Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers. Not for nothing, did Ray Robinson (famous cricket journalist) call him 'the evolution's ultimate specimen of cricketers'. Why exactly was he called as such. We sought to understand why, and here are some facts about his performances in the two aspects of the game, which told us why.
Him as a batsman
Matches: 93; Innings: 160; Not Out: 21; Runs: 8032; Average: 57.78; 100s: 26; 50s: 30; Highest: 365
Sobers till the moment stands as one of the greatest wielders of willow. He was undoubtedly the best of the era. In his go he was the most sublime attacking stroke-player ever. The bat came straight in the line of ball it either went straight or the magical wrists came into play dispatching the ball. In both cases the bat traced a complete circle and bowlers were left clapping.
•His batting was not just mindless attack but it also comprised of the brilliant sense of defence.
•He was predominantly a back-foot player with brilliant eyesight and a natural gift of excellent timing.
•He studied every bowler with great detail and played them with more of that.
•The run-up and few steps prior to delivery stride were carefully observed and he picked up those telltale signals to know exactly what sort of ball was aimed at him.
•He remained completely still till the ball was released. This gave him an extra fraction of time to get in perfect position to play his shots.
•The spinners were read from their hands rather than in air or off the pitch. He usually danced down the pitch sending the ball screaming towards sightscreen.
•Many believe that his exceptional batting skills was due to his childhood practice with ball stiched by local shoemaker resulting in bizzare movements.
Him as a bowler
Matches: 93; Innings: 159; Wickets: 235; Average: 34.03; Strike Rate: 91.9; BBI: 6/73; BBM: 8/80; Economy: 2.22; 5w: 6; 10w: 0
Sobers was not a great bowler but he much much more than a handy bowler. Even here his versatility is unmatched.
•When the ball was new he could run in to bowl at descent pace and swing it around both ways.
•With the old ball he could send numerous overs with his accurate left arm orthodox spin.
•Or he could also tum the ball sharply in both ways with his left arm 'chinaman stuff'.
For the statistically minded...
1.Sobers was the first batsman to score 8000 test runs. He was the highest run getter and had second highest tally of centuries at the time he retired.
2.His whole career can be divided into distinct two parts. The first phase ranged from his debut to Dec 1957 and the second one was from 1958 till his retirement.
a.In his first 14 tests he managed just 672 runs at 30.54 with 3 half centuries.
b.In the next 79 tests he made 7360 at 62.90 with 26 centuries and 27 fifties.
3.Between Jan 1958 and Dec 1974 he was the best batsman in the world with an average of 62.90. He was followed by Ken Barrington with 59.76 and Hanif Mohammad with 51.15.
4.As a captain he made 3528 runs at 58.80 with 11 tons.
5.In wins Sobers was even more astounding with 3097 runs at 77.42 with 12 hundreds. His average in wins is bettered only by Bradman and Inzamam-ul-Haq.
6.His record of 365* stood for an amazing 36 years span.
With achievements such as these, his knighthood is well-deserved to say the least
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