Monday, October 8, 2007

The greatest team of all-time

There has been a great deal of discussion recently regarding how the current Australian team compares to the great West Indies teams of the eighties and nineties, the South African team of 1970 and the 1948 Australians. My view is that teams cannot be compared until a few years after all the individuals have stopped playing, and that team is clearly passed its prime. The problem with such comparisons is that the flaws of the current side are always more readily evident that of past teams.

As an example, remember the great West Indian teams of the eighties. A friend recently cited me a fantastic team of Greenidge, Haynes, Richards, Lara, Richardson, Lloyd, Dujon, Marshall, Holding, Roberts and Garner. He said that this team was undoubtedly the greatest of all time. However, he was a little non-plussed when I pointed out that they never all played togther as the one team, as it comprises some players at the end of their careers and others who replaced them. How well do you remember other such "great" players through this era such as Wayne Daniel, Gus Logie (classy fielder though!), Sylvester Clark, Faud Baccus, Ezra Moseley, Roger Harper, Norbert Phillip, Tony Gray and Winston Davis? Milton Small and Eldine Baptise were two of the four fast bowlers in the "Blackwash" 1984 tour of England, and they are hardly household names now. This is not to downplay the magnificence of the West Indies team, but to highlight the fact that we only tend to remember a collection of the great players across the years and not the specific teams they played in.

We have a tendancy to diminish the achievements of a current team at any given moment, as one player or another is usually out of touch at any given point in time, and to highlight the fact that some slightly lesser players such as Bichel, Lehmann, Love, Watson etc are in the side. However, 20 years into the future we will probably make a composite team in our heads comprising all players at their respective peaks of form.


Anonymous said...

The eighties was a great and wonderful era to have grown up in or lived in!
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Anonymous said...

Can anybody name the south african teams that were supposed to tour england and australia in 1970 and 1971/72 respectively. That time was probably the greatest in the world (with the exception of Clive lloyd's all conquering wset indians in 1980's)

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