May 7, 2012

ODI batting: location summary, country details and key matches

An analysis of ODI batting performances by opposition, host country and major tournaments
140

Sachin Tendulkar has displayed outstanding consistency across his long career © AFP

Normally I do analysis-centric articles which take on and expound a theme. Once in a while I do different types of articles in which I go deep in one area of the game and provide data tables around it. This is one such article. However I can assure the readers that once the reader understands what is being covered, he will download the tables and keep the same for permanent reference. This has been a tough exercise on presentation and I must thank Milind for his invaluable suggestions.

This information is certainly available through StatsGuru of Cricinfo. However, what will not be available are the composite multidimensional tables which are provided here. You would have to put in multiple queries and saving the tables in an accessible format is another problem.

In order to avoid the usual questions and comments which relate to specific players, let me emphasize how these series of articles would be structured. I would cover the top/selected 10-12 players in a graph to visually present the variations. Then I would present data tables, in the body of the articles, which would normally cover the top 25 players or so. However the most important of the tables are the ones which have been uploaded and are available for downloading for permanent storage and perusal. Normally these cover the complete collection of players, say 150, who meet the cut-off criteria. So, before coming out with comments that "Miandad or Nick Knight or Amarnath are not mentioned", please download the tables and check. Superficial reading of the articles is not enough.

Over the next month or or two, I will be doing the following four tables. These may all not follow in sequence. I may intersperse other pending analysis in between.

1. ODI Batting analysis - summary by location and details by country played against and key tournament matches.
2. ODI Bowling analysis - summary by location and details by country played against and key tournament matches.
3. Test Batting analysis - summary by location and details by country played against.
4. Test Bowling analysis - summary by location and details by country played against.

The vs Country grouping is as explained below. I have 10 countries/groups: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh & Zimbabwe combined and finally "all other teams". A fair grouping and nothing of relevance would be left out. And the analysis is very extensive in that it is by country played against: at home, away, in neutral locations and across career.

I have defined the key tournament matches by the following criteria. I have deliberately excluded the tri-series Finals from this group. At last count there were well over 100 such tournaments and inclusion of these tournaments would dilute the whole concept. Readers might differ. However it should be noted that inclusion of the Sharjah tournaments would also mean inclusion of all CB/VB Series and all inconsequential tri-series ever played. For that matter I have set the criteria as tournaments with 6 teams and above. World Cup Super-Sixes and Super-Eights rank with the Quarter finals.

10 World Cup Finals
20 World Cup Semi-finals
8 World Cup Quarter finals
45 World Cup Super-Sixes and Super-Eights
7 ICC/Champions' Trophy Finals
12 ICC/Champions' Trophy Semi finals
3 Finals of the following three 6+ team tournaments
- Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket, 1984/85 (7 teams)
- MRF World Series (Nehru Cup), 1989/90 (6 teams)
- Australasia Cup, 1989/90 (6 teams)

Total number of key tournament matches: 105

First the graphs. I would only offer limited comments since I expect the readers to come out with their own comments. I might miss some obvious comment. Should not really matter. The ordering is different for different modes of presentation since we can get different insights. In general, the graphs are ordered by the concerned RpI values and the tables are ordered by the appropriate run values. For ODIs I am a great fan of RpI (Runs per innings) than Batting average. Granted this measure might be slightly unfair to those middle order players who end unbeaten in over 20% of the innings and have a fat Batting average. However I think that is small price to pay for having a measure which measures the real contributions. So, no Batting average in this article.

Batsmen analysis - Summary by location

Run distribution by host country
© Anantha Narayanan

This graph contains the top 10 run-scorers and five other outstanding ODI batsmen. The Green rectangles indicate RpI values over 35.0 and Red rectangles indicate RpI values below 35.0. The size of the rectangle gives an indication of the RpI value. The numbers within the rectangles indicate the number of runs scored in that classification. Tendulkar has comfortable 40+ RpI values at home and in neutral venues and falls marginally below 35.0 in away matches. Ponting, Kallis and Ganguly average above 35.0 in all three areas. Jayasuriya falls below 35.0 in all areas. Haynes is the outstanding Home performer, with a mind-blowing RpI value of 52.51. Tendulkar's RpI value at neutral venues is the highest at 43.73. Richards has a magnificent away RpI value of 47.82. It is amazing that Richards has only played 26 matches at home and not even crossed 1000 runs.

Batsmen analysis - All matches - by opposing country

Run distribution by opposition team
© Anantha Narayanan

This graph requires some explanation. These are ordered by the RpI values. The player's performance against the 10 team groups are plotted. Blue ovals indicate RpI values of over 35.0 and Red ovals indicate RpI values below 35.0. The number of innings is displayed under each country. Amla crosses 35.0 against all countries. However the number of matches is quite low. Now look at Tendulkar's graph. He has crossed 35.0 against all countries. That is some level of consistency especially considering that he has played over 30 matches against all countries, barring the non-Test teams. Kohli also has similar figures, barring against the non-Test countries.

A vertical perusal of the table indicates that Australia is the toughest country to bat against and Sri Lanka, relatively the friendliest one.

Batsmen analysis - Home matches - by opposing country

Run distribution in home ODIs by opposition team
© Anantha Narayanan

Haynes leads the table, with a RpI value of 52.51. Tendulkar's home figures are all above-par, barring, surprisingly, against Bangladesh/Zimbabwe. Real surprise is that no batsman has a 100% record of 35+ average against all countries. Possibly Tendulkar has the best overall home record.

Batsmen analysis - Away matches - by opposing country

Run distribution in away ODIs by opposition team
© Anantha Narayanan

As expected, the away RpI values graph has a smattering of red ovals scattered across. Richards has crossed 35 everywhere, but with fewer matches. Chanderpaul's graph looks very good. It can be seen that an almost completely different set of batsmen are featured here. It is not easy to average RpI of 40+ in away matches across a career. Only Richards and Hayden have achieved that. Richards' 47.83 is well above his career RpI. Tendulkar has gone below 35.0 only because of one blot in his career: an RpI of 25 in the away matches against South Africa.

Batsmen analysis - Neutral matches - by opposing country

Run distribution in neutral ODIs by opposition team
© Anantha Narayanan

In neutral locations, Tendulkar is king, with an outstanding RpI value of 43.73. Only against South Africa does he slip to 34.9. Otherwise all RpI values are above 35. No one else has achieved anywhere near this level of consistency.

Now for the tables. Most of these are self-explanatory.

 Career  KeyMats  Home  Neutral  Away 
BatsmanInnsRunsRpIInnsRunsRpIInnsRunsRpIInnsRunsRpIInnsRunsRpI
 
Tendulkar4521842640.761865636.44160697643.60146638543.73146506534.69
Ponting3651370437.5426116344.73150540636.0486320837.30129508939.45
Jayasuriya4331343031.012065632.80124388031.29162546333.72147408727.80
Inzamam3501173933.541025625.6064267441.78159513332.28127393230.96
Kallis3071149837.451679449.62131510238.9575268935.85101370836.71
Ganguly3001136337.871168462.1875311041.47127478537.6898346835.39
Dravid3181088934.241239232.6791340637.43114343930.17113404435.79
Jayawardene3511059630.181661038.12107322930.18113381033.72131355727.15
Sangakkara3061047234.221755732.7696302531.5187302134.72123442635.98
Lara2891040536.001447133.6485322537.94111396935.7693321234.54
Mohd Yousuf273972035.6049824.5066276841.94105349733.30102345633.88
Gilchrist279961934.472276434.73110396036.0062201732.53107364234.04
Azharuddin308937830.44820926.12102316331.01121341128.1985280432.99
de Silva296928431.361252944.0866240736.47133395029.7097292730.18
Saeed Anwar244882436.16954460.4440159739.92135535339.6569187327.14
Chanderpaul251877834.971559639.7384292634.8385263230.9682322239.29
Haynes237864836.48523446.8049257352.5187304234.97101303330.03
Atapattu259852932.93824730.8871255936.0496291530.3692305533.21
M Waugh236850036.01835143.88113382733.8743161437.5380305938.24
Gibbs240809433.721266855.67102355634.8658197434.0380256432.05
Sehwag239809033.841133530.4582290535.4371227031.9786291533.90
Gayle223808736.261137033.6490307234.1356207337.0277294338.22
Yuvraj Singh252805131.941030230.2083292735.2768174725.69101337733.44
J Miandad218738133.85930734.1160197632.9382283234.5476257333.86
Bevan196691235.261032532.5080284935.6145157735.0471248835.04
Younis Khan232681429.3722814.0052179634.5493229524.6887272731.34
Kirsten185679836.74615525.8363206832.8359238440.4163234637.24
Flower208678632.62614223.6757188733.1176254433.4775235431.39
Dhoni184677336.80312341.0067265939.6938123232.4279288236.48
Richards167672140.24732446.292680530.9659199533.8182392147.82

Since I have already talked about the Home/Away/Neutral performances in the graph section, I would only talk about the key tournament matches here. The bar for selection for the key tournament matches has been set quite high, and that is the way it should be. It can be safely concluded that these runs have all been scored in real tough situations. Ponting is the runaway leader in this classification, having scored 1163 runs at a very high RpI value of 44.73. This is a very impressive record and should not be swept under the carpet. Imagine, Ponting has scored nearly 10% of his career runs in tough tournament situations. No wonder that Australia won five major World tournaments during the past 20 years. Kallis follows next with an impressive 794 runs at 49.62. Although this has not resulted in many tournament successes. Gilchrist follows next, with 764 runs, albeit at a low RpI value of 34.73. Ganguly is next with an impressive tally of 684 runs at a more impressive 62.18. In fifth place is Gibbs, with 668 runs at a huge 55.67.

BatsmanInnsRunsRpIvs AUSvs ENGvs INDvs NZLvs PAKvs SAFvs SLKvs WINvs B/Zvs OTH
All matches   RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)
              
Tendulkar4521842640.7644.0 (70)39.3 (37) 42.7 (41)37.7 (67)35.1 (57)38.9 (80)40.3 (39)42.6 (44)62.2 (17)
Ponting3651370437.54 42.1 (38)36.7 (59)39.4 (50)31.6 (35)39.1 (48)36.6 (45)32.8 (45)42.3 (31)39.4 (14)
Jayasuriya4331343031.0120.6 (47)35.1 (34)34.1 (85)33.8 (45)31.9 (79)24.2 (44) 30.7 (30)34.9 (54)30.8 (15)
Inzamam3501173933.5429.1 (34)33.4 (25)37.5 (64)30.5 (42) 26.9 (36)39.1 (58)32.0 (45)39.2 (36)14.4 (10)
Kallis3071149837.4533.2 (50)27.7 (38)47.3 (32)33.0 (44)32.9 (37) 43.3 (33)41.6 (40)47.8 (18)43.1 (15)
Ganguly3001136337.8723.5 (33)37.5 (26) 34.8 (31)33.0 (50)45.3 (29)38.4 (40)42.3 (27)39.7 (46)59.3 (18)
Dravid3181088934.2425.0 (39)34.9 (29) 33.3 (31)34.5 (55)36.4 (36)39.6 (42)35.5 (38)31.8 (34)40.8 (14)
Jayawardene3511059630.1830.8 (48)38.7 (31)31.0 (71)28.9 (32)28.4 (55)21.1 (35) 34.3 (18)25.2 (45)46.4 (16)
Sangakkara3061047234.2238.8 (44)27.6 (27)36.0 (62)30.6 (30)32.9 (39)36.5 (34) 24.9 (15)36.1 (39)35.6 (16)
Lara289104053637.2 (50)29.4 (27)28.6 (40)41.1 (26)36.9 (48)32.9 (37)44.9 (25) 38.4 (30)46.5 ( 6)
Mohd Yousuf273972035.635.0 (29)32.2 (24)34.0 (42)33.6 (27) 32.8 (34)30.6 (42)32.4 (24)50.7 (38)37.8 (13)
Gilchrist279961934.47 31.1 (35)36.0 (45)30.4 (41)31.7 (24)26.8 (42)50.4 (30)30.6 (24)40.6 (25)39.5 (13)
Azharuddin308937830.4424.1 (41)39.6 (23) 28.7 (39)28.1 (59)33.6 (33)38.2 (48)23.8 (42)32.0 (21)45.0 ( 2)
de Silva296928431.3640.3 (36)30.5 (15)32.5 (55)23.0 (36)31.8 (73)22.5 (27) 17.8 (27)49.1 (22)54.8 ( 5)
Saeed Anwar244882436.1622.8 (30)44.4 (11)41.7 (48)39.4 (32) 16.6 (24)42.2 (52)33.4 (16)47.0 (21)27.3 (10)
Chanderpaul251877834.9735.3 (25)39.5 (23)32.2 (41)26.8 (26)32.9 (33)40.0 (39)34.0 (20) 35.0 (32)44.1 (12)
Haynes237864836.4835.3 (64)33.9 (35)37.7 (36)48.3 (12)36.8 (65)28.2 ( 8)34.5 (14) 55.0 ( 3) 
Atapattu259852932.9326.4 (27)27.4 (19)30.2 (52)31.3 (29)37.6 (47)34.2 (34) 26.0 (12)39.9 (34)43.8 ( 5)
M Waugh236850036.01 41.7 (20)37.5 (26)34.9 (39)24.9 (27)27.1 (41)39.4 (23)38.0 (45)56.7 (13)98.5 ( 2)
Gibbs240809433.7230.1 (44)28.9 (22)39.4 (27)35.9 (29)27.0 (22) 23.0 (27)37.0 (29)46.0 (27)38.3 (13)
Sehwag239809033.8421.7 (29)37.3 (27) 50.3 (23)35.7 (29)27.6 (18)32.3 (48)31.0 (27)38.6 (19)33.8 (19)
Gayle223808736.2628.3 (28)39.4 (24)36.8 (32)33.3 (19)31.1 (27)32.4 (27)24.7 (15) 44.7 (38)58.2 (13)
Yuvraj Singh252805131.9429.2 (33)42.4 (28) 18.7 (27)37.9 (33)29.0 (21)28.4 (49)39.1 (21)34.0 (25)31.5 (15)
Fleming269803729.8727.0 (46)32.2 (19)28.9 (38) 32.1 (34)34.6 (37)18.1 (33)34.0 (27)35.5 (26)30.6 ( 9)
S Waugh288756926.28 23.8 (28)24.8 (45)21.3 (51)25.1 (40)35.9 (44)21.6 (20)23.2 (48)43.6 (10)65.5 ( 2)
Ranatunga255745629.2326.9 (31)26.5 (17)28.5 (51)25.4 (33)29.5 (63)27.6 (16) 34.4 (22)35.2 (19)50.0 ( 3)
J Miandad218738133.8530.9 (33)36.7 (27)34.6 (34)35.1 (20) 48.3 ( 3)36.8 (31)30.2 (64)46.3 ( 6)

This table is ordered by career runs scored. The top 30 are shown. A smattering of RpI values above 45 are there. The ones where enough runs have been scored are Tendulkar vs Australia (44.0 but 70 innings), Gooch vs Australia (45.0), Richards vs England (47.1), Jones vs England (47.8), Kirsten vs India (53.0), Hayden vs India (51.8), Salman Butt vs India (47.2), Shoaib Malik vs India (47.1), Greenidge vs India (51.3), Sehwag vs New Zealand (50.3), Jones vs New Zealand (48.2), Kirsten vs Pakistan (43.9), Ganguly vs South Africa (45.3), Gilchrist vs Sri Lanka (50.4), Dhoni vs Sri Lanka (46.5), Kallis vs West Indies (42.3). Note the absence of high averages against Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa, strong bowling sides.

BatsmanInnsRunsRpIvs AUSvs ENGvs INDvs NZLvs PAKvs SAFvs SLKvs WINvs B/Zvs OTH
Home matches   RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)
              
Tendulkar160697643.652.0 (30)39.4 (16) 51.3 (16)36.0 (15)45.2 (22)39.9 (27)39.8 (17)30.3 (12)62.0 ( 5)
Ponting150540636.04 39.1 (14)28.3 (18)46.2 (19)24.4 (20)38.6 (22)31.8 (25)40.7 (19)40.7 (10)52.3 ( 3)
Kallis131510238.9536.8 (26)28.5 (19)46.5 (11)30.1 (15)40.5 (11) 42.3 (17)44.4 (18)46.1 (10)54.5 ( 4)
Jones104406939.12 56.1 (14)37.8 (10)48.7 (15)42.8 (17)39.8 ( 6)57.1 (10)18.8 (31)54.0 ( 1) 
Border163406824.96 23.0 (24)33.1 (18)20.1 (31)25.4 (23)16.0 ( 7)38.4 (11)24.1 (48)22.0 ( 1) 
Gilchrist110396036 28.1 (19)30.2 (16)31.6 (13)26.8 (12)27.9 (16)58.6 (17)28.6 ( 7)55.3 ( 7)60.0 ( 3)
Jayasuriya124388031.2916.8 (14)23.3 ( 9)40.5 (39)29.0 ( 9)29.0 (16)18.1 (11) 31.4 ( 7)38.1 (16)33.7 ( 3)
M Waugh113382733.87 36.5 (13)28.2 ( 6)21.9 (17)19.0 (15)32.5 (19)42.5 (12)45.3 (26)44.4 ( 5) 
Gibbs102355634.8629.8 (25)35.2 (12)35.3 ( 7)66.8 ( 6)17.7 ( 7) 31.9 (12)29.2 (15)49.8 (11)35.3 ( 7)
Astle84344841.0534.9 (16)45.4 (10)24.6 ( 5) 31.0 ( 9)42.7 ( 6)32.2 (14)50.8 (13)60.5 (11) 
Dravid91340637.4328.3 (16)37.2 ( 6) 38.4 ( 9)41.7 (11)31.4 (14)52.5 (11)50.9 (11)24.2 (11)41.0 ( 2)
Smith86338339.3441.6 (17)47.2 (11)26.2 ( 9)28.6 (10)37.3 ( 7) 44.0 (10)36.8 (10)45.6 (11)63.0 ( 1)
Jayawardene107322930.1831.1 (14)27.9 ( 7)31.5 (32)19.7 ( 9)29.2 (14)22.0 ( 8) 43.0 ( 7)29.7 (13)46.7 ( 3)
Lara85322537.9441.6 (15)37.9 (14)23.8 (11)44.2 (10)45.2 ( 6)33.8 (16)55.8 ( 6) 31.4 ( 7) 
S Waugh136316523.27 22.9 (15)21.0 (14)16.4 (22)24.7 (24)29.4 (19)20.8 (12)22.1 (27)56.7 ( 3) 
Azharuddin102316331.0127.4 (14)40.3 (10) 37.2 (13)17.7 ( 7)31.8 (13)30.9 (18)27.8 (19)37.6 ( 7)9.0 ( 1)
Boon97313232.29 26.2 ( 9)46.1 (14)29.6 (20)31.9 (10)26.4 ( 8)36.2 (10)26.7 (23)51.3 ( 3) 
Ganguly75311041.4727.8 (13)47.2 ( 5) 56.6 ( 7)21.8 (13)52.9 ( 7)54.5 ( 8)53.2 ( 8)46.2 (12)22.5 ( 2)
Gayle90307234.1335.2 (13)30.5 (11)40.9 (12)47.6 ( 5)32.1 ( 9)28.3 (17)31.3 ( 6) 35.9 (16)18.0 ( 1)
Sangakkara96302531.5143.8 (12)22.6 ( 7)29.1 (27)28.7 ( 6)25.0 (15)53.6 ( 7) 38.5 ( 6)18.8 (12)44.2 ( 4)
Fleming101297529.4626.8 (20)27.7 (10)28.2 (12) 35.1 (14)33.4 (10)24.3 (14)31.3 (10)31.4 (11) 
Clarke86294134.2 32.4 (12)27.2 (13)34.1 (12)55.0 ( 9)14.8 ( 6)48.6 (17)32.4 ( 7)18.1 ( 7)8.7 ( 3)

Tendulkar's RpI value is 52.0 against Australia at home. The other notable RpI values at home are Jones vs England (58.5), Kallis vs India (46.2), Tendulkar vs New Zealand (51.3), Jones vs Pakistan (42.8), Tendulkar vs South Africa (45.2), Gilchrist vs Sri Lanka (58.6), Mark Waugh vs West Indies (45.3) et al.

BatsmanInnsRunsRpIvs AUSvs ENGvs INDvs NZLvs PAKvs SAFvs SLKvs WINvs B/Zvs OTH
Away matches   RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)
              
Ponting129508939.45 41.8 (20)43.6 (25)38.3 (18)65.0 ( 3)42.1 (18)39.2 (15)24.4 (18)41.9 (11)33.0 ( 1)
Tendulkar146506534.6929.6 (25)37.6 (17) 36.2 (18)36.9 (13)25.1 (22)36.5 (28)36.3 ( 6)47.7 (14)30.7 ( 3)
Sangakkara123442635.9838.1 (28)34.6 (14)40.3 (17)30.4 (14)57.4 ( 7)28.4 (18) 16.6 ( 7)43.7 (15)26.3 ( 3)
Jayasuriya147408727.823.0 (27)41.4 (13)22.5 (25)31.4 (20)30.8 (19)20.7 (18) 42.3 ( 6)22.6 (16)55.0 ( 3)
Dravid113404435.7929.5 (13)32.4 (20) 35.4 (12)45.7 (11)46.5 (11)33.4 (22)29.7 (11)40.4 (10)36.0 ( 3)
Inzamam127393230.9627.2 (22)28.8 (13)45.9 (12)24.0 (23) 26.4 (17)27.8 (13)43.1 (13)37.6 (11)23.7 ( 3)
Richards82392147.8250.1 (38)57.4 (15)41.4 (12)66.5 ( 2)35.0 (15)     
Kallis101370836.7128.5 (21)25.9 (14)52.7 (11)32.9 (14)29.5 (11) 41.9 ( 8)46.1 (17)59.3 ( 3)42.5 ( 2)
Gilchrist107364234.04 38.0 (13)37.8 (19)34.9 (18)63.3 ( 3)29.7 (20)23.9 ( 9)30.0 (14)35.4 ( 9)31.5 ( 2)
Jayawardene131355727.1531.5 (30)46.9 (14)24.5 (17)14.8 (13)23.6 (10)22.6 (16) 27.9 ( 7)22.6 (20)25.8 ( 4)
Ganguly98346835.3924.6 ( 9)35.3 (16) 22.2 (12)35.0 ( 8)43.4 ( 9)39.0 (20)43.0 ( 6)36.4 (15)53.3 ( 3)
Mohd Yousuf102345633.8824.8 (18)29.8 (15)36.9 (14)29.3 (10) 35.7 (12)19.2 (12)22.9 ( 9)73.2 (11)83.0 ( 1)
Yuvraj Singh101337733.4429.4 (11)35.6 (14) 21.3 (11)47.5 (12)16.7 ( 9)34.9 (22)40.2 ( 9)36.2 (12)38.0 ( 1)
Chanderpaul82322239.2945.5 ( 8)45.9 ( 8)36.2 (16)29.4 (12)53.7 ( 3)42.5 (17)21.8 ( 4) 41.8 (11)43.0 ( 3)
Lara93321234.5435.3 (27)28.8 ( 9)31.9 (14)40.3 ( 9)22.9 ( 9)30.3 (13)53.4 ( 5) 46.1 ( 7) 
Dilshan95308932.5223.9 (21)5.3 ( 9)45.9 (16)26.6 ( 7)38.9 (10)40.7 ( 7) 24.2 ( 6)38.2 (16)63.0 ( 3)
M Waugh80305938.24 51.4 ( 7)44.9 ( 8)46.2 (18)33.7 ( 6)23.4 (14)35.6 ( 9)31.1 (16)80.0 ( 2) 
Atapattu92305533.2134.3 (15)34.4 ( 7)21.8 (17)34.0 (13)48.2 (11)39.4 (15) 23.8 ( 4)27.6 ( 9)23.0 ( 1)
Haynes101303330.0330.7 (51)17.4 ( 7)26.0 (13)32.6 ( 5)33.5 (20)33.3 ( 3)37.0 ( 2)   
Gayle77294338.2213.7 (10)42.5 (11)46.0 (12)31.1 (10)14.2 ( 4)32.3 ( 6)20.2 ( 6) 57.2 (13)72.2 ( 5)
de Silva97292730.1830.2 (24)20.8 ( 4)32.0 (20)23.0 (13)28.1 (15)22.5 (13) 16.0 ( 2)83.8 ( 4)48.0 ( 2)
Sehwag86291533.917.1 (12)26.1 ( 7) 49.8 (12)44.9 ( 9)15.0 ( 7)31.9 (19)36.2 ( 8)43.7 (12)

The stand-out performance is that of Richards who has an RpI value of 50.1 vs Australia in away matches. He also has 57.4 against England. Kallis averages over 50 per innings vs India. Dravid, 46.5 vs South Africa. Azharuddin has been the best visitor to Sri Lanka with an RpI of 45.3. The one who relished the West Indian attack most was Kallis with 46.1.

BatsmanInnsRunsRpIvs AUSvs ENGvs INDvs NZLvs PAKvs SAFvs SLKvs WINvs B/Zvs OTH
Neutral matches   RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)RpI (I)
              
Tendulkar146638543.7351.7 (15)46.2 ( 4) 39.6 ( 7)38.6 (39)34.9 (13)40.5 (25)42.4 (16)46.7 (18)72.9 ( 9)
Jayasuriya162546333.7218.3 ( 6)37.2 (12)36.0 (21)39.4 (16)33.3 (44)33.0 (15) 26.4 (17)41.5 (22)21.8 ( 9)
Saeed Anwar135535339.6527.5 (10)33.3 ( 3)39.9 (39)45.0 (14) 21.2 ( 9)48.4 (38)30.8 (12)51.7 ( 6)20.5 ( 4)
Inzamam159513332.2825.9 ( 9)21.2 ( 5)32.3 (40)51.5 (10) 22.1 (11)40.3 (36)26.1 (29)36.9 (13)9.2 ( 6)
Ganguly127478537.6817.4 (11)34.8 ( 5) 34.8 (12)37.5 (29)42.5 (13)26.4 (12)35.2 (13)38.2 (19)66.4 (13)
Lara111396935.7635.0 ( 8)1.2 ( 4)28.9 (15)37.6 ( 7)39.2 (33)35.6 ( 8)37.2 (14) 38.0 (16)46.5 ( 6)
de Silva133395029.765.0 ( 5)29.6 ( 9)26.7 (15)20.5 (13)35.2 (46)22.1 (11) 16.4 (22)41.5 (11)10.0 ( 1)
Jayawardene113381033.7224.0 ( 4)34.9 (10)35.2 (22)55.6 (10)29.6 (31)18.3 (11) 30.2 ( 4)24.7 (12)55.4 ( 9)
S Afridi160353922.1211.4 (14)19.5 ( 8)19.6 (37)32.5 (15) 26.3 (13)24.3 (34)17.3 (19)33.8 (12)13.9 ( 8)
Mohd Yousuf105349733.347.2 ( 8)0.0 ( 1)40.1 (16)28.6 (11) 15.9 (12)35.2 (23)38.9 (14)26.3 ( 9)34.6 (11)
Dravid114343930.1713.8 (10)47.0 ( 3) 26.1 (10)28.4 (33)32.5 (11)39.0 ( 9)28.8 (16)31.7 (13)42.3 ( 9)
Saleem Malik122341127.9633.2 ( 4)22.9 ( 8)30.8 (39)30.1 ( 9) 22.0 ( 5)31.2 (26)24.6 (24)19.0 ( 6)0.0 ( 1)
Azharuddin121341128.1926.8 (13)29.2 ( 5) 22.9 (13)31.2 (47)29.6 ( 8)38.6 (12)19.5 (15)20.2 ( 8) 
Ranatunga116331528.5829.3 ( 3)26.2 ( 9)26.0 (13)24.3 (15)27.8 (40)22.8 ( 8) 35.5 (17)34.2 (10)50.0 ( 1)
Ijaz Ahmed122328526.939.0 ( 5)30.3 ( 7)26.1 (39)26.1 (10) 36.0 ( 7)30.0 (28)28.7 (22)6.2 ( 4) 
Ponting86320837.3 54.0 ( 4)35.2 (16)31.1 (13)35.3 (12)34.0 ( 8)52.8 ( 5)32.8 ( 8)44.2 (10)36.1 (10)
Haynes87304234.9717.0 ( 3)29.8 (13)37.6 (15)6.5 ( 2)37.7 (37)29.0 ( 2)34.1 (12) 55.0 ( 3) 
Sangakkara87302134.7228.2 ( 4)17.0 ( 6)42.2 (18)32.0 (10)29.8 (17)39.4 ( 9) 13.0 ( 2)43.8 (12)34.9 ( 9)
Atapattu96291530.3615.0 ( 2)14.3 ( 9)31.3 (12)24.9 ( 9)34.7 (29)25.2 (13) 4.0 ( 4)47.3 (15)31.7 ( 3)
J Miandad82283234.5442.0 ( 4)41.1 ( 9)39.9 (13)42.7 ( 3)  31.9 (14)30.1 (36)39.3 ( 3) 
Fleming96274728.6124.5 (13)31.3 ( 6)31.9 (12) 24.7 (15)36.1 (15)11.2 (13)27.8 ( 6)45.8 ( 8)33.5 ( 8)
Kallis75268935.8535.3 ( 3)30.0 ( 5)42.3 (10)35.9 (15)29.8 (15) 46.9 ( 8)16.6 ( 5)44.4 ( 5)38.2 ( 9)

Tendulkar has an RpI value of 51.7 vs Australia in neutral locations. Saeed Anwar likes the New Zealand attack with an RpI value of 45.0. Inzamam has 51.5. Saeed Anwar also has an RpI value of 48.4 vs Sri Lanka.

To download/view the Excel sheet containing the following tables, please click/right-click here. The serious students of the game are going to have a link to this Excel file on their desktop and refer to it a few times a day.

Batsman location summary and key tournament match performances.
Batsmen run analysis vs Team - for all matches
Batsmen run analysis vs Team - for home matches
Batsmen run analysis vs Team - for away matches
Batsmen run analysis vs Team - for neutral matches
I am not going to do too much of work on the conclusions which can be drawn. This is not that type of article. Just a minimalistic set of statements.

There is a need to mention three players. I can already hear the reader or two saying "So! what's new: we know that already".

The first (amongst equals) is Tendulkar. A career which is almost the definition of consistency, not in any narrow numbers-based sense, but based on a broad definition. An RpI value exceeding 35 in almost all classifications, exceeding 40 in many classifications, no real failures (barring one: away against South Africa), tons of runs, all at an excellent strike rate. What more can one want.

The next one is Richards. Not many runs, by today's standards, but understandable. But almost all top quality runs, a very high career RpI, an away RpI which exceeds the already high career RpI, most of the runs scored away from home and all at a wonderful strike rate. An RpI value of 47+ in the key tournament matches adds to his aura.

The third one is Ponting. His overall numbers speak for themselves. Above-par performances in all locations and above-average against all countries. However what clinched this special inclusion is his tally of runs and RpI in the key tournament matches. These have contributed significantly to the team cause in winning three World Cups and two ICC Champions Trophies.

Three jewels in the crown, that is all one can say.

I can hear a few readers asking me "why not complete the batting line-up?". A valid request. So I will give you my three additional players to go with these three jewels to complete the top-6 batting line-up. Gilchrist (to open with Tendulkar), Lara (at 4/5) and Pietersen (Bevan/Hussey ???). This leaves the seventh spot for a truly great all-rounder (Shakib Al Hassan, anyone? Averages of 35+ and 28+, playing for Bangladesh).

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on June 4, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    @Alex - oops misread your post re: M Waugh. Regarding Chappell, I actually pick him because he is a great batsmen who can bowl. In the modern game in particular every bowler has an off day & you need 6 or 7 options (have NINE). I didn't pick any Husseys, & whilst I am a massive fan of both Symonds & Bevan - to rely on them to bowl out the 5th 10 over allotment would be risky. As far as Watto is concerned, he is IMO, a batting allrounder, whereas SO'D is a bowling allrounder. The bulk of my 50 overs would be taken up by #7 to #11, I don't see much value in Watto @ #7 as he is an injury risk & outside fielding the slips is a much more ave fielder than SO'D. As far as SO'D being an ave bowler, he & SWaugh pioneered the slow-ball, & he was always a lot more frontline than Watto. If M Waugh was injured, then I'd consider Watto. Regarding fielders - it's all just a matter of opinin, but I rate MWaugh the highest because he was brilliant everywhere, Ponting & Jonty < in the slips! [[ Andrew, There is something wrong at your comment sending or browser. Your current comment came 7 times, the previous one 10 times and the previous one 14 times. It causes a major problem both at my end and the blog publishing end. Pl take care. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 25, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    @Meety:

    1. I too picked M Waugh over Hayden. IMO, Ponting is the greatest ever fielder ... Rhodes was sensational but not as quite as good. I'd rate them as Ponting followed by Rhodes followed by Waugh.

    2. O'D over Watto?? O'D was just an OK bowler and not a frontline material. In the 80's, I actually liked Rackemann better than O'D. You already have Lillee, McGrath, Lee, & Warne. Symonds can bowl 10 overs. Bevan & Hussey can bowl 5 overs each, no problem, if someone gets a stick. So, why not take the explosive Watto who can bowl 5-6 overs quite well?

    3. Chappell over DJ for his bowling prowess ... now, that _is_ a sign of chronic anxiety!! As per item 2, we have a team that can easily bowl 40+10+5+5+5=65 overs, and you are still worried? Suggest an emergency appointment with your physician :)

  • Meety on May 23, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    @Alex - I would back "my" all-time Ozzy side over yours - LOL! The reason why I pick M Waugh over Hayden is that whilst it could be argued Hayden was a better ODI batsmen, M Waugh was multi-dimensional, from medium pace to off spin, could bat anywhere in the top 7, & IMO the greatest fieldsmen I have ever seen. (Rhodes & Punter are close, but none were equally good everywhere). I would back SO'D over Watto for team balance. SO'D was more of a front line ODI bowler than Watto. Watson's batting is definately better, but I picked SO'D as a low order bowling allrounder, Watto would have to come in as an opener, he has not justified his batting place anywhere else (IMO). As for Chappell v Jones - can't argue there on batting, although I think bowling options may swing things.

  • abid on May 20, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    i think Shakib Al Hasan in the All Rounder Slot Would Be a Good Choice.His Quick Batting with economic- wicket taking Bowling is always expected in a team.

  • Som on May 19, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    "Lara's 10000+ runs against Zaheer's 2000+ runs." - But Ananth, Miandad, with 8000+ runs still knocks at the door. While we have not accounted for SR, but even if we normalize them era wise or career progression wise (relative to era), would Miandad be too far off, when per my method of elimination, he survives and Lara does not.

  • Harsh Thakor on May 19, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    Ananth,

    I feel Alan Lamb has to be considered.I can't forget his exploits in the 1987 and 1983 world cup and his batting in one day Internationals in Australia in 1986-87.He was simply a master in finishes like against West Indies at Gujranwala in the 1987 Reliance Cup.Consistently he scored runs in the shorter version averaging 39 runs and scoring 4 centuries and 19 fifties.

    Graham Gooch was a master on his day as he showed in the 1987 reliance Cup.In the modern era Yuvraj Singh has been the most effective one day batsman as a match-winner.

  • Som on May 19, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Ananth - Strike rate might have a strong relationship with average. Will have to run some numbers to prove that - and might be a step function - because the runs scored are not increments of 1 only, but 2,3,4,6. And in recent years, with a huge increase in the numbers of boundaries scored, the average is bound to go up. So crediting newer players for high average and SR, might be double counting. Deriving match average based on era wise SR, and then comparing individual batting averages would be a better way to look at this problem rather than SR or averages in isolation - for the mere fact that SR can be captured in the short and long term over an innings and a career, averages are always post innings. Thoughts? [[ Lot of these work was done as part of my Sept 2011 article. Ananth: ]]

  • Som on May 19, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Ananth - I took the xls you provided and used the data from 'All Matches' and did the following: 1> Selected RPI>30 2> Sorted players against each opposition and eliminated the lower 1/3 3> Removed players who are still playing and have not reached 4000 runs (Amla, next great?)

    And this is what I got: Sorted by RPI - Zaheer, Sachin, Greenidge, Haynes and Miandad. Everyone else had one or more weakness and got eliminated. These guys have none. When selecting an ODI all time XI, without taking SR into consideration, how can we exclude any among them. If positional requirements are to be met, Sachin and Greenidge could open eliminating Haynes. And then Zaheer and Miandad follow. But strangely, there is no Richards, no Ponting. But even if we bring in Richards and Ponting(as undoubtedly and undeniably the greatest ODI batsmen we have seen, along with Sachin), I am finding hard to justify Lara ahead of Zaheer Abbas. And in those times, Zaheer had a better strike rate than Lara. Thoughts? [[ Lara's 10000+ runs against Zaheer's 2000+ runs. Ananth: ]]

  • Harsh Thakor on May 19, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    Sorry Ananth,I forgot Adam Gilchrist ,the most devastating batsman and match-winner of his era.He would join the Tendulkar and Viv Richard's class.I also forgot David Gower whose superb artistry was a major asset to England in one day games.

  • Harsh Thakor on May 19, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    My best 1.Viv Richards 2.Sachin Tendulkar 3.Javed Miandad 4.Zaheer Abbas 5.Mark Waugh 6.Gordon Greenidge 7.Desmond Haynes 8.Allan Lamb 9.Brian Lara 10.Ricky Ponting. 11.Sannath Jayasuriya 12 Michael Bevan

    Alan Lamb and Michael Bevan were masters in run -chases,Mark Waugh an exceptional talent,Jayasuriya a master in innovation.Tendulkar was not as great a match-winner as Viv,however phenomenal was his consistency.

  • Meety on June 4, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    @Alex - oops misread your post re: M Waugh. Regarding Chappell, I actually pick him because he is a great batsmen who can bowl. In the modern game in particular every bowler has an off day & you need 6 or 7 options (have NINE). I didn't pick any Husseys, & whilst I am a massive fan of both Symonds & Bevan - to rely on them to bowl out the 5th 10 over allotment would be risky. As far as Watto is concerned, he is IMO, a batting allrounder, whereas SO'D is a bowling allrounder. The bulk of my 50 overs would be taken up by #7 to #11, I don't see much value in Watto @ #7 as he is an injury risk & outside fielding the slips is a much more ave fielder than SO'D. As far as SO'D being an ave bowler, he & SWaugh pioneered the slow-ball, & he was always a lot more frontline than Watto. If M Waugh was injured, then I'd consider Watto. Regarding fielders - it's all just a matter of opinin, but I rate MWaugh the highest because he was brilliant everywhere, Ponting & Jonty < in the slips! [[ Andrew, There is something wrong at your comment sending or browser. Your current comment came 7 times, the previous one 10 times and the previous one 14 times. It causes a major problem both at my end and the blog publishing end. Pl take care. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 25, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    @Meety:

    1. I too picked M Waugh over Hayden. IMO, Ponting is the greatest ever fielder ... Rhodes was sensational but not as quite as good. I'd rate them as Ponting followed by Rhodes followed by Waugh.

    2. O'D over Watto?? O'D was just an OK bowler and not a frontline material. In the 80's, I actually liked Rackemann better than O'D. You already have Lillee, McGrath, Lee, & Warne. Symonds can bowl 10 overs. Bevan & Hussey can bowl 5 overs each, no problem, if someone gets a stick. So, why not take the explosive Watto who can bowl 5-6 overs quite well?

    3. Chappell over DJ for his bowling prowess ... now, that _is_ a sign of chronic anxiety!! As per item 2, we have a team that can easily bowl 40+10+5+5+5=65 overs, and you are still worried? Suggest an emergency appointment with your physician :)

  • Meety on May 23, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    @Alex - I would back "my" all-time Ozzy side over yours - LOL! The reason why I pick M Waugh over Hayden is that whilst it could be argued Hayden was a better ODI batsmen, M Waugh was multi-dimensional, from medium pace to off spin, could bat anywhere in the top 7, & IMO the greatest fieldsmen I have ever seen. (Rhodes & Punter are close, but none were equally good everywhere). I would back SO'D over Watto for team balance. SO'D was more of a front line ODI bowler than Watto. Watson's batting is definately better, but I picked SO'D as a low order bowling allrounder, Watto would have to come in as an opener, he has not justified his batting place anywhere else (IMO). As for Chappell v Jones - can't argue there on batting, although I think bowling options may swing things.

  • abid on May 20, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    i think Shakib Al Hasan in the All Rounder Slot Would Be a Good Choice.His Quick Batting with economic- wicket taking Bowling is always expected in a team.

  • Som on May 19, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    "Lara's 10000+ runs against Zaheer's 2000+ runs." - But Ananth, Miandad, with 8000+ runs still knocks at the door. While we have not accounted for SR, but even if we normalize them era wise or career progression wise (relative to era), would Miandad be too far off, when per my method of elimination, he survives and Lara does not.

  • Harsh Thakor on May 19, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    Ananth,

    I feel Alan Lamb has to be considered.I can't forget his exploits in the 1987 and 1983 world cup and his batting in one day Internationals in Australia in 1986-87.He was simply a master in finishes like against West Indies at Gujranwala in the 1987 Reliance Cup.Consistently he scored runs in the shorter version averaging 39 runs and scoring 4 centuries and 19 fifties.

    Graham Gooch was a master on his day as he showed in the 1987 reliance Cup.In the modern era Yuvraj Singh has been the most effective one day batsman as a match-winner.

  • Som on May 19, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Ananth - Strike rate might have a strong relationship with average. Will have to run some numbers to prove that - and might be a step function - because the runs scored are not increments of 1 only, but 2,3,4,6. And in recent years, with a huge increase in the numbers of boundaries scored, the average is bound to go up. So crediting newer players for high average and SR, might be double counting. Deriving match average based on era wise SR, and then comparing individual batting averages would be a better way to look at this problem rather than SR or averages in isolation - for the mere fact that SR can be captured in the short and long term over an innings and a career, averages are always post innings. Thoughts? [[ Lot of these work was done as part of my Sept 2011 article. Ananth: ]]

  • Som on May 19, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Ananth - I took the xls you provided and used the data from 'All Matches' and did the following: 1> Selected RPI>30 2> Sorted players against each opposition and eliminated the lower 1/3 3> Removed players who are still playing and have not reached 4000 runs (Amla, next great?)

    And this is what I got: Sorted by RPI - Zaheer, Sachin, Greenidge, Haynes and Miandad. Everyone else had one or more weakness and got eliminated. These guys have none. When selecting an ODI all time XI, without taking SR into consideration, how can we exclude any among them. If positional requirements are to be met, Sachin and Greenidge could open eliminating Haynes. And then Zaheer and Miandad follow. But strangely, there is no Richards, no Ponting. But even if we bring in Richards and Ponting(as undoubtedly and undeniably the greatest ODI batsmen we have seen, along with Sachin), I am finding hard to justify Lara ahead of Zaheer Abbas. And in those times, Zaheer had a better strike rate than Lara. Thoughts? [[ Lara's 10000+ runs against Zaheer's 2000+ runs. Ananth: ]]

  • Harsh Thakor on May 19, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    Sorry Ananth,I forgot Adam Gilchrist ,the most devastating batsman and match-winner of his era.He would join the Tendulkar and Viv Richard's class.I also forgot David Gower whose superb artistry was a major asset to England in one day games.

  • Harsh Thakor on May 19, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    My best 1.Viv Richards 2.Sachin Tendulkar 3.Javed Miandad 4.Zaheer Abbas 5.Mark Waugh 6.Gordon Greenidge 7.Desmond Haynes 8.Allan Lamb 9.Brian Lara 10.Ricky Ponting. 11.Sannath Jayasuriya 12 Michael Bevan

    Alan Lamb and Michael Bevan were masters in run -chases,Mark Waugh an exceptional talent,Jayasuriya a master in innovation.Tendulkar was not as great a match-winner as Viv,however phenomenal was his consistency.

  • Harsh Thakor on May 19, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Ananth,it was a most commendable effort.

    I would place Viv Richards at the top with his ability to destroy opposition bowling attacks and win matches in an era when much less one day cricket was played to that of modern greats.His 1979 world cup final hundred,performance in the world series cup in Australia ,particularly in 1979-80,and his 1983 and 1987 world cup performances prove this.Tendulkar could not rise up to the big occasion like Viv did who simply strode to the crease like an emperor and made the best bowlers look like cattle fodder.

    For temperament Miandad wins my vote and in a crisis was the best match-winner like in the 1986 Australasia cup final and the 1992 world cup semi final and final.Also at his best in 1986-87 in the Australian 4 nation tourney.I would always include Greenidge,a a master one day batsmen in his time. Remember Greenidge's 1979-80 final performances down under.Zaheer Abbas was to me amongst the top 5 one days stalwarts of all averaging 47.62. [[ Greenidge would be an automatic choice if he promises me that he would score at 75.0 while still maintaining his average. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on May 18, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    @ Ananth: Just wanted to add to my comment (due to space I couldnt - that Sir Viv, Kapil had higher strike rates than Srikanth). . . . But if you look at the era in which he played - 1980-1990, I feel he still was the most attacking opener . . . albeit, with a strike rate of 72. In that era, I dont find openers with the attacking game of his. Most players with higher strike rates played post 1992 world cup when that became a norm. WHen we talk about trendsetters, we talk of someone who did things which the rest didnt. Jaya/Kalu took it to different levels, but they didnt start it. All the names you presented, I dont find any opener who were his contemporaries. Why, even SRT had a strate of 85, much higher than Kalu here!! I think it is not just a myth. I dont say he was the best, but I guess as an opener he was more attacking (and incosistent may be) than his contemporaries.

  • Ranga on May 18, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Wasnt the original big swinger none other than our Kris Srikanth? Of course, Greatbatch & Lara made it at the biggest stage of ODI cricket - WC and in Oz . . . But I think in the olden days, it was his carefree approach(not that he could have done any better) was the turning point of many matches - Greats like Sir Viv and Imran (may be eumphemistically) stated that on his day he could get anyone out of the park (and his days were very few and far in between) . . . May be flatter pitches of today, he may have very well gotten his average to mid-30s (or not? May be attacking bowling those days meant he sneaked away a few boundaries as well before getting out). He did well in WSC '85 and flattered to decieve in WSC '91 (before he disappointed or came back to his true self in B&H WC 92) I am not sure if I would be pardoned for mentioning Srikanth in the same breath as Aravinda!!! But thats another story. [[ Ranga, it is a myth which has been around long. Pl see the following strike rates. Kapil Dev 95.1 Richards 90.2 Wasim Akram 88.3 Zaheer Abbas 84.8 Aravinda de Silva 81.1 Saeed Anwar 80.7 Izaz Ahmed 80.30 Ranatunga 77.9 Kalluwitharana 77.7 Saleem Malik 76.4 Steve Waugh 75.9 Alan Lamb 75.6 Twose 75.4 Azharuddin 74.0 Logie 73.9 Imran Khan 72.7 Martin Crowe 72.6 Dean Jones 72.6 Srikkanth 71.8 Granted most of these are not openers but this table is worth looking at seriously. Just for information, Dravid's s/r is 71.24 and Chanderpaul's 70.74. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on May 18, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    Yes. Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharna were the noted game changers. However the original big swingers were Mark Greatbatch and Brian Lara in the '92 WC. They consistently tore apart the opening bowling, especially Greatbatch with a lot of violence. [[ Possibly the only difference was that, with Sri Lanka , if the mauler from Matara did not get you, little Kalllu would, and as at Calcutta in 1996 WC, if both failed, the elegant assassin would. Ananth: ]] Regarding Kalu, he actually exploded a bit earlier. In the 1995 (Darrell Hair) season, in the B&H triangular series, in a MCG match between SL and WI, I saw Kalu decimate Curtly Ambrose and hit him for 24 runs in 2 overs in his first spell. Ambrose was stunned out of the attack, the only time I saw it happen, during his peak years.

  • milpand on May 16, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    When does an era change? I can recall the Ind-SL league match in WC '96 as the match where ODIs changed. Once 100+ runs were put on board in first 15 overs, losing the openers did not matter while chasing an otherwise decent 270+ score. The semifinal loss was partly a result of that early assault. India opted to bowl first despite the success in defending totals in day night matches at Eden Gardens. I prefer to group players from the same era within a combined list. Pak declared with Miandad not out on 280 in an era where scoring a triple hundred was extremely difficult. Bradman, Lara and Sehwag have scored 275+ scores thrice, a list that should have included Viv. I don't blame him for not scoring a double hundred in a 60 over ODI either. Combining averages, strike rate and a coefficient for an era will level the field when we aggregate enough innings. [[ Yes, that match was a revelation. India scored what in those days was a match-winning total of 271. Tendulkar's run-a-ball 137 was the perfect innings. Then Jayasuriya, Kallu and Gurusinha settled the issue with 141 for 4 in 23 overs and then Ranatunga and Tilekaratne had the perfect finishing stand. But India forgot that that match was at Delhi and made the monumental blunder at Calcutta a few days later. Despite going down ato 35 for 3, de Silva played what was one of the great attacking innings ever. And 251 proved to be a mountain to climb. You are right. March 2, 1996 at Delhi was a landmark day. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on May 16, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    @Ramesh Kumar. Yes, very fair points. However, the radical changes in field settings have largely come about because of the rule changes/flat tracks/short boundaries mentioned previously.

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 16, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Boll,

    It was not just rules, pitches & boundaries--it was traditional test type field setting and you need to tonk over the head of fielders which not many were prone to. It was more like modern power play and players struggle if they can't beat the fielders. Also it was 60 overs. If you have to last more overs, strike rate will go down. Richards was clearing the field and hence was more successful. I personally feel that ODIs have evolved quite a bit after mid 80s in terms of approach, attitude, risk assessment etc apart from the factors which you have mentioned. I feel that no measurement can help us compare pre & post 90 eras. Probably subjective analysis--who in the earlier era would play more shots, take aerial routes, run well etc. Even then WI players' low strike rates in that period can't be explained as they played against weak bowling teams as well. [[ In general the era-level adjustments should take care of this. There is a clear-cut difference between the eras as I had shown in my article of Oct 2011. e-g., RpO table. Period SR 1971-1984 63.9 1985-1989 67.7 1990-1994 66.9 1995-1999 71.7 2000-2003 72.6 2004-2007 75.9 2008-2011 78.5 All ODIs 72.0 Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on May 16, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    @milpand cont`d. Many of the greats of the original ODI era have SRs which would be laughable today (as I`m sure you know) - the great WI opening pair of Greenidge (SR.65), Haynes (63), both great attacking batsmen are just two examples, Javed (SR 67) another. The brilliant Greg Chappell (76), and world-class players from the next generation; Dean Jones (73), Martin Crowe (73), are others.

    I would guess that 6-10 might read (in no particular order) Symonds, Dhoni, Hussey, Pietersen, Watson? based on this measure - all wonderful players, but perhaps unfairly boosted ahead of players of (at the very least) similar calibre.

    Vivian Richards, when compared with his contemporaries (or indeed with those who have played in indisputably far easier times for ODI batsmen) has a freakish batting record...and that does not take into account his very good bowling, brilliance in the field, and instinct for the game - he was (and remains) the ultimate ODI player, before anyone else understood it.

  • Boll on May 16, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    @milpand - great work for getting us back on track. Much as I love my chess, I think we had reached critical mass with the lengthy discussions re. the Indian civil honours system etc.

    Back to the topic at hand; I think you`re right that we often view players rather subjectively on their performances against our own team, or on a couple of match-turning (winning or losing) moments which leave a lasting impression.

    Make no bones about though, Javed was a brilliant one-day player. Although Ananth`s RPIxSR (over 4000runs)is an excellent comparison for contemporaries, it does make things a little difficult for batsmen such as Javed, who played in the formative days of ODIs. Without going into detail (once again) limited overs cricket was a very different beast in the early years - rules, pitches, boundaries et al. made it a far more even contest between bat and ball. In fact, I would guess that only the incomparable Sir Viv from that era would make the Top 20 based on that standard. [[ Suppose I have a variable cut-off, based on the career years, thus not changing the base calculation methodology. Then Zaheer Abbas would qualify but not Virat Kohli. In which case, Zaheer Abbas and Dean Jones will come into the top-20/25. If I do an era based adjustment also, Greenidge and Martin Crowe might come in. One thing we should not forget. Surprsingly the modern batsmen have not only scored faster but have higher averages also. In the top-20 table of batsmen based on the RpAI (Runs per adjusted innings - excluding single digit not outs), only six from the olden era are there: Zaheer, Richards, Greenidge, Haynes, Jones and Marsh. Ananth: ]]

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 16, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    Ananth,

    One thought on RPI & strike rate factors. Both in ODIs & T20s, you have fixed no. of overs as resources. The importance of strike rate is very high in T20s when compared to ODIs as you have only 20 overs to maximise. In ODIs, you need to contribute with high RPIs as well. The ODI index equalises the importance of RPI and strike rate. As we know, for a top 4 in the batting order, a quick fire 30 can't be equated with 80s with the SR of 110 in ODIs whereas it has high relevance in T20s. While computing ODI index, is there a merit in looking at giving a tweak for higher weightage for RPI for top 4 in ODIS(60/40) and we can use the normal one for others in the batting order? [[ Ramesh One great advantage of the Odi Index as enunciated currently is its inherent simplicity, barring the slight adjustment of single-digit dismissals. If we complicate it further, it will lose its simple elegance. The other problem is that I now do the computations at the career level. That is the only way it can be done. To bring in Batting position would increase the level of complexity. Every single sub-measure will have to be done at the batting position level. Doing it at the innings level is basically wrong. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on May 15, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    Mahela, Sanath and Miandad appear in the initial summary table as leading ODI players with an RPI under 35 in all the columns. I expected such figures for Jayasuriya but not the other two. My subjective view about Miandad is favourably biased due to his key performances against India. May be subconsciously we track the performances based on a tally of weighted averages. Significantly higher weights are assigned to a few innings that leave deep impression. That final ball six by Miandad left a permanent scar. It was partially healed by Sachin's six in WC '07 but the impact can't be compared to the original blow. [[ Thanks, Milind, for a nice on-track comment. As you probably are aware of, I had created an ODI Index which is a product of the Odi Rpi (Innings excluding single-digit not outs) and Odi S/R. Lot of my analysis was done based on that. That is a wonderful figure and gives players like Jayasuriya, Afridi their due. After I complete the ODI Bowling article, I could do a summary article of both aspects using this measure for batting. The top 5 batsmen today (4000+ runs), based on this measure are de Villiers: 38.82 Richards: 36.52 Tendulkar: 35.47 Sehwag: 35.43 Gilchrist: 33.42 ... Jayasuriya is well placed with 28.49, along with Lara at 28.83. Zaheer, Kohli and Amla are higher but have not reached 4000 runs. Ananth: ]] The objective presentation of multi-layered data based on averages has reminded me about the ODI heroics of Haynes and Dean Jones. I will perhaps tell my son that cricket played in 198x was much better when he starts reminiscing about Football played in 201x. Thankfully these two data sets can't be normalised!

  • Ananth on May 15, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Only comments directly or indirectly connected to the topic of the article will be published for the rest of the life of this article. As WS has observed, this has become the most off-track article ever. Maybe I am responsible. In which case I apologize.

  • Nitin Gautam on May 15, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    anyways last from my side.

    He is just my personal choice only to undone one thing which should have been done years back by govt.

    SRT is my all time fav batsman & Anand's credentials are extra ordinary & hard to believe but even after all this, personally I would want the hockey magician to be conferred with the award.

    Anyways I agree with what u said regarding posthumously giving them. Awards are highly politically influenced & very calculated move by the awards governing body & most of the time they become a controversy.

    So even if he didnt get it at all, it wont make him any less than the player who will get it

    so cheers..that is my last post on this & thanks to Ananth for letting us discuss which is poles opposite to the topic

  • Nitin Gautam on May 15, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    @Alex I got your point but still I would say I would prefer Dhyanchand to be d 1st bharat ratns sportsman. I cant watch a full hockey match bt having read whatever(I know there is not much)I got, i fail to believe anyone else is more worthy than him. Regarding SRT's "probable" anecdotes in 2050, none would say countries checked his bat for some forcing device, or Aus offered him colonel to play for their country & he declined & also there have been quiet a few as gud as SRT during his entire career but not a single as gud as Dhyanchand. I am sure if sports would have been the category years back,dhyanchand must have got BR by now, but since it was not there he didnt got but in that case why penalise him by saying giving him would be like sending a blind man in broad daylight in search of torch. juts a hypothesis, let sport not be included in BR list for next 50 years, will current achievements of Anand & SRT would diminish & they would lose their credibility by than to be considered

  • Ranga on May 15, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Bharathi (for the rest of the folks), was a poet who wrote inspiring poetries in tamil to wake up the sleeping freedom movement. He was arrested by the ruling British and moved to Pondycherry, a french territory to continue his literary work. He ran a few newspapers which carried visions of a free India. He knew a variety of languages. At that time, he was the one who broke away from a mis-interpreted caste system, which gave rise to social discrimination. Bharthi was a well read person who had dreams of a free India.

    @Shrikanth: You should read Bharathi's works, may be learn to read Tamil for that sake. Translations do little justice to the force of views which the poet communicates. But to understand, you may have to read a lot of other scriptures to correlate. Incidentally, ideologically, Rajaji had similar view to those of Bharathi, expressed in an understated manner.

  • Ranga on May 15, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Shrikanth: May be you should learn tamil to really appreciate certain paradigms of the poet Bharathi. And may be read other scriptures whenver you find time, to understand Bharathi (borrowing the concept of this blog - to appreciate X, you need to have y). He was NOT a revolutionary, contrary to many people's beliefs . . He was a conformist - in fact a stickler to the core. He did things which AT THAT TIME was a taboo, but they were all part of ancient scriptures. Bharathi was being true to the orthodox but those who claimed to be orthodox at that time, were not following the scriptures. His concept of blowing the world is a metaphor and in fact, not a violent response as well. When you split the meaning, you would find that the meaning of that is: "IF an individual doesnt have food, the entire world has to cook and feed him" - verbatim, you may not get this meaning. The usage of "burn" is used as inspiration or generating spark (cotd...) [[ Poets often use exaggerations and hyperbole to convey effectively what they want to convey. I can point out hundreds of such usage in all languages. When I addressed the food-wasting stranger who was from across the shores, referred to in my previous examples, my looks could have killed him. That was only to communicate my loathing. Ananth: ]]

  • Vimalan on May 15, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    /I haven't read the guy as I don't know to read Tamil despite it being my mother tongue./

    this is a classic example of present day Tamils...Tamil people who don't even know one of the greatest Tamil poets of all times. [[ I can understand Shrikanth. My sons did all the schooling in Bangalore and then went to US for higher studies and are now working in Bangalore and Toronto repectively. There has been very few opportunities for them to read Tamil. They can speak a dialect of Tamil, that is all. And they did not imbibe from me the love for Tamil literature, music and films. Our daughter-in-law is from U.P. So the communication in our houes is almost always in English. It happens. Nothing can be done about it. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 15, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    @Nitin: Now that Ananth has given his OK, I can post more.

    1. I have nothing against Dhyan Chand ... it just that I lack the info to argue convincingly *for* him and don't believe many have it either. Aussies asking SRT to sign their T-shirts in '98, Warne's 100, Don's comment, Viv-Lara's testimonials, batting with 4 injections, etc. will make equally fantastic anecdotes for SRT in 2050 but, right now, I am convinced that he does not merit the BR (at least, ahead of Anand).

    2. Posthumous awards are a bad idea in general and often reek of shady motives: Gaffar Khan to appease minorities, MGR to tide over the Bofors scandal, Ambedkar to win over SC & ST, Mandela & Patel to escape the criticism over Ambedkar, Rajiv Gandhi for God knows what, and so on.

    At any rate, if it is to be a sportsman, do you need to go back 70 yrs when a most deserving Anand is on hand? That is like a putting the blinds on in broad daylight and searching for a torch.

  • shrikanthk on May 15, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    His poem, written in 1900, says "We will build steel mills, we will build paper mills, we will go to the top of Himalayas, we will build factories, we will build educational institutions, we will kill caste differences, we will destroy the world if there is no food for one person" all referring to a free India.

    I haven't read the guy as I don't know to read Tamil despite it being my mother tongue. But this seems too radical and left-wing for a conservative like me. "Destroy the world if there is no food for one person"? Not my cup of tea.

    I prefer my poetry to be more like this piece by Rajaji: Kurai ōnrum illai, Maraimūrthi kanna! kurai ōnrum illai, Kanna! kurai ōnrum illai, Gōvinda!

    Translation: No regrets have I, My lord, None.

    It is so much more comforting and wise than the revolutionary rage in that Bharati verse. [[ Only the anguish of a poet moved by the plight of the downtrodden. Not to be taken literally. I am also a revolutionary since I see red when I see people waste food, especially in weddings. I once saw an unknown (USA) Indian, sitting on a breakfast table, talking to fawning locals on either side, allowing every possible food to be served on his leaf and walking away without touching anything. I got so mad that I stopped him and told him off. He said that he was jet-lagged and not hungry. I told him to use his hands, next time, to say "No" while letting his mouth do the talking. Anyhow without revolutionaries there would have been no freedom. Topic closed. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on May 15, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Vikram

    while I agree giving award to SRT or Anand before many many other greats would be travesty but Bharat Ratna has defined set of categories & by he same logic you cant compare who is more worthy among say rajiv Gandhi, MGR, Ambdekar, mother teresa, satyajit ray & many others as they all have been conferred BR but belong to different categories of BR awards. Question here sports should be included in those category who should the 1st. how many sportsman are real contenders for this award. norman prichard won 1st individual men=da for India, KD jadhav won 1st Individual meda for India as Indian national, Dhyanchand is the real master of his field just as bradmand is, SRT moved the world, inspired generations, Anand is silent winner but almost no media coverage. @Alex just found out Gopinath Bordoloi was give BR after 49 years of his death. so that really does not matter when ur heydays were but how much u contributed & how u r known.

  • Alex on May 15, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    @Ramesh and @Ananth: Thanks. This is my last post since the discussion has moved far beyond cricket. I honestly feel Ananth should have a separate blog on social issues and we can all comment at length on it. I will read more on Bharathi but some of what he says did happen in Maharashtra by 1882 itself. Tilak & Agarkar started a school and 2 newspapers 1880-82. One of the newspapers (Kesari) had the largest circulation of *all* newspapers/weeklies in India (incl. Times of India). Agarkar, a brilliant scholar & author, pioneered social reforms and died at age 39 in 1895. Even today, many believe that he was greatest person produced by Maharashtra, a sentiment voiced by Tilak himself. [[ My Tennis elbow is killing me so that from the next article onwards I am going to have pre-determined responses using a keystroke substitution program. Ultimately these off-track topics teach us a lot. So there is nothing wrong in these. After all Cricket is something, but not everything and certainly not religion !! I cannot handle another blog and the key strokes associated with that. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on May 15, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    The relentless Shrikanthk has limitless stamina. Definitely suited for Test cricket. Quite apt that he "pulls down" One Days.

  • shrikanthk on May 15, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    Running between the wickets and fielding are two obvious examples. You can name Blands and Lloyd, but I can give you entire teams now who know what fielding means

    I don't see these as obvious examples. We had runners between the wickets like Lawry and Simpson in the past. We also had poor runners like Compton and Boycott in yesteryear. Nothing has changed. Even the present era has its fair share of excellent runners like Clarke and poor runners like Watson, both in the same team.

    Regarding fielding: Sitters were dropped in 1900. Sitters are dropped in 2012. Sitters will be dropped in 2100. No amount of fielding drills can prevent this from happening. If anything an excess of limited overs cricket may render certain fielding skills extinct in the long run. Eg: Slip catching, short leg/silly point etc.

    Anyway, let's end this discussion and move on.

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 15, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    oh God...ODI vs tests again..Shrikanthk...You will have to accept that many of us who love test cricket will like ODI and would call ODI as "Cricket". There are efforts by some in this blog to bring down the value of ODI performances(not shrikanthk). While Yuvraj can't be called better than Gavaskar purely on ODI performances, amongst the greats, if they are otherwise equal on tests performances, ODI will be looked at to differentiate or atleast to appreciate another aspect of greatness. As Ananth says, why this "Kolaveri" to win every argument or try to project what one says as gospel truth? Alex..On Bharathi...you need to go back to read more about him. He was a versatile poet. His ideas were very ahead of times.His ideas of modern women, his imaginations of free india and its pursuits(he wrote in 1900s, his works on freedom are extraordinary. He scored music notations for his poems. He died young and his works are truly inspirational. [[ Alex: His poem, written in 1900, says "We will build steel mills, we will build paper mills, we will go to the top of Himalayas, we will build factories, we will build educational institutions, we will kill caste differences, we will destroy the world if there is no food for one person" all referring to a free India. Something is lost in translation. But that always happens. And all these words were written not in a "If we get freedom, we will ....." vein but the poems started with "We will ....". He was that certain. He died in penury at the ripe old age of 39, trampled by a temple elephant. We are related to Bharathi through a tenuous five-six-link connection. You should see the film "Bharathi" in which Sayaji Shinde does a magnificant portrayal of Bharathi. But for the Tamils of my generation, the unforgettable portrayal of Bharathi was that of S.V.Subbaiah in the film "Kappalottiya Thamizhan" (the Tamilian who ran ships), a wonderful film about another great freedom fighter, V.O.Chidambaram Pillai, portrayed by that master, Sivaji Ganesan. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 15, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    BR for SRT before the numerous literary, social and other cultural greats is a travesty. Mahashweta Devi is another giant both in literary and social service circles who deserves this award. There are numerous others who can and should be considered. Similarly, Chitra Subramanian should be given a BR for being a leading light in investigative journalism. It might encourage others to get into being investigative journalists and not just loud mouths. Cricket already has enough support in India.

  • Vikram on May 15, 2012, 2:32 GMT

    @shrikathk: cricket is a contest between bat and ball. In one format, ball is given the primacy. In another format, bat is given the primacy. To me, that sounds about fair. Just as test cricket has undergone "evolution", the format has also undergone an evolution. Some evolution you accept, some you don't seem to be ready to accept. You say that test cricket hasn't changed because of ODIs. Running between the wickets and fielding are two obvious examples. You can name Blands and Lloyd, but I can give you entire teams now who know what fielding means. A lot of people cried about losing traditional values when timeless test matches were scrapped. I have read some literature which says that timed test matches are a different format altogether. And I agree. Timeless test matches have a balance between bat and ball which no other format allows. At the same time, I agree that it had to evolve. and I accept that evolution as part of cricket. This is another evolution.

  • Vikram on May 15, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    @waspsting: the grass courts and hard courts have become slower over the last couple of years, something that benefits Nadal and Djoko, but Fed didn't say that he won't come back to the court unless it is changed. No where is it said that clay courts will allow you to slide, you expect it, but it changed. The amount of protest done by those two players was over the top. I respect them, because they have provided some of the best matches ever played (against Fed esp) so I am not running them down. I agree that changing the color of the ball was easier, and just before Fench Open this change hampers preparation. However, rank 3,4,5,6,7 players played and performed well enough. Fed won, but let's not forget Berdych, Tipsarevic, Del Potro, et al. They all did well. And they all said they will be back. It could have been handled better by the two. [[ Your points are well made. I cannot say this better than Milind who has a wonderful way with words. "" Federer serves quick but he is not the quickest. He can cover a lot of court but not as much as a few others. He works on his fitness without pumping iron. This balance in his game helped him stay calm on an experimental surface. He does not take anything to extreme and hence he did not complain as aggressively as Nadal and Novak. I think he believes in having a quiet word in private with the organisers about the problems with the blue clay instead of issuing threats about future participation through media. "" To give due credit to N & D, they expressed their unhappiness before they lost: a premonition possibly. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on May 14, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    I found this article which might tell the bigger picture

    http://www.planetfieldhockey.com/PFH/Item-View-4635-64

  • Nitin Gautam on May 14, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    @Alex 1st I mentioned dhyanchand only as a contender for sportsman being conferred with the award so no point saying gandhi & tilak should be given ahead of him by the logic I would say neither Anand nor SRT & many more would get this because there will always be more worthy contenders albeint can be debatable. 2ndly you would get clips & other materials online which as u said u know how to use which would testify his worthiness. 3rdly he died in 1979 so not toooo late to give him award. many others have been give posthumously (BR ambedkar was given after 34 years). 4th anecdotes are just the testimonials which live to tell the tale which scorecard does not capture. I just wanted to tell the effect he created 5th Regarding how good he was in comparison to his peers, there are articles, sadly Indian hockey is in such shambles todat even current players are not interviews let alone old legends who could tell about him. finally he served as main coach of hockey for a long time

  • shrikanthk on May 14, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Lbw law

    I know that. I was referring to the specific change in law. There was a change in 1935 allowing batsmen to be given out even if the ball pitched outside off.

    I am not aware of the change that happened in the 60s. Google not providing a definite answer. [[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leg_before_wicket Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 14, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    @Ananth: Thanks. Apologies for this digression but I didn't know about Bharathi. A quick wiki perusal of the social work and literary aspects of Bharathi suggests a personality very similar to Savarkar, who continues to be grossly misrepresented and under-appreciated. Savarkar lived much longer though and ended his life by fasting to death in 1966. He, of course, didn't receive even a Padmashri.

  • shrikanthk on May 14, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    I brought in the Barrington-Bolus stand only to indicate the pad play which was in vogue which finally led to a major law change

    Could you let me know the exact change in law? I am not aware of it. Only aware of the change in law in 1935. [[ Lbw law. Ananth: ]] Anyway, if it did lead to a law change, it's a good thing. That's not a fault of the format. Cricket (i.e the traditional game) has always been agreeable to piecemeal reform that has enabled it to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. This game of ours is not as conservative and hidebound as people make it out to be.

    I have no idea what you are trying to convey

    The idea was to tell people that Test cricket has not changed character in a fundamental way between the 70s and today despite the enormous amount of one-day cricket played by Test cricketers. The reason why Test cricket will not change character is because the Limited over game is a very different sport and hence is unlikely to influence the traditional game massively.

  • shrikanthk on May 14, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    there was nothing worse than Test matches played in the sub-continent for 20 years during 1950s-60s

    That was because Test cricket in the 60s was played by teams which did not deserve Test status. Weak bowling sides incapable of making any breakthroughs with the new ball. For a while in the early 60s, Indian bowling was awfully weak. With no good seamers and some defensive spin bowlers (Eg: Nadkarni). One can only draw games with such attacks.

    You can talk as much as you like about Barrington and Bolus' stand. Just as I can talk about some passage of play from the recent Aus-WI series where runs were scored at 1.5 rpo over a 20 over period. Picking sessions here and there serves no purpose. [[ Shri, your tunnel vision is letting you down. I brought in the Barrington-Bolus stand only to indicate the pad play which was in vogue which finally led to a major law change. Finally I must confess, I have no idea what you are trying to convey. I have met my waterloo and accept defeat. This is going past anything sensible. Ananth: ]] We have proper aggregate data to base judgments on. Your own research has told us that RR in the 70s was around 2.6-2.7. Today, it hovers around 3 rpo. The game simply hasn't changed in a fundamental way.

  • shrikanthk on May 14, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    But your last comment about remixes during chess makes a mockery of any discussion.

    Difficult questions are often shrugged off as being "inane" or "silly".

    Modern test cricket has changes a lot of rules, ...., what tradition are you refering to?

    Those are piecemeal, incremental changes necessitated by circumstances. Not a wholesale change to an altogether new game!

    If you can't appreciate something, don't watch it or comment about it

    Never once have I denigrated ODIs in general or ODI performances. All I've talked about is the need to distinguish ODIs as a separate game and also question its legitimacy as a "format" of cricket. Also I've never made any comment out of context. Ananth will vouch for the fact that all my comments are in response specifically to a remark made by someone else with which I happen to disagree. [[ That I agree with. However I must say that you keep on waving red rags. You keep on pulling down the ODI format. It is not necessary at all. You do not appreciate that not one of us pulls down Test cricket. We all love Test cricket. Many of us also like ODI game a lot. Pl respect that view. You don't have to respond to every comment and need not always have the last word. Ananth: ]]

  • Waspsting on May 14, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    One assumes they could have improved the TV viewing by simply changing the color of the ball. Easier, cheaper, no risk of drastically altering the playing conditions.

    I'd speculate the move to blue was done more for theatrical/glamor purposes than anything else. This is the same tournament that a few years ago used models to do the job of ball 'boys'. [[ That, I agree. Tiriac is a showman-extraordinaire. Ananth: ]] Even so, its all fine if the court plays like a regular clay court. Hamburg clay was typically faster than others, and they say Monte Carlo is slightly slower. You don't hear anyone complaining about it because it fits into the general idea of what playing on clay means to players. The blue courts didn't.

    All credit to the Federer though. Not his fault, not his problem

  • Alex on May 14, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    @shrikanthk: On tests vs ODIs, I think you should read Spencer & Darwin, and accept the survival of the fittest. ODI's and tests differ more fundamentally than rapid/blindfold chess and chess. As a result, it is true that the popularity of ODIs has hurt the likes of VVS in favor of the likes of Yuvraj even though Yuvraj is not even comparable to VVS as a test batsman. But, by the same logic, somewhere on this earth there is a gorilla throwing pebbles, unable to comprehend why Shrikanthk/Ananth/Alex travel in a car and sleep in a bed while a robust animal such as himself has to make do with harsh terrains. [[ Edited slightly. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 14, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    @Nitin: I know how to look up wiki and other resources --- is there a 5-page long article that fully describes the technicalities (and *no* anecdotes) of Dhyan Chand's play and presents a detailed comparison with those of his peers? I have not seen full films of him playing and doubt how many have seen those either.

    More important, Dhyan Chand's career was pre-independence. His final serious match was 70 yrs back and he died 40+ yrs back. Even his children are probably dead now. So, what purpose will be served by giving it to him posthumously? If it is to promote hockey, there are better ways to do that. And if pre-independence careers qualify, then why not give the BR to Tilak & Gandhi first --- is there anybody better qualified than them? In that case, artist such as Tagore and Alladiya Khan should also be recognized before Dhyan Chand's turns come up. [[ Do not firget Bharathi, one of the great Indian poets and freedom fighters. Ananth: ]]

  • Waspsting on May 14, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    ODI and test cricket are obviously different, but with so much correlation between the success' of teams (the unit of competitors in cricket), it seems as if discounting the shorter format altogether is unjustified

    WI, Aus and even India (to a much lesser and briefer extent) were the best ODI sides when they were the leading test sides.

    Compare that to chess/rapid chess - where a semi-retired Karpov could win a rapid match against then World #1 Kasparov. Imagine a similar scenario across different cricket formats... its almost impossible, i think.

    re: tennis - Fed's game was less un-suited to this blue clay since he doesn't slide, unlike Nadal and Djokovic. Being the most "talented" player, he's probably better at adjusting to the unusual anyway. But Nadal and Djoko's complaints seem legitimate enough to me, not just sour grapes about losing. [[ I am not able to accept that sliding is that much a part of the game. However I agree that the courts were slightly slippery and what is probably needed is a slightly different clay composition. However there is no doubt that the television watching was fantastic. On the brown/red clay one cannot follow the path of the ball at all. Also even on the eigth day the clay held. Remember how the Roland Garos courts look after two weeks: similar to Wankhede on 5/11/2004. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 14, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    contd. have you decided which of the test matches are "true" traditional matches and which are not? A lot of people say that today's test cricket is not comparable to pre-covered pitches, pre-protection days. To me, test cricket might actually become better if every team was given a maximum of 150 overs to play each innings. That is better than the farce of 900+ runs scored by SL against India. To you, those runs matter more than the 85 scored by SRT in Semis at WC. You call it being traditional, I call it failing to see the errors in the way test cricket is structured. If you can't appreciate something, don't watch it or comment about it. I don't know present day English mucic, I won't say that it is noise. I will say that I can't appreciate it. Test cricket in India, and maybe the world, may have become a once a year event or even extinct if not for the '83 World Cup result. Respect it, because test cricket is surviving because of it. [[ Today many followers, including me, oppose the often worthless and over-long ODI bi-lateral series. But I know skills when I see and can appreciate when it is practiced. I was brought up on a dose of Test cricket. Let me say this: there was nothing worse than Test matches played in the sub-continent for 20 years during 1950s-60s. It was acceptable to go through 5 days with no possibility of a result and no attempt being made by either captain to force the issue. The period was surfiet with 0-0 draws in 5-Test series or 5-0 losses. ndia and Pakistan played out 14 consecutive draws in the 50s/60s. Nearly repeated this with 11 consecutive draws during the early 80s. If this was tradition, sorry to say, to hell with tradition. And let me tell you, in most of these Tests, both captains did not want to lose (or win). This year there have been 14 results out of 16 Tests. Lbw law was changed, ODIs introduced wins and losses as the only alternatives, teams scored quickly, fielding standards improved, teams went for targets no one would have thought of and Test cricket flourished, at least partly owing to ODI cricket. I understand the need for primacy for Test cricket. I need never be taught that maxim. I am the guy who watches a slow Test day's play at Port of Spain when it is raining sixes and fours at Chepauk. But to say that nothing else exists is like an ostrich which has gone completely under. You have mentioned many changes which have been introduced in Test cricket. What about the Lbw laws. Today there cannot be a Barrington-Bolus stand of 60-70 overs during which over 200 balls are padded away with impunity. If that stand is tradiition and that is the true Test cricket, I do not want to repeat what I have already said. We talk of tradition. Here is a guy who changes the grip in fraction of a second and sends the ball over square leg/point for 4/6 and the crowd loves it. What tradition. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 14, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    @Gerry_the_merry: one of the biggest reasons why Dravid is considered a true team player was that RD took up wicket-keeping to bring balance to the ODI team. Playing ODI has actually contributed to the glory of RD in India. VVS has always questioned why he was not included in ODI and has always wanted to be part of that team. I understand that Test is more important than ODI and hence VVS is considered better than Yuvraj is, but as I said, Indian team plays cricket across formats. To be considered great Indian player, you have to be good in all the formats you played in. @shrikanthk: two things, 1: I can understand your frustration about people not seeing your POV. But your last comment about remixes during chess makes a mockery of any discussion. 2: Modern test cricket has changes a lot of rules, number of bouncers to be bowled in an over, protection to the batsman, covering of the pitches, number of overs to be bowled in a day, what tradition are you refering to? contd.

  • Gerry_the_Merry on May 14, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    Pranav, why dont you let Ananth answer by the normalizing route? your anecdotal quotes dont have the same strength. If such an analysis were done, we will have an entirely new picture, is my prediction.

  • Pranav Joshi on May 14, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    @ Gerry the Merry

    Totals in India in the last 10 years have swelled to enormous levels. True. The boundaries have got shorter, the bats better. True.

    And it is also true that SRT's most effective years as an ODI batsman lasted till about 2003. Basically from 1994-2003. If you make a qualitative analysis of his performance vs that of his peers after 2003, a couple of them would measure up to him, or even better him. It was until 2003 that he was way ahead of everyone else (again, can be proved). A potent indicator - from 2004-12, neither Tendulkar's average nor his SR exceed his career average or SR. In spite of the fact that scoring in ODIs has got much bigger.

    So, SRT did better than everyone else in ODIs, at a time when batting in ODIs wasn't so easy as now. Dhoni, Yuvraj, Sehwag, Raina, Kohli, Gambhir etc. have exploited the easier conditions in the present, to the maximum. Tendulkar hasn't.

    Also, a plea ONCE AGAIN - look up stats and facts before you comment.

  • shrikanthk on May 14, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Very facetious argument. So you think converting a time limit of 2 hours per player into 5 minutes and 30 minutes or 10 seconds per move is not a major change

    It is. But so was the decision to have test matches of different durations. Eg: Timeless tests, 4 day tests, 3 day tests, 2-day first-class games.

    Though there is no innings limit in this case, the tempo in each case is quite different because of the change in the time limit.

    Test vs Limited overs cricket is not just about time-limit. The change entails a fundamental shift in philosophy. Even in a rapid chess game, the objective of the player is the same as in classical chess. That is to check mate the opposition's king. In Limited overs cricket, the objective itself is different. One can win a limited overs contest not necessarily by bowling out the opposition for fewer runs, but by simply scoring more runs than the opponent!

  • Nitin Gautam on May 14, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    contdd.

    6. Cricket world's legend Don Bradman and Hockey's greatest player Dhyan Chand once came face to face at Adelaide in 1935, when the Indian hockey team was in Australia. After watching Dhyan Chand in action, Don Bradman remarked "He scores goals like runs in cricket 7. Scored over 1000 goals in his career.

    Now doing all this in British India without present day training & support, he inspired generations & won matches everywhere against everyone. I irony is he was awarded padma bhushan in around 1956 but not even padma vibhushan which SRT & Anand both have. I dont have anything against SRT or Anand but for me he is most worthy contender for BR. & still if u r interested to know more, I would urge u to see his wiki page or login to www.bhartiyahockey.org.

  • Nitin Gautam on May 14, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Contdd.

    2. After India played its first match in the 1936 Olympics, Dhyan Chand's magical stickwork drew crowds from other venues to the hockey field. A German newspaper carried a banner headline: 'The Olympic complex now has a magic show too.' The next day, there were posters all over Berlin: Visit the hockey stadium to watch the Indian magician Dhyan Chand in action 3. After seeing his prolific play at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Adolf Hitler offered Dhyan Chand, a Major in the British Indian Army, German citizenship and an offer to promote him to the rank of a Colonel (which Dhyan Chand refused. guess that would be the most nationalist thing ever done by any sportsman 4. In Holland, the authorities broke his hockey stick to check if there was a magnet inside. 5. On one occasion, a lady from the audience asked Dhyan Chand to play with her walking stick instead. He scored goals even with them

  • Nitin Gautam on May 14, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    @Alex agree many would not have seen Dhyanchand playing live & he played in pre independence team sport but than i have also not seen bradman, sobers, viv Imran, Botham n many other greats. courtesy youtube & various other forums I got to know about them likewsie Dhyanchand's achievements can always be read & heard. Since he played in pre-independence team sport. his achievements becomes more impressive. Almost in all forums, discussions Dhyanchand is undisputed magician of hockey, even bradman, for few, is not greatest cricketer ever. here posting few of anecdotes related to him as per Wikipedia page 1.Once, while playing a hockey game, Major Dhyan Chand was not able to score a goal against the opposition team. After several misses, he argued with the match referee regarding the measurement of the goal post, and amazingly, it was found to not be in conformation with the official width of a goal post (as prescribed under international rules).

  • Gerry_the_Merry on May 14, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    "If the country plays in ODIs, he better perform and be evaluated for it. Anyone who doesn't is playing for himself and hence should never be considered a great."

    Vikram, is Rahul Dravid a great batsman? He wasnt even picked in One Days... similarly Laxman. [[ They were not picked, that is all. They still scored nearly 20000 ODI runs between them. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 14, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    @Gerry & @Ananth: Ananth can correct me on this but I don't think Indians prop up ODI's to glorify SRT. One must bear in mind that the *media* hypes up SRT but the *crowd* will pay to watch ODIs regardless of whether he plays or not. Historically, the ODI glorification in India started with the '83 WC win (when you were probably too young). Until '82, the following of hockey was almost on par with that of cricket. By Dec '82, in part due to Asiad '82, the television coverage & market had begun to expand beyond the major cities. On this backdrop, the '83 WC win spurred BCCI to host the '87 WC: there was plenty of criticism of this decision back in '83 & '84 but the '85 B & H world championship followed by the '85 win in Sharjah acted as a tonic and the '87 WC became a major financial success. That made cricket, esp. ODI, by far the biggest money spinner in India by '88 itself. As luck would have it, SRT arrived in '89-'90, the economy opened up in '92, and the hype got louder.

  • shrikanthk on May 14, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    It sharpens their game, as ODI format has done for many a Test player

    Let's refrain from categorical statements which cannot be proved/disproved by anybody. [[ So, Shri, you can use words like cannibalizing freely but I cannot make categoric statements which everyone accepts. Ananth: ]] It's totally irrelevant whether certain changes to a game sharpens the players in the traditional format. I can argue that chess players will improve their powers of concentration if a new format were introduced where item songs are performed near the chessboard! That way, chess players will learn to concentrate better and enhance their capacity to fight distractions which will help them in the traditional game ;)

    See...there is no dearth of new ideas to enhance the traditional game or any game for that matter. That doesn't mean you keep introducing new "formats" to sharpen players! The essence of organized sport is a respect for conventions and history. In its absence, we might as well stop playing organized sport and revert to the medieval practice of amusing ourselves in the garden with self-invented sports.

  • Vikram on May 14, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    After the Mutua Madrid Open, Bill Jean King said that a champion is someone who adapts his/her game to the requirements. That's what made Federer a champion for some. [[ Federer won a lot of respect for the way he went about the business, which is playing top-quality Tennis without getting distracted. He has always also done well at Madrid. THis clay often looked like the Australian Open courts. My feeling is that even if he had to face Djoko/Nadal in the later rounds he would have done well. Rome, Hamburg and Paris will be different. Today I am wearing a blue T-shirt in celebration of the Blue day which was yesterday.. Ananth: ]] As I said earlier, SRT is an Indian player, India plays in tests, ODIs and T20I. SRT has opted out of T20I. So SRT needs to be evaluated on what he has done for his country as a player whenever he plays. It's as simple as that. If any player doesn't believe in a format, then that player should not represent his country in that format. If you do represent your country, better perform & be ready to be evaluated for it. It is a simple point. There is nothing spurious about it. I praise Ponting for winning 3 world cups along with the 100+ test matches & I praise SRT for doing well in two formats. Any player hopefully plays for his country first & then for himself. If the country plays in ODIs, he better perform and be evaluated for it. Anyone who doesn't is playing for himself and hence should never be considered a great.

  • shrikanthk on May 14, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Not one Chess player/writer condemns Rapid Chess. Anand has won the world title in that format

    We've discussed this in the past. Yet it appears people are not reading each other's comments.

    Rapid chess is essentially CHESS! The differences vis-a-vis classical chess are not as enormous as the difference between limited overs cricket and traditional cricket. [[ Very facetious argument. So you think converting a time limit of 2 hours per player into 5 minutes and 30 minutes or 10 seconds per move is not a major change. Ananth: ]] Also Rapid Chess has not cannibalised classical chess. Fans still are more likely to follow and remember the traditional game results than rapid chess tournaments.

    Whereas in cricket you have a third "format" which was added on top of two existing formats with purely commercial considerations. No attempt was made to rebrand/tweak the existing formats to address any fall in gate receipts. Instead a drastic step was taken to introduce a totally new game with a totally different aesthetic and yet call it a "form" of an existing game.

    This is without precedent in the history of organized sport.

  • Gerry_the_Merry on May 14, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Ananth, my extreme views have happened in the last 10 years as I have seen totals in India swell to crazy levels, and of late even in South Africa, at times. If there were some way of "normalizing" totals to strip comparisons of this artificial swell, i would take it seriously. I just cannot digest that 100 runs scored in India have the same significance as 100 in Aus/Eng/SA/NZ in a One Day, since the totals in India are much bigger. If you do that normalization, it would make the one day comparisons very sharp, though this article as it is, is also interesting.

  • Gerry_the_Merry on May 14, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    Shrikathk, fine with T20, but One Days? The only reason Indian's prop up One Days is to take Tendulkar's tally to 100 centuries, and offer spurious explanations like "taking all formats together, Tendulkar is surely the best batsman". This is not only a widespread practice in this forum itself, but everywhere in India. This significance of One Days cannot be wished away (at least in India), no matter how many dilutions (flat tracks, short boundaries, medium pace bowlers, bowling and fielding restrictions) are included in comparison to Test cricket. [[ Extreme views on the game, rejection of an internationally recognized format, thinking that the game is one format and nothing else, what else. That is not the way the game should be followed. No one can dump ODIs and IPL together in one basket. They are different formats, catering to different audience. This attitude is not new. I had Bengali friends who said that it was Bengali films and nothing else unless Ray went and made "Shatranj ke Khiladi", Mrinal made "Bhuvan Shome" , Aparna made "36, Chowringhee Lane" and so on. Not one Chess player/writer condemns Rapid Chess. Anand has won the world title in that format. There is a fundamantal change to the traditional game in the reduction of time used, which is a totally integral part of the game. It is recognized that Rapid Chess has its merits and the top players in this format are those who have done well in the longer version. It sharpens their game, as ODI format has done for many a Test player. Ananth: ]]

  • IG on May 13, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    contd....these players have been absolute legends of the game, with Alessandro Nesta being one of the greatest Center backs of ALL TIME - and definitely, the last of the *Rock Star* Italian defenders, alongwith Maldini and Baresi. Even at the age of 35 he shut off Lionel Messi so emphatically, it is nothing but a tragedy that he is leaving European football.

    Filippo Inzaghi, one of the greatest goal poachers and the most dangerous players in the penalty box had been overlooked all season and his contract hasn't been renewed.

    For me, a keen follower and lover of Italian football or "Calcio" - (the only country where it isn't called some or the other variation of 'Football' or Soccer, because it is believed that the modern day football is similar to a 16th century Tuscan sport - Calcio Fiorentino) who has seen these players play in flesh and on telly week after week, it was a very emotional day.

    A real end of an era, unlike no other.

  • IG on May 13, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Yes, the last day of the EPL was fascinating, and I am so glad that Mancini's team pulled it off.

    But there was something even more remarkable going on in a country in southern Europe - yes I am talking about Italy and the Italian Serie A.

    Today, Italy's golden generation of footballers played their last games in the Italian Serie A for their great clubs.

    - Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Ivan Gattuso and Filippo (Pippo) Inzaghi (all AC Milan) (all part of the invincible 2006 WC winning team) played for the last time in Italy in a competitive match for their respective clubs(though Del Piero still has the Coppa Italia final left) and Gattuso and Inzaghi might find other clubs, but they shall always remains legends of these two great footballing clubs of the world.

    To add to the emotion, Pippo Inzaghi scored the winner for Milan, just 20 mins after coming on as substitute, as did Del Piero for Juventus..contd.. [[ Thank you, Ian, for the interesting insight. Because of lack of time to follow so many sports, I do not follow Serie A or other Euro leagues. Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on May 13, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    This is EPL. One letter different. But what difference

    Ananth: I don't know why you are striving so hard to establish the fact that EPL is superior to IPL!

    The EPL is a competitive football league with a long history involving a game which is ancient and well established as an art form.

    The IPL, in the first place, involves a sport (T20) which according to a lot of people lacks legitimacy to call itself "cricket". It is a totally new sport which pretends to be a "form" of an ancient sport.

    This is true not just in the context of IPL but all T20 cricket across the world!

    So let's stop dignifying these leagues by mentioning them in the same breath as any of the football leagues. [[ Trust you to find fault with me even if you may be in agreement. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on May 13, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    For nearly two hours today those who were privileged watched 2 hours of sports action the like of which I have rarely seen. A Manchester United team taking a 1-0 lead, followed by the Manchester City taking a similar 1-0 lead and at half time everything was peaceful. Nothing happened at Sunderland afterwards. But at the City ground, what drama. It looked easy for City, with well over 80% possession to score a goal or two to seal the title. Then, against the run of play QPR equalizes through a silly error by the City defender. Atrocious behaviour by the QPR captain gets him sent off. QPR reduced to 10 men. It is only a matter of time before City would score the goal required to win. Then QPR scores another goal and City mounts attack after attack. Nothing happens. 5 minutes injury time gets added and City scores two goals to win the match and Premier League title. City had over 85% possession and about 20 shots at goal and scores 3 goals, twice in the last three minutes. QPR has 15% possession, has two shots at goal and scores two goals. To see the City manager, Mancini, wearing everything on his sleeve and the fans (some of them were crying desparately) and the emotions raised, was indeed a sight one cannot forget in a hurry. This is sports. This is EPL. One letter different. But what difference.

  • shrikanthk on May 13, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    To use your common lament on ODI vs tests, the decidedly more violent modern chess cannibalized its predecessor chaturanga!!

    Ha! But Chaturanga was never an organized, professional, commercially viable sport with a documented history unlike the red-ball game! So the question of modern chess cannibalising Chaturanga simply doesn't arise.

  • milpand on May 12, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    "The Times" reports :

    Gelfand, who emigrated to Israel in 1998. He told reporters in Tel Aviv that he had a “50 to 60 per cent chance of winning” despite his underdog status, adding: “I’ll try to force errors. But he is also an excellent player.”

    A poor run of form for Anand, who has been champion since 2007, may give him cause for optimism. He slipped to fourth place in the world rankings recently and finished fifth in his last tournament in December. “If Anand had not been so disappointing [in recent months], there would be no question about who is the favourite,” Sergei Smagin, deputy head of the Moscow Chess Federation, told RIA Novosti news agency. Whoever wins will not be the world No 1. Magnus Carlsen, 21, from Norway, holds that position, while Anand, 42, is fourth. [[ Milind, Anand has always played above expectations in title matches despite indifferent form around the title matches. He was too young and raw when he faced Kasparaov in New York. Karpov was a really fixed match with Karpov getting all the breaks. Even then he drew 3-3 and only lost in the Play-offs. After that he has not lost a World Title match. At Sofia he recovered after losing the first game and his final game win was with Black. The first two drawn matches indicate that both of them are cautious and are not willing to take any risks early in the match. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 12, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    @Nitin: Why bring in Anand's citizenship? That is not a pre-req for the BR. Else, Gaffar Khan and Mandela would never have recd it. I am not sure about Dhyan Chand at all: his career was in a *pre-independence* team sport and I doubt if he did anything exceptional since his retirement either. Does anyone today knows for sure how good he really was? Has anyone even seen full films of him playing? [[ There is no need to even bring in any non-Indian greats since Anand is an Indian citizen. Ananth: ]] @shrikanthk: It was a major shock to see your comment in an ODI article. Maybe the reference to history did the trick :) I said that chess originated in India and did not mean that modern chess was developed & cultivated in India. Chaturanga and chess have great similarities. The major difference is that chaturanga allowed jumps and did not allow moves beyond 2 squares. This nuanced more sedate nature seems like test cricket. To use your common lament on ODI vs tests, the decidedly more violent modern chess cannibalized its predecessor chaturanga!!

  • Waspsting on May 12, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    re: chess discussion, in a game filled with player exhibiting childishness and fear of failure like no other - you can see it all the way back to the days of Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine, and not much has changed since - Anand stands out for his sportsmanship above all others. With the possible exception of Steinitz - in all history, i'd say.

    not that FIDE isn't a mess, and the current players have many reasons to be indignant. But Anand has just got on with the game - agreed to play wherever he was asked, not made the standard song and dance about every tiny little detail of match/tournament conditions - and done superbly to boot. [[ Anand has handled the rule changes and the shifting of goal-posts re the World Championships without complaints. The fiasco before the last title match in Sofia, which was tailor-made for a Topolov win, when Anand had to play within a day after a harrowing 36-hour car journey across Europe (and promptly losing the first game) would have created a major ruckus anywhere else or with anyone else. Ananth: ]] A really great champion, Vishy Anand

  • Nitin Gautam on May 12, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    I dont understand what made u think i dont take his achievements as India's while I have clearly wrote "I absolutely have nothing against Anand who has made India proud innumerable times.I fully endorse if he gets the award". Regarding the links your provided, Its India because he represented India in FIDE competitions. Regarding waht kapil sibbal said, any one would say the same for Anand because he represented India at the highest level n everytime he won, Indian flag was waved & I also think the same. But legally as per the constitution & passport act he is NRI. [[ I cannot help but expand NRI into Non Resident INDIAN. This is equivalent to the PRC holders of Canada/Australia, Green card holders of USA, the recently introduced Permanent Residence Visa holders in the Middle East and so on. To be distinguished from the US Citizens, Australian Citizens, Canadian citizens and so on. These foreign passport holders, until now, had to give up their Indian citizenship. Ananth: ]] But more than that I was surprised you didnt mention Dhyanchand even once which was the basic idea I was saying about who is most worthy contender of BR among sportsmen this country has produced. unlike anand & SRT he not even padma vibhushan yet. Bradman once said he scores goals like runs are made in cricket. [[ In Hockey, I consider Balbir Singh to have achieved as much as Dhyan Chand but will have no problem if either of them get the top civilian award. Ananth: ]] However I understand this blgospace is not the place to discuss his citizenship. apologies. [[ Apologies from me also. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on May 12, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    you took it wrong Ananth. I brought the Idea of team game because you brought the comparison between Anand & sachin by citing journalist asking Anand about Sachin getting the award. There should not be comparison between him & SRT only while Dhyanchand is a worthy contender than either of them. I absolutely have nothing against Anand who has made India proud innumerable times.I fully endorse if he gets the award. [[ I talked about team vs individual game only because you differentiated between these two. Ananth: ]] Regarding him being a citizen of Spain, that is not mischief & that is true.

    posting here a link of Wiki answers on the same query if http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_viswanathan_anand_a_citizen_of_Spain [[ Nitin, This is Wiki Answers, unofficila and not the last word on anything. If Kapil Sibal has clearly said that Anand is a citizen of India what more do you need: the cabinet minister's words or an answer posted by some unknown person. Just for your reference I have posted below 5 links which confirm Anand's citizenship. http://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men http://ratings.fide.com/topfed.phtml?ina=1&country=IND http://moscow2012.fide.com/en/presentation/25-anand http://moscow2012.fide.com/files/FWCM2012.pdf FIDE is one of the most respected WOrld Sports bodies and there is no way they would have portrayed a Spanish citizen as Indian one, especially when there is a World Championship going on. You can choose to continue to think that Anand is not an Indian citizen and choose not to take his achievements as India's. That is your choice. Not to be posted in this blogspace though. Ananth: ]] this is not about team or individual but any person who, in either capacity, has made India proud & brought laurels at an unparalleled level is worthy of the great award. Dhyanchand for me is the 1st sportsperson who should be given the awrad

  • Alex on May 12, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    @Ananth: If possible, pl provide an additional table on the % of innings in which these batsmen scored more than 30 or 35 runs (or IPF=25) ... this could be done for all sub-classifications (e.g., in key matches, in away matches, vs Oz, etc.). This will provide more information than the one given by mere averages.

  • shrikanthk on May 12, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    This is real pity since chess originated in India

    This is a line I keep hearing. But it's not too accurate. Modern professional chess as we understand it did not originate in India.

    The medieval game of Chaturanga bears hardly any resemblance to modern chess.

    It's not the same as saying "Cricket originated in England". That statement is far more accurate because cricket of all kinds (including the corrupted forms - one dayer and T20) originated in England. Cricketing technique also developed as a result of the county cricket grind, largely in late 19th cen England. The idea of playing cricket for a living also originated in England. So, England is rightly called the "Home of cricket".

    You can't say the same about India and Chess. [[ Ah! surprised to see Shrikanth's name in an ODI article. Except that as Harsha Bhogle managed to do in his IPL-support article without using the word IPL even once, Shri has avoided the word/phrase ODI. Ananth: ]]

  • CricketLover on May 11, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    I want to point out that you have indicate Sachin's career average as 40.76, but actual number is 44.XX!

    Was this a mistake and may change all the analysis? Is this true for other batsman as well? [[ If you have read the article carefully it would be clear that the measure used is Runs per innings and not Batting average. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 11, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    @Ananth: I am surprised that, at least, Door Darshan didn't air a promotional film for Anand-Gelfand '12 (as you seem to imply). This is the first time since 50's in which both candidates are over 40 yrs old. Carlssen decided to away while the rest of the 20's generation is in the process of maturing. So, this may be the last time either Anand or Gelfand will play the final. Sadly, the Indian media cannot think of "standing ovations" for them!!

    This is real pity since chess originated in India and is played in every country in the world. A good knowledge of this sport helps in other spheres of life as well. Yet, AICF is run by a bunch of political and financial nobodys while BCCI & IPL are backed by Pawar, Ambani, Mallya, et al.

  • Nitin Gautam on May 11, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Regarding Bharat Ratna awards, I believe Dhyanchand deserve it much more than Anand or SRT. he moved the world & inspired the generations & as the legend says, declined post of colonel in German Army during Munich Olympic 1936. In an otherwise strongest hockey team at tht time in world (India), he stood out completely & his records in hockey could be easily equated to bradman's in crickte or may be overshadow him. let alone the award, his DOB is used only to declare few sports schemes which hardly materialize & than forgotten for another full year. As much as I am fan of SRT, I would never agree him getting this before Dhyanchand. as far as Anand goes, I guess he accepted spanish citizenship & cease to be an Indian national. much like kalpana chawal though he playes for India but chess is an individual game..should not be compared with team games. [[ Nitin This is a rumour circulated by mischief-mongers, using the fact that Anand set up residence in Spain to be travel to Europe more comfortably. Kapil Sibal himself has dismissed these as rumours. And when were the rules changed to allow a player who is a citizen of one country to represent another one. Anand is playing for India. How can he be a citizen of Spain. If you bring in the team games idea, why should a player from a team game be given BR, which is an individual award. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 11, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    @Boll: I agree with you about SA. While they have had players who were awesome, and for a few years some of their teams, on paper, were a match for any team, they never translated it into actual performances. if we take 1991-till date, then India might not be clear no.2, especially because of their away performances in the 90s. Actually, I believe that if we take the last two decades Pakistan might actually sneak through because they were strong in 90s and have had some really great series in 2000s as well. SL, like India, will always have the problem of away performances. Similarly, England has had just two great Ashes series and a couple of other decent performances. So I was asked about the last two decades, my answer will be Pakistan.

  • Boll on May 11, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    @Ranga, sure, South African cricketers don`t receive the accolades that many from other countries do. However, I think you`re overstating their case somewhat in terms of test/ODI performances since their re-admission (not to mention the tragic and far-reaching effects of the match-fixing saga).

    re.their test performances in Australia, they have hardly won tests consistently there as you suggest. In the 11 series against the Aussies since readmission, they have won 1 of 11, and lost 7, including a 3-0 whitewash at home. In Aus, they didn`t win a test for 15 years!, 1993-2008.

    Nor is their subcontinent record better than the Aussies. Both teams of struggled in India, winnings 1 of their last 5 series. Aus have significantly out-performed them in SL, winning 4 of their last 5 vs 1/5 for SAF, and both won their last series in Pakistan.

    In ODIs, they`ve failed to even make the final of the only tournament that counts. Easily No.2? - India and England might have something to say about it [[ Their record of missing out on key matches certainly rules against them to be a serious contender for the no.2 spot. Granted India were playing at hiome, but could have lost all three Wc 2011 knock-out matches. In each match they came up with something out of the ordinary. Actually I think Sri Lanka is a serious contender for this spot. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 11, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    @Ananth: actually you should do a captaincy based ranking also before you get into the overall contribution analysis. Performance against other teams, home vs. away, Victory/defeat under them as compared to 10-20 year bracket before/after them. Would be interesting to see Fleming vs. Ganguly vs. Ranatunga for example. [[ I have done it before during Jan 2009. Too far back and so many additional insights possible now. So deserves a re-visit. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 11, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    @Alex: Given that most people already have SRT, Gilly, Ponting and Richards in their team along with Bevan/Hussey as a finisher, Kallis might be the perfect player to hold the innings together if needed. So yes, him at 4 or 5 makes a lot of sense. Especially given his bowling and fielding, he would be a good asset. However, he won't crop up in most discussions or all-time XI. Same as Lendl, among the top tennis players. It's a shame but also the reality. All I wanted to say was that he is a very rational and logical choice, but people (incl me - if you ask me randomly say 3 months later to name my top XI in 10 minutes, I won't recall Kallis), the more common choice will be Afridi/Yuvraj/Symonds/O Donnell/Kapil etc. @Ananth: Maybe that is an idea to evaluate player contribution based on some scoring model on a peer comparison style, as that woould also show us where players like Vettori and Shakib rank for their own countries. You should even give points for captaincy in that model. [[ This has to follow the Ratings analysis since the Rating points are the near-perfect method of evaluating contributions to team. The advantage is that all relevent parameters would have been accounted for. Ananth: ]]

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 11, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Boll...On Ponting's case against spin. One problem is this constant urge to rank the great players resulting in everybody trashing every player picking real/imaginary holes. The reality is that averge standard of these players is great and there could be marginal +ves/-ves and those are blown up as they are zero in that aspect of game. Hence as you said, Ponting is not such a bad player against spin as he is made out to be. However, if you go by viewing pleasure of him against good spinners, I found him to be awkward and not so natural as Clarke, though in the last tour of India he was looking good. Also, in Australia, most subcontinent spinners don't get the length right and hence not very effective and the figures can be deceptive.

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 11, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Ananth,

    Thanks for the remarks on Anand-Gelfand match. I for one have been eagerly waiting for this one like I waited for the earlier championship matches of Anand. Since no news was forthcoming on Anand's preparations, I am hoping that he is well prepared. He is moving into wrong side of age for Champions. [[ Problem, Ramesh, is that while the media is very happy to talk to Richard Levi, Mandeep Singh and Samuels et al on thoroughly unimportant topics related to IPL-5, no one saw fit to do something on the World Title match. I don't know who Anand's seconds are. I don't know how he is going to tackle the mantle of being favourite. I don't know when he reached Moscow, considering the fiasco last time. The first news item says the first match is scheduled for today at 3 PM. "Hang down your heads in shame", I tell the media. I am very hopeful since Anand has always got the better of Gelfand and they are both the same age. In fact I never expected Anand to win against Topolov or Kramnik. He overcame great odds to win these two matches. Ananth: ]] With or without this title, Anand deserves Bharat Ratna first. The reality is that SRT will get it first if it happens. But then let us not do "who deserves more" as both have inspired next generation in the respective game and have been role models. We are used to SRT focus. But it is sad that Anand is no news in India compared to lesser cricketers as well.

  • Ranga on May 11, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    @ Alex: The curse of being a South African, whose media doesnt deify their cricket heroes, is reflected in the reverence of Kallis. Since their return to international cricket in 1991, no other team had been more hungrier than SAF and they were the ones to constantly WIN tests in Australia, the strongest in their era. They had one of the strongest and most potent pace attacks which blew away subcontinental teams in their own backyard, which Australia couldn't manage but for once in 40 years. They lost in crucial ODIs(which this article is all about). They produced excellent cricketers like Donald, Pollock, Smith, Hudson, Kirsten, Cullinan, McMillan. They had their ups and downs, but overall, I feel at least since 1991, they are easily the No2 team across all formats. And No2 just because their return coincided with the ascent of Australian team whose nuclues was built from 1993.

  • Alex on May 11, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    @Ananth: Thanks for the timely lament. Let me paint a more poignant picture. In India, Tagore was not recognized outside Bengal & Maharashtra until he recd the Nobel prize. India did not think of BR for Satyajit Ray until MPAA gave him the Lifetime Achievement Oscar on his deathbed. Ambedkar, Patel, & JP recd it decades after their death. Gaffar Khan has recd it but S Chandrasekhar hasn't. Savarkar is not even a Padmashri while Sridevi is a Padma Vibhushan!

  • Ananth on May 11, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    Anybody and their neighbour's cat would know how many DLFs were hit in this IPL by Gayle, how many cheer-leaders occupy the stage in Pune vs how many in Bangalore, the number of dot balls in the Deccan Chargers' innings and so on. I wonder how many are aware that the World Chess title contest starts today in Moscow between Anand and Gelfand. If Anand wins, this would be his 5th World Title, in four different formats. It has merited exactly 2-5% of sports-space in the newspapers. "Hindu", with its slightly higher sense of history, gives it 5%. TOI, probably 2%. Such apathy. And, hoping that Anand wins a fifth title, when he returns, one of the questions asked by a media guy to him would be "What do you think about Bharat Ratna for ...." and Anand, the nice person that he is, would say "Very good idea" instead of saying "Don't you think this question should be asked the other way round".

  • Alex on May 11, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    @Vikram: Tennis analogy won't work for a team sport like cricket. Modulo that, Kallis is a Lendl, who certainly was a better player than Becker --- KP is like Becker. Another analogy is Botvinnik from chess, arguably one of the greatest of all-time but sadly discussed by very few on popular forums. Kallis is arguably the greatest cricketer of the last decade ... KP calls him the greatest ever. His SR has exceeded 80 in the last 5 yrs: surely, he can bat at #3 or #5. His SR in T20 exceeds 120 ... so, surely he can bat at #7 as well. Personally, I find Kallis' batting more exciting than that of a Gayle/Watson/Afridi, or even Hooper.

  • Vikram on May 11, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    @Boll: Greetings from hot and humid Singapore. My question about Ponting was based just on the numbers above. If you look at his RPI numbers against Ind/Pak/SL/WI, they are 35 or below, whereas against Eng/SF/NZ his average is 35+. While I have enjoyed (and detested esp during his 140) Ponting's batting, I haven't followed his career closely. While I know that spin is not what the leg side bouncer was to Ganguly, there still seemed a pattern and hence the question. From your stats, it seems that the numbers are more a coincidence than a pattern. As for Kallis, there is something about him that rarely excites and that has been one of the reasons why he hasn't broken through into more regular conversations, even mine. If I have to name my XI, he won't figure in it. Is he the Ivan Lendl of cricket, upstaged by Becker even though Becker has 6 to 9 Lendl's 9 titles. And again, I am a Becker fan. What do you guys think? [[ Lendl is the perfect analogy although you have credited him with one more title than what he won (3+3+0+2). Not the favourite player of many but a top-class performer, winning Grand Slams, over a decade. In a way, Wilander too falls in this category. If one has a freehand in selection, most people would go for Imran/Afridi/Kapil/Watson/Flintoff because they are match-winners in either department. However Kallis would serve a team in a much better manner over the long distance.

    Ananth: ]]

  • aman on May 10, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Gr88 work.......wud love to have the same stats for Test matches too... [[ Yes, in the pipeline. After the ODI Bowlers article. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on May 10, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    re.Ponting cont`d. His overall performance against Ind/SL/Pak/WI is excellent in both tests and ODIs - although the inclusion of WI in the `low/slow wickets/good spin attack` column in Ponting`s case(1995 onwards) is debatable.

    In tests, (and yes, I know, this is an article focused on ODIs) his record against these teams is excellent. At home, he has averaged 86 vs India, 70 vs Pakistan and 50 vs SL. Away, he has averaged over 70 vs Pakistan (in Pak, UAE, SL) 44 vs SL, and of course that oft-mentioned 26 vs India. However, in his first 14 innings there he averaged 12 (and was lucky to score a run on occasions); in his last 12 he`s averaged 45.

    In ODIS, he has averaged 44 RPI vs India in India, 65 in Pakistan, and 39 in SL...hardly the statistics of a man who is all at sea against spin or on the subcontinent. He has proved himself in all conditions, against all types of bowling, and (for all attempts by some to diminish his achievements) won more than anyone to have played the game -

  • Boll on May 10, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    ...@Vikram/Ananth cont`d.I`ve been accused here before (perhaps with some justification) of not giving Kallis his due, but wonderful player that he is, he doesn`t come close to an all-time ODI XI for mine.

    re.Ponting. I`d certainly agree that he`s a less natural player of spin than Clarke, but that holds true for most of his contemporaries, some subcontinental greats notwithstanding.

    I think Ponting`s susceptibility to spin bowling (and sub-contintental conditions) has been so badly overstated and so rarely refuted (particularly on sites such as cricinfo) that it has become gospel. The statistics tell a different story. cont`d...

  • Boll on May 10, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    @Vikram/Ananth - greetings from sun-drenched Kyushu. I`d agree, Aravinda`s 1996 performance in the WC final was as good as any of the other MoM performances, and probably the best all-round effort yet. Richard`s two brilliant performances maybe just pip him though, and again in 1983 (35 off 30 balls? - top scorer) was probably only 5 or 6 overs short of winning it for the Windies.

    re. Symonds/Afridi - nightmares for opposing captains, very different players, but both could hurt you badly and so quickly; Afridi with bat, and recently more consistently with ball; Symonds more consistently with the bat, less so with the ball, but liable to take a blinder and then run-out your best batsman with a direct hit from deep cover. Brilliantly dynamic cricketers both of them - take your pick.

  • Ranga on May 10, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    I might stir the hornet's nest here but I guess ALL world cup matches could be deemed important. Yes, knock outs are imptnt but I feel in 07 World Cup was important league matches assumed more importance than the super 8s (or for that matter since 1999, when teams started carrying forward pts into the super 6/8). I know it is rather tough on you but we could give an exception to World cups alone, as it determines a champion team among all possible teams under the same conditions. Zim win over Ind in 1999 WC proved to be costlier than Ind wins over Eng/SL. Super 6s was a good concept, but super 8s was carrying it a bit too far. I'm not sure how many matches would be added to this tally and of course, at the end of the day, what would be achieved. But it might end up giving the same credit to 175* as 183(Ganguly) or 188*(Gary) might get the same credit as 107*(De Silva finals). Maybe inconsequential 100(Jadeja vOz 99) may be preferred to an error ridden but crucial 85(SRT) [[ Too many matches: around 300. Then the Tri-series Finals have also to be included. Ananth: ]]

  • redneck on May 10, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    i dont get how you can dismiss the australian tri series? up until the last 4 years thats pretty much the only ODI cricket played in australia, so what matches are left that you have used? the matches in darwin??? [[ Sarcasm cannot be used to hide a very shallow reading of the article. 112 matches have been selected as the important knock-out matches. Kindly go through the article carefully. If I include the Australian Tri-series Finals, that too 2/3 each year, there will be clamour to include the Sharjah Tri-series and the non-Asian-sub-continent followers would comment on the stupidity of mine in including the Sharjah matches. I think very few would disagree with my decision to EXCLUDE ALL Tri-series, however gilt-edged those are. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 10, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    @Ananth & @Meety: All-time Aussie XI is more interesting.

    1. I think Dean Jones trumps Greg Chappell --- Chappell's record after the ODIs became popular in '79 is good but not great: ave=36 in 52 ODIs. Dean Jones was the big cornerstone around whom Aussies changed their fortunes over '85-'92. His running between wkts was a step ahead for ODI cricket and he failed vs WI only.

    2. Watson over O'Donnell is also easy.

    3. There is a good case for Hayden over M Waugh: Sehwag & MSD have named Hayden as the most destructive batsman of their era.

    4. My Oz XI: M Waugh, Gilly, Ponting, Dean Jones, Hussey, Bevan, Symonds, Watson, Lee, Warne, Lillee, McGrath. 12th: Greg Chappell. What a team ... not a single weak link & 3 all-time great fielders! Only a team with a dream bowling attack will have a reasonable chance against them: very tough to bat this team out (see, e.g., WC '03 & '07 finals).

  • Meety on May 10, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    Very good read again Ananth. Wondering how hard it would be to duplicate the tables on the basis of averages instead of RPI? (Understand why you've used RPI). As has been mentioned love to see S/R added, it's not like you have anything else more important to do? (very much kidding). == == == [[ As I have already mentioned, showing both sets of figures is a nightmare. What I can dio is only to incorporate the data in the Excel sheets and upload. Ananth: ]] My all time XI 1. SRT, 2. Gilly, 3. Ponting, 4. Richards, 5. KP, 6. Bevan, 7. Khan, 8. Akram, 9. Warne, 10. Lee, 11. Garner 12th M Waugh. Had real trouble trying to pick my #7, in the end I'd probably have Imran as captain just ahead of Punter. == == == All time Ozzy XI 1. M Waugh, 2. Gilly, 3. Ponting, 4. G Chappell, 5. Symonds, 6. Bevan, 7. O'Donnell, 8. Warne, 9. Lee, 10. Lillee, 11. McGrath 12th: D Jones or M Hussey. No place for Martyn, Clarke, Border, S Waugh, Jones/Husseys or Watson or Lehman or Tait, McDermott, Dizzy or MJ! [[ O'Donnell is the forgotten man. Nice to see that you have remembered him.. I can see that this was a tougher selection than the World XI. To keep Jones (what a fool he is making of himself on the IPL shows now) and Mike Hussey out is very tough. Unfortunately Hussey is too similar to Bevan and I might get Hussey in, you have got Bevan in, that is all. Watson for O'Donnell is another option. But lovely selection indeed. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 10, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    @Ananth: The Ambrose type graph can be obtained using the software MATLAB. I am not sure if you have used it but it is a very popular programming software for mathematicians and engineers. It might be possible to parse the excel file data to it and run 10-15 basic commands to get the plots. That said, your ellipsoidal representation in this article is nice. [[ Excel for me is only a means of exchanging data. MATLAB. I am not sure, whether might cost an arm and leg. My own Graph program works well. Only problem is that it is not general purpose. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 9, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    @Ramesh: Until 1980, ODI's were not commonplace. Over 1974-79, WI played a net total of less than 40 ODIs. Fredericks retired during this phase while Kalli & King became rebels in 1982. The mainstream WI players were away at Packer 1977-79. So, WI team was pretty much in flux over 1975-82 and hence difficult to find batsmen with 2000+ runs in that phase. Still, it must be accepted that they never had a consistently solid batsman/all-rounder at #6 & #7. So, the batting was always a weakness; it cost them the championships in '83 & '85. Lloyd kept it together somehow. After he retired, the WI immediately lost its aura.

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 9, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Ananth,

    One interesting point to take out from your charts is about England players. Only 19 players figure in the list. The pleasant surprise is Trescothick. Amongst English players, he is third in RPI and is second only to Pieterson in strike rate amongst 2000+ runs qualifiers and third overall run aggregate after Collingwood and Stewart. His is the missed out story in ODIs. Before we jump to conclusion about England’s attitude towards ODIs, West Indies springs a surprise.

    Only 17 players have scored more than 2000 runs. Only seven have 30+ RPI of which Lara, Gayle, Sarawan & Chanders are of recent vintage. The great WI team of 75-83 won probably more due to bowlers and due to Richards, Greenidge(all time top 10 RPI) & Haynes(top 20 RPI) who topped the RPI charts for WI. [[ Not a bad team if you have 7 match winners + Lloyd. Ananth: ]]

  • Vinish Garg on May 9, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Ananth

    Intersting analysis and insighful comments. I cannot really have anything to comment but could not stop myself to float my all time ODIs X1. Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Richards, Ponting, Kallis, Peterson, Bevan, Pollock, Warne, McGrath, Ambrose

  • Alex on May 9, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    @Ananth and @Ramesh: On the jewels in making, I think MSD has surpassed Gilly but other 2 need more matches or yrs. AB has proved himself for 8 yrs now but over only 127 ODIs. Kohli has been phenomenal in 100+ ODI's over 4 yrs but is only 23. Amla has been phenomenal in 57 matches but already 30 yrs old: at the same stage (back in '07), KP had similar stats but has under-performed since then: Amla is less capricious and might not fall in the same trap though.

    @Ananth: In your analysis for bowlers, I request you to nominate your 10 best bowlers as well and provide the following charts for them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CAmbroseBowling.png . This chart from wiki is quite informative. [[ Very nice graph. But I have to do too much work to produce graphs like that for quite a few bowlers. I can provide Excel files. Ananth: ]]

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 9, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Ananth,

    another pointer from your charts show the traditional all rounders in not so good light. Kallis seems to be best, but has poor strike rate and difficult to put him in no 5/6/7 in dream 11 with those strike rates. Bowling all rounders are better lot, I suppose and for that we need to wait for your bowling analysis and then infer.

    My prefered batting order would be Gilchrist/Sachin/Ponting/Richards/Dhoni. The next two slots would be from Lara/Devilliers/Yuvraj/Symonds & Afridi. This can be followed by one bowling all rounder and then three bowlers. bowling all rounders and three bowlers.

  • Ramesh Kumar on May 9, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    Ananth, Very interesting analysis and who can dispute with your 3 jewels? If I put in the strike rate and look at the figures, I have a few interesting observations:

    1.If I keep the filter as 4998+ runs(to accommodate Devilliers)& 35 and above RPI , we have only 21 players and if I put the strike rate of 80+(inc. borderline case of Lara), only 9 players qualify.

    2.Between 30 & 35 RPI with the strike rate of 80+, only 9 qualify with 4998+ runs. Of which only 5 are active incl. Yuvraj & Gibbs.

    3.Below 30 RPI & 4998+ runs, only one player is active(Afridi) who has the worst RPI of 22.20 in this group

    4.Between 2000 & 4998 runs, only 27 players have more than 30 RPI and most of them are retired. Active ones may have better strike rate.

    5.The jewels in making are Dhoni, Devilliers, Amla & Kohli. But the above figures show how difficult to reach the standards of the “three jewels” given the full career, playing both tests and ODIs. May have to manage more distractions with T20s. [[ Excellent sub-analysis using the S/R in a good supporting role. Your conclusions on the jewels-in-the-making are impeccable. Dhoni could very well be staking a claim today into the all-time World XI. As a keeper/finisher, as long as he does not keep the finishing to the 50th over always, he is outsanding. If they keep their current form and promise, de Villiers in an year and Kohli/Amla in two years coul be there. Ananth: ]]

  • Yash Rungta on May 9, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Slightly off topic but my all time world XI for ODIs would be: Openers: Tendulkar, Jayasuriya Middle Order: Lara, Richards, Dhoni, Bevan/Hussey (sorry Ponting) All-rounder: Chris Cairns/Shakib Al Hasan(Shakib if played in Asia and Cairns for anywhere else) Bowlers: Pollock/Garner/Akram/Mcgrath(any 2), Warne, Murali

  • Dr. talha on May 9, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @Ananth. what i mean is that if a batsman of the 1990's or 1980's averaged 35, that is far better than a batsmen who played most of his cricket in 2000's and averaged over 40 like ponting. So a player like dean jones, miandad etc averaged over 40 in 1980's when fast bowling was at its best, and the wickets also used to be far more helpful for bowling. So kindly consider this factor as well. Ur analysis without this is incomplete. [[ This is a straight-foward analysis with NO ADJUSTMENTS WHATSOEVER. I do not want to change that. Some one else may ask for bowling quality, someone else, pitch type and so on. Ananth: ]]

  • Arjun on May 9, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Ananth,

    A bit off-topic, yesterday you had said 189* was/is/will be the greatest ODI innings ever played. Untill 2 years back this was 100 % true even if it wasn't played in world cup or any final etc... However i think greatest ODI innings ever played was on 31/10/2010 (odi no. 3063) by Abdul Razzaq. Chasing 287 ag. SAF, he entered at 136/5 when shahid Afridi was dismmised, he had only bowlers and fawad alam for company. He scored 109* of only 72 balls with 7 fours and 10 sixes ag. very good oneday attack of M Morkel, Langeveldt, Tsotsobe, A Morkel, J Botha. Pakistan won by only one wkt with 1 ball left. Pak were 228/7 in 44.1 overs requiring another 60 runs of 35 balls to win. Razzaq himself scored 60 of the last 61 runs scored. whatsmore he stopped SAF from going 2up in 5 match series. Viv's was bigger score but batted 1st. WI eventually won by 104 runs, they might have won even if viv had scored say 130 or 140 runs. Razzaq's was while chasing and better strike-rate. [[ Once you open the door, off-hand, I can point to Kevin O'Brien's innings. Target higher by 30 runs. SImilar bowling attack. Came in at 106/4 and 111/5. Greater team strength differential. 4 runs more in 9 balls less. Of course less in the "Late order partnerships" measure. What I am saying is that O'Brien's innings is no less, and if anything, more. It is shown by the Rating points and placement. O'Brien's is in the top-25 and Razzak's is in the top-75. The innings which almost took over from Richards' was Gilchrist's 149. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on May 9, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    A very interesting name that cropped up was Kohli, who probably has the highest RPI value for 3000+ runs. And bulk of these have come in neutral matches. Bulk of them, of course, in SL, but then in Aus as well. He has managed to average over 37 RPI consistently. If he could manage his temper, he could well be the person to watch for. Of course, if he could extend this to tests and manages to have a 40+ RPI in tests, he would well be booking his place for the future. He shouldnt end up as another Yuvraj Singh - Among all those with 8000+ ODI runs, Yuvi probably has the least number of test runs. de Villiers seems to be one more great in the waiting.

    I dont know if this is a trend, but once upon a time, we had 10-15 great bowlers bowling across the globe at the same era . . . Now we are reduced to 5-6 (If i include Ajmal in the list). Has bowling declined? Of course, this is out of context to this blog. But just thinking aloud. [[ Ranga The bowling article will highlight this paucity of great bowlers now. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 9, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    @Ananth: wouldn't de Silva rank as high as Richards? 3 wickets and 102 after coming in at 23 for 2, in a chase (when most victories have come while defending a score)? [[ I would put Richards higher only because the performances came towards achieving two WC wins. Ananth: ]] Anyways, I guess I will leave the discussion of most valuable performance in a final to whenever you do that analysis. Back to this analysis: I had an impression that Ponting was good against spin, however his performance against Ind/Pak/SL/Windies is patchy.@Boll, is this just a coincidence, or is he susceptible to spin/slow-low pitches? [[ I think Ponting is not a natural player of spin like Clarke. Ananth: ]] Interesting to see how Haynes and Richards compliment each other in terms of RPI. While Haynes took care of the home series, Richards was awesome in away series. I guess a team becomes great when players compliment each other because no player (Don excluded) can perform in all situations. [[ And Greenidge to provide support in all locations. Ananth: ]] @Boll, I guess both Afridi and Symonds have been really good in patches, depends on which patch you remember. As an all-rounder, shouldn't Kallis be the default name?

  • Alex on May 9, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    @Ananth: Is it possible for you to upload an excel file that has all these tables for power factor (i.e., RPI*SR)? [[ Will do, Alex. Problame is that I added 10 sets of fileds for wickets/runs/RpI. I have to now augment this with couple of fields for balls/sr Ananth: ]] Actually, Garner & Holding do have a WC final record that is just a bit better than McGrath's. McGrath took 6 wkts in 4 WC finals at ave=20. Garner has 6 in 2 at ave=10 and Holding has 4 in 2 at ave=10. McGrath was phenomenal in finals in general: 55 wkts in 27 finals at ave=16. Corresponding record for Garner is 30 in 17 at ave=14. For Holding, it is 23 in 14 at ave=19. For Ambrose, it is 28 in 15 at ave=17. Impressively, all 4 have taken a 5-wkt haul in a final. [[ I would put McGrath's 6 wkts in the 3 winning Finals at a higher level than Garner's 6. Hence Mcgrath. Anyhow let us leave the ODI bowling discussions to the next article. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on May 8, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    @Ananth: I doubt if, barring the 189*, Viv played a better ODI innings than the 138*. Even if we disregard the grand WC final stage, WI was 99/4 when he & Collis King tonked 139 off the next 21 overs (King outshone Viv with 88 off 66 on the day of his life). After King departed, Viv hit 52* of the final 56 runs, including all final 34 runs as WI lost 5 wkts at the other end for a string of 5,0,0,0 (Garner returned the favor when he bowled the death overs). This innings transformed Viv from an average ODI batsman into a great ODI batsman. It is the most important ODI innings of his career. [[ The 189*was/is/will be the greatest ODI innings ever played. However no more significant innings than the 138 has Richards played. Ananth: ]] Likewise, the finals' knocks of Lloyd, Aravinda, MSD, and Ponting (& even Mahela) were arguably the watershed of their ODI careers. Ponting simply batted Ind out and broke its back during that glorious 140*. I think your filter for key matches is correct.

  • Boll on May 8, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    10 years ago, it would have difficult to believe that Gilchrist could ever be challenged as the greatest ODI keeper/batsman. As many have pointed out though, Dhoni`s brilliance over his whole career, quite apart from his more recent heroics, have brought that into question. What makes the decision more difficult is the very different roles/positions they have played in the batting line-up.

    It`s difficult to leave either man out of an all-time XI, such has been their impact on the game, but I give you this...

    Sure, there are important ODI tournaments (those who mention Sharjah might want to think again), but really there`s only 1 that counts. In the 3 (winning) WC finals Gilchrist played in, he scored 54 (off 36 balls), 57 (48 balls), and that remarkable 149 (104 balls) - as an opener. Cometh the hour..that`s my man. [[ Yes, it is clear that purely on performances in WC Finals, it is Gilchrist, Richards (3 run-outs and 138) and then McGrath. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on May 8, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    Wonderful article as per usual from the master - with some of the more humorous and appropriate ripostes I can remember ...`if you want nothing, what can I say. Go to Cricinfo and see the ODI Career aggregates tables, that is all`. Love it!

    Disappointing to see some of the typical attempts to denigrate Ponting, and surprised not to see Andrew Symonds mentioned as yet by some Best XI posters. He was a wonderful middle-order batsman RPI 26 (home) - 1768 runs, 34.8 (away) - 2122 runs, 37.4 (neutral) - 1198 runs, SR for all between 91-93. Wonderful WC and finals record, decent bowler, and I think clearly the best all-round fieldsman I`ve seen. I`d have him in my team.

    Yes, no SR info here, something I`ve argued with Ananth before about, but as he rightly points out, it adds another layer of complexity. Also, the rule changes have probably affected SR more than averages over the years - hard to argue with Richards, Tendulkar and Ponting as the3 best ODI batsmen of all-time.

  • Vikram on May 8, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    @Ananth: after reading some of the comments, esp in this particular article, I am truly impressed by your patience to reply to those messages. Some of the people who have commented should actually send you an apology. @Pranav: while there have been some important tri-series, there have been some really ridiculous tri-series as well. The important matches that have been selected here are the ones that are important irrespective of the teams playing. If you take tri-series, then why not the series deciders in a bilateral series? There is no stopping that argument of which matches were important. Anyways, if you want to add all finals, that information is available from cricinfo without the filter that Ananth has added, which by the way I agree with.

  • Dinesh on May 8, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    I not a big fan of Ponting after the 2008 Sydney test fiasco nor i hate him. But if people say that his 2003 world cup innings against India was not great. i would just say people haven't looked at it as a whole.In the whole tournament Indian bowlers were in good if not great.Remember that all the bowlers had good economy-rate with Bhajji lowly at 3.92 and Zaheer the "HIGHEST" at 4.23(Remember we played against PAK,SL,ENG)and all Indian fast bowlers were in top10 with 16,15,18 wickets. So those who say we were weak i just have to say one thing.India dint turn up.They were freaked out because of the situation and Aussies made us look as bad as we can look even though i fell we weren't that bad. Dont look at the everything from the same frame/Prism. Look differently and you will get an Insight you cant Imagine. P.S: Not to hurt anyone.Just felt bad that a great and an DAMN important innings was not being given its due here not by Ananth but by those commenting. [[ There have been only 5 match-winning 100s in WC Finals. How can one of these suddenly become not good. Lloyd, Richards, de Silva, Ponting and Gilchrist might have played better innings. But their most important innings cannot be anything else other than the 100s scored tn the WC Finals. Jayawardene's innings would have joined this illustrious collection if Sri Lanka had won. Ananth: ]]

  • Dinesh on May 8, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Ananth,A very good article indeed. Nice to see the divisions.Good to have a excel where we can have a few filters according to our whims and see how each player performs rather than repeatedly going to statsguru which buffers every time you give a new filter and irritates us a lot. On a passing note in almost every article of yours has a discussion of SRT/BCL/RTP.Good to see a this time a different kind of discussion taking place Tri-series/Worldcup matches though it will irritate you a lot. P.S: De villiers seems to probably the next big batting great coming out.I am not saying this based on him taking apart Steyn.But if we consider the last 2-3 years he probably is the probably among the best if not "THE BEST" in alll formats.

  • Paulson Prasad on May 8, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    What about the bowling attacks..does that count.. playing against medium bowling attack always provides chances of scoring more.. I still remember an old cricket saying..If u are out of form Play against INDIA.. So, I wud credit a Tendulkar's century against Australia more than Ponting's against Inida.. credibility of a batsman also matter on conditions.. I still remembr an ODI match where Aussies defended 192 against pakistan..so Martyn 50 in dat match where d pitch was damn can be compared to Ponting's 100 against India WC2003..which was a gud batting track..

  • charith on May 8, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    as always grate work ananth, you seems to do a lot of articles about consistency of players while i do appreciate consistency i don't think being consistent is more important than being a match winner. If we take a player like kallis who has achieved greatness by being consistent, but at the end of the day how many important tournaments has he won for SA.Personally i always prefer people like inzi,sanath,kp,de silva,viru,gibbs over someone like kallis. [[ This article is not about consistency. It is the performance of batsmen against other countries. THAT IS ALL. Conclusions might point to consistency. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram on May 8, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Fascinating analysis Ananth, and very good visual representation. Great to see de Silva amongst the top performers in key matches - two innings which blew away the opposition. He has to rival Richards in his importance to his team winning the WC. Some great insights: performance of Ganguly & Anwar in key matches. Never thought they would be the leading batsmen from their countries. What I also did was to compare the RPI of top batsmen in key matches vs. performance in their career. Anwar, Gibbs & Ganguly have raised their performance by 60% - outstanding. Similarly, to see Richards outperform his career stats, which in itself is so high, is hugely impressive. Only 13 of the batsmen in this list have performed better in the key matches as compared to their career stats. As for SRT, consistent at a very high level, but missing that one crowning jewel of an inning. Still, a master. Hats off to Richards, Ponting & Kallis. Best batsman: Richards & SRT Best WC perf: Richards & de Silva [[ Nice sideline. The important matches are a very useful yardstick to get some additional insights. Ananth: ]]

  • Pranav Joshi on May 8, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    @Ananth

    I did not mean that a tri series final is as important as a WC final. That's ridiculous. But by excluding tri series finals, about 200 matches have been excluded. Now this is a huge number. Lets say e.g. Sachin played over 30 tri series finals in the 40 he has played in total. Now this means over 75% of his records get excluded. The same goes for most other batsmen. This considerably changes how the Key Matches coloumn looks like. [[ Pranav, I sense an unnecessary one player theme getting in here. Is this an analysis of great innings. No. Is this an analysis of top quality innings. No. Why do you want to dilute the important match category just so that some innings get in and the numbers just bloat up. I think the 134 amd 141 were tryly great and wonderful innings. Fine. But I also think thye 85 was a more important innings. Please distinguish between the two. Innings of Ponting, Gilchrist, Gooch, Steve Waugh, Richards, Lloyd, Boon, de Silva, Inzamam are innings similar to the 85. Not all of these may be great or of top quality but they meant a lot more. Which innings of Raina is more important: the 106 in the final of one inconsequential Tri-Series final (Ind/Slk/Bng) in 2010 or either the 36 or 34 in the WC2011 QF and SF. Please take some time to understand what I say. Ananth: ]] If the ratio of tri-series finals to 4-team, 6-team, WC finals was 1:1 or similar, I would not have complained. But this variance is too major to ignore. I suppose it would have been very difficult to create some weighted measure for finals. Say a WC final is worth 8 times a tri series final and so on. It would be very arbitrary. [[ Incidentally 112 matches have been selected for the important match category. How many tri-series final do you think there would have been: probably 200. Ananth: ]] But there have been some great innings in tri series finals, and some truly memorable cricketing moments. Thus I cannot digest this. [[ Again you are confused. You are confusing important innings and great innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Dr. talha on May 8, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    Gr8 artcle!! Just disgree with the all time ODI world eleven that few readers have made.There cannot be any ODI world XI completed without having Saqlain Mushtaq in it. He is by far the best spinner in ODI. Have a lot better record than Warne and Murali. And most importantly he used to bowl almost half of his overs at the end of the innings, which takes some guts. Both warne & murali struggled against India but saqlain was brilliant against everyone. I think Ananth u should have considered the quality of bowling as well.Like ponting has not palyed the great west indian fast bowlers or the Imran. hadlee. Lillie, Kapil etc. He scored his runs in era in which quality of fast bowling has realy gone down. [[ This is an analysis of ODI batsmen against other teams in various consitions. PERIOD. Why bring anything else into it. And Ponting can only play the bowlers who bowl to him not great bowlers of the past. That same way I can say that the West Indian pace bowlers did not bowl to Bradman, Sobers, Richards et al. Why bring in these factors. Ananth: ]]

  • Pawan Mathur on May 8, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Dear Sir, Thanks for another informative analysis. However, I would like to raise a few points 1)It would be even better if analysis divides runs scored in first innings and second innings. 2) Like in your earlier article on test cricket runs, can a similar analysis be made of easy and tough runs (eg. A hundred scored chasing 300 + score will be at higher value) 3) You have included only the knockout matches of the world cup. However, some league matches in world cups were of equal importance and should be included. Eg. Pakistan in 1992 needed to win their last few league matches to qualify for semis, and those were significant matches. On another note, I would like to congratulate you for the tough stance you have taken against some polemical comments and preserved the purity of this space for genuine cricket analysis. [[ 1. I think the split between the setting and chansing innings makes sense since we can get a handle on the way the players have performed in different situations. 2. When I do an innings analysis all the additional factore would come in for consideration. 3. I have been strict in my interpretation of important matches. In 2007, the Ireland-Pakistan match in the preliminary league was far more important than the Ireland-England match in the Super Eights. But short of going through each match and using a league position table at that time it is impossible to do this. There may be weak spots but in general it works well. Ananth: ]]

  • Santosh J S on May 8, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Ananth and team, when do you guys rest? Or is this kind of work relaxing? The amount of effort that goes into something like this (i've followed a bit of your other analyses too) deserves praise. Well done. [[ My entire team consists of I, me and myself !!! Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on May 8, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    A very nice article.All said and done, the same names crop up in both Test and ODI honors list, going to prove that for all the slam-bang attributes to the ODI, still getting runs over a long period of time, consistently across all bowling conditions and attacks, does take a lot of skill indeed.

    And one nice response to a query, wherein you likened the initial overs to "test-like" conditions when SAF/Oz/WIN/Eng plays. Particularly SAF, was slightly a better all-round bowling unit since they came back to intl cricket. Their nerve let them down on quite a few occasions, however. [[ There are times when a Steyn over in an IPL match looks like Test cricket. 6 dot nballs, each a different one. Ananth: ]] I would love to see back is the re-introduction of white clothing for ODIs. Watching cricket in whites is a pleasure in itself. A Red cherry is good enough to ask questions to the best of batsmen. Not sure if this would happen ever. But a way of restoring parity between bat and ball is to get the red ball again in to ODIs (at least for bilateral series). We can stop the vulgar 350+ scores being tonked around.

  • Aswin Sankaran on May 8, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    good piece but i still believe even the most exhaustive analysis of odo batting performances cannot be indicative of true skills because it really is a situational game especially for middle order batsmen

    My Best XI: Shane Watson Sachin Tendulkar Viv Richards AB de Villiers MS Dhoni Michael Hussey Lance Klusener Wasim Akram Shane Warne Graeme Swann Ryan Harris

  • bks123 on May 8, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    Nice read. The top 3 batsmen are as expected Sachin, sir viv and ponting. Nice to know some facts that I never thought of before. Ganguly and kallis performing exceptionally well in key matches. So are gibbs and saeed anwar. At one point I rated anwar ahead of larva in ODI cricket. sad to see his career ending in such as way. Some time back ESPN cricinfo used include "Legends of Cricket" videos. But for some reason I don't see them anymore. I don't know what happened? Are not lara, ponting, kallis legends of the game like gavaskar and tendulkar? Are not murli, glenn mcgrath and ambrose legends of the game like warne and akram? I am just asking these out of curiosity as you may know this as an cricinfo employee. [[ I am not a Cricinfo employee. I write for them, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • bks123 on May 8, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    1.Sachin. 2.Gilly. 3.Ponting 4.Sir Viv 5. Pieterson 6. yuvraj singh 7. Afridi 8. Wasim akram 9. ambrose 10. glenn mcgrath 11. murli

    This is my ODI playing XI any day. Spots 6 and 7 people may question. But I rate Yuvraj Singh very highly in ODIs. I will take him ahead of bevan, hussey and Dhoni as no one can match him on his day. And he is a decent enough left arm spinner that will give verity in the side. I will take afridi ahead of warne a the sole left arm spinner in ODIs as he is a genuine alrounder. Wasim will be an unanimous choice in ODIs over all quick bowlers who have played the game. His combination with afridi eliminates the need of a genuine alrounder like imran, botham or kapil. I would take mcgrath and ambrose as the other two fast bowlers. All these 3 pacers are of very different types and will suit any conditions. And spot 11 is reserved for murli, the best (off) spinner to have played the ODI cricket

  • Srini P on May 8, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    Though he is considered just a good batsman in test matches, Ganguly is certainly one of the outstanding batsmen in ODIs. His avg, RPI(over all & key matches) makes him one of the top 5. His overall SR pulls down his achievements as a whole though. I can't agree more with your choice of top 3.

  • Oak5555 on May 8, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    Excellent Article. Enjoyed it. Can you do one such analysis involving only currently playing players. I want to do a comparison with the current ranking system. [[ I think you should download the Excel file and do the fltering wok yourself. It is a very exhaustive file. Ananth: ]]

  • Javed on May 8, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Absence of Viv Richards, just proves the short sightedness of not just this statistical analysis but of any other tried. [[ I doubt if you even read one single sentence of the article. The short-sightedness, unfortunately, is on your part. I suggest get the article in your browser, and then do a search on "Richards". See how many hits are there, read those references and maybe send a mail of apology. Ananth ]]

  • Shams on May 8, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    The RpI distinctly favors top order batsmen in ODIs. It would be nice to see comparisons using averages or some other scheme that doesn't penalize lower order batsmen instead.

    Viv Richards numbers are amazing considering he played most of his inns from #4 and played in a comparatively strong batting line up.

    I have one other request, can you also include classification by continent to see how batsmen performed in various continents vs the top teams? My concern is due to the volume of ODI matches played in Asia the figures classified as neutral are diluted. [[ One more dimension of data. Ananth ]]

  • Tariq on May 8, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    I dont know who demand such analysis. It is so hard to understand with all different colour schemes. Such detail, may be a coach would buty it, but who else care. Keep it as a sport to enjoy and not something like wheather forecast ananlysis or work of a Wall street actuary. [[ There is a player name and the tables/graphs show the runs he scored at what average RpI against each country. Is it as complicated as made to be. If you don't like the graphs you can see the tables. If you don''t want the tables you can download the Excel sheets. Finally if you want nothing, what can I say. Go to Cricinfo and see the ODI Career aggregates tables, that is all. Ananth ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on May 7, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    Incredible piece. Its really amusing to see your zeal & enthusiasm to dig deep into the various aspects of the game & provide such an insight of cricket.

    Readers will always be thankful.

    given SRT's exploits, it would be extremely difficult to match him in ODIs for any player & no matter how parameters are shuffled, the master comes on top almost everytime. The quality of his shots, dazzling strokeplay & self motivation to keep going is what amazes me the most.

    almost everytime SRT, BCL, Viv etc are counted for best ODI playesr but ponting is easily the 2nd best of his era & one of the best ever. an amazing player by any means.

    regarding the key tournaments I guess u missed the hero cup as i remember vaguely it was a 6 team tournament albeit with less no. of matches.

    Completing the 6 players you chose, include Watson,Wasim, Mcgraw, Murli & donald in this order of batting & replace peterson with richard, comes out a pretty formidable ODI side ever. probably the best ever.

  • Waspsting on May 7, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    Gilchrist used to be a shoo in for a spot, but Dhoni's performances in recent years has made that more open to debate.

    Open with Gilchrist, and have someone like Bevan at 6 or 7? Or have Dhoni at 6 or 7 and stick an opener like Jayasuriya in maybe?

    On the bowling front, I'd like Shaun Pollock, Wasim Akram, Ambrose and Garner. all hard to hit, and two of them giving the batting extra depth.

    Viv Richards, Tendulkar, and Ponting plus the 4 bowlers leaves 4 spots open among keepers/batsmen/allrounders.

    Some combo of - Gilchrist or Dhoni for keeper (1 spot) and,

    - Bevan, Pietersen, Lara, De Silva...

    - Jayasuriya, Chris Cairns, Shakib Al Hasan, Afridi (3 spots, somewhat dependent on whether we go with Gilchrist or Dhoni)

  • arch on May 7, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Sharjah was equally important in the 80s. You ought to include that. [[ I do not accept that the Sharjah Tri-series or bilateral matches were anywhere as important as they are made to be. There were probably well over 50 Tri-series there and these are only as important as many bi-lateral series. Ananth ]]

  • Jitendra Bigtani on May 7, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    It has been said that Ponting contributed significantly to 3 world cups. Actually Ponting as player has most wins in world cup matches than any other player. Still he has 3 man of the match. Tendulkar has 9. Kallis, Lara has more MoM than Ponting though they have much less wins than Ponting in WC matches. Ponting teammates like McGrath, Shane warne, Steve Waugh, Hayden, Mark Waugh all have equal or more MoMs. This proves that Ponting is not big tournament player as suggested. He was one of the force and not primary force in any WC win. Not even in 2003 WC final, when he only started hitting after 37 overs and 225+ runs on board when Gilchrist, Hayden and Martyn had already demoralized the Indian attack.

  • Raghav Bihani on May 7, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Excellent article. Will take more to digest fully.

    However, even after reading your views on using RPI and no averages, I cannot reconcile the injustice done here. Openers anyways have the best shot to score runs in ODIs in limited overs, especially after the 1996 World Cup. This coupled with the fact that lower order batsmen frequently throw away their wicket for team cause. Now to totally ignore the not outs is very hard on them. At the very least if you are considering RPI of 35-40 as excellent, any innings of 15-20* should not bring down a player's RPI. I understand your view but cannot agree to its usage. You will agree that a batsman coming in no.6 cannot be expected to contribute 40 RPI over a career. In tests, RPI is admissable but ODIs?? Also the Strike Rate has not been considered at all in the article. Increasingly it is SR which is gaining importance. Sachin 100 against Bangladesh being an example. Gilchrist, Afridi and Sehwag give at least 5 off their RPI to score faster [[ Raghav, all the above make sense. However note the following. 1. If I had taken the Batting Average as the basis I would have had objections from quite a few. So there is no one correct solution which satisfies all. 2. In almost all older matches involving good teams and in some current matches involving South Africa/Australia/England, the openers face Test-like conditions. It is not "plant your left feet across and swing". 3. The chances of the top order batsmen getting out to good deliveries is high because of the enforced close fields. There is no milking of safe runs. 4. Already this is a 3-dimensional analysis. I could not very well have made it a four dimensional with the addition of scoring rates. One more set of tables/graphs would have been needed. The article would have come to 20 pages. Anyhow finally why start off on a negative note. The basic measure is one aspect of analysis. There is so much insight to be drawn from the other numbers. Why miss all that because of this lack of acceptance. Ananth ]]

  • Pranav Joshi on May 7, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Interesting analysis. A few initial observations.

    Ganguly has a surprisingly high Key Match RPI. Tendulkar has an excellent record in key matches overall, but the exclusion of tri-series finals, and (is it?) the undervaluing of some not out innings, has hurt him. [[ Pl see response to Raghav. Ananth ]] MS Dhoni gets hugely penalized by your method. A brilliant finisher, possibly one of the best ODI batsmen ever in home/ neutral conditions.

    The definition of "neutral venue" can be interesting. If in a tri series match in England, West Indies play Sri Lanka, is this is neutral match for a SL or WI batsman, or is it an "Away" match? This is probably an elementary query. Again, all World Cup matches played outside one's country will be "Neutral" matches. [[ I am sure you should give credit for doing this correctly. Each team is evaluated independently as far as location is concerned. Ananth ]] Lastly, a final is a final. Whether it is a tri-series, a quadrangular, or a 12-team series is not relevant, IMO. Completely excluding tri series finals, presents a picture that might be a little more than slightly distorted. Again, my personal opinion. [[ Can we treat the Wimbledon Final the same as Chennai Open Final, the World Cup Football Final as the same as Durand Cup, the question for getting a Crore the same as the Rs.10000 question and so on. There have been 10 WC Finals and about 200 Tri-series Finals. How can these have the same status. Ananth ]]

  • Salman Habib on May 7, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Excellent analysis. Still goes to prove tendulkar's supremacy with his bat.

  • samantha on May 7, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    1. Sachin. 2. Gilchrist. 3. Ponting 4. Pieterson/kallis/kohli. 5. Ab. 6. Hussey 7. Afridi 8. Warne 9. Wasim 10. Mcgrath. 11. Brett lee.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • samantha on May 7, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    1. Sachin. 2. Gilchrist. 3. Ponting 4. Pieterson/kallis/kohli. 5. Ab. 6. Hussey 7. Afridi 8. Warne 9. Wasim 10. Mcgrath. 11. Brett lee.

  • Salman Habib on May 7, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Excellent analysis. Still goes to prove tendulkar's supremacy with his bat.

  • Pranav Joshi on May 7, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Interesting analysis. A few initial observations.

    Ganguly has a surprisingly high Key Match RPI. Tendulkar has an excellent record in key matches overall, but the exclusion of tri-series finals, and (is it?) the undervaluing of some not out innings, has hurt him. [[ Pl see response to Raghav. Ananth ]] MS Dhoni gets hugely penalized by your method. A brilliant finisher, possibly one of the best ODI batsmen ever in home/ neutral conditions.

    The definition of "neutral venue" can be interesting. If in a tri series match in England, West Indies play Sri Lanka, is this is neutral match for a SL or WI batsman, or is it an "Away" match? This is probably an elementary query. Again, all World Cup matches played outside one's country will be "Neutral" matches. [[ I am sure you should give credit for doing this correctly. Each team is evaluated independently as far as location is concerned. Ananth ]] Lastly, a final is a final. Whether it is a tri-series, a quadrangular, or a 12-team series is not relevant, IMO. Completely excluding tri series finals, presents a picture that might be a little more than slightly distorted. Again, my personal opinion. [[ Can we treat the Wimbledon Final the same as Chennai Open Final, the World Cup Football Final as the same as Durand Cup, the question for getting a Crore the same as the Rs.10000 question and so on. There have been 10 WC Finals and about 200 Tri-series Finals. How can these have the same status. Ananth ]]

  • Raghav Bihani on May 7, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Excellent article. Will take more to digest fully.

    However, even after reading your views on using RPI and no averages, I cannot reconcile the injustice done here. Openers anyways have the best shot to score runs in ODIs in limited overs, especially after the 1996 World Cup. This coupled with the fact that lower order batsmen frequently throw away their wicket for team cause. Now to totally ignore the not outs is very hard on them. At the very least if you are considering RPI of 35-40 as excellent, any innings of 15-20* should not bring down a player's RPI. I understand your view but cannot agree to its usage. You will agree that a batsman coming in no.6 cannot be expected to contribute 40 RPI over a career. In tests, RPI is admissable but ODIs?? Also the Strike Rate has not been considered at all in the article. Increasingly it is SR which is gaining importance. Sachin 100 against Bangladesh being an example. Gilchrist, Afridi and Sehwag give at least 5 off their RPI to score faster [[ Raghav, all the above make sense. However note the following. 1. If I had taken the Batting Average as the basis I would have had objections from quite a few. So there is no one correct solution which satisfies all. 2. In almost all older matches involving good teams and in some current matches involving South Africa/Australia/England, the openers face Test-like conditions. It is not "plant your left feet across and swing". 3. The chances of the top order batsmen getting out to good deliveries is high because of the enforced close fields. There is no milking of safe runs. 4. Already this is a 3-dimensional analysis. I could not very well have made it a four dimensional with the addition of scoring rates. One more set of tables/graphs would have been needed. The article would have come to 20 pages. Anyhow finally why start off on a negative note. The basic measure is one aspect of analysis. There is so much insight to be drawn from the other numbers. Why miss all that because of this lack of acceptance. Ananth ]]

  • Jitendra Bigtani on May 7, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    It has been said that Ponting contributed significantly to 3 world cups. Actually Ponting as player has most wins in world cup matches than any other player. Still he has 3 man of the match. Tendulkar has 9. Kallis, Lara has more MoM than Ponting though they have much less wins than Ponting in WC matches. Ponting teammates like McGrath, Shane warne, Steve Waugh, Hayden, Mark Waugh all have equal or more MoMs. This proves that Ponting is not big tournament player as suggested. He was one of the force and not primary force in any WC win. Not even in 2003 WC final, when he only started hitting after 37 overs and 225+ runs on board when Gilchrist, Hayden and Martyn had already demoralized the Indian attack.

  • arch on May 7, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Sharjah was equally important in the 80s. You ought to include that. [[ I do not accept that the Sharjah Tri-series or bilateral matches were anywhere as important as they are made to be. There were probably well over 50 Tri-series there and these are only as important as many bi-lateral series. Ananth ]]

  • Waspsting on May 7, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    Gilchrist used to be a shoo in for a spot, but Dhoni's performances in recent years has made that more open to debate.

    Open with Gilchrist, and have someone like Bevan at 6 or 7? Or have Dhoni at 6 or 7 and stick an opener like Jayasuriya in maybe?

    On the bowling front, I'd like Shaun Pollock, Wasim Akram, Ambrose and Garner. all hard to hit, and two of them giving the batting extra depth.

    Viv Richards, Tendulkar, and Ponting plus the 4 bowlers leaves 4 spots open among keepers/batsmen/allrounders.

    Some combo of - Gilchrist or Dhoni for keeper (1 spot) and,

    - Bevan, Pietersen, Lara, De Silva...

    - Jayasuriya, Chris Cairns, Shakib Al Hasan, Afridi (3 spots, somewhat dependent on whether we go with Gilchrist or Dhoni)

  • Nitin Gautam on May 7, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    Incredible piece. Its really amusing to see your zeal & enthusiasm to dig deep into the various aspects of the game & provide such an insight of cricket.

    Readers will always be thankful.

    given SRT's exploits, it would be extremely difficult to match him in ODIs for any player & no matter how parameters are shuffled, the master comes on top almost everytime. The quality of his shots, dazzling strokeplay & self motivation to keep going is what amazes me the most.

    almost everytime SRT, BCL, Viv etc are counted for best ODI playesr but ponting is easily the 2nd best of his era & one of the best ever. an amazing player by any means.

    regarding the key tournaments I guess u missed the hero cup as i remember vaguely it was a 6 team tournament albeit with less no. of matches.

    Completing the 6 players you chose, include Watson,Wasim, Mcgraw, Murli & donald in this order of batting & replace peterson with richard, comes out a pretty formidable ODI side ever. probably the best ever.

  • Tariq on May 8, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    I dont know who demand such analysis. It is so hard to understand with all different colour schemes. Such detail, may be a coach would buty it, but who else care. Keep it as a sport to enjoy and not something like wheather forecast ananlysis or work of a Wall street actuary. [[ There is a player name and the tables/graphs show the runs he scored at what average RpI against each country. Is it as complicated as made to be. If you don't like the graphs you can see the tables. If you don''t want the tables you can download the Excel sheets. Finally if you want nothing, what can I say. Go to Cricinfo and see the ODI Career aggregates tables, that is all. Ananth ]]

  • Shams on May 8, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    The RpI distinctly favors top order batsmen in ODIs. It would be nice to see comparisons using averages or some other scheme that doesn't penalize lower order batsmen instead.

    Viv Richards numbers are amazing considering he played most of his inns from #4 and played in a comparatively strong batting line up.

    I have one other request, can you also include classification by continent to see how batsmen performed in various continents vs the top teams? My concern is due to the volume of ODI matches played in Asia the figures classified as neutral are diluted. [[ One more dimension of data. Ananth ]]