2nd best, after Bradman ?

TheGreatBarryB

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Power Raid

TheBrownDog
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batsman now have to contend with DRS which is significant for bowling teams and i think cancels out the "bigger bats" argument (smith isn't a power hitter anyway).
Just about every rule change has been in favour of batsmen, even DRS.

Umpires don’t call the close ones, not wanting it to be overturned. They leave it to the bowling side to review and the bulls**t half hit, goes against the bowler.

It either hits or misses, if it hits, one should be out....even a half hit.
 

malcolm

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Well, what did you see my blue eyed son? And what did you see, my darling young one? I saw a man batting without a chance for 149 overs. I saw Joe Denly bowling in mid-afternoon. I saw a thousand pad-roll fiddles and five hundred box-flicks. I saw a game and a series and a career defined.

 

MarcusP2

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Well, what did you see my blue eyed son? And what did you see, my darling young one? I saw a man batting without a chance for 149 overs. I saw Joe Denly bowling in mid-afternoon. I saw a thousand pad-roll fiddles and five hundred box-flicks. I saw a game and a series and a career defined.

So since Edgbaston 4 years ago he averages 158 against England. Him strolling out must be depressing.
 

Gethelred

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For me personally given the quality of the attacks that he not only scored runs against, but absolutely tore apart, I can’t go past Ponting. Smith can’t ckntrol who he plays against, and he’s been simply amazing. And that’s a big compliment coming from an Aussie basher. The guy is so good it’s not funny.

Smith has played against a lot of good bowlers and I guess you could make the argument that England and New Zealand especially have been far better in his time than they were in Ponting’s.

But the pitches were almost invariably tougher when Ponting played so that goes in his favour, and the subcontinent especially had worse pitches and better bowlers then than they do now. And true enough he failed in India badly for a time but he redeemed himself there and in Sri Lanka.

He could also dominate better than smith could. The thing that separates the absolute geniuses from the other greats is their ability to dominate, for me. It’s why I put Ponting, Lara and De Villiers in a slightly higher league to say, Kallis, Tendulkar (still could dominate but not to the same degree), Sanga and Dravid.

Smith isn’t losing any friends though, that has to be acknowledged. And the way he scored with two tailenders last night shows he’s getting better at dominating
Ponting also had other batsmen to stay out there with him, where Smith (Sangakara and late Lara, really; if they got Chanderpaul out, who was going to stay out there with him? Gayle?) hasn't really had that overseas at all.

I do agree that Ponting was a more dominant presence out there at his best; there was a reason India's recourse against him in 07/08 was to have Sharma bowl a foot and a half outside off, only getting closer to the stumps than that by about two inches every 3 overs to try and get an edge. If they bowled anywhere near the stumps at him, he'd have punished them for it; Australia isn't like England, where a full line and length is rewarded with a bit of movement. That was towards the end for Ponting, too.

I'd argue it's easier to dominate an opposition when you've got Hayden out there with you, Clarke/Hussey to follow you, and Gilly in the shed; easier to dismiss your concerns about having to set a total or to make the runs when you've got proven backup in the team should you fail to get 100 in as many balls. Smith has a lot more responsibility on him when he bats than Ponting did, and has not been in the situation in which he's had the luxury of dominating the way Ponting did.

It's a fair criticism of Kallis that unlike Lara/Tendulkar/Ponting he never truly dominated his opposition, content to roll along with a strike rate of 70-75 where his competitors could fly along at 100 if they wanted to. I don't know that it's a fair criticism of Smith, because unlike Kallis Smith didn't have the batting beside him to play a more swashbuckling innings.
 

PhatBoy

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Ponting also had other batsmen to stay out there with him, where Smith (Sangakara and late Lara, really; if they got Chanderpaul out, who was going to stay out there with him? Gayle?) hasn't really had that overseas at all.

I do agree that Ponting was a more dominant presence out there at his best; there was a reason India's recourse against him in 07/08 was to have Sharma bowl a foot and a half outside off, only getting closer to the stumps than that by about two inches every 3 overs to try and get an edge. If they bowled anywhere near the stumps at him, he'd have punished them for it; Australia isn't like England, where a full line and length is rewarded with a bit of movement. That was towards the end for Ponting, too.

I'd argue it's easier to dominate an opposition when you've got Hayden out there with you, Clarke/Hussey to follow you, and Gilly in the shed; easier to dismiss your concerns about having to set a total or to make the runs when you've got proven backup in the team should you fail to get 100 in as many balls. Smith has a lot more responsibility on him when he bats than Ponting did, and has not been in the situation in which he's had the luxury of dominating the way Ponting did.

It's a fair criticism of Kallis that unlike Lara/Tendulkar/Ponting he never truly dominated his opposition, content to roll along with a strike rate of 70-75 where his competitors could fly along at 100 if they wanted to. I don't know that it's a fair criticism of Smith, because unlike Kallis Smith didn't have the batting beside him to play a more swashbuckling innings.
All fair points. And there is also a school of thought that rather than costing his team by being less aggressive, Kallis actually helped it given a lot of the chaos around him through stroke players like Gibbs, De Villiers and Amla- and even Smith to an extent who was dog ugly but could actually score quite quickly when he wanted to.
 

TennisPlayerAndy

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Ponting averaged over 60 after 100 odd tests.

Smith gets to that mark and he's better.

Until then, it's all prognostication.
 
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Gethelred

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All fair points. And there is also a school of thought that rather than costing his team by being less aggressive, Kallis actually helped it given a lot of the chaos around him through stroke players like Gibbs, De Villiers and Amla- and even Smith to an extent who was dog ugly but could actually score quite quickly when he wanted to.
I wasn't saying that Kallis was a less valuable player - it'd be difficult to argue that, considering how selfish Steve Waugh was at times - merely that he wasn't in the same caliber with the bat as the other three due to his desire to meander along at his desired pace. By the same token, he was a good all rounder anyway, and we he Australian most of the people who spent the majority of the time arguing his inadequacy compared to the others would have possessed nothing but praise for his contributions.

However, I rate Graeme Smith as a better player than Kallis. To average 50 as both a captain and an opening bat, over a 10 year period, without being able to play the ball through cover or mid off at all is nothing short of an astounding achievement. He was unquestioned as the best captain of his generation, IMO, because what Clarke did through being a stunning technical player who was classic to watch he did through sheer force of will.
 

the_interloper

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You can't compare eras but you can compare how far above one guy is to number two in his own era, this is why Bradman will always be the GOAT of course.

As for Smith v Ponting, hard to say at this point, we'll probably know more in 4-5 years but it will be close, one thing is for sure we'd be completely f’ed without Smith right now.
 

Gough

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You can't compare eras but you can compare how far above one guy is to number two in his own era, this is why Bradman will always be the GOAT of course.

As for Smith v Ponting, hard to say at this point, we'll probably know more in 4-5 years but it will be close, one thing is for sure we'd be completely f’ed without Smith right now.
I used to see Bradman about a lot when I was a kid and it was always so hard to reconcile this little old man with the Bradman of Newsreels.
 

Gethelred

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So he was undoubtedly the best of amateur era.
... which was the only thing at the time. If he went pro, he would - still - be the best batsman of his epoch, because there were no other professional cricketers.

Times have changed, but you're being rather a little silly. You cannot compare evenly across eras, but no-one can compare to his achievements against his contemporaries.
 

Park cricketer

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Searched for Larwood's videos.



All I see is blokes without protective gearing, trying in vain to play an entirely novel form of bowling when they have never played balls above their waists their entire lives. Of course they would struggle. It's like legalising beamers all of a sudden and picturing batsmen getting hurt and swaying out of the way to save their heads.

Imagine de Grandhomme pictured in a grainy black and white photo with a cigar. With his vintage look, he would have been touted as the meanest fast bowler ever if he were born in that era.
 

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