Batting June 1, 2010

Significant Test innings, and their architects

A look at the significant innings played by batsmen in Tests, based on a certain set of criteria
83

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has a significant innings percentage of 46.7%, which places him fourth in the all-time list © Getty Images
It is nice to be back after a valuable and recharging break. It is also wonderful to renew acquaintance with the valued readers. The break was necessary but I could not wait for the self-imposed sabbatical to be over.

In this article I have gone back to the reader's suggestions, specifically Xolile. He had suggested a few months back that I should look at separating the significant Test innings based on runs scored and balls faced, wherever such information is available, and rating batsmen using this information. I have taken that suggestion and completed the analysis after significantly improving the basis.

He had suggested that I take 80 runs and 160 balls as the basis. I have instead worked on a dynamic fixing of the cut-off points based on the specific match conditions. The idea is that I should achieve the following inclusions and exclusions through this analysis.

The analysis should be done so that the following innings (just a few examples) are included.

- Gillespie's 9 (off 51) out of Aus total of 93 a.o (30 overs) at Mumbai
- Guptill's 30 (off 122) out of Nzl total of 157 a.o (59.1 overs) at Wellington
- Srinath's 76 (off 159) out of Ind total of 416 a.o (128.3 overs) at Hamilton
- Hutton's 30 (balls n/a) out of Eng total of 52 a.o. (42.1 overs) at Oval
- A.H.Kardar's 69 (balls n.a) out of Pak total of 199 a.o (91.3 overs) at Karachi
and so on.

and the following innings (just a few examples) are not included.

- Collingwood's 60 out of Eng total of 569 for 6 at Chester
- Clarke's 83 out of Aus total of 674 for 6 at Cardiff
- Ranatunga's 86 out of Slk total of 952 for 6 at Colombo
- Walcott's 88* out of Win total of 790 for 3 at Kingston
- Rae's 63* and Stollymeyer's 76* out of Win total of 142 for 0 at Trinidad
and so on.

I have taken one decision, slightly reluctantly. Any 100 would be considered to be significant. Although I do not consider a 100 by itself to be anything special, I think this is a correct decision since out of the 68,879 innings played to date only 3370 hundreds have been scored and this constitutes around 5%. It is not a bad premise to start with, banking one in twenty innings.

As far as the often quoted instances of batsmen scoring 100s in dead match situations, the following example will show the pitfalls.

Take a match where two days have been washed out. The match scores are

Team 1: 300 for 5. Team 2: 300 for 6. Team 1: 300 for 7 (Xyz 100+).

If the first two days are lost due to rain, the third innings century is a totally irrelevant one scored on the last day. On the other hand if the last two days have been washed out, the third innings century is a very relevant one made in a live match situation on the third day. If the rain had occurred on other days, the value of the 100 would oscillate significantly. Hence pre-conceived notions of the significance or non-significance of innings should not be used to come to conclusions. Also incorporating rain factor, when it happened, on what day the runs were scored all are virtually impossible in any analysis because of the absence of dependable data.

Since 80 and 160 are arbitrary, I have worked on a dynamic determination of the cut-off for each match, separate for either team. This makes sense since I should include an innings of 9 and exclude a 88* innings. There cannot be common cut-off criteria.

The cut-off methodology is explained below. Based on the cut-off points 2 to 5, 12,529 innings below 100 have got selected.

An innings is considered to be significant if it satisfies any one of the following five conditions.

1. The runs scored is greater than or equal to 100 (already talked of).

2. The balls faced is greater than or equal to 200.

3. The runs scored is greater than or equal to the cut-off figure for the team, as explained below.
- For batsmen 1-7, 1.333 times the Runs per wkt value for the team for the two innings together.
- For batsmen 8-11, 1.167 times the Runs per wkt value for the team for the two innings together.

4. The balls faced is equal to or higher than the cut-off figure for the team, as explained below.
- For batsmen 1-7, 1.667 times the Balls per wkt value for the team for the two innings together.
- For batsmen 8-11, 1.333 times the Balls per wkt value for the team for the two innings together.

5. To take care of very low innings totals, see Hutton example above, the runs scored is greater than or equal to one third of the team total. The team should have lost 5 wickets or more. Otherwise Stollymeyer-type innings would get through.

Seems complicated but all conditions are logical once the above 5 conditions are understood properly, and the fact that an innings has to adhere to at least one of these in order to be seen as significant in this analysis. Of course, a cursory glance would be woefully inadequate. These cut-off numbers have also been determined after a lot of trial work during the past few days. A higher cut-off will mean missing out of some significant innings while a lower cut-off will mean inclusion of ordinary innings. Overall this method is slightly unfair to older batsmen since they have only the "Runs scored" criteria available to them. However nothing can be done about that.

I got a massive list of 15,899 innings, which is about 23% and this figure looks good. Then I posted these into the player database and got the player table. This table is sequenced on the % of significant innings since the number of innings played varies considerably. The cut-off for batsman selection is 3000 runs and above. 159 batsmen qualify.

The top 20 entries are listed below.

Table of batsman by % of significant innings

SNo Batsman For Mats Runs Inns SI % SI

1.Bradman D.G Aus 52 6996 80 43 53.8 2.EdeC Weekes Win 48 4455 81 39 48.1 3.Hobbs J.B Eng 61 5410 102 49 48.0 4.Chanderpaul S Win 123 8669 210 98 46.7 5.Barrington K.F Eng 82 6806 131 61 46.6 6.Sutcliffe H Eng 54 4555 84 39 46.4 7.Lara B.C Win 131 11953 232 106 45.7 8.Dravid R Ind 139 11395 240 108 45.0 9.Hutton L Eng 79 6971 138 62 44.9 10.Flower A Zim 63 4794 112 50 44.6 11.May P.B.H Eng 66 4537 106 47 44.3 12.Viswanath G.R Ind 91 6080 155 68 43.9 13.Hammond W.R Eng 85 7249 140 61 43.6 14.Compton D.C.S Eng 78 5807 131 57 43.5 15.Umrigar P.R Ind 59 3631 94 40 42.6 16.Mitchell B Saf 42 3471 80 34 42.5 17.Sarwan R.R Win 83 5759 146 62 42.5 18.Manjrekar V.L Ind 55 3208 92 39 42.4 19.Javed Miandad Pak 124 8832 189 80 42.3 20.Gavaskar S.M Ind 125 10122 214 89 41.6

How often do we a table headed by Bradman. More than 1 out of 2 innings played by Bradman are significant. He is the only player to have exceeded 50%. Then come two giants, Weekes and Hobbs, who have figures around 48%, the one mitigating factor is that they are within 10% of Bradman.

Now the biggest surprise. The unheralded and unsung Chanderpaul clocks in at 46.7% ahead of his more illustrious contemporaries. It shows the solidity and quality Chanderpaul brought to position No. 6. He could very well improve in the years to come. Barrington and Sutcliffe come in next, both great defensive batsmen. Hutton chips in in the 10th position.

Now we have two modern greats, Lara and Dravid. Lara's playing in a weaker team has helped a bit in this regard, but there can be few detractors to the claims of his greatness. Same applies to Dravid. What he has achieved for India has not been acknowledged, especially on the Test front. It is very pleasing to see some of the Indian greats of the past eras, viz., Viswanath, Umrigar, Manjrekar and Gavaskar appear in the top-20. They played in tough times and this has been recognised. Rounding this table in the 9th position is Andy Flower, one of the greatest modern batsmen ever, slightly benefiting from playing for a weaker team.

To view/down-load the complete table, please click/right-click here.

I have also given below the top 10 batsmen in terms of number of significant innings.

Table of batsman by number of significant innings

SNo Batsman For Mats Runs Inns SI % SI

1.Dravid R Ind 139 11395 240 108 45.0 2.Lara B.C Win 131 11953 232 106 45.7 3.Border A.R Aus 156 11174 265 103 38.9 4.Tendulkar S.R Ind 166 13447 271 103 38.0 5.Chanderpaul S Win 123 8669 210 98 46.7 6.Kallis J.H Saf 137 10843 231 94 40.7 7.Waugh S.R Aus 168 10927 260 92 35.4 8.Stewart A.J Eng 133 8465 235 90 38.3 9.Gavaskar S.M Ind 125 10122 214 89 41.6 10.Inzamam-ul-Haq Pak 120 8830 200 82 41.0

This is a quantity table. Dravid is on top with 108 performances and is followed by Lara with 106. Both are placed in the top-10 of the main table. Then comes the great fighter, Border and the incomparable Tendulkar with 103 significant innings. These four are the only batsmen to exceed 100 significant innings. Chanderpaul and Kallis should soon breach this number.

To view/down-load the complete table, please click/right-click here.

I have also made available the complete list of significant performances for all the 159 qualifying batsmen.

To view/down-load the table for the first 999 tests, please click/right-click here.

To view/down-load the table for tests 1000-1957, please click/right-click here.

Finally the grand-daddy of all tables. Let me warn you these tables are huge, 500kb each. These are the lists of all significant innings, all 15899 of them, covering all 1957 tests played.

To view/down-load the complete table for tests 1-999, please click/right-click here.

To view/down-load the complete table for tests 1000-1957, please click/right-click here.

Finally a usual note. This is a unique attempt to apply a common set of criteria across 1957 Tests spread over 133 years. There are bound to be anomalies. Readers are better off suggesting improvements rather than pointing out such stray instances.

A few readers have asked for spme summarized figures based on criteria. I have given these, and more below. I have not done the %. I leave it for the readers.

Total: 15908
100s: 3372
200 balls but < 100 runs:  312
Out of other 12224 innings,
Both rpw & bpw criteria: 2517  Rpw criteria: 9270    Bpw criteria: 410
50-99: 6944     Lt 50: 5592
BPos 1-7: 13932   BPos 8-11: 1976
Ist inns: 8791      2nd inns: 7117
Wins: 4587     Draws: 4713     Losses: 6608

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

  • gowri sankar on June 22, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    Great article , one of the wonderful article with crunching statistics i have ever seen in ages. But one thing i saw missing was , what happened to the modern i mean batsman got less than 3000 runs.. i mean who comes in 6th or 7th position and gets 40n.a[50 balls] or 50 n.a[80 balls] in every matches which has a total of 200.. He ll be having more 40's and 50's and would have made an impact but as he din get a 100 , din face more deliveries , din get more than 3000. what happened to them.?

  • RV on June 17, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    Ananth,

    I did some number crunching recently to look at the value of a person to the team. I wonder whether you would be willing to take a look at it and discuss it any further? If you are willing, do let me know your email address. You can probably get mine from this email, but just in case - it is rv dot subbu at gmail dot com.

  • Abhi on June 16, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    Ananth, The basic point I was trying to make was that there should be an absolute run cut off as well in determining SI s- not just a % of total team score. A minimum of around at least 30 runs an inn. An inn. below this score will in the vast majority of cases not actually be SI s. As an eg. an inn. of say 10 runs out of 50 should not be considered an SI. You may have batsmen in very poor teams squirting a couple of 4s through slips and so getting around 10 odd runs….so a minimum run cut out should be considerered. If a batsman has managed to remained N.O when scoring less than 30 during the team collapse, then this inn. should be deducted from his total inn. when calculating % SI. [[ Abhi While I understand the need to take care of short innings, there is no way I will accept the argument that Hutton's 30 (out of 52), Tancred's 26 (out of 47) or Flintoff's 24 (out of 51) are not significant innings. They are acts of defiance worthy to be honoured, much more than many a 100. This is taken care of my fixing 20 as the lower limit. That way Trumper's 18 (out of 36) does not get included. Ananth: ]]

  • DIXIT CHAWLA on June 14, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    In response to Mani's arguments i think if a non hundred or a inning of less than 200 balls is counted as significant only after fall of 5 wickets then low scoring not out inning should counted for si% only in those team innings in which 5 or more wickets falls.and if in team inning 4 or less wicket falls then low scoring not out innings of batsman should not be counted for si%.Reason is that in a team inning in which 5 or more wicket falls if a batsman remain a low scoring not out it should be consider that he fails to leave 'significant' impression in team inning, and if 4 or less wicket falls it should be consider batsman not got full chance to show his significanse. [[ Dixit You have not understood the process. A 37 or 112 ball innings can very well become a SI. It is only for the last category of innings exceeding one third of the innings size (and these innings have not qualified in any of the earlier processes) that the 5 wicket limit is put in. This is only to avoid 50 out of 100 for no loss or 1 wkt to be included. Even this, with my changed innings-basis calculation, I am not sure. Earlier because of the odd situation of 400 and 100 by the same team resulting in some unfair treatment of the smaller innings I put in this. Now I may not need this at all. Might very well remove it. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 14, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    On further thought, then again- if you disregard inn. as SIs in team scores of less than 60 but count them in the “total inn.” this is not fair to the batsman. so, perhaps my first comment stands!getting murkier by the minute... [[ Abhi By mistake I lost your first comment. Let us leave it at this. I think let common sense be the judge in these situations. Ananth: ]]

  • Mani on June 14, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Thanks for your response. Still I think I haven't put my thoughts clearer. For the purpose of calculating SI, consider all the innings. In case if a not-out innings is SI, this has to be included in the total innings played by the batsman while computing % of SI.

    I can only relate not-out innings to students appearing in exam and denied opportunity to complete for whatever reason. If he has performed enough to declare him pass, he has to be considered as appeared for the exam and passed. If his performance is not enough, he should not be considered as failed in an attempt - rather not to have appeared for the exam. By this way, sutcliffe's 11 will be included as SI and will be part of total innings played by him whereas Walcott's 88 will not be included in the total innings played by him for computing % of SI.

    I didn't know whether I have conveyed my thoughts clearly but I wouldn't trouble you more in this topic again. [[ Mani maybe I am not the one who has not conveyed the info properly. Whatever happens an innings is first considered to be whether an SI or not. Sutcliffe's innings wiill fall into the special category. Out of the non-SI innings I will exclude the single digit not out inns. Incidentally I have completed this portion. Does not make a significant change. However it is a correct one. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 14, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    Ananth, Would Chanders last 2 inn. vs Steyn and co.rank as SIs as per this metric? If so, then it would be a classic case of "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man...." [[ Abhi The first innings would be in, on merit, on both counts. He and Deonaraine played very well amongst mediocre buffoons. Not the second innings where he was out-performed by quite a few other batsmen. Ananth: ]]

  • Mani on June 13, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Sorry to drag this topic further. I thought it is easier to leave out the non-significant not out innings. As you will be doing your SI analysis on the basis of each innings (as against each match), you can also have an attribute (Significant or Not) for each innings played by each batsman in your database (if possible). You can just exclude the number if an innings is both non-significant and not-out. I am not sure whether it is possible to incorporate such changes in your database at this time... anyway I've put just what I have in my mind. [[ Mani In the morning when I got up and was lying in bed unwilling to put my feet on the cool floor I started thinking about your suggestion. It seemed to carry lot of sense. I realized that we need not be slaves to convention and that doors are meant to be opened and not remain closed. The idea is intrinsically correct. A batsman has had no opportunity to build his innings at all. There is every right to say that the innings should be excluded. However since I also have the one third of very short innings as a factor, that should not be disturbed. In the 26, the New Zealand low-point, Sutcliffe scored 11 and that innings has to come in. Hence I have decided that single digit not out innings would be excluded from the number of innings played. Thanks for an excellent suggestion. ]]

  • Abhi on June 13, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Alex,DD,Mani,Ariz Khan,Sarosh etc- All top notch comments, with loads of fresh insights.

  • Mani on June 13, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    continued from previous post...

    Lara B.C - 232 - 3 - 229 - 106 - 46.29% May P.B.H - 106 - 4 - 102 - 47 - 46.08% Hammond W.R - 140 - 4 - 136 - 61 - 44.85% Viswanath G.R - 155 - 3 - 152 - 68 - 44.74% Mitchell B - 80 - 4 - 76 - 34 - 44.74% Javed Miandad - 189 - 9 - 180 - 80 - 44.44% Umrigar P.R - 94 - 4 - 90 - 40 - 44.44% Manjrekar V.L - 92 - 3 - 89 - 39 - 43.82% Sarwan R.R - 146 - 2 - 144 - 62 - 43.06% Gavaskar S.M - 214 - 7 - 207 - 89 - 43%

    Since I haven't seen the players of previous eras, I couldn't comment on their relative placement. However, of the modern players, the order of Chanderpaul, Dravid, Flower and then Lara surprises me.

    Even though it is difficult (Not Impossible) to find out, I hope, as usual, you will find a way to work that out. Eagerly awaiting your follow-up article. [[ Mani I will repeat this comment in the follow-up article also just in case people miss reading it here. I am not going to open the door since I dio not know what I will find there. Where do I draw the line. At 9* or 19* . And what about the earlier innings. What about 300 for 5 declared and a batsman remaining not out on 15. Let us not open that door. A batsman takes stance, it is considered as an innings, as done everywhere. However I am doing a qualitative measurement of the SI in my foillow-up. In that I will only use the number of SIs as the basis and not extend it to all inns. It will be a question of a. how often a batsman plays an SI, with the n umber of inns played as the basis. and b. when he has played an SI, by how much does he exceeds the cut-off value, with the number of SIs played as the base. It is coming out very well. Ananth: ]]

  • gowri sankar on June 22, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    Great article , one of the wonderful article with crunching statistics i have ever seen in ages. But one thing i saw missing was , what happened to the modern i mean batsman got less than 3000 runs.. i mean who comes in 6th or 7th position and gets 40n.a[50 balls] or 50 n.a[80 balls] in every matches which has a total of 200.. He ll be having more 40's and 50's and would have made an impact but as he din get a 100 , din face more deliveries , din get more than 3000. what happened to them.?

  • RV on June 17, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    Ananth,

    I did some number crunching recently to look at the value of a person to the team. I wonder whether you would be willing to take a look at it and discuss it any further? If you are willing, do let me know your email address. You can probably get mine from this email, but just in case - it is rv dot subbu at gmail dot com.

  • Abhi on June 16, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    Ananth, The basic point I was trying to make was that there should be an absolute run cut off as well in determining SI s- not just a % of total team score. A minimum of around at least 30 runs an inn. An inn. below this score will in the vast majority of cases not actually be SI s. As an eg. an inn. of say 10 runs out of 50 should not be considered an SI. You may have batsmen in very poor teams squirting a couple of 4s through slips and so getting around 10 odd runs….so a minimum run cut out should be considerered. If a batsman has managed to remained N.O when scoring less than 30 during the team collapse, then this inn. should be deducted from his total inn. when calculating % SI. [[ Abhi While I understand the need to take care of short innings, there is no way I will accept the argument that Hutton's 30 (out of 52), Tancred's 26 (out of 47) or Flintoff's 24 (out of 51) are not significant innings. They are acts of defiance worthy to be honoured, much more than many a 100. This is taken care of my fixing 20 as the lower limit. That way Trumper's 18 (out of 36) does not get included. Ananth: ]]

  • DIXIT CHAWLA on June 14, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    In response to Mani's arguments i think if a non hundred or a inning of less than 200 balls is counted as significant only after fall of 5 wickets then low scoring not out inning should counted for si% only in those team innings in which 5 or more wickets falls.and if in team inning 4 or less wicket falls then low scoring not out innings of batsman should not be counted for si%.Reason is that in a team inning in which 5 or more wicket falls if a batsman remain a low scoring not out it should be consider that he fails to leave 'significant' impression in team inning, and if 4 or less wicket falls it should be consider batsman not got full chance to show his significanse. [[ Dixit You have not understood the process. A 37 or 112 ball innings can very well become a SI. It is only for the last category of innings exceeding one third of the innings size (and these innings have not qualified in any of the earlier processes) that the 5 wicket limit is put in. This is only to avoid 50 out of 100 for no loss or 1 wkt to be included. Even this, with my changed innings-basis calculation, I am not sure. Earlier because of the odd situation of 400 and 100 by the same team resulting in some unfair treatment of the smaller innings I put in this. Now I may not need this at all. Might very well remove it. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 14, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    On further thought, then again- if you disregard inn. as SIs in team scores of less than 60 but count them in the “total inn.” this is not fair to the batsman. so, perhaps my first comment stands!getting murkier by the minute... [[ Abhi By mistake I lost your first comment. Let us leave it at this. I think let common sense be the judge in these situations. Ananth: ]]

  • Mani on June 14, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Thanks for your response. Still I think I haven't put my thoughts clearer. For the purpose of calculating SI, consider all the innings. In case if a not-out innings is SI, this has to be included in the total innings played by the batsman while computing % of SI.

    I can only relate not-out innings to students appearing in exam and denied opportunity to complete for whatever reason. If he has performed enough to declare him pass, he has to be considered as appeared for the exam and passed. If his performance is not enough, he should not be considered as failed in an attempt - rather not to have appeared for the exam. By this way, sutcliffe's 11 will be included as SI and will be part of total innings played by him whereas Walcott's 88 will not be included in the total innings played by him for computing % of SI.

    I didn't know whether I have conveyed my thoughts clearly but I wouldn't trouble you more in this topic again. [[ Mani maybe I am not the one who has not conveyed the info properly. Whatever happens an innings is first considered to be whether an SI or not. Sutcliffe's innings wiill fall into the special category. Out of the non-SI innings I will exclude the single digit not out inns. Incidentally I have completed this portion. Does not make a significant change. However it is a correct one. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 14, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    Ananth, Would Chanders last 2 inn. vs Steyn and co.rank as SIs as per this metric? If so, then it would be a classic case of "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man...." [[ Abhi The first innings would be in, on merit, on both counts. He and Deonaraine played very well amongst mediocre buffoons. Not the second innings where he was out-performed by quite a few other batsmen. Ananth: ]]

  • Mani on June 13, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Sorry to drag this topic further. I thought it is easier to leave out the non-significant not out innings. As you will be doing your SI analysis on the basis of each innings (as against each match), you can also have an attribute (Significant or Not) for each innings played by each batsman in your database (if possible). You can just exclude the number if an innings is both non-significant and not-out. I am not sure whether it is possible to incorporate such changes in your database at this time... anyway I've put just what I have in my mind. [[ Mani In the morning when I got up and was lying in bed unwilling to put my feet on the cool floor I started thinking about your suggestion. It seemed to carry lot of sense. I realized that we need not be slaves to convention and that doors are meant to be opened and not remain closed. The idea is intrinsically correct. A batsman has had no opportunity to build his innings at all. There is every right to say that the innings should be excluded. However since I also have the one third of very short innings as a factor, that should not be disturbed. In the 26, the New Zealand low-point, Sutcliffe scored 11 and that innings has to come in. Hence I have decided that single digit not out innings would be excluded from the number of innings played. Thanks for an excellent suggestion. ]]

  • Abhi on June 13, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Alex,DD,Mani,Ariz Khan,Sarosh etc- All top notch comments, with loads of fresh insights.

  • Mani on June 13, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    continued from previous post...

    Lara B.C - 232 - 3 - 229 - 106 - 46.29% May P.B.H - 106 - 4 - 102 - 47 - 46.08% Hammond W.R - 140 - 4 - 136 - 61 - 44.85% Viswanath G.R - 155 - 3 - 152 - 68 - 44.74% Mitchell B - 80 - 4 - 76 - 34 - 44.74% Javed Miandad - 189 - 9 - 180 - 80 - 44.44% Umrigar P.R - 94 - 4 - 90 - 40 - 44.44% Manjrekar V.L - 92 - 3 - 89 - 39 - 43.82% Sarwan R.R - 146 - 2 - 144 - 62 - 43.06% Gavaskar S.M - 214 - 7 - 207 - 89 - 43%

    Since I haven't seen the players of previous eras, I couldn't comment on their relative placement. However, of the modern players, the order of Chanderpaul, Dravid, Flower and then Lara surprises me.

    Even though it is difficult (Not Impossible) to find out, I hope, as usual, you will find a way to work that out. Eagerly awaiting your follow-up article. [[ Mani I will repeat this comment in the follow-up article also just in case people miss reading it here. I am not going to open the door since I dio not know what I will find there. Where do I draw the line. At 9* or 19* . And what about the earlier innings. What about 300 for 5 declared and a batsman remaining not out on 15. Let us not open that door. A batsman takes stance, it is considered as an innings, as done everywhere. However I am doing a qualitative measurement of the SI in my foillow-up. In that I will only use the number of SIs as the basis and not extend it to all inns. It will be a question of a. how often a batsman plays an SI, with the n umber of inns played as the basis. and b. when he has played an SI, by how much does he exceeds the cut-off value, with the number of SIs played as the base. It is coming out very well. Ananth: ]]

  • Mani on June 13, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Cases of 73* will be rare. However, you can always find scores like 4*, 0*, 10* etc which are not significant. However, these should be excluded from the total innings to find out the correct SI%. Out of curiosity, I found the non-significant not-out innings for the top 20 batsmen in your list (totalling 112), deducted those from the total number of innings and computed the revised % of significant innings played.

    Following is the new result (only for the top 20 batsment in your result):

    Batsman -Total Inns (original base) - Non Sig NO Inns - Revised Base - SI - SI% Bradman D.G - 80 - 4 - 76 - 43 - 56.58% EdeC Weekes - 81 - 3 - 78 - 39 - 50% Hobbs J.B - 102 - 4 - 98 - 49 - 50% Barrington K.F - 131 - 9 - 122 - 61 - 50% Sutcliffe H - 84 - 6 - 78 - 39 - 50% Chanderpaul S - 210 - 6 - 204 - 98 - 48.04% Dravid R - 240 - 15 - 225 - 108 - 48% Hutton L - 138 - 7 - 131 - 62 - 47.33% Flower A - 112 - 6 - 106 - 50 - 47.17% Compton D.C.S - 131 - 9 -122 - 57 - 46.72%

  • Ariz Khan on June 13, 2010, 0:46 GMT

    Seems like lot of effort in the analysis. The only thing, which amused me was Vinit_Singh_Sharma's comments. If you read your last line you will kno that there is something wrong with the list. Number of SI are 1.5 times higher in lost matches than in WON matches!!! To me they should have been same, if not reverse. Clearly there is an advantage to players from losing side, which I believe is hail-the-losers. Also at times it is significant to play out balls but on the whole this ball criterion puts fast playing players at disadvantage, this again should have been reverse. On the whole the stats is too-relative. Although I am also a bit of stat lover but in general, I dont categorise players simply by stats. There are some who hunt lions and many only gather deer. Its difficult to club them together. With all his greatness in stats above, Chander has mostly failed when facing against full fledge Aus/SA attacks.

  • DIXIT CHAWLA on June 12, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    ANANTH: It will be intersting to see how many of significant innings for each batsman were match wining or match saving or were in losing side. also how many 's innings' are satisfying one or two or three or four or five conditions and which one out of given five conditions.I thing most of innings in losing side will satisfy 1 or 2 conditions only.Also i am waiting for similar 's innings' for bowlers too.and i am sure on the top of bowlers list for 's innings' most of the bowlers would be from very strong teams. [[ Dixit This info is presented at teh end of the article. Ananth: ]]

  • Sarosh on June 12, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    Ananth, Another extended way to look at SI s, peer and peak ratios: I was going through a recent column by S.Rajesh “Master of the Game” about Tendulkar. Afer looking through the same I further checked out the stats from 01 jan 1993 to 31 dec 2002: Period Ten years, cut off 3000 runs, avg above 50. The figures were: SRT : 138 inn. 7726@62.3 ,with 27 100s. The next best was Steve with an avg of 55. I havent posted the full table here, but there is a significant gulf between Tendulkar and the rest.

    My question is : Has there ever been a 10 yr period where a batsman has had such a high relative avg over his peers(peer ratio)? It would probably only be the Don and then Tendulkar. Please note that the streak I am referring to is the length of time, and not the number of innings. The number of innings streak can be misleading since a batsman may find himself in a sweet spot with a lot of matches in a short while when in top form or if his luck is poor then when out of form. Both situations would yield skewed overall results. In this period Tendulkar would probably have a peak SI % too. Till his career went off the rails. Similar to what has recently occurred to Dravid. As Dravids career meanders to its conclusion it is probable that his SI % will progressively drop off. Unless, as Alex has pointed out, His low SR infact in a warped way becomes an advantage. As others have mentioned in the 1st inn. of a match it is meaningless to use balls faced, unless you go in with a mindset of playing for a draw from the outset. Runs should be a priority in the beginning. In the last stages other factors which may require the long innings come into play. Otherwise all the plodding inn.s will show up as significant innings, where actually they are nothing of the sort. So,with the exception of a few batsmen like Lara who had his best years at the end, the other batsmen will taper off. The longer they hang around the worse the % will become. So, perhaps as with the “peer average” and “peak ratios” we can have a “peak SI ratio” etc…would be much more revealing. [[ Sarosh 62 and 55 represent a difference of 11% and that is a lot. I can only think of Bradman who probably would have had 40% on the next batsman. Let me complete the follow-up article and then we can see how we can integrate this into other batsman stats. Ananth: ]]

  • Youvi on June 11, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    Ananth- Very interesting analysis. Every which way, Bradman maintains his batting supremacy. Bradman's SI could serve as a "control" or a "gold-standard" against which every other batsman can be evaluated. By this comparison, Bradman's %SI is(>5%) higher than next best Weekes/Hobbs which is significant. Going down the list after Weekes/Hobbs, one could easily group the rest into groups by assigning, say, a 1-1.5% spread from highest %SI to lowest within that group. For example, Chanderpaul thru Lara could be one group as intra-group variation is not significant. This seems to hold true as I look down the list and form groups (in my mind as it were) or create an arbitrary scale. Also, having lived thru Vishwanath's heyday, one was entirely aware of his tremendous contribution and his high ranking confirms the same. As also the great Dravid in whose then developing career, Vishwanath played some role as a mentor then chief selector. Just awesome.

  • Mani on June 11, 2010, 22:03 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Another excellent article. Just a thought. I feel if a batsman remains not out and his innings is not considered as significant, that innings should also be excluded from the total innings played by him while calculating the % of significant innings played by him.

    As you have mentioned, since Rae's 63* and Stollymeyer's 76* out of Win total of 142 for 0 at Trinidad are not considered as significant innings, while computing the % of significant innings if these are counted for total innings played, it would deter their % for no fault of them.

    In test matches, the above may not cause major change in their relative positions. However, when (and if) you do such analysis for ODIs, it will definitely benefit the finishers like Bevan and Hussey. [[ Mani Good idea. However it will only make it more complicated. The examples shown qre quite rare. It is more likely with middle order batsmen. ODIs have to be tackled differently. Ananth: ]]

  • Mayank Jhaveri on June 11, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    Ananth sir, Great analysis.I found it really interesting and I am sure you have put great work into it.Well Done. I also really liked how you talked to Jagdish when he commented about Sachin Tendulkar.I think it is high time people of Dravid's class and stature are valued more and they stop living in the shadow of other greats.Similar is the case with Chanderpaul.Also,people might want you to make it stricter,so that Dravid's 31 gets included and Sehwag's 75 too,but I think working on so many conditions together is a big hallenge anyways.So good job!!

  • Navin on June 11, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    In response to some readers reply you have said that 31 out of 329 of Dravid is questionable. If I am not wrong that was India vs SA @ kolkata in 1996. Azhar scored 109,kumble scored 88 and Dravid 31. Third highest is not bad at all

  • Indian on June 11, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    @Boll, i could relate 100% to `we`re 4-40...but Border`s still in`. I was a huge fan of AB. brings back lovely memories of listening to the radio commentary of Aussie games during AB's time and supporting Aussiss (i am from India) good to see him in this list. AB - The blacksmith who converted Australian cricket to the highest quality steel. [[ It warms my heart to see such admiration for someone who was not a great stylist. It is easy to admire an artist but is greater to admire an artisan. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on June 10, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Middle/old-age must be catching up with me! I thought the`short-form` you were referring to was the one-day game or Twenty/20, and wondered why it deserved the triple exclamation marks. How could I have forgotten the infamous f-u article?

    I`d agree with you that the lists (percentage and overall number) have a real balance to them, both in terms of the era in which the batsman played and their style. This is often not reflected in other lists, whether they are based on total runs/average/strike rate, whatever, due to the ever-changing nature of the game and various other factors. So I think you`ve come up with an interesting and potentially revolutionary way of looking at batting across the ages. ( I did want to point out though that Weekes and Hobbs may have come close, but are not quite within 10% of The Don based on your figures). The Cherry Blossoms passed us by a while ago down here in Kyushu, but I do have a wonderful photo of cricket under them you might be interested in seein

  • Boll on June 10, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Oh well, the chat seems to have run its course, so just a few final observations. As some people have already mentioned, great to see Dravid at he top of a list- hard to think of a more professional, gentlemanly cricketer over the last 2 decades. How he`s managed it in the hothouse of Indian cricket I have no idea. I would hazard a guess that, more lauded greats notwithstanding, his wicket has been consistently the most highly prized and match-deciding. These statistics seem to suggest as much. Also fantastic to see the oft-forgotten AB close to the top. As someone who remembers the dark days of Australian cricket, and coming home from school to be told `we`re 4-40...but Border`s still in` it brought a smile to my face. Steve Waugh seems to be regarded these days as the ultimate hard-man of modern cricket; AB was a step above. And in between, the mighty Lara; at his best maybe the greatest there`s ever been. It`s always nice when stats back up your personal bias! [[ Boll I myself feel that, warts notwithstanding, this is one of the best bits of work I have done. I know that this can be improved and will be done in the follow-up (Note the avoidance of the short form!!!). Maybe it might need a further follow-up. What pleases me is that the top-10 is a mix of the brilliant, solid, dependable and the defensive. We have Lara/Weekes, Dravid/Bradman/Flower, Hobbs/Hutton/Sutcliffe and Barrington/Chanderpaul. That is as eclectic a mix as you can get. How are the cherry blossoms. My b-in-law sent us a wonderful shot of a Tokyo street full of cherry blossoms. Ananth: ]]

  • DIXIT CHAWLA on June 10, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    I think in this analysis of s innings if A batsman likes Bradman,Weeks,Hobbs are from strong teams and are on the top of list,there innings must have brought win for team or save matches for team,and very few in losing course. And on reverse if a batsman like Chanarpal,A Flower are on the top of list are from weak teams there innings often must have ended in losing sides. that is why first kind of batsman are all time best of the best for world, and second kind are best for there particular team for particular time only.list also shows Dravid is more significant than Tendlkar for India.

  • Anonymous on June 10, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Above analysis shows that if a batsman from strong team for example Bradman or Weeks include in top of list there significant innings should often have brought win for team or save match for team very few of above innings would be on losing side.And if batsman like Chandarpal or A Flower of weak teams are at the top, most of the inning must have on losing side.first kind of batsman are best of the best in the world. and others are best for there team only. also at the last list shows that Dravid is more significant than Tendular for India.

  • Vinish on June 9, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    I recall that few years back, Mark Richardson (New Zealand opening batsman when he was playing) had best 'balls-played' ratio along with Dravid. From within your analysis, can we have two separate lists where we can define the context whether 'balls played' were more important or 'runs scored' were more important? And then a combined list?

  • Abhi on June 9, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    Ananth, Oh nothing objective about me when it comes to "certain situations" either! That's the whole rush of sport , i guess...stats have their place...but the rush provided by certain sportsmen cannot be replaced or explained away by stats...It is almost beyond explanation.

  • Abhi on June 9, 2010, 1:58 GMT

    @Boll. Had a good laugh at your comment! I was thinking along the same lines as well- but couldnt have put it as well as you did! Ananth, count me in among the "some of the readers"! [[ Abhi Looks like I had over-estimated your ability to look at things objectively. Probably that ability takes a back seat when it comes to certain situations. Like Federer for me. Even now I dream that the fabulous return off the Soderling smash had been a winner or that the umpire had not overruled the call on the Soderling return just before this incident or that the players had gone off the field a few games earlier in the fourth set or ... Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on June 8, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Ananth, welcome back from a well-deserved rest. I`ve just been browsing through and came across your reference to an `f-u article`. I can only assume you were refering to a follow-up?, not what it might refer to in the Australian vernacular. lol. Great to see you back! [[ Boll Some of the readers might very well feel the Australian vernacular is applicable since they don't like the absence of their favourites. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on June 7, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Ananth - I went through the tables in detail, and believe that a per innings analysis combined with a reduced importance to the # deliveries faced will yield a better metric. Pl don't view this as a criticism - this article is workmanlike. However, as it is, Dravid's 16 off 144 vs Aus (2007) got rated as an SI. I love Dravid but that innings was a horror show that evoked painfully suppressed memories of Chris Tavare at his best! [[ Alex Criticism is a form of appreciation. If you do not care, you would bother to criticize. First the 16 was off 114 not 144. And don't forget the 5 off 66 in the first innings. The bottom line was that the only way India was going to save the test was if Dravid went on to score a 100 in the second innings in, say 400-500 balls. That is what Atherton did, Gambhir did and Amal almost did. So there is a need for slow innings, provided they last long. Both your points are correct. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on June 6, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Ananth - I agree VVS's knock perhaps contributed more to saving that test than SRT's 49. It was yet another nice innings from a very special batsman.

    To minimize an excessive importance attached to 100's and 50's, I had earlier suggested viewing an innings "dominant" if it had either 80+ runs or 150+ balls. Likewise, an innings "supporting" if it had 40+ runs or 120+ balls. If you could please post such tables, that would be great. Thanks.

  • Alex on June 6, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    Ananth - The % of SI is slightly greater than the % of 50+ scores for most batsmen. It favors batsmen who have either low SR (e.g. Dravid) or play for weaker teams (e.g., Vishwanath, Lara).

    I also feel that both innings should not be taken into consideration to decide whether an innings is SI or not. E.g., SRT's 4th innings 124-ball 49 vs Aus (B'lore, 2008) was significant but is not rated significant by this metric. [[ Alex SRT just missed thge balls cut-off while Laxman got above it. Both did not meet the runs cut-off. Let me also say that in terms of saving the test, Laxman's 42 off 142 was more valuable than SRT's 49 off 126. The 16 balls were more valuable than the 7 runs. By a whisker, though. Single innings basis looks the right route. Ananth: ]]

  • DD on June 5, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    Ananth, Thank you for your response. It seems that I came across slightly skewed. I was merely browsing through this and previous blogs and ensuing comments and came across certain recurring themes: Pro Tendulkar hosannas, anti Tendulkar bashing and a continual lamentation about how Dravid doesn’t get his Just Desserts. There was no trick intended. I saw an earlier comment making reference to Dravid’s 8 significant innings in 1996. And so I checked up his 1996 innings. It would be too tedioius for me do go through the entire list manually. His last innings in 1996 was the 27. And looking at the string of scores it seemed strange that there may be as many as 8 significant innings among them. Please don’t mistake this for some insinuaton of bias. As regards positive contributions and after reading your explanations. Perhaps the number of balls should be a factor only in 3rd or 4th innings. A 25 out of 250 (regardless of how many balls faced) can hardly be considered a significant innings when played in the 1st or 2nd innings of a match. Whereas, when in the 3rd or 4th innings the balls faced would be a factor. Either when playing out time for a draw or when anchoring a chase. [[ Darius Thanks for a nice response. I have always respected your comments. The only point I was making was that once the parameters are in place the program takes over. There is nothing I can do one batsman or other. Of course there would be kinks. Also when you analyze 68000+ innings nothing specific about one innings is possible. I like your idea about limiting the bpw cut-off to the 3/4 innings. These are the more difficult innings. Also Hutton's 30 outof 52 would anyhow come through because of criterion 5. I will look at this seriously in the f-u article. Once again thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Niran on June 4, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    I would like to call you the 'God of Statistics'. Your analysis is simply awesome. I'm so happy to see Dravid at the top. If I had to pick only one Indian batsman who took India to new heights, it was him. Now you've proved it. Excellent stuff.

    It's nice to see Chanderpaul up there too. I always like to say Dravid is to Tendulkar, as Chanderpaul is to Lara.

  • Ravindra Marathe on June 4, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Welcome back after the break, Ananth. Another good article. I wonder if a player's overall contribution to a match can be derived. Eg. a 100 in one inning and a 4- or 5-for in another. This will give a player 1 SI but a big impact on the match. Secondly can 2 SIs in a match be rewarded more? Dravid v Pak at Kolkata 2005, Dravid v WI in 2006, Ponting's two 100s v SAf come to mind. Thanks! [[ Ravi If ever I do a weighted SI calculation, all these and more will be answered. Ananth: ]]

  • DD on June 4, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    ...CONT There is also no real reason why a Boycott should not receive the same adulation as a Richards. But that’s the way things go. The geniuses who capture our imagination always seem to trump mundane stats. Unless the stats are way ahead of the pack , such as in Bradman’s case. Then “style” becomes irrelevant. Also, as we know in terms of impact Tendulkar and Lara had a greater psychological effect on the opposition. There was certainly a period of time when Dravid was the mainstay of the Indian batting lineup. Due to the higher concentration of matches Dravid benefited from when fit the % of significant innings may he higher. Ditto for Chanderpaul/Lara. However, Tendulkar has shouldered the burden for a greater number of years. Out of their overlapping 14 year careers it would probably be an 8/6 edge for Tendulkar. But Tendulkar has been playing for 7 years prior to that as well. Again, being familiar with Indian cricket I just browsed through the first year of Dravid’s career and the foll. Stats showed up : in 1996,12 innings with the following scores -95, 84,8,40,24,34,31,23,7,56,7,27*. As per your list Dravid has played 8 Significant innings in 1996 (unless I counted wrong)…clearly the string of scores doesn’t quite seem to gell with 8 such innings. Perhaps 3 or 4. But 8? [[ DD You have used up many tricks to pick up a set of figures and come with conclusions. Out of the innings you have shown, three are fifties. Out of the others, 24 was out of 223 (but lots of balls), 34 was out of 190(again balls), 23 was out of 137 and finally 27 was out of the infamous 66 a.o. There is also a 31 out of 329 (possibly questionable). A basis has been determined and my program just selects innings based on the criteria. Question the criteria but just to pick up a run of scores withpout giving complete information is not "playing cricket". On top of this, you have conveniently stopped at 27*. the next 6 innings are 148, 83, 43, 51*, 57, 78. Finally if I had the time I would be able to pick up a list of 10 innings by any batsman, including SRT/Lara/IVAR et al and question the SI determination out of these. Kindly do not imply any bias since I just do not have the time to get to that level of selecting one batsman's innings. Pl do a positive contribution. Ananth: ]]

  • DD on June 4, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Ananth, I am always amused by the fact that every cricket conversation inevitably brings up Tendulkar. Either from his large band of supporters or conversely a small band who relish Tendulkar not being on some particular list. As a follower of cricket, primarily Indian cricket it is certain that Dravid has been one of the stalwarts of Indian cricket. This fact is actually generally acknowledged and as such I don’t know why you continually bemoan why Dravid hasn’t received as much attention as Tendulkar. Dravid has been acknowledged for what he is – and Tendulkar for what he is. There is no reason that Dravid should receive as much or more adulation than Tendulkar. One reason out of many is simple- and similar to the Chanderpaul/Lara scenario. Tendulkar and Lara are geniuses- Dravid and Chanderpaul are not. However, they are both in their own ways fine men and cricketers. Also, in your previous blog you mention that Dravid was perhaps ahead of Tendulkar till “their careers crossed”. This is incorrect. The stats will show that it was actually till Tendulkars career turned in 2003 that things changed. Till then he was ahead of Dravid, including away against major Test playing nations.

  • mahendran on June 4, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    This shows the value of Gundappa Vishwanath o the team. He thrives on pressure. Normally fails when all is well. That's why he has a low average. Who can forget his 97 n.o. out of 190 in Chepauk. What an innings and significant at that. An artist par excellence who scored runs when it mattered and did that in style. Nice to find him so high on the table. Good work Ananth.

  • G.V.Giri on June 4, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Are you adjusting the denominator to exclude meaningless innings such an an opening batsman (Gavaskar) making 20 not out in a total of 30 for 1, and as the match is drawn? That would reduce the % for a Gavaskar, who played in an era where there were very few significant batsmen in the Indian team [[ Giri If you read trhe article carefully you will notice that this is being taken care of quite effectively. Ananth: ]]

  • Pankaj Joshi on June 4, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    Spot on Mr M Khan, you pre empted me by a short while. Such a list gives warriors of a lost cause and passengers in a winning cause. It would be an eye-opener. Request repeated.[[ Pankaj/Khan I suddenly realize that I have unearthed a treasure. I could post this index back to the Player database and then many options open up. Ananth: ]]

  • M Khan on June 4, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Also like to know how many times a batsman scored a century and his team lost versus when he didn't scored a century and team won.

  • love goel on June 4, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    Ananth, can you please also post how many times a player has played significant innings in both the innings of a test match. Thanks [[ Goel Will do. Quite a relevant piece of info. Ananth: ]]

  • Shailesh on June 4, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    Great Article Ananth. A worthy salute to the game of cricket and a mark of respect to the cricketers who are on the list. But its sad to see a few comments ridiculing the article just because Sachin isn't on the list. It is sad to see that so many people think that Indian cricket is all about Sachin Tendulkar. If someone is truly a cricket fan, they should appreciate the performances of the likes of Dravid and Viswanath.

  • Indian on June 4, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    nice article. as always.. u put in a lot of hard work in ur articles. even though we dont get to see our fav players on the top, we see that u r unbiased.. 100 marks (out of 100) for ur effort. urs, chappel's and akash chopra's articles are a must read coz they provide value (deeper insight or knowledge) wish u many many more years of passion for this great game.. coz my interest is waning with the retirement of each great player. ppl like u keep it alive.

    1 point however, Jagadish's comments were clearly a joke. He refers to tendulkars presence in a list of great LEFT ARM bowlers'.. that itself indicates that his message was intended as a joke.. so chill.. [[ You are probably right. I must have missed out. My apologies to you, Chatur and of course Jagdish. Ananth: ]]

    last thing (off topic).. i am curious to know if u/cricinfo can put this in an MS Access or SQL Server database.. coz this database of cricterers is a great way to learn SQL.. otherwise i am stuck with dumb sample databases like northwind or pubs (which just arent fun to learn). [[ Both Cricinfo and I maintain independent databases. theirs is a far more complex SQL based one since it has to serve the web needs. Mine is a proprietary desktop based one. I am looking at making mine availeble to the general public. I am not looking at revenue but some easier means of didtribution and updates. Unfortunately the train is forever running away. Ananth: ]]

  • Shalabh Saxena on June 4, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    2. This also suggest to have a value system in place to consider inning situations like SanthanaKrishnan & Abhi suggested. Can't we mulptiply the ratio of batsman's innings to runs per wkt in an inning to weigh the inning nos to get the value of a batsman for team along with significant innings. I hope I had put my idea in right words. 3. Also I believe innigs best selection of innigs should be somehow supplementry to match based selection of innings. Because an impact on both the account is of much higher value. 4. Also I think significant innings are important to look beyond centuries. So even if you suggested that only 10% of centuries would go out, let it go out, and then we'll know the significance of good test centuries. [[ Shalabh All are valid points. I will keep in mind these for the follow-up. The easiest is to take away the 100s criteria. I could also look at combining the two criteria, innings and match. In fact I could achieve that by leaving the match based selection in and strengthening the team score based selection. Ananth: ]]

    I have prepared some summary tables of innings classified by scores and percentage of SI with respect to peers. I am not sure you might need this, but if you allow me to help you in generating any summary, I will be much obliged.

    Thanks again!!

  • Shalabh Saxena on June 4, 2010, 2:38 GMT

    Hi Ananth, its always a great pleasure to read your insighful analysis. We surely need you to understand that conventional wisdom is not so wise afterall. Many thanks!! Few points that I noticed, after importing these tables of your in SQL:- 1. Dravid and Chanderpaul have almost 1/3rd of their SI less than 50. It got me thinking, are these innings really significant? For Dravid many of these innings have come very early in his career. I didn't have match scorecards, but remembered some of the tests, and got my answer as those were significant innings which didn't get their dues in media. Dravid has 8 significant innings in his debut year alone and also these many nos. in 2008, his worst slump. He truly is a champion.

  • aditya kawatra on June 4, 2010, 1:51 GMT

    Shouldn't you be laying greater emphasis on latter innings i.e. 2nd/3rd/4th innings in increasing order of importance, since batting gets tougher as a test progresses! [[ Aditya Once the innings is used as the base this will automatically be partly provided for since the later innings are, in general, smaller. Ananth: ]]

  • love goel on June 4, 2010, 1:43 GMT

    On the 2 innings being valued seperately vs as a match,I think calculating per inning may also not be the best way out. In a case where one inning's total is substantially greater than other one, deciding upon each inning may not be fair. Like the India-NZ match where India got out for 80 runs in first innings but scored more than 500 in second innings. In such a case 20 runs in first innings will become a SI but not a 60 in second innings. This doesn't seems fair to me because the match result is determined on the sum of both the innings. To me using the sum of both innings to determine SI seems more fair [[ Goel In your example the 20 probably has more intrinsic value than the 60. Again the 60 will have value if the scores were 80 & 500 against 400, probably not against 80 & 500 against 200. A combination of innings-base and raising of the criteria bar up from 1.333 might just do the trick. Ananth: ]]

  • love goel on June 4, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    Like other readers, I am also bothered about the low rankings of many batsmen like ponting/gilly/vvs etc.

    It seems we have 2 kind of significant innings. 1. 100 runs/200 balls. This kind of SI depends upon the performance and the opposition. This does not depend upon the whole of batting team. 2. The runs scored/ball faced by batsmen in compared to his team. This clearly includes the whole team performance while the first one doesn't included this. The batsmen in weaker teams have gained significantly in this parameter.

    May be Ananth can mention the type of SI a batsmen has played. This will allow readers to draw their own conclusions. [[ Goel If you see some of my other replies I do not have a "player-inns-innspell" database. Only then can I do these types of additional analysis. If the batsmen in stronger teams do not get addl benefit, think of it as the price they pay for having quality batsmen at the other hand, almost always, not clowns. Ananth: ]]

  • Chatur Singh on June 3, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    Ananth, You need to chillax a bit. Jagdish's comment was clearly a joke that made me laugh and in a way was a compliment to you, a back handed one albeit- and you responded like a bull who had seen sea or red. On serious note your analysis does not have much meaning as criteria are subjective and you would agree that as one selects different criteria the greats on your list will keep on playing musical chair. The other weakness is that you disregard how long a player kept on playing the SI. For example if a batsman has 40% SI but did it over 300 games, how come he be listed lower than a guy who played 42% SI over 100 games? [[ Chatur You must be in a minority of one if you think Jagadish's comments are in joke. On the other hand I have perceived the possibility of Vinit's comments possibly in a humorous vein. Once you set a minimum mark normally we should not give an additional weight for more number of innings. Otherwise raise the bar. If you set the bar at 100 innings, 35 out of 100 should be considered higher than 100 in 300. Here I have set the bar at 3000 test runs. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on June 3, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    Ananth - Excellent piece of analysis. I do wonder how does this table account for the modern test game. A good example would be a Sehwag launching into the English attack on the 4th evening scoring 89 in 68 balls and giving the Indians hope of a victory on the 5th day. This might indeed be an extreme situation but neverthelessly one that is going to occur with a greater frequency in the modern game. A Dilshan, Tamim or a Umar Akmal might provide more moments similar to Sehwag's salvo. [[ Anand Sehwag's innings is certainly in the list. We are not here talking of "impact". Then Laxman's 281 should be way up there. However my feeling is that because of the not-so-rigid multiple criteria it is almost impossible for any significant innings to miss out. You should include your eMail. Normally I delete comments without mailid. Ananth: ]]

  • Himanshu on June 3, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Thanks Ananth for all the lists. Its a very eye-opening article. LOL, and for all the of your critics that have bashed you for NOT including Tendulkar, let me say that I am a die-hard fan of the great master like millions others and I was kinds disappointed that he was not in the first list BUT that does not make achievements by Dravid, Vishwanath and other great players less. Tendulkar is the greatest player of our era, no doubt, but there ARE other great players as well, like Dravid. Its not easy making more than 11000 ODI runs, and being the captain of the most prolific team in cricket. Appreciate cricket as a whole and not just one player. Just my opinion. Great article though :)

  • Bala on June 3, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Thanks for taking pains to reply to as many comments as you like Ananth. One other suggestion I have is, you've already calculated an avg-like % value. If you have the list of innings (just the innings # actually), can you also provide us with a S/R equivalent? As in, how frequently do these batsmen produce "significant" innings? That list would end up to be pretty close to a definitely "high quality consistency" index. I am guessing Sir Don tops this one too? And quite easily as well? [[ Bala That will certainly go towards defining a new type of consistency analysis. I see lot of merit in this suggestion. However it is quite tough since I do not not have now all the innings for a player in a single place for analysis. I may have to do a major add-on to my database which is "player-innings-innspell" based one. Probably worth it but a medium term project. Ananth: ]]

  • nastle on June 3, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Hi, thanks for this analysis, one of your more interesting as it highlights the contribution of 'battlers' like Chanderpaul and Fleming compared to the out and out 'greats' like Tendulkar. Interesting to see also how highly KP ranked in the full table.

    I wonder if the century (criterion 1) is necessary at all -- maybe many of these innings would match one of the other requirements anyway. [[ Nastle If you see the summary added at the end, the no of centuries are only 20% of the total. It really does not matter one way or other. My feeling is that no more than 10% of the centuries would go out. At a top level it was an easy starting point. Ananth: ]]

  • SAJJAD AHMED on June 3, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    well Inzamam is the only batsman who got Pakistan on the victory stand in last wicket partnerships more than anyone else if u remember his innings against Australia,Bangladesg and South Africa

  • Basal Ahmed on June 3, 2010, 16:02 GMT

    Could you make a list country wise as well for the recent past? And also the averages of Indians other than the fab 4. On a side note, some of the comments regarding Tendulkar's non presence are a joke and make one laugh [[ Basal The supporting tables give you the complete information. If you paste the data in an Excel table, you yourself could get a country-wise listing by sorting. Ananth: ]]

  • santhosh kudva on June 3, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    ananth, thanks for your reply. a numbers freak myself, i have devised a method of holistically rating batsmen. it is slightly different from what you did about two years back. would love to discuss it with you. would you be interested? [[ Santosh Yes. will contact you separately. Ananth: ]]

  • Vinit_Singh_Sharma on June 3, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    This is ridiculous article! You need to keep modifying your formula until it calculates Tendulkar at the top of the list- any list that doesn't have Tendulkar at #1 is clearly the result of cheating & is racist, and deserves to have the BCCI lobby the ICC to have this article removed & its author banned from any media work forever. [[ Your mail has intrigued me a lot particularly since I have not got a handle on that. You could be making a few "tongue-in-cheek" statements in an ironical vein. Or mean every word what you have written !!! Either way, thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Vinish on June 3, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    Your analysis reflects your true love for cricket. People like you and and many genuine fans (not all of those who post comments since there are few who really do not know the game) do not inhale oxygen. I must say that we all breathe cricket, in-and-out.

    Hats off to your passion, not only because it gives us some food for thought over stats and figures, but it makes me feel proud of myself, for being a cricket lover. God Bless You.

    Having gone through your posts and replies to yours' comments, I love the fact that somewhere as a cricket lover, you are a fan of Dravid and Lara. Me too. :) [[ Vinish Many thanks. You have made my day. Makes all the hours spent worthwhile. Ananth: ]]

  • Malhar on June 3, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    Great work Ananth. Your table pretty much confirms the my perception of the most significant batsmen in world Cricket. I had always held the view that, the records notwithstanding, Vishwanath and Dravid are the topmost batters in Indian Cricket.

    Can you also come up with a similar analysis of significant bowlers? [[ Malhar I will certainly do a bowler analysis. That is certainly more difficult but that has never deterred me. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 3, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Hi Ananth, I was wondering along these lines: 1) What of an “average” SI factor? i.e a sort of indication of a batsman value to team. 2) The above SI is kind of a “greatest hits” scenario. 3) So ,as an hypothetical eg a batsman may have scores of 100 out of 400, 10 out of 400, 30 out of 400, 80 out of 400. That would make it 2 out of 4 SIs.i.e 50%. 4) The thing is that during the other matches the batsman in question has flopped badly. Im thinking that if you calculate this sort of “average” SI ,(a much better indicator of player “value “ to team )which included the flops and non performances the likes of Chanderpaul and Dravid would move up even higher. coz they were never really “bad” as such. And the likes of Tendulkar (coz of his 03-07) patch and Lara (coz he was Lara) would move further down the list. [[ Abhi Very insightful but certainly a minefield. What you say makes a lot of sense. "Value" to a team is a measure sadly lacking in most analysis and this could be a good tool. However this does have value only when the significance is a variable factor, not just 0 or 1. If you saw my reply to SanthanaKrishnan's comment, wherein he suggests a weighting, I have been lukewarm over his idea. However your and his suggestions could be combined to form a very effective tool. Thanks (also to SanthanaK) Ananth: ]]

  • Anonymous on June 3, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    i was wondering when a fan would cut the cheese, and Jagadish didn't take long to disappoint at all! Seriously, guys like him make all indian fans seem like mindless drones to the outside world. you're not only letting down Tendulkar, but millions of intelligent fans in your own country. sticking to the topic though, i'm still trying to get my head around 'significant' innings :) on a personal note, i am also curious to find out where Aravinda de Silva lies. do you have a top 100 list somewhere? [[ The supporting tables cover all batsmen who have crossed 2000 run mark. PAdS is certainly there. Ananth: ]]

  • basab ray, guwahati on June 3, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    excellent ananth as always.can find the best innings of indian?

  • Canandy on June 3, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    Actually it is no surprise that Chanderpaul is in the list. His averages over the last two years are the best by any batsmen in the same period. Tendulkar would not feature high in the list because he has played many innings so the percentage would be too low. [[ Canandy Not necessarily true. Look at the number of innings played by Dravid, Border and Lara. Ananth: ]]

  • Anony. on June 3, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    This is a really great statistical analysis and article. Really enjoyed the read. This is a real measure of the value of a players worth. As of those pro-Tendulkar fans, this article shows that while Tendulkar has scored Many Runs and won many matches, the ratio that he does this is not as high as others. thats a simple truth while not taking anything away from Tendulkar.

  • Santhana Krishnan on June 3, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    You have considered all "significant" innings to have equal weight. I think the analysis will be more accurate if you somehow weigh each innings. For example a "200 out of 329" is more significant than a " 100 out of 250" though both are significant. [[ SantanaK I think we should not try and make this more complicated. It will open a Pandora's Box in terms of defining the "relative value" of significant innings. Which is more valuable, "30 out of 52" or "150 out of 250". You cannot say anything without getting into more complexities. It is like a MOM award. Let us leave it as it is. We can, of course, tweak the parameters. Ananth: ]]

  • Mohamed Z. Rahaman on June 3, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    One may also argue that there is a lot more pressure on a player like Chanders to perform well because he played on weak batting teams. Hence, Chanders innings are that much more significant. Now, AN... you make statistics almost fun. Is this what you also do in your spare time? [[ Mohammad Thanks. I also read a lot, do book reviews, follow tennis and many other sports, spend time with our grand-son, do a lot of community work and so on. But cricket analysis is my life. Ananth: ]]

  • santhosh kudva on June 3, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    great article ananth. and i wont be surprised if you spent your time doing the analyses. but have you considered only completed innings and not those where there have been declarations? and somewhere you could have mentioned which is the most significant innings that has ever been played? my guess would be sehwags 200 in an indian total of 329 against sri lanka? also how about doing one for test series'? maybe brian lara against lanka or andy flower against india? [[ Santosh Only declarations has no logical basis. Series analysis is a good idea worth exploring further. There are many innings ahead of Sehwag's 200. Bradman's 270, Lara's 153*, Botham's 149, Laxman's 281, Gooch's 154 et al. Ananth: ]]

  • jay on June 2, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    Great Work, once Again! This list can be considered the measure of consistency.

  • manish on June 2, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    this one is bullshit.....any assesment of batting and tendulkar not in top 3 is foolishness......if u r not concentrating only on hundred......der r more then the no of S.I is more than 50 for sachin...... [[ I can only laugh at the single-minded, at-any-costs, blind devotion to a sportsman. Unheard of. So every batting table should have Tendulkar in the top or top-2 or top-3. I will remember in future and leave a spot open. Ananth: ]]

  • Bala on June 2, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    Great starting analysis Ananth. I will probably end up spending hours looking at this data, the same way I do with most of your other articles. Thanks for this. A few questions: 1. Is there a way you can order the list by using a weighted average (please correct me if that is the wrong word to use here) of both # of innings and the %age? I am just wondering if Dravid's 45% would, in that case, be actually better than Hobbs' perhaps? Shouldn't there be more weight for doing it a significantly larger # of times. 2.Ian Brooke's first question I think was quite significant Ananth. Shouldn't we use 1.333 times the Runs per wkt value for the team for only THAT particular innings? In the 2009 Oval test, for example, Brad Haddin's 34 in the second innings actually qualifies as a significant innings by your calculations. But that was part of a second inning total of 348!! But because their first inning was a paltry 160, it makes the list. Just doesn't read right Ananth. [[ Bala I think the cut-off based on the innings, rather than match for the team, as suggested by Ian, might iron out the kinks. I myself noted couple of other matches where there is a wide disparity in the two innings, there are noticeable discrepancies. Will look at it in the follow-up. Re the weighting, I am not sure. It is based on longevity and I am wary of that. Ananth: ]]

  • Dan Smith on June 2, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Ananth,

    This is an exceptionally good article. I've read several of your posts but this is the first one I've felt inclined to reply to. i have long thought use of an average to discern a player's worth has been outdated. Good to see some other alternatives being proposed. I would add that I agree with above comments that 1.333 for rpw seems too low, but that's my only grumble. [[ Dan Welcome and thanks. I will keep the modification upwards from 1.33 to the follow-up article. Ananth: ]]

  • romel roy on June 2, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    How can the benefiting of being in the weaker team be reduced? As i see here, the hard nosed player like steve waugh, greg chappell, Mike hussey are positioned below 70!! Ponting, M Crowe, Dean Jones, Greme Smith, I Chappell, V Laxman, Gilchrist after 100!! while habibul bashar is 27; same for Flower, Umrigar, Manjerekar who are coming from their country's early eras when the team was weaker. Is it possible to find out how many times (or %) in a player's career, the team's run/wicket was lower than the average run/wicket of all tests in that player's playing period (something like your peer analysis) to find out how much benefit these players are getting for putting on the same performance like other players? [[ Romel Pl see my reply to Yogesh. The weaker team has a chance to play more innings. Also why not recognize those who play well in times of adversity. Already enough is being done to sing the praises of the victors. Ananth: ]]

  • Yogesh on June 2, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Adding to my earlier question, if a team makes combined of 600 all out in the match and a batsman scores 80 in total (1.333 the rpw), this will be significant right ? But i wouldn't term it significant.

    In general, i find articles trying to devise new statistical measures more interesting than ones performing a more careful analysis of existing measures. The latter suits the main page of cricinfo. There is more scope for thought in the former and the challenge of coming up with a meaningful statistic to match with our cricketing judgement. [[ Yogesh I myself now feel 1.50 may be the correct multiplier. In fact this was suggested by Subbu. I will do this as part of the follow-up article after giving this a fair number of days. Ananth: ]]

  • Yogesh on June 2, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    It isn't totally surprising that significantly more significant innings have come in losses. Personally, i've always viewed avg. & innings in matches as an absolute measure of match-winning ability skeptically. Would it be possible to post the breakup into rpw, bpw etc for each player ? Thanks Ananth. [[ Yogesh It is also true (and I will add this information to the footnote) that the losing teams play more innings per se than the winning teams. e-g., Innings win or a 8+ wicket win. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on June 2, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Yogesh/Navin The summary you have asked for, and more, have been posted at the end of the article. Have fun. Ananth

  • RV on June 2, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Another excellent article!

    I always thought that Viswanath, despite a much poorer average played more significant innings than any other Indian cricketer. Your article confirms this (though Dravid, among the latter day cricketers have upstaged Vishy himself!)

    My gut feeling is that you have set the threshold a little too low - I think for top order cricketers, the cutoff should be 1.5 times, and for tailenders , it should be 1.25. However, I recognize that it is a matter of personal preference. Would it be possible to plug in our own values for these rules and generate our own tables?

    I also disagree with the century criterion; you mentioned Ranatunga's 86 in the 952 for 6. IMO, de Silva's century is also not significant in that innings. [[ Subbu These are special analyses. Difficult to make it available for users to put in their parameters. I will keep all these suggestions for the follow-up, almost certain there will be one. All centuries, including the awful one made by Gavaskar against Pakistan in 1983 at Bangalore are included. It is a top-level decision. Ananth: ]]

  • Sanchez on June 2, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Great article. I have always found it fascinating to try and delve a bit deeper into these superb lists and figures you provide.

    For example, apart from Bradman, not a single Australian in the top 20. Yet 7 Englishmen and 5 Indians. Im trying to think why that is. Australia have certainly had their share of weak teams. But maybe the teams have never been weak for too long?

    Not sure but great to think over. [[ Sanchez Look at Border's place. He struggled through quite a weak Australian team for years. And you will see that, at around 40% and no.30 quite a few Aussies check in. Also amongst the Indians, only Dravid is from the "strong Indian team" period. And most Englishmen are from 50s and before period. Ananth: ]]

  • Binu Thomas on June 2, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Ananth,

    Its a wonderful analysis. But, going through the table gave me A LOT of surprises. Ponting on 115th place, Gilly on 128th when you have Habibul Bashar on 27th.

    Perhaps, you need to try out different values for your criteria, a little bit tweak here and there? Perhaps, you need to consider the performance with respect to the whole test or across the teams instead of only one innings? Just thinking out loud. [[ Binu It is clear that in stronger teams, almost all the 11 players (in groups) contribute their bit. That is probably the reason why they have been very good for long. In weaker teams there are always 2/3 passengers. Explains why the team has remained weak. Incidentally the basis used is the rpw/bpw across the test and a performance has to remain wedded to the innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Navin on June 2, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    Hi Ananth, Great article as always. Can you just post the numbers of sub-50 runs significant innings by a batsman. As all 100's are included the sub 50 innings will give a true significant number of innings a player has played fighting against the odds and succumbing to it. [[ Navin An excellent idea. Will add to the end of the article within a day. Ananth: ]]

  • Ian Brooke on June 2, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    Why did you use the two innings together and not seperate?? I thought conditions and situations would change between the two?? I thought 23% was high for significant?? That means in almost every innings two innings are significant which seems high. Thanks again for the analysis. Missed the updates over the last month or so

  • - on June 2, 2010, 0:16 GMT

    Any way to calculate in whether or not the innings result in a win, or a 2nd innings knock resulting in a last day draw? That could be a way of more accurately measuring the batsmen who play for a weaker team, I'm not a mathematician though. They should use your system instead of average and strike rate on the tv though. [[ Alex I have specifically stayed away from the results. Enough ratings work is being done incorporating the results. I felt strongly that the innings should be evaluated mainly based on own team peer performances which is achieved by using the basis of rpw and bpw. Ananth: ]]

  • Yogesh on June 2, 2010, 0:03 GMT

    Very interesting piece of statistical analysis. Can the number of significant innings be grouped by the five criteria you have chosen ? It would be interesting to see that too. [[ Excellent idea. Will do and post in a day or two. Ananth: ]] I would like to see a more strict analysis in the sense of eliminating 100s and facing 200 balls unless they weren't easy in that match. By your criteria, 70(210) by Dravid would be included but not a 75(70) by Sehwag (assuming the team total is say 600). [[ Yogesh, extreme examples. However iI can incorporate your examples in couple of scorecards where a 70 in 210 would win/draw and a 75 in 50 might lose. I certainly like your calling for a stricter analysis. That is the spirit needed in these analyses. Ananth: ]]

    Shouldn't there be a way to include exceptional strike rates as well atleast for modern batsman ? These are really significant on flat tracks. [[ Only for about a third of the tests. An additional criteria of, say, better than run-a-ball, fifty might do the trick. Ananth: ]]

    On your runs criteria, an innings of 40 out of a total of 300 all out (1.333 times the runs/wkt = 30) would be considered signifcant. But in a total of 300, shouldn't a significant innings be more than say 70 or 80 ? [[ You are slightly wrong. Not 40 out of 300 but the basis would be 1.333 times the match rpw. Ananth: ]]

    How about cut-offs like 1.333 times the next best instead of runs/wkt ? Excluding less than 7 wkt matches. [[ Let me look at it. Ananth: ]]

    Have you started thinking about Bowlers too ? [[ Not yet. But will and that will be a challenge. Many thanks for a liveley series of comments. Ananth: ]]

  • Jagadish on June 1, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Tell us this is a joke. Any list that doesn't include Tendulkar, including lists for all-time left-handed opening bowlers, is a meaningless and farcical one! [[ Yes, it is indeed meaningless. Only in the eyes of the blinkered, narrow-minded, blind followers of a great player (he certainly deserves better supporters). It is unfortunate that such a narrow view does not allow you to appreciate the greatness of players like Dravid, Viswanath and Gavaskar. The loss, indeed, is yours. I can appreciate the greatness of all these three AND Tendulkar. Ananth: ]]

  • Singhe on June 1, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Welcome back Anantha! The only surprise on the list for me is Sarwan. I am glad to see Barrington at the top. Incidentally, I only recently saw your article on the dream test series between England and ROW. Great simulation and selection: I was surprised that Barrington was not on the Eng team. However, one rare stat was that two players from tiny Barbados on the ROW team. The real 1970 ROW team had a rarer stat: 3 players from tiny Guyana (Kanhai, Gibbs, Lloyd). Keep these interesting articles coming!!! [[ Playing in a weaker team gives some benefits. Ananth: ]]

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Singhe on June 1, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Welcome back Anantha! The only surprise on the list for me is Sarwan. I am glad to see Barrington at the top. Incidentally, I only recently saw your article on the dream test series between England and ROW. Great simulation and selection: I was surprised that Barrington was not on the Eng team. However, one rare stat was that two players from tiny Barbados on the ROW team. The real 1970 ROW team had a rarer stat: 3 players from tiny Guyana (Kanhai, Gibbs, Lloyd). Keep these interesting articles coming!!! [[ Playing in a weaker team gives some benefits. Ananth: ]]

  • Jagadish on June 1, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Tell us this is a joke. Any list that doesn't include Tendulkar, including lists for all-time left-handed opening bowlers, is a meaningless and farcical one! [[ Yes, it is indeed meaningless. Only in the eyes of the blinkered, narrow-minded, blind followers of a great player (he certainly deserves better supporters). It is unfortunate that such a narrow view does not allow you to appreciate the greatness of players like Dravid, Viswanath and Gavaskar. The loss, indeed, is yours. I can appreciate the greatness of all these three AND Tendulkar. Ananth: ]]

  • Yogesh on June 2, 2010, 0:03 GMT

    Very interesting piece of statistical analysis. Can the number of significant innings be grouped by the five criteria you have chosen ? It would be interesting to see that too. [[ Excellent idea. Will do and post in a day or two. Ananth: ]] I would like to see a more strict analysis in the sense of eliminating 100s and facing 200 balls unless they weren't easy in that match. By your criteria, 70(210) by Dravid would be included but not a 75(70) by Sehwag (assuming the team total is say 600). [[ Yogesh, extreme examples. However iI can incorporate your examples in couple of scorecards where a 70 in 210 would win/draw and a 75 in 50 might lose. I certainly like your calling for a stricter analysis. That is the spirit needed in these analyses. Ananth: ]]

    Shouldn't there be a way to include exceptional strike rates as well atleast for modern batsman ? These are really significant on flat tracks. [[ Only for about a third of the tests. An additional criteria of, say, better than run-a-ball, fifty might do the trick. Ananth: ]]

    On your runs criteria, an innings of 40 out of a total of 300 all out (1.333 times the runs/wkt = 30) would be considered signifcant. But in a total of 300, shouldn't a significant innings be more than say 70 or 80 ? [[ You are slightly wrong. Not 40 out of 300 but the basis would be 1.333 times the match rpw. Ananth: ]]

    How about cut-offs like 1.333 times the next best instead of runs/wkt ? Excluding less than 7 wkt matches. [[ Let me look at it. Ananth: ]]

    Have you started thinking about Bowlers too ? [[ Not yet. But will and that will be a challenge. Many thanks for a liveley series of comments. Ananth: ]]

  • - on June 2, 2010, 0:16 GMT

    Any way to calculate in whether or not the innings result in a win, or a 2nd innings knock resulting in a last day draw? That could be a way of more accurately measuring the batsmen who play for a weaker team, I'm not a mathematician though. They should use your system instead of average and strike rate on the tv though. [[ Alex I have specifically stayed away from the results. Enough ratings work is being done incorporating the results. I felt strongly that the innings should be evaluated mainly based on own team peer performances which is achieved by using the basis of rpw and bpw. Ananth: ]]

  • Ian Brooke on June 2, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    Why did you use the two innings together and not seperate?? I thought conditions and situations would change between the two?? I thought 23% was high for significant?? That means in almost every innings two innings are significant which seems high. Thanks again for the analysis. Missed the updates over the last month or so

  • Navin on June 2, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    Hi Ananth, Great article as always. Can you just post the numbers of sub-50 runs significant innings by a batsman. As all 100's are included the sub 50 innings will give a true significant number of innings a player has played fighting against the odds and succumbing to it. [[ Navin An excellent idea. Will add to the end of the article within a day. Ananth: ]]

  • Binu Thomas on June 2, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Ananth,

    Its a wonderful analysis. But, going through the table gave me A LOT of surprises. Ponting on 115th place, Gilly on 128th when you have Habibul Bashar on 27th.

    Perhaps, you need to try out different values for your criteria, a little bit tweak here and there? Perhaps, you need to consider the performance with respect to the whole test or across the teams instead of only one innings? Just thinking out loud. [[ Binu It is clear that in stronger teams, almost all the 11 players (in groups) contribute their bit. That is probably the reason why they have been very good for long. In weaker teams there are always 2/3 passengers. Explains why the team has remained weak. Incidentally the basis used is the rpw/bpw across the test and a performance has to remain wedded to the innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Sanchez on June 2, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Great article. I have always found it fascinating to try and delve a bit deeper into these superb lists and figures you provide.

    For example, apart from Bradman, not a single Australian in the top 20. Yet 7 Englishmen and 5 Indians. Im trying to think why that is. Australia have certainly had their share of weak teams. But maybe the teams have never been weak for too long?

    Not sure but great to think over. [[ Sanchez Look at Border's place. He struggled through quite a weak Australian team for years. And you will see that, at around 40% and no.30 quite a few Aussies check in. Also amongst the Indians, only Dravid is from the "strong Indian team" period. And most Englishmen are from 50s and before period. Ananth: ]]

  • RV on June 2, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Another excellent article!

    I always thought that Viswanath, despite a much poorer average played more significant innings than any other Indian cricketer. Your article confirms this (though Dravid, among the latter day cricketers have upstaged Vishy himself!)

    My gut feeling is that you have set the threshold a little too low - I think for top order cricketers, the cutoff should be 1.5 times, and for tailenders , it should be 1.25. However, I recognize that it is a matter of personal preference. Would it be possible to plug in our own values for these rules and generate our own tables?

    I also disagree with the century criterion; you mentioned Ranatunga's 86 in the 952 for 6. IMO, de Silva's century is also not significant in that innings. [[ Subbu These are special analyses. Difficult to make it available for users to put in their parameters. I will keep all these suggestions for the follow-up, almost certain there will be one. All centuries, including the awful one made by Gavaskar against Pakistan in 1983 at Bangalore are included. It is a top-level decision. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on June 2, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Yogesh/Navin The summary you have asked for, and more, have been posted at the end of the article. Have fun. Ananth