I stumbled across an interesting stat the other day. Based on a minimum of 20 innings, of the top 15 batting averages in test cricket only 2 of the players are modern day players. They are kallis at position 11 and sangakkara at 14. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/282910.html There's always a lot made of uncovered pitches back in the old days and the power of modern bats, but it doesn't seem to have had an effect on the relative batting averages between the modern game and the pre-professional era. I can only assume that the standard of bowling has improved markedly over time. Still found it a little surprising though.