A look at how the top batsmen and bowlers fared against their opponents in Tests August 3, 2013

An analysis of how the top batsmen and bowlers fared against their major opponents in Tests based on the available ball-by-ball data
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This is the article, the third of a series, using ball-by-ball data, which the readers have repeatedly asked for during the past three years. For an introduction to that work please refer to the first article on contemporary bowlers. I had followed this with another article on contemporary batsmen.

First, let me present a paradox while determining a bowler-batsman confrontation metrics. This relates to the grey area in handling no-balls. The no-ball related runs are charged to the bowlers but not to the batsmen. The ball itself is added to the batsman but not to the bowler. This leads to the following anomaly.

Let us take an over by Mitchell Starc to Alastair Cook, which is the first over of the match.

Ball 1: Dot ball.
Ball 2: 2 runs scored by Cook. 2 runs for team and against Starc.
Ball 3: Wide. 1 run to team and 1 run against Starc.
Ball 3: 2 leg byes. 2 runs to team.
Ball 4: No ball. 1 run scored. 2 runs to team, 2 runs against Starc and 1 run to Cook.
Ball 4: 4 byes. 4 runs to team.
Ball 5: Dot ball.
Ball 6: No ball. 1 run to team, 1 run against Starc.
Ball 6: Dot ball.

At the end of the over the team score is 12 for 0 (9 extras). Starc's analysis reads 1.0-0-6-0 (6 balls and 6 runs (3 to Cook and 3 wide/no-balls)). Cook's score reads 7 balls and 3 runs (2 & 1). No problem about the runs. But the head-to-head confrontation between Starc and Cook has a problem. Do we take six balls or seven balls? I have taken the no ball as a ball for the combination. That is common-sense.

The present article covers the batsmen and bowlers, some who rank amongst the best whoever wielded a bat or held a ball, who have fewer than 75% of ball-by-ball data available. I have changed the format of this article as compared to the previous two. In those I had covered bowlers and batsmen separately and featured four bowlers and batsmen and created a number of tables for each of those. I had also created a downloadable Excel sheet which contained the complete data for the selected batsmen and bowlers.

In this analysis, I have gone about it differently. Since 100% data is not available for these players nothing is gained by doing an elaborate analysis. There would always be that feeling of incomplete data around these tables. Hence I have selected six batsmen and 6 bowlers each from the collection of players who have between 40% and 75% ball-by-ball data available and presented a single table for each player. The comments are thus specific to these players.

I have also uploaded an Excel sheet containing all instances of bowler-batsman combinations with 100 balls or more, extracted from the entire ball-by-ball data. There are 2844 such instances. In addition I have included 110 instances where three or more wickets were captured and fewer than 100 balls bowled. Thus, the data would almost be complete if one downloads all three Excel sheets. A hundred-balls represents a good cut-off. It is of very little relevance to know that Shane Warne bowled ten balls to Dinesh Karthik and 16 runs were scored or that VVS Laxman bowled ten balls to AB de Villiers and 3 runs were scored.

The players selected are given below. The percentage value on the left shows the extent of ball-by-ball data available. Sachin Tendulkar's ball-by-ball percentage is slightly higher since he is still active and each new Test adds to this component. If, as expected, he retires at the end of the South African tour, he is likely to finish at around 60%.

```Batsmen:
45.1%  Brian Lara
58.2%  Sachin Tendulkar
71.3%  Rahul Dravid
71.9%  Jacques Kallis
72.5%  Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Bowlers:
54.1%  Muttiah Muralitharan
40.2%  Shane Warne
43.0%  Glenn McGrath
50.2%  Shaun Pollock
66.7%  Shoaib Akhtar
53.7%  Anil Kumble```

Justification of these players' selections would be akin to gilding the lily. Most of them select themselves. I selected Mohammad Yousuf instead of Inzamam-ul-Haq since there is a lot more data available for him. Shoaib Akhtar is a late selection. Daniel Vettori was an alternative. Similarly, Stephen Fleming for Shivnarine Chanderpaul was another possibility.

I would like to emphasise that the ball-by-ball data availability for these players is around 50%. This has to be remembered when deriving insights. It is also a fact that the 50% mark pertains to the latter half of the concerned player's career. My suggestion is not to extrapolate. Just take the figures at their face value.

## Selected 6 Batsmen

1. Summary table for BRIAN LARA
BowlerTypeBowling AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
M Muralitharan rob22.73 9 709 373 3 52.6124.33236.3
Chaminda Vaas LFM29.58 9 372 233 1 62.6233.00372.0
Andre Nel RFM31.8611 341 185 8 54.3 23.12 42.6
Makhaya Ntini RF 28.8311 312 225 1 72.1225.00312.0
Steve Harmison RFM31.8213 303 146 4 48.2 36.50 75.8
Danish Kaneria rlb34.80 8 298 260 3 87.2 86.67 99.3
Andrew Flintoff RF 32.7910 263 109 4 41.4 27.25 65.8
Jacques Kallis RFM32.43 8 251 148 0 59.0148.00251.0
Brett Lee RF 30.8214 243 172 2 70.8 86.00121.5
Stuart MacGill rlb29.03 7 236 174 2 73.7 87.00118.0
Glenn McGrath RFM21.6412 233 90 2 38.6 45.00116.5
Jason Gillespie RF 26.14 8 214 82 0 38.3 82.00214.0
Shaun Pollock RFM23.12 6 192 63 1 32.8 63.00192.0
Shahid Nazir RFM35.33 4 181 88 0 48.6 88.00181.0
Andy Bichel RFM32.24 8 171 112 4 65.5 28.00 42.8
Shane Warne rlb25.42 7 168 105 3 62.5 35.00 56.0
Abdul Razzaq RFM36.93 6 168 110 0 65.5110.00168.0
Thilan Samaraweera rob45.93 7 161 80 1 49.7 80.00161.0
Gareth Batty rob66.64 1 161 130 0 80.7130.00161.0
Matthew Hoggard RFM30.5010 159 137 1 86.2137.00159.0

1. Muttiah Muralitharan bowled millions of balls to Brian Lara, 709 to be precise (for whatever part of the ball-by-data available career of two). But it is safe to say that Lara mastered Muralitharan: and how? Strike rate over 50, average of 124 and a wicket every 40 overs. Not forgetting that most of these balls were bowled in Sri Lanka.
2. On the flip side, a fairly ordinary bowler like Andre Nel had the complete measure of Lara. Eight wickets at a strike rate of 42. Andy Bichel was also quite successful: four wickets, striking every 43 balls. This is difficult to explain considering that he handled much better fast bowlers better.
3. Lara took Danish Kaneria to the cleaners. A scoring rate of more than 87 over nearly 300 balls. He had a scoring rate of over 70 against six bowlers out of these 20.
4. Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock and Jason Gillespie kept Lara in check, but with very little success. In fact, Kallis and Gillespie bowled a lot at Lara but did not dismiss him even once. Lara attacked Warne but also lost his wicket often.

2. Summary table for SACHIN TENDULKAR
BowlerTypeBowling AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Mitchell Johnson LF 30.9318 502 250 3 49.8 83.33167.3
Paul Harris lsp37.87 7 441 154 3 34.9 51.33147.0
Brett Lee RF 30.8219 432 242 5 56.0 48.40 86.4
M Muralitharan rob22.7314 366 196 6 53.6 32.67 61.0
James Anderson RFM29.6723 350 208 9 59.4 23.11 38.9
Ashley Giles lsp40.60 5 348 125 1 35.9125.00348.0
Andrew Flintoff RF 32.7917 342 133 2 38.9 66.50171.0
Daniel Vettori lsp34.4212 314 95 3 30.3 31.67104.7
Dale Steyn RF 22.6611 310 149 3 48.1 49.67103.3
Monty Panesar lsp33.7813 304 149 4 49.0 37.25 76.0
Matthew Hoggard RFM30.5013 292 182 3 62.3 60.67 97.3
Mohammad Sami RF 52.74 9 287 127 1 44.3127.00287.0
Mohammad Rafique lsp40.76 5 283 140 1 49.5140.00283.0
Graeme Swann rob28.1414 279 150 4 53.8 37.50 69.8
Danish Kaneria rlb34.80 8 269 151 1 56.1151.00269.0
Mervyn Dillon RFM33.6310 267 163 2 61.0 81.50133.5
Ben Hilfenhaus RFM28.5110 250 161 0 64.4161.00250.0
Nathan Hauritz rob34.98 5 236 179 1 75.8179.00236.0
Shakib Al Hasan lsp32.75 5 234 119 1 50.9119.00234.0
Cameron Cuffy RF 33.67 8 233 107 2 45.9 53.50116.5

1. James Anderson had the complete measure of Tendulkar. He got his wickets nine times at a strike rate of 39 balls.
2. In view of the contest at year-end, it is significant to note that Tendulkar has handled Dale Steyn quite comfortably.
3. Tendulkar has been circumspect against most bowlers. There is only one bowler, Nathan Hauritz, against whom Tendulkar had a scoring rate exceeding 70.
4. Possibly because this pertained to Tendulkar's second half of his career, there seems to be a cautious handling of the bowlers. Most spinners have kept Tendulkar quiet.

3. Summary table for RAHUL DRAVID
BowlerTypeBowling AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
M Muralitharan rob22.7316 688 326 5 47.4 65.20137.6
Daniel Vettori lsp34.4212 609 275 2 45.2137.50304.5
Danish Kaneria rlb34.8013 583 305 5 52.3 61.00116.6
Matthew Hoggard RFM30.5016 531 218 5 41.1 43.60106.2
Andrew Flintoff RF 32.7917 470 154 3 32.8 51.33156.7
Mohammad Sami RF 52.7414 454 205 2 45.2102.50227.0
James Anderson RFM29.6718 432 197 5 45.6 39.40 86.4
Brett Lee RF 30.8216 389 153 5 39.3 30.60 77.8
Stuart MacGill rlb29.03 8 357 225 0 63.0225.00357.0
Makhaya Ntini RF 28.8313 345 149 3 43.2 49.67115.0
Monty Panesar lsp33.7811 343 145 2 42.3 72.50171.5
Pedro Collins LFM34.6211 341 178 0 52.2178.00341.0
Stuart Broad RFM31.1910 340 136 2 40.0 68.00170.0
Devendra Bishoo rlb39.55 9 339 165 2 48.7 82.50169.5
Mitchell Johnson LF 30.9313 324 113 4 34.9 28.25 81.0
Graeme Swann rob28.14 9 318 163 3 51.3 54.33106.0
Ashley Giles lsp40.60 7 313 112 2 35.8 56.00156.5
Jason Gillespie RF 26.1412 300 84 4 28.0 21.00 75.0
Paul Harris lsp37.87 8 300 107 1 35.7107.00300.0
Chris Martin RFM33.8110 297 89 3 30.0 29.67 99.0

1. Rahul Dravid has been quite careful against almost all bowlers. There is only one scoring rate in excess of 60: against Stuart MacGill.
2. No bowler has quite mastered Dravid. The lowest strike rate in this collection is 75, that of Gillespie.
3. Dravid faced Vettori very comfortably: 609 balls and only 2 wickets.

4. Summary table for JACQUES KALLIS
BowlerTypeBowling AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Harbhajan Singh rob32.3818 676 382 6 56.5 63.67112.7
Danish Kaneria rlb34.8013 621 258 4 41.5 64.50155.2
Shane Warne rlb25.4222 550 280 5 50.9 56.00110.0
Brett Lee RF 30.8221 528 199 3 37.7 66.33176.0
Anil Kumble rlb29.6514 494 191 1 38.7191.00494.0
Daniel Vettori lsp34.4210 475 208 0 43.8208.00475.0
Abdur Rehman lsp28.41 8 434 222 0 51.2222.00434.0
James Anderson RFM29.6722 419 177 7 42.2 25.29 59.9
Zaheer Khan LFM32.3614 382 157 2 41.1 78.50191.0
Glenn McGrath RFM21.6416 378 133 3 35.2 44.33126.0
Andrew Flintoff RF 32.7915 372 139 4 37.4 34.75 93.0
Steve Harmison RFM31.8213 346 146 4 42.2 36.50 86.5
S Sreesanth RFM37.6112 328 150 4 45.7 37.50 82.0
Chris Martin RFM33.8115 319 158 4 49.5 39.50 79.8
Umar Gul RFM34.0710 303 165 1 54.5165.00303.0
Peter Siddle RFM28.5815 294 170 2 57.8 85.00147.0
Graeme Swann rob28.14 8 288 147 1 51.0147.00288.0
Ray Price lsp36.06 3 277 143 0 51.6143.00277.0
Mitchell Johnson LF 30.9312 269 88 5 32.7 17.60 53.8
Dwayne Bravo RM 39.70 9 267 132 2 49.4 66.00133.5

1. Anderson has been very successful against Jacques Kallis: 7 wickets at a strike rate of 60. Mitchell Johnson has also been quite successful.
2. Barring a few pace bowlers, Kallis has been quite successful against most bowlers.
3. Kallis vs Anil Kumble is simply amazing. 500 balls and a single dismissal. Similarly Graeme Swann has not been successful against Kallis. A single wicket in the 288 balls bowled.
4. Kallis has handled all bowlers quite well but at relatively low scoring rates: all, barring Steve Harmison, below 60.

5. Summary table for MOHAMMAD YOUSUF
BowlerTypeBowling AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Anil Kumble rlb29.6517 504 287 5 56.9 57.40100.8
Matthew Hoggard RFM30.5011 376 196 1 52.1196.00376.0
Steve Harmison RFM31.82 7 355 235 2 66.2117.50177.5
Daniel Vettori lsp34.42 8 315 110 2 34.9 55.00157.5
Irfan Pathan LM 32.2616 295 141 5 47.8 28.20 59.0
Monty Panesar lsp33.78 7 291 145 3 49.8 48.33 97.0
Harbhajan Singh rob32.3811 263 155 3 58.9 51.67 87.7
Rangana Herath lsp29.52 9 244 112 6 45.9 18.67 40.7
L Balaji RM 37.19 9 233 134 2 57.5 67.00116.5
Dave Mohammed lws51.38 3 228 132 1 57.9132.00228.0
Corey Collymore RFM32.30 5 191 89 1 46.6 89.00191.0
Zaheer Khan LFM32.36 8 174 100 1 57.5100.00174.0
Andrew Flintoff RF 32.79 5 171 64 3 37.4 21.33 57.0
Jerome Taylor RF 35.65 5 169 121 0 71.6121.00169.0
Ray Price lsp36.06 2 158 80 2 50.6 40.00 79.0
Chris Gayle rob42.01 6 154 64 2 41.6 32.00 77.0
Dwayne Bravo RM 39.70 5 148 95 0 64.2 95.00148.0
Iain O'Brien RFM33.27 5 145 73 2 50.3 36.50 72.5
Daren Powell RFM47.99 4 144 82 0 56.9 82.00144.0
Enamul Haque lsp57.11 3 140 89 0 63.6 89.00140.0

1. Mohammad Yousuf against Matthew Hoggard is something. A single wicket in 376 balls.
2. Rangana Herath had the measure of Yousuf. He dismissed him six times in 244 balls. Similarly, Irfan Pathan.
3. Kumble bowled the maximum balls and had only reasonable success. Many bowlers had fair strike rates against Yousuf.
4. Yousuf attacked Harmison and Jerome Taylor.

6. Summary table for S CHANDERPAUL
BowlerTypeBowling AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Harbhajan Singh rob32.3818 790 260 2 32.9130.00395.0
Anil Kumble rlb29.6513 500 232 6 46.4 38.67 83.3
Steve Harmison RFM31.8218 464 239 1 51.5239.00464.0
Andre Nel RFM31.8612 428 185 3 43.2 61.67142.7
Makhaya Ntini RF 28.8316 413 197 5 47.7 39.40 82.6
Danish Kaneria rlb34.8011 403 207 6 51.4 34.50 67.2
Monty Panesar lsp33.78 8 392 179 2 45.7 89.50196.0
Javagal Srinath RFM30.4711 382 139 3 36.4 46.33127.3
Paul Harris lsp37.87 9 359 179 1 49.9179.00359.0
Zaheer Khan LFM32.36 9 355 136 2 38.3 68.00177.5
James Anderson RFM29.6714 339 151 2 44.5 75.50169.5
Jacques Kallis RFM32.4317 334 113 2 33.8 56.50167.0
Graeme Swann rob28.1410 330 122 5 37.0 24.40 66.0
Brett Lee RF 30.8216 329 126 3 38.3 42.00109.7
Ashley Giles lsp40.60 9 310 138 3 44.5 46.00103.3
Stuart MacGill rlb29.03 9 283 210 3 74.2 70.00 94.3
Daniel Vettori lsp34.42 8 277 116 3 41.9 38.67 92.3
Matthew Hoggard RFM30.5014 269 146 4 54.3 36.50 67.2
Stuart Broad RFM31.1910 268 89 5 33.2 17.80 53.6
Ashish Nehra LM 42.41 6 261 108 0 41.4108.00261.0

1. This has already been discussed when looking at Harbhajan Singh. Chanderpaul was dismissed only twice in 790 balls.
2. Still more dominant is Chanderpaul against Harmison. A single dismissal in 464 balls. On a normal day this represents nearly a day's bowling.
3. But look at Chanderpaul's scoring rates. Plenty of instances below 40. He attacked only one bowler: Stuart MacGill.

## Selected 6 Bowlers

7. Summary table for M MURALITHARAN
BatsmanTypeBatting AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Brian Lara LHB52.89 9 709 373 3 52.6124.33236.3
Rahul Dravid rhb52.3116 688 326 5 47.4 65.20137.6
Ramnaresh Sarwan rhb40.0113 597 222 7 37.2 31.71 85.3
Mohammad Ashraful rhb24.0117 563 276 7 49.0 39.43 80.4
VVS Laxman rhb45.9715 496 240 2 48.4120.00248.0
Stephen Fleming LHB40.07 5 453 171 0 37.7171.00453.0
Alastair Cook LHB48.45 8 450 152 2 33.8 76.00225.0
Paul Collingwood rhb40.5715 393 136 7 34.6 19.43 56.1
Graham Thorpe LHB44.66 8 387 110 5 28.4 22.00 77.4
Sachin Tendulkar rhb53.8714 366 196 6 53.6 32.67 61.0
Mark Butcher LHB34.58 7 357 106 2 29.7 53.00178.5
Sourav Ganguly LHB42.1813 323 141 8 43.7 17.62 40.4
Michael Vaughan rhb41.4412 320 97 6 30.3 16.17 53.3
Jacob Oram LHB36.3311 296 107 5 36.1 21.40 59.2
Damien Martyn rhb46.38 6 291 122 3 41.9 40.67 97.0
Shoaib Malik rhb33.46 4 288 62 0 21.5 62.00288.0
Gautam Gambhir LHB44.1910 271 137 4 50.6 34.25 67.8
Ashwell Prince LHB41.65 6 267 88 3 33.0 29.33 89.0
Marcus Trescothick LHB43.7611 266 110 8 41.4 13.75 33.2
Daniel Vettori LHB30.1110 263 127 3 48.3 42.33 87.7

1. We have already talked of the dominance Lara had over Muralitharan. VVS Laxman and Cook were equally effective. Dravid suffers only in comparison.
2. The top batsmen seem to have played Muralitharan quite well. Only the English trio of Paul Collingwood, Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick seem to have a fair time, at best, against Muralitharan.
3. However the best against Muralitharan is undoubtedly Fleming. Over 453 balls and no dismissal. Shoaib Malik has been equally good.
4. Tendulkar has attacked Muralitharan but also been dismissed frequently. Lara and Tendulkar have been quite aggressive against Muralitharan.

8. Summary table for SHANE WARNE
BatsmanTypeBatting AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Jacques Kallis rhb56.1022 550 280 5 50.9 56.00110.0
Kevin Pietersen rhb48.3118 521 308 5 59.1 61.60104.2
Ashwell Prince LHB41.6518 466 16411 35.2 14.91 42.4
Mark Boucher rhb30.3022 417 219 9 52.5 24.33 46.3
Andrew Flintoff rhb31.7819 407 225 7 55.3 32.14 58.1
Ian Bell rhb46.5813 396 177 5 44.7 35.40 79.2
Neil McKenzie rhb37.3911 366 153 4 41.8 38.25 91.5
Herschelle Gibbs rhb41.9514 347 166 6 47.8 27.67 57.8
Nathan Astle rhb37.0215 333 141 2 42.3 70.50166.5
Paul Collingwood rhb40.5710 317 165 2 52.1 82.50158.5
Alec Stewart rhb39.5612 294 160 5 54.4 32.00 58.8
Stephen Fleming LHB40.07 8 294 125 2 42.5 62.50147.0
Mark Butcher LHB34.5812 287 151 4 52.6 37.75 71.8
Michael Vaughan rhb41.4410 285 131 3 46.0 43.67 95.0
Nasser Hussain rhb37.1910 278 109 3 39.2 36.33 92.7
Jacques Rudolph LHB35.4310 260 114 4 43.8 28.50 65.0
Shaun Pollock rhb32.3213 252 172 2 68.3 86.00126.0
Andrew Strauss LHB40.9112 241 141 8 58.5 17.62 30.1
Gary Kirsten LHB45.27 5 238 128 1 53.8128.00238.0
Thilan Samaraweera rhb48.77 7 226 78 0 34.5 78.00226.0

1. What do we see with Ashwell Prince? In the earlier article we have already seen Prince's three dismissals by Swann in five balls. Now we see that Warne has dismissed Prince 11 times at a strike rate of 40 balls.
2. Mark Boucher was dismissed nine times at a strike rate of 46, Andrew Flintoff seven times at 58, Alec Stewart five times at 59 and finally Andrew Strauss eight times at 30. Warne seems to have had the measure of all.
3. Kevin Pietersen has attacked Warne and has a high strike rate. Look at the way Shaun Pollock has handled Warne very effectively.
4. Look at how effectively Thilan Samaraweera has handled Warne.

9. Summary table for GLENN MCGRATH
BatsmanTypeBatting AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Herschelle Gibbs rhb41.9517 492 191 3 38.8 63.67164.0
Marcus Trescothick LHB43.7624 438 184 6 42.0 30.67 73.0
Jacques Kallis rhb56.1016 378 133 3 35.2 44.33126.0
Mark Butcher LHB34.5815 365 174 5 47.7 34.80 73.0
Michael Vaughan rhb41.4414 348 193 6 55.5 32.17 58.0
Andrew Strauss LHB40.9115 336 168 3 50.0 56.00112.0
Nathan Astle rhb37.0210 297 189 3 63.6 63.00 99.0
Ian Bell rhb46.5813 293 108 5 36.9 21.60 58.6
Kevin Pietersen rhb48.3113 270 135 5 50.0 27.00 54.0
Brian Lara LHB52.8912 233 90 2 38.6 45.00116.5
Ramnaresh Sarwan rhb40.01 9 232 82 2 35.3 41.00116.0
Graeme Smith LHB48.6312 224 81 5 36.2 16.20 44.8
Stephen Fleming LHB40.0713 222 63 7 28.4 9.00 31.7
Mike Atherton rhb37.7010 210 86 6 41.0 14.33 35.0
Paul Collingwood rhb40.5711 199 54 2 27.1 27.00 99.5
Gary Kirsten LHB45.2710 196 75 4 38.3 18.75 49.0
Mark Richardson LHB44.77 9 193 58 1 30.1 58.00193.0
Nasser Hussain rhb37.1912 192 41 4 21.4 10.25 48.0
Chris Gayle LHB42.46 8 177 63 4 35.6 15.75 44.2
Neil McKenzie rhb37.3910 176 76 2 43.2 38.00 88.0

1. With whatever data available, it is clear that McGrath has dominated quite a few batsmen. Fleming has the lowest strike rate: seven wickets at 32. Mike Atherton, six at 35. Pietersen and Ian Bell have similar figures.
2. Only Herschelle Gibbs has really dominated McGrath. To a lesser extent, Kallis and Strauss.
3. The metronome that McGrath was, it is amazing to see Nathan Astle taking him quite comfortably at a very good strike rate. Nasser Hussain found it difficult to get McGrath away.

10. Summary table for SHAUN POLLOCK
BatsmanTypeBatting AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Marcus Trescothick LHB43.7618 381 126 4 33.1 31.50 95.2
Michael Vaughan rhb41.4418 367 91 5 24.8 18.20 73.4
Matthew Hayden LHB50.7411 356 152 2 42.7 76.00178.0
Justin Langer LHB45.2711 352 137 3 38.9 45.67117.3
Andrew Strauss LHB40.91 9 336 121 2 36.0 60.50168.0
Michael Hussey LHB51.53 8 312 122 1 39.1122.00312.0
Ricky Ponting rhb51.8714 291 151 3 51.9 50.33 97.0
Rahul Dravid rhb52.3111 277 69 5 24.9 13.80 55.4
Taufeeq Umar LHB38.72 8 277 72 1 26.0 72.00277.0
Ramnaresh Sarwan rhb40.01 9 241 108 4 44.8 27.00 60.2
Mark Butcher LHB34.5810 233 66 1 28.3 66.00233.0
Chris Gayle LHB42.46 6 224 117 1 52.2117.00224.0
Damien Martyn rhb46.38 8 223 72 2 32.3 36.00111.5
Virender Sehwag rhb49.34 8 206 120 3 58.3 40.00 68.7
Mahela Jayawardene rhb49.57 8 195 58 2 29.7 29.00 97.5
Brian Lara LHB52.89 6 192 63 1 32.8 63.00192.0
Sachin Tendulkar rhb53.8710 186 85 3 45.7 28.33 62.0
Graham Thorpe LHB44.6610 185 69 2 37.3 34.50 92.5
Marvan Atapattu rhb39.02 8 183 55 3 30.1 18.33 61.0
Andrew Flintoff rhb31.7810 177 88 4 49.7 22.00 44.2

1. Shaun Pollock has had the measure of Flintoff and to a lesser extent, Dravid.
2. Mike Hussey has handled Pollock very well. 312 balls and a single dismissal tells the story. A few Australian top order batsmen and Lara have also been quite effective.
3. Chris Gayle has attacked Pollock's bowling with lot of success.

11. Summary table for ANIL KUMBLE
BatsmanTypeBatting AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Younis Khan rhb50.7413 661 332 5 50.2 66.40132.2
Ricky Ponting rhb51.8713 579 295 4 50.9 73.75144.8
Mohammad Yousuf rhb52.2917 504 287 5 56.9 57.40100.8
S Chanderpaul LHB51.8213 500 232 6 46.4 38.67 83.3
Jacques Kallis rhb56.1014 494 191 1 38.7191.00494.0
Michael Clarke rhb51.5914 469 276 6 58.8 46.00 78.2
Michael Vaughan rhb41.4411 459 272 2 59.3136.00229.5
Simon Katich LHB45.0315 439 265 6 60.4 44.17 73.2
Matthew Hayden LHB50.7415 399 256 5 64.2 51.20 79.8
Ramnaresh Sarwan rhb40.0112 394 151 3 38.3 50.33131.3
Kamran Akmal rhb30.7915 379 201 5 53.0 40.20 75.8
Mahela Jayawardene rhb49.57 8 370 161 3 43.5 53.67123.3
Inzamam-ul-Haq rhb49.6110 352 234 5 66.5 46.80 70.4
Paul Collingwood rhb40.5710 324 146 3 45.1 48.67108.0
Misbah-ul-Haq rhb43.20 6 320 125 0 39.1125.00320.0
Damien Martyn rhb46.3812 317 178 5 56.2 35.60 63.4
Kevin Pietersen rhb48.3111 310 176 2 56.8 88.00155.0
Nasser Hussain rhb37.19 9 288 147 4 51.0 36.75 72.0
Michael Hussey LHB51.53 7 276 170 1 61.6170.00276.0
Mohammad Sami rhb11.6013 272 67 5 24.6 13.40 54.4

1. Many of the batsmen who faced Kumble have played him quite well. We have already seen Kallis' 494 balls per wicket.
2. For all the accurate bowling Kumble was famous for, quite a few batsmen have very good scoring rates, led by Inzamam.
3. Look at how comfortably Hussey and Misbah-ul-Haq have handled Kumble.
4. Damien Martyn is the one Kumble had some measure of.

12. Summary table for SHOAIB AKHTAR
BatsmanTypeBatting AvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsBatsman Scoring RateHtH AverageBowler Strike Rate
Rahul Dravid rhb52.3112 283 91 2 32.2 45.50141.5
Virender Sehwag rhb49.34 8 212 177 3 83.5 59.00 70.7
Justin Langer LHB45.27 8 174 127 0 73.0127.00174.0
Marcus Trescothick LHB43.76 7 165 73 2 44.2 36.50 82.5
Sourav Ganguly LHB42.18 9 164 100 2 61.0 50.00 82.0
VVS Laxman rhb45.9710 154 80 1 51.9 80.00154.0
Sachin Tendulkar rhb53.87 8 140 79 2 56.4 39.50 70.0
Sanath Jayasuriya LHB40.07 4 137 103 1 75.2103.00137.0
Ian Bell rhb46.58 6 129 84 2 65.1 42.00 64.5
Matthew Hayden LHB50.74 7 115 55 3 47.8 18.33 38.3
Ricky Ponting rhb51.87 8 111 65 2 58.6 32.50 55.5
Wasim Jaffer rhb34.11 6 109 47 2 43.1 23.50 54.5
Habibul Bashar rhb30.88 5 102 95 1 93.1 95.00102.0

1. Shoaib Akhtar has been quite effectively handled by the Indian batsmen, led by Dravid and Laxman. Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag have had mixed time against Akhtar.
2. Matthew Hayden is the batsmen against whom Akhtar has had some success.

One final reminder that we are looking at ball-by-ball data of around 50% for the players concerned. However, it should be noted that in certain cases, because one part of the concerned bowler-batsman pair could as well have complete data, the data presented is complete for this combination. Examples are Steyn vs Tendulkar and Warne vs Pietersen.

These are just samples of the type of insights which can be drawn. I have created an Excel sheet with 2954 instances of ball-by-ball data where the number of balls exceeds 100 or number of dismissals exceed 3. To download/view the document, a veritable treasure-trove of information, please CLICK HERE.

These three articles complete the first phase of analysis using the ball-by-ball data which has been extracted by Milind. After a break of an article or two I will look at some special analysis using this priceless data. Any suggestions from readers will be welcome. To start with, I may start with a single-Test based analysis.

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

• on August 9, 2013, 5:28 GMT

Some other obversations which stand out:
Jayasuriya has mauled Akhtar. Avg 103 , SR 75.
Chanderpaul avg. 107 v Murali. But 39 v Kumble.
Fleming v Murali has already been noted. But Fleming 9 and 13 v McGrath and Malinga resp.
VVS av 120 v Murali and 80 v Akhtar. But 25 v Ntini and 17 v Steyn.
M.Vaughn avg. 214 v Gillespie and 16 v Murali, 151 v Harbhajan.
Gayle avg. 117 v Pollock,114 v Flintoff , 138 v Kallis, 16 and 9 v Mcgrath and Vaas,
Sarwan avg. 190 vs Anderson and 21 v Harmison.
Trescothick 136 v Kallis, 16 v Fidel Edwards.
Jayawardene 108 v Harbhajan , 34 v Steyn, 26 v Ajmal.
Sangakarra 131 v Ajmal, 96 v Harbhajan, 26 v Zaheer Khan, 29 v Flintoff, 24 v Anderson,32 v Warne.
Samaraweera 134 v Kaneria, and 24 v Giles
Pietersen 220 v Sharma, 38 v Lee, 34 v Morkel, 28 v Shreeshanth, 17 v Siddle,
Hussey 170 v Kumble, and 13 v Steyn
[[
Have introduced the line breaks now as Unni wanted. Excellent comparisons. I approved this in a hurry. Now only do I see the nuances. My apologies to Sindbad (I feel funny saying this) and thanks to Unni.
Ananth
: ]]

• Ukri82 on August 8, 2013, 9:01 GMT

Finally I managed to login with my archaic browser (IE8 !!!!) and after several attempts to post a comment. I'm not surprised at the large number of adverse comments as this is an analysis based on partial data and generally people fear data and they would be very suspecious of partial data when that doesn't yield expected outcomes. I don't really care about what Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara did against various bowlers. The excel sheet was a mine of interesting and curious facts and the 'kick' of going through a neatly compiled dataset to mine them is important for me. The most important factor for me was the strike rate of the bowlers (balls/wicket). I believe that strike rate is the most important measure of a bowler's effectiveness in tests. I have sent you an excel sheet with some interesting tables based on the strike rate, scoring rate etc.
[[
Unni: The first two articles analyzed players with almost 100% of data.
The reason for a few negative comments is not really the partial data, which cannot be helped. Very few people did that for that reason. Some do because they understand nothing of the analysis. Some because they do not remove their dark glasses at night. Some because it presents Tendulkar's later and lesser half of career. Some because Lara is shown in better light.
Your extractions are very nice and I have uploaded it to my cloud area and provided the link below. I urge the readers to download the same. Unni's style of organizing is very good and adds value to the entire analysis. Let us not forget that this covers the entire set of 550 matches and 100+ balls/4 wkts. I have also provided the link for the mail Excel file.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39210851/Unni_Extraction.xls
Main Excel file.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39210851/All_ModernBatsmen_vs_Bowlers_Min100balls.xls
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 6, 2013, 8:25 GMT

Some interesting facts: (Top contests -Top 5-Bastmen of a particular country v bowlers Approx 200+ wkts - filtered even 180+ in some cases)

Kallis v Kumble: 494 Balls / wkt was the worst recorded H2H followed by Fleming v Murali: 0 wkts for 454 balls. Both are Top-3 bowlers. Of all bowlers, Murali and Kumble had the most number of long hauls before taking wickets, showing how difficult taking a wicket for Sub-continent bowlers is! Kumble for all his matchwinning exploits, had many off-days and clearly losing potency. Shane Warne, as someone pointed out, had a relatively consistent graph, compared to the other 2 of top 3, although a lesser fancied Gary Kirsten defied Warne for 40 overs. Kallis, IMHO, has definitely had the measure of Warne - He had maintained his average and strikerate a shade over his overall career strikerate. Interesting to see SAFfers defy Warne, who was famed to have bunnies from Eng & SAF (not incl NZ here). Kallis looks to be the most consistent of the lot.
[[
Apologies for not responding earlier. In line with what is happening in this blog, the comment was approved by some one.
And when you add contests like Harbhajan vs Chanderpaul, it is clear that these modern spinners, truly wonderful bowlers, found it much harder on the road than the previous generation bowlers.
Kallis is a surprise. There are quite a few contests which he has won. It is clear that his bowling has been underrated. My gut feel is that if an all-rounder analysis could be done incorporating the bbb data, Kallis would be right up there. Although there is no data for any of the other great all-rounders.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 4, 2013, 8:25 GMT

For a batsman supposedly considered weak against short-pitched pace bowling, Ganguly did pretty well against Akhtar. In contrast, while he was always famed as an excellent player of spin bowling, he does poorly against Murali.
[[
Nice of you to spot such a contrasting insight. That is the way these analyses should be used.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 4, 2013, 8:10 GMT

The amount of data available for respective players also means that players who changed through their careers will not be represented accurately. For example, I believe Tendulkar's and Warne's stats will see a change for the better as Tendulkar was a more dominating, attractive batsman in the nineties. Similarly, Warne's stats will take an upswing as he never was the same bowler after his shoulder injury in 1998-99. His flipper lost its potency(a crucial point as he never had a very good googly). He had to rely on leg-breaks alone. Also, I believe Murali's numbers would go down because he was a far better bowler once he developed his doosra in the early 2000s. These players are in contrast to Lara or McGrath, who essentially played the same way throughout.
[[
I cannot help featuring this comment also since you have got the essence of analysis correct. These are the later half of almost all players' careers. So some knowledge of how the careers moved is needed to give the right interpretation.
Ananth
: ]]

• Abdullahiba on August 4, 2013, 3:27 GMT

Hi ananth. Wonderful analysis as always. The b3 data is very insightful.

The one area I would like to be explored is the performance of keepers and fielders. For now we only have no. of catches/stumpings to judge them by but as discussed in the previous analysis for keepers is that this is a function of the bowling attack to some extent. I believe that the b3 data may allow to analyse keeper performance by no of missed chances and we can then extend it to how costly have those chances been. Ultimately we might be able to do an analysis of the true value of a keeper ie runs scored vs cost of missed chances. That may answer whether its worth going in with a lesser keeper for the sake of his batting skills ala Kamran akmal
[[
Abdulla, a very valuable point. The only problem is the lack of standard in commentaries over the years, You yourself would have seen it.
In 2001, it was enough to say "4.3. McGrath to Atherton. 1 run."
Today the commentary runs like "2.4. Harris to Cook, 3 runs, helps himself through the leg side again, this was on middle and leg, Cook flicked it through square leg and Mitchell Starc makes a mess of the fielding on the rope. He tried to flick it back, but missed it the first and the ball trickles very close to the boundary although he actually does very well to rescue the situation with another, last-minute, flick back.".
See the wealth of information. Square leg, Starc, mess of the fielding, rescue etc. It would be possible to deduce a lot. We may do something later. It will require parsing at a much higher level. Ananth
: ]]

• alarky on August 3, 2013, 23:08 GMT

Ananth, do you ever sleep? However, I'm overly impressed with your excellent work yet again! I would like to endorse the comment regarding the "condescending attitude" of Lara against weak oppositions. It is well taken! Not only did he never once tour Bangladesh, but he was usually unavailable for test matches against Zimbabwe. In fact, when Zimbabwe made its first tour to the West Indies for a test series in 1999, he was unavailable. And when West Indies first toured Zimbabwe in 2001, he was unavailable again! The only time that he played a 2 match test series against Zimbabwe was in 2003; and this was because he was captain of WI - and, they were using Zimbabwe as a transit-tour to practice, en route to South Africa for a 4 match test series! He played in only 4 innings against them with a top score of 191. You see, Lara was never one to look for fame based on the benefits of one-sided competitions.
[[
It is borne by his low numbers against these two countries. But some will say that was his choice.
I am a very normal 60+ person. I sleep well, read a lot, watch movies, tennis, F! racing, travel, take care of all family requirements well and in general, have lived my life to the full.
The key to these analyses is that I have set up the Databases quite well and can create new tables fairly quickly. I am also fortunate enough to work with one of the best cricket analysts anywhere, Milind.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 3, 2013, 17:55 GMT

Hi Ananth, excellent analysis. But perhaps, you could add Ponting, Donald, Akram, Waqar, Ambrose & Walsh in the list considering the covered 12 players' time period. I don't know how much B3 data is available for these players. Can you tell me - is there really no other source from which B3 data can be available apart from Cricinfo's B3 data? Then in the 70s, 80s & 90s (after the advent to Television coverage of Tests), how one team assessed the opposition? How the scorers kept the scores & scoring charts etc? What were the contents of the scoring charts then? If there are at all fragmented B3 data for earlier days, where from can you get those so that your analysis can be made more accurate? Did older Wisden almanacs kept some B3 data, at least in some rudimentory form? Thanks, Arnab Mallick, Kolkata
[[
Nothing available for Ambrose, Donald, Waqar and Wasim.
Virtually 2000 is the year B3 data started appearing in a public domain. I wrote the system for Wisden Online's b3 data retreival and we set up a one year project in Bangalore, to record data for quite a few 1990s matches. Those are part of Wisden's database and did not pass on to Cricinfo. Since Cricinfo was taken over by Espn, I do not see Wisden parting with that data. I was only a developer and had no rights over the data. I also do not have the resources to attempt anything like that.
But Cricinfo has done an excellent job of creating this data from match no 1546 onwards till date for all matches, barring one match.
Ananth
: ]]

• LourensGrobbelaar on August 3, 2013, 14:44 GMT

Hi Ananth. Thanks for the analysis. Just one observation regarding Andre Nel's success against Lara. Andre Nel was extremely effective against lefthanded batsmen, specifically when bowling around the wicket. With his sprayed left foot he angled the ball in towards the batsmen and then took it away of the seam with good bounce. From around the wicket he was wicked. Also Lara's attacking instincts agains combative personalities like Andre Nel could have led to his downfall. Like Donald did to Lara in 1998 in South Africa.
[[
The later part makes sense. Lara played Murali with a lot of respect. Against Nel, who he might have considered a lesser bowler, even the number of dismissals might have rankled him.
Ananth
: ]]

• Princepurple1979 on August 3, 2013, 12:54 GMT

Amazing analysis. Hats off to this great piece of work. Most interesting to me was the Lara paradox against average bowlers! But then that was the enigma of the Prince. When he was in full flow he could dominate any bowler in the world, but when out of form he could fall for any one. Also surprised to see the way Murali dominated Sachin. Never realized Sachin struggled so much against Murali.
[[
I would not say Tendulkar struggled against Murali. Rather it would be 60-40 in favour of Murali. A wicket every 61 balls was probably below par but a reasonably good scoring rate helps. Nowehere near the problems Tendulkar had against Anderson.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 9, 2013, 5:28 GMT

Some other obversations which stand out:
Jayasuriya has mauled Akhtar. Avg 103 , SR 75.
Chanderpaul avg. 107 v Murali. But 39 v Kumble.
Fleming v Murali has already been noted. But Fleming 9 and 13 v McGrath and Malinga resp.
VVS av 120 v Murali and 80 v Akhtar. But 25 v Ntini and 17 v Steyn.
M.Vaughn avg. 214 v Gillespie and 16 v Murali, 151 v Harbhajan.
Gayle avg. 117 v Pollock,114 v Flintoff , 138 v Kallis, 16 and 9 v Mcgrath and Vaas,
Sarwan avg. 190 vs Anderson and 21 v Harmison.
Trescothick 136 v Kallis, 16 v Fidel Edwards.
Jayawardene 108 v Harbhajan , 34 v Steyn, 26 v Ajmal.
Sangakarra 131 v Ajmal, 96 v Harbhajan, 26 v Zaheer Khan, 29 v Flintoff, 24 v Anderson,32 v Warne.
Samaraweera 134 v Kaneria, and 24 v Giles
Pietersen 220 v Sharma, 38 v Lee, 34 v Morkel, 28 v Shreeshanth, 17 v Siddle,
Hussey 170 v Kumble, and 13 v Steyn
[[
Have introduced the line breaks now as Unni wanted. Excellent comparisons. I approved this in a hurry. Now only do I see the nuances. My apologies to Sindbad (I feel funny saying this) and thanks to Unni.
Ananth
: ]]

• Ukri82 on August 8, 2013, 9:01 GMT

Finally I managed to login with my archaic browser (IE8 !!!!) and after several attempts to post a comment. I'm not surprised at the large number of adverse comments as this is an analysis based on partial data and generally people fear data and they would be very suspecious of partial data when that doesn't yield expected outcomes. I don't really care about what Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara did against various bowlers. The excel sheet was a mine of interesting and curious facts and the 'kick' of going through a neatly compiled dataset to mine them is important for me. The most important factor for me was the strike rate of the bowlers (balls/wicket). I believe that strike rate is the most important measure of a bowler's effectiveness in tests. I have sent you an excel sheet with some interesting tables based on the strike rate, scoring rate etc.
[[
Unni: The first two articles analyzed players with almost 100% of data.
The reason for a few negative comments is not really the partial data, which cannot be helped. Very few people did that for that reason. Some do because they understand nothing of the analysis. Some because they do not remove their dark glasses at night. Some because it presents Tendulkar's later and lesser half of career. Some because Lara is shown in better light.
Your extractions are very nice and I have uploaded it to my cloud area and provided the link below. I urge the readers to download the same. Unni's style of organizing is very good and adds value to the entire analysis. Let us not forget that this covers the entire set of 550 matches and 100+ balls/4 wkts. I have also provided the link for the mail Excel file.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39210851/Unni_Extraction.xls
Main Excel file.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39210851/All_ModernBatsmen_vs_Bowlers_Min100balls.xls
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 6, 2013, 8:25 GMT

Some interesting facts: (Top contests -Top 5-Bastmen of a particular country v bowlers Approx 200+ wkts - filtered even 180+ in some cases)

Kallis v Kumble: 494 Balls / wkt was the worst recorded H2H followed by Fleming v Murali: 0 wkts for 454 balls. Both are Top-3 bowlers. Of all bowlers, Murali and Kumble had the most number of long hauls before taking wickets, showing how difficult taking a wicket for Sub-continent bowlers is! Kumble for all his matchwinning exploits, had many off-days and clearly losing potency. Shane Warne, as someone pointed out, had a relatively consistent graph, compared to the other 2 of top 3, although a lesser fancied Gary Kirsten defied Warne for 40 overs. Kallis, IMHO, has definitely had the measure of Warne - He had maintained his average and strikerate a shade over his overall career strikerate. Interesting to see SAFfers defy Warne, who was famed to have bunnies from Eng & SAF (not incl NZ here). Kallis looks to be the most consistent of the lot.
[[
Apologies for not responding earlier. In line with what is happening in this blog, the comment was approved by some one.
And when you add contests like Harbhajan vs Chanderpaul, it is clear that these modern spinners, truly wonderful bowlers, found it much harder on the road than the previous generation bowlers.
Kallis is a surprise. There are quite a few contests which he has won. It is clear that his bowling has been underrated. My gut feel is that if an all-rounder analysis could be done incorporating the bbb data, Kallis would be right up there. Although there is no data for any of the other great all-rounders.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 4, 2013, 8:25 GMT

For a batsman supposedly considered weak against short-pitched pace bowling, Ganguly did pretty well against Akhtar. In contrast, while he was always famed as an excellent player of spin bowling, he does poorly against Murali.
[[
Nice of you to spot such a contrasting insight. That is the way these analyses should be used.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 4, 2013, 8:10 GMT

The amount of data available for respective players also means that players who changed through their careers will not be represented accurately. For example, I believe Tendulkar's and Warne's stats will see a change for the better as Tendulkar was a more dominating, attractive batsman in the nineties. Similarly, Warne's stats will take an upswing as he never was the same bowler after his shoulder injury in 1998-99. His flipper lost its potency(a crucial point as he never had a very good googly). He had to rely on leg-breaks alone. Also, I believe Murali's numbers would go down because he was a far better bowler once he developed his doosra in the early 2000s. These players are in contrast to Lara or McGrath, who essentially played the same way throughout.
[[
I cannot help featuring this comment also since you have got the essence of analysis correct. These are the later half of almost all players' careers. So some knowledge of how the careers moved is needed to give the right interpretation.
Ananth
: ]]

• Abdullahiba on August 4, 2013, 3:27 GMT

Hi ananth. Wonderful analysis as always. The b3 data is very insightful.

The one area I would like to be explored is the performance of keepers and fielders. For now we only have no. of catches/stumpings to judge them by but as discussed in the previous analysis for keepers is that this is a function of the bowling attack to some extent. I believe that the b3 data may allow to analyse keeper performance by no of missed chances and we can then extend it to how costly have those chances been. Ultimately we might be able to do an analysis of the true value of a keeper ie runs scored vs cost of missed chances. That may answer whether its worth going in with a lesser keeper for the sake of his batting skills ala Kamran akmal
[[
Abdulla, a very valuable point. The only problem is the lack of standard in commentaries over the years, You yourself would have seen it.
In 2001, it was enough to say "4.3. McGrath to Atherton. 1 run."
Today the commentary runs like "2.4. Harris to Cook, 3 runs, helps himself through the leg side again, this was on middle and leg, Cook flicked it through square leg and Mitchell Starc makes a mess of the fielding on the rope. He tried to flick it back, but missed it the first and the ball trickles very close to the boundary although he actually does very well to rescue the situation with another, last-minute, flick back.".
See the wealth of information. Square leg, Starc, mess of the fielding, rescue etc. It would be possible to deduce a lot. We may do something later. It will require parsing at a much higher level. Ananth
: ]]

• alarky on August 3, 2013, 23:08 GMT

Ananth, do you ever sleep? However, I'm overly impressed with your excellent work yet again! I would like to endorse the comment regarding the "condescending attitude" of Lara against weak oppositions. It is well taken! Not only did he never once tour Bangladesh, but he was usually unavailable for test matches against Zimbabwe. In fact, when Zimbabwe made its first tour to the West Indies for a test series in 1999, he was unavailable. And when West Indies first toured Zimbabwe in 2001, he was unavailable again! The only time that he played a 2 match test series against Zimbabwe was in 2003; and this was because he was captain of WI - and, they were using Zimbabwe as a transit-tour to practice, en route to South Africa for a 4 match test series! He played in only 4 innings against them with a top score of 191. You see, Lara was never one to look for fame based on the benefits of one-sided competitions.
[[
It is borne by his low numbers against these two countries. But some will say that was his choice.
I am a very normal 60+ person. I sleep well, read a lot, watch movies, tennis, F! racing, travel, take care of all family requirements well and in general, have lived my life to the full.
The key to these analyses is that I have set up the Databases quite well and can create new tables fairly quickly. I am also fortunate enough to work with one of the best cricket analysts anywhere, Milind.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 3, 2013, 17:55 GMT

Hi Ananth, excellent analysis. But perhaps, you could add Ponting, Donald, Akram, Waqar, Ambrose & Walsh in the list considering the covered 12 players' time period. I don't know how much B3 data is available for these players. Can you tell me - is there really no other source from which B3 data can be available apart from Cricinfo's B3 data? Then in the 70s, 80s & 90s (after the advent to Television coverage of Tests), how one team assessed the opposition? How the scorers kept the scores & scoring charts etc? What were the contents of the scoring charts then? If there are at all fragmented B3 data for earlier days, where from can you get those so that your analysis can be made more accurate? Did older Wisden almanacs kept some B3 data, at least in some rudimentory form? Thanks, Arnab Mallick, Kolkata
[[
Nothing available for Ambrose, Donald, Waqar and Wasim.
Virtually 2000 is the year B3 data started appearing in a public domain. I wrote the system for Wisden Online's b3 data retreival and we set up a one year project in Bangalore, to record data for quite a few 1990s matches. Those are part of Wisden's database and did not pass on to Cricinfo. Since Cricinfo was taken over by Espn, I do not see Wisden parting with that data. I was only a developer and had no rights over the data. I also do not have the resources to attempt anything like that.
But Cricinfo has done an excellent job of creating this data from match no 1546 onwards till date for all matches, barring one match.
Ananth
: ]]

• LourensGrobbelaar on August 3, 2013, 14:44 GMT

Hi Ananth. Thanks for the analysis. Just one observation regarding Andre Nel's success against Lara. Andre Nel was extremely effective against lefthanded batsmen, specifically when bowling around the wicket. With his sprayed left foot he angled the ball in towards the batsmen and then took it away of the seam with good bounce. From around the wicket he was wicked. Also Lara's attacking instincts agains combative personalities like Andre Nel could have led to his downfall. Like Donald did to Lara in 1998 in South Africa.
[[
The later part makes sense. Lara played Murali with a lot of respect. Against Nel, who he might have considered a lesser bowler, even the number of dismissals might have rankled him.
Ananth
: ]]

• Princepurple1979 on August 3, 2013, 12:54 GMT

Amazing analysis. Hats off to this great piece of work. Most interesting to me was the Lara paradox against average bowlers! But then that was the enigma of the Prince. When he was in full flow he could dominate any bowler in the world, but when out of form he could fall for any one. Also surprised to see the way Murali dominated Sachin. Never realized Sachin struggled so much against Murali.
[[
I would not say Tendulkar struggled against Murali. Rather it would be 60-40 in favour of Murali. A wicket every 61 balls was probably below par but a reasonably good scoring rate helps. Nowehere near the problems Tendulkar had against Anderson.
Ananth
: ]]

• alarky on August 20, 2013, 17:35 GMT

Sinbad No, My apology to have been spelling incorrectly all the time! You accused me once of hitting below the belt and I apologised. But, I don't think you'll say that I'm hitting below the belt to say that I find your debating style is very juvenile. Your rebuttals have no substance whatsoever. So here I am carrying out the relevant research exercises and educating you about the true history of the game; and you rebutting will gross untrruths, baseless assumtions, lame excuses - just catching at straw in your responses! Anyhow, who are the "true extreme pace bowler[s]" that SRT made 100 against before 2003? According to you, a batsman must score 'a test 100' against a "true extreme pace bowler" before 2003, before he can be considered to be able to bat fast bowling! It's hard to put up ith all this juvenile nonsense, but I'm having fun until Ananth closes submission to this article. And as usual, when I submit my comments to the current one on ODIs, all hell would break loose!

• on August 20, 2013, 3:02 GMT

Alarky- I' saying that Lara would have had a better case had he had a single Test hundred against any true extreme pace bowler till 2003 (after that he had 4 hundreds against Lee and Flintoff- two express bowlers). We may define express as around 145 k or more. Tendulkar has many Test hundreds (classic ones)against practically every genuine pace bowler of the past 25 years...Again, the point is not to pull down one or the other .It would be absolutely ABSURD to say that Lara was "not good" against any type of bowling. Just AS absurd would be to say that of Tendulkar. You don't last for decades in International with any clear weaknesses.

It is all a matter of degree. As mentioned Lara ( VVS, Sehwag,Richards and many more) perhaps have a few better individual best innings - Thereafter, for allround skill in any conditions ,any bowlers, format ,consistency etc it is almost impossible to look beyond SRT. Merely going on and on about few inn. on "fastest ground in the world" is pointless

• alarky on August 19, 2013, 18:14 GMT

Sandbad No, true, you're 'not getting me'! Because all I'm saying here is that every time SRT's fans compare both men, they say that SRT was better than Lara against fast bowling. So, I know otherwise, and brought the best example you can find on earth to show who was better. The best example to test them is to take them to PERTH, the indisputable fastest pitch in the world, and see how they perform against the world's best fast bowlers, including the most lethal fast attack of their time. We did that and Lara outclass SRT at PERTH 2 TO 1, overall, in both forms of the game. We looked at 12 innings each, a more than significant and appropriate sample. So if as you all were saying that fast bowling is where SRT was better, my example along with Ananth's more detailed findings have decimated that overly flawed theory! And remember, I don't compare SRT and Lara outside 2007. That's the only period when any fair comparison can be made. But why so much lame excuses for SRT's short comings?

• on August 19, 2013, 17:01 GMT

Alarky- considering that Akram and Waqar bowled a total of 9 and 7 overs in two spells in the match you mention means that after 4 overs, when they were "warmed up"- they then must have cooled down pretty fast. In the 2nd match around 6 overs were bowled , by the time Wasim "warmed up". The 90 again after 6 overs after the bowlers "warmed up".the 100 after a minimum of 7 overs after the bowlers "warmed up". Your hyperbole is pretty overwhelming. Don't get it - several batsmen have done much better than Lara at Perth - but that must be before the bowlers were "warmed up".

• alarky on August 19, 2013, 15:23 GMT

Cont'd: Sandbad, Wazim Akram + Waqar Younis was the most lethal fast bowling attack in the Lara-SRT era. And when Lara treated them that way at no other place but PERTH, you must know that LARA WAS ALWAYS THE BEST - and who is better to make that claim than Akram and Younis? And they tell the world just that! SRT's average vs them 'AT PERTH' is 17.00 and 21.00 overall. Lara's is162 and 56.67 - AT PERTH - THE FASTEST PITCH IN THE WORLD! Tell the guys at 'THE HUDDLE' to look it up themselves. I guess that I've silenced all of them now with this fact-ful presentation. And, I'm only trying to provide living examples to back up the Gt Anantha Narayanan's accurate statiscal data, to help add "juice" to the great work that he's doing; and for which he is so often unjustifably criticized - for only presenting facts in figures! I see that quite a few Cricnfo big names started to BASH STATISTICS these days, when they see the truth that Ananth is producing! I'm not fascinated with stats anymore!

• on August 19, 2013, 15:21 GMT

Perth throws up some interesting Test averages for batsmen since 1990: ( 4 inn or more)- Amla,Astle - 76 , Parore - 73, Slater -63, Ramps -62, Gilly - 60, Katich - 57, Smith -53,Martyn/M.Waugh - 51,Hayden - 59 , Boon - 48, Richardson - 47, Hussey - 46 etc.

I guess that will make all the above batsmen better against pace than our famed duo.

• alarky on August 19, 2013, 14:40 GMT

Cont'd: Sandbad, Lara's next ODI inngs 50+ at PERTH was 103; vs Akram and Co,1997. He batted at No.3, the position of his best record in all forms of the game. But the opener only faced 35 balls when Lara came to bat. 35 balls are only 5+ overs. If 5 overs were bowled at the next end, the fast bowlers would only have been at WARM UP stage. But, the Great Brian Lara, the world's best batsman of All Time, 2nd after Sir Don Bradman treated the Pakistani bowling just the way he was used to treating every bolwer, and made 103 not out, winning the match for WI at PERTH! These are the encounters that Wazim Akram, the world's best fast bowler of All Time, and his almost equal partner Waqar Younis, the best duet of All Time (and Shoaib) remember, why they tell the world that Lara is MILES AHEAD of SRT when it comes to batting! Lara's next ODI innings of 50+ was vs Australia, he made 90 batting at No 3, after the opener faced 36 balls. Next 50+ was 83 not out, the opener made ZERO, so he opened

• alarky on August 19, 2013, 13:58 GMT

Cont'd: Sandbad, the truth: Lara's first ODI 50 at Perth was made vs Akram, Younis and Co, the world's most lethal bowling attack that time! Lara batted at No.4. But Desy Haynes only made one run facing 8 balls. Then Simmons the next opener only made 6 facing 15 balls. Then in comes Lara! 8 balls are only 1.2 overs and 15 balls are only 2.3 overs - together, not even 4 overs! Let's say 4 overs were bolwed at each end. It meant that both Wazim and Waqar would have only bowled 4 overs each - just WARMING UP! Do you know what it was those days, to come in to bat at No 4, at PERTH, against Wazim Akram and Waqar Younis just when they have WARMED UP (4 overs each); having already captured 2 WI scalps, including that of DESY HAYNES, the world's best ODI opening batsman that time? Both bowlers with adrenalin pumping, ran into the peerless Lara who had just creamed the leather off their ball at Melbourne for 88 not out! They got the same treatment at PERTH for 59! Spinner Amhed got him! Cont'd:

• alarky on August 19, 2013, 12:38 GMT

• on August 19, 2013, 8:57 GMT

Alarky- I am fully prepared to accept that Lara and any number of players was a better ODI player than SRT before 1992. Cheerio.

• on August 19, 2013, 6:14 GMT

Alarky- I did a check on the Perth ground as well. In ODIs all lara's 50 plus scores have come in when he came in after more than 100 odd balls had already been bowled. i.e say around 15 bowlers. Quite different from facing a new white ball as an opener. In tests lara's 100 at Perth included perhaps Mcgrath as the fastest bowler i.e around 130ks. Again, not pulling or pushing anyone down mind you. Just putting the spot light on how warped stats can get sans context.

• on August 19, 2013, 3:12 GMT

Red,Alarky etc. Ha, Ha! This is good fun as Anantha says.

There are essentially 3 components to this ( most of the time)

1)Lara probably has the better top few innings . But then so do VVS, Sehwag, Richards and quite a few other players. Make what you want out of it. Thereafter, it is almost impossible to look beyond SRT as the best modern great.

2)The point of the head-to-head examples was that in narrower time frames such as a match ,innings or individual batsman-bowler head-to-heads several factors may swing performances decisively one way or the other. As mentioned in the Lee eg one dropped catch changes Lara's avg from 80 to almost 20 something.

During the course of a long career consisting of hundreds of matches and thousands of balls the assumption generally made is that luck or good fortune will even out. Using the same assumption for narrower sample sizes may not be valid.

3)Agree with the ODI and Test comparsion. In ODIs it is difficult to look beyond SRT and Richards.

• alarky on August 19, 2013, 1:36 GMT

red_forever, I apologise for the statement regarding the contributor not mentioning any name! Anyhow, I hope that the revealations that I presented via my contribution to this article would silence all those who are peddling all these falsehoods about Lara! In fact, I noticed that the guys in "The Huddle" were mocking Suresh Raina on the same topic in the IPL recently. But they are young and just on the bandwagon thing. Tell them to look at Lara and SRT's stats - both in this article and AT PERTH - THE FASTEST PITCH IN THE WORLD! They may get a heart attack! And, I definitely don't believe in mixing up test match and ODI performances. But here, I was only using the Perth example to show that Lara's performance against fast bowling was always superior to SRT's, in both important formats of the game. As I also showed that Lara has a higher top score and average in tests at Perth than SRT, after same 12 appearances. It's just that Lara was the better player against all types of bowling!

• red_forever on August 18, 2013, 18:01 GMT

@Ananth: The blog is back to where it was before but for the wrong reasons. Previously it was SRT fans and now its BCL fans.

I read a couple of comments in the ODI analysis which you did sometime back and there were some comments about Bullet proof vests and all. Dint want to prolong that talk over there but here Alarky's comments have made me to prolong it.

Previously would have apologized about my other comment but now i wouldn't.
[[
Since this is not the current article I am publishing the comments as they come in without adding any of my responses. I know that sooner or later the comments will taper down. I would not lose sleep over it.
Ananth
: ]]

• red_forever on August 18, 2013, 17:52 GMT

@Alarky: Dont you think you have hit it below the belt to Sindbad. It doesnt matter what name another Person Has. You have no damn Right to question him.Cricinfo has asked him/her/me/you the right to take whatever name you want. What did Sindbad say: He gave three examples of the decisions going wrong when he was truly on top. Twice in the 99-00 series Bucknor Gave him LBW when he wasnt. In one of the innings he was taking apart McGrath and less said the better about 2008 series.

You are the guys who say that dont bring in Tendulkar's ODI performances to say he was the better player but what you did the same thing but to show Lara was better.

SRT has better performances in ENG despite being a Flop in the 2011 series.Both RPI and AVG were better. He was definitely better in AUS They were equal in SA both RPI and AVG.

• alarky on August 18, 2013, 17:31 GMT

Cont'd: I agree with ANONYMOUS that I plaguarised swarzi a bit here, which all of us do sometime when the contribution is that good! I think ANONYMOUS would agree with me that 12 innings each on any ground is a signicant number of innings on which we can fairly judge these guys; especially when their opposition is more or less the same or similar. ANONYMOUS is falsely alleging also that Lara never made a 100 against genuine pace before he did it vs Lee in 2003. But, Lara's first 100 (277),1993 was made in Aus vs Big Merf Hughes and Mc Dermoth who were genuine quicks! Big Merf's role in the team was to rough up batsmen - he was quick! And, Lara's 100 is 2nd best only to Sobers' 254 ever made in Aus - not even one of Bradman's many made there is of that class! Lara's 179 vs Devon Malcolm in Eng, 1996 too, was a classic. Devon was as quick as anyone who bowled! And ANONYMOUS, when I give you living facts and figures, you can't respond with "ifs" and "buts". No 'pulling down' - just facts!

• alarky on August 18, 2013, 16:44 GMT

Ananth, "It's amazing how some folks are so quick to make a simple 'one-in-a-million-incident' into a LAW, to suit their rumour mongering agendas; and how they deliberately refuse to accept and understand the living facts and figures that debunk and decimate the baseless rumours they pride themselves on peddling"! I'd made my final comment on this article, but I need to respond to ANANYMOUS of (Aug 17, 2013 - 15:36 to 15:43), who in all their cowardliness was afraid to mention even their fiction name fearing to associate their name with the nothing-at-all and laughable reponse that they made to my response to Bonehead_maz's 'bandwagon rumour', saying that SRT might have played pace better than Lara! As you see, I presented my argument as per the facts in the tables above and backed it up with examples of each player's performance at PERTH, THE QUICKEST PITCH IN THE WORLD: There, they each batted 12 times, but Lara's overall avrage (56.71) is nearly twice SRT's (29.35) at PERTH! Cont'd:

• on August 17, 2013, 15:43 GMT

Similarly, with the oft quoted Mcgrath eg. SRT has 18 inn vs Mcgrath ,Just two full Test series.Check Lara's first 18 inn. .This has been mentioned several times in various locations. The point being the more a good batsman plays a particular bowler the chances of his reverting to his long term average are higher. Something like playing bowlers in your own team. You play them in the nets etc.- The better batsmen adapt. Then again in the 1990s I wonder how the battles with SRT vs. Donald, Wasim, Waqar, etc.would be as compared to Lara. Also remember Lara did not get a single Test hundred against an express pace bowler till that 110 vs. Lee in 2003. Thereafter he got 3 more vs Lee and Flintoff.

Again, the point is not to put down one or the other. Unlike your strong bias towards Lara I have a mild bias towards SRT. Lara's few best innings were probably better. Thereafter- don't think you have much of a case.

• on August 17, 2013, 15:36 GMT

IPSY, swarzi etc. - practically identical comments. Firstly ,as mentioned numerous times, the data covers Lara's best years and a good part of SRTs worst. Secondly, I have watched practically every innings of both batsmen. For instance in your Lee example.In 2003 Lee dropped a caught n bowled off Lara when Lara was 13( around if I recall). Lara then scored 110.. Assume he had held on to the catch - Lara's "average" vs. Lee drops to 75/3 ( 172-93 div by 3 dismissals). In SRTs case there was a blatantly incorrect LBW to Lee at Perth when SRT was cruising at 71. And one dismissal at the MCG caught first ball down the leg side. Without those he avg turns out to some 81 vs. Lee....The point is NOT to bring down one or the other player. But that many of these head-to-heads are more finely tuned and pivot more than one realises.

• IPSY on August 17, 2013, 13:39 GMT

Cont'd: Ananth, As I usually say, people need to research the facts before they write non-evidential myths! Regardless to how you compare these two guys against any type of bowling, or against the best bowlers of All Time, Lara always comes out way on top, but some people still can't see! What a world! What I'm sure that there is available evidence for also, is that the main source of SRT's inflated figures is the battering that he puts on the MINNOWS when ever he meets them! People need to stop echoing others who make wild allegations based on their set agendas! Sometimes I wonder if what I'm hearing from some of them (including the so called experts), if it's these said two guys they're talking about!

• IPSY on August 17, 2013, 13:19 GMT

Ananth, I'd like to leave this bit of final information for people such as Bonehead_maz, et al who usually peddle this myth that Lara didn't play pace as well as SRT. I'm leaving the stats for both players' performance AT PERTH - THE FASTEST PITCH IN THE WORLD, once again to debunk all the fallacies being bandied about: In the 2 top forms of the game (Tests and ODIs) SRT played a total of 12 innings at Perth, 6 tests and 6 ODIs. He made a single 100 in tests (114) there; with an overall average of 37.6. However, in ODIs he has never scored even a "50" in any of his 6 innings; averaging 21.14! However, Lara himself played the same 12 innings there. In Lara's 5 test innings, he has a top score of 132; with an overall average of 41.15. And in his 7 ODI innings, he has a top score of 103 not out vs Wazim Akram and Co. and reached 90 on another occasion vs Australia; compiling a tumultuous average of 79.80 at PERTH! So SRT's overall average at Perth is 32.35! And Lara is 56.71! Cont'd:

• swarzi on August 17, 2013, 3:26 GMT

Cont'd: Ananth, My fellow subscribers, Have you ever seen a statistical analysis in test cricket where SRT out performed Lara, with the exception of the most runs and 100s which he scored in nearly 100 innings more than Lara played? The answer is a resounding "NO"! So why this constant comparison?

• swarzi on August 17, 2013, 3:18 GMT

Hi Ananth, What these tables show is that contrary to the views of few people, Lara was a much more balanced player than SRT, against any kind of bowling - even the FAST STUFF. Let's do an extrapolated analysis based on the stats and see: To do so we pick the 3 best WORLD CLASS bowlers who bowled to each player, as per the tables. Then we calculate each batsman's assumed average against his group of 3 bowlers and compare both. First, we pick the fastest of the best WORLD CLASS bowlers who appear in both batsmen's table. In this case it's Bret Lee - he's in each batsman's table. Then we pick the BEST EVER WORLD CLASS bowler who bowled to each batsman in his table. For Lara it's Mc Grath. For SRT, it's Steyn. Isn't Steyn vs Mc Grath a fair match up? Then we pick the WORLD CLASS bowler who gave each most problems. For Lara it's Flintoff. For SRT it's Anderson. Now the averages: For SRT it's (48.40+49.67+23.11)/3 = 40.33. For Lara it's (86.00+45.00+27.25)/3 = 52.66. Lara tops as usual!

• alarky on August 16, 2013, 19:26 GMT

Bonehead_maz, While I respect your opinion based on your observation, I just want to point you to the stats once again. The tables show that Lara was a very balanced player against all kinds of bowlers, and that he even performed against the faster stuff much better than SRT. Example, take Brett Lee who is the fastest of all the bowlers seen in the matrix for both batsmen, it is clear that Lara was not only more dominant than SRT by Strike Rate of 70.6 (Lara) to 56 (SRT); but while Lee only got Lara's wicket after he was close to scoring a 100 (86); he took SRT's wicket before SRT could score 50! And in every case otherwise, for the more popular fast bowlers: Ntini, Pollock, Kallis, Gillespie, Flintoff, Hoggard, Steyn, Anderson, it is shown that only Flintoff among any of the names who appeared on both tables did SRT perform better than Lara. Remember only Gary Sobers' dominant 254 IN AUSTRALIA is said to have been a better innings than Lara's 277! So anyhow you go, it's just Lara!

• on August 16, 2013, 14:05 GMT

Namaste Anantji, Great Analysis. Thanks for the Stats which is real a master piece.

• Shams on August 16, 2013, 7:49 GMT

Out of curiosity, can you publish the available head-to-head numbers for Tendulkar against McGrath, Warne and Gillespie? Thanks.
[[
Tendulkar played against McGrath in only 2 Tests during the period. There is negligible data. Similar numbers for Warne and Gillespie.
Ananth
: ]]

• Bonehead_maz on August 15, 2013, 23:34 GMT

G'day and thanks Sinbad and Ukri - your inputs have allowed me a path into what I don't really understand :). What I do understand is watching cricket. Being a cricket nut I've read/seen/heard as much as I could.

How this one place produces data that makes sense to a watcher like me is wonderful (and a great find for me). With all due respect to Charles Davis et al *yawn...... I absolutely adore this stuff !

One piece of correlation I'll share - Brian Lara is far and away the best batsman I've ever seen on a low and slow wicket (better judges than me who have longer viewing periods think so too !). On something with quick bounce, he had a little too much going on to consistently dominate ? Hence not only the bowlers results but also the locations of those results ?

Mentioning Lara in no way downgrades Tendulkar, who when young had the equal finest allround batting ability I've seen........... Barry Richards being the other. lol that in turn in no way downgrades Ponting .....etc.
[[
Thanks for the nice words.
My next article, away from the Test scene, is getting published tomorrow. The one following that would be, hopefully, of great interest to all enthusiasts since that would be a B-b-B analysis of the head-to-head battles in the Ashes series.
Ananth
: ]]

• Ukri82 on August 9, 2013, 10:13 GMT

@Sindbad No : Your compilation looks interesting. However, it is very hard to read. @Ananth : Maybe it will help if you break down the observation against each batsman into one line and give a line-break.
[[
Yes, Unni, my mistake. I should have done that myself. I was clearing all of Sindbad's mails and did not do it.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 9, 2013, 5:29 GMT

The permutations and combinations between batsmen and their techniques and bowlers and their strength and weaknesses is apparent. Bunnies and whipping boys clearly exist. The more bowlers a batsman faces , in more varied conditions - the more his technique is likely to be found out. Perhaps the Bradman era folks did have it easier after all.
[[
Probably compensated by the fact that most of these batsmen have played ODI cricket and know what it is to improvise and move their scoring rates up a gear or two. Let us not forget the quality of pitches,
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 9, 2013, 4:34 GMT

93 v Murali, 81 v Morkel, 75 v Lee, 83 Akhtar, 113 v Mendis, 110 v Anderson ,105 v Vaas, 98 vs Swann, More realistic ! But still mad.

• on August 9, 2013, 4:18 GMT

Ok ,got it:

Ponting has done very well against most bowlers except Morkel,Steyn,Harris,Amir and Broad.

Kallis had probs with Flintoff ,Hoggard and Harmison as well. Surprisingly Jacob Oram. Again very well rounded vs. just about all bowlers. As is usual , Kallis's dour batting obscures his greatness. Had Kallis been more flashy the hosannas wouldn't have stopped.

OK- got sehwag ! Here are some of his strike rates : 166 vs Sami, 253 vs Gillespie, 256 vs. Kaneria ,190 vs Morkel,142 vs Kallis , 130 vs Mendis ,127 v Flintoff ,120 v Hoggad ,85 v Murali . These are STRIKE RATES ! And most of the above at healthy averages as well! The mad bomber Sehwag.
[[
When one scores 8500 runs at a career strike rate of 82.2, some thing has to give. In Tests, that too. Average of 5 runs per over across 12 years. And let us not forget Gilchrist at 82.0.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 9, 2013, 4:03 GMT

Sorry, can't seem to be able to open the attachments for some reason!

I was looking for Sehwags data. Have they been included?

Would absolutely love to see his strike rates vs. just about everyone. Must be stratospheric !
[[
Can you cut & paste the following links. It will work. Cricinfo at times has problems with links.
Sehwag's data is available in the previous article since nearly 100% of data is available for him.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39210851/Unni_Extraction.xls Main Excel file. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39210851/All_ModernBatsmen_vs_Bowlers_Min100balls.xls
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 9, 2013, 3:52 GMT

As an aside: The treatment meted out to Kaneria by Lara and Tendulkar highlights the difference between an ordinary bowler like Kaneria and a Legend like Warne. Both leggies.

• on August 9, 2013, 3:42 GMT

Other observations: Flintoff clearly had Lara's number. Again similar to Anderson v Tendulkar. Also, I think several bowlers have a problem bowling to left handers . This is a general statement and may not apply to all head to heads. These bowlers include Murali, Ntini,Kaneria, Kallis, Pollock etc.

I don't know the reason this is so for the medium fast bowlers. Perhaps because ,llike Shaun Pollock, their stock ball of out swingers to right hand batsmen isn't as effective to lefties ?
[[
Long back i did a left handed batsmen vs right hand batsmen analysis and it was conclusively proved that the left handers had an overall better average. Certainly significant enough not to ignore. In the top-31 batting averages there are 9 left handers. In the top 28 run-getters there are 8 left handers. These % values are higher than the 21% of innings being played by left handers.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 9, 2013, 3:17 GMT

The "dark glasses" seem to be worn by all "camps". Lara vs. Warne is similar to Tendulkar vs. Murali.

The critical difference being that Lara was at his best at this stage and Tendulkar at his worst...Certain biases are simply too deep to perhaps even perceive.

• on August 8, 2013, 2:46 GMT

Re.Posted by Princepurple1979 on (August 3, 2013, 12:54 GMT) :

In the 1990s Tendulkar took Murali and just about everyone (with the possible exception of Allan Donald) to the cleaners.

Conversely in the mid 2000s Tendulkar struggled against virtually everyone.

From the mid 2000s onwards Anderson has got Tendulkar's number. Anderson IMO has been a rather underated bowler till recently and he has started getting due recognition. His career stats do not do him justice at his best. In conditions conducive to Anderson he is as good as any bowler who has ever played the game.

Re. Tendulkar and various Test performance parameters - The fact that he could bat a strike rate of his choosing hints more at his adaptability and flexibility of batting approach than anything else.
[[
It is unfortunate that we do not have more data on Tendulkar, Lara, Murali and McGrath.But nothing can be done about that. We have to best do with what we have. I fully support the view that the data we have available pertains to Tendulkar's lean half of his career.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 7, 2013, 10:24 GMT

Great analysis Ananth. As a Sri Lankan, I expected more from Murali. But his statistics are normally good and great against England. I was surprised by the fact that Sanga, who is one of the greatest batsmen in the world in today's game, is not in any of these lists. I am Very happy to see that Thilan Samaraweera had faced Shane Warne really well. How ever, I like to thank you for this precious and important information as the gave me so much knowledge. Thank you very much and wish you all the best to continue this nice uploads. :
[[
If you download the Excel sheet you can get the relevant numbers for Sangakkara and Jayawardene.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 6, 2013, 22:51 GMT

Mister Narayanan, this is a fabulous article. Why do all your articles make me hungry for watching more Brian Lara? Would you say Glen McGrath won most skirmishes with Brian? I have always ranked Glen as the premiere bowler of the 1990s. Tendulkar seems to have only been able to score big against Australia, once Warne, Glen, Lee and Gillespie retired.
[[
Lara faced 233 balls in the qualifying period, scored 90 and was dismissed 2 times. It is clear that he has been much more circumspect against McGrath thn against other bowlers.
Tendulkar has not even faced 100 balls against McGrath in the qualifying period. In fact they faced up to each other only in 2 Tests during these years. Either of them was injured often. So it is difficult to draw any inference.
Ananth
: ]]

• BrianCharlesVivek on August 5, 2013, 6:21 GMT

Ajinkya Ranadive s essence is correct , but i disagree on the stats of Warne. Warne was more lethal in his last 6 years, despite a drug ban, shoulder injury etc. Till 2000 he had 350 in 80 matches and he got same number in 65 matches after 2000 till 2007.
[[
Vivek, it is a fact that this data comprises only of 40.2% of Warnes's career data. To that extent we have to keep a pinch of salt nearby.
By the by, the on-going Ashes broadcast has a gem of a 4-part series on Lara. We have reached the end of 2004 when he regained the record.
Ananth
: ]]

• contrast_swing on August 4, 2013, 21:12 GMT

I am quite amazed at the responses, and I am still trying to make sense why this analysis is 'amazing'. When dealing with such data, where a bowler bowls at irregular intervals to a particular batsman, one has to have some understanding of stochastic processes -- something as uncommon as Murli/Shane' bowling expertise -- to justify any data analysis. Dont take it personally, I am not particularly against this anaylsis of yours, there are a whole bunch of analyses that do not make sense, mathematically speaking (e.g. calculation series averages -- no statistician will approve that). You read Andy Zaltzman who very aptly proves the point that unguided/thought through analysis of statistical data is just ridiculous and can make subject of a standup comedy -- surely I am not against that. I am happy enjoying cricket one innings at a time

• on August 4, 2013, 20:14 GMT

Useless blog. No proper set of players have been set for comparison.. Who wants to know what prince did vs Warne? People want to read lara vs Warne and sachin vs Warne.

• vimalan on August 4, 2013, 18:35 GMT

why present batsmen whose half stat is not available and then have people comment about those without knowing the whole picture ?
[[
If I did not do that you will be the first one to tell the world that I have deliberately omitted to mention Tendulkar. The bottom-line is that there are some insights to be gained if you set your mind on it. I think Ajinkya's responses sum up this analyses. You know the way the careers changed and accordingly take in the numbers.
Ananth
: ]]

• gandabhai on August 4, 2013, 18:32 GMT

Wow , you must have spent ages to achieve these very interesting insights to our beloved game , well done .In view of the recent umpiring controversies in the recent ashes series , please can you do an analysis for Englands last 10 years home series of test cricket to see how much they have benefited from umpiring decisions . I have watched most of these tests and am confident this analysis would be an eye opener . Thank you sir .

• BoonBoom on August 4, 2013, 17:19 GMT

In my opinion it's all waste of time preparing such data that gives neither any beneficial information nor they prove anything. What is the whole point here?
[[
I am not surprised to see such responses, some couched in more refined language than others. In the previous blogspace I knew that the minute I mentioned Tendulkar/Lara, there would be such comments. If the expectations of die-hard followers does not match to the numbers presented, boom!!! Really does not matter.
Ananth
: ]]

• TARIQ.ZAFAR on August 4, 2013, 16:40 GMT

I would love to see ball by ball comparison of Wasim Akram as well as Waqar Younis against top batsmen of 90's especially Brian Lara if that would be possible...

Regards, Tariq
[[
If the articles are perused it would be obvious that no data is available for the years before 2001.
Ananth
: ]]

• IPSY on August 4, 2013, 13:14 GMT

Cont'd: And Ananth please note also, that names such as Bradman, Sobers, Richards, Lara, Hobbs, Pietersen, Sehwag, etc. are usually either at the top of each list, or they also appear multiple times in every category, while Tendulkar's name has never appeared in a single one of ALL of 14 indicators! What does this tell us? Is my conclusion flawed in any way? Test cricket is test cricket and ODI is ODI. Players need to be placed into their right slot when analyses and comparisons are made for categorisation purposes!
[[
I don't disagree with anything what you have said. My only point was that this analysis does not include the first half of Tendulkar's career, that is all.
Ananth
: ]]

• IPSY on August 4, 2013, 13:05 GMT

Ananth, You know I don't make wild allegations without factual evidence. I earlier noted that SRT would have played a few short lived cameos in his "test cricket" career, but he was never a bowler-domineering batsman. It's always been a myth to suggest such. I think usually that his ODI image is erroneously transfered to test cricket! Here is the recorded evidence: There are ALL of 14 performance indicators that show how dominant batsmen were against bowlers in test cricket. They are: Most Runs in a day; Most Runs in an inngs; Highest Strike Rate in an inngs; Fastest 100 in an inngs; Fastest 200 in an inngs; Fastest 300 in an inngs; Most 6s in an inngs; Most 4s in an inngs; Most 6s and 4s in an inngs; Most 6s off consecutive balls; Most 4s off consecutive balls; 100 before lunch; 100 between lunch and tea; 100 between tea and close. The sad story is: SRT's name doesn't appear in the exhaustive list for NOT EVEN ONE SINGLE CATEGORY - though some lists have 100+ NAMES! Check the record!

• red_forever on August 4, 2013, 10:24 GMT

Hello Ananth: Visited your last article yesterday and was about to comment on it and found it closed. Was more busy in keeping up with Politics over here in HYD,Anyways thats for another day.
[[
Becaue of the scarce comments nowadays, Cricinfo closes the articles. They had agreed to keep these open for at least a month but go on number of comments. My interest in keeping the articles open is also on the decline.
Ananth
: ]]

One fallacy of having the article named after Lara and SRT is that blog seems to attract a lot of stray comments.

Lara seem to have treated Good/great bowlers with respect but seems to have utter disdain for others ala Sehwag who treats Spinners as if they shouldnt exist in cricket,which might/most probably is the reason behind his low performance against them.

Anderson owning SRT was probably more because of the 8 matches in last 2years when SRT was mostly a walking wicket. How i would have wanted a whole B2B data given that it would been fantastic to see how dominating SRT was in 90's as well as Viv/Lara over his whole career. SRT probably mellowed down a bit after 2003 wrld cup,but the 1st signs came in Kolkate test vs WI in 2002.

Ajinkya already seems to have spotted a gem there.

• B.C.G on August 4, 2013, 10:03 GMT

Thanks for that.Very dissapointed to see some posters bashing this analysis.If one doesn't appreciate statistical analysis;why bother reading.

• indianpunter on August 4, 2013, 10:01 GMT

Terrific analysis and insightful writing. This sort of intricate detail is "gold" for the connoisseurs of the game. I , though, feel that you could be a bit more sensitive to criticism and be inclusive in your replies, Ananth. I think Bill Gates hit the nail on the head when he said " I learn the most form my most dissatisfied customer". Talking down people who comment on your posts wouldnt enhance your appeal.
[[
I disagree with you slightly. Many thanks for your compliments, though
I am the guy who takes in criticism very well. I have drawn a lot from many such mails. But I have to be first convinced that the commenter has read the article and comments on a valid point. If he does a superficial reading and criticises for the sake of criticism, I see red.
The guy who comments on Ambrose should at least have the basic knowledge of Ambrose's career that Ambrose retired in 2000. And a reading of this and earlier two articles would have told him that the analysis covers the past 12 years. This is like a reader asking for data on Bedi-Lawry confrontation. And why bring in ODI strike rates in a Test article. And why bring in the old bogey of who is greater: L or T.
If Bill Gates was asked "Why is there no support for reading punched cards" or "Unix is free. Why would you not give Windows away free" or some such comment, do you think he would have maintained the same composure. All I am asking is for readers to read the article and comment in a positive way. Negative comments never worry me. Silly and uninformed comments do.
Ananth
: ]]

• anilgora on August 4, 2013, 9:26 GMT

Mcgrath has dismissed Lara 15 times in tests. Link is http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/52337.html?bowler=2101;class=1;template=results;type=batting;view=dismissal_list
[[
Of course, Yes. However one proper reading of the article would have told you that this analysis is fir Tests played after July 2001.
Ananth
: ]]

• B.C.G on August 4, 2013, 9:13 GMT

Oh dear.The link doesn't seem to be working again.Is it only my computer or the link provided?
[[
I will repeat the link once again.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39210851/All_ModernBatsmen_vs_Bowlers_Min100balls.xls

Ananth
: ]]

One thing of interest here is Kallis's record v/s Warne/McGrath.It does not include 1997-98;but in this period(2000+) he was quite consistent.Yet we keep hearing how he supposedly got single figure scores v/s them.Look how his team mates struggled v/s the Ozzies though.Watching him frequently run out of partners was a frustrating experience & these tables confirm it.Kallis aslo played quite defensively v/s seamers(owning to pitch conditions perhaps)but his S/R v/s spin is relatively higher.
[[
Kallis may not gave the great natural high playing quality of Clarke or Lara but he was/is one of the outstanding players of his era and played very intelligently. Since he played over 80% in Saf/Aus/Eng, his playing results against different types of bowling seems to match this.
Ananth
: ]]

• Rally_Windies on August 4, 2013, 8:48 GMT

no Curtly Ambrose ? really ? did any of those bowlers hold the number 1 spot in Tests as long as or longer than Ambrose ?

you have Ahktar on the list? and no Ambrose ?

and you consider Andre Nel ? and OK bowler ? Really ?

Nel retired for no apparent reason in his prime ! and was better than Mitchel Johnson and Zaheer Kahn ....

the analysis may be correct ..

but it is woefully incomplete and the commentary is not based on the analysis...it is based on personal opinion ...
[[
Do not exhibit your ignorance and lack of knowledge so openly.
This is not based on personal opinion. IT IS BASED ON AVAILABLE DATA. If you find these words difficult to understand I cannot help it.
Ambrose's last Test was 1509. The first Test for which ball-by-ball data is available is 1546. So there is no data available for a single Test in which Ambrose played.
Should I explain more. Next time think for two minutes before coming out with a half-baked mail. Ananth
: ]]

• contrast_swing on August 4, 2013, 7:24 GMT

Ok, whats the point? It is cricket and no baseball. Bowlers do not bowl unchanged to the batsmen. Even if you want to simplify it, both bowlers and batsmen operate in pairs. Ask any bowler, they hunt in pairs. Just because there are numbers and excel-sheets does not mean that any and every data analysis makes sense. In a test match sometimes the fall of wicket is a chance event or lapse of concentration, often it is a well thought out plan. Captains rotate their bowlers and bowler work with their variation. So this specific analysis makes no sense at all.
[[
According to your logic, no analysis of any kind would make sense. So you should just follow the game visually and appreciate wjhat you see. Nothing else is needed
Ananth
: ]]

• Shahir.Ahmed on August 4, 2013, 6:30 GMT

Great analysis as always! Shaun Pollock vs LHB: very little success. His 'best' SR is against Graham Thorpe at 92.5. That was quite surprising. Although maybe it looks different if complete data were available.

Love these pieces, looking forward to more in-depth analysis from your BBB treasure trove!

• CricIndia208 on August 4, 2013, 6:21 GMT

Lara fanboys need to have their heads examined. Lara was a bigtime flat track bully - his 400, 375, 277 were scored on flat tracks against tired attacks. His 153 was scored at home in familiar conditions. Lara flopped in England 2000, Australia 2005, SA 1998, India 1994. Most of his runs were at home or on flat tracks. So stop weaving colourful stories of him being a dominator. He was a dominator of ordinary attacks and that too only on flat tracks.
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To say that Lara was a flat track bully, you need some courage and complete colouring of judgement. That way every high score can be termed as on flat tracks. Anyhow have your say.
Ananth
: ]]

• calcu on August 4, 2013, 5:28 GMT

Will you make such charts for ODI?
[[
In time to come. There is a lot of work to be done.
Ananth
: ]]

• ArjunHemnani on August 4, 2013, 4:21 GMT

Ananth,

Complete domination of Batsman over bowler

V Sehwag off A Mendis

146 runs of 130 balls without getting out. (high scoring rate also)

Complete domination of Bowler over batsman

J Srinath of Mattew bell ( NZ)

5 runs of 103 balls with 5 dismissals averaging 1.00
[[
Martin vs Gilchrist: 122 balls/135 runs/1 dismissal
Tahir vs Gilchrist: 109/119/0
Lyon vs Dhoni: 131/142/0
Ananth
: ]]

• ODI_BestFormOfCricket on August 4, 2013, 0:55 GMT

what is the conclusion? Who is best batsman overall? And best bowler?

• on August 3, 2013, 22:16 GMT

Great Analysis Ananth. How about VVS Versus Warne. I thought VVS handled very well. Dont see the pair?
[[
You seem to have missed the previous article. Since VVS had over 85% of data availeble he has been featured in the previous article.
But the real tragedy is that there is no data on both the 167 and 281.

Ananth
: ]]

• Nuxxy on August 3, 2013, 19:18 GMT

Great analysis. I would love to see some in depth analysis of batting in South Africa. With rough statistics it's the most difficult country to bat in. It's always amazed me seeing these bowlers who are otherwise average suddenly doing so well - Mitchell Johnson and Sreesanth being examples - when they get to South Africa.
[[
As I have already mentioned before once I put to bed these three plain vanilla analyses the sky is the limit. Anything is possible.
Ananth
: ]]

• IPSY on August 3, 2013, 17:34 GMT

Cont'd: It is not just in the latter half of his career, but SRT's name never appeared once in the established records of 12 statistical indicators that prove when a batsman was one who dominated bowlers! One should expect that he would have had a few spurts of dominance occasionally, but at a sustaining level, as we used to see from people like Bradman, Sobers, Viv Richards, Lara, Sehwag and Pietersen up to today, SRT was never that kind of player. He was a high potency accumulator, who has been mistakenly described as a dominator.
[[
Your statements are fine. Let us not forget that the early half of both careers are not covered. My feeling is that this covers Tendulkar's lesser run-accumulation half. He was certainly much more dominating in the first half of his career.
Ananth
: ]]

• IPSY on August 3, 2013, 17:19 GMT

Princepurple1979, I don't see in these stats any enigma about the Gt Brian Lara's batting. What is shown instead is the unvarnished truth about how he played his cricket - the way he thought about the opposition. In fact, Lara's cricket history shows that he was very condescending type of player! If a team or a player was not rated among the best, he always appeared not to be motivated in any way to perform against them; to the extent that he never toured Bangladesh once. As you can see from the tables, the greater bowlers always had a harder time against him; because he was always up for a keen contest. He was not one to start licking his chops and hitting up 1000 balls per day to try feast off any weak team or weak bowler. In fact, the lesser bowlers always had a chance against him because he saved up his mental resources for the greater ones. The data in these tables have proven what I've been saying for years: That is, SRT was never any dominator of bowlers any time in his career!

• on August 3, 2013, 15:52 GMT

But surely Kumar Sangakkara should have been on that list of your 6 Batsmen!!!!

But then again HATS OFF to this splendid work of yours...I am Definitely saving a copy of this Spreadsheet....
[[
Sangakkara has well over 90% of data available and is part of the earlier article.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 3, 2013, 15:21 GMT

An interesting analysis, nevertheless. But would it really matter to see scoring rates & how often the wicket has been taken by the bowler? If my knowledge of cricket is right, often in Test cricket the web is casted by bowlers at both end & often the other bowler gets the wicket when the batsman is struggling against the first bowler at one end. Under pressure, the batsman often would try to play out-of-the box & falls prey to the bowler. If James Anderson has taken wicket of Sachin 9 times, not always he has been the sole owner of the wicket. Similarly, mere by way of scoring rate figures, you can not measure a batsman. Dravid would have faced more number of balls than Sachin to score 10000+ runs, but that doesn't mean Dravid was lesser player than Sachin. Also, Lara hasn't been consistent, especially in the latter part of his career, except the 900+ runs against Lanka. Lara played better against Murali & Sachin played better against Warne, but Sachin's name is not in Warne's list.

• Charith99 on August 3, 2013, 14:50 GMT

nice work as always ananth. before you moved to this section i always preferred to read your articles a little bit later because i really enjoyed the interactions that you had with fellow readers but now it is really disappointing to see only a very few comments.
[[
That is Cricinfo's decision. They have succceeded in cutting down the comments to a small number. I cannot really do anything about it.
Ananth
: ]]

regarding this analysis i feel uncomfortable with it because ball by ball data is not complete. I always follow your work because they uncover interesting hidden truths but because this data is incomplete we can't be sure of anything.For an example did fleming really dominated murally, his overall average against murally might be ordinary.
[[
Then you should give a miss to this article and stop at the earlier two articles.
If the data is not availanle can anything be done about it. Indeed Fleming dominated Murali, in the later and more important part of Murali's career. Use a pinch od salt but there are lots of insights available.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 3, 2013, 14:21 GMT

Excellent analysis... WIth this data, Jimmy Anderson clearly can lay the claim to be the best, as he consistently troubled the best....

• blackie on August 3, 2013, 14:08 GMT

So Anantha. Who would you say were/are the 'best' batsman and bowler???
[[
That is not a question which can be answered in a straight manner. So many relevant factors are there to be considered.
Ananth
: ]]

• Rohit... on August 3, 2013, 14:01 GMT

Analysis was great but does it covers the entire Cricket or just TESTS? Because such batting GREATS with so low scoring rate is unacceptable in ODIs or T20s... If it is only for TESTs than Batsmen can be excused of their scoring rates and just dismissal can be considered enough to be accessed against the bowlers.... Same goes for the bowlers for whom number of deliveries bowled against the batsmen can be ignored.

• blackie on August 3, 2013, 13:47 GMT

Simply fantastic. Analysis of the best at its best. Very informative.

• on August 3, 2013, 13:20 GMT

why isnt tendulkars stats against warne shown. Good work to show tendulkar avg by not showing bowlers he dominated. warne, donnald. why show s/r, it doesnt matter in test cricket, if u wanna do it, do it for odis and we'll see which batsman really dominated bowlers. Foolish article, go do something useful with ur life
[[
Ananth
: ]]

• Bonehead_maz on August 3, 2013, 9:13 GMT

This spreadsheet is simply amazing ! ...... Just it's existence is, yet having my own copy especially so.

I thought I'd have time while scanning the cricket to read all these numbers, but lol I'm suddenly watching closely again ;).

Thanks Ananth and Milind !
[[
Finally Australia is looking like the fighting team of the late 2000s. Good for the series and good for cricket in general.
Ananth:
]]

• Bonehead_maz on August 3, 2013, 9:13 GMT

This spreadsheet is simply amazing ! ...... Just it's existence is, yet having my own copy especially so.

I thought I'd have time while scanning the cricket to read all these numbers, but lol I'm suddenly watching closely again ;).

Thanks Ananth and Milind !
[[
Finally Australia is looking like the fighting team of the late 2000s. Good for the series and good for cricket in general.
Ananth:
]]

• on August 3, 2013, 13:20 GMT

why isnt tendulkars stats against warne shown. Good work to show tendulkar avg by not showing bowlers he dominated. warne, donnald. why show s/r, it doesnt matter in test cricket, if u wanna do it, do it for odis and we'll see which batsman really dominated bowlers. Foolish article, go do something useful with ur life
[[
Ananth
: ]]

• blackie on August 3, 2013, 13:47 GMT

Simply fantastic. Analysis of the best at its best. Very informative.

• Rohit... on August 3, 2013, 14:01 GMT

Analysis was great but does it covers the entire Cricket or just TESTS? Because such batting GREATS with so low scoring rate is unacceptable in ODIs or T20s... If it is only for TESTs than Batsmen can be excused of their scoring rates and just dismissal can be considered enough to be accessed against the bowlers.... Same goes for the bowlers for whom number of deliveries bowled against the batsmen can be ignored.

• blackie on August 3, 2013, 14:08 GMT

So Anantha. Who would you say were/are the 'best' batsman and bowler???
[[
That is not a question which can be answered in a straight manner. So many relevant factors are there to be considered.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 3, 2013, 14:21 GMT

Excellent analysis... WIth this data, Jimmy Anderson clearly can lay the claim to be the best, as he consistently troubled the best....

• Charith99 on August 3, 2013, 14:50 GMT

nice work as always ananth. before you moved to this section i always preferred to read your articles a little bit later because i really enjoyed the interactions that you had with fellow readers but now it is really disappointing to see only a very few comments.
[[
That is Cricinfo's decision. They have succceeded in cutting down the comments to a small number. I cannot really do anything about it.
Ananth
: ]]

regarding this analysis i feel uncomfortable with it because ball by ball data is not complete. I always follow your work because they uncover interesting hidden truths but because this data is incomplete we can't be sure of anything.For an example did fleming really dominated murally, his overall average against murally might be ordinary.
[[
Then you should give a miss to this article and stop at the earlier two articles.
If the data is not availanle can anything be done about it. Indeed Fleming dominated Murali, in the later and more important part of Murali's career. Use a pinch od salt but there are lots of insights available.
Ananth
: ]]

• on August 3, 2013, 15:21 GMT

An interesting analysis, nevertheless. But would it really matter to see scoring rates & how often the wicket has been taken by the bowler? If my knowledge of cricket is right, often in Test cricket the web is casted by bowlers at both end & often the other bowler gets the wicket when the batsman is struggling against the first bowler at one end. Under pressure, the batsman often would try to play out-of-the box & falls prey to the bowler. If James Anderson has taken wicket of Sachin 9 times, not always he has been the sole owner of the wicket. Similarly, mere by way of scoring rate figures, you can not measure a batsman. Dravid would have faced more number of balls than Sachin to score 10000+ runs, but that doesn't mean Dravid was lesser player than Sachin. Also, Lara hasn't been consistent, especially in the latter part of his career, except the 900+ runs against Lanka. Lara played better against Murali & Sachin played better against Warne, but Sachin's name is not in Warne's list.

• on August 3, 2013, 15:52 GMT