Sharp Analysis. Straight Talk

Was Kallis better than Sobers?

Sanjay Manjrekar and Daryll Cullinan compare the numbers of Garry Sobers, Jacques Kallis and other allrounders to discuss who impressed them the most

December 27, 2013

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Posted by Ally323 on (December 29, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

peter56 - Unfortunately, you are fighting a losing battle. "no bowler mastered Sobers" - everyone gets out at some point. Maintaining a good record over a long period of time is the test of time and allows you to prove your record. last week one of Indian`s batsmen came in at 102 average, but only had 5 innings. so the more innings the tougher it is to stay on top. Sobers never got to face Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Waqar Younis - those guys would easily have halved his average, hehehe.

Kallis is and will always be the master - he would go out for a duck and then take 5 wickets. or take no wickets and score a century.

You have also forgotten to mention that since Sobers we have received the 3rd umpire for run outs, hot spot, etc - so technology has made it much more difficult for batsmen to get away with nicks or run outs. all of which Kallis had to deal with whereas in those days Sobers would have gotten away with a few no doubt.

Hail King Kallis!!

Posted by peter56 on (December 29, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

DonovanBolton and Walaroo I think i have suceeded in what i was trying to do,which was not to try to change anyones opinion, but to provide some stats that make people think.both of your second posts here were more measured and thoughtful than your first rather wild and inaccurate comments.Maybe we might agree on that.Walaroo, Sobers was Windies captain for 7 years.JHK never sought or was given the leadership.but as you say if he had been it would have been safety first tactics.maybe this is the main reason why the SAffas never won the world cup.When you say Sobers was a showman the implication maybe is that he was lacking in substance could not be relied on to adjust his attacking style when the occasion demanded nothing could be further from the truth he could play the heroic rearguard action when needed check out his 163* against England in 1966.or the 113* on the worst pitch Geoff Boycott ever saw in his life,he then in that match declared and had England 68 for 7.hanging on

Posted by Wallaroo on (December 29, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

peter56 Sobers was a showman, Kallis is a quieter grittier player. In business when times are tough boards most often select leaders who are reliable and tenacious as opposed to colourful and vivacious when the business needs to dig deep and deliver when it counts. This is the difference between these blokes, I personally would always go for the understated quieter person, there is a reason they say still waters run deep.

You too are welcome to your opinion, but remember it's an opinion not fact.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

I believe the better cricketer is Sobers even if you take the stats. Bowling average Kallis slightly better (34.03 vs 32.53). In batting Sobers (57.78 vs 55.48)) had a better average and if you look at runs per innings, Kallis is at 47.33 and Sobers at 50.51. In fact of the modern cricketers, only Sangakkara(52.43) and Lara (51.52) average more that 50 runs per innings - (no Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid nor Kallis). Sobers a better fielder and more versatile cricketer. Sobers is the impact player hands down and did not need helmet!! See his 254 n.o. in Rest of the World verses Australia that included Lillee in his prime. Sobers hand down.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

'@Peter56 I can also write a thesis as you have to prove a point but my primary argument is based on this: Cricket as with most other sports has evolved and players have got better at what they do (if that were not the case then cricket as a sport would have a big problem). Sobers would have done great in this era but he did not have an opportunity to prove it for obvious reasons. Kallis has had the fortune of proving himself in a far more competitive era across different formats and against better players. Statistics based on "If Sir Garry played this many games etc...." are interesting, but the point is he did not play in as many matches or formats of the game so you can't say he would have done well in those formats as well or over as many matches. As someone wisely said on this site "If given the choice between Kallis and Sobers in todays era who would I choose for my team? Kallis without a doubt".

Posted by peter56 on (December 28, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

gdevilliars :I wish people would just check some of the stats before they come on these sites:JHK ODI stats do not 'mimic 'his test stats average 55 in tests 44 in ODI also in 36 world cup appearances he has only scored one century against Holland. Tyson trueman Miller and Lillie could all bowl at 150kand they were all greater fast bowlers than anything JHK ever had to face. I think a key word here you use is JHK had to' face' Sobers would not have faced these bowlers he would have dominated them The only bowler of comparable speed JHK had to face was Shoaib.I will leave you to get back to me with the relevant stats for JHK facing Shoaib and Murali for example .In Sobers time only about 25% of the first class cricket was International cricket whereas 90% of JHK cricket was international.GS actually played more cricket every year than JHK did.and he played 20 years.See the chart compiled by SRajesh and see how many more runs wickets and 5 fors GS would have got had he played 166 tests

Posted by gdevilliars on (December 28, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Could Sobers bowl at 140km+ at the age of 38. Could Sobers play over 300 ODI and mimic his test record. Could Sobers play against many nations on many tracks. Could Sobers face bowling well above 150km. Could Sobers face 2 spinners that bowl hand grenades with over 1500 wickets between them. Kallis has been there and done it all with more modesty than any cricketer. Sentiment is why people think Sobers is better, but honestly when people start speculating what Sobers could do if he played more test against modern attacks it's just giving Kallis the credit he deserves.

Posted by peter56 on (December 28, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

just to clarify the 5 balls Sobers was juggling Batsman,fast medium and 2 styles of spin plus the added pressure of captaincy.As JHK said himself he was able to achieve what he achieved by playing the vast majority of his career 'by operating under the radar'As was said last year if it wasnt for the stats nobody would even notice or mention JHK when discussing the merits of the top 5 all rounders ever.I mean it took the Wisden almanac, the cricketers bible, until 2013 before it named him as one of its 5 cricketers of the year.When wisden did a retrospective of the leading cricketer of the year back to 1900 Sobers won the award for 9 years compared to 1 for JHK .So despite playing his whole career as a swahbuckling cavalier he still has a better 23.77 difference between his batting average and his bowling average than the roundhead JHK .Even Mike Proctor former great allrounder and SAFFA coach during Kallis career has said that Kallis is great but Sobers is the greatest.

Posted by peter56 on (December 28, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

8 out of 10 of the real comparative stats proove Sobers was the greatest.lets just go through some: runs per test Sobers 86 Kallis79.Average 57 to 55,Centuries per test GS 3.5 JHK 3.7.Batting strike rate GS estimated 55 JHK 46,Runs per inns GS 50.2,JHK 47.21 . wickets per test GS 2.52 JHK 1.76,Garry also has more 5 wicket hauls than JHK from 73 less test here are the 2 areas that JHK is in front 32.65 average to 34.01 and of course a strike rate of 69 compared to 91.However GS regularly opened the bowling and then employed spin in the same test.Imagine if JHK had had to follow bowling fast medium in a test by bowling 10-15 overs of spin his average would probably be over 40.its like watching 2 jugglers. one is juggling 5 balls the other 2. If the one juggling 2, drops fractionally fewer balls than the one juggling 5, everyone can still see that the juggler able to juggle 5 balls is a better juggler than the one who is only able to juggle 2.for Juggler substitute Bowler

Posted by peter56 on (December 28, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

Donovan bolton your arrogance is only exceeded by your ignorance Sobers faced 3 of the 4 greatest Aussie fast men of all time namely Lindwall,Miller and Lillie.He came up against 4 of Englands greatest ever bowlers(Tyson,Trueman Snow and Underwood) all of them much better than anything Kallis ever had to face from english bowlers.Indias greatest ever bowling attack,the legendary spin quartet of the sixties(Bedi,Chandrasekar,Prasanna,Venkat) this is just a sample off the top of my head.Also he played tests in all 5 away countries.Unfortunately for him he never got to boost his average by playing in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh And he never got to play in Sri Lanka where Kallis had a poor record and was completely mastered by Murali.No bowler ever mastered Sobers and as regards environments Sobers had to contend with uncovered wickets,primitive Bats,and no helmets even if they had been available he wouldnt have used them as he did not even use a thigh pad.

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