Monday, April 04, 2005

Dandee Gilly

Interesting piece here on Adam Gilchrist being the most explosive batsman in cricket history. I’ve long held that not only is Gilchrist the finest active cricketer today – that’s a point many people will agree on anyway – but more crucially, he’s been the best batsman in the world for at least the last three years. Yup, better than Dravid, better than (yuck yuck yuck) Kallis, better than Hayden and Sehwag. It’s always a tricky thing comparing a number 7 “non-specialist” with people whose first job is batting, but there it is, I’ve laid down my hat and so on. I remember recently doing one of those meaningless comparison things with a friend – a man-by-man contrast of Clive Lloyd’s 1980s team with Steve Waugh’s side – and we both agreed that Richards (yes, the immortal, incomparable Viv Richards) was cancelled out by Gilchrist as batsman alone, with wicketkeeping ability still held over in reserve. Now of course that’ll be blasphemy to many people but keep an open mind and think about it.

Nice trivia in this article – for instance, that Gilly “can hit a cricket ball left handed with as much power as anyone in the world yet when he tries to swing a golf club left-handed he can barely hit the ball”. Check it out.


  1. hey there!! having decimated the bovine hordes and the piscine shoals of Helvetia (yeah guess you know who this is) be glad to know that I have had my first real acad triumph in form of fab seminar with oh so many accolades afterwards. And yes I used many unicameralisms. MANY. Ta. AM

  2. Ji Nahin! You are sadly mistaken Sir. Richards has hooked bowlers like Jeff Thomson in front of his nose. I remember the 1986-87 series vs Pakistan. A 34 year old 'helmetless' Richards hooked a then lethally quick Akram twice for sixes of consecutive balls.

    Speaking of 'Gilly' he has had his stumps uprooted twice in a test by Shoaib Akhtar again bowling at his top speed. Shane Bond disturbed his timber with pointed yorkers in the 2001 world series.

    Come to 2007 , even RP singh and Sreesanth have bowled him through the gates bowling at speeds above 145kmph. When you talk of comparison take the allround merit of a batsman before comparing him.

    Richards was a marauding butcher of fast bowling attacks. His one day average of 47 in the eighties , when cricket was much slower is testimony to the fact.

    Probably the guy who comes across as closer to Richards is Tendulkar in his prime. However even he was not as great a destroyer of fast bowlers as Richards was. Though Sachin played Wasim Akram really well throughout his career, another blot against Gilly's name , remember the 1999 world cup and the 2000 australia series . Gilchrist was bowled through the gates by Akram coming around the wicket.

    Richards can not be compared with any bastman I have seen after 1980.Although obviously there can be a debate on the merits and demerits of various bastmen in different conditions.

  3. Shwet, do be a little less excitable and read the post carefully. The farthest I've gone in the Gilchrist-Richards comparison is to express the possibility that Gilchrist might be a more devastating player relative to the other cricketers of this era than Richards was relative to the batsmen of his time.

    As you might remember from another comments discussion we had once, I'm not sold on comparing cricketers/sportsmen from different eras. It's much too random an exercise, there are way too many factors to keep track of (e.g. Federer is king at a time when tennis is played on more different surfaces than it was in the 1960s and 1970s; but then Laver had to balance travelling and playing with holding down a regular day job and less luxurious staying arrangements/facilities), and it's bound to be tinged with nostalgia or Golden Age-ism or even, for that matter, Present Day-ism.

    Btw, your profile says you're 29. That would make you 9 or 10 during the series you speak so vividly of - a very ripe age for schoolboy nostalgia to colour one's memories. (Note: I'm not casting any aspersions on IVA's place near the top of the all-time batting echelon, just making a point about how it's hard to meaningfully compare cricketers from different generations when you've been a starry-eyed 10-year-old in one era and a hardened, more analytical 30-year-old in another era.)

  4. Jai: Firstly the post was not meant to be as serious as you thought. Yes! maybe I was speaking with nostalgia , the only thing is that I remember Wasim being played quite competently by Richards when at 23 he was yards faster than in the period of 99-2003 , the time he bowled to Gilchrist and still had him in a tangle many a times.

    I do respect your viewpoint , however than you also should not have mentioned that Gilly has been the best on batting ability alone.You have mentioned this in your post. Also I might have sounded excitable but it was an opinion and the tone of the post was light.I still think that as a bastman Viv is still one of the very best ,only when you do put in Gilchrist's wicketkeeping skills then you realise the man's worth .

    So nobody doubts his ability as an allround great but among pure batsman he has stiff competition from Tendulkar,Dravid ,Ponting , Inzamam and Lara among his contemporaries.

  5. Shwet: the post was written in April 2005. Check his record in the three years leading up to that time and you'll find more than solid grounds for arguing that as a batsman alone he was comparable to/better than Dravid, Kallis and Hayden (who were the other "best batsman" contenders purely for the period under question). I wasn't looking at the larger picture here at all, which is where all-time greats like Tendulkar, Lara and Inzamam (who carried their teams' fortunes on their shoulders for a decade and a half) would come in.

  6. Oh God!Please spare me from Jabberwock's famous wrath.

  7. God? What God?! *mutter mutter snarl*

  8. Dear Jabberwock, you might be an atheist ,I am not! *Starts chanting the vedic hymns*