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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Sir Gordon Greenidge vs Gautam Gambhir

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Who will take the cake in this week's edition of Friday Fights?

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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Sir Gordon Greenidge vs Gautam Gambhir

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Bastab K Parida

08/07/2020

In one of the editions of the Friday Fights, we had Desmond Haynes locking horns with Virender Sehwag and what a fight it was! The hero of the 80s found a streak with Sehwag who had some of the glorious years in the 2000s. Now it is the time to turn back to their respective opening partners.

‘The best of Greenidge is the best of batting,’ chipped Mark Nicholas who referred Alec Bedser as saying, ‘the only modern cricketer to play anything like Sir Donald Bradman was Greenidge’. Nicholas further added, ‘The great Greenidge innings were symphonic, performances of movement and character that reached almighty crescendos.’ This was some high praise from someone who has seen many legends up close, played with many at Hampshire, interacted with thousands during his glorious stint as a broadcaster. And that speaks the level Greenidge attained during his career.

At the same, for modern-day cricket fans, a Gautam Gambhir description is as baseless as filling the Burger with Cinnamon seeds. They know the details, they have followed with great entertainment, they followed him in the World Cup finals, they watched the interviews, they hated him, they loved him - sometimes one outwitting the other - but one hardly disagrees with his contributions to Indian cricket. So without any further ado, let’s get ready to rumble.

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: Sir Gordon sets the ball rolling

Like Haynes did this for Sehwag, the former’s inimitable opening partner in the glorious 80s’ era set off his ramp on a flyer, with his average of 45.03 easily being better than Gambhir’s 39.68. It is almost a six-run difference and that is something the Indian won’t be happy going forward. 

Greenidge- 10    Gambhir- 7

ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: Punch packed with 10-star seal!

Aha, what a comeback by Gauti! He took the bull by its horns but that is not sufficient to beat the inimitable aura of Greenidge who has an away average of 40.41 in his career. Gambhir’s 39.12 doesn’t deserve anything less and boom, we will go with a 10-pointer for both of them here. Think it is fair. 

Greenidge- 10    Gambhir- 10

ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: Ludicrous!

Well, it seems like Greenidge was playing in spirit for Gambhir after his retirement! This is another diametrically similar number that deserves more than a trifling mention. Sir Greenidge averaged 37.74 at home - a contrasting one to his partner Haynes - and Gambhir has a requisite digit with 37.29, ensuring the second 10-point deal of the day.

Greenidge- 10    Gambhir- 10

ROUND 4 -> AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: No contest here!

Can Gambhir hold on to it and ensure the initial onslaught that Greenidge had on him could be challenged back? But wait, what is this number that I am seeing here? Gambhir’s average of 46.32 is almost 12 runs lesser than the Caribbean superstar whose average soars up to 58.02 in neutral venues. No contest here!

Greenidge- 10    Gambhir- 5

ROUND 5 -> AVERAGE IN MAJOR TOURNAMENTS: Greenidge is making Gambhir’s life difficult here!

It seems like Gambhir is having a difficult challenge to cope with Greenidge who is racing first, leaving the Delhite in a daze. His major tournament average of 45.46 is comfortably better than Gambhir’s 41.45 and that is some statement. With every round, this is becoming increasingly difficult for Gambhir to pull things back. 

Greenidge- 10    Gambhir- 8

ROUND 6 -> STRIKE RATE: Representation of the era they played??

Although the Gauti fans would be excited at the return of the king for a 10-pointer, the ability is not a question here for either of the batsmen. Basically, when you played in an era when only a handful of players have gone past the 70-SR mark, Greenidge could hardly be at fault for striking almost 18 less than the Indian. For that reason alone, I would go with a liberal rating (pun intended) here.

Greenidge- 7    Gambhir- 8

ROUND 7-> 50 TO 100 CONVERSIONS (in %): Greenidge back to what he does best!

Well, this was checked by a whisker. Anyone could have done it, after all, it was the difference of one century or two fewer half-centuries. With 26.19 conversion rate, Greenidge, however, takes the cake leaving the Indian gasping for breathing in the overall scenario!

Greenidge- 10   Gambhir- 9

ROUND 8 -> % of FIFTIES IN WINNING CAUSES: The fire in Babylon burns brighter

We are in the eighth round of the bout and only once Greenidge has scored anything less than a perfect 10. Doesn’t this speak volumes of his impregnable legend that cut through the eras and justified what Nicholas had said? Only once has Windies lost an ODI when Greenidge scored a fifty and that is a success of 96.77%. Gambhir had a decent 76.47% of success to his name but in the projected reality, this is harsh on him. 

Greenidge- 10   Gambhir- 8

ROUND 9 -> HUNDREDS IN WINNING CAUSES: Ruthlessness is the name of the game for Greenidge

Make that Eight for Greenidge! The Caribbean star of the lore for an insane 82% of the time in his career managed to sculpt a century in winning causes, as compared to Gambhir’s 72.72. This is a bout like no other, this is a dominance like no other. Gambhir, as usual, came close but faltered at the touchline, ensuring another one-point difference that didn't do any good to his chance.

Greenidge- 10   Gambhir- 9

ROUND 10-> AVERAGE IN H2H CLASHES: Do you have any game left, Gauti?

C’mon, this can’t be more one-sided than this although in every step Gauti seemed like making a comeback. I have relied on H2H for Gauti to salvage some pride but he is in no business here as well. Greenidge scored at an average of 59.05 against India while Gambhir could manage 20.76 against the Windies to ensure he leaves the ring with blood and blood on his face. I guess that's the end of the contest surely, it has got bloody towards the end but in all, it was exciting and fascinating!

Greenidge- 10   Gambhir- 3

WINNER BY KNOCKOUT - SIR GORDON GREENIDGE

FINAL SCORE -  Greenidge - 97  Gambhir - 77

What a bout we just had! Was this a big myth-buster for one and all and established the legend of Sir Gordon Greenidge. I hope you would’ve enjoyed the bout as much as we did and with that, I would leave it here for all of you to dwell on. We shall be back with another edition of an epic clash between two great batsmen next Friday. Till then, have a good time! Sayanora!

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