March 2, 2010

Why Tendulkar will hit another 57 Test centuries

Going by the immaculate precedent set by Graham Gooch, of course
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The moustache has it: as his facial hair bloomed, so did Graham Gooch’s average © Getty Images
 

Hello Confectionery Stallers. I have been busily mining some Tendulkar statistics for you, only to find that I had been beaten to it by Cricinfo’s Caesar Of Statistics, S Rajesh, in this as-always illuminating piece on the Mumbai Marvel’s recent renaissance.

This reached a stunning peak with his historic one-day double-hundred in Gwalior last week – a useful innings in anyone’s book, in which he scored as many hundreds as England have managed in their last 23 one-day internationals over 15 months (and more double-hundreds than everyone on the planet had managed in the previous 51,478 one-day international innings).

So I had to excavate deeper in the seam of statistics with some special industrial stat-mining equipment, which I drilled directly through my computer screen until some numbers splurted out.

As he reached 200, Tendulkar passed the 31,054 international runs landmark. Narrowly – he’s now on 31,055, which is more than 6000 ahead of second-placed Ricky Ponting, and 31,055 more than the entire Zaltzman family combined. He also extended his lead at the top of the international centuries chart to 25 (he has 93 to Ponting’s trifling 68; next come Lara on 53 and Kallis on 50, with all Zaltzmans lagging behind morosely on 0; and no one else has even scored half as many as Tendulkar).

History suggests that the records will keep tumbling. They are now mostly his own records – Tendulkar can barely breathe without breaking some kind of world best. In fact, he literally cannot breathe without breaking a record – with 609 international appearances under his golden belt, he has, one assumes, breathed more often on an international cricket field that any other cricketer. (With the possible exception of England legend and notorious oxygen fan Herbert Sutcliffe, also known as “Hyperventilating Herbert”, who averaged around 200 breaths per minute throughout his Test career. The story goes that Sutcliffe believed that rapid breathing conveyed a sense of nervousness through the arms into the wood of the bat, making the blade tense up, and thus hit the ball further.) (The contents of the previous parenthesis are not entirely true.)

Tendulkar is now approaching his 37th birthday, meaning he will have 10 fewer candles on his cake this year than Test hundreds on his CV. As soon as Graham Gooch turned 37 in July 1990, he promptly smashed 333 against India at Lord’s, in the infant Tendulkar’s first Test in England, in which he took a catch from another universe to dismiss Allan Lamb.

Before that innings, Gooch had averaged 37 and scored just nine hundreds in 78 Tests, punctuated by periods of poor form, technical imperfections, bans, self-imposed exile, and nagging doubts over exactly how bushy his moustache should be. After reconciling himself that it should be, and remain, “very bushy”, Gooch had an extended late blooming, averaging 51 over 40 Tests, with 11 more centuries.

So, using mathematics, the deceitful she-devil, if Tendulkar achieves proportionately an identical improvement after his 37th birthday to Gooch’s, he will over the remainder of his career play 85 more Tests, and hit 57 more Test centuries whilst averaging 75. Beware, bowlers of the world, the best may be yet to come. If Graham Gooch proves to be a scientifically accurate predictor for how batsmen perform after the age of 37. And if Tendulkar is prepared to grow his whiskers.

The delight all cricket fans must feel at Tendulkar catapulting himself back to the summit of the game is enhanced by the extent and duration of his mid-career slump. I would argue that it extended way beyond even the two-year 2005-06 period Mr Rajesh details. Over half a decade − from the start of India’s disastrous two-Test humiliation in New Zealand in December 2002, to the beginning of the 2007-08 series in Australia – if you exclude two boot-filling short series against Bangladesh, Tendulkar averaged just 38.49 in 35 Tests. The cricketing immortal was rubbing statistical shoulders with the likes of Asanka Gurusinha and Craig MacMillan.

If we discount all Tests against the average-camouflagingly weak Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Tendulkar had the 45th best Test batting average during this period (including only batsmen who played in 10 or more Tests). Here’s proof.

He scored only three centuries against the older Test nations – two of which came in successive Tests early in 2004, when he scored 241 not out and 60 not out in Sydney, then 194 not out in Multan. Either side of that short but floridly purple patch, the little master’s Bangladesh-excluding average over five whole years was an almost Ramprakashistic, sub-Azhar-Mahmoodian 29.

Tendulkar was aged between 29 and 34 during this underachieving span, an age when batsmen are generally thought to be at their peak.

(Here’s a little statistical teaser for you that my mining equipment chunked out from the cricket earth’s molten statistical core. What age is the highest-averaging age for Test batsmen? Take a guess, write it down, seal it in an envelope, hide it under your pillow, and wait for the answer to be revealed in this week’s World Cricket Podcast. If your answer is correct, you win this week’s star prize – the everlasting respect of the cricketing universe.)

Brian Lara had a similar career trough. After his stellar early years, culminating in a massive series in England in 1995, Lara averaged just 40 over six years between the ages of 26 and 32, before exploding back into greatness in Sri Lanka in 2001-02.

In this time, the Trinidad Trailblazer averaged over 50 in just two series out of 12 – a century-free rubber of steady scoring against England early in 1998, and his flabbergastingly brilliant single-handed demolition of McGrath, Gillespie, Warne and MacGill a year later. In the rest of his career he topped 50 in 15 of his 23 series.

How curious that the two greatest batsmen of their era should both have slumped significantly over a prolonged period during what should have been their best years, before resurging when they might have been expected to decline. Tendulkar’s elbow operation in May 2005 lies exactly in the middle of his five-year funk, and must be the major explanation for his temporary relapse into relative cricketing humdrummery, given the perfection of his technique and the equanimity of his temperament. Brian Lara’s slump can be attributed to the fact that he was Brian Lara.

These numerical rift valleys in otherwise Himalayan careers are perhaps bizarre anomalies, but not without precedent in the world of geniuses. Beethoven once spent five years writing nothing but advertising jingles for a horse insurance firm, French sculpture whiz Auguste Rodin locked himself away in a studio for the entire 1890s, and emerged having made a single papier-mache Mickey Mouse, and Shakespeare wrote As You Like It (my view of which may have been clouded by having it force-rammed down my throat as an A-level set text) (but only slightly clouded).

The answer to the highest-averaging age question, and related fascinations, will be revealed in this week’s World Cricket Podcast, which will also address issues ranging from England’s tour of Bangladesh, Australia’s jaunt to New Zealand, and the history of the appeal. Plus the latest in the completely unmissable Annoying Things About Cricket series. And some other stuff, if I think of it. And maybe an interview.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ajay on May 3, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    on a hectic morning i was made to feel i was living in two different time zones by the pure poetry in motion on tv. mark waugh was not at all touching the ball with his bat. the ball was just about coming near the bat and i am 100% sure it wasn't touching the bat. due to some magic, sorcery i dunno the ball was bolting to the boundary with gay abandon. for me, on that morning, mark waugh was the best batsman in the world.

  • mahendra on March 15, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    this is really rediculuous that there is any debate about his being the best batsman in the history of cricket.. he is surely enough the best of all times..

  • Sachin on March 14, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    He has a record of being victim of most wrong umpiring decisions, I count half of them as his centuries.

  • nishu on March 12, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I fully accept with the the view that the great batsmen should'nt be considered as spent force on reaching the mid thirties. but its also true that the great SRT would not had made test debut at an early age had the selectors not dropped Amarnath & also we would have been deprived of the three magnificient hundreands on debut by Azhar had selectors not dropped Sandeep Patil....

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on March 11, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    I think Don and Tendulkar both are legend of cricket. We should accept the reality that he is legend now. Tendulkar is still in progress and he is going to score further centuries easily.

    We cannot compare both as Bradman played only ten grounds as compare to his 50 grounds in test against nine teams. 79% against England with half career timeless matches. For 100 wicket club, only six and Tendulkar almost fifty bowlers faced in test with 100 or more.

    Just compare Don with Herbert, his batting average was 66.85 against Australia as compare to his 89.8 against England. But he faced three leg spinner (Mailey, Grimmett, Reilly) then Iron Monger too. Suppose if would play from Australia he could improve to how much we do not know. Headley batting average against England was 71.23 without timeless matches but against Australia only his average only 37.33. It means Herbert was better than him in this regard, compare 37.33 to 66.85.

  • Saad Parekh on March 10, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    For me Tendulkar is indisputed king of ODIs but as far a test is concerned i think he has underperformed. During his purple patch between 2002-2007 tendulkar still sore heavily in ODIs (Obviously not a he did in 1998 but still good enough). Remember 2004 worldcup. Tendulkar havn't done justice to his talent in Tests for sure.

  • Ron on March 10, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    @charles. Undoubtedly true. They all deserve and have thoroughly earned our respect.It's just when daft,biased and ignorant comments are thrown around that I see red- and it is then that the usual mudslinging to and fro starts...Good to see that we still have some folks grounded in good old commonsense around Cheers

  • BV on March 10, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    You disappointed me Zaltzman. You surely disappointed me. You committed an unforgivable crime by your standards. How can you miss such a Golden/Platinum or whatever chance to have a go at Greg Chappel. Better late than never. I am expecting you redeem this mistake in your ProdCast.

    BV.

  • Charles on March 9, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    @Aditya,Neon,Nishant, I am pretty much sure that Lara is noway near to Sachin as an ODI batsman.I am talking only about tests.Most of the time after 1997, Lara was almost an opener facing the new ball.He never had pressureless situations and he performed almost everytime.He had players like Campbell,Griffith,Wavell hinds compared to Sehwag,Dravid and laxman. lolz. I would like to conclude that - Sachin is the master of the game.No one playd it like him. But i disagree with the attitude of his fans who disrespect other players and doesnt see beyond Sachin.

  • Ron on March 8, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    @legend. which is perhaps why Tendulkar has about 11,000 international runs more at a better average.

  • ajay on May 3, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    on a hectic morning i was made to feel i was living in two different time zones by the pure poetry in motion on tv. mark waugh was not at all touching the ball with his bat. the ball was just about coming near the bat and i am 100% sure it wasn't touching the bat. due to some magic, sorcery i dunno the ball was bolting to the boundary with gay abandon. for me, on that morning, mark waugh was the best batsman in the world.

  • mahendra on March 15, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    this is really rediculuous that there is any debate about his being the best batsman in the history of cricket.. he is surely enough the best of all times..

  • Sachin on March 14, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    He has a record of being victim of most wrong umpiring decisions, I count half of them as his centuries.

  • nishu on March 12, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I fully accept with the the view that the great batsmen should'nt be considered as spent force on reaching the mid thirties. but its also true that the great SRT would not had made test debut at an early age had the selectors not dropped Amarnath & also we would have been deprived of the three magnificient hundreands on debut by Azhar had selectors not dropped Sandeep Patil....

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on March 11, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    I think Don and Tendulkar both are legend of cricket. We should accept the reality that he is legend now. Tendulkar is still in progress and he is going to score further centuries easily.

    We cannot compare both as Bradman played only ten grounds as compare to his 50 grounds in test against nine teams. 79% against England with half career timeless matches. For 100 wicket club, only six and Tendulkar almost fifty bowlers faced in test with 100 or more.

    Just compare Don with Herbert, his batting average was 66.85 against Australia as compare to his 89.8 against England. But he faced three leg spinner (Mailey, Grimmett, Reilly) then Iron Monger too. Suppose if would play from Australia he could improve to how much we do not know. Headley batting average against England was 71.23 without timeless matches but against Australia only his average only 37.33. It means Herbert was better than him in this regard, compare 37.33 to 66.85.

  • Saad Parekh on March 10, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    For me Tendulkar is indisputed king of ODIs but as far a test is concerned i think he has underperformed. During his purple patch between 2002-2007 tendulkar still sore heavily in ODIs (Obviously not a he did in 1998 but still good enough). Remember 2004 worldcup. Tendulkar havn't done justice to his talent in Tests for sure.

  • Ron on March 10, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    @charles. Undoubtedly true. They all deserve and have thoroughly earned our respect.It's just when daft,biased and ignorant comments are thrown around that I see red- and it is then that the usual mudslinging to and fro starts...Good to see that we still have some folks grounded in good old commonsense around Cheers

  • BV on March 10, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    You disappointed me Zaltzman. You surely disappointed me. You committed an unforgivable crime by your standards. How can you miss such a Golden/Platinum or whatever chance to have a go at Greg Chappel. Better late than never. I am expecting you redeem this mistake in your ProdCast.

    BV.

  • Charles on March 9, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    @Aditya,Neon,Nishant, I am pretty much sure that Lara is noway near to Sachin as an ODI batsman.I am talking only about tests.Most of the time after 1997, Lara was almost an opener facing the new ball.He never had pressureless situations and he performed almost everytime.He had players like Campbell,Griffith,Wavell hinds compared to Sehwag,Dravid and laxman. lolz. I would like to conclude that - Sachin is the master of the game.No one playd it like him. But i disagree with the attitude of his fans who disrespect other players and doesnt see beyond Sachin.

  • Ron on March 8, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    @legend. which is perhaps why Tendulkar has about 11,000 international runs more at a better average.

  • sayed abdul basit(from Afghanistan) on March 7, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    whatever u guys think sachine is the best player in the world and wasim akram was the best bowler

  • Siddharth on March 6, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    These comaparisions r worthless. No 1 çan compare any 2 players who played in different era and in different conditions.

  • Gizza on March 6, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    To all. Please lets stop! You only need to know that the greatest cricketer there's ever been, the Great Don saw Sachin as him. To me that says everything about Sach and ones does not even need to look at stats. Those who say that any batsmen culd have acheived the records that Sach has acheioevd so far gven the numbers of games he's played, tell me of one coz I dont know of any. Please remember the likes of Lara and Ponting have not had to face bowlers from their own country so one wonders how Ponting would have fared against Macgrath and Warne and some of the WI bowlers! QED.

  • Legend on March 6, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    Lara is THE Legend and miles better than Sachin.

  • Swaroop on March 6, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    I think more than age, career years usually determine the peak period of batsmen. When most other 'great' batsmen of the world start their careers at the age of 19-22, sachin was blessed enough to represent his country at 16. I think after 8-10 years in a batsman peaks, cause of the fact that he has toured most countries and has played all sorts of wickets, has faced all good bowlers of the time, has a set batting position, has worked on his specific weaknesses etc. So sachin bloomed the best in 1997-2001 period, i.e 9-12 year period. Similarly, Ricky and Lara also bloomed in this phase of their careers. I believe the late flurry of runs and tons sachin is having coz now he has nothing to lose, and is enjoying his game, unlike in some mid years he had constantly been under an enormous pressure to perform. I believe the current teams' aggressive mode also helps him perform. Hail Sach

  • plsn on March 6, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Oh Shan ! "Tendulkar score lots of runs coz indian pitches are good for bating"...... Pray! What say of Punter's class on the very same "batting pitches"? Did they suddenly become "bowling pitches" for the very short duration of his stay on those pitches? Pathetic as you guys are, always!!

  • Al on March 5, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    @aditya, charles etc why you even bothering? this article CLEARLY shows how stats can totally deceiving when using "overall" stats without any context.

    As above it is obvious that till 01/01/03 Tendulkar was miles ahead of Lara, Ponting. In the next 3/4 yrs Lara/ponting made merry and piled on runs.... BUT... and here's the catch... So did EVERYBODY!!

    If you check the stats for the top 20/25 batsmen you will be astonished at the run glut. Tendulkar missed out on the feast, that's all. This is why other ppl have mentioned “superficial” stats without any context...and also mentioned If you compare "overall" stats of a regular racehorse vs. a champion thoroughbred and INTENTIONALLY include periods when the thoroughbred was limping...and then hold it forth as some sort of "proof"...then that is nothing but pure deviousness.

  • ankit agarwal on March 5, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    nice article but seems a bit more out of joy n not of realistic approach but i didn't mean that sachin can't score these 57test centuries but what he needs is atleast 57 innings in 3 or 4 yrs of his career BUT ANYWAY SACHIN IS BEST OF ALL N WE ALL HOPE FR D VERY BEST FROM HIM

  • Adithya on March 5, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Hello charles, yes tendulkar played more tests than lara to becme highest run getter in tests but lara played more innings than tendulkar and also avg of lara is less . Simple math na?

  • Satyajit on March 5, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    The time (1992 to 2002, 9 tests) Sachin played with Zim, they were a pretty decent team. I would say better than the current WI (A team which played against Aus recently). Flower bothers, Heath Streak, Campbell, Paul Strang, Whittal, Eddo Brandes, Taibu... Streak was a decent all rounder. It was a proper test playing nation. Not only Ban but they had beaten both Ind and Pak. Due to some bad politics the team disintegrated in last five/six years. There is no reason why somebody can subtract that record arbitrarily. On the perpetual debate of Sachin vs Don I would rather like leave that alone. Don's stats were incredible but that was a completely different era. It's much more reasonable to compare batsmen of last forty years and that is where Sachin will trump others. Lara has been as good a test batsman and Richards as good a ODI batsman but you don't see the combination in any other. Mind it, I am just considering Sobers's batsmanship here and not his allround abilities.

  • nishant on March 5, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar’s 138 was his sixth hundred in 38 innings in finals, and it pushed his overall average in such matches up to an impressive 55.54. In his last three finals, he has notched up scores of 117 not out, 91 and 138, and India have won each of those matches. That 117 was a masterclass in risk free cricket, and yet he was scoring at run a ball. 117 and 91 won India the CB series against Australia, probably India’s most significant win in ODI’s after the 83 world cup.

  • nishant on March 5, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    The Man-of-the-Match award was Tendulkar’s 59th in ODIs, and his eighth in finals. It was also his 14th Player-of-the-Series award. Tendulkar leads the all-time list in both categories – he is 11 clear of the second-placed Jayasuriya in the match awards and three ahead in the series awards.

  • nishant on March 5, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    @ Charles

    In all, Tendulkar has scored 1833 runs in finals, which is easily the highest – Sanath Jayasuriya is next with 1613. Tendulkar also ranks very high in terms of all-time averages in finals: among those who’ve scored at least 500 runs in finals, only three have a higher average. One of them is India’s current coach, Gary Kirsten – in 20 innings, he scored 1019 runs at an excellent average of 69.73. Tendulkar’s stats are very similar to those of Viv Richards, who averaged 55.73 at a strike rate of 84.78 in 17 finals. Brian Lara, on the other hand, has struggled in finals, averaging only 28.16, more than 12 runs below his career average. His one century and two fifties all came in his first four innings; in his last 14 finals, his highest score was 35.

  • Anonymous on March 5, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Just checked up some stuff. The Australian team has clearly been the strongest team in the world over the last 2 decades. And where would they be the toughest? In their own backyards, of course. So, one may say that the toughest test in world cricket would be how a batsman fared against Australian IN Australia. The stats read: Tendulkar : avg 58.53 with 6 hundreds. Lara : avg 41.97 with 4 hundreds (inspite of playing 5 more inn) And Tendulkar has also played longer than any modern day batsman against Aus in Aus from 92 to 2008. So, the most varied attack for the longest time. Case Rested.

  • Deon on March 5, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    The likes of Lara/Ponting/Kallis etc will ALWAYS be a rung below Tendulkar. As this article reveals it is ONLY during a 4 year span, when Tendulkar was injured, that the rest "caught up". The stats till 01/01/03 as given above are CRYSTAL clear.(and then again post injury) So, it is blatantly clear- The others can ONLY be said to be better than Tendulkar,when Tendulkar is injured. The rest of the time,as long as Tendulkar is fit, it’s a No Contest. Then as Warney used to say ,it's "Tendulkar first, Daylight second,then the rest"

  • Greg on March 5, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Don't forget the Don played South Africa, West Indies and India as well. He also suffered from ill health during the prime of his life and there was a World War somewhere in there as well that disrupted his playing.

  • Andrew on March 5, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    This is a fare article written by someone obviously very much in love with Tendulkar. I think though that for the most part we are confusing longevity and an ability to produce consistency over a long period of time with true batting greatness. Most of Tendulkars records have simply come from an enormously long period in the game, a feat many batsmen would achieve had they played the amount of games that tendulkar has. He is a great batsmen no doubt but I dont think we should lose sight of why he has the records he does, longevity! Lara and Ponting have done equally well for their amount of games and i would even suggest they have done better. Tendulkar has never hit the height that these two have, a fact that can be measured by Tendulkar only having ever achieved a seriers tally of 493 runs as the most scored in any test seriers by him. Take away his record against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and we have quite a different story.

  • Ron on March 5, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    Wish Sachin plays for another 20 years ! Don't care about the number of runs/hundreds more he will score... Just want to watch him bat! Ah...unsurpassed perfection.

  • Bharat on March 5, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    Sachin was destined for greatness from the getgo- debut at 4+ years earlier than Don/Lara...He terrorized bowlers at all levels of the game...not sure how Don/Lara did before their Test debuts but Sachin's records are well documented. Don started at 20 and Lara at 21. Its time to stop comparisons and accept that Sachin "Neo" Tendulkar is the "One".

  • Mr.Nanduri on March 5, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    LARA is way ahead of SACHIN in terms of the quality of runs made.Runs made in tests should be taken into account rather than ODI's.ODI's are crap.SACHIN is full of quantity but not quality.LARA is quality personified.Anyone who watched LARA's 153 not out against aussies in 1999-00 series would never compare them.That innings of LARA was surreal.That innings of LARA is more than enough to challenge all the centuries made by SACHIN put together.And LARA has many more such innings to his credit.SACHIN can never even dream of playing such an innings(153 no).It is an open secret that SACHIN plays for records.He himself admitted that he will not retire until he makes 15000 runs in tests.What does that mean? He also says that he never plays for records.SELF-CONTRADICTION! Anyone who REALLY understands cricket knows in their heart that LARA is far better player than SACHIN.So better stop comparing them and think of something else.Do not waste your time guys!

  • MG on March 5, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    I think Brian Lara, bless his heart, was a great batsman. But he is held in such high regard partly because of his swashbuckling style and the fact that his few highest notes(out of a career spanning several hundreds of matches )were higher than anyone else's. The truth is that he was nowhere near as consistently good as Tendulkar has been and still is.Also, Tendulkar has done better “away” than Lara. Consider this. In 4th innings, Brian averaged 2 runs lower than Sachin, and has 8 hundreds in winning causes vs Sachin's 18. And apart from the 153*, he has done virtually nothing in 4th innings chases. But that innings has always been cited in a "what has sachin done?" argument. Before Sachin buried the idiots at Chennai last year, of course. And let's not even bring ODIs into the picture. I'll risk sounding like a troll and say that it's ludicrous to me that anyone would look beyond Sachin as the greatest player in limited overs history. He has 33 hundreds in winning causes, has made runs eveywhere and in real pressure cooker situations (he averages 56 with 6 hundreds in ODI finals v Ponting's 38 or Lara's 28). The closest anyone comes in the ODI greatness stakes is Viv Richards, and Tendulkar has 10,000 more runs (say it out loud - TEN THOUSAND), at a marginally (45 v 47) lower average and marginally lower strike rate. So, please, I beg of you fine folks, end this Sachin v Lara debate once and for all. I'll get an aneurysm if I have to listen any more about Brian Lara winning more matches (all eight of them) or having been a better batsman than Sachin.

  • no_name on March 5, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    Sachin's average would have been better than Don's if he only had to face English bowlers!

  • Ajay on March 4, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    Nice one! Number of runs and centuries apart I would like Sachin to do a couple of things which only distingushed batsmen have achieved. 1)A hundred in both innings of test match and 2)A test triple century. I see that these 2 things are distinctly possible with the kind of form he is in.

  • CricFan on March 4, 2010, 22:19 GMT

    Come on friends. Stop insulting cricket icons. Don, Gary Sober, sunil gavasker, lara, sachin, punter are equally great player. To say one is better than other is an insult to the contribution they gave to Cricket. They played under different circumstances and time and created history during that period. Just admire them. If not utleast stop insulting them.

  • Gizza on March 4, 2010, 21:31 GMT

    It is clear that English cricket followers are jealous coz they aint got anyone to match or even come close to matching Sach in terms of stats or natural technic that Sach possess. Aussies are also jealous coz their greatest (Don) saw himself in Sach and that my friends goes a long long long way to confirming that Sach is up there with the Don. QED.

  • Anonymous on March 4, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    awesome article

  • Tilak on March 4, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    One shouldn't be comparing Sachin with Bradman as Sachin with ANYONE else from this generation. Im sure Sachin will feel respected but yet humbled to be compared to Bradman as would any other cricketer in the last 20 yrs would be when compared to Sachin.

  • Charles on March 4, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    Hell-0 all master fans, let me tell you a simple math. just check out the stats of men who played more than 100 tests. Lara was 11953 in 131, whereas Sachin reached taht around 140 + test.This is simple math. And Lara hasnt massacred Ban and Zim for runs and centuries. And for people comparing Lara with Sehwag, you do not know what is elegance, charm, grace and technique. And those who call Lara an ordinary ODI batsman, he is . averaging 40 in 299 mathces is indeed ordinary. Grow up Sachin fans. Another point i would like to give - you say Sachin is the best becasue he has maximum runs in ODI, max matches,max 100 s , max 50 s etc. But when we ask why he failed in finals , you say cricket is a team game. Lolz...

  • truth on March 4, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    hey i yhink tendulkrz retirin soon. and plz lara is a far better player than tendulkar. palyin on dry indian pitches not a problem. lara got records agaunt the ausssies when they were at their peak in auatralia.

  • Reason on March 4, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Tendulkar scored so many runs because he played so many matches! If X player played so many matches X would score so many more runs than Tendulkar!!...but the point is Tendulkar played so many matches because he had the gift for it, he started playing when he was 16 for India and not everyone can play for their nation at that age..not everyone can score a century against Aus at Perth at 16...not everyone can play for 20 years..not everyone can play 440 one day mathces and more than 160 tests, averaging and striking at his rate..so lets forget about the ifs and buts...

  • NM on March 4, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    Yup. Spot On. From around end 2002 to end 2006 Tendulkar was gone. Around end 2006 there were strong suggestions from several "experts" that Tendulkar should retire. Headlines screamed "Endulkar"....I remember Chappel saying that the 241* in Sydney 2004 was the "Best double hundred ever by a man completely out of form" !!

    I think just about everyone thought Tendulkar was finished then.

    Everyone except Tendulkar himself. Wadda Come Back!! Batman forever!

  • Al on March 4, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    @Justin Forrest If Tendulkar had played only 52 Tests spread over 20 years and no ODIs against only 3 or so nations on only 9 or so grounds- he would have been saved from much stress and injury and would have averaged 150. Capische? My argument is as hypothetical as yours.

    @Knight If you take a look at Tendulkar's injury/surgery list from 2003-07 it is identical to his decline in that period.

    Till 01/01/03,The big 3: SRT 8811@ 57.6 31 hun BCL 7572@49.5 18 hun PON 4246 @ 48.8 14 hun

    After mid 2007 again Tendulkar trumps Ponting,Dravid etc. If you have even a vague general knowledge of cricket you would know that the 90s batting was tougher (just 3 batsmen avg.50+ for the whole of the 90s)as compared to the 2000s. In the 90s Tendulkar,in much tougher conditions was the supreme batsman. Or perhaps you haven't watched much cricket till recently. If you had half followed SRTs career you would realise how much the injuries did him in.

  • Knight on March 4, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    How does injuries affected tendulkar's batting against top team during 2000-2007 when at the same time he scored heavily against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh? Seems baseless to me.

  • Shyama Kp on March 4, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    i hope only Sachin can do that

  • balakumar on March 4, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    This is the first time I am reading your article though I have been surfing the site for so many years. I simply love the flow - it's much like the way runs keep flowing from a vintage Sachin. You are bang on about Sachin's lean patch. I don't know how many more centuries Sachin would score before he finally calls it a day, but I am sure you will keep winning more and more admirers with your fabulous style of writing. Wish You A Long Innings.

  • Deb on March 4, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Go SRT ! a Million centuries & a Zillion International Runs !!!!

  • Justin Forrest on March 4, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    Tendulkar vs Bradman: A few obvious differences in the records: If Bradman had played as many tests as Tendulkar (based on his stats), he would’ve scored over 90 centuries (that’s around double Tendulkar’s current record.)Bradman’s highest test and first class scores are significantly higher than Tendulkars, by nearly 100 for tests and 200 for first class. Bradman’s test and First class averages are clearly significantly better than Tendulkars: over a 40 run difference in tests (40 being a decent average for any test batsman) and 35 higher in first class matches. Just can’t compare the two here. Conversion rate of centuries per innings is also significantly higher for Bradman. It’s interesting to note that Tendulkars record doesn’t really stand significantly above other great players of recent times – apart from centuries. Many players have averages in the 50s. Bradman on the other hand stands head and shoulders above every other batsman of his generation and beyond. Nuff said.

  • Thomas on March 4, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    Nice work with splendid statistical analysis. I liked the way you presented the stats and facts. But the stat on the average for the slump period of Tendulkar should me reanalyzed. While taking out those innings of Tendulkar's against Bangladesh and Zimbawe to compare with that of others, make sure that it is applied for the later too... I think many batsmen who averaged better than him during this course may also have performed well against these week sides for the period applied.

  • Chitraj Singh on March 4, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    Great article Andy!

    Factual at the same time hilarious. Probably the first time, I have read a cricinfo article from heading to end and not just skimming between the lines.

    Look forward to the next one.

  • Shahid on March 4, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Answer has to be 9½ years. I did some desk research and interviewed a few cricket historians. They all told me that Zaltz was at his peak at the age of 9½ and it was the time when he was used to score a century in the morning and a double century in the evening. Cricket rules were bit different those days as there were no bowlers and fielders and Zalts used to put the ball on a overpitched spot before hitting it to the boundry line which was 100 cm away from the batting crease as compared to todays 70 meters. The statistics, I compiled through my research shows that Tandulkar is just a minnow compared to the great batsman Sir Andy Zaltzman. Zalt's achievements put him as an icon which can be used to describe the standards in species called batsman.

  • repakavenkatakrishna on March 4, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    fantastic article and amazing

  • cricket fan.. on March 4, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    sorry guys hes wrong india only played 4 test matches in 2003 in two were against newsealand he failed ..but..after that in aus he scored 240+n 60 then 190 ag pakin 2004 so tats not a bad year then he gone in to slump ..in 2005 and 2006...u put the facts ..dont creat facts..

  • Delboy on March 4, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Careful when compare Tendulkar batting ave to Kallis. Kallis has to be one of the greatest all-rounders ever who has a mere 314 more test and ODI wickets then the “batting” maestro.

  • Reyaz Daga on March 4, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    i think record is ment for breaking now a days every one is talking about sachin but the time surely come when his record will break by some one some were.

  • Ghulam mustafa on March 4, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    well this is the time to acknowledge the world greatest cricketer and qualitative personality of the great great people. The acknowledgement is not on the basis of runs and centuries he scored but the man of principle and god gifted and his own creation in art of cricket and general life. He is so innocent to mentioin. He was invented through cricket and then Cricket is invented by him. You look at him and you will think you are seeing god of cricket.

  • Xolile on March 4, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    If the answer to the question is 42 you may have solved one of the greatest mysteries in all of literature. It'll bring hope and meaning to the lives of thousands of aging Douglas Adams and Wayne Larkins fans.

  • Aditya on March 4, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    Sachin is superb cricketer of all times and this article is amazing keep it on and i love Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and it will be true that he will score 57 tons more or may be more and more.....

  • Trevor on March 4, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Anonymous, please at least research your subject before you make such silly statements. Bradman averaged 113 in his last year of test cricket...the year he turned 40 no less!! I doubt he would of averaged less had he played more while he was in his prime. To compare Sachin, as good as he is, to The Don is an insult to The Don. I would like to add a few names to the list of batsmen who were better than Tendulkar - Richards, Sobers, Hammond, Headley, Pollock. So why are we talking about him being the greatest of all time when there are so many others ahead of him? Short sightedness at it's worst..........

  • jijnasu tripathy on March 3, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    in indian pitches was only SRT playing? had he played 442 odis on indian flat pitches? Mr. shah you can't really use words like "USELESS" for him. in every match 22 players play but why everybody look at him only. because he is a genious not a "USELESS".

  • Jijnasu Tripathy on March 3, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    talking about 'charles' 'numberwise' which numberwise does he want 2 note? matches,runs,avg in every field SRT is far better than lara. noting about 400* that was really a selfish innings. WI was in a very good position to win that match but he just played only for his 400. i'm sure SRT will never do that for his own score. 21 years is not a joke dude.

  • Vijeth on March 3, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    Incredible article!!!!just superb!!!!

  • Anonymous on March 3, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    Tony, Don did not suffer from a slump precisely because he had a 6 year break. It is like you can solve a problem more easily after a good night's sleep. Nobody denies that Don was extremely good. But treating him above human limitations is illogical. You should be grateful that he did not play 100 tests, then his average would have come down. That happens to everybody, so just relax.

  • ebz on March 3, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    i guess then that there is still hope for kallis and his double...

  • AD on March 3, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    The whiskers are the key.

  • Nick Jones on March 3, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    One of the funniest and best cricket articles I've read.

  • raj on March 3, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    i love Tendulkar

  • Mitesh on March 3, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Any insight who were the "best" bowlers during the slump periods and Sachin's performance against them ?

  • Sandeep Sharma on March 3, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Hello Shan, u r talking absolutely absurd.It seems that u don't know even the abc of cricket.By writing those bloody stuffs, u have given evidence that u r the greatest fool who doesn't recognise the grandeur of the great little master Tendulkar. But I really enjoyed the article posted by Andy.

  • Nilanjon Bhowmik on March 3, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Truely well done sir. i think i have a new reason to grow out the mustache

  • Rohan on March 3, 2010, 9:17 GMT

    Like others, I hope Tendulkar stays injury free for a while.If others too are willing to look "beyond" the stats they will realise that no bowler ever got Tendulkar- his injuries did.

    Only between 2003 and 07 did any bowler ever get on top of Tendulkar( or even any batsman for that matter). The rest of the time it was a No Contest!

  • Ary on March 3, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    Andy, Great article. And as others mention - for a change someone's looking "beyond" the surface stats. i.e using stats to look beyond the stats ,as it were!!

    Just one anomaly- It wasn't just Tendulkar's elbow, although that certainly was one of the main injuries. It was just about every body part you can imagine.

    As someone petulantly complained that Lara "too" had "injuries". Sure a fracture is bad, but you have a definite recovery time- 3 mths or whatever- after which you are as good as new. However, the "tendinitis" and "wear and tear" type of injuries eat away -with no clear recovery in sight- and even when you try to come back after a while there is always the lingering thought of reinjury.

  • Tobin Paul George on March 3, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    just amazing..hats off to you Andy for the valuable observations which otherwise might have gone unnoticed. Keep up the good work.

  • Surender Azad on March 3, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Very typically British sense of humor. Excellent analysis. More power to the Zaltzaman because Humor has been really missing from Cricket. Reminds me of early P G Wodehouse . Carry on the goodwork and may be one day you may even make Ricky Ponting smile .

  • anon on March 3, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    "Excavate deeper into the seam of statistics": this isn't some sort of reference to Tendulkar's ball tampering incident in RSA, is it? Because the typical expression involves bowels, annals or some such part of the gastrointestinal system. [Edit: I'm informed that annal comes from latin annus, meaning year. What a difference an 'n' can make].

    Yes, injuries robbed SRT of form and a number of appearances. Too bad he didn't get any of Shoaib Akhtar's protein shakes. Might've hastened his recovery...

  • jay on March 3, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    if its about the moustache, Boonie is the man, dont discount him already.

  • Syed on March 3, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Sachin, certainly the best cricketer I have seen: majestic yet humble. Amazing. Miandad may have accomplished great feats if given an extended chance!

  • shan on March 3, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    Tendulkar score lots of runs coz indian pitches are good for bating.coz of that only he is scoring runs.otherwise he is usesless.

  • Neil on March 3, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    One of the few articles which look "beyond" the stats.

  • Richard on March 3, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    Not sure of the exact answer to the age question so I'll just give my roughest estimate... 32 years, 3 months, 12 days, three hours,, six minutes and between 7 and 22 seconds. Approximately.

  • Al on March 3, 2010, 2:30 GMT

    This is THE Single ,most Definitive analysis on Tendulkar EVER done!!

    Most of the time we have to put up with all those superficial "overall" stats devoid of even a SEMBLANCE of context- with everyone throwing meaningless stats around. I mean- I anyone can seriously make a claim that a regular racehorse is "better" than a champion thoroughbred on the basis of "overall" stats which clearly include periods when the throughbred was limping- well then, it is nothing short of devious. As you mention- we may actually have missed out on the best of tendulkar. Here's hoping he stays fit for a while to come. And THANK YOU for the one of the MOST meaningful articles on Tendulkar ever written.

  • Joss Ackland on March 3, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    This article is massively clever. I enjoyed it. The answer to the age question is 30.

  • Lara injury on March 3, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    I am a W.I. fan and I did find it funny and agree that "Lara's slump was attributed to the fact that he is Lara ..: BUT check what I found on a cricket website to remind evry1 that Lara too OVERCAME CAREER THREATENING INJURIES. I quote: "Lara has not had the best of luck with illness and injury in Sri Lanka. A sickening collision with Marvan Atapattu in a one-day international in Kandy last December left him with a broken left elbow and dislocated shoulder. Many asked whether Lara could ever regain his mastery after such an injury and, on the eve of the tournament, he said he was still suffering the psychological effects". (This was written after he collapsed from illness after scoring 111 in an ODI vs Kenya). What happened after this elbow injury in 2002? Lara scored a mountain of runs ;) This ironically was AFTER his return to form though but still incredible!

  • shamim on March 2, 2010, 23:59 GMT

    dear mr. andy, would you kindly podcast this article and the forth-coming ones too?

  • Madappa Prakash on March 2, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    I have no sympathy for folks who whine about ``As you like it'' being shoved down their throat. I had ``Othello'' shoved down my throat at the age of 14! Yikes!

  • shaurya bastola on March 2, 2010, 22:12 GMT

    i think your blogs are terribly funny and interesting...i look forward to the next one. Keep them coming mate...

  • Anonymous on March 2, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    i think your blogs are terribly funny and interesting....look foward to the next one.

  • Charles on March 2, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    Oh boy, whenever there is some statistics of Sachin, his fans start singing his bhajans of praise. Rather than appreciating the creativity of the author and enjoying the humor, the fans see nothing beyond Sachin. ANyhow , i would want Andy to write an article on their test exploits, where Lara would fare better than Sachin, numberwise.

  • Srikanth on March 2, 2010, 20:16 GMT

    In baseball if a hitter's performance improves drastically after the age of 35 eyebrows are raised bigtime (aka Barry Bonds). hmm....interesting....

  • mit c on March 2, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    "So SRT like Don deserves his own league.".....hmm, not too sure with that. Don played from 1928 to 1948 for 52 tests, while contemporary great Wally Hammond played from 1827 to 1947, for some 85 tests. So, you can't say that in those days, they played less. You see, a 30+ test gap. And Don played ONLY at home and in Eng,when India,NZ,WI,SA were test playing nations. I wonder if 99.94 speaks that much about quality

  • Tanmay on March 2, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    31 years.

  • RD on March 2, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    I would like to comment on the statistics presented where by it is shown that Tendulkar had gone through a below par average around 38(barring BAN/ZIM) for an entire period from 2002 to 2007 end. To me Tendulkar's only slump periods are 2003 and 2006 which can be contributed majorly to the injuries that he suffered during that time. Tendulkar averaged 17 in 2003 in 5 tests against NZ and AUS. He averaged 24 in 2006 where he played 8 tests against PAK,ENG and SA.Apart from those 2 session he averaged around 60 in the remaining years taken together. Also during this phase he only played ZIM in 2 tests in 2002 and BAN in 2 tests in 2004. So it is not justified to say that he has maintained his average during this time by scoring big knocks against meanows in test cricket. It has been phenomenal to watch this man play his cricket and I feel myself to be really blessed to have witnessed this since last 20 yrs. I wish him all the best for his future and may he score many more such hundreds.

  • Tony Laurent on March 2, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    All well and good...Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting et al. But of course you are talking division two. Division one - only one member, Don Bradman. A man who had to suffer a 6 year interruption due to World War !!, yet he never had a slump. What would he have done had he played 100 Test or more ? And with a helmet, body protection, covered wickets?

    I think we should limit the superlatives whenever writing about batsmen since the Don, or at least qualify them.

  • jijnasu tripathy on March 2, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    what a great statistical data. lots to learn from it. it'll be great for indian cricket if the prediction goes right n so to Sachin's fans.

  • Vikram on March 2, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Great one as always. I love your "As You Like It" comment - I had it shoved down my throat too.

  • Anonymous on March 2, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    The secret of Sachin's re-emergence must lie in his cutting out the heave shot he used to play over mid-on and mid-0ff during his earlier days. That took quite a strain on his elbow and back. One does not see him employing thse shots now a days.

  • Ram on March 2, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    Have to add that 10dulkar did not play any tests against Zim in this period at all or against WI.

  • Ram on March 2, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Fantastic article. One of your best and funniest. Very interesting analysis too. I just checked statsguru and found that Tendulkar has missed 9 tests presumably due to injury during this 5 yr period. 2 against Aus in 04 due to Tennis elbow and all(2) test matches against Zim in 05 and all(4) matches against Windies in 06 due to various other injuries. Factoring in time required to recover confidence and match fitness, I think the gr8 1 s slump can be explained.

  • JVD on March 2, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Love it , as always - nice piece :) "rubbing statistical shoulders" - sheer poetry

  • Doug Newsam on March 2, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    Very true, players are often discarded just when they have much to offer. Sir Garry Sobers is a prime example. The WICB(of C) in their customary wisdom, decided that he must prove his fitness in order to be eligible for selection. Thus faded the career of the game's greatest ever athlete. What more wonders he had to offer will never be known, only that he was cut short by the lack of vision of the administrators.

  • Rohan on March 2, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    ABSOLUTELY correct. Injuries robbed Tendulkar of what should have been his golden years. One of the few articles which take a look at the various factors behind the stats.

  • Shawn Madison on March 2, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Technique and temperament makes batsmen and by that yardstick Lara can only be compared to Sehwag. If match-winning is an attribute then Steve waugh is clearly the winner.Lara like Sehwag has a very very ordinary ODI batting performance. SRT matches Viv Richards in ODI performances and betters Sunny in test.So SRT has literally has no comparisons not even Don since Don never played 2 versions of he game during his tenure..Not that he couldnt but he just didnt.So SRT like Don deserves his own league.The questions can Lara be a SRT.Answer is clearly a No..meaning did he do enough in Test and ODI's.:)

  • Shawn Madison on March 2, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Technique and temperament makes batsmen and by that yardstick Lara can only be compared to Sehwag. If match-winning is an attribute then Steve waugh is clearly the winner.Lara like Sehwag has a very very ordinary ODI batting performance. SRT matches Viv Richards in ODI performances and betters Sunny in test.So SRT has literally has no comparisons not even Don since Don never played 2 versions of he game during his tenure..Not that he couldnt but he just didnt.So SRT like Don deserves his own league.The questions can Lara be a SRT.Answer is clearly a No..meaning did he do enough in Test and ODI's.:)

  • Chan on March 2, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Well spotted Mr.Zaltzman (I refer to Sachin's perf. b/w 2002 and 2006). But that period coincided with the best of Rahul Dravid (as an aside, also of the same age, 3.5 months older). Sehwag was doing well too at the same time. So that masked Sachin's underperf. to a large extent. Sachin throughout his career has in fact reveled in single handed brilliance when everyone else is failing, unlike Dravid whose stellar efforts form the basis of strong team performances.

  • punkedge on March 2, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    thx for the sachin stat update.. :) "Brian Lara’s slump can be attributed to the fact that he was Brian Lara" - lol

  • Karthik Narayan on March 2, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    Beethoven and advertising jingles for a horse insurance firm - terrific!! you are the best Andy!! Can we have your World Cricket series as videos on cricinfo instead of podcasts pls? Am sure they would be 7.67 times more hilarious!!

  • Dr.Iyer on March 2, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    I hope Sachin will score around 16000 and 19000 i Tests and ODIs respectively which will require another teenage freak to come out and break. But irony is Teen age freaks are impossible in cricket apart from Pakistan or Bangladesh who ll rather see that their star will become crap more than a Genius. Hail The Mastero!!!

  • Jawed Ali on March 2, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    I think its 32 years

  • Dr.Iyer on March 2, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    Nice article on my Hero Zaltz! Going by his purple patch, your prediction might come true because going by Captain's and Chairman of Selectors words, MSD and Cheeka wants Sachin to play till 2015. Atleast he plays till 2013 its possible. But realitically, 60 test tons and 50 ODI tons is possible.

  • John Berry on March 2, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Gooch is a perfect example of a player getting better when they reach their late thirties. I think players should go on to play test cricket until over the age of 40 if they are good enough. Jack Hobbs scored a test century at the age of 46 and scored over 100 centuries over the age of 40. Players should not be discarded because they reach their mid thirties.

  • Roman on March 2, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Excellent unearthing and taking apart of evidence with scalpel--your thesis of the extended slump is accurate--and shows why going back 2-years only produces results that are not fully representative... anybody who's followed T's career closely will remember that starting from about, yes, 2002, he proved increasingly vulnerable to pressure from sharp bowling--and would get out cheaply a lot... but lately, in the Kirsten-era, he seems to fear less, and is batting a lot more naturally...

  • Chandu on March 2, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    Nice article. After reading Mr Rajesh's article, I was wondering if Tenndulkar's slump was just between 2005-06. Your article gives me the answer. (During the early 2000s India played Zimbabwe alot. At that time they were not this weak though).

    And the humor is always superb. "Brian Lara’s slump can be attributed to the fact that he was Brian Lara." (Hope west Indian fans dont take it too seriously!).

    I wish your prediction comes true and Tendulkar scores another 57 centuries!!!

  • Mayan on March 2, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Think this is your best one yet..Well done. :) Was quite thought-provoking too.

  • Ashwath on March 2, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    The answer to the question is 34.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ashwath on March 2, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    The answer to the question is 34.

  • Mayan on March 2, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Think this is your best one yet..Well done. :) Was quite thought-provoking too.

  • Chandu on March 2, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    Nice article. After reading Mr Rajesh's article, I was wondering if Tenndulkar's slump was just between 2005-06. Your article gives me the answer. (During the early 2000s India played Zimbabwe alot. At that time they were not this weak though).

    And the humor is always superb. "Brian Lara’s slump can be attributed to the fact that he was Brian Lara." (Hope west Indian fans dont take it too seriously!).

    I wish your prediction comes true and Tendulkar scores another 57 centuries!!!

  • Roman on March 2, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Excellent unearthing and taking apart of evidence with scalpel--your thesis of the extended slump is accurate--and shows why going back 2-years only produces results that are not fully representative... anybody who's followed T's career closely will remember that starting from about, yes, 2002, he proved increasingly vulnerable to pressure from sharp bowling--and would get out cheaply a lot... but lately, in the Kirsten-era, he seems to fear less, and is batting a lot more naturally...

  • John Berry on March 2, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Gooch is a perfect example of a player getting better when they reach their late thirties. I think players should go on to play test cricket until over the age of 40 if they are good enough. Jack Hobbs scored a test century at the age of 46 and scored over 100 centuries over the age of 40. Players should not be discarded because they reach their mid thirties.

  • Dr.Iyer on March 2, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    Nice article on my Hero Zaltz! Going by his purple patch, your prediction might come true because going by Captain's and Chairman of Selectors words, MSD and Cheeka wants Sachin to play till 2015. Atleast he plays till 2013 its possible. But realitically, 60 test tons and 50 ODI tons is possible.

  • Jawed Ali on March 2, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    I think its 32 years

  • Dr.Iyer on March 2, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    I hope Sachin will score around 16000 and 19000 i Tests and ODIs respectively which will require another teenage freak to come out and break. But irony is Teen age freaks are impossible in cricket apart from Pakistan or Bangladesh who ll rather see that their star will become crap more than a Genius. Hail The Mastero!!!

  • Karthik Narayan on March 2, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    Beethoven and advertising jingles for a horse insurance firm - terrific!! you are the best Andy!! Can we have your World Cricket series as videos on cricinfo instead of podcasts pls? Am sure they would be 7.67 times more hilarious!!

  • punkedge on March 2, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    thx for the sachin stat update.. :) "Brian Lara’s slump can be attributed to the fact that he was Brian Lara" - lol