Batting June 25, 2010

Significant Test innings, and their architects: a follow-up

A sequel to the article on significant innings done earlier, taking reader feedback into account
48

Brian Lara has a high Significant Innings percentage of 45.69 © AFP

A few days back I had come out with an article on the significant innings in Test cricket. It received, arguably, the best responses I have received for any of my articles in this web log. The readers appreciated that there is a completely new measure to evaluate Test innings. The fact that it was off the beaten track of averages, centuries, strike rates et al was a very important factor. The comments and suggestions were some of the best I have received and I was determined to come out with the follow-up article sooner than later.

I will summarise the changes below.

1. As many readers have suggested, I have used the innings as the basis for determining the significant innings rather than the two team innings together. This takes care of the many Tests where the two innings by a team are as different as chalk and cheese. If we take the famous Calcutta Test of 2001, the two Indian innings were 171 and 657. The 59 in the first innings was an outstanding innings considering the 171 for 10 as the basis, probably not if we take 728 for 17 as the basis.

2. This is one lapse which was missed by all the readers. And for that matter myself. In the base analysis, I had taken the wickets as the base for determining the runs and balls cut-off. This is quite wrong. I should have taken the number of batsman who batted as the basis. Take the West Indian innings of 790 for 3. The base should be 5 (which includes Sobers) and not 3 (the number of wickets). If a team is all out, the base will be 11. Of course batsmen who did not bat will be excluded, but batsman who retired hurt will be included. This is absolutely the correct method.

3. Raise the multiplier values for two reasons. One is the consideration of innings as the base and the other is the taking of batsmen as base rather than wickets. I have also introduced a graded multiplier. The multiplier is highest at 2.00 for low rpb/bpb (runs per batsman and balls per batsman) values for 1-7 batsmen and stays at 1.00 for high rpb/bpb values ford 8-11 batsmen. The capping of run-cutoff at 100 and balls-cutoff at 200 is also retained.

4. I will ignore all not out innings below 10, if they have already not become SI, from the total innings. This is a very relevant suggestion. This is necessary since quite a few batsmen, especially in the late order and in later innings remain unbeaten on low scores. Since they have not been given the opportunities to further their innings, these innings are excluded from the total.

5. Now that we have the single innings as the base and have raised the cut-off values, there is no need to have the one-third criteria. Even in the 26 by New Zealand, the 11 by Sutcliffe does not really warrant being considered as a SI. On the other hand, Hutton's 30 out of 52, Tancred's 26 out of 47 and Flintoff's 24 out of 51 must be included. This is done by keeping the lower limit for runs cut-off as 20.

6. Finally one very important addition. I have done a weighting of the innings by determining a Situation innings index value. A 100 out of 200 and a 100 out of 500 are both significant innings. However the first innings is far more significant than the later. This measure indicates the extent of significance. It is possible that this factor can very well be used to determine the influence of batsmen. So there is an additional table based on the average SI Index value. The SI Index value is a simple calculation. The innings measure, runs or balls, is divided by the runs cut-off or balls cut-off, as required. Thus the minimum value for this is 1. Where a player has crossed both cut-offs, the higher index value is taken.

Let me conclude this section by saying that the user responses have been outstanding revealing a very incisive way of thinking. Let us now look at the tables now.

First the table of players, ordered by the % of SIs played. This is a reflection of the consistency of the players. Players such as Dravid, Border et al are likely to be at the top. They are likely to score two 75s in successive innings.

List of players, ordered by the % of SIs achieved

SNo Batsman              Cty Mats  Runs Inns  SIs % of SI

1.Bradman D.G Aus 52 6996 80 40 50.00 2.EdeC Weekes Win 48 4455 81 38 46.91 3.Hobbs J.B Eng 61 5410 101 47 46.53 4.Barrington K.F Eng 82 6806 129 59 45.74 5.Lara B.C Win 131 11953 232 106 45.69 6.Dravid R Ind 139 11395 236 106 44.92 7.May P.B.H Eng 66 4537 105 47 44.76 8.Sutcliffe H Eng 54 4555 83 37 44.58 9.Hutton L Eng 79 6971 137 61 44.53 10.Chanderpaul S Win 124 8710 210 93 44.29 11.Hammond W.R Eng 85 7249 137 60 43.80 12.Younis Khan Pak 63 5260 111 48 43.24 13.Gavaskar S.M Ind 125 10122 211 91 43.13 14.Umrigar P.R Ind 59 3631 93 39 41.94 15.Flower A Zim 63 4794 110 46 41.82 16.Compton D.C.S Eng 78 5807 129 53 41.09 17.Kallis J.H Saf 138 10911 232 95 40.95 18.Javed Miandad Pak 124 8832 187 76 40.64 19.Richards I.V.A Win 121 8540 180 73 40.56 20.Tendulkar S.R Ind 166 13447 269 107 39.78

The top three remain the same. A few minor changes down the table. Chanderpaul moves down a few places. Sutcliffe also moves down. Lara, Dravid and May move up. Andy Flower moves down a few places.

The most significant change is that of Tendulkar who moves up quite a few places into the top-20 table.

Now the table of players, ordered by the % of SIs played. This is a reflection of the extent of significance once the cut-off is reached. This is likely to have players like Sehwag, Lara et al at the top. They are likely to score a 150 and 0 in two successive innings.

List of players, ordered by the average SI index value

SNo Batsman              Cty Mats  Runs Inns  SIs SII   Avge
Pts   SII

1.Bradman D.G Aus 52 6996 80 40 92 2.320 2.Sehwag V Ind 76 6691 129 40 80 2.009 3.Hanif Mohammad Pak 55 3915 95 33 65 1.995 4.Sangakkara K.C Slk 88 7549 146 52 102 1.965 5.Lara B.C Win 131 11953 232 106 207 1.959 6.Pietersen K.P Eng 62 5166 111 35 66 1.914 7.Amiss D.L Eng 50 3612 86 27 51 1.897 8.Flower A Zim 63 4794 110 46 87 1.892 9.Cullinan D.J Saf 70 4554 111 33 61 1.877 10.Crowe M.D Nzl 77 5444 129 42 78 1.865 11.Walcott C.L Win 44 3798 73 29 54 1.863 12.Atapattu M.S Slk 90 5502 149 40 74 1.853 13.Mitchell B Saf 42 3471 79 30 55 1.844 14.Ijaz Ahmed Pak 60 3315 92 25 45 1.836 15.Hill C Aus 49 3412 89 30 54 1.833 16.Saeed Anwar Pak 55 4052 91 35 64 1.832 17.Asif Iqbal Pak 58 3575 97 28 51 1.832 18.Gomes H.A Win 60 3171 87 21 38 1.830 19.Harvey R.N Aus 79 6149 134 48 87 1.821 20.Gooch G.A Eng 118 8900 215 75 136 1.820

The batsman non pareil, Bradman has an average SI Index value of 2.27. Then comes Sehwag, as expected. His string of high scores have propelled him to this second position. Now there is a surprise. Hanif Mohammad, the chalk to cheese (or vice versa) of Sehwag, closely follows Sehwag. His third position indicates how under-rated the great little master was. What he did for Pakistan cricket is unbelievable. That too on difficult pitches and often away. Now come two modern greats, Lara and Sangakkara. This confirms their penchant for out-performing often.

I have given below the best three innings as far as the SI Index is concerned. The first one is the Asif Iqbal classic. During 1967, Pakistan scored 216 in the first innings. England replied with 440. Then Pakistan slumped to 65 for 8. Asif Iqbal then played the greatest of all late order innings and one of the best ever. He added 190 with Intikhab Alam and took the total to 255. England won comfortably. Asif Iqbal’s innings has the highest SI index value ever of 5.41, based on a runs-cutoff value of 27.7 (255/11, multiplied by a factor of 1.333 (no 8-11) and adjusted downwards by 10% for being the second innings).

Pakistan 2nd innings
+Wasim Bari                              b Titmus              12
Mohammad Ilyas        c Cowdrey          b Higgs                1
Saeed Ahmed           c Knott            b Higgs                0
Majid Khan                               b Higgs                0
*Hanif Mohammad       c Knott            b Higgs               18
Ghulam Abbas          c Knott            b Higgs                0
Mushtaq Mohammad      c D'Oliveira       b Underwood           17
Javed Burki                              b Underwood            7
Asif Iqbal            st Knott           b Close              146
Intikhab Alam                            b Titmus              51
Saleem Altaf          not out                                   0
Extras                (b 1, lb 1, nb 1)                         3
Total                 (all out, 101.1 overs)                  255
FoW: 1-1, 2-5, 3-5, 4-26, 5-26, 6-41, 7-53, 8-65, 9-255, 10-255.
The next is one is another all-time great innings by Dennis Amiss. During 1974, in Kingston, England started their second innings, 230 in arrears. Amiss opened the innings, remained unbeaten on 262 and guided England to safe total of 432 for 9. This innings is reminiscent of the Laxman classic. Amiss' innings has the second highest SI index value ever of 4.52, based on a runs-cutoff value of 39.3 (432/11, multiplied by a factor of 1.667 (no 1-7) and adjusted downwards by 10% for being the second innings).
England 2nd innings
G Boycott             c Murray           b Boyce                5
DL Amiss              not out                                 262
JA Jameson            c Rowe             b Barrett             38
FC Hayes              run out                                   0
*MH Denness           c Rowe             b Barrett             28
AW Greig                                 b Gibbs               14
DL Underwood          c Murray           b Sobers              12
+APE Knott            run out                                   6
CM Old                                   b Barrett             19
PI Pocock             c sub              b Boyce                4
RGD Willis            not out                                   3
Extras                (b 10, lb 11, w 1, nb 19)                41
Total                 (9 wickets, 183 overs)                  432
FoW: 1-32, 2-102, 3-107, 4-176, 5-217, 6-258, 7-271, 8-343, 9-392.
Now a modern classic by Saeed Anwar. During 1999, in Calcutta, Pakistan started their second innings, 38 in arrears. Anwar opened the innings, remained unbeaten on 188 and guided Pakistan to good total of 316, with the Pakistani bowlers dismissing India for 232. Anwar's innings has the third highest SI index value ever of 4.48, based on a runs-cutoff value of 28.7 (316/11, multiplied by a factor of 1.667 (no 1-7) and adjusted downwards by 10% for being the second innings).
Pakistan 2nd innings                                            R   M   B  4 6
Saeed Anwar           not out                                 188 452 259 23 1 4
Wajahatullah Wasti    c Mongia           b Srinath              9  54  33  2 0
Saqlain Mushtaq       c Mongia           b Harbhajan Singh     21 108  86  1 0
Ijaz Ahmed            c Mongia           b Srinath             11  55  47  1 0
Yousuf Youhana        c Dravid           b Srinath             56 139 123  7 1 2
Shahid Afridi         c Laxman           b Srinath              0   1   1  0 0
Saleem Malik          lbw                b Srinath              9  34  16  1 0
+Moin Khan            c Mongia           b Prasad               8  22  13  1 0
Azhar Mahmood         lbw                b Srinath              0   9   9  0 0
*Wasim Akram          c Mongia           b Srinath              1   7   3  0 0
Shoaib Akhtar                            b Srinath              1  14   8  0 0
Extras                (lb 3, w 5, nb 4)                        12
Total                 (all out, 99 overs)                     316
FoW: 1-26 (Wajahatullah Wasti, 10.5 ov), 2-94 (Saqlain Mushtaq, 35.3 ov), 3-147
(Ijaz Ahmed, 49.1 ov), 4-262 (Yousuf Youhana, 82.3 ov), 5-262 (Shahid Afridi, 82.4 ov),
6-284 (Saleem Malik, 88.4 ov), 7-301 (Moin Khan, 93.1 ov), 8-302 (Azhar Mahmood, 94.6 ov),
9-304 (Wasim Akram, 96.2 ov), 10-316 (Shoaib Akhtar, 98.6 ov).
To view/down-load the complete player table, ordered by the % of SIs played, please click/right-click here.

To view/down-load the complete player table, ordered by the average values of SI Index, 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 all the first 1960 tests, 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 14782 of them, covering all 1960 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 1000-1960, please click/right-click here.

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

Summary information
===================

TotInns:68988 TotInnsSel: 64964 Perfs: 14782 100+runs: 3374 50+runs: 6581 <50runs:4827 200+balls: 1233 100+balls: 2545 <100balls: 2062 BPos 1-7: 12835 BPos 8-11: 1947 Both: 3053 Rpw: 11141 Bpw: 588 1Inns: 8678 2Inns: 6104 Wins: 4433 Losses: 5678 Draws: 4671 SI1: 5.41 SI2: 4.52 SI3:4.48

I will attempt to do a significant innings analysis for ODIs later as also, possibly more complex, a significant innspell analysis for Tests.
List of selected players ordered by the average SI index value

Batsman Cty Mats Runs Inns SIs SII Avge Pts SII

Headley G.A Win 22 2190 39 18 46.15 2.214 Pollock R.G Saf 23 2256 41 15 36.59 2.033 Nurse S.M Win 29 2523 54 16 29.63 2.026 Turner G.M Nzl 41 2991 72 27 37.50 1.936 Hazare V.S Ind 30 2192 52 18 34.62 1.912 Ponsford W.H Aus 29 2122 47 11 23.40 1.896 Nourse A.D Saf 34 2960 62 29 46.77 1.842 Gambhir G Ind 31 2798 53 18 33.96 1.812 Mankad M.H Ind 44 2109 70 16 22.86 1.812 Macartney C.G Aus 35 2131 53 16 30.19 1.781 Taylor H.W Saf 42 2936 76 34 44.74 1.774 McCabe S.J Aus 39 2748 61 20 32.79 1.760 Rowe L.G Win 30 2047 48 11 22.92 1.747 Richardson M.H Nzl 38 2776 64 31 48.44 1.672 Rowan E.A.B Saf 26 1965 49 21 42.86 1.665 O'Neill N.C Aus 42 2779 67 23 34.33 1.565 Dhoni M.S Ind 43 2428 66 18 27.27 1.415

This is a selected set of players whose career runs are between 1965 and 3000. This list has been requested for by John Clark. I have selected a few players including Mark Richardson, in view of Gabriel's recent article.

Headley almost touches Bradman. The other great, Greame Pollock, also crosses 2.00.

On 29 June 2010

As requested by Abhi and Alex I have expanded the Player tables with the following information.

1. Add number of fifties and % of selected inns to enable comparison with SI %.
2. Runs per innings for significant innings.
3. Total of SI Runs and % of total career runs.

I have also corrected the format of the Selected players Si report to enable proper downloading into XL files.

To view/down-load the complete revised player table, ordered by the % of SIs played, please click/right-click here.

To view/down-load the complete revised player table, ordered by the average values of SI Index, please click/right-click here.

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

  • K Soundararajan on August 5, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    I enjoy reading your columns very much. I'm a mathematician, and a statistic which has emerged recently in scientific circles is the so-called "h-index." A scientist has the h-index, k if he has k papers each of which has been cited at least k times, and k is the maximum number for which this holds.

    I wonder if this is a reasonable statistic to consider for batsmen. For example, Tendulkar would have an h-index of 72 meaning that he has scored more than 72 seventy two times.

    There are some appealing things about this index. It is simple to understand, always increases over the batsman's career, and doesn't privilege a century over a 99. Also consistency and longevity are rewarded. There are of course also negatives: the h-index cannot be more than the total number of innings, and so Bradman has only an index of about 40.

    It may be interesting to see how different batsmen compare with this index.

    Best regards,

    Sound. [[ Soundar This is a most fascinating mail. However it is like facing a "doosra" "carrom" ball delivered by Paul Adams. Have moved your mail to the retention folder and will do this at leisure. Have already saved the Wikipedia entry on h-index for study at leisure. Thanks a lot for opening up a new line of thinking. Ananth: ]]

  • Praveen on July 27, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Yes i truely agree the below about Lara

    His form was also very good in 2007. One can never forgive some of the players in the current team, the board members and some 'esteemed' commentators who worked together to get Lara out. One thing is certain. Tendulkar is more fortunate. The adulation he receives in India is in sharp contrast to Lara's case. Tendulkar can choose when and how he retires.

    LARA WAS PUSHED OUT OF THE TEAM BECAUSE OF INTERNAL POLITICS,,

    SACHIN KNOWS HOW TO PLAY IT SAFE,, he is a true politician.

  • Alex on July 6, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    Ananth - re Greg Chappell. He scored 50+ runs 55 times. Yet, # SI for him is just 51 (much like 40 vs 42 for Bradman). I haven't followed his career avidly but recall him as a true all-time great. G. Armstrong in his book (100 Great Players: 2009 revised ed) has argued for Chappell as follows. Let A be the set of players that played at least 30 test innings during Chappell's career. Then, only 8 of these players (3 of which are Aussies: Walters @45 & Border @50) average more than 45 with Chappell leading them at 53+. Your analysis shows that some of the average boosting 50's possibly came in tall scoring matches.

    A request - could you please do a similar analysis for an entire series? Many remember Lara in SL '01 but how many remember Border averaging 74 vs the ferocious WI in '85 when no other batsman scored even half as many runs?

  • craigmnz on July 5, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    Ananth - actually more like a phrase 'was a better batsman' is what's missing from the first sentence. Guess I just got carried away in my excitement!

    You're quite right about cut-offs, of course, but it must be highly tempting to set the bar at 2000 runs thus including Headley, Pollock (R.G.), Ponsford and MacCartney. This would naturally expand the field to include any number of lower-order batsman of dubious claims to batting greatness so I can see why you make these decisions. You almost need a sliding cut-off based on the amount of cricket available to the various eras.

    I like to think of this as the 'SF Barnes' factor - I'm sure many of the bowling analyses I've seen begin at 200 Test wickets just to avoid the skewing effect of Barnes's career. [[ Craig I have done quite a number of analysis having 2000 as the cut-off and more often than not Headley has come second to Pollock. It is just that there are fo more batsmen, 159 vs 255. The tables become quite large. And think of poor Tom Hayward who clocks in at 1999 runs. In fact I did a couple of bowling analysis with 189 as the cut-off. However in bowling 100 wickets seems the right number. Ananth: ]]

  • craigmnz on July 5, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Ananth: Thank you for a statistical measure that supports my long-cherished belief that Glenn Turner than Martin Crowe. Yes, I saw both of them bat at various stages of their careers and in my honest moments I've suspected that I'm favouring the hero-worship of adolesence over the more jaundiced eye of adulthood, but at last something to confirm my prejudices.

    I am particularly struck by the way this measure seems to be timeless - neither weighted in favour of the high-scoring present or of any particular previous era. Well done.

    In a more tongue-in-cheek comment - you do realise that you've produced a stat that places Mark Richardson second only to Don Bradman - when you order by % of SI and include the batsmen with under 3000 runs. That's got to be a worry! [[ Craig Your first sentence seems to miss a keyword. If we did not have a cut-off, Bradman will not be first in the batting average list, but second to Ganteaume whose average is 112.00 and will be ahead, only by a fraction of run, of M.N.Nawaz of Sri Lanka whose average is 99.00. At least Mark is a competent opening batsman !!!

    Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on July 2, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Boll: Richie Benaud rated (see youtube) PBH May as the best England batsman since WW2, adding a proviso that he viewed Hutton & Compton as pre-WW2. Also striking is the similarity in the numbers of these pairs that continues to hold in SI analysis as well: Hobbs & Barrington, SRT & Sobers, Lloyd & Border ... the more things change, the more they tend to remain the same. Here is hoping Lara plays in and lights up IPL4! [[ Alex Lara at IPL4 ??? Forget about it. More than that I wished he had played test cricket for 2 more years. His form was also very good in 2007. One can never forgive some of the players in the current team, the board members and some 'esteemed' commentators who worked together to get Lara out. One thing is certain. Tendulkar is more fortunate. The adulation he receives in India is in sharp contrast to Lara's case. Tendulkar can choose when and how he retires. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on July 1, 2010, 21:42 GMT

    @Alex and Ananth. yeah, very interesting comparisons there. I was also surprised to see Peter May perform so well based on these criteria. I think I`ve always placed him alongside people such as Mark Waugh - the ultimate stylist for many Aussies of my generation, with a good, if not quite great average, and prone to scoring eye-catching, fluent 60s and 70s rather than match-changing/saving hundreds. Both players seem to attract the `boys-own` type of journalism - grace, timing, how we all wished we could bat etc. very complimentary, but also implying, I think unfairly, a lack of `steel within` as you put it Ananth. May`s place on this list, alongside (well, just above) more acknowledged greats such as Sutcliffe, Hutton and Hammond, indicates rare quality and purpose, to go with his oft-quoted style.

  • Alex on July 1, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    Ananth: thanks - I was deluded by Lara's high Ave SIIdx.

    1. Lara's & Chander's high SI % clearly underscores the weak WI batting: Chander is very effective but has SI % of 44.29 despite only 72.9 RPI in SI. His spiritual predecessor was Gomes, an important cog in the champion WI teams. However, Gomes has SI % of only 24.14 at a much higher 85 RPI in SI.

    2. Note the similarity in the number of Dravid and PBH May.

    3. Also, high RPI in SI with a relatively low % of SI suggests that the batsman attacked & scored heavy when others in his team scored well too. Holds true for Sehwag and Ponting. These tables illustrate their contrast with Viv, a similar type batsman, who scored less heavily in SI but got those runs when his team-mates did not score as well. [[ Alex Very perceptive copmments. These add-ons allow interested readers to do some lateral thinking. May is another often under-rated batsmen. His "gentleman" like exterior hid a steel within, a la Dravid. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 30, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    Ananth, Thanks. Read the bit for the fields in the database. So, will attempt to calculate the avg. for the SIs for myself!

  • Alex on June 30, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    Ananth - thanks very much. I had requested a 40+ columns to smooth things out in case someone questions why 50+ scores are so special (why not 45+ etc.). These columns add a lot more info! Lara's SI RPI is surprisingly low at only 95.2; could you pl doublecheck? I would have guessed it to be >110. [[ Alex I am running out of fields in my Player database. Even for this I had to do a bit of jugglery. I think the 50+ should be sufficient. Re Lara, work out the total runs in the SI knocks for him. It comes out to 10090 runs. So in the other 126 innings he has scored only 1860 runs. Clearly indicating his propensity for 100 & 0. Anyhow even 100 is quite tough and has been reached only very few. If you ignore Bradman (and Sehwag) the next highest is 108. However all the 100+ batsmen have somewhat lower % of SIs. With Lara's quite high % of SIs, 110 woul;d take him beyond his career total. Ananth: ]]

  • K Soundararajan on August 5, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    I enjoy reading your columns very much. I'm a mathematician, and a statistic which has emerged recently in scientific circles is the so-called "h-index." A scientist has the h-index, k if he has k papers each of which has been cited at least k times, and k is the maximum number for which this holds.

    I wonder if this is a reasonable statistic to consider for batsmen. For example, Tendulkar would have an h-index of 72 meaning that he has scored more than 72 seventy two times.

    There are some appealing things about this index. It is simple to understand, always increases over the batsman's career, and doesn't privilege a century over a 99. Also consistency and longevity are rewarded. There are of course also negatives: the h-index cannot be more than the total number of innings, and so Bradman has only an index of about 40.

    It may be interesting to see how different batsmen compare with this index.

    Best regards,

    Sound. [[ Soundar This is a most fascinating mail. However it is like facing a "doosra" "carrom" ball delivered by Paul Adams. Have moved your mail to the retention folder and will do this at leisure. Have already saved the Wikipedia entry on h-index for study at leisure. Thanks a lot for opening up a new line of thinking. Ananth: ]]

  • Praveen on July 27, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Yes i truely agree the below about Lara

    His form was also very good in 2007. One can never forgive some of the players in the current team, the board members and some 'esteemed' commentators who worked together to get Lara out. One thing is certain. Tendulkar is more fortunate. The adulation he receives in India is in sharp contrast to Lara's case. Tendulkar can choose when and how he retires.

    LARA WAS PUSHED OUT OF THE TEAM BECAUSE OF INTERNAL POLITICS,,

    SACHIN KNOWS HOW TO PLAY IT SAFE,, he is a true politician.

  • Alex on July 6, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    Ananth - re Greg Chappell. He scored 50+ runs 55 times. Yet, # SI for him is just 51 (much like 40 vs 42 for Bradman). I haven't followed his career avidly but recall him as a true all-time great. G. Armstrong in his book (100 Great Players: 2009 revised ed) has argued for Chappell as follows. Let A be the set of players that played at least 30 test innings during Chappell's career. Then, only 8 of these players (3 of which are Aussies: Walters @45 & Border @50) average more than 45 with Chappell leading them at 53+. Your analysis shows that some of the average boosting 50's possibly came in tall scoring matches.

    A request - could you please do a similar analysis for an entire series? Many remember Lara in SL '01 but how many remember Border averaging 74 vs the ferocious WI in '85 when no other batsman scored even half as many runs?

  • craigmnz on July 5, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    Ananth - actually more like a phrase 'was a better batsman' is what's missing from the first sentence. Guess I just got carried away in my excitement!

    You're quite right about cut-offs, of course, but it must be highly tempting to set the bar at 2000 runs thus including Headley, Pollock (R.G.), Ponsford and MacCartney. This would naturally expand the field to include any number of lower-order batsman of dubious claims to batting greatness so I can see why you make these decisions. You almost need a sliding cut-off based on the amount of cricket available to the various eras.

    I like to think of this as the 'SF Barnes' factor - I'm sure many of the bowling analyses I've seen begin at 200 Test wickets just to avoid the skewing effect of Barnes's career. [[ Craig I have done quite a number of analysis having 2000 as the cut-off and more often than not Headley has come second to Pollock. It is just that there are fo more batsmen, 159 vs 255. The tables become quite large. And think of poor Tom Hayward who clocks in at 1999 runs. In fact I did a couple of bowling analysis with 189 as the cut-off. However in bowling 100 wickets seems the right number. Ananth: ]]

  • craigmnz on July 5, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Ananth: Thank you for a statistical measure that supports my long-cherished belief that Glenn Turner than Martin Crowe. Yes, I saw both of them bat at various stages of their careers and in my honest moments I've suspected that I'm favouring the hero-worship of adolesence over the more jaundiced eye of adulthood, but at last something to confirm my prejudices.

    I am particularly struck by the way this measure seems to be timeless - neither weighted in favour of the high-scoring present or of any particular previous era. Well done.

    In a more tongue-in-cheek comment - you do realise that you've produced a stat that places Mark Richardson second only to Don Bradman - when you order by % of SI and include the batsmen with under 3000 runs. That's got to be a worry! [[ Craig Your first sentence seems to miss a keyword. If we did not have a cut-off, Bradman will not be first in the batting average list, but second to Ganteaume whose average is 112.00 and will be ahead, only by a fraction of run, of M.N.Nawaz of Sri Lanka whose average is 99.00. At least Mark is a competent opening batsman !!!

    Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on July 2, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Boll: Richie Benaud rated (see youtube) PBH May as the best England batsman since WW2, adding a proviso that he viewed Hutton & Compton as pre-WW2. Also striking is the similarity in the numbers of these pairs that continues to hold in SI analysis as well: Hobbs & Barrington, SRT & Sobers, Lloyd & Border ... the more things change, the more they tend to remain the same. Here is hoping Lara plays in and lights up IPL4! [[ Alex Lara at IPL4 ??? Forget about it. More than that I wished he had played test cricket for 2 more years. His form was also very good in 2007. One can never forgive some of the players in the current team, the board members and some 'esteemed' commentators who worked together to get Lara out. One thing is certain. Tendulkar is more fortunate. The adulation he receives in India is in sharp contrast to Lara's case. Tendulkar can choose when and how he retires. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on July 1, 2010, 21:42 GMT

    @Alex and Ananth. yeah, very interesting comparisons there. I was also surprised to see Peter May perform so well based on these criteria. I think I`ve always placed him alongside people such as Mark Waugh - the ultimate stylist for many Aussies of my generation, with a good, if not quite great average, and prone to scoring eye-catching, fluent 60s and 70s rather than match-changing/saving hundreds. Both players seem to attract the `boys-own` type of journalism - grace, timing, how we all wished we could bat etc. very complimentary, but also implying, I think unfairly, a lack of `steel within` as you put it Ananth. May`s place on this list, alongside (well, just above) more acknowledged greats such as Sutcliffe, Hutton and Hammond, indicates rare quality and purpose, to go with his oft-quoted style.

  • Alex on July 1, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    Ananth: thanks - I was deluded by Lara's high Ave SIIdx.

    1. Lara's & Chander's high SI % clearly underscores the weak WI batting: Chander is very effective but has SI % of 44.29 despite only 72.9 RPI in SI. His spiritual predecessor was Gomes, an important cog in the champion WI teams. However, Gomes has SI % of only 24.14 at a much higher 85 RPI in SI.

    2. Note the similarity in the number of Dravid and PBH May.

    3. Also, high RPI in SI with a relatively low % of SI suggests that the batsman attacked & scored heavy when others in his team scored well too. Holds true for Sehwag and Ponting. These tables illustrate their contrast with Viv, a similar type batsman, who scored less heavily in SI but got those runs when his team-mates did not score as well. [[ Alex Very perceptive copmments. These add-ons allow interested readers to do some lateral thinking. May is another often under-rated batsmen. His "gentleman" like exterior hid a steel within, a la Dravid. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 30, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    Ananth, Thanks. Read the bit for the fields in the database. So, will attempt to calculate the avg. for the SIs for myself!

  • Alex on June 30, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    Ananth - thanks very much. I had requested a 40+ columns to smooth things out in case someone questions why 50+ scores are so special (why not 45+ etc.). These columns add a lot more info! Lara's SI RPI is surprisingly low at only 95.2; could you pl doublecheck? I would have guessed it to be >110. [[ Alex I am running out of fields in my Player database. Even for this I had to do a bit of jugglery. I think the 50+ should be sufficient. Re Lara, work out the total runs in the SI knocks for him. It comes out to 10090 runs. So in the other 126 innings he has scored only 1860 runs. Clearly indicating his propensity for 100 & 0. Anyhow even 100 is quite tough and has been reached only very few. If you ignore Bradman (and Sehwag) the next highest is 108. However all the 100+ batsmen have somewhat lower % of SIs. With Lara's quite high % of SIs, 110 woul;d take him beyond his career total. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on June 29, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    On 29 June 2010 As requested by Abhi and Alex I have expanded the Player tables with the following information. 1. Add number of fifties and % of selected inns to enable comparison with SI %. 2. Runs per innings for significant innings. 3. Total of SI Runs and % of total career runs. I have also corrected the format of the Selected players Si report to enable proper downloading into XL files. To view/down-load the complete revised player table, ordered by the % of SIs played, please click/right-click here. To view/down-load the complete revised player table, ordered by the average values of SI Index, please click/right-click here.

  • Abhi on June 29, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    Ananth, Right thanks.A question- why have you decided to include 1/2 inn. balls faced and not restrict this to the 3/4 inn? Asif, Thanks for the new insights. Must have taken a while going through the tables!And i too feel that balls faced is significant only dependent on the match situation. A carte blanch for using balls faced to depict SIs is not very correct.

  • asif on June 29, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    @avi As i know u as avid tendulkar's fan, 85 of dravid's SI are qualified for run or run+ball measures and 103 of tendulkar's SIs are qualified in that measure. So, in terms of team contribution with runs, tendulkar(38.67%) is more significant to india than dravid(36.00%). Dravid's % goes up because of his 21 innings which are qualified as SI because of ball only compared to tendulkar's 3.Dravid's greatness and contribution over tendulkar lies in occupying the crease and it is reflected in the result. I don't know though, if it is necessary to recognize single digit figures as SI; Dravid's 16(114) gets the value of 1.58 which is more than some of his 90s even 100s! May be some small modification is required in terms of ball played to balance the issue as ananth did it for runs already)

  • Alex on June 29, 2010, 0:22 GMT

    Ananth - a request. Could you please post the following columns for all these batsmen: (i) # 49+ scores & % of such innings, and (ii) #39+ scores & % of such innings. Looks like the # of SI for every batsman is a little greater than # of his 49+ scores ... Bradman being an exception (40 vs 42). These columns are a bit related and can shed more light. Thanks!

  • Abhi on June 28, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    Ananth, Leads to another line of analysis: Once we know the total runs scored in SIs we can get a percentage of SI runs: Total career runs.

  • Abhi on June 28, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    Ananth, Leads to another line of analysis: Once we know the total runs scored in SIs we can get a percentage of SI runs: Total career runs.

  • Abhi on June 28, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Ananth, yeah, I think i used the wrong column! would be informative if you could put up the RPIs and avgs.

  • Abhi on June 28, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    Ananth, Did my request for RPIs and avgs for SIs get through? [[ Abhi All these and other requests like Alex's and Yogesh's are being looked into. I am trying to come out with a single formatted test file or XL sheet which can be used by all for different types of analysis. Will post in a day or two. Ananth: ]]

  • Sarosh on June 28, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    At the risk of flogging a dead horse I do appreciate the reasoning behind abhi's assymetry theory. Be that as that may, there seems to be no logical way out of the conundrum.

  • Sanchez on June 28, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    This is something I mentioned in the original article, and certainly not a criticism or anything, but the lack of modern day Australian batsmen in the top twenty is interesting, with Katich at 22. Could it be because there have been more consistency from all batters from 95-2005? Thinking back, I cannot think of any players, even Ponting or Hayden or Waugh who always bailed out the team.

    Katich being so high probably shows that there has been a small but significant slide. [[ Sanchez Yes. It seems to be a question of the Australians working together as a team leading to fewer stand-out individual performances and the other teams, although the trend seems to be changing, having more individual performances. After seeing the current ODI series, one could say they they need someone now who stands out more often than earlier. One must accept that their bowlers were superb yesterday. The failure was in batting. Three good starts, all wasted. Ananth: ]]

  • Yogesh on June 28, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    The SI index seems to favour great players in lesser teams. None of the modern day Aussie greats make it into the list. Viv is a suprise !

    And SII, aren't you unfairly excluding a 57 out of a total of 110 ? Or perhaps giving higher significance to 180 in 480 (SII = 180/100 = 1.8) than a 136 in 270 (136/100 = 1.36) ? Isn't the later more significant ? Am i missing something ? If this is the case, then you aren't measuring the extent of significance but rather big centurions.

    And an earlier request, would it be possible to have batsman by batsman split-up of significant innings in terms of bpb or rpb ? [[ Yogesh Quite a few points. 1. I don't think yopu have gone through the follow-up article completely. There is a chance for a 57 out of 110 to be included now. 2. Out of the 15000+ entries only 3000 (20%) are centuries. Out of these innings, for many, the runs per batsman value will be less that 100 (see all three examples in the article). So the SII value will be appropriate. 3. Only for the high scoring matches with scores such as 600 for 4 will the base be greater than, but limited to, 100. So your examples apply only to these, probably less than 1% of cases. 4. 180 out of 480 will have a SII value of 1.8 only if the score was, say, 480 for 2. Also 136 out of 270 will have a SII value of 1.36 only if the score was, say, 270 for no loss. It is imporetant to be complete. You cannot afford not to state the number of wickets which have fallen. 5. Where did you get the idea of this big centurions. Kindly read the examples. Pl understand the value of Asif Iqbal's or Saeed Anwar's innings before making such half-baked statements. Can't you download the SII list into an Excel sheet and do what you want. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on June 27, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    Ananth - I never had issues with SRT as member of India team. Over the last 2 yrs, MSD has been its most important member. Dravid's immense contribution is, sadly, less feted and your analysis gives another metric to substantiate it. He has the whole package and, IMO, is one of the 3 best batsmen ever produced by India.

  • Abhi on June 27, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    Ananth, I checked out the RPIs for the top modern batsmen in the Top 20. (couldn’t get the N.Os easily so backed off from the “averages” SRT- 56.9 BCL-47.0 RP- 61.8 RD-55.6 JK-55.7 CP-44.9 As, I mentioned since the N.Os were not mentioned I found it too tedious getting the ‘averages’ Don’t know what conclusions to draw from the above figures. [[ Abhi By RPI if you mean Runs per innings, I can easily post the required list. However your numbers do not seem to suggest that this is the case. The 14 run difference between Lara and Ponting makes me think that you are referring to something else. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 27, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    Ananth, Boll. The reason I mention “asymmetry” is because I have watched Tendulkar from the outset. By the early 2000s he was generally recognized as the Second greatest batsman after the Don. Sure, there were other contemporary greats, especially Lara. Some felt that at his best , Lara was the best.Even if that may be so you cannot classify a player as best on that one “tick” alone. A Safin at his best may well take out a Sampras at his best. Then, Just a few years later by the mid to late 2000s, Tendulkar bashing had become de rigueur. With plenty of ppl suddenly claiming that “actually” X,Y,Z was “better”

    So, What suddenly happened in just a few years? . What happened was that the “difference” between the Tendulkar stats from 03-06 and the others became Huge- in terms of “weight” i.e a combination of runs, avg.s and hundreds. And it wasn’t just a few batsmen pouring on the runs, it was several of them. As “Ananth” says that all players have dips in form. True. But I doubt whether a player has lost so much ground vis a vis practically ALL his contemporaries (Ponting,Kallis,Dravid,Lara – you name it) in such a SHORT span.

    Boll, I’m not claiming that “the ICC suddenly decided that all teams were going to play twice as many games? “ It’s just so happened that there were a relatively larger number of matches in the period. So, the “gains” made by Tendulkar over a decade of dominance over his peers virtually disappeared in a mere 4 years! (Basically out of a 14 yr “parallel” career with Ponting and Dravid, Tendulkar has been better for 10 of those years- but looking at “overall” stats you would hardly know) So,now in 4 yrs just about everybody is as good or better than someone who has built up a reputation over more than a decade, in all conditions, all over the world, in all formats, vs all bowling attacks. Bemusing. As Ananth says, and perhaps rightly so, we have to take the start point as debut and end point as end of career. There seems to be no other way of doing it- and that is just another statistical limitation we may have to live with. So, though there may be no way for the stats to reflect this , it can only be hoped that more discerning cricket followers will be able to deduce the “True picture” with a little more sophisticated insight than merely banging out “overall” stats on a computer and putting them up.

    The point I am trying to make is that “Not all down periods are equal”( i.e they don’t’ necessarily “cancel” out during careers, as is commonly believed). [[ You are being quite unfair to one of the greatest of Test batsmnan. There are many who think that Lara is second only to Bradman as a Test batsman. This includes many Indians. To compare him with a 2-slam wonder like Safin is not something you should be proud of. I like Lara a lot. However I will never do the mistake of dismissing Tendulkar's claim to true greatness. I will never insult either of the great players. Finally I feel the period 2003-2007 should be given a rest. I suggest you should stick to the topic on hand of Test significant innings and provide suggestions on ODI significant innings or Test/Odi significant bowling etc. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on June 27, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    HusseyFan - re June 26, 2010 4:35 PM. India winning overseas had other factors at work besides Dravid's purple patch - one player alone cannot win matches. Ganguly's captaincy, Kumble's consistency, establishment of Zaheer Khan, Sehwag & Laxman, Wright's coaching, etc. all added up! [[ Alex By the same token let us also agree that India is a team and Tendulkar is one member, albiet the most important one. The team is the sum of all members. Ananth: ]] Now, a noteworthy point: In discussing SRT, it is imperative to look at tests+ODI's together because that is how he views it and that is how BCCI viewed it: unlike him, Dravid (perhaps incorrectly) was never _expected_ to be world beater - or even India's mainstay - in ODI's. Note that Lara's truly brilliant 2003-06 test phase came at the expense of a mediocre ODI run ... which, apparently, he did not mind (but SRT, Ponting, etc. do).

  • Alex on June 27, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Ananth - re SMG's 20. Yes, it was at Sabina vs the full quartet but I was more referring to the fact that he was dropped 3 times in it.

    In Sydney for a few months. Trekked a pilgrimage to the SCG and watched an all-white-uniform game on a ground nearby! Such a contrast from the DYP stadium (which put up MI ad boards despite being Deccan's home ground!).

  • Alex on June 27, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    Ananth, HusseyFan, Boll: IMO, SRT's '98 back injury was a serious blow (to his credit, he adapted well). Injuries flared up after April '04 and stayed till Aug '06. After that, he stayed mediocre for 4-5 months (despite 141* & 65 vs WI in ODI's), and began to claw his way back in SA (Nov '06- Jan '07) and, esp., vs WI in Jan-Feb '07. So, we should view Apr '04 - Jan '07 as his injury period. His stats in this period:

    1. 21 tests, 35 inn, 1198 runs, 2 hundreds, 6 fifties, ave =39.98.

    2. 44 ODI's, 1494 runs, 3 hundreds, 9 fifties, ave=37.35.

    In a period where most his rivals hit their peaks, SRT was performing 30% below his _average_ in tests and 20% below his _average_ in ODI's ... even these averages were inflated by sudden bursts. I view the poor 2003 (in tests) as a normal dip but this period must be viewed as SRT's injury phase.

  • bhuvnesh on June 27, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    all these stats are g8 but everyone who has been discussing about tendulkar dravid etc have forgotten that one of the other significnt batsman in this decade doesnt even feature in this list of 20. i mean ricky ponting is not even there. but as people are deriding tendulkar and his low percent of SI forget that ponting is not even there. this doesnt mean ponting has been less of a batsman, but just means the team was stronger around that time. anyway stats are to be taken with a pinch of salt. and one should look at the whole picture, and things like age at debut and injuries etc and quality of opposition and the quality of team playing for etc. i am sure if dravid, lara etc debuted at 16 and played few years at international level before maturing then even their stats will be skewed a bit

  • Boll on June 27, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Sure Ananth, you make some very valid points. I certainly wasn`t questioning the validity of grand slam wins based on who people beat to get there, or who they defeat in a final. (Although looking back 20-30 years when the Australian Open tennis was often played in the absence of half of the top 10, or most of the 60s when many of the greats turned professional, I`m not sure a grand slam has always been a grand slam). Nevertheless, in a game such as tennis, grand slam wins are necessarily based on the ability of one player to beat another, which,particularly when comparing batsmen simply isn`t the case. Even when Australia are playing India, Ponting`s performance is largely independent of what Tendulkar does and vice versa. So, while in tennis it might be fair to argue that `so and so only won grand slams when such and such was injured`, to argue that Ponting only scored runs when Tendulkar was injured makes no sense at all. The rules weren`t changed, 1 run wasn`t suddenly worth 2...

  • Boll on June 27, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    ...nor is it the case, as it well might be in tennis, that the absence of 1 player reduces the `standing` of a grand slam win. If Federer wins the French in the absence of Nadal, people might fairly question its true worth. If Ponting scores a double hundred against England (here`s hoping) it hardly matters if Sachin is at home with his feet up or not.

    nor can Sachin`s problems be blamed on external forces -a la Rod Laver missing out on the chance to win many grand slams because he turned professional, Lillee and co. losing some of their best years to WSC, Bradman losing 8 (not the oft quoted 5) years to the war - apologies for the Aus focus. These are mitigating factors. Injury and bad form are part and parcel of the game, and while Tendulkar`s ability to surmount them and return as good as ever has been amazing, his performances during the period you mention are as much a legitimate part of his record as his more prolific periods. [[ Dave A grand slam is a grand slam just as a major is a major. Also remember that it was not as if Nadal was injured and was out of French Open last year. He was beaten fair and square by Soderling whose own first grand slam is not far off. That way should Nadal's this year's French Open win be questioned because he did not beat Federer in the Final. No way. I really feel that Rod Laver is the one whose numbers do not do justice to his greatness. There is no doubt that but for his decision to turn professional (his own decision, but prompted by the cup-and-best wishes reward for grand slam winners around the 1960s), he might have clocked 20 grand slams. Even Federer would have found that a very tough mountain to climb. Tiger Woods' absence does not lessen any of the major wins of the other golfers. And if Michelson ever overcomes that last hurdle to move to no.1 that would be a well-deserved move. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on June 27, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    @Abhi, not sure I agree with your cricket/tennis analogy or how `asymmetry` has adversely affected Tendulkar`s stats and artificially inflated others. Sure, the number of grand slams in tennis/golf is set to 4 a year. First of all though, these are individual sports, and are the exception rather than the rule. I don`t know of any team sport where a similar system applies (rugby, football, baseball etc.) so obviously some teams/individuals will play more matches than others. Are you claiming that in the period 2003-2006 the ICC suddenly decided that all teams were going to play twice as many games? It just happens that during this period, Sachin was out of form and injured, something all players deal with at some stage, to varying degrees. His ability to bounce back from this has been remarkable, but I don`t see why his figures dring this period should be expunged from the records, or the performances of others during this period diminished. [[ Dave Tendulkar is one of the all-time great batsmen, possibly one of a short list of 3. However there is no need to keep on bringing in a lean period which happens to all players. There is another point. During the four year period starting at the beginning of the 2003 World Cup and until end of 2006, Tendulkar played 71 ODI matches and scored 2991 runs at 45.31, above his career average. So this was not as lean period for Tendulkar as a batsman as is made out to be. There is no doubt that he was injured. However there was clearly a lack of Test form also. But that applies to all batsmen, barring one. Dravid's lack of form during the period between 2006 and 2009 when his average dropped from 58+ to 53- comes to mind. Ananth: ]]

  • bhuvnesh on June 26, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    As per my understanding i think @Husseyfan didnt actually look into the statistics. there were 106 significant innings by dravid and 107 by tendulkar. so that is almost equal. now percentage skew it in favour of dravid but one has to understand tendulkar has lot more matches at the ages of 16-20 when he was just a kid. he was good but was still a kid and hence that would impact negatively on all his averages and percentages.

    also as someone pointed out that tendulkar has played well for 20 years which is no mean achievement and probably 4-5 years out of which he was very young. others have come slightly more mature into teams and hence started with better scores than tendulkars first few years. also injuries took a toll of tendulkar for at least 3-4 years.

    in the end both dravid and tendulkar and ganguly and laxman in the team has resulted in team reaching where it did and is now and even if one of them was not performing well would have caused team performances to be affected

  • Youvi on June 26, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    Anantha- Flamboyant batting is attractive to watch but it always risks being inconsistent. And consistency is always valuable to a team. The analysis you have presented is a fine way to evaluate batting consistency and thus contribution to the team. To me it is delightful that Lara and Dravid are almost in a dead heat. Both batted same number of innings and had identical SIs with %SI very close. Among more contemporary players that is a batting peerage among numbers 5 and 6 (Lara and Dravid)! Especially as the past great ones (numbers 1 thru 4 and then 7 thru 9) are separated from Lara/Dravid by several years. [[ Youvi As I have pointed elsewhere the combination of 5 attractive stroke makers and 6 outstanding defensive players in the top-11 is what makes this analysis extremely interesting and valuable. Ananth: ]]

  • mahesh on June 26, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    The best analysis till date....great job Ananth...

  • HusseyFan on June 26, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    To Abhi,

    The time when Dravid trumps Tendulkar (by a whopping margin) is the time when India really started winning tests particularly overseas.

  • Neil on June 26, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    Anath,

    This is a great article - but would it be possible to get the list of SIs in highest->lowest order of SI score? I'm interested in seeing where some of the so-called 'greatest innings' end up in the overall list: e.g. the Don's 277, Lara's matchwinner vs. the Aussies, Gooch's 153 vs WI, Smith's inning vs England in 2009, etc.

    Though the data is in a fixed column format so perhaps it is an exercise I should be able to complete on my own! [[ Neel Once you import the data into an XL sheet you could do these analysis yourself and share some interesting conclusionbs with the rest of the readers. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    Ananth, You know, as others have mentioned in previous blogs – “asymmetry” is a particular problem in our sport (cricket)…In other sports such as Tennis, Golf etc the number of Slams,Majors etc is a very good proxy for performance since the number of Majors is FIXED. So, say a 10 year dominance of a Tennis player would translate into perhaps on average a couple of Slams a year= 20 Slams…Since , the number of slams is fixed we have a very good indication of player value and quality. But what happens in cricket? Say Tendulkar dominates for 10 yrs and wins 2 slams a yr = 20 slams. Then a while later they change the number of slams to say 8 a yr. (from 03-06) A Ponting comes along and wins 4 our of 8 slams for 5 yrs = 20 slams. A superficial look at the stats will show them as EQUALs!!! With 20 slams. So, a Tendulkar dominates for 10 yrs. Then all these guys pile on humongous runs when Tendulkar is bust- and the other guys are inform in good conditions with a HUGE number of matches compressed into a 4 yrs period----- and suddenly ,VOILA! Everyone is as good!! This is a serious limitation of stats in cricket….and leads to statents as above from “Hussyfan” and your assent- mostly based on a flawed interpretation of cold statistics.

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    @Ananth, Hussey fan As Alex has mentioned so well : “These tables show how dominant a batsman was *in his team* (comparisons across teams should be avoided).”…. Hence bringing Lara, Cpaul etc into this discussion is essentially logically invalid. A Lara or even a C’Paul would do well in most teams- but in a weak batting team like the Windies, with generally pathetic batsmen around- heck it would be much MORE difficult for them NOT to put up numerous significant innings as per the metric uses.

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    @Ananth,Hussey fan , As others have mentioned in previous blogs this thing about Dravid, though to an extent merited, has gone a little off the tracks due to distorted statistical interpretations. As numerous ppl have mentioned , it is basically Tendulkar's 03-06 period which completely distorts overall stats. From 90-96 Sis T.inn N.O<10 F.T.Inn % Tendulkar 15 39 2 37 40.54054 Dravid N.A

    From 96-03 (dravid's debut) Sis T.Inn N.O<10 F.T.Inn % 60 114 0 114 52.63158 55 128 1 127 43.30709

    2003-06 Tendulkar 12 46 0 46 26.08696 Dravid 32 62 1 61 52.45902

    From 2007- date Tendulkar 26 56 0 56 46.42857 Dravid 18 60 2 58 31.03448

    As can be seen It was only from 2003-06 that Dravid trumps Tendulkar. And by a WHOPPING margin. A superficial look at "overall" stats will lead to distorted thinking such as can be seen. it is clear that during their "parallel" careers till 03 Tendulkar trumps Dravid. As is well known, at least to Indian followers of cricket , Tendulkar broke down in 03 onwards and in 2006 there was a strong possibility that he may retire. . And again after 2007 it is a no contest. Tendulkar was clearly the main contributor to the Indian team in all aspects from 93-03. Dravid from 03-06.

  • Satheesh on June 26, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Hi,

    One thing that people got to understand is that of all the forms of cricket only test cricket is more team bounded. That is only when two or more players perform well then the team will go on to win. Take any defining innings of Dravid and you can see my point.Sachin at Melbourne and Chennai,they are individual efforts. I dont mean that Dravid's efforts are not good. Its just he got a better team which made his innings more meaningful in the context of the game's result. Suppose if someone scores 100 in 1st innings that simply means he is setting up the match for his team. It is then up to the team to use that as a base to push for a win. Anyway this meddling with huge chunk of data is quite good. Keep up the good work.

  • Avi Singh on June 26, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Interesting analysis as always, obviously there will be disagreements about specific batsmen but overall I think people would agree this analysis appears to generally be right. I was wondering if you have seen HoldingWilley's report called the Impact Index, which (I think) is an attempt with similar aims to this exercise. They have applied it to all players (I'm sure you will do this in the future when you have the time), the batsmen they place higher up seem to be reasonably similar in name and placement to yours so just wondering what you thought of their analysis in comparison to yours. Not trying to elicit criticism of your methods, just interested in comparing them (thought I'd put that in for the complainers who inevitably pop up here). [[ Avi I am aware of HoldingWilley and Jaideep's work although I have not gone into detail. Jaideep has contacted me to see how we could work together. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on June 26, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    John I have completed the addendum to the article covering the batsmen in the 1965-2999 runs range. I have selected a few batsmen in addition to the ones you had wanted. Ananth

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Ananth, Please correct me if im wrong. But wouldn’t logic dictate that if the absolute run cut off for an SI is 20, then Not Outs less than 20 should not be counted in total innings? [[ Abhi Possibly true. An innings of 15* gets into the total count but the only chance of it becoming a significant innings is through the balls route. So this is somnewhat unfair to the test batsmen of the first 1200 tests or so, not to the recent ones. I am not sure whether it would be worthwhile re-doing everything. I will accept that the idea is good but would probably feel that the impact would be minimal. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 2:33 GMT

    Ananth, Would it be possible to put up the SIs for individual batsmen? It is a nightmare to look through these chronological lists to actually see which innings have passed through the SI filter. If we could have a list of at least the main guys and their SIs it would be great...we can at least get a subjective "feel" of the SIs and ascertain their values ourselves(as per "our" mental models of what constitutes an SI) to a greater extent instead of relying on the your/computer model.As I mentioned I tried going through the lists you have posted and it is a chore. [[ Abhi It will be a huge task for me to select some batsmen. Who do I select. Bradman, Lara, Tendulkar and then ??? Different people would want to see different batsman. I would have to anser all these queries. That is the reason i have sent a formatted text file. If you download "sisel.txt" and import into an XL sheet (it is quite easy) the world is at your feet. You could do what you want, be it by batsman, country, SII value et al by sorting and viewing the same. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on June 26, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    Ananth - terrific effort as usual. These tables show how dominant a batsman was *in his team* (comparisons across teams should be avoided). A few tweaks are needed perhaps: I essentially looked for loop-holes and found that SMG's 20 vs WI ('83) is rated 1.0 while his 103 vs Aus ('86) is rated 1.05. The difference in the quality of these innings was like day and night (with 20 being the dark night). If you reduce the weight to % of runs scored & add more weight to # runs scored, this flaw might go away. Also, Dravid has a way of getting in these tables: 9 off 60 vs Eng in 2006 got in! [[ Alex The 103 was out of 517 for 5 against an attack of Reid + a few trundlers masquerading as bowlers on a shirtfront Mumbai wicket in a test in which over 1000 runs were scored for 17 wickets. The 20 was out of a total of 251 at Sabina park against Holding, Marshall, Roberts and Garner. So this is not as day-night situation as you have outlined. I agree that the 20 is slightly overvalued. However for the hundred the rpb is over 100. Ananth: ]]

  • John Clark on June 25, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    I know your runs cutoff is 3000, but what would the results be for the following players:

    Pollock Headley Nourse Hazare HW Taylor E Rowan

    Other than Pollock, all of these are the best examples of good players in bad teams, which is what this measure is capturing. [[ John I will create a special table for career runs 1965 to 2999 and post the same.Your request is perfectly valid. This lot contains at least two greats + AD Nourse, almost a great. Ananth: ]]

  • Aditya Jha on June 25, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    Dear Anantha - a belated "welcome back".

    One of the recurring themes of your analysis has been the maxim - "all runs are not equal" (and its parallel - "all wickets are not equal"). You have explored elegant issues like match situations, quality of opposition, career consistency & longevity, peer rating, even issues like the 80-innings block of performance for batsmen, significance of the innings/bowling performance and match changing factors like strike rate (batting and bowling) etc.

    I have been waiting for the "grand unified field theory".

    I think, also, that the general readership of your blog has agreed that it is unfair and difficult to compare across generations. Still questions like - how good were Graeme Pollock and Everton Weekes? In an all time WI XI, would you pick Marshall, Holding, Ambrose and Garner -statistically or not - are great to discuss, backed by your nuanced statistical analysis. [[ Aditya As long as people have fun and do not resort to mud-slinging which has, mercifully, come down a lot lately I am glad to continue to do whatever little I can. Ananth: ]]

  • HusseyFan on June 25, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    Improved list and more realistic - good work. Still confirms Tendulkar's innings are less significant compared to Dravid's and Lara's. Proves the point - Improvement in India's forturnes is more due to Dravid than Tendulkar. [[ HF Possibly true in Tests, that too by a slight margin. But in ODIs Tendulkar is so far ahead of the other Indian batsmen that, together, there is no comparison regarding value to Indian cricket. Ananth: ]]

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  • HusseyFan on June 25, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    Improved list and more realistic - good work. Still confirms Tendulkar's innings are less significant compared to Dravid's and Lara's. Proves the point - Improvement in India's forturnes is more due to Dravid than Tendulkar. [[ HF Possibly true in Tests, that too by a slight margin. But in ODIs Tendulkar is so far ahead of the other Indian batsmen that, together, there is no comparison regarding value to Indian cricket. Ananth: ]]

  • Aditya Jha on June 25, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    Dear Anantha - a belated "welcome back".

    One of the recurring themes of your analysis has been the maxim - "all runs are not equal" (and its parallel - "all wickets are not equal"). You have explored elegant issues like match situations, quality of opposition, career consistency & longevity, peer rating, even issues like the 80-innings block of performance for batsmen, significance of the innings/bowling performance and match changing factors like strike rate (batting and bowling) etc.

    I have been waiting for the "grand unified field theory".

    I think, also, that the general readership of your blog has agreed that it is unfair and difficult to compare across generations. Still questions like - how good were Graeme Pollock and Everton Weekes? In an all time WI XI, would you pick Marshall, Holding, Ambrose and Garner -statistically or not - are great to discuss, backed by your nuanced statistical analysis. [[ Aditya As long as people have fun and do not resort to mud-slinging which has, mercifully, come down a lot lately I am glad to continue to do whatever little I can. Ananth: ]]

  • John Clark on June 25, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    I know your runs cutoff is 3000, but what would the results be for the following players:

    Pollock Headley Nourse Hazare HW Taylor E Rowan

    Other than Pollock, all of these are the best examples of good players in bad teams, which is what this measure is capturing. [[ John I will create a special table for career runs 1965 to 2999 and post the same.Your request is perfectly valid. This lot contains at least two greats + AD Nourse, almost a great. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on June 26, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    Ananth - terrific effort as usual. These tables show how dominant a batsman was *in his team* (comparisons across teams should be avoided). A few tweaks are needed perhaps: I essentially looked for loop-holes and found that SMG's 20 vs WI ('83) is rated 1.0 while his 103 vs Aus ('86) is rated 1.05. The difference in the quality of these innings was like day and night (with 20 being the dark night). If you reduce the weight to % of runs scored & add more weight to # runs scored, this flaw might go away. Also, Dravid has a way of getting in these tables: 9 off 60 vs Eng in 2006 got in! [[ Alex The 103 was out of 517 for 5 against an attack of Reid + a few trundlers masquerading as bowlers on a shirtfront Mumbai wicket in a test in which over 1000 runs were scored for 17 wickets. The 20 was out of a total of 251 at Sabina park against Holding, Marshall, Roberts and Garner. So this is not as day-night situation as you have outlined. I agree that the 20 is slightly overvalued. However for the hundred the rpb is over 100. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 2:33 GMT

    Ananth, Would it be possible to put up the SIs for individual batsmen? It is a nightmare to look through these chronological lists to actually see which innings have passed through the SI filter. If we could have a list of at least the main guys and their SIs it would be great...we can at least get a subjective "feel" of the SIs and ascertain their values ourselves(as per "our" mental models of what constitutes an SI) to a greater extent instead of relying on the your/computer model.As I mentioned I tried going through the lists you have posted and it is a chore. [[ Abhi It will be a huge task for me to select some batsmen. Who do I select. Bradman, Lara, Tendulkar and then ??? Different people would want to see different batsman. I would have to anser all these queries. That is the reason i have sent a formatted text file. If you download "sisel.txt" and import into an XL sheet (it is quite easy) the world is at your feet. You could do what you want, be it by batsman, country, SII value et al by sorting and viewing the same. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Ananth, Please correct me if im wrong. But wouldn’t logic dictate that if the absolute run cut off for an SI is 20, then Not Outs less than 20 should not be counted in total innings? [[ Abhi Possibly true. An innings of 15* gets into the total count but the only chance of it becoming a significant innings is through the balls route. So this is somnewhat unfair to the test batsmen of the first 1200 tests or so, not to the recent ones. I am not sure whether it would be worthwhile re-doing everything. I will accept that the idea is good but would probably feel that the impact would be minimal. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on June 26, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    John I have completed the addendum to the article covering the batsmen in the 1965-2999 runs range. I have selected a few batsmen in addition to the ones you had wanted. Ananth

  • Avi Singh on June 26, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Interesting analysis as always, obviously there will be disagreements about specific batsmen but overall I think people would agree this analysis appears to generally be right. I was wondering if you have seen HoldingWilley's report called the Impact Index, which (I think) is an attempt with similar aims to this exercise. They have applied it to all players (I'm sure you will do this in the future when you have the time), the batsmen they place higher up seem to be reasonably similar in name and placement to yours so just wondering what you thought of their analysis in comparison to yours. Not trying to elicit criticism of your methods, just interested in comparing them (thought I'd put that in for the complainers who inevitably pop up here). [[ Avi I am aware of HoldingWilley and Jaideep's work although I have not gone into detail. Jaideep has contacted me to see how we could work together. Ananth: ]]

  • Satheesh on June 26, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Hi,

    One thing that people got to understand is that of all the forms of cricket only test cricket is more team bounded. That is only when two or more players perform well then the team will go on to win. Take any defining innings of Dravid and you can see my point.Sachin at Melbourne and Chennai,they are individual efforts. I dont mean that Dravid's efforts are not good. Its just he got a better team which made his innings more meaningful in the context of the game's result. Suppose if someone scores 100 in 1st innings that simply means he is setting up the match for his team. It is then up to the team to use that as a base to push for a win. Anyway this meddling with huge chunk of data is quite good. Keep up the good work.

  • Abhi on June 26, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    @Ananth,Hussey fan , As others have mentioned in previous blogs this thing about Dravid, though to an extent merited, has gone a little off the tracks due to distorted statistical interpretations. As numerous ppl have mentioned , it is basically Tendulkar's 03-06 period which completely distorts overall stats. From 90-96 Sis T.inn N.O<10 F.T.Inn % Tendulkar 15 39 2 37 40.54054 Dravid N.A

    From 96-03 (dravid's debut) Sis T.Inn N.O<10 F.T.Inn % 60 114 0 114 52.63158 55 128 1 127 43.30709

    2003-06 Tendulkar 12 46 0 46 26.08696 Dravid 32 62 1 61 52.45902

    From 2007- date Tendulkar 26 56 0 56 46.42857 Dravid 18 60 2 58 31.03448

    As can be seen It was only from 2003-06 that Dravid trumps Tendulkar. And by a WHOPPING margin. A superficial look at "overall" stats will lead to distorted thinking such as can be seen. it is clear that during their "parallel" careers till 03 Tendulkar trumps Dravid. As is well known, at least to Indian followers of cricket , Tendulkar broke down in 03 onwards and in 2006 there was a strong possibility that he may retire. . And again after 2007 it is a no contest. Tendulkar was clearly the main contributor to the Indian team in all aspects from 93-03. Dravid from 03-06.