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It is not greatest ever, says Harvey

Published: Monday, December 4, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney: Former Test great Neil Harvey dismissed claims on Monday that Australia's current cricket team could be rated the greatest ever following their record 12th consecutive Test win against the West Indies on Sunday.The Australian media hailed the team as the most consistently successful side in 123 years of international cricket after beating the 11 successive victories set by Clive Lloyd's West Indies team of the 1980s.But Harvey, who played 79 Tests for Australia from 1947-48 onwards, disagreed. "No, they're not, far from it" he told ABC radio. I could name three other teams that are probably better than this one."He said the 1948 side, in which he made his debut under Sir Donald Bradman, Richie Benaud's 1958 side and Ian Chappell's 1972 side were better than the present Australian team."The current lot have, in my opinion, two weaknesses. They haven't got an all-rounder for a start and they also haven't got an opening batsman," he said.He said the quality of opposition faced by the current side could not compare with what Australia had to compete with in the past.Australia set their record by beating Zimbabwe, Pakistan (three times), India (three times), New Zealand (three times) and West Indies (twice)."I don't think they're (the opposition) up to the world standard they were years ago," he said.And Harvey rated Lloyd's previous record-breaking side from the 80s as better. "That 80s West Indies side was better than the Australian side this time," said the 72-year-old.Current West Indies' captain Jimmy Adams agreed it was asking a lot to describe the present side as the greatest ever but agreed they were well-nigh unbeatable at the moment. "They are playing real pressure cricket, which is what it is all about," he said.Copyright @2000 AFP. All rights reserved

Extras:

'West Indies need real batting coaches'

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