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June 22, 2009

Twenty20

ICC World Twenty20 - an analyst's view

Anantha Narayanan
Umar Gul is ecstatic after picking up another wicket, Pakistan v Australia, only Twenty20 international, Dubai, May 7, 2009
 © Associated Press
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The T20 World Cup has been covered extensively in the Cricinfo Records section and by Rajesh's review. This article looks at the areas not covered by these two excellent reviews. If there is an overlap, worse things have happened.

The first three tables relate to the best Batting and Bowling performances during the World Cup. These are based on the Ratings calculations. As I have already explained, these Ratings calculations are totally different to the Test/ODI Ratings. There I have adopted the bottom-up approach insofar as I determine base points based on runs scored or wickets captured and then apply various multiplicative indices on these base points.

In T20s, I have adopted a top-down approach. The Par Score is determined for each innings, be it the target-setting one or the chasing one. Then the team performance is worked out, to what extent the target score has been exceeded or fallen short, the extent of resources (runs and balls) used and the result. Afterwards, the batting and bowling function contributions are worked out and these allotted points further allotted amongst the batsmen and bowlers of each team. This is the basis for the Maruti-Cricinfo Ratings and more details are available there.

The advantage is that all Rating points are linked to the contribution to the team cause and scoring rates and bowling accuracy are incorporated to their high level of deservedness.

Top 20 Players during the T20 World Cup 2009

No Player            Ctry M RtgPts  Batting   Bowling

1 Shahid Afridi Pak 7 841.36 302.43 + 538.93 2 Bravo D.J Win 6 619.62 260.67 + 358.96 3 Umar Gul Pak 7 585.95 33.92 + 552.02 4 Dilshan T.M Slk 7 540.99 536.56 + 4.43 5 Kallis J.H Saf 5 502.32 334.11 + 168.21 6 Mendis B.A.W Slk 7 500.90 12.10 + 488.80 7 Saeed Ajmal Pak 7 457.70 0.00 + 457.70 8 van der Merwe R.E Saf 6 455.27 7.43 + 447.85 9 Malinga S.L Slk 7 454.47 11.51 + 442.96 10 Gayle C.H Win 5 448.81 308.65 + 140.16 11 Jayasuriya S.T Slk 7 436.80 305.69 + 131.11 12 Simmons L.M.P Win 5 429.77 267.61 + 162.16 13 Muralitharan M Slk 7 418.76 6.02 + 412.74 14 Mathews A.D Slk 7 364.71 151.10 + 213.60 15 Parnell W.D Saf 6 364.09 0.00 + 364.09 16 Steyn D.W Saf 6 360.85 0.00 + 360.85 17 Abdul Razzaq Pak 4 336.75 46.26 + 290.50 18 Mohammad Aamer Pak 7 335.32 0.00 + 335.32 19 McCallan W.K Ire 5 331.66 23.37 + 308.28 20 Broad S.C.J Eng 5 312.40 71.48 + 240.92

These are based on the individual batting and bowling performances during the World Cup.

There is no doubt that Shahid Afridi was the most influential player, by a few miles, during the World Cup. He is ahead of Dwayne Bravo by over 200 points. Umar Gul is third and Dilshan is fourth, followed by kallis. The award to Dilshan was probably a sympathy vote. It cannot be justified otherwise.

This table is a subsequent addition based on a reader comment and should have rightfully been there at the beginning itself.

1. Top 20 Bowling performances during the T20 World Cup 2009

No MtId Year Player Name          For  Vs  <-Analysis-> RtgPts

1.0107 2009 Umar Gul Pak Nzl 3.0-0- 6-5 226.1 Won 2.0099 2009 van der Merwe R.E Saf Nzl 4.0-0-14-2 133.8 Won 3.0116 2009 Abdul Razzaq Pak Slk 3.0-0-20-3 133.6 Won 4.0114 2009 Shahid Afridi Pak Saf 4.0-0-16-2 130.0 Won 5.0103 2009 Parnell W.D Saf Eng 3.5-0-14-3 119.6 Won 6.0104 2009 Malinga S.L Slk Pak 4.0-0-17-3 118.9 Won 7.0107 2009 Abdul Razzaq Pak Nzl 3.3-1-17-2 118.8 Won 8.0112 2009 Mendis B.A.W Slk Nzl 3.0-0- 9-3 117.2 Won 9.0113 2009 Botha J Saf Ind 4.0-0-16-3 112.0 Won 10.0115 2009 Mendis B.A.W Slk Win 4.0-0- 9-2 109.3 Won 11.0098 2009 Shahid Afridi Pak Hol 4.0-0-11-4 108.5 Won 12.0101 2009 Khan Z Ind Ire 3.0-0-19-4 106.7 Won 13.0110 2009 Saeed Ajmal Pak Ire 4.0-0-19-4 106.2 Won 14.0105 2009 Bravo D.J Win Ind 4.0-0-38-4 105.0 Won 15.0102 2009 McCullum N.L Nzl Ire 3.0-0-15-3 104.4 Won 16.0096 2009 Johnston D.T Ire Bng 4.0-0-20-3 104.0 Won 17.0111 2009 Bravo D.J Win Eng 4.0-0-30-2 103.8 Won 18.0106 2009 Parnell W.D Saf Win 4.0-0-13-4 102.2 Won 19.0099 2009 Butler I.G Nzl Saf 4.0-0-13-2 102.0 20.0105 2009 Edwards F.H Win Ind 4.0-0-24-3 100.8 Won

Umar Gul's amazing 5 for 6 (possibly equivalent to Vaas' 8 for 19 in ODIs) leads by such a huge margin that it is very likely that this would remain the best T20 bowling performance for years to come. The quality of wickets and the bowling accuracy are unbelievable.

The MOM award to van dear Merwe's economical spell against New Zealand surprised me until I found out that this is rated as the second best bowling performance. The bowling economy was aided by the two key wickets, that too in a low-scoring game.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa, who were the best bowling teams in the tournament, monopolize the top-10 positions. Zaheer Khan, McCullum, Bravo and Broad lead for their respective countries.

2. Top 20 batting performances during the T20 World Cup 2009

No MtId Year Player Name          For  Vs  Runs Balls RtgPts

1.0092 2009 Gayle C.H Win Aus 88 50 182.8 Won 2.0115 2009 Dilshan T.M Slk Win 96 57 151.7 Won 3.0100 2009 Jayasuriya S.T Slk Win 81 47 151.4 Won 4.0106 2009 Simmons L.M.P Win Saf 77 50 137.0 5.0100 2009 Dilshan T.M Slk Win 74 47 132.0 Won 6.0105 2009 Bravo D.J Win Ind 66 36 128.8 Won 7.0116 2009 Sangakkara K.C Slk Pak 64 52 115.6 8.0092 2009 Fletcher A.D.S Win Aus 53 32 111.8 Won 9.0091 2009 Ryder J.D Nzl Sco 31 12 111.8 Won 10.0108 2009 Jayawardene D.P.M.D Slk Ire 78 53 111.5 Won 11.0094 2009 de Villiers A.B Saf Sco 79 34 109.5 Won 12.0102 2009 Redmond A.J Nzl Ire 63 30 106.4 Won 13.0116 2009 Shahid Afridi Pak Slk 54 40 105.0 Won 14.0105 2009 Yuvraj Singh Ind Win 67 43 100.8 15.0114 2009 Kallis J.H Saf Pak 64 54 97.2 16.0097 2009 Dilshan T.M Slk Aus 53 32 96.4 Won 17.0109 2009 Pietersen K.P Eng Ind 46 27 95.8 Won 18.0106 2009 Gibbs H.H Saf Win 55 35 92.8 Won 19.0114 2009 Shahid Afridi Pak Saf 51 34 91.2 Won 20.0095 2009 Pietersen K.P Eng Pak 58 38 90.2 Won

Readers might wonder why Gayle's innings is rated higher than Dilshan's semi-final classic. The reason is that it was a high-pressure chasing innings, the Australian bowling attack was, on paper, much stronger and the result was a much closer one. If Gayle had failed, West Indies would have lost. If Dilshan had scored 30 runs fewer, Sri Lanka might very well have won.

The Top-10 table has 9 entries from the Sri Lankan and West Indian batsmen, with Dilshan accounting for two. The other entry is the surprising cameo of Ryder. Ryder's inclusion is a vindication of the Ratings methodology in that a match-winning cameo's importance in a shortened match with a stiff run-chase has been recognised.

de Villiers' explosive 79, Yuvraj's innings against West Indies, Afridi's top-class 50 against Sri Lanka and Pietersen's cameo against India lead for their respective countries.

3. 10-over analysis: by second half progress

No.I MtId Team     Score                Vs Runs

1.1 0094 Saf 88/2 to 211/ 5 (20.0) vs Sco 123 Won 2.1 0092 Aus 63/3 to 169/ 7 (20.0) vs Win 106 Lost 3.1 0102 Nzl 94/2 to 198/ 5 (20.0) vs Ire 104 Won 4.1 0093 Ind 76/1 to 180/ 5 (20.0) vs Bng 104 Won 5.1 0105 Ind 54/3 to 153/ 7 (20.0) vs Win 99 Lost 6.1 0106 Saf 86/1 to 183/ 7 (20.0) vs Win 97 Won 7.2 0100 Win 81/4 to 177/ 5 (20.0) vs Slk 96 Lost 8.1 0095 Eng 90/2 to 185/ 5 (20.0) vs Pak 95 Won 9.2 0105 Win 61/2 to 156/ 3 (18.4) vs Ind 95 Won 10.1 0098 Pak 81/2 to 175/ 5 (20.0) vs Hol 94 Won ... ... ... 47.2 0098 Hol 53/4 to 93/10 (17.3) vs Pak 40 Lost 48.2 0101 Ind 75/0 to 113/ 2 (15.3) vs Ire 38 Won 49.2 0112 Nzl 77/4 to 110/10 (17.0) vs Slk 33 Lost 50.2 0094 Sco 50/6 to 81/10 (15.4) vs Saf 31 Lost 51.2 0107 Pak 73/4 to 100/ 4 (13.1) vs Nzl 27 Won

South Africa leads the pack with an immense advance of 123 runs, albeit against Scotland. Australia advanced by over 100 runs against West Indies, but lost. New Zealand and India advanced by over 100 runs against weak teams. Note West Indies' progress against Sri Lanka for the loss of only one wicket.

4. 10-over analysis: by 10-over score

No.I MtId Team 10-over score

1.2 0092 Win 121/0 vs Aus Won 2.1 0100 Slk 105/0 vs Win Won 3.1 0102 Nzl 94/2 vs Ire Won 4.2 0090 Hol 91/3 vs Eng Won 5.1 0095 Eng 90/2 vs Pak Won 6.1 0090 Eng 89/0 vs Hol Lost 7.1 0094 Saf 88/2 vs Sco Won 8.2 0097 Slk 86/2 vs Aus Won 9.1 0106 Saf 86/1 vs Win Won 10.1 0104 Slk 86/1 vs Pak Won ... ... ... 47.2 0098 Hol 53/4 vs Pak Lost 48.2 0094 Sco 50/6 vs Saf Lost 49.2 0103 Saf 50/1 vs Eng Won 50.1 0101 Ire 48/5 vs Ind Lost 51.1 0103 Eng 47/3 vs Saf Lost

Only two teams crossed 100 runs in 10 overs, surprisingly both against top teams, and both without losing a wicket. For me the most amazing entry here is England's 89 for no loss against Holland, looking likely to score 200, adding only 73 in the next 10 overs and losing.

5. Table of 20-run overs

No MtId I For Bowler Name      Vs   O Runs % Scr Max

1.0092 2 Aus Lee B Win 5 27 15.7% 15 2.0091 2 Sco Stander J.H Nzl 6 22 24.4% 6 3.0094 1 Sco Watson R.R Saf 17 22 10.4% 20 4.0094 1 Sco Stander J.H Saf 5 21 10.0% 20 5.0095 1 Pak Yasir Arafat Eng 5 21 11.4% 20 6.0097 1 Slk Muralitharan M Aus 16 21 13.2% 20 7.0096 1 Ire Cusack A.R Bng 20 20 14.6% 20 8.0091 2 Sco Wright C.M Nzl 3 20 22.2% 6 9.0100 1 Win Edwards F.H Slk 10 20 10.4% 20 10.0110 1 Ire Johnston D.T Pak 4 20 12.6% 20 11.0112 2 Slk Jayasuriya S.T Nzl 2 20 18.2% 17

Brett Lee's disastrous over against West Indies, signalling the slide of Australia, was the most expensive of the World Cup. Stander is the only bowler to have delivered two 20-plus overs. Muralitharan is the surprise bowler in this list.

6. Great finishes: by runs scored during last 5 overs

No  I MtNo Team            Max  Runs

1. 1 0094 Saf 128 to 211 (20.0) 83 vs Sco Won 2. 1 0093 Ind 113 to 180 (20.0) 67 vs Bng Won 3. 1 0097 Aus 94 to 159 (20.0) 65 vs Slk Lost 4. 1 0098 Pak 115 to 175 (20.0) 60 vs Hol Won 5. 1 0115 Slk 98 to 158 (20.0) 60 vs Win Won 6. 1 0116 Slk 79 to 138 (20.0) 59 vs Pak Lost 7. 1 0102 Nzl 140 to 198 (20.0) 58 vs Ire Won 8. 1 0092 Aus 111 to 169 (20.0) 58 vs Win Lost 9. 1 0105 Ind 97 to 153 (20.0) 56 vs Win Lost 10. 2 0109 Ind 94 to 150 (20.0) 56 vs Eng Lost

The top two last 5-over blitzes are by the top teams against weak teams. The real move came in the Australia match against Sri Lanka, although they lost the match. Sri Lanka had a similar spurt against West Indies, and won. India had two great finishes but lost both matches. Note also that West Indies has conceded 55-plus runs three times during the last 5 overs. The first 9 finishes are in the first innings.

Note entries 5 and 6. Sri Lanka had two great finishes. The first took them to the final but the second was not enough to win the final.

7. The slow innings (Minimum 20 balls)

No MtId Player Name        For  Runs Balls  S/R   Vs

1.0105 Dhoni M.S Ind 11 23 47.8 Win 2.0115 Jayasuriya S.T Slk 24 37 64.9 Win Won 3.0096 Raqibul Hasan Bng 13 20 65.0 Ire 4.0099 Taylor R.L Nzl 22 31 71.0 Saf 5.0109 Jadeja R.A Ind 25 35 71.4 Eng 6.0098 Kervezee A.N Hol 21 29 72.4 Pak 7.0104 2009 Misbah-ul-Haq Pak 21 28 75.0 Slk 8.0094 2009 Haq R.M Sco 15 20 75.0 Saf 9.0107 2009 Styris S.B Nzl 22 29 75.9 Pak 10.0096 2009 Tamim Iqbal Bng 22 28 78.6 Ire

Dhoni's lacklustre effort against West Indies, leading this pack of forgettable innings, was one of the reasons for that loss and is indicative of his loss of form and confidence. Despite the WC 2007 win it is obvious that India in general and Dhoni in particular have not mastered the T20 game. Dhoni himself plays the T20 matches often like an ODI matches. Incidentally Dhoni's is the only innings with a 1970s Test match strike rate of below 50.

In hindsight, Jayasuriya's slow innings, which looked bad when watched live, looks like a far better innings than to seemed because of the excellent opening partnership and it allowed Dilshan to play the way he played. This is also the only match which was won.

Enough has been written about Jadeja's incomprehensible innings. The mistake was not his, he was unfortunately put in that situation.

8. Great all-round displays (>20 runs and 1+ wicket(s)

No MtId Year Player Name       For  Vs     Runs    <-Analysis->

1.0105 2009 Bravo D.J Win Ind 66 (36) 4.0-0-38-4 Won 2.0100 2009 Simmons L.M.P Win Slk 29 (19) 3.0-0-19-4 3.0103 2009 Kallis J.H Saf Eng 57 (49) 3.0-0-20-2 Won 4.0114 2009 Shahid Afridi Pak Saf 51 (34) 4.0-0-16-2 Won 5.0116 2009 Shahid Afridi Pak Slk 54 (40) 4.0-0-20-1 Won 6.0096 2009 Mashrafe Mortaza Bng Ire 33 (16) 4.0-0-30-2 7.0093 2009 Naeem Islam Bng Ind 28 (17) 3.0-0-32-2 8.0109 2009 Jadeja R.A Ind Eng 25 (35) 4.0-0-26-2 9.0094 2009 Morkel J.A Saf Sco 24 (11) 1.4-0-15-2 Won 10.0090 2009 ten Doeschate R.N Hol Eng 22 (17) 4.0-0-35-2 Won 11.0102 2009 Cusack A.R Ire Nzl 20 (12) 4.0-0-43-2 12.0107 2009 Shahid Afridi Pak Nzl 29 (18) 4.0-0-17-1 Won 13.0099 2009 Kallis J.H Saf Nzl 24 (23) 3.0-0-17-1 Won

Bravo's all-round excellence against India is unmatched and the best in T20 history. A furious 50 and 4 wickets, unbelievable. Lendl Simmons' wonderful performance, unfortunately, was not enough to win. Note also that Shahid Afridi has three all-round displays. It is interesting to note that many of these all-round performances have finished on the losing side. Also of interest is that Jadeja, barring the 15 dot balls, had a pretty good match against England.

9. Team performance summary

Irrespective of the Final result, we should consider the two finalists as the two top teams. The winner, Pakistan, the best T-20 team in the world, should be the first amongst these two equals.

Similarly the four teams which exited after the preliminary league should be dumped at the end, with Netherlands, with an excellent win over England, being the first amongst these four teams.

The other six teams are led by South Africa and followed by West Indies, England, New Zealand, Ireland and India in that order based on their performances.

The exit of India, no doubt causing huge losses to the Indian corporates and Indian players, however, rejuvenated the tournament since it enabled the emphasis to return to the game, brought to the forefront less-fancied but gifted teams and a level of media tranquility. The two finalists epitomised what is right with the game. They richly deserved their places and Pakistan, a single hit away from winning the 2007 final, were most deserving winners.

My next posting will be the follow-up article to the Test Batsmen one.

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

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Posted by gaurav on (September 1, 2011, 9:42 GMT)

yes im right with the table statistics. [[ Cryptic but message is conveyed. Ananth: ]]

Posted by wasiim on (June 27, 2009, 7:57 GMT)

why every one forgot the contribution of abdul razzak, it was wickets which cause sri lankan to go slow at begining i dont find his points in final can u rate it [[ Wasim You have not looked at the table correctly. Razzaq's wonderful performance is the third best with 133 points. Ananth: ]]

Posted by FunCricket on (June 25, 2009, 22:30 GMT)

Anantha! Great work. I completely agree with your analyses. One point I wanted to make is usually in cricket tournaments, player of the tournament is based on the games excluding semis and final. I can think of many tournaments in the past where player of the tournament was decided even from the teams which didnt make it into semis. [[ While that may be true I feel that excluding the later matches is a very unprofessional way of doing things. Ananth: ]]

Posted by malik nanayakkara on (June 25, 2009, 18:35 GMT)

I am happy to note that Ananth has mellowed down his earlier statement, from "award to Dilshan is probably a sympathy vote it cannot be justified otherwise" to "sharing the award seems to be an excellent idea". Although you now say that the analysis was not to meant pick a best player of the tournament, your comments in the initial article implies otherwise, where u used the analysis as a yardstick to justify your comments. However, all's well that ends well and I am happy if I have contributed through my responses to see things in the correct perspective. That dosen't prevent me from raising my hat off to Anand for taking the trouble to present us with a comprehensive analysis and also for being gracious enough to reply to our responses. As for the fielding aspect I noticed several articles on the comparison of the fielding skills of the 2 players. Since my views on the subject is likely to consume more than the space permitted I hope to respond to same shortly web master permitting. [[ Malik I think Dilshan is a great all-round fielder while Afridi took outstanding catches. Unfortunately I am able to give credit only for catches. You might have read my earlier mail about Afridi getting the MOS award for the 2007 WC. It is fair that he has had two very good WCs and picks up one MOS award while Dilshan who had a wonderful WC 2009 gets the other one. Maybe we should give credit to the judges for this. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Ayaz on (June 25, 2009, 17:37 GMT)

I just have one question to Pat and others who say Dilshan is "Mr.consistant" and Afridi only performed in the last two games. How can you ignore his CONSISTANT bowling performance match after match when he continued to trouble the opposition in the middle overs and taking regular wickets with excellent strike and economy rate ? Afridi was consistant with the ball and Dilshan with the bat. Maybe Dilshan was slightly better. But in the later stages, Afridi scored two reasonable scores (of 20/20 level) in mid 20's. That actually brought him closer to Dilshan. but then he gave marvelous finishing touch in both Semi-final and final and clearly gone past Dilshan when he failed. why dont you guys consider the fact that it doenst matter for how long during the race an athlete dominates and leads. Its the finishing line that matters and if an athlete, despite leading all the way, fell short of finishing line and others pass him, all his efforts will be ruined.

Posted by Noman Aziz on (June 25, 2009, 12:26 GMT)

I dont agree with your analysis where you said that if Dilshan had scored 30 runs less then SL would've still won the game. I think here we need to keep in mind that the performance of the chasing team depends a lot on the total of the first team. for instance, it is much likely that a team would chase down a score of 135 than if it had to chase 150, although the difference is just 15 runs. A good example is Pak vs SL match in teh super 8 stage. if SL had scored 140 instead of 150 then Pak would definitely have won the game even though the margin of victory for SL was 18 runs! another good example is the final. Although Pak score 138 with 8 balls to spare, you can project that they could've easily score a total of 150. but had SL posted 150 Pak might not have reached even 138...! Noman Aziz

Posted by Felix Anton on (June 25, 2009, 11:24 GMT)

Dear Mr Narayanan

I find your analysis and logic excellent. My only question is that at times we also ignore the circumstances created by team mates that assist the players to excel. I cite two examples from Pakistan's heroic effort which resulted in Afridi's rise to the top! In bowling, it was Ajmal - nothing spectacular to showcase but overall support by creating the pressure that allowed Afridi to excel. Shoib Malik in the final - that allowed Afridi the support needed to play his game.

So I ask - is it worth considering 'assists' as an option of providing points (just as some other contributor suggested brownie points) - that may not be contributing to the cumulative scores but also for each effort that you may analyse - I am hoping there were more than one performances in each match that you considered.

Regards Felix [[ Felix If you read my brief write-up on the T20 Ratings (and more in the Maruti-Cricinfo Ratings pages) you will see that once I determine the quantum of allocation to the two teams then on to the batting and bowling functions of both teams, I then allocate these points to the individuals based on their contributions. So Ajmal's and Shoab's support will be clearly recognized. I have given below the numbers from the Semi Final. Bowling: Afridi: 4-0-16-2 (130 points) Ajmal: 4-0-23-1 (66 points) Aamer: 4-0-30-1 (54 points) Batting Afridi: 54 in 40 (91.2 points) Akmal: 23 in 12 (51 points) Shoaib: 34 in 39 (46.5 points). The above clearly proves that support acts get their due credit. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Muhammad Asim on (June 25, 2009, 8:55 GMT)

The analysis is excellent, good work done. I think everyone has agreed that Afridi should have been judged man of the tournament. But what if he has not been. Just leave it to the judge’s who has been given the responsibility and enjoy the lovely game of cricket. Pak Srilanka series coming up ...

Posted by imran on (June 25, 2009, 1:56 GMT)

i think afridi did good job as a fielder.bowler and bastmen. he had score 176 runs.11 wickets.3 superb catches points are 841... dilshan did 317 runs only with 3 catches. points is only 540.it very clear cut to find out who is best and who did great performance in every field/ [[ Imran What you say is right. The only thing others are justifiably saying is the outstanding contribution Dilshan made in taking Sri Lanka to the Final and the primary reason for Sri Lanka's loss was the way Pakistan hustled Dilshan successfully into making a mistake. Both have performed wonderfully well. Ananth: ]]

Posted by M Fiaz on (June 24, 2009, 21:37 GMT)

Well i was there on sunday afternoon at the pavilion end in the upper Compton stand to enjoy Pakistan’s 20/20 victory. 20/20 has brought something new to the sport, it has filled the gap between Tests and the dying 1st class cricket. ODI's will no doubt also die out and a new bread of cricketer will rack up 600 20/20 games before they retire. I am amazed at the analysis again Ananath, you really go to town with your work. However Ashish P does have a point i believe. I agree it is important to appreciate the differences in Tests and 20/20, or between Mozart and James Brown or Miles Davis and Radiohead but it doesn’t mean they are equal. Now i know that is a subjective point of view but it is a fact that Test cricket 'tests' the cricket player to the limit and is superior in skill in almost every aspect. I've seen Lara, Gilchrist, Richards etc play just as many amazing shots during a test match as any 20/20 player.

Test cricket is the standard barer, just as Mozart made classical music more popular to the masses than ever before or Miles Davis’ innovations that still influence all modern music. I think Ashish’s point is this (please correct me if I’m wrong Ashish!), Some things are worth looking at in detail and can enrich and surprise and delight because of their greater value and long lasting impact and influence. The phrase ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ springs to mind and I believe sum’s up Test and 20/20 cricket.

Why write a book about Keith Athurton when you can write one about Brian Lara? It would be a waste of time –unread, degraded and forgotten.

This is not an attack on the analysis, not at all, it’s just questioning its relevance at this time in 20/20 history.

Regards Moh [[ Fiaz (and Ashish) I know that my T20 articles will get at best 30 comments but the Test articles 500. But as an analyst I have to give my effort and time to do justice to all forms of cricket. Anyway there will be articles on Test, ODI and T20 and the readers should understand the need. Have you seen how many articles Peter Roebuck and Sambit (Bal) have written on T20. I am of the firm view that Test cricket is the greatest and purest form of cricket but it needs the other forms of cricket to survive. Mayve the razzmatazz can be reduced. Ananth: ]]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anantha Narayanan
Anantha spent the first half of his four-decade working career with corporates like IBM, Shaw Wallace, NCR, Sime Darby and the Spinneys group in IT-related positions. In the second half, he has worked on cricket simulation, ratings, data mining, analysis and writing, amongst other things. He was the creator of the Wisden 100 lists, released in 2001. He has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket, and worked extensively with Maruti Motors, Idea Cellular and Castrol on their performance ratings-related systems. He is an armchair connoisseur of most sports. His other passion is tennis, and he thinks Roger Federer is the greatest sportsman to have walked on earth.

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