Trivia - batting September 1, 2008

Tendulkar and Richards swap places as best ODI batsmen

In my previous article I had taken two important ODI batting measures and attempted to analyse batsmen skills using those
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I started this. So I have to finish it...

It is amusing. A few days back whole lot of people were lambasting me for not having Tendulkar on top. Now another set of people are screaming that Tendulkar is on top. Hey guys, this is only an analysis. I am one insignificant analyst who works with a computer and a Cricket database. The greats remain greats, whatever I (or for that matter you all) say.

Just one more thing. Unlike what some have suggested, I have not gone out of the way to put Tendulkar on top. He is one of the greatest but NOT my favourite batsman.

As done before I have incorporated a summary response to readers' comments at the end.

In my previous article I had taken two important ODI batting measures and attempted to analyse batsmen skills using those. It elicited the usual comments on the additional parameters for consideration. Hence instead of doing a straightforward follow-up to that analysis, I have gone the whole hog and after considering all relevant parameters, come out with what I feel should be a very fair ODI batsmen ranking based on what they have achieved over their careers.

The following 8 facors are considered.

1. Total runs scored (TRS)
2. Batting Average (AVGE)
3. Runs per Innings (RPI)
4. Strike Rate (STRT)
5. Quality of bowlers faced (BOWQTY)
6. % of Team runs (TRPER)
7. Wins achieved
- Absolute number of wins (WINS)
- Win % of matches played (WINSPER)
8. MOM awards received/frequency (MOM).

A brief description of each factor and the weights given to each parameter is outlined below. The total points add up to a nice round sum of 100.

1. Total runs scored (20 points)

This is a recognition of the longevity of the player. There is no doubt that the runs scored has to be given decent weightage. At the same time care has been taken to see that the olden era players such as Richards, Greenidge et al do not suffer unduly. My belief is that it is very unlikely for any batsman, including Tendulkar, to exceed 20000 runs. Hence the limit seems correct. The formula used is

  • TRS = Total runs scored / 1000.

2. Batting Average (15 points)

This is a straightforward calculation. We need not worry about not-outs since there is a separate factor for that. Since the batting average is unlikely ever to exceed 60.0, we are within the maximum level. The formula used is

  • AVGE = Batting average / 4.0.

Note: David Barry is doing some simulation work with a view to establish a correlation between Average and Strike Rates. It is too early to incorporate these first level findings. Hence at this stage I have taken the simple, easily understandable method of separating the Average and Strike Rate measures with individual weightages. Similarly Jeff Grimshaw's ideas about treating balls played as a resource and giving credit for the same is quite good. However I do not want too many overlapping parameters. Already I have Average and RPI.

3. Runs per Innings (5 points)

This is to mitigate the factor of a high number of not-outs, especially for middle-order batsmen. Again a straightforward calculation. Since the Batting average is unlikely ever to exceed 50.0, we are within the maximum level. The formula used is

  • RPI = Runs per innings / 10.0.

Note: I briefly toyed with Abhihjeet Dongre's excellent suggestion of excluding from the total number of innings the innings in which the batsman has finished not out at a score below his batting average. This redresses the balance towards middle order batsmen slightly. However I have finally rejected this tweak since I feel that they have already got the full benefit of not outs while calculating the Batting Average. The purpose of separation of these two factors will be lost if I do not use the full complement of innings played.

4. Strike Rate (25 points)

I consider this factor as the most important measure and that is reflected in the weightage. However much we talk about the importance of scoring runs, it is essential that these are scored at a reasonable pace. It does not mean that every century should be a run-a-ball one. However, it is true that many a match has been lost because the batsmen have not moved up the scoring rate at the right time.

However a major tweak has been done. The actual strike rates have been adjusted up or down based on the decade scoring rates pro-rata. In other words, if Viv Richards played between 1975 and 1991, his actual scoring rate has been adjusted pro-rata for the three decades, viz., 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. In general this will mean that the older players will get a slight benefit since the scoring rates were lower, as indicated in the table below.

AllMats   1970s   1980s   1990s   2000s

Matches played 2759 82 516 933 1228 Batsmen innings 47947 1418 8838 16266 21425 Runs scored 1142018 30292 202884 386508 522334 Balls bowled 1473233 46208 277516 505727 643782 Runs per ball 0.775 0.656 0.731 0.764 0.811 % of all-matches avge 100.0% 84.6% 94.3% 98.6% 104.7%

The actual and adjusted strike rates for a few top players is given below. All these adjustments seem very reasonable. The only clear cases are for batsmen such as Pietersen and Dhoni who have played all their matches in the current decade and hence have the same adjustment of -4.4%. The others are pro-rata. For instance, Tendulkar's and Lara's strike rates have been adjusted much less since they have played during 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Zaheer Abbas gains the maximum since his career spanned 1975-1985, the low-scoring years.
Batsman         Prev SR   Adj SR   % chg

Richards I.V.A 90.2 98.4 +9.1% Haynes D.L 63.1 66.9 +6.0% Jones D.M 72.6 75.4 +3.9% Greenidge C.G 64.9 70.8 +9.1% Zaheer Abbas 80.0 89.7 +12.1%

Tendulkar S.R 85.5 84.6 -1.1% Jayasuriya S.T 91.0 90.1 -1.1% Gilchrist A.C 96.9 94.4 -2.7% Lara B.C 79.5 78.6 -1.3% Sehwag V 99.1 95.3 -3.8% Shahid Afridi 111.2 108.2 -2.7% Klusener L 89.9 88.2 -1.9% Dhoni M.S 91.3 87.2 -4.4% Pietersen K.P 87.5 83.6 -4.4%

Since the only Strike Rate to exceed 1.00 is that of Shahid Afridi, I have accepted the fact that only he will exceed the maximum level. The formula used is

  • STRT = (Adjusted) Strike Rate x 25.0.

5. Quality of bowling faced (15 points)

This is a double weighted adjustment. The objective is to make sure that the runs acored against stronger teams such as Australia are given much higher weighting than the runs scored against weaker countries such as Zimbabwe. Care also has to be taken that the weaker Australian teams such as those during the mid-1980s are treated accordingly. The complex process is explained below.

First a bowling quality index is found for each innings. This is done by the following formula (somewhat similar to the one used by David Barry). I had thought of this earlier, but dismissed it as too complex. Now I think it is necessary.

Sum of (Balls bowled by each bowler x Bowler's bowling avge)
Innings BQI = -----------------------------------------------------
Sum of (Balls bowled by each bowler)
In one of my earlier articles on Team Strength analysis I used a simple average of the top 5 Bowling averages. That was when I was trying to find the strength of team as it walked on to the field. However here I am trying to find how valuable the batsman's innings was. Hence the actual deployment of the bowling resources is necessary. Wasim Akram will make the Pakistani team that much strong, on paper, however, if he did not bowl a single ball, to that extent the bowling lacks sting.

Now comes the second weighting. For this the actual scores of batsman and the Innings BQI are used. The formula is explained below.

Sum of (Batsman innings score x Innings BQI)
Batsman career BQI = --------------------------------------------
Sum of (Batsman innings score)
There is some convergence of values as batsmen score many runs. Note the BOWQTY value for the top 5 batsmen. Hence special care has to be taken to assign points. Amongst batsmen who have scored greater than 2000 runs, Craig McMillan is the best with a BQI of 34.48 and Habibul Bashar the worst with a BQI of 43.47. If we lower the limit to 1000 runs, Nicky Boje is the best with a BQI of 31.3 and Glenn Turner the worst with a BQI of 47.63. No batsman has a career BQI below 30.00 and no batsman has a career BQI above 50.0. The Batsman career BQI is used to derive the index value based on the following formula.

  • BOWQTY = 50.0 - Batsman career BQI.

6. % of Team runs (5 points).

The value of a batsman to the team is also determined by the share of the batting load he takes. In other words the % of team runs he scores. This is a secondary parameters and has a weighting only of 5 points. With a criteria of 2500 runs and above, the highest share of team runs scored is by Zaheer Abbas with 21.6%, followed by Greenidge with 19.2%, then by Richards with 19.2% and finally by Tendulkar with 18.1%. The formula used is

  • TSPER = % of Team share * 20.0.

Upto this point, the full weight will be given only if the batsman has scored above 2000 runs. Else the points secured will be proportionately downsized.

7. Wins achieved (5 points)

Winning is something special, if not everything (as the Americans profess). No one wants to lose. Hence we should give value to this important aspect of the game without going overboard. This is done in two parts. The first is to derive an index value solely based on the number of wins achieved. This will benefit players who have played more games and have been part of successful teams. The highest number of wins achieved is 220 by Jayasuriya, followed by Ponting with 216, Inzamam with 214, Gilchrist with 214 and Tendulkar with 206. The formula used is

  • WINS = No of wins /50.0.

8. Win % achieved (5 points)

What about Richards who achieved 132 wins in 187 matches (a 70.6 win %), which is much higher than that of Tendulkar, 206 wins in 417 matches (49.4%) or Steve Waugh, 196 in 325 (60.3%). His win % suffers only in comparison to the current Australian team, some of whom having over 75%.

This factor addresses this problem. Credit is given to the % of wins achieved, subject to minimum number of matches being reached. The formula used is

  • WINSPER = % of wins x 5.0.

9. MOM awards received (5 points).

The last parameter is on the MOM awards achieved. This is the only subjective measure, as pointed to by Shankar Krishnan of Riyadh. However since this is the only individual evaluation measure available I have to consider it. Whatever be the idiosyncracies of the adjudicators there is no doubt that the MOM awards are a pointer to the contribution to the wins achieved by the team.

I have tried to remove the subjective factor, to a certain extent, by considering the frequency of awards also in addition to the absolute number of awards. This is also fair to the older players. Consider this. Richards has got 31 awards in 187 matches. He lags far behind Jayasuriya who has got 45 awards in 415 matches. However when we consider the frequency, Richards has a frequency of one in 6 matches, while Jayasuriya, one in 9.2 matches. Incidentally Tendulkar leads the absolute number of awards with 55. The frequency ranges from 6.0 to 20.0 (limiting value). The formula used is

  • MOM = (MOM Awards/30.0) + (3.0 * (20.0 - MOM Frequency)/15.0).

For the last two points, the full weight will be given only if the batsman has played above 50 matches. Else the points secured will be proportionately downsized.

Now the table of top 30 ODI batsmen of all time. The table is current upto match 2759, the facile English win over the hapless South Africans, giving them a 4-0 lead.

The top ODI batsmen of all time - as on 28 August 2008.

No.Cty Batsman Total Runs Avge R/I S/R BwQty Wins Win% % TS MOMs

100.0 20.0 15.0 5.0 25.0 15.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0

1.Ind Tendulkar S.R 79.27 16.36 11.08 4.02 21.16 12.13 4.12 2.47 3.61 4.32 2.Win Richards I.V.A 73.14 6.72 11.75 4.02 24.60 12.20 2.64 3.53 3.85 3.83 3.Slk Jayasuriya S.T 72.24 12.80 8.18 3.13 22.52 12.01 4.44 2.64 2.89 3.63 4.Aus Ponting R.T 71.87 11.11 10.81 3.81 19.63 12.63 4.32 3.59 3.19 2.78 5.Aus Gilchrist A.C 71.12 9.62 8.97 3.45 23.59 12.12 4.04 3.52 2.93 2.88 6.Win Lara B.C 67.70 10.40 10.12 3.60 19.64 12.38 2.78 2.33 3.43 3.01 7.Saf Kallis J.H 67.70 9.61 11.17 3.64 17.33 12.98 3.50 3.15 3.26 3.05 8.Pak Inzamam-ul-Haq 66.72 11.74 9.88 3.35 18.31 11.81 4.28 2.83 3.04 1.48 9.Aus Bevan M.G 66.00 6.91 13.40 3.53 18.31 13.88 3.10 3.34 3.00 0.53 10.Ind Ganguly S.C 65.87 11.36 10.26 3.79 18.14 10.64 2.98 2.40 3.27 3.03 11.Pak Saeed Anwar 65.55 8.82 9.80 3.62 20.20 10.95 2.82 2.85 3.42 3.07 12.Aus Waugh M.E 65.50 8.50 9.84 3.60 19.39 12.29 3.04 3.11 3.22 2.52 13.Aus Symonds A 65.43 5.01 10.09 3.19 22.41 12.58 2.98 3.86 2.58 2.74 14.Slk de Silva P.A 65.02 9.28 8.73 3.14 20.61 12.52 2.56 2.08 3.06 3.05 15.Win Haynes D.L 64.62 8.65 10.34 3.65 16.74 12.16 3.18 3.34 3.63 2.93 16.Saf Gibbs H.H 63.66 7.59 9.12 3.39 20.24 11.95 2.88 3.12 3.03 2.36 17.Ind Dravid R 63.47 10.59 9.87 3.44 17.36 13.25 3.14 2.36 3.00 0.47 18.Pak Mohammad Yousuf 63.22 9.24 10.80 3.64 18.19 10.81 3.12 2.90 3.12 1.40 19.Saf Kirsten G 63.06 6.80 10.24 3.67 17.88 13.45 2.40 3.24 3.35 2.03 20.Saf Klusener L 62.90 3.58 10.28 2.61 22.05 13.92 2.18 3.19 2.27 2.83 21.Aus Jones D.M 62.82 6.07 11.15 3.77 18.86 11.99 1.96 2.99 3.55 2.48 22.Aus Hayden M.L 62.80 6.13 10.95 3.96 19.36 12.26 2.38 3.70 3.34 0.72 23.Pak Javed Miandad 62.74 7.38 10.43 3.39 17.98 13.04 2.38 2.55 3.40 2.18 24.Saf Rhodes J.N 62.73 5.93 8.78 2.70 20.11 15.00 3.10 3.16 2.46 1.47 25.Eng Pietersen K.P 62.46 2.82 11.96 3.87 20.90 14.46 0.68 2.10 3.44 2.24 26.Ind Sehwag V 62.31 5.81 8.11 3.12 23.82 12.41 1.90 2.49 2.70 1.95 27.Ind Dhoni M.S 62.26 3.79 11.85 3.54 21.80 12.73 1.30 2.71 2.90 1.63 28.Ind Azharuddin M 62.10 9.38 9.23 3.04 18.97 12.09 3.20 2.40 2.90 0.89 29.Aus Waugh S.R 61.95 7.57 8.23 2.63 19.26 13.75 3.92 3.02 2.38 1.21 30.Saf Cronje W.J 61.91 5.57 9.66 3.18 19.26 13.51 2.34 3.11 2.92 2.35

Tendulkar is on top, and deservedly so. He has not only scored lots of runs but scored these at a good pace, scored these against good bowlers and contributed more than his share to the Indian cause.

Richards is in second place, again deservedly so. He has scored only 6721 runs, but made up for the huge shortfall in index points with his outstanding average, strike rate, win % and MOM frequency. He may very well move a little bit down in the list in the years to come. But will not lose any of the aura.

Jayasuriya is next, having made up for his low Average and RPI with a mountain of runs scored at a scorching pace. The Lankan readers will be happy that the contributions of the entertainer non-pareil have been recognized. He has managed to retain the third position depsite a poor run of ODI matches against India.

Ponting and Gilchrist, two great Australian batsman, follow in the next two positions, through different combination of high points. Ponting with high average and good strike rate while Gilchrist with lower average and excellent strike rate. Both have great win related numbers.

Lara, Kallis Inzamam, Bevan and Ganguly complete the top 10. This elite placing of these quality batsmen cannot be debated. In fact Lara and Kallis exchanged places after the last match.

There is no doubt that players such as Pietersen (25th currently), Sehwag (26th), Dhoni (27th) and Hussey (39th) will move up the list as they score more runs. However this may be partly compensated by the possible decrease in their averages. Dhoni is surely on the way to becoming an excellent finisher in the Bevan/Hussey mode and as such is unlikely to drop his average. Pietersen's average could drop a little bit. Hussey's could drop significantly unless otherwise he does what Bevan did over a long career.

It should be noted that if we change the weightings, the batsmen will move up or down the list. For instance, Strike Rate could be reduced to 20 points. In that case, Jayasuriya and Ponting will exchange places. But these are minor movements only. It is my firm belief that the top 2, Tendulkar and Richards will remain where they are, whatever be the weightings.

Batsmen such as Kluesener, Dhoni and Pietersen, who have not even scored 4000 ODI runs have managed to reach the top 30 positions in the all-time best batsmen table. This indicates that the weightings for non-longevity measures have been given due importance.

Finally, one important point to be noted. No analyst starts with an idea to prove that one batsman is superior to another or push their favourite batsmen on top. Such shallow analyses will be found out in no time at all. The idea is to come out with a vehicle for healthy discussion and exchange of views. Hence please avoid rude and vicious comments. They have no chance of being read by any one. Pl make your point in a courteous and acceptable manner. The readers have their right to be heard but also their responsibilities to be constructive and courteous.

To view the complete list, click here

This list consists of batsmen who have scored a minimum of 1000 ODI runs. Please remember that many of the calculated points are downsized for batsmen in the 1000-2000 range. They are included only to show where some of the batsmen from the lesser countries stand.

Summary response to readers' comments (Possible tweaks)

1. Avoidance of double weighting for "Wins".

2. Possible cap on Runs scored weighting.

3. Adjust for the paucity of matches played during the early 10 years.

4. Giving weight to key tournament wins such as World Cup and Champion's Trophy.

5. The subjective nature of MOMs, already mentioned by me in the main post does not go well with readers.

6. Quite a few readers have, while accepting Tendulkar's position at no.1, have questioned the wide gap between Tendulkar and Richards. It worries some readers that this gap will keep on widening.

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

  • santhoshkudva on December 26, 2009, 4:12 GMT

    each person has his own method of evaluation. i wonder if it is possible to empower a person with a tool or a formula by which he can make his own assessments. for example, in tests, strike rates may be important to person A but balls per dismissal may be to person B. accordingly each has his own conclusion as to who is better: sehwag or dravid. also, it is possible that person C might consider both the criteria important but with different weightages. i wonder if we can devise a method where a person can make his own assumptions, and draw his own conclusions.

  • wayne on April 13, 2009, 17:02 GMT

    viv is great no doubt but just like sachin tendulkar i have a problem when they could cash out weak teams with average bowlers and then when they play against top bowlers 9 out of 10 times they buckle. i am one of those individuals who dont look at the amount of runs someone score but who they were scored against. viv has murdered england who never really have quality bowlers and new zealand who had one bowler during viv time that bowler being richard hadlee. yet still in about 43 matches verses pakistan who had much much better bowlers IMRAN KHAN, SARFRAZ NARWAZ, WASIM AKRAM and ABDUL QUADIR viv couldnt score a century against them in 43 matches. i am a very hard marker of batsmen that is why i know lara is a very special player, he scored runs against the very best bowlers which makes him quite unique.

  • wayne on April 12, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    sachin did faced quality bowling but is what he did against them thats the question you need to ask yourself. lara has scored more runs at a better better average a better strike rate in both forms of cricket more than anyone who has played the game LARA verses DONALD 16 innings 754 runs 2 centuries average 53.85 LARA verses AKRAM 33 innings 1143 runs 3 centuries average 40.82 LARA verses WAQAR YOUNIS 30 innings 1064 runs 3 centuries average 38 LARA verses MCGRATH 24 innings 1012 runs 2 centuries average 46. AND is a good thing he didnt play against AMBROSE and WALSH other wise they would of got their share of licks too. SACHIN is nowhere in LARA league when the world had great bowlers through out the 90,s SACHIN couldnt get his average past 35 while LARA average was around the 50 mark. in order to be a really great one day player you must be able to score runs batting anywhere in the order, well sachin only could score runs when he opens the batting what kind of great could he be?

  • wayne on April 12, 2009, 21:38 GMT

    i believe sachin tendulkar is a great one day batsman but to say he is the best you have to be crazy. u made mention that he has scored runs against good bowlers which is totally false, am going to name the 6 best fast bowlers who bowled at sachin and what he did against them. SACHIN verses DONALD 26 innings 587 runs 0 century average 22.57 SACHIN verses AKRAM 25 innings 769 runs 0 century average 36.61 SACHIN verses WAQAR YOUNIS 22 innings 791 runs 2 centuries average 35.95 SACHIN verses MCGRATH 23 innings 829 runs 2 centuries average 36 SACHIN verses AMBROSE 13 innings 369 runs 0 century average 41 SACHIN verses WALSH 16 innings 482 runs 0 century average 32.13. while sachin has scored 4 centuries in 9 innings verses kenya and 5 centuries in 33 innings verses zimbabwe he could score not one century in 80 innings combined verses AMBROSE, DONALD, WASIM AKRAM and WALSH. sachin only could dominate weak attacks, u ahd better check your facts before you come and post these articles.

  • ARK on April 6, 2009, 23:31 GMT

    I am stunned that this continues to be a matter of debate and even more appalled (as I already was when I posted on this forum several months back) that this debate about the 'greatest odi batsman' was ever open. Vivian Richards was, is and shall remain the greatest ODI batsman ever - past, present, future, followed by Daylight and then Zaheer Abbas.

    I have something below and I won't be too surprised if Ananth cuts it out while putting this comment on the forum as he had done before - In ODIs In Aus vs Aus The KING avg 56 with 3 c in 40 matches AND SRT avg 34 with 1 c in 22 matches In Eng vs Eng The KING avg 78 with 3 c in 15 matches AND SRT avg 38 with 1 c in 17 matches In Pak vs Pak The KING avg 40+ in 15 matches AND SRT avg 36 in 13 matches In NZ vs NZ The KING avg 134 and SRT avg 38 PLUS The KING did all this on uncovered, much faster, bouncier pitches without even a helmet against far faster and better attacks in the absence of batsmen-favoring restrictions on bowlers.

  • Personal Injury Lawyers on January 29, 2009, 18:44 GMT

    Who are you picking in the super bowl?

  • Whoever on November 15, 2008, 23:05 GMT

    10. Consistency over a long period of time. 11. Technical help to the bowlers. 12. Pressure to perform to maintain your place in the team. 13. Amount of runs scored at a particular batting position. 14. Pitch & match situation. 15. Pressure matches, come-back matches. 16. Team support - other batsmen and bowlers.

    Well the list is too long. In short i mean, stats are only for books and they cant decide who is better. There are various subjective factors which should be given weightage to, but you cannot put them up as stats. What about a particular batsman getting wrong umpiring decisions against him the most number of times? Or one getting lucky most, his catch being dropped the most number of times? This is getting a bit funny but I really dont believe in stats. 6 wickets in an inn. cant make M. Clark a world class spin bowler, nor can a 100 of 37 balls makes Afridi the best? Jaysuriya is too high on the list; Klusner, Dhoni, Pietersen unwanted. Jadeja was better than all 3.

  • JAMES on October 11, 2008, 14:39 GMT

    Guys taking nothing away from SACHIN he is good batsmen and comes among the top players.But what i say is there other player who are better than SACHIN as LARA,KALLIS,POINTING,DRAVID who have the ability to play in pressure situations in both forms of the game

  • ram on October 11, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    I think two guys had a very good knowledge of cricket and i guess they have seen almost all the matches.Shiva and Mobashir.Guys LARA is the greatest batsmen in both forms of the cricket in this era.He has played so many great innings in both forms of the cricket against the top teams.He was the one who had pressure in each and every match as his team mates perform rarely.He had won single handedly test matches for his team that to against the world's best team that is australia and the world's fastest bowler Bret Lee also told that LARA is the best batsmen in this era.He has more double centuries than any other player that to against the strong teams and that to when his team was down.He has the ability to play with the tail.Where i think sachin dont have the ability to perform in pressure situations.Nothing taking away from sachin he is a good batsmen but not better than LARA and VIV.VIV far better than SACHIN.In those days the grounds are far bigger than the present grounds.

  • ranjit on September 28, 2008, 8:39 GMT

    i think this one is better than the other cricinfo articles regarding the greatest ODI batsman ever.IMO,richards,sachin and jayasurya r the top 3 ODI batsmen ever.no one shud have a problem with that,i guess.some ppl might dispute their positions in the ranking,but i guess overall thr shud nt b much debate regarding this.its also nice 2 c gr8 ODI players like lara,inzamam,ganguly,mark waugh,saeed anwar,aravinda desilva and klusener in the top 20.i also agree when the author says dhoni,sehwag,pietersen and hussey will climb up the ladder.i feel another person who might climb up the ladder is yuvraj singh.

  • santhoshkudva on December 26, 2009, 4:12 GMT

    each person has his own method of evaluation. i wonder if it is possible to empower a person with a tool or a formula by which he can make his own assessments. for example, in tests, strike rates may be important to person A but balls per dismissal may be to person B. accordingly each has his own conclusion as to who is better: sehwag or dravid. also, it is possible that person C might consider both the criteria important but with different weightages. i wonder if we can devise a method where a person can make his own assumptions, and draw his own conclusions.

  • wayne on April 13, 2009, 17:02 GMT

    viv is great no doubt but just like sachin tendulkar i have a problem when they could cash out weak teams with average bowlers and then when they play against top bowlers 9 out of 10 times they buckle. i am one of those individuals who dont look at the amount of runs someone score but who they were scored against. viv has murdered england who never really have quality bowlers and new zealand who had one bowler during viv time that bowler being richard hadlee. yet still in about 43 matches verses pakistan who had much much better bowlers IMRAN KHAN, SARFRAZ NARWAZ, WASIM AKRAM and ABDUL QUADIR viv couldnt score a century against them in 43 matches. i am a very hard marker of batsmen that is why i know lara is a very special player, he scored runs against the very best bowlers which makes him quite unique.

  • wayne on April 12, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    sachin did faced quality bowling but is what he did against them thats the question you need to ask yourself. lara has scored more runs at a better better average a better strike rate in both forms of cricket more than anyone who has played the game LARA verses DONALD 16 innings 754 runs 2 centuries average 53.85 LARA verses AKRAM 33 innings 1143 runs 3 centuries average 40.82 LARA verses WAQAR YOUNIS 30 innings 1064 runs 3 centuries average 38 LARA verses MCGRATH 24 innings 1012 runs 2 centuries average 46. AND is a good thing he didnt play against AMBROSE and WALSH other wise they would of got their share of licks too. SACHIN is nowhere in LARA league when the world had great bowlers through out the 90,s SACHIN couldnt get his average past 35 while LARA average was around the 50 mark. in order to be a really great one day player you must be able to score runs batting anywhere in the order, well sachin only could score runs when he opens the batting what kind of great could he be?

  • wayne on April 12, 2009, 21:38 GMT

    i believe sachin tendulkar is a great one day batsman but to say he is the best you have to be crazy. u made mention that he has scored runs against good bowlers which is totally false, am going to name the 6 best fast bowlers who bowled at sachin and what he did against them. SACHIN verses DONALD 26 innings 587 runs 0 century average 22.57 SACHIN verses AKRAM 25 innings 769 runs 0 century average 36.61 SACHIN verses WAQAR YOUNIS 22 innings 791 runs 2 centuries average 35.95 SACHIN verses MCGRATH 23 innings 829 runs 2 centuries average 36 SACHIN verses AMBROSE 13 innings 369 runs 0 century average 41 SACHIN verses WALSH 16 innings 482 runs 0 century average 32.13. while sachin has scored 4 centuries in 9 innings verses kenya and 5 centuries in 33 innings verses zimbabwe he could score not one century in 80 innings combined verses AMBROSE, DONALD, WASIM AKRAM and WALSH. sachin only could dominate weak attacks, u ahd better check your facts before you come and post these articles.

  • ARK on April 6, 2009, 23:31 GMT

    I am stunned that this continues to be a matter of debate and even more appalled (as I already was when I posted on this forum several months back) that this debate about the 'greatest odi batsman' was ever open. Vivian Richards was, is and shall remain the greatest ODI batsman ever - past, present, future, followed by Daylight and then Zaheer Abbas.

    I have something below and I won't be too surprised if Ananth cuts it out while putting this comment on the forum as he had done before - In ODIs In Aus vs Aus The KING avg 56 with 3 c in 40 matches AND SRT avg 34 with 1 c in 22 matches In Eng vs Eng The KING avg 78 with 3 c in 15 matches AND SRT avg 38 with 1 c in 17 matches In Pak vs Pak The KING avg 40+ in 15 matches AND SRT avg 36 in 13 matches In NZ vs NZ The KING avg 134 and SRT avg 38 PLUS The KING did all this on uncovered, much faster, bouncier pitches without even a helmet against far faster and better attacks in the absence of batsmen-favoring restrictions on bowlers.

  • Personal Injury Lawyers on January 29, 2009, 18:44 GMT

    Who are you picking in the super bowl?

  • Whoever on November 15, 2008, 23:05 GMT

    10. Consistency over a long period of time. 11. Technical help to the bowlers. 12. Pressure to perform to maintain your place in the team. 13. Amount of runs scored at a particular batting position. 14. Pitch & match situation. 15. Pressure matches, come-back matches. 16. Team support - other batsmen and bowlers.

    Well the list is too long. In short i mean, stats are only for books and they cant decide who is better. There are various subjective factors which should be given weightage to, but you cannot put them up as stats. What about a particular batsman getting wrong umpiring decisions against him the most number of times? Or one getting lucky most, his catch being dropped the most number of times? This is getting a bit funny but I really dont believe in stats. 6 wickets in an inn. cant make M. Clark a world class spin bowler, nor can a 100 of 37 balls makes Afridi the best? Jaysuriya is too high on the list; Klusner, Dhoni, Pietersen unwanted. Jadeja was better than all 3.

  • JAMES on October 11, 2008, 14:39 GMT

    Guys taking nothing away from SACHIN he is good batsmen and comes among the top players.But what i say is there other player who are better than SACHIN as LARA,KALLIS,POINTING,DRAVID who have the ability to play in pressure situations in both forms of the game

  • ram on October 11, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    I think two guys had a very good knowledge of cricket and i guess they have seen almost all the matches.Shiva and Mobashir.Guys LARA is the greatest batsmen in both forms of the cricket in this era.He has played so many great innings in both forms of the cricket against the top teams.He was the one who had pressure in each and every match as his team mates perform rarely.He had won single handedly test matches for his team that to against the world's best team that is australia and the world's fastest bowler Bret Lee also told that LARA is the best batsmen in this era.He has more double centuries than any other player that to against the strong teams and that to when his team was down.He has the ability to play with the tail.Where i think sachin dont have the ability to perform in pressure situations.Nothing taking away from sachin he is a good batsmen but not better than LARA and VIV.VIV far better than SACHIN.In those days the grounds are far bigger than the present grounds.

  • ranjit on September 28, 2008, 8:39 GMT

    i think this one is better than the other cricinfo articles regarding the greatest ODI batsman ever.IMO,richards,sachin and jayasurya r the top 3 ODI batsmen ever.no one shud have a problem with that,i guess.some ppl might dispute their positions in the ranking,but i guess overall thr shud nt b much debate regarding this.its also nice 2 c gr8 ODI players like lara,inzamam,ganguly,mark waugh,saeed anwar,aravinda desilva and klusener in the top 20.i also agree when the author says dhoni,sehwag,pietersen and hussey will climb up the ladder.i feel another person who might climb up the ladder is yuvraj singh.

  • Cricket Lover on September 11, 2008, 11:27 GMT

    Well Well Well.....This was something. Or shall I call this as the most Debated TOPIC in the History of Cricket. Whoever tells his/her own analysis of the stats and tries to see who comes on top of his analysis, the Argument always boils down to Whether Sachin is Greatest or not. Whether Sachin has contributed to the INDIAN CAUSE in the manner they expected him to or not. The Sachin supporters will always have their points and Sachin Bashers(read guys who expect a lot more from him than his supporters) will always have their golden point that "Sachin doesn't BAT for INDIAN VICTORIES". Perhaps, I shall put it this way, Sachin Bashers are more REALISTIC and PRACTICAL in the sense that if INDIA is facing a Tough opposition or they are playing in a very CRUCIAL match, One can only have faith in Sachin Bailing India Out as the others surrender rather meekily without giving even a fight. Ofcourse, by this I don't want to take Credit away from others will cont in next post shortage of chars.

  • Riverlime on September 8, 2008, 15:55 GMT

    Rohan, get your facts straight before you post. Viv was called MASTER BLASTER long before anyone had even heard of Tendulkar. However, your calling Tendulkar the same nickname is okay. Imitation is always the sincerest form of flattery. I'm sure the King would appreciate it.

  • Rohan on September 8, 2008, 15:12 GMT

    @Sachin Bashers..... Tell me guys....why do we talk about Sachin in WC finals....Or say Sachin cant handle the pressure...... Out 42 hundreds 30 were for winning side..... and for 12 hundred where India have lost....bcoz there only Sachin who has scored runs!!!! India is always in an Urgency for Sachin to step up and score....and if he doesnt than whole world starts to shout that Sachin cant handle the pressure....

    After SL series i thought Sachin might slow down now....but after i saw all the comments from you....Sachin will be back with Bang....Coz he loves all these bashers put their fingure in their resp mouths when Master Blaster scores....BTW Viv was Blaster...But Sachin is called as MASTER BLASTER by the WORLD CRICKET....So that means he has Mastery for Blaster (VIV)... guys get a life!!! and leave Master Blaster alone for sometime.

  • Prashanth on September 8, 2008, 15:02 GMT

    A very nice post. when Sachin bats well India sleeps well. The above sentence just tells how much pressure is on Sachin to play well. A Richards or Ponting or a Lara would never have felt soo much pressure to perform. Sachin is been doing this job for over 18 years now and is just unbelievable. If you account the pressure factor into ur analysis I guess no one could even come near the great Sachin Tendulkar. What ever he is done to Indian cricket is beyond the expectations of many. I am one of the luckiest person to have witessed the Sachin era. Know Sachin Know Cricket. No Sachin No Cricket !!!

  • Vikram Maingi on September 8, 2008, 9:02 GMT

    Hi Anantha,

    I have not gone through in detail of your analysis, but have a couple of questions with regards to the report:- 1) Why there isn't any place for Greenidge and Zaheer Abbas. 2) Why Dean Jones and Hayden are figuring so low in the list.

    Regards, VM [[ Vikram Greenidge is placed very high at no.13 Zaheer Abbas was earlier placed quite high. Now he is still well placed at no.29. Hayden is no.15 which is a very high placing. Dean Jones is at no.23, which is ahead of Sehwag, Gibbs, Dhoni, Pietersen et al. Not necessarily a low placing. ]]

  • Samir on September 7, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    Stop whining about Sachin not facing quality bowling. McGrath,Ambrose,Walsh,Wasim,Waqar,Warne, Murali,Saqlain,Donald,Pollock,Devilliers..how much qaulity do you want. Plese name how many quality bowlers Sir Viv faced.Facing Garner,Roberts in nets is not a measure of quality. No doubt Sir Viv is one of the greatest, but undermining Sachin on the basis of not having faced quality bowling is not correct. Having played 400+ games in the span of 19 yrs in which duration Sir Viv plyed 180 odd games is not Sachins fault. It enhances his greatness. Even in this mad rush of one dayers he kept scoring runs. And whoever feels Kaif is better than Sachin, better go cook something, cricket is not for you. Sachin Rocks.

  • Peter Wanda on September 7, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    When comparing Richards with Tendulkar and how they played the best fast bolwing of their time,one should not forget that Richards never has used any helmet....It is far easier to pull and hook the quickies, take a bit more risk when you know that the helmet will protect you...I know this cannot be quantified in this analysis but it is yet on additional piece of data that shows the greatness of Richards.

  • Dnyanesh on September 7, 2008, 8:05 GMT

    One huge advantage Viv had over Sachin was the lack of video analysis and Laptop usage by coaches. Today one error in the batsman's technique and the bowlers know it immediately. I am sure it would have been easier in Sir Viv's days.

    Also to be considered that in Sir Viv's days the matches used to be for 60 overs giving him more time. Whereas Sachin played 4 down or 5 down for the first 50-60 matches. If Sachin had come in first 3 from day 1 could we even imagine the huger mountain he would have accumulated.

  • Dnyanesh on September 7, 2008, 7:58 GMT

    I think if we add one more qualitative aspect, then ask the top 10 bowlers of all the decades on who he feels was the best Batsman of his time. Ask Shane Warne, Ask Wasim Akram, Ask Allan Donald, Ask Mcgrath.

    One funny tidbit...Kapil was the original Horlicks guy. Sachin joined him...Some days later Kapil was out (as he had retired) and we had only Sachin...He was then joined by Sehwag...Sehwag was dropped after somedays (form problems) and again it was Sachin alone and now he is joined by Dhoni...From Kapil to Dhoni...Tell me any other player who has such a successfully long sports career.

    Are we even counting the innings Sachin has won with the ball???

  • ashwin on September 7, 2008, 2:28 GMT

    Good Analysis Ananth.Comments posted by swami,Nayeemuddin etc dont belong to an august website like cricinfo.I know of only one batsman who has the following characteristics: 1.Good enough to represent his country at the age of 16 and continue to do so for 19+ yrs. 2.Who has the skill to adapt to any conditions and can play any shot in the book. (even some unconventional shots as well - Bouncy pitches in South Africa,upper cut over the slips: Slow Pitch-Graft runs with late cuts, paddle sweeps etc). 3.Scores a not out double hundred against the best team in the world when "out of form" in their own den. 4.Is a proven matchwinner(Anyone who says he isn't obviously does not know what cricket is! Apart from the matches listed by some of you CB Series, World Cups who can forget the unforgettable innings's that he played in Sharjah and numerous other in India and outside) 5.55MOM-Some say its subjective. Be honest to yourself and let me know what % of MOMs are awarded that are debatable?

  • Sunil Chandraman on September 7, 2008, 0:52 GMT

    I agree with what Eranga says with all these why dont you think about the fitness of the man. Sanath is fit as a rock, no cramps, no injuries and he has a thirst for runs. See how young he had been when hitting in the IPL at India where Sachin was a failure.

  • vinod on September 6, 2008, 19:15 GMT

    One must not forget that for most of his career, Richards had likes of Marshall, Roberts, Garner, Holding on one hand and likes of Greenidge, Haynes, Lyold on other. Sachin did not have such a force with him, atleast during 90's. So Richards could bat without any pressure, whereas for whole of 90's , Sachin carried all the burden on his shoulders on account of which he could not play with that swagger. Hence I would place Sachin fraction above Richards.

  • santhosh kudva on September 5, 2008, 17:19 GMT

    it is interesting not to find a single new zealander among the top 30. while i have absolutely no doubts about the accuracy of the analysis, what i find hard to understand is the absence of names like nathan astle, martin crowe and salim malik.... surely they are better than jonty rhodes, who occupies the 24th position? also, some of the interesting omissions are, shiv chanderpaul, and ramnaresh sarwan, who has a batting record similar to dhoni's. and where are kevin pietersen and ejaz ahmed and damien martyn?

  • vj on September 5, 2008, 16:53 GMT

    the other interesting thing to compare is the fastest to multiples of 1000 runs( it is available in cricinfo),richards scored 6721 runs and he is the fastest to 1000( joint with pietersen), 3000-6000 and second/third to 2000. tendulkar is not even in the top ten for any of these milestones.infact ganguly , except 9/10000 runs has reached thses milestones faster then srt. only after 8000 runs does srt appear in the top 5( clearly there are a lot fewer people to contend with in that bracket). and viv took 141 innins to get to 6000 ,, srt took 170,,29 innings.viv was statistically way ahead. now when people/pundits talk abt the don they talk abt his average,, when they talk of viv they don't do that,,because that's not what he was abt.to me for batsmanship on his day, he is the best ever.imagine the don and viv playin together aginst lillee, trueman, mcgrath on a good track o the don might make 20 more runs than viv , but viv wud bt him for batsmanship and strokeplay and scores faster

  • Prashant on September 5, 2008, 11:25 GMT

    @swami, local, vimalan... Unfortunately swami and co. do not have a basic understanding of the game, or sport in general. If we say place Pele in the Indian football team….how many "matchwinning" games do you think he would have featured in? Also, he would have over a period of time probably changed his natural game, especially if beset by injuries.i.e he may have then played more midfield, gone back to defend etc.to help the team in general. In general he would have put a lot less "fear" in the opposition. Now if he could play with Brazil his entire career, as Richards with the great WI team, he could have been free to goals score as he wished and put all the “fear” in the opponents as he so wished.

    A good recent eg is Dhoni.He can be an extremely attacking batsman and can put "fear" into bowlers. But for the teams greater goals he has adapted his style. He has cut out the million dollar shots for more efficiency and in the hope that it will help the team. So far it has. Whether is will continue is another matter, but it is the thought and commitment that is paramount. Does this make him an inferior batsman??? Richards and also Lara batted practically the same way all throughout. Lara right at the end also asked whether he "entertained". Unfortunately Tendulkar never had that luxury.

  • Satyajit on September 5, 2008, 8:18 GMT

    Sachin has definitely been feared by opposition (you can not measure it though). More feared earlier (say 92 to 03) than now. But even now he is one of the match winner in the team (unlike only one in 90s). He has changed his style of play. Richard was a destructive batsman and never changed his style, probably he didn't need to change. It's a tough call between these two who is the better ODI batsman. On the other hand Lara surely is not as great an ODI batsman as Sachin (that I would say without looking into any statistics). Lara is a great test batsman and there it's a tough call between him and Sachin who is better. On their day any of these three can/could play a match winning knock or could be undone by incompetency of other team mates. Many of Lara's great innings didn't fetch win for his team as others didn't measure up. Similarly Sachin's 136 against Pak was great (it will be difficult refute this if you are a cricket lover) but didn't fetch win for the team.

  • Swami on September 5, 2008, 1:44 GMT

    My comment was meant to drive home the point that Tendulkar is not as good as what the statistics prove, nor is he good enough to deserve all the accolades he is getting. It was in no way meant to undermine this analysis. Of course statistics dont lie, but they dont reveal the full picture either. That is my point. And certain readers here seem to think that just because they idolize Tendulkar, I should be doing the same. And they keep churning out statistics from Tendulkar's innings where he has performed creditably (for instance the 2003 WC or the CB series final). The 2003 WC was 5 years back. Tendulkar has not done anything noteworthy since then till the series down under recently. And again after that series, he has flopped. His failures are more in number compared to his successes, especially in recent years. That is my point.

    Ananth, this seems to be taking away the shine off your analysis. My comment was not intended to achieve this.

  • local_hero on September 4, 2008, 22:04 GMT

    Ask, Sachin not to wear helmet against Brett lee and Dale Steyn and still induce fear in the bowler.

    Viv not only didn't wear helmet against Lille and Thompshon but also hooked and pulled them with ease.

    I am sorry to say guys, for Sachin fan even if you say Sachin isn't as good as Bradman or Richards it becomes bashing. We have seen it time and again. They will always show the statistics.

    How many matches have Sachin played more than Richards? Despite playing 200-300 more matches why sachin don't have innings like Richards in the world cup finals or an innings like 189* against England when the chips were down and where he made partnership of 106 with last batsman. I don't blame sachin for not playing that sort of innings despite playing loads of matches because nobody else in the world is capable of playing that kind of innings except Sir Viv.

  • Abhijeet Dongre on September 4, 2008, 18:15 GMT

    The 16000 runs of Sachin vs 6000 runs of Richards is an interesting debate in itself. How to find out which one is bigger. I think comparing absolute number of runs of a batsmen with average runs of contemporary players might solve the dilemma.

    Example :- Average runs of people debuting from 1985-1990 = 5000 Sachin's runs = 16000 Sachin's runs factor = 16000/5000 or 16000-5000 or some combination

    Regards, Abhijeet

  • Vimalan on September 4, 2008, 16:40 GMT

    for the people who call Tendulkar as not aggressive, either they don't know history or they are new to cricket watching. Anyway just for their information, Tendulkar was as devastating as Richards sometimes more on his days between the period of 1994 - 2003..that was before all his injuries. After all, not many people gave nightmares to a contemporary genius like Warne.

    Between 27 March 1994 when he first opened in ODIs till the end of 2003, Tendulkar had an average of 48.78 and strike rate 89 in 252 ODI matches with over 10000 runs. now isn't this stat as great as Richards's ?

    @Ananth although Mr. Swami didn't specifically mention that Tendulkar's facts are tweaking of numbers, its easy to figure what he is trying to say. nothing personal.

  • Vimalan on September 4, 2008, 14:43 GMT

    yes Mr. Swami. If someone tweaks around with the statistics for a while, he can make a even a Phil Tufnell or Devon Malcolm look like they scored more than 16000 runs, 42 centuries, 80 odd fifties, 50 odd MOMs, averaging over 55 in the team wins and averaging over 50 in the tournament finals...after all whatever Tendulkar achieved is only a tweaking of statistics and nothing else, right? [[ Even though Mr.Swamy was critical of my analysis he did not mean that whatever Tendulkar has done is a statistical tweak. It was only his way of telling that one could achieve whatever wanted by tweaking with numbers. ]]

  • sachin is god on September 4, 2008, 13:31 GMT

    @swami

    in 2003 world cup,when sachin scored 98 against pakistan,didnt india need it most? in 2003 world cup ,when sachin scored 97 against sri lanka,didnt india need it most? in 2003 world cup,when sachin scored 50 against england as an opened,didnt india need it most? in 2003 world cup,when sachin scored a century against kenya in the semi final,didnt india need it most?( in 2007 world cup, pakistan surely needed inzamam to perform against ireland, didnot pakistan?, he didnot and pakistan lost)

    when sachin scored 117* and 91 in finals of recent vb series finals against australia , didnt india needed it most?

    and even west indies needed viv richards so much to perform better in 1983 world cup final, but did he perform against a comparatively under dog nation? west indies would have won the world cup , had viv even scored a moderate 50 , he didnot and windies lost,

    so shud i claim that viv doesnt play when needed most?since he didnot perform when windies needed him most in 83 finals

  • sachin is god on September 4, 2008, 11:38 GMT

    @ erange abegunuwardena.

    jayasooriya is more of an attacking batsman with no classic shots , or you may say a class player.

    he will never be considered a greatest batsman with great abilities , as compared to lara sachin , or ponting ,

    the only respectful greatest classy batsman sri lanka has produced is aravinda de silva , yes sanath has scored more runs so what? aravnida has that class, the classic batsman have , all the shots ,

    sanath is the greatest odi player , when you add his 300 wickets to his run tally .

    but not any classy batsman, his poor test record and less runs against stronger nations in tests shows that.

    aravinda and sangakkara are the only 2 legend batsmen from sri lanka

  • Crookie on September 4, 2008, 10:01 GMT

    @Swami and other Tendulkar bashers When are you going to realise that Sachin is a match winner and does play big scores when needed. WC2003 did India not need Sachin to play big innings against England 50 Pakistan 98 Sri Lanka 97 Kenya 83 I suppose India had already qualified for the final before the England game and were not under any pressure to deliver?Some of you are talking rubbish on this blog. What about Swami the recent tour of Australia 117* and 91 in the first 2 CB finals not a big stage to deliver on against the best team in the world is it really no pressure. And I know its ODI here but the tests in AUS 2 big 150 scores when India needed them most again no pressure against the best in the world is there?And as for those who keep banging on about LARA and PONTING read the blogs there average in the games when it matters is poor and no doubt Lara is class but in tests!his ODI record is modest by his standards!as for Ponting not much expectation when you play for the champs!

  • Swami on September 4, 2008, 8:19 GMT

    Ananth, I never asked you to do a statistical analysis on Tufnell or Malcolm, but was pointing out to the futility of the whole exercise of doing a statistical analysis on players. My main point is that statistics rely on quantitive data. Qualitative data, which can never be available is also important to judge players. I have to say that you misconstrued my comment and perceived it to be,I should think,insulting. Maybe I should have worded it 'If someone tweaks around with the statistics for a while, he can make a even a Phil Tufnell or Devon Malcolm (2 of the worst tailenders ever) look good.'.

  • Abhijeet Dongre on September 4, 2008, 7:13 GMT

    Great analysis Ananth, You are correct in not using my suggestion about using the average if player makes a huge not out score. Since you are using Runs per inning as well as batting average, it is not really required anymore.

    I agree with using Number of runs as a parameter. However I think its weightage should be reduced since it has overshadowed everything else. Andymc's list with less weightage to it seems to be reflecting the standings better.

    Also, because of its subjective nature, I don't think MOM should be used and if it has to be used, it should be the percentage of MOMs.

    Regards, Abhijeet

    A note to some readers - This is strictly a statistical analysis of outputs of ODI batsmen. Why to put preconcieved notions like 'xxx is/was/will be the best, xxx 'never' played a match-winning innings(whatever that means)' or worse to question the intent of the author.

  • Swami on September 4, 2008, 7:03 GMT

    A sheer waste of time, this analysis. Tendulkar comes out on top on many parameters. But there will always remain a few intangible parameters, like usefulness to the team, ability to strike fear in the opposition bowlers, etc where Viv wins hands down. If there was any batsman who put fear in the minds of the opposition, it was Viv. Even to his last playing day, he was dangerous, and his opponents knew it. SRT can hardly claim to be in the same class. Why, every rookie bowler will now be confident of dismissing Tendulkar.

    @ Prashant : It is not only about SRT's world cup failures, but his failures when India needs him most that is to be questioned. Whenever India needs him to score runs, he will fail. But he will score a century once in a while and all his fans will proclaim him to be God. What good is that?

    @ Ananth Narayanan : tweak around with the statistics for a while, and you can make a even a Phil Tufnell or Devon Malcolm (2 of the worst tailenders ever) look good. [[ Just because I did an analysis in which Richards has come second to Tendulkar, you make a comment requesting me to do an analysis to put Tufnell or Malcolm on top, it is an insult to your own intelligence, leave alone mine. Unfortunately it is not even humorous. Your first point is well made. Make it and stop there. Why spoil that with such a comment. You are also welcome not to waste your time reading these posts. ]]

  • Eranga Abeygunawardane on September 4, 2008, 5:55 GMT

    Sachin has played somany world cup but he couldn't contribute to win a single one.But jayasuriya has also played equal amount and has contributed to win a world cup in 1996 and to qualify for final last time. Sachin is best when we consider Runs wise but when we consider match winning contribution wise Jayasuriya is superb.

    You can realize by looking at Jayasuriya's ODI records.All records incates the SPEED or otherwise it's a indication that how should the best oneday batsman play. Fastest 50 Fastest 100 ( he held this records) Most sixes in career Most sixes in an inning Most runs in an over Most runs in first 10 overs partnership Most runs in first 15 overs partnership All recordes indicates the SPEED.That's why people say If jayasuriya score 30 or 40 Sri Lanken defineately win"

    But when we analyze Sachin,he has only most runs recode and most 100 recod.

  • Neutral on September 3, 2008, 18:03 GMT

    Sachin no doubt is great but he is not Richards. The analysis is flawed in the sense that it takes number of runs scored into account and gives it a high percentage. Now based on that there is no way any batsman is coming on top of Sachin. What I feel is that Tendulkar is a great batsman but falls short of many players -- Richards, Sobers, Lara, Ponting, etc.

    People argue that India didnt have good bowlers. Even Lara played three thirds of his career with a mediocre team and yet he single handedly won so many matches in tests and odis. And the quality of bowlers we have these days is nothing compared to what Richards faced in his time. And as a match winner there is none to beat Bradman, Inzi, Dravid. Tendulkar doesnt even figure in the top 10 matchwinners of all time.

  • Farnborough_guy on September 3, 2008, 16:26 GMT

    Tendulkar will probably go second best in the one day history behind Richards unless Pietersen or Ponting have different ideas in coming few years.

    I always felt Sachin record in world cup is not as great as it looks. His world cup average falls to about 43 against better side. All his 4 hundred in the world cup has either come against minnows or in the match with lesser significance int he context of the world cup.

    No denying the fact that he has had great world cups, but it certainly isnt as great as it looks.

  • Farnborough_guy on September 3, 2008, 16:20 GMT

    Tendulkar don't have better record than Viv Richards except for the fact that he played more one day matches than Richards. Richards is beter in terms of average and strike rate. If richards was playing in this generation his strike rate would probably have been over 100.

    Tendulkar can only dream about the fear that Richards induced in the bowler.

  • Vimalan on September 3, 2008, 16:12 GMT

    well said Prashant...not to forget Richards failure in the 1975 final as well and Ponting's failures in all world cup finals 96,99,2007 except the 2003 edition. and the biggest of all failures is Lara. He has played in 19 finals and has scored only 507 runs with an average of 28.16. But for the so-called true cricket fans, these guys play well under pressure and Tendulkar not although Tendulkar averages over 50 in matches won and tournament finals. Funny.

  • Jeff on September 3, 2008, 16:06 GMT

    CONT

    Do these 2 cases not cancel each other out somewhat and the true measure of longevity is performance over a number of years and not over a number of matches? So Kallis and Abbas get a similar “longevity rating”?

    Now look at Kevin Pietesen. He’s only played international cricket for 4 years but has played a similar number of ODIs to Abbas and scored a similar number of runs off a similar number of balls at a very similar average.

    If we just take runs scored or balls faced as a measure of longevity, then these 2 get a similar rating, but Zaheer Abbas did it over a career that lasted 3 times as long as Pietersen’s has (to date) Should we not give Abbas some extra credit for this?

    I would also prefer to see balls per dismissal and SR as factors - then there would be no need for average as a seperate factor in itself - eliminating the need to work around not outs...

    Thanks again for the analysis and apologies for the multiple posts.

  • Jeff on September 3, 2008, 16:03 GMT

    CONT.

    Take Zaheer Abbas. He had an ODI career that spanned 12 years, but only got to play 62 matches. Over that 12 years, he likely would have had periods when he was in great form and scoring large volumes of runs – he was penalised (compared to modern day batsmen) by the fact that the shortage of available matches meant that he couldn’t cash in on that form. On the other hand, when out of form, he was helped greatly by the fact that he didn’t have many chances to bat in ODIs (and could play himself back into form in first class cricket.)

    Compare that with Kallis, who has played for a similar number of years as Abbas but who has obviously played far more matches – now, when he’s in form, he’s got lots of opportunities to cash in and boost his runs total and his average. Conversely, when out of form, he’s having to play lots more matches when he’s putting his average and RPI at risk

    TBC

  • Jeff on September 3, 2008, 16:02 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Thanks once more for the work - you're a brave man posting these things!!

    You've already received my personal thoughts on some of these things, but thought it worth mentioning again for the wider audience (apologies if others have already mentioned these, but I didn't have the will to read through all 160 comments...)

    On the subject of longevity, how do you factor in the increase in volume of ODIs played now vs yesteryear? Maybe one way is to include length of career in terms of years, rather than matches? This would help those older batsmen who consistently performed over many years, but who didn’t have the opportunity to play as many games as modern greats.

    Maybe the sheer volume of games isn’t as important a factor as we might think…

    TBC

  • Prashant on September 3, 2008, 12:56 GMT

    For those same ppl who prefer to look through coloured glasses and remember only the great innings of Richards/Lara/Ponting but can only see Tendulkars failures. A simple example: 1)1983. The great WI Indian bowlers have destroyed the "great" Indian team .Chasing a pathetic 180 odd, Richards recklessly gets out.WI lose. No comments from the Richards faithful. 2) 2003 WC.Australia hammer the "great" Indian bowlers. India to chase a score of 360 odd(double the 180).A score never before chased or even put up in a World Cup final. Tendulkar, in great form, could EASILY have played for a steady hundred. What does he do? Knowing full well that the team desperately needs a flying start he starts premeditating shots against McGrath, who he knows full well is not going to bowl a single bad ball. He takes the risk.Doesnt come off.

    So what do the so called "cricket fans" do? Not a single word about dear Viv.Oh no. But the same old crap about the Great Sachin. When will you ppl realize that we should be thanking the good lord for gifting us Richards, Lara and Sachin all in the space of a few years. Instead of the childish Tendulkar bashing. Sachin Tendulkar, whatever his ranking in these ridiculous lists, will always be the Greatest ever to grateful fans like me.

  • Crookie on September 3, 2008, 12:11 GMT

    Sachin 1 hundred every 10 games Viv Richards 1 every 17 just another stat that I would suggest puts Sachin out on top!

  • mobashir on September 3, 2008, 11:27 GMT

    I went through some posts, and i saw that most of tendulkars fan are saying that tendulkar is the best ever batsmen. Pleaseeeee don't forget this article is talking about one dayyyy cricket and not test. Brian Lara is a much better batsman than tendulkar. even in one day i don't consider tendulkar as the best, always fell in difficult situations, when india really need him. Even dravid has done better job than tendulkar in important matches.

  • Crookie on September 3, 2008, 9:14 GMT

    Sachin not a match winner get a grip!30 hundreds in winning games only 11 in lost games thats 71% of games he scores a hundred India win!Laras is 84% and Ponting 84% Richards is 100% they are all match winners!Whats interesting is Lara and Ponting have not delivered against the top teams as consistantly. Lara only has 3 hundreds and modest average of 39.5 against the Aussies in 51 games his average in finals is 28 with 1 hundred.Ponting has 2 hundreds against SA(second after Aussies in rankings)average of 40 and in finals he has 2 hundreds average of 39.5.Tendulkar has 8 hundreds in 60 games with average of 46 against Australia and 5 hundreds in finals with an average of 52.96. So please look at the facts and stop talking rubbish about Sachin not being a match winner and not performing under pressure!his figures speak for themselves and those who bash him are naive and lack any cricket knowledge. 6 of his 8 hundreds against Aussies were winning hundreds!117* and 91 in finals in Aus!08

  • santhosh kudva on September 3, 2008, 6:04 GMT

    since adjustments have been made to strike rates of batsmen of different eras, i wonder why other factors do not enjoy the liberty. viv averaged 47, better than most batsmen today, and miles ahead of his contemporaries. he scored at 90+ strike rate, a good 20 runs per hundred balls as compared to jacques kallis. cricket, more than any other sport has evolved a lot and continues to do so. cricketers adjust their fitness, skill sets and game plans to keep pace with the game. viv towers higher than even the modern day cricketers. so it would be fair to include one more parameter, with a very small weightage to 'COMPARISON WITH CONTEMPORARIES' in the analysis. we might just see a couple of players at the top swapping places!!!!!!!!! we might even see dean jones, azharuddin and the kinds move up the list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • santhosh kudva on September 3, 2008, 5:53 GMT

    great analysis. the author has taken great pains in formulating this index. however, something as subjective as the man of the match should not have been included in the parameters. agreed, adjudicators get it right more often than not, but if such factors have to have a say in these analyses, then we might as well take into account pitch conditions, where an innings at WACA or Kingsmead has more weightage than on played at the wanderers or small indian grounds. the list can be endless. it is virtually impossible to come up with the perfect analysis, but one can always come close as ananth has done. great work!!!!!!!!

  • vj on September 3, 2008, 5:51 GMT

    Also srt's stats are heavily skewed towards the subcontinent pitches,,he played most of his odi games in the subcontinent where conditons are taylor made for batsman and his stats look ordinary in australia , west indies and england. Viv averaged about 50 in australia in an era where boundaries were much bigger. What is the idea behind giving a lot of credit to his runs- is it longevity?( Viv played for 17 yrs,,it is not his fault that in those days people played only 10 odi's per year) or the suggestion that Tendulakar averages 44 because he played many games and that he wud average a lot more if he played fewer games( well tendulkar averaged around 41.5 after playing 200 games),and Tendulkar never averaged above 45 ( just for a very short period) in odi's.

  • Vish on September 3, 2008, 5:19 GMT

    To Mike, Mate, i think you are running out of ideas to criticize Tendulkar. You are referring to a T20 match which, as everyone knows, is the type which suits Jayasuriya to the T. so please, don't waste your time posting baseless comments. don't compare T20 with ODI's and Tests. it requires a great deal of commitment and love to the country and the team to be playing for almost 20 yrs. hopefully, you understand what i'm trying to say here. [[ Since couple of valid points have been made, the offensive portions of the mail have been edited. ]]

  • vj on September 3, 2008, 4:47 GMT

    these days the team scores are around 300 and sachin averages 44, viv averaged 47 and until his last few yrs abt 53 when team totals were around 220,, infact after 125 innings( by 1986-87, he was already 35 yrs then) viv richards had 10 centuries and 41 fifties,,that is an astounding 51 innings of over 50 after 125 games.. and the other important parameter is viv is miles ahead of anybody in his era,,u can't say that abt sachin, they are lots of players who average aroundnhim and strike much faster than him,,in viv's days he was the ultimate,,nobody cud bt him in average/strike rate( except no-6,7 like kapil in s/r) or whatever.and he played without field restrictions,etc. he is the best by a margin.Also the simple fact that in a team of superstars he still won 31 MOM's out of 173 games( MOM's did not exist for the first 14 games). that shows he was the man despite the marshalls and holdings.

  • Mike on September 3, 2008, 4:03 GMT

    I was watching one IPL 20Twenty match and Sachin and Jayasuriya started the inning.Sachin was the first man to out and when 1st wicket fall 79 runs was on the board.Sachi out for 7 and at that time Jayasuriya was 69 not out. Thinking about just this inning you can understand the Jayasuriya's match winning thinking as he score every run thinking only his team requiremant rather individual performance

  • pradeep on September 3, 2008, 1:40 GMT

    Great analysis! Problem has been the belief that Sachin has not won matches for India which definitely is wrong.Unfotunately only scoring while chasing is somehow considered match winning innings whereas a century in first innings is also a match winning effort and influences the game as much as while chasing and Sachin has many such innings in which he has set up an Indian victory when India batted first. It is in the sub conscious mind of people that a match winning innings is only while chasing and they count sachin's failures in second innings and term as not being a match winner which is wrong.

  • HR Gopala Krishna on September 2, 2008, 18:42 GMT

    A detailed impeccable analysis. Congrats Ananth. I was going through a reader's comments. Eranga Abeygunawardene - a Sri Lankan fan. Jayasuriya no more holds the record for most sixes in an innings. Now it is credited to XM Marshall of West Indies who has hit 12 boundary sixes against Canada at King City on 22.08.08. I thank Ananth for giving us an extremly good analysis

  • Harsh on September 2, 2008, 18:21 GMT

    I am surprised at people compalining about the weightage given to the number of runs scored. Surely cricket is primarily about scoring runs. If a batsman started early, played more games and contributed consistently, that is to his credit and should be rewarded. Of a player has high win % after playing ten matches as compared to a player with slightly lower in % after playing 100, which player contributed more to his team?

    And people complainging about invluding parameters like world cup wins, which is a team goal for comparing individuals players forget the fact that even average players like Symonds, Katich, etc will score more than Viv in that case just ebcuase they were in a great team while great players will get penalised for being in a weak team

  • john on September 2, 2008, 15:45 GMT

    I agree with the top but can pick alot of holes in the rest ponting is better than jaysuria surely more runs against better bowling attacks, sehwag as great a test player he is, is a terrible one day player, ganguly should be ranked higher i think. I agree sachin is the best odi batsman maybe viv I reckon is a better test batsman though. As far as facing bowlers remember on the all time great list tendulkar has faced many of the top ones and come out on top alot of these have retired now but on todays flat wickets these bowlers still have stats better than bowlers of the 70s 80s when things should be harder for them recently. What does that tell you if anything tendulkar faced better bowlers than viv.

  • Tushar Radke on September 2, 2008, 15:12 GMT

    I am a small fan of Tendulkar and have not always liked him. But I like the statistical analysis done here. Maybe the factor of wins should be removed entirely but then you have not made it a large factor anyway so it is probably justified. I am a big fan of Viv Richards and if I remember it right, Viv is one of Sachin's idols as well. 79-73 seems a little unfair. I have to concede that inspite of my admiratin of Vivian Richards, Tendulkar is technically the better batsman. Contributions that are borne out of grit are often just as valuable as the dessert of strokeplay. And to think that he has achieved as much as he has with all his injuries, weight of expectations, ability to mold his game to the situations and contrary to what so many seem to suggest, play a winning contribution lot of times is remarkable. Sachin has actually single-handed won India a number of games. More games actually than I can think any other player has won their sides if we are talking single handed wins.

  • Lord Labak Das on September 2, 2008, 14:39 GMT

    Continuing from the previous post, Sandeep Patil has a scaled strike rate of 10.42, which I guess is equivalent to a real strike rate of 38-40 (considering that he played his last match in 1986).

    Patil's real ODI strike rate according to Cricinfo is 82.17. Who did you arrive at the 10.42 ? [[ As I have mentioned in the article, batsmen get full credit only if they have scored over 2000 runs. Else the points secured are proportionately reduced. Sandeep Patil has scored 1005 runs. ]]

  • Awad Hydera-baddie on September 2, 2008, 14:38 GMT

    One of the lots above has argued that Sachin has never performed in WC finals. He promptly gave readers two choices between Sachin and Jaya/Viv/Gilly/etc thereby asking us to pick the match winner. I and many other sensible’s would pick Sachin over Jaya/Viv/Gilly etc for we are sure he’ll take India to the finals. With regards to Sachin not performing in the finals, perhaps the most recent incident I would like to remind is India vs Aus in the finals of the CB series. Get a life and accept what you hate to see. When you are sick you seek the opinion of a doctor and not from a garbage collector. In the same sense when you are unsure of who the best is seek the opinion of the legends (Lara, Warne, Akram etc) One incident comes into my mind- Location: Semi-finals WC 2003 (possibly) Situation: Akram bowls to Sachin who pops a catch to Razzaq who makes a mockery. Akram to Razzaq: “ tujhe pata hai tune kiska catch choda”. (do you know who have you just dropped).

  • Lord Labak Das on September 2, 2008, 14:29 GMT

    Viv Richards had an ODI strike rate of 90.20. Kapil's was 95.07. Their careers were nearly parallels, and they played in the same decades.

    Could you explain how Richards has a strike rate of 24.60 while Kapil's is only 24.21 ? [[ LLD (???) Kapil played between 1978 and 1994 while Richards played between 1975 and 1991. Hence the pro-rata adjustment varies. ]]

  • Neeraj on September 2, 2008, 14:24 GMT

    Nice. Being a stickler for stats myself, i can understand the passion and the effort that would have gone into coming out with this analysis. Well done, and keep the fire going.

    I also agree with the overall analysis that regardless of what parameters and weights one uses, Sir Richards and Sachin are going to be in the top two. That itself speaks volumes of the greatness of these guys. These two have been the biggest contributors of joy to cricket mad fanatics like me.

  • Abhishek on September 2, 2008, 14:22 GMT

    Jjust as viv richards failed in 1983, Sachin failed in 2007. And besides, one cannot include tournaments too. A person doesn't become great by being a PART of a team. He has to perform, and thus is the weightage for MOMs. I think this analysis by Cricinfo is superb and deserves applauding. I have to say, great. Come up with more like this.l And to all those of you who say nasty things, you have no right to comment. You aren't paying for this sheer brilliance, the least you can do is keep your thoughts to yourself. The problem with us Indians is that we take freedom for granted. Appreciate what you have. Too much democracy in our country, and this has led to social divisions and problems. No-one has self-discipline. Be cultured, fellows! Visit www.letuschangeindia.blogspot.com

  • Ankit Goyal on September 2, 2008, 14:09 GMT

    Great analysis.some mistakes but that may not affect top 2 positions. Agree with Sachin is greatest batsman of all time for critics-pls consider these parameters also 1. Pressure of whole country to perform in all matches 2. team quality he has . Sachin single-handedly got India to the finals of world cup 03. 3.maintain his average & tremendous strike rate over 400 matches

  • Eranga Abeygunawardane on September 2, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    Why we should say JAYASURIYA Records Held by Jayasuriya

    Fastest 50 from 17 balls

    Most Sixes in Career.

    Fastest 100 from 47 balls.

    Most Sixes in an innings ( 11 Sixes )

    Most runs in an over 32 runs.

    First ever batsman to score 12000 runs and take 300 wickets

    Most consecutive 150s.

    Highest 1st wicket partnership in ODI

    Highest 1st wicket partnership in TEST

    1996 world cup – Most valuable player

    Team Records Most runs in a TEST inning 942 and Sanath was the top Scorer in that match 342

    Most runs in a ODI inning 451 and Sanath was the top Scorer 157

    Most runs in a 20Twenty inning 263 Sanath was the top scorer in that match 88

  • Graham on September 2, 2008, 13:39 GMT

    Does anyone who critisises Sachin watch him play? there is a reason why openers average less than middle order players because the new ball swings more and is harder to play. Yet Sachin averages more than nearly all the middle order players. When Sachin scores big India usually win any retard who looks into those statistics will see that, Sachin is the highest scorer in world cups to those idiots who want to bring that up, the Indian team is not made up of just one player you know. Viv was great a master if his team was weaker would he still have played in the manner he did though? Its a fact that modern bowlers are fitter and yes pitches are easier to bat on now, but early 2000's during the 90's they weren't there is a reason so many leading wicket takers on these 'flat' pitches are among the leading wicket takers and best of all time all of whom except Murali would say Sachin is the best. I don't agree with Sehwag and Pietersen being on the high list just yet. Hayden?

  • Sai on September 2, 2008, 12:52 GMT

    Quote: "Sir Viv is an easy choice. Don't forget Sir Viv's contribution in 1979 finals. Sachin is a great batsman but his world cup record is little deceiving. In almost every world cup his higest score has come against weaker team or in less important matches. Like 127* against Kenya in 1996, or 140* against Kenya in 1999, 151 against Namibia or his highest score of 80* in the last world cup against Bermuda. His only other hundred of 137 against Sri Lanka was nothing more than a dress rehearsal." Sadly, you are not taking into account the 98 he scored against Pakistan in 2003 WC 97 against Sri lanka in the same WC 50 odd in the WC semi final (that eventful day in 96) which we went on to lose And that 140* (Kenya, 2003)came 2 days after the death of his father! And it was Sachin who reminded the Don of his own batting-not Richards or Jayasurya. And the Englishmen would tell you loads about a wizard named Warne- the same one who had nightmares about Sachin

  • Varun Mishra on September 2, 2008, 12:01 GMT

    I think it is a fair call to place Sachin at the top. But not all MOMs received the players listed, are based on their batting performances alone for instance jayasuriya and kallis are all-rounders. However, as the writer mentions it is pure stats- so we cant really comment on how valuable a certain player has been to his team's goals.

  • indian soldier on September 2, 2008, 12:00 GMT

    @ mitch tell me one player who has single hadndedly won a champions trophy edition or a world cup for his time. i think we cricket fans must understand that cricket is a team game. we cannot remain dependent on 1 or 2 players. recall the match in which south africa sucessfully chased down 434 , can we ever imagine that in a match 400 will be scored for the first time and then will be chased in the same match itself?

    ricky ponting had scored around 160 in that match and helped his side put up a mammoth total of 438,

    now just because the bowlers didnot bowl well and lost the match , would you say that ricky ponting's always scores centuries for losing causes? would you say a player can give anything more than that to his team? i dont think any player individually can contribute more to his team that what ricky ponting did in the 434 losing cause, but , since cricket is a team game , and a match is won with contribution of the team and not of 1 individual. the aussies lost

  • indian soldier on September 2, 2008, 11:46 GMT

    it is quiet evident that SACHIN TENDULKAR by far is the best odi batsman of this world. most of his critics are very jealous and cannot bear an indian to be in top of the best odi batsman list. thats why they come with silly judgements like , tendulkar has failed in most pressure situations and other silly issues to maling his greatest image. i do not understand how do they define pressure? according to me , every cricketers who steps on the ground is always surrounded with pressure for all of his stay on the field representing his nation.with their definition of pressure , i can assume that there was no pressure on pakistan during their world cup match against ireland, and since no involvement of pressure , the pakistani team should have won the match convincingly , rather they lost that match.was great inzi, mohammed yusuf all high profile match winners sleeping at that time? why couldnt they win a simple match even if there was no pressure at all.

  • indian on September 2, 2008, 11:45 GMT

    great analysis...... Sachin played more games because is had the fitness..he had the passion..most importantly he plays unbelievable.... if u consider world cups it the Sachin who made india it to final..but because of our worst bowling attack in the world we lost it as many we lost earlier and now..

    Richards is great but he never face so many bowlers and he never played in so many grounds in different conditions as Sachin did... importantly no other batsman experienced the unbelievable pressure like Sachin.

  • Vimalan on September 2, 2008, 11:45 GMT

    What I really find amusing is people accusing Sachin that all his runs were of lost cause. Probably, they should check back the statsguru. Here is just a sample

    Sachin has almost 10000 runs in win matches alone with an average of 57.43 with 30 centuries and strike rate of 89 whereas Richards averages 56.98 with strike rate 93.

    In tournament finals, Sachin averages 52.96 with 5 centuries whereas Richards averages 55.73 with 1 century.

    Infact, some of Sachin's centuries that came in a lost cause were some of his masterclasses but due to poor display by his fellow men India lost those matches. don't fault him for no reason.

  • Ankit Mittal on September 2, 2008, 11:40 GMT

    Gr8 analysis, makes a lot of sense and considers a wide range of key performance indicators for an ODI batsman. Though this debate about Tendulkar will go on for ever. He surely might not have won a world cup, but he brought India really close in 2003 (Chasing 359 is next to impossible). He never had the luxury of Greenidge and Haynes at the top to blunt bowling attacks nor had Haydens, Gilchrists in the same line up. He single handedly carried through the Indian batting in 90s. Now he has freedom of some sorts but he has past his prime and understandably too(Don't forget he still continues to haunt the best team (Australia) more than any other batsman).I dont think there is any other batsman who has played under similar pressure, forget about the longevity!!!!!!!!! He is the greatest ODI batsman!!!

  • mitch on September 2, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    How many world cups or champions trophy has tendulkar helped win......thought so NONE Tendulkar is part of a team which on paper is a world beater in both forms of the game...but he just never lives up to the hype.

  • Ganesh on September 2, 2008, 11:29 GMT

    The last paragraph in the article sums the intention of the analyst. The point here is a statistical analysis. The discussion should be whether the method used is close to perfection or does it have bugs. People who complain must not find fault with Tendulkar or Richards but find it with the method used. It so happens that Tendulkar is Number 1. As a Indian I feel happy but Im sill compelled to question the methodology. The MOM's is not a reasonable measure. Can the best be analysed over a range - say 100 or 200 best performances & worst performances & adjusting the average based on that.

  • abhimanyu bharti on September 2, 2008, 10:55 GMT

    xcellent work anath.....hats off to you.

    but...there is still some features that has gone unanswered. is Afridi really better than Yuvraj,Sarwan,Gayle,Sangkkara,Boycott??

    i don't think so.... I think points for total runs scored n strike rate should be reduced.

  • Aka on September 2, 2008, 10:30 GMT

    I don't know if all these people who keep complaining about sachin scoring more runs/centuries in losing cause know that there are 10 other players in the team as well. So how can a guy who made over 100 is alone responsible for the loss? Matter of fact if you think about it other batsmen failed for a reason (difficult pitch to bat on / tough opponents/bowlers etc) so those runs should have more weight when it comes to that particular match.

  • douglaboy_windies on September 2, 2008, 10:20 GMT

    good analysis. However, I think that richards is the best. he batted without a helmet against 99 miles/ hour bowlers on tracks which were not as dead as nowadays. There were so many class bowlers then which are not around now. Also, Richards was a matchwinner. Even though he may noot statistically be the best, he would be the first pick on my one day team

  • douglaboy_windies on September 2, 2008, 10:20 GMT

    good analysis. However, I think that richards is the best. he batted without a helmet against 99 miles/ hour bowlers on tracks which were not as dead as nowadays. There were so many class bowlers then which are not around now. Also, Richards was a matchwinner. Even though he may noot statistically be the best, he would be the first pick on my one day team

  • k.ashoksai on September 2, 2008, 10:08 GMT

    it is a interesting analysis. i think most of us having the mindset that legends means one who had retired from their respective disciplines. In that regard if tendulkar decides to end his profile career, he may emerge as a sole winner.

    thanks

  • Khizar Hayat Khan on September 2, 2008, 10:05 GMT

    Any such sheme is nonsense if it doest not take into account the batting position. Comparing an opener with a 3 or 4 down player is outrageous.

  • Dattatreya on September 2, 2008, 9:59 GMT

    All who panned this analysis are people who are born to find faults with others or they simply don't appreciate numbers. This is an excellent attempt at creating a level playing field of comparison amongst batsman across different era, very well-rounded set of factors, totally unbiased and reflects a meaningful set of results. Ananth - you should really consider doing a set of corelation / regression runs amongst some of the key variables (using some as dependant ) to assess (a) if all the other variables are truly independent of one another (b) get some co-efficents that indicate true idea on the weights (currently that is weakest point in the analysis as the weights totally arbitrary)

  • mobashir on September 2, 2008, 9:55 GMT

    i will like you do the same thing in test cricket......., so we can really know who is THE BEST BATSMAN between these players. Or you will maybe not do it, because tendulkar will fall behing lara? and others..... even in one day tendulkar is not the best batsman. He is just the one who ahs the best statistics. viv richards was really a match winner for his team.

    so can you the same thin in test cricket please.

  • Anand on September 2, 2008, 9:55 GMT

    @game over and other sachin bashers. you seem to forget a simple fact. situations wherein "the country when it needed the most" have to be created in the first place!! So you mean the richards,pontings etc can just hang around while others do the scoring and then wake up for the final,score a few under much less pressure and they are the best??? For years sachin single handedly created such conditions.sure he has failed ,just like all other batsmen have. the problem is you are comparing sachin to some arbitrary standard,not reality.you ppl always go overboard over the one odd innings which some other batsmen may have played. no batsman has ever had so much pressure or even produced many match winnings under even lesser pressure. Get real. Dravid,ganguly and co. only came into their own in the late '90s. richards,ponting and even lara in the '90s were in much,much,much better teams. Sachin Tendulkar singlehandedly made a world class team out of a bunch of losers in the '90s.

  • Suresh Das on September 2, 2008, 9:52 GMT

    It's depressing to see so many people using any pretext to engage in a spot of Sachin-bashing, even a statistical analysis! It's not completely his fault that India doesn't always win every match: there are, unless I am mistaken, another 10 players in the team at any time, and surely they bear some responsibility. Let's focus on the REAL issue at hand: the really interesting stats. Let's keep subjectivity and soap-boxes away from this blog!

  • Torres on September 2, 2008, 9:50 GMT

    Sir Viv is an easy choice. Don't forget Sir Viv's contribution in 1979 finals.

    Sachin is a great batsman but his world cup record is little deceiving. In almost every world cup his higest score has come against weaker team or in less important matches. Like 127* against Kenya in 1996, or 140* against Kenya in 1999, 151 against Namibia or his highest score of 80* in the last world cup against Bermuda. His only other hundred of 137 against Sri Lanka was nothing more than a dress rehearsal.

    I am not denying the fact that he has been superb in world cups. But there is significantly lesser contribution in the more important matches.

  • Dattatreya on September 2, 2008, 9:49 GMT

    All who panned this analysis are people who are born to find faults with others or they simply don't appreciate numbers. This is an excellent attempt at creating a level playing field of comparison amongst batsman across different era, very well-rounded set of factors, totally unbiased and reflects a meaningful set of results. Ananth - you should really consider doing a set of corelation / regression runs amongst some of the key variables (using some as dependant ) to assess (a) if all the other variables are truly independent of one another (b) get some co-efficents that indicate true idea on the weights (currently that is weakest point in the analysis as the weights totally arbitrary)

  • Crookie on September 2, 2008, 9:29 GMT

    I find some of the comments on here ridiculous. How can anyone(Mohammed)say Sachin does not perform under pressure?Go out and buy the highlight DVD from the WC 2003 and watch that. Expectation against Pakistan?Could you ever see such great cricket shots against a fired up strike bowler who had broken the 100MPH barrier?This was one of the most breathtaking innings ever played. Imagine the expectation of that against your arch rivals in a world cup with thw whole of India watching. I find it sad that some of you so called Indian fans even dare to criticise Sachin. I know the majority of you appreciate his cntribution but the minority who don't get a life!he carried India through the 2003 WC and its like me slating Flintoff every time he does not take a wicket or score a run for England. You only need to listen to the top players to know Sachin is an all time great. Shane Warne knows a bit about cricket and he puts Sachin well out in front!

  • game over on September 2, 2008, 9:18 GMT

    According to statistics sachin may be the best, but he was never a matchwinner when the country desperately needed it. Ofcourse there are very few occasions as such, but look at Ponting, he almost always produced a match winning knock when team needed it most.I think the best should be decided on the basis of number of matches won for the country when it needed the most.

  • yogesh on September 2, 2008, 8:49 GMT

    I saw some comments about Tendulkar being devalued as he has not won a world cup. I find it ridiculous. Anyone who has seen world cups, especially in 1996 and 2003, would know the contribution he made to take india in semi-finals and finals. In football, people like Johan Cruiff and Alfredo di Stefano never won a world cup but are still among the all time greats. Similarly Tendulkar has shown his worth time and again and it makes me sick to see such stupid question.

  • Arbit on September 2, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    I would like to propose a hypothesis:

    When people say we cannot compare two eras, they are right, but not quite.

    I would say that you can directly compare greats of one era with those of another era.

    Explanation: People like to point out that there were great bowlers in the past, field restrictions etc etc. However, compare this to current day game, fielding standards are perhaps 10 times higher, add to that the technology in umpiring, TV cameras everywhere (even in the practice sessions), player burnouts. But then, the player fitness is better, paid more money (=motivation) etc etc.

    I hypothesize that these differences balance out different eras where we should not quantify these issues when discussing the quality of opposition and playing conditions in yesteryears with those of today. All the great men of different eras have relatively higher ability and rise above their compatriots.

    However, in order to compare the numbers, I suggest the following tweaks. The average number of games per year shall be normalized using some parameter when different eras are compared. For ex. 187 matches in 16 years for Viv Richards = 11 matches per year, compared to 20 matches per year for Tendulkar. The total number of runs scored shall then be according to the normalized frequency of matches.

    Moreover, points shall be given to the number of years played by a batsman without ever being dropped (of course injuries do not count as dropped). This is purely a measure of mental strength and the ability to adapt over different eras, so to speak. Some batsman start so wonderfully and play for a few years with averages in 60s then get sorted out by bowlers and soon disappear, same with the “good bowlers”. Perhaps that’s one of the greatness factors that need to be considered as well. This will also illustrate, how some of the “great” players of the yesteryears never got sorted out by many opposition teams because of short lifetime and no video cameras combined with may be 10 ODI’s per year. In cricket it is often seen that if a batsman or a bowler gets ascendancy over a certain team or players, they more or less score very well until they are sorted by the team over a number of years or by the sheer number of matches played. This might just explain why the lifetime of modern day players is reducing sharply when compared to olden days when 15-20 years was common.

  • Ralph Zimmermann on September 2, 2008, 8:16 GMT

    I also disagree with the guy who suggested that all criticism should be constructive. In my view, it is important to point out that a list that is masquerading as fact is in fact cadswallop.

    Playing with a few numbers is not mathematics, nor statistics. Anybody can cook up a model and post the results - but a model like the one in this article is just as subjective as just asking a random person what his top 10 is.

    As evidence, I pointed out the clear bias towards the modern player. My point is that there is no way to remedy the analysis - it is as subjective as asking a random person (knowledgable about cricket) his top 10. No constructive criticism is possible.

  • V.S.MUTHUSWAMY on September 2, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    Mr.Ananth Narayanan, you should also add the pitch conditions in your analysis. On a placid wickets of Sub Continent, even 300/320/330 is not enough to defend, then whomever bowls will go for plenty of runs. If that was the case then tendulkar would not be in the list. most of his runs were scored in placid wickets. Eg(his record odi in aus prooves, only one century in about 25 or 30 matches) then how he could be in number one position.????? think twice before you pen.

  • Ralph Zimmermann on September 2, 2008, 7:53 GMT

    "Rather than observe the overall depth of analytical thinking and statistics, they get false pleasure in pointing out perceived errors. Whichever cretin thinks Boycott was better than Rashid Latif for a one day game needs to be banned from Cricinfo for life."

    Personally I think that branding other posters as `cretins' is unacceptable, but hey, since you were attacking a criticism of the author, perhaps that's OK.

    My examples were given to illustrate the clear bias towards recent players - to my mind they were irrefutably ridiculous. Does anyone seriously believe that a list with Ricardo Powell at 107 is remotely credible?

    Clearly, with one exception, you all do. Ah well, I guess if you believe that Rashid Latif is a better one-day batsman than Geoff Boycott, there's not much hope for you in any case! [[ Ralph My apologies. I should not have let the posting you have mentioned. by "homosapien" go through. However you would have noticed that there have been over 100 responses in 12 hours and I was inundated with comments. The slip happened. I once again apologize.

    Let me also emphasize that it was a genuine mistake and it was not because you had criticized me. God, I have had a minute to look at a message and could not even connect the postings.

    Ananth

  • Anand on September 2, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    Couldnt agree more... The Don didnt play ODIs.So we'll never know. With Richards it was the brute power and dominance. Lara, the flashiness. Ponting,a few memorable innings. But for allround brilliance and genius, who else but the Little Master!!

  • nabbu on September 2, 2008, 7:21 GMT

    Great work of stats, you can match players of different eras only by the stats but there are few things which could have been more interesting. Setting 20 points for the TRS is what makes the list heavily occupied by the players of modern era. Secondly 2 factors which can be incorporated in your analysis are 1.Performance at home ground and performance at other venues.(their weightage should be different) 2.Performance in the finals of the big tournaments

    But indeed the article is absorbing and all 30 players definitely are established names in ODI cricket.

  • Riverlime on September 2, 2008, 7:14 GMT

    Your parameters are fine, Ananth, but it's the relative values that seem to be questioned. For example, why give Average 15 points? why not 10, or 20 even? How have you determined the most significant factors of a batsman's career? Like I've said before, your weightings are too heavily skewed towards latter era batsmen, who not only have the advantage of a profusion of matches to accumulate runs, but also fielding restrictions AND bowler burnout. (Bowlers tire and break down faster than batsmen , let me tell you from experience!!) I think it would be more representative if you reduced the Weighting of TRS to 10%, and increased Win% and %TS to 10% each, to reflect the fact that early games were won with relatively smaller scores. I would also change the admittedly important MOM to MOM%. Getting 20 MOM in 100 matches should suggest that you're better than someone who wins 25 in 200.

  • Mohit Goel on September 2, 2008, 7:13 GMT

    well,a lot said about sachin's world cup failures by few,i pity on their cricketing knowledge. i think if analyst joins the world cup statistics in analysis,interestingly sachin would gain more distance from those following him as he already performed extraordinarily well in two worldcups..moreover its sad..ppl tend to forget why india failed to lift cups at both times..once blamed pitch after sachin got out giving decent start in chase...and 2nd time...chasing impossible 358 in WC' final..i bet if someone can chase that much against that line up in WC' final...Ponting if given 10 chances won't be able to do so...huh..but yes no list is perfect...and its toooooo difficult and unfair to comp. gr8s like richards and sachin...still its just a list..lets not forget how much analyst worked hard to comeup with such an interesting analysis..Thanks...ANANTH..keep on posting :)

  • Iftekhar on September 2, 2008, 6:58 GMT

    The previous list didn't do full justice to 'past' greats, but this one is even worse. Tendulkar 'outscores' Richards by almost 10 points in terms of 'runs' and 'wins', though Richards was the key member of an all-conquering team!! With this kind of logic, some day we might 'learn' that Graham Gooch was a better test batsman than Don Bradman. Thanks but no thanks.

  • SHIVA on September 2, 2008, 6:41 GMT

    TEST or ODI's. The batsman to have sacrificed his natural batting ability is THE GREAT LARA. All the five or six batsmen ahead of him are pschologically more positive going into a test or odi because of a more competent team members, be it batsmen or bowlers. Lara, on the other hand played most part of his career with a team ranked just above Bangladesh and zimbabwe in both forms of game. Take the statistics of all the batsmen to have come and performed under pressure (i.e.,when a team's score of 16/3 or 10/2 or even 40/4). It is even more difficult in an ODI to score more than a half century than a test match where you have enough time to settle down and score more than a century. Richards always had the greatest opening pair in his team, Tendulkar had Sehwag, dravid, ganguly to rely on, Jayasuriya had aravinda, arjuna and ponting, kallis played for the no.1 and 2 teams respectively. My opinion is none of the great batsmen in any era was tested so much as Lara for a weak WI's team.

  • Avi Singh on September 2, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Isn't it ironic how Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly, 3 of India's finest servants, criticised for their age and the latter 2 dropped from the one-day side for their "fielding",are all in the top 20 ODI batsmen of all time? This post is excellent and simply highlights the vicious and fickle streak in many fans, as Ganguly has performed for the country, whether you like him or hate him or love Jagmohan Dalmiya, while Dravid is one of only 3 MEN to have scored over 10000 runs in BOTH forms of the game? This just shows how versatile Rahul Dravid is and how sad people who criticise him really are. Long live Sachin, Dada and Jammy!!!

  • girish on September 2, 2008, 6:26 GMT

    Why Sachin is the graetest batsman?..the answer is as simple as that..i never seen a player who had so much expectations and responsibility on his shoulder as tendulkar has.Even Don bradman didn't have that much pressure...c'mon guys..just name one more player...i m sure you can't..even shane warne himself said it before about tendulkar..

  • Jithin George on September 2, 2008, 5:52 GMT

    Awsome stats... But i would like to take off the number of runs scored index which weighs 20 points and instead give those point for MOMs(an additional 10) and winning finals points as a new index with 10 points. Instead of the total run index,the criteria for looking up need to be players with excesive of 5000 ODI runs..

    Let me just calculate and tell...I think that will be a fairer analysis.... Coz this analysis shows Kalis and Dravid in top 10...which i think is not fair..

    Anyway over all....a true great analysis from rajesh...What i liked the most was his comment of Sachin not being his favourite..But yet his anlaysis comes out with sachin on top...That is a general thing for every one...to understand that whether u like sachin or not,but the fact remains he is till date the best ODI player the World has seen...

  • Neetish on September 2, 2008, 5:48 GMT

    Interesting stuff, but do we need such complex calculations to know who the best ODI batsman is.???

    Tendulkar has not just accumulated runs but have been instrumental in making an ordinary Indian team into a world class unit. even in 2007-2008 out of 16 matches won by India he was the highest scorer in 10. People who say that he scores only in lost matches definitely do not follow indian cricket.

  • Kash on September 2, 2008, 5:41 GMT

    To wind up my soliloquy on Tendulkar, dont even think about arguing your "greatest" batsman pick has won more matches under pressure. Sachin is way above that league. He conquered a nation of 1billion and conquered his sport. Matches are inconsequential when Tendulkar plays. If you cant even comprehend that feeling, I am sad to say your "Greatest Player" has not delivered completely for you. If you can, please do mention that sportsman/cricketer and we can have a great discussion.

    Of course you will find people denying/discounting Tendulkar's role as the GOD/DON of India, but for every such person I will show you 2 people in this world, who will deny the existence of God.

  • HN on September 2, 2008, 5:36 GMT

    The point system for each axes is flawed. I can understand the maximum aysymtotic reasoning, but when you linearly add two different axis, you are also making another statement. e.g All else equal, a batsman with 20,000 runs at an average of 30 will have 27.5 points while a batsman will 10,000 runs and 60 average will have 25 points. Rewards the surfeit of current ODI schedule. This pseudo scientific analysis is a waste of space, IMHO. Tendulkar is sadly over rated: put him in a must win situation and he comes with a determined look, and goes out with an anguished look, pretending that the ball kept low (ok, except the glorious spring of 1998). Right, I am Indian.

  • Kash on September 2, 2008, 5:26 GMT

    Speaking in general terms, Tendulkar as an ODI batsman is unique for the pressures he faced, almost on-par (from what I have read) with the Don in Tests. No one-player has been the "One and Only" feel-good factor for a nation in any sport than Tendulkar in India during the 90s. In the 90s in India, sport (you could argue I should say life) was a one-man deal. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. If India did not break into a war with Srilanka when they humiliated in the 96 semi-finals, it was only because many of the Indians were sedated by the thought that "Tendulkar was out anyway - there was no way we were winning". I exaggerate but you get the point. Really, if the 3 word substitute for Donald Bradman is Don, the 3 word substitute for Sachin Tendulkar is GOD. If you so much as questioned that during the 90s in India you would have been most outcast creature that lived on Earth. It took a whole host of legendary cricketers and Sachin's own loss of form to make Tendulkar mortal.

  • vj on September 2, 2008, 5:25 GMT

    Let's consider a hypothetical case.Tendulakar and richards play in the same era and have the same ability in every sense.Richards plays only 180 games and retires, whereas tendulkar plays 360.My assumptions for their stats after 180 Runs Avg R/I S/R Bwqty Wins %TS MOM's Richards 9000 50 50 90 12 120 17.5 30 SRT 9000 50 50 90 12 120 17.5 30 SRT(180-360) 7200 40 40 85 12 100 15 22

    and the resulting index scores after 180 Total Runs Avg R/I S/R Bwqty Wins Win% TS MOM's Richards 74.03 9 12.5 5 22.5 12 2.4 3.33 3.5 3.8 SRT 74.03 9 12.5 5 22.5 12 2.4 3.33 3.5 3.8 SRT(after360) 80.2642 16.2 11.25 4.5 21.25 12 4.4 3.0556 3.2586 4.35 SRT pips Viv and largely because of the runs index.So, two players with the same ability but one is ranked higher because of the number of matches played?( this is after assuming conservative numbers for sachin post 180i.e. ave-40,s/r-85). the authors analysis is flawed,Richards is the best.

  • Upul on September 2, 2008, 5:17 GMT

    Dear Ananth, hope you would be inspired by all the comments to carry on the fine start you have just made. Comments reflect the variety of views in this connection, most of which cannot be played down, and how differently we can arrive at a more objective "mathematical model" of a batsman, which is of course a tough challenge. Everyone would agree that it should not be for undue glorifying or undermining of batsmanship of some batting legends of all time. By the way, I would like to propose considering performance overseas and performance against minnows in making comparison.

  • Rosh on September 2, 2008, 5:13 GMT

    I think Andymc has got closest to being right. Many people who want to project Sachin to the top, not being satisfied with the 2nd spot, forget that Viv was brilliant during the Packer series as well. And was he a big game performer.

    Even in the 1983' fiasco he was murdering the Indian bowlers when he mistimed his shot by a fraction. And as for him not being under pressure, well, I can see that those who made this comment have not seen him much. One such high pressure comes into mind with ease. I think it was 1987 at the Oval with the Windies tottering at 160 odd for nine. He and Holding had century partnership unbroken for the 10th wicket and boy he did blast the bowling. No other batsmen could have played such a "match-winning" innings with such brilliance from that kind of a dire situation. By the way he did face Imran, Hadlee, Dev,Botham,Willis, Safraz, Qadir, Bedi, Chandra, Underwood apart from Lillee, Thompson, Walker and Gilmour without helmets and fielding restrictions.

  • Kash on September 2, 2008, 5:11 GMT

    First of all,

    Great work Ananth. Thanks for giving us such an exciting topic to discuss about. (Those of you who did not even have the minimum courtesy to thank the guy for his work, shame on you. You need to get human interaction lessons from 5yr olds and work your way up.)

    As to the greatest ODI batsmen of all time, statistically, Tendulkar is my pick. Longevity is a factor that is important. As an analogy lets say 10yrs from now, Mr. Badman scores 20k odd test runs at an average of 90 odd. Is he better than Bradman? I will not miss a beat when I say yes. That is pretty much what Tendulkar has done. He stands head and shoulders above anyone in no. of runs (Come on! even the Moron Wazir will find it hard to argue with that). He achieved that with an average and strike rate comparable to Richards' (44/47 and 85/90). He is no slouch in terms of WC performance or MOMs.

    Question to Ananth : Can anyone in your team combine Tests and ODIs ratings to determine the "Complete Batsman"?

  • chakra on September 2, 2008, 5:01 GMT

    Dear Cricketfan, your comments on tendulkar faring poorly in world cup finals is a ridiculous statement. He was the highest scorer in both 1996 and 2003 world cups. and moreover he has the highest number of runs in all world cups at an astonishing average, so obviously he cops up with pressure at the very highest levels. It is not his fault if his team did not reach the finals of the world cup more often.

  • HLANGL on September 2, 2008, 4:56 GMT

    Statistics have to be analyzed with the proper perspective, otherwise you will end up having some ridiculous conclusions. This analysis seems to have much better quality, taking all facets of ODI batsmanship into consideration not just the runs & the averages. Yes, no matter what these anaysis say, Richards, Jayasuriya, Gilchrist, Sachin, etc. are the greatest of batsmen this limited version of game has ever seen. A bit of worry is Saeed Anwar, he seems to be too far down the list.

  • Asef Ali on September 2, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    Excellent Analysis. But i prefer to see Richards on Top. So I guess hugo's point of taking out total runs scored or Andymc's suggestion of making the weightage 10 for total runs scored is valid, which makes Richards no.1 with a good margin, Tendulkar is 2nd and rest are very close..

    I again have to say superb analysis!!!

  • Joseph on September 2, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    Most of the above comments – disagreeing with Sachin being rated as the greatest ODI player ever – are because the aura surrounding him has diminished over the last 3-4 years. If your analysis, as you mentioned, was not done with a pre-determined objective on who is the best – it should be respected.

    Am sure if Sachin had retired immediately after the WC 2003 (despite the loss in the final), or better still, immediately after the Ind-Pak match in the WC 2003, most of these detractors of Sachin would not have existed.

  • sammy on September 2, 2008, 4:14 GMT

    i think this analysis is a load of bull.How can u compare batsmen of different era's for example it seems like it is easier for a batsman today to make more suns because of equipment you wouldnt see a batsman with out a helmet charging thompson lillee ect also the amount of games played my cricketers in the modern time they play so much more cricket than what players in other eras would of played. I personally think viv is the better player because he has led his team to a world cup. There is no deneying tendulkars class but he hasent led his team to the world cup and also you cant say because tendulkar is a better player because he has played more games. Tendulkar has more one day runs because he has played so many games.personally i think mike hussey should be higher up because he has led his team to many victories as the finisher

  • Nishith Prabhakar on September 2, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    bad. no rationale in dividing the runs by 1000, who decides that TRS is 20% weightage in the overall calculations. all purely arbitrary numbers and constants being used in this analysis.

  • mk49 on September 2, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    Richards was awesome - but he emphatically did *not* face better attacks than Sachin. The Aussie attack for much of the 80s was no longer strong. Certainly McGrath/Lee/Fleming/Warne et al were better. Lillee was aging and Thommo a spent force. Pakistan had Imran - but no Waqar and Wasim (or Mushy and Saqi) yet. Only England (Willlis, Botham and sometimes Hendrick) had arguably a better attack than in recent years. And Viv did not have to play his own terror team of pace bowlers. How would he have done? He might have smashed them - but we will never know.

  • sam on September 2, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    i think everyone that tries to bag this analysis because it doesn't put their favourite batsmen on top is far too self indulgent. Such as "Shred" (cool name douche) who says Sir Viv won games for his team. Tendulkar never had the same effect on the result. Tendulkar scores most of his runs in Indian losses.

    'Shred' (did his parents honestly call him shred?) could have easily used stats guru to see that tendulkar has scored nearly 4000 runs and averages 25 more in india wins. Coming from NZ, and being quite young so missing a fair bit of Tendulkars prime, no bias is invovled in this. I think this analysis is just that, an analysis of figures and stats. Ananth has included match winning performances as best is statistically possible by incuding man of the match awards. People who whine and complain miss the whole point of this analysis. Mohammed Nayeemuddi you are an idiot. No stats can say how people perform under pressure. How can you say kaif is better with a 25 run inferior ave...

  • Rodzilla1010 on September 2, 2008, 3:55 GMT

    I know doin stats is hard. I ve tried to do that and the results are very sensitive to assumptions and wietage which change rather subjectively.

    When i saw your top 20, i said to myself you got almost 90% of the stuff right, which is a great result. But once i took a look at the whole list, i figured that you somewhat MADE A CRITERIA TO GET A DESIRED RESULT. I m sure that it was not consious, rather sub consious, but it happens, it is very hard to take your personal subjectivity out.

    I can point out atleast 20 batsmen in your all time ranking which will not make sense to 99% of cricket fans - For instance Wasim Akram better than Ranatunga, Alec stewart etc..Or Moin Khan better than Laxman...Richardo Powell better than Atherton...etc etc..

    I think you have to do some fine tuning. Too much wieghtage on number of run or number of matches. Your top 20 is pretty much ok...but i think that happens because you wanted that top 20 through come.

  • MSJ on September 2, 2008, 3:54 GMT

    Often mathematical analysis & practical results do not go hand in hand. Upon reviewing the list, I was intrigued to see players such as Abdul Razzaq, Imran Khan above Chappell..Absolute crap..Another parameter worth including is conductivity of the pitch i.e. whether wicket is more bowler friendly or batsmen friendly...Many have got away by scoring in subcontinent & sit in top 10.

  • Kartik on September 2, 2008, 3:33 GMT

    Why do people dispute a statistical analysis with their own preferences of batsmen (usually from their own country if the poster is from Ind/Pak)?

    Anyway, one sad thing is that the best years for Richards were before 1984, before which very few ODIs were played. He average 55+ in his first 10 years, but there were only 80 ODIs played during the 1975-84 period.

  • Sashank on September 2, 2008, 3:19 GMT

    Whatever little flaws there are in the analysis, its better than having no analysis. The list of batsmen seems spot on. And, i read a lot of comments pointing out that since richards didn't play so long he couldn't score as many. But in the same sense, sachin was in a comparatively inferior team and hence the win% works against his favor. Richards also had a significant increase in his strike rate, compared to the rest in the top 5 who had theirs reduced. And better fielding and video analysis of modern batsmen may slightly cancel out any advantage they have over the older generation because of field restrictions etc. not completely maybe but it matters. playing 400 odd matches and still averaging 44 should be recognized and so i got no problem with the inclusion of the first parameter.

  • Upul on September 2, 2008, 2:58 GMT

    Innovative and commendable work! But there has to be a proper justification on the weightages chosen, which have a huge impact on the final result. And there is a vast difference between the number of ODIs played during the past and present - e.g. Sir Viv played in 187 ODIs ('75-'91) while Sachin has played in 417 ODIs (from 1989 to date). So it is not correct to directly compare TRS, which highly correlates to number of ODIs played. Further, shouldn’t we consider criteria such as number of centuries, century partnerships etc? And it is better to distinguish performance in batting second, recognizing chasing a target under pressure. If the % of team runs is calculated based on the average team total of the match, then I hope the pitch effects are taken care of; batting on bowler-friendly pitches is appreciated. Moreover, % of own team runs at wins is far better than just the number victories.

  • Dinesh on September 2, 2008, 2:45 GMT

    While calculating batting average you have said that the batting average is unlikely to go beyond 60 and while calculating Runs Per Inns you have consider average is unlikely to go beyond 50... Do some uniform assumptions please...

    Otherwise, this looks a wonderful statistics to show that my favourite batsman is "The Numero Uno"

  • Suren on September 2, 2008, 2:41 GMT

    I was there when Jayasuriya and Sachin opened in the IPL. Jayasuriya is the older of the two. Believe me when I say this. Jayasuriya was the better batsman when he hit a century in no time. It is unfortunate, he is the greatest cricketer even in the one day format, but no one has written about him glowingly as they have done of others. Remember, he has taken over 300 wickets too. In a final, who would deliver, Sachin or Jayasuriya?

  • RM on September 2, 2008, 2:34 GMT

    I do appreciate your efforts to give some credit to "longevity". But, wouldn't the number of years be a better measure. Or, if you really want to use the aggregate, why not make some "ADJUSTMENTS" similar to what you did with strike rate? For instance, divide Tendlya's aggregate by the total number of runs scored in every decade and determine a "muliplication factor" based on that. It'll give a clear indication of one's longevity. It's quite absurd to say that player burn-out would make a significant difference as only the modern day "greats" started to whine about that in recent times. Again, I just want to emphasise one thing. It’s my personal opinion that Richards is the best by some margin. But, I can understand if someone says Tendlya better. But as I mentioned previously the difference between Tendlya and King being 6 to 7 times more than that of between Richards & Sanath/Ponting is a JOKE!!

  • hahahah on September 2, 2008, 2:27 GMT

    Umm how many World Cups did Sachin win ? Let me see the one where Sachin is better than Bradman and runs against Bangladesh is top quality ! Andymc's list makes more sense, Gilly is better than Punter in ODIs that is commonsense.

  • MattH on September 2, 2008, 2:10 GMT

    Interesting - but longevity is too pronounced and should be measured in years rather than number of games / runs because the requency of games available to the modern player is much higher than for the earlier players. I agree that the only stats that Tendulkar gains on Richards is the ones that measures how many games he played. note that Richards and Tendulkar have played for a similar number of years. One-day games weren;t even played when Viv started.

    I think the advances in Technology and changes in rules allowing higher totals have been captured to some extent in the % of team runs, but maybe this should have a higher weighting.

  • Mohammed Nayeemuddin on September 2, 2008, 1:58 GMT

    Thest Best of all is Viv Richards. Tendulkar cannot perform under pressure. In pressure, Kaif is better than Tendulkar. Tendulkar is high in the list when you consider his overall record where he played most of his matches as opener. If you take those matches only where he played in the middle order in the one dayer, he will not be there even in the top 20. And Ganguly and Dravid ahead of Azharuddin in the list???? What a Joke. Azharuddin was by far the best Indian ODI batsmen of all time with Dhoni. It is totally misleading to compare players from different eras because many things have gone a sea change, pitches, bats etc and it is also misleading to compare players batting in different positions. Tendulkar is great player, but not the best. 1.Vivian Richards. 2.Javed Miandad 3.Michael Bevan 4.Ponting/Jones 5.Dhoni 6.Inzimam/Pieterson/ 7. M. Crowe 8. Tendulkar/Lara/Jaysurya/Gilchrist/Saeed Anwar 9.deSilva/Azharuddin/Mohammed Yusuf 10.Sehwag/kallis/Yuvraj Nayeemuddin

  • RM on September 2, 2008, 1:43 GMT

    It's 'acceptable' if someone says Tendlya is ahead of King Richards statistically. But, this method loses its credibility as soon as one figures out that the difference between Tendlya and Richards is nearly 7 times more than that of between King and Jayasuriya! That simple observation makes your analysis look utterly absurd? Tendlya opening the batting obviously increases his % of runs (especially when batting second against minnows). Total runs scored carries too much weightage. AWAY performances haven't been given more credit. Ground statistics have been ignored, just take the two most recent series, Asia cup vs Ind-SL bilateral series. Similar one to this in Tests may make Hayden & Jayawardene better than Hobbs, Pollock, Sutcliffe & Headley. Of all the people you should know that career bowling average instead of instantaneous will make a massive difference. A perfect example will be Murali in the early 90s as opposed to in the late 90s till present.

  • Srivatsan on September 2, 2008, 1:24 GMT

    Rather than use an artificial decade-dependant Strike Rate Adjustment, why not just use "Relative Strike Rate": (strike rate in each innings) - (avg strike rate of all other batsmen in the same match). It might be more tedious to calculate, but i see many other metrics that are equally tedious too.

  • Rastawookie on September 2, 2008, 1:06 GMT

    Come on everyone, its a statistical analysis. It does not conclusively prove anyone is better than anyone, as it cannot take into account the intangables of cricket. It seems like everyone rips on all the work done by people to have another look at cricket statistics, to see what can be drawn from them. Just sit back, read the article, and agree or disagree. Please dont turn it into another Lara vs Tendulkar debate or Tendulkar vs ANYONE for that matter. I think we can all agree that Richards, Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar are/were all brilliant batsmen, and its really interesting to see the varying analysis as to where each is strong.

    Also to those who talk about one game not being reflected in the analysis - of course it isn't, its statistics from 150-400 games - think about it

  • Shiva on September 2, 2008, 1:03 GMT

    Nice statistical work. Honest unbiased people completele agree with Sachin being at the top of the list.If you forget abt the winnings and losses and just think abt the game of cricket, there wont be any doubt on one's mind about who being the best. Sachin is an expert in batting in the game of cricket. His shots are perfect cricketing shots.Wins or losses wont stay in your mind for long time.It just gets into the record books. But his shots are unforgettable.And Wazir, Richards was in a period which had Lille,Thompson,etc...Sachin in a period that includes Warne,Mcgrath,Wasim,Waqar,Murali. Also, Sachin is a gentleman in the game of Cricket. He is modest and taint-free. Can you remind of any disciplinary actions taken against him ??? No..You wont find any.There are lot of good cricketers around in the world. Keep aside the statistics and just in the game perspective, you wil realise who is the best in the world till date.Not intended to offend anybody with my comments. Just my view.

  • Sorcerer on September 2, 2008, 0:52 GMT

    Well, not only is Tendulkar benefiting over Viv from plethora and high frequency of ODIs played in this era over and above that of Viv's, when the fact of the matter is such abundance of games actually works to the benefit of batsmen as opposed to the toiling bowlers, you have given credit on the longevity count to the Indian rather! And how about the regular changes of rules to accommodate a run-feast in ODIs resulting in even 300 not considered a sure-shot winning score in matches played on dead Sub-continental tracks as compared to the pitches the games used to be played on in the 80s? Strength of bats, carpet outfields facilitating a batting rapage - these are phenomenons of last 10-15 years.

  • Martin on September 2, 2008, 0:51 GMT

    I cannot comment on the validity of list in comparing players from different eras but it does have some of the finest who played the game. Some of the arguments against Sachin has been match-winning innings, relative weight to longevity in the game and quality of bowlers. -Tendulkar faced Akram,Pollock,Lee,McGrath, Warne,Murali,Akthar to name class bowlers and IMO teams these days have better bowling lineups (not individuals) This is tougher b/c you can't pillage others. -Longevity is just as important as others in comparing players of this generation-it shows that you have the skills to be competitive for a period of time. -About world cup being pinnacle of ODI's-Sachin has been man of series in 2003 world cup. Has 17 50+ scores, and has the most number of runs in World Cup games. Winning world cup is team effort! Through the early 1990's India won when Tendulkar scored. IMHO, He is appropriately rated highly in ODI's.

  • Sriraman on September 2, 2008, 0:46 GMT

    Anytime one-dayers are talked about, one of the first names that should come to mind is that of Srikkanth's. If you are going to tell me that Rhodes is better than him....I find that difficult to believe. Do give him his credit. Do not forget that it was he who started whacking bowlers in the first few overs. You seem to have performance in either the Prudential or the B&H in Australia.

  • D.V.C. on September 2, 2008, 0:44 GMT

    I'm concerned that using total runs as a measure unfairly gives advantage to the top order over the middle.

    If you bat first you have more opportunity to score runs. If you bat in the late middle order all you can do is remain not out. And in many instances the state of the game demands you take huge risks to compensate for the slow scoring of the openers!

    How often we see a good innings end in the second to last over in pursuit of a win; so in fact often batsman in the middle order don't even get the benefit of a not out. Consequently players at the top of the order usually have higher averages. The only exceptions being the likes of Bevan, Hussey and Dhoni who are shrewdly able to calculate the risks. Bevan in particular always batted with the lowest strike rate necessary to win the game - something that moves him down your list.

    If you wish to take longevity into consideration, instead of using total runs and average, why not use games played times average?

  • Marcus on September 2, 2008, 0:40 GMT

    Wazir

    Who's McDonald?

  • ganesh kalbavi on September 2, 2008, 0:16 GMT

    While we can dispute the weighting you provided for the analysis, I believe that the top 2 great ODI batsmen are at the top. We all quibble but both Sir Richards and Sachin are batting sensations like no other. Different styles - but same end result which is awe of the power or artistry. Sachin gets too much negative reviews for not scoring runs in a winning cause, but India wouldn't have gotten as far as it did without his contributions.

  • RajM on September 2, 2008, 0:09 GMT

    I am not sure if world cup performances should be taken into account, coz there might be players who might have not got a chance to play in a single world cup,but are on the list. Sachin might not have played against the likes of lilly or thompson, but how much did richards play against Murali or warne or Mc Grath who are considered some of the best bowlers of this era. So, I think at every given point of time the class of bowlers was almost the same

  • Kartik on September 1, 2008, 23:55 GMT

    Ponting will probably topple Richards from the #2 slot, due to both his Runs and Wins number rising quickly.

    What does Ponting need, just 1500 more runs and 30 more wins to get to #2, if current averages/stk rates hold?

  • Kartik on September 1, 2008, 23:43 GMT

    Another reason that 'Wins' is excessive after 'Wins %' is already used, is that total career 'Runs' is also included. Thus, there is not one, but two parameters that penalize pre-1992 players. That is a double whammy.

    Interestingly, Richards, when compared to others of his era, is clearly so far ahead (Haynes at #15 being the next).

    In many ways, Richards was the 'Bradman' of ODIs : far ahead of any other batsman of his time, but limited to an era where to few of his ideal type of match was played. But the sheer delta above other players of his time makes both of them rare outliers.

    Tendulkar, by this measure, he is unlikely to ever be ousted from the #1 slot, since I don't think anyone will cross his run aggregate before 2020, if ever. The challenger would have to average 44+, AND be an opener, and play 400+ games. No non-opener can do it. Remember that openers engorge on minnows the most, far more than #4s or even #3s get the chance to.

  • Kartik on September 1, 2008, 23:30 GMT

    Ananth,

    Thanks for including all this new info. My only comment would be that in item 7, the percentage of wins achieved should be sufficient, rather than also including the absolute number of wins achieved (which compounds the bias against pre-1992 players).

  • dipak on September 1, 2008, 23:26 GMT

    well well well, i do agree there are many good players; but have seen only one player with perfectly balanced body while playing strokes, heard the commentators talking about this ability to play consistent, taking any/all bowler/bowlers, opponents love to hate him and only one name comes to the mind yes thats Sachin Tendulkar. I do agree that people hate him big time just because he couldn't win many games for India, but you people tell me whether cricket is individual game or team work? :) yup its not badminton or tennis or even soccer its like baseball where one can win with team work only. Oh by the way I saw the semi-finals of tournament where team lost the game by 8 runs to reach the finals, they lost just because they lacked team work n yeah they lost 8 wickets in some 12-16 runs haha.. well i was the opening batsman of very same game and i was at non-strikers end, watching all batsmen going back to stand one-by-one - my very last game in India. Yeah GO SACHIN TENDULKAR

  • Weak Analysis on September 1, 2008, 23:20 GMT

    There's far too much emphasis (and weighting)placed on the number of runs scored. It's like saying Allan Border was twice as good as Sir Donald Bradman because he scored twice as many runs.

  • Cellinis on September 1, 2008, 23:13 GMT

    Quite surprising the number of posts that have been made wrt Sachin Tendulkar. I dare say that fans are fickle! Volume of runs scored: I think it is required and here is why. The more matches you play, the higher the chance of getting your average down. Especially when you play 7 matches in 20 days. Is Sachin better than Viv Richards because he scored 10K more runs? It is a subjective question, because Viv Richards came in at 1 down, usually after Greenidge and Haynes. Most of Tendulkar's runs have come opening the batting (and though he didn't face Lillee... he did face Murali/McGrath/Lee/Younis/Akram/Warne...etc, etc).

    Overall, a decent analysis, can't think of anything that I would change, except maybe add %age of big innings as a factor.

  • Darren from England on September 1, 2008, 23:12 GMT

    Interesting but not objective Ananth. Modern era players play more ODIs than those from the 70's and 80's. It is indeed worthy of Sachin's longevity that he has kept his place for so long but this is not what makes him a great ODI batsmen - winning matches is! Why not consider an overall one as above but there should be no reward for most runs/matches as this is well outside the control of a batsman (mentioned above). Also mentioned is MOMs - what on earth is the value of this as it is subjective and based on one person's opinion on one day - definitely NOT a statistic of any mathematical value.

    How about analysis showing performance in wins only? Then it does not matter who has the most wins but only their actual performance - Viv had 132 in 187, Sachin 206 in 417 and work out an average using your quotients to indentify their importance to the victory!

    Finally, Viv had a SR of 90 in an era when no-one else could dream of matching that and backed it up with runs (unlike Afridi)

  • ShawnB on September 1, 2008, 22:57 GMT

    Tendulkar may be the greatest ODI batsman, but Jayasuriya is undoubtedly the greatest ODI cricketer of all time. When you add 309 ODI wickets to go with his batting stats, there is no one else in the World should be mentioned on the same breath.

  • zoe on September 1, 2008, 22:55 GMT

    People are going on about runs in the world cup should have more weightage, however sachin has been by far the highest run getter in the world cup, lol. such hopcriticy, mainly from the indian fans, which you would deem to think was ironic, but in actual fact it isnt, and Indian supporters, or so called fans, are mainly made of hypocrites and generally irrational fools.

    Any Sachin Tendulkar is miles better than VIv Richards. All Viv Richards did was wack the ball has hard as he could, sehwag and gilly do that.

    and the pressure that is on sachin to score is nothing like it in the world.

    If sachin doesnt score a century, his innings is classed as a failure, this is how much pressure and expectations people have of him.

  • Vamsi on September 1, 2008, 22:46 GMT

    @wazir,

    Quote "Tendulkar better than Richards.Hah.Hey man did Tendulkar ever see the likes of Lillee, Thompson, Mc Donald,Willis etc."

    Unquote

    Australia is the only team that has good fast bowlers , Richards had to face. On the other hand, Tendulkar had to face

    Great fast bowlers like - Mc Grath, Walsh, Ambrose, Donald, Wasim Akram, Pollock, Waqar, Great Spin bowlers like - Murali,Warne,Saqlain (during his hey days) 90mph bowlers like - Lee, Shoaib, Shane Bond, Steyn

    very good bowlers like - Gillespie, Stuart Clarke, Ntini, Flintoff, Asif, Ian Bishop, Vaas, Malinga, Heath Streak, Vettori.

    Now, tell me when did Richards has to face such wide variety of bowling attack during his time. And Tendulkar maintained his high standards for close to 20 years against these bowlers. I have named 10 great bowlers, 4 90 mph bowlers and 10 very good bowlers most of whom would fit as 3rd bowler into their country's all time X1(eg: Flintoff, Streak,Vaas,Ntini, Clarke,Vettori,Asif).Tendulkar is

  • vj on September 1, 2008, 22:39 GMT

    richards is surely the best.Satistically or otherwise. the only count on which richards loses to sachin is in the amount of runs.imagine richards had played 400 matches.u'r runs index suggests that he still wud hav scored only 6700 runs. agreed his average wud probbly be lower,( on the flip side there is an argument to say that his average wud actually be higher).when we discuss longevity the important thing is the number of years played more so than the numbe of matches. because number of years played and age impacts players ability more than number of matches played to a large extent. richards was averaging around 54 during the 1987 world cup( he had been playin for 14 yrs by then).only in the last few years his average dropped. imagine if he had played 5-10 mtches more per year during hi prime,, his overall average wud surely have ended up close to 50.. so to assume that his average after 400 games wud be around 45 is very reasonable. so he if he had played 400 games he wud still

  • Chowang on September 1, 2008, 22:31 GMT

    Why i agree with a lot of people here and say that it shouldnt be all mathamatics, this would be one of the fairest ways (mathimatically) to do this.

    So many factors hinge on the quality of the batters and so forth. I mean its a 24/7 job for these guys that train 50 hours a week. I very much doubt viv ever had the training/equipment or money like tendulkar.

    Imagine if he did :).

    "Tendulkar never had the same effect on the result."

    However this statement is probably the silliest thing i have ever read. I have seen tendulkar win probably 10 games for india off his bat alone.

    He was the only one in most of these wins to get over 50 and then kick on to get 100+. This for me is classified as winning it for your team.

    To say Tendulkar is better than Viv is not fair, i say we just call them both very good. It was different times, with different training and different equipment.

  • Ravi on September 1, 2008, 22:16 GMT

    Wazir and Siddart - Such poor points. Firstly, projecting Viv's score - Nonsense (You don't project because that doesn not give credit for a lasting ability). Also, Viv Richard, much like Ponting, had the best bowling attack AND batting attack put together - No pressure. Sadly, the pressure cannot be quantify or else, Viv would not even be a close second. And, as far as extrapolation goes, do you EVEN LISTEN to players complaints now a days? Too many matches, burn outs etc? Get real! Burn out is VERY REAL IN ANY JOB OR HOBBY? You guys are reminding me of the mindless George Bush - environmental dangers that he can't see does not exist. As far as wins go, that is unfair for a batsman. A game is not won because of ONE MAN so to include this, is ratehr stupid. What can an opening bartsman do if he did an awesome opening but the Captain and the rest of the players screw up? And to another comment - MOM is VERY improtant because a MOM award takes the entire game in context.

  • Arvinder on September 1, 2008, 21:18 GMT

    Excellent analysis and quite a comprehensive one but I would have loved to see a few more parameter added, like the "Match Situation" in which the batsman played, divide the total runs scored into runs scored while batting first and runs scored when chasing. There is a diff in it for teams like Aust and WI as they had such a great bowling attach that invariably they wud be chasing low scores and when batting first players like Richards, Ponting mostly had a solid opening partnership on which they could build. None of that existed for Tendulkar, as someone has rightly pointed out that he was the main stay of Indian batting for a long long time and that too as an opener. I am not trying to be biased here and could be wrong too but just wanted that these factors should also be taken into account keeping all the others as they are now. Hope u get my point. Cheers.

  • Vimalan on September 1, 2008, 21:16 GMT

    @wazir

    I don't want to reply to people like you who don't have any knowledge about cricket. But just wanted to letting you know since you obviously don't know anything about cricket. Tendulkar has faced the likes of Akram, Younis, Mcgrath, Donald, Pollock, Warne, Murali, Lee and you name any great ODI bowler and he has played against them successfully. just FYI.

  • Vimalan on September 1, 2008, 20:52 GMT

    very good analysis...obviously there will be comments saying Tendulkar doesn't deserve to be at the top even after proven..also i find amusing the comment about Sachin not being part of the world cup win although he has scored the most runs in world cups, most runs in single world cups,etc. Anyway, for me its a simple fact that Sachin is by far the best even without this analysis.

  • Tom on September 1, 2008, 20:50 GMT

    It's funny how people say "great analysis etc" if they agree with the results but call your work "garbage" or "pedestrian" when they disagree.

    Suggesting procedurial alterations is constructive. Asking "how can you rate Boycott above Rashid Latif?" rather misses the point.

    One thing I would suggest would be that instead of comparing strike rate to that of the decade overall, compare the strike rate of each innings to the overall strike rate in that particular match. Don't know if that would be possible. Might take a while...?!

  • Kresh on September 1, 2008, 20:36 GMT

    Well, I really appreciate your analysis in terms of statistical relevance. However, this is highly adequte when you consider the era of ODI Cricketing. Remember, at the times of Sir Viv Richards, 60-Over matches being played, as of contrast to the modern day 50-Overs? Further more, the time-span of a player must also be considered, which were excluded for statistical analysis.

    I personally think that one cannot compare the atrists of this format unless they playyed in the same era, in the same time-spectrum, and in the same rules of the game. There were no days of "Powerplays" in the times of Sir Viv Richards. Considering the reaction-time of such a phenomenon, he would have been much more successful should he have had powerplays; and would ahve had more runs if she started his gaming days at the age of 16. This is no disrespect to Suchin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya or Ricky Ponting, however, you cannot compare these giants and their contribution in revolutionised this game format.

  • anand on September 1, 2008, 20:31 GMT

    by any standards or compararision sachin will be best. he may be somewhat underchieved than for his real potential like not being part of winning world cup team but he single handedly took india to semifinals and finals and played cricket with highest standards not to forget lot of corruption . wat we are seeing under dhoni is abnormal results which no captain or team has acheived . only time will tell wat is behind the magic of winning wc, aus series and srilanka series . so lets not carried away byrecent wins and forget sachin

  • anand on September 1, 2008, 20:27 GMT

    by any standards or compararision sachin will be best. he may be somewhat underchieved than for his real potential like not being part of winning world cup team but he single handedly took india to semifinals and finals and played cricket with highest standards not to forget lot of corruption . wat we are seeing under dhoni is abnormal results which no captain or team has acheived . only time will tell wat is behind the magic of winning wc, aus series and srilanka series . so lets not carried away byrecent wins and forget sachin

  • homosapien on September 1, 2008, 20:21 GMT

    I can't help but be saddened by the tripe thrown up by some of the readers here. Rather than observe the overall depth of analytical thinking and statistics, they get false pleasure in pointing out perceived errors. Whichever cretin thinks Boycott was better than Rashid Latif for a one day game needs to be banned from Cricinfo for life. At the same time, anyone who thinks statistics can be perfect in determining the exact sequence of quality among batsmen from different eras is totally wrong too. This is a general guideline, and in general terms, it is very high quality. Regarding winning world cups, don't forget that needs to be a total team effort. The stars of the '82 cup for India were the likes of Binny and Madan Lal who got the important breakthroughs. The Windies of yore and the Aussies of this era were and are incredible UNITS. India won the Twenty-20 with no-name stars who played as an unit. Don't be daft and blame Tendulkar's lack of a world cup on him.

  • arun p on September 1, 2008, 20:21 GMT

    viv richards faced thompson,lille,bob willis agreed.tell me one more decent bowler along with the above 3 in their respective teams. tell me whether richards ever faced a battery of bowlers comprising of players like waqr younis ,wasim akram,shoaib akthar,saqlain mustaq,aqib javed/abdul razzaq,saqlain mushtaq or glenn mcgrath,brett lee,gillespie,shane warne.sachin has always done better than anyone else and dominated against the best 2 bowling line ups of the 90's.

  • Shahid Mahmood on September 1, 2008, 20:15 GMT

    oh dear. If any of my fellow reader thinks afridi is a twice a better one day batsman than Sangakara, as your calculations show, then please be honoured to accept my congratulations for this hard work. Otherwise close your eyes and think what a waste of time its been. Or try to find a new wietage theory where you still can have your Tandulkar above Richards but rest makes sense. Or may be you should take those forgotten parameters too in your calculations.

  • Bikram on September 1, 2008, 20:12 GMT

    Sachin is way better than richards..there shoud also be a point slot for career length..hats off to sachin who played 19yrs and still playing and he will roar more 4-5 years...sachin is always on the top.....

  • Ajay on September 1, 2008, 20:02 GMT

    what you said might sound true to some people suresh, but one would definitely like to have Sachin to reach that final you mentioned..... Honestly Sachin is the greatest batsman ever

  • De on September 1, 2008, 20:02 GMT

    Trying to compare players of 2 different eras is seriously flawed to begin with. Both Viv and Sachin were great in own era. The big question is which one of them would you rather have in your team? End of stats and analysis.

  • raj on September 1, 2008, 20:01 GMT

    to wazir .Hey man did Tendulkar ever see the likes of Lillee, Thompson, Mc Donald,Willis etc.

    do u kow wat is west indies its group of countries whose fav sport is basketball u know what is india,,, its more than half of the population who watch cricket... its pressure who gonnaask any thing to lara or vivian who cares tell me if asian team comprising of india pakistan or srilanka looses to wrld 11 o u mind ?? no , bec its abt not country sachin the bst batsmen.... richards had india to butcher no good bowlers pakistan ecxept rwo bowlere they also were like india... and richards played in a team which had the best bowlers okiee .. so no pressure where as in case of sachin he has to do.. u wont understand the pressureto performm sachinu rocks

  • Meet Kachhy on September 1, 2008, 19:59 GMT

    Super analysis. As expected, lots of jealous people to see Sachin on top, but in ODI's one cannot argue at all. People always want to count how many times he won matches for India single-handedly, but they forget that his competitors (Sir Viv/Lara/Ponting/etc) never played in such mediocre Indian teams against strong bowling attacks.

    About playing with a world cup final on the line, Richards played 3 finals - performed in 1; Ponting has played 4 - and performed in 1; Lara - none; Sanath played one - failed. Sachin single-handedly got India to the finals, then our bowlers gifted him a chase of 360 against McGrath and friends. I doubt even if Bradman could have chased that.

    Ponting/Richards dint have to to worry about getting to the finals - Sachin has to worry. Basically, every time he doesnt play, it becomes a crucial match for India. In fact, India's relative mediocrity should earn him some points over others.

    Cricket is my religion, Sachin is my God.

  • Meet Kachhy on September 1, 2008, 19:59 GMT

    Super analysis. As expected, lots of jealous people to see Sachin on top, but in ODI's one cannot argue at all. People always want to count how many times he won matches for India single-handedly, but they forget that his competitors (Sir Viv/Lara/Ponting/etc) never played in such mediocre Indian teams against strong bowling attacks.

    About playing with a world cup final on the line, Richards played 3 finals - performed in 1; Ponting has played 4 - and performed in 1; Lara - none; Sanath played one - failed. Sachin single-handedly got India to the finals, then our bowlers gifted him a chase of 360 against McGrath and friends. I doubt even if Bradman could have chased that.

    Ponting/Richards dint have to to worry about getting to the finals - Sachin has to worry. Basically, every time he doesnt play, it becomes a crucial match for India. In fact, India's relative mediocrity should earn him some points over others.

    Cricket is my religion, Sachin is my God.

  • kashif Siddiqui on September 1, 2008, 19:22 GMT

    buddy, your calculation basis are flawed as you give 20% to the run scored, well if someone plays 300 matches will surely score a lot more then the one who plays 100 , so this kind of stats gives wrong impression

  • romain etwaroo on September 1, 2008, 19:09 GMT

    Your self-made equations are just meaningless.The greatest one day batsman is one who not only accumuate runs, but who devastates strong and weak bowling for a good score on more occasions than not. The Master Blaster is that man. Go back to WSC in the late 70s when Viv faced Lillee and Thommo and he came out top. Who else held that distinction during that period? Lara and Tendulkar are great, but Richards was any bowlers worst nightmare.

  • Sriram Sekar on September 1, 2008, 19:05 GMT

    It seems that the analysts kept in mind that sachin should top the list and then worked out the analysis. There are so many factors that are missing like matchin winning knock in a final, converting 78-80 to 100, all-round performance etc. On the whole, this is a very subjective topic and I feel valuing them with points doesn't seem to be the right way to go about it.

  • Crookie on September 1, 2008, 19:02 GMT

    So Wazir you would not pay to see Sachin? He is in the same era as Lara and doe paople forget the 2003 WC? Sachin was awesome scoring nearly 700 runs!Would India have got anywhere near the final if he had not played so well?And do we need to mention his record against the best team of his era Australia. There is no way you can call Sachin sub class in any way he is a true great and deserves that recognition!

  • Andymc on September 1, 2008, 18:56 GMT

    I just tried a slight modification. I agree with some previous comments that runs scored isn't quite fair at the moment.

    I used all the same numbers, but capped runs scored at 10 points (so Tendulkar, Jayasuriya and Ponting all get 10, Richards stays on 6.72). 10 is rather arbitrary, but this is the result (max points = 90):

    1. Win Richards I.V.A 73.14 2. Ind Tendulkar S.R 72.91 3. Aus Gilchrist A.C 71.12 4. Aus Ponting R.T 70.76 5. Slk Jayasuriya S.T 69.44 6. Saf Kallis J.H 67.69 7. Win Lara B.C 67.29 8. Aus Bevan M.G 66 9. Pak Saeed Anwar 65.55 10.Aus Waugh M.E 65.51 11.Aus Symonds A 65.44 12.Slk de Silva P.A 65.03 13.Pak Inzamam-ul-Haq 64.98 14.Win Haynes D.L 64.62 15.Ind Ganguly S.C 64.51 16.Saf Gibbs H.H 63.68 17.Pak Mohammad Yousuf 63.22 18.Saf Kirsten G 63.06 19.Saf Klusener L 62.91 20.Ind Dravid R 62.89

    Any better?

  • Dilip Udassi on September 1, 2008, 18:21 GMT

    This is in reply to Cricketfan's suggestion abt being part of World Cup Winning Team. My two bits is that winning a World Cup is a team effort. If you see the list, you wont find a single player who you can say had taken his team to glory single-handedly. Tendulkar twice aggregated the highest runs in a world cup (1996 & 2003) but both the times, due to some fault at the team level, we couldnt win the world cup.

  • girish on September 1, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    a lot of people always say sachin doesn't win matches for his team. what is the bowling quality in the sachin's era. not a single fast bowler is effective after kapil dev. remember anil kumble averages 30 odd in tests (the best bowler for india). poting has great bowlers, richards has legends. even sri lanka had better bowlers. sachin is way better guys accept it

  • Ajay Khanna on September 1, 2008, 18:11 GMT

    Interesting read, and comments by others. Perhaps another weightage needs to be for Team rankings during the different times. Tendulkar was initially part of a team not very highly ranked while Richards/Ponting were having much better all-rounded mates. Greatness does not necessarily always mean a win, as the game is finally a team game.

  • AJAX on September 1, 2008, 18:01 GMT

    Take a look at the table and you'll notice that Tendulkar is ahead of Richards in only three parameters: Total Runs, Number of Wins and MoM. All of these parameters are a direct consequence of the higher number of games he has played as well as another key factor: Opportunity. Take a look at the list and note how the majority bat either as openers or at number 3. Players at these positions get far better chances to take advantage of powerplays/fielding restrictions as well as "plan/pace their innings". I don't mean to demean Tendulkar's achievements, he is one of the greats of the game. However his playing so many games and having the best opportunity to score has skewed the results heavily in his favor. And I don't think playing around with the weights are the solution. Balls faced per dismissal and strike rates are the only two fundamental parameters that should be used, each corrected for the player's batting position and the era in which he played.

  • wazir on September 1, 2008, 17:38 GMT

    Tendulkar better than Richards.Hah.Hey man did Tendulkar ever see the likes of Lillee, Thompson, Mc Donald,Willis etc. Match day with the match on the line. That is what counts not accumulating runs. Sachin is good yes but not so good my friend. It is the players that singly take over matches and bowlers in any conditions that count. Not your averages.People pay to see the likes of Richards, Greenidge, Lille, Thompson, Botham,Lara etc. Sachin is in another era which to me is sub class,hence his great accumulation of runs.

  • Gokul on September 1, 2008, 17:29 GMT

    Wonderful analysis. Sachin deservingly on top. People can easily say thats mainly because him playing more matches than Richards. May be. But dont forget he has been playing for 19 years without even getting out of the team once for bad performence. I dont think there has been any batsman in the history of Cricket who carried as much as expectation as he did. I have a complaint that you should have taken that also to the account. How was the performence of the other teammates during his time and then only you should have calculated the winning per n all

  • thomas jones on September 1, 2008, 17:27 GMT

    This is truly strange. At no point do you offer any reasonable justification for the bizarre idea of awarding points simply for volume of matches played....Oh, wait, sorry, who ended up number 1?....Oh, wow, amazing, "absolutely agree with this Tendulkar is no 1" etc etc etc

  • Ramanathan on September 1, 2008, 17:18 GMT

    Excellent analysis. But we need to take into consideration the fact that all-rounders in the list (like Jayasuriya and Kallis) have received quite a number of MoM awards for their contribution with the ball. Is there a way to account for this? Am not sure how much effect it would have in the final results, but is it possible to do such an analysis for completeness sake?

  • hugo on September 1, 2008, 17:12 GMT

    Nice analysis. However, I don't like that you include the total runs scored because this is at least partly out of control of the batsman (number of ODI's played in different eras, teams play different number of ODI's per year,...). So here is your list without TRS:

    Richards 66.42 Tendulkar 62.91 Gilchrist 61.50 Ponting 60.76 Symonds 60.43 Pietersen 59.65 Jayasuriya 59.44 Klusener 59.33 Bevan 59.09 Dhoni 58.46 Kallis 58.08 Lara 57.29 Waugh 57.01 Rhodes 56.78 Jones 56.75 Saeed Anwar 56.73 Hayden 56.67 Sehwag 56.50 Cronje 56.33 Kirsten 56.26 Gibbs 56.09 Haynes 55.97 de Silva 55.75 Javed Miandad 55.35 Inzamam-ul-Haq 54.98 Ganguly 54.51 Waugh 54.40 Mohammad Yousuf 53.98 Dravid 52.89 Azharuddin 52.72

    Richards comes out on top with some margin,the rest of the field is pretty close.

  • Vinny on September 1, 2008, 17:02 GMT

    i think performances in the world cup should be taken into account. its a perfect stage of test - for the individuals/teams and strength/character. While it is tough to really segregate the best from the rest, i think Tendulkar/Richards/Ponting/Lara stand out. Not taking away the credits due to them, rules help buoy the likes of Jayasuriya/Gilchrist. ThunderBOLTs in cricket.

  • Riverlime on September 1, 2008, 16:58 GMT

    Good analysis, but I wonder at the weighting of your separate indices. Why have you assigned such little relative importance to The Win %? Surely that is the aim of ODI's, viz. to win the game. It matters little if you score a selfish 100 and lose, if by playing differently you could have helped your team win. I think Average (or RPI, you choose), Strike rate and Win % should have been given more weight than sheer bulk of runs scored, especially now that so many ODI's are played compared with the Master Blaster years. He is being penalised for no fault of his own making. NOTHING he could have done would have given him 400-odd games to accumulate 16000 runs. If a Test analysis is done , would you penalise the Don similarly, for ONLY scoring 6996 runs?

  • siddharth on September 1, 2008, 16:54 GMT

    i would liek to point out the amount of runs scored has to be normalised, and just dividing it by 20 does not bring players on an eqaul platform. Richards played 16 years of one day cricket and got to play only 180+ matches. You need to compare this with the longteivity of his era. You could proabably project the amount of runs he would have scored had he played say 400 matches bases on his average in first 50 matches, second 50 and so on. This highly objective method ignores the situation in which the runsa have been scored. Innings such as the 189 that Richards scored, or Lara;s 102 against SA in teh openeing match of 2003 WC(scored at a strike rate of less than 100%0 are worth more than what their figures stand for. Considering these subjective parameters, and the quality of pitches, fielding restrictions introduced, and teh shortened boundaries, I have no doubt that, though Tendulkar is a great great one day batsman(without doubt a clsoe second),Richards is surely the best.

  • Ravi sharma on September 1, 2008, 16:52 GMT

    Nope Suresh! YOur opinion that Sachin played so many ODI and played for so many years, means that we should ADD a few points to him, NOT discount. What do you think Viv, or Ponting, or Gilchrist average will be if they play as long as Sachin? It will fall in dismal range. That means Sachin has a lot more longivity. To paly so many matches and maintian a high average is Fantastic NOT poor. Get the point? As far as ODI or Test goes, Ponting's name shouldn't even be mentioned. He will always be a distant THIRD to Sachin and Lara. In Lara's era, he had, for the first few years, bowlers like Walsh adn Ambrose India never had quality bowlers like either teams. Austrailia had both quality batsmen and bowlers. So, Ponting was nevr under any pressure to perform. And these pressures are REAL. Look at Jayasurya in the IPL. When Sachin jouined the squad, his performance went up and he said that. This is one of the flaws of this analysis but well done!

  • V.S.S.SARMA on September 1, 2008, 16:51 GMT

    percentage of runs in own team's score does not tell the whole story. You should take percent runs in the total runs of both the teams to see the domination by a player. Man of the match awards were always not given. This criterion should be removed.

  • Sinoj on September 1, 2008, 16:39 GMT

    What you said about Tendulkar is correct Suresh.

  • Anand on September 1, 2008, 16:31 GMT

    Sachin is the best... And u have justified why... Some jealous morons will question something here too... He he... Let them... Jealously is rampant amongst people... Sadly, some INDIANS r jealous of their own countryman...

    Anyways, Sachin rocks... The greatest batsman ever....

  • shashi on September 1, 2008, 16:11 GMT

    absolutely agree with this Tendulkar is no. 1

  • Suresh Sahadeo on September 1, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    It is amazing what you can do with statistics. Just because Tendulkar played many more matches and hence score many more runs should not mean he scores high points. The best test is who would you like to be in your side in a World Cup final: Tendulkar, Richards, Jaysuriya, Ponting or Gilchrist. A tough choice, eh!

    My choice will be Richards.

    Suresh

  • Dimuthu Ratnayake on September 1, 2008, 16:01 GMT

    Quite interesting. You'll inevitably get some stick from one eyed fans looking at this, but pls do carry on with your wonderful work. What strikes me is entry 7.Saf Kallis J.H , who most people don't really rate highly as an ODI batsman (although his TEST class is unquestioned) But then again, what he's accused of is "selfish" batting, which would mean his stats WOULD BE good, since he (allegedly) plays for his stats rather than the team. Also, the fact that Dravid is up there at 17 is quite curious. Maybe he's not as useless in ODIs are some ppl would like to think! And finally, that mad man Afridi not being in this also shows he was nowhere near reaching his potential as a "useful" batsman. All f*rt and no sh** :)

  • sailesh on September 1, 2008, 15:47 GMT

    This is a great analysis. I am not a Subject matter expert. But yes, my individual belief that Sachin is the greatest ODI batsmen and with statistical calculations from my own perspective has been enhanced. Thanks a ton.

  • Ralph Zimmermann on September 1, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    The high placing of Sanath Jayasuriya is an excellent feature, but I'm afraid as usual the list is biased towards the modern cricketer. One glance at the full list will tell you that - how many players are there from the 70s? As an example, Geoff Boycott is 216th - just take a look at some of the names above him! Rashid Latif?!! Upal Chandana?!! Yes, Boycott is not the best ODI batsman of all time, but he's considerably better than Rashid Latif!

    Ricardo Powell the 107th one day batsman of all time - I don't think so!

  • Arijit De on September 1, 2008, 15:37 GMT

    Ananth - I commend you for this piece ... as a cricket lover who's seen 3 generations at play (Richards/Gavaskar, Azhar/Waugh and Sehwag/Symonds), this nature of analysis is indeed thought provoking. Delighted to see Ganguly at No 10 - are the politicians at BCCI (and Dhoni) reading this?

    However, your piece also tells everyone why the phrase "lies, damn lies and statistics" was coined - Symonds is ahead of Aravinda De Silva, Carl Hooper doesn't figure in the top 30, and Jonty Rhodes is ahead of Azharuddin!!! Unbelieveable!!!

  • james in england on September 1, 2008, 15:24 GMT

    Sachin tendulkar is by far the best ODI Batsmen in the world, coming from an englishman. i cant think of any opening batsmen who has an average of over 40 and a strike rate over 80, infact sachins stats are 44 average and 85 strike rate, wow. and he has scord 42 centuries of which 30 have been in winning terms, and dont forget a lot of these centuries were scored in the magaical sachin esque days of the 90s, in which india were hopeless, barring the last few years of the 90s, with the emergence of the likes of dravid, ganguly, laxman ect...

    However what really makes him great is not just his mountanious runs of 16000+ scores, or 89 half centuries, but the way he has scored them. Thoses lovely back foot drives, cover drives and straight drives were devine. Moreover the cut shots and generally horizantal shots were amazing and brutal, reminds me a lot of Don Bradmen. However the pull shots that he played of Mgrath were extreamly exciting to watch.

    He is the complete batsman

  • Vijay Kumar on September 1, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    One again, mathematical garbage. There is analysis and then there is paralysis. Tendulkar- a great accumulator of runs. Richards - great period. During the 2007 World Cup when India needed to beat Bangladesh to advance and Tendulkar made a duck to leave us all holding our tickets for India's super 8 games. How does that almighty failure figure into your analysis? [[ I can easily picturize another reader saying the same thing about Richards's stroke that cost them the 1983 World Cup Final. How does one failure make a great player bad. Can you name one player who has never played a bad stroke or never let his team down even once. ]]

  • shred on September 1, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    pedestrian analysis. Sir Viv won games for his team. Tendulkar never had the same effect on the result. Tendulkar scores most of his runs in Indian losses.

  • Venkattraman on September 1, 2008, 15:15 GMT

    A very nice post as in most cases and any calculation that puts Sachin and Richards as the best batsmen cannot be wrong or flawed.

  • Irfan on September 1, 2008, 15:15 GMT

    Why are you so hung up on what comments people give ? What you write does not need to depend on what people think about it. Do your job and realize all kinds of people exist.

  • Cricketfan on September 1, 2008, 15:05 GMT

    Your analysis ignores weightage for being part of a World Cup winning team. Winning such a tournament requires tremendous mental strength and the ability to consistently perform for the length of the tournament. Further, performing decisively in the final of a World Cup deserves extra credit. Tendulkar fails on this count and Richards would accordinlgy come on top. If you look at the top five - Tendulkar, Richards, Jayasuriya, Ponting and Gilchrist - only Tendulkar sticks out as the one who is not part of a prestigious World Cup winning team. Not only that, but some in the top ten have won World Cups more than once.

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  • Cricketfan on September 1, 2008, 15:05 GMT

    Your analysis ignores weightage for being part of a World Cup winning team. Winning such a tournament requires tremendous mental strength and the ability to consistently perform for the length of the tournament. Further, performing decisively in the final of a World Cup deserves extra credit. Tendulkar fails on this count and Richards would accordinlgy come on top. If you look at the top five - Tendulkar, Richards, Jayasuriya, Ponting and Gilchrist - only Tendulkar sticks out as the one who is not part of a prestigious World Cup winning team. Not only that, but some in the top ten have won World Cups more than once.

  • Irfan on September 1, 2008, 15:15 GMT

    Why are you so hung up on what comments people give ? What you write does not need to depend on what people think about it. Do your job and realize all kinds of people exist.

  • Venkattraman on September 1, 2008, 15:15 GMT

    A very nice post as in most cases and any calculation that puts Sachin and Richards as the best batsmen cannot be wrong or flawed.

  • shred on September 1, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    pedestrian analysis. Sir Viv won games for his team. Tendulkar never had the same effect on the result. Tendulkar scores most of his runs in Indian losses.

  • Vijay Kumar on September 1, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    One again, mathematical garbage. There is analysis and then there is paralysis. Tendulkar- a great accumulator of runs. Richards - great period. During the 2007 World Cup when India needed to beat Bangladesh to advance and Tendulkar made a duck to leave us all holding our tickets for India's super 8 games. How does that almighty failure figure into your analysis? [[ I can easily picturize another reader saying the same thing about Richards's stroke that cost them the 1983 World Cup Final. How does one failure make a great player bad. Can you name one player who has never played a bad stroke or never let his team down even once. ]]

  • james in england on September 1, 2008, 15:24 GMT

    Sachin tendulkar is by far the best ODI Batsmen in the world, coming from an englishman. i cant think of any opening batsmen who has an average of over 40 and a strike rate over 80, infact sachins stats are 44 average and 85 strike rate, wow. and he has scord 42 centuries of which 30 have been in winning terms, and dont forget a lot of these centuries were scored in the magaical sachin esque days of the 90s, in which india were hopeless, barring the last few years of the 90s, with the emergence of the likes of dravid, ganguly, laxman ect...

    However what really makes him great is not just his mountanious runs of 16000+ scores, or 89 half centuries, but the way he has scored them. Thoses lovely back foot drives, cover drives and straight drives were devine. Moreover the cut shots and generally horizantal shots were amazing and brutal, reminds me a lot of Don Bradmen. However the pull shots that he played of Mgrath were extreamly exciting to watch.

    He is the complete batsman

  • Arijit De on September 1, 2008, 15:37 GMT

    Ananth - I commend you for this piece ... as a cricket lover who's seen 3 generations at play (Richards/Gavaskar, Azhar/Waugh and Sehwag/Symonds), this nature of analysis is indeed thought provoking. Delighted to see Ganguly at No 10 - are the politicians at BCCI (and Dhoni) reading this?

    However, your piece also tells everyone why the phrase "lies, damn lies and statistics" was coined - Symonds is ahead of Aravinda De Silva, Carl Hooper doesn't figure in the top 30, and Jonty Rhodes is ahead of Azharuddin!!! Unbelieveable!!!

  • Ralph Zimmermann on September 1, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    The high placing of Sanath Jayasuriya is an excellent feature, but I'm afraid as usual the list is biased towards the modern cricketer. One glance at the full list will tell you that - how many players are there from the 70s? As an example, Geoff Boycott is 216th - just take a look at some of the names above him! Rashid Latif?!! Upal Chandana?!! Yes, Boycott is not the best ODI batsman of all time, but he's considerably better than Rashid Latif!

    Ricardo Powell the 107th one day batsman of all time - I don't think so!

  • sailesh on September 1, 2008, 15:47 GMT

    This is a great analysis. I am not a Subject matter expert. But yes, my individual belief that Sachin is the greatest ODI batsmen and with statistical calculations from my own perspective has been enhanced. Thanks a ton.

  • Dimuthu Ratnayake on September 1, 2008, 16:01 GMT

    Quite interesting. You'll inevitably get some stick from one eyed fans looking at this, but pls do carry on with your wonderful work. What strikes me is entry 7.Saf Kallis J.H , who most people don't really rate highly as an ODI batsman (although his TEST class is unquestioned) But then again, what he's accused of is "selfish" batting, which would mean his stats WOULD BE good, since he (allegedly) plays for his stats rather than the team. Also, the fact that Dravid is up there at 17 is quite curious. Maybe he's not as useless in ODIs are some ppl would like to think! And finally, that mad man Afridi not being in this also shows he was nowhere near reaching his potential as a "useful" batsman. All f*rt and no sh** :)