Tendulkar December 15, 2010

Tendulkar's Christmas blues

Andy Zaltzman's disturbing stats could give South Africa the upper hand against India
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It might have escaped the attention of all but the most eagle-eyed English and Australian cricket followers, but the two best teams in the world are about to face off in a potentially titanic showdown to decide which is currently the greatest cricket team in the known universe.

Here in England, South Africa hosting India has not received quite the same media frenzy as the Ashes (or, as it is being officially renamed in Parliament this afternoon by the cross-party Committee for Premature Triumphalism, ‘The Heroic and Rightful English Vanquishment of All That is Baggy, Green or Evil in the World’). Not yet, anyway. It has some catching up to do.

It is, admittedly, understandable that the unofficial World Championship play-off has slipped under most English cricketing radars, amid the wild exultation about: (a) England being ahead in an away Ashes series for the first time since David Capel was still just a hopeful, Botham-resembling twinkle in the selectors’ eyes; (b) more importantly, after two Tests of an away Ashes series, England not being bent over a desk in Cricket Australia’s head office midway through a vigourous ceremonial spanking, for the first time since that 1986-87 triumph; and (c) England having gone ahead and, more importantly, not gone behind by absolutely shoeing their oldest rivals. And it was not merely a simple, regulation shoeing, but a shoeing administered with pointy steel toe-caps, stiletto heels and, to back it up, designer poison-tipped socks.

However, for those who have detected faint traces of the impending clash in South Africa, it is an enticing prospect, not least because this series will show how good MS Dhoni’s India really are. History does not bode well for them – they have won only one of their 12 Tests in the land that has produced so many fine English cricketers, a Sreesanth-inspired skittling of the hosts in the first Test in Johannesburg four years ago. And – strap in stats fans - of the 34 Indians who have played Tests in South Africa, only six have averaged higher than their career average.

Nor is it a particularly illustrious six. Leading the way is Kapil Dev, averaging 40 in his four Tests in South Africa, compared to his career figure of 31. Other than the great allrounder, the remaining five are: Dinesh Karthik (101 runs for once out in his solitary Test, boosting his career number to the undizzy heights of 27); Vikram Rathour, who qualifies only by having been marginally less useless in his two games in South Africa (averaging 16) than he was in his four other Tests (10.83, figures which one assumes he does not have immortalised in a commemorative tapestry above his bed); and hopeless tailenders Ventapathy Raju, VRV Singh and Ashish Nehra.

The giants of modern Indian batsmanship – Tendulkar, Dravid, Sehwag, Laxman, Ganguly and Azharuddin - have collectively averaged 34 in South Africa, compared with their overall combined average of 50. This will be an enormous and fascinating challenge for Dhoni’s team.

Before the Ashes, I ran a series of blogs detailing good and bad stats for the players on both sides. Thus far, England have lived up to the former, and Australia have lived down to the latter. If time permits this week, I will do the same for South Africa and India. I began by looking into Tendulkar’s almost unfathomably gigantic numbers.

Tendulkar is the hot favourite to win the race to 50 Test centuries. He needs one more, and now leads Ricky Ponting by 10, has left early pace-setter Don Bradman spluttering in the dust, seemingly unable to respond, and still leads the fast-closing Harbhajan Singh by 47. He also needs just five more centuries to reach a hundred hundreds in international cricket – unquestionably the mark of a pretty useful player.

He has emerged resplendently from his mid-decade slump to hit 12 centuries in his last 31 Tests, averages 63 in that period, and this year alone has close to 1400 runs at 82.

However, he averages just 38 against South Africa, as opposed to 59 against everyone else combined. His average against South Africa is the 79th best of all players since South Africa’s return to Test cricket after their little ‘ethical intermission’, and puts him some 56 runs per innings behind surprise leader - any guesses? – the Sri Lankan batting leviathan Farveez Maharoof.

Admittedly, Maharoof’s statistical sample (94 runs in four innings with three not outs) might not satisfy hardcore mathematicians, but who is to say that if the Colombo Clouter plays 22 Tests against South Africa like Tendulkar has, he will not still be averaging 94? The answer to that question is: anyone outside the most loyal and deluded members of the immediate Maharoof family. But the fact remains that, of the 99 top seven players who have played five or more Tests against South Africa since readmission, Tendulkar has the 43rd best average.

(In an intriguing quirk of fate that must cause unending tension at the family breakfast table, the players with the highest and lowest averages in this admittedly niche category are Andy (70) and Grant (11) Flower. No prizes for guessing who smugly snaffles the extra boerewors bap at their family barbecues.)

Moreover, this series has been extremely cleverly scheduled by South Africa. The first two Tests are in December, a month in which, over the course of his career, Tendulkar averages 47.5, and just 42.9 if you exclude his two December Tests against Bangladesh, one of which included an unbeaten 248. In the other 11 months of the year, his career average is 58.8 (57.6 excluding Bangladesh). This means that, in December Tests not against Bangladesh, he is 25% less effective than he is in the rest of the year.

And it is getting worse. Since 2002, excluding that mauling of Bangladesh, Tendulkar averages just 30 in December Tests. And this grievous problem is exacerbated when the opponents are South Africa – he averages a pitiful 24.3 against South Africa in December, compared to 43.4 against them in other months. Overall, this suggests that, when the greatest batsman of his era plays South Africa in December, he is only 42% of the player he usually is. (Please do not concern yourself with how I unearthed these statistics, nor with the effect they have had on my family life, or the way my wife looks at me when I’m using my computer.)

The only rational conclusion to this is that Tendulkar’s main – perhaps only – weakness as a batsman is, evidently, that he gets overexcited about Christmas. Indeed, if those last eight Christmases since 2002 are anything to go by, he finds it increasingly difficult to focus on his batting when he is thinking about what Santa Claus will bring, or has just brought, to him.

I realise that Tendulkar is not a Christian, but Christmas crosses religious boundaries these days, and you simply cannot argue with statistics. Or with the rumour that the South Africans have been leaving large, bulky presents in the Indian hotel with little tags reading “To Sachin”.

The stump microphone should provide fascinating listening this series. Prepare to hear the close-in fielders trying to distract the little master by saying: “So, Mr Tendulkar, do you think you’ll get that BMX bicycle you’ve always wanted this year? That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? You’d love to have that bike, eh?” Is this bad sportsmanship, or merely professionalism? In the modern game, when an opponent has an obvious weakness, you must exploit it. And if that means playing on Sachin Tendulkar’s uncontrollable giddiness about Christmas, then we must, regretfully, accept it.

Meanwhile, during the brief intermission in the Ashes, Australia have replaced one spinner widely viewed as neither experienced enough nor good enough with one who is even more inexperienced – so inexperienced, in fact, that no one can possibly know whether he is or isn’t good enough, so at least they have replaced an "X" with a "?" on their “Can these bowlers win us the Ashes?” quiz sheet.

If the Australian cricketing public were scratching their heads when Xavier Doherty was picked for Brisbane, they have been scalping themselves with a hacksaw at the selection of Michael Beer. Of course, Beer may even be dropped even before he plays, if Steven Smith is favoured by the selectors, whose current technique for picking their squad appears to involve drinking large quantities of absinthe, riding a quad bike into a wall as fast as possible, and saying the first name that comes into their heads. They have clearly read and learnt from 1980s England supremo Peter May’s influential academic paper, How To Utilise Selectorial Whims To Minimise The Effectiveness Of A Test Match Cricket Team.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bhavesh on February 9, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Tendulkar has replied you with his bat............True Master

  • Prabir Dass on December 22, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    Now can you get your stats right, and let us know what his December average would be considering that he got a unbeaten century and 30 odd runs in first Innings.... I'm sure he would do well in the 2nd test as well and Break the December Record as well....... hahahahaha :) no Offense Mr. Andy Zaltzman.. Lol

  • Sham on December 21, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    Andy, really glad to have you here. Also glad that you quit the audio show, or at least kept the words alive. Reading it out in my mind is a lot more funny.

  • Rohit Jha on December 18, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Hilarious!! Terrificly humorous!! :D

  • bal krishna tripathi on December 17, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    No offence to Sachin or his fans but this piece is awesome.The comparisons , the stats ,the choice of words all came together to make a wonderful and hilarious article.keep up the good work

  • Rinto on December 17, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Sachin = Cricket

  • Thimal on December 17, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    looking at yday's performance maybe mr zaltzman is dead right..:P

  • Lloyd on December 16, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    Funny stuff -a lot of us get giddy at Christmas, why not the Master ?

  • varun on December 16, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    lol!!!superb article...funny and very creative...how did u manage to come up with those stats???and this puts sachin in a completely different light with respect to his batting stats... awesome article..

  • asgar on December 16, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Hilarious.. specially the selectorial technique of the Aussies..

  • Bhavesh on February 9, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Tendulkar has replied you with his bat............True Master

  • Prabir Dass on December 22, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    Now can you get your stats right, and let us know what his December average would be considering that he got a unbeaten century and 30 odd runs in first Innings.... I'm sure he would do well in the 2nd test as well and Break the December Record as well....... hahahahaha :) no Offense Mr. Andy Zaltzman.. Lol

  • Sham on December 21, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    Andy, really glad to have you here. Also glad that you quit the audio show, or at least kept the words alive. Reading it out in my mind is a lot more funny.

  • Rohit Jha on December 18, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Hilarious!! Terrificly humorous!! :D

  • bal krishna tripathi on December 17, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    No offence to Sachin or his fans but this piece is awesome.The comparisons , the stats ,the choice of words all came together to make a wonderful and hilarious article.keep up the good work

  • Rinto on December 17, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Sachin = Cricket

  • Thimal on December 17, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    looking at yday's performance maybe mr zaltzman is dead right..:P

  • Lloyd on December 16, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    Funny stuff -a lot of us get giddy at Christmas, why not the Master ?

  • varun on December 16, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    lol!!!superb article...funny and very creative...how did u manage to come up with those stats???and this puts sachin in a completely different light with respect to his batting stats... awesome article..

  • asgar on December 16, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Hilarious.. specially the selectorial technique of the Aussies..

  • San on December 16, 2010, 2:34 GMT

    ummm... fail to see the humor in this.. just some statistics taken the advantage of taking a dig at some person. er.... am I missing the point here? Christmas, sachin, average during December...can u come down please ??..... really man...

  • Hemant Brar on December 16, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    Andy

    I really loved your article after not loving a few previous ones. Actually humour backed by some good stats is what makes you incredible.

    Hemant

  • asimations on December 16, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    very well written though you seem to have softened your wit for tendulkar but still enough to force all his followers to grind their teeth that is even more entertaining we will see him fail in sa surely

  • Sumeet on December 16, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    Its never funny when one tries to be funny

  • cm on December 16, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    You can go on and on about petty stats, end of the day what matters is what happens on the day. History is only a mere stat

    I am sure the south African board had this into consideration when they schedulde this series.. pfft

  • sree on December 16, 2010, 1:22 GMT

    "unquestionably the mark of a pretty useful player"..hehe Yea tendukar was a useful player o ver the years,better than graham onions :-)

  • Jon Heels on December 16, 2010, 1:18 GMT

    Funny article Andy, but in this case it is even funnier to see how upset SOME of the Indian fans got after reading your article. Such people should realise that Tendulkar is just a very good cricketer and should not be treated as a deity.

  • js on December 16, 2010, 1:16 GMT

    Ah, Tendulkar. It's fascinating that people go out of their way to forget what a failure he has been in South Africa. Steyn will destroy him.

  • Lou on December 16, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    Actually, I believe that Tendulkar is Christian; I could swear I've seen an interview with him discussing it. The only compelling reason for his (and anyone else's, let's be frank) conversion is, as you've detailed, Christmas. The man is obviously besotted with it, to the point of distraction. Mark Boucher would be well advised to practice humming "Jingle Bells" at very low, almost subliminal, levels and Dale Steyn should perhaps replace his normal wrist bands with tinsel when Tendulkar walks out.

  • Shabuddin on December 15, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    Good one ........... this shows your profession, STANDUP COMEDIAN. LOL

  • Ansel on December 15, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    Very funny. Too much time on your hands dude. But not as funny as reading the comments of the Indians who are going ballistic over this article.

  • Ankur on December 15, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    Now..as for the article itself - this is one of the funniest cricket articles I have ever read. You, sir, are good.

  • Ankur on December 15, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    Possible explanation of december statistics:

    December is summer/cricket season in the southern hemisphere.

    Which cricketing countries are in the southerm hemisphere? Australia, South Africa, New Zealand.

    Australia in the past, and South Africa at all times have had good fast bowlers. New Zealand had green tops India didnt do well in the last test series there.

  • GH on December 15, 2010, 23:38 GMT

    Hahahahah awesome article!!

    Though most of the humourless, deluded Indian fans won't get the humour I'm sure!

  • Sooraz Patro on December 15, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    Hilarious ! I love it.....

  • C'mon aussie on December 15, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    ...."has left early pace-setter Don Bradman spluttering in the dust, seemingly unable to respond"... great line there Andy from a good article - well done

  • drews on December 15, 2010, 22:33 GMT

    "I realise that Tendulkar is not a Christian, but Christmas crosses religious boundaries these days, and you simply cannot argue with statistics. Or with the rumour that the South Africans have been leaving large, bulky presents in the Indian hotel with little tags reading “To Sachin”. "

    One of the funniest things I have read in a long time.

  • Niksydney on December 15, 2010, 22:32 GMT

    To my fellow Indians and Tendulkar fans - thank you. While this article was hilarious, some of your irate comments are even funnier. You guys have totally missed the point. To the other indian supporters, I am glad more of us found this article brilliant and enjoyed it for what is meant to be. Keep at it Andy - your column will make this series more entertaining.

  • Chris on December 15, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    What I find funniest are these comments below. Since this article was in Page 2, it is satirical, so Andy is just making fun of the facts that anyone can twist statistics to say anything. Great article Andy :)

  • Vijay Shankar on December 15, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Genius. Even in the dark horizons of Sweden where the sun has not been seen for nearly three month and will not be seen for anouther 8 months, I has hilarious laugh sping Leonardo Chianti wine from Italia. Excellent English humo, Good Italian wine and creamy Swedish woman (my wife) makes my life worh living in the nordic dar for ever circle. Keep it up Andy Mr. Zaltman. Brilliant

  • Naveen K R on December 15, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    Haha..seriously funny article! Awesome statistics Mr Andy! :P

  • Krishna on December 15, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    I am no taker of humor when it is targeted at the little master.But this article is the only exception and I had a good laugh. Reason is that it is extremely well written by pivoting on statistics and then flourishing it with the humor. Hats off Andy.Very well written again. Good that you wrote this now for the statistics are just about to change significantly after which you couldn't have produced this beauty of an article...

  • lover257 on December 15, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    brilliant! Andy u r KING of humour. GO SA!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Matthew on December 15, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    So Andy when do you get knighted? Because you never fail when it comes to original cricket comedy.

  • Amol on December 15, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    Really hilarious! Liked it a lot. Great article.

  • denisha on December 15, 2010, 20:14 GMT

    Excellent article, very funny! And this is coming from one the SRT's biggest fans on the planet!

  • Bingo Haley on December 15, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    :)

  • Bingo Haley on December 15, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    I did not understood.

  • Aditya on December 15, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    Andy you've outdone yourself this time man...hilarious! And don't worry about my fellow Indians crying foul just because you mentioned that Sachin's name. They're a bunch of idiots who can't take a joke.

  • Bullet on December 15, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    Awesome article Andy - articulate and hilarious as always.

    I can't help but scratch my head (or indeed hack at it with a hacksaw) at those Sachin fans who can't take a joke! There's nothing in here to suggest that he isn;t one of the greatest batsmen ever, nor that he will almost undoubtedly play a significant role in this series.

    Get. A. Grip. And lighten up a bit.

  • RANDOLF PERKINS on December 15, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    Hi Mr Zaltzman, I should have clarified my comments about Tendulkar earlier by insisting that I am speaking about test cricket. Of course, he is the undisputable king of batting when it comes to ODIs.

  • RANDOLF PERKINS on December 15, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    We in the Caribbean do not agree that Tendulkar is the 'greatest batsman' of his time, once Brian Lara is included in that period. Tendulkar cannot be the greatest batsman when he has never produced a 'really big scored', the real test that determines a really great batsman. For example, you see the many number of really big scores Mohinda Sehwag reels off with ease, or Brian Lara, or Don Bradman for that matter. My definition of a 'really big score' is 250+. To date, Tendulkar has not even compiled one. After playing significantly much more test matches and test innings than all of the names mentioned above, it is fair that one could conclude that he does not have what it takes to do it within the time allowable to do so. I cannot understand why all the hype about the number of 100s he has made - it is obvious that any one with his above average ability, playing so many innings would achieve that. Maybe, too many tailenders score 100s nowadays to consider it a big score.

  • An on December 15, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    Great article! You have unearthed a new dimension of cricket humor - while using real cricket stats. Hope to see more such insightful articles!

  • Prasad on December 15, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    As usual some of my fellow Indians have the wrong end of the stick and refuse to recognize satire :-). O well... sad for them. Loved the article. Can't wait for the comparison articles.

  • Swami Vaidyanathan on December 15, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    Andy, I like your humor but then you're talking about Sachin. Sachin doesn't go by the rules. And if I get my visa, air ticket and time to go to South Africa before the first test(which is in 1 day), I'll take a copy of this article and snub it in Sachin's face- then heck ya- South Africans are bound to lose the first test- cz Sachin becomes possessed after seeing black marks in his resume of infinite numbers and what more? his disciple Mr. Sehwag will be let out his already burning cage. BEWARE. Oh and I will hope to carry scissors in my bag just to find you in RSA Or Aussie to cut your hair. Cz that's the prize you get for writing about Sach.

  • asif on December 15, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Yaa Mr.Andy Zaltzman don't try to act smart and don't try to impress people by writting all this rubbish. Your are a lunatic and an idiot.

  • yogesh on December 15, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    Andy, may be you might want to consider Tendulkar's boxing day average and new years test average. The latter should be boosted considerably by his maniacal run scoring at Sachin Cricket Ground ! As well, it should help his January average.

  • Yogesh on December 15, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    Surprised to see a few taking the stat so seriously. Didn't they know page 2 wasn't for serious stuff ? Andy, your stat analysis are more worthy of a read than the many dumb ones that crop up on main page and of course, the wit helps a lot.

    If Indian media spots this stat, it is going to be madness.

  • Ian on December 15, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    Not as hilarious as it usually is. Especially since its actually true. Tendulkar in all his years with India has never been on a side that has won a test series in South Africa (in fact no other Indian has either and there are over a billion of them). Infact for all their drool's worth, they have just won 1 solitary Test match!! By the way..reading some of these comments makes me wonder if some of these people masquerading as 'cricket lovers' are actually psychopaths with unhealthy amorous fixation for Mr. Tendulkar. Just listen to these "grown up 'men'" talk. Their wives would wish they were lusting so much after them as do for this Indian Batsman.

  • Krishna L on December 15, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    Numbers magic by an unintelligent man, possibly can not digest the greatness of a genius. God bless you with intelligence.

  • Vilander on December 15, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    Andy, very funny !! but you are not good with stats are you :)

  • Rob on December 15, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic.

  • satya on December 15, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    loved the statistic about the flower brothers occupying either end of the averages table..that is some divine coincidence..

    loved the bit on tendulkar..you have an old world ability to satirize but still be respectful. there are many jingoist fans who see anything less than praise as blasphemy but as a ardent admirer of Sachin's skill with the blade i found it a refreshing article which offered a light hearted look at this batting colossus of the modern age

  • Mel on December 15, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    Ah but Andy, you probably don't realize that Tendulkar is working on overcoming his weakness due to Christmas distraction by taking emotion management classes from Harbhajan...

  • Admal on December 15, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    Too good! Leviathan fervez maharoof, excluding bangladesh tests, unearthing of stats etc. This is why I dont miss andy z's articles. Keep them coming

  • kunal on December 15, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    dude u neva playd cricket at the level of tendulkar still u hav the audacity 2 comment on him!!! well i guess cynics like u also need 2 b paid fr commentin nonsense stuff!!!

  • Ramji on December 15, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Andy,

    Lets revisit this page after christmas...!!

  • Shrikanth on December 15, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    Hi... If you are bolwer other end, then sachin may (sorry will) answer to all stats .

    Nice one, keep ur stats on...

  • Ranjith on December 15, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    this is an unwanted and useless debate/info. I have never heard tht someone is not at his best in a particular month. it is purely a coincidence. as usual Tendulkar will prove cricinfo is wrong

  • sb on December 15, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    hahahah...great article i have come across in recent time...even Sachin will immerse in laughter if he comes across this article.....wonderful...if u have source, pls pass on this article to Sachin...BTW yr Dec analysis is da best in this article....

  • Karthik on December 15, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Dude... You've got to be kidding me... As great a player that he is and as good a form that he is in, I cant believe these statisticians leave their family, get scolded from their wives to just sit and find some kind of statistics to prove Sachin human. Even Sachin's team mates reckon that he is in a more prolific form than he was in 1998. He now has the experience to couple his talent with. So I think the real thought of him shattering the fact that India cannot win in SA has made our ANDY take the trouble to lose part of his family and come up with this Statistics.

    Way to go Dude...

  • Nishanth Bhushan on December 15, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    Andy, You just keep getting better and better!! Absolutely hilarious!!

  • Vipul on December 15, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    Hillarious...almost a Wodehouse classic!!! The icing on the cake was Sachin's candid camera shot!!! Keep up the great work Andy!!

  • Sumit Rana on December 15, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    I am immensely delighted that you went to high school and managed to pass through all your Mathematics pop quiz.

    Get a life! and probably a better topic where your expertise in maths and vocab are put to a better use.

  • Naren on December 15, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Is Tendulkar's average in December low because it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and we might have played test matches in Australia, SA and NZ in December.

    Would love to see how much does Tendulkar average in Sept and Oct

  • Mandar on December 15, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    Thanks Andy for this hilarious post. Love it :)

  • Vijay on December 15, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    As always, fun to read. Whenever I read about these stats, it reminds me of the quote "Statistics are like mini-skirts .. they give you good ideas but hide the most important parts" :)

  • Saravanan on December 15, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    Sarcasm, along with effort for saddistic pleasure... await your grey face in january...

  • jawahar on December 15, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    pleazzzzz!!!! why are u guys even allowing to post such rubbish in such a good website.. mahroof the master wow... wait till the series gets over. lets see the magic of averages....-}

  • Kirthi royadu on December 15, 2010, 14:42 GMT

    aha ha ha.. this is excruciatingly humourous! this is the most hilarious piece of literature I have read in a loong time...period! thanks a lot Andy! wow!

  • NJ on December 15, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    I propose Andy to replace S Rajesh as the official statistician for Cricinfo. Didn't know statistics could be so much fun!

  • Amit on December 15, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    manish khanna.. Ur absolutely right man. These so called unwanted columnist always has got tendency to write about Sachin TENDULKAR name in any sort of story to get maximum hit by readers. Yup Sachin Tendulkar is far more bigger than what total england team is.. Anyway using sachin name is very fruitful for u peOple (andy or candy lol) keep it up.

  • Amit on December 15, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    manish khanna.. Ur absolutely right man. These so called unwanted columnist always has got tendency to write about Sachin TENDULKAR name in any sort of story to get maximum hit by readers. Yup Sachin Tendulkar is far more bigger than what total england team is.. Anyway using sachin name is very fruitful for u peOple (andy or candy lol) keep it up.

  • Raj on December 15, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    Andy, honestly you need to improve your math and abysmal writing abilities.

    Your cricketing career depicts your knowledge on Cricket. For that very reason all Sachin fans may excuse you for your boring article. I would advise you to seriously consider attending some essay writing classes to improve your dreadful writing skills before attempting anything on ESPNCRICINFO.

    By the way, it can be fatal to South African hopes to win the series if Sachin happens to read the article.

    Forget about your awful article and have a wonderful holidays.

  • hassam on December 15, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    the article was very biased. you only considered the Tendulkar's performances in the month of December. he will remain the best and legend cricketer of all time and 38 is not the bad average against South Africa in Africa, see the performance graph of other legend cricketers against south Africa you will realize that tendulkar's record is close to them. Ignore these minute stats, realize his great achievements. he achieved those milestones in his life who the other cricketer has ever dreamed about. i am sorry you wrote a very poor article

  • tenzing on December 15, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    this is funny stuff - I've always been your great fan. I would like to hear you read it - that would be a great chrismas gift - and you may read it like Santa Claus (since you already look like one).

  • souvik on December 15, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    that was fun! we all knew statistics really dont mean much without the right perspective - this was a classic example of quoting over the top stats to prove the implausible, if not the impossible...keep them coming!

  • vnott on December 15, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Interesting stats summing up to a illogical theory. Poor maths takes a beating with this analysis. But anyways it is good to lighten for the real deal begins tommorow. Good Luck Indians and hopefully Zaheer will be fit...

  • TJ Maru on December 15, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Hi...Andy...good witty article! I hope Sachin defies the old statistics and bursts your bubble!

    I wish you'd broaden your own horizons a bit and look beyond and past the western, rose colored glasses. Sachin celebrates Diwali, the great festival of lights from India, usually a month before Christmas. This is a time when most in India eat high calorie sweets. Perhaps Sachin indulges a bit too much then and pays for it in December!

    No...he does not have to wait for Saint Nick to deliver his gift....a billion fans carry a bigger satchel for Sachin than the big fan from the North Pole! Ho! Ho! Ho!

    TJ

  • Roger Terry on December 15, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    330 million Gods!. Monty could u plz name them for our general knowledge.

  • Arjun on December 15, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    ''This series has been extremely cleverly scheduled by South Africa. The first two Tests are in December, a month in which, over the course of his career, Tendulkar averages 47.5, and just 42.9 if you exclude his two December Tests against Bangladesh, one of which included an unbeaten 248. In the other 11 months of the year, his career average is 58.8 (57.6 excluding Bangladesh). This means that, in December Tests not against Bangladesh, he is 25% less effective than he is in the rest of the year.''---This is quite awesome!

  • Prashant on December 15, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    One fact that needs to be addressed--it's not Christmas, it's Saturnalia. You, of all people, should know that especially with your classical education and all that.

  • Prashant on December 15, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    One fact that needs to be addressed--it's not Christmas, it's Saturnalia. You, of all people, should know that especially with your classical education and all that.

  • Deepak on December 15, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Hahahahahaha...........this is one of the most Hilarious Comment i hav ever read on cricket..........i m a Big Fan of this Master Blaster SRT but i cant stop laughing throughout......AMAZING JOB MAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ravi on December 15, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Psssst.... Store opening branches outside venues Centurion, Cape Town, & Durban selling Santa costumes....I'm investing

  • parthiban v on December 15, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    Sachin will definetely hit more runs in this christmas period pls wait and see the drama

  • varun shrimal on December 15, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Isn't it great that Sachin's Christmas can be Food for Thought for someone truly accomplished to comment on Cricket. HAPPY NEW YEAR ANDY

  • SachinMakesAndyWrite on December 15, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    It is amazing how Sachin inspires to write people like Andy about him..to keep his job at Cricinfo....Truly he is a God...Lots of people wrote about funny, they do not know real comedy in this world...I do not even laugh at a single line in this article...

  • S.Thyagaraj on December 15, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    Bret lee in his column has said that Sachin,Lara,should not be sledged as that gets them to concentrate more and do better.Similarly Critisism also evokes the best in them. I like your very humorous approach to a mighty problem that Australia have. Wrist spinners are born and once in a lifetime greats like Chandra,Warne are born. So Australia's quota for great spinner looks like over. Unless some one turns up in the next decade.: STR

  • Sangeeta on December 15, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    Thanks for all the hard work you did Andy, I hope Sachin MUST read this article, some how, just by chance, by accidents, any how, but I want him to read this and than give us all a RED Christmas (no Christmas blues)

    :) Good luck, can't wait to read your next article with stats.

  • raghvendra on December 15, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    awsome stats and as good use of words.. :).. really an enjoyable take on cricket...n must say..i agree with aussies selector take.. :)

  • Seether1 on December 15, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    I can't help but feel that a lot of Indian fans take offence to the articles on Page 2 due to the language/cultural barrier. This article was hilarious, just unfortunate so many took it in the wrong way.

  • Rajesh on December 15, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    Not at all funny. Take classes in making humor.

  • Anand Bhat on December 15, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    Just check the averages of Paul Collingwood. He is averaging 58 against SA but all those runs have come between 2008-2010. This indicates SA attack has depleted compared to their golden era of Donald and Pollock. Most of the tests Tendulkar played against them are in Donald - Pollock era. You can' compare apples to oranges.

    Tendulkar will silence his critics as always.

    Anyways, nice article with many funny but irrelevant stats .

  • sam on December 15, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    ..dear.r u mad ? ..SRT is GOD of cricket .i think u dont know about him.

  • Prasad,Pune on December 15, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    This Article is new rule, should probably. Looks like 2 + 2 =5 for extremely large values of 2. Maths? Aha. Probability? Never mind. Not required. Besides Andy has good Handwriting skills, isnt this the Parker pen, and camel ink? :-)

  • Arvind on December 15, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Some guys have no sense of humour - that's sad to see.

  • Sen on December 15, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    SA are known chokers - looks like they gonna choke too soon

  • hattrick_thug on December 15, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    How about an eye-opening article about anti-corruption techniques that the ICC has left unexplored?

  • Peter on December 15, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    Do Indian's get paid by their government to surf the internet all day and blurt out passionate statements in poor English for their cricketing gods and against anyone who dears mention them without sufficient respect?

  • Peter on December 15, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    @Anil Madan - Thank you for saving my faith in the existence of Indian cricket fan's with balanced psyche's. Most people with any insight whatsoever would see that Andy rates Sachin very highly. This is clear by his comments on how ridiculously far ahead he is of everyone, even Don Bradman, in the race to 50 centuries. Further, Cricinfo picked him in the all time world 11, so they can't be accused of not admiring him. Andy has mocked every single one of the current English cricketers (a fact which has possibly escaped crazed Indian fans who find no time to read anything that does not have one of the following words in it: Sachin, Tendulkar, little master, India, Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, or "just wait and watch, that's all I'm saying"). GREAT PIECE ANDY!!

  • Ahsanul Kabir on December 15, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    "Current technique for picking their squad appears to involve drinking large quantities of absinthe, riding a quad bike into a wall as fast as possible, and saying the first name that comes into their heads."

    Andy, you're the best...You'll always remain the best. That's why, I always wait for your writing.

  • Nirav on December 15, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    I have new found respect for V Raju.

  • Anthony on December 15, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    I like ur humor! Nice article..i think SRT might just prove u wrong..he has stopped making those attacking shots...takes his time..he will average 50+ this series..i will give u 3-1 odds..wonna bet?

  • pj on December 15, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    wait till the end of december ,u will get the answer.every one who follow cricket knows dat sachin is the best batsmen ever . ricky ponting is far behind him, may be play 2 more years.(but his recent form shows that he should be kick out from the team) . i thing the upcoming series is better then ashes becoz austrlia is not look like the team give challlenge to the mighty england. my prediction for series( india 2-0). And tendulkar secore more then 400 runs in the series.

  • Basava on December 15, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    very nice article... during work.. it atleast relaxes u...

  • DINESH on December 15, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    Great, excellent, marvellous, fantastic article. But what you are trying to say, I do not know. You born in 1974. I do not know whether in those years Pre KG, LKG, UKG classes were there. But now everywhere it is there. Please visit such classes before writing this type of articles. I have another doubt. You write such articles in December alone or some other months too.

  • Fancrick on December 15, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    MR. Andy Zaltzman, good article, but do u think master will get excited with BMX bicycle ? I think he can buy 100 such BMX bikes and present it to you on Xmas day..

  • IRW on December 15, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    Why are people (all indians) complaining about this post? Its comedy. If it's not to your taste, go to a different website. Tendulkar is not a god, he is a man that plays cricket well and this article plays on a supposed non-existent weakness in a comical way. What's your beef with that? Your comments just embarrass your country.

    S.A. will wipe the floor with Ind. Sehwag and Harris are your only hopes. Steyn and Morkel will destroy you.

  • Anonymous on December 15, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    It is a great article, well written, and that's it! It is an easy thing to just write about others since you don't have to perform. Commenting without performing/challenging is possible. India is the No. 1 team, and that is what is important with regard to this series. Every person in any sport or in life will have some flaws when you look though a microscope. Right, as Mak says, Sachin should somehow get these stats, and I'm sure that, with the kind of player he is over the last two decades, he will set the stats right. Who knows, it might as well be the December of 2010! Good luck to Sachin and the whole Indian team for a series win.....

  • Praveen on December 15, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    You are such a genious.. i think you are having a lot of time finding these type of flaws in God of cricket's career. I know everybody jealous of sachin because of his die hard fan following.. no one can match sachin his fan following. we read this article just because u use the name of God "Sachin Tendulkar" i always cherish if some one is in such a pain to see tendulkar out there and performing year by year ... haa..... keep sharing stupid jokes... God may bless you... I know god will bless you because you are just doing "Tendulkar Jaap" sab paapon se mukti to mil hi jaayegi...

  • Gonzo on December 15, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    SA's secret tactic - drop Alviro and recall Gary Kirsten to open with Graeme. Job done.

  • Arijit on December 15, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    The God does whatevr he wishes with d Adidas Wand frm Wonderland... Wait til d end of d series & see who has d lst laugh...

  • Som on December 15, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Andy, a hilarious read beautifully embellished with compelling and insightful statistics ! As some of my countrymen have wished, I hope Sachin reads this and goes about rectifying it in style for century no.50 as he did a decade back in company of that other flawed artist Azhar against a rampaging Donald and co. Keep it coming Andy - great to have two simultaneous great rivalries going on during the festive season - your musings just make them so much more enjoyable !

  • Ben on December 15, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Ponting = Amazing Tendulkar = Overrated

  • ab on December 15, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    great stuff .... still remember your 'Shastri bowling to Shastri' as the end of cricket in your 'boredom analysis'

  • Manish on December 15, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    No one will dare sledge 10-dul-kar !! As far as your stats goes; these are just numbers and I am sure if you are so interested about Sach's numbers then be prepared to get more details when the serioes is over !!

    Lastly but not the least SA will see the power & dominence od India in cricket battle field !!

    All the best SA - You need it; please prepare green devil in the centre because there will be no room for reasoning later !!

  • Van the man on December 15, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    well done Andy, nice read no doubt, if only the SA bowlers could take a leaf out of your prolific writing ability and put it into their bowling skills, we might have a contest worth writing about!!!

  • Adithya on December 15, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    hillarious!!! keep it up!

  • JC on December 15, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Fell a sleep, too long mate..........

  • Cricfan on December 15, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Andy's heartbeats per minute will be reduced to zero by a Sachin's fan in January if the heartless unearthing of Sachin's 'December' chink in his armor is going to affect his performance in South Africa!

    Fab article as always!!

  • Richard S on December 15, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    One easy way to upset an entire continents worth of people - write an article that is anything short of hyper complimentary about that old nudger and nurdler supreme Sachin Tendulkar.

    By the way this: "Of course, Beer may even be dropped even before he plays, if Steven Smith is favoured by the selectors, whose current technique for picking their squad appears to involve drinking large quantities of absinthe, riding a quad bike into a wall as fast as possible, and saying the first name that comes into their heads. They have clearly read and learnt from 1980s England supremo Peter May’s influential academic paper, How To Utilise Selectorial Whims To Minimise The Effectiveness Of A Test Match Cricket Team." is one of the funniest things I have read in ages.

  • harshal on December 15, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    very humorous and especially expected sledges from Mark Boucher are funny

  • Santhosh on December 15, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Zalty, Cool article. SA- Producing Successful English Maharoof And Sledging...

    The final touch of Aussie replacing an "X" with a "?" on their “Can these bowlers win us the Ashes?” quiz sheet.

  • Ankit Garg on December 15, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    Now this is what is known as "Death by Statistics" and it amazes me that some people are able to find out more noise from noise.

  • Amit Khanna on December 15, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    very cute article.. take on SAFrican and Indian chances and analyses eagerly awaited..

    dont wait until tom :)

  • Karan on December 15, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    Brilliant?!!!!

    Christmas presents was hilarious ........LOL

  • Surya on December 15, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Andy,

    Never knew you had such a horible taste of humour. Go get a life dude!!!!! Of all the things you doing mathematic was the biggest joke. I seriously feel you jus need to revise your Averages Chaper of Class 10th again. Please do it and you will see some stunning facts about Tendulkar's Christmas :D

  • Khalid on December 15, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    extremely funny!

  • dev on December 15, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    hilarious! takes some talent to make statistics so amusing!

  • Akash on December 15, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    hey andy r u being paid for being a joke.....

  • Anil on December 15, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Oh! Andy!!! You are such a m0r0n. But thank you anyway for your instigation is the funeral of both your critic life and South African bowlers. Hopefully he would take it that way. Ask Mr.Caddick who seems to have f@rted in 2003 WC about how Sachin despises bouncer and surprise surprise... he was made to look like Guffrey Boycutt mother. I must appreciate the hard work that you had done for all eternity like known english press does to show sachin in poor light. But you know what.....form is temporary and class is permanent. I hope you kiss goodbye to your stupid articles and make joke of only your heroes of Oz and Eng...

  • SK on December 15, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    I can well imagine the headlines. "Tendulkar statistically undone by confectionery store" or even "Tendulkar Christmas candy for SAFs" and even "Tendulkar Christmas Turkey".

    Disclaimer: Before anyone gets hot under the collar at this blasphemy, I'm an avid Tendulkar fan.

  • mogan on December 15, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Cricinfo Website has always been pro-English and pro-South Africa and Anti-India. They don't like india succeed and that is why they these articles come up to build pressure on the touring team if they read it.Really a series to watch and hopefully India does clinch it the so called Final frontier in SA.

  • aji george on December 15, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    i like the comment by bindu kumar. the only weakness which sachin has

  • Vinod on December 15, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    hilarious article andy ....... sachin stats are awwesome ... had good laugh

  • Vinny Croydonite on December 15, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Hillariously original. You've reinvented yourself brilliantly after your split with Paul Simon. Judging by the comments, most of my compatriots loved this as much as me. I only wish the minority who took offence will read again and see the funny side. Please give advance warning of your next instalment so that I can place some cushions next to my chair.

  • Anshul Singh on December 15, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    andy, it was an awesome read. i just hope sachin reads it and tries to amend some of the statistics. after all, he is the king of statistics(cricketing)! eagerly waiting for your next confectionery item:))

  • Vinod Pathiyal on December 15, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    nice and hilarious, Andy! thanks very much. i believe sach will read it and get inspired somehow. may be u hv pointed out an area he has never looked into. going by the history, he has been a man inspired by his severest critics. i always wish someone in the opposition team challenge him. like VVS who needs pressure to perform, sach needs some bowler to challenge him or even abuse him. but the hard fact is that once you do that, he will show you the door out of your career, all with a humble smile

  • jay on December 15, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    gr8 one. surely agree that sachin won't b knowing this, but SA knows now, they must thank u...

  • mahavir on December 15, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    gr8 10dulkar 'll bounc back in the SA REGGARDING AVERAGES. U BET

  • Sudheesh on December 15, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    Nooooooooooo, you revealed the one and only weakness that Sachin confided in me when I hung out with him last time. I TOLDD you Andy, it was off the record! Damn, I'll have to take you to court before Sachin sues my pants off!

    I think I'll sue you in SA because you know how Indian courts are. Sachin's grandkids will be playing Eleven-11 cricket by the time my case is heard.

  • Cecil on December 15, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Sachin's pic in this article itself is enough (besides reading it) to burst out your stomach through laughter

  • Karan Bhandari on December 15, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Great analysis, Andy - you may have stumbled on to the answer to every country's problem in dealing with the Tendulkar factor (we all know, of course, that he will play for another 20 years or until he gets to 100 Test centuries, whichever comes later) - simply schedule the India series around Christmas...

    Seriously, love your style!

  • Abhi on December 15, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    UNMATCHED fusion of cricket knowledge, stats and wit.

  • Anonymous on December 15, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Simply too funny! Even though I am a die hard sachin fan, couldn't help but marvel at those numbers. Just hoping for a keenly contested series with the little master breaking more records on his way to an indian series win! :D

  • Arvind on December 15, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    Mr. Andy Zaltzman, you are on hilarious guy! I also can't stop laughing after reading your description on the right. ROFL

  • unbiased_referee on December 15, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    AZ has got so deeply indulged in researching negative interpretations of "Tendulosophy" that he forgot: (i) SA bowlers will take ages to come out of nighmare they continue to have since Sachin scored 200 against them within just 50 overs earlier this year; (ii) SA have never beaten (at home) a touring Test side ranked No. 1--in fact have had a hat-trick of failures in recent past!; and (iii) this cricket season is more intriguing for the prospect of English to come no. 2 in Test rankings--if SA manage to win the home series, they might manage to hang on to their current position. Statistically, will this motivate them enough, AZ?

  • shameek on December 15, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    well.....the article really had some stats.....but keep no question in mind that these will surely improve for india after the coming series against SA. And do check the batting stats (once the series gets over) of rahul,sachin and viru who will make all the difference for india. wish u all a grt christmas and hope we will celebrate it with an indian win...........

  • Rahul Khanna on December 15, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    hahahaahahhahahahahaahhahahaahahhahaahha

  • Raju on December 15, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    The article is hilarious but look at the Sachin's picture, the funniest selection.

  • Sobhan on December 15, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    The wit in the article is experienced to be believed! Brilliantly culled out statistics that give an entirely new dimension to Tendulkar's batsmanship. Thoroughly enjoyed it...hadn't laughed so much in the last one week!!

  • Faraz on December 15, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    Great article, especially the part regarding the Australian selectors and the way they choose their spinners.

  • SachinT on December 15, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Highly amusing article, Andy. Thanks, Keep 'em coming!

  • Bindu Kumar on December 15, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    omg andy.... you have revealed probably the only weakness the genius seems to have .... we Indians hate you !

  • ash on December 15, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    You Rock dude!

  • dhanush on December 15, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    there is no doubt that this ms dhonuis devils would broke every history that are against them in south africa ans it will be under the leadership of the great man tendulkar who would like to say the world that i am the don

  • combobox on December 15, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    A truly amazing and hilarious article. Wishing for more... :)

  • Venky on December 15, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Ha i love that piece called 42% Tendulkar. Still 42% tendulkar will be tough for SA to battle him. i wish tendulkar to re-write some records there, so that next time atleast you can call him 50% tendulkar.

  • Tilak on December 15, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    Very well written Andy Zaltzman! Then this memorable picture of Tendy is quite hillarious too. Only you could compare Tendy with Mharouf. Good use of satatistics... as you highlighted.

    I have never laughed so much reading a cricket article as on this one!! One can see your humour coming through all this. Your comments on Beer and X also exude lot of fun.

    We are hoping Tendy has read this to prove your statistics wrong for once and may be the last time!! And we can celebrate Christmas in style!

  • Anoop on December 15, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Amazing Stats Andy... Despite your warning I did go to the extend of wondering how you unearthed these stats, and believe me, I can confidently say that monitoring S&P500 should be an absolute cakewalk when compared to your feat. This article was hilarious and the deduction has left many worldwide, dumbfounded, I'm sure. Last Australian summer, Peter Roebuck pointed out in his column in SMH that Sachin did not have a one day century to his name in Australia. Sachin almost immediately obliged. Perhaps he'll read your article and REALLY get over excited this Christmas. Who knows!! Santa might just drop in to the Indian team's hotel tonight and leave a giant pack under the Christmas tree... The pack will be full of runs... 300 of them... and on the outside will be a small tag which says "To Sachin".. ;)

  • murali on December 15, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    very funny and interesting article

  • Shridhar Jaju on December 15, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    Great one Andy! Haven't laughed so much since...

    ... since your last article!

  • sajjan0007 on December 15, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    go sachin go n get ur 50th century .this will be d greatest gift for all cricket fans. wish u gud luck

  • Anurag on December 15, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Andy, reading your column for the first time and you have me in splits. Not to steal your thunder, your colleague, the photographer also redeemed himself with a masterpiece.

    Mahroof should never set foot on another test pitch in SAF (even if he has retired) just to hold on to that Bradmanesque record in South Africa.

    Good to see Australia on the receiving end once in a while. Who doesn't want to see the school bully bashed up?

  • haris usmani on December 15, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    hilarious as ever. i loved the way you described Australian selection process. very thoughtful. keep it up

  • rajesh on December 15, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    Its so funny :)

  • Mathews Thomas on December 15, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    Loved it!!!! How on earth do you get all these stats!!! keep 'em coming :)

  • Mathews Thomas on December 15, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Love it!!! How on earth do you find all these stats!!!

  • Anand on December 15, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    superb piece andy, really hilarious...just hoping sachin & co. get d real christmas present they badly want - d series win in SA.

  • Sandeep on December 15, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    A midweek early morning and what a refresing and comic artikel with a morning coffee.I am sure tensulakar is saying the same.

  • Kartik on December 15, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    Tendulkar is not a Christian.

    Tendulkar is also wealthier than Santa Claus

    WG Grace was the cricketer, however, who looked like Santa Claus.

  • Vaibhav on December 15, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    Well done Mr. Andy Zaltzman!!! A pure marvel this observation of yours. I hope Sachin also reads this article and gets his Christmas preferences sorted out before the series this time around!! At least it will be a huge gift for the indian fans if he can improve his December average against South Africa.

  • Anonymous on December 15, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    He he he!!! It was hilarious!!! First one I have read from Andy, but it wont be the last (I hope)

  • Sunil on December 15, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Well Mr Andy, it seems that you are too much fluttered by statistics. God knows what was going through your mind when you penned this article. But you must remember that "MAN MAKE STATISTICS" and its not the other way round. Sachin is on a re-invention and as the whole team. All I can say is just wait and watch...

  • Srinivasan on December 15, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    Awesome, Andy....Great analysis....Amazed at your stats...If possible can you please do some analysis on Dhoni's batting...

  • saurabh on December 15, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    hillarious piece...wish Sachin could read it. As a cricket fan, could not have asked for more..day ending in down under and start of a new day's play in SA for 5 days (if both tests travel the complete distance)

  • stany on December 15, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    whoa.... Andy..!!!

    That was awesome!!

  • Vishaal on December 15, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    Hilarious. But this time, I hope he makes all my wishes true come christmas. A tendulkar century will be just fine!

  • gaurav on December 15, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    genuinely funny.

  • Kishore Deotarase on December 15, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    There is no sport in the world when it comes to the 'statistics' but this article takes the cake, so to speak! How on earth could any body compund some thing like this? Great work.

  • gurram karthik on December 15, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    One of the best and funniest articles I read on cricinfo. Wonderful!

    I hope to see more with a sense of humour like this one here frequently.

  • Former England Opener buggered about by the selectors on December 15, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    Funniest article on Cricinfo for ages. Although I think you've not dug deep enough - have you considered that due to Tendulkar's height, he may in fact be one of Santa's Little Helpers and may be moonlighting during Test Matches. Maybe the ACU needs to look more closely at his tax returns. (PAYE Santas Grotto North Pole)

  • Vijay on December 15, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    hahaha..Brilliant write up. Humorous one...loved it

  • Andy's egghead on December 15, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    Masterpiece!those stats about srt were awesome.remember an instance involving vikram rathore during the 97 tour.his form was so poor,he once walked after being stuck on the pads but the umpire was yet to give him out lbw.

  • Manan on December 15, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Loved it..excellent article..and it got better as you moved on from number crunching..ending with the crux of Tendulkar's x-mas time interests and Peter May's academic paper :D)

  • Vinay on December 15, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    LOL!!! Awesome article...Very deep insight... Sachin Tendulkar being in his worst form in December...Very nice...And well supported by stats and facts...Good One Andy!!! Could you someday also throw light on - The month in which Sachin is the worst nightmare for opposition ;-) No series shall be scheduled in that month ;-)

  • Anand Dubey on December 15, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    So whats the point? Its lies or statistics ..however, this Indian team has been disproving all hypothesis based on past statistics for quit some time. But point due underscored this will be epic battle to retain the top spot - moreover Sachin cannot be baptized enough thus the spirit of cricketing fans around globe.

  • arun on December 15, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    good article!!

  • sanjay on December 15, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    awesome :)

  • Srikkanth on December 15, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Simply pathetic...No words to comment on this article

  • Vaidy on December 15, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Hilarious! Well written Andy. However, you do raise a significant point. It appears almost unreal that the Indian triumvirate have such an abysmal record against SA in SA.

    Surely, it is time this glitch is corrected? We know such things happen - e.g., Amla's average jumped from late 30s to mid 40s in that one series against India last year (in India)!

  • aswin on December 15, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    total rubbish......... any way andy has given a cause for sachin to boost his christmas record........ beware proteas.... its gonna be a gripping contest.............

  • Mallik Rao (Singapore) on December 15, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Mr Zaltzman, I am an avid reader of your blogs. This piece here is one of your masterpieces. I am saving it to read it again and again. Awesome! :)

  • vj on December 15, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    excellent piece... great work man... loved the one "has left early pace-setter Don Bradman spluttering in the dust, seemingly unable to respond, and still leads the fast-closing Harbhajan Singh by 47 "

    however... i must point out ...SRT's average of 39.76 is the 4th highest by any touring batsman in south africa , who have played 10 or more...add to that south africans as well... he is at 13th place... not bad i would say ...

    and if we change the qualificaton to eight or more matches .. he still stands at 9th place in touring batsman.. i say well done SRT...

  • kurups on December 15, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Andy..superb. as always!!! cant wait for the two test series starting this week....and cant wait for your next one!

  • LN MIshra on December 15, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Hilarious...

  • Nick on December 15, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    Hilarious ......really funny !!

  • Karthik on December 15, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    an utterly useless article... not to andy's or cricinfo's standards by any means....

  • Rohit Sen on December 15, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Excellent article.. the content along with SRT's unique photograph is absolutely hilarious. Next article could be on Greg Chappell unique power of destroying teams he is associated with... who could have predicted (a) underarm (b) India getting knocked out by Bangladesh from WC on his watch and (c) Australia slipping from to 5 so fast! People will pay money not to have him in support team / administration haha. Also wonder if you've ever done an article on India 80s pace sensations.. Bharat Arun, raju Kulkarni, sanjeev sharma... priceless lot!

  • Harminder on December 15, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Hilarious and fascinating at the same time. Never thought Sachin had a glaring hole in his resume come December. Sachin in his golden years has been correcting all the holes in his resume. Thanks Andy- if Sachin does gets pointed out this aspect - then god help Springboks he will cook them for dinner.

  • Vishal Pore on December 15, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    This is awesome writeup. Hilarious would be a understatement. Superb!

  • firehawk07 on December 15, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    You are a funny guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. This series will be between Steyn vs Dravid.

  • bharat on December 15, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    very funny read andy! keep the laughs coming. P.S - sympathies with your wife!

  • Shankar on December 15, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    That was brilliant! How do you manage to dredge up these statistics?

  • Gautam on December 15, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    It is wrong to insult a great cricketer like Sachin for the sake of comedy.

  • Deenesh on December 15, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Excellent stuff. lmao It truly is an exciting time for test cricket fans, the ashes at the same time with an Ind SA series, its like the ICC planned this. PLUS, theres a world cup nex year. My god, our luck is unbelievable :D

  • Manish Khanna on December 15, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    Its easy to get hits on articles Andy Zaltzman by just merely writing about Sachin! Sachin Tendulkar is bigger name than England Cricket put all together, this is even including your Old Doctor who had a stance like a two year old. Sachin Tendulkar is the best thing to happen to cricket.

  • Vissu on December 15, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    dont worry about sachin, laxman or dravid, It will be sehwag who will be the nightmare for South Africa. Just wait and see

  • fan on December 15, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    Great statistical theory this, good one and keep it coming. :)

  • Prakhar on December 15, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    Brilliant article again Andy! Keep the confectionery coming...!

  • kamaal on December 15, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Andy u genius... Even a hard-core Sachin fan (including me) cant stop laughin... Mahroof's compassion and December statistics are awesome... :)

  • ov on December 15, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    ha ha

    great stuff

    indian fanatics are going to slaughter you

    how dare you

    just dont dare start with SA & poppadom fingers & Jks sluggish batting & AB best batsman in the world etc

  • Monty on December 15, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Andy, do you know that Hindus have 330 million Gods? I will invoke curses from all of them if you do not do a good bad analysis on the SA and Indian teams likes you did for the Aussies and the Poms. Just imagine Statsguru asking you to sacrifice your daily B and E for a week to appease the angry Gods when you submit a querry....Love your articles, although my boss was not amused recently when I started laughing in the middle of a motivational speech by him.. occupational hazards that I can live with though....

  • Anand on December 15, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    hahahaha- this has just about set the tone for the Test series. Watch out for Santas in the crowd Sachin- they're just South African fans with not much intention of gifting u the BMX. Hilarious- Thank you Andy

  • Agnel Pereira on December 15, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    More statistics, less humour this time. Nevertheless hats off to you for the effort. I was looking for more on the 'Beer' effect on Ashes than the Santa gifts to Sachin. Well, averages are averages, Andy should have also analysed what the new averages look like if Sachin scores his 50th hundred at 100 at Centurion. However, knowing how good the South Africans are to exploit their own conditions, and the ageing middle order of Indian batsmanship, I think Indian bat(s)men will be made to fly around, yet get little fruit to chew on, resulting in perhaps worser averages going forward. Sehwag and Harbhajan will be exceptions for any cricketing rule, though.

  • Anil Madan on December 15, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Absolutely fab!!! Andy U rock, you are always so hilarious, wish you'd posted the comparison & reasons for either team winnig or losing, just like you did for 'The Ashes', will wait on for that!!!

    Just hope my countrymen(Indians) don't go ballistic writing useless comments about how u've mentioned Tendulkar(made him appear anything less than GOD) & atleast understand the comic side of the article!

    I would suggest them to look at the funny side of life & not be stuck up all the time. We have our politicians to do that anyway, they've made a hash of our country & we look up to true sportsmen & maybe some part of the Indian film industry(I choose not to call it 'Bollywood') are a few things in life we Indians enjoy.

    So enjoy the article for what it is :)

  • ganesh iyer on December 15, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    Have not read something this howlarious in a long time. Its made my wait for this interminably delayed flight infinitely more tolerable than the Aussies' for a bowler who is himself not baffled with his own selection.

  • A on December 15, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Very witty column. keep those coming. always good to balance your well written analytical columns and bulletins with some light banter

  • mak on December 15, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    I pray to god that Tendulkar reads this article accidentally. Your stats may be true which even Sachin wouldn't have been aware of. So once that awareness is given, you can probably revisit the stats after the end of series :) Sledging or criticizing Sachin (whether by oppenents or by writers) only make him perform a lot better. So Thank you!

  • Vishal on December 15, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    haha nice article and yeah you are right, I can't fathom to grip on the idea of how you decided to come up with these numbers but statistics do provide some interesting bit-wits to the game..But as a huge fan of the little master, I hope he continues his form of his lifetime!! This is probably the biggest understatement of the century but "The fate of Indian cricket depends on the little master and his magic wand!!"

  • franco on December 15, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    hilarious!!!!

  • Akhilesh on December 15, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Great stats makes it a fun read...It will be interesting to watch how Tendulkar performs this Christmas season

  • Animesh Agrawal on December 15, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    < ....but Christmas crosses religious boundaries these days, and you simply cannot argue with statistics. Or with the rumour that the South Africans have been leaving large, bulky presents in the Indian hotel with little tags reading “To Sachin”. >

    classic!!! nearly fell out of my chair laughing...

  • Sorren on December 15, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    I wonder if Sachin will be jealous of the wooden spoon that Ricky Ponting is getting for Xmas. Hopefully Ricky can use it to bat, it might improve his recent average.

  • MuVis on December 15, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    "They have won only one of their 12 Tests in the land that has produced so many fine English cricketers" - Awesome

    "The Sri Lankan batting leviathan Farveez Maharoof " -Brilliant

  • Akhil on December 15, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Wait till december end, you will get the answer from master himself

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Akhil on December 15, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Wait till december end, you will get the answer from master himself

  • MuVis on December 15, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    "They have won only one of their 12 Tests in the land that has produced so many fine English cricketers" - Awesome

    "The Sri Lankan batting leviathan Farveez Maharoof " -Brilliant

  • Sorren on December 15, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    I wonder if Sachin will be jealous of the wooden spoon that Ricky Ponting is getting for Xmas. Hopefully Ricky can use it to bat, it might improve his recent average.

  • Animesh Agrawal on December 15, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    < ....but Christmas crosses religious boundaries these days, and you simply cannot argue with statistics. Or with the rumour that the South Africans have been leaving large, bulky presents in the Indian hotel with little tags reading “To Sachin”. >

    classic!!! nearly fell out of my chair laughing...

  • Akhilesh on December 15, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Great stats makes it a fun read...It will be interesting to watch how Tendulkar performs this Christmas season

  • franco on December 15, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    hilarious!!!!

  • Vishal on December 15, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    haha nice article and yeah you are right, I can't fathom to grip on the idea of how you decided to come up with these numbers but statistics do provide some interesting bit-wits to the game..But as a huge fan of the little master, I hope he continues his form of his lifetime!! This is probably the biggest understatement of the century but "The fate of Indian cricket depends on the little master and his magic wand!!"

  • mak on December 15, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    I pray to god that Tendulkar reads this article accidentally. Your stats may be true which even Sachin wouldn't have been aware of. So once that awareness is given, you can probably revisit the stats after the end of series :) Sledging or criticizing Sachin (whether by oppenents or by writers) only make him perform a lot better. So Thank you!

  • A on December 15, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Very witty column. keep those coming. always good to balance your well written analytical columns and bulletins with some light banter

  • ganesh iyer on December 15, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    Have not read something this howlarious in a long time. Its made my wait for this interminably delayed flight infinitely more tolerable than the Aussies' for a bowler who is himself not baffled with his own selection.