August 15, 2013

Why statistics don't fascinate me anymore

Even though today's batting and bowling records are more unbreakable than they have ever been, the corresponding feeling of awe is missing
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Garry Sobers' (batting) and Colin Cowdrey's (at slips) Test records at one time seemed insurmountable
Garry Sobers' (batting) and Colin Cowdrey's (at slips) Test records at one time seemed insurmountable © Getty Images

Here are some numbers: 8032, 309, 29, 114. They should be familiar, even though they have lost their currency. For a generation of cricket fans, these represented peaks of cricketing achievement, almost impossibly inaccessible; now, they have fallen by the wayside, trampled by a rush of dazzling statistics that have made them yesterday's news.

Twenty-two batsmen have scored more runs than Garry Sobers; ten batsmen have scored more centuries than Don Bradman; 24 bowlers have taken more wickets than Lance Gibbs; 30 Test cricketers have played more Tests than Colin Cowdrey.

The awe-inspiring career aggregate records of those who top cricket's premier lists now - Sachin Tendulkar's career runs, centuries, and Tests, and Muralitharan's career wicket aggregates - are, for a variety of reasons, almost certainly guaranteed to be unbreakable for all time.

Test cricket is not likely to be played as often or as long by players of the future. Thus will the logistics of the modern game contribute to ensuring that its feats will stand the test of time. (Just as the peculiar arrangements of the past - and a World War - ensured that Bradman played only 52 Tests in 20 years, most of them against England).

But it is not clear to me - and me alone, I hasten to add - that the statistics of this era are as memorable as those they displaced. And I say this not just because I have grown older and thus increasingly blasé about cricket statistics (and about a great deal else that used to fascinate me as a youngster). Test cricket's records just don't exist in the same context for me anymore; they do not exercise the same sort of hold on my - and perhaps others' - imagination.

In the first place, because cricket always seems to be on, somewhere, somehow, in some form or the other, we do not need to occupy ourselves with cricket statistics to while away the time. More often than not, there is actual cricketing action to be watched, dissected and discussed - all the time. Crucially, we can watch a lot of cricket now. We don't need to content ourselves with imagining it or reading about it. A great deal of cricket is telecast live; we watch players in action, in high-definition, in slow-motion, in freeze-frames. We have their actions, styles and techniques analysed and broken down for us. The visual - preferably live - now often dominates the recorded, the textual. (And when the cricketing action's pace slows down, there are all the attendant controversies: the DRS, match-fixing, bowlers' actions, board shenanigans, IPL scandals, internecine conflict, and so on.)

The statistical record still fascinates, provokes and intrigues, but it is forced to compete with the primacy of the telecast. And most importantly, I think, with the pace of change. An objective one and a subjective one.

A modern cricketer - from the right countries - plays more Tests now, more quickly, than his forebears. His career attains landmarks of longevity quicker; now he is in his tenth game, and then, suddenly, in his 50th. The run- and wicket aggregate marks go by in haste: getting to 2000 runs or 100 wickets seems to matter little when so many are hitting the 4000-run or 200-wicket mark. Stuart Broad has already taken 200 wickets, and I'm used to thinking of him just getting established; the same goes for Kevin Pietersen, who has already gone past the 20-century mark, which we used to imagine as the barrier that separated the all-time greats from the also-rans. A talented, fit player in the right teams today arrives at the landmarks of old much earlier.

So a player becomes a "veteran" quicker these days. Correspondingly, the paces of our own lives have quickened. Who among us - of the right age - has not noticed with a sense of dismay that the last five or ten years have gone by astonishingly quickly? I am stunned, for instance, to note that I have already completed 11 years of full-time employment as an academic; they have whistled by, in sharp contrast to the years I spent in school.

This quickening of the pace of our lives and the compressed quality of the player's career ensures that statistics appear but as a blur, an all too easily modifiable ticker tape that whizzes past our mind's eye. There must be some rest to facilitate the close inspection of the number of interest. But in the modern era, there is none.

And so the records pile up, numbing us with their stature, leaving us stunned with their distance from those they displaced. But we have partially lost the capacity for wonder; we have become too satiated, too quickly, by the staggering, the monumental.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ahilan9999 on August 17, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    Very interesting article, however stats still fascinate me. The right stats can also be used to compare players between eras. No one has come even remotely close to Bradmans batting average of 99.94 or his runs per test match. Though McGrath has taken almost double the number of wickets as Fred Trueman, he has played lot more matches, both have very similar averages (21.6) showing they were about equally effective in the tests they played. Also we are lucky to have possibly the 2 best spinners ever playing in the same era. The massive gap in quality between spin bowlers playing today compared to Warne and Murali show how good Warne and Murali were.

  • suubsy on August 15, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    So true. I used to be obessesed with stats up but not anymore. I was surprised to see Ian Bell who obviously is a very good test player has already reached 20 centuries. Except for the 100s in this series I am not sure how many others were in trying situations. Similarly Broad 200 wickets, where, when ? Any wickets in India, Aus, Safrica or were they all in seaming English conditions. Still remember when Andy Roberts reached 200 wickets back in Nov 1983 Calcutta test. There was his nice picture in Sportstar magazine with number of wickets taken in each series and it looked so impressive all over, with more wickets in away tests, and around 50 wickets in 9 tests matches Ind & Pak. That is the bar for fast bowling and others who went past in that era were supremely talented and effective in all conditions.

    Your articles has always had something that I am able to relate may be it is nostalgic, whether it is about magazines, statistics, watching games in Australia early mornings !!

  • futurecaptainofindia on August 15, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    There goes the old saying that records are not comparable across eras. Statistics are purely numbers, which do not provide for the qualitative factors. This article is on the mark, and so are the accompanying comments, especially the one from 'cric_options'! Life is fast paced, progressive and dynamic. Even sport is more like a product - packaged and commercialised. International sportsmen make their mark in the early 20s. Once settled, they plunge into all formats of the game, bolster their bank balances, invest the funds thus gathered into something worthwhile, and are run-down by the early 30s (ever checked MS Dhoni's grey hair!?). The next crop then takes over, and the conveyor belt continues. Which is why, while centuries & 5ws lose their sheen, moments of magic - Laxman's 281, Bell's rearguard in SA, Shoaibh Akhtar's Sharjah burst vs SA etc. will endure.

  • SPA001 on August 17, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Samit is spot on.Excessive amount of cricket has taken away the romance of the cricket numbers, which was a fascinating subject, for someone getting to grips with them in the period 1975-83. In the 1970s and to a degree in the 1980s there seemed to be more courage and charisma in cricket and every Test series was a joy to follow in news reports. now a days it is all about quantity and aggregates and not necessarily quality and class. With all due respect to the likes of Anil Kumble, Muttiah Muralitharan or Danish Kaneria, despite outstanding stats against their name, will never quite be in the list of all-time great slow men. Gaining success at home and against B grade opposition masks their overall influence on the game.

  • on August 17, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Among stats averages do count. Even selection or rejection is often done on their basis. Murali's stats signify as he took too fewer matches to acquire them. And it's especially notable that he announced retirement in advance before getting to that number. Bradman was a miracle. No argument by his detractors is explaining why the second best even in his era stands so much below him. However, there have been some awesome players whose stats don't exactly reveal how formidable or exceptional they were.

  • on August 17, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    People who don't like stats have poor ones themselves. Or their favourite players stats don't shape up to others. I'm not talking aggregate. I will wholeheartedly pick a player with 8,000 first class runs at 60 then a player with 12,000 first class runs at 40. Average is by far and away the biggest number to look at. Stats do mean a lot. It's cricket, its stats. Always has been, always will be.

  • vk18rox on August 17, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    Also it is staggering how kohli who seemed to have come just yesterday has already played a 100 matches and looks ste to make more odi records than tendulkar

  • siddhartha87 on August 17, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Statistics are measure of consistency. However they can be highly deceptive at times.Let's see the stats of Jaywardhene for example. His test average is nearly 50.Got 31 100s. Now lets have closer look at his his stats. He averages 61 in Sri lanka and 56 is Asia.His average in Australia is 31.42,In New Zeland 27.71 ,In England 34 and in South Africa 27.87.Apart from Tendulkar and Sangakarra most of Asian players stats are built in dead Asian pitches only.

  • Iddo555 on August 16, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    Batting averages and bowling averages are still relevant, the number of runs you get or the number of wickets you take largely comes down to how long you stick around.

    The averages don't lie though.

  • on August 16, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    A hundred is a statistic. A fifer is a statistic. Cricket is all about statistics. Individuals perception of greatness will be subjective and records will be broken. Perhaps not Bradmans. The statistics are however all enduring. In the end thats all that will stand!

  • ahilan9999 on August 17, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    Very interesting article, however stats still fascinate me. The right stats can also be used to compare players between eras. No one has come even remotely close to Bradmans batting average of 99.94 or his runs per test match. Though McGrath has taken almost double the number of wickets as Fred Trueman, he has played lot more matches, both have very similar averages (21.6) showing they were about equally effective in the tests they played. Also we are lucky to have possibly the 2 best spinners ever playing in the same era. The massive gap in quality between spin bowlers playing today compared to Warne and Murali show how good Warne and Murali were.

  • suubsy on August 15, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    So true. I used to be obessesed with stats up but not anymore. I was surprised to see Ian Bell who obviously is a very good test player has already reached 20 centuries. Except for the 100s in this series I am not sure how many others were in trying situations. Similarly Broad 200 wickets, where, when ? Any wickets in India, Aus, Safrica or were they all in seaming English conditions. Still remember when Andy Roberts reached 200 wickets back in Nov 1983 Calcutta test. There was his nice picture in Sportstar magazine with number of wickets taken in each series and it looked so impressive all over, with more wickets in away tests, and around 50 wickets in 9 tests matches Ind & Pak. That is the bar for fast bowling and others who went past in that era were supremely talented and effective in all conditions.

    Your articles has always had something that I am able to relate may be it is nostalgic, whether it is about magazines, statistics, watching games in Australia early mornings !!

  • futurecaptainofindia on August 15, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    There goes the old saying that records are not comparable across eras. Statistics are purely numbers, which do not provide for the qualitative factors. This article is on the mark, and so are the accompanying comments, especially the one from 'cric_options'! Life is fast paced, progressive and dynamic. Even sport is more like a product - packaged and commercialised. International sportsmen make their mark in the early 20s. Once settled, they plunge into all formats of the game, bolster their bank balances, invest the funds thus gathered into something worthwhile, and are run-down by the early 30s (ever checked MS Dhoni's grey hair!?). The next crop then takes over, and the conveyor belt continues. Which is why, while centuries & 5ws lose their sheen, moments of magic - Laxman's 281, Bell's rearguard in SA, Shoaibh Akhtar's Sharjah burst vs SA etc. will endure.

  • SPA001 on August 17, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Samit is spot on.Excessive amount of cricket has taken away the romance of the cricket numbers, which was a fascinating subject, for someone getting to grips with them in the period 1975-83. In the 1970s and to a degree in the 1980s there seemed to be more courage and charisma in cricket and every Test series was a joy to follow in news reports. now a days it is all about quantity and aggregates and not necessarily quality and class. With all due respect to the likes of Anil Kumble, Muttiah Muralitharan or Danish Kaneria, despite outstanding stats against their name, will never quite be in the list of all-time great slow men. Gaining success at home and against B grade opposition masks their overall influence on the game.

  • on August 17, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Among stats averages do count. Even selection or rejection is often done on their basis. Murali's stats signify as he took too fewer matches to acquire them. And it's especially notable that he announced retirement in advance before getting to that number. Bradman was a miracle. No argument by his detractors is explaining why the second best even in his era stands so much below him. However, there have been some awesome players whose stats don't exactly reveal how formidable or exceptional they were.

  • on August 17, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    People who don't like stats have poor ones themselves. Or their favourite players stats don't shape up to others. I'm not talking aggregate. I will wholeheartedly pick a player with 8,000 first class runs at 60 then a player with 12,000 first class runs at 40. Average is by far and away the biggest number to look at. Stats do mean a lot. It's cricket, its stats. Always has been, always will be.

  • vk18rox on August 17, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    Also it is staggering how kohli who seemed to have come just yesterday has already played a 100 matches and looks ste to make more odi records than tendulkar

  • siddhartha87 on August 17, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Statistics are measure of consistency. However they can be highly deceptive at times.Let's see the stats of Jaywardhene for example. His test average is nearly 50.Got 31 100s. Now lets have closer look at his his stats. He averages 61 in Sri lanka and 56 is Asia.His average in Australia is 31.42,In New Zeland 27.71 ,In England 34 and in South Africa 27.87.Apart from Tendulkar and Sangakarra most of Asian players stats are built in dead Asian pitches only.

  • Iddo555 on August 16, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    Batting averages and bowling averages are still relevant, the number of runs you get or the number of wickets you take largely comes down to how long you stick around.

    The averages don't lie though.

  • on August 16, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    A hundred is a statistic. A fifer is a statistic. Cricket is all about statistics. Individuals perception of greatness will be subjective and records will be broken. Perhaps not Bradmans. The statistics are however all enduring. In the end thats all that will stand!

  • king_julien on August 16, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Its only in cricket and cricket alone, that one finds articles upon articles about the 'good old days', how all the previous greats were larger than life. articles outnumber written about players of today. Rod Laver, who if not for the years missed in between would have had a better record than Roger, Borg would have had so many more grand slams had he just traveled to Australia more and played for a few more years...these greats still stand up and applause Roger. In any sport the greatest players are much more recent but not cricket.

    We just won't let go of the past. While people argue that had Bradman played more he would had so many more records.....I disagree totally. Playing in an unchanged field whole day, hardly any opposition of note, not played against the west Indies quicks, or great Pakistani bowlers or against spin in India, or a warne, mcgrath, no innumerable matches to play, no injuries to deal with and countless others...but no in cricket greats exist only in the past

  • smalishah84 on August 16, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Absolutely loved this article. So different from other pieces going on at cricinfo. I too have felt the same and was thinking the exact same thing that Samir points with regards to Stuart Broad's 200th wicket. I think it has to do with celebrities in general. Those of yesteryear seem like so much larger than life compared to those of today. Maybe it has something to do with the proliferation of media nowadays. The aura of mystery of the old world is being lost.

  • on August 16, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    We have been fortunate to witness golden era of cricket from 1990 - 2010. Never before so many gifted players played at the same time. Batsmen who can be counted amongst greatest ever .. Sachin, Lara, Ponting ... similarly bowlers ... Warne, Murali, McGrath, Wasim, Waqar, Ambrose, Steyn. Also these players played in vastly different conditions and proved themselves. Add to that tremendous improvement in fielding standards and professional approach. Records of these players are more valuable IMHO.

  • on August 16, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Its true tht cricket is being played more often today than it was in the previous era.......but the way i see it,test cricket will be less played with time.....this is because of the popularity of t-20 cricket....test cricket,in my opinion cannot be played more than it is being played today....atleast by the top few teams...i.e abt 10-14 tests per year,which is still greater than the no:of tests that were played in the previous era which was abt 7-10 tests per year...so in my opinion we must judge cricketer's records by different standards.....in the modern era,i would say that any cricketer who has scored abt 8000 runs is a great cricketer and any cricketer with over 10000 runs is a legend.....as far as centuries is concerned we must raise the bar to 20 and 30...to name them great cricketers and legends of the game respectively.....records may not fascinate u anymore, but in the end,once a cricketer has retired,he is remembered only by his stats..

  • on August 16, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    yes, agree. the regularity of tests is another consideration, especially for batsmen. if they get into form, say as Clarke did last year, the opportunities to cash that form into tons just keep coming. whereas a Greg Chappell or even a Kim Hughes might have to wait, and then lose form. eg Hughes was in great form from 82-4, his scores, albeit in home tests and not against the full wrath of say, the Windies, were 62, 0, 39*, 88, 66, 48, 29, 137/16, 53, 30, 106, 94 and 76 but there were no tests for a full 9 months in between (he missed the Sri Lanka test that saw even Hookes get a ton).

    those days when there weren't even any tests in the summer, or we would venture to South Africa.

    when the Windies could bowl 6 bouncers and over and there was no DRS.

    when there weren't coaching and videos etc etc

    different time, different world. so it goes...

  • on August 16, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Apart from the new generation exciting cricketers, there have been quite a few who have inherited the legacy and relived the nostalgic moments of yesteryears. Sachin Rahul VVS Ponting Kallis Amla Lara Inzy Yusuf Mahela Sanga to name a few are traditional cricketers and they have also kept themselves fit to match the speed of time. They have achieved astounding numbers and more importantly they have contributed immensely for the gentlemanliness of the game. They are as good as their previous generation and if you compare their statistical achievements and their overall contribution to the game, they are superior to their yesteryear heroes. The work ethics of these giants have been exemplary and what has stood out most is their utmost decency and they have elevated the status of this game of cricket just by being a part of it.

  • on August 16, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Statistics are still facinating, you just need to look at them differently. look at batsman's figures as centuries per test match or runs per test match. Bradman had 29 tons from 52 tests more than a century every 2 tests, Tendulkar has 51 from almost 200 hundred tests one every 4 tests which is more than most of the other people who have 30+ centuries. Look at bowler's averages. Richard Hadlee took over 400 wickets from only 80 tests, does that mean he's a worse bowler than Muralitheran who took 800 from over 130 tests? no because they both average just under 23 runs per wicket which is streets ahead of any of the modern bowlers apart from the likes of Dale Steyn and Vernon Phillander.

  • on August 16, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    @Karnor: "scoring 654 in the 4th innings" - and, as you well know, that was so nearly scoring 696 to win, and would have been if the rain had held off half an hour longer! Epic, mind-boggling stuff.

  • on August 16, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    If there is one record in Test cricket that will never, ever be beaten, even 200 years from now, it is Jim Laker's record of 19 wickets in a Test match. It's next to impossible for a bowler to take all 20 wickets of the opposition. He has to be extraordinarily good and supremely fit AND the other bowlers have to be totally useless if this were to happen. The fielding side has to take almost every catch offered off this particular bowler, and have to drop every catch that comes off the bowling of the other three or four bowlers. Not to forget that the opposition has to be bad enough to lose all 20 wickets which does not always happen.

  • njr1330 on August 15, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    I will never grow tired of Bradman's statistics. My two boys ask me how good he was, and I reply, that he was (give or take a run) measurably twice as good as every other player who ever lived....Oh, and by the way, he was mostly in poor health, and lost his best years to war! I also say, that he hit fewer sixes in his life, than they hit in one innings!

  • highveldhillbilly on August 15, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    @Sourabh 'Calvin'. I think guys like Steyn and Pietersen are among the few at the moment that are more like the really exciting guys of the past. No offense to them but guys like Cook just don't excite me. They're really good but the just fade a bit.

  • CricketChat on August 15, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Technological advancements and modernization of bats, balls, covered pitches, turfs, umpiring and ridiculously small boundaries have taken out the unknown factor out to a large extent in today's cricket and sports in general. Equipment and better fitness, more than pure talent, is aiding in reaching high levels of achievements. No wonder, records are being broken in very short cycles now unlike in the past. Occasionally, we do get to see how the modern giants of the game struggle to put bat to ball when the conditions and weather suit the bowlers.

  • tickcric on August 15, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Epic records are something which will always be fascinating. An individuals record may fall but the awe which epic records bring remains. I remember as a kid being awed by Brian Lara's 375. Since then Lara's record has fallen, only to be reinstated by a 380 & then a 400. Now 400 occupies the place which 375 did. I am sure there are kids today who wonder at Lara's 400, tries to imagine how amazing it is, fails to do so & as a process are even more amazed by it!

    As I see, great records are a celebration of human achievement and touch of inspiration for all people. A day might come when going to moon will be like what visiting a neighboring country is today but even then there will be many unexplored & fascinating places - there will ne a 'new moon' then!

    I'll say records never fall only numbers do.

  • on August 15, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    absolutely right...time now is running quicker than when i was a child....the same applies to cricket as well

  • Karnor on August 15, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    I agree to some extent - aggregate totals mean much less when there are more matches being played. But other statistics still have meaning. Batting averages haven't really changed much over the years - an average in the 50s is still the hallmark of the very best players. Similarly with bowling averages and strike rates. Plus on the other hand there are old records from the days of timeless tests that seem unlikely to ever be broken - victory by an innings and 579 runs, scoring 654 in the 4th innings. Mainly I think that Samir, like myself, is getting older. It doesn't mean the world has lost its capacity for wonder, just by our age it's no longer so new.

  • Hammond on August 15, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    99.94. That figure can never, ever be reached again. Who cares how many people in the future score 20,000 test runs at an average of 50? 99.94 is pure, unattainable genius.

  • on August 15, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    The long, rhythmic, mesmerising run-up of Holding, the swagger & the pick-up six to midwicket by King Viv, the famous one-legged pull of Lara, fighting spirit from Imran Khan, the long stare from Ambrose - That was Cricket.. What goes on today (with all due respect to Steyn) is mere accumulation of groceries from a departmental store.. Its more of music without the soul.. Lara & Holding any day over whoever is there today!!

  • Nutcutlet on August 15, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Inflation is a fact of economies round the world. Cricket stats have been subject to the same forces & much of it is due, IMO, to the entry of two very weak nations to the Test playing fraternity. Bangladesh & the returned Zimbabwe (a country a weak shadow of what it once was in many respects, including cricket). I discount appearances, records of runs & wickets against these two countries that have not, at any point, justified their right to be on the Test stage. It makes a farce of of other stats gained against proper, Test quality opposition. When Sri Lanka joined the club in 1981, it was known that it had the infrastructure, commitment & a pool of highly skilled players to justify their entry, although the political interference there has been massive. The same criteria were not applied to Ban & Zim, although political levers were pulled.

  • 777aditya on August 15, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @ Ahsan Ali - agree with you totally!

  • on August 15, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Very right, to think that Stuart Broad is a class bowler is to think that a batsmen like Rohit Sharma or Mohammed Hafeez is as good as Tendulkar, the thing is that todays statistics only speak quantity, stuard broad may end his career with 400 Wickets, but it wont proove he was that good to get them

  • cric_options on August 15, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Samir - Your observations are very similar to mine and I have seen that it applies to all areas of life and not just cricket. You have moved into the phase of self actualization. The nitty-gritties do not matter to you anymore. But what I have realized is that the nitty gritties shape us. We are where we are and in a position to think this way because we have gone through appreciating 'numbers', 'optimization', 'problem solving considering only those data elements which can be managed, and denying the existence of significant non-measurable ones'. Its just another phase of life. Least contributing towards all the kinds of growth and productivity that we have spent most of our life in, but holding potential for the most creative phase. Whether it be spent in creative consumption by analysing cricket as an art form devoid of statistics or in laying out models for others to achieve this state quicker than the normal route, remains to be seen. Till then its all armchair philosophy.

  • cric_options on August 15, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Samir - Your observations are very similar to mine and I have seen that it applies to all areas of life and not just cricket. You have moved into the phase of self actualization. The nitty-gritties do not matter to you anymore. But what I have realized is that the nitty gritties shape us. We are where we are and in a position to think this way because we have gone through appreciating 'numbers', 'optimization', 'problem solving considering only those data elements which can be managed, and denying the existence of significant non-measurable ones'. Its just another phase of life. Least contributing towards all the kinds of growth and productivity that we have spent most of our life in, but holding potential for the most creative phase. Whether it be spent in creative consumption by analysing cricket as an art form devoid of statistics or in laying out models for others to achieve this state quicker than the normal route, remains to be seen. Till then its all armchair philosophy.

  • on August 15, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Very right, to think that Stuart Broad is a class bowler is to think that a batsmen like Rohit Sharma or Mohammed Hafeez is as good as Tendulkar, the thing is that todays statistics only speak quantity, stuard broad may end his career with 400 Wickets, but it wont proove he was that good to get them

  • 777aditya on August 15, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @ Ahsan Ali - agree with you totally!

  • Nutcutlet on August 15, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Inflation is a fact of economies round the world. Cricket stats have been subject to the same forces & much of it is due, IMO, to the entry of two very weak nations to the Test playing fraternity. Bangladesh & the returned Zimbabwe (a country a weak shadow of what it once was in many respects, including cricket). I discount appearances, records of runs & wickets against these two countries that have not, at any point, justified their right to be on the Test stage. It makes a farce of of other stats gained against proper, Test quality opposition. When Sri Lanka joined the club in 1981, it was known that it had the infrastructure, commitment & a pool of highly skilled players to justify their entry, although the political interference there has been massive. The same criteria were not applied to Ban & Zim, although political levers were pulled.

  • on August 15, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    The long, rhythmic, mesmerising run-up of Holding, the swagger & the pick-up six to midwicket by King Viv, the famous one-legged pull of Lara, fighting spirit from Imran Khan, the long stare from Ambrose - That was Cricket.. What goes on today (with all due respect to Steyn) is mere accumulation of groceries from a departmental store.. Its more of music without the soul.. Lara & Holding any day over whoever is there today!!

  • Hammond on August 15, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    99.94. That figure can never, ever be reached again. Who cares how many people in the future score 20,000 test runs at an average of 50? 99.94 is pure, unattainable genius.

  • Karnor on August 15, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    I agree to some extent - aggregate totals mean much less when there are more matches being played. But other statistics still have meaning. Batting averages haven't really changed much over the years - an average in the 50s is still the hallmark of the very best players. Similarly with bowling averages and strike rates. Plus on the other hand there are old records from the days of timeless tests that seem unlikely to ever be broken - victory by an innings and 579 runs, scoring 654 in the 4th innings. Mainly I think that Samir, like myself, is getting older. It doesn't mean the world has lost its capacity for wonder, just by our age it's no longer so new.

  • on August 15, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    absolutely right...time now is running quicker than when i was a child....the same applies to cricket as well

  • tickcric on August 15, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Epic records are something which will always be fascinating. An individuals record may fall but the awe which epic records bring remains. I remember as a kid being awed by Brian Lara's 375. Since then Lara's record has fallen, only to be reinstated by a 380 & then a 400. Now 400 occupies the place which 375 did. I am sure there are kids today who wonder at Lara's 400, tries to imagine how amazing it is, fails to do so & as a process are even more amazed by it!

    As I see, great records are a celebration of human achievement and touch of inspiration for all people. A day might come when going to moon will be like what visiting a neighboring country is today but even then there will be many unexplored & fascinating places - there will ne a 'new moon' then!

    I'll say records never fall only numbers do.

  • CricketChat on August 15, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Technological advancements and modernization of bats, balls, covered pitches, turfs, umpiring and ridiculously small boundaries have taken out the unknown factor out to a large extent in today's cricket and sports in general. Equipment and better fitness, more than pure talent, is aiding in reaching high levels of achievements. No wonder, records are being broken in very short cycles now unlike in the past. Occasionally, we do get to see how the modern giants of the game struggle to put bat to ball when the conditions and weather suit the bowlers.