Why is Shaun Pollock so under rated?

Bhaijaan

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(Shaun Pollock fanboy rant alert)

This guy's right up there as a bowler alone. Among the very best.

And a test batting average of 32 puts him in the league of great all rounders of the game as well. Yet the name is never mentioned, neither while talking great bowlers nor while talking about great all rounders.

Even a few pseudo all rounders out there get more mention every day than this great man and that disappoints me.


Test Record
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ODI Record
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Key points-
*His test batting average against Pakistan is as much as Tendulkar's against Pakistan. That is after averaging 21.35 with the ball :)

*Batting average of 35 in Australia is better than a few great batsmen of our times :23:

*Bowling average around 20 against all test playing nations except Australia. You wont see many great bowlers having such a phenomenal record against that many nations. He didn't bully a few heavily or get spanked by a few others. He only couldn;t do good with the ball against an Aussie time that's one of the best of all time. Apart from them, he bullied ALL.
 
I don't think he is really underrated tbh

A brilliant cricketer - his figures and match winning performances show this
 
Because he's boring

according to Jrod, he was monstrously talented and didnt utilise it enough
 
Perhaps the most boring and unimaginative bowler I have ever seen bowl. Like Mcgrath with no venom, arrogance or competitiveness.

Flogged poor sides in heplful conditions, didnt give a yelp when the heat was on against us, in the fight for number one.

Look at his averages against sides inferior to South Africa at the time then look at them vs us. Never once saw him impose himself on the game.

Yep, imma hater but thats it in a nutshell.
 
No stand out performances that have impact in the game.....I think that might be the reason. Just an opinion though.
 
He's a legend.

I remember when he was playing his last match against WI in SA, how everyone's focus was on him and him only. He finished the match with a boundary and remained unbeaten I think.

Was a class bowler and a useful hitter down the order.
 
And that is why Indians Are crappy judges of crickters' greatness(or lack thereof). They see a bunch of big numbers and bam, the guy's a bona fide great. Pollock was, as RA put it(and I modified it slightly), a really poor version of McGrath without the remotest hint of any ability to ever impact the result of a game even slightly. Those numbers look good on cricinfo but on the field, he was the worst thing a cricketer can be, worse than being plain bad, overrated or downright atrocious - he was insignificant.
 
^That's just.. extremely harsh and not reflective of Pollock's career. I get what you're saying with the "stats are not everything" logic, but he was a great bowler.

Was he someone you'd have bowl in the death when the batting team needed 8 runs an over? Probably not, but that's not the sole factor in considering a "great" or "significant" bowler. With the new ball, he was always reliable and consistently took wickets against the highest of oppositions. The fact that he was a starting bowler for South Africa for more than a decade shows tremendous consistency.

I still wont forget how he rammed through our top order in Lahore in 1998. He got Anwar, Sohail and Ijaz out within 5 deliveries of the first over. Hallmark of a great player.

Another memory that is deeply embedded in my brain is when he took 4 wickets in 4 balls I believe in country cricket. I was 8 years old at that time and they used to show country matches on Star Sports. Pollock's spell was one of my first experiences with cricket itself and that inspired me to be a bowler.

The guy has given it his all for such an extended period of time, proven through bat and ball his reliableness as a bowling all-rounder of the highest kind. Yes, he was uneventful and plain at times, but to say "he was the worst thing a cricketer can be, worse than being plain bad".. that statement is simply ATROCIOUS
 
This very thread is the proof that he is very underrated. He was exactly like Mcgrath as a bowler, and miles ahead as a batsman. South Africans generally are very underrated cricketers. They are as good as anybody in the world but they get lesser credit. Just look at Kallis. Pollock has extraordinary record, and if you are to go by the stats then he is one of the best cricketers ever.
 
The thing is, great cricketers are usually associated with moments their fans can cherish, not milestones. He, like his other teammates, were part of the most destructive South African teams and they managed TWO semi-final birth and no FINALS berth at the WC in what, 4-5 chances. Also, the fact that he went missing against Australia, the only team that was better than theirs for the majority of his career, doesn't do him any favors. He was a great bowler, and even an all-rounder, but if a cricketer is to be judged by stats alone, Pollock doesn't do justice to his stats. Alan Donald who probably didn't average too far away from him with the ball, was a much much more influential cricketer to his team.

Still, his stats against us are godly :O
 
He was always under the shadow of attacking bowlers like Donald and Ntini. Added the depth in the team as well.
 
South Africans are generally underrated because they don't produce when it matters.

Steyn is not underrated. If you go by stats I think Pollock looks to be a better bowler that Steyn or close. Which is why stats can be misleading if not analyzed properly.
 
The thing is, great cricketers are usually associated with moments their fans can cherish, not milestones. He, like his other teammates, were part of the most destructive South African teams and they managed TWO semi-final birth and no FINALS berth at the WC in what, 4-5 chances. Also, the fact that he went missing against Australia, the only team that was better than theirs for the majority of his career, doesn't do him any favors. He was a great bowler, and even an all-rounder, but if a cricketer is to be judged by stats alone, Pollock doesn't do justice to his stats. Alan Donald who probably didn't average too far away from him with the ball, was a much much more influential cricketer to his team.

Still, his stats against us are godly :O

Fair enough !
Kallis v Pollock then.

How many moments has Kallis given us? Still he is in all discussions. Shaun Pollock isn't. Why this discrimination against only Pollock then :13:

If anything, Pollock has 100 more moments than Kallis
 
Shaun Pollock! What a bowler he was.... Better than Kallis!

Kallis is a better batsman!
 
I doubt he was under-rated, he was unfortunate to play in the era of Mcgrath, Alan Donald, Wasim Akram, Ambrose, and emerging talents like lee & Akhtar, Overall Internationally...the world had some amazing fast bowlers back then...his intl. career as a bowler was over shadowed by the presence of legendary bowlers in his era..
 
I remember Pollock !

What a pain he was in every single match we played against them. Not even Warne, Murali, Wasim, Akhtar, Waqar, Ambrose have haunted me as much as Pollock. He was The Bully.
 
Perhaps the most boring and unimaginative bowler I have ever seen bowl. Like Mcgrath with no venom, arrogance or competitiveness.

Flogged poor sides in heplful conditions, didnt give a yelp when the heat was on against us, in the fight for number one.

Look at his averages against sides inferior to South Africa at the time then look at them vs us. Never once saw him impose himself on the game.

Yep, imma hater but thats it in a nutshell.

You don't want me to post some of your Inzy related comments on here, do you?
 
27 to win from the last over. This is Shaun Pollock's reply

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As a bowler, he was overshadowed by Donald.

As an all-rounder, I would always take him over Kallis.
 
27 to win from the last over. This is Shaun Pollock's reply

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5Pugl2fZZsE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

thats a one off case...he lacked consistency to be qualified as an allrounder of a class of chiris cairns or a Flintoff..he was more of a wasim akram mode...great bowler with "hit or miss" batting talent.
 
Don't know why he's underrated but I still remember in 90's era he always picked the wickets of Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail in slips :facepalm:

Try to find his spells on Youtube but found nothing, if you guys have any please share.
 
As a bowler, he was overshadowed by Donald.

As an all-rounder, I would always take him over Kallis
.

Don't know why he's underrated but I still remember in 90's era he always picked the wickets of Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail in slips :facepalm:

Try to find his spells on Youtube but found nothing, if you guys have any please share.

This.

Well one spell that quickly comes to mind is him single handedly winning RSA The Nottingham test match in 2003.
And not only Anwar and Sohail, he tortured all batsmen that way throughout his career. Even Tendulkar
 
co-sign with Random Aussie on this one...eyesore of a cricketer, never enjoyed watching him.
 
South Africans are generally underrated because they don't produce when it matters.

Steyn is not underrated. If you go by stats I think Pollock looks to be a better bowler that Steyn or close. Which is why stats can be misleading if not analyzed properly.

I know I wont be able to convince you....

But thats why strike rate is the "best" (not the only) "indicator" (indicator, not definitive answer) of the attacking prowess of a bowler....

Pollock.jpg
 
co-sign with Random Aussie on this one...eyesore of a cricketer, never enjoyed watching him.

Mighty affective against best batting line ups though...i agree he had a very unusual bowling action...but he was one of the best bowlers of nineties if not the greatest !
 
His bowling was beautiful, always a joy to watch. Nippy
 
Mighty affective against best batting line ups though...i agree he had a very unusual bowling action...but he was one of the best bowlers of nineties if not the greatest !

No he averaged 37 with the ball against us.

And that is on our wickets when they weren't flat and South African wickets. Seriously all I remember him doing was bowling ball after ball way outside off stump at medium pace.
 
In early days on my gali cricket I used to copy Pollock's action and then switched it to McGrath's action :))

The point is, if we compare Glenn with Polly there is not much difference in their career stats.

1. Glenn McGrath
2. SM Pollock
 

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No he averaged 37 with the ball against us.

And that is on our wickets when they weren't flat and South African wickets. Seriously all I remember him doing was bowling ball after ball way outside off stump at medium pace.

OZZIES have always pwned the saffers...and then you are talking abt the period where you guys hardly lost matches...unfair to judge pollocks greatness against your mighty team...i remember watching cricket back in early 2000's, and pollock was admired by allot of experts as the next best thing after mcgrath in world cricket as far as bowling nagging line n lengths is concerned.
 
Pollock wasn't close to the best bowler but a top top allrounder. He was my favourite non Pakistan player, lovely to watch with bat and reliable with ball MashaAllah
 
OZZIES have always pwned the saffers...and then you are talking abt the period where you guys hardly lost matches...unfair to judge pollocks greatness against your mighty team...i remember watching cricket back in early 2000's, and pollock was admired by allot of experts as the next best thing after mcgrath in world cricket as far as bowling nagging line n lengths is concerned.

So Laxman is a top ODI batsman on basis of his performance against Australia?
Pollock only sucked against Australia.

Rest of the bowlers sucked against 2 teams at least except may be McGrath who is my fav all time bowler BEFORE Pollock.
 
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greatest bowler of the 90s? :)))

I dint say he was the greatest...he was certainly one of the best..and by 90's i mean, the late 90's and early 2000's, when pollock was at his peak...Cheers !
 
statistically yes he might be up there but meh, there were many better ones.

was a decent captain though.
 
So Laxman is a top ODI batsman on basis of his performance against Australia?
Pollock only sucked against Australia.

Rest of the bowlers sucked against 2 teams at least except may be McGrath who is my fav all time bowler BEFORE Pollock.

I am trying to make the same point that you are mate...You cant judge pollock as bad only coz he sucked against the ozzies..and the ozzies with the likes of warny, mcgrath gilly, waugh bros, hayden langer..damn !
 
That's a point actually but should apply to all. I see people bypassing that point while talking about FEW OTHER CRICKETERS. Not on, same yardstick for everyone it should.
 
if you don't judge one by how they did against the best of their time, then how else?
 
And that is why Indians Are crappy judges of crickters' greatness(or lack thereof). They see a bunch of big numbers and bam, the guy's a bona fide great. Pollock was, as RA put it(and I modified it slightly), a really poor version of McGrath without the remotest hint of any ability to ever impact the result of a game even slightly. Those numbers look good on cricinfo but on the field, he was the worst thing a cricketer can be, worse than being plain bad, overrated or downright atrocious - he was insignificant.
Poor post if I'm honest.

Taking out the stats factor, Pollock was a fine fine fine control bowler (more in ODIs than Tests). Best thing that a South Africa lineup full of aggressive fast bowlers could want. Add to that he was an allrounder, ie basically doing the job of a specialist bowler not to mention usually consistent and attacking strokeplay down the order. I dunno how many times I've seen Pollock bowl something like 10-3-20-1 while Ntini or Nel bagged 8-0-50-4 at the other end. Top top LOI bowler, good in Tests but (like most Saffers) choked against Australia. Also shouldn't forget that he was genuinely quick in his younger days before 2000. And a real crisis man with the bat. Anything but insignificant

Btw OP is setting up Pollock for needless bashing. He was good but he didn't have the ability to run through a side that Donald, Akram, Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh had. That's no disgrace though, he was a fine fine cricketer and one who deserves better than most replies on the thread
 
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This very thread is the proof that he is very underrated. He was exactly like Mcgrath as a bowler, and miles ahead as a batsman. South Africans generally are very underrated cricketers. They are as good as anybody in the world but they get lesser credit. Just look at Kallis. Pollock has extraordinary record, and if you are to go by the stats then he is one of the best cricketers ever.
I completely agree.

Forget the stats, Pollock was a fine fine performer for a good 12 years MashaAllah.

Unspectacular but paint-dryingly effective seam bowler and stylish, consistent, hard-hitting lower order batsman. Also a very good captain (though like most Saffers choked v Australia)

Just one example off the top of my head, on a completely dead Faisalabad pitch v Pakistan he took 6 wickets and nearly snatched a win out of the brink of a draw. Completely underrated MashaAllah
 
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South Africans are generally underrated because they don't produce when it matters.

Steyn is not underrated. If you go by stats I think Pollock looks to be a better bowler that Steyn or close. Which is why stats can be misleading if not analyzed properly.

Completely agree.
 
No he averaged 37 with the ball against us.

Thaty does count against him.

Mind you, many top bowlers have an Achilles heel against some oppo or other.

- Wasim was not very good vs England, home or away.

- Steyn has not done much against us either

- Botham did poorly against WI

- Warne was not great in India.
 
Oh my goodness, how have some of you managed to include Dravid/Sachin/Laxman in a discussion on Sean Pollock?

Let's not derail another thread.
 
All comments are fair and sorry for being adversarial in your thread f_c.

And not saying that cos he was no good against us, he was no good against anyone. He was.

Talking about Warne v India is not the same. The Saffers had the team on paper to take us but never did. They could and should have been the best team in the world but their stars let them
down when it mattered. That goes against Pollock and his colleagues.
 
Pollock was an awesome cricketer.

Whenever he was bowling to Pak batsmen, I knew it was just a matter of minutes before he snagged another wicket.

Have to say that those thinking he was a "boring" cricketer or whatever, must have only watched him towards the end of his career when he was on the way down.

Otherwise, no way in hell was this gent in any way a boring cricketer, and those claiming that he was are ignorant.
 
Thaty does count against him.

Mind you, many top bowlers have an Achilles heel against some oppo or other.

- Wasim was not very good vs England, home or away.

- Steyn has not done much against us either

- Botham did poorly against WI

- Warne was not great in India.

Wasim tortured the English batsmen throughout the 92 series If im not wrong? Didnt play much at home against the English so not a huge sample for that. And I think the 96 series against England he wasnt going through a great run of form in general, not fair to say he struggled against the English as such. And I wouldnt classify averaging mid to late 20s as not very good, I mean that would make Botham an all round not very good bowler wouldnt it?
 
Only people who got bored of Pollock must be Saffers themselves watching their hero bully other teams on regular basis.
 
This.

Well one spell that quickly comes to mind is him single handedly winning RSA The Nottingham test match in 2003.
And not only Anwar and Sohail, he tortured all batsmen that way throughout his career. Even Tendulkar

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VvjJCHNdKi4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
not fair to say he struggled against the English as such. And I wouldnt classify averaging mid to late 20s as not very good,

Nor would I, but Wasim averaged 31 against the English, strike rate 70, with two 5fers in 18 matches.
 
Shaun Pollock was no doubt was a fine cricketer. But he did become somewhat overly defensive on many occasions especially in the second half of his career. When there was something in the pitch Pollock bowled a straight line and was dangerous. But when he struggled to extract much from the pitch, he reverted to bowling negatively, wide of the off stump. On 'flat' pitches he was a defensive bowler.
 
Thaty does count against him.

Mind you, many top bowlers have an Achilles heel against some oppo or other.

- Wasim was not very good vs England, home or away.

- Steyn has not done much against us either

- Botham did poorly against WI

- Warne was not great in India.

And I'll add Lillee was rubbish in the WI and the subcontinent (admittedly a samllish sample) and gets annointed the best bowler ever by experts. Also, Murali and his poor record in australia.
 
^ Exactly
Why the discrimination against Pollock only? :(
 
But Dada would never rate Pollock highly. :))

Dada would come down the track and whack him over the fielder,
and pollock will go back and bowl the samething again and Dada would do the samething again. :)))

Guess he never had a plan B when his plan A was not working. :)
 
^He executed Plan A to perfection 90% of the times :D
 
The Saffers had the team on paper to take us but never did. They could and should have been the best team in the world but their stars let them
down when it mattered.

Love it how the same still applies fifteen years later :))
 
Where should Pollock be ranked among top class bowlers? Is "really poor version of McGrath without the remotest hint of any ability to ever impact the result of a game even slightly" accurate assessment?
 
I followed his care closely as I grew up in Southern Africa. He was a great of the game. People hating on him either didn't watch him or don't know much about the game.
 
Why is Shaun Pollock not considered among the great Allrounders?

His bowling average is 23 which is already an ATG bowler's stats on its own.

But even if you dig deeper into it his record comes out trumps. Apart from Australia where you could say he struggled (averaged 34 which you could argue got really dented in his last tour there), Shaun Pollock has a very good record everywhere else. Infact he averaged around 25 in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, places which are hard for fast bowling anyways but where non Asian pacers especially suffer.

Only criticism I can have of his bowling is that he has only one 10fer and even his 5-fers tally is not comparable to some other bowling legends. But you do have to realize that he was sharing a lot of his wickets with the beast that was Allan Donald (who is another guy I feel is not talked about enough considering his exploits).

Anyways for me Pollock through his bowling alone is in ATG territory for me.

Now comes his batting. I won't compare it to some other great all rounders because his batting record is not as stellar. But I still think it deserves more credit than it gets. Apart from Sri Lanka and India he averages 35-75 in all away countries which really does tell that he is more than a bowler who can bat a bit. He has a very decent not out rate which some will argue inflates his average but imo it also shows that he had the ability to hang around and bat whereas the proper batsmen could play around. So I will take it as a positive. For a batsman who played the majority of his innings at #8 or #9 that is a very handy skill. Clearly only 2 centuries is not enough to be considered a great batsman on his own but he has a good 50s tally . He has a great record in drawn matches which points to him being able to play his part in draws.

People talk about how Kallis is underrated but I think not only is Pollock not talked about and rated as much as a ATG purely as a bowler I think we need to give him credit as an all rounder too.
 
I have always felt it was mostly because of being in the team with Donald for so many years-they were probably the best bowling partnership from 1999-2001 in Tests but he was overshadowed by Donald's presence even when out-bowling him. Always felt like Boucher if he wasn't a keeper that he could have played as a batsman alone if he didn't have to bowl, his batting was superb in ODI's coming in at 6 quite often-incredibly clean hitter of the ball & made those quick 40's or 50's.
 
Goodness me, just have a look at Shaun's batting averages. He is probably averaging higher as a batsman in few major nations than a lot of specialist batsmen.

add hios 20sh bowling averages to it and you have statistically the biggest beast of the past 25-30 years.

No world cups, Ashes though and not a large than life personality so remained unnoticed by the media and all. True fans however wouldn't forget this guy. Absolute champ.
 
Goodness me, just have a look at Shaun's batting averages. He is probably averaging higher as a batsman in few major nations than a lot of specialist batsmen.

add hios 20sh bowling averages to it and you have statistically the biggest beast of the past 25-30 years.

No world cups, Ashes though and not a large than life personality so remained unnoticed by the media and all. True fans however wouldn't forget this guy. Absolute champ.

For me a very basic method (and well you could say lazy but at least it gives you a picture of sorts for rudimentary comparison) of seeing the worth of an all rounder is to subtract the bowling average from the batting average and see what difference do you get. A disclaimer should be that the player should have atleast 150 wickets and 1500 runs.

Pollocks is right up there at almost 10 in tests. Wonder who has the biggest difference. Prolly Sobers

I am not claiming that he is the best or anything. Far from it. But he atleast deserves some recognition and acknowledgement in discussions on the topic because his performances and career merits his case
 
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Concisely, because around the same time as him, there were many more dynamic fast bowlers than him around, and also lots of better batsmen too. He was a really good player, but he won't go down as a great because he was outshone by bowlers like McGrath, Ambrose, Donald and the other 90s greats, and also outshone by batsmen too.
 
Failed on big occasions where it mattered (against Australia etc..)
 
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