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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

More on Warne's rankings

When I recently posted about some current best ever selections I bit my lip about some of Shane Warne's top 50 (53) selections or, to be more precise, his rankings.

Now someone has publicly expressed views which are very similar to mine. Writing in The Weekend Australian Malcolm Conn takes Warne to task for displaying "immaturity and petty jealousies".

By ranking Adam Gilchrist at a lowly No.20 and Steve Waugh a laughable No.26 among the cricketers he played with or against, Warne has once again exposed his immaturity and petty jealousies. It is yet another example of why he was overlooked for both those players in leadership roles, much to his lasting anguish.

Waugh has already laughed off the schoolboy sledge and Gilchrist smiled broadly when asked about it in South Africa this week. "He's done enough in the game and played enough cricket to be warranted his own opinion on who he's played with and against," Gilchrist told The Weekend Australian. "As far as my position is concerned, to be in his top 20, given the amount of cricketers he has played with and against over the years, well it's a wonderful compliment."

Warne offered some wonderful theatre on the field and the game will miss that as much as his great bowling, but there is a compelling case to suggest that Gilchrist may just be the greatest entertainer the game has seen.

Not only are Gilchrist's batting achievements absolute world-class - 5353 runs at 48.66 with 17 centuries in 90 Tests - the way the potent left-hander has thrashed and bludgeoned those runs has left even the incomparable Don Bradman in his wake.

Gilchrist, 35, has scored more than 82 runs from every 100 balls he has faced in Test matches, by far and away the best of any batsman with more than 2000 runs.

Four years ago, a number of former Australian greats were asked to rank the 10 best centuries in Australian history. Greg Chappell simply said: "Adam Gilchrist has eight so far. Those are my top eight."

Conn also has a good word to say about Gilchrist's wicketkeeping, which Warne had damned with the faint praise of the "batsman wicketkeeper" tag. Gilchrist's own response was a model of diplomacy. I for one hope to see much more of him on the cricket field.

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