On 28 July 1936 a boy was born to Shamont and Thelma Sobers of Walcott Avenue, Bay Land, St Michael, Bridgetown, Barbados. He was the fifth of six children. He had two extra fingers at birth during childhood he himself removed those extras with the aid of catgut and a sharp knife .That tremendous boy became nightmare for opponent bowlers as well as batsmen. Would you guess who is he? Yes, he is the best all rounder all time, Sir Garfield St Aubun Sobers.
In my point of view the ultimate sign of a great all rounder means a player is good enough to be picked for his team as either a batsman or a bowler. Certainly very few have ever met this criteria for instance Sobers ,Imran Khan , Kith Miller and our Sakib Al Hasans. Though sobers actually debuted for the Windies as a left –arm spinner, and batted near the tail. Sobers bowled averaged 38 over a test match (21599 balls in 93 tests) ,whereas Sakib averaged 40 over a test match (7242 balls in 30 tests)
Statistical records of Sobers as a bowler is little bit misleading, as he was an exceptional bowler who can bowl every conceivable style from left arm spin to medium pace was fantastic for his side but ultimately obstacle to his own performance. The Windies team rely on Sobers to fill gap ,which was left after they pick their team around other bowler. Therefore if the pitch was likely turn, Sobers would ask to open the bowling to take the shine off the new ball before Valetine, Ramadin, Gibbs etc .Inversely if the pitch was fast , he would be asked to fill the role of spinners before Hall, Griffith and Gilchrist .
Their batting averages would not comparable. Sobers scared the opposition. One may never confident of victory against India until VVS is still out. If VVS is there ,it does not matter if India are 7-125 chasing 300, Like VVS the opposition team was never quite confident until two “S” (Sobers and Sakib ) were out .Though Sobers average is pretty high than Sakib (Sobers average was 57.78 And Sakib’s average is 36.07 ) Sobers batting was somehow inferior to Sakib’s as he Sobers batted more at no. 5 and no. 6 where as Sakib tended to bat at second or third drop.
Sakib and Sobers both are left handed batsman and left handed bowler. Sakib`s nick name is “MOYNA” and Sobers nick name is “ GARY” .Sobers played county cricket for Nottinghamshire on the other hand Sakib has played county for Worestshire and Leicestershire .Both were selected as “Wisden Cricketer of the Year . “ Both of them lead their country also. In 1964 Sobers set the Test record for an individual batsman with 365 at 21 against Pakistan and on August 31, 1968 he became the first batsman ever to hit six consecutive sixes off an over in first class cricket against Malcom Nash. At the moment Sakib is the no. 1 All-Rounder in all formats. Consider it as a world record as he was first selected as ICC world best all-rounded in 2009.
Sobers last his career 20 years. If Sakib can play another 10 years he probably might score around 17000 (6000 Test runs and 11000 ODI runs) plus runs and total 780 wickets (300 Test wickets and 480 ODI wickets) at current rate.
As I hope Sakib will thrive his performance than now so it is not a exaggerate thinking that cricket world might see another Sobers like performer in near future.
- The ‘batting’ all-rounder delusion (dawn.com)