, he has played 22 tests and averages 35 with 1 century (which was made in Jan. 2011) and 8 50s. In 2012, he averaged 24 in 9 tests. It has been 21 tests since he made a test ton. That is pathetic to say the least. No other team will carry a passenger like that for this long. It is clear that India wants to give him the 200 tests and choose his retirement. I too had the opinion before the Aus. series that SRT needs to play in SA but after seeing his recent struggles against not so great bowlers at home, I don't think he has it in him anymore to face Steyn, Vernon, and Morne, in SA pitches. India will give him his 200 tests but if he fails like he has in the last few series, then the Indian selectors should gather the guts to drop him rather than wait for him to announce his retirement.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (April 2, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

ok, batsmen debating about batsman!! Let's hear it from a bowler...or two. Let them chime in with their idea of who they would rather not bowl at.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

Actually the title of the article should have been who is the best after Sir Sachin Tendulkar....He was the best.... he still is the best....Period....

Posted by Ali_009 on (April 2, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

What should be best criteria defend bowlers who bowled or bowls well and make runs, play consistently or play a innings which brings win. These criteria are the primary. If these really are counted then we should say the Batsman like Sir Donald, Sir Gary, George Headley are best. These players have played very well like recent batsman Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid, Ponting, Amla. But the difference is that the condition of field, pitches, facilities to bowlers are different in two times. In the past, Bowlers were free from most of the rules that have to maintain by today bowlers. Today Batsman are enjoying all rules beneficial to them. They are not getting high bounces, not getting overstepped ball, not getting body line ball and they are enjoying restricted field requirements.

So, When batsman who are playing or played with same criteria and very well played. Then we should say the best are the Beginner star batsman - and Sir Sobers is best after Donald

But Kallis Should not be forgotten

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

I am stunned for not seeing the name of Rahul Dravid in a note where all the things of batsmenship are mentioned... By omitting his name, the writer shows a great void in his thoughts about the game, if i am not wrong...

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

Another Bradman? Impossible. Another Sobers? Difficult yet possible. This sums up the difference. But then the discussion rightly focuses only on the second best. It's another matter it's hijacked for obvious reasons; unfortunately the geographical pattern in which cricket is spread just won't allow for rational thinking. See how long Hussey could sustain his numbers that posed some threat. And see how greats like Headley, Sobers, Sutcliffe... all faltered along for one reason or other. Federer had a rival in, say, Sampras; Pele may have in Messi; or Warne had in Murali; the whole scenario looks different when it comes to Bradman. He just doesn't leave aside the slightest of skepticism as to who's the best.

Posted by likeintcricket on (April 2, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Imran in the last 5 or 6 yrs of his career became a very good batsman. He scored with nearly 60 average and he only played in away series during that period on top class WI and Australian bowling. He was one of the quickest in the Lilee-Holding era. That period produced 4 of the top class allrounder Kapil, Botham, Hadlee and Imran and all equal to or better than Kallis. They are all great bowlers ( genuine top class bowlers) and very reliable batters. Some of the other WI greats ( Like 3 W's) are missing in this rank. With Players like Kallis, Sachin are playing so many Test matches during their peak period, It is not fair to judge who is the greatest. Gavaskar played so many remarkable series but so did Hanif but he played hardly few Test series when he was on his Peak. But offcourse Bradman and Sobers record are amazing and if they had played 200 Test matches than their records could become untouchables.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (April 2, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

@waspsting You are right about Sobers' bowling. He first played Test cricket as a left arm orthodox bowler, covering for Alf Valentine. But his batting proved much better than his bowling. Later, he added the unorthodox googly style but his spin bowling never did amount to much. Mostly he bowled spin as support to the excellent Lance Gibbs. However, his pace bowling was very good (his spin has spoiled both his bowling average and his strike rate) and he could have played Tests as a pace bowler alone. He was so good that he would walk into the present West Indian or English or South African teams as a paceman. I have always believed that it is wrong to compare bowling all-rounders with batting all-rounders. It is like comparing oranges and apples. So, although I cannot compare them directly, I fully agree that Imran Khan and Garry Sobers are the best bowling and batting all-rounders.

Posted by NALINWIJ on (April 2, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

Bradman at no.1 is unquestionable. Some statistician compared Bradman to others in batting averages and came with z core of 3.9 [3.9 standard deviation above average once in 1000years rarity and no sportsman came close] Bradman rated Sobers, Tendulkar and Hammond highly. Dr.W.G.Grace came to Australian dressing room and presented a bat to Trumper and said from the past champion to the future champion.After Trumper the sequence of greatest batsmen were 1.HOBBS 2.BRADMAN 3.HUTTON 4.SOBERS 5.VIV RICHARDS 6.TENDULKAR and these 6 made cricinfo WORLD all time XI. Bradman stood well above his contemporories but the others were only marginally ahead of fellow greats. SOBERS may be historically 2nd best but the most dominating batsmen I have seen were Viv Richards and LARA who reduce opposition to submission so that the batting partner got an easy ride.

Posted by Triniforever on (April 2, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Every era has its greats! Let Bradman, Worrel and tose who have recently retired rest in peace! Our modern day has brought new challenges to cricket with new rules and new adjustments. Its like comparing the dark ages to our modern enlightened technological age in which we live. Today we would not expect our cricketers to bat without helmets and inner protectors because they are NOW available as in contrast to the "dinosaur" time of a Bradman, Hutton etc. Now we have T20, 50 limited overs those were not in those "dark"periods of cricket. Its unfair to compare and judge our 21st century modern batsmen with the "relics"of the past. At that period in history those men did well to m ake those runs and get those wickets with their respective "limitations" and today the Laras, Tendulkars etc are also great in this our time but to keep contrasting and denying them their place in the sun is not fair to them and to us the cricketing public. Lets live in the present and appreciate the past!

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

I really do believe that this whole thing is a very futile exercise if we start to compare players from entirely different eras,and then try to pick the best(or the greatest.....there's absolutely no difference whatsoever.technicality,semantics won't get you off the hook.it's the same darn exercise.) The closest one can get to making some sense with this is by having your personal favorite from an era(repeat-personal vote).And then when you have your four or five top batsmen from different eras,you can make a choice of who would you pay to watch. And on the argument against the Don.He was a bloke who was 40 runs ahead of the guy next in line.If that's not enough to convince you of his greatness,then I don't know what else will. Agreed that he didn't have to play ODI's,or the T20s,or face the guile of someone like Murali,or Wasim,or play on spitting-viper tracks of India or Lanka,but he played the best cricket of his time by some distance and surely deserves all the respect for it.

Posted by waspsting on (April 2, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

I also regard Sobers as #2, but have reservations about Ian (and others's) placing him far-and-away the best all rounder of all time.

Sobers' bowling record is pretty ordinary. Ave. 34 is useful, but not "great" (SR of 93 - about the same as Sehwag's is pretty suggestive). Batting record is up with the best of them, of course.

Compare to bowling-based allrounders - say Imran. Bowling record up with the best of them, and batting ave of 37 about as useful as Sobers' bowling.

But a bowler contributes much more to a teams streghnt, and on that score, I'd rate a great bowler/good batsman more valuable than a good bowler/great batsman.

I think Sobers' reputation as a bowler is heavily influenced by his uniquely bowling in multiple styles. But that's not the point - how good was he at each of the styles?

As a pacer, he has many admirers, but all anyone seems to say about his spin (both versions) is that he bowled that way. I doubt he was particularly good at it - Boycott doesn't think so

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 2, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

@Meety, instead of quoting some wierd mathematical formulas please check the strike rates of bowlers during Bradman's era and the bowlers of last 30 to 40 years. Doesn't say much about quality of bowlers during Bradman's era. Check the facts for yourself before posting ludicrous comments like Sachin would have averaged 40 in the bodyline series.Just shows that Aussies can't accept any one apart from Bradman as the best. Grow up boys...times have changed. There are and there will be better batsmen than Bradman in the future as well. If you are looking at his average of 99 please look at SRT's 100 100s as well which will stand the test of time. 1) Sachin 2) Gavaskar 3) Richards 4) Sobers 5) Bradman 6) Headley and others.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 2, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

@Meety and @redneck, you appear clueless about what happened after the bodyline series.....that was the only series in which DGB played bodyline and his average came down drastically.... Also note that DGB promptly got Larwood removed and Larwood never played any test cricket after bodyline series. If you reckon that Sachin would average 40 if he had played bodyline then DGB would average less than 35 if he had played Akram, Waqar,Murali,Warne,Ambrose,McGrath, Akhtar,Steyn, Saqlain etc going by the same logic. Anyway, thanks for all the rubbish that you have posted...clearly shows who is clueless!

Posted by CrazyKiwi on (April 2, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

Being a cricket crazy fanatic from New Zealand I would go with what Sir Richard Hadlee said few years ago about Sachin which is "All his phenomenal records say only one thing and that is he is the best ever!!"

Posted by Jojygeorge on (April 2, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

BillyCC, mate..too much being made about Bradman playing without helmets.....as I had mentioned before would Bradman be foolish enough to not wear a helmet if he had one? NO!! Bradman averaging 56 in bodyline series is very good indeed....but, by having Larwood removed and kicked out from Eng team so that he doesn't play any test cricket afterwards just shows that Don was worried that his performance might drop if more bowlers started doing what Larwood did to him. People remember the bodyline series and Bradman's average of 56 in that seires....most people don't know that Bradman played a big role in ensuring that Larwood doesn't play a single test afterwards. What it tells you is that DGB was not at all comfortable facing short pitched bowling and also that he was more worried about other bowlers copying Larwood which in turn would have made his life and run scoring difficult. Mate please present the whole story as it happened rather than just picking on few scenes here and there!

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (April 2, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

@Mohammad Nayeemuddin I agree with you. Ian Chappell underrates Imran Khan and is wrong to rate Miller and Gregory above him. But Australians are sometimes too patriotic. Imran Khan was an outstanding fast bowler, and a batsman averaging around 50 in his later career as captain as well. He was an inspirational captain also. However, Ian Chappell is quite right about Sobers. He was undoubtedly the best batsman other than Bradman. But then I have seen all the best batsmen from the mid 1950s onwards whereas most other people commenting here unfortunately haven't. It is sad because, like Chappell, they too would have adored the great West Indian.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

Graeme Watson opened the batting and was a proper new ball seamer.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 2, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

Yes, this is true no one come close to Bradman 99.94. At home his batting averge was 78.46 aginst England as compare to G Headley at home versus England 77.56 (Amazing to see that Lara at home versus England batting average is 77.95). Bradman scored 8 centuries in 33 innings and Headley 5 centuries in 18 innings at home versus England. Before world war II, his batting average was 72.78 against England as compare to Headley 91.38. Overall ratio of century per inning stand 4.125 in Bradman case and Headley 3.6 (33 / 8 and 18 / 5). Before world war II, his ratio stand 4.16 and Headley 2.8 only century per inning. What happened to Headley after world war II, he played last test match befor world war II, in 1939. After that two test in 1948 and then last one in 1954. In these three test matches he scored only 55 runs. After world war II, he totally lost his cricket due to nine to ten years gap.

Posted by Meety on (April 2, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Who is 2nd best? IMO - the stats say Headley. Hammond & Sutcliffe would offer fairly good cases. Sobers - yes, Hanif - maybe, Sir Viv - yes, Greg Chappell - yes, Gavaskar, Border, Lara, Kallis, Ponting & Sachin is probably the cream of the best. Its hard to say, - I can't pick the Saffa duo of Richards & Pollock as their sample size relative to their career length is too small. (Headly's small sample size is over a longer period). IMO, it is 2nd Headly, 3rd Sobers, 4th Kallis (narrowly behind), 5th Chappell (best Ozzy batsmen since Bradman), 6th Sir Viv, 7th Gavaskar, 8th Hammond, 9th Sangakarra, 10th Lara (a shade ahead of Sachin). I have favoured batsmen who have the stats to back their deeds, although maybe it could be argued on pure averages Richards, Gavaskar & Lara shouldn't be in the top 10, but I think there are things that raw stats cannot reflect. Honourable mention to Punter for having the best 50 Test form bubble ever (other than The Don).

Posted by gandabhai on (April 2, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Anyone remember the team that Martin Crowe put together for Royal Challengers Bangalore in their first IPL season ? He bought a test team to play 20/20 cricket .I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinions .

Posted by Meety on (April 2, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

(cont) - I couldn't imagine Zimbabwe or Bangladesh would ever get him out. I think the Don would slaughter NZ, SL, Zim & Bang with a personal average close to 150 against these nations. The WI, India & Pakistan & England je would ave somewhere around 90 to 100. Against the current SA team - I think he would "struggle" with an average between 70 & 90. The Windies of the 1980s, would of been a magical showdown. IMO - The Don probably would of struggled iniatially until he worked out to adjust his game to suit. Over 20 Tests against the WIndies pace battery I reckon he'd of ended up with a 60+ average. How would the modern lifestyle affected him? Dunno, but flying 1st Class in a plane, would of been better than travelling by Ship. ODIs & T20 cricket - I think he would of treated 20/20 with disdain & gone the arial route more often. ODIs - I think he'd of had a career ave (in the top 4) of around 50 to 55 with a S/R above 90.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Too much of generalization. World only knows Gavaskar had 13 100's against the West Indians. Now i see that number reduce to 7 with the great quartet. If you see, they never played all those matches and it is now reduced to "either of" them.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

@Meety- Posted various stats on Headley at No.3 against the dreaded England bowlers without "protection" etc. - Would do you some good to look at them.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa - By your very same reasoning Pujara should be rated higher than Tendulkar,Lara and Ponting.

Posted by Meety on (April 2, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

@@ TommytuckerSaffa on (April 2, 2013, 8:44 GMT) "...We all know how difficult it can be at the beginning of your Test career..." - by that logic Mike Hussey should of ended with a Test average of 100. The reality is, as talented as Pollock undoubtably was, he could easily have ended up with a sub 50 average. Most cricketers end up with a FC average BELOW their FC average - Pollock's FC average was 54. There is nothing to suggest he couldn't of beaten his FC ave, but to say he'd better 60, is stretching credibility. @ZA77 on (March 25, 2013, 10:08 GMT) "...On pure statistic, can I say that Bradman averge would be 47 if he was against Aus (37.33 / 66.85 = .55 * 1.25= .69 * 37.33 = 47" - ABSOLUTE HOGWASH! The reality is Bradman averaged over 90 in the Sheffield Shield against all the bowlers that played Tests for Oz. @Jojygeorge on (March 25, 2013, 13:21 GMT) - get a clue fella! IF, Tendulkar had to travel back in time & face bodyline (minus protection he would barely ave 40!

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

If you are an Indian, you would say that best after the Don is Sachin Tendulkar. That is more because Indians are more patriotic & emotional than any other national in the world. They are as a rule less objective than any other fellow human beings. I am an Indian but frankly to me as a passionate fan of cricket for over 6 decades from 1951-52 onwards I agree with Ian Chappel, that the greatest batsman after Don Bradman was Gary Sobers. You do not judge greatness by batting averages or the number of centuries scored but by the impact one created in the match. Sobers was feared by every opposing team and nobody was sure of winning unless you got Gary out. Unfortunately this cannot be said of Tendulkar. Every team is more confident of getting Sachin out than they ever did against Sobers. Unless you experienced that in the era of Sobers, the modern Sachin Fans can never understand. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara,Hammond had all weaknesses unlike Sobers, a champion.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (April 2, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

Just to be clear on this matter. Bradman rated Graeme Pollock as the greatest Left handed batsmen he had EVER seen.

Pollock averaged 60 in just 23 tests, can you even imagine for a moment if he played 100 test matches? We all know how difficult it can be at the beginning of your Test career - what an amazing achievement. His average would have been far higher and run scoring more prolific. Sachin, Lara, Sobers? - forget it, not in the same league as Pollock. That Saffa side of the 70's (Pollock, Proctor, Richards ) was an amazing team which unfortunately for cricket lovers we never got to see.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

Mr. Ian Chappel, What makes you call Keith Miller the greatest all-rounder after Gary Sobers. Imran Khan is the greatest all-rounder after Gary Sobers, and if you consider Imran Khan's leadership capabilities, Imran Khan is right up there with Gary Sobers as the greatest all-rounder of all-time, and even the greatest cricketer, and if you consider Imran Khan's off field activities, then he kicks you all of you out of sight. Compare the records of Imran Khan and Keith Miller and you will find that Imran Khan has much superior record than Keith Miller. Imran Khan not only has a superior bowling records than Keith Miller in all formats of the game, but he also has a better batting record in test cricket, or almost similar. Even Gary sobers was not a fast bowler, and if he was a batting all-rounder, then so is the kallis. So, three top all-founders are Gary Sobers, Imran Khan, and Jacques Kallis closely followed by Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev, and Keith Miller.

Posted by bumsonseats on (April 2, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

depends what era, bradman certainly, then i guess sir viv and maybe 3rd ponting but most will have their favorite. ST would be my 4th choice. then its take your pick m hussey never in a million years the guys ok but you have to have scored more runs than he did and as his average from an all time 2nd in line he played for himself.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

1. Don Bradman 2. Vivian Richards 3. Brian Lara 4. Gary Sobers 5. Adam Gilchrist 6.Javed Miandad 7. Hashim Amla 8. Greg Chappel 9. Barry Richards 10. Virender Sehwag/Umar Akmal 11. Kevin Petersen 12. George Headley 13. Sachin Tendulkar 14. Inzimam-ul- Haq 15. Sanath Jaysurya 16. Ricky Ponting 17. Zaheer Abbas 18.Saeed Anwar 19. Hanif Mohammad 20. Jacques Kallis 21. Herbert Sutcliffe 22.Mohammad Yusuf 23. Martin Crowe 24. AB DeVilliers 25. Mohammad Azharuddin 26. Sunil Gavaskar 27. Gundappa Viswanath 28. Matthew Hayden 29. Mark Waugh 30. Arvinda De Silva 31. Gordon Greenidge 32. Rohan Kanhai33. M.S. Dhoni 34. Desmond Haynes 35. Desmond Jones 36. Steve Waugh 38. Majid Khan 39.Rahul Dravid 40. Jack Hobbs 41. Graham Gooch 42. Yuvraj Singh (So low because he could not succeed in tests) 44. Virat Kohli 45. Cowan Cowdery 46. L. Hutton 47. David Gower 48. Nourse 49. Alistair Cook 50. G. Bycott There are some more worthy of a mention.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

I particularly liked Chappell's reasoning as to why he rates Gary Sobers above Graeme Pollock. Chappell writes, "Sobers hooked and Pollock didn't".

Yeah, thats right and I agree with you Chappelli, those who hook will have their own pull :)

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (April 2, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

@eternity_ Garry Sobers' List A batting statistics mostly refer to the 40 over Sunday League when Sobers was past his prime, and still they are as good as anyone else's from the period. You would know this if you had seen Sobers. He batted lower than the likes of Boycott and Edrich, averaged higher, and also took over 100 wickets at around 22. The man was a genius but you won't understand this as unfortunately you did not see him.

Posted by g.narsimha on (April 2, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

Zsam-after reading u r coments i just gone thruogh the stats of WASIM, WAQAR , IMRAAN -all these greats could not win any series in SA, AUS even in WI where IND could win 3 series , waqar ave- in AUS-40, IND 76 , out of 87 only 31 wins- wasim - just 41-wins out of 104 tests he played -how can u cimpare with selective samples on indidual performance

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

@crafty-Rabbi - Tendulkar has done better than Lara in the "non batsmen friendly " NON subcontinental countriesm- Aus, Eng, NZ , Saf is the same...(And that after including his last couple of horror tours)- At LEAST get your facts right.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (April 2, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Sachin is best batsman cricket has seen those who doubt abt it have no knowledge of cricket

Posted by g.narsimha on (April 2, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

Electric-loco-wap4-i dont think u r out out of u r mind , before posting such unsubstantated coments u should have gone through the stats available on this very web he is one of few whose batting ave better at out side than home it is not that all his 100 are scored vrs BD OR ZIM,more than 50% of his 100 are in winning couse , i cant help if are guided by his present form agreed he should have gone after WC-

Posted by crafty-Rabbi on (April 2, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

I overlooked Sutcliffe, so the candidates for the top ten batsmen of all time would be Bradman followed by Sobers, Lara, then, Headley and Viv Richards. Next would be Sutcliffe, Hammond and Hobbs. Quite a distance below him lie Tendulkar and Ponting. The final in the list of top ten would be Graeme Pollock. Honourable mentions would be Gavaskar and Javed Miandad.

Four of the top five coming from the West Indies. What an incredibly rich source of batting talent those islands have provided for us. Walcott and Weekes being two others that could almost make the list. Tendulkar is very much like Sutcliffe but has the benefit of playing on wickets which are more batsmen friendly. A wonderful ambassador for the game and a legend in India and beyond. A great and one of the top ten of all time but only lying eighth in the list of the greatest I am afraid

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

Bradman is unique in that his stats follow the same pattern across all formats. Headley, Sutcliffe or some bowlers all look very special, but none has the same consistency irrespective of time and number. Stats usually tell too little; here they start to assume some special significance. Every effort to belittle him ends up boomeranging. The second best however is rather tricky. Lara looks very special. But so many candidates are there; so a choice tends to be difficult.

Posted by g.narsimha on (April 2, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

Zsam-u r all over here to prove SACHIN doent deserve top elevetion ,but the DON himself declared that while watching SACHIN batting he feels AS HE HIMSELF IS BATTING thats enough reg - his performance vrs- MACGRATH , & OTHER tops of his era low ave. vrs cariear ave. than my simple question -no body desputes when SHANE WARNE & MURALI are rated as best ever spinners despite thier poor performance vrs INDIANS -warne- 50+ , total failure treated as if he is a club level where ever they encountered , MURALI could not win a test in IND. but going through SACHINS stats i find he was not that poor whils playing those greats

Posted by CricketBirbal on (April 2, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

The greatest Cricketer will never be born. Because there can never be any greatest in a game called Cricket.Yes, Sobers was great in his time and so was Bradman in his time (though he played against England (37 tests out of 52) India-5, SA-5 and WI-5 only ).India, SA and WI in those days were like Bangladesh,Zimbabwe and NZ today. So no great shakes really. Even Gavaskar had a great record against WI, but his overall record gets a beating because he did not do well against others. Likewise, Bradman could be considered great only if he had played against the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka,New Zealand and others for a minimum of 12 tests each and over a career of 90-100 tests as Sobers and Gavaskar did. So in essence, an Australian like Ian Chappel and Keith Miller will say that Bradman is Great, if you are a WI, then you would say Sobers, Richards, Lara are great and if you are an Indian, you would definitely say that Gavaskar and Tendulkar. So there is nothing in this useless debate.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

enough of this non sense.. stop this. just like the ones you like, and don't like the ones you don't.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 2, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

@cricfan24, as I said in a previous post, I agree with your assessment of Tendulkar in the 1990s. For me, that cements him in the top 5 of all time, probably second or third greatest ever but not number one. On your comment about whether helmets were required, I think they were required, but I think a lot of batsmen in those days would have rejected it, simply because it was too big an adjustment to make. Regarding batting at opener or first drop, it depends really. Some people would say that facing the new ball is harder because there is a higher probability of capturing wickets with the new ball. But it is also the easiest time to score runs.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke - Headley avg. 91 at No.3 vs. England ( The only decent team besides Aus) . He scored 1726 runs in 21 inn. with 8 Hundreds and 4 Fifties...So much for all the unbelievably difficult batting conditions ...

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

@ Wefinishthis - If Tendulkar goes on for another decade he may well end up with an average of 35 - To put it nicely ,It doesn't mean "Jack".....For eg. For batsmen who batted THROUGHOUT the 1990s ,Tendulkar avg. 59.4 in the 1990s (MINUS ban and zim) as @compared to the "next best" Steve Waugh 51.8 ( minus ban and zim)...He was by far and away "the best player in the 1990s ...Tendulkar was effectively 15% better than the "next best" for a DECADE. This his the highest differential ever for a player over the "next best" for a DECADE with the exception of Bradman... Needless to say - NO other batsmen will ever achieve this degree of dominance over his peers or the "next best" for a DECADE besides Bradman and Tendulkar....I am well prepared to accept Bradman as the best because of his insurmountable stats - But blindly using Tendulkars current avg after a period of significant decline, a quarter of a century and more matches in both formats than any batsman ever - Is just absurd.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

@BillyCC- Does it strike you that perhaps in Bradman's day Helmets werent REQUIRED ? I mean they used helmets in other activities - mining, war, etc. Why not cricket ? Perhaps just not required....They did use AB guards didn't they ? Now, if we have a batsman play without an AB guard...(Inc. Viv - BTW Viv got hit on the head a few times too)...THEN that batsman would get my vote as the Best!...I mean that would take some balls ( no pun intended)

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

Lara was great when on - but NOT ever against extreme pace. Lara had a distinct weakness against extreme pace and has NEVER got a hundred against any real pace bowler in the 1990s and infact not until the batting friendly conditions of the 2000s arrived. Then he got 4 against Lee and Flintoff on batting beauties. Tendulkar has classic hundreds against virtually every extreme pace ( 145/150+ ks) bowler in the past 25 years....From his 111 against SA in SA against Donald to his 146 vs SA in SA vs Dale Steyn.....Tendulkar - Greatest batsman of all time.

Posted by CricFan24 on (April 2, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

The No.1-3 positions are the best for prolific run scoring....They are the best from the point of view of a batsman. From the point of view of the team No.4 is more pivotal. Headley , at No.3 averages 91 vs England ( the only decent team of Bradman's era besides Aus).....

Posted by BillyCC on (April 2, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

@eternity, if Tendulkar has played so much fast bowling without a helmet, why does he choose to wear one? What about for a net session; why not ditch the helmet for a simple net against Yadav? By the way, I'd take the Bodyline average of 56 without a helmet anyday. Oh wait a minute, that was his worst series average ever and that's a whole two runs better than Tendulkar's career average. And for your education, why not google a few of these countless episodes of modern batsmen getting hit and then imagine not wearing a helmet.

Posted by SG70 on (April 2, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

@BillyCC ... you may not know this but SRT did his share of facing fast bowling without helmet. And we are not talking Bowes/Larwood type trundlers. Go educate yourselves. And BTW even Viv Richards got smacked and had to take counseling. Almost everybody does. But being as you are a fan of Bradman do explain how Bradman negotiated fast bowling. Yep by getting Larwood banned. lol. You should be the last person to harp about facing fast bowling.

In any case isnt short pitch bowling against "Spirit" of the game ... atleast as per Bradman ? Cue : time for you to shift goalpost .

Posted by kh1902 on (April 2, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

This is a futile discussion, given the impossibility of comparing across eras. Most people make judgements based on the performance of the player alone. This is a team sport and you can't disconnect performance from the calibre of team that one plays in. Given the psychological nature of batsmanship, and the fact that most great batsmen play in teams with bowlers who can take 20 wickets to win a test match, you can't discount the achievements of players like Lara, Gavaskar and Tendulkar. These three guys played in teams with substandard bowlers and proved that they could score runs anywhere, against anyone.

Posted by adkum on (April 2, 2013, 2:51 GMT)

I saw Gavaskar in action and his technique facing up to the WI fast bowling was just amazing. It is hard to pick the best but Gavaskar will definitely be in the top order. His class showed when he faced up the WI fast bowling giants and consistently scored against them (13 centuries). His century in Delhi in 1983 was at better than a run a ball (94 balls), hooking and blasting Marshall and Holding for 15 fours and 2 sixes. This coming on the heels of 90 in 120 balls in Ahmedabad. His double in Madras included 23 fours. His century in each innings in Trinidad in 1971 was on a pitch that was difficult to bat on. His 8 centuries against Australia was at a time when like WI they boasted the fastest bowlers who were the kings of sledging. His 221 against England almost brought India victory and was against the pick of English bowlers. He also tamed Pakistan's best and fastest Imran Khan and company. Indian batsmen today are afraid to hook even with helmet on. They need lessons from him.

Posted by SPotnis on (April 2, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

Agreed 100%- Sobers was multi talented with the ball, with the bat and on fielding. To me, he is the best all rounder world cricket has ever seen. As with the best batsman - it's a toss up between Sir Viv Richards & Sunil Gavaskar. One can create mayhem on the field which his arrogant stroke play and morally demolish the opponents - Sir Viv and second can continue to play forever without throwing away his wicket, Gavaskar - he can play spin and genuine fast bowling with equal ease. I will have both in my all time team. I am not sure if I can ever include Tendulkar because I think his match winning ability is not there when compared to Richards and Gavaskar.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 1:28 GMT)

Gavaskar is surely the great batsmen but his 36 not out in a 60 over match while chasing the target is enough to disqualify him from the contest. I would prefer Viv Richards over Bradman. I have seen him batting and Gavaskar looked very mediocre compared to him.

Posted by vish2020 on (April 2, 2013, 1:02 GMT)

My grandfather who passed away last year is the SMARTEST MAN EVER from his village because he went to college. That is false. In those days, couldn't afford to go to college. Just like that when bradman played I am very sure bowlers were not as good as Wasim, Mcgrath, Warne, Embrose, Walsh, Murli etc. Don't fall for the myth created by Aus and Eng as Bradman the best. Sachin is easily the best, Lara close second, and Ponting over Bradman any day of the year. Period.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

How absurd that a player who took 800 innings to post 100 centuries (no matter they spread across 2 formats!), and recorded 200 ODI defeats too in the process, is even featured in a discussion about someone who took just a tenth to get 29!

Posted by redneck on (April 2, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

cont. concluding sachin has achieved some feats that will probably never be equalled in cricket. he also must be applauded for his down to earth persona every time he talks to the media. watching him make a century was a treat but so to was seeing ponting, lara and kallis. and there in lies the truth. its hard to seperate tendulker from other modern greats. never mind greats from other eras like the lloyds, richards (viv and barry) etc. so how can you compare sachin to them yet alone bradman. simply you cant. unless some one can avg 100 over a prolonged carrer bradman will always be number 1 and second a can of worms open to opinion and conjecture.

Posted by redneck on (April 2, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

continued.. well if nasser hassain says so... haha isnt he the same scribe that said england to win 3-0 in new zealand and that england would struggle in india? easy to get carried away commentating what your witnessing at present when he just like us did not have the pleasure of watching bradman bat. 6) even bradman said sachin was/is better. well there is a thing called modesty and while bradman said sachin most reminded him of himself i have not read anywhere that he said sachin was better and even if he did i would a say thats more due to modesty on bradmans behalf. 7)bradman played in an amature era where sachin played in a professional one. well because spending 3 months at sea going to and coming home from england aswell as holding a job to feed your family ontop of finding time to train and play cricket would have made bradmans life so much easier than sachins. has sachin ever held a job outside of cricket? Continuing…

Posted by redneck on (April 2, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

continued if bradman had toured india back then would there have been any doubt he would have avg well over 100 instead of his 99.96? going off his 5 tests he did play against india in aus where he had to invent ways to get out like hitting his wicket on the way to avg 178.75 with 4 centuries. 4)he played in the same conditions his whole carrer. dont know why people say this? just because england and aus are not in the sub continent does not mean they therefor have the same pitches!!! infact back in bradmans time sticky wickets and minefields we just as common as batsmans paradises due to less technology available to make ideal pitches. he certainly didnt benift from ceo wickets rolled out to maximise indian tv revenue unlike a certain SRT(eg. indias last tour to NZ compaired to the one before that) lets just say new zealand bent over backwards in the hope of more indian tours!!! 5) some english comentator called nassar said sachin was better continued...

Posted by Nigah on (April 2, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Inzimam ul Haq is the only player who plays like Bradman.

Posted by tappee74 on (April 2, 2013, 0:10 GMT)

The Don was remarkable,with an avg of 99.94,and twenty nine test centuries, no one in the history of test cricket may ever touch or come close to his ultimate class. Sir Garfield Sobers is a remarkable cricketer and human being,but I am not sure if he is the close to the Don.The names are numerous,but my choice is no other than Sachin Tendulkar.

Posted by NostroGustro on (April 2, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

To those who are even arguing about who was the best, take a step back and think about this. How would your candidate fare on uncovered pitches? Not very well? Well we know a guy who averaged over 99 on those same wickets. Bradman had the most unbelievable hand-eye co-ordination which allowed him to play well in unfavourable conditions. I was told when he was growing up, he practiced by hitting a tennis ball on the full against a wall, repeatedly for hours without missing...with a stump...

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (April 1, 2013, 23:54 GMT)

There are 4 contenders for 2nd best batsman ever, each with different reasons for their selection:

George Headley - Known as "the black Bradman" for a reason, his average was astronomical, he scored a century every 4 innings and batted in a West Indies side that, other than him, was pretty weak. The only possible issue is that he only played 22 tests and his record may have gone down had he played for longer.

Jack Hobbs - In terms of longevity, there is nobody better. Mr 100 FC 100s, Hobbs averaged 50+ in all forms of the game in an era when nobody did that, and certainly not for as long. The original "Master", he was exactly that. Easily the best opening batsman of all time.

Brian Lara - If you judge every player at their best, Lara has to be top of the tree, with his 501 not out in FC cricket and 400 in tests being the best of the best. He could win a game solo, and did it regularly, in all forms. At his worst he was nowhere near as good though.

Sachin Tendulkar - A modern Hobbs.

Posted by alipaki on (April 1, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

I personally think that Inzamam was a better batsman than Javed Minadad.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (April 1, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

Hashim Amla. Next question.

Posted by Swingit on (April 1, 2013, 23:13 GMT)

Its funny how every expert on the panel here so far says Sobers was the greatest BATSMAN after the Don. Yet Saffa fans and Indians fans wont be happy until the experts do a u-turn and say it was Pollock or Sachin (in which case Indians argue he was ahead of Bradman by a mile). Listen up here, it does not matter what you few fans here say (India because of the over 1 billion will have many voices but it's all with the same blind god worship for SRT so it dont count for much) the experts were asked to chose and chose they did. Fact is Sobers was more exciting, more technically sound, more fearless and had a wider range of shots (in that regard he even surpassed the Don) than any other batsman you guys trying to compare him with. So give it up, it's the Don then SOBERS end of story!

Posted by rocket123 on (April 1, 2013, 23:11 GMT)

First, in terms of stats Bradman is by all means the greatest ever. In bodyline series, Bradman was nervous and jittery and got out for duck in the first match he played. But then he picked up and average around 56 in that series. Remember there was no protection at those times and to face fast bowlers and especially in bodyline must speak of Bradman's character, mental toughness, ability to adapt and skill. Viv is the only batsman in the modern ear not to use helmet at all not even a skull cap like Gavaskar. Viv played in varying conditions which Bradman did not face but Viv was fabulous against perhaps the finest fast bowlers of modern era. Viv finished his career avg over 50. I think Viv was aggressive, and had an aura of invincibility no matter who the bowlers are, what the conditions may be. Given the fact that Bradman avg 56 in bodyline if he had played more in varying conditions and diverse opponents then there is a possibility his avg may have been in high 60s. So Viv!

Posted by BillyCC on (April 1, 2013, 22:51 GMT)

@eternity, you're asking me to see quality cricket like Donald and Steyn vs Tendulkar. Is this quality cricket also the Umesh Yadav vs SRT net session where Tendulkar got hit on the helmet during the recent South African tour? Glad to see you avoided this issue when you were talking about the irrelevance of helmets in this discussion. So it turns out that Tendulkar would have been severely injured instead of facing Steyn in that awesome innings, if he had lived in a pre-helmet era. What does Yadav bowl in a net session with minimal run up? 125? Sounds really good quality doesn't it? Oh wait, Bowes probably bowled around 125!

Posted by JG2704 on (April 1, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

PS - Forgot to mention Greg Chappell

Posted by JG2704 on (April 1, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

@kajoli on (April 1, 2013, 17:56 GMT) I'd say the point re batsmen not being so great because of pre technology is flawed unless of course it is proven the batsmen of the past had alot of incorrect decisions (should have been out and not given) go in their favour. In fact I'd say modern technology is just as likely to help the modern batsman if he is wise with his reviews. Also can't comment on The Don having more luck with decisions so you either have great knowledge and reels of footage of his career or it's just supposition. However would certainly agree that Lara played in a lesser batting side and twice broke the world record. The 2nd time I think was against the pace attack which won back the Ashes for the 1st time in 18 years

Posted by JG2704 on (April 1, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

To be honest there are so many and it would be totally wrong of me to compare players from before I started watching cricket to those from the last 30 years or so. It's difficult to compare them all as they all have different qualities. I mean for me someone like Hussey deserves a big mention. He averaged over 50 despite nit ever scoring a double century so his average was built up from consistent performances. Someone like Lara played some huge inns which inflated his ave and also he played in a weaker WI batting side. So I reckon from the past 30 years the (int retired) int players who deserve big mentions are

AUS -Border , S Waugh ,Hayden , Ponting , Hussey INDIA -Gavaskar , Dravid , Tendulkar PAKISTAN -Javed Miandad - WI- Viv ,Lara

Future/current players/possibles

AUS -Clarke - ENG - KP , Cook, Trott IND-Sachin , Pujara , Kholi , Dharwan SA -Smith , Amla , Kallis , De Villiers SL -Jaya , Sanga , WI -Shiv

Also I wonder how Jimmy Cook may have done for SA

Posted by 200ondebut on (April 1, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

Bradman didn't like it up him - more a lack of bottle than technique. In todays game that weakness would have been exploited. KP is the best of all time.

Posted by AnkurSRTGupta on (April 1, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

One needs to look at the records of a player's performance against only 1 country to compare Bradman's records. I find it amusing that Bradman is "assumed" to be the greatest without logic. Many players have had stupendous success against a single nation and Bradman only played against England in ~90% of the matches

Posted by gotmymojo on (April 1, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

Gary Sobers is numero uno! The best batsman, greatest all-rounder and greatest cricketer of all time. Nobody could mesmerize the crowd like him. Absolute masterclass with authority. He scored runs at a fast rate, didn't care for stats or record books, entertained the crowd, only protection was gloves, box and pads. He said you don't need a helmet when you have a bat to protect yourself. He was a larger than life character. Nobody comes close even by a mile. Think of Pele, Mohammed Ali, Rod Laver, Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt and you will know what I mean.

Posted by Shan156 on (April 1, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa, lol. I am surprised that you did not say Faf Du Plessis or Alviro Petersen. Graeme Pollock played less than half the tests as Bradman and really faced only 2 countries (14 against Aus. and 8 against Eng.; only 1 against NZ and scored 53 runs in 2 innings). Bradman faced 4 countries although he played the majority against Eng. I can understand this argument for Tendulkar or Kallis but Pollock?

Posted by narenvs on (April 1, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

I would add to Martin Crowe's list two others whose last names start with H - Hobbs and Hutton. Pressed to choose the No. 2, I'd go with Hobbs as he was the dominant batsman of his period, played in a time when wickets were particularly difficult for batsmen, is said to have got out or retired many times after reaching 100, and yet averaged 56 plus. If he had tried to run up big scores always, he might have averaged 10 runs more per innings. And would have averaged 5 to 10 runs more if he had played more recently, when wickets were covered. That places him half a step ahead of Sobers, my no. 3. From all accounts, Hutton might have been no. 2 if WW II had not disrupted his career, and he hadn't had much of his career after an injury that shortened an arm. Even as it was, it's a toss-up for no. 4 between Hutton, Headley and Tendulkar.

Posted by PACERONE on (April 1, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

Did Tendulkar,Richards,Lara,Pointing and Gavaskar play on uncovered wickets? Did they play against good bowlers consistently of the quality of Miller,Lindwall,Trueman,Sratham,Jones,Brown,Snow,Underwood,Gupte Sincock,Bedi,Parsana,Venkat etc? Sobers played against those bowlers that would make any countries test team. Sobers the best bat of the lot.Did you ever see him get hit in the head like those others did?

Posted by Omarrz on (April 1, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

Bradman played mostly against England and I doubt if there used to that much pressure and scrutiny as it is now these days.

Posted by tisra on (April 1, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

In our era, the greatest 2 batsmen most wrote about might be Lara & Sachin. I read somewhere which summed it up perfectly, both of them are mountain range, but if u want to choose a range with high, unforgettably thrilling peaks which will give u the taste of wining something, choose Lara. If u want a range with broader land space with more densed peaks with a feeling of safety, choose Sachin. I choose Lara.

About batsmen of different era, I can conclude with Don's own conclusion as Hammond posted - "The champion of one era would have been the champion of any other, but he would have been called upon to vary his methods. That is my view. I think it is the only logical conclusion." To me, he's the best batsman of all time.

1. Don 2. Lara

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (April 1, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

Sorry Bradman is not the greatest, He only really played against England. Greatest batsman of all time is G.Pollock.

Posted by gsingh7 on (April 1, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

for me sachin is best ever. he played on spinning tracks low tracks high tracks against murali warne saqlain ajmal, bret lee shoaib, gillespie macgrath, imran , wasim , vaas, shakib (bangladeshi greatest bowler ever), wi- sammi, pollard, narine, nz- vettori,patel, martin, harris, sa- pollock,donalds, klusner, pat,england-- bopara, dmitri , patel, jimmy, panesar. whereas bradman played medium pacers only no spinning rank turners. who knows he wud prove to be 2 levels below hughes and ponting if he played on rank turners of india or bangladesh. he cud had average in single figures if he had faced ashwin and co on indian rank turners. sachin played like champion on all tracks.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

Kumara sangakkara. Sl

Posted by Ali_Chaudhary on (April 1, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

How is bradman the greatest??? did he ever faced a good bowler????? Richards played Lilee, Imran, Qadir, Botham, Hadlee etcc. Richards is the best. Had bradman faced those bowlers his average must had been 20+.

Posted by anilk2100 on (April 1, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

In terms of expectation, Sachin Tendulkar is by far the greatest ever batsman and next is Brian lara & 3rd is Sunil Gavaskar. Don is greatest in terms of stats and first time in his life when he was under pressure he got out on duck.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (April 1, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

Sachin> lara> gavaskar> don> richards>greg chappel> george headley> kallis> ponting> dravid

Posted by Mittaraghava on (April 1, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

I agree with Keith Miller's comment''Bradman is the greatest batsman of altime and G.Sobers ,the greatest cricketer of all time".The reasons for this has been well explained by Ian Chappel and M.Crowe.So keeping these 2 great cricketers beyond comparison,i would suggest the M.Crowe's way by selecting the best batsman of each era and selecting one to call "After Bradman and Sobers who is the greatest batsman?My choice being Gavasker,V.Richards,Tendulker and B.Lara.I would select B.Lara for 2 reasons 1.The super human concentration needed to score world record individual scores of 375,400 in tests and 500 in 1st class matches.Secondly on his day when he scored a 100plus scores ,he dominated all the best bowlers of the era without leaving a single bowler.B.Lara is indeed next only to Bradman and Sobers.

Posted by Neohartrix on (April 1, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

Who are Ian Chappell and Martin Crowe to comment about the next best batsman after Bradman? The don himself named a man.. That one proof is enough to outdo any other opinion!

Posted by kajoli on (April 1, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

In my opinion, Lara has earned the right to be considered the best batsman of all time. I even rate him above 'the Don' who had more luck with the umpire's decisions. Lara would walk even when the umpire's finger stayed down once he knew he nicked it. In these days of modern technology alot of greats prob wouldn't have been so 'great'. In saying this I'm not trying to belittle anyone's accolades or achievements, but Lara had a tough time in a not so great team, against attacks which included Murali, Warne, Mcgrath, Lee, Akram, Akhtar and he dominated.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

There are batsmen who are comparable, but there are batsmen who are rare. Those rare batsmen are the best of them all. One of the rare quality is the ability to dominate, and to what extent the batsman can dominate, and how consistently he can dominate and succeed. Don Bradman averaged almost 100 runs per innings while dominating the bowlers. He is know to have scored double hundreds and single hundreds in a day. There were not many batsmen who could bat like Vivian Richards and average 50 runs. Similarly, not many could dominate like Gilchrist and average around 50 coming at #7. No other batsmen has consistently scored big scores like Brian Lara did. No other batsman has prevailed under crisis as did Javed Miandad. So these are the batsmen who are uncomparable. Gary Sobers may be among them. So here is my list. 1. Bradman 2. Richards 3. Lara 4. Sobers 5. Gilchrist. 6.Javed Miandad 7. Barry Richards 8.George Headley 9. Graem Pollock 10. Sehwag 11. Sachin 12. Gavaskar

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

Sunil Gavaskar never played against Colin Croft in a Test match. He had some success against the Windies' fearsome quartet on flat decks in India in 1983. In the Windies against the Carribbean fearsome foursome Gavaskar fared miserably. He made tons of runs in his debut series against the Windies when they did not boast of any genuine quickie in their attack. He also scored heavily against the second string windies attack in India in 1978-79. That tells us the real story.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (April 1, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

I fail to understand the urge of ex-cricketers or writers to fall into the same trap of comparing apples with oranges. I don't believe there is an objective way of comparing players who played in completely different eras/decades. We will never ever know how Sir Don Bradman would have fared in the modern cricketing conditions or how SRT/Lara/Pointing or any other modern gr8s would have done against the same playing conditions (bowlers,venues,cricketing schedule etc.) that Sir Don faced. So, why as humans, we make this futile attempt to compare the greats of each decades is beyond me. Why don't we just enjoy what they have done for the game of cricket and leave it at that. Note that the attempt is alwys to compare batsmen and not bowlers coz it is more difficult to compare bowlers across decades /eras . All it doing is generating more discussion and sometimes ridiculous bashing of batsmen from some country (mainly SRT) and is not doing any good to the game of cricket. From an Indn fn

Posted by Boytjie84 on (April 1, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

I honestly think Kallis would be there based on batting alone! Top 5 at least....when you add in his bowling and slip catching he's probably the top cricketer of all time!

Posted by Integrity1 on (April 1, 2013, 17:30 GMT)

"Jacques Kallis is close but he doesn't qualify as a genuine new-ball bowler"-Ian Chappell What exactly defines being a "genuine new-ball bowler" Ian Chappell? Kallis can swing, seam and cut the ball. He, even at 37 years old, can still hit 140+ km per hour. Furthermore, he has close to 300 test wickets. The only reason that I can POSSIBLY understand your argument for him not being a "genuine" new-ball bowler is that Kallis was not an opening bowler. Only for the fact that South Africa had the likes of Donald, Pollock, Ntini, Steyn (all members of the 300 wicket club), Morkel and Philander bowling ahead of him. All of the aforementioned would walk into any of the world's test cricket teams. Now, I bet you if you were to reverse your criteria, Mr. Chappell, of being a genuine top-order batsman, the likes of Sobers, Gregory, Miller and Khan would not make the cut.

Posted by SG70 on (April 1, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

@Toofatforbondi

Can we see a link to this "Scientific Analysis" that proves Larwood was bowling at 100mph. AFAIK There is no such thing. But do tell.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

To me the best batsman after Bradman would have to be the great West Indian - Vivian Isaac Richards. The hallmark of a great batsman has to be the fear he instills in bowling attacks. An air where bowlers are happy to concede a single to see the other guy on strike. Viv was all that and much more.

His ability to dominate and control a game was majestic. He batted in all conditions and scored heavily and at all times entertained like none other. His mannerisms of chewing hard on his gum and never thinking about helmets while taking on the fastest bowlers on bouncy tracks were legendary but almost as brilliant was his ability to play spin on subcontinent tracks with confidence and nonchalance that was never seen before.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

I did not see many of the above but I have some idea about many innings. In my opinion the partnership between dravid and lax at calcutta is the best thing that happened to cricket and gave life to test cricket which was in bad shape those days.

Posted by Toofatforbondi on (April 1, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

Bradman on stats is untouchable. He played against the best cricketers of his generation (and look who they were...legends in the game). He played on uncovered wickets, sometimes in conditions which todays players never face. He had little protection, no helmets etc. He faced seriously fast bowlers (Larwood is estimated by scientific analysis to have bowled at near 100 mph), he averaged 56 in the Bodyline series.The no ball law then was the back foot law which meant that by time bowlers released the ball they were that much nearer to you so you had less time to react than today. And what would would Bradman have averaged if he could have faced Bangladesh and Zimbabwe? Sobers would be next and then Sachin in my book

Posted by siddhartha87 on (April 1, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

It's difficult to compare batsmen of different eras. However there is no doubt that Sir Donald Bradman is the best batsman of all time. 99.96 test average.111+ first average.Those are some serious figures.From our age i guess Brian Lara is the best test batsman.He was flashy,had the capability to win matches single handed. Viv Richards was a demolition machine back in 80's.He had one day average of 47 and strike rate rate of 90 on those days.I guess if he would have played ODI now his strike rate would have 120.He is definitely best ODI batsman of all time.Other than them from our age Ricky Ponting is the best player of pace and Tendulkar is the best player of spin.However none of them are even close to the Viv and Don.

Posted by crafty-Rabbi on (April 1, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

Bradman followed by Sobers, and Lara then Headley and Viv Richards. Next would be Hammond and Hobbs. Quite a distance below him lie Tendulkar and Ponting. The final in the list of top ten would be Graeme Pollock. Honourable mentions would be Gavaskar and Javed Miandad. Four of the top five coming from the West Indies. What an incredibly rich source of batting talent those islands have provided for us. Walcott and Weekes being two others that could almost make the list.

Posted by IPSY on (April 1, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

I still can't see why Crowe or anyone else could mention SRT before Lara as 2nd to Sir Don. Because, as I noted in an earlier submission, not only that Lara and Sir Don compete for almost all the accolades in the 51 "INCREDIBLE BATTING PERFORMANCE" records that distinguish great batsmanship; while SRT only holds "TWO OBVIOUS" ones; but other compelling records speak for themselves: SRT batted in 21 inngs before Lara played one match. But Lara was quicker than him to1000 runs (Lara 21 inngs, SRT 28). In fact, Lara is the 42nd fastest batsman to a 1000 while SRT is 178th! Lara faster to 2000 (35inngs to 44); Lara faster to 3000 (67 inngs to 86); Lara faster to 4000 (76 inngs to 86). But those days each country had world class bowling attacks. How did SRT briefly catch up with Lara? Bcause between 1998 and 2005 (except 2003), India was made to play Zim or Bang twice every year for 6 years. So, SRT made hay of that period. However, Zim exited 2005, Lara again faster to 9000, 10000 & 11000!

Posted by Nampally on (April 1, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

@Gerry-the-Merry: The point I was making re: playing with helmets is that you are guaranteed personal safety. This allows you to play fearlessly. Nari Contractor (Indian Test captain & opener) nearly died after being hit. It took him several years to regain some of his normal functions but retired him from playing. Most recently 2 weeks back, Rahane got hit ducking under a bumper from Siddle in 4th test between India & Australia. It did not affect him at all. How Lucky he was compared to Nari Contractor. Tendulkar played all his life with Helmet on as did Lara. I think Richards may have played part of his playing life with helmet. Bradman & Sobers played with no helmet or arm, thigh, chest guards on uncovered pitches with unknown bounce day to day. Also playing bodyline bowling with so little protection is an exceptional feat in itself let alone the safety aspects! This additional safety features + pampered lives of the modern cricketer must have a "degree of Ease Factors" in ratings.

Posted by SG70 on (April 1, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

@ ObjectiveCricketism

Take a look at Sobers List-A record. This is the Limited overs (60-65 ovrs) matches that he played in england. The numbers are hardly impressive.

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (April 1, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

Nampally, Tendulkar got hit on the head latest season by Brett Lee (one day match), Stuard Broad and Peter Siddle (tests) during our famous 8-0 defeats. I wonder where people who value playing on uncovered pitches and facing quicks without helmets would place him.

I personally rate Richards as the #2 since he really did build up ego battles against the best quicks - there are just too many examples. Devon Malcolm created havoc in West Indies, but at the age 39 without helmets, Richards dismantled him (though there was a top edge). Then his clash in 1977-78 v/s Thommo where he hit 19 runs in an over but was out hooking. Crashing Willis in 1980. Imran writes with awe about 1976-77 "go back to your mark else i will shove this bat down your throat" forcing Imran to bowl short and hooking him.

Sobers faltered in Australia in a weakened West Indies in 1968 etc. He did well in England, but seemed below par in Oz. But 254 at MCG and 1966 in England cannot be equalled by anyone.

Posted by nambiar.s on (April 1, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is the greatest Cricketer ever to wield the willow. The talent and skill he has is scores.. miles ahead of any one who ever played. Look... i would say Australia's greatest Batsmen are of this order. Mathew Hayden, Micheal Hussey and Ricky Ponting. Hussey and Hayden being the greatest as they would have achieved more, had they got a chance to play earlier. Tendulkar Played in All conditions, against All teams, against ALL of the Greatest bowlers - Muttaiah, Mc Grath, Wasim, Waqar, Brett Shoaib. Steyn etc. Most of ALL he played under the "BUrden Of a Billion". Bradman is a wild speculation.. a fantasy..... Tendulkar is UNDENIABLE.

Posted by ProdigyA on (April 1, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

Never had the opportunity of watching Sobers live but after so much praise for him here on cricinfo, I thot I should watch a few videos of him. For me, he looked very much like Sehwag but without the helmet. Not a lot of footwork but great hand eye coordination and basically smashing anything in his zone and felt like he did not have a lot of respect of the cricket ball very much like Sehwag.

Posted by SG70 on (April 1, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

@Billy you don't get it ... A slow medium bowler like Bowes is a species that has been rendered extinct by ravages of TIME. Such bowlers wont get to bowl in nets today. That is the cold hard truth. Whether Bradman spanked such a bowler is immaterial because with the benefit of hindsight we know that it isnt anywhere remotely close to quality cricket. If you want to see quality cricket go watch AD vs SRT , or Steyn vs SRT or Warne vs SRT or Lara vs murali or etc ... Why ? Because of the skill level needed in negotiating such supreme bowlers backed by unreal fielding. This is quality cricket. And no amount of Mathematical sophistry can quantify this. What your math has suggested is that Bowes = AD . Thats just appalling to put it mildly.

Posted by Beazle on (April 1, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

It amusing to see the outrage from young Indian fans not only that some people think that Tendulkar is not even number 2, but that HE should be number 1.

Having seen all the best players of the past 50 years, I can assure them that Sobers and Viv Richards were both superior to Sachin (as frankly, was Lara) and none of these fine players should be mentioned in the same street as the immortal Bradman.

Posted by IPSY on (April 1, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

Ian, as usual: you're short, sweet,"incredibly accurate", objective and seeming not to have any concealed agenda. Quite different from Mr Crowe who always tries to mention SRT in big things, apparently because of his personal likeness for him - a likeability earned by SRT's via his impeccable self deportment on a cricket field - rather than his comparative expertise with the many whose performance records show that they're better than him by far. Example, on Sept 6, 2012, Mr Crowe seemed to cook the books with graphics of the performance records of the so called great batsmen of the modern era, after their 35th b/day - comparing them with those of the peerless Sir Don. But seemingly, he deliberately omitted the records of Kallis who averaged 75.75 in 25 inngs at that time, after his 35th b/day on Oct.16, 2010; but showed SRT's average (54.36 in 76 inngs) as second to Bradman's105.72 in 23 inngs. Mr Crowe's conspicuous omission of Kallis' record in that article seemed agenda-led! Cont'd

Posted by henchart on (April 1, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

Bradman is the greatest batsman followed by SRT. Sobers is the greatest cricketer. Kallis comes second to Sobers ,as a complete cricketer.SRT of 1990s was devastating .No doubt Lara made big hundreds but Lara was vulnerable early in his innings but not SRT.The elbow injury at the turn of the millennium eroded SRT 's skills and probably prompted a change of approach.Even Bradman had gone on record saying SRT resembled him as batsman.Which better judge is required to confirm SRT's supremacy as a batsman?

Posted by bigpunrulz on (April 1, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

Ian Chappell, how can you say that Kallis is not a genuine front line bowler, he hasn't had the chance to shine with other top quality quicks in the side during his career. Remember THAT ball he got Ponting out with in the recent series, when one of the quicks got injured early on. Oh, and he does it at the age of 37.

Posted by drsuso on (April 1, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

Sorry guys, the question is who is the next best batsman after Don. Lara is better than Don. So Lara is not in the list. Thank you.

Posted by cricart on (April 1, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

LARA - hands down ! He's a a class act, technically 'near' perfect, and a treat to watch ! He's right up there with Bradman !

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

I meant Headley in my previous comment. The error is regretted.

Posted by cricket-india on (April 1, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

the fact of sobers bowling, fielding and captaining does not add to the fact of his being a great bastman. it's like saying himesh reshammiya is a better singer than mohd rafi because the former also acted in films and scored music while the latter was 'only' a singer. the question here is who next after bradman as a batsman...concluding that sobers is it is fine if you like his batting, but to say sobers is it because the man also bowled, fielded and captained is not valid. personally for me, the best after bradman is lara.

Posted by Denor on (April 1, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

When the batsmen are compared for the greatness, how can anyone forget Tendulkar, once appreciated so much by Bradman himself. When all formats of the cricket come in mind, Tendulkar obviously becomes the first choice after Bradman. He ruled the cricketing world starting from classical age to the modern and even no less in T20s. Most centuries in both of the formats, most runs in both of the formats, itself shows how great he is. If Tendulkar is criticised for a few reasons then if we look at all other choices, they will be having very much points. Having consistent for more than 20 years is another great landmark he has otherwise we have seen many talents compared better than Bradman and goes away after a few years.

If we don't be partial and judge the next after Bradman, there is no choice other than Tendulkar.

Posted by Nampally on (April 1, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

@David Judge: I fully agree with you, David. I had written just as much in defence of the great Don - uncovered pitches, Travel by Ships, very little protective gear, poor food/fee, etc. However the modern age focuses more on "quantity than quality". These old timers played cricket in almost primitive conditions compared to pampered modern facilities with 75M boundaries. My estimate of Larwood is that he bowled well over 100 MPH. At the end of each match he was drained. He had to take a long break after the test series. In order to bowl rising deliveries so consistently aimed at the body one has to be accurate & really fast. That itself is a feat. Fastest bowlers today are around 90 MPH. Without Helmet, N.Contractor of India got hit on the head ducking under a bumper that nearly killed him. Rahane of India got hit on the head with helmet & carried on as normal. When you are safe, your confidence is 10 times greater! Excellent food, medical & physio of modern era was totally absent!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

Although Bradman looks unreachable, Lara would be a worthwhile candidate for the next best. The less number of NO's, both in tests and FC; massive scores, distributed rather evenly across major venues, and featuring major bowlers; some breathtaking and miraculous innings... all these qualify him for that distinction. Sobers, Hobbs or Headingley ... look great; but then my knowledge of them is a bit second-hand. (Bradman's stats, however, are beyond any skepticism; he's best described in the article, "Five cricketers...", below his profile herein: "Sir Donald George Bradman was, without any question, the greatest phenomenon in the history of cricket, indeed in the history of all ball games.")

Posted by NotU on (April 1, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

Also Greg Chappell's efforts in the Super Tests far outweigh anything Sunni achieved.

Posted by A_S_M on (April 1, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

I think Zaheer Abbas deserves a certain mention for the 2nd best (after perhaps Bradman) as truly he was nicknamed 'The Asian Bradman' in his time!

Posted by NotU on (April 1, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

Crowe exaggerates Sunni's achievements against the WIPO. He actually only scored 1 century against them. 147 in the rained out draw Test 3 on India's tour of West Indies, 1982/83. A better candidate from the era would be Border who faced far better Windies attacks in over 30 tests. Sunni faced relatively weak bowling in his Tests against the Windies.

Posted by Nampally on (April 1, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

Gary Sobers is my choice for the greatest batsman, if Don was the best! A kid from poor background with no coaching & living in segregation era could rise to such dizzy heights is a huge lesson for rest of the world. He had flair, pinnache, style & skill. He was brutal when needed with wrists of iron. I will never forget his SIX over the sight screen of the back foot off MacKiff, bowling with second new ball in the Aussie-WI 1960 Test series! This was on a 85 M boundary! Bradman might have averaged 99.9 but even the great Don could not match Sobers' style with stiff collar, 360 degree bat swing. Sobers broke Len Hutton's 364* Test record & set his own with over1000 run Test series & 6 Sixers in an over on different occasions. He was a complete Cricketer whether batting, bowling, fielding or catching. He could swing the game around in matter of an hour or two with superlative performance. No wonder even Miller called him the greatest Cricketer ever if not the greatest batsman Ever!

Posted by srnimani on (April 1, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

It is a hard to compare folks across multiple generations. But to me, anyone who has played the fast bowlers w/o a helmet and on unprotected wickets, is the one who deserves to be in this list.. I do not see anyone beyond Sobers, Pollack and Gavaskar.. Sorry, Sachin..

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (April 1, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Hillbumper - you are wrong. I am Indian, and only Tendulkar has the unique forever unbreakable record of scoring his 100th century against Bangladesh, and his highest score of 248* also against them, averages 136 against them (higher than Bradman). Against Sri Lanka in tests, when they did not have Murali in the attack, he scored @97. Against Zim in tests, 97. What more can one ask for? These are the opposition teams which India could have defeated anyway, so he has contributed in the right context too. This is the problem with writers like Chappell - they don't crunch their numbers accurately. Indians and Indian commentators are correct in praising Tendulkar to the point of nausea - even if it involves running down their own past greats, and greats from other countries. My top 7 batsmen would be Gavaskar, Hutton, Bradman, Richards, Sobers, Pietersen and Gilchrist.

Posted by kitten on (April 1, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

As much as I feel Bradman was the best batsman ever, I can't help but think that he never played in different parts of the world, under different conditions etc, and only played approx 100 tests. So logistically speaking, it is easier to have a good average, under certain conditions only, over 100 tests than over a much longer period of 200 tests, like Tendulkar is near to. So let us not forget Tendulkar's achievements, while acknowledging Bradman.

Sobers, without a doubt, was in my opinion, the best cricketer that ever lived. I saw a few of his games when I was young, and there wasn't anything that he couldn't do, as Ian Chappell very rightly say. Fantastic memories.

Posted by naz139 on (April 1, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

I also know of a cricketer who did ok..I think his name is Brian Charles Lara..he scored massive runs in trying conditions, against some of the most outstanding bowlers ever, Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain, Kumble, Warne, Murali, Mcgrath, Lee, Donald, Pollock etc in a team where he was not supported by lesser batsman..in my mind the greatest Bastman is lara, I saw him and his contempries play and he was the best out of a talented lot..A Pakistan fan, so no bias here!

Posted by Dashgar on (April 1, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

@jojygeorge, Bradman actually averaged more in body line than any of the other players mentioned in this article averaged in their career. If he played now the bowlers could study him, that's true, but he would have far more weapons up his disposal such as protective equipment, advanced bats, elite training and covered pitches. No matter how you break it down nobody could produce an argument that Bradmans average would drop by 45 if he played in another era, that's like saying Hobbs would have averaged in the teens.

Posted by Dashgar on (April 1, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

@everyone questioning Bradman for not playing 100+ tests, not touring India, not playing ODIs and T20s etc do you really believe his average would have dropped anymore than say 20? Cos then he's still easily best ever. Also how would modern day players go without helmets, terrible quality bats and pads, uncovered pitches, having to go by boat to tour another country? Would their averages really improve because they weren't under the stress of making millions of dollars and not being on TV? Bradman's average may have been lower in the modern age, it also may have been higher. He's considered the best ever by experts for a reason, every stat and every line of thinking that makes sense confirms he's the best.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Shall start with this:all the names that have been brought up, and are being discussed they are all awesome players.Each one a true great in his own right. It's quite a task to pick the greatest out of them.They all played during different eras,in different kinds of conditions and situations with a lot of things changing around them in the game they loved.From batting gear,to technological improvements in analysis,to nature of wickets,quality of opposition faced,introduction of new rules and new forms of cricket,a lot did really change. So it does make sense to have the best(and this will be a personal decision purely) from each era,and then see how the field is and make a decision or just leave it at that.By that token of logic I kind of agree with Martin Crowe's choices.

Posted by lebigfella on (April 1, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

For a fair and accurate assessment of the other true greats (but this really should also include Sobers) all innings' permeations must be considered: opponents, quality of attack, pitch, match situation, other players' innings etc. etc. Just as we now rate current test match cricketers. But over an entire career. Sadly as the level of information at test math level is more detailed than many other first class matches we may have to only include test batsmen (and set a mimum number of innings) thus Barry Richards will miss out. The next question is this: Are statistics as detailed above the best way to guage the true 'greatness' or do we add aesthetics, sentiment & the hero status? If so my greatest would be... IVA Richards... in his pomp just his saunter to the wicket excited ALL watching... This is the beauty of cricket, so much to throw into the cauldron.

Posted by hhillbumper on (April 1, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

to all the Indian fans saying Bradman did not tour there.His average would have been a lot higher and he did not play them because he thought they were not ready for test cricket. Somethings never change!!!

Tendulkar is not even the best batsman of his era and has never played a match winning innings so why the big hoo haa about a flat track stat hunter?

Posted by BillyCC on (April 1, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

@eternity, why do I need to answer the question of how Bowes got away with a Test average of 22? It's common sense, he was a good bowler. If Bradman wasn't around, Bowes would have averaged below 20. As I said previously, batsmen and bowlers have adapted together for the most part of this century and the contest between bat and ball has been even. If you really think Bowes was awful, then the batsmen were awful too. But Bradman averaged 40 runs better than the second best. See Hammond's featured comment. Extending this, an outlier in one era can be an outlier in another era. And the starting points are very similar. Back in th 1930s and 1940s, an average of 50 was considered very good. Today, the benchmark has not changed. The contest between bat and ball continues to be preserved. There were two potential situations that threatened the balance towards the bowlers (Bodyline in the 30s and unlimited bouncers in the 70s and 80s). Both were regulated against.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

To add many points against bradman , he only played on 15 odd grounds , mostly against 2 -3 teams , plus many teams at that time were novice plus obviosly poor cricketing standards with no technology

He is not in top 5-6 even , Tendulkar is way way above with 30000 runs , 100 tons , and played under immense pressure throughout his career for India.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

I hope it is not article for April 1 , is chappel making us April Fool by calling Bradman best ....ha ha ha

Well Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman ever !!

Bradman does not come close to him at all , a man with mere 52 tests , 29 100s can not be even compared to a man with 100 international 100s and 198 tests till now. plus sensational public and media glare.

Bradman played in the easiest time with no media glare and no technology and no publc pressure plus he was never tested , 52 test only , may be after 150 tests he would be averaging 40 odd , well he was not in top 5-6 of all time , leave alone top.

Just Australians can say he is best ,Sachin rules .

Posted by SGopal65 on (April 1, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

This is a meaningless discussion. The question could have been who is the best after Bradman and Sobers. That would have thrown up more names, and interesting disagreements between different writers or players. Perhaps you could alter the terms of the discussion on the suggested lines at least now, so that we do not need to read the name of Sobers several more times.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Well you all have obviously forgotten about the best of all Jacques Kallis, there is no better cricket player than him. He is the greatest cricketer ever.

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 1, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Uncovered pitches... Bodyline series... Facing larwood and such... Didn't play in the stereotypical "prime years" because of WW2, and he still finished a career with an average of 99.94... How is it even possible that some are saying that this player is better than the great don? The next best average is low 60's.. Not even a comparison.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (April 1, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

For those of us who have seen all the great batsmen since the mid 1950's, the answer is pretty easy. Sir Garfield Sobers was an absolute genius whose batting was better than all who have come after him. He never batted for averages. Had he done so, he would have averaged over 70 in his day and probably over 80 in the current batsmen friendly era.

As a batsman, he would easily have been king of the shorter formats also and he would have made someone like Chris Gayle look slow by comparison. Alas so many people commenting here did not see him bat and will not understand what I mean. Good job Ian Chappell played with and against the great man.

Posted by Yuwe_fans on (April 1, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

Did bradman palyed in sub continent condition. otherwise its just like ranji trophy average he have

Posted by PadMarley on (April 1, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

In fact there is only one Batsmen who conquered WIs [Garner,holding, Malcolm, Robert, Croft, Early Ambrose and Walsh], Australian [Lillee, Thompson], and Pakistan [Imran and Early Wasim]. That is SUNIL GAVASKAR! No Other batsmen from any era can have the same claim!! "Its the number of rough seas conquered, that makes a great sailor, and NOT the number of times you have conquered the same sea" Bradman ... Sobers ..!! yes you were greats, not doubt...but Sorry to say... top two spots in history are NOT booked by default to you both!!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

If you have to use test averages alone, then Graeme Pollock has the highest after Bradman!! His average of 60.97 speaks for itself, and if he had been able to play more than 23 tests, he would have averaged more, for sure!! My pick for the best left-handed batsman ever.

Posted by ZA77 on (April 1, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

No doubt, Bradman is one of the best test batsman. For those who argue for bodline series that his 56 is better than Tendulkar 53, how you know that which one is better. It is not good idea to compare two different eras. Just suppose, if Bradman is best among his peer, does it mean that Tendulkar is only equal to his peer. how you know that. Tendulkar has not any lacking in his technique while playing against 60 bowlers who took 100 or more as compare to Bradman six on ten grounds. Eddie Gilbert, Eric Hollies, Ian Peebles and also Verity at once after rain troubled him. Whatever he achieved, it is different era. When ask Sober who is best, he said Gavaskar. Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Nasir Hussain, Hanif Mohammad and so many others believe that Tendulkar is the best among all. What is his strenght 20 times 150 or plus, then 51 centuries and then 118 times 50 or plus score in test cricket plus his 11 hundreds against Australia.

Posted by MiddleStump on (April 1, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Bradman, Headley, Sobers, Tendulkar in that order though I never saw Bradman or Headley play. These four are a cut above the rest. And for those who think Tendulkar was helped by flat indian pitches, there were 21 others in every match he played who also batted on those same pitches and failed to match his scoring.

Posted by Timmuh on (April 1, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

Best batsman after Bradman, Tendulkar. And by a reasonable margin. He is well behind Bradman though. Sobers as the best cricket er ever is arguable. Him or Bradman.

Uncovered pitches and less worry about the surface after weather delays, no easy games against minnows, few sightscreens, fences on many grounds rather than ropes making griunds much larger and matchsticks for bats compared to recent lumps of willow looking more like half a tree than a bat. And, with all that against him, averaging nearly 50% better than any other player who played a significant amount of games. All that sets the Don above even Tendulkar.

Posted by AnishSomani on (April 1, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

@cricindian.com Bradman is the best as he had to play with Bodyline bowling against which he averaged 58(higher than Sachin's overall average) on uncovered pitches.Also his prime was halted by World War 2 otherwise he would have an average of over 100

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Lara must be a front runner here. His style is suited to a winning team rather than a losing one. Still he was exceptional. At least he tends to score big when set; a quality that eludes some greats like Ponting or Kallis. Yes, among the ones I watched, Lara looked the distant second best, after the miracle called Bradman. BTW, Clarke is also capable of surprising many.

Posted by liz1558 on (April 1, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Has Ian Chappell ever written an article without taking a side-swipe at Sir Geoffrey? Simple fact: if Boycs was not a great batsman, he was at least a bettr batsman than Chappell.

Posted by himanshu.team on (April 1, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

It has to be Sachin and Sachin ONLY. Which other player has EVER earned the kind of praise from the Don himself? He has seen them all play and chose to highlight on Tendulkar as the one who reminds him of himself.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (April 1, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

its never fair to compare cricketers of different generations , but Don Bradman must have been that damn good to average almost 100 playing on uncovered pitches , WITHOUT HELMET , no rules restricting number of short balls , no leg side field restrictions and with much less efficient bats and equipments. so i guess it fair he is considered as the best.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (April 1, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

@Mukul.Sabhani, I agree with you. It seems that for some, playing against the same team with average bowlers again and again and again on similar pitches for the entire career and scoring big runs is a yardstick to be considered as the BEST!! Can't stop laughing.....Tendulkar and others like Lara, Kallis etc are easily better than Bradman.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

If Sachin Tendulkar has only played test cricket he would averaged 100!. In his prime his technique is better than that of Sunil Gavaskar's. Sachin has the technique to survive & attack bowlers like Roberts, Holding , Marshall , Imran or whoever it may be.

Posted by cricindian.com on (April 1, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

It is amazing that when Indian fans are presenting a case for "Sachin to be considered as the GREATEST EVER" they are shot down by saying that these arise out of patriotism, hero worship, blind affection etc... However, players of other nationality who are worse than Sachin and other modern players are considered GREAT only because arguments in their support are being put forward by people other than people of Indian nationality/origin. Friends, Hadlee,Bob Willis, Naseer Hussain, Viv Richards, Hanif Mohammad have all at different times clearly stated that "Sachin is the GREATEST BATSMAN EVER" . Frankly, I do not expect say any Aussies to say any thing other than "Don is the best' ......i would put this down to patriotism, hero worship, blind affection etc

Posted by TATTUs on (April 1, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

In my view Its Bradman, Sobers, Hobbs, Tendulkar as top 4. For me George Headly, Pollock, Barry Richards dont qualify as they have not played enough TEST cricket. So, as unfortunate as it is, I dont think you can judge a batsman without having played at the highest level for long. I dont think Packers cricket or other first-class cricket can be a good to judge. Gavaskar didnt score much against the fast bowlers of the West Indies. He scored in 71' when WI had none of them and after which Loyd built a team. I think the best batsman thing depends on consistency and consistency at the highest level in different conditions and different challenges. These four qualify according to me. Otherwise when Roy Freidrichs was scoring his 169, no other batsman ever was better than him during that innings.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

Without a doubt, it is Sachin Tendulkar! Try being at the top of your game for 23 years. Owning every record in the book. Battring under immense pressure every time he walks out to the middle. Perfect batting technique - against spin, pace, in the sub continent, outside the subcontinent against the best opposition and then multiply this by 23. Magical strokes, off the front foot, off the back foot. Can destroy an attack in the same way that he can grind an attack. Lara has never been a match winner - only six of his hundreds have ever been in a winning cause. Tendulkar's ODI exploits also need mention - a 200 in a single innings! 18000 runs! 100 international hundreds, a world cup champion! Rated by Bradman and most of his contemporaries as the best of all time. And for those talking about "flat" Indian tracks, they clearly are not connoisseurs of test matches else they would be aware of the challenges for batsmen in scoring runs on turning tracks. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, take a bow.

Posted by DavisL on (April 1, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

It is just beyond me that Bradman is spoken of by some people (Aussies mainly) as the greatest batsman! Just consider this stats which is stunning....Sachin and other modern batsmen have played more than 52 bowlers with a strike rate of less than 60 in their career whereas Bradman played just 6 bowlers with a strike rate of less than 60 in their career...please check cricinfo records for yourselves. Some people are just kidding themselves if they think Bradman would average 99 if he had played now. And for people arguing about the quality of bowlers during Bradman's time, here is a simple but telling statistic..almost all the bowlers of Bradman's era have a poor strike rate compared to the bowlers of the last 30 to 40 years...please check cricinfo records again. And to say that Bradman's era was played on uncovered pitches....just tells you the quality of bowlers during his time b'coz uncovered pitches should result in much better strike rates...isn't it? Sachin has to be the best!!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/52946.html?class=1;home_or_away=2;template=results;type=allround

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html?class=1;home_or_away=2;template=results;type=allround

SRT has better records in OZ, ENG, PAK and NZ. That speaks all!

I respect Sir Gary Sobers highly but it is not fair to say that he was a better 'batsman' than Sachin Tendulkar for records speak more loud and clear. Tendulkar too has performed consistently against Akram, McGrath, Warne, Murali, Lee, Akhtar, Donald and many other champion bowlers in a generation when fielding standards, field placements and video analysis is highly superior. Records speak for his achievements. Add 18400+ ODI runs and you'll get to know why he and no-one else is known as GOD of cricket!

As a cricketer, I believe Kallis is second to none. And records speak for him!

Posted by Mukul.Sabhani on (April 1, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

Comment Part 1 Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps I am not, Also Many wont like these 3 comments as well but nevertheless Read on if u want to :

What i Don't Understand is a simple logic : Why is Don Bradman considered as the Greatest ever? Consider This : Bradman played 52 tests over a period of 20 years (minus the 6 yrs of world war 2), that is14 years for 52 tests that's about 4 tests a year. Now The question is : If a player played 4 tests a year against the same opposition & the same bowlers and virtually the same type of pitches/conditions for 20 years....wouldn't he avg 99 ?? Yes we can argue if that was the case why don't others of his time have the same avg. But then again bradman was a special talent, if everyone had the same talents in this world, wouldn't earth be a heaven to live in ? (Next Comment Please)

Posted by Mukul.Sabhani on (April 1, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

Cont'd Part 2 : Now consider this , Tendulkar is in his 23rd year : he has played 198 tests + 463 odis during that time..that accounts for abt 9 tests and 21 ODI's per year, this is almost 3 times the cricket Bradman played in 1 year....that along with the fact he played in 12+ countries (Most countries alien to his home conditions : which btw bradman never did...yes there is a diff b/w English vs Australian conditions, but not more than Indian vs Australian/English or South african Conditions).

He Also played far more different types and variety of bowlers, travelled more in 1 year than bradman did in 20 years of cricket and yet he scored so many runs : 33k+. Yes, then a point would arise: Anybody who has played for so long could have done that, then my dear please tell me why hasn't anybody played for that long ??? U require special skill and talent for that... (Next Comment Please)

Posted by Mukul.Sabhani on (April 1, 2013, 8:23 GMT)

Cont'd Part 3 : Also another argument i read somewhere : Nowdays the bowlers are not of the standards of 70's and 80's, that my dear is not true : Mcgrath, Warne, Steyn, Pollock, Ambrose, Walsh, Muralidharan, Akram, Waqar, Akhtar, Bond can match any crop of bowlers across the Cricket's history, and yet he hammered them all....Even if u say no the earlier crop was better and these are not...then why in hell does not anybody else has 100 Centuries ???

This is a fight in which we can go on and on and on....but we will never have any proper answers to.....who knows had bradman played in this era he might not have been so great or perhaps he would have been...or maybe had sachin played in bradman's era his avg would have had been more than 100 or perhaps not....

Fact is you cannot compare players from different era's: Just like there is no one like 99Avger Bradman, there is No one Like 100 Century maker Sachin Tendulkar and there never will be !!!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 8:23 GMT)

Great thoughts...Only fair to see Sir Gary Sobers being picked as next best to the greatest.But i just like to emphasise a bit more on the "Atlas",the great George Headley.Both Mr.Chappell & Mr.Crowe have mentioned that Headley was the next best batsman to Bradman at his era.But just to add to that point, imagine how tough it was for a young black guy to get into the team keeping in mind the race prejudices prevalent in the carribean at that time. Hence its safe to say that he was the 1st great black cricketer, and a hero for the common black people at that time( including the 3 Ws & the great Sobers).And no doubting his abilities with the willow as the aussies found out about his on-side play in 1931 & his statistics on wet wickets was even better than the Don...! So all these included & when the 'inspiration' factor comes into play Headley may even be on par with the great Bradman...

Posted by SG70 on (April 1, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

@BillyCC ... I did answer your "Math" question by pointing out Bowes record. Iam awaiting your response on how a slow medium pacer like Bowes got away with a stunning avg of 22. ( FC avg of 16.73 LoL) And here is a bit of prediction : you will never ever answer that question directly. Instead yo will resort to rhetoics such as what will people think of Tendulkar in future if and when the game improves. If you think the game will change to such an extent wherein a bowling avg of 22 is achieved by bowlers who bowl at 1.5 times the speed of Allan Donald then you just simply dont understand the mechanics of fast bowling. (AD bowls at approx 1.5 times as fast as Bowes with far more control and variations at that speed ) . But both have same avg.

Posted by Cricrazyindian on (April 1, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

No doubt Rahul dravid is the 2nd best

Posted by Alexk400 on (April 1, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

For me if kallis or dravid played in those 1940s they would have had 150 average not 100s. I think calling Don bradman greatest batsman is a joke like babe ruth was greatest baseball player. There are few who wanted "their" people to be number one. I think some time avergae tells the real story in that bradman batted against really worst bunch of bowlers and fielders. Instead of saying who is greatest batsman after 1960s is better than saying who is better after donbradman which makes donbradman as a reference which no one know about except hearsay. I think it is injustice to compare averages.I feel context in which they scored runs very important. Gavaskar great series in West indies against best of best. Gavaskar probably best against fast bowlers but did he win the game for his team , can a batsman win for a team? For me batsman may not able to win for the team but he can draw the game atleast. Without context comparing batting skills are useless.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

Dinesh kartik is the next best batsman after Bradman ,But Tendulkar is the above Brademan

Posted by Advin on (April 1, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

I really get sick and tired hearing my fellow Indians question Bradman's unquestioned position as the greatest batsmen ever.Yes,he played in a different era but if batting was easier then,how come nobody during his time or earlier, came remotely close to his average? Even if you subtract 25 runs per innings from Bradman to allow for a supposedly inferior era,he still would be comfortably ahead of his nearest opponent.The fact is that all factors even out over time so that across eras the achievements are nearly the same which is evidenced by all great batsmen bar one averaging betwen 50 and 60 across generations.

This proposition that Bradman has not proved himself in the subcontinent is not a disqualifier.All great batsmen across eras with the possible exception of Ponting have distinguished themselves in the subconinent ( Sobers, Weekes,Richards,Kallis,Lara,etc) while some like Andy Flower,Cook,Jimmy Adams and so on have 'Bradmanesque' averages.

Posted by Princepurple1979 on (April 1, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

Did I miss something out or Ian Chappel forgot to take the name of the best batsman of our generation; Brian Lara? Considering the huge scores he achieved and the conditions under which he had to do that (being part of one of the worst test teams ever, which Sachin, Sobers or Punting never had to face), I would definitely put Lara much ahead of Sachin and a little ahead of Richards & Gavaskar. I have never seen Sobers / Bradman bat, so I will not comment anything on that. But for heavens sake i really feel sad when even veteran cricketers are falling to the marketing bandwagon and putting Sachin at such a high pedestal! The guy hasn't got even a single innings where he pulled the team to victory single handedly, hasn't scored a single triple hundred even after 200 test matches; is a nervous wreck and failure when ever India has to chase . If it hadn't been for the flat tracks of India & SL where he played mostly he wouldn't have got this average also!

Posted by Paulk on (April 1, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

I have not seen Bradman or Sobers play. By virtue of his astounding average (almost twice as good as the next best) makes him a not just the best in cricket but likely the most dominating sportsperson in his chosen sport than any other. A freak occurrence. It does not matter whether I have seen him play or not. But for everyone else who are on a comparable playing field, I can only say that Viv Richards is the best I have seen and that's good enough for me. In an era of relatively sedate scoring rates, high class fast bowlers, no helmets and bat technology far behind modern day ones, his strike rates and fearlessness was astonishing to me and far ahead of his time.

Posted by jackthelad on (April 1, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

Tendulkar is not of this company - we're talking about Trumper, Hobbs, Bradman, Headley ... real champions.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (April 1, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

re -All the Indian fanatics of Tendulkar -not all but quite a few of Indian fans are! -It is easy for your biases to lead to not accepting the Don as the best but it does not in any way change widely accepted facts all over the cricket world of Sir Don being the undisputed best of all... No matter T'kar fans arguments in claiming him the best has just as much real meaning as the numerous 100s he scored vs minnows -Bang, Zim,..and on the flattest of tracks in Ind. None whatsoever. Also considering that he has been a total failure and has no real inngs of substance when the teams needs most which Dravid and Laxman did quite often his standing even among modern greats comes a few rungs below Lara ,Punter, Kallis and even a few others . Not even among best of his time how does he even have claim to being the best or even the next best after Sir Don??

Posted by jackthelad on (April 1, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

According to every cricketer whose opinion is of value and who had the opportunity of seeing him, the greatest batsman of all time was Victor Trumper.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (April 1, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Bradman is considered greatest by AUs and ENg people bcoz he was from AUS and scored all his runs against ordinary ENG team. Any batsman from todays era wiuld be better than the myth called bradman

Posted by landl47 on (April 1, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

We've now had three contributors to this series from among the professionals. All of them have chosen Garry Sobers as the best batsman they have ever seen (all you people arguing about Don Bradman never saw him play, so how can you say how good he was?. Personally, I only like to comment about the players I've seen).

Like the professionals, I saw Sobers play and, like all of them, he was the best batsman I've ever seen. He could play any type of game, from immovable defence in a test match to being the first person to hit every ball of a 6-ball over for 6. He had no weaknesses against any type of bowling or on any type of pitch. He could not be contained if he decided to score fast and he could not be got out if he decided to stay in. Had he played for his average instead of for the benefit of his team and the entertainment of the fans, he could certainly have raised his average by 15-20 an innings.

Everyone who saw him play will tell you the same thing.

Posted by anand.ram.nathan on (April 1, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

At first i wouldn't agree to the statement that Sir Don Bradman is the greatest batsman ever. Firstly because we cannot compare batsmen from different era only on statistics and averages. The conditions in which Bradman played his cricket is very much different from those in which Kallis (for example) plays. Even the bats and balls used in different era are different. So its pointless to compare different players from different eras and rather accept the greatness of each of them. Secondly Bradman never played ODIs. We all know that test cricket is the ultimate test for anybody in the game but as far as i'm concerned ODI cricket adds a new dimension to batsmanship and that's why i choose LITTLE MASTER SACHIN TENDULKAR as the best batsman of his era as he has achieved quite a lot in both the forms of cricket. And i'd consider Kallis as the best all rounder of the modern era. my conclusion would be not to compare batsmen from different eras but respect what they've done for the game.

Posted by Apocalypse_EX on (April 1, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

@vish2020 like most people say remove the sub-continental bias. Bradman played till he was 38 and still was a terror to bowlers. He played against bowlers whose averages were below 20. He also scored 715 runs in 5 matches (6 innings) against India with 4 centuries and 1 fifty at an average of 178. I doubt his stats would be poorer for playing in India.

Posted by Kieran_ on (April 1, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

@Nadeem1976 who said "I think Tendulkar is greatest cricketer ever by any record and respect"

I know you must be really proud to be Indian (as I am) and take joy in the fact that Tendy is the highest run scorer ever and has achievements that likely no one will ever match, but you need to take statistics with a grain of salt, because comparing the game of cricket in today's day with other decades is not equitable and not fair. Other players in previous generations simply had less cricket games to play, with different bats, balls and pitches. There was less money to play for, so arguably cricketers may not have had the same intense lifelong devotion to cricket that today's players do. If tendulkar played through Bradman's era, you cannot guarantee that he would succeed at the same level he does now. And to sum it all up, you CANNOT just compare cricketers from different generations on statistics like that!

Posted by the_blue_android on (April 1, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

Without a doubt, Bradman is a myth created by the Aussies and the English. These are the same people who will talk about Flintoff as the best all-rounder and romanticize everything in about 20-30 years time. We all know he has three 5 wicket hauls in his entire career.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Please don't talk about Tendulkar. He is not a match winning batsmen and he is not a team player. He will not even rank in top 20. Bradman is the best maintaining such average is astonishing. He maintained the average because there was no bouncer argument, its all crap. He was playing with less protection on a open wicket. Modern players are fully protected with all gears and still shiver against the real fast bowlers. Sobers, Gavaskar, Richards, etc are way ahead of Tendulkar.

Posted by b4u8me2 on (April 1, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

Any batsman that can score a century, double century, triple century, quadruple century and a quintuple century must be the best batsman of his era. When one man can make a score in one innings that an entire team will make in two innings, he has to be one of the greatest of all times. When a man plays in one of the weakest batting teams and still manage to be a runs machine he has to be one of the best ever. Tendulkar score small centuries and then he gets out. If u had to chase 500 runs to win and ur team is 150/9 and Lara is still batting u got the feeling that if that last man holds on that 500 runs can be chased. Brian Lara has to be considered greater than Tendulkar. Tendulkar is absolutely great but Lara is greater.

Posted by tmp789 on (April 1, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Hey Bradman missed the avg of 100, but Tendulkar got 100 100s,

Bradman played with 2-3 teams, Tendulkar against all teams.

Now you decide

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Gary Sobers without an iota of doubt is the greatest cricketer ever and probably the greatest batsman ever too, considering the limited opposition and venues that Bradman played on/against. Sachin does not come into this league for the simple reason that he has not played the kind of 'epic' innings/ innings that had dramatic effects in the context of a game. Lara has several such epics. Even our very own Sunny, Dravid ( Headingley, Adelaide, Rawalpindi, the list goes on and on!!), Sehwag and Laxman have played more game changing knocks. Even the dour Kallis saved a test match battling pain against India when we visited them last time around. The ability to not play match saving/match winning innings will remain a blot in Sachin's CV.

Posted by vish2020 on (April 1, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar the best batsman easily. Don't judge him now because at 40 even bradman couldn't play. But Sachin in his prime will beat bradman in his prime any day. Where do White players struggle to most? The sub-continent. Did bradman play there? NO! Did he play against any great WIndians? NO! Enough No's already. Bradman=put on top by australian media and then english. Pity.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 1, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

Well there you have it, three out of three say Sobers is the second best batsman of all time. It's becoming a no contest. And the judges have been of different biases: one Australian, one English and one New Zealander. Would like to see some sub continental views as well; hopefully that will happen in the coming weeks.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (April 1, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

I think record wise best batsman after bradman is tedulkar because of his 100 100s in international cricket and he is serving cricket for 23 years. Yes Sobers, Gavasker , Lara , Richards were great but they did not serve the cricket like Tendulkar did. At his peak Tendulkar also face bowlers like McGrath, Warne, Wasim, Waqar, Murli , Donald, Pollack and list goes on but Tendulkar is still their.

I think Tendulkar is greatest cricketer ever by any record and respect. The greatest servent to cricket is Tendulkar, Bradman only played 52 international matches Tendulkar has played over 600 international matches. Tendulkar is brand. Tendulkar is greatest cricket if not the greatest batsman.

Posted by derpherp on (April 1, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

People are kidding themselves if they doubt Bradman as the best ever. Lose your bias (most likely Indian) and ask yourself this, why didn't anyone else in that era average over say, 60 regularly? You can't say the bowlers weren't as good because firstly, as stated before, the next best batsmen averaged around 50 odd, like today's best are. Larwood, Voice, Tate and others managed to drop Bradmans career average down with the bodyline tactic, so they had high amount of skill. Also there was no sport science/technology to improve equipment or performances back then, just pure skill.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

@nampally,

What does financial situation have to do with being best batsman..by that logic Indian team should have been world beaters which as we know they clearly aren't..

coming to the point of the greatest batsman ever Don Bradman no doubt....period... Next best is open for all.Gary Sobers yes he played a lot of his innings at number 6..

Pollack and Headley played a little too less..Sunny,Viv,Sachin and Lara and ChapellG all right up there along with Ponting...but if I have to pick it wud be Jack Hobbs..

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (March 29, 2013, 0:12 GMT)

@Nampally....your argument of Financial and other living conditions does hold much water for the simple reason that players today have a hectic schedule of travel and playing whereas Bradman played just300 odd matches in his career....imagine the amount of rest periods in between. As you rightly said batting average cannot be the best indicator across different era....one respondent BillyCC is implying that Bradman would average 40 plus runs more than the second best if he had played in the modren era.... which would be Kallis' and Sangakkar average of (56 or 57 plus 40) i.e. Bradman would average 96 or 97 if he had played in the modern era.....isn't this laughable due to the many reasons as previous posters have pointed out. Also please check the facts, Bradman faced just one bodyline series and averaged 56 and then he played a big role in Larwood not playing another test match in his life! Please google and check...will modern day players do this? Ask yourself my friend?

Posted by DavisL on (March 28, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

BillyCC, well one has to be really good to be selected to play for a longer period.....and that doesn't necessarily translate into more centuries. To put it in in perspective no player today of Sachin's generation has the fitness, consistency or quality to play as long as him and beat his records....that make his records even more monumental!

Posted by ZA77 on (March 28, 2013, 22:21 GMT)

Billy CC, i am unable to understand what you want. First you were not agreed for 100 wickets and now you are insisting for 200 wickets. I have discussed alteast 10 bowlers with 100 or more. For specific bowler, 100 may not be criteria but for general acceptance, I think atleast criteria should be 100. Take example of Grimmet, O Reilly, Loahman, Barnes, Whodes and so many others, all have atleast 100. It is only self believe that Don Bradman is the best. I think he cannot transfer himself in modern era because his bat came from third. How can he play toe crusher, outswinger, googly and so many other deliveries. For which we have not answer, but for googly we know that how he lost his wicket so easily to Eric Hollies in his last inning. Take example of Warne, his deliviries were leg break, googly, top spin, flipper, slider and zooter. How can he face six different balls in one sleeve. Also if body line series arranged by W Indies of 80, can his average further cut into further half.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

@jojygeorge, well you hit the nail on the head yourself. There were not enough high quality BATSMEN AND BOWLERS in Bradman's era. I didn't say that the bowlers in the 30s/40s were of the same quality as those of the 70s/80s. What I am implying is that the margin between bat and ball has been consistent. In relative terms, it was an even contest between bat and ball (equally good or bad adapting together). Only at the margins could you say that bowlers dominated batsmen in the 70s/80s and that batsmen dominated in the 2000s. If you look at aggregate batting averages per decade, it is marginal. A very good batsman averages around 50 give or take depending on position. A very good bowler averages under 25. This is unchanged across eras. There was a period perhaps where you could argue bowlers dominated batsmen and that was pre-1920s. Since then, there were two potential situations that threatened the balance (Bodyline in the 30s and unlimited bouncers in 70s and 80s). Both were banned.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

@DavisL, yes bowlers will develop as well. But both will have longer careers, and hence more opportunities to score centuries and take wickets. I meant 30 years, not 20. 20 is just the average career length, the very good players will obviously get selected for longer. And yes, this is all hypothetical but perhaps not so irrational. If you were born in the 1890s, you would have seen Bradman play in your 40s and 50s. At the time, the comment may have been made that anyone who made 30 Test centuries would be the greatest ever. When Gavaskar hit 34, it became apparent that such a statement needed a rethink and some context wrapped around it because he had played so many more matches. Playing 120 tests was inconceivable back in the day.

Posted by Nampally on (March 28, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

@cricindian.com: Perhaps there should be an article first to determine who was the best ever batsman in the world, If Bradman was NOT. I think it is impossible to nominate one greatest batsman of all times when the batting averages are not the right indicator for it. WG Grace, Hobbs, Bradman, Sobers all played in different eras under conditions so vastly inferior to the present ones that one has to introduce a factor "Degree of difficulty due to playing & Financial conditions". Best playing, living & travel facilities exist today. But in 1900,1940 or 1970 the conditions were grossly inferior.Today guys like Dhoni & Tendulkar are earning over $25 Million/year +travel by Air+5 Star hotels.But $5000 /season for a super cricketer like Sobers was a huge luxury. N.Contractor of India was hit on the head ducking under a bumper in WI that ended his career+ nearly his life. Rahane did the same with an helmet & came unscathed! Bradman faced bodyline bowling with no modern protection- A Feat!

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Can't understand why at all T'kar fans are being seen taken seriously. An artificial, commercially motivated, longevity even at the cost of sacrificing too many youngsters' careers is all they are trying to flaunt.

Posted by cricindian.com on (March 28, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

Nampally, as you mentioned "the author has assumed that Bradman is the best batsman" which in itself is incorrect to start with.

Posted by Hayat534 on (March 28, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

How Bradman would hve reacted to DRS. Sachin for one does not support it, as it gives the bowler more percentage of decisions. Frankly the metrics cannot be changed as Sachin lovers are calling for. And if he has not dominated his era like an all time great(this shld include full period of career) should then that cannot be cast aside. Moreoever how can 12 double centurries with 2 triple, one 457 run in FC, be just brushed aside. I read onetime that Don Badman scored 300 runs in a single day. Where is Sachin tendulakar with his triple ton? There are zimbzbwe and Bangladesh in his career list also. He cannot be considered for top post. Nobody with zero triple century should be allowed. Also he scored 1st 20 centuries until year 2000 and 30 centuriy after 2000 year when bowling becomes easy. Also he cannot play pressure situations. Awlays gets out when chasing targets, whether tests or oneday. Was good 15 years back.no more. Should be forced to retire.

Posted by Nampally on (March 28, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

This article is about who is the next best batsman after Bradman? The Author has assumed that Bradman is the best batsman. However in the last several blogs the discussion has moved away from the next best to who is the best ever. I doubt if any of commenters in this discussion forum has ever seen Bradman in action at his best - before WW - 2! So it is very difficult if not impossible to make comments about Bradman's skills in present ERA. However it must be recognized that pitches in Bradman's ERA were not covered.So you never got an even bounce or turn as in modern pitches.Protective gear such as thigh, arm or even chest guards + helmet were all missing.The Cricketers in most countries were often under nourished & did not have the same medicals & phsio facilities.They travelled long distances by Ship & their accomodation + food was poor.Bradman was also a small town boy.If you compensate for all these factors, Bradman's average would still remain High in the current conditions!

Posted by DavisL on (March 28, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

@BillyCC, you are getting too hyphothetical and irrational when it comes to Sachin's records to the point of degrading them. 150 international hundreds in 20 years! Well i can't see that happening in the next 500 years no matter how much human beings evolve as you say....remember the bowlers will evolve too hyphothetically during this period going by the same logic. Let someone break the benchmark of 100 100's first and for me that person irrespective of his nationality becomes the GREATEST EVER! My whole contention is that batting average cannot be the best indicator of quality and consistency given the varied conditions, unorthodox bowlers, spinners who can turn the ball a mile, reverse swing, hectic travel and playing schedule, technological scrutiny, tougher LBW rule than Bradman's era etc that batsmen have to contend with now.

Posted by Kamal22 on (March 28, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Well it can't be a coincidence that Bradman could have 99 avg internationally and 95 in FC, unless he was really that good.If these figures were so easy to achieve than others too would have done that. It is inconceivable that only Bradman could hit the bowlers and no other batsman either in Autralia or England or even G. Headly could score similarly, both in Tests and FC. Batting and bowling have evolved, but a lot of modern batting can be said to have come about by such efforts. I'm sure Bradman's imprint would have certainly been felt by the next and following generations. I think admitting that would not be any disrespect to any modern players. Sachin fanatics are being irrational, and that only brings Sachin's name into disfavor. Nothing wrong in accepting what is apparent about Bradman's feats, and it does mean any downgrading of Sachin's career achievements, which are considerable.If not the Test best, he could claim a tie perhaps for the Best ODI Batsman with Richards.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

@DavisL, I agree with most of what you say. Your original contention in an earlier post was that a batsman who could top the hundred hundreds would be the greatest ever. I was just providing you with a scenario that could happen in the future where if people start playing for a lot longer, then the hundred hundreds will be broken. But that's when context comes in. Tendulkar did it first and did it in 23 years. That's a better ratio than if someone did it in 30 years. Maybe the benchmark for the future is 150 centuries if average careers are prolonged to beyond 20 years. On the other hand, when bradman played, 30 centuries was the dream number. Plus 100 first class centuries. My second point which is where we differ, is that the batting average is a better indicator of quality and consistency. Bradman's was 99 in 52 tests and 95 in 234 first class games.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (March 28, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

@BillyCC, your arguments are hollow for the simple reason that you cannot tell us how much Bradman would have averaged after facing the best fast bowlers of 1970s and 1980s or the spinners in the subcontinent. You also state that avg of Gavaskar,Richards etc during the 70s and 80s were more or less similar to the great batsmen of 30s and 40s....what you are implying is that the quality of bowlers in 30s and 40s were the same as that of 70s, 80s and now.....which in itself is totally incorrect, the cricinfo records of strike rates of these bowlers will tell you why? And mate, what about the many bowlers with strike rates much lower than Larwood nowadays....you haven't touched on this crucial point at all....without doubt there would be significant downward impact on Bradman's average of 99. To put it simply Don's era did not have enough high quality batsman and bowlers what with just 2 or 3 teams playing test cricket,hence the difference of 40 runs i n avg between Don and the rest.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

@ZA77, how about 200 wickets? 100 wickets seems a little low, adjusted for the number of games played. Also, I think your analysis would also extend to Kallis and Ponting who have both exhibited longevity, Kallis more so, and with a higher average.

Posted by DavisL on (March 28, 2013, 13:34 GMT)

BillyCC, your evolution and mathematical theories sound like science fiction to me! I live in the UK and have seen many past great English batsmen and Aussie batsmen play but none like Sachin,Lara and Viv Richards. What your evolution theory tells us is that Sachin's benchmark of 100 100's will be broken one day as people live longer,play longer and retire at the age of 60. Surely,you could throw some light on why there has not been a single player apart from Sachin who has played as many matches as he did and perform as well in all conditions. Are you implying that this human being called Sachin evolved about 200 years before time and that this was actually supposed to happen somewhere in the year 2200 A.D? In short if someone plays as many matches as Sachin did, his record of 100 100's will be broken...u r kidding! Then why has not anyone played as many matches as Sachin...do you know the answer? Mate, the answer is simple "high quality and consistency". SACHIN IS THE BEST EVER.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

@jojygeorge, Ponsford, McCabe and Woodfull faced Bodyline. Regarding Bradman facing the Windies or great spinners on turning tracks, you make it sound like no one had success against these great bowlers. During the periods of some of the greatest bowlers ever to play the game (the 70s and 80s), Gavaskar averaged 51, Chappell averaged 54, Richards averaged 50, Miandad averaged 53, Border 51. These are very similar to the averages of the great batsmen in the 1930s and 1940s, maybe very slightly less. So why couldn't there exist an outlier in the 1970s and 1980s who was 40 runs better than his closest peers? We know that such a person never eventuated but you haven't told me why. I've just given you the names of five batsman who collectively did well against the quicks of the Windies, the reverse swing of Pakistani bowlers, the traditional swing and seam of Hadlee, the Aussie and the English bowlers etc.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Billy CC, Tendulkar played nine teams on 60 grounds with 60 bowlers took 100 or more and he only two teams on ten grounds with six bowlers, 100 or more. How this percentage of bowlers applied equally on both. Talentwise both may be equal but if he are talking with achievements then situation is different. I think he is no. 1 and Don Bradman no. 2 in comparison. Ranveerrsingh, these uncovered pitches were only effective after rain. Bradman never master on treachous pitches. Hobbs, Trumper, Headley were better than him on wet wickets, also they were more stylish as compare to his simple batting. Ken Barrington average more than 58 is better than bodyline series of Bradman. Here I am not saying who is better but only putting the fact. Also Hammond played on 20 different grounds in four countries in which he had to face Australian attack with Grimmett, then Grimmett plus O Reilly and then O Reilly alone. In timeless matches these leg spinners became impossible to face.

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (March 28, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

BillyCC, you are wrong....bouncers were used against Bradman only in the body line series which is why it created such a big fuss among every one at that time.

This also implies that Bradman didn't have to face bouncers except in the body line series.....hmmmm this is becoming interesting whereas modern batsman have to face bouncers in almost every match they play (agreed that they do have helmets on) Do you have any idea why timeless tests were played on uncovered pitches....shouldn't uncovered pitches result in Test matches ending in 3 days or earlier? Why the need for timelessness..i cannot fathom this.....things don't add up!!

Posted by Jojygeorge on (March 28, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

BillyCC, mate Bradman wouldn't average more than 40 runs than the next best in the modern era for the simple reason that there are more than 50 bowlers with a strike rate of less than 64 whom the modern batting greats have faced! Remember Larwood had a strike rate of 64 and he was considered as the best during Bradman's time. Do your maths and you will know what i mean.... Regarding Hammond, Hobbs, Headley, Ponsford, McCabe, Woodfull....did they face body line bowling like Bradman did? What would you consider more difficult to face as a batsman...body line bowling by one or two bowlers or hostile and relentless fast bowling by a quartet of 4 WI fast bowlers at their peak! Mate apply your thoughts.... Bradman versus the WI quicks or Bradman versus Murali, Saqlain, Ajmal, Warne and other high quality spinners on raging turners of the subcontinent.........what about Akram,Waqar,Ambrose,Steyn,McGrath, Allan Donald? You still think Don would average 99 after facing these bowlers?

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh, yes, you're probably right that the ratio of bouncers bowled in those days was significantly less. But I'm pretty sure they were used. And yes, Bradman's average was 56 in Bodyline which is not bad, right, if that was your worst individual series?

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

@jojygeorge, what evidence do you have that my theories are absurd? And was every bowler that Bradman faced collectively in first class cricket so awful that he managed to average 95 and so awful in Test cricket that he managed to average 99? And it just so happened that every bowler in his team was so great that they could dismiss their opposition collective batsman for half that (sometimes even less). Were Hammond, Hobbs, Headley, Ponsford, McCabe, Woodfull just really ordinary players? Regarding what Bradman would average today, why couldn't he average more than 40 runs than the next best?

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (March 28, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

BillyCC, it is precisely because helmets were not available in the Bradman era bouncers were not used as much to test a batsman's skills. The only time body line bowling was used Don's batting average fell considerably to 52 which is much lower than the averages of Kallis, Sachin etc. However, at the same time one has to say that Bradman would not be so foolish so as to not use a helmet if it was avaliable in his time. Much is being made of uncovered pitches....can someone tell me why the test matches that were played on uncovered pitches were timeless tests? Aren't uncovered pitches meant to make batting really tough? Hence theoretically the match should get over in less than 3 days....why the need for timeless tests....something fishy there!!

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

@za77, have you done the same for Tendulkar? Would be interested which bowlers he faced over 50% of the time that took more than 100 wickets (maybe 200 is the fairer benchmark?)

Posted by ZA77 on (March 28, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

On pure statistic, Don Bradman is the best. Some details regarding top ten bowlers of England faced by Don Bradman as he played 37 test matches against them. He faced Verity in 17 test matches before world war II. Second one was , he faced Gubby Allen in 12 test matches, third one Larwood in 11 test matches, 10 test matches against Alec Bedser, William Voce and Yardely. Nine test matches against Maurice Tate, when he was retiring. Then Ken Fernes in eight test matches and Bowes and Walter Robbin in only six matches. Four to five bowlers of same team of same era are responsible for one better attack but when you are facing bowlers in different phase in a ratio less than 30%, it becomes very easy to score. Verity and only Bedser took 100 or more in top ten bowlers in term of percentage. It mean never faced any bowler with percentage equal to or more than 50%. Verity 17 / 37 = 46%. It was not bowlers who disturbed by Bradman, it was their least appearance who responsible for weak attack.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (March 28, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

BillyCC...please do not post silly comments. Mate, by belittling other modern greats like you are indulging in does not make Bradman great By your own reasoning of evolution etc which is the most absurd and rubbish cricketing logic i have seen could you please tell us how much Bradman would have averaged had he played in the modern era....i presume your maths and evolution theory would say that Bradman would have averaged 150 had he played in the modern era! Hilarious to say the least.. Being an Aussie i would say that insulting modern day greats is not the Aussie way of doing things..we love the incredible performances by all modern day greats like Sachin, Lara, Kallis etc...we love the challenges! I reckon that Sachin's record of 100 hundreds is a much higher and tougher benchmark than Bradman's average of 99!! Thrashing the daylights out of an average English attack (most Poms agree to this) again and again and averaging 99 will not make Bradman the greatest.....Sorry mate...

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

@eternity, thanks for the link to the article about helmets. Did I mention that Tendulkar would never have faced Steyn in 2010/11 if he had played in the pre-helmet era because he got hit on the head during a net session by Umesh Yadav during that tour and so would have probably been in hospital for an extended period?

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (March 28, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

So, Jeff Thompson bowling to a 60yr+ Bradman batting without pads in the nets, is testimony to Bradman's greatness? Really, what was Bradman trying to prove? - that Thommo couldn't send him off in a stretcher? Since Thommo didn't, it doesn't speak much of Thommo or Bradman as professionals.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (March 28, 2013, 7:05 GMT)

In an era spanning 24 years when one has seen numerous bowling greats, there is only one man who has managed to pull crowds to the stadiums across the world, no matter which form of cricket he plays. People feel happy at a day well spent when they watch this one man score a century. People see this one cricketer as a normal human who overcomes his limits to do his best and live up to the hopes of all those billion eyes on him. This one man makes boundary scoring look easy with the ball conspiring with him to race to the fence at the slightest pat. This one man doesn't need to sledge or show attitude on field or off field to get attention. He has the most runs and centuries in Tests and ODIs put together and the others are still a big white space away with no hopes of catching up. He is a modest man who is a giant and a darling in the hearts of tens of millions of fans across the globe. That's his legacy. That's SRT! A legacy which makes everybody else's seem a blip in time.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 28, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

Zsam, first read carefully and then decide what I am writing and what you are perceiving. There is no doubt, his average is 99.94. But this is also fact that bowlers faced by him were amatuers, compare them with Loahmann, Grimmett, Reilly and Barnes. Only two teams were there in which batsmen of both side were mostly, not up to mark. Compare Headley 71.23 to all Australian Batsmen average against England of those era. Don Bradman faced his own Australian bowlers in first class like in one match, he faced O Reilly. Facing some one in fc is something different than test matches plus facing whole attack together is different. Headley only faced Aus in five test matches in one series only in which he scored two centuries, but overall average was 37.33. In 37 test matches, Don faced Verity in 17 test only (mostly time any regular bowler), In 31 test matches, he faced Hammond as an opponent. It means bowlers were not getting chance in team regularly. Only his teammates had same advantage.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (March 28, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

During the recent India-Oz series, a wag posed a question to Sunil Gavaskar online that was read out when Gavaskar was in the commentary box, asking him which was his fastest century in any form of the game. To which Gavaskar replied that it was in 49 balls against a Mumbai based school while playing school cricket. Comparing Bradman's exploits against the English, the predominant opposition, is a lot like looking at Sunil Gavaskar's 49 ball century with awe.

Posted by sameer_in_hk on (March 28, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

On uncovered pitches, I 'd say it must have been more difficult to negotiate them, than what currently happens. So anybody making a case conversely is plain wrong.If it was so easy then everybody would have been feasting on them, and ICC would never have needed to get them covered.There may be a chance that these pitches may have assisted the bowlers of even inferior quality to be quite effective, thereby maintaining a sort of balance between bat and ball! Just like it happens that an assisting pitch can make Lyon and Ravinder Jadeja look awesome.I think arguing on stats against Bradman is not the way.If he wasn't that good,then Ponsford and Hammond too would have got similar stats.Not sure how many timeless Tests he played,But I dont think his average is any lower in non-timeless Tests.Plus,his scoring rate has been estimated at around 60, which is right up there with Ponting. Bradman fairly destroyed Larwood in 1930, and had Larwood had played in another era,could hav been Eng's best

Posted by UglyPakistani on (March 28, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

SACHIN TENDULKAR - Greatest batsman ever...........................Bradman 2nd.............................Then many others........

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

@eternity, missing the point again I see. Why don't you firstly try and disprove the maths? Secondly, you didn't address the next part of evolution. What happens in the future 50-100 or 500 years from now when people belittle Tendulkar for facing bowlers like Donald, Steyn, Wasim? They will say the old footage shows that the bowlers in the 1990s and 2000s were weaker, less efficient, etc. Rating by absolute skills is clearly wrong, you must always judge on relative skills. Otherwise the greatest batsmen and bowlers will always be the most recent. By evolution standards, the elite sportsmen will be fitter, healthier, faster etc in the future. The human race and the cricketing race (batsmen and bowlers) develops and it looks like in cricket that they have developed consistently. A batting average of 45 to 55 is considered very good. A bowling average of 20 to 25 is considered very good for fast bowlers. And that context has always existed. But only one has averaged 99.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 28, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

No doubt, Bradman is one of the best test batsman. He faced difficulty for Eddie Gilbert. Eddie was 5 feet 7 inches. He wrote about him. Bradman said after many years later that six deliveries he faced from Gilbert in first class were the fastest he had experienced in his career. Bradman said The keeper took the ball over his head, and I reckon it was halfway to the boundary and that the balls from Gilbert were unhesitatingly faster than anything seen from Larwood or anyone else. He faced difficulty when Ian Peeble bowling him. He wrote "When I got to the crease I found Peebles bowling extraordinarily well, and ... I may as well admit that for the first time in my life I was unable to detect a bowler's leg break from his "bosey" (googly). I watched Peebles as closely as I knew how, but there was no use. Neither by watching his hand nor the ball could I detect it, and definitely this day his bowling was too good for me. I had a most unhappy time" Same thing happened in his last innings.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 28, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

@ChrisKay - Lara and Sehwag has low not outs because of their one dimensional attacking style. There are other batsmen with more not outs than Tendulkar. BTW there is a strong school of thought that if batsmen were allowed to complete their not out innings , they would avg. higher, because they were already in. As re. Lara though , as mentioned, he simply wouldnt have survived in the prehelmet era against real pace (145/150+ ks). Lara does not have a single hundred against any pace bowler till 2003. Tendulkar has scorching hundreds against virtually every pace bowler of the last quarter century.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 28, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

@Zsam - Again, you're missing the point. The point is not just the figures lying- the point is the figures are literally meaningless. Cronje got Tendulkar out almost the same number of times that Donald got him out in matches they played together. So, even if Tendulkar hammered Donald but Cronje got him out - you are effectively giving the credit to Tendulkar. In the 1999 series Wasim/Waqar didn't get Tendulkar out once. In the 1997 WI series Ambrose didn't get Tendulkar out once - So, your figures not just lie- they are literally meaningless. The only figures which may give some indicator are direct head to heads.And they too do not tell the full story- because of the match situation a batsman may have to defend etc. More attacking batsmen may score a few quick runs - so,match situation has to be subjectively assessed . Btw Donald and co. must be then nuts to place Tendulkar as the best or among the best if Tendulkar was their bunny at all times.

Posted by SG70 on (March 28, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

@Billy ... Its not my problem if bowlers from that ERA featured in only few tests ... BTW the Bowler who featured most in those days was ... hold your breath : Wally Hammond. And you still want to argue about Math and Bradman taking apart the Top English bowlers ? LoL.

Yes I have heard about Evolution which is why I rate batsmen based on absolute skills. Not by reading about cricket from library books. Go watch Tendulkar take apart Steyn in 2010 (both ODIs and Tests ) by standing a ft outside the crease. That takes some skill. Bradmans response to a simple challenge from Larwood was to get him banned. LoL. You can keep your 99.94. I will stay with Tendulkar. And before you try to belittle batsmen wearing helmets read this and watch the video : http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/597671.html . Iam sure you will tell us how that player "benefited" from wearing a helmet.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 28, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

@Aurovillain, good point. Merchant doesn't get the recognition he deserves.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 2:56 GMT)

The first sentence of the second para herein sums up it all; but then the discussion is only on the second best; DB's stats are too powerful to mess with; if anything, the frustrated attempts only serve to magnify them even more. http://www.espncricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/153386.html BTW Lara would surprise you about one thing. His No of NO: just 6! In contrast, here's a player who gave strike to tail enders apparently in hope they'd be out so his rather mediocre stats in SA would be bolstered in the process, and that too when an innings defeat was staring his side! He was seen repeating this in a domestic match recently where first innings lead was all that mattered! Maybe it's poetic justice that his much awaited record came in and against the least fancied country, the outcome and another coincident record, namely his 200th defeat, adding to its stature! I'd not have said this; just his fans' arrogance is too offensive.

Posted by Aurovillian on (March 28, 2013, 0:32 GMT)

In one of his books, Sir Len Hutton quotes Alec Bedser as saying that he would rate Vijay Merchant as a greater batsman than Sir Donald Bradman after having bowled to both of them because of Merchant's ability to play on bad wickets such as those affected by rain in the days when wickets were left uncovered. I would also point out that in his time Bradman played against some of the greatest spinners of all time even if these bowlers did not have the benefit of bowling on the kind of shamelessly tailored pitches available to Indian spinners nowadays. I have had occasion to talk with some of the West Indian bowlers that played against Gavasker and they indicated that they tried twice as hard when bowling to Gavaskar as they knew that if they got him out there was not much batting left in the Indian teams of those days. Both Merchant and Gavaskar have a strong case to be considered next to Bradman.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 27, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

@eternity, it's hard to call someone great in Test cricket when they only play 15 tests. Don't make me laugh regarding the fact that Bradman only feasted on the first and second change bowlers. How absurd. Look at the bowling figures. Anyway, luckily maths and logic are on my side and your argument is crap. Bradman spoilt bowling figures in aggregate, particularly those only playing the 1930s and 1940s. Regarding the way that those bowlers bowl, have you heard of something called evolution? Have only bowlers improved, but not batsmen? Bradman stands out 40 runs better than the next best. I would say that even 50-100 years from now, people would be looking at the "old" videos from the 1990s and criticising the bowling styles of Donald, Wasim, McGrath, Ambrose and commenting that they were pedestrian. The human race will get fitter and stronger and bowlers will find new and improved ways of becoming more efficient. Use your imagination.

Posted by SG70 on (March 27, 2013, 21:47 GMT)

@BillyCC - If Bowes is a FAST Bowler who belongs in the below 20 bowling avg category then why hasnt ANYONE (incl the 99.94% who vote for Bradman ) selected him in a world XI ? Pls note that his avg even after the supposed Bradman thrashing is worthy of ATG superfast bowler.

BTW Keep in mind that even Malcolm Marshall doesnt have below 20 avg.

To Answer your question about Math - There exists no player-vs-player stats that can answer which Batsman was responsible for spoiling which Bowlers stats in those days. For all you know Bradman could have played out the "TOP" bowlers and feasted on lesser bowlers which is the norm. So come back here when you find hard data that backs up your opinion.

in any case once you watch Bill Bowes bowl you will realize that scoring runs against such bowlers does not add any value to any batsmans greatness.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 27, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

@CricFan24, Tendulkar in the 1990s was great and the margin of difference was great compared to the next best. It will be what puts him in the Top 5 batsman of all time. Whether it takes him to No.1 is problematic because you have to judge him on the next period as well, all batsman who display longevity will go through chronic injuries, Bradman did. For example, Kallis averages 57 having bowled as a first or second change bowler for his whole career. So Tendulkar doesn't stand out amongst his peers over his whole career. Regarding Headley's average of 91 against England, I'm not sure if you can just filter No.3 batting stats. The rationale is a bit weak, the better comparison is the 89 vs the 71. And Headley's average against Australian bowling attacks is lower, but Bradman faced the same attacks playing first class cricket and did well.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 27, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

@eternity, simple, Bedser played a few test matches against Bradman in the late 40s. But his career extended through the 50s when Bradman didn't play. So Bradman couldn't have had a long-term effect on his average. Bowes was a very good bowler, without Bradman, he would have averaged below 20. Why don't you try and argue the maths and the logic before you start rambling on. When Bradman scored 304 at Leeds, Bowes took 6 for 142. There was only one other major score: Ponsford. Everyone else struggled. So if Bradman wasn't there, Bowes could have taken 6 for 42. Oh look, his average has now dropped 20.86, a career difference of 1.5 runs through simple maths.

Posted by Zsam on (March 27, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

@Cricfan24, No matter how much you re-paste your posts, to convey your opinion, these figures don't lie. They actually tell a story. These greats were supposedly the peaks, that Tendulkar was being touted to have scaled, but that's not coming out. So whether Bangladesh or Zimbabwe or bermuda or Hong Kong are part of stats or not, but against the very best opposition, he has barely managed. Not all time greatness on display. This does raise a valid qs about how he (or even Lara) would have fared in previous two decades. Of course, you have a right to hold a contrary opinion, and continue reposting them. ;) This has certainly been an interesting exercise for me as well. Have a nice day.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 27, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

Mr. Martin, please note that Gavaskar never faced Colin Croft in test cricket as he had not played any test against India in his 27 test matches. He played only one one day against India in 1979. When asked Wasim who is best batsman against pace of this era, he said neither Lara nor Tendulkar. According to him, Martin Crowe is the best against pace. Whenever your were on crease, it was amazing to watch you.

Posted by SG70 on (March 27, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

@BillyCC Your theory of "Bradman was responsible for high Bowling Avgs" is just plain wrong and not supported by facts. Bill Bowes and Bedser have great avgs.But do telll us how Bowes is just as lethal as a Donald or Ambrose or Wasim as his avg suggests ( 22.33) . No amount of words will convey how modest this"FAST" bowler is untill you see his video.

@Remnant : Pitches are covered today to avoid the Lottery scenario where one team finds itself batting on a sticky dog. If you think this happened quite a lot to Bradman then you are just utterly and completely wrong. Go read up on Bradman . By his own admission he was not fond of bad pitches and considered himself to be a batsman who did well on good pitches. How else do you think they would play Timeless tests that ran into more than 5 days ? That simply cannot happen if pitches were as treacherous as you want us believe. BTW there used to be an option of covering pitches even back then if both captains agreed before match.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 15:16 GMT)

@Zsam - For the umpteenth time...endulkar av.g 59.4 in the 1990s (MINUS Ban and Zim)...The "next best" for batsmen who batted the entire decade( minus Ban and Zim) is Steve Waugh at 51.8. This In his best DECADE the differential between him 59.4 is around 15% higher than the "next best" Steve Waugh.. Needless to say no batsman apart from Bradman has had such a huge differential between him and the "next best" over a period of an entire DECADE....So , just THREE batsmen who batted throughout the 1990s avg. 50+. In the 2000s plenty of batsmen did so...Infact Tendulkars avg has gone down post 2002 due to injuries...Lara ,Ponting,Kalis and co. piled on the runs in the 2000s. In the 1990s they weren't even in the same frame as Tendulkar.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

It appears that "best" is a word that is fairly used only if categorised...Best Attacker/Dominator...Bradman.....Best Technique....Gavaskar......Best Accumalator..Tendulkar.....Best range of shots...Lara...now whichever of these attributes you favor to define your batting choice that batsman is your "best".....but whatever said, if from David Judge's story above...if Bradman could smash Thompson at 68 on an underprepared fast pitch without pads, gloves and just a bat in hand....then just for pure skill he's the man....

Posted by Zsam on (March 27, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

@CricFan24, Fact is, as it comes of these stats is: That as long as these players were part of the opposition, these two batsmen, messrs: Tendulkar and Lara were 15-20 runs below their overall career avg. Though Lara did avg 47 against McG, but still this pattern is quite strong. Once these bolwers leave, post 2000, that is, that the real beefing up of avgs occurs. Lara avgs 86 against Pak after and Tendulkar - 50. bonanza time, it must have been for them. check the statsguru. Its all there.

Posted by Zsam on (March 27, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

@CricFan24, These bowlers I mentioned really softened these batsmen up and that is reflective in the avgs.Both Lara and Sachin's figures indicate that. This is what fast bolwing is supposed to do.Only McGrath seems to have been tamed by Lara and that is reflective in the avg of 47 in 44 inngs as compared to Sachin who has 36,in 18inngs.You cannot forget that even Sachin never got hold of McGrath.For Pakistan with 2 Ws and Imran, again both avg. in early 30s,Sachin 32 in 11 inngs, he batted, and Lara avg 30 in 13 inngs. .Again with Donald Sachin avg. 32 in 20 inngs and Lara 34 in 20 inngs.Not exactly all time stuff.I wonder how these two would have fared during the 70s and 80s era.Let me tell you, I am a big fan of Lara's artistry, and even like Sachin, but can't stand the hyping up!Lara's was good against the Aussies back in the 90s.I hv already put up those century stats.He played the 2nd all time best innings rated by Wisden vs Aus and was the difference in that series.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

@Zsam - re.Lara - He had a distinct weakness against real pace and wouldnt have survived in the pre helmet era. Lara has NEVER got a Hundred against real pace till the batting friendly conditions of the 2000s arrived. And that then he got 4 against Lee and Flintoff in a 2 yr period. Tendulkar has awesome Hundreds against practically every single bowler you have mentioned IN their own backyards. Right from 1992 vs. Donald in South Africa age 19, when Tendulkar scored 111 and the next highest score was 25....right up to 2011 and classic Hundreds against Dale Steyn in SA....Tendulkar has classic Hundreds against virtually every bowler of genuine real pace (145/150 k and above ) in the last 25 yrs.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

@ChrisKay- And before the last horror tour to Aus , things were again different. More in Sydney , but more elsewhere as well. Bradman avg. 150 in 2 grounds in Eng and Half of that elsewhere. So? IF his career avg. is 99 do you expect him to score 99 uniformly at every ground ? Inspite of the fact that Bradman played on just 11 grounds against Eng. he avg 89 ( HEadley avg 91 at No.3 - forgot about that one didnnt you ?)...And out of the 11 grounds Bradman played against Eng he avg. well less than 89 on 7 of those...Seriously, what do you expect ? 89 on every ground ? Absurd.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

@Zsam - the point is that just because a particular bowler of YOUR choosing is "involved" in a certain match - that doesn't mean anything. As mentioned for eg. Ambrose never got Tendulkar once, in the 1999 pak series Akram/Waqar didnt get Tendulkar out - so it flies in the face of all logic to "acredit" other bowlers who did not get Tendulkar out...If Cronje got Tendulkar out , but Tendulkar hammered Donald- on what basis can you say that Donald had Tendulkar's number? Meaningless..

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

@Zsam - Tendulkar played 18 inn. in matches "involving" mcgrath. In Lara's first 18 inn the avg is the same.Lara then got the hang of Mcgrath.In the 2 full series Tendulkar played against Mcgrath he avg. 46 and 51. These include 2 Hundreds and 4 Fifties. Also other bowlers got Tendulkar often not to mention several contentious decisions - Shoulder before wicket, pad catch off warne, freak dismissals caught off shortlegs shoulder etc. Lara too improved in matches against Mcgrath as he went on...In his first 18 inn. he avg. the same as Tendulkar..then he got the "hang" of Mcgrath as time went on...Basically, play out Mcgrath and you've almost guaranteed yourself a good score....There have been more big innings played against Mcgrath than any other top bowler i can remember - by VVS, Lara, Pietersen, Vaughn, Adams, Dravid...In the Wisden top 100 bowling lists Mcgrath doesnt appear once...but innings AGAINST Mcgrath appear multiple times !

Posted by DavisL on (March 27, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Will Bradman average 99 if he played in the modern era? The answer is BIG "NO". Can some of the Aussies who are bragging about his average of 99 tell me how much he would have averaged now if he had played against the modern day bowlers who are fitter,faster and more skillful than it was during Don's time....not to mention the nasty turning pitches of the subcontinent, bowlers like Murali and Warne who could turn the ball a mile on any surface and others like Akram,Waqar,Ambrose,McGrath,Donald,Steyn,Saqlain, Akhtar, Malinga,Ajmal etc.

Being an Englishman i can most certainly say that "Sachin's monumental record of hundred international hundreds marks him out as the GREATEST"

Posted by cricindian.com on (March 27, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

Some posters refer to SRT's average of 53, please remember that he could have finished his career couple of years ago when his average was much highter Knowing Sachin purely as a humble and complete team man I am pretty sure that he is continuing in the test team because the Indian team is inexperienced and in transition....even though he himself would admit that he would not be able to contribute with the bat like before! He is playing because Team India needs him and not the other way around! I agree with the one of the comments posted earlier by someone......which was "if someone can play as long as Sachin has and perform as well or better than he did and scored more than 100 100s than he would automatically be considered the GREATEST EVERY BATSMAN irrespective of his nationality!!" The benchmark of 100 hundreds which also indicates fitness,longevity,consistency,discipline, quality, commitment and above all humility.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

Comparing the value of playing on uncovered pitches vs covered pitches doesnt make sense because all the players in each era were brought up in that environment, maybe the players who switched could be asked this, but since the bowler had a greater advantage on uncovered pitches, Bradman then clearly stands out, so then the overriding metric becomes only who overcame bowler superiority, that question is answered only by Gavaskar who after Bradman was most successful against the best bowling ever....you could say the Windies bowlers had equal advantage as the uncovered pitch bowlers due to their sheer skill. Maybe Lara would come next.....his strokepplay grew as he got older, his range of shots increased....he represented batsmanship....Richards, Headley, Sobers have been spoken about, but Tendulkar should go down as a mystery...a man who changed his style with age for the sake of longevity......so its not clear what tendulkar is....a destroyer, accumalator, attacker, defender.....

Posted by BillyCC on (March 27, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

@Zsam, agreed, Bradman made bowlers in aggregate look 5-10 runs worse during his playing career. Simple maths when compared to an equivalent batsman averaging 50. Bradman did 50 runs per innings better than that batsman averaging 50. Spread out over 5 bowlers, that's 10 runs more conceded per innings. Oh yeah, and only one bowler can get him out. Verity got him out the most with 8 dismissals. But if you didn't even get him out, then bye bye bowling average.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

As for facts, Tendulkar's average at Sydney is 157 with 4 NO's. He made only 45 and 4 even there when McGrath was playing. And his average is around 35 in as many as 15 tests elsewhere in that country. These things happen to many players; Bradman should be some exception to even this. I'm only stating facts, the kind of which are being exaggerated in others' cases only because they happen to come from less populous countries. Cricket needs to get beyond this kind of madness. Its future seems very bleak indeed.

Posted by Zsam on (March 27, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

@Cricfan24, I can see that Lara scored - 132 in Aus in '96/97, 213 vs Aus in WI in '98/99, 182 vs Aus in '00/01, 226 vs Aus in '05/06. All matches had McGrath.

Posted by Zsam on (March 27, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

@ZA77, you are quoting wrong figures! Hedley Verity took 144 wickets at 24.37, (not 34.5 as u mentioned)which is actually quite good. Better than Warne. Bedser has avg of 24.89 with 236 wickets. He started his career in 1946. If you are yourself stating Jim Laker took 9 wickets vs Bradman's Aus, with AVERAGE of 52.44. Then that truly shows how good he was. We know about Jim Laker,since he had a career average of 21.24. This actually makes it quite clear, that Don B was making the bowlers look worse than they were!

Posted by Zsam on (March 27, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

I also did a smialr analysis for Lara with Akram, younis,McGrath,Donald.Figures are:Lara vs Pak with Akram,younis,Imran -7 matches 13 innings 30.3. lara vs Pak without them - 86.55, in 5 matches 9 innings post 2004series. Lara vs SA with Allan donald -10 matches 20 innings - avg 34.02. Lara vs SA without Donald - 18 matches 35 innings avg 49. Lara vs Aus with McGrath -23 matches 44 innings, avg 47.61. Lara vs Aus without McGrath - 7 matches 12 innings - avg 67.91. I thinklara has done almost similar to Tandulkar as far as Pakistan and SA are concenred. Hoewer he has done extremely well vs Aus with Mcgrath 47, and without him, even more 67! But its clear, that these bowlers did have a taming influence upon these batters! There is no denying that.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 27, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

Don Bradman, only six bowlers took more than 100 wickets in test matches. Tate (1924-35) took 32 wickets against Australia from 1928 to onward with bowling average 39.71. Wright (1938-51) took 108 wickets maintaining career bowling average 39.11 and Hedley Verity (1931-1939) took 144 and then in 1943 he died during World War 2. Actually he was an army officer. He took 21 wickets in Australia against them with bowling average 34.57 throughout his career. Alec Bedser and Jim Laker (1948-59) came after World War 2 when he was finishing his career. Jim Laker took 9 wickets with bowling average 52.44 in only three test matches, which he faced against Bradman in 1948. Also Vinoo Mankad of India took 162 wickets in career with average 32.32. His average was 52.5 with grabbing 12 wickets in five test matches against Bradman throughout his career in the start of his own career in 1947-48. How possible to compare Tendulkar with Bradman on pure statistic. I think he way ahead of Bradman.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

@Zsam - If Cronje got Tendulalkar 5 times in the same matches Donald played - how on earth can you give Donald credit for it. The fact remains that Tendulkar has got classic hundreds against virtuallly every great modern day bowler . As regards "firepower" - that refers to bowlers of real pace. Tendulkar has got classic hundreds against virtually every pace bowler of the past 25 years. Lara does not have a single hundred against any bowler of genuine pace ( 145/150 and above) till the batting friendly conditions of the 2000s arrived....The fact also remains that Tendulkar avg. 59.4 in the 1990s (MINUS ban and zim) as compared to the next best Steve Waugh 51.8 ( minus ban and zim)...He was by far and away the best player in the 1990s . This domination over the next best over a decade is matched only by Bradman-...Again, it is absolutely meaningless to say Tendulkar avg. X against say Akram when Akram hardly ever got him out. For eg. the 1999 series..

Posted by Zsam on (March 27, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

@Cricfan24, it is fully justified to use such stats with these marquee bowlers, since they have been the best of their era, and a lot of people are using them to inflate Sachin's greatness. But as you can see there is a marked increase of 19 runs in the case of pak, SA and about 15 with Aus, without Akram, Younis, Imran, Donald, McGrath.Something is going on here.He is not domminating these bowlers. His domination comes up post retirement of these greats in 2000s.The same is the case with McGrath, and yes the Sydney Test with two nots is actually skewing the figures. Remember McGrath (and even Warne) were not part of that series.Now whether these bowlers took his wickets or not is not the point. They ensured he couldn't score.This is too strong a pattern to ignore. When he is being pushed for all time greatness, it is immaterial, what his peers were doing. certainly these bowlers were great but handful only, and couldn't match the firepower of the 70s-80s era bowlers.So its says a lot.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 27, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

One bowler took 200 or more wickets in career except Alec Bedser(1946-1955), whom Don Bradman faced after world war II during his last phase. His bowling average was 46 against Australia during 1946-1948. Although he maintained 27.49 bowling average throughout his career against Australia. He was the only regular bowler who played more than 50 test matches in his career which Bradman faced throughout his career or we may say that Bradman never face any regular bowler with test matches at least 50 when he was playing against him. In history of test cricket, more than 150 bowlers took equal to or more than 100 wickets in which 55 are members of 200 club then 21 to 300 club then 400 to 10 members and for 500 only 5 bowlers available then 600 to three and 700 to two. Tendulkar faced atleast 60 bowlers who took 100 or more and he only six in which three came after world war II, one died in it, one just before war in 1938 and remaning one left the cricket against Australia in 1930.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

CricFan24, Warne was not that special against the Indians; I was only pointing to that fact. The only comparison Tendulkar and B'man stand is that the former's popularity and the latter's batting prowess bear similarity, the next biggest is too low being in either case. While I'm not all that impressed with former's popularity for obvious reasons, I'm awestruck with the latter's batsmanship. Cricket would remain a joke until this changes; remember Federer is more popular than Sampras; cricket's habits may never allow such a thing to happen.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

@Zsam- it is incorrect to use stats in matches "including" a particular bowler. Just doesn't say anything - almost meaningless. Ambrose never got Tendulkar - still in matches "including" Ambrose you will get some number , depending on how Tendulkar did against other players. Cronje got Tendulkar many times - Donald effectively gets credit. In the 1999 Pak series Akram and Younis didn't get Tendulkar once- Tendulkar had a poor series. So Akram and Younis get the "credit" again... Many such examples. Just a meaningless stat...So, if you are going to use statsbases at least try to understand how to use them first and what exactly the stats are telling you.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

@Zsam -and as re.Lara - Tendulkar has a better away record than Lara in Aus, NZ , Eng .SA is the same. Lara has NEVER got a Hundred against real pace till the batting friendly conditions of the 2000s arrived. And that then he got 4 against Lee and Flintoff in a 2 yr period. Tendulkar has awesome Hundreds against practically every single bowler you have mentioned IN their own backyards. Right from 1992 vs. Donald in South Africa age 19, when Tendulkar scored 111 and the next highest score was 25....right up to 2001 and classic Hundreds against Dale Steyn in SA...As mentioned in the previous comment pls stop using basically meaningless stats to prove a preconvceived notion of yours.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 3:23 GMT)

@ChrisKay- and what's your sudden problem against Warne ?? Arguably the greatest spinner ever. All bowlers get tonked sometimes. Like batsmen, bowlers have good and bad times. Mcgrath got whacked during the SAF world record chase. So? A Tendulkar phobia is bad enough, now you've got a Warne phobia as well ? Tell you what - many of the same conoisseurs and veterans picking Tendulkar among the best such as Martin Crowe etc would also have Warnie among their top picks ---so chill.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 2:58 GMT)

@ChrisKay- Bradman played on a few grounds he knew very well ,against defniitely weaker bowling than today, at the prolific No.3 slot, in One format... so he didn't have to mess up mind ,body and technique with multiple formats...Headley too avg. 91 at No.3 against the only decent side of the day- Eng (besides Aus) -And why harp on just one particular bowler? There is an explanation for almost every single inn. In the 2 full series Tendulkar played in matches "involving" Mcgrath he scored 2 Hundreds, some 3 50s and got out to other bowlers several times..And Tendulkar in the 1990s played MANY alltime great bowlers. It is absurd to harp on just one. It is like using Sampras's record against Krajicek or something...

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

@ChrishKay- You may rant all you want. You're recency bias is causing the distortion. Tendulkar av.g 59.4 in the 1990s (MINUS Ban and Zim)...The "next best" for batsmen who batted the entire decade( minus Ban and Zim) is Steve Waugh at 51.8. This In his best DECADE the differential between him 59.4 is around 15% higher than the "next best" Steve Waugh.. Needless to say no batsman apart from Bradman has had such a huge differential between him and the "next best" over a period of an entire DECADE....

Posted by Jojygeorge on (March 27, 2013, 2:34 GMT)

People(read Aussies) say there is Bradman...and then daylight! Bradman in the top 10 yes, but surely not in top 3....for me that would Tendulkar, Richards and Lara Bradman would surely struggle in modern era due to the following reasons; 1) scrutiny by technology to detect any short comings in technique 2) facing high quality spinners on the raging turners of the sub-continent 3) the LBW rule now is many times more favourable to the bowlers now than it was in Bradman's time 4)facing the WI quicks of 80's and 90's 5)hectic travel and schedule in modern times 6)varying weather conditions, pitches, doosra, reverse-swing, better fielding quality now than Bradman's time 7) more than 50 bowlers with a strike rate of less than 50 (Harold Larwood, the best bowler of Bradman's time had a strike rate of 64)in modern times 8) Bradman played only in England and Australia against primarily pace and swing bowlers(and some ineffective spinners on unhelpful pitches

No..I am not INDIAN!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

You were mighty fine too Martin and although I'm an Aussie, I was a great admirer of you. You were simply amazing in the 1985 Tran-Tasman series. It was almost impossible to get you out then.

Posted by Zsam on (March 26, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

Sachin's averages with the creme de la creme of pacers are quite revelatory: With McGrath in Aussie team, he averages: 36.77. Without McGrath it goes up - 61.83! With Allan Donald in SA, its 32.9. Without Allan Donald, its 51.89! With Imran, Wasim & Waqar, its 32.9. Without them it goes to 50.92! Hmmm that's interesting. Most of his beefing has come up in the 2000s, post the retirement of these players. But he does well against Walsh and Ambrose with avg of 62. got to give him. But they were old horses by then. Nevertheless there's a lot of mythbuilding/marketing going on. Am glad the Cricinfo statsguru really does the job, when you actually want to check, afterall the back and forth noise on its posts.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 26, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

@Bull_Risers, not sure what planet you're from. I'm from Earth and life expectancy has been increasing in aggregate. The science on a maximum life span is neither proven or unproven so it is possible. A bit of imagination and perspective goes a long way.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

Remnant, it is ok if you are not in favour of Tendulkar. My own top five are Tendulkar, Lara, Gavaskar, King Viv and Don Bradman. Statistically he is the best on pure basis. More than 148 bowlers took 100 or more in test matches. Fast + Fast Medium + Medium Fast + Medium + Off Break / Slow left arm orthodox + Leg Break / Slow Left Arm Chinaman, 38 + 45 + 6 + 5 + 41 + 13=148. Don Bradman case 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 6 / 148, totally he faced six of them. There was no fastest like Shoib Akhtar, Lee, Thomson or Frank Tyson. No Richard Hadlee, Lillee, Dev, Botham, Imran Khan, Bob Wills and Trueman and many others. No Marshall, Garner, Holding, Robert, Colin Croft, Ambrose, Walsh, Bishop and Hall. Not a single great bowler from W. Indies. No Wasim, Waqar, Allan Donald, Pollock and Styen. No Warne, Kumble or Gupte, Macgill or Benaud, Abdul Qadir or Mushtaq Ahmed or Kaneria but Wright was there. No Murli, Saqlain Mushtaq, Bedi and so many others but Verity, Laker and Mankad were there.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 19:56 GMT)

Just an extension to the Thomson story which limited space prevented me from expanding earlier. Thomson and some other players were around at Bradman's house for afternoon tea. Bradman had a cricket net in his back yard and asked Thomson to bowl to him as he wanted to see how he'd go against the fastest bowler of all time. Thomson didn't want to as the pitch was totally unprepared and lightning fast. He was worried he would kill him. Bradman insisted. So he faced up not even wearing pads. Despite the pitch basically being unplayable, Thomson said Bradman played him effortlessly and destroyed many deliveries. Thomson said on an incredibly difficult pitch it was some of the finest batting he had ever seen. Bradman was about 68. You compare that to current batsman where faced with a pitch with the slightest movement or bounce they fall apart.

Another advantage current batsman have is the equipment. Helmets, better gloves and padding mean they can face fast bowlers without fear.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 26, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

How can bradman be greatest when most of his runs cane against one opposition in similar condition. Bowler like warne murli akram would have got him out at least twice an over

Posted by Kuiperbelt on (March 26, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Its true that Bradman didn't tour the subcontinent, so there is the what if. But the India tour of Aus in '48 shows his avg as 178. That's big. but ofcourse how he would have played against the slow turning tracks is in the realms of speculation. However he often encountered Hedley Verity, the slow left arm English bowler, who has a better average and economy figures than Warne, with 144 wickets in 144 matches.Best figures of 8/43.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

The best is too obvious. The second best is far behind the best; thereafter it tends to be a continuous graph. The scenario reminds one of the respective populations of the countries involved. The only reason why a guy is even remotely considered (not forgetting some IPL coaching/ commentating aspirants too are keen to exaggerate him) is this disparity in population. His Oz exploits, heavily flattered by Sydney figures, seem to be misleading a lot. He averages 35 from 15 tests elsewhere there with their best bowler for the last 30 years or so having bowled in only 2. And forget Warne; even Robin Singh, of all people, has hit him for 3 sixes in 1 over in a WC match!

Posted by Kamal22 on (March 26, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

@Clan_McLachlan, I think Thompson was in the 70s decade, and Bradman was 40 in 1948, so that would make him to be in the 60s age bracket, after 1968, beyond which, this event, as described in Thompson's biogrpahy must have likely occured!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

befor jumping to conclusion please note that Bradman nevr played in Sub Continent. Like Gavasker or Hanif muhammad scored in away matches. how about Bradman on Slow and turning wickets? nobody knows. recently india thrashed Aussies in spin web and Last year Pakistan blown away Test #1 England with 3-0 in spinning tracks. so please consider that Bradman mostly got smiiliar condition and similar attack of faster bowlers. still he averages 95.0 in 234 FC matches. he is surely among the greats.

Posted by Kamal22 on (March 26, 2013, 16:03 GMT)

I would also say apart from Gavaskar, another name that can be taken to partner Bradman, would be Hanif mohammed. Either of these with Bradman could be a delightful combo of run making and anchoring! what a sight it would be. Perhaps in future if a video game could be developed from the cricinfo stats to develop these chracters in the video games world, it would be awesome to simulate and visualize such possiblities, and teams from various eras having multinational Xi could be set against each other. i'm relishing the scenarios...

Posted by Nampally on (March 26, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

I think you are only talking of Australia & England being major teams w.r.t. Bradman. WI, India, SA all had teams which were good. However the colonial ruling restricted their universal acceptance. Hence they did not get as many chances to play either in Australia or England. Travelling in Bradman's time was by Ship only, well established on certian routes. That probably was the reason Bradman did not have a chance to play in these countries. Bradman was a batting genius judging by any standards. Just go to his books to see his technique which was followed by all Cricketers in their learning phase.You must be kidding, right, when you compare him to Mahela Jayawardene! Even the top 4 rated guys in this article will acknowledge Bradman as the best ever. So let us not insult a genius. As for Doosra & reverse swing, they always existed. It is "Media" which hyped them. Today Cricket is commercialized to make it better than what it was 50 years back. Best cricketer always existed, Sir!

Posted by bbpp on (March 26, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

99% of persons who think that SRT is better than or as good as Bradman would be Indian so there can be no objective discussion about that.

It's Bradman then clear daylight then anyone of Sobers, SRT, Viv, Headley, Lara, Hobbs depending on how you like your eggs. A case can be made for Hammond, Barry Richards, Pollock, Greg, Ponting, Gavaskar, Kallis, Javed etc as #2 but it would be tough to displace any of the six short-listed.

Posted by Nampally on (March 26, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

@AlbertEinstein: I respect the opinion of all, for their own choice of Best ever batsmen & the second best. However I take exception to your comments about poor fielding of yester-year.If you rated the fielding of SA Springboks of early 50's at 10, you would have rated the present fielding standard at 5!.Thats how good they were compared to the present. I have seen some brilliant fielding from guys like Bill Alley, Tom Graveney, Hunte, Solomon in late 50's. I am sure they were chasing the ball at 10.5 secs. 100 M speed. Learie Constantine of WI took the catches of his own bowling at fine leg half way to the boundary!. Can you show any guy during past 30 years even close to that? Gary Sobers, in more recent times, ran to deep mid off to pull out a brilliant catch of his own bowling. Sobers was outstanding fielder at any position. In Brisbane Test Tie of 1959, Joe Solomon hit the wkt. from mid wkt. to get 2 run outs. In T-20 & ODI's 7 out of 10 throws miss the stumps today!. --Contd:

Posted by PTtheAxis on (March 26, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

albert einstein has hit the nail on the mark. very scientific and very clear.

Posted by SunnyD on (March 26, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

@suriya is spot on. Though they should not be compared, if you consier all forms of cricket, Tendulakar of 90s is better than Bradman because of the bowlers he faced - Wasim, Waqar, Warne etc; carrying the high pressure of so many hopes, handling the busy schedule and excelling in the one-day format at the same time. Even Cook, who is a great test batsman, shies away from ODIs at such a young age.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Well this is Crowe's opinion but u think Lara is the best after Bradman.

Posted by AlbertEinstein on (March 26, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

This whole Bradman is the best thing is incorrect. First of all during Bradman's time there was only one half decent side and that was England. New Zealand, West Indies, India and South Africa were all minnows back then. There was no such thing as reverse swing, so the Austrian openers used to see off the new ball while he would milk the old harmless ball. There was no doosra, the fielding in those days was so lethargic that the fielders would give up a chase even before starting it. There was no video footage to identify flaws in one's technique. If Bradman played today he would have be no better than Mahela Jayawerdena. Mark my words

Posted by nambiar.s on (March 26, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Sachin is definitely the Greatest Batsman as argued and agreed by most here in this forum for a variety of reasons namely: Consistency, very high quality shots, faced numerous great bowlers of different eras and different pitches, carried the "Burden of a Billion" etc. Very few sportspersons have mind boggling genuis'ical' talent and fulfill that on the field. Sachin is the perfect example for that. Such people are so few, that the only other sportsman whom i can think of, to be compared to Sachin, is Pele.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

You can afford to play a bowling all-rounder at No7 if he's in your team. Nobody else offers such a luxury. He was virtually 2 great players in one. Kallis or Sobers adds as a fifth bowler and provides excellent balance. Still, none else supplements likewise with batting alone. Some players last for 20 years or more; but the 2 in 1 scenario there is about only longevity, not utility. It's another matter, but for the war, he'd have mesmerized the cricket world with longevity as well. His FC records testify this.

Posted by remnant on (March 26, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

To sum up: no matter how much Bradman's achievements are nullified,even if somehow the peer comparison is left aside considering that he uniquely played when everyone around him were duds, not only in his team, but even in Eng, SA, WI & India, due to depression era difficulties, that still does not raise a 53 avg player who does not have triple ton, never played a winning innings, none rated in all time best list, has a poor 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings record to be considered the greatest. All that he has in in Test cricket are: 51 centuries in 197 Tests.Also 1 century 11 innings vs Wasim,Waqr & Imran! Somehow this should convince us that he is the greatest. In order to bolster this argument, we get the 100 tons argument. Well shouldn't those 50 tons go into ODI category? Somehow the lack of big innings should be excluded in judging him, and other similar shortcomings waived. And a different metric used to come up with him and him alone as the best.Not quite makes the top 5.Sorry.Cheers.

Posted by HumungousFungus on (March 26, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

I have to take issue with many of the posters here, who seem blinded by their love for, or obsession with Tendulkar. Yes, Tendulkar has been a great player, and the fact that he has been playing for 20+ years has allowed him to pile up mountains of runs in all conditions against all comers, and he is to be congratulated for this. However: Bradman is so much better than anybody who has ever picked up a cricket bat that it is ludicrous that anyone can even seriously claim another player to be at a comparable level. Can we just accept this and move on please? There really is no argument here. It just defeats me that anybody can possibly believe that a player who averages 46 Test runs per innings less than Bradman could conceivably be superior. Cricket as a sport will continue to endure, and Tendulkar's records will certainly be beaten (I expect both Kallis and Cook to pass 51 Test centuries, and the total number of Test runs), but Bradman's 99.94 (and 95.14 FC) never, ever will...

Posted by remnant on (March 26, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

@Za77, The fact is Tendulkar had only mcGrath or Warne to contend, and possibly Lee. But whether it is Warne or Lee, these bowlers were played very well by all the other Indian batsmen as well during those tours such 98 and 2003. There wasn't anything special by Sachin. He also played against Ambrose and Walsh in thier declining years. His record against his arch rivals Pakistan in Test matches is not a patch of greatness.I mean the Pakstn team of 90s.Not those who came hence.In 91-92 when he hit those two centuries in Aus, he was good.But in the same year,Lara also visited Aus and hit a double ton 277run out.An innings hailed by critics and even DB.Nobody denies Sachin his dominant status as one of the two best bats of 90s.But he isn't the best from India.Its Gavaskar,with 34 tons agianst WI packs,Imran-Sarfaraz,Lillee-Thompson-Pascoe and ofcourse he was a master of spin.His 96 at Bangalore on a turning track shows how spin must be negotiated.@DavisL.u r Indian..don't bluff mate!;-)

Posted by Bull_Risers on (March 26, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

@ Billy CC: "there will come a time in the future when life expectancy and health improvements may mean people live to 120 on average and extend their playing careers to past 50" Are you joking Bill? avg life period of 120? Average life time of man is decreasing year on year. 4-5 decades back it was 70-85, now it is 50-60. So get your facts right.. Coming to Bradman Vs Sachin.. how can we compare them when they are'nt from same generation? The bowlers Bradman & Sachin faced are different, conditions are different etc.. Bradman is Bradman, Sachin is Sachin.. Can't compare both

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (March 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

@the featured poster: Thomson admitted that he was bowling legbreaks to Bradman, but a couple of young club quicks were there giving it stick. And the Don was in his 50's not 60's. Get your facts straight.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

Most of us have not seen Sir Don Bradman but only watched a few films of his batting. For sheer domination of the bowling, Sobers/Viv Richards/Sehwag and Sachin ( for a brief period) stand out. Of the current bunch, Amla/Devilliers/Clarke seem to be run machines. Let us see how they continue.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

I think the constant drumming up of Tendulkar by Indian fans will actually hurt how the rest of the world remembers him. I am sick of hearing of him and don't think he is even the best batsmen in the last 25 years, or 2nd or really even 3rd. To try and compare him to D Bradman is macabre and dim.

Bradman ave 39 more than any other test batsmen of any era (the earlier guys actually had lower ave than the guys batting now) and a study in the USA once showed Bradman to be the best athlete ever (he was further ahead of his peers than any else have ever been). Its like Bolt running the 100m in 6 seconds compared to others who do it in 9.8, thats the type of margin you need to be mindful of, its lightyears!!!

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

Remnant, you are right Gavaskar 13 hundreds is another debate against W. Indies. How he manage it like Border only 3 against W. Indies with average less than 40 and him more than 65 against W. Indies amazing. Your point is valid. I highly appreciate it. In last hundred, he scored more than 200 runs and four lethal weapons of W. Indies. I think for defensive mode, he is greatest ever. In first 52 test matches, Gavaskar scored 5007 runs on 27 different grouds with 20 century and 22 half century, amazing. I always count him one of the bestever. In main phase of Tendulkar, he scored so many centuries against McGrath and Warne, later on it becomes 11 centuries with 16 half centuries. Another record of him which I have not discussed in preivous, 100 100 at international level in which 20 100 against Australia. Yes, this true his records are countless. I think he is greatest ever. 20 times 100 or more against best attack is something very amazing to discuss.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 26, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

@davisL, what a load of rubbish: the law of averages. Surely 234 matches at 95 per innings is enough matches. As I said in an earlier post, there will come a time in the future when life expectancy and health improvements may mean people live to 120 on average and extend their playing careers to past 50. In 1000 years time, people could retire from cricket at 60. Its called evolution. When that happens, the 100 100s could well be a low base to start judging from. But the 99 average and the 40 runs per innings higher than the next best of the same generation will be hard to dislodge

Posted by prashant1 on (March 26, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

SACHIN TENDULKAR ......Forever!.....God's Own Batsman.

Posted by DavisL on (March 26, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

Being an Englishman I can say that if Don's average of 99 is to considered as the yardstick for being the greatest then Sachin's statistic of 100 100's also has to be the modern day yardstick to be considered the greatest ever!! The Aussies keep harping on Don's average of 99 without realising that his average would definetely have come down had he played as many matches as Sachin did.....its a simple law of averages...the more you play the lesser the average becomes because the runs get divided by a higher number of innings

Remember Harold Larwood the best bowler of Bradman's time had a strike rate of over 64 (that is 64 balls per wicket) whereas Sachin and other modern batsman have had to play many many bowlers with a strike rate of less than 50!! For me Sachin is THE GREATEST BATSMAN EVER.....if someone can beat Sachin's record of 100 100's then I would consider him greater than Sachin...Period.

Posted by SajidMukadam on (March 26, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

Its nothing but utter non sense, shortlisting the batsmen then looking for one who will be best to partner Don and then saying look Gary is the best after Don, how childish anyone can be. The whole world who is the best batsman after Don even Don himself have mentioned him to be someone who reflects him. So it doesn't matter what anyone says.

Posted by remnant on (March 26, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

@ZA77, How are these hundreds superior to those scored by Gavaskar agianst the Windies at thier peak -13 of them. Don't forget Sachin double agiasnt Aussies came up when they had a deleted bowling resources.@Cric24, pls enlighten the 20 Test match winning innings of Sachin. I'm sure your contortionist skills will certianly bring out something for our consumption.He has always been a choker and the only time he could have led that was in Chennai, where he couldn't cross the line.We also saw a couple of days ago,what he was doing when the target was only 28. I also remember when during the last SA tour, he was more interested in beefing up his 2nd innings stats, after scoring a century than shielding the tail.Right or not?We can be certian about one thing. DB never played for records,and retired when he needed only 4 to round up his avg.I'm certian Sachin would have gone on to play 99 more innings just to get those 4, if he didn't get them!

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

A poster has mentioned about Jeff Thomson's bowling to DB when he was 60. There is no value of it when we are talking about test cricket. If we are talking about test cricket, please pick the things from it, not outside of it. Maurice Tate easily took more than 100, Verity with stirking rate 113 in Aus and still manage more than 100 wickets. Loahman easily took 100. Barnes 189 wickets in 27 test matches only in same era. Grimmett 217 wickets of same era then Mailey 99 wickets, O Reilly near to 150 wickets, Blythe with 100 wickets in 19 test matches. Wright 108 wicket with bowling average 39, still manage 100 or plus. Rhodes 127 wickets, he was all rounder and still have 100 or more. All these bowlers belongs to before word war II. Why not others for whole career for 100 wickets. From 1927 to 1947, 85 test matches had been played so bowlers were still unable to take 100 wickets who was responsible. How Barnes took 189 in just 27 it means 7 per test.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

We have seen that Headley avg. 91 against the only decent team of the era Englang (besides Aus) when batting at No.3. Bradman had some 10% more . SRT avg. 55 vs. Aus ( the best team of the generation- over 21 yrs) inspite of the last 2 horror tours against Aus. Sure, Tendulkar is fading...But before the last two tours he avg. around 58 vs. Aus...the next best was 51 for Lara ( BTW in Aus itself Lara avg. 41)...So, the diff between SRT and the next best was similar to DGB and the next best ....the problem is injuries cut down Tendulkar, as also the risks brought about by ODIs etc, innovative shot making, the importance of not having too many dot balls etc...Playing ONLY one format in well known conditions such as DGB did is one thing...For eg. Look at Pujara - the WORSE thing for him will be to be selected for ODIs and have to adapt his game to a more risk taking style for his format....

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Yes, you are right but how can we neglect the fact 11 test hundreds against Australia in test matches, not weakness against the best attack of his era. What is your opinion about it. Same era, same others and how many scored atleast 10 hundreds against Australia, not a single batsman of his era. 20 times, 150 or plus, another record of him. First one with 20 150 or plus scores. 51 hundreds only one another record, then 118 times, 50 or plus scored, another record of him. Highest run scorer with the help of 50 or plus score 12210 runs. 15000 runs in test cricket only. 16 times not out when score century, only one. That is why not too many double hundreds. Just see his 194 not out against Pakistan. See his consistency, equal consistency in one day, only one. First one with 200 in one day. When achieved test cricket records, equally achieved one day cricket records as well. If you are not ready to accept his abilites more than others, I cannot do anything for it.

Posted by remnant on (March 26, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

@ZA77,' After great depression, it was just like filing the places.' Now this is borne by what research?As I know,Eng came back so prepared right after Great depression in 1931 that they wrested the Ashes from Aus in Aus!That's not like filling places?Post war under DBs captaincy Aus became known as The Invincibles. Whether Eng had right blowlers or DB was worsening thier avgs., or whether Headley scored against similar conditions of 'great depression' or not? Fact is given the challenges(whatever they were trundlers or bodyline)the man kept his avg consistent to near 100 lik his 1st class avg.With 12 tons and 2 triple.He also at one time possessed 453 in 1st class,then a world record.A poster has mentioned about Jeff Thomson's bowling to DB when he was 60.Not sure what you'll come up now.But on any MEASURABLE metric,Bradman is peerless.Sachin diehards need to explain why Kallis who bats in more bowling friendly conditions avgs higher even while having strike bowling responsiblities.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

@remnant - and your ignorance is being revealed in full glory. Tendulkar has 20 matchwinning 100s as compared to Lara's 8. Through the 1990s Tendulkar played several classic knocks which because the team was so poor did not result in wins...DGB batted at No.3, the best spots for prolific run scoring are 1-3..Majority of 250+ scores and triples have been scored then. Or otherwise the later order batsmen come in early on an easy pitch. The triple DGB scored at No.5 was when he reversed ordered the batting lineup....Headley, also averaged 91 at No.3 when playing the only decent side England (besides Aus) in the 1930s and 40s....It seems you have only watched cricket in the last decade or so, and the rest of the time you sit and filter stats on statsguru...

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

@remnant - You may rant all you want....Tendulkar averaged 59 through the 1990s ( excluding Ban and Zim) Lara 52. Steve 53. Infact just 3 players who batted right through the 1990s ( the entire decade) average 50+. Conditions were tougher for batting then....Tendulkar's average may even go below 50 if he goes on? So what? Only an ignorant person will use his final average as a determinant of his quality.

Posted by remnant on (March 26, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

@ZA, This is a 53 avg criekter that you are inflating, who carries no triple ton(DB-2), no match winning innings,5 double tons with three against minnows(DB-12),and not a single all time test rated innings.A very poor 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings record.His record agaisnt 90s Pak Test team is also not exactly inspring.All modern players play in 60 grounds,so if you hold this agiasnt soembody from another era, then its unfair.The conditions then were a challenge which were worthily overcome.Padded as astronauts, these days even no.10s can score tons!So much for skills.Please dont forget,the last 20 years has also seen the dearth of great fast bowlers, and slowing down of pitches across the world.Like your argument,a reverse argument can be made against your favorite Sachin or even others now, about scoring with helmets with visors on.How can someone with helmet be compared with someone who never played with this and other protective gear such as elbow and chest guards that Sachin has used!

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 26, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

Someone said jayasuriya as greatest how can a slogger can be great if je is great then afridi gayle all r great

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

Billy Cc, I have no doubt in Don Bradman abilities. For me he is one of the best test batsman. Leading bowlers category wise faced in test cricket top five by Sir Don Bradman were fast bowlers Gubby Allen 82, Larwood 78, Ken Farnes 60, Constaintine 58 and Charlie Griffith 44. Fast Medium Voce 98, Bowes 68, White 49, Bell 48 and Geary 46. Leg Break Wright 108, Walter Robbin 64, Peebles 45, Hollies 44 and Macmillan 36 Off Break / SLAO Laker 193, Mankad 152, Verity 144, Vincent 84. In Tendulkar case Fast are Walsh 519, Hadlee 431, Wasim 414, Ambrose 405, Ntini 390. Fast Medium McGrath 563, Pollock 421, Vaas 355, Kallis 261 and Hoggard 248. Leg Break Warne 708, Kaneria 261, Qadir 237, MacGill 208, Mushtaq 185. Off Break / SLAO Murli 800, Vettori 355, Saqlain 208, Emburrey 147 and Panesar 126. More than 150 took 100 or more in which he played 6 on ten grounds in two counrties and Tenduklar played 60 on 60 grounds in ten countries, beside one day cricket.

Posted by AaBbHhAaYy on (March 26, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

Sir Don & Sobers...Probably The Ultimate Partnership.....You Missed Out Graeme Pollock...& I Think Wally Hammond Was still A Great batsman...Probably The Greatest english batsman...he bated mostly At 5 & 6..Hence scored fewer centuries.....One More batsman You Should have mentioned..."Len Hutton"...he had The Finest technique..& I Rate him higher than Jack Hobbs...As The game Was A Bit raw In his Times!!

Posted by BillyCC on (March 26, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

@ZA77, when Bradman retired, he was the universal choice for greatest batsmen ever. People preferred Trumper and Hobbs on wet wickets. Batting is about wet wickets, turning wickets, pacy wickets, good wickets, bouncy wickets etc. Bradman was regarded as the greatest after taking into account all types of wickets.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 26, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

I think sachin has scored more than half of his runs outside india. Performed well in all yhe countries so my vote goes to sachin. Players like sangakara who have scored 70 % of runs on flat wickets against medicore bowlers of this generation should not be menntioned here . Sachin lara gavaskar hutton richards ponting are greats in respective order

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Don Bradman is best among his peers but his team mates have same advantage, but they unable to perform. After great depression, it was just like filing the places. Example of Headley, his batting average against Eng was 71.23 but against Australia, 37.33. Sutcliff 66.85 against Australia. He was 80% more in term of statistic. Whereas Bradman average 89.78 is only 25% better than Headley. Playing against two leg break Grimmet and Reilly in timeless matches at a time, they delivered more than 1200 balls in some test matches. It looks like you are facing 2 Warne and 2 Kumble in one match. One question is there are you ready to accept Loahman 10.75 bowling average (grabbing more than 100wickets) is more than double than other greatest fast bowlers like Marshall, Wasim Akram, Lillee, Hadlee and many others. Can we say he is the best test bowler or not, Bradman near to triple figure and he is near to single figure. In 18 test he took more than 100 but others of those days not in whole career

Posted by remnant on (March 26, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

@ eternity, pitches are covered for a reason, and if conditions similar to uncovered pitches come up then matches do often end up much earlier. 4 matches played in Bodlyine with 8 ball overs and intimidatory bowling and legside stacked fielding, and a 90mph ball whizzing over a non helmetted head, and the batsman still getting to score a hundred and average 56, that is better than then modren so called god's averall career stats, coveys more powerfully than anything. I presume,you too making the same point that Bradman's peers possessed not so good technique in batting, thus make him stand out.Well if the accusation is against an entire generation,I cant say much,but DB's Aus were at one point called Invincibles.@ZA77 During DB era,all off Eng bat+bowl-poor,WI Bat+bowl poor,SA Bat+bowl poor, India bat+bowl poor, Aus bowl -VERY GOOD while bat poor.This is the condition that you are proclaiming for 20 years to get DB to be a stat freak!Is it reasonable?All batters duds,all bowlers duds.

Posted by dinzee on (March 26, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

There are two aspects to consider when you rate a batsman, 1.) technique 2.) Character. With the later, tendulkar is no where near as lara, jayasuriya, M.waugh or the others in his era. But with technique is ops the list....however, i cannot remember a single instant where he won a crucial match for india. Yes he is a very very good batsman but i dont consider him as a great batsman simply because he's not a match winner. In all these articles about great batsmen, one guy everybody has missed is Aravinda Desilva. It is so natural to miss him out because of the very low number of matches he was able to play. But to me, in 90's there wasn't another batsman who was a better match winner than Aravinda. Yes I agree his stats won't help the course but surely mentioning his name is almost compulsory.

Posted by acapulko on (March 26, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

This is a strange article. Unlike Nicholas last week, Crowe does not analyze the strengths and weakness of each contender but decides his candidate on the premises of the contender being a left hander. This is slightly absurd. Sober's greatness was due to his allround abilities and not just his left handed batting abilities. As elaborated by Nicholas last week, Sobers can be considered as the greatest after Bradman on the basis of his all round abilities.

If the criteria was to find the best left handed batsman then Brian Lara and Graeme Pollock would perhaps upstage Sobers.

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

Remnant, you are not ready to accept reality. Why Larwood had only 45 wickets without bodyline series. Why his career was over after body line series. One reason is that amatuer bowlers were unable to take 100 wickets, not due to limited cricket. From 1927 to 1947, England played 85 test matches and bowlers were not getting chance in team, how it is possible. Take example of Ponting and Warne of same era with 168 and 142 test matches. If Hammond played 85 so why Larwood and others not able to play even 40 test matches. Because they were amatuers and not having first interest in cricket. Why Gubby Allen played only 25 test matches. Only leg break bowler who took 100 or more, faced by Bradman was Wright. Also Bradman was not universal choice of best batsmen for those days. Fan of Trumper, never accept him better than him due to elegancy and ability to play on wet wicket. Also there are people who think Jack Hobbs was better than him due to elegancy and ability to play on wet wicket.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Bradman stood head and shoulders above all batsmen. His abiilty against all sorts of bowling and the length of his career taking in a world war and coming back still as a match winner says it all. He was so dominant England tried to stifle his influence ..they did to a certain extent but he still averaged 56 in the Bodyline series.. I am amazed Herbert Sutcliffe isn't included in this list of brilliant batsmen.Or Graeme Pollock who was an absolute Master against all bowling.

Posted by dsklokuge on (March 26, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

1.Sir Donald Bradman 2.Barry Richards 3.Sir Garry Sobers 4.Graeme Pollock 5.George Headley 6.Wally Hammond 7.Kumar Sangakkara 8.Sir Leonard Hutton 9.Sir Jack Hobbs 10.Sachin Tendulkar 11. Brian Lara 12 .Javed Miandad 13.Ricky Ponting 14. Sunil Gavaskar

for more than 50 test match played. 1.Sir Donald Bradman 2.Sir Garry Sobers 3.Wally Hammond 4.Kumar Sangakkara 5.Sir Leonard Hutton 6.Sir Jack Hobbs 7.Sachin Tendulkar 8. Brian Lara 9 .Javed Miandad 10.Ricky Ponting 11. Sunil Gavaskar

Kumara Sangakara has best average who scored more than 10000 runs in career for tests.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

I believe Kumar Sangakkara should also be in contention within this forum .. . Over 10,000 runs in 200 innings at a better average than SRT. Plus Sanga continues his duties as a wicket keeper as well .. . If not for the lack of test matches for Sri Lanka Sanga could overcome the records of SRT .. .

Posted by johnal on (March 26, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

my choice will have to be sunil manohar gavaskar .in all the batsmen gavaskar faced the best bowling ever holding garner marshall roberts from the west indies . lillee thompson from. australia .bob willis and underwood from england imran khan and abdul kadir from pakistan . richard hadlee from new zealand. im from the west indies i say it first hand in trinidad

Posted by harshthakor on (March 26, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar posessed every ingredient for a perfect batsman-technique,concentration,temperament,consistency,innovative ability,ability to save and win games and ability to conquer every type of attack in any conditions.Sobers was virtually Sachin's left -handed equivalent.Brian Lara lacked Sachin's consistency but like Viv Richards had more flair.Lara could single-handedly lift his team to victories or turn games.At his best Viv was 2nd only to Bradman if you add his Packer performances.Gary Sobers like Tendulkar was more complete than Lara and Viv but was marginally below them in raw ability.

I may still choose Hammond over Headley,as Walter posessed flair in the class of Viv or Barry Richards ,taking bowling attacks to the scruff of its neck.Overall Len Hutton was Sunil Gavaskar's equal with his perfect technique while in raw ability Barry Richards was the best of all opening batsman and on par with the likes of Viv Richards.

Overall stilll,I praise Crowe's selection.

Posted by harshthakor on (March 26, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

My personal choice to have accompanied Bradman would have been Brian Lara who I think was arguably the best left -handed batsman of all.At his peak I rate him a better match-winner than Tendulkar and a better player in a crisis.Lara was the greatest creative genius of the modern era with a penchant for mammoth scores above any great batsman.Above all he would score at a breathtaking rate and never curbed stroke-making.He championed the cause for a weak team like no other batsman since the war.Playing for a champion team he may well have been the best West Indian batsman of all.

I disagree with Gavaskar been chosen ahead of Viv Richards.Viv,was the best batsman of his era who could turn the complexion of a game more than any batman of any era and destroyed pace bowling with disdain more than even Bradman.From 1976-81 he was the best after the Don.

Overall apart from his not being a left -hander Tendulkar would have been my choice as he was arguably the most complete batsman ever.

Posted by JimKR on (March 26, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

I do not understand what some people are trying to say about Sachin. He is undoubtedly the best batsman of his era. He did not score well in recent past, that is true. But he was at his peak against the best attacks like Wasim & Waqar, Ambrose & Walsh, Donald and co. He was the only batsman who dominated and scored freely against these bowlers during their peak time. The greats like Lara & Ponting admitted that Sachin is the best. The bowling legands like Warne, Allan Donald, Wasim admitted Sachin is the best. It is really funny to see some comments against the great player who scored runs all over the world.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

Tendulkar averaged 59 through the 1990s ( excluding Ban and Zim) Lara 52. Steve 53. Infact just 3 players who batted right through the 1990s ( the entire decade) average 50+. Conditions were tougher for batting then.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

See, DB's records are too consistent. They follow a constant pattern. No of centuries, runs, FC or tests. Only Headley comes even remotely close. Stats often mislead; such obvious ones don't. Coming to the second best player, that ceases to be the case. See how much more impressive his 117 centuries from 234 matches look than Hobbs's 199! Now his detractors may say Oz bowlers too were pathetic. All players, batters or bowlers, of an entire generation need to be pathetic to save the stature of a certain player surviving on personality cult! The 4 in contention, to go by what I watched/ listened / read would rather be modified to replace the 2 Indian players by Richards and Ponting.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

@Elend Venture - Most ridiculous comment I've ever read. Tendulkar has a better away record than Lara in Aus, NZ , Eng .SA is the same. Lara has NEVER got a Hundred against real pace till the batting friendly conditions of the 2000s arrived. And that then he got 4 against Lee and Flintoff in a 2 yr period. Tendulkar has awesome Hundreds against practically every single bowler you have mentioned IN their own backyards. Right from 1992 vs. Donald in South Africa age 19, when Tendulkar scored 111 and the next highest score was 25. Your extreme ignorance reveals the fact that you are rather unaware of cricket in the 1990s.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 2:22 GMT)

And let's not even bring ODIs into the picture. I'll risk sounding like a troll and say that it's ludicrous to me that anyone would look beyond Sachin as the greatest player in limited overs history. He has 33 hundreds in winning causes, has made runs eveywhere and in real pressure cooker situations (he averages 55 ( 97 when India win) with 6 hundreds in ODI finals v Ponting's 38 or Lara's 28). The closest anyone comes in the ODI greatness stakes is Viv Richards, and Tendulkar has 12,000 more runs (say it out loud - TWELVE THOUSAND), at a slighty (45 v 47) lower average and slightly lower strike rate. So, please, I beg of you fine folks, end this Sachin v Lara debate once and for all. I'll get an aneurysm if I have to listen any more about Brian Lara winning more matches (all eight of them) or having been a better batsman than Sachin.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 2:21 GMT)

I think Brian Lara, bless his heart, was a great batsman. But he is held in such high regard partly because of his swashbuckling style and the fact that a few innings he has played were among the best ever. The truth is that he was nowhere near as consistently good as Tendulkar has been. Consider this. In 4th innings, Brian averaged 3 runs lower than Sachin, and has 8 hundreds in winning causes vs Sachin's 20. And apart from the 153*, he has done virtually nothing in 4th innings chases. But that innings has always been cited in a "what has sachin done?" argument. Before Sachin buried the idiots at Chennai , of course. Away, on non-subcontinental tracks Tendulkar averages better in Aus, NZ, Eng .SAF is the same.

Posted by Leonb on (March 26, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

@Master_Mihil - English! Any other comment? For me, Hobbs is #2 but that is MY opinion only. Oh, the "carrom ball" has been around since the 40's. Bill Bowes and Gubby Allen both had strike rtes in the low 50s and Larwood was seriously fast and super accurate. Headley Verity was a phenominal SLA bowler. For the WI, Constantine and H.Griffiths were both very quick bowlers. After the war, Bedser, who was a brilliant bowler for ANY age, caused Bradman problems, but he still averaged over 70 at age 40 in 1948. Cricketers prior to the Packer circus had real jobs and got paid a pittance to play for their country. They did not have the benefits of todays technology and there were a lot of incredible 'old time' batsmen who would murder todays bowling with helmets and carefully tended pitches etc. As for 'but SRT has scored so many runs therefore he is the best...' what a silly argument. I love watching him and he is in that all time great elite group - but just not the best.

Posted by SG70 on (March 26, 2013, 1:24 GMT)

@Remnant : With due respect ... your views are just completely wrong and upside down.

1. Dew : This only makes batting easier. No exception. It only gets hard when a pitch is waterlogged and then they start to bat on it while its drying. You can work out the chances of this happening while Bradman batted. 2. Nobody disputes Bradman being far better than his peers. But you cannot extrapolate that and say he would be far better than everyone else forever. All it means is that he was only better than his peers. And to understand the sort of technique his peers possed I suggest you search Britishpathe.com. They are very modest to put it mildly. Ditto with bowlers 3. Bodyline : None of the Fast bowlers had the kind of speed and accuracy as the modern day greats to cause any damage. In any case the no.of Test matches that Bradman played while BL was in-effect is 4. Today these tactics are just common. Back then Larwood got banned for life (spirit of game) which is laughable.

Posted by landl47 on (March 26, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

I didn't see Bradman or Headley, so can't offer a personal opinion on them (though anyone who thinks Larwood was a medium pacer clearly hasn't read much cricket history). However, my memory stretches back to the late 1950s and in that time Sobers was the best batsman I've seen and by far the best all-round cricketer. Gavaskar and Tendulkar would make my XI of the

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