ew batsmen ever and arguably no left hander took batting art or aestheticism to regions of the sublime as David Gower.His strokes reflected grace of the divine ,resmbling the touches of a painters brush.Whether driving,puing,hooking or cutting he held a bat like a wand.I have never seen a batsmen take apart even good balls with such remorseless easd like a mother putting his child to sleep.His footwork was lazy and often he would more than contribute to his dismissal with his carefree approach.Still no batsmen ,let alone left-hander could dispatch an express pace delivery with mere touches,in the manner of Gower. The very first ball he faced in test cricket playing Pakistan revealed his poetic touch,which he dispatched for a boundary.In a matter of 3 years he scored prolifically against New Zealand,Australia and England,including a double century at home against India in 1979 and an unbeaten 154 at Kingston against the best ever pace attack ever.In the latter knock he counter-attacked pace on pitch as quick as lightning and saved the game for England.It was a revelation witnessing Gower put away good balls of Roberts,Holding,Croft or Garner. Inconsistency was a trademark of Gower's career and he comparatively lost form in home series playing West Indies in 1980 and Australia in 1981.In 1982 against Pakistan he ocassionally gave touches of his brilliance when scoring 72 at Edgbaston and 75n.o at Leeds,both match-winning knocks.However it was in Australia ni 1982-83 that Gower proved what a champion he was playing pure pace when taking apart likes of Geoff Lawson at Adelaide and Perth.Gower averaged around 44and I have rarely seen an overseas batsmen negotiate pace and bounce so effortlessly. batting domination of metaphysical proportions,when he took apart bowlers like Geoff Lawson or Jeff Thomson. From 1983-85 Gower continued hsi golden patch paying Pakistan,New Zealand and Australia.He averaged over 112 in Pakistan in 1983-84 including 2 150's ,showing his great prowess facing the turning ball.At home playing New Zealand he seemed more at home playing Hadlee than nay other batsmen and was a model of consistency.However it was the 1985 home Ashes that was the most defining period in Gower's career when he amassed 732 runs.It was batting domination of metaphysical proportions with likes of Geoff Lawson and Craig Mcdermott torn to the shreds.One was reminded of the golden age of cricket witnessing Goer dominating like an emperor with the touch of a magician. In 1986-87 he played an instrumental role in England regaining the Ashes,In characteristic style he took the Aussie bowling to the sword averaging .over 57. From 1988 he to 1990he lost form before staging a most welcome comeback against India in 1990 at home and in the 1990-91 Ashes .He was truly a revelation in Australia giving shades of any batting great with the fluidity of his strokes.Averaging over 45 with 520 runs was no mean feat against such a top quality Aussie attack.In 1992 at home he averaged over 51 against Pakistan,tackling likes of Wasim and Waqar with consummate skill. , In ODI cricket Gower was close to the very best and topped the averages in the 1983 Prudential world cup, averaging 76.80 wit 384 runs.He also battled like a champion in the triangular series down under in 1982-83.Gower was master of improvisation.His unbeaten 158 against New Zealand in 1979080 was an absolute gem. Where did Gower rank amongst the pantheon of greats?Inconsistency relegated Gower to join the club of an Inzamam, Pieterson, Dexter,Cowdrey or Clive Lloyd,and not a Lara,Viv or Tendulkar.I would select Gower in test world XI from 1980-85 as at his best he was equally at home in the seaming English conditiions,turning tracks on the sub-continent and fast,bouncy strips in Australia or the Carribean.Dennis Lillee chose Gower only behind Viv and Sobers amongst batsmen he bowled against,even ahead of Graeme, Pollock and Chappel brothers.Syed Kirmani and Micheal Holding chose Gower in their test World XI.I would label Gower as 'great' because the game is not only about records ,but about aesthetics or art.At his best he was as daunting a proposition as a Viv,Lara or Sachin.To me his average of 44.25 with 8231 runs and highest score of 215 ,did not do ample justice to his talent.