Statistics April 2, 2013

The ODI batting giants: part 2

An analysis of 15 of the best ODI batsmen across certain special performance measures
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Viv Richards is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the batsmen in several of the parameters analysed, confirming his top position among all ODI batsmen © Getty Images

This is part two of the article on ODI Batting giants. The first part covered the standard measures. In this article I will be looking at certain special performance measures. Despite the requests by several readers, I have retained the same fifteen batsmen, in order to be consistent. However I am open to select a subset of these two articles, say 8-9 tables, and do the analysis for all ODI batsmen. This will depend on the readers' comments.

Though I could not satisfy all requests, a couple of tables were added to the few planned based on the the comments received. Since I already had seven tables planned I could not take in all requests. Also, where there were two suggestions on a single measure, say the Index, I have opted for the simpler one.

1. Impact Innings / High Scoring Index / MOM
InningsImpactInns% ImpactInnsInns-TopScored% TopScoresInns-Second TSTS PointsTS IndexMOMsMOM Frequency
Richards 167 5130.5% 5432.3% 25116.80.70 31 5.39
J Miandad 218 5022.9% 5525.2% 39122.20.56 1911.47
Crowe 141 3222.7% 4531.9% 17 85.50.61 18 7.83
M Waugh 236 4117.4% 5021.2% 40112.30.48 2210.73
Tendulkar 45210122.3%12928.5% 68282.30.62 60 7.53
Jayasuriya 433 6314.5% 8419.4% 55189.10.44 46 9.41
Lara 289 5820.1% 7024.2% 51157.40.54 30 9.63
Inzamam 350 7020.0% 6017.1% 79157.90.45 2315.22
Flower 208 4019.2% 5124.5% 37109.80.53 1020.80
Bevan 196 4321.9% 4623.5% 30 90.00.46 1216.33
Ponting 365 4913.4% 6417.5% 73152.70.42 3211.41
Kallis 307 5818.9% 7825.4% 47160.10.52 32 9.59
Gilchrist 279 5118.3% 5419.4% 35114.90.41 28 9.96
Pietersen 121 2621.5% 3226.4% 12 57.80.48 1012.10
Dhoni 196 4422.4% 3115.8% 35 74.30.38 1810.89

I am sure readers could justifiably comment that a 110 had no impact on the match while a 21 at No.7 had greater impact. I concede that. A context-driven innings ratings work, on the anvil, would bring out all such nuances. However here we are looking at players' careers at a macro level. Hence I have developed logical, easy-to-understand definitions to determine impact innings by the batsmen. The rules are given below. The idea is that it is easier for the top-order batsmen to score more runs, score a higher percentage of team runs but will score at lower rates, more often than not. The late-order batsmen are unlikely to accumulate runs and score higher percentage of team runs but are likely to score at a much faster rate. It is certain that some tweaks of the following numbers could be suggested. However these are based on common sense and are applied across all batsmen. My advice to readers is not to split hairs on these numbers and concentrate on the broad picture.

Definition of Impact innings

BatPos 1-3:
Runs scored 100 or more OR
Runs scored 50 or more and % of Team Runs 33% or more OR
Runs scored 50 or more and Relative Scoring Rate 125 or more.
BatPos 4-6:
Runs scored 75 or more OR
Runs scored 40 or more and % of Team Runs 25% or more OR
Runs scored 40 or more and Relative Scoring Rate 137.5 or more.
BatPos 7-11:
Runs scored 50 or more OR
Runs scored 25 or more and % of Team Runs 20% or more OR
Runs scored 25 or more and Relative Scoring Rate 150 or more.
Relative scoring rate = Individual SR / Team SR.

Richards leads the table with an impressive tally of 30.5% in the impact innings measure. That is just under one-in-three. He is way ahead of the next best, in this case, Miandad with 22.9% and Martin Crowe, with 22.7%. All three played their cricket before the 1990s. Dhoni and Tendulkar follow next. Jayasuriya's uncertain career moves are reflected in his 14.1% value. And I am sure most of these would have been in the second third of his career.

For the Innings Top score analysis I have adopted an intriguing method. For this I only consider the innings in which the batsman either top-scored or was the second-best score. Let us define these as PR, HS1 and HS2, where PR is the player runs and the other two represent the top two scores. It is easier to represent this in a formulaic fashion. If PR equal to HS1, then add PR/HS2 (will be above 1.00) to the TS points value, otherwise, add PR/HS1 (will be below 1.00). Finally divide this by the total number of innings played to arrive at the TS-Index. Higher TS-Index values indicate higher players performances at around the top of team scores.

First the % of innings the batsman top-scored. Richards (how often do we see him at the top in these performance based measures) with 32.3% of his innings being top scores. Martin Crowe follows close with 31.9% and then there is some daylight and Tendulkar at 28.5%. As expected, Dhoni, batting at the late order positions, has top scored only 15.8%. Richards is also in the top position of the TS-Index table, with a value 0.70. Tendulkar is next with 0.62 and Martin Crowe follows with 0.61. The way this index value is structured, it is not easy to even finish with 0.50.

Now comes the often subjective but important measure of MOM awards received. For sheer number of awards, Tendulkar, having played over 450 innings, leads with 60 awards. However the performance measure for this is the MOM-frequency which is Innings per MOM award. Who leads? Who leads? None other than Richards, with a very low figure of 5.39 inns per MOM. The next best is Tendulkar, requiring 7.5 innings per MOM and then, Martin Crowe, with a MOM every 7.83 innings. Incidentally Amla's TS-Index is 0.77 and he wins a MOM every 6.5 innings.

These are all performance-based analyses and it is amazing that Richards leads in each and every one of these.

2. World Cup SF-F Champions Trophy Finals / Significant / Early matches
WC - F&SF, CT - FSignificant matchesEarly matches
BatsmanInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RInnsRunsBallsRpIS/R
Richards 6 303 40050.50 75.8 0 0 0 0.00 0.0 15 710 80447.33 88.3
J Miandad 4 185 27146.25 68.3 3 68 12822.67 53.1 23 830 116936.09 71.0
Crowe 1 91 8391.00109.6 1 43 6243.00 69.4 19 746 90939.26 82.1
M Waugh 4 49 7312.25 67.1 6 383 44363.83 86.5 14 653 78546.64 83.2
Tendulkar 7 331 42847.29 77.3 22 800 98036.36 81.6 29 1588 171454.76 92.6
Jayasuriya 7 165 19723.57 83.8 23 874 94138.00 92.9 27 662 79624.52 83.2
Lara 4 72 10018.00 72.0 16 592 69237.00 85.5 30 1026 123934.20 82.8
Inzamam 3 117 10639.00110.4 13 191 34814.69 54.9 20 472 64023.60 73.8
Flower 0 0 0 0.00 0.0 10 354 50935.40 69.5 23 726 99331.57 73.1
Bevan 4 170 26142.50 65.1 10 300 44330.00 67.7 8 150 25718.75 58.4
Ponting 10 308 36530.80 84.4 26 1341 164451.58 81.6 24 687 94628.62 72.6
Kallis 3 95 15231.67 62.5 23 1000 130243.48 76.8 23 706 93230.70 75.8
Gilchrist 7 305 26143.57116.9 22 674 69230.64 97.4 15 488 56132.53 87.0
Pietersen 0 0 0 0.00 0.0 7 383 47254.71 81.1 9 310 34334.44 90.4
Dhoni 2 116 12158.00 95.9 4 10 21 2.50 47.6 9 233 30125.89 77.4

This is a very important table to measure how the batsmen contributed in important tournaments. I have been quite tough in fixing the qualification criteria. I have only considered the 10 Word Cups and 6 Champions Trophy tournaments. There may be other 6/7-team tournaments. But only true World level tournaments make the cut.

I have looked at the performances in three categories. The first consists of the really important tournament-winning matches: World Cup Finals, Semi-Finals and Champions Trophy Finals. The second category consists of the significant later stage matches: Super-Six matches, Quarter-Finals and Champions Trophy Semi-Finals. The third category consists of all other matches in these tournaments.

In the first category, Tendulkar, Ponting, Gilchrist and Richards have exceeded 300 runs. This is reflected in their teams' successes. The average does not mean much. Hence only RpI is shown. More important than that is the total number of runs scored. Look at Gilchrist's strike rate in these matches, exceeding 115. Tendulkar has scored 331 runs, at a much lower strike rate.

Ponting leads in the significant matches category, with over 1300 runs. Kallis comes in next with exactly 1000 runs, outlining his importance to South Africa in these key matches. There is nothing for Richards since these matches were non-existent during the first 3/4 World Cups. Tendulkar is the run-away leader in the third category, with nearly 1600 runs, at an excellent strike rate. Lara follows next with just over 1000 runs and Miandad has also done well considering that he played only in World Cups.

It should be noted that all these three classifications are mutually exclusive. Tendulkar has scored a staggering 2700+ runs in these important world level tournaments. He missed the first four editions of the World Cup.

3. Career Summary (Revised Index) incorporating Batting position analysis
BatsmanInnsNOsRunsBallsAvgeS/RRpIIndexBatPosAvgeBest BPBBP InnsBBP RunsBBP RpI
Richards 16724 6721 745147.000.9020.1928.163.964 81 337341.64
J Miandad 21841 73811101441.700.6700.1704.754.074160 567835.49
Crowe 14119 4704 647638.560.7260.1734.853.214 53 189935.83
M Waugh 23620 85001105339.350.7690.1614.872.271141 572940.63
Tendulkar 45241184262136744.830.8620.1806.951.8313401531045.03
Jayasuriya 43318134301472332.360.9120.1434.211.5313831274033.26
Lara 28932104061308640.490.7950.1715.523.303106 444741.95
Inzamam 35053117391581239.530.7420.1524.464.174147 517535.20
Flower 20816 6785 909735.340.7460.1564.123.554 82 286834.98
Bevan 19667 6914 932053.600.7420.1505.975.326 87 300634.55
Ponting 36539137031704642.030.8040.1575.303.1033301266138.37
Kallis 30753114991575645.270.7300.1655.443.423196 776039.59
Gilchrist 27911 9619 992235.890.9690.1465.091.391259 920035.52
Pietersen 12116 4369 503641.610.8680.1575.673.764 67 235235.10
Dhoni 19656 7259 822851.850.8820.1506.875.456 82 251230.63

This is a revision of the ODI Batting Index. I have adopted Deepak's suggestion and got a revised Index value. His suggestion that the Index could be "Average x Strike Rate x Share of team runs" has a lot going for it. The top order batsmen who could lose on average because of decreased number of not-outs are likely to score a higher % of team runs. The compensation may not be complete but at least there would be a partial compensation. The "share of team runs" is also a dimension-less value. Richards scored 19.2% of his team runs, Tendulkar, 18% and Jayasuriya, 14.3%. The average seems to be around 16%. It should be understood that this analysis is valid only across the entire career since only then does the % of team runs have meaning.

What do we have here? This clearly shows how far ahead Viv Richards is. His revised Index value is 8.16 and is nearly 15% ahead of Tendulkar, the second-best. Dhoni is next, a very high average of 51 contributing to this position. Quite a number of batsmen are in the sub-5 level indicating how tough it is to get a high value in this revised index. Just out of interest, Amla (57.81/0.922/0.21) hits the ceiling with a stupendous Index value of 11.2. de Villiers has an imposing 7.8 and Kohli, an equally good 7.4.

The average batting position is self-explanatory. The only additional information needed is that both openers are assigned 1 as the batting position. Thus the batsmen who spent the better part of their careers opening the batting, such as Gilchrist, Jayasuriya and Tendulkar have Avge Batpos values below 2.0. The lower the value, the more often the batsman has opened. The best batting position numbers are based on runs scored. There could be other positions in which the batsmen could have averaged more. There is no surprise. Tendulkar, Jayasuriya, Mark Waugh and Gilchrist have excelled in the opening positions. Dhoni and Bevan in position number 6. And the others in the middle-order positions (3/4/5).

4. Middle-order runs (3 and 4)
Batsman3/4 Inns3/4 NOs3/4 Runs3/4 Balls3/4 Avge3/4 S/R3/4 RpI3/4 Index
Richards 13221 5791 648452.17 89.343.939.2
J Miandad 17835 6409 957244.82 67.036.024.1
Crowe 11115 3671 499538.24 73.533.124.3
M Waugh 54 4 1786 240035.72 74.433.124.6
Tendulkar 71 9 2151 285634.69 75.330.322.8
Jayasuriya 12 1 252 32622.91 77.321.016.2
Lara 19018 6963 852040.48 81.736.630.0
Inzamam 20828 7208 979240.04 73.634.725.5
Flower 108 7 3775 483237.38 78.135.027.3
Bevan 5616 2359 338958.98 69.642.129.3
Ponting 34734133071655342.51 80.438.330.8
Kallis 27047104141417646.70 73.538.628.3
Gilchrist 1 0 29 4429.00 65.929.019.1
Pietersen 96 8 3131 373635.58 83.832.627.3
Dhoni 34 9 1903 187676.12101.456.056.8

This is again based on a request from a few readers. They asked me to do a table for runs made in positions 3 and 4 also. This would round up the batting analysis since I have already covered opening, 5 and 6 positions. It is obvious that 3 and 4 are the key positions usually occupied by the best batsmen: Richards, Tendulkar, Ponting, Lara et al. I decided to combine the 3 & 4 into a single analysis.

Look at Richards. An average of 52 when he bats in these pivotal positions, at a strike rate of 89 leads to an Index value of 39. He is far ahead, to the tune of 30%, of the next best significant players, Ponting and Lara, clocking in at just above 30. Ponting, however, has scored millions of runs at these key positions. Dhoni's numbers are high, but too few innings have been played.

5. Team share of runs/balls
BatsmanRunsTeamRuns% RunsBallsTeamBalls% BallsRatio
Richards 6721 3491619.2% 7451 4633816.1%124.4%
J Miandad 7381 4338417.0%11014 5917718.6% 89.6%
Crowe 4704 2713717.3% 6476 3804517.0%102.2%
M Waugh 8500 5285716.1%11053 6575516.8% 94.8%
Tendulkar 1842610247218.0%2136712197217.5%103.2%
Jayasuriya 13430 9410914.3%1472311556512.7%114.0%
Lara 10406 6067717.1%13086 7744316.9%101.8%
Inzamam 11739 7720115.2%15812 9709716.3% 92.2%
Flower 6785 4345515.6% 9097 5805015.7% 99.6%
Bevan 6914 4606115.0% 9320 5545916.8% 87.4%
Ponting 13703 8736115.7%17046 9954317.1% 90.0%
Kallis 11499 6989916.5%15756 8342218.9% 84.6%
Gilchrist 9619 6573314.6% 9922 7426413.4%111.2%
Pietersen 4369 2781815.7% 5036 3281915.3%102.8%
Dhoni 7259 4830815.0% 8228 5377615.3% 97.9%

This is a straight-forward % of player numbers out of total team numbers. More important than the numbers are the ratios between the two numbers. This gives a clear idea of the % of out-performance for each player. Richards out-performed his team mates by 24%. Jayasuriya, by 14% and Gilchrist, by 11%. Kallis and Bevan are at the other end of the table. It should be noted that for want of complete data on when the batsman was dismissed, this analysis is based on the total team score. Hence please apply some caveats when using this.

6. First & Second Innings
First InningsSecond Innings
BatsmanInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RRpI % First-to-Second
Richards 80 3711 389346.39 95.3 87 3010 355934.60 84.6134.1
J Miandad 127 4340 646134.17 67.2 91 3041 455233.42 66.8102.3
Crowe 75 2422 334532.29 72.4 66 2282 313034.58 72.9 93.4
M Waugh 130 5181 657339.85 78.8106 3319 448131.31 74.1127.3
Tendulkar 220 97061150744.12 84.3232 8720 986137.59 88.4117.4
Jayasuriya 223 7688 856834.48 89.7210 5742 615627.34 93.3126.1
Lara 132 4981 613237.73 81.2157 5425 695334.55 78.0109.2
Inzamam 199 6943 923134.89 75.2151 4796 658231.76 72.9109.8
Flower 110 3825 502734.77 76.1 98 2960 407130.20 72.7115.1
Bevan 115 4032 504735.06 79.9 81 2882 427235.58 67.5 98.5
Ponting 212 86291040740.70 82.9153 5074 664033.16 76.4122.7
Kallis 152 5981 809439.35 73.9155 5518 766235.60 72.0110.5
Gilchrist 149 4830 517232.42 93.4130 4789 475136.84100.8 88.0
Pietersen 60 2370 274039.50 86.5 61 1999 229532.77 87.1120.5
Dhoni 101 4104 438440.63 93.6 95 3155 384433.21 82.1122.4

This analysis looks at the performances of batsmen while batting first or second. Nothing is gained by looking across batsmen. It is necessary to look within batsman. Richards, Mark Waugh, Jayasuriya, Ponting et al have performed better setting up the target than while chasing. Gilchrist, Martin Crowe, Bevan, Miandad et al have done better while chasing. I leave it to the readers to draw their own conclusions. Richards has the biggest positive difference and Gilchrist, the highest negative difference.

7. Home / Neutral / Away analysis
Home matchesNeutral locationsAway matches
BatsmanInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RInnsRunsBallsRpIS/R
Richards 26 805 89230.96 90.2 59 1995 234133.81 85.2 82 3921 425347.82 92.2
J Miandad 60 1976 260532.93 75.9 82 2832 427734.54 66.2 76 2573 413133.86 62.3
Crowe 56 1884 261733.64 72.0 32 1179 162636.84 72.5 53 1641 223130.96 73.6
M Waugh 113 3827 510033.87 75.0 43 1614 205937.53 78.4 80 3059 389838.24 78.5
Tendulkar 160 6976 789543.60 88.4146 6385 727843.73 87.7146 5065 619534.69 81.8
Jayasuriya 124 3880 435731.29 89.1162 5463 594433.72 91.9147 4087 442227.80 92.4
Lara 85 3225 409037.94 78.9111 3969 483035.76 82.2 93 3212 416734.54 77.1
Inzamam 64 2674 330641.78 80.9159 5133 695532.28 73.8127 3932 555130.96 70.8
Flower 57 1887 245733.11 76.8 76 2544 349133.47 72.9 75 2354 314831.39 74.8
Bevan 80 2849 395835.61 72.0 45 1577 212635.04 74.2 71 2488 323135.04 77.0
Ponting 150 5406 681436.04 79.3 86 3208 405137.30 79.2129 5089 618639.45 82.3
Kallis 131 5102 679438.95 75.1 75 2689 383635.85 70.1101 3708 512636.71 72.3
Gilchrist 110 3960 401036.00 98.8 62 2017 213432.53 94.5107 3642 377934.04 96.4
Pietersen 41 1130 131927.56 85.7 17 816 99648.00 81.9 63 2423 272038.46 89.1
Dhoni 75 3010 330240.13 91.2 38 1232 136132.42 90.5 83 3017 356536.35 84.6

This is a location-based analysis. The matches are split into Home, Away and Neutral locations since many matches are played in neutral locations and many World Cups have two outside teams playing. It is interesting to note that most batsmen play more outside their home location. Tendulkar was the best performer at home, closely followed by Inzamam and Dhoni. Pietersen, albeit in very few innings, was masterful in neutral locations, followed by Tendulkar, in nearly 150 innings. Richards was the king in outside locations. Ponting was also quite good. Look at the magnificent strike rates of Gilchrist everywhere, Jayasuriya on neutral and away grounds and Richards in outside locations.

8. Won / Lost matches
Won matchesLost matches
BatsmanInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RInnsRunsBallsRpIS/RRpI % Won-to-Lost
Richards 114 5129 563044.99 91.1 51 1501 183929.43 81.6152.9
J Miandad 107 3931 539836.74 72.8104 3389 536932.59 63.1112.7
Crowe 60 2694 341544.90 78.9 78 1938 298724.85 64.9180.7
M Waugh 146 6054 768341.47 78.8 85 2335 321927.47 72.5150.9
Tendulkar 231111571235848.30 90.3200 6585 824332.92 79.9146.7
Jayasuriya 228 8873 918938.92 96.6192 4044 496921.06 81.4184.8
Lara 134 6554 756548.91 86.6144 3557 502024.70 70.9198.0
Inzamam 191 7434 942738.92 78.9146 4118 605428.21 68.0138.0
Flower 57 2402 311642.14 77.1144 4252 582129.53 73.0142.7
Bevan 122 4504 595336.92 75.7 70 2276 316432.51 71.9113.5
Ponting 254107251300742.22 82.5 96 2658 360227.69 73.8152.5
Kallis 194 80121058241.30 75.7100 3162 463831.62 68.2130.6
Gilchrist 196 7657 770939.07 99.3 72 1767 195524.54 90.4159.2
Pietersen 51 1878 214636.82 87.5 64 2281 268335.64 85.0103.3
Dhoni 107 4578 469842.79 97.4 82 2333 315428.45 74.0150.4

Wins are achieved by teams. However this analysis completes the huge exercise. It is certain that the winning RpI values for all these batsmen would be much higher than the RpI in losing matches. The difference ranges from very little for Pietersen (3% difference) to very high for Lara (98% difference).

I have created 16 tables for these selected 15 batsmen. Many readers have suggested that other batsmen should have been considered. Ganguly has had quite a few votes. Hence I will select 8-9 tables out of these, based on readers' responses. I will then do the analysis across all batsmen, subject to a minimum number of innings or runs, and come out with an ordered set of tables. This will ensure that there is fair representation across all players and it would be a performance-centric article.

Any doubts in deciding on the best ODI batsman have been clearly dispelled. The leading position of Viv Richards in many of these tables indicates that he is, unarguably, the best ODI batsmen of all time. This is supported by the fact that there is considerable gap between Richards and the next batsman in many measures. All this was done when the rest of the world scored at around 70 and the target for most teams was 250. He also did not have any powerplays assisting him. Not just the "Master Blaster" but the "Master".

Any number of IPL matches, with coloured clothing, Bollywood stars, million-dollar players, imported cheerleaders and umpteen numbers of sixes cannot match those last 15 minutes at Eden Park, Auckland. Those dot balls were far more important than many a six hit. Who cares if Prior does not have an IPL contract? He can hold his head high. Panesar faces 5 balls, probably more important than many a wicket he has captured. Test Cricket lives, and how! And from next week onwards, the sublime to the big-brash-bash.

And my fervent prayers go to Jesse Ryder to get well soon. A great character with undeniable talent, with a special fascination for the Indian attack: all three of his hundreds were scored off the Indian bowlers.

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

  • on April 8, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    This discussion is going nowhere. The only way to resolve is to have a comprehensive analysis of all the matches as Ananth did about a decade ago to get top 100 ODI innings. For every player all the points can be summed and can be divided by number of times that player got out. Those Bevans and Dhonis are going to be benefited by having high number of not outs but I can live with it.How difficult that exercise would be Ananth? and is there any problem with this method? Getting lazy to check the method you used especially since we have the privilege of you with us.
    [[
    No trade secrets with me, Ariz. I hide nothing.
    I am working on three major projects. Test Innings/Spell Ratings, ODI Innings/Spell Ratings and Test Player contributions. The last is by far the most complex one and Milind and I are working on that together.
    As part of the first two, in addoition to the Top-100 in each discipline/format, I intend to sum the Innings/spell rating points for all and derive an average Innings rating points. This should put to rest any speculation.
    The contribution, although more complex, is a non-contextual analysis and as such will give a diffrent insight into the player contributions, and might also be more acceptable. Only snag is that currently we are working on the Player contributions only in the Test match arena. I am sure both of us will have the energy and enthusiasm to do that for ODIs also.
    There you have my blue-print.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 4, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    @Ahmer Raza To begin with I will make this very clear that I am a great admirer of Sachin and I genuinely consider him to be the greatest Asian batsman (not player) of all or at least since 1970. Now coming to your numbers I wont say much, only that he still in that period averaged 36 outside Asia against non-minnows that too mainly coz of SL and that awful Windies. Those numbers can be dissected and lot of inferences can be drawn but I guess you too have a lappy and excel sheet to do it by yourself.As for the plain numbers - there are 106 batsmen with more international runs than Don Bradman!!! I will leave you with... Thought of The Day-- Had Inzi played as much % of matches as Sachin has played in Asia and Sachin had played as much % of matches as Inzamam had played in Asia (obviously the % for outside Asia will also be reversed), then Sachin would be averaging 43.8 and Inzi 42.5. And in this scenario, against non-minnows, they would be averaging almost identical - 41.5 apiece.
    [[
    I always bring in my Tennis analogy.
    A player can play in 100 Grand Slams and win NONE. So merely playing in a GS does not give any guarantees than money and ranking but not a win.
    If anyone played in 450 matches, he is/was obviously very good. Otherwise he would not have lasted that long. Even if he averaged 35 runs per match, he would have scored 15750. Now Sachin was an extraordinary player and averaged 40+ and compiled 18000+. Jayasuriya was not that good, had more lean patches and averaged only 30 and accumulated 13500 runs.
    So what has to be admired is Tendulkar's ability to maintain a very high level of play over a very long career, not the absolute number of runs.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Excellent analysis Ananth.. Loved the 'Impact Innings' & 'Top Scores' measures.. & the best table for me is the 'Team Share of Run/Balls', & Viv is incredibly ahead of his peers (& he probably had the most formidable peer group!!).. I had thought & mentioned in the previous article that Viv would be aeons ahead of anyone in his era.. However, the analysis proves him to be the best across eras, by miles!!

    @AhmerRaza : Filtering out Sachin's reign from 1994-2003 is like separating cheese toppings from the pizza base, doesn't hold water.. Also, when you are talking about MOMs, remember, not all matches in Viv's era were awarded MOM, so Viv's number would become even better!! Noone is belittling Sachin here, accept that there is a King, King Viv, who towers over anyone & everyone!!
    [[
    Yes, selective use of numbers should be avided.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    @Gerry_the_Merry : Neutral venues would include World Cup, & multi-nation tournaments (& not just against minnows), so the importance of neutral matches is equally high, if not more!!
    [[
    Gerry's point is that many of the matches involving a top-half team and lower-half team are played in neutral venues since they do not get invited by top teams, certainly India. India-Bangladesh in India ????
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on April 2, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Tendulkar not #1? Surely you are joking, Mr.Ananth-man. Table 8 - good one, but does not do justice to Richards as much as say, Kallis. Reason is that Richards was often pivotal to his team's fortunes, as some of the other tables show. In other words, when he failed, e.g. WC final, the team lost. But Kallis would rarely influence the match result with his success. What do you think? On neutral, I am skeptical - all matches against minnows like Nigeria, Kenya, Holland, etc. will be in neutral turf as no one is going to invite them home or visit these countries. So really we are left with home and away, in my opinion. Second inn averages are quite low for all batsmen, i.e. the average for first inn seems higher visually than 2nd inn. I wonder if overall team stats seem to have any resemblance to this.
    [[
    My intention was to cover all bases. At the end of the article I wanted the readers to feel that almost all performance measures had been covered.
    One reason why I separated neutral matches.
    My personal take is that Kallis is far ahead in test matches than in ODIs. He is here because, on numbers, he is ahead of Smith. Two years from now I would be surprised if Amla and/or de Villiers are not in the list.
    I get the feeling that there would be more dismissals for low scores in the second innings because of chasing requirements. Let us look at it in another way. Take 100 matches. 50 matches each are won by teams batting first and second. If the runs scored by team 1 are x, the total runs scored by team 2 will be approximately x-y+50. Where y is the sum of the run differentials in run-wins. Could be as high as 2500. Maybe this is reflected in the lower RpI figures.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on May 1, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Hi maybe not the place to do it, but I Was wondering if you could look into it. I have looked through afridis records. He has scored more than 25 runs in an innings about 1/3 of the time, with a strike rate greater than 100. Considering when he comes in, scoring 25 runs at strike rates of 130 and upwards is more than useful. The fact that his strike rate is so high so much of the time would indicate that he is taking more risks, and his average would affect this. Adding to the problem is that he comes in many times when the team is already in a hole, sitting at maybe a 100 for 5 or 160 for 6, being expected to pull the team out of a hole. I think the fact that he has scored more than 25 runs an innings at a huge strike rate the way he plays, adding to the bad platform often given to him, adding the wickets he takes, and he must be one of the all time greats

  • Bonehead_maz on April 17, 2013, 2:06 GMT

    Wonderful work Ananth ! I'm not a fan of any cricket that doesn't have draws, as I believe runs only skews the whole game..... Was VERY exiting in NZ :).
    [[
    Don't miss the next one on Test results which would give draws the exalted deserved place.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Nice to see Viv where he belongs !

    I understand the parameters and that many great players miss this 15 (I'm with the Aravinda and Saeed Anwar supporters but delighted no Jones lol)) .

    I still shudder thinking of bowling to Lloyd in a 50 over match (downright scary to bowl at him without a helmet !).... thank goodness that better "bashers" like Weekes, Harvey, Pollock, Burge or the other Richards never played this game internationally.

    To show how out of touch, my favourite 50 over cricketer, is Simon O'Donnell :)
    [[
    And a very brave one, to boot.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Cheers Murray

  • STNS on April 13, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Ananth i agree with most of the content in this blog. But it always seems that if you play with a genuine great in the side your performance gets no mention.

    I am talking about Saurav & Yousuf. Just because they played with greats like Sachin & Inzi, they are not mentoned. In many aspects i believe both were better than Sachin & Inzi in ODI's. Th

    Like i have always considered the 100's scored by Saurav to be more valuable than those by Sachin. Saurav's 100's has been in more difficult conditions & against high class bowling attacks. Sachin have scored 38 of his ODI 100's in asia, with just one in Aus. Out of his 4 in SAF 3 have been against Namibia, Zim & Kenya.

    Similarly Yousuf has a far better record against the better bowling attacks of his era & in Aus & SAF compared to Inzi.

  • on April 13, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    @Ananth "Test Player contributions" What that exactly is? Is it to have all the contribution from a player in a match - batting/bowling/fielding/captaincy? If that's the case then its going to be a stiff exercise! especially the last two parameters.
    [[
    Batting/Bowling/Fielding. Fielding to the extent data is available. No Run outs but different weights for different types of fielder dismissals. Captaincy is a vague subjective matter. If a decision is successful, captain is great else he is a fool.
    If Dhoni opens with Ashwin at cape Town and he captures 2 wickets during the first over, Dhoni is a genius. If Ashwin gets hit for 25 runs in 7 overs, Dhoni is certifiable.
    Anyhow let us not jump the gun.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 12, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    @ Rohan1: Good responses!! I would say one more batsman who is thoroughly underrated is G. Smith of SAF. He has 5 centuries in successful run chases in tests. And those 100s werent scored against minnows. Some of them came against Aus @ Perth & in SAF (in a match which had 2 sub-100 scores - Ananth would still say those two are aberrations) which were tough conditions.

    Of course, 100s while chasing in 4th innings is not the only tough condition that one gets to bat on (11/2 in 8 overs on day 1 facing fresh fast bowlers who have tasted blood is equally tough which SRT / BCL have come in to bat on zillion occasions). Having said that. Rohan1, I must admit that the last 2 comments of yours were very unbiased and objective.

    All leading allrounders (Kapil / Imran / Botham) on their haydays had relatively low returns in ODIs (Kapil having the best records of them). One day matches have been more traditional than people have believed and one look at the list of batsmen shows why!

  • on April 12, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Cont.. If none of Sachin's test innings found its way into top 100, forget about the general public a lot of ex-cricketers will be baking their breads on the pyre. But I do understand their problem. They have to say what people want to hear. In an interview Glenn said that he found sachin/Brian to be most difficult to bowl at. Now his record, in Tests, against Lara is well known, but nobody knows about Sachin. I did an analysis a few years back with available commentary. Lara avged 16 against McGrath with S/R less than 50, whereas Sachin avged 14 with S/R of less than 30 (scored 87 runs from ~300 balls - 6 times out). Now how in the hell he found them difficult to bowl at???

  • on April 8, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    This discussion is going nowhere. The only way to resolve is to have a comprehensive analysis of all the matches as Ananth did about a decade ago to get top 100 ODI innings. For every player all the points can be summed and can be divided by number of times that player got out. Those Bevans and Dhonis are going to be benefited by having high number of not outs but I can live with it.How difficult that exercise would be Ananth? and is there any problem with this method? Getting lazy to check the method you used especially since we have the privilege of you with us.
    [[
    No trade secrets with me, Ariz. I hide nothing.
    I am working on three major projects. Test Innings/Spell Ratings, ODI Innings/Spell Ratings and Test Player contributions. The last is by far the most complex one and Milind and I are working on that together.
    As part of the first two, in addoition to the Top-100 in each discipline/format, I intend to sum the Innings/spell rating points for all and derive an average Innings rating points. This should put to rest any speculation.
    The contribution, although more complex, is a non-contextual analysis and as such will give a diffrent insight into the player contributions, and might also be more acceptable. Only snag is that currently we are working on the Player contributions only in the Test match arena. I am sure both of us will have the energy and enthusiasm to do that for ODIs also.
    There you have my blue-print.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 4, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    @Ahmer Raza To begin with I will make this very clear that I am a great admirer of Sachin and I genuinely consider him to be the greatest Asian batsman (not player) of all or at least since 1970. Now coming to your numbers I wont say much, only that he still in that period averaged 36 outside Asia against non-minnows that too mainly coz of SL and that awful Windies. Those numbers can be dissected and lot of inferences can be drawn but I guess you too have a lappy and excel sheet to do it by yourself.As for the plain numbers - there are 106 batsmen with more international runs than Don Bradman!!! I will leave you with... Thought of The Day-- Had Inzi played as much % of matches as Sachin has played in Asia and Sachin had played as much % of matches as Inzamam had played in Asia (obviously the % for outside Asia will also be reversed), then Sachin would be averaging 43.8 and Inzi 42.5. And in this scenario, against non-minnows, they would be averaging almost identical - 41.5 apiece.
    [[
    I always bring in my Tennis analogy.
    A player can play in 100 Grand Slams and win NONE. So merely playing in a GS does not give any guarantees than money and ranking but not a win.
    If anyone played in 450 matches, he is/was obviously very good. Otherwise he would not have lasted that long. Even if he averaged 35 runs per match, he would have scored 15750. Now Sachin was an extraordinary player and averaged 40+ and compiled 18000+. Jayasuriya was not that good, had more lean patches and averaged only 30 and accumulated 13500 runs.
    So what has to be admired is Tendulkar's ability to maintain a very high level of play over a very long career, not the absolute number of runs.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Excellent analysis Ananth.. Loved the 'Impact Innings' & 'Top Scores' measures.. & the best table for me is the 'Team Share of Run/Balls', & Viv is incredibly ahead of his peers (& he probably had the most formidable peer group!!).. I had thought & mentioned in the previous article that Viv would be aeons ahead of anyone in his era.. However, the analysis proves him to be the best across eras, by miles!!

    @AhmerRaza : Filtering out Sachin's reign from 1994-2003 is like separating cheese toppings from the pizza base, doesn't hold water.. Also, when you are talking about MOMs, remember, not all matches in Viv's era were awarded MOM, so Viv's number would become even better!! Noone is belittling Sachin here, accept that there is a King, King Viv, who towers over anyone & everyone!!
    [[
    Yes, selective use of numbers should be avided.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    @Gerry_the_Merry : Neutral venues would include World Cup, & multi-nation tournaments (& not just against minnows), so the importance of neutral matches is equally high, if not more!!
    [[
    Gerry's point is that many of the matches involving a top-half team and lower-half team are played in neutral venues since they do not get invited by top teams, certainly India. India-Bangladesh in India ????
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on April 2, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Tendulkar not #1? Surely you are joking, Mr.Ananth-man. Table 8 - good one, but does not do justice to Richards as much as say, Kallis. Reason is that Richards was often pivotal to his team's fortunes, as some of the other tables show. In other words, when he failed, e.g. WC final, the team lost. But Kallis would rarely influence the match result with his success. What do you think? On neutral, I am skeptical - all matches against minnows like Nigeria, Kenya, Holland, etc. will be in neutral turf as no one is going to invite them home or visit these countries. So really we are left with home and away, in my opinion. Second inn averages are quite low for all batsmen, i.e. the average for first inn seems higher visually than 2nd inn. I wonder if overall team stats seem to have any resemblance to this.
    [[
    My intention was to cover all bases. At the end of the article I wanted the readers to feel that almost all performance measures had been covered.
    One reason why I separated neutral matches.
    My personal take is that Kallis is far ahead in test matches than in ODIs. He is here because, on numbers, he is ahead of Smith. Two years from now I would be surprised if Amla and/or de Villiers are not in the list.
    I get the feeling that there would be more dismissals for low scores in the second innings because of chasing requirements. Let us look at it in another way. Take 100 matches. 50 matches each are won by teams batting first and second. If the runs scored by team 1 are x, the total runs scored by team 2 will be approximately x-y+50. Where y is the sum of the run differentials in run-wins. Could be as high as 2500. Maybe this is reflected in the lower RpI figures.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on May 1, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Hi maybe not the place to do it, but I Was wondering if you could look into it. I have looked through afridis records. He has scored more than 25 runs in an innings about 1/3 of the time, with a strike rate greater than 100. Considering when he comes in, scoring 25 runs at strike rates of 130 and upwards is more than useful. The fact that his strike rate is so high so much of the time would indicate that he is taking more risks, and his average would affect this. Adding to the problem is that he comes in many times when the team is already in a hole, sitting at maybe a 100 for 5 or 160 for 6, being expected to pull the team out of a hole. I think the fact that he has scored more than 25 runs an innings at a huge strike rate the way he plays, adding to the bad platform often given to him, adding the wickets he takes, and he must be one of the all time greats

  • Bonehead_maz on April 17, 2013, 2:06 GMT

    Wonderful work Ananth ! I'm not a fan of any cricket that doesn't have draws, as I believe runs only skews the whole game..... Was VERY exiting in NZ :).
    [[
    Don't miss the next one on Test results which would give draws the exalted deserved place.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Nice to see Viv where he belongs !

    I understand the parameters and that many great players miss this 15 (I'm with the Aravinda and Saeed Anwar supporters but delighted no Jones lol)) .

    I still shudder thinking of bowling to Lloyd in a 50 over match (downright scary to bowl at him without a helmet !).... thank goodness that better "bashers" like Weekes, Harvey, Pollock, Burge or the other Richards never played this game internationally.

    To show how out of touch, my favourite 50 over cricketer, is Simon O'Donnell :)
    [[
    And a very brave one, to boot.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Cheers Murray

  • STNS on April 13, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Ananth i agree with most of the content in this blog. But it always seems that if you play with a genuine great in the side your performance gets no mention.

    I am talking about Saurav & Yousuf. Just because they played with greats like Sachin & Inzi, they are not mentoned. In many aspects i believe both were better than Sachin & Inzi in ODI's. Th

    Like i have always considered the 100's scored by Saurav to be more valuable than those by Sachin. Saurav's 100's has been in more difficult conditions & against high class bowling attacks. Sachin have scored 38 of his ODI 100's in asia, with just one in Aus. Out of his 4 in SAF 3 have been against Namibia, Zim & Kenya.

    Similarly Yousuf has a far better record against the better bowling attacks of his era & in Aus & SAF compared to Inzi.

  • on April 13, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    @Ananth "Test Player contributions" What that exactly is? Is it to have all the contribution from a player in a match - batting/bowling/fielding/captaincy? If that's the case then its going to be a stiff exercise! especially the last two parameters.
    [[
    Batting/Bowling/Fielding. Fielding to the extent data is available. No Run outs but different weights for different types of fielder dismissals. Captaincy is a vague subjective matter. If a decision is successful, captain is great else he is a fool.
    If Dhoni opens with Ashwin at cape Town and he captures 2 wickets during the first over, Dhoni is a genius. If Ashwin gets hit for 25 runs in 7 overs, Dhoni is certifiable.
    Anyhow let us not jump the gun.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 12, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    @ Rohan1: Good responses!! I would say one more batsman who is thoroughly underrated is G. Smith of SAF. He has 5 centuries in successful run chases in tests. And those 100s werent scored against minnows. Some of them came against Aus @ Perth & in SAF (in a match which had 2 sub-100 scores - Ananth would still say those two are aberrations) which were tough conditions.

    Of course, 100s while chasing in 4th innings is not the only tough condition that one gets to bat on (11/2 in 8 overs on day 1 facing fresh fast bowlers who have tasted blood is equally tough which SRT / BCL have come in to bat on zillion occasions). Having said that. Rohan1, I must admit that the last 2 comments of yours were very unbiased and objective.

    All leading allrounders (Kapil / Imran / Botham) on their haydays had relatively low returns in ODIs (Kapil having the best records of them). One day matches have been more traditional than people have believed and one look at the list of batsmen shows why!

  • on April 12, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Cont.. If none of Sachin's test innings found its way into top 100, forget about the general public a lot of ex-cricketers will be baking their breads on the pyre. But I do understand their problem. They have to say what people want to hear. In an interview Glenn said that he found sachin/Brian to be most difficult to bowl at. Now his record, in Tests, against Lara is well known, but nobody knows about Sachin. I did an analysis a few years back with available commentary. Lara avged 16 against McGrath with S/R less than 50, whereas Sachin avged 14 with S/R of less than 30 (scored 87 runs from ~300 balls - 6 times out). Now how in the hell he found them difficult to bowl at???

  • on April 12, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    Ananth, your response to my post has brought a smile. So you are going to need a Vest - again. If story is going to be same as in last annal of test innings analysis (I don't see a reason why it would change!) then you are going to be in a bigger trouble. In 12 years, the country's population has increased a lot!

    @"eye for figures and unbiased views" That's right Ananth, in your last ratings, I was more impressed with Tests batting than ODI batting. Among others, Azhar Mehmood innings, placement of Waugh brothers innings - although Steve's was an epic battle, Mark's was a timeless classic. I am sure of a few innings, apart from the one you already mentioned (Jayawardene), Butcher 173, Couple of innings from Amla, Sehwag's 201, may be Pak triple, Laxman 96! Clarke's triple and 151!, Warner, Pieterson - can't remember all - I am expecting at least 25 new innings to enter in top 100.
    [[
    This is a different exercise. The Innings Ratings comes later. I was very proud of the Azhar Mahmood innings, Clem Hill effort and Hughes' vastly under-rated classic. And the fact that Tayfield's effort went above the two 10-wicket hauls. But lots of wonderful innings have been played since 2001. Who can forget Jayasuriya's classic against Pak or Sehwag's best Test innings, not the three 293+ innings but the Galle 200. Ah one can go on.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 10, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    @ Ahmer Raza, In response to you last post on bringing Inzy - strong anti-Sachin Bias. I gathered you are referring to my post where I have done some Asia/non-Asia reversal to get some avgs. I would suggest to you to re-read the post, the only thing I can say that it never intended to bring Inzy into picture. You have to figure out by yourself, I am not going to help you. @About one your previous posts: "...his contemporaries like haynes, miadad and kapil dev played more odis than him..." That shows how much you know about history of ODI cricket. If you get time away from Sachin, I suggest you to stretch a hand of friendship to ravi.m and he will guide you through to entire history of cricket from Grace-Blyth-Fry-Woolley-..Habibul Bashar. He has great cricketing knowledge (with a some Australian bias) and not just mere information that I have. Having said that, I don't agree with him most of the time. But that can never be the criterion to disregard a person, same applies to cricket.

  • on April 10, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    @Rohan1 That was really enlightening. I agree my model is wrong. Now to be frank with you I confess that I dont have what it takes to use stats judiciously with strong intellect framework. Also what I posted was merely a preposterous mess. Now I am expecting a "correct" model from you and some candid stats.

  • on April 10, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Just want to add a footnote that the Index (even the revised) metric is statistically incorrect. It is better to look at Average and Strike Rate separately. Multiplying the two doesn't give us any extra information.
    [[
    It allows the non-statistical minded average cricket follower to get a handle on combining the two base measures of ODI cricket. This ball may not pass through the statistician's circle but would be invaluable as a single composite measure to determine the value of a batsman to the team.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 10, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    Thanks Ananth & Milind, Will be exciting. I think the difference Bradman and next best will be even more in that. Nothing actually would ever settle any issue, but I am certain about a few things. - Lara won't be sitting that lowly as his averages put him. - Seeing Sachin's avg rating compared to a few of his contemporaries, about a billion people will be after you blood. But you can always publish total points scored by a player, this will make them feel good about themselves. I am placing a special request to you to publish the avg points scored by a select few players for that Magical 1994-2003 period, with a promise that I won't be surprised if Lara trumps Sachin, if not then his 1992-2001 will definitely over Sach's 1994-2003. Fingers crossed.
    [[
    We have already ordered some specially reinforced Kevlar vests!!! Anyone with an eye for figures and unbiased views can work out the results themselves.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rohan1 on April 9, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    Contd... 2) Re. the stats- I quote the recently late, great statistician George Box "All models are wrong, but some are useful". My contention is that stats require to be used judiciously - with a strong intellectual framework. Otherwise they rapidly disintegrate into numerical nonsense and noise. Most of the stat s some readers have put up are just that. So -our models are certainly wrong - but at least we should attempt to make them useful.

  • Rohan1 on April 9, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    @ravi.m 1) We agree. Of course it would have been nice if Tendulkar had got a hundred in a WC final (Not to his detractors). Unfortunately in sport, as in life, fairy tales may or may not occur. It is revealing that Tendulkar and Lara have one solitary unbeaten hundred in 4th innings chases. And even those were liberally dusted with luck. Tendulkar's 136, an all-time classic, did not have such luck. So, with all that skill, talent and determination they still produced just one. So, using a few odd innings here and there as some sort of proof of "superiority" is an extremely faulty proposition.

    The only modern day batsman who may have "conquered luck" to a degree, or at least beguiled it - would be VVS. He has produced the goods in nail-biting situations more often than any other. If only he had done better against all opposition in all conditions - he may have been an all-time XI candidate.

    Contd...

  • Cool_Jeeves on April 8, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    I just watched youtube of Richards 103 and 106 against Australia in one day matches in Australia in the 1983-84 and 1984-85 editions. The brutality of his hitting is in complete contrast to the slow crawl that the ball is reduced to as it reaches the boundary. This is true for Greenidge as well in some of his innings. If they had the sort of bats that Tendulkar or Sehwag use nowadays I shudder to think of how many balls would have gone for six that were otherwise caught or fell short and stopped or went for 4s. In other words, add 20 to Viv's average to equalize for bat quality difference with today's players.
    [[
    Add a few runs and for this and Power plays and take off some because of the bowler variety and technical analysis available.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ravi.m on April 8, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    @Rohan1,

    Luckily for you, Bradman adoration club is run by very few volunteers now with all the money is in you-know-whose-club! Anyway, that's irrelevant for ODI talks. It's not a "weakness" analysis of Tendlya - the man doesn't have any "weakness". He simply let some opportunities slip in big stages.

    Re: "6s", I just wanted to see who bit the bait!

    Re: performance in prelim matches, it is expected of this generation's premier batsman?!

    Yes, it is important to get to the final, but can you imagine a whirlwind (match-winning) 100 in one of the 2003 or 11 finals. Would that not have been the most epic moment for the most debated batsman!?

    Btw, Ganguly's record vs Donald outside Asia makes things look even worse!

    I was merely stating these things along with how IVA performed better when the contest was stronger made it quite easy for ME. And while I 'enjoy' reading 100s of words you type, I'd rather respect more number-oriented responses - considering this is a stats column!

  • ravi.m on April 8, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    [i]Until Fed's compilation of 17 GS & 6 YEC titles are overtaken he will, rightfully, be called the GOAT [/i].

    I'd still call him the GOAT. Maybe if somebody got to 3-4 more GS & 1-2 YEC…. To me, with AO 2007 (GS #10), Fed went past all to sit below the "Rocket". Bageling Rafa in Hamburg & ending 2007 with 12 GS & 4 YEC placed him along Laver for the 1st time in my book. Thus far, 2 standout stats for me were 26 consecutive wins vs top 10 players b/w Oct 03 & Jan 05 (next best of 17 by Fed in 06/07, Nole ≈10 in 2011); & winning 24 straight finals b/w Oct 03 & Nov 05 (prev. best 12 by McBorg!).

    2008 raised doubts; cleared in 2009. Then, backing up the most admirable "arrogance" he's shown during on-court interview after 2010 AO semi sealed his spot along Laver for good. Then, following 2½ years of brilliance only in drips, becoming #1 for the 3rd time after making his aim public …. my man, Laver, has to settle for #2 despite those most mesmerising hand tricks and all-court volleys.
    [[
    As the Secretary of the Unabashed World Federer Fans Association, I endorse what all you say. It is possible, just possible, that someone may go past 17 (if we are all lucky, 18) GS titles. But one record I cannot see ANYONE in ANY number of years breaking is the still-going-strong 35 "Consecutive GS QFs" mark. No illness, injury, withdrawals and no loss during the first week of 35 GSs over 9 years. I personally think that is the 99.94 off Tennis.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 8, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    the tennnis theory bjorg in G S G S wins 11 / 27 = 40% 55% finals, 89% wins

    federer in G S G S wins 17 / 55 = 31% 41% finals, 86% wins

    the similarity between sachin-federer and bjorg-richards is evident. Also bjorg retired unarguably as the best open era player. I am not a blind sachin follower, for me sachin, richards and beven are the 3 best odi batsman. depending on what attributes u value most u can pick anyone as the best ever. it is when inzy or ponting are brought into the argument that i sense a strong anti sachin bias. it is difficult to make a statistical case for beven as his innings were context driven but his avg acros all conditios shud be good enough.

  • Rangarajan_Rajamani_Chennai on April 8, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Hi Ananth - On a different note, I refer an article written by you on ODIs sometime back where you would have a toss up between Bevan and Hussey in your XV. I think Hussey didn't quite have the aura of ODI batsmanship as Bevan did, but I feel I would select Hussey marginally ahead of Bevan (Bevan's left arm chinaman notwithstanding). Bevan left a legacy and Hussey more than fufilled it, but somehow I find Hussey to be more flexible, more accomplished and importantly, can score powerful shots (when Bevan believed in Hare, Hussey can both Heave and Hare)

    On a different note, at a later point in time, we could have a look at finishers (not just 4/5/6/7 folks, but in general, guys who bat between 35-50 overs and win matches / turn matches - could be openers / top order men who bat long). I am not sure how feasible this could be.I like this approach of putting facts in front without a verdict. Dhoni, Bevan, Hussey, et al could provide another aspect to ODI analysis. Just one more dimension

  • Rangarajan_Rajamani_Chennai on April 8, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Excellent analysis. Once again, as always, there is always a discussion skewed towards one great man and challenges asking for "Who is the greatest?". Some interesting myths which I feel have been answered (putting SRT and some more folks in good light):

    1) SRT is not good when chasing: SRT scores at 89 while chasing and 84 while batting first with decent records in both innings and good averages. 2) In ODIs Batsmen win matches: True to an extent but we have at least 4 bastmen in this elite list with excellent records who have lost more matches than they have won. Stalwarts like Miandad have just about equal records in win-loss (at a lower strikerate). 3) Bevan has excellent record in chasing: In reality, numbers are better for Bevan for setting a target than for chasing. In fact he has a lower strike rate while chasing 4) Opening is an advantage in ODIs:Only SRT & Jayasuriya opened the innings. No matter where one bats, to score runs one has to be really good.

    (Cotd)

  • Rohan1 on April 8, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    These 17 Grand Slams have been attained by dominance over a period of several years. Unlike cricket these years are forever "locked in"…Completely opposite to what you claim - Federer's "final average" simply does not matter - not one whit.

    Federer's "final average" will not have the slightest impact whatsoever on his extended glory years - the same emphatically cannot be said about Tendulkar and other cricketers who's overall average simply doesn't tell the tale.

    Ahmer Raza's point is very ,very valid and cannot simply be shrugged off.

    So ,to reiterate- There is no way I agree with your interpretation. And I highly doubt you will find many supporters. Federer's "final average' - when he finally retires will in no way whatsoever impact his legacy. And in NO way can another player , perhaps then at his peak, claim to be better based on his "average" - If he doesn't have an extended period of dominance to support his claim.
    [[
    Rohan, I am amazed. You were the one to bring in the average "quarter final" idea and you are now pulling down my response.
    As far as your phrase "I won't have many supporters", you are way off the mark. You would be very surprised how many I will have. There is a world outside India which does not blindly worship players, even their own. For that matter there is a substantial group within India which may not blindly follow the faith.
    Let us acknowledge and appreciate greatness, not portray selected greatness as unassailable, God-like and cannot-be-questioned. Everyone, including Bradman, Federer, Pele and Bolt are mortals, extremely gifted and one-in-a-multi-miliion but still prone to failures.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rohan1 on April 8, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Ananth, Posting again...Not sure if the comments went thru.Pls ignore if double posted...

    Re. the comparison to Tennis and GS titles - I completely disagree.

    The reason the number of GS titles in tennis is the ultimate mark of greatness is because it effectively = "Number of years of extended dominance over peers".

    Since, there are only 4 GS per year to collect many titles you have to be better than your peers for YEARS. Odd flashes of brilliance won't do.

    I completely and utterly disagree. My point ( and in a way Ahmer Raza's - is being completely missed). If Federer's "average" GS performance is now "Quarter final" - this is 100% sure to decline if he goes on since he is past his peak. If he goes for another say 9 years ala Connors he may end up with an average of "3 ½ or Fourth round"…Another player still at his peak ( assume Djokovic for now ) may at that point have a higher "average" …But ,unlike Federer, he doesn't have 17 grand slams.

    Cont...

  • on April 7, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    continued 2003 world cup ponting 357 runs (7 innings, 2 not outs so he an extra but he still wud have avged more) sachin 300 runs (6 innings) 3 highest scorer ganguly had 2 hundreds against minnows so was far behind. but we are trying to level the playing field by removing minnows irrespective of wheather it was a semi-final or a low scoring game so i have another theory. india-aus played twise in the world cup in game 1 sachin top scored with 36 and entire indian team collapsed around him ponting came in when the game was dead and scored an easy 24*. similarly in the 2nd game when ponting came in aus had scored over 100 runs at better than 7 runs per over and again ponting cashed in while sachin came in with india needing 360 to win and he was the only one capable of getting india anywhere near the target. mighty unfair on sachin so why not look at the against equaly good opponents sachi 260 runs (4 innings) ponting 193 (5 innings). who was the better player nobrainer i guess.

  • on April 7, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    @ravi.m 1 i have no idea how home, away neutral mater in world cups. i doubt anyone in india or lanka would have reacted differently had they won world cup away. richards and ponting were beter away than home while sachin was better home so the world cup scheduling was convenient for all three. 2 all 3 sachin 100s came at better than run a ball, in the 1st innings and put india in a commamnding position so how u fault sachin for india's defeat is beyond me. 3 zim betwee 1992 and 2003 world cups won 33% of ther games against new zeland, eng, win and 20% against india and SL while they defeated pak and sa more than once so they weren't minnows but for the purposes of the argument we will consider them. 4 Top 3 players all data excluding minnows world cup 1996 sachin 393 runs , mark wough 278 runs (1 extra game) de silva 222 runs ( 1 extra game) world cup 2011 sachin 389 runs sangakara 331 runs dilshan 262 runs. sachin maintains his status quo of having top scored in 2 world cups.

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Ananth, Re. the Grand Slams - You have missed the major point ( no pun intended) and focused on the minor. The point is that at the end of a 20 year career if Federer's "average" Grand Slam performance is "Fourth round" - it far from tells us the complete picture. Of course, an GS title is not equivalent to a Hundred - the point is that a Hundred cannot be "taken away" - unlike what a career average does in case of a decline to earlier stats.
    [[
    If Federer's average was the fourth round and no one else reached an average of fourth round, then. he has to be the best, shall we agree. In a way the best non-Bradman average being 60 and the maximum scores being 300+ is somewhat similar. So, in general, a 55 is seemingly better than a 50 which is better than a 45 and so on.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    @ravi.m You are completely entitled to your selection. I,for one, would have Tendulkar as my first pick every single time. A forensic analysis of Tendulkar's perceived weaknesses has now become almost a cottage industry of it's own for well over a decade now. After the Bradman adoration club the Tendulkar weakness analysis club seems to be one that will surely have a long run. So, I suggest you don't bother with the kevlar vest ! Your tribe is one which has been around for a long time and one withl a long future ahead of you.

    Hate to poke holes in your thesis because of the sheer amount of hard work you have put in - must be exhausting! But -

    1)Apparently Tendulkar hasn't hit a six at certain times - Er,so....?

    2)Re. crunch situations/important matches etc. it may well be argued that without Tendulkar India may not have got to a WC semi and two WC finals in the first place. It is highly doubtful that the same can be said about either Richards or Ponting as related to WI and Aus.

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Contd.. The outcome of most great batsman vs. great bowler matchups also can only be determined if they are over a sufficient period of time and matches - to average out streaks where a batsman or bowler may dominate, injuries, form, incorrect dismissals and other assorted factors.

    Basically - we wish to determine the differences in skill between players. This again is often best over longer ,injury free career spans. Individual innings often pivot on sheer luck. I doubt I have seen a single great innings where a batsman has not been dropped, LBWs and other things not gone his way etc. Not only for the batsman concerned but also his partners - any one of which could have affected the outcome of the innings/match.

    So - any stat which seeks to compare two players only has meaning if the circumstances are as closely similar as possible.

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Sourabh 'Calvin' , Ariz Khan, I would like to point out some other factors behind the use of stats. Several stats , including the ones you use, are only applicable when there is a common ground over a similar ( preferably longish) time frame with another player. A lot of Ananth's analyses where player comparisons are involved actually try to accomplish two things : 1) Imagine a scenario as to how players would perform if roles, teams,eras etc. were interchanged. 2) Imagine a neutral scenario and recalibrate player performances.

    Inspite of Ananth's valiant efforts this is largely a futile attempt because of the infinite variables involved. So, any average of a player ( for eg. Tendulkar in your stats) whether 10,20,31.8 or 99.4 are only relevant if we can compare with another player in precisely the same situation. Clearly, this is not possible - but at least a semblance of comparison should be attempted. This is not the case in the stats you have put up...COntd...

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    World Cup Myth Part 3/3:

    Tendlya: 1397 runs at 48.2, SR of 85.0 & 3 centuries (decent increase in avg, slight drop in SR)

    11 of 31 (i.e. 35% of) matches were played at home (avg 71.1 & SR 89.3), scored 56% of runs.

    Away (avg 39.0 & SR 70.5) & neutral (avg 33.2 & SR 82.9).

    Avg of 55.2 (SR 82.9) batting first & 38.3 (SR of 89.8) chasing.

    Avg of 49.4 (SR 81.9) in wins; avg of 55.8 & SR of 87.4 as opener (in WCs '96, 99, 03 & 11)!

    Notes: Never captained; preferred day-night matches. Ordinary records (by his standards) outside India.

    Interesting facts: All 3 100s were at home & in preliminary matches. India failed to win in all 3 occasions. Avg of only 18.8 in 6 innings in England without a fifty. Did not score a six in 3 countries where he batted more than once. And a solitary duck in WI.

    Highlights: 1 title (2 finals with scores of 4 & 18).

    I'll be picking all 3 in my team, but I know who will be the first name on the team sheet with (C) next to his name!
    [[
    I hope, Ravi, that you are wearing your bullet-proof Kevlar vest!!!
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    World Cup Myth Part 2/3:

    Ponting: 1352 runs at 52.0, SR of 80.1 & 4 centuries (big increase in avg, SR almost unchanged)

    All matches were away (avg 50.3 & SR 86.3) & neutral (avg 52.2 & SR 79.4).

    Avg of 54.9 (SR 84.2) batting first & 46.6 (SR of 72.2) chasing.

    Avg of 50.1 (SR 82.3) in wins, batted at no.3 in every match, avg of 63.9 & SR of 89.6 as captain!

    Notes: As expected, big game player, huge impact as captain, preferred day matches. Made 100s in only his 2nd & last WC appearances - both in losing causes. Other than that, Australia never lost when he made 50 or more.

    Made a 50+ score and hit a six in every country where he batted more than once.

    Highlights: 3 titles (4 finals) as a player (two unbeaten titles as captain) & a stunning century in first final as captain.

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    World Cup Myth Part 1/3:

    From WC matches vs all Test nations, let's remove BD, Zim for all and bring the min aggregate to 700. Yeah yeah Kenya & Zim made past group stage once. Well, let's just keep it simple. For those who played predominantly before 1990, matches vs SL are also removed.

    Only 7 from this article makes the 700 cut off. Fair enough. I'm gonna ignore 4 of those due to not so remarkable records. Miandad avg of 41.4 & SR of 66.4, Kallis 40.5 & 70.8, Lara 38.5 & 82.6 and Sanath 33.1 & 87.6!

    IVA: 802 runs @ 61.7, SR of 78.0 & 2 centuries (huge increase in avg, big drop in SR).

    All matches were away (avg 128 & SR 90.1) & neutral (avg 49.6 & SR 73.4).

    Avg of 58.1 (SR 79.5) batting first & 67.4 (SR of 76.1) chasing.

    Avg of 77.9 (SR 75.5) in wins & avg of 94.7 (SR 77.6) batting at no.3 (in WCs 1979 & 83)

    Notes: As expected, big game player, impact at top. "Low" strike rate. Highlights: 2 titles (3 finals) as a player, none as captain & a stunning century in a final.

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    IVA in WI Domestic Part 3/3:

    Match #4 (1987): Chasing 132 in a rain affected game, IVA walks in at 3-79 & gets out to a random bowler for 3, with Richie Richardson well set at other end. With 2 needing in the last over, both Richie and another batsman get run out to lose by 1 run. Holding 2-fer. Walsh 0-fer.

    Match #5 (1991): IVA walks in at 3-61, top-scores with 68 out of team's 228 before being run out AGAIN. Walsh 3-fer & Patterson 0-fer. Curtly, Benjamin & Baptiste couldn't make a breakthrough as Jamaican openers put on 150. IVA comes in to bowl, breaks the partnership once again with 1-27 (10), but Dujon yet again guides Jamaica to a win in the penultimate ball.

    So, in 5 games vs top (& only quality) WI domestic team, not only IVA scored 3 fifties (highest score). He was run out twice and out to non-international bowlers twice. Overall team avg score was well below 200 if I may add.

    I can't see any clear indication of IVA struggling against mighty Holding, Walsh, Patterson etc

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    IVA in WI Domestic matches Part 2/3:

    Match #1 (1982): IVA walks in at 2-4, and scores a nonchalant 60 out of team's 233 vs Holding (3-fer) & Walsh (4-fer). But, IVA out to someone else. Jamaica cruising at 4-159, King decides to roll his arm over, a casual 4-18, a run-out & 2 catches (1 c&b), win by 13 runs.

    Match #2 (1984): IVA runout for 15 out of team's 212 vs Holding (4-fer) & Walsh (1-fer). Jamaica wins the thriller in the last over with Dujon's 57 despite IVA's 1-28 off 10 overs & Roberts 2-48.

    Match #3 (1986): IVA walks in at 2-15 (soon 3-17 with Patterson inflicting two ducks), scores 60 out of team score of 169 - gets out to Walsh this time. Jamaica wins by 6 wickets with 4.3 overs to spare. IVA 0-25 (5), Curtly 1-32 (10).

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    IVA in WI Domestic matches Part 1/3:

    As for those comments on IVA's List A records, out of those 313 non-ODI games, 292 games were played for Somerset & Glamorgan in England, QLD in Australia & warm-up/tour games for WI. Quite funny that some people started swinging their swords without realising that LESS than 7% of IVA's List A games were played for WI domestic teams! i.e. 21 matches (19 innings) spread over 17 years (1st in '74 & last in '91).

    Let's dig deep on those 19 innings. Not once, IVA batted in more than 3 innings in a season. With big Curtly & mean Andy Roberts already in IVA's side, only Jamaica had more than one famous fast bowler. Digging ....

    3 Fifties in 5 matches at an avg of 41.2 vs Jamaica. Not spectacular; neither ordinary by any standards.

    Digging deeper ….

  • on April 7, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    @Sourabh 'Calvin' Nice try but won't work. I don't think anybody who has really seen that Viv's 145 Lords test 1980 or his 153 in MCG ODI will ever dare to compare him with anybody who has played since. I hate to give any quote but... In one of the interviews Imran commented that (not exact words) most captains made the mistake of throwing challenges (like bringing best bowlers, bouncers etc) to Viv, and suffered. Make him feel comfortable and easy -- will get bored, play casually and throw his wicket away. That says it all about Viv, his strength and as well as weakness. Another problem with him was his overconfidence, Watching that Lords 1983 final where ball was swinging yards (I am pretty sure how some of these modern greats would be searching the balls under those conditions) he tried to finish the match in a hurry as if playing on some docile pitch. Another issue with him was to play unorthodox strokes - hitting a six of a leg stump ball to cover. But then that's Viv.

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Re. the comment "My response was more on the lines that Richards might have played his home non-international games with less intensity, as befitting a colossus." This may well be so. However the flip side is that arguably the two biggest collosi in the history of the game Bradman and Tendulkar seemed to treat every game with the most intensity possible irrespective of the format.

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    @Ariz Khan - my reply to "Sourabh 'Calvin" would apply to you to.

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    @Sourabh 'Calvin' Your stats do not take into account "reality" 1) Tendulkar opened the innings. Almost all the bowlers you refer to are infinitely more potent with the new ball - esp. new white ball. Reversing etc is almost not an issue. Annew white ball is a completely different ball game from an old white ball. Am sure most batsmen would prefer facing Mcgrath, Lee ,Bond,Akram and co. with an old white ball.

    2)Numerous ppl on cricinfo blogs have pointed out that stats in matches "involving" bower A but including bowler XYZ are meaningless. Bowlers XYZ may get the batsman out but bowler A gets the brownie points. Even ball to ball info may not mean much if not placed in match context. Although this is more applicable to Tests where playing out a bowler may be more important than scoring runs.

    In any case your stats may be said to be "incomplete" - at best.

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    Following on that Tendlya "performance" in matches involving McGrath & Donald, I couldn't help but question myself about my apparent "bias" towards calling Fed the GOAT. Isn't outside Asia record vs Mc-Donald for Tendlya is similar to versing Rafa on clay for Fed?!

    Yes, but not even scoring a 50 in 25 innings!!!! That's like not even winning a set.

    I mean Fed did beat Rafa a couple of times on clay - one straight set drubbing. Other ended with a complimentary bagel! Rafa was pushed in several deciding sets too.

    Not scoring a 50 in 25 innings is pretty much an equivalent failure to straight set losses in 10+ matches with hardly any tie-breaks.

    Just for the sake of completion, 2-12 in matches, 13-32 in sets, 199-251 (not bad) in games! That's like … a couple of 100s and quite a few 50s! ;)

    PS: Pardon my tennis inclusion, no discussion on sporting greatness feels complete without drawing Fed into it! :) If only Ananth could give us a statistical analysis of this magnitude on Federer
    [[
    Only problem is that in Tennis it is head-to-head. In Cricket it is not head-to-head. Nadal's titles are clay-dominant. federer's are clay-weak. Until the day Federer's compilation of 17 GS and 5 year-end Master's titles are overtaken he will, rightfully, be called the greatest. That said, I think, as of now, Laver's case cannot be denied, even by people like me. Two annual GS titles book-end 6 years of no GS titles, only to earn money. I think he is pushing Federer very very close.
    I would love to do a comprehensive study on Tennis. It will not be published in this blogspace. I have to look at a suitable place for publishing that.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rohan1 on April 7, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Many are using a Tennis analogy.

    In many ways that is what Ahmer Raza is tending to point out.

    Federer has 17 Grand Slams. However, if he continues it may be that at the end of a 20 year career his "average" Grand slam performance is "Fourth round" or "Quarterfinal". i.e "On average" over 20 years he reached either the Quarter Final or Fourth round of ever Grand slam he participated in.

    Though this tells us something, It is clearly not the whole story.

    Which is where Ahmer Razas stats come in - As they point out the "Grand Slam" years of Tendulkar which overall career averages do not reveal. The only equivalent to a Grand Slam title for a batsman may be a Hundred. This may be the reason why it is the single most coveted milestone for batsmen.
    [[
    You are joking. The equivalent of a GS title is a hundred. Over 100 years less than 400 GS ttles have been available. There have been give or take a 100, 2000 hundreds. Double centuries might be more like it.
    Anyhow the comparison was to say that you play in a Test match, you score runs. You play in 100 GS tournaments, you may not win one. Nothing more.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Tendulkar and others may have shown poor JUDGEMENT in not retiring at the optimum time - but this when looking only at overall figures may be misconstrued as poor cricketing SKILL - that is the aberration.

  • ravi.m on April 7, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    Tendlya's longevity. Yes, absolutely incredible. But, I believe his ability to perform well at a very young age on a consistent basis WITHOUT DISTRACTION was the biggest reason for his success. Tendlya had scored 2,300 more ODI runs than anyone else by the age of 25 (& 3,450 more than Ponting at 25).

    While there are so many arguments to place him at the very top, one particular stat is bugging me. In matches involving two greatest pace bowlers of Tendlya's prime years (McGrath & Donald), his avg was below 30 & SR below 80 in 49 innings. Well, you can't crucify someone for that. Not that bad! Tendlya got out 12 times to Mc-Donald. And, lot more times while one of Mc-Donald was bowling at the other end.

    Deeper look: outside Asia (1992-2003), 25 innings, avg 20.5 & SR of 69.4 (not even a FIFTY). Hmmm.

    Let's go AWAY (1992-2000): 16 innings, avg 16.9 & SR of 62.3 (what?!). I cannot give it to someone failing to make a fifty in 25 attempts!!!!

    2nd best - FINE by me. GOAT - not quite!

  • on April 6, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Ananth, I hate to do this, As I have loved Sachin's Batting.. But to all those who are commenting on Bowling quality faced by Sachin & Viv, the stats are below..

    Viv in Matches involving Bowlers : Imran - Inn 36, Runs 991, Avg 33, SR 94.5.. Wasim - 19, 611, 38.2, 99.7.. Botham - 22, 1201, 75.1, 92.7.. Lilliee - 16, 834, 69.5, 80.9.. Hadlee - 8, 374, 62.3, 84.. Kapil - 25, 974, 48.7, 101.2..

    Sachin in Matches involving Bowlers : Mcgrath - Inn 23, Runs 828, Avg 36, SR 91.5.. Lee - 29, 878, 31.4, 72.4.. Bond - 4, 62, 15.5, 65.9.. Akram - 24, 769, 36.6, 90.. Waqar - 23, 780, 37.1, 86.4.. Walsh - 16, 482, 32.1, 76.. Donald - 26, 625, 24, 68.. Ntini - 17, 580, 34.1, 67.4..

    Guys, for praising Sachin, you do not have to belittle someone.. The stats posted above is only in reply to few of the crazy comparisons going around.. Sachin is a legend, & the 2nd best ODI batsman.. & Viv stands tall with the crown..
    [[
    People tend to forget that Richards faced some excellent bowling attacks too and did not have power-plays backing him. The fact that his team had great bowlers should not take the sheen off his batting.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 6, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    continued sachins has a poor record against SA which is very well known so if u pick and choose a couple of great bowlers and throw a couple of sauth africans in it he is bound to look ordinary. his poor record against SA has nothing to do with piches as evidenced by his steller 2003 world cup campaign. quite obviously his peak or overall record would have been little different if he had only played against the best. viv avg 31 against pak (be bowling lineup he faced in his career). i am just making a point here i dont think richards cared or had trouble facing anyone. richards was better than anyone else at his peak including sachin, is it enough for him to be regarded as that best ever? not for me.

  • on April 6, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    ariz khan SR Tendulkar (India) 1989-2012 169 164 11 6687 143 43.70 7756 86.21 15 41 6 against all great odi bowler of his era excluding sauth africans 1994-2003 136 132 8 5487 143 44.25 6335 86.61 15 29 3 against all great odi bowlers of his peak including sauth africans 1994-2003 111 107 8 4650 143 46.96 5225 88.99 13 26 2 against all great odi bowler of his peak excluding sauth africans involving players: CEL Ambrose AA Donald B Lee GD McGrath M Muralitharan Saqlain Mushtaq Shoaib Akhtar Waqar Younis SK Warne Wasim Akram SM Pollock A Flintoff

  • on April 6, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    @Rohan1 @ "forgetting that it is the openers which face the new ball bowlers such as Donald, Mcgrath,Pollock, Waqar,Wasim etc etc" Just a heads up to mull over,

    In the matches where at least one of the bowlers you mentioned played, Tendulkar averaged 31.81. So just think twice before you post. I won't say it is disgraceful performance, but not befitting the greatest of 'em all.

  • on April 5, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    @Ananth, Regarding Viv's List A matches. He played a total of 320 non-ODI matches, but I think most of them were in English County. Many of those used to be 40-over matches and probably that is one of the reasons why his average was a little lower. The type of player that he was, would always try to score max and not try to remain Bevan... just kidding.

  • Rohan1 on April 5, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Lastly ,I would like to add that this entire longevity issue is merely another feather on the Tendulkar cap. He was already regarded as an all-time great in his 20s. If he had retired at age 30 he would have still been regarded as a Legend and all time great. In fact, it is still an open question whether the additional years have reduced or added to his legacy.From the attacking batsman tearing into all opposition to the post injury remodeled accumulator - What will he be regarded as ? Perhaps it may have been better if after the injuries piled up he had simply retired in the mid 2000s.
    [[
    Someone who retired with lot of reluctance even now was not going to retire a few years back. And let us also agree that he, and Bradman, are the only ywo players who could select their retirement decisions 100% on their own.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rohan1 on April 5, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    3)The only acceptable statement under the circumstances may be - Richards by far the best ODI player in his era, Tendulkar in his.

    4) Re. the peer comparison I was also hoping for a Batting order peer ratio. li.e for eg. if Opening batsmen avg. 35 over Tendulkar's career and Tendulkar avg 45: His peer avg. would be 45/35. This in response to those going on about how much easier it is to score as an opener - forgetting that it is the openers which face the new ball bowlers such as Donald, Mcgrath,Pollock, Waqar,Wasim etc etc - And as is well known a new white ball is a completely different ball game from an old white ball.... I think you will find that the middle order batting averages are actually HIGHER than the averages for openers.

    All in all, Given the unbelievably high standards maintained over 23 years and 12000 runs more than Richards - Tendulkar is the greatest ODI player , Richards would be more explosive.

    Again, the "Batting order" peer ratios would shed some more light.

  • Rohan1 on April 5, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    hmer Raza actually has a valid point. In a career spanning 23 years Tendulkar has had the first few as a teenage prodigy, then from 1993-2003 as the Undisputably best batsman in the world ( avg. 62 in Tests and 46 in ODIs) miles ahead of his illustrious contemporaries, then 2003-07 injury ridden down years and an imminent retirement , 2008-10 a decent comeback, and now a terminal decline.

    2)To me ,of course, Tendulkar is the greatest ODI batsman. He has 2 1/2 times more runs than Richards at a slightly lower avg and strike rate. In an ODI career spanning 23 yrs. Richards may trump Tendulkar on some "performance" indicators . But then Amla trumps Richards on some indicators as well. Amla has half the runs Richards has - So why not hand over the title of best ODI player to Amla ? We cannot simply pretend Tendulkar's 12000 more runs than Richards does not exist - And as Ahmer Raza shows - Tendulkar at his best was by far the best ,over an extended period of a decade. Contd....

  • on April 5, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    i m upset about few things.first, u hav completely ignored the batting avgs of batsmen. batting avg explains a lot abt players taking their team to the very end of the match. atleast second innings avg should hav been considered. second, u hav mentioned that viv rechards played when there was no powerplays n all bt he also played when pressure of expectations and performing were much less as compared to the times when sachin and dhoni played. I dont think viv rechards would hav been criticized or dropped frm the side if he was nt performing. I m a big fan of vivian rechards but i dont think he is the greatest of all. Considering the pressure to perform, i think SRT and MSD are the greatest of them all.
    [[
    I have explained in depth my reason for using RpI. That is my view and I will stand by it come what may. It is my clear understanding that not outs play too much of a part in a player's average.
    Of course, it is your choice to look at average.
    If you add Ganguly to your two, you will have a nice Indian trio. And a few years from now, you can add Kohli and have an Indian quartet at the top. Would not have much acceptance, even amongst Indian supporters.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • amiitkt on April 5, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    In continuation of my comment "Posted by amiitkt on (April 4, 2013, 14:56 GMT)" :-

    @ Ananth :- Well, there is hardly any doubt that Richards commanded best bowlers from Australia, England, Pakistan, NZ. As always, I will also concede that he is the best ODI batsman of all time. Only thing that I wanted to make in the last post is that the super-normal differences between him and other batsmen reflected in your table is partly compensated by the fact that he faced the best bowling of his era in domestic ODIs only.

    I also agree with most of the things you have replied except that Richards would have taken the domestic games lightly. Had this been the case he would not have played 500 List A. Saying this will be equivalent to saying Inzamam did not take games outside Asia/World Cup seriously. There is no harm in conceding that Richards average/strike rate would have been lesser had he faced Marshal &Company in ODIs. I will take this opportunity to praise Dean Jones in this regard.
    [[
    My response was more on the lines that Richards might have played his home non-international games with less intensity, as befitting a colossus. As far as playing in 500 List-A (what are these, why not call these First Class, I thought List-A was today's terminology, reflecting the less important T20 matches), those were the days when even the stars had to play domestic cricket.
    But I agree that his figures are much lower than his international figures.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • amiitkt on April 4, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Well, Even without this analysis I was a genuine believer of Richards being the best ODI batsman to have walked on Earth. However, the argument that he did not face the best bowling of his era deserves merit. The biggest proof of this is reflected from the fact that his batting average in first class cricket is slightly less than what he managed in Test Cricket.For ODIs, I decided to compare his ODI record with his List A record in ODIs. The findings are as given below :- 1. His Average in ODIs is 47.00 the same in List A Cricket drops to 41.96. 2. Total no of Matches in ODIs =187, No of Innings=167, Not Outs =24 Total no of Matches in List A = 500, No of Innings =466, Not Outs =61 As list A games include ODIs also, Let us look at his record in List A games which were not ODIs. And his record will be 313 Matches, 299 Innings, 37 not outs, 10274 Runs, Average = 39.21, Runs Per Innings=34.36 Clearly, most of the non ODIs List A would be against bowlers of his own country.
    [[
    Richards faced the bowlers of Australia, New Zealand, England, Pakistan, all of which were good bowling attacks. He faced Sri Lankan bowlers, only in WCs. And Sri Lanka of 1980s had a good track record behind them. It is not his fault that his team had the best bowlers of the era. And it is almost certain that he treated non-international matches with disdain.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • guptahitesh4u on April 4, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    Very very excellent!! I consider Sachin the greatest ODI batsman, and you are proving that Viv is on top..but I still enjoyed reading this article. Though you have considered the best year and span of best 15 and worst 15 matches in part 1, can you come up with something which can simulate their stats if these played would have played equal number of matches?
    [[
    It will be an impractical exercise. No one can sustain the 1800-runs-a-year performance for 20 years. The number of matches also plays a part. Let us enjoy having watched two truly great players playing the game.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 4, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Dear Ananth

    One more question..What would be the impact on rankings if we consider the performance of these batsmen against the best bowlers in their era. For e.g. Lillie against Richards, Sachin and Lara against Wasim , Waqar, Warne, McGrath etc....Drawing from the tennis analogy, Federer is all time great but then so is Nada and now Djokovic is on the way to catch these.

    Let me know if this makes sense.

    Thanks Nageshl
    [[
    How is Richards vs Lillee determined. There is no ball-by-ball data available. And Richards against a bowling attack of Lillee and xyz is not complete. For recent matches clear ball-by-ball data may be available but I do not have the same.
    Only possibility is my Bowling Quality on which I have done extensive work, to my satisfaction, in Test Cricket but not in ODIs. I have done quite a lot of work but have to iron out ctd level work. Will do and use it for the expected third part about which I have already talked.
    Tennis is an individual game and the number of Grand Slams, no of Grand slam later rounds, overall win % etc are great pointers to greatness. Federer is the current occupant while Nadal is outside the door and Djokovic is catching up some distance behind.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 4, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    Dear Ananth

    Will it be wise to consider the performance of these batsmen while chasing the scores in excess of 250 plus? The win-loss ratio because of their innings? Will this change the overall rankings? Do you think in that case Javed Miandad may come up better than Viv?

    Thanks Nagesh
    [[
    Not really. Even in a relatively poorer second innings, Richards is ahead of most batsmen. And we should not look at a narrow segment to push up or pull down a player. We have to look at all aspects of the batsmen.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 4, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    @ariz khan avg batting avg of all batsman in asia 28 strike rate 74 avg batting avg of all batsman in rest of the world 27 strike rate 72 while scoring is easier in asia and difficult in aus the difference is not as much as u think it is. if inzy was brilliant at home and in asia but avg overseas it's his shortcoming. i dont think zimbawe til early 2000s could be considered minnows and the poor west indian team of 2000s is compensated for by the brilliance of ambrose and walsh in the 90s. sachin's freescoring against minnows like kenia etc is more than made up by the fact that inzy and sachin's real competition richards never faced the best bowling teams of there era while sachin never faced the 6 or 7th best bowling line up of his era. inzy was not even the best batsman in pak as initialy anwar and later on yusuf out performed him (post miadad anwar was the best pak batsman and was cosistantly amongst the best batsman in his prime).

  • DaGameChanger on April 4, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    I am big FAN of Vivian Richards and Sachin Tendulkar both. Statistics presented this way or that way can only reveal stats not MINDSET and SITUATIONS. When Viv played his ODI career, he knew inside his mind that he belonged to best team in the world. He played knowing they can win from any situation while Sachin on the other side carried burden of cricket crazy asian nation that too of billion people. That itself is such a hugh hugh pressure. Comparing Viv and Sachin is tempting but futile attempt as we would never know how Sachin would played if he was West Indian player or if Viv played for India. Personally I think

  • on April 4, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    There is no bigger compliment to Richards than the fact that in a team known for its fast-bowlers, he was the mascot. I would have like to see Gary Kirsten in there for South Africa particularly when Kallis is there. Kirsten was the quiet accumulator and very effective and I am sure his record in crunch matches will be exceptional. Also Dean Jones. I do not think there was a more effective ODI player than Jones (Richards aside) in the late 1980s. I remember some of his innings - he would score at more than run-a-ball with strange boundary numbers - 52 off 45 with one six, no fours or something like that. Geoff Marsh wasn't that bad either. Zaheer Abbas is an obvious miss. Hayes and Greenidge both had the record and longevity.
    [[
    All good selections especially Dean Jones who was the quintessential ODI run-accumulator. He was arguably the fastest runner between wickets.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 4, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    It is an Indian Reporter so I don`t believe ...... Every No. is carrying by Indians ......... Pakistanis on least numbers ........ they can`t think beyond one point :)
    [[
    My dear friend, I think you have been reading some other blog and bit confused, no doubt because of the hot weather.
    Since when did Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq acquire Indian citizenship? Maybe you could enlighten me and the other readers.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • drnaveed on April 4, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    well done. i wanted to know how much runs , a batsman would have scored had he played a similar number of innings ,played by the other top batsmen in the world. for example , how many runs, half centuries, centuries vivian richards with his existing batting average, runs / tests etc, would have scored had he played similar number of innings as played by ,say for example bradman , tendulkar , lara , gavaskar, ponting , kallis ,martin crowe, etc etc . can any one make that list????.

  • harshthakor on April 4, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Ananth,great effort but I feel you have left out some great one day batsman who simply could not play as many games as batsmen of the modern era.Zaheer Abbas was a master with an average of 47.62 and 12 centuries.His improvisation was classical.Alan Lamb was the ultimate champion in finishes and at his best in the shorter version .Graham Gooch was another great stalwart in this version .So too were Greenidge and Haynes.Haynes at one time was the leading run-getter and centurion while Greenidge at his best exhibited the Barry Richards class.Another great Aussie prodigy was Dean Jones,to me the best one day batsman in the world in the early 1990's.

    I also admire your inclusion of Mark Waugh who outplayed brother Steve on the shorter version,with his great array of strokes and talent.
    [[
    I started with a dozen, then to the baker's dozen and finally with the inclusion of Pietersen and Flower, to 15. Even if I had gone to 20, someone or other would have been left out. I have covered this dilemma in depth in the first part and the responses.
    You would see that I have offered the readers a possible solution in Part 2. If the readers want it, I would do about 8/9 tables for ALL batsmen and list the top-ranked platyers. That should take care of this. But you should be prepared for some top players to be missing.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • aarifboy on April 4, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Dean Jones,Saeed Anwar,Mike Hussey and Zaheer Abbas missed the list.Have a look at their careers please

  • harshthakor on April 4, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    No doubt Viv Richards sits like a king on the top of the pedestal.I praise your efforts which justify Viv as the best of all one day batsman.He could change the complexion of a game more than any batsman like launching a blitzkreig or a bomber destroying a military base.Above all he would save his best for the big occasion.To me his best knock was his 153 n.o at Melbourne in 1979-80 against the Aussies where he literally saved the top of the ball.A fifty of hundred by Viv made a bigger impact than Tendulkar.

    When the chips were down Javed Miandad was the ultimate batsman with his prowess to adapt.Tendulkar ofcourse stats wise is the best but was not as effective in match-winning finishes like Lara ,Miandad or Michael Bevan.What puts Tendulkar in the Viv Richard's class was his consistency or longevity for 22 years-something unequalled in any sport.

  • on April 4, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    @Anantha - no doubt you did a thorough analysis. However it merely establishes the fact that Viv is ahead in the parameters that you selected. Comparing players is like comparing apples and oranges. You may like apples, and I may like oranges. For instance, Viv did not have to play against the best bowling attack of his day. Viv also played for the strongest team, and usually followed the likes of Greenidge and Haynes, to bat. Also, he played in 167 innings, while Sachin played in 400+ innings. How do you normalize for all these various factors?

  • TheScot on April 3, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Anantha,

    You talk about impact innings, significant matches, percentages, indexes, and all that fancy stats, I got to respect you for this is your job and might be your hobby as well, but truth being told I have seen Sachin Tendulkar take the crap out of guys like McGrath, Donald, Walsh, Waqar, Akhtar, Murli, Warne etc etc. in 450+ matches played all over the world without puffing his chest, chewing the gum, doing drama of all sort, and disrespecting the opponents. He did more than anyone else, for longer than anyone else, to more than anyone else, in more countries than anyone else. If he had not scored in those 'insignificant'/ 'early matches' India would not have reached the SF/ final.

    Regards.

  • on April 3, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Kapil Dev had a batting strike rate of 90 something in the same Richards era , didn't he?

  • on April 3, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    It is sad to see the absence of SAURAV GANGULY in these tables. It is not unexpected though, I'm sure we'll not see AJIT AGARKAR in the bowling tables inspite of having ODI stats mirroring Gul and Malinga because he was erratic and ofcourse he is an INDIAN which probably rules him out(maligned by his own fans ,so do Gul and Malinga). Indian captains bar Dravid are incapable of handling those types of bowlers. Umesh Yadav DID NOT open the bowling in Aus of all places in the last cb series (why?) anyway, GANGULY WAS THE FIRST INDIAN TO SCORE ODI TONS IN SA VS SA AND IN AUS VS AUS and another in Aus vs Pak. (as an opener mind you)He faced the best ODI bowlers on those games 'away' from home. HE WAS AT PAR WITH SRT IN ODIS FROM 1996-2002. He made a risky shot his trademark - making room and hitting fast bowlers over their heads. What has Ganguly done to be ignored in these tables? one short ball weakness he had , is it that? or is he bracketed with Dravid who is also missing here?

  • on April 3, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Mr.Anantha Narayanan, sorry to say, please come up from third slip to point.....and you would have not missed Virender Sehwag.

    very bad, sehwag not to be listed.
    [[
    I am very comfortable at Third slip. Thank you very much. You guys could take up all the difficult positions!!!
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 3, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    brilliant article!! 1. i would definitely love an all batsman analysis on the best/worst streaks, team share home/neutral/away and impact innings(best) 2. i agree with amiitkt regarding impact innings, could there be another criterion, say 75+ runs and 30% of team score b'coz i think those 3% will have a lot of innings. 3. could you have the revised index/index in all the tables??
    [[
    Possible. Normally I would have made these corrections and posted the tables again. Now I do not have access to the published article and cannot really do that.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    P.S.I too saw the Auckland test and i was amused to note that S broad's best batting performance(probably) for over an year was just 6 runs!!!

  • awan6464 on April 3, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Great analysis, however, in my opinion Saeed Anwar was a top ODI batsman who should have been in the list. Considering his achievements, top run getter for Pak in WC 1996,1999 and 2003 plus champions trophy 2000.In addition highest MoMs plus highest century scorer for pak. In 90s, he and tendulkar were only players with avgs and SRs above 40 and 80 respectively. I think he will be competing for top honours if analysed for mentioned criteria.
    [[
    Do you think Pakistan could have got 3 batsmen in. If not, who would you have left out for Saeed Anwar. In my first article I have mentioned the batsmen who just missed out. Probably Anwar, ganguly and Dean jones are in the forefront of this list.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • bks123 on April 3, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    Both VIV and Sachin are great players.They are/were great test batsmen (top 5). But, I think, their ODI achievements makes them GIANTS of the game.

    One thing that we should not ignore is longevity. Sachin Tendulkar has played in more "won" matches than total matches played by SIR VIV. That too at a better average and strike rate.

    SIR VIV Total INN-167 RUNS-6721 Ave-47.00 SR-88.7 Sachin Won INN-231 RUNS-11157 Ave- 48.30 SR-90.3
    [[
    Not particularly relevant. If you play in 450 matches, which itself is the real achievement, and you are part of a reasonably successful team, you are bound to figure in many successful won matches and if you are the team's most successful batsman, you are bound to score plenty of runs. And look at the matches won by Jayasuriya, 228.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cricketeria on April 3, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    The argument that Sachin played better bowling than Richards is more than balanced out by the easier batting pitches Sachin played on,i.e. Indian pitches. Also, Richards played some great bowlers e.g. Imran, Hadlee, Wasim, Lillee, Kapil Dev, Botham. But all those bowlers, and every player of that time, calls Richards the best he ever faced. That should confirm Mr. Narayanan's analysis.

  • on April 3, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    why would you leave out the best contemporary one day batmen in this analysis? Hashim Amla is way up there, most of his stats far exceed Viv and Lara! while he may not be the best ever any comparison without him is flawed. I think his introspective nature and demeanour counts against him cause he doesnt cause the same hype or flaunt his achievments like the ego driven aussies and west indians!
    [[
    Mr.Blair
    You are exhibiting a total lack of many things. Did you read the article fully. Do you know how many times I have mentioned Amla. I could not very well take Amla with 3300 runs as against Kallis with three times the number of runs and a good average.
    In many comments I have referred to Amla. Incidentally I am a guy who puts a lot of value on behaviour and Amla is one of my favourites. I would anyday talke him against Kohli. One who combined a 50+ average and 90+ s/r is rae so rare that he deserves informed support.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 3, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    This Analysis proved that SRt is more better than Ponting, Gilcrist, Steve Waugh, Beven, Kallis, Peterson. Now what will critics says. Agree with @Ahmer sachin in his prime scored 11000 ( only 2 players have scored over 12000 runs till date) , 36 hundreds which is more than anyone else in history and had 43 mom awards which is again more than anyone else in history. A very good Analysis.

  • on April 3, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    1. Vivian Richards. 2. Javed Miandad 3. M.S. Dhoni 4. Hashim Amla 5. Yuvraj Singh 6. Adam Gilchrist 7. Inzimam-ul-Haq 8.Brian Lara 9. Kevin Petersen 10. Jaysurya 11. Sachin Tendulkar 12. Michael Bevan 13. Dean Jones

  • on April 3, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    There are two aspect the author has very conveniently ignored or found very hard to consider....1)Sheer Longevity:in this aspect Sachin,Jayasuriya,Lara,Ponting etc. are miles ahead of Richards....2)Quality of opposition:Sir Viv Richards never had to face the best bowling attack of his generation in international cricket.The best fast bowlers in the world were in his team after all.Players like Sachin and Lara in particular had a harder time because all the best bowlers of their times were in the opposition..and they scored heaps against the best bowlers of their times...in this aspect just like Richards, players like Ponting,Gilichrist,Hayden,Bevan and to an extent Jayasuriya and Inzamam had it a lot easy...to me Sachin is the best in ODI history.Richards comes a close second.

  • KingKongIn on April 3, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    one more thing should be included in this comparison , the bowling attack what Viv faced and what SRT faced. also one more thing should be conisder, performing good in 167 matches is far easier then consistently perfroming good in 460+ matchses. If you see how many more matches SRT played then Viv is almost 3X. there is one more point to consider, with the kind of bowling attack windies have in that era, viv had very less pressure while he usually comes for bat, but In case of SRT, he always played with a week bowling team, and most of the time week batting team. I am sure, this article was only written by Ananth to prove SRT is not best ODI batsman. Haters can always criticize him, but we know who is the best. and after 15 years from now SRT will be hail like God in cricket along with Bradman.

  • ravi.m on April 3, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    I used to say that the difference between IVA & next best in ODIs was as large as Don & the next best in Tests (partly because I rate Sobers very highly). King scored nearly 60% of his runs away at an avg of 57! And the higher he batted, the better he was.

    A 12-yr period starting from first week of 1976, IVA scored more than 5/6 of his career runs at an avg of 54.7 (& SR of 91.5). Batsman with next best avg (47) had a SR of 65.6! Of those with 1000 runs, only two guys had a SR over 80 & avg over 30! To me, how much success the peers have in that same era is a true "measure" of sporting greatness.

    I know Ananth opted to leave out the order, but personally, as much as I love Lara, I'll have Gilly, Bevan, Ponting & Tendlya along with IVA in my top 5. Quite scary that all 3 Australians actually played in the same team for nearly 150 matches. 60+ of those matches featured McWarney too.

  • amiitkt on April 3, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Even without all these analysis, I was a genuine believer of Viv Richards being the best ODI batsman of all time-- a fact mainly reflected by the way he left all his contemporories behind--- Probably ssimilar to how Bradman left all behind in Test Matches. Its great that the detailed analysis by Mr Ananth comprehensively proves the point.

    @ Ananth :- 1.What is your view on including some other abstract factors like -- the strength of the team you are a part of, Longevity of your career etc. 2.For Impact innings, I think for Batting position 1-3 the ideal boundary should have been 90 instead of 100 and for those at position 7-11 it should be 40 instead of 50. 3.I would like to see the stats of Dean Jones, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Abbas also. 4. You are requested to post a similar analysis for Best ODI Bowler also.
    [[
    Other than the impact innings this is an analysis at career level. Anything more like bowling quality faced, match context et al would veer towards Innings Rating.
    Will do for bowlers also.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 3, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    @Sourabh 'Calvin' why i feel selective analysis is better eq player x avereges 50 over 100 innings and 41 over net 50 player y avereges 52 over 100 innings and 42 over another 200 player x career avg 47 and player y 45.3 player y despite playing better in both phases avereges less than player x and when people judge him on those stats it is unfair.

    sachin retired having scored 5000 more runs than net top scorer while richards was outscored by his own teammate. his avereges and other averege related stats took a hit because of those 5000 runs but his team benefited immemnsely. Richards avereged 35 in his last 6 years but his strike rate of over 90 meant he was still an exellent player, if he had played 5 more years his avg and percentage of team runs would have suffered but his team wud still have benifitted. i have selected a continous 10 year phase to account for form slumps. the 11000 runs sachin scored in that decade was more than anyone else had scored till then

  • on April 3, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    ariz khan

    sachin in his prime scored 11000 ( only 2 players have scored over 12000 runs till date) , 36 hundreds which is more than anyone else in history and had 43 mom awards which is again more than anyone else in history, he avereged 48.4 which is at least 4 runs better than any top order batsman during that era and his strike rate was 89 gilchrist with a strike rate of 92 had the highest strike rate so he was soring as fast as anyone (afridi does not count he avereged too low) . add to that he had twise top scored in world cups and he was the leading all time run getter in world cup history. so he did everything richards did in just those 10 yrs, what he did before and after is bonus. yes richards strike rate of 90 for his era is beyond extraordinary but sachin's strike rate of 89 during his peak is also extraordinary as run scoring was still difficult in the 90s and early 2000s.

  • on April 3, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    MR Ananth, a guy called Rahul Dravid played ODI with some distinction

  • gandabhai on April 3, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    Did you take into account the sheer weight of intimidation felt by any opposing players of the West Indies team in Vivs period of play ? During' IRON' Mike Tysons best years , the opponent's lost even before they entered the ring . The same fear was instilled by the West Indies quicks of Viv's generation . This made it easy for Viv to make out that he was the cause of the fear.' Very lucky & clever Viv'.Another player who prospered due to the brilliance around him was punter . Imagine how Viv & Punter would have performed had their opposition been able to fight freely ?

  • Tal_Botvinnik on April 3, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Even the all time ICC Ranking proves IVA Richards as the best ODI Batsman.Well done Anantha.

  • citizenkc on April 3, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    Thanks very much for this, Ananth. I watched my first cricket match in Eden Gardens in 1974 when India played the West Indies. I don't recall Richards in that match because I was awestruck by Andy Roberts and Viswanath's fabulous hundred. But ever since that day I have been a fan of Richards and have followed his career, listening to hours of radio commentary before matches became widely available. There is no one to touch him. When he walked out wearing his maroon cap, swaggering to the wicket, we knew we were watching someone special. I am glad that you have proved once and for all that he is incomparable. This is a thorough and excellent analysis.

    You are also right about test cricket. The last few overs at Auckland is what we fans live for. I will not be visiting cricinfo very often from now on. Once NZ arrives in England, true cricket fans will heave a sigh of relief. Meanwhile, it's time to watch some old tapes while this travesty called IPl plays itself out.

  • Rally_Windies on April 3, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    This is simply the BEST analysis of ODI batting ever..... It is 100 times more accurate than the methods adopted form Test Cricket and transposed to ODI .......

    I would like to see analysis of 2 people who have been maligned , because of low averages , even though the bat at # 6.

    Two batsmen whose 20 runs of 10 balls are more important in the context of a close 5-10 run victory than the guy who makes 80 of 110 balls ... (but never get credit) ..

    (1) Ricardo Powell .... (2) Kieron Pollard .....

    This method will really let us evaluate Polly fairly ...

    WILL LOOK INTO IT. SENT FROM MOBILE. ANANTH
    [[
    Apologize for capital letter response. Only way I can separate my response while sending from mobile since I do not have access to my normal template.
    Pollard's best is yet to come. Powell certainly did something of note. His finish was very poor. Less than 200 runs in the last 16 innings.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 3, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    @Ahmer Raza Viv played 187 matches and he played his 94th match (halfway mark) at the age of 33 and in a span of 10 years - not his fault. His next 93 matches took only 6 years - no of matches rising exponentially. Its just that he played major portion of his ODIs on the wrong side of the age. He scored 24% more runs/ball of his team - give some thought on it means - and this we are talking of one of the greatest teams of all time. He wasn't a minnow-basher - did not bat against them many a times. And you are thinking why his contemporaries were playing slow - get some DVDs and watch on what pitches most of those matches were played. And if you think Zaheer Abbas too had a S/R of 85, watch his strike rate outside Asia - 72 still very good. In Asia Zed had a S/R of over 100, (who is Sehwag!!!), Obviously Viv too scored at more than run a ball in Asia. Not all Asian pitches were flat but definitely were a lot easier than rest. Check Gavaskar's ODI avg and S/R in Asia and outside Asia.

  • GrtIndia_Ann on April 3, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    An excellent effort from the author.......I wonder what grudge he is holding against Tendulkar.....He indeed made an excellent effort to down play importance of Sachin as a great ODI batsman...generally haters of Sachin criticize him as being a statistical giant and not much of a team contributor...but then to portray him inferior even as a statistical giant is indeed great effort
    [[
    It is unfortunate that coloured glass views prevail with most Tendulkar fans. I have lived with such jaundiced views for years and have no problems handling those.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ar2105 on April 3, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Thanks for a wonderful blog.

    A few years back I wrote a paper describing a simple probabilistic metric combining avg and sr to evaluate cricketers. The idea behind the metric is: How many runs a team consisting of same player replicated eleven times will score?

    The simplicity lies in the fact that you need avg and sr to use this metric. Thus almost all the ODI players can be evaualted. The paper contains code in R and I have written it in Javascript and can share it if you want. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1107.3104v1.pdf

    Another paper which might be useful is by AJ Lewis (L in D/L) but requires ball by ball data. He proposed what may be called +/- statistics in 2004 http://bit.ly/NOzCly

    The idea is: given that D/L gives expected runs `re' for every delivery, if a batsman scores `r' runs in a given delivery he gets credit for (r-re) while bowler is given debited -(r-re).

    If you can incorporate these metrics into your analysis it would be nice.

    Thanks Anand
    [[
    I will go thru and revert.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • rafayx2 on April 2, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    VIV without a doubt is the greatest batsmen of all time. It's an immense pleasure for me as a Pakistani to see that Javed Miandad as 2nd Greatest of all time. Highest respect for these cricketing giants.
    [[
    This sequence is a chronological order based on the year they made their debut, not a ranking list.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • sifter132 on April 2, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    Good stuff Ananth! As a kid who got into cricket in Australia during the late 80s and early 90s, I'm sad Dean Jones didn't make the cut - but I understand. Deano was a great player to watch, coming down the pitch to quick bowlers, lightning between the wickets, definitely helped change the ODI game. And was very successful too.
    [[
    It required a giant like Ponting to deny Dean (sorry to say, what an ass he is making of himself on the Indian TV screens nowadays) his rightful place.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Other note I wanted to make was that I love Deepak's revised index! Simple, yet seems to adjust the numbers nicely. And reveals some interesting stuff too eg. Dhoni has scored a higher %ge of India's runs that I thought he would have (I thought he'd be lowest). Shows he's not just a 'cherry on top' guy, he's done plenty of hard work for India. It also gives a boost to guys like Crowe and Lara who carried their teams batting lineups. I'm gonna steal this one for my own 'back of the envelope' analysis.
    [[
    The change has made the Index a sharper well-defined measure.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • usmnshafqat on April 2, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    if we are talking about a real test player then there must be muhammad yousuf as . the run machine, he the all time best player he have consistently scored run in all over the world his innings against england and africa are magnificent

  • on April 2, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    If individual performance in win matches is any criteria (not that it matters most in team game) last table is certainly eye opener & must clear many many doubts. scoring at an avg of 48+ with strike rate in excess of 90 must be rated superlative if not otherwise for sachin. even in matches lost he reigns supreme, almost equal career average of another great jayasurya with eq career strike rate of another fantabulous player Ponting. Anantha thats what i feared.. ur fabulous work again becoming a tool to debate all time greatness. well points can be made for everything & personaly I am happy to have SRT at par with the ODI colossus VIV. absolutuely agree. Its just Impact innings table I am not comfortable with..Many innnigs may lose their sheen due to this. a quirky eg. In some match SA made 325+ n Aus chased it with 100s from Lehman n Ponting coming at 5 & 3 respectively yet MoM went to a gentelman gilchrish who made 52 of 26 while opening..defying ur criterias..thought provoking
    [[
    Nitin, Impact innings are just a measure of innings which could prove to be valuable. Many a 100 has been useless and many a 50 has been priceless. It evens out in the end. And there is no correlation between my definition and MOM.
    You are referring to match no 1824. Saf: 326/3. No bowler distinguished himself. Australia replied with 330 for 7. Gilchrist 52 in 34. Ponting 90 in 107 and Lehmann 91 in 94. The adjudicator probably felt that both Ponting and Lehmann fell just short of the definitive performance. So he took the courageous decision to give Gilchrist. It is not that way-out decision. Personally i would have given to Kallis (80 in 59 and 2 for 59).
    I stand by my statement that, on these performance measures, Richards stands supreme. But all-time greatest ODi batsman may require further measures to be analyzed. Then those may very well be compensated by Richards achieving these numbers when 70 was a good S/r and 250 was a potentially winning score.

    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0

    SR Tendulkar (India) 1994-2003 256 250 23 11006 186* 48.48 12383 88.87 36 52 11

    43 moms averaging 5.8 maches per mom rest of his carrer 202 innings, avg over 40, strike rate over 80 and 16 mom (which is still top class )

    richards is not arguably the best odi batsman in the world. richards has better percentages and indexes than sachin becoz sachin played alot more than richards. sachin in his prime(lasting a decade) played many more maches than richards and equaled or bettered him in every possible stat. and unlike sachin when richards retired he was not head and shoulders above the rest in run scoring and century making department, his contemporaries like haynes, miadad and kapil dev played more odis than him so the question of longitivity bringing down his stats does not arise.

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    Really love your analysis'.

    Always felt that the Sachin "myth" was propagated bcoz of an underperforming Indian team in the 90's combined with Don bradman comparing himself with SRT.
    [[
    Shall we put to rest another myth. Bradman said "Tendulkar reminds me of myself." That is all. He was referring to the playing styles. This is not to denigrate the wonderful player that is Tendulkar. Just getting facts correct.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    As much as I am a fan of Sachin, I never believed him to b the greatst ODI batsman. Greatest OPener, maybe!

    A lil surprised tht Ganguly and Dravid both have made in excess of 10K runs. Why were they excluded. Sorry, if it was mentioned before and I missed it.
    [[
    This has been covered in depth in part 1.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Beautifully signed off! Not only Matt Prior, but also NZ can hold their heads high for pushing a team like England to the brink!
    [[
    Yes, it was my miss.
    The New Zealand team fought like tigers and pushed England like India could never do. And to see McCullum's face at the end indicated how much the win would have meant to him. Now I feel that Ross Taylor would not be a match to McCullum as a captain. Let us see how the return series goes.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    Very interesting Ananth, I think one of the all time impact players in ODI history, Aravinda De Silva. If you take the impact of his in real big matches, I think only Viv can surpass that. I can even say without analysing your stats. Just wonder where he is placed in the above table.

  • girinair74 on April 2, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Dear Sir, I am a great fan of Rahul Dravid and as per the parameters and analysis wha rank / place would Dravid hold on each of these stats compared to the gaints will you be able to tell please? A table of top 25 if you create will Dravid be there is all I want to know :) Thanks Giri

  • on April 2, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Hello Ananth,and thanks again for a great analysis! Just a few things- 1.I think it's unjust grouping inings from 4-6 together(in your first analysis of impact innings)I would suggest grouping innings from 6-8 in a group of their own. 2.The Asia cup is also a major tournament,and performances from there should be included in the section about major tournaments 3.Can you give an overall summary who are the top 5 in order?also,is there anyone now that is close to breaking in to them? I also would like to know if you are doing an analysis on my earlier idea about non test playing nations,please tell me how that is going and when will we see an article about that... Thank you again E.Shai
    [[
    1-3, 4-6, 7-11 seems fine to me. Opening, middle order, late order. As I have written, no point in splitting hairs. 7 in many teams is not a finishing position.
    Asia Cup is not a truly world-wide tournament.
    No need to get top-5 or anything else. You can follow your own ordering.
    I think Amla, de Villiers and Kohl;i are sure candidates.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • StarsnStumps on April 2, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    As ever a well detailed piece. Congrats. However, having said that it seemed a little aloof to me. Might I suggest you perform an analysis on the 25 most impactful innings ever played?
    [[
    That s on the anvil and will be part of the major Innings ratings exercise.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    also eagerly awaiting the simulation match between your all time XIs; have been waiting for that since last year.
    [[
    One guy who is not going to see 65 again can only do so much. Will try and look at it. ODI simulation is fine. But Test simulation requires a lot of work.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    Hi Ananatha, even after following uo ODIs for better part of my age on TVs, magazines, cricinfo & other medium, it really amazes me to have new & newer parameters/tables that you manage to churn out on periodic basis on any topic in cricket. Truly welcome back Coming onto the tables, ur criteria of selecting run based on positon may not go down well. while I agree it matters to make quick 30-40 runs at 7 or down but it cant negate or even equate with a 100 at top specially if that is made on good bolwing wicket. 2ndly I hope these tables are not for deciding the greatest ODI player..might opena can of worms than.
    [[
    Welcome back, Nitin. Let us agree on this. On these numbers it is tough to see Richards being dislodged.
    A fairly low level analysis of impact innings across all players. Not necessarily an Innings Rating exercise. Anyhow let us also agree that often a 30-ball-50-at-7 is as important as an anchoring innings of 100. A quirky idea. If a team is chasing 250 and a top order batsman makes a wonderful 100, there will probably be no need for a 50 at the end.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    re. the eden park match, absolutely agree, what a match & what a steely resolve from prior taking nothing away from panesar.
    [[
    Panesar's tough-but-smiling countenance was a joy to behold.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    Hi Ananatha, even after following uo ODIs for better part of my age on TVs, magazines, cricinfo & other medium, it really amazes me to have new & newer parameters/tables that you manage to churn out on periodic basis on any topic in cricket. Truly welcome back Coming onto the tables, ur criteria of selecting run based on positon may not go down well. while I agree it matters to make quick 30-40 runs at 7 or down but it cant negate or even equate with a 100 at top specially if that is made on good bolwing wicket. 2ndly I hope these tables are not for deciding the greatest ODI player..might opena can of worms than.
    [[
    Welcome back, Nitin. Let us agree on this. On these numbers it is tough to see Richards being dislodged.
    A fairly low level analysis of impact innings across all players. Not necessarily an Innings Rating exercise. Anyhow let us also agree that often a 30-ball-50-at-7 is as important as an anchoring innings of 100. A quirky idea. If a team is chasing 250 and a top order batsman makes a wonderful 100, there will probably be no need for a 50 at the end.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    re. the eden park match, absolutely agree, what a match & what a steely resolve from prior taking nothing away from panesar.
    [[
    Panesar's tough-but-smiling countenance was a joy to behold.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • StarsnStumps on April 2, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    As ever a well detailed piece. Congrats. However, having said that it seemed a little aloof to me. Might I suggest you perform an analysis on the 25 most impactful innings ever played?
    [[
    That s on the anvil and will be part of the major Innings ratings exercise.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    also eagerly awaiting the simulation match between your all time XIs; have been waiting for that since last year.
    [[
    One guy who is not going to see 65 again can only do so much. Will try and look at it. ODI simulation is fine. But Test simulation requires a lot of work.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Hello Ananth,and thanks again for a great analysis! Just a few things- 1.I think it's unjust grouping inings from 4-6 together(in your first analysis of impact innings)I would suggest grouping innings from 6-8 in a group of their own. 2.The Asia cup is also a major tournament,and performances from there should be included in the section about major tournaments 3.Can you give an overall summary who are the top 5 in order?also,is there anyone now that is close to breaking in to them? I also would like to know if you are doing an analysis on my earlier idea about non test playing nations,please tell me how that is going and when will we see an article about that... Thank you again E.Shai
    [[
    1-3, 4-6, 7-11 seems fine to me. Opening, middle order, late order. As I have written, no point in splitting hairs. 7 in many teams is not a finishing position.
    Asia Cup is not a truly world-wide tournament.
    No need to get top-5 or anything else. You can follow your own ordering.
    I think Amla, de Villiers and Kohl;i are sure candidates.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • girinair74 on April 2, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Dear Sir, I am a great fan of Rahul Dravid and as per the parameters and analysis wha rank / place would Dravid hold on each of these stats compared to the gaints will you be able to tell please? A table of top 25 if you create will Dravid be there is all I want to know :) Thanks Giri

  • on April 2, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    Very interesting Ananth, I think one of the all time impact players in ODI history, Aravinda De Silva. If you take the impact of his in real big matches, I think only Viv can surpass that. I can even say without analysing your stats. Just wonder where he is placed in the above table.

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Beautifully signed off! Not only Matt Prior, but also NZ can hold their heads high for pushing a team like England to the brink!
    [[
    Yes, it was my miss.
    The New Zealand team fought like tigers and pushed England like India could never do. And to see McCullum's face at the end indicated how much the win would have meant to him. Now I feel that Ross Taylor would not be a match to McCullum as a captain. Let us see how the return series goes.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    Really love your analysis'.

    Always felt that the Sachin "myth" was propagated bcoz of an underperforming Indian team in the 90's combined with Don bradman comparing himself with SRT.
    [[
    Shall we put to rest another myth. Bradman said "Tendulkar reminds me of myself." That is all. He was referring to the playing styles. This is not to denigrate the wonderful player that is Tendulkar. Just getting facts correct.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    As much as I am a fan of Sachin, I never believed him to b the greatst ODI batsman. Greatest OPener, maybe!

    A lil surprised tht Ganguly and Dravid both have made in excess of 10K runs. Why were they excluded. Sorry, if it was mentioned before and I missed it.
    [[
    This has been covered in depth in part 1.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0

    SR Tendulkar (India) 1994-2003 256 250 23 11006 186* 48.48 12383 88.87 36 52 11

    43 moms averaging 5.8 maches per mom rest of his carrer 202 innings, avg over 40, strike rate over 80 and 16 mom (which is still top class )

    richards is not arguably the best odi batsman in the world. richards has better percentages and indexes than sachin becoz sachin played alot more than richards. sachin in his prime(lasting a decade) played many more maches than richards and equaled or bettered him in every possible stat. and unlike sachin when richards retired he was not head and shoulders above the rest in run scoring and century making department, his contemporaries like haynes, miadad and kapil dev played more odis than him so the question of longitivity bringing down his stats does not arise.

  • on April 2, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    If individual performance in win matches is any criteria (not that it matters most in team game) last table is certainly eye opener & must clear many many doubts. scoring at an avg of 48+ with strike rate in excess of 90 must be rated superlative if not otherwise for sachin. even in matches lost he reigns supreme, almost equal career average of another great jayasurya with eq career strike rate of another fantabulous player Ponting. Anantha thats what i feared.. ur fabulous work again becoming a tool to debate all time greatness. well points can be made for everything & personaly I am happy to have SRT at par with the ODI colossus VIV. absolutuely agree. Its just Impact innings table I am not comfortable with..Many innnigs may lose their sheen due to this. a quirky eg. In some match SA made 325+ n Aus chased it with 100s from Lehman n Ponting coming at 5 & 3 respectively yet MoM went to a gentelman gilchrish who made 52 of 26 while opening..defying ur criterias..thought provoking
    [[
    Nitin, Impact innings are just a measure of innings which could prove to be valuable. Many a 100 has been useless and many a 50 has been priceless. It evens out in the end. And there is no correlation between my definition and MOM.
    You are referring to match no 1824. Saf: 326/3. No bowler distinguished himself. Australia replied with 330 for 7. Gilchrist 52 in 34. Ponting 90 in 107 and Lehmann 91 in 94. The adjudicator probably felt that both Ponting and Lehmann fell just short of the definitive performance. So he took the courageous decision to give Gilchrist. It is not that way-out decision. Personally i would have given to Kallis (80 in 59 and 2 for 59).
    I stand by my statement that, on these performance measures, Richards stands supreme. But all-time greatest ODi batsman may require further measures to be analyzed. Then those may very well be compensated by Richards achieving these numbers when 70 was a good S/r and 250 was a potentially winning score.

    Ananth
    : ]]

  • usmnshafqat on April 2, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    if we are talking about a real test player then there must be muhammad yousuf as . the run machine, he the all time best player he have consistently scored run in all over the world his innings against england and africa are magnificent