Sehwag December 9, 2011

How much does Sehwag matter to India?

In which Andy Zaltzman swims about ecstatically in a whirlpool of numbers, wearing a Statsguru-branded bathing suit
108

Virender Sehwag has blasted his way into the cricketing history books often enough during his captivating career. He has written entire chapters about fast scoring. He has helped his country to the top of the Test rankings, and to World Cup glory. He has set new benchmarks in the illustrious athletic discipline of most-slowly-trudged singles. Now he has clattered the highest ever one-day international innings, becoming the second (a) human being and (b) stocky Indian wizard to score an ODI double-hundred. Of all great batsmen, he has arguably been the easiest to dismiss, but the hardest to contain. When in form, he makes scoring runs appear easier than any batsman of his, and possibly of any, generation. When out of form, he makes scoring runs appear easier than most batsmen do, but not for as long.

His latest assault on the great game’s numerical heritage was aided by a pitch that was not so much batsman-friendly as batsman-amorous, and by Darren Sammy shelling a catch so simple that the only explanation was that he was thoroughly enjoying watching the Delhi Demolisher bat. Sehwag had already scored 170, India were well on course for a trunkily elephantine total, and Sammy knew that his entire batting line-up boasted a total of three ODI hundreds (only one of which had been scored since 2007), and that his No. 4 batsman, Danza Hyatt, had passed 50 only once in any List A one-day match. In the circumstances, where the prospect of victory was almost as far-fetched as the stick that Neil Armstrong’s dog Mildred brought back from the moon, why not treat yourself to a ringside view of a batting genius in full flow? What better time to drop a player as annihilative as Sehwag than when he has already effectively won the match? As Aristotle himself would have said, had he been a cricket fan, “If you are going to be hammered in a cricket match, better to be hammered with a bit of history.”

Despite all this, it was another extraordinary innings by one of cricket’s most extraordinary players. In terms of averages, Sehwag has not always been a stellar ODI player. In his first 173 one-dayers, he averaged 31. India won 53% of those matches (excluding ties and no-results). Of the games Sehwag missed in that time, India won 52%. Since June 2008, however, he has averaged 50 in 57 ODIs ‒ India have won 37, and lost 17, a 68% winning percentage in games with a positive result. But in the games Sehwag has missed over this period, India have won 63%. Whether Sehwag is playing or not playing seems to make minimal difference to India’s success.

However, over the course of his ODI career, whether Sehwag succeeds or fails has had a major impact on his country’s fortunes. I have been on a stat hunt, readers. Stat hunts can be lonely voyages, during the course of which you may find yourself questioning what you are doing with your life, and wondering whether your parents would think all the years of nurturing care they gave you were worthwhile if they could see you hunched over a computer squinting at Gary Kirsten’s batting average in games South Africa lost away from home during the years 1996 to 2001. Thankfully, I have returned from this particular stat hunt clutching some numerical antlers that I think are worth mounting on the wall; antlers that might interest more people than just myself. Not quite Walter Raleigh returning from the Americas proudly waggling a potato in the air and announcing to Elizabeth I: “I reckon this would be awesome deep fried and slathered in vinegar, ma’am. Awesome.” But still, my wife found the stats mildly interesting, so here goes…

Forty-one of Sehwag’s 52 scores of 50 or more (including 14 of his 15 hundreds) have contributed to Indian wins – India have thus won 79% of the matches in which Sehwag has reached 50. They have won 86 of his other 188 ODIs – 46%. So, when Sehwag scores a fifty, India are 72% more likely to win than when he does not.

Of the 37 players who have 50 or more half-century-plus scores in ODIs, Sehwag has had the fifth-greatest impact on results with his fifties. Pakistan were 73% more likely to win when Saeed Anwar passed 50; West Indies had 89% more victories when Brian Lara did so; Andy Flower’s half-centuries gave Zimbabwe a 92% greater chance of triumph; and, leading the way – any guesses? no conferring… ‒ New Zealand’s Nathan Astle. The Kiwis won 70% of the 57 ODIs in which the Christchurch Clouter raised his bat to the crowd, but only 31% of the 166 games in which he did not. When Astle reached 50, New Zealand were 124% more likely to win.

Key batsmen in weaker teams tend to have a higher “Successful Innings Result Influence” (SIRI) – Arjuna Ranatunga, Chris Gayle, Stephen Fleming and Aravinda de Silva are also in the top ten ‒ and good batsmen in strong teams tend to score lower on this measurement, as they are more likely to have their failures counterbalanced by other team-mates succeeding. Australia have won 84% of the games in which Ricky Ponting has scored 50 or more, but have still won 64% when he has not, so his SIRI score is 31%. MS Dhoni’s is 30%, Adam Gilchrist’s 25%, Javed Miandad’s 16%, Viv Richards’ and Jacques Kallis’ both 13%. Sehwag and Saeed Anwar stand out for being batsmen in good teams whose successful innings have made victory considerably more likely.

(I understand that there will be millions, perhaps billions, of people reading this clamouring for a full breakdown of all the players concerned. I have therefore provided a full list at the bottom of this blog.) (Don’t just scroll down and spend the rest of your day memorising it, this blog is not finished yet.)

What can be read into all this? Frankly, I am not entirely sure. SIRI is a flawed statistic for a number of reasons. Fifty is a slightly arbitrary dividing line, because an ODI innings of 30 can prove decisive (Michael Bevan, one of the finest ODI batsmen, has the lowest SIRI of anyone in the list, 8.5%, but batted in the middle order and played many crucial 30s and 40s). It does not take into account the frequency of a player’s successful innings, nor the quality of opponents or importance of the match. And due to time constraints and the desire not to further strain the delicate balance in the ménage-a-trois involving me, Mrs Confectionery Stall and Statsguru, I did not take account of non-result matches or games in which the player concerned did not bat. SIRI is not likely to hotfoot it into a player’s career stats on ESPNcricinfo. Or ever be mentioned again after this Confectionery Stall post.

Nevertheless, it is I think a statistic that shows how Sehwag is a cricketer who defies conventional statistics. His career is not without its numerical flaws. His Test average is magnificent, his strike rate is otherworldly. But his Test and ODI records in England and South Africa are poor, and his career ODI average is a decent but unexceptional 35. But part of the thrill of watching him bat is that, aside from the simple majesty of his strokeplay and the ceaseless daring of his cricketing soul, an hour of Sehwag will probably decide a match.

Extras

One consolation for West Indies was that, when Denesh Ramdin and Sunil Narine added 64 for the tenth wicket, they too had achieved something that had never before been accomplished in the history of human endeavour – they had become the first team to post two half-century last-wicket partnerships in a single ODI series. Understandably the Indore crowd seemed a little less excited at this unprecedented milestone in cricketing history, but reports suggest that the celebrations in Kingston, Georgetown and Port-of-Spain are still raging, and look set to last until well beyond Christmas.

Kieron Pollard is still struggling to turn his unquestionable ball-striking talents into an ability to consistently score more than 4 in ODIs. He has played 18 ODI innings in 2011, and been out for less than 5 in eight of them. Given that, on occasion, he makes scoring 6 off one ball look as easy as pointing at a fish in an aquarium, this has be considered a statistical disappointment for the big-earning sporadically big-hitter.

Here, for all those clamouring for it, is that list of the Successful Innings Result Influence ratings of all players with 50 or more ODI half-century-plus scores. Read into it what you will. Then mulch it up and fertilise your flowerbeds with it.

1: NJ Astle (NZ), 124.3 2: A Flower (Zim), 91.9 3: BC Lara (ICC/WI), 89.5 4: Saeed Anwar (Pak), 73.8 5: V Sehwag (Asia/India), 72.4 6: A Ranatunga (SL), 70.6 7: CH Gayle (ICC/WI), 61.9 8: SP Fleming (NZ), 57.4 9: MS Atapattu (SL), 56.8 10: PA de Silva (SL) 55.3

11: GC Smith (SA), 51.5 12: SC Ganguly (Asia/India), 51.3 13: DM Jones (Aus), 50.6 14: G Kirsten (SA), 46.0 15: Younis Khan (Pak), 45.8 16: Yuvraj Singh (India), 44.7 17: SR Tendulkar (India), 41.9 18: ST Jayasuriya (SL), 41.6 19: ME Waugh (Aus), 38.4 20: R Dravid (Asia/India), 36.5

21: Mohammad Yousuf (Asia/Pak), 33.3 22: S Chanderpaul (WI), 31.9 23: RT Ponting (Aus/ICC), 31.3 24: MS Dhoni (Asia/India), 30.5 25: Saleem Malik (Pak), 26.0 26: AC Gilchrist (Aus), 25.5 27: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak), 23.7 28: HH Gibbs (SA), 22.9 29: KC Sangakkara (Asia/ICC/SL), 21.5 30: DL Haynes (WI), 20.5

31: M Azharuddin (India), 20.2 32: DPMD Jayawardene (Asia/SL), 20.0 33: MJ Clarke (Aus), 18.1 34: Javed Miandad (Pak), 15.9 35: JH Kallis (SA), 13.4 36: IVA Richards (WI), 13.1 37: MG Bevan (Aus), 8.5.

Please note that the first name I gave to the stat was the “Half-century Impact on Victory”, before I realised that this could have resulted in describing some of the greats of the modern game as HIV-positive. Which might have led to legal complications.

(For a more comprehensive method of measuring players’ impact on cricket matches, please take a look at my friend Jaideep Varma’s Impact Index, an interesting site with some interesting results (if you are a cricket fan) (if you are not a cricket fan, you are unlikely to add it to your favourites) (if you are not a cricket fan, why are you still reading this article?) (even most cricket fans probably canned it around paragraph three).

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

  • Prash Cherukuri on December 23, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    @Nishant - you mean the God who plays out 25 balls for 2 runs to reach his century? Get real, dude

  • Arun on December 14, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Andy - you are a genius. who else could have come up with - "Understandably the Indore crowd seemed a little less excited at this unprecedented milestone in cricketing history, but reports suggest that the celebrations in Kingston, Georgetown and Port-of-Spain are still raging, and look set to last until well beyond Christmas." Regarding Sehwag - my opinion is that he is a statistician's nightmare and a viewer's delight. What else can explain his excellent test record against an average ODI record.

  • perry on December 12, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    Sehwag good hitter and much needed opener all the time.

    Coming to final ODI, i felt bad for not giving man of the match award to 'Pollard', as he hitted very good sixes and turned the match overall. Indians dont know the meaning of man of the match..

  • Amit Patney on December 12, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    HI Andy....would be interesting to see how many matches Sehewag missed...if India won 3 out of 5 matches against a mediocre team without him, then statistically its 60% win rate but does that mean he is not an essential cog in the wheel?..ofcourse not...his talent does not only sparkle against the minnows .......he has time and again proved that he can take the very best attacks to the cleaners.

    I lke your humor though...nice attempt:)

  • Taimur on December 12, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Hi Andy. Letting Sehwag loose on the hapless Windies attack is like setting the cat amongst the pigeons....Only Sanath in the modern era can match his power on the day....Afridi has six of the 12 fastest one day centuries (not all at 1 or 2) but alas has not found the temprament for tests. WI had a couple (or three) of ferocious gentlemen at the top who savaged the bowlers...namely Viv, Gorden & Fredericks....India had Mushtaq Ali and the Aussies had the Don...England had Hammond who took all of 43 mins to post his third 100 of the triple he scored. Honorable mention: Glen Turner & Majid Khan had centurians before lunch & other such feats. There must be many others..so... Here's to those magnificent men with their flying machines at the top of the order! May they continue to shock, salute & stun the game with their relentless rapidity with which they exhibit their repertoire of attacking strokes.

  • Vivek on December 11, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Like SIRI, we could have another stat - Successful Innings Negative Result Influence - SINRI, where the team loses with the player scoring a century. And I'm betting SRT would be topping that :D

  • Syed Faiz Ahmed on December 10, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    To my utter surprise Indian media is portraying Sehwag as Chela and Tedulkar as Ustad. Sehwag is master of his own.There is no doubt about the greatness of Sachin, but we have seen Veeru on numerous occasions that he has single handedly carried India towards victory, he has many classy innings under his belt. When he gets going any target in the world is achievable for team India. He is the only batsman in our team who sends shivers in the spine of opponents. They feel when Sehwag gets out, half the battle is won.

  • DJ on December 10, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    Well, Sehwag is not the second human being to get a double hundred in an ODI. Belinda Clark in a women's world cup ODI in Mumbai made a double hundred: 229 so Sehwag is the third human being.

  • Zone on December 10, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    Records are made to be broken! So SIRI too.

  • santosh on December 10, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    Its nice topic to read,still i am having confuse what the sehwag best for india

  • Prash Cherukuri on December 23, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    @Nishant - you mean the God who plays out 25 balls for 2 runs to reach his century? Get real, dude

  • Arun on December 14, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Andy - you are a genius. who else could have come up with - "Understandably the Indore crowd seemed a little less excited at this unprecedented milestone in cricketing history, but reports suggest that the celebrations in Kingston, Georgetown and Port-of-Spain are still raging, and look set to last until well beyond Christmas." Regarding Sehwag - my opinion is that he is a statistician's nightmare and a viewer's delight. What else can explain his excellent test record against an average ODI record.

  • perry on December 12, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    Sehwag good hitter and much needed opener all the time.

    Coming to final ODI, i felt bad for not giving man of the match award to 'Pollard', as he hitted very good sixes and turned the match overall. Indians dont know the meaning of man of the match..

  • Amit Patney on December 12, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    HI Andy....would be interesting to see how many matches Sehewag missed...if India won 3 out of 5 matches against a mediocre team without him, then statistically its 60% win rate but does that mean he is not an essential cog in the wheel?..ofcourse not...his talent does not only sparkle against the minnows .......he has time and again proved that he can take the very best attacks to the cleaners.

    I lke your humor though...nice attempt:)

  • Taimur on December 12, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Hi Andy. Letting Sehwag loose on the hapless Windies attack is like setting the cat amongst the pigeons....Only Sanath in the modern era can match his power on the day....Afridi has six of the 12 fastest one day centuries (not all at 1 or 2) but alas has not found the temprament for tests. WI had a couple (or three) of ferocious gentlemen at the top who savaged the bowlers...namely Viv, Gorden & Fredericks....India had Mushtaq Ali and the Aussies had the Don...England had Hammond who took all of 43 mins to post his third 100 of the triple he scored. Honorable mention: Glen Turner & Majid Khan had centurians before lunch & other such feats. There must be many others..so... Here's to those magnificent men with their flying machines at the top of the order! May they continue to shock, salute & stun the game with their relentless rapidity with which they exhibit their repertoire of attacking strokes.

  • Vivek on December 11, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Like SIRI, we could have another stat - Successful Innings Negative Result Influence - SINRI, where the team loses with the player scoring a century. And I'm betting SRT would be topping that :D

  • Syed Faiz Ahmed on December 10, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    To my utter surprise Indian media is portraying Sehwag as Chela and Tedulkar as Ustad. Sehwag is master of his own.There is no doubt about the greatness of Sachin, but we have seen Veeru on numerous occasions that he has single handedly carried India towards victory, he has many classy innings under his belt. When he gets going any target in the world is achievable for team India. He is the only batsman in our team who sends shivers in the spine of opponents. They feel when Sehwag gets out, half the battle is won.

  • DJ on December 10, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    Well, Sehwag is not the second human being to get a double hundred in an ODI. Belinda Clark in a women's world cup ODI in Mumbai made a double hundred: 229 so Sehwag is the third human being.

  • Zone on December 10, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    Records are made to be broken! So SIRI too.

  • santosh on December 10, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    Its nice topic to read,still i am having confuse what the sehwag best for india

  • Vivek Waghmare on December 10, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    really wonderfully penned article. S.I.R.I. is an interesting stat for the stat lovers. here is an INDIAN list from the compilation: V Sehwag (Asia/India), 72.4 SC Ganguly (Asia/India), 51.3 Yuvraj Singh (India), 44.7 SR Tendulkar (India), 41.9 R Dravid (Asia/India), 36.5 MS Dhoni (Asia/India), 30.5 M Azharuddin (India), 20.2

    i am glad that ganguly is second in this list.

  • Unni on December 10, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Remarkable bit of a not so useful but interesting piece of information

  • amarawargaonkar on December 10, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    "When in form, he makes scoring runs appear easier than any batsman of his, and possibly of any, generation. When out of form, he makes scoring runs appear easier than most batsmen do, but not for as long" WOW!! what a tribute great going zaltz!

  • R Vijayaraghavan on December 10, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Please stay from statistics and get back to humour. Remember lies, damned lies and statistics? Your funny writing reminds of some great humorous writer but for the life of me can't remember which. Not P G Wodehouse, not Antony Jay and Jonathan Lyn. Please let us know which funnyman you most resemble. cheers and let the fun continue.

  • Jonathon on December 10, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Wow, what a great article. People are commenting on how funny this is, but I have noticed that zaltzman actually is good at stats like these and this is a great list (not a funny one, but a truly statistic worthy great list). This needs to be used in identifying some of the greats in our time. PLayers we thought would be on the top of this list (tendulkar, ponting, kallis) are not at the very top and are shown to be "overrated"

  • Subhash on December 10, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    Gerat........... VIRU is the Best.......!!!

  • Raj on December 10, 2011, 3:38 GMT

    Wonder what Afridi's SIRI score is and why he didn't show up on the list at all?

    Andy.........this is truly a seriously humorous blog !!

    Keep them coming !!

  • bcool on December 10, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    andy you are GOD (after Sachin)

  • Kiran on December 10, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    I'll researched article.... Knee jerk reaction on shewag's double ton.... "Now he has clattered the highest ever one-day international innings, becoming the second (a) human being and (b) stocky Indian wizard to score an ODI double-hundred." Australian woman has scored double ton in Women's world Cup. As per my knowledge goes both men and women are considered Human Beings. This article is like a bathroom singer trying to sing on stage Usless artilce when if it is intended for cricket fans and followers.....

  • Jackies on December 10, 2011, 3:10 GMT

    Hi Zaltman! You know, Navjyot Singh Sidhu said once: "Statistics are like miniskirts. What they reveal is suggestive. What they conceal is vital". You know!

  • James on December 10, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    ok he matters but still fell 1581 short of what's possible

  • Anonymous on December 10, 2011, 0:58 GMT

    "Of all great batsmen, he has arguably been the easiest to dismiss, but the hardest to contain." Probably the best 'description' of Virender Sehwag, ever.

  • JEP on December 10, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    Contrary to the fine article and the post from Nishant, the first human being to hit a ODI double century was Belinda Clarke who made 229 against Denmark in 1997.

  • Sunil on December 10, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    What a great .....great ....great article on Cricket wuold be rated among top 10 of all time espncricinfo for its quality, innocation, "The Confectionery Stall" by Andy Zaltzman: stats, satire, whimsy in association with Jaideep Varma’s Impact Index.

    I have not seen such an extensive, exhuastive and accurate assessment of all the stalwarts of the cricketers from all over the world. This article has real meaning to the key player's relevance to the outcome of a game for their own country .

  • Ashish Joshi on December 9, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    "Now he has clattered the highest ever one-day international innings, becoming the second (a) human being and (b) stocky Indian wizard to score an ODI double-hundred."

    Correction - Sehwag is the FIRST human being to score a one-day double hundred. One before that has been scored by the GOD!

  • Ashish Joshi on December 9, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    "Now he has clattered the highest ever one-day international innings, becoming the second (a) human being and (b) stocky Indian wizard to score an ODI double-hundred."

    Correction - Sehwag has become SECOND human being to score one-day double hundred. The first one has been scored by GOD!

  • Uday on December 9, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    Sehwag is the most thrilling batsman to watch, and lets hope he becomes the first to score a triple hundred in ODI's. The forthcoming series against Australia will see another of his kind , David Warner, in action. Sehwag v/s Warner - great theme for a big contest !!!

  • Siddharth on December 9, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    Beautiful! Do I see a SIRI for bowlers coming up next?

  • Aaron on December 9, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    I suppose the reason Matt Hayden isn't on the SIRI list is because he was part of a very strong setup, with people like Ponting and Gilchrist. I've personally often thought of Sehwag as an indian version of Hayden... one who has a flawed technique, but can thump a good bowling attack if things fall into place for him. Sehwag's purpose, as far as india is concerned, is to rattle the opposition and have them post sentries around the boundary, even for a while after he gets out. He does that job admirably in tests. As you say, an hour of Sehwag can often decide the outcome of the match.

  • Aman on December 9, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    Andy, you missed a last closing brace. Yes, that's what I focus on, the little details. :D

    Delightful read, as always. "a pitch that was not so much batsman-friendly as batsman-amorous" is just classy.

  • Deep on December 9, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    Well put stats, and a very crafted humor. Keep up the good work! :)

  • Ganesh on December 9, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Thanks Zalt for the interesting article. I just used the HIV +ve list to figure that there are 37 ODI batsmen who has scored more than fifty 50+ innings...Always a pleasure reading your articles..

  • Michael on December 9, 2011, 21:05 GMT

    I also noticed there are no England players in the list. I checked how far down the list of number of ODI 50+ scores the first England player is. The answer: Andrew Strauss at 65th most ODI 50s.

  • Ali Jaddy on December 9, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    BCCI should now insist on collecting an entertainment tax from the state cricket boards whenever and wherever Sehwag is playing. Stats are a boring way to describe his genius!

  • Bull Shit on December 9, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    Its seriously bullshit, huh, i wonder how many people will even reach middle of the stats stuff. Unnecessary Analysis.

  • Animesh on December 9, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    well A terrific job Andy............ hope u continue supportingus in this humourous fashion

  • Nishant Srivastava on December 9, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    Andy, I must say you have inhuman ability of writing such fantastic article.

    Thanks again for your old fan !

  • MSharma on December 9, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    "Contrary to this fine article, tweets in India are saying that "Virender Sehwag is the FIRST human to score a double century in ODIs!"

    The first person being God. :P

    Yes. We're crazy that way."

    This is the problem with Indians - Cricket crazy. Mr Sachin Tendulkar, is just an ordinary person with extraordinary talent in cricket. Just leave it that. Comparing him to God and all this non-sense, come on give yourself a break. He is a beef eating Brahmin from Maharashtra with excellent cricketing ability. There 1000s of Indians who have done quality social work and are yet to be recognized. IMHO, he is no where close to Bharata Ratna.

  • leonard on December 9, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    I'm not a big fan of cricket but I think you need to correct your stats since Sehwag is 3rd HUMAN BEING to score a double century in ODI.

    PS: if you are still wondering then go and check some stats on women cricket too!

  • Sri on December 9, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    What in the world is 124% chance of victory ? How can a player (Nathan Astle, NZ) scoring 50 (or any number of runs) be impacting the country's fortune more than 100% ? 124% victory ? Really ? Are you saying if Nathan scored a 50 in 100 matches, NZ would win 124 ? What kind of stat is that ? Makes me doubt the rest of it. But I do agree one thing though.. Viru is a demolition man !

  • Mohd on December 9, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Nice article.. Always been a fan of Sehwag.

  • SD on December 9, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Well written my friend Andrew Z... Strangely, I am getting a feeling reading stuff from you over the last several months... And here they are: - I bet you are partly or fully British - I bet your quantitative skills are as good as your writing skills... Those stats are mind boggling - I bet you have that dangerous combination of Jewish- British heritage... Only Jewtalians so it better, but I can't be sure - and that explains the legendary gift of gab that can only come from the Isle - I bet you are good with money as you are with your words - I bet you would support an Israeli cricket team over a Palestinian one if one existed

    Wow... So many stereotypes in that comment but you deserve them all.

  • marmaduke on December 9, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    The sad thing is it is Indians who like to point outthat Sehwag is not great because it clashes with their idea of Tendulkar being God. I think that absolute lack of understanding of sports explains why India sucks at most games. Sehwag is absolutely world class. Get that in your head. He is the Usain Bolt of cricket opening. If Gavaskar is Pele Sehwag is Maradona. And Tendulkar is probably Platini or some small fry like that. So Sehwag is indeed greater than Tendulkar in all forms of the game.

  • Simon on December 9, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    Belinda Clark was the first human being to make 200 in an ODI. 229 vs. Denmark

  • Amar on December 9, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    Andy, You are right by calling Viru the second human being. The first to reach 200 in an ODI being an Australian lady(Belinda Clark, her score was 229*) and the second to reach is God himself.

  • Anonymous on December 9, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    Andy - you are the best thing that ever happened to cricket. You know besides cricketers.

  • Sam Kapila on December 9, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    Really enjoyable article, it's really interesting to see the impact batsmen have had on a team. To see that there are no English players in that list does not surprise me at all! I would really like to see a bowling analyses along those same lines but as I am busy attempting to balance writing an essay with watching NZ batsmen try to get a test average like Chris Martin's, I do not have the time. Would much appreciate to hear what you think Mr. Zaltzman.

  • samit ghosh on December 9, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    I have often had to conjure up excuses for relaying yet not regaling my friends with cricket statistics. This great game gives the mind such wonderful freedom to get lost in numbers. For e.g what if a batsman played 100 tests, averaged 36.5, was not an allrounder and scored 3 centuries. What is the likely optimisation of his scores or value ; that he was good enough to play 100 tests? It's not pure speculation - Rameez Raza played 57 test for 2 hundreds and Chetan Chauhan had none in 40 tests. Who cares? I think many minds do- they just don't talk about it like A. Zaltzman does- wonderfuly and eloquently.

  • AR on December 9, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Thanks for this analysis. It does throw some meaningful relationship on how an individual success impacts team's success. There needs to be a reverse stats too. Individual failure versus team's failure. Say, scores of less than 10 by the batsman and the teams loss.. I think something like that would tell us how many times a batsman could have been the cause of defeat for his team. If that percentage is also high (meaning he frequently failed as well) then it kind of nullifies his successes. So the difference between success% and failure% tells us how much he is really worth. What do you think? Thanks again.

  • samit ghosh on December 9, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    I have often had to conjure up excuses for relaying yet not regaling my friends with cricket statistics. This great game gives the mind such wonderful freedom to get lost in numbers. For e.g what if a batsman played 100 tests, averaged 36.5, was not an allrounder and scored 3 centuries. What is the likely optimisation of his scores or value ; that he was good enough to play 100 tests? It's not pure speculation - Rameez Raza played 57 test for 2 hundreds and Chetan Chauhan had none in 40 tests. Who cares? I think many minds do- they just don't talk about it like A. Zaltman does- wonderfuly and eloquently.

  • Mir on December 9, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Worthless stats. I think Inzi has won more matches than anyone has for Pakistan and he is on 27. cant see Bevan in the list too. This stat would probably work a bit better for Tests as the batsman will get a chance to play his full innings.

  • Zubair on December 9, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    I am sure the games in which SRT scored a 50+ Score, India would have lost most of them... Any stats on that?

  • Nick on December 9, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Amazing article Andy , love your humour :-)

  • alex on December 9, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Sehwag is true God. Sachin is a false God. Sachin scores runs when things are easy and opposition is not interested or game going for a draw. How many games sachin won on his own in 20 years? NONE. Why people call sachin GOD? because indian media is upper class they over hype sachin usesless stats. He never played for a team's interests. Always for himself. On the other hand Sehwag plays for the fans. Sehwag is a King of entertainer. I call him Sir sehwag.

  • Amer Jyothi on December 9, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    after going through the first 10 of the list., nathan astle lara ranatunga and all were players better than their teams. I started watching cricket after 1996 WC and astle was somebody who scored bulk of their runs and NZ win were because of his runs. Even it is same in case of Lara. i remember yuvraj at one point of time when we had scored some 10 or 15 50s, all of them had coming in winning causes, it he had hit a 50 in a chase something slightly like the one by Ramdin yesterday.

    Just cant beleive 14: G Kirsten (SA), 46.0 15: Younis Khan (Pak), 45.8 16: Yuvraj Singh (India), 44.7 (chasing 326 ) 17: SR Tendulkar (India), 41.9 18: ST Jayasuriya (SL), 41.6

    the players who had great impact of victories for their team or even dhonie

  • Amit Patney on December 9, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Hello Andy...nice figures but when it comes to Sehwag numbers dont always tell the entire story...First, even if he scores less than 50 he domolishes attacks to the point that the bowlers take time to recover from the lashing which gives other batsmen an opportunity to capitalize.Second, u did not mention the number of games India played without him..... 2 out of 3 games constitutes 66.67% as well :)...does not mean Sehwag has no impact on the success of the team over the long run...finally, have you taken into account the quality of the opposition that India played against when Sehwag was not playing? Not only is he consistent but also skilled and critical to India's success....just like any opening batsmen for any team in the world in any era!!

    Nice article though.Thx!

  • Zaltzfan on December 9, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Only a Sehwag double hundred can match this article! Absolutely incredible stuff! Then again, as always.

  • Sandy on December 9, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Andy, excellent article. Very unlike you (exceptional, thorough and well researched), but Sehwag became the THIRD human being to score a ODI hundred after Belinda Clark who continues to hold the record for the highest ODI score at 229* and SRT. Of course he is the second stocky Indian wizard to do so. best regards

  • jango_mo on December 9, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    "But his Test and ODI records in England and South Africa are poor". Although his average is low, he has played crucial innings in both countries. Eg: his debut in SA where india were less than hundred 5 wickets down, and he and tendulkar scored centuries... i wonder if you will utter these same words when u talk about ponting!!! his average in india is poor to say the least, and he hasnt even played a significant innings of note in india.... so stats are skewed....

  • Suman R on December 9, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    As usual, a fun and solid read!

  • Hari N on December 9, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Well written as always! Hope WI gets back Viv Richards era again. WI is lacking batting,bowling, fielding,captaincy... When Sewag was on fire Sammy could only wave his hands in the air.

  • Hari N on December 9, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Well written as always! Hope WI gets back Viv Richards era again. WI is lacking batting,bowling, fielding,captaincy... When Sewag was on fire Sammy could only wave his hands in the air.

  • Arthur Galletly on December 9, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    I think a good measure of a player's value to a team should be the average multiplied by the strike rate. Let us call this number a player'r rating. Geoffrey Boycott and other nudgers and nurdlers would suffer in comparison to Sehwag, Gilchrist etc. It would be another great way to compare the likes of Lara, Dravid, Tendulkar, Sehwag, Kallis, Gavaskar, Border, Sangakkara, Sobers, Hobbs, Barrington, Pollock, Sutcliffe, Bradman etc. The rating most certainly would be a better indicator for T20 or 50 over cricket than either the average or the strike rate. Multiplying them together really shows the value of a batter to a team, and would be a consideration when considering how much to bid for players at auction time!

  • adee on December 9, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    and how many cricket fans will actually read the whole article and comment on it too ;) that'll be a stat worth delving into!

  • Sarma on December 9, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    Always a joy reading your posts.

    Really, "... When Astle reached 50, New Zealand were 124% more likely to win. .."

    I am not exactly a math wiz but how did the calculation turn out to be 124% I thought anything > 100 % is same at 100% ie. Kiwis "would" win.

    One of these days, when it rains and am stuck at home with no more photos to sort, I need to see the calculations involved.

  • Vin on December 9, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Andy, ever read a book called "The drunkard's walk"? Since you are a stats guy you might enjoy it. As far as SIRI,did you notice how the openers rank pretty high on the list? I wonder if you could throw some light on the batting position's impact on SIRI score since this is still a WIP (work in progress).:)

  • Jathie Kent on December 9, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Yawn!

  • Faraz Saleem on December 9, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    Excellent article Andy,

    Great read as always!!!

  • Parvez on December 9, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    Is there anything else to say about Sehwag other than, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! If I was to compare him to any greats of yester years, it would Majid J Khan...

  • Krish on December 9, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    Good analysis, Andy! I was surprised to see Sachin Tendulkar at 17. There was a time when India only won when Sachin scored.

  • Srikanth on December 9, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    Sehwag is superb,stats put boundary to ones limits,but he is limitless,he can even score 250 he is capable if he faces close to 175-180 balls again

  • ashii007 on December 9, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    The stats here prove that fact that Mr SRT may be a great player and greatest run accumulator but he is not the "match winner". Him being at #17 in the list proves the point.

  • Prash on December 9, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Hahahahaha ... hilarious! Brilliant drafting!

  • Sunil on December 9, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    What a great .....great ....great article on Cricket wuold be rated among top 10 of all time espncricinfo for its quality, innocation, "The Confectionery Stall" by Andy Zaltzman: stats, satire, whimsy in association with Jaideep Varma’s Impact Index.

    I have not seen such an extensive, exhuastive and accurate assessment of all the stalwarts of the cricketers from all over the world. This article has real meaning to the key player's relevance to the outcome of a game for their own country .

  • aman arora on December 9, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    great article!

  • Chiranjeevi on December 9, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Awesome blog, Andy! Exactly what I needed to lighten up after a long, tiring day at work. It's remarkable how you manage to come up with so many hilarious one-liners in a single post. And thank you for introducing the real Siri to all of us... ;) Quality work, Sir... Bow to thee!

  • AJ Shah on December 9, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    Andy

    Dude u r awesome, it is indeed an interesting stat with infinite possibilities of tweaks required to come up with a numerical winner for old book shelf.

    Keep up the naughty work and soon someone will reward you with a silver bullet:))

    Cheers!!

  • Nitin on December 9, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    good stuff, very insightful and a skilful use of statistics to make a point. well done! :)

  • Neeraj on December 9, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    I think Belinda Clark was the first human being to score a double ton in ODI's. Which makes Sehwag third.

  • D.Pramod on December 9, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    Technically speaking, you may be right; official cricketing terminology distinguishes between ODIs and Women ODIs. But I hope you wouldn't resort to such a defence.

    That would be punching below the belt!

  • Suyash on December 9, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    "I have been on a stat hunt, readers. Stat hunts can be lonely voyages, during the course of which you may find yourself questioning what you are doing with your life, and wondering whether your parents would think all the years of nurturing care they gave you were worthwhile if they could see you hunched over a computer squinting at Gary Kirsten’s batting average in games South Africa lost away from home during the years 1996 to 2001." AZ -> Epic.

  • D.Pramod on December 9, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Andy, I've always admired you for your ability to dig up and delightfully exploit statistical gems. How many statisticians would have come up with that bit about the entire West Indian line-up boasting of three ODI hundreds against a Sehwag double-hundred in the match? So it was surprising to find that rare statistical gaffe from you: "becoming the second (a) human being ... to score an ODI double-hundred".

    The first human being to score a double hundred in an ODI was the Australian, Belinda Clark whose 229 not out from 155 balls scored in a prehistoric cricketing era of no T20s is still the highest score in ODIs. What is even more incredible is that this 229* contained 22 4s and 0 6s! Yes that's right, zero 6s. The only List A double hundred not to contain a single six. 141 runs from 133 balls through 1s, 2s and 3s.

    Now that is one record that Sehwag, that exemplar in the illustrious athletic discipline of slowly-trudged singles, could never dream of breaking!

  • D.Pramod on December 9, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Andy, I've always admired you for your ability to dig up and delightfully exploit statistical gems. How many statisticians would have come up with that bit about the entire West Indian line-up boasting of three ODI hundreds against a Sehwag double-hundred in the match? So it was surprising to find that rare statistical gaffe from you: "becoming the second (a) human being ... to score an ODI double-hundred".

    The first human being to score a double hundred in an ODI was the Australian, Belinda Clark whose 229 not out from 155 balls scored in a prehistoric cricketing era of no T20s is still the highest score in ODIs. What is even more incredible is that this 229* contained 22 4s and 0 6s! Yes that's right, zero 6s. The only List A double hundred not to contain a single six. 141 runs from 133 balls through 1s, 2s and 3s.

    Now that is one record that Sehwag, that exemplar in the illustrious athletic discipline of slowly-trudged singles, could never dream of breaking!

  • Anil on December 9, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Wow! Andy you outstrip yourself in succulence. You go beyond every measure to show a kiwi in the top. SIRI? What were you thinking???? Today I would come out with a stat, in which match did a batsmen score 135 or 143 and blasted a good team to all parts of the ground and that too a match that was disturbed by a sand storm and played in what was once known to host the most cricket matches on its ground? Answer is only one batsman and that is Sachin. You always find a way to show an Oz or a kiwi or an englisher (err I mean SA) to show on top.

  • Carl Jacob on December 9, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Zaltz ! You're not human are you ? Thanks for the entertainment .

  • Balaji on December 9, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    "(if you are not a cricket fan, why are you still reading this article?) (even most cricket fans probably canned it around paragraph three)."

    This was real fun after reading a new kind of statistical summary .. Good one.. Time killer..

  • Mausam on December 9, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    What am I if I actually scorlled back up to check which one was paragraph three?

    Nice wordplay I must say...

  • Abhimanyu on December 9, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Absolutely Hillarious! Andy, you are a genius. Keep up the funny work.

  • Harsha on December 9, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Thats amazing analysis. Nice work. Successful Innings Result Influence is actually a good parameter to analyze a players contribution to his team. Would like to have such stats for Tests as well.

  • Govind on December 9, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Nice article !!! Interesting usage of the term "ménage-a-trois" :-)

  • NALINWIJ on December 9, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    SIRI is highest in hard hitting batsmen early in the order that leads to a huge advantage versus usual mediocre totals. Bevan"s match winners were only necessary to counterbalance when the champion side failed. Arjuna"s impact reflects a mediocre bowling side and apart from Aravinda [ till 1996] relied heavily on Arjuna chasing big totals at 6 runs per over for almost 25 overs. If Arjuna failed SL failed until 1996 When others such as Jayasuriya made their impact.

  • Kunal on December 9, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    These are intellectually funny Cricket stats.

  • I r Monkey on December 9, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Lovely, always enjoy falling into the mind of Andy Zaltzman. I find your blog statistically significant

  • Raghu on December 9, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Phew.....Thats a long article Andy...but appreciate the effort in gathering all the stats...I am sure you were a thundering success in Math classes!!

  • Bigwonder on December 9, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Good but not well balanced. While reading the article, it was hard to differentiate if the author was listing weakness or showing how Shewag mattered to India. Also, why did author choose to list "Asia/India" for some players while only "India" for certain. Was it part of Page2 humor? Wasn't funny at all. Keep trying Andy.

  • Guru on December 9, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    LMAO.... useless stats ... typical zalty .. unleashed

  • Premal on December 9, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    awesome writing .... truely ..!!! best part was HIV +ve players !!

  • Dr. Sanjeev Sharma on December 9, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    Andy, bloody marvellous! Contrary to 'your expectations', the fact that I am typing this comment, suggests that I have read beyond your expected '3rd para frontier' and have also sent the link to a couple of similar thinking cricket aficionados who all believe that the game is perhaps a bit more than the pieces of willow and leather involved!

    Again, with all due respect to our dear parents' nurturing, perhaps someone will one day have the time to study Sehwag's dot-ball history in one dayers i.e. quantity and quality and use SPSS to find any modes of variance. Just a thought.........to the more tangentially minded!........

  • Rohit Kumar on December 9, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    A very interesting article on statistics and must say, painstakingly done. It does show to a certain extent the effect of a batsman contribution on the team's victory. I personally have always felt the "Sehwag Effect" in the Indian team. Simple fact - If he clicks, we win. Let's hope we see him for at least next 3-4 years.

  • Greg McDonald on December 9, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Andy - you've got to get out more (maybe leave your antlers at home too) - come watch some festive social cricket in Harare, Zimbabwe. We are current holders of the most beers consumed at a single ODI - Zim vs South Africa (circa '93) = 80,000

    Happy Xmas, statistically you're gonna enjoy it !

  • Sivasakthivel on December 9, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Great work ...... it will be very useful for stat lovers and expecting more and more of this

  • Devesh Mangtani on December 9, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Loved it - your article really does illustrate how Sehwag defies all the statistics and conventions that breathe through Cricket. He has a permanently unique place in the history of our sport.

    All the best to you in your future statistical escapades...you also have your own unique place in cricket journalism history!

  • Graham on December 9, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Interesting (in a nerdy sort of way) - but I notice that England are completely unrepresented in your SIRI table? Is it because we're irredeemably rubbish in ODI's, or because we don't have any standout players? Or both?

  • Mohans on December 9, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    SIRI is interesting and give lot of insight into how player influences victory.The part on Pollard is very hilarious - it sets the tone for Friday evening!!!

  • Don II on December 9, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    I think you have raised a pertinent point about some 30s mattering more than some 50s. I don't know if it can be done painlessly on Statsguru, but your SIRI might be more meaningful if you considered the relative amount of runs rather than the absolute number. For example, consider the qualification of success as the case when a player makes a fourth (25%) of the innings total. Or a fifth (20%)

  • Vaibhav on December 9, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    As always you are 1 of the funniest cricket writers :) HIV+ one was simply lol :D

  • Ankur on December 9, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    If such stats were any truer, than India would not have won any game in WC 2011 barring the match against Bangladesh.....because his other 50 against SA came in losing cause.

  • Nishant on December 9, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Contrary to this fine article, tweets in India are saying that "Virender Sehwag is the FIRST human to score a double century in ODIs!"

    The first person being God. :P

    Yes. We're crazy that way.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Nishant on December 9, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Contrary to this fine article, tweets in India are saying that "Virender Sehwag is the FIRST human to score a double century in ODIs!"

    The first person being God. :P

    Yes. We're crazy that way.

  • Ankur on December 9, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    If such stats were any truer, than India would not have won any game in WC 2011 barring the match against Bangladesh.....because his other 50 against SA came in losing cause.

  • Vaibhav on December 9, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    As always you are 1 of the funniest cricket writers :) HIV+ one was simply lol :D

  • Don II on December 9, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    I think you have raised a pertinent point about some 30s mattering more than some 50s. I don't know if it can be done painlessly on Statsguru, but your SIRI might be more meaningful if you considered the relative amount of runs rather than the absolute number. For example, consider the qualification of success as the case when a player makes a fourth (25%) of the innings total. Or a fifth (20%)

  • Mohans on December 9, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    SIRI is interesting and give lot of insight into how player influences victory.The part on Pollard is very hilarious - it sets the tone for Friday evening!!!

  • Graham on December 9, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Interesting (in a nerdy sort of way) - but I notice that England are completely unrepresented in your SIRI table? Is it because we're irredeemably rubbish in ODI's, or because we don't have any standout players? Or both?

  • Devesh Mangtani on December 9, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Loved it - your article really does illustrate how Sehwag defies all the statistics and conventions that breathe through Cricket. He has a permanently unique place in the history of our sport.

    All the best to you in your future statistical escapades...you also have your own unique place in cricket journalism history!

  • Sivasakthivel on December 9, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Great work ...... it will be very useful for stat lovers and expecting more and more of this

  • Greg McDonald on December 9, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Andy - you've got to get out more (maybe leave your antlers at home too) - come watch some festive social cricket in Harare, Zimbabwe. We are current holders of the most beers consumed at a single ODI - Zim vs South Africa (circa '93) = 80,000

    Happy Xmas, statistically you're gonna enjoy it !

  • Rohit Kumar on December 9, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    A very interesting article on statistics and must say, painstakingly done. It does show to a certain extent the effect of a batsman contribution on the team's victory. I personally have always felt the "Sehwag Effect" in the Indian team. Simple fact - If he clicks, we win. Let's hope we see him for at least next 3-4 years.