The new Fab 4 of World Cricket.

The new Fab 4 of World Cricket.

7 minutes read

Over the years, the game of Cricket has been fortunate enough to witness players, who turned out to be eventual champions, to come and take the world by a storm together. Be it the famous West Indian pace quartet, the Indian spin quartet or the Fab 4 batsmen of India. What has been rife about all these ‘partnerships’ is the equal and sustained hunger for the game of each of the member of this partnership, however, while being as varied in approach, style and charisma.

Let’s start with the the fieriest ones – the West Indian pace quartet. By the mid-1970s, every single batsman was scared of these monstrous personalities. Each ball bowled by them seemed like a bullet out of a gun, and to think that these balls were bowled by bowlers well above 6 feet. In fact, the shortest among these 4 is Andy Roberts, but he still is 6 ft. 2 inch. Each more potent and harmful than the other, this quartet was nowhere near sweetness like a Barbershop Quartet. They continued to torment batsmen till the late 80s as they took 835 wickets among them in 192 tests.

As compared to the above quartet, this one might seem like a pinch to an Elephant. India has always produced quality spinners, but in the 1960s, 4 spinners came up to the surface. Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishen Singh Bedi are the spinners who not only played an important role in many of India’s famous test victories but also, in a way, changed the face of cricket in India. Together, they took 853 wickets in 231 tests which comprises of 43 5-wicket hauls. Although these 4 only played together once ever, they existed in the same timeline. The highlight of this quartet was the sheer variety they possessed among them – Prasanna and Venkatraghawan being off-spinners, Chandrasekhar being a leg-spinner and Bishen Singh Bedi being a left-arm spinner.

This quartet needs no introduction. However, I cannot just leave it here. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, Rahul Sharad Dravid, Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman and Sourav Chandidas Ganguly, they carved a niche for themselves. They have been long serving servants of Indian cricket, not only as batsmen, but as idols, role models, some as coaches and some as pioneers. Again, each member of this quartet too possessed variety. Variety in terms of approach and variety in terms of temperament. With the bat, they served India for 12 long years and scored tons of runs, literally, 45208 runs, to be precise.

Other notable partnerships in Cricket include, but not limited to, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes – the formidable opening partnership of West Indies, which was followed by Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd; Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh – express fast bowlers from Australia with a whole lot of aggression; Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis – pace and swing, in each of them; Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag – opening act for India which was followed by the aforementioned Fab 4 of Indian cricket. The fact that ties all these above partnerships together is that each of these partnerships was from the same country. The same is not the case about the 4 players we are going to talk about next.

Unarguably, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root are the new Fab 4 of World Cricket. Groomed and brought up from the ranks of U-19, these 4 players have made a name for themselves by their impeccable style. Yet, they continue to be conventional in many ways than 1. Probably, that is the reason that they have amassed runs at a cosmic rate. For the first time, a partnership of sorts has been formed, albeit of players from different countries. If Steve Smith is unorthodox, Joe Root is as classical as they come. If Virat Kohli is aggressive in his batting, Kane Williamson is as calm as they come. Side note, Rahul Dravid was classical and calm.

The New Fab 4 of World Cricket

From a Leg-Spinner who occasionally batted, that too at 8, to become the best batsman in the world today, is in itself a phenomenal transformation. Talk about changing one’s self. Steve Smith is aggressive, as are all Aussies, but with performances behind his back. If the recent series in India is any indication, Smith has no obvious weakness. As if he challenges every to find a weakness in him, as is evident by his records in all nations he has played in. Among current players, he is the only one who averages above 60, with a minimum of 20 innings. Steve Smith has a habit of scoring runs at will and has elements of Sachin in him.
(hover/click over the blue boxes to see an analysis of Steven Smith’s statistics)
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Virat Kohli is the poster boy of Indian Cricket and it would be harmless to say that he is the face of World Cricket too. That aside, he plays cricket too. And how! His is a story of how sheer grit, determination, dedication, love and commitment can help you scale heights which many can only fathom. In tests, Kohli started off rather slow, only to pick up the pace later on. 2016 was exceptional for him as he scored 1215 runs in West Indies and in the Great Indian Home Season. Virat Kohli has time and again showed weakness outside the off stump, something that was exposed in England. But, he more than makes up for that by his run-scoring ability elsewhere. He has one of the better averages in T20 cricket you’ll see, a jaw-dropping one.
(hover/click over the blue boxes to see an analysis of Virat Kohli’s statistics)
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Kane Williamson is a small bloke, someone who prefers to stay away from the limelight and only let his bat do the talking. Well, his bat has been talking too much. Among the 4, he is the most experienced guys around. Kane Williamson is a gentleman, in the sense that he is modest and humble, both on and off the field. That is why, and rightly so, he is tipped to be the greatest New Zealand batsman of all time and one of the greatest batsman of all time. The qualities he possesses as a batsman and as a human is what makes him a complete package to me. He has the monumental task of leading his side through transition, not to mention to fill the shoes of Brendon McCullum. While he may not have lived up to that yet numbers-wise, he has certainly made his own name by his temperament. He has this exceptional ability to score runs everywhere and take up the burden of scoring most of his team’s runs. This is what makes Kane Williamson the perfect pioneer of Cricket.
(hover/click over the blue boxes to see an analysis of Kane Williamson’s statistics)
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Joe Root is very appropriately named. He is indeed firm like the roots of a banyan tree. Joe Root is one of the better players of both, spin and seam. However, it seems like Joe Root has a peculiar weakness, inability to score in Australia and New Zealand, which could probably be accounted for as his only known weakness. Following England’s dismal show in India recently (in which Joe Root as a batsman performed well), Alistair Cook announced his retirement from the role of captaincy. Not surprisingly, Joe Root was announced as his successor, which means that each of the Fab 4 now lead their respective country full-time in at least 1 format. Not much can be said about his performances while shouldering the burden of captaincy, but if his temperament is any clue, he is going to be no different than the other 3. Come July 6, 2017, when England play their first Test under Joe Root, believe me, all eyes will be on his captaincy skills. I, for one, can’t wait for that day.
(hover/click over the blue boxes to see an analysis of Joe Root’s statistics)
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As batsmen, 1 thing these 4 players share in common is their hunger for runs. Once they get in, only an exceptional delivery can get them out. Once set, they seldom make mistakes. They have got their basics right and they have the right instinct to play that. To top that, each one of them is an exceptional fielder. Their range of skills do not end once their batting is over. These are probably the ingredients that make them so special and make them stand out of the crowd. They are already destined for greatness and even they can’t stop themselves. I’ll leave you with a quote which suits these new Fab 4 of world cricket – “Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them.”

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Sanjay Mahendra Shah
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Sanjay Mahendra Shah

It’s classic way of statistics. This proves deep study of Mihir Vohra. This Comparative studywill help even them who are mentioned in the Article. For me this article must be reach to them also.
Congratulations to ‘Genious’ Mihir.

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Admin

Thank you very much.