The five best batsmen over the next five years

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The big names are generally old bastards. Who’s next?

Ross Taylor, New Zealand, age 25

Ross Taylor tends to look like he’s the man who’s going to win the match for New Zealand shortly before doing something slightly spacky. Pretty soon those fifties will become hundreds and those hundreds will become double hundreds.

JP Duminy, South Africa, 25

Duminy has barely started in Test cricket, but has the reassuring habit of being exceptional whatever the format. Twenty20’s just for sloggers, is it? Then why is Duminy so effective. The best batsmen are generally the best batsmen in all forms of the game.

AB de Villiers, South Africa, 25

Yes, he is only 25. There are already bowlers in world cricket who’d sooner try and insert a bat handle into their urethra than bowl at vehement letter-C denier, AB de Villiers.

Michael Clarke, Australia, 28

Recently voted ‘most overrated player’ by readers of the Herald Sun, Michael Clarke must be rated really, really, phenomenally highly. Quite clearly following in the footsteps of Border, Waugh and Ponting as an Aussie captain who’s mint with the bat.

Gautam Gambhir, India, 28

Test average after 18 Tests: 36, with one hundred. Test average in the next nine Tests: 94, with seven hundreds. Gautam Gambhir is up and running.


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  1. I think JP Duminy is over-rated. I just don’t think he’s got the shots (in Tests) that will make him successful over a long time. And he hates being bounced.

    His runs against Australia were great – but Australia were all over the place at the time and he cashed in.

    He seems a player who cares too much about how looks like when he plays a shot. I hate that sort of player – mat-fitter Stewart was one.

    Dhoni is the opposite – couldn’t care what he looks like – it just needs to go for four or six.

  2. Vettori?

    btw, if I had a blog, today’s post would read “FUCK YOU, SRI LANKA.” That’s what you get for playing negatively. Fuck you. Next time I hope the terrorists get the job done. Fuck off.

  3. not for this list yet as it is too very early to say that but if you had to pick someone from Pakistan I will go for

    Umar Akmal for sure.

    Just had a debut test ton when they were 80 odd for 5 trailing 429

  4. Oh, and Sarah, Canterbury: not yet. Still early days for him, but we do think a lot of him thus far.

  5. Three names to go with the above list..

    Umar Akmal surely. (You don’t score counter-attacking hundreds on foreign soil when your team is 85/5… on debut…against Bond in full flow without being awesomely special)

    Darren Bravo, definitely. (Saw the man send a six to the second tier at C’swamy Stadium in B’lore off the very first ball he faced in the Champions League. He’s going places)

    Phil Hughes. He’s going to learn how to play a short ball aimed at his ribs. And then we’ll all be very sorry.

  6. An hour isn’t nearly long enough e normous.

    …and re Pink Bobby – does this mean he is one of the old bastards then?

  7. Fair list !

    I think JP Duminy is over-rated here! He has to prove himself on home soil and the series against England will provide the perfect opportunity

    I still find it hard to digest that there is no MS Dhoni in this list. He is and will be the best ODI player for the years o come and he is only getting better as a test player!

  8. Does anyone know anything about this Adrian Barath guy? I read many people claiming he is little Lara.

  9. Alok,

    Umar Akmal is very, very new. These are players with a bit of a record behind them already. It’s not the best young players.

    Phil Hughes is more like one for the next 10 years. He’s not even in the Test team at the minute, so how’s he going to dominate world cricket?

    Dwayne Bravo? Patience, my man…

    And everyone saying Rob Key: fact is, he’s not playing.

  10. KC, but if Watson keeps getting out lbw to full pitched deliveries, little Hughsey will creep ever closer to twittering that he is back in the team before anyone else has been told.

    Ha, ha.

    Dhoni plays like a butcher, but inordinately effective. I like him a lot.

  11. I dont know about including Clarke. He’s been in consistantly good form but even the Australian physio has admitted his back is that bad that he will never be ‘fully fit’. I can’t see him playing on past his early 30’s if he even gets that far.

    As many others have said Duminy is overrated too.

    In there place I would put Eoin Morgan and Phil Hughes.

    I can’t see Hughes staying out of the team for more than a year or two between injury, retirements and Watsons inevitable demise. By the time he comes back he’ll have the short ball sorted.

    Eoin Morgan is just a freak and it’s only a matter of time until he gets his chance at test level, and dominates.

  12. Shane Watson. Say it loud, say it proud. Everyone’s writing him off after one dodgy LBW. He will surprise us all as he did in England.

  13. A year or two out of the team out of five is quite a lot.

    No-one’s quite getting what this list is. It’s not the best young players. It’s not who the best players will be in five years time.

    We suppose one way of looking at it would be to say who will have scored the most runs at the best average from now until five years from now.

  14. I would like to apologise to everyone else for my rudeness, but Fred Grace, you are an idiot.

  15. Damn you KC for picking inconsistencies in my opinions.

    Not caring about aesthetics doesn’t make you good. Scoring runs convincingly does.

    Neither Collingwood or Duminy have convinced me with the runs they’ve scored, irrespective of style.

    Lara (beauty) and Dhoni (beast) are utterly convincing.

  16. Not sure Gambhir has made enough scores outside Asia…

    he has never played against SA, Australia or England on their home grounds…

    getting runs on those flat sub-continent pitches is not exactly a stern test of his abilities…

  17. Nice picks KC. I see what you’ve done. The question is, what can you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?
    Personally, I’ll probably be happy if my receding hairline doesn’t meet my bald spot before 2014.

  18. We’re probably going to go for a walk in the Peak District at some point. Watch a couple of films. Maybe go for a curry.

  19. While I don’t think Gambhir is going to end up as a great, I don’t think he’s going to be badly exposed in foreign conditions either. Dhoni is effective but at present I can’t see him stepping up to the level this post envisages. What about Yuvraj? I hate the guy but it seems he’s come on a bit as a test batsman. And he’s not very old either.

    I’d say Ryder has as good a shout as Taylor. Ryder seems to be better at getting the big runs. Ha ha ha. Probably too early in his career to tell. It seems to me Taylor needs Ryder, partnership wise. Otherwise I sort of see him turning into another should-have-done-better case for NZ (McMillan, Astle, Fleming…onandon)

  20. One innings proves nothing but … Duminy – they bowled a few bouncers at him and he eventually spooned one to deep square for 5 off 16 balls… Told you so KC.

  21. Have just watched Adrian Barath (WI) score 104 on debut (2nd innings) – great batsman in the making? Certainly should be one to watch the next five years.
    I would rather have Ryder in your list than Duminy.
    Also, I’m with Batting in Ned Kelly’s Helmet.

  22. I was within 4 runs and a brainsnap of gloating. The ACB plan of developing a robot that can bat is almost complete.

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