In what order would you rank Tendulkar,Viv Richards and Lara for a test all-time xi?

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Harsh Thakor, Apr 2, 2019.

In what order would you rank Tendulkar,Viv Richards and Lara for a test all-time xi?

  1. Viv,Lara,Tendulkar

  2. Viv,Tendulkar,Lara

  3. Tendulkar,Viv,Lara

  4. Tendulkar,Lara,Viv

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  5. Lara,Viv,Tendulkar

  6. Lara,Tendulkar,Viv

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  1. Harsh Thakor

    Harsh Thakor Emerging Player

    May 5, 2011
    Lara,Viv and Tendulkar are up there with the greatest batsmen of all time if not the best.All took cricketing skill to heights of the sublime and acheived what few men ever achieved in their lifetime.Here I am comparing their merits to be selected for an all-time xi.

    Viv was the most destructive of the 3 or mercurial.He was not technically the best but intimidated great opposition more than any batsmen ever .,taking batting domination to regions never traversed.No batsmen could turn a complexion of a game as much as Viv.Viv was the best player of genuine pace ever in the game treating Lille or Thomson at their fastest with disdain.In his peak period from 1976-80 he was 2nd to only Bradman if you consider the opposition he faced in WSC Packer Cricket whee ha averaged 0ver 86 in the 1st season and 100 for the world xi.No batsmen devoured English bolwing after Brdaman as much as Viv did in 1976 when he amasssed 829 runs at an average of 118.42.Viv averaged above 70 more than any great batsmen apart from Bradman in a single series.Viv performed outstandingly in all types of conditions,from the seaming Englsih pitches,bouncy Australian tracks to the turning wickets on the sub-continent.In the late 1970's and early 80's he was simply head and shoulders above any batsmen ,arguably more than any since Bradman.No batsmen in peak era was more impactful in England and Australia.He lost his form marginally in the 1980's but still had some oustanding series and innings.Most of the fast-bowling greats rank Viv as the greatest batsmen they ever bowled to like Dennis Lillee,Wasim Akram and Imran Khan.He was virtually more of a unanimous choice for the most difficult batsmen to bowl to in an era than any batsmen ever.Modern Pakistan greats like Saed Anwar and Inzamam Ul Haq rank Viv as the best they ever saw.Viv was not at his best against great spin bowling .He also had an advantage of playing for a champion test team.It was a more daunting task to bowl to Viv for a great fast bowler than anyone.Still it must be said that Viv was not at his best facing his own country's bowlers in the Shell shield cricket from Barbados.

    Tendulkar was the ultimate epitome of consistency and closest to the perfect or most complete batsmen.Blended technical skill with attacking agression like nonone else.No batsmen dominated test cricket at the top for such a prolonged period .He perhaps batted more like Bradman than anyone and faced more pressure eve than nay great middle order batsmen.He wast he youngest batsmen to achieve all the 1000 run barriers and achieved quite a few of them in the fastest time.Technically he was amongst the soundest of all time with mastery of strokes in the 'V ' region as no batsmen ever.Equally adept against pace and spin and on fast ,seaming or turning tracks.Only batsmen ever to cross landmark of 50 test c enturies.Often not regarded as being the greatest of match-winners he still averaged over 65 in games won.No great batsmen ever made such a comeback as Sachin did after a tennis elbow in 2008.Alan Donald rated Tendulkar the most perfect and compact batsmen he ever bowled to .Bradman chose Sachin instead of Lara or Viv in his all-time xi.Shane Warne rated Sachin in a league above any bating great of his time.Sachin was more complete but to me marginally less talented and explosive as Lara or Viv.He also often did not have the punch to bang the nails in the coffin or deliver the final knockout punch to win games .However at his best he received no support which is significant.Technically Tendulkar has played more great innings than any batting great taking mastery to it's supreme height.

    Lara was simply the equivalent of a magician to batting depicting the skill of a Michelangelo or Rembrandt.Although not flawless or technically perfect his batting penetrated regions of divinity enabling him to sit with the Gods of Olympus.No great batsmen ever single- handedly bore the brunt of a weak batting line up like Lara , single-handedly turning many games if not winning them.At his best like in the 1999 Frank Worrel trophy he single-handedly turned the series with successive knocks of 211,153 n.0 and 104,amassing 546 runs at an average above 90.He also amassed the record aggregate for a batsmen away in a 3 test series when scoring 688 runs in Sri Lanka.He also amassed runs at a more mercurial strike rate than any batsmen of his time,especially after crossing 3 figures.No batsmen of his era displayed such attacking agression even when their side was in the depths of despair.He had the greatest penchant ever of amassing mamoth scores,breaking the world record twice.Fell out in term sof consistency and wa statistically overshadowed even by Ricky Ponting .Still considering he single-handedly carried the burden of his team on his shoulders he was the best batsmen in his peak even if Sachin and Ponting had better statistical records.Glen Mcgrath ranks Lara as the best batsmen he ever bowled to while Jacques Kallis ranks him the best batsmen he ever saw.Lara was to me the best batsmen ever against spin bowling.Some critqies may rank him as selfish as his 375 and 400 did not win games but they should never forget his match-winning unbeaten 153 at Barbados v Australia or his 277 at Sydney in 1992-93 .Lara has the highest average percentage score of an innings than any batsmen after Bradman.Even if he did not equal Viv's intenisty he could be in command for a longer period.For pure talent I rate Lara at the top of the 3.One flaw in Lara is that his home record is better than his overseas one unlike Viv and Sachin.He was also unsuccessful in India.

    In the end perhaps a dead -heat may be the fairest verdict.On fast track or against great pace Viv would be my unanimous choice.On a turning track I would choose Lara or Sachin above Viv.In a crisis I would choose Lara and then Sachin but Viv hardly faced those situations.To win a match my choice would unanimously be Viv.Maybe it is unfair to even compare them.Viv received 64 votes,Tendulkar 42 and Lara 25 in the selection of all-time .xi's by cricketers .However many selectors were from Viv's or past eras.My subjective order weighing all the factors would be Lara,Tendulkar and then Viv.Significant that in the evaluation of ranking great batsmen cricket expert Anantha Narayana rated Lara with the highest match-performance Index,then Viv,then Tendulkar.Here the level of opposition,state of wicket,situation of game and impact in match is evaluated.Lara was rate at 21.7,Viv at 21.3 and Sachin at 20.5.Overall Anantha ranks Lara as only 2nd to Bradman in test matches with Tendulkar just a notch below.Lara surprisingly has no test hundred against a great genuinely fast bowler like Wasim Akram,Waqar younus or Alan Donald unlike Tendulkar.No doubt Tendulkar was more consistent than Viv or Brian but not as effective in turning games.Pertinent that Viv and Tendulkar have a better overseas test record than Lara .



    Viv Richards in Tests
    Matches Innings Runs Average 100s 50s
    Overall 121 182 8540 50.23 24 45
    1974-1980 40 63 3629 60.48 11 16
    1981-1988 62 89 3933 47.38 12 19
    1989- 1991 19 30 978 36.22 1 10
    Viv Richards in World Series Cricket
    Matches Innings Runs Average 100 50
    14 25 1281 58.23 4 4

    Richards' best years were between 1976 and 1988. In 92 Tests during this period he scored 22 hundreds and was the only batsman to average more than 55 (among those who scored more than 4000). That was an era when several all-time greats were around - Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar and Javed Miandad are all listed in the table below - but Richards' average was marginally higher than theirs (though he obviously didn't have to face his own bowlers, who were easily the most fearsome attack during that period). He averaged more than 50 in 13 out of the 23 series he played during this period.

    Performance of top batsmen in Tests between 1976 and 1988 (Qual: 4000 runs)
    Batsman Matches Innings Runs Average 100 50
    Viv Richards 92 135 7091 55.39 22 34
    Greg Chappell 50 87 4233 54.97 13 18
    Javed Miandad 95 146 7033 54.94 19 35
    Allan Border 100 175 7670 52.17 23 35
    Sunil Gavaskar 108 180 8655 51.51 29 36
    Gordon Greenidge 83 139 6025 48.58 14 30

    The table below summarises Richards' career series averages. Of the 29 series he played, 14 times he averaged more than 50, and less than 30 on just seven occasions, most of them coming either during the early years or at the end.

    Viv Richards' series averages
    Total no. of series Ave > 70 Ave between 50-70 Ave between 40-50 Ave between 30-40 Ave < 30
    29 5 9 3 5


    Tendulkar's Test career, in blocks of 50 Tests

    Period Runs Average 100s/ 50s
    First 50 Tests Nov 1989-Mar 1997 3438 49.82 11/ 16
    51-100 Tests Mar 1997-Sep 2002 4967 65.35 19/ 18
    101-150 Tests Oct 2002-Aug 2008 3472 46.91 9/ 15
    151-200 Tests Aug 2008-Nov 2013 4044 52.51 12/ 19
    Career Nov 1989-Nov 2013 15,921 53.78 51/ 68

    His best phase

    In 1992, Tendulkar scored three hundreds, and all of them were masterpieces - 148 not out in Sydney, 114 in Perth, and 111 in Johannesburg. He was ready for bigger things, but he still finished with a calendar-year average of 41.90, because in the remaining eight innings that year he totalled 46 runs - his scores in those innings read 6,17,5,0,11,1,6,0 - clearly, he needed to become more consistent.

    Being a quick learner, Tendulkar grasped that lesson fast, and over the next ten-year period he was the most prolific batsman in world cricket. That was also the time when most opposition teams had a couple of world-class fast bowlers in their ranks: the overall batting average in those ten years was 29.59; in the next 11-year period it went up to 32.67.

    For Tendulkar, though, that period between 1993 and 2002 was when he was head and shoulders above all other batsmen in world cricket. He averaged 62.30 from 85 Tests; the next-best, Steve Waugh, averaged 55.07. His masterpieces during that period included 122 at Edgbaston in 1996, 169 in Cape Town the following year, 113 in Wellington in 1998, 136 against Pakistan in Chennai in 1999, 116 against Australia in Melbourne later that year, and 155 in Bloemfontein in 2001. That India ended up losing all six of those matches was a reflection of the rest of the batsmen, and the Indian bowling attack, that Tendulkar had to play with and carry along. Not all his hundreds were in defeats, though: he also scored nine in wins during that period, most famously conquering Shane Warne when scoring an unbeaten 155 in the second innings in Chennai in 1998.

    Highest averages in Tests between Jan 1993 and Dec 2002 (Qual: 3000 runs)
    Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
    Sachin Tendulkar 85 7726 62.30 27/ 31
    Steve Waugh 109 7765 55.07 25/ 33
    Rahul Dravid 69 5614 53.46 14/ 28
    Matthew Hayden 37 3079 53.08 12/ 10
    Andy Flower 60 4630 52.02 12/ 25
    Jacques Kallis 65 4455 50.62 11/ 25
    Brian Lara 86 7328 50.53 18/ 34
    Inzamam-ul-Haq 80 6056 50.46 17/ 31
    Ricky Ponting 63 4246 48.80 14/ 17
    Mohammad Yousuf 42 3099 48.42 10/ 16

    Pace and bounce? No problem

    What stood out, and differentiated him from other Indian batsmen during that period, was the way he performed outside the subcontinent. The period from his debut to the end of 2001 was one where he had to shoulder the bulk of the run-scoring burden on tours; the golden period for Dravid was to start from 2002. The difference between him and the other batsmen was especially glaring in Australia and South Africa, because Dravid and Sourav Ganguly did score runs in England and New Zealand. Between 1991 and 2001, Tendulkar scored six centuries in 17 Tests in Australia and South Africa; all the other Indian batsmen put together managed only eight. In fact, of the first 21 Tests Tendulkar played, only one was at home, while 16 were outside the subcontinent (including one in Zimbabwe). Tendulkar had little experience of these conditions, but he coped quite well.

    The table below shows how badly the other Indian batsmen struggled in those conditions between 1991 and 2001. Mohammad Azharuddin scored only 472 runs in 21 innings despite getting two hundreds - 14 times in those 21 innings he was dismissed for 15 or fewer; Sanjay Manjrekar's highest in 16 innings on those tours was 46; Dilip Vengsarkar totalled 158 from 9 innings, while VVS Laxman scored 244 from 11, excluding that memorable 167 in Sydney. Amid such batting failures, Tendulkar was a shining exception: in four of those five series, he averaged more than 40. Overall in those 17 Tests, he scored 19% of the total runs that were scored by all the Indian batsmen.


    An important criterion when discussing that is performance against the best team in the world, and Lara's numbers against Australia indicated his class: in Tests he averaged 51 against them from 31 games, with nine centuries - each of them a gem, and one, the matchwinning unbeaten 153 in Barbados, arguably his best Test innings. His ODI numbers against them were pretty good too - an average of nearly 40 from 51 games.

    Part of the thrill of watching Lara was the uncertainty over which version would turn up - the sublime version could send spectators and critics into raptures, but equally, the scratchy version could be painful to watch. Lara's Test career lends itself to a neat three-way partition - for the first five years the runs came easily and he averaged 60; then came a more difficult period, when he averaged less than 40 over four seasons, and while it wasn't all bleak - that memorable Barbados innings came during this period, as did a fantastic series against Australia - for large periods it was hugely disappointing. In his last five seasons - starting with the outstanding series against Sri Lanka in 2001-02 - he has been among the runs again. In his last Test series - against Pakistan late last year - he averaged 89.60, with two hundreds, including a double. Talk about finishing with a flourish.

    Break-up of Lara's Test career

    PeriodTestsRunsAverage100s/ 50s

    1990-91 - 1995-96333197 60.327/ 17

    1996-97 - 2000-01473356 39.95 8/ 16

    2001-02 - 2006-07515420 60.90 19/ 15

    Through much of his career, Lara has had to battle for the mantle of best batsman with Sachin Tendulkar. Between 1992 and 1995 there was little to choose between the two, but Lara's slump coincided with a golden period for Tendulkar, when he averaged almost 62. Since November 2001, though, Lara has clearly been the superior batsman, and one of only five to average more than 60; over the same period Tendulkar average 49.70 only, with nine hundreds in 50 Tests.

    Top Test batsmen since November 2001

    BatsmanTestsRunsAverage100s/ 50s

    Ricky Ponting62 6501 71.4325/ 22

    Mohammad Yousuf42 431866.4316/ 15

    Jacques Kallis54 5001 62.51 15/ 27

    Rahul Dravid58 5128 61.7814/ 25

    Brian Lara51 5420 60.89 19/ 15

    Being a part of a mediocre West Indian team meant enduring more than his fair share of defeats - Lara is the only batsman with more than 5000 runs in defeats, more than 2000 runs clear of the second-placed Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

    Most number of runs in Test defeats

    BatsmanTestsRunsAverage100s/ 50s

    Brian Lara63 5316 42.19 14/ 22

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul49 3059 33.6 13/ 19

    Alec Stewart54 2993 29.9 30/ 23

    Sachin Tendulkar39 2783 35.67 8/ 11

    Allan Border46 2771 33.38 5/ 13

    Andy Flower34271343.067/ 15

    Lara has had his share of personal battles, and victories, against fast bowlers, but he was clearly at his best against spin - it wouldn't be far-fetched to call him the best against spin in the last 20 years. The tables below display the numbers since November 2001 in both forms of the game, and the stats lend further credence to that theory.

    Lara against pace & spin in Tests since Nov 2001

    RunsBallsDismissalsAverageRuns per over

    Pace3144537761 51.54 3.50

  2. ComradeVenom

    ComradeVenom Tracer Bullet

    Jul 24, 2012
    LARA VIV and then teenda miles behind
  3. Shahzad.Firdous

    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
    Inzamam was the greatest batsman to have ever played cricket!!
  4. Express Pace

    Express Pace Cornered Tiger

    May 11, 2012
    Lara would be my number one, not a big fan of Tendulkar and haven’t watched much of Viv.
  5. Fireworks11

    Fireworks11 Kaptaan

    Sep 22, 2012
    Viv - GOAT
    Lara - Pure Class
    Sachin - run machine
  6. Sultan Yusuf

    Sultan Yusuf Talented

    Sep 1, 2010
    1. Viv
    2. Lara
    25. little tendi
  7. Passionate Pakistani

    Passionate Pakistani The Don

    Jun 10, 2011
    Unpopular opinion but what are lara's achievements as a Team player ? Something for which Sachin in critcised alot, Lara wasnt any better

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
  8. Mohammed Bilal

    Mohammed Bilal Tracer Bullet

    Jul 17, 2017
    Koyla is ahead of all three although I’d say out of Viv and Lara Tendulkar was a more better batsman.
  9. Bublu Bhuyan

    Bublu Bhuyan Banned

    Feb 15, 2010

    ASLI-PATHAN Cricistan Khan

    Apr 26, 2011
    I have never seen a batsman like Viv. And I have seen a lot including Tendu, Lara, Ponting, Miandad, Inzi Gavaskar etc.
  11. Sultan Yusuf

    Sultan Yusuf Talented

    Sep 1, 2010
    If you flip it the other way, the Indians always give this fake sob story that tendi has no support and carried the burden of the batting for a long time (not even true as he was normally outperformed by others if you look series by series - its just he was a bit more consistent overall). Lara had to carry a much weaker line up.
  12. Disco Lemonade

    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009

    Honestly i have not seen Viv play but he is rated enough by the greats as the greatest so i cannot counter them.
    So my judgment would be between Lara and Tendulkar. I would put tendulkar above lara, ever so slightly above, only because of the numbers he has achieved specially in limited over cricket. Lara on the other hand was the one with the magic touch, class, and his ability to dominate the bowlers at will. I find myself watching brian lara batting videos on youtube as compared to others.
  13. Shahzad.Firdous

    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
    One name - Inzamam is enough for everyone!!
  14. Patriot

    Patriot Kaptaan

    Oct 8, 2014
  15. s_h_a_f

    s_h_a_f Moderator

    Dec 26, 2011
  16. Bublu Bhuyan

    Bublu Bhuyan Banned

    Feb 15, 2010
    LMAO .....
  17. Mercenary

    Mercenary The Lone Wolf

    Dec 17, 2009
    Viv is a class apart from both of them so he goes first.

    Sachin was a good accumulator but so was Lara and Lara had a lot more style to his play. So Lara next.

    I think Dravid should have been here as option 3.
  18. Munna

    Munna Moderator-e-Aala

    Oct 4, 2014
    Lara isn't criticized as much because probably because whenever he used to score big, his team would win on most occasions which is not the same in Sachin's case.

    I am not entirely sure on this, but can be verified if some faarigh insaan here would like to dig in the stats.
  19. Bublu Bhuyan

    Bublu Bhuyan Banned

    Feb 15, 2010
    He held the world record of scoring the most Test runs and most Test centuries in loses when he retired. And then Shiv Chanderpaul broke that record.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019

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