The Best (or second best) Number Three

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The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 2:22 pm

Kumar Sangakkara's imminent retirement has got me wondering on where the great man stands with the other great first droppers in test history. Number three is a specialist position, and one I never liked. The best have the technique to see off the new ball, as well as having the shots to play like a middle order player. One name stands out when talking about the best number three's in Cricket history, but who comes after the Don, or before him, if you wish?

Ponting and Dravid are the other two from the same era, who can be compared. Punter, with his ability to demolish an attack, pips the two sub con players, but only just.

From the past?

Headley
Hammond
Sir Viv

Where does Sangakkara stand in your opinion?

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by kingraf on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 2:47 pm

All I'm gonna say is that Sangakarra averages 68 without the gloves.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by seanmichaels on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 2:56 pm

Ponting. scored more than bradman and richards together at 3.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by seanmichaels on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 3:01 pm

As did Dravid but too many soft runs in the sub continent

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by kingraf on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 3:09 pm

Pity then, that Ponting never quite seemed to get those "soft runs" when he was in the sub continent
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by VTR on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 3:16 pm

I would go for Ponting over Sangakarra. I think Sanga is a bit of an unknown as to how good he could have been over 10-15 years as a specialist batsman only.

I don't like the idea of extrapolating the last few years performances over that timeframe, so I will go with Ponting and his c.15 years of excellence.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by kingraf on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 3:24 pm

My issue with Ponting is that he really only had two good periods. 2001-02, where he nailed 11 centuries in 22 Tests, and 2005-6 where he had similar numbers. Admittedly they were rarefied good, but the rest of his career really doesn't read remarkably. Add to that his comparatively woeful stats in the sub continent, and I can't make an argument for him above Sanga. With Sanga, it's also worth noting that he's averaged >50 for a nigh on a decade now, so it's hardly a case of him blooming late, or having a purple patch like a Muhammad Yousuf. He's been genuinely great for a long time, and then basically on his own planet for the last few years.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by kingraf on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 3:25 pm

My issue with Ponting is that he really only had two good periods. 2001-02, where he nailed 11 centuries in 22 Tests, and 2005-6 where he had similar numbers. Admittedly they were rarefied good, but the rest of his career really doesn't read remarkably. Add to that his comparatively woeful stats in the sub continent, and I can't make an argument for him above Sanga. With Sanga, it's also worth noting that he's averaged >50 for a nigh on a decade now, so it's hardly a case of him blooming late, or having a purple patch like a Muhammad Yousuf. He's been genuinely great for a long time, and then basically on his own planet for the last few years.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by msp83 on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 7:26 pm

Dravid for me, he could play both pace and spin pretty well. Sangakkara has been absolutely brilliant, but to bat for my life, I'd have Dravid.......
Hashim Amla was really evolving into a potential great at 3, he could still become a modern great of the game but now he has moved down to 4.......

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Hoggy_Bear on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 7:32 pm

In terms of average, among players who've scored 1000+ runs at 3, Ken Barrington is in 2nd place.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 7:34 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:In terms of average, among players who've scored 1000+ runs at 3, Ken Barrington is in 2nd place.

I did wonder if Barrington batted at three. I should have looked it up.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 10:05 pm

It's a good and interesting question. Made especially tricky by the usual problem of comparing players from different eras plus the very high calibre of the leading candidates and the thorny issue of what determines someone being a number three.

With regard to the latter point above, I did wonder about Greg Chappell - he was an exceedingly fine batsman who did bat at 3 but more at 4 which probably rules him out.

As regards reliability, Barrington's a sound pick although he did also bat down the order at 4 and 5.

Anyway for me and without any in depth study, it has to be Viv Richards for the destructive havoc he could so skilfully wreak. If bowlers of that generation could have been granted a wish to have one batsman out for nowt, nearly all - if not all - would have chosen Viv.

However, there is one other to whom I would give a very honourable mention - Rohan Kanhai. He varied his style and approach to meet not only the needs of the game but also so as to best gel with his batting partners. Well illustrated (although he was number 4 on this occasion) in the first WC final of '75 when he sacrificed his natural attacking instincts to play sheet anchor and allow Clive Lloyd to be the aggressor as the West Indies recovered from a perilous position of 50/3 to score a winning total against Australia. He gave the West Indies great service between 1957 and 1975, probably most often as number three. A notch below Viv for me but still belongs amongst the best and is sadly too often overlooked today.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 10:33 pm

Sanga - and it's not even close. The man is a genius
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 29 Jun 2015, 11:10 pm

>1000 runs batting at 3, sorted by average

I have to say that Barrington's record is phenomenal at first wicket down.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 12:12 am

London Tiger - that's an excellent list. From a statistical point of view the three on that list who for me stand out as candidates for second place behind the Don are Barrington and Hammond based on their astonishingly high average over a substantial number of matches; and Sanga for his prolific run scoring record, including 37 centuries, while still maintaining an average over 60.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by kingraf on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 6:04 am

Another thing with Sangakarra... Nearly a third of his matches at #3 came with the gloves on. Which must be To play someone for 42 Tests at first drop while having them as your wickey may certainly be the most interesting tactic I've seen in Test cricket
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 8:21 am

Removing matches as keeper and Sanga's average mover up to 69.7.


As always though trying to compare across generations is problematical. Standard of bowling has varied, featherbed pitches vs uncovered uncovered bunsen burners.

Interestingly, if we take out drawn matches (hard to differentiate fighting draws to bore draws) all but the Don see their averages fall markedly.

List with no drawn matches

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by king_carlos on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 9:36 am

From modern day players Sanga is out ahead IMO. Although I enjoyed watching Ponting bat, he was just so tough.

Of all time after the Don I'd go with Viv. He was just sublime and could dismantle any attack at will. Averaging over 50 in tests in that era with 114 first class centuries. His ODI stats show just how ahead of his time he was with an average of 47 and strike rate of 90. Truly phenomenal.

However, I am the first to accept that I seem to instinctively go for older players in my 'best ever' choices given that my ideal XI for the longer format would be:

1.Herbert Sutcliffe or Len Hutton - either/or
2.Barry Richards
3.Don Bradman
4.Viv Richards
5.Graeme Pollock
6.Garry Sobers
7.Knott
8.Malcolm Marshall
9.Shane Warne
10.Wasim Akram
11.Fred Trueman - I'd just as happily have Holding, Donald or Lillee though

Go on I'd take anything any of you can throw at me with that side, I dare you. Hug

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 9:56 am

Carlos - I suffer / enjoy the same sort of instinctive bias towards the older players but still say that's a superb team bringing back many wonderful individual memories.

Btw, do you remember Kanhai or are you too young?

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 10:03 am

Nice team Carlos.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 10:10 am

In my best ever teams I always try and stick to players I can remember seeing play. this is to avoid sounding like my mother who raves about Hedley Verity's abilities as if she was there - must be based on her fathers stories I guess, but it does make her sound a touch loopy.

Now while I was takne to New Road after school by mmy mum in the summers of 70-72, really my own memories start in the summer of 76. Aged just 9 my grandfather and I would stand outside Rumbelows in Halifax for hours watching that awesome Windies team. I reckon that team would stand a chance against yours KC (especially in a summer like 76) but of course I am not allowed to select IVA as you have grabbed him.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 10:19 am

LondonTiger wrote:In my best ever teams I always try and stick to players I can remember seeing play. this is to avoid sounding like my mother who raves about Hedley Verity's abilities as if she was there - must be based on her fathers stories I guess, but it does make her sound a touch loopy.

Now while I was takne to New Road after school by mmy mum in the summers of 70-72, really my own memories start in the summer of 76. Aged just 9 my grandfather and I would stand outside Rumbelows in Halifax for hours watching that awesome Windies team. I reckon that team would stand a chance against yours KC (especially in a summer like 76) but of course I am not allowed to select IVA as you have grabbed him.

Yes best to stick with what you have seen, imho.

Therefore:

Greenidge/Sehwag/Hayden
Dravid (cheating)
Ponting/Viv
Lara
Tendulkar
Imran
Gilchrist
Akram
Marshall
Mcgrath/Ambrose
Murali
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 10:25 am

Tiger - in the hot summer of '76, Rumbelows, Radio Rentals (a tv hire company despite the name!) etc should have received funding from the ECB as almost the whole country seemed to be stood outside their shops watching that Test series! If anyone had wanted to actually acquire a tv set, I doubt they would have been able to get through the throngs to get inside the shop. Very Happy

About a couple of years ago at the Oval, I spoke very briefly to John Edrich about that series and the Windies pacemen he faced. His main comment revealed absolutely nothing but still said everything - ''They were fast''.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by king_carlos on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 11:25 am

guildfordbat wrote:Carlos - I suffer / enjoy the same sort of instinctive bias towards the older players but still say that's a superb team bringing back many wonderful individual memories.

Btw, do you remember Kanhai or are you too young?

I'm too young to remember Kanhai unfortunately guildford. Coming from a line of wicket keepers I heard plenty about him from both my grandfather and great-grandfather who clearly rated him exceptionally highly. His exploits for Warwickshire tended to be the focus of stories rather than his test achievements but still he was held in very high regard by the two men who along with my dad moulded my love of the game.

In terms of bias towards old players I'm really too young to be truly aware of the talents of IVA, Barry Richards, Pollock, Marshall etc first hand either. However due to the lack of cricket on terrestrial TV growing up I used to watch old recordings of matches that granddad made during the late 70's and through the 80's. As such I have a lot of reverence for players such as IVA and Marshall who had a huge impact on the county game. Likewise South African players who were lost to international cricket due to apartheid, especially Barry Richards, Pollock and Mike Proctor.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 11:27 am

Barry Richards in the old JPL brings back some memories.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by king_carlos on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 11:46 am

LondonTiger wrote:In my best ever teams I always try and stick to players I can remember seeing play. this is to avoid sounding like my mother who raves about Hedley Verity's abilities as if she was there - must be based on her fathers stories I guess, but it does make her sound a touch loopy.

Now while I was takne to New Road after school by mmy mum in the summers of 70-72, really my own memories start in the summer of 76. Aged just 9 my grandfather and I would stand outside Rumbelows in Halifax for hours watching that awesome Windies team. I reckon that team would stand a chance against yours KC (especially in a summer like 76) but of course I am not allowed to select IVA as you have grabbed him.

When it comes to these sort of fantasy sides I think it's fair to say that we can clone players if needed to get a match together. Wink If we can take players of any era and put them on the same wicket with an even field in terms of training, equipment etc the I think an extra Viv in his prime isn't out of the realms of Sci-cric-fi.

As for that Windies side of '76. Whilst they had some marvelous players I'd back my XI against it. boxing

A composite side of only Windies players could give most a run for their money however. A pace attack picked from the likes Marshall, Holding, Garner, Roberts, Croft, Ambrose and Walsh. Supplement that attack with the left arm seam or spin of Sobers or the spin option of Gibbs - may not be required on many wickets. A top order of Greenidge, Haynes and Richards. Guildfords man Kanhai keeping wicket. Then Clive Loyd steering the ship.

1.Greenidge
2.Haynes
3.Richards
4.Chanderpaul
5.Lloyd (c)
6.Sobers
7.Kanhai (wk)
8.Marshall
9.Garner
10.Holding
11.Ambrose

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 11:56 am

Carlos - a brilliant side once more, Carlos. The Windies in their pomp were always my favourites.

You've got the wrong number 4 though and I don't mean Lara. Go on, Stella, tell him! Very Happy

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 12:03 pm

I hope you mean Lara, though Hilary Gomes is the name you're alluding to.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 12:30 pm

Ignoring your cheek Wink , a good answer, Stella! Too easy for you, I'm sure.

Gomes wasn't a great but he was immensely valuable to the team that was.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 12:32 pm

I liked Gomes. A handy medium pacer as well.

I'm hoping Carlos has forgotten about Lara, rather than omitting him?
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 12:40 pm

Mind, with swashbucklers all around him the limpet like qualities of Shiv would be very useful.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 12:46 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Mind, with swashbucklers all around him the limpet like qualities of Shiv would be very useful.

That could be his thinking, though I'd take Lara over any West Indian bat. I will admit that I only saw the end of Lloyd's career, and arguably not the best of sir Viv.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by king_carlos on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 1:21 pm

I'm ashamed to say that I did forget Lara yes. steam

Yep I'd replace Chanderpaul with Lara in that side to make it even stronger.

I had a feeling I was forgetting a someone when I was thinking Richardson, Gomes or Kallicharran for that middle order spot. Then I had the sudden realisation that cricket didn't end in the 80's and thought ah yes Chanderpaul. picard

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by king_carlos on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 1:25 pm

And on top of the Lara oversight I managed to forget Headley and Weekes. I think it's fair to say this wont be my day. Run

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by msp83 on Tue 30 Jun 2015, 8:21 pm

King Brian Charles of Trinidad has to be the best of them all coming from the Caribbean!! One of the 3 Ws was a wicketkeeper right? Was it Walcott? Perhaps that would be a better choice for the wicketkeeper role.
BTW, so sad to think that the most recent test opener the West Indies picked was someone who averaged 25 after playing more than 30 First Class Games with no FC hundreds against his name!

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by alfie on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 12:29 pm

Aha ...guildford never misses a chance to slip Gomes into these teams Smile
Not sure he quite measures up to some of those names , to be honest ; though you can make a case for having him in for "team balance" to offset all those dashers... Ditto Chanderpaul , I guess - and so an interesting choice just between those two , if we go down that route.

Surely Lara must play ? Perhaps Lloyd can be omitted - fine player , but we don't really need him as Captain , if that is a factor. Sobers can lead them ; can't hold that declaration against England that cost his team a series against him forever ! The team is so good anyway it probably won't matter who is captain...

Headley was before my time ; and I have only very youthful recall of Worrell ; but I rate Kanhai highly . Perhaps not as keeper , though ? Think we should have a full timer with the gauntlets ...Dujon ?

Nice problems to have ...

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 12:41 pm

alfie wrote:Aha ...guildford never misses a chance to slip Gomes into these teams Smile
Not sure he quite measures up to some of those names , to be honest ; though you can make a case for having him in for "team balance" to offset all those dashers... Ditto Chanderpaul , I guess - and so an interesting choice just between those two , if we go down that route.

Surely Lara must play ?  Perhaps Lloyd can be omitted - fine player , but we don't really need him as Captain , if that is a factor. Sobers can lead them ; can't hold that declaration against England that cost his team a series against him forever !  The team is so good anyway it probably won't matter who is captain...

Headley was before my time ; and I have only very youthful recall of Worrell ; but I rate Kanhai highly . Perhaps not as keeper , though ? Think we should have a full timer with the gauntlets ...Dujon ?

Nice problems to have ...

Very Happy Thanks, Alfie.

I agree that Gomes doesn't quite measure up to those names but in a way that was my point. Very much to do with balance. The old football saying comes to mind of a great team needs not just piano players but piano shifters as well!

Not surprised but appreciate your comment about the batting of Kanhai. Agree pushing it a bit to have him as keeper. Even at Warks (where I saw him when growing up), he was never keen to make a return behind the stumps even when regular glove man Deryck Murray (another fine Windies player) was injured.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 12:51 pm

guildfordbat wrote:

The old football saying comes to mind of a great team needs not just piano players but piano shifters as well!

Always thought that was a rugby saying. Certainly fits there more I would say.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 1:06 pm

I recall the expression being used more than once by the old Saints boss Lawrie McMenemy but doubt that any sport can claim it as uniquely their's.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 1:11 pm

Cricket unlike Football and Rugby isn't really a team sport once you get on the field, well not as much anyway.
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 1:15 pm

Wonder whether Larry Games ever went to the Proms. That's about the only occasion I recall where the piano shifters get public recognition - when the audience all shout "heave" if the piano has to be moved during the concert. Wink

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 2:45 pm

Stella wrote:Cricket unlike Football and Rugby isn't really a team sport once you get on the field, well not as much anyway.

Not sure if it's a good or bad thing that Mike Selig isn't around at the moment to comment on that .... Whistle

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 2:49 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Wonder whether Larry Games ever went to the Proms. That's about the only occasion I recall where the piano shifters get public recognition - when the audience all shout "heave" if the piano has to be moved during the concert. Wink

Games??!! Do you want to keep your stripes, Corporal? mad

Anyway, certainly possible as he was at Middlesex for a few seasons.

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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Stella on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 2:51 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Stella wrote:Cricket unlike Football and Rugby isn't really a team sport once you get on the field, well not as much anyway.

Not sure if it's a good or bad thing that Mike Selig isn't around at the moment to comment on that .... Whistle

He can comment, but he'll be wrong Very Happy
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Re: The Best (or second best) Number Three

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed 01 Jul 2015, 10:37 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Wonder whether Larry Games ever went to the Proms.
Games??!! Do you want to keep your stripes, Corporal? mad

Doh  Must have been thinking of Lorry Gomes. Wink

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