August 17, 2012

Analysing ODI careers in segments

A look at ODI batting and bowling records of players, splitting each career into three parts
45

Ricky Ponting was remarkably consistent over a long ODI career
Ricky Ponting was remarkably consistent over a long ODI career © AFP

A few weeks back I had done the Test player analysis splitting the career into two equal halves. Almost the first comment that came was one from WaspSting suggesting that I analyse the career split into three equal parts instead. It was a good idea since it allows us to look at the player's settling down period, the peak period when the player is at his best and the winding down period. The insights which can be drawn can be more finely tuned towards these career-segments. I will do the Test analysis later but decided to do the ODI career analysis on this basis. It also meant that I had to integrate the 500-element match data into the player database. This will be the base for many future analysis.

The one-third positions of an ODI career. Perfect points to look back and forward. In real life, no single ODI player would have known that he was at these positions. However, looking back, with the aid of the massive database, the cut-off points are obvious, even for the currently active players. Please note that all comparisons are within the concerned player.

What is the expectation? In the initial career-segment of a player, he is younger, fitter, (possibly) faster in his actions and does not have to conserve himself. However he is inexperienced, learning the trade and susceptible to selectorial whims. In the middle career-segment, he is settled, carries the reputation built by him and this is expected to be his most productive and effective period. In the final career-segment, he is aging, has a non-syncing body and mind, has to compete with younger players and is also susceptible to selectorial decisions to blood newer players.

Who is likely to deliver? The younger, fitter but inexperienced one or the well-settled king-of-the-patch or the wily, wiser but older player. Our immediate expectation is that most players would have their best career-segment in the middle. But we may be in for surprises. Very difficult to generalize since so many other factors come into play. Let us see.

First, a few analysis criteria.

1. The career-segment is determined slightly differently to Tests and is more common-sense based. It is strictly based on the number of ODIs played. This would allow an evaluation of a player's contribution in batting and bowling together, if we so wish.
2. The overall criteria is 3000 runs for batsmen and 100 wickets for bowlers. 120 batsmen and 108 bowlers qualify. Reasonable population sizes are thus available for analysis. For current players, it is obvious that the last ODI they played could very well be their last ODI ever. If I do this analysis couple of years hence, the numbers for the current batsmen would undergo significant changes.
3. For batsmen, both Runs and RpI figures are analyzed independently. I am a strong proponent of RpI instead of Batting average, especially in ODIs. Since the average number of wickets in an innings is around 7, many of the middle order batsmen, despite the quick-scoring requirements in the later overs, have a good chance of remaining unbeaten. Let me also say, I would rather adopt a system which favours the top order batsmen than the middle and late order.
4. For batsmen, I have also included the career segment splits by Strike Rate in the data table which users can analyze on their own.
5. For bowlers, both Wickets and Bowling average figures are analyzed independently. There is expected to be less correlation between these two.
6. Users may independently analyze the career segment splits by Runs per Over and Bowls per Wicket included in the data table.

First an overall summary.

Batting

These values apply to the creme de la creme of batsmen, the 120 selected ones, who have scored 56% of the total runs scored. The average of average % of runs scored in the initial career-segment of career stands at 31.5%, nearly 9% below the 33.33% mark, indicating that the players, overall, have taken time to settle down: as expected. An alternate measure, which is the average of runs scored in the first half divided by the average of career runs, stands at an almost similar value of 31.4%. The values for the middle career-segment are 34.8% and 34.9%, indicating that this is only around 4% above the expected mark. The values for the final career-segment are 33.8% and 33.7%, indicating that this is only around 1% above the expected mark.

The average of the RpI ratio for the initial career-segment stands slightly lower at 94.3% indicating a 5% lower RpI across these batsmen. The middle career-segment has a figure of 103.9% which indicates that, during this crucial period, the batsmen have achieved about 4% more. The final career-segment period also sees a higher RpI value of 101.3%.

The average of the Batting strike rate follows a similar pattern: 96.8%, 101.7% and 101.5% for the three career-segments.

Bowling

A slightly different [picture emerges for the 108 bowlers. The three career-segments are closely bunched with values of 33.5%, 34.1% and 32.4% respectively, indicating a more even split than batting.

The bowling average variation is similar. 98%, 96% and 107% indicates a good average to start with, still better averages in the middle career-segment and a sharp drop in bowling performances in the final career-segment. The RpO values show similar trends: 99%, 99% and 103%. Only the bowling strike rate values show a slight difference: 102%, 99% and 105%. Remember that below 100 means a better performance.

Let us now look at the graphs. These have been designed specifically for this analysis. There are four graphs. Batting: Runs & RpI and Bowling: Wickets & Bowling average. Each graph shows the initial, middle and final career segment figures of 12 players. There are 3 players each for perfect splits, great start, magnificent middle and fabulous finish. Thus the graphs cover the best performers rather than the ones who have scored runs or wickets. Those players could be perused in the tables.

The first graph relates to Batting: Runs scored in each career-segment.

ODI runs scored by batsmen in their careers, split into three segments © Anantha Narayanan

Usually the high performance players tend to be those who have scored fewer number of runs or captured fewer wickets. There is a nice exception here. Ponting, who has a very high career run aggregate of 13704 runs has got three career-segment values either side of 4600 with a difference of just over 100 runs. That is a wonderful level of consistency exhibited over 375 matches. Tharanga and Bell have similar even splits, however over much lower level of matches. It is of interest to note that all are modern players.

On the other hand, the three who have had the highest level of performance in the initial career-segment are batsmen who played a few years back. Parore scored 50% of his runs in the first career-segment. Kapil Dev and Arnold scored nearly 50% in the first career-segment. Then all of them dropped like stones.

The batsmen who have performed best in the middle career-segment have inverted-V shape patterns. Flintoff achieved nearly 50%, Cullinan above 50% and Gower, around 45%. But it is clear that these are not the high-scoring batsmen.

Now we come back to the fantastic finishers. The three who have finished most strongly are all currently active batsmen: Dilshan, de Villiers and Watson. While Dilshan and de Villiers have had steady upward graphs, Watson had an awful start and scored only 16% of his career runs in the first career-segment, followed by above 40% in the next two. Let us not forget that all are currently active players and these figures are bound to change.

The second graph relates to Batting: Batting average in each career-segment.

ODI Runs per innings for batsmen in their careers, split into three segments © Anantha Narayanan

Ponting not only scores equally in his three career-segments, but also scores these runs at almost the same RpI value of around 37. This is a confirmation of his consistency. Bell has similar figures too. Greenidge averages either side of 41 in his three career-segments.

Parore and Kapil Dev are making their appearance again with high RpI values in the first career-segment followed by huge drops. Not so surprisingly, Pietersen joins these two and has dropped from a high RpI value of 42 to 32 recently. His recent poor ODI form is well-known.

The same, three, Flintoff, Cullinan and Gower are present in the middle graph, in the inverted-V pattern.

de Villiers and Dilshan reappear with a new entrant Virat Kohli who has moved from an RpI of around 38 in the first two career-segments to an amazing 54+ currently. Don't forget this is the RpI and not batting average.

Now for the bowlers.

The career-segment graph relates to Bowling: Wickets captured in each career-segment.

ODI wickets taken by bowlers in their careers, split into three segments © Anantha Narayanan

It is a pleasure to see Dharmasena's career-split: 46 wickets in each career-segment. It cannot get any better. Agarkar is a seriously under-rated player. He is remembered more for his unfortunate sequence of zeroes in Australia. He was a very incisive bowler in ODIs. His bowling strike rate of 33.0 places him amongst the top-20 bowlers of all time. He maintained an excellent balanced distribution of 97, 97 and 94 wickets in the three career-segments. He was a top ODI bowler irrespective of his Test credentials. Walsh was another top bowler who had a great balanced trio of career-segments with 77, 74 and 76 wickets.

Steve Waugh started like a train, capturing 98 wickets in the first career-segment. Then he accumulated only 97 wickets in the next two career-segments. One major fall it was. Abdul Razzak had a fantastic first and them a major slump with 120, 77 and 75 in the three career-segments. Styris started with 61 and then finished with 49 and 27 wickets.

Now for the inverted-V patterns. Azhar Mahmood had 34 and 26 wickets in the first and third career-segments but had a strong middle with 63 wickets. Shastri was a little more even with 42, 58 and 29 wickets. Price was similar to Shastri with 19, 44 and 37 wickets in the three career-segments.

Now the strong finishers. Umar Gul exceeded his first two career-segments of 32 and 41 wickets with a strong third at 85 wickets. Yuvraj has similar figures of 26, 26 and 60 wickets. Langeveldt also follows with 34, 17 and 49 wickets. I will leave it to the readers why the strong finishers are all current bowlers.

The fourth graph relates to Bowling: Bowling average in each career-segment.

ODI bowling averages over a bowler's career, split into three segments © Anantha Narayanan

One cannot but fail to be impressed with Vaas's consistency. Over a 324 match career, he has bowled at an average bowling average of around 28 right through the three career-segments. This is an acceptable average since much of Vaas's bowling had been mostly on unhelpful pitches. Cairns averaged around 34 through his career. Walsh has done so most successfully around the 31 mark. This selection is based on the Index value.

Look at Bishop's fall from the dizzying heights of 19, through 27 to a woeful 42 in the last career-segment. Must have been the impact of his injuries. Abdul Razzak started like a bomb at 21 and then went to a tailspin and averaged 33 in both his remaining career-segments. Ambrose was similar. Starting at around 19, he went to nearly 30 but then recovered to finish around 27 in the final career-segment.

Azhar Mahmood started and finished poorly at 50 and 61, but had a fantastic middle career-segment at 25. Ray Price started at around 60, recovered to a stupendous 24 and then finished respectably at 38. Muralitharan is the third bowler. He started at 28, moved to an unbelievable 18 and finished with a very good average of 26.

Mohammad Rafique started at around 50 and then improved continuously to go through 38 and finish at 30. Cronje followed a similar pattern. Wickramasinghe followed a different V pattern. He started at a high 42, went to 49 and finished very well at 33. Please remember that the selection is based on the ratios for the career-segments.

Now the Batting table, with no special comments, for the batsmen who crossed 7000 runs in their ODI career.

Batting Analysis CareerRunInitialC-SMiddleC-SFinalC-SCareerRpIInitialC-SMiddleC-SFinalC-S
BatsmanCtryRuns Idx1Runs%Runs%Runs%RpI Idx2RpIRatioRpIRatioRpIRatio
 
TendulkarInd184260.075545029.6%656535.6%641134.8%40.760.23036.090.8944.061.0842.181.03
PontingAus137040.011464133.9%454933.2%451332.9%37.540.03637.130.9938.231.0237.300.99
JayasuriyaSlk134300.096383528.6%511438.1%448133.4%31.010.23427.390.8834.551.1130.901.00
InzamamPak117390.066393433.5%428136.5%352430.0%33.540.18332.510.9736.591.0931.460.94
KallisSaf114980.047356531.0%409235.6%384233.4%37.450.17234.280.9240.511.0837.671.01
GangulyInd113630.082385133.9%419336.9%331929.2%37.870.24738.901.0341.511.1033.190.88
DravidInd108890.018367333.7%368233.8%353432.5%34.240.08634.010.9935.751.0433.030.96
SangakkaraSlk108420.166271225.0%401737.1%411337.9%34.750.42727.120.7837.901.0938.801.12
JayawardeneSlk107720.020348432.3%363733.8%365133.9%30.080.07129.030.9730.821.0230.421.01
LaraWin104050.101399438.4%337732.5%303529.2%36.000.24640.341.1235.550.9931.950.89
Mohd YousufPak97200.056297830.6%351236.1%323133.2%35.600.16732.730.9238.591.0835.511.00
GilchristAus96190.052296930.9%345535.9%319533.2%34.470.17731.590.9237.551.0934.351.00
AzharuddinInd93780.064282830.2%324434.6%330635.3%30.440.16028.000.9230.901.0132.411.06
de SilvaSlk92840.131273729.5%370139.9%284630.7%31.360.34227.650.8836.641.1729.650.95
S. AnwarPak88240.127258029.2%350339.7%274031.1%36.160.39031.460.8743.251.2033.830.94
ChanderpaulWin87780.126257829.4%272231.0%348039.6%34.970.37031.060.8932.400.9341.431.18
HaynesWin86480.065273131.6%316436.6%275331.8%36.480.22134.140.9440.561.1134.850.96
AtapattuSlk85290.103265631.1%328238.5%259130.4%32.930.24430.180.9236.881.1231.600.96
M WaughAus85000.093243928.7%308636.3%297535.0%36.010.26231.270.8738.581.0738.141.06
GayleWin83600.038274732.9%294435.2%267031.9%36.500.06836.140.9937.741.0335.600.98
SehwagInd82380.171264032.0%214726.1%345141.9%33.900.48832.590.9626.840.7942.091.24
GibbsSaf80940.030259332.0%281934.8%268233.1%33.720.15431.240.9334.381.0235.761.06
Yuvraj SinghInd80510.131215826.8%295136.7%294236.5%31.940.32426.640.8334.721.0934.211.07
FlemingNzl80370.111277634.5%223127.8%303037.7%29.870.28229.851.0025.640.8634.041.14
S WaughAus75690.068226429.9%267735.4%262834.7%26.280.21023.580.9026.501.0128.881.10
RanatungaSlk74560.064224530.1%272236.5%248733.4%29.230.23925.800.8832.401.1129.611.01
J MiandadPak73810.148226430.7%300640.7%211128.6%33.850.34630.190.8939.551.1731.510.93
S. MalikPak71700.055249534.8%219130.6%248334.6%28.000.11328.681.0226.400.9428.871.03
AstleNzl70900.044251235.4%237033.4%220831.1%32.670.09533.491.0333.381.0231.100.95
S AfridiPak70680.053254536.0%232032.8%220331.2%22.010.06522.721.0321.480.9821.810.99
ClarkeAus70680.125223731.6%203328.8%279839.6%35.690.28233.390.9432.790.9240.551.14
BevanAus69120.146246835.7%264738.3%179926.0%35.260.25435.771.0138.931.1030.490.86
DhoniInd69080.056211430.6%249636.1%229833.3%36.740.17433.560.9139.621.0837.061.01
Younis KhanPak68240.061211931.1%248536.4%222432.6%29.030.12927.170.9430.681.0629.261.01
KirstenSaf67980.104256437.7%191328.1%232134.1%36.740.32141.351.1330.850.8438.051.04
FlowerZim67860.094201629.7%218932.3%258038.0%32.620.29229.220.9031.270.9637.391.15
RichardsWin67210.148259838.7%238135.4%174225.9%40.240.39143.301.0844.921.1232.260.80
DilshanSlk67150.249154022.9%210131.3%307445.8%30.110.57921.100.7030.011.0038.421.28

Thanks to Aneesh for his reference to Richards. How can we have a table without Richards? Hence I have added a few top batsmen, including Richards, to the table.

It is necessary to explain two Index values which have been determined and have been used for selection in the graphs. The Idx1 is for the runs scored in the three career-segments. It is the sum of the absolute difference between % for each career-segment and 0.333, for the three career-segments. If the three career-segments had shares of 0.28, 0.32 and 0.40, the Idx1 value is 0.133 (0.053+0.0133+0.0667). The lower this value is, the closer the three values are to the exact third fraction. For Ponting this index value is an excellent 0.011.

The second index for RpI, Idx2, is calculated differently because of the different method of determining the impact of the values. I use a ratio between career RpI and career-segment RpI for each career-segment. Hence this index value is determined as the sum of the absolute difference between the career RpI and career-segment RpI divided by the career RpI. For Tendulkar the figure is (abs(40.76-36.09)+abs(40.76-44.06)+abs(40.76-42.18))/40.76 which works out to 0.230, indicating a fair degree of variation. For Ponting the figure is (abs(37.54-37.13)+abs(37.54-38.23)+abs(37.54-37.30))/37.54 which works out to 0.036, indicating almost no variation.

This is too big a table for me to offer a lot of comments. I will let the readers to do that. I will only do a summary.

Lara(38.4%, 32.5% and 29.2%), Sangakkara(25, 37.1 and 37.9), de Silva(29.5, 39.9 and 30.7) and Saeed Anwar(29.2, 39.7 and 31.1) have had fairly varying careers.

Tendulkar(29.6, 35.6 and 34.8), Inzamam(33.5, 36.5 and 30.0), Md. Yousuf(30.6, 36.1 and 33.2) and Gilchrist(30.0, 35.9 and 33.2) have had reasonably stable careers.

Ponting(33.9, 33.2 and 32.9), Kallis(31.0, 35.6 and 33.4), Dravid(33.7, 33.8 and 32.5), Jayawardene(32.3, 33.8 and 33.9) have had very stable careers.

Ponting's RpI values have also shown a remarkable level of consistency. Dravid and Jayawardene are fine. Look at the wide variation of RpI values for Sangakkara, Sehwag, Saeed Anwar et al.

Bowling Analysis  CareerWktsInitialC-SMiddleC-SFinalC-SCareerAvgeInitialC-SMiddleC-SFinalC-S
BowlerCtryTypeWkts Idx1Wkts%Wkts%Wkts%Avge Idx2AvgeRatioAvgeRatioAvgeRatio
 
MuralitharanSlkrob5340.10115829.6%20538.4%17132.0%23.080.5828.151.2217.180.7425.471.10
W AkramPakLF5020.06215831.5%18336.5%16132.1%23.530.1724.031.0221.660.9225.171.07
W YounisPakRF4160.05014935.8%13833.2%12931.0%23.850.2820.680.8725.911.0925.301.06
Vaas CSlkLFM4000.02213634.0%13533.8%12932.2%27.540.0527.040.9827.370.9928.251.03
PollockSafRFM3930.11214637.2%13835.1%10927.7%24.510.2323.380.9523.180.9527.701.13
McGrathAusRF3810.04212031.5%13535.4%12633.1%22.020.3025.481.1620.440.9320.410.93
LeeAusRF3800.06013836.3%12532.9%11730.8%23.360.1721.490.9223.901.0224.981.07
S AfridiPakrlb3470.2527220.7%12134.9%15444.4%33.520.6146.931.4029.830.8930.140.90
KumbleIndrlb3370.10312035.6%12236.2%9528.2%30.900.4028.200.9128.190.9137.781.22
JayasuriyaSlklsp3230.16512538.7%11736.2%8125.1%36.740.1734.100.9337.621.0239.531.08
SrinathIndRFM3150.04411235.6%10031.7%10332.7%28.080.2524.790.8829.761.0630.031.07
WarneAusrlb2930.12511639.6%9231.4%8529.0%25.730.4720.470.8029.231.1429.131.13
AgarkarIndRFM2880.0149733.7%9733.7%9432.6%27.850.1630.131.0825.580.9227.841.00
Saqlain MPakrob2880.13911038.2%10235.4%7626.4%21.790.5119.580.9019.320.8928.301.30
VettoriNzllsp2820.1287627.0%9834.8%10838.3%31.500.5240.881.3028.420.9027.690.88
Zaheer KhanIndLFM2820.07110436.9%8429.8%9433.3%29.440.2925.520.8732.331.1031.181.06
DonaldSafRF2720.1727427.2%11441.9%8430.9%21.790.4726.431.2117.680.8123.261.07
KallisSafRFM2700.1049334.4%10137.4%7628.1%31.700.1629.480.9334.041.0731.290.99
A RazzaqPakRFM2690.22612044.6%7728.6%7226.8%31.830.5325.430.8035.481.1138.601.21
NtiniSafRF2660.1088130.5%10338.7%8230.8%24.670.3125.301.0321.300.8628.271.15
HarbhajanIndrob2590.10610038.6%7428.6%8532.8%33.400.3528.290.8538.971.1734.551.03
Kapil DevIndRFM2530.0699336.8%8232.4%7830.8%27.450.1625.430.9328.511.0428.741.05
ShoaibAkhtarPakRF2470.0929237.2%8434.0%7128.7%24.980.4920.770.8323.750.9531.891.28
StreakZimRFM2390.0457631.8%7832.6%8535.6%29.830.1331.201.0530.421.0228.060.94
GoughEngRF2350.0968636.6%8234.9%6728.5%26.440.2924.200.9225.280.9630.731.16
WalshWinRF2270.0157733.9%7432.6%7633.5%30.470.0530.431.0031.301.0329.710.98
AmbroseWinRF2250.2049843.6%6227.6%6528.9%24.130.5119.300.8029.151.2126.631.10
AndersonEngRFM2160.2877534.7%4119.0%10046.3%30.570.3325.280.8332.151.0533.891.11
MillsNzlRM2050.1535627.3%8441.0%6531.7%26.000.4331.341.2121.490.8327.221.05
McDermottAusRF2030.0766029.6%7536.9%6833.5%24.720.4931.351.2721.200.8622.750.92
HarrisNzlRM2030.1848642.4%6833.5%4924.1%37.500.4131.490.8440.621.0843.731.17
CairnsNzlRFM2010.1196230.8%7939.3%6029.9%32.810.0533.481.0232.951.0031.920.97
MalingaSlkRFM2000.1236231.0%5929.5%7939.5%26.580.1924.080.9129.071.0926.671.00

The two index values are calculated similar to batting.

We have already seen how consistently Vaas has performed. McGrath has also been very consistent right through. 120, 135 and 126 wickets represent a very even set of career-segments. Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have also been quite consistent. Look at how much of a variation there is for Shahid Afridi: 72, 121 and 154 wickets.Warne has also been fairly inconsistent.

We have already seen Muralitharan's inverted-V pattern exhibiting widely varying bowling average. Wasim Akram and Brett Lee have pretty good distribution. All the other top bowlers exhibit a fair degree of variation, especially Shahid Afridi and Warne.

The overall RpO index values are 0.99, 0.99 and 1.03, indicating that the third career-segment has been slightly more difficult for the bowlers. Vaas's consistency on bowling accuracy is remarkable. Muralitharan is way off and the other top bowlers have done quite well. This is probably the most stable amongst all measures across the career. Barring Murali, Warne and Kumble, most of the other top bowlers all have index values below 0.1.

The overall values are 1.02, 0.99 and 1.05, again indicating a more difficult third career-segment and an excellent middle career-segment. Surprisingly Shahid Afridi who has an excellent distribution in the RpO values, viz., 4.74, 4.52 and 4.57, varies like a yo-yo in the BpW values, viz., 44, 60 and 40.

To download/view the Excel sheet containing the ODI Players career analysis tables, please click/right-click here.

I think I have had enough of these career level analyses. Let me look at something totally different now. The next is on Wicket-keepers and then the best-10-year analysis for Test players: this may look like a career-level analysis but will need a totally different perspective.

A footnote. We do many comparisons across ages, formats, player types, playing conditions, game rules etc. We do not always have a clear set of comparing norms identified. Many of these are subjective and are personal opinions. In a way it is similar to the question which is raised after each Olympics. Who is the greatest Olympian of all times?

- Is it Usain Bolt with an unprecedented treble in two consecutive Olympics?
- Is it Michael Phelps who has captured 22 medals in 3 Olympics, 18 of which were gold?
- Is it Carl Lewis who captured 10 medals, including 9 gold, spread across 4 Olympics?
- Is it Paavo Nurmi who has captured 12 medals in three Olympics, 9 of which were gold?
not to say anything of
- Lasse Viren who did the 5000/10000 meters double in two consecutive Olympics, Blankers-Coen who won 4 gold medals in London, Jesse Owens who won 4 gold medals in a totally hostile situation in Berlin, Daley Thomson and Bob Mathias who won Decathlon in 2 consecutive Olympics, Steven Redgrave who won 5 gold and 1 bronze medals in 5 Olympics and Al Oerter who captured gold in the same event in 4 consecutive Olympics.

The bottom-line is that there is no single simple answer to any of these questions.

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

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  • Ramesh Kumar on August 22, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    (Cont'd)

    On bowlers, Shahid Afridi has become a better bowler and ordinary batsman. My memory of Agarkar was of somebody who bowls boundary balls every over and gets wickets when the batsmen tried to slog him out. Possibly unfair. Vaas & Murali have done equal damage for SL in ODIS though Murali must be way ahead of Vaas in tests. Pak team looks deadly in the middle segment, with two Ws, Afridi & Saqlain.

    Team ananlysis(Pawan's idea) looks very interesting. [[ Viewed in a simplistic manner, it is certainly very intriguing. May not warrant a full article but I would probably post a table . That means the two articles (ODI career segments and VVS one) will run in parallel for the next week. Ananth: ]] The pending list of your articles on retired greats is increasing. The due ones are on Viv, Lara, Ponting(ODI), Dravid & VVS. [[ VVS is coming in today. I did Dravid in March. You seem to have missed it. Lara/Richards will follow. Ponting ? I have never done one on an ODI career so far. For Tests we will wait. Ananth: ]]

  • Ramesh Kumar on August 22, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Ananth,

    As usual, an interesting bit of work.

    On Batting, RPI looks very interesting. SRT RPI figs are stunning if you look at absolute numbers as well. Richards drop in the last segment match with our knowledge. Sehwag seems to be on the upward path and if you look at strike rate, that makes it interesting. It conflicts with my general perception that he is not fulfilling his potential in ODIs, double century notwithstanding.Anwar's drop is a surprise. There are only 11 40+ RPIs in any segment, of which SRT & VIV account for 4. Dhoni is clearly the best amongst the lower middle order(no 5 onwards), better than Bevan and better strike rate. 40+ RPIs for Haynes & Viv in the middle segment shows WI domination knowing the other strong players in the team. The same with Punter & Gilchrist with others in the Aussie team.

    If we look at RPIs with strike rates, we can truly separate ODI champions with other great players.

  • shrikanthk on August 22, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    Ananth : As Milton Friedman said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    The ECB has no incentive whatsoever to postpone their test season to accomodate IPL. They've no stake in IPL, nor in CL. And their players (even if available) are unlikely to be big draws in IPL auctions. Because traditionally England players have never been too popular in India, unlike SAffers or Aussies. This is a non-issue for ECB.

    If KP wants the whole of IPL he ought to quit the England set-up and take a chance. But he doesn't have the guts to do so. It's like the kid who wants his parents to feed him till he's 25. Fund his education. But then get out of his sight for the rest of his life (except when his wife yields a baby in which case he may want his parents to baby-sit).

  • shrikanthk on August 22, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Alex, Ananth: I don't get this idea of branding ECB as a bunch of snobs and sympathising with KP just because he is "volatile".

    KP has never integrated with the English set-up. Nothing new about that. Lots of immigrants fail to integrate into English society. They want the security, the opportunities and the lifestyle that England affords, but not the English culture. They've a name for this - Multiculturalism. You see that in Bradford where you've a mini-Pakistan. Immigrants who pretend to live in Multan though they're actually living in Yorkshire! People who move to England in search of opportunities ought to meet the adopted land halfway

    KP can't say - I want the money. I want the recognition of an England player. But I don't like any of you. I'd stil rather be texting nasty stuff about you guys to rivals

    Sorry! This is NOT acceptable. In most other countries, your effigies will be burnt for such an action. But not in liberal England whose liberalism is taken for granted! [[ I certainly feel that KP has much more blame to shoulder than ECB. AT least when you refer to Bradford/Hounslow, we would be referring to the Asian immigrants who have a major cultural adjustment to make. KP with a western upbringing should not have that problem. Anyhow this seems to be a clear question of big money being offered and disappearing. The IPL supporters, mostly from India for whom there is no problem because of the have-cake-eat-cake-sell-cake option for the Indian players, may not agree. However I wonder how many players will call quits on their international careers because of IPL. Malinga is already mostly off. Gayle is fine now. But next year ??? KP may want to bank 6-8 million dollars in three years. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 22, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    @Ananth: Strauss, from what I have seen, is a typical political white-gloved British snob: what they say in public and do in private can be entirely different matters. A volatile SA-born KP is bound to have friction with him and ECB. So, KP did contribute to his own demise but that probably was more of a reaction to the system.

    In general, it makes sense to create one or two 6-week long cash rich windows in the ICC yearly schedule and to make those available to all players. As to its duration and timing, ICC should decide on that and all boards must fall in line. A top-class player can earn at least $600,000/- in those 6 weeks and that is enough of a security. [[ All accepted. In a team-game like Cricket, it is all right to be a maverick, but only on field: play exotic strokes, attack when least expected, scatter the field when defence is the call etc. However one has to be a team-man always. Sehwag is one such player. He would be right when he expresses a strong opinion: like if SRT comes back to the ODI side and distrupts the opening combination. But, even in jest, one should not pull down team-mates. I also say that what Swann did, on KP, was also wrong. I hope after a 3-month solitary comfinement, KP is welcomed back to the English team, in time for the Indian tour. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 22, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    @Ananth: Incidentally, it would be better if you pl post similar tables for the power factor (RPI* SR and avg*SR).

    I wonder if KP could play for SA since ECB might be done with him. If not then we may have witnessed career termination of two great batsmen in the same week. I am not a fan of BCCI but the snobbish ECB & its pet establishment is even worse. KP can still earn 1.3 million GBP per year in IPL. So, it's not his loss as much as that of serious cricket. [[ I agee with you almost fully. However it has to be agreed that Pietersen has contributed seriously to digging his own grave. Today is not Packer era. Today is not the late-1960s Tennis era. The concerned players were getting nothing from the game. They had to go out to earn something. With a good England contract and some endorsements I am sure KP would have been clearing half a million pounds. If he had worked with IPL part of the time, in co-operation with ECB, would not there have been well in excess of half a million pounds. Is a million plus pounds not enough. The final figure may be much higher, nearer 2 million. I agree if he compared himeslf to SRT or Dhoni or Hamilton or Murray or Rooney, this would be small. But lines have to be drawn somewhere. If ECB conceded to KP to play IPL-VI fully and skip the Nzl tour, what is to prevent Swann or Broad to ask for availability for a complete IPL. I concede, like West Indies-Gayle stand-off, there are faults on both sides. However Gayle had maintained some level of silence unlike KP whose Aug 6 outburst was most ill-timed and terrible one. He could have waited until end of the Test series. Ananth: ]]

  • Pawan Mathur on August 21, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Ananth, Since cricket is largely a team game, relating to dividing the career segment into three halves, one related aspect is an analysis of world cup winning sides and the respective number of players who were in first, second or third phase during that time. Without going into exact numerical details, I feel that the 1975 1987, and 1992 teams comprised players mostly in their first phase. 1975 is understandable as ODI were in infancy then but 1987 world cup triumph was a great achievement by an inexperienced Australian side.1979, 1983, 1999 2003, 2011 world cup winning teams comprised mainly of players in their prime(segment 2). 2007 Australian side is perhaps the only side that had a large number of players playing in the third segment of their career. By this yardstick, I feel that 1996 SL team had the most composite numbers, two openers and a bowling attack who were probably into a transition phase from segment 1 to segment 2, with most of middle order in their prime(phase2/3) [[ Pawan, intriguing idea. I am not sure how this will work out. We have not established in which career-segment are players strongest. However you are probably looking at the sum of the Career-segment numbers for 11 players in the concerned Finals. The number either side of 22 would indicate the lack of or abundance of experience. Let me see what can be done. Ananth: ]]

  • charith on August 21, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    I'm a lankan and i always loved watching VVS bat.His wrist work was as special as Azar's.Some of his fourth innings efforts were wonderful. It was wonderful the way he retired and let it be a good example to all the other legends of the game who are nearing the end.(please don't go the way of our own sanath who keeps loosing all the fans whom they loved to watch him bat earlier in his career.)

  • Sarosh on August 21, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Alex: Good thing you didn't think I was gerry_the_merry. Now that would really be terribly depressing. As re.SRT all you say is correct but seems like an overaction. SRT has been on the peak for so long that we have forgotten how precipitous by definition a peak really is.The higher you fly etc..So,a little nudge and off you go tumbling down...

  • Thomas on December 15, 2012, 23:56 GMT

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  • Ramesh Kumar on August 22, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    (Cont'd)

    On bowlers, Shahid Afridi has become a better bowler and ordinary batsman. My memory of Agarkar was of somebody who bowls boundary balls every over and gets wickets when the batsmen tried to slog him out. Possibly unfair. Vaas & Murali have done equal damage for SL in ODIS though Murali must be way ahead of Vaas in tests. Pak team looks deadly in the middle segment, with two Ws, Afridi & Saqlain.

    Team ananlysis(Pawan's idea) looks very interesting. [[ Viewed in a simplistic manner, it is certainly very intriguing. May not warrant a full article but I would probably post a table . That means the two articles (ODI career segments and VVS one) will run in parallel for the next week. Ananth: ]] The pending list of your articles on retired greats is increasing. The due ones are on Viv, Lara, Ponting(ODI), Dravid & VVS. [[ VVS is coming in today. I did Dravid in March. You seem to have missed it. Lara/Richards will follow. Ponting ? I have never done one on an ODI career so far. For Tests we will wait. Ananth: ]]

  • Ramesh Kumar on August 22, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Ananth,

    As usual, an interesting bit of work.

    On Batting, RPI looks very interesting. SRT RPI figs are stunning if you look at absolute numbers as well. Richards drop in the last segment match with our knowledge. Sehwag seems to be on the upward path and if you look at strike rate, that makes it interesting. It conflicts with my general perception that he is not fulfilling his potential in ODIs, double century notwithstanding.Anwar's drop is a surprise. There are only 11 40+ RPIs in any segment, of which SRT & VIV account for 4. Dhoni is clearly the best amongst the lower middle order(no 5 onwards), better than Bevan and better strike rate. 40+ RPIs for Haynes & Viv in the middle segment shows WI domination knowing the other strong players in the team. The same with Punter & Gilchrist with others in the Aussie team.

    If we look at RPIs with strike rates, we can truly separate ODI champions with other great players.

  • shrikanthk on August 22, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    Ananth : As Milton Friedman said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    The ECB has no incentive whatsoever to postpone their test season to accomodate IPL. They've no stake in IPL, nor in CL. And their players (even if available) are unlikely to be big draws in IPL auctions. Because traditionally England players have never been too popular in India, unlike SAffers or Aussies. This is a non-issue for ECB.

    If KP wants the whole of IPL he ought to quit the England set-up and take a chance. But he doesn't have the guts to do so. It's like the kid who wants his parents to feed him till he's 25. Fund his education. But then get out of his sight for the rest of his life (except when his wife yields a baby in which case he may want his parents to baby-sit).

  • shrikanthk on August 22, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Alex, Ananth: I don't get this idea of branding ECB as a bunch of snobs and sympathising with KP just because he is "volatile".

    KP has never integrated with the English set-up. Nothing new about that. Lots of immigrants fail to integrate into English society. They want the security, the opportunities and the lifestyle that England affords, but not the English culture. They've a name for this - Multiculturalism. You see that in Bradford where you've a mini-Pakistan. Immigrants who pretend to live in Multan though they're actually living in Yorkshire! People who move to England in search of opportunities ought to meet the adopted land halfway

    KP can't say - I want the money. I want the recognition of an England player. But I don't like any of you. I'd stil rather be texting nasty stuff about you guys to rivals

    Sorry! This is NOT acceptable. In most other countries, your effigies will be burnt for such an action. But not in liberal England whose liberalism is taken for granted! [[ I certainly feel that KP has much more blame to shoulder than ECB. AT least when you refer to Bradford/Hounslow, we would be referring to the Asian immigrants who have a major cultural adjustment to make. KP with a western upbringing should not have that problem. Anyhow this seems to be a clear question of big money being offered and disappearing. The IPL supporters, mostly from India for whom there is no problem because of the have-cake-eat-cake-sell-cake option for the Indian players, may not agree. However I wonder how many players will call quits on their international careers because of IPL. Malinga is already mostly off. Gayle is fine now. But next year ??? KP may want to bank 6-8 million dollars in three years. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 22, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    @Ananth: Strauss, from what I have seen, is a typical political white-gloved British snob: what they say in public and do in private can be entirely different matters. A volatile SA-born KP is bound to have friction with him and ECB. So, KP did contribute to his own demise but that probably was more of a reaction to the system.

    In general, it makes sense to create one or two 6-week long cash rich windows in the ICC yearly schedule and to make those available to all players. As to its duration and timing, ICC should decide on that and all boards must fall in line. A top-class player can earn at least $600,000/- in those 6 weeks and that is enough of a security. [[ All accepted. In a team-game like Cricket, it is all right to be a maverick, but only on field: play exotic strokes, attack when least expected, scatter the field when defence is the call etc. However one has to be a team-man always. Sehwag is one such player. He would be right when he expresses a strong opinion: like if SRT comes back to the ODI side and distrupts the opening combination. But, even in jest, one should not pull down team-mates. I also say that what Swann did, on KP, was also wrong. I hope after a 3-month solitary comfinement, KP is welcomed back to the English team, in time for the Indian tour. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 22, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    @Ananth: Incidentally, it would be better if you pl post similar tables for the power factor (RPI* SR and avg*SR).

    I wonder if KP could play for SA since ECB might be done with him. If not then we may have witnessed career termination of two great batsmen in the same week. I am not a fan of BCCI but the snobbish ECB & its pet establishment is even worse. KP can still earn 1.3 million GBP per year in IPL. So, it's not his loss as much as that of serious cricket. [[ I agee with you almost fully. However it has to be agreed that Pietersen has contributed seriously to digging his own grave. Today is not Packer era. Today is not the late-1960s Tennis era. The concerned players were getting nothing from the game. They had to go out to earn something. With a good England contract and some endorsements I am sure KP would have been clearing half a million pounds. If he had worked with IPL part of the time, in co-operation with ECB, would not there have been well in excess of half a million pounds. Is a million plus pounds not enough. The final figure may be much higher, nearer 2 million. I agree if he compared himeslf to SRT or Dhoni or Hamilton or Murray or Rooney, this would be small. But lines have to be drawn somewhere. If ECB conceded to KP to play IPL-VI fully and skip the Nzl tour, what is to prevent Swann or Broad to ask for availability for a complete IPL. I concede, like West Indies-Gayle stand-off, there are faults on both sides. However Gayle had maintained some level of silence unlike KP whose Aug 6 outburst was most ill-timed and terrible one. He could have waited until end of the Test series. Ananth: ]]

  • Pawan Mathur on August 21, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Ananth, Since cricket is largely a team game, relating to dividing the career segment into three halves, one related aspect is an analysis of world cup winning sides and the respective number of players who were in first, second or third phase during that time. Without going into exact numerical details, I feel that the 1975 1987, and 1992 teams comprised players mostly in their first phase. 1975 is understandable as ODI were in infancy then but 1987 world cup triumph was a great achievement by an inexperienced Australian side.1979, 1983, 1999 2003, 2011 world cup winning teams comprised mainly of players in their prime(segment 2). 2007 Australian side is perhaps the only side that had a large number of players playing in the third segment of their career. By this yardstick, I feel that 1996 SL team had the most composite numbers, two openers and a bowling attack who were probably into a transition phase from segment 1 to segment 2, with most of middle order in their prime(phase2/3) [[ Pawan, intriguing idea. I am not sure how this will work out. We have not established in which career-segment are players strongest. However you are probably looking at the sum of the Career-segment numbers for 11 players in the concerned Finals. The number either side of 22 would indicate the lack of or abundance of experience. Let me see what can be done. Ananth: ]]

  • charith on August 21, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    I'm a lankan and i always loved watching VVS bat.His wrist work was as special as Azar's.Some of his fourth innings efforts were wonderful. It was wonderful the way he retired and let it be a good example to all the other legends of the game who are nearing the end.(please don't go the way of our own sanath who keeps loosing all the fans whom they loved to watch him bat earlier in his career.)

  • Sarosh on August 21, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Alex: Good thing you didn't think I was gerry_the_merry. Now that would really be terribly depressing. As re.SRT all you say is correct but seems like an overaction. SRT has been on the peak for so long that we have forgotten how precipitous by definition a peak really is.The higher you fly etc..So,a little nudge and off you go tumbling down...

  • Sean Lawson on August 21, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    My full comment didn't got published, only part of it. So I am re-commenting. [[ Do not use the greater than and less than signs in your comment. I have changed your greater than to gt. Ananth: ]] This is in response to: Karthik at August 17, 2012 4:09 PM Not trying to argue but just posting a correction to the facts portion of the comment.

    Ajit Agarkar (27.85) does not have a better bowling average than, Shane Warne (25.73), Saqlain Mushtaq(21.79), Kapil Dev(27.45) and Shoaib Akhtar (24.98). However, I agree Ajit Agarkar is under-rated.

    I also feel Saqlain is under-appreciated, with two straight periods of lt 20 average (that no one else in the above table has managed) and finishing with a respectable 28.30

  • Saroj on August 20, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    @Alex: you have not got your fact right. SRT didn't called up a press conference after his 100th century. it was arranged by a Cola Brand of which he is brand ambassador. there he just replied to press queries regarding his 100th 100. and what rubbish about his ton against bangladesh was match costing. if 290+ is not enough against bangladesh to win a match then how much you want, 400. what about bowlers giving friendly fulltosses to the bangladeshis. [[ Alex I suggest you do not respond. There will be no end. Saroj certainly may have his points and you have yours. Leave it at that. Ananth: ]]

  • cricket-india on August 20, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    nice to see ajit agarkr come out well in another statistical analysis...any way you look at it, aggu has equal or better stats that zak, srinath and even kapil in terms of average, strike rate, economy and wkts per match in ODIs. yet he remains ignored and unrecognised, even as we struggel to defend 300+ scores against bangladesh also:-(

  • Basant on August 20, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    Great analysis, Ananth. Worth the wait.

  • Dinesh on August 20, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Amidst all the controversy surrounding Laxman's retirement and about selectors faults, they finally did something good as well. Selecting Badrinath for the test Squad. The Guy is a legend in the Domestic circuit. but he was never given an extended run in the team ala Rohit Sharma. All he got was just 2 tests and Seven ODI's spread over 3 years. I am real happy for him.Though he getting a chance to play are far fetched as i feel most probably he will not get to be part of Squad for England series even if he doesn't get any chance in this series.

  • Pankaj Joshi on August 20, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Please confirm your email ananth.itfigures@gmail.com Sent you an attachment the night VVS called it quits. Even if it is substandard, may one look at a receipt and a comment to whatever effect. Look forward to your planned piece. If any of us can catalyse it, nothing like it. [[ Will check. It is not an operative mailid for me. You can also send to my normal mailid which I will intimate you separately. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on August 20, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    Mt.Mitul, Let me say only one thing. My comments were only with reference to Tendulkar's ODI career. Not in the Test scene where he is still badly needed by India. And my comment on you was specifically in response to your suggestion.

  • Alex on August 20, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    @Sarosh: There was a time when I suspected you were "Abhi"! It is not SRT's failures in Eng & Oz that riled me up but the manner in which those were dealt with --- by him, by BCCI, & by media. He did not handle even a single press briefing and then had a press gala after match-costing 100th 100. He avoided ODIs in England when his team was in total disarray but played in ODIs in BD. The saddest sights were him blaming others for a run out in Oz, asking Mahela if he had caught him clean in Oz, etc. To me, SRT's attitude & integrity had made him so special. What's there to root for when those qualities are not at a premium anymore? Anyway, let this be Laxman's week.

  • Mitul Gogri on August 20, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Hi Ananth, with reference to your unwanted comment about Maestro "I do not want this to go off-track or a pro-anti-Tendulkar thread. The points I made are that Tendulkar, because of his on-off-off-off attitude towards ODI cricket, should retire from there and let the youngsters take the game forward. I do not think anyone can question that."/ I think it's time for you to go,and make Cricinfo a better website. [[ Even if I go off Cricinfo, the fact that Tendulkar's on-off attitude regarding ODIs will hurt Indian cricket will not go away. I am one writer and you are one of 1000+ readers. So if anyone has to go away, it should be you: to a better website or to a better article. Ananth: ]]

  • Sarosh on August 20, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    Alex's drastic turnaround re.SRT reminds me of a person who after a 22 yr old relationship finds his partner has just committed adultery. SRT's last couple of tours seems to have thrown all of Alex's two decade love out the window.

    Re.the planned VVS tribute,perhaps the way to go is to analyse his partnerships rather than solitary great innings. Referring to this or that innings as "turning points" in Indian cricket is pure hyperbole and the result of hindsight.An "impact" innings at the rate of one a year is hardly reason to celebrate greatness , if the rest of the time there is not much being contributed.

    Lara and Tendulkar too played many great innings. It didn't seem to make too much of an impact to their teams in the short terms. It cannot ,if the team itself is incompetent.

    Where VVS excelled is not only in keeping his cool ,but the effect that coolness had on his partners as well. Solitary great innings are fine mainly for memories. Partnerships, constant reliable runs and effect on team are what really count in the long haul and greater scheme of team success. [[ I have set myself the target of publishing by tomorrow and one day's effort. If I do not complete the same, you guys can pitch in. Ananth: ]]

  • Sean Lawson on August 20, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    This is in response to: Karthik at August 17, 2012 4:09 PM Not trying to argue but just posting a correction to the facts portion of the comment.

    Ajit Agarkar (27.85) does not have a better bowling average than, Shane Warne (25.73), Saqlain Mushtaq(21.79), Kapil Dev(27.45) and Shoaib Akhtar (24.98). However, I agree Ajit Agarkar is under-rated.

    I also feel Saqlain is under-appreciated, with two straight periods of <20 average and finishing with a respectable 28.30.

  • Alex on August 19, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    @Ananth: Wasn't VVS the franchise player of H'bad? If so, he must have earned close to Rs. 10 crores in his 3 IPL season career. By all accounts, he is a humble intelligent person. Retirement is a necessity in life and he is very well set for the rest of his life.

    In some sense, he is like Mohinder. Mohinder was arguably India's best batsman of the 80's (ave = 48 despite 2 horror series vs WI ... in contrast, avg is 47 for Vengsarkar and 46 for SMG) but with no hype/propaganda whatsoever. VVS never became a "star" like SRT/Ganguly/Dravid but posted at least one truly great innings per calendar year over 2000-2010. The "impact" value of his 50's and 100's was often very high. How about a tribute article on VVS? [[ I had planned a different article. Am debatibng on a special tribute to VVS. Not a run of the mill article. Ananth: ]]

  • dale on August 19, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    VVS Laxman...the name alone stirs the imagination and hints at something magical. His strokeplay could be described as wristy,charming, elegant and of course ,magical. [[ Great to hear this from a non-Indian. Laxman evoked such admiration from many non-Indian supporters. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 19, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    @Ananth:

    1. BCCI/Ganguly-Chappell terminated VVS's ODI career in Nov 2004 at age 30. That was 6 months & 10 ODI's after 3 away 100's in Oz and a series-winning 100 in a must-win final match in Pak. In his final ODI match, VVS scored 43 off 44 balls at #3.

    2. The logic used by BCCI/Ganguly-Chappell in dropping VVS was that if a batsman is a substandard fielder & a substandard runner between the wkts then he cannot be chosen for ODIs unless he is markedly better than other available batsmen. Since VVS was not a slogger, he was competing with SRT-Ganguly-Dravid as Sehwag & Yuvi had arrived. So, he had to go.

    3. The above policy was correct. It can be applied to a 40-year old batsman today as the team prepares for WC '14.

    VVS' career is not that of an unsung unfairly treated hero. His net worth must be Rs. 10 crore. He played in 86 ODIs & 134 tests. He earned all that by his performances on the field alone, as it should be. A truly great batsman who was thankfully spared by hype. [[ 10 crores??? Probably not. Ananth: ]]

  • Dinesh on August 19, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    re: Possible, but not correct to choose and play in 23 of the last 80 or so matches played by India.

    Most of these matches were before the world cup 2011 and then he was justified to select and play as he wanted to be fit enough.That is fine as we won the world cup and he played a major role in it.

    But now his choosing and playing doesn't make sense.If he wants to play till 2015 world cup then probably a small leverage(not that he can skip 50% matches) can be given in choosing the matches he wants to play. But if he doesnt want to last that long then i would probably say Selectors should talk to him. Selectors can only talk to him if they are big in stature. Make Amarnath the chairman and i feel he can talk to Sachin. Srikanth was always Dummy in front of Sachin. [[ Let us see what Mohinder, if he is given the reins, does. Ananth: ]] The biggest problem with sportsmen is they want to play as long as possible but no one know how long that time frame is. Even if sachin wants to play 2015 suddenly a new injury might crop up and force him to retire.

  • Waspsting on August 19, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    re: Tendulkar's possible retirement from ODI... possibly he's sticking it out for the personal milestone 50 100s (and maybe 100 50s)? he's 1 & 4 short of those marks right now.

    given the state of ODI (is it just me or does no one care about ODI anymore?), I wouldn't deprive him of the chance to do that. particularly since if he chooses to play, he's still worth a place in the side (though not indispensable as he used to be)

    Matter would be different for test cricket (at least to me), but i think its natural to seek personal milestone and suspect those who pretend not to care about such things are hypocrites.

    No one might EVER come close to the marks Tendulkar's near.

    Let him get them, i say (always with the understanding that ODI... really not that important anymore). [[ Possible, but not correct to choose and play in 23 of the last 80 or so matches played by India. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 18, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    @Ananth:

    1. Just because no one that matters in media accepts the truth of India's God awful bowling attack or has the guts to call out SRT's emperor's new clothes, Dravid & VVS got hounded into retirement despite excellent 2011. That said, VVS's retirement at age 38 is good thing since his back problems were a major issue in the entire 2010. [[ Alex I do not want this to go off-track or a pro-anti-Tendulkar thread. The points I made are that Tendulkar, because of his on-off-off-off attitude towards ODI cricket, should retire from there and let the youngsters take the game forward. I do not think anyone can question that. I think he is needed by India and he is still India's top Test batsman. However he, and the selectors, should sit down and talk about the next year or two. It would be good for him and the game. Again, common sense. Now that Srikkanth is out, the best news for Indian cricket, they should make Mohinder the chairman and he has the stature to talk to Tendulkar. As far as the media is concerned, they are beyond even discussion. It is also a fact that they clearly have different rules for different players. The fiasco of the Laxman retirement should not be repeated, although it is certain it will not happen this way with SRT. I agree with you on Laxman. The longest he could have continued is the home series against New Zealand. Ananth: ]] 2. As for Manjrekar, he was an objective disinterested media person (even in his 12-minute audio recap on Cricinfo). That is how it should be but no one that matters is being like so with SRT.

    Hopefully, VVS will be at peace soon. His list of Top 20 innings can spark wistfulness in many all-time greats. His only weakness was a slight vulnerability to swing bowling. WI had a sudden burst of great fast bowlers 1973-1990 and have gone barren since then. India has had a sudden burst of great or very good batsmen over 1989-2005. The grim reality is that only Kohli seems like a quality test batsman from Ind since that batch.

  • Vimalan on August 18, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    in this moment of sadness, i am not sure it's right to talk about Sachin's exit especially when at the same time we are criticizing the critics for forcing Lax to do the same [[ Possibly true. However I have only said that it is necessary for the Indian selectors to discuss about it with Tendulkar himself and work out a mutually agreed plan for an orderly change of guard. Otherwise this fiasco will repeat. And the outside writers/commentators (who have some degree of influence: I have none) should keep quiet. And please remember, I have always talked about Tendulkar's ODI retirement only. That is where he should make the call himself soon. For Tests it is a reasonably longer term plan but should not be shoved under the carpet. Ananth: ]]

  • Dinesh on August 18, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Among all this. I feel Indian Selectors have got an Egg on their faces and that too the size of an Ostrich's Egg. If this is how they treat one of finest India ever produced then God save those who are trying to eke out a Career.

    This retirement i feel is more out of Anger as any Cricketer who will retire would like to play one last match and if the next Match is at his home ground i think any one would do anything to play that match but Laxman dint that Probably Says it all. [[ I think that is Laxman's answer to his critics. That he did not look for the last hurrah or two says more of him that the announcement itself. He also might have felt that the attention would be on him distracting from the job on hand. I hope Tendulkar takes the cue and does a similar graceful exit. Tendulkar should understand that at any time he leaves Indian cricket would suffer (unless he plays on for so long that his exit would stregthen the team: very unlikely). So he should think that Indian cricket would go through the downs (which recently happened with the three icons) and ups and come through. Ananth: ]] They weren't fair to him. The never were.In all this they were made to look like fools which they deserved to given the atrocious selections they did.

  • Ramarao on August 18, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    "They dont make it like him any longer." Superb. He will be remembered for his elegance even after 20 years. May be only Mark waugh would be his superior in elegance with Sachin and Federer probably as good as him in that aspect. [[ That is a lovely group. Ananth: ]] I dont they use Great infront or after his name, but he is really very very Special.

  • Dinesh on August 18, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Cricket will not be the same without the artistic genius.The last of the lot. Always there for the team and always underrated and always undermined and always a Sword hanging around his neck(read place). I am from Hyderabad and i got a chance to meet him in one of the Club games.There wasn't that Aura that surrounds Stars.The calmness that was around him made us feel like he was one among us.

    I don't understand one thing: Why do former cricketers Always feel they know the best. They tried to hand on to their careers when they were playing denying others a chance but when it comes to others they are the first to comment saying he is not giving others the due.

    Manjrekar and Aakash chopra.With due respect to them they are not in the same league as laxman to comment on him.And when Kapil dev comments on him i laugh.Kapil is an all time great but to say others are occupying youngsters places i think he forgot when he was in the team only for 2years only for the world record.

    Bye Laxman. [[ And these two are the ones who did virtually nothing notable. Ananth: ]]

  • KnowWho on August 18, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Well Said Ananth.Manjrekar article was so denigrating and i thk that was last nail on the coffin. [[ And Manjrekar had the gall to come on television today and said that Laxman had let the selectors and India down by announcing his retirement now. Over the past few months I have lost all respect for him. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on August 18, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    A truly great player has called it quits. VVS did not even want to finish after playing one more Test in front of his home fans. He has announced his retirement the same way he played. At the highest level, with dignity and respect, and in a role-model manner. VVS, the mould was destroyed after you were made.They don't make like you any longer. Today is a different day. You would be uncomfortable. I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful life after cricket, probably in cricket. I get the feeling VVS advanced his retirement by two Tests after seeing the uncharitable words expressed by Gavaskar, Manjrekar.et al. So they achieved something.

  • Ramarao on August 18, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    Tendulkar's RPI over such a long career is matched only by Richards in a relatvely small career. Its silly to say that ponting is under rated and more consistent. See Sachin RPI which is 3+ runs more than Ganguly who is 2nd and Ponting 3rd. Sachin scored all those runs with a better strike rate(86) compared to lara's 79, ponting's 81, Ganguly 73.7 and Kallis's 73. Who is more consistent, who has a stable career? [[ Before using words such as "silly", which can be thrown back to you, you must understand the article. The career of a player is split into three equal career-segments and their performances across these three are studied. In this measure Ponting IS THE BEST, by a mile. His splits across the three segments is nothing short of miraculuous. That indicates a very high degree of consistncy. That is all. This statement is made without in anyway putting doen any other player. Ananth: ]]

  • raghav on August 18, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    Agarkar the ODI bowler was way ahead of Agarkar the test bowler. He used to get wickets at regular intervals. His only problem was/is he is expensive at death overs and thus has contributed to many losses due to his death bowling.. if not he could have been a regular member of indian limited overs team [[ During Agarkar's 9-year career he played 190 matches. This is out of around 280 played by India and represents a two-thirds participation. For someone who was not an automatic choice, this represents a pretty good level of selection. Ananth: ]]

  • Agha Azhar on August 18, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Dear, you have done lot of hard work to calculate the quality of player, kapil was just a medium pacer every body knew he was basicaly swing bowler,as wasim a waqar were the RF bowlers but you try cut down there quqalities only to match indian medium pacers like agarkar with them .its not right way ,you must go with reality and try to boost indian cricket , your bowling on can be top class if you create competition in mind of your youngester to match with these greats.

    Agha Azhar Islamabad [[ I am not sure what you want to convey. I hope you know what you want to say. Also try and appreciate the ideas behind the tables and the many good words penned on the Pakitsni greats instead of finding faults. Ananth: ]]

  • Karim on August 18, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    The two great W's as 'LFM' and 'RFM' will be news to all especially the batsmen who played against them and were either 'Waqared' or 'Akramed'! Ridiculous to bracket them in the same speed stakes as e.g. Razzaq! There were fast and furious. Period. [[ Unnecessarily strong comments for something which does not matter at all. The bowling nomenclature was put in three years back and no one bothers. Will change, in my own time. Ananth: ]]

  • Jay on August 17, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Sachin's difference is due to the fact that he started as a middle order batsman and then moved to opening. Moreover, his average also improved while opening. [[ Quite possible. And Tendulkar had an average start to his career, until the 70th match. Ananth: ]]

  • aneesh on August 17, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    oh damn, just saw the link to the excel sheet in the page... and realised i had wasted a full 10 mins on my attempt to get data on richards... well, atleast i understood the amount of effort you put in on your analysis... kudos sir!! [[ 10 minutes epent analyzing the career of an all-time great like Richards is never a waste of time. It is your homage to that "Bolt of the 1980s". Also reminded me that I myslef should have included Richards in the main table. Will do. Have done. Ananth: ]]

  • aneesh on August 17, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    nice analysis ananth... did a bit of analysis for richards on similar lines... interestingly, his triplets for 167 innings read 2480 @45.09, 2360 @42.14 & 1881 @33.58 with an IDx1= 0.11 & IDx2= 0.33

  • Karthik on August 17, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Ajit Agarkar - that much maligned Indian All rounder has bowling averages that are better than stalwarts - Kapil, Walsh, Warne, Saqlain - and take this much better than Shoaib.

    Is it the case of statistics not measuring the true worth - or Is he is truly underrated? [[ At the level of 288 wickets in 191 matches, I think he is truly under-rated. He is third in the list of Idian bowlers.. Ananth: ]] On another note - waqar, Wasim, McDermott & Donald show why they were a cut above rest.

  • Pankaj Joshi on August 17, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Hi Ananth, Long time but good food for thought. Is it not a comment on prevalent T20 mindset that all current bowlers are having a good summer? Maybe a future article would be declining 50s in ODIs (as a percentage of runs scored). Career middle phase - your point about Agarkar is taken but Donald is simply amazing. Srinath is like a train running steadily out of steam. Probably found out its another matter to grumble at declining greats and another to actually shoulder the attack. In batting I believe it would actually come down to the phase when the batsman was facing the maximum average balls of his career.

  • srini on August 17, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    I have been telling my friends that punter is an (relatively) underrated ODI player for almost 4 years now. For a guy coming in at number 3 with 3 stud openers (MEW,ACG,MLH) for most of his career averaging almost 38 runs per innings @ 80 is just stunning. Compare it to SRT (opening for almost 350-360 innings) 41 @ 86 which I think is almost equal. Not to mention his consistency (thank you Ananth).

    Two innings stand out for me. The 100 against India that had 1 4 & 7 6s and the 140* at the bull ring. Imo IVA SRT & RTP are 1 2A 2B as ODI batsmen.

  • Nitin Gautam on August 17, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Hello Anantha.

    After your last article, I guess this was the maximum time your took for next (this) article. Though worth the wait. [[ As I have mentioned earlier in a query by Dinesh, I nowadays do only two article a month. It is difficult for me to do more. Ananth: ]] Ponting's consistency is remarkable considering he played in a champion team where he might not have got enough opportunities to score runs specially when Aus had to chase (just an assumption of mine). [[ Not sure. In reality it should be the other way around. The other teams facing strong Aussie attacks might have scored fewer runs leaving slightly fewer rubns to be chased. Ananth: ]] The most startling fact is SRT's RPI of near 45 for close to 6500 runs in the middle phase. having RPI of 40+ is astonishing in itself with Lara (40+) in 1st , Kaliis(40+), jones(40+) & Anwar(43+) in 2nd triples but reaching 45 is outworldly & none other made more than 4500 runs for their 40+ RPI. That is truly phenomenal.I guess that was the 96-2001 phase where he just reigned supreme Re bowlers almost all had their middle triplet most productive but Mcgrawth & waqar stands out as they almost replicated their best time with their last time with the ball.

    Walsh & Amrose on the other hand immproved their bad middle phase to a better last phase.

  • charith on August 17, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    nice work Ananth. I think dilshan's career sky rocketed after he began opening the innings. [[ Quite possible.. Ananth: ]]

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  • charith on August 17, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    nice work Ananth. I think dilshan's career sky rocketed after he began opening the innings. [[ Quite possible.. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on August 17, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Hello Anantha.

    After your last article, I guess this was the maximum time your took for next (this) article. Though worth the wait. [[ As I have mentioned earlier in a query by Dinesh, I nowadays do only two article a month. It is difficult for me to do more. Ananth: ]] Ponting's consistency is remarkable considering he played in a champion team where he might not have got enough opportunities to score runs specially when Aus had to chase (just an assumption of mine). [[ Not sure. In reality it should be the other way around. The other teams facing strong Aussie attacks might have scored fewer runs leaving slightly fewer rubns to be chased. Ananth: ]] The most startling fact is SRT's RPI of near 45 for close to 6500 runs in the middle phase. having RPI of 40+ is astonishing in itself with Lara (40+) in 1st , Kaliis(40+), jones(40+) & Anwar(43+) in 2nd triples but reaching 45 is outworldly & none other made more than 4500 runs for their 40+ RPI. That is truly phenomenal.I guess that was the 96-2001 phase where he just reigned supreme Re bowlers almost all had their middle triplet most productive but Mcgrawth & waqar stands out as they almost replicated their best time with their last time with the ball.

    Walsh & Amrose on the other hand immproved their bad middle phase to a better last phase.

  • srini on August 17, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    I have been telling my friends that punter is an (relatively) underrated ODI player for almost 4 years now. For a guy coming in at number 3 with 3 stud openers (MEW,ACG,MLH) for most of his career averaging almost 38 runs per innings @ 80 is just stunning. Compare it to SRT (opening for almost 350-360 innings) 41 @ 86 which I think is almost equal. Not to mention his consistency (thank you Ananth).

    Two innings stand out for me. The 100 against India that had 1 4 & 7 6s and the 140* at the bull ring. Imo IVA SRT & RTP are 1 2A 2B as ODI batsmen.

  • Pankaj Joshi on August 17, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Hi Ananth, Long time but good food for thought. Is it not a comment on prevalent T20 mindset that all current bowlers are having a good summer? Maybe a future article would be declining 50s in ODIs (as a percentage of runs scored). Career middle phase - your point about Agarkar is taken but Donald is simply amazing. Srinath is like a train running steadily out of steam. Probably found out its another matter to grumble at declining greats and another to actually shoulder the attack. In batting I believe it would actually come down to the phase when the batsman was facing the maximum average balls of his career.

  • Karthik on August 17, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Ajit Agarkar - that much maligned Indian All rounder has bowling averages that are better than stalwarts - Kapil, Walsh, Warne, Saqlain - and take this much better than Shoaib.

    Is it the case of statistics not measuring the true worth - or Is he is truly underrated? [[ At the level of 288 wickets in 191 matches, I think he is truly under-rated. He is third in the list of Idian bowlers.. Ananth: ]] On another note - waqar, Wasim, McDermott & Donald show why they were a cut above rest.

  • aneesh on August 17, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    nice analysis ananth... did a bit of analysis for richards on similar lines... interestingly, his triplets for 167 innings read 2480 @45.09, 2360 @42.14 & 1881 @33.58 with an IDx1= 0.11 & IDx2= 0.33

  • aneesh on August 17, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    oh damn, just saw the link to the excel sheet in the page... and realised i had wasted a full 10 mins on my attempt to get data on richards... well, atleast i understood the amount of effort you put in on your analysis... kudos sir!! [[ 10 minutes epent analyzing the career of an all-time great like Richards is never a waste of time. It is your homage to that "Bolt of the 1980s". Also reminded me that I myslef should have included Richards in the main table. Will do. Have done. Ananth: ]]

  • Jay on August 17, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Sachin's difference is due to the fact that he started as a middle order batsman and then moved to opening. Moreover, his average also improved while opening. [[ Quite possible. And Tendulkar had an average start to his career, until the 70th match. Ananth: ]]

  • Karim on August 18, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    The two great W's as 'LFM' and 'RFM' will be news to all especially the batsmen who played against them and were either 'Waqared' or 'Akramed'! Ridiculous to bracket them in the same speed stakes as e.g. Razzaq! There were fast and furious. Period. [[ Unnecessarily strong comments for something which does not matter at all. The bowling nomenclature was put in three years back and no one bothers. Will change, in my own time. Ananth: ]]

  • Agha Azhar on August 18, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Dear, you have done lot of hard work to calculate the quality of player, kapil was just a medium pacer every body knew he was basicaly swing bowler,as wasim a waqar were the RF bowlers but you try cut down there quqalities only to match indian medium pacers like agarkar with them .its not right way ,you must go with reality and try to boost indian cricket , your bowling on can be top class if you create competition in mind of your youngester to match with these greats.

    Agha Azhar Islamabad [[ I am not sure what you want to convey. I hope you know what you want to say. Also try and appreciate the ideas behind the tables and the many good words penned on the Pakitsni greats instead of finding faults. Ananth: ]]