ODIs March 15, 2010

ODI batting positions - the top performers

A look at batsmen who've done the best at each batting position in ODIs.
50

Michael Hussey averages 117.67 at the No.7 slot © Getty Images
This is an analysis suggested by reader(s) whose names elude me. It is an excellent suggestion in that it will enable us to get a very good handle on the best performers at each batting position.

First I worked out the all-match average for each batting position. In this case the average will be appropriate since the same methodology is used to determine the individual batsmen figures. Since the comparisons are across all batsmen at the same position the impact of not outs is minimised. In order to ensure that flashes in the pan do not spoil the comparisons, a minimum limit of 1000 runs is set for Opening, no.3, no.4, no.5 and no.6 positions. For the positions 7 and 8, the bar is set at 500 runs.

The batting average of the batsman in the relevant position is divided by the all-match batting average for that position and the ratio is arrived at. The tables are ordered on this ratio and the top-10 shown along with the last player in that position. Let us now look at the tables.

Analysis of opening position. All matches average: 32.21

No Batsman Cty Inns No Runs Avge % of all avge

1. Dilshan T.M Slk 25 2 1263 54.91 170.5% 2. Turner G.M Nzl 29 5 1197 49.88 154.8% 3. Tendulkar S.R Ind 319 23 14482 48.93 151.9% 4. Dippenaar H.H Saf 43 6 1752 47.35 147.0% 5. Watson S.R Aus 43 5 1794 47.21 146.6% 6. Lara B.C Win 52 5 2166 46.09 143.1% 7. Greenidge C.G Win 120 10 4993 45.39 140.9% 8. Hayden M.L Aus 147 14 5891 44.29 137.5% 9. Waugh M.E Aus 141 11 5729 44.07 136.8% 10. Chanderpaul S Win 74 9 2814 43.29 134.4% ... ... 83. Obuya D.O Ken 45 1 1012 23.00 71.4%

We are in for a minor surprise. Two opening batsmen have moved ahead of the greatest ODI batsman ever, Tendulkar. This proves without any doubt that Dilshan is among the most explosive of ODI openers now playing. Not to forget his strike rate. Turner averaged nearing 50 when batting was not that easy.

Now comes the master. An average of nearly 50 maintained over 300 matches while scoring nearly 15,000 runs tells the tale. There has been no better ODI player and probably never will be. Note how high Watson is placed, higher than masters such as Lara, Greenidge, Hayden and Mark Waugh.

Analysis of no. 3 position. All matches average: 32.90

No Batsman Cty Inns No Runs Avge % of all avge

1. Richards I.V.A Win 51 9 2418 57.57 175.0% 2. Mohammad Yousuf Pak 43 7 1988 55.22 167.8% 3. Ganguly S.C Ind 32 4 1476 52.71 160.2% 4. Kallis J.H Saf 176 29 6898 46.93 142.6% 5. Lara B.C Win 106 9 4447 45.85 139.3% 6. Zaheer Abbas Pak 47 3 2009 45.66 138.8% 7. Hick G.A Eng 58 9 2182 44.53 135.4% 8. Ponting R.T Aus 300 30 11814 43.76 133.0% 9. Jones D.M Aus 131 14 5100 43.59 132.5% 10. Gambhir G Ind 31 4 1161 43.00 130.7% ... ... 45. Aftab Ahmed Bng 52 4 1253 26.10 79.3%

In the pivotal position of no.3, there is no one to beat the great Viv Richards. He averages over 57 while scoring nearly 2500 runs. The well-known no.3 batsmen, Md Yousuf, Ganguly, Kallis and Lara follow. It is interesting to note that Ponting has scored nearly 12000 runs at an average of 43.76.

It may be of interest to note that Dhoni has scored 993 runs at 83.75.

Analysis of no. 4 position. All matches average: 34.77

No Batsman Cty Inns No Runs Avge % of all avge

1. Bevan M.G Aus 53 15 2265 59.61 171.4% 2. Sarwan R.R Win 43 12 1707 55.06 158.4% 3. Boon D.C Aus 35 12 1255 54.57 156.9% 4. Jadeja A Ind 29 10 1008 53.05 152.6% 5. de Villiers A.B Saf 42 8 1740 51.18 147.2% 6. Richards I.V.A Win 81 12 3373 48.88 140.6% 7. Crowe M.D Nzl 53 14 1899 48.69 140.0% 8. Kallis J.H Saf 73 17 2635 47.05 135.3% 9. Twose R.G Nzl 44 5 1829 46.90 134.9% 10. Clarke M.J Aus 64 11 2420 45.66 131.3% ... ... 49. McMillan C.D Nzl 43 0 1092 25.40 73.0%

The great finisher, Mike Bevan has a near-60 average in no.4. A surprise in this position is the high placement of Ajay Jadeja. Note the high average of de Villiers. Richards averages nearly 50 at this position.
Analysis of no. 5 position. All matches average: 30.69

No Batsman Cty Inns No Runs Avge % of all avge

1. Dhoni M.S Ind 38 9 1560 53.79 175.3% 2. Hussey M.E.K Aus 25 6 1003 52.79 172.0% 3. Flintoff A Eng 48 10 1749 46.03 150.0% 4. Collingwood P.D Eng 74 16 2621 45.19 147.2% 5. Symonds A Aus 96 18 3473 44.53 145.1% 6. Dravid R Ind 69 13 2459 43.91 143.1% 7. Chanderpaul S Win 61 15 1996 43.39 141.4% 8. Yuvraj Singh Ind 81 13 2878 42.32 137.9% 9. Fairbrother N.H Eng 45 14 1302 42.00 136.9% 10. Inzamam-ul-Haq Pak 105 22 3473 41.84 136.3% ... ... 34. Jayawardene D.P.M.D Slk 63 6 1458 25.58 83.3%

This is Dhoni's position. He is now batting more and more at no.5. Hussey just about gets in at 50+ average. It is a surprise that Symonds, while scoring the same runs as Inzamam, has an average nearly 3 more. Dravid has a fair average at no.5.
Analysis of no. 6 position. All matches average: 26.49

No Batsman Cty Inns No Runs Avge % of all avge

1. Bevan M.G Aus 87 34 3006 56.72 214.1% 2. Raina S.K Ind 32 10 1087 49.41 186.5% 3. Arnold R.P Slk 59 21 1703 44.82 169.2% 4. Younis Khan Pak 28 5 1012 44.00 166.1% 5. Cronje W.J Saf 45 16 1235 42.59 160.8% 6. Hussey M.E.K Aus 47 13 1418 41.71 157.4% 7. Dhoni M.S Ind 47 11 1395 38.75 146.3% 8. Jadeja A Ind 43 8 1324 37.83 142.8% 9. Yuvraj Singh Ind 57 8 1727 35.24 133.0% 10. Tillakaratne H.P Slk 60 19 1393 33.98 128.3% ... ... 26. Border A.R Aus 61 11 1174 23.48 88.6%

Mike Bevan is the finisher extraordinary and stays on top at no.6 by a wide margin. He is the only batsman to have finished on top in two batting positions. Raina is proving his value to India in this finishing position. It is surprising that Border is the last in this position.
Analysis of no. 7 position. All matches average: 21.18

No Batsman Cty Inns No Runs Avge % of all avge

1. Hussey M.E.K Aus 20 14 706 117.67 555.6% 2. Dhoni M.S Ind 24 9 589 39.27 185.4% 3. Kemp J.M Saf 24 8 579 36.19 170.9% 4. Kaif M Ind 30 10 667 33.35 157.5% 5. Mahmudullah Bng 27 8 621 32.68 154.3% 6. Abdul Razzaq Pak 79 21 1848 31.86 150.4% 7. Chigumbura E Zim 35 6 916 31.59 149.1% 8. Oram J.D.P Nzl 22 3 590 31.05 146.6% 9. Harris C.Z Nzl 105 36 2136 30.96 146.2% 10. Streak H.H Zim 40 12 864 30.86 145.7% ... ... 36. Wasim Akram Pak 87 12 1227 16.36 77.2%

What is the number we are seeing here. Hussey, granted he has scored only 700 runs has remained not out on 14 occasions and has an average of over 100. The next best is Dhoni with 39.27. Before any negative comments are made on the high number of not outs, please do not forget that each not out instance indicates that the batsman has stayed on and finished his job, maybe not always successfully.
Analysis of no. 8 position. All matches average: 16.84

No Batsman Cty Inns No Runs Avge % of all avge

1. Klusener L Saf 36 18 1056 58.67 348.4% 2. Harris C.Z Nzl 23 10 519 39.92 237.1% 3. Dharmasena H.D.P.K Slk 42 18 719 29.96 177.9% 4. Streak H.H Zim 58 19 1147 29.41 174.6% 5. Abdul Razzaq Pak 35 9 751 28.88 171.5% 6. Moin Khan Pak 38 13 608 24.32 144.4% 7. Pollock S.M Saf 74 23 1145 22.45 133.3% 8. Shahid Afridi Pak 25 2 504 21.91 130.1% 9. Hogg G.B Aus 47 20 590 21.85 129.8% 10. Rashid Latif Pak 49 15 688 20.24 120.2% ... ... 15. Agarkar A.B Ind 59 13 678 14.74 87.5%

Kluesener is the leader here with a very high average of over 58 while scoring over 10900 runs. He is leading by a big margin over Chris Harris. This is the place for the all-rounders and the bowlers who can bat.

Taking into account the runs scored and averages attained, the 6 outlier batting position performances are given below.

OP. Tendulkar S.R       Ind  319 23 14482  48.93  151.9%
3. Kallis J.H          Saf  176 29  6898  46.93  142.6%
3. Ponting R.T         Aus  300 30 11814  43.76  133.0%
4. Richards I.V.A      Win   81 12  3373  48.88  140.6%
5. Symonds A           Aus   96 18  3473  44.53  145.1%
6. Bevan M.G           Aus   87 34  3006  56.72  214.1%
Since I felt that nos 9-10-11 analysis would not lead to anything significant I have not done the analysis for these positions.

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

  • convert video to audio on July 11, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    Willingly I accept. In my opinion, it is an interesting question, I will take part in discussion. Together we can come to a right answer. I am assured.

  • dvd copier on June 18, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do so I will follow some of these tips.

  • cd dvd burner on June 17, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    You need to collect more stuff, dude.

  • Anshu Jain on May 14, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    Great work Ananth, as always! I was wondering how the rankings would look like if instead of the all-time position average, we were to use the player-duration position average for deriving the overperformance % (This idea is due to an excellent suggestion by one of your readers about an year ago; cant recall the name though)

    e.g. Tendulkar has played ODIs starting 1989. Tendulkar's average at No. 1/2 should be compared with the average of all position No. 1/2 performances over the period during which Tendulkar has played, rather than the entire ODI history starting the early 70s.

    Of course, the following points still remain: 1. Do you adjust for when a batsman has played AT A PARTICULAR POSITION, or simply over the entire career duration 2. Reconciling large gaps in a career (Ganguly first played an ODI in 1992, and regularly starting 1996; similarly Hayden in 1993, and later 2001)

    Am sure there would be others as well...

  • William BISHOP on April 19, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    i would like to state that sir viv. richards could not bat as good as sir clyde walcott,sir everton weekes,sir gary sobers or brian lara.If you doubt that,check his scores against barbados quicks Garner,DANIEL,CLARKE,he was all at sea tothose bowlers.I saw him in a spider webb against quadir,he had given up the bat to play foot ball. he blasted underpar bowling .

  • jon steel on March 29, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Does anyone know of any other studies that calculate batting average by position all the way down to number 11? We're trying to create a better way for amateur clubs to place a more accurate value on each wicket taken - based on the assumption that the wicket of, say, numbers 1, 2, and 3 in the batting order are worth more than 8, 9, and 10, yet bowling averages as reported by schools and clubs treat them as identical. This ODI analysis is a help, but any other suggestions will be much appreciated!

  • GD on March 27, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Comparisons across era can never be conclusive. But I think Viv is second to no man in the history of ODIs...to average 47 with a SR of 91 in the 1970s-1980s is simply mind-boggling! Plus, he was physically a more powerful man than Tendulkar, Lara or Gilchrist...and so a more intimidating presence for bowlers and fielders. Now, having said that, I think for class and skill, Tendulkar is second to no man in the history of ODIs. And until I see a batsman reel off 163 n.o. (in NZ), 175 (vs Aus in India) and 200 n.o. (this needs no intro), and that too without being offered any lives, I'm not changing my mind. No other batsman comes close to these 2 KINGS!

  • Abhi on March 19, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    Arjun, alex, ananth: I think arjun is actually quite correct in his assessment. And so is alex. If SRT was a chess player and Anand a batsman, the tables would have been turned. With Anand receiving all the adulation, and ppl griping about how SRT doesn’t receive the equivalent amount inspite of his equal accomplishments and behaviour... This situation exists in India when comparing cricket to any other sport. Sad, but true.

  • Alex on March 18, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    Ananth - Anand is simply not as saleable in India as SRT; a case of Padukone in the days of SMG. In US, non-Indians that I come across know of Anand but not of SRT ... some similarity with how Carl Lewis enjoyed a lot of fame worldwide but much less within US itself.

    How are Anand's achievements inferior? Besides Fischer, who had much more support, no one else ever broke the former USSR stranglehold on chess that begain with Alekhine before WW2. And, even Fischer didn't hang around to defend his crown whereas Anand has done it for a decade.

  • Arjun on March 18, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Sanchez,riaz khan,vj etc I often see the surprise that non Indians encounter when they experience the fixation Indians have for Tendulkar. Some people make the naïve observation that if a Lara or Ponting were Indian they too would receive a similar level of adulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tendulkar besides his obvious pursuit for perfection and batting excellence represents a lot of values Indians hold very dear: Modesty, humility,respect for elders etc etc.I know this sounds a little mushy, but it is the truth. Several of these values ,of course, are universal. But they resonate most with a certain “Indianness” which Indians will most easily connect to. So, it is entirely possible that on the pure skill scales there may be some batsmen past and present who would be on par with Tendulkar – but even if they had been Indian, none would ever have been held so dear to Indians as Tendulkar is. It is difficult to explain. [[ Arjun By the same token you should accept that the "indian values" which are treasured in Tendulkar by the Indians need not necessarily strike the same resonance with non-Indians. One question. Why does not Anand, who has the same Indian qualities in spades and who has scaled world-wide peaks achieved by few, get the same respect. Ananth: ]]

  • convert video to audio on July 11, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    Willingly I accept. In my opinion, it is an interesting question, I will take part in discussion. Together we can come to a right answer. I am assured.

  • dvd copier on June 18, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do so I will follow some of these tips.

  • cd dvd burner on June 17, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    You need to collect more stuff, dude.

  • Anshu Jain on May 14, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    Great work Ananth, as always! I was wondering how the rankings would look like if instead of the all-time position average, we were to use the player-duration position average for deriving the overperformance % (This idea is due to an excellent suggestion by one of your readers about an year ago; cant recall the name though)

    e.g. Tendulkar has played ODIs starting 1989. Tendulkar's average at No. 1/2 should be compared with the average of all position No. 1/2 performances over the period during which Tendulkar has played, rather than the entire ODI history starting the early 70s.

    Of course, the following points still remain: 1. Do you adjust for when a batsman has played AT A PARTICULAR POSITION, or simply over the entire career duration 2. Reconciling large gaps in a career (Ganguly first played an ODI in 1992, and regularly starting 1996; similarly Hayden in 1993, and later 2001)

    Am sure there would be others as well...

  • William BISHOP on April 19, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    i would like to state that sir viv. richards could not bat as good as sir clyde walcott,sir everton weekes,sir gary sobers or brian lara.If you doubt that,check his scores against barbados quicks Garner,DANIEL,CLARKE,he was all at sea tothose bowlers.I saw him in a spider webb against quadir,he had given up the bat to play foot ball. he blasted underpar bowling .

  • jon steel on March 29, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Does anyone know of any other studies that calculate batting average by position all the way down to number 11? We're trying to create a better way for amateur clubs to place a more accurate value on each wicket taken - based on the assumption that the wicket of, say, numbers 1, 2, and 3 in the batting order are worth more than 8, 9, and 10, yet bowling averages as reported by schools and clubs treat them as identical. This ODI analysis is a help, but any other suggestions will be much appreciated!

  • GD on March 27, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Comparisons across era can never be conclusive. But I think Viv is second to no man in the history of ODIs...to average 47 with a SR of 91 in the 1970s-1980s is simply mind-boggling! Plus, he was physically a more powerful man than Tendulkar, Lara or Gilchrist...and so a more intimidating presence for bowlers and fielders. Now, having said that, I think for class and skill, Tendulkar is second to no man in the history of ODIs. And until I see a batsman reel off 163 n.o. (in NZ), 175 (vs Aus in India) and 200 n.o. (this needs no intro), and that too without being offered any lives, I'm not changing my mind. No other batsman comes close to these 2 KINGS!

  • Abhi on March 19, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    Arjun, alex, ananth: I think arjun is actually quite correct in his assessment. And so is alex. If SRT was a chess player and Anand a batsman, the tables would have been turned. With Anand receiving all the adulation, and ppl griping about how SRT doesn’t receive the equivalent amount inspite of his equal accomplishments and behaviour... This situation exists in India when comparing cricket to any other sport. Sad, but true.

  • Alex on March 18, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    Ananth - Anand is simply not as saleable in India as SRT; a case of Padukone in the days of SMG. In US, non-Indians that I come across know of Anand but not of SRT ... some similarity with how Carl Lewis enjoyed a lot of fame worldwide but much less within US itself.

    How are Anand's achievements inferior? Besides Fischer, who had much more support, no one else ever broke the former USSR stranglehold on chess that begain with Alekhine before WW2. And, even Fischer didn't hang around to defend his crown whereas Anand has done it for a decade.

  • Arjun on March 18, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Sanchez,riaz khan,vj etc I often see the surprise that non Indians encounter when they experience the fixation Indians have for Tendulkar. Some people make the naïve observation that if a Lara or Ponting were Indian they too would receive a similar level of adulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tendulkar besides his obvious pursuit for perfection and batting excellence represents a lot of values Indians hold very dear: Modesty, humility,respect for elders etc etc.I know this sounds a little mushy, but it is the truth. Several of these values ,of course, are universal. But they resonate most with a certain “Indianness” which Indians will most easily connect to. So, it is entirely possible that on the pure skill scales there may be some batsmen past and present who would be on par with Tendulkar – but even if they had been Indian, none would ever have been held so dear to Indians as Tendulkar is. It is difficult to explain. [[ Arjun By the same token you should accept that the "indian values" which are treasured in Tendulkar by the Indians need not necessarily strike the same resonance with non-Indians. One question. Why does not Anand, who has the same Indian qualities in spades and who has scaled world-wide peaks achieved by few, get the same respect. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on March 17, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    Chris - Just before you posted your comment, I actually posted one saying that we should discuss more on Bevan, who was absolutely amazing. Hussey has taken over the baton quite well.

    Ananth - Two requests:

    1. Do you have a set of statistics that show the average # overs available to a batsman batting in i-th position? Then, we could also find out the same for a player of interest (i.e., average # overs played out by him). Besides the average, variance would be useful too.

    2. It would be nice to see similar stats (to the ones worked out in this article) for partnerships ... 1st wkt, 2nd wkt, etc. This would incur a lot of computational burden because a partnership consitutes so many combinations of 2 players (e.g. Gilly-Waugh, Gilly-Hayden, etc.).

    Also, I would be delighted to see your piece on the finishers. [[ Alex As long as you accept that the analysis will not be complete it can be done. This is because for over half the matches the "FoW at which ball" information is not available. Ananth: ]]

  • Riaz Shaikh on March 17, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    The title took me off on a tangent. How about an analysis of ODI scores by batting positions? Look at the average score (+ balls faced) of all the batsmen for each position for the team batting first, and then for the team batting second. While you are at it, you could also calculate the average total scores for the batting and chasing teams. An 'Average' bowling analysis will probably be too complicated. (Let us see how an anyonymous analysis like this can still be used by our rabid SRT or Akram fans to start a war!) [[ Riaz One thing is certain. With readers like you I will never be short of ideas. In fact it is now the other way around. I have over 10 ideas in front of me. Thanks for the intriguing suggestions. I can develop on these. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on March 17, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    @Vj No prob. with the pro Lara sing song. It is the anti Tendulkar blah blah that is nothing but hot air. The simplest test is to pick is how a batsman did against the best. Against Aus , in ODIs ,SRT has 3005 @ 46.2, 9 100s , 14 50s. And your logic seems to be “If Tendulkar could maintain an average over 450 matches and 20 years- then so could everyone else!”. Wow. That is impeccable logic. In fact , Tendulkar has maintained his avg. whereas Richard’s avg. did start falling off- in fewer matches and fewer years. Anyway, That’s the ODIs. If you want another check -Try the toughest Test in cricket : Test matches against the premier team in the last 2 decades, in their own backyards .i.e vs. Aus In Aus: Tendulkar has 1522 @ 58.5 , 6 100s , 5 50s in 30 innings. Check the comparative figures of some other batsmen.

    @Alex Oh well, we’ll let it pass. You got your faves , I’ve got mine…someone else has got there’s. So to me Tendulkar is the greatest batsman after Bradman, to you X, to someone else it is Y…and so it goes…Laver, Borg, Sampras,Fed….who’s the Greatest… Abhi Not a bad idea to give this a miss and concentrate on the subject matter of the article. Ananth

  • V on March 17, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    To Mr. A Sharma.. What are the yardsticks that would define the 'best batsmen' ? name any.. any at all.. and its Tendulkar who wins. Its a typically indian thing to do .. berate your own. The whole world acknowldeges the fact that Sachin is the greatest. The Australians who are such sore losers are always singing his praises. Shane Warne, Ponting et al.. His longevity is a MAJOR factor in his 'best ever' tag. Even in Chess people dont last twenty years. Just because hes our own doesnt mean hes not the best ever. V (a complete name might be better) Allow people to have their own opinions. That will allow a healthy discussion and in fact embellish the achievements of the great. Ananth

  • Chris on March 17, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    It is sad that Tendulkar is the only player really being discussed in the comments. Whatever you think of his merits, there are many more interesting tidbits to have come out of this analysis.

    The two points that I think are worth observing are those of Bevan and Hussey. One great finisher passing the baton onto another. They may never accrue the numbers of an opener, or have the flair of a dashing number three, but in an ODI, I'm not convinced that there isn't a more important role (perhaps that of death bowler, but that's it). Someone who can manage a big chase, keep the runs ticking over and motivate a batting partner? Yes, please.

    These numbers said bits and pieces about a range of batsmen and topics, but the two most glaring conclusions are the underrated but unmistakable talent and importance of Michaels Bevan and Hussey. Chris I am of the firm opinion that substantial credit for the successes of the Australians recently and the years previously are due to the consistent finishing efforts of the two Michaels. There have been no better batsmen to finish the innings. Only Dhoni comes close. So much so, let me thank you for giving me an excellent idea for an article, solely dedicated to the finishers.

  • Ananth on March 17, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    To all interested: I have completed the analysis based on ODI Index (Batting average x Strike rate) and sent for publication. Should be published by morning.

  • Sam on March 17, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    What this tells me, is that England don't produce enough quality batsmen in ODIs (outside No5) [[ Sam Pietersen is in 11th place at no.4, his favourite position. In fact the only Englishman (???) in the top-10 of positions 1,2,3,4 is the much-maligned Hick (okay, he has now settled in England). However in the revised tables due to be published by morning look for Flintoff. Ananth: ]]

  • vj on March 17, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    in all the comparisons of sachin to other greats , sachin only outscores them mostly in the volume of runs and not on other parameters. for ex- when compared to richards, people keep saying oh he scored 17000 at 45,, assuming that he wud have averaged a lot more had he played fewer innings( say 170 like richards.). but the fact is that sachin averaged much less when he had played 170 innings. sachin's all-time high is abt 46. usually players average peaks and comes down with age and that's why if somebody maintains a high average after a long career compared to the rest we consider it a greater achievement,, but in sachin's case this premise fails,,he never had a very high average,,so even if sachin played in viv's era he wud have averaged not much higher than now.also sachin's wc record is dubious.. his average drops from 57 to 42 if u take away minnows ( zmb,kenya,namibia). he is indeed a minnow basher unlike lara and sehwag.

  • Ramesh Kumar on March 17, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Ananth,

    Some more "what ifs" are Tendulkar's injury years, Packer years for players like Viv, apartheid years for players like Barry. I feel Bradman would have continued his run feast if war had not happened, may be with a bit lower average. Not sure about Lara though he had great last years as he had always been unpredictable.

    My point is that some of these players are truly great and we may not have any formula to pick a winner. After years go by and we only look at numbers and quite a bit of heresay, we will have two big benchmarks-Bradman's average and SRT's total runs across tests/ODIs with the asscoiated average in tests and average/strike rate in ODIs. Interesting development would be if Sehwag rewrites the script in tests and Dilshan in ODIs for a longer time. Then we are talking about high average with high stike rates on high base of runs. That would turn out a new dimension. [[ Ramesh Sehwag, possibly yes. Dilshan, too soon. He is also very interested in a film career, possibly in India and the motivation might be lacking. The dark horse could be de Villiers. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on March 17, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    Abhi - Very tough to find a comparison to Viv. To me, Lara's peak big innings are not 375 & 400 but 277, 226, 213. Viv managed big 200+ but some of his peak innings are not even 100's: one was a 70-odd in 1980 in which he thrashed Bob Willis, then touted by media to be better than Lillee(!!), so badly that Willis was never the same again & WI effectively won that series there and then. The other was a 33-ball 65 vs India in 1982-83 that won the match for WI improbably against time. In a recent interview, he has admitted that he declined as a batsman after 1986 because the captaincy pressure & duties robbed him of the mental freedom he needed.

    It is amusing that, today, people talk of Gavaskar etc. being as good as Richards. In his days, Viv was considered by every player to be in a league of his own. I think Wisden got it right by naming him one of the 5 cricketers of the 20th century. Now, if only we discuss the great Bevan to be more relevant to this thread.

  • Ramesh Kumar on March 17, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    Continuing from my earlier post.. I have watched/followed Cricket from early 70s and agree with Alex on Viv/Martin Crowe/Dean jones on their ODI skills on par with SRT, if you look at ODI evolution point of view. But, I think SRT is rewriting the benchmarks with his longevity/consistency and has taken ODI performance to a new level. Whether Viv could have done that-it is an academic point. Personally I feel he would not have done that. But that is my opinion. I feel that we may have two types of benchmarks-Bradman type, with huge difference in average and high peer ratio and another SRT type with mountains of runs with very good average. SRT benchmark will be more relevant to modern batsmen as very good batsmen will end playing 100+ tests and 250+ ODIs(may be some T20s). [[ Ramesh The points are very well made. Your 'what if' question on Viv can be extended to Bradman. Would he have doubled his run tally and maintained his 100- average. Tough to answer because of what happened in the 30s. Everything, including the kitchen sink was thrown at Bradman and he came through. He would certainly have not maintained his 100 average if the petently unfair body-line was allowed to continue. A better question would have been what if the war had not happened. Since 1939-45 were the peak years for Bradman it is safe to assume that he would have scored another 5000 years during these years at the same average. Another 'what if' question. If Lara was not rail-roaded into retirement by the Trinidad-clique in 2007 what would have happened. Ananth: ]]

  • Ramesh Kumar on March 17, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    One of the negative fall-outs of such comparison is that we will end up pulling down some players to project somebody else. At the highest level, the differences, if any, cannot lead to conclusion that difference makes them inferior by a margin or worse place them along with next level of players. I think, all of us would prefer one over others and desperately want statistics to support us. I don't think even discerning cricket fans will agree on SRT/Lara/Ponting/Viv/Bradman debate(throw in Kallis/Dravid etc)because something what they have done would have appealed to us and statistics would probably not change our opinion. But it is really good to get cricket knowledge backed analysis like Ananth does to get our rational mind going.

  • Abhi on March 17, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    Alex Right again! But ,as before, only partially so. Sure, clubbing Richards with afridi,jaya is an error- No doubt…wasn’t “exactly” what I meant, but couldn’t immediately find another wholly accurate comparison. Partially right because as before you’ve chosen an entirely arbitrary number to support your views. Why 50?Why not 40?55? 60? Or hundreds? Anyway , actually your basic argument of consistency carries much more weight and is obviously the differentiator between Richards and the “others”!..But then again you are the same chap who goes on harping about how much we should consider peak performances etc. And ,by the way, all top batsmen play for their teams. Of course , if you are nearing a landmark- any batsman would want to achieve it. But anyway point taken. I had sent in a previous comment which I will repeat: My point was simply that if you take even a Yusuf Pathan type of batsman (not nearly a great batsman to start off with) - with his style of play he will undoubtedly average at least couple of stunning innings per year over some years and hundreds of matches. So, the “style” of a batsman will have a greater affect on peak performances than any other single factor. The Boycotts,Gavaskars,Kallis’s will generally have lesser peak performances than the Sobers,Richards,Laras. If you are a fast ,free scoring batsman- and the conditions converge to order- things are going to look good for you. That, and only that, is my main point: If Borg was a batsman he would probably look pretty dour, with lesser “peak” performances …but the consistency of high performance is the single most critical factor in determining greatness . Not a few odd high notes…as you yourself have so well underlined as the diff between a Richards and an Afridi.

  • Alex on March 17, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    Abhi - I am not sure if you saw Viv Richards bat except, perhaps, on highlight packages. Watching someone over the years as the game evolves is quite different and gives a better appreciation.

    At any rate, you should look up his record in the ODI finals. It is better than SRT's. Period. Also, in tests, % of innings in which he scored 50+ runs is 37.9 which is better than most including SRT (37.3), Lara (35.4), Ponting (37.5), Kallis (37.2), Chappell (36.4), Border (34), Gavaskar (36.9), Miandad (34.9), Sobers (35), Kanhai (31.3), etc. Esp. in the last 6-7 years of his career, he had trouble converting the 50's into 100's. Still, he was a very good fit for the WI team which was all about winning in those days.

    If ever there was a player who played for his team and never for his own records, it was Richards. He also had a fantastic compact technique and solid defense. Clubbing him with Jayasuriya, Afirid is too much. He was on a very different level.

  • A Sharma on March 17, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    "There has been no better ODI player and probably never will be." The mention of Jaques Kallis is in response to your above statement.

  • Imran on March 17, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Tendulkar is one the best batsman, but why is everyone trying to compare him with other legendary greats. He is good that is it. You can't compare him with the likes of Don Bradman or Viv Richards. And don't forget they were successful captains also. I adore Tendulkar for his batting abilities, but don't forget, he has not won a world cup for India yet.

  • A Sharma on March 17, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    The greatest ODI player ever is Jaques Kallis. All fans are free to compare his statistics with Tendulkar. The results are apparent. End of argument. [[ This is only an analysis of batting positions. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on March 17, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    Oh and "If Woods keeps his libido in check" it may backfire! He was winning all those slams while behaving like Hefner. Now , all of a sudden, if he turns into a monk...Well, not so sure how it will affect his game. [[ He would have to constantly keep looking over his shoulders to see whether there are detectives following him and that might cause him to miss a few of his trademark drives. Anyhow he has said that he would be coming next month for the Master's at Augusta. Let us see. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on March 17, 2010, 2:53 GMT

    Ananth, Sure . actually my oblique reference was more towards Richards and many persons huge fascination with him based on his charisma, swagger, “helmetlessness” and hooking/pulling. Lara, for all his flamboyance ,actually played the percentages quite well and had a great defence. You can’t score 12000@52 over 15 yrs by just throwing your bat around. I mean if you sqeeze out a a dozen or so innings out of some 200 by hooking and swinging away to glory when everything goes your way- how in the world can this be taken to be the “best”…Then the likes of Afridi, Jaya...etc will all be the “best at their best”…And of course, if Warne is to be taken seriously – then “at his best” Yusuf Pathan is the best!! So, some sanity is required over pure emotional hype over a handful of innings in a long career. As rgds “big match”performances both SRT and Richards have one flop each at the WC final. SRT was chasing 360 and took the risk of swinging to get the team off to a flier- which was mandatory if India stood a chance.Richards was chasing 180 odd and could have cruised home. Both flops but somehow ppl remember only one.Richards had other chances to redeem himself, so perhaps his flop doesn’t stand out as much. Otherwise SRT has a great final record. [[ Abhi It is amazing our thought processes run similar. I had added the following paragraph to my previous comments and then deleted it because the mail & response was getting to be long. By the by, Warne's acting like an IPL-spokesman (that is what he is) and saying that Younis Pathan's innings was the greatest he had ever seen was the greatest joke of 2010. He has conveniently forgotten the numbers 281/153*/213/277/155*/148*/233. Let me also apologize for not reading your oblique refernce. This is the aplogies season. First Marees, then Sanchez, now Abhi.

    Ananth: ]]

  • Sanchez on March 17, 2010, 0:46 GMT

    I was just kidding about Turner being better than Tendulkar. What is it about Tendulkar that gets everyone in a tizzy? You cant bag him to some people, and you cant praise him to others. Every cricketer has flaws in their career apart from Bradman. [[ Sanchez The mistake is mine in not detecting the subtle humour. Your comments on SRT are applicable to me also. I have been noballed for both errors. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Kartik on March 16, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    COuldn't we possibly use the total runs scored in a decade to adjust the averages. A Mark Waugh would have had scored more in proportion to a Shane Watson if totals were taken into account. [[ Kartik Right from the beginning I had decided that this would be an analysis sans any adjustment. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on March 16, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    Alex Oh absolutely, Comparisons are quite tricky...not only across eras, but even across the very same era for players in different teams. There is NO way you can "equalize" all parameters. You know it, I know it, Everyone knows it.... But still here we are! Why? Coz it's good fun! And also, importantly, when someone clearly has a mountain of achievement as compared to his peers (Don's avg, Tendulkars runs) -the answer to the question as to who is the Greatest (at least in his particular era) starts to get obvious. This applies across practically all sports. Nicklaus(Golf), Fed (Tennis) etc. …once the numbers start to stack up well ahead of the rest of the pack then the conclusion starts to get quite clear- and any amount of argument against it doesn’t quite cut it. Several ppl in previous blogs have mentioned that they felt that a Mcenroe, Sampras, Borg etc “at his best” was better than Fed at his best. So what? I mean Macs 7 slams vs. 16 is simply a No Contest. Similarly with batsmen. I mean if a particular batsman plays some truly outstanding 6 or so inns out of literally hundreds, how in the world can anyone come to the conclusion that he’s the best? The high risk, flamboyant batsmen especially will tend to have a few terrific innings when all factors converge in their favour. This is simple probability over a large enough number of innings. So, whichever way you want to look at it- Tendulkar’s sheer weight of runs (critically at the same or better avg. than his peers) will simply drown everybody. This is precisely what happened with Fed. A lot of folks feel that Nadal at his best would take out Fed. So what? Who’s the greater player?

    Ananth, Right you are about SR/avg. Silly of me to have missed it. And also you seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place!... If you say someone besides SRT is your fave you then have one section (the larger and crazier one ,which includes yours truly) jump on you. You say something in favour of SRT and some other lot jumps on you!! Ha ,Ha!!…. [[ Until Woods keeps his libido in check, gets back on the links positively, picks up the lost enthusiasm (all difficult tasks) and wins 6 more Majors, Nicklaus would be the greatest golfer. That was the case with Federer couple of years back. However the way he has come back, hungry for titles and the way he has won titles in both ways, by a millimetre against Roddick and by a metre against Murray has settled all arguments. I admire, applaud and marvel at Tendulkar, both the man and batsman. I adored Lara's batting. But I have never ever put down one favouring the other. I think you are being unfair on Lara. What he has achieved in Tests is equal to, if not better than, what Tendulkar has achieved. Your 6 comes in one series only. However in ODIs there is no contest. That explains the overall positions. Richards is another era. Within the limitations of his era, what he has achieved in ODIs is second only to SRT. Again the weight of runs scored cannot be ignored. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on March 16, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Abhi --- comparisons across eras (or any comparisons , for that matter) are best avoided. ODI's were quite new (and mostly 60 over affairs) and infrequent in Turner's time. He still managed 2 mammoth scores. In contrast, SRT practically grew up watching ODI's, playing in Mumbai; also he was a seasoned ODI batsman before he started opening. So, Turner and SRT have very different initial conditions & training. The next gen always has the benefit of following the previous. As an example, note that the Top 10 in positions 5-8 are from 1990's onwards. The 70's/80's batsmen make the Top 10 only in positions 1-4. For those of us who followed it keenly in 80's, Viv, Greenidge, Martin Crowe, and Dean Jones are as good as they get.

  • Abhi on March 16, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Another point: The “batting index” may be appropriate for top order batsmen, when a high SR is somewhat a “part” of their jobs- getting a decisive start,getting a move on with the run rate etc. But it may work against the “finishers” to whom a calculated ,well judged “finish” ,keeping risk to a minimal would be more important than simply upping the ante-especially when chasing. [[ Abhi The possible lower s/r may be compensated by the higher average. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on March 16, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    Ananth, For once I wholly agree with you about SRTs standing ,at least in one half of the game. If SRT somehow manages to stay fit for a few years more I’m sure he will have completely cemented his place as the 2nd greatest batsman of all time – irrespective of nitpicking with formats or whatever loopholes in his CV the naysayers may attempt to find. It is somewhat like arguing that Federer is the best 3 set player of all time but not the best 5 set player( that would go to Borg)….Or some such argument-basically an argument just for the sake of an argument. I tooled around on statsguru for a while to see how SRT would have done around Dilshan/Turners period after he started opening the batting. After 25 inn SRT avg 47, after 26 inn (the 26th inn is a 112*) he has 1263@.52.6 with a SR of 93.4. After 29 inn, 1371 @ 50.9, SR 93.8. Mind you, this was around 1994/95 when he was 20yrs old and SRs of around 95 were not exactly the norm, unlike now. Difficult to visualise Dilshan maintaining this standard over time and a few hundred matches more. He may- but you would think bowlers will figure him out. He will probably go the Jayasuriya way- explosive, with a high SR but inability to consistently sustain it, resulting in a lower avg.as time goes by. So, perhaps a match cut out of 50 inn should also be incorporated- at least for the modern day players. If not for the old timers such as Turner who wouldn’t have got to play so many matches.

  • A Sharma on March 16, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    You mention about tendulkar, "There has been no better ODI player and probably never will be." On what basis do you make this claim?

  • Alex on March 16, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    Ananth - one of the surprises is the record of Chanderpaul at the opening position; Hick at No. 3 is not a surprise. Over there, Chander is not out for whopping 12% innings as well (perhaps small run chases). It appears that the % of not out innings is >8 for really good openers and >10 for really good 3rd position batsmen. Actually, ranking batsmen on this metric would be quite novel:

    Let X=average % of not out innings at the position of interest. Let Y=% of not out innings of the concerned batsman at that position. The index Z = Y/X. A high value of this index will show that the batsman "stayed there till the end" more often than his peers at that position ... that is supposed to be nice although a certain 60 over 36 smacks this rationale in its face. [[ Alex I have talked about the % of not outs elsewhere. Hussey 33%, Dhoni 26% and so on. Ananth: ]]

  • vj on March 16, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    anant, u'r statement " there probably will never be a better one-day batsman " is misplaced. one cannot be called the best because of playing 500 odi's,, that way don bradman shud not figure in the all-time list.u somehow want to justify u'r tendulkar bias. [[ VJ You have made my day. Until now all, sundry and their neigbour's dogs have accused me from rooftops that I was anti-Tendulkar, consequently anti-Indian and questioned my patriotism. Now I was waiting for this. Some one has accused me of having a PRO-TENDULKAR-BIAS. Wonderful feeling and thanks a lot. Ananth: ]]

  • Shyam on March 16, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Alex - If you add a bowling line up of McGrath, Lillee, Warne and 1 more (Brett Lee in his one-day incarnation?) and use Symonds/Bevan to bowl 10 overs thats a pretty scary team! Not to mention Ponting/Jones/Bevan/Symonds/Hussey/Lee in the field.

    I'd replace Hayden with Mark Waugh though. Purely because he could also bowl and field - they are about the same with the bat (statistically).

    Ands thats leaving out Boon/ Border/ S.Waugh/ Watson/ Gillespie etc.

    And Don Bradman, of course! [[ Shyam Pl don't convert this to a best ODI team discussion. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on March 16, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    Specially to Alex and Marees, In my unnecessary anxiety to take credit for inventing the ODI Index, I did not accept the intrinsic value behind Marees' suggestion. I think ODI Index is an excellent measure since that incorporates both the key values, Batting Average and Strike Rate. It will also allow batsmen like Gilchrist, Sehwag et al who have middling averages but very high strike rates. This will satisfy all, especially Alex and Marees and for that matter Andrew and me. Unfortunately the entire article will undergo a change and existing article cannot be updated. Hence I will re-do the analysis, as an immediate follow-up article with the Batting Index. However let the current article stay. Please bear with me for a few days. I will try and get the article published, latest, by Friday. Ananth

  • Sanchez on March 16, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    Interesting analysis, thank you very much for this. Much food for thought. I see Hussey on three of the top lists, quite an achievement. I dont think anyone can complain about the high number of not outs. My response to that sort of criticism would be: If it was so easy, then why hasnt anybody else got an average like that?

    So obviously, Turner is a better opener than Tendulkar! :P [[ No, Sanchez It only means that the 1500+ runs that Turner scored were at a higher average than SRT. Same is the case with Dilshan. The weight of the 14xxx runs at 49-- can never be ignored. Ananth: ]]

  • Avi Singh on March 16, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Interesting analysis, could you please put up the full tables as that would be great. Interesting that Ganguly figures so high batting at No 3 even though he opened with Sachin for most of his ODI career. This analysis also shows how unwarranted the criticism of Rahul Dravid's ODI batting has been- he has been superb at No 5 and pushed himself down to allow others to take the more glamourous spots up top. Time for an ODI recall for good maybe?? [[ Avi Very valid points about Ganguly and Dravid. The full tables were quite unwieldy. However when I do the follow-up analysis I will do so. Ananth: ]]

  • Andrew on March 15, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    Nice study Ananth. As you say, the six players are your choice, but I'd have added Hussey, who at 555% the average for a #7, as well as 2nd place at #5 and 6th and #6, can't be ignored. Completely agree on Tendulkar and Richards. Best of the best. Maybe a comparison of strike rates could be done decade by decade?

  • marees on March 15, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    ok, Ananth. now I understood by what you meant as OUTlier. I think this term is too cryptic for persons not familiar with statistics... If you somehow manage to include strike-rates also in your analysis, then you can find Gilchrist and Dhoni also among outliers, I am sure. [[ Marees Pl see my separate response. My apologies to you for ignoring the main point. Outlier is now quite commonly used especially after Gladwell's runaway success. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on March 15, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    Marees --- Miandad's six more than left a scar, viz., it ruined the career of Chetan Sharma who was shaping up as the next Kapil with all the system backing. He was never the same after the six. India too could dream of exorcizing the demons of Sharjah only after SRT became a legal adult.

  • marees on March 15, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    Ananth,

    I totally agree with you in picking Richards. But funnily after showing him as statistically the best no.3 you have placed him at no.4 in the team(which in my opinion is the place for the best batsman in the team, which is Richards). So I agree with your choice, but I have to point out that you have given no rationale whatsoever to justify you decision.

    p.s. - I have given my rationale for picking Richards, in my post "Tendulkar blasts his way into all-time ODI team" in the roar website. [[ I have not selected any team. Just picked up 6 players, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • marees on March 15, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Excellent Ananth.

    However mystifies me, why you state - Dhoni is best suited to position 5 but go on to pick Symonds. Is it the strike rate? In which case you did a major dis-service by not showing the strike rate in ODI stats. You can get some tips from Rajesh. I think he uses a composite score which considers both average and strike rate.

    If you are going to update your stats can you please consider the following points also.

    1) avg while batting first as opposed to avg while chasing. I rate Sachin's 175 much,much.much higher than his 200*. Likewise Miandad's Sharjah 6 has left an indelible scar too:-( 2) I also would like to see consolidated average for all batting pos from 5 and down and also 6 and down. 3) very curious about least dot ball faced %. I couldn't find any way to get this from stats guru. I could find the hihest sixes hit %(goes to flintoff). [[ Marees Couple of points. As part of my television analysis, 9 years back, I was the first one to even think of an ODI Index which is the product of Average and Strike Rate. So, much as I admire Rajesh, the tip in this case has gone the other way. You have missed reading the reason for selecting a few performances. I have mentioned "Taking into account the runs scored and averages attained, the 6 outlier batting position performances are given below." Symonds has scored more than double the runs scored by Dhoni. Same logic for selecting Tendulkar, Richards, Ponting et al. If Dhoni maintains a 50+ average for another 1000 runs certainly he would be way ahead of others. Also let me say that this is a selection of six by me. You could have your own six, or ten. Ananth: ]]

  • vakratund on March 15, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Mr ALex

    here are the Strike rates of aussies Mathew Hayden -78.96 Adam Gilchrist -94 Ricky Ponting -80.71 Mike Hussey -88 Michael Bevan -74.16 Dean Jones -72 [[ Vakratund Life is not that easy. What you have given are the overall career strike rates which Alex would probably recite in his sleep. What are needed are batting position wise strike rates which are a different matter altogether. Thanks anyhow. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on March 15, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    Ananth --- sorry, I forgot to mention in the last comment ... could you please re-do the tables with SR rather than average as the metric? My guess is that, given the nature of their home pitches, the subcontinental batsmen of recent vintage might feature high in those tables.

    I personally feel that Viv deserves the title as the "greatest ever ODI batsman" just because he was so far ahead of the next best batsman (probably Greenidge) for a decade (1978--1988): in terms of avg, SR, and big match performances. That cannot said about SRT (although he is truly great on all these metrics). [[ Alex I am not sure about that. If I do the tables on strike rate then the valid question of disparity in scoring rates between years would crop up. Finally it must be understood that there is no great disparity in averages between the years. The three high modern averages in excess of 50 are matched by the just below 50 averages from earlier years. On the other hand there is a clear variation in strike rates. I will try and add the strike rates to the current tables in a couple of days (pressure of time). Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on March 15, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    Anantha - thanks. Thanks also to the anonymous readers who prompted this article. Could you please add the following columns: (i) SR, and (ii) SR/(his team's SR)?

    Interesting to note how many Aussies dominate these tables. Always a strong team, AB moulded a monster out of them with Dean Jones as the key batsman. I shudder at the thought of facing an Aussie dream team that boasts Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting, Dean Jones, Symonds, Bevan, and Hussey in full cry as its batting line-up.

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  • Alex on March 15, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    Anantha - thanks. Thanks also to the anonymous readers who prompted this article. Could you please add the following columns: (i) SR, and (ii) SR/(his team's SR)?

    Interesting to note how many Aussies dominate these tables. Always a strong team, AB moulded a monster out of them with Dean Jones as the key batsman. I shudder at the thought of facing an Aussie dream team that boasts Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting, Dean Jones, Symonds, Bevan, and Hussey in full cry as its batting line-up.

  • Alex on March 15, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    Ananth --- sorry, I forgot to mention in the last comment ... could you please re-do the tables with SR rather than average as the metric? My guess is that, given the nature of their home pitches, the subcontinental batsmen of recent vintage might feature high in those tables.

    I personally feel that Viv deserves the title as the "greatest ever ODI batsman" just because he was so far ahead of the next best batsman (probably Greenidge) for a decade (1978--1988): in terms of avg, SR, and big match performances. That cannot said about SRT (although he is truly great on all these metrics). [[ Alex I am not sure about that. If I do the tables on strike rate then the valid question of disparity in scoring rates between years would crop up. Finally it must be understood that there is no great disparity in averages between the years. The three high modern averages in excess of 50 are matched by the just below 50 averages from earlier years. On the other hand there is a clear variation in strike rates. I will try and add the strike rates to the current tables in a couple of days (pressure of time). Ananth: ]]

  • vakratund on March 15, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Mr ALex

    here are the Strike rates of aussies Mathew Hayden -78.96 Adam Gilchrist -94 Ricky Ponting -80.71 Mike Hussey -88 Michael Bevan -74.16 Dean Jones -72 [[ Vakratund Life is not that easy. What you have given are the overall career strike rates which Alex would probably recite in his sleep. What are needed are batting position wise strike rates which are a different matter altogether. Thanks anyhow. Ananth: ]]

  • marees on March 15, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Excellent Ananth.

    However mystifies me, why you state - Dhoni is best suited to position 5 but go on to pick Symonds. Is it the strike rate? In which case you did a major dis-service by not showing the strike rate in ODI stats. You can get some tips from Rajesh. I think he uses a composite score which considers both average and strike rate.

    If you are going to update your stats can you please consider the following points also.

    1) avg while batting first as opposed to avg while chasing. I rate Sachin's 175 much,much.much higher than his 200*. Likewise Miandad's Sharjah 6 has left an indelible scar too:-( 2) I also would like to see consolidated average for all batting pos from 5 and down and also 6 and down. 3) very curious about least dot ball faced %. I couldn't find any way to get this from stats guru. I could find the hihest sixes hit %(goes to flintoff). [[ Marees Couple of points. As part of my television analysis, 9 years back, I was the first one to even think of an ODI Index which is the product of Average and Strike Rate. So, much as I admire Rajesh, the tip in this case has gone the other way. You have missed reading the reason for selecting a few performances. I have mentioned "Taking into account the runs scored and averages attained, the 6 outlier batting position performances are given below." Symonds has scored more than double the runs scored by Dhoni. Same logic for selecting Tendulkar, Richards, Ponting et al. If Dhoni maintains a 50+ average for another 1000 runs certainly he would be way ahead of others. Also let me say that this is a selection of six by me. You could have your own six, or ten. Ananth: ]]

  • marees on March 15, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    Ananth,

    I totally agree with you in picking Richards. But funnily after showing him as statistically the best no.3 you have placed him at no.4 in the team(which in my opinion is the place for the best batsman in the team, which is Richards). So I agree with your choice, but I have to point out that you have given no rationale whatsoever to justify you decision.

    p.s. - I have given my rationale for picking Richards, in my post "Tendulkar blasts his way into all-time ODI team" in the roar website. [[ I have not selected any team. Just picked up 6 players, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on March 15, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    Marees --- Miandad's six more than left a scar, viz., it ruined the career of Chetan Sharma who was shaping up as the next Kapil with all the system backing. He was never the same after the six. India too could dream of exorcizing the demons of Sharjah only after SRT became a legal adult.

  • marees on March 15, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    ok, Ananth. now I understood by what you meant as OUTlier. I think this term is too cryptic for persons not familiar with statistics... If you somehow manage to include strike-rates also in your analysis, then you can find Gilchrist and Dhoni also among outliers, I am sure. [[ Marees Pl see my separate response. My apologies to you for ignoring the main point. Outlier is now quite commonly used especially after Gladwell's runaway success. Ananth: ]]

  • Andrew on March 15, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    Nice study Ananth. As you say, the six players are your choice, but I'd have added Hussey, who at 555% the average for a #7, as well as 2nd place at #5 and 6th and #6, can't be ignored. Completely agree on Tendulkar and Richards. Best of the best. Maybe a comparison of strike rates could be done decade by decade?

  • Avi Singh on March 16, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Interesting analysis, could you please put up the full tables as that would be great. Interesting that Ganguly figures so high batting at No 3 even though he opened with Sachin for most of his ODI career. This analysis also shows how unwarranted the criticism of Rahul Dravid's ODI batting has been- he has been superb at No 5 and pushed himself down to allow others to take the more glamourous spots up top. Time for an ODI recall for good maybe?? [[ Avi Very valid points about Ganguly and Dravid. The full tables were quite unwieldy. However when I do the follow-up analysis I will do so. Ananth: ]]

  • Sanchez on March 16, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    Interesting analysis, thank you very much for this. Much food for thought. I see Hussey on three of the top lists, quite an achievement. I dont think anyone can complain about the high number of not outs. My response to that sort of criticism would be: If it was so easy, then why hasnt anybody else got an average like that?

    So obviously, Turner is a better opener than Tendulkar! :P [[ No, Sanchez It only means that the 1500+ runs that Turner scored were at a higher average than SRT. Same is the case with Dilshan. The weight of the 14xxx runs at 49-- can never be ignored. Ananth: ]]