November 23, 2013

Tendulkar's ODI career: an alternative look

An objective analysis of Sachin Tendulkar's batting and bowling performances in ODIs
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Sachin Tendulkar is a close second to Viv Richards in ODIs, and then there is daylight
Sachin Tendulkar is a close second to Viv Richards in ODIs, and then there is daylight © AFP

The number 18426 has been repeated a million times during the past few days. This is the last time I will use the number in this article. Similarly, the number 49. Since Sachin Tendulkar's ODI career has been analysed and discussed every which way, I will attempt something different in this article, the first of two Tendulkar-career summaries. The second one, on Tendulkar's Test career, will follow within a week.

Readers will remember that a few months back I did a mammoth two-part analysis of the top ODI batsmen. The articles (part 1 and part 2) covered the top 15 ODI batsmen from about 20 analyses points and can be viewed by those who missed them.

I admire and appreciate all that Tendulkar has achieved. However, in my opinion, he is not the greatest sportsman India has produced nor the greatest cricketer the world has produced. I neither worship him (as in "He is God") nor do I go on a Tendulkar-bashing spree. This enables me to take an objective view of his magnificent career, something which, unfortunately, most ex-players, commentators and commenters could not or would not do recently, especially over the past few days. He is truly a great sportsman, both on and off the field, and would be in my top-three of virtually any such list. There will be truly a huge void but cricket will live after Tendulkar and we can appreciate his greatness more after his departure from the scene he graced so beautifully.

In this article I will look at the following.

- A look at the highest and next highest scores of top ODI batsmen, including Tendulkar.
- A comparative look at the strike rates of top ODI batsmen and the teams, including Tendulkar.
- A graphical look at Tendulkar's career - by match.
- A graphical look at Tendulkar's career - by 5 career segments.
- The top-25 ODI bowling performances of Tendulkar: and a startling revelation.
- A comparative look at the three top ODI opening pairs, including Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly.
- A look at Tendulkar's performances in the important late order world-level tournaments.

When a batsman top-scores in an ODI innings, there is no denying that he has contributed very significantly to the team cause. Yet, it need not necessarily be the real match-winning innings. However the innings would have gone a long way in helping the team cause. Earlier I have done some analysis considering the top-score situations in their absolute form. However I have since realised that I have to take care of radically different situations such as the two top scores being 108 and 100 and 108 and 27. In the first case the top scorer has had excellent support with a score nearing his own. In the latter case, there has been very little support. It is also essential that the 100 in the first case has to be given significant recognition.

Hence I have now worked out a very accurate and simple algorithm. If a batsman is the top scorer, he gets an index value equal to "Batsman score / the next highest score". Thus the batsman who scored 108 in the first match will get 1.08 points. The batsman who scored 108 in the second match will get 4.0 points. Similarly the batsman who scored 100 in the first match will get 0.926 points ("Batsman score / the highest score") and the batsman who scored 27 in the second match will get 0.25 points. The points are summed and divided by the number of innings played to arrive at a High Score Index (HSI). The batsman score has to be either the top score or the next highest one to be considered for the index calculation. I included batsmen who have scored 3500 ODI runs and have a batting average of 20 or higher.

1. Analysis of highest scores and second highest scores in innings
BatsmanInnsTSTSPts2TS2TSPtsTotPtsTSI
HM Amla 76 19 36.020 15.1 51.10.673
IVA Richards167 53 90.625 16.4107.00.641
SR Tendulkar452126229.266 46.3275.40.609
MD Crowe141 44 73.116 10.6 83.80.594
CG Greenidge127 29 53.628 19.9 73.50.579
V Kohli113 31 53.717 11.1 64.70.573
GA Gooch122 30 52.623 16.5 69.10.566
NV Knight100 26 45.615 10.4 55.90.559
DL Haynes237 53 98.947 31.9130.90.552
Javed Miandad218 55 96.136 23.9120.00.550
CH Gayle249 54106.838 28.2135.10.542
BC Lara289 70124.249 32.1156.30.541
G Kirsten185 49 79.629 19.6 99.20.536
DM Jones161 35 63.034 23.2 86.20.535
Saeed Anwar244 60105.032 23.9128.90.528
NJ Astle217 51 95.626 18.3113.90.525
JH Kallis307 76126.247 34.4160.60.523
ME Trescothick122 25 47.622 15.5 63.10.517
GR Marsh115 24 45.620 13.8 59.40.516
AJ Lamb118 25 44.224 16.4 60.60.514
GA Hick118 27 48.316 11.7 59.90.508
Tamim Iqbal124 26 52.015 10.7 62.70.506
A Flower208 48 76.638 28.6105.20.506

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Similarly, the result determines the validity of the analysis. Here we have that working, in spades. The top five batsmen are outstanding ODI batsmen. Hashim Amla and Virat Kohli, first and the sixth in this table, are on their way to ODI greatness and will, one day, surely challenge the other giants. Viv Richards, in second place, is considered by many to be the greatest. Tendulkar has possibly been relegated to second place in ODIs, only because of the incandescence of Richards. Finally, they are accompanied by a truly-world class batsman from New Zealand. Gordon Greenidge, the important wheel in the West Indian juggernaut of the '80s and '90s is in the fifth place. There is place in the top ten for the feisty Javed Miandad.

It is obvious that a HSI value of above 0.50 signifies a top-class ODI batsman who has delivered consistently for his team. Amla is on top with a mind-boggling HSI value of 0.673. Where is he going to end at? Then comes Richards, with 0.641. This is an amazing value, considering he played in a very strong batting team. He top-scored in 32% of the innings he played and in these innings, out-scored the next best by over 60%. Tendulkar has top-scored in about 28% of the innings he played and weighs in with a huge number in the second-best tally. Martin Crowe has similar top-scoring figures. Greenidge, in a strong West Indian team, has an excellent HSI of 0.579. Kohli's HSI is an impressive 0.573.

Tendulkar's HTI value of 0.609 is outstanding by any standards, considering the fact that he played 452 innings, over 23 years. He played a significant innings 40% of the times he went in to bat. This, in a team stuffed with top batsmen. /p>

I have shown in the article the batsmen who exceeded a HTI value of 0.5. This is a list of the top ODI batsmen of all time. The full list can be downloaded.

The second analysis is based on the batsman strike rates as compared to the strike rate achieved by the rest of the team. The extras are taken off to derive the correct scoring rate. This is not a sum of the ratios but rather a ratio of the sums so that a 4 in 1 ball innings does not distort the picture. The ratio is called Strike Rate Index (SRI). This is a true peer analysis in that it takes away the periods, pitches, teams, bowling strengths et al from the comparisons.

2. Analysis of batsman strike rates in relation to team strike rates
BatsmanRunsBallsS/RT-RunsT-BallsT-S/RSRI
Shahid Afridi 7413 6462114.7 69736 92905 75.1152.8%
N Kapil Dev 3783 3979 95.1 37057 55208 67.1141.6%
IVA Richards 6721 7451 90.2 28838 43065 67.0134.7%
V Sehwag 8273 7929104.3 46471 57818 80.4129.8%
ST Jayasuriya1343014725 91.2 74419102143 72.9125.2%
L Klusener 3576 3977 89.9 31606 42374 74.6120.6%
AC Gilchrist 9619 9922 96.9 53420 65878 81.1119.6%
CL Cairns 4950 5874 84.3 36445 51168 71.2118.3%
PA de Silva 928411443 81.1 47185 68579 68.8117.9%
BB McCullum 4966 5522 89.9 38436 49313 77.9115.4%
ME Trescothick 4335 5087 85.2 19828 26646 74.4114.5%
AJ Lamb 4010 5308 75.5 19376 29144 66.5113.6%
CH Gayle 874310378 84.2 40236 54223 74.2113.5%
MD Crowe 4704 6476 72.6 20495 31956 64.1113.3%
SR Tendulkar1842621367 86.2 77335101182 76.4112.8%
A Ranatunga 7456 9571 77.9 41797 60334 69.3112.5%
Shakib Al Hasan 3688 4717 78.2 20160 28986 69.6112.4%
BC Lara1040513086 79.5 46496 65595 70.9112.2%
SM Pollock 3519 4059 86.7 59433 76789 77.4112.0%
JN Rhodes 5935 7336 80.9 43877 60667 72.3111.9%
Tamim Iqbal 3702 4723 78.4 19547 27857 70.2111.7%
A Symonds 5088 5504 92.4 38426 46215 83.1111.2%
Ijaz Ahmed 6564 8174 80.3 43287 59486 72.8110.4%
AB de Villiers 6010 6471 92.9 28299 33541 84.4110.1%
Saeed Anwar 882410938 80.7 39680 54086 73.4110.0%
A Flower 6786 9097 74.6 33434 49293 67.8110.0%

The results are as expected. Shahid Afridi leads the table, by the proverbial mile. His SRI is a huge 152.8%. That means, in all the 350 odd matches he played, he has outscored his team-mates by more than 50%. He scored at 114.7 while his team-mates scored at 75.1. That is out of the world and excuses his low average considering that he also captured over 350 wickets. Kapil Dev outscored his team-mates by a huge 141.6% (95.1 as against the somewhat low 67.1). How can we keep Richards out of any top ODI table? He scored at 90.2 as against his team-mates' 67.1, resulting in a SRI of 134.7%. Then come the two buccaneers, Virender Sehwag and Sanath Jayasuriya, who clock in with SRI values either side of 127%.

The other top batsmen in the top ten are Adam Gilchrist and Aravinda de Silva. I have shown the batsmen whose SRI was over 110. The complete list can be downloaded.

Tendulkar is in the top 20 of this table with a very creditable SRI of 112.8%. This is quite creditable since he played alongside attacking batsmen like Sehwag, Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Kohli and Suresh Raina. Tendulkar's strike rate of 86.2 compares very favourably with the team-mates' 76.4. Since Tendulkar has probably bettered his team-mates' average by about 20-25%, the combined effect is well over 35%.

3. Tendulkar's ODI career graph

Tendulkar's start to his ODI career was quite average. After the first 50 matches, his career lowest average was 30.55 and this was reached at the end of the 64th match. He averaged only around 36 in his first 100 matches. Then the average picked up and he went past the 40 mark after about 130 matches. Suddenly, there was a sudden drop in form and he went to around 38. Afterwards he picked up his average and reached 40 again around the 180th match. After that period, he has never looked back and has oscillated between 42 and 45. Nearing the end of the career, Tendulkar went past 45 again and reached his career-high figure of 45.23 during 2011. He dropped slightly to finish his career at an outstanding 44.83. His last two matches pushed his average up by 0.18.

Tendulkar's strike rate has had a much less tumultuous ride. Let us ignore the first few matches in which even a strike rate of 100 was reached. Then there was a dip, coinciding with the average dip, and Tendulkar's strike rate even went below 80. Then the strike rate picked up and reached a career-high value of 87.1 around the 210th and 220th matches. The strike rate remained around the 86.4 mark for well over 250 matches and Tendulkar finished with an excellent strike rate of 86.2. Look at the flatness of the curve over the last 250 matches.

4. Tendulkar's ODI career - split into 5 parts

In order to get a good handle on the way Tendulkar's career progressed, I have split his career into five equal parts. The advantages are many. This allows a start-up period, a settling-down period, a peak period, a winding-down period and a closing period. This will encapsulate the way the key indices have moved across these five periods. This time I have plotted three key measures: the average, strike rate and the average balls-per-innings. This will let us look at the dynamics between scoring quickly and taking a conservative approach.

The first period, covering 90 matches and the years 1989 and 1995, was eminently forgettable. All indices were below par. Then, during the second period, covering the years 1995 to 1998, there was marked improvement and the indices went past the figures of good batsmen. The middle period, covering the years 1998 to 2001, was the golden era as far as Tendulkar's ODI career was concerned. A batting average exceeding 50, an average balls-per-innings-value exceeding 50 and a strike rate of 92.3. This figure only dropped slightly during the next period of 2002 to 2006. However, note one very important feature. The average balls per innings actually increased indicating that Tendulkar was batting a lot more carefully. Consequently, the strike rate dropped significantly to 84.0 and the average dropped slightly. The last period of six years saw a slight drop of average balls per innings but an increase in strike rate to 87.1 and a slight drop in average.

A very instructive graph, indeed! Especially, the subtle changes seen during the last two periods.

5. Tendulkar's top bowling performances
MtIdYearInnsRunsBallsAnalysisResultBat!!!
130019981 8 1110.0-1-32-5Won
223520051 4 410.0-1-50-5Won
068319912 11 2710.0-1-34-4Won
1360199811411289.1-0-38-4Won***
220220041 47 429.0-2-54-4Won***
157420001 12 2810.0-0-56-4Lost
214420041 18 254.0-0-21-3Won
215220042 781035.0-0-28-3Lost***
138119992 23 198.3-0-34-3Won
170120011 12 1510.0-0-35-3Lost
214920042 8212610.0-0-35-3Won***
093619942 8 2410.0-0-36-3Won
087919941 1 58.0-0-43-3Won
127619982 95 787.0-0-45-3Won***
159720002 36 256.0-0-24-2Won
248520071 0 68.0-0-25-2Won
136319981 8 1410.0-1-29-2Lost
094419941 62 5410.0-2-29-2Won***
094119942 34 478.0-0-31-2Lost
077019921 15 2710.0-1-25-1Lost
084619932 26 3010.0-2-27-1Won
233120062 0 39.0-0-27-1Won
165220002 5 1110.0-0-28-1Lost
108119962 65 8810.0-1-34-2Lost***
069219911 1 91.0-0-5-1Won
085619931 15 311.0-0-3-0Won

Tendulkar was a far more effective bowler in ODIs than in Tests. His range of deliveries and variations in spin, speed and line puzzled many an established batsman and he often turned up with excellent figures. I have displayed in this table his best 26 bowling performances. The last two make their appearance only because of the unbelievable decision of Mohammad Azharuddin to give Tendulkar the ball, and Tendulkar delivering an impossible ask each time. The first was during 1991. India score 126 runs. West Indies were 76 for 8 and 113 for 9. The score was 121 for 9 at the end of the 40th over. Ten overs remained but the four recognised bowlers had completed their quota. Tendulkar took the ball and delivered a one-wicket-five-run over and tied the match. The second one, two years later, was even better. Tendulkar had five runs to work with and delivered a three-run over to win the match.

But what amazed me most was the correlation between the excellent bowling performances and lacklustre batting performances. It was as if he was desperately trying to compensate for the batting failure (if India batted first) with an excellent bowling performance. Out of the 25 bowling success situations there are only seven reasonable batting efforts. In the other 18, he did very little of note with bat. The seven instances are highlighted with "***" at the end. Very interesting to note that there have been 17 wins out of these 25 matches. This way-above-the-percentage of wins achieved in the 463 matches Tendulkar played, which is around 50%. The total runs scored in these 25 matches is 806, leading to a runs per innings value of 32, which is about 20% below Tendulkar's career value.

6. The top three opening pairs analysed
PartnershipNumPSRunsRpISuccess%NumBallsBallsRuns S/RAvgeBpIWinsWin %
Greenidge & Haynes102521251.105755.9% 0 0 0.0 0 0.07169.6%
Hayden & Gilchrist114537247.126657.9%114540547.4537299.48776.3%
Tendulkar & Ganguly136660948.606547.8%113660658.5569786.26547.8%

Now for an analysis of the very effective opening partnership Tendulkar forged with Ganguly. It is an open secret that these two were the leading opening partnership of all time, in terms of runs scored: 6606 runs, to be exact. Only two other pairs have exceeded 5000 runs together and I would like to take a look at these three partnerships which are the top three opening partnerships in ODI cricket. The other two partnerships are Greenidge-Haynes and Hayden-Gilchrist. The above table compares these three pairs. We have already seen the measure of number of runs. Tendulkar-Ganguly have a comfortable lead of well over 1000 runs over Hayden-Gilchrist.

In terms of runs per innings, Greenidge-Haynes are comfortable leaders, their compilation of 51.1 well ahead of Tendulkar-Ganguly's 48.60 and Hayden-Gilchrist's 47.12. In the 102 matches in which Greenidge-Haynes opened, West Indies won 71 matches, a creditable 69.6%. Hayden-Gilchrist are ahead of this figure with an impressive 76.3% (87 wins out of 114 matches). Tendulkar-Ganguly are way behind with 47.6% (only 65 wins out of 136 matches). Considering any opening stand below 25 runs (runs have to be used rather than balls in view of the non-availability of the latter for all matches) as a failure, we have Greenidge-Haynes with a 55.9% success rate, Hayden-Gilchrist, 57.9% success rate and Tendulkar-Ganguly are some distance behind, with 47.8%.

Now I come to a measure that is not available for Greenidge-Haynes: the scoring rate. For Hayden-Gilchrist we have this data for all the matches they opened in and they scored at a strike rate of almost 100. That is some start they gave Australia. This data is available for 113 out of the 136 matches Tendulkar-Ganguly opened in and the scoring rate is a very good 86.2, which is Tendulkar's career scoring rate. In these qualifying matches, Hayden-Gilchrist lasted for 47.4 balls, on an average and Tendulkar-Ganguly lasted for 58.5 balls.

All things considered, I would put Greenidge-Haynes at the top, followed by Hayden-Gilchrist and then Tendulkar-Ganguly.

7. Tendulkar in important world level tournament matches
MtIdYearRunsBallsAnalysisResultEventVs
19932003 4 53.0-0-20-0LostWC-FAus
3148201118 142.0-0-12-0WonWC-FSlk
1639200069 8310.0-1-38-1LostIC-FNzl
18882002 0 06.0-0-36-1N/RIC-FSlk
18892002 7 228.0-0-36-0N/RIC-FSlk
....
1081199665 8810.0-1-34-2LostWC-SfSlk
19922003831016.0-0-28-2WonWC-SfKen
3147201185115WonWC-SfPak
....
1078199631 595.0-0-25-0WonWC-QfAus
14731999 0 41.0-0-4-0LostWC-S6Aus
1476199945 65WonWC-S6Pak
1480199916 223.0-0-14-0LostWC-S6Nzl
19832003 5 12WonWC-S6Ken
1985200397120WonWC-S6Slk
1988200315 165.0-0-20-0WonWC-S6Nzl
3143201153 682.0-0-9-0WonWC-QfAus
....
13631998 8 1410.0-1-29-2LostIC-SfWin
1638200039 505.0-0-32-2WonIC-SfSaf
1886200216 294.0-0-32-0WonIC-SfSaf

There is a general perception that Tendulkar did not really deliver in important World Cup and other similar level knockout matches. Let us see what he did in these important matches.

World Cup finals: It is an open secret that Tendulkar failed in the two World Cup finals he played. In 2003, even if he had played a substantial innings, the Australian total of 359 was out of reach. In 2011, the others did the job. So his dismissals probably did not matter in the overall context.

ICC Trophy finals:He had mixed fortunes in the ICC Trophy finals. India did not win any of the three matches he played in. In the first rained-off match, Tendulkar played a good innings of 69 to help India reach a competitive total. In the other two, he failed.

World Cup semi-finals: But let us give the little master his due credit. In all the three World Cup semi-finals he played in, he delivered with bat and, often, with the ball. The top-quality innings against Pakistan during 2011 was probably the most important one since that was a truly match winning innings. And he cannot be blamed for the Calcutta disaster in 1996. He did his bit with an excellent all-round performance.

WC-S6-QF/ICC-SF: In the other matches, there are 11 matches in all, Tendulkar performed reasonably well. One outstanding match winning innings against Sri Lanka and four other good innings are par for a top order batsman. The 1999 World Cup was not great for Tendulkar in these matches while 2003 World Cup was better.

In conclusion, while it is evident that Tendulkar did not deliver anything of note in the finals, he performed quite competently in the earlier matches. Maybe slightly below what was expected from a world-class batsman, but nowhere can the overall performances be classified as well below par. Readers could point to Sharjah 1998. Frankly, I do not consider tri-nation tournaments as anything worth considering. They were dime a dozen: around 150 at last count.

As I have already mentioned, I will do a similar special coverage of Tendulkar's Test career after one week instead of the usual two weeks. This has been one tough analysis and I hope readers can glean something new about Tendulkar's career. The Test analysis will also cover some unusual aspects of Tendulkar's career.

I have a single negative take as far as Tendulkar's ODI career was concerned. This was the farce enacted during the last four years. He was allowed to pick and choose series. From match number 2670 up till 3263, the last match of Tendulkar, India played 160 matches and Tendulkar played 54 matches, only 33%. He came back and got his 100th hundred in a lacklustre manner. A retirement at the end of the 2011 World Cup would have been perfect. 18,111 runs at 45.16 was excellent. The ten matches he played during the next year did not add any value to his career.

In conclusion, it is clearly difficult for anyone to dislodge Richards from his unassailable position as the best ODI batsman ever. The reasons are plenty. An average of 47.00, a strike rate in excess of 90.00 when 75 was par, two World Cup wins, 138 and three run-outs, contribution towards a very high degree of ODI successes for the team and finally the jewel in the crown: the 189, almost certainly the best ODI innings ever played. However there is no one else to challenge Tendulkar's second position. He is close to Richards and then there is daylight. Let us see whether Amla, AB de Villiers, Kohli or Dhoni make a case to usurp this position in the years to come.

Tendulkar's long speech at the end of the Mumbai Test was from the heart and moved one and all. He exhibited immense humility and great character, typical of someone who passed the test of greatness before he was 25. He touched everyone's hearts and I could understand why his followers went bananas. Sachin, you are one of a kind. The mould was thrown out after you were made. The Bharat Ratna is something else. I have no problems with this well-deserved award, provided other deserving sportsmen are awarded within the next two years.

To download/view the documents containing the seven complete tables, please CLICK HERE.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 30, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    Dear Anantha ..Very nice article .... I have a couple of other areas that I think might be worth exploring 1. Perhaps expanding the TS calculation to the match rather than the innings. It will give us a good idea of how often the biggest contributor is part of the winning team. 2. Contribution in wins - just looking at the TS calculation in won matches. Again looking at how much a batsman contributed to wins.
    [[
    Once we go past the innings to a match, we will miss the true-peer nature of the analysis. Think of a match between West Indies and India during early 1980s. The Indians battled the fearsome quartet of bowlers while the West Indians faced the medium slow bowlers. So sticking to innings will take of all these variations.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Also I agree strongly with your opinion about the farce since 2007 about Tendulkar's ODI career. It was a shameful reminder of how we Indians 'hero worship" people. Even Bradman, Sobers and Gavaskar (greater cricketers than Tendulkar in my opinion werent afforded such luxuries). Besides I find the media hype about Tendulkar's achievements unnecessary and unbecoming of his greatness. Equating him with Indian cricket is disrespecting past greats such as Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Hazare, Merchant and Mankad who set the path for current greats. Happy to hear your opinion.
    [[
    I have far less problems re Tendulkar's ODI career than with the Test career. Until the very end, Tendulkar remained an ODI batsman right at the top.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cenitin on November 29, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    @Gerry_the _Merry. You must be surprised to see that Sachin ODI avg is in overseas is as good as his test records. In SL 43, NZ 39,SA 39, Pak 37, Eng 44, Aus 35 and WI 47. It is very good for a opening batsman. I am sure his TSI would be superior to other top 4 Indian batsman. Richards is also having very good overseas avg. But against Pak his avg is 30 (home + away). No surprise there as Pak was the one of the good bowling team during that time in ODIs. Sachin lowest avg is against SA 36. I am considering only top 8 teams here. Don't want to degrade any of the legends here, both are neck to neck :-)
    [[
    Because they were upset at the bracketing of Richards & Tendulkar, many readers have failed to notice how far Tendulkar is ahead of almost all batsmen in the HSI Table. If we take 150 matches as minimum, there is only one batsman, Richards, ahead of him and no Indian batsman is within 25 places of him. Has anyone noticed that Ganguly's HSI is 0.458 and Dravid is 0.402. How strangely the human mind works. You pick up one tree with which you have a slight problem and miss the entire woods which is beautiful. I am sure this will be repeated in Tests also.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 29, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    Ananth, any chance you can quickly do TSI (which is 0.673 for Amla) for top 5 Indian batsmen (Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid etc. who have made the highest # runs) but split into India, neutral, away? My hunch is that Tendulkar's record will be superior in India and neutral, but inferior in away. All this for One Days.
    [[
    Splitting into locations requires a few addl things to be done. Maybe it is worthwhile to wait for the complete article. I can do proper justice.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    If this were to be done for tests, it would be the opposite I suspect, with Tendulkar the best among Indians (I dont want to suggest other countries' batsmen since it must be an identical choice of countries).
    [[
    You would be surprised. Wait for 36 hours to find out. 2 batsmen ahead of SRT. One expected and one unexpected.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    I see that the indefatigable Alex is back with a new name - is the new name a post ST era avatar?
    [[
    It required an article on SRT to get dear Alex back from his hibernation. I hope he continues. I hope you also do continue. I really missed all you guys.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • VK10 on November 28, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    @Ananth: Alex here. I think, like Viv/Waugh/Ponting & unlike Lara, SRT equally valued test & ODI throughout. So, he is a test+ODI player. Here, whole is greater than sum of the parts. What with flat subcont tracks, Kohli might surpass SRT's tally in ODIs. Cook might surpass SRT's tally in tests. But 34,000+ looks beyond both.
    [[
    Yes, I will agree. Although, seeing Cook's recent form, SRT''s bar look like it might not be breached. Kohli, on the other hand, I am quite sure.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    1. So, can you pl do an analysis of test+ODI runs? (How fast he got to 1000, 2000, etc. and who were the top 10 batsmen at each stage, etc.)
    [[
    I did this long time back. Quite tough since it means combining two independent data bases. Will keep it for sometime in the new year.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    2. Also, which do you think is the best SRT ODI innings? As said, it is 138 vs SL ('09) for me. Or perhaps, 117* vs Oz ('08) or 93 vs SA ('07).
    [[
    I would like to put the 175 there and then think of adding an innings or two.
    What is so special about the Belfast innings (93). Ananth
    : ]]

    3. Roles & stats in ODIs are influenced by position. So, best to make two categories: innings builders (top 4 batsmen) and finishers (#5 onwards). Top 4 should play @50 deliveries every innings. OR give a weighted impact factor (runs * RR/(team or opponent RR)) of X, where X is, say, 35. Where does SRT rank on this?
    [[
    In Tests analysis I have already split the HSI table into two since the top order has more opportunities. As of now I am not able to do what you have asked for but will keep this in mindd for the special article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cricket_Mad_Fan on November 28, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Anantha, Great Analysis. I read each and every article of yours primarily for the insights that you provide and the comments they generate. I am sure that there are lots of us who value your articles, but dont generally comment. Thank you from all of us. For a change, I have a suggestion that you might want to look into. Can you please split this into TSI for setting and chasing separately. For chasing, you might want to multiple TSI by % of wins as these are extremely critical. This can be then added to the target setting TSI. Finally, compared the averages of Tendulkar, Ponting and Richards during their last 5 years in both the Tests and ODIs, while Tendulkar's did not dip much, Richards averaged a good 10 points below his final average as did Ponting in Tests. Also, Kristen was the primary reason for resting Tendulkar. Worked out pretty well as Tendullkar as the second highest scorer in WC 11. Have been watching the greats since the early 80s. Can you pls do an analysis on Marshall
    [[
    I have had a number of suggestions on HSI. Yours is the first one on TSI. Again my idea is that I only wanted to unveil these two indices in the SRT article but am ready to take this much wider. TSIs related to results is intriguing. What did Afridi achieve in Pakistani wins as against losses. Did Tendulkar get below his 10% figure in wins. And so on. I will look at it seriously. Many thanks.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 26, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    Need not publish this - there is one user comment named by heroicc dated 24 Nov that are in very bad taste, using hindi abuses (typed in English) that defy decency. Please ask the cricinfo moderators to take action
    [[
    Pawan, I am going to publish this and feature it also. For a couple of reasons.
    First is to thank you whole-heartedly. It was indeed very nice of you to spot and bring to my notice the product of a sick and depraved mind. I request any other readers who spot such comments to bring to my notice immediately either directly or through such comments.
    Next is to offer my apologies. There were 25 comments that morning and I was in a hurry. But that is not an excuse. I must take my time because I owe a clean areana to the readers. I assure you all that this oversight will not be repeated.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Sancho on November 26, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    1. Interesting article - 2 things stand out

    First, the correlation between batting and bowling performances -which is really interesting. Sometimes, I wonder if Tendulkar shortchanged himself by not concentrating enough on his bowling.
    [[
    You are only the second reader to comment on this amazing facet of Tendulkar's career. In their anxiety to throw fbm at me, the so-called SRT followers have missed this aspect.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    The other is the almost flat strike rate curve and similar average curve - which kept rising till ~2003 (by which time he was already an all time great) and then remained more or less flat. So, for all the criticism; which he kept copping at different parts of his career and periodic requests for him to quit, the numbers seem to show that he kept performing almost at the same level. Viv Richards was a great one day player - especially in the context of the times he played in, his average and strike rate are phenomenal. But I am not sure if he showed the same consistency. More than just longevity, the reason I would plump for Sachin over Richards would be that consistency (and yes, I am making the assumption that Richards did not have that consistency)
    [[
    I have no problems at all with your conclusions. Pl see my responses to Nitin and Rameskumar.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 26, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Ananth, you have a clear mind, and choosing Top Score to Second Top Score is innovative. I always enjoy your thought process. I just thought of another approach. Take the % of runs scored (batsman's contribution/total score) in matches that the team won. You might want to compare this also when the teams lost. I have worked on fuzzy analytics and often wondered whether we can come up with a batsman score like the credi score in the US that haunts us. I would enjoy your thoughts on it, and can even sponsor a research in this field.
    [[
    Subbu, I have used % of Team score quite often. I am sure analysis with specific criteria will throw a lot of light. But in ODIs, score by itself might present a wrong picture. What is needed is also a combination of the score and strike rate. I did some work on this with my idea of impact index in the ODI batsmen analysis.
    And the scoring rate index, as presented in the article is almost the purest of peer evaluation methods. Same pitch, same day, same set of bowlers, bowlers with almost the same form factors, almost the same conditions and just the strike rates compared.
    It is unfortunate that instead of looiking at these alternative metrics the article was hijacked on a single point. The discerning readers like you and a few others who have put in their quality inputs have to rescue the situation.
    Many thanks. We will keep in touch.
    Anything on this I will do after a month or so afterwards.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • red_forever on November 25, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    Lara initially took to ODI's like a fish to water. He was terrific for the 1st 50 odd matches but then tapered off. That 97-02 period was a bad period for him both in ODI's and tests. I havent seen him bat much in this period as i was a kid and not much of other teams was shown on TV either but of what i have read he somehow came across a someone who kind of felt too much pressure and felt he was carrying the whole weight of the team on himself.He was good enough but the great we knew in Tests but in ODI's he couldnt replicate the same. Tendulkar relished here. Around 02 i think someone swithched on a plug somewhere and the lara of the OLd could be seen in Tests reeling of Huge scores every other series but dint do the same in ODI's. He should have stayed on as an Opener as his performances were best at 1/2 in ODI's. Dont who said what or who offered advice but he dropped down the order but as an opener he could have set the tone right from go and SRT did vice versa to a great effect.
    [[
    I find it difficult to disagree on a single sentence, Dinesh. May be I am repeating this ad-infinitum (hopefully not ad-nauseum). Tendulkar and Richards are a shade apart and the longevity weight will determine their separation, as I have indicated to Nitin. Having said that I am ready to peg the longevity weight at (x+y)% so that these two are bracketed together. Not because of the cacophany of protests here but because that is a position I have always maintained.
    The next three. What perfect synchronization. Maybe Ponting ahead of Dhoni. That is all.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • red_forever on November 25, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    i was thinking on my way home about who were the top 5 batsman in ODI's were and there was hardly anything to choose about who was the best and now i see Nitin took my words. To me Viv and Sachin were the two best with both being No.1 in my book.This is because SRT ODI numbers are a mind boggling and THAT pleateau for the last 225 matches is something out of the world. VIV was way ahead of his times. Way way ahead. HE scored at 90 @47 when 70-75 was the norm. He was a trailblazer of sorts. So these two are 1 for me others can disagree to a varying degree like the 100 odd comments show. To me the next three are Gilchrist, Dhoni and Ponting. About Gilchrist and Ponting not much to say there. Dhoni over bevan for me as i would say any asking rate is not too high for Dhoni. He takes quick singles and hits massive sixes and he reads the game like no other in World cricket. My only grouse about bevan is that he may falter when the asking rate is too high. Contd..

  • on November 30, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    Dear Anantha ..Very nice article .... I have a couple of other areas that I think might be worth exploring 1. Perhaps expanding the TS calculation to the match rather than the innings. It will give us a good idea of how often the biggest contributor is part of the winning team. 2. Contribution in wins - just looking at the TS calculation in won matches. Again looking at how much a batsman contributed to wins.
    [[
    Once we go past the innings to a match, we will miss the true-peer nature of the analysis. Think of a match between West Indies and India during early 1980s. The Indians battled the fearsome quartet of bowlers while the West Indians faced the medium slow bowlers. So sticking to innings will take of all these variations.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Also I agree strongly with your opinion about the farce since 2007 about Tendulkar's ODI career. It was a shameful reminder of how we Indians 'hero worship" people. Even Bradman, Sobers and Gavaskar (greater cricketers than Tendulkar in my opinion werent afforded such luxuries). Besides I find the media hype about Tendulkar's achievements unnecessary and unbecoming of his greatness. Equating him with Indian cricket is disrespecting past greats such as Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Hazare, Merchant and Mankad who set the path for current greats. Happy to hear your opinion.
    [[
    I have far less problems re Tendulkar's ODI career than with the Test career. Until the very end, Tendulkar remained an ODI batsman right at the top.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cenitin on November 29, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    @Gerry_the _Merry. You must be surprised to see that Sachin ODI avg is in overseas is as good as his test records. In SL 43, NZ 39,SA 39, Pak 37, Eng 44, Aus 35 and WI 47. It is very good for a opening batsman. I am sure his TSI would be superior to other top 4 Indian batsman. Richards is also having very good overseas avg. But against Pak his avg is 30 (home + away). No surprise there as Pak was the one of the good bowling team during that time in ODIs. Sachin lowest avg is against SA 36. I am considering only top 8 teams here. Don't want to degrade any of the legends here, both are neck to neck :-)
    [[
    Because they were upset at the bracketing of Richards & Tendulkar, many readers have failed to notice how far Tendulkar is ahead of almost all batsmen in the HSI Table. If we take 150 matches as minimum, there is only one batsman, Richards, ahead of him and no Indian batsman is within 25 places of him. Has anyone noticed that Ganguly's HSI is 0.458 and Dravid is 0.402. How strangely the human mind works. You pick up one tree with which you have a slight problem and miss the entire woods which is beautiful. I am sure this will be repeated in Tests also.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 29, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    Ananth, any chance you can quickly do TSI (which is 0.673 for Amla) for top 5 Indian batsmen (Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid etc. who have made the highest # runs) but split into India, neutral, away? My hunch is that Tendulkar's record will be superior in India and neutral, but inferior in away. All this for One Days.
    [[
    Splitting into locations requires a few addl things to be done. Maybe it is worthwhile to wait for the complete article. I can do proper justice.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    If this were to be done for tests, it would be the opposite I suspect, with Tendulkar the best among Indians (I dont want to suggest other countries' batsmen since it must be an identical choice of countries).
    [[
    You would be surprised. Wait for 36 hours to find out. 2 batsmen ahead of SRT. One expected and one unexpected.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    I see that the indefatigable Alex is back with a new name - is the new name a post ST era avatar?
    [[
    It required an article on SRT to get dear Alex back from his hibernation. I hope he continues. I hope you also do continue. I really missed all you guys.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • VK10 on November 28, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    @Ananth: Alex here. I think, like Viv/Waugh/Ponting & unlike Lara, SRT equally valued test & ODI throughout. So, he is a test+ODI player. Here, whole is greater than sum of the parts. What with flat subcont tracks, Kohli might surpass SRT's tally in ODIs. Cook might surpass SRT's tally in tests. But 34,000+ looks beyond both.
    [[
    Yes, I will agree. Although, seeing Cook's recent form, SRT''s bar look like it might not be breached. Kohli, on the other hand, I am quite sure.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    1. So, can you pl do an analysis of test+ODI runs? (How fast he got to 1000, 2000, etc. and who were the top 10 batsmen at each stage, etc.)
    [[
    I did this long time back. Quite tough since it means combining two independent data bases. Will keep it for sometime in the new year.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    2. Also, which do you think is the best SRT ODI innings? As said, it is 138 vs SL ('09) for me. Or perhaps, 117* vs Oz ('08) or 93 vs SA ('07).
    [[
    I would like to put the 175 there and then think of adding an innings or two.
    What is so special about the Belfast innings (93). Ananth
    : ]]

    3. Roles & stats in ODIs are influenced by position. So, best to make two categories: innings builders (top 4 batsmen) and finishers (#5 onwards). Top 4 should play @50 deliveries every innings. OR give a weighted impact factor (runs * RR/(team or opponent RR)) of X, where X is, say, 35. Where does SRT rank on this?
    [[
    In Tests analysis I have already split the HSI table into two since the top order has more opportunities. As of now I am not able to do what you have asked for but will keep this in mindd for the special article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cricket_Mad_Fan on November 28, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Anantha, Great Analysis. I read each and every article of yours primarily for the insights that you provide and the comments they generate. I am sure that there are lots of us who value your articles, but dont generally comment. Thank you from all of us. For a change, I have a suggestion that you might want to look into. Can you please split this into TSI for setting and chasing separately. For chasing, you might want to multiple TSI by % of wins as these are extremely critical. This can be then added to the target setting TSI. Finally, compared the averages of Tendulkar, Ponting and Richards during their last 5 years in both the Tests and ODIs, while Tendulkar's did not dip much, Richards averaged a good 10 points below his final average as did Ponting in Tests. Also, Kristen was the primary reason for resting Tendulkar. Worked out pretty well as Tendullkar as the second highest scorer in WC 11. Have been watching the greats since the early 80s. Can you pls do an analysis on Marshall
    [[
    I have had a number of suggestions on HSI. Yours is the first one on TSI. Again my idea is that I only wanted to unveil these two indices in the SRT article but am ready to take this much wider. TSIs related to results is intriguing. What did Afridi achieve in Pakistani wins as against losses. Did Tendulkar get below his 10% figure in wins. And so on. I will look at it seriously. Many thanks.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 26, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    Need not publish this - there is one user comment named by heroicc dated 24 Nov that are in very bad taste, using hindi abuses (typed in English) that defy decency. Please ask the cricinfo moderators to take action
    [[
    Pawan, I am going to publish this and feature it also. For a couple of reasons.
    First is to thank you whole-heartedly. It was indeed very nice of you to spot and bring to my notice the product of a sick and depraved mind. I request any other readers who spot such comments to bring to my notice immediately either directly or through such comments.
    Next is to offer my apologies. There were 25 comments that morning and I was in a hurry. But that is not an excuse. I must take my time because I owe a clean areana to the readers. I assure you all that this oversight will not be repeated.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Sancho on November 26, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    1. Interesting article - 2 things stand out

    First, the correlation between batting and bowling performances -which is really interesting. Sometimes, I wonder if Tendulkar shortchanged himself by not concentrating enough on his bowling.
    [[
    You are only the second reader to comment on this amazing facet of Tendulkar's career. In their anxiety to throw fbm at me, the so-called SRT followers have missed this aspect.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    The other is the almost flat strike rate curve and similar average curve - which kept rising till ~2003 (by which time he was already an all time great) and then remained more or less flat. So, for all the criticism; which he kept copping at different parts of his career and periodic requests for him to quit, the numbers seem to show that he kept performing almost at the same level. Viv Richards was a great one day player - especially in the context of the times he played in, his average and strike rate are phenomenal. But I am not sure if he showed the same consistency. More than just longevity, the reason I would plump for Sachin over Richards would be that consistency (and yes, I am making the assumption that Richards did not have that consistency)
    [[
    I have no problems at all with your conclusions. Pl see my responses to Nitin and Rameskumar.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 26, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Ananth, you have a clear mind, and choosing Top Score to Second Top Score is innovative. I always enjoy your thought process. I just thought of another approach. Take the % of runs scored (batsman's contribution/total score) in matches that the team won. You might want to compare this also when the teams lost. I have worked on fuzzy analytics and often wondered whether we can come up with a batsman score like the credi score in the US that haunts us. I would enjoy your thoughts on it, and can even sponsor a research in this field.
    [[
    Subbu, I have used % of Team score quite often. I am sure analysis with specific criteria will throw a lot of light. But in ODIs, score by itself might present a wrong picture. What is needed is also a combination of the score and strike rate. I did some work on this with my idea of impact index in the ODI batsmen analysis.
    And the scoring rate index, as presented in the article is almost the purest of peer evaluation methods. Same pitch, same day, same set of bowlers, bowlers with almost the same form factors, almost the same conditions and just the strike rates compared.
    It is unfortunate that instead of looiking at these alternative metrics the article was hijacked on a single point. The discerning readers like you and a few others who have put in their quality inputs have to rescue the situation.
    Many thanks. We will keep in touch.
    Anything on this I will do after a month or so afterwards.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • red_forever on November 25, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    Lara initially took to ODI's like a fish to water. He was terrific for the 1st 50 odd matches but then tapered off. That 97-02 period was a bad period for him both in ODI's and tests. I havent seen him bat much in this period as i was a kid and not much of other teams was shown on TV either but of what i have read he somehow came across a someone who kind of felt too much pressure and felt he was carrying the whole weight of the team on himself.He was good enough but the great we knew in Tests but in ODI's he couldnt replicate the same. Tendulkar relished here. Around 02 i think someone swithched on a plug somewhere and the lara of the OLd could be seen in Tests reeling of Huge scores every other series but dint do the same in ODI's. He should have stayed on as an Opener as his performances were best at 1/2 in ODI's. Dont who said what or who offered advice but he dropped down the order but as an opener he could have set the tone right from go and SRT did vice versa to a great effect.
    [[
    I find it difficult to disagree on a single sentence, Dinesh. May be I am repeating this ad-infinitum (hopefully not ad-nauseum). Tendulkar and Richards are a shade apart and the longevity weight will determine their separation, as I have indicated to Nitin. Having said that I am ready to peg the longevity weight at (x+y)% so that these two are bracketed together. Not because of the cacophany of protests here but because that is a position I have always maintained.
    The next three. What perfect synchronization. Maybe Ponting ahead of Dhoni. That is all.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • red_forever on November 25, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    i was thinking on my way home about who were the top 5 batsman in ODI's were and there was hardly anything to choose about who was the best and now i see Nitin took my words. To me Viv and Sachin were the two best with both being No.1 in my book.This is because SRT ODI numbers are a mind boggling and THAT pleateau for the last 225 matches is something out of the world. VIV was way ahead of his times. Way way ahead. HE scored at 90 @47 when 70-75 was the norm. He was a trailblazer of sorts. So these two are 1 for me others can disagree to a varying degree like the 100 odd comments show. To me the next three are Gilchrist, Dhoni and Ponting. About Gilchrist and Ponting not much to say there. Dhoni over bevan for me as i would say any asking rate is not too high for Dhoni. He takes quick singles and hits massive sixes and he reads the game like no other in World cricket. My only grouse about bevan is that he may falter when the asking rate is too high. Contd..

  • Rajesh_Stats on November 25, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Nice one, Ananth... The highest or second-highest score analysis is an interesting one, and I suggest you could further enhance it by looking at all the innings played by a batsman, and giving it a factor relative to the highest score of the innings. That way, a batsman who's scored 80 when two others have scored 85 and 96 will also get rewarded for his effort. Might even be worth a separate piece... cheers.
    [[
    Rajesh,
    Your suggestion, coupled with couple of tweaks can really move that metric to a new level. The first is to do a GM rather than AM, as suggested by McG.. Also if I keep the highest score at 1.00, the other scores would automatically be below 1.00 and the outliers would disappear. Then even the AM would do.
    Thanks.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Hello Anantha, Thanks for the article and this was one of the reason i used to wish SRT retires soon so i get to his his stat analysis in entire different view than the barrage of articles of laet. It is no secret I admire him to greatest length of imagination and on that count i feel a bit disappointed but none the less "Viv 1st than sachin 2nd and than daylight" made my day. Thanks for that. I feel if 1st and 2nd are close than it hardly matters who is at what position. Moreover i believe cricket being a team game will always be played by 11 players and all selected ones are as important as anyone. Dujon in 80s and Lehman/martin in 2000s may not be individually as bright n improtant as marshal/ Richards or ponting/gilchrist but still were a necessacity. same way any ODI team of any era will have Viv and SRT as 1st 2 players to be selected n on that count i dont see any difference in them. for me both at at 1 single plane differentiated by time.
    [[
    Nitin, a warm welcome back. As I have mentioned in my response to Ramesh, you guys have made my day.
    As I have already said, my personal feeling is that Richards is 90 and Tendulkar 89. The next one is probably 85. They are so close together that if the are interchanged to 89 and 90, I would have absolutely no problem.
    Finally it all boils down to what is the weight to be given to longevity. x% (just for illustration) will put one player on top and (x+5)% will put the other one on top. They are that close.
    And, Nitin, this is absolutely true, based on the work I did sometime back with SRT still playing. But he has maintained his ODI numbers right to the end and I am sure there would be very little change.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rameshkumar_Satyamoorthy on November 25, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Ananth, As usual very insightful data. A few observations: 1. Very interesting to note the placement of modern Aussie players in the first chart esp, relatively low place of Ponting in both the charts and Hayden's place. It shows the even strength of Aussie batsmen. But how do we evaluate Ponting as a ODI player with these statistics? should we have other criteria for him? 2. The strike rates of WI batsmen are very low contrary to the image they have. Lara & Viv were the biggest beneficiaries though one may argue that they were stressed to make up for others. 3. How do we evaluate Kallis, Dravid & Sanga? They should figure amongst top 10 modern greats. Can we ignore their low strike rates in ODIs when we evaluate overall greatness? I always feel that amongst modern test greats, for measuring overall greatness, the differentiation should come from ODI stats which test purists may disagreee. (contd)
    [[
    Familiar names warm my heart on this cold evening. Ramesh, and later Nitin, I have missed you guys.
    1. This is just a single measure. If ever I re-do the ODI Batsman analysis, there would be so many other measures that this sharing will be evened out. Anhow, as I have already mentiuoned in my earlier comments, this metric has been a great success and will undergo a sea-change in the form of another article whereiun many of these issues will be addressed.
    2. Even in ODIs Lara carried his team often. He played barely two years with the older generation. So he played with circumspection. Of course Tendulkar suffered in isolation for many years.
    3. The role of the anchor batsman has to be clearly defined. Unfortunately with the advent of the rule changes, the attacking batsmen have moved up and the steady guys down.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rangarajan_Rajamani_Chennai on November 25, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Any analysis where Sachin is not the numero UNO is not taken in the right spirit by the great fans. I don't think in any way the article degrades Sachin. If I compare Sachin to Viv, Lara, Waughs, Ponting, Kallis, Amla and say in all these comparisons he doesn't emerge as no. 1, that itself is a testimony to his greatness - that he solicits comparison across generations. Viv was in a different league. While the WIndies did have an excellent bowling attack, Lillee, Thommo, Botham, Willis, Hadlee, Imran, Safraz, Kapil were all classy bowlers in their own right. Scoring against them is no mean deal (how many ODI batsmen scored as much as Viv did or it took a Kohli and 30 years to equal Viv's 5000 run record). Sachin also did score a lot against some of the best bowlers. But playing 450 matches not only increases your success rate, but also increases your failure rate which is what it did to Sachin. Its reality and theres nothing in it to degrade the little master. It is a fitting tribute.
    [[
    One thing is at least certain. Voices of reason will be acknowledged with thanks and will find a good place here. Many thanks.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cricwick on November 25, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Great work Mr. Ananth. Sad to see some of the comments over here. I, myself am a huge Tendulkar fan. But that doesn't mean he has to placed on #1 of every list ever compiled. Your article only reinforces how great he actually is as an ODI player. Talking abt ODIs, I have been intrigued by the scoring rates over the years. The last few matches(IND-AUS series) have been run-fests like no other in history. Wat do u say abt how the avg score varied over the history of ODI cricket and particularly after the T20 phenomenon?
    [[
    Couple of years back I had done a period analysis of the ODI game, So much has happened over the past couple of years that I should probably re-visit that, say, at the beginning of next year. 7 out 8 300+ scores is fantasy-world stuff. Funny thing is that the T20 scene seems to have plateaued. 170 is still eminently defendable.
    Thanks for the nice words.I would appreciate if you can read my response to Raajay Viswanathan.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Surprisingly this article has actually increased my respect for Sachin as a cricketer and as a batsman. The best employee in any organization is the one who has contributed the most over the span of his entire career. For example, a trading firm will value someone who brings in $2 mil consistently for 20 years (considering value of money does not depreciate) than some one who brings in $2.1 million for the first few years and then vanishes out of sight. The fact that Sachin competes with the best in business (using the metrics you have proposed) and has done it over and over, is good enough to make him the most valuable asset for any cricket team; contrary to what you believe in. Viv Richard might be equally better - I will not disagree on that, but Amla has a long way to go. This was the Sachin fanatic in me speaking - the grad student will come up with numbers soon. The HSI is relative to the second highest score but the SRI is wrt team. Why? What if HSI is calc. wrt team? -Raajay
    [[
    HSI w.r.t the Team score is nothing but % of team runs and has been done earlier. But that metric is really going places. There are excellent tweaks suggested and I will do a separate article.
    In fact you should not be surprised at all. Contrary to what half the readers, with scant understanding of the work done, are saying, this is a rich tribute to Tendulkar. There are so many points where I have brought out the immense achievement of him. But quite a few readers pick one sentence out of 1000 and go to town.
    At no stage have I compared Tendulkar with someone who has played 20% of what he has done. Statement such as "Amla has a very high HSI value of 0.6xx" is seen as a slight to Tendulkar, forgetting that I have brought to prominence the 0.6xx which Tendulkar himself has achieved after 450 matches. My bringing in the other modern stalwarts is only for one thing. Let us say that, at the end of 150/200 matches, Kohli and Amla have 50+ averages. We better take them seriously. If they drop off, they still remain very good players.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    Hello Ananth, Good to have a technical view point. All these statistical data is cool and all and you have basically brought out something which can be measured. There are things which I feel not many people look into and can't be measured, is the "Pressure". Pressure doesn't necessarily mean needing 40 runs from 3 overs and 1 wicket remaining with Dale Steyn left with 2 overs from his quota. It also means coping up with peer pressure, preparations, expectations and many other parameters which contribute to a sportsman's psyche. As a club cricketer myself playing for a team not known to be amongst the top, I can say that there's a lot more than statistics which goes on to contribute a average/good/great cricketer. Viv Richards had a team with the greatest of bowlers, all rounders and batsmen to share the dressing room/field with, so the energy and the level of confidence is sure to be upbeat.
    [[
    All said and done, one thing that cannot be discounted is the fact that Richards had a truly world class bowling attack supporting him. By the same token, Tendulkar had, at least durring the later half of his caeer, very strong batting support, a legacy which continues today.
    Pressure of expectation of the zillions of followers is another nebuluous thing. Let me concede that point. But do we know what was the expectation of the cricket-mad Sri Lankan supporters and the pressures the Sri Lankan players faced. Or what was the expectation of similar Caribbean supporters on the West Indian teams, strong and weak. Or the staunch Pakistani cricket followers. We can safely say that the New Zealanders followed their All Blacks more than the cricketing Blacks. Or that the English followed their Rugby/Football more than cricket.
    We cannot quantify these at all. We can discuss for months on end and write millions of words but at the end these will remain quite subjective factors.
    The bottom-line is, I do not look beyond the scorecards. And then, period. That is the only way I can retain my equanimity. There are thousands of other writers who would do the other thing. Let me remain what I am. Ananth
    : ]]

  • hawk707 on November 25, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    I believe its not the numbers that made him that big but its the match situations(very important when he was in the middle with bat) and the contributions and also the inspiration that make him the best of the modern era.
    [[
    Absolutely no problems with your nicely constructed, balanced and simple statement. This is the type of response I like.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • alarky on November 24, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Ananth, I notice that you've finally struck the same chord with the majority of SRT fans in India! Congrats! But not so fast! I have a few problems! You know that I'm one who respect your expertise 100%; but I've a little reservation about the method used to come up with the conclusions provided here - not because of any wrong or right query, but I feel that it has in some way, sort of over-simplified the matter regarding who is/are the best ODI batsmen ever. I think that Clint Nelson provided some insight as to why the method might be too simple: Both of you agreed that the early batsmen have better opportunities to perform than lower order batsmen - hence, their performances should always look better. Eg.16 of the batsmen in the first table are opening batsmen! The other 6 made most of their runs at No.3. But these are the best! Why? I think it's because of the advantage provided by more opportunities, rather than prowess - not questioning their greatness; but others have no chance!
    [[
    I made a simple statement, partly based on the in-depth analysis I had done earlier. Unfortunately today no Tendulkar follower would agree to a second position in anything. Anyhow my Test article will contain NO CONCLUSIONS of any sort. Let the readers fight amongst themselves. AFter that article goes out, it will be bliss, back to general analysis !!!
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    Ananth, You're absolutely correct that MoM/MoS awards are overly skewed towards batsmen in ODIs. But, this is so because ODI matches are set up for batsmen, especially opening batsmen. They start their innings with mandatory fielding restrictions from the word go - usually for all of the first 15 overs! This arrangement gives the opening batsmen the licence to do the bowlers what they like! The evidence of this is overwhelming! Look at what happened in the just concluded ODI series: India vs Aus? Hence, I don't think the raw figures of opening batsmen, or No.3s just being easily matched against the figures of batters in the deep middle order, give any fair comparison. However, even though MoM/MoS in ODIs are skewed towards opening batsmen, it's a far different case in test cricket. The records show that there is a FAIR spread, with lots of all-rounders (correctly so) in the reckoning. Because playing conditions in tests are par for ball and bat, MoM/MoS are vital stats in comparisons!
    [[
    It is clear that over a number of years the awards would properly get evened out between the various disciplines. It is too late for the ODI article but let me see how many qualifying matches are there for Tests.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • arajeshn on November 24, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Yet another Ananth Narayan blog full of back handed compliments, faint praise and grudging acknowledgements of SRT's achievements. I am not one of SRT's chorus boys who troll websites and damn anybody who disagrees with the notion that SRT is god incarnate. In test cricket, I believe that SRT is one among a group of very good modern batsmen and may/may not be second to Don Bradman. But until I read this blog, I firmly believed that even the most one-eyed critic could not dispute SRT's magnificent achievements in ODIs. Viv may be a shade higher in SR and average but both these numbers were declining rapidly by the end of his career. As can be seen from your graphs in Section-4, SRT maintained his numbers even while he played nearly 3 times the matches that Viv did. BTW I do not agree with this haste in awarding BR to SRT . But this should not be held against SRT, even if other sportsmen are ignored - that is not SRT's fault. Blame the politicians - in a separate blog on politics!!
    [[
    Thanks for presenting your contra-view in a very refined manner. I wish more people would follow your method.
    If you say that SRT should be considered higher than Richards, with supporting points, which you have partly done, I will have no problems with that. If one player is 90 and the other 88, how can anyone have a problem if the 90 and 88 are interchanged.
    If there is no gushing of words, why should it be taken as left-handed compliment or grudging praise. Let me say that, in the same article I had placed Tendulkar ahead of Richards, would all these have become right-handed and from-the-heart compliments.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Who would you call deserving sportsmen? Keep in mind that the Bharat Ratna recommendations are not only based on performances but also the impact the individual had on society (although an excellent case could also be made that it is infact a political gain to the government that nominates personalities). In my mind, there are only two. 1. Dhyan Chand (Similar impact to Sachin's in his sport and on society in his time) 2. Vishwanathan Anand (challenged the existing hierarchy and monopoly of the few nations that dominated in his time, a trailblazer for Indians)
    [[
    I fully agree with you. One has won three Hockey Olympic Gold medals and was the father of modern Hockey. The other has 5 World Chess titles, in 3 different title formats (only one in history), 10-year reign at the top and 6 Chess Oscars.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    There are may arguments that could be made - some of the worst included awarding one to Abhinav Bindra for India's first individual Gold. Preposterous. But the definitive question should be "In the era of that sportsperson and afterwards, did people around the world in his/her field look up to him and say - 'That's who one should be like. He's the ideal.' And in Tendulkar's, Anand's & Dhyan Chand's case it can be said.

  • on November 24, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    6. Bowling attacks : Who determines that a bowling attack is good?? The performances against them.. If Viv didn't face the best bowling attack of his time, it was not only because the other attacks weren't good, but also because he didn't let them be as good as they could be.. Hadlee, Lillee, Thomson, Botham, Willis, Imran, Kapil, Spin Quartet, Abdul Qadir for Viv.. Ambrose, Shane Bond, Wasim, Mcgrath, Donald, Warne, Murli, Steyn, Shoaib for Sachin.. Equally good attacks.. Apologies for such a long post, but couldn't help understand the blind-worship from most of the fans.. Tomorrow, I might come up with an analysis of best left-arm fast bowlers, & people would want Sachin to be 1st there as well.. He is the best ODI bat of all times, behind King Viv.. Waiting for Test Analysis on Sachin (intuition & knowledge says that Dravid's impact would be even higher)!! Great work Anantha..
    [[
    Sourabh, a long message but full of many useful points. Of course, you are welcome to share the heat.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    3. Comparison across eras have been difficult, as you need to factor in pitches, rules, ground sizes, playing conditions etc.. Comparison with peers, contemporaries is a great leveller.. Viv vs Sachin : Ooh, Viv stands out with 47 avg with 90 SR, across 17 years.. Sachin comes out a distant 2nd, however the longevity adds points & gloss.. 4. Performing in crunch matches of multi-nation tournaments, puts Viv even in higher pedestal.. The century in 1979 Finals was a regal 138, again when the team was struggling.. However, Sachin has done commendably in the Semis & league games.. So he is again a respectable 2nd.. 5. 189 vs 175.. In terms of bowling attack, 175 was against Hilfenhaus, Bollinger, McKay.. 189 vs 143 (desert storm).. It came against a tired Fleming, Warne, Kasprowicz (who lost tonnes after India tour).. 189 was against a classy attack at start of season!!

  • on November 24, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    Hi Ananth, the 1st time I commented was on your ODI giants article, & this is the 2nd time.. & the underlining factor is King Viv.. Read this very coherently structured analysis, & then went through most readers' comments.. Why is there a fuss?? You ARE NOT bashing Sachin.. You have called him 2nd best, near to Viv & then daylight to the 3rd (whoever it is).. 1) The factor of huge people expectations is highly subjective.. Leander Paes thrives on it.. So, I will bring Sachin's stats down with it (just to counter many arguments thrown around here).. 2) WI had a good team in 60's as well, classy batsmen, pair of blood-curdling fast bowlers.. Take out Viv from 80's team, the batting averages diminish in comparison, bowling is slightly better.. Point : Viv made a good team into an invincible one.. Sachin made an average team into good team.. People should stop bringing Viv down saying that he was a part of great team, esp when the 2nd best ODI bat Greenidge was so behind Viv..

  • on November 23, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    Table 2 tells something more than just individual strike rates. Symonds and Gilchrist - (the closest contemporaries from one country in the table) have a strike rate of 90+. The remaining team strike rate exceeds an impressive 80%. No wonder Australia ruled ODI cricket with both the players in their prime. Jayasuriya and De Silva in the top 10 prove how successfully Ranatunga implemented the objective of 80-100 runs in first 15 overs. The gap between Trescothick's and rest of English batting strike rate highlights England's moderate one day success (and it is surprising that this gap persisted despite the presence of Flintoff in most of these matches ; further explains why bulk of Tresco' ODI hundreds were in losing cause). And finally a word about Richards, scoring at 90 when rest of the team and the world scored at a SR of 65. Even more impressive when the team's second best batsmen Greenidge had a strike rate in mid 60s.

  • on November 23, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    The article is a refreshing change from all the Eulogies sung on different channels. Those experts/ former cricketers who are now hailing him may well look back to their statements post 2007 world cup and how they called for Tendulkar to retire then and leave the field for younger players. I have some Suggestions and observations (not related to Tendulkar). I recommend that in order to understand how effective a player was in crunch situation, an additional Table with exactly the same methodology should be constructed for significant matches (I agree largely with your selection criteria of such matches in one of your earlier articles but suggest that you add some matches in group stage of world cup that were important for survival of some team). Also, In, Table 1 you need to devise some weightage point to the batting positions. I say this because 13 of the top 20 positions are occupied by opening batsmen and it does not judge the effective worth of a Bevan/Hussey or Dhoni (contd)
    [[
    I did not want to bring this up now. I clearly remember Sanjay Manjrekar's statements in 2007, probably justified then, and his volte-face now.<
    The HSI will be given its growing importantce and I will have a separate article incorporating many tweaks already in.br> Ananth
    : ]]

  • McGorium on November 23, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    Would it be more appropriate to use something like Geomean (instead of AM while averaging normalized data (computation of HSI/TSI, in your case)? AMs have a tendency of biasing normalization by working against ratios with smaller denominators. ((extreme ex:), the delta between 3/5 vs 4/5 is higher than being 50/100 vs 69/100 and has a greater impact on the AM. This can work against high-scoring games, as you may imagine). On a related note, your chart has everything labelled TS/TSI whereas your text refers to high scores (HSI). If I have understood correctly, HSI=TSI? A more general issue unrelated to you: I believe using AM to represent player averages is wrong. AM is a reasonable representative of expected value iff the data is known to be normally distributed. This hasn't been demonstrated, and my intuition suggests that player scores are bimodally distributed (many low and high scores, and a trough around the AM).Perhaps a metric built around the correct distribution is in order?
    [[
    Nice to have a technical point.
    McG, this is the first attempt at HSI which I feel could very well become a very significant metric. And it is one part of a huge article. I can already see many imrovements.
    I agree that the way-out situations skew the HSI quite strongly. The HSI for Kapil's innings was a huge 7+. His HSI for someother innings could be 0. So the lower side the range goes from 1.0 to 0. On the other side a very wide range. Geometric mean would be a clear solution. And there are other normalizing options I am considering.
    Sorry for the confusion. Top Score Index = High Score Index. I make such silly mistakes since I am probably in my PowerPlay overs now.
    Many thanks.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar's contribution with the ball when be failed with the bat is something I was surprised to see. Do the top performances include the quality of the batsman he has gotten out?
    [[
    Not really. I think in a ODI, any 2/3 wicket haul is likely to be relevant. If top order, bound to be good. If late order, likely to be relevant since it is towards the end of either innings. Thanks for being the first to comment on an important segment of the article. I am amazed at the myopic view of most readers. There are aso many facets of SRT's career being presented and they choose to ignore these.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Why is Richards' 189 any greater than Kapil's 175? I looked at both scorecards and if team contribution, or the lack thereof, was the criteria then this scorecard is even more telling: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/65083.html And Zim v. Eng bowling could not be the differentiator, since that would be offset by Ind v. WI batting. Here's a question for you - does statistical validity have a linear relationship with the quanta of data, or is there point of diminishing returns? How would Sachin's stats compare if he had to play only 150 Tests and 300 ODIs instead?
    [[
    I do not want to preempt the Test article. You should ask me this question next week.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Final word - I too was a critic of Sachin's selective playing choice in the last couple of years. But there was a clear benefit to weaning the Indian team away from dependence on him rather than go cold turkey. It's a tenuous argument, but has enough merit to stop one from outright questioning Sachin's motivations.
    [[
    There were two major differences between the 189 and 175. The difference in bowling attacks and the last wicket partnership. And let us not forget that the entire famed WI batting line-up failed. We cannot go on on-paper strength in these analyses. And let me add that the 175 has never left a top-10 position despite the arrival of many a modern classic.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Anand_S on November 23, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Ananth: Excellent analysis as we have come to expect of you now. Some stats of Richards cannot be overlooked as you pointed out. His 189* was probably the best ODI innings played (actually I wont really agree, I still rate Javed's 116* at Sharjah including the last ball six as the best innings in ODI). But sometimes (though you dont do it) I feel bad when people write off modern day achievements by claiming that batsmen of olden days played with no helmets and in uncovered pitches. Cricket is all about handling pressure. Imagine the pressure a batsman goes through now a days when he walks in with the feeling that 350 may not be a winning score and compare that to the batsmen in the 80s who walk in with the feeling that if they get 225 they have already posted a winning score ... I am not suggesting that batting those days was easier. I am only saying that if it is true that pitches have become easier to bat on then it also brings in additional pressures to batsmen .. (contd) ...
    [[
    If Pakistan had needed a single off the last ball and got one, I am sure the Miandad innings would have lost half the sheen. Chasing 246, they were coasting at 181 for 4. It was an excellent match-winning innings, but one of many such ones.
    I agree on the different types of pressures in today's cricket. But the over-riding factor is the fact that the rules are so heavily loaded in the batsman's favour that they are able to swing without a care. Make the rule changes I had mentioned a few articles back and then unleash a 325 on them. Then that is a real contest.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    That 1984 scorecard has to be studied 100 times to understand the quality of the innings. - Concur completely. I too regard it as possibly the best ODI innings ever. If England bowlers were indeed so bad, maybe the rest of the Windies lineup shouldn't have folded the way they did. I do agree with the view expressed in some comments that Sachin's achievement in maintaining his consistency over a very long and hectic career is something Richards cannot lay claim to, irrespective of whether that is fair to either batsman. But the margin by which Richards bested the strike rate of his own team, already embellished with the presence of Greenidge, Haynes, Lloyd, speaks for his impact. What impact Richards had on the people of the West Indies islands, I cannot tell (though I suspect diehard Sachin fans forget what Richards himself stood for). But he had an almost revolutionary impact on the ODI game. Wish the commentators would highlight it even if that is terribly unfashionable.
    [[
    English bowlers bad??? No way. Willis, Botham, Foster, Miller and Pringle at Old Trafford on a spring day is not an easy attack.
    In terms of impact a player had on his nation, I would put Tendulkar way ahead of Muralitharan/Richards/Bradman.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Amit68 on November 23, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    I have two very disparate comments: I wonder, Mr. Narayan if you might be able to do the same analysis of tables 1 and 2, just considering the top 10 most favorable cases for each batsmen. I ask this because most of our (or atleast my) lingering memories of Tendulkar and other great batsmen have to do with outstanding innings that they played. My guess is that most batsmen will have very similar stats. Another approach may be to look at their most productive 3 yr period and repeat the analysis: again to answer the question: how good were they at their very best.
    [[
    Amit, a very valid point. Pl remember that this is a first attempt at an analysis like this. Rajesh (of Cricinfo) has already suggested an interesting tweak. Will consolidate all comments on this to come out with an analysis of true value of an innings.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    My other comment is regarding the last sentence in your article. Whether Sachin deserves the Bharat Ratna does not have anything to do with who else gets it. Sachin's accomplishments stand on their own. As do Anand's. When Anand receives the award it should not be because it was given to Sachin. (Also this comment makes you come across as parochial and affects the objective tone of the rest of the analysis.)
    [[
    Nothing parochial about my comment. Pl interpret my comment as "Now that Sachin has opened the door for sportsmen, let the door not be closed again.". Since 13 posthumpous awards have been given, why not for Dhyan Chand.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • B.C.G on November 23, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Wow.A Sachin article is sure to bring in the crowd.Mostly boisterous.Why do some posters think it is manipulated?Just because he wasn't the best.Viv's innings of 189 alone will trump ALL 40000 ODI centuries of Sachin.Kohli seems well on course for overtaking that btw. @arakelov-Sachin didn't invent uppercuts.Tony Grieg played that shot a few times way back.
    [[
    The only SRT innings that comes anywhere near the 189*, in a total context, is the 175, unfortunately in a losing cause. That 1984 scorecard has to be studied 100 times to understand the quality of the innings.
    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64976.html
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Dear Mr. Narayanan First of I would really like to appreciate your analytical angles. But I disagree with your conclusion that he may not be the greatest batsman. I think he deserves Bharat Ratna, more than any other Indian sportsman. Please note the following points complementing my statement made above: 1) He has seen the change in cricketing generation and accordingly coped up with that. Infact he's only one, even Kapil failed towards the end. 2)He has invented the many new cricketing shots. Infact the popular helicopter shot of Dhoni was invented by Sachin 3)Yes you are right, people only remember the nos. like 49 only. They actually forget the list 90's he got out (17 in ODI and 10 in Tests). Imagine the no centuries he would have on cconverting those 90s to 100s. 4) Talking about average, I think no other batsmen apart from Tendulkar and Kallis have ODI averages near to 45 who have played more than 300 ODI matches. This tells about the consistency of the player.
    [[
    You are correct in all your points. I respect your rights to hold far more popular, often well-founded, views even if I do not agree with those 100%.
    Would you take the trouble of re-reading my comment on BR. Have I said that he does not deserve it. I have no problems with it and welcome the same but have only expressed a wish that Anand is awarded in the next two years or so. Even that wish is not correct, is it? Does it mean that the SRT-supporters do not want a second BR awarded at all.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    (cont) 7.Important Matches:Viv played 6 WC SF & Finals got 1 50 & 1 century.Sach played 5 SF & Finals got 3 Fifties.Not much to chose.Sachin scored 130 in Compaq Cup final against SL in 2009 & 110* odd runs in VB series 1st final in 2007 while chasing to guide an inexperienced Indian team to victory against then world champs Aus where India had a horrid record.Both can not be given equal weightage. In fact contrary to popular belief Sachin contributed significantly to most multi-nation tournament India won (Titan Cup,VB Series,Sharjah in final) (Natwest,WC 2011 before finals).

    8.Viv never had to face the best bowling line up of his time(WI).Sachin never had the luxury of batting against the weakest of bowling line up of his time(India)

    I know it has become too long but take it as constructive criticism than complaint (& please post) but IMO article analysis was highly subjective than objective like when you say 189 was the best ODI innings.

    P.S.Result of MtId 1639 & 1889 are wrong.
    [[
    I love your comment. That is the positive way of looking at the presentation. I would not even contest your conclusions. You have interprested the numbers just the same way I did. You may very well be correct. After all these arguments, the one reason I may put Richards ahead is the era he played in and the strike rates during that era. But I appreciate your comment as the first real one after studying the article so much so I am going to feature the same. I suggest the rest of the readers should read your comment how to handle an analytical article, the conclusion of which you disagree with, objectively.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    3. Overall graph:It shows Sachin has been consitently great from 1998-2012. SR-Mid 80s, Avg-40+ it kept on increasing to 45 which ultimately was his career avg.Keep in mind it is not an inflated avg because of notouts like Dhoni/Bevan.

    4.Period wise Breakup:He has been phenomenal in 98-2001(peak) but more significantly great in 2006-2012 a period of 5 years where he did not play ODI continuously.Unlike most other players his record did not drop at fag end of career but actually improved which further says he did not play past his peak unlike Viv in ODIs.Tests is a different story where he frankly embarrassed himself for last 2 years.

    5. Not much to add. 6.Opening Partnership:Hayden-Gili played in a better team had more Win% & opened together post 2002 so better SR.Otherwise I would put them at equal pegging with Sachin-Saurav who opened in late 90s & early 00s.I think they got back together during mid 00s but were not that successful.I had not seen the Windies pair. (contd)

  • on November 23, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    I usually agree with your articles as they use raw facts but this time your personal bias has surely clouded your judgement.I am a Tendulkar fan but don't believe him to be anywhere close to the greatest test batsman of all time or even his era.But in ODIs as some past great said there is Tendulkar then daylight then everyone else.It is mainly his ODI record that makes him the possibly the best batsman of all time across all formats.

    Now I am going to take your measures & explain my point: 1. The 1st Chart:A TSI of .609 from 452 matches by any objective standard > TSI of .641across 167 matches.Sachin played 3 times as many matches but still TSI of >.6 which none but Viv could keep.I am not considering Amla as he is yet to play 100 matches which must be a cut off.BTW a list that doesn't contain Ganguly & Ponting but notes N Knight & T Iqbal is a suspect in my book

    2.The SR Chart:Again Sachin scores 3 times as much as Viv(his SR is great keeping in mind his era) at above avg SR (cont)

  • Vyasa_Shastry on November 23, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    2 of 2 3) Anantha, this is not a question but a comment. Surely SRT's knock of 85 in Mohali was not a classic- atleast 4 dropped catches and he looked rattled after Ajmal's appeal almost got him. I feel he scratched his way to 85 very important runs. 4) SRT needs to be seen w.r.t how his batting contribution changed with time- his runs% and his strike rate w.r.t his peers. That will show how valuable his wicket was and how he still performed remarkably with a good peer group. Here too, he seems to have performed his best with a good team (like most other batters I would assume). 5) Will there be another 1998 in ODIs? I doubt it, even with mammoth scores today.

    Vyasa
    [[
    Irrespective of batting position, the HSI is a good indicator of contributions. Look at it like that. No point in complicating it with the batting position since it will lose its simplicity.
    Note how his parameters changed with time. The raw data is also available for the analysts amongst readers to work on.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Vyasa_Shastry on November 23, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Hello Anantha,

    Nice way of looking at a long career. Few questions from my end: 1) ODI batting analysis shows that it is quite difficult for someone out of the top 3 to make a big score. Something must be done to check for mean batting position (or even better, normalize the scores at each batting position to compensate for this) else the tilt will be only towards top order bats. I reckon Amla'a and Kohli's stats will come down eventually. 2) You've examined Tendulkar's career stats in 5 parts. Why not see how his stats compared to his peers in his respective batting position? Then, his first 80 innings might not look so bad since he batted in the middle order. My grip with this is that people are comparing R G Sharma's slump with Tendulkar's humble beginnings. I don't think they can even be compared since I don't think India had alternatives (then) but had people during Sharma's time. Overall, an average of 47 while opening is stratospheric. I think you should highlight that. 1 of 2

  • InsideHedge on November 23, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Your analysis of Tendulkar's World Cup performances diminishes your statistical analysis. It's in this format that he excited us yet you simplify it with cold, almost heartless one liners. The 1996 WC was his magnus opus, the semi final track at Eden only looked like a beast once he was dismissed, his mastery in India's chase is thankfully appreciated by the Lanka skipper. Once he was gone, the rest of India's batters looked lost, bewildered and that sums up India's fans pretty much throughout his ODI career. You simply can't encapsulate that feeling in your numbers nor can you explain why someone would wake up at 2am in California and drive 30 miles to a fiend's home just to watch this man.
    [[
    IH, there are enough people to wax eloquently, in better prose than mine, on many a wonderful innings SRT played. Let me be the heart-less number-crunching one-line producer. In reality, the length of the article prevented me from going on longer. Incidentally I watched the Eden Gardens SF. So I know what you are talking about.
    I have to do the same in Tests also. Pl do not blame me.
    But I love your comment and the way you have written from the heart. Let me remind you that I also have a heart and was indeed moved very much by the perfect loveley farewell innings of 74 and those 21 minutes.
    It is a pity that people do not make any attempt to give a complex article anything more than a cursory gl;ance and pick on a sentence or two. The SRT leagacy does not gain by such shallow comments. Ananth
    : ]]

    Clearly, your work is brilliant and there's a lot you've written that I agree with esp regards the unnecessary painful search for his 100th ton. I'm especially glad you mentioned Tendulkar's humility because if there was a score for this attribute, Richards would register negative.

  • stn11 on November 30, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    Hi Ananth, This is Dr. Talha.

    I think Viv was better than sachin. Though the difference is very small. There is absolutely no doubt that these 2 are were the very best in ODI's. I guess the argument starts after number 2. Who is number 3???

    Here is list to choose from: Ponting, Dean Jones, Bevan, M Waugh Kalllis, De Villiers, Amla Miandad Ganguly, Dhoni Greenidge, Haynes, Lara G Gooch

    If i am making an all-time ODI XI, my third automatic selection will be MS Dhoni.

    Ganguly

  • on November 30, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Ananth, Thanks for the article. Really enjoy reading this one (and the one of tests as well). I have a comment in your ODI piece - shouldn't we take into account the average expectations while evaluating performance? For example, in the period 1989-1995 when SRT had the lowest average in his career, the score of 250+ would be considered good, a score of 280+ in would be considered very good. Accordingly team strategies revolved around wicket conservation early on with a late flourish. Given that SRT was batting lower in the order during that time, he would have got out playing an attacking game. Taking this into account, would it mean, he performed at / above par?

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Despite the popular belief, I strongly believe Lara was the ODI batsman of 1990's, with Sachin coming 2nd (In tests, Sachin was better) - this after considering bowling/pitch conditions on which they played matches, I was fortunate enough to see most of their matches. But, since then, both batsmen went down, but the slope for Lara was higher. In 2004, I was probably one of the first ones to bring Sachins overseas performance against any country with good pace attack, and his exaggerated avgs in Asia and against minnows, but this was done ONLY to COUNTER the claim that he was far better ODI player than Lara and there was no comparison in terms of avgs and S/R. But that doesn't mean that we should completely ignore all those matches against minnows and those in Asia. You have to weigh it down a bit but not a lot. I will stop here with the last word "Those who used to bitterly oppose it are now taking the same weapon to play down Kohlis et al - - - PLACID WICKETS. Get a life.

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    One some pitches a 83-ball 65 could be good on some 125-ball 125 could be responsible for your teams downfall especially since you have used the most productive phase of the innings - that field restriction overs. Records are always fascinating but in many cases it comes at the expense of something more important and fundamental, that puts a question mark on a player's integrity. However pleasant Lara's batting was, I could not understand him going after that 400 (Others can justify to themselves) to me that was selfish, although that record is better with his name than Hayden's. Cont..

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    He was a very good user of field restriction rules, in the beginning of his opening career, would go at every opportunity to score briskly but later settled into a more controlled maneuver. With the amount of talent at his disposal, could send any bowling attack packing, especially in the subcontinent. He was a very disciplined cricketer and always conscious of his performance in terms of runs he has put on the board, irrespective of the opponents, it requires lot of self discipline from a player of his calibre to score run a ball 152 against Kenya. In a match against Ireland, a commentator were swift in criticizing Trott for making run-a-ball 92, but nobody can dare to criticize Sachin for his similar 123 in the same tournament? I did for the reason of "NOT trying enough". If that innings was from a lesser player, say Ganguly, I would be less critical, but not for some one as talented as Sachin, he should have upped the scoring about 10 overs before. Cont..

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    And I think Sachin submitted to that and started focussing more on these - So what was wrong in it? If you try to score a century then definitely you are going to compromise on R/R and then opposition will have better chance of winning it. Proof! Ananth's graph depicting his S/R, since about 2000, it remained constant, despite a whopping increase in strike rate all the teams! With almost constant average/SR, to me that was downward. Of course there were exceptions. Although he became less and less consequential in ODI's, it did the trick. There are a billion people in the world who will be sitting with pen and paper to see how many runs he scored above everything else forgetting about why the game is played for? For entertainment and WIN. Cont..

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    He came in 1989 with a lot of hype, but did not overly impressed and it took me some 2-3 years to realize that he is for real! A true master player who can play consistent & dominating innings. One of my favorites (not favorite most) is his 90 against Aust in 96 WC, and to me, that "desert storm" is nothing compared to that. It took me some time to realize the importance of a lion among lionesses who are responsible for killing majority of the prey, in Indian cricket he was the one, at least till about 2000. But a beautiful career was spoiled by some of the most notorious suggestions by none other than Sunil Gavaskar, he always suggested him (read in news papers) to score more centuries with a simple logic that if Sachin scores a century, there will be enough runs on the board and the team will win, and my another favorite - One will be remembered by how many runs/tons scored (and now he is luring Cook/Kohli). Cont..

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    I have always hated Ravi Shastri for what he was, a boring/mediocre player, who always acted like he was something special, but I would be first to acknowledge his achievements despite being a player with so much limitations.. I was happy when he was finally shown the door, but I also felt he didn't deserve to be dropped more than Azhar, and for the record, I liked Azza's batting. Life can not be measured in love and hatred extremes.. its a lot more complicated than that (Donnie Darko). I don't enjoy Sachin's batting As Much As many other batsmen, but I am going to keep him above most of those, for my likings/country/state/religion/cast/color will not make a player any better or worse. I don't have my personal best list where top 100 are all Khan's and Pathan's lol. Cont..

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Though no where near as talented as Viv or for that matter even Brian, but was always ready to give 100% and knew the value of numbers. There lies his strength and the whole pandora's box. A billion people, fooled by the sheer weight of numbers, try to convince everybody, based on THEIR NUMBER (a billion). But there are lot of people who don't get awed by the sheer numbers, but then, rather unfortunately, they get into anti-Sachin camp simply coz they think that a certain Dravid orLara or Ponting or Gavaskar etc was better than him. Sachin has his strengths and weaknesses, don't just count his strengths or only his frailty. To me he remains a great player, who has his own position. In ODI's, I am not sure whether he is the second best... may be, may be not. But if I am forced to choose, I will choose him, but there are a few others who are close by (not Bevan though.. lol). Cont..

  • on November 30, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    Hi Ananth, My apologies for being away from the team, have been really busy, lately. I have scribbled some random and mostly incoherent thoughts, with a hope that you might publish it. It was really hurting to see the inevitable departure of a great great player. A good and different analysis by you but as usual did not surprise me a lot (not your fault). Have read a few comments, and have been hurt to see him being compared with Kallis/Dravid even by some respectable (to me at least!) posters here, even though I will have DIFFICULT time in choosing between him and Kallis as a "PLAYER" (and not just batsman). To me he was Sachin, nothing more or nothing less. A very gifted batsman, should be separated from good batsmen like Dravids/Kallises/Cooks/Gavaskars/Borders/Miandads etc who have achieved great heights due to their other quality, "they knew their weakness and always tried to play within" - not Sachin. He is a natural stroke player and always had to curb himself. Contt...

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 30, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    That is because, there is one pattern of scoring however unlikely, which could have unjustifiably resulted in Tendulkar dropping to low. That is - if he is a freakishly consistent batsman, or scores only in low scoring matches but does not cash in in high scoring matches, while others fail in low scoring matches but greatly prosper in friendly conditions, then Tendulkar is being wronged by the comparison I have given. So we must normalize for scoring levels in each match, so only Ananth can do it.

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 30, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=500;qualval1=runs;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=batting

    You have to search long and hard before you get to ST.

    Now, limiting the cutoff to 1000 runs. Tendulkar is still not in top 15. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;orderby=batting_average;qualmin2=1000;qualval2=runs;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=batting

    This is strongly suggestive, but not conclusive. That is because, contd...

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 30, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Apologies. I would like to modify the previous statement. We still need Ananth's help. The data I provided is not enough, though it is powerfully suggestive. First the links. The following link simplifies this - it aggregates performances in Australia+SA+Eng by all batsmen not from these countries, and always playing against the host country, not against a third country. Cutoff 500 runs. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=500;qualval1=runs;template=results;type=batting

    Tendulkar at 31 is not even in the TOP 50…take that.

    The following link excludes batsmen from these three countries. Eng, if Ponting played England in England, that will be excluded. But Richards will be in, since this way, the comparison is for batsmen who have played in all three countries. You can ignore Richards also, as he did not play in SA. But several others have. Contd...

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 30, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Centin, Tendulkar's average in Australia is 35, but in Australia AGAINST Australia is what I am interested in as it is an away match, not neutral. It is 30.8. Similarly, in SA, 39, but in SA AGAINST SA, it is 25 (by comparison Ponting is 45). In England it is 44 but in England against ENG it is 39 (Ponting is 44, Richards 79).

    Don't worry, I have crunched all these numbers long back. Sorry, Tendulkar's record is merely mediocre. It is the matches against Nigeria, Kenya etc. which have bolstered his numbers.

    Other countries like NZ, WI, Pak, have not had stable teams or threatening bowling attacks. Outperformance in these countries does not matter to me, though it may matter to ST fans who are eager for runs scored by him.

    SL is a special case. See his record in tests - it is great when Murali did not play, but ordinary, when he played.

    Ananth, am surprised you agreed with Centin so quickly.

  • VK10 on November 29, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    @Ananth: Not too sure about Kohli. Batsmen peak between ages 23 & 28 in ODIs; Kohli is at his peak now.
    [[
    I feel that if Kohli crosses 200 matches with 50+ average (a tall ask) he could very vell finish at the top.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    - Things get tough after age 28; Dravid had to be a 'keeper for an ODI spot for a while after age 27 itself. Which is why Viv's record (many ODIs happened after age 28 for him) and SRT's '07-'11 phase are so remarkable. - Sponsors' financial clout can help Kohli ride over a long draught as it did for SRT during '05-'06 and '12-'13 but injury and other factors are anybody's guess. - Kohli has had it great so far: flat tracks, Dhoni's captaincy, strong batting line-up (SRT/Sehwag/Gambhir/MSD) for first 3 years, money & celebrity. Much of it was beyond his control. As I wrote, cricket is a team game and Kipling's wolf & pack morale applies here perfectly. BCCI & media made SRT the wolf and he made them his pack. For almost "22" years!!! That takes some doing. This is really where he scores over Lara and others even though his peaks in tests are not that great.

  • cenitin on November 29, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @Ananth... Thanks for Changing the tone in your comment to Maxwell To Edwin.I knew you are going to publish my comment as you always do. But it was kind request and my intention was not like to force or blame you. Also you concluded the article saying that Richard is above Sachin because of his avg, S/R, Run Outs, Wkts and his 189 inng. Now my point is its your personal opinion. From this article you can't say that Richards avg is superior to Sachin if consider their inngs too. Also apart from these there are many other aspects in which Sachin is better like Highest score, Number of mom/mos, I knew you think that MOM was inclined to batsman more but both are batsman only so we can compare, Number of runs, Number of centuries, Consistency as proved my fellow commentators etc. I have no prob if you rate Richards ahead of Sachin personally but you can't conclude same on the basis of this article. I hope you will get my point, not questioning your ODI analysis or knowledge.
    [[
    My statement was done based on a 12-point analysis. If you read my featured responses to Nitin (I hope you are not that Nitin) and Ramesh Kumar, you will understand. If I have longevity weight at x%, Richards is just ahead of Tendulkar. If I make it x+5%, the positions are reversed. Maybe I would do x+y% so that they are tied.
    Pl understand that I have shown immense patiennce in dealing with the comments. Some of these cross the line, some are abusive, some are repetitive, some are counched in proper language and/or put forward their counter-arguments (like yours). There are times when I get exasperated.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • VK10 on November 29, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    @Ananth: 1. Sorry, cut-and-pasted the wrong innings from my earlier comment. I meant 139 vs Oz ('01) & not 93 vs SA. The 93 was great stuff on a difficult pitch in a must win match vs a decent attack. IMO, 141 vs Pak was better than 98 vs Pak. 2. One should view SRT in the light of Waugh's take on Lara: "When the attack was average, he was good. When it was great, he was great. But when the situation was dire, when he was pushed in a corner or had convinced himself that it was so, he was a genius." SRT falls short on the "genius" part in test. A 270/153*/281/153/277 needs great concentration, great low-risk attacking repertoire, & some luck. Compared to a few peers, SRT fell a bit short on 2/3 of these ('98 back injury was a factor). The first 2 factors matter not much in ODIs. So, he scripted quite a few all-time great ODI innings.
    [[
    Fortunately I will not make a single comment on the Test batsman positions. If pushed against the wall, I will say that there is a dogfight for the second position, that is all.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    3. Readers mentioned Bevan & Dhoni but have overlooked Hussey. Hussey was a phenomenon at #4 through #7, esp. at #5 and #7.
    [[
    I think we have to mention Bevan, Hussey and Dhoni always, as a group of three. Their unique status as finishers is something amazing. All three have over 50 as average and over 28 as Not outs %.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cenitin on November 29, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @Ananth Why such a rude response to Maxwell T Edwin ? He didn't say anything specific about Tendulkar so how u classified him as Tendulkar's fan. He might be not a fan of stats but you can say your point in more polite way. Also I am Tendulkar fan but not consider him God because it will be devalued the accomplishment of Sachin. Also I will accept Tendulkar even if he is 50 %. But here you yourself presented the data like .641 TSI for Richards and .609 for Sachin. Now you considering Richards just above Sachin as he is having greater TSI but we consider Sachin just above Richards because Sachin maintained the .609 TSI for 452 inng while Richards for only 167 inng. Same is the case for S/R. Data is same but perception is different. You don't want to consider the number of inngs which is almost 2.75 times of Richards. If you conclude by saying that even considering this you will Rate Richards above then its your personal choice but ur choice is subjective not stat driven. Plz publish
    [[
    Your last sentence is unnecessary. I have no fears and do not have any problems in publishing anything written in acceptable language. How I respond is driven by what is presented before me. I may react strongly at times and that is because of the inability of the readers to understand what has been presnted and their not reading the article or my responses to comments fully. Despite my many proper responses, if people keep on persisting in one line of argument, I am going to react.
    Anyhow how much do you know about the basis of my ODI Batsmen analysis. How do you know that the number of matches played has not been considered. How do you know that my choice is not subjective but driven by hard facts and numbers.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 28, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    You are taking things objectively which is fine, but the point what you are missing here is that we are not making perfomance anlaysis of some company managers or some corporate honcho, we are dealing with specially gifted cricketers who have given us joy in various eras, when you are trying to complicate things by comparing players of different eras your analysis is bound to fail and its also not easy to compare the players of even the same era and may be even the same team.so my humble suggestion to you is keep away your graphs, charts etc and watch one straight drive of Tendulkar or a pull shot played by ponting, helicopter by dhoni, amazing back foot play of a lara or anyone of that sort .To compare all these in pure mathematical terms and robbing of its joy will be the greatest cruelty to cricket.lets enjoy the game and soak in its pleasure rather than worry about the calculator lying there (better leave it at your office ;) )
    [[
    In that case, may I ask why you choose to come away from those television clips showling the beautiful cover drives or on drives or upper cuts and read articles which are predominantly analytical in nature. Your (and quite a few other people's) problem is when the articles say that your "God" is not 100% but 99%. The 1% rankles. Maybe you should change, not I.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on November 28, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    @ those speaking of greatest ODI innings...... I am not a stats fan and not a 50 over cricket fan. The best game of 50 over cricket I ever saw was an all out for 70's V's all out for 60's affair in a long forgotten Australian domestic final, between WA and QLD. (gillette cup I believe it was called) That given the best innings I ever saw was probably the 189. I thought Andrew Symmonds in WC qualifier V Pakistan in 2003 was pretty special. Aravinda De Silva smoking it when coming in at 3 for virtually nothing in a WC semi final springs to mind. Saeed Anwar's 196 was sheer genius ? Gower at Brisbane ? ..... idk.... although I don't watch, I see some things worthy :) Thanks Ananth !

  • blthndr on November 28, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    nice article in terms of technical details....as a SRT fan its really a enlighten one....there may be another aspect of calculate the whole thing....is it possible to calculate it in different phases of odi cricket with different odi rules....it might give us a different picture.....one thing i want to mention about SRT batting...when he is there in the middle batting looks so much easy and ease on eyes even if he is on top os the bowling all the time....I.e..the innings of 175 against aussie....he was at his best scoring freely at will with out taking any risk(always aggressive with ease bt never devastating)...For me he is an class artist with a bat in his hand....

  • on November 27, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    Such a typical Ananth!! hahaha...didnt expect analysis and numbers at the time of this...simple tribute would have worked magic and might have showed you much more than analyst.

    too much to ask? may be...
    [[
    There are 15921 such simple tributes for you to look at. Why add a me-too analysis?
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on November 27, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    As usual an excellent article with the even more excellent downloads available for us to make our own conclusions. I have added "brave" to my personal assessment of you - you surely must have half expected what would happen in response ? It's nice to see you'll publish those that conform to decency (unlike a recently rubbish assessment of who can't play fast bowling on this site). Sachin has been a super player for a very long time. I wish him all the best in his further phases of life. I am happy that he's the only recipient of an Australia Medal for cricket, that was not a resident at the time of receipt (Sobers and Grieg also foreign players to receive). Ghulam Muhammad hasn't been mentioned in comments as an incredible Indian sportsman - thought I'd add him.

  • VK10 on November 27, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    @Ananth:

    1. Nice of you to mention Styris' 141 off 125. O'Brien's jaw-dropping 113 vs Eng had kept reminding me of it.

    2. Hype surrounding SRT's Sharjah knocks is a case of glorious match-winning bastmanship on placid pitches vs mediocre attack getting praised to skies by Indian media just because it is SRT. Strangely, some of his truly great innings in must win matches vs great attacks never recd due praise: 139 vs Oz, 93 vs SA, 138 vs SL. I think 138 vs SL was his best innings ever.

    3. His 85 vs Pak was ugly but it won a most important ODI. So great was the pressure that everybody played poorly in that ODI --- only Sehwag, Raina, & Akmal could play freely.

    4. Cricket is a team game. Kipling's wolf & pack morale works well in it. SRT has not played outliers like 189*, 189, 175, 153*, 400*, 299, 281, etc. in any format. But BCCI & media made him the wolf and he made them his pack. For "22" yrs!!! This is why he arguably ranks above a Lara/KP/Gilly/Ponting.

  • IAmAkki on November 27, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    This article of yours clearly shows the great deal of effort you have put in - and such an enormous effort can only come from someone who really adores the game. Though figures don't lie, but they don't always tell the truth either. They can be deceiving. You have relied heavily on the stats alone - which makes me question your theory. While looking at your list, I found it really hard to believe that a genius like Ponting doesn't make the cut in your list. That itself is sufficient for me to question the algorithm you used, except if you are saying that Ponting doesn't deserve to be in this list. Similarly, other greats like Inzamam are also nowhere to be seen. Clearly, they are greats who deserved to hold a place among these geniuses. You have definitely gone wrong somewhere. Runs and records don't make a player great - they IMO, just can't be used to judge the greatness of a player. BTW, I myself feel that Sachin is a close second to Sir Viv and I am not a SRT worshiper.
    [[
    Pl note that this is not a ODI batsmen exercise. It is a tribute to Tendulkar with couple of new ideas thrown in. Other than my own perception of Richards & Tendulkar being at the top, I have not made any other assessment. In fact when one reader pushed in his top-5, I suggested that Ponting be put above Dhoni. One day I WILL do a proper batsmen analysis. Pl wait until then.
    And I would like to know in which list is Ponting not there. In the first table, the spoils are normally shared by Australian batsmen, so no Australian batsman is there. He is there inb the second list. But you have to download the document for that.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • VK10 on November 27, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    @red_forever, Ananth, Gerry:

    1. Average-wise, the only year in which Lara was sub-par in both tests & ODIs is 2000. Let's look at him 1994 onward as (test avg, ODI avg). 1994 = (71, 34); 1995 = (68, 67); 1996 = (25, 50); 1997 = (41, 55), 1998 = (44,55); 1999 = (60, 24); 2000 = (29, 36); 2001 = (64, 43); 2002 = (35, 49); 2003 = (75, 47). When 2003 ended, he was 34 yrs old and ODI performances went downhill afterward. I think 1995 was Lara's peak and he then dealt with frustrations thanks to a mediocre WICB & the terminal decline of WI that had talent & attitude problems and virtually no bowlers apart from Ambrose & Walsh, both aged 32+. He hit his rock-bottom in 2000, did soul searching, talked to Sobers and changed the grip, decided to focus on tests only, and delivered a memorable 2003-2006 period in tests.

    2. Dhyan Chand's sole claim to a celebrity position in society is as a hockey player. He played no serious match for independent India. So, why should he get the BR?

  • cenitin on November 27, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Hi Ananth, the problem in your most of the Sachin related article is you never consider number of matches or inning a factor. I just want to ask you if a person played 100 matches and avg 65 and other 200 matches and avg is 60. Would you think is better batsman ? Whom you think a team would like to have ? It is open secret that when you play higher number of matches your avg bound to be go down and thus a person who is maintaining consistent avg for longer period is more beneficial for a team. You mentioned in your article that one of the factor in Richards favour is his avg i.e. 47 as oppose to 45 off Sachin. If you consider the number of inng here played by both and I will say Sachin is ahead. Kambli played only 20+ test and his avg is better than Sachin that doesn't mean he is better batsman than Sachin. There are many player like Hussey who avg was 65+ for first half in there career (say 40 tests) and then he was n't able to maintain the same performance in second half

  • alarky on November 27, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Ananth, It's really in ODIs that SRT made his name! Not that he didn't do well in tests, but there are simply too many better players than him in that format, by their individual winning performance ratios, to pick him in an All Time 11 test team! Eg, he's just retired not being able to score a SINGLE 100 in 40 CONSECUTIVE INNINGS, although he tried very hard for 3 CONSECUTIVE YEARS - ending with a paltry low 30s average in that said period! This abysmal performance is second only to Alan Border who wouldn't be picked in any All Time 11! Hence, if Alan can't be picked, I can't see why Tendulkar should even be a candidate! I think such poor performances are more than enough to disqualify any batsman for an All Time 11 team! Also, even though SRT did well in the ODI format, according to the analysis presented per your graphics here, I don't see how it merited the un-Ananth statement, "there's no one ..to challenge [SRT's] second position. He's close to Richards..then there's daylight"!
    [[
    You seem to have the wires crossed. You are talking about the Test scene in the first half of your comment and then questioning my statemnet which is on ODI. What is wrong with my statement re ODI batsmen. What is wrong with the graphs. Fantastic maintenance of the high values over 250 matches.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cric_options on November 27, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Ananth - Great stuff on this analysis. There is a great likelihood that whatever way this analysis is done, Viv and Sachin will end up being the top two. To me, its very hard to separate who is better. As discussed, the longevity and consistency factor would perhaps balance out the difference in avg and SR (even when adjusted to era rates).

    But I am not surprised to see the openers or the top order batsmen featuring predominantly in the top two score table. This is expected. We perhaps need to normalize that with the 'likelihood factor' that a batsman in a certain position is expected to end up making the top two scores. The frequency above the normal and the size of such scores would then be the numbers to compare.

    Similarly, the SR table is likely to be heavy with batsmen who would have a higher pressure of scoring at a high rate, more often in chases. So that too needs to be normalized.

    Ofcourse after the two geniuses, there is daylight, and its hard to order who follows them.

  • Leggie on November 27, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Leaving aside all those statistical analysis, the paragraphs I read with utmost interest was how Tendulkar fared in key ODI matches in the World Cup on major tournaments. For me the three failures of Tendulkar that stand out would be 1) vs. Australia in the '99 world cup (in the super six stage?), 2) vs. Australia in the 2003 finals 3) being bowled vs Sri Lanka in the 2007 WC. It's amazing in the sense that I probably don't remember how the others fared in those matches. I'm sure this would be the case for millions of Sachin's fans. For a long time, the little man captured the nation's imagination, and it seemed as though India's fortunes were more or less directly proportional to his success.

  • cricwick on November 27, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    I see that SRI is calculated over that of the entire team. But, shouldn't that be calculated against say, top 7 in the batting order as we are more concerned about how a particular batsman fared against his batting peers?
    [[
    When it comes to strike rate the 8-11 combination is not likely to be inferior to that of, say, 3-7. Also many a slogging cameo has been played at the end of the innings.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Some people seem to be missing the point here. As you have already pointed out in one of your comments, Amla et al. are good at this juncture and we really need to see if they can sustain this level till the end of their careers. I think when a cricketer becomes a national celebrity, he attracts a fanatical following like pop singers and film stars.This only means there will be people who can't even tolerate what they see as criticism without pondering over the fact that this is in fact a tribute to him. This is only unfair to Sachin who is an embodiment of humility. This behaviour only creates unease to others and will certainly not help the reputation of other Tendulkar fans.

  • ArjunHemnani on November 27, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Ananth, Today in one of the blogs on cricinfo, one of the less known achievment of the brilliant ODI career of Tendulkar is mentioned. He scored 4796 runs in 100 consecutive innings from 7-4-1998 to 28-1-2002. It is most prolific by any batsman ever in ODI history. Please check if he holds the record for 50, 150, 200, 250 innings also, will put thing in perspective. Also he scored 19.10 % of teams runs, it is maximum for players who have scored more than 9000 runs.
    [[
    I had done the streak work couple of years back and is probably time to re-visit the same sometime next year, allowing Kohli, Dhoni, de Villiers and Amla to clock in about 30 more matches.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 27, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    ...In ODIs, further, on the highest plane, such as World Cup finals, his failure twice does take the gloss away from his successes in league games (where there are some weak teams also, like Nigeria, Kenya etc. which push aggregates up).

    In tests, no such dilution happens. He has scored several critical centuries (e.g. 126 in the deciding match in Chennai in 2001, helped us take a lead; 146 in South Africa, again with the series level, if he had got out, we were gone for all money), and as with any other great batsman, has failed many times too. But not significantly inferior anywhere to the other great batsmen of his time.

    Also, a reader called sancho has posted 3 numbered comments. I think one has gone into "featured" section, breaking the rhythm, something which has happened with other readers also, when they have made a string of comments. Makes it a bit cluttered, in my view. All comments make for interesting reading, so I dont see the need for a special section.

  • red_forever on November 27, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    @Vk10: Aplogoise for not using the word "relative" to his prior performances. His average at the end of 97 was near 47 but by 2002 it ended up at 42 .6, a drop of almost 4. He averaged just 32 from 99-01 period over 60 matches. I am saying he needed huge numbers to prop up his name but what i say is he dint do the justice he should have done. This was the 97-02 was the period during which sachin stole a march over Lara, even for a small period which was proved in his other Decadal analysis article. In tests he dint have a real bad period but he dint have that great a period as well.Again relative is the word here. Averages of 40,43, 29 and 35 in 4 years(97,98,2000,2002 during this period dont do any justice to him. My bad that i took a whole period of 97-02 in which he had two absolute beasts in 99,01. But the other 4 were bad years 'for him'.

    If you say that i am trying to undemine Lara, then you are mistaken and Ananth knows that i wouldnt do that.

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 27, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Contrary to everyone's opinion here, i would like to state my views on Tendulkar as follows: While I dont think he is the best, he is certainly an all time grate batsman. Now, comparing him with peers, I think he is optically very high in One Days, but there are glaring weaknesses. In Tests, I think he was a genuinely international class batsman in the same league as Lara, Kallis, Dravid, Ponting, Steve Waugh (give or take a bit) who were the other great batsmen of his time.

    The key word is international. His test record overseas is very good compared to his ODI record. The ODI reason is two fold and has not been highlighted in this article (which covers many other aspects) 1) His average in Eng+Aus+SA, which are the countries where rabidly high scoring matches dont happen all the time (toss in NZ if you like) against those countries, i.e. not neutral matches, is quite low compared to peers 2) His average in India, and Dubai/Sharjah type of easy paced wickets is high relatively. contd
    [[
    This was covered in its entirety in my earlier 2-part article on ODI Batting giants and I did not want to repeat the same. here.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Sancho on November 26, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    3.I know that your only point on BR is that people like Dhyan Chand & Anand should also receive it in the next few years. I feel that the tone in your article comes across differently. I quote "I have no problems with this well-deserved award, provided other deserving sportsmen are awarded within the next two years." Someone's award should not be dependent on another's. Does Dhyan Chand deserve the BR - I think he does and not giving it to him is an error. Does Sachin Tendulkar deserve the BR- I think he does independent of anyone else deserving it or not. Irrespective of whether Dhyan Chand gets the award or not, there should be no problem in Sachin Tendulkar getting it. I realize you are not being negative about Sachin but in the context of any award, I feel it is not fair to compare it with other recipients or non recipients to decide the merit of the awarding of an award - unless it is being used to argue that this represents the lack of value in the award itself.
    [[
    I will repeat the essence of my comment. "Now that the door has been opened, I do not want the door to be closed on political expediencies. Let it remain open". If the door is closed again, for years to come, I will certainly feel that this was a poltically motivated award. Not that my opinion matters.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Sancho on November 26, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    2.it is futile to argue with fans and detractors of Sachin Most arguments are rubbish. But 2 get my goat. From fans - "nobody played on so many grounds, such a varied set of players,no fast bowling earlier,such huge expectations, etc etc" Well, if it was so easy (specifically for Richards/Bradman in the ODI/test context) then why is there no one else with such a good record from their time. From detractors - "he couldn't finish a game, he never took India to victory". in the ODI context, this argument is so ludicrous...since when is an opener expected to finish. Your test article will get them all out. While Sachin is above all his peers in ODI, in tests there have been players as good as him, if not better - Kallis, Ponting, Dravid, Lara. I would be sceptical , if one did not have Sachin at the top in ODI's.But for tests while an analysis which places him at 1 would be valid....but so easily could be an analysis which places him at 4 or 5. Then knives would be out and teeth bared :)
    [[
    I have already mentioned that there will be no placement, ranking, rating, numbering et al there. Those guys will be fighting phantoms.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 26, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    1.Since Gerry pointed out the 120, I too am tempted to ask that where do you rate Inzaman's 1992 SF efforts among the great ODI knocks. Not the greatest of attacks though but had been mighty effective in the tournament. Also the required rate for last 15 overs was 7-8, very high by then scoring standards 2. there have been many article bashers and all of them say that Sachin is greatest sbecause of the impact he made on the society. I too agree that Tendulkar was indeed the most reverred Indian sportsman of his times, but does this stop anybody from doing an objective analysis of his career. ALso, if we go by their impact on psyche arguement, then I have a question to all such fanatics: will they rate Javed Miandad's 1986 Sharjah Hundred as the greatest ODI innings of all time, as the pressure of that six was felt by India in Sharjah for a decade. i remember after every Sharjah loss to Pakistan recalling how newspaper reports in india said that india lost the match before it began
    [[
    Unfortunately this also falls under the criteria of insufficient scorecard-context. Coming in at 140 for 4, with Javed at the other end and 126 needed is not that desperate situation, especially when the ball resource information is not available.
    I have already talked anout Miandad's hundred. The last-ball six made that innings greater than it really was. I cannot even see it in my top-20. When you see that there is a world-class innings by Styris of 141 in 125 which no one has even mentioned a single word about, you will see what I meadn. Or Jayasuriya's two efforts of 151 and 189 against India.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • VK10 on November 26, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    @red_forever: '97-'02 was a bad period for Lara in both tests & ODIs? Lara's yearly ODI averages starting '97: 50, 55, 24, 36, 43, 49 for a combined avg of 40 ... 25 scores of 50+ in 80 odd innings. All time great innings of 116* vs Oz attack at its peak. Lara's yearly test averages starting '97: 41, 43, 60, 29, 64, 35 for a combined avg of 46 ... 31 scores of 50+ in 90 odd innings. A bunch of all time great innings in trying conditions vs all time great attacks and the two most outstanding series performances of the last 30+ years. Since when this became "bad"? Lara never needed volume of matches to create his records: you are given 1 session or 1 innings or 1 test or 1 series, now show your best. In such situations, Lara ruled all modern era batsmen.
    [[
    I have not verified this. But it seems that there was a single bad year for Lara during this 5-year period: 2000. In ODIs, 1999 also.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 26, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Sorry, Ananth. You just dropped the CUP. Even YOU missed it. I am flabbergasted that no one has mentioned 120* by Steve Waugh. To my mind, it is the clear #2, if not the best innings of all time. Those who watched that match live will never forget the tension. He was captain, the entire World Cup was at stake. The opposition was the favourite. In that one innings he turned the World Cup around. He topped it up with 56 in the next match which was a brilliant innings also, batting first, in a lower scoring match.
    [[
    Big problem, Gerry. The context within the match (chasing 271 & entry at 48 for 3) and the fact that it was a Super-six match only did not give sufficient weight to push it up. I understand that many of the context is external: need to win the match, what happened afterwards, the dramatic tie and the final win certainly made the innings far more valuable than it is perceived in a score-card-driven analysis. External weights have to be infused, something I am very uncomfortable with.
    Non-referral to the innings. Who has mentioned about 138, 107, 149. Steve Waugh is not the flavour anyhow. In my opinion, deserves to be in the top-15. But will not be in any of my work for reasons mentioned already. Many thanks for referring to the gem.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 26, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    The greatest was 189*... Or was it. The innings I have in mind will come quite close, but I am pretty sure it has not even been mentioned once in this article. Tendulkar's 175, 200 etc feature prominently since Tendulkar himself is top of the mind recall in this forum. Also, Tendulkar fans seem to remember desert storm more than 117/91...I am surprised.
    [[
    Dear friend, Gerry, at least in one reply I have mentioned about the other 189, 175, 149, 194, 138, and 158. So come out with a number.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • pawanmathur on November 26, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    " instead of looiking at these alternative metrics the article was hijacked on a single point.". I fully understand this as I am subject to the same criticism and bashing in my peer circle (though by some distance not as informative as the regular commentators on this blog.) .Why? because I also believe that Richards was the greatest ODI batsmen ever, his 189 is miles ahead of any "desert storms". What the self stylised bashers fail to understand is that praising the excellence of Richards does not make you or me a Tendulkar hater. I have been following and commenting upon this blog for a while now. While the regular commentators as usual have given great insights,some stray novices just read the word Tendulkar ODI and his photo on the home page on cricinfo, clicked the article, saw a few tables, did not find Tendulkar at the top of any, so came out bashing the author. i liked your reply- "then you should have supported the country"- a fitting rebuff to I Tuned my TV off brigade
    [[
    The last thing bugs me to no end. If you go all out after one player then you forget that there are 10 others. In fact that is the one statement I contest each and every time. To some extent this is what happened at Mumbai. Made me post a strong comment something I have never done or will never do.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 26, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    I believe that numbers completely ignore the subjective experience of what a batsmen faces when he faces upto 11 opponents on a field of play. You say Sachin failed in two world cup finals, but you cannot measure that he was faced with daunting targets to chase, with great fast bowlers at their freshest with new balls in hand ,backed up by unbelievable fielding ,far better than of the 70's and 80's. In 1983, in a 60 over game,chasing 183, Viv failed. That too after getting a start. Surely thats a bigger failure? also making 189 while batting first with no score board pressure, and an old ball is easier. Still, how many ODI batsman has singlehandedly carried his team to one WC semifinal and two finals? And where was Viv when he was past age 32 ? Dont you feel that Sachin hitting 200 past 35th birthday against the best attack in the world isnt better gauge of who's batsmanship was more dominant, more enduring? And scoring wins in tri-series finals are what helps a team win a WC final

  • Anshu.N.Jain on November 26, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    continuing from my previous...

    one approach is to not award not outs any extra impact points for III. instead, simply average the impacts, treating the III values the same way as treating runs while calculating career averages, i.e., by keeping the III value in the sum (numerator), but not increasing the count of innings (denominator).

    I realised that awarding for innings in wins should apply for both innings, and not just for the 2nd innings while chasing. one way of tackling this could be to distribute an extra 0.1 III points to all batsmen in the winning team in the same ratio as their individual IIIs calculated before.

  • Anshu.N.Jain on November 26, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    Hi Anantha, The innings impact index (III) is a novelty. As do several other readers, I think that this ought to be derivable for all players in the innings, and not just restricted to the top 2 scorers. I think the Innings Power Factor (the elegant Runs X Strike Rate (SR)), that you first proposed nearly 3 years ago (suggested by Alex?) can be adapted to accomplish this task. I propose the following for III: % of bat runs X relative SR, normalised for total Innings SR (using Bat runs only, excluding extras). The pros for this formula is that the sum of individual IIIs totals the innings III, which is always equal to 1.00. For a particular player over his career, his IIIs across each innings could then simply be averaged (AM). There is the issue of suitably rewarding not outs (especially high score N.O.), and especially in the 2nd innings while chasing. Maybe these ought to be weighted differentially, say 5% extra in 1st inn and in loss/tie in 2nd inn, 10% extra for win in 2nd inn.
    [[
    Spot on, Anshu. We will re-visit these at the end of the year for some path-breaking work in the New Year. The two December pieces will see a vengeful me, with two articles with no word Tedulkar in either. Not that bad, I can assure you.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • .Raina on November 26, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Anantha, Thank you again for 'an alternative look' on SRT, and also your time and efforts in responding to many of the comments here. It would be good to get a similar perspective on Viv Richards; and maybe that will provide a better understanding of the careers of both these great cricketers. Please note that I am referring to Sections 3, 4, 5 & 7 in your article. And like Rajesh_Stats suggested earlier, a look at 'all' the scores (for a particular batsman) relative to the highest score in an innings and/or relative to the rest of the team average could also provide an interesting perspective. A separate piece on Virat Kohli / Hashim Amla would also be an interesting study.
    [[
    Will do the HSI separately. Many of Richards' numbers are there in the downloadable file. Too soon for Amla/Kohli. I would wait for them to cross 150 matches before doing any serious analysis.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    Very nice article and interesting information. I was surprised to see G. Hick at #21 :-) which leads me to believe that maybe if he had played more attacking cricket in Tests, he'd have been more successful?
    [[
    Hick is one of my favourite batsman. The fact that he delivered less than he promised does not change my opinion. England also did not do much to help him in this regard. He might have been better off moving over to SA or Australia.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    I also wanted to share an opinion on an earlier comment about how lower-order simply did not have a chance to "compete fairly", if you will. If you think of these rankings as "most valuable to team", then definitely IMO these figures are valid. The fact remains that without performing, we never know the true value, just potential value .. and if certain batsmen did not get a chance to get to the middle as often, then it's just hard luck.

  • harshthakor on November 25, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Ananth,I congratulate you on making a balanced asesment and not treating Tendulkar as somebody greater than a prophet which I think our media has unfortunately done.They have virtually turned a deaf era to sportsmen who have acheived more for the nation.

    It is important to defend Tendulkar's phenomenal longevity which will probably never be equalled who faced pressure more than any great batsmen ever.I wish you could have compared Sachin's contribution in a crisis.

    Where Viv stood out was his superb improvisation ,destructive ability,innovation and ability to imtimidate the best of bowling attacks.However Sachin's batting contained every facet for a perfect batsmen like a surgeon and an artist rolled into one.

    It really surpises me that Sachin fared better in O.D.I's than he did in test cricket ,inspite of his great technique.I wish you could explain how Lara ,Kallis or Ponting were statistically much closer to Tendulkar in test cricket,than they were in O.D.I.'s.

  • sk123 on November 25, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    Before you declare Richards better that Sachin, I would like you to add Richards first class numbers from the age of 16 to 22 to his career totals and then do the math. It's funny how people forget that Sachin was facing Marshall, Ambrose, McGrath, Waqar, Akram, Imran, Hadlee and Botham as a 16 year old. Makes me laugh when people compare his record for first five years with the likes of Richards, Lara and Ponting .. who were past mid 20s when they completed their 5 years in Test cricket.
    [[
    In reality you are making everyone laugh. We are comparing two batsmen for their ODI performances and I am asked to look at their First Class numbers. Next what. Probably their School report cards. First read the article fully and then talk.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • harshthakor on November 25, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Ananth,I congragulate you on your great work It proves that mere statistics or records do not accurately asses the greatness of the batsmen and it is the value of those hundreds or runs to the team cause that count.To me even if Sachin is arguably the best of all O.D.I batsmen he lacked the killer instinct match-winning punch iof batsmen like Michael Bevan,Mahendra Singh Dhoni,Javed Miandad,Inzamam-Ul-Haq,Brian Lara or Viv Richards,particularly in run -chases.In terms of consistency Sachin was a king but at his best Lara or arguably Adam Gilchrist could make a bigger impact on a game.

    However if you asses the pressure Tendulkar faced and the team he played for he was an all-time great match-winner as he proved in Sharjah against Australia in 1998 and against Pakistan in the 2003 world cup.Tendulkar's longevity is unparalleled.

    I still agree with Viv Richards at no 1 who could turn the complexion of a game more than any batsmen who made the impact of thunder on a cricket field.

  • IPSY on November 25, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Cont'd: Hence Ananth, I fully understand your frustration with the Tendulkar God-worshiping fans! I know that it is a result of these frustrations that led you, in an effort to show Sachin's fans that you sincerely have not an iota of animus against the great man; so you finally produced this "Sachin Performance Cocktail" - a mix of "his whole cricket": batting, bowling, fielding, coaching, companionship (partnership), every single thing, to try to please them! The world expects that when 22 "PURE BATSMEN" are selected for a statistical analysis, that the conclusion of the exercise would be just about BATTING. But because his batting alone cannot produce the result his fans want, you've combined all the other aspects of the game, in order to come up with the ONLY RESULT that his fans would be satisfied with. This gesture speaks volumes Mr Narayanan, as to how much you want to please those fans! I am in sympathy with you and I guess all your other readers understand as I do!

  • IPSY on November 25, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Ananth, there is a popular Indian cricketing adage which says, "Tendulkar is under the pressure of 1.2 Billion people" when he goes out to bat! Now Ananth, between you and Tendulkar, who is really under the pressure of 1.2 Billion people? Everytime Tendulkar went out to bat, you could hear the 'prayers' and 'well wishes' from 1.2 Billion people for him; and he too, knew very well that regardless to what happened, he could do NO WRONG, because, HE COULD NOT BE DROPPED! So what is all this pressure thing that I'm hearing about? You on the other hand Ananth, every cricket statistical analysis that you produce, regardless to how objective it is, once the figures are not skewed to say that Tendulkar is the 'Best Batsman of All Time", you are being ridiculed by 1.2 Billion people! If all the prayers and well wishes and other positive sentiments that are supplied for Tendulkar's success is called pressure for him, then what is the direct opposite sentiments for you called?
    [[
    1.2 billion people. Half of them do not know where they will get their next meal from. So even with SRT, it was an overstatement by a factor of 1 to 10. In my case the number of people is likely to be around 200, half a drop in the Indian Ocean. Anyhow I have handled this problem with success when the number of comments were five-fold. My skin is getting thicker year by year. I could easily take the way-out method of ignoring these comments. But I hope that at least one person will understand what I am doing.
    But let me say one thing. I do not need to fake anything. I really and wholeheartedly do like Tendulkar a lot. A true gentlemen-cricketer. It is the deification and "he is god. so nothing can be said about him" attitude.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    An excellent analysis here. You really have put in some excellent work here. Statistics do show that Richards is the best closely followed by Sachin. But to me however the bowlers Sachin faced and the pressure and expectations on him make him better than even Richards in my book. Hard to believe that a player like Dhoni, who has been among the top ODI batsman over the past several years doesn't however feature in any of the lists. Really looking forward to your Test match analysis.
    [[
    What are presented here are only extracts from the tables. The full tables can be downloaded and viewed by any reader. Dhoni figures there.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • anirguha on November 25, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Dear Anantha, thanks for the statistics and as it rightly said that the data speaks for itself. However, to attribute anyone as the best batsman or a best player in any team sport, it is important to understand what is his/ her contribution towards a winning cause. I've seen statistics which talks about how many runs Tendulkar has scored when India has won a match. However, it will also be interesting to understand how many matches India has won when Tendulkar alone has performed well either with bat or ball. For example if there has been any similar innings from Tendulkar to what Kapil Dev did against Zimbabwe in 1983 World Cup. If so how many are there? I think it would be a good idea if you can also add the matches won in Table 1; i.e. analysis of highest score and second highest score in an ODI innings. Thanks.
    [[
    The matches won information is readily available in Cricnfo. Hence I did not include the same. I was trying tp do some different analysis. If you download the exhaustive file yourself almost all this information is available.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • xpressmusic26 on November 25, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Wonderful analysis sir........every body getting d deserved place.....

  • on November 25, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Anantha, great work.

    However, you do not give any points for longevity. Richards was not outscored by 1 or 2 thousand runs, SRT scored nearly triple the runs IVAR scored. Surely that is a telling factor?

    Also, playing for an ultra-dominant team like WI in 80-90 or Aus 95-2005 surely helps a batsmen be less under pressure - 2003 WC, once SRT got out, you knew it was game over, same for 96 WC. Through no fault of his, IVAR did not have to face the most lethal attack of his time AND enjoyed the company of arguably the best batting line-up, where as SRT had neither till around 2008. Even then he was the KING pin around which everyone played around. He WAS India's highest scorer even in 2011 WC!

  • on November 25, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    On a lighter and fully jovial note, its heartening to see no. of comments going back to the old glory days of Itfigures blogs.

    Probably testifies the SRT's impact. love him hate him but cant igone him. :)

  • on November 25, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    In my view SRT's greatest strength may not lie in stats he produced,although they are bloody gud and comparable to any of the greats if selective filtering is not applied and if that is used than barring Don everyone can be mould into an ordinary player, but his connect with the people of India. EVeryone that I know has some tendulkar story be it pride, grief, disappointment or any thing. That is where his everlasting impact was and no player that I have read/seen/heard comes close. I started watching cricket seriously in 96 WC n it has been SRT always with Dravid and laksham lately. As of BR i believe few articles back it was discussed in the forum and I made a passionate case of dhyanchand before SRT but if SRT got it 1st, it should nto be held against him as this was more political decision considering elections doing the rounds. Not to say he is any less desering candidate than anyone and best thing that hpnd is probably it paved way for other sportman too. Hopefull for Dhyanchand.
    [[
    The comments are too many for you to look at. My only point is that "Now that the sportsman-door has been opened, please do not close it. Let other sportsmen (the two names I have are Dhyan Chand and Anand) be considered". This I am saying without in anyway putting down SRT's award. I heard the farewell speech and I know the impact he had on everyone.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rameshkumar_Satyamoorthy on November 25, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Continuing from my earlier post, moving on to Sachin & Viv: Numbers point out to Viv ahead of Sachin. However, my personal choice is Sachin ahead of Viv for the following reasons. 1. ODIs were played mostly in a style similar to test cricket till mid 80s, test like field setups, low strike rates etc. The mature phase is between '85 B & H WC till 2003 WC. It looks like directionless in the last 10 years. Sachin was the master during the mature phase. 2. The fielding teams evolved different strategies and Sachin could evolve/change his game to meet new challenges. I feel that Viv would not change the game and hence could be managed by the fielding team over larger run base. These points can't be supported if we apply Ananth's rigour and is based more on my own cricket viewing experience. Viv's greatness lie in playing aggresive cricket, ahead of his times within the confines of his era.Hence I have no issues in accepting Viv ahead of Sachin analysis. Overall a great tribute to Sachin.
    [[
    As I have already said, my personal feeling is that Richards is 90 and Tendulkar 89. The next one is probably 85. They are so close together that if the are interchanged to 89 and 90, I would have absolutely no problem. In fact the many readers, who have gone viral, with no analytical basis, could easily do some research and explain their conclusion on some analytical facts.
    Finally it all boils down to what is the weight to be given to longevity.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Another ancient "trick" is the often flogged claim that SRT doesn't have any great innings. This surely must be the most foolish statement ever made in cricket. Reeling off some other players great innings as if to say SRT doesn't have any is again rather odd. SRT has innumerable innings in both formats which can claim greatness. What persons probably refer to are exciting finish type of winning innings. And use the narrowest possible definition of the same , backed up with stats using the same principles- to then reach the starting point in a circular manner.

  • on November 25, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    From SRTs first 100 in Sep,1994 (age 21 , Viv debuted ODIs age 23) to his last age 39 (same age as Viv's last)- SRT played 377 inn., scoring 16,300 runs at an avg. of 47.1 at a SR of 87. His record everywhere and anywhere almost defies belief. Only IN Aus and NZ did he avg. less than 40. Otherwise against all countries of any note , home or away, it is above 40. The great inn. repeatedly mentioned about Viv,Gilchrist,Ponting,Dhoni not being played is the ONLY card used repeatedly to find some sort of "chink" in SRTs career. For most of SRTs career almost all WC matches were "important"- and if he didn't perform India wouldn't have got to 2 WC Finals and a Semi FInal to start with. The same simply cannot be said about Ponting, Viv etc. They may as well have sat out till the Finals or some other match deemed "important".

  • on November 25, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    wonderful analysis sir.................sir i want to b a ckt statistician 'almost' like u sir.......if not like u sir will u do a simple analysis of G.McCGRATH...........like who is the batsman having a healthy s.rate against him[qual. atleast 30 balls or so]....i would b more than hppy if u do so sir

  • BrianCharlesVivek on November 25, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    The word pressure, expectations,impact on the society and billion followers are amusing. Arent the Sachin fans sane enough to understand if billion people watch cricket when he is batting? FIrst how many people follow cricket here ? hardly a quarter of what you said. He entertained agreed, but what was the impact? He earned millions, BCCI earned millions, Big corps earned billions and the normal aam aadmi fan was forced to line up in queues to watch them.

  • BrianCharlesVivek on November 25, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Another Ananth special which packs punch and opens up debates. No offence meant, but I feel this was a customary article written , for the sake of joining the celebrations. As author points out, I too agree Sachin ranks high among the ODI batsmen, but he is not the greatest. Fans point to 18426 but when you reduce 2 innings of WC finals, it becomes 18404. Sachin fans say he inspired millions, but Richards defined how to play.Also his number of .609 would come down a bit, if you subtract around 10 hundreds against Zimbabwe, Kenya in that 97-2000 period. I look forward to that test article and anticipate Brian Lara would rank higher than him in most counts. After all, when he retired in 2007, he was still on top with 11953.
    [[
    This will not be a Test specil in the sense you mean. This is not the time for it. I will not make one comparing observation.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Hey Anantha, great work in coming up with all these decisive methods for making sense with the numbers of scorecards to answer the questions which were more subjective before. But, ODI cricket before all changes in the powerplay and ball rules, was quite different. It was always seen as a divide between first 15 overs and rest 35 overs. Where first 15 overs were more like 20-20 cricket comparative of those times, next 35 overs was all about the art of finding gaps, running between the wicket, keeping wickets in hand and targeting the right bowlers to score from. These factors might be a bit subjective but its a known fact that hitting an old soft ball is way more difficult than a new one, not to forget the spin & reverse.The greats I feel, missing of these list due to the same reason are Inzamam, Dravid, Bevan, Jones etc. I would love if you could consider these factors in the Test analysis you are going to come up, where openers and number 3 has to face the music of swinging ball.
    [[
    The Test analysis will not be that sort of one full of comparisons.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Interestingly, after the first 64 matches, Sachin has a terrible record in ODI's everywhere except in Australia. After that, his record is good everywhere except Australia where he averages 32. Apart from that, I think SR of 90 when par is 75 is easier than strike rate of 120 when par is 100. I feel the equation is not quite as straight forward.

  • on November 25, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    The tables in ICC finals are displayed wrongly. The 2 matches against SL are N/R. Not the one agianst NZ. Also, the 7 of 22 was not out as the match was washed away. So, probably a * should be placed there. As for Sachin vs Viv debate, well Viv Richards was banned by Antigua for 2 years when he was 17, a time by which Sachin was playing international cricket. Sachin, though good enough to be international player, was no where near the finished product. Those years do dip his SR, Average and impact. If you compare their 16 year career stretches, or from the time Sachin opened in ODI, I would bet that he will be lot closer AND the Sachin the ODI batsmen is primarily defined by that period. All the 100s come during that period. None of this is anybodys fault. Just that its worth pointing out what a precocious talent Sachin was and how much more level headed he was.

  • balajireddy on November 25, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Hello Ananth, my second comment on this article. In hindsight, do you think the performance of batsmen could be analysed by sections of games played under a particular captain? Maybe such an analysis could also showcase another aspect of the freedom a player enjoys within the team.
    [[
    I am not sure whether the captain plays that important a part. My feeling is that Tendulkar (or any other top player) plays the same way whoever is the captain. The freedom a player enjoys is a very vague term, not even subjective, leave alone objective. You have to be more precise.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Dear Sir, I think you should give more credit to Sachin when it comes to WC/Champions trophy. The numbers speak for themselves, but the words like "did not win any of the three matches in CF finals", "less than expected of a world class batsman" have negative connotations and are bound to pluck the nerves of ardent fans. An unbiased article will do well by not having such words. Two of the three CT finals were rained out and he scored 69 in one and in another did not face a single ball !! Don't hold it against his batting abilities. Also, you have not mentioned the fact that Sachin by far has the best records in WC's. The HSI and SRI restricted to WC will indicate that. Twice he was the highest run getter and has played crucial innings to help India qualify. The 2003 final was lost much before Sachin went out the bat ! Given the way we started the WC, it was surprising we even made it to the finals.
    [[
    If the expectations are great, the comments would be stronger. If Federer is top seed and expected to win the GS, his loss in the QF will be taken a lot more seriously than, say, Wawrinka's loss. I have to correct couple of CT terminology. But it is a fact that the Ponting/Gilchrist/deSilva/Richards type of innings were not played. Overall I agree with you.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Overall a great read. Viv rocks but so does Sachin !
    [[
    Probably one to the Reggae tune of Bob Marley and the other, to the Bhangra tune of Daler Mehndi !!!
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • .Raina on November 25, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    No one could argue on what SRT has achieved in his 24 Years of Intl. Cricket. At the same time one wonders, if SRT would have had a similar/more impact if he would not have been persisted with in the early part of his career (until 1994). His figures were practically below par, and there were much better players with better figures around him. With SRT's work ethic and sincerity, he could have benefitted and probably come back stronger in the national team; and maybe achieved even more.
    [[
    I think the great potential was seen and recognized and Tendulkar was given some leeway and that worked wonders. However I would not say that he was given anything more than others. Look at the number of opportunities given for Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 25, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    It is also devious to use one ( or even a few) such "points" in a career as some sort of proof of any individual superiority. In ANY individual innings there are numerous factors completely out of the control of any individual batsman - own team bowlers, self team bowlers, pitch , support, other team batsmen, dropped catches , favourable/unfavourable decisions etc.etc. It is understandable as a statistician dealing purely in numbers to ignore these factors . But in the real world these factors are clearly are decisive and pivotal - otherwise the same batsmen should be able to produce similar innings every time at bat. As mentioned, career wise- given their different eras there is not much to choose between Viv and SRT. Going on about how either is clearly the best reveals more about one's initial bias than any objective and thorough look at their entire careers.

  • on November 25, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    As has often been pointed out it is highly debatable whether India would have reached 2 WC Finals and WC Semi without Tendulkar in the first place. The same certainly cannot be said about Viv and the West Indies, or Ponting and Australia etc. It may be said about Lara and the West Indies but we know how the WI fared in WCs in Lara's tenure. So- "Important matches" becomes a rather debatable term. Viv ,Ponting etc could save themselves for a particular occasion. If Tendulkar did not perform in what is used here as "Non important matches" it could well be that India would not have progressed to those Finals and Semi-Finals in the first place. For eg 1999 and 2007. It is also quite devious to mention only the "high points" as though this is the clincher while completely ignoring other points. Viv's utterly rash and careless shot in the 1983 WC caused the WI to throw it away chasing a paltry 180 odd against a pedestrian Indian attack.

  • on November 25, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    His immense resolve in the midst of lacklustre peformances, average cricketers, no one to carry the run chases once he got out, no one to defend the team's total of some 240 runs (contributed mostly by him) makes him greater than the so called "greatest" in your list..

  • on November 25, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    Richards, Sobers, Waughs, Ponting, Kallis, Gilchrist, Dhoni, Kohli, hayden, Amla enjoyed a great team with greatest of enviroments to keep them off pressure. The fact that during most of Tendulkar's career, he never enjoyed this, especially when playing in Aus, eng and south african conditions.. Its quite visible to the whole world that Indian team for most time especially post 1990 to 2007 never really had the so called "greats" (barring Rahul Dravid, Kumble).. In the midst of this, Tendulkar kept performing for 24 years is something extra ordinary.. The Indian batsmen (barring SRT himself) were considered as good as minnows infront of express bowlers during Tendulkar's era..Everyone failed 90% of the times, Tendulkar performed. Imagine the pressure on him. He still kept on scoring tons.. That's pressure..

  • on November 25, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    1. Maybe if you make a comparison based on the individual's ODI average or runs per innings compared to the other teammates/opponents, and top 5/6 batsman, that would give you a better idea compared to Table 2. In that analysis, Tendulkar surely stands out, whereas he played his first half career with a moderate team, whereas Viv played in one of the all time great teams.

    2. It's time you start including Dhoni in all time ODI greats. He has already amassed close to 8000 runs in this form of cricket with 50 scores over 50 and has also ruled ICC ODI rankings for the most no. of matches played in that duration. He has already contributed enough to make into such lists which your analysis fails to recognize. He has batted most of the time at 5-6-7 position resulting in lower TSIs which doesn't give him any chance to make it into table 1. Also, he has batted in the team of one of the most brutal batsmen Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Kohli resulting in his lower SRI keeping him out of table 2.

  • Lodhisingh on November 24, 2013, 23:41 GMT

    Hmm always wondered if VIV would have been as successful if he had a longer career or played against the best bowlers of his time something Sachin had to do for the most of his career. Ponting and VIV have been very lucky in this regards that the best bowlers were always in their team. And, come on mate, Bharat Ratna is just not about cricket is it?

  • on November 24, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    You have not done a rational analysis you did a biased analysis S/R & avg both are equally imp in ODI S/R is not more imp otherwise Afride would have won PK a lot of tournaments. The fact is his batting hasn't won Pk even a single tournament final a series or a tournament. Of course avg boosted by not outs (as is the case with Beven) is even more useless then S/R bcz team total is not effected by whether u remained out or not out but every run counts in last over & Beven usually scored at 6 S/R in death overs which is crime. Opposition would prefer bowling to beven than other batsman. It is the runs per innings * S/R that matters

  • on November 24, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    You think opening is easy.....Ask Ajay Jadaja, Sidhu, Mongia how they waited 20 overs to hit first middle of the bat boundary until spinners arrived. They couldn't touch new balls & on other end Sachin would be middling every stroke of new ball.......In pak openers are as rare as dinosaurs. No batsman dares to open............Sachin in his 200 destroyed top SA attack & in WC too & ask Paki openers who have nightmares of facing Stein............India is blessed to have great batsmen especially good openers & hence they don't value them like we say in URDU "GHAR KI MURGHI DAAL BARABAR"

  • on November 24, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    1st I don't agre but If at all MOS & MOM awards are biased towards opening batsmen then there is a reason. Sir, let me tell you you haven't played a single hard ball. You play first then tell Playing new swinging seaming & bouncing new ball against oppositions fastest & best bowlers is the hardest job. Only the best can do it. In 80's & 90's they would consider it so hard that they scored 20 for 2 wickets in 1st 15 overs. It was only the caliber of Sachin, Jayasuria that they made that task easy. Even Jayasuria couldn't carry on his merry way. Plz watch Indian team's videos of 90s before Gangully's arrival & watch how opening bowlers made other Indian openers dance & Sachin demolished the same bowlers when he got strike. Play game then write article PLZ

  • on November 24, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    Unfortunately you have shown your bias against Sachin by ignoring many core indicators of greatness. I am a Pakistani yet I admit that most Indian batsmen are world's finest. Just bring in 10 core indicators of greatness & you will find Sachin will rank higher more often than any other batsman & that is why Sachin is the greatest ODI player ever.

  • on November 24, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    You overlooked quite a few greatness indicators 1).In order to claim the top you got to have quite a few records too & Sachin has almost all ODI records whereas Richards has none. 2).Also longevity must also be factored in greatness. A player who plays 10 random matches & scores at 100 avg & 100 S/R is not greater than Sachin or Richards. Longevity is not all that matters but it matters around 20% in greatness. 3). Also Sachin has balanced record against all oppositions in all conditions that shows he had no weakness that is another sign of greatness unlike most batsmen who have poor record against AUS, SA, Pak, tournament finals & ICC tournaments. 4). WC performance is a sign of greatness. There are so many other batsmen yet Sachin was top scorer in 2 WCs & 2nd top Scorer in 3rd. 6). Just as Aussie & English players greatness is also measured in their performance in Ashes so is arch rivals Indian & Paki players and in high pressure WC games against Pak Sachin has always destroyed Pak.

  • on November 24, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Your point of Sachin choosing to play only 30 % of games during later part of his career being a negative aspect is totally irrational comment - actually it shows that his skill had gone a notch higher during later phase because he was maintaining his record despite playing only against the finest. Sachin opted out of only those matches that were against lesser opponents or in which stakes for the team were low. As he skipped many Ind vs SL, Ind vs Zim, and of late Ind vs WI series, and Ind, SL, Zim tournaments but never opted out of AUS, SA or Pak ODI series (teams with strongest bowling) or ICC Tournaments, CB series or tournaments involving big teams. He could very well have boosted his avg to 50 by playing all these low pressure games against lesser opponents but he chose to challenge himself only against the toughest & when stakes for the team were high, just as specialist Doctors don't see all patients, they only see complicated cases.

  • Rahulbose on November 24, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    First metric is obviously biased against lower order batmen. It is well accepted that lower order batsmen are crucial in ODIs, as evidenced by the number of matches won by likes of MS Dhoni and Bevan. The discussion of Innings during tournament finals is misleading, anyone who actually watched India play in ICC tournament would know how many times Sachin helped them get to the finals as it was a knockout tournament and each game was equally important. If the analysis is an attempt to question Sachin's game under pressure, then I suggest you go watch a rerun of Dessert storm.

  • on November 24, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    Impact of Sachin 24yr top notch performance is as if Ind had 2 Richards: 1 came in 1989 followed by another Viv who came in 2000 & that make him stand above all ODI players.

    To undermine Sachin's greatness an argument is raised that Indian pitches are batting paradises. If it is so then why in all non Indian matches played on same so called batting paradises the avg totals are 230 but in Indian games avg totals shoot to 320. This difference only proves that those pitches are not paradises, it is the Indian bowling that is terrible & it is the Indian Batting that is exquisite........It is as if you play with 11 super batsmen you team will leak 500 every inn & you will score 400 every inn no matter you play in AUS or SA.

  • on November 24, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Author missed 4 critical factors for batsman's evaluation 1). Tournament Finals performance determines the true greatness of player & Tendulkar has tournament finals avg of 54 with S/R 90. Sachin;s impact on Indian ODI cricket is so huge that out of the 9 tournament finals that India won in Sachin's era, Sachin was MOM in 6 of those. 2). Man of the Match (MOM) award is the testament of a players match winning ability & Sachin has won World Record no of MOM awards (60 2nd 50) @ MOM every 7 th match which is 2nd only to Richards; despite the fact that Sachin's numerous great innings went in vain bcz of mediocre Indian bowling (with pathetic E/R of 5.5), whereas virtually all good innings of Richards proved match winning bcz of world's finest bowling attack (with excellent E/R of 4). 3). Contrary to Sachin Viv & Aus openers had the luxury to not face the toughest bowling of their respective eras bcz their teams possessed the deadliest bowling of their eras. 4) Longevity

  • on November 24, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Not sure why cricinfo cannot publish a comment even though it pointed out an obvious mistake or at least make the required correction.
    [[
    Mr.Saikrishnan,
    Your comment was published immediately on on (November 24, 2013, 8:47 GMT) with a response from me that I would look into it. Unfortunately I have not been able to make the correction since I have to depend on Cricinfo staff to do it. Until now I have junked only two comments because the language was bad. I will correct this tomorrow.
    Regards
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • gskreddy11 on November 24, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Comes to your chart 3, it talks about consistency right? Is Richards as consistent as Sachin? Lets see, Richards peek avg was 62.76 after reaching a bare min of 3000 runs to assess greatness of a batsman, he reached that mark @ 67th innings at this point his cumulative runs was 3954. When he reached 5000 runs his avg dropped to 55.41 further dropped to 53.37 @ 7000 mark finally ended at 50.23. Degrade of 12.5 runs from his peak.

    Sachin was at 36.93 @3000 39.28 @6000 42.39 @9000 44.50 @12000 44.24 @15000 45.13 @18000 ended with 44.83 He was reaching to his peaks at the end of his career. Only degradation of 0.4 runs from his peak (Sachin's highest cumulative avg was 45.23 that too in his 452nd match).

    For me no player has ever batted as consistently as SACHIN.

    Mr Anantha Narayanan prove me if I am wrong.
    [[
    No problems.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • gskreddy11 on November 24, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    Good article Mr Ananth, first I must appreciate your work in doing this analysis. I have few more things to add to it, regarding your S/R analysis table #2, you have compared S/R with players same way if you could have compared %of runs he scored with other team members you would have got SRT as #1 ( I will give you a benefit of doubt you didn't do it intentionally). I did that analysis here is the list of top 5.

    SR Tendulkar IVA Richards MD Crowe BC Lara Saeed Anwar

    Sachin scored 23.83% of India's runs (18426/77335). Which is top class in modern day cricket standards. Of course next best was Richards with 23.3%.
    [[
    In the ODI game, S/R is more important. Hence I took S/R.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    PLz include 4 critical factors that you missed 1). tournament finals avg for Tendulkar 54 as he rose to occasion in big games when it mattered the most, 2). Rate of getting man of the match awards which is awarded to Match winner: Sachin 2nd only to Viv despite the fact that his numerous great innings went in vain because of mediocre Indian bowling (with pathetic E/R of 5.5), whereas virtually all good innings of Richards proved match winning bcz of world's finest bowling attack (with excellent E/R of 4). 3). Viv & Aus openers had the luxury to not face the toughest bowling of their respective eras 4) Finally longevity is the biggest factor: Sachin acted as if Ind had 2 Viv Richards 1 came in 1989 followed by another Viv who came in 2000. & that make him above all ODI batsmen. If you don't think longevity matters just Imagine if WI had another Richards playing now WI would have ruled World cricket for another Decade That is the Impact of longevity of great players

  • on November 24, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    I think when u look at important world cup and ic maches u shud only look at knock-out and do or die maches. The 2 and 3 mach in the 1999 super six were unimportant as india were already knocked out while quater-finals of 1998 and 2000 ic were big knockout.

  • on November 24, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Correction India lost the champions trophy final to nz while both finals against slk were washed out without sachin being dismissed.

  • SportsObserver on November 24, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @Anantha, Both Federer and Tendulkar are greats of their respective sports. One thing common for both of them that they did not know when to retire. Sachin should have retired after 2011 world cup, Federer should have retired last year. No matter how great they are they are certainly not the GOAT of their respective sports, let alone among all the sports. "Tendulkar is better than Bradman" is as silly as "Federer is better than Nadal". 99.94 avg in an era with no body armor is out of this world. Also, how can you discount Federer's 11-22 record against Nadal. If you are talking about(in your bio at the top-right) Grand slams, Nadal will surpass the 17 grand-slam record just on the back of French open(I am not a Nadal fan btw, I like Delpo and the Djoker). It is very hard for a fan not to lose objective, so they rarely make a good observer be it cricket or tennis!

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 24, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Saturable Calvin, your prerogative whether to reply or not. Richards as #1 ahead of anyone else hardly is contested. I merely said that Tendulkar as #2 is highly disputable, as while he has done well in league games and some knockouts, he has failed in finals of world cups, whereas Gilchrist has creamed the opposition as opener each and every time. That must surely place him as #2. Stats are hardly needed here. An average of 87 in World Cup finals says it all.

  • arajeshn on November 24, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    Another point to add to my earlier comment: How can you dismiss the tri-nation performances while waxing eloquently about Viv's 189* in a bilateral series with Eng. SRT's desert storm performance was notable because he repeated his feats with 2 huge centuies with very little support frm others in his team in 2 do-or-die situations. Let us fault SRT for his genuine foibles, not some imagined follies!!!!!
    [[
    For a perceptive reader like yourself, you seem to have missed the point here. The tri-series have been excluded ONLY in the selection of matches for comnsideration of the WC/CT matches. NOWHERE ELSE. Why are you confusing this with Innings Ratings. Then why are not people talking about Ponting's 140, Gilchrist's 149, Gower's 158, Jayasuriya's 189, Sehwag's 219, Anwar's 194, Kapil's 175, Richards' 138, de Silva's 107 et al. Why only about the Desert Storm.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • SportsObserver on November 24, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    Do you guys remember Tendulkar's "hundredth Hundred"?! It was against Bangladesh in Asia cup 2012 in Dhaka. He scored his hundred in 138 balls, he was very slow in the 90s and was stuck at 99 for around 10 balls. India was looking at a score of around 310-320 but ended up scoring 291. India lost that match, Bangladesh chased that total successfully. That day it was clearly visible that Tendulkar was playing for the record, that day he lost lots of fans and gave his critics another huge point. India's bowling was very bad but another 20 odd runs would have been enough, his selfish batting cost India that match. That being said, in a very competitive era his longevity in international cricket is simply unbelievable. Scoring that many runs with a good steady strike rate with good average for that many years - That is an achievement in itself. But calling him "GOD"?!! You have got to be kidding me!!!

  • on November 24, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    @Gerry_The_Merry : I generally don't reply to fellow readers' comments, but will do this time.. Please read the whole post that I had sent (3 parts).. I'm trying to support position of Viv ahead of Sachin.. About Gilchrist & Mahela scoring runs in Finals, there are several factors that would be taken into account for measuring a Batsman's worth.. Scoring in crunch matches is one of them.. Averages, strike rates, longevity, consistency etc are to be factored in as well.. Mahela fails miserably in ODIs in almost all of the other factors, check his record.. Gilchrist would probably be in top 5 of all time..
    [[
    You guys would remember that I had covered this extensively in my two-part ODI batsmen articles earlier this year. The links are given at the beginning of this article. Barring the last two rounds, Tendulkar is there. Richards, Ponting and Gilchriust are there.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    I've always maintained that King Viv is The 1st, then Great Wall of China, & then Sachin, & then the next.. I wouldn't get further into this debate.. I respect your opinion..

  • noneed121 on November 24, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Hi Anantha, you seem to have a problem with Tendulkar. You made a comment in his last test match (uncalled for) that game is bigger than Tendulkar.
    [[
    Of course, I will repeat that NO ONE IS BIGGER THAN THE GAME ITSELF.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Now you have come up with an analysis that says he is neither the greatest sportsman or greatest cricketer. I am not here to dispute your point or argue otherwise since I am understand that statistics can be manipulated in any manner to support a given hypothesis particularly when volume of data is so complex. You seem to be missing the simple point that for the 90's, he was a beacon of hope, a role model, a unifying force far bigger and greater than sport itself. Have you forgotten the saying, if Tendulkar is out, I will switch of my TV.
    [[
    That, again, is your problem. You should have supported the country and not switched off the TV.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Those millions watched the game to see him batting and not the Game. I personally rate Lara better but he is the best sportsperson from India. I do not mind reading critiques however, you seem to be doing it in bad taste based on your tone and timing. Sorry for my harsh comments.

  • on November 24, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Contd... As another recent article on Pietersen headlined " Great player or player of great innings?". Great or "miracle" innings may well be played by Non "great" players.It is patently ridiculous to announce Viv as the Greatest based on one ( or a few innings) such as the 189. We are discussing "CAREERS" here - not "points" in which Luck may have a disproportionate role. However, Career-wise there is not much to choose between Viv and SRT.Announcing Viv as clearly better than SRT with such certainty is hyperbole.
    [[
    I have come to the conclusion that you guys are incapable of reading anything and understanding anything. You have no idea of who Richards was leave alone what are his achievements.
    138 in the WC Final, 153* in 130 vs Aus, 149 in 99 vs Ind, 189* against Eng, 106 in 95 vs Aus, 181 in 125 vs SLK in WC, 110* in 77 vs Ind, 119 in 113 vs Nzl, 82 in 39 vs Eng, 80 in 39 vs Pak and anything more needed.
    Brfore rushing to the keyboard, try and do some study of what you are talking about. Otehrwise you will make a fool of yourself.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    To summarise - SRT may not have No.2 type innings unlike many other players. But , Oh, he has more No.1 type than any other batsman.

  • on November 24, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    @Giri Jagannathan -SRT actually has any number of "miracle innings" in both Tests and ODIs. This is one of the commonest myths endlessly propagated to denigrate SRT in an attempt to find a chink in the career- Which obviously there will be since he is certainly not perfect.

    There are 2 issues which cause the (intended?)confusion:

    1)"Miracle innings" - Rely on pure skill. Batsman vs. Bowlers. As mentioned SRT has any number of these in both formats.

    2)"Miracle innings at certain junctures and resulting in a positive" - This is perhaps what you refer to. Needless to say these type of innings require a perfect alignment of numerous factors not the least of which is sheer luck.

    Contd...

  • Charith99 on November 24, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Wow the amount of comments must be taking you back to it figures days. As a non Indian I have always admired sachin. I think he is truly a great player , his commitment to his team is truly remarkable .the stats show that whenever he failed with the bat he tried hard to contribute to the team by balling better. I do agree with you that viv is slightly better than sachin in odi cricket. Most Indian readers should understand that being the second best batsmen of odi history is a remarkable achievement too. After reading many comments its clear to me that most readers who have commented here are newcomers to this blog and I'm sure there would have being many more comments if they would have known that you prefer Lara over sachin lol. I think where sachin would really struggle to be the top player is in the test analysis . He will have to face tuff competition from the likes ponting,Kallis,Dravid,Sanga,shiv and many others. Comments will be interesting to read as much as the article.

  • on November 24, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Hi Anantha, excellent analysis, why so much of fuss by people when Sachin is called second best to Sir Viv, honestly I think even Sachin would take it as compliment, that he could come so close to matching Sir Viv, and for his fans (like me) well we grew up watching and he was the best India had :-), As for analysis I am eagerly waiting for his test match matches, Just a request could you prepare separate analysis for Home and Away matches (Eg table 1)

  • shankupals on November 24, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Sir where do you think Brian Lara would stand in ODI's. He is the second batsman I would pay to watch after SRT.

  • on November 24, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    A couple of entries in the World Tournament table needs correction. 31 off 59 was against Pak in 1996 and the 69 off 83 was not in the 2000 ICC CT final and it was certainly not a N/R game. Nz won it by 5 wickets.
    [[
    Will check. Thanks.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 24, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Sourabh Calvin - "in semi finals and knockouts many good knocks from Sachin so he is a respectable 2nd..." Where did you get that from? There are absolute titans like Gilchrist with a century and two fifties all in WC finals. Jayawardene with two of the finest one day innings one will ever see in World Cup semi final and a final. And one of the gilchrist 50s was in World Cup 1999 final. If you wish to see footage of Shoaib Akhtar being royally mauled, look no further than that innings. In a similar situation West Indies had folded up 16 years earlier. And the century? 149 in 104 balls. And he was lying low all through the tournament, which tells us that aggregates don't really matter. When will we ever wake up?

  • cricket_first_everything_next on November 24, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Contd. from previous: he was a terror in field, during his pre-tennis elbow days: He used to deliberately lift the first ball of Warnie over straight and it was too predicable those days. He also played those magnificent two Sharjah Innings. Arguably, he was the greatest run-machine in the format, but just fall short of the greatest match-winner, which obviously goes to Viv (and there are plenty other contenders in Ponting, Gilchrist, Dhoni, Bevan, Kohli, et al.). Nonetheless, he was one of the best to wear the colors, in fact the second best, but not the best which goes to Viv. (And Dhoni, Kohli etc. can compete to reach there or somewhere near by the time they finish off). Thanks for this wonderful analysis. (I'm a Tendulkar fan too, but not a blind one as many in this forum are. I hate the way he got his 100th, which cost the match, tourney, and everything; that was too individualistic. 99 would have been a better no. to me)
    [[
    I have always said that it would be easier for people to appreciate Tendulkar's greatness fully if they took a little time off to look at his, very rare, failures also.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cricket_first_everything_next on November 24, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Kudos Anantha for the great analysis.

    This puts Tendulkar where he should be rightly placed. He's the second best batsman in the format (till date) but had a greater longevity as compared to Viv Richards.

    When it comes to playing crucial innings at crucial times (WC knockouts or CL knockouts) it is a blot in his career that he simply couldn't do so prolifically as he used to do in the league phases of WC (where arguably he was at his best). Incidentally, none of his 49 centuries came at this period (and it is better not to talk about the 49th or the 100th - the crappiest of all)

    Well, he had won many a Tri-Nations or Bi-lateral tournaments, but that is secondary when it comes to true legacy. A knock of Viv in 1979, Ponting in 2003, Gilchrist in 2007, Dhoni in 2011 (and even D'Silva in 1992) thus are much more valuable and great ODI innings coming at the time when it matters.

    But, there was also a period, i.e. before his tennis-elbow surgery that he was a terror in the field CTD.

  • raiyan009 on November 24, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    I quote from his piece: "ICC Trophy finals: He had mixed fortunes in the ICC Trophy finals. India did not win any of the three matches he played in. In the first rained-off match, Tendulkar played a good innings of 69 to help India reach a competitive total. In the other two, he failed." Please check this, in one innings he scored a very good 69, in the two others so called innings in which he 'failed' he remained not out on one occasion and in the other he did not even come to bat. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/66194.html http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/66195.html

  • chandrashaekar_us on November 24, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Ananth, "I have no problems with this well-deserved award, provided other deserving sportsmen are awarded within the next two years." When you use the word "provided" in the above statement, it surely sounds like a conditional approval. It is as if you are saying "Only if the condition is satisfied, the award is well-deserved". And that is the reason there are few comments on the BR, though the article is about completely something else. I did read your replies to the comments on the same and I agree with the point that now the door is open for sportsmen other sportsmen also should get it - but that cannot be a condition for Sachin's award. Regards, Chandrasekar T R
    [[
    Who am I to give any approval, conditional or not, for this award. I am only saying that, in the event of this sportsman route door getting closed, in the altar of political expediency, I would not be happy. But then who cares a whit?
    I think everyone is over-reacting. I get the feeling most of Tendulkar-supporters would like the BR award to be the sole domain of one person. I cannot read it any other way.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    Dear Ananth, can you please add normalized values of average / strike rate / RPI / Balls played per Innings etc. introducing Pitch & Bowling Quality Index (as you did for Tests before) for ODIs so that the problems of comparing batsmen of different ages might be minimized more? Thanks, Arnab Mallick, Kolkata
    [[
    Not in this article, Arnab. Too much work and will distract from the topic. A separate article, one day perhaps.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    My comments gonna be hard. Sorry Mr.You just wrote this article because you're not a fan of him. And you belong to Viv's era.This is just something you did only after he is retired and poured by so much love and affection. Your article is not gonna help.Cricket can't be compared by ages and not so the players. It is always a changing-game. Sachin is a standard with who every other player or great player is measured not compared . I thought only Don was comparable,but you brought up some other names ,that made me happy. This shows only who is the best and you know ,the answer. Don't lie , no neutral person studies so much to bring up something unwanted.Iin every way you tried to put him down. How about bharat ratna and long speech. You don't like him, do you?
    [[
    Quite confused comment, I must confess.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • CricIndia208 on November 24, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    "Will come out with the Test piece next week. Ananth " No dude, please spare us. Start your own website. Enough of your pseudo, manipulative, let me try to bring down Sachin, statistics.
    [[
    No, dude, the shoe is on the other foot. If you do not like what is served here, it is YOU who should get out, and stay out.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • CricIndia208 on November 24, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Mr. Ananth, I don't agree with your response to B.C.G. Have you seen his two hundreds against Australia in Sharjah, in 1998 or the 117 against them in Sydney, in the CB final, in 2008 or his 200 against South Africa or the 163 in Christchurch. Forget his 100s, the 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup is 100 times better than sir Viv's 189 against a lame England. Just because Sachin happens to be an Indian, you don't need to run him down.

  • mvcric on November 24, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    Thank you for a fine attempt to delineate Sachin's ODI career. Can you comment on the following, though: - On what objective basis do you rate Viv's 189 as the best ODI innings of all time? Just curious. - You causally brush aside tri-nation tournaments, thus wiping off Sachin's desert storm innings in 1998 and CB Series innings in 2008, among others. How's this acceptable in an 'objective' analysis? - Sachin batted at 5 or 6 for nearly 1/5th of his ODI career. Did that have any impact on his performance? - You could have analysed the number of hundreds or match winning innings for all batsmen. For example, how many of Sachin's 49 hundreds lead to victories? - You say that Sachin being allowed to pick and choose ODI matches from 2009 was a farce. Apart from injuries, it was mainly Kirsten's plan to preserve him for the World Cup. And it worked brilliantly. - Why should Sachin's BR become more valid only if Vishy is given it later? A case of sour grapes, surely?
    [[
    "delineate"???
    The exact meaning of the above word, as per dictionary is,
    "describe or portray (something) precisely.".
    So, many thanks.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • piyush144 on November 24, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    Ananth, I would like you to take a more positive approach and come up with a list of players who you think deserve Bharat Ratna (at least cricketers) You do a good job at data mining and it would be interesting to see that list. Lets come up with a table of Bharat Ratna eligibility. Possible metrics to consider i) All cricinfo stats database normalized and filtered in uber fancy ways ii) Liason with industrialists/politicians iii) Liason with underworld/math-fixers/criminals iv) Media Reports and sentiment analysis outcome. (For older players only news paper articles for younger we can examine the social media as well. And oh yes, do not forget to remove spam/promotional and PR activities.) v) No. of people who took to cricket due to the influence/effort of this person directly/indirectly Sports is much more about sportsmanship than averages and filtered-normalized averages. And a nations highest award is for that aspect of the sport and not dead numbers, IMO
    [[
    Piyush, not a worthwhile exercise. I have as much influence as a 3' pole in a Category 5 hurricane. It would be pointless. All I am saying is that the government consider other individual/team sports/quasi-sports people of the past 50 years and award the suitable candidartes soon. The politicians have a habit of introducing populist measures and then forgetting the same completely afterwards.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    I completely disagree with your stats. The era when sachin was batting specially between 1995 to 2004 no one else give him partnership for staying on the crease. During those days he only scores 40% scores of team. I remember those days when he get out no people in india switch off their TV, as they know india is not going to win the match. He would have been get the support from other team mates like nowa days Virat and Rohit get, Match winning percentage of india team when sachin scoring runs would have been very very high. He has been played matches with 3 generations. For first two generation the kind of bowling attack he faced scoring the centuries was like 1 on every 20-30 match. You should not compare his innings with new boys. Or with players who hardly played 200 matches. Remind you he is the only player who have highest runs in ODI and test matches.

  • piyush144 on November 24, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Its an open secret (thanks ananth for the phrase) that your efforts at data mining to prove your point (again, no open secret) that "Tendulkar is over rated" has been conclusively shown to readers many times over. Please spare us the veiled Tendulkar bashing. Sadly in India, you literally risk your life for bashing an idol openly. I encourage you to maintain that restraint. Ananth, if possible, please help us find some concrete numbers of how much concentration it takes to face a nasty fast bowler or a wily spinner when all you can hear is a roar of tens of thousands of people chanting your name? Do you have a chart for that? Where does Tendulkar rank? Any data for weight of expectation? How does he fare in that and oh yes, please do normalize the data in your fancy ways. Lets find some non-open secrets and it will be helpful to all of us in gaining some more insights into an over hyped career that has just been over. And hey Ananth, awards are for human beings and not for numbers.
    [[
    I am unable to see the points in your mail. Either way, I will take these as constructive. One thing I will NEVER accept is that I am anybody-basher. But I am also not a blind-worshipper.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • akpy on November 24, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Only a statsman could have commented on a 24 year career in this manner. Firstly, i do not like comparisions in this manner; like many here, the one that stands out is Viv's 189 against Sachin's 175. What about Sachin's 143, getting India to the finals in Sharjah, which author conveniently says, he won't consider as if it is book cricket? That knock to take India to finals (in fact he was trying to win the match), in what way was that less to the 189? Mind you, 189 was a super innings but he was left with the tail and just started hitting out and it was his day - he kept hitting. Absolutely fabulous batting. But, why belittle sachin's innings of 175 or 143

  • on November 24, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    English bowlers bad??? No way. Willis, Botham, Foster, Miller and Pringle at Old Trafford on a spring day is not an easy attack. - It seems that I have not put it clearly. I was only referring to the common argument against Richards that he didn't have to play his own bowlers (which in turn implies that he had it easy). If he had it easy, then the other WI batsmen, greats in their own right, should not have folded that way against England in the match. That only serves to magnify the impact of his 189 not out. Where even his illustrious peers failed, Richards almost single handedly rescued WI and led them to a very competitive total.
    [[
    My apologies, Madan.
    Lovely name. One of my all-time favourite music composers.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Kulaputra on November 24, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    Dear Ananth, The analysis suffers from absurdity as it does not acknowledge that Cricket is a team sport. Batsmen hunt in pairs and not alone. What you need to anlayse is partnerships over 100, partnerships over 75 etc. that resulted in victories - setting targets, chasing. There is more pressure chasing than setting. Another element missing is quality of opponents. You have referred to it obtusely saying "pick and choose". The last is home and away. We need a complex system. In my gut feel, the man I would go for is Viv followed by Gordon. Virat will be a close contender before too long

  • Sulaiman_1978 on November 24, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Dear Anantha, I am a huge admirer of your work. I am a PhD student in Economics and love stats and analysis. Over the years not only have I read most of your articles with great interest, but I find that we agree almost without exception in our relative estimation of great players!! The present article is yet another example of the above - a rational, numerical analysis of a great player. I am eagerly awaiting your piece on SRT's test career.
    [[
    A few feathers waiting to be ruffled!!!
    Ananth
    : ]]

    The real reason why I am finally writing to you is that tennis is also my second sporting passion after cricket, I too am a huge, huge fan of Roger Federer and only today I read your blurb about him! In fact I have done a bunch of statistical work on his career, using this fantastic website which I would like to recommend to you. tennisabstract.com. I would love to correspond more with you on this matter. If you get the time please do check out my friend Jeff's site above, and drop me a line on ***** Thanks.
    [[
    I have removed your mailid to protect your identity. Will mail you directly.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • JeevantRampal on November 24, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Have you contolled for the fact that Sachin played closed to 3 times as many innings as Viv? I am frankly tired of citations of Sachin's humility as a reason for his greatness, as if his acheivments do not suffice. Also, you can not control for the fact that Sachin was a member (for the most part of his career) of a quite weak team, with less than world class bowlers. Viv was on a team which is arguably the best ever in cricket, and Viv knew it while he was playing.

  • numbers_enthusiast on November 24, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    The first table really intrigued me. Ponting was indeed a great player. But his absence just shows how good the aussies were collectively. Am i wrong?
    [[
    Absolutely correct. Australia had 4/5 batsmen who could deliver in any match. For all the strong team Richards played in he was the one everyone looked to.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 24, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    My next comment is, why not analyze the bowlers during their career and what they have achieved against their respective side and versus that particular batsmen? Next is the pressure to perform in front of packed stadiums. This is something really plays in everyone's mind when they go out and play. Why not calculate the attendance of the stadium during a player's presence and after he has got out. Next is the world cup analysis. Who has the most man of the matches in world cups. What about man of the series. Most world cup centuries. Where does Sir viv feature in all these? How about being an impact player for the team during world cups for 23 years excluding 2012. How does sir viv square up against sachin? Number games are fun when it is done completely considering everything, even umpires played a role. How about considering the consistency of the umpires who stood in each player's innings?Sir viv maybe according to you is the best with your analysis. With my analysis, Sachin is :)

  • on November 23, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    ODI's greatest batsmen is something which cannot be determined right out in front of a computer analyzing the data @ hand. Unfortunately. Ex-cricketers, commentators and other cricketing fraternity are more qualified to rate anyone as the best ever or the worst ever. Stats are good fun to watch it roll down the screen and smile at what we have done (which i like doing). Your analysis is skewed without considering the venues played at, the opponents who bowled at the batsmen and a minimum number of innings played. 200 ODI innings seems to be some number which will give an analysis of any batsmen what ride the batsmen has gone through. The ups and downs comes when a professional feels tired of what he has done. Similarly, the more you play, the more the opponents know what you are going to play. With the technology during Sachin's era, you have to tell us, who is the best. To out think your opponent for as long as Sachin did is something which no one will ever do. Next comment incoming.

  • Azfar on November 23, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    Hi Ananth, in my opinion one of the key features of an impact innings is a batsman takes on the best bowlers in the world and makes them look human to the other batsmen in his team. A prime example is Viv Richards toying with Lillee, Thomson, Imran, Willis, Botham, Hadlee, Kapil and then the rest of the batsmen in his team capitalising on that. He used to sieze the psychological initiative and that many times will decide the match/series. Sehwag also used to do this. These batsmen had the ability to go after the best bowler in the opposition and make then look absolutely ordinary. This was done deliberately and sometimes at the risk of their own wickets. When it came off, they gave their side a huge psychological advantage. They would intimidate the bowlers. One of my criticisms of Tendulkar is that he rarely did this after the initial 4-5 years of his career. Is there is way to bring out this parameter in your analysis?
    [[
    You should not forget that Tendulkar was playing in a moderate Indian team for long periods of time in the first half of his career. He did what wwas needed. Often rescuing the team from disasters.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    Good article. This article adds value. Its hard to add value when analyzing Sachin's career.

  • sands73 on November 23, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    Brilliant analysis! I agree that viv Richards' 189 not out is the greatest odi innings ever. In fact even the best odi innings by an indian is not from tendulkar. It has to be kapil dev's 175 vs Zimbabwe at tunbridge wells- unfortunately there are no video recordings of that knock

  • RAJEESHKUMAR on November 23, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    If you are so concerned of Dhyan Chand why didn't you raised the issue 2 or 3 years before, I mean before sachin was recommended for the honour for the first time. There are some minor errors in your data. India lost the ICC cup final against newzealand in 2000. You are given it as N/R. Two finals were played in ICC cup 2002 vs SRL and both were N/R. Sachin did not got out in both. Also not considering tri nations tournaments is not a good decision. It seems pretty biased as it would change the complexion of the analysis too much. Remember India did not win many cups without a sachin spark. I rate the deseart storm vs aus as one of the best odi knocks mainly bcaus it was never expected from India. And I won't tell you to praise sachin. But please avoid bashing him. I think the most important thing a player can do in any game is to entertain the spectators. These are games man, not wars. I hope you remember what Lara enquired the crowd in his farewell speech : "Did I entertain you?

  • on November 23, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    HI I agree with your Statistics but there are many other ways to look at his records. I only agree with one stats of yours which every one is already aware off that Sachin did not come good in big matches but you only compensated by saying that in most of the big tournaments except finals he scored and helped India reaching to finals. I am unhappy that you missed out two very important aspect of Sachin´s greatness one is his longevity and second which is even more important was his dominance on big bowlers. what he did best was the way he used to demoralise the bowlers and thus the opponents which used to give confidence to other Indian batsmen in the team. Because of my last sentence your firs analysis also fails to some extent because many Indian batsmen scored along with Sachin because they were playing with some one who was dominating the bowlers from one end.

  • Azfar on November 23, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Hi Anantha, I have a keen interest in Cricket Stats too. Amid all the hype and the hoopla, I found your analysis very objective, deviod of any emotional bias, just cold statistics with the right measures thrown in. I read your Part 1 & Part 2 analysis of best ODI batsmen. The best part of this article is the table of Sachin's performances in major WC and Intl tournament matches. Perhaps the first time it is done properly. The general perception is Sachin didn't play match winning innings when it really mattered. Your table shows that he was not as bad as the perception but not too great either. Having started following cricket in 1981, it is difficult for me to accept that there has ever been a greater batsman than Viv Richards (of the ones I saw). Hence I totally agree with your findings. It is a bit blasphemous in India to suggest that there is a better ODI batsman than Sachin, but then cold stats prove that. Also in agreement that Sachin is a close second.

  • rizwan1981 on November 23, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Re, the debate about Bharat Ratna and the merits of awarding it to Viswanathan Anand,let us put things in perspective.Vish Anand has to compete with chess players from over a 100 countries whereas Tendulkar competed with teams from less than a dozen countries !

    Also , in a team sport , Dhyan Chand won 3 consecutive gold medals in the OLYMPICS - surely , Anand and Dhyan are far more deserving than any cricketer - dare I say , even Bradman's record , pales in comparison to the achievements of Chand and Anand or my hero Kamal Haasan.

  • IPSY on November 23, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Ananth, I can't see how a player's full career can be properly analysed, if his Player-of-the-Match (PoM) and Player-of-the-Series (PoS) are not assessed to see the exact truth of his career. Because, this is what the whole thing is all about - how did a player help his team first, and himself after, to gain world reputation? These one match anecdotes, exciting as they might be are only microscopic glimpses of their careers, and shouldn't be given more value than the spread of the REAL performances throughout their careers. I know that the immediate data is not available for the older players. However, the records they have left is good enough information to do the necessary extrapolation as to who would have gotten the PoM or PoS award in any match/series - in fact, it even makes more sense doing it so, rather than by the very subjective and bias method to which we have become accustomed overtime - extrapolation is usually very much more objective than human subjective deliberations!
    [[
    I am not a great fan of MOM?MOS awards. At least in the early stages it was heavily loaded in favour of the batsmen. It is the case even now. Look at the award to du Plessis for his 53 (and captaincy?) while Tahir breaks the back of Pakistani batting with 4 for 53.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Shams on November 23, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Tendulkar's ODI numbers are inflated by his performance inside Asia (Ind, Pak, SL, Bd, UAE, ...) and against the 'minnows'. If you include the top Test nations and performance outside Asia, Tendulkar averages 37.30 from 146 inns with *only* 6 hundreds (SR=79.36). Viv averages 47.96 from 123 inns with 8 hundreds (SR=86.35)! Clearly, Viv was far ahead of Tendulkar outside the 'extended subcontinent'. Among Tendulkar's contemporaries the averages and SR for: Lara (39.97, 75.70), Ponting (42.28, 81.92), Ganguly (36.06, 71.57), Dravid (36.55, 68.53), Sangakkara (37.43, 75.80). Amla, Kohli, and De Villiers are promising. source: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;continent=1;continent=3;continent=4;continent=5;filter=advanced;opposition=1;opposition=106;opposition=140;opposition=2;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=4058;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=1000;qualval1=runs;template=results;type=batting

  • rizwan1981 on November 23, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    I agree, Richards is head and shoulders above the rest - An average of 47 and strike rate of 90 (when the scoring rate was a lot more pedestrian) is unmatched by anyone before or since. Also Richards performed on the biggest stage/ most important games. In comparison, Tendulkar failed in crunch situations-As you pointed out Sachin did not perform in the World Cup finals-I also recall that in the FIRST Sahara cup(billed as the series that would decide which team is the best because it was a neutral venue), Sachin struggled in the final and India ended up losing the final and the series. As for the Bharat Ratna, I believe Kamal Haasan deserves it more than Tendulkar-If one considers the body of work and sustained excellence over 40 years, Kamal Haasan'S RECORD speaks for itself.I personally believe Kamal Haasan is # 1 with Daniel Day Lewis/Sean Penn a DISTANT second. When will India honour the great man or is it a case of a Prophet not being honoured in the land of his birth?
    [[
    Rizwan, nice to have you with us again. I think Kamal is the greatest multi-faceted entertainer the country has seen. But that is in a differtent sphere of life and his being fobbed off with an award three below BR is for different reasons, partly political.
    As I have already said "Now that the door has been opened for sportsmen, let the door remain open and not closed immediately".
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Anand_S on November 23, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    (contd).. It is like saying just because multi-national companies are giving a high salary nowadays compared to the 80s jobs are easier today and people who perform in their offices deserve no credit. I know people will take this example too far and argue how jobs are different from cricket but fact is, if something becomes eqsier other factors also appear that compensate. By the same token I have never heard anyone criticize bowlers of the 80s saying they all were lucky to bowl at a time when pitches were under-prepared and no protective equipments existed !!! No one trivializes the performances of Botham, Hadlee, Kapil, Imran, Lillee, Thomson etc saying they all bowled at a time when bowling was easy !!! I mean just like its not wise to compare players across ages. it would be foolosh to write off players'achievements today saying things are easier now !!!
    [[
    Anand, I cannot agree with you more. I also worked in IBM, one of the greatest of multi-nationals, for quite some time. I got paid less that what we pay our driver today, and that being one of the best in India. However the pressure I faced at work was nothing compared to what my son, who works in a similar situation, faces today. The rewards are great but the pressure greater.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • TARIQ.ZAFAR on November 23, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    Hi Anantha, Just like your brilliant analysis of the top ODI batsmen of all time, could you please do the same analysis for the top ODI Bowlers of all time? I know Wasim Akram would lead the list by huge margin just like Richards does in batting but still I would love to see the same article from you. I would also like to mention here that you are a great numbers guy and I always admire your articles. Thanks.

  • on November 23, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    Numbers bring to light what significant roles some players played in their teams. Where memory fails, stats remind us of great knocks. Nathan Astle, Chris Cairns, Lance Klusener finding mention is extremely nostalgic. while these players may not average above 40 or have scored 30 tons, yet they were the crucial pivots around which the whole team rallied.

  • on November 23, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    Sir, recently i was watching world cup 99 Ind Vs Aus, India was chasing 270+, India were some 5/0. Sachin gets out for some 4runs or so. and Tony Greig says "Thats the end of Tendulkar, Is it the end of India" For around 10yrs he was carrying the entire burden on his shoulders. All those ten years there was no batsman to back his batting and there was no bowlers to back his performances. My point he was able to perform inspite of all the pressure which no sportsman in the world would have had. Can you name anyone? Who has performed inspite of all the pressure and scrutiny he was under.Vivian Richards can walk down the streets of St.Johns and will have a beer after scoring a duck, Can SRT peek through his keyhole. i feel its unfair to compare different generations but respect your opinion. Sir, But I have a question for you do you know any Sportsman who performed consistently inspite of the public expectation and scrutiny.? I will be surprised if your answer is in the positive.
    [[
    Leander Paes, Milkha Singh, PT Usha, Lara, Ambrose, Jayasuriya, Muralitharan, Michael Jordan to name a few.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • balajireddy on November 23, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Hello An insightful and unbiased analysis indeed. While I agree that IVA Richards would be the better batsman, I also think that SR Tendulkar would be the better overall ODI player, considering the wickets he took (mostly in the first 3/4th of his career) But again, there are a few more things to be considered: - IVA Richards may not have had the opportunity to bowl much considering that most of his peers would have already taken the bulk of the wickets. On the other hand, we all know how many (or less) wickets are taken by Indian ODI bowlers! - IVA Richards never had to play against the best bowling attack of his time. SR Tendulkar never got the opportunity to play against one of the most friendliest bowling attacks of his (or all time!) It would only serve to compare players if they played in the same team in the same era. So it could be easier to compare SR Tendulkar with RG Dravid than to compare with IVA Richards?!
    [[
    Let us not forget that Richards captured 118 wickets in 167 matches, and effected 87 catches and some of the most devastating run-outs ever.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    Both Tendulkar and Richards are pioneers on ODI cricket. Richards defined ODI cricket. Tendulkar took it further through consistent performances. Its fair to say that Richards lived and died by the sword. Tendulkar adapted different approaches to stay on top of the game (one to has to simply do in order to play for 24 years).It's very difficult to say who is better then whom, for we are comparing players of different generations. I would also like how being part of a stronger team affects a particular player's performance. India depended on Tendulkar far more than WI did on Richards. And WI were far better than India. So, expectation is a key factor that one has to take in. For Richards, bats were smaller, boundaries bigger, etc. Hence, it's difficult to say who is best. But those two are 'the best'and certainly daylight between them and the next!

  • biijukunu on November 23, 2013, 17:18 GMT


    [[
    Mr. BK,
    You are new to this blogspace. I will drill into you the ground-rules. If you insult me, another reader or any player, the chance of getting your comment published will be the same as that of a snowball in hell. This time I have intimated you. Next time, your comment will be trashed in 10 seconds flat. If you do not like the article, stay out. Never ever address me with your filth.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • SyedAreYouDumb on November 23, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    I think Amla will be the next batsman that could truly break Tendulkars records especially in tests. ODI wise Amla and Kohli could break tendulkars ODI record. Great analysis BTW.

  • ROHIRAVI on November 23, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    I remember reading the following lines "However, in my opinion, he is not the greatest sportsman India has produced nor the greatest cricketer the world has produced" So you said he is not the greatest batsman India has produced.However you failed to say who is the greatest or who will be.
    [[
    Did you read an article properly. Pl re-read and locate the difference between what I said and what you have said.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Then why dint you consider the 24 years he played the cricket at all.I will tell you one little thing mate,The list you have created contain players who like played cricket may be 10 to 15 and many not even that.So what you just forecast and saw what will be their avg or total score or wickets huh...Cricket aint weather bro to forecast..Cricket is all about consistent.So unless some one can play over 24 years and exceed is all kinds of record He is no mater who says "He is god of Indian Cricket"...I dnt wanna talk about in others where cricket is not a religion but in India It is a religion and he is a G.O.D....

  • Selfishkar on November 23, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    Tendulkar has played six world cups, yet he has not scored a single hundred in finals, semis or quarters. Half of his six hundreds have come against Kenya and Namibia. Other half came on dead sub-continent wickets in preliminary round matches. These stats trumps everything else from his 23 year ODI career.

  • on November 23, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Ananth, I liked the way you designed your analysis. would love to see a similar article on ViV just to see how it works. And yes, i do not agree the 189 by VIV was the greatest ever,although it is the greatest ever by ViV...The reason is, Viv played first, without pressure of chasing a score. also, he had the cushion of bowlers who would destroy any batting order in any given day. And I do not agree with the index point calculation, just because a batsman has scord 70 doesnot reduce the value of a 90 or a hundred by the other batsman. How about including the runs that the bowlers leaked in that match also as part of indexing. And i do not understand the point of negating sharjah on the basis of multi-national tournament(remember, sachin was facing Warne at his best ), but I do not think Viv's 189 was any ICC match either.
    [[
    There is a lot of confusion in your mind.
    I have excluded the tri-nation Finals ONLY in what I consider World level tournament matches Tendulkar played in. Have I excluded these in my other analysis. No.
    My 12-point analysis shows that Richards' 189* is the best ever ODI innings amongst all 34xx matches played so far.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    He is one of the greatest cricketer considering the longevity admist the changes happening around this sport in the last 25 years.. and being a team sport your place is not always certain. To maintain consistency of highest standards is really commendable and Fitness and commitment, etc Attacking batsmenship all these years etc.. Also maintained good composure, cool and gentlemen ness both on and off the field. He is a great ambassador for the Game and India. But its worth a question asked to be called Bharat Ratna.. Is it because this sport is the most popular one in India.. Media Hype and Corporate following.. Worth asking as long as if we don't forget other sports, field in India

  • TERRORTR on November 23, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    Sir i would like to point out that in 2002 champions trophy final odi match no. 1888 he didnt get a chance to play and in match no. 1889 India knew it was raining so he did not want to lose his wicket keeping in mind D/C,and also INDIA didnt lose that match either. It was a no-result.
    [[
    My clerical mistake. Will be corrected within the day.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • SriramK0503 on November 23, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Hi Mr .Ananth..A very good Analysis and a good read overall, I also want to make my opinion here, Rahul Dravid should have given the reverence as Sachin for his extraordinary contribution to the game and to our country. As you said, it would be nice, if the authority continue awarding the Bharat Ratna to the right sportsman at the right time.
    [[
    The problem in India is that there is no clear allocation of credit across the players for achieving the results/successes over the past 50 years. I do not deny that SRT would lead this pack quite comfortably. But the next contenders, say for the sake of argument, Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Kumble and Dravid, are probably 15-20% behind. Unfortunately many, many, many people, followers, commentators, great players of the past and present et al, for various reasons, think that SRT did everything and others very little. Not for a moment do I say SRT thinks so. He has been extraordinarily gracious in acknowledging the contributions of other players. Maybe he cannot do anything about.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    CONTROVERSIAL TRUTH cont'd: Most of his innings came when India batted first. Chasing - he did not do well in crucial games. He has been outperformed by Kohli, Dhoni, Kirti azad, madanlal, binny, shewag, gambhir, uthappa, yuvraj...because they gave something when hope was lost. Sachin did not finish it. NZ where he opened, Sharjah when light was fading and he had a partnership with manjerekar, in Dhaka when India beat pak with a kanitkar last ball four, in the CB series finals in Aus were the exceptions. Bevan, Kohli, Viv, Andy Flower, Hashan Tilekaratne, Boucher, Klusner, kapil, dhoni, gilchrist, cairns, oram, vettori, russle arnold, have all been match winners. Even if for a few matches/series. Sachin doesnt have that. So greatness means doing great things. there is no comparison with many cricketers that I have mentioned. But to be called great, he must have single handedly taken India to more victories under pressure. But he has not many times. So he can be a top 10 batsman.

  • the_predator on November 23, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    Therre are few other things to be considered.

    1. while calculating the win percentage, YOU need to consider who are the bowlers in the team. if you have Mcgrath and warne OR marshal, holding, roberts as bowlers as compared to srinath and prasad, it is only natural that INDIA will loose more. So while comparing success rates kindly provide who are the bolwers and their quality along with this statistics. Otherwise this is meaningless. remember hayden gilchrist did not face Mcgrath, warne. Haynes-Gri did not face fearsome westindians

    2. Need to consider how good the batsman is when is put under an alien condition. that if he is from subcontinent how he played in ENG/AUS/SA. If he is not from sobcontinent then how he played in sub continent against SPIN.

    3. A larger part of his carreer he batted without support. He did not have a advantage of a great opening paternship already laid the foundation.

  • on November 23, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Sick of 'Tendulker' mantra.... Promote game not personalities.

  • on November 23, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    CONTROVERSIAL TRUTH: For all Sachin Tendulkar is, he doesn't have that miracle innings. For example, Laxman and Dravid at Eden gardens. Viv Richards scoring some 189 with last man against England. The Lara 300s. Shewag's test match brilliancy. Even a Graham Thorpe, Chris Broad or Mohinder Amarnath type of series. A kapil dev type of 183. A Gavaskar monument against Pakistan in Bangalore. A Gilchrist counter attack against Pakistan in Sydney. Or a Cullinan and Kallis type of match-saving knocks. I have followed his career every second since the article of his partnership with kambli appeared in The Hindu. But I must say that he failed us in WI when chasing 120 odd. Failure to tame vaas many times. The closest he came to such an innings was in Chennai against Pakistan. In ODIs yes he has done very well but only a very few times when hope was lost - against Aus in Sharjah, in the CB series finals of the Aus tri-series, and WC in SA against Pak. Had he had two or three such innings...
    [[
    Maybe this comment should have appeared after the next article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    ANALYSIS OF HIGHEST SCORES AND SECOND HIGHEST SCORES IN INNINGS is good. But, the quality of highest score also lies in easing pressure on team mates to score as well. I also think we should look at other scores (opponent team's) in the match as well.
    [[
    Then it ceases to become a true peer comparison.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    First I apologise for using such harsh word.. That was totally uncalled for. But I am really tired of your attempts to demean SRT by some justified and some unjustified means.

    I agree Sir Viv maybe better ODIs bats by stats you presented in your article, but when it comes to batsman-ship in ODIs, SRT was head and shoulder above Sir Viv. By your analysis alone I can prove Virat is greatest ODIs bats, will it be true? A batsman' greatness can never be measured in numbers alone, I hope you agree, these are attributed by several factors. I can bring several points that can denigrate Sir Viv's greatness. You are a proven statistician and you will know what I am talking about when you dissect Sir Viv's career as you did of SRT.

    Can you explain me the significant of this line in the article: " I have no problems with this well-deserved award, provided Viswanathan Anand is awarded the same within the next couple of years."? I do hope you explain me because I am totally perplexed.
    [[
    I have now changed the statement to a more general comment.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 23, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Great article sir.I have immense faith in the power of numbers and more often than not they reflect what is there to.Two points here : 1) I sincerely believe that matches are won by impact teams having impact players, that is why Sir Viv Richards is on top. Players like KP, AB are rated higher in my book because the access the situation better. AB looks to reverse sweep or hit hard whether he is on 99 or19 if the situation demands quick runs. That image of sachin blocking the last bal of the innings for a single in that IPL match against Kochi will forever haunt my mind. Kochi won on the last ball too. and sadly it wasn't the first time something like this happened either.players like AB, KP might not rack up the numbers but they give it their all. 2) that innings in the 2011 WC semi final wasn't a masterclass by any means. He was dropped 4 times and the umpires gave him HUGE reprieves 2 times. I am not a sachin basher but he is not the best. Simple as that
    [[
    No, I am a great believer in the scorecard-oriented approach. I agree that Pakistan really gifted that match away but it was still a match-winning innings, while playing poorly. I do not draw anything outside the scorecard and maybe that is why so many people have ganged up on me since they want one more 100% appreciation article. If it is 99%, they will identify the 1% and come down on you.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • anant_gupta on November 23, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    Viv richards 189 is truly a wonderful innings , but I am confident tendulkar 175 and 200 stand in comaprison. There might be other innings by other batsmen also. Herschell gibbs 175 comes to mind even though it was a run fest

    Viv 189 was scored in 55 overs, the innings would have been shorter had it been 50 over game, may be by 30 runs

    I am wary of innings which become great by virtue of last wicket stand. To me its more like a gamble by batsmen which pays off sometime.
    [[
    First, you should avoid using such names since Martin Crowe himself has commented on these columns and it is not fair to the great batsman.

    I think innings like 200 seem to come often. We have already seen two more innings. I would bet quite a bit of money that by the end of 2015, there would be three more occurences if the rules go the same way in favour of the batsmen. On their day, Watson, McCullum, Dhawan, Kohli, de Villiers could cross the 200 mark.
    An innings like the 189 does not come often. Last wicket stands are what they are. One ball from the end right through a 25 over stand is not just fiction. Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 23, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    2) His average in the significant One Days you have extracted is just 35. Miserable. Or is it? What is it for other top batsmen - say Richards, Ponting, Gilchrist, Lara, etc. Did they also dip well below their career stats? 3) Then again, they may have played for strong teams. What about a comparison on the brilliant metric you have invented. If the next best was a great score, the relative merit will be diminished.
    [[
    In all probability I will strengthen this matric and do it for all the players and innings, with tweaks already suggested.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    4) Tendulkar's 117/91 in the triangular finals was against a very competitive Australian attack, and must rate as one of the best performances by any visiting batsman in Australia. Also, the 1992 world cup was unique in that every match was significant without exception. So is it correct to eliminate all triangular tournaments? Is there a better way (completely objectively) to look at this? 5) Can you consider adding a home / away table? 6) What about top batsmen against Eng+Aus+SA in these countries as these are the top countries today?

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 23, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    Ananth, I had stopped watching cricket after being fed 1) Tendulkar and 2) sixes in ODIs in India. I was choking, and terrified that I would forget what real cricket was like. After the ashes, with some real cricket being played, I have started visiting cricinfo again. I saw this article. I have some objections, after stating that it is an excellent article, and making no apologies for my personal opinion that Tendulkar is an overrated batsman (can give many stats which cannot be disputed, though the interpretation can be subjective). 1) knowing (by this time) how any analysis not making ST #1 can result in rabid comments, and knowing the importance of Desert Storm and 134 and 143 (though the Australian attack also wore a Deserted look, else how could ST have made such scores - let us be realistic) - HOW ON EARTH did you exclude desert storm? 2) His average (contd...would appreciate if everything is published together - there will be one more comment)..
    [[
    I will defent, to the death, your right to make your views known, just as I have allowed ALL comments puring scorn and vitriol on me. I may not agree with you on some of the points but that does not matter. I still maintain Tendulkar's greatness. Maybe I am poining out some small elephants in the roonm is the fact for such reactions.
    As a matter of principle, I have excluded ALL tri-nation tournaments. Then what about many wonderful innings played in VB Series Finals.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • red_forever on November 23, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Greatness of Tendulkar's career is how he moulded his Batting according to the changes as i would say NO 24 years of a Sportsman's career would have witnessed such drastic changes. 1.When he came in ODI's wernt the beast they would be and he could calmly concentrate on Tests and did what he would do that is score runs 2.Post 96 WC ODI's caught the public imagination like Wild Fire and Tendulkar was the forefront of this with his stunning knocks at the Start of the innings.I would say Sanath took it to a whole new level from 96 WC but it was SRT who started it actually.3.THen injuries caught up, Sehwag came and he became a bit sedate but as effective as he was before if not the same brutal force. 4.Then the T20's came and he was again forced to change and innovate to keep up with the scoring rates and did this even better with some gem of Knocks 163*,117*,175,and finaly 200* and finally the WC.His pacing of an ODI innings i would say is Unmatched and he knows best when to shift gears.
    [[
    The plateau nature of Tendulkar's career after 50% is simply amazing. It is unfortunate that blinered readers are taking single sentences to heart and not able to appreciate such nuances. Incidentally I have commented on this wonderful stable nature of SRT's career graph.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • swarzi on November 23, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Cont'd: Regarding the meat of your post, Ananth: I'm reiterating the stale point that a player's value in team sport is his contribution to the winning ways of the team! In this context, an individual's value in cricket must be calculated by his player of the match (PoM) ratios and his his player of the series (PoS) ratios. What is good about these specific measure is that the batters get value/recognition for their performances; and so do the bowlers, especially when PoM and PoS are duly rewarded to the person with the best performance in the match or series; and not necessarily to a player in the team that wins. Hence Ananth, I think that when you're doing the the test matches analysis, these two measures should weigh heavily in your extrpolations. I think that they are the two most important measures that tell the story of an individual's career, it cuts out this always 'most is the best fallacy'! These two measures genuinely tell the value and greatness of a player.
    [[
    Let me see. The problem is the absence of these recognitions for most of the Tests.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • AnkushDeshmukh on November 23, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    i am a huge sachin fan and i liked the entire statistical analysis TILL u mentioned the bharat ratna and how it's 'well-deserved only if vishy anand gets it within the next 2years'.... what kinda statement is that?! i mean then what's wrong with dhyan chand, leander paes, milkha singh?! as a sportsman vishwanathan anand is no way close to sachin tendulkar....i am a vishy anand fan too....he was the reason i started playing chess in the first place....but sachin is way ahead of him as a sportsman... (including on how a sportsman should keep his cool with the media)...forgive me for being blunt here but i guess if u were a bengali you'd have mentioned paes and if a north indian you'd have mentioned milkha or dhyan chand, esp dhyan chand who deserved it the most in the first place....that last statement seemed pretty prejudiced and partial sir...!
    [[
    I myself have alread mentioned Dhyan Chand in a response.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • red_forever on November 23, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    contd..

    Ananth Form is a Subjective term..we never know how a player would perform the next match leave alone next season. SRT is prime example for this. 2010 he had is best year and in 2011 he played one of his best Centuries in Tests that 146* vs a Red hot Steyn. It was like sachin saying do what you can at the other end i wouldnt leave my End and that was what Steyn did.

    After this we all felt he had a good couple of years in front of him, given that we all felt his form wont desert him so badly. If we look at it now we know he overstayed, but try saying that he would perform badly for the next two years after that Cape Town test or the WC, i would say almost all of us will disagree with that since we dont know whats in store for us. That is why i always feel Lara went at the right time given that he was at the Top of his game and not like having two bad seasons and then we say he overstayed and should have left after the 2007 WC at home in front of his adoring fans entertaing

  • red_forever on November 23, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Well Ananth, the fire is well and truly back in this blog albeit for different Reasons.

    Coming to your Analysis, I always had this lingering feeling that Comparing 167 matches over 16 years to 452 over 24 isnt correct. Tendulkar will have 5 graphs to Viv's 2 so SRT had a career that was 2.5 times. If we see that Tendulkar played very few ODI's POst 2006 and we can say that the number of ODI's was similar to VIV's average ODI's/year in his Career. SRT could maintain a highlevel of performance given that he could bring his best to the Team as there wasnt a constant pressure to perform. Viv as well brought the same level since he played something like 11 ODIs/year that was the same as Tendulkar post 06-07.
    [[
    Then would you also say that one should never compare 52 Tests with 150 and above. Those older day batsmen were dealt the cards and they played them. In a 16-year career, Richards played 167 matches and his team played probably below 200. Does it mean Richards should always lose out on the number of matches count. If Kohli finishes his career at 500 matches, should that have an impact on his evaluation. Longevity is wonderful but should not cloud performance measurement.

    Ananth
    : ]]

    Many say that Tendulkar Overstayed his place in ODI's but it was the tests where he did that. he just had a bad series in AUS and all hell broke loose on his ODI career. contd...

  • swarzi on November 23, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    Ananth, I too salute Sachin's illustrious career. It's truly an excellent one. However, I too agree that in my time, I've seen quite a few in his profession, who are much better than him. We can't forget the unfair advantages that were given to him, not ever given to any other great sportsman of All Time, to make this illustrious name for himself. While it's an excellent career, it's usually being spoilt by special-agenda fans and commentators with a lot of hyperbolical exaggerations that distort his place among great men! The distortions are readily revealed when one puts the madness that they often spew, under the objective lens of a performance microscope! But, maybe, spewing sentences of greatness merit about Sachin could be very lucrative business! Who knows? People have to live! Cont'd:

  • on November 23, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Mr Anantha.. You are a sore loser!!! I have read your articles and each time I have come to notice something negative or irrelevant points to demean SRT's reputation. I can bet you are a Sachin basher, nothing else. SRT may not be greatest in ODIs but trying to discount his achievement by giving some stupid stats is pathetic. Can you do similar research on Sir Viv and prove your point?

    I saw Viv's stats and it is amazing to anyone's standards but he has only one century in finals in 17 innings. Sachin has more hundreds and better strike rates in finals. Should I say SRT is better ODI bats than Viv?

    I think you should go and check the meaning of "Objective Analysis". You are asking to confer Bharat Ratna to Vishi just because Sachin got it. This shows your maturity. Bharat Ratna or any award for that matter are given to someone on the merit of their achievements, not because someone else has got it.
    [[
    Who said I am a "loser", my dear friend.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • smitu on November 23, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Viv is definitely one of the greatest, but had he been playing for a team with one of the weakest bowling attacks around and had he been playing against the likes of Marshall, Walsh, Holding etc., the average would've been lesser. I know this difference cannot be expressed statistically, but here we're comparing pure abilities of these two players. If Tendulkar played against srinath, prasad, agarakar etc. he would've defintely reaped another 1000-2000 runs in each format (tests and odi's).

  • rajaramkumaran on November 23, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    It is very sad that this article is posted inESPN cricinfo.com, every Indian cricket follower knows what happens when he get's out, from 1996-2001. if you go by your averages with strike rate Greenidge/Haynes, someone like Sir, Vivan to follow these openers. For Gilchrist/Hayden Ponting micheal bevan, to follow. So please Mr.Anant, stop your test match articles immediately. We know what sachin mean to Indian cricket. You are comparing afridi with sachin, he may have the strike rate. Can you please make a statistic, out of Afridi madness how many games Pakistan has lost.
    [[
    My request to you, my dear sir, is that you skip my next article: for that matter, all my future articles, since you have understood nothing, I repeat, nothing which has been presented in the article(s)..
    Thank you.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • mohsin9975 on November 23, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    would love to see similar analysis of SRT in Tests. Great job though. Always thought Lara was better than him in Tests. But thought SRT was better than Viv. Now, I know better becoz havent seen Viv play
    [[
    Will come out with the Test piece next week.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • avanindra88 on November 23, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    India lost the ICC champions trophy 2000 final, other 2 finals in 2002 were washed out after SL innings...Tendulkar came to bat in one match only and remained unbeaten...trinations were important part of cricket calendar in 90s and should be considered noteworthy...sachin scored 6 centuries and 10 fifties in all finals..which is a phenomenal record..

  • on November 23, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    There are lies, damned lies and then there's statistics. Amla already an ODI great and no Dhoni or Bevan in your list! Thats why Mr. Narayanan the saying: There are lies, damned lies and then there's statistics. I don't think V. Anand is the greatest sportsman India has ever produced. Did he beat Kasparov? He has been the best player in his sport by default after Kasparov retired and before Carlsen arose. No doubt he is one of the greatest but not the greatest sportsman to come out of India, which accolade, in my view, should go to Leander Paes.

  • amitgarg78 on November 23, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Disappointed with the effort ananth. Numbers alone can never do such a long career, any justice. I am sure your stats and analysis are accurate, but can they ever capture what he's contributed to the sport in its sociological impact?

    There was no need for the back handed compliments to what has truly been a great career.

    And absolutely no need to bring in vishy into the mix. There are enough people across different fields who one could nominate, but each winner is unique. Why should you it anyone have problem with him being chosen whether or not vishy is ever awarded the Bharat ratna not to say that he is not a great player himself. He is.

    Disappointing.

  • PunzS on November 23, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    So with this article are you saying that Sachin did not deserve being called 'Great' ? Your article makes a lot of sense and proves a lot with numbers written down but what you are forgetting, which you cant put down is 'Impact'. His presence alone made a huge impact on the moral of the team as well as the opposition team. Try considering that for a fact. Matches are not won only with numbers, sometimes you have to play with pressure and create fear on the pitch to win or to give good competition. Also his presence also created a lot of impact on younger players who grew up watching him and tried emulating him. His impact created global inspiration for cricketers to fight like how he did. Guess these things cant be calculated. Sorry to say sir but what i believe is that you are one of those people who is tired of hearing all good about sachin and want to prove to yourself that he was not a great impact player with silly numbers, statistics & calculations.
    [[
    I suggest you do not create your own fantasies. Have I ever called SRt not great in the article. Have I ever pulled him down. Have I ever questioned his credantials.
    Just because I place him a close second to Richards, ha, all you guys come out with your vitriol. Frankly I do not care. If at all, SRT's greatness will only be diminished by the comments by people who do not understand the article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • anshu.sunny on November 23, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    The usual Ananth Narayan Blog..in which he trie svery hard to some how pull down Tendulkar. He gives it away as usual.by demanding Bharat ratna for Vishvanathan Anand that too on a cricket blog about statistics.. hilarious. grow up Ananth. do you understand being able to maintain ur invention "TSI" almost equal to ur anointed Greatest Richards after playing almost thrice the innings. Obvioulsy you will find it hard to allow this comment on this blog which is nothing but an ego trip of yours. but will again say..GROW UP.
    [[
    I have done all the growing up I need to do. Thank you. And I have never rejected a single negative comment, my dear friend.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • loksurya on November 23, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Hello Sir, where do you place MS Dhoni in your list of ODI greats???.... I know he could not make to this list becase he bats lower and generally have lower TSPTs....
    [[
    Yes, a very valid point. Possibly his name could be added to those of Amla, Kohli and de Villiers. My oversight.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    .

  • Swapnil_Manish on November 23, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    However much Anantha tries, he cannot hide his dislike towards Tendulkar. I remember his article some time back where in the comments (while comparing with his favourite, Lara) he classified "Tendulkar as a very good test batsman while Lara was classified as a great test batsman (and vice versa in ODIs)". Sure, Lara was a great Test batsman but so was Tendulkar. This dislike manifests itself at many places (the mention of Bharat Ratna...totally irrelevant, discarding Desert Storm...when we have clearly seen more irrelevant multi-team tourneys such as recent Champions Trophies, his failure in the other two ICC Trophy finals which were both rained off (he didn't bat in the first & was not out in the 2nd), his comment in the recent Ind-WI Mumbai test re: Tendulkar batting again etc.). While obviously not everybody can be a fan/admirer of Tendulkar, it is unfair to slice & dice up stats as per your liking just to prove a point. I would consider Tendulkar as an equal of Richards in ODIs.

  • Lets_Bash_Indians on November 23, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    he Doesnt Worship him,,, LoL when i Read that line,,, i scroll down the whole para without reading.
    [[
    Thank you. You could as well then skip the whole article. There have been 18426 articles written by people who worship SRT during the past month or so for you to read.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • arakelov on November 23, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    (continued)

    I believe no stats can really convey the importance of Tendulkar. He practically invented the paddle sweeps, upper cuts, helicopter shots and made them look risk free. Atleast for his innovation and amazing consistency, for me he is the best ODI batsman.

    But otherwise, your stats seem to have all the right parameters to separate good from the great.

    And I also believe that Vishy Anand together with Leander Paes (may not be the true world beater like Anand but for his yeoman services for Davis cup and numerous doubles grandslam titles) should also be felicitated with a Bharat Ratna.

  • arakelov on November 23, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    (continued)

    On the other hand, Sachin and Lara played for very weak teams. Especially the 90's team India (although it had people like Azhar and Jadeja averaging close to 40) had a very weak bowling attack (excepting Srinath, they did not have single world class fast bowler).

    Moreover, 90's team India had atleast 3/4 players palying against their own team (match fixing). When you play for such a team , you have to get very very consistent in order to end up on the winning side. Which is precisely what Tendulkar did.

    Only in the second half of his career that he found people of integrity, talent, and commitment to support the cause in the likes of Ganguly, Dravid, Lakshmanand co).

    This is the reason why, India adores Mr. Tendulkar. I think more than anyone else, its him who likes to dominate the bowling attacks. But for the sake of stability, he cut down his strokes and still ended up with amazing stats, as you have established.

  • arakelov on November 23, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Well Sir, I found a lot of old timers pay rich tributes to the legends of their day and seem to hold them at higher pedestal when compared to the current crop.

    There is no doubt that barring a certain Mr. Gilchrist, no batsman ever inflicted as much pain and hurt to a bowler as much as Sir Richards did. But I still rate Mr. Tendulkar and for that matter Lara higher than these two, for the fact that Sir Richards and Gilchrist played for overwhelmingly strong teams. The top 7/8 fast bowlers of the times of Sir Richards were from West indies, and so were the top five batsman. Same holds true for Gilchrist. When playing for such teams bastman of their nature can well and truly express themselves with no fear of loosing.

    As they knew even if they do not contribute, the others would definitely chip in, and whatever total that was put up was made to look a plenty by their high quality bowling attacks. This allowed them to rein in their natural instincts and attack at will.
    [[
    Playing in a strong team is not a negative factor. The problem is that when I rate Murali very high there is another school of thought which says he played in a weak team so he is bound to take wickets. What finally matters is what they ended up with. On that, Richards reigns alightly ahead of SRT, in my opinion. The numbers also support that view.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cricketfan23 on November 23, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    It seems as if Mr.Narayanan had already made up his mind regarding placing Viv above Sachin & then did the analysis to prove his point.Perhaps that is the reason why he says that he does not consider the Sharjah knocks as it came in a triangular series.Why Mr.Narayanan,were those charity matches? Sachin was the most consistent batsman in all the worldcups.He was India's leading run scorer in 3 world cups. Why don't you do the analysis of batsmen's records in all the tournament finals & then see where Sachin stands with the rest. You can put the numbers but the numbers don't how the conditions & situations in which the runs were scored. Viv had great batsmen all around him which gave him the freedom to play the way he did whereas Sachin fought a lone battle during 1990s. Besides Viv played in an era when all the great bowlers were in his team just as it was with Ponting.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on November 23, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    sachin played exactly 2.5 (463 to 187) times more matches than viv richards but average difference is just above 2 and strike rate difference is 4. Viv didnot played against best ever bowlers of 1990 and many of the great bowlers of viv era are his team mates. Viv got great team so his winning percentage is high as like 2000's oz team.

    So my personal opinion is sachin is equally as great as viv. If you ask only one, i will say sachin is better batsman than viv.

    Will you say, a batsman who played 2 matches, averages 125 is better batsman than Bradman?

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on November 23, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    sachin played exactly 2.5 (463 to 187) times more matches than viv richards but average difference is just above 2 and strike rate difference is 4. Viv didnot played against best ever bowlers of 1990 and many of the great bowlers of viv era are his team mates. Viv got great team so his winning percentage is high as like 2000's oz team.

    So my personal opinion is sachin is equally as great as viv. If you ask only one, i will say sachin is better batsman than viv.

    Will you say, a batsman who played 2 matches, averages 125 is better batsman than Bradman?

  • Cricketfan23 on November 23, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    It seems as if Mr.Narayanan had already made up his mind regarding placing Viv above Sachin & then did the analysis to prove his point.Perhaps that is the reason why he says that he does not consider the Sharjah knocks as it came in a triangular series.Why Mr.Narayanan,were those charity matches? Sachin was the most consistent batsman in all the worldcups.He was India's leading run scorer in 3 world cups. Why don't you do the analysis of batsmen's records in all the tournament finals & then see where Sachin stands with the rest. You can put the numbers but the numbers don't how the conditions & situations in which the runs were scored. Viv had great batsmen all around him which gave him the freedom to play the way he did whereas Sachin fought a lone battle during 1990s. Besides Viv played in an era when all the great bowlers were in his team just as it was with Ponting.

  • arakelov on November 23, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Well Sir, I found a lot of old timers pay rich tributes to the legends of their day and seem to hold them at higher pedestal when compared to the current crop.

    There is no doubt that barring a certain Mr. Gilchrist, no batsman ever inflicted as much pain and hurt to a bowler as much as Sir Richards did. But I still rate Mr. Tendulkar and for that matter Lara higher than these two, for the fact that Sir Richards and Gilchrist played for overwhelmingly strong teams. The top 7/8 fast bowlers of the times of Sir Richards were from West indies, and so were the top five batsman. Same holds true for Gilchrist. When playing for such teams bastman of their nature can well and truly express themselves with no fear of loosing.

    As they knew even if they do not contribute, the others would definitely chip in, and whatever total that was put up was made to look a plenty by their high quality bowling attacks. This allowed them to rein in their natural instincts and attack at will.
    [[
    Playing in a strong team is not a negative factor. The problem is that when I rate Murali very high there is another school of thought which says he played in a weak team so he is bound to take wickets. What finally matters is what they ended up with. On that, Richards reigns alightly ahead of SRT, in my opinion. The numbers also support that view.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • arakelov on November 23, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    (continued)

    On the other hand, Sachin and Lara played for very weak teams. Especially the 90's team India (although it had people like Azhar and Jadeja averaging close to 40) had a very weak bowling attack (excepting Srinath, they did not have single world class fast bowler).

    Moreover, 90's team India had atleast 3/4 players palying against their own team (match fixing). When you play for such a team , you have to get very very consistent in order to end up on the winning side. Which is precisely what Tendulkar did.

    Only in the second half of his career that he found people of integrity, talent, and commitment to support the cause in the likes of Ganguly, Dravid, Lakshmanand co).

    This is the reason why, India adores Mr. Tendulkar. I think more than anyone else, its him who likes to dominate the bowling attacks. But for the sake of stability, he cut down his strokes and still ended up with amazing stats, as you have established.

  • arakelov on November 23, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    (continued)

    I believe no stats can really convey the importance of Tendulkar. He practically invented the paddle sweeps, upper cuts, helicopter shots and made them look risk free. Atleast for his innovation and amazing consistency, for me he is the best ODI batsman.

    But otherwise, your stats seem to have all the right parameters to separate good from the great.

    And I also believe that Vishy Anand together with Leander Paes (may not be the true world beater like Anand but for his yeoman services for Davis cup and numerous doubles grandslam titles) should also be felicitated with a Bharat Ratna.

  • Lets_Bash_Indians on November 23, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    he Doesnt Worship him,,, LoL when i Read that line,,, i scroll down the whole para without reading.
    [[
    Thank you. You could as well then skip the whole article. There have been 18426 articles written by people who worship SRT during the past month or so for you to read.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Swapnil_Manish on November 23, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    However much Anantha tries, he cannot hide his dislike towards Tendulkar. I remember his article some time back where in the comments (while comparing with his favourite, Lara) he classified "Tendulkar as a very good test batsman while Lara was classified as a great test batsman (and vice versa in ODIs)". Sure, Lara was a great Test batsman but so was Tendulkar. This dislike manifests itself at many places (the mention of Bharat Ratna...totally irrelevant, discarding Desert Storm...when we have clearly seen more irrelevant multi-team tourneys such as recent Champions Trophies, his failure in the other two ICC Trophy finals which were both rained off (he didn't bat in the first & was not out in the 2nd), his comment in the recent Ind-WI Mumbai test re: Tendulkar batting again etc.). While obviously not everybody can be a fan/admirer of Tendulkar, it is unfair to slice & dice up stats as per your liking just to prove a point. I would consider Tendulkar as an equal of Richards in ODIs.

  • loksurya on November 23, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Hello Sir, where do you place MS Dhoni in your list of ODI greats???.... I know he could not make to this list becase he bats lower and generally have lower TSPTs....
    [[
    Yes, a very valid point. Possibly his name could be added to those of Amla, Kohli and de Villiers. My oversight.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    .

  • anshu.sunny on November 23, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    The usual Ananth Narayan Blog..in which he trie svery hard to some how pull down Tendulkar. He gives it away as usual.by demanding Bharat ratna for Vishvanathan Anand that too on a cricket blog about statistics.. hilarious. grow up Ananth. do you understand being able to maintain ur invention "TSI" almost equal to ur anointed Greatest Richards after playing almost thrice the innings. Obvioulsy you will find it hard to allow this comment on this blog which is nothing but an ego trip of yours. but will again say..GROW UP.
    [[
    I have done all the growing up I need to do. Thank you. And I have never rejected a single negative comment, my dear friend.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • PunzS on November 23, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    So with this article are you saying that Sachin did not deserve being called 'Great' ? Your article makes a lot of sense and proves a lot with numbers written down but what you are forgetting, which you cant put down is 'Impact'. His presence alone made a huge impact on the moral of the team as well as the opposition team. Try considering that for a fact. Matches are not won only with numbers, sometimes you have to play with pressure and create fear on the pitch to win or to give good competition. Also his presence also created a lot of impact on younger players who grew up watching him and tried emulating him. His impact created global inspiration for cricketers to fight like how he did. Guess these things cant be calculated. Sorry to say sir but what i believe is that you are one of those people who is tired of hearing all good about sachin and want to prove to yourself that he was not a great impact player with silly numbers, statistics & calculations.
    [[
    I suggest you do not create your own fantasies. Have I ever called SRt not great in the article. Have I ever pulled him down. Have I ever questioned his credantials.
    Just because I place him a close second to Richards, ha, all you guys come out with your vitriol. Frankly I do not care. If at all, SRT's greatness will only be diminished by the comments by people who do not understand the article.
    Ananth
    : ]]