Trivia - batting April 6, 2009

Teams with four or more batsmen having 50+ averages

Recently I received a trigger mail that the first four Indian batsmen during the recently concluded Napier Test had a batting average above 50
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Recently I received a trigger mail that the first four Indian batsmen during the recently concluded Napier Test had a batting average above 50. Initially I thought that this would be a very common occurrence. However a preliminary perusal indicated that this was indeed a rare occurrence. So I did a detailed study and the results are presented below.

First a few points on the qualifying criteria.

Initially I thought of using the career batting average. However I discarded that in favour of using a career-to-date batting average because of the following reasons.

- This is the more accurate and correct option and a very interesting one to incorporate.


- Using the career average will move blocks of Tests in and out of the table as a batsman's career average moves either side of 50. For instance, if Gambhir's average moves back to below 50 quite a few Tests will go out of the table. That is not correct.
- Using the batting average is a simple task and can be done by any reader using Cricinfo's Statsguru. However the career-to-date batting average requires the special database I have.
- It allows me to include many a good batsmen such as Inzamam, Gilchrist, Walters, Worrell (in the last innings) et al who have had a fair proportion of their careers at above 50 and finished with a career batting average below 50.

I have only incorporated the following caveats.

During the first 10 Tests of the batsman, if the average exceeds 50, this will be considered only if his career batting average is above 50. This is to take care of the Azharuddin/Phil Hughes/Walters situation. Also if a batsman finished his career with fewer than 1000 runs, a batting average of above 50 will be ignored. This is to take care of batsmen such as Taslim Arif or CF Walters who scored fewer than 1000 runs but finished with averages exceeding 50.

Now let us look at the table.

Tests in which teams had four or more batsmen with 50 plus batting averages

1768 2005 Icc 6 Smith(55.50), Sehwag(55.81), Dravid(58.30),
Lara(54.09), Kallis(56.88), Inzamam-ul-Haq(50.80)

1661 2003 Aus 5 Hayden(52.01), Ponting(51.12), Waugh(51.07), Lehmann(50.79), Gilchrist(58.80)

0194 1930 Eng 4 Hobbs(59.62),Sutcliffe(63.60),Hammond(65.27),Hendren(50.33) 0273 1939 Eng 4 Hutton(63.35),Paynter(63.79),Hammond(61.56),Compton(50.06) 1326 1996 Win 4 Campbell(53.06),Lara(60.06),Adams(68.33),Chanderpaul(50.01) 1340 1996 Win 4 Campbell(50.17),Lara(59.69),Chanderpaul(57.62),Adams(63.83) 1343 1996 Win 4 Campbell(54.65),Lara(58.38),Chanderpaul(54.07),Adams(60.74) 1346 1996 Win 4 Campbell(50.68),Chanderpaul(55.29),Lara(56.41),Adams(61.31) 1595 2002 Aus 4 Hayden(50.59),Waugh(50.27),Martyn(53.38),Gilchrist(60.38) 1663 2003 Aus 4 Hayden(56.77),Ponting(50.97),Waugh(51.20),Gilchrist(61.06) 1671 2003 Aus 4 Hayden(57.69),Ponting(52.73),Waugh(51.25),Gilchrist(60.25) 1673 2003 Aus 4 Hayden(57.34),Ponting(54.61),Waugh(51.17),Gilchrist(58.53) 1678 2003 Aus 4 Hayden(56.80),Ponting(54.07),Gilchrist(58.24),Waugh(51.13) 1680 2004 Aus 4 Hayden(58.56),Ponting(56.36),Waugh(50.98),Gilchrist(57.44) 1685 2004 Aus 4 Hayden(58.08),Ponting(55.64),Lehmann(50.38),Gilchrist(54.71) 1688 2004 Aus 4 Hayden(58.92),Gilchrist(52.88),Lehmann(51.96),Ponting(54.95) 1691 2004 Aus 4 Hayden(58.26),Ponting(54.69),Lehmann(50.67),Gilchrist(54.38) 1706 2004 Aus 4 Hayden(56.60),Ponting(54.72),Lehmann(52.79),Gilchrist(53.91) 1739 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(54.55),Ponting(55.47),Martyn(50.16),Gilchrist(52.68) 1744 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(54.05),Ponting(55.40),Martyn(51.43),Gilchrist(54.90) 1756 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(53.09),Ponting(56.09),Martyn(50.63),Gilchrist(55.28) 1758 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(52.92),Ponting(55.98),Martyn(50.81),Gilchrist(54.73) 1760 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(52.24),Ponting(55.57),Martyn(50.15),Gilchrist(54.67) 1773 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(53.60),Ponting(56.43),Hussey(55.29),Gilchrist(51.89) 1777 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(53.81),Ponting(56.15),Hussey(55.29),Gilchrist(50.91) 1779 2005 Aus 4 Hayden(53.63),Ponting(56.56),Hussey(55.29),Gilchrist(50.33) 1789 2006 Aus 4 Hayden(54.18),Ponting(57.69),Hussey(55.29),Gilchrist(50.18) 1917 2009 Ind 4 Gambhir(50.74),Sehwag(50.82),Dravid(52.39),Tendulkar(54.73)

There is only one instance of six batsmen exceeding 50. This happened in the one-off disaster between Australia and ICC. They are Smith, Sehwag, Dravid, Lara, Kallis and Inzamam. Even though Inzamam finished his career with a batting average of 49.61, his career-to-date batting average before this Test was 50.47. Now we see the benefit of using the career-to-date figures. I don't need to remind readers that the six 50+ batsmen could not save ICC from a humiliating defeat.

Similarly there is also only one instance of five batsmen exceeding 50. This was in Test # 1661 between Australia and Zimbabwe (remember the 380) in which Hayden, Ponting, Steve Waugh, Lehmann and Gilchrist exceeded 50. Lehmann and Gilchrist, at that point in their careers, although Gilchrist closed at 47.61 and Lehmann finished with 44.95. I have confirmed that Lehmann had played in more than 10 Tests for this average.

Then there are quite a number of Australian teams, in all, who have had four players exceeding 50. The core of this group has been Hayden, Ponting and Gilchrist and one from S Waugh, Lehmann or Hussey have completed the four. These teams played a total of 19 Tests during the 2000s.

Surprisingly there are West Indian teams of 1996 which qualify with Lara, Chanderpaul, Sherwin Campbell (with his outstanding start) and Adams (again with his outstanding start) completing the foursome. The fact is that Chanderpaul dropped off but recovered and has over 8500 runs at 50+. However Campbell and Adams really fell off. This team played 4 Tests.

There are two distinct English teams of the 1930s. One has Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Hammond and Hendren. The other one has Hutton, Paynter, Hammond and Compton. Only Hendren amongst this collection of greats has a career batting average of below 50.

The Napier Test comes in finally. It is a peculiar situation at Napier. Gambhir started with an average of 50.74, so the Indian team had Gambhir, Sehwag. Dravid and Tendulkar completing the quartet in the first innings. However Gambhir's average dropped to 49.85 at the end of the first innings. So, strictly speaking, the second innings does not qualify and there were only three 50+ players. Of course Gambhir has gone to 52.03 with his epic 137 and the Basin reserve Test has this quartet starting the innings.

A couple of footnotes

Coming to the original question, thanks to Ashwin Mahesh for that, of the first 4 batsmen having 50+ averages. The Napier Test is a conundrum. The first innings was perfect, with Gambhir on 50.74. Unfortunately the night-watchman came in and Tendulkar batted at no.5. So this does not qualify. In the second innings, there was no problem with the sequence except that Gambhir fell below 50.

However this has been redressed at Basin Reserve where the first four have 50+ averages. It is amazing that, based on these criteria, the Basin reserve will be the first such occasion in Test history. The nearest has been the English team of the 30s. However Hendren batted at no.5 almost always in those matches.

If we take the career averages instead of career-to-date averages, the ICC team is still on top with 5 players in their eleven, Inzamam missing out since his career average falls just below 50. S.Rajesh (Stats-Editor, Cricinfo) has pointed out that Inzamam's average went down below only because of that ICC Test, exclude that, and he averages 50.16. Unfortunately that aberration is still an "official" test. So nothing can be done.

No other team has had 5 such batsmen and a few teams, such as Australia, India and England have four 50+ batsmen. Because of Gambhir's current 50+ average quite a few recent Indian teams make it. However the fallacy of this method will be shown if Gambhir falls below 50. All these Indian teams will go off.

Chandran had raised an interesting query on the Indian team having 6 batsmen whose highest Test score exceeded 200. Wondered whether it is a record. Since this is a related query and an interesting one at that, I have answered the same in the body of this article.

Unfortunately India is one of many teams with 6 batsmen whose highest score is 200+. It so happens that there are two teams which have 7 batsmen whose highest score exceeds 200. The first is a Pakistani team which played 4 tests during 1985. That team had Mudassar, Mohsin, Qasim Omar, Javed, Zaheer, Saleem Malik and Wasim Akram (yes, you read it correctly) whose career HS was 200+.

During 2000-01, 7 Australian teams had Hayden/Slater/Langer/Ponting/S.Waugh/Gilchrist and Gillespie (!?) whose career HS was 200+.

Although I must say that the HS at the time the tests were played were not necessarily 200+ since these HS's might have been achieved subsequently.

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

  • ANIRBAN NAG on November 21, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    dravid should face around 28000 balls in test by end of his test career(should be in 2011).. border around 27200 balls in test is a bit surprising one, he made 11174 runs though, i thought he perhaps had not score that slowly(strike rate around 41 now) but considering in '80s and early '90s most of the test batsmen use to score around that rate barring a few like richards etc., so it's right.. gavaskar perhaps also played around that 26-27k number of balls coz if he scored around even 38-40 per 100 balls , i will not be surprised.. sachin now played 23750+ balls, so he will perhaps finish with 25000-25500 balls (assuming he will finish at the end of 2011) should score 14k in test cricket.. if he scores 15k and gets 50 100's that will be a great bonus for we indians.. then he will also face probably close to 28k balls(assuming he maintain his current batting strike rate of 54 per 100 balls)

  • sporyspice on April 15, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    Keyur, Your post is all right if you include wicketkeepers (who will undoubtedly be the highest catchers!!) Ct Dravid Bwd Kumble will please purists like me. That is the world record.

  • keyur on April 10, 2009, 6:59 GMT

    the record for most victims by a bowler / fielder combination is held by the unlikely pair of lillee-marsh with 95 victims. this is followed by mcgrath-gilchrist(90), ntini-boucher(84), lee-gilchrist(81) and pollock-boucher(79).

    indian record is kumble-dravid(55), followed by kapil-kirmani(51), harbhajan-dravid(45),kumble-kumble ie caught and bold kumble(35) and srinath-mongia(27).

    for more info, look in cricinfo-->records -->bowling-->dissmissals-->bowler-fielder combinations.

  • Navin on April 9, 2009, 4:18 GMT

    On batsmen with more than 200 as highest. I want to point that in Perth 2008 India played with 9 players whi had century to their name. (I think so, with RP Singh and Ishant only missing out.) Can you give details regarding the same topic with teams with most centurions. Also after Mcrath hit 61 in one of his tests I think the Aussie teams were always playing with all players having highest of more than 50. Maybe I am wrong but these two criteria could also be tried.

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 21:53 GMT

    Keep in mind that in Bradman's time, there were many 5 and 6-Test series'. Nowadays, there are hardly any 5-Test series' that India plays in, and there are a lot of 2-Test series'.

  • Anand on April 8, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    Hi Ananth: Great work (as always). I have been a great fan of your articles and keep looking forward to more from you. Can you make a list of the team with most bowlers with average below a cutoff. I am unable to suggest what the cutoff is because I dont know which one would yield meaningful results. For exampls wanting to see a team with 4 bowlers all averagin below 20 may be asking for too much. Again, when I say most bowlers below a particular average, I mean contemporary bowlers playing for the same team, not as in a world XI with McGrath, Murali, Warne, Pollock, Mendis. I suspect that in this case you might find the Windies quicks of 70's and 80's. The Autralian team under Steve Waugh and Ponting is also a possibility. Then, you can have a team consisting of batsmen with nest averages AND bowlers with best averages. That might give a measure of the BEST TEAM. Again, I am expecting one of Waugh/Ponting's team or the Windies of the 70's and 80's. [[ Anand Will do. That is a separate article. Probably more difficult than the Batting one. Ananth: ]]

  • Sundeep on April 8, 2009, 16:54 GMT

    Thanks Keyur... 11 consecutive series of 300+.. OMG.. It will never be broken I suppose...

    Srikanth, I think Kumble-Dravid or M Waugh-Warne combination has highest no. of victims..

  • srikanth on April 8, 2009, 6:36 GMT

    Can you pls tell me which bowler and fielder combination has highest no. of victims. Also pls let me know top 5 list of Indian bowler fielder combination of victims. [[ You could check with Cricinfo's Statsguru. If not there I will try and do it. Ananth: ]]

  • keyur on April 8, 2009, 5:53 GMT

    also, in regard to sundeep's comment about gambhir scoring over 300 runs in 4 successive series - Bradman played in 11 series from 1928-1948 and topped 300 in all of them!

  • keyur on April 8, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    As regarding the 6 players with Highest Score 200+ runs query, india's current team is indeed the record.

    The 1985 Pakistan team doesn't qualify because Salim Malik and Wasim Akram hit their 200+ scores in 1994 and 1996 respectively. So in 1985 the team had only 5 players with a highest score of 200+.

    Similarly, for the 2001 Australian team, Gilchrist and Gillespie hit their 200+ scores in 2002 and 2006 respectively meaning that the 2001 team had only 5 such players whose HS at that time was over 200.

    While india has 6 such players who have a highest score of 200+ currently. [[ Keyur Many thanks. You seem to have done part of my job. Ananth: ]]

  • ANIRBAN NAG on November 21, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    dravid should face around 28000 balls in test by end of his test career(should be in 2011).. border around 27200 balls in test is a bit surprising one, he made 11174 runs though, i thought he perhaps had not score that slowly(strike rate around 41 now) but considering in '80s and early '90s most of the test batsmen use to score around that rate barring a few like richards etc., so it's right.. gavaskar perhaps also played around that 26-27k number of balls coz if he scored around even 38-40 per 100 balls , i will not be surprised.. sachin now played 23750+ balls, so he will perhaps finish with 25000-25500 balls (assuming he will finish at the end of 2011) should score 14k in test cricket.. if he scores 15k and gets 50 100's that will be a great bonus for we indians.. then he will also face probably close to 28k balls(assuming he maintain his current batting strike rate of 54 per 100 balls)

  • sporyspice on April 15, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    Keyur, Your post is all right if you include wicketkeepers (who will undoubtedly be the highest catchers!!) Ct Dravid Bwd Kumble will please purists like me. That is the world record.

  • keyur on April 10, 2009, 6:59 GMT

    the record for most victims by a bowler / fielder combination is held by the unlikely pair of lillee-marsh with 95 victims. this is followed by mcgrath-gilchrist(90), ntini-boucher(84), lee-gilchrist(81) and pollock-boucher(79).

    indian record is kumble-dravid(55), followed by kapil-kirmani(51), harbhajan-dravid(45),kumble-kumble ie caught and bold kumble(35) and srinath-mongia(27).

    for more info, look in cricinfo-->records -->bowling-->dissmissals-->bowler-fielder combinations.

  • Navin on April 9, 2009, 4:18 GMT

    On batsmen with more than 200 as highest. I want to point that in Perth 2008 India played with 9 players whi had century to their name. (I think so, with RP Singh and Ishant only missing out.) Can you give details regarding the same topic with teams with most centurions. Also after Mcrath hit 61 in one of his tests I think the Aussie teams were always playing with all players having highest of more than 50. Maybe I am wrong but these two criteria could also be tried.

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 21:53 GMT

    Keep in mind that in Bradman's time, there were many 5 and 6-Test series'. Nowadays, there are hardly any 5-Test series' that India plays in, and there are a lot of 2-Test series'.

  • Anand on April 8, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    Hi Ananth: Great work (as always). I have been a great fan of your articles and keep looking forward to more from you. Can you make a list of the team with most bowlers with average below a cutoff. I am unable to suggest what the cutoff is because I dont know which one would yield meaningful results. For exampls wanting to see a team with 4 bowlers all averagin below 20 may be asking for too much. Again, when I say most bowlers below a particular average, I mean contemporary bowlers playing for the same team, not as in a world XI with McGrath, Murali, Warne, Pollock, Mendis. I suspect that in this case you might find the Windies quicks of 70's and 80's. The Autralian team under Steve Waugh and Ponting is also a possibility. Then, you can have a team consisting of batsmen with nest averages AND bowlers with best averages. That might give a measure of the BEST TEAM. Again, I am expecting one of Waugh/Ponting's team or the Windies of the 70's and 80's. [[ Anand Will do. That is a separate article. Probably more difficult than the Batting one. Ananth: ]]

  • Sundeep on April 8, 2009, 16:54 GMT

    Thanks Keyur... 11 consecutive series of 300+.. OMG.. It will never be broken I suppose...

    Srikanth, I think Kumble-Dravid or M Waugh-Warne combination has highest no. of victims..

  • srikanth on April 8, 2009, 6:36 GMT

    Can you pls tell me which bowler and fielder combination has highest no. of victims. Also pls let me know top 5 list of Indian bowler fielder combination of victims. [[ You could check with Cricinfo's Statsguru. If not there I will try and do it. Ananth: ]]

  • keyur on April 8, 2009, 5:53 GMT

    also, in regard to sundeep's comment about gambhir scoring over 300 runs in 4 successive series - Bradman played in 11 series from 1928-1948 and topped 300 in all of them!

  • keyur on April 8, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    As regarding the 6 players with Highest Score 200+ runs query, india's current team is indeed the record.

    The 1985 Pakistan team doesn't qualify because Salim Malik and Wasim Akram hit their 200+ scores in 1994 and 1996 respectively. So in 1985 the team had only 5 players with a highest score of 200+.

    Similarly, for the 2001 Australian team, Gilchrist and Gillespie hit their 200+ scores in 2002 and 2006 respectively meaning that the 2001 team had only 5 such players whose HS at that time was over 200.

    While india has 6 such players who have a highest score of 200+ currently. [[ Keyur Many thanks. You seem to have done part of my job. Ananth: ]]

  • Jim on April 8, 2009, 5:24 GMT

    This is fascinating. Could you do it again, considering the average for the previous two years (or something like that) rather than career-to-date? The career-to-date rule means that the averages of players who have a lot of innings under their belt, like the Aussies of 2005, won't change very much no matter what they do -- as your statistics show. I think something a little more volatile might be better. Thanks! [[ Jim, Good idea to introduce some volatility. The possibilities are endless. Thanks Ananth: ]]

  • Sundeep on April 8, 2009, 5:01 GMT

    Another Interesting stat on Gambhir that I noticed.. These r GG's starting scores (until scoring less than his prev innings) against SL, AUS & ENG

    39, 43, 56 & 74 against SL 21, 29, 67, 104, 206 against AUS 19, 66 & 179 against ENG

    He improved his scores from his 1st score of series indicating a slow starter and also how confident he becomes after starts..

    Another stat on GG, he has now scored 300+ in his last 4 test series which is an Indian record.. wonder whats the world record.. I think Sir Don Bradman might have this record..

  • Sundeep on April 8, 2009, 4:53 GMT

    Good one Ananth.. Really Happy to see Indian side doing well under Dhoni.. Gambhir is in the form of his life..

    Regarding "Ask Steven", it is more than just stats.. It includes queries on nick names, books written, etc.. It is good in its own way..

    On "Ask Ananth", I'll suggest "Answers from Ananth" or "Ananth Answers"..

    I have a query, Gambhir has 22* consecutive double digit scores now.. beating Laxman's record of 21.. what's the world record? [[ Sundeep You are right. Steven Lynch's column is a veritable treasure house. He has a data base which goes beyond the scorecards. As you have rightly pointed out, on names et al. Also the Cricinfo ball-by-ball database. I used to read his colum with great interest. The only reason I have stopped going through the same now is to avoid being influenced by snippets there for my own articles. Will look at your point on double digit scores. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on April 8, 2009, 3:33 GMT

    This is a common response to all the readers who have raised the "Strength of Team" motif. My current article one with a limited scope, the number of batsmen with 50+ batting average. While that makes a team strong, it does not necessarily makes the team a match-winning one. There is need for a quality keeper and top quality bowling. I have already done an article on the Test teams' strength. Readers can go back a few months in the blog and peruse the article. I can of course do an update based on newer algorithms and additional knowledge gained especially through reader comments.

  • Jit on April 8, 2009, 3:14 GMT

    Hi,

    It's known that a batsman can be stumped out in a wide ball and still batting side gets one extra run.

    Suppose in the last innings of a match the last ball is to be delivered and the scores are at level with the last batting pair in the crease.

    Bowler delivered a wide ball and the last batsman (10th wicket) got stumped out unfortunately.

    What will be the outcome of the match ? (after considering the wide, will the stumped out be also considered in which case the scorecard will read batting side one run ahead with 10 wickets down)....Regards, Jit [[ Jit My reading is this. The wide happened first, so the team gets that run and wins the match. THAT IS IRREFUTABLE. Now two things can happen. The ball is considered dead since the batting team has already won with that wide. So the score is xxx for 9. Alternately the stumping is accepted in which case the score will be xxx all out. In either case the batting team would have won. My gut feeling is that the score will stand at xxx for 9 and the stumping will not be credited. Ananth: ]]

  • Shriram on April 8, 2009, 3:00 GMT

    Excellent analysis. If one takes into account for the fact that averages today are much higher than those prior to the second World War, the two entries for the English sides from 1930 and 1939 are even more remarkable. Another interesting analysis might be ranking teams based on the overall batting average for a given side, using the database for career-to-date averages. My hunch is that the South African side of the late 90s might come out on top here, given that they had people like McMillan, Pollock and Klusener batting as low as 7,8 and 9. With the likes of Kiran More, Madan Lal and Roger Binny batting at 8,9 nad 10, the Indian side of the mid-80s might also figure highly in this list.

    thanks, -Shriram.

  • D.V.C. on April 8, 2009, 0:19 GMT

    This is almost totally off-topic but... I'd like not to see the ICC vs the top ranked side game not be axed but instead changed.

    The ICC side should be selected from the non-test playing nations. This would offer those players playing for Associate countries the chance to play Test match cricket without having to defect and weaken their own country.

    A 2 or 3 Test series of this fashion could be valuable and entertaining I think. [[ Daniel It was unfortunate that the 2005 match was a disaster. The concept is good in that the strongest team needed to be tested. Unfortunately the disparate set of individuals did not function as a unit. The non-test playing teams can play a series of ODI matches, but tests, probably no. There is no way such a team can take 20 wickets of any decent side. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranjith Kumar on April 7, 2009, 23:15 GMT

    Hi Ananth, I always wondered whether west indies in their peak or aussies in their peak were a better team. If the ICC ranking were in use what would be the best score of West indies and how far ahead would they be from the second team. Comparative analysis between these two teams will be great. I had asked this question to Steven. Thanks

  • Jun Fan Lee on April 7, 2009, 23:09 GMT

    Best team ever- 1. 1948 invincibles, stand out point-two great batsman in one, great allrounder and spin and fast 2. Aust 95 to 07 - stand out point-Great fast, spin and wicky 3. Windies 80's - Great Fast and 1 batsman, lack spin

  • Jun Fan Lee on April 7, 2009, 23:04 GMT

    What is the best team ever, my analasis says Bradmans invincibles having a slight edge over Waugh/Pontings teams predominately because of Bradman virtually representing two great batsman in one, then windies in 80s just below Waugh/Pontings teams as Warne and Gilchrist push the weight in Waugh/Pontings favour

  • tonyp on April 7, 2009, 22:39 GMT

    This is a more or less complete tangent but I can't help but wonder if there is some statistical measure of a batsman's selflessness. Gilchrist's career average was impacted by his determination to never slow down the team when going for quick runs. Perhaps there might be some time limit between fall of wicket and declaration or some such that might help classify innings that have been sacrificed.

  • Khuram on April 7, 2009, 21:58 GMT

    A question: Even though bowler Win you test matches, why is it that recently it is mainly the batsmen who get the credit in the form of man of the match awards? Even in the ODIs, if a batsman scores over 70-80 runs, he is automatically awarded the man of the match award. Like in the last test between India and NZ, Gautam Gambhir got the man of the match award, whereas I feel that Zaheer Khan would be the correct choice for that very designation!

    Khuram

    [[ Khuram, This has been the situation almost always, especially in ODI matches during the first 20 years or so. I will give you an example. In the 1975 WC semi-final, Croft took 3 for 29 (Majid/Zaheer/Javed at 0). Richards scored 42 and took 3 wickets. But Greenidge got the MOM for his slow 73. But the situation has changed now. The bowlers are getting slightly more recognition. In this match, I am with you 100%. Gambhir's century, unlike the Napier one, was a no-pressure innings. Nothing great. For all you know, if he had failed, India would have won (???). On the other hand, Zaheer's effort was outstanding, the 7 wickets worth much more than 200 runs. Ananth: ]]

  • Prasad Shah on April 7, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    Ananth - just couple of questions? Why is 50+ a cutoff and not 45+, I mean would that make lot of difference? What would same criteria do to ODI batsmen - which team would come out on top? What about test and ODI bowlers? Thanks for sharing your analysis. [[ Prasad 50 is a magical number as far as Test averages are concerned. 39 batsmen have career averages exceeding 50. When we consider career-todate averages, the number could be higher. This is a high bar and lowering this will dilute the concept further. For ODIs the number could be 40.00. Ananth: ]]

  • wulliemc on April 7, 2009, 20:25 GMT

    In response go agni's post. I think he is looking for (and if not, I am :)), instances where the highest number of players take the field with a 200+ score behind them already (to exclude those where someone scores it in his last few tests but then every test before that is included in the analysis [[ Mac, I get it. I need to incorporate another small data element in my data base, the "cumulative highest score". Once that is done, I can answer this query. Will do it in a separate article along with the other "Ask Ananth" type of queries. Ananth: ]]

  • Manojkumar TN on April 7, 2009, 18:48 GMT

    Sorry this is off topic, but I was wondering which bowler has dismissed the most number of individual batsmen in tests. So even if McGrath has dismissed Atherton multiple time it should count as 1 wicket. I wonder if you could get some answer from your database. [[ Manoj, As Kartik has commented this has already become a "Ask Ananth" type of query system.. Will analyze this and will come out in a later article. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Daniel Fishman on April 7, 2009, 18:15 GMT

    "I believe Rahul Dravid has faced the most number of balls in test cricket. While I understand there are no accurate stats for the test matches of yore I strongly believe I am correct. Any debate?"

    Allan Border faced over 27002 balls in his career, to Dravid's 25934. We are missing balls-faced data for two of Border's Tests, so he actually faced slightly more than that. Those two are the top two on minutes batted also - Border is ahead by 200 minutes, but as we are missing 4 Tests in which Dravid scored a hundred and three fifties, it is likely Dravid has batted the most minutes in Test cricket, and faced the second most balls. (We have full minutes batted data for everyone within 8000 minutes of Border's 35000, bar Dravid, so we can be pretty certain that those two are indeed top. And since balls faced and minutes batted are quite closely correlated, this also gives the conclusion that no players from times when balls faced were not recorded beat Dravid's total).

  • Vinod on April 7, 2009, 14:30 GMT

    It might be a possibility, just a possibility that MSD would enter the 50+ Avg club in about an year or so and in that case we would be having 5 in the elite club. the reason for the same is that the base for him is low at moment in terms of runs and the way he has been playing over last year or so by getting those 50s and 60s not out as well, maight just push him into that club [[ If Laxman scores 3200 runs or so in the next 50 innings (not beyond the realms of possibility) he would also move to 50. However Dhoni is more likely to reach there. Assuming that Gambhir and Sehwag maintain their 50+ averages. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on April 7, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    This is in response to the following query. Posted by: WPHE at April 6, 2009 8:19 AM What about test teams where all eleven players have had a career-to-date average in double figures? I did a simple analysis and as I expected there are many teams, over 600, with this level of all cumulative batting averages exceeding 10. For instance most recent Indian, Australian and South African teams have even the no.11 batsman with a 10+ average. However, I have done some more work on this very interesting query and it is not possible to post all results in this comment. Will do a separate mini-article on that. Thanks.

  • Kartik on April 6, 2009, 22:32 GMT

    It is quite possible that Gavaskar, Boycott, Gooch, or Border have faced more balls than Dravid. Strike rates were lower in the old days, even compared to Dravid.

    If Dravid crosses 30,000 balls, only then can we safely conclude that he has faced the most.

  • Kartik on April 6, 2009, 22:28 GMT

    Since many of us have found Ananth to be more responsive than 'Ask Steven', I motion for Cricinfo to promote Ananth to provide the weekly frontpage column 'Ask Ananth', replacing Steven. [[ Kartik Knowing as I do Steven, he is not the guy to ignore any query. He is a great cricket analyst and also has the Cricinfo resources supporting him. It is possible that he is inundated with queries and some of the reader queries might be missed out. There is nothing to prevent the readers from sending their queries to me, as Chandran has done, through any posting. I will find a way to generate the answers, if not in the concerned article, but in a future one. I might even club queries/answers into a single article. Ananth: ]]

  • Agni on April 6, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    Ananth, with regards to the number of 200s in a test 11, I think we should look at instances where a batsman has a 200 already in the bag.Might reduce the list to manageable proportions. Thanks AGNI [[ I think you have misunderstood the 200s query. The 200+ refers to the highest score reached by the batsmen in their career. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on April 6, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Very fine analysis! On a different note, can you please tell me if there is any commercial database that is available (SQL, Oracle etc..) that has all Test/ODI statistics?

    Sorry that this comment has nothing to do with your post, but just curious in knowing how you go about building an extensive database.

    Thanks, Vikram [[ Vikram My own database is a Windows-C based proprietary database which I have developed from scratch over the years. While this database is available to the users, there is no SQl-type retrieval facility and I don't have the resources to convert this into such a facility in future. However I have standard built-in 50 tables or so for each database which are great for viewing but difficult to analyze. For my other analysis I write my own programs. There are other commercial databases available. You have to google and check these are SQL-type retrieval databases or not. Ananth: ]]

  • Fouad Khan on April 6, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    look at that ridiculous ICC team... it actually had four players averaging above FIFTY FIVE! that was a time in world cricket when 55 was the new 50 and it seemed very likely that both dravid and kallis would end their careers averaging above 60... good to see some normalcy is being restored with the departure of the great australians.

  • Jeyenth on April 6, 2009, 10:35 GMT

    This amazes me Ananth! Statistics, some say, wont tell you the complete story. And on the flip side, I always feel that any story is incomplete without the statistics. Kudos to your team. Can I come in and do some number crunching for you? :)

    A rather serious question actually - I would love such a job with cricinfo! [[ Jeyenth, My team consists of me, myself and yours truly. If you have the knack, aptitude, time and access to a quality data base, you can always have a stab at it. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Sandeep on April 6, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    Anath, I am not so sure of your comment that the Windies success in yesteryears was more due to bowlers than batsmen. Sure they had great bowlers, but they had great batsmen as well. Can you come up with another piece of stats, which indicates that it was indeed the bowlers who swung their team's success in their favour?

  • nad on April 6, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    If we did an analysis on ODI teams with the best top orders (statistically) , I think today's best order is arguably India's with Tendulkar (44.37), Sehwag (34.43), Gambhir (38.43),Yuvraj Singh (37.43) and MS Dhoni (49.26) but South Africa's is very close with Graeme Smith- (40.96), Herschelle Gibbs (35.87), Jacques Kallis (45.23), De villiers (37.63) and Duminy (37.74). If talk about the best ODI order in history 2 come to mind. First is the windies team of the 80's which in its prime had Desmond Haynes (41), Gordon Greenidge (450, Viv Richards (47) and Clive Lloyd (38). However possibly the best line up in history would be the Australian team of 2006, with Matthew Hayden(40),Adam Gilchrist ( 35.8), Rick Ponting (43), Damien Martyn (41), Michael Clarke (43), and Mike Hussey (60). Symonds could also be included in this bracket (40).

  • Anand Jetti on April 6, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    I believe Rahul Dravid has faced the most number of balls in test cricket. While I understand there are no accurate stats for the test matches of yore I strongly believe I am correct. Any debate? [[ Rahul Dravid, before Basin Reserve, has faced 25675 balls which seems to be an awful lot. However pl remember that there is no actual balls faced information for players such as Gavaskar who could very well have faced more deliveries, his scoring rate could very well be below that of Dravid. Ananth: ]]

  • Mahesh Ramamani on April 6, 2009, 8:53 GMT

    Hi Ananth, A very good analysis. The idea of using the Average to date and the list that you evolved spurs some ideas. May be you've done it already some time in the past. The list here comprises of Teams at match level that had batsmen with 50+ averages. I wondered if a list of teams at "season" level or "series" level could be made that comprised of batsmen with most average-to-dates (cut off being say 50). It would be an ordinal list, hence spur some comparison between between series performances and teams etc. Just a thought out there!

  • Uddipan on April 6, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    Ananth,

    Can you possibly do an analysis of 2 aspects:

    #1 (Average of career-to-date batting averages of top 5 batsmen of Team 1 - Average of career-to-date batting averages of top 5 batsmen of Team 2), and correlate this to the (Winning ratio of Team 1 - Winning ratio of Team 2)

    #2 (Average of career-to-date bowling averages of top 4 bowlers of Team 1 - Average of career-to-date batting averages of top 4 bowlers of Team 2), and correlate this to the (Winning ratio of Team 2 - Winning ratio of Team 1)

    I think this might help give more credence to the theory that batters save matches, while bowlers win matches. Plus, it might open up a new debate of how important the batting contributions of #6 and #7 are to a games result.

    Thanks. [[ Uddipan, Good ideas, Will keep in mind. Ananth: ]]

  • chandran on April 6, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    Dear Mr. Ananth, Thanks for your reply. I had asked my question several times to 'Ask Steven' but did not even get a reply. [[ Chandran Unfortunately India is one of many teams with 6 batsmen whose highest score is 200+. It so happens that there are two teams which have 7 batsmen whose highest score exceeds 200. The first is a Pakistani team which played 4 tests during 1985. That team had Mudassar, Mohsin, Qasim Omar, Javed, Zaheer, Saleem Malik and Wasim Akram (yes, you read it correctly) whose career HS was 200+. During 2000-01, 7 Australian teams had Hayden/Slater/Langer/Ponting/S.Waugh/Gilchrist and Gillespie (!?) whose career HS was 200+. Although I must say that the HS at the time the tests were played were not necessarily 200+ since these HS's might have been achieved subsequently. I like this query a lot, hence have added it to the main article. Ananth: ]]

  • WPHE on April 6, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    What about test teams where all eleven players have had a career-to-date average in double figures? [[ Will do this later. My hunch is that there might be quite a few teams. But I may be wrong. Ananth: ]]

  • Warks on April 6, 2009, 8:01 GMT

    I thought of this a few times during the reign of S Waugh. I can recall that M Waugh was the only sub-50 average in the batsmen at one stage but who would leave him out? Did Langer average over 50 at any stage? Another interesting list would be teams with 100 centuries - no doubt many teams with Tendulkar and Ponting would feature! [[ Warks, Mark Waugh maintained a 50+ averageo until the end of his 14th test innings, then he never regained the 50 mark, no doubt caused by those traumatic 4 consecutive 0's against Sri Lanka. Langer never once reached 50. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram Maingi on April 6, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    An interesting piece of information is that the mighty Windies of the 80s, which had players like Lloyd, Richards, Greenidge & Haynes, is not a part of this list.

    Btw Ananth, for ODIs what is the maximum number of players in a team having a career average off 40+? I am sure this piece of stats will also be very interesting. [[ Vikram, The West Indies success was more due to their bowlers than batsmen. Will do a ODI article on similar lines later. Ananth: ]]

  • Giri on April 6, 2009, 7:07 GMT

    Just wondered two more things people with more than 10,000 runs with more than either 100 wickets or catches in both forms of game how many are there and who did it first any idea?

  • bharat1981 on April 6, 2009, 7:07 GMT

    What you have given is a very interesting statistic. I have one question to you. I had asked this to 'Ask Steven' but did not get the answer. In 2007, when South Africa toured India, India had 6 batsment who had their highest score as over 200. Sehwag, Jaffer, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly. This was repeated against Australia tour in India last year, when instead of Jaffer, Gambhir played and hit a double century. Is there any such instance before this. [[ Chandran Will revert after I do a bit of analyais. Ananth: ]]

  • David Camacho on April 6, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    This Article demonstrates again that statistics only tell part of a story. Of the 4 to 5 teams in history that have most heavily dominated their opponents, only 1 or perhaps 2 are represented here, and Australia with Hayden, Ponting, Waugh, and co. are one of these great teams because of their bowlers Warne and McGrath. [[ David I have checked the article. Have I told anywhere that these are the "winning" test teams. No. This is a simple bit of analysis. 4 or more batsmen with 50+ averages. That is all. Anyway none of us need reminding that Tests are won by bowlers and saved by batsmen. Ananth: ]]

  • Kartik on April 6, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Ananth,

    I sent exactly the same question to 'Ask Steven'. But my distinction what that the Top-4 had averages of 50, rather than simply 4 out of the team.

    Also, the cutoff was 2000 runs, so while the Napier test did not count, the Wellington Test did, as Gambhir started with over 2000 runs.

    Sehwag is likely to soon drop below 50 in career average.

    [[ Kartik I normally do not read "Ask Steven" so I am not sure whether your query was answered. The Basin Reserve test is clearly the first test, let me add based on my criteria, in which such an unusual occurence has happened. Ananth: ]]

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  • Kartik on April 6, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Ananth,

    I sent exactly the same question to 'Ask Steven'. But my distinction what that the Top-4 had averages of 50, rather than simply 4 out of the team.

    Also, the cutoff was 2000 runs, so while the Napier test did not count, the Wellington Test did, as Gambhir started with over 2000 runs.

    Sehwag is likely to soon drop below 50 in career average.

    [[ Kartik I normally do not read "Ask Steven" so I am not sure whether your query was answered. The Basin Reserve test is clearly the first test, let me add based on my criteria, in which such an unusual occurence has happened. Ananth: ]]

  • David Camacho on April 6, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    This Article demonstrates again that statistics only tell part of a story. Of the 4 to 5 teams in history that have most heavily dominated their opponents, only 1 or perhaps 2 are represented here, and Australia with Hayden, Ponting, Waugh, and co. are one of these great teams because of their bowlers Warne and McGrath. [[ David I have checked the article. Have I told anywhere that these are the "winning" test teams. No. This is a simple bit of analysis. 4 or more batsmen with 50+ averages. That is all. Anyway none of us need reminding that Tests are won by bowlers and saved by batsmen. Ananth: ]]

  • bharat1981 on April 6, 2009, 7:07 GMT

    What you have given is a very interesting statistic. I have one question to you. I had asked this to 'Ask Steven' but did not get the answer. In 2007, when South Africa toured India, India had 6 batsment who had their highest score as over 200. Sehwag, Jaffer, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly. This was repeated against Australia tour in India last year, when instead of Jaffer, Gambhir played and hit a double century. Is there any such instance before this. [[ Chandran Will revert after I do a bit of analyais. Ananth: ]]

  • Giri on April 6, 2009, 7:07 GMT

    Just wondered two more things people with more than 10,000 runs with more than either 100 wickets or catches in both forms of game how many are there and who did it first any idea?

  • Vikram Maingi on April 6, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    An interesting piece of information is that the mighty Windies of the 80s, which had players like Lloyd, Richards, Greenidge & Haynes, is not a part of this list.

    Btw Ananth, for ODIs what is the maximum number of players in a team having a career average off 40+? I am sure this piece of stats will also be very interesting. [[ Vikram, The West Indies success was more due to their bowlers than batsmen. Will do a ODI article on similar lines later. Ananth: ]]

  • Warks on April 6, 2009, 8:01 GMT

    I thought of this a few times during the reign of S Waugh. I can recall that M Waugh was the only sub-50 average in the batsmen at one stage but who would leave him out? Did Langer average over 50 at any stage? Another interesting list would be teams with 100 centuries - no doubt many teams with Tendulkar and Ponting would feature! [[ Warks, Mark Waugh maintained a 50+ averageo until the end of his 14th test innings, then he never regained the 50 mark, no doubt caused by those traumatic 4 consecutive 0's against Sri Lanka. Langer never once reached 50. Ananth: ]]

  • WPHE on April 6, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    What about test teams where all eleven players have had a career-to-date average in double figures? [[ Will do this later. My hunch is that there might be quite a few teams. But I may be wrong. Ananth: ]]

  • chandran on April 6, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    Dear Mr. Ananth, Thanks for your reply. I had asked my question several times to 'Ask Steven' but did not even get a reply. [[ Chandran Unfortunately India is one of many teams with 6 batsmen whose highest score is 200+. It so happens that there are two teams which have 7 batsmen whose highest score exceeds 200. The first is a Pakistani team which played 4 tests during 1985. That team had Mudassar, Mohsin, Qasim Omar, Javed, Zaheer, Saleem Malik and Wasim Akram (yes, you read it correctly) whose career HS was 200+. During 2000-01, 7 Australian teams had Hayden/Slater/Langer/Ponting/S.Waugh/Gilchrist and Gillespie (!?) whose career HS was 200+. Although I must say that the HS at the time the tests were played were not necessarily 200+ since these HS's might have been achieved subsequently. I like this query a lot, hence have added it to the main article. Ananth: ]]

  • Uddipan on April 6, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    Ananth,

    Can you possibly do an analysis of 2 aspects:

    #1 (Average of career-to-date batting averages of top 5 batsmen of Team 1 - Average of career-to-date batting averages of top 5 batsmen of Team 2), and correlate this to the (Winning ratio of Team 1 - Winning ratio of Team 2)

    #2 (Average of career-to-date bowling averages of top 4 bowlers of Team 1 - Average of career-to-date batting averages of top 4 bowlers of Team 2), and correlate this to the (Winning ratio of Team 2 - Winning ratio of Team 1)

    I think this might help give more credence to the theory that batters save matches, while bowlers win matches. Plus, it might open up a new debate of how important the batting contributions of #6 and #7 are to a games result.

    Thanks. [[ Uddipan, Good ideas, Will keep in mind. Ananth: ]]

  • Mahesh Ramamani on April 6, 2009, 8:53 GMT

    Hi Ananth, A very good analysis. The idea of using the Average to date and the list that you evolved spurs some ideas. May be you've done it already some time in the past. The list here comprises of Teams at match level that had batsmen with 50+ averages. I wondered if a list of teams at "season" level or "series" level could be made that comprised of batsmen with most average-to-dates (cut off being say 50). It would be an ordinal list, hence spur some comparison between between series performances and teams etc. Just a thought out there!