Trivia - batting August 26, 2008

Sir Donald Bradman - a fresh analytical look

I am not sure whether I would jump with joy if someone, as reported recently, conclusively proved that Don Bradman scored those elusive four runs, by mistake credited to Jack Ryder, during 1929
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1. Best ever batting performance in a test

During 2001, Wisden came out with a list of the 100 best Test innings of all time. Don Bradman's 270 played in Melbourne in 1937 was adjudged the best ever test innings. This was closely followed by Brian Lara's match-winning 153* and Graham Gooch's 154*.

Playing on a gluepot, Bradman declared at 200 for 9 and Gubby Allen countered by declaring at 76 for 9. The wicket was still very difficult and Bradman sent his tailenders in. Soon they were 97 for 5. Then Bradman and Jack Fingleton added 346 for the sixth wicket, . Bradman continued on and was ninth out at 270. England fought gamely but lost by a big margin. A tactical battle was won by Bradman, the captain and he led from the front. A potted summary of the match is given below.

Test # 257. Australia vs England.
Played on 1,2,4,5,6,7 January 1937
at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia won by 365 runs.
Australia: 200 for 9 wkt(s)
England: 76 for 9 wkt(s)
Australia: 564 all out (Bradman 270, Fingleton 136)
England: 323 all out

2. The best 10-innings stretch

Bradman's best 10-innings stretch was during 1937-46, when he scored 1236 runs at an average of 154.50

The scores were 212, 169, 51, 144*, 18, 102*, 103, 16, 187 and 234.

Also relevant here is "Alex"'s comment, reproduced below.

Also, regarding the 'best 10-innings stretch'. Bradman scored 1370 runs in 10 innings during 1930 and 1931: 131, 254, 1, 334, 14, 232, 4, 25, 223, 152. There were no not-outs during this period however, so his average was 'only' 137.0.

3. The worst 10-innings stretch

Bradman's worst 10-innings stretch started during the second Bodyline test during 1932-33 and continued until 1934 when he scored 426 runs (in 11 innings) at an average of 38.72. He finished this streak with his monumental 304 at Headingley during 1934.

The scores were 8, 66, 76, 24, 48, 71, 29, 25, 36, 13 and 30.

4. Highest average reached (after 10 innings)

Bradman reached his highest career average of 112.29 after the Adelaide Test against South Africa, in which he scored 299*.

5. Lowest average reached (after 10 innings)

Bradman reached his lowest career average, after passing the initial period of 10 Tests, of 89.56 after the Old Trafford Test against England during 1934. Not surprisingly this was the end of his worst streak, referred to elsewhere in this article.

6. When the average of 100.00 was reached

Surprisingly Bradman did not have a great start to his career. He reached an average of 100.00 (agreed very few have ever touched this milestone) only after 15 innings.

7. Quality of opposition bowling

Surprisingly the bowling Bradman faced in his career was slightly below the all-time average, 29.62 against 29.50. However it must be noted that he faced this level of bowling almost all the time. The all-time average arrived consists of 40s and 20s scattered across the 1800-odd Test matches.

8. Runs scored in each batting position

Batting Position      3      4      5       6      7
Runs scored         5078    485    427     681    325
Batting Average    103.63  53.89  142.33  97.29  162.50
The No. 7 total is bolstered by that amazing innings of 270 referred to earlier in this article.

9. Analysis by batting position

Bradman's Batting Position Average is 3.65, indicating that he batted at No. 3 most of the time. For the record he batted at No. 3 a total of 56 times (70%).

10. Analysis of 100s

This is the one measure where he has yielded to a contemporary batsman. The average of the 29 hundreds Bradman has scored in Test cricket is a very high 185.97. Till a few weeks back, he was the No.1 batsman in this regard. Sehwag overtook this figure with his 319 in Chennai. However, Bradman's 100s frequency of 1.8 Tests per hundred is way ahead of any one else.

11. Home/Away runs scored

Not so surprisingly, considering his success in England, Bradman's away performance is superior to his Australian performances. He has scored 2674 runs away at an average of 102.85 while in Australia, he has scored 4322 runs at an average of 98.22.

12. How far ahead of the next

Just to show how far ahead Bradman is of the other batsmen, a relative scale table is shown below.

Measure          Bradman     %    Next Best    %     Difference

Batting Avge 99.96 100.0 68.38 68.47 31.53 (Hussey) Runs per test 134.53 100.0 99.54 74.00 26.00 (Headley) Tests per 100 1.79 100.0 2.20 81.00 19.00 (Headley) Inns per 100 2.76 100.0 4.00 69.00 31.00 (Headley)

13. Man of the Match awards

Hey what is this, no Man of the Match awards were given when Bradman played. True. So I have gone through the scorecards and using the Innings Rating points, determined which player could have got the MOM award, if these were given. Bradman would have got no less than 16 MOM awards in the 52 Tests he played, a frequency of 3.25 tests per award. Compare this with the current leaders. The best is a frequency of 6.00.

Kallis         123     20    6.15
Muralitharan   123     19    6.47
Wasim Akram    104     17    6.12
Shane Warne    145     17    8.52
Ambrose         84     14    6.00
14. Movement of averages

Finally a footnote. I am not sure whether I would jump with joy if someone, as reported recently, conclusively proved that Bradman scored those elusive four runs, by mistake credited to Jack Ryder, during 1929. The figure of 99.94 is etched into the memory of people and sounds far better than 100.00. It also confirms a nice human element to one perceived to be a super-human.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • waspsting on November 3, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    couple of points.

    In noting that the overall bowling average of the bowlers faced, you must consider that those guys had the misfortune to bowl to Bradman! - thus raising their averages, compared to other eras. I'm sure if Bradman were taken out of the equation, their figures would match those of other attacks.

    Neville Cardus tells a story of when he was sitting with Larwood in the press box during the 50/51 Ashes series. On a perfect Melbourne wicket, neither team passed 200 in any of the 4 innings. "You seem to be brooding on something, Harold?" he asked "Yes. Look at them getting out on this beautiful pitch" After another long silence, Larwood turned to Cardus and said, "You know Mr. Cardus, when I look back on my test career, I seem to have spent all my time bowling at Bradman" A cry from the heart, was Cardus' verdict.

    Regarding averages at home and away, minus bodyline, it probably evens out. He scored tons of runs against India and South Africa.

  • jay on September 8, 2008, 0:20 GMT

    In the past 120 years I would say that the only sportsmen that made their peers look like children alongside them are Wilt Chamberlain, WG Grace, Donald Bradman, Jesse Owens, Bob Hayes and Usain Bolt.

    Going just by statistics, I would rate Bradman at No.1 in the above list, with Wilt second. But if I look just at the first 5-6 years of Wilt's career when he played primarily as a points-scorer and not as a defensive player, I would put Wilt first and Bradman second.

    In my opinion Wilt's 50-point season in 1961-62 is the greatest performance in sports followed by the Don's average of 99.94

    In terms of towering over their sport as a whole I would put WG Grace first and Wilt second.

    Behind these six, I would place Bubka, Zelezny, Moses, Jehangir Khan, Wayne Gretzy, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and Sam Langford in a second category and then all the rest like Woods, Jordan, Ali, Pele, SR Robinson and so on - remember the criteria - the sportsman that most towered over his peers

  • Tboy on September 4, 2008, 12:31 GMT

    Hi Ananth, I would like to decline the offer of exchanging email addresses with "Shawry." I'm not interested in continuing a dialogue RE: Mr Bradman and would prefer the integrity of my email to remain intact. Thanks. Next subject? [[ Thanks. At least now can we close this thread. ]]

  • Tboy on September 4, 2008, 8:13 GMT

    Shawry heres an idea write your own work instead of copying mine.Im flattered that you consider my quips worthy of imitation,not surprised, but flattered. The broken femur was something called an analogy. But since u asked 24 USA BBllers died from 1984-1998 10 from trauma to the skull. Fact:thats more than documented for cricket for the enitre 20Ct.I can also c that u r confused but I wont repeat myself re: the don, charles davis & stats. Read some previous posts for the full story & learn something.Deaths in sport are usually bad luck eg Cric deaths: Jasper Vinall 1624 & Henry Brand 1647: both struck by the batter & died!Folley was batting got hit in the eye but took the field & died later during an operation. A total of 3 docd deaths in Eng over 384 yrs. There are a couple of others 2: Abdul Aziz was struck in the chest by an offspinner & died en route to hospital (absent dead on scorecard) BTW Lamba was actually fielding when he was struck & died later. Hardly a case for lethality. [[ Somewhere there shouldn't the readers understand that they have gone way, way off from Sir Don Bradman. With your permission I could give you people the other's mail ids so that you could correspond with each other directly. ]]

  • Shawry on September 3, 2008, 9:51 GMT

    Tboy - I never said anyone died during bodyline. What I did say was "could die". That was the consequences of being struck - far more serious than anything Jordan faced (broken leg or a few stitches doesn't cut it - sorry). As for cricket rules being changed to enhance scoring - that was after Bradman and still nobody comes close to him. Are you arguing for or against - I'm confused. There are indeed other athletes with amazing records - but, at the risk of repeating myself, not so good that they are as far clear of their peers than Bradman was, and is. If there are, name them. None you so far indicate come close. BTW: Ian Folley & Raman Lamba both died as the direct result of being struck by a cricket ball. No exaggeration there. Here's an idea - back up whatever you "could easily claim" with facts.

  • Tboy on September 2, 2008, 8:02 GMT

    Shawry yes they r 2 diff sports mate. Did u even read the earlier posts on this forum? For the final time I engaged in a post by someone comparing sports & stated at that time it was bloody impossible but I would engage in it. 2nd, dont exagerate, no one was killed in Bodyline even after being hit in the head. Yes a cricket ball to the head hurts but so does being tackled four feet off the ground by 2 7ft 280 pound men. I could easily claim this is more dangerous for compound fractures of the femur & lead to death. Incidently Isaih Thomas once got 62 stitches on the head from a well placed deliberate elbow. Thats more stitches than any cricket ball has ever caused in a single blow. As I pointed out once before Wilt Chamberlain avg 44 points per game for his first 4 yrs & dominated the NBA to the extent that the rules were changed to stop him. It did. Cricket rules changed to enhance scoring. Heres an idea : there are other athletes with amazing records too, check a few out mate.

  • Shawry on September 1, 2008, 14:41 GMT

    TBOy - 2 different sports mate. If Jordan makes a mistake, his game goes from 30 points to 28. Bradman's innings ends right there. Far less margin for error and far less forgiving. As for averaging less against Bodyline, when Jordan Rules means if you miss you could die, lets see how Michael reacts. That's what Bradman was up against even at relatively slower speed bowlers. The worst poor old Michael had to face meant a couple of towel-boys wiping the pristine floor so he didn't risk slipping over. Given stats againsrt those around him, he stands above his peers by a greater margin than any sportsman I've seen named, in any sport.

  • Salim on August 30, 2008, 19:41 GMT

    @ Vidhya....That really is the most pointless arguement ive read in this entire post. Of course Lara and Viv's 1st class avg was less than their test avg. SO WAS BRADMAN'S!!!! Quite clearly the pressure and the importance of test cricket far outweighs any 1st class game, hence the great players avg more in test cricket. Ive read many times how Ambrose would run in faster playing for the Windies than he did for Northants. If we could transport Lara, Tendulkar, Richards etc back to the 20's,30's or 40's they WOULD face lesser bowlers than today but they would still play the game as TEST cricket with the intensity and importance they did in their own time. They would definately avg more than mid fifties, how much more? we will never know!

  • Vidhya on August 30, 2008, 4:02 GMT

    Making large scores consistently is a ability that is distinct from pure batting talent. You think that given worse bowling Richards and Lara would average in the 80s or 90s, don't you ? Like in the ordinary first class matches that they play other than the Tests ? In fact, Richards' first class batting average is 49.40 and 51.88. Both below their Test averages.

  • frank on August 29, 2008, 16:43 GMT

    I agree with you Alex (29/8 blog) that his average was far above his fellow players and this probably does makes him the best batsman ever. However, on this particular subject, I always like to make the point about the West Indian attack etc because I am not sure some people take those facts into account. If I was to say someone was the greatest batsman ever, part of me thinks that by making this statement, I am saying they would be the best player in any era they played in. We can only speculate if DGB would have been the greatets if he played in the last 30-40 years compared to the 1930's and 1940's. Given his vast average anyway, I am sure he would have still been head and shoulders above most. I also think it would be intersting to imagine how high Lara and Richards' average might have been if they played in Bradman's era (when I believe the quailty of bowling was not as good then) given the fact that they averaged around 50 in a much more tougher era of cricket.

  • waspsting on November 3, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    couple of points.

    In noting that the overall bowling average of the bowlers faced, you must consider that those guys had the misfortune to bowl to Bradman! - thus raising their averages, compared to other eras. I'm sure if Bradman were taken out of the equation, their figures would match those of other attacks.

    Neville Cardus tells a story of when he was sitting with Larwood in the press box during the 50/51 Ashes series. On a perfect Melbourne wicket, neither team passed 200 in any of the 4 innings. "You seem to be brooding on something, Harold?" he asked "Yes. Look at them getting out on this beautiful pitch" After another long silence, Larwood turned to Cardus and said, "You know Mr. Cardus, when I look back on my test career, I seem to have spent all my time bowling at Bradman" A cry from the heart, was Cardus' verdict.

    Regarding averages at home and away, minus bodyline, it probably evens out. He scored tons of runs against India and South Africa.

  • jay on September 8, 2008, 0:20 GMT

    In the past 120 years I would say that the only sportsmen that made their peers look like children alongside them are Wilt Chamberlain, WG Grace, Donald Bradman, Jesse Owens, Bob Hayes and Usain Bolt.

    Going just by statistics, I would rate Bradman at No.1 in the above list, with Wilt second. But if I look just at the first 5-6 years of Wilt's career when he played primarily as a points-scorer and not as a defensive player, I would put Wilt first and Bradman second.

    In my opinion Wilt's 50-point season in 1961-62 is the greatest performance in sports followed by the Don's average of 99.94

    In terms of towering over their sport as a whole I would put WG Grace first and Wilt second.

    Behind these six, I would place Bubka, Zelezny, Moses, Jehangir Khan, Wayne Gretzy, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and Sam Langford in a second category and then all the rest like Woods, Jordan, Ali, Pele, SR Robinson and so on - remember the criteria - the sportsman that most towered over his peers

  • Tboy on September 4, 2008, 12:31 GMT

    Hi Ananth, I would like to decline the offer of exchanging email addresses with "Shawry." I'm not interested in continuing a dialogue RE: Mr Bradman and would prefer the integrity of my email to remain intact. Thanks. Next subject? [[ Thanks. At least now can we close this thread. ]]

  • Tboy on September 4, 2008, 8:13 GMT

    Shawry heres an idea write your own work instead of copying mine.Im flattered that you consider my quips worthy of imitation,not surprised, but flattered. The broken femur was something called an analogy. But since u asked 24 USA BBllers died from 1984-1998 10 from trauma to the skull. Fact:thats more than documented for cricket for the enitre 20Ct.I can also c that u r confused but I wont repeat myself re: the don, charles davis & stats. Read some previous posts for the full story & learn something.Deaths in sport are usually bad luck eg Cric deaths: Jasper Vinall 1624 & Henry Brand 1647: both struck by the batter & died!Folley was batting got hit in the eye but took the field & died later during an operation. A total of 3 docd deaths in Eng over 384 yrs. There are a couple of others 2: Abdul Aziz was struck in the chest by an offspinner & died en route to hospital (absent dead on scorecard) BTW Lamba was actually fielding when he was struck & died later. Hardly a case for lethality. [[ Somewhere there shouldn't the readers understand that they have gone way, way off from Sir Don Bradman. With your permission I could give you people the other's mail ids so that you could correspond with each other directly. ]]

  • Shawry on September 3, 2008, 9:51 GMT

    Tboy - I never said anyone died during bodyline. What I did say was "could die". That was the consequences of being struck - far more serious than anything Jordan faced (broken leg or a few stitches doesn't cut it - sorry). As for cricket rules being changed to enhance scoring - that was after Bradman and still nobody comes close to him. Are you arguing for or against - I'm confused. There are indeed other athletes with amazing records - but, at the risk of repeating myself, not so good that they are as far clear of their peers than Bradman was, and is. If there are, name them. None you so far indicate come close. BTW: Ian Folley & Raman Lamba both died as the direct result of being struck by a cricket ball. No exaggeration there. Here's an idea - back up whatever you "could easily claim" with facts.

  • Tboy on September 2, 2008, 8:02 GMT

    Shawry yes they r 2 diff sports mate. Did u even read the earlier posts on this forum? For the final time I engaged in a post by someone comparing sports & stated at that time it was bloody impossible but I would engage in it. 2nd, dont exagerate, no one was killed in Bodyline even after being hit in the head. Yes a cricket ball to the head hurts but so does being tackled four feet off the ground by 2 7ft 280 pound men. I could easily claim this is more dangerous for compound fractures of the femur & lead to death. Incidently Isaih Thomas once got 62 stitches on the head from a well placed deliberate elbow. Thats more stitches than any cricket ball has ever caused in a single blow. As I pointed out once before Wilt Chamberlain avg 44 points per game for his first 4 yrs & dominated the NBA to the extent that the rules were changed to stop him. It did. Cricket rules changed to enhance scoring. Heres an idea : there are other athletes with amazing records too, check a few out mate.

  • Shawry on September 1, 2008, 14:41 GMT

    TBOy - 2 different sports mate. If Jordan makes a mistake, his game goes from 30 points to 28. Bradman's innings ends right there. Far less margin for error and far less forgiving. As for averaging less against Bodyline, when Jordan Rules means if you miss you could die, lets see how Michael reacts. That's what Bradman was up against even at relatively slower speed bowlers. The worst poor old Michael had to face meant a couple of towel-boys wiping the pristine floor so he didn't risk slipping over. Given stats againsrt those around him, he stands above his peers by a greater margin than any sportsman I've seen named, in any sport.

  • Salim on August 30, 2008, 19:41 GMT

    @ Vidhya....That really is the most pointless arguement ive read in this entire post. Of course Lara and Viv's 1st class avg was less than their test avg. SO WAS BRADMAN'S!!!! Quite clearly the pressure and the importance of test cricket far outweighs any 1st class game, hence the great players avg more in test cricket. Ive read many times how Ambrose would run in faster playing for the Windies than he did for Northants. If we could transport Lara, Tendulkar, Richards etc back to the 20's,30's or 40's they WOULD face lesser bowlers than today but they would still play the game as TEST cricket with the intensity and importance they did in their own time. They would definately avg more than mid fifties, how much more? we will never know!

  • Vidhya on August 30, 2008, 4:02 GMT

    Making large scores consistently is a ability that is distinct from pure batting talent. You think that given worse bowling Richards and Lara would average in the 80s or 90s, don't you ? Like in the ordinary first class matches that they play other than the Tests ? In fact, Richards' first class batting average is 49.40 and 51.88. Both below their Test averages.

  • frank on August 29, 2008, 16:43 GMT

    I agree with you Alex (29/8 blog) that his average was far above his fellow players and this probably does makes him the best batsman ever. However, on this particular subject, I always like to make the point about the West Indian attack etc because I am not sure some people take those facts into account. If I was to say someone was the greatest batsman ever, part of me thinks that by making this statement, I am saying they would be the best player in any era they played in. We can only speculate if DGB would have been the greatets if he played in the last 30-40 years compared to the 1930's and 1940's. Given his vast average anyway, I am sure he would have still been head and shoulders above most. I also think it would be intersting to imagine how high Lara and Richards' average might have been if they played in Bradman's era (when I believe the quailty of bowling was not as good then) given the fact that they averaged around 50 in a much more tougher era of cricket.

  • Tboy on August 29, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    Ananth, people were stating that Bradman wasnt the best batsmen ever but the greatest athlete ever & were citing one particular study. I was engaging in that & I think its only fair & reasonable that if people turn to stats to support their perspective on this issue that I approach the stats from a different perspective & subject the great Don to anaylsis that we normally save for every one else. Srini you have your views I have mine.I have repeated myself too many times on this particular blog (people failing to read previous entries)But we do agree on one point:its all perspective & comparisons between eras are tuff let alone sports & stats can prove anything if you approach them from a certain direction (I posted both these points earlier as well) I do find it strange that some people have stated Lara & Richards were better than the Don but were not chastised for this cardinal sin but if athletes from other sports are mentioned it raises the ire of the criccentric folk. Bizzare? [[ No problems at all. I am interested in all types of sports and it was great reading about the non-cricket ones. I was only thinking about most readers who might not have understood much of what you were trying to say. ]]

  • srini on August 29, 2008, 7:14 GMT

    tboy: bouncer limits started only in the 80s. but yeah cricket has changed to suit batting and it wasnt so during that tim. but the point is that it took MJ 2 to 3 series to work out the jordan rules which the don did not. don faced bodyline just ONCE and did not have the opportunity to correct it. other than that the don never really seemed to fail under pressure. as u mentioned nba changed rules to enhance scoring with rules like hand checking etc. MJ had a lot of help from the referees too. he always got to go the FT line cos of the referees. honestly man i dont think the 90s bulls were good enough to beat the lakers or celtics of the 80s. i am not denying that MJ was a poor basketball player its just that u can use the same statistics to bring out negative points against him too. moreover test cricket is different from nba given the fact that there is no playoffs finals etc. its just how u perform each series and from bradman's view point he failed in only 1 series out of many!!!!! [[ Isn't it time that we get out of non-cricket discussions and get back to the main theme of the post - viz., the great Don Bradman. Ananth ]]

  • Alex on August 29, 2008, 3:56 GMT

    Frank's points about the era may be valid, but they do not explain Bradman's sheer dominance of that era. Bradman may not have faced more than two world class bowlers in any innings, but neither did anyone else he played with or against. How is it then that no-one else from his era averaged above 60, while Bradman averaged almost 100?

  • Tboy on August 29, 2008, 3:09 GMT

    @ Srini: I was stating that Jordan actually performed better under pressure than the Don & did actually defeat the "Jordan Rules" Pistons & maintain an efficiency of approx 78% of his normal game. The Dons avg & his team suffered in Bodyline and his efficiency was about 55%. Jordan also never lost a finals series and his finals avg actually increased again over his career avg by approx 27%, once again, its that pressure element I'm talking about. Please note in previous posts I have stated I think Bradman was amazing & has an incredible record & I have been primarily engaging in the stats analysis by Charles Davis mentioned in previous posts that attempted to prove by numbers who the greatest was. Another eg is that cricket has changed rules to suit batting (eg fast leg theory banned, bouncer limits etc)At one point in Wilt Chamberlains career he had 45 avg & the NBA actually changed the rules to stop him from scoring.I find stats interesting but 2 flexible & really its all an opinion.

  • Frank on August 28, 2008, 17:55 GMT

    Let's remember that this is meant to be a fresh analytical look. It's possible that some people may look at the Don's figures and say "as he averaged nearly 100 in first class and test cricket,he must be the greatest". Up to a point, I agree. You cannot achieve figures like that if you not seriously gifted. However, Tboy makes valid comments about the era the Don played in. Look at the oppoising bowlers he faced . How many times did he face more than say 1 or 2 WORLD CLASS BOWLERS in an innings? Not as many as people think. Two important facts should be also be borne in mind - he never had to face a 4 pronged West Indian attack all day long, nor did he go to the sub continent to face quality spin bowling on dusty wickets. He did average over 50 in the bodyline series but only against 2 bowlers (only one of whom was truly fast) and this wasn't all day long. Lesser players in the modern era have achived not dissimilar results agaist strong pace and spin attacks e.g. Gooch and Border.

  • srini on August 28, 2008, 14:47 GMT

    contd...sportsman of all time and definitely the most dominant batsman in the history of cricket

  • srini on August 28, 2008, 14:45 GMT

    @Tboy jordan struggled against "jordan rules" for at least 2 playoff series. how can u say that he performed better when he failed the first 2 times? bradman faced bodyline just once and he struggled becos it was something new. the huge outcry over it made sure that the don never had the opportunity to correct himself. so that argument never counts. its like saying sachin failed in the only wc final he played and collis king was spectacular in his and therefore king performed better than sachin under pressure.

    bradman was the most dominant batsman of his time with at least his average at least 40 runs better. if i am not mistaken australia lost just 3 series in which the don played, his debut, bodyline and in 38 when he was injured for most of the series. which to me and nebody for that matter pretty special. the fact that team(s) feared don even though oz had batsmen like morris mccabe ponsford. bradman definitely is not a gr8 athlete but he is definitely one of the most dominant tbc

  • Toby on August 28, 2008, 11:23 GMT

    Im engaging in Davis' statistical anaylsis to compare sports, which I thought was flawed. So i used his own methods to calculate other peoples records. Once again people like Henry Brohan have missed the point of this exercise: stats can be made to prove what you want & comparing sports is almost bloody impossible & comes down to opinions & I did say I would indulge them. & I have. In my opinion other athletes have dominated their respective games more so than the Don. U cant state that Jordan should average 100 points a game as teams only avg just over a 100 points game in the NBA. Thats disinguous & purile. I used a % of points scored for the individual as opposed to the team & used Mr Davis standard deviation calculation across 80 games (NBA season) within the limitation of 48 minutes which I figured was alittle fairer than comparing 1300 games vs 52 & considering bball calculates per game score & cric by dismissals. Also Marcinaos record given his stature & the division is amazing.

  • Sandeep Kumar on August 28, 2008, 10:50 GMT

    Ananth, Bradman was a phenomenon on all counts, statistical included. How about doing a similar analysis on Murali the only "Bradmanesque" figure I can think of among all bowlers? Its incredible that this "Bradman" of bowlers never gets his due. His achievements over 120 odd tests have no peer or comparision in test history. His achievements such as 21 instances of 10 or more wickets (Shall we call it comparable to a 300 + score or a 100 in each innings) in a test match are out of the world. In my humble opinion, Murali and Bradman are the two truly phenomenal cricketers of all time. Thoughts?

  • Tboy on August 28, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    @rastawookie Wilt avg 50 pp/g & given that a BB game only lasts 48 minutes & Wilt actually scored a higher % of his teams total than the Don did thats more impressive in my book. Jordan avg a similar % of his teams total to the Don & as mentioned performed better under pressure(jordan rules vs bodyline) Also Wilts season of 50 pts a game over 80 games is actually a much higher standard deviation than the Don considering its in 48 mins & only 1 50pt season & 1 100 point game have occured in 50+season & 100000 games. This gives his achievements a much higher rate than 1 in 185000 test cricketers. Certainly the Don should be in the top 20 all time athletes but not No 1 & not in my top 5. All this without taking into account his suspect racial views & actions. EG he said aboriginal Eddie Gilbert bowled “The fastest over ever bowled”then accused him of throwing.Bravery on uncovered wickets? hah, they bowl fast & beat me all ends up & they are aboriginal? get them banned for throwing.

  • Alex on August 28, 2008, 10:27 GMT

    If Bradman played mainly against trundlers and amateurs, then so did everyone else he played with and against. None of Ponsford, McCabe, Morris, Compton, Hutton or Hammond could manage an average of more than 60% of what Bradman achieved. If Bradman 'failed' in the bodyline series only Sutcliffe and Hammond scored more runs that he did (and they each played all five tests, without facing the bodyline attack). Rather than comparing between eras I prefer to appreciate Bradman's dominance of his own era, a dominace that has not been approached before or since.

  • henry brohan on August 28, 2008, 9:47 GMT

    Who is this 'TBOY'?? Bradman finnished with an average of near 100. Since then we have seen headley,Hutton, Compton, Barrington,Sobers, Viv, tendulkar, Lara, Ponting even Pollock and B richrds (with their big avg and little games)and still the most these guys have achieved is 60ish, most of them 50ish. Bradman's avg and Hundreds per game make him the most 'freakish'( in the kindest possible sense) sportsman EVER. Jordan? Marciano? Woods? Sampras? Pele? Cobb? None of these greats had double the results or stats as Bradman.

  • David Barry on August 28, 2008, 5:46 GMT

    David Collins, that calculation was done by Charles Davis in his book The Best of the Best. Bradman came out at 4.4 standard deviations above the mean - equivalent to a 1 in 185 000 player (that's 1 in 185 000 Test cricketers, not 185000 people from the general population).

  • Tboy on August 28, 2008, 5:22 GMT

    David Collins: if you like stats check out Charles Davis book "best of the best" in which he performs all kinds of statistical miracles, including calculating bradmans standard deviation above the mean which was about 4.2 I think from memory. Interestingly he didnt include pete maravichs NCAA career avg of 44.5 which I think comes out above bradmans at about 4.4 or 4.5 over his 60 odd game career. He averaged approx half his teams points which is incredible for any game. Davis' work on cricket is interesting and occupies 80% of the book. The flawed methodology in the conclusion detracts from an overall interesting read as the statistical comparative analysis between sports are over simplistic and quite obviously Bradman driven as I have stated before on this blog.

  • Rakesh on August 28, 2008, 4:38 GMT

    One & only superstar of cricket,No words to explain ...........& no one think to match his stuff,we can just see the stats & enjoy it........

  • David Collins on August 28, 2008, 4:14 GMT

    Any chance that one of you can answer the following question. Statistically, how probable is Bradman's average?

    I envisage a calculation using the distribution of all innings, with some allowance for not outs. You could determine the mean (this would give a batting average for all innings regardless of batsman) and standard deviation of this and then figure out how many standard deviations away from the mean and use some standard statistical tool to determine the probability with which this occurs. You could probably tweak it so as to account for not out innings and innings only by recognized batsman (e.g. top 6 or 7 in the order). I don't quite have the coding skills and access to a database such as StatsGuru to do this myself, but for those who do it should not take much time. [[ David I have forwarded the message to David (Barry) and Jeff (Grimshaw) who could do this work. I do not have the statistical background and all my analysis is done using my own database and a host of computer programs. Ananth ]]

  • davy43 on August 28, 2008, 4:11 GMT

    Very interesting debate.It is not wise to compare players from eras which are vastly different.No doubt the Don Was the greatest batsman in the 30s and 40s facing bowlers who for the most part were gentle compared with Thompson,Lillee,Holding,and dangerous like Charlie Griffith,and great spinners like Warne and Murali.Personally I believe that Lara is the greatest batsman of the modern era,even with the addsd pressure of playing in probbably the weakest test team ever;not being able to bat as freely as he would have liked.Add to that Style and Charisma. In terms of mastering the complete game(Batting,Bowling,Keeping and Fielding)Sir Gary Is the GREATEST.

  • rastawookie on August 28, 2008, 2:04 GMT

    @ Tboy Dude, Jordan was amazing, but only averaged 2-8 points per game more than the best of his peers (Bird in the high 20's, Shaq etc). Wilt Chamberlain had bigger freak performances (statistically atleast) including a 100 point game and having led the NBA in Blocks, Rebounds, Points and Assists in a season. But seriously, even he wasn't twice as good as those around him. Its impossible to compare Bradman with those from other generations as the technology and playing conditions were so different, but the best way to do that is to compare him with his peers. The best batsmen in Don's time averaged just over 50, and the Don was almost double that. I love Lara and Tendulkar, but they are by no means double the other great batsmen in the world.

    Don is amazing... nuff said

    [[ One good thing when a few Australians argue amongst themselves. They do not become personal and start abusing the other. While some of the words used are Australian slang, I understand enough of Australian slang to know that these are, in general, harmless jabs. ]]

  • Tboy on August 28, 2008, 1:43 GMT

    Andrew frankly its your post thats inaccurate. I was engaging a former post RE: charles davis book re: stats & bradmans avg. Im entitled to my opinion, you are entitled to yours. The don mainly faced 75 mph seamless balls (u ever held a ball from that era or watched game footage?) Michael was a 6'6 stealth bomber playing in the land of the giants. And as I stated earlier, I can make stats prove that Michael, Wilt, Marciano etc were better than him. And yes, a series avg of 57 where he didnt play every game is crap. Check other series stats & I think its fair to say he failed under pressure. Michaels all round game is fantastic he could score shoot defend & do everything & lead his team too I might add. U missed that one mate. Or I could talk about Oscar Roberston's amazing allround stats. Which was my point in responding to a previous post & in my earlier posts re: Don I did use words like incredible & great. Just cos I dont worship at the Dons alter like u doesnt negate my views mate.

  • andrew on August 28, 2008, 0:57 GMT

    tboy give it a rest. The stats also don't take into account that not all players are batsmen... Bradman never played on covered pitched, used a plank of wood to bat with and never wore a helmet.. That explains the bodyline average of "only" being 57 (as good as Sobers career average). He was better at his sport than anyone in history and statistically by more than Jordan. Just celebrate his life instead of trying to distinguish yourself from everyone else with your pointless and quite frankly incorrect rants!! Jordan was a "shooting Guard" so meant to score points. Bradman also fielded, batted in partnerships, CAPTAINED (winning % over 60). Maybe the stats need to take this into account too????

  • Benny Hallal on August 28, 2008, 0:38 GMT

    The don has the greatest stat but due to the era he played, I beleave that Lara and Richards would be his equal or not far off his ability.

  • Kalyan on August 27, 2008, 23:57 GMT

    Ricky Pontings Centenary speech put it most aptly when he said that no other sportsperson has dominated his sport so much as Bradman has. Phelps winning 8 golds or Federer winning 5 Wimbledons are all feats that have been repeated in their respective careers. In the 130 year old history of test cricket, no one cricketer has been able to rival what the Don achieved. To me that is the index of his greatness. Wish I can see another Don Bradman in my lifetime. And long live test cricket, it has no match at all!!

  • Debashis on August 27, 2008, 21:04 GMT

    Greatest sportsperson ever? Who? Michael Phelps?! Naaaa... its Sir Donald Bradman!

  • saber khan on August 27, 2008, 20:50 GMT

    the fact that no Indian or pakistani has started trading blows as to the best of all time, is a testimony to the undisputed fact that Bradman is way ahead of 10 tendulkars .....the average is based on hundreds of innings ....to achieve 99 is statistically amazing

  • Jon Adler on August 27, 2008, 20:27 GMT

    I think Mohinder Amarnath and Kirti Azad could be copmared to the Don

  • ashwin on August 27, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    he is simply the best...! no words to describe his talent..!~!

  • Richie T on August 27, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    Bradman's stats are certainly amazing in any era,however lets not get carried away making ridiculous statements like he would be just as good today.Bradman played cricket in a period in history spanning the great depression and WW2, against whatever motley collection of amateurs could be scraped together to play a Test Match.Remember there was very little money to be earned from playing cricket and sometimes years would pass between Tests.This was a time when it was not considered unusual to see 50 year olds playing Test Cricket,cricketers were known as sportsmen not athletes,even up until the late 1970's when limited over matches became a regular part of the game the average Test player had a physique more developed from eating,drinking and smoking than any form of exercise and would often run out of puff chasing a ball to the boundary.The only realistic way to measure Bradman's greatness is to compare him against those he played with and against,nobody else could even average 60

  • Tboy on August 27, 2008, 13:12 GMT

    CONT jordan played 179 playoff games & avg 33.4 points including 6 finals series so he performed better under pressure unlike the Don. How about Wilt Chamerblain 50pt avg for a season (80 games?)There are few 50pt games a season (maybe 6-10) so to avg 50 pts a game is incredible & needs recognition.Check Pete Maravichs record in the NCAA, avg of 44.16 pts per game in what many consider to the pure form of bastketball. Maybe we should go to boxing & look at Rocky Marcianos record: 49 wins, 43 by KO.A heavy weight champ standing 180 cms & wgt 85 kgs, competing against much bigger men. His record is the holy grail of boxing & is as impressive as the Dons record. He performed well under pressure.Undefeated & retired as champ(& never came out of retirement another boxing record?) Maybe Ali was the best? Joe Louis? Both performed better under pressure than the Don did compartively speaking. Homer Simpson said "stats can prove anything, 38% of people know that." Don was good but not the best.

  • Tboy on August 27, 2008, 12:45 GMT

    A previous post mentioned Bradmans profile on wkpdia & the chart by Charles Davis allegedly "proving" Bradman as the greatest athlete of all time. Personally I think he rates down the list, comparisons between eras in the same sport are tuff but between sports is difficult. But i will indulge. I own that book by davis & the statistical methodolgy is flawed. He assumes that to be a good bastkeball player u have to score. Its more than that, Jordan was an allround player and should be judged as such. If scoring was the aim perhaps he should have checked Wilt Chamberlains record: scored 60+ 34 times, Jordan is next with 5. Extrapolate that in cricket terms and he would have scored 100 test centuries. Perhaps his 100 point game should be looked at. Next best is 81. In cricket high scores it would mean if second place was approx 81% of first places total then that would give first a score of approx 470 runs. Jordan & Wilt avg 30+ for over 1200 games, perhaps this should be considered. TBC

  • M. Humayun Mushtaq on August 27, 2008, 12:19 GMT

    It is very difficult to say about greatest cricketer of all time. Any how we can not compare with him, really he was something else. He was really sincere with his profession. Don was superior than Sober, Lara and Sachin. I would like to request the cricinfo to inform all the sports channel to telecast highlights of the Sir Don Bradman's today.

  • t on August 27, 2008, 12:18 GMT

    CONT His Bodyline avg was approx 57, which means under the highest pressure his output nearly halved. Compare that to Michael Jordan under Detroits violent "Jordan Rules" (read tackle.) He averaged 25 compared to his career average of apprx 30. After 2 playoff series his team swept Detroit, so he ultimately defeated his enemies by playing under their special rules. The Don did not. The great Don also had some less than charitable views on indigenous Aus & Eddie Gilbert in particular (Gilbert worked him over a couple of times in shield cricket.) Recent articles have also indicated his feelings on SA & the sporting boycotts. His attitude towards Aus cricket in the 70's was famous: he treated the ACB treasury like his wallet. In his later day he did donate large sums of money to many charities and supported indigenous issues. Maybe it was guilt. Who knows. There can be no denying his greatness, his raw talent and ability but I thought some things required more anaylsis than mere idolatory

  • Tboy on August 27, 2008, 12:16 GMT

    The Don avg 89 vs Eng, which is incredible. But it should be mentioned he punished sub par attacks (In, SA and WI apart from Constantine) in 15 Test for 1968 runs Avg 140 (10X100, 4x200+ & 1X50) Uncovered wickets? Yes, although he did protect himself by batting in the tail (a smart move yes, but brave, no.) They also had some very flat wickets in his day (check some of the figures that he and Ponsford put up in shield cricket) as good heavy rollers did exist in the 30's. Apart from Larwood & Constantine he never faced the genuine pace of say, the Windies, 90's Pakistan & SA. Bouncers were often used as dot balls by placing it a foot over the batsmens heads. We saw what happened when someone finally thought "how about we bowl short balls AT HIM" it was called Bodyline & please note the great man wilted under the pressure. He was quoted "I would rather have 4 ducks than 4 broken ribs." His team mates were probably eternally grateful as they copped some brutal deliveries. 2BCONTD

  • bawa on August 27, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    wow,what a man he was...i dont think an1 can ever beat him...he was supperhuman

  • Fiaz Hussain on August 27, 2008, 11:39 GMT

    Muhammad Yousaf may be the next example of Sir Bradman; if he keeps continouse his cricket like 2006 & 2007

  • raj on August 27, 2008, 11:17 GMT

    Sir Don Bradman has a special place in our hearts.He is the greatest sportsman EVER.

  • Sparkie on August 27, 2008, 11:13 GMT

    Who is 'your best cricketer' and who is 'the best cricketer' are very different things.

    VSG Harihar should read "Bradman the Great". It analyses his entire first class career and shows that in not one instance was the result of a match influenced detrimentally by Bradman staying at the crease - ie he never scored runs for the sake of it, always batting to put his team in the best position (to win or avoid losing). Let me repeat - there was not one instance of a match not being won by Bradman's team because he batted too long!

    Lara was a great batsmen, but had plenty of lean periods in his career. Bradman had only one (identified in the article - about the same as Ian Chappell's career batting average!). Bradman only played in truly strong teams after the war.

    As for Sobers, his bowling average indicates that had he not been in the team for his batting, he would not have been in the team at all (for any extended period).

  • Chris on August 27, 2008, 10:56 GMT

    As a slight addition to my previous post, I think it's entirely reasonable to perhaps even guess that Bradman's average may have increased in the modern era, due to better training, equipment, grounds and protective gear.

    The very best batsmen now average 55-60. In Bradman's era (excepting him, of course), they averaged 50-55. So perhaps he'd have averaged 104.94 today, instead.

  • Masum Dad Khan on August 27, 2008, 10:53 GMT

    Today is birth centenary of world's greatest cricketers of all time. I am very shocked and surprised that ICC has not arranged a cricket match today involving a Bradman XI and Rest of the world to commemorate this day. Is ICC sleeping ?

  • Johnson Benjamin on August 27, 2008, 10:51 GMT

    I am really not sure to what to say. Yet, i wish to say something about Sir. ABSOLUTELY NO WORDS, yes no words can define his performance. It is out of imagination. But if i try to imagine, Sir only reached this status because he had fallen in love with cricket. A love equally to Romeo's love in which he gave his life for Juliet.

  • Jack Dawson on August 27, 2008, 10:27 GMT

    No comaprision whatsoever when it comes to the great Sir Don. No cricketing record book is left without his name mentioned in multitudes. He was the greatest of all batsmen. However, being a die hard fan of Brian Lara, I feel like no cricketer, including the Great Sir Don, has brought the spectators on to their feet as this little superhuman from trinidad has done. When it comes to batting, averages and scoring runs, Ill give it to Don but when it comes pure strokeplay,dominance and most importantly ENTERTAINMENT, it has to be Brian Charles Lara.

  • VSG Harihar on August 27, 2008, 9:32 GMT

    Even more so, when people say Bradman the most talented cricketer, it feels really irritating. Sir Garfield Sobers of West Indies is the greatest cricketer of all-time. Cricket should be said as Before Sobers and After Sobers (Like befor christ & after Christ)

  • VSG Harihar on August 27, 2008, 9:29 GMT

    Bradman's record are indeed mind-blowing & his stats are almost twice as good as any other greats of the game, but still I believe Brian Lara as the greatest batsman there ever was.

    Bradman scored 87.45 runs per innings, Lara 51.52 Bradman played in the best team, while Lara played in the worst ever West Indian team.

    Bradman was too concerned about his wicket (only 6-6s in his entire career & only one of those 6s came when he was before 100) Lara, on the other hand, threw away his wicket more often than not. If Lara had Bradman's average in his mind, I reckon he would have given Bradman a run for his money. I have seen Lara sacrifice his runs for the sake of not to expose his players to the main bowlers and had Brian been too focussed on average, sure he would have had ended up his career average above 70. Had Bradman been playing in this West Indian team,he would not have dominated Murali the way Lara did or against MgGrath & co the way Lara did (especially 1999 series)

  • Eddy on August 27, 2008, 9:16 GMT

    In my opinion Viv Richards and Brian Lara are the two greatest batsMEN of all time. Don Bradman wasnt a man he was something else, out of this world! The Don will leave 4ever.

  • Kamlesh Chauhan on August 27, 2008, 8:59 GMT

    Talking about Gary Sobers, I think he is only player who can be categorized with Bradman.. 8032 runs@57.78, 235 wickets @ 34.03 and 109 catches makes him complete batman.... Even if consider rise in level of fielding still nobody can match Sobers in Catching, great fielder at all positions...

    If we consider 1 wicket=20 runs (which is quite reasonable), then total Run 8032+235*20= 12732 in 93 matches...which come around 136.90 per match. Whereas Bradman total run 6996+2*20=7036 in 52 matches i.e 135.30 per match... This is without considering the fielding where Sobers scores over Bradman and Captaincy in which Bradman was far superior than Sobers... I think Sobers as great player as Bradman.. Both the true Legends long way above all others..

  • rahil on August 27, 2008, 7:42 GMT

    Sir Don Bradman was a class of his own.. But it would have been more interesting had he played in ODIs.. It is obvious that at that time the ODIs hadnt started but it would have been interesting to gauge at his ODI performances.. and how would he have coped with the game at a brisker rate. Today, the players are to play in all formats and that obviously makes life tougher for them. Concentrating on all the three formats ie test, ODIs and T-20 is a difficult job and probably that is why we dont come across such outstanding players in today's time.. But all credit goes to Sir Bradman.. He was the best and he will remain so for a long time to come.. Hails to DON..!!

  • Tony on August 27, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    Talking about Allrounders, We have to consider Jaques Kallis. He has scored 9761 Runs in 123 Tests with an Average of 55.46, 30 hundreds, taken 240 wickets, 130 catches, If Bradman had Played in 104 Tests he could have scored 13,992 perhaps even more Runs as well as 58 hundreds. But his Average may have slipped a bit maybe to the mid 80s

  • aswin on August 27, 2008, 6:53 GMT

    I choose to disagree a bit, Don was, by a million miles, the best batsman in Cricket, but certainly not the greatest cricketer. The reason because he was only great at batting, good at fielding, I don't know about his bowling :-|. If we take all these three aspects into account, then there is only one player who can be called the greatest cricketer, Sir Gary Sobers of West Indies. Nobody could bat well, field well, keep well, and also bowl spin and pace well like him. His 8000+ runs, 230 wickets and some great catches indeed rank him above Bradman. Sorry to spoil the fun guys!!!! Bradman was a miraculous batsman, but eventhough he averaged 99.94, i don't think he would have won matches on his won. I would rather go in with Gary Sobers because he averaged 56+, took wickets and was good keeper as well(Three people combined into one). Let's say the Don goes into a match and scored 200, Gary Sobers would have easily scored 75+, taken 2 wicket of key players. So, Sir Gary is the greatest.

  • Raghav on August 27, 2008, 6:28 GMT

    Sehwag would have been the Next bradman..if he would have some controlled aggression in Test Cricket.

  • andrew on August 27, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    statstically he is far greater than Woods, Jordan etc check out his Wikipedia page. They have run the stats v others. Shame he missed 7 years from the war and also that he never toured or played in India - their knowledge and love of the game would have given him hero status!!

  • amit on August 27, 2008, 6:15 GMT

    don sir is greatest batsman of all time in cricket.he is god of cricket.cricket history never complete without him.he is don of cricket.only tendulkar is match him with some effect.he is great human being.i salute him.

  • harshil desai on August 27, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    I would say just one thing for his highness sir don... he was real but the way he played seems like he was a fairytale.....there will not be any one who can match his talent....not even match i would say come close.....

  • Amit Prabhu on August 27, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    They say statistics hide more than they reveal, but this is a real eye opener. Of course stats dont tell us how superior a player he was in the true sense of the game. Unfortunate that I was not around to watch a legend bat, even more unfortunate that very limited footage is available.

    The way the game has changed, from Test to ODI to T20, it is unlikely there will be another batsman who will come even close to Sir Don's record. A legend par comparison, somebody who truly defines the game - Cricket.

    Thanks Cricinfo on bringing out these numbers, that were otherwise hidden. I just wish ICC does a little more to honour the greats of the game, than bother about making money all the time.

  • shrikanthk on August 27, 2008, 5:54 GMT

    @girish Bradman himself once said that it would've taken him much more time in the middle to score 6996 test runs in the modern era, owing to defensive field settings and slow overrates.

    Bradman did score 300 in a day. However, over 130 6-ball overs were bowled that day. Which isn't possible unless bowlers are bowling well within themselves.

    Cricket today has ceased to be a game of amateurs. In fact, the adjective 'amateurish' has sadly assumed negative connotations over the years. Timeless tests aren't played any longer. Fast-medium bowlers seldom bowl with the wicketkeeper standing up, as it often used to be in the 1930s. Slow bowling is less fashionable than it used to be in Don's heyday. Cricket today is a leaner and meaner version of the game played by the Don.

    Skill-wise, I'm sure he was capable of averaging 100 even today if the game were to be played with the same free amateurish spirit. My hunch on his hypothetical 21st cen avg - 75 with a much lower strike rate :)

  • rastawookie on August 27, 2008, 5:29 GMT

    An amazing player - no doubt. One so much greater than any of his generation, than his predecessors, and any of generations to follow - a feat unmatched in any sport (yes Woods, Jordan etc are all at the top of their sport, but not by the distance that the Don is). Doing some statistical analysis of my own, the Don scored 1003 runs @ 91.2 in dead-rubbers (test matches where the series was already decided), meaning he scored 5993 runs @ 101.6 in games that mattered. That is brilliant.

    I hope one day to see another sportsman so great in his on-field achievements, and so great for the game off the pitch... but alas, I doubt that will ever happen

  • girish on August 27, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    the stats seems incredible, but i wonder how would his stats be, if he played in the present time, where there is too much cricket and 3 different versions of the game. and ofcourse different batting conditions. less scores in places like sri lanka. technology advancements imply bowlers get to know weak points in a batsman. i suppose he would be as good as any other player in the current generation.

  • Shafiq on August 27, 2008, 4:56 GMT

    With all the possible respects to "THE DON" as batsman and cricketer-----well, Jehangir Khan, the squash legend who was unbeate for 6 years and more than 500 matches along with almmost 10 British open, almost 6 world open continuously, now the head of World squash comes in mind as possible rival as the Best Sportsman ever. [[ If we open the "Best ever sportsman" Pandora's box, we have to consider the likes of Pele, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Carl Lewis, Rod Laver/Sampras/Federer (?) et al. Instead of doing that let us savour the greatness of surely the greatest cricketer who played the game. ]]

  • Hafiz Muhammad Arif on August 27, 2008, 4:36 GMT

    Amazing.....its true no has born on the earth of his credibility..these are not numbers which has made him great but also the fact in the manner he achieved them....He remained at the peak throughout his career...One more stat I would like to add here the Winnings Centuries that he scored over, if i am not wrong those were 17 out of total of 29 which again a great achievement and I dont think anyone can narrow the gap in this regard.

    I liked the way he has done the captaincy and specially the way he Batted at no. 07 in one of the matches and beat England Psycologically. He was the man Ien-Stien's brain.

    I would like if the whole cricketing world standing and saluting over the achievements of SIR DON BRADMAN.

    Looking at is achievements to credit him with "SIR" is not enough so I would rather prefer to be "SIR x 10".

    At the end I would like to thanks for this special effort by CRICINFO team to give us the pleasure of reading such achievements of the great Man...

  • shrikanthk on August 27, 2008, 3:44 GMT

    The 99.94 figure has become a part of the cricketing folklore. However, few ppl take note of his first class record which in my opinion is even more astounding. An average of 95.14 over 250 matches (as opposed to 52) is a lot harder to achieve.

    Also, I wonder if anyone has had a Bradmanesque average in club cricket...

  • Suresh Prasad on August 27, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    The staggering test average achieve by the Don attest to his character. It demonstrates that he was humble in his achievements and because of this he was unwavering in his concentration at the crease. He was indeed a man of fortitude, strength and immense power of concentration.

  • A.K.Srivastava on August 27, 2008, 3:06 GMT

    Don Bradman was a sporting colossus in his own right. Bill O'Reilly is bitter rival once commented to an English journalist that he was Hobbs, Hammond and Hutton; three rolled in one.If we combine the genius of Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar then they might match the great Don. Today when cricket as a sport is getting 'too much commercialised' and players much much inferior to him are hogging limelight, he played the game a hard way but he played the game for the game's sake. In front of his batting prowess people forget that he was a brilliant captaain never to lose a series. He is the only captain to win a 5 test series after being 0-2 down. He was a brilliant writer also. His 'Farewell to Cricket' and other books are very well written. And he was a sucessful buisnessman and a cricket administrator. Today pitches are covered but in his time pitches in rain were left uncovered and today players have too much. What would have happened to Larwood if Don would have had a helmet ?

    Atul

  • Chris on August 27, 2008, 2:47 GMT

    Ron, Bradman played on different pitch conditions. Uncovered pitches leading to sticky wickets, for example, are a challenge that most players today never deal with in their careers. When you consider that Bradman faced bodyline with no helmet (no helmets at all in his entire career!), you have to think that it was a challenge.

    The best way to judge the conditions Bradman played in is to see his contemporaries. When Bradman played, a batting average of 50 was enough to put you up as an all-time great. Plenty of people batting at the same time - Hobbs, Hutton, Morris, Harvey - averaged just over 50, and we don't hesitate to call them greats of the game.

    If anything, averages have been inflated in recent years. The balance of the rules has swung in favour of the batsmen. Pitches are well-maintained, and protective gear is basically mandatory. Bats have become heavier and hit further, and averages have increased. I feel Bradman compares favourable to modern cricketers.

  • Chris on August 27, 2008, 2:40 GMT

    Actually, Kartik, I would say it is more like Mendis having a career bowling average of about 10. Bradman was just that far ahead.

  • Tejas on August 27, 2008, 2:05 GMT

    A minor suggestion: could you please link to the Cricinfo scorecard of the matches or profiles of the players in question? It is very handy to go look at the said match scorecards.

  • Syed Jaffri on August 27, 2008, 1:37 GMT

    The only other athlete/player that comes close to Bradman, looking at the wide world of sporting events, is - Michael Jordan. Like Bradman, he was phenomenal as well.

  • Alex on August 27, 2008, 1:35 GMT

    An often overlooked statistic is Bradman's 12 double-centuries from 80 innings. 15% of his innings were 200 or above. Bradman scored double-centuries more frequently than Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Viv Richards, Steve Waugh, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid or Jacques Kallis scored single centuries. To me this is perhaps his most awe-inspiring statistic. Lara played almost three times as many innings as Bradman, yet scored three less double-centuries.

    Also, regarding the 'best 10-innings stretch'. Bradman scored 1370 runs in 10 innings during 1930 and 1931: 131, 254, 1, 334, 14, 232, 4, 25, 223, 152. There were no not-outs during this period however, so his average was 'only' 137.0. [[ Many thanks for your last para which has been incorporated in the main article. ]]

  • Warnesie on August 27, 2008, 0:13 GMT

    And the Don played when bowlers could bowl short, pitches were uncovered, batsmen had limited protective gear and the boundaries were long. Batsman of the modern era can in no way compare to the great man.

    Once final important note - The Don played the game for the game's sake. A lot of today's players (from all Test nations) seem to have forgotten that.

  • Ron on August 27, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    Outstanding! It's amazing that we respect the batting talent of a fantastic batsman long after he stopped playing cricket obviously for many reasons. But it would have been interesting to watch Don play in this age of cricket where quite a few things are different and I would think that most of them would pose a slightly greater challenge. Different pitch conditions and numerous quality teams rather than just one (England), media scrutiny, technology to name a few. Of course, great talents like him will find a way and would still have been spectacular.

    Unlucky as we are to not witness his magic, we are still fortunate to see some class modern-day greats like Sachin, Lara, Ponting, and Kallis to name a few in action.

  • Kartik on August 26, 2008, 23:43 GMT

    I can't think of anyone in any sport, who was this far ahead of his contemporaries. It just has never happened, in cricket or elsewhere.

    If Ajantha Mendis maintains a career bowling average of 15, like he presently has after his first few matches, only then will have a comparable outlier.

    Waqar Younis and Hussey started out with promise of being such outliers, but fell away after their initial burst, and ended up merely being superb, but not outliers like Bradman.

  • Somshuvra Laha on August 26, 2008, 20:15 GMT

    "Simply out of this world!" - what else could one say after going through these statistics?

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  • Somshuvra Laha on August 26, 2008, 20:15 GMT

    "Simply out of this world!" - what else could one say after going through these statistics?

  • Kartik on August 26, 2008, 23:43 GMT

    I can't think of anyone in any sport, who was this far ahead of his contemporaries. It just has never happened, in cricket or elsewhere.

    If Ajantha Mendis maintains a career bowling average of 15, like he presently has after his first few matches, only then will have a comparable outlier.

    Waqar Younis and Hussey started out with promise of being such outliers, but fell away after their initial burst, and ended up merely being superb, but not outliers like Bradman.

  • Ron on August 27, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    Outstanding! It's amazing that we respect the batting talent of a fantastic batsman long after he stopped playing cricket obviously for many reasons. But it would have been interesting to watch Don play in this age of cricket where quite a few things are different and I would think that most of them would pose a slightly greater challenge. Different pitch conditions and numerous quality teams rather than just one (England), media scrutiny, technology to name a few. Of course, great talents like him will find a way and would still have been spectacular.

    Unlucky as we are to not witness his magic, we are still fortunate to see some class modern-day greats like Sachin, Lara, Ponting, and Kallis to name a few in action.

  • Warnesie on August 27, 2008, 0:13 GMT

    And the Don played when bowlers could bowl short, pitches were uncovered, batsmen had limited protective gear and the boundaries were long. Batsman of the modern era can in no way compare to the great man.

    Once final important note - The Don played the game for the game's sake. A lot of today's players (from all Test nations) seem to have forgotten that.

  • Alex on August 27, 2008, 1:35 GMT

    An often overlooked statistic is Bradman's 12 double-centuries from 80 innings. 15% of his innings were 200 or above. Bradman scored double-centuries more frequently than Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Viv Richards, Steve Waugh, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid or Jacques Kallis scored single centuries. To me this is perhaps his most awe-inspiring statistic. Lara played almost three times as many innings as Bradman, yet scored three less double-centuries.

    Also, regarding the 'best 10-innings stretch'. Bradman scored 1370 runs in 10 innings during 1930 and 1931: 131, 254, 1, 334, 14, 232, 4, 25, 223, 152. There were no not-outs during this period however, so his average was 'only' 137.0. [[ Many thanks for your last para which has been incorporated in the main article. ]]

  • Syed Jaffri on August 27, 2008, 1:37 GMT

    The only other athlete/player that comes close to Bradman, looking at the wide world of sporting events, is - Michael Jordan. Like Bradman, he was phenomenal as well.

  • Tejas on August 27, 2008, 2:05 GMT

    A minor suggestion: could you please link to the Cricinfo scorecard of the matches or profiles of the players in question? It is very handy to go look at the said match scorecards.

  • Chris on August 27, 2008, 2:40 GMT

    Actually, Kartik, I would say it is more like Mendis having a career bowling average of about 10. Bradman was just that far ahead.

  • Chris on August 27, 2008, 2:47 GMT

    Ron, Bradman played on different pitch conditions. Uncovered pitches leading to sticky wickets, for example, are a challenge that most players today never deal with in their careers. When you consider that Bradman faced bodyline with no helmet (no helmets at all in his entire career!), you have to think that it was a challenge.

    The best way to judge the conditions Bradman played in is to see his contemporaries. When Bradman played, a batting average of 50 was enough to put you up as an all-time great. Plenty of people batting at the same time - Hobbs, Hutton, Morris, Harvey - averaged just over 50, and we don't hesitate to call them greats of the game.

    If anything, averages have been inflated in recent years. The balance of the rules has swung in favour of the batsmen. Pitches are well-maintained, and protective gear is basically mandatory. Bats have become heavier and hit further, and averages have increased. I feel Bradman compares favourable to modern cricketers.

  • A.K.Srivastava on August 27, 2008, 3:06 GMT

    Don Bradman was a sporting colossus in his own right. Bill O'Reilly is bitter rival once commented to an English journalist that he was Hobbs, Hammond and Hutton; three rolled in one.If we combine the genius of Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar then they might match the great Don. Today when cricket as a sport is getting 'too much commercialised' and players much much inferior to him are hogging limelight, he played the game a hard way but he played the game for the game's sake. In front of his batting prowess people forget that he was a brilliant captaain never to lose a series. He is the only captain to win a 5 test series after being 0-2 down. He was a brilliant writer also. His 'Farewell to Cricket' and other books are very well written. And he was a sucessful buisnessman and a cricket administrator. Today pitches are covered but in his time pitches in rain were left uncovered and today players have too much. What would have happened to Larwood if Don would have had a helmet ?

    Atul